Chief Avanaeon reacted with disbelief when Ves express interest in picking up the fundamentals in understanding FTL drive technology.
"Let me get this straight. You somehow blackmailed Major Verle for a week's access to engineering textbooks on FTL, and you need my help to make sense of a field that takes the average engineer fifty years of study and practice to get smart enough to understand the very basics?"
"Well... when you put it that way, it sounds a bit unrealistic. However, I didn't blackmail the big boss. I did him a favor and he allowed me to borrow some books from the local database."
"These aren't your average textbooks." Avanaeon said. "In fact, there's more than just the basics included here. I don't know how you got Major Verle to do it, but he even allowed you access to the next step, which includes basic explanations on all the subcomponents included in most basic models of modern FTL drives."
"And that's valuable because...?" Ves trailed off.
"FTL drives aren't like mechs. Any kid can look at a humanoid mech and see it consists of a torso, a pair of arms, a pair of legs and a head. The smarter kids can even say what's inside the torso like doctors can recall all the organs inside a human body. It's actually not that obvious with FTL drives because it can consist of up to a hundred different core subcomponents, each of which tweak the drive's ultimate performance in many different ways."
"A hundred core subcomponents!"
Even a mech only carried around ten to twenty core subcomponents on average, with advanced mechs featuring more systems than frontline mechs which emphasize economy.
Ves could not imagine how a drive that looked to all appearances like one big block to be so complex from within.
"It's not as bad as it sounds, as the first twenty or so are the most vital ones." The chief engineer continued. "They enable the drive to elevate the ship from the material dimensions to the higher dimensions. The other eighty subcomponents have to do with navigating the gravitic currents and maintain the ship's course under the various conditions that you can encounter during FTL travel. They are still vital, but an FTL drive won't suddenly fail if one of them is configured incorrectly."
"And I suppose that's not the case for the first twenty."
"Correct. If any of them is even a single percent off, it could mean the difference between transitioning out of FTL to a normal destination like the Bentheim System or launching your ship straight into a black hole. If you think black holes are bad enough in realspace, they're orders of magnitude worse in the higher dimensions!"
In short, Ves needed to gain a decent understanding of the theoretical underpinnings behind the twenty core subcomponents. This gave him the most preliminary level of mastery in FTL drive technology. Although it wouldn't allow him to design and craft an FTL drive from scratch, it at least gave him the most minimum qualifications to repair one if he ever encountered a slightly damaged drive.
"Genius or not, it's impossible for you to understand the basics of all twenty subcomponents within a week!" The chief engineer exclaimed. "It's like studying twenty entirely different fields of science to a fairly deep level, because that's what it comes down to. Those textbooks provided to you by Major Verle are really great, but they are meant to be accessed only when an engineer has completed over a hundred other courses. The contents won't make sense in the same way that a novel won't make sense if you start reading the final pages."Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Through his brief tirade, Avanaeon made it more than clear to Ves that he had been a little bit too arrogant for his own good. Ves may have a good depth of knowledge in the fields related to mechs, but he did not even possess the minimum qualifications in astronautics to design and build a basic shuttle on his own.
Ves accepted this argument, because the joint-development of the Six-Sided Dice already showed his complete inability to design a shuttle from the ground up.
"I only have a week to study the contents of my bounty before the encryption scrambles them forever. What do you suggest I do? Go back to the library and borrow some basic engineering textbooks?"
Avanaeon shook his head. "It takes decades for the average engineer to read through all of the prerequisite books. Even a freak like you will take years to go through the materials I bet. With your level of cognitive abilities, there's a better solution available. Just memorize the most essential materials by rote. As long as you are able to store the contents in your mind, you can always get back to them when you are better read. No one can take your memorized data away from you either."
That was an excellent suggestion!
"I think I can do that! It's only that the reading material is too much for me to memorize in its entirety. Can you help me select the parts which I absolutely have to memorize and which ones I can skip?"
"Hmm. I can do that as a favor." The chief acquiesced. "Besides, I'm curious to what these textbooks have to say on some of the issues that I'm puzzled about for a while. These books are completely unredacted! Usually you have to earn a large amount of merit before you can unlock the next parts of the books."
"Knowledge is power. It makes sense for the Mech Corps to ration out its library." Ves nodded. This happened everywhere because it took good experts a lot of their time to compose good textbooks that distilled their knowledge down into a pure and untainted form.
They proceeded to work together to select the best content to memorize. Avanaeon selected a slew of formulas, essential theories, massive tables, informative charts and more, consisting about one-third of the average textbook.
"Why so much?" Ves asked. He expected to make do with only a tenth of the contents of a single book.
"Because you'd be lost if you miss any of it. The complicated math and theories that form the foundation of how FTL work can't be skipped."
Avanaeon browsed through the pages in rapid tempo, selecting each of them by leaving behind a special bookmark in the software. After several hours, he ran through most of the contents, only leaving behind some supplementary materials such as the blueprints.
"These blueprints are extremely valuable. While they're outdated, they outline the design of a fully functional FTL drive that's been in use several thousands of years ago. They are the simplest iteration of an FTL drive that's been stripped with most of the alien idiosyncrasies while not being bogged down with countless minor innovations that make it more complex. They're well worth your time to study and reference as you go through the theory. I suggest you memorize all of them, but if you do, make sure you memorize their exact dimensions and properties."
"I'll do that." Ves nodded. "Thanks for your help!"
"No problem,Ves. Just remember to pay back the favor!"
After saying goodbye to the chief, Ves strode out of the engineering bay and returned to his office. After performing some routine work and checking up with Ketis, Ves began to prepare himself for rote memorization.
Unlike his previous attempts at learning, this time he wouldn't spend any time in trying to decipher anything. Instead, he would attempt to capture and dump all of the selected contents into his brains in a raw and unprocessed format.
It was one of the stupidest ways of learning, but Ves could always go back to it and decipher its contents in his free time.
When Ves began to memorize the selected contents, he expected to only be able to memorize parts of it because of their sheer volume.
The memorization process went a little smoother than he thought. His brains appeared to be wired in a way that easily accepted an influx of raw data. It kind of felt like the time he bought Senior-level Physics from the System!
Back then, an enormous amount of knowledge forcibly bore into his mind!
Compared to that previous painful event, memorizing a few thousands of pages of highly abstruse knowledge felt a little difficult but not as much as he thought.
"It's as if my mind has turned into a mental library. I can store as much content as I want without having to read through them yet!"
This unexpected advantage accelerated his memorization process as Ves experienced no limitations while he crammed pages after pages into his mind!
The more he memorized, the more he became accustomed to the task. He developed various techniques to hasten his memorization, and while they didn't cut down on the time too much, every little bit helped.
By the time a week had gone by and the encryption software finally scrambled the contents of the data chip into pure nonsense, Ves sighed and wearily leaned back against his chair.
He not only managed to memorize all of the contents marked out by Chief Avanaeon, but he also memorized a little bit extra in the form of extra theories and explanations that would help him understand the basics without having to expend too much time into deducing them himself.
Along with that, he also accessed the local database and downloaded a handful of absolutely essential engineer textbooks that Ves needed to go through first before he could tackle FTL drive theory.
Unlike the restricted textbooks, the simpler knowledge came with fewer restrictions. With his access privileges which was equivalent to a chief engineer's, he did not have to worry about his books expiring on them. Anyone could study something similar from the galactic net, though not as easily.
"Looks like you're finally done." Ketis spoke from the side. "You spazzed out for an entire week. Why are you trying to hard to understand FTL theory?"
"Because I have a small hunch I might need it. Don't you think you want to know how to repair and configure a salvaged FTL drive if you ever became stranded and separated from the fleet?"
"You are way too paranoid, you know. I think if we ever end up in a situation like that, we're screwed anyway."
"We'll see in the future whether my precautions bear fruit." Ves stated carefully. "I've been screwed too many times to count, and many times I ended up in a worse situation than I ought to because of a lack of preparation. This time I've tried hard to make my preparations beforehand. All of my side projects are geared towards expanding my capabilities, and they've already shown their worth several times."
Ketis couldn't argue with that, though she wasn't fully aware of all the times he successfully employed his signal jammer and stealth detector to good effect. She currently held onto the Mark I versions of his gadgets. While they lacked the raw power of his high-powered devices, they might still be of use to her at some later point.
Ves checked the fleet's progress to the Aeon Corona System. So far, they had already spent a week into FTL, but Chief Engineer Avanaeon as well as a couple of very smart science officers determined that they had only just crested the half-way point of their journey.
The spacetime anomaly surrounding the Aeon Corona System effectively slowed down their advance in the higher dimensions. The best way Avanaeon described it in a report was as if an aircar attempted to fly against hurricane-level winds.
Not only did the aircar face a lot of resistance than normal, it also had to expend more effort into remaining stable and on course.
Replace that aircar with a combat carrier and replace the winds with gravitic spacetime ripples and that described their situation in a nutshell.
With an estimated week to go before the fleet finally arrived at the Aeon Corona System, Ves decided to complete yet another side project in the agenda.
"Hey, Ketis? You know a thing or two about combat armor, right? Would you like to help me design and craft my own suit of combat armor?"
Her eyes instantly shone. "That sounds fun!"