The Mech Touch


The Mech Touch Chapter 373 Heel


Now that Ves finished defining his vision for his light mech, he proceeded to move on to the next phase.

"Should I even go through with the next phase for this design?"

The next step would be to come up with a suitable set of images perform his Triple Division technique to infuse his design with life. However, if he did so, he'd leave an obvious trail of breadcrumbs from his second account back to his primary account.

He shook his head. "Maybe if I use the exact same technique, it might lead to questions. I'll just have to switch up my methods in order to fend off any suspicions."

Therefore, instead of using the Triple Division technique, Ves decided to make use of a single but extremely focused image.

"With a design like this, it can't be piloted in a conventional manner."

An aerial light mech whose primary method of dealing damage consisted of thrusting its single spiked leg from above needed a special brand of crazy to work. Common sense had no place in this half-suicidal method of attack.

Ves decided to construct a single totem animal and infuse its entire instincts into the X-Factor of his design. He had no need for rationality or balance that the base model and human myth images normally provided. Instead, he wanted to achieve a single extreme.

The more he thought about it, the more he became enthused by the prospect of such a mech. "Only crazy people allowed!"

He didn't spend too much time on forming the image. He shaped a narrow-beaked pecker bird into being. He casually named it it the Impaling Bird, which reinforced the idea he came up with for this image.

As a mythical form of life, Ves scaled up the bird to the size of a mech. The mythical bird possessed a fluorescent grey beak that was both sharp and tough. Its main mode of attack consisted of flying fast and embedding its prey with the point of its beak.

Besides delivering a devastating blow with its beak, the Impaling Bird was also capable of finishing off its opponents by slapping it with its wings.

After defining its shape and capabilities, Ves spent a couple of hours constructing a fictional history along with the world in which the bird resided. Details were sparse, but Ves included a lot of different combat situations where the Impaling Bird utilized its beak to great success time and time again.

The Impaling Bird never got tired off runnings its spiked beak through its prey and predators alike. The cruel and primitive bird delighted in staking its entire life in a single attack run. It was a miracle that it hadn't died already.

Once he finished the image, the extreme bird came to life within his mind. Bird immediately moved as if it wanted to cause some trouble in his mind, but when it suddenly noticed the spiritually strong existence of the crystal golem, it instantly became meek.

"You better settle down until I finish your design."

The bird might be suicidal sometimes but it never attempted to attack an opponent out of its league.

After making sure the crystal golem wouldn't come after the Impaling Bird and vica versa, Ves proceeded to move on to his design.

"I can't design a mech without parts."

Even if he chose to design an original mech, he still needed plenty of components to bring his work up to par. He quickly visited the virtual license database and bought a slew of fitting virtual licenses.

Most of his purchases consisted of average components. Ves wanted to keep his prices low to encourage sales. He only made a concession when he bought a separate armor system for the spikes. The new set of plating possessed an extreme amount of resistance against sudden shocks and impacts. It fared less well against heat and laser-based weapons, but Ves accepted this tradeoff as long as it didn't splinter apart after it impaled a mech from above.

As for the other licenses, they fitted aerial light mechs rather well. The major components all specialized in delivering a high level of peak performance. While this limited the endurance of his design, it would at least maximize its chances of success.

"The flight system also deserves some attention."

Ves needed a flight system that could keep up with the demands of his light mech. Ves left efficiency to the wayside and picked out a fairly robust system for a light mech. It was capable of surviving plenty of bumps and could bring an aerial mech back into the air in rapid tempo.

"Too bad it uses up a lot of energy if it does so."

This wasn't a problem in a duel format. Just like the Havalax, his light mech wanted to end the battle quickly and avoid a battle of attrition.

"The more its opponent encounters the move, the more they put up their guard."

Over time, people would become familiar with the tricks of a difficult design. This depressed the performance and win rates of those specialist designs. Disgruntled buyers would flood the sales pages of those mechs, discouraging others from taking the plunge.

"Even if my design will end up being a temporary fad, it's already worth it as long as I can achieve a few thousand sales."

All of the component licenses together set him back several million credits. To Ves, such an expenditure was a drop in the bucket compared to his vast private wealth. Even leaving out his seventy percent ownership in the LMC, he still received several billions credits after Walter's Whalers paid him what they owed according to their agreement.

The most expensive license consisted of the special armor formula that made up the single spiked leg.

With all the ingredients at hand, Ves proceeded to cook up his design over the next six days.

The challenge of drafting an entire frame from scratch always daunted him, but he already benefited from his previous experience. The lessons he learned from drafting the Blackbeak and his upcoming rifleman mech design helped him out a lot.

"It also helps that light mechs don't have a lot of meat to their bones."

While this didn't eliminate all of the complexity, it did cut down on the number-crunching and busywork. Ves spent more time trying to achieve synergy between the components he picked out than to force his frame to perform to a strict standard.

The only part where he encountered difficulties was when he began to design the bottom spike.

He could have made it thin or thick and broad or narrow. Ves casually tried several different configurations and threw them into a simulator which basically dropped the mech onto a target down below.

Only after he ran the design through simulated combat conditions did he realize how difficult it was to ensure the mech's survival after it had landed.

The spike always broke off if he made it skinny and narrow. While the narrow profile also helped the penetration, allowing his design to pierce through heavy mechs, it also snapped like a twig after every dive.

This gave his design no second opportunities. Ves did not wish for his design to become a useless lump of metal after it had performed a single dive, so he opted for beefier designs.

Once he broadened and deepened the spike, the mech became a lot more resilient. The extra armor sufficiently protected the mech from anti-air and also added extra oomph to every diving attack.

However, if Ves went too far in this direction, his design lost too much mobility. It could barely stay aloft and would take ages to climb up to a higher altitude.

Thus, after experimenting with many different shapes, Ves opted for a configuration that fell in between the two extremes.

The spike was fairly broad at the hips but tapered down to a wicked spike at the end where the feet of the mech normally reached.

When Ves stepped back and looked at his design from a distance, he could almost mistake its silhouette for a woman in a dress.

"Maybe it's not a bad thing if I emphasize its gender a little more."

He shifted some mass around here and there. He basically narrowed the stomach area and widened the hips and upper torso. Naturally, he wouldn't go too far to the extent of being obscene, but he definitely didn't leave any ambiguity on the gender of his design.

Now that he thought about it, a lot of light mechs adopted feminine contours. The weight class lent itself to this profile due to how narrow and light it was. As long as mech designers didn't go too far, nobody paid attention to it. Men wouldn't hesitate to pilot a feminine-looking mech as long as it delivered a solid level of performance.

It also looked kind of absurd for this feminine-looking mech to wield a long, two-handed hammer. The hammer brought a significant amount of heft to the design, and could crush the head of any mech it came in touch with. Sadly, it wouldn't be able to inflict more than a dent to undamaged armor, as Ves hadn't made it as heavy as hammers wielded by medium mechs.

"Still, this hammer will do fine if it strikes a weak point."

The logic behind this somewhat dainty hammer was that his design would strike the hammer through a tear that it opened up beforehand by performing a devastating dive attack. With the power behind such a move, it was inevitable for the stricken mech to expose some of its internals.

A couple of whacks with a powerful enough hammer should be able to wreck the insides with ease.

At the end of his six-day design spree, Ves tentatively concluded that his design made the mark. He nodded in satisfaction. "It's not that much of a challenge to design an original 3-star mech."

The technology available to him was primitive and simplistic compared to the modern standard. Ves easily managed to do the same in front of a crowd during the Leemar Open Competition, though those rushed products came with a large number of flaws and weak points.

"I probably haven't managed to eliminate every flaw in my design, but at least I've addressed all of the critical ones."

Ves had to make due with that result, as his lack of time really limited his options.

For the last couple of days, Ves thought about bringing in someone else to spread out the workload. Carlos formed the most obvious candidate. While Ves did not hold a lot of confidence in his first employee's skills, he possessed enough competence to run some models as long as he received some instruction.

In the end, Ves decided to prize his secrecy over convenience. It was not as if Ves desired to deliver a top notch product. As long as he ensured a basic level of quality, the design would surely sell.

"I think I'm about finished at this point."

He only paused his frenetic design process when he had to come up with a name. During the design process, he went through many possibilities, but all of them failed to click with the design in question.

The name of the mech shouldn't only fit his unconventional design. It also had to call out attention and make it easy for people to refer his mech to their friends.

"The name has to sound good as well."

After half an hour of brainstorming, Ves settled on the best option possible.

"Lady Death's Heel."

The name succinctly summed up the feminine nature of the mech and paired it up with its main mode of combat. Lady Death did not suffer fools gladly. Whenever she encountered an idiot, she crushed them apart beneath the heels of her feet.

Ves smiled when the Impaling Bird finally fled from his mind and took up residence in the finished design. Lady's Death's Heel instantly carried a faintly palpable threat, especially to men like him. The mech and the Impaling Bird made for a fitting pair, especially since the imaginary life form exerted a fair bit of influence on the design.

"Now, let's see how the virtual market reacts to your introduction."



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