The pawnbroker unlocked the first case and laid the weapon atop it. “2mm Imanishi light accelerator pistol. Standard issue arm for military police, not available to the general public. It’s cheap, it’s light, it’s reliable, and the 2mm EC rounds are Teflon-coated for accuracy vacuum performance, and solid knockdown.”

“So what’s the catch? Ammo hard to find?”

“Not at all, you can make it at home.” said the pawnbroker. He hesitated a moment before adding: “It’s the power packs that’ll get you. See, with an accelerator pistol, you need both ammo and power, and the power packs for the 2mm Imanishi can be hard to come by unless you want to raid a government arms depot.”

“Pass,” said Gebler. “What else have you got? Remember, I need something military grade.”

The second case came open, and the pawnbroker laid a rifle atop it. “The M-93 assault rifle,” he said. “Military issue. Large-caliber, can-feed, caseless rounds. Integral grenade launcher. The rounds are available cheap on the civilian market, and it’s still in front-line use.”

“Do I look like I was born yesterday?” Gebler snapped. “Trying to pawn off one of the great follies of modern military technology on me? M-93s are useless, so useless that the government ordered five million of ’em.”

“If you know so much about these things, why are you here?” groused the pawnbroker. “Plenty of other places to shop.”

“Plenty of other places ask too many questions,” Gebler said. “Now show me what else you’ve got.”

“Fine, fine.” Instead of opening a third case, the pawnbroker ducked behind his counter. Gebler heard the sound of a latch, and what was slapped down on the table raised his eyebrows. “This is the Cuban cigar. Artemis class, 500 nm wavelength, fusion-powered, varicolor beam. Used by elite troops only, but takes standard deuterium slugs.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!