Nattin brings a heavily laden tray with a pot of tea, service for three, and a plateful of baked goods, onto the Center's back porch, where Bibi and Cristal have escaped for a breath of fresh air.
Nattin: Good morning.
Bibi: Oh, hi, Nattin. Thanks. I could use a cup of tea.
Nattin pours and distributes the tea, then selects a muffin and settles back with a good ~~ appetite ~~
Bibi isn't feeling at her best after the events of the previous day, and she's drifting into need as well. She picks up her cup and sips, enjoying the warmth.
Nattin makes sure that the baked-goods plate is in easy reach of the channel, then turns to Cristal, hoping to distract Bibi from any reluctance to eat.
Cristal picks up a cookie and bites it precisely in the middle.
Nattin: So, how is your newest protege coming along, Sosu?
Cristal: Physically, he seems fine. It's just too soon to tell whether he's responding to therapy or not.
Bibi: He really needs to learn to relax. Poor kid is a nervous wreck after what he's been through.
Nattin: How is he getting along with the Greenwoods?
Cristal: As you say, he's nervous, and he's shy around strangers. Living in Gumgeeville, he's just not used to being around anyone that isn't as familiar as dirt. But I think he'll be able to adjust to it soon enough. Of course, this is all very tentative.
Bibi: I'm hoping that if he can relax he'll get a feeling for when his changeover will happen. Then we can get another Donor out here too, ideally one with experience in First Transfer. Right now, he's so frantic about it that if he saw the date written on his retinas he wouldn't be able to read it.
Nattin: With his family background, it's not surprising he's tied up in knots at the very idea of changeover.
Bibi: Yes. I'm so glad he's here where we can help him. I have to admire Mister Gegg, that he came here at all, much less turned his son over to us, when his Simephobia is so extreme. He was practically hysterical yesterday.
Cristal: Yes, well, it turns out that he has the best of reasons for it -- and not just because he's from Gen Territory.
Nattin raises an eyebrow.
Cristal: Mik found out -- overheard, actually -- that his father came ~~ that close ~~ [makes finger gesture] to being killed when he was young.
Nattin: A berserker?
Bibi: A family member?
Cristal: Swamp Simes, actually.
Nattin: Swamp Simes?
Nattin isn't aware of any Sime variant that prefers to live in marshes.
Cristal: He was in the Gen Army, and they had the job of cleaning out one of those groups of juncts that used to hide out in the wetlands south of here. Berserkers that couldn't run for the border would head for marginal land, just like the Giant Killer Gens on the Sime Territory side. Around here, that means swamps.
Bibi: Or mountains, sometimes, or ruins.
Cristal: I suppose so.
Bibi puts her tea on the table.
Cristal: Anyway, he was trapped with half a dozen juncts sizing him up, and he was actually attracted to the one in the worst need. This is all my reconstruction of what Mik remembers overhearing his father say, of course. But I think the main points are correct.
Bibi: Oh, how horrible. The poor man. And there's no way he could have understood why.
Nattin is old enough to have a very good idea of the sort of "sizing up" a band of juncts would find amusing, even if he's never experienced a Donor's attraction to need.
Cristal: Then he was rescued at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour, but not before he'd been quite thoroughly traumatized by the whole thing.
Nattin: How did he survive? He surely didn't manage to serve a transfer?
Cristal: No, some other soldiers wiped out the juncts.
Bibi: He'd seen other soldiers killed, I suppose, and was sure he was going to die himself... the juncts must have been fascinated by his nager...
Cristal shudders at the thought of an untrained Donor in such a situation.
Bibi crosses her arms over her chest and shivers.
Cristal: I suspect his Donor-sized nager shielded the other group from being zlinned.
Bibi: What did Mik think of it? What did you tell him?
Cristal: I don't really know. He told it to me sort of, well, without showing much feeling about it.
Cristal isn't used to talking about such things with people who habitually conceal their feelings.
Cristal: I told him that it was all right for him to tell me, because I was his acting Donor therapist, but he shouldn't tell anyone else.
Nattin: Is he worried, perhaps, that he will become like the Simes who tortured his father?
Cristal: That's a very good question, but I have no idea what the answer may be.
Nattin takes a sip of his tea, hoping the trin will settle his stomach.
Nattin: And after that, Gegg was willing to let his son come to us.
Bibi: Yes. It's important that we help Mik understand what a hero his father is, to face Simes four times for the benefit of his children. To come here three times, the first time alone, and to face Marvin over Sanda.
Cristal looks ~~ startled ~~ ; he hadn't thought of it that way at all.
Nattin: It's extracting a heavy price from him, I believe.
Bibi: It must be like someone who was burned in a fire, and still has pain from the scars, going into a burning building to rescue his children.
Cristal pulls himself together and intensifies his ~~ support ~~.
Bibi: When I came out of the donation room with Toria, the ambient....
Bibi clutches her arms tighter and shivers again.
Cristal: I could tell that it was very rough. ~~ sympathy ~~
Nattin: He was afraid for his wife?
Bibi: He was terrified. It was like....
Bibi can't think up an analogy that doesn't seem excessively melodramatic, but the ambient almost floored her. She makes a vague gesture.
Cristal: Like trying to escape the swamp by swimming out?
Bibi: From what he said afterwards, he knows his terror is irrational, but he feels it nonetheless, which must make it far worse for him. And that subliminal attraction to Simes... Oh, that poor man. To feel it to Simes torturing him, then to feel it to me...
Cristal: ~~ sudden comprehension ~~ Which is why he thinks Simes can seduce Gens into donation: he assumes everyone feels the same attraction he does.
Bibi looks to Nattin, hoping he'll understand why she's so distressed, even if Cristal doesn't.
Cristal: I didn't really grasp how that must feel before. He's been traumatized, he knows other people haven't been, so the "seduction" works on them but not on him.
Nattin: Are you sure it doesn't? Bibi, is he still attracted to you, as well as terrified of you?
Bibi: Yes, I've zlinned his fascination and attraction to me several times, mixed with fear and dread and... it's quite a mix. But when he hit me with that stark terror, I just dropped hypoconscious. It was unbearable.
Cristal takes a deep breath to release the ~~ tension ~~ he didn't realize he was holding.
Nattin: Can something be done about the situation? Now that we have some idea what's causing it?
Cristal shrugs; he ~~ doubts ~~ it.
Nattin is used to Householdings, where "leave a scared Gen alone" wasn't an option.
Bibi: Seruffin was quite worried about me trying to take his donation even before we knew how bad it was. I'd really like to help him, so if Mik changes over, he'll be able to accept him as a Sime, but it's not clear what I can do.
Bibi: I think if he can understand the roots of his problems better, the reason for the attraction, it may help him at least a little. I'll have to think about how we can give him the information.
Nattin: What he really requires is intensive therapy.
Bibi spreads hands and tentacles.
Nattin: No one should have to walk around with that kind of unhealed trauma.
Cristal: He certainly does, but who's going to do it?
Bibi: Up to now, he's been able to simply avoid any contact with Simes.
Nattin: I don't think that's an option for him, any more. Not with his wife donating, and his friends the Mullinses.
Cristal: And his daughter planning to donate as soon as she's old enough, and his son possibly becoming a channel? No, indeed.
Bibi: I expect Toria will bring Sanda in here the next time. And if she has some Donor talent, we'll have the problem of deciding whether to encourage it. That will make Gegg feels like the Simes are stealing his entire family from him. I wish we could use Mik or Toria as a conduit, but Mik is too immature and Toria... well.. I don't think it would work.
Cristal: ~~ curious ~~ A conduit? How would that work?
Bibi: Cristal, I mean, have them tell Gegg for us.
Cristal: Oh. I thought you were talking about some nageric procedure I haven't heard of.
Nattin: Is there a problem with the wife? She seemed a sensible sort, when she came in to cash her voucher. Is she likely to be be unsympathetic?
Bibi: There's an unusual dynamic in that couple. I wouldn't count on her sympathy, or her being able to tell him without a heavy undertone of "so shape up" along with it.
Cristal: Given that she probably doesn't know about Gegg's history, I don't see how she could be very sympathetic, really.
Bibi: And if Gegg hasn't told her in all these years, how can we tell her?
Nattin: True. I suppose it would come under client confidentiality, even if Gegg isn't, strictly speaking, a client.
Cristal: We learned it from Mik, who is a client.
Nattin spreads his hands, in a gesture of concession.
Bibi: With all these issues of trust, Cristal, and the problem that they have every right to take Mik home, or shoot him at the first sign of changeover..
Cristal is ~~ confused ~~ why Bibi is telling him this; is he missing something?
Nattin: I suppose the only solution, then, is to grab the proverbial Gen and find a way to talk to the man yourselves.
Nattin uses a perhaps unfortunate Simelan idiom that in English would be translated "bite the bullet".
Bibi: What don't you understand, Cristal?
Cristal: You were saying about issues of trust and taking Mik home or shooting him?
Bibi: If we tell Toria about Gegg's experience, and she tells him we told her, how is he going to feel? These Tecton people, whom he has only the most tentative trust in, have told his wife something he's concealed from her for at least fifteen years? Is that going to make him trust us more, or less? And that we found out because his own son told us, and we did what with the information?
Cristal throws his hands up in the air.
Cristal: You thought that I thought we should tell Toria? On the contrary! Mik told me, and I'm telling you as my channel, and, well, Nattin as your advisor. Telling anyone else was the furthest thing from my mind.
Bibi: I'm sorry, Cristal, I misunderstood you.
Bibi wonders if she's tending to think the worst of Cristal in these matters, and if it's a symptom of need or not.
Nattin: It seems to me that to do nothing might be the greater danger, however.
Bibi: What would you suggest?
Nattin: As has been pointed out, Gegg's trust of us is fragile. The longer he remains in ignorance of what is happening to him whenever he gets near a Sime, the more likely he is to change his mind and take Mik home. He must be told, for his son's sake, and his own.
Cristal: But he must be told in such a way that he does not find out that we know his history.
Cristal is ~~ firm ~~ on this point.
Bibi: Well, we knew about the attraction, and his theory of Sime seduction long before we knew his history. Jed told me about it the first time I met him.
Cristal makes the "Granted" gesture.
Nattin: He told his story recently, for the first time in fifteen years, or Mik could not have overheard it, correct?
Bibi: I guess he must have told it to Tony Grelbix, right, Cristal? Not to Mik directly? There was a piece of Arora's cheesecake left...
Nattin: Arora's cheesecake can indeed work miracles.
Bibi figures the Geggs had a lot more on their minds than mentioning Uncle Tony's gift of cheesecake before they left.
Cristal: Mik didn't say, actually. But it's as good a theory as any.
Nattin: Doesn't that suggest that Gegg might be inclined to accept help for the problem, if it were offered?
Cristal: Suggest, yes. But we really don't know anything about the circumstances that induced him to tell Mr. Grelbix.
Bibi: Well, as I told Mik, I'd like to find a way to tell Gegg that his attraction to Simes is a real effect, and it's a manifestation of Donor talent, not an act by the Simes. This is apart from the trauma he experienced as a soldier.
Nattin rubs his chin in ~~ thought ~~
Nattin: Perhaps that can be your opening, then.
Bibi: I wish they would let the Tecton help them with those junct children instead of risking and wasting so many lives trying to shoot them!
Bibi: Sorry, Nattin, what do you suggest?
Nattin: He has asked you to help his son. Given that Donor and channeling talent tend to run in families, surely it is well within the parameters of your agreement to help Mik, to determine whether the boy's father has traces of Donor talent?
Nattin: If you ask Gegg to come in to answer some questions about his family history...well, such a conversation can cover a great deal of ground.
Bibi: Nattin, he can't bear to be near me.
Cristal: Perhaps it should be I who asks the questions -- with Bibi nearby but not in sight?
Bibi: Cristal, I don't think you understand out-T culture well enough.
Cristal: Hmm. ~~ not sure whether to be offended or not ~~
Nattin: Gegg managed to talk to Marvin, didn't he? And he's talked to you also, Bibi, hasn't he? Without falling apart?
Bibi: For a few minutes, yes. And Marvin was behind bars, and Gegg had his anger to help him hold himself together.
Cristal: Not a situation conducive to hearing painful things about oneself.
Cristal is speaking from painful recent experience.
Nattin: I gather that his wife was pressuring him to donate, yesterday. That might account for his...outburst. A simple consultation might not be a threatening. We know he has courage. If he is told that a consultation would help his son--which it would--he might agree.
Cristal: ~~ skepticism ~~
Bibi: I suppose so. I'm not qualified to treat his Simephobia, but I do think that if I can help him understand that attraction to Simes, it would help him.
Nattin spreads his hands in a "that settles it" gesture.
Bibi: It still might be better to go through an intermediary, someone he trusts. Perhaps Mik, or Jed.
Cristal: I'm not sure he does trust any of them -- on the subject of Simes.
Bibi: True. They've been seduced, and no doubt suborned. That would apply even more so to either of you.
Nattin: If you see him in person, you can at least settle the issue of this attraction of his.
Bibi: Oh, the attraction is real. Seruffin concurs.
Bibi remembers that she flirted with the idea of projecting need to really attract Gegg, and is struck by what a very bad idea it was.
Nattin: If you can demonstrate to him that the attraction is merely a response to a projection of need, that might do a great deal to convince him that there's nothing magical about it.
Bibi: Ah, but to out-T Gens, that is magic, Nattin. All this nageric stuff is black sorcery to them.
Nattin: Sorcery that behaves by strict rules, and has demonstrated limitations, is a great deal less frightening than a generalized, omnipotent malevolence.
Bibi: If I say to him "Mr. Gegg, there's nothing magic about it, I just [Simelan for "project need" ] and you just naturally feel attracted, see?", I really doubt his reaction is going to be "Oh, I see, that's all right then."
Bibi sometimes wonders whether Nattin will ever understand the worldview of an out-T born Gen.
Nattin: It wouldn't be quite that simple, true, but it's better than leaving the poor man running around with no idea what's happening to him, isn't it?
Bibi: Yes, but I'm not convinced that telling him myself is the best way.
Cristal: If not you, then whom?
Bibi runs through the possibilities. Seruffin? Yeah, right. Nattin? Well... Cristal? No way. Layna? Ghan? Gitl? Estragen? Oh, dear. Mik? Maybe. Toria? Hmm. Jed? Bart?
Nattin sees Bibi desperately struggling for an answer.
Bibi: I'll think about it. He likely won't be back in town for some time, and may well not come here if he does. Jed is a possibility, since Bart has Donor talent and his attraction to Simes is manifesting more strongly all the time. Possibly Bart himself.
Bibi: But yes, if he comes here, and I can talk to him without scaring him, I'll try to do it.
Nattin pours more tea all around.
Cristal takes a gulp, not a sip, which shows how distressed he actually is.
Bibi: Telling him I categorically refuse to consider taking his donation might help.
Cristal's eyebrows shoot up.
Nattin: It might, at that.
Cristal: It sounds to me like we have a plan. Or the beginnings of one. ~~ relaxation ~~
Bibi: I hope it will wait until a time when I'm not in need. Yesterday was quite difficult.
Cristal: ~~ sympathy support there-when-you-need-me ~~
Bibi clasps her hands and wraps her tentacles around them.
Nattin is also ~~ sympathetic ~~, although his sympathy doesn't have nearly the "kick" of a Donor's.
Nattin: Was Gegg's wife bad, as well?
Bibi: No, she was quite easy to deal with, nagerically at least, although she did have a bit of an unusual reaction to lateral contact. She didn't find it frightening or unpleasant, though.
Nattin: That's curious. Could she, also, have a trace of Donor talent?
Cristal isn't going to say anything, but he certainly ~~ does not believe ~~ that.
Bibi: Possibly. It might explain why she had no unusual difficulties with her pregnancy with Mik. I also noticed that her GN-3 level had a bit more selyn than you'd expect.
Nattin: Assuming he does turn out to be a channel, you mean.
Bibi: Yes. Assuming that. There really isn't much known about what happens to somebody with Donor talent who never meets a Sime until well into adulthood.
Nattin: Well, there was Hugh Valleroy.
Bibi: Imagine Toria as a Farris Companion!
Nattin: She might do well, at that: she didn't seem inclined to accept any nonsense.
Bibi: That poor Farris would have his life well organized, that's for sure! Anyhow, Hugh had plenty of contact with Simes, but the Simes were prisoners facing death by attrition.
Nattin: I wonder if he felt the same "pull" that Gegg did? Although in his case, it was the Simes who were being tortured.
Bibi looks at Cristal.
Cristal: [sententiously] I don't suppose we'll ever know, considering we don't have Valleroy Gens to study.
Bibi: What do you think, Cristal? If you hadn't grown up in-T, after Unity, what would you have felt when you met Simes as an adult?
Cristal tries to imagine that and fails.
Cristal: I really -- I really couldn't begin to say.
Bibi: Imagine yourself as Gegg, or Bart, if that's easier. Simes aren't human. They kill. They're dangerous and untrustworthy. Now you meet an allegedly civilized one, and you feel... what?
Bibi projects a little need, slowly increasing it.
Nattin listens ~~ curiously ~~ for Cristal's answer.
Cristal attempts to split himself in two, with ~~ nervousness ~~ on the upper level and ~~ need to give ~~ on the lower level.
Bibi zlins curiously, wondering how Cristal will react to his own emotions.
Nattin grew up without a trace of Donor talent, which rather pleased him, as it left open an academic career.
Cristal: That's about the ... best I can do, Hajene. Adding a massive fear trauma is really quite beyond my ability to simulate.
Bibi: What do you think it would be like, feeling that attraction for the first time, in the context of exposure to what you've always believed is something very very dangerous?
Cristal: I think it would make me just what I spoke of before: a twisted Donor. A danger to himself and every Sime around him.
Bibi: Could you feel empathy with a person like that?
Cristal: ~~ reluctance ~~ It would be ... very difficult. It's true that Gegg isn't the usual sort of twisted Donor: a sadist. But if he were able to reclaim any of his native strength, he could easily become one.
Bibi: Do you think so? Do you think he'd like to hurt Simes nagerically?
Nattin: Only if he still believed that Simes aren't human. I don't think that's likely, from what I've heard of the man. Well, if he knew what he was doing.
Bibi wonders whether Hugh Valleroy was a "twisted Donor" sadist as an interrogator for the Gen government, and Klyd Farris somehow untwisted him. Perhaps that's why the relationship ultimately came to such a bad end.
Cristal: Twisted Donors don't necessarily believe that Simes aren't human. Nor do they necessarily wish to cause pain as such. Too often, what satisfies them is control. New Donors always go through a period of teasing the Simes around them. In twisted Donors, the teasing doesn't stop -- it goes on to become a taste for domination. And using pleasure to dominate can be even more powerful than using pain.
Cristal speaks through clenched teeth, his emotions ~~ forced to flatness ~~.
Bibi realizes that she's hit a very sore spot with Cristal that she never knew was there. She takes his hand and strokes it with her tentacles.
Bibi: From what I saw and zlinned of Gegg, his tendency is more to relinquish control, to his wife.
Nattin: Have you ever been tempted to do such a thing, Sosu?
Bibi gives Nattin a quelling look.
Cristal: [quietly] No. Not seriously. No.
Nattin: That implies that the temptation is there, however. Is the risk of giving in to it really so much higher, with Donors who come to the profession later in life?
Cristal: Nobody really knows. But I should think that a background like Gegg's might be ... predispositive.
Bibi: I can't imagine even the most fanatical Householder considering making a Companion of Gegg.
Nattin: Still...could understanding why he's attracted to Simes allow him to damage them?
Nattin hadn't considered that, during the earlier discussion.
Cristal: Right now, Gegg's fear makes it impossible for him to use his talents in any way. If his fear is reduced, his abilities may surface. But he won't have the ingrained ethics of a Tecton Donor to backstop him. He'll be operating on his own.
Bibi: His nager showed no tendency to engage mine, and of course, he's not even a GN-3. I wonder how much he could learn, even if he wished to. This is completely unlike Bart, whose nager is very responsive.
Cristal: On the other hand, it may be that his abilities have been permanently repressed or destroyed. It's a ... what do they call it in English? [English] Oh yeah: a crapshoot.
Bibi: Well, he won't have much contact with Simes in Gumgeeville, even if he does make an effort to become a Giant Killer Gen.
Nattin: Yes, the most effective Giant Killer Gens tended to be working Companions.
Cristal: No, surely not in Gumgeeville. But here in the Sime Center?
Bibi: Well, you'll just have to protect me from him, Cristal, if we cure his Simephobia and he turns into a monster.
Bibi tries to make that light and joking, but she isn't very successful.
Cristal tilts his head and attempts to give Bibi a Toria Look -- also not very successful.
Bibi squeezes his hand and wraps her tentacles around it.
Cristal smiles and ~~ laughs inwardly ~~
Nattin starts gathering up the tea things and replacing them on the tray.
Nattin: If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Mr. Gegg would make a very interesting case study.
Bibi: I may want your advice again, Nattin. I always appreciate it.
Cristal nods and smiles at Nattin.
Nattin: I am at your service, Hajene.
Nattin picks up the tray and carries it back to the kitchen.
Bibi always listens to Nattin's advice, but doesn't always take it.
Bibi: Come, Cristal, let's go to my office.
Bibi tugs at Cristal's hand.
Cristal gets out of the chair with ~~ alacrity ~~ and follows Bibi up to the office.
Bibi closes the door and leads Cristal to the settee.
Bibi: I'm glad we've got some time to talk.
Cristal looks at Bibi ~~ inquisitively ~~.
Bibi: Mik's changeover could happen at any time, so I want to be ready for it.
Cristal: Of course, Hajene.
Cristal uses the honorific now that this sounds like business.
Bibi: But first, I could tell I'd hit a sore spot just a while ago, about Donors controlling channels. I'm sorry I upset you. Can we talk about it? I need to understand you as well as I can.
Cristal: Well, there's benevolent and malevolent control, you know.
Cristal: There's no doubt that ... Donors ... enjoy the feeling of power they get when seducing a Sime into a good transfer. So it's all about whether the transfer is sanctioned and authorized, or a rogue one. At one level, the motivation is exactly the same. The difference ... is a matter of intent.
Bibi: My First Transfer... you know how completely ignorant I was. I didn't even know that channels took direct transfer from Gens.
Cristal: ~~ go on ~~
Bibi: The changeover was being managed by a First Order pair. They must have been controlling me fairly strongly. I was in stage four when I arrived, and rapidly went into stage five transition. They were trying to explain things to me and I could hardly think.
Bibi: After a while, my Donor arrived, a very old woman, a Householder, of course. I was zlinning and couldn't understand what she was. To my eyes, she was tiny and frail, to my Sime senses she was a giant, blazing with glory.
Bibi: She was so good to me, she made me believe it was all right: That I couldn't harm her, that she wanted to give me transfer. Again, she must have been controlling me very strongly.
Bibi takes Cristal's hands.
Bibi: Cristal, you've never served First Transfer. It's very different.
Bibi: The channel... is like a junct. No control, no thought of control. It's not just that she doesn't know the signals, she can't interpret pain as pain if she hurts you.
Cristal: [nods again] Pre-conditioning channels in need are the nearest thing to juncts we ever see.
Bibi: The channel is in attrition, the worst need she'll ever feel, with no idea what to do to manage it, but to draw, to demand, to take, regardless of consequences, oblivious of consequences...
Bibi: That poor woman. I bruised her arms, I cut her lips against her teeth. If we hadn't been on a transfer lounge I might have broken her neck. She didn't let me feel any of her pain. Just incredible slilbliss, an intense desire to serve me, and a bottomless well of selyn.
Cristal smiles even more widely.
Cristal: Bibi, I'm sure even she didn't feel any of that till it was all over -- and then, of course, a channel took care of it in a few minutes.
Bibi: Yes, I felt terrible when I saw what I'd done. But the channel waited until I could zlin again, healed her, and told me I'd learn how too. And my Donor hugged me and I could zlin real love from her.
Bibi slides her hands onto Cristal's wrists.
Bibi: I try to give that to all the Simes I serve, especially in First Transfer. I want Mik to have that too.
Cristal closes his eyes, then opens them again.
Cristal: ~~ dedication ~~ If I'm able to serve him, I'll make sure he has the best transfer I can give him. And not just technically.
Bibi hugs Cristal and rests her head against his chest.
Bibi: I trust you to use your control well, Cristal. I'm never afraid to relinquish to you.
Cristal: ~~ warmth affection trust loyalty empathy being-trusted ~~ sincerity ~~
Bibi suddenly projects ~~ intense need on the brink of attrition ~~ and grabs Cristal in a transfer contact, forcing him back against the settee. She's gripping him painfully hard and pressing her lips to his with comparable force.
Cristal resonates with ~~ empathy slil desire-to-serve ~~ but ~~ denies selyn ~~.
Bibi relinquishes the contact.
Bibi: Well done.
Bibi then starts crying.
Bibi: I'm sorry, Cristal. That was really hard to do.
Cristal: I'm ~~ surprised ~~ to see you can cry, this close to need. ~~ it'll be fine ~~
Cristal strokes Bibi's hair gently.
Bibi wipes her eyes with her tentacles and shivers. She snuggles up to her Donor.
Cristal begins massaging Bibi's shoulders.
Bibi: Mmm. You've done well for me whenever I've relinquished to you. That time with Vrian. That was excellent.
Cristal grins widely.
Cristal: I know. ~~ smug ~~