How I Wonder What You Aargh

Cirys superzorcher (n.): A hypothetical weapons system in which the various elements of a Cirys swarm (q.v.) are equipped to function as the radiative elements of a phased-array laser. Such an array, with an effective aperture equal to the diameter of the swarm, would theoretically be able to deliver a substantial portion of the total solar output of the contained star in a single beam against targets located at interstellar distances.

Occasional peaceful uses for such beams have been mooted, including laser sail propulsion (although it should be noted that there is little call for such craft on a larger scale than existing propulsion arrays – which have the advantage of being mobile – can handle, and the ability to build a laser-sail craft capable of surviving such propulsion is questionable), long-distance, including extragalactic, communications (a matter of great interest to the Elsewhere Society), and even remote power generation and delivery.

However, while condemned by Cirys Aendyr himself – who is said to have wept when this application of his concept was brought to his attention – the most common proposal is to use the Cirys superzorcher as the weapons system implied by its name. The ability to place so much power on target (a figure of the order of 108 exawatts for a Hearth-class star) across interstellar distances, capable of vaporizing lithic worlds and severely damaging gas giants and stars, is peculiarly attractive to certain types of mentality, especially when it is considered that the purely photonic beam of a superzorcher is substantially more difficult to detect than a typical RKV, and cannot be practically intercepted or recalled.

As such, while the Cirys superzorcher requires a high degree of technological advancement and autoindustrialism to produce (a potential currently limited to the Empire and certain other Core Markets) and is in any case a prohibited weapons system (classified as a Tier I star-killer under the Ley Accords), an informal consensus exists among the Presidium powers that the construction of such a device by any polity, within or without the Worlds, may be reasonably interpreted as notice of intent to commit gigacide, and as such is a legitimate cause for preemptive defense of the highest order.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

Trope-a-Day: More Dakka

More Dakka: While, by and large, they are not found on normal battlefields, those wonderfully clever people at various research and development establishments have gone a long way towards the wonderfully dakkalicious, both through sheer scale and through quantities of fire.

Skipping over the more normal options available and actually used – even the IMS standard IL-15i Battlesystem, the standard-issue assault rifle/shotgun/SMG/anti-material sluggun/grenade launcher/missile launcher combo-pack, offers a respectable quantity of dakka – let’s just look at a couple of proposals, here:

On the one hand, for example, is the not-yet-built-or-engineered proposal for using the Dyson bubble at Esilmúr as a fleet killer, with the addition of a perfectly normal wormhole pair, one end of which would be axially mounted on a regular lighthugger – which would be quite the weapon when the entire output of the Esilmúr sun was magnetically focused down the wormhole using the harvesting arrays in reverse.  You could melt planets with that – although it’s probably impractically slow to actually get in position, the speed of light being what it is.

On the rather more practical hand, of course – well, thinking of things you can assemble from modular components, consider that a sluggun can double as a bore-compatible grenade launcher, that multibarrel/Gatling slugguns do exist, and so do antimatter grenades.  In short, you can assemble – using off-the-shelf components – a device which will let you high-rate (as in, thousands of rounds per minute) cycle-fire mini-nukes full auto!  (What you could possibly realistically want to use this piece of comical overkill on, and how exactly you’d go about surviving firing it, never mind paying for the ammo, are left as exercises for the reader.)

Nonetheless, it’s never enuff.