Chapter 4474 Limited Skills
Ves was happy with how his biomech design ended up so far. He filled out much of the biological frame with an intricate collection of interconnected biological components.
"It's like putting organs inside a formerly empty biological shell." He mused.
Just as with conventional mechs, it was a lot easier to start from the outside and work his way inward.
In truth, it was more proper to start the other way around, but Ves only dared to adopt this approach when he designed the metallic mechs that he had worked with for many years.
Ves adopted the easier and arguably lazier approach of designing the exterior bone scale armor system first.
Although the bone material was strange and novel to him, there was nothing complicated about its composition or its properties.
The toughness and defensive strength of the bone plates were rather mediocre in his eyes, but the upside was that they were cheap, easy to grow and incredibly easy to work with under most circumstances.
He could shape them in any way he liked and he could even add bioprogramming to his bioknight that enabled it to grow new plates on an independent basis.
Of course, allowing the biomech to repair its own exterior plating was like asking a mech pilot to perform field repairs on a heavily damaged mech.
Combat machines simply weren't set up to perform complex and resource-intensive repairs on their own. Biomechs could regenerate ordinary tissue damage easily enough, but growing brand new bone plating would take months and also demanded access to the right kinds of raw materials.
Ves was aware of the existence of biomechs that could actually cannibalize fallen biomechs to facilitate their restoration. More advanced biomechs were even able to digest parts taken from regular mechs or any other non-organic machines!
"It's kind of like an organic version of what my Devil Tiger can do. Self-evolving organic mechs are considered some of the most advanced products of the biomech industry!"
It was much more difficult to design a biomech that could evolve its physical form on its own by devouring random materials. The depth of bioprogramming required to evolve every biological component in specific ways was so deep that Ves didn't even think about adding such a powerful feature into his Blood Knight Project.
"My Novice-level Biotechnology Skill is too inadequate. There are far too many features that are beyond my reach."
It was frustrating to set aside a promising and useful function because of his own lack of competence.
His ability to design a biomech fell far behind his ability to design a conventional mech, and the constant reminders of this fact frequently ruined his mood.
It would have been better for his mental state if he wasn't already an accomplished Journeyman Mech Designer.
This was because as long as he looked at a specific aspect of his biomech, he could always think of a way to design a much better implementation using non-organic materials and parts.
"I can't keep thinking like this. I need to let go and accept that I won't get everything perfect on the first try."
It was his inner Gloriana that was mostly kicking a fuss about all of the obvious shortcomings of his current work. He had worked together with Gloriana so many times in the last few years that her work philosophy had definitely contaminated his psyche.
No matter how many times he tried to loosen up, he could still get triggered whenever he noticed an obvious flaw.
This was good because his ability to optimize and improve a mech design had become a lot better after he started to learn from Gloriana's method.
It could also be bad in situations where he was working on a tight deadline!
Whenever Ves compared the state of his incomplete biomech design to many of the biomechs that he had encountered in the past, he became irked at the obvious differences in refinement.
Since biomechs were organic beings in essence, this meant that the Blood Knight Project was like a human who developed a lot of congenital defects.
A more skilled 'doctor' could easily address these defects, but a hack like Ves who had just gotten started in this field could do little but apply a few patches to open wounds!
Fortunately, despite his lack of depth in biosciences, Ves believed that the current state of the Blood Knight Project was quite serviceable.
"It will do the job more or less."
He relied a lot on his established mech designer capabilities to make it work. Compared to other biomech designers who had just started out, Ves was already an experienced mech designer who had dozens of original mech designs under his name.
He not only possessed an extensive set of developed Skills and Sub-Skills, many of which were relevant to both biomechs and conventional mechs, but also possessed an intuition honed over years of working with mechs.
Ves was not surprised that his powerful intuition wasn't able to provide as much assistance when working on biomechs.
He felt it had to do with his domain. His Spirituality was expected towards both life and metal.
Although this suggested that he should have a powerful advantage when working on organic mechs, his lack of practice and familiarity meant his intuition didn't know what to do at times.
The lack of cold metal components caused a part of him to feel profoundly lost. It was as if a biomech was not a 'proper' mech due to lacking the traditional parts that Ves had always associated with mechs.
Fortunately, his intuition was able to provide a semblance of a boost, so he wasn't left to his own devices.
The result of approximately 28 days of constant design work with very little breaks in between was an almost functional biomech.
"In fact, it is already functional to a degree." Ves surmised as he looked at his current design with a critical eye. "It can interface with a mech pilot with the help of a standard neural interface that is especially adapted to biomechs. It can walk on its legs, lift a tower shield and attack with its sword. Its sensors can observe the environment while its communication systems can keep the biomech connected to friendlies."
It could even fly in space, though it had been anything but easy to integrate an organic flight system to a biomech.
Different from conventional mechs, it was a lot harder for biomechs to gain flight capabilities because the processes involved took a great toll on biological systems.
Ves couldn't simply slot an existing organic flight system into the back of a biomech and be done with it. He needed to make a lot of adjustments to the organic mech frame itself to ensure that the heat buildup didn't boil the more fragile cells and so on. He also had to prevent the flight system from blowing up the biomech from the inside whenever it sustained significant damage.
It was all difficult and tedious work, and he couldn't always rely on a textbook to design his way out of a corner.
Fortunately, his abundant experience in designing conventional mechs along with his extensive knowledge base in working with conventional systems allowed him to come up with his own design solutions.>
Perhaps his homebrew methods might not be as refined as the methods of more professional biomech designers, but he was confident that he managed to make the organic flight system work.
"I can't expect much from it, though."
He had opted to integrate a slower, weaker and simpler organic flight system in order to reduce any possible complications.
It wasn't all that bad, though. The beginner version of a biological flight system was also solid, robust, efficient, highly tolerant towards damage and was able to self-correct itself to a much better degree than other options.
"The Blood Knight Project won't be able to win any races, but it can hold the line and keep fighting even if it has sustained a lot of damage to the rear."
One of the annoyances of including an organic flight system to a biomech was that it limited the strength of the tentacles he had added to his biomech design.
The four, bone-covered tentacles in black gave the Blood Knight Project an inhuman vibe.
They looked a bit incongruous to the rest of the Blood Knight Project, but Ves insisted on adding them because of how much they added to the design.
Two of the tentacles were designed to help the biomech attack up close. They were rather long and could pierce an opposing mech from a side angle.
Ves had also designed them so that they could grip other objects such as lighter weapons or tools in case the Blood Knight Project needed to carry extra gear.
The limbs weren't too impressive at the moment, but they could easily be upgraded without adversely impacting the rest of the biomech.
The second pair of tentacles were a bit more special. Ves had turned them into ranged weapons by integrating a set of luminar crystals into the ends of the tentacles!
In effect, Ves had added two half-organic laser weapons to his biomech design!
"Since I have a 5 percent allowance for non-organic parts, I might as well make use of this quota."
The half-organic laser tentacles weren't capable of outputting a lot of damage at once, but they added a lot of much-needed versatility to the Blood Knight Project.
"Everything is fine except for the most important organic system of all. Without a blood sharing mechanism, there is no reason for this biomech to exist."
His ambitious plan to develop a biomech that could share its blood to its mech pilot and vice versa was an exceedingly radical notion!
The difficulty of designing the biological parts that could perform all of the necessary processes was not low.
He needed to solve two major challenges in order to allow his biomech to forge a working Blood Pact with its pilot.
First, he had to ensure that the biomech and mech pilot did not get adversely affected while foreign blood was running through their veins.
This would require him to dig much deeper into the field of Biotechnology than before.
Second, he had to make sure that this mutual exchange of blood empowered both parties through developing an accompanying spiritual mechanism.
Ves had to apply his spiritual engineering capabilities in a completely different context in order to turn his newly conceived Blood Pact into a reality!
While Ves had been able to coast by up to this point, it was clear that he could no longer muddle his way through.
Although the second challenge sounded the most difficult, Ves was fairly confident he would be able to develop a suitable spiritual mechanism to the blood sharing system.
He was accustomed to developing new spiritual engineering-related solutions. This was the advantage of figuring out how to manipulate spiritual energy from scratch. His habit of developing new spiritual constructs to solve different problems made him confident that this would be no different.
"The real challenge is the physical component of the blood sharing system. There is nothing in my basic biotechnology textbooks that can give me any clue on how to tackle this assignment."
That said, there was one source of knowledge that might help.
"Scarlet Oak Trees might provide me with the examples that I need..."
What was special about Scarlet Oak Trees was that they possessed a defined tree biology. Yet they also included a different set of bioparts that produced blood that clearly weren't native to the trees.
The Scarlet Oak Trees were not only capable of producing alien blood, but were also able to circulate this foreign substance throughout its trunk without causing any harm!
Neither the plant cells nor the blood cells experienced any decay!
"In fact, it's the opposite!"
One of the more brilliant traits about Scarlet Oak Trees was that they actively nurtured the blood they produced!
The blood that poured out of the trees whenever the Blood Cultists came to collect the harvest was always rich and filled with vitality.
Since blood played such an important role to the Blood Knight Project, Ves wanted to reproduce this effect!
"If I can pull this off, then the enriched blood can not only improve the biomech, but also the mech pilot who is physically integrated with the organic machine!"
It was a completely new form of mutual growth!
It was so radical and innovative that Ves couldn't predict whether it would end up as a revolutionary new form of empowerment or turn into a horrendous biohazard!
"I can't wait to see what happens!"