Chapter 69 Rising Pressure
The engine was a core component of a spaceship, akin to a humans heart. Without a healthy heart, there was no way a body could sustain high-intensity work.
All the components which were going to be used in the restoration of the naval-issued Eagle-class frigate must be of the highest standards, so the engine of course was no different.
The Black Mamba 130 engine was built by one of the top components manufacturers in the alliance, Dark Sky Serpent Corporation. The standard frigate engine could generate a propulsion force of around a hundred standard units, while a Black Mamba 130 engine could generate up to a hundred thirty standard units of propulsion force through an optimized mechanical structure and power system, a thirty percent increase compared to the standard frigate engine.
Given how science had developed to its current point, plenty of technology out there was already pushed to their extremes, so even just improving performance by a teeny bit would be extremely expensive.
Though a Black Mamba 130 engines performance was only thirty percent higher than the conventional engine, the technical difficulty to achieve this was well beyond what an ordinary human could imagine.
Apparently, in order to improve engine performance, Dark Sky Serpent Corporation had done tens of thousands of modifications to a standard engine, spending over a hundred years just to produce a top-grade engine.
Precisely due to the complexity of such top-grade equipment in terms of the creation process that it had a very low production rate. Rarely could anyone buy it on the market, and when one or two Black Mamba 130 engines appeared for sale, the price would invariably be many times higher than the standard models.
There was a conventional praxis among the top manufacturers to provide service for the privileged class in the universe with their products first before making them available for purchase to the average galactic citizens.
Xia Fei was very clear what it meant to miss this chance of acquiring such a top-grade engine. He was silent for a good while before smiling. Uncle Porter, you shouldnt be too disappointed. We can find a solution for this matter with the engine. Considering how vast the universe is, I refuse to believe that we wont be able to get our hands on another top-grade engine.
Porter nodded, and the two made their way back the way they had come.
The atmosphere was somewhat heavy on their journey back. Xia Fei was thinking about the matter with Old K this whole time. He did not know that person, nor did he wish to know the other, but that stranger had unwittingly interfered with the assembly plan of his newly purchased spaceship, and Xia Fei was not at all happy about it.
The other components Porter had ordered continued to be delivered to the factory through various interstellar courier companies. They did not have enough parts to assemble the spaceship completely, so they had to utilize a studio designed by the factory to create 3D models of what they lacked and send those to high-precision automated fabricators for parts processing.
While they could produce parts that they lacked through this method, it was not particularly efficient, for plenty of time was needed to redesign every component, which kind of slowed their refurbishing progress.
Lina, a distant niece of Porters, who was in her twenties, was the one overseeing the design studio. This girl, with a pair of sharp eyebrows, had a meticulous work-attitude. Old Porter practically spent twenty-four seven a day in the studio with her to create all the parts needed.
Meanwhile, Xia Fei, with a pair of universal modification pliers in hand, worked with Boateng and the rest on servicing the spaceship. A month passed, and Xia Fei turned from a newbie who knew nothing about warships into a passable spaceship mechanic.
He spent fifteen hours of his day with the factory workers; he even ate or occasionally shared a drink or two with them. No matter how tiring and strenuous the work was, Xia Fei had never once complained.
When the others would retire once night fell; Xia Fei, on the other hand, would persevere for another six hours in honing his skills. He would sometimes satisfy Avrils curiosity by chatting with her about the progress of the spaceship building while also hearing her complaints about her music teacher or art tutor. He spent each day hectically and fulfillingly.
Soon, with Boateng being the first, the workers in the factory all began to take a shine to Xia Fei. They often gave him some of the local snacks, and he likewise shared his tea leaves and cigarettes to them.
A majority of them really liked the tea leaves, but practically everyone would shake their heads at the mention of cigarettes. They simply could not understand why anyone would willingly subject themselves to choking on it, and seeing how Xia Fei would always light a stick and take a drag whenever they took a break, all started referring jokingly to this act as Xia Fei spending money to suffer.
Xia Fei could only smile in response, completely unperturbed by their wisecracks.
He could not deny that Old Porter had successfully trained all these workers into becoming elite mechanics. Each had their area of expertise, be repairing electronic systems or doing maintenance on the air filtration system.
Slowly, Xia Fei had another task on top of his day-to-day maintenance work, and that was to learn the skills all these different people possessed.
As his knowledge toward spaceships maintenance and repairs increased, Xia Fei began to try posing his questions, even implementing some of the ideas that he came up with himself.
Maintenance work was slow and tedious, but because he had been improving at breakneck speeds, especially when it came to some of his more random concepts and thoughts, even Old Porter had nothing but praise for him.
The recent few days began to see the supply of parts and components struggling to keep up with their spaceship refurbishment. At times, they would only work an hour and rest the next, becoming busy for short stints whenever new parts came, resting again after they finished installing what they had until new parts were produced.
Xia Fei did not say a word as he saw Old Porter becoming more and more flustered. He did not even ask about the matter regarding the production of components and parts because he already knew that Porter was already doing his best to restore the spaceship to an optimal state.
No matter how difficult it was to design those parts, they could ultimately be produced, so it was without a doubt just an issue of their progression speed. Instead, what Xia Fei had his eye on was a more practical and important problem: engine.
During this time, Xia Fei would often log into the interplanetary internet and searched for a suitable engine. He had even willingly spent ten million star coins to increase the grade of his account just so he could tap into the nearby three-star regions.
Unfortunately, there were hardly any top-grade engines on the market, and even if they were in stock, some so-called VIP or big shot would always have priority acquiring them, and Xia Fei simply did not have the chance to make the purchase.At times, he would even come across top grade engines that were unsuitable for the spaceship.
At the start when designing the spaceship, Xia Fei had already made the decision that he would raise every aspect of its performance to the peak, and if he failed to find a suitable engine, it would be like a sprinter losing a legit would severely hamper the frigates overall performance.
For a whole month, Old K did not come and trouble Porter, though there would often be some fighter jets inexplicably flying super low nearby, creating so much noise and air turbulence when they passed by that the entire factory would shake on its foundation. There was even an instance when the gust created caused a warship in the factory to be blown down, and the workers had to waste plenty of effort just to realign it.
There were also some brawny men who would poke their heads out and keep watch of the compound. Xia Fei caught some of these men several times during his late night training sessions, but he resisted the urge to strike at them.
Although everyone continued to joke around and work like usual, almost all of them knew that a hurricane was about to descend, and they could feel the pressure being put on them.
Early in the morning on this day, Xia Fei clambered out of bed as per usual, did a simple washing of his face, and carried his universal modification plier into the workshop, ready to start the days work.
This was when he saw Boateng sitting on the ground by himself by the workshop entrance, looking helpless.
Xia Fei smiled as he approached the guy, asking, What happened? Did you quarrel with your wife again?
Boateng shook his head vigorously. Everyone didnt arrive for work today. Were it any other day, they would already be starting work.
Xia Fei was slightly shocked and looked at his microcomputer watch for the time. He had chatted with Avril until late last night, which was why he had gotten up at the usual time that he was supposed to start work.
Old Porters workers all observed punctuality. They would all turn up at work fifteen minutes before they were expected at the very least, so if this were as per usual, all should have started to get busy with their respective tasks by now.
Lighting a cigarette, Xia Fei sat beside Boateng and looked up at the overcast sky. Does Uncle Porter know?
Boateng quietly nodded, not saying a word.
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Xia Fei looked around and noticed that there seemed to be a lone figure far in the northwest corner of the factory, using the equipment in his hands to observe what was going on in the workshop.
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