Which doesn't even begin to explain how Yorinaga could have replicated the ability by meditating in an isolated monastery for a few years.Echo V
27 July 3025
Wind gales blew across the barren tundra, whipping the low buildings of the monastery. A visitor had come to the unreal place. His bright white robes, a stark contrast to the monotonous colors of his surroundings, clearly marked him as a stranger.
ComStar Adept Bob was uncomfortable in the unfamiliar tristesse of the Zen monastery. Or, as he would put it, he was freaked out by being surrounded by a regiment of Kurita super ninja assassin psychos sitting around, painting ugly, boring motives, drinking tea and watching him with those calm eyes. The fewer weapons they had, the more dangerous they were - they were that kind of people who became just more lethal when they disembarked from their BattleMechs. Any of those men could kill him in ten artistically valuable ways in five seconds at any time, armed with nothing but a paint brush or a tea cup. Their demeanor was one of unnerving understatement, and the air in the monastery carried the unmistakeable message that Bob was only alive because nobody had - so far - bothered to squash him like a bug.
Bob was eager to leave this equally desolate and dangerous place again as soon as possible. The monks, for their part, were happy to be rid of him equally soon, and an unspoken consensus was reached to forego the usual courtesies and get over with his visit sooner rather than later. And so Bob was quickly ushered into the cell where the monk resided he had come to see.
Unblinking, Yorinaga Kurita's blank face met the visitor with no sign of surprise, or any emotion at all. He bowed his head slightly, barely noticeable. So slightly in fact that Bob completely missed the gesture. Unsettled by the monks' apparent refusal to acknowledge his presence, he decided to deliver his message anyways.
"Hello, Mr. Kurita. Ehm. Yorinaga Kurita-san. Or whatever. See, I'm sorry, but I don't speak Japanese. I'm told you speak Anglik though. Do-you-speak-my-language? Yes? Ah, good. Ahem. See, there's this little battle-ROM analysis you ordered 9 years ago. I'm afraid it was held up by some wrongly-intoned transmission prayer or whatever, in any case, it was delayed a bit. See, our blessed order has analyzed the sensor logs of your 'Mech, and it turns out your sensor glitch was caused by a Z-3 unit. That's some Star League era ECM technology that never really got beyond prototype - a data crystal cartridge that you put into an expansion slot of your 'Mech computer. It emits an ECM signal that messes with enemy sensor boards and effectively makes certain 'Mechs from the good ole' days unseen, like Archers
and a few others of the classics. The 'Mechs are still there, but the system won't print them out. Curiously, the Kell Houds field those classic designs almost exclusively. Smelling a rat yet? Anyways, that Z-3 is a blast from the past really, after only a decade or so a change was implemented that rendered the whole issue mostly moot and the device fell out of use really quick."
Bob took a small box the size of a cigarette pack from a pocked and laid it before Yorinaga Kurita. "Mr. Kell sends you this. He said, and I quote, 'Tell the snake that since my trick is up now he can have one of the useless devices, we have dozends of them lying around but nobody in the universe can be fooled by that old trick anymore.' He said that and a few childish rhymes that really... don't belong here."
The lack of any perceptible reaction on the monk was not what Bob had expected. He swallowed, bowed, and left as soon as he could. Back in the spartan cell, another elderly monk stepped out of the shadows. "Yorinaga-ji, what is the meaning of this?"
Still unmoving, Yorinaga remained in his lotus seat. "It means that I failed my Coordinator even worse than I thought. I knew that Morgan Kell went to fetch a pack of cigarettes before he climbed into his Archer
and challenged me. But I failed to make the connection, to realize the ruse for what it was. Morgan Kell does not even smoke!
I should have divined the nature of the device on the spot. My utter failure to immediately recognize the situation has shamed me beyond redemption. I am useless."
The stony face of the other monk remained a calm facade just like Yorinaga's, hiding the swirling tornado of thought and emotion that welled up within him - within both of them - as the extent of Yorinaga's failure hit home.
"I shall remain here to atone for this failure, and meditate on it until perhaps the Coordinator graces me with the permission to commit seppuku
to restore a shadow of honor to me," Yorinaga intoned.
Understanding, the other monk nodded imperceptibly and left the room with slow, controlled steps. Yorinaga-ji was a true master warrior. With people like him, how could it be that the Combine was not yet ruling the entire universe? The monk decided that he must meditate on this conundrum, and went to the cellars for the ancient Zen doorway where he would butt his head against the door frame until enlightenment came or he passed out.
Or how Patrick Kell spontaneously and without any knowledge of doing so managed to achieve the exact same effect in a 'Mech that wasn't even his own.
He found the device and the manual in Morgan's belongings. But he died before he could tell Salome Ward; he only got to "Tell Morgan I understand..." and meant to finish the sentence with "how you fooled that Kurita jerk!"