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Stun setting was the term used for non-lethal low yield settings on directed energy weapons, powerful enough to cause disorientation, unconsciousness and minor skin burns to a humanoid lifeform. (TOS: "The Man Trap"; TNG: "Samaritan Snare"; VOY: "Distant Origin")
There were many resilient species against which the stun setting had little or no effect, including Augments, (Star Trek Into Darkness) the Xindi-Reptilians, (ENT: "Carpenter Street") and Humans infected by a neural parasite. (TNG: "Conspiracy") To some more vulnerable species, even the stun setting was potentially lethal, for example the Trill symbionts. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures") When used at close range, a phaser set on stun was capable of inducing sufficient trauma to kill a Human, if fired at a vital organ such as the brain. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Some Andorian weapons did not have a stun setting. (ENT: "Cease Fire") Phase-pistols in use by Starfleet in the 2150s featured stun as one of two settings, the other being kill. (ENT: "Broken Bow") Their stun setting could also be used to ignite fires. (ENT: "Desert Crossing") Later Starfleet phasers in the 23rd and 24th centuries had several different levels of stun setting. Starfleet regulations stated that phasers were to be locked at the level one stun setting. (TNG: "Aquiel")
A phaser set to stun could render a Human female unconscious in 0.9 seconds, something that was of no use to Miles O'Brien when a Pah-wraith possessed his wife, as it was still more than enough time for the Pah-wraith to kill her. (DS9: "The Assignment")
Levels of stunEdit
- The first stun setting was called the "low stun setting", (TNG: "Force of Nature") "setting number one" and the "base cycle stunning force". (TOS: "The Enemy Within") A hit from this most minimal setting only left the target dazed, unable to stand and think straight for a short time. (TOS: "The Man Trap") Two phasers set on setting one fired simultaneously could break large objects into pieces, such as the urns of the second planet of the Taurean system. (TAS: "The Lorelei Signal") In the 2290s, a phaser fired on stun did not set off internal alarms on Starfleet starships. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
- A higher stun setting caused a brief moment of unconsciousness to most humanoids. Although mostly harmless when used at this setting, multiple phaser stuns like this could culminate in serious injury to the central nervous system and after multiple hits, death. (TNG: "Samaritan Snare")
- The highest stun setting had several names. It was referred to as "maximum stun", (TNG: "The Hunted", "Reunion", "Legacy") "full stun", (TAS: "The Eye of the Beholder") "heavy stun", (TOS: "The Omega Glory", "The Savage Curtain"; TNG: "Genesis") "heavy stun force" (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") and "strong stun position". (TOS: "A Piece of the Action") The highest stun setting was strong enough to immobilize a soong-type android. (TNG: "A Matter of Time") The slightly higher setting 3.1 was also enough to cause a Changeling to experience similar discomfort as the minimal setting caused to Humans. Setting 3.4 or 3.5 was a high enough to effectively stun and force a Changeling to revert back into its gelatinous state. (DS9: "Homefront")
In a similar way as the kill setting could be used to quickly kill a room full of people when set on a wide beam setting (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario"), a wide-field stun setting could be used to stun large groups with a single shot. (TOS: "The Return of the Archons"; TNG: "Power Play")