Uses a low-powered laser beam to ionize a path for heavy electrical charges – the article rather enthusiastically calls them ‘lightning bolts’ – that travel along the beam until the charges find something to ground themselves on, with fairly predictable (and hopefully spectacular) results. Admittedly, this version does not particularly sound like it is designed to be an ultra-tech stun gun (which is how the GURPS role-playing game* envisioned the technology being used), but that’s a mere detail.
A very pyrotechnic detail.
Via @The RickWilson.
*Source of the “Tech Level” thing. For those following at home: Tech Level is short for Technology Level, and it represents the general… level of technology available to player-characters. TL0 is Primitive Ancestors. TL3 is Middle Ages. TL6 is pre-WWII. We’re in TL8 right now. TL9 is the next step of human technological development.