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The Mech Touch Chapter 2487: Dreaming About Ships

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Chapter 2487: Dreaming About s.h.i.+ps


The vigorous preparations for the grand wedding continued apace. With the final days counting down, the last guests authorized to attend the wedding had just arrived in time.


Those who arrived after the deadline had pa.s.sed were not allowed to go any further. There was too little time for them to reach the inner system and undergo a thorough background and security check.


While hardly anyone believed that someone would disrupt such an important wedding, it was better to be safe than sorry.


As more and more visitors converged from as far away as the Winged Serenade Star Sector, a lot of noteworthy people came as well.


Mech designers, exobiologists, weapon developers, s.h.i.+pwrights, infantry commanders and other distinguished professionals arrived to attend the highly-antic.i.p.ated social event.


Even if the wedding hadn't already started, it was already worth it for them to travel to the Cinach System.


Aside from admiring the brutal majesty of the Gravada Knarlax, the guests also socialized with each other. The wedding attracted such a wide and diverse crowd that the visitors eagerly took the opportunity to expand their networks.


In the meantime, the Larkinson Clan quietly approached some of the professionals it most desired. Lately, Ves decreed that they should increase their focus towards recruiting s.h.i.+pwrights.


Of course, he didn't want any casual s.h.i.+p designers. He needed qualified, senior professionals who possessed an abundant amount of experience in designing and building capital s.h.i.+ps!


The Larkinson Clan didn't have much luck in attracting them. s.h.i.+pwrights at this level were usually attached to their companies or states for life. It was extremely rare for any of them to get fired or voluntarily retire from their positions.


Even if it became untenable for them to remain with their established employer, they often received immediate offers from organizations they were already familiar with. There was no need for any of them to jump s.h.i.+p to a volatile clan that might very well crash and burn in a couple of years.


There were always exceptions, though. The Larkinson Clan persisted in its efforts. Finally, the recruiters managed to gain the interest of someone who did not immediately respond with a polite rejection.


The only snag was that the senior s.h.i.+pwright in question wanted to speak to the clan patriarch in person. He would not settle for anything less until he could talk to Ves in person.


So Ves took some time off his busy schedule to meet with the foreigner.


A man who appeared to be middle-aged entered Ves' office. The man did not step on the floor but hovered over it like many other elitist second-raters tended to do. This was a powerful man.


"Mr. Erander Tsai." Ves began as he shook the senior s.h.i.+pwright's hand. "My people tell me you requested a meeting with me. Are you interested in joining the Larkinson Clan or do you wish to make other arrangements?"


"I am here for the latter."


Ves couldn't help but feel disappointed. Tsai had been a bit ambiguous about his needs, probably so that he could meet with Ves. Now that he was here, he no longer needed to play coy.


"I see."


Mr. Tsai lowered himself to his seat and smiled gently. "You misunderstand my intentions. It has never been my purpose to lead you on. I am aware that your Larkinson Clan seeks a s.h.i.+pwright who is experienced in capital s.h.i.+p design and s.h.i.+p construction. I can already tell you that no one else than I will respond to your requests, at least from the local star sectors. Our circle is very tight and I know that everyone at my level is content with their current lot. None of us old bones have any desire to throw away everything we worked for to go on a dangerous adventure."


"If you are not considering our job offer, then what am I mistaken about?"


"I traveled here with my protégé, my daughter Vivian. I have taught and guided her ever since she earned her degree in naval engineering. While she does not have my experience presiding over the design and construction of over fifty unique capital s.h.i.+ps like myself, I have imparted the nucleus of my wisdom to her. She may lack the necessary experience, but she is still capable of designing a capital s.h.i.+p from the ground up, provided she has both time and a complete team of a.s.sistants. Unlike mech design, capital s.h.i.+ps cannot be developed by a single designer."


"As a fellow engineer, I understand." Ves respectfully replied. Deceiving b.a.s.t.a.r.d as he was, Erander Tsai was still an incredibly accomplished s.h.i.+pwright. "Tell me more about your daughter, then. Is this your idea or hers? Why haven't you brought her here if you intend to push her forward?"


Mr Tsai's demeanor dampened a bit. "To be honest, it is not her idea to apply to your clan. I am exploring options on her behalf."


"How old is she?"


"Thirty-five."


Ves frowned. "She's old enough to make her own decisions. We don't engage in slavery here. If you are trying to press her into employment with us, we can't accept her in good conscience."


"I am sure I can persuade her that joining you is the right choice." The older man confidently stated.


"Ugh…" Ves rubbed his face. "I don't quite understand. Why are you so eager to dump her onto my lap? While I am not opposed to recruiting a bright s.h.i.+pwright recommended by someone as capable as you, I feel there is a story behind your actions."


"It's not too complicated. Let me begin by explaining our background. As you may have doubtlessly learned, my daughter and I are citizens of the Harmony a.s.sociation in Majestic Teal. The HA is equivalent to a small second-rate state."


"I am familiar with how Majestic Teal is ruled."


"Good, then that saves me some trouble. I won't waste your time by explaining what the Harmony a.s.sociation does and what it excels at. It's difficult for us to explain our philosophy to outsiders. Let me state something clearer. I believe the Harmony a.s.sociation is under threat. While there are few signs of this, the information that I have access to hints at something greater."


Okay, that was better. Ves returned to familiar ground. "I see. So you're afraid the Harmony a.s.sociation might come under attack, so you want to send off your daughter so that she can avoid the coming storm. While I understand this rationale, surely you could have sent your daughter to a safer destination. I believe that many employers from Winged Serenade should be eager to take on a woman with her qualifications."


"That is true, but she would be joining an organization with few friends, many rivals and compet.i.tors, and no strong backers. She will not be able to develop herself as freely and quickly as she has under my wing."


Ves could understand that as well. Mech designers faced these situations all the time. Unless she became her own boss, Vivian Tsai would always have to devote her time on other people's projects.


He decided to play devil's advocate.


"Sometimes, structure isn't necessarily bad. I have heard that s.h.i.+pbuilding is an incredibly time-consuming profession. The amount of knowledge you must learn and the practical experience you need to build enormous s.h.i.+ps is astounding. Most people who are capable of designing a capital s.h.i.+p tend to be older than 50 or 60 years old from what I've learned."


Mr. Tsai sighed. "You are well-informed. That is mostly correct. Talent, upbringing and augmentations can do much to shorten the time. While I am confident in my daughter's abilities, she cannot offer you proof. However, you have my word that she is fully up to the task. May I ask what you seek? Normally, most organizations do not engage in s.h.i.+pbuilding. It is too difficult to design s.h.i.+ps in-house. It is much more convenient to approach a s.h.i.+pyard."


That was what Ves and the Larkinsons were used to, but he wasn't content with that anymore.


"As a mech designer and craftsman, I have more faith in the products we make ourselves than resorting to products made by others. Stars.h.i.+ps are one of the most vital a.s.sets of a s.p.a.ceborn power. To entrust their design and construction to third parties is rather precarious. Any enemy can approach the s.h.i.+pyard and steal or buy the full schematics of our vessels."


Mr. Tsai became affronted. "You think too little of us. We have integrity, Mr. Larkinson. We would never betray the trust of our customers!"


"I believe in your integrity, but what of that of your managers? What of your company president, or the owners? Are they as committed to their principles as you are? Greed can sway many people."


The senior s.h.i.+pwright pressed his lips. "I cannot discount that possibility. However, let me tell you that I have not come across a situation where any of our people betrayed anyone's trust."


"Perhaps the company you are working for is honest, but you cannot say that about others. Look, even if the chance of foul play is low, I think it is better if we rely more on ourselves."


"I do not see how that is possible. Capital s.h.i.+ps can only be built in capital-grade orbital s.h.i.+pyards. A moving fleet such as yours cannot provide the conditions necessary to build a s.h.i.+p larger than a frigate."


"I'm aware. I don't intend to expand into the s.h.i.+pbuilding industry. What I need are s.h.i.+pwrights who can design the s.h.i.+ps our clan needs. Whether we need capital s.h.i.+ps or smaller craft, our clan must have a department that is dedicated towards developing these vessels according to our own requirements. As for building the s.h.i.+ps, I suppose we can rent out a s.h.i.+pyard from an existing s.h.i.+pbuilding company."


Mr. Tsai was not unfamiliar with this model. "I shall be honest. My daughter may not be entirely suited for such work, but she can grow into the role. The main difficulty is that she will not be able to preside over a s.h.i.+pyard in the long-term. However, I will make sure to be in frequent communication with her so that I can continue to guide her and pa.s.s on my wisdom."


"I have no objections to that so long as nothing sensitive is shared over the galactic net."


"You do not need to remind me about confidentiality, Mr. Larkinson. Both of us know what we can say over unsecure channels."


Both of them knew what they wanted from each other. The Larkinson Clan wanted to gain s.h.i.+p design capabilities. While Mr. Tsai had too many commitments and attachments to the Harmony a.s.sociation to consider any offers, his daughter might be able to take his place.


Ves didn't entirely like this arrangement. He wanted someone who he could fully entrust with the matter of designing new s.h.i.+ps for the clan. Rather than getting someone who was the equivalent of a Senior Mech Designer, he would be receiving a younger woman who was akin to an Apprentice Mech Designer.


The gulf between father and daughter was quite vast, and there was no guarantee that the latter might climb her way up anytime soon.


Still, unlike the supply of mech designers, the supply of competent and capable s.h.i.+pwrights was like water in a desert. Their profession was a lot harder to get into. At the same time, many science and engineering students would rather study something cool like mech design.


In the Age of Mechs, the amount of students who wanted to become mech designers was at least a thousand times more than those who wanted to become s.h.i.+pwrights!


This was unthinkable if they were living in the Age of Conquest. Everyone was mad about stars.h.i.+ps and wars.h.i.+ps at that time.


At the end of the meeting, Ves had not decided yet whether he should take Vivian on. He had to consider this matter further.


"I will need to meet Vivian before I'm ready to evaluate her. You need to talk to her as well and convince her to join us. If she isn't willing, then we won't take her. Am I clear??"


"You do not need to be worried about this." Tsai confidently stated. "My daughter will see the light soon enough."

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The Mech Touch Chapter 2487: Dreaming About Ships summary

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