Ves took the turn to completely internalize Adeseus Longhorn's record. Some of it appeared to be based on his own identity, while other parts incorporated Mr. Longhorn's past experiences. A final portion sounded completely fictitious.
Overall, timeline seemed completely implausible to Ves. As a member of the CFA and someone groomed to become a mech designer, Mr. Longhorn enjoyed some of the best education that human civilization could provide. Even then, it took him more than fifty years to get to his height. In the forged record, Mr. Longhorn somehow managed to accomplish all of his feats at less than thirty years old, which matched the age of Ves' body!
"Such achievements are only possible if I'm some kind of hyper intelligent savant like the Polymath!"
He fell far short of the Polymath's prolific improvement rate. The famed Star Designer managed to advance to the rank of Master before she reached fifty years old, and even Ves did not dare to hope he could match that breakneck speed even with the help of the System.
Some people were just born to be superhuman!
Still, for better or worse, Ves was stuck with this abnormal fictitious record. Perhaps the Starlight Megalodon's virtual officers might treat him better if he was a genius instead of a dunce.
Ves still couldn't get a grip on how Miss Calabast audaciously boasted on how she or her operatives managed to hack the Starlight Megalodon. What else did they do besides exchanging some biometric data? He didn't believe they limited their hacking to just that little.
After Ves finished familiarizing with the fake record, Ves shut off the projection and turned to Miss Calabast. "I'm ready to undertake the recruitment test."
"Alright. Simply approach the battleship wait for a visual projection to engulf you. In two hours or less, we'll know whether you succeed or not. I'll be staying behind here to see whether you have what it takes to become a member of the CFA."
"What about me?" Ketis asked from the side.
All the talk about the CFA pretty much bored her. The history of the Starlight Megalodon and the infighting between the senior officers didn't rouse her interest at all. As far as she was concerned, all of this was ancient history.
"Just wait here for a while. Since I'm applying for Mr. Longhorn's old identity, I think I should be able to gain the right to recruit you or ease your way in as an old-style Apprentice Mech Designer."
The rank of lieutenant commander might be mostly for show when it came to mech designers, but Ves didn't believe he'd be barred from recruiting others. This might even be a way to allow the other survivors of the Flagrant Swordmaidens entry!
After making sure that Ketis stayed put, Ves sucked in a deep breath and strode towards the humongous Starlight Megalodon with even steps.
As soon as he crossed an invisible line, a cube of darkness surrounded his form. Shortly after the logo of the CFA bloomed into view, the shape of a familiar virtual officer came into being.
[I am Virtual Lieutenant Junior Grade Baskanson. Please present credentials if you are an active serviceman or an affiliate of the Common Fleet Alliance.]
"I am Adeseus Longhorn, former lieutenant commander and mech designer of the CFA. Here are my credentials." Ves stated confidently while he transmitted his forged proof of identity in the direction of the virtual officer.
[Inspecting proof of identity. Matching identity. Please stand by.]
Ves suddenly felt extremely discombobulated as a variety of rays pierced through his body. The Starlight Megalodon's scanners thoroughly recorded his biometrics and matched them to the data stored in the proof of identity and the battleship's archival record of Mr. Longhorn in the databanks.
[Existing identity match found. Identity confirmed. Welcome back, Adeseus Longhorn.]
Their surroundings instantly changed from a black void into a luxurious lounge. The difference in treatment was massive. Lieutenant Baskanson even softened his robotic tone somewhat!
After Ves became accustomed to the change in scenery, Baskanson delivered almost the same spiel as before.
[Emergency Protocol Theta-Thirty-Seven is in effect. All humans up to moderate alien hybridization are allowed to undertake a simplified recruitment test to enlist in the CFA. Please state the profession or position which you wish to apply for. CFA-affiliated humans are authorized to ask a number of questions.]
While Ves wanted to ask some more questions in order to puzzle out some details and confirm Miss Calabast's retelling, he knew that she was impatiently waiting for him to finish the test. This wasn't the time to slack around, and the more he lingered, the greater the chance the virtual officers might realize that Mr. Longhorn wasn't who he seemed!
"I wish to apply for the profession of mech designer."
[Please confirm your choice.]
"I confirm that I want to apply to serve as a mech designer for the CFA."
[Choice confirmed. Commencing recruitment test in ten seconds. Chosen profession: mech designer. Please stand by. Warning: cheating is not allowed. Violators will be barred from taking the recruitment tests!]
The punishment for cheating only locked him out of the tests, which was a much better outcome that being hit by a disintegration ray. This was a further indication of the CFA's favoritism when it came to their own people!
The physical projection of the lounge broke apart to make room for a projection of a familiar-looking workshop. This time, however, the workshop was even more extravagantly equipped! The amount of amenities provided to 'Mr. Longhorn' boggled his mind!
[Please read the mission contents and complete the assigned task within the allotted time.]
Ves accepted the data pad from Virtual Lieutenant Baskanson and read what kind of challenge the recruitment test provided now that he entered easy mode.
[Task: complete the following design of a spaceborn medium rifleman mech. The design must match the following parameters...]
This time, Ves received a time limit of ten minutes to complete his task. Instead of designing a completely original mech that met all of the randomized parameters from the ground up, the task only demanded him to fill up a mostly-complete puzzle.
The shift in difficulty was enormous! Previously, the first task demanded him to do something as ridiculous as designing a complete house from nothing.
Now, the task pre-designed the house, filling in every detail up to the appropriate standard of the test without mistakes. The task only left out a single missing part such as the front door. As soon as Ves designed a front door that fit perfectly with the rest of the house, he completed the task!
"Even so, the missing portion of this rifleman mech isn't easy to fill up." Ves frowned a bit. Even many old-style Apprentices would have stumbled at this juncture.
"If the first task already sets the bar so high, what about the subsequent ones?"
Still, the difficulty fell within his range of competence. He immediately began to use the virtual workshop's design terminal to complete the missing portion. Ten minutes of time was short enough that Ves needed to rush his design work despite how little he needed to design. He wished he had at least an hour to make sure he handed over a flawless result.
Ten minutes arrived faster than he wished!
[The mech design is complete. Verdict: task completed! The next task will commence immediately.]
Ves sighed in relief as Virtual Lieutenant Baskanson approved of his solution. The task he completed resembled the Skull Architect's own test back when he wanted to make contact with him. This method of testing succinctly revealed a mech designer's depth of knowledge and design capability in a short amount of time. It was no surprise that the Starlight Megalodon made use of this convenient method.
Virtual Lieutenant Baskanson took back the old data pad and handed him another one.
[Task: please analyze and estimate the performance specifications of the following space knight design.]
The second task posed a decent challenge to Ves, but similar to the last one, it was very much doable for Apprentices. Ves always prized his observation abilities highly. His work with the Flagrant Vandals also forced him to become proficient in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of many different designs.
Ten minutes later, he handed over a complete report which obtained Baskanson''s approval. The virtual officer immediately handed over the third assignment.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
[Task: Two spaceborn light rifleman mechs of different designs are pitted against each other in simulated combat. Mech B is projected to win against Mech A. You may change 1 percent of Mech A's design to increase its chances of winning the simulated duel.]
This time, the task handed Ves a complete design of a mech. Unfortunately, its quality and performance fell short against its opponent. This difference wasn't too big, but it was substantial enough to ensure its defeat in completely equal circumstances.
Ves received ten minutes to modify Mech A in such a way that allowed it to defeat Mech B in a simulated duel.
"There's a trap here."
While he never came in touch with this kind of exercise before, he recognized the mental pitfall in front of him. A typical mech designer would focus on pure performance and try to improve the performance of the mech as much as possible.
Yet there laid the trap. It was extremely hard to amplify the performance of a mech by a margin of ten or twenty percent while being limited to changing just one percent of the actual design. An Apprentice Mech Designer would never be able to accomplish such a feat in just ten minutes unless the design incorporated an obvious fault!
"The key here is not to improve the mech's performance by ten percent. Instead, I have to increase its chances of success in its simulated duel against Mech B by ten percent."
The difference sounded small, but this in fact implied an entirely different solution. The essence of modifying mechs lay in the purpose of the modification. There was an art to tailoring the design of a mech to cope against a specific opponent. Even a minor change might have drastic effects in its chances of success.
For example, when it came to spaceborn light rifleman mechs, they relied on mobility to evade attacks. Their light laser rifles generally didn't pack that big of a punch, but they didn't impose much of a burden, so they possessed a fairly rapid fire rate. Depending on the power setting, a light laser rifle could spit out beams in a rapid staggered pattern that made it ideal against fleeting opponents.
"It's too hard to modify Mech A's mobility in ten minutes. It's better to focus on the weapon."
Ves was quite proficient in the theory and application of laser weapons. Designing the Crystal Lord taught him a lot, and the Starlight Megalodon didn't take his future knowledge into account when composing this task.
He encountered no hindrance as he modified Mech A's laser weapon to fire even faster but with less punch. While these changes increased the laser rifle's energy expenditure in total, the simulated duel shouldn't last long enough for one of the mechs to run out of juice. It only took a dozen light laser hits at most to take out a light mech. With the increased firing rate of Mech A's laser rifle, it shouldn't take long to make short work of Mech B.
After completing the modification, a sped-up simulation proceeded to play out in front of his eye. In a matter of seconds, a minutes-long battle ended in Mech A's favor.
Even though Mech A's mobility, armor, firepower and other parameters couldn't quite match up with Mech B, the modest modifications from Ves nonetheless tilted the outcome of the simulated duel!
"These exercises are quite clever." Ves complimented. "I should use them for my own purposes. Even if they aren't useful for me anymore, they can still provide Ketis with a lot of practice."
He looked forward to the next task.