RTC "Thunder Caster" Area Denial Weapon
The RTC "Thunder Caster" Area Denial Weapon is a specialized crew-served weapon sometimes employed by the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy and their proxies in the Hermitage Island Fellowship and Ovinex Island Tribes.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
A Thunder Caster fires a sabot-packed net of fine, sharp-edged steel wires attached to a large capacitor. The wires are insulated where they contact one another, but not in other places; as a result, when the net hits a conductive object (such as a living body or auto-armor hull) the capacitor is discharged into that body with injurious results. Fine barbs spread out across the net anchor into soft targets, including flesh, clothing, drywall, bark, and soil. The low mass and muzzle velocity of the net make the weapon less penetrating than comparable crew-served weaponry. On the other hand, well-aimed shots have the potential to entangle targets - the precursor of the Thunder Caster was a deck-mounted net launcher used for fishing and hunting. Carefully placed shots can instead by anchored across walking paths (i.e. hallways) to create passive traps, with those trying to cross the space occupied by the difficult-to-see net being liable to entanglement and electrocution.
The workings of the Thunder Caster itself are not very complicated. The weapon is, essentially, an oversized, magazine-fed grenade launcher designed to except a very specific ammunition type. The ammunition, on the other hand, involves a delicate packing and charging process whereby the wires are painstakingly bundled together with insulating wadding so that none are allowed to short against one another in the sabot assembly.
Subtype / Model
The Thunder Caster is an uncommon weapon even within the RAC, being used primarily by law enforcement and military specialists. The complexity and expense of the ammunition make the weapon impractical for widespread adoption, but its utility in disabling opponents without killing them ensures that it keeps its otherwise limited market share.