Chapter 38

“If I recall correctly…” Markhette strolled cheerfully over toward one of the more prominent weapon displays. “…you said you prefer the Tyur’len line. So the Fugon Tris would probably be a good choice.” She grabbed one of the many firearms off the shelf. The design was exceedingly bare bones; it was basically just the minimal requirements for a functioning gun welded onto a grid shaped frame. Still, as crude as it was, there was a strange elegance to it. Tyur’len’s philosophy of prioritizing practicality over design was uncommon in rosearn society, but justifiable considering the tool wasn’t meant to be worn visibly anyway. “This model has a class twelve silencer, and fires rounds at either supersonic or subsonic speeds, depending on how you tilt your wrist. If you choose subsonic speeds, it moves just slow enough to penetrate genzin repulsion shields and will produce no noise on the spectrum of sound audible to human descendants.”
Conmer flinched as Markhette tossed the gun over to him, just barely catching it. Closer examination revealed that the device was meant to be worn on the front of the arm, held on by three thin but durable fabric straps. This was probably to make sure people didn’t notice the weapon if they bumped into him.
“Now, the Fugon Tris only holds three bullets and can be really annoying to reload, but if I have to be honest? Only a moron would need to fire the thing more than twice a day.” Markhette grinned. “Want to give it a test fire?”
“No thanks. You haven’t gotten as far as you have by selling sub-par products. I’ll take three.” Conmer returned the weapon to its display next to a basket of weaponized hair clips. “Now how about we move on to knives?”
“Cute, but flattery won’t change my prices. Now, before we start picking out a good hidden blade for you, why don’t we talk about the ‘stuff you didn’t know you needed?’ ” Markhette gestured toward a stack of crates. “I’ve got a bunch of boxes filled with random junk over in the corner. It’s a sort of mystery bag type deal – all sorts of stuff that’s either poorly made or obsolete. Don’t worry though, I assure you that all of it works well enough for most purposes. It’s just not quite good enough for someone to buy off the shelf.”
“So you sell it in bulk packages for cheap as a quick way for people to get their hands on an assortment of plan Bs. Clever.” Conmer paused to think for a moment before making a decision. “Normally I wouldn’t hesitate to dismiss this as a scam, but you wouldn’t be so up front about it if it was really a trap. There must be something special about the arrangement of the items. Let me guess, you’ve spent the past several years refining a specific arrangement of gadgets that covers the largest possible number of situations, while using the smallest possible quantity of devices. A set of gear so well thought through, that anything the customer could come up with would be unquestionably inferior. In other words, you aren’t just selling goods, you’re selling a strategy in a box.”
“That’s the sales pitch! Well, you missed the part about how ‘my plethora of customers have provided a frequency and intensity of testing that no one rosearn could achieve on their own!’ Pretty handy, right?” A predatory glint crossed Markhette’s eye, as she glanced briefly toward Tenra. “There’s no way someone like you could pass up this kind of deal…”


A note from the author ninja:

Some of you might be wondering why Conmer bought three hidden pistols if they were of such high quality.

The answer to that is simple: Rosearn are paranoid as hell, and Conmer is preparing himself for an extensive list of incredibly improbable circumstances – all of which he may or may not ever encounter.

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