The Babylon Project

Earthforce issue Auricon PPG Pistol with removable sight

A PPG (an initialism for Phased Plasma Gun) is a type of weapon that fires a bolt of energized, super-heated helium sheathed in an electromagnetic field and propelled by an opposed magnetic field. On impact, the plasma bolt dissipates and discharges its thermal and kinetic energy.[1]

W&G PPG 01

A PPG available to civilians.

When fired in an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, the intense heat of the super-heated helium plasma projectile causes a distinctive optical distortion as it expands the air around it. PPGs are the sidearm of choice for most space-based fighting forces, as the plasma bolt is effective against organic targets and thin metals but will dissipate quickly when striking denser surfaces. This means that while in a pressurised environment, a stray shot will not cause a hull breach, as is the risk with Slugthrowers.[2] Sustained fire will burn though some thick metals, but alloys with a high heat dissipation rate such as beryllium will simply ricochet the shot.[3][4]

Most PPGs feature different settings that allow the user to balance the power of each discharge, the time between recharges (allowing for more or less rapid fire) with the energy used, and thus number of shots from a single energy cap.[5] As a rule, pistols tend to have slower recharges between shots and a lower capacity energy cap, while larger rifles have a much shorter recharge cycle and larger energy caps.[6]

Though a lower-level PPG shot will normally burn and cauterize a wound, leaving the target down but alive, a well-aimed and/or close-range PPG shot is easily capable of causing instant death; penetrating flesh, fusing bone and incinerating internal organs.[7] Higher settings, on the other hand, will burn straight through an organic body, cause massive internal burns and trauma to the internal organs and even melt clothing right into the skin. Such high-powered, lethal shots are rarely used as it consumes more energy, reducing the number of shots between reloads and increasing the time between recharge cycles.[8]

Models of PPG Weapons[]