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So, I was working on limitations for my cheesy overpowered cyborg, Anon, and then pacifism came to my mind. Being forced into using non-lethal measures drastically decreases and caps any character, there are no pacifist-nukes after all.

Non-lethal weapons can still kill, of course, but not healthy genetically engineered soldiers, who are our intended targets.

So, I gave Anon the PACIFY spell, because memes

enter image description here
As you can tell from the picture I first thought of oxygen deprivation, but there are other methods.

No matter what you choose, you should keep in mind that it will be executed by two nanite types. A carrier, 200 μm long, roughly analogous to fairyflies, and a nanite which is basically a virus. Nanites can coordinate their movement fast, thanks to nanoradios. They can also monitor and share information about the host.

Basically, the carriers drop/inject the virus into the target, from where they'd be all alone in the body.

Desired properties in priority:

  1. Speed&Duration: It would be nice if it was as fast and long-lasting as Hollywood chloroform
  2. Safety: "Believe me, officer, I didn't know that he was allergic to rapidly losing consciousness"
  3. Costs

How could these nanites incapacitate any animal in the fastest possible way?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you really wanting to be able to effect ANY animal or mainly humans? as there are a few options that are plenty effective methods against mammals but less effective against say reptiles or fish... $\endgroup$ – Blade Wraith Feb 19 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @BladeWraith It nearly drained all my energy just getting this question out, so yes, I want to tranquilize everything. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 19 at 18:58
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Shorting out selected nerves

By targeting selected nerves to cause spasms and/or pain the target can be rendered immobile.

The spinal cord could simulate an epileptic fit. The optic nerve could produce blinding flashes of light. The auditory nerves could produce vertigo.

Blood takes around a minute to get around the body so the effects should be under to start working once the nanites hit the bloodstream.

The effects would last until you tell the nanites to stop and should be perfectly safe especially for things like vertigo.

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Oxygen deprivation really is the simplest, easiest way to go for incapacitation. It can work very quickly: standards for pilots indicate that if they lose pressure at 45,000 feet, a person has 9-15 seconds of useful consciousness; at 50,000, six to nine seconds.

enter image description here

Once they're unconscious, then you have a bunch of other methods to ensure they can stay incapacitated. For instance, you could reduce the level of oxygen to ensure the person has enough oxygen to live, but just (by monitoring blood O2 levels). For many people, this would keep them knocked out, and for those who didn't, even small amounts of physical exertion would cause them to faint.

Or, since you're futzing around in the brain area anyway, induce a petit mal seizure. They won't be doing much staring off into space as their brain has a temporary crash to desktop.

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There are several options that could be looked at, however many are only effective against certain animals. you nanites could easily be built to mimic Norepinephrine, which in most mammals at least causes the release of meltonin which makes people feel sleepy, this mixed with oxygen deprivation would take a person down within a minute, now the melotonin might not seem important in this, however people randomly collapsing gets noticed very quickly, people being tired, sitting down and falling asleep is fairly common, even if it is quick, so it allows you to use covert tactics more effectively.

Another option could be that if you have enough bots inside an animal, then discharging their energy cells would work like a taser

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