Star Trek hand phasers are a staple in modern Sci-Fi and even non-Trekkies know about these hand held weapons. Two settings; one to stun and one to kill. A phase modulated forced plasma weapon, they are standard issue to all Starfleet personnel. While there are other weapons available, the trusty hand phaser is every red shirts go-to when beaming down to an unknown or hostile location. But phasers aren’t just useful for stunning the occasional salt vampire. Here are 5 useful life hacks if you happen to be an unnamed red shirt armed with just a type-II hand phaser.
1. Improvised Explosive Device
This one will void your warranty. By creatively tinkering with the internal chips of a hand phaser, the crafty minded red shirt can cause a feedback loop in the charge barrier. After a few seconds, the power will overload the hand phaser causing a plasma explosion strong enough to destroy starcraft terminals and blow back unwitting enemy goons. While it is possible to use this as a grenade, it’s use as a stealthy trap is somewhat limited by the high pitched whine generated by the device as it builds in power. That thing screams like a giant space amoeba choking on Kirk’s girdle.
2. Mining Equipment
Most mining in Star Fleet is done via handy dandy robots but you never know when you may find yourself underground and in need of some serious rock cutting action. When on a high setting, the high energy plasma will cut through solid stone like a hot knife through stewed Gagh. On a lower setting, a well placed plasma blast will collapse a tunnel wall or ceiling, possibly closing off a passageway from some ill intentioned Gorns. Bonus Hack: If one is cold and alone on a deserted planet, you can use the very lowest setting on your hand phaser to heat up some stones and have a makeshift “fire pit.”
3. Temporary Shield
This one is tricky in its application, so we recommend logging some holodeck time practicing before you try this one in the field. By carefully modulating the energy frequency and spreading the beam to its widest setting, it is possible to create a temporary and unstable force field. This field is useless against other phase weapons, or even projectile weapons, but is useful against a variety of natural phenomena and for keeping nasty creatures away.
4. Emergency Surgery
Once again, this one is tricky, so only use in emergency situations, fellow red shirts. By carefully narrowing the beam and getting the power setting just right, you can transform your unfailing type-II into an all purpose medical tool. The beam can be used to make incisions, sterilize wounds, and even cauterize to stop bleeding and seal the incision after surgery. Not something for the faint of heart, but useful to know in case of a bluegill outbreak.
5. Heating Ration Cubes
Ration cubes may be a miracle of 24th century science. They may be able to sustain an individual for up to three days thanks to a “time release” formula (imagine what it does to your digestion), but let’s face it, they taste like a Horta’s backside. TKL rations may be a small step up but really they are just a move from Horta butt to hull plate. The only thing that could really make these meals worse? Having to eat them cold. Fortunately some careful application of your handy dandy type-II gives you a hot and filling, if not appetizing meal in a cube. Set your phaser to “Yum!”
So there you have it. 5 life hacks for your constant companion that just might save your life and your taste buds.