Chapter 5 (Mech)
Tim and Lucas had taken a ride on the monorail to come to a place called Rust Sector. This place was a dump yard of the city. The official name was Sector 09. Lucas had a distant relative who worked here in the dump yard security. The things thrown here were not needed by anyone, so you can pay the guards and buy the junk if you can find anything usable.
This trade was legally acknowledged by the Federation government. The salary of the security staff was not high, so this can help them make some extra bucks. Someone’s trash is someone’s treasure.
Lucas and Tim got off the monorail and while discussing what sort of mech they should look for, they put on two see-through air purification masks on their faces. This place had a terrible stench. It was a dump yard, after all. Since they could not let the junk accumulate into piles, they had an incinerator placed here. This cleaner was the reason for the stench.
After walking out of the station, the two boys came to the entrance of the dump yard. Lucas said to the guy on the security door, “I need to find Jacob Ashburn. Can you tell me where he might be?”
The entry process was easy. Just show your ID, let it be recorded in the system and you can waltz until you disturb the work process. The security guard told them where they could locate the said person.
Inside the dump yard, things were not as chaotic and messy as the people would expect them to be. Every junk had a specific type, and they were all segregated. The dump yard spanned over two kilometers. Lucas and Tim took a look at the few things on their way and bought them after haggling down the price.
After half an hour they finally found the person they were looking for. The security personnel were not allowed to use phones on duty, to keep them sharp. Jacob Ashburn, grey hair and a fat body. He was a two-star Terran. Lucas came up to him and said, “Yo, Jake.”
Jacob was scrubbing the rust off a motor. Hearing the voice, he raised his head and said with a surprised expression, “Yo, Luke, what wing blew you, an SMA student here?”
Lucas said, “I will tell you about it, first meet my classmate and Class Representative, Tim Hallworth. He is a three-star Terran, just so you know.” This was more like a threat than an introduction.
He was deterring the fat man from giving them some slack and keeping things clean. Jacob gave up the motor as he stood up and rubbed his hand off his grey shirt, and extended his hand toward Tim.
The latter shook it with no disdain. He may be putting up a high stance now but he was also from a normal household. Lucas said, “We want to buy an operating mech. You have one?”
Jacob’s eyes turned into the symbol of units as soon as he heard this. He nodded heavily and said, “We have three units that are working at the moment. You come with me, I show you. But know that the price will not be cheap. They are all fresh.”
Lucas nodded and followed him deep inside the dump yard with Tim. The security guards here were responsible for guarding the piles of different sorts of junk. The situation was lax. Jacob led them to a place where an old man was responsible for guarding the junk.
The old man sat in a chair and behind him stood the mechs, all nine feet high. Their condition was not good at a glance, but the price was a hundred times lower than a new mech. Jacob said to the old man, “Chief, they want to buy a mech.”
The old man looked at the two boys. He saw their uniforms and asked, “What branch student are you guys?”
Tim replied, “Technology Department, Sir.” He replied crisply because he could guess that this old man was once in the army. His eyes were enough to tell him that. No matter how minimal your role was with the war front, you experience things that change your gaze.
The old man nodded, and said, “You want a unit or salvage?”
Lucas asked respectfully, “Sir, what will be the price if we salvage?”
“You guys do not seem to be wealthy. I will give you a straight price. No haggling. Twelve Thousand Units. If you accept, you can salvage, but if you do not, then take any one of them for eight thousand units.” said the old man calmly.
Lucas and Tim exchanged a glance and nodded. Tim agreed with the price. After they made a safe wireless transfer, they salvaged the three mechs. The Mechs they had dumped here were all civilian use Mechs.
After salvaging, they found one with an almost mint chassis. The rest were dismantled for all the usable parts, like legs and internal parts. The cockpit was also an important part, so the two people took apart every inch of the three mechs.
It took them almost the whole day to complete the task, but they did not give up. The dump yard had given them the tools they needed. After three Mechs have turned into a pile of parts, they arrange for them to be carried away. Tim and Lucas stayed in the school dorms. They came back with a large truck and called Rosa over to help them with the formalities.
She had assigned a collective class project to the class, which was to refurbish a mech. This was a bogus project, but it was approved by the higher management. The guards did not ask much and let them get in. Shi Lang had gone home by the time they had come back. Rosa said to the two students, “I have arranged for a corner of the Mech bay to be used by our class. You can get the stuff unloaded there.”
Lucas nodded, and they moved the truck inside. They saw Jane standing in front of the Mech Bay. The girl did not wait for them to ask anything. She said, “We are not putting stuff inside before someone talks to the Battle Bastards. They will trouble us again. At best we will have to work outside, here. If anyone asks why we are outside, tell them that the Battle Class will be disturbed. How?”
Tim raised his thumb and said, “Sometimes I think I am useless.”
Lucas sighed and said, “You finally realized that you are just the mascot. The real player is our lady here.”
Jane said, “Who is your lady? Get to work, plebeians. Her Highness has to catch up on her beauty sleep before tomorrow’s labor. Humph.”
Her words made the three people laugh. After the stuff was dumped. They covered it with a sheet to prevent it from getting wet in case it rained. As they all came to sleep in their dorms, they waited for the sun to rise with anticipation in their eyes.
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