Editor: Thor’s Stone
We had lunch at an upscale restaurant (It kinda resembled a sushi bar though.) in the capital. Mei made an appointment with Eagle Dynamics during the meal, and after we had our fill, we headed straight to the place.
The capital branch of Eagle Dynamics was located within the military section of the imperial palace, and the branch building presented quite an imposing exterior.
“A fully functional production line seems to be located underneath the building.”
“Hoo, so they manufacture their stuff here as well huh.”
We got down in front of Eagle Dynamics’s building and I gave it a once-over. Un, it’s huge. Security-type combat bots stood guard imposingly in front of the building, and the wide square directly below it was filled with various models of combat bots on display.
“Waa, there sure are a lot of them! And they all look so strong!”
“There sure are. You rarely see most of these in the market. How interesting.”
Mimi’s eyes widened in wonder as she looked at the various combat bots on display. I scanned the displayed combat bots myself.
“We don’t need large models, right?”
“That’s right. We’re basically gonna use them to defend the inside of Black Lotus from possible boarding actions from pirates after all.”
“And we can also do the opposite and send them in for boarding actions ourselves, right?”
Since that’s the case, we can safely exclude the combat bots with sizes comparable to light armored vehicles and trucks from our list. The ones the size of light armor vehicles could probably squeeze themselves within Black Lotus’s main passages, but we’ll have problems when it comes to mass deployment, so they’re still no good. We could probably deploy a number of them with comparably less hassle in wide spaces such as the hangar bays and the cargo hold though.
“So we can only choose from small and medium types……”
“Chris-chan, don’t you think these look good?”
“They certainly look quite cute.”
Mimi and Chris crouched down to check out a small-type combat bot model of a standard size. It’s about the same size as a small dog and was equipped with a laser gun that had low durability but sufficient firepower. Depending on the specifications, it could also come equipped with a self-destruct function that would be particularly deadly if it charged in the middle of its enemies. It was a particularly troublesome combat bot type to deal with.
“Un, I guess it’s a question of whether we’ll go for a highly specialized configuration or versatility instead huh.”
“They would offer increasingly better performance in a particular aspect the more specialized they are, but it’s hard to pass up versatility as well. Ah, big sis. This one’s pretty interesting.”
“Hmm, it’s a module replacement type huh.”
Tina and Whisker seemed to be checking out the medium-sized combat bots. The types specialized for field installation are mostly of this size as expected. The medium-type combat bots ranged from being similar in size to large dogs to large two-wheeled vehicles. The humanoid ones stood as tall as 2.5 meters.
“Would it be better for us to get the humanoid models?”
“I wonder. I personally don’t think we need to be fixated on them being humanoid though.”
“Fuumu, that’s true as well…..”
The increase in height would serve next to no purpose after all. They would certainly look more valiant and heroic if they were humanoid, but I think a quadrupedal form with weapons mounted on the back would offer more advantages.
“But if we’re using them primarily for melee combat in enclosed spaces, they won’t have much room to maneuver anyway, so I think it would be better to pay more attention to energy shield strength, durability, and firepower instead of agonizing about what’s better between bipedal or quadrupedal models.”
“You have a point.”
Elma nodded in agreement and moved to the exhibition space for medium-type combat bots as well. The models there weren’t very mobile, but they seem to have very sturdy armor plating and equally durable energy shields. Their firepower was also quite substantial, with at least two laser rifle-type weapons and a grenade launcher.
“Should we choose from these ones then?”
“I think it also won’t be that ideal if they are too bulky. There’s no point if they end up being too slow in deploying after all.”
“That’s right as well.”
As the two of us continued to exchange our opinions, some people wearing suits who seemed to be employees of Eagle Dynamics walked up to Elma and me. It seems Mimi and Chris were tagging along with them as well.
“You are Captain Hiro, the one who made an appointment today, correct? My name is Pijou from Eagle Dynamics.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Captain Hiro. This is Elma, one of my crew members.”
“Yes. I’ve already heard from Mimi-sama and Christina-sama. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
The man calling himself Pijou was a middle-aged guy with a strangely well-built physique for a supposedly ordinary salaryman. It won’t even seem out of place at all if he introduced himself as a mercenary or a soldier instead.
“If you don’t mind, let’s continue discussions inside the company building. We will also offer you some recommendations from our latest models according to your needs.”
“Let’s go ahead and do that then. Tina! Whisker! We’re going inside the building!”
I called the mechanic sisters over and headed inside the Eagle Dynamics building with Pijou leading the way. Mei was following after us, but she’s been silent the entire time since we arrived at Eagle Dynamics.
“I’d be glad if you can offer some suggestions later as well, Mei.”
She sounded a bit hesitant when she replied, but Mei’s expression was as unfazed as usual. I inwardly got curious about her behavior as I continued to follow after Pijou and stepped inside the office building.
We were given a very warm welcome the moment we stepped foot inside the Eagle Dynamics office building. Was it due to the letter of introduction of Lt. Col. Serena, or having an earl’s heiress and granddaughter, Chris, and a viscount’s daughter, Elma, among our group? Maybe it was due to me being both a Platinum ranker and Gold Star recipient. I’m not sure which of these factors was the reason for their VIP treatment, but it certainly didn’t feel bad at all.
“We’re really getting treated as super VIPs, aren’t we?”
“Is it really okay for people like us to be here……?”
“You’ll get used to it eventually, you two.”
Mimi comforted the jittery Tina and Whisker with a smile akin to a gentle bodhisattva. Uh, was she really comforting them though……? It might be more accurate to describe it as her trying to persuade herself to accept reality.
“Are you planning on purchasing a set of our military combat robots today, sir?”
“Yeah, that’s the idea. I plan on purchasing a full set, including the maintenance system and other optional stuff.”
“I see…… We have built a sterling reputation as an official combat robot supplier for the imperial space navy. I’m sure you’ll be very satisfied with our products.”
Pijou smiled from ear to ear as he nodded several times while rubbing his hands together in a display of eagerness. I’m a bit uneasy about him acting a little bit too eager to please, but I’m sure he’ll think twice about pulling some underhanded stuff since I handed them a letter of introduction from House Holz. If he got found out, he’ll be spitting in the face of House Holz after all.
“It seems you’ve already checked the various display models we’ve lined up outside, but what kind of combat robot are you looking for, specifically?”
“I’m mainly going to employ them as a countermeasure for pirates pulling off boarding actions, but we’re also looking at the possibility of using them for boarding actions ourselves as well. There’s next to no chance of it happening, but I also hope we can deploy them if we ever encounter an emergency and end up crash-landing on a planet.”
“I see. So, in other words, you’d like a versatile medium-type combat bot model.”
“That’s right. That’s what we have in mind.”
Pijou nodded briskly. As expected of an expert employed by the company. He sure doesn’t miss a beat.
“You’d have the most options to choose from within the medium-type heavy combat bot models. If we take the maintenance and parts swapping system into account, the Alkeny model would be the most optimum choice.”
After saying so, Pijou fiddled with his tablet terminal and put up the information of the Alkeny model on the holo-display. The model called Alkeny was a heavy quadruped combat bot. Aside from its sizeable legs, it also had an equally sizeable body and had four arm-type hardpoints that could be installed with a wide variety of weapons and equipment. It seems that by replacing the backpack, you could change into various configurations such as an assault type, defense type, communications and reconnaissance type, and covert ops type.
“I see…… It looks cool.”
“Yep. That sure looks neat.”
“But it isn’t cute at all.”
Uh, Mimi, I think there’s something off with wanting a heavy combat robot to look cute.
“Hahaha, we all treat them as our cute and precious children here though. The military version of the Alkeny is equipped with a compact power generator, so it can run for a long time without having to recharge. It sports a considerable power output for its size, so there’s a lot of room for customization and optimization.”
Pijou then displayed various weapon and equipment configurations of the Alkeny model on the screen. The standard one seems to be equipped with laser rifle-class laser turrets on both main arms and portable shield emitters on the sub-arms. The backpack comes equipped with a micro-missile pod and a grenade launcher.
“This is the standard configuration. The energy shields on the sub-arms serve to block the enemy’s attacks as the unit concentrates on wiping them out with highly accurate shooting. The arm lasers can be replaced with split lasers or ballistic weaponry as well. Moreover, the backpack doesn’t only come in an attack configuration with the micro-missile pod and grenade launcher, but other configurations as well, such as a commander pack equipped with communication devices and anti-electronic warfare modules, a medic pack equipped with medical nanomachines, a repair pack that allows for emergency field repairs, an assault pack that enables advanced 3D maneuvers, and a stealth pack equipped with electronic interference devices such as optical camouflage.”
“I see. The more configurations you can choose, the more strategies you can implement huh.”
“Exactly. In addition, when not in combat, you can make use of their main and sub-arms to carry out simple work such as carrying cargo or emplacement fortification. And because the model sports plenty of payload for its size, you can also use them to transport supplies while marching during an operation.”
“How much is the price per unit?”
“The standard price is 70,000 Enels per unit. Of course, since you’ve handed over a letter of introduction from House Holz, if you purchase multiple units and the complete maintenance and equipment swapping system, we’ll give you a very generous discount.”
“For the time being, quote me a price for ten units along with the complete maintenance and equipment swapping system, plus a full set of optional equipment and parts.”
“Yes, with pleasure!”
Pijou started calculating with a big smile on his face. I’ll have him show me more models later and then decide on which type to buy afterward. Well, usually, it’s better to buy the ones that are recommended by pros when it comes to stuff like these. But you still have to pay attention since you may get duped and offered some unsold defective stock at times.