The Mech Touch Chapter 705

703 Acolyte Gien

Decreasing the transmission of raw data to the cockpit by sixty percent sounded impressive.

However, it did not measurably lessen the pain experienced by Acolyte Gien. Ves estimated that he needed to cut the data stream by at least ninety-eight percent for it to stop causing permanent harm to the mech pilot!

"Solving the problem completely isn't doable. Not only will the mech be almost uncontrollable to Acolyte Gien, it also spits in the face of the Church's intentions."

What Ves had effectively done was to make the torture device a little less lethal. The torture victim practically felt just as much pain, but he'd be able to endure the torture at least twice as long, prolonging his suffering!

Ves snorted at the morbid notion that popped up in his mind. "If I can't make it as a mech designer, I can always transition into designing torture machines."

Working on modifying the design of the Evaporating Spear had exposed the full horror of what a faulty neural interface could unleash! Ves always knew that mech pilots risked sustaining permanent brain damage in theory, but to contribute on a mech where this became a feature instead of a fault was something else!

To state that his design philosophy remained pure and unchanged was a lie. The pressure it endured had left some marks. In the future, his design philosophy would bend more easily under pressure. In exchange, it lost some of the backbone that made it pure.

Time would tell whether this change benefited him more than it cost, but Ves willingly embraced this shift.

Ves already witnessed the strengths and drawbacks of a rigid design philosophy. Single-minded in focus, as long as the mech designer kept following the proscribed paths, they advanced relatively quickly and improved quite fast.

However, once they fell into a completely different circumstance, they encountered many difficulties in trying to adjust their design philosophy to the changes they experienced.

The Skull Architect with his extremely narrow-minded research focus suffered from this fault.

Ves did not lack for confidence in his ability to advance his own path in mech design. He already did so since the start with his pioneering work on the X-Factor. With his various advantages, he did not require an additional boost in this department.

What he valued instead was adaptability! With a potential career that spanned for several hundred years at the very least, human society would doubtlessly experience many changes. Ves wanted to insure he retained the flexibility to keep up with the times.

If his design philosophy was flexible enough to bend to any storm, then Ves would be able to prosper regardless if he based himself in the Bright Republic, the Friday Coalition, the frontier or even the galactic heartland or the galactic center!

His paranoia urged him to be constantly prepared for danger no matter where he based himself. He needed to be ready to abandon all that he worked towards and flee to safer regions. 

Ves came to the realization that one of the major reasons why mech designers in the galactic rim rarely chose to relocate closer to the center of the galaxy. Their design philosophy simply couldn't adapt to the changed environment. A different mech industry, a different mech market, mech designers were forced to discard too many habits and customs they took for granted.

Still, despite the fact that these highly focused mech designers likely fared poorly should they relocate to a different region of the galaxy, they excelled at the areas they were good at. Ves guessed that the most successful mech designers were those who put their entire heart and soul into their primary pursuits.

"The Star Designers form the best example of what an obsession can amount to when pursued to the extreme."

Of the hundred Star Designers in existence to this day and age, the majority spent the vast majority of their early careers in doggedly becoming the best in a specific field!

However, examples to the contrary existed as well. The Polymath served as the quintessential example of how a broad focus or a complete lack of focus did not stop a mech designer from reaching the pinnacle in mech design!

Though it made his future advancement a little more difficult, he felt liberated for making this choice. Unbound by rules, decoupled from the MTA and able to bend in any situation, his changing design philosophy experienced a fundamental paradigm shift.

If he had to summarize the most important change, then his new design philosophy cared less about the process and more about the end result.

He wouldn't care too much if he needed to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

"I suppose that also answers the question of whether I should care about the mech pilots I'm serving."

His new shift enabled him to remain callous and unfeeling even if he contributed to harming the mech pilots who used his mechs. Though this didn't forbid him from selectively caring for some of his favored clients and customers, his default state could be described as indifferent.

In other words, he didn't care!

Did this mean he let go of the mech designer's creed? Not entirely. He still recognized its exemplary value and an ideal to measure up to. Ves simply regarded it as a guideline instead of a hard rule to follow.

The loss of innocence may be a regretful matter to some, but Ves reaped the benefits of it as the strain of working on the Evaporating Spear faded into the background.

His design philosophy exhibited the flexibility of a tree in the middle of a storm. As long as the wind didn't blow too hard or too often, Ves would be able to retain much of his old values even as he did the opposite of what he was supposed to! He was basically having his cake and eating it too!

"Brilliant!" He uttered as the design came closer to exhibiting a satisfactory level of performance. Instead of being wracked with guilt, he reveled in the challenge and enjoyment of working on such an unusual project. "I should have figured this out sooner!"Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

Guided by a design philosophy that bent but never snapped, Ves finalized the entire design, rebirthing it from its humble and neglected origins and shaping it to become a mech fit for dueling!

As Ves studied the finished redesign, he frowned a bit when he picked up a trace of spirituality from its design.

"I failed." He said, causing Acolyte Villis to jerk confusedly at him. "I'm too strong for my own good."

The mech designers who worked on the Evaporating Spear before Ves got his hands on it were barely above amateur level. Both their technical ability and their design philosophies simply couldn't hold a candle to Ves.

Even unconsciously and unfocused, his passive Spirituality exerted so much strength that it had practically overridden much of the design's muddy vision with one of his own!

Ves carefully tasted the changes in the spiritual nature of the design. Its X-Factor gained definition, and while it may not be too strong, it was no longer a muddy swamp of noise as before.

His subconscious desires and intentions seemed to have imprinted the vague vision he constructed in his mind on the design. 

The mech turned from a mech without a defined vision to one that carried the notion of sacrifice. The Evaporating Spear veered away from a mech that tormented its pilot for petty reasons.

Instead, the lancer mech became a furnace that harnessed its mech pilot's pain, stimulating them both to perform at their greatest potential!

"It's going to be hard to live up to that ideal."

Just because he created a lofty vision didn't mean his end product matched his intentions. Lack of time, lack of tools, lack of materials and lack of other resources hampered him from fulfilling his vision to the end.

He just had to settle for halfway or less. Though it rankled him a bit to surrender to practicality, virtually every mech designer suffered from the exact same problem, so learning how to deal with disappointment was part of their profession.

"Now that I'm ready to implement my design, there is one issue I need to address."

Ves stretched his back as best he could in his combat armor and rose up from the terminal. He looked around the assembly bay and spotted the Evaporating Spear's fated mech pilot slouching like a homeless bum off the streets. The sorry figure hadn't moved from the stack of crates that served as his makeshift seat.

"Tch." He almost spat. "This won't do."

The strength of the mech depended heavily on the strength of the mech pilot. If the mech pilot already gave up, the mech itself wouldn't be able to leverage its strength at all! Most of the work that Ves was about to perform on the Evaporating Spear would be wasted if Acolyte Gien continued to feel sorry for himself.

Ves marched over to the cultist pilot and loomed over the depressed-looking figure.

"Acolyte. Look up at me."

"Pff." Gien puffed through his lips. The man continued to stare at the deck. "..What is it, outsider?"

"Are you ready to fight?"

"What's the point? I'll be dead either way."

"According to your fellow acolyte, you still have an opportunity to make it out alive." Ves replied while pointing his thumb at Acolyte Villis, who silently kept pace with Ves. "I've just finished planning for the redesign for your dueling mech. Instead of brooding here like a loser, why don't you spend your time more productively? I can load the latest design into a simulator pod for you to become accustomed to its performance parameters. Considering the nature of the Redemption Duel, you don't want to go into the battle without knowing what your mech is capable of!"

"I'm dead either way!" Acolyte Gien yelled as he stood up and yelled right in front of Ves. "This duel is pointless! My life was forfeit as soon as the Priests caught me passing information to a fellow pirate!"

"What's done is done. Are you going to feel sorry for yourself all the way up to the Redemption Duel? Get your butt back into gear and fight, damnit! It's not the end for you!"

"You have no idea what's in store for me." Gien shook his head and crossed his arms. "Even if I win, the Priests will convert me into a Living Altar. An outsider like you will never be able to fathom the full extent of this ritual! They say that I will be reborn, but that is a lie! All that is me is gone, and in its place is a different me that wears my face but carries the soul of Haatumak!"

Acolyte Villis abruptly lunged forward. For an old crone, she moved remarkably nimbly, as if a twenty-year old woman in her prime hid beneath a bag of old and saggy skin! A gloved palm emerged from her robes and slapped the mech pilot in the cheek.

"Do not repeat your error, Gien!" She hissed in an awful serpentine tone. "The ways of Haatumak are not to be divulged to our guests!"

The mech pilot recoiled in fear at the old crone. Evidently, the woman inspired fear despite her low rank. "F-F-Forgive me, Villis!"

Ves witnessed the brief exchange. Gien hardly flinched when Ves confronted the traitor, yet immediately turned into a scaredy-cat after a single rebuke from Villis. Perhaps he could make use of this dynamic.

"Acolyte Villis, can I ask you a favor?"

The old crone turned her hooded head at Ves. "We are not in the business of providing favors without cost, Mr. Larkinson."

"I think this will benefit the both of us."

"Speak, then."

"Well, considering that you appear to have the power to keep this sad excuse of a mech pilot on his toes, can you motivate him to fight? He needs a good kick in the butt if he's to be prepared for his Redemption Duel."

Villis briefly paused, as if she hesitated over the suggestion. Eventually, she agreed. "Though it is outside the scope of my orders, this is Haatumak's will. Rest assured that Acolyte Villis will be fully prepared to fight when it is time."

"No!" Gien screamed and fell down in front of Ves. He crawled towards Ves until his arms clutched the legs. "Don't leave me alone with Acolyte Villis! Anything but that! She's one of the most fearsome acolytes aboard the temple!"

Ves rudely kicked away the arms enveloping his armored legs. "I don't care. Just do your duty and practice with the new design! I'm counting on you to win!"

So long as Acolyte Gien fought as hard as he could, Ves was reassured he'd be able to obtain his promised rewards. As for what happened next to the poor brain-damaged mech pilot, it was none of his business.