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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Hostage Gas  
  A gas sprayed over a population; to survive, those who breathe it must report to centers for the antidote.  

What is the enemy trying to accomplish with this gas?"

"It weakens any human who breathes it," Dr. Taka answered. "There was a broadcast an hour ago. The invader announced that affected humans must receive the antidote within one week, or die. Of course they are offering the antidote only in urban areas."

"Hostage gas!" Athaclena whispered. "They want all the planet's humans as pawns."

"Exactly. We must ingather or drop dead in six days."

Athaclena's corona sparked anger. Hostage gas was an irresponsible weapon, even if it was legal under "certain limited types of war.

From The Uplift War, by David Brin.
Published by Not Known in 1987
Additional resources -

This is a very clever idea; maybe too clever. If not for the documented problems in sucessfully laying down poison gas, I'd be worried that someone might actually try this one.

This idea is reminiscent of the residual poison developed by Piter de Vries in Frank Herbert's novel Dune.

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