The Mech Touch


The Mech Touch Chapter 365 Fragmen


Ves tried hard to keep his mind on track. No matter what her mother claimed to be, she still remained a potential threat. "You haven't answered my question! Why are you here!?"

The ghost definitely had a purpose in revealing her presence to him at this time. Indeed, his mother smirked and materialized a familiar object in her grasp.

"You've been bumbling around like an idiot with this toy for over a week. As your mother, it's my duty to set you back onto the right path."

"What?"

Ves recognized the object in her palm. It was the crystalline remains of the leader he found in the crystal gardens. Ever since he started on developing the gimmick for his upcoming design, he continually studied the intricacies of the corpse.

All the organic parts had decayed away, leaving only pure crystals behind. Ves discovered that the quality of the miniature crystals surpassed those that made up the ruins the alien race had left behind.

He even figured out some of the rudimentary principles of the crystal augmentations. The tiny corpse that could fit in the palm of his hands possessed a lot of powerful cybernetic prowess in its crystal circuits.

Last he remembered, he left the corpse behind in his lab equipment.

"I know what you intend to do." His mother continued as she waved around the crystal leader's corpse. "You are doing it wrong. Do you realize the enormity of pulling back a vestige of the past? How arrogant to believe you can take what you want."

Ves temporarily ignored his mother's identity and the fact that she held one of his precious artifacts. For more than a week, he attempted to connect with the remains and attempted to trace some sort of spiritual presence that had been left behind.

So far, he completely failed to grasp a single useful thing. Thus, despite facing a ghost, Ves couldn't help but grow curious.

"What do you suggest?"

"There are many ways of accomplishing your goals, but most of them will result in fruitless outcomes. You are too weak and ignorant to know what you are doing. There is only one method that is suitable for a human with your strength."

Ves practically stood on his toes. He eagerly wanted to hear his mother's solution. "What method is that?"

"You must beseech the individual from beyond the grave. Resonate with his life, and let it borrow from your strength. A price must be paid."

Resonate with a dead person's life?

She demonstrated the method in front of him. Her milky-white ghost-like form flickered as she concentrated on the object in her hand. "The sentient being who inhabited this corpse has left behind a lot of regrets. His race is dead. His legacy is gone. Too much time has passed. What remains is only traces of his former self. Yet it is exactly those traces that are the strongest and most enduring parts. You only need to gather the most suitable one for your purposes."

Ves saw the light. He previously believed that the alien leader's spirituality might have drifted somewhere in some distant dimension. He hadn't realized that it might have been split up.

"How do I attract a portion of its spirituality?"

"As I said, you resonate with its desires. For example…" His mother looked down on the small but incredibly durable crystal corpse. "This individual is part of a long-dead race. What stands out for you?"

"Uhm, it's exquisite and small."

"Indeed, it's small. His entire race is small. You can fit an entire crowd of these aliens in your hands. Now ask yourself, how do their stature compare to the average sentient alien beings in the galaxy?"

"Leaving out the weirder forms of life like the silicate sandmen, they're really tiny. You can hardly find any smaller humanoid aliens out there."

"In the perspective of these aliens, the rest of the galaxy is a frightening place. It is filled with monstrous giants who can easily crush them beneath their feet if they will it so. Their bodies, their weapons and their ships are tens or hundreds times larger than those of this diminutive race."

Ves started to understand what the crystal leader felt. "The tragedy of the small."

"Indeed, the tragedy of the small! Their race held a lot of potential, but the scale in which they worked with has crippled their development as soon as they met other space-faring races."

Ves could easily imagine what others races thought of the tiny aliens. At first contact, those aliens with normal body sizes compared to humans must have treated the crystal builders with contempt.

"It is this alien's eternal regret that their race has been born so small. No matter which alien race they tried to engage, they were never taken seriously. It has even led to their eventual downfall."

"How did you know all of this?"

"Because the fragment that holds this regret has told me so."

Her other palm flickered and a tiny silvery flame hovered over it. Ves became shocked when he sensed his sixth sense pinging at the flame.

It was another form of life!

"Is that…?"

"Indeed, this is a fragment."

Ves worked so hard to summon something like this. A small part of his mind believed that it couldn't be done because it sounded so fantastical. Was there really life beyond death?

His mother thrust out her palm, which pushed the flame away from her. It gently drifted over to Ves, who tried to take hold of the flame.

He failed. The flickering flame pushed right past his hand and went through his body! If he couldn't stop it from traveling forward, it would certainly disappear into the earth!

"Use your gifts, Vessie. I know you can do it!"

Driven by panic, Ves hastily focused his mind on his free hand. He still held onto the Amastendira, but he threw all thoughts of shooting his mother to the side. Compared to her foreboding presence, he eagerly wished to obtain her insights.

Ves eventually managed to halt the flame from submerging into the walls. It took a very special kind of focus to affect the silvery fragment. His mother had been right in that he needed to understand their perspective.

He didn't actually stop it with his hands. Instead, he reached out with his mind and tried to connect with it with a sympathetic viewpoint.

The fragment acted much like a bot who responded to only certain commands. With his mother's help, Ves finally cracked the secret.

"I understand. The fragment is a remnant of a sentient life, but it isn't actually capable of independent thought. The only way to influence it is if I send out thoughts that drive the fragment to action."

Just then, Ves resonated with the fragment by plainly showing it an image of a rifleman mech. His rich creativity painted a detailed scene which compared the mech to the scale of the crystal garden.

The mech practically towered over the collection of crystals like a monolithic giant loomed over a bunch of ants.

The sheer difference in size might have scared away the fragment, but Ves communicated a desire to implant the spiritual fragment into the mech.

In essence, he wanted to solve the fragment's lifelong regrets by granting it a body that towered over many other alien races. The sheer might at its fingertips would turn about its racial inferiority complex and give the fragment a taste of what it was like to own a towering body.

There was no question whether the flame would respond. It instantly turned docile and patiently hovered above his palm.

"Uh, what do I do with it?"

"You cherish it and feed it until you have constructed a mental lattice in which it can rest." His mother responded patiently with a smile as she toyed with the crystal leader's corpse. "The fragment looks frail, but as long as you give it hope, it will continue to persist until you need it. Do not worry about its health."

Indeed. Through his sixth sense, Ves could feel a strengthening conviction in the fragment. It wanted Ves to deliver his promise of integrating the fragment with a mech. So long as that remained a possibility, the fragment would do everything in its power to remain in the material dimensions.

His mother had pointed out the light in the dark. Now that she gave him a direction, Ves could figure out the rest on his own. His animosity towards the ghost had dropped to the point where he could tolerate her existence.

He still felt highly uncomfortable about her presence, though. An awkward silence ensued where Ves wasn't sure about holding his mother at bay with the Amastendira.

Even this wondrous weapon came with limits. Against a foe who could easily manipulate her intangible body around a laser beam, the Amastendira offered very little countermeasures.

Ves had studied the weapon for a time, so he knew it came with a wide-area light projector. Basically, the light projector mode turned the straight and narrow laser beam in a cone of light that spread out quickly.

Ordinarily, such a mode would quickly diffuse the energy to the point where it hardly inflicted any damage. However, with sufficient power, it would still be able to cook an armored man within a distance of up to ten meters.

Maybe he could still exorcise this ghost this way, yet the collateral damage would be huge. Without an armored suit of his own, the heat would affect his body as well.

Even then, he wouldn't be able to guarantee that his mother would pull off another trick. She seemed incredibly capable of avoiding a light projector.

His mother smirked at him, as if she guessed what was on his mind. "I must take my leave now. You are old enough to stand on your own, and you don't need your mother to tell you what to do."

"Mom!"

Before she left, she focused on the crystal leader's corpse. Slowly, her humanoid form flickered, as if it lost some stability. Her form behaved as if it reflected off a pond which rippled from a stone.

Then, something drastic happened.

Her intangible bone-white substance got pulled into the crystal leader's tiny corpse. It was as if some kind of hole sucked her inside!

The crystal leader's corpse continued to hover in the air despite no one holding it aloft. It started to shake a few times before the crystals that made up its limbs started to glow in white. Some of the cavities in the strange alien's head started to glow, as if all of its eyes had turned to life.

A sound emerged from the corpse. "Ah, that was harder than I thought. This body is more older than I anticipated."

The crystals embedded into the corpse started to reconfigure themselves into different orientations. The hunched posture of the tiny alien straightened up, and the body started to resemble a human female.

The cavities that dotted its entire head closed up. Instead, two symmetrical eyes opened up, adorning the faceless head with a touch of humanity.

Ves was taken aback. He stood there with his mouth wide open as his mother intricately molded the cyborg body to her tastes. Ves never knew such a thing was possible! Had the corpse always contained this function, or was it something she forced with her own powers?

Whatever the case, it didn't change the fact that his mother had taken possession of a body! Even though she looked like a doll, Ves knew better than to underestimate its capabilities. The crystals possessed remarkable capabilities that could wreck havoc!

He was certain that his mother was up to no good!

After she finished her adjustment, she smiled again at Ves and turned intangible. Once she made sure she retained the capability to pass through walls, she turned to go.

"Wait! That artifact is mine! I still need it for my research!"

"I've seen your work. You are almost done with your research project. What's yours is mine, and what's mine is yours."

His mother disappeared before Ves could get another word out.

She stole his artifact! Ves could have continued to perform more research on the corpse and figure out more applications of the crystals! Now it was gone!



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