The Mech Touch Chapter 668
667 Key Materials
The foundation of most pieces of advanced engineering lay in their material composition. Powerful exotics with myriad effects not accomplishable by mundane metals such as titanium and palladium lent their abilities to achieve powerful effects such as all-encompassing stealth or reaching an unheard of amount of energy density!
In order to simplify the application of mature technology systems, they each listed out recipes of must-have exotics. Without a set number of these exotics in a set combination, the technology couldn't be substantialized.
It was like how someone wouldn't be able to bake an apple pie without getting their hands on an apple.
Of course, one didn't need to follow the recipe strictly if they were proficient bakers. If they wanted to, they could replace the apple component of the pie with pears or berries. As long as the user of the technology knew what they were doing, they could perform endless tweaks on the recipe.
The list of key materials therefore listed out several key materials, each divided into low, medium and high quality tiers. The better the material, the better the performance.
An apple pie tasted better if it was made out of fresh, organically grown apples grown from natural rather than something mass-produced in a cheap, overstuffed greenhouse and then spent months rotting in the middle of maggots and other vermin.
The same applied to applications of any kind of technology. Some of the most crucial pieces of information contained within the condensed data packages the Skull Architect sent over were simple listings of the key materials.
As long as Ves was able to obtain the ingredients, it wasn't a stretch to derive the recipe for an apple pie by himself. Of course, he'd have to spend years baking thousands of pies before he nailed down a good recipe, so he wasn't looking forward to fumbling around in the dark on his own.
Fortunately, while the condensed set of files only contained the barebones principles on both technologies, they were sufficient for Ves to bake at least a basic pair of pies. For now, the basic-level applications already satisfied his simple palate. At this stage, creating something more complex was out of his means.
"I still have to bleed a lot of K-coins in order to gather all the core materials." Ves frowned. "I'll have to budget carefully and bargain hard for the materials that I want."
For now, he didn't have to procure new materials to reconstruct a working example of stealth tech. The stealth shuttle fragments recovered from the battlefield should have already covered it. Up until now, Ves missed the essential theory to make sense of the fragments, but he had just obtained the missing link, so he was already satisfied in that area.
Now, all he needed to shop for was enough low-grade materials to construct at least three basic ultracompact batteries. "I already invented two little gadgets that hunger for energy. I can reserve the third battery for another gadget, or better yet treat it as a spare."
He mentally tallied the number and amount of different lowest tier exotics he had to get his hands on to fabricate three complete batteries, with a small amount of margin to spare for emergencies.
He grimaced a bit. "Even the cheapest form of ultracompact battery is a money-sucking pit."
There was a reason why ultracompact batteries were considered higher technology, ranked even above the predominant form of stealth technology in this region!
Some recipes were intrinsically simple and made do with nutrient packs, while others were more elitist and demanded the use of quality organically-grown ingredients. The differences in cost was massive, but Ves couldn't do anything about it. An ultracompact battery couldn't be called that anymore if Ves resorted to lower-tier materials instead!
Right now, his shopping list consisted of three rare exotics that were rumored to show up in the frontier. Since Mancroft was a trading station, it inevitably sold much of the spoils from treasure hunters returning from the untamed stars. Ves hoped to get lucky and encounter the desired materials.
"What is it now?" She replied, a little ticked off that she was being used as a walking search machine by Ves all day.
"I'm on the lookout for the following three medium-grade exotics: sulomnium, beta-otricine and Flesha's Tears."
Her eyes widened and her breath shuddered at the mention of some of those exotics. "I haven't heard about Beta-Otricine before, but both sulomnium and Flesha's Tears are some of the most valuable exotics you can score in the frontier! Any treasure hunter that manages to stumble upon a couple of grams of the former and a handful of micrograms of the latter has struck the jackpot! Do you know how much they cost?!"
"Why did you think I dropped by the bank? I know how much they cost, that's why I've pulled out my savings. Ketis, remember what you are supposed to be. Every mech designer is a money-making machine. Acquiring a few hundred-million credits is as easy as breathing to me. Journeymen like Mayra have it even better. They can each become the foundation of a large mech manufacturer in civilized space! As long as you work earnestly to advance your mech design abilities, acquiring expensive exotics will become as trivial as shopping for clothes to regular people."
Ves had ulterior motives when he said those words. He wanted to spark her greed. Unfortunately, he saw no signs this particular vice caught on to Ketis.
As a Swordmaiden who had grown up in a primitive settlement only to be picked up by Lydia and inducted into her organization as a teenager, Ketis never dealt a lot with money before. Concepts of wealth and income disparity was as alien to her as becoming an obedient housewife to a lucky husband.
If Ves wanted to corrupt Ketis into the cult of mech design, then he needed to grasp onto another handle.
No human was perfect. The female mech designer already possessed a possessed a warped personality by dint of her Swordmaiden upbringing. Ves merely had to stimulate the right personality trait to ignite her passion in mech design.
Their group tried their best to pass through the crowd of mech fanatics and head down into a lower deck which mainly sold industrial materials and equipment. Much less people ventured on this station level, which comfortably gave Ves, Ketis and his escort room to move.
As they browsed through shop to shop, thunderous cheers rang throughout the station. The grudge match had come to an end!
"The Hellvoice triumphed over the Deathless! The man who could not be killed is finally slain!"
"The Castle Breakers are claiming that the Hellvoice has cheated! They're furious!"
"Damnit, their fleet is starting to come online! Let's get back to our ships get away!"
Ves quietly cursed. It was just a mech duel. Couldn't the sore losers swallow their pride and take their defeat with dignity? These Castle Breakers sound like a big deal as well. The damage they could do if they went mad was enormous.
Still, the Bosey Clan wouldn't let some random pirate outfit run amuck in the vicinity of their space station. That was bad for business.
Still, the unrest about the outcome of the duel slowly started to spread towards the fans. Grumbling mercenaries walked past obnoxiously loud groups of pirates celebrating their chosen champion in plain sight.
Eventually, the situation came to a head. Just a stone's throw ahead of his group, two pairs of gangers confronted each other in the middle of the crossroad. The surrounding bystanders and vendors smelled a fight, and scurried away like rats! All the storefronts lowered armored shutters in record time, as if they had performed the same action for decades!
"Ves, I'm afraid we can't go further. There is an incident up ahead." Nolsen stated as his faceplate automatically descended onto the helmet. The exoskeleton guards entered battle mode. "This conflict doesn't have anything to do with us, so I highly recommend we detour."
"Let's go, then." Ves nodded. As long as those hooligans were determined to duke it out, there wasn't any opportunity to shop here. "There are plenty of vendors in this space station. We can always find what we want elsewhere."
Ketis spoke up then. "I've visited Mancroft several times before. I know a few big stores that deal in some of the rarer goods, the kind that is normally left under the counter. The ones with the best relation is Big Dickson's, as they're a branch office of the Delta Grind Collective. Their store on Mancroft is right at the junction of that crossroad over there. The Collective does a lot of business with mines and resource deposits. They're some of the bigger material suppliers in the Faris Star Region."
"So if there's any place that has the exotics I need, it's Big Dickson's?"
"Better yet, if I show them that I'm a Swordmaiden, we can get a sweater deal from them! I don't know how much of a discount they're willing to give us, but I've seen Mayra drive down the base prices by about five percent every time!"
That sounded fairly impressive. Ves did not despise this five percent discount, as when it came to bulk purchasing of raw materials, even a two percent discount was significant! The procurement of smaller amounts of exotics was slightly different, but even there the established traders had a tendency to adhere to standard market pricing.
Considering the delays they might face if they let the two rivalling groups posture around, Ves preferred a quicker solution.
Ketis already started to grin as she closed the faceplate of her own suit of medium combat armor. A silent command caused the sheathed greatsword on her back to jump out of its scabbard and land upon her waiting gauntlets. With a firm grip, she experimentally flourished her sword.
"Let's chop up some degenerate scum!"
Ves quickly placed his palm over her shoulder pauldron. "Hold it right there! Let's not resort to violence if we have to. It's sufficient for us to scare them off. After all, what can they do against our armor and firepower?"
"Pff, these guys are trash." She dismissively declared. "We don't need to waste any more time with them. They won't listen to us. If you're afraid they have backers, they don't look like they have ones, or else they would have boasted about it by now."
The two groups of pirate gang members all brandished their cheap rifles and pistols against each other. Almost everyone wore standard vacsuits with regular clothing on top. Only the leaders wore something resembling a suit of armor, but it looked more like something a drunken armorer improvised together.
Ves calmly held Ketis and the rest back while he looked up the figures before him through his comm. He wanted to be certain of their background before engaging them. If it turned out that both of them were backed by the pirate alliances, then Ves would immediately drop his plan and turn around.
"Hmmm, they don't come from any notable outfits at all." Ves revealed as his research bore fruit. "The leftmost group hail from the Riller Dollar while the group to the right are crew members of the Whisper Current. Both are the names of converted carriers. Their outfits are so small that they only consist of a single ship!"
These kinds of pirates were barely eking out an existence in the periphery of human space. A converted carrier was nothing but refurbished cargo hauler or large transport that had reached the end of their lifetime.
After confirming that neither pirate groups had a big brother watching over them, Ves confidently commanded his security escorts to move up. They brandished their heavy caliber rifles and cannons like they wanted everyone to know how much firepower they could pump out. Their heavy, intimidating footsteps clanged against the deck with so much noise that it easily disrupted the drawn-out argument between the pirate groupings.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please, there is no need for you to act like this at this important junction." Ves stepped forward with his caped and armored form. Surrounded by his exoskeleton guards, he looked like a prince under the protection of a quartet of uplifted gorillas. "I have business with the proprietor of that store over there. If you could please take your argument elsewhere, it would be much appreciated."
The vast majority of the pirates at the crossroads displayed varying amounts of fear and apprehension. The escorts along with his sophisticated words gave them the impression that they faced a bigshot, which wasn't entirely wrong!Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.