The reason why Cormaunt Hempkamp built up a problematic track record was not only due to his unusual design philosophy, but also the fervor in which he pursued it.
His ideas on neural interfaces and how they related to mechs could potentially provide a lot of value, but needed to be utilized in real situations in order to supply him with the data he needed to iterate on his work!
It was this requirement that Mr.
Hempkamp fell in trouble so many times.
His neural interface designs were considerably less standard than usual and that produced a lot of uncertainty.
The problem with new neural interfaces was that there was no good way to test them without connecting them to a real mech pilot or potentate.
While there were many ways to minimize the risk of harm, the neural interfacing field suffered from a fundamental problem.
There was no substitute for human mech pilots.
This was rather strange as convergent evolution caused a lot of alien races to resemble each other.
They evolved similar organs and perform in similar ways when exposed to the same environment because their home planets possessed highly similar attributes.
Yet even if mech designers attempted to trial their new and supposedly improved neural interface designs on these alien races, the results were vastly different!
No matter what, an intelligent alien specimen whose species evolved on a different planet developed a substantially different brain and nervous system.
Since neural interfaces were highly specific towards a specific subset of humans, they simply did not work at all when connected to any alien minds!
After undertaking a lot of trial and error, neural interface specialists eventually concluded that their distinctive works could only be tested on humans or individuals whose genetic makeup was still close to humans.
That latter seemed to give a way out for the mech designers in question.
There had been cases in the past where they bred half-alien hybrids that were relatively weird and unusual aside from their brain and nervous system.
As long as the organs that directly connected to the neural interface systems were human enough, then it was still possible to forge a man-machine connection!
While a few of these experiments produced successful results, the MTA shut these experiments down with extreme prejudice once it found out about the macabre research!
It did not take much imagination for Ves to figure out why the MTA and plenty of other people became extremely concerned about these experiments!
After the MTA tightened the rules and implemented a strict regime on neural interface development, it became a lot harder for specialists in this field to trial their new designs.
They needed to take a lot of additional steps, from writing extremely detailed logs to submitting any of their designs to the MTA in order to receive preliminary approval to trial their work on real mech pilots.
Though the Mech Trade Association had a vested interest in speeding up the universal development of mechs as fast as possible, it also had a responsibility to protect the public from unsafe machines.
Since many innovations tended to be dangerous to the user, the MTA ended up in the unenviable position to find a balance between two contradictory goals.
On the whole, the MTA\'s regime was fairly liberal to general technology.
As long as the inventions of mech designers weren\'t too weird, didn\'t violate any taboos or happened to be directly derived from alien technology, the mechers generally adopted a tolerant attitude towards new technology.
After all, if the mech industry and tech industry did not possess an atmosphere that actively encouraged engineers and other inventors to realize their promising ideas, there was no way that mechs could catch up to starships in terms of power and practicality!
The huge amount of mech designers that spent their entire lives on improving mechs played a large role in accelerating the progress of this field!
Yet wary of any tech or development that could make the public acquire a sense of distrust towards mechs, it was important to temper this progress with sufficient control and prudence.
It was obvious that neural interfacing technology suffered more than any other technological branch due to how much harm it could inflict on friendly mech pilots!
Since the preservation and development of mech pilots were key priorities to the MTA, the mechers accepted the need to slow down the improvement of neural interfacing in order to keep the pilot class happy.
Cormaunt Hempkamp felt this was a counterproduce development.
Out of all of the core tech that makes up a mech, neural interfaces have experienced the least amount of improvement from generation to generation. He complained.
This is not a coincidence.
The strict rules and the abundant suppression of our work has scared away a lot of promising mech designers who could have done a lot of good in my field.
The MTA\'s overreactions have also stifled innovation because people like myself get subjected to newer prohibitions because one of my colleagues happened to botch an implementation.
Ves looked intrigued.
If the MTA is so overbearing towards the people that work on neural interfaces, why did you still choose to go into this field
Hempkamp helplessly shrugged.
I originally didn\'t think it would be this bad.
I heard the stories and my professors at school gave me numerous warnings, but I thought that the mechers would appreciate or at least tolerate the fresh ideas that I wanted to introduce to the mech industry.
To be honest, I also did not set out to revolutionize neural interfacing technology at the start.
It was only after I began to learn the true state of my new specialty that I figured out that I could do so much more for mech pilots!
And what is that, exactly
Let me turn this conversation around if I may. Hempkamp said as he became more active.
What do neural interfaces mean to you, patriarch
They are a means to an end to me.
While they play a vital role in making mechs work, I do not know enough about them to really think about what they do any further.
They are black boxes to me that I just put into my mechs so that I can move on to more interesting stuff.
Cormaunt Hempkamp nodded in understanding.
Many mech designers have given similar answers.
To me, neural interfaces represent so much more.
It starts from the beginning.
Even before mechs came to prominence, neural interface technology had already been developed.
While the early pioneers of this tech never imagined it would enable the explosive rise of mechs, these researchers and engineers developed the early form of neural interfaces for several different purposes.
Some of them are peaceful but even then they already had a military purpose in mind.
Do you know what kind of war weapons they were originally designed for in the past
From what I have read and studied, they were first developed to replace the tactical control systems of old-fashioned aerospace fighters and starfighters. Gloriana answered.
Back when these fighting vehicles still posed a significant threat against the rudimentary warships of humanity, they became increasingly more bloated with features.
It became too difficult for pilots to control them.
While automation helped with simplifying the control schemes, leaning too much in this direction produced greater problems that negated any improvement.
You know your history well. Hempkamp said with respect.
Back then, neural interface developers encountered the same problem as we did.
The tech was too dangerous or did not work for most pilots.
They discovered later on that they were hampered by a factor that we know today as genetic aptitude.
That spelled the deathknell to the military usage of this tech.
Soon after that, neural interfaces became a lot rarer and they were more often employed on animals and exobeasts than humans.
Ves raised his hand.
Can we speed up this history lesson a bit and come to the point that you are trying to make As much as I enjoy the origins of this tech, I am a busy man with a lot of design projects on my mind.
I apologize, sir.
Let me try to summarize my story as much as possible.
After neural interfaces no longer became relevant to the military, the biotechnology industry was the only sector where they remained for a long time.
Neural interface engineers spent thousands of years iterating on the technology for several purposes.
You can generally split these purposes into three broad categories.
The first category is to connect a human mind to another human mind.
This quickly proved to be dangerous, so it was outlawed in quite a few star nations at the time.
That didn\'t stop certain researchers from experimenting on this anyway.
The second category is to connect the mind of one beast or exobeast to the mind of another creature.
Suffice to say, these experiments yielded extremely inconsistent results.
In some cases, beasts became a lot stronger or more versatile.
In other cases, they grew extremely violent or outright went crazy.
Since there were many star nations that did not enact any laws that granted rights to exobeasts, there were many neural interface engineers that conducted extreme and unrestricted experiments against creatures.
The experiments in question were so gruesome that a small sample of them ended up in the textbooks that every mech design student had to learn.
It was one of the many ways the MTA and the mech community reinforced everyone\'s fears towards neural interfaces.
No one was allowed to take them lightly! Even the stupidest and most incompetent mech designer knew better than to alter the design of neural interfaces!
The third category is to connect the minds of humans with the minds of beasts.
These produced interesting results to say the least.
This is perhaps the research that is most directly related to the neural interfaces that you are familiar with.
This was because neural interface engineers successfully adapted these devices so that they could connect humans to machines.
Ves grew impatient.
Why is this relevant
Can\'t you see, sir While neural interfaces were only paired with mechs for less than five centuries, thousands of years had gone by while they were used to conduct all kinds of biotechnical applications! Ever since mechs entered the mainstream, neural interface development has split in half.
One branch has grown increasingly more specific to mechs, so much so that it has become the dominant version of neural interface technology.
Another branch had faded into the background as it continued to be employed in the biotech industry.
It was at this point that Ves started to connect the dots.
Wait a minute… are you trying to transpose the neural interfaces used in the biotech industry to the mech industry!
You can say that.
Mechs and exobeasts have a lot more in common than people think, you see.
This is also why I have grown eager to work with you.
Out of all of the mechs in existence, the living mechs that you are known for possess additional parallels to exobeasts! They share so many similarities that it has become a lot more viable to borrow tech that is developed exclusively to enable data exchange between two living subjects!
That… that\'s crazy! Ves gasped.
It\'s a brilliant idea, I admit, but it can easily go wrong if your assumptions are wrong!
Do you see, Ves I knew that Mr.
Hempkamp would be of interest to you.
His design philosophy potentially synergizes a lot more with your work than others!
When it came to their work, Gloriana was always serious.
She knowingly extended an invitation to Cormaunt Hempkamp even though his conduct and his attitude offended her sensibilities.
As long as Hempkamp\'s work and contributions ultimately pushed the Larkinson Clan\'s living mechs to the next level, then that more than compensated for his eccentricities!
In any case, Gloriana was already accustomed to dealing with Ves\' antics.
The inclusion of another lunatic hardly sounded like a big deal.
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