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"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Motor Torpedo  
  A terrestrial torpedo, driven by ion beams.  

"This little tube along the top of the torpedo is a telescope sight. You will peer through, get the cross hairs squarely upon your target, and hold them there. Then press this nickeled lever. That starts the projectile inside the case to spinning so that inertia will hold it true. Then, being certain that the aim is correct, press the red button. The torpedo is thrown from the case by compressed air, and a positive ray mechanism drives it true to the target. When it strikes, about fifty pounds of Dr. Trainor's new explosive, trainite, will be set off...

Bill balanced his torpedo, peered through the telescope, and pressed the lever. The hum of a motor came from the heavy tube.

"All ready?" the Prince inquired.

"Ready," each man returned.

"Fire !"

Bill pressed the red button. The tube drove heavily backward in his hands, and then was but a light, sheetmetal shell. He saw a little gleam of white light before him, against the right blue globe, a diminishing point. It was the motor ray that drove the torpedo speeding toward its mark.

From The Prince of Space, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
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