WebNovel The Mech Touch Chapter 2577: More Superior Than Others

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Chapter 2577: More Superior Than Others

Some s.h.i.+ps, particularly civilian ones and leisure-oriented ones, featured bridges set on the exterior of the vessels.

As long as the demand was there, s.h.i.+pwrights were willing to design whatever their customers wanted. Plenty of stars.h.i.+ps journeyed through the stars while exposing their bridges to external attacks.

Suffice to say, the chances that these idiotically-designed stars.h.i.+ps got taken out with relatively little effort were very high!

Only the safest star sectors where piracy and instability didn’t exist featured these s.h.i.+p designs.

In the less secure portions of s.p.a.ce, it was best to choose safety over beauty. No amount of aesthetics mattered if the primary command section of a stars.h.i.+p could be taken out by a single, powerful long-ranged attack.

The bridge of the HHX-6963 was nestled deep in the center of the 6th deck. However, the CIC was located in an even deeper portion of the factory s.h.i.+p. Any attacker had to go through dozens of decks in order to breach the latter!

Captain Daria-Maria Vraken looked around the bridge and settled her gaze on the throne-like seat reserved for the master of the factory s.h.i.+p.

“You can probably find me here when I am on duty, though I will certainly be visiting many other compartments as well. In battle, I will command the HHX-6963 from this bridge. The executive officer shall be coordinating the defense of this s.h.i.+p from the CIC. For now, this post is open. I recommend you nominate whoever you wish to take over my captaincy.”

“That’s going to be difficult.” Ves responded with a sigh. “Our Larkinson Clan has expert pilots, expert candidates, mech officers and veterans. We are not short of talented and competent mech pilots. However, our shallow foundation as a s.p.a.ceborn organization has left us short of stars.h.i.+p captains such as you. We don’t have anyone worth nominating to this position at this moment.”

The Grand Captain frowned and turned to Ves. “You should remedy this shortcoming as soon as possible. I am only the interim captain of the HHX-6963. My role is to train a captain so that your factory s.h.i.+p will not crash into an asteroid some day. The Hegemony’s stars.h.i.+ps deserve better.”

He chuckled. “Even a dummy isn’t stupid enough to crash a capital s.h.i.+p in some random object. There are so many people here that no one can single-handedly ruin this precious vessel.”

“You’d be surprised what incompetent people are capable of. In the event this factory s.h.i.+p encounters a s.p.a.ce storm or is caught in an unstable anomaly, you need a calm but quick-witted captain to make judgement calls in the span of a few seconds. The captain cannot be too slow, but also cannot afford to make the wrong decisions. The difficulty of fulfilling both standards becomes exponentially more difficult when the s.h.i.+p gets larger.”

Ves grew more and more depressed as Captain Vraken outlined the harsh demands. Perhaps she was exaggerating a bit, but she shouldn’t have strayed too far from the truth.

“Are you interested in becoming the permanent captain of this factory s.h.i.+p?” He probed.

The woman did not flicker any emotions. “No, sir. I am a Hexer. It is my duty to serve the Hexadric Hegemony. If the council of matriarchs hasn’t given me this a.s.signment, I would not have chosen to leave my state at its time of need.”

“I take it you’re a member of the Vraken Matriarchal Dynasty.” Ves changed the topic as he admired the view of the fake windows.

The augmented view depicted the other s.h.i.+ps of the Larkinson Clan in vivid detail.

“Correct, sir.” The older woman confirmed. “I belong to the most intelligent and far-sighted matriarchal dynasties of my state.”

“That’s quite a boast.”

“Women are superior, but the Vrakens are more superior than others. While we proudly call ourselves Hexers, we do not mindlessly let our biases and emotions lead us by the nose. To defeat the Friday Coalition, we have to outsmart them. It is futile to compete against brutes in head-on battles.”

Ves raised his eyebrow. “I don’t know about you, but from what I see, the Hex Army is pretty much doing the latter. From the start of the Komodo War, all I hear are stories about Hexer mech divisions throwing machines after machines at the Fridaymen. Your enemy is doing the same thing as well. I haven’t seen much finesse and outmaneuvering so far. If you Vrakens are truly ‘superior’, then you would have been able to convince the other Hexers to adopt a more prudent strategy.”

The stiff grand captain did not fl.u.s.ter. “The other matriarchal dynasties are not as enlightened as us. It is clear to see that they have made some grave mistakes. It will only be a matter of time before they understand that our suggestions are better.”

“When will that take? I have a feeling that many of your stubborn Hexers won’t see the light until the Hegemony is at the brink of losing the Komodo War.”

“The war will not reach that point.” Captain Vraken confidently stated. “If anything, your work is vital to thwarting the Fridayman offense. As long as I captain this s.h.i.+p, I will endeavor to prevent as many problems as possible. My crew and I will do all we can to provide you with the best environment to design your mechs.”

“Uhm, thanks. Don’t expect too much from us, though. The Fridaymen have found a very tricky way to gain an edge over the Hex Army. It is difficult to resist a disparity in expert pilots.”

This was something that even the supposedly superior Vrakens were unable to solve.

Just before they resumed the tour, Ves asked one more question.

“By the way, do you happen to be a DIVA agent?”

The woman faced Ves with a highly-controlled expression. “Why would you ask that question, Mr. Larkinson?”

“I happen to have a former relative of yours in my staff who used to work for DIVA.”

“I am aware of who you are referring to. It is no secret to us that ‘Calabast Arnlend’ has decided to become a part of your clan.”

“You don’t sound very happy.”

Daria-Maria glowered. “She has enjoyed the highest degree of training that our dynasty can offer to her. It is a shame for her to forget who has made her great and abandon the proud Vraken name. Now of all times is when we need the services of a highly-competent intelligence operative.”

“She is helping the Hegemony by helping our clan. That in turn allows me and my fellow mech designers to design the Hexer mechs your state has derived a lot of benefits. I think that is good enough to make up for her early departure.”

“I am of a different mind on this topic, but let us end this discussion. Miss Calabast has made her choice, and the Hegemony has accepted that. It is not my place to intervene.”

After taking in the expansive and luxurious bridge, the tour continued.

The group headed all the way to the 1st deck or the top deck.

Captain Vraken guided Ves and Gloriana to an enormous garden compartment. It was just as pleasant and infused with nature as the Hex Garden!

“Welcome to the forward observation chamber. As you can see, hear, smell and touch, this immense compartment is an excellent recreational and relaxation destination. There are pools with fish and pools for swimming. There are gra.s.sy plains that are suited for sports and other activities. There are benches and tables should you want to dine here or spend some time to relax.”

“Meow!”

“Miaow!”

“Hihihi.” Gloriana giggled. “Our cats love it here. I think they’ll be spending lots of hours in this garden!”

Both Lucky and Clixie ran through the brushes, climbed up the trees, chased after some b.u.t.terflies and even caught a tiny fish from one of the ponds!

The humans approached the huge forward windows.

This time, the windows were real. The forward observation chamber was situated at the bow of the factory s.h.i.+p. No matter what kind of hard, transparent material the windows were made of, it was easier to breach it than to penetrate through many meters of solid alloy!

The captain gestured back at the garden. “The forward observation chamber is meant to serve as a quiet relaxation and recreational area for the officers and VIPs of the HHX-6963 and their pets. Naturally, you and your mech designers are also on the list. That said, I advise you not to linger here during FTL transitions, crises and times of elevated danger.”

The well-designed interior soothed Ves a lot. All of the greenery reminded him of the time when he lived on Cloudy Curtain. The only difference was that the lighting was a lot better in this enormous chamber.

With a great environment like this, Ves probably didn’t need an ark s.h.i.+p to stave off his cabin fever.

“There is also a rear observation chamber that is open to the enlisted crew. While you may access it, I do not advise you to do so. The lower-ranked s.p.a.cers won’t truly be able to let down guard if their bosses are close.”

“Understood. Don’t worry. I’m not that bored.”

There was nothing special about the forward observation chamber, so Captain Vraken quickly led them out. She guided the group down a number of decks until they reached the 12th deck.

This was another recreational-oriented area. Ves felt as if he had entered a condensed s.p.a.ce station. Streets, shops, restaurants, parks and other leisure venues dominated this deck.

There were even schools to keep the children of the crew member occupied!

“The HHX-6963 is capable of housing tens of thousands of crew.” The captain said as they pa.s.sed by an empty cafe. “When the population of a stars.h.i.+p reaches this height, it becomes more and more important to foster a healthy community. This deck will do much to keep our crew sane and in good spirits. Without this artificial city, it is too easy for people to equate this capital s.h.i.+p to a prison. That is not ideal, to say the least.”

Right now, the city wasn’t under operation. Only a small amount of venues had found new owners. The people who wanted to make the city alive were mostly spouses of professionals or retired veterans with no other obligations.

The city was not that big, but it was more than enough to provide the illusion of normality to the crew.

The group moved on from the 12th deck and descended to the 16th deck.

“The 16th deck is the accommodation or living deck. This is where the staterooms of you and the officers are situated in. There are also other compartments on this deck that are not as important. The enlisted crew reside on another deck.”

In other words, only the bigwigs got to reside on this deck.

Captain Vraken led the group to a hallway with some very distinguished-looking set of hatches. Another security checkpoint manned by armed Kinner guards stood on guard.

“The HHX-6963 boasts six grand staterooms. They offer the best possible accommodations aboard this vessel. For now, only two out of six of these compartments are occupied.”

The first grand stateroom belonged to Ves and Gloriana.

Ves a.s.signed the second grand stateroom to Juliet.

As for the other four, Ves was not in a hurry to allocate them. He would wait for Ketis and some of his other a.s.sistants to advance to Journeyman before giving them the honor of occupying one of these six chambers.

As the pair entered their new living and sleeping quarters, they became impressed by what they saw. Gloriana personally designed the interior, though Ves had intervened as well in order to prevent her from going overboard with Hexer decorations.

The grand stateroom was pretty much a modest-sized mansion condensed into a section of the 16th deck. It was divided into several large rooms such as a foyer, living room, library, private offices, multiple bedrooms and multiple bathrooms.

Gloriana grinned in satisfaction as she inspected the different bedrooms. “Our kids will love it here!”

———-

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