Chapter 3460: The Well-Oiled Machine
While Ves was close to finishing his new competition mech, his wife sat down in a lounge that was far away from the tournament venue.
Gloriana showed no concern at all for her husbands performance.
She detested any event where mech designers had to compress weeks or months of work into an interval of just a few days or less.
There was no way a mech designer could develop a proper mech in such a tiny timespan!
Though she fully understood the argument that working under severe limitations enabled mech designers to exercise their design abilities in a different way, she never felt the need to resort to such a clunky method to advance her own skills.
She briefly checked up on Aurelia, who was sleeping peacefully in her floating stroller.
Clixie was close at hand, of course.
The cat had been circling protectively around the baby carriage to make sure no one would ever think about disturbing the baby.
The neck ornament that Ves had provided to the cat glinted softly in the gentle light of the club.
Its lustrous jewel reflected the light in multiple colors, which Clixie absolutely adored.
In order to make sure the jewel remained pristine and shiny, Clixie regularly licked her paw before rubbing her limb against the surface of her gem.
She was proud to carry such a pretty object!
“My apologies for keeping you waiting, Mrs.
Wodin-Larkinson.” An older woman who clearly wasnt a mech designer but carried herself with power eased into the lounge.
“It is of no consequence.” Gloriana calmly responded as she stood up from her seat.
“I am Dorma Tenze Vilasoen, the managing director of this club and an outer member of the Mech Supremacist Faction.
Ive also been assigned to handle your application.
We had to look into your exploits a little further.
It is not every day we meet with a Journeyman who possesses so many masterwork certificates under her belt.”
“I have received this reaction multiple times.
To be honest, I owe much to Master Willix.
She is the true mech designer responsible for helping me obtain my masterwork certificates.”
“You do not have to be modest around here.” The woman smiled as she shook the new mothers hand.
“Here at the Well-Oiled Machine, we recognize ability, not status.
If the Mech Trade Association sees fit to bestow you with a masterwork certificate, then your contribution to the creation of an excellent machine is not trivial.
To other mech designers, it is not that easy to obtain official recognition.”
Gloriana smiled back.
She already liked it here.
She was afraid that her relatively modest origin and background would cause her to be looked down upon, but her fears were overblown.
“That is great to hear.
It appears that I have come to the right place.”
The Well-Oiled Machine had made a good impression so far.
The private club was one of several meeting places owned and operated by the Mech Supremacist Faction in Chance Bay.
The clean, metallic decor mixed with elegant luxury provided the guests with an environment that was conducive for both business and relaxation.
Everything was so exquisite that Gloriana truly felt comfortable.
Once they sat down again, Dorma called up a projection in order to go through the process of inducting Gloriana into the Mech Supremacist Faction.
This was not a difficult process, especially if the applicant possessed interesting qualities to the Mech Supremacist Faction.
The fact that Gloriana held five masterwork certificates to her name was not that remarkable at first, but the story was completely different once it became clear that she was just a Journeyman and a young one at that! Not even her peers from the galactic center of the Milky Way could equal her in this regard!
Although this remarkable feat did not guarantee that Gloriana would become a brilliant Master in the future, the Mech Supremacist Faction was willing to take in a potentially promising candidate.
In any case, even if Gloriana no longer made any significant achievements in the future, the faction would hardly lose anything.
What was more important was that bringing her into the fold would deny her to the other factions of the MTA.
There was no way the Mech Supremacists wanted to give its rivals a bargain!
Over the course of half an hour, Director Dorma Tenze Vilasoen proceeded to fill out various forms while asking numerous questions to her latest guest.
None of the questions were particularly uncomfortable.
The Mech Supremacist Faction just wanted to know more about this promising Journeymen who seemingly emerged out of nowhere.
Considering how the galactic rim generally didnt hold much interest to the Mech Supremacist Faction, this description was not much of an exaggeration!
“What mechs do you seek to design once you have become an accomplished Master” Dorma asked in the middle of the interview session.
“I have always dedicated myself to designing the perfect vessels for individual mech pilots and that hasnt changed.” She answered.
“I always intended to design mechs for the most excellent mech pilots.
Ideally, I would like to devote myself to designing expert mechs and ace mechs.
Ive already had a taste of what it was like to design a high-end, high-ranking mech and I know it is where my strengths can truly play a significant role.”
That is a good ambition.
What about designing lower-end mechs Are you still open to designing more modest mechs for less wealthy or capable customers”
“Tch.” Gloriana did not bother to hide her disdain.
“My efforts are wasted here.
I dont look down on mass market models and the customers who are happy with them, but they do not match my inclinations.
I specialize in designing excellent mechs for the most discerning mech pilots and I make no apologies for that.
In any case, my husband and many other mech designers are more than willing to fulfill this need.”
The director twitched a smile.
Our civilizations mech industry is enormous.
There are so many Master Mech Designers active now that there is an abundance of choice for every customer.
It is good that you do not force yourself to branch out into areas which discomfit you.
That said, our research into your prior work has revealed that you have contributed significantly to the design of many mass market mech models.
Does this work not contradict your design philosophy”
“You may have a point.” Gloriana admitted.
“Its not easy for me to go against my instincts and training and try to avoid making my mechs specific to any single customer, but I found a way to work around it.
My husband usually takes charge of these projects, so I can often take a step back and approach these projects as a contributing mech designer.”
I have witnessed many mech designer couples, and they do produce excellent works in collaboration.”
“I can hear a but…”
“These pairings usually dont work out in the long term.
The most common cause of that is because the progress of each mech designer diverges from each other.
If one of you manages to become a highly-accomplished Master while the other is stagnating as a Senior, the differences and contradictions between the two of you will exacerbate.
It becomes impossible to work alongside each other as equals again.”
Gloriana did not look too worried.
“I dont think that will happen between us.
Both Ves and myself are quite talented, if I might say so myself.
Even if one of us advances sooner than the other, we will wait for each other.
Besides, outside of our work, Ves is still my husband.
We already have a baby and there will be more on the way.
I would never want to hurt my children by ruining my relationship with their father.”
She directed a loving gaze at Aurelia as she said that.
She gently reached out and tickled her babys belly.
“It is good that you feel this way towards your spouse.
I hope the both of you will maintain this attitude after a century.”
Obviously, Director Dorma wasnt as optimistic as Gloriana.
She had witnessed way too many fairytale relationships between young and optimistic mech designers crashing into planets as the years went by.
Only one thing had to go wrong in order to ruin a perfect marriage!
People changed over time, and mech designers tended to live a lot longer than normal people.
People like Gloriana and Ves wouldnt be able to recognize their current selves after a century or two of growth and change!
Broken relationships and ugly breakups was the source of a lot of drama within the Mech Supremacist Faction.
Dorma had witnessed this happening so many times that she stopped recommending that mech designers should enter into relationships with each other.
She had seen how relationships between mech designers and other people had a much higher chance of surviving in the long term!
The absence of any direct comparisons prevented a mech designer from growing envious or resentful at their partners greater progress.
Since high-ranking mech designers were incredibly ambitious and competitive by nature, it was rarely a good idea for them to be reminded of their inferiority so clearly every day.
Personally, Director Dorma hoped that her warning would sink in to the young mother.
It was still possible for relationships between two mech designers to withstand the test of time, but both sides had to work for it in order to last beyond a century.
The interview soon came to an end after Director Dorma collected all of the answers she needed to give the Mech Supremacist Faction a good idea of this up-and-coming mech designer.
“Congratulations, Miss Wodin-Larkinson.” Dorma warmly smiled.
“One of our senior members has just approved your formal application after Ive submitted your information.
From today onwards, you have become a formal associate of the Mech Supremacist Faction.”
Im glad to be here.
Im not entirely clear what your faction does, but from what I have been able to learn, I think I shall feel at home in your circle.”
The managing director nodded.
“The Well-Oiled Machine is merely a meeting place for the members and associates of our faction.
You have come at a quiet time right now so there are not too many Mech Supremacists you can exchange with at the moment.
However, I can refer you to other sites in Chance Bay that will likely be of interest to you.
We maintain closed mech workshops, exclusive stores, a private exchange hall, an internal library and more.”
“Do you have any recommendations”
“One of the highlights that should be interesting to you are our masterclasses.
Our more accomplished and distinguished members regularly hold teaching sessions aimed towards professionals such as yourself.
They are not only an opportunity for you to learn and exchange high-level knowledge and insights, but also help you get in touch with your fellow Mech Supremacists.
No matter where we come from or who we work for, we all appreciate good mechs.
You will find no person who doesnt love mechs within our faction.”
“Shouldnt this apply to all of the other factions as well” Gloriana voiced one of her doubts.
“I mean, the other factions that Ive heard of are all part of the Mech Trade Association.
I think that this should be enough to ensure that everyone is a proponent of mechs.”
There are hardly any people within our Association who do not favor mechs.” Director Dorma admitted.
“However, our faction still exists for a reason.
We are the firmest, most dedicated supporters of the existence of mechs.
We believe that its value is eternal and that it should become the only weapon system that human civilization should rely upon to defend upon.
Mechs are already popular at the moment, but they could be so much more.
We need mech designers such as yourself to help humanity embrace mechs in their totality.
Are you willing to do that”
Gloriana answered with a brilliant grin… “I would be more than happy to assist your cause.”
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