Dancing Around The Problem: Episode 17

D'zoll: So, Tritt. Ready for Little Miss Sunshine, the Giant Laughing Gen?

Tritt looks at D'zoll and manages a smile.

Tritt: Think you can get her past the laughing stage today?

D'zoll: We can always hope.

D'zoll smiles as he says it, though.

Tritt welcomes his shifts with D'zoll. He always learns so much from this channel.

Tritt: Anything in particular you want from me?

D'zoll: I'd like to hear any advice that you have for me, Tritt. An independent viewpoint is always valuable in this work.

Tritt: She's got layer upon layer of defenses, doesn't she?

D'zoll nods.

D'zoll: Go on.

Tritt: I'd been taught that humor is a healthy way of coping with things, but this is pathological. It's avoidance. Um... Can you find some thought to toss at her that she can't possibly laugh at? Would that work, to break through?

D'zoll: It might, certainly. Do you have a suggestion for such a thought?

D'zoll has an idea, but wants to hear Tritt's idea if any.

Tritt is thinking hard.

Tritt: Um, not directly on the trauma, not at first? Something else? Maybe where her defenses aren't quite so thick?

D'zoll: I was thinking her parents. What's your view?

Tritt: I don't see where you're going with this, Hajene. But that's okay, so long as you know. Was there something particular about her parents that you were thinking of?

D'zoll: That they were Pen Gens. Do you think that might constitute a weak spot, without being too much of one?

Tritt: I guess that depends on whether she remembers more the way they were harmed by their childhoods, or the stigma she faced as their child. If the latter, it could tie in to her feelings about being a mule.

D'zoll: Okay, we'll give it a shot both ways. And speaking of both ways, I do appreciate how well you've been catching on to my little bag of tricks.

Tritt: Thank you, Hajene. I ~~ enjoy ~~ working with you, sir.

D'zoll grins.

D'zoll: Okay, to business. Here's where we bring the patient in.

D'zoll gets up himself this time.

D'zoll: [opening the door] Come in, Sosu. Sorry to keep you waiting.

D'zoll resumes his seat before Delia can come in.

Tritt is already shielding his channel. You never know what state a patient will work themselves into in the waiting room.

Delia enters and takes the same seat she chose previously. Something "familiar". She ~~ smiles ~~ to herself.

Delia: Good day, Hajene Farris, Sosu Tritt.

Tritt notes the smile as a bad sign but shows no reaction in his face or nager.

D'zoll: [completely straight-faced] Tritt here was telling me the latest bit of juicy gossip about Sectuib.

Delia: Ah, an in-House matter then.

Tritt can't remember anything particularly juicy he'd mentioned today, but he says nothing.

D'zoll: I only wish it were. However, that's neither here nor there. Tell me about your parents, if you would.

Delia: The Mayns are wonderful people. Mom is a channel in the Bayo district and Dad owns and runs a sawmill in the town of Clevand.

D'zoll: Ah. I meant your birth parents, actually.

Delia: I don't know anything about them. I was adopted as an infant. I was told that they were Pen Gens.

D'zoll: Hmm. Who told you?

Delia: Dad, when I was five. I asked if my hair would turn red like his someday.

D'zoll nods.

D'zoll: You remember this, or you were told about it?

Delia: I remember it. According to Dad I was talking in phrases at nine months old. I have far earlier memories than five.

D'zoll: Good. Then you remember how you felt when he told you that?

D'zoll secretly suspects the phrases were two words each, of which the first was usually "gimme".

Delia: Disappointed, I loved Dad's red curls and I wanted some of my own. He still has them, there's a hole in the back though.

Delia realizes that they've faded to white as well. She really should get home for a while. ~~ wistful ~~

D'zoll makes a mental note of the wistfulness.

D'zoll: You didn't take the name Delia Mayn? Why was that?

Delia: We all had a talk about that when I was ten. I decided that it was a good thing to remember where I physically came from. Mom and Dad thought it was a great idea. Besides surnames aren't used that much. Dad is from out-T and moved in-T to start a sawmill.

D'zoll raises his eyebrows.

D'zoll: So it was your idea, then?

Delia: Yes. Is something wrong with that, Hajene?

D'zoll: Of course not. Did you have brothers or sisters?

Delia: Not that I know of. Oh, you mean my Mom and Dad.

D'zoll nods.

Delia: Yes, four younger siblings. Two were adopted like me, one was Dad and Mom's and one was Mom's with another channel.

D'zoll: How did you get along with them?

Delia: We had a ball most of the time. I was very close to the baby boy Erellon. We called him Eri. Mom wasn't much on the nurture part. Dad raised us for the most part. I got to be surrogate mama for the younger kids.

D'zoll: Ah. Did you enjoy it? Were you good at it?

Delia: They all lived through it. Sometimes it was hard being the mom when Mom wasn't able to. But my sibs are all great kids ~~ pride ~~. Well, they're grown now, of course.

D'zoll: Did you tell your friends you were adopted from a Pen?

Delia: Small town and several families had adopted kids. I wasn't unusual.

D'zoll: Did they come from Pens too?

Delia thinks back and can't remember if any of the other kids had been adopted from Pen Gen stock.

Delia: I don't remember it ever coming up in conversation.

D'zoll: No matter. When did you first decide you wanted to be a Donor? Before you established, or after?

Delia: I don't think I did "decide". When I established I had Donor potential. Mom was very pleased and Dad was a little miffed.

Delia ~~ smiles ~~ at the memory of her father's mock exasperation that she wouldn't be taking over the mill. She also realizes that if things continue as they are Dad might get his wish.

D'zoll: I see. How long did you take to make First Order?

Delia: About a year to low First. I started at high Second. I upgraded pretty fast after the incident. ~~ cringes internally ~~

D'zoll was about to ask if she was more or less drafted on the spot, but the cringe is too interesting to ignore.

D'zoll: Why so?

Delia: The only thing I can figure -- in fact according to the testing channels -- is that all the reconditioning work opened my potential. I was tested and tested and tested until we were all sure that I don't have a hair trigger kill reflex. I certainly didn't want to be a danger to anyone.

D'zoll: I'm glad to hear that. So tell me again why you were sent to the Dam.

Delia: I volunteered. Yeah I know, "never volunteer". I'm proof of the truth of that old adage. But I've always enjoyed a bit of adventure. It seemed a great thing to be a part of and I'd get trained to handle Farris channels to boot.

Delia ~~ winks ~~ at D'zoll.

D'zoll: What, you hadn't heard any gossip about the Audneses?

D'zoll winks back.

Delia: Only that Arat was a stickler for protocol and a bit tight in the sheaths. The rest I just put down to the usual rumor mill junk.

D'zoll: So you tend to disbelieve rumors on principle, then?

Delia: For the most part, yes.

D'zoll: Tell me why.

Delia: I wasn't an investigator in the Enforcement Services. I was channel support. ~~ ironic ~~

D'zoll scratches his head with a few tentacles.

D'zoll: Tritt, I'm confused. Can you explain this ironic remark to me?

Tritt: I believe, Hajene, that Sosu Delia may be referring to the fact that there was no channel sent out with her on the occasion of her kidnapping.

Tritt, of course, couldn't zlin the irony, but he's gotten good at picking up D'zoll's hints.

D'zoll: That sounds reasonable. Would you agree, Delia?

Delia: Yes. Basically, as in all things, Gens are not encouraged to place themselves in harm's way. I never had any interest in the work itself. My job was very much like Tritt's. Keep my channel from being injured. I had to learn self defense like every other officer. I just never expected to have to use what I had learned.

D'zoll: To be sure. I freely admit that I share the usual Sime prejudice against allowing Gens to be harmed. But what does that have to do with disbelieving rumors? I've treated several people in Enforcement, and they didn't seem to be notably more skeptical than anyone else.

Delia: Enforcement is like any other Service, or even, say, a Householding. Life is boringly similar from day to day except on the occasions when it becomes explosively unsimilar and "interesting". People gripe, snipe, grouse, complain and gossip. It's all the same thing. Nothing to put much stock in.

D'zoll: Did you tend to distrust what other people told you before you went into Enforcement as well?

Delia: I didn't distrust it. I just didn't think it was anything more than gossip. I kept an open mind about it.

Delia, having read Arat's file, wonders why he hadn't been subjected to the tender ministrations of D'zoll or his predecessors long before the Dam mess happened.

D'zoll: An open mind is always good, provided it's not so open that your brains fall out.

Tritt struggles to contain a ~~ chuckle ~~.

Delia: As far as I know, Hajene, mine are still comfortably inside my head.

D'zoll: Good. Well, our time is up, but we are making progress. Shall we say the day after tomorrow?

Delia: Certainly.

Delia rises and exits the office as she entered.

Tritt sighs.

D'zoll: Well, not so well as I hoped, not so badly as I feared. Comments?

Tritt: Not a crack in the veneer, Hajene.

D'zoll: I'm just jabbing around in empty space. One big trauma I can't touch, and otherwise nothing at all. It's frustrating.

Tritt projects ~~ soothing reassurance ~~ .

Tritt: You can only do what you can do, Hajene.

D'zoll sighs.

D'zoll: To be sure. But I really don't want to see a First Order Donor sent back to ripping logs.

Tritt: It would be such a waste. Would she really be a danger to her channels, if you can't work this through with her? Or only to herself?

D'zoll shakes his head slowly.

D'zoll: Time for another story from Ancient days. The head of their largest and oldest Territory was asked his opinion of some event or other that had happened out-Territory about two hundred years before. He paused for a moment and replied, "Too early to tell."

Tritt lets go in an uninhibited ~~ laugh ~~ .

D'zoll joins him.

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