So in recently looking at my ship library, I've started to wonder about where the concept of megaphasers came from. I've mainly seen it referenced in the Ships of the Starfleet series and Jackill's books. But I'm curious to know if anyone has more information on where the idea came from? Mechanically speaking, my basic understanding is that the megaphasers draw more power from the warp core to create a much stronger phaser pulse than a traditional bank, and in a few classes have been used as an alternative to photon torpedo systems. The pulse phasers designed for the Defiant are able to put more destructive power into their bursts by releasing them as pulses instead of a traditional beam, but with the disadvantage of having less range because they dissipate more quickly. Not a huge problem with the Defiant's mobility. It was mentioned in some other discussions that the phaser pods designed for the Reliant have what looks like two middle banks, which might be the source of the phasers used in the initial strike on the Enterprise. It's kind of hard to judge, but I personally have come to like that idea since they don't seem to line up with the forward emitters. I've noted that many offscreen sources either omit these details or don't seem to see them as extra banks, with the Excelsior family variants in Jackill's having a different model of turret. Setting aside the idea of these being specifically megaphasers for a minute, I also like the idea that they could be a more powerful form of standard bank for use on frigates and tactical designs. The Excelsior model also has the interesting mounts on the upper neck, which look like they could be phaser cannons or torpedo launchers. But since the saucer bottom would interfere with their firing arc, I'm honestly not sure what the original design intent was. My personal working theory is that they may be tractor beams or sensor pallets, perhaps something modular that could be swapped out as needed.