Virtual-Post: The Laser Rifle. (Fallout)
The AER9 was actually not the top laser rifle in service at the time of the Great War. The model line went up to the state-of-the-art AER12, which saw service in a handful of specialty units. The reason that the AER9 is much more commonly found is that it was much sturdier and more reliable than the models that followed.
The AER9 features a titanium housed crystal array which proved to withstand long years of exposure to the elements much better than the gold alloy housing of the later models. As a result, the crystal arrays stayed focused within operating parameters, rather than falling completely out of focus like the newer models. Power is drawn from micro fusion cells and processed through a wave/particle diverter manufactured by General Atomics International. The diverters are protected by a carbon-fiber housing, preventing frequent malfunction, but when a diverter fails the weapon becomes unusable.
The laser rifle is a military-grade weapon used by the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave, instead of the Wattz 2000 laser rifle used in previous Fallout games. Its pistol-sized counterpart is the AEP7 laser pistol.
As with all energy weapons, the AER9 can suffer from poor performance if not properly maintained. The crystal arrays and non-mechanical components are delicate, and if not properly serviced can lead to a loss of beam intensity, overheating, and energy regulation failure. Given that laser weapons were still in their infancy as regular military weapons, parts can be hard to come by in the wasteland. However, its lack of moving parts (aside from the microfusion cell holding latch and trigger mechanism) means it is resilient against extended use. By nature of firing a beam projectile, the shots will instantly hit, negating any need to lead the shot.
In combat, the laser rifle is an exceptional weapon. It performs admirably at medium and long ranges, where its accurate semi-automatic fire combined with its large ammunition capacity makes short work of most opponents. However, its semi-automatic nature prevents it from being a viable close quarters combat weapon. As such, the laser rifle is a good weapon for traveling through the open wastelands where dispatching enemies at a distance is a frequent opportunity. Although its damage output is only comparable to the hunting rifle and lower than the sniper rifle, its rapid semi-automatic action, sizable magazine, minimum spread of 0 (meaning potentially perfect accuracy), extreme effective range, and exceptionally low AP cost allows the laser rifle to really stand out. A deadly critical hit from this weapon, as with other laser weapons, will not only kill enemies but also turn them into a pile of colored sparkling ashes, which can still be looted as normal.
A fully repaired laser rifle can fire 1086 bolts, about 46 full cells, from full condition before breaking.
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