How do we pay this guy?” he asked Sakina as he tore into a piece of bread, realizing he had no currency of any kind, nor any knowledge of whether the jinn used currency to begin with.

"If you can’t pay with things, you could pay with skills," said Sakina, motioning to the shadow.

"Well, wait a minute," said Alif, looking from the shadow to Sakina. "My skills are more or less limited to computers - I’m not sure how much help that is to an, ah, to a - "

*Effrit,* said the shadow, *I’m an effrit. And I’ve got a two-year-old Dell desktop in the back that’s had some kind of virus for ages. The screen goes black five minutes after I turn the damn thing on. I have to do a hard reboot every time.*

Alif felt a new vista of serendipitous opportunity open before him.

—  Alif the Unseen