Over the next few weeks, Howard and Slam went through my home, and workshop, with a fine-toothed comb. As the man signing the electronic cheques, they had to run everything through me, but I wasn't that interested in their work. As a man with little to no knowledge of the home security business, I only told them one thing; spare no expenses. I wanted the best money could buy and left them to their work. Howard was amused a tightfisted spendthrift like me agreed with all their suggestions, but I had my own problems to deal with. Something evil.
It was called 'bureaucracy'.
This year, the Conference of New Energy and Technology was being held in Gothenburg Sweden. I contacted Jaya and told him to get the paperwork ready. I didn't tell him what I was doing, only that I am building a prototype with a new type of technology and would need to ship it overseas. When I told him that, he hit me with it. I need to through SOFS first.
To my surprise, even prototypes required certification from the Solar Organization for Standardization before you can show the products to the public. It threw me for a loop, but Jaya assured me that this was common. He told me SOFS would need to go through all the designs specs of the prototype before I could even begin building it. Jaya even expressed shock that I didn't know about the rule but, how could I? Every product I build so far has been variant readymade for the market. All my previous products had been verified by Dive before going to the SOFS for certification. In layman terms, my designs had already been verified by Dive before I built it. It is different with my latest design.
Although my design of the Fuming Minotaur was a variant, I would be bringing something totally new to the table with Mana Technology. Dive had no programs for the unknown technology, so there was no way for Dive to verify how safe my prototype was. Since Dive can't tell if my Minotaur would work or blow up, I would need to do it the old fashion way.
I need to submit my design documents to my local regulating body, detailing how my proposed battlesuit would work, and after investigations by the regulator; they would either deny or give final approval of the documents. The documents I submitted would be the basis of the certification. I would need to follow the design document I submitted and have a proposed timetable of actions required for the certification tests. Only after everything has been satisfied, can I build a prototype. Oh, and that's not even the end of it!
I would need to build a few prototypes and give them all to the SOFS. The SOFS would subject each prototype to a different test. One would then be subjected to stress testing, checking how much damage the battlesuit could take before destruction, while others would be used for weapons testing. Only after all the tests would the SOFS issued a certification for me to show the battlesuit in public. Without the certification, forget showing off the battlesuit in Sweden, I wouldn't even be able to ship the battlesuit out of Singapore!
I need to finish all this in time for the conference.
It was an impossible task. I immediately called Nor and told her. There was no way I could finish the design, do the certification and then build several prototypes in six weeks. It was bureaucracy at its finest, and there was nothing I could do about it. It was just impossible.
To Nor's credit, she didn't panic. She told me to sit tight and immediately went into action. She informed the council of the problem and come up with a solution the next day. Nor came to my workshop and told me the plan. I only need to design the battlesuit, the Scandinavian council will get someone to build the prototype in Sweden.
The plan was simple. As the Conference of New Energy and Technology was being held in Gothenburg this year, building the battlesuit in Sweden will allow us to skip the certification process. The Scandinavian council will get someone to build the prototype in Sweden and they will present the battlesuit directly at the conference without SOFS certification. By the time SOFS finds out, the conference would be over, and any fines incurred by the stunt would be a drop in the bucket compared to the money the councils will be getting from the industrialists.
I was surprised by the plan.
The fact that the councils thought nothing of annoying SOFS didn't really surprise me, but the speed of the plan was something else. It took the local council one night to come up with the plan and get their Scandinavian counterparts on board. Either the local council was a very efficient entity, or they had informed the Scandinavian council beforehand of what they were going to do at the conference. The two councils must have an agreement on the matter already.
If the Scandinavian council knew, then it wouldn't surprise me if the other magic councils were also similarly informed. This could explain why Tanner was so insistent that I have a prototype ready for the conference. Things were too far along to be stopped now.
I wasn't very sure if that was a good thing. I had long known that it was only a matter of time before the council would inform their overseas counterparts, but things were developing at a faster pace than I had anticipated. I was thinking of a slow and steady reveal, but the council decided to come out with a bang. Sighing to myself, I realized it was now out of my hands.
If the local council had informed everyone in the magic community of what we were going to be doing in Sweden, we had come too far to back out now. The only thing I could do is to design the suit and hope for the best. I got back the Fuming Minotaur and continued my work on the internals of the battlesuit.