Section VI - The X-Rifle[tm]
Care and Feeding of Your X-Rifle
The X-Rifle is a plasma weapon, utilizing compressed hydrogen and high-frequency radio waves to agitate the hydrogen molecules into a plasmic state.
The TRES issue model is actually considered the Mark 2 X-Rifle, based on the technology pioneered by WEDJEE, which served in the Corps as standard issue until late after the Pacifica conflict. While the Zeta-enhanced model lacks the rate of fire and some of the striking range of the WEDJEE prototype, they were sacrificed for better reliability (they tend to overheat less) and more punch; the Mk2 is capable of penetrating up to six inches of non-ceramic vehicle armor. The frame also boasts better balance, laid out in a bullpup style as compared to the traditional nose-heavy style of the WEDJEE model.
Currently, a compact, special operations model is under development, but is only in the prototype stages.
The Inner Workings of the X-Rifle:The operation sequence of the weapon is as follows:
Upon insertion of the fuel cartridge/power cell (1), compressed liquid hydrogen is fed into a secondary compression reservoir (2) and the radiator grid (3), where it acts not only as the plasmic fuel, but as a coolant for weapon, as well as using the ambient heat of the rifle as a pre-warm cycle. Once the fuel system is charged, a warm-up cycle is engaged, lasting from between five to ten seconds as a portion of the now-gaseous hydrogen is injected into the core (4) by the main injector (5), where it is excited to a plasmic state by microwaves and maintained in a vacuum chamber by an electromagnetic "bottle". As the trigger is depressed, the foremost field of the "bottle" is momentarily dropped, allowing a portion of the plasma to accelerate forward. At the same time, one of the sequential high-yield capacitors (6) is fired, providing the energy needed for the gauss ring assembly (7) of the barrel to accelerate the "bolt" further. The bolt has a maximum effective range of only 700 meters before the plasma begins to disipate back to gaseous form. As the containment "bottle" is restored, further hydrogen is added to the maintained plasma pool in the core. This sequence is repeated as long as the trigger is depressed, with each spent capacitor recharging as the next one in the sequence fires. The capacitors are fed power from the power cell (8) via a superconductive step-up transformer (9), also cooled by the liquid hydrogen system, which also powers and maintains the core. The power cell has an average operative life of four hours idle while the core is maintained at constant charge.
The integrated 25mm grenade launcher in the undercarriage is pump-operated (discarding the more space-hogging blowback system of the 40mm WEDJEE prototype) and fired by means of a trigger forward of the primary trigger. It is capable of deploying assorted 25mm munitions.
WARNING:Due to the nature of plasma, the X-Rifle is prone to excessive heat buildup. Therefore, it is recommended that it only be fired in short bursts; extended full-auto fire can lead to overheating, and possibly meltdown, severely damaging the weapon and, most importantly, the operator.
Field Maintenance:Field maintenance is generally limited to cleaning and de-icing of the hydrogen feed valves (a), and the occassional cleaning and lubing of the grenade launcher's action and barrel (b). The X-Rifle tends to be a rather solid and maintenance-free weapon, lending to favoritism among Corps troops.
Vital Statistics: Length: 29 inches Weight: 6 kilograms Action: Plasma, magnetically-accelerated Full-automatic / 3-round burst fire / Single shot Grenade, pump-action, 25mm Range: Plasma: 700 meters Capacity: Plasma, Standard pack: 120 rounds (4 hour charge idle) Plasma, Long pack: 500 rounds (8 hour charge idle) Grenade: 4 rounds + 1 in breech Fire rate: 200 rounds/min Sighting system: Open rail (iron sights), std. Red dot reticle sights available. 2x Telescopic Sight Grenade Munitions: High Explosive High Explosive Armor Piercing (HEAP) Incindiary Incindiary, Armor Piercing (IAP) Smoke CS Gas Flare Buckshot Riot Charges (Lead bags or expanding rubber slug)
WEDJEE Model X-Rifle ("Mk.I")