MINI-READ Fifth Installment
This fifth mini-read installment ran for two weeks from 23/10/19 to 04/11/19 which features the sixth chapter of Participant In Entropia by Andrew Jenery.
Participant In Entropia
Being a habitual hoarder or stockpiler, I would accumulate mainly crude oil and also some minerals for at least two months at a time, sometimes three, and then either sell the lot in one go to people that I knew would buy in bulk, or very often, do a straight barter exchange for things that I needed. A certain spaceship pilot that I had known very well, might be able to use approximately 4,500 PEDs worth of oil lying around in my storage, that had been there before my regeneration and accumulated over some time, but the problem was trying to find the owner.
My old contacts list had been wiped for some reason after regeneration, so I couldn't just send a message, but I could try the last place on Calypso where he used to have a hanger, right up on the north-eastern tip of Eudoria where there was nothing but sand and water. Try, because he may have relocated, or even gone out of the spaceship business completely. I would either be lucky, or would have to ask around a bit.Stepping into the teleporter and selecting the most obvious place as my first port-of-call from the location list.
I once again go through the same head-splitting, retina-shattering experience in the next few split-seconds. As usual, I somehow manage to survive the teleport jump in one piece; though it is still very uppermost in my mind to send an e-memo to Entropia General Council. To let them know that rapidly flashing lights can be very bad for the eye. Who am I kidding? I've said this to myself many times already, and I still haven't done it; probably because I know I won't get anywhere - but then again, who does..?
Looking around tells me that the North Space Base area was exactly the same as the last time I visited. The lone pillar near to the teleporter with a Trade Terminal, a Repair Terminal and a Society Terminal riveted to it, and the main complex itself. A maze of five or more closely-knit hangers supported by a wood and metal rig that extended out into the sea. I couldn't see any green dots on the direction scope however, so I'm hoping it's because I am still too far away as I make a dash for the superstructure. “Woo-ah!!” Unfortunately, the light and dark blotches still floating around in my head due to staring directly at the teleporter light earlier, caused me to lose concentration slightly on one of the slippery access runs that was also ridiculously narrow. I had done this before... A short swim back up to the bank later, and I try again.
I manage this time to make it to the other end of the metal run, before checking the direction-scope again. My impromptu dip may well have been a good omen, as one solitary green dot has now appeared on the scope, and roughly in the direction of where his hanger used to be. It could have been anyone, just a curious hunter or traveller, so I run the global text-messenger to find out for certain and type-out my inquiry.
Spaceships are not always the only things that fly in Entropia. Time sometimes has a habit of doing this as well when you are having fun, or when things are finally going right. He had been there after all, checking out the next day's passenger schedule, but other than that, not doing that much. We spent the first ten minutes idling outside the spaceship and giving one another the third-degree, asking one another what we had been getting up to, and chatting about recent changes. At some point, I finally managed to ask how he was doing for oil. He mentioned that he would be needing some for the day after tomorrow, but that he was low on funds for the very immediate future due to on-going repair costs for the spaceship.
This surprised me, having been convinced that pilots usually made enough profit to cover things like expenses, but he said that this wasn't always the case; that ongoing expenses were the biggest problem of all, just like for anything on Calypso.
He went onto explain in painstaking detail something that he had told me a long time ago, but had obviously forgotten. About how passengers often failed to turn up at a collection point and ultimately the hanger, which would mean that he would be out of pocket in the short term. I commiserated with him, saying that some citizen's never changed, then mentioned that he wouldn't have to pay in PE-Dollars for the oil, but that I did badly need some decent equipment and to repair some of my own items. Then, as luck would have it, he mentioned his Eon armour and plasma annihilator rifle, that together had cost him a lot more than 4,500 PEDs at an auction some years ago, but that he no longer really used as he wanted to concentrate entirely on the spaceship enterprise. I already had enough skills for hunting some of Entropia's more dangerous inhabitants in theory, but this would mean that I could do it for real, so I agree on the spot to the more than generous proposition.
The exchange is made some time later near to a storage unit in Calypso's monolithic capital, Hadesheim City, where he lets me know that he knew that I knew I had a good deal, and that could I throw-in a free ad or two for his passenger ferrying business. Half jokingly, I agree that I will of course do this whilst heading back for the teleporter.
End of this mini-read installment. Click here for the next chapter or chapters of Participant In Entropia which runs from 29/06/20- 13/07/20.