Creator Merchant - RPLOG
It's evening in the streets of Firmament, almost approaching midnight, but that's probably appropriate for what is happening at the moment. An enormous creator ship has landed on the fields beyond the city, the open grassland the only place close enough and yet large enough to accommodate its bulk. Unlike Jetstream's ship, though, this one is coldly functional and utilitarian: cold creator steel, sharp angles, a reinforced, corrugated hull. Even from the walls, one can see the broad letters painted on one side of the massive Creator craft: "UGMS Contact Light".
The Creators which emerge from this craft are quite the different lot indeed - although not quite uniformed, they still wear clothing of similar colour and make, mostly in grey and bearing a logo just above their breast. More importantly, though, they are carting - or rather, escorting their carts, which move without pushing or any external mathemagic. These trundle in a beeline towards the Creator Church, the Creators themselves appearing to want little to do with the natives - save for the last one to emerge from the ship. The fellow is rather corpulent, dressed in white rather than grey, and appeoars to be setting up some sort of...booth? In front of the church.
Siyu grunts as he manages to get away from the Freeswords in and talking about this Jetstream buisness, smoothing over his silks the rodent quickly maneks it back to the new creator landing! Two in one day, this is getting silly. Running a hand through his hair, making sure everything is in place he swishes his hips up to the latest arrivals. "Ah greetings and salutations again. Another group of creators, it's odd, we get two in one day, ahem, greetings greetings. I am Gang Xi Siyu, a pleasure to meet you." he pauses and clears his throat, "ah...while I greet you warmly I must ask what you are doing. That's quite a lot of gear that's...coming into our fair city. I do not think we have heard from the Paulson, or the Good King, about any such delivery of goods.
Valor ventures forth towards the curiosities that had drawn others to the creator ship. Having stopped to grab his more appropriate attire for appearing in the presence of Creators, he strode in a confident manner, interested in finding out what all the hubbub was about.
Cedric has been wandering around the area for a while still, a little after Jetstream and his crew had departed, just taking a nice walk in the light rain outside of the creator church as he contemplated recent events. And then the commotion of even more creators in strange clothing! Doing things! In the city! "Twice in one day, really?" the badger ponders to himself, aloud, before wandering over towards the booth curiously, nodding politely to Siyu in greeting.. "So, uh... you guys with that um... that 'Windflash Blast' guy or whatever his name was, or..?" he asks the creator at the booth, tilting his head inquisitively.
Issi peers at the creator tech being wheeled- er moved into the church. First Jetsleaze now this? He looked like a creator noble. Fat lot of help he'll be... But... He might have information. She sticks to her little perch above everything, enjoying the rain as it falls. She'll make her move when the time is right.
"It is not the delivery of goods, but rather, the promise of delivery of goods. But let me explain," the chubby creator answers. Indeed, he has one of those spherical devices which Jetstream's little tour group had, that handy little translator - amongst other things, which he has set up under the awning of his booth, out of the rain. "Oh, and his name is Parson. Paaarrson. Coming from you, the mispronounciation would be an endearing curiosity. From me...hah. He views merchants as a necessary evil.
"And that is why I am here today. Allow me to introduce myself - I am Johnathan Harkonson, trader and captain of the UGMS Contact Light. In exchange for adhering to his rules and regulations, Mr. Parson has granted me exclusive trading rights to and from PROMISE. Part of the agreement was helping to build the UNKNOWN that enables the wiring of money from your planet, as well as explaining to the locals what I am and am not allowed to do, amongst other things.
He turns to Cedric. "Jetstream, as he likes to call himself? He is an UNKNOWN and I never watch his UNKNOWN, his little pantomime. He is an...entertainer." Johnathan says the last with with a clear edge of disdain.
Siyu adjusts the silks upon his glove, "Well then I welcome you. I greet you, and offer you...well. I can only offer what I am capable of. I am a foreigner her. I have no power no posistion, all I am is a merchant and craft myself. Welcome brother, friend, creator." he bows again. "I hope we will treat each other right then." hoping for some bond of mutual purpose. "My understanding is imports from the creator worlds are highly limited and regulated." he glances at the devices, "I will have to suggest to the Good King that Mr. Parson let us know ahead of time when a creator is coming. It would be most benificial if the Good Kings representatives were hear with us..." he says, "Transfer of...funds? A transfer? Rather hard to transport this isn't it?" he inquires as he pulls out a fat gold 100 crown coin and idly runs it across hte back of his gloved hands.
The being with the black and white striped face nods to Johnathan as he moves a little closer. "An entertainer?" he asks, looking vaguely puzzled. He doesn't understand what the two words lacking translation mean, but the first one sounded pretty amusing, and gives him cause to chuckle anyway. "He was more asking us to entertain him and his 'viewers', whatever that means... I'm not sure what part of it was meant to entertain us..." he says to the portly, fleshy being.
"Right, they mentioned in court that there would be some exchange of currency. I hadn't thought to ask of specifics but you need..." he pauses, thinking for a moment as he taps his chin thoughtfully. "Some kind of 'thing' to... 'wire' money? I don't quite understand, I'm sorry. Could you explain it?" he says, glancing between the rodent's coin and the man.
Issi sits on her perch, watching the whole thing and listening in on the conversation. Well at least this creator was more agreeable, though she wasn't quite trusting of him either. A merchant can be just as dangerous as an 'entertainer'. She doesn't say anything though. She just watches. Maybe she could magic something over to her... Though it doesn't look like the Creators keep many physical goods.
Jera has been watching the affairs from afar, finally deciding to make his way over to the commotion once the crowd has thinned a little. He gives Jonathan a polite bow and a salute, smears of makeup still on his fur from hastily changed attire. "Trading, huh? Will we be getting more of your technology?" He has a certain disarmed fox in mind when he asks...
Selena makes her way through the bustle again - having visited the Saint's square far more than usual that day. Then gain, it wasn't quite the usual day either. "... I spend an hour sorting out some things at home and suddenly everyone outside is shouting 'Creators, creators' outside my window... I really hope the novelty wears off for these beings." She mutters over to Jera, looking over those present. "Ah. So this is the trader person." She notes to herself, having caught only part of their statement.
Another Creator! Today just seemed a day for excitement, and judging from how Kalt's tracking back down to the square in lighter clothing, with a cloak helping to cover her left side, two satchels and a back pack along with the smaller items on her person... "Hmm hmmm hmmm~ Good Evenin' Mister Creator Folk sir!" The Vixen doing a half bow that almost sends a satchel falling off before she catches it and adjusts herself. "Pardon my manners an' such, M'names Kalt." Somehow yet again, the Vixen had ditched her supervising nurse... But at least it was for a good cause again!
"Another merchant! Wonderful!" Johnathan exclaims, clearly enthusiastic about all the newcomers. "Perhaps we'll be doing business in the future. I'll need to look into the business culture here, understand the locals better. But first, let me explain how things are going to go, then perhaps I can field any questions you have. One thing at a time.
"Indeed, there are heavy restrictions that Mr. Parson has imposed on me that have limited my inventory considerably. Firstly, I cannot sell weapons, or articles which are easily weaponisable. Secondly, I cannot sell any devices that go beyond what you already have. That precludes various articles of UNKNOWN, which is quite the pity. Thirdly, I cannot sell you organics which might disrupt the natural order of PROMISE as invasive species. And finally, I cannot bring stowaways to and from the planet. There are other regulations, but those are the most pertinent. Worth it for exclusive access to such a special market, though.
"Now, what I can sell you, most importantly, are replacement components for any CREATOR devices which you may be missing, or in need of repair, as well as providing the expertise for doing so. As you can see now, I am providing a free sample by refurbishing various churches in major population centres with the devices necessary to transfer money. There are other goods which may be available to you after negotiations with Mr. Parson - he is most keen to see your civilisation undisturbed - but for now, setting up infrastructure is most pertinent. It will be some time before all systems are operational.
"The system that Mr. Parson has suggested is as such: the value of your coins has little intrisic worth to us, as we CREATORS can extract gold and other metals from the sea and stars with ease. Instead, they are more valuable as artifacts of your civilisation, which are of worth to CREATORS in that capacity. However, for the sake of standardisation, and my own inexperience in assessing the worth of your various artifacts, I will be accepting only crowns as a medium of exchange. These will be placed in my cargo hold, and from there, shipped off PROMISE to be sold to CREATORS.
"In exchange, we will credit to you a certain sum of CREATOR money, to be accounted for in our financial institutions. The exchange rate would be determined by supply and demand, of course, with Mr. Parson's oversight as to what is "fair" or not." He takes a deep breath, clearly worn out from the speech. "Now, please, questions."
Siyu blinks a little "Gold...gold is worthless to you? It is easy for you to pull from the sea and stars?" he looks down at his coin, and he gives a faint little sigh and he flicks it into the air. "If I had a deal to strike with you friend it would be simple things. I am a trader in metal and coal. Let me ask about your fine steels. Ah...like prehaps this sample?" he pulls out a helping of the creator steel he might have and he flashes it, "Ingots, billots, that raw good, which isn't any sort of technology, that...that I can trade in." he smiles some, trying tostart easy, and greasing the man. "As for artifacts. Here here's the first one." he flicks the coin up again, "A piece of coin, marked by the king here, and bearing his likeness. Simple artifact yes? On me...'
Cedric catches some more movement coming towards him as he listens to the man speak, nodding a bit dumbly as he doetakes it all in, and glances to the others as they approach. He gives a nod to them, Jera, Selena and Kalt. "Busy day around town, isn't it?" he chuckles, looking back to the creator. "I see... I suppose if you can really do things like that, we don't have a whole lot to offer in trade aside from our coin and artifacts." he tells Johnathon, scratching his cheek idly. "...though I'm sure many of us have a story or two for sale, that could be of interest to your people, huh?"
Issi hups, hopping from ledge to ledge, re orienting herself around the area helped along with her air magics. She peers at the obese one. Hmm, he could sell creator items... This is interesting. She does have some crown stashed away, perhaps she could get more Creator Steel? She still isn't trusting him, but he does have an interesting set of orders.
"Hmm? Could we not work out other forms of trade, if relics are what you are after?" Jera pulls his cloak open very carefully to take off his necklace, showing off the giant leviathan tooth hanging atop it, polished to an ivory white. "Teeth from massive oceanic terror surely must be worth more than our money?"
Selena looks back to the trader. "I have one important question for you, sir." She calls out. "How do we know you're giving us a fair trade without giving us prior knowledge of your own market? For example - we may have a commodity that is extremely valuable to you for reasons we don't understand. Without access to data from your market, you stand in a position to essentially steal from us without our knowledge." ... Ever the loudmouth, it would seem. But wait, there's more!
"This is not to say I distrust Mr. Parson. However given some of the lies we were fed by the group that originally sent us here and that they attempted to exterminate us - as you may be aware - I'd like to request direct access to the numbers of your markets before anything remotely like that can happen again. If it's a fair market that you want, then full information should be freely available." Seems the wolfess is just as suspicious as ever, and unrepentantly so.
"While I understand that you'll obviously have to store goods somewhere and be responsible for taking them to and from planets... Well. How do we know you aren't making those figures up unless we have a second source to cross-reference them with?"
Kalt blinks at the Creator as she winces and pulls a satchel free to hold it up, opening it up some to show some hand knit cloth, thick leather dyed blue and looking in outstanding condition, a small glass vial of golden-orange jelly, and a runic cog obviously salvaged from some sort of creator device. "So, nuttin' like this would be good to give to you or anythin'? I got other stuff an' such too, like old swords an' weapons I ain't usin' no more, an' some armor even if'n you'd want it... An' you sayin' you can't be sellin' cute lil' things like them bobble heads an' all? I ain't interested much in such like weapons or stuff I ain't good to operate... But you guys got some neat things I ain't mindin' seein' if'n I could try an' get ahold of an' all." A moment of an ephihany hitting the Vixen as she blinks and leans forward some to clear her throat. "But uhm... We got Prosthetics an' all, an' M'also wonderin' if'n that means you can go makin' better ones, or such like that for folk...?"
A snap of Johnathan's fingers, and his spherical device flies over to the ingot Siyu is holding out, a thin beam of light penetrating the metal's surface. The strange assay goes on for a couple of seconds, before it returns to him. "Chromium-carbon-ferrous material, 12-2-78. I certainly can furnish you with such an alloy in small quantities - it's not particularly hard to make, although I'm not sure if you have the proper LIGHTNING tools to work it as it was intended. Greater quantities will need to be approved by Mr. Parson. And as for your gift...I'm afraid I can't accept right now, not until you can be properly credited for it. Parson will have my head. I'll gladly accept later, but for now your goodwill will have to do." He does look a little troubled at it, though, even as the coin is returned.
To Cedric, "I'm afraid I'm not going to be doing that. Jetstream and the ENTERTAINER'S GUILD he's a part of have secured permission to make documentaries about you. Even if they hadn't, I don't deal in such things."
"When it comes to simple artifacts, standardisation is the question. I would love to take such things - at the very least, naturalists would be intrested in such specimens. Perhaps I will purchase some of the inroganics myself with the coin you send me. But as for organics...that is more of a problem. Parson is also worried about invasive species getting off-world, which is why they need special approval - there's an old CREATOR story about insects getting where they should not be because of trade in fruit. He wants to avoid such a situation. Gold, on the other hand, is easily CLEANED. My suggestion would be to take them to one of your local pawnshops for now and have them converted. Maybe in the future I will be able to accept such things as alternative payment.
"And finally," to Selena, "that's a fair question. Your people are capable of basic numeracy, so Mr. Parson has insisted that such values, such as those when it comes to the prevailing exchange rate and their standing accounts, be available to those who wish to see them. When the system is completed, one merely need to walk into the nearest church and request as such. The information will then be relayed from the nearest financial center and commodities exchange in SECTOR BETA GAMMA 245, correct to the nearest MILLISECOND. As to the veracity of this information...I'm afraid you will have to trust Mr. Parson. If you are still apprehensive, or if the price is beyond what you will bear, simply do not buy. That's how the free market works.
"It must be said, though, that I do hope my considerable investment in your planet, especially for a small startup like mine, will prove my goodwill. Why should I deal unfairly with you and lose such an opportunity? It would be extremely short-sighted."
Siyu hmmms interesting, so you can't accept gifts. The rules they've given you are very good." he smiles some. "It appears as if they are trying to look out for us..." he listens to the analysis. Staring at the device, "How much for one of THOSE...it...it can tell you whatever...whatever somthing is made out of?" he's practically salivating, and he just give a faint cough. "At any rate. I would also appreciate any knowledge of the guilds outside of Promise. If there is a merchant's guild to join on a more...planatary level I shall try to join it. Become a true brother to you" he puts the sample away. All right! So he CAN get creator steel. The thoughts of making armor and weapons from teh steel cause him to just grin. He blinks a little bit at the Betta Gamma 245, "Could you...could you give us a map. A map of the stars? To know exactly prehaps where...where we are in the stars?" he inquires.
Cedric's eyes travel to watch the device as it makes its analysis of the metal and returns, seeming rather fascinated with the whole process. He wouldn't mind having something like that himself... not that he'd be likely to figure out how to use one, probably. "Ah, fair enough." the badger says in respone to the answer, nodding. "I'm not quite as full of questions about this stuff as some..." he says, trying not to look directly at Selena as he sas this, "I am pretty interested in creator wares even if the price happens to be a little steep. I do have to ask though... about your clothing? You have some very interesting garments from what I've seen. I hope things like that wouldn't be considered prohibited organic material? It's probably made from stuff we don't have, I bet..."
Jera folds his arms across his chest and hmmphs softly at the mention of artifacts needing approval. He shakes his head softly at the trader. "Alright. I understand your need for caution. If you're not selling weapons though, perhaps ours might be of value? You don't have to get them traded now, perhaps ours might serve as antiques for your advanced civilization. Once they're approved and all. Just offering opportunities, like you said."
"Because," Selena flatlines, "You can. There are cautionary stories here and there about the power of controlling information." She replies, rubbing her cheek. "One more question. How much would it cost to have such a machine sent to us with a translated manual for use? Or even simply a manual for use?" She queries. "After all - the priests have the technology already, so it would stand to reason we can purchase more of it provided the money. We don't have your... Appraisal devices? If that's what that thing is, so I assume we wouldn't be able to purchase those." She notes. "Finally. There's one other thing I want to ask about. You've probably seen or heard of a 'dedication point' from Dr. Sinclair's research. There's a few in the city. How much would it cost to purchase a full copy of such an object for study and analysis?" She asks. "As much as I'd like by way of knowledge of things from outside of Promise as well, I seriously doubt Mr. Parson would cede any information we don't already have." She replies, rubbing her chin. "Furthermore. If I was to ask for examples of creator spells - the kind the church has - how would you plan to keep inventory of what ones we possess or how to regulate purchases thereof? I only recently proved they could be reproduced, much less interpreted without just using them, and if there are some that we don't understand, labelling them could also provide us with information that we should not be allowed to have. In that case, what would be done?"
Looking back to the badger she nods. "I'm interested as well, but we can't really purchase anything genuinely unique given what their conditions are..." She grumbles. "And to think what Flora would say if we could purchase a creator chemistry handbook."
"That said, at some point I would like to have our level of understanding of magic appraised if you have the time. We may be able to collaborate in some ways if our comprehension is up to scratch - though we've still got a way to go I imagine."
Kalt folds her ears back as she shifts the bags back and clears her throat as she leans forward. "Fair nuff then... But uhm, M'still curious bout them Prosthetics as I kinda went mentionin... 'Cause we're havin' the know how on makin' some an' such, an' you're talkin' bout goin' round fixin' an' lookin' over creator devices an' all, so M'curious if'n it'd be possible to go an' be payin' for you to go lookin' over'em, an' tweakin' or doin' such an' such with'em? Or even if'n you're allowed to sell 'em, cause we got that sorta know how, would you go doin' sumptin like that?"
Johnathan grins at Siyu's enthusiasm, perhaps feeling some kinship with the kangaroo rat. "One thing at a time - Mr. Parson is currently assessing your fate as a planet. I myself an no member of any consortium - it is precisely because of this fact, though, that I have been allowed to secure such exclusive rights. The larger consortiums have considerable interplanetary political power that he finds inconvenient. A small-timer like me...well, I have to obey his regulations to the letter, although it is probably for the best." With another tap of his fleshy finger, he summons up an imagine in the air: thousands upon thousands of stars in an inky black void, followed by a command: "Display current location, print." A small slip of paper extrudes itself from the side of the orb, which unfolds into the starmap displayed, a plethora of stars with Promise marked out in red. "Although the wolf is right - I may not sell you my MULTITOOL, as the assaying function is but one of many - I will be able to repair one if you find it. It is probable that your original colonists had some with them to scout out mineral deposits.
"Sir badger, I may not sell you clothing of SYNTHETIC materials, but there is very definitely a market for "natural" clothing, even amongst CREATORS; I notice you have brought along fibre plants such as flax and cotton, by my reckoning of the fields beyond this city. When the currency exchange is running, I will most certainly be willing to sell you such articles. There...should not be considerable cultural influence, so long as one does not go overboard. When I was passing by one of your inns I actually recognised some of the songs being sung, and after today's show and more and more CREATORS visiting...it's not inconceivable that some of yours will start mimicing CREATOR fashions of their own accord anyway. But it needs to be discussed with Mr. Parson, because your value is in your unique culture. It would be a pity if you were made into but mirrors of us; diversity is the watchword, after all. So, I would say: be hopeful, but I can make no concrete promises."
"We can certainly accept weapons from you. There are those who collect such relics - yes, they are similar to our own from an era long past, and many have since succumbed to the ravages of time. These may be good substitutes - once I am more familiar with your economy. Still, they will be treated like other artefacts, and it is likely their price will be stated in crowns.
"We will be allowed to provide expertise in the running and upkeep of your machines, and to train you in their usage. A manual for such would not be out of the question - I can provide that. The "dedication points" on the other hand...I have seen a number of them in your city while I was passing through. They were the proprietry knowledge of the CREATORS that made you. Even though they have been dissolved and liquidated, the fact remains that such extreme BODY MODIFICATION goes against several CREATOR laws regarding as such. If I were to attempt to traffick in such forbidden items, I would most certainly be jailed and my license revoked. that, as one can imagine is not good for business." One notes that he doesn't quite answer on the topic of Creator spells, though.
Finally, "That would depend on the shape your prosthetics have taken. The MATHEMAGIC used is fairly crude, so what expertise I will be able to sell you will be limited, but I will be likely to provide what you have already achieved."
At length, though, one of the grey-uniformed Creators eemerges from the church and says something to Johnathan, who nods. "I'm informed that the setup and updates are complete, which means I'll be taking off for "Cliffside" shortly. One of my crew will remain as a guest of the church to fully instruct your priests in the usage of the wiring system and troubleshoot any bugs which may crop up, but otherwise, I have to leave. Are there any final concerns?"
Siyu takes the paper print out and he sort of stares at it, "You print ink to paper just from...out of thin air. I thought I was bringing a revolution by making a press to print paper. But this..." he takes the sheet and carefully lays it out. Removing his silk gloves so the ink does't stain his fingers, but his fingers pratically shake as he holds the star map. A map of the world as it's known. Known to everyone but promise. he stares and looks at it. "Fantastic..." he mummers. Looking back up, "A small merchant, yes I suppose we have that in common, I was left here by my family to make my own way and have done it. Though I see really, my acomplishments really mean nothing compared to what's out there." there's a certain hunger in his voice, "This is a most interesting developlment...indeed. So the agreement is ANY creator device that is found...you can repair. No matter what it is?" He hmms at the notion of the inn and music, "I wonder then who this Amerka Pie is and why you would wish to leave her. Though it does't matter. It is fancy isn't it?" he chuckles some and then considers "You mention that company which has long since left...we are merchants yes, we can speak as such. Their contracts. Their old documents. They should be available to US correct? They directly concern us yes, shouldn't we have access to them?"
"I guess that makes a kind of sense." Cedric agrees after hearing the answer to his inquiry. "I s'pose we'll just need to see what's decided upon when everything is finalized." he says, glancing up at the rainy sky to try getting a vague sense of the current time before lowering his head in a very slight bow. "Ah, right... and it is getting quite late now, I should be heading off for the night. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to seeing the results of..." he waves his hand around at the creator, the church, all the things. "All this stuff. Have a good Journey, Mr. Harkonsen." he says with a wave, and one to the other beings gathered around b efore he heads off towards the maritime district for the night.
Issi nods. As it stood, there was a bigger creator presence here. She didn't quite trust it but it was here and something to keep an eye on. She doesn't know what that Jetsleaze wanted, but this one seems to be clear. Trade. Though what is going to be traded has yet to be seen. Since there doesn't seem to be any more reason to hang around she simply disappears behind a rooftop, headed back home for the night.
"Til we next meet then. We look forward to doing business with you." Jera represents absolutely nobody else, but he still speaks politely as he bows and takes his leave.
Selena gestures back to Siyu. "Speaking of - the corporation that left us here. Their documentation is relevant to us as well. If you have the time, I'd appreciate it if you brought it up with Mr. Parson. I feel as though some of these laws are being made as we go rather than being well-established already." She notes, offering a half-wave to the creator. "If you have the time, I would appreciate it if you would ask Mr. Parson about the possibility of attending Dr. Sinclair's hearing. Take care."
Johnathan looks troubled at Siyu's final sentence and Selena's concerns. "I honestly don't know about that. One hears rumours, but their GUILD was very powerful, almost viewed as too big to prosecute - it's likely the documents have been sealed by the courts until their case is settled. In any case, that's not in my purview. But the purpose of not giving you devices beyond what you have is to preserve your culture and let it develop on its own, as Mr. Parson explained to me. What you already have is, or has been part of your culture, and such is fair game. Bring such a device to me once the wiring system is operational, and my craftsmen will repair it...for the price of the parts and a modest service charge. Although I understand that the usage of such devices is controlled by your church, so you should speak with them on your part. I cannot bear liability for that."
"Oh, and I nearly forgot." Johnathan hands out two small hand-sized devices to those still remaining. "Please pass these along to your priests. They will need them to get in contact with me, should any problems arise. I've got to be going now. Jetstream may be a sensationalistic idiot, but he IS giving me free advertising with that show of his - I've got to get everything ready before the flood of orders arrives..."
With that, Johnathan closes his little stand with a snap, the device automatically folding back into its little box, which he picks up with one hand. The lot of Creators move out with their now-empty carts back to the ship - now that Johnathan's profession is known, it's not hard to imagine all that space is comprised of cargo hold - which lifts off in a slightly unwieldy fashion not too unlike its captain.