As per @cegaton's request, I'll show officially how I fixed this.
STEP 1: Select a vertex of your curve that you wish to be able to animate in edit mode (it has been beveled to give it a 3D look) . Press Ctrl + H and a simple empty should appear.
STEP 2: Go out of edit mode and select the empty. The hook modifier will be automatically placed on your curve with the empty you just created as the object of reference.
STEP 3: Select your empty and keyframe your it wherever you want to start the animation (simply press "i" and select location in your timeline for the keyframe). At this point you could place your empty wherever you want and keyframe it manually in different places. But for creating a dynamic and somewhat random squiggly effect, it's best to add a noise modifier in the F-Curves panel in the graph editor. So go to the graph editor view and select location. You will see the X, Y and Z axes of your empty. You can then copy or make new noise modifiers for all axes. You will have to play around a bit with the settings though to get your animation the way you want it.
STEP 4: Press play and watch your proton pack's laser come to life...just don't cross the streams ;)