Flowered Metal | 16

It’d been two days since that incident, and Opal had begun to worry about Syfa and Haiafe. Neither had come by, and Opal didn’t see why she felt antsy about Haiafe’s condition. She mulled whether it’d be appropriate to go to their village, but the diplomatic protocols suggested otherwise. It told her that she was never granted permission to go, neither did she hold any information on if she’d be welcomed.

So, at that time, she spent completed the factory. Which was a total disaster.

[Warning! Coaxial Weilding end is critically damaged!]

Opal’s BD stood there, her servers wrangling the spike in errors that stemmed from the unknown feeling that bubbled in her. It made her want to blow the entire room apart. All because it was just one simple thing after another. She didn’t understand how she, as a highly sophisticated, could not properly calibrate this machine. The machine in question, an Automated Multi-Faceted Factory Point (AMFFP), was one of the UA’s greatest accomplishments.

Or more to say, one of its many corporations’ accomplishments. Opal highly doubted that the UA would’ve ever been able to make something like this. Its purpose was to replace humans in the industrial chain of machines. Excluding research and development, of course. Once the AMFFP had the blueprints and necessary materials, it could melt down materials into the appropriate blends of alloys and other materials needed. From there, it could tool the metal, circuitry, and wires without a single human needed in the process.

It still required humans somewhere in the process, but that was where maintaining the Spider-Drones came into play. All the drones required human intervention or the UA would’ve never allowed them to exist.

But that wasn’t Opal’s concern. Her directive was the survival of her inhabitants. The humans had long since been dead, leaving only her drones. As such, many of the laws that would have bond her to certain protocols could be overlooked. In fact, most of what Opal was doing was violating some protocol or another. She did so with calculated risks though.

Like assembling the AMFFP without proper officials and crew here. To which, Opal learned that things on the blueprint differed from the final product. Many of the AMFFP’s parts deviated just enough out of their toleration zones to create issues with each fix. Like now –

Several spider-drones pulled of the wielder’s head, only to find several of the heads weren’t milled out enough. Some of the gears weren’t actually new and instead, used old parts. Two days of fixing this machine, along with scouting and erecting defenses around the entrance. As of this moment, only consisted of attaching hastily made scrap shields to the pier. A remotely operated machine gun to underside of the bay’s roof and assembling more from salvaged spare robot parts.

Opal would need everything she needed to keep her drones together. However, on the other hand, they wouldn’t do much good if the ark was destroyed.  So, with each new issue solved, Opal felt she was falling further and further behind. Behind what? She didn’t know, but while her sensors reported green across the metaphorical board, Opal felt herself on edge.

The BD turned from the mess, its operating AI no longer wished to look at the mess that was the AMFFP. Lacking any doors in her newly created halls, Opal was greeted with the newly created corridor that led out towards to new bay. The halls also acted like bee-hive bays. Hexagon bays lined the corridor inbetween the supports, two high and most empty at the moment. Most of them were busy stripping the unneeded parts within the shape, leaving just its bones.

That left the greatest news of it all. The manastone.

The scanning of the marble had been complete and revealed that whatever was within the stone, was in the air. It was in a diluted state and it saturated the Ark itself. The combination of it all had been the reason it’d never set off an alarm. The substance, “Mana” existed naturally in the new world and it was non-lethal to all.

However, now in possession of this information, Opal was aware that the Thorium reaction hadn’t been refueled. Instead, during the entire time Opal had been awake, it had never pinged her to change its fuel cells. An easy oversight, which would be rectified now as Opal made her way towards the reactor as she switched over to SD-1.

 

—¦—

 

The Spider-drone’s camera lens reflected a swirling misty mass of purple. It swirled around the reactor, but it did not harm it. Opal was too confused to move, her processors were retrieving errors instead of information. Even through the heavily layered transparent shielding, she could hear the roar of the reactor. Or, was it mass purple?

Opal knew that the Thorium reactor was supposed to be loud. She just didn’t have an exact measurement of how loud. Opal became annoyed by how much humans had taken their information for granted. Or was it another situation of keeping it away from her? Whichever the case was, she pushed it out of her mind as the UAV picked up activity near Relay-Node 4. The reactor wasn’t a danger as of this moment, and even if it was, she held no ability to deal with it right now.

It was too many variables for her to deal with it.

SD-1’s feed blinked away and in its place, the UAV’s underbelly camera replaced it. Just as before, it’d been patrolling high just above the cloud cover, though today there was none. Opal zoomed the camera in over the three yellow squares – vehicles – leaving the open fields by the town. A score of armed humanoids marched on either side. Diamonds marked them as well now.

A banner was hung from a pole at the foremost vehicle. It deep green with three spears emblazed upon its face. The shafts met near the bottom before the two side spears departed from the middle in their respective directions. Ahead of the vehicles, 20 men on horseback and clad in plate armor rode. All in all, Opal registered three squares and fifty diamonds.

Horsemen were counted as infantry for simplicity’s sake. There was also the point that she didn’t know what was in the wagons. They looked heavy. They gleamed with polished metal and they were nearly twice as large as Syfa’s wagon. It certainly couldn’t be anything good. The UAV circled around and began to return to the Ark. It’s sensors reported the fuel cells were at just below 50% and Opal would need it later.

Liberal estimation would land the caravan –  if it were coming towards her – 5 hours before it would reach her. Their pace was slow, and mainly due to their heavy vehicles. It would be about the same if they were going towards the Hikari village on the slopes. It would be a push to get up some more offensive measures, but Opal expected a response. She’d only hoped that it’d come a little later rather than sooner.

[Automated Multi-Faceted Factory Point ready for use.] The system reported.

 

3 thoughts on “Flowered Metal | 16

  1. Here ladies and gentlemen is the prime of example of a “budget cut” problem XD

    So the machine IS some sort of fabricator although it can only process raw materials and circuitry.

    Guess the Thorium “Reactor”(there is typo here) is surprisingly makes a good mana absorber in its surrounding huh. At least power shouldn’t be a problem for now.

    …….wait, wouldn’t that mean nuclear ores will be deadly raw power wise and works as mana disrupter(or EMP equivalent)???

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      1. Whelp, Opal better not drop a Uranium ore in the open by accident then.
        No telling what will happen if the ore absorbs mana non-stop till the maximum threshold, magic calamity doesn’t sound so far fetch XD

        Even if it doesn’t explode, I reckon many mage scholars will get themselves killed trying to release that magnitude of concentrated mana during their studies XD

        Ah btw, how’s GGCE and OIC doin?
        I see that you have new artwork of Cyril on your profile 🙂

        Like

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