07 November 2008


"Guns, Shooting Velociraptors Out Of" was inspired by a rather silly thread of the same name in the nanowrimo.org forums.

I did not make up any of the dinosaur names. I got them from the educational web site Zoom Dinosaurs©. My favorite is the Masiakasaurus, which was named knopfleri because the paleontologists were listening to Dire Straits when they dug it up.

The product model numbers are a tribute to H.G. Wells' classic The Time Machine (published in 1895) and Stephen Baxter's sequel, The Time Ships (published in 1995).

I suppose the overall tone of the piece is an homage to John Scalzi's BrainPal™ brochure in Old Man's War. Like they say, steal from the best.

And, as always, I owe a debt of gratitude to Ray Bradbury (but NOT Peter Hyams).


Audio: "Guns, Shooting Velociraptors Out Of"

Music: "Schrodinger's Cat Paradox" by cjacks, licensed under Creative Commons from ccMixter.

I think this more or less speaks for itself.


"Guns, Shooting Velociraptors Out Of"

By Curtis C. Chen

Congratulations on your purchase of the SuperBadIdeas, Inc., Model TTS-1995 RAPTORGUN™ Semi-Automatic Theropod Projector! The RAPTORGUN™ has served many eco-military galactic regimes, and now, thanks to new arms treaties, SuperBadIdeas is proud to bring this state-of-the-art bio-weapon to private citizens like you!

IMPORTANT: Read these instructions completely before attempting to operate your RAPTORGUN™.  SuperBadIdeas is not responsible for injuries, property damage, or temporal anomalies which may result from improper usage of its products.

BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED. Your RAPTORGUN™ requires four GG power cells for operation. SuperBadIdeas recommends using alkaline power cells. DO NOT USE RECHARGEABLE, DRY PLASMA OR ZERO-POINT SOURCES TO POWER YOUR RAPTORGUN™. Using non-standard power cells may trigger the formation of gravitational singularities and will void your warranty.

To comply with interstellar freight laws, your RAPTORGUN™ is shipped in three parts. Follow the included holovid instructions to assemble your RAPTORGUN™. When properly assembled, you should see three solid green lights on top of the wormhole chamber. You are now ready to use your RAPTORGUN™!

IMPORTANT: Never aim your RAPTORGUN™ at friendly personnel. Never look into the barrel of your RAPTORGUN™. Never place fingers or other organic matter inside the wormhole chamber.

To fire your RAPTORGUN™, hold the weapon in both hands and pull the trigger. A flash of light and a thunderous noise will accompany the projection of your theropod!


Q. What kind of theropods will my RAPTORGUN™ project?

A. Your RAPTORGUN™ displaces specimens from the Senonian epoch. Though the TTM-1895 wormhole chamber will only transmit carnivorous theropods of a certain size, you may receive any of the following:
  • Avimimus portentosus
  • Bambiraptor feinbergi
  • Masiakasaurus knopfleri
  • Nedcolbertia justinhoffmani
  • Velociraptor mongoliensis
  • Zapsalis abradens
NOTE: Many species of Senonian theropods remain undiscovered. If your RAPTORGUN™ projects an unfamiliar animal, please contact the SuperBadIdeas Discovery Hotline immediately.

Q. How far can I project my theropods?

A. SuperBadIdeas recommends a minimum safe distance of three meters between shooter and target.

In order to displace a living animal through the wormhole, your RAPTORGUN™ translates each theropod into a Coherent Matter Stream™. If your target is less than three meters from the RAPTORGUN™, the stream may not resolve into its original form before reaching the target. The resulting quantum effects are unpredictable, and may include (but are not limited to): full or partial merging of theropod and target bodies; full or partial destruction of theropod and/or target bodies; and ruptures in local Calabi-Yau manifolds. Please consult your municipal authorities to determine what zoning requirements may apply to the creation of permanent hyperdimensional paradoxes in your community.

Q. I want to project a theropod over the top of a hill or tall structure. How can I calculate the proper trajectory?

A. Your RAPTORGUN™ is a personal sidearm and not suitable for use as artillery. Please consider other hardware, such as the SuperBadIdeas DINOWITZER® and MORTARSAURUS® products.

Want to get more out of your RAPTORGUN™? Visit our websphere for information on the HUSH-GUPPY™ silencer, EGG-BASKET® automatic fire conversion kit, and other accessories!