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«The Mech Touch (Web Novel) - Chapter 5795 A Little Housekeeping

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Chapter 5795 A Little Housekeeping

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl



The Evolution Witch had given Ves an essential reminder.

He was walking on thin ice.

It had become painfully difficult for Ves to cling onto the secrets that he wanted to hide the most.

The fact that it was starting to become common knowledge among tier 1 galactic citizens that he was the Holy Son of the Metal Scroll annoyed Ves a lot!

While the reactions from the leaders of red humanity were much better than the worst case scenario, they were not exactly the best either.

"It has been centuries since the Five Scrolls Compact met its end." Ves said in a resentful tone. "I can understand that the people who have survived that conflict have constantly remained on guard against its revival, but the chances of that happening in the Red Ocean is too low. They should be worrying about present day conflicts a lot more."

"[nullb]I AGREE, BUT NOT EVERYONE SHARES MY OPINION. WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY THAT IS SHAPED BY THE LIKES OF THE FIRST FLAME, FLEET ADMIRAL JAMESON AND OTHER DEFENDERS OF MODERN HUMANITY. THEIR INFLUENCE MAY HAVE WANED OVER THE CENTURIES, BUT THEY WILL NEVER ABANDON THEIR MISSION. WE ARE ALL CHILDREN IN THEIR EYES. THEY REGARD OUR PERSISTENT DESIRE FOR IMPROVEMENT WITH SUSPICION. ANYTHING THAT CAUSES US TO REGRESS TO ANYTHING RESEMBLING THE OLD COMPACT WILL TRIGGER THEIR WORST FEARS."

Strangely enough, Ves felt a lot more sympathetic towards the Evolution Witch. He realized that the two of them were actually in the same boat. They had no direct involvement in the events that took place at the end of the Age of Conquest, but they suffered from its consequences anyway.

Both of them could do so much more with their knowledge and their abilities, yet they constantly had to check whether their initiatives might offend the old guard in any way.

Ves relaxed a bit in the Evolution Witch's presence. The god pilot clearly indicated that she considered him to be on the same side with regards to this issue. Both of them had to fight against the same constraints.

"I don't think it is a good idea to continue to limit ourselves." He said. "One of the reasons why I proposed the Red Collective in the first place is because the old-timers in the Red Two are so inflexible about this that there is a need for a more constructive platform to consider these matters. However, if these guys continue to push back against everything we do, then we still won't be able to make enough progress to overcome every challenge."

The Evolution Witch made a dismissive gesture. "[nullb]OPPOSITION TO CULTIVATION WILL ALWAYS EXIST. AS MUCH AS I DISLIKE IT, SOME OF IT IS NECESSARY TO KEEP US IN CHECK. WE CAN ONLY COMPROMISE WITH THESE FORCES AND DO OUR BEST TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY IN A SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE MANNER. ONCE THE RED COLLECTIVE HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT IT CAN EFFECTIVELY RESTRAIN THE WORST EXCESSES OF CULTIVATORS, WE MAY BE ABLE TO PUSH OUR BOUNDARIES FURTHER, BUT DO NOT EXPECT TO MAKE ANY RAPID GAINS."

That was a letdown to Ves, but he supposed that it would be foolish to hope for anything better.

"Thank you for telling me that. The insights that you have given me are useful to know. I will be sure to pay more attention to this angle."

They soon moved on to more practical issues.

"[nullb]AS BOTH THE LEADER OF THE TRANSHUMANIST FACTION AND THE NEWLY APPOINTED HEAD OF THE INTERIM LEADERSHIP COUNCIL, I HAVE CONDUCTED THE FIRST STEPS INTO DETERMINING ALL OF THE EXISTING INITIATIVES THAT SHOULD BE ABSORBED BY THE RED COLLECTIVE. MANY OF YOUR WORKS HAPPEN TO FALL INTO MY CONSIDERATION."

"Uh, what do you mean by that, Your Holiness?"

The god pilot formed a projection that displayed his most prominent contributions to the Red Association. The powerful woman plucked some of them out of their place and deposited them under the scope of the Red Collective.

"[nullb]AFTER A SHORT CONSIDERATION, IT IS CLEAR THAT INVENTIONS SUCH AS KINSHIP NETWORKS, COMPANION SPIRITS, THE 'GLOW' THAT CAN PROMOTE BREAKTHROUGHS AND THE OVERLORD PROJECT ARE MUCH MORE AT HOME IN THE RED COLLECTIVE. THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY DIRECT RELATIONS WITH MECHS, THOUGH THEY DO HAVE OBVIOUS SYNERGIES WITH THEM. DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR OBJECTIONS ABOUT THIS PLANNED TRANSFER?"

He did not expect the Evolution Witch to plan this arrangement so soon after she became responsible for forming the foundation of the Red Collective. Ves was taken a bit aback and had to think quickly in order to formulate a coherent response.

"I… suppose that it makes sense." Ves eventually said. "I am worried about who is put in charge of managing and overseeing all of this stuff. It would do no good to promote their development and increase their usage when you end up putting one of the haters in charge."

The Evolution Witch had clearly thought about that as well.

"[nullb]IT IS TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE HOW PROJECTS WILL BE MANAGED. IT IS POSSIBLE TO PUT YOU IN CHARGE OF THEM, BUT GIVEN THEIR EXTREME IMPORTANCE, THEY WILL LIKELY NEED TO BE SUPERVISED BY KNOWLEDGEABLE EXPERTS. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AFRAID THAT YOUR WORKS WILL BE UNREASONABLY SUPPRESSED. THEY ARE TOO USEFUL TO SET ASIDE. ANYONE WHO RESTRICTS ACCESS TO THEIR BENEFITS WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO ME. I SHALL NOT TOLERATE SENSELESS OBSTRUCTION IN A TIME OF WAR."

That reassured Ves a lot. He could trust in the promise of a god pilot. Her willingness to put her own credibility on the line said much about how much she valued his various contributions.

"I am grateful for your care and attention, Your Holiness. I cannot help but notice that living mechs and Carmine mechs are not included in this shift."

"[nullb]GOOD OBSERVATION, PROFESSOR LARKINSON." The Evolution Witch nodded. "[nullb]THEY STRADDLE THE LINE BETWEEN MECHS AND CULTIVATION. FOR NOW, I PROPOSE TO SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR BOTH OF THEM. THE RED ASSOCIATION AND THE RED COLLECTIVE SHOULD HOLD JOINT RESPONSIBILITY FOR LIVING MECHS. THE ASSOCIATION WILL PERFORM ITS ORIGINAL TASK OF SUPERVISING THE MATERIAL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR WORKS. THE COLLECTIVE SHALL OVERSEE THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR LIVING PERSONALITIES AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN MADE."

This was a messy and imperfect solution, but it made sense in a way. Ves was anything but happy about needing to answer to two separate authorities, but at least their responsibilities did not overlap with each other.

Ves could live with this solution. Ves already understood the Red Association well enough to believe that the mechers would not have a problem with the more mundane aspects of his mechs.

The Red Collective still possessed a lot of unknowns, though. Its structure, rules, strictness and more were still unclear. It would be unreasonable to appoint Ves as the supervisor of his own works. The conflict of interest alone made it unacceptable for him to become his own policeman!

Still, the Evolution Witch had already shown a willingness to accommodate Ves' needs. He had also become a member of the Interim Leadership Council, so he could still exert a bit of influence on how the Red Collective managed all of this stuff.

"I can live with that as long as the areas of responsibility are truly split as you have stated." Ves eventually said. "What about Carmine mechs? It will be a lot harder to separate all of the variables seeing as how they are more permanently bound to each other."

"[nullb]CARMINE MECHS AND ANY APPLICATIONS BASED ON THE CARMINE SYSTEM SHALL CONTINUE TO REMAIN UNDER THE PURVIEW OF THE RED ASSOCIATION." The Evolution Witch declared. "[nullb]AS NEW AND UNCONVENTIONAL YOUR CARMINE MECHS MAY BE, THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH IS THAT IT IS PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF MECHS AND MECH PILOTS MORE THAN CULTIVATORS. THE TRANSHUMANIST FACTION AND THE SURVIVALIST FACTION WILL CONTINUE THEIR JOINT RESEARCH AND SUPERVISION OVER THESE WORKS."

That made sense. Even though mech pilots were technically cultivators, modern humanity still treated the former as if they existed in a category of their own. The interest groups based on the mech community were so strong that it was impossible for them to give up a treasure as valuable as Carmine mechs.

Not only did the Carmine System allow ordinary people to experience the wonder of piloting mechs, they also enhanced the control of existing mech pilots over their cherished machines!

Ves nodded in acceptance. "I can agree to that. Keeping Carmine mechs under a single organization will make my life a lot easier. The Transhumanists will be glad that they won't lose another toy. The Red Collective will take away so much stuff that it would be painful to lose Carmine mechs as well."

"[nullb]I AM PLEASED YOU UNDERSTAND. I SEE GREAT PROMISE IN CARMINE MECHS, BUT THEIR IMPLICATIONS CAN BE SEVERE. WE WILL NEED TO INTRODUCE THEM TO THE PUBLIC AT THE RIGHT TIME. I COMMEND YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND YOUR RESTRAINT."

She knew that Ves must have felt tempted to defy his instructions and reveal the existence of the Carmine System. The fact that he ultimately did not resort to this solution proved that he could be trusted to keep his word.

This was an extremely important virtue to god pilots.

They talked a bit more about what exactly had to be transferred to the Red Collective once it got off the ground.

The importance of inventions that had already shown their value such as companion spirits and kinship networks was great, and many people knew it. That meant that a lot of players would compete against each other in order to gain even the slightest measure of responsibility or authority over them. That was not a good development.

"[nullb]YOU WILL BE APPROACHED BY MANY PARTIES WHO ARE SEEKING TO BECOME YOUR ALLIES. DISCERN THEIR INTENTIONS AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF IF IT IS BENEFICIAL TO COOPERATE WITH THEM. DO NOT MAKE PROMISES THAT YOU CANNOT FULFILL. THE RED COLLECTIVE IS GREATER THAN ANY OF US. IT WILL BE DIFFICULT FOR ANY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL TO DICTATE ITS OVERALL DIRECTION."

Ves twitched his lips. Knew that there was no way for him to hide his true thoughts on this subject in front of an astute god pilot who was definitely studying his reactions carefully.

He did not bother to hide his motivations this time. It was useless anyway.

"The Red Collective should not be an organization that is too proactive or decisive. As an inclusive organization by design, it should not implement policies that only serve a small minority of people. For better or worse, a lot of extreme and selfish proposals will have little chance of passing. No matter what people believe in, they all have to find a middle ground that enough groups can stomach."

"[nullb]I LIKE YOUR CHARACTERIZATION. IT IS GOOD THAT AN ORGANIZATION IS PRONE TO MAKING COMPROMISES THAT AVOID ANY EXTREMES, BUT MANY DEADLOCKS WILL ENSUE IN THE EVENT A CONSENSUS CANNOT BE FORMED. I DO NOT ENTIRELY FAVOR THIS OUTCOME. MODERATION IS MAY BE THE IDEAL STATE WHEN HUMANITY WAS STILL IN THE AGE OF MECHS, BUT IN WARTIME MORE DECISIVE ACTION IS NEEDED. I SHALL ENDEAVOR TO EMPOWER THE HIGHEST POSITION OF THE RED COLLECTIVE JUST ENOUGH TO PREVENT ANY LOGJAMS."

"I see… I don't think a lot of stakeholders will like it, though. The point of the Collective is to give the dispossessed people of red humanity an actual voice. It would be a mistake to imitate the Red Association and the Red Fleet in becoming deaf to their pleas."

It was difficult if not impossible to find the right balance between top-down and bottom-up management.

Ves did not think that even a god pilot as powerful as the Evolution Witch could solve this dilemma!

The god pilot in question certainly was not amused with Ves' petty antics, but she saw little reason to delve into this topic further.

It was still too soon to determine how the Red Collective was run. There was still an entire year for everyone to figure out how this novel new organization should complement human society.

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