Chapter 3122: Ship Readiness
The value of many industrial vessels such as the Andrenidae would not yet come into play unless the expeditionary fleet reached the Red Ocean.
Right now, the Larkinson Clan did not have to worry about being deprived of many essential resources.
Even out here in the galactic rim, humanity had already been rooted here for several centuries.
The local economy and infrastructure was well-developed and the Larkinsons could buy any readily available goods at any major port system.
In fact, the efficiency of many large scale mining, resource processing and production companies was so high that the Larkinsons would actually waste a lot more time and money trying to mine and process resources themselves!
Unless the markets became inaccessible for some reason, there was no reason for the Larkinson Clan to make immediate use of the Andrenidae.
In order for the ship to actually mine resources, the expeditionary fleet had to visit a remote or unclaimed star system that no existing state cared about.
The fleet would then have to park in the same place for days or weeks, wasting precious time that it could have used to reach a beyonder gate sooner.
The clan would essentially squander much more time and money trying to mine its own ores than just purchasing them from the market!
One of the few instances where the opportunity cost of excavating resources was lower than the cost of trying to buy it from another source was when the expeditionary fleet finally roamed the Red Ocean.
While a huge batch of colonization fleets were already trying to erect their settlements and build up their industrial infrastructure, it would still take many decades before the various markets reached maturity.
In fact, the supply of raw materials would likely be limited for a very long time as all of those rapidly-expanding colonies required huge amounts of building materials to grow as quickly as possible.
The colonies that grew the fastest would not only be able to exert more power in their local surroundings, but also bring them a lot closer to the threshold where they could turn into actual states!
Faced with so much competition for resources, the rationale for owning and operating an expensive capital-grade mining ship like the Andrenidae made a lot more sense.
The time needed to complete the journey to the nearest beyonder gate also gave the Larkinson Clan ample time to get the Andrenidae up and running.
By the time they finally ventured into the deeper parts of the Red Ocean, the capital mining ship should be capable of operating at full efficiency, or close to it at the very least.
In contrast to the Andrenidae, there were other vessels that should be able to prove their worth on a much faster timeframe.
He directed his attention to the Discentibus.
The oddly-named capital ship was actually the least impressive out of the four.
The Blinding Banshee was like a long and dark needle that could easily prick an unsuspecting target.
The Vivacious Wal was like a boisterous vacation destination packaged in a fat metal hull.
The Andrenidae was like a giant beehive that accommodated a formidable amount of specialist worker bees.
As for the Discentibus…
The ship\'s appearance was too generic in his eyes.
The capital-grade academy ship adopted a typical oval shape that aimed to maximize the internal volume with the least amount of resources.
The Discentibus was neither too fast, too slow, too big, too small or too fragile.
She could take a few hits, but she was no brawler and shouldn\'t even be exposed to enemy fire to begin with.
While her ample spaces could be filled with combat mechs, they were actually supposed to accommodate training mechs.
This will become the new home for my Chirons. Ves smiled in satisfaction.
While the Chiron was nowhere near as impressive as the Ferocious Piranha and the Transcender Punisher, Ves had never forgotten about its incredible value.
The Larkinson mech academies were filled with praise for this highly-adaptable living training tool.
Any mech cadet who piloted a Chiron advanced their skills significantly faster than those who had yet to receive one.
There were many indicators that the next generation of Larkinson mech pilots would substantially be able to surpass the current generation by a noticeable margin.
Not only would the average quality of future Larkinson mech pilots go up, but Ves also guessed that the Chiron\'s influence on them might increase the chance that they would develop spiritual potential!
The reason for that was that people in their teens and twenties had the highest chance of acquiring spiritual potential, thereby separating themselves from the masses and acquiring the most essential qualification for them to become extraordinary.
Ves wasn\'t sure what factors increased the chances of people developing their spiritual potential, but he guessed it had something to do with the richness and fullness of their lives as well as other factors that influenced strong emotions such as pressure, ambition and maybe even fear.
Though all of this sounded rather incoherent, the point was that spiritual potential shouldn\'t come from nowhere.
It had to exist for a reason, and he did not believe it was entirely dependent on genetics or other uncontrollable variables.
In order to learn more about the nature of spiritual potential, Ves essentially treated the Chiron as a large-scale experiment on this topic.
By subjecting lots of young and impressionable mech cadets to a living mech model that constantly exposed them to Goldie\'s direct influence, he expected that at least some of that would pass on and linger inside the heads of the growing youths.
Of course, if a proper scientific panel ever took a look at his experiment, Ves would probably be arrested and tried for subjecting thousands of childrens to unknown and potentially dangerous stimuli! Even if this experiment turned out to be safe, he would still be sanctioned because he did not sufficiently address the possibility of harm to his test subjects!
It\'s a good thing I don\'t have to answer to such a panel.
Perhaps a group of senior scientists aboard the Dragon\'s Den had already formed an ethical discussion panel or the like, but Ves had no reason to put himself at the mercy of his own underlings.
The point of leading his own clan was to put himself at the very top! The rules he established for the clan was meant to control his subordinates, not himself!
He stopped considering this matter and turned his attention back to the ships.
When he inquired how much time it would take for him to be able to visit the vessels, he heard that it would take at least several weeks.
We don\'t know whether any of the capital ships are safe, sir.
While we can afford to risk the lives of our regular clansmen, we cannot put you at risk.
You\'re safest when you stay aboard the Spirit of Bentheim.
That meant that Ves could only admire the new capital ships from afar.
In fact, the clan didn\'t even think it was safe to put them right in the middle of the Larkinson fleet.
The new acquisitions had to be parked a small distance away so that if they ever ran out of control and tried to ram into the hull of another ship, the Larkinsons would at least have plenty of time to react.
Time passed by as many Larkinsons became extremely busy.
There were countless tasks that needed to be done.
While Ves continued to develop his crystal rifle concept, the four huge vessels that had more than doubled the amount of capital ships in the hands of the Larkinson Clan turned into hives of activity.
Hundreds of shuttles and transports docked with the capital ships in order to offload goods, equipment and personnel.
The demand for manpower was so great that the clan even had to expand and accelerate its recruitment activities.
Fortunately, Talulah Silver was a prosperous moon hub that hosted many trained and qualified personnel.
Though the loyalty of those who accepted the offers of employment were always suspect, the Larkinsons didn\'t worry about this problem at all.
It would always become obvious whether the newcomers had malicious intentions in mind.
The only snag was that they weren\'t the only ones recruiting.
The Larkinson Clan not only had to compete against other organizations looking to bolster their security forces or something, but also had to compete against its own allies!
Now that the Glory Seekers and the Cross Clan acquired their kinship networks, they no longer had to waste a lot of effort on verifying the backgrounds and testing the loyalty of their potential recruits.
They could just sweep the Glory Torch or the Cross of Rebirth in their direction and allow the spirits associated with the relics to uncover the truth in an instant.
Fortunately, the recruiting goals of the three partners of the Golden Skull Alliance did not completely overlap.
The Glory Seekers mainly sought women who were attracted to the Hexer ideology.
Even though a lot of people hated the Hegemony and its people, there were quite a lot of female supremacists in every state who actually thought it was a good idea to join a club of women who actively opposed equality!
The Cross Clan was a bit more troublesome to the Larkinsons because they claimed a large chunk of military veterans who were attracted to a more overt martial culture.
There was a simplistic, one-dimensional appeal to joining a brotherhood that was largely centered around war and glory.
The success of the former left the Larkinson Clan with a much smaller proportion of former military personnel than it liked.
The only reason why this wasn\'t a bigger deal was because it already had more mech pilots than mechs.
The new capital ships were mainly civilian in nature and didn\'t have to be crewed by former servicemen.
The staffing of the four recently-acquired ships progressed quite briskly, though it would still take several more rounds of recruitment in order to fill up all of the stations.
It is impressive how fast our clan is growing. Shederin Purnesse commented as he observed a projection that displayed all of the local traffic.
A jump from three to seven capital ships represents a major leap.
With at least two more capital ships on the way, we have already formed a solid core to enter the Red Ocean.
Only a handful of them are suitable for battle. General Verle replied as he stood next to the older man.
Time is running out.
We need to get our hands on a fleet carrier or at the very least a mass conveyor in order to carry enough mechs to defend our fleet.
Have you found any leads
The chief diplomat shook his head.
I have made no progress on that front and I don\'t expect that will change.
I\'m sorry, General, but those who possess either type of vessels will never sell them.
Even centuries-old hulls that should ordinarily be retired from service and sold to ship resellers such as Semdam and Sons are being forcibly retained in order to provide more security to their owners.
The military leader expected as much.
Though he heard many good things about Shederin Purnesse, there was only so much that talk could accomplish.
The Vandal inside his heart urged him to go out and conquer the ships they needed, but this was a stupid notion.
Attacking a fleet without a good reason would brand them as pirates.
While it was much more acceptable to attack known criminal groups, they tended to be poor and greedy for money.
These scoundrels would never waste their money, effort and time on operating a slow and expensive capital ship, much less specialized vessels such a fleet carrier or a mass conveyor!
We need to develop our own shipbuilding capabilities. General Verle stated.
One day, general.
One day we can make that possible.
The Red Ocean imposes many limitations on pioneers, but simultaneously grants a lot of opportunities to them.
We must work hard to navigate the dangers and find our own chances.
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