Ves and Mayra chatted some more about the unusual circumstances of the planet. Eventually, they drew back to the original topic of the meeting.
"Have you figured out any way to shield our mechs and machines from the breakdown effect?"
Mayra frowned a bit. "I've poured a lot of time and effort into this very issue. Did you know what I learned?"
"What did you find out?" Ves asked.
"The mech models that I've personally designed are breaking down ever so slightly less. It's not only due to my mastery of their designs and my modifications. I've performed an extensive statistical analysis and there is an outside factor that can't be attributed to what I've mentioned before. The only mechs this protection applies to are my own mechs!"
Ves didn't doubt her words. A Journeyman Mech Designer wouldn't botch something as simple as a statistical analysis.
That caused him to think of the next step. If an outside factor existed that already protected some of the Swordmaiden mechs, could they leverage this influence?
He even already honed in on the fact that only her personally-developed models resisted the breakdown effect better.
Was it the X-Factor?!
Though Ves had seen the Devil Razor and the Silver Valencia in person and didn't perceive any special X-Factor, they still possessed a small advantage compared to generic mechs.
Mayra explicitly designed the Devil Razor and some other designs as the exclusive mechs of the Swordmaidens! Not only did she design them by herself, preventing others from polluting her vision for her mechs, they also inherited her affection for the Swordmaidens!
A labor of love differed dramatically and carried an entirely different meaning than a commercial product bought from the market or scavenged from the battlefield. The internal Swordmaiden mechs not only carried Mayra's affection, they were also well-loved products by the Swordmaiden mech pilots themselves.
Therefore, even if their X-Factor didn't amount to much compared to a mech designed by Ves, they possessed their own charm that gave them a tiny edge over other pirate outfits.
It may have been one of the reasons why Lydia's Swordmaidens managed to survive for so long.
Still, broaching this subject touched upon his own advantages. Though he respected Mayra immensely, it didn't mean he wanted to hand over priceless secrets for free.
So for now, Ves could only approach the issue from an indirect angle.
"Maybe the fact that you are the designer who is in close proximity to your designs is the difference."
Mayra frowned at Ves. "While that is a potentially logical argument, it's also poorly conceived. What difference does it make if I'm the designer?"
"Well, is there another answer that can explain it better?"
"The breakdown effect is caused by the spacetime distortions originating from the turbulence in the flow of higher-dimensional particles above our heads. Nothing about them is related to the fact that I'm in the vicinity of the mechs I've designed! Correlation does not necessarily imply causation!"
She basically stated that Ves was being nonsensical. It was like saying that someone was a genocidal murderer because he wore the same mustache as an infamous villain.
"Look, Mayra, just sit still for a moment and think. Can you come up with a better explanation than this?"
While Mayra already developed several possibilities, they sounded even less plausible. However, to accept the suggestion by Ves would force her to surrender to metaphysics.
Mech designers instinctively avoided metaphysical phenomena unless they aimed to harness them. In every other case, metaphysical phenomena only added to their burdens.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Let's say your guess is correct." She said, not quite taking it seriously yet but contemplating the possibilities if it was true. "What do you want to do?"
"It's simple. We can design a new mech that's adapted to the environment!"
"Design a new mech?"
Ves came up with this idea as soon as he heard Mayra's observation. Wasn't this the best solution? Not only would they design a mech that would hopefully enjoy some spiritual protection, they could also make specific changes to their mechs that allowed them to fit the environment even better than their regular mechs.
"Think about it." Ves spoke. "Before we reached Aeon Corona VII, we heavily underestimated the difficulties we'd face. We only expected heavy gravity, but it turns out the surface is wracked with the breakdown effect as well. Most of our mechs will fare exceptionally poorly if they stray within a thousand kilometers of the crash site, and they can forget about functioning at all if they enter within a range of about a hundred kilometers. It's clear to me that pretty much our entire mech roster is too unsuited to the task of fighting close to the Starlight Megalodon."
"So your idea is to design a new mech that can conceivably operate within the vicinity of the battleship?" Mayra gave the suggestion a deep thought. "Even if the relationship you mentioned earlier didn't exist, it's still a viable idea to pursue. However, we'll be faced with severe restrictions. While it's not too difficult to design a mech in the field, it's very hard to fabricate them with our equipment and resources."
This was the biggest limitations they faced. Right now, they brought enough equipment and supplies to maintain and repair their mechs. It was a stretch to state they brought enough to fabricate new mechs.
While Ves acknowledged those limitations, he was already used to designing mechs under difficult conditions.
He grinned at Mayra. "I don't think those are serious disadvantages. Let's think about what kind of mech can best resist the breakdown effect. It has to be as mechanically robust and simple as possible! The best performing mech isn't necessarily the most complex one. Rather, the best mech is one that is extremely simple while retaining sufficient combat strength to deal with equivalent threats! There's no question to me that our rivals will eventually resort to the same solution as ours."
Mayra mused while she ran with the idea. "If the breakdown effect will grow as severe as we think it will reach, then our mech designs will have to be dumbed down. There's also a question whether the entire mech needs to carry a gravitic backpack."
"You want to do away with the backpacks?"
"They're too large, unwieldy and mechanically complex. They're already a huge vulnerability for our regular mechs, but they will be prone to failure once they're carried within a hundred kilometer range of the Starlight Megalodon."
Ves tried to imagine a mech that had to resist both the breakdown effect and the crushing gravity. A dormant need within him to design a mech became stirred. He really missed this sensation!
Still, an important question popped up. "Since we're already discussing the possibility of designing a new mech, should we pool our abilities together and design a joint mech?"
If the two of them jointly designed a mech, they could potentially create a very strong mech for its intended purpose. Mayra may not be the kind of mech designer who flexed her design chops, but as a Journeyman Mech Designer she was both capable and practical.
While Ves still fell short in some areas, his theoretical foundation was just as good as hers, if not better. He also brought a very huge hidden benefit to the table with his ability to foster the X-Factor in any design he worked upon.
While a joint design may complicate its X-Factor, Ves did not think the final product would disappoint.
Unfortunately, Mayra shot the idea down.
"No." She immediately shook her head. "While it's helpful if we can combine our strong points and compensate for our weak points, it's not very tactful to develop a shared design. While we are still close allies, the proper separation has to be maintained."
Ves was a little disappointment that his ploy had failed to gain traction. He wanted to work alongside her in order to see what was special about Journeyman Mech Designers and what kind of advantages they possessed that justified their stature.
In the mech industry, only Journeyman Mech Designers and higher were considered real mech designers! Even if Ves had an inflated sense of self-worth, he keenly recognized that he still faced many limits as an Apprentice.
He wanted to advance so badly, but he was still a way off!
Still, Mayra had a point. Ves calmed down and accepted her logic.
"Okay. I'll have to discuss this with Captain Byrd, but I think I can gain her approval to design a completely new mech that can cope with the breakdown effect. However, even if we are designing separate mechs, what do you say about swapping some ideas? Designing a new mech is a lot easier if we can receive feedback from each other."
"I'm fine with that, as long as they don't touch upon the strategic points of our mechs. Let's keep it basic."
Ves and Mayra proceeded to brainstorm some ideas for their upcoming designs.
"First off, the mech has to be a quadruped." Marya stated. "A bipedal mech is inherently more unstable and can be knocked down or tipped over with sufficient force. It's not that easy for a mech to stand up once it falls. On the battlefield, a bipedal mech that takes minutes to climb up its feet will almost certainly be wrecked."
Ves agreed with her suggestion. "A two-legged mech is just begging to be knocked flat on its back. A six-legged mech has two more legs than necessary that weigh it down and waste more energy. A four-legged mech on the other hand is exceptionally stable while still allowing for a light design. Do you think the weight class of the mech can be light or medium?"
"It's better for us to design a light mech. Many of the failures result from an enormous amount of force being pressed upon an improperly-aligned part. Light mechs are some of the least complex mechs and they don't put too much weight on the limbs."
"A light mech won't have much armor, though."
"A medium mech expends too much energy. Minimizing the mass of our mechs should be a top priority."
"That's going to be hard to accomplish with four legs. I can foresee that the mobility of our mech designs won't be anything impressive either."
"The designs don't have to be impressive. They have to be functional and suitable for the purpose."
This was the key. The mech had to be suitable for the purpose. This meant that even if the spec sheets of their designs were something to cry about, as long as they fulfilled their intended purpose, so what!
After a brief back-and-forth, Ves started to develop a vague vision for a potential breakdown-proof design.
It would be one of the worst mechs he'd ever designed. Due to the need to design a four-legged mech, Ves began to consider shaping his design in the form of a bestial mech.
In fact, Mayra already considered designing something like a tiger mech. Such a mech allowed the Swordmaidens to channel their ferocity in another way. Though it would be something of a glass cannon due to its weak armor and disappointing mobility, it could nonetheless tear apart any opponent that entered its range.
Meanwhile, Ves eventually rejected the option of designing a bestial mech as the Vandal mech pilots generally didn't possess the experience or capability to pilot such mechs. The same applied to the Swordmaidens, but they were practically elites among pirates, so they should be able to adjust to the form a lot faster than the average Vandal mech pilot.
Therefore, Ves began to develop a bold idea. Why not eschew the conventional humanoid and bestial shapes and follow an original path?
"A simple, four-legged mech doesn't necessarily have to look like a wolf, tiger, horse or anything else that runs on four legs. Why not simply it further and design a frontline mech?"
Of all the possible mech types in existence, the frontline mech was as simple as a mech designer could get! The more Ves contemplated the notion, the more he became enamoured by it. While he had never designed a frontline mech before, he occasionally dreamed of doing so.