The Mech Touch Chapter 806
804 Experimental Group
"Back when you studied the DNA of the wild gods, you stated that their genes have received extensive modifications as well."
"That's correct. The genes implanted in the DNA of these wildlings largely consists of of those modified elements. You can say that the wildlings and the wild gods have received the same set of of gene treatments."
Dr. Tillman rambled on a bit about the genes, but hardly anyone understood her point. When she noticed how absent-minded her audience got, she quickly summarized her conclusion.
"In short, we don't know what the exobiologists actually intended with these genes. They're far from simple and it's deliberately more complex than necessary. It will take at least a couple of decades for me to decipher the role of these alien genes."
"What can you tell us about the wildlings then?"Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Well, they are predisposed to behave in certain ways. While their brain structure has been altered, mostly to cope with the heavy gravity, what we did find out is that their intelligence hasn't actually been curtailed. Instead, certain instincts are strengthened while other behavior is suppressed. I wouldn't be surprised if these wildlings are completely incapable of developing their civilization like normal humans. Forget about developing to the point where they can launch satellites into orbit. They aren't even capable of constructing anything more complicated than a house."
"Do the blessed people suffer from the same kind of brain altering?"
"Surprisingly, no." The exobiologist shook her head. "While their genes have undergone some tailoring as well, they still remain better versions of baseline humans. The few modifications that are different from the officer-grade gene treatments all pertain to adaptation to this planet. For example, their strengthened hearts and bloodstream ensures that they won't black out as fast when subjected to heavy gravity."
"This kind of looks like a mad scientist's experiment to me." Ves stated as he narrowed his eyes a bit. For some reason, he started to think of the weird organisms on the planet as a massive testing ground. "If the goal of some or all of the exobiologists and geneticists is to develop a strain of humanity that can best survive the harsh conditions of this planet, then they might have pursued an extreme solution with the wildlings, but left the blessed people in the cities as a control group."
In the perspective of exobiologists, the blessed people with their frail baseline human constitutions simply wouldn't be able to last on the planet. Though they somehow managed to perpetuate their existence by developing a means to generate antigrav fields without technology, these stagnant people have never expanded beyond the remnant cities laid down by their forefathers.
As far as the Vandals were concerned, the wildlings possessed the capability to survive in the wild, and thus might have spread their people around the entire globe!
Over time, their numbers would unceasingly rise, and despite their curtailed intelligence would probably become more cunning and inventive over time, though that might take millions of years to affect.
"There is one other detail about the wildlings that you should know." Dr. Tillman added. "The exobiologists have increased the chance of genetic variation in the wildlings. Their DNA is being copied at higher error rates than in baseline humans. This leads to a lot of miscarriages and infant mortality. Those who survive may exhibit lingering weaknesses but also a rare superior benefit. In fact, these wildlings we've encountered are already smarter than their initial iteration. They're slowly developing towards higher intelligence."
"So in other words, the wildlings experience a lot more mutation than baseline humans, and the ones who are smarter than the rest often hold an advantage?"
"Sounds a lot like how humans used to evolve on Old Earth."
The various experts didn't understand what the CFA exobiologists and geneticists were thinking. Why turn their enlisted into intellectually-challenged dark dwarves, but subsequently give them a way out in the long term? Perhaps it might take a few million years, but eventually this race might be able to surpass the blessed people in intelligence!
The wildlings already possessed an advantage in adaptation. If they grew smart enough in some areas, the blessed people resting on their laurels within the protective embrace of their city walls would become extinct!
Chief Dakkon came to another conclusion. "I've got a different perspective from Ves. Rather than regard the dwarves and the city folk as an experimental group and a control group, what I see instead are the result of internal contradictions. What if the survivors split up for some reason? What if they got into an argument, and the enlisted personnel lost? I doubt they want to turn themselves into these dark dwarves."
"What about the propensity for mutation?"
"Maybe there is a dissident in the team of geneticists and exobiologists. One of them didn't agree to the plan to turn all the enlisted personnel into a slave species, so he or she put in a sneaky long-term bomb into the genetic code. Doctor, how obvious is this change?"
"It's not very obvious at the start." Dr. Tillman replied. "There isn't a single geneticist or exobiologist who can read an entire genetic code. So even if one of their members attempts to pervert a section of genes, the malfeasance won't necessarily be noticed. We've only been able to detect the change in genetic variation because hundreds of generation have already produced a diverse variety of minor mutations."
This didn't necessarily confirmed Chief Dakkon's theory, but it did make it a bit more likely to be true. Whatever the case, the entire gene structure of the wildlings was so complex and incorporated so many modifications that perhaps no one really knew what came out of it. Even though they looked like dark dwarves, they possessed a considerable amount of depth.
The Vandals only came across the tip of the iceberg. What truly happened with these wildlings required much more extensive studies. The exobiologists already had their hands full with studying the wild gods. Adding wildlings to their plate only burdened them further.
"For now, the wildlings don't appear to be threatening to us." Captain Byrd stated at the end. "Dr. Tillman, continue to prioritize the study into the god species. The wild gods and the sacred gods are the only entities we've encountered so far that can threaten our mechs."
Compared to studying variant humans, the study of the exobeasts interested the exobiologists a lot more. Nobody expressed much interest in figuring out the truth behind the degenerated dwarves!
The ground expedition proceeded onwards to the ancient city of Samar. The Flagrant Swordmaidens passed the wildling tribe they decimated and continued to traverse the increasingly more fertile plains.
Even greater herds of animals sometimes blocked their way. And where herds of animals existed, so did their predators. The Flagrant Swordmaidens encountered several scattered tribes of wildlings and even a wild god or two.
The wildling tribes all went mad and attempted to run when they sighted the flood of mechs and legged transports. The slow stampede amused some of the Vandal and Swordmaiden mech pilots, so sometimes they deliberate strolled over to elicit panic in the dwarves.
Ves shook his head at this banal behavior. The stress and the unfamiliar environment led to a lot of unruliness. The professionalism ingrained within the bones of the servicemen had already started to erode.
Even the disciplined Swordmaidens started to become more impulse.
The savages didn't understand what the mechs represented. The metallic giants moved faster and much more fluid than any of the native wildlife.
It didn't help that the stature of the mechs resembled the stature of the blessed people! When confronted by the mechs, due to the acquired hostility against the blessed people, some wildlings berserk and charged at the tall machines!
Some mech pilots let the silly dwarves approach their feet, giving every mech pilot witnessing the futile charge a good laugh.
The dumb dwarves hit the exterior of he mechs with their thick bone clubs or sharpened bone axes, only to leave no mark at all. As for their godling mounts, their claws and teeth couldn't even scratch the coating of the mech!
Almost every comm channel became filled with laughter and insults.
"These stupid dwarves are so dumb! And these are supposed to be the smarter ones? They've got a few million years left to go!"
As the ferocious dwarf warriors continued to whack at the foot of the Swordmaiden Devil Razor to no avail, the chieftain of the tribe finally trod forward on his imposing-looking godling beast.
Unlike every other godling beast they've encountered so far, this one reached the size of a third of a mech. Its age had reached an unprecedented fifty years old. If it survived for fifty more years, it was eligible to mature into a full-sized wild god!
Unfortunately, as the godlings grew in size, their aggressiveness and appetite increased in turn. As they grew from small and meek younglings into larger and deadlier adolescents, their hormones drove them to actively hunt their prey.
They had to because they needed to take in a lot more calories to survive! The larger their weight, the more energy they expended. Mechs weren't exempt from this rule either.
In any case, no matter how large the godling had grown, it still lacked the ability to challenge a mech. The Devil Razor gently smacked the godling away with a punch. The creature moaned and almost threw off its rider.
The dwarf chieftain roared in anger at the swordsman mech. What gave these metal giants the right to bully his tribe?!
Of course, the mech pilots continued to laugh and jeer at the impotent dwarves.
"Look at that big fellow roar! I think by the time the translator AIs is finished with deciphering their language, I bet half of the words consists of insults!"
"These dwarves all stink! Look at that squatting dwarf back there! It's treating the open plain as its toilet! Disgusting!"
As the mech pilots continued their idle entertainment, the wildling chieftain stopped venting his anger and started to stretch his arm out to the Devil Razor on top of his moaning mount.
Nothing happened for a dozen seconds, and everyone ignored the chieftain's pointless gesture.
That was until the Swordmaiden mech pilot suddenly screamed in the comm channel!
"AAAHH!! It hurts! My mind frigging hurts!"
The Devil Razor suddenly took a few frantic steps as if it had lost control! The dwarves that attacked the feet of the mech suddenly flung away as the mech flung its feet around.
As the affected Swordmaiden continued to scream over the comm, the other mech pilots panicked.
"What is going on?!"
"Why is she screaming?"
"Are we under attack?!"
"It's that chieftain! Kill it first!"
Another Devil Razor stepped forward and sliced its broad blade downwards, instantly bissecting the concentrating dwarf chieftain as well as chopping through the neck of his godling mount!
The instant kill immediately relieved the crisis! The event had alarmed the Flagrant Swordmaidens, and some of the other mechs started to fire their weapons at the surviving dwarves in panic.
"Retreat! Pull back, goddammit! You guys and girls are worse than a mob! And you there! Go and pick up the chieftain's corpse! We'll let the docs figure out his tricks!"
One of the Vandal mechs carefully cupped the bissected remains of the chieftain and fled along with the rest.
The entire sight of mechs fleeing from a tribe of primitive dwarves was perplexing! Many mech pilots felt ashamed for pulling back and eagerly wished to wipe out the indigenous savages!
The event caught the attention of Ves as well. He already had a good idea of what had happened. He immediately wanted to dig through the telemetry of the Devil Razor, only to recall that it fell under the jurisdiction of the Swordmaidens.
Ves made a comm request to Mayra. When her face popped up in the projection, he immediately voiced his guess. "Has the dwarf chieftain affected the man-machine connection somehow?"
"I'm still studying the logs." The Journeyman replied with a grave expression. "You should come over and take a look. You know more about neural interfaces than I. Maybe you can tell what has happened."
"I'll be over right away!"