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View Full Version : Wraith "stunner" seems like it could kill people real easily



Ouroboros
November 12th, 2006, 01:03 AM
Ok so I caught 38 minutes a little while ago on Tv again and noticed something I didn't notice before. The Wraith goons at the begining of the episode damage a puddle jumper with stunner blasts.

This is actually what causes the pod to stick open and create the whole plot for the episode.

Thinking back to some more recent episodes it also seems like there's other cases of stunners doing something other than stunning. Look at Sateda for one where stunner blasts damage wooden boxes, or the flashbacks from the same episode where what looks like stunner blasts kill Ronon's squadmates.

If you look back to early season 1's "suspicion you'll also see McKay take a stunner in the face which prompts Beckett to talk a bit about how it works.


BECKETT: Your body experienced a full overload to its sensory and motor nervous system.

BECKETT (to Sheppard): It's really quite fascinating, actually. The Wraith weapon impedes the firing of neurons that enable the necessary ...

BECKETT: The paralysis is only temporary. Don't worry, Rodney. You'll be up and about in no time. (To Sheppard) Bloody good thing that Wraith weapon is only designed to incapacitate or he'd be dead.

He says it's only designed to incapacite, but from the description he gives of how it actually works it seems like it would be ridiculously easy to make it kill someone.

It overloads the human nervous system and stops neurons from firing, but only in such a delicate and selective way as to immobilize the person as opposed to causing massive irrepairable brain damage or stopping hearts and other organ functions, all of which rely on the nervous system's connection to the brain to operate.

This of course is on top of the fact that it seems to be able to cause damage to a puddlejumper, which is obviously harder than McKay's face.

So I'm thinking here that Wraith stunners probably have some sort of power level setting or a variety of "modes" like a fire selector on a modern assault rifle. The stun mode is used most often, and probably represents the default setting, but there seems to be a way to make your stunner damage inanimate objects to. I also find it likely that the portion of the weapon that plays with the nervous system could be used to kill. It's just so extrodinarily difficult to make it "only" stun someone that way, that making it kill them through the same method would be trivial by comparison.

Buba uognarf
November 12th, 2006, 05:14 AM
Ok so I caught 38 minutes a little while ago on Tv again and noticed something I didn't notice before. The Wraith goons at the begining of the episode damage a puddle jumper with stunner blasts.

This is actually what causes the pod to stick open and create the whole plot for the episode.

Thinking back to some more recent episodes it also seems like there's other cases of stunners doing something other than stunning. Look at Sateda for one where stunner blasts damage wooden boxes, or the flashbacks from the same episode where what looks like stunner blasts kill Ronon's squadmates.

If you look back to early season 1's "suspicion you'll also see McKay take a stunner in the face which prompts Beckett to talk a bit about how it works.



He says it's only designed to incapacite, but from the description he gives of how it actually works it seems like it would be ridiculously easy to make it kill someone.

It overloads the human nervous system and stops neurons from firing, but only in such a delicate and selective way as to immobilize the person as opposed to causing massive irrepairable brain damage or stopping hearts and other organ functions, all of which rely on the nervous system's connection to the brain to operate.

This of course is on top of the fact that it seems to be able to cause damage to a puddlejumper, which is obviously harder than McKay's face.

So I'm thinking here that Wraith stunners probably have some sort of power level setting or a variety of "modes" like a fire selector on a modern assault rifle. The stun mode is used most often, and probably represents the default setting, but there seems to be a way to make your stunner damage inanimate objects to. I also find it likely that the portion of the weapon that plays with the nervous system could be used to kill. It's just so extrodinarily difficult to make it "only" stun someone that way, that making it kill them through the same method would be trivial by comparison.

deffinately i think it's highly likely that the Wraith could turn up the power on their weapons to do more damage, and by looking at the basic principles of the Weapon it wouldn't be hard to simply fry the nervous system

jds1982
November 12th, 2006, 07:42 AM
Of course it would be easy to kill someone with a Wraith weapon, the rifles have those big spikes on the back, and you could pistol whip somebody to death with smaller ones. Seriously though, I see what your saying that it would be really easy to kill someone with it. I always figured it worked like a taser, but it's possible it somehow disrupts the peripheral nervous system while leaving the central nervous system alone. There's a drug called Curare which stuns by blocking the receptors for acetylcholine, the neurochemical which makes muscles contract, it leaves the heart beating but the muscles that work the lungs stop functioning so victims asphyxiate. Perhaps that's how the stunners work, if their effect was more short term than Curare the victims would be incapacitated but not have enough time to choke.

Ouroboros
November 12th, 2006, 04:58 PM
Of course it would be easy to kill someone with a Wraith weapon, the rifles have those big spikes on the back, and you could pistol whip somebody to death with smaller ones. Seriously though, I see what your saying that it would be really easy to kill someone with it. I always figured it worked like a taser, but it's possible it somehow disrupts the peripheral nervous system while leaving the central nervous system alone. There's a drug called Curare which stuns by blocking the receptors for acetylcholine, the neurochemical which makes muscles contract, it leaves the heart beating but the muscles that work the lungs stop functioning so victims asphyxiate. Perhaps that's how the stunners work, if their effect was more short term than Curare the victims would be incapacitated but not have enough time to choke.

There's also the physical damage component that it can apparently have to consider to. If it can mess up a jumper flight pod chances are it's a least as powerful as a modern rifle/shotgun on some settings.

If you take that with the potential for neurological mayhem it starts to look like a freakishly lethal weapon, something that would have a very low probablity of survival even from something normally less threatening like a limb hit.

PG15
November 12th, 2006, 05:40 PM
Well, we're talking about an energy weapon here. Maybe the Wraith designed it so that, when hitting inanimate objects, it does physical damage, but merely incapacitates humans or biological things (for future feeding).

I don't see why not. Either that, or there are multiple settings.

jds1982
November 13th, 2006, 10:36 AM
Well, we're talking about an energy weapon here. Maybe the Wraith designed it so that, when hitting inanimate objects, it does physical damage, but merely incapacitates humans or biological things (for future feeding).

I don't see why not. Either that, or there are multiple settings.

I gotta go with multiple settings, it seems like the easiest explanation. It begs the question of whether hive weapons can be dialed back as well. It'd be useful for them if they could, they could stun an entire city from orbit for easier culling.

wise one
November 13th, 2006, 12:50 PM
i reckon its power selecter at the side on those really fat wraith stunners the yellow tube


and hasnt anyone noticed that when the new streanlined thinner wraith blasters were introduced(i think it was episode ten od season 2 atlantis)
that no other wraith carry the the big blasters just those thin long stunners

Exiled Master
November 13th, 2006, 07:31 PM
Maybe the stunner disables all the nerves except those that go to the medula oblongata?

Ouroboros
November 13th, 2006, 09:19 PM
I don't really see how it would be able to tell the difference between one set of neurons and another but then again it's already hugely technowanky so I suppose it's possible.

Leaving aside the nervous system part there's also the physical damage part to consider. If it can damage a puddlejumper it seems like it would be more than capable of blowing a hole in someone. Even granting that a PJ is a pretty fragile ship at times it's not going to be as fragile as human tissue.

I just thought of something else to. Remember in Sateda when they went back to that villiage and saw that the Wraith had killed everyone there. Well, how? You could say they did it with darts I suppose but I think some of the dead people were still indoors and the place didn't really seem shot up enough to have survived a bunch of dart strafing runs.

2ndgenerationalteran
November 13th, 2006, 09:38 PM
the wraith probably make two types of weapons in the same model, one designed to kill the other to stun. The stunner is probably the most common model.

IcyNeko
November 14th, 2006, 12:15 AM
If you stun a person enough times, their heart will stop beating. :P

Buba uognarf
November 14th, 2006, 08:45 AM
If you stun a person enough times, their heart will stop beating. :P

we've seen the stunners kill single shot in sateda and that stil doesn't account for physical damage

jds1982
November 14th, 2006, 09:36 AM
Well if my theory was right and the stunners work in the same way that curare works on the nervous system, than a really heavy stun could have left them choking on their own breath. It's also possible that the stunner rifles have a different weapon in addition to the stunner, kind of like a grenade launcher attached to an assault rifle. Just to be clear I do not think it's an actual grenade launcher I was only making a comparison between two mated weapons that I know about.

2ndgenerationalteran
November 14th, 2006, 08:35 PM
we've seen the stunners kill single shot in sateda and that stil doesn't account for physical damage

actually when you watch it its more like a pulse of blue plasma that hit the men not a stun thing, it ate away at the uniform and left the guy with a smoking impact wound. The wraith probably assess the situation and choose if its worth the risk to use lethal weapons or go in with stunners.

Ouroboros
November 15th, 2006, 12:19 AM
It's also possible that the stunner rifles have a different weapon in addition to the stunner, kind of like a grenade launcher attached to an assault rifle. Just to be clear I do not think it's an actual grenade launcher I was only making a comparison between two mated weapons that I know about.

This is pretty much what I'm thinking with the exception that it's not two seperate weapons but rather one weapon configured in different ways.

The Wraith stunner doesn't seem to even have any obvious external controls so it's possible that you need to be a Wraith with psychic powers to even switch it off of the default "stun" mode.

A wraith would then be able to adjust the "mix" of the bolt so to speak. This would give the bolt different properties depending on how the Wraith set the weapon to "mix" it. So you could end up with bolts that do mostly physical damage, bolts that stun people, bolts that kill people by frying their nervous systems or bolts that do that and cause physical damage. Adjusting the stunner properly for a given target/Prey might even be something of a skill for a Wraith hunter. Look at Lost boys/Hive where all of a sudden the wraith guards could stun Ford's supersoldiers when before when Shep was shooting Ford it wasn't doing anything at all.

If I'm right it would be because Shep, being a non psychic human, wasn't able to access any of the weapons more powerful settings aside from the normal default mode.


The wraith probably assess the situation and choose if its worth the risk to use lethal weapons or go in with stunners.

Seems likely. There's some situations where stunning people wouldn't be that practical, a long range shot in a large battle for example where he's likely to recover before anyone can drag him away.

They do seem to greatly prefer to stun though, which I suppose isn't surprising given how there's apparently a serious food shortage.

ascott08
November 17th, 2006, 12:20 AM
wraith weapons are based on energy, if they use the right kind of energy it could be absord by organic material and distribute through the nervous system a bit like light rods and grounding. spreading out the energy build up so it doesnt kill, but of course boxes etc have no nervous system and there cant distribute the energy, just a theory

2ndgenerationalteran
November 17th, 2006, 12:38 AM
im still going with the weapons in Sateda were plasma based, designed to kill.

Col. Shadow Quinn
November 17th, 2006, 03:56 PM
Why would the Wraith kill what they call prey? What would be the purpose of feeding on their "prey".

RepliHawk
November 17th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Why would the Wraith kill what they call prey? What would be the purpose of feeding on their "prey".

I agree

2ndgenerationalteran
November 17th, 2006, 10:12 PM
wraith may have to kill wraith, the races of PG was extremely advanced at the start of the first wraith-ancient war. to take down those races needed a lot of ships which i would imagine would require a lot of wraith who would fight over food.

There maybe some missions waith may go on that they dont have the time to stop and eat their prey, and leaving them stunned could be hazardous because they can regain concious and attack from the rear. There must be some times where you just have to kill your enemy not save them for later.

2ndgenerationalteran
November 17th, 2006, 10:24 PM
sorry for the double post but tell me that this gun is stunning in the flash back http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hii_TIg6QA

Ouroboros
November 18th, 2006, 12:38 AM
The sound seems to change to. The ones they're shooting at Ronon in the present have that "fwip" sound but the ones in the flashback have more of a buzz to them. They almost sound like hiveship or darts shots but they don't seem to be. Event he "fwip" ones damage the boxes a bit though.

The flashback could be darts but it doesn't seem likely. If you look at the size of the explosions when dart shots hit the ground in various episodes it's fairly obvious that a direct hit on a person would blast them into chunks. It would certainly cause a lot more damage than these are doing. Some of them are also flying in at angles that would require the darts be only a few feet off the ground.

This is either some type of new Wraith infantry weapon or a stunner set on "kill" in the flashbacks.

Wraith Scientist
November 18th, 2006, 05:55 AM
The sound seems to change to. The ones they're shooting at Ronon in the present have that "fwip" sound but the ones in the flashback have more of a buzz to them. They almost sound like hiveship or darts shots but they don't seem to be. Event he "fwip" ones damage the boxes a bit though.

The flashback could be darts but it doesn't seem likely. If you look at the size of the explosions when dart shots hit the ground in various episodes it's fairly obvious that a direct hit on a person would blast them into chunks. It would certainly cause a lot more damage than these are doing. Some of them are also flying in at angles that would require the darts be only a few feet off the ground.

This is either some type of new Wraith infantry weapon or a stunner set on "kill" in the flashbacks.

I thought those were dart shots. They seemed to be that sort of weapon, rather than a stunner.

Given that hiveship weapons can either vaporise entire continents or make grenade-sized explosions I wouldn't be surprised if darts could make only human-sized hits. Maybe they conserve power/get a better fire rate by reducing the power.

If I were to guess as to how a stunner works, I'd say it might be an electron gun of some sort. Those yellow glowing disc-like things in those big Wraith stunners look like HV capacitors, and a really high voltage can produce a corona of charged ions. A Wraith stunner might be a tightly focused pulse of ions specially callibrated to affect the bioelectric impulses between neurons. Maybe it cons the nervous system into thinking the damage is greater than it actually is, and dupes the brain into shutting down to avoid damage.

In which case the blast could be configured to stop the heart or just electricute you.

The bigger rifle-like Wraith stunner seems to have a greater and longer effect than the pistol one. When McKay was hit by the bigger one, he was numb for hours afterward (Suspicion), but when Caldwell (The Long Goodbye) and Beckett (Iresistible) were hit by the pistol stunner, the effect wore off in minutes with no ill effects. They also seem to fire faster-moving shots? In Suspicion the stunner shots whizzed by faster than you could make them out. The pistol shots move slow enough to see.

Area-effect Wraith stunners would be nice. Like a grenade that unleashes a pulse of energy that knocks everyone within a few hundred metres unconscious. Or a dart weapon that just area-effect stuns everyone near the blast.

I believe you've also mentioned handheld culling beams in the past too, but that's another story ;)

Buba uognarf
November 18th, 2006, 06:22 AM
I thought those were dart shots. They seemed to be that sort of weapon, rather than a stunner.

Given that hiveship weapons can either vaporise entire continents or make grenade-sized explosions I wouldn't be surprised if darts could make only human-sized hits. Maybe they conserve power/get a better fire rate by reducing the power.


to accuratly hit someone like that with a dart would be next to impossible so it would be illogical to turn the firepower down that much seeing as from a distance hitting someone in the chest while you're moving is going to be difficult to say the least. It makes far more sense to just blow up the human and the surrounding area then to take shots that will proably miss and do nothing to the surroundings incase it does miss...

If the fire did come from darts then the Wraith piloting it are idiots because with that level of accuracy they could blow the entire area, instead taking little shots at each and every human.
i think it was deffinately fire from some sort of Wraith riffle or hand gun no way a dart could have shot them...

Ouroboros
November 18th, 2006, 09:35 PM
It doesn't seem to be darts in the flashback for two reasons.

1-Not enough firepower
2-Angle of the shots, near horizontal in some cases, suggests they were fired from something only a few feet off the ground.

1- It could be the old adjustable yields thing in play here, since it's established for Wraith weapons, but what would be the point? Why try to bullseye a guy when you could just incinerate him and his entire nearby squad by using a higher setting.

2- This point should be fairly self explanitory. Look at the angle some of those shots come in at. If they're from darts then the darts are landed on the ground.

Col. Matarrese
November 18th, 2006, 09:46 PM
as far as I know, darts keep moving forward when they're turned on, so perhaps this is just an FX mistake. It's also possible that there are some wraith weapons we haven't seen before. My last theory is that TPTB read this board and laugh at how seriously we take this stuff...