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I call up my internal clock and look at the time. Between the video and our short talk, only fifteen minutes has passed. I was slightly surprised by that. It seems a lot longer. I lay back onto the bed and close my eyes but try my best to get back to sleep. It only took a few minutes for me to accept that sleep was not coming. My mind was still on the fight I had just seen.

Having a firsthand look at how my Trackbot-P operate in the field was a real eye opener and my heart was fill with pride at the performance of my baby. The way the robber managed to smoothly transform between the two movement modes and immediately make the high jump was something I hadn’t count on. Add that to the fact that the move help an ABS-4, you can say it is a suit full of surprises. However when I think about it, I could see that there was no reason why the operator couldn’t do it.

Transforming technology had been around since the Clockwork Age and though the tech comes with some drawbacks, it is widely considered to be a perfected technology. That is one of the reasons why most people no longer tinker with it. Most people believe there’s not much more they can do with it. I managed to do it.

When a machine using transforming technology undergo transformation, there is a slight delay in the controls. In a way, that makes sense. When the machine is between modes, there is no controls so the delay is widely accepted. Most considered the drawback of a few seconds to be so minor it made no sense to correct it. Transforming technology is after all just a niche technology that most people don’t use right?

I did. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking, I just use my tinkering skill to ensure a smoother transition between the two modes of the Trackbot-P. The delay in the controls of the Trackbot-P was less than half a second and I also made sure there was no jerks in the controls when the operator activate the technology. In a small way, I made a small mark in the history of the technology. I was very proud of myself when I managed to do it.

The death of the police officer was unfortunate but…that wasn’t what was occupying my mind. My mind was on the performance of the Trackbot-P. That is the reason why I can’t fall asleep. At least that’s what I tell myself. Since I couldn’t sleep, I brought up the System and took a look at my Jobs and Skills.

Jobs-

Battlesuit Designer Trainee; Marketer Trainee

Skills-

Battlesuit Designer: Clockwork Technology; Electrical Engineering; Tinkering; Weapon Construction;

Marketer: Quick-Thinking Promotion

I got the Clockwork Technology and Electrical Engineering skills after finishing the Trackbot-P and completing two missions; ‘Design a Grade 2 Battlesuit’ and ‘Create a Grade 2 Battlesuit’. I was happy when I got the skills as I believed they would be useful in the future. I released a sigh and got up. Sleep was just impossible.

I got a quick breakfast while glancing through various news portal. I couldn’t find any articles on the robbery. It seems that a simple bank heist was considered minor news in this time and age. Another example that Jaya was right; this happen all the time.

After the breakfast, I threw the dishes into the sink for the cleaning bot to handle and took the lift to the roof. My car was waiting and I set it on autopilot. During the journey to my workshop, I send a copy of the video to Howard. I don’t know if he’s awake but hopefully my newly-hired security consultant can give me some pointers on what to do. Despite what Jaya said, I can’t shake the feeling this could blow up in my face.

When I got to the workshop, it was still dark and I realized I don’t have anything to do. I wasn’t really thinking when I came here, I just wanted to be out of the house. Now that I’m here, I don’t know what to do. My mind was a blank but I know I have to do something. I want, need, to be busy. Alone in the empty workshop, I did the only thing I could. I enter the office and log onto the Dive Designer Platform.

The usual image of the ABS-5 appear and I quickly got rid of it. I didn’t need any reminder of the real world. As the program boot up, my blank was still blank. I still don’t know what I want to do so I look into my pending mission. I call up the System and look into the Mission tab. I currently have two active missions; ‘Create a Grade 0 Battlesuit’ and ‘Design a Grade 1 Battlesuit’.

After months with the System, I believe I got the hang of it. My father wasn’t kidding when he said he did not believe in giving out free lunches. The System he designed do not accept variants of my own designs and this rule applies for to design and production. If only he had spent more time refining his invention.

When I first completed the design of the Jumpbot, the System accepted the design but when I designed the Jumpbot-S, it was not accepted as a Grade 3 Battlesuit design as the suit was just a variant of the Jumpbot. However the reverse happened in production.

I build the Jumpbot-S first so the System accepted it and I completed a mission I didn’t even know I had; create a Grade 3 Battlesuit. However when I build the Jumpbot after that, the System did not accept it as it consider the Jumpbot to be a variant of the Jumpbot-S. The System was in a word; stupid!

It takes whatever comes first as the main suit and anything that comes after is considered the variant. I wondered if anyone else has the same problem or are all my half brothers and sisters good obedient little boys and girls who follow the System blindly. I can’t help but laugh. The System, magical cards, the magic circle; the world is so much bigger than I thought.

Now that I realized how the System works, I know how to complete the mission to create a Grade 0 Battlesuit. I just need to design a new Grade 0 Battlesuit that has nothing to do with the Jumpbot and then build it. I’ve been too busy to do it but I am free now. Following a guide wasn’t the worst thing in the world to do when you don’t want to think so much.

I used the filter of the Dive and select all the Grade 0 Battlesuits in the database. I stroll through them, waiting for something to catch my eye. After looking through over a hundred suits, something did. I selected the suit and look it up. It was an interesting looking clockwork Battlesuit that I had never heard of; The Golden Boxer.

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Ghostman

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