Nor couldn't wait to leave after that. She came here thinking she had to pressure me into action but discovered that I had a proposal that could make everyone billions of credits. Of course, that was if everything worked out. A lot of things could still go wrong, but considering the upside, I had no doubt the council would agree to my plan. Howard was concerned about something else.
"Was it safe to just tell her all that? What if the council decide to screw you over?" Howard asked.
I appreciate his concern, but I had thought of it. "I don't think they will. I was the one who came up with the idea of disguising magic as a new form of technology, and the one who came up with this plan. Without my ideas, they would have nothing. The council owned me."
"Gratitude usually takes a back-seat when billions of credits are on the line."
"True. The council could very well just go on with this plan after cutting me out, but we do have a formal contract. They will have to pay me a few millions if they want to do that, and I could do my own research without them. Far more advisable for them to keep me close. Besides, they will wonder if I have any other tricks up on my sleeves."
"I must say I am surprised by this plan of yours. It's so audacious it might work, but the council don't really need you to push this plan forward. You are an outsider to them, Toby. We need to up your security. With billions on the line, they might be tempted to tie up a loose end."
"I hear you man, but the council won't hurt me."
"They are a secret organization that has been around for god knows how long. You don't survive as long as they have by taking unnecessary chances like that. Besides they know who my father was, and he was one of them. If they start killing kids of their former members, the council will have a full-scale revolt on their hands."
Howard thought about it for a moment before admitting that I was right. "I'm glad you have thought of everything. I still can't believe your plan though. You must take after your father a lot more than I had believed. Man, the things the man was known for…"
"Don't worry about it. I know what kind of a man my father was, and I'm not offended if you're not a fan. Considering the propaganda out there, it will be a wonder if it's otherwise."
"When did you know, if you don't mind me asking? I mean it can't be easy growing up knowing you are the son of the man."
"I didn't. I was sixteen when my mother finally told me. Well, she told me about her past. Then she told about my father."
"How did they meet? Was your mother a terrorist too?"
"She thought of herself as a freedom fighter. Born on one of the space stations in the belt, and you must have heard stories of how bad things are out there. The corporations control everything, and their main concern is the bottom line. About a third of the spacers out there are in some rebel groups, and my mother was no exception. She never told me the details, but she met up with my father during one of her missions and spend some time with him. I was the result."
"Shit, that's some lineage you got there. A rebel spacer and a supervillain as parents."
"And now I shall be one of the men who will ushered in chaos with the dawn of a new age. Suit the family mold don't you think?"
We laughed at that. Things got more relaxed from there, but Howard was still harping on my security situation. I showed him the Heat Palm I got from the system, pretending that I got it installed in Thailand, and he immediately did a search for it online. Turns out the Heat Palm was a Grade Three cybernetic add-on that had a reputation for being dependable and useful. It wasn't the best Grade Three cybernetic add-on in the market, but one of those bang-for-the-buck add-ons you buy when you want a good product without having to break the bank. Most reviewers had a good impression of it, and Howard was satisfied with it. I then asked him about my variant.
"I saw you checking out my latest design just now. What do you think?"
"It's … well…"
"It's not your best work man. I see where you are going with this, but this design is not going to work."
"Oh! Why not? You haven't tried it out yet."
"Don't need to. I operated enough of your battlesuits to know your work. Toby, you don't make silly technical mistakes. The problem with this battlesuit lies in the tactical aspect of the design. Charging at the enemy may be a viable tactic in the past, but with all the firepower out there, no one does that anymore."
"The battlesuit is heavily armoured. It should be able to withstand anything thrown against it and keep on moving."
"Not true." Howard disagreed and gave an example. "Take this Electric Gas Bolt you had installed. The bolt is designed to punch through armor, and there's an added paralyzing effect on top of that. So, imagine your variant charging at an opponent, and getting hit by this? The weapon will stop your battlesuit dead, and then it will be a sitting duck."
I understood Howard's concern, and realized he had a point. Still, I argued for my design. "There are boosters on the battlesuit that help it get to the enemy quicker, and close combat battlesuits are still viable in the market. My Jumpbot for example is a close combat battlesuit."
"One of the reasons why your Trackbot models are more popular than your Jumpbot models is because of the lack of range weaponry on the Jumpbot. You also need to consider the fact that your Jumpbot leap into the fray while this new variant of yours charge at the enemy in a straight line. It's two totally different ways of approach. The idea of the glorious charge is from a bygone era, and as well armored as this variant is, it would be slaughtered in the modern battlefield."
A sombre silence descended on the office after Howard's explanation. I wanted to argue some more but Howard had a convincing argument. Not only that, he had the credentials to back up his claims. As an advanced operator, Howard knows what he was talking about. After some moments of struggle, I had to admit defeat.
"Damm, you are right! This is a bad design."