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How to sink an ark

I need to think of a way for a woman to sink a giant ark. She is the only person on the boat and she will have to fight a robot cyclops as she engineers the sinking. Do any of you know any creative ways to blow stuff up? I need a reservoir of explosive stuff somewhere or a chemical reaction which could create a strong acid that burns through some chamber which contains the explosive stuff.
I suppose that I would need to think of how the ark is powered. It is the fusion age, so hydrogen and helium are abundant.
Hydrogen explodes, but that sounds too easy. What is the chemical from which the hydrogen is extracted? Can I make a powerful acid with hydrogen and something in seawater? Are any of you chemists?
Robot cyclops? Exciting!
  • What is the Ark made of in this futuristic world?
  • Is the crew automated or human?
  • What is the woman's experience with regards to technical skill in bringing down a big boat?
  • How much time does she have?
  • Would it be easier to bring it down from the main controls or the engine room?
If I were to take a submarine down, working with a human crew, I would find a way to poison the food. Find me a nice uniform amongst all the hubbub and sabotage one section of the mechanical machinery. Once one part starts a chain reaction, I would move on to the command centre and release a tear gas canister that would give me enough time to slip on a gas mask and overload some mechanism from the controls.

Alternatively, I would release a horde of cats trained to rip out the vital circuitry of the robot cyclops. Cats obviously being too nimble to be caught or hurt by the automaton sentries.

Hope this helps!
When you say hydrogen/helium are abundant, do you mean there is a store of them in compressed form somewhere on the ark? If so, the 'liquid gas' store would have a lot of potential energy. Perhaps this store is controlled via ark computer systems, which can be tinkered with to increase the store's pressure until it goes pop?


Could one of the robot cyclops explode? There's a movie (can't remember which, but it might be one of the Terminators) where an internal chip or the like has explosive power when it malfunctions. I think they throw it from a car, and boom.

Could your robots have a nuclear fuson type of batery. It could be damaged during a fight, then start to tick down to give your heroine time to run. Maybe she knows this is the only way to blow the boat up which might highten the tension in the fight scene and strengthen her need to win. She could be anywhere on your boat. You coud be creative with how she damages that battery.

In Star Trek, Data has an off switch. Could your robots have a destruct button, a button humans have planted should the robots ever try to take the world over. A signal could be sent to this destruct button which would blow the robot up. Each robot has its own signal. Of course, the robots don't know about this switch cos humans would have put it there secretly (no good letting them know), so any knowlege of if would be restricted to a few select humans. You could have a second story line where your heroine finds out about this switch. Conspiracies, espionage and such ...
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Maybe two substances that are harmless by themselves meeting and mixing and then causing an explosion. They'd have holding tanks and they could spring a leak or be punctured by two unrelated things... don't have an idea for substances or reasons or anything.
This is what came out of this brainstorm (Now, I need to cut it back.):

“What if I sink this Ark and make sure that Chess never gets another saliva sample from me?”

“You could blow up the hydrogen tank which feeds the fusion reactor, but it is guarded by a family of robot cyclopes.”

“Without the cryogenics plant, the liquid hydrogen would expand and pop open the tank. A spark would complete the job.”

“It isn’t that easy. There are plenty of backup circuits to deal with cryo-failure and the tank would automatically vent into the atmosphere. You would need for the tank to vent back down into the bottom of the boat, but because hydrogen is a very light gas, it could float away before you can ignite it.”

“So, I have to open the vent and make a hole in the bottom of the tank so that the liquid hydrogen seeps into the bottom of the boat.”

“The bottom of the tank is very thick and burning through it is not a trivial matter.”

“If I add chlorine to the hydrogen tank, that would create hydrochloric acid in a violent chemical reaction which would cause the tank to vent, but maybe that wouldn’t be enough to sink the boat. In industry, they make hydrochloric acid through electrolysis of a salt solution and we are surrounded by seawater. Maybe I could put the electrodes from the nuclear reactor into the water and make all of the surrounding water acidic so that it eats away at the hull.”

“That would take too long. You need some sulphuric acid and table salt.

NaCl+H2SO4 -> Na2SO4+HCl.

This reaction produces a white precipitate of sodium sulfate and dry HCl gas which can condense on the tank to form an acid which could burn through the metal.”

“Right! In my high school chemistry class, I made HCl (hydrogen chloride gas) from NaCl (table salt) and H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). I remember that sulfuric acid was a milky solution which could be collected from certain types of batteries. But where can I find the right kind of battery?”

“I would suggest the robot cyclopes.”

“So I need to defeat an army of robot cyclopes and steal their battery acid so that I can mix it with salt and use the resulting acidic gas to burn a hole in the bottom of the liquid hydrogen tank so that the ship will fill with hydrogen gas and explode.”

“Sounds like a plan. Lure the cyclopes down underneath the hydrogen tank and drown them in a concentrated salt solution. Easy.”

“If you say so. At least it sounds better than crucifixion.”

Armed with little more than my knowledge of chemistry, I headed deep into the bowels of the ark in search of the hydrogen tank. Just as ARIEL had predicted, I met a gigantic robot cyclops.

“Fee Fie Foe Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,” boomed the Cyclops.

Its heavy metal feet clomped along the gangway behind me as I ran and hid.

“Who goes there?” it called.

“Nobody!” I answered.

From my perch on top of an electronics rack, I struck the cyclops in the eye with a crowbar.

“Help!” the cyclops called out to his friends and family, “Nobody has blinded me! Destroy her!”

I heard the clanging approach of more cyclopes and ran down to the space I had blocked off beneath the hydrogen tank. I had a fire hose aimed and prepared to defend my position with a torrent of supersaturated salt solution through which the cyclopes would have to swim to get me.

The robots clanged into my trap, alarms beeping and sirens blaring. My plan appeared to be working until I realized that I was stuck in a room which was rapidly filling with poisoned gas. My oxygen tank was not protecting me from the stinging and burning of my eyes. I would be too blind to escape.

As my legs gave way beneath me, I felt metal claws pick me up and carry me up to the surface of the ark. After that, I remember a falling sensation. When I regained consciousness, I was floating in the water and looking up at a flaming sky as an animatronic dove disappeared into a cloud of black smoke.

“So much for playing God, pussycat,” I said to the flames.

Chess broke into my mind via the film implant.

“Damn it Alix, now I have to build another one. This is going to put me months behind schedule.”
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“Fee Fie Foe Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,” boomed the Cyclops.

Its heavy metal feet clomped along the gangway behind me as I ran and hid.

“Who goes there?” it called.

“Nobody!” I answered.

I (was armed with a crow bar and) struck the cyclops with the crowbar. In the eye. (?)

“Help!” the cyclops called out to his friends and family, “Nobody has blinded me! Destroy her!”

Heheh. I love that exchange. Mash-up of 'The Odyssey' and 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. Agree re cutting back.
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