The Mech Touch Chapter 827
825 Beast Rider Matchmaking
Word began to spread of the beast rider project's selection process.
Two-thirds of all female mech pilots were eligible to take part in this selection process! The only ones who didn't receive permission were those piloting essential mechs such as the Akkara heavy mechs and those who served critical roles such as the mech officers.
Due to the considerable risks and dangers involved with attempting to interface the mind of a mech pilot with the mind of an exobeast, Captain Byrd and Commander Lydia only agreed to let their more expendable mech pilots become Qilanxo's partners.
Ves wanted to proceed with the selection process soon because he figured that letting Qilanxo grow close to her new partners would help make her more cooperative to the Flagrant Swordmaidens.
If she showed less animosity and more willingness to cooperate, then the beast rider project could proceed with the difficult steps of building some kind of hybrid neural interface to allow a baseline human mech pilot to mimic the remote interfacing abilities of the blessed and cursed people.
Right now, a normal human mech pilot wouldn't be able to connect with Qilanxo's biological neural interface inside her massive head.
For several reasons, the Vandals declined to let Venerable Xie join the tryouts.
The Pale Dancer may not be very useful against the sacred gods, but it was absolutely deadly against enemy mechs. The ground expedition couldn't afford to lose the strength of this expert mech because it served as one of their sharpest offensive tools.
After all, according to Ves, since the sacred gods called up most of their resonance powers on their own, it shouldn't be entirely essential if their beast riders were the equivalent of expert pilots.
"Besides, Venerable Xie is a man. What does he know of motherhood and other female concerns?" Ves smirked.
Setting up a rotation of tryouts where every mech pilot received one minute to convince Qilanxo to select them required a bit of preparation work.
While the project team worked together with the planners to schedule the entire event, Ves took care of some other business in the meantime. He met up with Talkative Jimmy again at one of the mess halls. As they ate their meals, they began to engage in a casual discussion again.
Ves deliberately sought out to make their gatherings a regular occasion. Talkative Jimmy was an extremely well-connected Vandal. Sometimes, Ves even suspected him to be a member of Flashlight, though he could have just been what he appeared to be on the surface, a good-for-nothing whose only hobby was to gossip.
In exchange for hearing tidbits of information that he normally wouldn't have been able to find out elsewhere, Ves reciprocated in turn by telling some of his own stories. He found it to be a useful way to shape the opinions of Talkative Jimmy's audience.
Right now, Talkative Jimmy expressed a lot of interest in the beast rider selection process! As the person in charge, no one knew about the selection process more than Ves himself, so Jimmy eagerly asked his questions.
"Is it true that the selection process is limited to women?"
"Yes. I think it should be obvious why. This isn't an unthinking mech we are talking about. Qilanxo is a female of her species and it wouldn't be appropriate to pair her up with a man."
"Only two mech pilots are allowed to become her beast riders, right? What do they have to look out for? How can the women who are about to try their luck increase their odds of succes?"
This was a difficult question, as it ultimately depended on the whims of a thinking beast. His project team did manage to come up with a list of factors that might make the beast take note.
"It helps to understand her species first. The exobiologists compiled a basic book on the properties and life cycle of the god species. Mech pilots ought to be familiar with the basics, such as our admittedly unproven theory that the personalities of the sacred gods take after their previous beast riders. Therefore, those with the personality or thinking pattern of former chosen will fare best."
Qilanxo's previous chosen likely enjoyed a very high status in Samar. Being chosen by the gods directly elevated them to the top of the ancient city's ruling structure. A good fit for Qilanxo therefore needed to be confident, assertive, imperious and be a leader.
This was also why the project team considered Commander Lydia to be an extremely fitting beast rider for Qilanxo. Ves mentally sighed in relief that her responsibilities prevented her from trying out.
As Ves briefly explained these qualities, Talkative Jimmy frowned.
"That sounds really difficult to fulfill. Only our mech officers will stand a chance of being selected."
"We're starting with the rank-and-file first. We don't want to risk anyone too important if we can help it. We'll only be trodding out our officers if no one else is to Qilanxo's liking."
"Is there nothing else than can help?"
"Well, the act of interfacing with an alien exobeast is a very different experience from interfacing with the processors and operating system of a mech." Ves casually explained. "Since we are kind of new at this, we don't expect to get it working quickly. Things might go wrong, or incompatibilities might arise. In these cases, possessing a strong mind that can take a lot of pressure will be helpful in enduring the strain. Those who don't last long enough in the mental resilience training sessions are too weak in Qilanxo's eyes."
This was another unproven theory he wanted to throw out into the rumor mill. The Vandals and Swordmaidens resumed their training sessions after the Vandals captured some new dwarves from the surrounding tribes to conduct the sessions with. However, far too few Vandal mech pilots lasted long enough to match the performance of the much more impressive Swordmaidens.
Ves did not want Qilanxo to favor her Swordmaiden beast rider over her Vandal beast rider. Anyone she selected from the pool of female Vandal mech pilots better be strong enough to maintain her interest.
After answering a few smaller questions about the selection process, Ves decided to ask some questions on his own. "What is Venerable Xie up to these days?"
"Same old stuff." Jimmy shrugged. "He accepted a couple more mech pilots and shored up their training. According to what I heard, their performance drastically shot up during the recent training drills."
Expert pilots possessed a much deeper understanding and mastery of piloting skills than advanced pilots. Their skills had reached a level beyond the reach of mortals. Their greater height allowed them to spot the flaws in the piloting abilities of ordinary mech pilots and offer succinct suggestions for them to improve.
In fact, getting tutored by an expert pilot was one of the guaranteed ways to increase a mech pilot's chances of advancing to experts themselves one day!
This was because the guidance of an expert pilot helped shore up their weaknesses and strengthen their foundation. While this kind of attention didn't guarantee that mech pilots would be able to advance, it at least put them one step ahead of the rest who mostly needed to rely on themselves or guidance from flawed, mortal instructors.
All the active and retired expert pilots in the Larkinson family also helped train the next generation for that reason. This unbroken chain of older expert pilots guiding the younger ones in the family heavily contributed to the emergence of newer expert pilots among the Larkinsons.
This was the true strength of an unofficial military dynasty!
Family always benefited first from the generosity of an expert pilot!
And now, Venerable Xie generously offered his services to random low-ranking Vandal mech pilots without much reserve. Ves couldn't help but suspect greater motives in the expert pilot's charity.
"I hope the men don't forget who their bosses are. Venerable Xie is still a foreigner."
Ves couldn't do much more than give out a lame warning. The temptation of receiving personal tutoring from an expert pilot was simply too great to resist.
He still hadn't decided how to deal with the expert pilot. He thought about tweaking his neural interface again, but that would have tripped up some alarms. Venerable Xie wouldn't fail to miss a change.
Besides, Ves himself had no clue how to modify the neural interface to overcome the expert pilot's considerable mental defenses.
Still, an expert pilot only expressed their true strength when piloting an active mech. If Ves had access to the Pale Dancer, he could think of hundreds of ways to sabotage the expert mech to such an extent as to force it to shut down. That would take away the expert pilot's sharpest weapon.
Though he'd still be able to hijack any other mech, at least he wouldn't be an unbeatable demigod anymore.
Talkative Jimmy looked at Ves with a shine in his eyes. While Ves never asked too much about Venerable Xie, his insistence on receiving a status update on the expert pilot didn't go unnoticed. Sometimes, an unspoken message said much more than a spoken one.
"By the way." Jimmy said. "The mech technicians are beginning to boil over. They're not very satisfied with Ketis looming over their shoulders. I think the chief technicians even went behind your back and complained to Captain Byrd."
Ves never heard of this. "Did anything come out of that meeting?"
"Nothing happened, so I guess not. The chief technicians hate your Swordmaiden guest designer though. They don't believe she has any business telling them what to do. At least when you were still around, you fixed up their messes perfectly. They don't think that lass or any other mech designer that's available can equal your skill."
Ves sighed in exasperation. "I'm busy with holding the selection process and trying to make it possible for our beast riders to interface with Qilanxo. I don't have the time to babysit the mech technicians. Captain Byrd knows that too, so that's probably the reason why she hasn't made a move. If you ever see one of the mech technicians or their chiefs, tell them that they need to learn how to fix their own messes instead of crying to mommy all the time."
"The techs won't like that. Are you sure you want them to hear you talk about them like that?"
"It's your funeral."
He believed that over time, Ketis would fit in better in her new role as supervisor. Only a short time had passed and she still needed to solve a lot more problems before she fully adjusted to this line of work.
This was also why Ves dared to speak dismissively about their complaints.
Their little talk quickly came to an end after they finished their meal. Talkative Jimmy had a lot more people to gossip with and Ves needed to get back to work.
One day later, the selection process commenced. Over the course of a standard day, off-duty mech pilots showed up at a specific time and stepped forward to Qilanxo.
This time, a lot more experts watched by the side behind an array of terminals and control panels. They set up several scanners and sensors that measured the mech pilot and Qilanxo's life signs such as their breathing rhythms, heart beats, body temperature and more.
Not a lot of experts dared to come close enough to be within biting range of the sacred god, but Ves courageously stood close. He looked at a clock set up nearby and called up the next female mech pilot.
The Vandal mech pilot walked forward with some signs of trepidation. Despite the stories that circulated from Jimmy's mouth, she failed to muster up a confident stance in front of the intimidating lizard.
Qilanxo opened her eyes and stared straight at the poor mech pilot, causing her to stutter backwards in fright.
The exobeast didn't look impressed. She closed her giant eyes right after. Despite the mech pilot's belated attempts at talking to Qilanxo, the lofty sacred god paid no attention to someone so unworthy.
"Your minute is up. Get off the field." Ves ruthlessly called.
Inwardly, he sighed. They already went through twenty female Vandal mech pilots and Qilanxo never spared more than a few seconds of her attention to each.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.