Friday, May 7, 2010
Atomic Dawn: CostMart
CostMart is the corporate survivor of the great Price Wars from just before the Apocalypse. In the old days, this corporation's stores systematically devastated far better stores, selling cheap bulk merchandise with an absolute minimum in quality or customer service.
Like cockroaches and Twinkies, not even nuclear, biological and ecological devastation can get rid of CostMart. Even now, their android and robot run facilities, farms, and stores can be found here and there. In fact, the need for cheap weaponry, armor, vehicles and other goods has caused CostMart to adapt to the times. Now, CostMart has come out with a selection of relic weapons and relic devices (made with bright plastic and bearing the CostMart logo).
In the Mutant Future, CostMart "stores" are more like brightly painted concrete and steel fortresses. These facilities are manned by smiling androids and guarded by Minor Enforcement Bots, Riot Bots and Robo-turrets (with smiley faces). Shoplifters and other troublemakers will find that CostCo troops are extremely efficient and armed with more advanced devices.
"A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon falls by its own corruption and decay." -Amos Bronson Alcott
CostMart is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Directors, who are almost never seen outside CostMart facilities in person, instead using specialized remote control robots similar to the MFO, but much more powerful. This board has absolute control over the corporation, answering only to each other (when they get caught). Each board member has a large personal army and controls significant resources.
"Five O'clock in he mornin',
I'm up before the sun,
When my work day is over,
I'm too tired for havin' fun."
-DEVO, Working In A Coal Mine
Most of CostMarts employees are Replicant Androids produced in CostMart Facilities. These androids are perfect employees, as they are smart, tough, and die before promotion is a real possibility. Other forms of androids and A.I. robots can also be found working for CostMart. Pure Humans and mutants can also find employment as wage slaves of assorted types and hired muscle for discouraging would-be competitors.
Mutants are used more than employed, with most serving the corporation as laborers and test subjects. Particularly skilled or powerful mutants might find employment with CostMart, but almost entirely as enforcers or mechanics.
Most CostMart stores are big, but superstores dwarf them all. Superstores are enormous pyramidal complexes as large as a city. These structures offer a wide range of services and merchandise, and maintain their own medical facilities, replicant factories and defense force. Aircraft refueling services are offered here for costumers and for CostMart vessels.
Repair Facilities: CostMart superstores maintain well-stocked machine shops staffed by one or more repair bots, several androids (any type) and a few human or mutant employees. The repair bots are programmed for vehicles androids and robots but not weapons.
What’s available at CostMart?
Everything you could want or need, at least that’s what the ads say. CostMart and its employees have made it their business to supply the consumer with his, her or its every need. Though all stores attempt to provide a wide selection, high-tech merchandise such as energy weapons, vehicles or robots, are only carried in Superstores (see above). They sell clothing, toys, electronics as well as weapons and other gear. Here are some examples (prices in parenthesis):
Advanced Melee Weapons (Superstores only): Shock Gloves (80gp), Stun Baton (120gp), Vibro Dagger (200gp) Vibro Sword (350gp).
Advanced Firearms (Superstores only): Laser Pistol Mk1 (700gp), Laser Rifle (750gp), Stun Pistol (300gp), Stun Rifle (300gp).
Advanced Armor (Superstores only): Ballistic Nylon (400gp), Metal Insert (550gp), Plastic Plate (700gp).
Drugs, Chemicals, and Medical Devices: Antitox (5sp), Filter-Dose (4sp), K-O Shot (6sp), Medi-Spray I (4gp), Medi-Spray II (8gp), Diagnostic Scanner (20gp), Healing Pack (60gp), Ready Syringe (40gp).
Encasing Military Armors (Superstores Only): Light EMA (3,500gp).
Primitive Firearms: Ammunition (10gp per 100 rounds), Pistol, revolver (80gp), Pistol Ammunition (10gp per 100 rounds), Carbine, 98 short (120gp), Carbine Ammunition (10gp per 100 rounds), Sport Rifle (150gp), Rifle Ammunition (10gp per 100 rounds), Shotgun (100gp), Shotgun Shells (2 gp per 10 rounds).
Weapons, Armor, Adventuring Gear, Trade Goods: All types (as page 16-18 Mutant Future).
Foodstuffs and Junk: Canned Foods (2 cp), Dehydrated Pills (1sp), Goo Tube (4cp), Salt Pills (1cp), Soup Mixes (1sp), Synthihol (2sp), Hologram Projector (2gp), Identity Card (1gp), Ion Bonding Tape (2sp), Light Rod (2gp), Light Stick (1gp), Magnesium Firestarter (3gp), Portable Stove (5gp), Survival Kit (6gp)
Gizmos: Advanced Breathing Apparatus (300gp), Autograpnel (10gp), Boron Solution Spray (15gp), Cigarette Lighter (4cp), Communicator (4sp), Firestarter Cube (20gp), Flashlight (60gp), Force Screen Belt (600gp), Gas Mask (100gp), Gas Mask Filter (50gp), Chemical Sensor (40gp), Geiger Counter (10gp), Rad Tab (5gp), Infra-Red Goggles (100gp), Motion Detector (140gp), Optic Scanner (200gp), Portable Detection Radar (150gp), Power Fist (300gp), UV Sterilizer (100gp), Water Purifier (60gp), X-Ray Goggles (120gp).
Power Sources: Power Cell (20gp), Power Pack (60gp), Power Clip (40gp), Power Beltpack (400 gp), Power Backpack (650 gp), Minifusion Cell (800gp), Plutonium Clip (1,500gp), Radioactive Battery (2,000gp).
Robots (Superstores only): Exterminator Bot (300gp), Interpreter Bot (600gp), Mechanical Field Operative (2,000gp), Minor Enforcement Bot (1,000gp).
Vehicles (Superstores only): Motorcycle (500gp), Car (1,000gp), Truck (1,500gp), Hoverbike (2,000gp), Hoverbus (7,500gp), Hovercar (3,500gp), Hovertruck (5,000gp).
Note: All CostMart equipment is cheaply made, and thus is never better than Condition Grade 3 but never worse than Condition Grade 1. So keep your receipt!
A chain of eateries that can always be found in or around CostMart stores, but also on their own in all but the most inhospitable places. Restaurants are brightly lit and furnished with plastic booths and formica tables complete with tinny musak. These android-run eateries serve the addictive MacGuffin burgers (1sp), Big MacGuffin Burger (2sp) and MacGuffin Supreme Burger (3sp), often served with fries* (2cp). They also sell an assortment of fizzy drinks (2 cp) and flavored milkshakes (5 cp).
*Fried what, nobody knows.
CostMart Business Practices
"Greed is the inventor of injustice as well as the current enforcer." -Julian Casablancas
CostMart maintains its mercenary attitude towards business into the post-apocalyptic era, though now without the "restraint" it formerly suffered. When CostMart moves in, they quickly dominate local business in one way or another.
Arms Dealing: CostMart operatives are always looking to open new markets, and no better than the hunger for weapons and armor. Promoting conflict between differing groups serves CostMart well, as it makes for asteady income and keeps would-be threats from gaining enough personal power to endanger CostMart interests.
CostMart Farms: CostMart farms dominate certain agricultural zones, taking ownership of water supplies, chasing off or killing livestock of neighbors. These farms can be set up literally overnight, and are built like fortresses.
Manufacturing: CostMart maintain extensive manufacturing facilities. These factories create everything from food products and medicine to high-tech machinery and androids. Efficient use of space is a hallmark of CostMart factories, such as combining meat processing and cloning in the same section (how different are they really?). The region around a CostMart factory is very polluted, giving rise to disease and mutation. Manufacturing is one of the only CostMart branches that employs a great many mutants, as the harsh conditions are deemed too dangerous for valuable android workers.
Strongarm Tactics: Independent sellers of products, will quickly find agents of CostMart knocking at his or her door. This does not mean that every blacksmith and food vender need fear CostMart, only those who expand their business into a chain or large seller.
Required Crew: 10 (Androids and Minor Enforcer Bots)
Top Speed: 50 mph
Cargo: 10,000 lbs.
Structural Hit Points: 200
Duraplastic Armor: AC 5
Weaponry: Four laser Rifles (forward, aft)
CostMart uses rigid helium airships to transport cargo between remote stores. These vessels are all equipped with an inertial inhibitor and a self-repair unit for protection from the rigours of travel. Some CostMart airships act as mobile stores, carrying merchandise to remote locales, though this role is usually reserved for smaller and better armed vessels.