Chapter 325: Repair Technician (Part 2/2)
"Hello, Worker Zhai," Luo Nan greeted politely, but in the next moment, he blinked his eyes. He felt that this repair technician looked rather familiar.
Plus, Luo Nan noticed that Worker Zhai seemed to be sizing him up as well. Worker Zhai's gaze wasn't directed at Luo Nan's face however. Instead, it rested upon the loose-leaf Luo Nan always carried by his side.
The two locked gazes once more, and Worker Zhai laughed. He said, "Our center doesn't have the pertinent records for the product that the customer has delivered to us for repair. I have confirmed it to be a D.I.Y. product…. Speaking of which, this student sure likes this kind of stuff, eh?"
Luo Nan was lost for a time. He gazed back at Worker Zhai once more, and memories resurfaced from the depths of his brain. He suddenly realized why this Worker Zhai's face looked familiar. They had indeed met before. His flexible e-ink screen had been stomped on and broken last month when he and Li Xuecheng had that conflict. He took advantage of the Precision Electronics Hobby Society's club activity to get it repaired. Back then, it was none other than this Worker Zhai who had opened up his flexible e-ink screen, allowing Luo Nan to discover the external neuron hidden within.
He recalled that he had acted quite rudely in his moment of desperation. Fortunately, Worker Zhai had a good temperament and wasn't bothered by it.
Luo Nan revealed a smile as well. "Oh, Worker Zhai works here. Much thanks for that day…."
"Thanks for what? I just opened it up, didn't do anything else. Oh right, have you fixed that tablet of yours yet?"
Luo Nan didn't know how to respond upon hearing this question. In his moment of stupefaction, Worker Zhai changed the topic, "What you brought here today is also a D.I.Y. product. There aren't any operator manuals readily available. This makes fixing it more troublesome. Currently, our service center isn't at full capacity in servicing customers. I propose you apply for exclusive service. This will make the speed much quicker."
D.I.Y? In other words, the tai chi ball wasn't a mass-produced product.
Luo Nan was a bit surprised, but found it rational. He had never seen such a tai chi ball outside of the daoguan before. He felt that its range of application was also quite narrow.
Before he could respond, Crag Burst asked the service advisor to their side, "This counts as a last minute upgrade in service. How are you going to calculate the price?"
The beautiful service advisor explained gently, "The two sirs came here with a reservation made by someone else. Today’s expenses will all be assumed by that customer. As for 'exclusive service', the main benefit is the switch from the open workstation that you have right now to an independent workshop. This fulfills the privacy requirements. Based on that customer's scope of privileges, you won't need to pay any additional expenses."
"Oh, really? Papercut is so magnanimous. Then let us not argue and go with this." Crag Burst simply took matters in his own hands, making a decision for Luo Nan.
Luo Nan didn't object.
"Then let us enter into exclusive service. The workshop is number 245. Please follow the service advisor and wait ahead." Worker Zhai fiddled with some things on his end, waiting for a substitute repair technician to arrive and take his place.
Luo Nan and Crag Burst followed the beautiful service advisor. They made their way through a large open hall and arrived at a completely enclosed workshop to one side. The installations here weren't that different from those outside; there were just a few more equipment. Actually, the space was quite smaller. Crag Burst, with his huge size, felt a bit constrained.
The control console suddenly activated a delivery channel during Crag Burst's mumbling. Luo Nan's mechanical device was fixed to a special vise, and was shipped over to be placed upon a spot that was slightly in front of the center of the control console.
This mechanical device was the core of the daoguan's tai chi ball. Externally, it was a sphere that was the size of a fist. On its surface stretched a very thin layer of metal mesh. Inside lay a device similar to a gyroscope. Atop the special support, the external metal mesh endlessly expanded and shrunk. It didn't stop doing this at all, but this was all that it did.
Crag Burst clicked his tongue twice. "It's quite easy for them to shuttle things to and fro."
As he spoke, he pulled Luo Nan ahead to go up and observe.
The service advisor had explained to them that the independent workshop was different from the outside. Customers were allowed to directly enter the control console and observe at close range. They could even perform some work themselves, if the repair technician permitted it. Some D.I.Y. enthusiasts wanted none other than this atmosphere. They rushed over like ducks to places like these.
Luo Nan knew nothing about machinery or electronics. He was completely lost when it came to working on them. However, Crag Burst could count as half an expert, having worked for many years in the Coastal Defense Force. He hadn't really cared for the toy that Luo Nan sent here for repair, but once he got near it, he went, "Ah," in surprise. He said, "This toy looks oddly familiar. It's like... It's like... a hovering target sphere?"
"The model should be the Comet Type III Hovering Target produced by the Piya Corporation. It is a very old model, having been introduced on the market ten years ago," Worker Zhai entered from a different side via a staff access-way and continued Crag Burst's topic.
Crag Burst snapped his fingers. "That's right. It's a Comet III. The gyroscope in the middle is actually an AI core. It's like magic, and it's quite robust. In the military, it can be used for a long time when placed within any target drone shell. It's also easy to repair."
"Yes, it isn't hard to fix the Comet III, but this product is a bit different."
Worker Zhai walked forward to stand next to Luo Nan and the control console. He wasn't tall; he was around the same height as Luo Nan. And he looked quite amiable when he laughed. As he stood in front of the control console and as the relevant privileges started up, the various repair and diagnosis equipment began to boot up one after another. They made calibrations according to his location. The entire workshop practically revolved around him in operation.
"Tsk, the equipment in this room must be worth more than a million." Crag Burst turned his head all round. He looked very inquisitive.
Worker Zhai agreed, "A standard workshop is allocated 7.5 million credits worth of equipment, even after eight years of depreciation. I've also added some of my own personal equipment here for my own use…. Look, there are at least two places here in this hovering target that need some major repair."
Crag Burst gathered himself closer ahead. He discussed with Worker Zhai, "I see a spot. The external target drone shell has been removed. In its place is a metal mesh. I have no idea what the hell it does."
"To fasten to the frame, right?" Luo Nan relied on his memories to compare the diameter of the tai chi ball's inner cavity with the size of the hovering target. He noticed that there was a slight discrepancy. He looked at the metal mesh endlessly expand and contract once more, and did some guesswork.
"Frame?" Worker Zhai thought for a bit, but he didn't ask further. Instead, he indicated for the two to look. "The mesh is only an accessory. The core issue doesn't lie here."
As he spoke, he fiddled a few times with the device atop the vise. It was unknown how he did it, but he removed the metal mesh and placed it to the side. All that was left was the central gyroscope-shaped object. The gyroscope's rotor wasn't rotating at the moment. It simply sat there.
Worker Zhai then manipulated a robotic hand to probe the gyroscope's various components and disassemble it. The difficulty of this disassembly seemed to be no less than that of disassembling the flexible e-ink screen back then. In a short minute, the three heard a subtle click. It seemed that some sort of mechanism had been touched. The gyroscope's axis separated away from the center, revealing an object like a shard of glass.
Worker Zhai manipulated the robotic hand once more, using special tweezers to extract the object. He placed the object on a different vise, a miniature one, and fixed it in place.
At that moment, they were able to see that this object's external shape was quite standard. It assumed the shape of a rhombohedron. Clearly, it had undergone special processing.
"The central control chip?" Crag Burst asked in a low voice. His breathing even slowed a little. He was scared that he would blow this thing away.
Luo Nan didn't talk; he just squinted his eyes.