h a l f b a k e r y
"My only concern is that it wouldn't work, which I see as a problem."
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Have dozens of launchers set up in line from horizon to horizon at quarter mile or so intervals launching in sequence close enough together to give the illusion that there is one big "sparky-fireball-thing" coming at you and flying overhead at hypersonic speeds. You could even have the explosions follow
a series of patterns in the sky like some great big supersonic explosion creature performing impossible aerial maneuvers overhead. You could have it go up and down by regulating the height at which the shells explode. Picture God waving around a sparkler.
So this thing comes in from the horizon at a perceived 5,000 miles per hour, swoops way up to 3 thousand feet while slowing down, stops then swoops down on the town, does a quick circle around the city limits then shoots away at 5,000 miles an hour back to where it came from.
You might even be able to do it with one single machine gun style launcher that shoots out stuff that just explodes at different times. That might be more practical but you wouldn't get the horizon to horizon effect.
Probably need to do it in a desert community like Los Vegas where you wouldn't have as much of a problem covering the landscape with hundreds if not thousands of pyrotechnic launchers. Also sounds like the thing Vegas might actually do.
||I like the effect, but I'd try to do it with a length of detonation cord supported by hydrogen balloons.
||That's not a bad idea. You know those mass balloon launches they have where thousands of balloons darken the sky? If you had hydrogen balloons tied together in chains of a hundred or so with a fuse, light them and let them go that might be a neat effect.