Zack

Contact

Zack.jpg

Conversation:

Intro

Thanks for dropping by to visit!

I know you're busy, but if you ever get a chance… I'm looking for some very particular coins. You'll know 'em when you see 'em.

They're made out of a reddish metal I've never seen anywhere else and have strange markings. More like a moon and some fire than an old guy's face and some random stuff on the back.

What are you trading?
Tell me about them
Do you have something of mine?
Where'd you get that stuff for me? (Only after getting something from him)
Who are you?
Bye

What are you trading?

When not in Southside:

I've got some crazy stuff down here if you want to drop by and look at it in person. I'm down at Mikhail's in Southside, so you should be able to hop a Metros.

When in Southside:

(Changes by current stock:)

I can't say I get that many interesting pants, but these… I just don't know what to do with these. Hopefully you'll have a better idea.

Let's make a deal
Cleaning house?
What about the puzzles?
Fill me in on coats
Tell me about the goggles
Tell me more about the book
What's this crystal?
Why do you have winter hats?
Pants? Really?
Experimental chemicals?
Details on the cloak?/This feathered thing?
Tackle Boxes
That new media player
What's a Zalian defense tool?
What about these Helmets?
A scrapbook?
What about this huge mirror
Scaled shields?
Cargo pants?
Belts?
What about the Rag Man?
Toy catalog?
Grapple gauntlets?
Mining helmets?
Bone goblets?
Crystal Spines?
Toad statues?
Holosight rifles?
Dancing huts?
Vines?
Books about dreams?
Anniversary mirrors?
Circuitry coats?
Domino masks?
Tablet shards?
Snow blades?
Stainless Skulls?
ReflexCoil Pants?
charmed chains?
HGS?
Horror paperbacks?
Holed vest?
Focusing lens?
Abused pants?
Crowns?
Ferry coins?
Writing desks?
Dueling jackets?
Flamethrowers?
Tactical goggles?
Trick or Treat?
Maze puzzles?
Trick top hats?
Moodlight gloves?
Mascot adapters?
Little trees?
Blood roses?
Clipboards?
Orbital watches?
Hospital pants?
Thanks (End of conversation)

Let's make a deal/Sign me up/I'll take some off your hands/etc.

Welcome in! Feel free to look around or buy something if you have any coins to trade.

When I get in my next shipment, I'll be rotating stock some. I'll keep around <item>, <item>, <item>, and <item>.

It's probably been long enough to bring back <item> too, maybe see if I can clear out that stock.

You have some of my old stock. I'd be careful if you're in that crazy contest based on when I rotate stock, they don't count things if you mix and match.

(Leads to Zack's House of Coins store)

Or, before September 26, 2010:

I've been meaning to clean things up a bit, you know, leave some stuff at home so my wares don't take over Mikhail's entire shop. I'm sure he won't mind either.

Anyway, I'm thinking about tidying up after the next shipment. I'll still have the <list of items>. And whatever new thing my friends are able to bring me, of course.

I'll probably rotate something back in too from my old stock. Let's say <list of items>. You know, to start at the beginning and all that.

Tell me about them/Bug me about coins/Tell me more/Tell me about yours/What are you looking for?/etc

Ah, my favorite topic!

I probably mentioned they're made of a weird red metal. That's the biggest tipoff. If it exists anywhere else, I haven't seen it.

But people say all sorts of stuff about them. I talked to an old lady once who said they'd been here since before the city was built and they'll grant your wishes. She had one and her son killed her for it… drug money, you know. I dunno how, but it froze his hand solid, had to sell the coin to pay for the surgery and the cyberware.

Some folks say Midgard melts them down for the metal somehow. No idea how… I've tried normal fire, blowtorches, everything. They never even got hot.

Even heard some crazy old coots at the Docks talking about how they dropped one into the water. Then this fish swallows it and turns into a giant sea monster. Wooo, scary right? Lemme find a flashlight to flicker under my chin. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Anyway, I've got no idea, really. But I found one when I was little and I… just haven't been able to stop myself. Sometimes I think of it as a neat hobby… the rest of the time I hate that Mikhail doesn't carry liquor.

If you're looking for them, most people call them gifts, but I dunno who they're gifts from. Maybe it's a metaphor.

What are you trading?
You mean these ancient gold coins? (with ancient gold coins)
What about these old coins? (with old coins)
How about these tarnished coins? (with tarnished coins)
Like this winter coin? (with a winter coin)
You mean this autumn coin? (with an autumn coin)
Maybe this summer coin? (with a summer coin)
Would this spring coin work? (with a spring coin)
How about this solstice coin? (with a solstice coin)
Do you want equinox coins?(with an equinox coin)
You mean the Coin of the Seasons? (with a Coin of the Seasons)
Like this origami coin? (with a survivors' origami coin)
Who are you?
Bye

Who are you?

Me?

Well you know my name's Zack, so we'll skip that part. I just moved into the area after some… problems in Oldtown.

Silly bastards bulldozed my house. I do a million things to them that would totally justify them coming after me and what do they do?

Buy up the land under my building and bulldoze it. Not because they hate me. They didn't even realize I lived there. I'm almost insulted.

But hey, now I'm here where the rent's free, the food's cheaper, and there's a whole new bunch of people I can bug about coins.

What are you trading?
Bug me about coins
Bye

You mean these ancient gold coins?

Ooooo gold. I dunno why, but it's still exciting after all these years.

I'm sure you can find a buyer for them, but I'm not him. The ones I'm looking for are more red than yellow and they have the weird markings. Good luck!

Tell me more
Okay, bye

What about these old coins?

Hmmmm, nope. Not those.

I'm not really into antique collecting. I heard there are a few guys around town you might be able to talk to, though.

Lemme think… heard there were some guys on the Docks if you end up that way. They run a sort of flash market. Unload the ship, sell everything off it, and a bunch of other people come by to sell stuff too. It's a rush, but bring a gun, they usually attract a rough crowd.

And there's a guy I got some of my coins off of back when I was in school. Older guy, vet from Eurasia, I think. He probably still hangs out in the back of the dance club near campus.

If you're hanging around here for a while, definitely hang onto them. A lot of folks still use them.

Tell me about yours
Okay, bye

How about these tarnished coins?

Where on earth did you find those, the bottom of the lake?

I mean, they look like they're silver, so your best bet would be to melt them down for the metal value. Not what I'm looking for though.

What are you looking for?
Okay, bye

Like this winter coin?

Ah, this is nice, although it's not what I'm looking for.

The snowflakes remind me of Christmas. And you know what the best Christmas present is?

Mysterious coins of an unearthly metal.

What are you looking for?
Okay, thanks

You mean this autumn coin?

This is kind of depressing, with a dead tree on each side. You'd think they could at least get a living tree on one and a dead tree on the other or something.

It's not what I'm looking for, though.

What are you looking for?
Okay, thanks

Maybe this summer coin?

Ah, this is a nice piece of work. It's not what I'm looking for, but it reminds me of summer.

Admittedly, I don't care how cheerful it is, what sort of whack job puts the same image on both faces of a coin?

What are you looking for?
Okay, thanks

Would this spring coin work?

Shame it's not what I'm looking for… it's a nice piece. You can almost see the veins in the leaves… okay, that's my imagination… but it's still pretty cool.

What are you looking for?
Okay, thanks

How about this solstice coin?

This one, I'll grant you, is actually pretty close. Horseshoes, hand grenades, and coin collecting, I suppose.

It's not what I'm looking for, but you should hold onto it.

What are the right ones like?
Okay, thanks

Do you want equinox coins?

Huh, it's like the coin of trees… neat, but totally not what I'm looking for. Nice try though.

It's got a nice cyclic feel to it, you know? I might even be able to unload them if I had a couple gross.

Please don't actually bring me a couple gross of these. I know people that would or I wouldn't say that.

What are you looking for?
Okay, thanks

You mean the Coin of the Seasons?

Wow, you've got a legend right there in your hand. It's a shame I collect these coins rather than all coins, because that's a beauty.

Well, assuming you can wrap your head around how it keeps shifting and changing. Just focus and you'll be golden… or nauseated. One of the two.

What are you looking for?
Okay, thanks

Like this origami coin?

Huh. I don't usually go for folded coins. But, if I could get my hands on some of those Zaibatsu origami books, I'd sell them in a heartbeat.

But they're not the coins I'm looking for. I mean, maybe if you pounded one of my coin's flat and folded it over itself…

What are you looking for?
Okay, thanks

Do you have something of mine?/Check anyway

If you have some items in a beta reset storage:

He sighs. "Yeah, sure do. Somebody left you this stuff. I have to admit I was kind of hoping you wouldn't ask, but here you go."

He hands you some strangely familiar looking items.

If you had already taken items from a previous season of items and a new season has started up:

I'm not sure offhand, I'd have to check.

You've got a bit of my older stock, though. I just wanted to warn you that if you're involved in that weird contest that changes when I rotate my stock, they don't count things when you mix and match.

Check anyway
Nevermind then

Otherwise:

Huh? No, sorry, I haven't seen anything. I'll be sure to let you know if I find anything interesting.

Or, if he already gave you something:

Huh? No, sorry, nothing I didn't tell you about last time. End of conversation

(End of conversation)

Nevermind then

Sounds good. Drop back by if you're curious.

Where'd you get that stuff for me?

It's kind of weird, actually. I know a guy who knows a guy who works in the Slags and he found this package with your name on it next to one of the big craters.

Had instructions to give it to me so I could give it to you and everything. Damnedest thing, huh?

(End of conversation)

Bye

Alright, nice talking to you, have a good one.

(End of conversation)

What about the puzzles?

The puzzle boxes… these things are really weird. I can't get them to do a damned thing myself, but people have told me they shift between a few different forms and let you "unlock deeper powers." Nobody's figured out the writing on them that I know of, but I kind of doubt it's just gibberish.

I got the lot of them from a Midgard shipment. They're top notch work, almost indestructible, and the shipment was for "Midgard Internal Use Only." I'm not sure I want to know what they were going to use them for.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Tell me about the coats

Well, word is, these coats are the prototypes for a line that was gonna put some little company in Oceania on the map. And, you know, what, I think they might have.

They look slick, I'm sure you'll agree, but they're also almost impervious to damage. If you knew what you were doing, you could catch shotgun blasts with this and not even blink.

I've had a couple people come back and tell me that they worked out a fighting style around it. Which is pretty cool. I'm glad it saved their hide along with looking great.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Tell me about the goggles

You know the crazy red metal the coins are made out of? Well, a friend clued me into some goggles with lenses made out of the same stuff. Apparently, you can treat it to make it transparent somehow, which is pretty sweet.

Word is, some old-money billionaire took a liking to the metal, not that I blame him. He had a bunch of the goggles made at some lab outside of town. The scientists finished the project and were apparently going to turn them over, when something went weird.

The newswires said it was a gas leak. A few local channels were thinking it was a Midgard team taking out the competition. My friend says the scientists all just snapped and decided to start testing their newest creations on each other.

Seeing as how she just delivered a huge pile of the goggles, I'm willing to buy her story. Apparently, they thought the goggles would show them "new vistas of science" after the tests but I don't usually blow people up, so I haven't tried it myself.

Apparently they were right. She found a new form of polysteel, screwy code on their server, and a bunch of strange chemicals in the wreckage.

Let's make a deal
What about the others?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Tell me more about the book

Ah, the encyclopedia. It's a book about… well, they say modern legends, but they mean stuff people are afraid of. It's hard to call organ thieves or pollution contaminated food legends, you know?

It wouldn't be too weird, even the part where they claim everybody who worked on the book died, except that Midgard rounded up almost all the copies. The indie press says they burned them all, I dunno. What I do know is that I got my hands on a shipment that… went astray.

Now, the guy who brought them to me said they're a wicked good read, but I didn't think anybody would be interested. He came back later and gave me the whole load, said it was because I wasn't in to Eclipse.

Apparently every time he thinks about the legends while he's on Eclipse now, they start to come true. Now that's something I think folks might be interesting in.

Let's make a deal
What about the others?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

What's this crystal?

The crystal, yeah. Those are pretty interesting.

I assume you've heard about the disaster at Metroplex U's Halloween party. It nearly burned down one of their biggest dorms. Midgard's investigating.

Well, between you and me, one of my friends… contacts, really, found this weird tree made of crystal growing in the wreckage. Midgard wanted to study it in place, but he was able to sneak in and break it down.

I'll sell you a piece for two of the coins. I know it's got something hidden in there, but I can't guess how to unlock it… probably has something to do with Eclipse or green fire if you listen to the rumors about the party.

Let's make a deal
What about the others?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Why do you have winter hats?

You've probably figured out that most of my acquaintances are a little weird. I'm not sure if knitting hundreds of winter hats qualifies, but safe money is on "yes."

Anyway, since he has more hats than heads or friends' heads, he figured he'd let me sell some. They don't let you fire lasers out of your eyes or anything, but they're really nice hats.

I put mine on whenever I need to feel like I can take on the world. Because sometimes the difference between failure and success is all in your brain.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Pants? Really?

Heh heh. Well… it seems not all my friends realize I've moved markets.

These pants, they're great and I'm sure they'd pull down some serious coin in Oldtown. But Southside isn't quite as, you know, stylish.

But I did take a closer look and I'm pretty sure that you could patch them up. Whatever they're made out of is insanely durable… probably to keep that "stylishly torn" look for as long as possible.

Repair them, maybe put some patches on there, mix and match… alright I convinced myself. Tell you what, we'll call them two coins.

It's not what I'd get in Oldtown, but you're good people.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Experimental Chemicals?

So, I might've mentioned some coats at one point. Got a whole crop of them, made by this little company out of Oceania that got gobbled up by OmniTech.

Anyway, the same friend got ahold of some material they were working on. It's seriously weird stuff. I mean… it reminds me some of the crazy industrial waste they skim out of Lake Metroplex, you know?

They move around sometimes, almost like they're alive. You can stick your hand right in 'em and they won't hurt you, but they might start trying to eat your shirt.

My friend said they studied these little guys' adaptive properties to make the coats… which makes me a little afraid of the coats now.

Let's make a deal
Adaptive coats?
What about the rest?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Details on the cloak?/This feathered thing?

Ah, the cloaks. Well, that story starts like a lot of my days, actually. I got a call from my friend about a Midgard shipment that… went missing.

And, like always, I got my hope ups. I mean, what's it going to be? Combat drones? Luxury drones? Luxury combat drones? Alright, I've never heard of luxury combat drones, but you get the idea.

Anyway, they come up with these cloaks. I have no earthly idea what Midgard wanted with them. I mean… they're really warm and they seem to be made out of feathers from actual birds. Some of the species aren't even supposed to be around anymore.

Well, I guess I shouldn't say "no" idea. Weird stuff seems to happen around them, like… well, not to scare you off from the product, but like the guy who got disemboweled by some sort of giant bird nobody else could see.

Heh. So I suppose you could say I'm interested in unloading them. They're a steal at two coins!
Let's make a deal
What about the others?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Tackle Boxes?

Man, some days I'm just glad when I get a normal call about a normal shipment. I have it on good authority this one wasn't even stolen… not that any of my products are less than legal.

But it turns out that the Extreme Fishing guys… you know their Extreme Bass games, pretending to fish and all that? Anyway, they were going to have a big party to celebrate Extreme Bass XIII with fishing in some tropical paradise.

Anyway, turns out some brushfire war started up and Extreme Fishing, Inc. is no OmniTech. So they couldn't put it down and had to cancel the whole deal.

Which is a shame for them because they made these awesome tackle boxes for it. It does mean we get them though. I'll part with one for one unearthly coin.

Sounds good!
How about something more stolen?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

That new media player

Heh, it’s like clockwork. Every couple years, Midgard tries to break into the entertainment market, dethrone Zaibatsu.

But every time they fail and unload the sweet prototypes on middle management. As luck would have it, a bunch of their middle managers work across the street from my old place. And some of the prototype… fell off a truck.

Yeah, I wouldn't believe that either, sorry. Anyway, this time they made a music player that writes its own music. It’s actually pretty cool in that geeky, "I want to listen to computer code" sort of way.

Oh, and it’s supposed to monitor your heartbeat and seed data based on that, but the heart… meter thing isn’t very sensitive. That’s the official reason they canned the project, actually, but getting assigned to Midgard Entertainment is like a death sentence anyway.

I mean the figurative kind, not the kind that Midgard Security deals in.

(MISSING CHOICES)

What's a Zalian defense tool?/Zalian defense what?

I'm not sure if you're a big Team O… I mean "Stellar Defense Team Omega" fan. It's probably before your time.

Anyway, the team leader was a Zalian… which is kind of like a human with bright blue hair… but they had these bracers that were like gun-flamethrower-razorblade-death things.

So, it's a Zaibatsu show, not sure if I mentioned that, back when Zaibatsu hadn't quite taken over yet and still made good stuff. They're on "Supernatural Stellar Defense Team Omega" now… don't ask.

Anyway, Zaibatsu farmed out making replica Zalian defense tools to the same people who make the Matsuo replica swords. The end results were, let's just say, a bit too literal and not-at-all child safe.

I still can't find the flamethrower button, but I have it on good authority there's one hiding in there somewhere.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

What about these Helmets?

These little guys are pretty interesting. I got them from a friend of mine over in Oceania, he snagged them from Hong Kong.

A lot of corps were after them, which meant she couldn't unload them except with her very favorite person. Apparently they're supposed to be some sort of first generation VR game helmet.

But they use some sort of direct neural interface, which Zaibatsu didn't like, and apparently were designed right here in Metroplex, which Midgard didn't like. So the company that made it got trashed.

Funny how things come full circle like that, isn't it?

Let's make a deal
What about the others?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

A scrapbook?

Yeah, it's really interesting. I heard Midgard was spending some serious cred after the Halloween party with Emerald Gift playing down on campus.

I had a friend with some… campus connections see if he could get whatever they were buying. Turns out it was books of sketches and photographs and mementos inspired by Emerald Gift.

I figured I struck out on this one… I mean, probably just gathering materials for ads or something, right?

But there's something about these books… whether they wanted to use them or contain them… there's something weird about them. I just feel a little weird, but the guy who got them talked about reading one on Eclipse and finding himself in a pile of sketches showing all sorts of crazy stuff.

I saw a couple of them, they were pretty inspiring. Still not sure how he got past stick figures and gang signs, though. Maybe it was the Eclipse.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

What about this huge mirror

Oh, yes, these are an interesting piece… well, set of pieces really. I've got to break up the collection, there's no way I'd sell them all together, unless you know some crazy rich person with an unhealthy fascination with mirrors?

I certainly don't or I wouldn't be breaking them up.

From what I could put together, some crazy old loon put together the whole set, hundreds of 'em. Some she commissioned, some she bought at auctions, I heard she even enlisted some archeologists to dig up some famous ones.

Now, having an unhealthy collection, that just goes along with being rich. Having hundreds of mirrors, each broken exactly the same way, that's creepy. Now, when you die and the mirrors start reflecting things that aren't there? That's when her staff sell them all to me for… well, less than I'm selling them to you for. Sorry to say, but that's business.

Did I mention they reflect things that aren't there? In my line of work, we call that a "feature."

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Scaled shields?

Oh, these shields? They're kind of neat. The scaled pattern on them moves around as you look at it… some sort of holograph or something.

That's not the weird part, though. The lady who had them built apparently thought that some "evil" had come for her son and had these built to protect him.

Crazy, eh? Probably got the idea staring into all those cracked mirrors in her house.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll be back later (End of conversation)

Cargo pants?

Yeah, these are kind of weird. I probably wouldn't have picked them up because, well, they're pretty old-fashioned.

But I happened to check out the pockets on one and, between the used tea bag and the used up cred chip, there was a receipt with your comm number on it. I thought that might be worth a look, you know?

It's probably just a weird coincidence, but if you want a pair, they're just a coin.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Belts?

If I knew why Midgard had a whole shipment of wolfhide belts, I'd tell you. I honestly would.

But whether it's a new "endangered species" product line or somebody's sick obsession with old legends, I don't know for sure. What I can tell you is that the friend of mine who found the shipment barely made it out alive… and had to drop by the cyberclinic by my old apartment to get some shiny new organs.

Midgard's internal security guys never mess around, but when they start biting you and tearing out… let's not get into that, actually, Mikhail probably wouldn't appreciate me scaring off the customers.

But that? That's something else entirely.

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

What about the Rag Man?

Ah, yeah, these are a little creepy… right up your alley, really.

Which is actually a great segue into how I got them. Halloween morning, an old tree in an alley near Downtown had these hanging on its branches like leaves.

The local homeless grabbed a few and people just looking for costumes took the rest. Over the next couple days, every last one ended up dead. Most of them were beaten to a pulp, but some were cut by a weapon they couldn't identify and one was even strangled.

Apparently nobody remembers the Rag Man's legend anymore.

Sign me up!
What legend?
How about something else?
Maybe later (End of conversation)

What legend?

Man, you make me feel old sometimes.

It's the one where the old town catches a trespasser and hangs him from their tree, but he lives for days and days. After a while, you know, that starts to freak you out.

So when there's nothing left but rags and ravens, they throw a party because he's finally dead. But they're all missing in the morning… and the only thing left in the whole town are those rags on the gnarly old tree.

So, if you see a rag on an old tree, it's the Rag Man's terrority and get the hell away if you know what's good for you.

I mean, that's the story, right? In my experience it just means somebody forgot to pay Midgard Sanitation Services. But these capes… well, I feel for the sanitation worker that tries to clean these up.

I'll take some off your hands
You sell anything less creepy?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Toy catalog?

Yeah, weird thing about these, they're old OmniTech toy catalogs from back before OmniTech invented polysteel and took over the market on… well, almost everything.

A friend of mine was trying to sell them to antique collectors downtown, but they were scared of 'em. She thought it was something like… oh, the belts of wolfhide or weird puzzle boxes we get through.

I don't think so. It's just a bunch of old toys. I read one and it made me wicked nostalgic, but it's not scary.

I think OmniTech just doesn't want people having these for some reason. Weird, huh? Anyway, her loss is your gain, am I right?

Let's make a deal
What about the rest?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Grapple gauntlets?

Oh, yeah, these are pretty interesting. Back when Cyberbowl started up, there was a lot of back and forth about what was allowed.

Cybernetics and integrated weapons are in, obviously, but non-integrated weapons are out. Big controversy around Cyberbowl III about whether modular limbs would be allowed and they were.

So a local company made these to plug cyberhands into, figuring it'd count as "modular." But, since they worked without cybernetics, the league disapproved them.

Long story short, the company limped along for a while and finally had to unload its stock during bankruptcy proceedings. I'm sure there's a lesson there… probably "buy low, sell for red metal coins."

Speaking of which…

Cyberbowl? I'm in
Got anything else?
Maybe later (End of conversation)

Mining helmets?

Yeah, they're pretty interesting. Midgard owns some mining operations… a lot, actually, turns out that when you sell mining drones and take land as collateral, you can end up with a lot of mines. Sorry, that's not the interesting part, promise.

When they were reexcavating an old mine, their operators found a whole pile of bones with a ton of these old helmets. They weren't actually able to figure out who they used to belong to for whatever reason, so they got sold off for salvage… which is to say, me.

I think the obvious lesson is that it's not always best to laugh at the locals when they say a someplace is haunted. I mean, I don't believe in ghosts, but I've seen a lot of strange things since I started running this shop.

I'll take some off your hands
Got anything... newer
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Bone goblets?

Your guess is as good as mine. I've tried to drink out of them, but the water just vanished… and the OmniCola… and the whiskey… and several cups of Mikhail's coffee. Frankly, I'm at wit's end.

I mean, looking at them they scream "blood," but I'm not finding any volunteers. And, well, if someone volunteers to let you drink their blood… probably better to just say "no" and call it a day, right?

I'm definitely hanging on to one if I ever have to go to a costume party as Vlad Tepes, though.

How could I say no
Got anything you understand?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Crystal Spines?

I know what you're thinking, "crystallized spine? That's the best paperweight ever." Which, now that you mention it, it would be a pretty good paperweight.

I'm not a hundred percent sure what it really does, but it seems related to some crystal flame Midgard found on Metroplex U's campus a while back. What I can tell you is that it feeds on death somehow… perhaps I can make that sound less creepy…

The friend of mine who uncovered them, in some sewers beneath the Waterfront, he had to kill some guys on the way out. I mean, it happens, right? But the spines just went up like windchimes, music and this strange glow like they were marking the dead's passing.

I still made that sound pretty creepy, didn't I?

Creepy or not, I'll take one!
You have anything else?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Toad Statues?

Funny story: I asked for a friend of mine to get something really creepy for me for Halloween. They'd just landed me a whole crate of crystallized spines, so I figured that'd be nothing.

Instead I got these perfectly harmless statues. Rumor has it they're even lucky. How scary is that?

I mean, they're apparently really popular with "cleaners" at OmniTech and starting to catch on with Midgard's. So I guess it could be the patron frog of killing people for a living. That's a little creepy.

Alright, to tell you the truth, the way those dead eyes burrow into your soul, judging your every move is something… I always feel like I'm disappointing them and it's grinning at my failure, like I need to show my prowess to be worthy of a little luck.

That's probably just my insecurity talking, though. After all, I always smile at people without judging them, right?

I must have it!
You have anything else?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Holosight rifles?

Midgard's always working on new drones, but I think their second favorite thing in the world is new guns. The MK line is a big seller.

Anyway, a friend of mine managed to score some before they even got an official designation. They're just test models on old chassis, but the scopes are out of this world.

I mean that pretty literally. I think any scope designed on this world would show you things as they happen. These guys seem just a step ahead.

My contact said something about "next generation predictive circuitry," but I'm not so sure myself. There's something not quite right about these.

Sounds useful
You have anything else?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Dancing huts?

Now, one of the biggest lessons in being a trader like me is not letting your passions get in the way of choosing the best products for your clients.

And never is that lesson more relevant than when you're staring at a whole crate full of dancing hut action figures. The answer should be "no, find me some bleeding edge technology or the last vestiges of a failed corporation."

Suffice it to say, my self-control isn't nearly that good. So if you want a genuine posable dancing hut that fits mostly in the palm of your hand, I'm your man. Otherwise, I'm sure you can find something else that you'll like.

I'll take some
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Vines?

Yeah, they're really something, aren't they?

There aren't a lot of companies willing to do major organic engineering. I mean, a few tweaks or mods, that happens all the time, don't get me wrong. But engineering a living organism so you can wear it like pants? That's something different altogether.

Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if they were dangerous somehow, these sorts of things usually are. Folks will have allergic reactions or the organisms will run rampant, I'm sure you've seen the reports about stuff like that.

I'm probably not doing a great job selling 'em, but I want you to know the risks. I'll just assume you like to live right on the edge, where even your pants can kill you.

In any case, Zaibatsu actually says wearing the vines gets you all sorts of medical benefits, so maybe those'll even things out.

I'll take some
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Books about dreams?

Yeah, with everyone talking about dreams and so forth now, I decided it might be worth picking some of these up. I mean, what's the point of having crazy dreams if you don't know what they're about, right?

Anyway, this one's been out of print for a while, but it's really highly rated. I got a bunch in an auction and figured I'd share.

Well, you know… "share" in the sense that people might want to pick one up for a coin. Hey, a guy's got to feed his crippling coin addiction somehow.

Fine, I'll take one
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Anniversary mirrors?

I have to say, some days I feel like a dealer in rare and dangerous treasure, like I'm in some sort of fantasy novel. Other days, I feel like a fence. I'm not so sure about today.

I got a bunch of these mirrors that Midgard used to give out for service anniversaries. Apparently, some department had been giving out little makeup mirrors to the women and watches to the men… I wish I was kidding.

Now, this isn't just me holding a grudge for them bulldozing my house or anything. That's just stupid.

Anyway, a bunch of women and one guy complained. The department finally changed it after the guy complained. But they're nice mirrors, so I wouldn't want them to go to waste or anything.

Oh, I forgot the part that made me feel like I'm selling crazy treasure! Yeah, I heard that the guy who complained said that these mirrors were way more useful than the watches the guys got… and, when the executives he was complaining to didn't hand one over, he just looked at one of them and turned him in into sludge, you know, like you get on the lake sometimes… then set the sludge on fire and used it to burn the other executives.

Hey, I'm not crazy. That's just what I heard.

Anyway, moral of the story is that these are awesome enough to set a bunch of executives on fire for, so you should totally buy one.

Happy anniversary to me!
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Circuitry coats?

Talk about awkward. I had my whole Fall lineup planned and bam, a delivery drone drops off a bunch of these coats. Who wears two coats at the same time?

But, well, my plans being thrown awry aside, you have to admit they're pretty sweet. I mean, they're bullet-resistant, which is always a good start, especially in this neighborhood. But that's not really what I'm talking about.

They all have notes shoved in the pockets, like some mad scientist wore them last and was working on his earthquake machine… I'm pretty sure it's not actually a earthquake machine, more likely some Net stuff. At least that's my guess.

Where was I? Right, the notes. So I look in the first one and there are notes in the pockets. Kind of handy, right? I figured I might pocket them and sell them as an add-on, to be honest. But I look in the next one and it has the exact same notes.

Like somebody's… I don't know, exactly, but it's got me curious enough to try them out. If only anybody in Southside used the Net for anything.

I'll take some
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Domino masks?

Say what you will about the jerks who bulldozed my apartment complex, they know how to have a good time. Which… might be why I had a bunch of supplies for one of their parties… let's say liberated.

It was mostly the usual: contraband neural recordings, unlicensed humanoid drones with festive modifications, designer drugs, expensive liquor, expensive liquor made with designer drugs, and a bunch of masks. Anyway, everybody in Southside already seems to have their chosen poison, but not everybody has a sweet mask.

Dress like the upper crust, figure out what they're all hiding and, hey, maybe do some hiding yourself. Heaven knows I'd be dead a dozen times over if it weren't for my hiding skills.

Party masks! Where do I sign?
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Tablet shards?

So, I haven't been there myself, but I've heard there's a really popular sculpture over in Metroplex University's art museum that's a tablet with a bunch of weird, made up languages on it. Which is kind of cool.

But some crazy bastard owned it before the school and he's been selling little chunks of it. The school paid him gods-know-what and he's still trying to get a little money on the side.

Not that I can say much about profiting on the suffering of others, I suppose. It's what feeds my vicious coin habit, after all.

Now, people are paying top cred for these, but… I mean, they're probably more than a hell of a paperweight, but I haven't figured anything out. And, at the end of the day, getting them was enough of a puzzle for me. I'll leave the rest to you all.

Anyway, I got a couple of shards second-hand and figured they might be the sort of thing you're interested in.

Damned right I'm interested!
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Snow blades?

There are days I'm really glad I have friends in customs. Midgard is always looking for ways to stick a knife in the competition's ribs, pun intended, and the customs people are more than happy to oblige… then lose interdicted material on the way to the incinerator. Everybody wins, except Zaibatsu in this case.

Long story short, Zaibatsu made these replica knives out of some weird material that looks and acts a lot like ice, but isn't. The problem is, it's slightly toxic. So, to save the children of Metroplex from being poisoned when they lick sharp things, off to the "incinerator" it went.

And you can get a genuine Zaibatsu replica for one thin coin, rather than the arm and leg they usually charge. Just don't lick it.

Sounds like a good deal
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Stainless Skulls?

Oh, these? They're from the Stainless Skulls reunion that Midgard is funding… I remember my dad listening to the Skulls when I was a kid, so I'm not really sure if it's a "reunion" so much as a "new band called the Skulls." They all wear helmets like these anyway, though, so I guess they might have changed people around back when pops liked them too.

I'm not sure if their helmets have built-in headphones, but it seems pretty likely. They probably don't have an uplink to download sample tracks, though.

Anyway, nobody seems to know the Skulls anymore, but it's still a nice helmet if you like some tunes.

Hell yeah
Do you have anything less metal?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

ReflexCoil pants?

You know ReflexCoil? The cybernetics line OmniTech runs? I guess most people never hear of them outside CyberBowl commentary.

Anyway, they tried to take their storage coils and make a line of "non-cybernetic activewear." I'd joke OmniTech would call it OmniActive, but I just remembered that's actually a brand they own.

Corporations aside, it turns out putting that much stress on flesh and blood legs does some interesting things with microfractures, so the line never launched. And I end up with a bunch of the prototypes through what I assure you are totally legitimate means.

I wouldn't try to sell this to Mikhail or anything, but if you don't have too much wear or tear on your legs, these bad boys should store kinetic energy for kicking ass or just jumping around like an crazy person.

I like to live dangerously
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Charmed Chains?

Yeah, sometimes when I get shipments I'm really not sure if I've just been had… I mean, I have reliable sources but when they say they stole some chains from ghosts? I mean, what's a guy supposed to believe?

I'm not as much of a man of science as some folks I've met here, but I pride myself on looking before I leap. Good for business, you know.

So I got a friendly gang member to play guinea pig. Strictly above table, of course.

One of his buddies found the chain later, down by the lake. It was just like when I gave it to him… well, a bit more blood and a tiny skull charm I don't remember being there.

Normally, I'd file that under "inconclusive" but his friends were all too scared to talk about what happened. So it's at least cool enough to be two coins on the legend, right?

Sounds awesome!
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

HGS?

All the big corps are constantly making prototypes, but only a few of them make it out to production. The rest end up… falling off trucks, mostly.

Case in point: Midgard was working on a gaming system to challenge Zaibatsu's hold on that market… again. I'd stick to picking on OmniTech myself, but I'm not the one with the slick suits and all the zeros in my bank account.

Anyway, the project got cancelled and all the prototypes fell off some trucks.

It reminds me a bit of the creepy "predictive circuitry" rifle that fell off a truck a while back, so I figured I'd sell these guys when the rifle came back around. The rifle probably won't help you much with videgames, though.

I love games!
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Horror Paperbacks?

Even after the Orbital Wars, they still had lots of crummy paperbacks like this, old propaganda pieces blaming one side or the other for the most ridiculous atrocities… as though you'd need to make anything up.

They've gone way out of fashion now, to say nothing of the winning side rounding up a lot of them. But they're classics in their own right.

Anyway, I managed to score some copies of one of the best.

The science is… let's say questionable. I guarantee you can't whipstitch cyberlimbs to yourself. But I also guarantee it will give you nightmares.

Scare me
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Holed vest?

When you're an executive with Midgard, it always pays to be a little paranoid. They say the guy who wore this was more than most, keeping his bullet-proof vest on even when he was at home with his family, like his son would shoot him in the back or something.

I suppose it's only fitting he got shot in broad daylight downtown. They never figured out which of his enemies took him out, but whoever did it used a powerful enough rifle it blew right through the vest.

They say his spirit still haunts the vest, looking for vengeance against everyone he feared in life. Pretty spooky, eh?

Let's see
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Focusing lens?

I try not to deal in too many antiques, but some things are just so weird I can't help it.

This lens is adjustable, like for cameras before we figured out electronic zoom. But it's got a crazy range, way more than you'd ever need for a camera.

Anyway, as long as you keep it adjusted right, I'm sure you could use it as a scope or to… look at really small things.

Let's see
Let's look at something else
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Abused Pants?

There was a big fashion trend a few years back with distressed pants. These aren't those…

These have been to the frozen hells and back. Nobody knows exactly what happened to the expedition and the pants aren't giving a lot of clues.

Well… they're actually giving a lot of clues, they just shouldn't all fit together. But there's obviously something weird going on and that's where I come in.

Let's see
What else have you got?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Crowns?

I landed this shipment of crowns from an associate who swears up and down that they're real crowns from back when royalty was, well, something with political significance.

It reminds me a bit of being a little kid, though, before you realize you should be dreaming of being the long-lost son of a CEO. Princes and princesses still hold a strange sway on our mind, don't they?

I'm pretty sure these are just costume crowns, but my contact's dead set on their legitimacy… and he isn't one who'd lie to me. Anyway, I'm selling them as genuine with a big old caveat emptor.

Let's see
What else is there?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Ferry coins?

A friend of mine got kind of confused… thought my interest in unearthly coins was a general numismatic thing. Which, I mean, is fine. It happens.

Normally I don't get anything nearly this cool, though? You know how they used to give people coins to pay the ferryman?

Apparently it's not just in movies. She rounded up some coins intended for that. I'm… assuming she didn't lift them from corpses, but I don't get paid to ask questions.

Which reminds me, I'm trying to trade them off for unearthly coins. I think one for one is a very competitive exchange rate.

Let's see
Anything other than the coins?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Writing desks?

Do you want a writing desk? I mean, I know apartments here aren't huge, but I think it does people good to have a creative outlet.

Especially with all the weird stuff going on around here with the Eclipse and whatnot, folks could come up with some good stories. And I'm not going to say there's a market for short fiction, but some people still enjoy it.

I ask because I have some nice writing desks, of course. Even if you don't do anything else with them, doing some writing prompts in the morning can help kickstart your day.

Let's get writing!
Anything other than writing?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Dueling jackets?

You're probably not old enough to remember the whole pistol dueling fad. Course, neither am I, but I'm a nut for weird little fads. They always get the best limited edition things.

"Like what?" I'm sure you're asking. Well, those duelists had really nice jackets, kind of like fencing jackets, but without all that protection stuff.

Anyway, if you like moving around and would rather avoid a bullet than have it hurt less, they're great jackets.

Great jackets which I'm currently selling, if you didn't guess.

Let's see
What else is there?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Flamethrowers?

Aerobinc, the people with the bacteria that wanted to clean up the Slags, decided to branch off into weapons technology. They said they wanted to mitigate war's environment impact.

Anyway, it turns out even if your fuel source is environmentally friendly, people still judge weapons dealers as weapons dealers. So they dropped the whole "Ecofuel flamethrowers" thing.

Anyway, I don't mind being a weapons dealer… as long as people have the right coins.

Let's see
What else is there?
I'll come back later (End of conversation)

Tactical goggles?

I'm not actually sure what company made these goggles originally, but they got bounced around Eurasia some before ending up here. I've heard a lot of really good things, mostly from snipers and armed guards.

But, if you're looking for combat utility, it's best to go with the professionals, right? Anyway, I think these things were supposed to come with some sort of special tracer bullets or something. Those got lost somewhere along the way, so I'm selling them at a discount: just one coin a pair.

Um, they're goggles, so a pair is one. Not, you know, one for you and one for your buddy. You know what I mean.

(End of conversation)

Trick or Treat?

The generation that survived the Orbital Wars lived in a hard world and wanted their kids to be prepared for the same thing.

Which sounds all well and good, but they were a bit… off. Take this Trick or Treat book for example.

You've got the Harvester, this woman straight out of a slasher movie, acting as the source for Halloween traditions… like Santa Claus if old Kris Kringle liked to skin people.

People thought better of it eventually, but a lot of kids who grew up then still swear by it. It's quite a collector's item.

Maze puzzles?

I think they're promotional items, but the folks promoting… whatever are being pretty cagey about it. They're releasing a couple of these to a few stores. I managed to get my hands on some through, let's just say supply chain issues.

Now that I think about it, they're probably from Zaibatsu. They're just crazy enough to pull off something like that and make everyone talk. Or maybe some crazy indie corp stealing a page from big Z's playbook.

Anyway, they're basically maze puzzles, but nobody's solved one yet and they probably just go on forever. But, even if they're just a promotional gimmick for some sort of fantasy horror survival movie, they'll probably be worth something.
Give me that
Let's see something else
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Trick top hats?

Now, not everything I sell is some crazy mystery or a hand-me-down from some relic of the forgotten past. Actually, it's totally a relic of the forgotten past. You got me.

It's just a really slick top hat, back from when stage magicians always wore them. It even has a bit of a secret compartment to help with tricks.

Now, I'm not saying you're someone who would want to look classy and smuggle a gun in your hat… but it's always nice to have the option, right?
Let's get classy
Maybe something else
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Moodlight Gloves?

I'm not sure if you've heard of Moodlight, they're more popular with the Zaibatsu kids than Midgard's here. But they're a trendy fashion place, specialize in slapping lights on everything… claim they can read your emotions and rebroadcast them… and something about being modeled on sealife.

It doesn't work at all, but people still wear 'em. Not sure what that says about people… probably that they love shiny lights more than companies living up to their promises.

Anyway, some of them are way too bright and got recalled. So if you need blind someone or look great while you do it, I can help you out.
Sounds like fun
Maybe something else
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Mascot adapters?

I'm sure you've run into Zaibatsu's mascot mania before. I mean, every Zaibatsu city and product has to have its mascot and all their mascots have merchandise. It's really quite the racket.

Most of it just ends up in collections or landfills, but every so often, some of the merch is really useful. These little guys were special adapters made to celebrate one of the NovOS versions coming out.

They connect to your computer, assuming you have one, and adds some weird little expansions. Just be careful… the reason I got them is because the cable adapters are actually kind of sharp, so don't accidentally whip yourself in the leg with them or anything.
Hook me up
Maybe something else
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Little trees?

OmniTech, of all people, has been trying to corner the market on indoor plants with TinyTree. They're… not great, but they're super cheap, so all the little splicers are going out of business.

Anyway, I did manage to score some from a nice company during their clearance. Top notch little trees, engineered to be durable enough that not even I can kill them, and guaranteed to fill your life with a state of perpetual calm.

Granted, they're out of business now, so that guarantee isn't worth the data they used to send it. But, if you're looking for a way to calm down your life or spice up your apartment, let me know.
A tree sounds great
Maybe something else
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Blood roses?

Sometimes it seems like every little corporation failing has a bigger corporation breathing down their neck. But I'm not sure about this one.

A while back, a little D-list corp started selling a line of costume products for, well, Halloween and the people who wish there were three hundred and sixty-four more Halloweens. But it turned out some gangs started wearing them as part of their colors.

Granted, the part of the line that included a fully-functional pistol probably didn't help.

At the end of the day, the little guys pulled the whole line. It's probably for the best… there aren't many people with enough panache to pull off a bleeding rose.
I can pull off anything
Maybe something less floral
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Clipboards?

So, back when the Slags, well… folks here call it "the Incident" when the Slags became the Slags. Anyway, there was a temporary hospital that Midgard set up.

Just recently, they relaxed security around it and scavengers went over the place like, well, scavengers. Sorry, sometimes words mean what words mean.

Anyway, they found these creepy documents. They look sort of like medical charts, but they're smeared in ash and dust.

Some places do still use paper, so that's not so weird, but the words are just gibberish scribbles. And the charts aren't really right either, like somebody was reproducing them from memory.

Anyway, even if they're nothing, Midgard doesn't want anybody having them, so that's gotta be worth a couple coins, right?
What could go wrong?
Maybe something less creepy
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Orbital watches?

A friend uncovered some watches that say they're back from the Orbital Wars. It's not unheard of for people to get commemorative watches… 20 years with the company, that sort of thing. But I've never heard of one for a war before.

And, well, it was a rough time… siblings against each other, parents against children, all over the globe. Not really a "hey, congrats on burning that city, you get a watch!" sort of affair.

So there's a decent chance they're fake, but they're fakes that seem to be aged properly… so who knows. The chance they're fakes is actually the only reason I could get my hands on them. Nobody's letting go of real Orbital Wars collectibles. People eat that up.

Oh, and some of the markings on the face look similar to some medical documents we picked up earlier, so who knows what might be going on there?
Let's have a closer look
It's time to talk about something else
Not now, thanks (End of conversation)

Hospital pants?

Back after the Incident, when the old industrial district went sky-high, there were all sorts of hospitals and shelters and such right around the crater. Turns out, that's before Midgard figured out the whole area is dangerous and built a wall around it… should have built it further out from what I understand.

Anyway, there are a bunch of abandoned hospitals out that way, people are still picking over them. They found some of these pants which, I mean hospital pants shouldn't last a decade exposed to the elements, but these seem… I dunno, ghostly, like they're from some distant past.

Anyway, they're weird enough they came to me, which should tell you most of what you need to know. Just be careful with 'em, I've heard about people wearing these just wandering off into the streets and never being heard from again.

Not that you hear back from everyone who wanders out into the streets here in Southside, but you get my drift. Take care of yourself.
Sounds interesting
Maybe something else
Not right now (End of conversation)

Cleaning house?

When I get in my next shipment, I'll be rotating stock some. I'll keep around the <five most recent items>.

I'm considering bringing back <other items> too… it all depends what people want to see back.

Sure, but what do you have now?
What people want back?
Let's make a deal
Thanks (End of conversation)

What people want back

Mikhail's too nice to admit it, but he's getting a little annoyed with my giant pile of stuff. It's pretty absurd, right?

Anyway, I was thinking I'd let my customers vote on what I'll bring back.

And if you haven't voted:
<list of items in rotation>
Cast your vote
Okay, thanks

And if you've already voted:
You've already voted this season, but hopefully we'll get to see the results soon.

Cast your vote

Alright. One vote for <item>. Thanks! And here's your sticker!

You found: voting sticker

(End of conversation)

History

Prior to October 22nd, 2016, the result for Cast your vote was:

Cast your vote

Alright. One vote for <item>. Thanks!

(End of conversation)

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