"Uh, hi," said the young man as he faced the intimidating Director of Chrysis Security and Investigation Agency. "Somebody told me I might be able to get a job here. Goes by the name The Immortal Earth?"
The Director's eyes narrowed. "Did he. Well, what's your name?"
"John," said the man quickly, and then, after a fractional pause, "John Silas."
"And why did my old friend send you to us?" She didn't sound particularly friendly.
John waved a hand placatingly. "He told me that lots of Far Fairlians don't want to hire Crux mages, but that you already had some on the staff. I was hoping I could at least get an interview."
She laughed but without much humor. "Interview? You already had as much of an interview as we give with the Immortal Earth. But I'll give you a week's trial."
"I'll take it!"
"It's unpaid," she added warningly.
John looked embarassed. "That won't be a problem."
"No? Where are you staying?"
Without meeting her eyes, he said, "The Commercial District."
It was the most expensive part of town. She frowned. "Oh. A tourist."
"No!" he protested. "I just... haven't found a real place to live yet."