While Lucky prodded a clearly artificial object buried inside the asteroid, Ves began to test his initial graser rifle design in a simulation.

The simulated weapon immediately blew up in the hands of the mech.

”What?! ”

Ves was sure he nailed the design.
It should have spat out at least an anemic gamma laser beam.
To blow up in the face of the simulated mech was out of the realm of possibilities.

Thinking that the environment may had played a role, Ves repeated the simulation in different environments.
He shifted from space to terrestrial environments such as forests or ice-capped terrain.

The graser rifle continued to explode without fail.

”I thought I was so close! ”

He underestimated the technical challenges involved with turning a concept of a weapon into reality.
He derived the bulk of his work from the research notes.
Evidently, he made a mistake at some point.
Perhaps he derived too much from the research notes and failed to adjust them to his own design.

Ves performed the simulations again and called up some data from the moment the simulated mech pulled the trigger.

Everything went fine in the start.
It only started to go wrong when an abundance of power ran through the mechanisms responsible for generating the actual graser beam.

Certain components couldn ’t handle the load and melted down, leading to a variety of awful effects that cascaded into a dreadful explosion.

”Damnit, this mechanism isn ’t strong enough. ”

For some reason, Dr.
Kawasaki made it work.
The research notes abundantly laid out the detailed design process for the internal mechanisms.
When Ves followed the instructions to design his own version of the mechanism, it failed to withstand the load.

”Let ’s see what happens if I dial down the power. ”

The graser rifle kept exploding until it reached a threshold where the mechanism failed to perform at all.
Gamma ray lasers demanded a lot of power.
Without a sufficient amount of power, the mechanisms failed to work at all.

”This is a problem. ” Ves said as he pressed his fists against his waist.

The constant isolation was getting to him somewhat.
If not for the bumbling presence of Lucky, he might have turned erratic.

More than the lack of people, his inability to access the galactic net and stay connected to the rest of the galaxy irked him a lot.

”I have no idea how the war is progressing. ”

Historically, the Vesians cautiously probed the Republic ’s defenses.
Their most destructive actions consisted of raids against Republican infrastructure and industry.
The Vesians loved to take out soft targets early in the war before they could be of help to the Brighters.

He didn ’t worry too much about the LMC.
It wasn ’t a high priority target and his workers should have already started moving his assets to the underground manufacturing complex.
Sanyal-Ablin ’s substantial presence there was sufficient to deter any casual raid.

”I should focus on completing my own tasks. ”

He spent the next hours trying to puzzle out the exact failure point.
He uncovered a number components that performed well below their theoretical parameters.

He ’d been far too sloppy too sloppy in his design work.

”Rather than say I ’ve been sloppy, it ’s more fitting to say that the graser rifle can ’t tolerate any failures. ”

Ves deliberately designed a bigger rifle to make it easier for him to design a workable heat rod and battery, but the design choice introduced its own complexities.
Certain components couldn ’t be scaled at all.
Other parts performed strangely when Ves had increased their size.

It took several more days for him to solve these problems.
He ran over each component one by one and tweaked them until their parameters fell within the expected range.
To be honest, he had to resort to a lot of kludging and improvisation in order to get the mechanisms to work with each other.

Ves had never designed a conventional laser rifle from scratch.
Trying to design its big brother in a single go turned out to be highly unrealistic.

As the days passed by, Ves began to get a hang of trying to get his laser rifle to work.
It started out with a maze of problems, but by tackling the most obvious issues one at a time, he steadily reduced the unworkable nature of his homegrown design.

He put his weapon to the test yet again in another basic simulation in space.

The weapon fired a graser beam without problem this time.
The only issue was that the beam ’s power fell well below his intended output.
Too much energy had been wasted in the conversion process.

”I ’m getting close. ”

In truth, he could have already started to fabricate the current design, but his perfectionist streak started to take over.
His interest in getting his graser rifle to work had engulfed his mind.
He unconsciously poured his passion into improving his design.

In the meantime, Lucky through the asteroid and encountered more rectangular crystals.
In its eyes, they looked a lot like windows.
However, they couldn ’t be broken or melted at all.
No matter how many times he scratched them with his energy claws or chewed them with his mineral-breaking teeth, the panes of crystals remained as whole as ever.

Lucky meowed angrily at the latest crystal window barring his tunnel.
Couldn ’t a gem cat burrow through an asteroid in peace?

No sound actually escaped from his maw, as the vacuum environment couldn ’t convey any sound.

It was the thought that counted.

Nevertheless, the crystals annoying him to such an extent that he began to dig them out of the asteroid and carry them out of his tunnels.
With a modest application of his gravity manipulation, he sent out the indestructible crystals out into space.

One by one, they escaped their resting place and flew out into the asteroid cloud.

In time, many of those crystals bumped into other asteroids.
They burrowed rather deep in their new abodes.
After thousands or millions of years, they would continue to rest inside the asteroids without incident.

Strangely enough, that didn ’t happen.
The crystal windows thrown out onto other asteroid began to grow active.
They shone with light as some unknown alien systems embedded into the transparent crystals wearily turned active.

Eons had passed since they last became active.

As the asteroids brought them tumbling away from each other, the crystals finally unleashed a portion of their might.
They connected to each other with bright, intangible strings of energy.

The asteroids they resided on suddenly stopped their senseless tumbling.
Their trajectory came to a halt as these heavy objects had been fixed into a forceful stop.

Then they began to move.

The energy strings forcefully rearranged the positioning of the asteroids until they formed a
decahedron relative to their original resting place.

This place just so happened to be the asteroid that held the cave where Ves holed up at the moment.
Both Ves and Lucky ignorantly continued their usual routines.

The outline of the decahedron started to turn solid as the spaces between the lines turned opaque.
Once they finally turned into a solid pane of white, everything inside had been captured.

The energy panes cut right through the other asteroids as if an atom blade had passed through them.
Many chunks became loose and spun away.
Some even bumped into the asteroid in the middle.

Ves hardly noticed a tremble as his hazard suit held him aloft.

Once the activity died down, the decahedron began to glow even brighter.
It also started to pulse.

The pulse began slow, but sped up over time.
This time, Lucky noticed something amiss and stepped outside the tunnel he had dug.
Once he saw that the asteroid had been surrounded by a lot of panes of light, he immediately meowed in alarm and flew towards Ves.

The cat bumped straight into Ves and pawed at his hazard suit.

”Ouch! Lucky, I told you not to bump into me again! ”

Ves had been knocked out of his highly focused state.
He almost finished his final design!

Lucky kept acting like a crazy cat.
Ves took note of his pet ’s behavior and figured out that something was wrong.

”Show me the way. ”

Lucky led him out of the cave, upon which Ves stumbled upon the amazing sight in front.

”What is this?! ”

Everywhere his eyes could reach, what looked like solidified light had trapped his asteroid in a cage.
He grew scared at the sight of the unknown.

”Did you do this, Lucky?! ”

His cat acted like this had nothing to do with him.
Lucky merely stared his big eyes up at Ves, hoping that he could come up with a fix.

”I don ’t know what ’s going on myself.
This must be some kind of ancient alien contraption. ”

The ten-sided object surrounded the asteroid from all sides like an inescapable prison.
Ves contemplated summoning his Amastendira to shoot at the panes, but ultimately held off on this decision.
Who knew what might happen if he tripped some sort of failsafe.

”The main characters of those adventure dramas trigger alien traps all the time.
I never expected something like this would happen to me as well! What awful luck! ”

Ves picked up a rock that had been embedded into the surface of the asteroid and threw it at the nearest pane.

According to Newton ’s First Law, an object in motion stayed in motion.
Deep in space and away from any major gravity wells like stars and planets, the chunk of rock continued to sail forth in a virtually straight line.

Once it reached the pane, it abruptly flashed and disintegrated out of existence.

Ves gulped in his hazard suit.
”Alright, so it ’s not a good idea to go through this wall of light. ”

He threw another rock at one of the corners which formed the anchors of his light prison.
He encountered the same result.

With an increasing amount of alarm, Ves tried to test out a number of ways in which he could open a gap in the decahedron.
Nothing worked.
All of it failed.

Desperate times called for desperate measures.
After half an hour of procrastinating, he decided to take a risk.
He summoned the Amastendira from his inventory and dialed it up to the highest setting.

”I don ’t know what ’s going to happen, but I hope it will work. ”

A bright beam flashed out from the barrel of the mastercrafted laser pistol.
The thick beam carved a hole straight through the pane of light.

Everything changed at that moment.

The decahedron grew unstable while a wild storm of light happened just outside the hole.
Ves grew dizzy staring at the nonsensical sight.
It felt a lot like looking straight out of a window of a ship travelling in FTL.

He closed his eyes and tried to suppress his headache.

Once he opened his eyes.
He emerged in an entirely different location.

Gone was the asteroid.
Gone was the decahedron.
The cave behind him disappeared as well, along with the 3D printer and supplies he had brought.

Only Lucky remained.
His cat had hung onto his shoulder in fear.
His paws tightly gripped his hazard suit to the point of scratching its coating.

”Where… am I? ” He asked as he looked around his completely different surroundings.

Ves somehow emerged on a Terran jungle planet.
The environment mimicked the Terran standard, and when his hazard suit tested the air, it found it breathable, though there were traces of poisonous substances in the air.

A human might be able to survive for a week.
As for Ves, his hybrid human physique should comfortable be able to breathe the air, not that he intended to do so for the time being.

Gravity also started to act upon him.
It hadn ’t acted on his body immediately, but rather eased him to it, as if he didn ’t entirely exist on this strange location.

Ves had the sense that the decahedron only partially transpositioned him to this location.

”Did I interrupt some kind of spatial shift? ”

His spontaneous and reckless decision to shoot the decahedron with a high-powered laser beam had disrupted what he suspected to be a teleportation process.

Ves could have easily turned his body into noodles or fractured it in tiny pieces across multiple light-years.
That he came through this disaster with his body somewhat intact was a miracle.

Still, that didn ’t mean he was out of the woods just yet.
He still had to figure out a way to get back to his asteroid.

”Now what? ”

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