Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Coromaur's Debt - Part 6.

Fur fluffed and nerves on edge, Viper had managed to cut a path into an even heavily trafficked section of Coromaur's Outpost. Desperately he sought to calm himself, it wouldn't due to allow rash impulses to affect his behavior here. The merchants that did their business here were well known to deal in illicit goods and services, which meant caution could be the deciding factor between life and death. It also meant that anyone looking for black market goods and services would make this a must see spot, which was just about anyone who came to Coromaur's Outpost.

According to an old rumor that had circulated GhostNet, there was a vendor that operated a stall here known to deal in all manner of oddities and curiosities, going by the name Dallas. Considered by most to be antiques, psicraft shells were generally only sought after by collectors. The shells themselves were little more than projectiles that had been imprinted with a single use psionic power that required both a specialized firearm to use them and drew on the very life force of the user to power them. Because of this they fell out of use over the years, since they could render the user unconscious as easy as deliver an effective attack.

"This has to be the places," Viper groaned silently to himself. Before him set what looked like an alleyway or small corridor that had grown into an assorted collection of junk. To the naked eye it didn't even seem to adhere to any form of organization, even items on makeshift shelves followed no pattern or design. Setting amidst the collected chaos a slim young man with a strange yellow woven hat was perched atop a wooden beam with triangular legs at either end. Viper was willing to bet that that had to be Dallas, and the confusion was an easy security measure. Without him no one would manage to locate anything they sought.

As Viper approached the woven hat was pushed back and a warm pair of brown eyes looked up to greet him. "What can I do ya for," the youth said with a smile, a drawl clearly present in his accent. "Looking for anythin' particular, mutt? Er, sorry, don't get too many Lobain passin' through." Offering his hand he added, "name's Dallas."

"Well, Dallas," Viper returned the handshake and decided to get straight to business. "Maybe you can help me out." Gingerly he produced a small metal case and flicked it open to reveal a handful of thick blank cylinders. "Ever seen anything like this? See I am a collector, and always looking to pick up new additions. Just a curiosity really, wondered if you might have had any pass through your selection of merchandise." Viper tried his best to remain as nonchalant as he could, knowing that if Dallas did have any psicraft shells it could be beneficial if he wasn't aware of their value. Unfortunately, Dallas's face became a clear sign that it wasn't working.

"Mister, you must be a sore hand at cards, cause you can't bluff worth spit. You and me both know those are psicraft shells, and judging by the Mark VIII on your hip and the fact you came here looking for shells means you are user, not a collector. Now, for argument's sake, let's say I might still have some on hand from my last acquisition. Now, were that the case, and you were interested let's cut though the waste and just lay it all on the table." Dallas slapped an oil-cloth wrapped package on the table and fixed his eyes on Viper. "Hard coin only friend."

Reaching down, making sure he moved slow, Viper unwrapped the package. It's semi-sweet oily smell immediately his nose, and revealed four large cylinders. "Looks like a pair of concussions, maybe a mind dart, and what this other one here, a nova maybe?" Viper scratched at his muzzle, four was better than none and the nova alone would be a handy addition if he ever dared try to use it. Wishing Dallas had more on hand he looked up and immediately knew the merchant was aware he had him on the hook.

"Well, well now, looks like we got us a shopper over here!" Dallas cooed as her slapped at his knee. "I'd let the whole lot go for the low price of, let's say an even 800, now mind, that's cause your such a friendly and honest fellow. So what'll it be, friend, you a buyer or a walker?" Viper swallowed hard, that would cut dangerously into his remaining funds. But on the other hand, the additions to his arsenal might prove a valuable resource should he land into a tight spot. If the job went well, he could always find more work with Coromaur, right?

After a moment's hesitation, Viper produced the stack of coins and claimed the purchased package. So with Dallas counting a pile of fresh coin in his lap, Viper slipped back into the crowd to make for his jumper. Ghost-Face should be ready by now and he needed to be getting on with his job. Looking up with a satisfied grin, Dallas shook his head at the disappearing back of his recent patron. "Best of luck friend, something tells me your gonna need it."