Air Wings Sold Separately

Originally published at: Air Wings Sold Separately | The Associated Worlds

Bringing the what-the to warfare once again, and following on from both the unquestionable success of Nuclear War In A Can™, and their earlier semi-portable combat drone product Janissary In A Drum™, Eye-in-the-Flame Arms, ICC once again provides a new terror to the battlefield with the release of Brigade In A Bottle™.

Another in their line of self-decompressing nanopaste products, Brigade In A Bottle™ is a pre-programmed assembler system designed to be supplied with raw materials (chiefly metals and industrial plastics, although the paste is designed to forage; the accompanying manual suggests junkyards, disused factories, and captured enemy equipment as potential sources) and electrical power in the field. When these are supplied, the paste uses fast-burn nanoassembly techniques to manufacture, in a matter of hours, a brigade-sized mixed unit (a fighting strength of 4,664) of Jaeger 4400 mechagrunts and Warg 216-A hunter-killer houndbots, primed with command codes ready to join your tactical mesh.

The experienced reader may perceive the single flaw in the product: these are last-generation combat mechanicals, rather than the sleek leading-edge machines you might expect from a company with Eye-in-the-Flame’s reputation. As the product developer explains, though, this is a side-effect of the rough and ready, error-prone nature of field nanoconstruction, which cannot accurately reproduce recipes with the fine tolerances and exacting detail available in commercial nanofacture. As Brigade In A Bottle™ is chiefly intended for use in the creation of disposable shock troops for use in on-alert security systems, diversionary maneuvers, emergency reinforcement, and asymmetric warfare, this may not prove too great an impediment to its success.

– product announcements column, “Destruction Review”

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…okay, this, right here and right now?

I want a six pack with air wings to go, and if I order two sets can I get a Tank Legion In A Crate?

I thought it was Tanks in a Tin™

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How would you supply electrical power to the paste? Microwaves? Uniform electric fields? ATP?

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I can think of a number of methods, not the least of which would be small microwave generators and the nanomachines building filaments to the generators from a convenient power supply

Well, now… I’ve heard something very, very similar. That one didn’t end up well.


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A question, is the Nuclear War in a Can™ inspired by the Nuclear War in a Can™ mentioned in Anders Sandberg’s Eclipse Phase campaign The Gate War or did you come up with the name independently?

Possibly - I’ve certainly read that - although it was more likely inspired by his posting of that along with another bunch of transhuman weapons concepts on the Eclipse Phase fora back in the day.

Anders posts a lot of good ideas, so borrowing what one can is an irresistible temptation!


Pretty sure building biomass-fueled war machines is filed under the War Crimes In A Pandora’s Box™ category.

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Pulsing microwaves at them is the standard method of powering nanites, and certainly included in the bottle, but this being a field-use product I’m sure they have several alternatives available depending on taste.

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Mmm, microwaveable silver goo

Which organization supplies the Bordello In A Basket?

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