THE SHOCKERS: ANALYSIS OF THE MORE COMMAND OF THE DOUBT
“Listen. I understand that these aren’t realweapon. I understand that the bullet colors are … irritating. I’m clear how many shots are needed to kill someone. I just say … oh Saint, if I have to punch someone, better do it a few yards away, right? “
– Rolento of the Stone Buffalos, Landseeker
“The perfect weapon for these desperate times. Killing too easily was what brought us to this. The Shockers educate, protect, preserve. They are the basis on which we will rebuild civilization. “
– Iota, Iris Adept
“The Shockers … what a shit.”
– Typical Vastness comment.
The stunned dart-bombing firearms, commonly known as the Shocker, represent the most widespread form of defense of the Postworld. Despite low lethality, easy maintenance, incredible simplicity in finding ammo and idiot-proof operation have contributed to making them extremely popular.
At some point, who knows how many years ago, things went really well.
Apparently it was an era of love, concord and prosperity, three words that most survivors have no idea what mean. Anyway, people agreed each other that someone, taken from the throne of goodness and solidarity, decided that the firearms were dangerous: total disarmament for all. Everywhere.
The matter was taken very, very seriously. Pyres of weapons, seizures of guns and rifles, processes to anyone who did not stick to these strict protocols. Surely it wasn’t an easy task: there were no doubt about rebellions and refusals, but in the end the new law was imposed on everyone. The realweapons were overthrown, and the world could breathe a sigh of relief.
However, the elimination of weapons hadn’t automatically removed the violence: robberies, murders and aggression were still present, even in this seemingly perfect world. A control and order force remained necessary, and it had to be adequately equipped. Hence the appearance of the Shocker, non-lethal weapons suitable for the protection and continuation of justice.
A very large number of these weapons were initially entrusted to the police force, and then, once proven their reliability, also sold to ordinary civilians. From here the large number of remaining Shockers, it was very unlikely that they wouldn’t need special permits to get one, and as a result many family fathers, or frightened women, or entire cities got enough weapons.
We didn’t know what the caused the apocalypse: obviously, someone had remained a much more deadly weapon than a gun that governments could not seize. Perhaps because of the Shockers, humanity was not able to defend itself against enemies? Or was it their low lethality to ensure their survival in the barbarian time that followed the disaster? Only the dust keeps this secret.
FUNCTION OF A SHOCKER
A Shocker is, in short, a non-lethal gun. Its bullets are in most cases a kind of hard rubber that, if it hits an unprotected body area (or involves a man with enough blows) can cause serious damage, fracture of the limbs, and in rare cases the death. All in all, a Shocker’s direct hit can be compared to a hammer stroke given to moderate strength, directed more to stunning than eliminating. The greatest risk to life comes from a series of internal bleeding that the blows can cause, besides obviously the most common fainting followed by a knife at the throat.
Although most of the Shockers are single-stroke, some of the more advanced models are automatic or semi-automatic weapons, most likely relics of the Government Forces of the LastWorld. Such wonders are not as rare as Realweapons, but are not so common, and are therefore kept in great care and maintained more or less regular. Semiautomatic Shocker have resulted in the victory or defeat of countless clashes in Vastness.
Depending on the type of fire they produce, the Shockers have received nicknames that are now famous in the Vastness: if they shoot two shots are “Mantis”, if they are semi-automatic are “Centipede” etc etc. What the original names and initials of these weapons were, no one is alive anymore to remember them.
THE SHOCKERS AND THE DAMAGE
In the years following the disaster, the myth of Realweapons has become increasingly rarefied and inconsistent: many live and die without ever seeing a gun, while for them the Shockers are everyday objects and common use. In fact, they are useful: they are perfect for hunting, since they don’t ruin the prey meat in any way (indeed, the Seraglio considers the shocker shaking a specialty). The bullets are easy to find. They can be recycled almost infinitely and rarely suffer such damage as being to be thrown away.
In addition, most of the Shocker shoots them all without any problem, making compatibility a problem to laugh. Of course, some have come back to the traditional bow and arrows, but despite the higher lethality these weapons are slow and hard to reload, if compared to a Shocker. An archer can’t compete with the firepower of a Mantis, or the terrible pain caused by a Centipede shot.
To overcome the low mortality of these weapons, almost all in the Postworld carry with them a white weapon to “finish the job “: Tubes, knives, maces are common and necessary in case the combat goes a bit too much on physical. In any case, more or less anyone agrees that an opponent weakened by a Shocker burst is much, much easier to break down.
Despite largely relying on survival and personal defense, it is unlikely someone will speak well of the Shocker: they are universally seen as “Shit weapons”, for nothing like the real firearms that remain the forbidden dream of the Postworld. This disdain sees its apex in the Prebellum faction, whose members completely reject the use of the Shocker by considering them an invention of mediocre minds. Iris, on the other hand, appreciates a lot of these non-lethal weapons, and among the Adepts there are some of the most accurate Gunslinger ever seen.
An obvious weakness of the Shocker is their very low penetration coefficient: a metal shield is more than enough to stop the shots , something highly appreciated by the aforementioned Prebellum.
Shockers are, as you have already comprehended, your NERF weapons. The fact that they are hardly lethal doesn’t mean they don’t hurt, so remember to simulate the blow right away (think of a big punch, or a hammer, and act accordingly). Sometimes, when you shoot in someone’s back, this may not be felt that you have shot by heavy clothes and / or braces. In this case, absolutely avoid crying like “Hey, I hit you, it simulates the damage!” But rather let’s notice it in the game (“Seraglio Dog, fall!”). At worst, shoot it again once you’ve drawn your attention (this is why it’s best to have several hits).