The Mech Touch - Chapter 2985: Keywords

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Chapter 2985: Keywords

Once Gloriana was happy that everyone understood her intentions towards the Chimera Project, she moved on to the second expert mech on the list.

The projection of Venerable Joshua\'s hero expert mech made way for a much thicker and beefier outline.

Hardly anyone failed to recognize the distinctive contours and color scheme of the Shield of Samar.

Compared to the current prime mech version of this defensive mech, the expert mech revision took over many of the elements of the Shield of Samar and somehow made them bigger, heavier and more imposing!

Ves felt like palming his face. His earlier attempt to persuade Venerable Jannzi to move away from a near-immobile mech fell on deaf ears. Jannzi had doubled down instead and Gloriana was happy to indulge the stubborn expert pilot\'s desires.

"Our second expert mech design project centers around a simple keyword: bulwark. In contrast to all of the other projects, the expert space knight that we are designing for Venerable Jannzi is heavily based on an existing mech. Her demands are very clear. The Bulwark Project must not work towards developing a new mech, but instead aim to upgrade an existing mech. It is difficult for us to explain what this exactly means, but all you need to know is that we will try to retain as many elements from the current Shield of Samar as possible."

"Can that be done?" Someone asked.

"Why certainly." Gloriana smiled. "It\'s been done before. The only complication is that the requirements we have to meet and the approach we have to adopt is a little cumbersome. Our goal is not to design an expert mech that is similar to the Shield of Samar. We must sincerely take the current prime mech version of the mech and implement a wide range of modifications to elevate its capabilities."

"The space knight you\'ve projected is larger and thicker than the Aurora Titan design. Are we increasing the Shield of Samar\'s weight class?"

"That is correct. The Aurora Titan that the Shield of Samar was originally based upon was supposed to be a commercial model for the third-class mech market. Since heavy mechs were not commercially viable in my husband\'s former state, he chose to design a mech that is only a half-hearted version of a proper heavy mech."

Ves quietly shook his head. The main reason why he settled on a super-medium space knight was because it took way too much capacity to integrate a polarizing module in the design. It was an inelegant solution to a very difficult problem.

His wife soon proceeded to elaborate on what she had in mind for the upcoming iteration Shield of Samar.

"Defense. Defense. Defense. Everything about this mech is geared towards defense." Gloriana stated as she sent a brief glance towards Ves. "Now, I am aware of the limitations of designing heavy melee mechs, but we must respect the wishes of the mech pilots we serve. There are several possible solutions that we can implement in order to mitigate the obvious shortcomings of this expert mech design, but I cannot share anything more about this since I am still trying to acquire the resonating exotics needed to realize my vision."

Aside from this complication, the remaining details of the Bulwark Project did not sound that complicated. Defensive mechs were some of the simplest and easiest mechs to design. They just had to make every component thicker and tougher than usual.

The greatest challenge to designing good defensive mechs was to make sure that their other parameters weren\'t too poor. The mech designers also had to make sure that their internal architecture was robust enough to withstand heavy shocks and other forms of indirect damage.

Project Bulwark\'s unrelenting focus on defense over every other priority limited the complexity of this project and ensured that everyone working on it remained focused. While Ves was happy that Gloriana was sober enough to exercise restraint, he was also a bit dissatisfied that she was not contemplating enough upgrades.

Gloriana didn\'t care about his feelings. She had a strong idea of what the expert mech version of the Shield of Samar should look like. It didn\'t matter if the mech was originally his own work and that Gloriana hadn\'t been involved with the design of the Aurora Titan.

"Now, let\'s move on to a mech that is very much the opposite to the Shield of Samar."

The projection of a considerably smaller and slimmer expert mech appeared into view.

"Venerable Tusa is our only expert light mech specialist. His needs are fairly simple and obvious. He wishes to pilot a light mech that is fast but more importantly elusive. The expert mech that we will develop for him must possess the best mobility out of all of the projects we will be working on for this round."

The outline of the expert light skirmisher that Gloriana prepared resembled the Ferocious Piranha product line. Ves already knew that Venerable Tusa had become quite a fan of the Piranha Prime\'s properties.

The only issue was that the Piranha Prime was still a bit too sluggish for Tusa\'s tastes. The base model was designed to be an offensive mech that leveraged its debilitating glow to wipe out weakened opponents with great efficiency. It was not designed to fight against unaffected enemies that could put up a good fight.

In order to provide Venerable Tusa with the capability to duel other expert mechs, Gloriana had to implement some targeted adjustments.

"I have established an overall direction for this expert mech design after comprehending Venerable Tusa\'s piloting profile and listening to his own requirements. The keyword for this project is disruption. The light skirmisher he wishes to pilot has to be able to exert a great degree of pressure towards his opponents due to all of the possible ways he can disrupt their critical arrangements and spoil their master plans. While his expert mech is not meant to be a stealth mech, it should still be able to rely on its superior mobility to travel behind enemy lines and perform critical disruption missions."

Venerable Tusa\'s expert mech had to be able to fend for itself. It had to be tough enough withstand saturation bombardment, fast enough to outrun enemy pursuit and strong enough to complete its sabotage or assassination tasks without excessive delays.

Gloriana pointed at the flight system of the proposed expert mech. "If you look closely enough, then you might have noticed that the flight system and other mobility systems of the mech aren\'t geared towards straight-line acceleration. It is much more important for this expert mech to be nimble than to become the fastest sprinter. It has to be able to weave between a tight formation of enemy mechs and navigate through clouds of debris without slowing down too much. The superior evasion ability of the Disruptor Project also has to be high enough to evade enemy expert mech attacks in the heat of battle."

The expert light skirmisher therefore incorporated many miniaturized boosters that were pointed in many different directions.

A mech that aimed to maximize its forward acceleration at all cost would have featured a lot of boosters oriented towards the rear. The Disruptor Project instead placed these boosters to the sides or even the front of the mech. This allowed Venerable Tusa\'s upcoming expert mech to quickly dash back or to the side with not that much effort.

"Will Venerable Tusa\'s expert mech possess the same glow as the Piranha Prime, ma\'am?" Moltar Ringer asked.

Gloriana pinned the little assistant with a glare. "Did you forget what I told you? What is the primary purpose of our expert mechs?"

"Uhmmm… to fight against other expert mechs?"

"Correct. Now think about how glows work. They affect the minds of mech pilots, completely bypassing any mech or barrier that stands in the way. This means that the effectiveness of a suppressive glow can vary depending on the mental strength of the enemies subjected to it. How do you think an enemy expert pilot will fare when subjected to the Ferocious Piranha\'s glow?"

The answer was obvious. Moltar lowered his head. "The expert pilot will easily be able to shrug off the effects."

Gloriana snorted. "Took you long enough. Everyone else, don\'t make the same mistake. While we do not exclude our expert mechs from being used against cannon fodder opponents, they must not sacrifice their ability to fight against equal opponents. It is a waste of a glow to apply a suppressive glow to the Disruptor Project. It is much better to make use of a supportive glow that aligns with Venerable Tusa\'s piloting tendencies because there is much less resistance that way."

She made a good point. Expert pilots could easily block the influence of glows they didn\'t like, but they could embrace them as well if they saw no problem with it. This allowed Venerable Jannzi to draw strength from Qilanxo\'s glow.

"What are the armaments of this expert light skirmisher, ma\'am? Equipping it with two short knives or daggers sounds underwhelming. An expert mech should definitely be able to carry a larger weapon loadout."

One of the reasons why light skirmishers always appeared comically underpowered was because every gram counted. Their mass had to be as low as possible and carrying heavier weapons only needlessly weighed them down.

This didn\'t mean that the daggers they wielded were flimsy. They were actually made out of higher-quality materials that allowed them to penetrate armor without incurring too much damage in the process. Their small volumes caused these weapons to be quite cheap despite being made out of better materials.

"We are still considering this issue. Venerable Tusa is accustomed to the traditional light skirmisher fighting style so he does not have a great need to carry other weapons."

That didn\'t mean that they ruled out this option. Perhaps Gloriana would agree to add a pistol or carbine to the expert mech\'s loadout.

"For the next project, I believe it is better to give the word to our latest Journeyman Mech Designer."

Ketis smiled at Gloriana and stepped forward.

Though the relations between the two had worsened a bit after Ketis became the latest lead designer of the Design Department, that did not affect their professionalism.

Ketis confidently faced the crowd she used to be a part of. "I will be in charge of Venerable Dise\'s expert mech design project. As a Swordmaiden, swordmaster and a fellow compatriot of hers, I am the most appropriate mech designer to make all of the design choices. While I may not have as much design experience as my colleagues, this is my specialty."

She did not intend to give ground to anyone when it came to this project. She was fortunate that Gloriana agreed to take a step back.

The projection of the expert swordsman mech looked a little rougher, but it still conveyed some very clear ideas.

"The projects that Gloriana exhibited so far are all good at something, but they are still lacking something." Ketis explained. "The Disruptor Project is the most offense-oriented that I have heard so far, but even then its meager strength and arsenal limit the amount of damage it can inflict. Sometimes, we have to face an opponent that is too tough to damage with a couple of tiny knives. Sometimes, the only way to defeat an enemy expert mech is to apply a judicious amount of leverage. This is where Venerable Dise\'s expert mech comes into play."

Just like any other Swordmaiden mech, the most prominent feature of the projected design was its prominent greatsword.

"Since Gloriana likes to label these expert mech designs with keywords so much, here is the one for this expert mech project: decapitator. Venerable Dise likes to decapitate formidable opponents and the expert mech that we will provide to her will give her the strength to do so. It is not a machine that is designed to bully the weak. It is a machine that is meant to vanquish the powerful."

Ketis did not aim low, that was for sure.

"The Decapitator Project is the strongest duelist among the six expert mech designs and our best champion against the most formidable expert mechs we might encounter. If we ever get confronted by a hostile high-tier expert mech such as the Erin Tear or the Bolvos Rage, then we have no choice but to put at least one of our own champions forward. Even if the matchup looks uneven, there is no fairness on the battlefield. We can only do our best to enable Venerable Dise as much as possible. No matter what powerful foe she faces, none of them can survive if Venerable Dise can drive her sword through their weak point!"