The Mech Touch Chapter 1101
1099 Whacky Partner
Having an experienced Senior Mech Designer provide some guiding advice on the side helped Ves a lot.
They didn't cause him to change the fundamental nature of the Aurora Titan design. However, the insights he developed after thinking over Professor Ventag's leading questions led him to refine the decisions he already made into more optimal implementations.
In general, the assistance enhanced the qualities that the Aurora Titan already possessed.
At this stage of the design process, the professor also went to work himself. Ves hadn't designed much more than an outline of the internal architecture, but this was arguably the most important part of the mech since it had to support so many active systems. Without a robust enough architecture, Ves could forget about getting the polarizing module and the alien crystals to work!
Slowly but sure, the Aurora Titan transitioned from a fanciful concept into a very real mech design! Countless technical problems arose during the design process, but with Professor Ventag's mastery of internal design, the Aurora Titan never got close to becoming overloaded with all the systems it needed to support!
"The Aurora Titan design won't be a repeat of the Caesar Augustus design." Ves muttered to himself during his focused design spurts.
It helped that its larger size afforded the mech significantly more internal volume. This added room made a lot of difference in maximizing redundancy and compartmentalization, which defensive mechs needed a lot of in order to remain combat capable in the event of an armor breach!
"Still, with all the stuff I've added to the mech such as extra energy cells, the Aurora Titan isn't as good in these factors as other space knights."
However, as a specialist in damage control, Professor Ventag did wonders with the space he had at his disposal. He put his full expertise into play, to the point of adding certain strange abstruse methods into play!
Through the use of some technical wizardry, the sophistication of the internal architecture quickly exceeded the point where Ves could still follow the Senior's train of thought!
At certain points, Ves even felt as if achieved a condition where it felt as if Professor Ventag managed to make 1 plus 1 equal 2.01!
Ordinarily, this should have been an impossibility, but no matter how much Ves rubbed his eyes, the design somehow achieved synergies beyond what should have been technically possible!
Ves wasn't entirely unfamiliar with this phenomenon. Through various methods, a high-ranking mech designer was able to bend reality by employing their design philosophy!
"This is why Journeymen Mech Designers and upwards really differentiate their mechs with! Their design philosophies have grown to the point where they have gained a real competitive advantage in their area of specialty!"
Due to the incredibly advanced nature of these special features, Ves always came under significant mental strain whenever he attempted to study the implementations.
He knew better than to pry too deeply into Ventag's wondrous methods. The professor's design philosophy focused very much on the internals of mech. Their design philosophies overlapped very little, so further study would prove detrimental to Ves. It was not his intention to shift his own design philosophy in the direction of the professor's own beliefs!
"Each of us are following different paths. We are like artists collaborating on a single art piece. Rather than looking over my shoulder to emulate what my co-artist is doing so well, I should instead stick to my own area of expertise."
This was a lot harder than it sounded like someone like Ves. He hungered for improvement like a dwarf hungered for godling meat.
Any mech designer would be tempted, really. Yet such behavior would be detrimental at best and outright ruinous in other cases. Anyone below the rank of Journeymen still possessed a malleable design philosophy, and in most cases it didn't benefit them at all to see them shift in the direction of an entirely different philosophy!
While Ves mostly considered himself beyond these concerns, he still made the prudent choice of sticking to his own guns. Other mech designers may be able to perform grand feats of technical wizardry, but Ves already has his spiritual wizardry to keep him satisfied!
"In the end, this is why collaboration is so impactful. As long as the mech designers involved in the project aren't overlapping their specialties, each of them can enhance the design in their own way!"
Ves knew that this was a lot harder for some than for others. Working with Professor Ventag made him realize that certain specialties lent itself better to collaboration than others. For example, Professor Ventag's domain encompassed pretty much the entirety of a mech's internal architecture.
Any other mech designer who specialized in a certain aspect of internal design would have to think twice before getting in bed with someone like Ventag.
For his part, the professor worked best if he collaborated with someone who specialized in specific parts, such as mech engines, or external features, such as weapon systems!
Ves realized a critical rule in mech design. "Not only is there no point to overlapping specialties in a single design, but it can even lead to disaster if they are forced together!"
In addition to this rule, Ves also learned something incredibly valuable about himself!
"My design philosophy is compatible with nearly every mech designer! There are hardly any mech designer who possesses a design philosophy as whack as mine!"
He was careful not to rule out the possibility entirely. The galaxy was huge and countless mech designers existed through the galaxy. With the Five Scrolls Compact messing about with spirituality in their sporadic research, there might be some madman out there who believed that mechs could be inhabited by ghosts or something!
"Isn't that what the Skull Architect wanted to do in his own warped way?" Ves mused.
It sounded strange that extremely smart and knowledgeable mech designers would develop esoteric theories with little foundation in reality, but metaphysics existed. The phenomenon of design philosophy itself was an expression of metaphysics!
The most important takeaway from this collaboration was that Ves developed such an esoteric design specialty that he could work together with almost any mech designer in the galaxy!
"Yet even if that is so, will any mech designer actually choose to work with someone with a specialty like mine?"
In the first place, it was really difficult for other mech designers to understand what Ves worked towards in the first place. With the necessity of keeping the truth of spirituality obscured, Ves faced the same problem as the LMC. Almost no one except Ves understood his principles!
"If even my own employees don't understand the nature of my design philosophy, then other mech designers definitely won't be able to appreciate the value I can bring to their designs!"
Even if Ves advanced to Journeyman on the basis of his unusual design philosophy, he did not expect to be getting much offers for collaboration anytime soon. If Ves wanted to pool someone else's specialty into his own designs, then his only real choice would be to nurture subordinate mech designers from within his own company!
In that light, Ves already began to get Ketis involved into his joint design project. Even though the Aurora Titan was strictly being developed by Ves and Professor Ventag, that did not preclude them from drawing upon the assistance of their subordinates.
For example, the professor already put one of his design teams to work on performing iterative simulations on the mech design.
Ves learned that the mathematical models employed during these simulations had difficulty predicting the performance of Professor Ventag's specialty.
No matter how well Professor Ventag constructed the models, they only approximated reality! The distortions that resulted in certain calculations led to skewed results that needed to be manually checked and corrected by the design team.
All in all, while the professor's design team did manage to accomplish some optimizations, the effort put into it was disproportionate to the amount of time and effort they wasted!
"Only a Senior Mech Designer or higher can be as profligate as him in putting an entire design team at work just to achieve some modest optimizations."
The difference they made to the performance of the Aurora Titan design barely surpassed a single percent.
Ves did not have an entire design team at his disposal, but he did benefit a little from the assistance of Ketis. Even though she was still a Novice Mech Designer, she had spent the last few months hitting all kinds of textbooks.
He tasked her with helping him design a suitable sword for the Aurora Titan.
"What kind of sword do you want to pair with your fatty mech?" Ketis asked.
"I told you time and time again, don't call the Aurora Titan a fatty mech." Ves sighed. "Anyway, it's a big mech, but also a fairly slow one. While I don't expect it to perform any miracles during the rare instances it is engaged in melee combat, I want to give it a very big sword. Its overall agility and flexibility is low, so it needs to compensate for it with wider reach and greater power. The Aurora Titan is able to exert quite a bit of mechanical strength, so I want you to work with that in developing a sword that isn't too hard to employ but can pose a big threat to enemy mechs in range."
Ketis played around for a bit and eventually came up with a design for a hefty broadsword. While its mass did not help the Aurora Titan swing it faster, it at least ensured the broadsword hit hard when the weapon connected!
This allowed the Aurora Titan to do quite decently against starships, fixed defenses and other relatively immobile targets.
In effect, pairing the Aurora Titan with a large and heavy weapon turned it into a mobile siege engine on the battlefield.
While both Ves and Professor Ventag possessed some misgivings about doubling down on power at the expensive of agility, there was little point in arming the Aurora Titan with a dagger.
The super-medium space knight simply wasn't as fast and agile as a light skirmisher, which could employ daggers to deadly effect!
Professor Ventag did offer Ves with an alternative solution. "We aren't living in a primitive time where melee weapons merely consists of big wooden or metal objects. There are certain weapon designs that aim to provide a high degree of destructive power while keeping mass at a minimum."
"Are you talking about plasma melee weapons?"
"That's a potential solution. Such hybrid weapons allow you to pair the Aurora Titan with a smaller and lighter weapon as long as you can accept the tradeoffs involved."
Eventually, they both decided against the use of higher tech weaponry. A plasma sword was indeed very fancy and very common in second-class designs, but the designs available to third-class mechs came with a lot more limitations. The power draw alone would turn the Aurora Titan into such an energy-hungry mech that it would be a wonder if it lasted more than fifteen minutes in battle!
A peak deployment time of only fifteen minutes was way too short!
Therefore, as the final arbiter of all the major decisions concerning the Aurora Titan design, he decided to work with the broadsword that Ketis came up with. After she finished design a simple and sharp sword with the help of the alloy formulas she found within NORA Consolidated's database, Ves tweaked and optimized it even further so that it was up to his standard.
As for the shield, Ves opted to go for a thick curved tower shield made out of uncompressed alloy.
The only distinguishing advantage of the shield was that it incorporated the ability to hold a polarizing field! While this increased the shield's complexity and decreased its structural integrity, Ves nonetheless figured this design choice to be worth it because it saved the outfit fielding this mech a lot of money!
"If there is one part about a space knight that gets beat up the most, it's always their shields!"
Ves knew better than to employ the formulas of the Pisaro armor system in the design of the shield. A tower shield was very large and very expensive and also very hard to repair in the field!
By employing a much cheaper alloy in the design of the shield that benefited from polarization, an outfit fielding an Aurora Titan wouldn't cry when the mech returned from battle with a shield full of holes.
"If these outfits really want a tougher shield made out of compressed alloy, then they can damn well buy a separate one themselves."
The main advantages of humanoid mechs was that they weren't stuck with their loadout of external armaments and equipment. Customers could opt to skip the sword and shield included in the mech model for a discount. They just had to pair their new purchases with their own gear.
After several months of work, the joint design project between Ves and Professor Ventag entered the testing phase.