Karl Gallagher (selenite) wrote,
Karl Gallagher

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It's Hard to Keep Ahead

Three years ago Pyramid published a gaming article I wrote, The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Panic. It was mostly an excuse to explore the Hysteria Department at Illuminati University, but the plot focused on the invention of a "Fear Projector." I wanted an appropriate mad science gadget to drive innocent bystanders into a panic. Naturally there had to be a bit of technobabble describing how this thing worked:

The students used a combination of strobe lights and ultrasonic
vibration to make a working cannon-sized beamer

One of the problems with writing science fiction--even when you're doing mad science--is that it's hard to stay ahead of the curve. Turns out there is a government contract for just that kind of gadget:
Military funded researchers are preparing to test a nonlethal weapon that combines light and sound. Nicholas C. Nicholas, chief scientist of Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory, told an audience yesterday at a nonlethal weapons conference that in the first half of next year, the lab plans to test DSLAD, the Distributed Sound and Light Array Debilitator. It'll use essentially off the shelf technology to see if combining aversive noises with light produce some special debiliating effects.
I think "Fear Projector" still has a better ring to it than "DSLAD", but they probably couldn't get any good names through their review committee.
Tags: engineering, gaming, gurps, science fiction
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