This is where it all began.
Oh no, this isn't your clean, mechas-only junkyard that was the 'starting point' of many mecha geniuses out there.
I have seen and heard my share of rags-to-riches stories, and many of them claimed that they had started from 'junkyards' and slowly grew to be where they were right now. From Zero to Hero, they declared. You can do it too, they said. As long as you work hard, everything is possible, they claimed.
I call bullshit.
Life doesn't work like that.
All those professed Zero-to-Hero geniuses are definitely middle to low income families who still have houses to live in and regular meals three times a day. The 'junkyard' they claimed to have started from is definitely just a scrappy second-hand mecha shop down the street.
I can bet everything I own on it.
For one thing, they all look too clean to be junkyard scrappers like me. They speak too nicely, their hands are too smooth, and their eyes are shining too brightly, god damn it.
Yes, they are all skilled beyond measure. Yes, they all took the world by storm. Yes, their stories inspired billions of young children to work hard.
But they definitely didn't start from a mecha junkyard.
Because for another thing, it is impossible to get anything of value in a mecha junkyard. Period.
All the things they throw into a mecha junkyard have passed through many nimble hands and sharp, discerning eyes from various organizations before finally reaching the junkyard. And everything that reaches the junkyard is well and truly that. Junk. Bits and pieces of mechas that have absolutely no commercial value left.
Of course, one man's trash is another man's treasure. So to lowborns like us, a mecha junkyard is still a wonderful place where we can find bits and pieces of metal and wires which we could use to stay alive. Just that, mind you. Stay alive.
Not to create a mecha out of spare parts that can take the world by storm.
The idea of finding something incomparably precious in a junkyard that could somehow change a person's life is absolute nonsense. Truly.
It's a myth, born of fantasy, spun into a delicious tale meant to do one thing. Entertain, and entertain only.
Me? My turning point came from a real junkyard. And it isn't even a mecha junkyard.
It's just a regular junkyard.
If junkyards could be graded, then a mecha junkyard would sit very comfortably at the top of the list. Then below that would be an airplane junkyard, an automobile junkyard, a ship junkyard, then right at the bottom would be the regular junkyard and the rubbish dump.
The last two didn't really need to be separated, since both were absolutely similar in value. But at least the regular junkyard doesn't smell.
And that, my friends, is where I come from, and where everything started for me.
Because although I had just spent the past few minutes claiming that getting something even remotely useful from a junkyard is a myth meant to entertain bored young people with too much time on their hands, (it is very certainly that way for everyone else) it was not the case for me.
I was scrounging for useful stuff in that regular junkyard one fine morning. (If you're wondering why I was in a regular junkyard instead of a mecha junkyard, it was a Monday. And I spend my Mondays in a regular junkyard just to switch things up a little.)
I had a great start to the day, I actually found an entire length of wire deep within the junkyard. A full two hundred centimeters, still connected to a weird squarish wirehead.
Feeling encouraged by such bountiful harvest, I began to attack the humongous pile of junk with great fervor. If an almost intact length of wire could be found there, what other treasures would that particular pile of junk yield?
But as usual, I found nothing else of worth. Just piles and piles of scrap metal and broken pieces of… junk. Just as I was about to take a deep breath of resignation and leave that pile to move on to the next, I saw a dust-covered curved item hiding beneath some tattered cloth.
In fact, I barely caught a glimpse of anything. Most of the item was under that piece of cloth, the only thing that caught my eye was that the item was most likely to be spherical, and it had a relatively smooth surface.
Point to note for you aspiring junkyard scrappers out there, if it's spherical and smooth, grab it. More often than not, it's worth something. Even if it is just a broken piece of what used to be a spherical item, you can at least use it to drink and eat.
And grab it I did. To my great joy and surprise, it was an intact spherical item!
A full and complete sphere the size of a human fist!
My heart almost burst from happiness. Whatever it was, it was still intact, and it might just be repairable.
I held the sphere with trembling hands and began to wipe it with the bottom of my… well I would say T-shirt, but it wasn't much of a T-shirt anymore. Let's just say clothing. Yes, I began to wipe it with the bottom of my clothing. And piling joy upon joy, I immediately noticed a series of very familiar runes etched on the sphere. I gasped in shock. I actually recognized the object.
It was a mecha core.
Holy smokes. Talk about hitting the jackpot.
Up till that point, I had never seen a mecha up close before, much less a mecha core. But I had devoured every little bit of information I could get my hands on about mechas, their pilots, their stories, everything. And I knew for certain that I had in my hands an intact mecha core.
I remember feeling faint. I couldn't believe it. I collapsed on the ground, closed my eyes and counted to ten. I then did several difficult multiplications in my head. Finding that I could do them smoothly, I took a deep breath and prepared for the final test. I had to do it right.
I gave myself a tight slap.
I yelped in pain. IT HURT LIKE HELL! Damn it. But inside my heart I was trembling with joy.
It was not a dream. I had a mecha core in my hand.
I turned back to check on the spot where I found the mecha core. I wasn't expecting anything else, but hey it never hurt to be thorough and check.
I cleared the space a little, and found that it was the rear end of a car. In the ancient days, they had this compartment at the rear of the car where they could put stuff in it.
I lifted the tattered cloth up to check what else was in that compartment and got another big shock.
It was a human skeleton.