"Okay, Doctor Langhorn, tell the defence minister what you told me." Colonel Heathcliff leaned back in his chair and cross his arms. "Yes, well." Langhorn arranged his notes. "Thanks to the Defence Ministry's grants," he nodded acknowledgement to the minister, "I've developed an electromagnetic field that inhibits or retards most energetic chain reactions, leaving low-energy interactions unaffected."
Minister Phelps leaned forward. "In English, Doctor?"
"The field turns off explosions but leaves everything else working normally."
"So, what kind of things does this block? C4?" Langhorn nodded. "TNT? What else?"
"Bombs of all sorts. Nuclear explosions. Combustion engines. Gunpowder."
"This field even stops guns?"
"Most guns, Minister. Some technology is unaffected. Electric cars. Lasers. The, er, rail-gun the navy's been working on." Langhorn smiled. "It makes war — modern war — impossible."
Minister Phelps cleared his throat. "Ingenious. Does anyone else know about this?" Colonel Heathcliff shook his head. "Doctor, I'm sorry, but we can't let this go forward." He pulled his sidearm and pointed it at the doctor's chest. It clacked, then fizzled.
"I may have forgotten to mention the demonstration portion of the interview." Langhorn bent under the desk and came up with a crossbow. "If you'll excuse me."