Mustered Out on Mertactor

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Taeva's Revelation

Max had been getting increasingly frustrated as he met with the party day after day to tell them that he still had not had a serious offer on the trade goods.

Eventually though, after more than three days of searching and negotiating, Max messages the others asking them to meet with him for lunch at Astroburger.

Upon meeting up with him, the others see that he is grinning smugly like a Cheshire cat.

“I knew I’d do it in the end,” he says. “I’m ‘appy. I managed to find a buyer ’oo’s prepared to pay 25% above ‘olesale for the alloys, an’ another ’oo’s prepared to pay 15% over ‘olesale for the spices. 35-40% return – that ain’t bad at all.”

“So is everyone ’appy for me to do the deal?”

Needless to say, no one has any objection at those prices.

“I’m pleased to announce that I have also had a very successful morning,” adds Arvor.

He grins as he shows everyone a holocard saying. “Official Mercenary Accreditation – Collace”.

“So now we’re licensed to buy whatever we need weapons-wise – within reason, of course.”

Taeva doesn’t join in the backslapping and high fiving to Max and Arvor’s news. She’s been pensive and moody for the past couple of days, only appearing for group meetings where she has contributed nothing. She hasn’t even gone shopping for a vacc suit yet with the money that she received.

Max rams the rest of his burger down his throat, eager to finalize the deal before the buyers change their mind.

“See you all for dinner,” he says. “Then it’ll be payday for everyone.”

After a busy afternoon showing the good to the potential buyer and arranging for their collection, Max returns to the hotel and has time for just a quick shower before meeting the others for dinner.

“Right then, ladies and gents,” he says. “Everyone got their handcomps ready? ’Ere’s everyone’s wages.”

Max spends the next 30 minutes working on a spreadsheet with all of the debits and credits and then keeps a new Cr12,000 before dividing the spoils.

“Awwight folks, so now everyone is gettin’ back what they put into the original kitty plus Cr.16,962.”

“That ain’t a bad little earner for three weeks’ work, was it?”

“Well done Max!” exclaims William. Now I can buy some software!

“I’ll come shoppin’ wiv yer tomorrow,” says Max. “Everyone else has got more toys to play wiv than me. It ain’t on.”

“I reckon I need an add on for my Gauss Pistol as well. Never bovvered with it much in the past – I usually rely on my mouth to get me out of trouble. I used me pistol more times in the past month than I did in five years on Mertactor though. I ‘ave a feelin’ that it won’t be the last time either.”

Teava again hardly participates in the discussion on remunerations.

“Whatever. Listen, it’s been fun guys but I’ve got to go. I’ve been checking the ship departures and I need to leave for Tarsus in a couple of days.”

“You’re from Tarsus aren’t you?” asks Jie.

“Eh yeah. Did I tell you that?. Well yes. She looks down.

“Look I’m no good at personal stuff but I suppose you deserve some sort of explanation. I left Tarsus 14 years ago-a stowaway to Collace-the usual stuff and a fallout with my old man. One thing led to another and I never been back.”

“Anyway- I just checked for messages and there’s one from home-my Mum. It sounds kind of urgent.” Taeva avoids looking directly aat anyone.

“My parents ain’t getting any younger, and my kid sister was two years old when I last saw her. I’m hardly the settling down kind and it might be some time before I’m back this way again-if at all. And it sounds like there’s some sort of trouble with the Ranch. Anyway. I’d best go see what’s up while I can. They probably heard eventually that I went to Collace but it’s the sheerest luck I’m back this way and picked it up. There it is.”

There is a pause as everyone considers Taeva’s news. Max is keying details into his handcomp though.

“Tarsus, you say? Agricultural an’ Non-Industrial. Right next to an’ Industrial world. Now that’s a marriage made in ’eaven for a chancer like me.”

“There should be some dosh to be made by buyin’ some gear ‘ere an’ sellin’ it there, an’ then some more to be made on the return journey.”

“Looks a nice place as well,” he continues. “It’ll be nice to get away from livin’ in tin cans an’ that shit’ole of a starport in Pavabid for a while.”

“Mind if I come wiv yer, girl?” Max asks. “I quite fancy a little ‘oliday livin’ like a cowboy on the ranges.”

“Any idea what kind of trouble?” asks Arvor. “Just that – well – we may have our ins and outs, but were all in this together. We could buy some cargo space and put together a Trade journey to Tarsus – looks like a good profit route – if you could stand the company.”

“All I know is that the Ranch is in trouble, and my Mum has written to me without Pa knowing. We left at daggers drawn-it was that bad and I was 16 when I left.”

“I honestly don’t know much about the Ranch. We were only just about to aquire it as I left-the stress was probably one of the reasons why my Pa was drinking so much. He was a ranch foreman before that, but he’d saved enough to strike out on his own.”

Taeva looks at Max. “Well if you want to come you’re welcome-I didn’t think anyone would. Tarsus is pretty different from Collace.The population isn’t huge-a few towns and the main business is independent ranches.It’s a kind of well armed, polite frontier society. There’s a sizeable Sworder population too but everyone rubs by ok.”

“Sounds awwight to me,” Max says with his usual grin. “Sounds like it’s right out of some ‘olovid. Gonna get me a 37.85 litre ’at, put on some boots an’ ride me some doggies.”

“Yippee ki-yay, motherfuckers.”

Tarsus Jie thinks. She hasn’t heard a lot of good things about it, yet she hasn’t heard a lot of bad things either. In fact she hasn’t heard practically anything about Tarsus except from Taeva and most of that was vaguely uninformative. Taeva, it seems, has gone to great lengths to not reveal any of her past. What’s with the blond wig and sun glasses? And she is not the only one. Jie looks around to her companions and wonders about what they are not telling her. Grim, stoic and determined; he has moments of pure comical genius that shines through the cracks of his stony heart and hint at a happier past. Arvor is a mystery burrito wrapped in a layer of deep fried enigma and covered in secret sauce. He just got us legal weapons on a planet steeped in choking administration. How many strings does he have to pull and how far would he go to get what he wants? And William. The quiet, reserved ‘researcher’ seems too mild mannered, almost frightenly so. Only the most debased of psychopaths would fold their underwear so straight as to have razor sharp corners. And who is this Dr. Amrish Van Donkersguud he mentions every once in a while? She accidently saw an educational documentary on the holo that said this guy was somehow tied in with the Zhodoni!

If Jie was to get answers then she would have to stay with this group of shadowy travelers.

”Tarsus.” Jie speaks “Count me in.” She then proceeds to act like she is polishing one of her cutlasses while she eyes Max warily.

“Tarsus, eh?” says William. “My dark masters, er, {swears in Zdetl}, friends at the “institute” would love to know more. I’m in too.”

He winks at Jie.

“Tarsus? For you lassie? No problem, count me in. Now what kinda gear do you think we’ll be needing…?” says Grim.

“Decent outdoor gear,” Taeva replies. “The Tarsus year is pretty short (about 3 standard months) so the weather can fluctuate wildly. Having said that most of the settlement is in the most temperate zone, but I’d say be prepared for very cold weather if we arrive at the wrong point (I’ve lost track after 14 years).”

“Most of the transport across planet is by air raft. Which none of us can drive unfortunately.”

“That’s good,” interjects Max. “I need to get a bit o’ practice in. Simulators are fine, but they ain’t no substitute for the real thing.”

“So, girl,” he continues. “Looks like you ain’t escapin’ from us that easy – we’re all comin’ wiv you.”

“I guess I better start lookin’ for cargo then. No rest for the wicked.”

“So what are we doin’ about gettin’ there? I ain’t goin’ there in the deep freeze, so it will ’ave to be Middle Passage for me.”

“What about you lot ‘oo are ’andy in a ship? You gonna see if you can find workin’ passages over there, or just stump up the cash and pay for a ticket like me … an’ Taeva, I s’pose?”

Those with the skills are all quite keen to try and get working passages, keen to keep up their skills not to mention saving Cr.8,000 each. They decide to check out the ‘Help Wanted’ ads in the morning as it is getting pretty late by now.

Comments

So you can see how the calculations work on the Wiki page.

For the absence of any doubt, here’s what everyone should add back to their personal funds:

Grim, Arvor and Jie = 21962

Teava = 18962

William = 71962

Max = 36962

Let me know who wants to spend what – both from personal funds and party funds.

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The day after the split is agreed everyone expects Taeva to go on one of her shopping binges. Instead she seems pensive and moody, keeping to herself pretty much.

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“Well done Max!” exclaims William. Now I can buy some software!

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“I’ll come shoppin’ wiv yer tomorrow,” says Max. “Everyone else has got more toys to play wiv than me. It ain’t on.”

“I reckon I need an add on for my Gauss Pistol as well. Never bovvered with it much in the past – I usually rely on my mouth to get me out of trouble. I used me pistol more times in the past month than I did in five years on Mertactor though. I ‘ave a feelin’ that it won’t be the last time either.”

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I think William and Max here have been hard done by. Their investment was larger, but they are receiving equal shares. Below I calculate based on the following principle – everyone was entitled to the straight cargo – shared costs split 6 ways. Then any surplus (profit) was divided according to investment contribution.

Mathematically, shares should have been more like:
80,000 (cargo) – 31725 (group costs + vacc suit) => 48,275 / 6 = 8045.
Then remainder of surplus divided proportionately as to investment, so I use Nick’s calculation for the remaining surplus by taking his per person total 16962 * 6 – 48275.

(indiv. contribution / total contribution) * 53502 (remaining surplus) + indiv. contrib
For Grim, Arvor, Jie: (5 / 92) * 53502 + 5000 = 7907 for a total of 15952 each.
For Max: (20 / 92) * 53502 + 20000 = 31630 for a total of 39675
For Taeva: (2 / 92) * 53502 + 2000 = 3163 for a total of 11208
For William: (50 / 92) * 53502 = 79077 for a total of 87122.

Each share would then be reduced by 2000 for the new kitty, so
Arvor, Grim, Jie = 13952
Max = 37675
Taeva = 9208
William = 85122.

The difference may seem small, but I think instructive and fairer.

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Taeva comes in for the evening meal, and doesn’t participate much in the remuneratioon discussions.

“Whatever. Listen, it’s been fun guys but I’ve got to go. I’ve been cehcking the ship departures and I need to leave for Tarsus in a couple of days.”

“You’re from Tarsus aren’t you?”asks Jie.

“Eh yeah. Did I tell you that?. Well yes.* She looks down.

“Look I’m no good at personal stuff but I suppose you deserve some sort of explanation. I left Tarsus 14 years ago-a stowaway to Collace-the usual stuff and a fallout with my old man. One thing led to another and I never been back.”

“Anyway- I just checked for messages and there’s one from home-my Mum. It sounds kind of urgent.” Taeva avoids looking directly aat anyone.

“My parents ain’t getting any younger, and my kid sister was 2 years old when I last saw her. I’m hardly the settling down kind and it might be some time before I’m back this way again-if at all. And it sounds like there’s some sort of trouble with the Ranch. Anyway. I’d best go see what’s up while I can. They probably heard eventually that I went to Collace but it’s the sheerest luck I’m back this way and picked it up. There it is.”

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Let’s just leave the cash shares as they are for now.

If you dig deeper, then you could say that Arvor, Teava and Jie did most of the work on the mission while Max and William didn’t do much.

Dig deeper and you could say that, without William’s piloting skills, you would never have left Collace at all.

Secondly, I already divided all of the cash and I think the players have and s it’s just easier to keep them as they were.

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Hmm – looks like my earlier comment just disappeared!

@Nick – no problem, I was just sharing a pure capitalist viewpoint.

@Taeva – Any idea what kind of trouble? Just that – well – we may have our ins and outs, but were all in this together. We could buy some cargo space and put together a Trade journey to Tarsus – looks like a good profit route – if you could stand the company.

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Tarsus Jie thinks. She hasn’t heard a lot of good things about it, yet she hasn’t heard a lot of bad things either. In fact she hasn’t heard practically anything about Tarsus except from Taeva and most of that was vaguely uninformative. Taeva, it seems, has gone to great lengths to not reveal any of her past (What’s with the blond wig and sun glasses?) and she is not the only one. Jie looks around to her companions and wonders about what they are not telling her. Grim, stoic and determined, he has moments of pure comical genius that shines through the cracks of his stony heart and hint at a happier past. Arvor is a mystery burrito wrapped in a layer of deep fried enigma and covered in secret sauce. He just got us legal weapons on a planet steeped in choking administration. How many strings does he have to pull and how far would he go to get what he wants? And William. The quiet, reserved ‘researcher’ seems too mild mannered, almost frightenly so. Only the most debased of psychopaths would fold their underwear so straight as to have razor sharp corners. And who is this Dr. Amrish Van Donkersguud he mentions every once in a while? She accidently saw an educational documentary on the holo that said this guy was somehow tied in with the Zhodoni!

If Jie was to get answers then she would have to stay with this group of shadowy travelers.

”Tarsus.” Jie speaks “Count me in.” She then proceeds to act like she is polishing one of her cutlasses while she eyes Max warily.

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“Tarsis, eh?” says William. "My dark masters, er, {swears in Zdetl}, friends at the “institute” would love to know more. I’m in too." He winks at Jie.

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“All I know is that the Ranch is in trouble, and my Mum has written to me without Pa knowing. We left at daggers drawn-it was that bad and I was 16 when I left.”

“I honestly don’t know much about the Ranch. We were only just about to aquire it as I left-the stress was probably one of the reasons why my Pa was drinking so much. He was a ranch foreman before that, but he’d saved enough to strike out on his own.”

Taeva looks at Max. “Well if you want to come you’re welcome-I didn’t think anyone would. Tarsus is pretty different from Collace.The population isn’t huge-a few towns and the main business is independent ranches.It’s a kind of well armed, polite frontier society. There’s a sizeable Sworder population too but everyone rubs by ok.”

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“Sounds awwight to me,” Max says with his usual grin. “Sounds like it’s right out of some ‘olovid. Gonna get me a 37.85 litre ’at, put on some boots an’ ride me some doggies.”

“Yippee ki-yay, motherfuckers.”

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“Tarsus? For you lassie? No problem, count me in. Now what kinda gear do you think we’ll be needing…?” says Grim

(Russ, lolololol the “burrito”!)

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Decent outdoor gear. The Tarsus year is pretty short (about 3 standard months) so the weather can fluctuate wildly. Having said that most of the settlement is in the most temperate zone, but I’d say be prepared for very cold weather if we arrive at the wrong point (I’ve lost track after 14 years).

Most of the transport across planet is by air raft. Which none of us can drive unfortunately.

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The Merc unit on planet wear Combat Environment Suits with a Flak vest over the top-the heat management systems of the suuits help keep you warm. I’d just wear decent cold weather clothing over your cloth is that’s what you wear.

You can get heatsuits and normal stuff on planet. You might get surplus CE suits, but if you want to spend the cash you might be better here.

An air raft we can hire, or maybe get sent out from the farm. I’d not recommend using the grav belts as its a long journey and pretty slow-maybe with atrocious winds. Having a roof is nice too.

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So can everyone tell me whether you’d like to look for a Working Passage, those of you who have some usable skills (which is everyone apart from Taeva and Max)?

I will then let you know who is successful and who will have to stump up for a ticket.

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FYI – you didn’t get the grav/belts given to you after the mission on Pavabid – they were just on loan.

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Arvor will look for a working passage – Gunner, with a side-order of mechanic and computers, or failing that, general “security”.

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William will look for working passage: Pilot 2, Comms 2, or Eng (M-drive) 1. He still has to buy some stuff on Collace (haven’t had time for that yet).

Q: we didn’t get to keep the grav belts (sigh). Did we get to keep the stun carbines?

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OK, you were able to keep the stun carbines.

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Taeva can probably do general crew with mech and elec 1. Obviously these not in demand as much.

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Grim will shoot for working passage:

Eng (power plant 2, life support 1, or electrical 1), Shuttle Pilot (1), Comms (1), Sensors (1).

If all else fails he’s getting better at cooking. And he can fix a broken oven unit, so “who cares what it tastes like; it’s hot, so shut up and eat!”

Grim/Ian

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