The Mech Touch

Chapter 5855 A Talk Between Fleet Admirals
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Chapter 5855 A Talk Between Fleet Admirals

5855 A Talk Between Fleet Admirals

The Evolution Witch and Cynthia Larkinson were far from the only powerful figures to notice the Red Fleet's unusual movements.

Many of them had access to enough intelligence to deduce the ultimate culprits responsible for publicizing Supreme Marshal Caramond Perle en masse.

Enough tier 1 and tier 2 galactic citizens also possessed enough knowledge to guess what was taking place.

It went without saying that none of them were particularly pleased at what was happening.


"Fleet Admiral Argile! This is completely unacceptable! Just because your son is the captain of the Dominion of Man does not mean you are free to alter it to this degree! There are rules! Any major upgrade and refit plan must first earn the approval of a designated panel of shipwrights and naval engineers! No such applications have been filed in the last two months!"

The head of the Second Main Fleet continued to remain cool as the physical projection of his counterpart from the Fifth Enforcement Fleet expressed her dissatisfaction.

"I admit that the Dominion of Man is undergoing changes that many of us have not been able to foresee. Technically, we have commissioned Professor Larkinson to repair a problem related to her control system that our own scientists have failed to correct. His proposed solution is evidently much more involved than we expected. Complications are to be expected when applying corrections on such a large scale."

"THE DOMINION OF MAN IS LITERALLY ON FIRE, STANLEY! Have you observed her hull at this time? Her entire exterior is surrounded by flames! It is as if she is trying to imitate a star!"

"The flames are merely illusions, Amelie. We are continuity to monitor the precise condition of the dreadnought. Her hull remains undamaged, and so is every other object that is affected by this unexplainable phenomenon. It may even be beneficial as the readings from the ship suggest that many of her parameters have spontaneously improved."

"It is too premature to come to this conclusion! Even if you are correct, these unplanned changes may ultimately damage or disable the Dominion of Man. You know as well as I do how much of a catastrophe it will be for us to lose a dreadnought, which is a very real possibility! Leaving aside that gigantic storm that is forming in the star system, the channeling of so many flames is most likely related to the Spark Reactor!"

"The Spark Reactor may be operating at full capacity, but it is not under an immediate risk of losing containment."

You know what is inside." Fleet Admiral Amelie Jameson hissed.

Fleet Admiral Argile's expression grew a little more strained when he heard that sentence.

"Our experts are continuing to monitor the condition of the Spark Reactor. If there is any chance that it is at risk of getting compromised, we will forcibly disconnect it from the rest of the hull. Despite how she looks, the Dominion of Man is only being subjected to fire energy. This will remain harmless so long as the flow of energy remains unidirectional."

"You better hope that the direction of energy transmissions remains this way." Fleet Admiral Jameson warned. "If outside signals can penetrate or bypass the many layers of isolation barriers that keeps the power of the reactor contained, we will have a much greater problem on our hands. You are ultimately responsible for any fiasco that may occur, and I will do my utmost to inform our fleeters of your many oversights."

Though Fleet Admiral Stanley Argile clearly could not predict the outcome of this unfolding incident, he did not think of shirking responsibility.

"I will take the fall should the worst happen." Stanley Argile spoke to his fellow peer, rival and political opponent. "At the same time, I will share the credit if the Dominion of Man has successfully completed a transformational upgrade."

This was how he intended to play the game. Now that it had come to this point, Fleet Admiral Argile fully intended to commit to this gamble!

The physical projection of his female peer leaned over the desk.

"You have become irrational. I can understand the desire to extend a certain measure of trust to a mech designer who possesses unconventional expertise. I have no complaints if you chose to unleash him onto an outdated courier vessel or maybe a frigate. Yet instead of letting him test his solutions on an expendable hull, you invited him over to one of our 8 precious dreadnoughts and let him have free rein!"

"We did not give him free rein, Amelie. We have denied him access to plenty of information related to the Spark Reactor and so on. He knows more than he should, but this will increase his chances of success. The formation of this 'tribulation storm' appears to be set in stone. The fact that Professor Larkinson has been able to trigger this powerful manifestation once again indicates that the Dominion of Man has indeed improved by an impressive margin."

"That storm may be the death of our dreadnought!" The female fleet admiral practically roared! "Whatever monstrosity your pet mech designer has created this time is so boundary breaking that the backlash is equally as formidable! That has always been the rule!"

"Do you have so little faith in the combat worthiness of our dreadnought, Amelie?" Stanley Argile raised his eyebrow.

"I am not assuming that the Dominion of Man is guaranteed to shatter from the fury of this storm, but the probability that this will happen is unacceptably high. According to the preliminary calculations of one of my special research times, the size and energy signatures of this growing storm indicates that it will escalate to the point where the strikes can overwhelm the dreadnought's defenses and inflict serious material damage to her hull. It will be a catastrophe if that happens. None of our dreadnoughts have yet to suffer serious harm."

"That is because we are far too reluctant to dispatch our dreadnoughts to battlefields where they may face adequate resistance." Stanley Argile replied.

"It is because we are being prudent about preserving our strategic deterrent." The old woman insisted. "Our dreadnoughts are not even close to ready for the battles to come. Our R&D departments are doing all they can to improve our application of hyper technology, but they have made good progress in the past half year. The Dominion of Man was scheduled to undergo her next refit within two years. You could have waited for her to receive her next round of upgrades as opposed to acting prematurely!"

"You know why I had to do this. Your obstructionism would have delayed us for too long. Besides, I have read the same progress reports as you. Our recent technological gains may have been impressive, but they can only ever close the gap with god mechs. I have read nothing that gives me any reasonable expectation that our dreadnoughts can achieve parity with the most powerful god mechs. Even if the performance gains are more optimistic than expected, the mech industry has not remained idle. The performance of every active god mech will continue to rise. I deem it justified to take a risk and allow Professor Larkinson to have his way with the Dominion of Man."

"The Dominion of Man is a poor choice to unleash this cretin of a mech designer." Amelie Jameson said with a clear tone of disapproval. "Her defenses are adequate, but not the best. The Indignation of Righteousness is able to withstand much more powerful attacks. Much of the offensive power of the Dominion of Man is tied to her Dread Marines. Her gun batteries are not as strong or numerous as the direct offensive arsenal of the Guns of Armageddon."

Stanley Argile inclined his head. "You have raised valid points, but the name of the Dominion of Man possessed much greater symbolic weight than the Indignation of Righteousness and the Guns of Armageddon. You may despise the occult, but you cannot deny that it exists."

"What has happened to you, Stanley?! You used to be much more reasonable when it came to cultivation! Has Professor Larkinson corrupted you with his Devil Tongue?"

"Nothing of the sort has happened." The male fleet admiral shook his head. "I merely came to the realization that we cannot cling to our existing policies when we have already entered a radically different age. We also do not have the luxury of time. We have decades at most. While I am reassured that the Red Association is doing its utmost to rise to the occasion, we cannot afford to fall behind. We are not living in the Age of Mechs anymore. We have entered a turbulent new age where we must accelerate our progress to regain our superiority in this dwarf galaxy."

Amelie gave Argile a pointed look. "Establishing our dominance in the Red Ocean is not our primary objective. The survival of our race and our organization supersedes the need to satisfy our egos. Our dreadnoughts are not required to match or exceed god mechs. They merely have to be strong enough to keep our current enemies at bay. They will not be able to fulfill their mission nearly as effectively if one of their hulls has befallen an accident, especially one that you have engineered through your own decision-making!"

A brief pause ensued as both leaders went over the hidden implications of the current situation.

Fleet Admiral Argile eventually offered a firm response.

"I respectfully disagree with your assertion that our dreadnoughts should only be used to buy time. This is the coward's way out. Have you forgotten what our uniforms stand for, Amelie? We are human. We are the successors of Supreme Marshal Caramond Perle and the generations of humans who followed his will. No enemy is insurmountable. No alien is undefeatable. Through technology and grit, we can accomplish the impossible and carve out a permanent human empire in the Red Ocean! Every decision that I have made since the Great Severing is aligned with this purpose!"

Amelie Jameson looked at her fellow fled admiral as if he had gone mad. "Have you become brainwashed by your own propaganda? The Supreme Marshal is irrelevant in our day and age. His ideals and his willingness to defy the status quo are admirable, but only when the prevailing leaders have failed in their responsibilities. That is not the case here. Our Red Fleet is working on multiple measures to protect the red humanity and guarantee the continuation of our civilization regardless of what happens. Besides, Caramond Perle is hardly the paragon of righteousness as everyone thinks. He is not the role model that you of all people should be looking up to. Every hero has its dark side."

Fleet Admiral Argile chuckled. "Hero or villain, nobody can deny that Caramond Perle has been a pivotal figure in leading humanity to greatness. Red humanity needs a hero to rally around. I can think of no greater symbol to the masses than the supreme marshal. We can ensure the space peasants continue to look up at us so long as his misdeeds remain buried. The public does not necessarily desire for Caramond Perle to give them courage. People only need the idealized version of this historical figure. Professor Larkinson is more than capable of satisfying this demand."

"What if this idealized version of Caramond Perle grows out of control?"

"It is good that we never thought about imposing hard control in the first place." Argile grinned. "It is better to properly nurture whatever life that Professor Larkinson has brought into existence."

"You are mad." The woman hissed. "The same applies to the mech designer who you apparently trust more than our R&D departments. Your actions are weakening the foundation of the Red Fleet!"

"Good. The Red Fleet as we know it has become too rigid, inflexible and old-fashioned to face the challenges of tomorrow. We must embrace more radical improvements, but in order to generate widespread support, we must break the tethers that hold us back!"

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