Ultra-Tech: TST ChemRail

Para uso único Asgari. [For Asgari Use Only.]

‒ User label of the TST ChemRail

Elysium (2013) is one of the more credible attempts at a cyberpunk film, even though many concepts of that genre are so 1980s. Perhaps to make up for this, the film is set in the much more distant future, the year 2154. Nevertheless it features many of the typical cyberpunk tropes, such as the juxtaposition of the sprawling masses and the filthy rich, the wonky cyber gear including datajacks and exoskeletons, the almost instantaneous computer hacking, an orbit community, etc.

And of course it has the weaponry, a mix of the antique – a katana (if that is not taken straight from Shadowrun’s street samurai then it is an incredible coincidence …), an Izhmash AKM assault rifle, and a Remington Model 870 pump-action shotgun, both with homing rounds – and the ultra-modern – Cousar Crowe storm carbines with ETC ammunition and 4Sure manportable ground-to-space multiple missile launchers.

The most fun, if not the most realistic, weapon featured in the film is the TST ChemRail Dual-Stage Linear Motor Rifle (LMR) – a variant of the portable rail gun (GURPS Ultra-Tech, p. 141).

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Tactical Shooting: The Sopranos at 20

What the fuck? I got him, didn’t I? Maybe he’s stunned?

– Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri in The Sopranos #3.11 “Pine Barrens” (2001)

I love The Sopranos (1999-2007); it is simply one of the best telly series ever. I have already looked at a shootout in the first season. Here is another one from the third season, set 20 years ago, examined using GURPS Tactical Shooting.

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Gangster Gats: Colosimo the Vampire or Colosimo the Vampire Hunter?

Near this table the police found an order blank which contained various words and names in pencil. The police believe the paper may contain a clew. A phone number on the paper is 4020 Calumet. This is the number of the National Rubber Products company. There is the name of Samuel Lavine, with an address on Vernon avenue; the words, “So long vampire,” and “Saturday evening.”… the word “buffalo” is also jotted down there, and “So long, Letty.”

Chicago Daily Tribune, “Colosimo Slain; Seek Ex-Wife, Just Returned” (12-MAY-1920

 

On the afternoon of 11-MAY-1920, Giacomo “Big Jim” Colosimo stepped into the vestibule of his restaurant, the famous Colosimo’s Café at 2126 South Wabash Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Colosimo was the head of a powerful criminal organisation that would soon be known as the Chicago Outfit. Right now, he had taken a telephone call and presumably wanted to return to his new wife. At this moment, a man previously hidden in the cloakroom stepped into the vestibule and fired two shots from a .38-calibre handgun ‒ newspapers, covering all bases in the face of knowing nothing, claimed it was “a revolver, or perhaps an automatic pistol.” The first shot missed, the second entered Colosimo’s big head behind the right ear and went into his brain, killing him. Colosimo never managed to draw his own pearl-handled .38-calibre revolver. The shooter, short, stocky, moon-faced, swarthy, and nattily dressed including a derby hat, disappeared.

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Tactical Shooting: El Camino ‒ A Breaking Bad Movie

“Your .22, against my .45. Winner takes all.”

“Like the Wild West?”

“Yeah. Like the Wild West.”

‒ Neil Kandy and Jesse Pinkman in El Camino A Breaking Bad Movie

 

El Camino ‒ A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) is set immediately after the end of the last episode of the highly enjoyable series Breaking Bad. It features an interesting shootout which I examine here in GURPS terms, specifically using GURPS Tactical Shooting.

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Gangster Gats: “Red” Barker’s Ghouls

A band of ghouls seeking to rob the grave of George (“Red”) Barker, slain claimant of the gang power of Al Capone, was driven from Mount Carmel cemetery in a heated gun battle early today.

News Journal, “Gun Battle Is Staged Over Grave of Gangland Leader” (22-JUN-1932)

 

I have previously expressed doubt whether gangsters and Mythos investigations are a good fit. I am still not entirely convinced, but you could probably make it work. Recently I stumbled over an article in the Chicago News Journal, which reported that on 22-JUN-1932, shortly after midnight, four or five “ghouls” had tried to disinter the body of Chicago Outfit member George “Red” Barker in Section 26 of the Mount Carmel cemetery in Hillside, Illinois. Continue reading “Gangster Gats: “Red” Barker’s Ghouls”

Tactical Shooting: Mission: Impossible ‒ Fallout

Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible ‒ Fallout (2018) is the latest instalment in the somewhat tired but still fun Mission: Impossible franchise. The highly cinematic films are prime examples for GURPS Action scenarios. Nevertheless much of the shooting is actually reasonably realistic. I take a look at a short scene in which IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) shows off his gunfighting skills, and analyze how it would play out in GURPS terms, specifically using GURPS Tactical Shooting.

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Investigator Weapons: The Thompson Gun in Great Britain between the Wars

Here, one would say, is an arm that is useless for sport, cumbrous for self-defence and could not serve any honest purpose …

     ‒ Hugh Pollard, “Gun Running and the Traffic in Arms,” Saturday Evening Post (24-NOV-1923)

 

Captain Hugh Pollard was mainly talking with the Irish Revolution fresh on his mind, but he certainly did not think that an “honest” Briton could see any non-military use for the Thompson submachine gun. And yet, despite what the sorry state of today’s British gun laws would make one believe, British investigators of the Mythos could most definitely kit themselves out with a Thompson gun in the 1920s and early 1930s. Continue reading “Investigator Weapons: The Thompson Gun in Great Britain between the Wars”

At the Movies: Sicario

Kate, this isn’t something that I dreamed up myself. I don’t have the authority to hire advisors, or authorize joint agency missions, or fly agents from Air Force bases. Are you understanding me? These decisions are made far from here, by officials elected to office, not appointed to them. So, if your fear is operating out of bounds, I am telling you, you are not. The boundary’s been moved.

‒ FBI Special Agent in Charge Dave Jennings in Sicario (2015)

This is a film review of Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario (2015) with an eye towards using it in Delta Green: The Role-Playing Game.

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Tactical Shooting: Public Enemies

Gentlemen, shortly you will be provided Thompson submachine guns, BARs, and uh, .351 Winchester semiautomatic rifles. We are pursuing hardened killers. It will be dangerous.

– Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Melvin Purvis in Public Enemies (2009)

Michael Mann’s Public Enemies (2009) is but the latest effort to bring the life of infamous bank robber John “Johnnie” Dillinger on the silver screen. It follows his exploits between autumn 1933 and summer 1934, but really concentrates on his affair with gun moll M. Evelyn “Billie” Frechette. As in many other Mann movies, the law enforcement side receives almost equal attention, here in the shape of Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Melvin Purvis. While Mann undertook extraordinary effort to bring the time to life through clothing, automobiles, firearms, and locations, he stuck less rigidly to the historical facts, including the timeline. Events have been moved forward or backward, people have been omitted or changed, etc. It has to be understood that Public Enemies is not really a historical film at all, unlike Bryan Burrough’s meticulously researched book Public Enemies (2004), on which it is based. It is still an excellent movie, not the least because of its awesome score and of course its actors, including Johnny Depp as Dillinger, Christian Bale as Purvis, and Stephen Graham as “Baby Face Nelson.”

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