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This is the result of The Thing That Happened In The Night and happens at the end of In Which I gain An Admirer. It was written for sauergeek's prompt "More Ha Ri." It comes in at 610 words.

“You want us to do what?” Ha Ri was incredulous. “Sir, you do realise that I’m a foreign national, don’t you?”

“A trifling matter when you’re already a member of the Illustrious Board of Referees,” replied Pan Tao, a very senior referee, calmly. “Also, given that criminals can be most unrespectful of national boundaries, potentially advantageous.”

“Sir,” said Rau Wang very respectfully, “I haven’t finished secondary school yet, I’m not even old enough yet to leave before completion.”

“Then we’re in a position to influence your subjects for your final few years,” returned Pan Tao smoothly. “Have you considered Water Sciences and Modern Studies?”

“You are the second Master to suggest Waters Sciences to me, sir,” admitted Rau Wang.

“Then there is probably substance in the recommendation,” Pan Tao told him with a smile. “Ha Ri, I understand that you are studying Economics in tertiary school?”

“Yes, Master Pan.” Ha Ri added, “My parents hope that I will find employment with one of the large multinational corporations or trading companies.”

“And to do so would be very filial of you,” agreed Master Pan. “There is, however, something to be said for being instrumental in allowing your parents’ employer the surety of knowing that they can continue to operate in a sensible manner and not be prey to unscrupulous sorcerers.” He took in Ha Ri’s confusion and added, “I’m an honest man and I can see at least five ways that an unscrupulous person could disrupt the internal economy of the Vereenigde Oost-Oceanen Compagnie. Heaven only knows what a dishonest man could think to do to them and companies like them.”

Ha Ri noted that Master Pan’s accent was quite good when he spoke those few words of Ha Ri’s parents’ native tongue.

“Sir?” That was from a thoroughly confused Rau Wang.

“What is not widely known,” said Pan Tao as he settled back in his chair, “is that one of the precipitating factors of the northern invasion, quite aside from their odd moral indignation concerning reincarnation and distaste for other ‘superstitions,’ was the actions of a sorcerer named Xu Fong and known as Kai Zhu Fong. Master Xu apparently managed to reduce the Compagnie’s nutmeg income by 50% for two years running, so they took steps.”

“Wait,” put in Rau Wang, “a company started the northern invasion of Tang-ji over profits from the spice trade?”

“These days,” explained Pan Tao, “the international retail nutmeg and mace trade is worth over a little over a billion standard taels. Back then, the Compagnie still had the monopoly on those two spices and they wanted Master Xu’s depredations stopped; so they called in favours, activated a few treaties and reminded some governments that they’d been persuaded to give up their own, private, armed forces less than a decade earlier.”

“I’m fairly sure that wasn’t in any of my history courses,” commented Ha Ri.

“Going to war to protect the Dutch East Ocean Company’s profits doesn’t sound nearly as noble as taking over our country to save us from the weight of our superstitions, now does it?” Master Pan smiled. “More to the point, at the moment, is that there have been criminally inclined sorcerers in the past. There will be criminally inclined, trained gi exponents in the future, and as the only major group who has oversight of these things and even appears to take them seriously, we need to be ready to deal with such people.”

“And you want us to train up as some sort of gi-powered crime fighting team?” Ha Ri sounded like he didn’t believe what he was saying.

“Yes,” replied Master Pan. “Because we’re going to need you.”

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Okay, I'd watch that. ;)

Miss Avatar: the Last Airbender and Korra stuff so much.

There could be more Avatar stuff still. :) One day, if we're lucky.

Now that Master Pan mentions it ... I'd be very surprised if there weren't already folks using their gi abilities abroad where they might not be recognized in rather dubious ways. At least some of the local police forces already have contacts that can help them when they're dealing with more sorcery than the officers can handle, and do seem to take it seriously, but having dedicated units within law enforcement seems a fine plan.

Vereenigde Oost-Oceanen Compagnie = Dutch East Ocean Company?

... Nutmeg isn't from China? But this is where it being fuzzy how Tang Ji and other places map onto real world places, or don't, becomes confusing.

So now Rau Wang has standing offers from law enforcement and organized crime ...?

What does Modern Studies cover?

Yes, the Dutch East Ocean Company, which is based entirely on the Dutch East India Company. Who for several centuries held the world nutmeg monopoly because they gained control of the one island, in what is now Indonesia, where it grew.

The British wound up taking the island off them and then planted nutmeg trees in other places so they could never be monopolised out of the trade again.

Modern Studies is the study of the modern world, so like law, geography, modern history, international relations and economics. Probably some other stuff as well but it doesn't have a direct equivalent that I know of.

I don't think Banda Island was ever part of China. (Could be wrong.) Was its fictional counterpart part of Tang Ji? Or was Master Xu meddling nearby?

I believe Master Xu travelled with the intent of making money...and saw an opportunity.

Somehow the winning side's sordid bits never seem to turn up in most history books.

And my brain keeps trying to come up with something that will fit into "One is an X. The other is a Y. Together, they fight crime.", but so far, nothing pithy enough has come to mind. Clunky, I got: "One is a student economist with a talent for magical shields. The other is quick to improvise and can make water sit up and beg. Together, they fight crime."

I wonder when they'll first encounter their own gaggle of people who use sorcery for poor ends, like the group Nai and Master Que dealt with on the train.

Yay, more Ha Ri!

I haven't thought far enough through to the next instalment of this story line, but I can see Rau Wang going somewhere important and official and legal on a final year of secondary school excursion and running into a Very Important Official in front of whom the students are supposed to pretend they don't really exist, and the VIO says, "Rau Wang, what are you doing here? Where's Ha Ri? Why don't I know about this already? Someone tell me what's going on?" Cue dropping jaws....

Edited at 2015-09-06 04:46 am (UTC)

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