Chapter 2969: Extra Pioneers
Ves finished his tour of the Dragon\'s Den after exploring the lower decks of the massive vessel.
In fact, much of the internal volume of the capital ship was dedicated towards the large, open biomes that were designed to accommodate a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Ves and his companions had temporarily changed into a hazard suit in order to walk across a biome that encompassed a couple of hundred meters in each direction.
The gravity had been increased to 1.5 g while the air density had been tripled.
All kinds of toxic and corrosive gasses were pumped into the air in order to provide a suitable living environment for a specific species of exobeasts that the Dragon\'s Den once held.
Due to our hasty departure from the LRA, we never managed to procure enough exobeasts to fill up all of the biomes. Dr.
Ranya explained in a regretful tone.
Enormous compartments like these are still empty.
While we could have dedicated this biome to a smaller species, it would be a considerable waste.
I hope our fleet will be passing through some star systems that offer suitable large-sized exobeasts or designer beasts.
The Dragon\'s Den isn\'t much of a den if it doesn\'t contain enough beasts.
Ves nodded in agreement.
I will pay attention to this matter.
Please keep my requirements in mind.
I am most interested in acquiring mutated beasts.
If you can\'t find any, then seek out any beasts with sufficient sentience that possess interesting abilities.
They will make for good experimental subjects if nothing else.
He had to find a different source for test subjects now that he was no longer able to capture pirates and criminals on a frequent basis.
Otherwise, how could he continue to explore the more dangerous aspects of spirituality
If he had a choice, Ves preferred to experiment on human test subjects.
Human spirituality possessed distinct traits, and understanding them was the key to designing better living mechs, design spirits, companion spirits and many other relevant applications.
Performing experiments on animals, whether they were spiritually active or not, was not as ideal.
While the smarter and more sentient beasts still possessed many similarities to humans, it just wasn\'t the same.
Still, no one in the galaxy cared about the welfare of beasts in the current age.
There were just too damn many of them, and the more exotic species often possessed interesting traits that could advance human technology if scientists managed to unlock their secrets.
This was one of the main reasons why he valued the Dragon\'s Den.
To him, the capital ship wasn\'t just a research vessel or a luxury hotel for different beasts.
It was a mobile test subject carrier that Ves could bring everywhere he traveled in order to make sure he would never run out of experimental subjects!
After he ended his tour of the Dragon\'s Den, he waved Dr.
Ranya and Commander Rivington goodbye before making a stop at the Graveyard.
The defensive ship and salvage ship looked rather ugly and messy.
Though her bulk was quite formidable, she did not look classy at all due to all of the salvaged metals adorning her exterior hull.
The Graveyard was not a complicated ship, so Ves kept his tour short.
He displayed a lot of interest in the salvage processing facilities of the tough and sturdy capital ship.
Our ship\'s extensive processing machines can break down most kinds of second-class debris. An engineer assigned to supervise the industrial processes proudly boasted.
The machines and equipment you see here are very efficient at breaking down and recovering low-quality exotics and materials.
We can also process raw ores as long as they aren\'t too weird.
As long as it is not too complex, we can process many tons of messy objects at a rate and yield that is not inferior to that of a dedicated salvage processing plant.
Ves nodded in understanding.
This capability would become very useful in the Red Ocean where it would become a lot harder to get access to materials that many people took for granted in the developed parts of the Milky Way.
How well can the Graveyard process higher-quality exotics He asked.
While being able to recycle bulk materials is essential for a fleet as large as ours, many of our mechs and a lot of advanced ship systems can\'t be built without premium materials.
I hope we can become as self-sufficient as possible in this regard.
The engineer\'s expression became less confident.
Our facilities are not as good in this area.
The Graveyard did not come supplied with the processing machines that are necessary to increase our efficiency in this aspect.
While we have some machines that are capable of processing a decent variety of higher-quality materials, their working speeds are low and their yields and recovery rates are also not up to par.
Trying to extract more volatile and energetic exotics from a mech wreck will typically result in a loss of 60 to 95 percent.
It was a lot harder to extract volatile exotics out of a product than putting it in.
This was because they had been permanently processed and combined with other materials.
Trying to break these bonds resulted in a lot of damage, causing these valuable exotics to lose some of their potency and extraordinary factors that made them special.
This was a rather deep and complicated topic.
There were too many variables to count, and even someone who possessed a higher-than-average understanding of salvaging processes such as Ves couldn\'t guarantee he would be able to recover every exotic from a piece of debris!
I\'m not satisfied with the current capabilities of the salvage processing capabilities of the Graveyard. Ves plainly spoke.
I\'ll discuss this matter with some people and order them to upgrade some of these machines before we enter the Red Ocean.
If possible, I want this ship to become capable of processing first-class materials, if only the most low-end ones!
That\'s impossible, sir! While there are some second-class machines that are capable of processing cheaper first-class salvage, those are usually restricted models that are not available on the market.
The only other choice we have is to procure a first-class equivalent, but they cost as much as the Graveyard if not more.
That… sounded troublesome.
There were many other spending priorities that ranked vastly higher than a better salvage processing machine.
As much as Ves wanted to shore up this weakness, he would rather invest in additional capital ships or a higher-quality expert mech.
Well, I hope that you and your crew will be able to find alternate solutions.
Even manual solutions that don\'t rely on any huge industrial machines are acceptable.
When we reach the Red Ocean, it becomes critical for us to be able to replenish our raw material reserves by ourselves.
I hope you know that and do your part in alleviating the supply situation.
The engineer puffed his chest.
We will do our best to come up with solutions, patriarch.
The Graveyard is more than just a damage sponge.
I am confident that her processing capabilities will bring the most benefit to our fleet!
It was an honor to be assigned to a capital ship.
There were hundreds of sub-capital ships in the Larkinson fleet, but they weren\'t anything special.
Only the mighty kilometers-long vessels conveyed enough prestige to make their crews proud of serving aboard one of these titanic beasts!
Besides, capital ships were also a lot tougher and more defensible as long as they were properly crewed and supplied.
This was also why Ves and Gloriana did not hesitate to abandon the Stellar Chaser in order to take up residence aboard the Spirit of Bentheim!
Before he ended his tour of the second capital ship that the Larkinsons recently added to their fleet, he briefly visited the newly-renovated section of the Military Bureau.
We finally meet in person again. Ves smiled as he entered a large office compartment.
General Verle stood up from his desk and greeted his guest.
Welcome aboard the Graveyard, sir.
I hope she is to your liking.
She\'s a bit shabbier than I like, but that\'s not a big deal.
As long as we spend enough money, we can upgrade some of her capabilities.
The most important point is that we have a decent capital ship to begin with.
The Graveyard is a solid enough ship and the capability to mount scrap materials onto her hull is an invaluable trait.
The two soon began to sit down in order to discuss business.
While they had already talked about plenty of topics by remote, Ves had gained some additional perspective now that he toured the Graveyard and the Dragon\'s Den.
It\'s a pity that I haven\'t been able to conclude my deal with Master Brixton. Ves sighed in regret.
It would have been great if we managed to absorb his disciple and get an extra 5 million MTA merits in our pockets.
We would have been able to gain another capital ship quota if that was the case.
They missed an opportunity to expand their core fleet and make it more rounded.
While it was still possible to gain merits through other methods, who knew how much time and effort it took to scrounge up so many merits.
General Verle looked a bit more optimistic than Ves.
While I share your regrets, I think we can learn from this incident.
We have generally assumed that the only way for us to acquire MTA merits is to earn them through our own efforts.
Out of everyone in our fleet, the only people who possess merits are you and your wife.
That has caused us to develop a blind spot towards other people who can contribute merits to our clan.
Ves looked shocked.
If our clan can exchange MTA merits for a ticket beyond a single entity, then doesn\'t that mean we can rely on more sources than just you and your wife Even if the rules set by the Big Two does not allow for this, a maximum of ten pioneers are allowed to spread the cost of a single beyonder ticket.
This means that as long as we don\'t add too many partners to the Golden Skull Alliance, our clan can effectively increase our share by inviting more pioneers into our clan!
A lighting bolt struck onto Ves.
This was a brilliant idea! He should have thought about it from the moment he heard Master Brixton\'s proposal.
I see! If we want to increase our quota and weight in the Golden Skull Alliance, we can concentrate on attracting prominent talents with lots of merits but are not a part of an existing organization that is looking to venture into the Red Ocean.
It wouldn\'t be easy to catch the interest of such prominent and capable people.
Anyone who was able to earn several million MTA merits did not lack for choice.
Even if Ves was very hopeful about the Larkinson Clan\'s future prospects, there was no way it could compete against more established organizations such as noble houses or Hexer dynasties.
Verle also pointed out another factor.
By the way, we aren\'t the only ones who can take advantage of this method.
The Cross Clan will also be on the lookout to attract powerful stakeholders.
This not only allows the Crossers to catch up with the Larkinsons, but also gives them an easy way to add new capabilities to their fleet.
The Cross Clan suffered an abrupt fall from grace that caused them to lose access to a lot of industries.
While the addition of a Senior Mech Designer in the form of Professor Benedict granted them some much-needed relief in this aspect, much of their survivors consisted of soldiers and scattered refugees with all kinds of professions.
What the Crossers could do, the Larkinsons could do at least several times better.
While both clans recruited outsiders in order to expand their manpower, the Larkinsons were much less constrained in this aspect due to the existence of the Larkinson Network.
If this pattern continued, then the Cross Clan would continue to fall behind in comparison to their ally and partner.
This was intolerable to a proud leader like Patriarch Reginald Cross.
Therefore, the easiest way to strengthen the clan by a large margin was to follow General Verle\'s suggestion!
Ves frowned at the prospect.
I don\'t want the Crossers to hog all of the remaining quota.
We better tell them to leave some for us.
Otherwise, our deal is off.
Reginald Cross can look for a living expert mech elsewhere if that happens.
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