Chapter 3740: Genetic Apt.i.tude Lottery
Although Ves felt a bit uncomfortable with setting up their second daughter to become an excellent mech pilot, he did not object to it that much.
First, he wanted to raise at least one powerful mech pilot in his lineage. With the impending establishment of the T Inst.i.tute, Ves possessed a huge amount of confidence that he could turn any son or daughter of his into an expert pilot as long as they possessed the qualifications to get started in this privileged profession.
While Ves wasn't sure whether mech pilots would continue to remain important as wars.h.i.+ps were hoping to make a return in human s.p.a.ce, he still felt it was worthwhile to raise a mech pilot in his family.
He actually possessed little doubt that his upcoming daughter would choose to become a mech pilot once they confirmed that she possessed the right genetic apt.i.tude.
No child could resist the romance of piloting mechs and becoming a powerful G.o.d pilot that could dominate human s.p.a.ce by themselves!
Unless the course of human history changed drastically in the coming decades, becoming a mech pilot would still remain the favored vocation of any child with the ability to interface with mechs!
However, the road to becoming a qualified mech pilot was not easy. Simply possessing a compatible genetic apt.i.tude was only the first hurdle. Apt.i.tudes also differed by grades.
"This is a pretty uncertain bet that we are taking." Ves told his wife. "In order for our designer baby to take full advantage of her genetic endowments, she not only has to pa.s.s the minimum threshold, but also gain enough talent to make it worthwhile for her to pilot mechs. Her grade needs to be a minimum of D but preferably at least C to give her a bright enough future in mech piloting. Any lower than that and the costs far outweigh the benefits."
Gloriana's smile faltered. She understood that there was always a probability that her second daughter could end up in this awkward zone between possessing decent talent and no talent for mech piloting at all. These were probably the most saddest people in human s.p.a.ce.
Ves remembered a long time ago that he witnessed an arena match of a prominent mech athlete that went by the name of Leviticus.
Despite developing a low-grade genetic apt.i.tude, the fellow persevered and worked ten times harder than his peers, but could only barely pilot a normal mech to a satisfactory level!
This was an impressive accomplishment for someone with his condition, but most people whose genetic apt.i.tudes were too low simply didn't bother.
The cost was too great and most mech academies didn't even want to bother with investing scarce resources into their training!
"It will be okay." Gloriana quickly recovered. "No son or daughter of ours will be average. Your Larkinson bloodline should prove immensely useful here. If there is one good trait about your family's genetics, it's that your lineage has numerous dominant genes and gene combinations that increase the probability of producing offspring with compatible genetic apt.i.tudes."
Ves crossed his arms. "That may be true, but as far as I know it doesn't improve the probability of obtaining higher grades of genetic apt.i.tudes. If our daughter is born with an E-grade genetic apt.i.tude, then that is practically no different from being born with no good genetic apt.i.tude."
In fact, in various scientific doc.u.ments, a norm who lacked the right genetic apt.i.tude received an F-grade.
"Don't mention that, Ves! It's bad luck. Our second baby will grow up to become a talented mech pilot! I will pray to your mother and hope she can shower our next daughter with a blessing that will guarantee that she has all of the requirements needed to become a talented mech pilot!"
Ves rolled his eyes. He was pretty sure that not even the best research teams of the MTA managed to develop a solution that could improve any potentate's genetic apt.i.tude.
If this was already the case, then word of it would have leaked long ago and the MTA would be stuffed with an endless amount of A-grade mech pilots!
Of course, there was also the possibility that the MTA had indeed developed a working solution, but was so expensive and impractical that only a select group of elites could take advantage of it. Such an extravagant benefit was far beyond the reach of the Larkinson Clan.
Ves shrugged. "We can't do much to influence the genetic apt.i.tude of our upcoming daughter, so let's put that matter aside. We just have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. This is also the main problem I have with the formula that you have chosen. Compared to the ones that I have studied earlier, the one you have set your sights upon provides the best possible boosts to mech pilots, but comes at the cost of forgoing non-mech pilot related enhancements."
The alternate formulas were a bit more universal in purpose. They might not create designer babies that were so abundantly strong if they grew into mech pilots one day, but the increase in intellect and learning ability meant that a child without the right genetic apt.i.tude could easily excel in any other career.
"We don't need to consider those options. Those are merely compromises that attempt to hedge for failure." Gloriana said in a disapproving tone. "We don't need any safety nets for our next child. I already told you that our second daughter is guaranteed to become a talented mech pilot with the help of your mother's blessing. She will want her granddaughter to become a powerful pilot the most!"
Ves wanted to vomit after he heard that. He distinctly remembered his mother telling him that she secretly messed up his genetic apt.i.tude when he was in her belly so that he would not risk his life in battle.
Now that he had grown older and become a parent himself, he actually understood why Cynthia Larkinson pursued such a drastic procedure.
She was in a dying state and did not have long to live at the time. There was no time for her to raise multiple children. If Ves was to be her only flesh-and-blood offspring, then a concerned mother would be a bit hesitant about seeing her son partic.i.p.ate in one of the bloodbaths of the Bright-Vesia Wars!
The Larkinsons always took pride in serving in the Bright Corps and fighting on the frontlines in the many conflicts against the Vesia Kingdom. Yet what did this have to do with a foreigner who looked down on ba.n.a.l territorial rivalries?
Cynthia would definitely find it unbearable to see her only son die on behalf of a worthless cause!
She would rather make sure that her son would never have the chance to pilot mechs in his life so that he could safely stay in the rear and have a much higher chance of staying alive in the event of war!
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Whether her loving gesture was misguided or not, Ves did not have to make the same choice.
"That will never happen!"
"This is just a hypothetical scenario!" Ves exasperatingly argued. "Just imagine a future where our daughter simply doesn't have the right talent. While she can choose to become a mech designer or any other profession, that would ultimately waste much of her combat enhancements. Since this is the case, why not hand her over to Ketis so that she can personally raise our little tigress into a swordswoman?"
For a moment, Gloriana looked disgusted. "The Swordmaidens are too uncouth! I will not allow any of my daughters to embrace their crude and savage culture!"
"I am not suggesting that we throw our daughter to the Swordmaidens. Just Ketis is enough to provide all of the personal instruction needed to raise a qualified swordswoman. If that is not enough, then there's thousands of Heavensworders who are much more refined than the Swordmaidens. Once our daughter inherits their swordsmans.h.i.+p tradition, maybe our family will be lucky enough to welcome a swordmaster of our own one day!"
His wife calmed down a bit as she considered this possibility. "Swordmasters are obscure for a reason, Ves. They are an anachronism in human history. Maybe they were useful in the past, but nowadays an ordinary mech possesses enough firepower to tear a swordmaster apart."
"Then we just have to make sure our daughter isn't stupid enough to put herself in front of a hostile mech." Ves retorted. "Besides, with stronger combat training, our child will have a much higher chance of keeping herself alive during a crisis than if she chose a different pursuit."
"You have a point, Ves…"
Both of them agreed that they would give their daughter the option to become a swordmaster if she wasn't able to become a mech pilot.
Naturally, Ves insisted that their child should always have the final say in matters. No matter what she chose, Ves was determined to support her all the way.
Becoming a swordmaster did not sound bad to him. Sure, they were weak and unable to take part in ma.s.sive s.p.a.ce battles between mechs and wars.h.i.+ps, but they could still play a role in smaller engagements.
If his daughter truly wanted to become just as strong as Ketis, then Ves would do his best to gather the best materials and develop the strongest pieces of equipment.
He was even willing to remodel his Unending Regalia so that his daughter could inherit it and benefit from all of its potent properties!
Once Ves and Gloriana made their choice, they started to make the first arrangements. They scheduled a consultation meeting with Witshaw & Yeneca and notified Director Ranya that she should get ready to cultivate another designer baby fetus in the near future.
Gloriana smiled. "The timing is good. Venerable Joshua and Ketis are also about to grow their designer baby in the near future. Once they both show that they have the talent to become mech pilots, they can train together and back each other up on the battlefield! It will be perfect!"
From the eager glint in her eyes, Ves guessed that she had a lot more in mind than providing their daughter with a strong battlefield companion…
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