During the interplanetary transit ride to Cinach VIII, Ves constantly glowered.
Not even Lucky\'s playful antics could lift him from his tempestuous mood.
The hostile air around him did not do him any favors.
Along with the pressure exerted by his Pride of Dusk, hardly anyone could stand to be in his presence!
Fortunately, they booked a private suite aboard a larger passenger transport, so Ves had the entire compartment to himself and his followers.
Nitaa and Gavin both knew that Ves lost one of his precious mechs again.
While they were a bit confused upon who actually took the Devil Tiger, there was no doubt that Ves took its absence poorly!
if you really care about that mech so much, why not stay behind in Cinach XII As long as he can find out who\'s responsible for the theft, we can still get it back!
Ves shook his head.
We won\'t be able to find it.
I know who took it and I know I won\'t get it back.
All of the investigation we did in the late morning didn\'t result in any useful findings, and I don\'t think we\'ll be able to find anything considering how careful the thief is in covering her tracks.
He didn\'t even know how his mother managed to make the huge container disappear.
Did she bring lackeys with her to the Cinach System who took care of the transport of the mech container, or did she whisk it away in an alternate dimension with her spiritual sorcery
Whatever the case, his mother\'s extreme measures to keep her presence hidden meant that Ves had no chance in hell in tracking her down!
His mother had no idea what she was dealing with when she made off with the Devil Tiger! Ves really regretted adding no warning about at least some of the threat his mech posed to the health of its mech pilots!
He really hoped his father didn\'t pilot the Devil Tiger personally! In fact, he shouldn\'t since he didn\'t specialize in piloting bestial mechs!
This realization made him feel a little bit better.
His mother may want to put the Devil Tiger to use, but his father should know better!
Dad used to serve in the Mech Corps. Ves softly muttered.
He should know what is proper and what is not.
Piloting a mech type that you don\'t have any proficiency in is a big taboo in the service.
What would his father want to do with a landbound tiger mech anyway Most battles in the Nyxian Gap took place in space.
His father originally specialized in piloting landbound melee mechs, though like any Larkinson he diverted enough training to raise his spaceborn combat proficiency to at least a basic level of competency.
If his dad had any sense, he would have probably focused on raising his spaceborn mech piloting skills even further.
Otherwise, how could he ever keep himself space in the predominantly spaceborn fighting environment of the Nyxian Gap
Splitting up his precious training time by learning how to pilot a tiger mech from scratch made absolutely no sense!
His father should possess enough logic to realize what a monumental bad idea it was for him to learn how to pilot a bestial mech well past his mech academy days!
At his age, learning how to pilot a completely new mech type was a waste of his father\'s time.
Ves silently sent a prayer hoping that his father hadn\'t forgotten all of his Larkinson and Mech Corps training while he slummed it out in the Nyxian Gap.
As Ves cast his eyes downwards, they swept across the fabric of his overcoat.
His eyes suddenly shone!
Perhaps he still had a way of contacting his parents! Two ways, even!
His Pride of Dusk\'s overcoat still contained a separated fragment of Zeigra\'s spirituality.
The latter in turn inhabited both the Devil Tiger\'s design and its physical masterwork copy!
He began to concentrate his mind and cast it towards his design.
He immediately sensed the main body of Zeigra\'s spirituality.
As Ves went on to brush his Spirituality against it, he immediately encountered a hostile reaction!
Zeigra blindly lashed out at Ves as soon as the Crown Cat recognized one of the people responsible for killing his organic body!
Stupid cat! Behave!
Meow! Lucky raised his head from Ves\' lap in alarm.
As Ves attempted to make contact with Zeigra\'s Spirituality several times, the intelligent but very feral huge cat spirit only grew more vicious and unwilling!
There was no way Ves could get through to Zeigra!
Ves tried to do the same towards Zeigra\'s spiritual fragment locked inside his overcoat, but its connection to the Crown Cat\'s main spirituality meant that he encountered the exact same response!
You\'re weaker, though!
The critical difference between the fragment and the whole spiritual entity was their strength.
Ves easily managed to push his Spirituality past the defenses of the fragment, but he had little to go on from there.
Because the fragment only possessed a loose connection to its main spirituality, Ves had no way of ascertaining the state of the Devil Tiger mech through its design spirit!
This method turned out to be a bust as well!
Without turning Zeigra friendly, Ves saw no way in convincing the stubborn spiritual entity into passing on a message to the Devil Tiger mech!
However, this was not his only recourse now that he thought about it.
He also left open a means for him to retrieve logs from the Devil Tiger and upload some new instructions to the mech through the galactic net.
Ves could still warn his parents of the incredible danger surrounding the Devil Tiger\'s use! For example, he could upload a change in programming that would plainly project a giant message in the cockpit that explicitly detailed all of the risk factors of the mech in question!
He could even go a step further! The programming of the Devil Tiger was like an incredibly complicated virtual machine with many interlocking components.
As long as Ves uploaded a software update that purposely sabotaged some key coding in its programming, his mech would no longer be able to fight!
In fact, Ves could even program the pure A**AS to destroy the entire Devil Tiger from within! In that way, he could eliminate the chance his father would endanger himself by piloting the smart metal tiger mech!
As Ves began to figure out the programming required to turn the Devil Tiger into an inert pile of broken materials and nanomachines, he realized one crucial precondition.
The Devil Tiger had to gain access to the galactic net in order to upload its status and download his software updates!
All of the wonderful programming that Ves planned to prepare might remain unused and forgotten in an obscure corner of the galactic net so long as his father never connected to it!
Do the pirates of the Nyxian Gap connect to the galactic net Ves asked all of a sudden.
No idea. Gavin shrugged.
As far as I know, they rarely do so. Nitaa spoke.
The Nyxian Gap is well-known for its prevalent spatial anomalies.
I don\'t understand the science of it all, but I\'ve heard that most quantum entanglement nodes no longer work right when they are brought to this turbulent region of space.
You\'re right. Ves palmed his face in despair.
The Nyxian Gap might as well be a separate realm from the main plane of reality!
As someone versed in the sciences, Ves understood more about the effect the anomalies had on the Nyxian Gap.
Nitaa was correct that most of the space in the Nyxian Gap was too turbulent to connect to the galactic net.
There were exceptions, though.
In some rare regions of space, the spatial fluctuations were less severe, allowing for limited connections to the galactic net.
However, even if his father entered such a space, would he ever patch into the galactic net, knowing that he was under constant pursuit
If his father and mother truly insisted on hiding themselves, they would never allow an insecure connection to the galactic net to give themselves away!
Ves assumed that most pirates and dark mercenaries were too sloppy to care too much about virtual security, yet he knew his parents would never be that stupid!
Damnit! I really hope they aren\'t as paranoid as I think they are! Who can live without the galactic net these days
He continued to groan into his palms for a while until he recovered.
Regardless of whether his worst fears might come true, he still maintained hope that his father would see sense or that he would check in onto the galactic net once a while!
I have nothing but hope to go on!
Ves immediately summoned a small interface from his comm and rapidly programmed some preliminary coding.
He laid out an outline of what he wanted to implement in the software update for his Devil Tiger and planned to flesh them out over the course of the next few days as he waited for his various appointments to arrive.
He also realized that Zeigra presented another avenue for him to ascertain the state of the Devil Tiger.
As long as Zeigra did not exhibit any changes, the Devil Tiger was probably fine.
Ves could even use the huge cat spirit as a middleman to communicate a message to his parents.
Unfortunately, trying to make friends with Zeigra was a nearly impossible challenge! Who would ever want to forgive their killer
For a short moment, Ves contemplated breaking Zeigra apart or removing him from his position as the Devil Tiger\'s design spirit.
Ves could not predict what would happen if he acted rashly.
He had a feeling that he would only be breaking the bond between the intangible design and its only physical copy.
In fact, his intuition hinted to him that Zeigra\'s spirituality might even cut itself off from the design and reside solely in the masterwork mech in order to escape Ves\' reach!
Zeigra might even cut off all ties to its spiritual fragment that Ves held hostage in his overcoat!
I should reduce his hostility towards me. Ves grimaced as he looked down on his coat.
Turning some of Zeigra\'s remains into an outfit and a mounted display piece didn\'t sound like a good idea anymore.
I can only work at it slowly.
Time healed all wounds.
As long as enough time had passed for Zeigra to forget his old life and his traumatic death, Ves might have a chance to earn its friendship.
Well, let\'s see what I can do for now.
The passenger transport eventually brought them to the surface of Cinach XII.
Once there, they checked in an upscale hotel where Ves holed up in his room.
He held a small programming marathon session where he programmed a thorough, multi-layered software update that if applied to the Devil Tiger would certainly render it inert or warn its mech pilots of its dangers!
Ves encrypted the coding and discreetly uploaded it onto a very specific address in the galactic net.
This is all I can do for now! He sighed.
As much as Ves wanted to agonize and beat himself up for unwittingly handing over an extremely dangerous mech to his father, he couldn\'t ignore his other responsibilities.
Ves emerged outside of his hotel room like a recluse who hadn\'t seen daylight in years.
Are you back to normal, boss Gavin cautiously asked.
Yeah. Ves rubbed his tired face.
What\'s on the agenda
Nitaa managed to arrange the time and date of your pickup for your more..
It\'s in two days.
As for the guest lecture at Rawlings, you\'re still expected tomorrow.
Are you well enough to speak in front of a class I heard that news of your guest lecture has led to a large explosion of interest among the student body.
Rawlings already notified me that they decided to shift the guest lecture to a larger auditorium in order to accommodate all of the students who want to listen to your tales!
Ves looked surprised.
Am I really that popular
Why not Gavin smirked.
You\'re a prodigy and a star to the students! Aside from that, your record is filled with adventure! All of those adolescents at Rawlings are in love with all of the excitement you\'ve lived through! I told you, Ves.
You\'re a role model to the students!
Ves seriously questioned the wisdom of treating him as a role model in his profession.
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