Lightning Strikes

from the Eye-in-the-Flame Arms internal memeweave archives

From: Aldysis Cyprium (Directorate)
To: Diziet Cyprium (Director of Entertaining Research)

It’s not that we’re dismissing the potential of FULGURANT TRIBULATION, cousin.

From a purely commercial point of view, the potential of an algetic weapon capable of wide-area application from orbit is obviously something that can’t be ignored by the Directorate, filling several niches in the area denial and riot quietus areas, not to mention the spin-off civilian applications in weather control and flood recovery.

And obviously the technical advances you have made in tunable millimeter-wave magnetrons and beam focusing arrays, not to mention the systems designed to calibrate for and manage atmospheric moisture attenuation, are a tour de force; this goes without saying.

However, as a condition of the licensing arrangement for some of the feeder technologies with Extropa and Orbital Light & Power, we need to work out ways to ensure that FULGURANT TRIBULATION units, under whatever marketing name, can be clearly differentiated from orbit-to-ground power transmission satellites. They have concerns that if the differentiation is not adequate, in addition to making civilian power infrastructure a target, it might also impact sales of their solar power system products. While there are key differences in the antenna structure, these may only be obvious only to trained engineers.

Phyllí Desumé of OL&P Engineering suggested that in addition to purely cosmetic alterations, perhaps we could eliminate the onboard power generation segment entirely, and operate the FULGURANT TRIBULATION satellites in partnership with an existing power generation infrastructure, taking and regenerating a microwave power beam from another satellite. It seems to me that this would add flexibility to the deployment of FULGURANT TRIBULATION, especially when deployed in the field, as well as further differentiating them from power system satellites. Let me have your thoughts soonest?

On another note, I look forward to seeing you and the others of your household at Aunt Chamyría’s soirée next month. You must permit me to introduce you to Laïre Oricalcios, whom I have every hope will be joining the family in a few short years.

Your affectionate cousin,


Trope-a-Day (R): Agony Beam

Agony Beam: Averted.  While assorted algetics doubtless exist in the research labs of the IMRB and ISS, they’re not deployed – partly because torture is, well, In Poor Taste and not terribly useful for actually extracting useful information, and partly because in a polyspecific universe, not everyone’s pain receptors are alike, and having to carry around 297 of the things and fumble through them in the heat to find one that both works and isn’t lethal on this target – and don’t even ask about crowds – doesn’t make for a very practical weapon.  Whereas slugthrowers, lasers, and plasma boluses don’t require any particular properties of the target, and so work on damn near everyone.