62 The Charging Battlesui
If the Fossil Fuel Technology was staying, what could I change? The simple answer was the weaponry. The Fuming Minotaur was an armored powerhouse, and it was sorely lacking in the weapon department. Outside the long battle-axe, the battlesuit basically had no weapons to speak of. This was no lapse of judgement. It was by design.
Theodorotis was what we in the industry called a 'pure' designer. In theory, battlesuits should be versatile with a balance between offensive and defensive functions. In short, you want them to have the best of both worlds. Pure designers do not believe that such a balance to be possible. To them, it is far better to have an overwhelming advantage in one area than to strive for balance. This school of thought does not confine itself only to battlesuit designers, but throughout the whole weapon designing industry, and The Fuming Minotaur was a textbook example of what a battlesuit designed by a pure designer would look like.
Theodorotis designed The Fuming Minotaur to be a defensive battlesuit and that's what we got. He emphasized strength and durability over attacking power, and the battlesuit's weaponry was almost secondary to him. The operator can basically replace the long battle-axe with anything he wants, and the basic design of The Fuming Minotaur would remain. That gave me a problem.
I could just replace the battle-axe with another weapon but that was just a cop-out. Any operator of The Fuming Minotaur could do that on his own. As a battlesuit designer, I need to give my customers something more than just a replacement weapon. I need to give them a better battlesuit than The Fuming Minotaur. Luckily, six months on the hospital bed gave me some ideas of what to do and plenty of time for research.
My Dive console came with three screens and I used one of them to access the Dive store of Eastern Armature Inc. In Thailand, I met a small-arms weapon designer named Nam Yong-Sun. The Korean designed weaponry using old technologies and had wanted to collaborate with me. I found him annoying, but I did check out his online store while I was in the hospital, and I had to admit he was a talented designer. The man was in a niche market, but the sheer novelty of his business got him sales.
Like the real-life online store of The Fat Tinkerer, Nam's store had a search function and I used it to search for weaponries that uses Fossil Fuel Technology. Only five products came up. Even a lover of old technology like Nam believed that Fossil Fuel was a dead end so he was going to get a shock out of this. I bought the Electric Gas Bolt from his Dive page.
The Electric Gas Bolt was a weapon system that could shoot out a high-powered twenty-centimeter metallic bolt. The weapon looked like a shortened shoulder cannon, and there were only five bolts inside. The bolts only have an effective range of about thirty meters, so the weapon wasn't that popular, but it's piercing power is incredible. Much like the battle-axe of The Fuming Minotaur, the bolt could punch through armor. Once impaled in the opposing battlesuit, the bolt would then release a short electrical charge to paralyze the opponent. It was perfect for my variant idea.
I took the Electric Gas Bolt and installed it on the left shoulder of the Minotaur. Installing the Electric Gas Bolt wasn't difficult as both the weapon system and The Fuming Minotaur ran on Fossil Fuel Technology. I only need to create a new pathway from the weapon to the operating rig and installed a button for the operator to activate the weapon. The next part of my idea was more difficult.
I took out the horns of The Fuming Minotaur.
Under Theodorotis' design, the horns were nothing but exhaust vents, and that was such a waste. A buffalo's horns are the animal's main weapon and even in the myths, the horns of a Minotaur were weapons. I first shortened the exhaust system and rerouted them to the back of the battlesuit. Two short vents at the back will replaced the exhaust vents. This does create a small vulnerability at the back of the battlesuit but the vents were so tiny, I believed that it was a negligible risk.
Then I began the process of replacing the horns. I had found a part on Dive called the Nahorn. Instead of horns on the sides of the head, I now installed a single long sharp horn measuring about half a meter on the forehead of the battlesuit. A Grade One part designed by some small design company that only exist on the Dive designer platform, the Nahorn looked like the horn of a Nawhale and was designed to be a piecing weapon. With this last part, my variant was basically complete.
My idea for installing the Nahorn was simple. Theodorotis had designed The Fuming Minotaur to be a charging battlesuit, and I intend to enhance the design. Personally, I think Theodorotis didn't take his idea of a charging battlesuit far enough.
The Fuming Minotaur was just designed to be fast enough to get close the opponent, and the operator can then outlast the opposition with the battlesuit's strength and toughness. I decided to push the idea of a charging battlesuit to the extreme.
As my variant is charging, the operator now had a mid-range weapon in the Electric Gas Bolt. With the Electric Gas Bolt, my variant can do damage to the opponent while charging, and then hold it in place for the Nahorn if it hits. Even if the opponent managed to survive the piecing attack, it would still be knocked down, and the battle-axe will do the rest.
Of course, that's how my variant would work in my head. Reality was often different. After the installation of the Nahorn, I spent a little more time tinkering with the battlesuit to make sure everything works. Honestly, there wasn't much I could tinker on as I didn't mess with the internals of the battlesuit outside the exhaust system. After I was satisfied, I saved my draft and ordered Dive to run it through a one-hour simulation. Dive had a robust simulation program for inventors to test new products, and the program was good enough to catch any glaring weaknesses in the design. I don't think I made any, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I checked the time and amazingly, it was only noon. Did I managed to complete a design in half a day?
"Guess not all the time spent in the hospital was wasted."
I smiled as I logged out of Dive. I had done all I could. I set a timer in my cybernetics and walked out of the office where a still beeping cleaning bot greeted me. Ignoring it, I closed the workshop and went for lunch.