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A note from earthdrake

Hope you like the chapter.
If you see any error do let me know.

Excerpt of History of the Eras abridged

***2rd ERA***

Gene therapy

 

The second era brought incredibly advancements in genetic therapy that helped to extend human life. It was considered to be the second piece of technology that changed human life the most.

 

It is known that due to telomere decay the cells would, over time, start to replicate with errors causing aging and a wide variety of other problems.

Almost at the middle of the era a gene therapy was found to make this natural decay due to replication almost null. Now human bodies could replicate healthy cells for more years with little to no decay extending the youthful period for many decades. However, this added youth period didn’t add too much to the median life expectancy and didn’t eliminate old age. Telomere decay happened by multiple reasons and even with this therapy old age came and instead of happening over a few decades it happened fast a deadly.

A person could go from looking in his late 40ies to his actual age of 104 in a matter of days, usually resulting in sudden terminal organ failure due to the shock of aging too quickly.

While not a side effect most societies started to see a sharp increase in many other problems caused to constant excesses. People would feel and look young for many years making everyone think that they were still young and that they can keep drinking non-stop, using drugs, overeating and many other excessive behaviors. The constant abuse to their bodies would end up creating many problems that when aging normally they would know how to stop. This brought quite a few socio-cultural issues[1] and it took over 500 years for society to adapt.

 

As the previous gene therapy was limited and only gave and extended youth a second gene therapy was developed that actually extended the life expectancy. After thousands of years of tests, a solution was found to lower and even ignore some of the other causes for telomere decay extending life expectancy from a maximum of 140 of expected age to 240 years of expected age 2.

 

Hundreds of years later there were a few problems found caused by the second gene therapy and the effects on society. Birth was much harder, the body used too much energy to stay alive and it was harder for any female to get pregnant while all males were producing minuscule quantities of viable sperm. Also, women were becoming barren in barely 50 years, with a life expectancy of 200+ years women were losing their ability to carry a child after merely a quarter of their life.

 

2 solutions came, another gene therapy that enhanced the organs making them more efficient and increasing specific parts of the metabolism increasing the chances for pregnancy. This option created a plethora of gene therapies that were wildly used.

The second solution was a small implant that prevented the body from reproductive tasks. Women simply didn’t have periods anymore unless the chip was removed and men didn’t produce spermatozoon. The chip was small, barely invasive, and just below the skin making it extremely easy to remove with no secondary effects after removal.

Since the chip removed the body expending of energy in reproductive internal work while simulating all sexual development at expected ages it helped to control hormone imbalance particularly in minors and improve life quality in women mainly.

As all gene therapies they affected all genes and they were passed to future generations too making everyone affected by them at the end of the era.

1 Multiple religious groups did find issue with the gene treatment causing problems everywhere. This among other reasons is why religion has been banned in most civilizations.

2 Curiously the median age lowered from 92 to 87 years few years after the second gene therapy though sociologists are still studying the reasons. It took 200 years or for the median age to surpass 100.


 

With a saccharine smile and laughter in his eyes Otho greets Marcus "See the conqueror of mechs coming, the great designer, HE of the fancy hair, the ever steady…"

"Hi Otho. Forgot that today was the appointment" Marcus had schooled look betraying no emotion

"Appointment your majesty?" A full smirk on Otho’s face

"Yes, I’m auditioning for ass kissers for when I become the a recognized Mech Designer, but you are not that much better at ass kissing that as a mechanic …"

"Little Marki has claws"

"Little Marki doesn’t have claws, just a nice, big, and meaty..."

"EGO, that’s the word you were going to use right Marcus?" Val’s smile and tone that could freeze water in her presence. "Now kids, the school district is at the city center and you are in dire need of classes. Work time is over so just leave."

"Wait Val, before we leave. I wanted to rent the workshop’s processing power so I can finish testing my design."

"We don’t actually have that much and we use it during the day, however you could rent from the Vigiles now, it would cost a bit more but after the other day it shouldn’t count as a favor and they can even grant you a discount. Here is the Silvia’s link, talk to her yourself, I’m out" Val left in a hurry.

 

Marcus looked at Otho with doubt in his face and pointing at Val with his head.

Otho made a face of not knowing while raising his shoulders.

"Her anniversary with the husband is today. Every year she always leaves early at this date" Hilaria explained after watching the exchange while walking down the corridor.

Eventually after changing clothes and some joke exchange Marcus left for his apartment.

 

Marcus still had a bit over a month to finish the design and present it however, to prevent unexpected problems he wanted to have it ready 1 week before just to be sure.

If he could rent a simulation core from the Vigiles to run tests he could even do a multiple refinements in his schematics, and while he didn’t need a favor from them to rent a core, it would help.

 

"Hello Silvia.

My name is Marcus Caelum, mechanic of Val’s Workshop and Mech Designer (provisional). I got your link from Valentina.

 

I would like to inquire about renting one of your simulation cores for a period of 1 month and the cost required.

 

Best regards.

Marcus Caelum"

 

Short, straight and better than just a message saying "Hey Silvia, need to rent a sim core. You owe me".

 

In the meantime, he kept working with his design. Sure, he felt tired from the long day, the extra work and all but he thought he could work a bit more. Now, Marcus could evaluate by hand all the possible scenarios but it would take long, it wasn’t really a creative or interesting process (it was basically physics and mathematics to evaluate every way every part could break and how would that affect other parts) so he went back to the drawing board to confirm why he picked the pieces.

The extendable legs using a main body of …

 

"Marcus Caelum, credits have been deducted from a pending payment for a job done.

This is the link to the sim cores. Your temporal access key is 464e8e-916e8b-8153ab-1d37f9"

 

Oook… she just took money and gave me this for a month. I would need to check with Val later about the appropriate cost but I will just send her a timed message for tomorrow. Marcus copied Silvia’s message and sent her to Val so she would receive it tomorrow after 8 asking her to check how much it was and how much it was.

Using the given key, he logged into the sim core, fed the already processing simulation and let it running. Time remaining 14:12 hours.

 

By some reason after taking care of this all the tiredness came crashing down on him. Having relaxed knowing he had to wait and that he could improve his design even further after the waiting period was good. He could keep working another day.

Today was done and he would rest, he made dinner, read an interesting novel about a mage trapped in a self-repeating fake time-loop and went to sleep.

 

The next day.

 

"Hi Val. I want to finish the last bus and my designs are still processing. Can you tell me if the missing parts are there so I can finish the last bus?" Marcus sent the message to Valentina. He had time to kill ‘till the simulations are done and he could pool his extra working hours to take the time later.

Afterwards he just made breakfast and started reading the results.

 

"Parts in. Can finish bus today. NO TALKING."

Marcus chuckled. He always found funny how Val could develop an incredibly articulated communications capabilities when she was drunk.

 

After breakfast he went for work, found all the parts where they should plus an extra protective coating he bought for the armor parts so they wouldn’t degrade as quickly and he took his time finishing the bus. He wasn’t sure why but it felt good, it felt correct and strangely personal.

He didn’t do this because he liked Dextra. He found her interesting and enjoyed talking with her since she had a great knowledge base about mechanics.

He was expecting to see her again today but it seemed less and less likely as the bus was getting fixed.

 

"Here you go Dextra, your granny is done" Marcus said to no one in particular as he closed the last cover "Hope both you and her enjoy the work done" he smiled softly as he presses the power button and went down the bus.

The bus AI read the information, run a basic diagnostic with all results in green and connected to the traffic network for the route. With all said and done the bus departed with the given direction.

"I will see both of you again some day" said Marcus with surety as he saw the leaving bus and, he had a weird feeling, like a mana resonance different from the one found in monsters but by some reason he didn’t worry.

 

Marcus just marked the job as done in the data pad and went back home.

 


 

Waiting for him at his apartment where the simulation results. He had to analyze tons of data torsion resistance in joints, carry loads, weight distribution, possible points of failure.

He had already done all of this however doing a compound study of all how all the different forces could apply to all other parts and how that would impact in the whole or while doing specific movements was incredibly complex, a single person could not do this. Lesser Mech Designers or those who failed their test sometimes did this as a job. Help others improve their designs by finding errors or faults. He had to do it by himself … and with his simulations.

 

He found some normal errors, cables and pipes that could break easily in specific events and that he should protect them better, 24.7% of chances of joint failure in the 2 back legs during walking IF the total carry weight exceeded what he estimated by just 12% while the mech was ever in an inclined plane of more than 60°.

Other where more critical, he made the same error in all schematics, if his cryogenic tube still had some remaining liquid inside while collapsing the arms it would be likely to cause a rupture when the liquid expanded. This meant that not only his tube had to contain that but he should be able to vacuum seal it afterwards or add emergency pressure regulators within every possible fold part.

 

With the date he had it took him 5 days to create 7 new schematics with possible solutions, 2 days to review them and create new possible solutions for 4 of them, then 1 day for short simulation of the repeated errors, and 12 days for a more in depth simulation with constant iteration on the 4 possible schematics.

19 day had passed while refining the 4 final simulations with various results. He had improved the battery’s duration and total working time, it would move a bit faster in both modes and would be 3% ligther by changing some the alloy in some parts however he also he realized something wrong. The load carrying problem was impossible to fix within the parameters. He could either decrease the maximum carry load for inclined surfaces and even for vertical ones or he had to add more artificial muscle but it would add to the consumption and lower the working time. Either of those would work, if not he had to redesign the mech.

He had many doubts about direction, should he change it, how should he. He didn’t know what to do with this particular query. It wasn’t something he could know, what would be better… so he would cheat.

 

"Hello Evander. Thank you for taking your time to answer me"

"It’s my pleasure Designer Caelum"

"Marcus, please"

"Marcus then. How can I help you today?"

"I hit a small divide and wanted to ask you a bit more about terrain and your opinions. I can make the mech work on battery power for almost 3 hours of normal work time plus an emergency battery power for transportation and defense of no more than 15 minutes at full load and consumption HOWEVER I do have an issue with movement on complicated terrain, particularly inclined and vertical surfaces. So the question about terrain is, how important and how much inclined terrain would the mech need to traverse?"

"This could be a problem. As I’m part of the committee that will pick the final design I can’t tell you about others and I would prefer not to be given more specific data. However I can give you an answer about this. The areas that we found the trees are mostly plain with crevices and always on the side of small cliffs of no more than 15 to 20 meters and the trees are always found at the bottom, very rarely more than 1 meter of the side.

This could change for other possible locations but for this one it’s enough that it can travel a bit on an inclined or vertical plane but never for long."

"Excellent Evander, thank you for the information. I would need some more information about the tree though. Up to what height do you expect the bark to be harvested in a tree? In a tree of 12 meters you would take up to the top?"

"Hmmm, that would depend. At the moment we can’t harvest too high due to the lack of machinery and the attack of the owls but we would go up to 80% to 90% of the tree I would say, however at those heights if the tree is inhabited it’s usually where the owls make their nest and would retaliate upon approach so say, maybe 9 meters on the tallest trees and no more than 7 or 8 in the rest"

"Once again Evander, thank you very much for your assistance"

"When will you be sending your design? I’m expecting great things from you after all the questions"

"One more week or so should do it"

"Then I will keep my expectations in check. Good luck with the design"

"Good bye Evander!"

 

Evander’s data was excellent, he could remove some total length in the legs and harvesting arms so the total harvesting distance between the 2 would be 9 m and he could stop worrying about weight limits. If the pilot collected first on the most complicated terrain and then moved to a normal one it would not go over the limits of the joints.

It took 10 more days to change the 4 schematics and reduced to 2. A lighter model for more steep terrain and the one he would send for a plain terrain. Only the second was sent. ‘Metentis Aranea’

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earthdrake

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