868 A Simple Mech
Ves felt very disappointed at the efficiency of the workshop, but what could he do? The ground expedition went so deep in the storm lands that all of their electrical and mechanical devices started fizzing at unexpected times.
He even feared for his own array of gadgets and equipment. Besides simple objects like the hidden knives and the Cadisis, every other piece of gear stuffed in his Earth Ant was susceptible to the breakdown effect.
Yet… for some reason none of his gadgets failed as of yet. This included the extremely sensitive high-powered gadgets slotted with ultracompact batteries.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Save for his gravitic backpack, military-issued officer comm, his spare laser pistol, his multitool, his multiscanner and a few other odds and ends, he fabricated all of the gear by himself, including the C22 Earth Ant light combat armor.
"Is it because of my craftsmanship?"
Even if he possessed a spiritual touch that imprinted some of his considerable Spirituality on his products, it didn't explain why the other devices remained intact as well.
It was as if the breakdown effect encompassed the entire planet except for a small bubble around Ves!
Was it his Spirituality? Perhaps. Yet he couldn't conceivably explain such a matter. It would have been too easy to chalk it up to his Spirituality. As an engineer, Ves did not wish to settle for such a lazy explanation.
In any case, the surprising lack of problems silently reassured Ves, even if he still puzzled over the exception.
Just to be sure, Ves still performed daily maintenance on all of his gear. Every day, he partially disassembled most devices and checked them over. He even feigned adjusting bits and pieces so that everyone looking at him from a distance believed his devices had acted up as well.
Ves planned to keep an unexpected advantage like this wholly to himself. Who knew how the others would react if they found out he had become strangely immune to the breakdown effect. Perhaps they might load him up with sensitive equipment and send him straight into the red zone along with the infantry assigned to board the Starlight Megalodon!
"There's no way I can survive in the thick of the red zone and the interior of the Starlight Megalodon. This is a job for trained soldiers."
The best Vandal security officers already trained for months for what they might encounter at the mission site. Armorers recently finished fabricating high-quality sets of light combat armor for them. The lightweight armor had been dumbed down to the point of stripping away all of its servos, yet it still offered substantial protection by making use of compressed armor.
A couple of combat engineer and specialist types accompanied the trained soldiers as well. These experts possessed a decent grasp in shipboard architecture, hacking, doctors, exobiologists and more.
Ves half-expected he'd be assigned to this group as well, but this time his high position saved him from the trouble. Instead, Ves had been asked to 'recommend' some 'volunteers'. He quickly foisted some random mech technicians and a low-ranking mech designer to the group of specialists.
"It's good to be the boss." He chuckled.
While the combat engineers and specialists underwent intensive training, Ves directed his attention to his work on the Enduring Protector.
When the mech technicians finally assembled the first production model together, Ves and the men watched with awe as the frontline mech finally revealed its majesty in the flesh.
Its strong X-Factor had already influenced the mech technicians, yet when it finally became whole, the first copy left an unforgettable impression on the men. It seemed larger than life!
With its four crawler-type legs, its short and broad cylindrical torso, the menacing-looking laser cannons affixed to articulating mounts on the sides, the frontline mech looked kind of silly if not for its strong, protective and enduring aura.
Even without saying so, those present vaguely felt that this was a mech designed to brave the breakdown effect and protect its charges by taking out threats from afar.
Objectively, Ves had a lot to criticize about the design. The irreconcilable problem concerning the Enduring Protector design was that its paltry mobility and armor simply couldn't keep up with the rigors of mech combat.
It depended too heavily on external assistance such as Qilanxo's space barrier to put up a decent fight.
Ves had no choice but to opt for these design choices. He faced too many limitations, and as a mech designer, he couldn't indulge in fantasy when it came to designing realistic products.
After half an hour, their first test pilot arrived. Captain Byrd already selected a single squad of ranged specialists to take up the Enduring Protector. The mech pilot that arrived abruptly halted when he viewed the Enduring Protector. It looked much more valiant than the design schematics suggested!
Ves approached the test pilot. "This is a momentous occasion. Are you ready to test this mech?"
"I am." The mech pilot spoke confidently. "This mech should be a piece of cake to pilot."
"Even if the Enduring Protector is a simple mech, care must still be taken if you want it to last as long as possible. Making the wrong movements or stressing out the frame will wear it out pretty quickly." Ves warned.
"Uh, whatever you say, man."
Even if the Enduring Protector contained many safeguards against the breakdown effect, the mech pilot's actions still determined whether it could last up to a month without any major malfunctions.
The main limitation of the mech was its awful mobility. Its crawler limbs moved far too slow and could only effectively lift one of its four limbs at a time. Impatient ranged specialists used to running around in their nimble rifleman mechs might push the Enduring Protector beyond its safe limits in an effort to gain a momentary advantage.
Ves couldn't do much to stop such behavior. While he provided the tools, it was up to the mech pilots to make use of them in their own ways. As much as Ves wanted to exert control over the mech pilots, his job as a mech designer precluded such rights.
Every mech designer faced these conundrums. They meticulously designed a mech to be used and piloted in a certain way. Yet if mech pilots wanted to use their rifles as clubs, who could stop them? Ves certainly couldn't do so.
Outside the battlefield, the mech technicians and mech designers reigned supreme. Once a mech entered the battlefield, the mech pilot gained completely control over his actions.
To Ves, designing mechs gave the illusion of being able to control them even after they rolled off the production lines. He felt a sense of ownership of his products even after he delivered them to their new owners.
The age-old question whether he should care for his products or wash his hands off them once he sold or delivered them to his clients always came back to him. A month ago, he leaned towards washing his hands off them, but now that he witnessed the test pilot carefully putting the first production model to its paces, he started to flip flop back towards caring for his products.
Ves couldn't make up his mind, despite making up his mind a while ago. Truthfully speaking, it wasn't healthy for mech designers to stay attached to their mechs, especially once their designs started getting sold by the thousands. At this scale, too many mech pilots emerged that abused their mechs or misused them for nefarious purposes.
"I can disown them, but they are still my children, in a way. Every mech carries a piece of my legacy. Whether they get used up in a couple of years or last for several decades, all of them are precious in my eyes."
His design philosophy compelled him to see mechs as something more than just commodities. It forced him to care for his mechs even if he wanted to wash his hands off them. Just like a parent seeing their children growing up and leaving the nest, they still couldn't help but care for their sons and daughters even after they went bad and committed murder or something.
Ves didn't pay a lot of attention to the testing process due to his sudden musings. In any case, it wasn't as if his attention mattered, as the Enduring Protector largely performed within expectations. Its realspace performance largely matched the performance the design exhibited in various simulations.
A simple mech design affected fewer variables than a more complex mech design. The Enduring Protector moved slowly and methodically, thereby allowing simulations to fully keep up with any dynamic situation that might occur.
Therefore, while the testing did reveal some minor deviations in performance, the differences could be chalked up to discrepancies in the actual construction of the mech.
"Alright! Let's end the testing for now! We've gathered enough data!" Ves commanded.
When Ves emerged out of his fugue, he already saw that further testing wouldn't be needed. They already gathered plenty of data and it wasn't like the Enduring Protector was capable of any acrobatics.
A simple mech could only perform a limited amount of maneuvers. The testing process for the Enduring Protector should be far shorter than any of the other original mechs he designed.
"It feels like we've gone back in time to the first couple of mech generations. Everything was simpler back then. The MTA's rigorous certification and validation procedures hadn't been in place at the start of the Age of Mechs."
Nowadays, mechs got much more complex. The potential for abuse lurked everywhere. The MTA cracked down on freewheeling behavior by unscrupulous mech designers.
To be sure, the state of mechs made enormous strides after more than four-hundred years of continuous advancements. Yet… Ves also felt that the mech industry lost some of its initial spark.
These days, mech technology mostly advanced at a steady, controlled pace. Radical innovations stopped emerging, or if they did, plenty of barriers stood in the way for others to make use of them. The galactic rim enviously looked on as the galactic heartland and the galactic center got to enjoy the latest toys.
Completing the Enduring Protector design and witnessing it in action gave Ves as sense of what the earlier mech designers must have felt when they explored the unknown. Back then, mechs had not become the monolithic war machines it became today. Nobody knew whether mechs held any promise.
Uncertainty. Promise. Risk. Reward. All of these factors along with the lack of regulations and restrictions gave Ves a sense of complete satisfaction. This was mech design at its purest!
As he basked in the feelings and insights of completing his third original mech design, some portions deep within his mind began to experience some transformations. Ves felt his design philosophy starting to sublimate yet again. He knew he came closer to advancing to the rank of Journeyman Mech Designer!
Comprehension welled within his mind. "I see now. The reason why Apprentices needed to gain practical experience in designing mechs in order to advance is so that they understand the essence of their profession. The key is to embody the word 'design'. As mech designers, how can we ever become masters of our own profession if we don't do any actual design work?"
This partially explained why mech designers relegated to side jobs such as fabrication mechs, repairing mechs, testing and simulating mechs and more never got the opportunity to advance.
He already came up with this line of reasoning, but only now did he truly experience how the act of designing a real and meaningful mech design led to transformations in the mind.
Ves felt as if his design philosophy started out as an imaginary entity. Yet through embodying his design philosophy and the meaning of the word 'design', he fed his design philosophy with his experiences, causing it to grow more substantial over time.
At some point, the imaginary accumulated a sufficient amount of experiences and underwent a final transformation. At that point, it became something real!