First shown in Legion of Lawndale Heroes 12.1 - 'The Wild and The Young', the Armalite PFT (Point-Force Transference) Weapon is a military-grade concussive-force energy weapon that was first designed for use by elite anti-terrorism, special-operations, and specially-authorized metahuman defense forces within the Armed Forces of the United States, as well as allied nations and organizations. Users of the Armalite PFT weapons are taught to use them as energy-emission versions of weapons with armor-piercing ammunition, but with technically non-lethal effects (on lower settings).
Types of PFTs
PFT Weapons are made of an outer shell of non-ferrous composite materials rated for extremely high durability, and Salazarium for the inner workings (with the exception of the PFT-M3 CC2 (see below). With the creation of the PFT-JK-11 variant model, the Corps of Ringbearers have developed a alloy that can be used in the production of PFT weapons without the exorbitant expenditures that would make mass production unfeasable; the Corps has made the knowledge and manufacture protocols behind this (as-yet-unnamed) alloy available to several organizations which they have provided the means to manufacture JK-11's.
Currently, there are eight production models of the First Generation Armalite PFT Weapon:
- the PFT-M1 - a hand-held version designed for personal defensive use that resembles a key-chain car alarm (and was inspired by the ubiquitous 'Type 1 phaser' of Star Trek fame).
- the PFT-M1D - an upgraded version of the M1. Advances in miniaturization have allowed the design to be 'upgraded' to include the modifications possessed by the M2B. The M1D is designed with a modified pulse allowing for energy-field disruption, as is the JK-11 (see 'How the PFT works'). All legal users of PFT-M1's are eligible to receive an 'upgrade package' which gives their weapons modified capacities (notably, 50% greater range and ammo capacity, the ability to fire the weapon underwater, and the laser designator). The M1D (and related weapons) were first seen during the 'Worldburner crisis'.
- the PFT-M2 - the most common variant of the PFT, which resembles a semi-automatic pistol. (During the events of the 'Worldburner Crisis', various civilian law-enforcement agencies, including the Lawndale Police Department, have received access to PFT-M2 weapons in order to effectively deal with metahuman (SPB) and HST-form threats.)
- the PFT-M2A - issued to security forces at government installations such as The Well, this variant is hard-wired to only operate at Settings One to Four (no lethal levels). However, the weapon's range is 50% greater than that of the M2/M3, and it has double the ammo capacity of the M2/M3.
- the PFT-M2B - a M2 variant developed by the British SAS for use in breaching operations. It retains Settings One to Four (as with the M2A), but can also fire in 'shock mode' (the standard mode used by the other models). It can also fire in 'burst-mode'. The M2B has adjustable tritium sights, a Crimson Trace laser designator, a longer barrel (for increased power in the blasts and a longer sight radius), and barrel weights (for better control during firing). The M2B's energy capacity is one/half greater than the other M2 variants, and has a power regeneration curve 50% faster than any PFT model. Finally, it has a 'nanotech gravitic compensator', which stabilizes the pulse as it leaves the barrel; this not only gives the M2B 50% greater range, but allows the M2B variant to be the only PFT model that can be fired (at one-third standard range for effective use) underwater and in other environments where PFT use is limited. The M2B variant is the most desired variant of all PFTs.
- the PFT-M2C - a hybrid version of the M2A and M2B, as it has all of the added features of the M2B (save the adjustable sights, longer barrel and weights), but is hard-wired to the M2A's power levels. The M2C is equally as rare and as prized as the M2B, and are issued only on a case-by-case basis to individuals whose duties specifically require such a weapon. Julia Carlyle was issued a PFT-M2C by FBI Senior Special Agent Tobias Fornell in LLH 14:4, after a discussion with senior FBI officials on the conflicting, yet beneficial (to the Bureau) nature of her Legion and Bureau duties.
- the PFT-M3 - measuring ten inches in length, it resembles a baton, and is the variant most commonly used by covert operatives.
- The PFT-M3 CC2 - a variant of the M3, developed to also act as a means for users to engage in close-order combat without necessarily using the concussive-projection capability of the weapon. (For this reason, PFT-M3 CC2's are also given an thin coating of Secondary Adamantium on the outer casing and on the connection linkages in the weapon's telescoping staff mode, to increase the weapon's durability.) When the user depresses the appropriate switch, the CC2 can telescope out to a length of 78 inches (6.5 feet), allowing it to be used as a fighting staff. The weapon can also be set to allow pulses to be released from the tips of the PFT-M3 CC2 upon contact, as well as fire normally in staff-mode, and users can use the anti-gravity capability of the metal in order to fly. Sandi Griffin uses a PFT-M3 CC2 in field work as a member of the Legion of Lawndale Heroes.
- the PFT-M4 assault weapon variant.<*> PFT-M4's are ONLY issued to specific anti-terrorist forces and P.O.G.O. troopers.
- the PFT-M5 'God Hammer' sniper rifle configuration.<*> This version has a twenty-burst power cell capacity, but advanced sighting features, special 'energy-dispersal nodes' that reduce the flash and sound of the weapon when fired, and a proprietary 'zero-point energy shunt' that protects the weapon from overload by automatically redirecting the excess energies safely out of the weapon. The weapon has an effective range of 3000 meters, and can be used effectively in rainy conditions. This version will only be found with P.O.G.O. forces. Two PFT-M5's are in the armory at Legion Tower, as well as one somehow procured by Sandi Griffin; that weapon was confiscated by Kyle Armalin (who used his contacts with DELPHI to procure the weapons) at some point after the events of 'You Can Still Rock In America'.
<*> - These versions are in the process of being phased out of general use in favor of the JK-11 (also known as the Second Generation PFT Weapon). The M4 is still used by security personnel in detention centers, and are issued for use by uniformed guard personnel at diplomatic functions. The M5 is still in use by a number of organizations and military forces, but is considered to act in a secondary role to the JK-11.
In the Daylight fic Baked Alaska, it is mentioned that full-power PFT-M2s are issued to all cadets of the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies upon commencement and commissioning as military officers and law-enforcement personnel (as part of a 'metahuman tactical operations package' issued to all graduates). In addition, all law-enforcement personnel are issued PFT-M1D weapons for concealed carry; USAES alumini who were issued the M1 and wish to do so may request to return their M1s and be issued the M1D. It is also established in the fic that some PFTs are identifiable by the color of the emitted beam (USAES-issue PFTs have a blue-pink beam).
How the PFT works
Firing high-speed pulses of concussive force at one-third PSL (percentage of the speed of light - equal to the speed of a lightning bolt), a PFT weapon delivers force to a very small area on the target, but instead of affecting the target upon impact - it transfers the force through the initial layer of material... skin, clothing, armor, a door and so forth, even force fields - and delivers the full effect from the other side through an exotic trans-dimensional micro-fissure created for a split-second upon impact. This is why the PFT is considered to be an 'armor-piercing' weapon, as it can bypass static defenses, force fields and body armor to render the wearer unconscious (or kill through severe impact trauma).
Advantages/disadvantages of the PFT
One of the primary advantages of the Armalite PFT is that it provides the individual with a very high-powered weapon that possesses none of the recoil of an equivalent standard weapon, which makes the weapon more accurate (in the hands of a skilled user) as well as far less intimidating for first-time users in familiarization training.
Other advantages are:
- The PFT has an overwhelming ammunition capacity (compared to a use of a comparable standard weapon), and that it is an effective non-lethal weapon for use in situations where the decisive use of force must be applied, yet lethal force would be inappropriate (such as in hostage situations, in subduing distraught persons, or uncooperative individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol). For this reason, PFT weapons are preferential to tasers for subduing individuals, as the nature of the weapon allows it to effectively subdue without grievous harm, yet not be used as a pain-compliance weapon (as many have used tasers).
- The PFT is an effective 'force-multiplier', and provides the user with a wide option of force-effects for a number of tactical situations in which he may act in an effective manner even as an individual.
- The PFT is an effectively 'suppressed' weapon (the weapon makes a slight yet distinctive 'hissing' sound, allowing it to be used from under cover).
- The PFT is effective against body armor, individuals using most forcefield defenses (even reflective fields that direct attacks back upon the initiator) and even metahumans/other beings with high levels of resistance to injury.
A major disadvantage is that the PFT is useless underwater, as the concussive effect immediately discharges within the fluid and radiates out in a spherical field to effect everyone inside (including the user). In attacking submerged targets or in areas of extremely heavy precipitation, it is only moderately effective; users must set the weapon for a zero penetration effect and higher power setting. Even at this setting, the potential damage effects can be mitigated by the target diving to greater depths; even at maximum power, PFT weapons are unable to affect targets at depths of more than twenty feet of water.
Field studies have also found that the low level of sound that the PFT makes is also a disadvantage when dealing with gathered numbers of individuals or with attacking animals, as there is no accompanying sound with the effect for them to hear and learn to be afraid of. In order to circumvent this problem, users are instructed to operate the PFT on 'skip-mode' (see PFT settings).
In order to combat the unauthorized use of stolen or misappropriated PFT weapons, ALL models (including the JK-11) possess undisclosed weaknesses/security features known only to a trusted few outside the Corps of Ringbearers, the DELPHI variant on D-247, and the Armalite Defense Corporation on that world (unlike other worlds, where ArmaLite, Inc. creates AR- and M-designate weapons, but no PFT weapons).
PFT weapons have eleven power settings for various levels of damage; all models of the PFT (except the JK-11 variant; see below) are hard-wired with a special activation default which will not allow the weapon to fire at any setting higher than Setting Four (maximum stunning potential) unless the user actively uses the setting switch for a higher level of firepower. It has been revealed that an average person can survive a hit on Setting Four, but will be rendered unconscious for several hours. The highest power level on the PFT is Setting Eleven; a single blast by a PFT on that setting can render an armored personnel carrier inoperable, kill the entire crew inside without damaging the vehicle, or deliver enough force so that a person with high-level or even Kryptonian-level invulnerability will feel the effects of the weapon.
The weapons also have a 'density' setting, which allows them to adjust the 'armor-piercing' capability of the weapon in order to allow the user the ability to modulate the energy pulse's penetration capacity so as to allow for lesser or greater degrees of penetration through various materials (including larger masses or materials of greater density), energy shielding, or through specific targets in the line of fire, leaving them unharmed while delivering the pulse's full effect to another target. This use has allowed greater latitude in dealing with hostage situations, as clever PFT users have been able to use their weapons to 'shoot through' hostages, barricades or even closed windows or walls, in order to incapacitate the gunmen holding them.
All production-model First Generation PFT weapons are equipped with the following settings 'hard-wired' into them:
Setting One: very light force; equal to being shoved.
Settings Two through Four: stun settings.
Shock mode: the weapon fired pulses that discharge in flight, rather than upon striking a solid target. This setting releases the concussive force across a wider area of effect to strike multiple targets. Concussive charges fired in this manner make a distinctive, albeit explosive sound that immediately identifies the weapon.
Skip mode: The weapon fires an instantaneous three-pulse burst (at Setting Five) with the second pulse firing in 'shock mode'. The resulting blast is capable of downing multiple groups of persons or animals, almost any medium- or large-sized animal, as well as making a loud, distinctive sound that will frighten animals away (when the weapon is fired into the air over their heads). This was added to production model PFTs after tests showed that animals (and crowds during mob actions) were not immediately intimidated by the effects of the PFT, even though it was effective in stopping them.
Kill mode: Density Setting zero/Power Setting Seven. This setting will kill any normal human (without metahuman resistances) and large animals (lions, tigers and smaller species of bears) instantly upon impact.
PFTs can fire single pulses – as fast as the user depresses the firing button – or can be set it to fire in 'burst-mode' (three, ten, twenty, thirty-five and fifty pulses) with a rate of fire equal to 800 PPM (pulses per minute).
PFT effective range
The effective range of the PFT-M2/M3 is 100 meters; the effective range of the PFT-M4 is 600 meters. The effective range of the PFT-M1 is 45 meters; however, the weapon was meant to be used at ranges of less than 15.
PFT energy/ammo capacity
The power cell on a PFT-M3 allows enough energy for the following:
- Settings One and Two (used for normal people and most animals): effectively unlimited - about 1500 pulses.
- Setting Seven (first lethal setting): 200 pulses.
- Setting Eleven (highest setting) 20 pulses.
The PFT can self-recharge the power cell (est. 48 hours to full power), and plug into common power sockets to recharge or fire from.
The energy capacity on the PFT-M2 is the same as the M3; the capacity of the PFT-M1 is roughly one-quarter that of the M2/M3 (400 pulses on Setting Two, and five on Setting Eleven). However, the ease of concealment makes the PFT-M1 a prized self-defense weapon. The PFT-M4 holds approximately 2.5 times the energy reserve of the M2/M3.
PFT flight capabilities
Due to the nature of the innate anti-gravity properties of Salazarium, the amount of the metal used in the PFT-M3 and PFT-M3 CC2 is sufficient for a user of the weapon to mentally control the metal's properties and actually fly. The user of the PFT will be able to fly for as long as he/she if physically capably, and at speeds and heights comparable to the user's ability to breathe and resist the effects of flight (winds, cold, friction, etc.).
In later versions of the PFT (including refurbished M3 models and the JK-11), other more readily available alloys have been found that allow mass production of the weapons to be a financially viable proposition. (One reason why PFT weapons were restricted to only selected users was the immense cost of the weapons due to the use of even small amounts of Salazarium; since the creation of the JK-11 and the knowledge gained through its construction, newly-built and refurbished PFT has started to see slightly more widespread use.) These weapons, of course, do not allow for flight by the user. It is rumored (but not confirmed) that there have been a tiny number of JK-11s made with detachable Salazarium insert-chips by the Corps of Ringbearers; these rumored weapons would allegedly allow the user the ability of flight while using the weapon.
Unique PFT Variants
In Legion of Lawndale Heroes 13.4, Trent Lane is seen using a unique weapon - a variant of the M4 assault rifle. Known as 'the Southpaw', it has a variable firing rate of up to 3000 ppm, has a special gravitic compensator that allows for controllable firing even at the highest firing rates, and incorporates a proprietary power core that allows the weapon a firing capacity roughly ten times that of the standard M4.
Given to him by Sherrie Klein after the events of LLH 12.7, the Southpaw is slightly shorter in length than a standard PFT, and also possesses several other features, such as a variable-frequency laser designator that can also be used as a laser torch/cutter (range: 50 meters), and has a six-round self-regenerating micro-plasma shell launcher (the equal of a grenade launcher). The Southpaw also has a special scanning/targeting element that allows the weapon to instantly modulate its charges and adapt its fire to penetrate even multiple force fields or solid barriers, and fire upon multiple specified targets even in a large group.
Like the 'Lawgiver' made for Sandi Griffin in 'A Legion Halloween', the Southpaw has special safety features. It is a signature weapon, which means that only Trent's handprint or voice authorization can activate the weapon for use or shut it down. A second safety feature is an 'energy-dispersal node' built into the Southpaw; this feature will immediately shunt any excess energy into the weapon away through an exotic inter-dimensional micro-fissure used by the weapon when firing through solid objects. A secondary use of this is to shunt off the omnidirectional concussive wave that would be generated by the Southpaw if fired underwater.
In the "Judith Strikes" story "Wraithkiller", Judith uses a PFT blade weapon to penetrate Wraithkiller's protective shields and puncture a kidney. The source of the weapon is unknown, as are its specific capabilities. In "The First Battle of Legion Tower", Judith is seen using stilleto-style PFT blades, which have been fashioned to act as throwing knives.
In the Worldburner fic This is My BOOMSTICK!, the Corps of Ringbearers (having acquired various technologies and materials from the DELPHI organization located on 'D-247', including a one-time-only franchise operation which provided them with the means to synthesize immense quantities of Salazarium), first demonstrated the fruits of their labor in working with PFT weapons technology. They created the first PFT Weapon specifically created for front-line combat operations - the Armalite PFT-JK-11 concussive-force energy weapon (also known as the Second Generation PFT). Because of the need to provide to provide Ringbearers and other forces with the means to effectively combat the fire-elemental simulacrums of Judith known as 'flame-Judiths' or 'flame-forms', the Corps (under various guises) allowed the weapons to proliferate throughout realities where Judith and her forces were operating or had shown intentions of approaching. As a result, the JK-11 is now the second most prolific variant of the PFT weapon, easily one of the most recognizable. It is now found in the arsenals of almost all military, intelligence and metahuman/paranormal operations agency, and seems to be developing an iconic nature alongside weapons as the Colt M1911 and Peacemaker, the M16 and the AK-series rifles, and the Glock autopistol.
The JK-11 (the 'JK' designation was originally short for 'Judith Killer', but users use the term as meaning 'Just Kills') is a rifle-style weapon with a non-reflective, black-matte finish that is reminiscent of the AR-series rifles (AR-15, and the M-16). The JK-11 is instantly recognizable by the larger barrel opening and the unusual shape of the insert power cells for the weapon. JK-11 insert power cells have a slight resemblance to standard 30-round magazines for the AR-15/M-16/M-4, but have a double-drum magazine look comparable to the Beta-C drum magazine, with the rounded segments (which are the size of D-type batteries) situated on either side of the cell and set flush against the bottom of the power cell. Because of this, JK-11 power cells are sometimes referred to as 'Balls and Shaft'.
The JK-11 is a select-fire weapon that can fire single energy pulses (as fast as the user can depress the trigger mechanism), in three- or ten-round bursts, or can be set for full-automatic fire. The weapon has a internal power cell that gives the weapon 350 pulses before the weapon needs to be recharged; each weapon is issued with three insert power cells, which provides a conditionally unlimited ammo supply (1000 pulses per cell). Unlike other PFT weapons, the JK-11 is not capable of self-recharging, or of recharging depleted power cells; the internal cell must be recharged from fresh power cells, other JK-11's, or the charging units created for the weapon. (This was intentionally designed as a passive security/safety measure, in case the weapon fell into the wrong hands. A secondary security/safety measure is that the JK-11 cannot be recharged from the power cells of other PFT weapons, and the JK-11's power cells are not interchangeable with any other model.) Unlike many other energy weapons, the designers of the JK-11 recognized the need to build a weapon capable of surviving battlefield conditions (including using the weapon for hand-to-hand combat); as a result, the JK-11 is built with thin internal layers of a synthetic material that possesses vibrational-absorbtion properties similar to that of Wakandan Vibranium, thus protecting the interior workings of the weapon. In order to withstand use as a battering weapon, the JK-11 also possesses a reinforced buttstock.
When activated, the JK-11 makes a very specific, unnatural electronic sound. This was a deliberate choice on the part of the design team, as they decided to create a specific sound for the weapon akin to the mechanical sounds associated with 'chambering a round' that standard firearms make when being readied for firing, and thus, a sound that assailants would come to recognize and associate with the intent to use the weapon. (This was based on the time-honored tactic of several forces - most recently, United Nations peacekeeping forces - keeping weapons loaded but rounds unchambered, as studied have shown that the simple act of troops chambering rounds in their weapons has a demoralizing effect that is effective in pacifying unruly crowds.) Many of the JK-11's built by the Corps of Ringbearers were configured to emit a 'priming effect' that is reminiscent of the growling of a wild animal, but this was soon discarded as being too dramatic. None of the Third Generation PFT Weapons (the JK-11's made by sources provided tech to do so by the Corps) were configured to emit the animal-type 'priming effect'.
The JK-11's energy pulses are specifically modulated to fire at (on all other PFT weapons) what would be considered Density Setting One/Power Setting Seven, thus retaining the 'armor-piercing' capacity; furthermore; the JK-11's energy pulses are configured to inflict 'hydrostatic shock' on targets. (The specific configuration of the pulse, when the target is a energy-based being, causes an extremely rapid body-wide disruption in the being's energy form that it cannot recover from before dissolution. The effect has been described as 'tumbling bullets in energy-form'.) Furthermore, in order to defeat defenses that could counter the interdimensional aperature-creation that allows the armor-piercing effect, the JK-11 has an randomiszing setting that consistently remodulates the aperature by infintesimal settings to bypass such defenses.
The JK-11's energy pulses are of a brilliant, neon-yellow hue, in keeping with the idea that all PFT's have a signature shade to identify their origin/point of issue (in this case, the Corps of Ringbearers). (While all Ring-effects are shaded blue, the solar blast that Defender Rings fire are of the same neon-yellow hue as the JK-11, and is the most powerful offensive effect that the Ring offers.)
The JK-11 has been demonstrated as being devastatingly effective at destroying the flaming doppelgangers of Judith that she has deployed in overwhelming numbers through various universes; in a demonstration for resistance fighters, a captured 'flame-Judith' was quickly dispatched with a short burst from a JK-11. The JK-11 has only two modulation settings (as opposes to all other forms of PFT weapons): Standard (Density Setting One/Power Setting Seven) and Enhanced (Density Setting One/Power Setting Eleven; note that a JK-11 on this setting uses 40% more energy, and the weapon has 600-625 pulses per energy cell at this setting).
The JK-11 was designed as a 'signature weapon'; when set to fire in this fashion, the user must have his/her biometric profile entered into the weapon's on-board IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) unit. If an unregistered normal humanoid attempts to use the weapon, the JK-11 will discharge an omnidirectional pulse - one foot, at max power; if an unregistered metahuman attempts to use the weapon, it is programmed to detonate the power cell and the internal reserve. It must be stated that authorized users can set the JK-11 to overide the signature ID safeguard; the weapon must be reset in this fashion by a skilled armorer trained in PFT repair and refurbishment. Note also that when set in non-signature operations mode, the JK-11 cannot fire in 'slayer mode' while using insert power cells, and the internal power cell must be fully recharged after firing in that mode before being ready for further use (again, these limitations are passive security measures).
The effective range of the JK-11 is 1200 meters (2000 meters when set to Enhanced setting).
The JK-11 can also be equipped with any form of sighting apparatus used with other ArmaLite-produced weapons so that the weapon can be used for sharpshooting functions. When used in this role as a long-distance weapon in anti-insurgency and counter-sniper operations, the armor-piercing capacity and the overwhelming ammunition capacity allows sharpshooters armed with JK-11's to provide a decisive advantage on the battleground for any allied ground forces.
The M-1000 concussion-field launcher/'Slayer mode'
The JK-11 has a detachable secondary firing system - the M-1000 concussion-field launcher (more commonly known as 'slayer mode'). Designed originally for anti-armor capabilities, the overwhelming deployment of metahumans by Judith during the Worldburner Crisis left resistance forces in need of an effective weapon against them.
Designed to closely resemble a M203 40mm grenade launcher (in keeping with the JK-11's close resemblance to the M-16), the M-1000 draws from the JK-11's power cells in order to fire a pulse equal to one-third of the standard energy capacity of a power cell (or depletes the internal power cell) while also discharging a simultaneous one-quarter second release of ‘black sunlight’ … a form of anti-energy capable of instantly destroying any matter it comes into contact with. The M-1000 can fire up to three blasts with a fully-charged insert power cell (or one, if using the JK-11's internal cell, which will totally deplete the cell's reserve). Users are advised that excessive use of the M-1000 can degrade the power cells for the JK-11.
The range of the M-1000 is 900 meters. Note that the M-1000 cannot be fired unless attached to a JK-11, as it has no onboard energy cell, and cannot draw energy from any source to fire the weapon.