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Jormungandr, the Snakebot of Doom has left New York. The world's armies and air forces have been decimated and cannot stop it. It has moved on from New York, and has flattened the following North American cities by rolling sideways over them:

  1. New York City/Jersey City
  2. Boston
  3. Montreal
  4. Toronto
  • Buffalo
  1. Philadelphia
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Cleveland
  4. Chicago
  5. Minneapolis
  6. Indianapolis
  7. Atlanta
  8. Miami
  • Mobile
  1. Houston
  2. Dallas
  3. Oklahoma City
  • Albuquerque
  1. Los Angeles
  2. San Francisco
  3. Seattle
  4. Calgary

Buffalo, Mobile and Albuquerque were not destroyed by Jormungandr rolling sideways over them. Jormungandr passed through these cities at high speed in its hoop configuration causing significant damage over a relatively narrow track. It is thought that they were not its primary targets.

Jormungandr had not passed through deep water at any point in this route, travelling north from New York to avoid Long Island Sound, and has skirted the northern edge of the Gulf of Mexico, passing through Mobile in the process.

From Calgary, Jormungandr has headed north-west in the general direction of Anchorage and/or the Bering Strait.

Jormungandr's Path: NYC to Calgary & beyond.

At this point in time global intelligence agencies believe that Jormungandr has (and has had prior to its appearance in NYC) access to non-secure communications including the global internet, and that it has some sort of global visual surveillance network, probably involving birds.

The published story so far can be found here.

Given this background, the question (in three parts) is this:

  1. Why is Jormungandr targeting the cities above?
  2. To which city in the world is Jormungandr going next, and how will it get there?
  3. How easy was it to determine its next destination?

The answer to this puzzle is about features that all the cities (numbered in the list above) on the map above have, and none of the other cities in the map area have (in 2017 when the story happens). New York/Jersey Cities had the most of them (even in 2017), which is why they were the first cities steamrolled.

It is not necessary to read the stories or linked questions to answer this puzzle. It is based on a specific fact about each targeted city that is lacking in the non-target cities.

Edit:

The answer to this puzzle is about features that all the cities on the map above have, and none of the other cities on the map have (in 2017 when the story happens). New York/Jersey Cities had the most of them (even in 2017), which is why they were the first cities steamrolled.

Also, for all that it has been targeting militarily important sites with its railguns, and has steamrolled the numbered cities above flat, it apparently hasn't targeted human electricity generation/transmission or communications gear. Maybe it likes to listen to us talk...

Jormungandr has been browsing the internet, and has used a particular group of Wikipedia pages to get the list of targets at which to make its demonstrations of destruction. All the cities on the map above are listed in a single Wikipedia page.

It's a readily visible difference that all the target cities have and the non-target cities do not have. Jormungandr is trying to make a point to humanity in the only way that its programming allows: 'I can do this to your _____, and you can't stop me.'

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  • $\begingroup$ It was mentioned "Actually, all the targeted cities are on a particular Wikipedia list. Las Vegas isn't on that list despite having skyscrapers... but considering skyscrapers is heading in the right direction." and "Jormungandr is currently avoiding the sea, even though it came to NYC from the sea." from the other post (Here)[worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/223053/… $\endgroup$
    – IT Alex
    Jan 27, 2022 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia pages from today, or archived from 2017? The reason I ask is, it would be less effort for someone in 2017 to look at their current Wikipedia page, than for someone today to try to find it archived. $\endgroup$ Jan 30, 2022 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ @justforplaylists You could use a current page... the page in question has its entries dated, so just ignore any entry after 2017. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Jan 30, 2022 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ I think you said in worldbuilding that Washington, D.C. and Boulder, CO were already destroyed. Does this mean we don't know whether those two cities had the property in 2017? $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2022 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ Is there an exact date, or should we treat it as happening at the beginning of 2017, or the end of 2017? $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2022 at 15:14

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