Jozef dodged around a handcart laden with cabbages pushed by a man with a face like a kicked spaniel. “No,” he said. “Not a lot. Not without reason. What happened on the voyage? Did you discuss your employment here with anyone?”

“Only that I was going to work for a city magistrate, not in what capacity. The only time I might have said more was in conversation with the ship’s chief engineer. Not with any of the passengers.”

“An educated foreign woman, not of obvious noble birth or great wealth, travelling alone to Zunderlicht to take up an official post – it wouldn’t have taken much to jump to the conclusion that you were an informatician.”

“You don’t think I’d pass as nobility?”

“You don’t come across as enough of an arsehole,” he said.

In a bid to get myself writing more through publicly tracking progress, the ‘first 100’ is/will be the first 100 or so words spat out whenever I’m working on my own material, whatever they are, unchecked and unedited.