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The Black Market is the EPF code term for the expansive network of illegal arms dealing, Cactus Extract circuit, Cream Soda smuggling, Judgies, and yes, those viruses one deals with in System Defender. They also sell balloons, but not for what one may think.
The Black Market is not actually a single store or a centralized system, but rather, it is a network starting in the Hacker's Underworld of the Geek Empire and on through routes such as SABER, to the mainland, and abroad. Its end is unknown, but the EPF suspects that every major villain deals in the Market, even Herbert, who recently capitalized on the buy-one-get-one-free deal on the Death Bugs.
The PSA and the EPF have been tracking the Market since they have existed, but they still remain beyond their grasp. Coupled with Market dominators like the UPM and Modfia, small-time and big-time criminals have ensured the success of villainy and mischief for decades, and it doesn't seem to be letting up.
Crime is as old as history itself.
The origins of the Black Market itself, though, are slightly less ancient. The Black Market was originally an arms trade network.
The Right to Arm Bears
It all started at the North Pole in the early 1900s. Humans had begun exploring the Arctic, as they had been for a while, but made the mistake of bringing weapons. The polar bears, interested in these weapons, sometimes sneaked into camps and took them. However, this was not a common occurance for years, until the entire human realm went at each others' throats in a so-called "Great War". Wanting to protect the northern areas, humans around the arctic shipped small amounts of weapons between themselves. The bears began to become very interested in these weapons.
Time passed and times changed. In 1922, the BOF notes, a bunch of dirty commies knocked out some ice-covered world that had access to the Arctic. Since no one really knows the name of these places, they just decided to call them "Dirty Commies".
Anyway, there were a lot of bears in Dirty Commie Land. These bears occasionally made contact with polar bears, and they told tales of great weapons. The trade between Commie Bears and Polar Bears begun in secret.
Time ticked on. The Dirty Commies continued arming themselves for the next twenty years, getting much worse by the time 1940 dawned. The humans were acting most uncivilized to the west of Dirty Commie Land, if the bears are to be believed, what with xenophobic pride and consistent bombings by eerily familiar, pale humans with mustaches.
The human world, not learning its lesson from before, continued going mad with weapons. Bears, not really caring about these wars but interested in the weapons, begun sneaking around forested military bases and stealing their weapons. The bears, in secret, learned how to use these weapons on their prey, greatly decreasing the populations of their food and confusing the humans, especially the mustached ones.
Thinking that the bears were Commie Land spies, the mustached humans sought pre-emption. This lead to assumptions that the enemy was all around them, upping the ante and leading to the aforementioned pale humans invading Dirty Commie Land. The humans didn't stand a chance, but the bears got a lot of weapons by lumbering around the battlefields and just taking them from the dead humans.
The bears set up a network of arms dealing all across the Arctic and taigas of Dirty Commie Land, and that place they could see from their house on Commie's islands. Soon, most bears were armed.
The Dirty Commies eventually ventured out into the wildernesses and were astonished to see armed bears. Using their thumbs and superior firepower, the humans eventually struck a deal with the bears and began riding them and using them as gaurds.
It came to pass that a new leader seized power in Dirty Commie Land, and this one meant business. At the time of the huge battle between the commies and the mustached pale guys, this leader began to round up anyone he didn't like and ship them off deep into bear country. The bears cooperated and were rewarded with a lot of meat and more weapons. The commies and the bears teamed up to keep the disliked people in the gulags and at bay. THIS, dear reader, is why the Dirty Commies were able to detain people they didn't like. It was the power of ARMED BEARS.
The friendship with the Commies gave the bears immense weapons oppurtunities, which were shared with other bears. Bears all over the world had an odd sense of unity and happily distributed weapons in the 1950s and onwards.
The network of arms dealing soon covered all of Commie Land and a lot of the western parts from it, and bears across the Bering Strait traded with their black colored reltives down south. Soon, armed bears came to cover the western mountains of what many beleive is the human continent of Americaland.
Over the hills and down south into a place that people keep sneakling out of, the bears hitched rides in palces they couldn't survive by hiding in "cold war" shipments down south, where Americaland screwed up the affairs of jungle lands. Slipping south of this intervened continent, the bears finally connected their netowork from north to south, from the taigas of the Arctic to the Strait of Magellan.
The arms trade finally connected to Antarctica in 1975, when a bear hitched a ride on a ship and landed on its frozen shores, with lots of weapons. The bear struck up deals with the likes of the UPM, and the rest was history. Borrowing heavilly from the bears, the UPM and other criminals soon used the ingenius strategies to map a collosal smuggling network similar to the system the bears had past the Antarctic Circle. It worked.
In the 2000s, Vasco de Gah! saw a bear-like creature with weapons when he explored the Strait, but he never came back afterwards to confirm it. This was proof that the bears did continue their network of doom, even to this very day.
The Market today
The Black Market is used by any villain worth their salt. Theongol, Malcur, Herbert, Nightmare, and yes, Bugzy have all used the Market to buy, sell, and transfer goods all over Antartica.
The system was expanded from the bears' arms and went to smuggling other contrabands, like Judgies or cactus juice to places it didn't belong.
The Nerds take it
The UPM and others like them eventually abandoned the Market because they became self-sufficient and more than able to provide themselves with everything. This left the Black Market opened to new flippers. The nerds came next.
Setting up their beginnings in the loosely policed caves and rivers of the Geek Empire, the nerds and black hat hackers took the liberty of establishing their own little realm, complete with a government, a gatekeeper, and culture. This was the Hacker's Underworld, and it is still where the most dangerous of Black Market items flow. To keep under the radar, though, the Geek Black Market actually operates real shops in the open. They call it the "Grey Market" and work like a speakeasy. The front room sells knicknacks, trinkets, and junk, preventing the supercomputer rulers or the flesh-and-blood police from getting suspicious, but behind the "Employees Only" door lies the weapons, judgies, and contrabands.
The Modfia dominates the Black Market in the Geek Empire. However, once the goods are passed from Geece to the SABER circuit and the outside world, it begins to become blurry as to who "corners" the Market.
The nerds' greatest contribution to the Black Market are the three Bots of Death, designed to physically attack and terminate the hardware of a computer. Destroying the hardware makes the software irrepreable, so they are always in high demand.
The red, yellow, and purple menaces that the EPF has come to fear are manufactured in the Geek Empire and sold to the highest bidder online and off. How else would Herbert get all of those suckers?
If it's illegal, it's at the Black Market. Shops and stalls are everywhere. Most of the time, it's a seedy apartment or a penguin in a trench coat offering a "customer" a "deal", but it can also be a downright brick-and-mortar store, depending on the location, laws, and police. Most of the time, actual Black Market shops are like speakeasies. One must know the password to go into the basement where the goodies are. All sorts of crime lurk down there, so it's not for the faint of heart.
One of the most famously alleged places in the Black Market is in the depths of Bugzy's Casino. A second, more questionable operation is considered to be in Mattress Village (of all places!), under the Town Hall and run by an evil, demented penguin that played a roll in screwing up the life of TurtleShroom's great-great-great-grandfather, obviosuly without any consent of the good villagers.
The Black Market is famous for its "customers". Penguins of evil and of questionable morality visit the area. The Black Market has plenty of "items" up for sale. Most are illegal, others are rare, and some are just catering to the customer base. (Capes and catapults aren't illegal, for example.)
- Judgies. Lots of Judgies.
- Judgy vending machines.
- Wiretap equipment.
- Cream Soda.
- Sockan Brand Cactus Juice.
- System Defender bots. (An extremely popular item.)
- Computer viruses and malicious software galore.
- Working Penguins Network
- Stolen secret documents.
- Stolen blueprints, schematics, and secret plans.
- Intelligence on things like the PSA and the government. This allows criminals to get an upper hand (or flipper) in the fight.
- Repairs for illegal items.
- PWN Missiles
- Mwa Mwa Penguin Slaves. For free, LOL!
One of the more frightening aspects of the Black Market is that there is a possibility that weapons of mass destruction can sneak in and around Antarctica by it, and land in the hands of evil, who will use it to "persuade" and terrorize governments into meeting their insaitiable demands.
Interestingly, though, one seriously considered "customer" of this so-called "nuclear trade" is the brother of one of the purest penguins in Antarctica.
Apparently, Tortugadesetas wants to arm Maverick to the teeth to defend itself from Snowzerland. This makes sense, because the island has been attacked several times before, and it's rich in deposits of oil, gems, and precious metals, and it's a good spot for ships to refuel. If Tortuga is developing WMDs, he's good at hiding it, and unlike a lot of blunders, he hasn't mentioned them... yet.
Efforts to combat the Market
Largely, any attempt to stop the smuggling in the Market has proved ineffective, and some could say futile. The Market is decentralized and accepted as the standard for most every criminal, professional or petty. There's no way it could crumble with the support of the likes of Bugzy and company.
The PSA and EPF are always battling crime, and prefer to take the criminals using the market, instead of the institution itself.
Locations of the Market
Poorly governed states tend to be magnets for Market operations.
- For instance, the total anarchy for most of Chi Con has allowed groups such as Mister Icarius and assorted Mafias to establish literal Black Market shops. Some are even bold enough not to use a speakeasy system, just selling weapons outright. Chi Con's government has failed in combatting this, but amazingly, crime hasn't gone up because the rough-and-tumble residents of the Chi Conian slums have been able to regulate themselves.
- The Geek Empire has unexplored territory and is home to the Hacker's Underworld. The Black Market thrives here, and Charon has kept far too good a watch on things, preventing cops from snooping around.
- Bugzy runs a chunk of the Market, and it's futile to reisist it, because, well, he's Bugzy.
- It is rumored that abandoned parts of the CPW sell evil wares.
- Double Sicilia is a haven for the Black Market, because it's Bugzy's island and he said so.
- The Rock Union does not have a central government, nor a monopolization of force (or an army), making it extremely difficult to counter any Black Market operations that don't involve music.
- Maverick seems to be full of shady ner-do-wells. The Black Market operates there intensely.
- Penguisn that don't work in East Pengolia tend to carry around weapons, and may even work in conjunction with the government to arm itself against Penghis Khan!
...-and of course, many small-time, shady penguins just wonder around and offer illegalities to whoever can pony up the money. The Market is everywhere.
- Arms smuggling and illegal trade is a very real and very potent problem all over reality.
- Herbert does not speak of the Black Market, but it is confirmed that he didn't join it until after he arrived in Antarctica.
- The Bear Calvary is top secret in the human world and vanished from existence in 1991. Bears still bare arms, though.
- Director Benny might have purchased some weapons from the Market.
- The only real competitor in the bomb market is Morshu.
- Hacker's Underworld
- Cactus juice
- Sockan Brand Cactus Extract
- Cream Soda
|Godfather and Underboss|
|Bugzy | GANGSTA G|
|King Snowkinian | ClockWerk | Link|
|Smuggler Gary | Boss of The Robbers|
|Johnny Tightbeak | Vinnie The Pincher | The Robbers | The Two Random Robots | Gambler | Bugzia | Andrew K. Rapone|
|Picciottos and Picciottis|
|Waddle G | Waddle O | Hammer Knight | Daniel Wilson|
|Vincent Terrasini (deseased) | EscarBOI (retired) | Leekduck (quit)|
|Smuggler Gary's Crew | Black Market | Team Stealem | Working Penguins Network (Cyber branch)| Doctor Aye-Que | Papa Flywish | Meme|
|UPM Locations, Stories and Items|
|Double Sicilia | UPM Headquarters | Bugzy's Casino | Villain To Hero | Data World Ultra | LINK STOP LAUGHING MAH BOI | Bugzy's Castle | Piccotio Days of the Fiendish Five|