Bill Tillett and his daughter Mari walk up the path towards the Gegg's farmhouse. Bill is carrying a large covered basket containing jams, a fruit pie, and a bottle of honey from Bill's own hive.
Bill figures the Geggs can use the jam and pie, with extra mouths to feed. And after his recent conversation with Gegg, he hopes his friend will appreciate the honey. He hands the basket to Mari.
D'zoll and Shorsh are getting ready to relax in the mobile unit.
D'zoll: Well, that was a short sort of therapy session, but I think it's the last one for the day. So we're off the hook for now. Though Gegg is about to have some visitors.
Shorsh: What? Oh, okay.
D'zoll: Hey, that session must have taken more out of you than I thought.
D'zoll zlins Shorsh.
D'zoll: Are you feeling all right? You zlin like you are, but ...
Shorsh: I could do with some rest. Those fleckin piglets got me up too early, running around squealing.
Shorsh is getting very tired of living next to a pig sty.
Bill: Here, Mari, why don't you run this basket into the kitchen and say hi to Toria? I'll go talk to the channel about my arm, and then we'll take it from there.
Bill watches as his daughter goes up to the house, then turns towards the barn, radiating ~~ worry ~~.
D'zoll: Well, no rest for the weary. Here comes another Wild Gen, so time for the comedy team of Shorsh and D'zoll to swing into action.
Shorsh is ~~ alert ~~, wondering what's going to happen next. He hopes the visitor isn't hostile, but if he were, D'zoll would have said something.
D'zoll: It takes a worried Gen to sing a worried song, but he doesn't seem to be afraid -- zlins like a general-class Donor. A bit surprising.
Bill approaches the barn door, which is slightly ajar.
Bill: Hello? Anybody home?
D'zoll: [loudly] Come in!
Shorsh gets up and stands in the open doorway of the mobile, ready to ~~ protect ~~ his channel.
Bill opens the barn door and enters, pauses while his eyes adjust to the dimness, then strides up to the mobile.
Bill: Hi. I'm Bill Tillett.
D'zoll: Greetings. I'm D'zoll and this is Sosu Shorsh, my Companion.
Bill starts to offer his hand for a handshake, hesitates, then awkwardly reshapes his hand to something approximating the right position for an in-T fingertip touch.
D'zoll raises his eyebrows, ~~ impressed ~~. This Gen is local by his accent, but he must know more than the average Gumgeeville farmer seems to.
Bill: Pleased to meet you. ~~ genuinely pleased ~~
D'zoll: What can we do for you?
D'zoll brushes his tentacles against Bill's fingers.
Bill: Uh, I'm not interrupting anything, am I? ~~ suddenly shy ~~
D'zoll: Not really -- we don't have anything on for the rest of today.
Bill: ~~ relieved ~~ Oh, good. I was hoping to talk to you about a few things.
D'zoll: By all means. There's more room in the barn, though. Is it okay with you if I leave my retainers off? Technically only this mobile unit is Sime Territory, because Gegg prefers to keep the sign [points to the sign] inside.
Bill: Well, if you're going to do your thing as a channel, you can't very well put them on, can you? Of course it's okay. ~~ wry humor ~~
Shorsh wonders if the Gen wants to donate. D'zoll definitely could use the work. He follows the channel out of the mobile.
D'zoll: [somewhat disingenuously] Oh. I thought you just wanted to talk. But I see your arm could use some treatment.
Bill: Yes, that was the first thing I wanted to talk to you about. It's healing up just fine now, but I did promise Hajene Bibi I'd ask you to look at it.
D'zoll: Right, I remember. According to your file back at the Ford, you have some unusual nageric characteristics, but I can certainly do a deep reading and then perhaps some healing.
Shorsh suddenly realizes that this is the Gen Bibi told them about. The one with the grabby nager, and the even stranger daughter.
Bill: I'd appreciate that. Uh, do you want me to sit? Stand?
D'zoll: I think we'd both better sit.
D'zoll ~~ augments ~~, dextrously assembling hay bales into a rough approximation of a donation lounge, plus one nearby for Shorsh to sit on.
Bill watches D'zoll with ~~ admiration ~~ .
D'zoll: Sit on this side, and I'll sit down over here.
D'zoll signals Shorsh for maximum support.
Bill sits as indicated.
Shorsh provides the ambient D'zoll requested. He's glad that D'zoll isn't taking chances, but wonders just what he zlins, to expect to need so much support.
D'zoll pats the loose bale and signals Shorsh again, who sits down on it.
Bill: That augmenting sure would be useful on a farm.
D'zoll: It certainly is, Mister Tillett. And in other situations too. But we can't afford the selyn for ordinary Simes to augment very often, unfortunately, until there are more out-Territory donors.
Bill: Well, that's the second thing I'm here for.
D'zoll: To donate? Excellent, although I hope Hajene Bibi explained to you that you won't be able to become a routine donor.
Bill: Uh, no, she didn't. ~~ disappointment ~~ She did say she wanted me to wait till you were here to do my first donation.
D'zoll: Unless she was mistaken in her diagnosis, you will only be able to donate to a First Order channel like me, and there are very few Firsts in Genland. Unless you were to move to New Washington -- or Simeland -- you'll not be able to donate.
Bill: Oh. That doesn't seem likely, any time soon. Too bad. You could use the selyn, and Mari and I could use the money. ~~ resignation ~~
D'zoll: [sympathetically] I certainly understand. Well, let me deep-zlin you.
Bill rolls up his sleeves and offers his forearms. The injured one is still heavily bandaged.
Shorsh ~~ braces ~~ D'zoll against anything Bill's nager might suddenly do.
D'zoll goes through the usual routine, taking Bill's hands with his hands, then grasping him with handling tentacles and laterals, and zlins to his full depth.
Bill gives a nageric ~~ twitch ~~ as D'zoll's laterals make contact, then takes a deep breath and deliberately ~~ relaxes ~~ .
D'zoll observes that the arm is indeed healing nicely, and ~~ simulates need ~~, bracing himself for Bill's expected nageric reaction.
Bill starts to make a nageric ~~ grab ~~ for the needy Sime he senses, then forces himself to ~~ relax ~~ again. He holds the relaxation.
D'zoll: [murmurs] Excellent, Bill. Just hold that relaxation.
D'zoll zlins ~~ the cells in Bill's arm going to maximum healing ~~.
Bill has gotten good at relaxing. He had to learn it, in order to deal with bees.
D'zoll: Very good. Now if you can hold the relaxation, I'm going to touch my lips to yours and start to draw selyn slowly from your shallowest reservoir.
D'zoll does so.
Bill continues to breathe slowly and deeply, holding the ~~ relaxation ~~ . He feels the beginnings of a ~~ pleasant warm tingle ~~ . He relaxes into it as well, simply ~~ enjoying ~~.
D'zoll expected as much, and notes that Bill's GN barriers are ~~ flat ~~. However, he can zlin where the GN-2 barrier should be, and scours the selyn outward from that point only. He notes that unfortunately the selyn from the GN-2 zone is slopping into the GN-3 zone.
Bill ~~ enjoys ~~ the warm floating tingle, which seems to go on for a very long time. He ~~ relaxes ~~ more deeply. He continues to relax, letting more selyn drift towards the surface levels.
D'zoll examines the mushy selyn flow in Bill's GN zone, takes a deep breath, decides "What the shen" and goes for it, scouring the entire GN area but being careful not to touch the TN-3 barrier for fear it too would fall over and he'd be Qualifying this totally untrained out-T Gen.
Bill's TN-3 barrier wobbles and starts to drop, then slowly wobbles back into place.
D'zoll gets out while the getting's good, dismantling the contacts in order.
Shorsh looks forward to D'zoll's description of what happened. The donation took a remarkably long time.
Bill senses the channel's withdrawal with a flutter of ~~ disappointment ~~ but stays entirely ~~ relaxed ~~ and breathing slowly.
D'zoll: Well, that was excellent work on your part, and I was able to draw a lot more selyn than a first time donor usually provides.
Bill's eyes are still closed and he's still deep in relaxation.
D'zoll gives Bill a gentle nageric wake-up.
Bill's eyes drift open.
D'zoll: I was saying that you did very well.
Bill: Oh, sorry. I must have drifted off. Uh, thanks.
D'zoll: I drew as much selyn as a general-class donor can provide, although I'll have to give you a voucher for it, as I don't have that much Genland money with me. You should find it a... useful sum.
Bill: You got all of it? Good. Um, the bank at the Ford would know what to do with the voucher?
Bill is still reacting very slowly.
D'zoll: Take it to the Sime Center; they can give you Genland cash, or other arrangements if you prefer.
Bill: Oh. Would it be enough to get one traveler all the way into Nivet?
Bill gives himself a little shake and begins to bring the world back into proper focus.
D'zoll: Way more than that!
D'zoll chuckles a bit.
D'zoll: But I will not be able to certify you for donations in any Sime Centers except New Washington's and the city Centers in Nivet Territory. A slip of your control, or an off day, and you could badly injure the channel working with you.
Bill: Good. Hajene, I wanted to talk to you about my daughter Mari. She's why I wanted the travel money. ~~ worry ~~
Bill blinks. He's still assimilating things a bit slowly.
Bill: Oh. Same problem with me as with Mari?
D'zoll: Yes. Your daughter's case is even more problematic than yours, I'm afraid.
Bill: ~~ worry ~~ I'm really hoping you can talk some sense into her, once I figure out what sense would be.
D'zoll: Well, I can tell her what's what about her medical condition. Helping her work out her life problems would be a much more involved affair, taking more time than I can probably afford.
Bill: She's always been quite stable, until just the last few months. And lately... well, I can certainly understand the Sime-hunger. I think I've got some of that myself.
D'zoll shrugs expressively.
D'zoll: Unfortunately, channel's science can do just so much.
D'zoll will not even think about trying to bring Mari in-T so Sat'htine specialists can work on her case.
Bill: Hajene, I know she may not seem worth it to you. From what she said, even under the best circumstances she'd be a bit of a square peg as a Donor. But, well, I can only see three ways her life could go.
Bill: Either someone trains her in how to be a Donor, gives her some structure and discipline to wrap around this urge she has.
D'zoll nods again.
Bill: Or she goes to college in New Washington. She's serious about wanting a career in medicine; has been ever since she understood that if we'd had a doctor, her mother might still be alive. But I've been to the big city, and I read the news. With her Sime-hunger, she'd stumble into the first Distect recruiter that came along, and go get herself and maybe a Sime as well killed.
D'zoll represses a wince and nods again.
Bill: Or the third thing: break her dreams, keep her here at home as a farmer's wife, where she'll never see any Simes and won't be tempted. But there's no such place, is there? Simes change over here too.
D'zoll rubs his forehead with his handling tentacles.
D'zoll: Well, she simply can't be trained as a Donor. That's definite: Hajene Bibi's report is beyond question, though I'll check her myself as a matter of form. And certainly your third choice would make her unhappy her whole life, and as you say would be no guarantee.
Bill: Hajene, if there's any way to let her build a life with Simes, and use this urge for something good... she's my daughter. My only daughter. ~~ desperation ~~
D'zoll: It seems to me -- and I'm speaking off the cuff here -- that emigration would probably be the best choice for her. She could lead a useful life in Sime Territory as a general-class donor. She couldn't be a doctor, because the doctors are channels, of course. But there is a wide range of other helping professions open to her.
Bill: ~~ hopeful ~~ She was just about bowled over with awe when she heard you were from Sat'htine. The healing House.
D'zoll: We can do a lot. We can't work miracles. If I draw down her selyn store as I did yours, that will make a substantial nest egg for her to live on until she can find suitable training.
Bill: But right now there's another problem.
D'zoll is beginning to wish he had Gegg back again.
Bill: She's been feeling so guilty over what she did to Hajene Darrel, and she's terrified she's going to hurt another channel. She read somewhere that Farrises are especially sensitive and even more vulnerable than most. And she's afraid to come within a dozen yards of you.
D'zoll: Now that we can probably do something about, since it's founded on a misconception. Farris channels are exceptionally quick, strong, and capable. We can deal with situations that would floor another channel or even put them in the infirmary. It's only when our Donors interact with us, in transfer or other ways, that we are exceptionally vulnerable.
Bill: She's not going to listen to me. I'm just her dad; what do I know about Simes? [turning to Shorsh] Sosu, could you go talk to her? She should be in the kitchen with Toria.
Shorsh isn't going to leave D'zoll alone with this mutant Gen.
D'zoll: Perhaps that is a good idea. And then, if it's still necessary I could have a little talk with her as well.
D'zoll picks up on Shorsh's emotional state a hair too late.
Bill: I'll go round and have a cider with Gegg, then. Stay out of your way.
D'zoll is relieved that neither he nor Shorsh had to suggest this.
D'zoll: I'll be fine here, Sosu.
Shorsh: [Simelan] If you're willing to take her field down, do it. She can get the money and go in-T without clobbering some poor TN-3 at a border crossing or being refused entry.
Bill: ~~ worry ~~ resignation ~~ hope ~~
D'zoll: [Simelan] Oh, I'm willing. She can't be worse than he is. Just get her here without too many bruises, if you would.
Shorsh makes a gesture that would be quite rude if he had tentacles to use.
D'zoll revises his plans from "relax with Companion all afternoon" to "wait on edge of seat for Companion to return with difficult Wild Gen in tow".
Bill: Sosu, Hajene, do your best for her. Please. ~~ urgent pleading ~~ love ~~
Shorsh: All right, I'll come with you, Mr. Tillett.
Bill gets up and leads the way.
Bill: Thank you.
D'zoll debates between "It's my job" and "You're welcome" and settles on the latter.
Shorsh: [Simelan] Get some rest while you can, D'zoll.