Chapter 3551: Unexpected Discovery
After concluding his long and hearty discussion with Ves, Professor Benedict finally returned to the Cross Clans fleet.
His shuttle headed straight back to the Cyclical Engine, the Cross Clans equivalent of the Spirit of Bentheim.
Ves reflected on what he heard and what he learned from the Senior Mech Designer.
“I should take everything he said with a grain of salt.”
There was no way a man as devious as Professor Benedict would remain straight.
Each of his words had a purpose.
If he needed to lie or fudge the truth in order to gain more sympathy, he would do it without any hesitation!
Ves knew this quite well because he would do the same if he was in the other mans position!
The only problem was that Ves couldnt quite figure out Professor Benedicts angle.
Sure, the older mech designer deeply wanted to become a Master, but how did that tie into the mans words and actions
Its about opportunities.”
Professor Benedict claimed that he would be able to operate with much greater ease if human society went through great changes.
Ves could understand this argument from an abstract perspective, but he couldnt quite figure out if the professor had anything specific in mind.
“Anything that can disrupt the current order will produce a lot of ripple effects.
Some of them can be quite disastrous to people.”
He really hoped that Professor Benedict did not get embroiled in anything controversial.
This time, the man wasnt alone anymore.
He was the second leader of the Cross Clan and an important component of the Golden Skull Alliance.
Anything that affected him personally might also affect his allies in turn!
By now, Ves understood that there were lots of undercurrents in the Red Ocean.
As the new focal point of human civilization, a lot of powerful interests had descended on the dwarf galaxy.
Many of them sought power through conquering territory.
Others wanted to harvest as much phasewater as possible in order to build the amazing devices.
The more courageous among them wanted to explore everything that aliens had to offer before they became extinct.
Although these goals sounded simple, it was quite frightening what major powers could accomplish if they did well.
How much more powerful would the Terrans become if they conquered a third of the Red Ocean
What would the New Rubarth Empire do if it managed to accumulate millions of liters of phasewater
What kind of crazy contraptions would a rogue research institution develop after getting its hands on exotic alien technology
“Everything will change!”
Ves understood the Big Twos overall purpose for engaging in the risky act of invading a dwarf galaxy that was already occupied by different alien races.
“Its a catalyst for change.
Its a huge impetus that can push human civilization out of its rut and give us a reason to look outwards again.”
He grew curious and used his comm to access the galactic net.
He quickly found a database and searched for certain statististics.
It turned out that the amount of internal human conflicts that had erupted after the opening of the Red Ocean had already dropped by 30 percent!
Significantly less wars had erupted after humans found a better opportunity to realize their ambitions!
While it was still uncertain whether human states would keep their restraint after the hype surrounding the Red Ocean had calmed down, what had happened now was already a positive development to many people!
Ves could even see what the Big Two might wish to do next after the conquest of the Red Ocean had reached completion.
“A new frontier must open in order to keep humanitys attention outwards.
If there is nothing more to conquer, then everyone will quickly turn their weapons back against each other!”
That was also one of the many lessons that the human race had learned during the Age of Conquest.
When the explosive spree of conquests became more difficult to sustain, people began to turn their weapons towards their closer human neighbors rather than their increasingly distant alien prey.
If the Big Two was truly determined to avoid the mistakes of the past, then Ves could easily imagine the MTA and CFA dangling new goals in front of every humans face.
“Its all building up to something, but what”
Ves could make lots of guesses, but without any additional data, he could not come up with any solid conclusions.
For now, he just had to worry about whether he and his clan would be able to benefit from the rising tide.
Professor Benedict maintained the right attitude to the trends sweeping through human civilization.
No matter what happened in the future, there was always a chance to take advantage of the changes!
Time passed by as Ves threw himself back into his work.
He not only spent time on designing his mechs, but also handled other miscellaneous matters.
The Larkinson Clan came closer to enacting its next spate of reforms to better adapt to their independent way of life.
The introduction of its own currency was the biggest initiative and would definitely have a great impact on the lives of the clansmen.
As Ves thought over the specifications for the upcoming currency, the expeditionary fleet transitioned back into realspace as normal.
Though his body vaguely felt as if it was being squeezed through an invisible tube, he had felt this sensation so many times that he did not even interrupt his deliberations.
That was until he received an alert message.
“General Verle!” Ves greeted as he accepted the emergency hail.
“Whats the matter Did we bump into hostile fleets or anything”
“We are not under threat, sir.
Soon after entering this star system, we have detected an unknown artificial presence floating in the inner system.
After turning our best long-ranged scanners in this direction, our analysts have tentatively concluded that the unknown object may be a starship, an alien starship!”
Ves immediately straightened his back as all kinds of thoughts flowed through his mind.
“How big is the vessel Is the alien ship active Which alien race built her Is she alone”
General Verle took in all of the questions without any changes to his expression.
The calm he exuded already signaled that he didnt think the expeditionary fleet had bumped into an acute threat.
“Barely a minute has passed since we have made our initial observations, so we are still gathering more data.
From what we have inferred so far, the unknown vessel is not human.
Her design and material composition is too different from what we are accustomed to seeing in human-built starships.
In fact, the alien starship is biological in nature!”
That immediately reminded Ves of the Life Research Association and its obsession for replacing conventional technology with biotechnology.
“Are you sure about this conclusion” He questioned.
“What if youre looking at a human bioship”
“We are fairly certain that the ship is not human, sir.
Ill pass on the reports to you later so you can understand why we have made this determination.
In any case, the biovessel is at least 5 kilometers long and is also thick and vaguely overal in shape.
Despite her immense size, her sensor signature is fairly weak.
We havent detected any active energy sources inside her biological hull.
Instead, we have detected many irregularities that suggest major damage.
We believe that she is a derelict.”
Ves calmed down a bit after he heard that.
The general shook his head.
“We cannot be certain of that, especially when we are looking at unfamiliar alien technology.
For now, we can tentatively assume that she has lost operation, but we should never put down our guard.
Our fleet will remain on yellow alert and our active mech pilots will all be ready to sortie with their machines should the situation deteriorate.”
This caused Ves to think about how suspicious it was to stumble upon a random derelict alien capital ship.
Although the expeditionary fleet had already traveled far away from Vulit, its current location was still quite close to humanitys sphere of influence.
There were lots of colonies being developed in the star systems around this location.
None of them were particularly big or prosperous at the moment, but the surrounding region was definitely filled with local human powers!
How could a single alien vessel appear so deep inside human-claimed territory
Although the apparent ruined state of the alien starship suggested that she had fought and lost against an unknown enemy, why did no one come and scavenge the wreck
A biocapital ship that was at least 5 kilometers should be a major creation of any alien race! There were bound to be a lot of interesting alien technology and exotic materials locked within her broken hull.
With all of the resource scarcity that many organizations were suffering from, a human fleet would have never left such a bounty behind without stripping the entire vessel for everything that held value!
Either the alien starship got defeated by a human fleet that wasnt interested in the salvage, or maybe another alien force did the deed.
Whatever the case, Ves felt that General Verle was right to act so cautiously.
“We need to gather more data.
The more we know, the better we can react to this situation.
Try to detect other ships and dangers in this star system.
I want to know whether there is an ambush force lurking in an asteroid belt or if another alien bioship is hiding underneath the cloud cover of a gas giant.”
“Our men are already looking into those possibilities, sir.
So far, we have detected no additional threats in the star system, but I will keep you posted on any new developments.
The Blinding Banshee has already activated her full array of sensors to detect any stealthed ships or mines.
The chance that this scenario might be a trap is not small.
I have read reports of such schemes many times in the Red Ocean Digest.”
The Red Ocean Digest was the most popular and authoritative news portal in the new frontier.
Although it was a relatively bland and neutral publication, it had developed a reputation for trustworthy and reliable reporting.
Its staff and journalists always verified their own news.
Reports about all of the battles that had taken place in the dwarf galaxy were always popular reading material.
Those who kept track of them would soon develop a good understanding of how battles were being fought in the Red Ocean and which zones had turned into hotspots.
Even Ves had read about the reports of ignorant pioneers making valuable discoveries only to find out that it was just a means to lure them into well-prepared ambushes!
Ves thought over the situation.
The fact that the alien derelict vessel happened to be floating in the inner system was a particularly troubling variable.
If Ves wanted to explore the strange new wreck, he would have to order the expeditionary fleet to go inwards, thereby denying the Golden Skull Alliance an easy escape out of the star system.
He could not make up his mind at this time.
“Please observe and analyze the situation as best you can.” He instructed.
For now, our FTL drives are still cycling, so its not as if most of our ships can jump away in an instant.
We have plenty of time to investigate the shipwreck and the rest of the star system to determine whether there is anything wrong.”
General Verle frowned a bit.
“Do you wish to explore the alien wreck”
Ves responded with a chuckle.
“Of course! Why not As long as its safe enough, I would love to explore and salvage this big vessel.
Discoveries like these are exactly why I wanted to travel to the Red Ocean! Its much harder to stumble upon such an alien creation in the old galaxy.
Im not certain whether it will be of any use, but make sure to prepare boarding teams… I want our men to take a look inside if possible.”
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