When you get to a certain age, little pellet shooters and poison gases will simply not meet the demands of your profession as a demented menace. The dream beam you desire is out there somewhere. With a bit of persistence and knowledge, you can track it down and have it frying your foes in no time. Whether you find one from an authorized reseller with their haggling and special offers, or from a private party who is unwilling or unable to attend to the care and upkeep of a global threat, these pointers will give you the edge you need to close a deal you can be happy with in no time.
- Budget. You should first decide whether or not you will finance the equipment, in light of your budget and your ability to lay hands on cash or tangible things of value. Consider your preferred level of kill efficiency — very old and many newer lasers and microwave blasters let surprisingly many of the adversary through, and you may be better off holding out for a modern positronic death ray instead. Remember to factor in your budget for repairs and for training new beam operators as these start to wear out over time. Remember: 99% of the time you get what you pay for, either in increased cost of upkeep or on the battlefield.
- Locate a qualified seller. Your first impulse to find someone with a surplus death ray (through classified ads, internet search) is sound, but there are avenues which may not occur to you at first: flea markets, pawn shops, and no-questions-asked weapons shows. If possible, try to locate a seller who is local because this means you will have continued contact with the business you buy the device from, increasing the chances of a good deal and enforcing a minimum level of honesty.
- Caveat emptor. Ask why it is up for purchase, and if the seller cannot give you a plausible reason, be on your guard, for the weapon could need expensive or dangerous repairs. Ask about the number and identities of previous owners, living or dead, and about any known mechanical problems with the death ray, including consequences of past misfires. If you are communicating with the seller from a distance, demand a photo of the actual product you are purchasing next to a dated object, such as a daily newspaper — under no circumstances settle on a factory photo. A few pitfalls to watch out for include missing trigger mechanisms, a dealer without the use of speech, gunsights with charring or melting, and damage to the exterior of the blast chamber. Well-cared-for death rays will be scratched and perhaps a little bloodied, and may show some wear marks around the grips and barrel, but should not show excessive wear in other areas. While superficial blemishes would likely only be a reason to negotiate a lower price, the others may be red flags that should give one pause as to purchase from that seller.
- Ask to see it in action. When purchasing locally, you can handle the death ray, give it a thorough personal examination, and dry fire it to assure that it works well enough for your purposes. Be prepared to reimburse the seller upfront for the gigawatts or enriched uranium needed to put the device through its paces, but do not be stingy, since many WOMDs can fire a few shots without error, but will then lock up, shoot intermittently, or go critical. If you cannot be present at the demonstration, choose a good local, independent beam jockey who specializes in the type of ray you want, asking them to make the final inspection of the unit before you commit any funds.
- Your bargaining strategy. If all goes well with the proceedings and you have been treated well, like the death ray, the price is reasonable and the lethality is what you want, go ahead and make your best offer. Let them know you are sincere and tell them you will put a deposit or pay the full agreed price now. Don't offer a ridiculously low amount to start out, but be wary of taking the seller's first offer either. If the offer is not accepted, ask for a counteroffer, but do not start attacking the seller just yet, if it is too high. Instead, point out any problems you noticed about the death ray, and as your second offer propose your counteroffer minus the cost of fixing any problems with the weapon. Continue until you reach an agreement, a stalemate, or someone winds up terminated. In this way, you will have the best chance of reaching a fair price.
Strokes of genius
- Cash is king. Offering cash often brings the price down. For example, you might say, "I can pay you $1,500,000 by check or give you $1,200,000 cash right now." If that does not work, try adding "and let you live."
- Brokers. Used death ray brokers save time and frustration, but you lose some control over your search. When you've found a broker who listens carefully to your performance specifications, go to his, her, or its office and review any paperwork. Try not to pay any money or turn over any hostages to the broker up front. It may be a trap.
- Insurance. To insure your acquisition, get an appraisal in writing from a reputable death ray appraiser. Written appraisals are also useful for tax, sales and other legal purposes later on. Store your appraisal in a safe place, and consider storing a copy in a blast-proof cavern.
Traps for mere fools
- Sneaky dealers. Do not be talked into buying a monstrous particle lance you do not want or need. Arrive at the place where the energy weapon you want is located and check in with the sales department and let them know your here to see the item that they advertised. You will be escorted to the death ray. Let them know you want to buy it and want to do that right now, they will bend over backwards to help you since they WANT to sell a WOMD. When negotiating, do not discuss price until you are ready to buy. If you don't feel the spirit of cooperation, you may want to reconsider doing business with this dealership. You do not have to disclose your intended target to the dealer or the size of your arsenals now for any reason; restrict your talk to the weapon under consideration and your ability to make payment.
- Vapor warranties. Ask if the weapon is still under manufacturer's warranty, whether that warranty is transferable and if the owner has any service records to show that the unit has been maintained properly in the past. If the seller agrees to supply a warranty for the death ray, make sure it is in writing, and not in disappearing ink.
- Jargon pitfalls. When looking at classified advertisements for death rays, know your abbreviations: EX COND: excellent condition; G COND: good condition; CLN: clean (in good shape); AS-IS/AS-SHOWN: the parts which have not been vaporized might be good for parts.
Precious and needful
- Safety measures. Remind your henchmen about beam weapon safety rules periodically, as telling them once is not enough to ensure they will know what to do when they need to operate one. Keys and activation codes for large death rays should be kept in a secure location, out of your minion's reach. Be honest with them about the reasons for death ray rules in your lair, as glossing over the details may simply heighten their curiosity and fail to discourage them from their own dangerous search for knowledge. Also, secure your more volatile explosives and WOMDs in a separate location if at all possible.
- Small pocket mirror. The unbreakable kind are best.
- Air freshener.
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Created by: GrinningSkull. Last Modification: Wednesday 12 of August, 2009 12:21:50 EDT by .