The Mech Touch Chapter 1126
1124 Thuggish Conduc
Ves drew his pistol for a reason. Even though it wasn't the Amastendira, the impressive-looking gun nonetheless gave him a dangerous air that neatly complimented his aggressive demeanor.
The show models that kept bashing their swords against their tower shields resembled the rhythmic pounding of war drums. The synchronized metallic clanging sounds evoked a martial atmosphere in the main hall of the Grand Skyward that drifted their thoughts further away from Professor Pendleton's arguments.
"I killed people." Ves exclaimed in a dramatic fashion. "I killed hundreds of enemies of the Republic! Not from afar, but up close, close enough for me to shoot them with my gun. Do you know how many Vesians pointed their guns at me? Do you know how many times I barely managed to survive the encounters?"
He was exaggerating a bit here. It was mostly pirates and other scum that threatened his over the course of his romp throughout the frontier.
Yet what was the harm in embellishing some of his harrowing experiences? A bit of distortion here and there didn't hurt!
In order to play up his theatrical performance, he quickly issued a series of commands under his breath that he was sure that Gavin and the specialists in the control room could hear.
"I even faced an expert pilot in combat multiple times and survived by the skin of my teeth!"
Venerable Foster grabbed his collar and slammed him against a surface not just once, but twice! That Ves managed to escape from those confrontations with his life intact was a win in his book!
Nonetheless, despite the weak and grossly distorted foundation of his latest claim, the public ate it all up! Somehow, the sight of Ves wielding his Peaceful Repose against the backdrop of the show models made it seem as if he fought off an expert mech all by himself!
Far be it for Ves to disappoint their expectations of the crowd. He abruptly pointed his Peaceful Repose at the Shield of Samar and fired off a powerful Exil round!
A powerful crack echoed throughout the entire main hall! The sound had already been amplified by the technicians of the control room in order to make the gunshot sound more dramatic!
The Peaceful Repose hardly needed the assistance because the 1 million credit Exil round seemed to crash against the senses of the public! A corona trail almost instantly emerged from the muzzle of the Peaceful Repose and impacted against the chest plate of Jannzi's mech!
A very minute dent in the coating of mech appeared.
"I did this in order to save the lives of my comrades in arms!"
The Peaceful Repose cracked out another million credit Exil Round at the Shield of Samar!
"I have witnessed the deaths of thousands of brave and loyal soldiers of the Mech Corps!"
Ves fired off another round!
"I have seen thousands of friendly mechs fight to the very end as their mech pilots refused to go the easy way out and eject from their cockpits!"
The Peaceful Repose barked out a fourth expensive Exil round!
Whatever the merits the handcrafted rounds brought to the weapon, its dramatic trail and its powerful explosive impact against the armor plating of the Shield of Samar was already worth the ludicrous amount of money he paid for a batch!
"I know why mechs fail! I have learned what our men and women in uniform value in their mechs! With my very life and the lives of my comrades at stake, I learned exactly what mech pilots truly demand from their mechs in order to fight to the best of their ability! I wouldn't have survived the war without the lessons that mech pilots, mech technicians and other brave servicemen have taught me during the war!"
Ves fired the Peaceful Repose for one last time. The round exploded against the chest plate Shield of Samar with a powerful and vividly-colored blast!
The mechs stopped banging their swords against their shields, causing an uncomfortable silence to ensue which strengthened the desperation that Ves tried to evoke!
"For you to tell me that my judgement in mech design is lacking is completely false!" He exclaimed while forcefully engaging the safety of his Peaceful Repose and putting it back in its holster. "My mechs are designed to accommodate their mech pilots to the best of their ability! The LMC's products excel in this area! The sacrifices of thousands of servicemen underpin the innovations I have introduced into my designs!"
Professor Pendleton still hadn't given up. If he wanted to salvage his reputation, then he needed to stop acting as Ves' verbal punching bag!
"Your personal experiences aside, the Aurora Titan design is a fundamentally flawed design whose entire premise is faulty from the start! Don't try to distract the public from its problems by talking about matters that are only tangentially related to the quality of your mechs!"
Ves would have none of it! "Are you calling my wartime service irrelevant? Are you saying that mech designers who never saw a mech in actual battle with their own eyes know better than a mech designers whose lives depend on the battles taking place mere kilometers away? To question my Aurora Titan's viability in protecting their own mech pilots is laughable! Unlike an elite mech designer like you, I didn't enjoy any special privileges when the Mech Corps drafted me! Instead, they packed me off to the Flagrant Vandals, which immediately embarked on the most daring campaigns of the war! We attacked the Vesia Kingdom in the very heart of their territory!"
Some parts about his war record weren't classified. Something as public and propagandized as the Detemen Operation could hardly remain a secret with how much the Bright Republic promoted it in order to rally everyone's morale! His attachment to the Flagrant Vandals wasn't any secret at all, which gave Ves enough license to borrow the renown they earned from their exploits!
"Have you ever crossed into Vesian territory during wartime? Have you ever went many light-years deep into their territory, surrounded on all sides by enemy Vesians who want nothing more than to tear you apart and break your mechs and starships? One of the main reasons why we survived despite the lack of supplies and safe harbour is due to the great care given to our mechs! I have seen mechs stretched beyond their breaking point due to lack of supplies and time to service them properly, but they held up admirably regardless due to their excellent design!"
Professor Pendleton wanted to get in a word, but Ves quickly opened his mouth again before the Senior could say anything!
"Have you ever seen your own mechs when they are in poor condition, Professor? Mechs are built to last twenty years, but in practice they last much shorter than that, especially when they went through several battles. I have employed the best practices that I've picked up from the military into my own design work! While I can't claim my Aurora Titan is able to last forever, with proper maintenance it will continue to stand by its mech pilots through both the good times and bad times. They are just as dependable as the military mechs of the Mech Corps! Like actual soldiers, all of my customers will always be able to depend on my products to see them through!"
An increasing sense of doubt overcame Professor Pendleton's expression. How could he properly debate with Ves on the merits and shortcomings of the Aurora Titan design when this thuggish young mech designer kept harping back on his track record and personal experiences in the military!?
Even though Ves quite blatantly kept clubbing Professor Pendleton in the head with his medals and his military exploits, as long as it worked, Ves would keep abusing the Senior because it was the one area in which he could not be challenged!
To question Ves' military exploits was to question the Mech Corps, and that was a very bad idea regardless of whether Professor Pendleton was a Senior!
Even though resorting to this method helped Ves fend off his heckler, it did not come without a cost. Ves likely didn't endear himself very much in the eyes of mech designers and other professionals in the mech industry. The overwhelming majority of mech designers had more in common with Professor Pendleton than Ves when it came to their own time in the Mech Corps!
In addition, Ves figured the Mech Corps wouldn't be pleased to be dragged into this acrimonious argument. The only point in his favor was that he thought that they were irritated at mech designers who pulled some strings in order to be stationed as far away from the fighting as possible.
It did not serve their interests to rebuke Ves, who distinguished himself during the last war, to support a Senior with no notable combat action in his record!
The professor's continued attempts to avoid talking about his own accomplishments during wartime was enough to brand him a coward in the eyes of the crowd.
What right did a coward have to question a war hero in public?
Such an absurd development completely went against Professor Pendleton's expectations of how this afternoon would turn out! Ves only barely stuck to the script before going completely off-rails! This turn of events was so grossly unfair that the man wanted to tear his hair out!
Sitting at a seat a short distance away, Professor Ventag continually groaned as he buried his face in his hands. The extremely aggressive means that Ves employed to counteract Professor Pendelton's criticism to the Aurora Design would lead to a storm in the mech community. How could an Apprentice be so brazen as to drag a Senior into the mud?
For a moment, Ventag regretted putting his support behind Ves! This viper-tongued young mech designer would be the death of them and their high regard in the mech industry if he continued to hammer at a fellow Senior!
He stood up, interrupting Ves' the unrelenting tirade.
"This event is reserved to introduce the Aurora Titan to the public." Professor Ventag spoke, providing a reasonable and composed counterweight to Ves. "My fellow co-designer has a point. Rather than question the viability of the design so soon, why not let the mechs speak for themselves? This argument has gone on long enough. I think everyone would be best served if the Grand Skyward makes its way into space so that we can all witness which mech designer is right!"
The abrupt interjection by his collaborator injected a much-needed dose of rationality in Ves. Although he eagerly wanted to land some more blows on Professor Pendleton, he would only be making himself seem more unhinged if he insisted.
Ves already beat the professor black and blue in the public arena! He inflicted so much damage with his thuggish conduct that Professor Pendleton could hardly lift his head and continue his original mission to detract the quality of the Aurora Titan design!
He decided to end the first part of his presentation at this moment. He relaxed his mind and let go of the aggressive emulated force of will that affected his behavior. He instantly felt calmer and more at ease.
"Please excuse the unexpected delay." He said while smiling amiably towards his audience. "In thirty minutes, the Grand Skyward is scheduled to lift off into orbit where you will be able to witness the performance of the show models in various live-fire demonstrations. If you have other plans, please exit the exhibition hall before the time is up. You can also visit the restroom before the Grand Skyward flies up in orbit as you will need to be strapped into your seats during the ascent for safety reasons. That is all!"
The curtains closed the view to the stage, obscuring both Ves and the show models from view.
The first half of the product reveal finally came to an end!
Ketis immediately ran up to Ves and smacked her palm against his back. "Looks like you haven't lost any of your fire! You sure roasted that old mech designer really bad!"
"I sure did." Ves awkwardly chuckled. "I don't know whether the price is worth it, though. I can't imagine what my reputation will look like once the public hears of what just took place!"