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Crichton's Notes
Crichton's Notes

TARKAN SHIELD BELT

A group of Tarkan freedom fighters gave us our shield belt. It's the best body armor I've ever seen — against energy weapons. Its invisible force field activates instantly to block anything resembling pulse fire, then stays active for a few moments before shutting down to save power.

However, a Tarkan shield belt isn't activated by more mundane threats, such as lava or thrown rocks. It only turns on when it senses the higher order of energy that is discharged by pulse weapons. Kinetic-energy weapons such as sticks and stones pass right through and break your bones — unless the belt is still active from a pulse blast seconds before.

In other words, if I'm wearing a shield belt and Aeryn shoots me with her pulse pistol, I'm safe. If John Wayne shoots me with a Winchester rifle, I'm dead, because a bullet is just a solid projectile moving really quickly. If Aeryn shoots at me with her pulse pistol, activating the shield belt, and then the Duke shoots at me while the belt's still on, I'm safe again, because the belt blocks everything for the few instants that it remains active.

I don't know why the belts aren't triggered by kinetic energy. Maybe originally they blocked everything, but people kept getting zapped when they tried to toss their belt-wearing comrades the car keys. Or maybe the Tarkans just never expected to battle enemies who would stoop to throwing rocks.




JOURNEY LOG REFERENCES

Lava's a Many Splendored Thing

Promises


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