The Tesla Device is a weapon which uses a mixture of exceedingly combustible gases to ignite the atmosphere.
Before Scarecrow and the Army of ThievesEdit
Originally, the Tesla device was devised by the American military some time before the 1980s, yet it did not move into the development stage.
In 1982, the CIA agent Marius Calderon predicted that China would rise as a global superpower by the year 2010, one that would threaten the United States' position as the world's strongest economy. Because of this, he began working on a plan to ensure the Americans would remain the world's greatest superpower. After two years, Calderon conceived Operation Dragonslayer, which would allow the Russians to steal the plans for the atmospheric weapon, along with false data that would make the Russians believe that if they constructed the device on Dragon Island then it would largely decimate the United States.
Indeed, once Russian spies got a hold of the plans for the atmospheric weapon, which they called the Tesla device after Nikolai Tesla, who had once posited such a weapon, they bgean construction, intending for it be used only as a scorched Earth fail-safe. Indeed, the whole base at Dragon Island was constructed based on the stolen American plans for the weapon. Throughout the rest of the 80's, necessary components for the device such as atmospheric samples from Venus, the liquid form Triethylborane (TEB) and quantities of uranium-238 (red uranium) were gathered at Dragon Island for use in the weapon.
As Calderon had accounted for in his plans, the Soviet Union crumbled in the 1991, which put the Tesla device, as well as several other projects, to rest under the watch of skeleton crews. This would work in his favour, as Calderon intended to create a fake terrorist army to take control of the device and become the scapegoats for setting it off.
The final phase of Dragonslayer began when Calderon, using his undercover nickname as the Lord of Anarchy, bribed the head of one of Dragon Island's skeleton crews, Igor Kotsky, into allowing the Army of Thieves to seize the island. Once they had control of the island's gasworks, the Army of Thieves began belching the TEB/Venusian gas compound into the jet-stream over the island, while also initiating the long process of priming the six red uranium spheres (while Calderon also began priming the secret seventh sphere).
Six weeks after the Army of Thieves took Dragon Island, with the gas spread across the majority of the northern hemisphere, they faced an unfortunate complication of a relief crew coming to replace the one the Army had eliminated in taking the island. Despite being able to ambush most of the team, Vasily Ivanov and one other managed to escape and take off in their Beriev. Ivanov then was able to percieve the gas that had been leaked into the atmosphere, and managed to make a distress call with a request to activate a UV-4 scan before being shot down.
As a result, the Russian and American governments learned about the activation of the Tesla device, and, following a failed attempt by the Russians to nuke the island, they sought to find armed units close to Dragon Island to move in an stop the Army of Thieves.
First, a team of Navy SEALs led by Ironbark attempted to breach the island and shut down the gasworks, however they were ambushed and wiped out. Meanwhile, an equipment testing team led by Shane Schofield recovered Ivanov and made their way to Dragon Island, soon accompanied by a trio of French troops, and, once they made it to the cover of one of the nearby islets, began talking with Ivanov on how to stop the Tesla device. Because they would not have enough time to reach the gasworks and halt the gas-leaking process in time, the group decided their best option would be to retrieve the red uranium spheres or destroy the island's missile battery.
While Schofield's team set about making their way onto the island to recover the red uranium spheres, Ironbark, who had managed to surive the assault on his team, snuck into the gasworks. Without the Army of Thieves realising, the SEAL managed to shut off the gas emitter, which started creating a safe zone between Dragon and the gaseous atmosphere, so that even if the sphere-tipped missiles were launched, the atmosphere wouldn't ignite.
Once Schofield retrieved the spheres, he and his team attempted to escape from the island with the intention of dumping the spheres into the ocean so that the Army couldn't recover them, however their plane was disabled before it could take off. As the Lord of Anarchy revealed his possession of the seventh red uranium sphere, he had it installed into one of his missiles and fired into the atmosphere. However, thanks to Ironbark's interference, the detonation occured in the uncontaminated section of the jetstream.
Now needing Schofield's spheres, the Army attempted to retrieve them, though four were lost to the ocean on the west side of the island, while Zack and Emma were forced to flee across the island with the remaining two. Eventually they were captured and Calderon took the two spheres, preparing two methods of igniting the Tesla device; the first a missile launch from the megatrain and the second being a warhead detonated on a plane flown firectly into the gas.
Ultimately, Mother and Baba managed to keep the megatrain from stopping so that it could fire by crashing it into the sea, while Schofield ditched the warhead that was onboard the plane into the ocean below. Soon afterwards, the Russians nuked Dragon Island, destroying the entire facility and the Tesla weapon's remaining components with it.
The ignition procedure for the Tesla device is an extremely long process. Starting from the Gasworks on Dragon Island, the gaseous form of TEB (Triethylborane) is mixed together with a sample of atmospheric gases collected from Venus. This mixture is then leached into the jetstream, which over the course of several weeks will blow the TEB/Venusian gas around the northern hemisphere, thereby contaminating the portions of the Earth's atmosphere the jetstream passes around.
Because of the high temperatures required to ignite the gas (likely because the average temperatures on Venus are already so hot) a golf ball-sized sample of the variety of uranium referred to as red uranium is required to be present on an incendiary devices as it detonates within the gas cloud. However, due to the requirements needed to store the red uranium safely, the priming process to bring them to optimal temperature takes roughly six weeks.
Once the red uranium spheres are fully primed, all that is left to ignite the TEB/Venusian gas is a missile with a warhead containing a single red uranium sphere, launched far enough into the contaminated atmosphere. The red uranium will be ignited by the missile's detonation, and the compound in turn will cause the blast to burn hot enough to react with the TEB in the gas compound.
Triethylborane, known shorthand as TEB, us a chemical best known for its use igniting the engines and afterburners on the SR-71 Blackbird and rockets, and is one of the most combustible substances known to man.
Collected by Soviet probes, a variety of gases from the atmosphere of Venus were studied by the scientists at Dragon Island and found to have toxic properties, and some were also mildly acidic.
Uranium-238 (Red Uranium)Edit
Uranium-238 is the most common isotope of uranium found in nature, and due to its reddish hue is nicknamed red uranium or blood uranium. This form of uranium is not nearly as potent or radioactive as others, but is still capable of devastating blasts when detonated, worse still when used in conjunction with TEB.
- The Tesla Device is named after Nikolai Tesla, who suggested the idea of a weapon capable of igniting the atmosphere.
- As Alicia Gordon noted, the Soviets also attempted to use the mix of Venusian gas and TEB to create a rain that melted skin. This was likely an off-shoot project from the Tesla device, which the DIA would mistakenly would believe to be the other way around.