The M-88 Fiddleback TLR (Tactical Long Rifle) is a modular sniper rifle, developed by Ibbani Incorporated in an attempt to capitalize on the widespread success of the M-97 Viper and the M-92 Mantis.
The design combines the heavy punching power of the Mantis with the thermal efficiency of the Viper. The result is a weapon with impressive range and the lauded "one-shot" capabilities favoured by those employing the Mantis, coupled with heat-sink technology requiring a round change every four shots, more akin to the Viper, than to the single round required by the M-92. The primary drawback of the rifle stems from its middleman design, which demands that the M-88's rounds fire at 75% power of a Mantis round, else the burst would end up shattering the heat suppressor. The other issue is a lack of shield penetration, which stems from the decreased power behind each round. The burst-capability of the Fiddleback mitigates this to an extent, but the result is a weapon necessitating a sidearm in the event of a strong kinetic barrier.
Critics of the M-88 have also called to attention the weapon's lack of a built-in scope, instead opting for HUD-aided targeting systems, an omission deemed 'inexcusable' by some critics. However, the Fiddleback's modular design allows for the addition of not only Ibbani manufactured scopes, but also retains compatibility with most weapon peripherals currently available.
Overall, the cost-effective production and distribution of the rifle has made the M-88 a moderate success among corporate security and law enforcement on development-level colony worlds.
- The name "Fiddleback" comes from an alternate name for the brown recluse spider, a venomous spider found in the southern midwest of the United States, and keeps with the tradition of naming sniper rifles after various poisonous animals, such as the Viper or Widow.
- The image for the Fiddleback is a modification of the logo for the PAX-22 Tranquilizer Rifle from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, edited by asari_promiscuity.