APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 2 March, 2000



Alistair Gillies

During the majority of the nineteenth century Territorial Arms was the leading manufacturer of high energy weapon systems in the Allied Southern Territories. However, by the beginning of the twentieth century Territorial Arms had lost its technological edge, losing the lead to Obelisk Electronics and Southern Republican Weapon Industries. The situation became so bad for TA that, with the exception of the Skunk Works' Snakeye design, all energy weapon equipped Heavy Gears produced by TA during and after the War of the Alliance used rival manufacturers' weapon systems. Determined to regain market share, Territorial Arms Managing Director Alan Litherland initiated Project FLASH LIGHT on 24 Winter 1933. Under the supervision of Special Projects (aka the Skunk Works) Director Wulf Sixsmith, TA's best researchers would work to push the envelope of high energy weapon design. Territorial Arms' significant resources were brought to bare, with considerable captured CEF equipment and the latest stolen Paxton Arms and Northern energy weapon research made available to the project, along with extensive funding. FLASH LIGHT's ace in the hole, however, was the successful wooing and extraction of Obelisk Electronics' top energy weapon researcher, Ricardo Vinas. Not only did Vinas bring with him his considerable expertise and proprietary knowledge; Wulf Sixsmith expected Vinas' presence to light a fire under Territorial Arms' own underperforming research team.

After a season of analysing the acquired equipment and research, the project began work at the Special Projects Division's Timbuktu facilities on its primary goal, the creation of a particle accelerator weapon system suitable for mounting on main battle tanks. Chosen to create an entirely new class of weapon system with no competing designs on the market, the technical challenge of this goal was also expected to create new engineering solutions what would be applicable to the entire range of Territorial Arms' energy weapons. After continuing research in 1934, the researchers began 1935 with a significant success, a 55 megawatt charged particle weapon system that was comparable in size to existing 30 to 40 megawatt weapons. After successful bench testing under laboratory conditions the go ahead was given for field trials. The main project personnel were transferred to a Territorial Arms artillery range and testing facility locate near Aquitaine in Winter 1935 and field tests began there under the security of the Southern Republican Army on 30 Winter. The chassis of a Hun light tank was used to create a carrier for the particle accelerator, which was tested on a variety of stationary and moving targets under simulated environmental conditions, including heavy rain and sandstorms. Initial results were looking promising when disaster struck on 39 Winter. The particle accelerator's coolant system, although adequate under laboratory conditions, proved to be insufficient for sustained fire under high ambient temperatures. A fire broke out in the weapon's electronic power supply regulator, leading to a catastrophic discharge of the weapon's capacitor bank. The resulting conflagration and electrical discharge completely destroyed the weapon prototype and killed one crew member, wounding another. The project was immediately suspended while Territorial Arms' security flew in investigators to determine the cause of the accident. After determining the cause of the accident and ruling out incompetence or sabotage on the part of the project staff or the tank crew, the project was reopened. With the data collected from the first prototype an improved model was constructed, this time with a greatly enhanced coolant system. Field trials recommenced on 19 Summer 1935.

Very Heavy Particle Accelerator

Rating 1167
Range 4/8/16/32
Damage x20
Accuracy +1
RoF 0
Ammunition (each) 4.66
Minimum Size 8
Special -2 Damage per Range Band, Haywire, HEAT

Note: The existing LPA and HPA are designed in accordance with the offensive system design rules from the Jovian Chronicles Companion with the following modifications: final weapon rating +3, final minimum size x1.5. The VHPA uses final weapon rating +3, final minimum size x1.25. Using final minimum size x1.5 its minimum size becomes 9.

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APAGear II Archives Volume 2, Number 2 March, 2000