And another fun weapon, and more quoting myself!
"A continuation of these three pics. This is the Storm Scepter, a somewhat-pretentiously named control mechanism for an antique weather control machine built by an ancestral Blitzberg (the Blitzbergs are among the oldest and strongest Genius dynasties, at least until they were wiped out about twenty years ago, but that's neither here nor there). Basically, it's a high-powered laser (itself based around lost tech) that ionizes the air when it's fired at a target and provides a proper conduit for a man-generated lightning bolt. Originally designed as a simple targeting mechanism for a somewhat-innacurate weapon system, it became a little bit more symbolic as the family strengthened. The whole thing is fairly simple, designed to look a lot like a wand.
The image below that is a concept for an "upgraded" version of the Storm Scepter, which adds high-energy capacitors and a spark gap so that the Scepter can fire its own lightning bolts without the bulky (and antiquated) support system, though it can still function as the targeting device. Obviously, these bolts are nowhere near as powerful as regular ones, but a low-powered bolt is still capable of stunning or paralyzing a target, and a sufficiently-charged one has enough amperage to kill. One of its limitations is the need to be linked to a battery pack on the belt, which also limits the amount of times it can be used: the whole system only has enough power for three lethal bolts. It's directly linked to another bit of lost tech that can recharge the capacitors, but it doesn't charge fast enough to allow for constant use. This is better designed as a "shock and awe" weapon (no pun intended), but it's also very effective against machines. Nick wears this next to his blaster for ease of drawing into his weapon hand.
Design-wise, I absolutely love the old version. It's got a very steampunk/magitech feel to it, and has this elegant simplicity that befits a Genius out to stun someone (again, no pun intended) with his accomplishments. I'm a bit less satisfied with the upgraded version, since it doesn't fit the feel of the original. Which I suppose makes sense, but part of me actually feels somewhat heretical for modifying a six-hundred year old weapon in such a way. I think my improved version will concentrate all of the extra bits at the handle end, with two long tines stretching from the hilt to the front and supported by non-conductive material, with the Scepter simply slipped inside: this should help it still feel upgraded without me defiling the original too-much."
A number of those details no longer apply, but I do like the Storm Scepter a lot and will find a way to reuse it in my story.