The Mech Touch


The Mech Touch Chapter 797 Ticking


The wild god appeared just as majestic up close as a sacred god. They possessed the same bulk and formless aura of pressure. Though Dr. Tillman hadn't quite determined if the giant exobeasts consisted of one species with several subraces or multiple species, Ves leaned towards the former.

The wild gods had too much in common despite their somewhat divergent appearances. The diversity of their subraces resembled the diversity of dog breeds throughout the galaxy.

"Wow. This god truly does resemble an organic heavy mech." Ketis uttered with an awed expression. This was her first time she ever came close to one of the exobeasts. "How can they grow so large on a heavy gravity planet?"

"That's what the exobiologists are about to find out." Ves replied while flicking his head over to the exobiologists already starting to take tissue samples of the big brute.

Dr. Tillman and her team practically urged their fast transport to sprint towards the carcass as soon as the Flagrant Swordmaidens confirmed it bought the farm.

Chief Dakkon and score of technicians also started unloading prefab cold chamber parts. In order to preserve the corpse as best as possible, the Vandals planned to envelop the corpse in a giant chamber that lowered the temperature inside.

Of course, the cooks already started picking out their choice cuts of meat. A regular knife wouldn't be able to cut through the hard scales and thick hide, so they needed the assistance of the Swordmaidens to hack out a few small samples for them to experiment on at their mobile kitchen.

A lot of Vandals and Swordmaidens eagerly tracked the progress of the cooks, finding their work a lot more interesting than the science stuff performed by the exobiologists and other experts.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

A small competition emerged as the mech pilots silently justled for the right to take the first bite. Everyone valued the bragging rights of partaking in the flesh of a god, but the person enjoyed a definite advantage over all the other braggers!

Ves silently shook his head as he witnessed their arguing behind the scenes. They had enough sense to remain alert inside their mechs in case the wild god had a mate or something, but the slight movements betrayed their vigorous arguing.

While the cold chamber slowly took shape, Ves and Ketis stood by the side along with the rest of the gawkers. As mech designers, their expertise left them with little to do. The only reason they tagged along was because they might be relevant if the exobiologists identified anything related to neural interfaces.

Ves had analyzed the previous sensor readings over and over again and couldn't help but conclude that the sacred gods definitely maintained a neural connection with their beast riders!

Whether the beasts accomplished this through an artificial implant or a natural organ, the Flagrant Swordmaidens would soon find out as the exobiologists began to cut the carcass apart.


Because the beast was so unimaginably huge and tough, the exobiologists started enlisting the aid of a Swordmaiden mech. The cutting had to be done with care and precision, but also with a substantial amount of force because the wild god possessed an immensely tough body.

While the exobiologists were expected to become absorbed in their studies for a couple of days, Ves brought Ketis over to the Pale Dancer, which had stood down from combat.

"That's your expert pilot's old mech, isn't it? It certainly looks the part!" Ketis remarked.

Ves nodded in agreement. The mech oozed quality to any mech designer who possessed a decent set of eyes. "Every part about an expert mech is a pinnacle design. With regular designs, you often have to make compromises in terms of cost due to diminishing returns. With expert mechs, your budget is a lot more generous. If you can improve an expert mech's performance by one percent at the cost of a heavy mech, then most expert mech designers will eagerly accept such a trade."

Ketis threw a glance at Ves as if she couldn't believe a mech designer would be so wasteful to give up an entire expert mech just to squeeze out an extra percentage of performance for a single mech. In most circumstances, the addition of a heavy mech often trumped over a marginal performance boost of a single mech.

Yet this rule didn't apply to expert mechs. These peak performance machines which possessed enough power to slaughter a hundred ordinary mechs in the right conditions didn't actually see that much use in such a fashion. As trump cards, they mostly deployed against other expert mechs.

In these intense clashes which pitted demigods against demigods, the difference a single percentage of performance could make might be able to tip the balance between the two elite mechs!

If a force commander had to make the choice to save a billion credits but lose an expert mech, or spend that billion credits and enable the expert mech to win the clash, most would make the second choice for sure!

This was also the principal reason why expert mechs rarely entered the private sector. Outfits without any backing of a state simply couldn't afford to make such costly tradeoffs and still be able to run a profit.

It was cheaper to raise a hundred regular mechs and provide for their supplies and transportation than to support a single expert mech!

As a ballistic rifleman mech, the Pale Dancer resembled some of his Crystal Lord's design choices by prioritizing speed and mobility while covering up its frame with a thin layer of extravagantly strong compressed armor plating.

The Pale Dancer made use of an armor system that completely surpassed the cost of the Veltrex armor system. Though the actual degree of strengthening wasn't as drastic, it nonetheless allowed the thin and nimble Pale Dancer to shrug off ordinary rifle rounds and laser beams with relative ease, though it fared less well against penetrating attacks such as kinetic projectiles launched by cannons or railguns.

As a custom mech, the mech designer of the Pale Dancer should have invested a lot of their emotions into the machine. Yet whenever Ves came close to the mech, his sixth sense only sensed a diminished sense of restraint, as if this mech's true potential had forcefully been shackled by other priorities.

Ves regaled his speculation concerning its design to Ketis. "Internal politics can be kind of messy. The Senior Mech Designer in the service of the Royal House of Talk had probably received an instruction from another prince to limit the effectiveness of the Pale Dancer. A mech designer can employ hundreds of tricks to sabotage their own designs without making it obvious."

"It must have been rather painful for that Senior to cripple his own design."

"That's why you should never work for nobles or another interest group. They only care about themselves, and never take your interests into consideration."

"What about Mayra and the Swordmaidens?" She frowned. "I can't imagine abandoning them for any reason. They're my sisters!"

"I'm not saying you should discard your bonds. They can be a strength and a reliable form of support for you. There's nothing wrong with respecting the mech designer who raised you, but you shouldn't stand still and do nothing if she ever leads you to the wrong path. Even if you are just a Novice right now, you already possess the qualifications to set out on your own."

Ves tried to ease Ketis into the idea of pursuing her career outside of the Swordmaidens for a while. He always thought she didn't have to remain stuck with the pirate gang for the entirety of her life.

When Mayra passed over a data chip with forged identity documents and gifted him with the Cadisis, Ves started to have a premonition that the future might be a lot more dire than he thought.

Though he didn't know what kind of disaster the Starlight Megalodon had in store for them all, it didn't hurt to prepare.

The more escape plans he arranged, the better his chances of surviving a crisis.

Speaking of plans, Venerable Xie emerged from somewhere and approached Ves with a determined gait.

"Mr. Larkinson."

"Venerable Xie." Ves bowed along with Ketis. Though expert pilots didn't necessarily merit a ritual greeting, it was customary to do so in order to indicate respect. No matter what he had done to the expert pilot's mind, he still had to observe the forms in front of him. "How has the Pale Dancer performed so far?"

"It is better, though I don't know why." The expert pilot frowned. The man spoke with such force and weight that the mech designers had to resist becoming entranced by his voice. "Some problems persist, particularly when the antigrav field is off. While my mech is strong enough to move under the planet's gravity, its balance profile requires some adjustments."

"I'll put it on the list and work on it now." Ves acknowledged the complaint. "Are there any other problems that require immediate attention?"

The expert pilot mentioned a couple of problems, most of them already known to the Vandals. It took time and ingenuity to solve those problems. Under field conditions, their ability to modify and rework the Pale Dancer received a large truncation. The basic prefab workshops erected at the camp only provided the bare minimum of facilities to service the mechs. More extensive overhauls could only be done back on the combat carriers or logistics ships.

In the meantime, Ketis basically stared at the expert pilot as if she met a hero in the flesh. Everyone possessed a fascination for expert pilots, and very few of them could shake off the hero worship ingrained by society.

Even pirates admired expert pilots!

Of course, Ves long shook off his mindless awe for expert pilots.

Once they finished going over the raft of issues, Ves decided to take a risk and ask about something more personal. "How are you fitting in with the Flagrant Vandals, sir?"

The expert pilot maintained a composed face, revealing little of his emotions. "I am grateful for the Vandals to rescue the remnants of our colonization fleet. A chapter of my life has ended. While the Vandals are far from what I am used to, they are a fine and courageous folk. Even if they do their duty with plenty of complaints, they don't back off. I admire that courage."

This harkened back to the man's background as a bodyguard for the former Fourth Prince. A cowardly bodyguard didn't exist!

"Have you made any friends?"

The man stared back without making any response. Of course, expert pilots didn't easily mingle with their lessers anymore.

Still, Ves found the lack of any friendly connections to be a tad bit concerning.

Had the tampered neural interfaces succeeded in influencing the expert pilot's mind? As Ves asked a few more casual questions, he couldn't read much from the expert pilot's terse answers.

For an expert pilot who was supposed to be loyal to the Flagrant Vandals, the man did not express that much enthusiasm for his new employer. At some point, Ves started to develop a creeping suspicion.

The mind of an expert pilot was incalculably more firm than that of a regular mech pilot. The main component of their advancement was their strong and unwavering willpower! Though this was an ephemeral quality that couldn't be expressed in numbers, everyone knew that expert pilots had reached a qualitative transformation on this aspect!

The suspicion disturbed Ves to such an extent that he quickly ended the conversation and guided Ketis away from the dangerous man.

"Awww!" She groaned. "Why didn't you introduce me to him? That's the first expert pilot I've seen up close! I wanted to shake his hand!"

Ves sighed. "Try and stay sober in front of expert pilots next time. Not all of them are good people."

And not all of them might be loyal to those they ostensibly served. Though Ves had been unable to obtain any proof of that, his interaction with Venerable Xie was so strange that Ves truly started doubting whether the mental tampering had truly set in. If it turned out that the expert pilot resisted the brainwashing, then the Vandals had a ticking time bomb on their hands!



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