The Mech Touch

Chapter 5692 A New Wind Is Blowing
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Chapter ?5692 A New Wind Is Blowing

Ves had a brief talk with Pilot Yuri Enfame, or at least what was left of him. The man had lost a lot of memories, but only realized it after he consciously tried to recall moments of his past.

[I don't remember the face of my commander anymore. It is in my mind. I definitely have it somewhere, but why can't I bring it up anymore?]

At other times, Yuri completely started to talk as if he turned into an alien somehow!

[...I remember back during my Hu'Keanwa training that I wrestled Ckkea to the ground and bit his throat with my savage pointed teeth, tasting victory as his blue blood splattered across my two tongues…]

Ves and Professor Loban exchanged glances several times throughout this interview. To say they were freaked out was an understatement.

Still, aside from these obvious flaws, Yuri Enfame was technically still alive, in a manner of speaking. He currently existed as a 'companion spirit' of the Yuri Machine.

The original living mech itself had mutated beyond recognition. It had grown incredibly powerful by absorbing a lot of E energy in a short amount of time, but the sequelae of doing so without employing any measures to digest, process or filter the input were catastrophic!

[I can feel… my mech hungers for blood. It wants to use its weapons to crush its enemies. Each day that goes by without fighting any enemies will frustrate it. I… I cannot live without fulfilling my goal. The more restless I become… the less I can hold back, I think.]

Ves tried to probe Yuri several times on what he remembered of the moments before he broke through. All the pilot recalled was that he was in a desperate moment and that he felt as if the battle would be lost if he continued to deliver a disappointing performance.

The man knew nothing about the factors that might have been responsible for making his Ultimatum mutate. Even his more direct connection with his powerful machine did not help him in the slightest.

[I… do not want to look too deep into the mech that I have merged with.] The fuzzy projection of Yuri Enfame shook. [There is darkness, violence and depravity in there. I know I can't escape it, but please don't force me back in there. If you can't keep me separate, then please kill me now. Living with a mech as violent and savage as my current one is pure torture.]

"There is still hope for you." Ves said in an encouraging tone. He felt anything but. "You are still alive, and that is what matters. While you remain alive, you will remain under the care of the Red Association. I am sure they will be able to solve your problems one by one and allow you to live a dignified life again. Remember that you have already fulfilled your mission. Your heroic sacrifice has saved the Pellicky Praetorians and prevented another human colony from getting razed by the native aliens. There are still enemies to fight, but you will first need to get a better handle on your new state before you are ready to go back into the fray."

Yuri looked so confused that he did not even know what he wanted to do now that he had lost his body.

The machine he became a part of just wanted to wreck as much stuff as possible without too much regard for anything else. Yuri might not exactly know what he wanted out of his life anymore, but he emphatically did not want to degenerate into a mindless beast!

This was why he entertained suicidal thoughts. The man saw no reason to live anymore if he was not able to enjoy the remainder of his strange and undesirable state of existence.

Naturally, this was the last thing the Transhumanists wanted to see!

Professor Loban stepped forward and made a placating motion. "Now that we have developed a better understanding of your current state, we can employ specific measures to ease your discomfort and find new ways to improve your condition. It may take years to restore your condition to your satisfaction, but please believe us that we are committed to your wellbeing."

It was unclear whether Yuri believed that, but he saw no other choice to grasp at this life-saving offer.

[Please… help me. I do not… want to be in pain anymore…]

By the time the talk came to an end, a pair of Pacifier mechs stepped into the chamber and flanked the Yuri Machine.

Their active glows allowed Ves to relax and let go of Lufa. The Angel of Tranquility's continued presence helped to suppress the Yuri Machine's violent tendencies and maintain the original mech pilot's rationality.

There was nothing much that Ves could do at this point. Perhaps he could tinker with the mech pilot's spirituality even further in an attempt to root out the man's contamination, but there was little hope that this would work.

The mech pilot's spirituality had mixed so much with other factors that the latter had blended too deeply with the former. Trying to remove the contamination risked removing essential parts of Yuri's personality and memories. By the time Blinky was done with excising all of the undesirable portions, it was doubtful that the man would remain coherent enough to speak like a normal human!

As Ves and Professor Loban retreated from the guarded chamber, they shared their respective theories and conclusions.

"Our initial judgment has not changed too much." Loban said. "As flawed as the Yuri Machine may be, the human mech pilot is still alive, though his memories are clearly impaired. The troubling state of his 'living mech' is also a source of concern. However, it is clear that much of the reason why Yuri Enfame is in such a poor state is due to the circumstances of his accidental transformation. We believe that it may be possible to conduct a much less flawed human-to-mech transference process in a completely clean and isolated environment, preferably one which is surrounded by active Pacifier mechs. We would like to conduct such a test as soon as possible. We have more than enough eager candidates who would be willing to volunteer for such an experiment."

"Isn't that too soon?"

"On the contrary. The Yuri Machine is not enough to satisfy our research needs. We need more samples. No matter how flawed or deficient they may be, more working examples of a human that has at least partially transferred his spirit to a mech will give us more data points to work with. We can also distribute the test subjects to multiple different research teams to conduct research in parallel."

Ves looked skeptical. "That sounds great, but you will need to reproduce the accident that caused Yuri Enfame to merge with his mech. I can tell you now that I do not have the information I need to reconstruct it. According to my current theoretical frameworks, it is impossible for this to happen. I never programmed this function in the Ultimatum design. I have not designed any growth trajectory that can allow a living mech to power up while absorbing a mech pilot. It is impossible for me to give you another Ultimatum that can turn into another version of the Yuri Machine."

That caused the RA Senior to frown. "I see. Do you have any theories or suspicions on how you can eventually induce your Ultimatum or another living mech to induce such a transformation?"

"No." Ves firmly shook his head. "Or at least not in a single step. The Yuri Machine may have showed that it is possible, but I highly doubt I can replicate it in totality. I suspect there may have been a mysterious factor on the battlefield back then that is the main cause of this radical mutation. Under normal circumstances, I think that only Carmine mechs have the capacity to gradually merge themselves with their bonded mech pilots. It will have to be a more gradual process where their fusion is split up into multiple stages that are spread out over several years or decades. The more gentle the process, the greater the control and the lower the chance of undesirable elements."

"How soon would you be able to design such a Carmine mech?" Professor Loban asked the most important question.

"We haven't finished testing the Blood Knights that I have supplied to you and your fellow mechers." Ves frowned. "While their current performance suggests that the Carmine System is working as intended, it will still take at least several more years to complete the earliest longitudinal studies, and even then we should keep monitoring the early adopters in case their condition deteriorates at a rapid rate in the following decades.. There is no guarantee that the Carmine mechs are truly safe to pilot for both potentates and non-potentates in the long run."

The Carmine System was so radical and subversive that there was an overwhelming need to verify its safety. This was why the Survivalists and later the Transhumanists always insisted that Ves keep a lid on its existence until its development had reached a mature enough stage to gradually introduce it to the public.

However, Vector Loban struck a different tone than Master Termaneo Dervidian, who had always emphasized the need for caution.

"Times have changed. The Red War is heating up. The native aliens are evolving. Our social order is gradually deteriorating. Our faction is changing as well. When we previously made decisions about your Carmine System, we did so in a time when our faction was either stuck in the past or still in the process of transition. I can tell you now that a new wind is blowing within our ranks." 𝘭𝒾𝑏𝑟𝑒𝒶𝒹.𝘤𝘰𝓂

Ves narrowed his eyes in suspicion. He previously did not think much of Professor Loban, but now he understood there may be another purpose behind this visit.

"Who are you, really? What happened to Master Dervidian?"

The Transhumanist responded with a coy expression.

"Your familiar contact person is still doing fine, Professor Larkinson. He is currently occupied with an important research project. As for myself, you know my name already. What you really wish to know is who is standing behind me. I think you are clever enough to deduce the answer. Back when we were still living in the Age of Mechs, the Transhumanist Faction was led by the Chosen Human. Divine Hussain Albedo is more than 300 centuries old. He is a product of his time, and grew up when the aftermath of the Age of Conquest still lingered in everyone's thoughts. He has developed a strong sense of protection towards the purity and integrity of the human race. He opposes unchecked genetic modification and has always emphasized the need to err on the side of caution in any experiments involving human test subjects."

Ves knew that the Transhumanists hadn't always managed to abide by the Chosen Human's principles, but the god pilot clearly kept these all of these crazy people in check while he was at least nominally in charge.

"I take it that has changed on this side of the greater beyonder gate." He remarked.

Professor Loban nodded and smiled. "That is so. We are cut off from the old galaxy, which means that the Chosen Human and many of the other old god pilots and Star Designers presiding over our branch no longer hold any authority over us. The only remaining leader that has the prestige and the support of our members in the Red Ocean is the Evolution Witch. She is only more than 170 years old and has grown up in a time where humanity has regained its hope for the future again. She… favors a much more proactive stance. As one of her subordinates, it is my responsibility to oversee some of the many research initiatives of our faction and ensure that they better reflect her newly instituted policies."

So this was it. The Transhumanists got rid of the restraint imposed by their old leader and embraced the desire for progress of their new leader!

Perhaps this was why the Transhumanist Faction remained so low-key in the past year. A new administration had taken charge. The new leader clearly made a clean sweep of a lot of old policies and put her own stamp on the powerful faction!

"So what does this mean for associates for myself?" Ves wondered. "Please be concrete."

"Well, for one, we would like you to roll out your Carmine mechs within the next 3 years instead of the 30 years that we originally envisioned."


New novel chapters are published on 𝒍𝙞𝙗𝒓𝒆𝙖𝓭.𝙘𝒐𝒎

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