The Hands-of-Blue operatives sent by the Alliance to re-capture/kill River Tam use a "sonic" weapon to kill people (causes internal haemorrhaging?), why aren't they affected by their own weapon?

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's ever explicitly stated, but three theories are:

  1. They use some type of advanced earplugs. From the nature of their weapon it would make sense. Although this is my least favorite idea.
  2. The sonic weapon is a directed sonic wave, so they can point it at some area and not be harmed. They have experimented with this (LRAD), so it is plausible that the sonic weapon is more of a directed area effect.
  3. They are cyborgs, and therefore immune to the sound waves. One of the Hands-Of-Blue had screws in his head and they both moved jerkily and were very inhuman. I think this is the most likely, just based on the evidence and how ruthless the Alliance was.

All of this is conjecture, and we probably will never know because the show was stolen from us.

  • 2
    FWIW, I have always assumed option 2.
    – bitmask
    Mar 2, 2013 at 16:50
  • 2
    The Alliance has a "thing" for modifying people (like River), so I generally thought they were cyborgs.
    – Izkata
    Mar 2, 2013 at 18:11
  • 1
    I don't recall the Alliance being robotics/cybernetics experts, could it have been an immunity as a result of biological modification?
    – SteB
    Mar 2, 2013 at 18:33
  • @SteB that is an interesting theory, I also wonder if the weapon maybe increased / directed their psychic ability (since we know the alliance loved that stuff), so it just served as a amplifier for their psychic kill stare.(Read: Evil Eye) Mar 2, 2013 at 18:46
  • 1
    I always thought it was option #3, myself. Either way, this answer gets a +1 if nothing else for "because the show was stolen from us". Dang straight.
    – Omegacron
    Feb 18, 2014 at 18:33

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