Discovered in 2386 by Lieutenant Ivan Tillman, this silicon dioxide crystalline mineral has been named after Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla because of its Piezoelectric properties. Although Teslacite is similar in nature to Dilithium it works on a much smaller scale and would not be suitable for powering Warp Core systems. However the value lies in the multiple, and widespread, uses for a naturally occurring power source.
The conductivity and storage capabilities of Teslacite has been attributed to the high concentration of electrical energy in the atmosphere of Oratt IX as well as the silica-rich volcanic rocks where they form.
Teslacite crystallizes in the triagonal and hexagonal crystal systems much like Quartz and Dilithium, both of which are similar in chemical make up, and develops a green hue because of the intense heat during the forming process.
Although the Federation has begun research into the uses of Teslacite, the predominant applications have been developed by the Oratti people or the pirates who have been exploiting them for decades.
Historically speaking, the carronade was designed as a short-range naval weapon with a low muzzle velocity for merchant ships in the Eighteenth-century, which found a niche role on warships. Working on much the same principle, the Teslacite Carronades fire a condensed pulse of energy that dissipates the further it travels. This means that, much like the ancient Earth variety, these weapons are best suited for close combat.
The original designer for the prototypes of these weapons is unknown, however they were installed on the Jem'Hadar Bug Fighter belonging to the Orion pirate, Mustava. When they were turned against the U.S.S. Tokyo during the battle over Oratt IX the Defiant-Class vessel suffered severe damage and was almost crippled (KS14: Curieosity Killed The Cat).
Engineers at Janus reverse engineered the technology, which they adapted for the defence of Starfleet installations. The Midway-class replacement for Kepler Station will be the first test bed for these new weapons (KS23: Take It or Leavitt).
According to the Away Team members who were rescued by Saba and his people, the Ocean Priory was illuminated, and perhaps heated, by trace amounts of Teslacite. How exactly this is achieved is unknown.
Most likely the natural evolution of ancient Oratti tribal weapons, the Shock-spear utilises Teslacite as a power source for a crude energy-based weapon. The lightweight design allows for the warrior to switch to various forms of melee fighting styles should the situation arise. The long, narrow haft is topped by a stone barrel which is usually carved to represent an animal. Most commonly this is a dragon-type creature from Oratti mythology. Inside this 'roaring head' are four prongs which are connected to a leather bound trigger further down the haft. When the mechanism is activated, by the twist of a wrist, it applies pressure to the prongs which is then applied to a small, trapezoid shaped piece of Teslacite located at the very centre.