I had checked the map of the area beforehand and knew where the nearest food center was. I could have ordered delivery of course but decided to walk there. As the new guy, I wanted to take in the surrounding and what I saw didn’t impress me. When it comes to vehicle repairs in Singapore, the Alexandra area was considered the poorer cousin to Sin Ming and Johor Bahru and the place shows it. Most of the workshops I passed were empty. The ones still operating were mostly located in two long buildings. I made a point of walking pass one of them.
The long building that been divided into a number of repair shops and all of them were small enterprises that seemingly specialized in small repairs and modifications. They all had a second storey where the hovercars and hoverbikes were parked, but there were also quite a number of land-based motorbikes on the ground floor. I slowed down to admire the bikes. You don’t see vehicles with wheels that often nowadays. Most of these were classics that their owners weren’t ready to scrap but I did see a few that were badly maintained. I could only sighed at the sight of them.
I walked on till I reached the Alexandra Food Centre. An old-fashioned one storey food center that hosted many small food stalls within, the center was relatively quiet even through it was lunch time. I walked in and took my time browsing through the stalls. After a walkthrough, I realized most of the stalls sold dishes you would find at any other food centers in Singapore though there were a few stalls that specialized in local delicacies like popiah and peanut pancakes. I made a note of where these stalls were for the future but today I went to a Zi Char stall.
There were actually a few Zi Char stalls in the food center. With no references or recommendations, I decided to pick the one with the most impressive advertisements. The stall I picked had bright neon lights with a colorful hologram vid above the stall showing a cook at work. When I got close, I accessed the stall menu with my cybernetics. I only took a glance at the menu as like most Zi Char in Singapore, the stall offers comforting Chinese home-style dishes cooked upon order. I ordered a plate of the simple hor fun and went to a table. Considering the lack of customers, the cook got to my order immediately and before long, a serving drone placed a steaming plate of hor fun in front of me. I accessed my cybernetics and paid the drone before digging in. It was merely okay.
The flat wide noodles that is the hor fun wasn’t overcooked and the dish came with seafood such as prawns, small slices of squid and plenty of vegetables, but the gravy that was poured over the hor fun wasn’t that great. It was passable but there’s no oomph factor that would make me come back for more. I quietly decided to try the other stalls the next time I came to the center. After the quick lunch, I realized the hour was not yet up so I decided to take a more roundabout way back to my workshop.
The walk back didn’t tell me anything I hadn’t already knew. Although not quite dead, the Alexandra Industrial Area was an area that had seen better days. Not a bad thing for me really. It’s not as if I was going for the mass market; not that there was a mass market to begin with. Most normal people don’t buy Battlesuits with the exception of some private collectors. Armed forces, security firms, private security, criminal gangs; these groups were the main buyers of Battlesuits.
When I finally arrived back at the workshop, the simulation test was already over and I went to the Dive console to check on the results. It was mixed. My modified Steambot works but the test showed that it was more prone to overheating. Diving deeper into the results of the test, I found that heat generated by the secondary system did not have a way to vent. Although Clockwork Technology did not generate as much as heat as Steam, they still accumulate heat and my modified Steambot did not have a way to vent it. I had forgotten about it! I could only smile at my silly elementary mistake. Trainee Battlesuit Designer? Ha! I’m not even at the elementary level. I pulled up my Steambot and got back to work.