Wednesday January 16, 2002
Note: The discriminating reader of science fiction will be well aware of the fact that many beam weapons available in the 21st century suffer from a small dispersal problem over long ranges. Specifically, from the L5 orbit provided by Ghanj-Rho's natural satellite, a simple laser could have a beam width comparable to that of a football field (assuming that the football field was a beam, which pretty well rules out any definition of the word 'football' that you care to use).

Bear in mind, though, that we are talking about 31st-century beam weapons. The orbital lance in use by the Gamm faction in today's strip does not suffer from appreciable dispersal problems, thanks in part to an extended gravitic tunnel that shapes the particle beam while imparting near-cee velocity to the particles fired.

The non-discriminating reader of science fiction should look at today's strip and say "whoa... cool. I gotta get me some of that."

Book 2: The Teraport Wars
Part II: Through a Darkened Glass

Transcript

Kevyn:Brad, prep for dust-off. I want to get clear of here as quickly as possible.
Brad:Yes sir!
SFX:S K K K R K
Kevyn:Orbital fire! Take cover!
DoytHaban:Tank Unit! Give us an umbrella shield!
Brad:Wow. I mean. . . orbital fire. . . like. . . WOW.
Schlock:Judging by the sounds of general panic, I want a gun like that.