The Mech Touch Chapter 824 Gods by Design
Most of the experts in his team knew what burden he shouldered and didn't wish to take his place.
If anything went wrong, all the blame would be laid at his feet.
On the other hand, if their project achieved success, Ves expected to earn most of the credit, with the other experts only able to remain on the sidelines due to their hesitation.
Every decision came at a cost.
As the experts dispersed to pursue their own research, Ves decided he wanted to get close to Qilanxo and try to interact with the beast.
As a mech designer, Ves always tried to gain an understanding of the essence of the mechs he worked with. Sometimes their designers created the mechs with a clear vision in mind. Other times, the designers didn't even know what their end product might look like and only stumbled on the final form by chance.
Ves considered the sacred gods to be products of engineering rather than nature. The reports from the Vandal experts made it abundantly clear that while they hadn't incorporated many foreign genes, they all changed critical aspects of their biology.
For all intents and purposes, the exobiologists from the Starlight Megalodon designed the god species for a very precise purpose. Not only that, but the god species also incorporated elements from mech design into their bodies.
"They are the result of a fusion between exobiology, genetic modification and mech design."
The god species were living, sentient mechs in the shape of giant lizards that thought for themselves and even possessed the powers of resonance in their bodies.
If elite pilots could be called gods, then these exobeasts might be akin to gods as well! The natives called them gods out of ignorance, but they were not entirely wrong to do so. Both the wild gods and the sacred gods possessed power far beyond the realm of mortal men and women.
When Ves received permission to approach Qilanxo, he calmly walked up to the large and ominous lizard. Qilanxo possessed a predominantly grey-blue coloring interspersed with red striped patterns. Her build absolutely surpassed that of a heavy mech, though compared to other sacred gods she was a little shorter from head to tail, though she made up for it in width.
What struck Ves the most was that his exposed head felt the stirring of the wind as the majestic beast breathed softly. Qilanxo appeared asleep at the moment. Her eyes closed with weariness as her deep, scorched wounds slowly regenerated with the assistance of the Vandal exobiologists and doctors.
Her recovery was still an on-going concern as her huge bulk needed to regenerate a lot of dead and burned flesh. She still suffered the consequences of surviving the devastating explosion that wracked her form and killed the other sacred gods.
As Ves came within twenty paces of the lizard's tooth-filled maw, he did not dare to approach any closer. A primal part of his mind rebelled at the thought of willingly coming close to this huge and dangerous beast that could snap his body in half despite wearing his C22 Earth Ant.
Those jaws looked strong enough to snap a light mech in half!
"Qilanxo, are you? My name is Vesk Larkinson. I'm a mech designer. That means that I'm in charge of all of those large metal human-like machines. These machines are piloted by humans called mech pilots. Would you like a mech pilot to become your new chosen? While it may not compensate for your loss, a new partner represents a new beginning. Both the Flagrant Vandals and Lydia's Swordmaidens would feel much more reassured of your cooperation if you accept one of us as your chosen."
He might as well be talking to a wall. Qilanxo kept her eyes closed and Ves didn't even know if she was really sleeping or simply didn't deign to hear the words of a mortal.
Ves didn't give up yet and started to ramble for five more minutes. He addressed many different topics such as where they came from, what was beyond the vault of the stars, the greatness of mechs, the training mech pilots went through and more.
None of these topics triggered her interest. For all intents and purposes, she resembled a big dumb exobeast, even though she was anything but those creatures. Even the majestic hexapod kings back in Groening IV failed to measure up to a sacred god.
They thought. They surpassed their beastly instincts and gained a measure of sentience.
From what the exobiologists gathered about the god species, the wild gods free in the wild lacked this quality. Evidence continued to mount that the act of interfacing with a blessed or cursed human allowed the god species to develop their sentience.
In a way, these sacred gods possessed a symbiotic relationship with the native humans. To reach their full potential, they couldn't do without the help and cooperation of a human beast rider.
Wasn't that any different from the relationship between a mech and a mech pilot? Certainly, autonomous controlled by AIs mechs existed, but they could never match the ingenuity and intuition of a real mech pilot.
Let alone that, but AIs had never once achieved resonance with an expert mech. All of the rare and expensive materials incorporated into an expert mech wouldn't be able to bring any benefits so long the mech didn't come paired with a matching expert pilot!
This was where the god species differed from mechs. As living, thinking entities, they somehow managed to produce effects akin to resonance all on their own. Dr. Tillman and the other exobiologists believed that the unique circumstances of the planet played an essential role in this process.
The higher-dimensional particles released into the planet and the star system possessed a lot more properties than distorting the surrounding spacetime.
Minute amounts of these particles enter the bodies of the local wildlife and the largest creatures of them all accumulated a considerable amount of higher-dimensional energy or matter, though usually in a derived form.
Even Qilanxo possessed a huge murky crystal in the center of her brains according to the deep scans.
A sacred god like Qilanxo possessed an inestimable advantage over mechs in that they could take actions just fine without an accompanying human partner. For some reason though, the sacred gods still insisted on selecting people to be their chosen partners.
There must be a benefit involved somehow. Perhaps the sacred gods continually grew smarter over repeated interfacing. Perhaps they would be able to control their powers even better if paired with a talented potentate with great data processing capabilities.
These theories served to explain a sacred god's continued symbiosis with their beast rider.
An even more daring theory stated that the benefits didn't flow in a single direction. The beast rider enjoyed huge benefits as well.
The battle against Pairixan showed that despite throwing lethal poison and other dangerous at the humans riding atop the sacred gods, the beast riders withstood the toxic air as if someone merely let out a fart.
The long-ranged sensors definitely observed that the beast riders needed to breathe, yet their human bodies somehow experienced huge changes!
Their body quality even surpassed the body quality of the Swordmaidens, who combined rigorous training with extensive genetic modification to strengthen their close combat prowess beyond the level of ordinary humans.
Not even the exobiologists could completely explain how this could happen.
Once the beast rider projected began their selection process to pair Qilanxo up with a couple of mech pilots, Ves predicted that they'd be overrun with applications!
Ves already anticipated a lot of headaches in the future.
"Well, that's in the future."
First, the beast rider project needed to gain Qilanxo's cooperation. Ves tried to talk to her for so long, but the creature didn't even deign to pay attention to him. Perhaps to Qilanxo, all mortals were as weak as ants.
Still, Ves possessed one more trick to see if he could elicit a reaction out of the big beast.
With exceeding care, Ves started to focus his Spirituality. He extended his sixth sense and tried to see if he could perceive anything from Qilanxo.
It was subtle, but Ves detected something from the beast. If mech pilots and expert pilots possessed flame-like souls that grew in size and became more physical as they grew stronger, the spiritual flame of the god beast was massive in comparison.
Yet while it was immensely large to the point of pressing down on his sixth sense, it was as if it didn't exist. He could barely perceive its might.
Was this a common feature among all sacred gods?
Qilanxo stirred. Ves hadn't been very subtle about extending his senses. He had brushed against her spirituality and affected it ever so slightly.
One of her man-sized eyelids swept open. A mesmerizingly large pupil focused squarely at Ves as if shooting out an invisible laser.
Ves felt a huge but weak wave of spirituality passing through his body. He hadn't managed to let loose his concentration in time, which meant the wave battered against his condensed spirit!
This elicited Qilanxo's interest, and she swept her other eye open as well. This sacred god had found out something very interesting about Ves!
It stretched its head forward ever so slightly, though her restraints kept her from moving too far. She sniffed the air and took in his scent, though rightfully speaking she predominantly smelled the materials of his custom armor.
"Qilanxo." Ves carefully spoke. "Are you awake?"
The creature stared at Ves with an inscrutable expression. It was like looking directly into the gaze of a dragon. Invisible waves of spirituality kept sweeping over the entire area like a murky sea about to be engulfed into a storm.
Her spiritual presence was massive, yet weak!
Ves repeated the words he spoke at the beginning. He introduced himself and shortly described what he sought to do. When he broached the topic of accepting a pair of new beast riders, Qilanxo let out a soft roar.
It was her first response! Ves became encouraged because Qilanxo definitely showed some interest this time, even if she didn't seem enthused.
"What do you think about acquiring some new human partners?"
Qilanxo let out an angry roar. The offer didn't make her happy.
Ves fell into a small dilemma at this point. As their prisoner, Ves could coerce Qilanxo into cooperating with the Flagrant Swordmaidens. Yet he was afraid that if he pushed it too far, the beast would simply go mad and go out in a final blazing glory.
He had to obtain Qilanxo's cooperation through other means. How, he didn't know yet. There was nothing the Flagrant Swordmaidens could really offer to her. Captain Byrd wouldn't approve of any concessions that murdered their side and unnecessarily empowered the beast.
To the Vandals, Qilanxo was a beast to be used, in the same way a mech was a tool used to for war. If their captive sacred god became more trouble than she was worth, then the Vandals weren't above executing her and be done with the fussy beast.
Her continued existence depended on her cooperation.
"Qilanxo. Don't be so soon to reject the offer yet. We will bring a lot of our mech pilots to you soon. Just take a look at them and see if there is anyone you like. We hope that you will pick two of them, one from each of our two forces. Do you agree with such a procedure?"
Qilanxo let out a huffing roar. Perhaps that was her version of saying 'whatever'. It was better than an angry roar, though, so Ves considered it a success. He achieved at least one of his goals, even if the sacred god only begrudgingly agreed to his request.