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2018 - Term Four - Week Five - The Merchant Of Ali Express



Salutations from the mid 1600’s.  My name is Luka The Unknown, knowledgable Knight from the far reaches of this great realm.  Over the past week I have conducted a series of interesting experiments to do with the resulting beam of light when the sun is shone through a Shiny Stone.


We used this arcane magic to burn through ….


… forgive me dear reader, I was accidentally writing the diary entry for 7 days forth.


Using my great powers that I have been gifted I shall now recount the tale of…


“The Merchant of Ali Express”


A long time ago I and my four companions were trekking through the lost darks of the In Ter Swamp.  We were exploring an ancient temple when suddenly the ground fell out beneath us and we fell into a giant net.  The tallest of my four companions, Paul The Wanderer, was the first to escape it’s clutches.  Once we had all gotten out of this net the lights flickered on.  There was a stall, a far few metres from us.  There was a man behind it, he called out “Greetings, my name is Ali Express.  I will grant each of you one wish.  You can choose any electronic item, but there is a catch.  Each item must be compatible with this!”.  He held up a small blue rectangle.  “This,” he proclaimed, “is an Arduino.  It is a controllable piece of equipment that any aspiring warrior must have if they wish to be a master.”  “But how does it work?” one of my other companions - Otto The Twelfth asked.  Ali Express gave us a theatrical duo; a wink and a shrug.  “Nobody knows,” he said.  “Now, make your choices.  I have all of these fine choices”.  From the merchants great stock we could only choose 5.  


It took most of us quite some time to decide but Otto The Twelfth was dazzled by a device that seemed to produce people talking from seemingly nowhere.



Paul chose a magical ring of lights that changed colour whenever Ali Express snapped his fingers. 



My two soforth unnamed companions, Ritesh The Archer and Viraaj The Stealthy were fascinated by an invisibly connected button that turned on a light and a screen that displayed scrolling words respectively. 



I in turn was enthralled by a tag searching mechanism that sensed when you had the right piece of material. 



We had made our choices so we went back to the merchant.  “Aah, good.  You will receive your object is about 40 sun cycles. Goodbye.”  Once again the ground opened up beneath us and we were flung back into the temple from whence we came, screaming questions like “But, how do we use this?”, “ What do we do with it?”.  Eventually we were forced to wait the 40 days. And true to his word, the merchant Ali Express came to our castle in the night and left a package on the castle drawbridge.  At least we think it was Ali Express.  Who can be sure?


And so here you find us dear reader.  Paul, Viraaj, Ritesh, Otto and I studied these devices thoroughly.  But there was something missing, Viraaj was the first to discover.   “But where do we find that blue Arduino thing?”, he asked.  Suddenly, almost in a cliche like fashion, there was a knock on our dungeon door.  Without waiting for a reply the merchant Ali Express opened the door.  He was carrying a large cardboard box filled with bags.  These were the missing blue boards, the final link in the puzzle.  Once we had done a thorough inventory check Ali Express bid us “Farewell!  I must be going, I have many more goods to deliver”.  He gave us a polite curtsey and left.