The Mech Touch Chapter 843
841 All Dwarves Must Die
The fifth variant beast rider neural interface. In his fifth design, Ves chose not to do anything crazy. Instead of pursuing an extreme, he deliberately held himself back and opted to achieve a middle point in every possible parameter he could think of. Sitting in between the first and second variant, theoretically it had the highest chance of success!
"Prepare the seventeenth dwarf captive."
Eleven out of sixteen dwarf captives already sacrificed their lives for science today.
If these experiments happened in civilized space, the MTA would have already shut it down and investigate his scientific rigor.
The main reason why so many dwarves died was because he only vaguely knew what he was doing. He understood so little in the field of neural interface technology, yet progressed immediately to live testing. Such a decision was irresponsible to the extreme.
Even if only a single human test subject died or sustained serious injuries, the MTA would have come down on him like a stack of bricks. He'd lose his mech designer qualifications and be put into prison for a very long time.
"Luckily we're not in civilized space right now." Ves chuckled.
Ordinary high-gravity variant humans enjoyed actual human rights. No matter if their genes had been messed around in a way that diminished their intelligence, nobody dared to go too far. Therefore, as dimwitted as the dwarves in human space turned out to be, they still deserved to be treated with the dignity enjoyed by the rest of humanity.
In fact, the dwarves in human space occasionally produced mech pilots and geniuses who constantly fought for the rights of their variant race as well.
If these interest groups knew that Ves and the beast rider project treated the native dwarves like lab rats, they'd probably send assassins after him or something. Very likely though, the MTA would have already taken him into custody before they gave the orders.
The wildlings were different from their more civilized dwarf cousins though. They behaved savagely and violently, lived in the wild, wore beast hides as clothing and their most sophisticated technology was learning how to grind down godling bones into clubs and axes.
That made it easy to treat them as lessers. Although a small amount of experts among the Vandals and the beast rider project used to protest the abject treatment of the dwarves, Ves had long ago kicked them out of the team and replaced them with more like-minded people.
At this stage, they couldn't afford to care for the rights of the wildlings.
The stinking dwarves probably wouldn't have appreciated them anyway in their ignorance.
After a couple of minutes, the technicians strapped the seventeenth dwarf captive into the restraints. Once they finished the final checks, the commenced the seventeenth test.
The connection between the fifth variant neural interface and the latest test subject engaged smoothly. From the telemetry displayed on the control panels, Ves vaguely judged it to be sufficiently stable. Enough data flowed through the connection without overstraining the test subject's nerves.
After that, the neural interface reached out to the organic antenna hidden inside the captive wild god's head. This end of the connection took a little more time to establish, and Ves already figured out some ways to improve it based on the prior experiments.
"The man-beast connection is forming! It's stable so far!"
"The test subject's heart rate is elevating!"
"A large amount of data is being exchanged through the man-beast connection. It is well within safety limits!"
All the sensors and monitors embedded into the bodies of the test subject and the wild god indicated that they hadn't suffered any ill effects so far. While some signs looked a little concerning, it did not lead to any serious adverse effects.
"The interfacing is a success! A stable connection has formed!"
This time, the experts cheered and celebrated a little. After going through fifteen outright failures and one coincidental fluke, the seventeenth test showed that the beast rider project still managed to succeed!
Of course, just like the sixteenth test, the seventeenth test could have been a fluke as well.
After one hour of continuous operation where they instructed the test subject to convey several commands to the wild god to test out the fidelity of the connection, they ended the test and brought the dwarf away for a complete checkup.
A long time had passed as they went through a raft of testing, so the beast rider project called it a night. The downtime also allowed them to sedate the wild god and make sure its restraints still held.
The next day, they resumed the testing with the fifth variant neural interface.
The eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth test subjects all survived. Nothing too strange went on when they interfaced with the wild god for at least an hour. Still, some signs of incompatibility emerged that mildly concerned Ves. It showed that the fifth variant wasn't all that perfect, and wouldn't be able to hold up during an intensive battle when the exchange of data spiked.
Still, the beast rider project gathered an enormous amount of relevant data, which included both successful and unsuccessful attempts. Comparing the two and figuring out the differences enabled Ves to design a better and safer neural interface for the final project.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Sir, nine out of twenty dwarf captives are still alive." Their resident exobiologist said. "What do you want to do with them? Should we take them away and save them for the next tests?"
Ves shook his head. "Since we already set things up here, it's a waste if we end the session now. Let's push the envelope and gather more data. As far as I'm concerned, the session isn't done until all the dwarves are dead."
"Sir, I suggest we save the dwarves for later." A doctor cautioned. "Performing brain surgery on them to disable their organic neural interface brain structures is rather difficult, and we don't have a qualified brain surgeon on staff."
The Vandals and the Swordmaidens for that matter had some doctors on their staff, but they weren't the cream of the crop. While they possessed their own specialties, whenever someone's brains needed to be operated, they depended on autosurgeon machines or special surgeon bots.
While these autosurgeon machines could easily perform millions of standard operations, they weren't too bright when it came to performing surgery that hadn't been included in their medical databases.
Operating the native wildlings introduced a further complication in that their brain structure was so far removed from the baseline human norm that they might as well be aliens. In such a case, the inflexible autosurgeons didn't possess the creativity to develop a customized treatment.
Therefore, the survival rate of the dwarves undergoing hours-long brain surgery was actually an abysmal twenty percent. This was also why it took a while to get twenty surviving test subjects. Throwing away their lives so casually would only delay their subsequent experiments.
Ves was well aware of this consideration, but he valued the opportunity to gather more data. He wanted to change some variables he hadn't played around with yet and see what would happen. How far could he push it before the change resulted in an adverse outcome?
"Performing the tests now will save us from performing them later." He said. "Time isn't on our side and I'd like our beast rider project to present its final results within the next couple of days. Captain Byrd and the rest are waiting for us to deliver a viable beast rider neural interface."
With that reminder, the experts resumed the testing with the lucky survivors. Ves climbed up to the back of the wild god and modified a key parameter of the fifth variant.
He then had the men send out the first dwarf captive who escaped death and strap him to the restraints.
Several hours went by as the second battery of tests pushed the initial dwarf survivors to their physical and mental limits.
Whenever a test subject survived for ten straight minutes, Ves halted the test and adjusted the settings of the fifth variant neural interface.
He dialed the settings to extremes until the test subject finally felt pain.
Then he dialed them up to eleven and watched with interest as the test subject finally became brain dead or suffered a heart attack.
By the time the nine dwarf survivors all succumbed to the cruel experiments, Ves became disappointed that he hadn't managed to induce a physical head explosion. He was so fascinated by that outcome, but he still didn't know how something ludicrous like that could happen.
It wasn't as if surgeons buried explosives inside the heads of the dwarves!
"Alright, good work everyone. You all know what to do, so go and analyze the results so I can use them to design the final product."
Everyone dispersed with a fresh batch of data in hand. Each of them learned a lot of new things. The live testing provided them with a lot of material that could be used as evidence to prove or disprove a lot of theories.
Before they performed the tests, the experts could only guess at certain matters or make predictions on papers. Now, with solid data in hand, they held much more confidence in what they knew.
The experts processed the harvested data and used the results to develop a better neural interface. Ves did so as well and incorporated all of the lessons they learned into developing a safer, more effective neural interface specialized for beast riders.
Overall, Ves took the fifth variant as the starting point and mainly adjusted its hardware components. While he also touched upon its software, Ves knew that reckless changes in this area might lead to explosive results, as the third variant already attested!
"What the tests involving the third variant has taught me is that I don't know jack about programming a neural interface." Ves muttered to himself. "Still, I think I'll save this code. It might come in handy at some point."
Even though he started as a novice in the field of neural interface technology, all of the trial and error the beast rider project engaged in significantly progressed his understanding. Though he hadn't received any systematic knowledge that enabled him to become an authority concerning neural interfaces, he had made some incidental progress at the very least.
He became much more aware of how neural interfaces posed a threat to their mech pilots when configured incorrectly, and became more perceptive to flaws and deliberate sabotage that might lead to serious harm.
It reminded him how much danger the mech pilots exposed themselves to when they piloted a mech. Not only did they have to defend themselves against attacks from enemy mechs, they also have to be wary about the reliability of their own mechs!
"Piloting a mech is much more profound than piloting a shuttle or letting yourself be flown around by an aircar. The latter vehicles are simple and aren't expected to perform any complicated maneuvers, but the complexity of a mech exceeds the complexity of the human body. Neural interfaces are necessary if you want a single person to be able to control a mech down to the finest details."
The risks were great but the results more than compensated for it. Still, if mech designers really wanted to, they could have developed alternative means of controlling a mech.
Now that he thought about it, Ves himself possessed enough knowledge and experience to design a mech that could be piloted by a norm or even himself!
"It just won't be good enough for the battlefields of today." Ves shook his head. "Fielding neutered mech that relies on indirect control methods and heavy AI assistance is no different from fielding a mech-sized battle bot. There's no point in adding a human element to the equation."
Battle bots always existed, but their effectiveness always left a lot to be desired. Not only that, they were susceptible to hacking, sabotage and electronic interference.
Yet would this always remain true? Technology constantly progressed, and researchers constantly sought to find a way to develop effective battle bots that could completely replace the need to risk human lives.
Though this goal was noble, Ves didn't know what to make of it. If battle bots became completely viable one day, his job became obsolete. Perhaps other mech designers might be able to shift their careers to developing battle bots, but what about him? His design philosopohy was intricately connected to both the mech and mech pilot. He really couldn't do without the latter.
"Mechs have to stay ahead of the curve. The human element should continue to bring benefits."