After two days of working on his vision of his third original design, Ves finally started nailed down the overall vision for his third original mech design.

He still retained the mech ’s short but wide cylindrical torso and its four, thick spider-like legs.
Instead of calling it a trash can mech or a barstool mech, he now regarded it as a crawler mech.

”It sounds much more elegant to call it a crawler-type frontline mech than calling it a trash can on legs. ”

The main trait of crawler mechs was that they sacrificed mobility for stability.
They weren ’t designed to run as fast as humanoid mechs or most bestial mechs.
What they excelled at the most was managing a mech ’s center of gravity and navigating through extremely rugged terrain.

However, most mechs that adopted crawler legs tended to be heavy mechs.
Their incredibly heavy weight and inability to move fast without allocating a ludicrous amount of power to its engines made them a good match for crawler legs.

For light mechs that relied heavily on mobility to fulfill their roles and evade any incoming attacks, they would never resort to something as silly as crawler legs that needlessly dragged down their mobility.

Did light mechs need the additional stability afforded by crawler legs? No!

”However, the equation is completely different if the weight of the mech is multiplied by six. ”

Regardless of the configuration of the legs, the light mech would never be able to move fast enough to sprint.
The only way for Ves to accomplish such extreme mobility would be if he designed an extreme mech that basically amounted to an engine on legs.

Such a mech would be able to move quickly even under Aeon Corona VII ’s crushing gravity.
However, the limited amount of energy cells and lack of room for any other features turned it into a short-lasting sprinter that couldn ’t do anything else.

Therefore, Ves firmly settled on the crawler type as his light mech would be able to take maximum advantage of the extra stability.
As for the impact on speed, Ves didn ’t expect it to be much slower.

Slowly, the mech in his vision changed from a creepy crawler to something that resembled a turtle in shape.
It moved as fast as a turtle and shared its overall shape sans the head.
The only difference was that the mech he envisioned lacked the toughness of a turtle shell but gained some laser cannons in return.

”Did I inadvertently design a bestial mech? ”

Besides the omission of a head, the shape did indeed resemble that of a turtle.
The other major difference was that the legs of his so-called turtle mech was a lot longer and thinner.

”It doesn ’t actually resemble a turtle or share much of its traits except for its general body shape, so technically it ’s not a bestial mech. ”

Ves did not draw upon existing animal shapes to envision his mech, so in his perspective it was still a frontline mech rather than a bestial mech.

This distinction mattered a lot because mech pilots approached frontline mechs and bestial mechs with different mindsets.

Bestial mechs took advantage of the shape of animals or exobeasts to empower it with advanced movement options and unconventional attack methods.

The bestial supremacy movement claimed that predator animals possessed an undeniable advantage in melee combat.
It was much easier for them to leverage their mobility to add weight to their attacks.

However, the humanoid supremacy movement contended that mech pilots adjusted much easier if they piloted human mechs.
Besides, humanoid mechs possessed a lot more flexibility and could easily switch weapon loadouts when the situation called for it.
Yet it was also undeniable that it was difficult to empower their melee attacks without depending on specific fighting styles.

The weird breakdown-proof mech that Ves envisioned ultimately fell outside of bestial and humanoid mechs.
It belonged to a third category called frontline mechs.

”Frontline mechs are mechs solely designed for battle. ”

They represented the essence of mechs at their purest form as machines geared for unending battle.
They were cheap to mass produce and required much less training to master than piloting humanoid mechs.

In the early days of the Age of Mechs, everyone believed that frontline mechs represented the future direction of mech design.
That was because their designs were extraordinarily efficient for their cost.
They exemplified the belief that quantity trumped quality.

Yet history had a way of turning expectations upside-down.

Two reasons emerged that explained why frontline mechs failed to become the dominant mech type.

First, as mechs that emphasized quantity over quality, mech pilots generally hated piloting them.
Only the poorest mech pilots with the worst genetic aptitudes preferred to pilot these weak but simple mechs.

Talented mech pilots needed better mechs to fully showcase their combat ability!

Cases where a group of four high-quality mechs defeated more than a hundred frontline mechs through waging guerilla war sometimes appeared on the news.
In addition, the existence of expert mechs and expert pilots almost completely subverted the idea that quantity mattered the most!

The second reason was that mech pilots generally weren ’t as abundant as everyone thought.
Only a small portion of the population possessed the right genetic aptitude to pilot mechs, and only a fraction of those possessed the grit and mindset to set foot on the battlefield.

As disgraceful as it sounded, a majority of potentates actually consisted of cowards.
They were willing to go along with the training in order to take advantage of the status afforded to potentates.
Yet when it came to risking their lives, they turned into crybabies who would faint at the sight of blood.

Therefore, the pool of mech pilots in any state or region only possessed a limited depth.
If a mech military foisted all of their available mech pilots with cheap, disposable mechs, then their manpower would run out sooner or later while achieving a disappointing amount of impact on the battlefield.

”The ultimate bottleneck a mech military has to contend with is manpower.
There are so many mech pilots to go around.
It makes more sense to make the most out of the limited pool of manpower by pairing them with better quality mechs that last longer on the battlefield. ”

These two reasons basically restricted the rise and overwhelming dominance of frontline mechs.
Still, the frontline mech supremacy movement still held out hope for the future.
These fanatics predict that they enjoyed the last laugh.

This was because frontline mechs became a lot more viable in two different scenarios.
First, when automation advanced to such an extent where AI mech pilots performed better than human mech pilots.

The second scenario that favored frontline mechs was when genetic aptitude no longer limited the pool of possible mech pilots.
When twenty, fifty or a hundred percent of all humans could pilot a mech, a sea of change would sweep through all of human space!

No longer would the privilege of piloting mechs be restricted to 3.5 percent of all humans! This significantly increased the pool of manpower able to pilot mechs and lead to a much more devastating wars as the quantity of mechs on the battlefield multiplied by at least an order of magnitude!

Ves did not dare to make predictions of what might happen in the far future.
He was not delusional enough to believe that mechs would be able to reign supreme forever.
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”The sunset of the Age of Mechs.
I wonder how far off this future will come into being. ”

Hopefully, Ves enjoyed a long and fruitful career of a mech designer by the time mechs began to decline.
At best, he wanted to pass on from his life while mech still flourished and where everyone still remembered his legacy.

Ves shook his head.
”What am I thinking? ”

He refocused his mind back to his frontline mech.
Now that he pinned down its shape and basic traits, he wanted to add some personality to the design in his vision.

”It needs a name. ”

Obviously, he couldn ’t call it the Trash Can or the Turtle.
As a frontline mech, its overall shape resembled neither of the two.

A name should have meaning.
A name should represent something.
With these two demands, Ves tried to narrow down a name for a frontline mech with unusual traits.

”A name sends a message to the mech pilots on what the mech stands for.
A good name therefore puts the mech pilots into the right mindset. ”

How did he envision his mech in battle?

Ideally, they formed small teams and navigated rough terrain in unison.
Whenever they faced a threat in the distance, they pelted it with accurate, long-ranged laser cannons.

They moved slow.
They possessed a lot of endurance.
They were resilient to mechanical breakdowns.
They hit hard from afar.
They avoided melee combat.

”Out of all these traits, my design ’s resistance against the breakdown effect is the most important one by far.
This alone justifies its existence. ”

Ves started to motivate his Spirituality.
His vision began to take on substance as Ves started suffusing it with his formidable Spirituality.

”A mech that resists failure is a mech that stands eternal.
Eternal! What a familiar concept! ”

He once designed eternal variants of his mech designs intended for display purposes.
Yet to tack on the meaning of eternal to his third mech design would not be appropriate.

”A cheap mech won ’t last very long.
It only has to be resilient in the first month or so of its lifespan.
What happens after that is not important, because they ’ll be scrapped or recycled anyway. ”

The mech in his vision was therefore anything but eternal.
It was a fleeting design and only served a brief purpose before Ves retired it.
What could he call such a transient design?

”My mech is like a suicide bomber.
It only exists for a brief period of time, but it intends to stay alive long enough to complete its objective. ”

That was a tasteless comparison.
He shouldn ’t equate his mech design with suicide bombers, or else the mech pilots would gain the mistaken impression that they should sacrifice their mechs and lives in battle.

”What then? ”

After two hours of puzzling, Ves came across a final idea.

My design is a protector.
After all, isn ’t its purpose to escort our infantry to the Starlight Megalodon and secure their extraction route? ”

The main goal of his frontline mechs was to protect the infantry.
For this mission, the mech needed to endure difficult circumstances and resist the strengthened breakdown effect at all times.

The mechs needed to endure in order to fulfill their protection mission!

The concept resonated with Ves and his vision.
He felt as if he encountered a fitting label for his mech design.

Still, Ves felt that calling his mech design the Protector lacked a little flavor.
It needed something extra to distinguish its role and make it sound less generic.

”The second priority of the frontline mech is that it has to last long.
It needs to operate under crushing gravity while being as efficient as possible with its energy expenditure. ”

Ves flitted through various words that he could use to tack onto the concept of Protector.

”What about Enduring? ”

In the context of mechs, the meaning of the word enduring meant that a mech could last all day on the battlefield.
They stood in stark contrast to peak performance mechs that had an immediate impact on the battlefield at the cost of running out of juice in a matter of hours or even minutes.

”Enduring Protector. ”

In this case, the word carried a double meaning as the word Enduring also implied a capacity to resist difficult conditions.
In this case, this resistance wasn ’t against external attacks, but from internal wear-and-tear which the breakdown effect magnified to an enormous degree.

”It sounds a little boring, but I like it.
Let ’s run with that name. ”

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