“Never call a Shemarrian’s ‘little pistol’ a joke; the punch line put me through a concrete wall and into a full-body cast.”
Shemarrian 38mm PP-01 ESSPA Gauss Pistol
The Ecotroz Shemarrian Secondary Personal Arm or ‘Espa’ (also known as the ‘Lespa’, from ‘Light Secondary Personal Projectile Arm’) is a Shemarrian-scaled machine-pistol using the same 38mm ammunition as the Shemarrian 6000- and 4000-series rail guns. While the Shemarrians, as designed and programmed, didn’t place much stake in firearms lighter than a rail gun, preferring a ‘bigger is better’ philosophy and procurement doctrine, the rebel Ecotroz Shemarrians didn’t have the luxury of steady resupply from ARCHIE-3’s factories. While they used stopgaps such as weapons acquired from the Black Market (stolen, salvaged, or in a few cases legitimately purchased) to arm their forces, pride drove them to favor and develop their own weapons. One of their first priorities and triumphs was to be able to set up their own production of 38 mm ammunition for their rail guns. However, being able to copy and mass produce their own new Shemarrian-pattern rail guns lagged behind their ability to produce the ammunition for them. While EShemar Tinkers worked to set up heavy arms production lines, a less powerful and sophisticated weapon was developed to give the Tinkers experience in designing wholly new weapons, and to fill in the gaps in weapons procurement for the newly-Awakened and the NeShemar swelling the rebels’ ranks.
The ESSPA01 was thus something of a stopgap, though it is still more advanced than equivalent Rifts Earth/Human-manufactured rail weapons (the Australian ‘Fletcher 12’ still being heavier and less powerful) . The ESSPA is a heavy gauss machine pistol resembling certain pre-Rifts ‘bullpup’ machine pistols such as the Japanese Seburo-line weapons. The weapons feeds from the rear, accepting the same twelve-shot ammunition clips as the larger rifles, removing the need for hand loading separate magazines between the two weapon types. Heavy in construction, the ESSPA is built tough, to handle heavy abuse in the hands of robotic-strength android and cyborg warriors in the field, and still be able to shoot true.
The short stator-ring array on the ESSPA doesn’t give the 38 mm rounds the same acceleration, range, and punch as the larger long barrel weapons, but the pistol still has a considerable punch at shorter ranges. To compensate for the lack of sheer velocity, the ESSPA has been rifled to ‘tumble’ its rounds in flight, delivering a much larger ‘footprint’ impact on target. Whereas a 6000/4000-series gun might shoot its round right THROUGH a target, the ESSPA ‘rolls’ its rounds such that the bullets rip into a target and deliver a series knockdown punch of transferred kinetic energy.
The ESSPA is powered by a battery capacitor in the pistol grip, which is recharged by induction from the cybergynoid. For those without a weapons link, such as partial conversion NeShemar, the weapon can be cabled to an external power source; a Warmount, vehicle, e-clip, or generator.
Though quickly superseded by more powerful weapons, including new-production 6000/4000-series long arms, the ESSPA continued to see production and usage throughout and after the Shemarrian Civil War, and the weapon was adopted by all of the Tribes in turn. While the Shemarrians’ own wrist lasers were considered the secondary weapon of choice for close-order firearms combat, the Shemarrians also recognized the qualities of a kinetic energy weapon, of which the ESSPA was a very good example. The ESSPA’s ‘homemade’ qualities also made it attractive to Shemarrians experimenting with new ammunition types, especially specialized shell types that could not be safely used in the larger, more powerful rail gun rifles (which could smash a ‘special purpose’ round before its extra properties could go to work). Among EShemar Tinkers, the ESSPA was often used to prototype new 38 mm shell types before they were approved for use in the larger rifles.
In the Three Galaxies Shemarrian Star Nation, the ESSPA is still manufactured and used, albeit in smaller numbers, though the Skullcrushers would refine the design into the 15mm EShe-ScrGP03 ‘Punch Gun’ favored by their troops as a holdout weapon. Though considered ‘quaint’ by most Warriors, and often heavily decorated as a form of folk art, the ESSPA remains a very functional and deadly weapon.
|Damage||1d4x10 MD 600 ft|
|Damage2||5d6 MD 2000 ft|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
|Payload||12 rd clip|
|Special Note||Laser Sight|
The Esspa can not be fitted with a bayonet.
Human and human-sized targets must make a roll on a twenty-sided, at -6, to match or surpass the Shemarrian’s ‘to strike’ roll. A successful roll means the target is only staggered (lose initiative) by the heavy round’s impact, while failure means the target is knocked off their feet, flung 8-10 ft, lose initiative and 1 APM, and HALF all combat bonuses for the rest of that turn. Power armors, full conversion cyborgs, robots, superhuman and supernatural creatures are +6 to save versus knockback/knockdown, but lose initiative from heavy round strikes.
Integral Laser Sight
Integral laser sight adds a +1 to strike.
In the hands of a Shemarrian or full conversion NeShemar, the weapon recharges by handheld induction at a steady rate without any interruption in power flow. Used by anybody else, the capacitor has enough power for 18 shots before the battery drains.
A shotgun-style ‘streetsweeper’ round that does 1d4x10 MD at ranges of 500 ft or less, 3d6 MD out to 2,000 ft, but to a 20-degree wide cone of effect, due to the ‘spray’ of high-density needle-fletchettes. No knockdown effects.
1d6x10 MD at ranges of 600 ft or less, 6d6 MD out to 2,000 ft, plus possible radiation damage/effects from the DU/U-rounds. Same knockdown effects apply.
1d4x10 MD at ranges of 600 ft or less, 4d6 MD out to 2,000 ft, but spatters a thermal-chemical/phosphorus tracer mixture that does an additional 2d6 MD for 1d6 melee rounds (immersion in water does NOT put the fire out), plus an 80% chance of setting combustibles on fire. Same knockdown effects apply.
1d4x10 MD at ranges of 600 ft or less, 4d6 MD out to 2,000 ft, plus possible silver poisoning damage (5d6 HP) to supernatural creatures. Same knockdown effects apply.
5d6 MD at ranges of 400 ft or less, 2d6 MD out to 2,000 ft, 6d6 HP to vampires and other supernatural beasts vulnerable to wood. Same knockdown effects apply.
‘Serpent’s Kiss’ Nanite Round**
6d6 MD at all ranges, plus 3d6 MD damage per melee, for 1d4 minutes. Can be set to dissolve only metal, plastic, or other specific substances. No knockdown effects.
*These rounds are considered too fragile to be effectively used in a regular rail gun rifle. If used, they do only 1d4 MD at all ranges, and in the case of the Incendiary Round, incendiary effects are reduced to 25%.
**Exclusive to the Sapphire Cobras.