Friday, August 10, 2018

Satis - Season 2, Part Two: Self-Interest Orientation

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--

"So what can I interest you in today?"

"I'm just looking."

"Come now, nobody's 'just looking.' You came here because you want something, and we've got the best selection in town."

"You mean the only selection in town. Dropped all your prices to rock bottom to drive out the competition and then jacked them back up once everybody else was gone."

"You say po-TAY-to, I say po-TAH-to. How can I help you today?"

"What can I say that will get rid of you fastest?"

The salesman babied down his voice. "Just tell me what you want." He booped Satis's nose, condescendingly, wearing a smile dripping of saccharine.

"Kitchenwares. And if you touch me again..."

"Ixnay on the uching-tay. Got it. This way please."

Satis hated the Weapons Emporium. In that, he was not alone. But their business practices were sufficiently immoral that the competition had indeed been driven out, or escorted out at swordpoint, whichever had been more efficient at the time. So in lieu of a needlessly long journey, his options were barren. At least they did carry literally everything you could hurt someone with, which Satis knew even before this blithering smear opted for the scenic route.

From truncheons and tanks to candlesticks and capes (with optional simulated sentience for those who could afford to pay extra for gear with snark). And Satis refused to look at any of it. Kitchenwares and nothing less.

It certainly took long enough, but when they finally arrived, Satis bee-lined toward exactly what he was looking for.

"Hold up there, young sir. If you just tell me your pleasure, I'll be sure to show you the finest we ha--"

Satis pulled the third sai from the back of his belt. "No."

"You--you can't use weapons in here. You shouldn't even be able to draw that. Wha-what are you doing?"

"I got special dispensation to carry this, and it seems to come with a few unpatched loopholes. Go find someone else you can pander."

The salesman scampered backwards, dabbing at the prick of blood with a perfectly white handkerchief that he produced with excess flourish.

--

Interjer stepped out of the fresh sun and into a massive building blazing with unnecessary artificial light.

"Good day, good sir! What can we interest you in today?"

He peered at the salesman, squinting though still-adjusting eyes. "Are you alright? You seem to be bleeding a little."

"Oh dear, did I miss a spot? Dreadful customer. Not a care in the world for another person besides himself."

"Oh, let me have that." Int snatched the red-spotted kerchief out of the salesman's shaking hand and blotted the injuring properly.

"Thank you so very much. Sir is too kind."

"Not at all. Now, I'm looking for something different..."

The salesman's eyes lit up with the hope of a challenge. They didn't come nearly often enough. He rubbed his hands together. "Pray tell."

"I'm looking for a person. Came in here a few minutes ago."

"What do you want with that heathen? He's the one who..."

"Ouch. I won't ask you to approach him. Just, tell me what he was looking for."

"Something in kitchenware, that's all I know."

"And kitchenware is?"

"That way."

"Thank you very much."

"No, thank you! Gentleman and scholar indeed!" The salesman swooned as Intejer headed deeper into the store.

--

Shopping for cookware was difficult in a weapons shop, but everything was still designed to be functional, if for no other reason than to embarrass your enemies by literally frying an egg on their shame.

Unfortunately, most of the descriptions were couched in terms of combat, so Satis had to make due with what he could.

He was peering disgustedly at a wok that claimed to have boomerang-like abilities when he felt someone jostle his elbow.

"Come back to escort me out, have you?" Satis fingered the third sai in its sheath as he turned. "Oh. Int. Figures. Go away."

"No. You're up to something. I can almost taste it."

"Har har," Satis laughed sarcastically. "Go shop somewhere else."

"I don't think so." Intejer snatched the boomerwok and hefted it. "This looks like fun."

"Then go play with your new toy and leave me in peace."

"I'd rather leave you in pieces, but you know that's not my taste."

It wasn't. Intejer was a strange case. For all intents and purposes he presented as a pacifist, but didn't let that stop him from attempting to master every weapon. He'd chop you to bits, figuratively, in a side-by-side comparison of skill, out at the range, but you'd never find him in a PvP zone.

He butchered the translation too, which rankled Satis more than the obsessive competitiveness. It was supposed to be Integer for "entire" but he pronounced the g like an h and spelled it with a j.

And he saw Satis as a challenge. Int lacked the creativity to go do his own thing, so he hounded others for the inspiration that he couldn't generate for himself. And he'd never thought of using cookware as a weapon.

Satis grumbled to himself, gathered what tools he thought he needed, watched Intejer duplicate his collection, completed his purchase and didn't look back.

When he returned to his hovel, Satis could help but grin to himself. "Int has no idea," he whispered under his breath, before settling in and getting to work.

--
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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Satis - Season 2, Part One: Obedience and Punishment

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--

Satis sat in his hovel and thought. The game, the grind, they were growing weary. Too many cliched quests and too much competition. He needed a new lease, on life, not on his hovel, which banks would have laughed in his face if he'd tried asking for a mortgage.

But the point of the hovel was wealth in non-material gains, and he had those in spades: friends, freedom, and...

Scratching at the door interrupted his reverie, and he walked up to it, trying to remember what that last F that he was rich in was. When he opened the door, there was no one there. Satis scowled, shut it again, and returned to his internal musement.

Where was I... oh, yes, something new.

One of the problems with being Satis the Good Enough is that if there was ever something worth doing, by the time he got to it, someone else had already done it, and done it better. Even in a world of infinite possibilities, everything was already taken.

How about I do something for someone else, instead of just me?

The scratching came at the door again, and Satis ignored it. That question changed his entire thought process, because he already knew who the someone else would be.

-

Outside, Intejer scowled. The silly lad wasn't taking the bait. It was hard training your deception and prankster abilities when your mark didn't want to play along.

He threw another stone. It wobbled through the air, bounched off the wall next to the door, skittered across the door itself, and came to rest next to the others. It was a nearly perfect toss, but instead of making Intejer proud, he scowled.

The next rock, instead of following the carefully crafted path, cracked against the door, hard. The fourth one hit in the same spot, widening the dent. The fifth pierced the dent and lodged in the hole.

Satis opened his door, inspected the new addition, shrugged his shoulders and went back inside.

-

There was one thing. One little mote of an idea, that came piercing in and lodged in his brain. It would take a fair amount of time and effort, but it was something that those who had come before would have long grown tired of and moved on to greater and grander, and certainly more lucrative, things.

He pulled on his ragged travelling cloak, his mostly empty satchel, and headed in to town.

There were a few things he would need before he could get started.

--
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