View Full Version : Virus bombs, how long until the virus goes away?

05-04-2005, 18:32
When the Imperium virus bombs a planet, how long is it until the virus goes away? Is the planet infected for weeks, months, years?

05-04-2005, 18:58
I would imagine years. In any case, I expect the world would be interdicted for many years to prevent the taint of whatever was there from spreading - maybe forever.

05-04-2005, 19:05
It depends what effect the virus actually had on the lifeforms present. It could potentially survive for a long time, integrated into the genetic code of lifeforms on the planet.

05-04-2005, 19:13
According to the fluff in "Harlequin" the most common virus used is the flesh-eater virus. It attacks all biological matter and breaks it down into combustible gases. Eventually there is a flash point and the atmosphere ignites. This burns away the virus along with any remaining life forms leaving the planet scoured clean of life. I believe the process is supposed to take around a month (which raises the question of whether additional forces are required to keep the planet quarantined until the population has died).

05-04-2005, 19:51
Ah, good, so if I use the flesh eater virus in my story, I can have my guys go down with oxygen masks.

I wonder if Orks would be able to make crude oxygen masks of their own?...

05-04-2005, 20:27
How does a mask protect the rest of the body? This is a virus used as a weapon here, I don't think a puny overcoat will stop it. You're going to need either pressure suits or power armour.

05-04-2005, 20:38
Well, apart from Ximeniz, Biggles and Fang they're all space marines [Rednecks and some Grey Knights] so X, B and F will have to wear some spare power armour.

Talkie Toaster
05-04-2005, 22:11
...Ximeniz, Biggles and Fang...
You'd think the virus would have some way of dealing with armoured personel. Presumably it sticks to their armour, so removing it later on leads to contracting the virus? Or perhaps it attacks neck seals or the like?

And WTF is this story going to end up like? (Oh WTF smiley, where have you gone?)

05-04-2005, 23:05
Well, you could have armored personel protected from the virus quite easily. The virus itself is not the actual way the planet is rendered uninhabitable. As Karhedron pointed out, the virus is actually used to build up a reserve of biological "fuel" that the firestorm can feed off of.

So, anyone on the planet who didnt die from the virus, be it that they were protected by armor, medicine, or being sealed off, would be killed when the planet wide holocaust swept over them. Assuming they don't get off before the storm (a task that should be hard, given that the Navy would most certainly post a blockade between the virus being released and the firestom), anyone left alive would be incinerated.

06-04-2005, 04:12
Most pressurized suits (environmental or power) are going to probably use something similar to rubber as a seal at the joints. Rubber is an organic compound and presumably the virus would attack it. There could be synthetic materials to protect against this though.

06-04-2005, 05:14
The Virus would stick to the outside of the Power Armor, and any marines or whoever is there would need to be decontaminated once they left the planets surface.

and yea, orks would get mashed by virus bombing...maybe they could duct tape all their hatches...

The Inedible
06-04-2005, 05:32
Careful control of their plastic wrap supplies could render ork protection measures useless though.

06-04-2005, 07:21
Remember that the Loyalist forces of the Sons of Horus, EC, etc on Istvaan III survived the virus-bombing of that planet as they sealed up their armour.

Delicious Soy
06-04-2005, 08:20
The virus unleased on Istvaan is reffered to as the life eater virus. Remebering high school biology most cells have a selfdestruct mechanism (Lysomes IIRC) That basically cause the cell to disintegrate. Thats what I imagined it the Life eater virus does, causing almost instant necrosis of the body. After that fires did start up, then the titan legions were released to mop up any hardpoint bunkers.

Of course other methods of Exterminatus have been mentioned, mainly the use of nuclear weapons to carpet bomb the planet and destroy the atmosphere (though given the tech used to maintain hiveworlds this would be the most ad-hoc and reactionary approach IMO) and the ever popular magna-melta warheads and cyclotronic torpedoes. Which of course raises the question, WTF is a cyclotronic torpedo? My impression is that its a weapon that causes a massive low pressure system in an atmosphere, instantly whipping up hypersonic winds. But I'd like to hear other ideas too.

06-04-2005, 08:27
Wasn't there a thread on old portent about different kinds of exterminatus?

06-04-2005, 08:37
They do have synthetic rubber, the US invented it during the 2nd world war. Who knows what kinds of weapons the imperium posseses, im sure somewhere they would have a subtle idea of creating planet killer type weapons.

Delicious Soy
06-04-2005, 08:46
SonofAbbadon: I have vague memory of contributing to a thread like that. Oh well this can be the new one :p

06-04-2005, 09:58
on virus bombing: I guess it depends. Are we talking about virus bombing or Exterminatus? From what I understand, Exterminatus means that this planet ist lost for the Imperium, but at least also lost for any enemy. IIRC, Exterminatus is a combinations of virus bombs, nuclear bombs and basically any weapon of mass destruction the Imperium has in stock.

I wonder if Orks would be able to make crude oxygen masks of their own?...

Orks are able to make oxygen masks, bolter-equivalents (not that realiable though), powered armour, energy field generators, cigars, beer, rocket-propelled jump packs, single man-carried weapons that work with warp-technology, power weapons, spaceships, etc.

Technologically, they're not very far behind the Imperium, their tech is just not as realiable as the Imperial counterparts and in many ways functions different.

The funny thing is that Oks are adapting and are always interested in other races' technology, other than the Imperium.

06-04-2005, 10:08
Orks rock.

We're talking about virus bombing, not Exterminatus.

06-04-2005, 15:22
Well, going back to RT, virus grenades and missiles attacked everything within range of a victim instantly, cascading along until there were no new infections, at which point it mutated into something harmless - although there was a chance of a virus re-occurring at some point years later.

If we're talking strategic bio-weapons, then the lifespan can be whatever you want, it could be some kind of super virus, incubation period of hours, spread via respiration or skin contact, terminal in 1-2 days, contagious for something like 4 days total before the virus self-destructs itself. Also, if it's yours, you'll probably have the anti-viral regime required to counteract it, so you can go into the quarantined area, but your enemies can't.

06-04-2005, 16:00
Reguards the Exterminatus Workdkiller virus, the main method of dealing with armoured persons is massive planetwide destruction, with an effect simmilar to the modern fuel-air bomb detonating over the planet's entire surface. The irony is that worlds like Necromunda are so close to dead worlds anyway that they would be mostly protected, the hives being airtight and sealable (mostly, they may loose a few) and the outside having so little organic life left that the fireball wouldn't ignite (assuming that rad storms don't kill it off).

07-04-2005, 00:33
I always viewed it as an airborn with a very fast incubation and 1-2 day kill. It would kill the majority of life on the planet, and then the tech'magos would spend years in clean up. Though I doubt it would be used on an essential world in the first place. Many real life virus's can sit dormant for years on end.

Virus weapons are very indiscriminate, and won't be effective against hard targets. Not to mention ruining the worlds eco. Cyclonic torpedoes are the preferred method.

07-04-2005, 12:40
Why would rubber be attacked by a virus?

Yes it is a biological material, but viruses need a living cell to enter, replicate and then destroy in order to spread their infection.


07-04-2005, 13:32
Hmmm, I'll have to change my story if the virus's lie around for ages.

Perhaps change the virus bombs into orbit to ground missiles...

07-04-2005, 14:25
If it's engineered to die off quickly, then it will. If it's supposed to be an area denial weapon, it'll linger. They do have control over these things.

On Tallarn, it burnt itself out in a matter of weeks and left the whole planetary surface totally sterile and littered with remains that couldn't decay because there was nothing left to break them down.

Talkie Toaster
09-04-2005, 20:13
Why would rubber be attacked by a virus?
Yes it is a biological material, but viruses need a living cell to enter, replicate and then destroy in order to spread their infection.
The rubber may not actually have cells in it, but as an organic material it's probably more likely to be vulnerable to any byproducts of the virus.

09-04-2005, 21:09
A bacterium couls feed on rubber (or almost any other susbstance come to think of it) but viri require living cells and the associated genetic machinery. They cannot reproduce without a host.

Inquisitor Engel
09-04-2005, 21:39
Indeed, for a virus to reproduce, it must have a living cell to corrupt and grow out of.

According to some sources, the virus remains there, dormant, until it's either destroyed by another form of exterminatus, fire bombed for instance. To my knowledge, the Imperium has no form of vaccine or cure for the world-eater virus, so once a planet gets hit by it, that's it. The world has had it.

The Eldar I'm sure could have fun with such a world. :cool:

Likewise, the Imperium could well turn it into a world that simply anchors orbital dockyards, as that wouldn't require anyone to even set foot on the surface.

10-04-2005, 22:02
So my guys *could* go down to the surface totally covered, kill some Orks [just to make sure they're all dead] then get the virus washed off [or something]?

Inquisitor Engel
10-04-2005, 22:17
So my guys *could* go down to the surface totally covered, kill some Orks [just to make sure they're all dead] then get the virus washed off [or something]?
The Orks would be dead already mate. The virus kills EVERYTHING.

And no, they cannot get the virus washed off, as soon as it comes into contact with an organic subject, it will kill them very, very quickly.

10-04-2005, 23:32
2 things:
1. So this virus kills Orks straight away, as in as soon as it comes into contact? It doesn't take a few days or an hour or anything?
2. Are you saying metal is organic?

Inquisitor Engel
11-04-2005, 00:39
2 things:
1. So this virus kills Orks straight away, as in as soon as it comes into contact? It doesn't take a few days or an hour or anything?
It sure as hell doesn't take days. For Space Marines to bother even going down to kill the Orks would be pointless. The Orks would be dead before they can do anything.

2. Are you saying metal is organic?
No, but it can stick to the metal and spread once it comes into contact with air again. Washing someone off, after a largely pointless and highly dangerous mission, won't kill a virus.

11-04-2005, 02:11
IIRC the "flesh eating" virus was really fast acting. One minute your there, next your a puddle.

As far as cleaning up these kinds of virus's you can't "wash them off". There would have to be some kinds of decontamination method, but it wouldn't be that easy.

11-04-2005, 10:01
I would guess that decontamination would involve some pretty heavy irradiation, inside and out. According to the Catachan background, the Imperium has specialised decontamination ships for troops fighting on deathworlds and suchlike - those who survive tend to bring nasties with them.

11-04-2005, 19:14
Ok, I'll just turn the virus bombs in my story to regular bombs then.