Chapter 2115 Watching Mother
With the creation of the Superior Mother, Ves and Gloriana spent all of their remaining time on bringing their Hexer mech design project to completion.
With the assistance provided by the Wodin Dynasty, the subsequent testing, debugging and optimization phases took place in rapid tempo.
Since the Hexers always expected their mechs to be sound and free of defects, the pair invested a lot more time and effort into this final sprint.
As a private commission, their mech design did not have to pass through the notoriously difficult approval process conducted by a board of matriarchs.
DIVA enjoyed the right to use any mech it saw fit. How else could their agents infiltrate other forces and misdirect their enemies if their mechs always looked the same. Even an idiot could tell that the Hexers were up to something if a bunch of superb female mechs appeared out of nowhere!
That said, both Ves and Gloriana tried their best to meet the exacting standards of the Hex Army.
It was a fantasy to believe that they were capable of matching the best efforts of Hexer Master Mech Designers. They didn't even come close. The test data and the commentary provided by the Hexer testing ground made it very clear that their mech fell short in many areas, from optimization to absolute performance criteria.
Neither Ves nor Gloriana let this discouraging feedback stop them from pouring their all into their mech.
To Ves, the mech was his first and most important opportunity to spread the Superior Mother in Hexer society! If his Hexer mech design fell flat, then the future of his new ancestral spirit was anything but certain.
Now that his own mother's life was at stake, Ves felt pressured to do his best to deliver a successful product!
As for Gloriana, she made a request right after Ves conducted the dramatic ceremony.
"Could you bring the statue of the Superior Mother to the design lab?" She asked.
She smiled shyly at Ves. "I want your mother to watch over me while I work on her first mech. It would feel so good to know that she is supporting me from behind."
"I already told you that the Superior Mother may not necessarily be my real mother!"
"Oh, the ways of a goddess and a Supreme is beyond our ken." She baselessly stated as if it was the absolute truth. "You shouldn't doubt your mother so much. She quite possibly ranks among the greatest Hexers alive and dead. In fact, in my opinion, she is already the best because she raised a good son like you, hihi!"
Ves did not look amused. Ever since she became aware of the continued existence of his mother, his girlfriend's superstitious delusions had grown worse!
No matter what he said, his words simply failed to register in her head. She didn't even try to refute his sober arguments. She just acted as if he didn't say anything!
He was already used to this behavioral quirk of hers. Fanatics always limited their attention to what they wanted to hear, and her sincere beliefs in hexism turned her mind into an impenetrable fortress against any form of doubt!
In the end, Gloriana wouldn't stop nagging him until he acquiesced. Some heavy-duty bots moved the statue to the design lab, which for many purposes had to be big enough to accommodate a mech.
Once there, the entire design lab basked in the pervasive motherly glow of the Superior Mother. Though the ancestral spirit was still dormant for some reason, both Ves and Gloriana were hit full-blast with the glow that would nurture many Hexer mech pilots in the future!
Ves figured that it was a good thing that his design teams weren't present. Everyone, including the older assistants, were currently participating in a month-long acclimatization tour.
The only people he had to worry about was Maikel and Zanthar, but Ves quickly handed the two boys, ahem, adolescent men a lot of homework assignments.
At their impressionable ages, Ves did not want his young students to endure long-term exposure to the Superior Mother. Perhaps they might inadvertently become indoctrinated by her matronly glow!
"I'm raising them to become brave and daring Larkinson lads, not Hexers who need to look up to women in order to do anything!"
Ves figured that this might become a recurring problem each time he designed another Hexer mech. He contemplated setting up multiple design labs, for example one on the Scarlet Rose and another lab on the Stellar Chaser. A single shipboard design lab could easily get crowded once over seventy mech designers gathered together.
As much as he was interested in designing more Hexer mechs, he needed to make sure that those who worked on the design were resilient enough to hold on to their own values and principles.
Fortunately, most of the new hires consisted of mech designers who all possessed at least some experience and personal development. Fresh, young-faced rookies such as Mayer Torto-Larkinson were fairly rare.
In any case, now that Ves and Gloriana worked on their project in the presence of Superior Mother, their results improved.
Ves was able to get much closer in tune with the future design spirit of his product. As a mech designer who was sensitive towards moods and emotions, this was a helpful development and allowed him to make small tweaks that harmonized his design a little more with his vision.
As for Gloriana, she truly believed that his mother was watching over her efforts! Like a little girl who wanted to show off her best in front of her parents, she began to get fired up and came up with several inspiring solutions!
With their increased productivity, they developed three more iterations in quick succession, each of them becoming more flawless and optimized in a matter of days!
Due to certain time constraints, the pair did not wait for the complete test results to come back but continued to iterate on the design even as the new prototypes were still being fabricated by the Wodin Dynasty.
Compressing their schedule like this allowed them to save precious time and squeeze a little bit more performance out of their mech design. While it was still better to optimize the design for a couple more months, Ves simply didn't think it was worth the time investment.
He had been staying in the Cinach System long enough. Ves should have begun to enter the Nyxian Gap by now, but he delayed his departure in order to make sure his first second-class mech design turned into a fine representation of his work.
As Ves and Gloriana completed the fourth and final iteration to their design, they both took a step back.
The projected design was beautiful in his eyes. Its large frame, its sturdy exterior, its robust energy siphoning appendages and its solid sword and shield all looked imposing.
Ves was largely responsible for shaping the overall look of the mech. His artistic sensibilities and his vision drove him to design an external appearance that conveyed rock-solid reliability.
Even though it was functionally a damage sponge and an energy dispenser, Ves wanted his Hexer knight mech to break with the conventional pattern of male Hexer mech design.
His girlfriend couldn't help but remark on this distinct difference. "Your mech looks very stocky and sturdy. It boasts a lot more sharp edges than what Hexers are used to. If you ask me, this mech is quite masculine. I'm not sure it will go over well with our target audience."
"If you study its appearance alone, then you're right. However, don't forget about the Superior Mother. With such a nurturing, feminine glow, Hexers will probably have a better impression of the mech."
"That is mainly the case when they are physically close to a copy. The mech won't be able to convince those who have never been close to one. That will likely lead to a lot of problems for us in the near future."
"We'll attract critics and pushback regardless of what we do." He shrugged. "After all, a 'boy' is one of its lead designers. I trust DIVA to recognize the value of our product. If Calabast is anything like the rest of its agents, then our mech will likely be put to good use. Once our mech shows off its value on the battlefield, interest in it will likely grow!"
As one of its creators, Ves held a lot of pride and confidence in his work! His previous original mech designs such as the Doom Guards, Deliverer and the Desolate Soldier all received critical acclaim from the mech community.
His constant successes and his faith in his own design philosophy made him very sure that his latest product would definitely be able to make an impact. Man-haters or not, Ves believed that hardly any Hexer could resist the appeal of a glow tailored to their kind!
"There is truly nothing like the glow of the Superior in the Hegemony." Gloriana sighed, thereby reinforcing his confidence!
After performing a final inspection of their design, the pair finally decided to finalize it. They wrote their final reports and wrapped up all of their documentation.
Gloriana soon noticed an important detail. "Officially, we should hand in all of our files to DIVA in order to complete the commission. I'm not sure whether we are even allowed to fabricate a copy of our mech design."
If DIVA wanted to keep the mech design in reserve in order to deliver a sudden surprise to the Fridaymen, then Ves and Gloriana were not allowed to expose their work ahead of time!
This was a difficult question. Ves frowned and began to think.
"I think we should ask Calabast."
"Do we have to?" Gloriana pouted.
"It's no big deal. Besides, she manages all of our communications with the agency. Our completed mech design has to pass through her anyway."
Ves activated his comm and began to call the spymaster of the Larkinson Clan.
As soon as her projection appeared, Ves asked a couple of questions.
Calabast briefly paused. "I'm not aware of DIVA's plans for your mech design. Regardless, this commission is still confidential and needs to be handled with care. It is vital that the Friday Coalition doesn't get wind of your mech design in order to leave as many strategic options alive as possible. It is not prudent to fabricate a copy of your new mech design at this time."
"I won't accept that!" Gloriana approached the projection and looked upset. "It's important for Ves and I to make at least one copy of the mech! This is our best chance to produce another masterwork! Can't we do it in a secure workshop? We'll accept every security precaution you might impose."
"This.." Calabast grimaced.
"It's better to let Gloriana have her wish." Ves pushed as much blame as possible towards his girlfriend. "She'll nag you to no end if you deny her this opportunity."
"I feel really good about this mech design! We might be able to produce our second collaborative masterwork mech tomorrow, especially if your mother is backing up our efforts!"
"You two…" Calabast sighed and stared at both Ves and Gloriana. "I'll allow it, but only under very strict circumstances. I will go ahead and prepare a secure space for you to put your tools and production machines. My Black Cats and I will thoroughly inspect them from top to bottom in order to make sure that they aren't compromised in any fashion. Only then will I give you two the green light to make your attempt."
Though his clan's security forces regularly checked the integrity of their tools, Ves didn't argue with her precautionary measures. It was best to be sure.
"How long will that take?"
"At least 36 hours if we pull an all-nighter."
"Okay. If nothing goes wrong, we'll begin our fabrication run in two days, is that okay?"
With that set, Ves finally felt a weight lift off his shoulders. He had spent more than enough time at Cinach. Though there was plenty for him to explore, he didn't feel like staying any longer than necessary.
He was more than ready to move on from this boring star system!