The Mech Touch Chapter 1211


1209 Power Over Efficiency


Ves seriously contemplated gifting Ketis with a pet after they finished the design project.

Her contribution so far was very promising. Enlisting a mech designer who possessed a deep understanding of swordsmanship had been remarkably helpful in defining the melee capabilities of their Transcendent Messenger design. What she lacked in technical acumen, Ves could neatly make up for it in spades.

Therefore, rewarding her with a pet would convey his appreciation for her efforts. He invested a lot in taking her under his wing and bringing her up to this level. That that he had reached the point of harvesting the fruit, he needed to make sure he kept watering the tree to keep it pleased.

Adding another pet to their company would also give Ves something else to hug if he pissed off Lucky for whatever reason.

"Meow." Lucky affectionately rubbed his cheek against Ketis while excitingly swinging his tail.

His cat had turned into a total kitten in her embrace! He never acted so cutely in his grasp! Lucky was deliberately taunting Ves!

Ves decided that he should get a biological pet. They weren't as vulnerable to hacking as mechanical pets and they added some much needed variety in their company.

The Komodo Star Sector hosted a large cottage industry of pet designers. Geneticists obtained live specimens of extraordinary exobeasts captured from a wild planet in the star sector or in the frontier and tweaked their genes to turn them into the perfect pets.

Pet designers even had their own association that certified the genetically-modified exobeasts they sold as premium designer pets. These safeguards minimized the chance that pet designers sneakily inserted biological programming in their pets that went against the interests of their buyers.

As Ves studied Ketis for a moment, he decided to obtain a pet adapted from a species in the frontier. A ferocious-looking beast would remind her of her roots and hopefully keep her company often enough that Lucky would spend more time with him instead.

"Lucky is mine!" He jealously declared.

Unfortunately, the cat didn't seem to think so, because he continued to cling on Ketis' shoulders by the time the armored shuttle arrived at the mech workshop.

"We're here."

The pair stepped out of the shuttle alongside their guards. The workshop was situated in the outskirts of Krent. The place appeared to be an independent workshop and design studio suited for a small mech company.

It reminded him of his first workshop when he just started out. The biggest difference was that the current site offered a lot more space for hosting mechs and storage containers.

All of this room was being put to good use as the Protectors of the Faith and the Avatars of Myth settled in. The Protectors already upgraded its security systems beforehand.

As Ves, Ketis and Lucky walked out of the landing zone of the complex and neared the entrace, they looked up at the recently-installed sign.


LIVING MECH YLVAINE CORPORATION

"This place belongs to that joint venture you're talking about, right?" She asked.

"Yup."

"Doesn't seem like much."

The place was completely empty and desolate. Aside from automated bots that cleaned and maintained the complex, not a single living being could be found that didn't belong to the Protectors.

Ves smiled. "This is just the start. The LMYC will certainly become a household name in the Protectorate. We'll have to work very hard these next couple of months in order to make that happen."

The foreign entity residing his mind radiated a strong pulse of approval.  Projecting unflinching hope and confidence in the face of difficult circumstances strongly aligned with its values.

Lately, Ves felt as if he was a dog being trained by Ylvaine's spiritual fragment. Through expressing its approval and disapproval, it continually tried to steer Ves towards a different pattern of behavior.

Most of the time, he ignored the opinions of the spiritual fragment. He wasn't an Ylvainan and had no desire to convert to the Faith.

However, Ves didn't relish racking up a constant stream of disapproval from the rigid spiritual fragment either. The constant irritation of being told he was doing something wrong irked him so much that he basically threw up his hands and altered his behavior to stop the nagging.

"Geez. You're not my mother." He quietly muttered.

Ves intended to step up the pace. Not only was he in a hurry to meet his self-imposed deadline, he also wanted to get rid of Ylvaine's spiritual fragment as fast as possible!

"Let's enter."

They entered the empty workshop and settled in. Both designers took the time to explore the facilities and inspect and familiarize themselves with the workshop and lab equipment.

Meanwhile, Lucky wandered by himself to see if there was any minerals for him to munch.

Ves shook his head. "You don't have to scavenge for something to eat, Lucky. Remember my promise? I'll let you order all the minerals I've promised. It will take some time to ship them all to the workshop though."

"Meow!"

Lucky temporarily forgave him when Ves activated a terminal and began to browse a virtual marketplace that offered a huge variety of raw materials to mech designers.

Together, they ordered a large mix of low and medium-grade exotics worth roughly a billion bright credits. As soon as Ves finalized the order and transferred the credits out of his personal bank account, the cat immediately ditched his lap and sought out Ketis' company!

Ves felt sick. "Lucky! You traitor! Am I just a food dispenser to you?!"

Lucky flippantly swung his tail at Ves before he ran out of sight.

Even Ylvaine's spiritual fragment radiated its disapproval at Ves.

"Not you too?!"

He sullenly pushed his strained relationship with his pet aside and went to work.

Both Ketis and Ves found a design room that had been stocked with wide projectors and terminals with advanced design software.

"Let's proceed with selecting the parts." He said. "I'll allow you to select the saber model and other components related to the Transcendent Messenger's close-combat abilities. Do you think you can do that?"

She nodded. "I know what to look out for, Ves. I can read a spec sheet a lot better now that I've read up on all the related theories."

The two proceeded to seek out the parts they wanted. Their vision for the hero mech guided their search through the extensive component library provided by the Curin Dynasty.

While Ketis flicked through a huge list of mech sabers, Ves turned his attention to the more fundamental components.

The budget that Calabast had set for the commission was very generous. Ves had an opportunity to design a mech that was at least two to three times more expensive than the Aurora Titan!

Fortunately, most of the parts that the Curin Dynasty licenses had been designed by foreign developers. Ves recognized some of the names and brands in the catalog and they were all up to regional standards.

"That's a relief."

He carefully made his selection according to the criteria he set beforehand. Mobility and momentum formed an integral part of the Transcendant Messenger, so Ves started with the power reactor and mech engine.

For the selection of both, he slightly emphasized raw power over efficiency.

Normally, he prioritized the latter, but a bodyguard mech wasn't meant to slog it out in a hostile battlefield for days. Most battles of this nature were opportunistic, hit-and-run attacks.

Whether the assault had failed or succeeded, the assailants never stuck around for long. There was no advantage to be gained by entering into a battle of attrition. Reinforcements could arrive at any moment!

For this reason, Ves picked out premium power reactor and mech engine models out of the catalog. Both of them came with fancy names and high material costs if Ves ever wanted to reproduce them, but their performance was very stellar.

"As long as a battle doesn't drag on for more than thirty minutes, the Transcendant Messenger can overpower practically any standard mech!"

The selection of the artificial musculature system not only affected a mech's mobility, but also their mechanical strength. Both of these factors determined the amount of damage a mech could inflict with a melee weapon.

For this reason, Ves and Ketis both sought out an artificial musculature system that was marked by strength. However, this strength came at the cost of flexibility, agility and reaction speed.

"It's fine." Ves told Ketis. "A hero mech simply can't wield its weapon in the same way a swordsman mech does. They split their power between their melee weapon and ranged weapon and employ them both in combination."

If everything else was equal, a hero mech could never match a rifleman mech in marksmanship and a swordsman mech in swordsmanship. They were never designed to fight on their opponent's terms!

If faced with a rifleman mech, it would best for the hero mech to use its prodigious mobility to charge closer and force the enemy mech into a close-quarters brawl.

If faced with a swordsman mech, the hero mech should instead maintain distance and kite the other mech while peppering it with a constant barrage of premium explosive shells.

In practice, Ves didn't envision this scenario happening all the time. Sometimes, the sheer difference in quality was more than make up for the hero mech's shortcomings!

Ves still reserved most of his budget towards the armor system. The Transcendent Messenger was supposed to be a high-mobility, high-impact mech.

On the surface, both priorities contradicted each other.

A high-mobility mech was best paired with a lighter armor system. They should be as thin as weight-efficient as possible to minimize their impact on a mech's speed, acceleration and agility.

A high-impact mech on the other hand was best served with heavier and more robust armor systems. As long as the mech had the time and space to build up a charge, the heavier armor would serve the mech well in absorbing and negating the damage it incurred upon impact.

Heavier armor also meant that any collisions that ensued would have a higher chance of destabilizing the opponent's mech instead of the hero mech!

Think about it. How ridiculous would it be if a light skirmisher attempted to collide against a heavy knight? The smaller mech would bounce right off the larger and heavier mech's shield!

Due to the high performance of the mech engine he selected, Ves opted to go for a heavier armor system.

After a bit of searching, he eventually settled on an armor system designed for medium striker mechs.

Striker mechs were regarded as close-combat ranged mechs. They were meant to counter quick and agile light mechs with wide-area weapons such as shotguns and flamethrowers.

Their armor was fairly heavy, but not to the point of matching that of a defensive medium knight.

From all the parts they selected so far, Ves estimated that the Transcendent Messenger's total mass should be equivalent to that of the Blackbeak. This was in line with his criteria as both of them bore some resemblance in their mech concepts.

At least when it came to their melee capabilities, they were both designed to close in to the enemy and use their frightening momentum to deliver a powerful impact upon arrival!

Ves didn't face any difficult choices after he made this selection. While the cockpit, sensors, energy cells and other components were just as important to the hero mech, any decent model would do the job.

On her part, Ketis had already settled for the saber model and various internal auxiliary components meant to strengthen the mech's ability to exert force.

Once they completed their shopping list, Ves nodded in satisfaction. "That's it for our selection. Now, we have to piece them all together in a coherent design."

Ketis and petted Lucky's head. "I can't wait to turn this mech into a saber maniac."

They had a long couple of months ahead of them. Ves hoped that the inherent complexity of hero mechs wouldn't pose too much of a hindrance.