Leona stood in awkward silence for several moments as she tried to find a way to respond to those points, but in the she came up with nothing. Since she had sought a professional opinion, it would be best if she heeded it. Leona took another sip from her mug to buy herself a few more moments to think, then lowered the mug and finally spoke.
"You're right, Dr. Reid. I might want to find some other area of technical expertise to focus on instead of robotics. Right now I don't have the time to give up everything and go to a school to study the subject and robotics isn't something you want to rush into.
" Leona conceded to Dr. Reid. She was a Wizard Saint and she was supposed to seek challenges, but on this occasion the challenge might just be too great to handle. She had responsibilities as both a Wizard Saint and a Guild Mistress to take care of and neither of those responsibilities could be put on hold for her to go to school. She would just have to find something else to study, something less complex. Perhaps she could go to a mechanic school or she could study a foreign language like the language of Midi.
Dr. Reid, perhaps feeling a bit guilty about stomping Leona's ambition into the ground, spoke to her again.
"I hate to burst your bubble like that, Leona, but like you said, robotics isn't something you just rush into. You have to devote years, if not decades, of study to the subject and you have to study and master multiple disciplines.
" Dr. Reid hammered the point in. Leona remained quiet and did her best to set aside her disappointment. She was not entirely sure if giving up on learning robotics was the best idea because she wanted some return on the book on robotics Mr. Bank had given her, but right now was not the time to press the issue. Dr. Reid had called her here to help with a new project and Leona did not want to jeopardize that working relationship.
"So, you said that you had a project that you needed help with?
" Leona asked, quickly changing the subject before her disappointment could surface again. Dr. Reid nodded.
"Yes, Leona. Remember the Hercules Project from several months ago?
" Dr. Reid asked Leona. Leona nodded.
"Yes Doctor, I remember it. How did your plan to sell it to local construction companies go?
" Leona inquired. Dr. Reid sighed and took another sip of coffee.
"They didn't go for it, did they?
" Leona asked. Dr. Reid nodded silently while drowning her sorrows in coffee. Once she drained the mug the long-haired blonde walked towards the coffee pitcher for a refill.
"Unfortunately, no. They didn't want any part of it. They claimed that it'd cost too much money to purchase each suit and too much time and money to train people how to use it.
" Dr. Reid explained why her project did not sell before refilling her mug with more Motor City Nitro. Leona took a swig from her mug while the doctor began walking towards the garage.
"We have no time for my sorrows, Wizard Saint. Life moves on. Let's begin testing my newest project.
" Dr. Reid suggested to Leona. Leona nodded and looked down at her mug. It was nearly empty.
"Sure thing, Doctor. Just let me refill my mug first, please.
" Leona requested that the testing be put off for just long enough for the Wizard Saint to refill her mug. Dr. Reid nodded and granted Leona that time. The Wizard Saint briskly walked over to the pitcher of coffee, refilled her mug, and quickly joined Dr. Reid in the garage.
-In Dr. Reid's garage-
Leona walked into the garage to find it nearly empty except for a few metal crates dotting the garage area, a wooden table with two black headsets on it, and a blue barrel with arms and legs sitting about twenty meters in front of the table. Leona drank from her cup of coffee as Dr. Reid spoke to her.
"Since the Hercules Project didn't go anywhere, I took the liberty of making a new model called the Atlas. It's able to lift heavier loads, has better shock absorbers, and includes other improvements that you suggested for the Hercules. It still doesn't have head protection for the pilot, though. I hope that's not a problem.
" Dr. Reid introduced the new project to Leona. Leona looked at the inactive suit and was somewhat impressed, but aside from a new coat of paint she did not quite understand what made the Atlas superior to the Hercules. She supposed that she would find out when she got in and activated it.
"Atlas, huh? I can't wait to see what it can do.
" Leona said to the doctor. Leona took one last sip from the coffee mug before putting it down on the far left side of the table. She then took off her sword belt and laid it on the table, then took the black headset Dr. Reid handed her and put it on. Finally she powered on the headset.
Dr. Reid put on her headset and powered it on. She then motioned for Leona to board the suit. Leona wordlessly walked over to it, climbed on board using the handle on the left shoulder to help her climb on, and carefully turned to face the doctor before gently lowering herself into the seat. She gently lowered her legs into the suit until her feet touched the pedals. Leona then sat in the seat and noted that it had been made wider and more comfortable to sit in for long periods of time.
"OK, Leona, do you remember how to power up the Hercules?
" Dr. Reid asked Leona.
"Yes, Doctor. I need to press the button under the thin panel with the gauges, right?
" Leona asked Dr. Reid to refresh her memory.
"That's right. The controls of the Atlas are the same as those of the Hercules, so you should be able to get it started with no problems.
" Dr. Reid answered in the affirmative. Leona looked down inside the chest and quickly located the gauges in question. She found the button and pressed it, gripping the control handles just like last time. To Leona's surprise the Atlas stood upright with much less trouble than the Hercules. The Atlas stood upright with only a modest jolt to the pilot.
"How was the start-up process?
" Dr. Reid asked Leona.
"The transition from sitting to upright was a lot smoother than last time. I only felt a mild jolt when it went upright.
" Leona reported.
"Excellent. Now let's get the testing underway.
" Dr. Reid said to Leona.
"Understood. Awaiting your instructions.
" Leona replied as she sat at the controls of the Atlas.
- Atlas Project Armor:
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