Chapter 2254 - Slow to Change
After almost a week of frantic preparation, the task force finally prepared their fake pirate outfit.
Ketis, Dietrich and several hundred other Larkinsons each donned their pirate disguises and boarded one of the two sh.i.p.s.
Each vessel had been overhauled in a deliberately sloppy manner that made them appear more shabby and derelict than before.
The Avatars even fired their weapons onto their hull plating in order to make their disguise more convincing!
In fact, the damage to one of the light carriers was so severe that it desperately required repairs.
If the damaged vessel couldn\'t be patched, then she would certainly shut down in a matter of weeks!
With such a disaster hanging over their heads, the so-called \'Mirror Raiders\' possessed ample reason to approach and dock at an unfamiliar pirate base!
As the sh.i.p.s and mechs of the Mirror Raiders carefully left the bosom of Task Force Predator, Ves watched them go on the bridge of the Scarlet Rose.
Though he felt great concern for the Larkinsons who left, he had no way to influence their situation anymore.
Due to several reasons, smaller pirate outfits generally didn\'t possess any quantum entanglement nodes.
Even if the sh.i.p.s of the Mirror Raiders did possess one, there wasn\'t much of a point.
Ulimo Citadel locked them all down as a rule.
The Dry Snakes who reigned over the base did not want any visitor to coordinate their actions with people outside.
Information was power.
Communication was power.
Now that the Mirror Raiders were suddenly deprived of their quantum entanglement nodes, they could only rely on themselves to solve their problems.
The people we\'ve sent can take care of themselves. Major Verle spoke at his side.
I understand what you are feeling, but this is part of being a leader.
Ves wrung his hands.
I kind of regret allowing Ketis to participate in this mission.
I also feel as if I should have been a part of this mission as well.
Stay calm, sir.
While only a few years have passed since you served alongside us in the Bright-Vesia War, you are no longer the inconsequential Apprentice Mech Designer that we knew.
You are a clan patriarch, a Journeyman and a galactic citizen with wealth and power.
Fighting on the trenches is no longer an option for you when the future of the entire clan rests on your shoulders.
I know that, Verle.
It\'s just that my Larkinson blood is still restless.
Ves had gone through way too many scraps and crises to feel at ease with staying away from the excitement.
Otherwise, he wouldn\'t have entered the Nyxian Gap in the first place.
He reflected on his own behavior and knew that his life experiences prior to advancing to Journeyman played a large role in solidifying his own inclinations.
All of the thoughts and emotions that he had in his mind during the formation of his design seed became a permanent part of his personality.
He knew that it would take a very long time to mill down those traits so that he could feel more comfortable with the fact that he should stay in the rear.
It would take at least a week or two before he heard back from the Mirror Raiders.
The time the task force invested into attacking Ulimo Citadel was already considerable.
Ves only agreed to do this in the first place because he expected the payout to be huge.
Aside from all of the plunder he hoped to gain, Ves also salivated over the merits he might earn.
A big and established pirate fortification such as Ulimo must be hosting a lot of weapons prohibited by the Big Two!
The Dry Snakes possessed their own trump cards, and so should their subordinate outfits.
The Xona Stalkers, the Farmund\'s Own and the Hapid Qlinters were all capable of fielding hundreds of mechs, so they should definitely be able to afford their own secret weapons!
Aside from them, some of the clientele that frequented Ulimo Citadel ought to carry nasty surprises on their sh.i.p.s as well.
This was one of the biggest reasons that visitors weren\'t able to land their sh.i.p.s or any other vehicle in the vicinity of Ulimo Citadel.
Instead, they had to land hundreds of kilometers away at various barren landing zones across the moon-sized asteroid.
Special transports operated by the Dry Snakes were the only vehicles allowed to convey passengers and cargo to Ulimo Citadel.
The base operators inspected every single person and piece of cargo at multiple points.
The Dry Snakes took their inspection duty seriously and couldn\'t be bribed.
Otherwise, someone could just smuggle in a superbomb that could destroy Ulimo from within or import some virulent agent that killed off every human infected by it within minutes!
Such events had taken place enough times in the Nyxian Gap for organizations like the Dry Snakes to wizen up.
At the very least, the halls open to the public were placed some distance away from their core base complex, and this made it a bit difficult to scope out the most important sections of Ulimo Citadel.
Infiltrating these parts of the pirate base was the biggest challenge of the Mirror Raiders.
Well, there\'s no use procrastinating any further. He muttered.
I might as well do something more productive.
He reluctantly left the bridge and returned to the design lab.
After handling some miscellaneous tasks, he called out all of the Braves who were preoccupied with working on their respective projects.
He also allowed Zanthar and Maikel to sit next to him in order to observe the meeting.
Ves clapped his hands.
Alright, almost two months have passed since we entered the Nyxian Gap.
All of us have spent plenty of time on designing the mechs in the pipeline.
Let\'s pause for a moment in order to see how much we have accomplished.
The LMC\'s Design Department worked on four minor design projects.
Ves and Gloriana assigned three design teams to every minor project, of which at least one consisted of Braves and one consisted of Erudites.
In the first couple of weeks, a lot of friction occurred between the Braves and the Erudites.
The former preferred to work briskly while the latter wanted to be thorough.
It took a lot of coddling from Ketis and Miles for the two groups of assistants to settle some of their differences.
By now, the Braves should have gotten into their groove.
As long as none of the projects fell behind schedule, Ves didn\'t really care how the assistants organized themselves.
He gestured towards the Ninth Design Team.
Miss Rina Orion, please report the current status of the Crystal Lord Mark II Project.
The heavily mechanical augmentations on her body were partially visible to the n.a.k.e.d eye.
This made her look like a cyborg.
She looked just like any other citizen of the Coman Federation.
It was too bad the Coman Federation existed no longer.
The sandmen engulfed the state before crashing headlong into the defensive lines of the Bright Republic and other prepared states.
The woman stood up.
The Crystal Lord Mark II Project is proceeding according to schedule, though our progress is uneven due to the addition of luminar technology.
Ever since Ves struck a deal with Master Willix, he gained access to exclusive MTA research on luminar or crystal builder race technology.
Aside from improving his understanding of laser weapons, he also gained the capability to integrate better alien crystals in the design of the Crystal Lord.
Due to the sensitive nature of the classified MTA research data, only Ves and Gloriana worked with this new tech.
Their busy schedules and lack of time meant that they couldn\'t contribute as much as they wanted to this project.
On the other hand, this freed up Rina and her fellow assistants from some of their duties, allowing them to invest more work in other aspects.
Since Ves had not upgraded its design spirit yet, he refrained from engaging in any spiritual engineering.
He still needed to see how the upgraded Crystal Leader turned out before he knew what kind of glow and triggered ability he wanted to impart in the mech.
Even without them, Ves still believed the Crystal Lord Mark II could make a substantial impact on the battlefield.
What are the most serious challenges facing this project
There are several problems slowing down our work.
The lack of coordination between the work on the luminar crystals and the rest of the mech design makes it difficult for us to expect what is necessary.
Another problem is the lack of testing facilities.
Even if we are far from fabricating a prototype, it is still useful to produce some incomplete models and test their performance under specific circ.u.mstances.
The last significant issue we are dealing with is trying to elevate its performance as much as possible in order to justify its high sales price.
I\'m already aware of those issues. Ves replied and waved his hand.
The Crystal Lord Mark II won\'t be easy to sell, but as long as we enhance its value through combining superior performance and a unique glow, it will have a place in the market.
They discussed some more issues, allowing the rest of the Braves to gain a better understanding of the state of the Crystal Lord Mark II Project.
Occasionally, they even provided some feedback!
Ves turned to Moltar Ringer, the team leader of the Fifth Design Team.
Report on the Sanctuary Project.
It\'s proceeding slightly ahead of schedule. The former Reinaldan spoke.
As a third-class space knight, it is not that complex compared to other spaceborn mech types.
Since the Sanctuary\'s main selling is its glow, we focused on designing a durable support mech mech that is mobile enough to move around but also defensible enough to withstand significant attacks.
The projection of the incomplete Sanctuary design showed a mech that shared some resemblance to the Blessed Squire.
THe latter may be a second-class landbound knight mech, but they both centered around the utility they could provide.
For this reason, the Sanctuary followed many of the same design choices that Ves and Gloriana applied on the Blessed Squire.
This meant that the sanctuary was decent in mobility and defense.
Just like the Blessed Squire, the Sanctuary possessed a good amount of endurance.
A lot of energy cells filled up its capacity, allowing the space knight to maneuver and provide its glow to friendlies and enemies alike for the duration of an entire space engagement.
The biggest downside of this mech is its very low offensive threat. Moltar stated.
The Sanctuary is paired with a very large and heavy tower shield.
This not only slows down the mech, but also makes melee combat unwieldy.
The sword that it holds in its other hand serves more as a measure of last resort than a primary weapon.
In fact, we believe it is better for the Sanctuary to hold its heavy shield with both arms.
Ves nodded in understanding.
This can\'t be helped.
Mechs can only be good in so many areas, and prioritizing defense while ensuring decent mobility means the acceleration, range of motion, agility and reaction speed of the Sanctuary has sunk to the bottom.
This is a price that I can accept as long as the mech is already useful without ever needing to attack.
They could have paired the Sanctuary with a rifle instead of a sword, but the accuracy and overall offensive performance of the mech wouldn\'t be great.
Providing it with a laser pistol was already sufficient.
So far, the Sanctuary did not stand out as a mech design at all.
Its current strengths and weaknesses did not result in a product that the market would embrace.
Ves still needed to create a new spiritual product that possessed the ability to stifle other glows.
Once he formed the design spirit for the Sanctuary, he could quickly round out this minor project.
He was a bit unsure whether he should publish this mech right away, though.
Right now was a sensitive period for him as numerous Masters sought to develop solutions that countered his glows.
It would be pretty stupid to publish a mech onto the market that just happened to point out a possible solution!
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