The Market

‘You know, this makes us van-people,’ said Jamie, skulking around the ruined Giant, ‘Van people with a smegging cat.’

‘Don’t listen to the mean old man,’ said Thomas, rocking Mog back and forth in his arms, ‘You are a great wee cat.’

‘Me?’ exclaimed Jamie, ‘Old? You’re the old one here.’

‘[Why must this human interrupt my slumber?]’ purred Mog.

‘I don’t like the way that cat is staring at me,’ said Jamie, locking eyes with Mog.

‘He just wants to say hello,’ said Thomas with a smile.

‘[You will be the first to die in my next glorious crusade],’ meowed Mog.

The Dwarfers had retreated to the Giant for the night. Not that it was really night here, wherever here was. The two suns did set, but then it never seemed to actually get dark, just purple. Which was a bit strange, even by their standards.

Breakfast had been a bit meagre for everybody. Thomas had managed to get a small block of cheese for a toastie, while Jamie satisfied his hunger with a cup of coffee and had even found an unmarked bottle of milk to put in it.

‘How do I smell now?’ asked Pornsak, stepping down the stairs. He was dripping wet, including, of course, his underpants.

‘With your nose,’ said Thomas, putting Mog down in his special quarantine box.
‘Pretty awful still,’ said Jamie, wafting away the smell.

‘That better not be Pornsak I smell,’ shouted Cass from the kitchen, ‘If it is Tanaka, fine, because he is actually dead. But if not, I will cut you.’

From the kitchen doorway, a sharp knife appeared and wave around in the air to let everyone know of its presence. It was waved around in a kind of joking-but-also-totally-I-will-kill-you sort of way.

‘Meugh,’ groaned Tanaka as he stepped into the makeshift home, ‘Rep-ooort is fileeed.’

‘So, no more cleaning?’ said Cass again, coming in through from the kitchen, carrying Belvydr’s head under her arm.

‘No, it’s not me, it’s Tanaka!’ shouted Pornsak, and he dived under the table, ‘Don’t take me like you took the robot!’

‘Shut up,’ snapped Cass.

‘Right,’ said Thomas cracking his neck in a long, drawn-out stretch, ‘What are we doing today then?’

‘There’s a market in the square?’ said Pornsak, emerging from his hiding spot. He picked up a flyer that had been stuck through their door a few hours earlier and handed it to Cass, ‘Might be a good idea to head down their and pick up a few odds and sods.’

‘What are we short on?’ she asked.

Jamie looked worryingly at his coffee, the soft milky texture now floating dangerously before him and inside him. ‘We aren’t on the dog’s milk, are we?’

Thomas laughed to himself as he took a bit of the stringy cheese toastie.

‘What?’ said Pornsak, confused, ‘No? Not yet, anyway. The cheese, though, that’s made from dog’s milk.’

Thomas dropped his toastie to the floor. ‘Oh my god, I want to die.’

Jamie just giggled into his coffee.

‘Anything else?’ asked Cass, exasperated.

‘Well, there’s everything with the engine,’ said Jamie, ‘It’s a long boring list, but we won’t be able to take off unless we get it all.’

‘Neeugh,’ groaned Tanaka again. ‘Smegheads,’ was all he managed to say.

‘You’re right,’ said Pornsak, ‘We do need to find Pickman and O’Malley.’

‘And I would quite like to be re-attached to my body,’ squawked Belvydr’s head.

‘Right then,’ said Cass, ‘I guess we are going out.’


The market was a busy place. There were people of all species, most of which Thomas had never seen before. The tables and stalls seemed to go on forever, and it felt as if ten thousand people were mingling up and down the rows and columns of stalls trying to find a deal.

The Dwarfers had split up, just to look around. They had no money, so they couldn’t buy much. However, they had raided every corner of the Giant for knickknacks and bric-a-brac that they could maybe trade.

Mog was sat on Thomas’s shoulder as they gently pushed through the crowd. It had been easy to rise Mog from his 4th nap of the day. All it took was the promise that he would get to chose one item on a stall to buy and that would be it. Mog seemed pretty excited after that.

‘What are you looking for?’ Thomas asked Mog.

‘[A way to conquer this stinking reality],’ meowed Mog.

‘Aye, me too,’ said Thomas quietly, ‘Although sometimes I’m no quite sure how to find it.’

‘[What are you talking about, pathetic human?]’ meowed Mog.

‘I mean, you are supposed to just ‘know it’, aren’t you? But then why doesnae mine make sense?’

‘[You aren’t making sense],’ purred Mog.

‘It’s just all jumbled up, like it all happened out of order or didnae happen at all.’

Then, something on a table caught his eye. It was a weapons stall, with guns and swords galore. Many of them seemed like you would need three hands to operate but there was one, perfectly ordinary look rifle in the centre of the table. It was old, long-barrelled bolt-action rifle designed for using semi-plasma rounds. And there were little specs of sand in the corners as if it had been left out in a desert shed for decades.

‘Krrkt, krrrkt,’ said the stall vendor, ‘That will be 30 krakets, and no more looking.’
‘Uhm,’ said Thomas as he searched around in his bag of crap, ‘Hang on, I might have something.’

‘[You aren’t actually going to buy that junk, are you?]’ meowed Mog.

With a smile, Thomas produced a small block of cheese, ‘This is the best block of cheese that money can buy!’

Olcdia shook his head, disgusted. He meowed and jumped down off Thomas’s shoulder and onto the ground.

‘Be carefully, Olcdia!’ Thomas called after the cat as he continued to barter for the gun.

‘Of course I will, pathetic human,’ said Olcdia, as he skirted between the legs of people and chairs.

It had been humiliating enough that he was trapped in this god-forsaken universe but even more so that he was trapped with that insufferable old man. But it was his only source of food and transport.

‘Hail, traveller!’ said a croaky voice.

Olcdia looked around, surprised. Over near a street gutter was another market, this one staffed by small animal-like creatures. Of course, all the larger people in the market were also animal-like in some sense. I mean, even humans are animal-like. But these animal-like creatures were the kind of creatures you might think animal-like people might keep as pets.

The one animal-like creature that had called to Olcdia beckoned him over. He had a small array of different science-y looking ware for sale. Widget and gadgets and watcha-ma-call-ets littered the table. Other small animal-like creatures milled about, browsing what was for sale.

‘What can I help you buy today?’ smiled the salesman, sweeping a hand over his table.
‘I require a particle corer,’ replied Olcdia, pawing through the different objects.
‘A particle corer, you say?’ said the salesman, leaning back and scratching his chin, ‘I dare say I might just have one somewhere.’

‘I must have it,’ demanded Olcdia, bringing his full height to bare.
‘It’ll be expensive, you know,’ said the salesman, looking through his bag, ‘You know these things are used to make Q Bombs? Very tough to get them out on the market.’
‘I know what they are for,’ Olcdia growled, and he pressed down on his paws so that his sharp claws sprang out.

‘I would say that I couldn’t accept anything less than 30 krakets for it!’

There was a flash of excitement in Olcdia’s eyes when the salesman produced the particle corer. It was tiny, small enough to fit in Olcdia’s mouth. Which was lucky, because that is exactly where it went next. Faster than the salesman could move, Olcdia snatched the with his teeth and dashed away, disappearing through the streets.


‘Mog!’ shouted Thomas as he ran through the streets of the market. Mog broke out from underneath the table of a stall and lept onto Thomas’s shoulder. ‘Thank goodness, now we really have to run.’

In one hand, Thomas clutched the rifle he had been looking at. In the other, he clutched a full bag of bric-a-brac and knickknacks.

‘Okay,’ said Thomas, slowing down, ‘I think I’ve lost them.’

‘No, listen, you don’t understand!’ Thomas heard a voice up ahead shout. ‘This is my ship!’

In a clearing between the stalls was a small shuttle park cramped full of broken and rundown shuttles. Some looked familiar, maybe lost JMC shuttle craft or Space Corps. Exploration vessels. Some looked totally alien, with strange fluid shapes. But one looked very, very familiar. Sitting pride of place at the centre of the shuttle park was a Blue Midget.

‘No, this is my ship that I have for sale,’ said another voice.

As Thomas got closer, he could see Pornsak standing in his full glory before a shuttle trader.

‘You know, my licence is probably still in the cockpit,’ said Pornsak.

‘I am afraid you can’t get inside, sir,’ said the shuttle trader, ‘That would be devaluing the vehicle.’

‘How much are you selling her for?’ asked Thomas as he came up beside Pornsak.

‘As I informed the gentlemen here, the price is 1000 krakets. No more, no less.’

‘But we don’t have any money?’

‘Then you don’t have any ship.’

‘But it is my ship! It has all my stuff inside!’ cried Pornsak.

‘We’ve got stuff to trade?’ offered Thomas.

‘No trades, only cold hard krakets. Or… are you offering a service?’

Thomas looked at Pornsak standing in his tight, dirty white underwear. ‘I dinnae actually ken if he’d be up for that or not.’

‘Not that kind of service!’ shouted the shuttle trader, ‘I’ve got a little problem you could maybe help me with. But of course, you'll need to make a deposit so I don't see the ship while you are away.'

Thomas rolled his eyes, 'What kind of deposit?'

'About 200 krakets worth,' grinned the shuttle trader, and he eyed the rifle and particle corer that Thomas and Mog had. Behind them came the other remaining Dwarfers, each carrying their hard-for-bargained items. 'That looks like just enough.'


'Seems simple enough,' said Thomas, armed with nothing but a simple pistol he traded his junk for.

'Shut up,' said Jamie, equally armed with a dangerously broken energy weapon, 'We are going to die.'

'Listen, we go in, we find this monster thing and we kill it if we have to, okay?'

'Okay,' said the Dwarfers in unison.

'And then we get our stuff back.'


'And we get Pornsak's ship.'

'Okay (Yes!)'

'Okay,' said Thomas finally. He stepped forward first, entering the cave entrance. The rest of the Dwarfers then followed, going into the deep and labyrinthian mines that lay on the outskirts of the city.

<<OOC - I hope this is okay with everyone? Thought it would give us something cool to fight and explore. What did everyone get at the market that the shuttle trader is holding as a deposit? What will we encounter in the mines? Do we have to kill the monster? Are the mines abandoned?>>

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