|Weapon/Anti-Vehicle, Self-Propelled Model 6A2 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle|
Self-Propelled Directed Energy Weapon
|Damage Per Hit||
Strategically Unlimited (See description)
Charged, single shot
|Rate of Fire||
No maximum range determined
- "Those damn funnels..."
- —Last words of many soldiers of Namusan Sapou.
The Weapon/Anti-Vehicle, Self-Propelled Model 6A2 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle (abbreviated W/AV-SP M6A2 G/GNR), often referred to as "WASP" or simply "funnel", is an early iteration of the UNSC's ground-based, man-portabled, directed-energy ordnance-class weapon of a similar name. It was designed by Chao Lingshen as part of many weapons research programs undertaken to assist the UNSC war effort against the Covenant Empire. Unlike its successor, the WASP laser is powered by magic, but otherwise retains all the destructive features of its successor, such as its unerring accuracy and high overpenetration ability.
In 2547, Chao initially developed a directed-energy weapon under the guidance of the UNSC's standing weapons research program to create a weapon capable of quickly defeating the energy shielding in use by Covenant ground forces. The initial model she developed utilized magic as its source of energy, this original prototype laser being both lighter and less bulky than the model that eventually entered service, as the only components required were a focusing lens, a magic energy collector, a small device that transferred that magic energy into a chemical laser, and the housing to contain it all. The original prototype was comparable in size and weight to an MA5B assault rifle, easily achieving the minimum specifications for a directed-energy weapon; specifications that are marginally-exceeded by the model of laser that eventually entered UNSC service.
This prototype never advanced beyond the proof of concept phase, as it was very quickly quashed by the Office of Naval Intelligence when they learned of its intended power source. They very adamantly insisted that it be redesigned to rely upon a conventional power source--as otherwise it was a superbly-performing design--and forced her cooperation under threat of removing her from the program entirely. It look less than a day for her to up-size the housing and modify an existing battery to mate with the laser-producing couplers, resulting in the Spartan laser that entered widespread UNSC service.
After arriving in the 21st century and embarking on her plan to reveal magic to the world, Chao revisted the original design of the magic-powered Spartan laser, combining it with her reverse-engineered anti-gravity unit and precise motion control by her AI, Pheidippides to create the modified version that sees exclusive use in a group of four with her battle armor. The erratic, rapid, and unpredictable movements the lasers perform in action--coupled with the arrangement of its designation--prompted her to nickname them "WASP" lasers, which eventually fell out of favor as a designation once her attention was brought to the similarity they share with the funnel weapon systems from many Mobile Suit Gundam series.
Like its predecessor and prototype, the WASP is one of the most powerful technology-based weapons that an individual can wield, allowing for devastating energy attacks in a sudden, lethal strike. Categorized as an ordnance-class weapon, the WASP is capable of dealing incredible damage against infantry, vehicular, and airborne targets. Its overpenetration ability allows it to strike multiple targets along the same plane of travel, and its random, unpredictable movements while under AI control make the individual devices nearly impossible to evade or destroy. Usually utilized four at a time in tandem, this allows flexibility to either engage multiple targets simultaneously or deliver an overwhelming entrapment field against a single target. Its usage of magic energy as a power source removes the requirement for a bulky integrated battery, decreasing its size and weight considerably, and all but eliminating a limitation on the number of times it can be fired. Lastly, like all weapons Chao designed for Operation: VALID, she is capable of limiting the power output of the WASP lasers so that their strikes are nonlethal; in this manner she subdued Setsuna Sakurazaki without causing permanent harm. Outside of Mages vs. Mars, Chao has never applied the nonlethal power setting.
The single most notable disadvantage is that firing the WASP and controlling its movements, especially if all four are used at once, is greatly taxing upon the user's mental capacity, which is why Chao delegates their control to Pheidippides. Further, the energy they require to fire their chemical laser is drawn directly from the user's own mana pool, requiring careful conservation of energy--particularly if the user is actively casting magic spells as well--unless the weapons are used in a magic-rich environment, such as existed during the climactic event of Mages vs. Mars. In such environments, the weapons are designed to automatically prioritize drawing energy from the ambient energy in the air.
- Given the inconsistency in the Halo canon as to when the Spartan laser originally appeared, with Halo 3 suggesting that it did not appear before the Second Battle of Earth, the weapon being present in Halo Wars (set in 2531), and also appearing in the Halo: Legends short "The Package" (set around 2537), Kuro canon assumes that Chao developed her prototype in 2547 and treats it as the prototype for all Spartan lasers seen after that date.
- The appearance of the WASP laser slightly resembles the vernier engine cowling found on Wing Gundam ZERO.