Editor: Thor’s Stone
It’s been several weeks since Kou arrived in Astraea.
His final goal on the tech development tree was still far away from his grasp, but his present goal has been finalized.
He and his companions were each paying attention to their own data terminals.
「The plan to license our technology to the world’s companies or supply them with arms has been finalized.」
「You sure agonized about it a fair bit though, Kou.」
「I’m thinking of auctioning the tech out and making the companies compete for the license. I’ll then release the tech at a reasonable price later on as the situation requires. I’ll also specify that what we’re granting them is priority rights to the tech.」
Kou decided on a model based on the patent auction system in 21st century Earth.
Since rights will be granted individually, there would be no need to worry that the technology would be stolen. Okeanos handles the transfer of technology and the granting of rights anyway.
Since there was no need for Kou to transfer the rights completely, it will take the form of a grant instead. This meant that more companies would be able to get the rights to manufacture products and materials resulting from the tech grant.
Of course, the winning bidder can also grant and transfer the technology to other interested parties as well.
It’s unclear if this method was going to cause a furious headhunting and poaching frenzy among the firms and would heighten the competition between them.
There might also be companies that make full use of their ample financial might in order to become veritable industry giants.
It’s possible they might also opt to wait and see first.
Him releasing tech at reasonable prices, later on, was to prevent wealth concentration due to monopoly. The winning company has the advantage of extending the priority research period.
There’s a risk that companies might use their resources in order to win bids consecutively and hoard all the technology for themselves.
Kou, who was the one who actually possesses full details of said technologies, finally realized he was in a pretty precarious position as well.
This can be credited to Voy and the other’s patient teaching.
「The problem is that the logistics system is still in a stagnant state in the Nemesis warfront, especially here on Planet Asia.」
The result of their analysis showed that logistics and supply operations place a great burden on each active Underground Force.
Kou had also experienced participating in an actual battle and found that most mercenaries really valued their lives. Rather than be like Metal Iris that actively fought in the frontlines, most of the mercenary units preferred to just offer support from behind and displayed wait-and-see attitudes.
「These are the weapons I prepared to remedy that.」
The panel displayed about ten types of land and aerial vehicles.
「Hey, aren’t all of these practically transport aircraft and support vehicles?」
Voy chuckled in amusement. He inwardly thought this move was just like Kou.
「By converting their factories into Silhouette manufacturing facilities, each company only concentrates on making Silhouettes. Only a handful of Development Engineers are making vehicles as a hobby. I want to break open and change this current situation.」
「What are you aiming for?」
「We’ll make each manufacturer invest in companies that specialize in logistics. Let’s first clearly make a distinction between the mercenaries who want to come to the frontlines and those who don’t.」
「But wouldn’t all of them end up preferring logistical support?」
「It’s alright. Okeanos has made it so greater monetary rewards are awarded to those playing an active part in the frontlines. Just like Metal Iris said, as long as one has an ID, you can earn ample rewards by eliminating Murders.」
「So safer missions offer fewer rewards?」
「It’s indeed less rewarding than participating in a fierce battle on the frontlines. Still, it depends on the mission’s degree of importance. Supply transport is also of major importance and relatively dangerous, especially in the middle of a raging battlefield. There has to be a nice balance.」
Kou sent the data of the aircraft and ground vehicles he prepared to everyone.
「A super-huge transport aircraft that can even load a fortress-class large hangar carrier, a large tractor unit that can carry up to three tanks, and a medium-sized armed support helicopter that can transport a Silhouette huh.」
「Though it’s true that the development of anti-aircraft weapons has significantly impacted the predominance of aircraft on the battlefield, I’ve prioritized transport speed above all else when selecting these models.」
The situation during the C212 Defense Dome battle was one where you couldn’t expect any reinforcements.
Even if they did request for some, it would be very difficult to respond to such a request due to the abysmal state of the logistics and transport situation in this world.
There was no pressing reason for a large Underground Force to urgently deploy and risk fighting against an Enyo either. That’s why in that situation, there was no choice but to rely on the smaller mercenary units. However, they did not have many means of effective transportation methods.
How could forces like them maintain their fighting strength better in situations like that? The answer Kou came up with after days of worrying and brainstorming was these various transport vehicles.
「It also includes the right to manufacture materials used during the Interplanetary War era huh. So we’re not just making regular old transport vehicles.」
「If their defenses are improved, it would encourage at least some manufacturers to employ them, right?」
The other blueprints presented were of large tractors and trailers, and a medium-sized trailer model.
There was also an armored vehicle model for Familiars with three configurations; an armored car with regular wheels, one with full tracks, and a half-track. It was a model that can equip different mission modules depending on their intended use. It could handle serving as a tank destroyer, a troop transport vehicle, and an ambulance, among others.
「It’s equipped with the Fennel OS and a Whis power unit, so it’s practically an armored vehicle-shaped Silhouette. In terms of survivability, doesn’t it already rival a tank?」
The Fennel OS requires a human to run at full capacity. The animal-type Familiars and beastmen-type Therianthropes are unable to operate humanoid Silhouettes.
They can only operate wheeled vehicles and aircraft in a watered-down mode with very limited functions. Even Kou, with his high authority, couldn’t bypass such a setting.
「If they drove tanks, then the humans would think twice about using Familiars as sacrificial pawns. I’ll test the waters first with armored vehicles and release tank development technology tailored to Familiars later on.」
「I think your plan has a high chance of success.」
Aimer didn’t deny the viability of Kou’s plan. Rather, she even confirmed that it had a high chance of succeeding.
「Was this half-track configuration really necessary?」
「Somehow, I think it’ll work out pretty well.」
Kou had a strong impression of half-track armored vehicles because of those Familiars who helped him out in the Defense Dome battle, so he included a design for a large half-track.
If it remained unsold, then that’s that.
「So you went for fine ceramics for the new material huh.」
「With that, once they’re given manufacturing rights, even the factories on the surface are able to make them. The related production tech for the material is bundled with the transport vehicles and aircraft.」
「It’s a ceramic matrix composite using boron-based borophene huh. It has more metallic properties than graphene, so it’s suitable for making lightweight armor.」
「Graphene is pretty tough. If this gets reinforced with Whis, there would be less worry of the aircraft equipped with it being downed by a railgun in a single shot.」
Due to the nature of aircraft, their armor plating is usually thin and fragile. The widespread use of reconnaissance and transport aircraft was heavily hindered by anti-air weapons such as railguns.
「Isn’t there any plan to improve Unit 5?」
「Aki and Nyanta finished making an assault rifle for me.」
「Kou likes to get up close to cut enemies down. In case that method isn’t viable, we focused on improving the range and rate of fire of the new rifle.」
「Blade idiots would find missiles boring after all nyaa.」
「You two really get me.」
It was possible to equip missile racks and a spare rifle on the back of a Silhouette, but Kou opted not to have any on Unit 5.
Since he didn’t have confidence in operating it properly to engage enemies at a distance, he figured it would be best to just focus on cutting them down at close range instead.
Kou was still unaware of just how much he worried Nyanta and Aki because of this tendency of his.
「We’ll only come up with a full redesign once we’ve managed to find the Holy Grail.」
「Well, it’s true that there’s no point in coming up with a half-baked redesign and releasing it to the market. So the only thing left is to find that Holy Grail huh.」
「We’re finally going to the outside world……」
「Our shut-in lives are finally ending nyaa.」
「It’s a bit scary.」
「We’ll be fine, Aimer.」
Kou could understand Aimer’s anxiety. A really long time has passed since she was placed into cryo-sleep after all.
「C’mon, aren’t you going to make weapons we can use, Kou?」
Voy voiced out a complaint. For Kou, it was enough for him alone to go out and fight.
Voy and the others can just operate support vehicles from the rear.
「Let’s make some later nyaa.」
「Honestly, I’m a bit afraid of activating the factory complex.」
Once everything’s fully activated, full-scale production would finally begin.
If possible, Kou wanted to begin with Silhouette production once he activates the complex facilities.
「It’ll be impossible to search for that Holy Grail with Unit 5 alone, Kou.」
「Yeah. I’ve considered that too. I’m planning on hiring Underground Forces.」
「I made acquaintances with a reliable bunch y’see. Astraea also approved of it. They’re a perfect fit for this operation.」
Kou displayed a prankster’s smile. He wondered what their reaction would be like. Would they be surprised, or maybe even exasperated?
He was looking forward to it.