The Mech Touch Chapter 1116
1114 Breath Of Life
Aeon Corona VII. A planet of the gods. When the Starlight Megalodon crashed onto the surface of this heavy gravity planet, an endless cloud of disruptive but extremely potent higher-dimensional particles covered its skies and blanketed the rest of the star system. This not only caused the planet to become isolated from the rest of the galaxy, but also formed the basis of remarkable forms of life.
The vault of the gods, the all-encompassing clouds of higher-dimensional particles, not only blocked the suns of the star systems from shining on the surface, but also wormed their way into the native lifeforms of the planet. Everything changed due to the higher-dimensional particles leaking from the perpetually-active FTL drives of the Starlight Megalodon.
Perhaps the most drastic effect was that time passed ten times faster on the surface of the planet. Three-hundred years went by in the galaxy since the disappearance of the Starlight Megalodon, which meant that the planet went through three-thousand years of change and transition.
The planet's ecosystem underwent massive, directed changes as the survivors of the Starlight Megalodon terraformed the planet to suit their needs.
However, they did more than turn Aeon Corona VII into a livable planet. After some of the surviving researchers initiated Project Icarus, they began to employ widespread genetic modification on both humans and the native exobeasts of the planet.
This led to the proliferation of the Cursed People, genetically engineered dwarves that used to come from the stock of enlisted spacers of the Starlight Megalodon. It also led to the emergence of the Blessed People, genetically optimized humans with remarkable mental properties due to their exposure to the remarkable properties of the planet.
However, the extreme genetic modification performed on the native exobeasts served as the central focus of the CFA's followup investigation. A small fleet of warships maintained a permanent presence in the star system, preventing the aggressive sandmen from disrupting the proceedings on the planet.
The Starlight Megalodon was no more. Sigrund's awakening made sure of that. The hybrid alien AI was long gone as well after making sure that it left no traces of its existence behind.
The sentient AI had also been vindictive enough to sow mass destruction onto the planet, using its influence over his lesser sandman cousins to destroy each and every ancient city on the planet.
Hardly any Blessed People survived the genocide. Hardly any Sacred God survived as well, as most ignorantly tried to resist the massive sandmen motherships with their metaphysical powers.
While Sacred Gods possessed remarkable powers, these land beasts stood no chance against the might of a warship-equivalent like a sandman mothership.
Only those few Sacred Gods who wandered the wilderness between the ancient cities survived. Most of the Wild Gods, lesser exobeasts that hadn't been implanted with the remarkable god crystals, survived as well.
The CFA attempted to preserve the the god beast race when they arrived on Aeon Corona VII and learned some of the events that transpired.
Despite their remarkable scientific advancements, they were failing.
The researchers watched with dismay as every Sacred God and Wild God on the planet began to waste away, losing energy and body mass on a constant basis no matter how much they ate.
The god crystals implanted onto the hides of the Sacred Gods and the murky crystals that both Sacred Gods and Wild Gods were born with all lost their luster and energy.
The vault of the gods had disappeared, and the constant influx of higher-dimensional particles into the ecosystem disappeared along with it. This was disastrous because the god crystals and the murky crystals both consisted of crystallized higher-dimensional particles!
The sudden end of the supply of higher-dimensional particles caused both types of crystals to lose the ability to retain their integrity in the material dimensions. The god beasts that Project Icarus spawned slowly lost their integrity as well as their massive physical bodies depended on higher-dimensional particles as well.
"They're all dead." A head researcher said. Sadness suffused his voice. He was disappointed in himself and his subordinates for failing to come up with a way to retain the research gains of his predecessors. "Only one remains, but she is not long for this galaxy."
A visiting CFA commander standing next to the researcher frowned. "Your research teams have exposed our diminishing number of captive god beasts with various forms of higher-dimensional particles. Why have these remarkable exobeasts fail to sustain themselves with the new sources?"
The researcher sighed. "Higher-dimensional particles are a catch-all term for the myriad of unknown forms of matter that exists in what we colloquially call the higher dimensions. In this case, the particles that we presume to have leaked from the Starlight Megalodon's FTL drives are exceptionally difficult to pin down."
The CFA research teams tried their best. They employed advanced machines that emulated the peculiar behavior of the Starlight Megalodon's FTL drives to expose the exobeasts with many different types of higher-dimensional particles.
However, finding the right type was like looking for a nanometer-sized needle in a galaxy-wide haystack! There were too many different types of matter and energy in the endless higher dimensions!
The researcher and the commander both looked through the giant cage through the transparent screen. The last living exobeast, breathed her last breaths as her emaciated body began to experience widespread organ failure.
Various researchers, bots and medical equipment were on site trying to keep the animal alive, but its aberrant physique was too alien and too dependent on higher-dimensional particles! Not even locking it in stasis worked, because the deterioration of the giant beast's body continued irrespective of the passage of time!
At some point, her nineteen god crystals began to crack. Minute by minute, the cracks grew bigger. The surface of the dim and listless crystals also began to crumble in tiny grains that slowly faded out of existence.
"This is the end."
The Sacred God known as Qilanxo breathed her last natural breath as her decaying body finally succumbed.
However, moments later, in a different place and in a very different state, Qilanxo breathed yet again!
To some entities in the galaxy, death was not the end of life!
Back on Cloudy Curtain, Ves still basked in the pleasure of completing his fourth original design. He knew nothing of what had occurred on Aeon Corona VII and wasn't even aware of Qilanxo's passing.
Instead, he became preoccupied with his next steps after finalizing the design. On its own, the Aurora Titan design did not have much significance. Only when Ves introduced the mech to the market and attracted orders would he truly feel that he succeeded as a mech designer.
In order to know how he could best market his design, it was imperative for him to know how it fared.
When Ves finally thought his mental state entered into a good state, he decided to activate the System. Out of every individual he could ask to judge his design, only the System provided the most objective and complete evaluation.
He took Lucky down to his lab and locked himself inside his isolation chamber before activing his Privacy Shield. Only then did he feel safe to engage the System.
"Here goes nothing."
[Design Evaluation: Aurora Titan AT-A-01]
Model name: Aurora Titan AT-A-01
Original Manufacturer: Ves Larkinson
Weight Classification: Super-Medium
Recommended Role: Defensive Space Knight
Carrying Capacity: C
Energy Efficiency: D+
Cost efficiency: B-
Project involvement: 67%
Original component composition: 13%
Overall evaluation: The Aurora Titan is a super-medium space knight that excels in defending relatively static positions and withstanding directed energy damage. The mech is able to offer the best performance in low-to-medium intensity combat against ranged opponents, but performs poorly in other situations such as withstanding physical damage and fending off melee mechs. The Aurora Titan's X-Factor is tied to Qilanxo, the Shield of Samar, an exobeast and Sacred God native to Aeon Corona VII.
[You have received 1000 Design Points for completing an original design that has no other equivalent.]
[You have received 50,000 Design Points for designing a mech with a high presence of X-Factor.]
Fifty-thousand DP. That was way more than the System ever bestowed Ves for finishing a single design! Designing the Aurora Titan for up to seven months had not been in vain in this aspect at least, because with this much DP he could easily afford to obtain another Mastery from the System!
"So the Aurora Titan's X-Factor did manage to break into A-grade territory!"
Ves labored for years to bump the X-Factor of his mechs out of the C-grade. He finally succeeded when he designed the Crystal Lord. The key to his success back then had been to employ the heavily eroded spiritual fragment of a long-dead leader of the crystal builder race as the basis of one of his images.
With the Aurora Titan, Ves resorted to the same method but ran it to the next level. The spiritual fragment that Qilanxo voluntarily bestowed to him had always been exceptional. Its strength was so immense that to call it a mere 'spiritual fragment' was a huge misnomer!
"I should probably call it a spiritual clone or a spiritual egg or something." He shrugged.
No matter what he called it, the gift from Qilanxo offered him a glimpse of the future. He knew that he could never obtain a spiritual fragment as potent as the one bestowed by the Sacred God through his own power.
If Qilanxo wanted to, she could have crushed his own spiritual existence when he initially made contact with her through the imaginary realm!
Ves therefore felt incredibly grateful that she was friendly enough to play along and work with him on integrating her spiritual fragment into the X-Factor of the Aurora Titan design.
"What a powerful X-Factor! I can't even fathom how powerful an A-Grade X-Factor can be! What do you think, Lucky?"
"Uh-huh. Any copy of the Aurora Titan will be incredibly remarkable, that's for certain. The silver label edition of my new mech might be as strong if not stronger than the gold label of the Crystal Lords."
As for how a Aurora Titan would turn out if Ves passionately crafted it by hand, he could hardly wait!
The product reveal for the Aurora Titan took place in three weeks, giving the LMC and NORA Consolidated a narrow window of time to prepare. While Professor Ventag and his mech company organized the upcoming event in Bentheim, Ves had tasked himself with fabricating five gold label copies of the Aurora Titan.
One of which would be piloted by Jannzi Larkinson, while the remainder fell into the hands of four skilled mech pilots of Professor Ventag's company mech force.
"Jannzi will get the best copy." Ves had already decided. "I should add something extra to her mech to spice it up. She's family, after all."
An interesting notion popped in his mind. As a mech designer, Ves became used to designing mechs for the market. His customers mostly consisted of random citizens in the Bright Republic and elsewhere in the Komodo Star Sector.
Ves did not share a connection to them other than selling them his mechs. He did not know people like Raymond Costa and Carla Dio, who recently shared their stories to the LMC's workforce.
While Ves appreciated the successes his customers had achieved with his products, he nonetheless did not feel much sympathy if they encountered a mishap and died.
Ves had way too many customers to care about lives!
Yet it was different when it came to his own family. Melkor piloted his own personal gold label Crystal Lord for a couple of years now with great skill. Now, another Larkinson partook in his bounty.
Ves often equated the X-Factor as a metaphysical phenomenon arising from the alignment in thoughts and beliefs between the mech, mech pilot and mech designer.
If this description was accurate, then changing the mech pilot from a stranger into a family member might result in a stronger effect!