The Mech Touch
A major took place before the release of the Militant Soldier and Peaceful Soldier models.
When Ves received the notification at the design lab, he halted his lecture and tuned in to the broadcast.
Gloriana, Ketis, the Tovar mech designers and Larkinson seeds all stayed and watched as well.
Five illustrious mech designers appeared in projection form.
Miles Tovar immediately gasped.
”Those are Ansel Seniors! ”
Every mech designer from the Bright Republic immediately recognized the Seniors.
Ves immediately grew serious as he realized the purpose of the press conference.
”They ’ve developed their secret weapon long enough. ”
”Are you scared? ” Gloriana leaned close and whispered.
Ves shook his head and smirked.
”I ’m never afraid of competition! In fact, I ’d be depressed if there isn ’t any challenge in conquering the mech market! ”
Perhaps other mech designers might not share the same sentiment, but Ves was very clear of the correct approach.
Only those who weren ’t confident enough in their own skill and ability wanted to reduce the competition!
In contrast, the giants of the mech design profession never shied away from competition.
Even when they were young, they had the confidence to compete against mech designers who were hundreds of years older than them at the time!
When Ves turned around and observed the expressions of his design team, he could already tell who developed an ambitious mindset.
As expected, the Tovar mech designers and Larkinson seeds all gazed at the five Senior Mech Designers with worship and reverence.
The hierarchy of the mech design community was very clear! Wealth and background mattered less than personal accomplishments and pure ability!
Those who managed to rise to Senior were all great minds who designed great mechs! As the top-level design strength of the Bright Republic, these Ansel Seniors all enjoyed storied histories in their lengthy careers!
All of them had already designed mechs when Ves wasn ’t even born yet!
Of the entire design team, only Ketis and Gloriana kept their composure.
Their confidence and ambition elevated them to another level.
Though they still respected Seniors, they believed they could surpass them one day!
Ves nodded in satisfaction at their responses.
Even if they failed to live up to their ambitions, at the very least they pushed their potential as far as they could go.
He could ask for nothing more.
As the Seniors worked their way through the introduction, Ves turned to Miles.
”Ketis and Gloriana here aren ’t native to the Bright Republic.
Please introduce these esteemed Seniors to them so they know their specialties. ”
”All five Seniors are tenured professors of the Ansel University of Mech Design, the premier mech design university in Bentheim.
In the center is Professor Caiden MacDonald, a specialist in spaceborn propulsion systems. ”
Professor MacDonald was over 150 years old and an established Senior in the local and regional mech community.
He also happened to be a member of the Bentheim Mech Court.
”Professor Mimi Xu is the youngest Senior of the five and specializes in rapid-fire ballistic weapon systems. ”
The accomplishments of Professor Xu were pretty impressive at just 80 years old.
She not only designed good mechs, but also excelled in designing practical ballistic rifles to maximize the firepower of her products.
”Professor Nimor Taphouse is a specialist in ablative armor systems.
His mechs are always popular because his customers have greater assurance in surviving battles. ”
Though not the cheapest, many local mech designers licensed Professor Taphouse
’s self-developed armor systems.
Not only did they offer all-round protection, their formulas all drew on materials and exotics that were easily sourced in the Bright Republic.
”Professor Petrus Summit is the most obscure Senior among the five.
He specializes in neural responsiveness.
It ’s said his products are some of the smoothest and natural mechs you can pilot. ”
His specialty immediately made it clear that he was one of the few mech designers who received MTA approval to develop neural interfaces.
Mech athletes and mech duelists loved his products.
In a small, competitive arena environment, the responsiveness of a mech mattered a lot to mech pilots who depended on their skill rather than the quality of their mechs to win a match.
”Lastly, Professor Ivy Miller is a specialist in cockpit design.
Her cockpits are some of the most reliable lifesavers on the battlefields. ”
On her own, Professor Miller might not be able to design great mechs.
Yet Ves did not belittle her for her narrow specialty at all because he knew she was an incredibly popular collaboration partner!
Any mech that involved her always became more popular because they combined the specialties of others with the safety afforded by Professor Miller ’s cockpits.
Ves already made a preliminary judgement about the mech the Seniors collaborated on based on their specialty combination.
”It sounds like these Ansel Seniors are serious in competing against our Soldier line.
” Gloriana remarked after she digested the introduction.
”The mech design they are about to introduce will not only feature great performance, but also offer great advantages to mech pilots. ”
In other words, the Ansel Seniors clearly intended to dethrone the Desolate Soldier by offering something different.
It was impossible for Ansel to design a mech that shared the same advantages as the products designed by Ves.
Instead, they pooled their own advantages together to design a mech that offered different benefits.
This was the right way to compete against his products.
There wasn ’t any way that other mech designers could replicate the glow of his mechs so long as Ves maintained his monopoly on spiritual components.
The press conference quickly moved on to the main event.
The curtains drew back on the stage, revealing three different imposing mechs.
Ves and his design team leaned in and studied their characteristics.
”What fearsome mechs. ” Ves quietly gasped.
The quality of the three mechs impressed him a lot! The degree of optimization was so high that even Gloriana looked impressed! The Ansel Seniors hadn ’t spent their time in vain!
A spotlight shone over the mech in the center, causing its reflective coating to shine resplendently.
”Let me introduce to you the Dawnbreaker! ” Professor MacDonald proudly announced.
This was the base model that the Seniors designed from scratch!
”The Dawnbreaker is the culmination of our collective efforts.
It is a midrange, spaceborn rifleman mech design that is designed from the ground up to serve as the backbone of our resistance.
Each and every aspect is completely dedicated towards fighting the myriad configurations of sandmen! We have incorporated all of the lessons our state has learned into making our product the best all-round solution against even the trickiest sandman opponents! ”
The professor went on to describe the technical specifications of the Dawnbreaker design.
A projection appeared that listed the full specs.
Ves gasped yet again at how well its individual parameters scored.
”Thanks to Professor Taphouse, we have equipped our Dawnbreaker design with a newly-developed ablative armor system that works extremely well against the energy weapons employed by the sandmen.
By employing a combination of compressed ablative armor plating and thick internal structure that pushes the cockpit further to the rear, the mech pilot stands a good chance to survive a direct, head-on heavy laser strike according to our tests and simulations! ”
Ves sat up straight when he heard that! While the advanced sandman configuration dominated the news, regular sandman fleets led by inexperienced sandman admirals still accounted for the vast majority of intrusions.
It didn ’t sound like the Dawnbreaker could remain functional after getting hit by a heavy laser strike.
’t need to be.
If a reasonably-priced mech was able to preserve the life of a mech pilot in the event of a head-on heavy laser strike, then this product would doubtlessly be popular!
MacDonald continued on by highlighting the cockpit.
”The life of a precious mech pilot is further guaranteed with Professor Miller ’s exclusive cockpit for the Dawnbreaker line.
Not only does it excel in absorbing and bleeding any heat or energy damage, it is also remarkably swift in flying back to safety. ”
The appeal of this was obvious to many potential mech buyers.
Due to the recent war against the Vesians, the Bright Republic didn ’t have enough mech pilots.
The more their lives could be preserved, the better off their state would be after several months of arduous fighting.
None of the states resisting the sandmen could afford to run out of mech pilots, especially those serving in the military!
Many examples already proved that without a solid backbone of military mech pilots, a defensive force was prone to losing heart and running away!
Not even the glows of the Desolate Soldiers could restrain them from saving their own skins!
”While the Dawnbreaker offers a lot of protection, it is not short on mobility either.
” MacDonald continued.
”I have lent my own expertise in this project, working around the clock to develop the most optimal flight system for the Dawnbreaker ’s frame! ”
The flight system was fairly good.
It offered a good balance of acceleration and efficiency.
It was just fast enough to keep up with the pace of most battles against the sandmen without offering anything more.
Any excess acceleration and power would drastically decrease the efficiency of the flight system.
”Professor Xu has graciously designed a ballistic rifle that deals more damage against sandman opponents while occupying less space.
The secret behind this extraordinary result is the new ballistic shell she designed in partnership with several different research institutions on Bentheim! The shell sacrifices penetration power, which is mainly useful against mechs, for much greater shock and concussion damage, which is far more useful against the sandmen! ”
As someone who recently acquired Ballistic Weapon Optimization IV from the System, Ves fully realized the brilliance of the new ballistic rifle and accompanying shells.
”For the good of the Bright Republic, the Ansel University of Mech Design will also make the Sandbreaker ballistic weapon system available for standalone licensing.
We sincerely hope that every rifleman mech converts to Professor Xu ’s excellent rifle and ordnance so that we can fully maximize our firepower against the sandmen! ”
This was the weapon system that everyone had been waiting for!
Ves regretted that he hadn
’t been able to come up with his own version of this concept.
If not for his lack of time and his preoccupation with designing variants, he could have offered something similar.
Of course, Ves knew very well that it would have been a waste of time.
Professor Xu was a full-fledged Senior who based her whole design philosophy around ballistic weapons.
Even if Ves acquired enough knowledge to design a good ballistic rifle, he lacked the esoteric toolbox that Professor Xu developed to give her ballistic rifle systems an edge.
”Finally, we cannot leave out Professor Summit
’s contribution to the neural interface of our Dawnbreaker design.
We know that a split-second decision can make a huge difference on the battlefield.
Rest assured that our Dawnbreaker is far more responsive and intuitive to pilot than any of our previous mechs! ”
Ves smirked at that.
He knew more than most that there were limits on what mech designers could do with neural interfaces.
Responsiveness was just one of many factors that affected the strength that mech pilots could exert.
It was mainly prized by higher-skilled mech pilots.
The Desolate Soldier targeted a different audience from the Dawnbreaker.
The latter was clearly aimed at mech pilots who already specialized in piloting rifleman mechs.
This was different from the Desolate Soldier, which Ves designed from the start to be cheap, accessible and easy to pilot.
Many of his customers who previously specialized in piloting landbound mechs or melee mechs had already successfully transitioned to fighting against the sandmen in space with a rifle.
Yet no matter how well the Desolate Soldier appealed to lower-skilled mech pilots, the true professionals desired something more.
The Dawnbreaker designed by Ansel just happened to fill the gaping void that Ves had neglected.
”What a well-positioned mech. ” Ves sighed yet again.
The Dawnbreaker offered considerable advantages in offense, defense and mobility.
While it was at least twice as expensive as the Desolate Soldier, it was quite cost-effective.
Ansel priced the Dawnbreaker at a range that was well within the tolerance of the mech market!
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