Chapter 1924 Showmanship
As much as Ves could keep droning nonsense to the crowd of dwarves, he knew it wasn't enough to secure his command over the rebel group.
To put force into his words and convince the most jaded among them that Ves was an actual god, he needed to demonstrate his divine might!
He had to impress the dwarves by doing something so far out of their reach that they were unable to rationalize what they witnessed.
In other words, Ves had to hoodwink the rebels into believing that he was performing a miracle!
As Ves calmly used Rion's senses to inspect the shabby tools and stock of low-quality parts and materials at hand, he tried to figure out the best way to convert the dwarves into his believers.
He thought back on his interactions with religion. In particular, his thoughts strayed in the direction of the myth built around Prophet Ylvaine.
Of all the religions he came into contact with, he was most familiar with the Ylvainan Faith. While his knowledge of the scripture and tenets of the faith was not that extensive, he still knew enough about its founder that he was a good showman!
Naturally, some people preferred to use the less charitable description of a conman to describe Prophet Ylvaine. The ease in which he seemed to convert decent, rational people into fanatical believers was too unreal!
How could the so-called prophet amass a following of trillions if he didn't possess a talent for scamming people?
Whether the Prophet acted in good faith or bad faith, Ves had no doubt that this historical figure excelled in showmanship!
It was not enough to convert people to a new belief than dropping some religious scripture in front of their faces. People needed to be persuaded in a more visceral way.
As a designer and seller of mechs, Ves knew all about how necessary it was to impress his customers with his product offering.
He treated this opportunity in a similar fashion to his product reveal events. His goal was to turn his audience into his customers or supporters.
As long as he managed to dazzle them with his show, Ves would succeed in solidifying Vulcan's place as their god!
Of course, because Ves aimed to perform a good show, he couldn't take too long to demonstrate his divine might. The dwarves might be a patient folk, but they probably weren't willing to wait for hours until Ves produced a great tool!
He needed to do something that would impress the dwarves without taking too much time. He had to make an immediate impact so that they were much less likely to question the truth behind his inexplicable appearance!
As Ves finished his brief survey of the tools and resources he had at hand, he couldn't help but feel a little disappointed.
The dwarves obtained most of their tools and resources from junkyards and discarded piles.
House Kantis didn't bother to invest too much in trash disposal on this planet. Valuable salvage would be shipped out of Desala X when the next transport ship arrived.
Scrap that was too poor in value would cost House Kantis more to recycle than dumping them into the nearest pit.
Evidently, the overseers failed to take into account that their slaves managed to find a way to smuggle all kinds of goodies from these junk pits.
The upside to this was that the dwarves managed to salvage all kinds of goods, both intact and broken.
The downside was that the goods they appropriated for themselves were inevitably awful. Their quality ranged from poor to abysmal.
What grated Ves the most was that the dwarves failed to establish a proper recycling operation. Their limited technical competence and lack of proper equipment meant that their attempts to break down scrap and separate its constituent materials was half-hearted as best.
Every bar of metal and alloy contained a substantial amount of impurities.
Not only did this weaken the properties of the materials, the varying proportions of materials in each poorly-refined bar of alloy also caused them to be highly inconsistent!
This was a massive no-no in the mech industry and many other industries. If one bar of steel was weaker than the other bar of steel, the resulting product built with these materials would inevitably be riddled with weak points.
Ves imagined that Gloriana would go berserk if she saw the state of this workplace. Nothing was proper and everything was wrong in some way.
Fortunately, this wasn't the first time he worked under awful conditions.
Right now, Ves wasn't trying to impress a crowd of knowledgeable mech insiders. He only needed to exhibit enough flashiness to impress the dwarves. It didn't matter if his creations failed to pass muster if he presented it to Gloriana or someone who actually knew something about real craftsmanship!
As Ves contemplated many possibilities, he decided to opt for an expedient but very impactful creation. His choice would also make the Desala Resistance Movement a little stronger!
He started off by grabbing a hefty plasma cutter the size of Rion's current legs. Plasma cutters were common enough tools, but they devoured a lot of energy to operate, so the dwarves only used them if they had no other choice.
Another downside to plasma cutters was the myriad of precautions built into the hardware of software of the heavy devices. They were never supposed to be used as weapons and would forcibly shut its systems down if it detected any flesh or organic materials in their way!
With all of the knowledge that Ves had at his disposal, this was an easy problem to solve.
It also happened that the plasma cutter was a very outdated model from his modern perspective. He easy managed to gain access to the core of its programming by hooking it up with an interface and exploiting one of the known security exploits that had long been patched in the present time.
After fiddling a bit with the programming, he managed to override the software locks and tweak many different settings to the point where the plasma cutter operated completely different from the norm!
This isn't enough. He mentally concluded.
To truly impress the dwarves, he needed to reengineer its hardware as well!
With the clock continuing to click, Ves tried to move faster. As his control over Rion's body continued to improve, Ves began to disassemble portions of the plasma cutter in order to remove or modify the parts.
He wasn't able to implement a better version of what he wanted to create due to the lack of proper facilities, but he was still inventive enough to craft a lesser version.
His knowledge of jury rigging and extensive familiarity with hands on work served him well. Despite the lack of options, he managed to make do with what he had in order to effect substantial changes.
All this time, Ves also made sure to keep his Spirituality active. Rion's body continued to emit the glow that the gathered rebel dwarves all started to associate with Vulcan, the God of Dwarves!
He wasn't improvising something at random either. He followed a truncated design cycle that was tailored for modifying existing mechs or objects.
Ves may not have designed and built this specific plasma cutter, but he could slowly make it his own as long as he worked on it long enough!
As he hastily managed to tweak the internals to his liking by applying a couple of fast and easy trick, he looked at the plasma cutter and saw that it still looked too much like a mundane tool.
The dwarves wouldn't be as impressed by his work if he showed off something that looked identical to what they were using on a daily basis.
He needed to show the dwarves the true meaning of craftsmanship!
Ves looked around the workplace and identified some rudimentary hammering and forging machines. While they weren't as capable or versatile as a 3D printer, there was no way the dwarves could steal something so advanced and expensive under the noses of the tall folk!
He wasn't discouraged, though. This may be one of the worst workshops he'd been exposed to, but at least it was better than working with medieval tools!
Though Ves extended the completion of his creation, the dwarves showed no impatience.
The way Ves worked with the tools and equipment of their makeshift workplace was a sight to behold.
Unlike the dwarves whose technicians had only been taught the basics of maintenance, Ves was a fully-fledged Journeyman Mech Designer.
The disparity between their technical expertise was as vast as the void between star systems!
Though Ves had to move slowly in order to maintain his control over Rion's possessed body, every move and decision he made expressed his skill and confidence in craftsmanship.
One surprising advantage of dwarves was that their movements were surprisingly precise when needed. Ves was able to manipulate Rion's limbs as if the dwarf was an experienced mech technician.
This didn't surprise him very much. Dwarves were designed to perform manual work. Operating tools and driving vehicles were literally programmed in their genes!
However, just because dwarves possessed an excellent aptitude in manipulating tools didn't necessarily mean they were born craftsmen.
The dwarves of the Desala X lacked the systematic education and upbringing that proper professionals enjoyed!
By applying the wealth of techniques that Ves learned from school and experience, he easily managed to open the eyes of his audience to what they could have become!
What made the sight even more impressive was that Rion's body was doing all of the work!
The sight of a dwarf expressing so much skill and expertise presented a model of what a dwarf could become.
Their people weren't worthless! Dwarves were capable of matching or exceeding the tall folk in creating great works. Vulcan himself demonstrated what their stocky bodies were capable of as long as they were free to follow their own pursuits!
A tear streaked down the eye of Master Gion Greybeard. There was a sense of beauty in the craftsmanship on display. To a dwarf who yearned to free his people and lead them to paradise, the sight of a 'dwarf' operating the machines with greater skill than the tall folk in their better-equipped workshops was a dream come true!
It is complete. Rion's body announced.
Anticipation welled among the dwarfs surrounding the workplace. They tried to lean over the shoulders of their fellow dwarves in order to catch a better glimpse of what Vulcan had produced!
Ves mentally wiped the sweat from his nonexistent brow. It wasn't easy trying to modify a low-quality plasma cutter into something different. Along with all the previous disadvantages, he also had to account for the heavy gravity!
Fortunately, adjusting to the gravity hadn't hampered his end product that much. As Ves picked up his creation, he showed off its full appearance to everyone.
It looked like a magnificent piece of art.
Gone was the functional barrel-like contours. Gone was the scratches and marks of corrosion. Ves completely stripped the exterior of the plasma cutter and put brand-new parts in their place.
Each of the exterior components were not only smooth and polished, but Ves also applied a bit of creative artistry by decorating them with some aesthetic flourishes.
The plasma cutter had become something different. It had become something more.
The dwarves all gasped with admiration as they beheld one of the most beautiful objects they had ever seen in their lives!
The plasma cutter now resembled a barrel shaped in the form of a green dragon. The most impressive part about the cutter was the way Ves managed to work the metal until the front muzzle was shaped like the jaws of a celestial beast!
Aside from its visual appearance, its intrinsic glow also appealed to the dwarves on an emotional level.
The dragon-shaped creation exuded an aggressive and inviolable impression. This immediately enhanced the impression that the object was a genuine divine creation that could have never been produced by anyone other than god!
What.. what is it, Great God?
Rion's body grinned as he grabbed the handles of the object. He carefully turned it online and waited for it to finish its warmup cycle. He then proceeded to look around before aiming it at a stash of broken plates.
When Rion's body pulled the trigger, an unstable bolt of plasma propelled from the muzzle! Almost instantly, the plasma bolt impacted the messy pile of plates, instantly engulfing them with superheated matter!
Some of the dwarves yelled in fright. The closest ones jumped away in order to avoid the wash of heat and nasty fumes
As soon as the light and dust settled, a huge chunk of metal plates had turned into debris!
It's a weapon. Ves addressed the dwarves. As long as you embrace my help, I shall craft many wonders that will help you defeat the tall folk! Now, will you kneel before me and accept me as your god?
It only took a few seconds for the dwarves to drop to their thick knees en masse!
Vulcan! Vulcan! Vulcan!