A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Of Sieges and Sallies. The appeal for help has arrived at Smith and his fleet. Rachael and Camille have been working on a weapon to take care of larger Guild ships. However, as Smith points out, it has some drawbacks if it isn’t aimed well
I read a book whose premise was that an alien device fired a tiny black hole at Earth at relativistic speeds. The size was so small that it entered with not much damage. However, having passed through Earth, it exited with a much bigger bang. Said device later fired a larger black hole at the moon and destroyed it. Sadly, I cannot remember the book title right now or I would cite it.
My long suffering editor noted that John Smith seems to have lost his edge. If he is as evil as I portrayed him in the first book, why would he be cautious about collateral damage? It is a legitimate question and I have worried that Smith is losing his edge. However, even if Smith were darker, I find it unlikely that he would risk valuable allies in such a wasteful fashion.
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Rachael laid out the principle of the attack to Smith again, “We just have to get a rock pointed at the right target. The rock doesn’t even have to be big.”
Smith rubbed his brow, “It is the aiming that leaves me cold. You are launching a projectile at relativistic speeds at a target twice the distance of your moon. What happens if we miss?”
Rachael said, “If we, by some amazing chance, hit another asteroid, it will be an impressive set of fireworks.”
Smith said, “You are talking about aiming ships in orbit. What happens if we miss and the rock hit the planet?”
Rachael said, “The atmosphere would slow it some…”
Smith said, “Not enough.”
Camille said, “And I am not so sure that slowing will be good. At those speeds, the shock waves could be devastating. If the rock is small enough or loose enough it may burn up in the atmosphere, but the shock wave would cover a continent.”
Smith frowned, “I will hardly get a medal when my rescue destroys a continent. Prove to me you can actually hit something you intend to and we’ll talk about aiming it at ships.”
Rachael crossed her arms, “Fine, we don’t use it on an orbit ships now. But we can try it on any asteroids they are hauling to drop on the planet. “
Smith crossed his arms, “If you and Camille solve the targeting issues, you can have a missile or two. At least we have racks for those.”