Chapter 1989 Alternative Concep
Ves held a mech figurine in his hands. He turned it around and inspected it from various angles. He threw it in the air and caught it before it could clatter against the deck of the design lab.
The current conundrum involving the ongoing striker mech project prompted him to pause his work.
He saw a need to reevaluate their current design concept. So far, it fell short of the ambitious area denial mech he imagined in his vision.
The more he worked on the design, the more he chafed at its limitations.
It didn't help that his current project was completely different from his last project. The Bright Warrior modular mech platform might be at least five to ten times more complex, but its plethora of options and generous budget enabled him to add as many goodies as he wanted in its design!
As a bridge mech, a Larkinson mech and a package of four mechs in one, the Bright Warrior proved to be a massive success!
In fact, once his fleet reached the Sentinel Kingdom and stocked up on premium missiles, the lethality of his Bright Warriors would skyrocket to another level! The CRC mechs would never be able to last as long on the battlefield when his latest mechs were finally armed with missiles that cost as much as a budget mech a piece!
He was filled with pride every time he thought about how his Bright Warrior design ended up, but he had to admit that he had been a little too loose with his wallet.
Including the ordinarily unobtainable Breyer alloy and a money-draining missile launcher system were two of the most egregious instances of using his wallet to overcome his problems!
As Ves kept turning around the freshly-fabricated mockup of the unfinished striker mech in his hands, he continued to grasp for inspiration on how to overcome his current design's capacity problem.
It's all about volume. There's simply not enough space to reach the parameters I want.
A given mech could only carry so much stuff. Past a certain point, adding additional mass and volume to a mech would comprehensively result in a very severe drop in performance.
This was why it was important to find an optimal sweet spot where a mech's offense, defense and mobility all reached satisfactory levels.
Right now, Ves wasn't satisfied with his striker mech's offensive power. If he continued to flesh out this mech concept, he would only end up with a design that only lasted ten to fifteen minutes in battle at most, maybe even less if the mech pilot was rather liberal with the flamethrower.
That wasn't good enough. He knew quite well that the lasting power of his mechs could make or break a victory.
His striker mech was not designed for the mech games circuit where peak performance mechs were the name of the game. He designed it specifically for actual battles in space where most skirmishes in space where battles could stretch for hours in some cases.
While he didn't demand his mech carry enough supplies to last for an entire hour, he at least wanted his striker mechs to last for a decent amount of time before they were forced to return to their motherships in order to replenish themselves.
He knew that comparable striker mechs weren't necessarily better off than his current mech concept. Even so, mechs that lasted a bit longer during active engagements obviously sold better than the ones that lasted shorter.
According to market research, endurance and longevity were in high demand. They were named as one of the persistent complaints by most customers.
While there were plenty of mechs on the market that offered a lot more capacity, these models weren't very attractive due to their lackluster defense and mobility.
Customers want it all. They want a mech that is deadly, long-lasting, touch and decently fast. Oh, it also has to be affordable!
No mech designer was able to satisfy all of these demands at once. Ves wasn't arrogant enough to think that he would be able to do what even Master Mech Designers couldn't do! As reality-defying as their capabilities might seem, even the best weren't able to stuff twice as much mech in a single frame!
While Ves was trying to figure out how to solve this problem in his own way, Lucky kept floating around his hands while staring at the figurine with curiosity.
Are you hungry, Lucky?
You want to eat my figurine?
A dark expression came over his face. Mechs aren't made to be your food!
Meeeeoow! Lucky yowled in his face with his mouth stretched open. Ves could see straight through his throat!
A sudden realization came over Ves. He grabbed Lucky from the air and brought him closer in order to inspect the dimensions of his pet!
Hold still, Lucky! I'm not doing anything to you! I just need to make some comparisons!
He held Lucky in one hand and his mech figurine in the other hand. Now that he thought about it, if he pretended that Lucky was mech, his scale was similar to the scale of his mech figurine!
Ves carefully tried to envision the mockup of his striker mech design as an actual mech. He then compared it to another vision of a tiger mech fulfilling the same role!
The tiger mech frame offered various advantages and disadvantages. They worked best on land and solid ground as their quadruped limbs offered a lot of maneuvering options, but it was not unheard of to see them in space.
A tiger mech can actually function as a decent striker mech.
In many cases, the mouth of a tiger mech incorporated at least some ranged weapon. Ves couldn't help but recall his first tiger mech design, the Kinslayer he designed to fulfill a commission for Lady Miralix of House Laterna.
The landbound mech was a peak performance mech designed to take down one of the most formidable Crown Cats on Felixia. The custom mech succeeded in bringing down Zeigra after an arduous hunt, and part of its success was thanks to its killer move!
Ves could never forget the sight of seeing the heavily-damaged Kinslayer bite the heavily-injured Crown Cat by the neck and unleashing a sea of flames from its throat!
He shook his head. The Kinslayer is a different mech from my current project.
Not only was its budget at least ten times bigger, the Kinslayer was also melee mech. The range of its flamethrower breath was so short that it was only effective when it bit its target!
Still, perhaps Ves might be able to adapt a tiger mech into an area denial role! A bestial striker mech might be a little more difficult to pilot, but there were several ways he could use its distinct properties to his advantage!
I said hold still!
Ves began to visualize various means to adapt a tiger-shaped mech into a striker mech. He quickly realized that his bestial mech would have to carry various external components in order to make it function the way he wanted.
His visualization ability was strong, but he felt the need to be a bit more hands on at this time.
He directed his gaze towards the minifab placed at the side of the design lab. Instead of standing up and walking over to the machine, Ves decided to let loose a bit and exercise his implant.
He activated the remote connectivity option of his implant, aware of the risks that this action brought. The risks were negligible though since the Scarlet Rose was completely under his control and the design lab was one of her most secure compartments.
Once he connected to the minifab, he began to prepare it for a hasty fabrication run. Using his implant, he designed a few mock components on the fly and ordered the minifab to pump them out as quickly as possible.
A handful of bots came online. They floated to the material stores and returned a moment later to feed the minifab with the necessary resources.
Shortly afterwards, the bots served up a number of parts to Ves. He took them and began to apply them onto Lucky's back.
Meow meow meow!
Yes, you're right. Ves grinned. I could have fabricated a tiger mech figurine in the first place, but why should I when I have you? In my eyes, you're the perfect model for my tiger mechs! You should feel honored to serve as the inspiration of my mechs!
He foisted scaled-down attachments onto Lucky's back before letting him go. The aggrieved gem cat helplessly floated in the air while he tried to get used to the extra 'limbs' installed on his long and sinuous back!
The pale bronze-like plates that covered Lucky's body were usually interspersed with faint black tiger stripes.
Now, his appearance looked completely different now that he gained his attachments! It was a lot easier now for Ves to imagine Lucky as a bestial striker mech.
He activated a design program in his digitized mind and began to sketch a more viable mech in this configuration.
Don't you dare go away! I still need to observe you a while longer to finish my sketch!
As great of an example as Lucky served for his tiger mechs, Ves still saw a need to design a 'fatter' mech.
Strikers mechs were fairly broad and thick by default as they eschewed mobility for defense.
Ves applied the same paradigm to his new sketch as he broadened and thickened his new draft until he came up with a mech that looked a bit more.. obese than his pet.
Of course, Ves did not design an outright fat cat. An ugly product simply wouldn't sell as much as a more aesthetically-pleasing product unless the performance gains were truly phenomenal.
If Ves had to describe it, he just bulked Lucky's original cat shape up until it resembled that of a tiger, with a little extra padding here and there. The sketch took on a distinctly masculine impression due to how he placed all of the additional bulk.
This was a ferocious-looking draft design. The tiger mech he sketched consisted of a formidable-looking bestial striker mech with its main armaments mounted on its back.
Ves partially broke up the 34F Enison Spreader and incorporated two mounted barrels on flanks of the tiger mech. Doubling the number of barrels increased the cost of the mech, but Ves figured it was a worthwhile tradeoff.
He began to access the internal space of his sketch and began to draw some loose components.
Compared to humanoid mechs, tiger mechs mostly contained the same amount of internal volume, but this was not always the case.
If Ves was willing to sacrifice the agility and mobility of his tiger mech, he could increase the capacity of his mech without making it too unwieldy!
Lucky rolled in the air while trying to gnaw off the mock flight system and twin flamethrower barrels mounted on his back. He eventually succeeded after rubbing his back against a nearby terminal.
His cat angrily left the design lab after dumping the extra accessories, but Ves didn't need his cat to serve as a model any longer.
The sketch he developed in his mind was a lot more in line with his intentions!
He quickly drew himself back from his mental design space and regarded the humanoid mech figurine in his hands.
I don't need you any longer.
He chucked the metal figurine over his shoulder, causing it to clatter against the deck. A cleaning bot swooped in a few seconds later to drop it off at recycling.
Ves already turned his attention inwards again. He completed his sketch with the power of his digitized mind and added a few more technically-accurate details after importing the components he licensed.
Though not all of the components were optimized for bestial mechs, Ves could just adapt them or replace them with something else. For now, he just wanted to see whether his idea was viable.
I hope this alternative concept works.