Chapter 2943: Busy Lab
Ves\' face turned ugly.
The discovery that there were other people on the next floor of the pinnacle lab did not make his day any better.
Previously, he thought that the pinnacle lab had been shut down and restricted from entry now that the Supreme Sage had succumbed.
Though he heard that the conservative faction still managed to gain control of some facilities in order to \'restore\' the braindead Supreme Sage, Ves didn\'t think this was the right lab.
If the conservatives were truly in control here, then they would have occupied all of the floors! They have placed numerous engineers and guards in the power generation room that Ves and his men had initially entered.
What is going on here
From the research projects he had surveyed up until now, Ves was able to figure out that this pinnacle lab was devoted to the development of a specific formula of high-grade life-prolonging treatment serum.
The Supreme Sage definitely had a lot of personal and professional reasons to invest his formidable research capabilities on Special Project \'V\'.
His own life was at stake!
Could this pinnacle lab be the same facility where the conservatives are treating his body
If his guess was true, then the importance of this facility was far greater than he realized.
This may even be the reason why his Supreme Comprehension gem was so ardent in leading him deeper into the halls!
For a moment, Ves didn\'t know what to do.
He did not seriously account for this situation.
Even if the pinnacle labs weren\'t empty of people, the most he expected to encounter were researchers who acted as the Supreme sage\'s assistants.
No scientist could accomplish everything by himself.
Since Ves was able to gain a huge increase in productivity after employing a lot of assistant mech designers, then the Supreme Sage should also be able to accelerate his research progress after hiring a bunch of scientists from his state!
Due to the extremely high importance of a pinnacle lab, the Supreme Sage shouldn\'t have granted access to a lot of other researchers.
Their access permissions should also be limited.
There was no reason for them to access any labs that didn\'t have any relations to their assigned projects.
They also shouldn\'t have access to the more controversial projects such as Project Cain.
Maybe that is the reason why someone is fighting in this pinnacle lab.
Could the conservatives be trying to barge in areas they were not allowed to enter Could they be locked in a struggle against the base defense of the pinnacle lab
Though this theory sounded nice, Ves didn\'t think this was the case at the moment.
The sound recording he just heard did not sound like turrets opening fire.
The more probable answer was that the soldiers on the other floor were fighting against another faction of humans!
Perhaps both the conservatives and the radicals gained access to the pinnacle lab! Ves was well aware that the lab had at least one main entrance and possibly several side entrances.
If those entrances purely consisted of teleportation portals,, then that could explain why he didn\'t hear any mechs.
The portals were too small!
Even so, Ves did not feel eager to clash against other soldiers.
His exploration team would not only be outnumbered, but would also develop a hostile relationship with the faction behind the troops.
Ves still hadn\'t forgotten that his main goal was to find a way to safely exit from this planet! It would be a lot more difficult for him to do so if he turned one of the powerful local factions into his enemy!
Right now, he didn\'t have enough information to know for sure.
The only sure conclusion he could make was that these other people would likely pose a hindrance in his attempt to retrieve the vials of life-prolonging treatment serum from this lab!
How will we proceed He asked.
No one was able to give him an answer.
The situation was too uncertain and open-ended.
Nitaa might be an incredibly diligent bodyguard, but she was not equipped to deal with this kind of scenario.
His honor guard were mainly defensive in nature and did not specialize in offensive operations.
Perris was even more useless.
While she was able to provide him with some assistance in interpreting the Supreme sage\'s research activities, she was a complete civilian!
Ves wanted to palm his face.
What he wouldn\'t give to have a dedicated commando or special forces unit.
Though it was rare for Ves and the Larkinson to encounter a scenario where they needed to infiltrate a facility, it was definitely worthwhile to invest in a crack unit in order to know what to do when faced with the current circumstances!
Still, with none available to him, he had no choice but to rely on himself.
Not even his exhausted cat could offer him any assistance at this time.
Let\'s enter the other floor but remain discreet.
We\'ll try to avoid other people as best as possible, but if we manage to bump into someone, let me do the talking.
I don\'t want to come to blows with the other side.
Sir, I don\'t believe you\'ll be able to avoid a confrontation. Nitaa spoke up.
We are intruders to this lab.
Everyone else will regard us as an undesirable variable in the struggle to control this facility.
Since we aren\'t backed by the conservatives or any of the other local factions, the other Lifers will not have any reasons to treat us seriously.
This is especially the case if they suspect that you wish to take away the life-prolonging treatment serum that they might also be aiming for.
With our current numbers, we don\'t have any leverage.
…You\'re right, Nitaa. Ves sighed.
Ves wasn\'t sure how many soldiers the other factions were able to bring into the pinnacle lab, but it sounded as if there were way more than ten goons on each side!
Even if the other teleportation portals restricted the amount of people that could pass through at any time, their settings were probably more generous than an exit reserved for emergencies.
We should return to the portal we came from and ask for backup. Nitaa suggested.
We stand a better chance of achieving our objective if we are able to increase our might.
The other side will not be so ready to open fire on us if they see we stand a better chance at defeating their forces.
Ves shook his head.
I don\'t think we can solve this problem by having the bigger fist.
It will be problematic for us to return to the warehouse complex if our team surpasses ten people.
Besides, we may not necessarily have to confront the other parties head-on.
Have you forgotten about our expanded access
He tapped his access pass to emphasize his words.
This pass and other measures not only granted Ves complete access to restricted research data, but also allowed him to access at least some of the lab systems.
He held his living gem in front of his face and shook it a little.
Hey, the way ahead may be blocked by other people.
Do you have any way for us to circumvent them or anything
Under the living gem\'s prompting, the team cautiously passed through the teleportal portal and emerged onto the other floor.
As the Larkinsons tried their best to stay silent in the room they emerged in, Ves cautiously paid attention to passive sensor readings of his Odineye.
When he stepped outside the door to the transfer room, he clearly heard the sounds of fighting in the distance.
That was odd!
So far, from what Ves had seen of the earlier floor, the interior of the pinnacle lab was designed to isolate different lab rooms as much as possible.
After all, it would be very bad if an experiment in one room contaminated the results of an experiment taking place in an adjacent room!
Even the corridors were sound-isolated.
There were several gates and checkpoints in between that made sure that every disturbance was contained as much as possible.
Yet Ves could already see why he was able to hear lots of weapon discharges in the distance.
The gate on the other side of the corridor no longer existed.
Someone had destroyed the extremely resilient bone metal material that blocked the way forward!
Ves studied the damage done to the remains of the gate.
The gate hadn\'t been blasted apart by explosives.
Instead, someone patiently used a plasma cutter to forcibly cut through the thick material over time.
Considering the density and damage resistance of this bone metal material, a typical hand-portable plasma cutter would have to waste at least an hour to cut away the entire barrier!
This was a lot of effort! Ves felt that it had been a long time ago since someone cut this specific opening.
This discovery had a lot of implications and further confirmed his suspicion that the conservatives had long gained access to the pinnacle lab but did not have permission to go everywhere.
The exploration team cautiously advanced forward.
They saw signs of other damage.
Most notably, Ves observed a lot of torn and damaged holes in the ceiling.
Those must be the turrets that used to guard this corridor. Nitaa spoke.
Ves looked a bit uncertain at the sight.
The damage here is too light.
There are definitely other defenses in this space.
I don\'t see any signs that someone has actively destroyed those other systems.
The people responsible for this may have gained partial access to the base defenses. Nitaa guessed.
That doesn\'t make much sense.
There is no need to destroy the turrets by force if they can subvert control over the turrets.
Maybe their control systems are too different.
Maybe they were able to deactivate the other defenses through other means that aren\'t evident on the surface.
That sounded more plausible, but Ves didn\'t feel too sure about this explanation.
He lacked too much information.
Listen to the sounds of fighting. Nitaa spoke again.
It is abating to an extent.
Now that Ves paid attention to it, the intensity of combat in the distance had reached a low point all of a sudden.
The transition was a bit abrupt.
Ves thought that the fighting would have persisted for some time, but the sudden drop-off suggested that one side or both sides retreated.
The strange part about this was that it happened too cleanly.
This was not normal.
At the very least, the winning side should have tried harder to run down the retreating soldiers.
He held out his living gem again.
Hey, what is going on here, exactly
His gem couldn\'t talk.
While Ves was able to talk to all manner of spiritual entities, Lucky\'s gems had the annoying quality of isolating everything locked within from outside perception.
In the end, Ves just decided to trust the living gem\'s directions.
Lead me to a security center.
I\'m sure there is something like that on this floor.
I won\'t go anywhere else until I am able to gain a better understanding of the situation, and accessing the security systems is a necessity!
The gem didn\'t seem to protest.
Ves and the rest of his team cautiously moved forward before taking a left turn.
The Larkinsons all felt relieved that they weren\'t moving closer towards the direction where all of the sounds of fighting originated.
What depressed Ves a bit was that the subsequent corridor sections had all been breached by force.
The gates had been cut away with high-powered plasma cutters while the turrets had all been destroyed with overwhelming force.
After five minutes of advancing, they finally reached a large room which had also been breached.
The burned and ruined remains of a lot of organic computer systems greeted the exploration party.
Everything had been wrecked! Whoever was responsible for wrecking the security room knew what they were doing.
Absolutely nothing was left intact.
Ves performed a few scans at the ruined remains.
Hmmm, I\'m sure now.
This destruction happened fairly recently.
It should be at least some weeks ago.
This likely meant that the outbreak of violence happened a short time after the Supreme Revolution broke out!
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