Weaponry in Space
Weaponry is not something that was initially taken into space. With nothing waiting for the pioneers that sought to conquer space aside from the typical debris or planetoids, the biggest threat against survival in the vaccuum was the development and maintenance of space-worthy vessels, and the challenges of mapping out and navigating this unexplored territory. Exploration was only part of the EEM initiative, however, the other part being the mining of what was discovered through exploration. Efficient methods for not only mining the minerals that were discovered, but also getting to them safely, needed to be developed.
Research conducted in a space-based research facility run by CST eventually developed the Matter Cannon, a device with complicated physical properties that was perfectly suited for the task. A Matter Cannon emits a beam of light-constant energy that, upon contact with an object, takes on the mass of the object itself. The result is devastating, as nothing in the known universe is capable of standing up to a force of equal mass traveling at 1C, the speed of light. While this breakthrough caused even more efficient retrieval of minerals and resources, it had also sown the seeds necessary to give would-be criminals in space the edge they needed. Matter Cannons are almost certain doom to a ship that is at the receiving end of one, so when faced with a fully-charged Matter Cannon, most ship captains are quick to comply to a Pirate’s demands.
Once the CSTP was established, the need for more practical and precise weaponry created a new breed of space combat. More narrow and less absolutely-destructive laser cannons, paired with advanced targeting computers ( Targ) and fire control systems (FCS), were capable of accurately and quickly disabling a ship’s systems and weaponry, since they took less time to charge than the powerful Matter Cannon. Stations themselves, if they were fortunate to be rich enough, are sometimes equipped with Proton cannons, even more destructive and with a larger range than Matter Cannons, effectively making all ships within range behave, if they’re sane. Other weapons have been developed and tested, but slug weaponry and missle-delivery systems have so far proven to be ineffective by comparison, since the slower travel time and the difficulty of fixing them on a target in vaccuum made them impractical.
In controlled environments with oxygen, with nothing but a hull to keep humans safe from the deadly conditions outside, standard slug weapons were exponentially more dangerous to the point that using one abord a ship or space station could be likened to committing suicide – especially in the fictionless environment of zero-g. This caused the need for personal weaponry that could be used more safely in such circumstances, which is when impact weapons were developed.
Impact weaponry resemble their Earth-born counterparts in order to keep the familiarity of use, while the projectile itself changed. Powered by an advanced, rechargable and removable battery, impact weapons fire a controlled burst of plasma energy designed to be strong enough to break through skin, human tissue, clothing, or EVA suits, but not powerful enough to break through the hull of a ship or station. The delivery is almost instantaneous, and the wounds deadly, making any form of impact weapon a frightening tool to coerce someone to do what you say. Less commonly seen are laser weapons, though larger laser weaponry such as laser rifles can be used for anti-vehicular combat.