I wasn't quite happy with the layout here, but in the end I kept it as it was, with some slight changes to the artwork and the dialogue. Ludwig's original line wasn't about plasma currents but about lightrays.
Since the clues about this being whose story runs through ep. 3 to 5 are now all in place I'll give you some information about my ideas behind it. I don't think this information is in any way necessary, that's why I don't give it in the comic itself, but only drop hints. I'd say any coherent interpretation which is construed by using the clues and hints I give in the comic is viable. The following is just my own interpretation; I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on this, and what you thought about it when reading the comic.
My original idea was this: This "artificial being" is a homeostatic lifeform so long as it's either kept isolated (within the armor) or within a high-energy environment (the reactor). Otherwise it would give off its energy and disperse. The "neural pattern" is simulated via plasma currents which are kept running by its own magnetic field, which in turn is a natural property of hot plasma. The magnetic field can be manipulated so as to simulate any sort of pattern. Neural patterns - as I picture them - are essentially electric fields within the brain. So a given set of electric currents is functionally projected onto the plasma currents.
Neural patterns themselves are of course not easy to come by, that's why in the first panel Doc Bernstein figures they copied some. "The Stingray way" is actually a homage to the anime Bubblegum Crisis (in which a Professor called Stingray copies neural patterns to create Blade-Runner-like replicants called Boomers); usually I try to avoid these cryptic comments (see the previous page where I actually erased one cryptic line), but here it serves as a hint to some sort of machinery which will play a role in the episodes to come.
wowzers. you really thought the whole science behind this through.
I never saw the old Bubblegum crisis but the newer one 2020 or something was pretty awesome.
Thanks! I have to say, I found the new series to be quite disappointing... the Tokyo 2032 version was some of the best old-school anime I've ever seen, the 2040 version seemed pretty average to me.