The testing and experiments went on for days. Scientists and researchers started rotating as they all couldn't stay awake, though they eagerly wished to as they already started interpreting tiny portions of the incoming data that kept pouring into their data chips.
Even Ves couldn't stay present. So much data passed through his eyes that his brains stuffed themselves with irrelevant data. Even he needed some rest in order to flush his mind of junk.
As Subject 3 and Dwarf 3 both grew weary after repeated testing, they sedated them both and woke up Subject 2 and Dwarf 2 to continue their raft of tests. Ves didn't even need to step in as the security officers copied his trick with the figurines and successfully established interspecies communications with another captive dwarf.
The meaning they conveyed was very simple. Either Dwarf 2 cooperated with the experiments, or he would get to see his mate and kids tortured to death!
Warriors or not, the dwarf riders were still human enough to succumb to their protective instincts.
"Perform the second iteration of tests!"
The beast rider project performed the exact same tests on Subject 2 and Dwarf 2 as with the previous test subjects. This allowed them to confirm if something remained the same or changed due to different circumstances. This in turn increased the reliability of their final efforts.
For example, the translation filter that Ves wanted to complete with the help of this data wouldn't spaz out all of a sudden due to a mistranslation.
After making sure his subordinates were more than capable enough to perform the testing in his stead, Ves left them in charge and paid a visit to Qilanxo.
The exobeast rested within view of the captured wild gods. She witnessed the cruel and intensive testing and experimentation with a pitiless expression. If it was up to her, she would have attacked and killed the wild gods directly before proceeding to gorge upon their flesh!
Therefore, to see them and their dwarf riders dancing to the tune of the Flagrant Swordmaidens satisfied her sadistic tendencies.
Even though they shared the same race, a sacred god like Qilanxo never sympathised with the wild gods! The two hated each other to such an extent that they would gleefully see each other extinct.
This was despite the fact that most of the unremarkable offspring of the sacred gods tended to be godlings and wild gods themselves!
Ves actually found Qilanxo's callousness towards her wilder cousins to be rather strange. Why were the sacred gods so hostile to the wild gods and vica versa?
Their conflict strangely paralleled the hostility between the blessed and cursed people. The only difference was that their power balance had been flipped upside down.
"The blessed people are weaker than the wildlings, who are naturally able to survive outside the cities due to their extreme genetic modifications. As for the god species, the sacred gods are notably stronger because they are able to derive energy directly from the astral winds, while the wild gods can only make do with what scraps are left from eating their prey."
Despite the considerable strength of the sacred gods, Ves did not feel so optimistic about their future. The only reason the sacred gods held an edge was because the wild gods and the wildlings hadn't mastered the secret behind the god crystals.
Once the dwarf tribes with bonded wild gods managed to crack the secret behind the god crystals, the power parity between the two divisions disappeared!
The number of sacred gods and blessed people had always been constrained by the limited number of cities they controlled. The wild gods and the natives stranded out in the wilds faced no such population constraints.
Eventually, the future of Aeon Corona VII belonged to the side with the greater numbers, as they adapted the best to the local environment!
Though the intervention of outsiders likely derailed that outcome. The presence of the Flagrant Swordmaidens already caused the societal development of every group of natives they came in touch with to diverge from their original paths.
Even Qilanxo herself no longer believed she was an apex creature of the planet. She realized she set her sights too narrow. An entire galaxy existed beyond the vault of the gods!
"Sometimes I wonder who's the mastermind behind setting up this planet in this fashion." He casually remarked to Qilanxo. "It's like Aeon Corona VII is like a giant playground. The experiments we're performing on our captives at the moment is nothing compared to the massive effort that's been put into engineering everything alive on this planet to conform to an unknown grand design."
The more Ves learned about this Super Earth, the more he recognized it as a grand design.
He did not use the phrase grand design lightly. The mere addition of the word 'grand' evoked a sense of majesty and weight. Very rarely did mech designers describe their own products as grand designs. Normally, only station designers and shipwrights who designed capital ships had the right to describe their products as grand.
The only notable instance where mech designers deliberately drew on this phrase was when the Rubarthans developed the massive juggernaut mechs.
Even then, most industry insiders considered the juggernauts to be a failed invention. Though their might was considerable, they also painted a massive target on their slow-moving backs. Any ship from orbit could thrown down a couple of artificial meteorites and completely obliterate the sitting duck of a juggernaut with ease under normal circumstances.
The story of the juggernaut mechs reminded Ves that not all grand designs succeeded in their goals.
The question that lingered on his mind was whether Aeon Corona VII's engineered ecosystem served its purpose or not. What was the point of engineering the god species as organic mechs and turning the natives into organic mech pilots with built-in organic neural interface functionality?
Qilanxo turned her gaze from the wild gods to Ves who stood in front of her without fear and roared a series of sounds.
"You're not afraid of the changes that might come from our intervention? You think that life goes on regardless of what disaster might happen?"
Qilanxo thumped the ground with her tail, startling a few of the surrounding Vandals and Swordmaidens.
Ves chuckled however. "Seems like you are much wiser than I."
He continued to babble with her about esoteric subjects. It didn't matter what he talked about. He enjoyed spending time with Qilanxo. As an older sacred god, she was both wise and naive. She never resorted to lies or deception, and that made her a refreshing conversation partner.
If he spoke to any human, no matter if it was Ketis, Talkative Jimmy, Chief Dakkon or Captain Byrd, he always had to craft his words carefully.
It was different with Qilanxo. Ves liked to view her like a talking mech, but in truth he treated her as something much greater.
What kind of exobiologist managed to engineer a creature like Qilanxo?
If the rest of the galaxy ever learned of what kind of exobeasts and natives dwelled on Aeon Corona VII, they'd go mad. The explosive implications of the grand design that the Flagrant Swordmaidens slowly uncovered might even lead to a tussle between the MTA and the CFA!
If such an epic clash occurred, where did that leave the natives?
"It's too bad you're too heavy to be lifted out of planet. If we could, we would have wanted to bring you out as a companion."
Qilanxo roared lightly. This was her home! She would never agree to leaving it! Humans like Ves already ruled the stars. A sacred god like her would only be an interloper in human space.
He spent an hour in Qilanxo's company. Even if the topics he talked with her weren't very profound, he still felt as if he cleansed his mind somehow.
It said something about him that he felt the most comfortable with Qilanxo.
"That reminds me, I should check up Ketis as well."
By now, the heavy transports arrived in the vicinity and made camp. Many Vandals became occupied with getting a handle on the dwarf tribe the mechs subdued with the gas grenades.
Out of a lingering sense of humanity, the Flagrant Swordmaidens decided to corral them into makeshift holding pens instead of killing them outright. This drew many Vandals and Swordmaidens from their routine jobs, making the camp seem much emptier than usual.
Ves didn't take too much notice of the quiet and headed towards the workshops. He entered one of them and managed to track down Ketis.
Two months earlier, she always adopted a stressed and weary expression. Getting a handle on the Vandal mech technicians proved to be as difficult and painful as pulling out her own tooth.
Nowadays, her posture and expression betrayed a sense of ease. It was as if everything that happened in the workshops fell under her complete control. Nothing happened without her permission.
"How is it going here, Ketis? Having any trouble lately?"
She shrugged. "Nothing but the usual is going on. Most of the breakdowns we're seeing lately don't require much expertise to repair. All I'm doing right now is making sure the mech technicians don't slack off."
"Are the chiefs fermenting any opposition lately?"
"Nah. Those lessons you taught a while ago still haunts them to this day. They're not really intimidated by me anymore. Instead, they're deadly afraid of crossing you. They think that if they do something that forces you to respond, they might not survive the next time they're tossed inside Qilanxo's maw."
Ves laughed. "I may have gone overboard there. I'm glad they still take it to heart."
"It's damn troublesome, you know!" Ketis puffed. "Some of the chiefs are so traumatized they've basically turned into good-for-nothings. They're hardly doing their jobs as chief technicians!"
"How did you deal with the problem?"
"I pointed my finger at some of the brighter mech technicians and promoted them to unofficial deputy chief technicians. I hadn't been able to convince the Vandal pencil pushers to confirm the ranks, but all the crew know who to listen to whenever they need instructions."
"This can't go on." Ves said. "Either the chiefs need to sober up, or the replacements you've designated have to fill in their shoes."Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"The problem is that the deputy chiefs don't match the criteria to be promoted to chiefs. You Vandals are really stubborn about possessing the right qualifications. It's much simpler over at the Swordmaidens. You're either the best or not. Even if you fall short, as long as there's no one better, you're still able to land the job."
Bureaucracy became a hindrance in this case. Personally, Ves was on her side, but he understood why the Vandals became so obstinate about this issue. Rules and regulations existed for a reason, and while he liked to ignore them when they became a hindrance to him, he couldn't do so all the time.
Neither could anyone else.
"There's something I need to mention to you, Ves." She said. "The rate of breakdowns is increasing. The difference is small, but it's getting bigger and bigger every day. I approached some of the engineers one day and they said the reason why is because spacetime gets freakier the closer we get to our destination. Is that true?"
Ves was familiar with that theory. "It's true. The astral winds are a lot more turbulent closer to the source. Once they reach the other side of the planet, they smooth out a bit as the higher-dimensional get dispersed into space."
"Well, the engineers and the other nerds performed some calculations over the last two months. Did you know what they found out? They extrapolated the increase in breakdowns and believe it will increase drastically once we get within a thousand kilometers of the Starlight Megalodon."
That was new. While some believed that something like this might happen, everyone who adhered to this possibility always lacked proof of their assertions.
But if the number crunchers came to this conclusion based on solid data, then that was an entirely different matter. "What are their conclusions?"
"The eggheads believe the distortions will become so bad, that it's impossible for any mech to operate within a hundred kilometers of the crash site!"
If this was true, then this was a massive bombshell to the Flagrant Swordmaidens. If not a single mech could remain operational near the battleship, how would they be able to complete their mission?
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