July, year 237. I was 26. Six years ago, I graduated from Sage Academy and found a job at the Department of Health. Those who had graduated with top grades in cantus were entered into a lottery where various studios could bid to have them as an employee. On the other hand, people like me, who were average at cantus but had excellent academic grades, usually found administrative positions at various departments in the district.
To be honest, I had fantasized on more than one occasion that when I graduated, the Ethics Committee would call upon me to assume the position of future leader of the villages. But for some reason, Tomiko had maintained an air of complete indifference, and I had to admit that assuming I would be invited to work in the very heart of the town’s governing body was a huge overestimation of my abilities.
Given all the things that had happened in my life until now, I didn’t exactly trust the Board of Education (rather, to say I hated them would be more accurate), so I couldn’t look for work there. The library would have been okay, but I wanted to escape my mother’s protective grasp as soon as possible. And since my father was still the mayor (he held office for an unusually long time), I avoided any positions directly related to the town hall. In the end, there was nowhere else for me to go but the Department of Health.
Just to make it clear though, I didn’t choose this job based purely on the process of elimination.
I don’t know how to explain it, but I had a bad feeling about the queerats. Sometime in the future, the queerats were going to cause a catastrophe. This idea had become an obsession of mine. The fact that most people viewed queerats as nothing more than disgusting animals with monkey-like intelligence was another reason for this sense of danger.
When I said that I wanted to work in the Exospecies Division, all I got were dumb stares and quiet sniggers in response. It appeared they all thought I just wanted the easy job.
“Saki, you’ve got a visitor.” Mr. Watabiki’s voice came slowly over the speaking tube.
“I’ll be there in a second.”
I finished scooping out the rest of the feed, washed my hands, and left the room. No one ever came to our division. I had no idea who the visitor could be.