Chapter 2424: Questioning Leadership
Ves made the right choice by gathering all of the expert pilots together.
If he spoke to them on an individual basis, then it would be difficult for him to fend off their remarks.
Now, the expert pilots pretty much argued amongst themselves.
Ves, Calabast and Major Verle turned into inanimate props as the expert pilots each expressed what they thought about the current campaign.
Just as Ves expected, Venerable Jannzi found the most fault with his decisions.
To her, trading lives for training and plunder was a horrible deal.
It didn\'t matter whether the Larkinson Clan gained 5 expert pilots and 9 expert candidates in total.
Each breakthrough came at the cost of at least several dozens of lives!
To Jannzi, this was no different from cutting off the necks of innocent Larkinsons in order to fuel a demonic ritual that directly enabled her to break through.
It was a reprehensible trade that should have never taken place!
Joshua thought the opposite.
Each Larkinson that took part in the expedition ultimately agreed to face the risks.
They all volunteered except for the Avatars, but that was only because anyone who agreed to put on the yellow-and-white uniform already agreed to become the tip of the spear.
Each of us had a choice, Jannzi.
None of us are in the Larkinson Clan because we were forced into it.
Both trueblood and adopted Larkinsons had to make several deliberate choices to end up here.
Our clan patriarch has been very open about this.
That many of our clansmen died in the end is not good at all, but… they all accepted the risks.
The two may be in a relationship with each other, but they held different views.
As Jannzi and Joshua continued to argue with each other, Ves found it increasingly difficult to imagine that they would stay together for long.
You\'re not looking at it right, Joshua. Tusa shook his head.
Sure, the Larkinsons who joined the task force did so on their own volition.
This was because they got the impression that we would only be mucking about a bit by honing our skills against a bunch of pirate outfits.
This is what all of the Peacekeeper outfits do.
None of us expected us to go so deep and crack open fortified pirate bases that are defended by thousands of mechs and an arsenal of illegal superweapons!
That was indeed a bit difficult to defend.
Joshua clearly didn\'t know how to respond to this argument.
Commander Orfan crossed her arms and leaned back in her chair.
Tusa has it right.
While I like Ves, that doesn\'t mean I agree with him on everything.
This time he really bamboozled us.
None of us signed up to attack heavily defended pirate bases, let alone alien gods and actual warships!
Glory cannot be earned without sacrifice. Commander Dise surprisingly opposed her buddy.
What we gained from this journey is something precious.
Who in the galactic rim can boast of fighting against and winning against a real warship This victory alone will send our reputation soaring.
What is the use of that
Reputation can save the lives of many more comrades than we have lost in the past few months! Just think about it! All of the potential enemies in our way will never think about waylaying us when they heard we fought warships and came out on top.
Even if they don\'t believe we have earned this victory, all of us expert pilots and expert candidates are already enough to force many people to respect our strength.
Civilized space isn\'t as bad as the Nyxian Gap. Jannzi insisted.
Once we get back to normal space, nobody will randomly decide to attack us because they are greedy for our possessions.
We live in a decent, normal society.
Tell that to the pirates.
The pirates in civilized space are nowhere near as strong as brazen as their counterparts here, Joshua.
What passes off for pirates are usually poor and desperate criminals who only pounce on individual cargo ships because they can only muster up a couple of dozen mechs at most.
With our strength and numbers, we have already grown way past the threshold where we need to be concerned about pirate attacks.
That doesn\'t mean the galaxy is safe! Even well-defended trade fleets are at risk of attacks.
It\'s too difficult to ensure our clan will remain safe and sound as we travel to other areas where the locals aren\'t as familiar with our clan.
I bet that having ten-thousand mech pilots is not scary as a single expert pilot!
Ves raised his hand.
Alright! That\'s enough.
I think you are all arguing in circles at this point.
You have all voiced your opinions.
I have listened carefully to each and every one of you.
You have all brought up some good points.
Though he felt a bit nervous at facing five expert pilots at the same time, he already knew them before they reached their current rank.
They weren\'t so different from their old selves.
As long as he accommodated all of their views, he should be able to achieve his goals.
Venerable Jannzi. He spoke as he turned to the most outspoken critic.
We have talked before about this.
Each Larkinson who joined our clan did so with the expectation that they will have to work to rise above their current station.
Do you know how many dispossessed Ylvainans, downtrodden Reinaldan citizens, oppressed Sentinel commoners and other hopeful people have joined our clan Each of them signed up with us with the promise that we would lift them from the mud.
She glared at him.
Our children and the Larkinsons born after that won\'t have a choice!
The rules can be amended if the Larkinson Assembly believes it needs to change.
There are good reasons why we expect total loyalty from our offspring, but if you think that\'s wrong, you are welcome to push an alternative. Ves brushed off her argument.
We are in a different situation right now.
Yes, I took risks.
Yes, I\'ve made mistakes.
Don\'t let their deaths be in vain by throwing away the gains that they have secured for us.
We should honor their sacrifices instead.
Honor! What does that have to do with this! I see no honor in this ill-thought adventure! At least back in the Mech Corps, we didn\'t question our mission! I think we need a change of leadership! You\'re a good mech designer, Ves, but that\'s all you are.
Either make way for someone steadier or we will force you out of your position!
That did not sound good! Perhaps Venerable Jannzi had already come in touch with the dissidents.
He could not let her push this proposal any further!
We have made some decisions that did not quite pan out, but as a whole we become far stronger and wealthier than just a few years ago.
This kind of progress is astounding no matter who you compare us to.
No clan or organization has grown so fast to the point where we are already wealthy enough to reach the standard of second-class citizens! You can\'t obtain this progress with your own efforts in any other way.
Do you think that our clansmen will remain satisfied if we remain as poor and inconsequential as we were before
You are trying to move too quickly, Ves.
What is wrong with taking it slow Whether we become equivalent to second-class citizens tomorrow or ten years from now shouldn\'t be too much of a difference.
With all of the sales your mech company is making lately, I don\'t see a strong need to seek so much battle.
You know nothing. Commander Dise shook her head.
Jannzi ignored Dise\'s remark.
The last time we talked, Ves, I thought it was already enough to share my opinion.
Now I think I should have pushed you harder.
Maybe you should share some of your power to us.
In the past, you were the only prominent Larkinson in the clan, but that is no longer the case.
With us, we can return to how the Larkinson Family ran itself.
Our clan is different from the old family. Ves quickly responded.
We have rejected many traditions that have held the old family back, and this is no different.
Expert pilots like you have better things to do than to govern our growing clan.
Also, putting people who know nothing except how to fight is not a good way to prevent more deaths.
Just look at Vicious Mountain.
We don\'t have to run the clan ourselves! We can just let the Larkinson Assembly and Executive Council continue to govern in our stead.
We can hold veto power and reject any decisions that go too far.
Isn\'t that a better arrangement
Ves shook his head.
You are some of the greatest Larkinsons we have, but that does not mean you represent the clan in its entirety.
Vetoing any decisions by the Larkinson Assembly means that you are in effect opposing what the majority wants.
Look, during the founding of the clan, we have already formalized the powers you gain when you become expert pilots.
Each of you already hold the position of judge in the Larkinson Court.
I am not surprised you forgot about it.
So far, no Larkinson has committed any crimes serious enough to warrant the involvement of the Larkinson Court.
It\'s basically the institution that presides over the trials of clansmen who are accused of serious crimes.
It doesn\'t waste its time on trivial issues such as stealing someone\'s comm or skipping work.
What is the rationale for this We aren\'t trained in law. Tusa frowned.
The Larkinson Court will be filled with actual judges that will take care of most of the processes.
The problem is that as our clan grows larger, they may grow partial to a faction or go astray in some way.
Expert pilots like you are known for your integrity and adherence to values.
I can find no better person than you to preserve our moral fiber.
By issuing judgement during serious cases brought before the Court, you can wield power without imposing yourselves too much in other people\'s lives.
Several people looked confused.
They didn\'t quite know what he was getting at.
All of this judging business did not sound too appealing.
While Ves meant what he said, he also had an ulterior motive in mind when he pushed to put expert candidates in the Larkinson Court.
In a typical divided power structure, the executive, legislative and legal branches were all supposed to stand apart from each other.
Each of them wielded power, but only in a specific way.
Ves always feared that expert pilots would somehow use their huge influence to force some undesirable changes to his clan.
Blocking them from gaining power didn\'t help.
This was why he had the bright idea of shoving them into the court! Of the three branches, the Larkinson Assembly possessed the most decision-making power while the Larkinson Court possessed the least!
The job of a judge was to judge, not to legislate.
Not only that, but judges were also expected to be fair and impartial.
It was unseemly for them to be prejudiced and take sides before a trial had begun!
By pushing the expert pilots into the role of judges, Ves effectively hoped to muzzle their outspokenness.
If they took their new responsibilities seriously, then they should firmly stay away from the actual decision makers.
After all, in a divided power structure, it was a great taboo for judges to be in cahoots with executives and lawmakers!
You\'ll understand in the future. Ves shook his head.
In any case, our clan already has a structure in place that the Larkinson Assembly has agreed upon.
If people think I should go, then 80 percent of the Assembly must vote me out.
That is the rule.
It is not proper for you to break the existing rules.
You should instead think about your future role.
While our clan has largely stayed harmonious up until now, that will doubtlessly change in the future.
The power to pass judgement is a heavy responsibility.
The expert pilots all looked uncertain at each other.
Was this supposed to be their new role
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