Chapter 1904 Excessive Precautions
Ves spent several hours in the public eye. He not only held a press conference with various reporters from the Protectorate and other states, he also held an interview for the Rimward Star Herald.
He reiterated much of the same points he mentioned during the press conference. He also revealed some innocent details about the Bright Warrior design and the Quint.
In addition, he had an opportunity to present an image of himself that was a bit more eccentric and exaggerated than he was in reality.
Though Ves hadn't outright donned his crazy hat during that time, he put on a lighter version that hopefully made him appear less than right in the head in some instances.
He didn't care whether people thought less of him. He always kept Master Willix's words in mind that his mechs should do the talking in these cases!
As long as he continued to design great mechs, all of the criticism and naysayers against him would lose their sting.
Even if Ves claimed that his mechs were literally the embodiments of vile, ancient demons from the abyss, his customers would still pilot his mechs his glee as long as their machines brought them victory in battle!
In the mech industry, the mech designer was an important brand, but not the main determination in whether a mech model achieved commercial success.
Plenty of poorly-regarded mech designers managed to make the right choices and design a successful mech. In addition, plenty of reliable mech designers wasted months on a design only to achieve a fraction of their expected sales!
Though Ves enjoyed a greater share of success than his peers, that was due to various reasons.
For one, he never designed a commercial mech he didn't believe in. While that led to a severe dearth of choices in the LMC's mech catalog, pretty much every mech for sale was useful in some capacity!
He always thought carefully on what the market demanded and what he could offer to meet those demands. His desire to uphold his reputation and grow the reputation of the LMC as a supplier of high-quality mechs caused him to care a lot about the market reaction of his products!
So far, Ves was quite happy with his progress, but he could always do better. After receiving Master Willix's tutelage for an entire week, he had a much better picture of his strengths and shortcomings.
One of the best and most comprehensive ways to upgrade his design capabilities was to integrate a cranial implant in his brain.
This was the key to catching up Gloriana! It didn't miss his notice that his girlfriend probably harvested much more gains from turning the Quint into a masterwork mech and receiving lots of valuable insights from Master Willix.
Though Gloriana wouldn't be advancing to Senior any time soon, Ves estimated that all of the lessons she learned and insights she gained could very well bring forth her promotion by a decade!
This was catastrophic news from Ves!
Feeling the surgery from Gloriana's very obvious glee, Ves slogged through the press conference and interview with a touch of impatience.
While he knew that these events were vital opportunities to shape his public perception and send out the right messages, his mind no longer lingered on the present.
When the interviewer from the Herald finally wrapped up the session and departed the venue, Ves sighed and stroked Lucky's back.
"You look like you have to go to the bathroom but had to hold it in. I know you're eager to start the surgery, but this is important as well."
"I know, Gloriana. It's just that I can't wait much longer! Do you know how long I've waited for this moment? Now, there is nothing that can delay my augmentation any longer! I'm going to be a completely new mech designer after this surgery. I can finally enjoy some of the benefits that you've been enjoying for years!"
His girlfriend smiled and leaned against his arm. "Cranial implants do improve the design experience, but never forget that it is the brain you were born with that is supposed to be in charge. Don't use the implant as a crutch. If you stop exercising your mind like you did up until now, you'll stop advancing."
"I already know that, Gloriana. Master Willix has also helpfully reminded us that we shouldn't grow too dependent on each other. Maybe we should design some mechs on our own from time to time, if only make sure we can still produce hits by ourselves."
The prospect of designing a mech without Ves did not sit well with her! She scrunched her face and pinched his cheek. "Let's discuss that later! For now, you should head to Ranya and prepare for your big day."
They left the public venue the LMC had rented and traveled back to the Avatar base.
There, the Frozen Leaf sat parked in the large landing zone. Dr. Ranya decided to bring her personal ship down in order to transfer some of the advanced medical machine and equipment to the surgery room prepared specifically for this purpose.
Due to his paranoia and fear that anything might go wrong while people operated on his brain, Ves made a huge number of ridiculous demands.
The room where the surgery would take place was located underground. The main chamber was built like a bunker surrounded by other bunkers. A decent amount of Breyer alloy and other advanced materials lined the walls, causing the underground fortification to be strong enough to withstand both nuclear explosions and asteroid impacts!
An independent redundant power system powered a whole host of life support systems, allowing for a completely closed circulation of air and water, thereby preventing any outside contaminants from infiltrating the operating room!
A robust array of antigrav modules precisely regulated even the tiniest tremors and gravity fluctuations. They also acted as inertial dampeners in the event the underground fortification suffered a severe impact.
As for the security arrangements, nearly all of the available Avatars of Myth had been deployed to defend the base and remain alert against any possible infiltrations or unauthorized intrusions!
The security suites had been beefed with a multitude of high-powered scanning arrays that were all tuned to detect different kinds of stealth systems.
All non-essential employees had been given a day off, leaving the Avatar base noticeably less noisy. Without the mech technicians, administrative staff and other workers, only the mech pilots and guard infantry remained at their assigned positions.
Hundreds of gold-and-black mechs bearing the Golden Cat of the Larkinson Clan and the Vesuvian mech that represented their troop patrolled the base in concentric circles.
Above in high orbit, the spaceborn contingent of the Avatars of Myth kept a very close watch on any elements in space that might pose a threat to site on the surface!
The revised Shield of Samar with its tough and incredibly sturdy Breyer alloy attracted a fair amount of attention.
Yet what impressed outside observers even more was the two mech companies of Bright Warriors!
Forty Illuminating Warriors, Twenty Nova Warriors, Ten Solar Warriors and Ten Shining Warriors all made for an imposing sight as they patrolled in formation!
When Ves tasked his Avatars and others to implement this expensive and extremely excessive security cordin, Commander Melkor quickly decried the waste!
"Are you crazy, Ves?! Do you know how many mechs we could have built with the money you are investing in these security measures?!"
"It's my money." Ves answered back then. "In my opinion, these precautions aren't good enough, but I can't wait any longer. I'm taking a very risky gamble here."
Melkor laughed. "Risky? With all of these guards and security equipment in place, not even a drop of rain can approach your treatment facility!"
"Well, regardless of what you think, my Avatars belong to me. If I choose to deploy your full ruster to stand guard, then you better obey my instructions!"
Aside from arranging the Avatars to stand guard, he also assigned a considerable amount of Living Sentinels to guard the outer perimeter.
In addition, he also requested Gloriana to assign as many troops from the Glory Battalion as possible!
She managed to assign at least twenty second-class mechs and mech pilots to guard the inner perimeter! Now that the Wodin Dynasty guaranteed his safety, the Glory Warriors did not disdain to guard a foreign boy anymore!
Perhaps the most important piece of the defense plan was the presence of Venerable Brutus. His Star Dancer silently hovered above the fortified entrance of the underground facility with its laser rifle warmed and ready to take out any approaching threat!
In addition to the mechs, a few guards on foot also stood guard at strategic locations within the underground fortification. They guarded the interior of the facility alongside the more numerous guard infantry.
A day after the press conference, Ves wore a simple gown. He inspected the highly-fortified and completely isolated operating room with his Vulcaneye scanner for the tenth time in the last two hours.
Lucky lazily floated from one corner to another corner as he watched out for any spy bugs and other unwanted intrusions.
"Did you find anything, Lucky?"
"I know you didn't find anything fifty-three times before, but you never know if someone slipped something in at the last minute!"
"Meow meow meow!"
Don't complain! If anything goes wrong, I can easily die! This is the most precarious moment of my life!"
Though everyone around him was quite exasperated with his paranoia, Ves didn't care. He would rather be overprepared than underprepared! If nothing went wrong in the next couple of hours, then he would gladly accept this outcome!
Even if it seemed that all of his preparations went to waste, Ves would still believe that his security precautions formed an effective deterrent against his enemies.
Moments later, Dr. Lupo briefly entered the operation room. He was garbed in a high-tech operating uniform that provided a lot of conveniences while at the same time keeping him completely sterile and free of contaminants.
"It's time. Please put away your possessions and lay down on the main operating table. We will start with the final steps before the surgery within a couple of minutes."
Once Ves put away his Vulcaneye with the rest of his possessions, he laid in place, but not before looking at each of the guards assigned to keep watch in the operating room.
Aside from Nitaa, Ves assigned a handful of guards with close ties to the Larkinsons as well as a handful of Glory Warriors that his girlfriend personally recommended.
Each of them could potentially pose a threat to him, but Ves already had some measures in place to watch the watchers.
In fact, he also enlisted some other personnel to watch the watchers that watched the watchers!
Once the final preparations were complete, the surgeons entered the operating room.
Dr. Ranya entered first. She held a secure case which stored the highly-modified Archimedes Rubal bioimplant.
Dr. Lupo entered immediately afterwards. Though he lacked the depth and breadth of Ranya's knowledge, his high learning ability allowed him to gain a lot of relevant competences that would doubtlessly be of help for this delicate operation!
Aside from the two exobiologists, six more older-looking individuals entered the room.
The newcomers wear very different operating suits. Their markings each signified that they were senior implant surgeons and nurses employed by different medical facilities from the Ylvaine Protectorate!
Ves wasn't relieved with letting Dr. Ranya and Dr. Lupo perform the entire surgery by themselves. Months ago, he specifically ordered Calsie to reach out to the Curin Dynasty and dispatch some of the best implant surgeons the Protectorate could offer.
After Ves, Crindon and Nitaa personally verified their reliability and ability, they cleared surgeons and nurses to participate in the operation.
Because their addition happened on short notice, both Ranya and Lupo objected to this sudden development.
Ves overruled their objections, though. He wanted those Ylvainan medical professionals to be on hand to act as another check.
Even though Ves was well aware that the Ylvainans might very pose a threat to him as well,
"We can begin now. Is there anything you wish to say or do before we begin?"
"In fact, there is something I want to do before we begin." He spoke and withdrew a device. "Please proceed with the surgery immediately after I'm done."
He activated the device, causing an energy screen similar to that employed by Master Willix to surround his operating table.
Now that he gained some privacy, he moved quickly in summoning his System comm. Once he activated its interface, he quickly browsed the Skill Tree and spent a hefty chunk of Design Points on another Mastery!
[Light Skirmisher Mastery I]: 40,000 DP
Ves grinned. "Since I'll be out for at least a week, I might as well be productive and make good use of my temporary hiatus!"
As the System comm quickly dematerialized, an intangible hook quickly latched on to his consciousness and dragged it out of his mind!