The Mech Touch Chapter 779

777 Heavy Pressure

Properly speaking, Aeon Corona VII did not have nights in the traditional sense. Its forty-three hour days subjected one hemisphere to the light of the trinary stars while denying it to the other side of the planet.

Yet what role could sunlight play on a planet lit by the glow of higher-dimensional particles? It not only cast the entire planet in a decidedly golden tint, there wasn't any real night to speak of. The only change in the sky when 'night' finally fell was that the trio of suns dipped below the horizon.

Strangely enough, the lack of true night unsettled the Vandals far more than the heavy gravity. They already had months to prepare for deployment on a heavy gravity planet, so they hardly became fazed when they finally stepped foot on Seven.

The astral winds that raged above the skies came extra, though. The distortion running through their bodies and constant brightness shining down from above made it feel as if they had intruded into some hallowed godly domain where mortals like them simply didn't belong.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click for visiting.

How could anyone live on this planet? Its properties differed too far from the human norm that the excitement the Vandals gained from embarking on their mission firmly faded from their minds.

All they felt now was a faint dread for all the surprises this strange and alien planet had in store for them. Terraformed or not, many Vandals could hardly stomach the thought of enduring months under these bright and blinding skies.

Ves coped a little better. The bright astral winds may look a bit unsettling to the average person, but as someone who grew up on Cloudy Curtain, he never needed any clear skies to lift up his mood.

As the standard clock the Vandals and Swordmaidens have adopted turned to evening, Ves decided to take a break after he addressed all of the acute problems. As he stepped outside the temporary headquarters, he saw that the base looked a lot livelier now.

The Vandals set up a lot of prefab structures that could be deployed and folded back into a compact container on a jiffy. This would be important because the ground forces intended to bring them along and set them up each time they needed to halt.

Therefore, the prefab structures didn't look particularly impressive. Consisting of thin, bare metal plates, what they gained in modularity and ease of handling, they gave up in sturdiness and reliability.

Compared to mech armor, the structures were only as tough as the armor of a cheap light mech. While this would be sufficient to keep the structures somewhat stable, it didn't turn them into any defensive fortifications. They could withstand infantry-grade firepower easily enough, but when it came to mech-grade weapons, even a single round would be able to blast a huge hole in the walls.

This didn't matter too much as the bases were only intended as mobile stopover points to service mechs and process any resources that they might gather.

The landbound mechs at their disposal formed their true defense. With their mechs on patrol, nothing should be able to sneak up close to the base to have a clear shot at them, if any enemies on the planet even used any ranged weapons.

Due to the heavy gravity that had a tendency to drag any projectiles down the ground before they reached far enough to hit their target, neither the Vandals nor the Swordmaidens brought any ballistic rifles. Every ranged mech either already made use of a laser rifle or had been forced to adopt one over their primary weapons.

Melee mechs would still be able to move quickly with their gravitic backpacks active. Of course, melee combat in general needed a whole new revision as the Vandal and Swordmaiden mech pilots figured out they could hit a lot harder if they struck from above and deactivated their antigrav modules at the same time.

Any mech that tipped over or lost their balance while outside the influence of any antigrav fields pretty much had no chance to recover during a battle. Falling under six times gravity was the worst thing that could happen to any mech or person on foot.

As Ves headed over to the Swordmaiden side of the camp, he saw a few off-duty Vandals goofing off. They experimented with trying to see if they could remain functional as they deactivated a nearby antigrav module.

"C'mon, hurry up, Suze! Turn it off already"

"I've got it! Three, two, one, it's off!"

The Vandal standing in the middle of a clearing suddenly buckled and screamed a bit. The man remained upright solely due to the virtue of his light combat armor which locked up his legs and automatically adjusted his balance.

"Turn.. it.. on!"

Once the Vandal in control of the system switched the antigrav module back online, the man who tested his body sighed in relief. "That was far too sudden! I became so heavy that my bones started creaking! I can't imagine surviving outside this field."

Several more Vandals curiously tested out how their bodies would fare under heavy gravity. Having learned their lesson, this time Suzie dialed down the power of the antigrav module gradually until it stopped exerting anything against the prevailing gravity.

Without exception, many of the Vandals serving as technicians, machinists or some other support capacity simply couldn't handle the strain. None of them could cope with remaining upright, but they lasted a bit longer if they laid down flat on the ground.

Those in less rigid outfits such as hazard suits fared the worst. The lack of structure in them combined with the fact that only the weakest Vandals wore them meant they crumbled into a heap pretty quickly even as the gravity ramped up slowly.

Those with combat training, greater fitness and perhaps enjoyed some genetic tune-ups fared better. Even without relying on the servos of their combat armor, they possessed enough strength to remain upright, though moving forward was a significant challenge in itself. If their combat armor ever ran out of energy, its weight turned into a burden instead of a boon.

Just as Ves planned to walk past by the experimenting Vandals, he halted in his steps. "This is a good time as any to test out my own ability to cope with the gravity."

He turned around and approached the group. The Vandals looked up at him and some of them even recognized him. "Mr. Larkinson!"

The low-ranking Vandals attempted to stand at attention as if he was an officer.

"Relax, folks. Let me give it a try as well."

"Uh, you sure? The gravity is no joke, sir."

"Don't worry about me. I'm not as weak as my profession suggests."

After a bit of reassurance, Ves stepped in the middle of the testing zone. Once he gave the signal, Suzie carefully dialed down the effects of the antigrav module.

As the gravity steadily reassured itself around Ves, he felt the pressure adding up to his body.

It felt less like hauling a huge boulder over his shoulder and more like his own flesh and blood started to war against him. It was like taking a dive underneath the ocean, but instead of the pressure coming from all directions, it primarily pointed down to the ground.

Ves experimentally lifted his arm and found it took quite a bit of exertion from him to do so. He continued to make a couple of movements, each of them slow enough to suggest to the onlookers that he had been engaging his armor servos.

He didn't.

Nobody knew about his body enhancements he gained from a past expedition to the frontier except for Major Verle, Doctor Cuscar and perhaps a couple of other medical personnel.

He even hid his strength from Ketis, who probably thought of him as a frail nerd who didn't belong in the frontier.

It didn't matter anyway. Even if his Jutland organ transformed his genes and his body into the foundation of a warrior, he lacked the training to be able to beat someone like Ketis.

As a mech designer, Ves had no use for a large amount of physical strength. The incredible amount of endurance that came along as well was a lot more useful, though. It let him survive situations that would have killed a skinny mech designer ten times over.

Right now though, his physical enhancements played a greater role than before. Ves pleasantly found out that not only did he possess the strength to move normally without keeling over, his endurance also provided him with the staying power to cope with the increased exertion.

It was as if his body already possessed the essential qualities of a heavy gravity variant human.

"This can come in handy in the future." He noted before he turned to the onlookers. "Thanks, I've tested enough."

Ves also briefly tested the functionality of his Earth Ant, though his light combat armor exhibited no unexpected surprises. The customized armor held up marvelously, and according to the telemetry, his servos never suffered undue strain.

As he crossed over into the Swordmaiden side of the camp, he witnessed the differences immediately. Both the layout and the general conduct of the Swordmaidens differed drastically from the Vandals.

Prefab structures had been placed without any care for alignment, Swordmaidens ran all over the place and their thralls did much of the actual work in the background.

Oh yes, the Swordmaidens brought their slaves.

Ves frowned as he stared at the robotic men in distinctly lesser hazard suits as they performed all of the menial tasks the Swordmaidens disdained to do. He felt as if he had traveled right back to the Age of Stars where humanity often faced the threat of enslavement from vastly more powerful alien neighbors.

"If this is what Ketis is surrounded by every day, no wonder she doesn't think too well of mech technicians."

Well, Ves was no crusader, nor did he aspire to become a saint. The fate of the slaves had nothing to do with him so he resolutely ignored the men as they followed the orders of their Swordmaiden supervisors without any hint of resistance due to their brainwashing.

If Ves ignored the slaves, he found that the Swordmaidens possessed their own charm. Their mechs moved with grace under the antigrav fields, while the Swordmaidens on foot kept up their vigilance.

Ves attracted plenty of stares, and as he asked for directions to the mech workshop, Ketis showed up again.

"Ves!" She ran up to him in her heavy combat armor, causing the tiles beneath his feet to transmit the vibrations. "You're here! Mayra told me you just crossed over in our base, so she ordered me to fetch you and show you around. Come!"

As she dragged Ves to the mech workshops, she started babbling about the various sights.

"Look at this mech with the red stripe running down the center of the frame. You'll see this mech a lot with us. It's the Devil Razor, one of Mayra's most popular designs among my sisters. It's as plentiful as your Vandal Inheritor mechs but of better quality."

Ves did see a lot of Swordmaiden mechs with a red stripe on top of their regular coating. Different from the Vandals, the Swordmaidens personalized their mechs with adding patterns, exobeast bones and other decorative measures.

No two Devil Razor looked the same. Some used a lighter coating scheme, others loaded up some extra backup knives, while one oddball mech coated her mech in pink of all colors.

The only thing they had in common was that they all retained the thick stripe in the center.

"The Devil Razor does look impressive." He said sincerely. As someone more comfortable with designing landbound mechs, he possessed a keen eye in judging their quality. Ves mentally pegged the mech as a product that could be sold for 30 million credits, around the same as one of his old Marc Antony models.

This didn't sound impressive at first, but Mayra managed to design and fabricate large numbers of this mech through her own efforts!