Editor: Thor’s Stone
Kelly brought Kou to a large testing ground next.
There, he found a work Silhouette equipped with a gun as well as a bare MCS loaded behind a work vehicle. It was the armored capsule form of the Multi-Cockpit System.
It looked like a chicken egg uniformly colored in metallic gray. It resembled the front end of an attack helicopter.
There was a space under the rear seat. The said space housed both the reactor and power pack.
「This here’s a Multi-Cockpit System. It’s a product of over-technology whose design hasn’t changed one bit even after 20,000 years.」
「This is the core of most current weapon systems, right?」
「Yeah. It’s pretty much universal. By the way, Kou. Do you have an idea about the dimensions of this thing?」
「Um, honestly…… I don’t. Sorry.」
「It’s fine. I’ll give you a rundown, so make sure to remember this stuff. For its external dimension, it’s 2.6 meters long, 1.4 meters wide, and 1.8 meters high. Its internal dimensions are 2.4 meters in length, 1.2 meters in width, and a height of 1.5 meters. Whether you find it large or narrow depends on your body size.」
Kou was reminded of something. He found that it resembled the dimensions of a single-seater ultra-compact EV (electric vehicle).
It’s just that it resembled the tandem cockpit of an attack helicopter more. That’s because cockpits were generally installed on a slightly diagonally forward angle on a Silhouette’s torso.
「Silhouettes have quite a bit of depth to them.」
Yunlan also mentioned that an MCS had a depth and width that corresponded to a box.
「Yeah. But what you should be paying attention to are the MCS’s width and height instead.」
「What do you mean by that?」
「It would be faster if you experience it for yourself.」
Kelly called out to the work vehicle.
「The usual please.」
The work vehicle grabbed the MCS with its robotic arm and moved away from the two men.
「Now the MCS is about 300 meters away from the worker Silhouette. Alright then, Kou. Get inside that Silhouette over there and fire at the MCS.」
Kou then boarded the worker Silhouette just as he was told and began to aim at the target MCS.
The robot arm holding the MCS began subtly moving it up and down. This made it strangely difficult to secure an aim.
About a third of the bullets Kou fired missed their mark.
「How is it? Quite hard to aim at it, right? Next, use that bayonet on that rifle to thrust and slash at it. One thrust and slash would be enough.」
Melee combat was Kou’s specialty so he was a lot more confident.
However, his self-confidence was soon crushed to pieces.
The robot arm holding the MCS suddenly dropped in elevation. That made his thrust miss.
He then followed up with a downward diagonal slash. The robot arm slightly moved the MCS sideways, but Kou still managed to barely graze it.
Kou used the Silhouette’s rollers to move next to Kelly and got off.
「How was it?」
「It’s…… surprisingly difficult to hit.」
「Ain’t it? You remember that slight up-and-down movement the robot arm was simulating earlier? Take note of that. That’s actually how the MCS positions itself while a Silhouette is in motion.」
「Why is that?」
「Even humans have their torsos move up and down at least two centimeters while walking. Scale that up to a Silhouette’s size and the movement’s gonna get bigger as well, right?」
「I get it! With the impact mitigation function of the MCS, it remains firmly fixed to the machine. That’s how it mimics the up-and-down movements of a human’s torso.」
「Do you understand now? The MCS itself has a double structure. That’s because Whis is a type of energy that’s related to gravity. If Whis isn’t running through the structure, the impact mitigation function won’t activate at all.」
「Strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force, and gravity. Wasn’t Whis a combination of gravitational and electromagnetic force that’s identifiable through the fifth dimension……?」
「So you know of that eh? You have a great teacher.」
Kou was pleased by the praise for Master.
「So now we’re clear that the MCS moves in concert with the torso of a Silhouette, right? And the movement simulated by the robot arm when it made the MCS dodge your thrust earlier was where the MCS will be positioned when a Silhouette crouches. The sideways movement was to simulate its position when a Silhouette arches to the side.」
Kelly then points to the Silhouette beside the two of them with a big grin on his face.
「You wanna know what I’m getting at with all this, right? Y’see, a lot of transferees say stuff like these about Silhouettes. Stuff like Silhouettes being inefficient due to their large humanoid design. Or them being great, big, easy targets due to their size! I say they’re just being ridiculous!」
Kou thought Kelly was exaggerating a bit, but he mostly got the gist of what Kelly was trying to say.
「Let’s call it a humanoid weapon’s effective frontal projected area. The reactor is mounted behind the MCS, and the power pack is mounted on the bottom half of its rear. That’s all in order to keep its height within 1.7 meters. You have to accurately aim and deal a direct hit on this thing in order to completely neutralize a Silhouette. All while it’s moving around just like what we showed you earlier.」
「Even if the legs get destroyed, as long as the pilot’s still alive…… Actually, the legs of Silhouettes are kinda difficult to destroy as well.」
「Is aiming for the legs that are actually thinner than a Silhouette’s torso actually more efficient? We have no infantry moving around the battlefield here, remember? Even tanks and armored combat vehicles tend to prefer aiming at the torso rather than the legs.」
「And since railguns can easily shoot down aircraft, there’s little chance of being attacked from above.」
「It’s even fine if you lose a limb or two as long as the MCS is still functional. You can still shoot even without the legs. If there are friendlies nearby, they can recover it fairly quickly. They can pull out the MCS and stuff it inside an armored car easily after all.」
「As long as the MCS is still fine huh.」
「This is a combat theory that only works here on the Nemesis warfront. Actually, it might even work back on Earth as long as some major power manages to find an effective way to send super-strong electromagnetic waves over a very wide area, resulting in the elimination of infantry from the battlefield.」
「Those are some dangerous ideas.」
「We’ve gotten off-topic! Anyway, you just need to take note of one thing, Kou! Design weapon systems with the MCS as the core. If you do that, you’ll find it easier to come up with a design that you’re satisfied with. Be it a Silhouette, a tank, or even a plane.」
「By the way, Kelly-sensei– The current weapons equipped with the MCS include Silhouettes, armored vehicles, and tanks, but I haven’t seen any weapons that are more compact. What’s the reason for that?」
「That’s a good question, Kou! Actually, the MCS has such excellent defensive armor plating that it can actually serve as a decent armored vehicle even if you just slapped tires onto it directly. However, the reason why we specifically install MCS on armored vehicles is……」
Kou listened to Kelly’s machine gun-like explanations with rapt attention.
Aki sighed and smiled wryly. Before she knew what was happening, Kou was already addressing Kelly as “sensei”, and Kelly very naturally treated Kou as his student in return.
Kou’s compatibility with the Development Engineer they visited this time around seemed to be quite good.