The Pellegrine

Soul Lark

Book IV
The Prophecy

Chapter 3
Jorg’s New Job

© The author reserves all rights to this work.


This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.

NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.

Date: 3 July 2671, Monday

“You’re late Jorg!” chided Helen. This magus woman was the second most important magus in the Living Placement Section of the Magi Administrative Corps. She had chestnut brown hair, about 1.8 metres tall, a slender figure and smooth skin. Although she was over three hundred years in age, she looked thirty-eight.

“How late?” asked Jorg. He was sure he arrived on time.

“Two minutes!” came the quick reply. “You know how serious people are about punctuality during a job interview?”

“I apologise. I was on the moon just now and I had to drop my friend home.” Jorg had spent the night with the last of the young men on his list. He had actually needed these young men to replenish his energies for initiating his mission as ‘the Chosen One’, in addition to this rushed job interview Helen had arranged for him. Helen had assured him that he would get the job, so he did not think that the interviewers would be too bothered with two minutes, but he kept his cool, knowing that Helen would blow her top if he made his thoughts known to her.

“All right. Your story on the Maldives was well accepted by the magazine. They’re going to offer you a permanent spot as their assistant travel editor.”

“You know that that doesn’t fit with what I asked for,” said Jorg.

“I know. You’ll have to articulate that. I only tell you what I have picked up from their memos and conversations. Don’t worry too much, they want you on their team, even if you’re going to be working out of the office almost all the time. And remember you’re Michael Brown. Let me adjust your appearance.”

Jorg hated this but he knew it was necessary. The appearance had to be similar to the picture they had but at the same time a little different. Helen had experience in these things and so she knew what to do.

Jorg had transported from the spaceport directly to a small utility room in the building where the company was situated. After acknowledging the encouragement given by Helen, he stepped out of the utility room and walked out into the corridor. He knocked the door of the interview room.

He was admitted and he sat in front of a man and two women. He had done so many of such interviews that he did not need his powers to tell him which interviewer was going to test which part of him.

One of the women started asking him questions about his life. They were generally about his qualifications and where he grew up in. Jorg was prepared for the questions and gave satisfactory answers.

“I also see that you’re from the East Coast. I suppose that you’d be moving here on the West Coast,” said the woman who had been asking questions.

“Actually, I don’t think there is any need to move,” replied Jorg.

“We won’t be paying you for your travels from east to west and back.”

“If I’m going to write articles about places to go for holiday, I suppose I’d be there at those places rather than here in the office gathering information from the net or just interviewing people who have been there. I was present at the Maldives when I wrote that piece. If I’m expected to do that, my presence here on the West Coast or even at home isn’t going to be a factor in employing me, is there?”

“Quite right Mr. Brown,” said the man, smiling.

“Yes, … er … you’re quite right, Mr. Brown,” said the woman.

“Please call me Mike,” said Jorg.

“All right, Mike, tell me what you expect from this job,” said the other woman.

“I expect the mag to be fair. I’ve already said that my job is writing about places and travel. Giving me a desk here is not only strange but wasteful. Why use up a desk and chair for someone who’ll probably not be here for more than two days during the month? Look, I actually stated in my application letter that I wish to work more like a free lance reporter. I’ll sign a contract binding my work to your magazine if you want to, but I’d like to have a little more freedom with my pieces. Coming in here just so that I’ll seem to be part of the mag isn’t going to work. If you like my writing style, you can expect that if I get to work the way I want to. If not, then I can always go to other mags.”

The second woman was not pleased with Jorg’s answer. “Why bother to apply with us if you are able to work for better magazines?” she asked hotly.

“Your mag gives me the best conditions for working optimally. Being a monthly mag, it means that I can get to work at my piece for two weeks. I can get the right stuff and pictures. For example, a sunset picture may be just what the article needs and with more time, I can have a better chance of getting a good shot than if I had to churn out material for weekly mags. I’m proud of my writing and I’d like to work for a magazine that can help me achieve my optimal work. Your magazine provides me with just that.”

“What makes you think that we’re not offering you the conditions you asked for?” asked the first woman.

“If you were offering those conditions, you wouldn’t have asked me whether I’d be moving here to the West Coast. Further, it’ll only be the editor giving me an interview. Being interviewed by a three-personed panel for a paid-by-piece work? It’s the first time I’ve heard of it in the twenty-seventh century.”

The man tried very hard not to laugh. He managed to keep the sniggers out and let out a huge grin. The women, on the other hand, were looking very uncomfortable.

“Would you wait outside for a while, Mike? We’d like to discuss some things and then we’ll let you know what goes,” the second woman said politely.

Jorg got up and went out to the waiting room. He could sense Helen’s presence from the beginning of the interview and he did not like what he was sensing when he sat down outside the interview room.

*You’ve sabotaged your own interview. Jorg! How could you? I took a lot of trouble to set this up!*

*Calm down Helen. You did what you had to, right? You didn’t pull any strings nor influence anyone to get me this interview, did you?*

*No, of course not. But I answered all the mail for you personally. For the other magi I’d leave it to my staff members. But for you, Jorg, I personally handled your case. Is this how you show your appreciation? By sabotaging your chance of getting a job?*

*Helen. Listen. I do appreciate your efforts. In fact I’ll treat you to dinner if I’d need to. You know that if they like my work they’d take my conditions. What I said inside there was true and you know it. From their faces and reactions, I’d say that the man was the travel editor. The first woman was probably the manager of the magazine and the second was the publisher.*

*Actually the first was the secretary of the manager who is the second …*

The man came out with a smile on his face. “Mike, congratulations. You got the job with all the conditions you wanted. Let’s go in to discuss the finer details.”

*You see, Helen, there’re no problems at all!*

The negotiations took place quite smoothly. There would be a basic salary for Jorg at 200 credits per month. For each one page piece with a maximum of two pictures, Jorg would be paid 500 credits. Each additional page would be paid by calculating the words to picture ratio. All travel expenses would be paid by the magazine. Accommodation costs would be on a case to case basis. Jorg’s piece on the Maldives would be used on the issue of the following month. The editor, Tom Young, asked Jorg to stay whilst the ladies left the room.

“What’ll you be doing for our next issue?” the editor asked.

“I was thinking along the lines of mountain climbing. I might decide to go somewhere exotic but it wouldn’t be outside the planet. Let me check on some possible locations and I’ll contact you.”

“Fine by me. I really have to thank you,” the editor said.


“These two women are driving all the editors up the wall. They think they know a lot about the publishing business. Actually, they don’t. This is their first time managing anything. The woman in red, the second woman that talked to you, is the grand-daughter of the owner of the magazine. This is her first job anywhere and she gets to manage the magazine. You told them off and questioned their understanding of running this magazine. Most of us need the jobs and so we argue but give in in the end. You’d nothing to lose and you shook them bad. At first the manager didn’t want you. Then I said that if we lost you to our competitors then she had to be responsible for any dip in sales. Her secretary actually agreed with me for the very first time! Do you know that they wanted to make you assistant travel editor?”

“But that’s not the job I applied for!” Jorg pretended to exclaim.

“That’s right. They thought they could expand the travel section and get you as reporter and editor as well. They thought they’d be saving a bundle. Actually, expansion’s fine when we get our travel section sorted out. With you on the team, we can actually get the readers interested in travel again and when the demand for travel news goes up, then we’ll be able to expand the section with a few more reporters and an assistant editor. I’m sure glad that you didn’t end up with the assistant editor’s job. You’d be just a reporter with an additional name.”

Jorg smiled. “Glad I was able to help. I’m also glad that I wouldn’t need to see them everyday like you.”

“I envy you,” said Tom with a grin.

¤ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ¤

Date: 5 July 2671, Wednesday

“Jemma show me a map of the world.”

Jorg looked at every island magnified and still he couldn’t find anything remotely shaped like a flower. He almost gave up when he noticed a small longish island. He remembered that it didn’t look like that before. He drew a square covering part of the sea around the island.

“Jemma, what did this place look like in the fifth century.”

“No records. Earliest accurate record of this part is from the twentieth century.”

“Show me.”

Jorg saw a distorted K shape but parts of the island were not seen.

Jorg sat up. He was clearly interested in the island. “Extend visual area to sixty miles off the coast.”

There in front of him was the island of Celebes or Sulawesi. It was the closest thing that looked like a fading flower.

“Jemma, what happened to the island?” he enquired.

“In 2318, there was a huge earthquake which opened up lava flows. The administrative council then wanted to move the lava away from the populated areas. The tried to create a channel for the lava to reach the sea using explosives. The explosions caused a bigger earthquake and huge parts of the island sank,” the computer responded.

“I notice some volcanic activity. Are the volcanoes still active?” asked Jorg.

“The island is at the junction of two plates that are pushing into each other. Though none have erupted for the last two hundred years, the movement of the plates does not rule out the possibility of volcanic activity.”

Jorg frowned and he was breathing hard. His excitement was clear. “When was the last earthquake?”

“Seventy years ago.”

“Any predictions with regard to earthquakes and volcano eruptions?” he asked.

Jemma responded, “The island has been relatively stable for the last seventy years.”

“Display satellite pictures and geography of the island,” said Jorg. He had formulated a plan.

After reading the information for a while, he sent it to his computer in Michael Brown’s apartment building.

Picturing the apartment, Jorg travelled there using his powers. He sat at the computer terminal and sent his idea to Tom.

A few minutes later, Tom called. His picture was flashing on Jorg’s display. Jorg hit a button to answer.

“Awesome, Mike. Where do you get such ideas?” Tom asked. Jorg could see that his caller was very interested in the project.

“You’re paying me for these ideas, Tom. It’s my livelihood, I don’t think I should tell you,” said Jorg with a smirk.

“C’mon Mike, your idea was fantastic!”

“Actually, I was thinking of writing about mountain climbing but then it hit me that people always rush, rush, rush. Leisure’s about taking our time. Walking up a mountain or a dormant volcano on a tropical island is slow and at the same time exciting.”

“Good. When do you want to go?” asked Tom.

“Tomorrow won’t be too soon,” replied Jorg.

Tom was pleased that his reporter was so enthusiastic. “No problems. Just use your company number that I gave you this afternoon and charge your transport costs to the magazine. The minimum spending here is 100 credits a day. How many days do you expect to stay?”

“Five days at the most. Things there are cheap so I don’t think I’ll spend that much.”

“No problem,” said Tom. “So, 500 credits for your expenditure and any extras would be incurred by you, unless there is a good reason. Then you’ll have to call me to confirm.”

Jorg nodded and smiled. “Okay. See you in a week then.”

“See ya!” said Tom as the call ended.

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