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To his credit, Howard didn’t push it and quickly agreed that we could take our time with the class. We talk further about the security of the workshop and Howards said he wanted to take a look at the security features of my home. I personally don’t think it was necessary but had to allow it. It’s what I’m paying him for anyway.

I then ask Howard about his privacy cone and could not hid my interest when he inform me that it could be permanently attached to cybernetics like my arm. Since I was thinking of upgrading my cybernetics, I got the product webpage from Howard. While we were eating, Jaya called.

He had made enquiries about The SCR Festival and said I had a decision to make. The festival is in three months but the organizers require interested parties to book their stand at least six weeks beforehand. We must also state how big our stall would be. Due to the limited space available, stalls at the festival only comes in three sizes. A Silver stall which is big enough to showcase two Battlesuits, a Gold stall big enough for three to five Battlesuits, and a Premium stall big enough to hold up to fifteen Battlesuits.

The sizes of the stalls seems strange to me so I asked Jaya about them. He informed me that not everyone at the festival will be showcasing Battlesuits. Companies showcasing mechs and aircrafts almost has to get a Premium stall while small start-ups with one or two products can take the Silver stall. Since The Fat Tinkerer is somewhere in the middle, that leaves me with a question; do I want a Silver or Gold stall?

I immediately told him to book the Gold. Currently The Fat Tinkerer has three models of Battlesuits under its catalogue; the Jumpbot, the Trackbot, and the Decimator. I can put a version of each of them in the stall plus the new Battlesuit I am going to build for the mission. The only problem is time.

The SCR Festival is in three months and I intend to build a brand new Battlesuit. Outside the time I need to design it, I also has to build and certified the Battlesuit. I also need to consider the time needed to ship all the Battlesuits to Bangkok. Three months to do everything is a little tight but I should be able to do it. Even if I failed to design and build the Grade 1 Battlesuit in time, I still has three Battlesuits to show off so the Gold stall is the one to get.

After finishing the call with Jaya, I told Howard of my participation in the festival. His reaction was totally different from mine. I was excited to be participating in the festival; he was worried about the security at the exhibition. Refusing to hear my assurance about my own personal safety, Howard said he will contact Jaya to discuss the security of the festival. I couldn’t care to argue so I only shrug. As long as it doesn’t trouble me, these two can play all the security games they want.

Howard and I walked back to the workshop and on the way back, I enjoyed the sight of the vehicles in the other workshops. There were always a number of classic vehicles at the workshops and as usual I took my time to appreciate them all. When we finally returned to the workshop, Howard and I said our goodbyes. He was going to check out the SCR Festival and see about the security situation in Bangkok. I returned to the office.

The green hologram was still on and I took a good look at it when I sat down at the desk. According to Nor Avante, Earth was filled with an unknown energy called ‘Mana’. You can’t see it, you can’t taste it, and you can’t even measure it, but it is there. Magic is the art of shaping this energy into usable things. From what Nor Avante said, humans has been using this unknown energy for eons. This is why there is records of magic-users in all ancient cultures. They were called by different names; wizards, bomohs, shamans, shugenjas, but they were all magic-users. Modern magic-users still use these titles and the title of the magic-user tells you how they use magic. That was the gist of the problem.

From what I gathered from Nor Avante, the art of magic is as wide as the field of science. Biologists and engineers are both scientists but the area they were involved in almost never cross. The same could be said of magic. From the lesson I got yesterday, I immediately understood that the art of magic is too wide and I need to narrow down my focus. My knowledge of the art is too basic so after the lesson was over, I stayed behind in the workshop to work on the one form of magic I know the best; the protection cards I got from my father.

According to Nor Avante, the cards were made by a high level ‘Scribe’, a type of magic-user that used Mana to place wards on paper. At least it was paper in the past. Nowadays, Scribes place their wards on more hardy materials like metal plates and you can placed these plates as wards on places you want to protect. As long as there is no other energy running through them, they will work. You can’t place them on the surface of an engine of a car for example as the energy created by the engine would interfere with the ward of the card, but you can placed it on the door of the car to protect the door. I found this to be very restrictive and was thinking of a way to go around that restriction.

I thought of a device that I could put several cards in and with the press of a button, activated the card I want to activate. The basic design I was working on was a simple device that had a board surface with a flip mechanism. The idea is to have two cards placed on either side of the device and with a button, changed the card that is showing on the surface. The board surface is smooth with no energy running through it with only two points on the top and bottom of the board attached to an energy source to flip over the board.

It was a simple almost medieval idea that goes around the energy restriction and while it doesn’t exactly fit the criteria of technology and magic existing together, it should work in theory. When trying out new technology, it’s important to take baby steps first. The problem is how to install on a Battlesuit. That was the problem I was working on when I fell asleep. I turned off the green hologram. This was a project for the future. Right now I have a festival to get ready for.

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Ghostman

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