Electrolasers are beam weapons that damage targets via discharges of electricity. They are recoilless, first firing a low-power diode laser beam to ionize the air, then following it almost instantly with a high-voltage electrical charge that follows the path of the laser to the target.
Electrolasers are most effective in dry climates. In moist, humid climates, fog, or rainy weather, they are less accurate, as the electrical bolt tends to jump off the laser path to follow other paths of low resistance. They are practically worthless in the vacuum of space; since there is no air to ionize, the electrical discharge arcs randomly to some nearby metal item. In those environments, Piezo Pistols are more useful.
Ceramic- and plastic-based body armor offer some protection from electrolasers, but metalic power armor, as it conducts the electrical charge more readily than flesh, is practically perfect as a defense, as it directs the charge around the occupant safely to ground. Nanotech Armor still protects the occupant fairly well, but the electrical discharge tends to fry many of the nanobots that make up the suit, and can thus severely damage the armor itself.
The weapon has two settings: stun and kill. The "stun" fires a lower-power electical bolt that, with proper calibration, knocks the target unconscious, or at least incapacitates them for several minutes as they recover from the shock. The "kill" setting essentially electrocutes the target, stopping their heart (and draining the weapon's power cell twice as quickly). Much like the earlier Taser guns which this system replaced, elderly or infirm people may be killed by even a stun setting, and particularly tough (or supernaturally tough) targets such as werecreatures, vampires, or ghouls may simply laugh it off.
Behind the ScenesEdit
So far, electrolasers have only been seen in the season eight "Middle Kingdom" alternate timeline. However, as it is a comparatively simple device for the technology level of the TI universe, it is probably safe to assume they exist in the main timeline as well.