Nothing about this made any sense!
How could something he threw out return to his ship so quickly and so silently?
The moment he stopped thinking about the escape pod and its indeterminate occupant, it instantly returned into the same space as before!
Ves began to grow angrier and angrier at this anomalous object.
He really wanted to get rid of it in a permanent fashion!
A part of him feared that if he failed to solve this problem, he might be haunted by this semi-living mummy forever!
At best, the mummy would stick to the Scarlet Rose, allowing Ves to get rid of it by giving up the ship.
At worst, not even this solution would allow him to get rid of this ghost woman!
If she was homing in on him rather than the ship, then Ves would always be confronted by this escape pod until the woman stopped insisting on following him for some reason!
Ves feared that the only way to truly get rid of this half-dead witch was to wake her up while her body was in a healthy state.
Whatever she wanted would soon become clear once they talked.
Yet the strength and power of her seemingly unconscious spiritual manipulation frightened Ves to no end.
He really didn ’t want to deal with the woman when she became conscious!
If Ves was really unlucky, then the woman might be aware that Ves attempted to throw out her escape pod and destroy her body several times!
No one would forgive such an affront!
Ves shuddered in his combat armor in fear.
Despite gearing himself up with second-class equipment, he suspected that it was completely useless against an opponent who manipulated reality to such an extreme extent!
It didn ’t make any sense!
Against such a powerful and inscrutable entity, Ves would rather deal with her while she was dormant rather than awake!
The chance of an amicable conversation was too small in his eyes! This woman was definitely targeting him! Otherwise, she wouldn ’t be haunting him so persistently!
Though everything about the mummified woman and her escape pod confounded him to no end, Ves firmly stuck to his conviction that it couldn ’t be repeated forever!
There has to be a price! Whatever magic this witch had cast must expend some energy each time she restored and relocated her body and escape pod!
Ves would just have to find a way to consume this energy until he scared her off or drained her empty!
”Since getting rid of you isn ’t working, what about crushing you entirely? ”
A devious idea entered his mind.
He stepped back and activated his integrated comm.
He called up a bunch of bots from the workshops and waited for them to arrive.
’t take too long as the escape pods were situated very close to the mech workshop compartment.
Evidently, the mobile supply frigate put mech designers first!
This came in very handy right now as he only had to wait a couple of minutes before a number of lifter bots arrived.
He first allowed a conventional lifter bot to approach the escape pod.
Just like with the forgotten scanner bot, the lifter bot suddenly shut off after entering the strange energy field surrounding the escape pod.
Theheavy bot collapsed against the deck and just happened to crush the fragile scanner bot resting underneath!
He expected something like this.
The energy field didn ’t seem to do anything but prevent bots from coming close.
Fortunately, he also called in a different bot.
A mech workshop always came with a variety of production equipment, production tools and production bots.
Because mechs were so big and heavy, many of the bots and equipment were rated to handle very heavy loads.
For a typical escape pod, just a regular magnetic or gravitic lifter bot was sufficient to elevate it from a distance!
The bot that Ves pinned his hopes on halted ten meters away from the mystery escape pod.
The air became more charged as the lifter bot activated its remote gravitic lifting system.
The gravity effecting the escape pod suddenly disappeared.
Not only that, the gravity also started to shift further, allowing the lifter bot to retract the escape pod from the launcher tube and carry it out of the compartment while continuing to maintain a distance.
Ves followed after the bot and its cargo.
The bot crossed the corridor and entered the mech workshop.
He approached a forging machine that was ordinarily used to process very difficult metals.
He had already sent a remote command to activate it and warm up its chamber.
7000 degrees Celsius.
Still not hot enough. ”
He patiently waited for the internal temperature to rise.
While the maximum temperature limit of the forging device reached an astounding height, the amount of energy it expended and the amount of waste heat generated in the process made it very troublesome to sustain.
Ves also had to wait several hours for the temperature inside the forging machine to reach its limit, so he merely waited for fifteen minutes before making his move.
”This should be hot enough to process the metal of the escape pod. ”
Ves had already noticed that the core structure of the escape pod was made of extremely resilient compressed alloy.
Such metals were often utilized as armor plating for mechs and ships.
Ordinary production equipment wouldn ’t be able to process this kind of material once it had been set.
Fortunately, the mech workshop was equipped to a very high standard.
The Friday Coalition often handled comparable materials, so the forging machine they utilized should still be capable of handling this grade of materials.
”Here goes nothing! ”
The gravitic lifter bot had placed the escape pod on a giant ramp.
This ramp suddenly tilted, causing the escape pod to slide down a chute, which quickly closed in order to form an isolating seal.
Soon enough, an internal partition suddenly opened, exposing the escape pod to enough heat to melt most kinds of mech-grade armor plating!
Though the structure of the escape pod was a lot more resilient than he initially expected, it couldn ’t withstand the heat of the forging machine!
According to the internal sensors, the escape pod quickly melted and deformed.
No matter whether the body inside was alive or dead, the awesome heat instantly burned and vaporized all of the organic tissue without any resistance!
The softer metals melted just seconds later, leaving just the internal structure which still held the vague shape of the original escape pod.
The heat continued to affect this extraordinarily resilient against heat, there were still limits to its endurance!
Slowly but surely, the internal structure melted until it formed a piping hot pool of metals.
Ves issued some follow-up instructions that caused the forging machine to stop generating heat.
The internal temperature rapidly declined and the molten pool of metals, some of which had separated from the alloys, no longer grew hotter either.
As soon as the internal environment of the forging machine stabilized, a bunch of compressors began to press and shape the materials into a tight and compact cube.
”Since I have a bunch of materials at my disposal, I might as well make use of it! ” He grinned.
He repurposed the materials he salvaged and fabricated a number of replacement armor plating.
In his previous battles, the four battle bots sustained a lot of hits, particularly the less agile ones like the Kravon and Paravin.
The escape pod wasn ’t very large, so Ves only had enough materials at his disposal to fabricate some smaller plates.
Once he finished making them, Ves inspected them carefully with his tools and spiritual vision and found out that it no longer contained anything suspicious.
The invisible spiritual entity was gone.
The strange energy field that prevented bots functioning was gone, and Ves did not notice any spiritual energy circulating in the materials at all.
Had Ves truly managed to get rid of the ghost woman this time?
”Now that your escape pod and your ashes turned into replacement, there ’s no way you can replenish yourself so easily! ”
Ves did not dare to make use of the spare armor plating he just produced.
What if they disappeared when the mummy restored her body and her escape?
Even now, Ves did not rule out the possibility that this ghost woman managed defy time and space yet again! She had already done so too many times for Ves to remain confident!
”Let ’s see what happens. ”
He relaxed a bit and tried to think about something else rather than the escape pod.
Once he believed enough time had passed, he revisited the escape compartment.
The closer he came, the more his apprehension grew.
The moment he opened the hatch, his heart suddenly sunk.
The escape pod and the woman had returned, just as he feared!
This time, the open front cover displayed a mummified corpse with a face locked in a scream.
Perhaps it was his illusion, but the empty eye sockets seemed to glare at him as if the woman despised his actions!
Ves shook his head inside his helmet.
”You should be dead! ”
Seeing that the escape pod and its occupant had returned despite what had happened, Ves quickly left the compartment and returned to the mech workshop.
To his astonishment, the replacement armor plating he made out of the materials of the escape still remained!
”THIS DOESN ’T MAKE ANY SENSE! ”
Ves knocked the knuckles of his gauntlet against the surface of the armor plating.
The metal still remained completely real! As Ves inspected the newly-made components with a scanner, he discovered that absolutely nothing had changed!
The armor plating still retained the same mass, density, toughness and other parameters! It hadn ’t lost anything!
”Wait a minute..
does this mean I can produce an unlimited amount of high-quality alloys? ”
The moment he considered this option, his mood suddenly turned.
What if he kept this up?
What if he could keep taking advantage of the ghost woman until she eventually ran out of energy?
As long as the ghost woman ’s reappearances didn ’t affect the materials he extracted from the continually-duplicating escape pods, he could probably produce enough supplies to supplement his fighting strength!
”I can fabricate enough armor plating to upgrade the defense of the Paravin and Kravon! ”
”I can produce enough high-quality gauss cannon slugs that are tough enough to penetrate the thickest ship hulls! ”
”I can even produce some hull plating that can reinforce the exterior defense of the Scarlet Rose! ”
Though Ves still feared the seemingly-immortal ghost woman, the practical benefits began to outweigh his common sense!
Instead of fearing the escape pod ’s continuous renewals, why not treat it as a renewable materials source?
As long as this escape pod kept coming back, Ves could potentially sustain this extraction cycle forever!
A greedy grin appeared on his face.
”HahahahaI changed my mind! Keep haunting me! Don ’t ever stop! ”
Ves returned to the workshop and inputted an elaborate set of instructions in the forging machine and a number of gravitic lifter bots.
Once he finished his preparations, he activated the routine, causing the lifter bot to leave the mech workshop and return minutes later with the mystery escape pod in tow.
The bot placed it in the forging machine, which soon began to melt it down and extract the valuable metallic exotics, this time segregated by material, allowing Ves to form alloys with different properties!
No matter what he repurposed the materials for, Ves bet that he could definitely profit immensely from this ’renewable source ’!
As for the mummy woman..
Ves was completely uninterested in engaging with her.
He didn ’t even bother to instruct his bots to remove her body from the escape pod before chucking it inside the forging machine!
At most, the forging machine just had to expend a bit more effort to separate the impurities from the rest of the metals.
Ves believed that as long as he wasn ’t stupid enough to wake her up, she would continue to robotically replenish herself and escape pod!
”Hahahaha! Keep renewing yourself! I ’m going to build entire mechs out of your magic! ”
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