Monday, June 4, 2018

Page 1806

((Triple Monday -- Page 3 of 3))
A limit, huh? Hector found that a little strange, considering emergence itself was all about superseding limitations.

“Now,” said Zeff, “the explanation of the Leo’s trapping technique.”

Hector paid close attention.

“As I said before, it is extremely advanced, beyond even my own capabilities. This is because it requires a ‘reaction state.’”

“Is that what it sounds like?”

“More or less. The principle is essentially the same as that of applying velocity states. The added difficulty comes from the properties being applied. With velocity states, the application is simple. Comparatively. You apply a blanket speed to the materialized object, and that is all.”

“I’ve, uh... I’ve found that applying velocity states feels like giving my iron a command.”

“Is that so? Hmm. I suppose that makes a degree of sense.”

“It’s not really like covering it in a blanket or whatever...”

“I wasn’t saying that you should cover it in a blanket. That was merely a description of--agh, nevermind. The crux of the matter is applying a reaction state is essentially the same.”

“So... it’s only the ‘reaction’ part that’s different?”

“What?”

“I mean, you’re saying that applying the ‘state’ part is the same, so it’s the ‘reaction’ part that’s the problem.”

Zeff hesitated. “That is... one of thinking about it, I suppose.”

Hector hoped he wasn’t misunderstanding something here. He also kinda wished Asad was here to help explain some of this. “So what is it about the ‘reaction’ part that makes it so much more difficult than the ‘velocity’ part?”

Zeff just kind of looked at him for a second, and Hector briefly wondered if the man was about to tell him that he was complete fucking moron or something. “...The reaction part, as you say, instigates a change in your material in accordance with a specified stimulus in the environment. In the case of Leo’s trap, that stimulus was pressure. The reason this is more difficult is because it so much more complex than simply adding velocity.”

“Hmm.”

“And to make matters worse, it has been demonstrated that the scale of the challenge differential in the application of these higher states is exponential instead of linear.”

Hector’s brow lowered. “Ah... uh, w-what?”

Zeff opened his mouth, then closed it again, perhaps rethinking what he was about to say. He unfolded his arms, then refolded them. “In other words... ah... reaction states are unreasonably more difficult to apply than velocity or temperature states are. And the more complex the reaction, the more unreasonably difficult it becomes.”

“Oh. Uh. Okay...” Why hadn’t he just said that?

“I am not going to make you practice it--or even attempt it, for that matter.”

Hector nodded. That was fine. He kinda wanted to mess with it on his own, anyway. Assuming, of course, that he would ever be able to find the time to dick around with materialization again.

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