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Chapter 5528 Process of Elimination
Few people gathered in the a.s.sembly hall were stupid.
They could roughly come up with the reasons that 89 delegates had chosen to pa.s.s on their voting power to the youngest among their elite gathering.
Jovy Armalon, who was sitting right in the rear, knew exactly how much trouble his friend was in at the moment.
"No one this young and unprepared deserves to bear so much responsibility."
The mecher hated the cowardice of those older delegates at this time. Jovy never felt more disappointed at his fellow Survivalists for pa.s.sing the buck at someone who least deserved to bear this heavy burden.
Jovy knew what was truly going on in the minds of most of the 90 people who had been invested with the power to decide on this matter.
They were all cowards.
Perhaps that was a bit harsh.
The indecisive delegates worked closely with many mechers and did not want to let any of their actions sour their possibility of cooperating with others in the future.
The Xenotechnician, the Fist of Defiance and the Polymath were not only the most desirable people to work with, but the people that had joined their respective camps were all powerful and knowledgeable in their own right!
In order to preserve their ability to cooperate with a wide variety of colleagues in the future, the cowardly delegates had pa.s.sed their right to vote to Ves without much hesitation.
Perhaps they might not particularly care about Ves in particular, but as a mech designer who had only recently been elevated to their ranks, he was the least tainted and involved in the Red a.s.sociation.
That meant that he represented the voice of the common folk where he originally came from. Pa.s.sing on their votes to a man who had only been a s.p.a.ce peasant not too long ago was a good excuse to abscond themselves of any further responsibility.
Unfortunately, Jovy knew that no one had ever bothered to ask Ves whether he was okay with this arrangement!
This situation would have been a lot better if Ves had received word of this development in hand. If he was able to provide his input and have a real choice on whether he was willing to carry so many proxy votes, then he wouldn't have been forced to formulate a decision on the spot in the worst possible time!
At least the Xenotechnician had been clever enough to spin this new development in a more favorable direction. Jovy relaxed as he saw that the dynamic in the a.s.sembly hall became less charged.
Ves meanwhile continued to fall into thought as he calmly considered his choices.
He had diverted all of his thinking resources from their previous a.s.signments so that he could consider this situation from multiple angles.
Even then, Ves allowed the seconds to go past without any interruption as he needed to put way more thought in decision than normal!
According to the rules, any proposal that accrued 137 votes or more would get pa.s.sed.
Ves had the power to do that to any of the current plans in consideration.
He did not want to do this. Not only would he attract so much heat that roughly two-thirds of all red humans would resent him for making the 'wrong choice', he just didn't think it was right for someone as young and ill-prepared as him to make such a momentous decision!
The alternative offered by the Xenotechnician sounded a lot more reasonable in comparison.
There shouldn't be any rule that stated that Ves had to cast all of his acc.u.mulated proxy votes on the same plan.
The entire reason why proxy votes existed in the first place was because people who were unable to attend a voting session in person or by remote needed to make their voice heard in another way.
These indisposed individuals therefore called up their buddies and entrusted the latter with the right to vote.
The intention was that the proxy voter would faithfully represent the will of the missing individual.
Although rare, situations where a guy received multiple proxy votes did occur. This was usually the case when respected leaders or mentors had received a bunch of them from their subordinates or students.
Instances where a delegate like Ves received 89 proxy votes were rare, but not unheard of throughout the history of the Red a.s.sociation and humanity as a whole!
Ves just needed to keep in mind that he held 90 discreet voting opportunities in total.
While he had the option to cast 90 votes on the same plan and be done with it, he could split them up if he wished.
If he made the most politically correct decision and divided his votes in even proportions, then the Diplomacy Plan, the Deep Strike Plan and the Unity Plan would receive 30 votes each.
This sounded safe and fair, right?
Ves had reached a stage in the voting session where he already knew where the other committed votes had fallen.
If he spread his votes evenly, he would effectively eliminate the Deep Strike Plan from further consideration.
Although there was an argument to be made that the Fist of Defiance's mule-headed plan deserved to be torpedoed since it had already fallen behind to this extent, Ves would still abdicate this unique opportunity to look out for his own interests.
His eyes minutely narrowed.
It would be a dereliction of his duty as a mech designer and a clan leader if he did not consider the positive and negative impacts of each plan to his own personal situation!
Ves knew that it was not proper to think about himself in a matter of great importance to the entirety of red humanity.
If he was a model mecher or Survivalist, then he was supposed to think about the good of the collective. Personal interests were irrelevant when red humanity's very survival came into question.
Yet Ves couldn't get rid of this bad habit.
Even when two Star Designers and a lot of other important people were paying close attention to Ves at the moment, Ves did not feel any shame in adopting this mentality!
He was only human. If the proxy voters did not want Ves to make such an impactful decision on behalf of their entire race by considering his own selfish needs, then they shouldn't have pa.s.sed on their voting rights in the first place!
As Ves grew increasingly more accepting of this switch, he seriously began to think about which plan he should eliminate.
His eyes flicked to the Xenotechnician for an instant. Although the old Star Designer looked a little inhuman by dressing himself up in some weird alien teal technosuit, the man looked clear-headed and confident enough to guide red humanity to survival, if not a better future.
To be honest, Ves did not have too many objections towards the Diplomacy Plan. It was a sound and logical plan that demanded the least amount of change and effort in order to pull off. Red humanity did not have to completely reform their entire overarching governance structure nor take any excessive risks by fighting against an overwhelming amount of aliens by themselves.
One of the real objections he held towards the Diplomacy Plan was that it largely upended a lot of deep-rooted cultural values that defined the human people.
Humans had always considered themselves superior to the aliens. They had won so many victories and built such a powerful civilization in the Milky Way that admitting that they were no longer number 1 may be socially unacceptable to a lot of people.
The Diplomacy Plan had a significant chance of generating a lot of unrest among the descendents of the Age of Conquest and the Age of Mechs. The commotion might even grow bad enough that the internal divisions within human society would grow even more fractured and dysfunctional!
It did not help that the Diplomacy Plan handed over a lot of responsibility towards the cosmopolitans either. Ves and a lot of other people could understand the logic of this decision.
No human was able to properly conduct diplomacy with other alien races aside from the one group of people that had obsessed over it for multiple millennia.
Ves hated the fact that everyone would have to dance to the tune of the cosmopolitans in order to even the odds in this war, but if it came down to it, he would rather feel upset and alive than the opposite!
It also helped that Ves' own interests would probably remain unaffected by this development. The Diplomacy Plan largely demanded a lot of people to adopt more alien-friendly norms and values.
Ves and his clan should be able to handle this transition no worse than others. They would not have to give up any rights nor undertake completely new responsibilities that they weren't ready to a.s.sume.
Since this was the case, he decided to let the Diplomacy Plan pa.s.s on to the second round.
His eyes then proceeded to flick towards the Mace of Retaliation and the Polymath.
Those among the crowd who were trained in cold reading could already figure out what had happened. It was clear to these socially adept individuals that Ves was trying to decide whether to eliminate the Deep Strike Plan or the Unity Plan!
It was at this junction that Ves felt split.
He understood the details of both plans well enough that he knew which one was likely better for red humanity as a whole.
The Deep Strike Plan could make any person's blood run hot, but it was distinctly lacking in contingencies as well as a realistic endgame. Too many people were bound to get killed in extremely risky offensive operations, only to end up accomplis.h.i.+ng little of note if the native aliens decided to press on their own invasions rather than turn their forces around to defend their home territories!
The Unity Plan sounded a lot more reliable in comparison. It was conceived of an incredibly intelligent mind that claimed to have formed the best and most objective solution out of a huge set of conditions.
Few people actually doubted that the Polymath lacked the expertise or judgment to pull off her insanely ambitious plan.
What they were mainly worried about was whether the Polymath could actually gain the strength and support needed to overwhelm the intense level of opposition coming from the other parts of human s.p.a.ce.
The Terran Alliance and the Rubarthan Pact were bound to put up an intense resistance towards any notion of greater integration!
In fact, they might declare outright secession if the Polymath somehow failed to execute an important step in her incredibly elaborate master plan!
Ves did not think that was likely to happen, though. As he looked at the woman who had already a.s.sumed the appearance of an empress, she already radiated a rea.s.suring sense of competence and authority.
It may truly be objectively better for everyone if the Polymath had a chance of enacting her Unity Plan.
His eyes narrowed a bit as his thoughts took a different turn.
What was best for red humanity as a whole did not necessarily have to be best for himself.
The biggest reason why Ves felt frightened by the Unity Plan was that it would alter his life in an undesirable direction.
Everyone and everything would become integrated.
Ves could not possibly maintain his independence anymore as the Polymath would probably put him in a position of unparalleled responsibility in her central administration.
The Larkinson Clan could no longer retain its sovereignty and had to give up much of its rights and privileges.
Every Larkinson who grew up in the reign of the Polymath would have to live in a society of her making rather than one that belonged to the Larkinson Clan.
The sheer breadth and depth of what he heard about the reforms proposed by the Unity Plan translated into such an enormous loss of autonomy, ident.i.ty and freedom that Ves would lose everything he enjoyed in the past!
Ves considered himself to be a free spirit. The more other people wanted to stuff him into a cage of their own making, the more miserable he would feel!
He had grown sick and tired of instances where states like the Bright Republic, the Hexadric Hegemony and the Colonial Federation of Davute tied him down and turned him into their loyal and obedient lackey.
If he gave the Polymath any chance to enact her Unity Plan with full authority, then Ves could easily imagine that she would proceed to build a super-empire that would proceed to do the same, but much better!
He slowly closed his eyes as he tried to imagine such a dark and sordid future for himself.
There was no way that Ves could possibly resist the tyranny of this overbearing Star Designer.
The fact that he was secretly a holder of one of the fragments of the Metal Scroll made it even worse.
He would be foolish to elevate this incredibly powerful latent threat to a position of supreme power!
If she ever found out the truth about Ves possessing the Mech Designer System all of this time, then she could employ the total means of an entire human empire to hunt him down!
Ves had made up his mind at this time. His fears ultimately set his decision.
He slowly raised his head and opened his mouth.
Yet before he could speak any further, the Polymath abruptly interrupted him by speaking out of turn.