Tuesday February 5, 2002
Book 2: The Teraport Wars — Quest for Second Sight
Any grade-school student should be able to tell you that at a continuous rate of fire, fifty gauss-pistols would need to fire 8.3333 [repeating] rounds per second in order to go through 50,000 rounds in two minutes. What a grade school student might not be able to tell you is that 8 rounds a second is slooooow.

Unrelated Note: Some readers may be alarmed to see how willing Tagon is to culturally contaminate aboriginal aliens in order to achieve a military objective. Addressing those concerns, the author has this response:

It makes for a good science-fiction adventure to have the captain say something along the lines of "prime directive be damned." It makes for much better science-fiction, however, to have the captain able to say in frank honesty "I have no idea what this prime directive concept is, and it sounds like foolishness that belongs in another universe entirely. Go away. I have work to do." If you persisted in whining about native cultures, that captain would have no choice but to shoot you.


Narrator: Aboard the post-dated check loan
Tagon: Your plan sounds solid to me, Kevyn.
Tagon: Petey, how quickly can you get me fifty gausspistols, and fifty thousand flechette rounds?
Petey: Instantly. I have them in stock. But who are we running guns to, if I may be so bold as to ask?
Tagon: There's a small army of amorphs down there just begging to be allowed to help us acquire eye trees.
Petey: Captain, if they are even half so enthusiastic about firearms as sergeant Schlock is...
Tagon: ...I'm betting they go through all fifty thousand rounds in two minutes.