The Mech Touch Chapter 1120
1118 Dorum Center Of Technology And Innovation
Professor Ventag arranged for Ves and his entourage to stay at one of NORA Consolidated's guest accommodations during their visit to Bentheim. It was a much better option than staying in a luxurious hotel because it offered plenty of room for the squad of Avatar mechs to secure their surroundings without bumping into the security detail of other important guests.
With only two days to go before the product reveal, everyone that Ves took along split off.
Gavin paid a visit to Marcella Bollinger in order to discuss some final details about the LMC's marketing campaign that was just about to kick off.
Ketis expressed a desire to explore Bentheim for a day on her own. She had grown increasingly curious about Bentheim and lost her apprehension towards the stupendous amount of people living on the planet.
"It's not safe on the streets right now." Ves warned her. "The Bentheim Liberation Movement is a serious threat to public safety, particularly now since it appears they've prepared to launch a major attack for years."
"Oh, come on, Ves. An attack hasn't occurred since your last visit. Why would the BLM choose to attack now of all times? I'll be perfectly safe. You know I can take care of myself. I'll even bring my greatsword and my armor along in a floating case."
While Ves still expressed a lot of concerns, he was not her parent. Eventually, he acquiesced to her request, though he insisted that she'd be accompanied by some guards dispatched by Sanyal-Ablin Security Services.
During the first day of his stay on Bentheim, Ves received an invitation to meet with Professor Ventag. This time, his armored shuttle didn't travel to Mech Designer's Row, but instead turned towards Dorum's Academic District.
As its name suggested, the Academic District hosted a large amount of schools, universities and other academic institutions. It was a city within a city as it hosted a very vigorous student community. Many of the students consisted of Bentheim natives, but the rest came from all over the Bright Republic and even beyond the border!
Only mech academies didn't make their home here. Due to all of the live practice they conducted, it wasn't safe to operate so many mechs in the middle of a metropolis. Most of the mech academies of Dorum were situation in the outskirts of the capital city.
As the armored shuttle touched down on a very expansive landing zone, Ves emerged with Lucky in his grasp and with some armored guards in tow. Around the shuttle, a number of mechs from the Avatars of Myth began to prepare for a long standby session as they weren't allowed to step onto the campus of the DCTI.
"So this is the Dorum Center of Technology and Innovation." Ves sighed as he and Lucky stared out through one of the gates.
The DCTI was the second mech university of Bentheim, so it took up a considerable amount of valuable real estate within the Academic District. As a premier learning institution, it provided its students and staff with a tranquil but very mech-focused campus environment.
Large amounts of greenery and parks suffused the campus. Huge facilities capable of holding dozens of mechs were spread across the campus, and large empty fields provided the students with plenty of space to try out their new creations.
"Not even the Rittersberg University of Technology is willing to give its mech design students so many opportunities to work with real mechs!"
Even if the students practiced with outdated mechs and cheap materials, the costs could easily run up over time. To be frank, most mech design students simply couldn't afford the tuition costs that could easily run up to several hundred-thousand credits a year!
And this was already factoring the generous subsidies the DCTI received from the central government in order to maintain its competitiveness against the Ansel University of Mech Design!
The Ansel University of Mech Design cast a huge shadow over the DCTI. No matter how impressive its campus looked, it simply didn't compare to Ansel's splendor!
Ves shook his head. "Both are already fine institutions. The gap between them concern me very much."
He knew that Professor Ventag didn't invite him to the DCTI for nothing. The Senior's intentions couldn't be more clear.
A university was not without its students. Most were attending classes, but plenty of them were still out and about. Many of them took immediate notice of Ves and his bodyguards.
Some of them even recognized his face.
"Is that Ves Larkinson?"
"That famous Apprentice Mech Designer? The one who was awarded with the Golden Mech?! What is he doing here?!"
Ves ignored the idle speculation of the students. They would come to learn of his visit in two days when he officially revealed the Aurora Titan to the public.
Ves slowly crossed the campus and reach the administrative building of the DCTI's Internal Design Faculty. The faculty specialized in teaching all manner of courses related to the mechanics, internal architecture and other aspects about the insides of a mech.
Professor Ventag happened to be the dean of the Internal Design Faculty. The DCTI employed six Senior Mech Designers in total. Each of them were deans who led the different faculties of the school.
As far as Ves knew, the DCTI also employed twenty-five Journeyman Mech Designers as associate professors.
However, these esteemed mech designers did not spend all of their time teaching the students or grading their work.
The actual teaching work was being done by various respected academics in the various fields of science and engineering related to mech design.
In order to teach courses that dealt directly with mech design, the DCTI employed various older Apprentice Mech Designers who possessed an abundant amount of experience as assistant professors.
Overall, the students of the DCTI did not have a lot of opportunities to get in touch with the Journeymen and Seniors who fronted the university. These esteemed individuals all invariably led their own companies or worked for the government in some capacity, so they could never devote their full time to teaching the next generation of mech designers.
Still, their presence at the DCTI was very essential because they determined the curriculum, decided upon high level policies, occasionally motivated the students and judged many mech designs.
Ves knew that one of the main benefits in accepting a professorship at a university was that they could look out for emerging talents and promising experts. As long as they spot someone first, they could immediately offer them an attractive contract that bonded them to the professor after they graduated!
All in all, mech universities like the DCTI organized themselves in a way to maximize the benefit of its professors!
That said, the students got a pretty good deal out of it as well. The most promising ones would receive great hiring prospects while the average ones still occasionally received some direction from the Journeymen and Seniors that put some of their time at their disposal.
After some time, Ves met Professor Ventag at the top floor of the administrative building. The Senior's office offered a very attractive of both the campus and the rest of the city.
"I see you've made it here, Ves. How is your impression of the DCTI? Is it to your liking?"
"It offers a very harmonious learning environment. It's very comfortable here."
"Does it look like a place where you might want to work in the future?"
"Maybe." Ves replied ambiguously. "Right now, I'm fully preoccupied with my design work. The LMC demands too much of my time for me to divert my attention to other activities. Perhaps we can revisit this topic later when I'm not busy anymore."
The professor accepted that excuse. "The DCTI offers more attractive conditions for Journeymen and Seniors. Apprentices who teach our classes are paid well, but they are mostly expected to work fulltime. That's not very ideal to a young and growing mech designer like you. It's clear from the work you've done with the Aurora Titan design that your time is better spent on designing mechs rather than teaching others. However, once you've achieved a great measure of success, don't neglect the obligations that come with your great position. Successful mech designers have a moral obligation to provide guidance to aspiring mech designers."
This was more than a moral obligation. It was something actively encouraged by the MTA. Becoming a teacher was a good way to earn some kudos from the powerful organization.
"You've received the show models I've fabricated by myself, right?" Ves asked, changing the topic. "What do you think about the mechs?"
The professor sent Ves an appreciative expression. "They are very impressive, and not just from a technical standpoint. Your fabricating and assembly skills are very developed, which is unusual to see from a mech designer. In this area, you are already more than qualified to teach these subjects. Your handmade mechs are so impressive that I feel we should have sent one of them to the MTA for validation instead!"
"The mechs produced by you and me should be virtually identical. It won't make much of a difference." Ves awkwardly laughed.
"I think there is a strong difference. This must be related to your design philosophy, right? Having collaborated with you on the Aurora Titan design has forced me to discard my initial misgivings on your rather esoteric design philosophy. To put the focus on the mech pilot rather than the mech should be obvious, but many mech designers including myself have forgotten the human element. The four show models I've received make it clear that mechs made humans are different than mechs designed to advance their maker's interests."
"I don't think you're bad at this either, professor. You care a lot about the safety of the mech pilots who use your products."
Ves felt a bit relieved that Professor Ventag hadn't nailed the truth. A Senior Mech Designer could be frightfully insightful when it came to mechs, so Ves always risked exposing some of his secrets by working together so closely on a single design.
Fortunately, the general vagueness of his design philosophy made it so that Professor Ventag filled the gaps with his own interpretation.
In fact, the Senior came fairly close to the truth. It wasn't wrong to say that Ves put the needs of the mech pilot central to his designs.
After a bit of chatting, the professor invited him to a short tour around the campus.
"Come walk with me while we discuss our upcoming plans."
Ves continued to hold Lucky while he walked alongside Professor Ventag. Both of them were accompanied by guards, though they kept a wide distance in order to provide them with the illusion of privacy.
"Have you practiced your speech?" Ventag asked.
"I have. Don't worry, this isn't my first rodeo."
"That's good to hear. Public speaking is an essential skill to master when you become a prominent mech designer. A mech design does not exist in isolation, but is intricately tied to its creator. Your conduct in public can affect the public's perception of your work. Every product reveal is a grand show that has to impress the audience from start to finish."
The two discussed some of the arrangements of the product reveal. Central to the introduction of the Aurora Titan was to display its prowess in a realistic scenario.
To that end, Ves and the professor prepared to demonstrate the Aurora Titan's formidable defensive capabilities by subjecting the show models to a lot of firepower!
This was a very risky addition to the event, but there was no better way to demonstrate its value otherwise. Performing a few empty maneuvers in space wouldn't cut it, not if Ves wanted to convince the skeptics among the crowd that a super-medium space knight was not an impractical toy!
"It's a shame to damage the show models." The professor said with a regretful expression on his face. "Your personal works are almost as precious as mastercrafted works."
"I can make more as long as I spend enough time on fabrication. Besides, the show models can be repaired and restored to their peak condition. I don't intend to wreck them entirely."
However, they would certainly be banged up quite a bit. Even the Shield of Samar wasn't an exception!