The Mech Touch Chapter 731
729 Perilous Destination
The fact that the Flagrant Swordmaidens entered the deep frontier hit home among the rank-and-file. The Vandals may be a lot less familiar with the frontier than the Swordmaidens, but once they heard the stories, they started developing nightmares about entire sandstorms engulfing their fleet.
Trespassing sandmen space was as perilous as their run through Vesian space! Danger lurked in every star system, and the main form of protection they relied on consisted of some inscrutable religious blessing by a bunch of whack jobs who worshipped some alien entity named Haatumak.
The lack of understanding and the difficulty of comprehending their circumstances led a lot of Vandals to grumble about their mission. Had the Starlight Megalodon really crash-landed in the middle of sandmen space? How come the CFA battleship hadn't been chewed into bits by the sandmen that reigned over this territory?
To the chief engineer, it made more sense that the Starlight Megalodon would be found in such an out-of-the-way location.
As Ves and Chief Avanaeon gathered together in the corner of the shuttle bay of the Shield of Hispania, they tinkered with the salvaged fragments of the stealth shuttles from the battle against the Masters of Combat.
So far, they hadn't achieved much progress, but Ves hadn't been able to put his full attention to this side project until now.
With a new pair of high-powered gadgets hanging from his toolbelt, he completed one of his necessary preparations to survive the oncoming storm.
Now, he just needed to figure out how stealth tech work and reconstruct a working stealth shuttle in order to finish the other vital component of his contingency plan.
As Ves and Avanaeon comfortably collaborated on figuring out the inner workings of the stealth shuttle, they chatted about many different topics.
"What do you think about the deep frontier and the fact that our objective might be there?" The chief engineer.
Currently, the pair performed some targeted scans on outer hull fragments with a specialized scanner they cobbled up just for this purpose. The previous scanners hadn't been able to pick up the special internal structure of the wondrously crafted stealth plating. Their quality exceeded anything the both of them had seen before, but the problem that came with it was that they needed better equipment to behold their full majesty.
Ves slid his fingers in his air as if he turned an invisible knob, causing the resolution of the scanner to adjust by a minute proportion. "I think that the Starlight Megalodon won't be easy to reach. You know the sandmen love to suck the juice out of high-energy objects. A batteship is one of the most pinnacle inventions of the human race. There's hardly a higher concentration of energy to be found among our massive works besides the dyson swarms that surround the suns of highly developed star systems."
The strength and development of the human race or any alien race rested on their ability to harvest and harness energy.
While humans needed to invent a lot of technology to interact with energy through the medium of machines, the sandmen interacted a lot more directly with energy.
The sandmen race never made any use of machines or any external objects for that matter. Their houses and colonies consisted of large agglomerations of their own race akin to sandcastles. Their ships consisted of their own bodies shaped in balls, ovals, cubes or any other geometric shape their slightly smarter sandmen leader preferred.
In other words, the sandmen didn't make use of technology. They embodied itt! As a strange race that resembles bots and whose bodies consisted of sand grain-like material, they animated themselves through extremely obscure means. Even if their entire race resembled something magical, they couldn't escape the fundamental requirement that all races hungered for: energy.
Both Ves and Chief Avanaeon knew this fundamental truth.
"I've developed a theory why the Starlight Megalodon somehow manages to stay intact after being stranded for several hundred years in sandmen space." The chief engineer began. "You heard about how the Starlight Megalodon originally led a starship into alien space for some subjugation mission or something, right?"
Ves nodded. "Now that I think about it, the CFA likely sent out the subjugation fleet to teach the sandmen race a lesson."
"Well, while the rest of the fleet emerged out of FTL intact, their flagship inexplicably went missing. Since they knew that the Megalodon transitioned into FTL but didn't come out, the CFA thought that it encountered some kind of freak accident related to the higher dimensions."
"I've already heard that theory. What's your point?"
"My point is that whatever anomaly gripped the the Starlight Megalodon out of place may still be active until today. The vagaries of spacetime and what happens in the higher dimensions are poorly understood even now. Take it from me. Even though I'm a chief engineer, I barely understand what goes on inside an FTL drive! And that's only the more basic models that is sufficient to propel a combat carrier. The FTL drive of a battleship is hundreds of times more powerful and complex! I've even heard that capital ships activate multiple FTL drives in conjunction! Think of the complexity involved with such a technical feat!"
Ves shuddered at the thought. He had come into touch with FTL drives several times, and while he didn't had the pleasure of tinkering with them or understanding how they worked, he knew that they worked on incredibly mind-boggling principles.
"So you think the Starlight Megalodon is still caught in some kind of.. multidimensional pothole? A spacetime ditch?"Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Something like that. I heard you took part in the Glowing Planet campaign on behalf of some private outfit. Did you experience what happened at the end?"
Avanaeon's words immediately made Ves recall the temporal anomaly that emerged as the Mech Corps and the Mech Legion slugged it out with each other. He remembered the moment when one of the transports carrying a dimensional smoother loaned by the MTA got blown up by a misdirected missile!
The bizarre time loop that centered around the impact site scared the wits out of the hardened Brighter and Vesian soldiers! The two forces immediately ended their battle without a clear winner or loser in their desperation to escape the strange phenomenon that resulted out of their negligent actions.
According to the rumors that occasionally swirled around the galactic net, the temporal anomaly still existed to this date, looping time in an unending cycle that saw the missile impact the transport which caused it and its crew to be blown up into bits, only for the entire event to play back in reverse!
Forward and reverse, destruction and rebirth, this endless cycle might very well persist until the end of reality itself! Some even say that the people aboard the transport would forever live through the agony of experiencing rebirth and death without any way to escape their cruel and undeserved fate!
"Damn." Ves said as his mind began to conjure up all kinds of awful possibilities. "Well, it offers an explanation why the Starlight Megalodon can still persist in sandmen space, but doesn't that mean we won't be able to reach the battleship as well?"
"Their shuttles made it out, right? It took the descendants of the original crew of the battleship several hundred years, but they managed to slip out some shuttles. If these craft can get out, I bet the same channel or means can be used to get in, don't you think?"
It likely wouldn't be so simple or straightforward as that. Any channel that could stop a sandmen wouldn't be easy for humans to traverse.
Ves worried about what they might find at the end of their search. He already had to take into account the threat from sandmen, rivals, errant pirates, their uninvited guests, the Fourth Prince and his still-loyal expert pilot and now the spacetime anomalies as well. It was as if the entire galaxy opposed their mission!
"Finally!" The chief engineer erupted. "This custom scanner is finally penetrating through the surface layer! Come look at this, Ves! It's beautiful!"
They both resumed their preoccupation with figuring out the inner workings of stealth tech.
Over a period of several days, Ves devoted the majority of his time in juggling between theoretical models and broken samples of applied stealth tech.
It helped that his workload mostly subsided now that the Vandals largely completed their latest modification run. More than two-hundred landbound mechs received an extensive round of modifications and upgrades that sacrificed a little bit of performance in exchange for increasing their ability to endure crushing gravity!
The modified mechs combined with the heavy-duty gravitic backpacks should ensure that each mech gained a short one-hour period in which they suffered minimally from the effects of extreme gravity.
The only downside to their preparations was that once the gravitic backpacks ran out of energy, the mechs could barely move at all! The only role the modifications played was to ensure the mechs didn't sustain too much damage when they weren't covered by the protective umbrellas of their gravitic backpacks.
With the resources and means at hand, the Vandals couldn't do anything about it. They had to settle for what they could achieve and hope that would be sufficient for them to contend for the Starlight Megalodon's treasures when they finally reached her location.
The entire fleet somehow knew they neared the rumored foundered battleship. Word got out that it might be a matter of days or weeks before they arrived at the coordinates of the legendary capital ship.
What would they find? A ship crash-landed on a Super Earth-like planet? The Starlight Megalodon torn to pieces and strewn about over several light-years?
Imagination ran wild. Whatever they might encounter, the battle would start in earnest at that time.
They needed to be ready for anything, because they might have the fight of their lives on their hands.
During these tense days of travel, apprehension, and waiting, Ves made decent progress into deciphering the workings of modern stealth tech, at least the most rudimentary version of it common in the galactic rim.
Ves figured out large portions of the underlying mechanics behind each means of fooling a specific type of sensors. Electromagnetic, gravitic, sonar and etcetera all needed to be counteracted at the same time in perfect ways without any mutual interference.
It was like playing a complete orchestra song by playing five different musical instruments at the same time. Not only did each instrument had to be tuned right and played correctly, they all needed to be played on the same beat and in complete coordination with each other.
All of that needed to be accomplished by a single source!
The amount of multidisciplinary tech that the developers stuffed in the stealth shuttles astounded Ves and Avanaeon. The two engineers gained a new appreciation of how many functions could be stuffed inside a single package!
While they barely got a grip at understanding all of the tech, reproducing it proved to be a more difficult challenge. Ves could immediately tell that the most sophisticated components of the stealth shuttle such as the stealth plating couldn't be reproduced with a standard 3D printer.
To produce the plating, Ves needed to reproduce a similar kind of machine. He had no idea on how to begin with such a project. It sounded as ridiculous as fabricating an entirely new model of 3D printer from scratch.
While Ves made extensive use of them and even reconstructed a broken Dortmund printer, it didn't mean he could whip out production machines on the fly!
"We can't fabricate any new plating, but we don't have to." Ves told Avanaeon while they puzzled over the problem. He picked up one of the scorched and scratched fragments that they salvaged from the debris field back then. "We have sufficient stealth plating fragments here to piece together a new set of plating! While they're in poor condition, I think it's possible that we can restore them somehow. Restoration is easier than creation!"
Ves laid out a viable if difficult solution to go forward from here. The chief engineer considered it for a moment and reluctantly accepted it for lack of a better solution.
"Many of these fragments have scratches and tears in them. We need to see if we have enough relatively-intact portions to construct a full-sized shuttle."