Literary Allusion, Here

FANS OF THE SAGE of Butler and his works will remember passages in his seminal work on liberty, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, detailing the strategy, tactics, and psyops of the bombardment of Earth from the Moon.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, the inhabitants of the Moon declare independence and have to fight for it. Since they don’t have an army, they use the only weapon they have — they throw rocks. Big rocks. Rocks weighing tons. Rocks falling from orbit at terminal velocity, striking, as Heinlein put it, one almighty big spark. Resembling nuclear bombs in the energy released spark. The rocks were launched using a catapult (a linear motor) that was used by the oppressors of the population to launch barges of grain back to Earth.

At one point in the narrative, the United Nations (the bad guys) is doing an end-zone dance over how they’ve managed to crush the rebels — destroyed the catapult they were using to lob rocks at targets on Earth, seeming able to pulverize any target at will, and — to add insult to injury — accurately predict the ballistics with an arrogant panache bringing to mind Babe Ruth’s pointing at the Left Field Fence with his bat right before knocking one out of the park.

And, of course, our heroes not only had more rocks already launched when the catapult was destroyed, rocks representing gigatonnes of TNT in explosive power, rocks in orbit, waiting only the fullness of time to crash down on the helpless cities of the rebels’ enemies, but they also had managed to build a backup catapult in secret.

So the hapless United Nations were unpleasantly surprised to have their words thrown back in their teeth when the bombing not only didn’t stop, it intensified.

I imagine A.C.O.R.N. is feeling about like that right now. Heh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *