The Mech Touch
An inspired mood struck Ves.
This was it! This was the magical moment he sought when he decided to design his fourth original mech!
What was his strongest asset? His imagination!
Yet his imagination was only as good as the inspiration that fueled it.
Without material to work with, his imagination would only be able to produce generic and listless visions for his next designs.
Perhaps the greatest benefit Ves derived from the System was that it enabled him to boost his lackluster Creativity Attribute into superhuman territory!
Even so, his Creativity often led Ves to conjure up garbage in his mind.
Without any material to work with, it often pumped out ideas and thoughts with little basis in reality.
The constant questioning also led him into bouts of suspicion and paranoia from time to time.
In other words, having an overactive imagination didn
’t always help him out.
Yet these blemishes did not hinder him from enjoying the greatest benefit of possessing a high Creativity Attribute.
Once he became inspired, his ability to create became supercharged!
In the next half hour, Ves ran with the idea of using Qilanxo as an inspiration for his space knight.
His mind elevated into a higher level of activity as he envisioned various events that he witnessed in the past.
Qilanxo ’s incredibly powerful space barrier.
Qilanxo calling down an energy tornado to fill up her god crystals.
Qilanxo interacting with Ves through her roars.
Qilanxo bonding with Orfan and Dise for the very first time.
Qilanxo stabilizing the surrounding space in the middle of the collapsing Starlight Megalodon.
Qilanxo ’s ability to maintain a bond between herself, Orfan and Dise even when they were separated in space.
All of these incidents added to Qilanxo ’s mystique.
Ves even came up with the bold idea of outright using the Sacred God or at least a representation of her in his mind as the totem animal for his next design!
Ves paused at that moment.
”Is Qilanxo still alive? Will my shenanigans affect her in some way if she is still around somewhere on that planet? ”
As far as he knew, the few instances he drew on real entities to construct his visions, he always chose dead people as his base.
He wondered what happened to Aeon Corona VII when he and a handful of others escaped that heavy gravity planet.
Did Sigrund wipe out every living being on the planet? Or did he depart in haste, leaving most of the god species and genetically-modified descendants of the original crew alive?
”That might very well be possible. ”
What happened next was anyone
Perhaps some other sandmen fleets dispatched from the neighboring star system arrived and wiped out all life on the planet anyway.
Perhaps the CFA sent out a war fleet that arrived in time to secure the planet and its inhabitants and were studying them even at this moment! Qilanxo could be stuck in some kind of CFA lab cage for all he knew.
The implications regarding the existence of the god species, the blessed people and the cursed people were very significant.
Ves lamented that he hadn ’t been able to retrieve the files for Project Icarus and abscond them for his own use.
If only that ominous mainframe hadn ’t been subverted by Sigrund.
The uncertainty surrounding Qilanxo ’s current state cast a shadow of doubt over his intention to use her as his inspiration.
Still, an important question came up during his deliberations.
”So what? So what if I make use of a living entity? Will that even be detrimental to the mech? ”
Ves came up with a daring notion that using someone or something alive might in fact lead to a stronger effect on the X-Factor of a mech!
Although it seemed somewhat reckless to test this hypothesis on a pivotal project in his career, designing mechs was all about innovating and taking risks.
His intuition sent some encouraging signs to him, which convinced him that he was on to something good with his current train of thought.
This was worth experimenting on! The high stakes involved with making his fourth original design a great success increased the pressure on him.
The extra pressure made sure he put in his best effort possible in trying to leverage this new variable to his advantage!
The question that now occurred in his mind was how he should shape his vision in response to this determination.
Usually, Ves outlined the basic parameters of his envisioned mech before he moved on to creating images to constitute its spiritual identity.
Right now, Ves was working the other way around.
He already created one component of his design ’s spiritual identity, limiting his options and constraining his range of possible mech concepts.
He needed to define his concept for his space knight design by starting from Qilanxo.
Her most defining trait was her space barrier.
Could Ves adapt something similar to his space knight?
”Active defenses like that do exist.
” Ves rubbed his chin.
”The only problem is that these systems are too expensive and advanced. ”
Energy screens, the most predominant form of energy defense technology in the Komodo Star Sector, required large machines and huge energy cells to sustain.
They were very poor in energy efficiency and were only really used to shield buildings and mech arenas from collateral damage.
They didn ’t last long when mechs pounded their surface.
There was a good reason why third-class mechs did not make use of energy screen tech.
’s more ways to cook an egg.
Standard energy screen tech is just one of many flavors.
There are many other shielding techs available to mech designers.
They ’re just not as well-known and come with other difficulties. ”
Ves could not come up with something right now and planned to bring this topic up with Professor Ventag.
Even if the Senior didn ’t have a convenient license on hand, it was no major disaster.
’t need to conform to their mech designs in a literal sense.
Just because Qilanxo possessed the power to conjure up a space barrier didn ’t necessarily mean that Ves needed to include that function in his space knight design.
The totem animal component in the Triple Division technique first and foremost provided the X-Factor of a mech with animal instincts and reflexes.
Back when Ves designed the Blackbeak, the principal image for his first original mech design was a black phoenix.
Using this specific image shaped the overall aggressiveness and aesthetic appearance of his Blackbeak design.
It did not make his mech into a literal phoenix-like entity that magically rebirthed itself once it got wrecked!
Still, now that he thought about it, Ves wondered if this deficiency affected the overall strength of the X-Factor for his design.
Was this a reason why his X-Factor hadn ’t been able to score higher despite all the effort he put into its development?
Ves came up with another hypothesis.
The closer a mech design adhered to the traits and abilities of an image, the greater the effect of its X-Factor!
”There is so much more about this field that I haven
’t delved into yet.
” He sighed.
”I ’ve developed so many new hypotheses, and this is just my fourth original mech design project! ”
He enjoyed exploring the unknown.
From his exposure to Seniors, he already knew that they constantly pushed the envelope regarding what they knew in a particular field with their designs.
His excitement grew as he basked in the spirit of innovation.
Sure, he might be engaging in some reckless gambles by testing his hypothesis in a critical design project instead of an inconsequential virtual design, but he would not regret it very much even if he failed in these aspects and the X-Factor for his mech ended up weaker.
’s just something intangible anyway.
Its presence or absence won ’t affect the performance specs of my mech all that much. ”
As far as Ves was aware of, the X-Factor purely exerted itself by influencing the mind of the mech pilot over the man-machine connection.
In other words, it was all in the mind.
If Ves managed to pull off his new ideas correctly, then the positive influence on the mech pilots piloting copies of his space knight design increased.
This would definitely boost their performance by a small degree and lead to higher customer satisfaction.
The more a mech satisfied the mech pilot, the higher the chance of repeat business.
Satisfying customers was one of the most basic techniques to get them to return and purchase another product from the same brand.
However, even if Ves somehow botched the X-Factor up, it wouldn
’t do much harm as his mech model would be no different from all the other models in the market.
With almost no one in the market except for himself aware of how to strengthen and shape the X-Factor of a mech, Ves practically held a monopoly on this feature even if nobody was really aware of what he possessed.
Therefore, while he would certainly feel disappointed if he failed in boosting the X-Factor, he wouldn
’t shed any tears over it.
Innovation was always like that.
Success followed after countless failed experiments paved the way.
”I should get back to the concept of my space knight. ”
He imagined Qilanxo ’s giant form and drew out other traits from her existence.
”Qilanxo is big.
She ’s strong as well. ”
Ves gained the notion of designing a heavy mech instead of a medium mech, but he immediately discarded the possibility.
Unlike Patricia, he hadn ’t been groomed to design such difficult designs.
He already ventured into new terrain by entering the domain of spaceborn mechs.
He felt no desire to complicate matters even further by designing a heavy mech.
”Besides, heavy mechs are rarely sold in the public mech markets.
They ’re usually designed within the military and are almost exclusively used by well-funded military mech forces. ”
He settled on designing a big, fat defensive space knight that pushed against the boundary of the medium weight class.
Unlike the Blackbeak which he endeavored on preserving some of its mobility in order to facilitate its use as an offensive mech, his next design would be purely focused on defense.
’t need to be too fast.
Just fast enough to move around and cover for rifleman mechs.
Though a lumbering space knight would never be able to keep up with the movements of a smaller and nimbler rifleman mech, they didn
’t need to.
Most rifleman mechs zigged and zagged in every direction in order to dodge enemy fire.
Their effective traversal in a given direction was usually a lot less than the actual distance they covered.
It was like comparing a squiggly line with a straight line.
As long as the mech pilots of the rifleman mechs and space knights coordinated with each other, they could insure they matched the distance they traversed despite adopting wildly different speeds.
However, designing such a slow and cumbersome mech did come with plenty of downsides.
Its tactical uses were severely limited as they lacked the mobility to accelerate swiftly enough to accompany mechs on attack runs.
This was fine to Ves.
He merely had to make sure it performed its core functions well enough.
Mechs didn ’t need to be good in everything in order to fit in well with the mech roster of an outfit.
Ves still felt that something was missing from the picture.
What distinguished his space knight design from other designs?
”If I don ’t offer anything different or better, there is no grounds for us to charge a high product margin on my new mech. ”
The market wasn
’t that gullible.
Ves frowned as he tried to figure out how to shape the narrative of his mech design to offer a compelling unique selling proposition.
This was the key to distinguishing his product in the market! Merely relying on the name and brand of NORA Consolidated wasn ’t good enough if he wanted the joint project to succeed in two successive mech generations.
”It has to offer supreme defense, but how can I do this? ”
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