Chapter 3388: Larkinson Fleet Carrier
The addition of the Gorgoneion and the Diligent Ovenbird invigorated the Larkinson Clan.
With nine capital ships under their control, the Larkinsons reluctantly possessed everything they needed to conduct a lengthy expedition.
The only shortcomings was that there was insufficient mech capacity and there were still a couple of lacking functions such as the ability to refine fuel.
The former was a major problem but the latter was not an acute issue considering that it was easy enough to stock up on lots of fuel and other essential goods.
As the Larkinsons began to staff the many essential positions of the two new ships, Ves decided to tour them both.
He needed to take a break anyway so that he could reach his peak condition when he began to fabricate the Chimera Project tomorrow.
A couple of prominent Larkinsons joined him on this tour for this occasion.
Both Commander Melkor Larkinson and Commander Casella Ingvar harbored a great degree of interest in this ship as it would house much of their temporarily diminished mech units for the time being.
Ideally, every mech legion should have its own fleet, consisting of a fleet carrier, lots of combat carriers and as many logistical ships as needed to sustain their operations.
That was clearly an extravagant wish for the moment.
In the early days of their expedition in the Red Ocean, all of the mech legions had no choice but to share carrier space in any vessel that could hold mechs.
With an operational capacity of 750 mechs and the possibility to hold double this amount if the mechs were packed, the Gorgoneion was a key defensive component of the Larkinson fleet.
Ves and Lucky began their visit by entering a military shuttle that had originally departed from the Graveyard.
Ves. Commander Melkor casually greeted the patriarch.
Sir. Commander Casella was a bit more formal and proper.
Lucky raised his paw and greeted on Ves\' behalf.
He floated over to Casella and circled around the expert candidate\'s body a bit.
Sadly, the woman did not break decorum in order to pet the cute mechanical cat.
He had better luck with Melkor.
The visored Larkinson was not a pet person, but he was more than willing to scratch Lucky between his ears.
How have you been these days, Lucky Has Ves abused you again lately
The three prominent Larkinsons entered an armored shuttle which soon exited the Spirit of Bentheim\'s hangar bay and ventured into open space.
Ves had fewer opportunities to meet with his Legion Commanders these days.
They were stationed on other starships where they could work closer to their own mech pilots, so it was not so easy to randomly bump into them anymore.
It was also less convenient for them to hang out after they ended their work shifts.
Another reason why the patriarch rarely spoke to them was because there was a proper hierarchy these days.
With a functioning chain of command, Ves no longer needed to address any problems brought up by the Avatars of Myth or the Living Sentinels.
The mech legions had built up extensive and professional administrations that could handle all of the day-to-day problems and solve many larger issues by themselves.
If that wasn\'t enough, then there was the Military Headquarters that could offer more centralized and higher-level support.
Even the most thorny problems could eventually be addressed if General Verle cooperated with the chief ministers of the clan.
They all possessed enough authority to make huge, wide-ranging decisions that Ves previously kept to himself.
Though all of this demanded that Ves extended a lot of trust towards the appointed leaders, it generally worked out so far.
He just found it regrettable that he no longer got in touch with the middle and lower levels of the clan as often.
He began to see more and more why older and more accomplished leaders tended to become insufferantly out of touch with the masses.
Of course, that didn\'t mean that Ves intended to change anything.
He already had a lot of work on his lap and the need to allocate even more time to raising his family already ate up his free time.
She\'s big. Commander Melkor said as he peered through to the open porthole on the side.
Casella walked up to the same window and gazed at the distant defensive fleet carrier.
I am pleased we\'re getting a brand-new ship. She said.
The Graveyard is a fine vessel, but she is several decades old and also functions as a salvaging vessel.
It is not a good place to house our commands.
The Gorgoneion will offer better facilities.
Even though much of the Gorgoneion\'s immense internal volume was dedicated to carrying mechs and increasing her defensive capabilities, there were still plenty of administrative sections that housed hundreds of back offices, training rooms and assembly halls.
All seven mech legions of the Larkinson Army had already begun to transfer their headquarters to the immense dark green-coated fleet carrier!
Once the shuttle entered one of the spacious hangar bays of the Gorgoneion, the three leaders became impressed by what they observed.
As a newly-received vessel, the Larkinsons were just starting to make her operational.
Dozens of mechs had already been moved over to the fleet carrier and a constant stream of shuttles and transports brought in lots of goods and personnel.
Despite all of the traffic, the crew members maintained a high degree of order despite not having served aboard the ship for more than a day!
We\'ve especially trained the crew we\'ve assigned to the Gorgoneion in advance. Commander Casella smirked.
Although we haven\'t been able to conduct training on the real vessel, all of these crew members have spent months in simulation training.
This allows us to shorten the familiarizing process considerably and quickly get this ship in operation.
Ves looked impressed.
Although simulation training couldn\'t prepare the crew for every possible situation, it was already good enough that they were familiar with their routine duties.
The Larkinsons around him did not behave as if they were just beginning to acclimatize themselves to their new berths.
The group soon ventured deeper into the fleet carrier.
Due to her role, she featured multiple massive halls that were directly related to holding mechs.
The hangar bays were spacious, modern and featured an abundant amount of heavy equipment.
All of this gear made the process of servicing and replenishing the supplies of mechs a lot faster and more convenient.
Then there were the mech stables where mechs could safely be stowed for extended periods of time.
Strong metallic restraints were able to hold hefty mechs in place, thereby minimizing the risk that they would be flung into another mech or a team of mech technicians if the Gorgoneion sustained damage or became affected by a major glitch.
The overall quality, toughness and redundancy of these systems were higher than in any other ship in the Larkinson fleet.
The Gorgoneion is a true fleet carrier. Commander Melkor said as he held Lucky in his arms.
Not only that, she\'s not a premade ship that already comes with an existing configuration.
Since one of our own shipwrights designed this vessel, we\'ve all been able to provide our input on what we would like to see in our fleet carrier.
I\'m glad that Miss Tsai has implemented a number of my suggestions.
That was another difference between the Gorgoneion and many other Larkinson vessels.
The exterior and interior lacked the distinct hexagon theme that was ubiquitous on Hexer-built vessels.
Ves welcomed the absence of six-sided corridors and six-sided hatches.
The more square and neutral interior design reflected the Larkinson Clan\'s desire to adhere more closely to the general galactic aesthetic.
He had no doubt that the Larkinsons crewing this vessel would add their own touches to the vessel.
The capital ship was not only their workplace, but also their home for many years.
The Larkinsons had become accustomed to decorating the interior with symbols depicting the Golden Cat, banners representing the mech legion and memorials to past battles.
Depending on the strictness of the captains and officers of the vessels, some Larkinsons even added their own personal touches to their ships.
For now, the Gorgoneion was a blank canvas, but Ves expected the servicemen stationed on this fleet carrier to make her more unique in the coming years and hopefully decades.
After they had enough of seeing the various mech facilities of the fleet carrier, the group began to view the other sections of the enormous vessel.
There were too many decks and compartments for them to inspect every important system in person, but they visited all of the important compartments.
The central command center offered General Verle and his command staff a much better site to direct the Larkinson Army.
All of the advanced workstations and analytical systems were customized to the needs of the Larkinsons, which would doubtlessly boost the cooperation and coordination of the Larkinson Clan\'s mech units in future battles.
The engineering bays hosted the primary power reactors, the main engines and the crucial FTL drives.
As was conventional with most capital ships, the Gorgoneion featured two FTL drives, allowing her to jump continuously while spending a minimal amount of time in realspace if necessary.
Although the model of the FTL drives was nothing special, they were brand-new and certified to the highest standards of Sticky Pernois.
As long as the engineers verified that they were completely sound, they could endure more straining operations and required less intensive maintenance.
I\'m not sure if these FTL drives will hold up once we reach the Red Ocean. Commander Casella frowned as she stood in front of the massive contraptions.
What makes you say that, commander Ves curiously asked.
These FTL drives are designed to operate normally in most regions in the galactic rim.
The gravitic tides in this part of space are relatively calm compared to more busy regions closer to the center of the galaxy.
This is because there is greater stellar activity and a much higher density of stars over there.
A ship will require a more robust and expensive FTL drive to navigate through these difficult regions.
You\'re right, but there is no hurry to replace them yet.
The Big Two has started their invasion of the dwarf galaxy in the periphery.
For now, most of the pioneers who are exploring the Red Ocean are still roaming that place\'s equivalent to the galactic rim.
It will take quite a number of years before the Big Two has swept the interior.
By the time the MTA and CFA have freed up valuable new zones for private exploration and colonization, I think we\'ll be able to get our hands on revolutionary new FTL drive models.
Both Melkor and Casella turned and faced their patriarch.
Phasewater augments pretty much any aspect related to faster-than-light technology.
I\'ve already heard stories about prototype FTL drives that offer ten times or even thirty times the range of a standard FTL drive, and this is just the start.
Once those clever engineers refine their application of phasewater, I wouldn\'t be surprised if they come up with an FTL drive that can take us directly from the periphery to the center of the Red Ocean!
What he didn\'t mention was the extreme cost that this would entail.
While the Red Ocean might contain an abundance of phasewater, the demand for it was even higher.
Contemporary human civilization was literally built on top of FTL travel! Space travel was such an inseparable part to humanity\'s strength and prosperity that no one would ever say no to phasewater-powered FTL solutions.
This dynamic practically guaranteed that the price of phasewater would remain sky high for many years.
That meant that even if it was feasible to develop an extravagant FTL drive with extreme range, its cost would be so great that the Larkinson Clan would bankrupt itself ten times over just to get a single device!
There was no need for his clan to obtain such a high-end system… He would already be happy to obtain more affordable drives with ten times the range of a regular FTL drive.
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