Most of the NPCs in Fortuna are basically cyborg Corpus slave variants of the NPCs found in Cetus. Eudico is the Konzu of Fortuna, Rude Zuud sells you kit guns in the same way that Hok sells you Zaw parts and there’s all the fishing and mining stuff that the Business and Smokefinger deal with as well. Little Duck is basically the same as Onkko, being Fortuna’s Quills representative. But frankly I don’t like her, since she insulted Excalibur Umbra, refusing to speak to him and wanting to speak to Space Kids only. Umbra has feelings, you know!
There are two new NPCs. Legs, formerly known as Thursby, is the guy who sells you MOA parts. He’s a nice guy. Poor thing, getting all chopped up like that, but I think that horrible, traumatic incident was an opportunity for Legs to turn his life around and cut a niche out for himself.
The other NPC, someone completely separate from any of the NPCs in both Fortuna and Cetus, is Ticker. Located on a little balcony directly above the Business, Ticker sells various things.
Ticker is an odd one. She’s wonderful. She’s fabulous. As fabulous as a cyborg can be. Like most of Fortuna, she doesn’t have a human head, she has a cyborg one. She’s probably been through the Corpus debt slave system a billion times, just like everyone else.
What does Ticker mainly do?
She exchanges debt-bonds for Orbiter decorations and she exchanges debt-bonds for Solaris United standing.
But more importantly, she provides hope for those about to be brain shelved. Brain shelving is what happens to those who can’t pay back their debts. They have their whole bodies repossessed by the Corpus and spend the rest of eternity as a brain on a shelf. In Ticker’s own words, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an engineer or a lowly worker, all the Corpus see is money. Sure, one’s family might be able to repay a victim’s debts, but then they go into debt again trying to afford the augments and parts in order to give the victim a body again. Ticker helps these poor people by trying to buy off their debt. She gives Tenno the option to buy the debt of people about to be brain shelved, giving them a second chance.
In exchange for credits and a handful of raw materials, Ticker will take your money and give you debt-bonds. You can buy these nameless workers their freedom.
You know what the saddest thing is though? The amount of credits and materials. Most of these Fortuna citizens, you can buy their debt for 10-20 Orb Vallis materials (mostly fish parts and ores) and anywhere between 10,000 and 150,000 credits. What is pretty easy for us, the Tenno, to obtain, is an impossibility for these citizens. Something they could never obtain without the help of an outsider or a miracle.
Yeah, sure, Ticker and her business is designed to be a resource sink for veteran players, but this whole scenario… it’s pretty close to real life. The average person spends money and goes into debt to buy themselves a house, to educate themselves and their children, to pay for medical expenses and cover the cost of emergencies. One incident can set a person back years, if not decades when it comes to paying our bills. 57% of American adults have less than $1000 to their names (according to this article) and 63% of Americans don’t have $500 to cover emergencies (according to this Forbes article), meaning a single accident or emergency could easily put them in the red. The situation in Fortuna takes this to the extreme with its endless debt, but in reality, it’s… closer than you think.
It’s terrifying, really.
Maybe that’s why I’ve spent so many credits buying debt-bonds from Ticker. I don’t have the money to really help people in real life. I give to charity when I can and I donate food when I can. I’m an average Jo, just trying to stay afloat. I do my best. I care for other people and I wish I had the power to do more.
Ticker’s voice acting really helps tie it all together. Yes they’re randomly generated NPCs, but still. I’m giving those randomly generated NPCs a second chance. And I benefit from it too. Just like in real life, if you look after the poor and the needy, then they look after each other and they look after you.
Unfortunately, in real life, it seems most well-off people don’t see things that way. It’s all “lift yourself up by your bootstraps” and “people looking for handouts”. But often people need help, because existence transpires against them, and people fall down holes they simply cannot avoid.
People need to help each other. But sometimes we forget to do that.
Sorry, that kinda ended up being way more depressing than it should have been. But that’s reality for you. Thank heavens for video games. Especially Warframe and Fortuna…
I’m just gonna go and buy more debt-bonds from Ticker.