Lin and the Gun


"This is a 4.5 fen bullet. Feel the weight." Lin tossed weighted blanks to each of her trainees. They caught them with their hands, demonstrating they had not slept through the entire safety training course. Anyone dumb enough to ever metalbend a live, unfired round was asking to lose fingers if not their hand. "They're fired by Dai-Sato Model 4s, the weapon of choice for triads with something to compensate for. That gun would snap your wrist if you weren't careful, but metalbending can zero out its recoil. Does anyone know why the bad guys use that gun and we stick with Model 3s?"

Trainee Zuan said, "Overpenetration."

"There's that. What else?"

"Because the council is tightfisted," Trainee Li said.

"No comment. And?"

Nobody knew. Rookies.

"It's because," Lin finally explained, "you need metalbending to make the Model 4 halfway effective. If you're standing on ice or carpeting or a wooden floor, or anything that gets between your feet and good earth—you're out of luck. There's nowhere for you to redirect your service weapon's recoil. The shot goes wild. You'll be open to a counterattack, and, worse, you might have just killed a bystander.

"The same is true for any other firearm. Never, EVER metalbend your service weapon. That is the first and most important lesson of combat metalbending. If I catch any of you zeroing out a firearm, you'll get the boot from this program. Got it?"

They chorused, "Yes, Chief."

"Good. Now, let's get down to today's second lesson: how to curve a fired bullet..."