Author Topic: The Genesis of an Industry  (Read 501 times)

Offline Benionin

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The Genesis of an Industry
« on: July 03, 2016, 01:22:51 AM »
The Genesis of an Industry--A Tale of Infinity Wars

     The loan officer looked over the counter at the young man. Couldn't even be twenty. "You're requesting a business loan?" he asked skeptically, and the blond boy nodded enthusiastically.
     "For my start-up," the boy explained.
     "What kind of company is it?" the loan officer asked, clearly uninterested.
     "Tech company," the boy said, just as excited as before. "We're going to build gadgets and robots to make peoples' lives easier. 'Building a better tomorrow, one robot at a time.' How's that sound as a tag-line?"
     "Cliché," the officer said, removing a sheaf of paperwork from a drawer and sliding it across the counter. "Fill out this form and turn it in. We'll get back to you within seven business days."
     The boy glanced over the form, then took out a pen and started filling it in right at the counter, oblivious to the building line behind him. When he was done, he slid it back across. "Here you go. Thanks!" Then he was gone.

     Sirius sat outside the office, nervously checking his watch and wiping his sweaty palms on his pants. I really hope I get this job, he thought, mentally going over his résumé. Sirius was fresh out of university at 22 and this wasn't his first job application. His thoughts strayed towards his student debts and quickly veered away. If all went well, it would be his first successful application.
     The door opened. "Sirius Malcolm," a young voice said--probably a secretary--and he stood up and walked into the room.
     Seated behind the desk was a young man with light blond hair. The man's fingers were constantly moving, tapping out rhythms on the desk or scribbling on a cluttered notepad. His eyes darted over to Sirius, made contact for a moment, then darted away. They seemed to be looking at some far-off distance, as though the kid wasn't quite all there.
     Is this the boss or a joke? was Sirius' first thought, but then he reminded himself that he needed this job. "Hello," he said, extending his arm for a handshake. "I'm Sirius Malcolm. Thank you for seeing me today." The kid shook his hand and gestured for Sirius to take a seat, clasping his hands together and focusing on the newly-graduated engineer. Now that his eyes were focused, there was a terrible intensity behind them--Like being under a microscope, Sirius thought.
     "Fresh out of university, engineering degree, twenty-third in class," the boy rattled off. "Tell me, what was your favorite class?"
     Sirius was taken off-guard by the question. "Um... Controls?"
     The kid smiled. "Ah. I enjoyed my flirtation with linear circuit theory, but I was more of a fan of Theories of Modern Design."
     "I don't remember that course."
     The kid shrugged. "You have a résumé?" Sirius nodded and started to hand it over, but he shook his head. "No need. Tell me, when can you start?"
     "Now wait a minute," Sirius said. "Is this a scam?"
     "What?" the kid seemed scandalized. "A scam? Genesis Industries, a scam? That's a pretty rude question to ask the man who's about to offer you a job."
     "Well forgive me, but this all seems somewhat sketchy. I need this job and I don't want to be taken advantage of. I would feel much more comfortable if I could talk to your boss."
     The kid laughed. "You are."
     "You're the boss?"
     "CEO, CFO, CHR, Head of R&D, you name it and you're talking to him. We're just getting started here, I'm afraid. You're the first applicant I've had all week."
     "Seriously? What are your qualifications, kid?"
     The kid bristled. "I am not a kid."
     "Then how old are you?"
     Sirius paused. "You're a kid."
     "I'll have you know that I have a Master's Degree in Architecture."
     "Architecture? And you're running a tech start-up?"
     The kid shrugged. "Engineering was my hobby. There appears to be plenty of opportunities for tech companies at the moment, so I figured I would get into the field. Architecture isn't in too much demand when any building getting built is in danger of being blown up the next day."
     "I see," Sirius said, measuring his options. "What sort of capital do you have?"
     "I'm not telling that to anyone outside the business," the kid said, eyes narrowing. "From what I understand, that's not a regular aspect of interviews."
     "This is hardly a 'regular' interview," Sirius pointed out. "I need to know that I'm getting into."
     The kid sighed. "I got a 20,000 loan from First Talich Financial." Sirius groaned and the kid smiled, putting up his hand. "Then I got a 60K loan from Talich International Credit Union. Then I got 40K from Jittaric Banking International, and another 60K from the East Talich Consortium. Add to that the 20K that I have saved up and the 10K from First Neon Bank, and we've 210,000 to work with."
     Sirius was shocked. "How'd you pull that off?"
     The kid smiled. "Applied for them all the same day. Each of those sharks thought they could gouge me and when they checked I didn't have any other loans yet. I can't offer you too much to start, but we're going to hit the ground running. I already have equipment coming in and hope to start manufacturing within another week or so. You in?"
     Can this kid really pull this off? "If this goes belly-up, I won't be liable, right?"
     The kid nodded and Sirius smiled.
     "Oh, why not? I'm in."
     The kid beamed. "Excellent! Our first priority is to secure some more capital so I can start paying off the loans and we can upgrade our equipment. After that, we're going into the military sector. I can see lots of money in selling weapons."
     "You think the wars are going to be picking up? I'd thought that they'd stabilized."
     "Trust me. These wars aren't going anywhere, especially if we start selling new weapons and armor. I've already got a few ideas sketched out, but first, we've got to break into the market." He flipped through the pages of his notebook. "Look, here," he said, handing it to Sirius. "A new, compact, efficient, washing machine for laundry. Doubles as a dryer."
     Sirius glanced over the designs. "This is your master plan?"
     "Why not? Everybody will want to buy them. They'll sell quickly and widely. All I need is a Sparky to figure out some of the finer points of programming and wiring them. Say, listen to this: Genesis Industries, building tomorrow, today." Sirius winced and Orion's smile diminished slightly. "Genesis Industries, the start of something new?" Sirius winced even more. "Well, we'll work on a motto later. You ready to start?"
     Sirius looked at the designs, then back at the excited kid. He glanced at the nameplate on the desk. "I'm ready to start working right now, Mr. Orion."
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Offline Benionin

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Re: The Genesis of an Industry
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 01:28:08 AM »
     "I must say, Mr. President," the bearded man said, "those weapon demonstrations were rather impressive. But I'm more interested in the armor that you promised us."
     Orion smiled. "I'm more than happy to show that to you, Field Commander. Come, follow me." They left the weapons testing bunker and walked over to another one nearby. After seven years of hard work, Genesis Industries had grown to the size of a small country. Orion's company owned thousands of acres for its industrial plants and to house its workers; it employed more men and women than any other company worldwide--excepting military installations, of course. Genesis Industries even had a small defense force of its own to drive off spies, saboteurs, and drunk teenagers.
     A sign outside of the armor testing bunker read "Loud guns firing when lights flashing," and the man in the crimson combat uniform nodded at it as they entered the facility. Inside was another shooting range, similar to the one in the weapons testing bunker.
     "This," Orion explained, holding up a machine gun, "is the most commonly used weapon on the planet. The ETC, Jittarians, and even your Flame Dawn use it in vast quantities. It has been the dominant and most powerful infantry firearm on the market." He smiled. "Until now." Orion put on a pair of goggles and headphones to dampen the noise.
     The Flame Dawn representative crossed his arms, unimpressed. "I know what that weapon does, Mr. President. As you say, it's the most commonly used weapon on the planet."
     Orion gestured across the shooting range. "That's a set of our latest body armor," he explained. The armor shone, unpainted metal reflecting the lights in the bunker. "It came off the production line this morning." Aiming the gun, Orion pulled the trigger. There was a loud report followed by a clang.
     The uniformed man glanced at the armor. There was a line gouged in the shoulder where the bullet had been deflected. "Hmph," he said. "Let me try." He grabbed the gun from Orion, sighted along the scope, and fired again. The bullet hit the breastplate right in the center and bounced off, leaving a small dent.
     "As you can see," Orion said, smiling, "Our body armor is proof against the most commonly used weapon. It's relatively light and maneuverable thanks to its design as well. This will give your men an immense advantage, Field Commander Bromich."
     Bromich stroked his beard. "Does it come in gold?" he asked, a small smile forming on his face.
     "For the Flame Dawn, any color you want," Orion declared. "You want gold leaf or paint? Paint's cheaper."
     "I'm sure that the Dawn will spring for the leaf," Bromich said. "Just one more question: will you be selling these weapons and armor to other nations?"
     "Genesis Industries sells to anyone who can pay," Orion said carefully. "But I'm sure that an arrangement can be reached with your government to make us into exclusive partners."
     "Are you suggesting that the Flame Dawn grant Genesis Industries a monopoly on military equipment?" Bromich asked.
     "If you want us to work exclusively with you, it only seems fair that you work exclusively with us." Orion paused. "There's something else, Field Commander."
     Bromich's smile disappeared. "My time is valuable, Orion. Every minute I spend here is a minute that I'm away from the field. Speak your piece, and make it quick."
     "I completely understand. It's just that Genesis Industries has grown to be so large that it has become somewhat cumbersome to deal with our local government. With the support of the Flame Dawn, however, we could easily declare our independence and become a sovereign, allied nation."
     "Done," Bromich said. "Send your terms to my herald and I will sign them. The Flame Dawn hereby agrees to grant Genesis Industries a military monopoly in exchange for exclusive purchasing rights. The Flame Dawn Empire also agrees to sponsor Genesis Industries' status as a sovereign nation. I'll leave the price levels to your expertise, President, but I'm warning you: don't think you can gouge the Dawn. If you do, Aberion will have your eyes gouged out."
     Orion swallowed. "Seems fitting. I'll have the paperwork sent to you by tonight."
     They shook hands. "I'm pleased to begin this partnership between our nations," Bromich said.
     "As am I."
     The Field Commander left.
     A few yards away, a technician looked up. Sirius flipped up the welding mask that disguised his face. "You're playing with fire, kid."
     "I'm hardly a child, Sirius," Orion pointed out. "And I know what I'm doing."
     "Do you? By elevating Genesis Industries to statehood you're painting a target on us. Not to mention that now we'll have to deal with all of the politics involved."
     "Like we weren't dealing with politics before?"
     "Other nations will declare war on us now, you know that. They'll try to seize our plants and technology. We don't have the manpower to fight off an attack, even with the defense force."
     "Let them try." Orion tapped his watch and it projected a 3-D blueprint. "This is the latest combat robot design. It's been in production for three weeks."
     "You've been planning this for a while, haven't you? Of course."
     "As soon as we announce our sovereignty, our first battle group is going to seize Neon's city hall. Another group is going to take control of Lanstead. Every one of our local plants has a force at the ready."
     "A coup?"
     "It's the most efficient way," Orion said, shrugging. "We're already the number 1 landowner and employer on the continent, so we're taking over less than you would think. Just government centers."
     "And how about when the Flame Dawn eventually declares war on us? Did you think of that?"
     "They won't for as long as we sell them weapons and armor. At least, not until all of the other countries have been conquered."
     "Do you think they'll really do that?"
     Orion nodded. "With our weapons, I know they will."
     "You're creating a monster."
     "It's a leashed monster, and I didn't exactly create the Flame Dawn. If we hadn't allied with them, they would have conquered us anyway and absorbed us into their own military-industrial complex. This way at least, we have power in the relationship."
     "And what happens when your leashed monster decides to bite the hand that feeds it?" Sirius asked.
     Orion reached over and grabbed a gun from the weapon rack. This was a different model from the previous one--a Genesis model. He took aim and fired.
     There was a smoking hole in the center of the suit of armor.
     "If Aberion is so foolish as to attack us and Bromich actually lets him, then we'll be ready."

     It had been a long time since Sirius Malcolm had signed on as Genesis Industries' first employee. He'd gone bald young and was only consoled by nursing a large moustache. He'd put on weight and had picked up a limp from an explosion while wiring a prototype of a jetpack. His hair had begun to gray.
     Maybe I should retire, he thought as he limped into Orion's office. I'm getting too old for this.
     Orion looked up as he walked in and smiled, reminding Sirius of the excited child who had hired him all those decades ago. "Sirius," he said warmly, rising from his chair. "Take a seat. Please."
     The engineer nodded and gratefully took the offered seat. Orion sat down as well. "Tell me, my friend, what brings you here today? Some of those younger mechanics giving you any trouble?"
     Sirius shook his head. Orion had grown over the years, but little had changed. He was still calculating and confident. His mind still raced along at the speed of light. But the man who sat before him was much better at hiding it than the boy had been. His eyes met Sirius' and stayed there instead of wandering around the room. The notepad was hidden in a top desk-drawer for once guests had departed.
     "They did it, Orion," Sirius finally said. "The Flame Dawn declared war."
     Orion frowned for a moment, then hid it. "So soon?"
     Sirius nodded. "Their embassy closed up shop this morning. A herald arrived shortly after they were gone. Satellite images show troop movements around Pyr."
     "Hmm. Well then, looks like we'll just have to fight them." He swept items off of his desk with his arm, revealing a digital map. "Evacuate the northern territories closest to the border and Pyr. Have the Defense Forces stage a few holding actions and try to draw them in. Extend their supply lines to the breaking point, harry them, you know the plan." He paused. "Puffy! Fortifications around Lanstead aren't complete yet! I honestly expected them to wait longer." And then the sudden outburst of emotion was gone. "No matter. We'll hold them off, force them to come to terms."
     Sirius nodded. "That was the plan."
     "Say, any news from the team leader working on those teleporters? Aleta, I believe."
     "She's been tinkering with them, but no significant progress. They're still highly unstable."
     "Have her see if we can rig them as traps. Might be able to swallow up whole groups of soldiers without even fighting them."
     "I'll do that," Sirius said. He stood up to leave, then sighed. "Listen, Orion. Can we pull this off? I need to know what we're getting into."
     Orion looked at him, his eyes focused and his gaze stronger than steel. "We can do this, Sirius. If we work hard and stick to the plan, we can hold off the Flame Dawn until they're spent. Are you ready to get to work?"
     Sirius smiled, reassured. "I'm ready to start working right now, Mr. Orion."
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Into the Fray, a novel of Infinity Wars
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