Saturday March 23, 2002
Those concerned about test-firings of the orbital lance should keep a few things in mind. First, Sergeant Shodan's team is firing the weapon out of the plane of the Ghanj-Rho system, so it's not going to hit anything that anyone there cares about. Second, although the beam is gravitically focused, and does perpetuate a braiding containment field as it progresses at just short of light-speed, it is not perfectly efficient, and it will eventually lose focus and become harmless. Oh, sure. It'll go a long, long way before dispersing, but the galaxy is made up of countless long, long ways, most of which are stacked end-to-end with very little actual matter thrown into the mix. Even then, the proportional amount of that matter that could be classified by entropy-resisting civilizations as 'point A,' or 'home,' or 'ground-zero' by virtue of something being there that matters to them is so close to zero that it makes next to no difference.

That said, two years after this test-firing, a 'dirty-snowball' cometary body (which had given rise to some slow-growing, anaerobic, single-celled organisms some kilo-millennia earlier) passed in front of the beam and was completely sterilized. Oh well. The comet was going to burn up in a star in another million years anyway, so it's not as if anything was actually lost. Think of it as a mercy-killing.

Book 2: The Teraport Wars
Part III: Through the Roof

Transcript

Narrator:Aboard the P.D.C.L...
Der Trihs:Captain, Sensei's team reports that the Gamm syndicate's orbital lance has been secured.
Tagon:Excellent. Is it still operational?
Der Trihs:I'll ask.
Narrator:Elsewhere...
Sign:No Fly Zone
Uncertain:Yeeeee-HAH!
Der Trihs: