Chapter 2777 - Pinnacle Research
Biotechnology opened up many new possibilities to humanity.
The distinctive properties of biomechs, exotic beasts, biomachines and human augmentation conveyed advantages that classical technology couldnt match.
Yet as with any tech, not everyone liked all of the new possibilities that became viable.
Just because you can, doesnt mean you should.
This phrase was bandied around a lot.
There were lots of applications that people abhorred or thought went too far for their liking.
Yet as long as options existed, there were always advocates who wished to embrace them.
Different personalities became attracted to different possibilities.
There were always supporters out there who invested in an idea no matter how crazy or harmful it sounded!
This meant that the LRA was home to a lot of obscure groups and organizations that supported anything from cultivating superhumans by growing them like biomechs to converting giant exobeasts into pilotable biomachines!
As Gavin shared plenty of examples, Ves became utterly bewildered by all of the nutcases in the LRA who supported these whacky ideas.
Is common sense in short supply in this state Ves despairingly asked.
Were only talking about the outliers.
Strictly speaking, most biotech experts are conservatives.
Theyre the most normal people of the bunch.
While they are slow to change, you can always rely on them.
The radicals are obviously a bit more impatient, but they are also known for their innovations.
The rest are all marginalized and dont really merit much attention.
The mere fact that they were talking about these other groups meant that they received much more attention than they deserved.
Their ideas were extreme but their following was too small to exert much influence.
Both educated and uneducated people supported these radical beliefs.
Ves had encountered them plenty of times to know their cherished opinions never held up against sound logic.
Not that it mattered as fanatics never abided by any proper logic to begin with! Each fanatic possessed the magical ability to ignore all contrary evidence and overemphasize any unreliable hearsay that supported their stances!
Their groups were more like tribes or cults in that sense.
The self-reinforcement mechanisms within these groups were so strong that there was no way to crack them from the outside.
This meant that they could develop any sort of plan with no one around to question them whether it was a good idea to begin with! Fanatics werent known for critical thinking!
Ves felt a lot less secure all of a sudden.
Beneath the orderly facade of Prosperous Hill was a society that was rife with doctrinal and other kinds of conflicts.
Normally, the state was quite good at isolating their visitors from its domestic struggles.
Yet all of that changed for Ves once he agreed to compete against Dr.
Frederico Navarro in a design duel!
He lowered his head to his palm.
I should have swallowed my pride and refused to engage in a design duel.
I dont have to prove myself to others.
My existing work already provides me with a sufficient degree of validation.
There are also more ways to gain more privileges from a state than relying on Dr.
Design duels were sacred and meaningful to mech designers.
This was why Ves was already inclined to accept a challenge even if he didnt gain any solid benefits.
There was no way out now that he accepted the challenge.
Ves had no choice but to go forward from this point and make the best out of the situation.
Which faction does Dr.
Navarro belong to Ves asked an important question.
He didnt seem very political when we last talked with each other.
According to the clues weve gathered from the galactic net, hes an ordinary conservative. Gavin answered.
Hes one of those normal biomech designers who believe that biotechnology will eventually succeed.
They just need to work on it step by step.
A single small step wont get you very far, but as long as there are thousands more steps, you can reach a lot of different places.
Ves narrowed his eyes.
He felt something was off.
When he initially meeted the Journeyman, he thought that Dr.
Navarro merely challenged him for professional reasons.
They were two mech designers who each held different opinions on what form of living mechs were better, so the most straightforward way to settle this difference was to conduct a design duel!
Ves thought that the challenge merely revolved around this, but now he began to think that Dr.
Navarro might have something else in mind.
The biomech designer was an experienced Journeyman in his forties.
With his calm and stable mindset towards his work, Ves felt it was unlikely for Dr.
Navarro missed the greater implications of his proposed duel.
Did this biomech designer deliberately aim to set up a duel that had the potential to blow up into something more
This was quite a frightening thought! Dr.
Navarro had transmitted a dueling challenge to Ves months ago.
Ves had made a mistake by listening to his competitive urge rather than his caution towards foreign states.
If he had delved deeper into the divisions of the LRA, he could have anticipated this outcome!
Some time after he finished his conversation with Gavin, Calabast paid him a visit next.
I have been apprised of the situation. She immediately said as she arrived with a guest.
There is much to unpack.
As she entered the room, Lucky woke up from his nap and flew over her until he rested on her slender shoulder.
Calabast habitually raised her hand and scratched the cats chin.
She didnt come alone.
Ves turned to the other person who wore the uniform of the Black Cats.
It took a slight amount of time for him to recall where he had seen her before.
Youre Captain Reina Ember of the Xona Stalkers.
Have you finished getting in touch with your old families
We have, sir. The older woman calmly answered as she maintained a straight posture.
As we have previously mentioned, not all of our relatives wish to connect with us again.
While some of us were lucky enough to reconnect with their old families, others require help to accept the fact that their former friends and families had moved on.
That has kept us all busy for a long time.
You dont need to offer any excuses for that. Ves dismissively said.
I recall that youve promised to get in touch with the relatives that are willing to talk to you in order to gather inside intelligence on the LRA.
Have you come to report on what youve learned
You can think.
Thats quite impressive, Ves.
I indeed brought her here to give you a deeper insight on what goes on behind the scenes.
Captain Ember was an old woman who had long been forced to blend in with the pirates of the Nyxian Gap.
After the Larkinsons rescued the Xona Stalkers from Ulimo Citadel, Ves had overlooked them as he became preoccupied with other matters.
It didnt seem very important for him to study the circ.u.mstances of the Life Research Association in detail.
He wasnt interested in how the Xona Stalkers were exiled in the first place.
The Xona Stalker officer began to speak.
The LRA is united from the outside, but very much divided from within.
The reason for this is because the researchers are all vying for funding and resources.
Those who achieve more success and gain more support receive greater privileges than others.
This can make a huge difference as a lot of ambitious research projects cant succeed without state backing.
Why is that so
Im not talking about regular research projects here. Captain Ember clarified.
One aspect that you must know about the LRA is that it is both a state and a research institution.
Under the leadership of the Supreme Sage, it has never shed its former function.
The LRA merely expanded in scope and came to rule an entire territory in order to support its primary mission.
What the captain is trying to say is that the LRA is a research organization that has taken the guise of a state instead of the other way around. Calabast put it in clearer terms as she began to cuddle with Lucky.
The lazy cat enjoyed the spymasters gentle ministrations!
Captain Ember nodded.
In practical terms, a considerable portion of state income is diverted into research labs, special resources and even first-class lab equipment.
Every biotech researcher that is recognized by the state can make use of these amenities, but only for a limited amount of time.
There are too many biotech researchers for the state to accommodate them all.
Some are able to obtain greater access privileges while others are locked out from this system.
Ves began to understand the greater context.
I think I understand the implications.
These research labs are comparable to first-class research facilities, correct
Only on the bottom end.
That is still a huge attraction to many researchers! If they are able to gather more precise data or perform experiments that they could never conduct in other circ.u.mstances, then they are much more likely to achieve a breakthrough!
The Xona Stalker officer nodded.
This is why there is a lot of competition to access these pinnacle research facilities.
People will literally kill to be able to gain a weeks worth of access to these labs!
Is that what happened to your group Ves questioned.
Yes. Captain Ember sighed.
To put it simply, we used to work for a marginalized organization that badly wanted to receive quota to the pinnacle labs.
In order to secure this quota, our superiors concocted a high-risk plan that basically amounted to performing a secret mission to obtain blackmail material on someone that has a quota.
I take it this operation failed.
We managed to make it out alive, but we became exposed in the process.
We were no longer able to remain in the LRA.
In fact, our actions have upset so many people that we had to run all the way to the Nyxian Gap in order to shake off our pursuers.
So that was it.
The Xona Stalkers had fallen victim to someone elses ambitions.
Captain Embers story ill.u.s.trated to what extent the scientists and researchers of the LRA were willing to go to realize their ambitions!
Out of curiosity, which group did you answer to Will we have to worry about your old bosses coming back to reclaim you or anything
Were already burned, sir.
We have already cut ties with the organization.
We used to work for the combinants.
No wonder your superior didnt possess a pinnacle quota. Ves remarked.
Do you still have sympathies for their cause
My fellow Xona Stalkers and I have long moved past this issue.
We were never eager to become cyborgs either.
We were just employed to do a specific job.
That was a relief.
Ves didnt look forward to adding another bunch of fanatics within the clan.
I didnt bring the captain here to talk about old times. Calabast interjected into the conversation.
I brought her here so you can hear her personal insights on the current matter.
Your upcoming design duel has attracted a lot of interest from different parts of the LRA.
Multiple parties are hyping it up on the galactic net, which means that many people from the state will pay attention to your upcoming bout.
That was just what he needed.
While Ves did not eschew publicity, he didnt not want to attract attention for the wrong reasons!
There was no way that all of this free publicity was benign.
Ves definitely sensed malicious intent behind these very deliberate actions!
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