Elite Trader OXZ
- 1 Welcome to the Guild!
- 2 The Galactic Guild of Elite Traders (GET)
- 3 Confessions of a Guild Quisling
- 4 On the Lane with a Master Traveller
- 5 Overview: The Fat and the Skinny
- 6 Milk or Cream? - Buber's Beats
- 7 Recommendations
- 8 Versions
- 9 ELITE TRADER META!
- 10 Dependencies
- 11 Download
- 12 License
- 13 Links
- 14 Quick Facts
- 15 Appendices
Welcome to the Guild!
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! - Eschew murder 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 Station Guild Masters 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. Though a Brother is never penalized for supplementing his private income in this manner, your 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 a sardonic smile that G.E.T. cares little whether Galcop deems your bought goods illegal... We have small truck with that legislative body but our stance is one of mutual tolerance. In brief, their police do not see 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, Master Trader (Grade 3).
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 claims 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 muttered 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 takes 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.
On shaking hands and parting, Hild urged me to remember what befell the Templars. I leave that as a research project for my tuners...
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 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-states are bi-volitional) 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. Spacehaulers. 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 rich 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 indulgence, 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 too for good Brothers above the 3 Apprentice grades)
- Free fast-dock facilities at every station
- A permanently 'clean' Galcop record - the Guild refuses to divulge how they swing this but it's clear that in the face of all G.E.T. infractions, Galcop authorities just look the other way.
- A Trade Advisory, messaged from the system's Guild orbital to the witchpoint (to all initiates beyond probationary Grades)...
- An inscrutable device to counter Mass-lock, programmed to work on all objects except a Main Station. Weapons must be offline before hyperspace countdown, warns Fens, otherwise conventional mass-lock pertains. (he tells me that, due to a ballooning volume in Guild applications - of precipitating which he accuses yours truly - the devices are now reserved for Grade 1 Apprentices and upward).
- G.E.T. - in all its beneficence (I can scarcely believe I'm saying this, tuners) - will pay to every Guilder except Grocers a regular and periodic Bonus. Guild bonuses are in gratitude, says Fens, for "service, devotion, and fortitude." When asked to elaborate, he would only say, "Our Bonuses are time-, Grade-, and performance-dependant." From which I surmise, the higher you are in Grade and the more credits you have banked, the larger will be your Bonus when it comes. But, tuners, don't quote me!
Unless the Brother strays - in which event none of the above apply, and he is, as Phlebor pithily put it, "stripped of everything".
The Guild's single Rule: Do not kill.
If there are any other commandments, and according to Fens Buber, none are set down in writing, those are to act as friend and support to fellow Brothers by coming to their aid, and to revere and aspire earnestly to the Elevated and Exalted Grades - that is Grades above level 14.
Divisions in what Fens calls "the ladder to the top" run as follows:
- 0 : Probationary
- 1-2 : Apprentice
- 3-14 : Master
- 15-18 : Elevated
- 19-22 : Exalted
He notes that Guild potentates of the Elevated and Exalted Grades never refer to themselves by their true (secret) Grade Titles, but simply as 'Grand Master'. Thus he - as a mere Master - is unable to tell us G.M. Exoloön's real Grade. So now we know one of their 'secrets of success' - I always wondered why the likes of Phlebor hadn't done away with the entity at the top. The Top Grades are not only Exalted, but elusive.
Guild protocols are taught - orally, ceremonially, and by example. Secrecy, an oath to which is sworn, is considered a necessity in politically volatile times and, says Buber, since conditions are invariably unstable, "generally always." (a partial exception being made, it seems, for your intrepid correspondent).
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 - any non-Guilder would call that a 'tax' but Fens feigns outrage when I suggest it - plus gifts: the former debited from the Brother's ship-account after every profitable trade and the latter a voluntary contribution.
"Donations, above all, secure our upward progress within the Order: and gifts freely given, along with good deeds, earn special merit. Gifts always speed advancement."
"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?"
Fens Buber shakes their head, shrugs, presents me a hopeless smile.
"Tea - as a lowly Traveller, I couldn't possibly comment."
-- Tea Mereso, Xexedi Enquirer.
Milk or Cream? - Buber's Beats
Upon parting from what was to be a last encounter onstation, Fens Buber thrust into my surprised hands a paper penned in purple ink, apparently endorsed, annotated, undersigned and sealed by none other than G.M. Exoloön:
Salutations from the Hidden Halls!
First, a word to our burgeoning cadre--and here we must acknowledge the digging of a certain persistent reporter--of Probationers (or might we more respectfully call you Neophytes?): If you are but a Grocer, remain with us - you merely have to prove to us your ingenuity. There is no reason, at this delicate stage, why you must stay in the Lane!
Our appointed liaison functionary will now continue:
I, your Friend and Brother, Perfect Master & Scribe Fens Buber, offer you these notes with our exalted Grand Master's benison:
Talk in the Halls of Inera has circled around what most might aid and further an initiate's progress. The Masters' consensus was 'solid guidance'. So I here present six starter Milk Runs to low-grade commanders leaving Lave with 1000 cr.
Spaceway L1/L2, Sector One, Galaxy One
- 0. (Lave-->Zaonce-->Isinor-->)
- 1. Qutiri-->Isinor-->Ensoreus-->Ararus
- 2. Zarece-->Isence
- 3. Tiinlebi-->Anlama-->Begeabi
- 4. Xexedi-->Laenin-->Lerelace
- 5. Inera-->Raale
- 6. Razaar-->Zadies-->Anarlaqu-->Vetitice
Of these six remunerative runs, Zarece-->Isence is without doubt 'the cream'. But I must admit to bias - Zarece Prime has long been my adoptive home. However, my logs for these two stars usually show higher profits.
Repeat and vary at will, or make the whole tour of these 18 systems. Buy Computers (+luxuries) in Rich Industrials and Furs (+liquor-wines) in Poor Agriculturals.
By Qutiri, there'll be enough for a Large Cargo Bay, and after hitting Xexedi and plying this my own favoured triple beat, 10 or 20 ton Goods Containers will start gracing your missile pylons.
(An Elite Trader--and I consider all Guild membership such--taking business to our FE Shipyard will find that the Cobra III FE can attain a capacity of 110 or 150 TC, depending which container tonnage was fitted).
Detecting, with our technical aid, Extra Planets, Stations for Extra Planets, seeking a Torus to Sun Drive, the Market Inquirer and Market Observer, will accrue to every acolyte's advantage. Picking among the several orbitals and outposts insystem, excavating lucrative deals, and maximizing profits for rapid advancement then becomes not only gratifying, but also an engaging challenge. A Quest, might we even say, for the Sacred Payout.
"Lave with 1000 credits? How?" a Grocer might ask. Why, sell your first Cobra! Exchange it for a 'standard customer model/clone' at the lowest price you can find; then sell its laser and 'unmount all pylon weapons'. A thousand cr is now yours to load pelts and alcoholic beverages. Head straight out for Zaonce and Isinor, buying cheap and selling dear as you go.
A strategy some Grocers have adopted with success is to buy a Krait. This agile craft's capacity is 17 tons, but with over 30,000 credits to your account, you are able straight away to fit all primary upgrades at Lave and Zaonce, notably the 20-ton Goods container, leaving you three pylons to add more when funds permit.
Blessings and clear lanes, Brothers -
Fra Fens Buber of Zarece, Grand Master Sigfrid Exoloön of Inera
Heavens! - another turnout for the investigative books. It's obvious they wish to be perceived in a favourable light. They want us to like them.
We progress, we prosper... So, tuners, this gives your own freelance informer an idea: we'll secure a G.E.T. loan, finance ourselves a Viper II FE Special (this darling jumped right out of the catalogue at me), christen her "Buber's Bane", and light out on the Spaceway.
Can it really be this easy? (and innocent)
You'll be hearing.
--Tea Mereso of Lerelace, Guild Mouthpiece, late of the Xexedi Enquirer, now soror & Grocer (Grade 0)
Full details and illustrations HERE.
FE Ships Player
Goods Containers 10-50 TC
More Moolah Market
More Moolah is an enhanced and extended Market for the zealous merchanter. 5 (five) new commodities for industrial and agricultural economies; 9 (nine) recast display aliases for the Oolite goods. More variety, more realism, more trade possibilities, more moolah.
Join the Merchanters' League for free, accurate, and succinct advice on buy- and sell-prices at every station in every system you visit. Advisories via the F4 Interface as well as witchpoint in-flight comms. MZ uses your trading history as its basis for buy-advice, and for sell-advice your own hold's manifest. It makes an ideal pairing with the lucrative More Moolah Market (MZ + MM = $$$)
Market Observer, it goes without saying, enhances the E.T. experience greatly. Running with weapons offline is always to your advantage.
For all-round good spacegrocership, G.E.T. regards the following basic upgrades as primary:
- Cargo Bay Expansion (if available)
- Cargo Space Refit
- Cargo Pod
- Goods Containers (pylons permitting)
- Teleportation Drive
- Auto S.O.S.
- Advanced Space Compass
- 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.
NEW IN VERSION 1.19
- Upon docking at a Lodge, G.E.T. will pay a Boon of 100 cr in appreciation of your patronage of the system's principal Guild Home.
- A new F4 Interface exclusive to the Lodge: the "G.E.T. Guild Lodge Sales Advisory", showing sell prices for the two most traded goods at all stations insystem. Those above the Apprentice grade may go on availing themselves of the Witchpoint Trade Advisory (giving only the single most-traded commodity prices), still a somewhat quicker option for the impatient trader.
- NPC traffic will now be encountered going into and out of the Guild Lodge - assume most of these ships are Elite Traders!
- Lodge Guardian Constrictor IIg craft will now respond to S.O.S. signals from beleaguered vessels, along with any Galcop police present.
- Lodge-tailored welcome messages appear at the Guild Lodge after docking there.
- G.E.T. has done away with Arrivals Screen refuel/repair/enhancement summaries in favour of more succinct console messages, facilitating swifter passage to the Market. The Guilder is directed now to the F4 Interfaces for fuller data on recent ship enhancements under "G.E.T. Ship Status Report".
- Various persistent - and perhaps annoying - ET behavioural glitches have been remedied.
- At every system's witchpoint you will find a Guild Lodge. In keeping with G.E.T.'s arcane and esoteric Order, these are small pyramidal stations offering welcome, ceremonial, cameraderie, and a trading floor - but no shipyard. One of the Lodge's external faces sports Galcop insignia for obfuscatory purposes and to assure a small police presence. Games may not be saved from inside a Lodge. The Guild Lodge flashes green and orange on your scanner.
- An ancient Guild tradition is the deployment of three guardian ships. Today, these are well-equipped Constrictor IIg models. A guardian will do nothing but patrol near the Lodge, unless disturbed. Guardians, in addition to the small (suborned) police presence which all Lodges attract, make a Guild Lodge's vicinity one of the safest - if not the safest - in the entire system. Guardian ships flash blue and orange on your scanner.
- The Guild accounts as a gift the rescuing of any escape pod, be its occupant of the innocent or the guilty. Saving the helplessly adrift will gain a Guilder not only merit, but also, as befits a gift of this nature, a 5-point ship enhancement plus a real Gift to the Guild of 1000 credits to further Grade advancement. This of course on top of any bounty that Galcop deems you worthy of.
- "Cloaking technology" - that 'Galcop advance' much rumoured and whispered about - was, in fact, long ago an invention of the Guild. They called their device the Hull Shroud. Needless to say, you, as a Guilder, can have it - at a price. Seek it at Stations with a high technological index.
- The Constrictor II - FE Shipyards' 'black project' - is no longer the restricted perk only of Grand Masters. You, as a lowly Master will now find it available, if you look hard. And it's not at all expensive! [nominal specs: thrust = 26; speed = 350; pylons = 4; capacity = 80 TC. Please note: this exclusive ET ship is designed for parity with FE Ships, not vanilla Oolite ships.]
- G.E.T. will pay to all Guilders except Grocers a regular and periodic Bonus. Guild bonuses are in gratitude for service, devotion, and fortitude. They are time-, Grade-, and performance-dependant: the higher you are in Grade and the more credits you have banked, the larger will be your Bonus when it comes.
- Total Bonuses paid by G.E.T. (and their number) are displayed on the F5F5 Manifest.
- G.E.T. owns to a new sensitivity to their Guilders' species-gender - you can be addressed now as "Sister", "Brother", "Sibling" (bi-, tri- or null-sexed persons), or just 'Guilder' (the default).
- As well as speedier Grade advancement, your gifts to the Guild bring with them 3-point ship enhancements.
- Practical console advisories onstation for Grocers who have not yet made 4 runs.
- G.E.T. begins to take account of time...
- Time spent as a Good Guilder is recorded on your F5F5 Manifest in Lave days (and Lave years).
- System-to-System Runs as a Good Guilder are numerically displayed on the F5F5 Manifest.
- Main Station no longer mass-locks your ship on approach (so please take care you don't slam into it!) (Grade 1 and above)
NEW IN VERSION 1.18
- In spite of the addition of the new F4 page 'Gift to Guild' (which speeds advancement in Grade), progression to the Elevated and Exalted Grades (10-22) has been made more arduous.
- Donations are no longer limited to one per system: they are cumulative within the system.
- "Buber's Beats" Milk Run guide for inductees on the F4 Interfaces screen.
- 'Milk or Cream? - Buber's Beats' - a comprehensive Wiki section with solid guidance, a truncated version of which appears in-game.
- Owing to a ballooning volume of Guild applications (blame TM!), the 'black box' anti-Masslock device is now reserved for Probationary Grade 1 and above. The result: a rougher ride for Grocers, but this should be mercifully brief if they follow Buber's 'beats' and her/his/its/their (really must invent a new pronoun) Lave advice.
- Buying and selling from and to multiple stations insystem is facilitated.
- More data now appears on the G.E.T. F5 Mission screen.
- Gifts and Last Trade (with Star, Station, and Goods) added to F5 Mission screen.
- Since space allows it, a station's secondary legal commodity is now listed by the F4 Master Advisory along with the primary, for all stations insystem.
- Much revision of the F4 Interfaces texts.
- More immersive comms messages geared to Grocers.
- Witchpoint Trade Advisory messages made more succinct.
- A slight re-ordering and renaming of the G.E.T. Grades.
ELITE TRADER META!
Finally available, the all-inclusive E.T. package brings you:
- Elite Trader
- Auxiliary Pylon
- Cargo Pods 10-50 TC
- Cargo Space Refit
- FE Ships Complete
- GETter HUD
- Goods Containers 10-50 TC
Available for download now through your Oolite in-game Expansions Manager.
Or unzip to Oolite->oolite.app->GNUstep->Library->ApplicationSupport->Oolite->ManagedAddOns.
Oolite v1.82 or later.
Required for the Guild Lodge to be present at the witchpoint:
- Stations for Extra Planets Base
- Stations for Extra Planets - Stations
If you are downloading via the Expansions Manager in-game, these dependencies are flagged and can be installed along with Elite Trader.
Optional are extra planets (unless you are content with precious few trading opportunities):
- Additional Planets SR Base
- Additional Planets SR Redux Pack
Look for these two excellent Ambience packages in the Expansions Manager in-game.
Download via the in-game Expansions Manager or below. Do not unzip the .oxz file, just move or copy the OXZ to
It will then appear as installed on your Expansions Manager list in-game.
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.
|1.19.2||2022-12-06||CC BY-NC-SA 4||Enhances Trading||Mechanics OXPs||Reval||BB-Link|
These are texts not expressly part of the Elite Trader 'Manual' but which may, nevertheless, throw some additional (entertaining) light on the Guild's meta-reality and the background and history of its sundry protagonists and antagonists.
by Tea Mereso
I didn't know they would send me an instructor.
Lerelace Prime - new homeworld - floats, a child's ball of ochre, white, and crimson, in my forward viewscreen. I have been down there. Now I know all. Xexedi's overcast sheltered too much. It's high time now, tuners, and we feel ready.
Lounging beside us is a very odd fish indeed. No, no, my own kind, but who of you could sort piscine from ranine? Dor Reval has a quirkish turn of phrase, and he is (for I suspect he 'dressed' just so for me) of a far from unpleasing aspect. A stark contrast with his friend and Brother Fens Buber.
"I imagined you'd be disappointed after that one," Dor had said diffidently, as we rode the brief ascent from umbilicals.
I decided to say nothing - Buber is still a conundrum. Far, far away now.
"He's a climber. And they promoted him because of you."
"So glad", I murmured, "to have been of help. May I ask why exactly you're here?"
Another's turn for silence.
We made the Viper Two's cabin - ample, all gleam, and angled-back. He indicated the seat I was to take - the left. "Fresh out of the FE shipyards, this jewel," he commented. "Superb." And, tuners, Reval should know - he's their Director.
"Leapt right out from the catalogue, Dor. And your people are so free with the money."
Dor's head bobbed several times. "My Asp was financed. I started just like you. Well, no, I stole mine. Later I came clean and got it on a G.E.T. stipend."
"They gave it to you?"
He chuckled. "Hardly! But... in a way they did. Now, something vital: this button - yes, the red - will stream an encrypted S.O.S. on a G.E.T. frequency - an all-station relay. None but Guild vessels and others in sympathy can receive it ungarbled - even Merchanters' League. Use it. Don't hesitate. But only when every instinct tells you you must."
"Understood. I'll sticky it - burn it in, tattoo it on my wrist." I try a steady laugh, unsure if I'm succeeding. "Such a positive beginning! Are you even going to tell me if these things are easy to fly?"
"Oh. Fully automatic if you want. But I'm here to show you... a few more tricks."
"It's like being young again - my first sally out on the highway."
"The Lane. But another first sally. Nervous, Tea?"
"You'll find out. I will too, I suppose." Why, tuners, am I avoiding his eyes?
"Welcome aboard 'Buber's Bane' - what did you call yours?"
"No need to be, really. And 'Laenina's Flux' is her name - truly my first love. But she's in dry while I perform instructional duties."
"Ahh, that's what you are."
"For now, Tea. Where shall we go?"
Tuners, this is something your born-again journo does not have to ponder. Reval indicates my galactic chart and, having seen Buber do it, I press a digit onto my sun of desire. "Laenina - we must see Laenina again."
"Quite a star," he agrees, with a strange gaze at me. "An equal first with Lerelace in the beauty stakes."
I feel my skin cycling through several nuances of red, mirroring the star we see and the star we will see, as Dor sets himself to fiddling with my attitude controls.
"Set to yaw only," he explains, "the roll function cancelled. Yaw to turn this darling, so she responds better to your wishes. Roll is a throwback to atmospheric flight, retained in new ships only as a respectful bow to history."
"Good to know." (tuners, are you paying attention?)
"Not that we'll be doing any manoevring - no acrobatics and definitely no ship-ship tangles. We leave that to those who don't trade."
"Like handling a land-skimmer, then?" we say. "I drove a lot downworld on Xexedi." I test the give in the stick and we buck a little sideways, rectify smoothly.
"Correct! Us spacehaulers are nothing if not expert drivers. Quickest path from point A to point B."
"And am I your 'Sister' as well as your 'Soror'?"
"If you like, Sor Mereso. Sister, you are warmly welcomed to the Guild."
"And if I switch?" I switch.
"I understand the Masters are working on pronoun protocol for us volitionals and the non-permanently gendered." He shrugs and laughs, Buber-like, almost switching. "And the non-gendered - though I've never met one."
"Just call me Brother, Brother."
We drift out from Station in the absolute silence. Lonely silence, I catch myself thinking. Inconsequential system chatter scrolls on a small screen in front of us. Hands free, we let 'Buber's Bane' follow her coded course. Why, tuners, can I quite not relax? Dor Reval starts humming a quiet melody beside me, studiously intent on scanners.
"If we're... attacked?" The words escape my lips reflexively. "Those Mambas in Laenin's outer reaches. They couldn't lock our mass because Fens had a black box - a device of some kind."
"And you're thinking we don't? And you're quite right."
"Dor, my laser, am I allowed to use it? Maybe as a warning that I've got one?"
He quirks his lips - a sort of smile. "What laser, Tea?"
"What do you mean, 'what laser'? All Vipers have lasers don't they?"
"Only if your order specified one."
I let that sink in; it does after a few minutes. "And why in the nth random factor can't I hear anything? Are our drives even running? Are we even moving?"
Dor swivels to me and leans closer. Holding my eyes with his, he carefully - lightly - places the hands of his two main limbs on the tops of mine. He explains in calming tones that we can't hear our engines because they are situated far back behind the cargo holds - which, being packed tight now with pods jammed with unrecognizable tech under the general rubric 'computers', bought only because my Lerelacean Assessor told me to, her lichen eyes hosting inscrutable slits - insulate any and all sound in their otherwise vacuous spaces. He reminds me how massive, by terrestrial measure, my ship really is; how perched high up here in our skimmer-like cockpit, everything feels deceptive. And how easy it is to panic.
"And this is only your second time seeing the controls of a powerful space vehicle. Feelings of disorientation are not in any way unusual. Everything is fine, and I'm here beside you."
"But... for how long?"
"A few days, a week maybe. Enough time to get you on the beat."
"And then? - it's a lonely life isn't it?"
"Tea, our life is station-to-station. Only the empty bits in between will tax you."
An eerie annunciator winds down its gamut, puncturing the quiet. I shiver, though it's not at all cold. Dor seems to collect himself, a new tenseness about him. "Now we jump - hyperspace. You've been through it before, I think."
"I survived it twice. Yes."
"So you know what you have to do."
"Brace and breathe."
"Exactly. And you know what probably awaits us as we come in. Tea, you will watch carefully what I do, and you will do whatever I tell you, quickly, ok? And you will not panic, because I'm here. And you will never forget this day."
Dor waits a few seconds for my confirmatory nod. Then points at the black button. "Your ship," he says.
"Viper out of witch - stop or we fire."
Galspeak rasps and crackles in Laenina's stellar wind. Dor had inserted my plug for me, and now inserts his.
"Don't stop," he says, "We'll make them work. Full speed. They won't use lasers yet..."
"You seem very sure."
"Risk of damaging cargo, which is what they're going to want. Not us, we hope."
"What have we here - a Lereloid pussycat? We'll pod her out and have some fun, 'mates'."
Heavens to blazes, tuners, we don't want melting and scooping and... selling. Time to call the helpline.
"Transmit our ID and... your registration," Dor instructs. I do so, quickly.
"Kittycat, are you there - or have you fainted away? We'll revive you..."
Their own IDs bounce back at us - Mambas out of Reorte. Their comms fall silent for a stretch.
"We don't try to run," says Dor, "their ships have an edge on yours for the moment. And there are too many."
Comms cuts me off.
"Fifty barrels, tuney girl. Now. Lose 'em!"
"Do what they say, Tea."
My eyes scan the board, frantic for the Dump switch. I find it, about to press, but Reval stays my hand. "Give them our least valuable items. Hit 'cycle' until Alloys come up. No, better, toss them some firearms cases. They'll like those more."
Cannisters leave our hold, readouts tell us. But we feel nothing, tuners. No movement. No sound of their going.
"Oh won't you look at that, 'me hearties' - the famed stacked frogoid throws us a tip!"
If I expected them to swarm to the 'catch', I am mistaken. "Dor, why aren't they--"
"That's hold contents, systems status, credits, crew. Go on, send it."
Dor has to show me how, but I comply. Another deaf pause that feels like an hour.
"Bang-up ship - I think we'll... ooh naughty naughty - what'll the Laenin constabulary say?"
Reval punches 'transmit'. "Exactly nothing, arsehole. Now let's get on with it."
For Nova's sake, don't provoke them, I'm thinking. Comms preludes again with stellar static. Tuners, are your hearts pounding as hard as mine? - Dor looks almost... nonchalant.
"Babes - what say I drag you here to my snug ride and ransom you? ... after a time... Pod out quietly now and we won't incinerate your boyfriend."
Laser flashes slice across our bow, glancing off shields with some interesting sparkles.
"Just teasing with the fireworks, candybuns - but you'll be wise to stop. You're wasting quirium, ours and yours."
"Dor, why is it I'm feeling your last instruction lacked merit?"
"I will get us out of it."
"Oh you think?"
"Kill the drives."
I pull the lever full back. No sensation, except a faint churning in my innards. All stars still and in their eternal positions, Laenina more beautiful than ever in her bright indifference. Tuners, I'm realizing too late that it was all an error. Laenin system, it has dawned on me, is not a 'stable' one.
"All right friends - sensible. Thirty Lave seconds: if I don't see a womanned escape pod, it's out of my hands - my crew, you twig? ... We've decided we don't need your goods offering after all..."
"Dor, Tuners," I mutter, "I vow I'll deep-switch. Whoever, whatever... it is, they will not be charmed by your devoted informant's un-womany side."
"Second best idea you've had all day," he says, rising abruptly. He goes aft and points at where I would never have imagined an escape hatch to be. That is, 'tastefully hidden', tuners.
"Tea - they do mean business."
"And what about you?"
"I won't lose you."
"Oh I just love playing along. How d'you like my full Brother look?"
He pulls open the hatch for me. But I stay where I am.
"Time's up stubborn tasty ranoid. Munch some laser!"
Searing rays lance in from all sides. No more pretty glitters over our shields. I feel dense fire boring through, shivering our Viper's carapace.
Reval sprints back, wrenches the stick from my grasp, accelerates, shoves me out of my chair and yaws us hard left, so hard that I am propelled by the force into and against the back of the seat he had occupied. The yaw is followed by a vicious dive as my head hits the padded ceiling of the cabin. All this still, tuners, in utter silence. Not even the laser streaks, now mostly missing us, are heard.
"Are you hurt? - Strap in and stay buckled."
While scanners show Mambas re-forming their five-point attack, a sixth ship flashes into range. Absent, and now here, almost grazing our flanks. Out of witchspace, a mere ten minutes behind us.
"Asp," mutters Dor. "Or Asp II. But this one's no trader either."
"Is it here to help?" I stammer, "Is it Guild?"
"More... ex-Guild if I'm not wrong. They all know we have no weapons."
"Toying with us, yes. Deciding what to do with us. Calling friends."
To scrap over the spoils, tuners - me.
"Is 'toying' Guild-slang for 'frying'?"
"He... it... won't let them go that far."
"You do have the oddest faith, Reval."
"Faith, yes - we all have Faith. It's what has been lost."
"And you keep it safe?"
Dor gifts me with a smile of what I keenly sense as true affection.
"So you do know our Secret."
"What's this now, Miss Delectable - trying to even the odds?"
This time I key 'talk'.
"One day, one day," I say, "I will have lasers - a big laser aft, an even bigger one front, a laser on each side. And I'll be fast and I'll be strong - faster and stronger than any of you, because that's what the Masters give me. And now I have your ID, Mamba-entity, you will one day wish you hadn't sent or spoken the way you have. This I swear."
Do I only imagine crackled laughter under the static?
"If. Think you're getting off, spunky Guild-girl? It's looking less and less likely every Lave second. Come on, just pod over and stop all the fuel waste - we'll talk. We'll both finish well. Me weller, but you alive and free."
After a swift silence, comms and mine, the mechanical words "So be it. Time to die. Tea - such a loss..."
Reval anticipates the firestorm with a crippling yawed climb. They get in more hits and I watch our shield-strength take a sudden fall into red. Somewhere the acrid smell of scorched circuitry. Do I feel warmer? What is it like, tuners, to burn? - You know I'll be with you every second until...
The Asp II - I'd almost forgotten it - is no longer close. It starts manoevring. So rapid and snake-like its path that scanners lose it, find it, lose it, until I can't see it onscreen any more.
"Is it joining... them?" I say.
"Watch," is all Dor answers.
So I watch the Mambas blink out, one by one.
"All stop. Tea - stupendous. You did us proud."
We exchange seats again - tuners, mine feels almost comfortable.
"I did nothing. It was all you and--"
"Don't sell yourself short. Never do that. You're a treasure."
The yellow blip several times unseen by scan reappears, approaching.
"What in the Random Void is it?" I say, still stunned. "Who is it?"
Dor treats me to a grin that I fancy is rare, reserved to a few. "Don't you know? I thought you and he were pals. I have your holo - intriguing interview. Certainly hooked you."
Trying and failing to visualize in close-up the quick eradication of five Mambas, I watch the grimmer mass of the Asp shroud Laenina again. Too close again - isn't this dangerous? "Won't he--"
"No. You saw the way he moves. You think he'd misjudge a hundred metres?"
I slam my palm down on 'transmit', the Asp's band.
"Contratius - Tea Mereso of 'Buber's Bane': you certainly give us our money's worth every time."
A deep, hoarse, throaty chuckle comes back over. "Always thrilled to be of service, Ms Mereso. Or must I call you Sor? - and he is rather a bane isn't he? - or more, I think you'll agree, of a bind. Or a bore."
"Fens is that, true, but his heart's in the right place, as is Dor's."
"Verily. Verily. I miss them sometimes, my 'Brothers'. Which is why I've come to you."
Reval is shaking his head vehemently while I speak, lips pressed tight, skin cycling worlds of colour. He pulls my hand off 'transmit'. "Tea, people don't banter with Phlebor. Not any more. Don't 'let him in'. Leave it. Say goodbye and we go our way, offload our tech, and then to the bar or get a room and... really talk."
Contratius has turned his interdictor to face us flank-on. It happened in an instant, almost unnoted. Tuners, we are now able to make out her name - metallic grey symbols on matte black hull: Continuum. If anyone has lasers, he does.
"I've been following", says Phlebor, as if the aforementioned hasn't taken place, "your... progress. And you could say I've developed quite a crush - after our delightful chat over holo and re-viewing your subsequent journalistic 'coups'. For now I take Dor. He will stay with me as my guest. My Asp's a small palace, you wouldn't believe."
"No! Why Reval, why take him? Take me. I can... help."
"You, sweetheart, are doing just fine as you are. Stick at it now - rise high. Make many holocasts. And I'll be in touch again. Later, you'll put in a good word for me with the Perfect Master. I think you know who I mean."
"You'll do whatever you like, Phlebor. How can we possibly prevent you? My ship is unarmed."
"Then you should arm yourself, dear! If only for show..."
I watch the shadow of his Asp inch in so close it obscures my right viewscreen.
"To the pod now, Grocer - I look forward to many a stimulating conversation on... technical matters."
I glance at Dor. He looks back at me with that expression I still can't quite read. Then he presses my arm and goes to the hatch again. He steps inside, closes the seals. And, like the containers, is gone without sound or sensation.
"Treat him well, or I swear..."
"Oh have no fear, we are old acquaintances. He was once my protégé, as you have been his."
It is not long, tuners, before I can no longer see my... flight tutor of one day. And after a few minutes more, the black ship called Continuum pulls far out into an even blacker starscape.