[LMB] villainy vs. tragedy

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Sat Dec 11 05:40:46 GMT 2010


[LMB] villainy vs. tragedy
Tel teldreaming at gmail.com
Sat Dec 11 03:27:04 GMT 2010


Yeah... Plus fast-penta. Repressive governments in the Nexus age have
a lot more tools at their disposal than modern ones.

Barrayaran commoners, of course, are explicitly denied the right to
bear arms without Imperial permission.


***  Tools... this comment just made me realize something, which is that 
the Nexus techno-culture -- any techno-culture -- has more power in its 
tools than in its weapons.  It's a long way from the days of peasants 
waving hoes and pitchforks.

How many perfectly legal tools that we've seen in the Nexus could be 
used as weapons?  Let me count the ways.

Hand-tractors.  One could do some truly evil things with hand-tractors.  
Heavier grav-lift tools as well.

Flying aircars or lightflyers into targets (as in, military engineers 
build weapons, civil engineers build targets.)  Not to mention 
shuttles.  One conspiracy meant to drop a jumpship on the Residence, as 
folks might recall, and only got caught because they decided to pack it 
with perfectly unnecessary explosives -- a scenario I wrote in, let me 
see, 1995.

Power tools of all kinds -- saws, nail guns, welding torches, you name 
it.  (Miles almost got killed by Guppy weilding a riveter, you may recall.)

Biocontaminants.  Industrial chemicals and poisons.  Inserted in 
drinking cups or municipal reservoirs, depending on the scope envisioned.

Highly technically-trained people, of which Barrayar has lots by the end 
of Ezar's reign and lots more by the end of Aral's Regency, could 
doubtless come up with all the ideas one would need for major mayhem.  
Oh, yeah, there's good reasons the old dudes with horse manure on their 
boots are overheard complaining bitterly about the "coddling" the techs 
receive.

I'm sure y'all can think up more.  The outlawing of weapons-as-such in 
private hands is pretty much pointless posturing, by "now".

Ta, L.  Daughter of a safety engineer.  The tales I could tell...  "And 
if the wind had been in the *other* direction when the welds failed, the 
coolant could have killed as many as thirty millions..."






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