“It’s junk,” Reyes reported to Ishikawa. “200 years sooner, Fort Obama might have had something usable. Now, everything chemical has degenerated into fertilizer. And it smells like it too. The powered stuff is corroded. The bayonets and so on are still sharp. Maybe we could poke holes in their suits.”
Ishikawa sighed. “Have you run into anything else that even looks like a weapon?”
“Well, there’s a warehouse full of water pipe.”
They looked at each other skeptically; one of them started to grin, and then so did the other.
“That’s just fine, Reyes. Bring it all up. Also anything we can add to it to make it look exotic. Mirrors; deflectors; antennas; insulators; anything shiny or complicated-looking. The enemy doesn’t need to be convinced; we just have to make them uncertain.
“Tell the men there’s going to be a contest. ‘The team that makes the best-looking death ray gets …’”
“I think a soldier’s imagination will fill in the blank nicely, Reyes; ‘…A prize to be determined.’”