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The Torch

by Antti Lahtinen


The night was quiet. The sky hologram showed dark sky with small, bright stars, which shed little light to the alley.

He wiped the blade clean with a piece of torn shirt, folded the knife, and threw the bloody rag back at its previous owner. Stepping around the pool of blood, he briefly glanced at the girl's body, and began to trot towards the mouth of the alley.

He pushed his hands deep into the pockets of his worn jacket, keeping the folded knife in right hand while the left hand fondled the freshly stolen wallet and wristor unit. The wristor would pay for his fix tonight, and the wallet would surely contain charge-cards, with enough money for another dose.

"LIIKKUMATTA!"

He turned towards the voice, and was momentarily blinded by the flashlight beam. His mind groped for words, and dimly he remembered that the command was translated as "freeze". His anti-glare contacts quickly adjusted to the light, he saw a lone cop aiming him with a flashlight. He shifted the knife in his hand, finding the thumb-sweep, and prepared to lunge with the knife. A cop armed only with a flashlight would not take him in...


The Torch, manufactured by Airam in Vyborg, is a family of tool-weapons, designed for military/law-enforcement applications.

The Airam Torch is a combination of searchlight, laser weapon and impact weapon. The Torch can work as normal variable-power flashlight, but a flick of the thumb switch turns it into a low-power rapid pulse laser. The basic weapon is a straight stick with sunken focal array on front end and control switch in front of the balance point. A rechargeable battery is inserted at the rear of the weapon.

In the flashlight mode the battery consumption depends on the lamp power level, which is selected by sliding the selector switch backward and forward. For example, using Long Torch as a 5W lamp will consume one shot from the battery after 1340 seconds of continuous use (0:22:20 h), while 25 W lamp will consume one shot in 268 seconds (0:04:28 h). The remaining battery charge is shown as a LED bar at the rear at the weapon.

Sliding the lamp switch sideways to either side activates the laser. At firing position, a small button pops up in the middle of the switch, informing the user that the laser is armed. Slight pressure on the switch activates the aiming beam, and the rate of fire is selected by pushing the selector switch forward. The laser is fired by pressing the switch into the weapon frame.

When the switch is released (for example, the Torch is dropped), a spring returns the switch back to lamp position


Ambulance hovered near the mouth of the alley, while paramedics collected the remains of a man into black plastic bags. Two cops were standing near their patrol speeder, discussing with the fire-department clean-up crew.


Design notes: The Torch is built as a normal DEI laser. The length of the laser is calculated by adding the volumes of all components and battery together, and calculating the length of a cylinder which diameter is equal to or greater than the diameter of the focal array.


The Long Torch

The Long Torch, also called as "Baton Torch", is the most commonly seen Vyborgian police tool. The Torch is a 5x47.6 cm straight stick with sunken focal array on front end. A set of disc-shaped cooling fins surround the focal array. Because of the superdense frame and cooling fins, the Torch is sometimes called "Flanged Mace".

At the maximum rate of fire, the Torch fires low-energy beams at 250Hz rate. As this rate is over ten times the human eye refresh rate (~24Hz), the beam will appear to be continuous as long as the laser is not waved around too fast.

Weapon Details
Tech Level: 14
Type of Weapon: 4cm DEI laser handgun
Pulse Energy: 5 kJ, required energy: 6.7 kJ
Weapon Length: 47.6 cm, including battery
Weapon Weight: 1.546 kg loaded, 0.988 kg empty, with no magazine
Weapon Price: 225 Cr
Magazine Weight: 0.588 kg
Magazine Price: Cr20.07 (300-shot box battery, 2 MJ charge)
Features: No stock, melee weapon frame


The Mini Torch

The Mini Torch is compact and low-power version if the Long Torch, small enough to be carried comfortably in belt loop. Mini Torch can fire only one full-energy pulse in a second, but can also fire a burst of 10 low- energy beams.

Weapon Details
Tech Level: 14
Type of Weapon: 4cm DEI laser handgun
Pulse Energy: 0.9 kJ, required energy: 1.2 kJ
Weapon Length: 14.5 cm
Weapon Weight: 0.216 kg loaded, 0.116 kg empty, with no magazine
Weapon Price: 14 Cr
Magazine Weight: 0.1 kg
Magazine Price: Cr3.6 (300-shot box battery, 360 kJ charge)
Features: No stock, melee weapon frame


The Pocket Torch

The Pocket Torch is a compromise between campact size and firepower. The palm-sized laser rod fits easily to pocket, but can still inflict as much damage as TL-8 9x19mm automatic pistol, and has much better range than the pistol.

Weapon Details
Tech Level: 14
Type of Weapon: 3cm DEI laser handgun
Pulse Energy: 5 kJ, required energy: 6.7 kJ
Weapon Length: 47.6 cm, including battery
Weapon Weight: 1.546 kg loaded, 0.988 kg empty, with no magazine
Weapon Price: 225 Cr
Magazine Weight: 0.588 kg
Magazine Price: Cr20.07 (300-shot box battery, 2 MJ charge)
Features: No stock, melee weapon frame
Notes: Short range reduced to 60m, which equals the effective range in standard atmosphere.

The Micro Torch

Micro Torch is a finger-sized laser rod, small enough to be attached to a keychain. The damage and range performance is minimal, but the weapon is still quite nasty if fired at eyes or other sensitive organs.

The Micro Torch

Weapon Details
Tech Level: 14
Type of Weapon: 1cm DEI laser handgun
Pulse Energy: 100 J, required energy: 133 J
Weapon Length: 9.3
Weapon Weight: 0.015 kg loaded, 0.012 kg empty, with no magazine
Weapon Price: 2 Cr
Magazine Weight: 0.003 kg
Magazine Price: Cr0.09 (100-shot box battery, 13.333 kJ charge)
Features: No stock, melee weapon frame
Notes: Short range reduced to 60m, which equals the effective range in standard atmosphere.

WeaponROF DamDice PenRtg Bulk Magaz SS S Range
Long Torch 5 4 Nil3 300 0 80 (80)
5x5 2 Nil3 300 0 80 (80)
5x50 1 Nil3 300 0 80 (80)
Mini Torch 5x50 3 Nil1 200 0 80 (80)
5x10 1 Nil1 200 0 80 (80)
Pocket Torch 5 2 Nil0 300 0 60 (80)
5x5 1 Nil0 300 0 60 (80)
Micro Torch SA 5 1 Nil0 100 020 (80)


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