Ironically, the blizzard of YJ-82X cruise missiles launched from the Chinese subs lying off the coast of Baja California crossed the beach directly over the SEAL training complex on Coronado. America had decided that its special forces were a cheap substitute for the less glamorous hardware and formations that had traditionally been the foundation of American military power. Now, those elite warriors watched helplessly as the missiles roared overhead north toward the two carriers berthed at North Island.
The casualties would have been much higher if the Navy had been able to fully man the U.S.S. Carl Vinson and the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. As it was, when the missiles tore into their hulls and exploded, only several hundred sailors died instead of thousands. Still, in a few moments, two of America’s nine carriers were twisted hulks spewing radioactive smoke. Another dozen Navy ships berthed at local bases were in flames.
Only the people lining the downtown San Diego waterfront saw what was happening, though local TV camera crews were filming the carnage live. Their stations tried to upload the footage to the network satellites but they could not connect. The satellites were gone, knocked out by Russian ASAT missiles.
The rest of America was oblivious to the catastrophe in San Diego, and the similar disaster in Norfolk.
The TV stations next tried the Internet, but it was as if someone had just flicked it off. There was nothing but electronic silence. A coordinated cyber strike had hacked through America’s electronic defenses and shut down the web. Many of the hacks came not from Chinese and Russian teams across the world but from agents within America, infiltrated into key positions in American government and business, who introduced their malware directly into vital systems with thumb drives.
Simultaneously, outside major metropolises, groups of well-trained commandos, driving SUVs, followed the routes between power transmission stations that they had rehearsed using paper street maps (America’s GPS satellites having been eliminated in the opening minutes). With rifles, they opened fire on the critical transformer equipment, which was guarded only by chain link fences and cameras that no one monitored. When the irreplaceable equipment was shorted out and burning, they drove on to the next site and destroyed it. Between the cyber chaos and physical attacks, cities began to black out.
America ground to a halt, blind and paralyzed.