64 Business Meeting
"Jaya, that's nonsense! So there's some competition; so what? That's no excuse to rework the deals!"
"Don't worry about it. The companies are just fishing for more favorable terms. Sales of your designs may be down, but they are still making a handsome profit. Leave them to me. You just-"
"Wait, sales of my designs are down?"
"Don't you read the reports I send you?"
"No, not really."
"Come on, I'm a battlesuit designer. I don't read financial reports. They bored me to tears."
I heard some murmuring and cursing in the background before Jaya came back on the line.
"Toby, don't worry about the manufacturing companies. I'll deal with them. Just take care of yourself for now. Take things slow, there's no need to rush out a design. We are doing well right now."
It took massive self-control not to chuckle at that. In the past, Jaya would have chewed me out but now, he was more worried about my health. I find that I am enjoying this new Jaya. Still, I wasn't that much of an ass to take advantage of his worries. He was still a friend.
"Aiya, don't worry about me. I am doing fine. Going back to work is good for me."
"If you say so, just don't rush things. Take your time. Oh, and make yourself free on Saturday night. I have booked a sky-yacht for the big match, and all my clients are invited."
The big match would be the finals of Gravity Ball World Cup. I thought about it for a second before agreeing. It's a big match and if all of Jaya's clients were attending, it would be a good chance for me to do some networking.
We said our goodbyes and I headed back to the workshop. As there was still time, I decided to take a walk. The Alexandra area was known for vehicle repairs, and most of the repair workshops were in two long buildings. Several of the mechanics greeted me as I passed by, and I engaged in some small talk. Most just wanted to know if I had recovered.
I was never close to any of them, but most know of my injuries in Thailand. I was considered a minor celebrity in the area. I was touched by their concern and assured them I had fully recovered. I even showed off my new cybernetics. I am not a braggart, but my new parts were something else.
Grade Four cybernetics made with plaorium, a metal that can only be mined from the asteroid belt, the GX-Arms and GX-Enhanced Torso were far superior to my previous cybernetics. They were also better than what my neighbors had. Like me, most of the people working in the area were cyborgs. A popular joke goes that it was so common for people in the mechanical industry to be cyborgs, it was practically a requirement. The joke was only half-serious.
As good as the GX-Arms and GX-Enhanced Torso were, it was my Bosman Energy Core that got the most attention. My new cybernetics required a lot of juice and the Bosman Energy Core was one of the best energy cores available to the public. If I didn't do any strenuous activities, the Bosman could theoretically power my cybernetics for over a month before it needed a recharge, and even then, the time needed for a full recharge was only two hours long. Unlike my new arms and torso, the Bosman doesn't come with a lifetime warranty, and I would need to replace it after ten years, but that's par for course for energy cores. Frankly, the value of the Bosman Energy Core far exceeded what the other mechanics had put together.
Of course, I didn't say that to their face. It would arrogant be for me to do so, and I also didn't tell them I got all these upgrades for free. The Oriental Earth Group had provided me with free upgrades as compensation for getting injured during their SCR Festival, and I rather keep my agreement with them private. It never pays to have jealous neighbors.
While speaking to them, I asked a little about their business. The Singapore economy had picked up in the past year, and I wanted to know if the upturn had bled into the industry. I was pleased to learn that business had indeed picked up. Singaporeans were buying more vehicles, and more vehicles in the air meant more business for repair workshops. Time flew by and before I know it, my cybernetics told me the Dive simulation was done. I said my goodbyes and headed back to the workshop.
When I arrived, I saw that the workshop was opened. I was little surprised as I didn't receive any notification, but I wasn't anxious. The workshop security hasn't activated so whoever opened the workshop had the authority to do so. And there was only one man outside me who had access.
I entered the workshop and found that it was still empty save for the cleaning bot. I headed to the office and found Howard there looking at a holographic image of my variant. To my surprise, he wasn't along. A conservatively dressed Malay woman wearing a tudung was beside him. Howard noticed me immediately and pointed at the hologram.
"What is this?"
"My version of the Fuming Minotaur. I am doing some work to make up for lost time. Nice to meet you again, Nor."
Nor Avante binti Mawi gave me a polite nod at my greeting. "Thank you. It's nice to see you as well. We were very worried when we heard of your injuries."
'We' meant the magic council in Singapore. The council made a deal with me some time ago. They gave me knowledge about magic, and I would try to find a way to combine science and technology together. A deal that was put on hold due to my injuries. It seems that this was going to be a business meeting.