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El Manisero

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jackoff: kaminari, do you remember what price he set for this week

[sparky]: uhh $5 per bag I think, or $2 per gram

jackoff: damn really? ugh whatever I wasn’t going to buy those new jeans anyway

myleg: what are you guys talking about?

[sparky]: yeah I know he’s really upped the price recently

[sparky]: oh hi Midoriya

[sparky]: um

[sparky]: jirou why did you start this conversation in the group chat

jackoff: shit I think I tapped on the wrong one I thought this was our other group chat

myleg: you guys aren’t, like- you’re not doing that thing right? Like, you’re not talking about that thing?

[sparky]: um. Yes we are

myleg: What?????? Oh jesus I’m going to tell Iida

jackoff: NO DON’T TELL HIM

jackoff: okay ignore Kaminari it’s not that, it’s nothing bad I promise

myleg: so then what are you talking about?

jackoff: um

myleg: jirou, you’re a good friend, but I’m sitting right next to Iida in the common room and

jackoff: DON’T DON’T DON’T DON’T

jackoff: okay look

jackoff: jeez this was not supposed to happen

jackoff: if we can prove it’s not anything bad, will you not tell Iida?

myleg: ...yeah?

jackoff: Okay.

jackoff: Sero’s our peanut dealer.

myleg:

myleg:

myleg: jirou-

jackoff: you know in hindsight that sentence explains literally nothing and I’m not sure why I offered it as explanation

[sparky]: I can just add Sero into here so he can explain it himself, we’re going to have to tell him that Midoriya knows now anyway

myleg: I feel like I just walked into something I shouldn’t have seen and that’s fine you don’t have to do that I can just

myleg: leave

myleg: yeah I can just go do that

jackoff: no no no it’s really not a weird thing kaminari add sero, it’s not weird I promise

[sparky]: ok

-markwatney has entered the chat-

markwatney: Hi, Kaminari said to come talk to Midoriya about the peanut thing?

myleg: i can leave

markwatney: There you are Midoriya! Okay wait did you want me to explain everything from the start or just what’s happening now?

jackoff: I can explain how it started but you’re going to have to explain the cartel

myleg:

myleg: i can-

jackoff: don’t leave!! I’m about to explain it, and like because we all live in the dorms now I know where you live and I can track you down to keep explaining it

jackoff: whoops that sounded threatening but seriously 1) it’s not weird at all I promise and 2) the explanation is pretty simple

myleg: okay, I’m trusting you Jirou

myleg: and also you’re right you know where I live so

jackoff: okay good. it started a few months ago, about a month into the school year, maybe a week or so before the sports festival,

myleg: when does the cartel happen

jackoff: That comes later. Anyway, what happens is this: I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Sero brings bags of peanuts every day as a snack right

myleg: ...yeah?

jackoff: one day during English both me and Kaminari had finished the assignment and were talking, and because kaminari was turned to the left to talk to me, he saw it when sero, who sits behind me, pulled out this huge plastic baggie full of peanuts and started to eat them

jackoff: and kaminari is you know, kaminari so when he sees snacks the first thing he thinks is “how can i get them”

[sparky]: I would argue with that but it’s true

jackoff: and he asks, and sero was Good back then so he gave some to both of us

jackoff: and both of us go “Holy shit!” because they taste really really good, like unbelievably good, I don’t even like peanuts that much but they were great

jackoff: they had a specific sort of taste, like some seasoning, and we ended up eating basically the whole bag before asking him where he got them because neither of us had ever eaten these before

jackoff: and sero said that he had an aunt in a different country who sent them to him sometimes but, now this is important, *he couldn’t remember the brand name*

markwatney: I wasn’t lying you know, I really couldn’t.

jackoff: suspicious

[sparky]: i don’t trust like that, sero.

myleg: um

jackoff: oh right but basically anyway, now armed with this knowledge that Sero has access to really good-tasting peanuts, we ask him to share with us the next time he brings peanuts again

jackoff: he grudgingly agrees, and we get peanuts off him a few more times over the couple weeks, joined by Kirishima because he sits next to Sero and eventually noticed all the peanuts we were passing around, and Mina because if there’s a secret being kept anywhere she can sniff it out like a bloodhound

jackoff: so by then, it’s developed to the point where about once every few days Sero would come to school with the Peanuts and we would all beg them off him like fucking leeches

markwatney: the time before I started charging money feels both very nostalgically pure and innocent, and also one of the worst times of my life

jackoff: really?

markwatney: Yes, even edging out the time we had to set up the cartel

myleg: WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE CARTEL

-floatygirl has entered the chat-

floatygirl: hey Midoriya, do you remember what the math homework for next monday is?

floatygirl: …

floatygirl: I’ll leave

-floatygirl has exited the chat-

jackoff: oh fuck we’re going to have to track her down later

myleg: should I dare to ask why

markwatney: The way things have turned out, what we’re doing now maaay be against school rules, so we’re trying to keep it hush hush. We can’t have people running around knowing random details and potentially telling a teacher, so if anyone knows anything we have to explain the full situation to them so we can swear them to secrecy.

markwatney: this sounds really really extreme but I swear it’s not that bad, you know how when you’re doing something every decision you make seems like a logical leap, the reasonable next step but then you reach the end and you suddenly realize that what you’re doing looks really weird from the outside? That’s this

jackoff: anyway that’s why you can’t leave and why we need to explain everything

[sparky]: i’m going to take everyone else out of the chat and lock it right now so no one else can come in, we can add them all again later

jackoff: ok good idea

jackoff: so back to the story, a few weeks in, Sero reaches his limit. We’ve been taking all his peanuts and he’s fed up. He says, “I’m not giving you any peanuts for the next two weeks, and if any of you ask me for some, I’m going to start charging money.”

jackoff: and we’re only three days in when Mina caves and ruins it for all of us.

jackoff: so Sero starts charging money for the peanuts, that’s why that happened, and because he never actually told us the name of the brand we were stuck with it

jackoff: except the thing is that Sero’s mom is a stockbroker and his dad is an economic analyst, and the very aunt that sends him the peanuts runs her own (not peanut related) business. So he’s like super legit, if he starts setting prices and running a business, he’s going to start running a fucking business

myleg: oh god okay

jackoff: he comes in the next day with a sheet of paper listing all the amounts he’s offering and their prices, arranged either by container (like a ziploc bag full of peanuts) or weight (like two ounces of peanuts)

[sparky]: sero went from 0 to 100 real fast, sero was ready to throw tf down

markwatney: I didn’t really mean to, I just started thinking “okay how is this going to work” and then it got out of hand and… stuff. And it was funny to see your faces when I handed it to you

jackoff: it was like a weird inside joke for a while, just Sero and peanuts and stuff

myleg: so you actually started paying him to keep getting peanuts?

jackoff: short answer, yes

[sparky]: it got kinda funny. a bit ago someone called Todoroki’s dad “peanut vendor” as part of that joke where we misspell his name on purpose and I had to actually stop Jirou from saying “HOW DARE YOU SLANDER SERO’S GOOD PROFESSION BY ASSOCIATION WITH THAT MAN”

jackoff: what joke are you talking about? I know no joke. indie vore is just the legal hero name of Todoroki’s dad, that’s how it’s spelled

markwatney: You know I’m pretty proud of where my peanut business went but I feel like the time Hagakure actually went on his wikipedia page and managed to set and keep “Indie Vore” as his name for a solid day and a half was like, a crowning achievement

myleg: yeah honestly

[sparky]: it says on indie vore’s wikipedia page that he’s 6’4”, but funny I still look down on him :/

myleg:

myleg: *stunned silence, before slow clapping*

jackoff: I

jackoff: screenshotted, saved, printed, reproduced, sent to everyone we know, made into a meme, recorded for posterity, it’s been an honor to meet you Kaminari, god bless

markwatney: Holy shit dude that was fantastic

[sparky]: yeah I thought of it a while ago and I’ve been waiting for the right opening for weeks

jackoff: well worth the wait

[sparky]: thanks

[sparky]: you know I never actually asked but is todoroki okay with this whole thing we’re doing? because we all just started at once and I never asked

myleg: yeah he’s totally fine with it

jackoff: I was talking with Midoriya and Todoroki once and Midoriya just insulted indie vore out of nowhere and I was going to go, what the heck Midoriya, but Todoroki just lost his shit and started doing a weird Todoroki laugh

jackoff: I just thought that he probably had his reasons and decided that was good enough for me. and I asked if I could join in too, and that’s why I started doing the indie vore thing

[sparky]: ah k

[sparky]: do you know why he doesn’t like his dad?

myleg: yeah, but...it’s not my place to say. Just know that seriously fuck him. Like really, really, fuck him

myleg: Jirou, Kaminari, you’re doing God’s work

myleg: keep doing it

[sparky]: that’s good enough for me too. I’ll redouble my efforts

myleg: good!

myleg: anyway, where were we? I’m actually kind of invested in this story now

jackoff: oh right. this is actually about where we start hitting the cartel stuff so Sero’s going to explain from here on out

myleg: okay. okay then. I’m ready.

markwatney: just so you know, this is the part where things get a little weird. Like before it was kind of a funny story but everything that happened was pretty harmless and made sense. From here on out, some of the things that happened and some of our decisions were...questionable

myleg: i’m dead inside already nothing you could possibly say could make it worse

markwatney: I’m going to flat out say I think you’re wrong on that front before I start, but anyway. I was selling the peanuts now to my four regulars, Mina, Kirishima, Jirou, and Kaminari right?

markwatney: well now, with a much higher supply because my aunt was more than willing to send me tons of peanuts if it was for business purposes, I started thinking, hey. What if I expanded and started selling to kids outside of Class 1-A?

myleg: okay, I’m solidly but warily following you so far

markwatney: Kirishima and Mina are friendly people with lots of friends everywhere, so I offered them discounts if they would mention it and share peanuts with those friends

markwatney: and well long story short it worked, I got a bunch of people buying. I set up a time and place where I would sell each week, to organize things and also kind of keep it on the down low because I knew even then this wasn’t totally following school rules. I kept records because that’s what you do when you’re a responsible business-owner, and at its highest points I was making $100-120 a week

myleg: okay that’s...that’s impressive I have to admit

markwatney: Yeah I know, and especially because my aunt was sending me the peanuts for free. As more people started buying it started getting a bit difficult to manage though, so at some point I recruited Jirou and Kaminari to just help me out in general for a small share of the profits and also more peanut discount

markwatney: so then we were all kind of running a business together even though I was at the head

markwatney: Anyway, that period of time lasted about a month.

markwatney: but see here’s the thing

markwatney: I had assumed we were doing this in a kind of economic void the entire time, that I was the only person selling stuff like this at UA

markwatney: I wasn’t.

myleg: oh shit who- oh.

markwatney: Business students. In hindsight I really should have expected it, and I also should have wondered why so many students were buying from me so readily, as if they were used to buying stuff like that at school.

martwatney: From what I’ve learned, their organization is massive. It’s way too large and the way they function is too efficient and calculated for it to have been created recently. I think it’s existed for years with business students cycling through it, joining, getting promoted, and being replaced by another student when they graduate. It’s also designed so that it’s very hard to realize that a single entity exists; people buy and pass on what they sell and filter the products throughout UA constantly but almost no one realizes that there’s something of this scale behind it. I only know this much about it because I got a former UA business course student to tell me.

markwatney: Are you okay?

myleg:

jackoff: It’s okay, Midoriya, we couldn’t believe it either.

[sparky]: yeah just let it all out take all the time you need

myleg: I

jackoff: it’s okay, Midoriya.

myleg:

myleg: peanuts

markwatney: Yes.

myleg: business course mafia

markwatney: I suppose you could call it that.

myleg: cartel

markwatney: That’s still coming up.

myleg:

myleg: okay, okay, I’m cool. I’m good. Um- why don’t the teachers stop it?

markwatney: That’s a good question. I thought of a couple different options, ranging from that none of the teachers know, period, which I honestly wouldn’t put past them because they did get into UA and are really good at what they do, to that the teachers know but are willing ignore it as long as they keep it under the radar because they’re not doing anything really illegal, it’s literally just trading and selling snacks and drinks, to that the teachers very much know and publicly endorse it to the business students, or that UA was the one who created the whole thing in the first place on purpose to give them more experience. Which like...idk, UA is weird. I wouldn’t be surprised. One way or another, the teachers aren’t doing anything

myleg: okay. um. okay then. right. i understand. you can keep going with your explanation now

jackoff: you’re actually taking this really well

[sparky]: yeah, when jirou and sero first explained it to me I was completely shook

myleg: this isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with a really shocking secret being revealed to me.

markwatney: That’s slightly ominous and raises a lot of questions, Midoriya, but I’ll roll with it. Anyway...right. So, I’d been running the peanut business for more than a month, and going at full capacity for maybe three or four weeks after the first two weeks it needed to really get started.

markwatney: It took that amount of time for them to, I think, notice me, scout me out, realize that I was cutting into their own profits for certain snacks, and form a plan of action. They sent a group of students who sold a couple different types of crackers and chips and things, to make it seem like there was only that group and their organization wasn’t any larger than that, to corner me one day and basically tell me to knock it off.

markwatney: They were pretty smart and only tried to intimidate me in terms of business (if they’d tried to do it physically I would have called BS, we’re the hero course) and pointed out that I was new to this, that they were the ones learning this in class and that they knew what they were doing a lot more than me, that I should be focusing on my hero classes instead, and stuff like that. And maybe it was true I could be focusing on class more but it was going smoothly, I was making money, and I was already on top of everything classwork- and training-wise so you know what? I wasn’t going to drop it, just like that. I didn’t say that though.

markwatney: They then basically offered to buy my business from me; they’d pay me some amount of money, and I could keep and do whatever I wanted with that in exchange for telling them where I got the peanuts and agreeing to let them have the ‘right’ to sell them at this school, and I would just stop and not have anything to do with it anymore.

markwatney: I politely declined.

[sparky]: savage

markwatney: I don’t know how much money they were going to offer, for all I know it could have been like, a really large number. Still though, this was something I was doing that I was proud of, it was going well, and I wasn’t going to just back down. So I said no.

markwatney: I could tell they were unhappy with that as I was walking away but I didn’t think much of it, until their leader stopped me at the last second. He started talking and he said, “That might be your decision now, but we really can’t have competition on this, especially not from a hero course student. We’re going to get you to agree at some point. It’s nothing personal, it’s not your fault.” He kind of stopped and smirked at me. “What was it that they said again? Oh right. Don’t worry about it.” And then they all turned and walked away.

myleg: Oh jesus that- damn. Did that really happen?

markwatney: Yeah. I was completely caught off guard, I had...no idea how to react to that. They just kept walking.

jackoff: You think this is weird, being told to you after the fact? Try finding out in real time

markwatney: So the business course just declared some kind of quiet passive aggressive war on us, and then I had to go sit down like nothing had just happened, because this had been in the morning before class.

myleg: I- wait when did this happen?

jackoff: about two-three months into the semester, a couple weeks after the Sports Festival, remember?

jackoff: sero just looked completely dead inside all through class, he tapped us and said we had to talk later but he wouldn’t say what happened

jackoff: that was the day sero, kaminari, and i all didn’t turn up for lunch, remember? it was because sero tugged us off to an empty corridor so he could tell us that we’d had war declared on us by some other UA students again but this time in the world of cutthroat underground snack-trading

myleg: alright, so- what did you do then? In response to that?

markwatney: Well the first thing we did was stop selling immediately, until we could figure out a plan. I mean we obviously knew there were other people selling things, but we didn’t have any evidence, and if the business course students knew what we were selling they probably knew where we sold it and at what time every week, if we kept going they could probably take a teacher right over right then and get us in trouble.

jackoff: the next day I had Sero point out everyone he remembered as part of the group to me as we were walking around at lunch. Once I plug my jack into something I can hear really well for the surrounding area or farther, and I have to concentrate to hone in on certain things, but once I knew where they were sitting I could pick their voices out. They didn’t talk about it at the lunch table or anything but I managed to get their names, and then we could try to do research with that while I kept picking them out and eavesdropping on them.

myleg: dubiously...dubiously legal, Jirou, but okay

jackoff: yeah, so that went on for a few days. the business course people didn’t talk to Sero, look at him, or do anything out of the ordinary, it was weird. it was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. and we couldn’t dig up any dirt on them, we asked around and there was no evidence we could find of them doing anything, and nothing I heard them talk about was suspicious

jackoff: until this one day I went to that library a few blocks away- I was not following them, just so you know- and as I was walking up I had one of my jacks plugged into my phone but I wasn’t playing music at that exact moment. That’s important, since because of that the effect was as if I’d plugged it into something to hear better, right? So I was just kind of listening to all the random noise while walking up, and then suddenly I hear the voices of the business students, faintly.

jackoff: i kind of stopped in shock, and in one moment I registered the fact that there were a lot of voices- like a lot. The room I could hear their voices from, it sounded like there were twenty people in there. The second thing I realized was that I was too far away to hear totally clearly, but that I heard the main leader guy say Sero’s name- and that from his tone of voice he sounded like he was reporting to someone else.

myleg: oh shit

jackoff: I started walking again, trying to get closer to hear because I didn’t know WHAT the fuck was going on, and then suddenly they just- stopped. They didn’t stop talking, but it was like a switch had been flipped and they seamlessly transitioned into talking about some homework assignment. I’m really glad I didn’t stop in shock again and kept walking but it was so unexpected.

markwatney: What we think happened is that the business students’ organization is ridiculously cautious. Instead of waiting for a situation where they already think someone might be suspecting them, they’re preemptively careful to make sure that never happens. We think they had a lookout or multiple around the library ready to report if they saw anyone from UA approaching so they could switch to an unsuspicious line of conversation quickly

jackoff: we got, like, insanely lucky. There was such a specific chain of events that let us find out what we did and with nearly anything else we wouldn’t have. The fact that we already knew there was at least a couple business students who sold stuff, the fact that one of us had a hearing Quirk, the fact that I wasn’t listening to music right then, that fact that I recognized their voices, the fact that I started listening right before the lookout spotted me. If anything had changed, I would never have known.

jackoff: And the fact that I didn’t stop and kept walking, because they are so overcautious that I have no doubt if I’d made any visible reaction to the change in topic they would have put two and two together about a hearing Quirk and- I don’t know what they would have done, except that it was good that I could tell Sero about it way later without them realizing we knew anything about them.

myleg: have you ever considered selling this to a movie studio? Because...damn

myleg: How did you find out more after that?

markwatney: That’s where my family comes in again. By the time Jirou forced us to come over to her house so she could tell us everything, we had maybe two months left of school. Obviously Jirou redoubled her efforts to try to eavesdrop after that but she still wasn’t finding anything, and then...my parents were having some kind of family reunion thing right around, both just because and because they wanted to get the family together to congratulate me on all the UA stuff

markwatney: And since 99% of my family does some economics/businessy thing, and some of them graduated from UA themselves, we thought, hey, what if we pressed them for answers on the off chance that this has been a thing for a while and they know something about it?

jackoff: it was Kaminari who suggested it, strangely enough

[sparky]: that’s rude

[sparky]: I came up with that fair and square

markwatney: Yeah, one day we were trying to figure it out and on the couch he just randomly said “why don’t you just ask your relatives when they come over” and we both stopped

myleg: yeah, you should definitely sell this to a movie studio

markwatney: Anyway, when the time came I invited them over as my friends, and very pointedly made sure everyone knew they were at UA too so we could bring it up in conversation.

markwatney: Jirou was surprisingly good at it? She talking to some great aunt of mine (who was kinda drunk, that might have been part of it) and lied and said that when she was younger she had done a lot of entrepreneur stuff at her school and managed to sell a ton of things, but of course it trailed off because she wanted to focus on being a hero- had they ever done anything like that, though? And my aunt just paused and said, “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but…” and spilled practically everything

markwatney: We got a few other people to vaguely reference it, and I got a guy to say that there was a “group activity” that a lot of the kids in the business course “did together”, and that most of them had been doing it while they were there

markwatney: Jirou’s person was great though, we hit a goldmine. She explained a general outline of the structure of it, and how they sold everything and made sure it went undetected, which I was actually wondering because none of us had ever heard of stuff being sold at UA before despite the fact that people were obviously buying it. The answer is that they pay off people in other courses to casually sell stuff under the pretense of being just a random person looking to make a quick buck, and switch the people around periodically so no one notices a pattern. Also sometimes they do it themselves, under a pretense of doing market simulations for an assignment. So it ends up that people buy things but no one ever realizes there’s any kind of organization.

jackoff: Their thing is super organized, though, they have different branches for each snack or item they’re selling and different people in charge of, like, recruiting people from other courses to sell it, buying and keeping a stock of the item, storing the money and paying people, making decisions on pricing or what to sell, everything. Also she told me that a lot of it wasn’t even snacks, that a solid 50% was just coffee or instant coffee.

jackoff: which is admittedly not totally unexpected for a school

jackoff: and they also have a group of like, not CEOs but people at the top of the whole thing. I think it was a meeting of theirs that I first overheard?

jackoff: Anyway, now armed with this knowledge, we needed to Make A Plan

markwatney: I decided that what we should do, first off, was make sure they couldn’t report us. Jirou never heard anything weird from the place at the library again, so we all (me, Jirou, Kaminari, Kirishima, Mina, and Hagakure because we recruited her for this) made sure to walk around town and report to each other if we saw any of the business students Jirou knew/thought were part of it so we could get Jirou and Hagakure to come over and audio-stalk and normal-stalk them, respectively

markwatney: We did this with all the confidence of people who have gotten way too deep and serious about something

markwatney: We got low-key disguises and everything

markwatney: It took us such a long time to find another meeting, but we kept searching and finally found one, and Jirou managed to duck in close enough to record about a minute of material while Hagakure kept watch before they had to leave

[sparky]: anyway the recording wasn’t total proof, it wasn’t like they actually said “we are running a secret organization to make money off selling things at school” but it was enough that everything they said would be like, deeply suspicious to anyone who heard it

[sparky]: so yeah we basically had a way to rat them out if we needed to, and we also figured we could get more later

jackoff: just in case tho Hagakure somehow went and got a lot of blackmail material for the people at the top so there was that too

[sparky]: yeah. enough so that if they ever tried to do something we could say “if we go down you’re going down with us”

myleg: okay

myleg: okay- actually that’s pretty amazing, you basically conducted an intelligence operation over the course of a few weeks with six people. We haven’t even begun to learn anything close to that in class and you still pulled it off really well- that’s pretty impressive. what did you do after that?

jackoff: we sent them a passive aggressive letter saying to not try any shit because we knew about their organization and had dirt on them, and started selling again.

myleg: ...okay.

markwatney: To give you the fast version from there: they were super pissed, because clearly they had never been compromised before and had no idea how we did it.

markwatney: It was at here that we figured out that the teachers at least didn’t explicitly endorse what they were doing from how seriously they took the threat, also.

[[sparky]: yeah, if the teachers supported it they would have just laughed in our faces at threatening to report them

markwatney: Anyway, from then on we were just super passive aggressive toward each other for, by then, the last two weeks of the semester. We glared at each other, they demanded for us to tell them what we had, we laughed and said no, we said pointed things when the other was in earshot, they made offers, we rejected them, Kaminari went straight up to one of them and innocently asked if they wanted to buy something, a top-ranking business student flipped us off

markwatney: We also decided to expand and start selling a few other snacks; for the heck of it we made sure they were all weird or rare snacks to make novelty, like, Our Thing

markwatney: And well it’s not like we actually put them out of business or something because they were still making a lot larger profits than we were, but they were used to being the only ones and they couldn’t get rid of us and we both knew it, and they were quietly seething over that

markwatney: Anyway, that’s how things went for the last month of school. It was golden. I’m fairly certain they expanded too, to try to exert more dominance over the- industry?- but we were making solid profits as well, and they couldn’t dislodge us.

markwatney: it was just absolutely golden

markwatney: But then...well.

myleg: did they retaliate?

markwatney: That’s the thing: no, they didn’t. What happened, instead, was everything that went down over the break; the training camp, Bakugou being kidnapped, All Might’s retirement, and, the decision to move all of us into dorms.

myleg: oh

markwatney: That was a mood downer but it's not that serious Midoriya

markwatney: You know what happened as a result of those events? Anarchy.

myleg: ...really?

[sparky]: Midoriya is oblivious because he wasn’t There...he didn’t notice…he hasn’t seen the things We’ve Seen

myleg: ????

jackoff: shut up kaminari you second-rate memer

jackoff: anyway sero carry on

markwatney: Man though I’m kind of low-key proud of our ability to keep it under wraps even if you didn’t notice anything

myleg: well I kind of think I know what you’re talking about, but I’m not sure?

markwatney: Okay, well, you must have at least noticed that people started hoarding food more after we moved into the dorms, right, keeping it in their rooms or the dorm kitchens? Just because it was more convenient and all that?

myleg: yeah

markwatney: Well, because of the same reason, that it was now so much harder to go out and buy snacks yourself, the market just...exploded.

markwatney: It just...exploded

markwatney: Yeah that’s the word

[sparky]: it exploded harder than Bakugou did at the Sports Festival

markwatney: Demand skyrocketed because of the sheer convenience of being able to buy stuff inside the school, and you know, when demand increases, so does supply, because everyone wants to make money

markwatney: In the spans of weeks, days, hours- people were buying food, giving it to their friends, charging money or favors, setting stuff up, jumping on the bandwagon. So many people, of their own random accord. It was just happening, and there was no way for anyone to stop it.

jackoff: it just happened overnight

markwatney: And of course, neither us or the business course liked this. Felt weird to be on the other side of it this time, to be the established group that doesn’t like new people coming in, but anyway

jackoff: there was just...so many people. At first our sales went up but then they went down and then it was just swinging wildly around

jackoff: I mean people were still buying because had the novelty thing going on and what we were selling was unique, but it was impossible to predict what was going to happen

jackoff: and like...i really don’t say this to be mean...but...a lot of the new people were fucking idiots

[sparky]: woah jirou watch the peanutting language

jackoff: ...what?

markwatney: They really weren’t smart though

markwatney: Like they really weren’t

jackoff: yeah I mean we at least had a system and were careful to make sure we weren’t caught, but like...massive amounts of people were just jumping on the bandwagon with NO preparation or plan whatsoever

markwatney: People who were just casually selling or giving to their friends weren’t a problem, but so many other people looked at US and decided to copy our business thing of selling to everyone in UA

jackoff: and they were so bad at it. so bad. I saw a guy just half-yelling advertising for his thing in broad daylight, in the hallway, when a teacher was right around the corner. I had to like tackle him so the teacher wouldn’t hear, and that’s when it really dawned on me, like oh my god these people are going to get us ALL caught

[sparky]: so yeah that was happening

jackoff: We were just wildly running around trying to keep it under control, and honestly? maybe trying to kick or intimidate people out. I didn’t mean to but o h m y g o d it was chaos

jackoff: we were having trouble trying to keep our own system of selling intact just because there were so many people around and we were so jittery than any of these people were going to blow it any minute

jackoff: and that’s how it was for the first 3 weeks that we were back. you following along, Midoriya?

myleg: I wish I wasn’t

markwatney: Well, good, because it’s about to get worse.

myleg: oh god how

markwatney: business course is facing the exact same problems as us, business course wants to get rid of everyone, business course realizes that all the new people are copying us, business course...redoubles their efforts to get rid of us

markwatney: The former tense but stable peace had absolutely collapsed. Everything from before was still in place, we still had the dirt and everything, but the business course didn’t care. We were all making wild snap decisions. You can report us? Who cares, this whole underground operation might be crumbling any minute!

jackoff: anyway, they went straight for us

markwatney: They didn’t try to report us because of vast aforementioned reasons etc etc but instead they threw everything they had at trying to run us out of business.

markwatney: They recruited vast swathes of the new people and made them work for them. They got a huge chunk of people from Gen Ed and then...they started buying our products and reselling them.

myleg: oh

markwatney: for cheaper prices

myleg: OH

[sparky]: sales exploded again briefly and we weren’t suspicious until a few days in- and by that time they’d gotten all they needed

jackoff: sales tanked. most people weren’t aware that the business course organization existed the way it did, and they lied and said they were just a group of people fed up with our mean, mean business policies

jackoff: and because we were the only widely-known people who sold stuff at UA as an organization, and because we admittedly had tried to push some people out, it was easy for them to paint us as the villains

myleg: oh shit

[sparky]: I know right

[sparky]: I kept thinking as it was going on that if this had happened in a more public way there would have been like, political cartoons or something

jackoff: so, they started selling, and our sales tanked. We couldn’t tell who their supplier was, who were the people who were buying it and giving it to them, and we couldn’t block everyone or stop selling entirely because that’s what they wanted. so...we were at a stalemate.

myleg: what happened next?

jackoff: ...before I answer that, I need you to completely understand the situation we were in. We’d been in this rivalry with the business course for months now, they were keen on destroying us, and they were close to doing it. We hadn’t been making real profit for a month because of the chaos the new people caused, and we were constantly on edge waiting for the other shoe to drop and for one of those people to get us all caught. The business course had convinced everyone else in the know in the school both that they didn’t exist and that we were the bad guys. Our products were being stolen and used to force us to get this close to going out of business.

[sparky]: And

jackoff: Sero

[sparky]: absolutely

jackoff: fucking

[sparky]: snapped.

markwatney: I did not

[sparky]: Well if you didn’t, we did, because we were totally on board

jackoff: Sero showed up outside of my dorm room at 3 AM and just said, “How much instant coffee can you get on short notice?”

jackoff: And I had a lot of money stored up from our profits and hadn’t bought anything in a while, so I said, “A lot.”

jackoff: And Sero said, “Good.”

jackoff: He went to Kaminari’s room and asked the same question. Turns out Kaminari’s entire family, including him, live off caffeine, so they had a lot already and he could get more.

jackoff: Sero just nodded. We asked him what this was about.

jackoff: He said,

markwatney: “Instant coffee is their biggest seller. We’re going to flood the market.”

[sparky]: BOOM

myleg: I

markwatney: In hindsight, I did snap. It was a long time coming.

[sparky]: Sero was ready to throw tf DOWN

myleg: that movie deal you guys get is going to be incredible

jackoff: Things happened in quick succession after that. We all went out to gather or buy the instant coffee. We poured most of all our savings into this; it was now or never

[sparky]: last-ditch effort to save the peanut farm

jackoff: But then, we ran into a stumbling block. The plan wasn’t to sell the coffee, because that would just turn into another messy sales fight; no, we had absolutely SHOVE coffee on the good students of UA, for free or close to it, overload them with it, until no one would DREAM of buying it when they had so much already

jackoff: And to spread coffee that thoroughly, we would need help. So who did Sero get?

[sparky]: THE SUPPORT COURSE

jackoff: OH YEAH

markwatney: The business course already had the help of general studies behind them, so we allied with support to balance the scales.

[sparky]: it was symbolic. it had parallels. We were the hero course, defeating villains with the help of the support course, the people who would help us when we graduated!

myleg: are you implying that business people are villains-

[sparky]: No time! Moving on!

markwatney: We went to them, explained the situation, and negotiated for their help. We wanted them for two reasons: just to have more people distributing the coffee and more creative ways of distributing it, and because we had a two-pronged approach.

markwatney: Midoriya, tell me, what’s the one thing young people want more than food?

myleg: ...All Might merchandise?

markwatney: No. Kaminari, what’s the one thing young people want more than food?

[sparky]: Electronics.

markwatney: Exactly. And many of the people in the support course were highly capable of making good stuff.

markwatney: Phone cases that protected better, power banks that lasted longer, higher quality chargers and earphones. They’d already made some of it for their own use, and could definitely make more. And simple electronic-repair services- they could do that in a cinch.

markwatney: So, while they helped us spread the coffee, they’d make the electronics. We'd get distribution rights, as well as a small cut of the profit for giving them the idea. In exchange for their time and used materials we would also help them test or develop some of their support items.

markwatney: So, we would destroy the business course’s main seller, while at the same time debuting another unique series of products, the source of which we had a monopoly on. We were ready.

myleg: how did it turn out?

markwatney: Oh, it went beautifully.

jackoff: even you must have noticed by then, right?

myleg: uh I don’t know I was pretty busy with the internship by then

jackoff: :/

markwatney: Anyway, it went beautifully. We stocked our dorm kitchen with it, and then stocked Class 1-B’s with it as “ a gesture of goodwill”

jackoff: Monoma called bullshit but it didn’t matter because he always calls bullshit. Kendou was deeply touched

markwatney: We started handing it out to random people. We left a stack of packets by the breakfast and lunch lines. Kaminari and Mei Hatsume went to talk about support items and emerged with the idea to fabricate an International Instant Coffee Day wherein people gave instant coffee to their friends.

[sparky]: we put up flyers for it and everything

jackoff: oh yeah. we had to ask Principal Nedzu for permission for that, and he gave us this smile and like, he most definitely knows all the shit we’re up to. I don’t know about any of the other teachers, but he totally knows

markwatney: On the day we gave coffee to everyone in Class 1-A, that includes you Midoriya, and everyone else we knew.

jackoff: Bakugou called bullshit but Bakugou always calls bullshit. Kirishima was deeply touched

markwatney: and we just kept giving out the coffee, virtually shoving it down people’s throats, leaving piles of it on random cafeteria tables

markwatney: our bank accounts died but it worked so fucking well

[sparky]: wowah Sero watch the peanutting language

markwatney: no

markwatney: It worked SO well and that was as satisfying as HECK

[sparky]: oh, normal sero’s back

markwatney: okay but it played out perfectly. NO ONE was buying coffee anymore- I actually had Jirou check, she eavesdropped on them again, and literal actual absolute NO ONE had bought any coffee in the last week. They were panicking.

markwatney: We started selling the electronics. That went great too. We waited 5 days.

markwatney: And the business course came to us with an offer.

myleg: i would literally actually pay to watch this as a movie

markwatney: Never let it be said that the business course doesn’t know how to look out for its own interests, or adapt to a situation.

markwatney: They offered to form a cartel with us.

myleg: ...oh.

markwatney: We knew we had them right where we wanted them, but they spun their argument well. A cartel is basically when multiple companies come together and agree to set the same prices so they can act as a monopoly, and you know, jack up those prices as much as they want

markwatney: Since the start of all this, the thing the business course has wanted most is to get rid of us and have their monopoly again. Since the start, what WE’VE wanted most is just to be left alone and sell our peanuts and extended products in peace.

markwatney: They suggested forming a cartel to fix that for both of us.

jackoff: I mean we both knew it was just a tactic to save their asses bc we’d backed them into a corner, but never let it be said that the business course doesn’t look out for its own self interests etc etc wink wonk

jackoff: basically they value profit over pride and we killed their profit enough that they went “well if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”

markwatney: Then after we teamed up we destroyed most of the other groups who were selling on campus to maintain our monopoly :)

myleg: you what

[sparky]: we obviously needed a monopoly for the cartel to work? jeeze louise midoriya get with the program

jackoff: there were maybe 30 different groups/individuals who were selling things and we bargained, offered, threatened, wheedled, or joined with all of them to get rid of them

markwatney: The cartel currently has 5 groups, us, the business course, and two other groups who insisted they stay around. Also the support course separated and formed their own group, after we got them to pay us a big severance fee

myleg: you WHAT

jackoff: Midoriya this is just how it works in the business world you have to keep up

[sparky]: yeah midoriya

myleg: I- okay

markwatney: Anyway, congratulations Midoriya- you’re now one of the few people in this school who’s in the know. Do you want a job in the cartel? Because we’d totally take you.

myleg: i’ll pass

markwatney: Okay then! Fun times. I’ll be going now, but don’t report us to teachers or Iida, and please buy from Peanut Gang©®®™ whenever you can. Bye!

myleg: bye...I guess

 

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3:45 AM

-myleg has entered the chat-

myleg: hi uh

myleg: jirou gave me some of the peanuts to try and uh

myleg: how do I get more?