The requirement, provision, and form of personal defence varies greatly across history and polities. For most sophonts, particularly in the Sephirotics, personal defence is a topic they rarely, if ever, need to think of. However, in some regions local custom brings the issue to the fore. Aside from protection from criminal activity, personal defence may be required for sports, hunting, environments with dangerous animals, and customs involving legal combat.
In the majority of societies, personal defence primarily comes in the form of environmental or public security. This can range from full and partial angelnets to systems employing rapid-response security bots and even police organisations staffed by sophonts. In societies in which personal weapons are allowed or needed, the most effective (but not necessarily the most common) means of personal defence is the guardbot. Capable of discretely accompanying the owner, reacting in milliseconds, and deploying any of dozens of types of weapons, guardbots represent the civilian side of military hardware.
In some societies, ownership of personal weapons; projectile, beam and melee may be permitted. Often, safety firmware is required to prevent weapon use by certain people or in certain places. Limits may also be placed on the lethality of personal weapons. Skill modules for combat are often similarly regulated, at least in their use.
Across the Terragen sphere choice in personal defence technologies varies massively. Beyond the minimum effectiveness needed to ensure protection, it is often left up to the individual (in accordance with law and custom). Some individuals like to rely on their own skills with weapons or martial arts, others prefer discrete guardbots, while some acquire pets with strong defensive capabilities or even consider having sophont bodyguards as the most desirable option.
- Combat Jacket
- Hand-held Lasers
- Laser Weapons
- Melee/Close Combat Weapons
- Smart Weapons - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from Anders Sandberg's Big Ideas Grand Vision
Weapons with have varying amounts of intelligence in them (rarely more than turingrade). The simplest Smart Weapons link to a control-command subturing and give the owner the ability to shift between types of ammo, see through the aimpoint camera etc. This kind of connection is necessary for use in teamware, and is practically standard among even the simplest baselines. The scramjet bullets of the sabot pistols of Trillicon have built in cameras and some limited steering capabilities. Zetatech's Marksman Gun is equipped with a n expert system that can act as a point defence or drone if placed on a tripod or suitable vehicle (although the price tag deters most people).
Text by Ryan_b
Initially published on 12 February 2016.