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"The Zapper" was the name given by Rod Portlyn to a power and ancient device he discovered in 2377. This device had the ability to remove individuals, as well as objects as large as a starship, from normal space, and translocate them to an alternate interdimensional realm. Portlyn's brother, Wade Portlyn, theorized that this device could have been the Siriex Apparatus, a legendary weapon used by the lost Briavian civilization. Captain Montgomery Scott later suggested that the device was a tessaract, containing limitless interdimensional space within. He further suggested the Zapper was their universe's counterpart to the Tantalus field used in the "mirror universe" by the alternate James T. Kirk.
Upon discovering the Zapper, and accidentally disappearing an employee named Mosep, Portlyn resolved to use the device to take revenge on his enemies. He first targeted Aldo Corsi, the father of USS da Vinci chief of security Domenica Corsi, and then rival entrepreneur Patrice Bennett. He then succeeded in shifting the entire starship da Vinci and its crew into interdimensional space. Portlyn was eventually stopped by Captains Scott and David Gold, and after his victims were returned to normal space, Portlyn himself was translocated, inadvertently, by his brother. The Zapper then suffered a shutdown, trapping Portlyn. Gold assured Wade that Starfleet's top people would study the device, and if possible retrieve his brother. (CoE eBook: The Art of the Comeback)