“Good afternoon, madam. How may I help   you?”
“Good afternoon. I’d like a FrintArms HandCannon, please.”
“A–? Oh, now, that’s an awfully big gun for such a lovely lady. I mean, not  everybody thinks ladies should carry  guns at all, though I say they have a  right to. But I think… I might…  Let’s have a look down here. I might  have just the thing for you. Yes, here  we are! Look at that, isn’t it neat?  Now that is a FrintArms product as  well, but it’s what’s called a laser —  a light-pistol some people call them.  Very small, as you see; fits easily  into a pocket or bag; won’t spoil the  line of a jacket; and you won’t feel  you’re lugging half a tonne of iron  around with you. We do a range of  matching accessories, including — if I  may say so — a rather saucy garter  holster. Wish I got to do the fitting  for that! Ha — just my little joke.  And there’s *even*… here we are —  this special presentation pack: gun,  charged battery, charging unit, beautiful glider-hide shoulder holster with adjustable fitting and contrast  stitching, and a discount on your next  battery. Full instructions, of course,  and a voucher for free lessons at your  local gun club or range. Or there’s the  *special* presentation pack; it has all  the other one’s got but with *two*  charged batteries and a night-sight,  too. Here, feel that — don’t worry,  it’s a dummy battery — isn’t it neat?  Feel how light it is? Smooth, see? No  bits to stick out and catch on your  clothes, *and* beautifully balanced.  And of course the beauty of a laser is,  there’s no recoil. Because it’s  shooting light, you see? Beautiful gun,  beautiful gun; my wife has one. Really.  That’s not a line, she really has. Now,  I can do you that one — with a battery  and a free charge — for ninety-five;  or the presentation pack on a special  offer for one-nineteen; or this, the  special presentation pack, for  one-forty-nine.”
“I’ll take the special.”
“Sound choice, madam, *sound* choice. Now, do–?”
“And a HandCannon, with the eighty-mill silencer, five GP clips, three six-five AP/wire-flechettes clips, two bipropellant HE clips, and a Special Projectile Pack if you have one — the one with the embedding rounds, not the signalers. I assume the night-sight on this toy is compatible?”
“Aah… yes, And how does madam wish to pay?”
She slapped her credit card on the counter. “Eventually.”
– Iain M. Banks, “Against a Dark Background”

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