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|This article, Type-34 Shrieker, was written by Anonymous ONI agent. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The Type-34 Automatic Explosive Munitions Rifle, more commonly known as the Shrieker bytroops, was a Covenant infantry weapon that saw limited use during the first half of the Human-Covenant War. The Shrieker was essentially a hybrid of the and the , capable of rapid automatic fire like the needler but with larger unguided projectiles like the needle rifle, while also occupying a middle ground between those two weapons in terms of size, accuracy, range, and the explosive power of its projectiles.
The Shrieker was likely the closest thing to a traditionalseen in the Covenant's small arms arsenal during the first 15 years of the Human-Covenant War. It was a compact, magazine-fed automatic weapon, with greater power and range than the needler, but less than the needle rifle. The weapon was a rare sight on the battlefield, and it is theorized to either have been produced in very limited numbers or restricted to specific units within the . The Shrieker was primarily wielded by and .
Like the Needler and the Needle Rifle, the Shrieker used needle-like shards of aas ammunition. These incredibly sharp "needles", mined from the moon , possessed a unique property which caused them to explode shortly after embedding themselves in an object. The needles were capable of penetrating light armor, and their explosive effect obliterated organic tissue, making them devastatingly lethal against "soft" unarmored targets. Microsharpnel from an exploded needle could also render electronic equipment inoperable, and was harmful if inhaled, affecting lung tissue in a manner similar to fiberglass, in addition to being mildly carcinogenic. In addition, if a living target was stuck with enough needles (five or more needles in the case of the Shrieker), the needles would "supercombine", resulting in a large explosion which could instantly mutilate humans and most types of Covenant infantry. However, would often prevent needles from supercombining.
Unlike other needle-based Covenant weapons, the Shrieker featured an "airburst" setting, by which the operator could set a distance at which the needles would automatically detonate while in-flight. While this was not particularly effective at physically stopping enemy soldiers, it was a powerful psychological deterrent. Covenant troops would use this feature for coordinated area-denial tactics, warding off their foes with the countless small but frightening explosions. This was also commonly used to disable enemy equipment, as microshrapnel from the needles interfered heavily with electrical componentry if it became embedded in such things.
The most distinctive quality of the Shreiker was the sound it made when fired, for which it was named. UNSC troops often described it as an ear-splitting, high-pitched shriek or scream. Exactly what caused this unusual noise is unknown, but many UNSC soldiers found it utterly terrifying. The sound further added to the Shrieker's already hefty psychological impact.
- "The Shrieker really isn't any more effective than any of the Covies' other needle-type guns, it's just scarier. And those alien bastards know it too. I swear that sometimes the Elites will shoot them straight into the air just so that they can see us squirm when we hear that godawful shriek. Thank God it's such a damn rarity."
- ―An anonymous UNSC .
- "It's a damned shame that the Shrieker is so awkward to use and that ammo for it is so scarce. Otherwise I'd toss my MA5 for one in a heartbeat. Then again, damn would never let me keep it..."
- ―An anonymous UNSC Marine.