or, How Mankind's Oldest Weapon Just Won't Stop Cutting
But composites and synthetic fibers and “active armor” essentially nixed the power of the gun in the hands of an infantryman. Guns now belonged mostly to vehicles and fortresses. Lasers and fusion came along, but never an effective, reliable power source for lasers that could be carried around by an infantryman, even with an exoskeleton. The smallest vehicles with fusion power were hulking battlemechs. The role of the infantryman changed to only go where the powerful machines of Man could not, no more open field combat. But Open Space combat, that was a different matter. Fleets and formations of infantrymen armed with guns assaulted orbital facilities that needed to be captured, not destroyed. Already, resources were scarce enough that bullets were becoming prohibitively expensive, and soldiers generally had a fair amount of armor that could stop bullets. However bullet-stopping armor generally performed poorly against blades with monomolecular edges, and the Axe rose to shine again.