Chapter 2734 - Lacking Identity
Promoting Verle to the rank of general was a big jump.
Was he qualified to hold such a senior rank That was debatable.
He never commanded a force at this level.
Due to his heavy workload, he never had the time to shore up his inadequate theoretical foundation either, so he was not a genius in command.
What he did have was everyones trust.
He showed enough competence so far to earn the appreciation of both trueblood Larkinsons and every other soldier in the clan.
He excelled at shaping morale and he inspired confidence in his own leadership.
Everyone recognized his authority, though not everyone agreed with his policies.
That was enough as far as Ves was concerned.
While he could have shopped around for some retired colonels or generals in Majestic Teal, the truly good ones were never easily for hire.
Ves would be forced to pick between one of several desperate or faulty candidates who might make a mess out of the military wing of the Larkinson Clan.
Rather than gamble on the unknown and potentially ruin the most essential guarantee of safety for Ves, he would rather settle with the familiar and continue to rely on Quinlist Verle.
Ves had to admit that his familiarity and personal relationship played a decisive factor in this consideration.
He felt rather dirty about it because he knew that Verle might not be up to the task.
Of course, that might change over time.
There were plenty of learning sources available to the hastily-promoted general.
Verle had access to an expansive budget, so he shouldnt be shy in taking some of that money in order to invest in himself.
The Military Bureau that Verle was in charge of largely played a background role for now.
It merely fiddled with unifying logistics and establishing a common set of rules and regulations and so on.
While these activities were important, the military of the Larkinson Clan was still decentralized.
The mech commanders had the real say in how their forces were supposed to run.
While Verle had the authority to impose his own decisions, in practice he almost never did so.
Every mech commander was already doing a fine job in managing their troops so there was no reason for Verle to spoil his relationsh.i.p.s with the influential leaders.
Even so, Ves didnt want his mech forces to grow too far apart.
By letting them stay in their own silos, their trust and cooperation with the other mech forces would never be optimal.
This was quite a delicate issue as Ves didnt want to go too far in the other way either.
If the Military Bureau dictated more rules, the differences between the Avatars, Sentinels, Vandals and so on might blur.
Each of them would start to lose their distinct strengths and specialties.
Ves liked it if his soldiers possessed a lot of personality.
He didnt want them to be almost identical to each other.
While there was strength in uniformity, as proven by the Hex Army, there was strength in diversity as well.
In truth, he was too used to the model employed by the Bright Republic and the Friday Coalition.
By allowing different mech regiments to develop their own martial traditions, the identities of the mech pilots and other servicemen became more internally cohesive.
This was incredibly important to him as his glows and his battle networks were able to generate unique advantages when they took advantage of these conditions.
Major Verle is already aware of all of these nuances.
He will make sure to steer our mech forces in the right direction.
The entire military of the Larkinson Clan was about to undergo an explosive expansion.
This was a huge endeavor as it was far from simple to acquire 10,000 mech pilots at once.
An expansion of this scale also demanded the acquisition of more sh.i.p.s and mechs, which was very troublesome for various reasons.
To be honest, the expeditionary fleet was already sizable.
It was not good to tack on hundreds more combat carriers on top of that.
Managing so many assets and people would become so burdensome that it could bog down the entire command structure.
Ves also had to take the integration of all of those new people into account.
It was not acceptable to lump all of the newcomers in a separate ship with hardly any of the old guard around.
The Larkinsons needed to immerse them into the culture and customs of the clan in order to minimize any rifts.
All of these management aspects already gave Ves a headache.
It might be possible that the Larkinson Clan might take it slow on expanding its fleet and mech roster in order to buy more time to indoctrinate the new recruits.
Its actually quite common to maintain a modest surplus of mech pilots.
Mech pilots were simultaneously scarce but cheap compared to mechs.
It cost a lot more to acquire a single mech than an accompanying mech pilot.
However, in dangerous places such as frontiers, hazardous regions or remote star systems, it was impossible for mech forces to replenish the mech pilots who had lost their lives!
At least mechs could be patched up to an extent after they incurred damage.
Mech technicians were even capable of bringing wrecks back to working condition.
Yet not even the best doctors in the clan could bring a dead person back to life.
It would be nice to have some spares around. Ves muttered.
If the Golden Skull Alliance had a bunch of free mech pilots at its disposal, then it might not have been necessary to hire a mercenary force as powerful as the 14th Fleet of the Star Striders.
While the Infinity Guards provided him with a lot of reassurance, it would have been better if he didnt have to rely on external protection in the first place.
This time, we lucked out because we were ambushed in a developed star sector that is neutral towards us.
We might not be as lucky next time.
The Red Ocean was significantly less developed and there were many zones where hardly any colonies were around.
Even if his expeditionary fleet was close to a settlement, it was questionable whether the Larkinsons were allowed to recruit mech pilots and other key personnel.
The population of humans in the new frontier is much smaller. Ves reminded himself.
Ill have to take that into account and make sure to enter the Red Ocean with as many recruits as possible.
It was very difficult to bring a lot of sh.i.p.s, mechs and other assets into the dwarf galaxy.
Yet it shouldnt be a problem to bring a million people along if he wanted to.
A lot of capital sh.i.p.s could temporarily be transformed into passenger vessels that could transport lots of people like cattle.
While the journey wouldnt be pleasant, it was worth it if Ves truly wanted to make sure that the Larkinsons wouldnt be suffering any manpower problems when his expedition began in earnest.
Ves noted down his thoughts and decided to discuss these critical points in his next meeting with the leaders of the clan.
In the next couple of hours, Ves stayed in his office and began to meet with more people.
One of the more notable visitors was Commander Melkor.
He looked a bit subdued despite the pleasant environment.
The Battle of Reckoning had gutted his mech force.
While not a lot of support personnel had died, it was a different story when it came to his mech pilots.
The Avatars entered the battle with more than 800 mechs.
Only a fraction of that was left, and a lot of the fallen mechs failed to protect their precious pilots against the lethal blows of the Fridayman elites.
Though Melkor didnt blame Ves for spending too little on the stopgap mechs for his mech forces, it was undeniable that this crucial decision indirectly led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths.
The relations between Ves and Melkor became a bit less warm after that.
Even now, Melkor maintained an overly stiff posture towards his cousin.
You called, sir
Please take a seat. Ves gruffly said.
As he did so, an uncomfortable silence unfolded.
It seemed that Melkor wasnt in the mood for any small talk at this time.
The Avatars must recover.
Have you formulated a recruitment strategy
We did. Melkor nodded.
We already established a recruitment methodology back when we were based in the Cinach System.
Weve improved our methods and expanded our infrastructure in order to get ready to recruit second-class mech pilots and other personnel.
The people we intend to attract this time are a lot more demanding than the third-raters weve picked up before, so it wont be easy to meet our quota.
Do you anticipate any problems with regards to this issue
The Avatar Commander hesitated a bit.
He eventually decided to voice one of his concerns.
The last battle pretty much exposed our greatest weakness.
Can you guess what I am referring to, sir
He didnt like it when other people put him on the spot like that.
In the last few months, Ves never really paid attention to the Avatars.
Even though it was supposed to be the most premier mech force at his disposal, they were just...
I think the Avatars lack some good iconic models.
Melkor mildly shook his head.
Thats certainly a part of the issue, but the problem Im referring to is more fundamental in nature.
Its our identity, sir.
Its too bland.
Think about it.
Were supposed to be the elites of the Larkinson Clan, but that is hardly a unique property in our strange and haphazard mix of mech forces.
You have the Swordmaidens who are considered to be the strongest individual mech pilots.
You have the Penitent Sisters who are virtually on par with the regulars of the Hex Army.
Even the Flagrant Vandals show signs of overtaking us due to their solid military background.
This was all true.
Even though Melkor framed the issue in a way that exaggerated the shortcomings of the Avatar, it was undeniable that the other elite mech forces all stood out even more.
What is our purpose, Ves Melkor asked in an increasingly heated voice.
Why do we exist I know how we started out.
Back before the Vandals, Swordmaidens and Penitent Sisters came along, we were meant to be your honor guard and your trump card.
Yet as our combat forces continued to integrate different forces, we gradually lost the capital to feel proud of ourselves.
It doesnt help that you took our expert pilots away.
Over the course of our existence, we grew in numbers but we lost the elements that made us great.
We lost our strongest heroes, we lost our forefront status and we lost our capital to feel proud of ourselves.
The gap between us and the Living Sentinels have narrowed.
We might as well disband if this trend continues.
Ves knew that the Avatars had fallen in a trough at this point, but Melkor painted a bleak picture of the future of his troops.
This was not something that Ves could resolve in an instant.
He furrowed his brows while leaning back on his foldable seat.
What was the purpose of the Avatars
This was a crucial question to Ves and the clan.
As Melkor had just pointed out, it was not enough to say that they were the elites.
The Avatars needed a new purpose.
If their current identity was too insufficient, then they just needed to take on a more specific role.
While Ves had some thoughts on the matter, he turned his eyes to the man who brought the matter up in the first place.
I dont believe you thought about this problem without coming up with a solution or two.
Please share your thoughts with me.
Since you know your men the best, its only appropriate to hear you out first.
Melkor smiled a little.
I was waiting to hear you say that.
I do have a vision for my troops.
Its something that Ive been working on for some time.
I think this is the right time to change tack.
It will be much harder to swing the direction of my force once our numbers expand by multiple times.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc..
), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.
Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.