“So, you decided to call back huh?”
“Yes Mr. Viri, I have.”
“Hmph. Learned some respect did ya? Well too bad! I found myself another mechanical protegee and he’s going to get my offer instead! At least he’s more respectful than certain ungrateful brats.”
“If you didn’t want me, then why did you give me your phone number then?”
“Because I wanted to hear you as you realized you gave up on a once in a lifetime opportunity. Ha!”
Chu Shen’s face scrunched up and he looked at Leonard. They were both huddled around his desk while Xentus Viri was on the line. Leonard had volunteered to guide him in the conversation.
Leonard muted the phone from their end. “Don’t worry. He’s obviously just trying to make you nervous. Just ask him what you have to do to get in. Depending on what he asks you can decide. Otherwise we just have to negotiate or give up.”
Chu Shen shook his head. “No way. Like he said this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I might be able to get a similar offer but not one as good. I have to get this.”
He un-muted the phone. “Mr. Viri. I know I was rude to begin with but how was I supposed to know who you were? I only arrived on sparta 9 months ago and have spent all that time studying.”
“Not my fault. I told you who I was and you didn’t even check out my story. You dismissed me, so I am dismissing you. Simple, see?”
“Listen Mr. Viri. I would really like to accept your offer. If you won’t let me tell me what I need to do in order to get accepted.”
“….” There was a long awkward silence that followed after he asked the question. Chu Shen and Leonard exchanged helpless shrugs after the first 5 minutes. What else could they do but wait?
After almost 20 minutes there was a muffled bump. “Alright.” Xentus Viri’s voice came from the desk. “I have decided. In order to have the lab along with the unlimited budget I ask you to do two things.”
“I have already discovered you are exceedingly smart and have a vested interest in engineering. What you need to prove to me now is that you can indeed create something otherwise the lab would go to waste.”
“So prove to me that you can create something. I will pay for you to enter into the Robo Games. It’s a simple competition where you must use a limited budget to build a combat robot which will fight the other robots. The deadline for entrance is tomorrow so be ready.”
“If you can get 3rd place I will give you a fully stocked lab, however you will have to pay rent. 2nd place will earn you the lab with rent at half price. 1st place will earn you a free fully stocked lab.”
“As for the second thing. There is another competition called Pod Racing. It’s a popular racing game based off a real classic. It’s the same thing, a limited budget to build a racing vehicle.”
“Once again I will pay for your entrance fee but since this involves racing you will have to have a pilot. You can, of course, pilot it but if you want to hire a pilot you will have to pay for that yourself.”
“The Robo Games will last five days for construction and another two days for the competition. The Pod Racing will be three days after the end of the Robo Games.”
“As for the rewards…. 3rd place is a set amount of credits for materials. Could be a single credit, or it could be a thousand. It really depends upon how impressed I am with your performance. 2nd place is ten times the amount as 3rd while 1st is unlimited amount of credits.”
“However, everything including the lab and credits must be going towards verifiable projects and not gambling debts or making alcohol. Not that you would do something since you are so young but I still have to put it out there.”
“So, do we have a deal?”
Chu Shen immediately replied back. “Give me a minute and you will have my answer.”
“Nuh-uh. Decide now.” But as Xentus was talking he was already pressing the mute button.
He looked at Leonard. “I think you should go for it. It seems to be perfect if you manage to get to the top three in both. Just ask him what happens if you lose.” Chu Shen nodded and un-muted the call.
“What happens if I don’t place in any of them?”
“Simple. I come back in another 2 years after you instruct yourself some more before giving you the same offer. You won’t even have to pay me back. It’s no skin off my nose, it’s only a eight hundred credits after all.”
“I agree then.”
“Great. Look the games up and go to the registration booths. Show them my business card I gave you, it’ll be proof that you’re the one they need. Anyways, see ya. P.S. There was no other kid. Hahahaha”
Chu Shen shook his head. “He just has to get the last word in doesn’t he?” He said to Leonard.
Leonard just sighed. Then he stood up. “Oh well. Anyways we still have some time wanna register today or tomorrow?”
Chu Shen leaned back in the chair. “Tomorrow. How about today we just relax.”
“Fine with me.” Leonard replied.
“Let’s go eat ice cream then! I’m starved!”