The Mech Touch
Ves immediately returned to the temporary workshops and ran the mech technicians ragged.
The maintenance crews couldn ’t afford to slack off their continuous repair duties, but they also couldn ’t take too long to fabricate six extra Enduring Protectors!
In that moment, the mech workshops descended into hell!
With a pushy taskmaster like Ves at the helm, none of the mech technicians had the opportunity slack off! He drove each and everyone of them to the brink.
They needed to complete twice the work in half the time! While it drove everyone crazy, Ves was more than familiar with their temperaments.
They may be rather lazy most of the time, but they could accomplish a lot of work for a short amount of time!
Ves knew that he couldn ’t drive the mech technicians to such a punishing pace for long, but it shouldn ’t be a problem to run them ragged for a couple of days!
The chief technicians and mech technicians all cursed at him, but what could they do? Ves knew each and every trick in the book, and he cracked down on any attempts at skirting their works.
Some mech technicians even suffered ’workplace accidents ’ that should have sent them packing to the infirmary.
Instead of doing so, Ves called in the doctors and patched the injured mech technicians up with emergency treatments that put them back intact.
Though the short-term treatments only kept them up and running for a week at most before they collapsed, the injured mech technicians regained enough strength to resume their duties!
”Anyone else who suffers a ’workplace accident ’ will get fed to the critters roaming outside! ” Ves declared with a scowl on his face.
All of the mech technicians became intimidated by the force in his words.
They didn ’t know whether Ves would follow through with his threat, but from the sternness radiating from his voice and posture, he seemed completely willing and able to toss the mech technicians to the dogs!
Privately, Ves wouldn
’t go so far, if only because the Vandals couldn
’t afford to lose any manpower.
Losing a couple of them at once would set back their work schedules a lot! They couldn ’t afford to fall behind on their repair and maintenance tasks.
Several days passed by as new Enduring Protectors slowly emerged from the workshops.
Ves unavoidably went for haste this time, which caused the newly-finished mechs to be a bit less sound than the ones that joined the exploration party.
Ves couldn ’t help it, as previously he had an entire month to fabricate twelve of them.
This time, he needed to complete one mech every day in order to meet Captain Byrd ’s expectations.
The breakdown effect truly did its best to hinder the mech technicians in every step of the way.
The 3D printers underwent continuous inspections and repair while their tools sometimes failed midway or caused serious accidents.
Still, after several marathon sessions and sleepless nights, the exhausted Vandal mech technicians managed to fabricate six mechs in six days, all the while somehow managing to keep up with their regular duties.
This was a miracle in management! Even though many mech technicians collapsed and productivity immediately dropped for the next few days, at the very least they hadn ’t fallen behind on their work.
They all developed a new hatred for Ves, but he took no notice of their newly invigorated dislike for him.
As long as they got the job done, they could say whatever they wanted behind his back.
To Ves, he long stopped paying close attention to mech technicians.
Perhaps he inherited some bad habits from the Swordmaidens, as he outright treated them as slaves during this hectic period.
Unwilling to work? Too tired to stay awake? Get back to work!
Although it was terribly unfair for Ves to subject the mech technicians to such a brutal work pace, their entire situation was unfair from the start.
If the situation called for it, he did not hesitate to turn into a tyrant and incur a lot of hatred on himself.
Compared to their lives, what did their welfare matter?
As Ves delivered the Enduring Protectors, Captain Byrd already prepped a few Vandals to pilot them.
More and more laser rifleman mechs turned into empty shells as their mech pilots got assigned to the Enduring Protectors.
The same applied to the Swordmaidens as precious Devil Razors joined the reserves as their mech pilots boarded the cockpits of the Asteria leopard mechs.
All of these transfers considerably weakened the strength of the main forces.
With so many mechs lacking mech pilots, the Flagrant Swordmaidens became less certain that they could win a pitched battle against a rival force.
Fortunately, no enemy approached them as of yet.
Whether this status quo would hold for long, nobody knew.
Everyone knew that a battle couldn ’t be avoided.
However, now was not the time.
Even after a week since the last status update, no spider bot came back from the center of the red zone.
No matter if it was Ves, Chief Dakkon or the other Vandals, they all started to suspect the worst.
Had the exploration party fallen into a trap? Did they fall into a deadly environmental hazard?
The sheer amount of possibilities left the Vandals and Swordmaidens guessing.
This was also why Captain Byrd and Commander Lydia anxiously prepared a follow-up party.
This time, not a lot of people gathered to send the small follow-up party off.
Six Asterias and six Enduring Protectors both set off with a fast transport carrying loads of spider bots.
This time, Chief Dakkon exerted a considerable amount of effort in improving the design of his spider bot.
The Mark II version of the spider bot incorporated more robust and expensive materials.
This vastly increased the resource cost of producing them, but none of the Vandals could afford to be stingy on this matter.
With over ten-thousand spider bots loaded into the cargo hold of the fast transports, it would send out up to ten spider bots per hour! Even if six or seven met with various mishaps, there was a good chance that at least one of them would make it to the preprogrammed drop points!
”I ’ve improved upon the design! This time, they won ’t fail, I swear! ” Chief Dakkon boasted.
Ves was a little skeptical about his boast.
He briefly studied the design of the old and new versions of the spider bots, and while he acknowledged their reliability and capabilities, they were ultimately disposable messenger bots.
Despite the hyperbole, the bots did pass on their messages with a bit more success than their predecessors.
With an overall survival rate of seventy percent in the first day and forty percent in the next two days, an ample amount of spider bots brought back duplicate messages every hour.
The continuous stream of intelligence reassured Captain Byrd and Commander Lydia.
Even though the Flagrant Swordmaidens truly paid a considerable price for upgrading the spider bots, nothing was scarier than losing touch!
Due to the perils the exploration party identified, the follow-up party marched slowly and steadily, prioritizing caution over speed.
Everything could be undone by a single wrong step, so they made sure not to land themselves in any danger.
Four days into their journey, the spider bot that returned passed on an alarming message.
The follow-up party stumbled upon the remnants of what looked like a battle between mechs!
Ves immediately got called to the mobile headquarters.
When he inspected the footage sent back with several spider bots, he immediately identified the bare and worn-out wrecks.
”These are certainly the wrecks of highly advanced but outdated mechs, ma
Look at the lack of corrosion.
If we can salvage those wrecks and recycle their materials, we can probably double the toughness of a handful of our mechs! ”
”Are they CFA mechs? ” Captain Byrd asked.
”No doubt about it.
” Ves stated.
”There are half-a-dozen obvious design quirks that are unique to older CFA mechs.
They have their own take on mechs. ”
Though weathering the environment for several thousand years stripped them bare of their coatings, he still spotted several telltale design characteristics that reminded him of old CFA mechs.
”Do these mechs come from the Starlight Megalodon ’s original mech contingent, or are they something they fabricated after crash landing on the planet? ”
Ves thought about it.
”I can ’t say for certain, but I ’m leaning towards the former.
The design of these mechs aren ’t very optimal in heavy gravity environments.
Look at those pieces of debris on their backs.
Those are the remains of gravitic backpacks. ”
While he could talk all day about the traits of the mechs, he couldn
’t tell what happened here.
Too much time had passed and most of the marks of the battle had long been wiped from the terrain.
Only the wreckages remained, but besides their salvage value, they really didn ’t offer anything else.
Still, just the presence of ancient mechs told them that the Starlight Megalodon used to field them in the past.
Were any of them still intact and in working condition? Ves couldn ’t imagine that something like that was possible, especially since so many years had passed by on the surface.
”In case we are forced to enter into battle against the CFA mechs, can you tell us how to best defend against them? ” The captain asked.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
This caused those present to shudder.
With all the weirdness that happened up to now, being forced to battle actual CFA mechs became a very real possibility!
’t exhibit any fear.
”There ’s nothing to be afraid of mechs of this generation.
Even if they are top-tier CFA mechs, they are so outdated that our regular mechs stand a good chance at beating them.
Our mechs benefit from an enormous amount of advancements, and this is not something that high-quality mechs from the CFA can resist if their designs are still the same. ”
”Is that true? ”
’m sure of it.
The only thing you need to pay attention to is that their armor systems are extravagant.
Even their light skirmishers can be as tough as heavy knights in certain cases! Therefore, it is very hard to overpower an outdated CFA mech unless you apply overwhelming force.
There ’s no other shortcut to defeating them.
Just the material value of their mechs alone are worth as much as entire planets of the Bright Republic! ”
This did not make it easy for the Vandal mech officers.
It would be best if they didn ’t meet any CFA mechs in battle at all! Even though the warship lovers disdained the use of mechs, they still made serious use of them! The mech designers in the employ of the CFA weren ’t that much worse from the mech designers working for the MTA!
Over the following days, the follow-up party uncovered other curiosities which the spider bots sent back.
They found no other remnants of CFA mechs, but they did find plenty of traces of battle.
It became abundantly clear that the survivors of the CFA engaged in a very frigid conflict at some point in time.
Once the follow-up party came close to the last location of the exploration party, they doubled the amount of spider bots sent back and also slowed down their pace.
They managed to identify the indentations in the ground that the exploration party left behind.
They led straight towards the shadow of the Starlight Megalodon that loomed in the distance.
”We have not encountered any of the members of the exploration party as of yet.
” The mech officer in charge of the follow-up party reported.
”After scouting our surroundings for any hazards, we intend to split up and seek out the exploration party.
If we haven ’t encountered any trace of them after a couple of hours of searching, our mechs are instructed to pull back to this location in order to determine our next step.
Our fast transport and a couple of mechs will stay behind. ”
Splitting up the follow-up party put the individual mechs at considerable risk, but it also spread the risk.
If anything dangerous lurked in the vicinity of the Starlight Megalodon, at the very least they could still send back word of the loss!
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