A stun stick is a less-lethal melee weapon similar to an oversized cattle prod widely used by Urban Security and Domestic Security forces of the Imperium of Sidhae.
Stun stick is essentially a baseball-bat-sized police baton upscaled for use with powered armor. Multiple electrodes in the baton head are designed to deliver powerful electric shocks on contact, incapacitating the target with blunt force trauma and involuntary muscle contraction. Electric jolts can be delivered both continuously, as long as contact is maintained, or selectively at user's command.
Weighing between 5 and 8 kilograms, the stun stick can easily shatter bone and inflict lethal injuries upon unaugmented individuals. The sturdier Sidh bodies can survive multiple hits, but will still suffer serious injury and pain.
Stun sticks are commonly wielded by Urban Security patrolmen, riot squads and Domestic Security prison guards, and have become virtually eponymous to summarily-administered discipline in Sidh society. Drunk and disorderly or otherwise misbehaving citizens whose infractions do not warrant the efforts of a Justicar will often be simply given a beating with stun sticks as punishment.
Conversely, humans do not generally associate stun sticks with Sidh security forces - mainly because the troops patrolling inside the ghettoes will usually resort to lethal force immediately. This isn't so much out of callous disregard for human lives as because hits by the oversized stun sticks in power-armored hands are likely to result in death or severe injury in any case. The less-lethal weapons of choice in the ghetto are the much lighter sjamboks or other whip-like implements.
Stun sticks have the obvious potential of being used as tools of torture - which they indeed often are. Angry or simply bored labour camp guards especially tend to find much more deviously-creative uses for them than simple beating or administering electric shock.
Some models of stun stick can be upgraded with an add-on plasma shock generator, becoming similar in function to the highly-lethal thunder hammer. Due to their construction, they are, however, considerably less effective in such configuration.
A lighter and less injurous variant of the stun stick is widely used by instructors of the Imperial armed forces to discipline and motivate recruits. Known by various tongue-in-cheek nicknames, such as "magic wand", "centurion's daughter" or "the Motivator", this implement is the informal badge of office of Sidh drill instructors. A strike with the Motivator will merely sting compared to a proper full-scale stun stick, but the sensation will nonetheless be highly unpleasant. Motivators are designed to be able to deliver shocks through training armor that the recruits wear before earning their regular combat armor, and come with a remote signal system, the instructor simply having to point his stick at the miscreant recruit to deliver a shock from a system built in his training armor. Instructors use this feature in tactical exercises to correct mistakes, simulate injuries and casualties, the strength of the shock being adjustible and able to temporarily paralyze the recruit or a particular limb of his.
During the Flight of the Polunochnaya, the ground crew on Miramar Tertius witnesses a brutally-creative use of the stun stick, when a labour camp guard uses one to sodomize a misbehaving inmate.