The Mech Touch Chapter 1098
As much as Ves enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, he still had a job to do. The single most important responsibility of a mech designer was to design mechs, and the LMC would never be able to realize all of its ambitions by remaining stuck at offering only two mech models for sale.
"It's high time for the Aurora Titan to join the LMC's lineup."
He made sure the LMC still committed to implement Phase 2. He also arranged a huge pile of homework for Ketis for her enhanced learning ability to sink its teeth into. Finally, he checked with Melkor and gave him a heads up about the bounty on his head.
Predictably, his cousin frowned when he heard the news. "We haven't heard an inkling of this threat."
"You should be more on top of the local underground scene, Melkor." Ves lightly admonished him. "While it's important to train the new members of the Avatars and arrange missions for them, make sure you aren't losing sight of your primary task, which is to protect my life."
"You're right. It's just that I'm not that into the underground scene."
"Don't worry. You should get in touch with Dietrich or the Whalers and tell them to keep an eye on any news about me or the LMC. Raella can also help since she's more immersed in the Bentheim scene."
Melkor scowled a bit. "Raella? She's so busy flaunting her status as a Blood Claw champion to care about the family."
"What's this all about, Melkor? Are you still upset about her decision to ditch us? As far as I'm concerned, that's all over in the past."
"It's just so selfish of her, you know. The family invested so much attention in her training, but her obsession for arena duels has led her astray. Even if she renounced her ties to the family, she's still dragging the name of the Larkinsons through the mud each time she fights on behalf of the Blood Claws."
Ves crossed his arms. "She was obviously not content to remain with us. There's no point in trying to retain her if she's so hellbent on following her own path instead of the one the family laid out for her. There are plenty more Larkinsons who are following the straight and narrow path."
They moved on to discuss other matters related to the Avatars of Myth. Right now, Melkor already lined some small contracts for his men to gain some field experience. These short-duration missions only required him to send out a single squad at a time, which suited everyone just fine.
After bidding goodbye to Melkor, he entered his underground lab and prepared to undergo the next design phase. Now that he had a good idea on what other people thought about his draft design, he finally gained enough confidence to start with converting the draft into an actual design.
"Everyone raised some good points, but it's hard to address them without giving anything up." Ves shook his head.
This was the nature of any design project. Ves made a lot of tradeoffs that entailed sacrificing mobility for his current design project. This was a very decision for him to make because mobility almost always played a key role in the battle performance of a mech.
"I've made my choices. Even with my Aurora Titan's lack of mobility, I can still make up for it in other ways!"
Ves centered his mind in order to enter his best state. As a mech designer, he constantly thought about designing mechs, so he didn't need to be so serious about it. The only reason why he still did it was because he wanted to excite Qilanxo's spiritual fragment that had been resting in his mind for a while.
"Wake up. It's time to design the mech that you'll inhabit."
The fragment released a pulse, its scorching energy burning his mindspace a bit. Ves winced as he bore the pain. Every single action the fragment took burdened his mind in some way. Even if he had gotten used to its weighty presence, the fragment was still too potent compared to the strength of his mind!
"If Qilanxo is equivalent to an ace pilot, then ace pilots deserve to be regarded as half gods!"
Although the preparation brought him some discomfort, the fragment roused itself awake. Ves found it interesting that the fragment displayed a pretty complete personality. It could make its own decisions and even made proactive moves when it suited its purposes. It was just as if Qilanxo was directly present!
"I'm a very long distance away from replicating such a feat." Ves muttered.
Ever since he started toying with spiritual fragments, he wondered what would happen if he carved out a chunk of his own Spirituality.
Would Ves be able to imbue it with a part of his personality and enable it to act autonomously?
Would Ves be able to maintain an active connection with it and be able to act from the fragment even if he left it behind in another star system?
All of these questions sounded interesting, but Ves was way too leery to actually go through with this experiment. At the time, he didn't have a full picture on the damage this move could do to his own mind and spirit. The last thing he wanted to do was to spiritually mutilate himself in the name of exploring his possibilities!
He snorted. "That's what test subjects are for. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on a couple of dwarves from Aeon Corona VII."
He spent quite a bit of time trying to find new applications of spirituality. Seeing Qilanxo's spiritual fragment at work in transforming a normal mech pilot into an expert pilot really opened his eyes on the nature of spiritual energy. All of his thoughts lately came from trying to play with the attributes of spiritual energy.
Yet the experiments he had in mind were ethically dubious. It would be better to perform them on individuals no one cared about.
"Well, enough about this, let's get to work."
With his mind at his best state, he began to call up his design program and began to flesh out his draft.
The first step in doing so was to outline its internal architecture and fill up its core functions with actual component designs.
"My design revolves around the polarizing module, so it's better to start from there and work my way around it. This module is really too big to be treated as an add-on." He muttered.
He made full use of NORA Consolidated's component library to add in other parts. He had so much choice that he browsed it as if he was shopping for presents. Ves already studied all of the relevant component licenses that could be fitted into the Aurora Titan and judged their merits.
"Power reactor, engine, sensor system, communication system, ECM, cockpit, etcetera."
He did try to find a way to incorporate his own licenses, in particular his favored Veltrex armor system and Oleg's Trailblazer engine. Yet for all of their merits, neither of them meshed particularly well with the Aurora Titan's design concept.
"The Veltrex armor system offers good protection, but it's expensive to maintain." He knew. "Its three-layer armor system sounds effective in theory, but it just makes the armor plating very troublesome to maintain in the field."
Generally, this was also the case with other mechs that incorporated compressed armor, but it was especially worse with the complicated Veltrex formulas.
When Ves studied which armor systems Professor Ventag incorporated into his designs, he noticed that the Senior predominantly preferred simpler single-layer or double-layer armor systems. Not only did their formulas demand much less variety in materials, they could also be sourced more easily from various sources.
Even so, the downside to these simpler and more practical formulas was that they actually offered a lesser degree of protection compared to more complex armor systems!
"It seems the professor prefers practicality over achieving the best possible performance." Ves judged.
Ventag's down-to-earth design philosophy contrasted sharply with the Skull Architect's pursuit of perfection. Their design philosophies reflected their background and their working conditions.
"Professor Ventag is a Brighter and is used to designing third-class mechs to stingy customers. The Skull Architect started off designing second-class mechs to a much more prosperous mech market."
These two starting conditions strongly affected their design philosophies and the direction of their designs. The poorer the market conditions, the more buyers appreciated practicality over efficiency.
"Still, mech buyers in the Bright Republic are just as susceptible to comparing spec sheets of different mech models as those in the Friday Coalition."
The problem about elevating practicality over absolute performance was that it didn't translate well into hard numbers. Professor Ventag could get away with using less efficient but easier to work with components due to his reputation as a Senior and the skill he employed in weaving them into his designs.
Could Ves do the same?
"I think so. Even if I have left behind some small inefficiencies, Professor Ventag will surely wipe my butt when it's his turn to make a pass on the Aurora Titan."
He instead opted to incorporate a single-layer armor system called the Pisaro FPP-22 Mark III. The Pisaro's armor formula incorporated various exotics that weren't hard to source in the Bright Republic or the rest of the Komodo Star Sector, which was one of the main reasons why NORA Consolidated licensed it. The best part about the Pisaro was that its damage resistance increased remarkably after exceeding a certain level of thickness!
"It's actually an armor system that is suitable for heavy mechs."
Actual heavy mechs generally used more sophisticated multi-layer armor systems. Unlike private outfits, the mech regiments who tended to field these giant beasts always had their logistics in order. The remarkable capacity of the Flagrant Vandals to repair and even build new mechs from scratch from the Wolf Mother, the Beggar's Bounty and the Linever Swan came to mind!
That left the Pisaro in a somewhat awkward place, as no one really had a demand for cheap and practical armor systems for heavy mechs.
Even so, the Pisaro still offered decent enough performance when applied to medium mechs that emphasized defense. Although it was a bit heavier than most other armor systems geared towards medium mechs, the protection it offered was well worth it for its price!
"The only other downside I have to keep in mind is that it doesn't do well against vibrations and concussive shocks."
Single-layer armor system possessed no inherent buffer to absorb vibrations and shocks, unlike with the three-layer Veltrex armor system. This made any mech that used the Pisaro armor system susceptible to explosive damage such as ballistic cannon shells or missile volleys. However, Ves would just have to make it up in other ways such as incorporating shock-absorbing design features into the Aurora Titan's internal architecture.
The final factor why he chose to go with the Pisaro armor system was that it had been designed to work well with polarizing fields. While the polarizing module that Ves included in the Aurora Titan design could cooperate with any armor system, some simply held onto the polarizing fields better than others.
It was like some metals exhibited stronger attraction to magnetism than others. Because the Pisaro armor system had been initially conceived for heavy mechs, its developers made sure to optimise its ability to layer polarizing fields on top of it without resorting to excessive means.
"It's a heavy armor system, but it's cheaper even if used in bulk."
Of all the advantages that the Pisaro armor system brought to the table, Ves valued its cost effectiveness the most. Since the size and dimensions of the Aurora Titan would roughly be at least twenty percent larger than a medium knight, its production cost rose dramatically. If Ves wanted to keep the cost of production at around 60 million credits, then he needed to find a way to reduce the cost of its most expensive component, which was its armor system!
"The Pisaro is quite good in this regard! As expected of a component license selected by a Senior Mech Designer! Every license in Professor Ventag's library has their own merits!"