01/13/23 – Send In The Troops

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, January 13, 2023.




Some slippery slopes end up being frictionless, and all that’s left is to wait for the bottom.


  1. just have to say — i completely love the creative and imaginative character designs on these last few pages. it’s a thrill to get to see you stretch yourself a bit with a whole new roster of disposable characters. rock on, man.

  2. Rex Vivat

    I’m failing to see how they’d be more effective with lasers set to kill rather than stun? If you stun someone (except Dimitri) you drop them as much as if you shoot to kill, you still disable them in one shot. This is the kind of logic I’d except of them, but not from her.

    1. @Rex, I’m trying to parse this. My intention was not that Halip is suggesting the troops set their guns to kill. I’m guessing it’s the line “I’d rather they die than you.” But not implying that the militia or invaders would die by the troops setting guns to “kill” but rather that they’d be busy killing each other.

      I’ll try to think of a way to easily clarify this. Maybe “I’d rather THEY die killing each other than YOU die trying to stop them.”

    2. tlhonmey

      It changes the tactics. If the other side is definitely shooting to stun, then you can afford to take bigger risks because as long as your side wins you’ll be fine. If they’re shooting to kill you’ll want to fight much more defensively.

      Same reason a gun does a much better job of deterring a mugger than a can of pepper spray. The stakes are higher and so playing the game is significantly dumber.

  3. Pete Rogan

    You don’t have to be wielding nuclear weapons to run into the quandary of Mutual Assured Destruction. Any escalation of violence, when not met by overwhelming force, results in further escalation until one side or the other, or both, is unable to respond — incapacitated, dead, looking for more weapons, trying to get aid to the fallen, doesn’t matter.

    We’ve rarely seen situations where combat continues until all the combatants are dead or incapacitated, but we’ve come close. The Pacific War assaults on well-defended Iwo Jima and Okinawa, for example. Both battles were won through overwhelming American force. If not for that, neither action would have ended conclusively. We’ll see if Haslip’s GOB troops have to go that final mile to restore the peace. Which might still require them to simply extinguish all combatants.

    You know– Kill them all; let GOB sort it out.

    1. tlhonmey

      I mean… I have one because they’re useful when painting or when something happens such that the air quality is terrible… If, for some reason, I found myself heading into a massive firefight/melee I’d definitely take it along because tear gas and pepper spray are really common things.

  4. Demarquis

    One side in that firefight are the invading aggressors, the other side are her own citizens, to whom I would think she owes a duty of protection. Treating them as morally equivalent seems very shaky to me.

    1. rws

      At some point, “kill them all and let god sort them out” becomes your only option. A gas variant that penetrates gas masks would be useful. Effects you through the skin for example.

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