"There's something strange about the Loquacious Raphael."
Ves looked past its ungainly name and its unusual loadout. Instead, he began to dip his perspective into Mr. Reeve's design philosophy.
He quickly found out that this was an exceedingly dangerous move. Higher-ranked mech designers constantly warned those who haven't formed their own design philosophies that they shouldn't take too much inspiration from the works of their betters.
The older generation trod their own path. Following in their footsteps risked turning younger mech designers into pale imitations of their teachers.
Though he started to speculate over incomplete data, what the Detemen League managed to gather so far painted a broad enough picture of the Raphael's intended use.
"Just like other hybrid mechs, the Raphael is built to impress."
While vanity definitely played a major role, the mech's entire design was suffused with the intention of making an impact on allies and enemies alike.
Basically, the Loquacious Raphael weaponized its showmanship. Every aspect of it was designed first and foremost to show off.
Practicality took something of a back seat in terms of priority, but that didn't mean that Mr. Reeve neglected it entirely. Instead, Mr. Reeve successfully exaggerated the appearance and abilities of his mech without detrimentally affecting his design too much. Ves felt as if his entire design philosophy seemed to build up to a perfect fusion of awe and efficiency.
Ves initially didn't know what to make of such a silly standpoint. Ordinary teaching in the field of mech design treated it as a solemn profession. Mechs should be devoid of flashy gizmo's and attention-grabbing cosmetics.
Yet did those classes truly represent the will of the people? His own products all incorporated a little showmanship themselves, what with the incorporation of the completely impractical but very cool Festive Cloud Generator in his design.
"Yeah. I'm guilty of this as well."
Mr. Reeve simply took this guilty pleasure as his core competency and developed it towards an extreme. Ves didn't even need to look at his design catalog to know that his mechs must be highly desired props in action dramas.
Still, while the Raphael looked good in a projection, it made an even better impression in the flesh. One of Reeve's tricks was to finetune the sounds his mechs released when they moved. Each motion carried its own sound, and each of those sounds had been selected for maximum psychological impact.
A person standing near or in the cockpit of a nearby mech would feel the threat of the Raphael in their bones.
Its ballistic rifle formed another point of showmanship. While its frame looked rather large and intimidating, it was fairly hollow underneath its surface. The rifle unleashed rapid-fire shells or projecticles that could overwhelm any mech in close to medium range due to their fairly huge caliber.
As anyone with a brain could imagine, this capability came at a cost. Intense recoil caused the rifle to swing wildly out of control, and the magazine would quickly run out of projectiles after a quick succession of shots. Still, as a tool for intimidation, the weapon worked splendidly in this capacity.
"The rifle is meant for intimidation. It's the sword that kills."
The Loquacious Raphael's sword took on a golden sheen. Its shape resembled the straight sword of a knight, which gave the weapon a heroic impression. Outside of that, the weapon looked fairly simple, but that did not take away from its deadliness. The excellent materials and incredible sharpness of the sword allowed it to puncture through heavy armor in the right circumstances.
In a way, Reeve compromised the least on the sword, giving the Raphael at least one reliable means of taking out its opponents.
That lack of compromise and emphasis on genuine performance reflected back in the sword arm. It incorporated a bit less frivolity compared to the arm meant to wield the rifle.
"Reeve still hasn't brought his design philosophy to the apex."
The time when Constantine Reeve successfully married showmanship with practicality whereby improving one would pull up the latter would be the moment when he advanced to the rank of Masters. Every Master became known of making the impossible into the possible.
From a professional standpoint as a mech designer, Ves certainly looked forward whether Reeve could succeed.
"Still, mech designer or not, I'm also a citizen of the Bright Republic. Since we're on opposite sides, don't blame me for taking apart your work."
Ves faced an important question at this point. Did Mr. Reeve employ the fake resonance to augment the Raphael's sword arm or rifle arm?
"It could be both, but I doubt it. Resonating two completely divergent effects is too much."
Even if Reeve made it his life mission to turn the impossible into reality, some goals were harder to obtain than others. Ves figured that the Senior Mech Designer chose to surrender on this matter.
That left Ves with a guess on which aspect of the mech the resonance was supposed to enhance.
From a practical perspective, strengthening the arm and sword allowed the Raphael to be a powerhouse up close. The mech already possessed plenty of intimidation factor in its rifle, but adding an extra kick to its sword attacks turned it into a fearsome killing machine in close quarters combat.
However, Ves also came up with an argument against augmenting the sword attacks. "The sword arm is already good enough. It doesn't need to be any stronger."
Channeling resonance in the ballistic rifle allowed the Raphael to shoot exotic projectiles that expressed itself in strange ways upon impact. The effects varied wildly depending on the exotics used in the formation of the projectiles.
Some burned hot on impact, while others freezed the impact site. Some caused the projectiles weigh twice as heavy, others caused them to partially phase through any obstacle, thereby dealing significant internal damage.
The challenge facing Ves was that he didn't know how the Raphael expressed its fake resonance. It might not even be focused on an offensive form, though Ves figured that was unlikely.
A mech designed to show off wouldn't focus its resonance towards defense of auxiliary functions.
"Resonating the sword allows the Raphael to become even deadlier in battle, while resonating the rifle enables the mech makes it a lot more flashier."
When Ves framed the question in this way, the answer seemed obvious. Reeve always chose to take the flashier options. While he did not have any hard proof of his assertions, Ves strongly felt that his deduction agreed with the design philosophy he perceived from the Raphael.
Ves nuzzled his head with his palm as he finished this extensive train of thought. Diving into another mech designer's design philosophy was never easy, though his mind quickly recovered from the strain.
"Is my Spirituality helping me cope with the dangers of studying someone else's design philosophy?"
His highly developed mental and spiritual capabilities protected him from the dangers of diving too deep into matters that Apprentice Mech Designers shouldn't be dealing with in this stage of their careers. Ves had never thought too much about it, but perhaps this was an advantage that he largely overlooked until now.
Ideas formed into his mind, but he quickly pushed them away. "Now is not the time to exploit this possibility. I still have a job to do."
A lot of thoughts ran through his mind as he looked at the files on the Loquacious Raphael. He focused on the rifle arm in particular and studied each and every facet the rebels had gathered on the limb.
"There's no obvious resonance channel, so it must probably work through other components."
Plenty of reinforced channels and cables ran from the base of the arm to the tip. The power was necessary to fuel the functioning of the components embedded along the way as well as interface with the rifle via touch.
"There should be something there. These composites and alloys look suspicious."
Ves looked up the the materials on the galactic net and found out that all of them enabled low-level resonance transmissions. While they looked to be fairly weak, the arm in fact incorporated a lot of this kind of material.
Could the answer be there in plain sight?
"Practically the entire arm is a resonance channel!"
The use of so many different substances must have led to a lot of inefficiencies that weakened the final result. Nevertheless, Reeve sacrificed little to accomplish this brand of resonance, thereby avoiding making any further compromises that caused the mech's performance to deteriorate.
"So let me see. If so many different materials are resonating at the same time, there's bound to be a substantial amount of interference. Perhaps… this can be tracked!"
Every resonance-capable exotic released a different signal. Material scientists speculated that the waves released by resonating exotics was a form of inefficiency. If a resonating material channeled all of its energies into a targeted reaction, then the process shouldn't release any superfluous signals.
To Ves, the Raphael's rifle arm pretty much reached the height in complexity in terms of channeling resonance. With many components pulling double duty, all of them evoked different frequencies of waves that meshed together like different music instruments in a song.
"Even if I know what instruments are used, the songs that they are able to play are practically endless."
Different forms of resonance affected exotics in different ways. Still, it was not as if the materials that Reeve incorporated in the arm possessed an unlimited amount of variation. The amount of 'songs' it could play was ultimately limited.
Ves finally knew what to do now in order to track the Raphael. He turned to his terminal and opened up a simulation program. He found a standard mathematical model that tested the resonance signals of many different kinds of materials.
Once Ves set the parameters to his liking, he initiated the simulation process and let it go to work. Ves looked at the progress bar of the simulation and knew that it would take a while for the processors to churn out the results.
He leaned back in his chair and looked around. Rows and rows of other people occupied the terminals in this section of the rebel base. Everyone worked diligently in order to track down Lord Javier with their own methods.
Would his investigation bear fruit or lead to nothing? It would be unimaginably frustrating for him to start from scratch if his theory turned out to be wrong.
After half an hour, the simulations finished. "Huh. That was fast. The rebels must have access to a lot of processing power."
In any case, the output came in the form of over twenty different resonance profiles. Using the previous analogy, the resonance profiles represented different songs.
Ves frowned a bit when he saw how weak and muddy these resonance profiles looked like. It wasn't easy trying to pick up these profiles from the mass of noise that suffused a major city every day.
After double-checking his process and results, Ves felt that he had done the best he could and wouldn't be able to deliver a stronger result. Therefore, he raised his hand and called over Addy.
"Mr. Larkinson, there is only about six hours left for us to apprehend Lord Javier. Have you made any headway into tracking down his mech?"
"I accomplished quite a lot. I may even have the means to pin down his mech's location as long as it's been activated recently."
Ves briefly explained the resonance profiles he came up with. As a layperson, Addy didn't know half the stuff that Ves referred to, and he already dumbed down his explanation by quite a bit.
Fortunately, due to the proliferation of action dramas, the concept of resonance wasn't completely unfamiliar to the public. They just possessed exaggerated misconceptions about their effects.
Addy's eyes glowed as soon as she got it. "This is brilliant! From what we know of Lord Javier, he will definitely choose to seek refuge in his mech for safety. If Javier has activated his mech, we can track down its movements and location as long as we try to find out if any of these profiles are picked up by the sensors we've scattered around the city."
This would be like seeking a musician from the sounds he produced as he moved around.
The only complication here was that the Raphael wouldn't be engaging its resonance while on the move. The actual signals would be extremely hard to detect if the Raphael kept its resonance at a dormant state.
"So I wouldn't get my hopes up, Addy." Ves finished explaining.
The woman practically ignored his caveat. All she could see was the silver bullet presented by him to her lap. "Don't worry Ves, this will definitely work, I can feel it!"
Since their time came closer and closer to running out, Addy didn't waste any time in bringing the potential solution to Commander Breskin.
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