||It has been suggested that this article be merged into First Meetings. (Discuss) Proposed since January 2014.|
|Author||Orson Scott Card|
|Series||Ender's Game series|
|Published in||Far Horizons|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
"Investment Counselor" is a story by Orson Scott Card set in his Ender's Game universe. It tells the story of how Ender Wiggin first met the artificial intelligence Jane and became a speaker for the dead. It first appeared in the anthology Far Horizons edited by Robert Silverberg and then later in Card's short story collection First Meetings.
Ever since the events of Ender's Game, Andrew Wiggin has been voyaging through space at near-lightspeed. When he arrives at the planet Sorelledolce, he has just turned twenty in relativistic time, so he has to file his first tax return on the trust fund which had been given to him by the International Fleet at the end of the Third Bugger War. He shows his list of investments to Benedetto, a tax collector in the starport, who immediately plans to steal some of it. Meanwhile, Andrew receives an email offering him financial software, which has an interactive personality that calls itself Jane.
While they are on Sorelledolce, Andrew's sister Valentine Wiggin takes him to a "speaking" for a dead man. Andrew talks to the speaker and discovered that the man learned how to be a speaker for the dead from reading Ender's own books The Hive Queen and The Hegemon.
Andrew decides to accept the assistance of the Jane program. She prepares his tax forms, showing him ways to minimize what he owes. The amount is much less than he had expected. When Andrew delivers the forms to Benedetto, the tax collector tries to blackmail him because he has discovered Ender's identity as the hated Xenocide. But Benedetto finds that his files have mysteriously disappeared. In an attempt to get revenge against Ender, he tries to leak what data he still has to the media, but Jane appears on his screen and gives him a choice: "Either say nothing, or tell the whole truth." Benedetto rejects the first option, but when the media receives his story, it has been mysteriously integrated with a full confession of his embezzlements.
Benedetto is arrested, and while he is in prison one of his more powerful victims has him killed. Andrew does a speaking at Benedetto's funeral. He has thus inadvertently given himself a career, that of "speaker for the dead."
- Andrew "Ender" Wiggin
- Valentine Wiggin – Ender's sister
- Benedetto – a tax collector
- Abyssinian hunter – unnamed
- Jane – an artificial intelligence
- People at a speaking – unnamed
- A speaker for the dead – unnamed
- "Investment Counselor" by Orson Scott Card
- The Hatrack Orson Scott Card's official website.
- About the story "Investment Counselor" - from Card's website