Feb 22, 2020 1:33 PM
Osirian Isama
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"I only know how to do jewelry, but maybe someone will figure it out for other things."

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"Are you looking for investment?"

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"I wasn't shopping for it. If some lands on me I'd snap up some more girls and get them trained - they're less likely to go off into business themselves, see, fellow who got something to work last week is already threatening it, the girls'll put inventory in Trilliant till I can't pay them more than their nanny wants to watch their kids."

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"Huh. And they can learn as fast?"

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"Seem to."

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"The church might invest. Are you a member?"

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"Sure, we go to the one at Market and Third."

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"How much could you take on, right now?"

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Isam pokes his tongue out the corner of his mouth, thinking. "If I bump his wage so he'll stay, and have him teaching... rent the upstairs... assume I can find five more promising girls since unaccountably no one copies me yet... upfront for materials to train them on that they'll wreck will be a fair bit..." He does the sum on paper, turns it for the priest. "I can soak up yea much unless you just want your magic rings in larger carats for no practical reason."

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"Not particularly. When would you want to drop by to discuss details -"

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"Half past fourteenth tomorrow? I don't like to skip days working, I'm still fastest at production and the schedule assumes I don't take off unless I've got the plague."

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"All right. I'll talk this over with some people and have terms for you then."

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"Lovely. Do I meet you here or at the temple, Cicerone...?"

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"Merenre." Which is, of course, the pharaoh's brother, the last pharaoh's grandson, the director of the church in Sothis; the robes did not communicate this.

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- Isam elbows his brother, when he's a moment slower than Isam or the cashier to get on his knees.

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"I don't mean to disrupt your work," he says. "Let's meet tomorrow at your church; it'll be easiest to get all the compliance people in the same room. Good luck."

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"Thank you, your grace," says Isam.

He's at Market and Third sans brother or cashier the following evening, accounting books under his arm.

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The prince is there, along with half a dozen other people. He introduces them by department - investing, underwriting, magic.

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Isam, from the floor, nods along and tells them it's good to meet them.

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"Please sit down," the prince says, "and we can talk through terms, if you're still interested.'

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He sits. "I am. - Also, I'd bump up the upper bound on how much I can absorb, I'd thought my lapidary wouldn't want to go in-house but it turns out he might."

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"Do you have statistics on sales volume, in your store and at competitors -"

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"Mm-hm." He opens up his book and flips through to the data he has. "I have to get info on the competition on the sly, so that might not be all right, but here's my guesses - inert stuff, magic stuff - customer demographics -"

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"Oh, excellent," he says, his eyes shining. "This'll go really quickly, then. - may I - all confidential, of course -"

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He hands it over.

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