Aug 17, 2022 2:56 AM
Julian rescues Naima from Paris
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"No idea but you can just ask the other researchers 'hey, what salary did you start at?' and then ask for double that because you're twice as good as them."

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So Julian will go talk to the researchers on the expansion team! 

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Most of them joined older than 'straight out of high school'. They know, by now, Julian's reasons for not taking a few years off, traveling the world, but it's what they did, and came to salary negotiations with slightly more of an appreciation for what mundane money can buy, which is less than you'd like. If Julian wants his whole salary denominated in mundane money they ought to be willing to give him a couple million dollars a year. Most people instead ask for things you can't buy with mundane money at all.

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Julian has been outside enough to know that that's a) a stunning amount of money, which b) will let him pay off Naima's bond somewhere in the next 50 to 100 years. So he should be asking for things that aren't money. Great. He wants the people he loves to be safe and free and living, which is exactly what everyone wants and nobody can buy for any amount of money at all. 

He hates not knowing what to ask for. In fact, he hates not knowing in full generality, because there's  part of his brain that will never let go of the conviction that the moment he doesn't have the answer is when another kid slips ahead of him and he falls out of the rankings and dies. So he says he'd like to start working part time for now, paid in cash, while he thinks about what he wants to be doing next. What he wants to be doing next is fixing all of his problems with the sheer power of being smarter and better than anyone else, but wishes aren't horses and anyway someone needs to start saving up for Choi-fung's Scholomance equipment. 

He books an appointment with that lawyer. 

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The lawyer wants to see the contract. Where are they on that.

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"I've asked about it – a few times – but she's never mentioned it in any of her letters. Actually, I don't think any of the letters where I've brought it up have gotten a response at all."  

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" - all right, well, that's a cause of action, withholding documents relevant to an ongoing legal case, if you're very confident it's Paris withholding them - or withholding your correspondence about them - and not your friend doing it. The next step would be to write up a formal letter notifying them that those documents are requested for an ongoing legal case."

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"I'm confident it's not her. Who would I send this letter to? I do know who has her indenture, his name is Louis August Grive." 

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"To him and to her, then. And if we don't hear back from either of those we can escalate. Paris doesn't use internet, but there's a way to send letters and get confirmation of receipt."

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It's not that hard to wire an enclave for internet and Julian is sorely tempted to fly to Paris and just fucking fix it for them so he can just talk to his girlfriend. Assholes. He sends the letters. 

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He gets back two letters! One of them has a cover letter that was probably written or at least heavily vetted by another lawyer, and then the contract itself, which looks like the product of many, many more hours of work by lawyers. The other one is from Naima, and confirms that she got the request and that she was told that the Paris would send the contract.

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Well, he can bring that to his own lawyer and see if there's any hope. 

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"Well, to be straight with you, it doesn't look great. If you want to burn a lot of money on making them burn a lot of money, we can certainly try."

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It's fine. This just puts him back where he was to begin with. 

"Do you think I'd be better off just paying the debt?"

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"- if you want her out? Yes. If you want, you know, to shame them into giving her weekends off and a better communications channel, I think we can achieve that in court eventually."

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Somehow he can't imagine Naima taking weekends off. 

"So let's say I've decided to raise the money – I assume the fastest way to do that is selling enclave expansions? Is there a standard contract for that? Do I have to get it approved by the enclave council? How much of a cut does New York take?" 

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"Good questions all. I can refer you to someone."

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Right. They're lawyers, which means they get to be helpful strictly in 15-minute increments. Julian can't imagine living like that voluntarily; it'd be just like being back in school. 

"Thanks. I'd appreciate it." 

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