Glossary / Reference

Weapons and Weapon-Related Technologies

Personal Armaments

Leafblade – This is a small, sharp, foldable knife, so named because the blade (and the handle into which it retracts) tends to be shaped very much like a leaf. In terms of form and function, it falls between an Exacto knife/box cutter and a pocketknife/switchblade knife.

Monoblade – This weapon is not a knife with a one-molecule thick blade. In fact, the cutting edges themselves aren’t a single-molecule thick. However, the metal of the blade is very durable and the edge and point are extremely thin and sharp, making this a very deadly blade capable of piercing a skeinvest or skeinsuit at times.

Needler – This projectile weapon is very small and light, using a Gaussian system to propel the long, thin projectiles, and thus making it a completely silent gun. Ammunition can be charged needles (much like a taser effect), chemically loaded ones (poison, paralytic, sedative or other drugs), or projectiles that produce vibrating barbs upon penetration into flesh, among other types. Most needlers can handle a wide range of different needle ammunition types. Needler rifles also exist, but are much less often utilized. Needler ammunition fares very poorly against most forms of body armor.

Punchglove – A gauntlet-like weapon that positions a pair of metal or hard polymer plates in the knuckle region of the hand. A pressor field device propels the outer plate against the person or object stuck, while also protecting the wearer’s own hand from impact. The result is a very hard concussive blow, capable of easily fracturing a skull. Impact force can be adjusted, but punchgloves are not known for their subtlety, and it is hard to give someone a “light” tap with one.

Razorswitch – A weapon that resembles a riding crop, with a long handle and a short filament of carbonwire, polymesh or some other sturdy, flexible material. When activated, the filament vibrates back and forth at a tremendous rate of speed, turning that filament into a very effective cutting/slashing “blade” that can actually rip through a skeinsuit or skeinvest in fairly short order in the right hands.

Slug Pistol / Slug Rifle – Superficially similar to pistols and rifles of the 20th and 21st centuries. However, these weapons are quieter with less recoil. Also, because ammunition is smaller than modern bullets (while being at least as deadly, if not more so), they can hold much more ammunition. In fact, it is common for high-end pistols and rifles to have magazines that can hold two to five different types of ammunition simultaneously, with the bearer having the ability to switch ammunition types at the touch of a button or even with voice activation or a heads-up control display in a helmet or visor.

Stunrod – A weapon that appears much like a modern baton/nightstick. It can deliver a powerful stunning blow when the tip is placed against a victim and the trigger activated. At full power blast, a stunrod can render just about any human or neo sapien unconsciously instantly. At lower settings, it can cause pain or temporary immobility.

Heavier Armaments

Dragon – This cannon-like weapon very much resembles a large flamethrower, except that it expels plasma rather than fire or a flaming physical substance (such as napalm)

Hellpod – A weapon of devastation that incinerates everything near the immediate point of impact and then sets forth a more-or-less random swath of destruction outward from there. The common denominator will always be some kind of heat-related effect or combination of them: A firestorm, blazing jets of fire over a wide area, melting of the ground into magma, the air turning into superheated plasma, etc. Hellpods utilize small distortion drives and a phase disruption field, so they almost always pierce the surface of a planet and “detonate” underground (though usually between 5 and 30 meters from the surface). Hellpods can be used against enemy vessels as well, but with far less dramatic effect. The technology behind hellpods has been lost, and internal safeguards within the remaining devices prevents reverse engineering. Theories about the technology involve notions of some kind of entropic/chaos effect, manipulation of interactions between normal matter and slipspace, unstable fusion/plasma effects, and many more. Large thermonuclear weapons and similar weapons of devastation exist that can do more mass damage over a larger area than a hellpod, but hellpod blasts kill more people than comparably sized nuclear blasts and are more difficult to evade/defend against. Also, hellpods are much smaller and faster than most weapons of devastation, making them a more terrifying form of weapon overall.

Molecular Disruptor – At very low settings, a molecular disruptor can emit a wide beam that can cause agonizing pain for everyone in a large crowd. At higher settings, it can actually break down the molecular bonds of physical matter (organic or inorganic). These are very large and power-intensive weapons, with a relatively short range, so they don’t see much use in military operations, but they can be a very frightening and effective method of crowd control.

Other Weapons and Weapon-related Technologies

Penflash – More technically known as a Penumbral Flash Bomb, this is a grenade-like weapon, but a rather large and unwieldy one, so it’s not carried as a routine weapon by anyone; more for team assault situations. When activated and thrown, the device creates a blinding flash in the direction away from the trajectory of the throw, while also momentarily throwing up an opaque matter/energy field that protects everyone behind the penflash from being blinded themselves. It covers a much larger area than a simpler and smaller flash grenade does, does not have any thermal/burning effect, and eliminates the need for the attackers to have protective eyewear, meaning they can already be moving into an area or room even as the penflash is going off.

Phase Disruption Field – An energy field that allows an object to interfere with the molecular bonds of matter than it comes into contact with. Phase disruption suits, for example, can allow a person to literally walk through a wall (causing considerable damage to the area they pass through). Or, they can allow fast-moving objects like small missiles to pierce heavy armor (such as ship hulls and fortress walls). Phase disruption fields are easily thwarted by protective energy fields, however.

Matter Eater – A kind of bomb-like device that when activated, produces no concussive blast but does reduce all physical matter in the small area of effect into gas, vapor and dust. Some of the matter is indeed “destroyed” (shunted into slipspace, actually, where it diffuses and coalesces back into normal space over a several square kilometer area as particulate matter), while anywhere from 10% to 35% remains at the “explosion” area in the form of microscopic and near-microscopic debris.

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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