I let my gaze wander around the apartment. A water jug was on the table near the window. As I glanced at it the water suddenly began to violently bubble. No sooner had I began to marvel at the strangeness of this when it again settled. I looked towards the chairman to see if he too had witnessed the phenomenon.
He was already quite dead. His head lolled to the side, his eyes milky like those of a fish from under a grill.
The Burundi broiler first appeared in 2094 in the African state of the same name. While majority of evidence suggests that it was a local invention there is some doubt about the veracity of this. Within a few months the TSA was producing copies of the Burundi broiler. It is currently recognized that many broilers in current circulation that appear to be of TSA manufacture have other origins. Identifying the source of a broiler is problematic since the components have assembly numbers but no serial numbers or other distinguishing features. Broilers are apparently assembled by unskilled labour using a V-tag system. Only when a commercially available component has been used to repair a broiler is there a hint of the weapon’s history.
The broiler is a maser weapon firing a pulse of coherent microwaves. It resembles a rifle with a short but broad cylindrical barrel. The broiler is a weapon of specialised application. The pulse from a broiler is blocked by metal. The weapon has very little effect on military cybershells or battlesuits. Radiation suits, many space suits and various other protective outfits also provide some protection. The broiler has a low rate of fire and a relatively short range compared to more conventional weapons.
Unlike a laser beam, the maser pulse is invisible. The weapon is also relatively quiet. Listeners within a few yards of the firer may notice a humming noise as the weapon fires. Many will not recognise this as a weapon discharge and attribute the noise to some other machine or appliance. The maser pulse is not affected by smoke and will pass through glass. The pulse may interact with fog, causing swirling patterns to appear near the pulse’s path. Interaction with fog has no effect on the performance of the weapon. The maser pulse cannot pass through large volumes of water. Heavy rainfall may reduce the range of the weapon.
The maser pulse is highly effective against unprotected living tissues. This, and the weapon’s low firing signature make it a useful assassination weapon. The Burundi broiler is an uncommon weapon and unlikely to be acquired without underworld or covert connections. A few have been used by American insurgents. Possession of a Burundi broiler is generally highly restricted or illegal.
The Burundi broiler can be an effective weapon against equipment designed to receive microwave transmissions. This includes communication relays and most cybershells. This capability has seen the broiler used by some luddite and vandal organisations. The broiler will often destroy or badly damage the communications capability of a targeted machine or vehicle. Cybershells of SM-7 or smaller will often take physical damage from the resulting power surge.
In 2096 the murder of journalist Tiffany Chen with a broiler triggered a media frenzy about their use. It was during this time that the slang term “curdler” became popular. This particular media crusade lost steam when a number of investigating reporters met the same end. Crimes committed with broilers still attract a high level of media attention and this often pressures law enforcement to prioritize them.
Beam Weapons (Rifle) (DX-4, other Beam Weapons at -4, or Guns (Rifle)-4
Armour protects normally. Metallic armour or other protection that blocks microwaves adds +8 to the active defence roll or saves on an 8 or less if no active defence roll is made.
Damage that penetrates armour causes triple damage to living tissues and electronic equipment. Non-living targets take half damage.
In addition to any physical damage a hit from a broiler also causes an EMP pulse that will disrupt electronics. This occurs on a roll of 14 or less, subtracting 1 for each 20 points of combined DR and HP the target has. Each point the roll succeeds by disables the system for 2 secs. A critical success or success by 10 permanently disables the system.
The stats above are for a basic Burundi Broiler. Usually accessories such as a bipod, telescopic sight and targeting computer will be fitted. A basic weapon costs upwards of $2,500. A takedown version that can be broken down into between four and six sub-assemblies costs $1,200 more.