Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Installment 4.3: Seven hundred feet per second

Seven hundred feet per second is not very fast.

It is precisely twice as fast as a BB from a Red Ryder BB gun. 

Back in more innocent times young boys played Cowboys-and-Indians with these guns.  They would chase each other around the block and shoot each other in the ass-cheeks from ambush.  It was all jolly good fun.

A wadcutter from a snubby revolver exits the muzzle at seven hundred feet per second.  The difference is that the wadcutter weighs thirty times as much as a BB.

The wadcutter bullet is named for its shape. It is basically a soup can that flies through the air, end-first.  Upon hitting the paper target, it punches a clean, circular hole that is easy to score.

If the target is backed up by something incompressible, something like water or tissue, the wadcutter transfers its kinetic energy to the target with the enthusiasm of a fat redneck performing a belly flop from a 40' bridge.

The lump on your skull immediately behind your ear lobe is called the Mastoid process.  The bone aft of the Mastoid process is paper thin.  Projecting a straight line from that paper-thin region to the opposite temple intersects the top of the Medulla oblongata, the portion of the brain that controls involuntary functions like heart rate and respiration.  Severing the top of the Medulla oblongata with a wadcutter traveling at seven hundred feet per second results in instant death 99.999% of the time.

The rest of the time death occurs fifteen milliseconds later.

The compressive wave traveling ahead of the wadcutter does little secondary damage.  Secondary damage occurs after the brain tissue to the rear and above the bullet's path rebounds from the inside of the skull and it goes into tension.  The tension tears apart millions of tiny blood vessels and rips billions of neural ganglia asunder.   

Forensic scientists sometimes liken the tension wave to air crashing back into the vacuum created by the passage of lightening.  Like thunder, the majority of the secondary trauma occurs when the tissue crashes back into the channel created by the passage of the bullet and the brain tissue in front of, and beneath, the bullet's path extrudes into the oral and sinus cavities and blows out the sphenoid bones behind the eyeball.

The wadcutter exited Michael Chelly’s right temple and pulled his eyebrow up into an expression of astonishment and wonder.  His eyes bugged out in cartoonish surprise.  It was an expression his face had never carried in life.

Ralph had already turned and pocketed his pistol, even as Chelly’s corpse slid down the side of the car.

Many species of scavengers lived around the quarry, attracted by the water and bonus food sources.  Cali IT experts were busy finding and corrupting all on-line examples of Chelly’s voice from the internet. There would be no evidence that Chelly had ever lived by tomorrow morning.  

In one respect, erasing Chelly's life was an exercise in futility.  The corporate and international community had already authenticated the Delarosa .WAV files.  Like most young people, Chelly had littered the internet with thousands of selfies and hundreds of minutes of audio.  There was no doubt that an agent who claimed to be sent by Bona-Brown and Spirochete had murdered Delarosa.

The only question was:  How close were the rogue elements to the throne?

Next installment

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