The Mech Touch - Chapter 2811
Chapter 2811 - Answering the Question
The saboteur beetles didn’t last very long.
As the crowd began to utter their disbelief in a heated fashion, Ves paid careful attention to the critters he endowed with life.
He noticed that the arena was gently shoving them away. No doubt, the officials wanted to perform detailed examinations on them in order to figure out why they rebelled against their own programming!
This was bad! While he didn’t think the Lifers were capable of figuring out that Ves had tampered with them, he had no idea what might happen.
He had to get rid of the evidence!
Fortunately, due to various reasons, he was able to extend his mind towards the beetles he had recently gifted with the ability to think for themselves.
The stupid bugs were just beginning to explore what that meant. They were so innocent and naive that Ves felt it wasn’t right to ruin what he had made.
It was too bad his safety came before any of his ideals!
"Sorry, little ones, but this is only a trial version. If you want the complete product, then pay me next time!"
As a giver of life, Ves was also able to take it away.
Normally, this was quite difficult to accomplish because sentient life forms possessed various intrinsic methods to protect their spiritualities.
This was a special moment, though. The beetles had just been changed and their newly-expanded spirits were still in flux.
This made it easy for Ves to yank away the spiritual energy that he had originally invested in their minds. Due to their weak and imm.a.t.u.r.e minds, the beetles were hardly able to prevent their benefactor from robbing them of what they had gained!
The abrupt deprivation was so disruptive to the saboteur beetles that a quarter of them died! The other creatures had practically turned comatose.
Their conditions were worse than before they turned sentient! The trauma of losing their spiritualities was so damaging that the other beetles would probably turn completely blank as their damaged minds were constantly deteriorating.
Ves didn’t care. He did what he had to do and got rid of the most incriminating evidence. It was highly unlikely for the Lifer scientists to be able to figure out what had taken place out of the remains of the saboteur beetles.
As Ves relaxed, everyone else became more emotional.
The attendees in Ruuzon Arena still managed to restrain themselves to an extent. They shouted their anger and disbelief but did not cross the line. Any that did would quickly get paralyzed by a stun blast or blessed by a sticky web!
There wasn’t much they could do in their positions anyway. The viewing platforms didn’t contain that much stuff to vandalize. The angry mobs would have to descend to ground level and head into the city to vent their frustrations, but they weren’t even allowed to leave at the moment!
This was because there were many other citizens who were expressing their rage!
"This is a travesty! How could we lose seven matches?! We should have won five at least! Any less is a mistake!"
"Dr. Navarro is a donkey! He’s the laziest and most incompetent Journeyman in our state! He should be sued for deceiving us and pretending that he can win!"
"Our biomech industry is rotten! The radicals are right. We were always behind. We just didn’t see it. This match has made it clear that any random Journeyman outside our borders can beat our biomech designers with ease! We were just too blind to recognize the truth!"
The Lifers uttered a lot of nonsense in an attempt to explain Dr. Navarro’s defeat, but there was no question that many of them took this outcome personally!
The unrest in Veoline and other cities in the LRA intensified. A lot of people got caught up in the mania that had descended over the public.
The opposition was too strong for that to work. The fact that the opponents of the conservatives were able to force the broadcasts to continue was a sign that this was not a spontaneous operation.
The Life Research Association had truly entered into one of the darkest moments of its history!
The authorities were trying their best to quell all of the problem areas, but they were vastly overstretched. Too many people in too many different places had gone crazy, and it took far too much time for law enforcement to forcefully calm them all down.
In a normal situation, the design duel should have been suspended a long time ago. Yet because of all of the interests working behind the scenes, Ves saw no sign of that. The Lifers all acted as if letting the entire duel run its course was an unbreakable tradition!
Master Werther Cline radiated concern at times, but at this moment he had carefully schooled his face. He stood up and left the company of the other Masters in order to walk to the front of the VIP viewing platform.
"Dr. Navarro. Mr. Larkinson. Please step forward. It is time to announce the results."
The Master issued his request as if he was announcing a disaster. Those who valued stability were desperately hoping that sanity would prevail, but there was no sign of that today.
Ves tried to plaster a pleasant smile on his face. He knew that he was probably being watched by trillions of people. While he was used to attracting the public eye, he usually did it on his terms.
"Well, here goes nothing."
The pair of Journeymen stepped forward until they stopped right behind Master Cline. Both of them looked quite presentable in their formal clothes, but their presence was incomparable to that of a long-established Master.
Many Lifers were familiar with Master Cline’s appearance. The old man had been alive longer than almost any person in the star sector!
Due to his high position, he had been in charge of various functions throughout his centuries-long life. His face practically symbolized the conservative faction considering how often he acted on behalf of the government of the LRA!
Yet now, the people looking up at him no longer held as much respect towards this sagely figure. With the help of agitators, the citizens of the state began to see Professor Cline’s caution and restraint in a bad light.
"These old fogeys at the top are far too slow. If younger folk were in charge, we wouldn’t have ended up in this position!"
"Professor Cline should have retired at least a century ago! In fact, all of those old Masters should have made room for their heirs. Their minds are all stuck in the past, so all of their decisions are at least several centuries out of date!"
As the arena buzzed with insults and snide remarks, Master Cline raised his palm.
The crowd silenced.
No matter what they thought, they still respected the identity of a Master.
"Peace, everyone. Please stay calm. We are aware of your complaints, but please maintain control of yourselves. We are not savages. We are Lifers. This day has already sparked enough destruction. Do not shame ourselves any further. The entire star sector is watching us as I speak."
Shame was a powerful motivator. The Lifers were very willing to act out if they were solely trying to channel their rage. They were a lot less willing to go crazy if they turned into monkeys in front of foreigners!
Master Cline was not an incompetent speaker. The riots that were taking place across Prosperous Hill VI were slowing down. While people were still angry, they were a bit more willing to stop and listen.
"Our state is founded on furthering the development of biotechnology." The old biomech designer explained. "We live to support the brilliant researchers who do their best to push their respective fields forward. The development of biomechs falls within our core focus areas. Since the founding of our state, we have never stopped investing in our biomech industry."
Many Lifers already knew that, but it was helpful to give them all a reminder.
"Today, this industry has flourished. Yes, our market is mostly confined to our state, and yes, Dr. Navarro’s products haven’t fared too well against the works of Mr. Larkinson. Yet is this cause for us to determine that four centuries of effort into developing biomechs has been wasted? Be reasonable. Our biomech industry is much greater than any single biomech designer. Numerous Master Mech Designers preside over our sector today and there are many talented Seniors who will carry on the torch tomorrow. We have not reached the peak of our growth."
Ves didn’t buy into the speech. It sounded overly vague and pointed towards an uncertain future. However, many Lifers bought into it. Master Cline was easily able to lend weight to his reasonable-sounded words due to his high regard. His reputation and prestige were still high enough to make himself heard!
Fortunately for Ves, Cline did not lecture the entire crowd forever.
Ten people passed through the entrance of the VIP platform. They had all been moved to the top of this particular tree structure in order to issue their personal verdicts.
The mech pilots still wore their piloting suits, as if to emphasize as if they had just fought a thrilling battle.
"Come." Master Cline beckoned to the mech pilots. "Each of you have piloted two different mechs. There are no other mech pilots who have experienced the mechs of both these young mech designers. Since you have the rare p.l.e.a.s.u.r.e of being able to compare your piloting experiences, you are well-placed to determine which of them are more alive."
This was indeed the case. Up until now, Ves had not published any of his second-class mech designs to the public mech market. None of his mechs were for sale in the Life Research Association.
While he did design a bunch of third-class mechs, none of them aroused any interest in this state. They were too fragile and weak to compete against actual second-class mechs!
This meant that it was very likely that the ten mech pilots standing before Ves were truly the only ones who were qualified to issue a judgement on this matter!
"Before you speak, please remember that the central question is not about which mech is stronger or better." Master Cline reminded the mech pilots. "Instead, you are being asked to determine which mech is more ’alive’. You can interpret this word in any way you wish. Just be honest."
Everyone directed their attention to the first pair of mech pilots. Captain Alazar Ipsich and Kelly Gidon looked a lot more grizzled than Ves expected. They looked a little tired but held up reasonably well considering how many people were paying attention to them at the moment.
"I will start." Captain Ipsich stepped forward. His eyes were solely directed at Ves. "I had already made my choice at the end of the first phase. I have piloted many biomechs. The Epsilon Mosar designed by Dr. Navarro is a little different from what I have experienced before. While it brings a few novelties, it is familiar territory."
A grim smile appeared on his face. "The Bright Warrior is different. It is made of metal, yes, but it is anything but dead. Unlike a biomech, the Bright Warrior has a quality that immediately stood out to me. In fact, when you study what mech pilots say about Mr. Larkinson’s mechs, you’ll find out that what I’ve experienced is not unique. Let me say to you that all of those mech pilots aren’t exaggerating. The hype is real. To me, the Bright Warrior is alive. It is more alive than the Epsilon Mosar. In fact, now that I have experienced the former, I can never convince myself that any biomech can be an equal!"
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