The Mech Touch Chapter 1153
1151 Wasted Endowments
The promised mech duel never came up again during Oliver's visit to Axelar's villa. The pair of wastrels spent several days carousing together in the prosperous and highly-populated Tyon System where Axelar lived.
If they weren't drugging themselves stupid with potent recreational stimulants, the two friends who befriended each other in their mech academy days went out and partied all day and night.
The extreme decadence the two partook in simply boggled Ves' mind. During a single casino visit, Oliver casually squandered a few million Terran dollars at the high-tech gambling tables!
As for Axelar, his losses amounted to more than thirty million T-dollars!
If they were a little bit more sober, then they could have limited their losses by making more prudent bets. Yet even when they gambled away so much money that they could have outright bought out a small state in the galactic rim, they still didn't stop injecting themselves with stimulants!
At least one benefit of their travels was that Ves witnessed how the Terrans truly lived. While the Tyon System wasn't anything special to the Streon Clan, it was far more developed than even a hundred Bentheims put together!
The Terrans rearranged every planet in the Tyon System. They terraformed the terrestrial planets and shifted their orbits so that all of them fell into the goldilocks zone. They also didn't let up on the gas giants, opting to place a large amount of floating cities on them that could withstand the extreme forces of the gas giant's outer layers!
Through some arduous digging in Axelar's drug-addled mind, Ves finally managed to find out that the Tyon System alone boasted a population of over 100 billion!
And this was not even an exceptionally large figure for a Terran star system!
With such a huge population, the Tyon System alone could have easily raised more than a billion mech pilots.
Yet the truth was that the mech forces of the planet was a lot more modest than that amount.
With the high emphasis on training elite mech pilots to compete in the restricted wars between the clans, the Terrans pursued quality over quantity.
"Many potentates never get the opportunity to enter a mech academy." Ves realized.
Potentates with a genetic aptitude of D or lower could forget about becoming mech cadets!
With their incredible population base, the Terrans weren't short on talented mech pilots. With the prevailing standard of employing very complicated multipurpose mechs, lesser potentates simply wouldn't be able to keep up with the demanding curriculums.
"The complexity of the average mech in the Confederation is already straining the capacity of mech pilots with C-grade genetic aptitudes." Ves observed.
While mech pilots with C-grade genetic aptitudes barely made the cut, many Terrans looked down on them as cannon fodder. The importance of genetic aptitude played a much greater role in Terran society because the elite mech corps that every mech pilot aspired to join placed a lot of importance on this trait.
Only mech pilots with B-grade genetic aptitude and higher could apply!
In fact, if the elite mech corps had their way, they would have limited their recruitment to mech pilots with A-grade genetic aptitude. The only reason why they stopped short of setting the bar that high was that even with their huge population base, such mech pilots were still too rare.
If Axelar's privileged birth in the Streon Clan was not enough, his genetic aptitude also reached as high as A-. As soon as the Streon Clan found out about his remarkable talent in piloting mechs, they immediately reserved a place for him in one of their elite mech corps.
Even if Axelar objected to the assignment, he had no power to resist the demands of his clan!
His buddy Oliver of the Renwald Clan was a bit worse in that regard. Oliver's genetic aptitude only reached B+, which was still a major tier lower than that of Axelar!
Strangely, the scion of the Streon clan wasn't happy about his talent. During his more coherent moments when he spent more than thirty minutes without injecting himself with a new formula, he complained about his path in life.
"I hate mechs." He wearily complained. "If my genetic aptitude was only a C, then I would have been ignored by the clan. My A-grade genetic aptitude has given me nothing but trouble!"
"At least your talent satisfies for your clan." Oliver snorted. "My parents are constantly disappointed in me for failing to live up to the Renwald elites. My genetic aptitude is better than most mech pilots in the galaxy! Yet still they treat me like an abandoned son!"
Ves wanted to palm his face. As someone who once desired to pilot mechs in his childhood years, he simply couldn't stand how these two lucky fellows moaned about their pampered lives!
"The two of you are already winners among mech pilots! What's there to complain about?!"
Both Axelar and Oliver graduated from the mech academies despite how they spent much of their mech cadets days under the influence of recreational stimulants.
Strictly speaking, both of them should have been spending their time at the elite mech corps their clans assigned them to. Yet neither of them ever considered their duties even once!
Resting deep in Axelar's mind, Ves began to lose patience with his host. This dummy from the Streon Clan never came close to piloting a mech! What was the point of a Mastery experience if Ves never got to witness a mech pilot in action even once?
Even as Oliver finally said goodbye and left, Axelar resumed his decadent ways. He spent entire days lying on his luxurious sofa with his brains turned to mush!
The pharmaceutical company he bought out constantly came up with new formulas for Axelar to try out. Every single day, Axelar experienced a new variation of euphoric highs and coma-inducing trances.
Due to his genetically optimized and improved physique as well as some powerful biological implants, Axelar was able to tolerate a huge concentration of chemicals without overdosing. It galled Ves that Axelar enjoyed so many genetic enhancements throughout his life.
All of these advanced treatments were meant to turn him into the best human and mech pilot. Yet instead of using his endowments in a productive manner, Axelar instead abused his gifts to inject more potent cocktails of stimulants in his body!
If Ves possessed a physical body, he wanted to grab Axelar's neck and shake the druggie's body back and forth until he wrung out all of the drugs from the Terran's blood stream!
Axelar's chief bodyguard and attendant didn't help much either. Rather than restraining his charge, Benny instead went along with every crazy idea that Axelar came up with. No matter how ridiculous the request, Benny did his best to fulfill them even if it wasted tons of Terran dollars!
After investigating more into Axelar's background, Ves speculated whether his parents and his clan cared about him at all. Even though Axelar boasted a high genetic aptitude, the staff around him never imposed any restraints.
What Axelar wanted, Axelar got!
Even if Axelar put out an impossible request like buying out Old Earth, Benny would just smile and agree to take care of the matter. Axelar would forget about his orders only minutes later as stimulants blanketed his entire short-term memory.
If there was anything redeeming about Axelar, it was that he did not seem inclined to abuse his staff or other people. Still, the only reason why the druggie restrained himself in that manner was that Benny would never allow his charge to tarnish the reputation of the Streon Clan.
Benny also stopped Axelar from leaving the Tyon System. The druggie could visit any planet, moon or space station that he wanted, but leaving the star system was never a possibility.
Witnessing the way his closest bodyguard and attendant keep Axelar in this state made Ves very angry.
"Why are you letting Axelar ruin his entire life with a constant supply of stimulants? Why are you preventing him from leaving the star system so that he wouldn't have ready access to an unlimited amount of drugs?"
After digging a bit in Axelar's mind, he figured that it was unlikely that there was some sort of conspiracy afoot.
Clan members simply held an extremely high status in Terran society. They were pretty much nobles in all but name, and spent millenia in indoctrinating their own citizens to revere the ancient clans!
Nobody dared to affront a clan member like Axelar. Even Benny never failed to appear dutiful despite ignoring some of the orders from his charge.
"Maybe the Rubarthans have a point." Ves mentally concluded. "The Terran clans are so arrogant, complacent and out-of-touch with reality that they don't deserve to be the masters of humanity anymore."
That was a bit of an unfair statement to make. While Axelar's entire conduct was deplorable, nearly every other Terran were much more decent people. Some of the members of high society that Axelar occasionally interacted with were very sharp.
Still, the fact that every Terran tolerated Axelar's excesses was a massive failure. The Greater Terran United Confederation possessed so much wealth and power, but could not fully make use of both as long as parasites like Axelar continued to drain the resources of the superstate.
"If I even had a fraction of your wealth and power, I could have founded the greatest mech company in the Komodo Star Sector!"
Ves began to grow increasingly more concerned as Axelar continued to waste his days in drug-addled dazes.
"It's been an entire week since I entered your mind and you still haven't done anything productive."
It began to dawn on Ves that he could not maintain his stance of hiding his presence anymore. That might have worked with mech pilots stuck on a battlefield and who were already motivated to fight, but someone like Axelar obviously needed to be pushed into piloting a mech.
"If I wait for you to enter the cockpit of a mech on your own volition, I'll probably have to wait for months!"
That was why Ves dropped his conservative stance and prepared to take a more active role in the mind of his host. He extended some of his Spirituality and tried to manipulate the mind of his host.
Although Ves didn't entirely know what he was doing, he nonetheless attempted to encourage Axelar to pilot a mech.
Ves utterly failed.
Right now, Axelar was so smashed that someone could walk up to him and punch his face without eliciting a response!
Any subtle impulses from Ves instantly got washed away by the highs that Axelar constantly subjected himself to on an hourly basis. Even during his sleep, Axelar hooked himself to a sophisticated auto-injector that constantly pumped his unconscious mind with delirious stimulants.
There was not a single moment where Ves ever witnessed Axelar in a sober state. As long as this wastrel continued to let Benny inject his body with formulas, Ves would never be able to steer his host into piloting a mech!
Ves came to the unfortunate conclusion that he needed to take more direct action.
"Subtlety won't work here. Even firmer action isn't enough to overpower the chemicals that suffuse your mind."
The problem with influencing a genetically enhanced human like Axelar was that he was fairly resistant to mental manipulation. This was partially by design as the ancient clans didn't want to make it easy for nefarious parties to brainwash their descendants.
This basically meant that Ves needed to take a stronger and more direct approach. Instead of tickling Axelar's mind with a feather, he should instead employ a hammer!
"Even a hammer is not enough to overcome all of the chemicals and intoxicants in this wastrel's brains! I'll have to bring a mech to crack it open!"
Ves readied himself for action. Normally, he would never dare to do something as drastic as the intervention he was about to do, but any sympathy for Axelar had already evaporated.
Even if Ves was a little too rough and inflicted permanent brain damage on Axelar, that was hardly worse than his existing state!