Chapter 2322 - Xona Crystals
After chatting with Captain Reina Ember, Ves grew more comfortable with the Xona Stalker defectors.
Certainly, he had no doubt that the former intelligence officer of the Life Research Association presented a very deliberate image to him.
His experience with spooks like Calabast and Leland taught him that each of them were very adept at social engineering.
They consciously molded their behavior to appeal to whoever they spoke to and employed several techniques to increase their favorability.
That said, Ves didn\'t need to worry about the former Xona Stalkers doing anything detrimental to the clan.
First, they needed to pass Goldie\'s loyalty test.
Afterwards, their connection to the Larkinson Network made sure they developed a sense of belonging in the clan.
If that wasn\'t enough, he was pretty sure that Calabast would monitor them as well once they became a part of her Black Cats.
After hearing what the Life Research Association was like from the perspective of a former citizen, he asked the defector leader to show him to one of its most valuable assets.
Please follow me, sir.
They moved to a guarded vault.
When they stepped inside, Ves immediately noticed the two large objects placed in the center.
Two large, irregularly-cut crystals loomed over him.
Both of them were half the size of mechs and carved with mysterious alien swirling patterns.
They reminded him of luminar race technology, though the style was considerably different.
The luminar aliens were diminutive and most of their crystal creations were small.
The alien crystals the Xona Stalkers possessed were opposite.
These are our Xona Communication Crystals. Captain Ember announced with a touch of pride in her voice.
We own five of them in total.
Three are spread in outposts and other pirate bases spread throughout the inner and outer periphery.
It\'s a bit unfortunate that the Xona Stalkers in charge of managing those crystals are loyalists.
They wouldn\'t have been sent to other places if they were more inclined to support our cause.
Is there any way to retrieve those additional crystal Ves asked with a touch of hope in his voice.
I\'m sorry to disappoint you, sir, but unless you are willing to take large detours and attack several more pirate bases, it\'s not possible to get our hands on them again.
When the people in charge of the other crystals hear about Ulimo Citadel\'s fall, they must have already applied to join another pirate group.
His face fell.
This was a massive pity to Ves! Oh, to be sure, getting his hands on two of these so-called Xona Communication Crystals was already nice.
He didn\'t feel disappointed at all.
It was just that this unexpected prize would have been much more helpful if he got his hands on additional crystals.
As it was, his task force truly couldn\'t afford to attack those other pirate bases.
Aside from the risks involved, his fleet would have to stay in the Nyxian Gap for several years to collect all three crystals.
And that was assuming they would stay in place! If someone secretly took the Xona Communication Crystals away, it was extremely difficult for the Larkinsons to track them down.
How was he supposed to return to his wedding in time if he wanted to chase after those additional crystals
Can we try them out
Yes, sir. Captain Ember nodded and began to pass on some quick instructions to some Xona Stalkers manning some instruments.
The loyalists originally attempted to activate them during the battle, but we made sure to take out their men here first.
Ves observed the technicians preparing to activate the crystals.
The setup looked pretty crude to him.
The Xona Stalkers mounted a lot of data transmission connections to the surface of the crystals.
Not only that, but whoever developed this setup also saw the need to supply a lot of power in the form of several ship-grade power reactors!
This is a very energy-consuming process. He noted.
These power reactors can supply enough energy to satisfy a combat carrier!
This isn\'t the only restriction. His guide shrugged.
Once the preparation phase finally passed, the crystals were ready to transfer information.
Ves supplied the operators with a simple but fairly large electronic doc.u.ment.
Though the crystals didn\'t pulse or glow any interesting lights or anything, Ves faintly felt the huge amount of power being pumped into them.
This went on for several minutes until the power flow suddenly cut off on its own.
Ves approached the consoles connected to the crystal that was supposed to receive the transmission and inspected the received file.
The doc.u.ment isn\'t complete.
It got cut off at the end. He remarked with a bit of disappointment.
Captain Ember did not look ashamed.
The limitations are severe, but the benefits are still undeniable.
We have owned these crystals for a long time.
It\'s really a coincidence we managed to stumble upon some alien ruins in the Nyxian Gap and uncovered these large crystals.
It took years for us to decipher how to operate them, and as far as we know we are only scratching the surface of what they are capable of.
While I can\'t say whether they pose a threat to us, nothing bad has happened with the Xona Crystals over the years.
Any piece of alien technology came with this caveat.
You never knew what aliens stuffed in seemingly normal objects.
Applying human common sense to alien inventions was a big mistake.
Even so, Ves still felt reassured to hear that the Xona Crystals hadn\'t exploded or anything after two decades of regular use.
Don\'t judge the operation of these crystals by their close proximity.
In fact, as far as we know, the range of this crystal is unlimited.
Truly Ves raised his eyebrow.
theoretically. Captain Ember said.
Our resident expert on these crystals theorized that their principle of operation is completely unaffected by distance.
Even if you bring a crystal to the ends of this universe, you can still transmit the same doc.u.ment to it with no time lag!
That was truly amazing..
if it was true.
Though quantum communication nodes also operated in this fashion, Ves was not ready to bet all of his ch.i.p.s on this assumption.
Does it work through heavy spatial warping and other interference.
Ordinary jamming and interference is completely useless. The Xona Stalker confidently stated.
We have tried to employ as much jamming as we could squeeze in a single space, and the crystals shrugged it off.
These crystals are also quite tough.
Even if they fall or suffer a few bumps, they\'ll still work as normal.
That sounds good.
What about the limitations Tell me the most important parameters.
Well, each Xona Crystal can connect to another Xona Crystal for a maximum duration of 2 minutes and 34 seconds.
While active, the bandwidth is extremely limited, so we advise against transmitting any projections or huge files.
It\'s best to stick to text or simple data files.
After that, whether the active crystals are sending or receiving data, they will turn inert for 86 hours, 29 minutes and 11 seconds before they can be activated again.
This was the reason why the Xona Stalkers stored two crystals at Ulimo instead of one.
In case two different detachments wanted to send an urgent message to the main group, at least an additional crystal would still be available to receive a message if the primary one had already entered its lengthy cooldown cycle.
Ves studied the setup around the crystals in greater detail.
To him, it didn\'t seem as if the Xona Stalkers mastered these alien crystals at all.
They were like children using rifles as clubs.
Can the bandwidth, duration or cooldown time be improved
We haven\'t managed to do so up to this point.
Our head scientist can tell you more, but..
we killed him when we took over this facility.
A pity. Ves grimaced.
He knew how painful it was to lose such a key figure.
The head scientist must possess a wealth of knowledge surrounding the properties, operation and additional secrets of the Xona Crystals.
Now that he and his team were gone, the remaining Xona Stalkers only had some encrypted notes to go on! The worst part about it was that the encryption was so good that it was extremely unlikely for the clan\'s resident hackers to unlock them in a reasonable amount of time.
If the Larkinson Clan wanted to utilize these Xona Crystals to a greater degree, then Ves needed to start up a separate research team and get them to study these alien relics from the beginning.
Well, even if we can\'t improve them, they are still incredibly helpful to the clan in their current state. Ves concluded.
The Xona Stalker nodded.
There are many more effective methods of communication in existence.
However, there are few that can work regardless of distance and resist an incredible amount of jamming.
Have you ever figured out if these crystals work in the core region of the Nyxian Gap
We don\'t dare to step foot there. Ember quickly replied.
We aren\'t sure whether these crystals will still be able to transmit any data under such abnormal circ.u.mstances.
The clan would have to test that, Ves supposed.
Final question, have you tested how secure the data transmissions are.
Has anyone intercepted them or accessed them in any way
While we can\'t say for sure, we have tried our best to do so.
As you have seen, despite the huge amount of power they expend when they are active, they don\'t actually grow hotter or flash any interesting lights.
They don\'t transmit any radio signals or release any gravitic ripples.
The only possible way to eavesdrop a transmission is to bug or keep the auxiliary equipment under heavy observation.
In other words, while the crystals themselves couldn\'t be hacked, the setup surrounding them were not as robust!
Carefully dismantle this setup and move the gear along with the Crystals to our fleet as carefully as possible.
We will make sure the transfer will proceed as smoothly as possible.
Ves left the vault with a satisfied expression on his face.
The Xona Crystals reminded him of the Tzianti Crystals he once used in the frontier.
Those were different crystals from the super-sized ones he had just witnessed.
Even so, Ves faintly suspected that both of them might share some relations from each other.
Just like the Xona Crystals, the Tzianti Crystals were forgotten pieces of alien technology that the pirates had dug up from some dusty alien ruins and repurposed them for their own use.
Compared to communicating over the galactic net, resorting these strange crystals at least ensured the Big Two and every other powerful authority wouldn\'t be able to snoop in their conversations!
After spending a few months with the Darkbreak module on his ship, Ves was beginning to get a little paranoid about its continued presence.
When he finally obtained his factory ship, he didn\'t plan to install the Darkbreak module there at all.
The same went for those alien Xona Crystals.
No matter how many assurances the Xona Stalker defectors provided, as long as his clan failed to master the working principles behind these alien crystals, there was still a chance that something might go wrong!
After boarding a small shuttle, Ves traveled to his next destination.
After descending downwards for a time, his vehicle finally arrived at a site where a critical battle supposedly took place.
When he stepped out, he immediately smelled the nutrient processing plant at work.
He looked up at the large, automated structure and its dizzying amount of pipes.
Yo. Ketis greeted as she pushed herself off one of the pipes at ground level.
You\'re finally here.
You sure took your time.
Ves smiled and hugged her.
You look better than I thought.
You didn\'t get hurt, did you
She shook her head.
Her poofy beret shook with her movements.
Nah, but I can\'t say the same for Lucky.
doesn\'t look so good.
His smile dropped.
Bring me to him.
Let me see what he ate as well.
Anything that can give him a stomach ache must be exceptional!
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