On October 23, 2077, the city of Houston suffered a direct hit by a Soviet RT-2PM Topol intercontinental ballistic missile. Five hundred and fifty kilotons (compare this to Fat Man's 21 kilotons or Little Boy's 13-18) of explosive power were more than enough to put a very large crater in what used to be the city's downtown area, and the explosion vaporized anyone who was fortunate enough to be out in the open within several miles of the epicenter.

They were fortunate, of course, because those who didn't die in the explosion itself or the moments of panic that followed received lethal doses of radiation poisoning. The entire Houston metropolitan area was saturated with enough free radicals to turn all of the carbon-based DNA in the region to Swiss cheese within moments.

Houston today is an unvisited graveyard, just one of the many testaments to the destructive power of atomic warfare. The crater itself is far too radioactive for anything - even the horrifically mutated creatures who have sprung forth from the city's surroundings - to go anywhere near. And even after over a hundred years, everything within miles is still heavily irradiated, especially anything made of metal. To go into Houston without sufficient protection is a death sentence unless you happen to be a ghoul, and even ghouls would begin to genetically melt down if they got too close to the crater.

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