The Mech Touch Chapter 1114
1112 The Final Touch
The time to develop the Aurora Titan surpassed the time limit initially set by Professor Ventag. With all the successive iterations being developed and sent to the Green Nebula region to undergo testing, they wasted a lot of time on improving and optimizing the design.
However, Ves considered the effort to be fairly worth it. By the time they developed a fifth prototype and got it tested, Ves and the professor decided that this would be the final iteration of the design.
Aside from implementing some very minor last-minute tweaks, the lengthy design process eventually came to an end!
"It's done!" Ves celebrated.
"The design is functionally complete." The professor nodded over the comm. "As long as you are sure that this is the product that you wish to publish in our names, I will fabricate a copy myself and send it to the MTA for validation."
"That sounds good. I trust in your capabilities."
Ves still held the same concerns as before. Unless it was absolutely necessary, Ves did not plan on visiting Bentheim at all!
Unfortunately, he might not have his wish.
"While our companies have prepared elaborate marketing campaigns for our new product, it is nonetheless vital for us to announce it in person. My company has already booked a large exhibition venue in Bentheim. As the lead designer of the Aurora Titan, it mainly falls on you to introduce the public to this mech design. Are you up to the task?"
This was a difficult question to Ves. If he declined, then the professor would take up the stage. That might be good in attracting more attention to the Aurora Titan design because any mech designed by a Senior was notable.
However, letting Professor Ventag be the public face of the joint design project did not help Ves out in any way.
The audience might think that the Senior was the real lead designer and that Ves was only a junior hanger-on who coasted on Ventag's reputation!
If Ves wanted to put some truth into the fact that he was responsible for setting the concept, vision and around seventy-five of the Aurora Titan design, then he needed to step onto the stage in person!
Therefore, despite his great reluctance to return to Bentheim, Ves eventually nodded. "Please let me do the product reveal. In fact, could you let me be in charge of fabricating the show models as well? It will help if I can present the works I made with my own hands."
"Are you certain? NORA Consolidated's production equipment is a lot better than our own company's production equipment. You've entrusted the fabrication of the prototype to my company and I don't see the need to change that. At least one of my crews have become quite adept at fabricating copies of the Aurora Titan."
"Your mech technicians are very capable." Ves praised. "Yet a mech designed by myself will carry my personal touch. I think that is what the show models need the most at its upcoming product reveal. I'm very good at this. Otherwise, my gold label mechs wouldn't be so valued compared to their bronze and silver label counterparts."
"What about your company's fabrication limits? Is it capable of fabricating an Aurora Titan?"
"The situation is different now." Ves stated. "I've tasked my company to order some extra equipment and rework some of my production lines. My manufacturing complex is now fully capable of producing the Aurora Titan without any complications."
The professor eventually agreed, dismissing it as one of Ves' many eccentricities.
These upgrades may have cost some money, but Ves considered the investment to be well worth it. It helped that he only upgraded a couple of production lines, thereby minimizing his expenditures.
If everything went according to plan, then NORA Consolidated became responsible for the bulk of fulfilling the orders for the Aurora Titan model. The bigger company was much more equipped to output a lot of Aurora Titans at a consistently high quality.
NORA Consolidated therefore became responsible for the production of both the bronze label and silver label editions of the Aurora Titan model.
While it was weird to entrust the company with the production of both the bronze and silver label editions of the new mech model, neither mech designers thought it was a good idea to involve a third-party.
The Aurora Titan design was very much a niche product that fulfilled a very narrow role. It would never sell as much as standard medium space knights. With its low sales projection, there really wasn't any point in outsourcing production of the most affordable edition to a different company.
That didn't prevent other companies from licensing the design from the MTA, but even so they would likely be wasting their money.
While the professor's mech company became responsible for mass production, the LMC would fulfill more special orders. Ves planned to fabricate the gold label edition of the Aurora Titan in limited amounts in order to impress the public, meet the needs of the Avatars of Mech and propagate mechs with the strongest X-Factor he had ever produced up to this point.
He would also fulfill any custom orders he found worthwhile to fulfill. Ves considered his time to be very valuable, so he wouldn't easily spend his time on customizing an Aurora Titan to a specific client without getting a lot of rewards in return.
All in all, both of their companies had already made full preparations for the upcoming introduction of the Aurora Titan design. From both a production and a marketing standpoint, their companies were as ready as ever to work with the new design!
After agreeing on several other matters, Ves eventually ended the call with the professor.
"Heh." Ves chuckled. "This will likely be the end of my easy access to a Senior Mech Designer."
The joint design project gave Ves a lot of opportunities to interact with a Senior in an intimate manner. For all intents and purposes, the professor had taken on an unofficial role as a mentor to the younger mech designer.
This was something that Ves really lacked. While he showered Ketis with a lot of attention before during his time with the Vandals, this time he had become the beneficiary of someone who was better and more experienced.
Naturally, Ves did not think that Ventag spent so much time on mentoring him because the professor appreciated his talents. Perhaps that might have played a role, but ultimately Professor Ventag was trying to pull Ves deeper into his orbit.
As long as Ves continued to become more prominent, the professor's investment would pay off big time!
Ves recognized the influence game that the professor was playing and implicitly accepted it as he benefited from the tutelage of a Senior. He gained a lot of small but important insights such as the importance of marketing to a mech company.
However, both of them were busy mech designers with many priorities on their minds.
Professor Ventag not only had to design a lot of mechs to keep NORA Consolidated at the forefront of the mech market, he also fought to keep the DCTI relevant in the face of AUMD's dominance in Bentheim's academic mech community.
Meanwhile, Ves had to prepare his company for the impending transition to the next mech generation. In order for the company to maintain its market presence, Ves also had to come up with a number of stopgap designs in the next couple of years.
Just like the Aurora Titan design, these stopgap designs would straddle between two different mech generations and be able to provide value in both instances. Ves aimed to work with more versatile mech concepts for his stopgap design with greater sales potential than his Aurora Titan design.
"It's all well and good to innovate on a mech design, but I shouldn't lose sight on the importance of making money."
The LMC needed to offer appealing mech designs in the next couple of years. These products would fill the void that emerged when the company retired the Blackbeak and Crystal Lord models from its mech catalog.
"If my company stops receiving orders, my production lines will all fall dormant. Most of my company's employees won't have anything to do and my company will continue to bleed an enormous amount of money while remaining idle."
A company that spent most of its time by sitting on its hands all day was not a productive company! Even if Ves could use extraordinary one-off means to generate huge amounts of money, this was not a sustainable way to run a company.
If Ves needed to bail out his company out of its dire financial straits all the time, what would that do to the confidence of his employees? They would think that the LMC wasn't strong enough to stand on its own! If such a sentiment ever took root in the minds of his workers, then their morale and shared identity would all plummet into nothing!
Therefore, in order to sustain the long-term health of the company, Ves needed to pump out several mech designs with interesting formulas. As long as these designs achieved enough sales as the Blackbeak and the Crystal Lord, then that was enough of a success in his book.
"I also can't forget about my other obligations." Ves grimaced.
In other words, Ves would likely be so preoccupied with his own matters that he wouldn't be able to remain in regular contact with Professor Ventag.
"Perhaps it's for the best. If I continue to learn from him, eventually I will lose my own way."
As a mech designer, Ves had a very clear idea on what kind of mechs he wanted to design. While there wasn't anything wrong with learning from another mech designer, he should always be wary of supplanting his own design philosophy with someone else's!
"Well, enough musing about. Let's finalize the design."
Ves upheld a very different definition of finalizing a mech design than others. Most mech designers would simply file some paperwork to convey the message that the latest version of the design was the official one.
Not him. While Ves would still have to follow the same steps in order to satisfy the laws and regulations set by the MTA and the local jurisdictions, he needed to take one additional step to truly finalize a design.
"It's time to add the final touch."
Ves called up the design schematics of the Aurora Titan from his desk projector and centered himself for a moment. He concentrated his mind and connected himself to the dormant spiritual fragment in his mind.
He conveyed a simple message to the fragment.
The fragment pulsed in response.
Ves could sense the excitement emanating from Qilanxo's augmented spiritual fragment. After months of riding inside his mind and taking an active part in designing the Aurora Titan, it could finally end its months-long wait!
With the spiritual fragment's assent, Ves opened up his mind while staring intensely at the projected design of the Aurora Titan.
It was time for the spiritual fragment to breathe life into the design!
"Go! Take up your new home!"
With a mental breeze, the spiritual fragment phased right through his mental space and flitted over to the spiritual domain of the Aurora Titan.
The design seemed to glow in his mental vision. Some very inexplicable reactions occured as the design truly seemed to come to life in his eyes! Its X-Factor become more and more enlivened, and in some sense Ves even received the illusion that the design even managed to surpass a limit that he never knew before!
As the design stopped glowing in his spiritual vision, Ves felt a huge void in his mind. The immensely powerful presence of Qilanxo's spiritual fragment no longer inhabited his mind!
Even though he missed its presence, he nonetheless felt an unprecedented amount of satisfaction. The spiritual fragment not only succeeded in integrating itself into the design, but also pushed its X-Factor to unseen heights!
Ves cherished the memory of this moment. "It will be a long time before I can replicate this amazing moment."