Chapter 4125 Made
Professor Benedict Cortez had long put a lot of hopes on the Mars Project.
Every expert mech design project was of great significance to him. The ones he worked on in the first half of his life had given him his first exposure to the possibilities that expert pilots as well as resonating exotics introduced.
Though he hadn't been able to work on any further expert mechs when he was exiled beyond the reaches of civilized space, he always had them in his mind.
Now that he had become the head designer of the Cross Clan, he finally regained the chance to work on expert mech design projects once again.
His first actual work on them was when he assisted the Larkinsons in developing their new expert mechs such as the C-Man and the Blade Chaser Mark II.
As much as he enjoyed the opportunity to work on those expert mechs, they were ultimately the works of the Larkinson mech designers. His own contributions were limited to a few areas that the Journeymen could not accomplish due to their lack of exposure to the greater secrets of expert mechs.
It was only when he was allowed to lead the Mars Project that he could truly impart his vision in a powerful expert mech design!
He took full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put his stamp onto the Mars design.
While people such as Ves and Gloriana added their own unique touches to the Mars Project, their influence was relatively limited.
No matter what, Professor Benedict Cortez held a firm grip on the regime and the direction of the Mars design. This was the most powerful mech he had worked at this point in his turbulent career and it might very well be the best opportunity for him to achieve a substantive breakthrough in his design philosophy.
While those hopes remained rather faint in the past, it was different now that he literally became struck by inspiration.
As his mind and spirit became completely energized, he looked at his design and his work in a much more comprehending perspective than before.
The fog that had obscured his work and theories for so long had become unable to block his vision any further!
"The original design needs to change. Follow my lead and assist me as best possible." Professor Benedict instructed the Larkinson mech designers.
Through the power of Alexandria's active design network, Ves, Gloriana, Juliet and Sara thoroughly understood what the Senior needed from them. Doubts and misunderstandings were few and far in between as the instant sharing of ideas at a much greater fidelity than could be accomplished through other forms of communication prevailed over the course of their cooperation.
Hours passed by as the mech designers all operated the various machines and fabricated the parts that they were originally tasked with producing.
The only differences so far was that Professor Benedict slightly altered the design or specifications of a few of those parts on the spot.
For what purpose, neither Ves nor any of the other Journeymen exactly knew. This was because Professor Benedict did not expose his full theories and intentions to them, not because the Senior was possessive of his ideas, but because they were too profound and advanced for the Larkinsons to understand at their stage.
This way, Ves and the others were able to perform their work with greater direction but not to the point where they became distracted and overwhelmed by Professor Benedict's brand-new ideas and solutions.
As the mech designers all kept churning out part after part, the leader of the fabrication run operated the Cross Clan's first-class superfab in a careful and controlled manner.
His responsibility had always been the greatest in the original fabrication plan, but with the new changes that he intended to introduce, he played an even greater role than before.
He knew quite well that it was taboo in his profession to spontaneously alter major aspects of a mech design in the process of fabricating a copy, but he couldn't help himself this time.
Just like all of those years ago when he was obsessed with making his initial skull mech work, Professor Benedict had completely fallen back into his bad habits and became struck by a case of tunnel vision once again.
The difference this time was that he was much more knowledgeable and confident than before!
Whereas in the past he was driven to obsession by overly-optimistic assumptions and spurious proof, this time he possessed a much more solid theoretical base!
With Vulcan's active assistance and insights, Professor Benedict had become completely enlightened in a way that had eluded him in the past.
It was this abundance of knowledge and understanding that confidently spurred him into making one modification after another.
As he did so, he generated so much enthusiasm and anticipation that his overflowing optimism infected the other mech designers in the design network.
The Larkinson mech designers all performed a bit better as well as their morale rose and began to share some of Professor Benedict's hopes and dreams!
Even as Gloriana and the other mech designers took their scheduled breaks at times, Professor Benedict did not stop at all. He was on a roll and he did not want to lose his momentum and miss the inspiration that was affecting and empowering his entire mood at the moment.
Day and night, he worked to diligently fabricate the parts needed to assemble the Mars while at the same time applying new and more refined design solutions to the current design.
It was one of the most productive and most enjoyable times he had ever experienced in his life!
It was during these crucial hours and days that he fully reconnected to his original love and passion for mechs!
He not only recalled his old regrets, but also harkened back to his forgotten dreams and the many projects that he had abandoned over the course of his career.
He reflected on those failures and missed opportunities, all the while putting enough concentration in his actual work to maintain his schedule.
Though his journey as a mech designer was far from smooth and could never be compared to the relatively straightforward trajectory of Master Carmin Olson, Professor Benedict was still proud of his work.
Both his good results and bad results had shaped him and his design philosophy until he was the man he was today.
He had matured enormously over the years and the time he spent in completely different environments had not only broadened his perspective, but rapidly raised his adaptability, thereby ultimately turning him into a more resilient mech designer.
All of the good mechs and bad mechs he had encountered over the course of his life provided further inspiration and guidance to him. The ones developed by Ves and the Larkinson Clan especially stood out due to how they pursued completely different tangents to empower the machines even further.
He also recalled his recent works. The mechs he designed for the Cross Clan in the past few years were not that exciting, but that was not their purpose.
His mechs were all designed along the same way he developed mechs for the Blue Cavalry in the past.
Since the Cross Clan was highly militaristic, his products fit well with his new clients. The Crossers did not have any unusual needs and were more than happy to pilot robust, military-grade mechs that could fight for longer periods of time and did not get exhausted too soon.
Yet… as efficient and reliable as his contemporary designs may seem, their energy efficiency rates were still a bit more limited than he would have liked.
The amount of energy put into their reserves did not equal the amount of energy they translated into useful results.
Actions such as moving a mech forward or firing an energy weapon caused the machine to lose a significant amount of energy in every step of the way. That lost energy mostly turned into heat that subsequently went to waste.
It had always been his dream to achieve 100 percent efficiency. If that was not possible, then he was more than willing to settle with 95 or 90 percent efficiency.
Unfortunately, those were dream numbers as far as the rest of the mech industry was concerned.
There were times where Professor Benedict felt tempted to give up on his original ambition. It was impossible to achieve these insane levels of efficiency unless he designed a mech that was only good in this aspect using the most expensive technologies and materials available to humanity.
Yet after thinking about how many sacrifices had been made for him to attain this progress, he could not bear the thought of abandoning his original intentions.
Now, as he and his other fellow mech designers completed the first major phase of the fabrication run, he was ready to put his incredible new design solution to the test!
"Let us prepare to assemble the mech." He spoke.
The mech designers first inspected the parts that they had just produced. Each of them were quite exquisite. None of them exhibited any obvious deviations or flaws that could tarnish the completed work.
This allowed them to proceed with the assembly without any further delays. The mech designers largely followed the original plan as they each focused on building up the mech while handling the parts they produced themselves as much as possible.
Professor Benedict again played a huge role in this as much of the core and guts of the mechs were made by him. He placed each of these parts into the frame with purpose.
The closer the Mars came to completion, the closer he came to completing his ambitious new plan.
What was special this time was that he also asked Patriarch Reginald Cross to assist more actively in the assembly of his imminent expert mech.
"What can I do, Benedict?" The expert pilot curiously asked.
"I need you to stand close to the expert mech and resonate with it." Benedict requested.
"...You do know that the Mars isn't complete, right? How can I interface with it when it can't even power up at this time?"
"That is the thing, Reginald. You don't have to. You're a high-tier expert pilot. You should be able to establish a connection and prime your expert mech without needing to interface it in a conventional manner. The Mars is already designed to resonate with you in mind. It will respond to you even if it is in an incomplete state.
"Will that… create disruptions to the assembly process?" Patriarch Reginald asked with concern.
"No. It may produce changes, but that is exactly what I am trying to accomplish. We will do our best to adapt to the circumstances. Please proceed, Reginald."
The expert pilot reluctantly did as he was asked and began to 'prime' his mech with the ascribed method.
Surprisingly enough, Reginald was actually able to form a rudimentary form of resonance with the Mars even though it was only half-complete at this stage!
Although it was a major hazard to bring an expert pilot so close to a machine that was being actively constructed, Professor Benedict was determined to complete the Mars while it was constantly resonating with Patriarch Reginald in advance!
The Larkinson mech designers were completely clueless what this extra step was supposed to accomplish.
Even Ves who knew the most about spiritual engineering wasn't entirely clear what was going on either.
Fortunately, it did not take too long to complete the highly anticipated fabrication process. As almost every part was put into place, it became clear that one of Professor Benedict's modifications had purposefully left a conspicuous gap in the interior of the expert mech.
Professor Benedict left open the chest of the mech so that he could add a special component to the Mars that had not been present in the original design.
He had to ask an assistant to retrieve the special part from one of his personal storage vaults in advance.
When he finally picked up the metal lockbox that he had stashed to the side, he opened it up and retrieved the key that he had long preserved in the event he saw a chance to fulfill his dream.
He carefully reached out with arms and reverently picked up a clean and well-preserved skull.
Ves, who had been watching from the side, became shocked by its appearance!
Even from a distance, he could feel the strength and will that still clung to the macabre object!
"Hello Stixson, my old friend." Professor Benedict emotionally whispered. "I've come to talk to you again."
The powerful willpower that constantly radiated from the human skull seemed to respond to Benedict, though that might be an illusion.
Nevertheless, the skull was the key to realizing the vision that Benedict had planted in his brain a long time ago! After more than half a century of wandering through restless dreams by himself, he had finally reached the light that was at the end of the tunnel.
Professor Benedict began to float above the workshop floor while holding the skull of his old friend.
He flew to the open cavity within the chest of the mech and entered inside it without any incident.
Everyone else fell silent as Professor Benedict made his move.
When the Senior reached the surface of the power reactor, he devotedly affixed the human skull into place. He adjusted several parts so that his latest addition was well-protected.
Once he retreated and lowered himself to the floor, he proceeded to finalize the Mars by himself.
As soon as he put the final piece into place, the completed Mars began to glow and transform before their very own eyes!
Numerous different interactions took place at once!
Not only had the Mars activated its god body, but it was also undergoing a more profound transformation!
"Masterwork!" Gloriana enthusiastically called. "Professor Benedict did it! He did it! The Mars… has become a masterwork!"
In fact, the Mars was more than just a masterwork. Everything that Benedict and everyone else put into the expert mech design was of such great magnitude that it had shot far beyond the threshold of a masterwork mech!
Its quality climbed up well into the second rung of the craftsmanship ladder, making it even more powerful and exquisite than before!
At the same time, Patriarch Reginald had never stopped with his current activity. He continually touched the side of the leg of his new expert mech and actively resonated with the dormant machine, causing it to gain an increasingly brighter glow!
Professor Benedict became so awash with emotions that he finally could not maintain his control any longer.
A tear leaked from his eye as his knees lost strength.
He knelt as if he was bowing and praying in tribute to the glowing god that he had made.
"Mars…" He whispered in the workshop hall that had descended into utter silence.
No one spoke for minutes even as the Mars transformed into an unprecedented mech.