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Market

The Void Trader spoke of his own name as a brand.

“The wait is over, Tenno,” the Void Trader announced. “Baro Ki’teer has arrived!

“My latest safari in the Void has yielded spectacular finds. Unique items for the Tenno of distinction.”

The broadcast aired to every Tenno arriving to Strata Relay. Where and whenever Baro Ki’teer the Void Trader emerged, the Tenno of different creeds and clans would gather. For only a limited time would the trader avail his exclusive wares. Both opulent and pragmatic, as exceptional as his catalog so was his intended market.

From the crowd, Excalibur stepped forth. Holstered at his back was his trusty Skana and his new weapon. Of the latter, the Void Trader took notice. The pale and pure porcelain white case, the onyx black stock and handle, and the signature auriferous trim. An otherwise unimpressive Excalibur wielded the Braton Prime, a standard issue rifle during the Orokin Era but no less a work of art.

“I can tell you will appreciate what I have today,” Baro Ki’teer said.

He had little expectations for his new customer as the Excalibur skimmed past the selection of ornaments and decorations. However, Excalibur had an tall order for his weapon components and augments: the full set of the highest tier and a few extras.

“… I underestimated you, Tenno. I do hope you didn’t put yourself in a hole for this.”

After Excalibur was done. Equinox stepped forth. Her current form represented light and darkness intertwined, but her appearance had also been customized according to personal preference. The Tenno favored silver over her original Orokin stylings. To Baro Ki’teer, she is no less of what she is: Equinox Prime.

“Hello there, golden warrior.” he greeted. “Back from the Void, I presume?”

Like Excalibur, the Equinox skimmed. Just as she had no interest for the items that only offered aesthetics, she also had little interest in his current selection of components.

“Nothing to your liking?” Baro Ki’teer said, disappointed in himself. “Next time, I’ll have something you’ll want. I’m sure of it.”

After Equinox returned behind the crowd, she received a message from Excalibur.

“Baro is usually more condescending,” Excalibur noted. “That was a change in attitude I can get behind.”

“A change in attitude that’s as easy as a change in clothes. I don’t like snobs. but I still check what he has.”

“Let’s get lunch somewhere.”

After the first wave of customers, the busy relay settled down, and the Tenno’s activity waned. During the recess, Baro Ki’teer checked his kiosks for his new haul of artifacts. All had seen ample usage; however, one was especially loaded.

“My! Very productive Tenno. But what’s this?!”

Baro Ki’teer found an odd mass of Braton Prime Blueprints. Certainly, the weapon was common. Each Tenno only needed one for their arsenal, and the most esteemed of the Tenno had little use for it. Ordinarily, the blueprints and components were sold in consistent ratios. A large quantity of Braton Prime Blueprints was to be expected but only to an extent.

“I… I can not accept any more of these!” Baro Ki’teer gasped. “These blueprints…

“They’re counterfeit!”

Cephalon Stallman overheard the Void Trader.

“Counterfeit? COUNTERFEIT?! A copy is as authentic as any other! Data is not counterfeited! It is copied!”

Perhaps the cephalon’s words did not reach the Void Trader as the latter had no business with cephalons. No inclination to argue philosophies, Baro Ki’teer closed his kiosks and fled the Concourse to the hangar.

Cephalon Stallman pinged Equinox’s communication channel.

“TENNO!”

She accepted the connection.

“Tenno!” Cephalon Stallman said, “I have never heard a more regressive and backwards statement in all of my uptime!

“There must be someone who will appreciate what I have to offer to the solar system. Tenno, you must find them!”

>> It shall be done. <<

The average individual of the space age commanded more resources than Cephalon Stalman expected. He remembered the time when the effort of many individuals was succeeded by one corporation. A few giants dominated the overwhelming majority of the market. Those who owned the means of distributing information puppeteered the public and wove the tide Stallman fought against. His niche of hackers made a small world of their own during a time long past. Even he wondered, as languages changed and empires fell, what happened to his old movement and community after he disappeared from the world?

Equinox’s ship flew farther from the sun. The Tenno’s destination was in the orbit of the red planet Mars. The Martian relay was owned by a woman named Maroo. She had simply named it Maroo’s Bazaar. Just past the relay’s garden and fountain and out the window was Mars’ scarlet face and icy white cap.

No factions within the Tenno convened at her corner of space. Nor did syndicates represent themselves here. Her relay was exclusively for trading, and for that alone, it saw ample activity. The young woman Maroo sat by herself at a terminal before the hangar and greeted her visitors.

However, Cephalon Stallman could not ignore the material and maintenance cost of reinforced glass and space-grade plating. The facility was several scales larger than a skyscaper and had to maintain orbit. He could only speculate that she was wealth that conducted herself no different from the common citizen.

When Equinox arrived, she raised her hand. She stood in the pose that many Tenno used to signal they had wares to trade. Above her head, a hologram of her offer projected.

[LOKI PRIME SYSTEMS BLUEPRINT GNU GPL vX]

Equinox’s contact arrived punctually. The Saryn Prime warframe wore a fine cloak that was battleworn at the edges. Her colors were black and gold. Holstered at her hip was her Orokin-era nikana. The decorated warrior spoke with Equinox as equals.

“I’ve been looking to complete my collection,” Saryn said with relief.

Her search had been long and exhausting. Few prices on the market were fair. The Tenno Council had long ceased excavation efforts for Loki, the warframe that specialized in deception and subterfuge. How fitting, Saryn thought, for the Council to seek out Octavia’s versatility and power instead.

“Name your price.”

“That’ll be 350 platinum,” Equinox said.

“Deal.”

After the trade, Saryn and Equinox shook hands.


Note:

Loki Prime Systems Blueprint was around 300-350 platinum when I wrote chapter 2. It’s somewhere around 400 now.

In case you don’t follow Warframe, Loki was one of the first “characters” designed. The early versions of the game tried to blend stealth and action. But after several updates and additions, the game mostly focuses on action.

Loki has stealth related abilities (none of them meant to deal serious damage). Meanwhile, most other characters have both damage dealing capability and utility. For instance, Loki will turn himself invisible for x seconds and summon decoys. But Octavia (a newer character) can grant invisibility to all squadmates and kill everything on the screen.

The components to “unlock” Loki are extremely expensive not because he is a superb warframe to play as, but because they haven’t been in the drop table for a long time.

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