Chapter 301 [Bonus chapter] Second Vote, Second Offer
"Jin Woo's got a lotta ambition," said Tychus. "Real hungry, he is, just like his pops and his pops before him." Tychus chuckled. "World peace, he says, thinkin' real big, but I think he's forgettin' about the little people.
Makes sense, considerin' his company makes them fancy, secret tech, but here at ARMA, we're a family company - we see you folk no matter how small or big.
Everyone knows our guns, specially' the green grade line that we make sure is affordable for everyone.
Now, let's entertain Jin Woo's ideas here.
Say that this plan to turn the Titans into our lil pets doesn't work, then what? We just kicked the mother of all hornet's nests without a plan B, C, D, E, or F.
If it's order you want, Thanatos, then we gotta start small.
Jin Woo's a bright kid, and he's right about one thing: the variants do gotta go.
But we gotta start small. We gotta make sure the families are protected first. Then, when homes and cities are all clear, we can think about the big stuff."
"Again, can you get to your offer?" said Aldrich, stopping Tychus from rambling on about family this and that - empty appeals to emotion to pressure Aldrich.
In the corner of Aldrich's vision, he thought he could see Jin Woo's shoulders go up and down in a chuckle.
"Sure thing." Tychus kept his grin and composure, more used to pushback than Jin Woo was. "I jus' want a tough guy like you to show the variants hell the way ya want to. But the thing is, my Blue Force boys ain't the type that'll fit ya.
They make sure the streets are safe in the cities, but goin' out to Wasteland territory and knockin' down variants, it ain't their thing."
Aldrich wondered where Tychus was going with this. ARMA's Blue Force was the largest private police force in the world, operating in practically every major country.
Basically, outsourced peacekeeping.
Like most of ARMA's wares, the Blue Force was quantity over quality for the most part, their contracts affordable and done with men in bulk. Not at all the place for Aldrich, who, if he was a mercenary, would be more like a specialty elite unit.
On top of that, the Blue Force were well regulated in spite of their quantity, operating under fairly strict procedures that minimized losses, liability to the company, and potentially bad PR incidents with the public.
In that regard, Imugi was a far better offer for Aldrich as far as freedom went.
But Tychus knew that already. He had something else up his sleeve.
"But I ain't about to let that stop me!" Tychus declared. "See, ARMA's run our Blue Force boys with the idea that we'd sweep the streets, and outside the walls, the AA would pack the punch to the variants.
It's worked for decades, specially' when Vanguard was out there laying a smackdown when it mattered.
Now, though, there ain't no Vanguard. The AA's been havin' it tough, losin' that bright star of theirs, not to mention other issues. I feel sorry for em', it ain't right they gotta shoulder such a big burden all by their lonesome selves.
I think it's about time the AA got some help. It's about time ARMA stopped jus' lookin' at the streets and went beyond.
And so I'm unveilin' plans to start a hero corp of my own. Plans ain't really set with it, hell, I ain't even got a name for it yet, but believe me, once I get my gears runnin', things ought to fall in place quick."
Tychus pointed at Aldrich. "You, Thanatos, I'm hopin' to see right at the very top of it."
Everyone else was muted, but Aldrich picked up a wave of motion coursing through the entire crowd of examiners, all of them turning to talk with each other at this huge revelation.
The AA had stood without competition for close to a hundred years, founded directly with the support of Vanguard, the former world symbol of hope.
But with Vanguard gone, the AA also lost more of its shine. Right now, the AA was at its lowest, weakest state. The perfect time for a competitor to rise up.
And ARMA, with its friendly image, spotless PR, and wide revenue stream that beat out Imugi by a fair margin - in fact, as far as net worths went, ARMA was nearly practically number 1 in the world - had both the support and funds to do just that.
Aldrich did not seriously consider this offer either. If he did, he was just going to be the mouthpiece for Tychus's new pet project. Not what he wanted.
Jin Woo's offer was more typical of a corporate Suit. More self centered. He wanted Aldrich's power for his own, and he wanted it only for himself.
Tychus was wilder, almost insane with his proposition. He wanted to bring the fight to the AA, an organization thought to practically be an immovable monolith. Aldrich was just one piece in the bigger weapon that would try to bring the AA down.
In large manner, the offers mirrored the personalities of their respective CEOs.
But both offers missed Aldrich. Expected, too. His goal was first and foremost to be a Sentinel, but nobody here would accept that. It would be like striking gold and just burying it over.
This was a room of hungry, opportunistic vultures.
It was up to Aldrich to demand his freedom, real freedom, but before he did, he wanted to hear what people here wanted to say. Mostly to get a read on them. He got an idea of how the two Fortune CEOs were like, so next was the United Front of nation states.
"So, how about it, champ? Want to make a difference? With me?" Tychus smiled brightly. "For everyone?"
"And what about the United Front?" said Aldrich, motioning to the government representatives.
"United? Heh, ain't the word I'd use for em', but I'll pass the mic over to their side." Tychus shrugged. "Think it through, Thanatos, cause' this is an opportunity of a lifetime.
A chance to make the biggest difference you can think of." Tychus tipped his cowboy hat and pressed a holograph screen in front of him, removing him from sound projection.
"I'll present my motion first." The green light shone over the United States. The secretary of defense, Emmet Rye, known as the 'Gator' for his crocodilian mutant traits, stood up. "On behalf of the United States."