Silk & Steel Errata/Tech Info

Posted 27 Oct 92 05:31:23 GMT

Article: 998 of alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo Newsgroups: alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo Subject: Silk & Steel Errata/Tech Info Date: 27 Oct 92 05:31:23 GMT Lines: 92   --------------------   Technical Info and Errata from Silk and Steel, part 1 by Jay Brandt (Shadowcat / Argus)   --------------------   It was pointed out to me by a reader that I switched tenses suddenly during the fight sequence. Sure nuff, I did. Sorry bout that folks. Went straight from past tense to present tense as the speed of the action suddenly picked up. I got caught up in what was happening, and didn't notice the error till it was pointed out to me. Thanks. I'll watch that point on the rest of the tale.   --------------------   There have also been some questions about Shadowcat's staff. Can all that stuff fit in a five-foot staff? No. Can it fit in a five and a half foot staff, as I designed it? Yes.   There was one error in observation regarding the staff that may have confused the issue. Spinner thought the staff was "about 5 feet long". He is not a trained observer. (Besides, I goofed, hokay chummer?) It's actually 5 feet 6 inches long, the same as Shadowcat's height. But then, the staff was being held at an angle when he saw it, and not anywhere near as interesting to him as Shadowcat. (I should have caught the error and corrected it, and in fact the second installment mentions the correct length.)   As to the staff, it can work. Actually, I sat down with a CAD program and drew up plans for that staff before describing it in the story. With the exception of the power supply source for the laser sight, and substituting hardened aluminum for polycarbon composites, it can be built with current technology.   At each end you have an 8-inch section that is the sword grip. In the grip is a five-inch German switchblade, the kind where the blade slides straight out from the end of the handle and locks. This lies parallel to the tang of the sword blade in one hemicylindrical half of the handle. At the pommel end of this side is a 3/4 inch long hook for the scaling ladder (not big, but adequate), that extends away from the pommel 1/4 inch, swings 180 degrees, and locks into position. (In fact, it's possible to get in a inch and a quarter long hook, but that's not how I chose to design it). The hook is present only in the hilt of the shorter of the two swords, which is at the bottom of the staff when carried (and at the top when used as a ladder). The other side of the handle contains the compressed-air powered dart gun and battery powered laser sight. Openings for sight, dart gun and spearpoint have self actuating dust covers.   The dart gun is based on the Narcojet Lethe, as described in several Cyberpunk paperbacks. Ammunition is a fast acting tranquilizer in solid form, or a lethal neurotoxin in similar form. Both are fast acting, causing unconsciousness in a 200 pound man in seconds, and reversible with the correct antidote if applied in time.   The sword blades are 30 and 18 inches in length, for the Katana and Wakizashi. Standard traditional Japanese laminated steel blades, top quality. (For blade freaks, e-mail and I'll quote the manufacturing specs for the blades from a glossary of arms and armor in my personal library). The scabbards are 31 and 19 inches in length, and interlock end to end with a system of four sets of metal fingers which engage slots in the mating end, and a series of concentric 3/4 inch deep grooves and ridges which mate to form a rigid joint. 8 in + 31 in + 19 in + 8 in = 66 in = 5 ft 6 in.   The Swords interlock to the scabbards by a set of four flanges, which open 90 degrees and lock to form a cruciform tsuba, or handguard.   The ladder steps are each eight inches long, and are set into the hemicylindrical sides of the scabbards, three on each side of the longer one and two on each side of the shorter one, spaced ten inches apart when extended, and braced with a diagonal brace from below.   Not mentioned yet is the fact that both scabbards are open at the tip, allowing use as a breathing tube for underwater use, or the existence in the longer sheath of a lung-powered blowgun tube parallel to the blade, or in the smaller sheath of a tube for two hypojets to counteract the dart toxins.   Controls are flush-set pushbuttons, differentiated by texture.   I could actually provide measured drawings if you like, but believe me, it all fits. (I used to be a machinist, and I design mechanical gadgets as a hobby.)   Yes, the laser sight is getting predictable. But hey, can you think of a better way to accurately aim a concealed firearm like that one?   Does that make it clearer how it works?   Hope you liked it,   Jay Brandt (Shadowcat)

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