Brett Patton

Author of Mecha Corps, A Novel of the Armor Wars

Profile: Dr. Salvatore Roth, Enigmatic Creator of Biomechanical Mecha

Interesting that the first comment on this Dispatch is by someone calling themselves “Union Patriot.” Okay, Mr. (or Ms.) Union Patriot, I’ll bite. You suggested investigating Dr. Salvatore Roth to gain additional insight on biomechanical Mecha technology, and I did exactly that.

One of the first things I noticed is that Dr. Roth’s official bios, profiles, and interviews all view almost exactly the same. It’s as if the UUN is sticking to a very tightly controlled script when they’re conducting an interview, and Dr. Roth is saying the same well-practiced lines. If you put it together, it comes down to the same bullet-pointed facts, over and over again:

  • Dr. Roth was a top-ranked conventional Mecha engineer, stationed on Geos in the Union Advanced Research labs, for 20 years
  • During the course of his research, he was inspired more and more by biological rather than mechanical systems, to the point of clashing with his superiors
  • He took a 10-year sabbatical from the field, during which time he was able to take his ideas to levels he didn’t even expect
  • Upon demonstration of his first biomechanical Mecha prototype, the Union saw the potential and contributed funds for him to perfect the technology
  • The first deployment of “Rogue” Mecha at New Jericho colony demonstrated its power as a surgical instrument, turning back a potential Corsair occupation
  • The current generation of biomechanical Mecha, “Hellion,” are much more capable than the Rogues, and much more powerful
  • Dr. Roth’s company, Advanced Mechaforms, Inc., is a sole contractor to the Universal Union, and maintains offices on Eridani and on Earth, where pilots are trained to handle Mecha
Almost every one of these points unfold into a multitude of questions. Prying into Dr. Roth’s past in the Union Advanced Research Labs had my data-access red-flagged in minutes, and I had to repeat my credentials several times to the system in order to receive exactly two facts: Yes, Dr. Roth worked for UARL, and his employment record was considered spotless.
During Roth’s 10-year sabbatical, where did he develop this stunning new technology, and with who? No other interstellar government has biomechanical Mecha technology. So who helped him? I can’t believe this is the product of a single mind working in isolation.
What happened with the Rogue? That Mecha model had a lifespan of only three years, and then disappeared from sight. What’s more, old Rogues aren’t being used in day-to-day operations. You still see a ton of Imps and Villians on the colony worlds.
What is Advanced Mechaforms’ relationship to the Universal Union? I requested Freedom of Information documentation on cash flows into Advanced Mechaforms, and the results, even heavily redacted, are somewhat stunning. If my calculations are correct, Advanced Mechaforms is the recipient of 6-8x more funding than all of the other Union technology contractors combined. 
Yes, more questions. It would be good for me to leave Aurora and go to Eridani. There would likely be more answers there, at the seat of Union power. But for the moment, I enjoy my status as an academic. Aurora is a slow, pretty world; I don’t think I’d have the stomach for the ongoing political plays on Eridani, even if I could sate my curiosity.

Categorized as Science

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