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So yeah.  Now, to finally get to using this blog for the purpose I originally created it: SCIENCE!
Anyways, this is just a bit of 'background material' for Unfortunate meetings - specifically, a memo detailing the Devices issued to 'Section 9', aka 'The Numbers'.  It's sort of an attempt an 'in universe' document... hopefully it's not too impenetrable.  Or boring.  (I mean, some people will find it boring, sure, details just aren't everyone's thing... but that's why it's here, not in the story.

Anyways... next, I'll probably do... character profiles, maybe.  Or some (attempted) arts, or something...


 

Time Space Administration Bureau Armed Forces
Ground Forces Striker Command
 
SECRET
Unauthorized Access Subject to Severe Penalties.
<Level A Authorization, Codeword MIDAS>
1057u8 r56862 14tn85 894s66 n921e5
 
Device Manifest - Mobile Riot Force Section 9
 
The design of equipment for MIDAS personnel demands several special considerations; some common to high-rank mages, and some unique to the project.  First and foremost a high level of durability is required, both in terms of magical circuitry and main-body construction, with particular emphasis on those elements likely to experience impacts - because such individuals have a significantly higher ratio of physical strength per mana, as well as increased weight, no corners may be cut in terms of materials and construction.  However, this same ratio means that higher masses are acceptable, so extreme weight-reduction measures are typically unnecessary.
Second, standard-issue circuit designs are inadequate, even more so than for 'conventional' high-rank personnel.  MIDAS signatures generally differ slightly from the human norm, enough that the nearest typical circuit patterns result in an unacceptable 12-15% loss of potential capacity.  This becomes especially relevant with the unique abilities common to most of these individuals, where a high degree of personal compatibility is key for maximum potential.  Circuitry should be designed with a mind towards optimizing these abilities.
More unique to MIDAS is a need for compatibility with Synthetic Dark Energy (SDE) power sources, which are utilized to supplement the mage's natural ability.  For some individuals this 'increase' can be equivalent to or even greater than their base MPV.  Though it operates under the same basic mechanisms as normal magical energy, it can be considered a different 'wavelength' - similar to the difference between color light and ultraviolet waves.  Therefore, special techniques are required to efficiently combine the two.  Fortunately, the necessary technology already exists, in the form of certain (modern) unison devices.  It should be noted, though, that while a unison device* essentially provides a second source of surplus mana for the mage's use, the MIDAS reactor actually increases the individuals MPV.
In terms of general Barrier Jacket design, an advanced nodal mesh system has been used, consisting of a network of emissive mesh supported by central energy relay nodes.  This combines the durability of a mesh network with the power and coverage of a node system, although it draws a higher amount of mana than conventional systems.  It is a versatile system that delivers an even mix of defense and physical enhancement, and used in most modern high-end Barrier Jackets.
In all cases, further upgrades and modifications are pending, to be made available upon review of combat reports.
Moving on to individual cases, these are the specific devices issued:
 
5 - R-7X MMU: Agent's combat style focuses on the use of throwing knives and unarmed combat, with special ability 'Ramble Detonator', capable of causing a small-scale explosive chain reaction in denser forms of matter.
 Device is a Millenium ADK R-7 Light Mass Utility Device, optimized and heavily modified to for more rapid energy processing.  Physically, it consists of a bifurcated core placed in a pair of gloves, each core constructed of high-density psychoactive nanocrystal, partially sheathed in a protective nanotitanium shell, with only a small segment of the core exposed.  Accordingly, an osmotic/perspirate heat sink has been installed, capable of sustaining normal operation without recourse to coolant dumps.  
This has resulted in a decrease in efficiency, but is this is more than acceptable.  The device's new design has a particular emphasis on accelerated material shooting attacks, allowing 5 to throw projectiles much faster than with muscle power alone, as well as conferring a degree of homing capacity.  Additionally, it is designed to significantly increase the potential of Ramble Detonator, resulting in an increase to both magical discharge and disruptive scale. The device is quite versatile as well, also capable of supporting small-scale transfers, summoning, and general physical enhancement.
Barrier Jacket is designed with a somewhat higher output than others, as 5's combat style has a relatively low mana demand.  This in turn leads to increases in protection and agility.
 
6 -  KWG VK-17W1: Operative #6's style is somewhat unusual.  Her 'Deep Diver' phasing ability alters molecular cohesion, allowing her to pass through most matter (but not Barriers).  This offers unparalleled covert maneuverability, but she seems to have minimal offensive power, generally working in a support role.
In an effort to correct this, a VK-17W1 (or E-1A1) Hybrid Armed Device was commissioned from Friestwelt Foundries.  An experimental design, this device, in the shape of a straight and relatively unadorned staff, allows a good performance in any role - whether that be shooting, bombardment, defense, utility, or melee.  Close combat capacity is enhanced by a pair of the company's signature rotary capacitors, elongated to run almost the length of the staff, secured underneath a semi-transparent sheath of reinforced aluminum crystal.
More uniquely, the VK-17W1 is also capable of quickly and independently shifting from its 'active' mode to a compressed mode mounted on the arm and wrist, allowing both hands to be used freely... but the core still operates at an only slightly reduced capacity, so there is a minimal loss of function.  This allows it to be used both as a staff-type weapon and an open-handed weapon.
Unlike the others issued, 6's Barrier Jacket uses a mesh system almost exclusively, although finely honed and specialized one.  As Deep Diver does not affect barriers, the Barrier Jacket must be deactivated while it is in use.  However, this Barrier Jacket, designated 'Variable Field', allows different sections of the mesh to be powered up or down independently.  This means that it can provide protection even while transitioning in and out of Deep Diver.
 
8 - SX-18 (Storage eXtended-18 Experimental M): This operative's role is that of fire support and combat coordinator.  She is capable of both extremely powerful bombardment attacks, enhancement spells, excellent searcher capabilities, an array of utility spells and other support techniques.  Her rare skill, known as 'Ray Storm', is a powerful and highly accurate long-range bombardment attack capable of extreme power, but also of seperating to attack multiple targets.
Her Device is a customized SX-18 Storage Device, a variant of the TSAB's standard high-yield Rear Attacker weapon, re-optimized to allow a greater diversity of uses (her support powers, for instance).  The device can switch from a bombardment dedicated mode to a mode focused on support, although the alteration is relatively minor, as #8 is trained to manage most spells herself without a great deal of aid.  In addition to its capacity to enhance high-mana spells, it utilizes an enhanced version of the BGS EX to provide targeting for Ray Storm - this version is known as the Bombardment Guidance System EX-Q.  Based on technology originally intended for submunition-utilizing mass weapons, the Q variant interfaces with searchers at a much higher resolution, capable of passing along not only targets, but sub-targets and sub-sub targets (or beyond, up to 10 levels of hierarchy).  This makes it easy for Ray Storm to utilize its ‘splitting’ functionality to maximum effect.
Unlike most of the other operatives, Barrier Jacket is heavily optimized for stealth.  Five diffusion layers are used, rather than the typical two, providing N-dimensional scattering and diffusing.  This provides protection against infrared, magical, and radiometric searchers, as well as several other varieties - even a limited effect on gravitational detectors!  Normally, it makes her appear as a far less powerful reaction than her true potential, even on searchers optimized for SDE detection.  However, together with a generous application of stealth limiters, it can make her effectively invisible to standard searchers out to 200 meters (in passive mode) or 500 meters (in active mode).  For this reason, the standard Adaptive Procedural Disruption Pattern system is activated by default.
All in all, however, this device is one of the least modified in the section arsenal, being essentially an optimized version of the SX-18.
 
9 - FaStfl Mu C: As a front-line, close assault operative - the quintessential Front Attacker - #9 requires a potent Armed Device and equally potent defenses.  Her particular style is a variation on the exotic Belkan ‘Shooting Arts’** style, which utilizes wheel boots to rapidly maneuver around the battlefield, normally using barehanded or other close-combat techniques to strike the enemy.  However, someone unusually, this variation focuses on flying kicks in an almost jousting methodology, as well as the use of ranged shooting attacks, which are normally used only in a support role.
The device designed to match these needs is based on the Friestwelt Foundries Wheel Pattern C device, a bifurcated-core device integrated into a pair of powered wheel boots.  Though it is thicker compared to the more common Pattern F (see below), this additional size is intend it to optimize it for regular combat use, while also allowing the easy integration of a pair of rotary capacitors, which, (as mentioned) allow it to project force in any direction.  The wheels and wheel-base are also designed for more versatile use, consisting of five wheels on independent-linked suspension directly below the feet, with each being wider and thicker and include an active-adaptive system for optimizing wheel structure for the terrain/speed.  This makes performance in ‘wilderness’ environments much better, but does compromise maximum capability in ideal circumstances.  The system is barely capable of achieving supersonic speeds in good terrain.
Combined, the drive system and the capacitors are capable of producing a devastating impact.  It is intended for quick ‘hit and run’ attacks***, not sustained combat, but it is viable enough in that capacity.  Another notable feature is the adaptation to the ‘Airliner’ ‘Inherent Skill’ - an enhanced bridging spell that can not only be manipulated, but also provides an ‘impulsive force’ to anything traveling along it, providing additional momentum and adhesion.  The device amplifies this effect, using the added energy to maximum effect, allowing speeds approaching Mach 2 while using this skill.  When combined with a kicking attack at the end of the ‘bridge’, an amount of (magically-phased) kinetic force greater than all but the largest railcannons is achieved.  While it takes a significant degree of effort to set up, only rarely will this fail to defeat the enemy.
As mentioned above, melee combat is not #9’s only option, however.  Her second unique ability, designated ‘Breakliner’, gives her a high degree of affinity for rapid magical shooting attacks, without accelerator support.  To supplement this, a pair of specialized metal gloves is included as a sub-module.  These gloves contain specialized mini-accelerators, capable of discharging basic low-to-mid range shooting attacks at a speed even higher than that she could normally accomplish, and a much greater strength.  Essentially it integrates a shooting-specialized module in a primarily melee-focused device.  While Barrier Jackets and similar defensive technologies have made that ancient mainstay of combat, ‘suppression’, less viable, the fusilade produced by this system is quite capable of forcing enemies to take cover, or simply achieving knockdown if they stay in the open.  The support gauntlets also provide limited assistance to defensive spells, but this effect is not especially dramatic.
Barrier Jacket module is relatively orthodox, but highly configured for defense, with physical enhancement and speed as secondary priorities.  The nodal mesh includes 50% more nodes than usual, and its power demand is quite extreme, amounting to 35-50% of #9’s mana.  Such a system would be looked askance at for a normal human, but #9 is quite capable of withstanding the stress.  The barrier jacket itself includes large amounts of metal, which can be used to house additional emitters - this metal even offers a small degree of protection, though anything powerful enough to penetrate the Barrier Jacket will likely not even notice this largely superfluous ‘armor’.
 
10 - N-4++: Operative #10 utilizes bombardment attacks from long range as her primary means of combat.  Her unique ability, ‘Heavy Barrel’, gives her the capacity to channel a virtually limitless amount of mana.  While the rate at which she can gather energy is unchanged, and it still fatigues her, this allows her to cast single techniques of far higher power than possible for a normal mage of her rank.  However, this potential is constrained by the need for a device that can also withstand these energies.  To do this, Millenium ADK employed a simple approach - make the core (and the device as a whole) extremely large.  #10’s device is an enormous rifle-type, almost two meters in length, bulky but smoothly tapered towards the emitter tip, and with a maximum pass-through of 12.6 million MPV… and it is likely possible to achieve far higher levels with further optimization.  To augment this incredible capacity, the device is equipped with slots for 4 magazine-type cartridges, the equivalent of 24 standard cartridges.  While it cannot fire all of these at once, it can discharge them in sequence over several seconds.
While some may believe that the exceptional size of this weapon is due to #10’s enhanced strength allowing greater carrying capacity, this is not the case - the entire assembly only weighs sixty-eight kilograms, and mages tend to be prodigiously strong.  In fact, the DECs used in the early days of Mid-Childan magical warfare (and elsewhere) were of similar size and generally higher mass.  The reason similarly large devices are so rare now is that they are simply impractical - with modern nanocrystalline technology, any improvement in efficiency with size falls of dramatically, and a more reasonably sized device easily accommodates any normal mage’s maximum capacity, which is the only major improvement with additional size.  Relatedly, while #10 might theoretically be able to build up a spell to monumental levels by channeling mana over several days at a rate no higher than replacement, there is a practical limit above approximately 16 million MPV - theoretically as much as 25 million, with ideal optimization characteristics - at this point it’s far more efficient to simply attach a reactor of some sort.
An extensive array of secondary features is included, such as a Voidscope penetrating searcher, advanced zooming features, and adjustable barrel-stabilizing gyros to offset the weight, as well as a BGS EX module.  There is no physical trigger (aside from a force-sensitive pistol grip), it is fired primarily by telepathic command.  This weapon is tremendously effective at bombardment magic, but very much lacking in any other respect.  A ‘rapid cycling’ feature is present to make shooting magic more effective, allowing engagement of smaller targets via a bursts of multiple homing shots, but it is still unwieldy due to its volume (more than its mass) and of dubious use against rapidly moving targets.  Support and defensive magic is even more severely limited, although it still provides some assistance.  Addition of a secondary mode utilizing a much smaller physical form for close combat purposes was considered, but ultimately not implemented due to concerns regarding retraining.  Ultimately this device is a long-range weapon meant to support a long-range style, and must remain as such for the time being.
Responsibility for adressing #10’s obvious vulnerability was assigned to the Barrier Jacket module.  Its design concept is simple, almost barbaric - while mana consumption is not too extreme, it is focused almost entirely on defense, with very little in the way of physical enhancement.  However, it lacks the specialized technology, and therefore, much of the capacity, of #9’s Barrier Jacket.  Stealth systems similar to #8 were briefly considered, but deemed pointless due to the inability to conceal large activations over substantial lengths of time.  An alternate ‘Mobility’ mode has been integrated, sacrificing efficiency and some armor for more reasonable enhancement of speed and strength, intended for use while moving from location to location.
 
11 - ACSKP/ID v1, TD-m2764: This device, assembled by Twilight Dynamics, shares many commonalities with that of #10.  It too is physically rather large, and it too is a throwback to largely derelict concepts.  Based on the ‘Sky Platform’, a device first utilized by mages (or rather, DECkers) on Suphon in order to provide aerial maneuverability to those incapable of ‘independent’ magical flight and then spread to Mid-Childa and Rizad, among others.  Unlike the original Sky Platforms, which were simply powered mechanisms that flew, #11 uses what is essentially a Mobile Device - a fully functional device in the form of a fully functional vehicle - except in this case, it is also used as a hand-held device, functioning as both a ‘cannon’ and a shield.  Overall shape is an elongated rectangular platform, with two short ‘wings’ towards the back, and a small notch at the front - which mounts the device emitters themselves.  Primary construction is high grade nanotitanium, with significant armor plating on the ‘underside’ of the platform.
The device has two primary modes, the first of which is Platform Mode.  In this mode, the main body is extended to 2.6 meters, making it the physically largest of the devices.  A twin-chambered Magical Flight System runs the length of the platform, with primary intakes/thrusters on the wings.  Distributed through the rest of the board are stabilizers, secondary thrusters, and, of course, a dense network of barrier emitters, in this case used to create an aerodynamic barrier.  Though ‘small’, it is significantly more efficient than a Barrier Jacket Flight Enhancement System, though not quite as maneuverable - using #11’s mana supply, it can attain speeds of up to four thousand kilometers per hour in level flight (standard atmosphere) - while this is not exactly a speed record, it requires comparatively little energy.  This leaves more mana available for use in active casting.  On the subject of active casting, twin accelerators in the bow notch allow extremely rapid shooting attacks - but bombardment, defensive and other spells can be cast this way.
The board is guided ‘gyroscopically’, with #11’s movements - and only #11’s movements (though it can support several passengers) - controlling the movement of the platform.  The motion controls and general maneuvering dynamics are modeled after a waverider board (as many higher-performance Sky Platforms were), essentially using the board itself as an aerodynamic wedge (decelerating, for instance, involves angling the board (and barrier) into the direction of motion to create drag - a similar principal applies to turning.)  To ensure safety during such maneuvering, a series of ‘boot clamps’ (at least 2 sets, up to 5, added/removed as necessary) run the dorsal surface - these are not strictly ‘clamps’, but adhesive field plates designed to hold the operator/passenger in place, even during high-g accelerations or inverted flight.
The second mode is Shield Mode - in this mode, the device shortens considerably, to about 1.4 meters.  The MFS deactivates, and the wings accordingly retract into the body, and the boot clamps reconfigure into grips.  It can no longer be used for flight - but, the power that would have been utilized for flight (plus a variable additional quantity) is rerouted to the barrier emitters, which now function simply to project a defensive barrier around the device, creating a massive physical shield that provides protection comparable to that of some armor-types.  It does, however, provide a barrier for an entire hemisphere, not just the shield itself, in order to prevent the extremities from being hit.  Accelerators are still fully functional in this mode, and may have slightly more power available.
An ‘independent’ barrier jacket is also provided, but it is relatively ordinary from a design standpoint, at least for Section 9.  The only anomaly is the assigned shape (resembling a ‘leotard’ swimsuit), which is rather more sparse than normally recommended.  This leads to a certain loss of efficiency, but with multiple supplemental emitters on the torso garment, boots, and gloves working to provide coverage for gaps… although tension levels and overall power are still problematic.
 
12 - BSAW AC-9: One of the most basic of Section 9’s devices, #12 uses a pair of modified and synchronized MCAW AC-9 Armed Devices.  Though considered a ‘standard’ model, this comparatively rarer Device utilizes advanced Crystallized Energy technology, and is generally issued to more ‘elite’ forces.  In terms of form, the device is a long smoothed rectangle, core running through the center.  Core Array is mounted in the ‘grip’, in addition to the Crystallized Energy Matrix Generator.
This Device is very similar to the pseudo-Device #12 used in Dr. Scaglietti’s service in ‘mechanism’ (in that it is a Crystallized Energy weapon), and the form has been calibrated to be near identical - a long, thin blade with a chisel tip.  The standard AC-9’s Matrix Generator has been adapted to synchronize with SDE capabilities - by using specialized precision equipment to create a higher ‘detail’ of matrix, SDE can be ‘crystallized’.  This is the ‘traditional’, method, but it is sub-optimal in most cases.  Instead, this device combines simultaneous magical and SDE power, using lower frequency (normal) energy arranged to support the matrix for the higher-frequency energies.  Though vulnerability to AMF-type jamming is somewhat increased by this version, the combined power is worth it in most cases.
These two devices in particular are also specially modified to work in synchronization, converting the two separate devices into a parallel-process system, achieving a total of 160% of base power (though independent energy efficiency is somewhat reduced).  Along with this, spells can be cast from the combination of the two devices or either one with little loss in power.  This latter system is the case for most parallel process devices, but #12’s unique ability allows her to cast spells in this way with far more efficiency.  The possibilities are extensive, with not just simultaneous casting of spells from both devices at near maximum power, but the theoretical potential of casting different spells simultaneously.
 
13 aka MIDAS 0-02 aka ‘Ginga Nakajima’*** - FaStfl Mu F (KI)/Private Custom ‘Blitz Caliber’: Unlike the other seven, this device is already extant, merely being upgraded and some new modules added.  As it stands, Blitz Caliber is a Friestwelt Foundries Pattern F Wheel Boot with an integrated sub-module, the ‘Revolver Knuckle’ custom device, assembled from assorted parts by Mid-Childa Arms Works under the direction of Quint Nakajima.  However, while pathway circuitry optimization was completed, Blitz Caliber’s overall design remained relatively unaltered from the standard version, designed for use by a human.  Correcting this flaw is the primary purpose of this upgrade series, and these alterations are largely similar to those used with the device of MIDAS 0-03.
The first major improvement is the reconfiguring of the physical structure of the boot.  Additional reinforcement bands (primarily tungsten/manganese structures) are woven into the nanotitanium structure, providing a significantly boost in durability.  A honeycombed metallic band or ‘sponson’ has been added running along either side of the boot, to provide additional resistance against impact damage.  Wheels have been somewhat ruggedized for performance in sub-optimal terrain.  The variable suspension system has been adapted to use Osridium bearings and housings in high stress situations - while not as efficient as vacuum-field bearings, it is far less prone to failure.  Though unlike #9, #13’s boots are not intended as a primary weapon (and are therefore less rugged and more adapted to speed) , these modifications make impacts and high-speed maneuvers far less likely to cause damage.
In magical terms, the usual modifications to the core to add SDE compatibility have been made, though they are less critical for #13, as she is a skilled mage in her own right, with her reactor being a temporary supplement.  Magical circuitry has been fine-tuned for higher power, dampening systems have also been added to protect the core, and AI Quantum Core isolation has been optimized to reduce the risk of feedback.
In addition to these modifications, several features have been added, including two new modules - an Accel Charge System, designed to collect the low-frequency residual energy generated as spellcasting ‘exhaust’ for reuse; and a Limit Break system, which, as the name suggests, provides an increase in baseline MPV by overdrawing the user’s Linker Core - but this carries a risk of permanent magical injury, and therefore such systems are only issued to qualified mages.
Finally, a new mode profile has been added, designed to fully for use with ‘activated’ Combat Cyborg abilities.  It exploits higher MPVs and enhanced physical capabilities, maximizing raw power in terms of defense and energy output, as well as retuning the core.   A module synchronization subprocessor is also provided, in order to maximize coordination between multiple subordinate modules - as it is designed to be able to utilize not only a second hand ‘gauntlet’ module, but also rotary capacitors integrated in the boots, somewhat similar to #9’s device, but with the capacitors attached near the ankle.  This makes use of kicks as a principal attack method feasible, allowing further options at fully enhanced strength.
 
 
*: Modern unison devices again.  Ancient 'Unison Devices' (and their Replicas) are an entirely different matter.
**: The ‘Shooting Arts’ name has nothing to do with actual shooting, a better translation might be ‘Meteor Arts’
***: (or more accurately, based on the assumption that the initial attack will knockdown the target, then a second target can be attacked).
 ****: #13?  Seriously?  We Need To Talk.


Full explanation of the names.  The German (standing in for Belkan) may range from 'odd' to 'terrible'...



Cinque: Millenium Advanced Design Corporation (no 'c' in Mid-Childan) R-Series Mark 7
 
Sein: Versuchskonstruction*-17 Waffen-1 Kreuzungwaffengerat.  
(Prototype Construction 17, Armed-1 Hybrid Armed Device)
 
Otto: Storage eXpanded Mark 18
 
Nove: Fahrendstiefel, Muster 'C' 
(Roller Boot, Pattern C)
 
Dieci: Millenium ADK N-Series Mark 4 (Oversized)
 
Wendi: Advanced Combat Sky-Platform/Integrated Device, Version 1; Twilight Dynamics Model 2764
 
Dido: Mid-Childa Arms Works Armed Crystallized Mark 9
 
Ginga: Fahrendstiefel, Muster F, Kunstlicheintelligenz/Private Custom
(Roller Boot Pattern F, Artificial Intelligence)

*: I know the 'VK' in VK-2801 etc is 'vollkettenfahrzeug' ((fully) tracked vehicle).  I don't care.
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