“Joy,” you say, “I’m an engineer. I might be able to design something like this if you gave me enough time, but I have no idea how to use it.”

“It is a simple point and click interface,” Joy says from your wrist in that not-quite-monotone voice.


“Very well. Accessing database entries.” You could swear she sounds petulant that you didn’t laugh at her little pun. “It is an M-50 assault rifle, model 6. This rifle is considered one of the great follies of modern military technology. Under pressure from megacorporate leaders and government buyers, it was rushed into production with multiple design flaws. The result was a highly inaccurate firearm that was nevertheless widely distributed to EC military units. The large-caliber, can-feed, caseless round design proved dangerous and ineffective in battle. Historical Dictionary of Arms and Armor, 8th edition, amended.”

“Amended?” you say. “By who?”

“Unknown,” Joy says…smugly? “Citation needed.”

You sigh, and shake Joy’s interface unit. “Anything else? I need to know how to fire it!”

“Recording of an exchange between a senior EC general and a military procurement officer, recorded on an FNS hidden microphone smuggled into a high-level meeting in a box of donuts:

‘This thing couldn’t hit the broad side of a starship at twenty yards. How many did you say we ordered?’ – Maj. Gen. Eduard Montreaux

‘Twenty-five million, sir.’ -Unidentified ECC officer adjunct.”