Editor: Thor’s Stone
The ragtag group of comrades gathered in the combat command post in order to discuss their future plans.
Their ultimate decision was to continue the research on Kou’s machine.
And it was also decided that the technology they would obtain through Okeanos would be relayed to a suitable distribution company.
Kou was also able to obtain permission to view and utilize weapons tech used in the Interplanetary War era, which was normally restricted even to A-rank Development Engineers.
However, it was still limited by the standard of specification requirements that Kou was currently capable of conceiving. Astraea described it as similar to a game’s tech development tree, but Kou learned that description was actually really simplified.
Kou was also concerned about the risk of war being caused by the spread of technology that Master mentioned.
「Even if humanity were to fall due to a war caused by the transfer of technology, you don’t need to worry about it at all, Kou!」
「Of course, I’d worry about it!」
「Even if you don’t do it yourself, somebody eventually will, Kou.」
「This is a world that already got destroyed once. You can’t worry too much about those consequences. Even if you did nothing, the Stones will eventually overrun the planets, and everyone would be plunged into living hell anyway.」
Aimer also backed the opinion of the others. The words of the girl who already experienced such destruction and slept more than a thousand years because of it carried a lot of weight.
「More than that, I’m worried that Kou might die from the technology we spread out to the world.」
「I’m not really worried about that you know.」
「That’s no good!」
Aki got angry due to Kou’s nonchalant attitude regarding his own safety.
Technology transfer was possible through Okeanos. It also grants the right to utilize said technology.
Since Kou’s Development Engineer rank was the highest, he was also able to obtain information on every active weapon and tech company in the world. Okeanos is in possession of comprehensive information on each and every company.
Kou was afraid that the transferred technology might be misused or sold illegally, but it looks like things like those were already accounted for in the process.
Indiscriminate spread of licensed technology can be prevented to an extent by allowing the sale and purchase of said technology right from the start and then collecting patent fees.
You can also impose various other conditions on the companies for the use of technology.
「We’re gonna use the new tech to improve Unit 5, right? But there’s no meaning to a one-off unit. How would you even repair and resupply such a machine? It would be really inconvenient to repurchase the original parts each time you wanna do repairs.」
「But in the end, we’re still gonna have to use the facilities here to make repairs and modifications on my personal unit anyway, right?」
「We can just get a manufacturer to mass-produce the TSW-R1 redesigns. The new technology itself is their reward for agreeing to do so.」
「I see. Even if we move on to new iterations, the limbs are gonna be modular so replacement is easy. They’re basically gonna be shared parts across all iterations.」
Even in the 21st century, it was a common practice to use a good number of the same component parts across several iterations of machine models. Those are called shared parts.
The color of the parts might be different and the end of their part number was often different as well, but their general design remains mostly the same.
「Yeah, that’s it. We don’t have to manufacture the parts here ourselves. We can just have other manufacturers produce them instead.」
「Logistics is very important nyaa. Even if we have Astraea’s facilities at our disposal, it’s gonna be really inefficient if we had to make custom parts each and every time there’s a need for parts repairs or replacement nyaa.」
「I keep being reminded by the companies I know on Earth back in my time with this topic. Ugh, my head……」
Logistics reorganization is essential for any company. One might think the production side of things is largely unrelated to it, but that’s merely a misconception. If mechanical troubles happen to the manufacturing equipment while trying to meet a strict deadline, things often got very messy.
If you were told to focus on manufacturing difficult-to-process goods, going on overtime consecutively was very common.
That’s why the concept of logistics was always closely related to Kou.
「It’s called logistics management in Kou’s era, right? There’s a lead time to manufacture parts. You produce component parts, transport them to a warehouse, bring them to the next production facility, complete assembly, and finally make them available to customers. Battlefield logistics is much the same. You replenish supplies, transport them, and perform maintenance.」
「The three elements of strategy, tactics, and logistics are very important nyaa.」
「Ease of repair and procurement is also very important in battlefields. Even if a one-off machine has twice the performance of regular ones, if it takes five times the effort and time in order to repair it, its value as a weapon will drop significantly. The more complicated a machine’s structure, the more difficult it is to repair and maintain.」
「We also offered repairs on older models of cars in my old company on Earth. I heard we always had a certain number of parts for different production periods in stock for use in repairs.」
Kou remembered that he was occasionally asked to process older model parts. They were service parts for use in the company’s repair service.
Companies with products that had their service parts near discontinuation were often avoided by most consumers. Kou realized that it was much the same thing as what they were discussing. ‘
Kou kept clutching his head in discomfort as he remembered his time working back on Earth, but Voy and Aki continued teaching him patiently.
He was told that the present humans living in the current era, who resided in many separate and mostly independent living zones, had a particularly weak awareness when it comes to the importance of smooth logistics, and the technology transfer process was implemented in order to gradually change that.
The main military power at present was the Underground Forces composed of individual mercenary units. Perhaps this was just an extension of the era where governing bodies were encouraged to hold as little military power as possible. Thus, they had no choice but to hire mercenaries.
The current situation was all thanks to the efforts of the tech companies and mercenaries.
「Easy procurement of parts for repair use really is important huh.」
「That’s just for the basics. Leave customization to us nyaa.」
Kou thought that if he were to choose a company to mass-produce machines based on Unit 5, his first choice had to be ‘that’ company.
And if he was going to do this, it would be better to ensure he made it count.
「I don’t think this is a particularly groundbreaking innovation, but it looks like data for the new type of fuel I requested from the tech development tree has been released.」
「Even though there’s Whis?」
「Yeah. It’s called metallic hydrogen. I wonder if we can produce this stuff. It looks like it’ll really improve fuel efficiency.」
「Kou, rather than innovation, something like that would lead to a technological revolution.」
Aimer, who had been quiet for some time, suddenly spoke out.
「That’s one of the vital substances used in the Interplanetary War era. Whis and metallic hydrogen. Those two are of great importance.」
「In other words, I just managed to bag sealed tech?」
Kou let out a sigh. That’s because there was a good chance they wouldn’t be able to make use of what he obtained.
「Metallic hydrogen. It’s a substance that was referred to as the Holy Grail of high-pressure physics during Kou’s era. It’s been purported to exist on Jupiter and was finally able to be successfully produced within an environment with atmospheric pressure that was greater than what’s present in the Earth’s mantle. In other words, you needed at least more than 5 million atmospheres (atm).」
The Holy Grail is used in various metaphors. It has many meanings, including goals that are very difficult to attain in the world of technology.
However, there was often a very sizeable reward whenever you reached said goals. In a sense, the use of the Holy Grail metaphor in this instance was arguably quite appropriate.
「So doesn’t that mean it’s basically impossible for us to produce it?」
「Oh, we can probably manufacture it by adding a Whis-powered power unit. But there’s a need to brace for the possible costs involved.」
「Hold up a bit. Can we really install an additional power unit in the manufacturing unit?」
「We can. It would be best if we could use a manufacturing unit that’s already powered by an A-Carbuncle though.」
The thing that first came to his mind when Kou realized he’d obtained usable data for a fuel type far more efficient than regular hydrogen-based fuel was Jenny’s 3D maneuvering gear.
He thought that if the performance of the vernier thrusters were to be increased through the use of metallic hydrogen fuel, the equipment could be used not only for 3D combat maneuvers but also for improving a machine’s overall mobility.
『Confirmed the production requirements for metallic hydrogen. Currently, Kou is unable to produce metallic hydrogen.』
『It is possible to manufacture it by contacting a facility that has the authority to utilize sealed technology and granting them the jurisdiction to produce it.』
「But such facilities don’t exist anymore, right?」
『There are some remaining undiscovered underground within Stones-controlled areas.』
「So Sophia didn’t actually destroy them?」
『Metallic hydrogen was originally a general-purpose fuel substance so such facilities were not considered for disposal.』
「Contact huh. Got it.」
「So we’re going out to search for the Holy Grail huh, Kou!」
「Voy, it’s like you’re saying we’re gonna have a lot of trouble finding it, so please leave it at that.」
Kou thought that if it’ll really lead to a technological revolution, then it was worth the challenge.
『The one who holds the authority to produce metallic hydrogen is Ashia. It is indeed going to be a challenge to release a part of the sealed up Asia from the Stones.』
「Ashia huh! Then that’s all the more reason we have to do this. Yeah, let’s get this done. Or rather, isn’t that way more important than acquiring metallic hydrogen?」
When Kou came to this planet, it was Asia who first helped him out. She was the girl who allowed him to meet with Master.
『Understood. I will begin requesting cooperation from various forces and planning for the operation.』
Astraea immediately began to get to work.
「We really have to get down on upgrading Unit 5 then.」
Kou nodded to Voy’s words. It was certainly necessary to improve their main fighting strength.
Kou decided to complete upgrading Unit 5 as fast as they possibly can.