The Mech Touch Chapter 1217
1215 Stress Tests
The tests largely proceeded without too many surprises. Aside from shocking the Ylvainans with its X-Factor, the prototype of the Transcendent Messenger showed no significant deviations in its realspace performance. All of the readings matched the parameters obtained from the simulations that Ves performed beforehand.
This outcome didn't surprise him very much. Working on the Aurora Titan design taught him that the discrepancies between simulated tests and realspace tests mostly came down to the inability for the former to model metaphysical phenomena.
Even if Professor Ventag's developed his own mathematical models to take his specialty into account, the actual influence of his design philosophy couldn't entirely be quantified.
Therefore, it became necessary for mech designers to fabricate a prototype and test its actual performance in the field.
This particular problem didn't haunt Ves as much because his design philosophy primarily affected the mech pilot instead of the mech.
With how much care and effort he spent on designing his mech, he already optimized the mech to a fair degree. The chance of any mistakes or major deviations cropping up was very low.
The Transcendent Messenger design shouldn't exhibit any major discrepancies when it came to its technical performance for this reason.
Any mistakes that the tests uncovered was a mark of failure and carelessness on his part.
The only real wildcard was design philosophy, but even then its influence didn't alter the parameters of the mech.
Perhaps if Ketis advanced in the future, that might change, but for now the hero mech performed almost exactly as he expected.
Taon Melin brilliantly showcased both the ranged and melee capabilities of the mech. He earned a lot of respect from the other Ylvainans for his comprehensive mech piloting skills.
Elites were truly a different breed of mech pilots!
The data he gathered so far indicated that Ves didn't have to make too many adjustments to complete the next iteration of the design. If all went well, then Ves would be able to move on to the production phase of the commission after completing tests on the second or third prototype.
While that still felt a bit too hasty to Ves, he didn't have the luxury of time on his side. He needed to get a move on to wrap up the commission quickly to gain the MTA's recognition.
The Ylvaine Protectorate was just a foreign market to Ves. He did not intend to stay here any longer than he had to in order to further his business interests. Once he dazzled the Ylvainans with his mech design, he intended to pack up his backs and return home as fast as the Barracuda could carry him away!
Near the end of the testing period, the prototype underwent increasingly more arduous stress tests. It always hurt Ves to see a mech getting abused or pushed over its limits, but this was a necessary process to see how much strain the mech could withstand.
During a test where Taon piloted the prototype into dodging live projectiles shot by automated turrets, Lucky suddenly meowed in alarm and rose up from Ketis' grasp.
"What is it, Lucky?"
The director standing next to Ves looked at the meowing cat and frowned. "What is the matter, Mr. Larkinson?"
"My pet believes that this facility is about to come under attack! You should sound the alarm and warn the Protectors of the Faith!"
"Let us not be hasty." The director replied with skepticism. He moved to a console and referenced some figures. "According to our perimeter sensors, there aren't any threats in the vicinity."
The director didn't believe that Lucky possessed the ability to detect danger! Ves outright ignored the director and turned to Ketis.
"Suit up. There's trouble on the way."
"Alright." Ketis seriously nodded. "You two there! Go hand us our suitcases!"
While most of the guards and the testing ground staff looked perplexed, Ves and Ketis calmly received their custom suits of armor from their bodyguards and unfolded it to encompass their entire bodies.
Once Ves donned his Sparous Vize and Ketis adorned her Rising Red Dragon, they turned from mild and friendly mech designers into dangerous-looking warriors!
While the director and the other civilians still remained confused, the Protectors of the Faith weren't as complacent. Regardless of whether they could trust a mechanical cat to detect danger, it was better to be safe and sorry.
One of the Protector officers in the control room stepped up to the director. "Suspend the test and put the facility on high alert. Please pay attention to the perimeter sensors and perform a remote sweep of the entire site."
"I can stop the testing of this prototype but there are more mechs being tested at the moment! I can't suspend all of those tests! That will delay the completion of our contracted obligations and force us to incur a significant penalty fee for each mech that is returned late!"
As the director and the Protector officer argued with each other, Ves readied his Silent Repose while Ketis activated her Udor. Both of their pistols formed very stark contrast, but each enhanced their dangerous air.
"According to Lucky, this facility is about to get breached! There are several tunneling machines that have come close to boring through the walls!"
"What?" The director frowned. "But that's impossible! According to all of the seismic sensors, absolutely nothing has come close to racking up a disturbance!"
"Check if those sensors are reliable. They might have been compromised!"
Although the director still didn't look convinced, he ordered some specialists to double-check the seismic sensor system.
After a minute of digging, one of the specialists noticed something fishy. "Director! The output of the seismic sensors doesn't make any sense! Their readings are slightly off compared to how they should be after their latest calibrations!"
"What does that mean?"
"It means the readings from our seismic sensors are fake! This isn't supposed to happen! We last inspected the readings three hours ago, and they should have been completely fine at the time!"
A realization dawned upon the director. "Our monitoring system has been tampered with! More systems may be compromised!"
The specialists and security experts attempted to reverse the tampering. They succeeded after reverting the software to an older backup that had been kept in isolation. This process took three minutes despite their best efforts.
As soon as the newly-rebooted seismic sensors began to capture any tremors transmitted from the surrounding soil, they immediately spiked!
"The seismic sensors have detected six distinct tunneling machines within range! All of them are very close and close to breaching the walls!"
The director widened his eyes in fright. "Sound the alarm! Suspend all the tests! Inform the Protectors of the Faith and follow the evacuation plan!"
"Too late." Someone said.
All the lights in the control room flickered off. The consoles and projections all shut off as well, causing the entire area to descend into darkness!
Almost immediately after the lights went out, someone opened fire!
"The director has been shot!"
More gunfire sounded out as the Protectors of the Faith immediately killed the assailant, which turned out to be one of the specialists!
Torchlights mounted onto the armor of the Protectors flickered to life, casting strong directional lights throughout the entire control room. The Protectors immediately swept over everyone in order to determine whether they were armed.
Ves looked to his side to see that the director had been shot in the head. There was no way he survived.
"A pity. He was very friendly."
Although sabotage cut off power to the control room, the frightened staffers quickly managed to engage the backup power system. As soon as their consoles came back to life, they connected to the other parts of the facility in order to see if anything happened.
"We've been breached!" Someone yelled. "Enemy mechs are pouring in from the tunnels! Over twenty mechs have entered so far and more are pouring out!"
Ves grew alarmed when he heard that. Only a single mech company guarded the subterranean testing ground! He hadn't been able to bring along the Avatars of Myth this time, so he was entirely reliant on the Ylvainans to defend himself against enemy mechs.
He moved closer to a projection of one of the feeds. "Do we know who these mechs belong to?"
"That's the old emblem of the Ylvaine Dynasty! It's the True Believers!"
True Believers! Ves inwardly cursed when he heard that. Whether they were imposters or the real deal, anyone who claimed to be a part of the New Ylvaine Dynasty almost always acted like suicidal fanatics!
The enemy mechs continued to pour out of the tunnels and immediately fought against the Protectors of the Faith.
While the Protectors put up a good fight, the attackers had the initiative on their side! The True Believers largely caught the Protectors of the Faith off-guard.
"Our Protector mechs are being repelled!"
The tunneling machines all breached close together so that their mechs didn't have to cross a lot of distance to back each other up. They quickly formed into squads that turned them into tough opponents to defeat.
In contrast, the mechs of the Protectors of the Faith had spread themselves across the entire underground facility. This was so that at least one mech could respond to any emergency anywhere in the facility as fast as possible.
If external threats did arrive for someone reason, the Protector mechs would at least be able to reposition themselves after receiving advance warning from the seismic sensors.
Sadly, the defenders hadn't detected the intrusion until it was too late! Even though the Protector mechs were desperately trying to form into squads of their own, the mechs stationed at the parking hall had all been overwhelmed by the ferocious attack of the newcomers!
"The great prophet has made a decree!"
"We must end the travesty that is taking place here!"
The mechs openly transmitted the words of their mech pilots. Even as the mech pilots verbally advanced their agenda, they began to breach through the various obstacles in their way.
The enemy mechs intruded further into the subterranean testing ground!
As the enemy mechs moved towards the core of the facility, Ves wondered if they were attempting to kill or kidnap him. The route the True Believers were taking would put them very close to the control room!
Ves gripped his ballistic pistol tighter with his armored hand. If a mech actually came close to breaching the control room, then he didn't stand a chance unless he pulled out the Amastendira.
However, even the Amastendira couldn't take out every enemy mech!
As Ves wondered if he needed to take Ketis and Lucky and sneak away under the cover of stealth, the vanguard of the True Believer mechs made a small detour. Their direction didn't take them to the control room anymore.
Instead, they were heading towards the testing chamber which held the prototype of the Transcendent Messenger!
Faster than Ves expected, the mechs barged through the gates of the testing chambers and immediately began to fight his prototype!
"What are the True Believers up to?" Ketis worriedly asked. "Why are they fighting against the prototype?"
"I don't know, but the prototype has already gone through several intensive stress tests! Its armor coverage is damaged and compromised and its energy reserves are almost empty!" Ves stated with alarm.
The enemy mechs seemed to know that and tried to corral and pressure the prototype. Despite Taon's best effort, the elite mech pilot couldn't do anything when he was being mobbed by the twenty mechs that had poured into the testing chamber in quick succession!
Even before its energy cells ran out of juice, the True Believer mechs managed to mob and tear away the weapons wielded by the prototype!
The mech had been completely neutralized!
What happened next astounded Ves even further. Once the True Believers pinned the prototype down, they forced Taon exit the mech!
Even though the armor of the prototype was very tough, it wouldn't last very long against the focused attacks of more than a dozen mechs!
As soon as Taon evacuated from his mech, the True Believers no longer bothered with him and instead lifted the prototype and brought it out of the testing chamber.
It was only at this point that Ves, the staff and the Protectors of the Faith realized what the True Believers were after.
"They're stealing our prototype!" Ketis gasped. "How dare they?!"