The Mech Touch Chapter 357

Chapter 357: Benson
In truth, Ves didn't think that Carlos could come up with a solution that the LMC could accept. His friend's foundation was still too lacking, and his talent and learning ability was decidedly average. He would never amount to anything in the mech industry unless he ate a lot of attribute candies.That put Ves to thought. Would Carlos be able to benefit from the attribute candies as well? If that was true, then Ves might be able to nurture Carlos into a welcome and much-needed assistant.Right now, the LMC depended too much on Ves to do all of the essential design work. If he could offload some of the more trivial tasks such as designing variants of his own designs to Carlos, then the company might be a lot better off in the long term."Carlos." He began. "What do you see yourself doing ten years from now?""I see myself working alongside you as always." His friend replied with an aspirational tone. "I know it's going to be difficult catching up with your growth, but I'm a hard worker. I know I can do it. Don't forget that I helped build the LMC to its present height as well. It's my baby as well, so I'll work as hard as I can to make it into an ever greater company!"This reassured Ves. If the LMC ever grew to the point where it needed to bolster its design capabilities with a team of designers, then Carlos would certainly play an important role. His shallow foundation and average talent could always be amended with the help of the System.Still, Ves wasn't in a hurry to do so. Besides having a lot of matters on his plate, he also had to figure out a way to prevent exposure.After finishing his tour of the old workshop, Ves boarded the armored shuttle and flew towards the manufacturing complex. An hour later, they had arrived at the immense site, which looked a lot more finished than before.Jake waited for him outside the landing pads. "Ves! I hope you'll stick around longer this time!""If nothing unexpected happens, then you'll certainly get your wish." Ves chuckled back. "Fill me in on how the LMC is doing these last couple of weeks. Has anything changed?""There's a spike in orders. The entire mech industry is getting swamped with customers. Every outfit that have earned a killing in the Glowing Planet are eagerly trying to bolster their capabilities. Some of the smaller gangs that participated in the event have already been robbed and killed by rivals who missed out."Ves nodded when he heard what had happened. The influx of the nouveau riche had turned the entire Bright Republic on its head. Too many outfits gained an abundance of money, but sustained severe losses as well. They turned into the best kind of targets to vultures looking for an easy score."How has the market responded?""These newly enriched outfits generally adopt two different buying patterns. The smaller ones with less capabilities are prioritizing delivery speed over quality. They want to take immediate ownership of their purchase and aren't willing to wait for more than day. Quality doesn't matter too much, so the smaller players of the market with readily available stock are having a field day at this moment.""That sounds great, but it probably doesn't have anything to do with us. We've never been able to build up an inventory of mechs."The LMC fabricated mechs as fast as they shipped out, so the news hadn't been relevant to Ves. His company had long grown past the definition of 'small player'."That's where the second type of customers come in. These are the big players like the major mercenary corps and the Blood Claws. They've all placed a big batch of orders for our products. The waiting list has practically doubled in the last couple of weeks, and it's only growing longer by the day."He smiled at that. He had anticipated that this would happen. That was why he agreed to take out a major loan in order to finance an expansion in the company's production capability."Are the two new production lines up and running yet?""It's been shipped a week ago. Chief Cyril took charge and brought them down to the fabrication floor. Last I heard, the chief and his men are still in the process of setting up the production lines, but I'm not an expert in this matter.""That's fine. I'll go down and help out in person. I know more about the production equipment than anyone else in the company.""Before you go, Ves, the manufacturing complex needs a name. It's a multi-billion dollar project and it will one day house thousands of employees. It's a great start to a major undertaking of the LMC. It's destined to become one of this planet's most iconic landmarks.""Landmark, huh?" Ves uttered as his mind drifted off. "Let me think of a name."When Ves initially planned the construction of the manufacturing complex, he hadn't fixated on a name. He figured he could casually come up with something on the spot, but now he thought that the complex deserved a more considerate name.The future of the Living Mech Corporation rested on this massive company site. This was the exclusive domain of his company, and everyone who stepped foot here day by day would put their hopes on its prosperity.Besides serving as a production site for mechs, the complex also featured a lot of fortifications. The walls, turrets, mech patrols and other security features insured that anyone who attempted to attack the complex had to pay a price.The LMC had signed a more extensive contract with Sanyal-Ablin to insure that the site would not receive any disturbances, either from sabotage or overt attacks. The beefed up contract added to the company's expenses, but with the impending addition of two production lines, it should be able to shoulder the extra burden."Since this complex is the center of the LMC, it needs a name that reflects the ideals of the company. How about the Mech Nursery?"Jake was absolutely floored at the name. The old man tested the words in his mind for a little bit. "It's an unconventional name. I don't know if it will fit the complex."Although his COO still held some reservations on the name, Ves didn't change his mind. The more he thought about it, the more the name fit the aspirations of the company.He wanted to create mechs with life, and what better than to call their place of origin as the Mech Nursery?Even if it sounded weird, it reinforced the impression that Ves wanted to convey to the mech industry and his customers. His products carried the spark of life, and they deserved to be treated that way.Right now, Jake reluctantly registered the name through his comm. After signing some paperwork, the complex would officially be known as the Mech nursery. It already churned the old man's stomach."Haha, let's go inside now. I want to see what you've done to the place!"Under the company of Jake and Carlos, Ves proceeded to tour the complex from top to bottom. He visited the aboveground offices first. Most of the floors hadn't been put to use as of yet, but Ves envisioned a time when these empty white halls would be brimming with people.Modeled after Marcella's office, Ves enjoyed the top floor to himself. The wide open spaces, the gold and brown furnishings and the exquisite furniture all added to his prestige. He would definitely be able to imitate the likes of Marcella and Mr. Chandler of the MTA if he sat behind his imposing desk.Ves tested the padding of his desk chair and realized that it hid a large number of features that added to his comfort. Lucky also perched at the top of the chair and partially materialized to test out its functions as well. The seat had evidently been designed to accomodate pets."I'm very glad with the look and feel of my office. It makes me feel like a successful CEO.""That's good. We've especially hired a number of renowned interior designers to decorate the offices."As pleasant as his new office looked, the real work was done below. They left the top office and took the elevator that brought them straight underground.Ves only briefly toured the underground floors. He already visited them a few weeks ago and besides some additions, they largely remained empty due to a lack of capacity.Only the manufacturing floor possessed a lot of liveliness. The Dortmund production line had been moved to the first production hall. A number of mech technicians could be seen working on fabricating another silver label Blackbeak.Ves left the workers to it and visited another hall. A larger number of mech technicians gathered around the brand-new production line.It consisted of a full set of 3D printer, alloy compressor, chemical treatment machine and assembly machine. They all came from the same company called Benson Industrial Machinery.Benson enjoyed a significant amount of renown in the Bright Republic for producing lines of fairly excellent mech manufacturing equipment. Chief Cyril had evidently been a fan of them, since he chose to purchase two of their upscale production lines in a single go."Chief!""Come over here, Ves! Help me with the configuration of this Benson printer!"Ves figuratively pulled up his sleeves and stepped close to the 3D printer that formed the core of the production line. "What's wrong?""I don't know if we missed something, but the printer refuses to work. It spits out a bunch of error codes but the manual only provides us with a brief description.""Have you called for support?""Hah! BIM's support lines are swamped with calls for help. The LMC isn't the only company who decided to expand their production. Our competitors are joining in the race as well, since there's a lot of money going around these days."Without the influx of customers who had recently gotten wealthy off the Glowing Planet, Ves wouldn't have pulled the trigger and taken out a loan to finance the Benson production lines. The other mech manufacturers must have performed the same calculus and accelerated their expansion plans as well."Looks like we need to fix this ourselves. Let me take a look at it."Ves had bought a fair number of Assembly Skills from the System, so he quickly figured out the root of the problem. The 3D printer and the rest of the machines functioned normally, but they required a lot of connections in between. Without effective communication between the different machines, the production line lost a lot of efficiency.With the help of Ves, the chief and the rest of the technicians became enlightened about the problem. Once the source of the problem became known, the technicians could fix it on their own. Ves left the mech technicians to their jobs but pulled Chief Cyril aside for a private talk."How effective do you think the Benson production line will perform?"The chief scratch his stubby chin. "Compared to the Dortmund line? It's a lot more automated, so it's bound to be faster. However, the Dortmund you've retrieved is unparalleled in precision and quality control. I'd say there's going to be a little more waste if we utilize the Benson machines at their full capacity. If you want to achieve the same level of quality as the Dortmunds, then we'll have to cut our production speed by at least thirty percent.""That's unacceptable." Ves shook his head. Even though he constantly emphasized the importance of maintaining a high level of quality, it didn't come at the cost of common sense. "The silver label Blackbeaks will be fine with a small drop in quality. We can catch the worst faults in time if we scan and double-check each part that comes out of the 3D printer.""That will slow down our production process as well. Scanning each and every part as they come out is a laborious process, although it's faster than slowing down our overall rate of production.""Then we'll do so. It's very important to scan our parts for their integrity. I don't want to hear about any cases where our customers died because we haven't been prudent enough to check our own parts."The chief nodded in acknowledgement. He agreed with the sentiment. "That's a good choice. It will cut into our earnings, but it will give our customers some piece of mind."After questioning Cyril about how other matters, Ves finally left the manufacturing floor. Once they stepped into the elevator, he decided to go down to the lab floor.Jake frowned as he stood besides Ves. "Why do you want to enter the lab? We've already visited it.""I'm about to conduct a very important experiment. I'm sorry about the short notice, but I'll be indisposed for up to three months. I won't be coming out and I won't be accepting any interruptions during this time.""What?!"