Sep. 1st, 2025

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My therapist said I should talk about my first day on the job. Fine, I said. How much detail do you want? As much as I'm comfortable giving, he said. Fine, I said again.

My first day on the job, the Turks gave us a dead body.

One of those robot dolphins found it in the Bosphorus. It was all chewed up by crabs. Swollen. The police boat was busy, so they gave him to us. We didn't know what to do with him. He was sort of falling apart; only his clothes held him together. Bodies that have been underwater for too long -- they just start to slowly come apart. Dissolve. It was in the training, but when they say that nothing prepares you, they really fucking mean it.

Anyway. We had to contact the family. Of course they wanted nothing to do with us. Nobody wants anything to do with the customs man, when he comes around. They always think we're Immigration, but we're not. That's a separate agency, but we all wear the same uniform. The family, all nine of them, were crammed into this little house on a hill. Three bedrooms. No wonder the guy took a dip, we joked. We tagged a drone to watch the house, for retaliation. (The kids kept whipping rocks at it.)

We tried to find evidence of a long-term plan. Who his contacts were on the other side of the border, what he planned to do, what money he had. We had gone through his pockets and found nothing. Not even a phone. Not even a fucking flash key. We even checked his teeth, because sometimes (they told me this, in the training) they hold the data in their teeth. It's expensive, but nobody will ever find anything in there. You can get them printed out at some shops. Fake teeth with a solid state cavity. The good ones, they clone the bone from your own tissues, and put it on a rattan scaffold. Of course, all of this is predicated on you ripping out one of your own teeth and replacing it with something else.

The things people do to leave this place.

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the_ferryman

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