Reader Friday: Weapon of Choice

There have been many excellent articles presented here at TKZ on the topic of self-defense, and particularly the use of guns. Here are links to two of John’s articles:

Today, however, we are talking about offensive weapons, weapons of battle.

Imagine that you are part of a large colony of writers who have been held captive in a medieval castle. Your group has escaped the castle in the middle of the night and is on the run. You know where the enemy army is encamped, and you have decided to attack preemptively. Better to take them by surprise than to be attacked while you are on the run, and they are gaining on you. Your group is large, and with the element of surprise, you can win. You hope.

So, it is time to choose your weapon. Since this scenario is mixed genre fiction, your choice of weapons is large – pick any weapon, or even invent one. You must, however, be able to carry it by yourself, along with ammunition (if needed) and a power source (if you’re playing with sci-fi).

Now, please tell us which weapon you have chosen, and why. How do you intend to use it? A paragraph or two of you doing battle with the enemy’s Goliath would be good. We’ll watch from a safe distance and cheer you on to victory.

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Beware he who would hijack your life code to achieve immortality.

Perfect Strand, #6 in the Mad River Magic series, is currently available at Amazon for $0.99.

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About Steve Hooley

Steve Hooley is the author of seven short stories published in four anthologies, a Vella serial fiction, and is currently working on the Mad River Magic series – a fantasy adventure series for advanced middle-grade to adults. More details available at:

36 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Weapon of Choice

  1. Good morning, Steve.

    I’m more of a student of defensive tactics than offensive. That said, I would utilize a bladed weapon, the Ontario 6141 MK3 Navy Knife with a six-inch fixed blade, taking out the sentries first and then dispatching the sleeping enemy. My second choice would be some sort of shock and awe method, such as hand grenades, delivered at 0400 or so.

    Thanks for the fun question to get the blood flowing on a Friday morning. Have a great weekend, Steve, and good luck with Perfect Strand!

    • Good morning, Joe

      Thanks for participating in the madness this morning. I, too, aim to be a peaceful person, and defend myself only when necessary.

      Great answers on the weaponry. I’m certain I will get an education today. Your strategy sounds like a good one. I wouldn’t want to be part of the enemy. I wouldn’t want to be attacked by a horde of infuriated writers. Death by a thousand pens.

      I hope your day is a peaceful one!

    • Thanks, Harvey. Great choice. And the familiarity with the weapon makes it a good choice. I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of you and The Pig.

      Thanks for participating in the fiction this morning.

    • Great, Jim! Distract them with unexpected humor, then thrust the sword. They won’t see it coming.

      Thanks for participating in the silliness this morning!

  2. Following on with Gideon’s example , I would divide my three hundred writers into three groups and surround the camp (after first equipping them with empty jars and trumpets). Then while the enemy is sleeping we would blow our trumpets and smash the jars, sending the enemy into confusion.

    But our best weapon would be God who caused the enemy to be so confused they turned on each other with their swords before fleeing. 🙂

    • Wonderful, Patricia. You can’t find a weapon more powerful than God. Thanks for sharing and reminding us who is really in charge.

      The noise of trumpets and the breaking of ceramic would be an interesting scenario to incorporate into a surprise attack in a modern-day book.

      I hope your day is filled with good surprises.

  3. I’ll go with an odorless, colorless chemical agent that renders a person unconscious, and which will be sprayed via quiet means rather than delivered by shell or grenade.. Better than mere “sleep gas,” it requires a second chemical to awaken said person from slumber.

    We army of writers can then spend our time at the camp securing the POWs with zip-ties, hand cuffs etc.

    Interesting thought experiment, Steve! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Wow, Dale, mass anesthesia. Well thought out! I love it.

      I would enjoy seeing the scene when the sleeping army is awakened, but I wouldn’t want to be the one administering the reversal gas. Thanks for a great plot idea.

      I hope no criminals use such a technique in Oregon in the near future.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Steve, I like your “death by a thousand pens” idea.

    However, as an avowed coward, I choose a 30-06 lever-action Marlin rifle with a scope so I can stay far away from the battle and pick off enemies from a distance. I’ll have lots of ammo stocked in my perch atop a tall tree. I’ll also take notes so I can later write about the war in which the writers emerge victorious.

    Congratulations on Perfect Strand!!!

    • Thanks, Debbie. I knew someone would volunteer to be the sniper today. I would be right there in the adjoining tree, but I wouldn’t know what gun to choose.

      Sounds like you’ve used that Marlin before. And probably a better choice to take on a bear than the bear spray Tawny used in Stalking Midas.

      Thanks for mentioning Perfect Strand. I’m getting dragged into this marketing thing kicking and dragging my feet. Some dogs are just too old (speaking of myself) to teach any new tricks.

      Thanks for volunteering to be the sniper for our battle.

    • Ooh, I love it, Cynthia. Now, we’re going to need to film that battle. Combine your flame thrower (with everything bursting into flames) and Patricia’s trumpets and broken ceramic jars, and all the other mayhem planned by our TKZ crew, and we’d have a dramatic opening scene (or a grand finale) for a movie – Don’t Mess With the Writers.

      Do you think you could write the script for that one?

      And I thought you would be more of a peaceful person. But, hey, this is fiction!

  5. Thanks, Steve, for another fun Friday!

    I’m going to go with Dale and the mass anesthesia. While the bad guys are deep in drug-induced slumber, we’ll cart them back to the dungeon where they’ll each be put into a room with a desk. When they awake, they will each be given a journal notebook and a pen and told to write their life’s story. Then we’ll all be on the same team. 🙂

    • Wow, Kay, the ultimate peace maker. You’ve got it all planned out. I can see some of those giant warriors running out of ink and “opening their veins.”

      Now, just one more thing. What about the King? Are you going to gas him, too? And somehow, I think I know who will be in charge now. I volunteer to be your assistant.

  6. I’m rereading Percy Jackson, so what came to mind at this post was the Helm of Hades. It radiates fear, and turns you invisible. With that, I can use whatever other weapon I can find to kill my enemies.

    But for a battle plan, I’d equip my army of writers with crossbows (assuming we’re all fantasy nerds and have been training with outdated weapons our whole lives) so we can thin out the enemy from afar. Then, once they’ve finally figured out where our location is, I’d use the helm and rush the enemy with rapiers. I’d go for the leader, while everyone else kills the rest.

    Okay, my tactical brain is telling me this is not the smartest plan, I could come up with so much better, but we are being chased, aren’t we? 🙂

    • Azali, you are enjoying this too much. Scary. Just kidding.

      It’s been awhile since I read the Percy Jackson series, so I didn’t remember the Helm of Hades. I believe Harry Potter had an invisibility cloak. I write teen fantasy, and I love my Shawnee invisibility spell.

      I like your plan, and applaud your willingness to take on the leader. And, yes, we are on the run. We don’t have time to plan anything intricate. Your plan does the job. That’s all that counts. Now, flee to safety and begin writing again.

    • I enjoyed the original series as well as the others. Be sure to read “The Trials of Apollo” where he’s turned into a human demigod to learn valuable lessons about not being such a jerk. His voice is hysterical.

  7. Speaking of, I found a really interesting YouTube channel where a weapons, fighting, and armor expert talks about both real weapons and fantasy/science fiction weapons and fighting techniques.

    For me, I’m a hobbit so I’d have to go stealth attack so it would be some nice Mithril chain mail and a pointy knife/sword.

    • Thanks, for the link to weapons and fighting techniques, Marilyn. I’ll check that out.

      Good strategy for a hobbit.

      As a hobbit, do you have any secret passages to sneak up on the enemy from below? Or any secret brew to put the enemy army into a deep sleep before you attack?

      Thanks for participating in the craziness!

      • As a writer in charge of the fantasy-scape, I’m sure I’ll create some. My first novel involved a stage magician’s house full of secret passageways. I had a great deal of fun with them, and two of the characters played a deadly game of hide and seek with a bunch of thugs who broke in.

    • Good one, Elaine. I can tell you’d like to inflict a little (a lot) of pain.

      Once you have them immobilized with the pepper spray, a well-placed Taser could possibly cause cardiac arrest. I’m glad I’m on your side.

    • That would do it, Brian. The rest of the writer colony could step back and watch you do your thing. Where would you have prepared and hidden your air strip?

  8. As you may recall, I journeyed to the center of the Earth to find allies. Now that I’ve got the backup of my Pelucidarin army, I’d have the elite cavalry, each rider mounted on a T. Rex, stampede our triceratops pack animals through the enemy camp. They’d be followed by the swordsmen with their raptor companions. When the army has finished, the writers would create a new, kinder gentler society of a thousand points of light.

    • Wow, K S, what an attack. Sounds like there wouldn’t be much of anything left of the enemy army. I wouldn’t want to be in that army, or up against your forces.

      I am glad that after that slaughter there will be peace and harmony. I don’t think anyone would even dare think of disturbing your new world order.

      Thanks for sharing your battle plans. I’m glad I’m on your side!

  9. Late to the party . . . or should I say the war…

    I’d arm my guys and gals with the ubiquitous ball point pen (or sharpened pencil, as preferred).

    No, not for writing. Aim it at the jugular, or a little lower to the femoral. All over in about two minutes, I’d say.

    Then they can write.


    • You’re never late, Deb. The party (or the battle) rages on.

      I like your choice of weapons. Pen and pencils should be a weapon writers are familiar with. Only this time, the writers won’t be killing someone on the page. Talk about opening a vein (or artery) and bleeding on the page. With your coaching we’d have some real gushers.

      Thanks for joining the craziness today. We’ll try to get back to more serious writing matters next week. Have a great week!

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