Marvin: Look, we're dealing with identical twin channels here, even if they are QN-3s. The schedule be shenned. After all, was the Tecton made for us, or we for the Tecton? We've got to do, within the limits of the law, what's best for Clint and Flint. And leave the rest to be straightened out later on.
Ammenia: The schedule is already altered. The only question is, whether we want to alter it a bit more.
Marvin gestures "Granted" but goes on expostulating.
Bibi extends some ~~ comfort ~~ to Marvin. She knows that a channel's changeover is an unsettling topic for him.
Marvin nagerically signals thanks.
Marvin: And that means Gen transfer with a channel supervising. By luck that's what Clint got already. I realize the situation isn't ideal. But we don't have time to wait for backup, and we don't have time to wait for instructions or advice either. Bibi, it's your Sime Center and you're the Controller by default. What are you going to do?
Marvin doesn't mean this to come out challenging, but he's still stressed out.
Ammenia tries to inject ~~ calm ~~ into the discussion.
Marvin: How's Clint? You're his Donor now, officially -- oh wait, here in the Sime Center you're not unless Bibi says you are. Shenoni, this is confusing.
Bibi: Marvin. Calm down, okay? We'll work it out. ~~ reassurance ~~
Marvin rubs his head vehemently, wipes off the sweat, and flips it off his hand in the general direction of nobody. He does a relaxation exercise.
Ammenia: Clint's resting, now that we've got his brother away from him.
Marvin: How did you do that, put Flint under lock and key?
Ammenia: Flint's working himself into a fine state, though.
Bibi: Bart is with Clint, and Ghan and Driver are working on Flint. Dolmada's keeping on eye on both twins while we sort this out.
Marvin: Then we better make up our minds quick, before that situation blows up.
Ammenia: I'm a bit concerned about how Clint will react if I'm giving transfer to his brother. He's still very new at being Sime, and he's been a bit possessive.
Bibi: Should he be present? His nager is powerful enough to interfere.
Marvin reflects that in typical Sime-culture fashion, all the big nagers are trying to make decisions instead of helping to keep the peace, which is something they're actually good at. But he doesn't say anything about it.
Marvin: No, I can't see having you give transfer to both twins. That would create Sime jealousy in both of 'em.
Ammenia: The twins aren't used to being separated. Clint could potentially be a big help, in keeping his brother calm.
Marvin: And he could potentially find himself trying to rip his brother's throat out in the grip of instinct.
Bibi wonders whether she should offer Marvin some elderberry cordial to cool him out. Or poppy syrup.
Marvin: I've been cudgeling my brain the whole way here, and I can't see anything better than for Flint to take transfer from Dolmada. I know that's a sensitive subject for you, Bibi.
Bibi: I will have two weeks to get another Donor here, and she'll be almost midfield by the time I'm in need. ~~ calm showfield over real anxiety ~~
Marvin: All right, then, I'll shut up now.
Marvin flattens his showfield and fades it to as unobtrusive as he can be.
Ammenia: How much trouble is this going to cause with your Controller, Bibi?
Bibi: I have to deal with what happens out here. If I have a channel turn up here in changeover, it's up to me whether to give him my Donor, assuming the Donor can manage it. If we're considering Dolmada, she should be here so we can zlin her feelings about it.
Bibi uses 'zlin' as the Simelan figure of speech. She knows Ammenia can't zlin.
Bibi: How much trouble are you and Marvin going to get into, Ammenia?
Marvin shrugs in turn.
Ammenia: Officially, none. We found a changeover and dealt with him in the only way we could.
Marvin: And anyhow, what can they do to me, make me work as a mule?
Marvin smiles wryly.
Marvin: Transfer deprivation doesn't work too well on me either.
Bibi smiles at Marvin.
Bibi: With all this screwing up of Ammenia's rephasing, you could end up getting stuck with her for another month.
Marvin goes into Gen-style prayer mode.
Marvin: [English] Oh please, Lord, please, let me be assigned a luscious TN-1 for another month, please.
Marvin looks at Ammenia and leers, Sime-style.
Bibi: Or worse, Ammenia could get stuck with Marvin, and his luxurious lifestyle.
Bibi smiles at Ammenia.
Marvin: [sheepishly] There is that.
Ammenia: Oh, my aching back! ~~ amusement ~~
Marvin: Don't worry. The kidney damage doesn't set in for years. ~~ humor ~~
Ammenia: Seriously, I don't know Controller Ravven very well. How is she going to react to this?
Bibi: I have yet to meet her in person. She didn't handle the scheduling problem with Mik very well, and Seruffin let her know it.
Bibi emits one and a half large understatements.
Ammenia: Has she taken out her displeasure on you?
Bibi: Not yet. Not visibly. There's nothing apparently wrong with Dolmada.
Marvin raises his eyebrows.
Marvin: I hope there's nothing non-apparently wrong with Dolmada, either.
Bibi figures that if any revenge is going to be taken, it will have to be subtle enough not to be apparent to Seruffin, which won't be easy.
Bibi: Well, let's get her down here and get her opinion. Marvin, would you?
Marvin: Yes I would. And then I think I require some rest before I can think clearly. Relaxation exercises aren't doing it for me right now. You know my opinions, and anyhow it's still up to you.
Marvin goes off to find first Dolmada and then a bed to curl up on.
Bibi: He's taking this much too personally.
Ammenia: Yes. And he's in a situation where he's not allowed to do much about it. At least, not personally.
Bibi: Poor man. I'm really glad he got to zlin Clint's transfer. I'm sure you did an excellent job for him.
Ammenia: It worked. Although it's given me a real appreciation for a real Sime Center's changeover ward.
Bibi: Nothing can make up for Marvin's own changeover, but having zlinned you and Clint in transfer may be good for him.
Ammenia: I hope it doesn't upset him too much, by showing him what he lost.
Bibi: I've been wanting to have him zlin me serving a First Transfer, but the timing never worked out. He was eager to. Of course, he served Fridda, but she was at death's door, and I think he may have been so concentrated on doing it right, he couldn't enjoy it.
Ammenia: I'm glad he got the chance to zlin it, then. Although I'm sure he would have preferred that his own Donor wasn't involved...
Bibi nods, and shivers a little, remembering her own feelings when Cristal engaged his field with Mik's, leaving her in hard need without a Gen.
Ammenia: It's not going to be easy for you, either, if you choose Dolmada for Flint.
Bibi: It would be easier if I hadn't had that bad experience last summer.
Dolmada enters Bibi's office with the privilege of a Donor.
Dolmada: Bibi, Marvin said you wanted to speak with me?
Bibi: Here, have a seat.
Bibi pats the place next to her on the settee.
Bibi: We're deciding which of the three of us should serve Flint's First Transfer. What's your opinion?
Dolmada settles down next to Bibi and offers ~~ light but comforting support ~~.
Bibi leans on the support lightly and thoughtfully evaluates the Donor's selyn stores.
Dolmada: There are problems and benefits with any of the three of us. A Third would do better having a Qualifying transfer from a First, but the only First available just gave his brother transfer. That would mean we couldn't let Clint be present, probably.
Ammenia nods agreement.
Bibi: I don't think it would be a good idea to have him there in any case. He could have a very disruptive effect on the ambient.
Dolmada: Bibi, if you do it, Flint doesn't get quite as good a start, but the schedule doesn't get mixed up. Another possible complication: the boy is not feeling very cordial towards Simes at the moment.
Bibi sighs and nods.
Dolmada: As for me, it's been a while since I worked a changeover, and I'm a Second. Plus, if I do it, it messes up your schedule as well, Bibi.
Bibi: I do have two weeks to get someone else here to serve me. I'd been looking forward to taking transfer from you. You've never served First Transfer, have you?
Dolmada: No, I never have. ~~ wistful ~~
Bibi: How would you feel about serving this one? Knowing that you'd have to send your channel off without you a few hours later?
Dolmada: Will the boy be ready to travel that soon?
Bibi: I think the sooner we get the two of them in-T the better, but of course, if he's not up to it, they can stay here longer, and it will be Ammenia leaving Clint behind.
Ammenia: More to the point, Bibi, are you sure Dolmada has enough selyn for a changeover, even of a Third?
Bibi: I believe it's safe for her. I'm assuming Flint's draw will be similar to his twin's, plus a safety margin, and she won't be opening his secondary system. I don't believe Flint can harm you, Dolmada, but I wouldn't want you to have to shen him, either. The risk is small, but it's not zero.
Dolmada: I'm willing to do it, but I'll be ready to pass Flint off to you, Bibi, if you feel it's necessary.
Dolmada is a Donor, and therefore she dismisses out of hand (at least emotionally) the possibility of getting seriously hurt by a Sime.
Bibi doesn't think a Third could burn or drain Dolmada, but she doesn't want him traumatized by being shenned and shorted, as Ukoh was.
Bibi: Ammenia, assuming Clint doesn't attend the changeover after stage four, do you still think it will be a problem for you, serving both of them? I'm thinking about the following few days. The boys are in a delicate and unstable state psychologically. Is it going to be more of a problem if you've served both, or if you've served only one?
Ammenia: I wish I knew them a bit better, and under less trying circumstances. They are very close. I think they could probably cope with sharing a First Donor. It might actually be a bit reassuring for Flint: he was a bit alarmed at seeing his brother "attack" me, and having a Donor he knows, at the gut level, can survive transfer will be important.
Bibi: Yes, that would help him, I'd think.
Ammenia: On the other hand, I'd be very lowfield after serving both, which would make me less useful as an Escort.
Bibi: I'd like to send Bart in-T with you, if possible. It would be good for him, and although he doesn't have much training, he's intelligent, willing and has good instincts.
Ammenia: He's a sensible young man. ~~ approval ~~
Bibi: Okay. Ammenia, I'd like you to serve Flint in transfer. Dolmada, I appreciate your volunteering. It's going to be a difficult few days, and I'm very glad to have both of you here to help me.
Bibi is decisive in the manner of a well trained Tecton channel.
Dolmada smiles a bit ~~ wistfully ~~, then puts a ~~ comforting ~~ hand on Bibi's arm.
Dolmada: That's what we're here for, Bibi.
Bibi: I'm glad you're here for me this month.
Bibi admits to herself that one factor in her decision is that she can't bear to give up her Donor again. Not so soon after the last time. She doesn't trust her Controller not to delay in sending her a replacement for Dolmada, and just can't face the prospect of the uncertainty.
Ammenia: Flint shouldn't be left alone, or with just his brother, until after his transfer, I think.
Bibi: I agree. Nor should Clint be left alone with Flint. The two of them could talk themselves into anything at this point. Poor kids.
Ammenia: If you two, and perhaps Marvin, could spell me, so I can get a good night's rest? It's going to be a busy day, tomorrow.
Bibi: Bart can help too, to his limits. Also Ghan and Driver.
Ammenia: Flint is the dominant twin, unfortunately. And he's not taking the wait very well.
Bibi: Any suggestions about him?
Ammenia shakes her head.
Ammenia: I'm at a big disadvantage here, Bibi. I don't understand his culture, and I'm afraid I'm going to say the wrong thing.
Bibi: Ghan has acquired a lot of experience with out-T changeovers. Work with her.
Ammenia: I will. Mostly, I think, the boy's scared out of his mind.
Bibi: We can give him something to help him sleep. He'll need it to face tomorrow.
Ammenia: I don't think it's helping, that he's got a day and a half to think about what happened to his brother, knowing it's going to happen to him.
Bibi: Is Clint able to help him, having been through it?
Ammenia: He might, at least tomorrow. Right now, he's exhausted.
Bibi: I'll make up some calming tea for Flint. Ammenia, you get some more food if you want it, and some rest. Dolmada, let's see if we can talk Flint down. Maybe you can work with him a little. He'll probably be more comfortable with a Gen. I'll look after Marvin.
Bibi plans to snuggle with Marvin, hoping that will comfort him. She also intends to confess to him her fear of giving up Dolmada, and receiving some comfort herself. Not that she deserves it, when she's decided to further deplete Marvin's Donor.
Dolmada: Yes, Hajene.
Dolmada might be disappointed at missing the opportunity to serve First Transfer, but she's a professional, and she's not going to argue or pout about Bibi's decision.
Bibi: I'm sorry, Dolmada. I hope you'll have another chance some time soon.
Dolmada shrugs, and lets Bibi zlin her ~~ willing resignation ~~ to the lost opportunity.
Bibi gets up and heads for the kitchen to brew up the sedative and assemble a tray of goodies for Flint.
Dolmada goes with her channel as a proper Donor should.
Ammenia follows at a more leisurely pace, mentally reviewing the probable leftovers from Gitl's offerings.