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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