Healing the World: Episode 13

Norrin has been thinking quite a bit about his last session with Gooz, and the next one's just about to start. He's learned that arguing does no good, and is going to try just presenting his ideas ~~ calmly ~~ and see what happens.

Norrin has in particular gotten the idea from some conversations with the other camp inmates that the Tecton's emphasis on what you believe at disjunction crisis may not be what's really important, and is willing to try out his new ideas on his counselor.

Norrin ~~ composes ~~ himself in the client chair and waits as ~~ quietly ~~ as he can for Gooz to arrive. He's about halfway between turnover and hard need, so it isn't exactly easy, but he manages.

Gooz strides into his office with a pile of papers and an empty trin mug, back from a staff meeting.

Norrin: Hello, Tuib.

Gooz: Hello, Norrin. Sorry I'm a bit late.

Gooz sits, puts the mug on his desk and drops the papers into a tray for later sorting.

Norrin nods, unconsciously imitating the way Gooz nodded when Norrin apologized a while back.

Norrin: I've been thinking about what's going to happen to me at disjunction crisis.

Gooz: ~~ attentive inquiry ~~

Norrin: You give me a choice between channel's transfer and a real Gen when I'm right at hard need but not down in attrition, right?

Gooz: Yes.

Gooz knows that's oversimplified, but good enough for now.

Norrin: And if I take channel's transfer, then everything is different for me, right? It all changes, and I'm a disjunct instead of a junct?

Gooz: Usually. Disjunction creates a change in you nagerically, which can be zlinned. I'm disjunct, and if you zlin me carefully, you'll find some differences from your fellow disjunction candidates.

Gooz uses the more euphemistic, hopeful term instead of 'fellow juncts'.

Norrin zlins, but not knowing what to zlin for exactly, doesn't see it; he shrugs.

Norrin: But the main point is, I won't crave a kill, just like I don't now -- but I will crave one between then and now. Right?

Gooz: You'll never be as free of the attraction of the kill as a nonjunct, but yes, you'll no longer crave it, or prefer it to channel's transfer.

Norrin: So it seems to me, that as long as I do the right thing when I get to crisis, what difference is it what I believe? ~~ zinger ~~

Gooz: If you don't have a true determination to reject the kill forever, you won't disjunct, even if you manage to choose the channel over the Gen. You'll go into disjunction crisis again, the next month, and again and again. If you don't achieve disjunction in your First Year, it will be too late for you, and you'll soon die of it.

Norrin: So somehow my body knows if I have this so-called "true determination"?

Gooz purses his lips.

Gooz: So to speak. There's an emotional state that's essential for disjunction to occur.

Norrin: Can you show me?

Norrin is asking for the renSime to actually resume the emotional state, since he's not a channel and can't simulate it in his showfield.

Gooz: It's a very intense state, Norrin. I can remember it, but I can't recreate it at will. You could ask a channel to project it for you.

Norrin nods.

Norrin: Okay, I will. I know it would be stupid to kill, of course; the whole Tecton would hunt me down and murder me -- slowly. But actually saying, "No, I won't kill, not even to save my life" -- that's really hard, hard to accept. How did you do it, Gooz?

Norrin calls his counselor by name for the first time.

Gooz: I came to understand that the people I killed were the centers of universes, just as you and I are centers of universes. Then I understood what a truly abhorrent thing it is to kill another human being. It's better to die than to do that again.

Norrin doesn't really understand what Gooz means, but files it away.

Norrin: So you wouldn't even murder someone in self-defense if you had to?

Gooz thinks about it.

Norrin and his family haven't been forced to that extremity, but he certainly knows people who have.

Gooz: No, I don't think I would.

Norrin: What about for other people? Like if you were in the 'Wood or another city like it, and looters were stealing your Gen food?

Gooz: Norrin, it's much easier for a junct Sime to kill a Gen than it is for any sane person to commit murder.

Norrin: Yeah, I know that. I am a junct, remember? I'm just saying, even if you've given up the Kill, how can you give up protecting yourself or your family against someone who wants to murder you, quick or slow?

Gooz: I don't know if I'd be able to commit murder in self-defense, or in defense of other people. I don't expect to encounter such situations, and if I do, I hope I'll be able to find some resolution that doesn't involve murder.

Gooz gets things back on track.

Gooz: But the issue isn't these very rare situations, it's that monthly need for selyn, that will soon become a monthly drive to kill a Gen, again, for you. If you can come to feel horror at the idea of killing again, you should be successful in disjuncting.

Gooz interlaces fingers and tentacles.

Gooz: Just knowing that disjuncting is a good idea, or is necessary for your survival isn't enough. And not only does it do no good to try to con us into believing you're sincere, it doesn't do any good to con yourself.

Gooz knows that there's more than one way to arrive at a state in which one can disjunct, but accepting responsibility for your kills, and feeling a true horror of the act is one most likely to work.

Norrin: ~~ impatient ~~ I know, I know. I'm not trying to con anybody. I'm trying to work out something I can be sincere about.

Gooz: Have you ever tried to imagine what the kill was like for your victims?

Norrin chuckles.

Norrin: I was just about to ask you: is there any way a channel could help me experience that? I mean, not what the kill feels like to me, but what it felt like to my -- to my victims?

Norrin stumbles over the word "victims".

Gooz: It might just reinforce your junctness, to zlin that terror and agony and despair. I think you should try to imagine yourself as a Gen, and what it would be like to die in that terrible way, to lose your whole future.

Norrin tries. Terror isn't so hard: he's felt that from time to time in his hard-knock life. Agony, no. And as for despair, how much can you despair when you've never really had hope?

Gooz: Imagine getting up in the morning, with things to do, responsibilities to other people who depend on you, and then...

Gooz is still trying to get Norrin to see his victims as whole people.

Gooz: The terrible thing about the kill is not the act itself, horrible as it is, but the theft of a person's future, from himself and from the people who know him and care about him.

Norrin nods soberly.

Norrin: What it is, is this. You're talking from the viewpoint of somebody who grew up with all that. Responsibility. Taking care of people. For me, that's just words, Tuib.

Gooz: Your mother took care of you. And you killed her.

Gooz delivers a low blow, hoping to shock Norrin out of his line of excuses.

Norrin folds up, hides his face between his palms, and starts to rock back and forth in his chair ~~ pain ~~ guilt ~~ regret ~~ self-pity ~~

Gooz keeps his nager ~~ calm ~~. Offering sympathy at this point would be counterproductive.

Norrin doesn't cry, of course, being from out-T, but he ~~ weeps ~~ internally.

Gooz is encouraged by the intensity of Norrin's emotions. It's a break in his wall of denial and self-justification.

Norrin's emotions slowly turn to ~~ resentment ~~ and ~~ antagonism ~~.

Gooz: Accept your guilt and pain and regret, Norrin. Build on them. Take responsibility for what caused them. ~~ encouragement ~~

Norrin glares at Gooz.

Norrin: [English] Y'know, if we was back in the 'Wood and you dissed me like that, I'd have to kill you.

Gooz: I've only told you the truth.

Norrin laughs harshly.

Norrin: [Simelan] Exactly.

Norrin is too young by out-T standards to actually back that up, of course.

Gooz: You're not the only Sime to have had a difficult childhood. You're an adult now. First Year is a time when you can make up for what you didn't get as a child. You can become the man you want to be, despite your background. ~~ encouragement ~~

Norrin says nothing but radiates ~~ defiance ~~; he's replaced the wall of denial with a wall of silence.

Gooz makes a tentacle gesture of casting away.

Gooz: Defy me if you like. You're only hurting yourself. It's my job to help you reach a state in which you can disjunct. Reject me and you reject life.

Norrin sighs deeply.

Norrin: [reluctantly] I don't want that. But it's hella hard.

Gooz nods.

Gooz: Disjuncting will be the hardest thing you'll ever have to do in your life. But most people succeed. You can too.

Norrin: "Most"? I notice how careful you are not to tell us how many. ~~ suspicion ~~

Gooz makes that casting away tentacle gesture again.

Gooz: We have a good success rate here, but it's not 100% anywhere. Some years are better than others.

Norrin nods, somewhat ~~ mollified ~~.

Norrin doesn't know if that means most do or most don't; he just instinctively distrusts people in authority who won't say what they mean.

Gooz: Think about it, Norrin. We'll talk more next time.

Norrin nods again.

Norrin: Okay, Tuib. See you later.

Norrin gets up and goes out.

Gooz takes the pile of papers out of his tray and begins filing them.

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