ce debris about to crash into my machine? ”

”I ’m not telling you to be so immersed that you lose your situational awareness. ” Ves shook his head.
”My research on the man-machine connection has taught me that mech pilots will generally achieve better results if they didn ’t share so many irrelevant thoughts with their mechs.
I ’ve designed my mechs to react better to mech pilots who are strongly focused with values aligned to their design. ”

”This is a little hard for me to wrap around. ” His younger cousin frowned.
”Can you give me an example? ”

Let ’s take an aggressive mech pilot like Raella Larkinson.
You ’ve heard of her, right? ”

She quit the family a few years ago. ”

”She ’s a very aggressive person and that plays well with her mech specialty and fighting style.
Raella is eminently suited to pilot to pilot light skirmishers.
Now think about what would happen if she piloted the Shield of Samar instead? Let ’s leave skill out of the equation and just assume that she can pilot a space knight just as well as a landbound light skirmisher.
Would she be able to muster up as much potential with the Shield of Samar as you? ”

Jannzi answered back with another question that expressed her doubt.
”A mech is just a mech, right? Why is it so picky about their mech pilots? ”

Ves sighed and shook his head.
After spending several months with the LMC and the Avatars of Myth, I would have thought you would have learned that mechs are more than just machines.
Try considering them as living machines that have their own thoughts and emotions.
You ’ve sensed some of that with the Shield of Samar, right? ”

”Right.. ”

”Treat your mechs right, and they will back you up.
The more you open your mind to your mech and the closer you align yourself to its purpose, the more responsive the mech will become to you.
This is what makes my mechs stand out from the machines designed by other mech designers.
They regard mechs as disposable tools.
I ’m different.
All of my mechs are designed to be more than tools.
They are designed to be partners! ”

The overall message that Ves wanted to convey to Jannzi was to treat her mech like a partner rather than a machine.
This went against the general lessons that mech pilots received in their mech academy days.

Mech pilots were taught not to get attached to their assigned mechs.
They learned to take care of the mechs, but only to the extent of avoiding unnecessary wear-and-tear.

According to the mech academies, mech pilots needed to be adaptable enough to pilot several different mechs when the situation called for it! This did not only entail piloting an identical copy of the same mech model.
A versatile mech pilot should be able to jump into the cockpit of a different mech model without requiring any adjustment period!

Ves knew that his advice went against the grain of what the mech academies tried to instill, and Jannzi knew that as well.

She raised her eyebrows.
”So essentially, you want me to focus completely on mastering the Shield of Samar? ”

”In a way.
That doesn ’t sound so bad to you, right? ”

”The Shield of Samar is a great mech. ” She nodded.
She finally came around to his advice.
”I think..
if you will allow me to, I ’d like to stick with the Shield of Samar for the long haul. ”

This was what Ves wanted to hear.
”As long as you perform well enough with the Shield of Samar, the mech will continue to be assigned to you.
I ’ll make sure Melkor knows what to do.
Just keep my advice in mind when you pilot the mech.
If you aren ’t using the Shield of Samar to its full potential, then I won ’t hesitate to take it back and assign it to a more promising space knight specialist. ”

This finally caused Jannzi to panic and widen her eyes in alarm.
”Don ’t take away my mech, Ves! ”

With how attached Jannzi had become to her new mech, the threat of taking it away from her would make sure she stayed on her toes!

Ves clapped his hands and deactivated his Privacy Shield.
”Alright! That ’s all I wanted to pass on to you.
Get ready to board your mech.
The Grand Skyward will still take some time to move into position, but try and apply some of the advice I ’ve imparted to you while you are warming up your mech.
I think you ’ll be able to achieve some immediate results as long as you adopt the proper mindset. ”

”I ’ll keep that in mind, Ves. ”

”One more thing.
Don ’t tell anyone about what I just said, alright? ”

”Why? Shouldn ’t more people hear your advice so they can pilot your mechs better? ”

”They ’re not exactly applicable to everyone in every situation.
I don ’t want to cause any trouble to my mech pilots that can get them killed.
The LMC will have to pay billions of credits in legal fees to fend off all of the lawsuits that will ensue. ”

Jannzi nodded in understanding, accepting the excuse that Ves had casually thrown out.

To be fair, a non-mech pilot really shouldn ’t be giving advice to a mech pilot on how to do her job.
People had gotten in trouble before by giving out improper advice to mech pilots that caused them to make stupid moves that risked not only their own lives, but the lives of their comrades as well!

Even mech designers had to be careful on the advice they gave out.
Just because they knew how to design a mech didn ’t mean they knew how to pilot them to the best effect!

As Jannzi began to climb into the cockpit of the recently-enhanced Shield of Samar, Ves made his way back to the stage where the audience would soon be allowed to witness the show models in action!

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