Fortunately, Mu Gen didn’t care about the money, so he was only surprised for a while. He quickly picked up his mood and during this period, their car drove out for a long distance. Along the way, he didn’t encounter any places of interest that needed Tatarin’s explanation, only the long walls hiding behind the layers of green trees.
That should be a factory. All the land within the fence belongs to the factory’s property. Estimating the area of this factory in his mind, Mu Gen clicked his tongue.
Sure enough, after another hour of driving on the hover car, Mu Gen finally saw a heavily guarded gate. The gate looked unusually wide, allowing a standard-sized military warship to pass through. On the door, Mu Gen saw a concise sign with black letters on a red background. No exaggerated or abstract deformed words are used, only “Sumei Machinery” in standard print.
“This is Pendra’s largest mechanical processing plant and Sumei Machinery is one among the thousands of companies under the hands of the tycoon Sumei Ke.” Prinst introduced in an indifferent tone: “It’s also the arsenal designated to the military so you can buy all the metals you need here.”
Mu Gen nodded and thanked the other party.
But at this moment, Dad Xiao A, who had been sitting next to him, suddenly poked him. Turning his head, Mu Gen’s sight happened to fall on Uncle Alpha who was in the arms of Dad Xiao A…unlike the colorful light representing various emotions in the past, only a line of words was written on the dim screen:
“We won’t get out of the car, just take A. Mengmeng can also go, but just the head. Sigma needs to be transformed before he can go.”
Mu Gen was stunned, then nodded after a while.
Although unwilling, Sigma was still afraid of the other party’s authority so he became his brother’s close-fitting backpack and hung behind Mu Gen. Mengmeng also very readily took off his head: He still likes to watch the fun! This is a place where high-level robots are produced. He, a country bumpkin-style robot, has long wanted to see it!
The car stopped at the gate and the guard robot carefully checked the documents of everyone in the car. He also scanned the military-licensed hover car inside and out, only letting them pass after a full 15 minutes.
“The robot is so good that it will always perform its duties faithfully.” For this kind of complicated inspection, Prinst didn’t have any impatience.
He’s obviously very familiar with the terrain here. Facing the endless variety of factories, he directly led Mu Gen and the others into a trail on the right.
While on the road, Prinst dialed on his communicator, so by the time they reached the bottom of the three-story building, there was a blond lady waiting there long ago. She was wearing a white uniform that’s quite unique to the Research Institute. She also had an identity card and it seemed like she’s a staff here.
“Hello, I’m Luo from Sumei Machinery, please come with me.” She only briefly introduced her name. Not even asking for Tatarin and Mu Gen for their identities, she took them away.
This lady must often receive guests from the military——Mu Gen thought.
“I have received the purchase list from Second Lt Prinst. Most of the metals on the list are available in our warehouse, except for Fabia and Mika.” Taking them to a very huge white room, Ms. Luo pressed a button. From the ground, white seats that match the number of people present came up with even seats for Robot A.
“You need a total of 121 kg of Fabia and the quantity that our warehouse can provide is only 100 kg. We are sorry for the remaining quantity, but we are out of stock. In addition, we currently don’t have Mika either. We just delivered a batch of military orders and Second Lt Prinst also knew this. It was that order that completely emptied our Mika stock.”
Ms. Luo said in a very official manner. After a long while, she hesitated and said:
“I can see that this batch of metal is used to make robots. In that case, why not buy a brand new robot? Our factory also produces the most cutting-edge military robots. You can purchase ten current top military robots for the amount of this purchase list.”
This is a very practical suggestion that exceeded the scope of Ms. Luo’s work. After all, she’s only a staff member of a military factory, and all she could see is a purchase list. She didn’t know what this list was for but her profession made her guess that these metals should be the raw materials for making military robots.
Ms. Luo didn’t know so Prinst also didn’t. He didn’t understand the relationship between Mu Gen and Alpha and the other robots. He’s just a mobile check sent by the military solely responsible for purchasing and paying. In his opinion, Ms. Luo’s suggestion was actually very good, so he glanced at Mu Gen.
Mu Gen shook his head without hesitation. After refusing, he also smiled to show his friendliness.
Mu Gen was simply unwilling, but he didn’t know that this smile, in the eyes of other humans, was a little inscrutable.
With a tense mind, Ms. Luo came to her senses and secretly said: Yes, people buying materials instead of finished products meant that they didn’t want to reveal the internal design of the robot. I have exceeded the rules.
After quickly sending people to assemble the materials needed on the list, Ms. Luo immediately changed the subject:
“It suddenly occurred to me that there might be another place where Fabia and Mika might be.”
With inspiration, Ms. Luo turned on her portable brain. After typing a line of instructions above, a smile suddenly appeared on her serious face:
“What a coincidence. There’s actually one and it just arrived today.”
Standing up and under Ms. Luo’s gesture, Mu Gen and his party followed her around in the building and finally to another white room.
There are many “parts” in this room, either a mechanical arm or a mechanical thigh…this is simply a robot parts warehouse.
“They moved quickly and have already sent it.” Satisfied with the efficiency of her subordinates, Ms. Luo let Mu Gen and the others to the display stand in the middle, and pointed to it: “I almost forgot: It’s not in the inventory but from a robot. This robot used a large amount of Fabia on its head and breastplate, and it can be refined to obtain 5 kg of Fabia.”
“That’s already good!” Being one step closer to the number of Fabia indicated on the list, Ms. Luo smiled happily.
However, Mu Gen was stunned——
On this display stand was…the black robot he once met in the port.
But unlike then, this robot now only has its chest and head. The screen on his head was still broken, but aside from the left arm, even the right arm disappeared, and the lower body was also removed.
Like an object, his remains laid on the display stand.
The difference from before is: His screen was pitch black with no more lights on it, which was still there when Mu Gen saw him before.
He had “died”.
When he saw him this morning, although he was damaged, he’s still “alive”, but how come after just a short while, he “died”? Just because he put Fabia metal on the list, and the warehouse didn’t have enough on stock, and he happened to have it?
Can’t he be used after one repair?
Working hard to suppress the tremor in his voice, Mu Gen asked his doubts.
Ms. Luo shook her head: “You might not know that this robot is a military model. The cost of manufacturing is high and the maintenance cost is also high. This is the 28th time it has been repaired and its model is outdated. Moreover, the repair cost has exceeded the original manufacturing price, so we will no longer provide repair service to the buyer. This time, it was sent back for scrapping.”
“Robots can’t be scrapped casually. You see, the municipal waste treatment center has a special recycling and disposal point for used robots which is responsible for the unified recycling of scrap robots. This is especially true for this military model, which generally needs to be sent back to the original factory for scrap…”
It turned out that when it came back alone with its left arm missing and a broken screen, it’s to send itself back for scrap?
Because it’s being scrapped, there’s no need for a seat, and it could only lie back in the luggage compartment with the goods?
Mu Gen suddenly felt very sad.
He gently squeezed the shoulder strap of his backpack and tightened his arms around Mengmeng. Finally, he glanced at Robot A behind him.
“Can this robot be repaired? I mean, put together again…” Mu Gen said awkwardly.
“There’s no need though? This robot has been scrapped and its body has been decomposed and its brain deleted.” Ms. Luo was puzzled.
Mu Gen could only stay silent in the end.
Rejecting Ms. Luo’s service to refine Fabia, Mu Gen collected the wreckage of the black robot, picked up the other materials that the other party had prepared long ago, and then left Sumei Machinery.
Before leaving, Ms. Luo said that she would help him pay attention to any news of Fabia and Mika arriving in the warehouse. Once the new products are in, she would immediately notify Second Lt. Prinst.
So Mu Gen thanked her.
Mu Gen was very depressed, but he’s now an adult, so he didn’t show this sadness along the way. At Tatarin’s invitation, they went to another restaurant for a meal. Mu Gen expressed his gratitude to the two again and after an appointment to see them tomorrow afternoon, Mu Gen was sent to the hotel where he would be staying.
Throwing himself into the arms of Dad Xiao A just like when he was a child, Mu Gen’s grief broke out. Sigma immediately changed back to his original appearance and stuck between Mu Gen and Xiao A like plaster, wanting to get in too.
When the three people hugged each other for comfort, the five big heads were studying the remains of the robot placed on the hotel bed.
“This robot is Kappa.” After a while, Beta concluded: “Kappa is produced after Sigma.”
“When we left, Kappa is only half.” Eta immediately turned to Kappa’s photo on his hard drive. He even had Kappa’s body structure picture!
“En, although the other metals have changed, this piece of metal on the chest has not changed.” This is the heavy robotic voice from Epsilon.
“Of course it won’t change. The most precious material on his body is the metal plate made of Fabia on his chest and back.” Eta interjected.
However, no matter how precious it is, it had now become materials sold by others.
The five big heads went silent. In the silence, Sigma’s voice sounded in the room:
“Sigma should stop working. Sigma should stay at home.”
The little robot’s fighting spirit aroused by his brothers working suddenly died down and Sigma once again volunteered to squat at home.
“It’s also good at home.” Robot A’s robotic arm touched Sigma’s head not very gently and then Mu Gen’s.
This behavior represents “gentle comfort” from human textbooks.
It’s a very cold and stiff touch, but Sigma and Mu Gen felt comforted at the same time.
Putting the remains of Kappa into his stomach, Sigma asked his brother not to dissolve Kappa and refine him. Mu Gen naturally agreed to his request and then became a little worried.
“But this way, there’s not enough Fabia. I don’t know how long uncles will stay like this…”
Mu Gen decided to turn to Doug, a classmate from the Imperial Comprehensive Academy of the same grade. He’s a local and although he graduated and went to other galaxies for his internship, after hearing that Mu Gen would go to Pendra, he said that he would ask for leave and come back, so they arranged to meet tomorrow morning.
After checking the time with Doug again, Mu Gen went to sleep. Although he was very depressed, because he didn’t rest on the spacecraft, he still slept very deeply and didn’t wake up all night.
And Sigma got up secretly when he was asleep.
Using the scanning device to confirm the depth of his brother’s sleep, Sigma sneaked out.
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Chapter title dedicated to Kappa