out of the castle, they could ensure that no data would be transmitted to any third parties aside from the Big Two!

”It will require a weeks-long overhaul to tear out all of the transceivers built all over the hull of the ship and replace them with more secure ones. ” The Kinner bondsman determined.
”The most delicate operation entails modifying the quantum entanglement node.
It is crucial to replace the systems that translate and convert the data transmissions it receives before passing them on to its core components for transmission to another node that is many light-years away. ”

The entire story was a bit technical, but Ves possessed enough understanding in signals and communications technology to understand what his staff member tried to convey.

It was beyond Ves to replicate the core portions of the quantum entanglement node that enabled instantaneous communication throughout the galaxy.

Yet the systems surrounding the portion responsible for sending out messages weren ’t as difficult to decipher.

These systems sorted the data and stuffed them into packages before sending them out.
Replacing them with imitations made by a different organization would ensure the Coalition no longer had access to the sensitive data surreptitiously snuck into the packages.

The only problem with that solution was that the replacement systems would henceforth carry the backdoors of their manufacturers instead! The entire operation amounted to replacing one voyeur with another!

Both of them recognized this thorny problem.
Crindon shook his head.
”The only way to address this problem is to make the quantum entanglement node systems yourself.
Since you are a mech designer, it might be possible for you to do so, but it requires a lot of specialist knowledge in order to design it from scratch. ”

This wasn ’t a realistic solution either.
Ves estimated that it would take months of focused study to accomplish something like that, and he didn ’t have the time to spare on an endeavor that was much more relevant to ship design than mech design.

”How about sourcing the replacement parts from the Hexadric Hegemony? ” He eventually suggested.
”Right now, my relationship with the Coalition has deteriorated.
While I can ’t say for sure whether my ties to the Hegemony are getting warmer, I trust them more than the Coalition at this point. ”

”If you fear the Hegemony less than the Coalition, then it ’s a viable solution, sir.
I still suggest you find a way to replace the vulnerable systems with more secure ones down the line, but as a stopgap solution I can work with your suggestion.
We just have to find the right time and place to put your ship into drydock. ”

”Can we do it here? ”

”We can, but I don ’t advise you to.
The Kinner shipyards and drydocks aren ’t famed for their quality and capabilities.
We ’ll also have to order and possibly arrange for the shipment of the replacement parts from the Hegemony in advance. ”

The two began to hash out a plan regarding the overhaul.
After Ves revealed his itenary to Crindon, the Kinner advised him to book a drydock at the Sentinel Kingdom.

”It ’s one of the largest third-rate states in the star sector and it is vastly more secure than the Chuko Republic where you are traveling next.
Its industrial infrastructure is excellent so the modifications can be achieved as quickly as possible without much risk. ”

Speak with Gavin and tell him to put this plan on the agenda.
Please work with him to prepare all the arrangements.
If you encounter any hindrances with regards to access, for example procuring the Hegemony-built replacement parts, just get back to me so I can throw my weight around. ”

”Understood, sir. ” Crindon nodded.
”Addressing the vulnerabilities of your gear and the ship will go a long way in preventing third parties from obtaining damaging data. ”

Go ahead and take Lucky and see what you can do with him.
I ’m sure he ’s been hiding a lot of goodies from me.
Make sure you get everything out of him that can help us beef our security even further! ”

Though it took some pushing from Ves, Lucky grumpily allowed Crindon to pick him up and move him to a different room so that he could perform his duties without disturbing anyone.

Ves wasn ’t worried that Crindon might possibly tamper with Lucky.
He instead would be a lot more concerned about his bondsman ’s life.
He paid the equivalent of 180 million bright credits to secure his services, after all! He still wanted to get his money ’s worth out of his perpetual employee!

Now that he had a moment to himself, Ves loosened his shoulders and sank into a couch.

”What a day. ”

Encountering Nitaa and hearing her explosive revelations seriously upended his long-term plans.

He always figured he could keep his head down and quietly progress his mech design abilities in peace.
Yet the Five Scrolls Compact was not content in leaving their questions unanswered.

For a dignitary to depart from the galactic center decades ago and still be on the way to the Komodo Star Sector strongly hinted that the envoys of the Ruined Temple would be here to stay.

This threw a huge wrench into his plans! It might even be severe enough to compel him into moving to another star cluster for a time!

”Holing up in Vicious Mountain or Majestic Teal won ’t be enough.
It ’s too close to the Nyxian Gap. ”

He needed to move further ahead.
While he didn ’t have to run all the way to the other end of the galactic rim or all the way to the galactic heartland, he at least needed to cross over into another star cluster.

”Yet how can I leave behind my ventures in the Komodo Star Sector? ” He questioned.

Could he afford to leave behind the LMC and the Larkinson Family? Comm calls and remote interactions helped a lot in keeping him in touch, but it was no replacement to being physically present.

”I ’ll have to think about it carefully. ” He sighed.

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