The Bricolage Project Part 7: Undesirable

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"So how long do you plan to stay here?" Uncle Freddie asked Nix when he came for his car's latest tune up. His muddled features could've been made of putty yet, there was a certain sharpness in the eye shared by his great–nephew, Rory Jordan.

"My RV is being fixed," Nix said.

Nix was scouting for an isolated location to move Krillian to. The most he could hope for was for Rory to make his ship habitable, making it spaceworthy would've been too much to ask for.

Uncle Freddie snorted and walked away to speak to his sister Gwen Jordan. Nix knew what they would talk about. There were already some choice words exchanged about "Ellie's pretty boy". Uncle Freddie may not have his great-nephew's intelligence, but stubbornness must be a family trait. Even Rory didn't oppose Uncle Freddie unless he was sure the stakes were worth it.

"He has a point you know," Rory said when they were alone, as he began his day's work on Krillian.

"I'm an Undesirable on your planet?" Nix sighed.

"We need a better cover story for you if you'll be staying long. Something that will keep you covered for the next few years at least," Rory said.

"Krillian has a stealth mode. I can use it once you get it functional," Nix said.

"I could get the work done faster if we had more money for supplies," Rory began.

"The closest thing I have to Terran currency are the bitcoins I earn with telecommuting jobs I find online. I would need a regular bank account to exchange them into legal tender," Nix sighed.

The digital economy was less stringent about authorizations than the regular Terran banks, but not illegal. It was the only means Nix had to take part in the Terran economy. He used Krillian to take on translation jobs since Krillian's language acquisition modules were superior to any Terran equivalent.

Rory also performed any odd job that caught his eye and treated his bitcoin collection as a hobby though he was too young to have an international account he could transfer hard currency to. Sometimes he used them as barter for services or data he couldn't get otherwise, but Nix knew they'd need hard cash to get materials to repair Krillian's systems.

"You know how those forums have post about getting green cards?" Rory asked.

"There is no way I can purchase one or they'll arrest me for fraud," Nix sighed. Though he may have no choice but to risk it at this rate.

"There's talk of a corporation on a head–hunt for offshore IT talent. The company will get H-1B cards for all of its hires. Impress them and they'll take care of Immigration for you," Rory said.

Nix snorted, "Is it legal?"

"My IT squad says it shouldn't be, but the company has enough pull to get away with it," Rory said.

Nix sighed, "If what you say is true I will apply for it, but I can't guarantee the results."

***

Nix checked for the posting that night, and Krillian had language acquisitions modules ready for each language that had a job opening. He had to use his neural implant for day long stretches to become fluent, but passed all the online fluency tests and impressed the recruiters in person.

The company assumed they'd have to hire one translator for each language they posted for. The fact he was fluent in all of them was a potential cost savings to them.

Nix got a job, but Ellie had misgivings, and went to Uncle Freddie, "I know they want to hire Nix to save money, but Nix is multilingual and should get more than someone who's only bilingual."

Uncle Freddie frowned, "He's not a part of my union, but we have an employment lawyer on retainer. I can get him to agree to a payment program for his services. It will cost you money, but you'll earn more in the long run if he negotiates a good deal for you. That way you'll get paid a living wage, and can afford to pay rent."

The salary range meant nothing to Nix. He didn't understand what the costs were for a decent standard of living in this region of Terra. Language acquisition was ubiquitous in the Empire, except for the poorest regions, and a low offer wouldn't have insulted him. Yet the final offer was one third higher than the original quote, and included life and health benefits, and a paid leave program.

Krillian researched a Terran nation to put on the form as his country of origin for the H-1B visa, "We need a region that has a genome similar to yours, and has poor records or a history of civil unrest."

The best they could do was say Nix was a refugee from the Ukraine, and his personal records were lost due to bureaucratic inefficiency brought about by warfare damaging the nation's infrastructure. He received a work visa.

Ellie took him up to town to get a bank account with his new I.D. She had the password to his online account and gave him a budget for his living expenses. Nix didn't argue about the rent and food, but Krillian insisted that he research their market value first, "I have needs too. You won't be able to afford repair materials and supplies for me if you let people charge you whatever they want!"

Krillian changed the password to Nix's accounts and took them over. Ellie had charged a fair price, but Krillian decided it was best they remain economically independent. Nix's salary went towards his and Krillian's needs, and Krillian instituted a savings program for major repairs.

Nix was so relieved not be an Undesirable anymore more that he thought it best to assume the Jordans and Krillian knew what they were doing.

***

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