Page 233
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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon An antineutron gun, as marked on the hologram of Qin in the page above, would fire the antimatter equivalent of the common neutron that makes up part of an atomic nucleus. These antiparticles would explosively interact with neutrons, mutually annihilating in a flash of hard radiation. I suspect the trick would be keeping the initial explosion of the first antineutrons which hit your target from repelling the rest of your antiparticle "slug." In effect, you would have to figure out how to stop your shot from turning the hull of your target into a weak sort of reactive armor. Mind you, the explosion from the first wave of antineutrons which hits your target is going to be phenomenal in any case...

P.S. Former U.S. Navy sailor David Ramsey says that the Navy's spelling is, indeed, "under weigh." I think that puts this mini-controversy to bed once and for all.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs "I'm configured for a purely defensive role. Scout's honor!"

For those who are into trivia, the treaty under which Mars can't deploy force outside of its own near-surface area was previously mentioned on Page 118. The question of how exactly and by whom this treaty is going to be enforced is rather awkward and usually not brought up in polite company.

I also wish to make a correction to last time's "Mark sez" when I said it was Columbus Day all over North America. It wasn't, of course; that's only in the United States. In Canada it was Thanksgiving, which is what got me confused. And in Mexico, it wasn't anything at all on the 11th but they do celebrate Columbus Day on the 12th, so I think I get partial credit there.

And furthermore, pie.