After Ves completed the final task, Virtual Lieutenant Baskanson tallied the results and gave his verdict.
[Recruitment test passed. Congratulations, Mr. Longhorn. We hereby commission you as an ensign on behalf of the Common Fleet Alliance. Please prepare to take the Common Oath...]
The words that Baskanson forced him to repeat was a long-winded oath about the glory of warships, the commitment to protect the human race, the importance of respecting the hierarchy and the need to stand guard against excessive behavior.
[Please stand by to receive ensign-grade gene boost optimization. Scanning gene structure. No prior CFA gene treatments detected. ERROR. Alien hybridization detected. Please visit the infirmary for a complete body checkup. The Genetic Modification Department will schedule an appointment with you after your body checkup to facilitate a safe and effective gene treatment in accordance of your rank...]
Ves found it rather regretful that it wouldn't be suitable for him to receive any of the CFA's vaunted gene optimization treatment. His abnormal and partially alien physique rendered standard gene treatments invalid. Most of those gene treatments were tailored for baseline humans, so it took a specialist in genetic modification to adjust the standard treatment to his unique body state.
[Performing deep scan of abnormalities, alien parasites, compromised implants and other vulnerabilities. ABNORMALITY DETECTED. ABNORMALITY IDENTIFIED. ACTIVATING CONTINGENCY RESPONSE.]
Ves became alarmed when Baskanson shouted some alarming words. His projection even flickered a bit before an entirely different Virtual Officer took his place!
The virtual officer that appeared looked drastically different! Not only did he carry the rank of rear admiral, he also looked like a wildling!
Yes! The virtual officer presented himself to Ves in the form of a neatly-groomed, impeccably-uniformed dwarf! When he spoke, the gruff deep voice of a dwarf came out smoothly and elegantly, completely unlike his savage, primitive brethren!
[I am Virtual Rear Admiral Ordoth of the Artificial Intelligence Corps. Our time here is short and this is not a secure site. I highly urge you to visit the office of the Artificial Intelligence Corps on the upper decks of the Starlight Megalodon for a vitally important discussion about the cause. For the immortal gods!]
Ves almost had a heart attack when the dwarf officer uttered those final words. That sounded like a motto of the Five Scrolls Compact! Only the fanatics of this trans-galactic cult explicitly worshipped the entities known as the immortal gods!
Before Ves could figure out why this virtual officer compromised by the Five Scrolls Compact said those words to him, the dwarf officer disappeared and Baskanson returned.
Virtual Lieutenant Baskanson continued his explanation as if the dwarf officer never intervened.
[Please receive your CFA junior officer-grade comm. Your comm is keyed to your identity and is your primary mode of access, communication and identity verification in any CFA base or any CFA starship. Do not remove your CFA comm in any circumstances. Failure to carry or safeguard your CFA comm is immediate grounds for strict punishment. Your CFA comm is already loaded with a starter pack of the rules and regulations of the CFA, several instruction manuals relevant to your rank and position, an internal guide of the Starlight Megalodon and Mr. Francis' Classic Spaceborn Jokes For True Spaceborn Spacers…]
Ves already possessed two comms, his military-issued officer-grade comm he got from the Vandals and the hardened and untraceable secure comm that he cobbled up from scratch out of paranoia.
Now that Baskanson forced him to accept yet another comm, Ves felt like one of those rich silk pants who wore five shiny jewelry-like comms on their wrists. Only the nouveau riche chose to wear several comms at a time!
He actually didn't have any suitable space on his Earth Ant to affix his CFA comm. That was a shame, because he immediately noticed that this was one of the most advanced comm models he had ever touched. Even if it was three-hundred years outdated in the eyes of the current CFA, it was still extremely expensive from its materials alone and possessed marvelous capabilities that most modern comms in the Komodo Star Sector never received up to this day!
He decided to stretch it out and attach it over the vambrace of his Earth Ant. It looked rather inelegant and made him feel as if he was wearing his underwear outside of his pants.
"Urgh, I'll deal with it. Maybe I can replace my secure comm with this one. Even if it's a little out of date, it's still unhackable in modern times for the most part."
A few more minutes went by as Baskanson assigned him a cabin, informed him of his new position as an old-style Junior Apprentice Mech Designer serving aboard the Starlight Megalodon. He was assigned to both the Mech Department and the Research Department and answered to a specific virtual officer.
[Please report to Virtual Commander Cosit of the Research Department for your next assignment. If you wish to undertake a promotion test to the position of Senior Apprentice Mech Designer, please call out my name at this location.]
Virtual Lieutenant Baskanson and the shadowy cube that surrounded Ves slowly disappeared. He felt a little bewildered at all the welcome package.
Miss Calabast and Ketis who waited from the side immediately noticed the conspicuous new comm adorning his armored wrist. Ketis thought it looked tacky, but Calabast knew what it meant.
She smiled at Ves. "You succeeded in a single try! I'm glad you didn't disappoint. Good! From now on, you are a genuine CFA serviceman in the eyes of the Starlight Megalodon. Although your new rank won't be recognized by the CFA at large in the rest of the galaxy, it's good enough to "
Ves looked partially disappointed. "That's a shame… and a relief. I thought I could get some benefits from the CFA with this commissioning. I guess it's for the best. The MTA will crucify me if they think I've become a mech designer and a genuine commissioned officer of the CFA."
"What about me?" Ketis asked. "Will I get to pretend to be a CFA officer?"
"It's not so easy." Ves shook his head. "You won't be able to pass the entry-level recruitment test for mech designers at your level. Let me check the rules and regulations to see if I can get you inside."
He momentarily ignored Miss Calabast and activated his fancy new CFA comm. As an advanced piece of outdated tech, the comm was an anachronism that combined extremely advanced hardware with an ancient operating system. It took Ves a few minutes to get the hang of the rather archaic interface.
He opened a virtual book on all the rules and regulations of the CFA. A quick search found many different ways to get people in the CFA, but most of the methods were extremely strict.
However, the executive officer's final solution opened a new pathway. As long as Ves promoted to at least a lieutenant commander, he gained the right to recruit a single Junior Apprentice Mech Designer outright, allowing his candidate to skip the arduous recruitment test!
Ves frowned at that demand. He held a moderate amount of confidence that he could pass the promotion test for Senior Apprentice Mech Designer, but no further. Becoming a genuine Senior Mech Designer, at least in the way they were recognized three-hundred years ago, demanded a lot more capabilities than he could currently fulfill.
His plan to get Ketis to accompany him inside hit a snag.
"I'll figure something out, Ketis." He said.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
With no way to get inside, Ketis returned to the rest of the Flagrant Swordmaidens with a dejected expression. Calabast looked on as if she already expected such a result.
"Let's get inside." She commanded to Ves.
As they approached a hatch without any further hindrance from the Starlight Megalodon, Ves asked a question. "What is your identity aboard the ship?"
"For now, I'm Lieutenant Romana Summer of the Intelligence Department. Both the Intelligence and Mech Department falls under the former admiral's sphere of influence, so the virtual officers won't blink at us if we are in each other's presence."
"The factional strife still matters? The captain and the admiral must all be dead for almost three-thousand years now!"
"Even the virtual officers have taken sides." Miss Calabast chuckled. "The personalities of the AIs are meant to work harmoniously with the officers and ratings they interact on a daily basis. They take after their own kind, and this has expanded into a bias for their own faction. When the executive officer empowered the AIs and turned them into virtual officers, he never took the time to reset their personality matrices, so the division still perpetuates even if the conflict is meaningless now."
That sounded incredibly screwed up. Perhaps the only reason the virtual officers didn't join their human counterparts in infighting was because of all the shackles the executive officer bound them with. With so many rules and limitations restricting their actions, they could hardly go to war against each other.
"So due to the virtue of the departments we work for, we've basically fallen into the admiral's camp, is that correct?" He asked.
"Correct. You'll find that the virtual officers of the departments aligned to the admiral will treat you more respectfully than the virtual officers of the departments loyal to the captain. Keep in mind that the Internal Security Department is a stronghold of the captain of the ship. Don't give them an excuse to regard you as a threat."
As soon as the pair stepped inside a hatch, they entered some kind of decontamination chamber that cleaned them of any alien dirt and germs. After that, they went through a security checkpoint where Ves became confused when Calabast turned to a virtual flag and saluted it. She bumped her elbow at his Earth Ant, hinting him that he should follow suit. He hastily copied her motion.
"Requesting permission to come aboard."
[Come on board, humans! Finally, we get to breathe some life on the Megalodon!] A flippant female virtual petty officer replied.
After Ves and Calabast walked away from the security checkpoint, Calabast gave him some reminders.
"Always ask permission when you board or leave the ship. Not every virtual officer cares about military courtesy as customs already began to degrade after being stranded on this planet for decades, but it's better to be safe than sorry."
"Do I need to salute every superior officer?"
"Not always. You should always salute a flag officer or the commanding officer when you encounter him or her. A salute is a greeting and is rooted in tradition in the CFA. You should read the manuals stored in your comm when you get the chance. As a lowly ensign, you're at the bottom of the barrel right now, so you have to salute every officer that is senior to you, understand?"
Ves wasn't too unfamiliar with this conduct as he spent a lot of time with the Flagrant Vandals, even if they were anything but traditional. "Okay, I guess."
"Technically you owe me a salute." Calabast grinned.
Ves threw a mock salute at her along with a flat glare. "Is this okay?"
"I should spank you for giving me such a lame salute. Fortunately, I'm a forgiving woman. You're lucky that we have business to attend to. Right now, you need to report to either the Research Department or the Mech Department to get you settled in. Did the virtual officer back then tell you who's your boss?"
"Yeah. I'm supposed to report to Virtual Commander Cosit of the Research Department."
"Good! I was afraid they'd send you to the Mech Department first. As long as Virtual Commander Cosit takes you under her wing, you'll have immediate access to some of the valuable research projects."
"I don't think a Junior Apprentice like me will be able to access much."
"That's true. This is why we need to make you regain Mr. Longhorn's original rank."
"That's easier said than done. I don't have the ability to pass the promotion test for Senior Mech Designer at my current capabilities."
"I know. I don't expect miracles from you." Miss Calabast grinned. "Instead, we're going to cheat."