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Jericho Cannon

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Jericho Cannon
IconTalon
Faction TalonLogoThumb Order of the Talon
Unit Type Artillery
Designation Anti-Structure
Prerequisites Tribunal
Secondary Ability Steam Vent
Cost Unknown
Production Time Unknown
Veterancy Upgrade(s) • Secondary Cloaks (vet)
• Unknown (elt)
• Infantry Killer (her)
Dev. Status Conceptual
Country of Origin  Palestine
Forged by  Aperta Scriptum Holy Forges
Key Features  » Horn of Jericho
 » Compressed air sounder
 » Horn pipes (approximately 0.25 mile from end to end)
 » Tracked base adapted from Cleric Track
 » Earplugs for crew

"Bow before the voice of the Lord Almighty!"

- Jericho commander

Tactical Analysis Edit

  • Sound The Trumpet: The Jericho Cannon is a devastating anti-structure siege weapon armed with a sonic cannon that devastates any structures in the sonic wave's path. Careful shaping of the horn has resulted in the sonic waves traveling in a straight line.
  • I Hate That Song: While the Jericho Cannon's blasts are annoying in the extreme to infantry and vehicle crews that have to listen to the weapon, the Cannon's waves are calibrated to disintegrate the materials found in structures, leaving the lighter materials in vehicles and infantry equipment unharmed.
  • Let Off Some Steam: If surrounded by infantry, the Jericho Cannon can vent steam from its boiler directly through the horn's valves to do horrific things to nearby infantry. Vehicles are undaunted, however.

Background Edit

"Joshua fought the battle of Jericho,

Jericho, Jericho,

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho

And the walls came tumblin' down!"

- "The Battle of Jericho"

Every time I think I have the Order figured out, they go and prove me wrong. They are fanatics, of course, ranging from the utterly deranged flagellants to otherwise normal people whose faith informs and guides their every action. I'm not there yet, of course, but someday... What truly fascinates me, however, is their grasp of science and technology. They don't see it that way, and give me funny looks whenever I use either of those terms. Craftsmanship, artifice, and understanding are the terms they use.

In many ways, the craftsmen of the Order are absolutely brilliant engineers. I'd go so far as to say the Order's craftsmen are some of the best mechanical engineers in the world, using steam and clockwork to accomplish and even overtake Imperial designs created by artificial intelligence and assembled by self-directing nanite swarms programmed by a collaboration of human programmers and artificial intelligence. According to Deirdre, the analytical engines the Order uses are even more advanced than Allied and Soviet computers, being digital, programmable, and Turing-complete despite the inconvenient user interfaces.

The funny thing is, they don't realize what they've done at all. If the Order had not interfered with Babbage's work, his engines could have revolutionized the world. The Order's steam engines have power output comparable to some modern internal combustion engines. Talon Steel still could change the world if it was ever widely disseminated. Their etheric and ambiaric technologies are something else altogether - I'm still not sure how the Etheric Storm on the gun platforms work, and I "designed" the thing.

I suppose the artificers are right. Designing and building are both acts of faith. Every engineer in the world knows the feeling when you see something you've built tested for the first time. Your heart skips a beat or ten until you see it motion. You have faith that it will work. And sometimes, well, it doesn't. Tying that into religious faith kind of makes sense, I suppose. Wait. I'm actually understanding why parts of the Order do what they do. That's... frightening. I had no idea what I was getting into back when I was just a Japanese woman with doubts. Now I'm actually agreeing with the lunatics in this asylum.

At any rate, what brought all this on is that today I got a chance to see the Jericho Cannon in action. Like most Talon war machines, looks are deceiving because, frankly, it looks absolutely ridiculous. Take the base of a Cleric Track, add a gigantic network of pipes, and a huge horn on the front. A small, enclosed compartment mounted on the rear holds the driver and... gunner? I don't even know with this monstrosity. I read the story of Jericho in the Bible, of course.

In ancient times, the city of Jericho was surrounded by a great wall so sturdy as to be virtually impregnable. So the Israelites marched around the city for seven days, then blew ram's horns that shattered the walls. I couldn't get anyone to tell me when the Jericho Cannon was developed, but the machine is clearly named after - or inspired by - the story from the Bible.

Thing is, you don't really hear the horn's sound. You feel it. Teeth rattle and bones tremble, and your whole body feels very weird. That's what it does to flesh and bone. To wood and concrete and rough, corrugated steel, all materials common in buildings across the world... they vibrate and shake and break. As do the walls behind them. And the walls behind them. Simply put, the Jericho Cannon is a fearsome siege weapon for all that no one would tell me how it works. They say I'm nosy enough already, and that I desecrate sacred craft with my desire to break it all down into numbers.

I won't tell them, then, that I think I actually know how this weapon works. Nikola Tesla - what an entertaining man to read about - toyed with something similar in 1898. Now, his device is widely known today as an earthquake machine and is the basis for the seismic weapons of the American rebels. However, that's only one application of the principles Tesla was playing with.

Resonance. Now, I'm not an acoustical engineer, but I'm familiar with the basic theory. It's what allows a well-trained singer to shatter glass with their voice. Sonic waves, calibrated on the correct frequency and amplitude, can cause materials to rapidly vibrate and shatter. The Jericho Cannon seems to weaponize this principle to emit sonic waves that shake apart entire fortified structures.

Now, what this leaves me to wonder is how on Earth the Order knew about this principle and how to use it to this degree in such direct application. Is it possible that this is exactly how the Biblical Israelites shattered the walls of Jericho? Even worse than the Order, how could they have known what frequency would destroy the walls, much less achieve it with simple trumpets crafted from ram horns? How do they know these things? How can these narrow-minded zealots, who treat their craft like a religion in its own right, do things like this?

The more I learn about the Order of the Talon, about its capabilities and purpose, the more I'm convinced I'll never know the complete story. In fact, I'm starting to believe that no one shy of the almost mythical Triumvirate knows the complete story. I don't know what they intend, or how the Order does all that it does. I suppose I'll have to take all this... on faith.

- From the journal of Masoko Okamura, Master Shipwright

Behind the Scenes Edit

  • The Jericho Cannon is an accepted suggestion from Endless Twilight.
  • It is based on the GDI Shatter Tanks of Command and Conquer 3.
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