The Mech Touch Chapter 1100
1098 Sacred Facsimile
The more Ves progressed in his design work, the more imposing the Aurora Titan became. From the very start, Ves conceived his design to be a large and eye-catching mech.
Using every bit of artistic sense in his bone, Ves tried his best to avoid giving his Aurora Titan an obsese appearance. When Ves took a step back to evaluate the look of his design, he thought he did a decent job in making his mech look broad and barrel-chested rather than a round, upright pig.
"The contours of a mech not only define its performance, but also its perception. If a mech looks fat, the public will inevitably apply some of their prejudices to it. Regardless of its actual performance, it's very hard to change people's biases on my Aurora Titan design once they developed some biases against it. Sometimes, these biases don't even have to be backed by the truth!"
Knowing how easy it was for the public to collectively turn against his Aurora Titan design, Ves did his best to nip this problem in the bud.
While he couldn't do much about the expanded size of his mech, Ves nonetheless designed his mech with visual features that drew positive attention.
One example was the flamboyant Luminant Orca flight system, which unfolded somewhat akin to the wings of an angel when fully deployed. To Ves, the bright golden glow around the wings harkened back to the vault of the gods that used to cover the skies of Aeon Corona VII.
Each of his design choices concerning the Aurora Titan, whether they related to its functionality or its aesthetic appearance, all received the support of Qilanxo's spiritual fragment.
"It's as much my design as it it yours. It's fair for me to give you a say in how the mech takes shape."
The pleasure and approval radiating from the fragment in his mind validated his decision to let his spiritual fragment play an integral role in the formation of his design.
The result was as if Ves felt as if he designed a custom mech tailored to fit a single client perfectly. Qlianxo's spiritual fragment was much more involved in the design process than any of his previous images. The fragment was alive and aware in a way that the images created in his mind from his own pale spirituality could never measure up. There was such a quantitative difference between the two that Ves never considered going back to relying on images alone!
"This is a much more involved design process! How can I ever go back to playing with my imagination by myself?"
His previous images had all been formed by his mind. While they acquired their own separate identities due to his actions, it didn't change the fact that they shared a common root with Ves.
This meant that all of their opinions and beliefs were copied from him as well!
The only reason why they appeared distinct from Ves was that they only emphasized a more narrow set of beliefs that was compatible with their images.
"It's essentially interacting with a split personality of mine." Ves summed up. "So far, I mainly designed my mechs by talking to myself. It's not that much better than designing a mech without any guidance."
Ves never experienced a sharper difference from his old methods when he let the active spiritual fragment in his mind ride along his design work. When Ves became the most engaged in his design work, the boundary between Ves and the spiritual fragment even began to blur!
In this short but brief state where they partially became of one mind, they always managed to add a very distinct design quirk to the Aurora Titan design!
The only problem here was that sometimes the decisions made by Qilanxo's spiritual fragment were pretty out there. It wasn't a mech designer after all, so it held much less regard to the technical practicalities of his design.
In these cases, Ves either worked with them despite the additional complications they brought or he vetoed them outright. He used the latter sparingly, though, in order to avoid upsetting the fragment.
"Ouch! Look, it's really a bad idea to add a tail to the Aurora Titan! It's a humanoid mech, not a lizardman mech! A tail is just awful idea for so many reasons that I don't know where to begin! Ouch ouch ouch! Please stop pulsing your fury into my mind!"
Aside from these unpleasant experiences, Ves largely maintained a harmonious relationship with the fragment. They even grew closer during their shared work experience.
He even felt as if his Spirituality began to take some of the properties of the spiritual fragment.
This realization abruptly forced him to a stop.
"Am I beginning to resonate with the fragment in some ways? Or am I being contaminated by the fragment's values and beliefs?"
This was a very important question that Ves did not consider thoroughly enough. Hosting an extremely powerful spiritual fragment in his mind for at least a month should have led to a lot of changes, some of which Ves might not find desirable!
However, Ves did not immediately panic as he did not feel as if his sense of self had shifted in a major way.
"I shouldn't be so susceptible to contamination. Even if the fragment is a lot more powerful than me, it hasn't been hostile to me. Any diffusion that has occurred is accidental rather than deliberate."
While Ves couldn't rule out that hosting living spiritual fragment of other beings might find a way to affect his own beliefs, he couldn't do much about it at this time. He couldn't very well boot out Qilanxo's spiritual fragment from his mind, only for it to drift away in the imaginary realm.
"If I want to minimize any negative side effects, then I need to hurry up with completing my design."
Time continued to pass as Ves made brisk progress in designing the Aurora Titan. Two months passed in relative peace before he made it to what he considered to be the halfway point.
At this stage, most of the major design choices had been set, and the rest of the work entailed smaller refinements instead of major choices that impacted the entire design on a fundamental level.
"My mech looks increasingly more fitting for its name!"
Ves played with the moniker he bestowed upon it to shape the Aurora Titan into a giant humanoid figure. Strength and power radiated from the masculine contours of his design.
This was a mech that embodied strength and resilience!
In addition, so long as it unfolded its wings, the golden glow that suffused them gave the Aurora Titan a majestic flair!
"Just the appearance of this big boy alone can do wonders in inspiring others!"
Outfits mostly employed knight mechs and space knights as damage sponges, yet that did not mean that they couldn't enjoy their own moments of glory. A space knight often formed the mental bulwark of a mech unit. Their continued presence served as an anchor for everyone's morale.
As long as the space knight still remained present on the battlefield, the rest of its unit endured as well!
"It's similar to how the Flagrant Vandals employ the Hellcat hybrid knights as their signature mechs. Even if they're expensive pieces of overgeared machines, their dramatic battle performance exerts an outsized influence in every short battle!"
Frankly, a major part why the Aurora Titan gained such a remarkable appearance was due to the creative influence of Qilanxo's spiritual fragment. In some way, his design started to resemble the Sacred Gods, at least in spirit.
Of course, all of these complicating factors also gave Ves a lot of headaches with regards to efficiency and performance. This was why it took two months just to reach the halfway point. He only took some solace in the fact that now that every major design decision was set, he wouldn't be working so slowly anymore.
"My mech has already taken shape. It's just the details that needs to be added. Any choices I make there won't have as much impact as before."
Usually, Ves would just proceed to go to the next step of the design phase, but he realized that he had already made a lot of unilateral decisions.
"I should at least give Professor Ventag the courtesy to check up on my work so far."
After careful consideration, he decided to call the professor on his comm. This time, Ves did not connect to his secretary but patched straight through the Senior.
"Ves. It's been some time." He said. "By the looks of it, you've made a lot of progress in our design project."
"I have. I'm sorry for dropping off in the last two months. Let me show you what I've created so far. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised."
While a Senior could scan a mech design in a couple of seconds, Ves nonetheless took the time to describe his thought processes behind each important design decision.
Naturally, he completely left out Qilanxo's spiritual fragment out of the retelling.
At the end of his explanation, Ves summed up his progress up to now. "While I haven't put the Aurora Titan through any simulators yet, I think you won't be disappointed by its performance."
The professor sat silently on the other end of the communication channel. Ves provided the Senior with a lot of information.
"Frankly, I'm surprised at your work. You've exceeded my expectations. Your work is practically indistinguishable from the work of Journeymen, at least from a technical standpoint. While there are many design decisions that I can't help but question, I'm glad that you at least adhered to a consistent logic in your design process. That said, I think you really ought to reconsider some of the most troubling aspects."
The Senior Mech Designer guided him to some of his most contentious design choices. It wasn't as if Ves didn't know about those troubling issues, but both he and his Qilanxo already accepted the tradeoffs they made. Even if they made the mech weaker in one area, it inevitably gained something in another area.
The professor knew that too so the Senior only questioned Ves sufficiently in order to make sure he knew what he was getting into. As long as Ves accepted the consequences of his design choices, it was okay to take some unconventional design choices!
"What I'm most impressed about your work so far is that you have been unabashed in leaving your own mark in your design. It's anything but generic." The professor praised. "However, while it's always good to distinguish your work from the pack, don't go too far in trying to produce a unique work. For all the bashing that generic mech designs receive, sometimes customers prize stability and consistent performance over flashy but unstable features."
Ves nodded. He knew that the professor in fact warned him that he was already crossing over the line with regards to some of his more radical implementations. The Aurora Titan was anything but an average mech, and Ves tried his best to turn it into a fantastic mech design.
"At this stage in the design process, I could use your help in fleshing out its internal architecture." Ves requested, bringing up the other reason why he called the professor. "This is much more to your area of expertise. If I casually begin to dabble into its design, there's a large chance that it won't pass muster. Could you provide some guidance to me in this area?"
"Certainly. I have already identified numerous critical points you need to pay attention to when you flesh out the internal architecture. Let me list them out for you. Before I give you some advice on how to tackle them or implement my own solutions, I want to see how you'll address them first."
Ves accepted this approach. This entire joint design project was supposed to be a learning experience for him, so he cherished the opportunity to receive some hands-on tutoring from an actual Senior.
"First, let's talk about the issues related to the Luminant Orca flight system. This isn't your average flight system, Ves, and you need to take several additional factors into account…"