Chapter 5767: Attack on Divergence

5767 Attack on Divergence

People throughout the Red Ocean reacted to the public inquiry in different ways.

There were many mech designers who shared similar feelings as Ketis.

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Just as the swordmaster predicted, Gloriana did not take the latest announcement too well.


"Big sister, why is mama so angry?"

"Mama is angry because a group of bad guys refused to give her a toy."

"Oh. That makes sense."

Other mech designers showed a little more understanding.

"Complete neural interfaces." Tristan furrowed his brows as he watched the broadcast from his office in the headquarters of his mech company. "Ordinary neural interfaces are already dangerous by themselves. I can't imagine how much more risky it is for mech pilots to make use of enhanced versions of this tech. There are probably good reasons why the mechers kept it out of their hands."

Then there were mech designers who scoffed at this revelation.

"You do not need true mechs." Master Benedict Cortez told the projections of Patriarch Reginald Cross and General Ark Larkinson. "From what I can surmise based on the limited information released up to this point, true mechs give ordinary mech pilots more resistance when fighting against exotic enemies. They may possess other strengths as well that the mechers have yet to mention, but fundamentally speaking these true mechs exist to solve a problem that their intended users cannot solve by themselves. Both of you possess extraordinarily strong willpower. If you are strong enough to maintain your fighting spirit when entering the God Kingdom of a god pilot, then complete neural interfaces are redundant for your mechs."

"I see. So complete neural interfaces are more suitable for mass production models if that is the case."

"Whether true mechs are desirable enough for most general mech pilots remains to be seen. Master Cantor deliberately mentioned a number of possible issues. A woman of her stature does not say anything trivial. She is inoculating us to prevent us from developing too many expectations for this new category of mechs. In spite of the possible issues, the mechers still value true mechs to the point where they insist on keeping these machines for themselves at first."

"Will we ever be able to gain access to these true mechs, Benedict?"

The Master Mech Designer's expression grew complicated. "Not in the short term, given how the Red Association has always maintained tight control over this technology. Even if public pressure forces the mechers to share it to the public, they will do so in the most restrained fashion possible. Think about the Red Fleet's Warship Quota Program, but for true mechs. Only the most favored parties will be able to field limited quantities of true mechs to protect them against a rising threat."

Many people among the public grew concerned about the threat posed by these 'cultivators'. They had little idea what that even meant, but that did not stop them from entertaining all kinds of doom scenarios.

The Red Association was one of the most authoritative groups in human space. If the mechers warned the public about a threat they were concerned about, then the public blindly believed that the wise and righteous mechers were right to feel this way!

This was one of the effects that Ves had to overcome when he returned from his second recess.

As he stood in the center of the speaking pit, he slowly built up his momentum as he defended his living mechs with increasing fervor and passion.

Master Cantor sought to besmirch his living mechs and render them indesirable by announcing the existence of true mechs which theoretically conflicted with the purpose of living mechs.

Ves did not hold too much personal animosity towards Alice Cantor. As much as she resorted to rather drastic measures to shock the public into dropping their adoration for his living mechs, she did so because she genuinely believed in the original ideal for mechs.

Master Cantor was just the spokesperson for a much larger group of skeptics within the mech industry and beyond. Ves did not disregard the fact that living mechs had been making a lot of people uncomfortable at an increasing rate, especially when third order living mechs started to pop up like mushrooms.

That did not deflate his fervor in any way. Despite respecting Master Cantor for strongly advocating for what she believed in, Ves could not accept the fact that she went as far as to torch his design philosophy and argue that living mechs had no reason to exist!

If Ves wanted to remain a true mech designer after this day, then he had to win this argument in the most convincing fashion possible!

With only a single speaking turn left in this exhaustive session, Ves needed to use the limited time available to him to sway people back to valuing his living mechs over other products.

Any other result was unacceptable as far as he was concerned!

Fortunately, he knew exactly how he could mitigate the damage and win back the favor of the masses.

He inwardly smirked as he knew that his upcoming argument would definitely Master Cantor speechless.

This was because he intended to use her own weapons against her and the rest of the opposition.

Ves held his back straight as he turned around the speaking pit and gazed up at all of the attendees who had become fully engaged in his narrative.

Whether it was his confident demeanor, his increasingly more passionate delivery or the odd glow that he was radiating across the grand hall, Ves managed to command the total attention of anyone who was even remotely invested in this controversial subject.

"Let me address a belief, no, a philosophy espoused by one of the speakers from the opposition." He spoke with obvious restraint in his voice. "Master Cantor over there would have you believe that mechs can only align with a single theoretical framework. She uses the word 'divergence' over and over again as if it is a magic wand that automatically justifies her crusade against my living mechs. Still, is it truly correct to form a conclusion solely based on what works in the past? Why don't we stick to using warships then? Just because stuff has worked in the past does not mean that there is no room for improvement! The mech industry thrives on innovation. If you want to continue to make use of mechs that get significantly better with each generation, then you must be open-minded enough to accept inventions that break the established mold!"

Mechs had progressed much faster than warships during the Age of Mechs because of a much more enterprising spirit surrounding the newfangled machines.

The Mech Trade Association made obvious moves to restrict research into dangerous directions, but mech designers were otherwise free to pursue any direction of research, even if it did not make any sense at first.

Without continuous innovation, mechs would stagnate and lose their competitive advantage over other combat platforms.

In that context, it seemed rather excessive for Master Cantor and the other opponents from the Red Association to fixate on him and his work all of a sudden. The mechers escalated this conflict far too quickly and practically initiated a witch hunt by organizing this 'public inquiry'.

If it could happen to Ves, it could happen to any other mech designer one day. Not even his existing good relations and his high galactic citizenship tier saved him from enduring all of these accusations.

Ves did not intend to be merciful for that reason.

"Let us talk about what divergence actually means." He spoke as he began his own assault on one of the most important principles of the mech industry. "The usual understanding about mechs is that they function best if they are distinctly different from the humans they are designed to serve. There is nothing wrong with this attitude towards our products. The logic is sound and it has worked well enough for our civilization for at least four centuries. What I cannot accept is that this is the only acceptable interpretation of mechs, and that there is no way that there can be a better alternative."

Many people grew more curious about what Ves was about to say. He sounded so compelling that the audience began to feel sympathy towards him. They all wanted him to beat back the perceived injustice of the mechers.

Ves smirked when he gazed across the underwater environment. "I think that Master Cantor and her fellow detractors of my work are wrong. There is a better model out there, and I will explain why I think that this is the case."

He activated a projection that showed a simplified image of a typical human body. The man possessed a generic appearance and wore a simple shirt.

"This is a human. This is the subject whose needs have to be addressed. In this case, he is about to enter into combat, but lacks the protection to survive when coming into contact with the enemy."

He created another projected image that depicted a generic suit of combat armor.

"This is a suit of armor like the ones that enforcers and soldiers typically wear. This suit is a product that exists to fulfill the demands of its user. In this case, the suit offers excellent protection against typical small arms fire. The problem is that without a human wearer, the empty suit doesn't really do anything with its powerful properties."

Ves proceeded to merge the two images together, thereby neatly stuffing the human inside the suit of combat armor.

"This is the intended combination between the two elements. The needs of the human are met in a way that ensures he remains in control of the situations. The combat armor serves its essential purpose and can leverage its full potential now that it is controlled by a trained and intelligent soldier. Sounds nice, right? Humanity as well as many other races have been waging infantry combat for many millennia with this combination. Something similar takes place with mechs as well."

Ves suddenly dropped his smile. "Yet this fundamental model is not perfect. Let me mention the most relevant objections that I have with this scheme."

He waved his hand, causing the suit of armor to be separated from its wearer.

"Strip the armor from the human, and the human regresses into his weak old self. Pretty much all of the amazing strength that he previously had at its disposal has disappeared entirely. Perhaps he may be able to regain his prior combat effectiveness by getting back his combat armor or obtaining a replacement, but that does not change the fact that the human still retains all of the weaknesses as before. The funny part about this is that this flaw remains valid for many other comparable situations."

He began to drive home his point by replacing the suit of combat armor with a much larger and stronger mech.

"When you put a mech pilot into the cockpit of a mech, the combination between the two can beat up a lot of enemies. Yet when you take the mech pilot out again, he regresses into a weak and vulnerable human."

Ves replaced the projection of a generic mech with a much fancier and more expensive version.

"Let's pretend that this new machine is a true mech. I do not know whether true mechs appear differently from normal ones, but let's just assume that this is one of the Red Association's secret weapons that they have held back from us for the entirety of the Age of Mechs."

He manipulated the projections so that the human entered the cockpit of the true mech and came back out again.

"Almost the exact same story happens in this case. The human mech pilot is weak and vulnerable against material attacks as well as metaphysical attacks. When the pilot interfaces with a true mech, he can presumably withstand both kinds of attacks with a high degree of effectiveness. Yet when you pull him out again, he becomes just as vulnerable as before. If true mechs work the way I think it does, then they are just as flawed as ordinary mechs. Their complete neural interfaces won't be able to make this situation any better. Do you recognize the fundamental flaw with the divergence model?"

The more intelligent people among the audience already started to get an inkling where Ves was going with this story.

Ves smirked again as he made one of the important statements on this subject.

"The most fatal flaw of pursuing divergence in mechs is that it doesn't do nearly enough to develop the mech pilot! In fact, the mech only coddles the human that it is meant to serve! The mech becomes a crutch that humans solely rely upon to compensate for their weaknesses! While that might sound nice in the short term, it is not progress from my perspective. Do you know why first-class mech pilots break through at a noticeably reduced rate compared to lesser pilots? This is exactly why! Their mechs do too much of the work, leaving their human pilots with little room for growth and development! The divergence model that so many close-

minded people insist upon has become a poison that keeps humans perpetually weak and underdeveloped. This is not progress in my opinion. This is stagnation, plain and simple! Now that I am able to present a better alternative, the stupidest choice you can make is to stick to an outdated solution that does nothing but keep you stuck in perpetual weakness!"