Technology: Weapons and Armor

Gauss Guns: Magnetic acceleration has become the standard for projectile weaponry. The ease of maintenance and variable yield making them preferred over chemical projectiles once power cells capable of holding enough power were invented. Personal gauss weapons tend towards one of two types of projectile, needles or disks. Needles have the advantage of being more compact and piercing armor more effectively, but they don’t do much damage to tissue or materiel, thus they are often filled with poison or explosives. Disks on the other hand tear through flesh with ease, but are easily stopped by armor. Larger magnetic accelerators use slugs of sizes ranging from half a millimeter to a full meter in diameter. Dedicated warships often have accelerators running almost the entire length of the ship, the Federal Guard’s battleships are capable of flinging projectiles at up to three quarters of the speed of light.

Plasma Projector: The electrolaser was a 21st century experiment in “less-than-lethal” weaponry, the idea was that a laser could ionize a path of air that an electrical charge could follow to a target. It did not work too well as the plasma it produced left unsightly burns on the victims and it was easily blocked by non-conductive or grounded armor. Then someone got the idea of amplifying the heat of the ionized plasma to near-fusing temperatures, the result was a weapon that flash-boiled many soldiers in their own armor. Projectors are still bulky weapons, the smallest is the size of a small kinetic rifle and most are barely portable by soldiers without powered exoskeletons.

Non-Newtonian Armor: Throughout the ages body armor has been generally a choice that reduced the mobility of the wearer, either by stiffening their joints or simple weight. Powered armor reduced the weight issue, but was expensive and still inflexible. One solution that gained some measure of popularity was sheer-thickening fluids. Gels or suspensions formulated to form a solid barrier when struck with high levels of force, these could be sandwiched between two layers of flexible material, thin layers of kevlar for instance, and provide penetration resistance far in excess of armor of the same thickness made from solid material. Non-Newt vests proved very effective against kinetic weapons, the small holes let fluid escape slowly, but plasma weapons were found to cause the fluid to boil and explode outwards, often harming the wearer.

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