As a Journeyman Mech Designer raised in the frontier, Mayra imparted some unique properties in her mech designs that Ves rarely saw in designs from civilized space.
First and foremost, pirates and pirate designers completely disregarded the existence of licenses. As long as the design or technical specifications of a good component could be found on the galactic net or in other shady circles, they'd be sure possess them. Any decent person could unearth a lot of great mech and component designs from the galactic net, though most tended to be rather outdated.
No component design remained a secret forever. The only practical limitations posed by pirates who pirated other designs was that most of them incorporated difficult to work with or extremely rare materials. This was actually the best form of protection for their intellectual property, though the more restrictions they imposed, the less attractive they became to legitimate customers.
Mech designers operating under the sphere of influence of the MTA deeply respected the current licensing regime. Plagiarism, corporate espionage and outright stealing ran rife before the MTA introduced the licensing regime.
The Mech Trade Association knew that mech designers always sought for shortcuts. Nobody wanted to reinvent the wheel when someone else already developed a good wheel already. The licensing regime basically legitimized the practice of copying someone else's work and made sure the original developers received their fair share in exchange for putting their works on display.
Of course, pirates completely ignored these restrictions.
The felinid beast mechs that marched out from their ranks immediately made a striking impression on Ves. While others saw a lean light leopard-shaped mech that appeared to be excellent for flanking and hit-and-run attacks, Ves saw a collection of bestseller mech components seamlessly merged together into a great design.
Word quickly spread from the Swordmaiden ranks. Mayra named her leopard mech as the Asteria!
"What a great design!" Ves sighed.
He truly meant that. While Mayra also prioritized reliability and endurance in designing the Asteria, she shamelessly made use of historically famed and brilliant mech components, some of which had been developed for internal use by top-tier organizations in the past and had never been licensed out. These excellent, high-performing components all brought out the highest potential of the Asteria beast mechs.
Ves walked over to the ranks of the Swordmaidens and sought out Marya and Ketis.
"Hey Ves! What's up?" Ketis chirped.
"I'm fine. How is your training lately? Have you kept up with your studies."
"Errr.. somewhat." She laughed awkwardly. "Let's not talk about that."
"Ketis has been spending more time on her sword training lately." Mayra said with a disapproving expression. "I thought we went over this. You're a mech designer, not a warrior."
"It's too dangerous here! A fight could break out at any moment! I have to be as ready as possible to defend myself!"
"If any threat comes in our way, our mechs will take care of it, Ketis. What can you do against a mech by yourself and your sword?"
"I can still slice their legs!"
Ves imagined Ketis walking up to an enemy mech and ineffectually hacking her sword at its feet. The outcome wouldn't be much different than the idiotic dwarf warriors who thought they could fell a mech by banging against them with their bone clubs.
"I must say Mayra, I admire your Asteria design. I must say it's a risky choice to discard defense in exchange for offensive."
If Ves limited himself to designing a melee mech instead of a ranged mech, then he would have surrendered to the planet's harsh gravity and designed a defense-oriented mech. He possessed enough familiarity with knight mechs to design a reliable and relatively energy-efficient medium knight mech.
Yet Mayra subverted his expectations and actually went through with designing a mobility-oriented beast mech on a planet that imposed extremely harsh limitations on mobility!
"I understand your puzzlement." Mayra smiled at Ves. "Yet in a battlefield where every mech is as slow as a crawling mech, you only need a slight edge in mobility to gain the initiative. The Asteria has that and more. Its true strength lies in its burst speed. It can leap forward at a speed that surpasses any normal mech under the same conditions."
Ves connected the dots. He swept his eyes back to the Asterias that marched forward until they walked up to the front of the expedition party. Their body structure and limb design seem exceptionally capable of making powerful leaping attacks!
The Asterias couldn't function like knight mechs and form a defensive bulwark against their enemies. However, with Qilanxo covering their defensive needs, the Asterias didn't have to fulfill this role.
Instead, the Asterias served best as flankers, harassers, scouts and ambushers. These offense-oriented mechs could fell any breakdown-proof mech once they pounced upon them with their claws and teeth! As long as they had energy to spare, their burst mobility completely exceeded
Qilanxo, the Asterias and the Enduring Protectors all formed a trinity that covered different needs. Still, the Swordmaidens took on the most dangerous role of all, and the chances of overreaching themselves were too large. Only the best and most disciplined Swordmaiden mech pilot would be able to keep their Asterias intact.
"Let us wish our comrades good luck!"
After sending off the exploration party, the Vandals and Swordmaidens that remained behind shifted into war footing.
While they always prepared themselves for battle, the risks were never greater as now.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Aeon Corona VII was simply too big. As a Super Earth several times the size of Old Earth, Seven's surface area simply gave too much room for isolated forces to hide in. It would have been a coincidence that rival forces bumped into each other. The Caged Tongs only tracked down the Flagrant Swordmaidens after some other party pointed the way, after all.
Yet now that they converged near the Starlight Megalodon, the chances of waging several battles became too acute.
The big problem however was that this close to the source of the astral winds, the breakdown effect had become the killer of mechs. Forget about battling other forces, they first needed to fight against the abnormal environment!
"We should immobilize or shutdown every mech and machine at our disposal when not absolutely needed." Ves said in an emergency meeting shortly after sending off the exploration party. "The mechs on patrol and scouting assignments are breaking down several times faster than the ones that are sitting still."
Chief Dakkon nodded. "I agree, though it would also make us blind to any machines that have quietly degraded to the point of breaking down completely."
"We still need mechs to patrol and to guard our supply train against surprise attacks. What I'm suggesting is that we calculate the optimal number of active mechs that our mech technicians can cope with. If we make use of too many active mechs, then our mech technicians will be swamped with work. If we put too few mechs to use, we'd be putting spare capacity to waste while decreasing the strength of our first responders."
Captain Byrd grimaced at the difficult consideration. "I understand. Chief Dakkon, Mr. Larkinson, please work out your proposals quickly. On this issue, I prefer to lean towards caution. I'd rather have too many mechs active at any time than to put too many of them on ice. There is an extremely high chance of facing our fellow rivals from the stars, and we cannot afford to be caught flat-footed against them. In addition, there are also unknown native threats about, of which we've only caught traces of so far."
"I'll do the best I can, captain, but the mech technicians won't like it. I think I can kick them into a higher gear for some time, but they'll eventually burn out if they have to deal with excessive work loads day in day out." Ves replied with both caution and determination.
Their commanding officer caught the underlying message. She snorted. "The time for slacking off is over. It's showtime right now. Everyone needs to put a hundred-and-twenty percent of their effort into their duties. Those who want to get away with less are doing their fellow Vandals a disservice."
The Vandals had become too accustomed to their simple routines. It was time to shake them out of their complacency and work them to bone. At this stage, anyone who put less effort in their jobs directly dragged down the rest of the team!
Once the servicemen received their new work schedules, a lot of grumbling and complaints emerged, but what could they do? Even if they tended to be dummies, the Vandals weren't stupid. Deep down, they knew that every little bit of effort would be needed in order to survive the coming challenges.
While Ves became increasingly swamped with work as well, he did his best to delegate all of the lesser tasks to others. Though the low-ranking mech designers and incompetent chief technicians couldn't handle every difficult issue that emerged, they at least learned how to depend on themselves over the past months.
If the same kind of fault happened more than twenty times, the mech technicians had to be absolute morons if they still couldn't resolve the issue by themselves.
The great thing about the breakdown effect was that it gave the mech technicians a lot of practice in resolving faults. The sheer amount of issues they dealt with on a daily basis practically elevated their problem solving capabilities to a higher level.
Ves stared sat on top of a heavy transport and looked out towards the depth of the red zone.
Just a hundred kilometers away, the mythical Starlight Megalodon awaited the arrival of the exploration party.
"I wonder if our boys have reached the battleship. What will they find?"
This close to the source of the anomaly, the terrain started to become a little weird. The surface of the ground grew jagged and uneven, as if a lot of earthquakes wracked the entire region in the past. No tufts of grass covered the lands, and only strange plant growths stubbornly clung to life here.
Deeper in the red zone, the terrain grew rougher and the hills started growing steeper. Still, the vehicles of the exploration party shouldn't have too much trouble navigating the rough terrain. The Enduring Protector and the Asteria both possessed huge advantages. Quadruped generally handled rough terrain better than bipedal mechs.
Ves turned away from the storm lands and surveyed the temporary camp. This time, the Flagrant Swordmaidens only placed down the minimum amount of prefab structures. This was by necessity, because they might be forced to abandon their camp.
At this time, the Vandals activated one of their god crystal generators. The unholy devices which made use of dwarf brains to control the operation of the god crystals creeped a lot of Vandals out, but they couldn't deny their use.
An energy tornado extended high up in the air, and an abundance of potent higher-dimensional energy poured into the god crystals.
The tornado only lasted for a few seconds, because too much energy streamed down in such a short amount of time. The god crystals couldn't hold much more. This close to the Starlight Megalodon, the concentration of higher-dimensional particles was incredibly high, and it would only be worse at ground zero.
Still, Ves couldn't help but adopt a concerned expression at the brief show. Even though the interference in the air was so bad that it would be difficult to spot the energy tornado from a distance, it still telegraphed their position to any scouts that ranged in their direction.
Energy tornados also signified that the Flagrant Swordmaidens possessed a potent and renewable energy source. Their researchers worked hard to develop this solution to solve their energy needs, and Ves doubted that anyone else could have come up with it as well.
"When will the wolves come to prey on our sheep?"
Perhaps the true group in peril may not be the exploration party, but the main forces left behind!