Magit slowly returns to consciousness from a strange dream whose details she can't remember. She's lying face up in a strange bed, her arms and legs spread out stiffly. She begins to move them carefully.
Magit is aware, in some way she doesn't understand, of the others in the house. She senses, somewhere in the back of her mind, four lights in different positions. She thinks, "Two bright ones and two dim ones. But how can I see lights in the back of my head? This must be something to do with turning Sime."
Magit's hands absently rub over her aching forearms. She feels the tentacles developed under the skin.
Magit: [screams] HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!
Seruffin jumps to his feet, abandoning his cooling cup of trin, and races for the door under low augmentation.
Gerrhonot follows, knocking over the bench as he leaps to his feet.
Seruffin barely slows as he goes through the door, retaining just enough presence of mind to avoid slamming the door in Gerrhonot's face.
Seruffin: Magit, what is it?
Seruffin zlins his patient anxiously for signs of trouble.
Magit: What are these? What is this? What's going on? Where am I?
Seruffin is at least glad that "who am I" isn't among Magit's questions. He summons a ~~ soothingly patient ~~ showfield.
Gerrhonot: It's okay, Magit. ~~ safety ~~ comfort ~~~ reassurance ~~
Magit: Who are you? You're a Sime! I'm going to be a Sime! I don't want to be a Sime!
Seruffin: I know you don't, but you are Sime. Those lumps are your tentacles. They're developing nicely, now.
Magit: I remember you. You were the one in the cellar.
Seruffin gestures for Gerrhonot to move closer, hoping that Magit will be more receptive towards a Gen.
Gerrhonot: Yes. And I'm still with you. We'll take good care of you, don't worry.
Magit: You weren't afraid then. Why are you afraid?
Gerrhonot: I'm not afraid.
Gerrhonot goes closer and offers Magit his hand.
Magit: Well, somebody is afraid. I can tell, sorta, I ....
Seruffin adjusts the fields to block the alarm coming from the kitchen, as he moves to shut the door.
Seruffin: Your screaming alarmed Bart and Vrian, that's all.
Gerrhonot: Here, I'll sit down next to you.
Seruffin: It's all right, boys. Magit is fine. [called out as he shuts the door]
Gerrhonot puts his arm around Magit and blankets her with ~~ calm ~~ safety ~~ reassurance ~~ comfort ~~~
Magit: But they aren't even here. I don't think. And what are these, these, in my mind? Am I going crazy? I never heard that new Simes go crazy.
Gerrhonot: You're zlinning, like I told you about.
Seruffin: Bart and Vrian are out in the kitchen.
Magit: If this is slinning, it is pretty crazy stuff.
Seruffin returns to the bed.
Seruffin: It's not so bad, once you get used to it. In fact, it can be very handy, sometimes. ~~ encouragement ~~
Magit: [screams] AAAAKKKKK! You are tearing me in two! Stop it! Go away!
Seruffin pauses, adjusting his showfield into a more neutral configuration, so as not to interfere with Gerrhonot's projection.
Seruffin: Is that better?
Magit: Oh. Yes. Much.
Magit: [reluctantly] Thank you.
Seruffin: You're welcome.
Gerrhonot watches Seruffin attentively for cues.
Seruffin: Magit, can I see how your tentacles are developing?
Magit: Ummm, you need to touch them? ~~ ewwwww ~~
Seruffin: Well, yes, if I'm going to see if they're developing normally. I know they're sore, though. I won't hurt you.
Gerrhonot: It's okay, Magit. Hajene Seruffin is trying to help you. ~~ trust ~~ encouragement ~~
Magit: Umm, okay. Be careful, though. They really are sore.
Seruffin reaches for one of Magit's hands. He notes that her hand is Sime-normal temperature. He lifts the hand, and runs one finger lightly down the forearm, zlinning deeply.
Seruffin: You'll be a full-grown Sime before much longer, Magit. Right now, though, it's important that you stay relaxed.
Gerrhonot: ~~~ calm ~~~ safety ~~~ reassurance ~~~
Seruffin notes that Magit is responding to Gerrhonot's projection a bit more than usual, and thinks it's probably a very good thing. He sits down on Magit's other side.
Seruffin: Relax, Magit. I won't hurt you. I'm a channel. I'm here to help you.
Seruffin reinforces Gerrhonot's ~~ safety and reassurance ~~ projection.
Magit: When you sit there, I get such a buzzing in my head.
Seruffin: That's because I'm carrying a lot of selyn, just now. I'll give some of it to you, when your tentacles break out, so that you won't have to attack a Gen. Does the selyn zlin good, to you?
Magit: It's like a rosy light.
Magit shuts her eyes
Magit: I can see it even with my eyes shut! ~~ excitement ~~
Seruffin: That's because you're not "seeing" it with your eyes. You're zlinning.
Magit: I feel wrong, somehow. Like being hungry, or thirsty. But I'm not hungry and I'm not thirsty. Is this ... need?
Seruffin: It's the beginning of need, anyway. You've been burning up your childhood selyn reserves, to develop those tentacles.
Magit: [attempt at humor] I am burning up, sure enough.
Seruffin: Your body temperature is Sime normal, now.
Magit: So I'm going to have a fever all the time? Yuk. ~~ disgust self-loathing ~~
Seruffin: You don't have a fever. Simes just have a higher body temperature than Gens and children, that's all.
Magit: I am going to be a Sime. [petulant] Why?
Seruffin: Why does anyone grow up? You wouldn't want to be a child your whole life, would you? That would get pretty boring, don't you think?
Gerrhonot: You'll enjoy being a Sime once you get used to it, Magit. Simes can do all kinds of neat things.
Magit: I'll never be .... ugggg ... agggg .... zzzrrrrrr ....
Magit's throat begins to close up.
Seruffin: You'll never be a Gen, that's true. But that doesn't mean your life is ending.
Seruffin hopes not, anyway.
Seruffin signals for Gerrhonot to increase his calming projection.
Magit isn't breathing.
Gerrhonot: ~~~ CALM ~~~ SAFE ~~~~
Seruffin reaches out to zlin more closely, then eases Magit back to lie down.
Magit is beginning to turn a little blue around the fingernails...
Seruffin extends his laterals, working to loosen the spasming throat muscles.
Gerrhonot shifts his field to ~~ support ~~ Seruffin as he works.
Magit: AYAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! God, what was that! Is that normal?
Seruffin: It's not unheard-of.
Magit: Is there any way you can speed this up? I need this to be over with!
Magit uses "need" in the Genlan sense, of course.
Seruffin thinks that it's just as appropriate in the Simelan sense.
Seruffin: Growing up takes time.
Gerrhonot works to calm Magit down, to prevent her from wasting selyn.
Magit begins to respond to Gerrhonot's field work
Seruffin: Even Gens don't get high-field overnight.
Gerrhonot: Here, Magit, I'll lie down with you and hold you.
Gerrhonot does so, enveloping her in his field. ~~ calm ~~ comfort ~~ patience ~~ reassurance ~~
Magit: Oooo-okay. That's good.
Seruffin: Gerrhonot is very comfortable to be around, isn't he?
Magit's spasm passes more quickly this time, as Seruffin and Gerrhonot are prepared for it.
Magit: It's fine to say this has to take time...
Seruffin: Everybody gets impatient.
Magit: ...but I'm not going to have any time if these, whatever you call them, keep on going. How can I relax when I can't breathe?
Magit: How does ... ggggg ... ahhhh! How can you let Gerrhonot help me when he's supposed to be your Gen?
Magit's fists begin to curl up.
Seruffin notes that Magit has already started to grasp the basics of Sime possessiveness of desirable Gens.
Gerrhonot lets a little ~~ amusement ~~ leak into his ~~~ calm, safe, patient ~~ projection.
Seruffin: Gerrhonot is a Donor. It's his job to help me, when I'm helping a patient.
Magit has tightly clenched her fists despite the increasing pain in her arms
Magit: But he's helping me, not you!
Seruffin: Don't worry, you won't attack him.
Magit: Why not? I thought any Gen ...
Seruffin: Don't clench your fists like that. It's not time.
Magit forces her fists open and keeps them open.
Seruffin takes Magit's hands, coaxing them to flatten even more.
Gerrhonot: That's good, Magit. You're doing well.
Magit: Doesn't a new Sime want any Gen she can grab?
Seruffin: You won't attack Gerrhonot. You won't want to. See?
Seruffin lets his showfield zlin more Genlike, and gradually lets it impinge through Gerrhonot's.
Gerrhonot fades out into a faint ~~ neutral ~~ projection.
Magit jerks her arms about randomly.
Seruffin: When you are ready for selyn, I'll give it to you.
Seruffin restrains Magit's hands, gently.
Magit feels chills running up and down her spine.
Seruffin: Lie still, Magit. Don't waste your strength.
Gerrhonot: You couldn't hurt me even if you did attack me, Magit. You don't have to worry about that.
Magit: [The buzzing in Magit's head increases to a deafening level.]
Gerrhonot: ~~~ calm ~~~ safe ~~
Magit: I don't think I can take the noise in my head. I think... I think ... Will you let go!
Gerrhonot steps up the ~~ calm ~~ and ~~~ patient ~~~
Seruffin takes Gerrhonot's projection and reinforces it.
Seruffin: Relax, Magit. It won't hurt you.
Magit: Stop, stop, stop!
Gerrhonot looks to Seruffin, hoping for suggestions.
Seruffin could use a few.
Magit: I can't take it, I tell you! Why don't you believe me when I tell you I can't take it! LET ME GO!
Magit is on the verge of hysterics again.
Gerrhonot: ~~~ CALM! ~~~
Magit stops shouting, but every muscle in her body is tense, tense, tense.
Seruffin lets Magit go, rather than zlin her waste more selyn on hysterics.
Gerrhonot: It's important that you try to stay relaxed, Magit. You can do that, can't you? ~~~ encouragement ~~~
Magit: [meekly] I'll try. I just can't stand it when ... Oh, there are no words for this!
Gerrhonot: When you learn Simelan, you'll have the words.
Magit: [sotto voce] Fat lot of good that does me now!
Magit doesn't want to hurt Gerrhonot's feelings, but she's still a teenager.
Gerrhonot: Well, Hajene can zlin what you're feeling, even if you can't tell him.
Seruffin: You'll learn Simelan very quickly. That's one of the advantages of becoming a Sime, you know. For the next year or so, you'll be able to learn much faster than you could before.
Magit: Why do I have a feeling I'll need it?
Seruffin: Even Simes who grow up in Sime Territory need it.
Seruffin speaks using colloquial Genlan.
Seruffin: It takes a lot of learning to get used to zlinning, and the other things you'll be able to do, as an adult Sime.
Magit: Yeah, I guess so.
Magit's fingers begin to clench again.
Seruffin zlins that this time, the breakout contractions are ready to start.
Magit: I'm ... trying .... to relax but I can't. Help me!
Gerrhonot: ~~ calm ~~ safety ~~ encouragement ~~
Seruffin: It's all right, your tentacles are getting ready to break out. Go ahead and clench your fists, then throw your fingers open, like this.
Seruffin demonstrates, cuing Gerrhonot to do so, too.
Magit's fists are fully clenched. Her arms extend convulsively. She follows Seruffin's example.
Gerrhonot moves in time with the other two, concentrating on the movements of his hand and arm muscles to project the feelings to Magit.
Gerrhonot: That's it, Magit.
Magit curls her fingers again, clenches twice as hard this time, flings her fingers out and her forearms down. She does it again ... and again.
Seruffin moves closer, now that Magit is too preoccupied for hysterics, and prepares to serve First Transfer.
Gerrhonot: ~~~ encouragement ~~
Magit: Is this it?
Seruffin: Yes, it is. It's almost over.
Gerrhonot: You're doing well, Magit.
Seruffin: Try to extend your tentacles, now, when your hands open.
Magit does her best, but the tentacles don't budge.
Seruffin zlins Magit closely, projecting a Genlike, Gerrhonot-flavored showfield.
Magit's tentacles begin to stir in their sheaths.
Seruffin: That's right. Once more, now.
Gerrhonot fades his projection towards neutral, to help Magit focus on Seruffin.
Seruffin: Come on, you can do it.
Magit loses touch with the senses one by one....
Magit: [sight gone]
Seruffin: ~~ encouragement ~~ mixed with ~~ replete selyn just waiting for you ~~
Magit: [sound gone]
Magit: [touch gone]
Magit: [smell gone]
Magit: ~~~~ DORSAL BREAKOUT ~~~~
Magit: ~~~~ VENTRAL BREAKOUT ~~~~
Magit's handling tentacles wave about randomly.
Seruffin reaches for Magit's hands, projecting ~~ pure Gen enticement ~~
Magit's laterals start to extend under the skin, but don't break out.
Seruffin shakes his head, and takes Magit's hands.
Magit's laterals shift again, stretching the membranes but not breaking them
Seruffin runs his handling tentacles down Magit's arm, forcing the fluid in the lateral sheaths against the membranes.
Magit's membranes rupture
Magit: ~~~~ LATERAL BREAKOUT ~~~~
Magit's laterals lick forward, then retract, then lick forward again.
Seruffin reaches his own laterals to capture Magit's.
Seruffin: Congratulations, Magit!
Seruffin leans forward to offer lip contact.
Magit begins to draw against the ~~ pure Gen enticement ~~, stops drawing, teeters on the edge of shen.
Seruffin blocks the abort with ~~ plenty ~~, coaxing Magit back into the transfer.
Magit begins to draw again. The flow becomes unbalanced, and shen raises its ugly head again.
Seruffin compensates for the imbalance, and zlins for the reason that Magit is having trouble.
Magit senses selyn flowing along her nerves, but it feels gritty, sandy, not smooth. The rosy pink light is starting to look downright garish.
Seruffin backs off a little, and concentrates on smoothing his delivery. He leans a bit on Gerrhonot's field, taking it as a model for his projection.
Magit relaxes and begins to draw smoothly, then with increasing speed. The shen gets buried under the increasingly high-quality transfer.
Seruffin keeps up easily, offering selyn at a rate just a hair below Magit's preference, to make her work for it.
Magit's systems switch from smooth flow to a stuttering drop-by-drop mode.
Seruffin cuts the hair in half, then to a quarter.
Magit feels pain throughout the selyn transport nerves as the stutter switches to a screeching vibration.
Seruffin damps the vibration, and the pain, and tries again.
Gerrhonot feels that something isn't going right, gets up and puts his hands on Seruffin's shoulders.
Magit's nager goes flat, her tentacles go flaccid and try to retract.
Seruffin thinks, "shen", and he isn't swearing. Entirely.
Gerrhonot projects ~~ support ~~ to both his channel and the renSime.
Magit revives. Her nager soars, but no selyn flows. ~~ stuck stuck stuck ~~
Seruffin steadies Magit, zlinning for the cause of the blockage.
Magit begins to draw again, but the selyn hammer resumes. Her tentacles clench down on Seruffin's, regardless of possible trauma to the laterals.
Seruffin meticulously adjusts his selyn flow to Magit's draw, flavoring it with Gerrhonot's nager as closely as he can.
Magit: [The selyn hammer fades away.]
Magit's intil rises proportionately to the incoming selyn. The transfer is going smoothly now. 75%....80%....90%...92%...
Seruffin is careful to cut the flow back as Magit's draw starts to slow.
Magit: [The selyn hammer resumes!]
Seruffin adds more Gerrhonot to his projection, slowing down even more.
Seruffin subtly encourages Magit's intil, to coax her into drawing to repletion.
Magit speeds up her draw, but the hammer goes hypersonic. [96%^v^v^v97%^v^v^v^v98%^v^v^v^v99%^v^v^v^v] [99.1^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^V]
Seruffin smooths out the Gerrhonot-flavored flow.
Magit is stuck in a geometric progression .
Magit: ~~ REPLETION ~~
Seruffin gives a heartfelt, if muffled, sigh of relief, as the transfer terminates.
Magit opens her eyelids, but her eyeballs have rolled up into her head.
Magit releases her laterals then her handling tentacles. She's hanging from Seruffin's handling tentacles.
Seruffin retracts his own laterals, and then his handling tentacles, although he's still using his nager to ease Magit hypoconscious.
Seruffin: Congratulations, Magit. You're all grown up, now.
Magit collapses back onto the bed unconscious. She doesn't hear a word.
Gerrhonot: Hajene, what happened?
Seruffin: I'd like to know the details myself. She's fainted.
Gerrhonot provides a strong, steady field for Seruffin to lean on as he recovers from the functional.
Gerrhonot: She shenned herself....?
Seruffin extends his laterals again, as soon as he can, to zlin Magit more thoroughly.
Seruffin: She tried. About a half dozen times.
Gerrhonot: ~~ support ~~
Seruffin: But she finally finished.
Magit's replete field freezes, then collapses, dead flat.
Seruffin reaches for Magit's field with his own.
Seruffin: Help me, Gerrhonot. Put your hands on mine, so she zlins your projection, too.
Magit's field stays flat.
Gerrhonot complies, projecting ~~ encouragement ~~~
Seruffin works to raise Magit's blood pressure, and bring her back to consciousness.
Magit's field stays flat, although her physical signs look a tad better. Her peripheral selyn transport nerves begin to shut down.
Seruffin shakes his head.
Magit's field is still flat on the surface, though there are some traces of selyn transport in the core systems.
Seruffin reaches with his laterals, "grabs" a firm hold on Magit's field, and sends a carefully modulated ~ shock ~ to jar it out of the shut-down. He's careful to adjust the shock for Magit's sensitivity.
Magit's field revives and settles into a weak pattern.
Seruffin: She responds well to you, Gerrhonot. Lie down beside her.
Gerrhonot lies down and takes the girl in his arms. He envelopes her with his field. ~~ safety ~~ comfort ~~ encouragement ~~ kindness ~~ He thinks it would be awful for her to die after all this.
Magit: It's you....I must be alive, then. I guess. That was horrible.
Gerrhonot: Congratulations, Magit. ~~ happiness comfort ~~~
Seruffin: Yes, congratulations. You're all grown up, now.
Magit: Congrat... Well, I guess so. If this is being grown up, I want my diapers back.
Gerrhonot strokes Magit's back.
Gerrhonot: It's all over now. You'll never have to do that again.
Magit's handling tentacles emerge. She starts to twiddle her tentacles.
Magit: Hey, cool!
Gerrhonot: Didn't I tell you they were?
Magit turns her head and groans.
Magit: Urrgh, I feel gross. And what is this disgusting goop all over me?
Seruffin: There's some warm water, here, if you'd like to get cleaned up.
Magit tries to sit up in the bed, fails.
Seruffin: It's just blood and fluids.
Seruffin: No, stay there. I'll fetch the basin.
Seruffin does so, then searches through the luggage for a spare handkerchief to press into service as a washcloth.
Seruffin: Here, go ahead and wash.
Magit washes as much as she can bear to. Of course, she washes with hands and fingers only.
Seruffin: And then I'll give you some medicine that will help you sleep.
Magit: [to Gerrhonot] Can you stay with me until I go to sleep?
Gerrhonot: Sure, Magit. ~~ comfort ~~ safety ~~~
Magit: [sadly] I know I can't keep you away from your Sime.
Magit continues to twiddle her tentacles absently.
Gerrhonot strokes a tentacle with his finger.
Gerrhonot: Fun, aren't they?
Magit: Huh? Oh. Yeah.
Seruffin is busy measuring fosebine into a glass. He considers, then makes a second glass for himself, and hands the first glass to Magit.
Seruffin: Here, Magit. This tastes awful, but it will make you feel better.
Magit: That's what they all say.
Seruffin: And then you'll be able to sleep.
Gerrhonot: ~~ encouragement ~~~
Magit cleverly holds her nose, tosses the glass back in one gulp, retches.
Magit: Ewwww, you weren't kidding.
Gerrhonot: ~~~ nausea does not exist ~~~
Magit: Hey, what is this, you just think, and I have to feel what you ....
Magit: What was I saying?
Gerrhonot: ~~ calm ~~ comfort ~~~ drowsiness ~~ safety ~~
Seruffin: Sleep, Magit. You've had a hard day.
Magit: Humble mumph. Rzzr gobble porkchops. ~~ carnivory ~~ ~~ sleep ~~
Magit is asleep at last.
Gerrhonot gently eases himself away from Magit, and covers her with a blanket.
Gerrhonot: [softly] Are you all right, Hajene?
Seruffin: I've had better days. We both survived, at least.
Gerrhonot: Can I do anything for you? ~~ kindness ~~ admiration ~~
Seruffin wilts onto Gerrhonot's field.
Gerrhonot holds his channel, supporting him physically as well as nagerically. ~~ love ~~