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Friday, April 30, 2010

Flea Market

Back past the less well-lit streets and canals that connect the Low Esplanades with the Waterfront to the not so nice parts of the districts just behind them, there are a set of decrepit and run-down rampways that will take one past the neglected domains overrun by roacher-gangs and other unpleasant sorts.  The rampways are all marked pheromonally and otherwise so that the verministas and their ilk usually avoid them.  Usually.  You'd best take along an escort just in case.  Only a fool or a low-born would dare to travel in those places alone, especially at night.

Yes.  I said night.  The market is a nocturnal one and they operate on the Sub-Lunar Calendar, so you'd best consult one of the cthonorreries before you leave just to make sure that it is an auspicious time for your visit.  Also make sure that you leave behind any House currencies that you might have considered taking along -- using House coinage marks you as a newcomer and the merchants will be encouraged to take advantage of you, as is their right.  Be sure to take along a decent assortment of currencies, not just one denomination or type and absolutely avoid large sums of precious metals as you never quite know which way the exchange rates have gone this time.  They fluctuate like the weather.

You downloaded the visitor tutorial and reference like I suggested, correct?  Good.  You had better done just that.  The fleas dislike gawkers and they take exception to people who waste their time without tipping.  And whatever you do, make certain that you do not mention any damn fool nonsense about plagues or feeling ill while you are in their domain, and make no mistake about it, you shall be in their domain and operating under their sufferance and their rules while you are in the market.  If you have the bad taste to insult the fleas, they will not hesitate to infect you with a dozen different encrypted-contagions that no one else even has a name for, let alone any hope of curing them.  For your own sake, make every effort to show respect and do not get them riled.  If you are generous and mind your manners, the fleas can help you find quite a number of things that can be found nowhere else in all the waking worlds or dreaming realms and they will bargain with you fairly, so long as you don't infringe upon their rituals or rules -- so familiarize yourself with the tutorial before you run off all wild eyed and without a care in the world.

Now remember, this is not like the Open Market that you've already visited in your dreams, though there are dreams for sale in this market, this is a manifest place, very real and very dangerous to the unwary or the foolish.  Slavers pay handsomely for good stock such as yourself and once you leave the grid and go off beyond the cameras, dronecops and monitors you're considered fair game.   I've lost several otherwise promising students to this market.  I know that I can't talk you out of this trip.  You still think it's exciting.  An adventure.  I just hope you make it back is all.

Look, take this.  It's a luxwand.  My great grandsib carried it into battle during the Black Bastion Riots and it has served six generations of my genelineage very well.  No.  I'm serious.  Take it.  You may need it, and by all the Embodied Principles if you have cause to use it, do not hesitate.  Use it.

Well.  I guess you're as ready as you'll ever be.  Good shopping cousin.


Things Found in the Flea Market  (1D20)
1. A mummified pupae-like egg-case for some undisclosed annelid-oid species originating on some backwater world mostly noted for borax deposits and colored sand which they export as a children's toy.
2.  One shard of bright pink antimatter weighing exactly 12.6 grams contained within a tensor frame.
3.  Diagrams and schematics for an experimental fusactor-powered steamship, complete with parts-list and most of a journal detailing the former owner's attempts to secure funding for actually building the thing.
4.  A bundle of aged files sealed within an air-tight bag of mono-polymer that appear to be hand-written in some ancient Balkan language that almost no one speaks any more.
5.  One slightly damaged imperial portrait of the former ruler of a consortium of three waterworlds with the face replaced with the animatronic hind-end of a small canine.
6.  A set of dice that change the number of faces and the outcome of each roll based upon the intentions of their owner.
7.  A sack of teeth reputedly taken from some kind of hydra.
8.  A sack of Danodarian duelling needles used in telekinetic contests of skill.
9.  Three express-vials of reddish serum that causes innoculant's body to reject all implants and regenerate into a fresh, renewed body based upon their actual genomic profile, often within a few minutes.
10.  A duffel bag filled with 16 severed human heads and three loose ears.
11.  One slightly worse for wear 1980's vintage boom-box complete with a selection of polka tapes.
12.  Factory-sealed kit for a two-person bio-polymer self-extruding ultralight aircraft.
13.  One large datacrystal of the kind used to transport confined AI, empty and slightly cracked on one end.
14.  A set of seven hand-carved spindles, all of which are so-far un-attuned and ready for use in opening spindle-gates at ley-line intersections.
15.  A lump of semi-translucent gel that forms itself to fit into anyone's hand or stuck onto their armor; it emits light in any spectrum based upon the commands of the person whose aura it is within at the time.  Any wavelength of light is possible.  Any wavelength.
16.  Sprayform psi-active polymer-aerosol that shapes itself into a diamond-hard object in response to the active instruction of whomever observes it once sprayed into the air.
17.  A belt that straightens out into a wickedly sharp long sword when drenched in water.
18.  Three small bone flutes that drive beetles insane when played, but are unremarkable to all other species.
19.  One hand of glory, only used once by a little old lady.
20.  A box of bountiful abominations.  Really.

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