Marshall, Carter and Dark Hub

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Why do rich people care about making money?

The poor, certainly, need to care about doing so. When one's resources are only enough to scrape by, money is all that matters. It is important for the middle class as well. Looking after their spouses, their children; there is a culture of dependence that weighs them down.

The rich want to make money because they can always become richer. There is always another echelon of wealth to rise above, some degree of opulence that is beyond their grasp. They drive to even further heights, seeking to slake their thirst for coin. They care about making money simply because they can. To do so, the rich exploit people far below them on the social ladder, the poorest of the poor. To the oil magnate, to the harsh dictator, to the kings and queens and lords and ladies, the common people are specks of dirt.

To Marshall, Carter and Dark, the rich are unto ants.

People, regardless of social standing, are all the same. The poor may spend their savings on worthless yet treasured trinkets, sold by the middle class. The salaryman may splurge on a pretty ring for his wife, the profits of which go into the pockets of a wealthy mining boss. In the same way, the gullible rich will burn millions of dollars on a single impossible object. Everyone is willing to waste their precious, precious money on something out of the ordinary.

But value is artificial. The poor spend their pennies on mass-produced china, convinced that it has some worth to it. The rich convince the middle class that diamonds are rare and valuable, despite the stones being retrieved in Africa by the billion. Marshall, Carter and Dark convince the rich that the impossible is invaluable, while any anartist on a street can twist a die into a hypercube.

The methodology of such a scheme is quite simple, but the critical step is to gain a market monopoly. If you are the only seller in town, you can set the price at any level you desire, so long as you can drum up demand. In this regard, Marshall, Carter and Dark have the advantage: for hundreds of years, they were the only peddlers of anomalous wares in the world. They had the time to gain the capital, and with that capital they can now outprice even the most competitive upstart.

While organisations such as the Foundation, the GOC, and the Horizon Initiative resent the company's existence, they are unable to deal with such an unassailable economic powerhouse. With a glance, Marshall, Carter and Dark could level a city, bankrupt a country; with a single call, they could plunge the planet into a thermonuclear war. Yet, to the eternal relief of all, they are the least volatile players in the anomalous field. After all, if the veil of secrecy were to break, their trinkets would become worthless; their business would crumple and dissolve.

While this may cause some to think of Marshall, Carter and Dark as a massive, faceless corporation, their workforce numbers at most in the order of one hundred personnel. Their operations are directed and streamlined, maximising efficiency and minimising cost. Further manpower, if necessary, is outsourced from other organisations. Those in the highest positions of power are perhaps the most mysterious. Wild stories abound on the subject: depending on the source, they may be ghosts or demons, old men sending messages from beyond the grave, faceless monsters from another world, or even shapeshifting lizardmen.

A major part of their operations is establishing supply lines between various anomalous groups. Marshall, Carter and Dark purchase directly from groups such as Doctor Wondertainment and The Factory, reselling their goods at exorbitant markups. Prometheus Labs gladly supply the group with their latest research, in exchange for samples of exotic and complex anomalies. They often host anart exhibitions, exerting notable control of the artistic marketplace.

Similarly, they host various social functions for the most rich and powerful people in the world. With hooks throughout Europe, America, Russia and China, there is never trouble finding a market for a given item. They are, of course, willing to sell to any buyer; groups such as the Chaos Insurgency are some of their most valuable clients.

Perhaps the organisations most opposed to Marshall, Carter and Dark are the Manna Charitable Foundation and the Serpent's Hand. Manna Charitable often attempts to sabotage their operations, due to their restrictions of anomalous goods to the upper class. However, their limited range and resources makes them more irritating than threatening. The Serpent's Hand, meanwhile, are directly and openly antagonistic: caring neither for the veil of secrecy or the company's continuing practice of anomalous human trafficking, and impossible to economically intimidate, they represent the only pervasive threat to the group's operations.

Without question, Marshall, Carter and Dark are one of the most important pieces on the chessboard of the anomalous world; occasionally putting other players into check, but never into mate. For Marshall, Carter and Dark, the planet is an intricate network they have secured safely beneath their thumb, where winning and losing are meaningless terms. There is no need to move pieces when you can move the board. When you can end the match at any time, there's only one reason to continue.

It's all about playing the game.

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