"What is it? A rifle? A light-machine gun? A cannon, missile launcher?"
"How about 'all of the above'?"
The Plasma Assault Weapon Complex, Pattern 71, unofficially shortened to AV-71, is a highly-advanced type of plasma weapon utilised by the Mecharussian Armed Forces in the late 2100s. In the Alternative Canon, the weapon borrows aesthetic and some ideas from the fearsome particle rifles in use by the Imperium of Sidhae.
Although it measures some 1.1 metres in length, putting it in league with a light machine gun, the weapon itself is extremely versatile, being equipped with more factory-fitted settings than any other weapon hitherto seen in the MAF's arsenal, along with the gadgets to accompany each mode. The most common attachment seen in the weapon is an integrated 12.7-millimetre anti-tank micro-missile launcher, usually poised above the barrel beneath the sight.
In practice, the only options that see any proper use among wielders of the weapon are 'assault', 'scatter' and 'cannon'.
- The assault function works just like a normal plasma repeater, firing at up to 800 rounds per minute, with the exception that the fusion core in the weapon is powerful enough to recharge its capacitors faster than this mode can deplete them. Ergo, when the assault mode is enabled, overheating becomes more of a concern than ammunition depletion - and even then the concern is minimal, the weapon shown to be able to fire for almost five minutes straight before the coils wear out.
- The scatter function decreases the ionic concentration of the plasma fired, making it so volatile that it bursts upon leaving the magnetic confines of the barrel, creating a blast similar to a shotgun shell. The rate of fire is reduced considerably, to a mere 300 rounds per minute rather than the 800 of the assault mode, but power becomes more of a concern because the bolts fired are much more powerful.
- The cannon function uses up a vast amount of power stored to create a devastatingly-powerful plasma bolt that is ejected from the muzzle of the gun at high power. The resultant bolt creates an explosive blast comparable to that of an 85-millimetre high explosive shell, wiping out most soft targets in a single shot; the only caveat is that the weapon in cannon mode has only enough power for one such blast before it must cool down and recharge.
Other modes observed are a 'sniper' module, comparable to that seen in the RIP-25S, a 'stun' mode and even a 'torch' mode, which converts the AV-71 into a flamethrower-type weapon system.
Notable users and uses
- Victor Golovkin uses the very first prototype of what would eventually become the AV-71 in Flight of the Polunochnaya, christening the weapon 'Eyrena' (after Eirene, the Hellenic goddess of peace) as an homage to the Final Thirteen.
- The AV-71 sees action in the non-canonical Festival of Carnage, used by the troops of the Eighth VDV Regiment.