The Flagrant Swordmaidens unwillingly adjusted to an irregular schedule. Due to the frequent turbulence in the astral winds, the ground forces risked accelerating the wear and tear of their all of their machines.
Ves suspected this ever since he heard about the effects of turbulence. After the meeting, he raced straight to one of the mobile workshops and inspected the damage every mech had incurred every time they set foot.
His fears came true.
Even if the machines didn't immediately break down, the minor faults that resulted from the additional strain eventually built up to a future catastrophe.
For better or worse, if the Flagrant Swordmaidens didn't wish to reach the Starlight Megalodon with hardly any intact mech or transport, then they needed to stop and hunker down each time the higher-dimensional particles started to burp.
The irregular breaks only lasted five to fifteen minutes, but they seriously started to grate on the men. Everyone's moods declined because nobody could predict when they had to stop. By the expedition stopped to let the mech pilots sleep, they all dropped dead in their temporary bunks due to the restlessness in their minds.
Worse yet, even if the ground forces halted entirely, the turbulent spacetime distortion still left their mark on the machines. Though the effect was much less severe than if they kept moving, it still accelerated the overall wear and tear of their machines.
By now, the theory that Ketis casually spouted to Ves somehow spread to all the Vandals and Swordmaidens. With such awful environmental conditions, it was no wonder the natives gave up on technology!
At the very least, it became unfeasible to operate mechs for any significant stretch of time. Ves made some calculations and predicted that even if a mech stood still all the time, it would still become inoperable after a span of a decade!
Even if it did nothing at all, the mere fact that it had come under the influence of thousands of minute variations in the spacetime distortion already simulated the effects of moderate wear-and-tear!
Frustration mounted with the people in charge of keeping the expedition moving. Now that they realized the full extent of the destructive effects of the turbulence, they all cursed as the astral winds. Why couldn't the wind blow in an even pattern like the wind blown from a simple fan?
Even Ves started to buy into the idea that the natives adjusted to a life without any advanced technology because every machine they made would break down eventually.
The only way for anyone to block the destructive effects of turbulence was if they brought a dimensional smoother like the ones used in the Glowing Planet campaign.
However, even those amazing devices wouldn't be able to withstand the power of the astral winds! Activating a dimensional smoother would turn their local area into a spacetime aberration that directly fought against the might of the astral wind directly in front of it! Like a boat in a storm, the area under the influence of the dimensional smoother would directly capsize!
Various science officers, engineers and other experts proposed various solutions, but if the descendants of the crew of the CFA couldn't figure anything out, then who could?
Everyone started to become resigned to the idea of operating under a state of frequent breakdowns and accelerated wear-and-tear. Perhaps the ancient city of Samar may have developed a solution of the problem, but from all accounts it didn't appear too likely at this moment.
"Maybe we should start taming wild gods." Ketis suggested to Ves. Though she often spouted fanciful ideas, under these dire circumstances her suggestion made a lot more sense than usual. "Hear me out. Everything mechanical is in trouble, right? I don't see the native wildlife suffering from the same problems. So why not go ahead and try and tame them? They're so big and heavy that they can probably carry a couple of containers on their backs."
Ves smiled sardonically at her. "I hate to rain on your parade, Ketis, but we'd have to tame a hundred wild gods or more to carry the same amount of supplies we are bringing with us right now."
"If we have that much wild gods, what do we need mechs for?"
"They're slow and they don't have any ranged attacks."
"Then we'll just mount our guns on their backs! Problem solved!"
These ridiculously simple solutions sounded so absurd that Ves didn't bother continuing with the conversation. The Flagrant Swordmaidens both depended on their mechs to perform their mission. Abandoning all of their machines because the environment gave them a hard time wasn't in their blood.
No matter how harsh the environment tried to beat them down, they would continue to endure!
The only problem was that a couple of experts predicted that the turbulence would only grow more violent the closer they got the the Starlight Megalodon. If they extrapolated the pattern all the way to ground zero, then the distortion grew so intense that nothing should be able to exist at the origin!
Obviously, the situation was probably more complicated than that, or else the Starlight Megalodon would have long been wiped out the instant her FTL drive malfunctioned. In any case, the Flagrant Swormaidens would figure it out eventually.
If somehow they couldn't find a solution, then maybe the natives or their rivals who also landed their forces on the planet managed to come up with something. As long as one of them figured out a solution, then the Flagrant Swordmaidens could always trade or snatch the solution for themselves.
"I don't believe that any of us will leave this planet empty-handed. Too much is at stake." He muttered.
Their progress averaged thirty kilometers a day, which wasn't too shabby despite the frequent pauses. Even though most mechs could easily traverse this distance in fifteen minutes, they'd have to leave behind the heavy transports. The mechs would never be able to last in the wild by themselves before running out of energy in a matter of hours!
Still, even if the planners expected the expedition to move at such an agonizingly slow pace didn't mean that the men and women enjoyed it. The mech pilots who had become used to short but intensive deployments couldn't adapt to this overly sedate pace of marching.
On any other planet, if the mechs wanted to traverse a long distance, they could have just boarded a transport which could easily ship them halfway across the planet in a jiffy.
That wasn't possible now!
To the mech pilots, Aeon Corona VII seemed to have ballooned in size. It took so long for them to traverse a meager distance that they felt as if they were ancient infantrymen marching on foot!
Still, slow progress or not, they eventually made it out of the wastes claimed by Hokaz. Arid, uneven ground made way for uneven grasslands interspersed with sparse forests.
It was here that they began to encounter the native wildlife. Large packs of predators stalked the vast herds of herbivores. Due to the high nutritional level of the grass and plants, the land sustained a lot of animals.
For some reason, the dumb beasts didn't behave too vigilantly in front of the walking train of mechs and transports. The mechs had to scare the witless creatures off before they blocked the path of their transports.
The Flagrant Swordmaidens even spotted their second wild god. This one consisted of a different subrace. Older by the last one by at least two centuries, this larger beast looked a lot more formidable.
However, so long as the beast did not walk into the path of the expedition, the Flagrant Swordmaidens were disinclined to butcher the beast.
It was at this time one of the scouts encountered the first tribe of wildlings!
Captain Byrd called for another meeting and presented the footage of the wildling tribe.
According to the blessed people, the wildlings were devoid of the blessings of the sacred gods. They were cursed to eke out an existence far outside the walls of the ancient cities as well as their perpetual antigrav fields.
"I thought their existence was a myth. It sounds so strange that humanity on this planet has split in two." A mech officer uttered.
The footage couldn't be more stark. The scout mech employed its long-ranged sensors to capture clear footage of the tribe of dwarves as they appeared to follow a nomadic pattern of life.
"Are those godlings?"
"They are." Dr. Tillman judged. "If I'm not mistaken, the pack animals that they are using to carry their goods are juvenile wild gods. None of them appear to be less than thirty years old."
The dwarfs each rode on the back of lizard-like creatures, each of which at least reached the size of an aircar. More powerful-looking dwarves garbed in fancier leathers and armed with weapons carved in bone rode on even larger godlings that matched the size of a shuttle.
If the blessed people at least relied on the ancient cities left behind by their forefathers, then the cursed people didn't have anything left to depend upon!
Still, despite being exposed to the full effects of the planet's gravity, neither the godlings or the wildlings displayed any discomfort.
Certainly, they moved as slow as the herds of animals that grazed these lands, but they at least showed that their species had adapted to the planet's gravity to such an extent that they possessed a stronger claim for dominance than the blessed people with their weaker bones and muscles!
Baseline humans simply couldn't step foot outside of their ancient cities without blacking out or breaking their bones!
Baseline humans wouldn't be able to give birth to any children to perpetuate their race outside the city walls, because their babies simply wouldn't be able to survive long enough to grow into adults!
In the perspective of natural selection, the dwarves or a species evolved from them were destined to take over the entire planet in time. It might take a thousand years, a hundred thousand years, perhaps even longer, but eventually their dominance over Aeon Corona VII was inevitable.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Of course, this only applied as long as humans and aliens from the stars didn't come and intervene. Everyone expected the CFA to send out a rescue fleet in time and deliver the poor savages from salvation.
Until then, the Flagrant Swordmaidens had to come up with an approach to treat with these savages.
"They don't look like they're useful to us." Ves stated with a critical eye. "This tribe only consists of a couple of hundred people. Their weapons are made of godling bone and their housing consists of tents. What knowledge can they possibly provide us?"
Captain Byrd nodded her head. "I'm inclined to agree with you. Even if the dwarfs are capable of interfacing with a wild god, it's probably reserved to the larger tribes."
"Why are these people nomadic?" Someone asked. "Shouldn't they settle down at a single place? What forces them to keep moving?"
Nobody could answer this question, but a handful of people tried to supply an explanation. Perhaps the wild gods trampled over their villages each time they erected one. Perhaps they hunted the territory around their village to exhaustion. Perhaps they simply didn't like to stick around in one place.
No matter what, everyone was convinced that the nomadic lifestyle of the wildlings prevented them from developing as a society. They appeared to be stuck in a tribal age for many generations that they never contemplated doing anything else!
"I think.. we should at least try to talk to them." Dr. Tillman suggested. "If nothing else, interacting with these wildlings will give us a baseline on what to expect if we meet a more formidable tribe of heavy gravity variants of the human race.
Captain Byrd took the suggestion into consideration. "Maybe you have a point. However, we'll need to be careful. According to the blessed people, these cursed people are all universally hostile to the blessed people. Even if the dwarfs don't look threatening enough, they may be hiding a trick or two up their sleeves. I'll discuss the option with the Swordmaidens."