Chapter 10

Ætherglow #193


It certainly won’t be you, you get more than enough attention as it is. You let someone else volunteer.

“I will!” a girl says. She steps up to the front--taller than Professor Arak, taller than you even, with light brown skin and short black hair, dyed with white streaks along the sides of her head.

2254-08-21 09:23:44 Aydan > do I know her?

2254-08-21 09:23:51 Zeta > oh that’s Deianira, the other first year from my colony. she never has said two words to me though, pretty much only talks to girls

2254-08-21 09:23:59 Aydan > I see

The tall Archaiasterian girl accepts the coilgun from Professor Arak. The weapon is about the length of her forearm, with its internal metal components showing through its transparent plastic furnishing.

“Show clear,” Arak says. Deianira detaches the magazine, demonstrating that there is now no bullet able to be fired. She then puts the sling over her body, and holds it in a low ready position with the grace of an experienced shooter.

“Good. Now, when the magazine is inserted, it forms an airtight seal allowing the chamber and barrel to be depressurized. The plasma window at the end of the barrel prevents air from entering. This ensures the most frictionless environment for the bullet to be magnetically accelerated in, reducing the necessary length of the barrel. Even a small handgun can project a bullet at lethal velocity. These coilguns you will be training with are what we would call a personal defense weapon, slightly more powerful than that and able to pierce low level body armor.

“Now, step up to this lane for us, Deianira,” Arak says.

“Yes, Professor.” She smoothly inserts the magazine, takes her position.

“Connect your senses to the weapon now. It will provide a clear overlay of your line of fire and projected impact point. You can also switch its targeting modes between the most likely projected path and the full probabilistic cone of fire.”

“Understood,” she says.

“Now turn the weapons velocity down to subsonic speed, and take your shot.”

Deianira fires, and you hear only the projectile impacting the metal plate on the far wall.

“Good girl. As you all will see, these weapons are made for technopath operators, with a full suite of sensors and trajectory algorithms accounting for gravity, spin, air resistance, even wind, and temperature, and local magnetic fields, providing a highly accurate prediction of your shot’s path. You will hardly notice the reactive force of the weapon accelerating the bullet, but it will still take good practice to master the art of shooting. And even though this is to you a mere sidearm, infinitely less powerful than your technopathy is capable of, it may still one day save your life to be prepared to defend yourself on the surface.

“Everyone, come and receive your training weapon now.” She stands aside of the long table where a number of identical coilguns are laid.

You go up to the table with everyone to pick your weapon up.

What do you do first?

1) Find my weapon’s local network and connect it to my system: 2 (28.57%)
2) Put the strap over my body: 0 (0.0%)
3) Verify the weapon is clear: 5 (71.42%)
4) Check the charge remaining in the magazine battery: 0 (0.0%)
Expired 10 months ago (2023-06-01 14:17:40)