Shopping Spree

Shopping Spree

Granny and Shorty Go Shopping Together

Hi boys and girls- my name is Ethel, or if your parents taught you well, Mrs. Falkenberg. I promise that everything I am about to tell you is true- or, in my advanced age, I just misremembered.

With Shorty’s amazing work at selling items during the last tour- ($120,000!!!) it was time to go on a shopping spree! I got Shorty up at 10 am the next day, and we head off in my Aircar.

The first stops were antique stores, and after 3 stops, and a break for froyo, I had succeeded in buying a replacement record player and tv, both vintage, much to Shorty’s dismay. Shorty had pushed for a modern tv, and an integrated streaming-capable sound system. I set up delivery for Tuesday, and Shorty agreed to be there if I can not.

I then surprised Shorty by saying, “Here is $40,000 dollars! Let’s go to places you want to spend your money at!” I also made a mental note to give Carl $20,000 for his role in helping Shorty with the tour and sale.

We go to some really unsavory neighborhoods, and while nervous, I try to put on a brave face. We go to some sketchy flea markets in alleys, a few abandoned warehouses, and some locales that make sweet Garrick’s neighborhood look shiny and new.

Shorty was pretty excited about shopping. He mentions a few times that he wanted to visit “the open market,” and that it was something which didn’t happen often but was going on now. He said it was kind of like an outdoor flea market, except it was by people the government didn’t want doing business in the city. We go to the Archipelago.

The Archipelago is an old waterfront ghost-town with island container yards and slips where crooks gather like rats. Businesses originally came here to take advantage of the unique tax loophole the water-based transmission feeds from Arcadia provided. According to the city charter, all Arcadia infrastructure was considered tax-free, and businesses learned if they built onto the Arcadia stations, which were considered public property, they could enjoy the same status. This attracted only shady businesses, which quickly turned this part of the waterfront into a haven for criminals, smugglers, and even pirates! The criminals here are super-well armed.

Sure enough, one of the massive floating docks was set up almost like a medieval market or a fair, filled with booths, shacks, and all manner of people. In fact, the people were the most interesting. Many seemed to be either some sort of Mutants or Aliens, in short, weird looking folks. Several of them know Shorty, and he greeted them and they greeted him back with a comfortable familiarity.

Shorty sought out a particular person, and was elated when he found him. As we came over I saw this person was a fish-like being with thick, heavy scales and bony ridges all over his body. His eyes are prominent but sunken behind bony ridges, while his wide mouth is filled with rows of razor-sharp teeth, not unlike a shark. His scales are silvery-grey on his back and salmon colored on his front and sides. There are hard, keel-like bones on his head, back, forearms, and lower legs. When he speaks he sounds like he is gargling at the same time.

The fish-guy greeted Shorty and they do a complicated set of hand shakes and fist bumps together, then laugh vigorously. Fish-guy eyes me suspiciously (and he wasn’t the first to eye me suspiciously since arriving) but Shorty vouches for me- “Don’t worry, she’s cool.” The fish-guy then introduced himself as Gereri Ezanol.

Shorty casually looked through the stuff Gereri was offering, dismissing a lot of the advanced weaponry and other items. Finally he seemed to be interested in what appeared to be an 8 inch diameter, vented cylinder with handles. He activated it and almost instantly stirred up the air all around the three of us as it fired a concentrated blast of wind! It hit a random passerby and knocked him about 20 feet away directly into a few other people. There’s a bunch of shouting and a small commotion which Gereri expertly smoothed over. Shorty, excited about the wind maker, tells fish-guy that he wants it, and buys it.

While they were negotiation price, I looked at his stuff, and I spotted a well-made metal Club made from some strangely dense metal. It was heavy, though nowhere near heavy enough to be a problem for me. I also was able to find a stun club! After completing Shorty’s transaction the strange fish-guy saw me eyeing those weapons and started chatting.

“Kisentite is the strongest metal in the galaxy – this weapon is guaranteed never to break, but it’ll break plenty of heads! Now that there stunner was pulled off an Atorian Peacekeeper with my own two hands. She thought it would keep me down, but they’ll never keep us down!” He stands taller with pride for a moment as he says that, then returns to selling.

“That Kisentite club would normally run about… 20,000 dollars, and the stun club another 85,000. But I like Shorty. I’ll sell you the both of them for 50,000 dollars. Unless you got something interesting to trade?”

“Ah, uh, how about an Atorian pipe?”

The man responds, “Go ahead, and let’s see it,” with a big laugh.

I jog back to the Aircar, trying not to draw too many prying eyes, to get the pipe, and arrive back. “Here you go!”

“Where did you get that?” the Fish guy asks excitedly. He examines it closely, and says, “This is a power conductor from one of the Atorian Dreadnaughts” How did you acquire this?”

I look again with renewed interest at the pipe he is holding, thinking of Snake Person’s hatred of the people who took so much from him. “So how much is it worth?”

The Fish Guy seems to appraise me with renewed respect. “Lady, you can have both of your items for this. It is a powerful symbol, for those that fight against the Atorians. We know very little, but this shows that they can be defeated. It is uniquely identifiable as Atorian.”

“Ok, you have a deal.”

The Fish Guy bowed, and in a serious voice says, “The Niamese Coalition thanks you for this gift to our cause.”


Ethel picture is actually of Grace Ghanem
Shorty picture from our own Adamantium_Art
“Fish Guy” picture from Palladium Books


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