Lusinka looks in on Rimona, who is resting in her rooms.
Lusinka: Rimona, are you feeling more yourself? That was a hard morning for you.
Lusinka offers ~~ support ~~.
Rimona leans lightly on the support and gestures with her tentacles. She smiles, showing her wrinkles.
Rimona: Yes, more myself, a very old, very Farris channel.
Lusinka: Well, think how much worse off Sat'htine would be, if there were no older and wiser heads to keep the youngsters in line.
Rimona: Pour yourself some trin. Have a seat.
Lusinka: Thank you.
Lusinka sits close enough to easily support Rimona's field, and pours.
Rimona: I do have youngsters like you keeping me in line, of course.
Rimona remembers Lusinka as an infant and child.
Lusinka: Now, now. I didn't dye these grey streaks in my hair.
Rimona wraps a tentacle around an unruly lock of her own white hair.
Rimona: It will be a while before you catch up with me!
Lusinka: Still, I think I've graduated to the older-and-wiser instigator of plots stage of life. And am doing quite well at it, thank you very much!
Lusinka zlins more than a little ~~ smug ~~.
Rimona: So which plot has you zlinning like that?
Lusinka breaks into wide grin.
Lusinka: Hiram just got a telegram from New Washington.
Rimona: Another victory for D'zoll?
Lusinka: More for your great granddaughter, I expect.
Rimona: What's Kat done now?
Rimona ponders a moment.
Rimona: Nick! She's recruited Nick!
Lusinka: Yes! He's agreed to join us.
Rimona laughs with delight.
Rimona: Wonderful. I hope I can take transfer from him at least once before I die! What a nager that Gen has!
Rimona makes a slightly vulgar tentacle gesture to go with that statement.
Lusinka: Now, now, you're going to make me jealous.
Lusinka's nager doesn't display the smallest tinge of jealousy, of course.
Rimona: Ah, well, we'll have to see if we can upgrade him. Then the rest of us upper Firsts will have to fight to get him away from Kat.
Lusinka: Perhaps you could persuade her to put him up as a forfeit in a game of rummy?
Rimona: Poker, Lusinka. You win Gens at poker. Strongest nager wins.
Lusinka: Better be careful, from what I hear, or young Nick might succeed in winning both of you.
Rimona: I'd love to see how his children turn out, especially any Farrises we can get from crossing him with a Farris Gen.
Lusinka: He does seem to prefer Simes, although I agree it would be an interesting cross.
Rimona: Yes. Some of those unusual nageric features on a Farris base could produce some remarkable Companions. And a channel with them, Farris or not, would be very interesting.
Rimona gazes at the ceiling, imagining this in a process of nageric visualization.
Lusinka: I'm certainly curious to see what of Riyyh's genes would come through. The question is, can we avoid the less desirable traits?
Rimona: It's hard to know what's genetics and what's upbringing there. Nick wasn't raised at Naros, and he's not afflicted with their... devotion to slack.
Lusinka: Not many of Riyyh's get have Nick's industry. A Farris House like Sat'htine does have the best chance of imparting discipline to such a child.
Rimona: What we get from Nick will be only three eighths Riyyh, and raised here... very promising indeed.
Rimona strokes Lusinka's arm affectionately.
Rimona: Imagine giving First Transfer to a Farris channel like that.
Rimona can imagine zlinning it.
Lusinka: Well, we'll have to get the youngsters started on that right away, won't we?
Rimona: Oh, well, we'll have to let him settle in first. Wouldn't want him to think that we just wanted him as a stud for our breeding program.
Rimona is ~~ regretful ~~ about the necessity. She knows she may not live to see Nick's progeny establish or change over.
Lusinka: No. We have equal designs on his other abilities. Those interesting new techniques, for instance.
Lusinka demonstrates a quite competent nageric "window".
Rimona nods to Lusinka, appreciating her newly acquired skill.
Rimona: I'm looking forward to talking to Kat, get a first hand zlin of what he can do from her. He's certainly had a chance to show her how he performs under bad conditions.
Lusinka: Yes. He certainly appears to have taken good care of her, in spite of everything. That can't have been easy.
Rimona: It would take a remarkable Companion to bring her through all that with no serious health problems, and it sounds like she's in good shape, considering.
Rimona has very little experience with entran, but can imagine how bad it could get for Kat in her travels.
Rimona: I doubt one of our own could have done quite as well.
Lusinka: He will need some coaching, but Hiram and I think he can learn to represent Sat'htine quite well, and not just during functionals.
Rimona: He might be happiest staying here at the Householding for a while, well out of the Tecton's clutches.
Lusinka: He's got to learn to face down the Tecton, sometime.
Rimona: Yes, but give him a chance to become one of us, to feel that this is his home. Then he'll be able to face them from a solid foundation in his House. It will also give more time for all this hysteria about Rogue Donors and Audnes conspiracies to fade into the past.
Lusinka: Oh, certainly. But he'll never be useful outside the House until he faces down his tormenters, and he's got too much skill at disaster management and handling out-Territory society to let it go to waste.
Lusinka: He did very well in Cottonwood City, aside from the gambling. And even that might be useful, under other circumstances.
Rimona: He'll be out there as Nick ambrov Sat'htine, with one of our channels beside him. They may not defend him as vehemently as Kat did, but they'll be sure everyone knows he's ours first.
Rimona pats Lusinka's arm.
Rimona: I think once he feels more secure, he'll be more willing to make any small changes we suggest. He'll probably see it himself, once he really feels himself ambrov Sat'htine, and not just one Gen alone.
Lusinka: True. Still... it would probably be worth the time to make sure his first encounters with the Tecton as ambrov Sat'htine go smoothly.
Rimona: I'm sure we can arrange that. Keep him away from the politics, let him do the kind of good complex intensive technical work he has so much talent for. Keep him away from Firlith and her clique.
Lusinka: Yes. He's certainly capable of putting on quite the show as the out-of-town expert. Well, at least until he gets some time off and starts trimming the shrubbery.
Rimona: Well, he can go out and join the pruning crews when he gets back. Get some of that out of his system. That's if he can shake that pack of kids who adore him. Morry really misses him, poor boy.
Lusinka: Spring is coming. Surely there must be enough work on the grounds to keep both Nick and the children out of mischief? Although we should wait for summer before we send them out to dredge the pond, I suppose.
Rimona: I intend to work him hard nagerically, develop his potential. And I've got some ideas about how to get his speed and capacity up too. I'll teach Kat at the same time. That sort of thing is traditionally an area of expertise for the Sectuib.
Lusinka: Yes, and she hasn't had as much training in that sort of management as she ought. Not that the pediatrics she's been studying isn't valuable, but there's more than that to being a Sectuib.
Rimona: It will be good for both of them for her to do it. Shorsh says she's too deferential to Nick. It was the right thing to do under the circumstances, but a Sectuib has to be able to dominate when necessary. Some of these techniques involve really dominating the Gen nagerically. She needs to be able to do that.
Lusinka: Yes, and a ranking Companion must be able to do the same sort of thing, when necessary. And know when that is, of course.
Rimona: Of course. But a Companion to Farrises has to be able to submit completely, with full trust and no reservations. We'll have to teach Nick to do that, too.
Lusinka: We haven't asked him to do that yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if he already knows how. How else would he have been able to work with Hajene Snake while being trained? I expect it was one of the first things she taught him.
Rimona: For an older Gen like Nick, long past establishment, it can take a lot to get a substantial upgrade in speed and capacity. One of the best techniques is to strip him deep, down to an almost dangerous level, and fast, to the point of pain. And do it over and over, every few days. If Nick can relinquish himself to that, and Kat can do it to him, they'll both be stronger.
Lusinka: That does concern me a bit. He may associate that kind of pain with his first channel, and her lack of care for him.
Lusinka: Not that it isn't a good idea, technically. But we'll have to tread carefully, there.
Rimona: We'll have to think about how to do it, and when. Of course, Nick will have to consent fully, and really want it.
Lusinka: In the mean time, there's nothing preventing us from seeing he's stretched regularly.
Rimona: Yes. And without shorting our channels too much in doing it.
Lusinka: And worked to the edges of his ability -- that should give him confidence and build trust. One thing is certain -- that young man does have a habit of making life... interesting... for those around him.
Rimona: And all of us channels want to get our laterals on him.
Lusinka: I do hope you won't mob him.
Rimona: Come now, aren't Farris channels known for their control? We may be salivating at the lateral orifices, but control we have!
Lusinka: Yes, I'm sure your nagers will remain perfectly serene as he turns life here upside down.
Lusinka rather ~~ approves ~~ of that prospect.
Rimona wraps a few tentacles around Lusinka's forearm and squeezes gently.
Rimona: Us old folks will show the way. And if necessary, we can pull seniority!
Lusinka: "'You are old, Father William,' the young man said..." Although if I start standing on my head, you ought to bring in D'zoll.
Rimona: When will we get our naztehrhai back, do you think?
Lusinka: It shouldn't take too long to get the word out that Nick is ours, and then it should be safe for them to travel. If they can return with D'zoll and Shorsh, that would be additional insurance.
Rimona: Well, we've sent him a cloak, so he can blend into the herd of ambrov Sat'htine.
Lusinka: Yes. Isn't it a nice coincidence that we happen to have one, and a few changes of Sat'htine livery, in his size, packed and ready to go?
Lusinka zlins ~~ innocent ~~.
Rimona: You are indeed a skillful plotter.
Lusinka: Well, you have to admit that it was easier to get his measurements before he left. And the clothes he brought were a little on the ragged side, you must admit.
Rimona: Oh, yes. We did have to get him some clothing, for our own self-respect if nothing else.
Lusinka: I hear from Kat that he's grown quite attached to some monstrosity of a winter coat he picked up in Cottonwood City. I hope she can convince him to wear a decent cloak instead, when they're traveling.
Rimona: It will give her experience at managing difficult Gens and their irrational stubbornness...
Rimona squeezes Lusinka's arm again, and winks.
Lusinka: They should have worked out a modus vivendi by now. It will be interesting to see how the power balance shifts once they're no longer out-Territory.