Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

the bargaining table

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Published: 2009-11-28 - Updated: 2009-11-28 - 1128 words - Complete

After looking around a little bit, they decided to check out a weapon shop Justin spotted, figuring that, with as many dangerous destinations as these waters seemed to harbor, a little extra ammo, at the very least, wasn’t such a bad idea.

Near the entrance was a display of weapons and body armor, along with war memorabilia from many times and places. A large bombshell, several flags (a couple of which actually looked familiar to Shades, but most gave a whole new meaning to the word foreign), an airplane propeller, and various odds and ends none of them had ever seen before, and whose exact purpose they could only guess at. What got most of their attention, though, was the front display.

Plasma rifle (single shot, 30 meters), it said.

The display itself consisted of a sheet of metal thick enough for tank armor, marked carbon-cobalt steel. Though it was it was not so much the slab of steel that drew stares as it was the gaping hole burned, melted right through the thing. Shades was pretty sure he could reach his arm right through it.

Damn…” Justin remarked, then asked, “You got any more of those?”

“ ’Fraid not,” the shopkeep, who to Shades resembled a scruffier-looking seagoing version of old Gus from the army surplus store back home, told them. “Sorry ’bout that, folks, just haven’t got anyone to help me move that hunka metal anywhere yet.”

That was when Justin finally notice the Sold Out sign next to it.

“Must be popular,” Shades commented.

“Yeah, I’ll say,” the shopkeep replied. “Not three days ago, that last guy even insisted on buying the display model, even though he already had a ton of weapons on him. I mean, that big coat of his practically was a weapon! And that Cyexian with him, she looked pretty tough, too…”

He ground to a halt at the varied expressions on everyone’s faces.

“Was there a third member in this group, by any chance?” Justin asked point-blank.

“Yeah,” the shopkeep answered, his tone turning thoughtful, “a little guy who never speaks. A rather shifty lot, in my…” Then he paused. “You know those guys, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” Justin told him, “they’re thieves.”

Like you’re one to talk, Shades thought, but kept his mouth shut for the group’s sake.

“They stole something from us,” Max explained.

“Dammit! We missed ’em!” Justin muttered.

Though to Shades, at least, Justin’s words seemed to lack the animosity they would have packed even a few days ago. As if, he suspected, his most recent exploits had rubbed the soothing balm of success, rather than the bitter salt of betrayal, in his wounds. As if perhaps he may have found something better to do, and Shades hoped this wouldn’t get him all fired-up again.

After a moment of awkward silence, the subject turned to weapons and equipment. The first order of business was more ammo, power clips all around. With mixed feelings, Shades decided to fix up and add the power pistol he picked up in the Harken Building to his arsenal. Some weapons to outfit the Maximum herself with, including three quadra-barrel laser cannons and adapters to run them on the ship’s power. This Max found some relief in; if Justin was willing to invest this much money in the ship, he was that much more likely to stick around for a while.

Each of them also picked up additional accessories, based on their own fighting style; scopes, hidden holsters or sheaths, even a few easily concealed pieces of light armor. Ever the pragmatist, Shades also recommended various pieces of survival gear, for both at sea and on land. Emergency signal flares, personal handheld radios with hands-free headsets, flashlights, lightweight LED head-lamps, batteries and extra power clips, thermos bottles and camping gear, lighters, some extra lengths of rope, among other odds and ends, anything they wished they had on previous legs of their journey, or things that looked like they would come in handy.

When Justin started asking questions about some of it, Shades simply pointed out that both he and Max did have plenty of experience being marooned on desert islands.

And Shades made out like a bandit on new reading material, a few of them books he was familiar with, the rest an experiment in pandimensional literature.

The store sold a wide array of weapons, from archaic to Shades’ idea of futuristic, blades spanning from broadswords to sleek blades vaguely resembling katana— as well as melee weapons whose designs none of them had ever seen the like of. A small but practical arsenal of martial arts weapons. And everything from crude firearms to energy weapons.

Which led to a very interesting item Shades found.

At first glance, they looked like oddly-shaped hand grenades, but the shelf label said something completely different. EMP Grenades, the legend read. Shades had heard of Electromagnetic Pulse, having read that it could disable electronics and power systems. But he had never heard of an EMP bomb this small.

“Wish we had a couple of these when we fought NK-525…”

“Had what?” Justin asked.

“These,” Shades replied, showing him the weapons.

He didn’t have to explain much to convince his friends they were a sound investment. Unlike his own world, where such things were more a thing of the past than the present, these waters held their share of pirates and marauders, and a quick getaway would be a handy thing to have. After all, sails versus the Maximum’s engines would be no contest. The idea even occurred to him that these might even have enabled them to stop the Triad, but he decided to keep that thought to himself, lest he get Justin started again.

In the course of their discussion, the shopkeep chimed in, cautioning them that plasma rifles and most other “pulse” weapons were immune to EMP, and all of them made a mental note of that.

In addition to buying weapons and equipment, they made some repairs and upgrades to the ship, selling off or trading any of their old gear they didn’t want, including the guns and explosives from the smuggling compartment. In exchange, they got food— mostly of the less perishable variety— mended sails, a full tank of gas, window repairs, and new markings bearing the name Maximum in red brush script. By the following afternoon, their ship was outfitted far better than any of them could have hoped for.

And they still had over seven thousand credits to spare.

Deciding that this was definitely a place to keep an eye out for in the future, they set out from the Tradewinds Mercantile District once more on their aimless voyage.
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