I managed to fix the player, but I don't know how long this solution will last. I apologize for all the inconvenience caused by the change in rules on the audio file server side over which I had no control.
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Ves ultimately gave his wife the benefit of the doubt.
He could tell that she was genuinely fired up and passionate about this issue. It would crush her a lot if he refused to support her on this important venture.
Her timing happened to be apt. Ever since she came back recently with a cutting-edge hyper cranial implant set in her body, she eagerly sought a way to unleash her boosted cognitive capabilities and test her high-tech learning tools!
Archetech was still a field that was in its infancy in the mech industry. The Red Two undoubtedly possessed a considerable head-start in deciphering and mastering this exotic tech, but it had yet to proliferate to the general mech community in any fashion!
This meant that the Larkinson Clan still had a chance to become one of the early movers and build up a considerable head-start in this exotic but highly promising field!
If Gloriana started much later, then a lot more competitors would have built up a lot of competence in this field. It would be virtually impossible for her to catch up to them, especially when they continued to produce new results through their own research endeavors.
This may be the only window of opportunity for her to become a genuine pioneer in archetech.
"You have your luminar crystal tech, and I shall have my archetech." Gloriana shared her aspiration. "You are already familiar with the advantages of selectively adopting alien tech that is highly compatible to you. I am simply learning from your example. Archetech speaks to me in a way that I cannot describe to you. Just looking at Lucky's current form makes me appreciate his excellent construction and seamless fusion of two different tech bases."
The aforementioned gem cat raised his head just as he finished off his expensive meal.
Ves grew cautiously optimistic.
"I support you, Gloriana. I look forward to seeing what you can do once you have gotten started in this field. The only thing I am not so certain about is how much MTA merits I need to spend in order for this investment to pay off. What you are asking for is not cheap, and I only have a finite amount of MTA merits to spend. A part of me regrets that I have turned down the offer to receive an award of 10 billion MTA merits earlier. If I knew you had this ambition, I might have changed my mind about my earlier choice."
"No. You are being stupid again. 10 billion MTA merits are not as valuable as the right to call upon the assistance of 3 Star Designer. You can earn MTA merits in many different ways, but this is the only time you have received this favor! You need to cherish these opportunities and use them wisely. I already happen to have an idea how you can make effective use of your first minor request."
Ves groaned. "Not so fast, Gloriana. I know what you have in mind, and my answer to that is no. Expending 1 of the 3 requests to get the Xenotechnician himself to personally tutor you on the essence of archetech is a disproportionate trade! It is no different from importing water from Bridgehead One just to quench my thirst. There are much more cost-effective alternatives that we can choose from! You might not be able to gain access to the best teachers and confidential research results by spending MTA merits alone, but it should be more than enough for your current needs."
His wife disagreed with that. She argued extensively how the Larkinson Clan would benefit enormously if she became a lot more competent in archetech, telling him that this early investment would would yield a massive return in time!
She was probably right, but the difference between the two of them was that Ves had set his sights far beyond archetech!
His vision was broader as he did not develop a strong fixation for archetech.
"Do you understand the real value of those three minor requests?" He shot back. "I think you don't. They are not just opportunities to study from the best teachers in the Red Ocean. They can allow me to connect to them so that they will get to know me on a more personal basis. I can befriend them and gain their word of support during important moments in the future. Aside from that, there are better ways to use up my requests. For example, I have been thinking about asking for their help in bolstering our personal security. Only when we can remain alive will we have the opportunity to create new opportunities for ourselves."
He also thought about working together with a Star Designer to develop a personal fighting suit for himself that could fully enhance his combat power when he unfolded his true body.
While Ves could technically design such a suit from the ground up by himself, the development cycle would be long and cumbersome.
That did not sound like a huge problem as long as Ves had plenty of time to refine his work.
Yet time was the one resource that he was short of the most!
In his opinion, it may be worthwhile to use up one of his minor requests to exchange for a custom-developed combat suit that could fully amplify his abilities as a phase lord.He hadn't made up his mind, though. He also came up with other useful proposals. He needed to mull over this issue for an extended amount of time in order to ensure he did not waste these rare opportunities.
In any case, Ves and Gloriana finally came to a consensus on the adoption of archetech.
Gloriana had little choice but to abide by her husband's restrictions. He held far more MTA merits than her. His contributions were much greater after all. He had already become an impressive tier 3 galactic citizen while his wife was still stuck at tier 10 up to this point.
Perhaps the only way for her to elevate her galactic citizenship in the short term was to become an authority in the field of archetech. This was another powerful motivator that drove her to embrace this alien tech!
"Even if we become proficient in designing archemechs, we won't be able to roll them out on a wider scale." He told her. "The greater mech community is not even close to ready to transition to this new category of products. We can only keep our archemechs to ourselves for the time being. Even then, I don't think our mech technicians can handle them without going through extensive training. You need to train a dedicated group of low-ranking mech designers to proficiently service and repair an archemech with specialized tools."
His wife nodded in agreement. "I have already drafted a plan for that. I am not insisting that our clan should phase out conventional mechs and replace all of them with archemech. I am of the opinion that we should reluctantly be able to handle archemechs so long as they are confined to our high-ranking mechs. That is also where this powerful new tech can make a powerful difference with the least amount of work."
Designing an archemech version of a popular mass production model would impose a massive burden on the clan. Entire production lines needed to be replaced while much more personnel had to go through expensive training.
The Larkinsons had to take it slow in order to adopt archemechs step by step.
"As long as we can successfully get started with archemechs, the initial batch of personnel that completed their difficult training in archetech can serve as the future teachers and supervisors of the next wave of archetech engineers." Ves mused as he rubbed his smooth-shaven chin. "As long as we can repeat this chain enough times, sooner or later most of our production and maintenance crews will know how to service archemechs so that we can cautiously begin to outfit elite mech units with these powerful machines."
It remained to be seen whether the Larkinson Clan would make this eventful transition.
"It may be better to limit the use of archetech to our first-class mech designs." Gloriana proposed to her husband. "The threshold is too high. It is too difficult for ordinary second-raters to understand the exotic tech thoroughly enough to conduct independent repairs on a damaged machine. It should be considerably easier for Larkinsons who have completed EdNet training or native first-raters such as Alexa Streon to gain a basic level of proficiency in archetech."
She made a good point. Ves became taken by this idea.
"Limiting archetech to the Premier Branch simplifies a lot of stuff. Our fleet is still in its infancy, so we can set it up to accommodate archemechs and all of the related infrastructure from the ground up! As long as it doesn't take too long to train competent first-raters in handling archemechs, we can make it so that we can field an entire force of first-class archemechs by the time we are ready to take part in the first wave of deep strike operations!"
In the meantime, the expeditionary fleet could keep using conventional mechs as usual. It was not that Ves gave up on the second-raters, but he did not want to make their lives too difficult by forcing them to adopt advanced technology on a wider scale.
Now that Ves was willing to support Gloriana's effort to become a master archetech, they needed to decide on a sum.
This provoked another argument before Ves finally agreed to reserve 300 million MTA merits for her expensive endeavor.
"It's a good thing that I already have a lot of MTA merits in reserve." He tiredly said. "Don't make me regret this. Just because I haven't spent all of these merits doesn't mean that they are worthless. It is just that I have no acute need for them for the time being."
Gloriana looked gratified now that she had received a handsome promise from her husband. "I can assure you that you will not regret your decision. The greater my proficiency, the more I can contribute to our clan. The mech pilots who are fortunate enough to pilot my works will thank you for your farsighted decision. Archemechs possess numerous advantages over their conventional counterparts. The most important benefit is there much greater fault tolerance. They are much harder to damage and cripple, so the ultimate benefit is that more of them will be able to survive the battles to come than before."
She was right. Archetech offered unprecedented degrees of redundancy for mechs. Even if half of their frames got blown to pieces, the remaining half would still be able to limp back to its mothership!
Aside from that, an archemech could theoretically offer much thicker protection to the mech pilot due to the reduced requirement for functional parts that were much more vulnerable to enemy attacks than armor plating.
An archemech component typically served both functional and defensive purposes at the same time!
That was the beauty of archetech. It was why archeships could remain small and compact while also delivering excellent performance for their sizes.
The metallic shells used to serve as a form of defense for the arche. They succeeded in resisting all kinds of dangerous exobeasts that derived strength from the same rich mineral deposits and ultimately won their evolutionary struggle on their home planet!
When Gloriana whipped up a concept design of the Dark Zephyr as an archemech, Ves became impressed by how much more resilient it became.
Defense had always been the most dubious trait of light mechs. If the Dark Zephyr was able to withstand twice or thrice as much damage before shutting down, then that could mean the difference between victory and defeat!
Of course, that was assuming that Gloriana actually succeeded in her venture. The performance of the Dark Zephyr Mark III hinged on whether she was able to master archetech quickly enough!
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