Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Weaponry

For the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I'm posting alphabetically on things related to Shayla's world from my (unpublished) novel, Ghosts of Innocence...

I've already posted about a couple of specific, and exotic, kinds of weapons in Shayla's world. This post is about the more generally-used weaponry.

The commonest weapon is the particle beam. Coming in all sizes from hand-held pistols to heavy ship- or ground-mounted batteries, a beam weapon emits focused pulses of charged particles. The effect is a bit like a precisely-controlled lightning bolt.

For really heavy offense, large warships sometimes mount plasma cannon, which spit a glob of high energy plasma. This is the decisive weapon of the Imperial Sword-class battleships, which can level whole cities in a single blast.

Electromagnetic shields provide defense against both types of weapons. When beam meets shield, it's a simple trial of strength. To get around this, projectile weapons are still a useful addition to your armory. Shields cannot protect you from brute physical assault.

From an assassin's point of view, beam pistols have two drawbacks: they are noisy, and a beam discharge can be detected and traced from miles away. Shayla regards them as a weapon of last resort, preferring a blade or bare hands for close-quarters work, and a needle gun for distance. Her needle gun holds a formidable chemical armory of drugs and poisons.

A needle gun is not something an ordinary citizen would ever carry, so in situations where she might be searched, Shayla favors a low-tech blowtube to deliver her needles. On Magentis, she carries a tiny blowtube and a small selection of needles concealed inside the cover of a religious book.


  1. Seems like there isn't much respect for life in this fictional world.

  2. Inside the religious book. Perfect spot, of course. Although I'd still like to hear her explanation if it's spotted.

    I also like the fact that your shields don't block projectiles. That's always bothered me about sci-fi. Sounds like your version is at least plausible.


  3. Interesting post on weaponry. Lots to think about, that's for sure.

  4. Hi Botanist - great "W" post. It's all about the weapons isn't it. I think I like the last one...nicely concealed in a religious book no less! What will the "gods" think of that, eh!!

    I hope you are enjoying the Challenge - you've been putting forth some mighty fine posts! Thanks for taking part in it!

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

  5. Delores: I reckon an account of real weapons in today's world would make pretty sobering reading too.

    J: I like to introduce a few weaknesses here & there :)

    M.J.: Certainly is! Thanks for dropping by.

    Jenny: I figured weaponry would be something of a focus for an assassin :)

  6. I like the ambiguity of this word choice "religious book". I suspect that there will always be religion of some sort or another.

    It all sounds fascinating!

    When you are looking for Alpha or Beta readers for your projects--if you don't already have them lined up, please let me know? I would gladly give you feedback.

    Have a wonderful Friday. :-)

  7. I agree with Teresa. This is fascinating. I'm not that much into weapons, but my sons loved to talk about swords and knives and would sketch them. Hubby's more into guns.

  8. Teresa: If you're a believer in science, there's mounting evidence that humans have a natural propensity for religion as a way of making sense of the universe. I suspect it will be around for as long as we remain recognizably human.

    And thanks for the offer!

    Donna: Each to their own :) I'm not into weapons myself, but I decided to write about an assassin so it comes with the territory.


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