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Story 20

Aren’t you the Merchant?

Just as you, your first officer, and your engineer enter a local diner, a well dressed party of three are settling up with the waitress and a server tells you that they’ll have a table for you in a couple of minutes. You nod your head and several minutes later the waitress is seating your party.

“Well that was convenient getting seats so fast at this time of day.”, you comment to your waitress.

“The guys that were just at this table were waiting for some sort of business meeting so all they had ordered we’re a couple of raktajinos and an ice water. After twenty minutes had passed they apologized for holding up a table during lunch, paid for their drinks, and left.”

Your engineer has a little smile as she comments, “The best part of this story is that I now know you make raktajinos. I’d like to order one myself while I decide what I want to eat.”

You and your first officer also order beverages, and when the waitress brings everyone their drinks the three of you place your lunch orders as well. Just as the waitress takes your lunch order back to the kitchen, a middle aged man in a rumpled suit comes to your table.

“I’m so glad the three of you waited for me. Traffic was a bear and I hate trying to message people while I’m driving.”

The waitress reappears, “Hey sugar, can I take your order?”

The man twists around to see the waitress, “I’ll take a water with whatever alkalizing fruit you offer to garnish it with here, and your daily special listed on the board up front.”

“How do you like your beefalo?”


“I’ll be right back with your water, but the kitchen is pretty busy, so it’ll be a few ticks till your food is ready.”

“That’s the first thing that has gone right for me today, I’ll need the time to pitch my invention. Also, put everyone at this table on my bill.”

Your first officer starts to object, but you just clear your throat and say, “I’m looking forward to learning all about your invention.”

As it turns out, the guy in the rumpled suit is named Emory Erickson and he has developed an amazing piece of technology, the transporter pad. It can near instantaneously teleport an object or objects. It can teleport solids, liquids, gasses, even organic materials. Despite having a Heisenberg compensator to help with the uncertainty related to the position of subatomic particles it is not considered adequately safe to transport living creatures or electronics with quantum computing. It can either teleport items to the pad or away from the pad, but it can not do both simultaneously. The transporter pad has a range of five spaces. 

“I have to admit, I’m really glad that you brought an engineer with you. I thought I would be stuck just talking to a bunch of suits entirely focused on ROI.”, states Emory.

Your first officer speaks up, “Well understanding how it works, makes the ability to save on fuel and time much more obvious.”

At this point, you chime in, “Well we should get down to brass tacks. How much are you asking for a device that has yet to be tried in a true commercial environment?”

Emory replies, “So, knowing this last part was going to be inevitable, I actually drafted two sales agreements. Obviously you’re going to want to take a few ticks and read them carefully, but the basic gist is that either you can pay 2,000 credits to fully own it immediately, or you have to agree to wire me 50% of your next three sales regardless of whether you use the transporter pad for the sale or not. If you’re so inclined all you need to do is thumb the pad.”

You have several options at this point:

  1. Buy the transporter pad for 2,000 credits.
  2. Buy the transporter pad for 50% of your next three sales (rounded up when necessitated).
  3. Walk away having had a nice free lunch on Dr. Erickson’s dime, but without the transporter pad.

Regardless of what decision you make, if you have any actions left, you may continue your turn.