Poll

What should the smugglers do next...

Accept the new terms, pocket the money, and move on
3 (23.1%)
Negotiate for better terms, and failing that, try to sell the loot to someone else
0 (0%)
screw the drop site...sell the stuff to someone else right away.
6 (46.2%)
kill Laphena's guards and ransom her for a bunch of money
4 (30.8%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Voting closed: January 06, 2016, 12:09:03 AM

Author Topic: Final Discord (Episode 1: On The Edge)  (Read 1137 times)

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Offline Theodidactus

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Final Discord (Episode 1: On The Edge)
« on: December 30, 2015, 12:09:03 AM »
(For an explanation of what's going on here, read this)


On the edge of the night, where even the Concordance had little power, it was possible to get away with an awful lot.
Smugglers from Freeside had always been bold. The loot that changed hands in the local markets was unimaginable and occasionally, completely unspeakable. Drugs barely scratched the surface.
Since the withdrawal of ground forces a few years ago, they'd grown bolder: in the old days it hadn't been possible to access the alien ruins that formed the center of Freeside colony. Now there were gangs and militias building their headquarters in ruined Hyadean towers, and stashing their loot xenolithic vaults far below the surface. Older and wiser warlords considered this behavior...unwise, but even they occasionally paid locals to scour the ruins for alien artifacts. Occasionally, someone found something, and something...ANYTHING, from the Hyadean ruins was worth a considerable sum.

The Patel Corporation, in particular, was a perennially interested buyer. In the past year, trade volume in alien artifacts had gotten so varied that Patel wasn't even bothering to discriminate based on the nature of the artifact: whether it was a mercassium memory core containing star charts or a simple magnetic flux detector...price was determined by mass...like the freesiders were selling sugar or fruit! So long as it could be verified hyadean technology, Patel was willing to buy it for about ?1,256 a kilogram. Or at least, that was the understanding. It was Leland Tog's sad duty to report that Patel had altered the understanding this time.

"They're giving us ?9,000 even for the haul." he said, gesturing to the pile of crates the Martindale gang had carefully extracted from a lower hall over the course of several weeks.
"That's barely half!" Harold Shake, the gang's primary enforcer, said angrily.
"that's only partially why I came." Tog said. Shake and the other gangsters noticed he looked even more agitated than expected. Patel shortening the already short end of the stick Freesiders were given was unfortunate but hardly unexpected. Tog looked like he'd been punched in the chest.
"We met like you said." Tog said, "Hotel Valletta, middle of Dome 19. And there were guards...just like you said. And I met with the person managing their extraction operation...just like you said."
"so what's the big deal." Shake said.
"Uh...here's the thing." Tog continued. "She was a real shady type. And I mean that literally. She stuck to the shadows, turned the little desk light toward me so I couldn't get a good look. But I know voices well and I watch the news."
"You're the only one here who does." Shake chuckled.
"Can it," Tog requested "This is important. I'm just about sure that the person behind the desk was Emilia Lapenha. A Patel vice president, here, on Freeside, with only a handful of guards."
"seems awfully risky." Shake said.
"Damn straight. They're counting on our ignorance Shake. Luckily, I watch the news. If they've got Lapenha overseeing this situation personally, there must be something BIG they want to get their hands on. Something in our ruins, hell, maybe in one of our crates right over there. These artifacts are worth a hell of a lot more than ?9,000."

Shake thought for a moment. He hadn't gone far in life, but every step he'd made up the crooked ladder on Freeside had been during moments like this.
"Hell." He said after what passed for thought, "I know something that's worth ?900,000."
"Huh?"
"How many guards did you say where were at the Valletta?"
"I didn't say. But uh... four or five?"
"dammit Tog was it four or five?"

"Five!" Tog said, after counting off on his fingers.
"There'll be twice as many at the drop site." Shake said, "But five-to-ten and picking, Lapenha is still at that hotel. I'm thinking we pay her a visit."
"You can't be serious!" Tog replied. "The gang's more than that, but these are trained bodyguards, at Laphena's well...Laphena!"
"She'd kill us if she got the chance" Shake said "Hell, that's probably what they're planning to do at the drop site if we change the price. "
"Then we ditch the plan entirely." Tog said, "sell the artifacts to some rogue NATO-RUSSO scientist, or the Tibetans."
"Tog, I never much liked the Artifact business." Shake said. "I'm in the money business. You are too. This is how we get that money. This is how we retire, or move up and get a gang of our own. I need you with me on this. The gang won't listen to me...but they'll listen to you."
"I suppose..." Tog said, "We could call up the rest of the gang and see what they think..."

« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 10:33:21 AM by Theodidactus »
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: Final Discord (Episode 1: On The Edge)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 08:06:58 AM »
closing in 1 day
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

 

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