The year is 3040, and you are Daniel Holdt, Battlemech Engineer.You've managed to secure an initial contract with the Capellan Confederation to license the HZP to them to manufacture in their space, being paid quarterly for every unit made. Not only that, but so far you are recieving 7 million Cbills up-front, as a signing bonus and blacklist bonus for agreeing not to sell to select factions (Comstar and the FedCom). The extra boost to your coffers is more than welcome, and will go far to finishing the HZP prototype as well as getting MechBay 5 prepped in case you decide to make your next project a Heavy.Currently you are sitting with Lord Shun, who has sprung a bit of a surprise on you it seems. You and Janine had both put your thumbprints on the initial contract, signing it, and afterwards Shun left you with a bit of a cliffhanger, stating that you would probably not be expecting what was about to come next.Well, are you? Of course not!
>>24444609Archive link:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=mechengineer+questSarna.net for info on the Battletech universe
Well? What hidden clause in the contract did they spring in us now?
>>24444609You and Janine look at each other, your faces mirrored in confusion and unhappy surprise.Lord Shun chuckles. "It is not as worrisome as all that, I assure you. We require that our design firms have an on-site liaison to facilitate communication and foster good will, as well as help clarify contract issues, if need be. Even though we will be licensing the Phobos from you, we will still be leaving someone on staff with you to act in this regard."
>>24444737>leaving liaison on-site>right here>on top of the hidden Star League cacheWe won't be able to use any of the depot's Star League equipment, let alone the mech lathe that might still be here.
>>24444737In an utter deadpan. "... Joy. This fills me with so much happiness that I might just float off and explode.I'm guessing there's no way around this, is there?"
>>24444609Hell yes here we go.
>>24444737>>24444799Janine manages to keep herself composed, but your less than pleased look is pretty plain. Yeah... about that Star League Cache...Shun seems to pick up on this. "Is... this something we may need to negotiate? Because it's our standard procedure, but... I may be able to negotiate if it is inconvenient."
>>24444737What kind of person is this going to be? Another engineer like us or just a pencil pusher?And what kind of loyalty would they have to us? Any at all? Cause I'm pretty sure companies generally don't host observers who do nothing but poke their nose into things.
>>24444799Let's just hope it's a paper-pushing flunky and not someone with enough tech savvy to realize the equipment we're playing with isn't mundane. At least we might get some reverse-engineering done on it without anything seeming strange.
>>24444975"I would prefer it very much to be otherwise. I like having privacy, having one of your people here does disrupt that, it would send a message I would rather not have sent for any other clients we pick up, and in the future we may work on projects we would prefer be kept quiet until the right time."
>>24444975Well completely aside from the Star League stuff we are planning on opening an experimental lab and designing a lot of new equipment like the split bins and Hatamoto's laser stuff. Industrial espionage is srs bsns so I'm sure Shun would understand the implications.And no one is going to accept something like this with a straight face, so don't expect that to offend him.
>>24444985>>24444994>>24445044>>24445056"Well, normally the sort of person we would select for this role would be a politicio, but one trained in science and related arts, so capable of understanding the rudiments of the industry, while having the savvy necessary to undertake the rigors of the job."You express your concerns, and he nods."I can understand your issue with this; a new company, concerns about security and all that. The individual we would be assigning you could help you in that regard as well, being trained to at least have a cursory knowledge of these issues, because since they are here to secure our relationship and our communication venues, preventing espionage is of the utmost to us as well."
>>24445172We don't want to push too hard, though. If we do, them it might arouse suspicions as to why we're being so forceful.
>>24445172"We currently have on staff people who can help us with such concerns and while I appreciate the offer there are projects that we would rather anyone, not even the Cappellans, get wind of ahead of time."He knows that this guy is pretty much an informant for the Cappies, we know it, no reason to really beat around the push about it.
>>24445224(Well, if you'd like to read more about what the quest is about/what's happened, I have an archive link at the top of the thread you can read through, and I host a Q&A at the end of every thread once the quest installment is finished, so you could come in and talk then too.)
Hmm. What do you guys think about this train of thought?"In all honesty, I would have to consult the other personnel on-base about this development. In this place, all of the staff knows each other well, and we act as one big family that likes to construct big 'mechs. While I don't think that your representative would actively try to antagonize anyone here, I'd have to check with them first if they would be OK with having an official Capellan Confederation bureaucrat here. Especially after the attack we suffered, I would want to avoid any staff member thinking that a dear departed one would suddenly be replaced by an official that may represent a faction that they have had bad blood with in the past. They might be OK with selling stuff, but having someone in their face 24/7 might be a bit much.""In addition, we are not a huge Battlemech designing company or manufacturing company, such as the likes of Defiance Industries or your own Ceres Metals Industries. We thrive on neutrality to all potential clients; if another potential buyer is not agreeable with this CC representative's presence here, it might incline them to pass over our future offerings. This potential lost profit may hurt our company in the long-run, and potentially deprive the Capellan Confederation of future 'mech designs that we produce due to the loss of said profit."
I suppose it would be okay if the representative resided off site and we only interacted with them on matters related to the Phobos. The rest of the crew would never agree to having an embedded liason in any case.
>>24445266>>24445311You start to talk, but Janine cuts you off."You are staying another day, right Lord Shun? Would you mind if we had some time to discuss this as a company and get back to the negotiations with you later today or tomorrow?"Shun nods his head. "Of course. It is a decision that affects all of you, so you should have leave to talk about it beforehand. Whenever you are ready to continue, please come let me know at my shuttle. We'll pick up where we left off."He stands, and nods his head in a slight bow. He seems... perhaps a bit less friendly now than he has been. You're not sure though.After Shun excuses himself, Janine turns to you."They didn't mention a damn thing about this in the initial talks, I swear."
>>24445558Give her a hug and a kiss, pull out a cigarette, offer her one, light up."I believe you hon. This seems like the sort of thing they would try to spring on people after they were already invested in a project with them.Them having a representative on base is pretty much unacceptable. I'd prefer to keep them at arm's reach, if not further, not even on the same planet if possible. Any suggestions on how to politely phrase us telling that suggestion to fuck off and die in a fire?"
>>24445558Hatamoto didn't mention it either, which leads me to believe this is not quite as standard as Lord Shun is implying. Would be worth asking him though, since it might have somehow slipped his mind. Either way, I'd prefer our star league research be relatively spy-free.
So, I know this is a bit meta, but to help assuage the feelings of those last thread who didn't like us leaving out FedCom, remember that in a couple decades they'll split back into the FedSuns and Lyran Commonwealth, and we'll be able to use that as a loophole to sell to both, if we want.
>>24445618>>24445668You nod, and produce cigarettes for both of you.Hatamoto clears his throat. "I don't suppose you realize what this means, do you."
Definitely need to call a staff meeting for this because it affects the entire company. I think having the representative on the same planet is just bearable. Having on embedded on site is unacceptable. The crew would never agree to it even if we understood the necessity for doing business.
>>24445765It's time to break out the tinfoil hats?
>>24445765"I have a few guesses about how they want to keep a very close eye on us and that this isn't standard, but you probably know much more than I do.Please do enlighten us."
>>24445792>>24445813"Let us call our meeting, and we can discuss it there." With that, he stands and takes his leave, looking far more displeased than usual.Janine sighs. "Goddammit. Why can't we get a break, Daniel? Uphill is an understatement; it feels like we're climbing a cliff, not struggling up a hill."You two spend a few minutes together talking, then she calls the meeting. Deciding where to actually meet is taking some doing though.Any ideas? Concerns about 'listeners' seem to be the biggest issue.
>>24445925Mech bay, that ought to work. Or we go and have the meeting offsite.
>>24445925If we were doing it inside of the company grounds, then the 'mech bay might work. Just need to make sure that there's work going on that would generate enough noise to foil any potential spies while not forcing us to shout.
>>24445172>preventing espionage is of the utmost to us as wellI was initially happy, but then I realized that if ComStar wants a spy to happen, ComStar will make that spy happen.
>>24445712It's really not a big deal, it just stipulates that we can't sell mechs or license the design to Comstar or the Fedsuns. Those are the Cappies immediate neighbours so that makes sense. Comstar is going to get it's hands on the design no matter what we do and the Fedsuns can go through an intermediary (without our knowledge even) if they want to.
>>24445944Cafeteria could work, would probably accommodate enough people without lots of places for listeners to hide (and no long line of sight for parabolic mics if we're being uber-paranoid now)
(two for the mechbay, one for the cafeteria. mechbay wins if we don't get any more votes)
>>24446150CAFET- nah I'm kidding. Mechbay.
Mechbay, tell the non-senior crew to go work on something loud.
Anybody else thing it's kinda weird we don't actually have any kind of conference room anywhere on site?
>>24446189(oh you.jpg)>>24445988>>24445944You convene at MechBay 3 in one hour.Everyone shows up; Bruce, Dieter, Ilsa, Wanda, Ivan, Hatamoto, Janine, and some crew leads.Once everyone is there, Janine takes the floor."As you may or may not know, we have been in negotiations with the Capellans about selling the Phobos to them. Those have gone pretty well so far, but... we've hit a snag it seems. They want to leave a liaison with us, to continue working with us after Shun returns home. And while their reasoning for that is logical... it leaves doubts and fears as well. And I figure just because I am the CEO doesn't mean I have all the say, so... I thought I would ask you all to see what you thought about this."Murmurs ripple through the crowd, and Ivan is the first to speak."Bah, fucking this. I am appreciating they buy the Hazard Pay, but I am not liking this creeper Capellan nonsense. I am Tikonovan, I am knowing how they are working. And is not good. Even with smiles they bring poison, old saying goes. We are not being friends with them, we are being business partners. Business partners are not staying at each other's houses to make business. Unless they are being whores, who Ivan would much rather being working with right now, eh?"Laughter is had by some, and Janine nods. "Thank you Ivan. Anyone else want to chime in?"Hatamoto coughs gruffly and nods. "I have concerns that they my know about a certain something we have been trying to hide for a while now, and that is the impetus for this 'surprise'. That being said, I believe we should refuse, and if they persist, perhaps go so far as to rescind contract and look for other buyers. Comstar is likely still in-system; they would not dare cause incident."More murmuring, and Janine nods a little.Care to chime in, Daniel?
>>24446416"I have to agree with Ivan and Hatamoto on this one.While Shun is a likable guy, that's his job, we shouldn't trust these people any more than we need to, I doubt they trust us.If they stay here it makes looking at the stuff in our basement impossible, it makes it so any new things we think up will be seen and possibly copied, and that's not mentioning the fact that we're not exclusive business partners and I'd rather them not display such a message by staying here.So no liaison, we just have to bet that they're more interested in getting access to Phobos than they are in keeping an eye on us."
>>24446416I agree with Hatamoto. We might be able to make a case that, as a small 'mech design/construction company, we need to be able to maintain neutrality to survive. While 'mech exclusivity clauses are part-and-parcel of doing business, having a CC rep here might compromise that neutrality, costing us profit that we would've been able to use toward making more battlemech designs. Not to mention that the Free Worlds League isn't exactly real chummy with the Capellan Confederation either. They might not take real kindly to having a Capellan representative working within their borders, even if it is just at a small company. We don't want to piss off our landlords, or any future buyers.
>>24446527>>24446606Everyone nods, and seems to agree with youf voiced concerns."Anyone else?" Janine asks.Ilsa steps forward. "Er, this might be a bit odd of a question, but should I still deliver the mask to Lord Shun, then? It's finished."
>>24446606I think neutrality is our strongest argument. Having the Cappies as a client is all well and good, but we won't be able to survive long term without more than one contract. Having a Cappie on staff would appear to everyone else like we are declaring our flag. (which is an option, but not one we picked). I think regular visits by this liason would be acceptable. But having one on the same planet all the time is not.Having them be interested in our base isn't a surprise. They know this is a star league outpost and even the possibility of something remaining would be worth pursuing to them.
>>24446749Did we tell him about the mask? If so, then yes. If not, then no.
>>24446749I don't see why not, present difficulties notwithstanding we still need to part on a good note with out business partners. Assuming this goes though.
>>24446749Hmm....It might possibly remind him on what he's missing out on if he passes up on the Phobos. I'd lean towards yes, go ahead and deliver it.
>>24446789>>24446846>>24446852Ilsa nods. "Okay, I wasn't sure, since it seemed like some people were getting kind of upset about him, and I wasn't sure."Janine sighs, and folds her arms. "I guess that's that then, unless anyone else has anything to say?"Some of the crew leads simply agree with 'no liaison', and that closes the discussion. Everyone leaves back to their tasks at hand, and Janine turns to you."How long you wanna wait before we go speak with Shun again?"
>>24446998Well, you're the expert who has experience with dealing with all sorts of nobility. How would it appear if we spent an hour to think on things, as opposed to going straight to him right now?
>>24446998"Well I'm not an expert, but we should take a bit of time, let him think about it, and I could use a break from politicking."
>>24447068>>24447076"Well since Shun is a noble because that's how the Capellans work, and not a noble in the sense of Steiner space, I really don't know. I would call him more a politician with blood and title than what I know about a proper noble..."
>>24447139Well... if we go to him straight away, he might interpret that as us being real eager to get him out of here, which would be "rude", to say the least. Taking too long is similarly discourteous, and would make us appear indecisive or fearful.I'd say half an hour would be alright. We need to consider this from all angles, but not dawdle for too long.
>>24447139Let's wait a good half-hour to an hour. Enough time to relax a bit, snog with Janine, play with our puppy.
>>24446998>"How long you wanna wait before we go speak with Shun again?"Do we really want to be on HIS shuttle if he takes it badly?
>>24447486That's also a good point. Perhaps it's just the paranoia talking, but perhaps we should see if we can meet elsewhere?
>>24447486We already have a sizeable force of death commandos with mechs and the ability to jam any call for help via raven on base, I doubt being on his shuttle really raises the danger level appreciably at this point. Also, he said he'd be in his shuttle; summoning him into our presence could be considered impolite depending on culture.
Okay, sorry to do this to you all, but I just got word that my grandmother is, or may be, dying.I am postponing the quest till next time. Sorry all. See you next week.
>>24447592See you then, Anontech. I hope your grandma gets better!
>>24447592Holy shit :0Good luck to you and your family!
Bummer, see you next week then Anon.
>>24447592Best of luck and health to your grandmom.Anyway, regarding the liaison, we could have not tipped our hand and have him settled somewhere in the city. Where we would have rented office and room and board spaces, along with some of our staff, while keeping the Factory and assembly line of limits, and increasing our security a bit, to prevent sneaking in. Access cards, foot patrols, video cameras, etc.
>>24449850This is a good compromise, we could play off our initial hedging as thinking the liaison would be bunking up in our factory like the rest of the crew.
Guys... Hey, wait, guys... What if - guys! What if the Liaison was gonna be Shun himself? He's a Mech Enthusiast with political connections, and in Cappy space that means rudimentary security and scientific know how, yeah? Plus, when Danny mentioned concerns, he was 'less friendly' than before - perhaps because he was trying to get into a position to do the one thing he has always wanted to do, and was immediately rebuffed? If Lord Shun is the Capellan rep / Liaison, I'd be okay with it. And I hope things turn out okay for Anontech's Gran.
>>24452209Could be.Personally, I'm for something like >>24449850That way, we don't arouse suspicion, but still have the opportunity to mess about with our lostech when he's not on site.
>>24452209So critical things we gotta know.- Who is this person going to be- Where will they stay?If having the liaison is the cost of doing business then so be it. But we can only accept the burden if it doesn't compromise our corporate security and neutrality.
>>24452209>>24452265Lord Shun is a bigwig dude, he's not going to be out in the backwoods of nowhere with little to no relative protection (unless we want 5 squads of Death Commandos camping on our doorstep constantly). >>24452607The issue is that the lostec is big enough to kill us all and steal from us.
>>24450333>>24452265MY idea would have been nice if we would have not flinched the first time. This now looks like appeasement or backpeddaling, like we do have something to hide. We do and it is reasonably so to do, but having acepted the first time with some recalcitrance and then devised these situation, of course with some delay to the liaison, say we would insist on a one month or so delay to get the production line in order, as well as the office spaces for him and our office staff to work in, as well as revised security issues... etc.We have worked thus far as a big family essentially, and not as a corporate entity. Now while we can keep on being a big family , we need to start working like a company especially if we will have new additions.A lot of cameras, a lot of magnetic access cards, a lot of techs to install them and a lot of security guys to man the screens and patrol the areas.Not to mention probably a second or third assembly crew, for up until now we only have like on, if I am not mistaken, thus we can only use on assembly bay due to manpower restrictions.
>>24455517Sorry for that Y. Forgot the Shift key pressed for too long.
>>24455517Really, 100% agreementIs there any way we can spin our flinch as just liking our own space and thinking we were going to be babysat by the Cappellans?We're an engineer, not a pencil-pusher.