Sunday November 5, 2000


For those of you not familiar with the principle of a kinetic weapon, perform the following experiment. First, take a brick. Now throw it as hard as you can against a mailbox out on some lonely rural highway. Observe the damage.

Now, take that brick with you as you accelerate your automobile to the point where you cannot accelerate any further. Gently lob the brick out the window at the same mailbox. Observe the damage. The brick does a lot more of it when moving at 110 mph.

Now, take that brick as you accelerate your auto to relativistic velocities. Drop it out the window (ignoring for a moment the incongruity of a lightspeed auto, or an open window at those speeds). The brick will slam into interstellar hydrogen (assuming we are in space, which is further incongruous, but bear with me), releasing some hard radiation. This is a warning sign to you. Anything moving fast enough to shed hard rads is moving way too fast to be safe. When the brick hits its target, most of the brick's kinetic energy will get turned into heat, and the brick will put a noticeable hole in the world.

The point? When you are going as fast as these warrior attorney-drones are going, you can use little cones of tin-foil as weapons. Technically, a non-exploding missile is a sabot, but at these speeds, these cee-sabots would explode pretty impressively.

Book 1: The Tub of Happiness
BOARDERS!!

Transcript

Narrator:Aboard the warrant-class cruiser Habeas Corpus warrior-attorney drones prepare for some extra-legal activity.
Attorney Drone 1:We feel a small disturbance in the hive-mind. Its... Its... BLAST!
Narrator:They've shed no velocity since the wormgate. In fact, they've been accelerating all the way here. At point-six cee, they can't slow down to engage. They don't need to...
Attorney Drone 1:The K.F.D.A. just killed our agent.
Attorney Drone 1:No matter. They are out of time. Release the kinetics.
Attorney Drone 2:Cee-sabots away.
Narrator:And so an enormous amount of kinetic energy bears down on our heroes...
Narrator:Meanwhile, aboard the Kitesfear...
Shv'uu:Sir, the K.F.D.A. commandos have been escorted off.
Tagon:Very good. Prepare to blow the clamps and break orbit.
Tagon:I have this nagging suspicion that now would be an excellent time for us to leave.
Shv'uu:Sir, I'm picking up H-band scatter and hard gamma
Kevyn:That's the signature of incoming kinetic missiles plowing through our solar wind, Tagon.
Tagon:Hah! I love being right.
Tagon:Blow the clamps, Thurl.
Thurl:Sir, I think the K.F.D.A. still has Master Sergeant Ch'Vorthq locked in jail.
Tagon:No time to bail him out now! Blow those clamps and Teraport! Pronto!
Narrator:As the Kitesfear blows clear of the station and 'ports to safety...
SFX:KFWUMP
Ch'vorthq:Hey... They left without me.
Jailer2:I found the escapee, Sir!
Ch'vorthq:Stay away from me. I am armed, dangerous, and seriously pissed off.
SFX:WHIRR
Jailer2:Oooh, look, boys! The ugly jailbird has a whisk!
Ch'vorthq:Frappe! Hee Yah!
Jailer2:Medic!
Narrator:Well, it looks like the mean old jailer got a good beating. <sigh>. Who writes this crap?
Footnote:For those of you not familiar with the principle of a kinetic weapon, perform the following experiment. First, take a brick. Now throw it as hard as you can against a mailbox out on some lonely rural highway. Observe the damage.Now, take that brick with you as you accelerate your automobile to the point where you cannot accelerate any further. Gently lob the brick out the window at the same mailbox. Observe the damage. The brick does a lot more of it when moving at 110 mph.Now, take that brick as you accelerate your auto to relativistic velocities. Drop it out the window (ignoring for a moment the incongruity of a lightspeed auto, or an open window at those speeds). The brick will slam into interstellar hydrogen (assuming we are in space, which is further incongruous, but bear with me), releasing some hard radiation. This is a warning sign to you. Anything moving fast enough to shed hard rads is moving way too fast to be safe. When the brick hits its target, most of the brick's kinetic energy will get turned into heat, and the brick will put a noticeable hole in the world.The point? When you are going as fast as these warrior attorney-drones are going, you can use little cones of tin-foil as weapons. Technically, a non-exploding missile is a sabot, but at these speeds, these cee-sabots would explode pretty impressively.