I quickly lock on to a target.
An enemy Battlesuit with the head of a tiger was engaged in close range combat with someone on my team and having the upper hand. I don’t recognize the Battlesuit but the main thing for me was the fact that the enemy was facing away from me. He probably haven’t even notice me yet. I eyed him and turn on the propeller.
My variant flew forward, surprising me with its speed. Before I know it, I was up to the enemy. Before I know it, I am going beyond the enemy! I reach out an arm more in hope than anything else, and heard a cracking sound. I turned off the propeller and the moment I stop, I turned back and saw a beautiful sight. The enemy Battlesuit was motionless on the ground.
"Logger450 Kill FlashTom3"
I just clothesline the fool! Someone on my team shouted in joy but I was already eyeing my next target; the flying enemy Battlesuit. Seeing it properly for the first time, I realized it was some sort of Clockwork exoskeleton Battlesuit with two small propellers above it that make it works like a helicopter. It is one ugly design but what it lacks in aesthetics, it is making it up on effectiveness. I smile as the operator turn his attention towards me. I hit the jump.
The trusty SH-Legs thrust high my variant into the air, and I turn on the propeller. It is a mid-air dash! My variant fly through the air straight at the enemy and the enemy operator was like a deer caught in headlights. He just hover there as I punch him out of the air!
"Logger450 Kill Lompongking"
I landed with victory in my mind. I had just taken out two of the enemies and it was now five verses three. The three who were now all shooting at me! The enemy team had noticed my entrance and is now determined to have some payback. I raised the oversized arms in front of me like the original designer of The Golden Boxer intended and notice an immediate problem. I can’t see. With the arms in front of me, my view was completely blocked! No wonder The Golden Boxer was a failure!
“Some help here!” I shouted at my teammates over the comm.
I heard rather than saw the fighting but the intense shooting towards me did lessen. Just as I thought I was out of the woods, something exploded beside me. My variant was blown to the ground and I tumbled a few times along it. Once I stop rolling, I immediately got up. There was no follow-up attack as the three enemies were too busy fighting my teammates. I had another golden chance for a kill!
I eye another enemy and turn on the propeller. I got ready for the speed for the dash but instead of flying forward, I just heard a strange screeching sound. I look back at the propeller and saw the problem. The propeller blades are bended! They must have been damaged when I rolled along the ground. My mind was thinking about how to rectify this when my screen went blank. Then I heard an announcement.
I died? What happened? I was still thinking that when I materialized back in The Fairbanks. As the virtual city busied itself around me, I quickly logout of LoW and activated the Dive databases. I review my last fight. I skip the first few minutes of the Arena and saw the last few moments of my variant.
I saw the bended propeller twirled and then there were several clear electric charges from the propeller to the back of my variant. My variant then exploded with the base of the explosion at the point where the propeller was connected to my variant.
I cursed. It was a technical malfunction. A big technical malfunction! My damaged propeller must have been damaged so badly that it exploded when I tried to activate it. It was a design flaw and a big one because my variant wasn’t even hit. At least not directly. All it did was roll a few times along the ground, and that was enough to cause a catastrophic failure. It is a terrible design!
I berate myself for a few more minutes before calming down. I took a few deep breath to steady my mind. Once I believe I was ready, I review the fight again, this time looking through it all. I realized it wasn’t all bad. My variant works in a certain way. It closed the distance well, maybe too well, and the mid-air dash was beautiful. It just had the same problem The Golden Boxer had; it can’t take a punch.
I review the fight a few more times before deciding that the giant propeller must go. It looks cool but it is a walking time bomb if it can’t even take one indirect hit. However the idea of a propeller is good, I just need something else. Something that can take a hit. I went back into the Dive Creator Platform and try to search for a more durable propeller.
After two hours of searching, I had to admit defeat. I took a last look at my variant and sigh in disappointment. I have no choice; I have to change my design. Such a cool look, such a wonderful idea, and it is ending in failure. There is just no such thing as a durable propeller. A propeller is just not meant to be damaged and it surely will suffer some damage in battle. That’s just a fact.
"If I could just…"
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The inevitable warning came and I sigh again. I look at the time and realize how late it is. Well, it isn’t but I had an early start today. Nothing I can do but to save the design and log out of Dive. That’s enough work for one day.
I closed the workshop and drove home. Unlike most people who just use the autopilot, I found driving to be relaxing. There’s nothing like driving a car home and seeing the city below you as you fly over it. When the flying car first came onto the market, most people were scared shitless of it. People thought they would be dead the moment an engine stalled, the antigravity failed, the…whatever didn’t work. What they didn’t know is that the car manufacturers made flying cars so tough that most of the time you can survive a crash. Some cars even came with protection shields. The moment the car sensors notice a dive, protective shields would cover the whole of the car starting with the windscreen. It…I lean towards the windscreen as I thought of that. An idea pop into my head. I hit the autopilot and lean back. What if I look at it from another direction?
The classic look of a science villain in the Clockwork Age is a small thin man with a big backpack. When in trouble, the villain would with a click of a button, pop out a big rotor from the backpack and fly away. Despite the cliché, the idea is based on a real invention. There really were such things as backpack rotors that act as personal single-person flight devices in the Clockwork Age and I watched enough history programs to know that some of these rotors would automatically withdraw back into the backpack once they were turned off.
I am sure there are some of these backpack rotors on Dive that were tough and durable. I thought of the technical issues involved in installing the backpack. I needed one that’s powerful enough for my variant and I probably need to change the pathway linking it to the operating rig but a backpack rotor can’t be that different from a propeller. I also need the variant to stay at Grade 0 for the mission but most clockwork technology are around that grade so I should be able to do that. It is almost a one-to-one exchange!
“Let’s try it. I’ll do a search for one tomorrow.”