Chapter 2572: Grand Entry
Everytime a starship engaging in FTL travel transitioned back to the material dimensions, a considerable amount of fluctuations burst out from the point of emergence.
While these fluctuations are quite random and chaotic, humanity slowly learned how to decipher a number of clues.
By interpreting certain patterns, it became possible to predict the size, mass, FTL drive strength, power output and many other parameters.
The CFA unquestionably developed these capabilities the most.
Rumors circulated on the galactic net that the CFA was able to peer into the higher dimensions and make detailed observations of any ships travelling through them far in advance!
Ordinary states and organizations didn\'t have these capabilities.
At the most, their best sensor systems were mostly able to give them a brief advance warning as well as providing estimates on the overall mass of the entering ships and possibly how many of them were emerging at the same.
Right now, a Glory Seeker combat carrier on patrol happened to be close enough to observe the FTL transitions with good clarity.
As Ves entered the bridge of the Scarlet Rose, he sensed a huge amount of anticipation from the Battle Crier crew.
Everyone guessed what the gravitic fluctuations portended!
Numerous states and many more star systems sat between the Sentinel Kingdom and the Hexadric Hegemony.
Unless a starship possessed a very advanced FTL drive, every vessel had to make at least one stop in between in order to cross the vast distance in between.
General traffic flowed along well-established trade routes.
These routes criss-crossed each other many times, thereby creating a branching web that consisted of many powerful star systems.
In order to qualify as a node for FTL travel, a star system had to possess a massive star.
The greater the mass, the easier it was to dial in an FTL drive towards the right destination.
The chances of dangerous misses and going wildly off-course were minimized.
Any fleet that wanted to sneak to a destination unnoticed would avoid these star systems like the plague.
They had to hop between much weaker but much more ubiquitous star systems.
Hardly anyone cared about star systems centered around red dwarfs and brown dwarfs.
They were the equivalent of cramped and dirty alleys in space.
A majestic, Hexer-built fleet of brand-new starships would never crawl through these desolate alleyways!
From the moment the starships turned spaceworthy and assembled into a delivery fleet, their temporary Hexer crews navigated through the safest, fastest and most direct route from the assembly point in the Hegemony to the Cinach System in the Sentinel Kingdom!
Therefore, from the moment a pair of enormous capital ships emerged from the higher dimensions, no one expressed too much surprise.
The clan already received ample warning.
In fact, its analysts already estimated that the Hexer-led fleet would arrive at the Cinach System within two days!
As soon as the capital ships settled into the material realm, a swarm of smaller vessels emerged as well.
Combat carriers, logistical ships, cargo ships and more continued to stabilize themselves before flanking the two capital ships like an honor guard!
Lucky, who floated alongside Ves, looked stunned at the growing fleet emerging out of FTL.
Aside from one of the two capital ships, every vessel was coated in red!
Each ship that made up the fleet shared the same aesthetic look.
Depending on their role and tonnage, they were shaped like fat and stubby rods.
Their cross-sections were always shaped like hexagons, though their sides were very tall and their top and bottom \'roofs\' were fairly squished in order to increase the effective usage of space.
For now, the ships looked fairly plain in appearance.
Aside from their eye-catching red coating, their sides were left bare, though there were already plenty of interesting elements on their exterior.
Hatches, sensor arrays, external storage compartments, bunkers, observation windows and so on all broke up the monotony of smooth hull plating.
Of course, that didn\'t mean the ships lacked armor.
It was the opposite in fact! For capital ships, any breaches spelled serious danger to vessels that were worth at least a trillion hex credits!
Meters-thick armor plating protected them from micro-impacts and more devastating attacks alike.
A very sophisticated arrangement of spacing, supporting structures, compartmentalization and modular components ensured the capital ships wouldn\'t succumb from a few incidental attacks.
One of the two ships boasted considerably better armor.
The Indigo Tremor, the fleet carrier and capital ship of the Glory Seekers, allocated a much greater proportion of her budget towards the quality and quantity of her hull plating!
She\'s a beast. Calabast uttered as she admired the fleet carrier depicted in the projection.
The spymaster slipped onto the bridge a few moments earlier.
Right now, she looked excited at all of the hardware moving to the inner system.
The fleet that had just arrived consisted of all of the starships, supplies and other assets the Larkinson Clan had ordered from the Hegemony.
Once the Larkinsons formally accepted this enormous delivery, they obtained all of the elements to form an expeditionary fleet.
They only needed to unpack their goods and gain some proficiency in controlling their new assets.
Within a month or two, the Golden Skull Alliance would finally be ready to set off its much-anticipated journey!
Let alone Calabast, even Ves couldn\'t rein in his enthusiasm!
What do you think of the Indigo Tremor He asked.
She\'s a modern Hexer fleet carrier. Calabast answered.
The Hegemony has built many fleet carriers, and the Indigo Tremor is not too inferior to those utilized by the Hex Army.
While she is missing some classified tech and components, she is more than capable of serving as the focal point of a space battle.
With good defenses, a nominal capacity of 600 mechs and 78 bunkers, the Indigo Tremor had become the toughest and most reliable vessel in the Larkinson fleet!
Of course, the Tremor wasn\'t technically part of the Larkinson Clan.
Her management fell under the Glory Seekers, who ultimately answered to the Wodin Dynasty.
While Ves still felt a little sour about giving up a precious ship slot to Madame Constance Wodin, at the very least the Wodins hadn\'t wasted the opportunity.
Perhaps the greatest benefit out of this concession was that the Wodins were also responsible for the upkeep of the Indigo Tremor.
Her expensive hull plating might be able to resist a lot of damage, but if they ever broke, it cost a considerable amount of money to restore them.
Ves would not feel any pain if the new flagship of the Glory Seekers took a hefty beating.
Fleet carriers that were designed to attract enemy fire had been known to bankrupt their owners!
Ves rubbed his smooth-shaven chin.
Compared to the Antonio Cross and the Hemmington Cross, the Indigo Tremor strikes a good balance between capacity, defense and mobility.
The only downside is that she moves like a tub.
He didn\'t mention the Indigo Tremor\'s secret colony base function.
It was none of his business if the Wodins wanted to plant their flag on a planet in the Red Ocean Dwarf Galaxy.
The Indigo Tremor isn\'t the only tub. Calabast smirked and gestured her hand at the adjacent capital ship.
Your new toy is just as sluggish.
She\'s my toy, though.
After Ves took in the Indigo Tremor, he finally directed his attention to the ship that had occupied his dreams for years.
The majestic red capital ship possessed a considerably different profile than the Glory Seeker fleet carrier.
While she adopted roughly the same shape as the Indigo Tremor, her hull plating was not as thick or resilient.
That didn\'t mean her defenses were weak.
The red capital ship possessed enough defenses to fend off smaller assaults on her own.
Her serviceable hull plating, power-hungry shield generators and 80 reinforced bunkers were far from typical of a capital ship devoted to industrial production.
Though her acceleration and mobility characteristics were just as plodding as any capital ships, she was a bit better off than the Indigo Tremor in this regard.
In short, the unnamed capital ship was very well equipped to survive the frontier!
As Ves continually raked his eyes over her formidable shape, intense satisfaction suffused his body.
Power! This was power!
Not even hundreds of combat carriers could compare to the value of his factory ship.
It cost 2 trillion hex credits to build the current incarnation of this capital ship.
The formidable active and passive defenses of the factory ship claimed much of her budget.
Yet the most important aspect of his future flagship wasn\'t her combat capabilities, but instead her production capabilities!
Twenty modern high-end Hexer production lines could churn out advanced second-class mechs at a high pace.
As long as the Larkinson Clan was able to sustain her voracious production volume, then the industrial vessel essentially functioned as a large and mobile manufacturing complex.
This was the key to maintaining the independence of his expeditionary fleet!
While a normal manufacturing complex built on land was only 5 to 15 percent as expensive as this extravagant capital ship, any fixed facilities weren\'t able to move with his fleet.
What was the point of investing in a fixed production facility if it only anchored his expeditionary fleet within a certain range
Ves did not want to be bound by any location!
He wanted to explore new territories without any shackles limiting his travel options!
In order to secure these capabilities, he did not flinch from demanding a factory ship instead of a fleet carrier as the first capital ship of the Larkinson Clan.
As a mech designer, having his own roving production facility was a great luxury!
Certainly, a factory ship was not without its downsides.
As mentioned earlier, it was very troublesome to manage the logistics of keeping it supplied.
With 20 production lines, the factory ship ate through a lot of materials at her peak.
While the vessel possessed enormous cargo bays, they weren\'t sufficient in the long run.
The Larkinson fleet had to incorporate a lot of cargo ships in order to store the raw materials and finished products.
The LMC and the Larkinson Clan also had to establish versatile and redundant supply lines that were capable of delivering an abundant amount of raw materials to a fleet that regularly moved around.
If the expeditionary fleet traveled beyond the range of those supply lines, then it became increasingly harder to keep the production lines running!
This was an incredibly complicated matter.
It was already hard enough to keep a moving factory ship supplied while travelling through the Milky Way.
At least his fleet would be travelling through established space where an abundant amount of resource suppliers and distribution networks were able to deliver the necessary raw materials to his factory ship.
What about the Red Ocean
Supplying the factory ship would doubtlessly be a lot more troublesome over there! Too little time had passed for the initial wave of pioneers to set up a comprehensive resource extraction industry, let alone establish large-scale trade networks.
Well, it doesn\'t matter. He softly muttered.
Even if he couldn\'t fully utilize the factory ship all the time, it was fine if she was bleeding money.
He valued the factory ship for her mobile mass production capabilities.
When it came to earning money, the business empire he erected in the Komodo Star Sector and adjacent star sectors already had that covered!
With the arrival of the final batch of Hexer-built vessels, every Larkinson gained a lot of hope for the future.
Even though they were frequently told that the Larkinsons would be getting their own capital ship, it was only now that the truth sank in.
With such an impressive factory ship, the Larkinson Clan could finally lift its head high in front of the Cross Clan!
Get ready, Ves. Calabast softly spoke to her.
It\'s one thing to receive a capital ship.
It\'s another thing to master her.
Your precious factory ship won\'t be fully in your control unless she is crewed entirely by your own people!
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