The Mech Touch
”The Deliverer design is almost complete. ” Ves announced.
The data gathered during the testing of the second prototype revealed no major flaws or setbacks.
While plenty of minor issues had popped up, Ves did not think they were significant enough to go back to the drawing board to design a third iteration.
The time wasted on designing and testing a third iteration was not worth delaying the release of the Deliverer design!
”What will we do next? ”
”I ’m not sure yet.
I haven ’t made up my mind on what to design next.
The mech markets are still in flux.
Any semblance of normality is gone.
There is no way we can sell mechs normally in the stricken states. ”
Normal commercial activity no longer took place in the Bright Republic.
The LMC had long ended production at the Mech Nursery.
In Bentheim, the new plants that went up were mostly relegated to producing Desolate Soldiers and Prideful Soldiers to replenish the losses of the local defenders.
The situation wasn
’t much better in the Vesia Kingdom, Reinald Republic and elsewhere.
Only the Ylvaine Protectorate treated the LMC as an independent commercial entity!
Clearly, the three leading dynasties changed their stance towards Ves.
The higher-ups became increasingly willing to acknowledge him as the Bright Martyr, especially when they received news on the Deliverer design!
”This new mech design will deliver us from the evil of the soulless sandmen! It ’s right there in its name! ”
The Transcendent Messenger and Holy Soldier already proved Ves
’ chops as a mech designer who aided the Ylvainan Faith and people.
Even if he was a Brighter, he had become the most prominent mech designer in their state! Not even their local Seniors could match his prestige amongst their people at this point!
Ves found this very strange when he found out about this.
He had worked so hard to form a footing in the Bright Republic ’s mech industry and expand his scope step-by-step.
He even planned to reduce the LMC ’s operations after the Sand War in order to avoid encroaching on the turf of more established competitors.
Yet if Ves wanted to, he could immediately head to the Ylvaine Protectorate and become a hegemon in its mech industry!
”What a farce! ” He lamented.
While it sounded as if he was set for life if he took root in the Protectorate, Ves knew that it would not be good to become known as an ’Ylvainan ’ mech designer.
’d enjoy guaranteed success in the Protectorate, but what about elsewhere? Ylvainan mech designers never enjoyed much success in foreign markets.
Even their Seniors were unable to match up against Seniors from other states!
The weakness of the Ylvainan mech industry due to centuries of isolation could not be solved in a short amount of time.
Ves would only be dragging himself down to their level if he embraced their customs.
However, that did not mean that Ves intended to neglect this market.
It was still a bastion of support that Ves could always count upon as long as the Ylvainans acknowledged him as the Bright Martyr.
As for the immediate future, Ves had no answer to what mech he should design next.
”With the halt of commercial activity, there is no point in designing another mech for the market.
” He stated.
”I think the Sand War is starting to reach a turning point soon.
Whatever mech that needed to be designed has already been done by other mech designers. ”
Gloriana reluctantly agreed.
”It ’s difficult to come up with another mech that can fulfill a need that isn ’t being met.
Mech models such as the Dawnbreaker are already meeting the needs of most customers. ”
They both sat at the empty design lab and stared in each other ’s faces as if they expected the other to come up with a solution.
It was almost impossible to come up with an innovative new mech concept that could swing the Sand War in humanity ’s favor.
In addition, even if the Sand War ended in victory for their side, the regional mech markets would still be in flux for some time.
The states spent a lot of money to the point where they were knee-deep in debt while grappling with hyperinflation.
The economies of devastated states would probably take years or even decades to recover!
Certainly, some mech activity would quickly resume as many forces would definitely try to fight over the spoils the sandmen left behind, but this was not enough to return the mech market to its most flourishing state!
”You know, you
’ve already designed plenty of mechs for others.
” She eventually spoke.
”Why not design something for yourself? ”
”I ’m not a mech pilot, Gloriana. ” He frowned.
”Of course I didn ’t mean that! What I really meant was designing a mech for your Avatars! ”
A mech exclusive to the Avatars? Ves became intrigued by this suggestion.
’m not opposed to that, but… such a mech design would only be relevant for a couple of years.
Don ’t forget that I intend to cultivate my Avatars into second-class mech pilots. ”
”Then you can just dump the mechs to the Living Sentinels. ”
”Hmm, that ’s true, though it ’s hardly needed. ”
’t really enthusiastic about this course of action.
Ves still wanted to design mechs for actual customers instead of himself.
This was his instinct as an independent mech designer.
”We could move elsewhere.
” She suggested.
”The Sentinel Kingdom, perhaps? There ’s always demand for mechs there, since the state is constantly resisting the pirates of the Nyxian Gap. ”
Ves shook his head.
”It ’s too dangerous there, and I ’m not sure if the Sentinel Kingdom will even welcome our presence. ”
He really did not wish to mix up with the Sentinel Kingdom
’s murky undercurrents.
The state was way too intertwined with Nyxian pirates.
Not only that, the Nyxian Gap was also home to a hidden base of the Five Scrolls Compact!
If any Compact agents left the Nyxian Gap, they would surely pass through Sentinel on their way to their destinations! In fact, Ves highly suspected that the Compact maintained a thorough presence in the state!
After exchanging a few more ideas, neither of them managed to come up with an idea for the future.
Ves eventually gave up.
”We don ’t have to maintain active design projects at all times.
Sometimes, it ’s not a bad idea to take a breather and take care of some other affairs in our lull time. ”
”I ’ve neglected some priorities lately. ”
They agreed to spend their time on other matters and wait until they came up with a new design project.
In the following days, the second prototype soon completed testing.
As expected, the issues that occurred were too trivial for Ves to bother with, so he simply finalized the current design and published it without any further delay!
He did not bother with arranging any publicity or high-profile reveal events.
His target audience was already aware of the significance of the Deliverer.
Through Lieutenant Dominic Kronon, Ves came to an informal accord with the three leading dynasties.
Though their lawyers still had to draft some formal contracts and other documents, Ves simply allowed the Ylvainans to produce the Delivers ahead of time!
The Deliverer design hadn ’t even been validated by the MTA at this point!
Even if Ves waited for the MTA to issue its judgement, he didn
’t expect much good.
The MTA would certainly employ their own people as test pilots.
Since the Deliverer rejected non-believers, those test pilots would definitely have a very bad time!
If not for securing the rights of the Deliverer design, Ves wouldn ’t even bother with submitting its design to the MTA.
Naturally, Ves and Gloriana needed to build some Deliverers as well.
The Avatars currently hosted three Kronon marksman mech pilots.
It would be a waste to neglect their capabilities!
Ves and his girlfriend personally fabricated three Deliverers within a week.
Unfortunately, no special circumstances occurred and none of the mechs approached the masterwork threshold.
Though Ves was still very passionate about the Deliverer, rushing its design didn ’t do him any favors.
If he took some more time to perfect and optimize the design, he might have come closer to producing a masterwork mech.
’t share his suspicions with Gloriana.
It was better to keep her in the dark about this missed opportunity.
The three Kronon mech pilots became ecstatic when Ves assigned them their new mechs!
”These are gold label Deliverer mechs! ”
All of them were aware of the significance of the gold label.
Ves had personally built these mechs by hand!
Their quality was incomparable to silver label mechs and they were much more spiritually in tune.
There was no question that the three gold label Deliverers surpassed any Deliverer produced in the Ylvaine Protectorate!
Ves left the Avatars to take care of the rest.
The Kronons had already become accustomed to the Deliverers after test piloting its prototypes, but they still needed some time to gain full proficiency.
Several other developments took place at this time.
Perhaps the most important was the departure of the second detachment of Avatars and Sentinels.
Commander Magdalena Larkinson presided over hundreds of mechs and enough light carriers to hold them all!
Ves decided to add one of the Deliverer mechs to the group as well.
None of the Kronons objected to being sent to the front.
They were eager to prove the Deliverer in actual combat!
”I only need one of you to accompany the second group. ” Ves said when he saw that all three Kronons volunteered.
Eventually, Lieutenant Dominic made a careful judgement and decided to send out Jezebel.
As the most fanatic believer among the three, the female Kronon developed the closest bond with her mech.
She would definitely be able to turn a lot of heads on the battlefield!
”Thank you, Bright Martyr!
” She bowed to him.
”I will show these unbelievers the salvation that you have so generously offered to them! The Bright Republic will come to know your magnificence! ”
okay. ” Ves haltingly spoke.
”Just don ’t go overboard, okay? ”
Due to the increasingly gloomy mood settling over the Bright Republic, the LMC did not hold an elaborate ceremony to send the second group off.
The Sentinel Commander along with Joshua, the Ingvar siblings and many other Avatars and Sentinels departed Cloudy Curtain without much fanfare.
In the meantime, another development took place.
Raymond entered Ves
”The replacements of the Light Hounds will soon arrive in our star system.
We won ’t have to worry about our security once they have settled in.
With the departure of the second group, we ’re a lot more vulnerable than before. ”
’m eager to plug this gap as well.
” Ves smiled.
”Do you know which mech regiment the reinforcements hail from? It ’s rather strange that the Mech Corps has been mum. ”
’s because the reinforcements actually consist of several intact remnants of broken units.
That ’s all I can tell you for now.
We ’ll have to find out who we are dealing with once they arrive. ”
The new unit arrived scarcely a day later.
A small fleet of three military combat carriers, which was less than Ves expected, arrived in the system and steadily approached the planet.
The LMC attempted to communicate with them, but the captain of the flagship refused to talk to civilians.
The new arrivals only communicated with the Equinox Stingers.
Ves found this to be a little weird.
Weren ’t the reinforcements supposed to include a Larkinson to ease communications?
As time passed and the incoming combat carriers were about to reach orbit, Raymond suddenly barged into his office!
”Ves! This is bad! ”
”What ’s the matter!? ”
”There is a huge issue with the reinforcements! ”
”What is it?! ”
”We have just received an ultimatum from the new arrivals! They aren ’t here to reinforce the defense force or protect you against the sandmen! ”
”What are they doing here, then?! ”
”They ’re here to take you into custody! ”
”What?! ” Ves slammed his fists against his desk! ”Who do they think they are?! I thought we had a deal! On whose orders are they allowed to take me away?! ”
”It gets worse! The person who issued this threat is Ghanso Larkinson! He ’s on the flagship! ”
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