Alright, Captain Stan,” I said as I grabbed a slip of parchment. “Stealth destruction is your primary operative, which means none of my weapons are ideal. Lucky for you, though, I was onto something before that last channeling gem mysteriously killed itself.” Stan made a point of avoiding my gaze as he focused intently on the blank page in front of us, and I snorted as I began sketching out the elemental degree mapping. Then I drew the beginnings of a rune Dragir had helped me balance when I stopped by House Quyn about the rockets, and when I finished the last line, I shifted the paper to present it to Stan. “This is an altered form of the fireball rune I’ve been using for the 1911s,” I explained. “According to Dragir, this seventeenth degree will counter the flash of the flames, so while they’ll still be burning, they won’t give off a blaze. I have no idea how that’s supposed to work, but we’ll have to see when we do our first trial run. This line that intersects both the sixty-fourth and eleventh degrees is the silencing method we’re going with. Ideally, not even a crackle will give you away. Initially, I was gonna make you a fun little flamethrower, but--” Stan nodded vigorously as he rubbed his hands together, and I sent him an apologetic smirk. “I don’t think it’s gonna work, though,” I continued, and the little metal man deflated. “I know, but your intelligence last night got me thinking, and despite how powerful this rune will be, it doesn’t change the fact that tiny elemental degree lines tend to be less powerful. Using a weapon your size, you could be standing there all day trying to burn up one engraving with an exterior flame attack. Now that we know you’re up against foot-tall defensive runes, though, I’ve decided we need to pack a bigger punch straight into your target without running out the clock. Ideally, these burns should be able to carry on with the same strength while Solana books it to the next target, and one jet of enchanted flames doesn’t accomplish that.” Stan could see the logic, and I could tell he was trying not to look too bummed out about the flamethrower. “I think you’ll like our alternative option, though,” I assured him, “because I already have a highly effective way of achieving our goal, and if this balance of silencing elements works as it should, then it logically follows that its properties would transfer to whatever it’s being channeled through. For example, a bullet.” Now, Stan slowly looked up at me, and I sent him an evil grin. “That’s right, buddy,” I confirmed. “It’s miniature gun time.” The little metal man shot to his feet, and the way he exalted like a maniac with his arms out wide and his head thrown back made me wonder if this was his version of a villainous laugh. Then he started gunning down every scrap of metal in the shop with his invisible guns, and I briefly questioned if I was making a poor decision.