GGNOVEL > Xuanhuan > Daedalus > Chapter 89 : M1: Term: 2, Round: 4
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Chapter 89 : M1: Term: 2, Round: 4

Daedalus

Attendance at Fortescue Military Academy M1 Y:2142

House Thoth, Squad Leader, Squad Zero

M1 Rank: 1/1275, Tier 3 M-Rank: Null

Daedalus Operating Capital: 200,000 bitcreds

<break>

"I just cancelled arena practice with Shu," Daedo announced when he sat down at the cafeteria. Dinner was almost over, but he managed to catch the squad before they left.

"What happened?" Vannier asked.

"Crazy Fortescue stuff, that's why I am putting everything from tonight's schedule on hold. We have a lot to discuss," Daedo was talking at a rapid pace.

"We should head to the workshop," Mace suggested, and she received nods of agreement from many cadets. They could talk in private at the workshop, and they felt safe there.

"Should we pack-up the new exos?" Barran asked. They had only unpacked the new three-point-two model an hour earlier.

"I don't think we can be at this stage, so yes, we take everything of value with us and leave immediately," Daedo replied.

"What about the rentals?" Axelzero asked.

"They are two-point-six, even if someone breaks the rental contract they don't have all the new which take the exo to the next level," Vannier replied.

"I'm confused, is this to do with the news on Saturday and the memo today?" Kang asked.

"Yes," Daedo answered

"Let's move," Vannier said standing.

The cadets packed all the exos they had just unpacked and headed to the workshop, leaving the Fortescue Military Academy campus. The only person they notified was Master Nader.

When they arrived at the workshop, Mace noticed something was off.

"Do you see that?" She asked pointing up into the air.

"Delivery drones?" Barran asked.

"That looks like a full spectrum spy drone, and delivery drones do not circle," she replied.

"We have guns, let's shoot them down," Barran said as he pushed his exo into the loading dock designated pickup area where the bots would take over.

"Don't be stupid," Vannier said.

"They are flying legally in drone designated airspace," Mace stated.

"They would love it if you shot them down," Daedo stated. "It would give them leverage on us."

"So we can't shoot them down, what can we do?" Barran asked.

"Check your Faraday defence," Mace said. "The one Master Nader had you set up."

Barran nodded and brought up his controls from his bodysuit popup screen situated on his forearm.

"Looks good, I'll run a test to make sure," Barran said.

"What if they got a ; Kang asked. "Don't shoot them, but, what if a loose electronic pulse fried their nav?"

"Oh, that's good," Barran said. "Can you do that?"

"Not me, maybe Daedo, Mace or Cisse," Kang replied.

"If they can't spy on us, there is no need to take a risk to deactivate them," Daedo

"Barran keep an eye on them but do nothing," Vannier requested.

The cadets collected on the lower one test range, which was underground, taking a approach.

"Enough waiting! Spill the beans!" Several cadets peppered Daedo.

"Get comfortable," he said, "This could take awhile." The cadets pulled pieces of exercise equipment from all corners and sat in a circle using the equipment as ad-hoc furniture.

"A few weeks ago, as you know, I had that meeting with Karine Fortescue, and we thought it went well. It was about the same time we began renting the exos. We came to an understanding, a pact, and I assured her we would do our best to not only ensure the Academy was not relegated, and if possible, promoted."

"As you are all aware, all we are interested in is building up Daedalus and our skills. We are not trying to bring anyone down," Daedo summarised.

"Unlike other jerks," Picard said under her breath.

"Then last week, we were all there, the meeting with Fortescue and some of the leading cadets took She wasn't directly attacking us, but if she stopped us being selected for the Inter-Academy first team, it would be breaking our agreement. She would have prevented us from competing if we didn't agree to gene therapy."

"Any gene therapy she was proposing was unlikely to be safe. I don't trust her or the company's ethics or competency," Vannier added.

"That brings us to today," Daedo stated.

"No one should speak about what happened last Thursday in the library, Master Nader has it under control. If you are approached by anyone, say nothing, you saw and heard nothing," Daedo said

"What is Master Nader doing? How does she have it under control?" Picard asked.

"She has the match-fixing and it using it to keep Fortescue inline," Daedo said.

"We were going to use that!" Barran said concerned.

"It's best this way. I was at the meeting, and you should have seen the admin office, there were Fortescue lackeys everywhere. If I trust anyone to outmaneuver them its Master Nader," Daedo said.

"How do we know she is on our side," Kang asked, and Picard agreed.

"They were intimidated by her, and they were certainly unhappy to see her with me," Daedo said. "Every time we have needed she has provided it, whether its break-ins or political shenanigans from the Academy admin."

"We can trust her," Vannier said, and Mace agreed. It was enough for the squad that the three lead cadets believed in Master Nader.

"That brings us up to our current predicament," Daedo said. "We're attending an Academy where we're not treated fairly, and it's likely it's only going to get worse. If it was only Siderus and the other House Captains we had to deal with, we would have the weekly training matches and a chance to participate in the Inter-Academy should they fail."

"And even if we did, and we stopped them getting demoted, why would we want to help these asshats?" Barran asked.

"That's a very good ," Vannier agreed.

"If we could stop worrying about Fortescue we could focus on our goals," Picard added.

"Which is to make bitcreds, improve our tech, academics and training," Axelzero said. "Do we need Fortescue for any of that?"

"I like that line of thinking. Let's look at what we need for our goals," Daedo added.

Vannier brought up the short to medium term goals for Daedalus with of how they were going to achieve them.

"We need an Academy for the Academics and Training, the Inter-Academy is integral. It not only gives us the best practice partners," Vannier stated reading off the chart.

"It showcases our tech which feeds into our business goals," Axelzero added for her.

"Can we change Academies?" Kang asked.

"I can't I have a ," Picard said.

"We can't without our parent's ," Axelzero added.

"Both of these obstacles can be if Daedalus takes over payments for all of our squad, and it shouldn't be hard to gain if we make our case," Daedo said.

"Why don't we charge Fortescue to save them from ; Barran asked. "Do you know who much it's worth? It would cost them a fortune in brand and lost sales."

"That was a part of the first meeting with Fortescue, weren't you watching?" Vannier asked.

Barran shrugged.

"She wouldn't pay," Axelzero said.

"Then we kick it up higher, and we make it a bet," Barran said. "Assuming we stay."

"What do we lose if we move?" Mace asked.

The cadets thought about the and made a list. Which included the closeness of the workshop, unless they went to Renault it could be hours away from a new Academy. What tier was the Academy they would be into? Lost fees which were prepaid for M1. What would happen to the exo rentals at FMA? And last but not least, they would lose Master Nader.

"The only problem with Fortescue Military Academy is Fortescue themselves," Mace observed.

"You're right, we don't have an issue with the facilities, academics, cadets, tier or ," Vannier replied.

"I have an idea," Barran said. "If we can make Fortescue pay and they give us free rein on equipment and cadet And if they don't, we leave."

"It's a good proposal," Daedo agreed. "The creds will help our goal, our tech gets put on , and we get the practice we need. But, given everything that has happened up until now, what makes you think they would suddenly agree?"

"Because," Barran said. "We would offer them a deal they couldn't refuse. Not unless they are retarded."

"You could make a case that they are," Axelzero said.

"Vannier, can you investigate possible Academies we can switch to," Daedo requested. "Barran, if they don't this deal. We will leave."

<break>

The cadets never returned to the Academy. They stayed at the workshop working on their academics, projects and training as usual. The main difference was they couldn't participate in the obstacle course, Gauntlet nor the combined gunnery and piloting They were no longer being monitored and assessed by the Academy other than coursework

It took over a week, but Barran finally nailed down a meeting with Yasmin, Karine and Xavier Fortescue. Xavier was Husband, Father and CEO of Fortescue group respectively.

Master Nader the pair from the workshop, "I trust you know what you are doing cadet," she phrased the statement as a

"If they do not our terms, we will not be coming back to the Academy," Daedo stated

Master Nader nodded once in It seemed that fact did not worry her in the least and Daedo knew if they left the Academy she would also.

The Autocar pulled into the familiar Academy grounds, and the made their way directly to the top level of the administrative building, the Lieutenant General's floor. As soon as they arrived at the foyer, a Fortescue lackey showed them into the meeting room.

Karine was sitting with her helmet down, while her Mother and Father were quietly chatting at a window which had a view of the Academy grounds and topside Arenas. The Commander and LG were nowhere to be seen.

"Ah," Yasmine said, "Xavier these are the cadets in and their House Master." Karine's elegant mother said as an as her husband turned.

Xavier Fortescue was tall, thin and groomed in his high tech suit. He looked the very image of a top CEO, and his presence could be felt by the cadets as his eyes bored into them, every insecurity and they possessed.

"Good afternoon gentleman and lady," he said slowly, his tone and speech were commanding, but not like a military general. His charisma and self-confidence were the sources of his commanding personality.

"Sir," the cadets said in response without saluting.

"Everyone, take your seats and let's get started. I've made the effort to come here today to review the Academy and see you," Xavier said as if he was ingratiating them with his majesty.

"I have reviewed the data from Yasmin, Karine and Academy personnel. The consensus is they would very much like you to stay if certain can be met," Xavier began.

"Excuse me, sir," Daedo interrupted. "We haven't come here today to listen to your terms. We have demands, and if they are not met, we will be leaving."

Xavier looked surprised for a moment but indicated for Daedo continue.

"There is no point in going through a list of because I can tell you now the answer is; NO, we will not be your ;

Yasmin leaned forward, "This is what Karine has been dealing with, hence the issues she has been having."

"We didn't make the issues, we are simply here," Barran said angrily. He pointed at Yasmin. Karine and Xavier in turn. "All the issues stem from Fortescue's lack of investment and , and if it wasn't for us, you wouldn't have a chance of avoiding ;

Barran paused a moment waiting for that to sink in before adding savagely, "Not without resorting to cheating."

Xavier peered at the two cadets, he was angry only momentarily before he got himself under control.

"Very well," he said after a minute of , "I will hear you out."

Yasmin was outraged, "What?! You can't bend to the will of these children. Their Master has filled their minds with of grandeur."

"I will listen to them and be the judge of that," Xavier responded to his wife in a curt tone. She acquiesced immediately, and with a hurt look on her face she turned and looked out the window.

Barran stood, "Our offer is based on the premise that we can guarantee the Academy will not be relegated, with the possibility of this year. We can only do this if the interference from Fortescue is removed from the ;

"We will decide what equipment is used by the Middle and Upper first teams and we will determine the method of team Daedalus will prove the equipment with no legal ; Barran walked around the table confidently.

"We will sign a contract which enshrines all of these , and if the Academy is relegated, we will pay Fortescue two bitcreds."

Barran let the statement sink in for a moment, and Karine asked a before he could

"You don't have two bitcreds," She stated confidently.

Barran reached inside his bodysuit side compartment and pulled out a shiny card.

"I thought you'd say that," he tapped the shiny card, "We have two bitcreds on this card. You can check."

As they sat there bewildered by the fact, that Daedalus had a two bitcred bank guarantee. Amidst the stunned silence Barran continued.

"Oh, but there is a catch. If Fortescue Military Academy avoids , you will have to pay Daedalus one bitcreds, and if we win you will have to pay us four bitcreds,"

Barran said. "Oh and, you will need to pay us one hundred thousand bitcreds upon signing of the contract for material and other costs for the season."

"That's a terrible deal," Yasmin said emphatically.

"We are confident your market research will show the real cost of and the benefit of No matter what happens Fortescue will benefit," Daedo said.

"Can you pull it off?" Xavier asked. "Can you avoid ;

"Yes. Easily," Daedo replied meeting Xavier's searching stare.

Xavier turned to Yasmin who did not look happy and then to Karine who was staring at Daedo like she wanted to skin him alive.

"Can you win ; Xavier asked.

"Yes, but not easily," Daedo replied.

Xavier stood. "I want to see the contract and the details on how and why you will avoid I will insist the two bitcreds be into escrow, upon signing, and returned to you once is no longer possible. Here are my contact details." He flicked his contact to Daedo and Barran as he walked out.

Yasmin followed close behind her husband.

Karine sat at the at the table looking down. Finally, she raised her head slowly and looked at Daedo a tear in her eye, "How dare you." She said vehemently before she stood and both arms on the table tears beginning to stream down her face. She ignored the fact Master Nader, and the two male cadets could see her cry.

"He wouldn't do a thing I asked," she breathed hoarsely the words came out softly at first before louder. "Not a thing!

"They gave me no support, just bad advice. And you walk in here,"

the words became louder, and by the end, she was screaming, "You ask for of bitcreds, and all the power and he basically agreed!"

Saliva was projected from her mouth as she literally sprayed, "How fucking dare you!"

Daedo looked at Barran and conveyed the message without saying a word. This is all on you.

<break>

Daedo and Barran stood before the squad at the workshop where they had been holed up for the last week.

"What happened!" Axelzero pleaded.

"You two could have messaged us immediately, now, stop teasing us," Vannier added.

Daedo looked at Barran who then spoke, "Yep," he said.

"Yep, what!" Picard

"They haven't signed, but, Daddy Fortescue is going for it," Barran

Vannier sat down. "I don't know whether to be happy or terrified."

When Barran the change Xavier requested, Axelzero responded.

"If we have to put the bank guarantee into escrow, they have to do the same with the one bitcred reward," she said.

"That's a good idea. Why not four ; Barran queried.

"Do you think there is a chance they would agree to four ; Axelzero said.

"Four is a lot less to them than two is to us," Daedo observed.

"Okay, four then," Barran said.

"Good, I don't trust them," Axelzero said.

"This is not about trust Axelzero, this is business," Barran said the last word in a strange and elongated manner.

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