The Tavlek gauntlet is a powerful short-range weapon system housed in a gauntlet that will fit on the forearm of most known humanoid races. The gauntlet attaches itself automatically by a locking brace and a series of needles when the host places his/her arm onto the gauntlet.
The gauntlet has a number of features:
- Given the willpower of its host, it is capable of firing a powerful offensive energy pulse. Depending on the wishes of the host the blast can be a destructive killing shot or a less powerful stunning shot, as demonstrated by John Crichton when he used the Tavleks' weapon to knock them out;
- Given the willpower of its host, it is capable of generating a short-lived defensive energy field that will shield the host from energy weapons. This shield was circular, flat, and large enough for Ka D'Argo crouch behind;
- It injects its host with a powerful stimulant that increases the host's strength and may imbue the host with the ability to regenerate physical injuries more quickly;
- If the host is rendered unconscious, the gauntlet automatically detaches itself. The crew of Moya theorized that this feature was designed to circumvent the possibility of an enemy cutting off the host's arm to take his weapon from him.
Less Desirable FeaturesEdit
The gauntlet has several downsides because of the injected stimulant;
- Long time users, like the Tavleks, develop chemical and psychological addiction which causes painful withdrawal if the gauntlet is removed;
- In action the stimulant can create overdeveloped feelings of aggression and superiority which can override reason. This is exhibited by Ka D'Argo who attempted to take over Moya and almost killed his friends doing it. The effect on Aeryn Sun was more dramatic. While counterattacking the Taveleks, she ignored the military tactics that had been trained into her all her life and wanted to barrel into their camp in what would have undoubtedly been a suicidal charge. She would have even killed D'Argo and Crichton when they tried to stop her if not for her being knocked out by D'Argo's tongue. Surprisingly, Crichton showed much more restraint when he used the gauntlet, subduing Tavlek warriors without killing them and negotiating with the Tavlek leader for the return of the kidnapped Rygel, though he only attempted negotiation after the gauntlet's drug ran out;
- After removal short term hosts become exhausted and lethargic. Trained warriors, Aeryn and D'Argo struggled to move for hours after using the gauntlets for a few minutes and Crichton fell unconscious shortly after the stimulant ran out of the gauntlet he wore.
It is not mentioned in the show if the Tavleks created this weapon themselves, but the official Farscape website states in John Crichton's journal that the gauntlet weapon was created by the Tavlek's government for their elite fighters during a war and that the Tavleks under the influence of the weapons defied orders when they were told to stand down because of peace negotiations. They were marooned on the jungle planet and forced to resort to mercenary work to survive.
The Tavlek Bekhesh later stated to John Crichton that he had been able to increase the stimulant dosage of his own gauntlet, which indicates that the host can learn to exert some control over the gauntlet's power levels or provide modifications. The source of the drug and how the Tavleks managed to acquire a steady supply during their exile was never explained in the show.
The drug may be similar to chakan oil and be used by the gauntlet to create the offensive blasts and defensive shield. When the drug ran out of Crichton's appropriated gauntlet it did not just cease to affect Crichton but the gauntlet also lost all power. This suggests that the drug may be derived in part from a plant similar to the tannot root. This is also supported by the fact that chakan oil can be used as an energy weapon and tannot root chemically effects behavior, characteristics found in the gauntlet drug. There is also the fact that the Tavlek youth who was captured and held by the crew of Moya found what he needed to create what was presumably this drug in Zhaan's work station.
- (1.04 "Throne For a Loss")
- (2.20 "Liars, Guns and Money - With Friends Like These...")
- (2.21 "Liars, Guns and Money - Plan B")