The Mech Touch

 
 

The Mech Touch Chapter 356 Human Limi


He decided to go through with the gamble, even though he might not obtain the intended result.

The Transcendence Pill he received from the System as a reward from the Glowing Planet campaign came with a very powerful benefit. It could directly break the attribute limit of any of his mental Attributes.

There were two major problems. One of them was that it hadn't mention any way to control the outcome. Ideally, Ves hoped to boost his Intelligence, because it would directly help the speed in which he mastered his new and overwhelming Senior-level Physics Skill.

The other problem related to the amount of time he'd be indisposed. The Pill's description offered a very wide range of time, from just a single day to eighty-eight days of adjustment. In the meantime, Ves would fall into a coma as the Pill did its magic.

"I can't afford to be down for three months. The Bright Republic's situation will certainly deteriorate in that time."

Ves thought about it and figured the main reason it might take so long to unlock his genetic limit. The Pill would be facing an uphill struggle if the person who ingested it possessed a weak foundation.

Most of his mental Attributes scored 1.7 and higher, so Ves had no concerns in that area. However, just to be safe, he spent the last dregs of his DP to round his Attributes out to its current maximum limit. At his state, Ves had no excuse for leaving his Attributes so low.

[Intelligence Attribute Candy]: 1800 DP
[Intelligence Attribute Candy]: 1900 DP
[Creativity Attribute Candy]: 1900 DP
[Concentration Attribute Candy]: 1700 DP
[Concentration Attribute Candy]: 1800 DP
[Concentration Attribute Candy]: 1900 DP

"Too bad the Store doesn't offer any Spirituality candies."

If his conjecture about the source of the Store items was correct, then Ves shouldn't get his hopes up. After all, not a single human in the galaxy possessed a deeper systematic understanding of Spirituality.

The candies worked their magic in his body and Ves could feel his mind grow in minute ways. The boost in strength had not been as large as crossing past 1.0, but it definitely brought other benefits. It appeared the closer a human got to 2.0, the more their mental prowess quickened and became more steady.

"It's actually an increase in stability!"

A small weight had been lifted from his mind, and strange enough, the internal energy cycle within his body had also grown a little lighter. Ves rubbed his stomach and chest with a deep expression.

"So this thing that Dr. Jutland has implanted within me isn't purely a physiological matter. It's strongly related to my mentality. Perhaps it's even directly related to Spirituality."

He always suspected something like that might be true, but he subconsciously dismissed it all of this time because of Dr. Jutland's crazy ravings. His constant rants about the importance of developing the mind over the body sounded crazy back at the time, but now, Ves couldn't help but reconsider his words.

Had the mysterious and rebellious Five Scrolls Compact been on the right track? Why had they fallen out with the CFA and MTA?

A chilling dread ran through his spine. Dr. Jutland appeared to be an outcast of the heretical organization. If the higher ups of the Compact took him a little more seriously, they might have been able to master the phenomenon of Spirituality.

Fortunately, from Jutland's resentment, Ves gathered that the Five Scroll Compact focused most of their efforts on enhancing their physical bodies. They pursued a completely different direction.

"It's not like they can help it. Human science is still biased against things they can't observe."

As long as no one could sense or measure spirituality directly, even the most radical scientists in the Compact possessed no clue.

Still, Ves did not underestimate the ingenuity of the human mind. Like Dr. Jutland, there must be several other hermits and outcasts who might be on the right track, if only coincidentally.

At some point, the secret wouldn't be a secret anymore.

"At least I have a head-start in this field."

The benefit of being a pioneer was that he could reap the benefits first. Ves became more determined to develop his mental Attributes and find a way to grow his Spirituality to even greater heights.

He took the rest of the trip back to Cloudy Curtain to rest his mind. He cleansed his mind of any distractions and attempted to bring it to its peak state.

He shoved aside any concerns about designing a rifleman mech for later. He also halted his attempts to integrate the influx of Physics knowledge.

The Barracuda took a little longer than necessary to return to Cloudy Curtain. Even though she possessed enough capability to hop directly from the Joe System to the Bentheim System, such a straight and obvious trajectory could easily be traced back to Ves.

Thus, Captain Silvestra chose to obfuscate their presence by transitioning to a number of uninhabited star systems before they finally approached Cloudy Curtain without passing through Bentheim.

The monitoring equipment in the Cloudy Curtain System was extremely rudimentary. The captain believed that it wouldn't be able to pinpoint the exact star system the ship had made their final transition.

"Good work, captain." Ves nodded to Silvestra as he stood on the bridge while the corvette made her final descent onto his home planet. "I won't be needing the Barracuda for a couple of months I think, so she should get back to regular duty."

"Understood, sir."

The Barracuda had become something of a status symbol to the executives who needed to commute between Cloudy Curtain and Bentheim. Her sleek appearance and impeccable Coalition pedigree always impressed their business partners.

Once they reached the spaceport, Ves left for his old workshop with his intangible pet in tow. At first, the security escort dispatched by Sanyal-Ablin looked nonplussed at Lucky's casual ability to pass through the plating of the armored shuttle.

"Hahaha, don't mind my pet. He recently received a couple of upgrades." Ves quickly attempted to defuse their suspicions while trying to grab on to his lawless cat. Unfortunately, he utterly failed at grasping onto Lucky as he floated through people and fixtures with no regard.

The journey back to the old workshop therefore became a little tense. Ves had no doubt the security officers would report their sightings back to Sanyal-Ablin's office, which would then pass on the intelligence back to the Konsu Clan.

Ves had made no attempts to hide Lucky's new state. Even if he could get his cat to obey him, the benefits decisively outweighed the risks.

He had done some studies of Lucky's intangible state with the help of his Vulcaneye. It turned out that Lucky had become as elusive as if he entered the field emitted by the Privacy Shield. Although optical sensors could still detect the mechanical cat, many other sensors ceased to work entirely.

This turned Lucky into a great spy and thief. Ves had become well aware of the implications as Lucky had raided the Barracuda's stores of spare materials bare with impunity.

Thinking about his losses prompted Ves to stare his pet with a vigilant expression. Lucky had better not try to break into the storerooms of the LMC.

"I'm keeping my eye on you."

"Meow?" Lucky responded back, and tried to act cute. He floated down to Ves and partially solidified on his owner's lap. "Meow!"

Ves couldn't help but take the invitation and stroke Lucky's back. He chuckled. He couldn't stay angry at his pet.

A couple of hours later, the armed escort arrived at the outskirts of Freslin. The old workshop looked a little bit less lively since he last visited the place. When Ves exited the shuttle, he met with Carlos who waited on him at the front entrance.

"Carlos, how's it going here?"

"It's largely empty here at the moment. We've already moved most of our operations to the new complex. By the way, you forgot to name it. Everyone's calling it the Complex or the Place. It gets confusing sometimes."

"Let me think about it on the way. First, I want to take a stroll through this workshop one last time."

Before Ves left for the Joe System, he ordered the LMC to pack up and move to their operations to the new complex with haste. Even if the construction project hadn't been finished yet, Ves wanted to hurry up with the move because it was already a lot safer to work from there.

As Ves entered the halls, he instantly noticed the lack of furniture and people moving around. Previously, the office areas of the workshop had been packed with workers. Now, their absence left a gaping void that could never be plugged again.

The old workshop already attained a touch of history in its empty halls. Almost everything from the desks to the monitoring equipment had been removed. Only the old cleaning bots still moved within these halls. The old machines had been left behind because the manufacturing complex possessed a better suite of bots.

After glancing at his old personal office, Ves wandered over to the yard, the empty storerooms and the fabrication hall.

The mech technicians had already packed up the Dortmund and the rest of the main production line and moved them away. The absence of all the large machinery had turned the hall into an empty cavern.

"Just think about it." Carlos prompted. "Almost two years ago, you began your business with a single old printer and assembly machine. I doubt you had more than a couple of million credits to your name. Now, your net worth must have ballooned into the billions."

With his enhanced mind, Ves sensed the subtle thread of envy in the voice of his friend. "It's all thanks to my designs. Without my work, the LMC would have never grown so big at this point. As the first person who joined me, I won't mistreat you."

He felt the need to reinforce Carlos' loyalty. Ves casually handed him a bonus of a couple of million credits, but they both knew that such an amount of money wouldn't change anything.

"You've already been more than generous to me, Ves." He responded as he looked at Ves with a despondent expression. "The money is great, but it's the practice and the books that's truly useful for me. I've been studying under you for all this time."

"How far have you come along?"

"Further than when I started. I've even designed some variants of the Blackbeak in my spare time. Would you like to take a look at them?"

"If you wish."

This time, Ves gazed with interest as Carlos transferred some files to his comm. He projected the design schematics and studied them with his full professional attention.

He knew why Carlos opted to design a variant of the newer Blackbeak instead of the older Mark Antony Mark II design. The latter was an extremely complex hybrid knight while the Blackbeak was one of the simplest mech types in existence.

However, just because the Blackbeak appeared relatively simple didn't mean it contained a lot of complexity. Ves incorporated a lot of subtlety and nuances into the Blackbeak. Those who failed see through these secrets would never be able to trump his original vision.

Ves only took a minute to determine that Carlos had missed the most essential points. His variants all increased the Blackbeak's power at the cost of endurance.

That didn't sound so bad on the surface, but many of the Blackbeak's components specialized in lasting power. To turn that around and force them to perform past their shallow peaks meant that they'd be worn out within months at worst. For a design that Ves intended to last for at least a decade, that was blasphemous.

If that wasn't bad enough, Carlos had also botched the tradeoffs. He traded far too much endurance to squeeze out just a little bit more peak performance out of his variant. If Ves made a casual effort, he could easily double the gains, not that he would ever want to. Carlos opted to pursue a vision that was diametrically opposite to the original intention of the Blackbeak.

As for the X-Factor, Ves generously didn't include that factor in his evaluation. Carlos hadn't been clued into that particular secret anyway.

When Ves wiped away the projection of the design schematic, he turned his eyes towards his friends. "I don't know how to say it, but your work could use a little more maturing."

"That bad, huh?" Carlos replied with a low voice. It was as if he already accepted that he botched his designs. "Can you tell me what I should work on?"

Ves quietly sighed in relief. At least his friend hadn't been in denial and accepted his shortcomings. There was hope for him yet. "Before you design a variant, it helps if you set a vision for it that's compatible with the base model. You can't turn a marathon runner into a sprinter in a single go. Figure out a set of criteria that your variant has to meet that's also not too different from the parameters of the base model."

"Won't that defeat the point of my work? If my variant performs too similar to the original work, what's the point of publishing a variant in the first place?"

"That's not exactly wrong, but it's better to err on the side of caution. Get some practice in first before you begin to deviate further. Try to figure out a way to add a new capability without sacrificing too much performance. For example, the Blackbeak has always been a little bit poor in terms of heat management. If you can come up with a solution with regards to that area, then you can save me a lot of trouble."

Hope sprung in Carlos' eyes. "You can count on me, Ves!"

 
 


Report broken chapters