Chapter 4127 Energy Bridges
"I am sure you have questions." Professor Benedict spoke after a while.
Ves sure did. He had questions. A lot of questions.
Though it was probably unreasonable for him to gain answers to all of his questions, he would be happy if Benedict was able to clarify even a small part of his actions.
It was too hard for Ves to appreciate the Mars if he was unable to grasp the new additions to its design!
"What exactly did you do to empower the Mars beyond our original plan?"
"It is difficult to explain." Benedict replied. "In fact, you can essentially divide my novel contributions into two different categories. First, as you are no doubt able to observe, the skull of the expert pilot that I have integrated into the Mars has created a channel that draws metaphysical energy from… at least one other dimension."
"I call it the imaginary realm."
The Senior Mech Designer smiled. "That is as good of a name as any. I have learned of its existence many years ago, but it was only after I started to become exposed to your work that I have been able to engage with it more extensively. I have long been obsessed in learning how the skull is able to sustain its special activity and qualities without any apparent energy source. After persistent studies, I have been able to learn that an extension of it is connected to a different dimension. What I have succeeded in doing is to leverage this channel to a greater greater degree so that it actively siphons a greater rate of energy from this 'imaginary realm' than was previously the case."
It sounded fairly simple, but it was anything but easy. With Ves' background in spiritual engineering, he could follow the description easily enough, but when it came to replicating Professor Benedict's essential feat, there was no way he could imitate this implementation!
Even if Ves managed to get his hands on the skull of an expert pilot, he wouldn't know where to begin if he wanted to turn it into a spiritual energy bridge.
This was a brand new form of spiritual engineering that was based on different principles and design solutions!
Perhaps Ves would only be able to master this design solution once Professor Benedict realized his design philosophy and turned his energy bridge into a systematic method.
Ves found it quite confounding how a mech designer who largely specialized in the physical aspects of a mech had been able to come up with such a brilliant feat of spiritual engineering!
In fact, Professor Benedict only barely learned a few basic principles on spiritual engineering after getting exposed to Ves' work. What the older man had done after that was to make use of his own formidable specialty in energy systems and transmission systems to 'hack' the spiritually active skull and turn it into a brand-new energy source!
It was this 'hack' that Ves was interested in the most, but as Professor Benedict continued to elaborate about his method, it became clear that the younger of the two did not possess the required technological understanding to comprehend the essence of the new method.
"This is exactly what I need to work on." Professor Benedict remarked as he observed Ves' confusion. "Universality is an important requirement for mech designers. We are not only tasked with designing or producing mechs. We also serve an important role in facilitating the universal development of mech technology. If we only focus on inventing complicated new design solutions without making any attempt to standardize them, then our contributions will end as soon as we die or disappear from the scene. That does not constitute true progress in the mech industry."
This was one of Ves' biggest shortcomings as a mech designer. While much of his inability to transfer his methods to others was due to his insistence on retaining his competitive advantage, it did not help that many of his design solutions were based on spiritual engineering, which was inherently difficult for other people to get into due to their weak perceptions.
Ves would have a long task ahead of him once he advanced to Senior and started to plan his own journey to Master.
They talked a bit more about Professor Benedict's newly-dubbed metaphysical energy bridge. The two had plenty to talk about even if they did not stray too much into the technical details of the brilliant new hybrid tech.
"There's a big problem with your energy bridge implementation. The fact that it is based on the skull of a human expert pilot will definitely generate a lot of controversy to say the least. If people find out that you have utilized the remains of an honored soldier for something as banal as powering up a mech, then…"
There was no way the Cross Clan would be able to maintain its standing in human society!
Professor Benedict appeared to be well aware of how problematic it could be if his actions got exposed. His expression turned heavy as he partially reflected on his past.
"You do not need to remind me, Ves. I am incredibly aware of the problems that might ensue. I would like to ask you and everyone else in the workshop to maintain silence and not divulge any word of the skull."
"You can count on our discretion."
The only people inside the workshop aside from the mech designers were the expert pilots and guards hailing from the Cross Clan. Each of them were utterly loyal and would not leak out a single word.
"What about the future?" Ves pressed. "If your energy bridge solution is inescapably reliant to the skulls of high-ranking mech pilots, I am highly skeptical the MTA will welcome you in the ranks of Masters."
The whole point of Masters was to spread and publicize their newly-developed universal design solutions to the mech industry as a whole. Yet doing so for the energy bridge in its current incarnation would definitely generate a public relations nightmare of epic proportions!
Even the most radical factions of the MTA would not want to be associated with any tech that hinted at human sacrifice! This was a taboo that went against the basic principles of human dignity.
"That is the thing, Ves. My new method does not necessarily have to be based on the skulls of expert pilots." Professor Benedict smirked. "The skull that I have previously used is a relic that I have studied and taken care of for many years. I am extremely familiar with its properties and nuances. Due to this, my chances of establishing a metaphysical energy bridge was the highest if I utilized this particular skull. I am not obliged to utilize the skulls of other expert pilots in future mechs. What I truly require are physical mediums that possess an active connection to an energy-rich dimension. Do you understand what I mean?"
Ves widened his eyes. It did not take long for him to understand Benedict's unspoken message.
"Do you mean that… any extraordinary object will do? Can you utilize totems like my hammer, for example?"
"No." Benedict shook his head. "There are requirements that are difficult to satisfy. In my estimation, skulls are by far the most effective base materials for my energy bridges. While it is likely true that the skulls of expert pilots will produce the greatest results, I believe I can formulate alternative solutions that are based on the skulls of less controversial life forms such as aliens and exobeasts. The skulls of phase whales are particularly interesting to me. I would love to obtain a shard of their massive bones."
That sounded a lot better to Ves! If Patriarch Benedict became known for utilizing the skulls of non-human life forms, then no one would care about the ethics of his new invention.
In fact, as soon as other mech designers were able to master this new enhancement method, they would probably hunt down as many spiritually active beasts and aliens as possible!
"Your clan can play a useful role in this research." Professor Benedict remarked. "I never thought highly of your clan's attempt to enter the biotech industry in the past. Now, I realize how much foresight you displayed when you chose to invest in your Larkinson Biotech Institute. I have heard that you are hosting hundreds of mutated beasts that possess remarkable abilities. If you can grant me access to their bodies, I can make great progress in converting my energy bridge technology in a more palatable form."
"You will have our full support in this matter." Ves immediately promised. "Don't expect too much from us, though. The majority of mutated beasts in our possession are rather weak and underdeveloped. We haven't done much with them so far because we are waiting for them to grow stronger. It might take a long time before they reach your standard."
"That is not a major issue. At worst, the energy bridge that I can form out of their skulls will be weaker. They should still be useful enough to upgrade your expert mechs, though it is up to you whether you wish to wait until I have developed better energy bridges."
Ves decided to leave that discussion for another time.
"Can you convert anything else aside from the skulls of different creatures into an energy bridge?"
The Senior paused in thought.
"I think it is definitely possible, Ves. The skulls of special organisms are hardly optimized for this specific job. If I can study them further and understand the mechanisms that are relevant to my energy bridges, I can theoretically develop a brand-new physical medium that is much more efficient at this task. However… I do not believe I can accomplish this in the short term. This will be one of the many major research projects that I will have to embark upon once I have established myself as a Master Mech Designer."
This was an incredibly exciting research project. Ves became more envious of Masters for their ability to research profound possibilities that could truly push the boundaries of human technology to a significant degree!
As Ves continued to learn more about Professor Benedict's innovations, he began to grow more interested at what the skull was doing to the mech it was attached to. Why was it channeling energy to the Magma Vein System?
Professor Benedict chuckled. "That is the second major innovation that I have introduced to the Mars. My original ambition is much greater than what I have managed to accomplish here. Do you know what I was trying to accomplish?"
"Make a mech more energy efficient." Ves answered.
"That is correct, but not precise enough. Imagine a mech that utilizes 100 percent of its energy reserves into useful and effective actions such as firing a gun or flying to a specific destination. Wouldn't that be stronger than a mech that wastes at least a portion of its energy into waste energy?"
"That would definitely be a powerful mech. The cost and effort to make it perfectly efficient is too prohibitive, though, if it is even possible."
"What if I tell you that I was not just aiming for perfect efficiency? What if I tell you that I was trying to attain an even greater result than that. Have you ever dreamt of a mech that was able to achieve hyper efficiency rather than perfect efficiency?"
Ves looked shocked at the older mech designer. Trying to attain 100 percent efficiency was already impossible enough. Trying to go beyond that was so ludicrous that only the most delusional mech designers would ever think about realizing such an insane condition!
"You're talking about attaining negative entropy in a mech!"
Simply put, a mech with negative entropy essentially generated more energy than it expended as it got used.
This sounded like an extremely silly notion, but Professor Benedict treated it as a serious possibility!
"For now, I will have to settle for turning the Mars into a mech that has attained extreme efficiency. Perhaps in the future I will be able to make my ultimate dream come true and succeed in developing a mech that is hyper efficient. That might even trigger my advancement to Star Designer. You never know."
Despite how casual Benedict sounded at the moment, there was no denying that he had fully set his sights to the future!
What he had accomplished today was just the start of his new career!