Chapter 314 Securing a Deal
April 26th, 893.
It was two o'clock in the afternoon and there was a huge crowd forming along the barricades.
The congregation drew more passersby, among them were two brothers who were in their twenties.
"Why are people here?" One of the brothers asked.
"A company named Axelsen and Nielsen Corporation have something to demonstrate for us," said one of the crowd before squeezing through the crowds, making his way to the front.
The person who asked tilted his head to the side and wondered what demonstration was going to be performed. Curious, he tiptoed and from over yonder, he saw a paved land that goes for about five hundred or seven hundred meters.
"Orville—look!" said the other brother who shook his shoulder as he pointed his other hand at the end of the paved road. There they saw an odd-looking contraption, made out of metal with propellers in front and a fixed wing on either side.
Orville squinted at the strange apparatus and whispered to his brother, "Wilbur, do you have any idea what that thing is?"
Wilbur shook his head, his eyes still fixed on the peculiar machine. "I've never seen anything like it, Orville. But it's Axelsen and Nielsen! One of the greatest innovative companies in the United States! What they always invent is revolutionary. I can't wait to see what It'll do."
"Yeah me too," Orville responded.
Suddenly, the speakers fixed on the poles sounded.
"Gentlemen and ladies who are present at the World's Fair! The Axelsen and Nielsen Corporation have something to present to you all, aircraft!"
"Aircraft?" Orville and Wilbur intoned and exchanged glances at one another.
"Do not blink, as it will be a waste of a lifetime! In history, only the birds can soar through the skies. Sure there is a hot air balloon, but do you really call it flying when you are just floating? But today, we shall witness a glimpse into the future where humanity dominates the sky, where it can turn freely, ascend, descend, roll, and loop!"
The excitement in the crowd reached a fever pitch as the strange aircraft revved its engines. Smoke billowed from the exhaust, and the propeller in front started
spinning faster. And then, it began to move forward, moving along the paved runway.
The two brothers, Orville and Wilbur, stood shoulder to shoulder, their eyes locked onto the magnificent machine before them.
As the aircraft gathered speed, the crowd held its collective breath. It was as though time itself had slowed down in the face of this extraordinary moment. And then, with a sudden burst of power and a deafening roar, the flying machine gracefully lifted off the ground.
The gasps of the crowd were drowned out by the thunderous applause and cheers that erupted. The aircraft climbed higher into the sky, defying gravity and expectations. It banked left and right, demonstrating its agility and control, leaving the spectators in awe.
Orville and Wilbur couldn't believe their eyes. The sight of the flying machine ignited a passion within them, The two exchanged glances once more before nodding in determination.
The demonstration ended after about two hours, and it drew almost every attendee of the World's Fair, to the point that some had to be taken to the hospital as they passed out from not being able to breathe due to the tight and overwhelming crowd. Medical personnel rushed to attend to those who had fainted or experienced breathing difficulties in the sweltering heat of the day.
An hour after the demonstration, Poul, the pilot of the aircraft, entered the office of their pavilion.
There he saw Count Inoue Kaoru, Jonathan, Amelia, and Caroline standing as if waiting for him to arrive.
"Where's Sara?" Poul asked.
"She's at the hospital, tending to the injured," Jonathan said and added. "We had expected the crowds to be huge but we underestimated the sheer number of people who would be drawn to the demonstration."
"It's going to be bad optics for us," Amelia interjected. "The headlines of the newspapers will be Axelsen and Nielsen demonstration of their aircraft resulting in the injuries of tens of attendees."
"Well, pay for their hospital bill," Poul offered simply. "Meanwhile, Mister Kaoru, did you like the demonstration?"
"I am beyond amazed," Kaoru said. "I heard that it can carry bombs and machine guns?"
Poul nodded. "Yeah, but for safety purposes, we didn't mount any in the aircraft we have demonstrated earlier."
"Well, my advisors told me that it has a huge potential for military application, and stressed out to me that I should get it. So, I'm ready to place my order."
"I'm going to remind you that it's going to be expensive, Mister Kaoru, we don't have the factories that will manufacture the aircraft in great numbers."
"How much per unit?" Kaoru asked.
Poul exchanged glances with his fellow executives and they nodded.
"For a unit with a machine gun, it's going to cost you 30,000 dollars. Bombs will be sold separately, which cost around 50 dollars each depending on the size ordnance. You also have to buy fuel for it, and that aircraft is powered by a V-12 engine which consumes 70 gallons of fuel per hour. You will also have to train pilots for it, so another additional cost and the shipping fee."
Poul could see the surprise on Kaoru's face at the price tag, but he continued without hesitation. "But we'll be willing to cut it down for you if you buy a lot. Let's say two and a half million dollars for seventy aircraft? Bombs and fuel included."
Kaoru pondered for a moment, after considering the numbers Poul had presented. The potential of this flying machine for various applications, especially in the military, was evident. Count Inoue Kaoru, nodded.
"Okay, I'll have our secretary, Amelia, to draw up the contract," Poul said. 𝙛𝒓𝒆𝒆𝙬𝒆𝒃𝓷𝙤𝙫𝒆𝓵.𝒄𝙤𝒎
"We are also going to buy the vehicles that you are displaying," Kaoru added.
"We can have that arranged," Jonathan chimed.
"You, Mr. Nielsen, and everyone in the company are ingenious. I wonder how you were able to come up with such a revolutionary idea?"
"Well, that is because we are tired of smelling horse dung," Jonathan chuckled. "During the time when automobiles weren't yet invented, people relied on horses to go from point A to point b. An average horse defecates 20 pounds of dung and urinates 5 gallons of urine. Imagine a city like New York five years ago where daily horse trips were about 150,000. You do the math, and you'll realize the magnitude of the problem we were facing. It was not only a matter of unpleasant odors but also a public health concern. So, we set out to find a better way, and that led us to develop automobiles. It doesn't defecate and urinate."
"In short, without automobiles, the streets and roads of the modern world will be covered in manure," Caroline concluded.
"I understand…" Kaoru chuckled. "We are facing the same problem in Tokyo. Your automobiles would help us tremendously in addressing these challenges."
"Let me show you the vehicles we are selling," Poul offered.