Elite Trader OXZ
The Galactic Guild of Elite Traders (G.E.T.) has studiously considered your application and is pleased to inform you of your admittance to our Order. We maintain Guild Houses in all systems of the Eight Charts, and you can be assured of a hearty welcome wherever your voyages now take you.
May the GETTING exceed the Taking! - Refrain from killing and assume our gentle mantle, and reward will be equally forthcoming.
Yours most Truly,
Grand Master Exoloön of Inera.
The storied intergalactic Elite ranking is attainable for ship Captains of every disposition, peaceful or warlike. Engage anti-masslock systems on Station approach and watch your Grade soar as you dock with our Markets, trade skillfully, and doggedly ply the celestial Milk Run.
Note well that the ascending Grades of G.E.T. do not countenance the recondite practices of many of today's free traders. We are traditionalists. Contracts are frowned upon, as is opportunistic scooping and the sale of mined minerals and the dealing in precious stones and metals. Our Assessors will not credit you for such sales. We'll meet you on the Market floor or nowhere else. As one of our crasser pooker-playing Brothers once coined: if it ain't paid, the score's not made. We're about buying and selling.
You may note with an ironic smile that G.E.T. cares little whether Galcop deems your bought goods illegal... We have small truck with that legislative body - but our situation is one of mutual tolerance. With us, your record is always clean, and all trades legitimate in our eyes.
Trade well! One day we'll meet for a toast in the Halls of Inera with the Exalted.
Your friend and mentor,
Dor Reval of Xexedi, Supreme, Serendipitous & Serene Space Grocer.
The Galactic Guild of Elite Traders (GET)
From SPACE magazine's THE GUILD - THE HIDDEN FACTS:
The strict and solemn vows of secrecy to which all Guild members adhere mean that rumours concerning their domination of various Corporate worlds, GalCop, and not a few seedier systems, abound in increasing number. Real facts are in short supply: But we have a few...
An incoherently inebriated Guild-member, Cholmondeley the Craven, told me that there are Seven Strictures which all but the most senior Guild fratres are sworn to the death to follow:
- 1) Brother! Keep double-entry ledgers using Darthavian Ixian-mode programming systems
- 2) Brother! Sign all entries with a Quoquivian quill using violet-tinged ink
- 3) Brother! Never fire missiles wantonly at miscreants
- 4) Brother! Use lasers only for defence: to warn off, not to kill
- 5) Brother! Should thou by chance kill a miscreant, slit thine own throat with an envenomed obsidian knife
- 6) Brother! Worship of Randomius Factoria must involve meaningful sacrifice
- 7) Brother! Obey without question every command of your Guild Superiors
This compares with the Partial List of Commandments as divulged by renegade Guild heavyweight Contratius Phlebor:
- Thou shalt keep double-entry ledgers using the Ixian programmes
- Thou shalt sign all entries with a sharpened quill loaded with purple ink
- Thou shalt only fire lasers in defence
- Obey your betters completely
The death of the senior Guild member Karachick Obolomov in a pirate raid some seven years ago in Galaxy 3 yielded the following list of membership grades, badly smudged and singed, on a print-out in the wreckage of his personal cabin:
- "Perfected Master",
- "Master of Brass and Bronze",
- "Warden of the Orbital",
- "Master of the Guild",
- "Master Elect",
- "Lord of Mercy",
- "Master of the Seventh Gate,
- "Grand Master",
- "Knight of the East",
- "Prince of I… At this point the print-out was torn.
The Wardens of the Orbital would seem to be Masters of system Guild Houses (except in Corporate States, where a more senior figure has that position) and Mastery of the Seventh Gate is rumoured to involve the sacrifice of three Lobstoids of different genders (ejected from the Seventh Gate of Guild-controlled orbital stations), whilst the Grand Masters lord it over their separate Galactic Sectors, or Charts.
According to Tea Mereso, G.E.T. apostate Contratius Phlebor said that a Guild splinter group - which he supports - styling themselves Galactic Overlords, have the sector police in their pockets.
Rumours continue to proliferate that senior Police officials are in cahoots with the Guild (or its splinter group), hence the complete lack of court cases with Guild members as defendants (except in the system of Teorge, where the local clones have wrested back control from the Guild and their flunkies).
Phlebor confirms that the better Quarksmen are now Guild flunkies (hence the superior performance of their ships) and that they have also seduced the Supreme and Appellate Court Justices as well as most of the media (but not SPACE magazine).
It is whispered over Anlian gin in the seedier space-bars that the Guild Princes have signed a secret contract with the Thargoids where they back down when Guild ships are present. This involves the capture of ordinary GalCop citizens, their enslavement and their sale to interstellar insectoid forces.
Adalbert the Argument, SPACE intra-system editor-in-chief.
Confessions of a Guild Quisling
Contratius Phlebor of the Gerete systems, notorious and much-sought bounty hunter, once of elevated Grade in the Guild but now its bane, has let it be known that to the highest Grades is entrusted a secret of Galactic import. Phlebor implies that it may take the form of an object or tool, with a source of infinite energy.
To this secret, he has stated, is owed the G.E.T.'s power, wealth, technical prowess, and present ascendancy throughout the Eight Charts. Phlebor has spoken gnomically of a 'Ninth Arch' (or Ark), upon which he refuses to elaborate.
"What is nearly certain is that the Guild traces a lineage back through myth to the Templar Order of the fabled Terra. It is recorded in their scriptoria," he hints, "that Templars once held sway on that near-forgotten planet, over its rulers and would-be hegemonites, in similar fashion to G.E.T. over Galcop and the Lawless Worlds. It is, they say, both Trust and Continuum."
Contratius is widely ridiculed (by those who dare, including the Guild itself) for these and further claims...
The now ageing whistleblower of scarred and burned visage offered quite freely to this reporter that 'the Brothers' pay homage to a forgotten deity whose prime directive was: Do not kill.
"Terra again," he comments, "A philosophy I came to find I couldn't quite square myself with. The money was nice, though. And their miraculous ship upgrades, some of which my old Asp still has. Got away with a few of those still in place, though most 'bad Brothers' are stripped of everything. The true Brothers really won't kill, you know - won't press the trigger for that final burst. Some are galactic Elite rated too..."
Persisting respect for his erstwhile masters written in his remaining eye, Contratius cut short our chat with the words: "I'd never betray them full-out. And they leave me alone."
No Guild representative could be reached, or located, for comment. They seem to have no PR.
Seeking expertise, I found confirmation of one of Phlebor's claims. Hild Fenwith of Xexe University:
"Mythohistorians would not deny that such proto-chivalric Orders, blooming out of monasticism in ancient epochs, owning their own fleets, fortresses, and preceptories, did indeed count trading and banking among their keys to power, holding money and their arcane treasures over the heads of kings and Pontifs like edged weapons."
Identically so with the G.E.T. today, Phlebor contends.
Mild-mannered keepers of lost secrets, with an edge hard as military lasers. And they're everywhere, my sometimes reticent source told me. Is the Galaxy the better for the Guild?
You tell me.
--Tea Mereso, Xexedi Enquirer.
On the Lane with a Master Traveller
and Tea Mereso, Xexedi Enquirer
Fens Buber's Cobra holds are seldom empty.
Except, as of this hauler's break of less than an hour, between the unloading of stack upon stack of odorous pods stuffed with Laeninian Erebear pelts and a supplement of their prized (at least on Lerelace) Mauve Gentian Cassis and the piling in of tech.
His (her? their? - for Fens, gender-state is multiply mutable) return load will be pristine hyperdrives. We are for a lightning stop-and-dock at the G.E.T.'s Octahedron, geostationary over Lerelace Prime - whose russet seas and impossible peaks have fast become a conundrum to a little-travelled Xexedian. (What must their sky be like? she wonders, querulous and witch-sick - for, yea, it is your faithful correspondent.)
Perhaps this snub by the Guild Master of the establishment, who after nary a blink my way followed up with fulsome usherings-in of Master Traveller Fens to an inner sanctum, is to be forgiven. It is coldly apparent rather quickly that my last piece has not gone unremarked by Brotherhood nabobs.
Apparently, we are being shown now what the Guild really does: and for a tour-guide one of my own (who by their frequent pulsations might even like to wed me). You're getting this only here, exclusive, with the Enquirer.
Fens Buber emerges, seemingly refreshed, out into dock, across whose cavernous spaces they proceed to skip and float, while three Guild mechanics (technicians) bustle mysteriously about the craft's hull, wielding... what exactly? Fens arrives, touches a limb to one of mine, says, "We fly faster now, just a touch."
"And you're just", I press opportunely, "teamsters. With nothing up the ceremonial sleeve?"
"Grocers. Buyers and sellers. Travellers in goods. Pick your term."
"OK," I fire back so as not to lose the impetus, "I pick very odd traders with an impossibly long - like ancient Terran - pedigree." At which Fens throws some glances at the Lerelacean leopardine attendants (now slinking away), plus several more, disquietingly, at me. "You really met that... arsehole Phlebor?"
We are forced to concede that we did, yes, confer in holopersons with Contratius Phlebor.
"And you know they fobbed me onto you, as being of my kind, to feed you the down-and-dirty on his fabrications... his fantasies."
"I thought we met by chance in the bar."
Sent a triple wink, I allow that it seems they did, adding, "But wasn't he a much higher Grade than you, Fens? Can you be certain he is fantasizing? Are you not taught more of the Guild's inner workings the further up you rise?"
Fens offers me endearing shrugs and we push through the Mark Three's drive-packed aisles into cabin-space. "Time to be off. Witch it to Laenin, and then it's home again for pretty old yous," they simper, they try to make light. But your correspondent is not to be sidetracked.
We launch and, something unusual, Fens engages J-drive immediately. Not a masslock siren to be heard nor a Viper in sight - they are left behind with the perplexing vermilion of Lerelace receding on rear viewscreens. I forbear to ask if this is an unconventional exit, well aware that it is. Instead, I say, "Tell us about your first run as a GETter, a Guilder..."
"Glad to, Tea - after witch. Brace and breathe - remember how you forgot to last time?" Tuners-in, I can tell you that was a bodily event your reporter will not soon forget.
We burst, silent and sober, into Laenina's gravity-well, all my questions and purposes whirling in the purple void our wake makes. What is the Guild doing with these ships?
"Grocer, in the before-time, Grade zero, probationer, acolyte, what you will. Made the run in this Cob--"
"Flare of Xexe (for our tuners). Nice name."
"The same. Unmodified then: drove the long-haul through Lave, Zaonce, Isinor, Qutiri, Aronar, Beusrior, Uscela, trading on route. Spaceway One. Those days were hard, before the Guild's perks kicked in, before milk began squirting from the Xexedi-Laenin-Lerelace teat. The three-skip we're doing now, Tea."
"And what a treat it's turning out to be."
"Hmm. Reaching this cluster for the first time, Qutirians had already fitted a Large Cargo Bay, and we were at 70 tons. Now she's 110 with four Goods Containers instead of missiles. But before any of that, before the Guild took note of us, hot hull every run, you know, shields gone, goods spoiled, locked and harried and menaced at the witchpoint by the likes of..."
"Contratius?" I prompt.
"His ilk. Miscreants - they who take life and living away without a thought. Like these here..." Fens flutters some digitals over five convergent red dots on our scanner. "Mambas. See, we're targetted, missiles about to fly."
"Do something!" your intrepid journo hears herselves squeak.
"No, listen - " Unruffled, Buber is shoving a comms plug into one of my auriculars. He - for I'm sure it is that for the moment - mimes comically along with the raspy Galspeak synth-voc: "Forty barrels and we let you live, Xexedian pond-scum. Ten pulses and missiles away. Drop 'em!"
"He means our auxiliary containers."
Buber is in paroxysms as I screech. "Just do what the... what are they?"
Species-incompatible, he soothes, patting a flailing limb I seem to have no control over. "Does not bode well slavery-wise, if they scoop us after."
"After they melt us." Fens giggles.
"Dump the cargo," I implore. (But you hear all this, gentle tuner; you are with us... goodbye from your...)
"Time's up frogoids. Eat quirium."
"Ahh, indeed it is, such a shame to leave the panto..." He drops a digit onto a blue button and scanners suddenly empty, are black. He doesn't need to say we are in J again, flitting toward rosy crescent Laenin to offload hardware at hefty profit and take on more furs and mauve Cassis for Xexedi - for we crave the sweet beverage now and could down a quart and sleep the sleep of...
"Nothing locks us you see, this is what the Guild does for me, and I'm happy to pay my dues."
We pass the Laenin loading hour in silence, Buber turned a little sullen. We depart for home, and matters from there are swift.
"You're Grade Four, a Master Traveller, Fens - you can leave the milk and skim off the cream. Our tuners have watched you. Back to Contratius a moment - he was a long way up the ladder you're climbing when he went bad."
Buber's skin-hues begin a rapid cycle, alerting me at last to his inner state.
"I know what you want from me. We all know what you want: Phlebor was a Knight - of the Rosy Star, I believe. 18th Grade - a level most scarcely see themselves reaching. They say he was a paragon, until whatever happened happened to him. I'm authorised to say this: he still knows little. And we're very happy about that. Til we meet again, Sor Mereso."
Nonplussed, we take leave of Fra Buber with more questions than we started out with.
Relieved but unsatisfied, I'm able to say I've been co-opted as unofficial spokesperson for the Guild of Elite Traders. Alive and speaking to you from the Virgin Torus spacedock, G.E.T. aegis, this is Tea Mereso of the Xexedi Enquirer, at Xexedi, signing off until next time.
Overview: The Fat and the Skinny
On a subsequent meeting, Fens agreed, with Grand Master Exoloön's blessing, to allay all grossly inflated rumour by allowing me to set down in succinct terms what the Guild offers its lower-echelon inductees.
So to lay it out in plain Common Galspeak... The accomplished and non-belligerent G.E.T. Brother will witness various astrogational marvels in respect to his, her, its, or their spacecraft, to wit:
A continual upward evolution in
- Shield strength
- Shield recharge rate
- Energy recharge rate
- Energy levels
In addition to
- A ship forever in good repair
- Free fuelling (at the witchpoint for good Brothers above probationary grade)
- Free fast-dock facilities at every station
- No mass-lock, except on Main Station approach - weapons must be offline before hyperspace countdown, warns Fens, otherwise conventional mass-lock pertains.
- A permanently 'clean' Galcop record (the Guild refuse to divulge how they swing this) ...
Unless the Brother strays - in which case none of the above apply, and he is, as Phlebor pithily puts it, 'stripped of everything'.
The Guild's single Rule: Do not kill.
If there are any other commandments, and according to Fens Buber, nothing is set down in writing, those are to act as friend and support to fellow Brothers by coming to their aid, and to respect and aspire earnestly to the Elevated Grades, that is Grades above level 10.
Guild protocols are taught - orally and by example. Secrecy, an oath to which is sworn, is considered a necessity in these politicaly volatile times and throughout the ages.
There are no injunctions against inflicting damage by laser on a miscreant's ship, even to the extreme of forcing him to abandon it. "The imperative, as ever, is to survive without killing," says Buber. "You already know how we do that."
Unstated but willingly complied-with is an obligation to support the Guild financially, to ensure its continued existence and ascendancy. Buber says this is accomplished through donations - or 'gifts' - debited automatically from the Brother's ship-account after every profitable trade.
"Donations, above all, secure our upward progress within the Order: Gifts freely given, along with good deeds, which can earn equal merit."
"And no hidden agendas? No aspirations to Galactic domination? Trade is all there is to it?" I ask for the seventeenth time.
"Not perhaps all. But all that is important, Tea. It will have to serve."
"But you do guard certain secrets?"
"As a lowly Traveller, I couldn't possibly comment."
-- Tea Mereso, Xexedi Enquirer.
GETTER HUD - the only HUD in the inventory designed by G.E.T. Brothers for G.E.T. Brothers, showing digital speed and cargo hold contents in place of missiles.
Goods Containers, externally mounted 5- or 10-ton cargo cannisters, fitted to any spare missile pylons, will speed your course to riches and larger ships.
For all-round good spacegrocership, G.E.T. regards the following basic upgrades as essential:
- Large Cargo Bay (if available)
- Goods Containers (pylons permitting)
- Advanced Space Compass
- Witchdrive Fuel Injector
- and a beam laser: not for its destructive potential, but for the quality of its reticle!
The Guild provides all other necessary systems and facilities.
Certain OXPs will conflict or interfere with the rewards-system and special privileges of Elite Trader. Known to be problematic are Masslock Compensator, Auto Refuel, and possibly certain shield or energy enhancers. AutoDock has been made redundant by ET's own fast-dock privilege. The best advice is to experiment.
NEW IN VERSION 1.17
- Witchpoint comms Trade Advisory (where to sell) for Good Brothers past probationary Grades
- Guild Home greetings somewhat tailored to Brother's Grade & Title
- Max_thrust limit increased --> 256
- Further code optimizations - var x for repeated player/ship properties etc.
NEW IN VERSION 1.16
- Increased max_energy, max_energy_recharge, & max_shield_recharge
- Rectified determination of the 2 economic subdivisions (0..3,4..7)
- Sundry optimizations - var x replacing repeated player/ship properties etc.
NEW IN VERSION 1.15
- Toggling weapons also toggles the anti-masslock system
- Guild stricture on gems and precious metals tightened
- Advisory lists the system's stations (minus Rock Hermits)
- Advisory lists prices of system's key commodity, per station, plus quantity
NEW IN VERSION 1.14
- Master Advisory lists the System's planets with stations
- Planets are numerically named on entering and leaving their gravity (eg. Larelace Prime, Lerelace II, Lerelace III, Lerelace IV)
- The above, of course, presupposes that Additional Planets and Stations for Extra Planets (and perhaps Planetary Compass) are installed, otherwise it's just the single 'vanilla' planet name (ie. Lave).
NEW IN VERSION 1.13
- Witchpoint fuelling for Good Brothers above probationary grade (facilitates fast trading between far-flung systems)
- Station contact (Assessor) named on Master Advisory screen
- Increased energy and shield recharge rate increments
- Improved consistency of donation display on Manifest
NEW IN VERSION 1.12
- G.E.T. accepts a donation, a 'gift', comprising 1% of every member's profitable trade over 100 cr and 10% over 1000 cr. Donations determine the Brother's advancement in Grade and Title inside the Order, as well as being the prime source of G.E.T. wealth, power, and technical prowess.
- 23 Grades with associated Titles track the advancement of the Brother within the Guild. Grades stretch from 'Grocer' (Grade 0) to 'Elite Grand Master Eternal' (Grade 22). G.E.T. Grades have been liberally adapted from the 33 Degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
- A Brother's ethical standing is also noted on the Manifest screen: 'Good', 'Reformed', 'Errant', 'Bad', along with his donation to the current station, total donations, and Grade with Title.
- A full G.E.T. Ship Status Report has been added to the F4 Interfaces screen, showing the technical enhancements applied to the ship's systems since the Brother's induction. Both nominal and current specifications are noted for speed, thrust, shields, energy, and energy recharge rate. (Arrival Reports note only previous and revised specs while omitting thrust for reasons of space.)
NEW IN VERSION 1.11
- G.E.T. strictures in respect to the destruction of other ships have been tightened. Repeated ship-kills result in a permanent black mark, ruling out further speed, shield, and energy enhancements. (It is perfectly acceptable, on the other hand, to damage an aggressor beyond repair and force him to disengage. No Guild penalty results from that form of self-defence.)
- Augmented ship specs are reset to nominal after a given number of ship-kills.
- For straying Brothers, the Vow of Good Brotherhood makes its appearance on the F4 Interfaces screen: errant commanders are given the opportunity to reform. If accepted, all G.E.T. privileges are restored.
NEW IN VERSION 1.10
Introduces two G.E.T. entries to the F4 Interfaces screen:
- G.E.T. Master Advisory. The System Guild Master offers salutation and advice to trader acolytes.
- G.E.T. Max Trade Resetter offers the opportunity to set your Maximum Trade, as displayed on the Manifest screen, to the profit gained in the current system. Useful if the system glitched, or if you switched ships and now prefer a clean start.
- E.T. checks for the presence of Market Observer and, if absent, adds a 'Trade (goods): xxx.xx cr' line for each individual sale, after the manner of M.O.
NEW IN VERSION 1.9
- Total profit now applies to the System as a whole: allowing for in-system trading, along with buying and selling at multiple stations in the same system.
- Cumulative profit is given alongside compliments on the Market screen.
NEW IN VERSION 1.8
- Free G.E.T. fast-dock facilities are now available at every station via autopilot (C-key). GETters no longer need to install a separate auto-dock OXP or fork out over 1000 credits for Docking Computers.
NEW IN VERSION 1.7
- Added the obvious to G.E.T. Status: total profit for the current station.
- Further improvements to the selling logic: all good trades are acknowledged and complimented (though only one still scores).
NEW IN VERSION 1.6
- Refinements and improvements in the Best Trade logic: G.E.T. Status on the Manifest screen now takes into account individual sales of individual commodities and lists these, while aggregating all separate profits made at the same station.
NEW IN VERSION 1.5
- G.E.T. Status entry added to the Manifest screen, showing best trade to date, and the system, commodity, and ship in which it was made.
- A couple of expedient refinements in the ship-rewards system: shield and energy recharge rate increments have been reduced in the light of a Bulletin Board discussion.
- No mass-lock applies only when weapons are offline, and they must be disabled before hyperspace countdown.
NEW IN VERSION 1.4
Feature update (see bullets above: *Elite ranking/*Speed/*Shield strength etc and *A ship forever in good repair/*Automatic, free refuelling etc)
NEW IN VERSION 1.3
Cosmetic enhancements (contextual comms messages).
Destroying other ships--as opposed to damaging them to aid escape--brings System G.E.T. disapprobation and a bout of penance (no Elite score or rewards).
NEW IN VERSION 1.2
Minor cosmetic enhancements.
On Arrival Screen, speed-reward status message is not shown if another OXP resets the ship's maxSpeed (Masslock Compensator is a known culprit).
NEW IN VERSION 1.1
Immersive G.E.T. messages at every stage of the voyage.
Successful trading brings useful rewards.
Oolite v1.82 or later. No dependencies on other OXPs.
Download via the in-game Extensions Manager or below. Do not unzip the .oxz file, just move into the AddOns folder of your Oolite installation.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License version 4.0.
If you are re-using any piece of this OXP, please send a PM to Reval at the Oolite Bulletin board.
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