Chapter 2967: Sudden Surgery
The Dragon\'s Den was the largest capital ship of the Larkinson Clan by length.
Measuring at roughly 3.3 kilometers from bow to stern, her silhouette was imposing even at a distance.
If she was a warship, then she would have made for an intimidating sight for any enemy of the Larkinson Clan.
It was a pity that she did not possess any relevant combat capabilities.
Her hull armor was as thin as any non-combat vessel of her size and very little of her internal space was dedicated towards carrying mechs.
The design philosophy behind this vessel was different from that of the Spirit of Bentheim.
If Ves had a choice, he would have chosen to make the Dragon\'s Den more robust in order to increase her ability to resist various dangers.
Fortunately, the addition of the heavily-armored Graveyard compensated for the weakness of this vessel.
In the combat plans of the Larkinson fleet, the Dragon\'s Den should firmly huddle behind the bulk of the defensive capital ship and not move away until the danger had passed.
When Ves studied the bioresearch vessel as his shuttle approached the new capital ship, he felt quite hopeful about the benefits she could provide.
Once the Lifers settled into their new lives and positions, the Dragon\'s Den should hopefully become a microcosm of the Life Research Association.
As his shuttle entered the hangar bay of the Dragon Den\'s and touched down onto the deck, his honor guard stepped out first before his boots touched the bone metal deck.
He immediately felt as if he had turned back the clock.
The aesthetics of the hangar bay closely resembled that of what he was accustomed to back on Prosperous Hill VI.
The bone metal material that the Lifers appeared to be fond of was practically ubiquitous on this ship.
He knew that the inner structure of the vessel consisted of normal fabricated metals, but anything that humans could see was fully made out of organic materials.
When he looked to the side, he could see a handful of familiar-looking biomechs.
Their quality left much to be desired, but the Lifer mech pilots that the Larkinsons hired all preferred to pilot something made out of flesh and bone.
Not even witnessing Uranus going on a rampage could change the minds of these stubborn LRA-born clansmen!
Sir, welcome aboard the Dragon\'s Den. A female voice called.
The two leaders aboard the bioresearch vessel stepped closer.
Ranya looked a little more stressed and tired than usual, but that was a given considering that she must be having her hands full trying to manage the huge influx of new people.
Commandeer Rivington fared a little better, but he still possessed a bewildered look on his face.
His job description had expanded enormously compared to what he was before the war.
His experience as a competitive team leader did not avail him much now that he was put in charge of all of the biomech units!
The rapid changes and long with the challenges they had to face was one reason why Ves felt the need to pay a personal visit.
Touring the Dragon\'s Den was another reason.
How could he ignore something as important as one of the ships that he would bring to the Red Ocean Though he could learn plenty of details by studying some documents and watching some footage, it was easier and more personal to take a look for himself.
Now that he got here, he curiously kept looking around.
He not only observed all of the organic technology that operated on very different principles from the machines that he was familiar with, but also studied the people who settled in on this starship.
Your men look happy, if busy. Ves commented.
Ranya responded with a weary smile.
This ship and these Lifers are quite amazing.
The Dragon\'s Den is practically the perfect research vessel for my needs.
Although I have long issued a request for the clan to acquire a dedicated research ship where we can conduct high-quality bioresearch, I never expected you to invest in a capital ship straight away when other capital ship roles are in higher demand.
We didn\'t have much choice when we offered to trade the Auralis. Ves shrugged.
You\'re wrong one one point, though.
Bioresearch will not remain a side activity within our clan.
I hope that it can flourish now that we have secured this lab for your organization.
I have always been serious about elevating the Larkinson Biotech Institute to a higher standard.
Now that we have recruited a lot of relevant experts from a state that excels in this area, I hope you can deliver a lot of results.
We will definitely make sure to live up to your expectations.
We don\'t want to become a burden to the clan.
We have our own pride.
While I don\'t expect our institute to earn anything close to the revenue of the LMC, we hope to get some profitable projects up and running within the next two years.
Ves casually waved his hand.
The LBI isn\'t meant to generate income.
It should primarily service the medical and biotech needs of the clan.
For example, it should be the only source of augmentations to our clansmen.
If there is any profit to be had, then it should come as part of some collaborative projects with the Design Department of the LMC.
Some of the work that is being done on this ship will become relevant to some of my mech designs in the future.
Ranya nodded in understanding, but she did not retreat.
Be that as it may, our clan cannot afford to rely on selling mechs as its only source of income.
A bit of diversification never hurts, and I believe that all of the Lifer researchers that have joined our ranks can definitely prove their worth.
Ves raised his eyebrow as they left the hangar bay and ventured into the bowels of the Dragon\'s Den.
Are the Lifer researchers really that good
Many of them are more qualified than myself, even though we haven\'t hired any high-level researchers. Ranya frankly admitted.
Their theoretical foundation is richer, their research abilities are stronger and don\'t get me started on their enthusiasm.
I even feel that I should stop bothering to conduct research myself.
What I can do, a relevant expert can do at least three to five times better.
This was an enormous difference.
Though the bulk of the biotech experts that the Larkinsons managed to pick up were mainly low in rank, with only a small proportion of middle level researchers, their collective capabilities were already impressive by non-LRA standards.
Despite this, Ranya did not sound too threatened by the influx of all of these superior Lifer biotech scientists.
This was because she was smart enough to figure out that Ves would continue to put her in charge of this entire division.
Ves didn\'t trust any of the Lifers yet.
He especially did not trust their scientists and researchers who were mostly too full of themselves.
He had witnessed the hubris of their ilk first-hand when he was stuck in their former state.
From a governance perspective, replacing Ranya with a respected Lifer was counterproductive.
Elevating such a person would send a signal that the old LRA pattern of allowing the best researchers hold the most authority would continue to remain a custom in the Larkinson Clan.
He had a lot of objections to this stupid practice, so letting a relatively junior and inferior biotech scientist like Ranya remain in charge was a good way to signal that the Larkinsons intended to do things differently.
Besides, there was an even greater reason to keep Ranya in her current position as the director of the LBI.
He trusted her.
After filling her in on the existence of spirituality and roping her in on helping him research a couple delicate matters, she had become a part of his inner circle.
None of the former Lifers who joined the clan could match her status in his eyes.
As long as she stayed in place, Ves felt assured that the research teams under her wouldn\'t perform any rogue and dangerous experiments.
He had seen enough of that in the LRA to know that these Lifer researchers needed to be collared to an extent.
As the group continued to discuss various matters, they eventually arrived at the upper decks.
The scenery turned a lot whiter and the amount of foot traffic had reduced considerably.
In fact, aside from the size of the compartments and corridors, the interior reminded him a lot of the pinnacle lab he once entered!
The upper decks of the Dragon\'s Den mainly consist of research laboratories. Ranya introduced.
This is where most of our researchers can be found when they are on duty.
For now, there isn\'t much to see here because our men are still settling in.
In a couple of months, you will soon find thousands of scientists working diligently on their respective projects.
They briefly entered a couple of biolabs.
Some of them were empty, others only featured a bunch of organic lab equipment.
Cargo bots kept hauling different goods and equipment to the labs under the attentive supervision of the scientists who would soon be making use of the facilities.
They soon entered another section of the upper decks.
They briefly entered a section that was dedicated to treating humans.
To his surprise, Ranya led him to an ongoing operation on a very familiar looking human.
He could feel her force of will from the observation window!
Is that Ketis What is she doing here
Didn\' she tell you Ranya raised her eyebrow.
She is currently undergoing an operation to install her new implant in her brain.
From what I have heard, the head of the Heavensword Association personally gifted her with an implant redeemed from the MTA.
Ketis never told him of this gift!
This is reckless! Can these implant surgeons be trusted
We are far from the days where a lone saboteur such as the doctor who I shall not name can single-handedly botch an operation.
Each implantation operation is carefully planned and conducted by at least half-a-dozen highly-qualified Lifer surgeons.
I even requested Calabast to thoroughly test loyalties of the doctors and nurses who are currently performing this procedure.
If anyone doesn\'t do their part, the security systems will restrain them one way or another.
If that doesn\'t work, the Swordmaidens will take action.
There were numerous armored soldiers in the operation chamber.
Though their presence clearly wasn\'t welcome, the Swordmaidens didn\'t care.
Ketis was the most important member of their sisterhood.
The operation had to succeed!
Though Ves didn\'t intend to watch how the implantation surgeons cut a hole in Ketis\' skull before they carefully inserted a small white device inside her brain, he couldn\'t move away.
He stayed for an entire hour.
He felt he owed it to his student to watch the doctors and nurses carefully and constantly gauge their emotions to know whether they had any ill intent.
Fortunately, the operation went completely according to plan.
No complications had occurred and Ketis\' brain fully embraced the sophisticated implant without any signs of rejection.
The head implant surgeon transmitted a brief report to Ranya.
The news is all good, sir.
Ketis is stable and her brain is accepting all of the new neural connections that the implant has formed.
Of course, we owe much of this success to the highly-advanced nature of her implant.
The MTA does not cut any corners when it comes to their products.
Ves briefly frowned.
Have you checked and verified whether the implant is safe and free of bugs.
That is natural.
Ketis wouldn\'t have chosen to proceed with this operation if she was uncertain.
Due to their sensitive nature, the programming and design of these implants are always an open book to us.
Despite the high tech nature of the implant in question, its functioning is completely clear to us.
We have even spent the equivalent of billions of hex credits in order to obtain the judgement of at least a dozen different highly-respected implant specialists across the galaxy.
We have found nothing suspicious.
MTA implants are very popular in human space.
If they were suspicious in any way, then we would have heard about it already.
It won\'t do the Association\'s reputation any good if they are caught with tampering their own products.
Oh, Ranya didn\'t know the true face of the MTA, but that was fine.
He believed her for once.
It was beneath the MTA to turn any implant they sold into a listening device.
Trust and credibility was one of the Association most valued resources, so it would be incredibly stupid for the mechers to risk all of their hard work because they wanted to spy on some mech designers.
As much as Ves felt uncomfortable about this, he had to accept that he couldn\'t be around to do everything in person.
He had to teach himself to trust his subordinates to do their jobs.
How long until Ketis recovers
She should be up and running in a week at best, though we might hold her back for another week or two as a precaution.
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