During the first test, nothing happened. The first variant of the neural interface came online and connected with the lobotomized brains of the first test subject.
However, the neural interface somehow refused to establish a connection with the organic antenna grown inside the skull of the wild god.
Ves frowned. "What's wrong?"
"The neural interface isn't able to establish a connection with the wild god. It's as if it can't detect the wild god!"
The first test therefore ended in a dud.
When they placed the second dwarf test subject in the restraining chair, they performed the same test.
"It's the same result, Mr. Larkinson! The neural interface isn't making a connection with the wild god's mind!"
The third test with the third dwarf captive proceeded exactly the same, as did the fourth test.
"Okay. It seems the problem lies with the hardware of this variant." Ves sighed in disappointment. "The first variant is supposed to be the safest, but evidently it's too conservative to actually work."
The chances of the first variant being able to work at all had always been the smallest. Yet if Ves succeeded with it, the chances of dangerous complications would have surely been the smallest as well.
This illustrated that the safest option hadn't been drastic enough to achieve the radical outcome they desired.
They needed to push the envelope.
"Alright, switch out the first variant for the second variant." Ves commanded. "I refuse the second version won't work."
"What about the four dwarf captives?"
"Return them to their cells. If we need some spare bodies, we can always make use of them later."
The experiments proceeded apace. Once some technicians switched out the first variant with the second variant, they brought out the fifth dwarf captive.
If the first variant neural interface represented the safest option, then the second variant pursued the opposite.
Ves held himself back the least when he designed the second variant! It held the most potential of all the variants, and if successful facilitated the deepest and most immerse man-beast connection.
However, all of those possibilities came with some very serious costs. To be frank, Ves did not dare to hope for a success. He only developed this risky variant in the first place in order to verify some theories and gather more data.
In order to develop the best neural interface for best riders, Ves needed to see what could go wrong.
"Alright, let's conduct the fifth test!"
Nothing exciting happened in the first thirty seconds. The neural interface started to establish a connection with the mind of the fifth dwarf captive. Once a firm connection emerged, the variant started to reach out its wireless tentacles to the subdued wild god.
It took some time for this connection to engage. Unlike with the first variant, the second variant managed to detect the wild god's organic antenna and successfully began to interface with it. This was a good sign!
"The man-beast connection is beginning to emerge!"
"The life signs of the dwarf has remained stable, no, his heart beat is starting to race!"
Alarms rang out of the control panels of the researchers as several anomalous signs emerged. The fifth dwarf captive started to scream as his body became wracked with pain!
"The neural interface is overstimulating the nerves of our test subject!"
"The amount of data being sent through the neural interface is hitting through the safe upper limits! The test subject can't take this much data!"
"Mr. Larkinson, please increase the settings of the filters!"
"No." Ves shook his head. "Not for this test. I want to establish a baseline for the second variant. There is a chance the flow of data will subside."
In the end, the dwarf succumbed. His brains practically fried until he became braindead. There was no saving his mind after that. Some of the researchers looked disappointed, but not too surprised. Ves maintained his composure during the entire ordeal.
"Take out the trash and put the sixth dwarf captive in the restraints." He ordered. "Adjust the second variant's filters by twenty percent."
The sixth dwarf captive lasted three minutes longer under the torture. The wildling died in the exact same way as the previous dwarf. The second variant simply exchanged too much data, and much of it consisted of junk data as well.
For the seventh test, Ves increased the intensity of the filters by fifty percent.
The seventh dwarf captive lasted eleven minutes longer than the sixth, but died the same way!
The eight dwarf captive lasted half an hour more, yet barely became functional enough after that!
Overall, the daring innovations that Ves incorporated into the second variant had all been duds! He went way too far with its design and overlooked some crucial interactions that turned out to have deadly results.
No matter. Ves smiled because he gathered a lot of pertinent data. With the help of the lessons learned from these lethal tests, he became much more confident in designing a safer neural interface.
"Alright, that's enough for the second variant. Let's proceed with the third variant."
The third variant attempted to do something new. The neural interface wasn't anything special, but Ves beefed up its programming and added various lines of code inspired by the code used in the Farund Affair.
Basically, the third variant attempted to brainwash the wearer of the helmet into becoming a better beast rider, among other hidden instructions.
Ves couldn't do much more because he could only adapt from a limited sample of code. He didn't possess the expertise to develop completely original programming for a neural interface.
Naturally, Ves didn't tell anyone in the beast rider project of his intentions. He simply presented the third variant as one of the more boring alternatives.
"Commence the ninth test."
The ninth test turned out to go wrong right away. Just after the neural interface established a connection with the dwarf captive, the little fellow screamed and bled through his nose.
The fellow didn't even manage to hold out for more than ten seconds!
Ves immediately adopted an ugly face. Something awfully serious went wrong. The programming somehow led to an immediate adverse reaction!
If that had been a mech pilot, then they would have died in the same way most likely!
"Clean up the mess, but don't bring out the tenth captive yet. I'll have to make some adjustments to the third variant."
Fortunately, while Ves didn't hope that something like this might happen, he nonetheless prepared for such an eventuality. He climbed up to the back of the wild god and approached the testing chair. He drew out the third variant neural interface and replaced its firmware with another, more conservative version.
Once he returned, he commanded the tests to resume.
The tenth dwarf captive didn't die at the start, fortunately.
Instead, two minutes in, his entire upper head exploded for some reason!
It took a lot of time for the technicians to clean up the awful mess and sterilize the neural helmet and testing chair.
Most of the researchers still looked spooked by what happened. They had never heard of a neural interface inducing someone's head to physically explode like that!
Ves laughed awkwardly as he climbed up to replace the firmware with yet another version. "I think this is a unique reaction due to the deviated physiology of the dwarfs."
The eleventh test proceeded soon after that. The eleventh dwarf captive didn't scream, bleed through their nose, or blew up their skulls for no reason.
Instead, he fell unconscious and died quietly seven minutes into the test. He didn't become braindead, but instead died for real as his heart gave up the ghost and stopped pumping out blood.
No one could explain why this happened. The more squeamish researchers started having second thoughts about this sequence of tests. Was it truly worth the risk to develop a beast rider neural interface?
What would happen if they switched from a dwarf to a human like Captain Orfan? It was impossible to achieve the exact same results because their genes, physiology and brain structure differed too much.
While neural interfaces ought to work on most variants of human, those subject to more extreme modifications often required their own versions of neural interfaces. This especially applied to mech pilots with a brain structure substantially different from the baseline human norm.
Nonetheless, short of volunteering their own mech pilots as guinea pigs, Ves had no choice but to resort to dwarves when performing his live tests. It was akin to using rats or dogs to test medical treatments meant for humans.
They continued on with the twelfth test along with a final firmware change. Ves held out the most hope for this version because he stripped nearly all of the extra code.
No dice. The twelfth dwarf captive died even faster than the eleventh! Just like the previous test subject, the twelfth dwarf suffered from the same cause of death!
This pretty much told Ves that his attempts at adding some 'creativity' to the programming of the neural interface turned out to be extremely dangerous!Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
No wonder the MTA heavily restricted the development of neural interfaces! It was far too easy to lead mech pilots to their deaths if a mech designer incautiously decided to flex their programming muscles!
"Alright, the third variant is a bust." Ves stated lightly. "Switch it out for the fourth variant and prepare the thirteenth dwarf captive."
The fourth variant incorporated some creative elements as well, but not in its programming thankfully. It was actually the deluxe version of a neural interface as Ves added certain hardware design elements that he'd seen in the neural interfaces of the Parallax Star and the Pale Dancer.
In theory, the additions should allow for a stronger and more stable connection. It held a lot of potential, but cost at least a hundred times more to fabricate due to large amount of trace exotics it drew upon!
As the thirteenth dwarf captive started to interface with the fourth variant, the outcome was anything but luxurious.
The dwarf immediately uttered a painful cry. Through three tortuous minutes, the dwarf managed to hold out until his brains eventually fried.
Ves sighed. "Well, it seems that money can't buy success in this case."
He didn't change anything about the fourth variant and simply let the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth test subjects undergo the exact same conditions.
He watched with interest as the dwarves each held on for different durations. The fourteenth dwarf died in just two minutes, while the fifteenth dwarf lasted thirty-seven minutes. As for the sixteenth test subject, for some miraculous reason he lasted two entire hours without suffering any adverse effects!
"Lucky sixteen! He's our first survivor!"
Only a couple of researchers agreed. A one-in-four success rate was an abysmal result for a neural interface. Even if the sixteenth dwarf captive happened to fall in some sort of sweet spot that strangely allowed him to suffer no adverse effects, it became clear that the fourth variant was far too picky to be adopted as their main focus.
Still, they gathered an enormous amount of data from their first successful attempt at interfacing the mind of a dwarf to the mind of a wild god. Through subsequent tests, they managed to confirm that the dwarf could convey his thoughts to the wild god and vica versa!
No matter if they retired the fourth variant, the successful interfacing attempt at least vindicated all of their hard work.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel!
"Alright, let's end the test for now." Ves commanded with a smile. "Pull the sixteenth dwarf captive back and perform a complete checkup of his body. I want to know everything that has changed since his last checkup. We might stumble upon some unexpected surprises."
Once they brought away Lucky Sixteen, a couple of technicians switched out the fourth variant with the fifth and final variant.
Anticipation grew in Ves as he watched the fifth variant neural interface being slotted in. Out of all the variants, he placed most of his hopes in the fifth variant!
That was because it was the orthodox neural interface!