Chapter 13: Second Part / Chapter 3

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 84


As for Ragna, Nicole may have been surprised by her behaviour from the beginning. But she found out that in Signe d’argent that absolutely everyone goes to ‘training’, even employees who aren’t interested in getting a job at a bank. So Ragna was completely satisfied with the office of loans, and she didn’t want career advancement. But Pierre imposed training on everyone.

Not even because lessons were paid or it gains the profit—no. That’s not in this business. The presence of regular participants creates a great inclusion effect for beginners. Indeed, an audience is recruited from different Signe d’argent’s branches, even if not all people are going to become secretaries, managers, and so on. Ragna repeated Nicole several times:

“If I don’t know a foreign language, it doesn’t mean that I’m more stupid. After all, you don’t know that part of history.”

“I’m not trying to argue with that. What made you decide that I did so?”

“You’re here recently. I have been attending this training for more than four years. They teach me the same thing. Just because I can’t get another job, and don’t want to lose this one.”

“You’re an economist. Try to contact other banks.”

“You don’t understand how business works in France,” Ragna laughed, although the meaning of her irony wasn’t clear to Nicole. “It won’t work because of my parents. Neo-Catholics, as well as their children, are the dregs of society despised by everyone. They are blacklisted in many personnel departments, including those of large banks.”

“Are they blacklisted? I hear about them for the first time. Is this probably something for people like Bill Clinton?”

“The police informally sell information to bankers about who is involved and where. The motivation: not to allow ‘doubtful’ people into key posts in the economy. In addition, banks serve the interests of the police, finance them. I can’t get another job. You hadn’t to ask.”

“You can’t leave the ‘blacklist’? For example, if you were prosecuted, you can ask for the amnesty.”

“I wasn’t brought to justice, but if it was a truth, amnesty is not removing your name from legal statistics. It would only be added about your amnesty. An ordinary criminal is changed to amnesty criminal. So what? It would still be indicated somewhere: someone is criminal. But since the police and banks ‘cooperate informally,’ having appeared there, no one comes out of the blacklist.”

Nicole had never heard of any blacklists and unofficial police collaboration with anyone before. Ragna advised her to ask Gardinier, their chief. When they had a break in work, Nicole went to this plump, shaggy man with black eyes and a law degree. Maybe he would clarify to her what is happening and how legal it is.

Gardinier told her that it wouldn’t be possible to find information about blacklists in open sources, such as the Internet, which made it all the more intelligible. If something is written, it’s in very plain French without particular facts. Yes, some sheriffs may sell the lists people of recently come out from the prisons to large companies and deprive them of their work. Such is the system, and trying to change the system is the same as committing suicide.

There is never a specific name in the information that is published on the Internet. ‘Some police commissioners,’ ‘big banks,’ that is, they don’t even say who it is. They are engaged in activities not entirely legal, which is why they are shutting up. Gardinier also told Nicole that it’s illegal to distribute legal databases with people. However, if anyone is persecuted under this article, then a tiny number of police commissioners.

Gratte also asked how participants and children of religious teachings were implicated in the bases of ‘people who recently come out from prison,’ even if they’re sold illegally and unofficially. To this, Gardinier told Nicole that Ragna was her real name, and the Pseudo-Catholic cult was called Ragnarok. Now, it seems, everything became clear for Gratte. The video game has nothing to do with it. However, the name of the sect itself coincides with the fictional nightclub of this game.

Labour exchanges, not to mention the personnel department of large companies, often use a dishonest trick with which is turning themselves into low-grade bureaus. They buy databases of persons who have recently been released from prison, members of non-traditional religious movements. Everyone is there. All in an effort to make life difficult for the final people and reduce their job experience.

Another question: who and how provides them with this information? Sects usually declare their chosenness. They demand to hide their membership. Some things don’t coincide to the fact that they ‘chop of the heads’. Maybe lawyers do that, those who investigate cases? But suddenly Gardinier told Nicole something important.

“You’re more careful with this training there. You can’t tell it about serious economists: sooner or later your name may be on their blacklist.”

Nicole Gratte didn’t know for sure, but she had a logical conclusion: Pierre himself could sell information about the participants in his training to other banks or degenerated lawyers who would then resell to banks. After all, something in his business didn’t seem fair. Usually, the bank lays its risks in the interest rate on loans.

Pierre doesn’t cooperate with individuals, because he is afraid of risks. He trusts not all corporate clients. At the same time, he holds all kinds of coaches and leads training. With what kind of money, if the main income brings only loans? It seems that he can sell something other than loans.

After Nicole heard this information from Ragna, the latter was silent on each of her questions. She never found out why Ragna didn’t try to change her name, why she didn’t get a job at the university as a teacher of the history of religion. After telling all the information about herself, she no longer wanted to talk about anything, still giving out loans in silence if she worked with Nicole today.

Gratte didn’t tell Raymon about Ragna. Although women are considered talkative, she didn’t want to complicate Ragna’s life. The fact that a person has been hiding for more than twenty years, speaks to random people who have no idea about herself, should be hidden.

As for the various types of crime, of course, economic crime brings financial damage. But the criminality of legal entities, those who must protect the law, but ‘sell the bases of people’ is the most disgusting.

* * *

In a personal relationship, Nicole had the following situation. If she had sex with Alain, this in no way meant that the period of romance was over. They had dinner at various restaurants, and even in nature. Her evening life was quite intense, absolutely no worse than working, but only when she had a day off.

At the same time, Alain felt that no matter how long he made appointments with Nicko, the woman was reluctant to open up to him. He often asked her:

“Nicko, tell me about your past.”

In one of the Chinese restaurants in France where they were sitting, Nicole replied:

“I was born on June 22, 1981, and now I’m here.”

Then in 2003, she was twenty-three-years-old.

“I don’t quiet about it. I feel that you’re distant from me, and despite our life together, I know almost nothing about you. I just want to know you.”

“Are you interested in my past? It’s about a mom with a police character, always telling me: ‘Nicko, you can’t go there’? About the stepfather, who came into my room and switched the TV channel to another? Maybe about he broke my mother’s hands? Do you want to know about it in detail?”

“I don’t ask in any way and don’t even want to be interested in your childhood. Especially about something you don’t like it. Just tell me about yourself. Do you listen to any music?”

Nicko didn’t want to answer, and her face showed nothing. The reason wasn’t clear for Alain.

“Did I ask some wrong question?”

“Alain, I listen to music and watch movies. But they are very personal, and I don’t want to discuss them.”

“You consider art to be a personal matter,” he tried to change the subject. “Maybe you tell me about your favourite food? What do you like besides white fish?”

Nicko wasn’t an expert on Chinese cuisine and wasn’t even interested in it, but she was attracted to white fish from childhood. Just one product of such a kitchen.

“One day, my mother decided to make me happy and bought a white fish. The truth is, we didn’t eat it in the restaurant. I often went to the shop-windows and said to her: ‘Mom, buy these pineapples for me.’ She answered: ‘They’re sour, your mouth will wither.’

I wanted to try coconut milk, but she answered: ‘I didn’t try it; all of a sudden you would be poisoned.’ She rarely considered my tastes. At one point, my mother bought a white fish, and I fell in love with it from the first tasting. I didn’t see anything better.”

“Have you tried any other fish?”

“Of course! Once, for the first time, I was taken to a restaurant for a wedding by some of my mother’s friends. I was between six and seven years old, although I don’t remember exactly. They gave some loaves of dried fish. They were very salty.

It was assumed that adults drank wine or some other alcohol with it. But since there was no juice there, and they were clearly not happy with the visit of the child, I had to eat salted fish. But I got used to it, and then for a while, Bernard’s grandmother bought me dried fish during the following year.”

“Tell me about some other food.”

“Well, I’m more of a lover of Italian cuisine. I like their spaghetti, pasta, pizza, although I avoid cheese.”

“In other words, don’t order pizza with cheese?”

“Besides pizza. There aren’t very much.”

“Looks like your mother was a lover of Italian cuisine because she didn’t forbid you this food.”

“But she was sceptical at first about pizza. Still, Italian cuisine is closer to us than Chinese.”

“Have you tried snails? Many consider them a delicacy.”

“No, no, my mom always told me: ‘Never try snails,” Nicole smiled.

Sometimes Alain managed to talk with Nicko, although she spoke about food than other things. Nicole didn’t dedicate her feelings. He didn’t know who Francesco Ricardo was, how Gratte left him.

Does her mother know about him, and how she estimates him for now. Would he be able to get to know her soon? On the other hand, Nicole also appreciated him for this quality. He was least interested in her gynaecology and physiology, as well as he took a slow pace in family matters.

Unlike Francesco, he’s not centred to some ostentatious principles of great honour.

In the evening, after Nicole wore a short red dress, Alain sat down next to her and started a conversation:

“I’m not here for this bit. You should know about my post in the bank.”

“But what about a commercial secret?”

“Forget about it. If you choose our bureau, then you need to hear it.”

“Bon, tell me.”

“My job is to search for compromising various legal entities on the Internet that may not return corporate loans.”

“Is it your people who don’t hire ex-prisoners or representatives of unorthodox teachings into the banking sector? What religion change their rules if a person can work for them?”

Alain wasn’t embarrassed and quickly replied:

“We don’t cooperate with degenerated lawyers from economic departments and don’t apply any restrictions for employees. But we strictly check all corporate clients interested in a loan, even if they don’t give us all the information.”

“Alain, say it, it’s important. Do all banks follow blacklists?”

“Not at all, but the largest ones are usually corrupt and are actively buying information about former prisoners, members of various dubious religions, and so on.” Nicole understood that Ragna had a chance to change jobs to an office with loans without training. But she doesn’t take a chance. Someone has greatly humiliated her.

“But the most important thing is not even this,” continued Alain. “I have been collecting the truth, but at the same time, they tell me to hide behind another lie.”

“What kind of lie?”

“I call customers whose application is not approved and present myself as a former employee of Banque de Morales. According to the legend, by a lucky chance, I didn’t consider anyone other than the client’s application, now I work at Signe d’argent, and my friends offer a loan. And the funny thing here is that I’m not going to fire from here. In addition to me, dozens of people call, and I’m controlling the call centre.”

“Does Pierre fool clients who’re not trusted by pseudo-ex-workers from his own office?” Nicole smiled. “And what, no one has exposed you on the Internet yet?”

“You see, Nicole, everything is much more complicated with this bank than you think. This is not an open advertisement or commercial. This message is for people who are denied. Dogs and losers,” he used an English word in the end. “Would a loser publish your conversation? Right, he wouldn’t. An ordinary person, an individual, maybe yes. But corporate clients value their commercial reputation.”

“And if several corporate clients know each other and identify the voice of the same person who allegedly ‘recently’ left the bank?”

“They seem to be different fake names and possess acting skills, sometimes changing the voice from bass to tenor.”

“I’m afraid to ask from which theatre they are coming in. The actors are ringing!”

“Are you familiar with the concept of ‘referral’ to work in Signe d’argent?”

“Of course. We are constantly issuing loans, mark some referrals, and these are people who don’t even exist in nature.”

Nicole wasn’t at all surprised by this word. She often heard from clients “I’m here from a referral by Michel.” But she didn’t even know that Alain was involved in this work.

Submitted: July 21, 2019

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