The Mech Touch Chapter 1061
1059 Decoy Image
Ves put down his work and took a long and relaxing break in order to recover his mental strength. His Spirituality recovered far slower than usual due to the continued presence of Qilanxo's spiritual fragment in his mental and spiritual space.
He described the sensation as hosting a power reactor in his home. While the fragment did its best to keep itself contained, the residual energy leaking out from was incredibly hot and corrosive to his mind. Its spiritual quality and quantity was far above what Ves could muster on his own.
His mind simply wasn't acclimated to this degree of spiritual strength!
Therefore, ever since he woke up after that fateful experiment, he felt as if his mind was constantly being strained. While this burden debilitated him enormously at first, he slowly acclimated himself to the effects.
Ves inadvertently recalled the time he developed the mental resilience training program. By forcing captive dwarf warriors to use their invasive abilities upon the mind-machine connection of a mech pilot with a training mech, the latter experienced a heavy burden on their minds.
The mental pain resulting from this procedure brought a lot of pain to the mech pilots undergoing the training sessions, but they also gained an opportunity to discipline their minds. As they continued to partake in the training sessions, their minds became increasingly more resistant against adverse mental influences.
As the lead developer of this training program, Ves recognized much of the same symptoms within himself. He his mind was already starting to adjust to the ongoing mental and spiritual torture he put himself through when he continued to host a potent foreign spiritual fragment!
The only difference here besides the source of the burden was that Ves possessed a much more robust Spirituality. Even though Qilanxo's spiritual fragment likely put a much greater burden on his mind than the random thoughts of a savage dwarf, his mental strength was just enough to cope with its corrosive outbursts.
"The only problem is that this training session is continuous. I can't turn it off." Ves smiled ruefully to himself. "I guess this is what I get after forcing so many mech pilots to endure their own form of torture."
Whenever Ves emerged from his quarters, he drew several stares due to his slow movements and his strained expressions. Some even suggested to him that he should pay a visit to the Lormant Carnival's medical bay.
"I'm fine. I'm just tired, that's all. My comm will alarm me if I am sick."
Even as he said that, he felt as if the insides of his head was constantly on fire. The pain sometimes made it unbearable for him to maintain a proper conversation with someone else. He ignored everyone else aboard the light carrier and spent his time away from others, including Professor Ventag.
When the professor showed some concern, Ves managed to fob him off with an excuse that he was having difficulties with realizing his vision for his mech design.
It helped that it was the truth. Many mech designers procrastinate over their designs and held second thoughts. With all the controversy his fatty mech design would draw from the public, it only made sense if Ves began to harbor doubts.
The misdirection succeeded in fooling Professor Ventag into giving Ves some much needed space.
While being able to polish his mentality sounded nice, Ves absolutely did not enjoy the pain that came with it. He couldn't wait until his mind grew strong and resilient enough to cope with the burden.
In the meantime, he began to consider his approach to the next step in his master plan to perform the most powerful iteration of his Triple Division technique yet. With two out of three of the images based upon actual spiritual fragments instead of pale, intangible images, he expected much out of their eventual combination!
The main issue that concerned Ves at the moment was that he was afraid that Qilanxo's spiritual fragment was simply too strong to be combined with the other two images. The totem animal component of his Triple Division technique overemphasized instinctive reactions without much thought.
It would be very bad for his slow and sluggish fatty mech to make the wrong moves at the wrong time. Its lack of mobility at abysmal reaction time meant that the mech pilot needed to commit to the right decision after a lot of conscious and rational considerations.
Ves did not harbor much hopes for the image of the base model. It was a completely imaginary image that was only included in the Triple Division technique to fit the images better to his eventual mech design.
"Perhaps I can apply my new technique to the base model as well one day."
For now, Ves already had his hands full with all of the innovations he introduced. He didn't feel certain about his speculations concerning how he could empower the base model, so he set it aside and planned to go back to it later after he tallied the results of his current experiments.
"Let's get back to my approach."
Having found out how dangerous and burdensome it was to obtain and host a spiritual fragment of a powerful living entity, Ves knew he needed to be more circumspect in his next attempt.
Back when he first attempted the Spiritual Resonance technique, Ves believed he succeeded in finding her spiritual existence within the vast imaginary realm because he knew her intimately.
It would be a lot harder to find the spiritual existence of Venerable Fontain. Even though he was stationed aboard another ship of the escort fleet and thus not too far away, Ves never met the expert pilot personally so he didn't possess a grip on Venerable Fontain's spirituality at all. How could he hone in on his target's spirituality within the vast and sometimes stormy fog that suffused the imaginary realm?
"I'll just have to rely on the details I've learned from the data pad."
Ves read up on Venerable Fontain's history. He witnessed the expert pilot in battle several times through the provided battle footage.
As long as the information provided by Professor Ventag was accurate, Ves believed he stood a decent chance at finding Venerable Fontain's spiritual existence within the imaginary realm.
"Obviously, I can't knock on the door of a stranger and ask for a favor." Ves shook his head.
He had no idea how he would be able to pry a spiritual fragment from Venerable Fontain's spiritual existence, but it wouldn't be as straightforward as last time.
In case Ves encountered difficulties which forced him to resort to unsavory methods, he did not wish to bring an angry expert pilot knocking on the hatch to his quarters screaming bloody murder!
If he wanted to commit a crime and get away with it, the first rule should be to hide his identity. As long as Venerable Fontain didn't know it was Ves who rudely stole a part of his spirituality, then he had no recourse to get it back!
Naturally, Ves only reluctantly dared to do so because he believed he could handle the strength of an expert pilot. While Venerable Foster was no representative of veteran expert pilots, she was already considerably strong due to her talent.
Even if Venerable Fontain possessed a substantially stronger spirituality, the key to Ves' approach that he intended to move when the expert was asleep!
"No one can stay awake forever. For all the talk about comparing expert pilots to demigods, even they need to sleep every once in a while."
The records on the expert pilot already stated that Venerable Fontain was a baseline human. Aside from some light genetic treatments, he was as human as the average person that Ves could find on the streets of Bentheim.
That was good. Baseline humans needed to sleep. They often developed a regular sleeping cycle as well.
As Ves slowly got used to the burden in his mind and recovered his spiritual strength, he tried to develop a way to obscure his actual identity. After all, there was much about spirituality that Ves did not know. He couldn't assume that they became dormant when the person it was tied to fell asleep.
In case Venerable Fontain's slumbering spirituality was lucid enough to capture an impression of the intruder, Ves at least wanted to fool it with a fake appearance!
Ves came up with a simple solution. At least in concept. "Since already so good and practiced at forming images in my mind, why not construct a decoy?"
If Ves developed an image of a pink unicorn and put it in front of his consciousness, perhaps he might be able to fool Venerable Fontain into thinking it was just his mind going astray.
"Why a pink unicorn? Why not something else?"
Perhaps.. he could even cast the blame on someone else! Ves suddenly grinned as a devious thought occurred to him. Why not construct an image of Venerable Foster and pretend to be her when he invaded Venerable Fontain's mind?
What could Fontain do if he became aware of what occurred? He would be obsessing over Venerable Foster, putting her into his crosshairs even as he struggled to comprehend what just happened.
Yet he wouldn't be able to do anything to Venerable Foster without reigniting the war. The mech pilot would be forced to rage impotently as he felt he lost something precious while blaming the wrong target!
"Hehehe." Ves chuckled in an unseemly manner. "I finally get to pay you back for all the things you've done."
He constructed a reasonably accurate image of Venerable Foster in his mind. It wasn't the most accurate impression, but it resembled her closely enough. It helped that he was somewhat familiar with her and interacted with her for hours at a time during the peace talks, even if he did most of the talking during those awkward conversations.
The best part about the image that Ves accurately reproduced Venerable Foster's force of will. Venerable Foster subjected her ire to Ves so many times that he still possessed a strong impression of being at the receiving end of her single-minded spirituality!
Perhaps someone even more familiar with Venerable Foster would be able to spot the flaws in his impression of her spirituality, but Ves ruled that out in this instance. Venerable Foster only recently advanced to expert pilot and she hadn't tested herself in battle against other expert pilots.
Ves was pretty certain that the two expert pilots never met in person!
"Venerable Fontain shouldn't be familiar with Venerable Foster at all."
This gave Ves confidence that his dirty trick would work in deflecting the blame for his upcoming actions.
He took a day to refine his image of Venerable Foster. He defined as much details as he could recall in order to make the misdirection as convincing as possible.
At some point in time, night cycle was well underway across the escort fleet. At least a third of the crew was asleep right now, and Ves bet that Venerable Fontain was one of them. The chances that he wasn't part of the main shift was small, but not nonexistent.
If Venerable Fontain turned out to be awake and fully aware, then Ves might enter into a very dangerous moment of his own making! Intruding upon someone else's spirituality was deeply unsettling!
Yet Ves did not have much choice. Venerable Fontain was a good target for his human myth, and this would be as close as they could get before the escort fleet returned to the New Foundation System.
Ves wasn't entirely sure whether physical distance affected his chances of success. He didn't know whether he knew enough about Venerable Fontain to find him in the imaginary realm, but he needed to move quickly if physical proximity in fact made it easier to pin down his location.
He sat himself on his bunk with crossed legs and pretended to enter a seance again. "Here goes nothing."