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I always loved this trick.
It suddenly occurs to me that if the venom will petrify dead organic matter, the cockatrice venom gun would probably have a pretty limited shelf life; any kind of organic contaminants that build up in the valves or the seals or whatever would turn into stone whenever the venom touches it, so it wouldn’t take long for start jamming or leaking without some specialized maintenance.
Even leaving aside the inhumane nature of petrification, it’s not a soldier’s weapon. No wonder Goro called it a “nasty little toy”.
Yeah, it’s more of a terror weapon than something you use to terminate people (a regular rifle would be fine for that). Hell, as an alterist herself, Elizabeth could petrify people barehanded. I kind of liked that the one with powerful magic uses a prosaic weapon like a little handgun.
Oh, that it’s a terror weapon goes without saying – I’m adding that it’s a really impractical weapon as well. Like if you make the envelope for a zeppelin out of pure gold.
Blood is biologically speaking alive – if it would be dead, it would be useless in medicine. Still, common bacteria will block the gun after a while …
I dunno about “the inhumane nature of petrification”- it gets someone out of the user’s way, guaranteed, until you’re done with your business and the authorities show up, and after that it’s easily reversible with no apparent side effects. There’s psychological trauma, of course, but it’s probably comparable to spending the same amount of time in a room with someone who has a gun and isn’t afraid to shoot you, minus any risk of actually getting shot with a bullet which might kill or cripple you. Given the choice, I’d take petrification in a heartbeat.
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