Got To Be Sharp

Originally published at: Got To Be Sharp | The Associated Worlds

“And this is our design for a sword edged with a topological defect. We probably shouldn’t go to prototype before we can better simulate the consequences, though.”

“Why, what are the consequences?”

“‘If on your journey, you should pass through the universe, the universe will be cut.’

overheard at the Eye-in-the-Flame booth, ArmsCon 7900, Everlasting Science Fair

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Cut through your opponent…good.

Cut through your opponent’s ship…good (as long as you don’t hit the anti-matter containment).

Cut through the planet your opponent is on…probably not good.

Cut through the local star your opponent is orbiting…very not good.

Cut through the brane you’re all living in causing the local universe to be devoured by a primordial chaos incursion… maximally ungood.

Lose your insurance with Stranger&Stranger because you needed to have the local brane restored…well, the wife will probably talk with you again before the entropic heat death of the Universe.

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More generally speaking, how does the 5th Directorate ex-threat division handle the proliferation of potentially existence-ending handheld weapons, wielded by users who are possibly dumb enough to go ahead and use them?

Is a sword sharp enough that molecules split themselves apart on its edge a violation of thermodynamics? (Not that that’s an obstacle for really advanced technologies, but still…)

I’d also have some Very Concerns about positive action locks and fail-safes, because the consequences of getting disarmed – or just accidentally dropping it – seem like they’d be severe.

If you haven’t already seen A.Shipwright’s art, I highly recommend it. They draw exactly this kind of thing:


I would not think so, else dropping potassium permanganate into hydrogen peroxide solution would be considered a violation of thermodynamics.

In any case, the kinetic energy of the blade / handle / user’s manipulator limb probably provides more than enough energy input to account for any chemical activity on the knife-edge.

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