A/N: Fridge supposedly fixed. *Knocks on wood!*
Morgiana frowned. “So why does taking slaves make a difference?”
Sin blinked, caught off-guard. “This is Balbadd.”
Morgiana frowned harder. “So?”
Sin’s jaw dropped. He looked at his companions.
Masrur had a slight smile. “It was a surprise, to find out.”
Sin shook his head, and looked at her with… something soft in his eyes, she didn’t know what to call it. “There are no slaves in Balbadd.”
Morgiana blinked. Looked at Masrur. They had to be trying to trick her. “There’s slavery everywhere.”
“Not in Balbadd,” Masrur said bluntly. “And not in Sindria. No slaves. Ever.”
“Oh.” Aladdin blinked somberly, as if he were looking beyond Sin to all the dizzying city around them. “So that’s why it made Alibaba so sad. It’s that common?”
“Yes,” Sin said, one brow rising in curiosity. “Unfortunately, it is. Where did you say you met Alibaba, again?”
“Oh – in his wagon, eating his watermelons,” Aladdin said brightly. And ducked his head a bit. “Only they weren’t exactly his, and he kind of got in trouble…. So if being a pirate is so bad, why did somebody let some of them get away?”
Morgiana hid a grin. So he had been paying attention. Good.
“Because Abhmad is a fool,” Ja’far said coldly. “A blind one, who can’t even see he’s driving his own people to defy him.”
“You’re not sure of that,” Sin murmured.
“I suppose I could be surer if the dock-master handed me a signed confession,” Ja’far smirked. “He might as well have, to anyone paying attention. The speed at which he made sure those executions were carried out….”
Oh. That made sense. Morgiana nodded, relieved she finally had something familiar to grasp. “He was trying to be sure those he didn’t let loose were dead before anyone above him could interfere.” That, she’d seen before, as a slave to Lord Jamil. Usually whoever was responsible only got away with it once. “So… what made those men pirates to him and everyone else, but not pirates to his lord?”