Episode 11 — Job Interviews

Aquilegia and NeVaga are dropped off in Isfahan by one of Lina's inconspicuous fishing boats. Upon arrival they go register with the Muster Guild; Aquilegia registeres as unskilled labour, posing as a gambling addict now reduced to looking for any work to survive, and NeVaga in her official capacity as Scraver. NeVaga mentions that she is a Reclaimer and gets some interest; she is asked to wait, until at sundown she is given an appointment for the next day at 8:00 with Major Danuwa at Fort al-Helaleya.

Since NeVaga's processing takes so long, Aquilegia decides to leave and finds Yeoman Vetsera Erduvil at the end of day, unloading her catch. She talks her into having a drink and hearing a business proposition. Although Erduvil is very wary, she shows guarded interest in finding a way to return the fishing situation to what it was five years ago. She has no idea how Fleet-Master Alejandro Astentzio convinced the Fishermen's Guild to go along with his aggressive tactics, but it appears that there was no notable opposition and no purge.

Later, Aquilegia and NeVaga meet back at the shabby inn where they rented some rooms. That night, they go visit some gambling dens where Aquilegia loses money and NeVaga talks a bit to local Scravers, but they mostly confirm what they have already heard. There are very few Ukar to be seen, and they are either Muster or slaves.

The next morning, NeVaga makes her way to Fort al-Helaleya and is admitted, after careful screening, to see Major Mochizuki Danuwa. After a basic job interview, Danuwa asks NeVaga to take a proficiency test by identifying and, if possible, repairing a number of technology items. She is left in a room with a collection of objects she eventually identifies as various small devices dating from the Second Republic; she is able to discern the purpose of all of them, though not to repair them. This suffices to get her an employment offer from the Muster. She is asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and is told that quarters will be prepared for her on base; she will start the next day and will be allowed off-base every 30 days.

Meanwhile, Aquilegia decides to go visit Oblate Ranasinghe Sen at the Amalthean clinic. She presents herself in her true identity as a Questing Knight and shows her letter of introduction from Bishop Demijanik. After offering her services to help with the clinic, she questions him about the fact that slavery is practiced openly and shamelessly in Isfahan, trying to gauge what sort of a man he is. She then moves on to the damage that the Fishermen's Guild's tactics are causing. Oblate Sen clearly wants to stay away from political involvement, but he seems to have sympathy at least for the downtrodden. In thanks for his time, Aquilegia readily agrees to escort and protect Amaltheans who have to venture into dangerous areas of the city.

She and NeVaga meet back at the inn and exchange news. In the morning, NeVaga returns to Fort al-Helaleya — for 30 days this time — while Aquilegia returns to the Amalthean clinic to continue to provide assistance and, she hopes to cultivate friendship with Oblate Sen.


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