The Flagrant Swordmaidens finally went back underway after seventeen days of rushed repair and salvage efforts.
Properly speaking, most of their mechs received only superficial repairs. Captain Byrd ordered the Vandal mech technicians to prioritize restoring the mobility of most of their heavily-damaged mechs.
They could complete other repairs along the way. The important point right now was to get back on the move in order to spoil the plans of whoever sicced the Caged Tongs at them. Humans instinctively resist the designs of others on them. The Flagrant Swordmaidens wanted to spite whoever forced them to suffer a delay.
While Ves still diverted much of his time with supervising the continuous repair efforts, he started to return to his design project whenever had the time to do so.
When Ves last touched the design, he upped its laser weapon caliber. This wasn't as simple as replacing its laser rifle barrels with laser cannon barrels and calling it a day. He also had to revise the internal architecture in order to cope with the increased energy expenditure and heat generation.
The work and the latest modifications diverged somewhat from his initial vision to design an extremely simple and reliable mech that could withstand the breakdown effect.
One of the assets the Flagrant Swordmaidens obtained from the Caged Tongs consisted of their databanks. When Ves browsed through the maintenance logs and other documents pertaining to the servicing of their mechs, he gained a much greater understanding of how devious the breakdown effect did its best to screw over mechs and other machines for that matter.
The logs from the fallen ground force provided a lot of interesting reading materials. The only unfortunate fact was that the Red Tongs weren't really diligent in their paperwork. Their records mostly consisted of haphazard reports written by mech technicians jacked up with three or more stimulants.
"It's a wonder they kept their mechs in working condition in the first place." Ves commented with disgust. "With this kind of work ethic, they probably do half the work in twice the time, and that's only on their good days."
At least the more sober and disciplined mech technicians of Caged knew how to do their jobs properly. The disparity in the meticulousness of their records underscored how much of a difference discipline and good direction made in the operation of a maintenance department.
If Ves had to glean any lessons from these observations, it was that he should never be too lenient and let his subordinates devolve into good-for-nothing bums.
While Ves had a lot to complain about when it came to the Vandal mech technicians, in the end their productivity ranked among the best of all the maintenance crews he witnessed. The only ones who worked better were those assigned to more proper military mech regiments.
He found it interesting that she same amount of personnel in different forces could exhibit such vastly different traits. Training, talent, age, upbringing, life experiences and more all shaped them into different forms of mech technicians.
While Ves hadn't obtained the formula on how to train the perfect mech technician, at least he knew what not to do. Doing awful stuff like allowing his mech technicians to work while drunk or injected with stimulants should be the biggest mistake. Letting them work without adequate supervision or direction was another mistake.
"I should get back to work."
He quietly resumed to perfect and optimize the design of the Enduring Protector. While Beast Rider Bubal started to grow impatient at being locked away in his mind, Ves firmly held the rambunctious living image in place. Once Beast Rider Bubal moved into the design of the Enduring Protector, many of its core aspects could no longer be changed without suffering repercussions.
He pitted the evolving iterations of his design through numerous simulations, modelling each and every aspect of its performance. He even spent some time to formulate a mathematical model that simulated the effects of the breakdown effect.
Once he subjected the Enduring Protector to this simulation, he roughly developed a rough impression on how long the mech could last on its own.
"One month or less." Ves grimaced. "Is that enough time to complete the mission?"
The Flagrant Swordmaidens had no idea what they might find at the crash site.
Perhaps the battleship degraded into a rusted heap of hull structures after a couple of millennia of being exposed to the elements.
Perhaps the survivors cannibalized large portions of the city-sized battleship and developed a thriving, high-tech stronghold around the crash site.
Perhaps the survivors broke into quarreling factions that flung all kinds of weapons of mass destruction at their camps, causing the entire surroundings of the crash site to be turned into a radioactive wasteland.
Depending on what the Flagrant Swordmaidens might encounter, the mission could last from a couple of days to a couple of months!
Despite the substantial delays, the Flagrant Swordmaidens knew they neared the most forbidden place on Seven. Deep in the storm lands, the Starlight Megalodon beckoned to them like a lighthouse in the dark.
"Time is getting short. I can't tinker around with the design forever." Ves sighed as he studied the latest iteration of his design.
He added less and less refinements over time as the law of diminishing returns came into effect. After solving most of the obvious flaws and weak points, it took too much effort to resolve the remaining problems.
While it annoyed Ves beyond belief to leave his third original design at a state where he could still improve upon, he knew that he needed to leave enough time for the next steps in the plan.
"It's time to pull the trigger."
Ves breathed deeply before concentrating his mind. The image of Beast Rider Bubal triumphantly entered the spiritual space of the design projected in front of his eyes.
The transfer finally happened!
As Bubal and his bonded wild god settled into their new homes with enthusiasm, Ves perceived that the design had instantly gained a compelling charm.
This was the effect of its X-Factor. It added spiritual weight to the design and forced every person to become affected by the values and messages that Ves imparted into it. Even the most spiritually blind person in the galaxy couldn't miss this design!
"Too bad I don't have a handy evaluation report in my hands."
Without the System, Ves couldn't tell how good of a job he did with the Enduring Protector. He guessed that many of its parameters received a low grade due to how much he prioritized reliability and endurance over performance.
Still, Ves felt as if the X-Factor of the Enduring Protector should be able to match the X-Factor of the Crystal Lord in strength. Even if Ves didn't rely on the spiritual fragment of a long-dead alien leader as the core of the image of Beast Rider Bubal, he found it extremely fitting to base his images around the local life forms.
The Enduring Protector design only needed to fulfill a single role during a single mission. Aeon Corona VII was one of the most extreme environments that Ves ever had to design a mech for, but he hoped that by instilling his design with the hardy and adaptable qualities of the wildlings and wild gods, it would be able to last a little longer than it did in the simulations!
"Mathematical models can calculate a lot of things, but it can't model inexplicable metaphysics."
Perhaps one day, humanity might be able to measure, quantify and define the effects associated with spirituality. When that day came, it wouldn't take long for new mathematical models to emerge that could calculate spirituality to a highly accurate degree.
...Or not. Ves believed that spirituality was intricately associated with life, especially complex, sentient life.
"Even up to now, humanity has never managed to model a complete human consciousness, though not for lack of trying."
Future advancements aside, for now Ves needed to rely on the System or his own intuition to judge whether he had done a good job. Since he had a good feeling about the finished product, Ves did not see any cause for concern.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"My design is finally done!"
Ves had no one to celebrate his success with. No one else sat behind the banks of terminals in the mobile workshop. Ves wasn't close to any of the chief technicians, and Ketis already had her hands full with assisting Mayra in managing the Swordmaiden repair efforts. She put the lessons she learned to good use.
He sighed. "If everything goes according to plan, this should be the last time I design an original mech alone."
After he wrapped up his design project, he reported to Captain Byrd and presented the finished design. The meeting didn't last very long as the only major change from his prior presentation about the design project amounted to increasing the power of its laser armaments.
All the other minor tweaks and refinements elicited no interest from the mech officer. Only someone with a technical or engineering background would be able to realize the significance of those optimizations.
"Captain, do I have your permission to begin production of this new design?" He asked at the end of his brief report.
"Might as well." Captain Byrd waved dismissively. She had grown a lot more tired over the months. Leading the ground expedition kept taking a toll on her health and peace of mind. "Start with one and see if it performs according to your expectations. We don't have the time to go through an elaborate testing process, so limit your adjustments to quick fixes only."
"Understood. Those are my intentions as well. I don't plan to let my design linger while we're only less than a month away from reaching the red zone."
The long trek finally neared their destination. Ves knew that he had to get a hurry on with this project in order to fabricate a sufficient amount of breakdown-proof mechs to become a significant factor in the upcoming deployment plans.
After Ves received the required permissions, he commandeered a crew of mech technicians and dumped the design on their laps. "This is the finished design of the breakdown-proof frontline mech that I've worked on. It predominantly consists of outdated but reliable parts so it shouldn't be any difficulty for you to fabricate them according to their specifications. Even though the parts are simple, I don't want to see any sloppiness from you bunch, got that?! I swear if one of you screws up, I'll force you to brush Qilanxo's teeth!"
With the amount of prestige that Ves enjoyed among the Vandals, he had no need to issue such a threat. He did so anyway because he really did not wish to screw up the very first copy of his design.
Even if the first production mech didn't carry any significance this time, Ves still wanted to be as thorough as possible. However, he also needed to be brisk and allow the mech technicians to become accustomed to fabricating its parts.
This was why he immediately involved the mech technicians in the fabrication process instead of doing everything himself. Right now, Ves did not care too much about imparting a gold label-like X-Factor on the first copy of the Enduring Protector.
"The mechs will only be of use for a couple of weeks at most. There's no need to invest an excessive amount of affection on these disposable machines."
In the following day, Ves supervised the mech technicians as they churned out part after part. The small, limited-capacity 3D printers worked far too slow to his tastes. The delicate machines suffered very poorly against the breakdown effect, and the mech technicians frequently had to halt their work in order to correct some minor misalignments inside the machine.
It took twice as much time to finish what should have been a fairly simple set of tasks.
"It's a good thing I've accounted for the additional delays." Ves sighed in relief. "Even with this poor level of efficiency, I think we can still manage to fabricate enough Enduring Protectors to form a complete squad."