The more Thomas thought about it, the less likely it seemed that he could use his transmutation to transform iron ingots into thin strands of iron wire. He didn't think it was impossible at all, it's just that his current understanding of transmutation within AoG only amounted to extracting the 'heart' or 'essence' out of materials. Thomas double checked the books that Ricktor had given him but as Ricktor had said, none of them contained any information on transmutation. Thomas even checked through Hekrin's small library of books but didn't find any related texts. So, unfortunately, using transmutation was out.
There was the option of just creating an extruder to turn an iron ingot into the thin wire necessary for the welder, but that would require a lot of pressure and probably would become a large machine. Thomas sighed and rubbed between his eyebrows. He needed a simple but effective solution to create the wire needed for a MIG welder. It seemed like his only real option was to use enchanting to create the wires. The question was, how?
The first step would be melting the iron ore down until it was molten liquid. After that, he would need to cast the iron into a circular mold to get the shape of the wire. From there it would need to be carefully heated and stretched until it was a proper diameter, which would be the hardest part. Most factories in reality would use very large and powerful machines to heat and stretch the round metal into wire. Obviously, Thomas couldn't build a massive factory to produce the wire he would need for welding, so he had to think of a way to scale it down massively.
As the was thinking over the problem he came back to extrusion and thought of a syringe. If he designed an extruder off of a syringe he could design the plunger to be a hydraulic press that would push against a hot piece of iron into a cone that would come to a diameter appropriate for the wire. In front of the cone, he could place a small drum that would automatically wind the wire. He would need to make it extremely small, small enough to only use about a quarter of an ingot at a time, and reinforce the whole thing with durability enchantments so the iron could handle the pressures involved.
It was undoubtedly a little weird, but it was the best he could come up with at the moment. Before he could do anything though, he needed to log out and spend some time in reality to research how a MIG welder's welding torch was constructed so he could replicate it properly. As much experience as he had he couldn't just picture how a MIG welder torch was constructed off the top of his head. He also needed to swap out the modules in his pod, tomorrow would be the final day of the fourth week inside of the game and the day that his pod would completely run out of nutrients to feed his body.
Thomas looked at the time and sighed. It was barely evening, but he wouldn't be able to do much more today so he decided it was as good a time as any to head to The Swans Nest and log out of AoG for the night. He could do his research and maybe get a better idea for how to create the wire for the welder. To get ready to leave, Thomas cleaned up the workroom and put everything in its proper place. Thomas made his way to Hekrin's storefront and addressed Hekrin, "I'm going to call it a day a bit early. I have an idea I want to work on, but I need to plan it out a bit more before I can make it work. So until I have a solid plan it would be a waste to work on it."
Hekrin nodded in approval, "Smart kid. You should always have a proper blueprint before trying to make something new with Magitech."
Thomas agreed, "Yes. I may also be late tomorrow. I want to make sure I have everything planned out before I come here to get to work." Thomas grinned playfully, "I think you will really like what I'm thinking of making."
Hekrin scoffed and waved his hand dismissively, "I highly doubt that kid. I've been doing this for years and there's very little I haven't seen." Hekrin smirked at Thomas, "Just be sure you don't blow up my workroom!"
Thomas laughed and left Hekrin's place to make his way to The Swans Nest. He had an early dinner, paid another 189 gold for a weeks stay, and retired to his room to log out for the night.
Darren opened the lid to his gaming pod and stretched. He had actual plans for what he wanted to do when logging out this time so there was no time to waste. He still wasted a little though. Darren started with a long and wonderful shower. He would never get used to using a wet rag to wipe himself down to get 'clean' at the end of the day. After the MIG welder, he was contemplating making a working shower. It wouldn't be hard to make an enchanted water pump and water heater to provide hot running water for one. The only issue would be efficiency and a way to provide magic power to it properly. Making a manual pump and fire powered heater seemed like the easy way out to him.
After his shower, Darren changed into some comfortable clothes and went to the gym once again. He'd decided he needed to get into better shape and was determined to follow through on it to the best of his abilities. So every time he logged out he intended to do a workout. After leaving the gym, a bit sore, Darren made a stop at his post office to pick up the modules for his pod. He had them delivered there since he was likely to miss a delivery man coming to his home.
After returning home he swapped out the empty nutrient module and the full waste module with the new ones. He placed the used modules in his trash for pickup later. With his gaming pod taken care of, he sat at his computer terminal and started to look up the information he needed. He started with the MIG welding torch. Fortunately, the MIG welder torch wasn't super complicated. It would be impossible for him to hand forge the necessary parts to perfection, but he could at least get it roughly done and make up the difference with his enchantments. Maybe he needed to make a lathe at some point as well for precision tooled parts. Darren sighed, the more he looked at things the more he thought it would be best if he spent a good amount of time making various machining tools.
If he made a whole lot of machines for precision work, such as a lathe, drill press, grinders, and sanders, he could bring Magitech up to a whole new level and make precision parts for the items he wanted to make. Daren shook his head, there would be time for that later, first, he needed to make the welder. With the welder, he could easily make better grenades and weld anything he wanted together. It would probably come in handy for making more machines and tools in the future as well.
Darren spent a good half an hour looking over the parts that made up a MIG welder torch over and over trying to memorize as much of them as he could so he would have fewer issues replicating it inside of AoG. After that, he spent a good while looking for examples of ways to produce thin wires with small machines or extruders. Unfortunately, all he could find were images and videos of large factories producing wire. It seemed like there was no place that just produced small amounts of wire that he could use as an example.
Darren checked the time and saw that he had been logged out for a full six hours. Much longer than he intended. Though it had only been six hours for him it had been a full 24 hours inside of the game meaning he hadn't just been late to arrive at Hekrin's, he had completely skipped the work day. Darren hung his head and sighed, he expected he would hear an earful from Hekrin about that when he arrived at the store again. He just had to make sure he could complete the MIG welder and wire extruder to shut Hekrin up. Darren went over to his gaming pod and lay inside of it to log back into AoG.
As Thomas opened his eyes he sat up and stretched. It was exceedingly weird to have to stretch both his real body and his game body every time he logged out of and into the game. After stretching a bit he lay back down and sighed, it was night and he needed to get some sleep. Before going to sleep though, he spent the majority of his mana to grind 'All Seeing Eyes' and then used 'Serenity' to drift off to sleep.
Thomas awoke the next morning and yawned as he stretched. One of the great things about VR technology had been a revolution in peoples sleep patterns. It was possible for people to log into personal spaces and get a full nights sleep in just a few hours, giving them much more free time to do what they wanted in the real world. Companies that specialized in data entry and analysis even used VR extensively to increase productivity. Financial firms could watch the various stock markets and see fluctuations in the market much 'slower' than in the real world. If a stock was to fall rapidly in reality, in VR it would take four times as long to fall, if not more.
Thomas made his way downstairs for breakfast. As he sat at a table Martha approached him and asked, "Are you alright? You didn't come out of your room at all yesterday."
Thomas smiled at her motherly concern for him and nodded his head affirmatively, "I'm doing just fine. I just needed a little extra rest after four long weeks of working almost non-stop. It was nice to just take a day off and relax. I also spent some time working on a design for something I want to start making today at Hekrin's place."
It's not like he was entirely lying to her but it wasn't like he could tell her the entire truth either. He could probably tell her that he logged out since it didn't breach the taboo of mentioning NPC's, but she would be unlikely to understand that and it could lead a conversation down a bad direction. He didn't need to be the cause of NPC's wondering about the nature of the 'summoned heroes'.
After a delicious breakfast, Thomas made his way to Hekrin's. He planned to give a slightly modified version of his excuse to the dwarf. After arriving in the shop Thomas wasn't the least bit surprised to see Hekrin glaring at him angrily, "Well well well. Look who decided to show up. I was starting to hope you might never come back."
Thomas lifted his hands up in a defensive gesture, "Sorry I didn't come by yesterday, Master. I spent the entire day working on my idea. I wanted to make sure I had it right before I came to get to work on it. I'm sorry it took me longer than I expected to get the idea solidified and planned out."
Hekrin continued to glare at Thomas for a few moments before he pointed to the door leading to the workroom, "Impress me."
|System Notice: New Quest!|
|Your lack of respect towards Hekrin by not showing up yesterday has infuriated him. He has demanded that you impress him with the item you have claimed to be planning to make.
Time Limit: 10 Hours
Thomas grimaced at the appearance of the quest notification. He planned to make the item over the course of the next few days to make sure he could get it right. Now, however, he was forced to make it and get it working properly in a single day. Even worse, he was certain that the punishment for failing the quest would be quite hefty given the quest description. He had clearly fucked up a lot more than he expected by skipping a day of work.
Thomas nodded in a contrite fashion and made his way into the back room to get started on making not only the MIG welder torch but also the extruder to make the wire for the welder. He looked around the room and sighed. He needed to make the wire extruder first, if he couldn't get that to work then there was absolutely no point in making the welding torch at all. Thomas took a deep breath and focused his mind as he turned absolutely serious. He was determined to not fail this quest no matter what it took!