NEW πŸ“—Story: School Photo ❌

Radiation Poisoning in Domestic Vekllei

Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017
⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.

He started collecting radioactive material from the clocks and electronic appliances in his house earlier in the week. The material, which included radium and americium, was placed in a compartment in the living room wall of his apartment. This exposed his wife, nine-year-old son and infant daughter to dangerous levels of radioactivity. By Wednesday that week the baby had fallen ill, and Mrs Toutan took her to Miuounne General that evening, returning with a prescription for ibuprofen. While his father was at work, and his mother was in the garden, the son rang the police the next day, hallucinating figures attempting to enter through the apartment windows.

The infant girl received a dose of 2-3 Gy, swelling soft tissues and burning parts of the skin exposed to the rear living room wall. Her brother, 10, survived, but will almost certainly suffer the effects of ARS for the rest of his life. The danger to Vekllei families is made obvious by the Toutan tragedy β€” household appliances almost universally have little resistance to tampering, and threaten to expose inquisitive children, or as we have seen here, the mentally ill, to dangerous levels of radioactive material.

Mr Toutan, a veteran of the Sino-Taiwanese war, was troubled by his experiences and was diagnosed prior to this incident with shellshock and trenchsickness. These ideas did not capture his suffering in entirety β€” he was shattered by his experience in the war, and disabled by chemical weaponry. His paranoia, stemming from what we know as PTSD, eventually deteriorated into mania. He was convinced of a coming nuclear apocalypse, and at some point had the idea that the creation of a private nuclear reactor could keep his family safe underground when the bombs dropped. Although he had neither the training or the intellectual chops for nuclear physics, he began to collect material that would soon poison his family and kill his infant daughter.

Some 75,000 veterans are registered with the various support bureaus in Vekllei. They shuffle between home and work, their faces blank, their souls in Taiwan. By the time Mr Toutan poisoned his family, maybe he was more than ready to go.