Fantasies and Realities: Episode 11

Roger sits back in his chair in the living area of Sat'htine's suite in Capital, ~~ procrastinating ~~ with regards to his unpacking.

Roger: And so, Kat, Sectuib wants to make sure that Sectuib Lanard and her House keep on producing brandy.

Katsura: Oh, yes? ~~ amused ~~

Roger: It is very nice stuff. Quite medicinal.

Roger winks.

Roger: Also, there just aren't that many Farris Houses. What else are they supposed to do, but turn to us or Zeor for help?

Katsura: Or Im'cholee, I suppose.

Roger: True, but they're even farther away than Zeor.

Katsura: Poor young woman. I suppose she might be the end of that line.

Roger: What does Nick think of her?

Katsura: She brings out his instinct to protect and serve a channel: the more in need of his help, the stronger the instinct. It's a good thing he's already pledged to us.

Roger: You think that we'd be in danger of losing him, otherwise?

Katsura shrugs.

Katsura: He can be impulsive. But he's also very loyal, once his loyalties are set. Both tendencies have gotten him into deep trouble before.

Roger: I know. For what it's worth, I agree with you that he's better off with us.

Katsura: We're certainly well off with him, judging by the queue for his services Sectuib mentioned.

Katsura smiles, or is it a smirk?

Katsura: I suppose I should feel guilty at the way I've been monopolizing him.

Roger: You're Sat'htine's next Sectuib. You'll have to have a close relationship with the Companions, and they with you. That's particularly important with Nick, since he didn't grow up in Sat'htine. Believe me, I know how important that is.

Katsura: Have the two of you spoken about adapting to life as a Householder?

Roger: A little. He's a lot older than I was when I pledged, though. And already a Companion.

Katsura nods.

Katsura: He's certainly had a lot more options than you did.

Roger chuckles.

Roger: That young man would be able to get along just about anywhere. And has, for the most part, as I understand it.

Katsura: He does very well, minute to minute and day to day -- his charm works very well. But it's the longer term that he has trouble with. He tends not to see the consequences of his actions further down the road.

Roger: How could he? This is the first time in his adult life that he's had some idea where he'll be in six months.

Katsura: I hope he can learn -- I hope he understands that he needs to learn to see the big picture.

Roger: I think he can learn. He's certainly adaptable, and I think he's sincerely committed to Sat'htine. If you want to help, talk over with him some of the planning issues that come up from time to time.

Lanard ~~ signals for admittance ~~ at the suite door.

Katsura: Good thought... Come in, Lanard!

Lanard opens the door. Her clothes are just as loud, but her manner is more confident.

Lanard: ~~ mock caution ~~ [lower-class accent] Izzis da place? N-nick sent me.

Katsura: Sectuib Lanard, this is Sosu Roger ambrov Sat'htine.

Roger ~~ inspects ~~ Lanard closely.

Lanard switches back to formal mode.

Lanard: Nysek offers respect to Sat'htine, Sosu Roger, Hajene Katsura.

Katsura: And Sat'htine offers respect to Nysek.

Roger: Pleased to meet you, Sectuib Lanard. And respect to Nysek.

Roger offers a hand to brush tentacle tips.

Lanard sighs and extends her tentacles with exaggerated caution.

Lanard: S-sorry. I can zlin you're Farris-rated, but it's a habit...

Lanard brushes tentacles with less caution and more ~~ enthusiasm ~~.

Roger: I understand that Nysek doesn't have any Companions close to your rating?

Lanard: Or channels, either. May I sit?

Katsura: Of course. ~~ welcoming, friendly ~~

Lanard lets out a notch of tension and sits.

Lanard: I'm a sport, the first Farris ever born in the House. There's no reason for us to have any Farris-trained Gens.

Roger: There is now.

Lanard chuckles.

Lanard: Reason for us to have them, not r-reason for them to come to us! But anyway, I'm ~~ very glad ~~ to s-see you, Sosu.

Roger: Seriously, you're going to have to find a compatible First Companion.

Lanard sighs again and nods.

Roger: Have you decided on a plan for that?

Lanard is suffering from ~~ repressed need ~~, but doesn't really realize it, since she has always been suffering from it except in the direct presence of a Farris-capable Gen.

Lanard shakes her head.

Lanard: So far it's been one transfer at a time; that's all I've been able to arrange with the so-kind help of the Tecton's bureaucracy. ~~ irony ~~

Lanard: My father, the former Sectuib, was an enormous help to me, of course, but he didn't have experience at this political level.

Roger: You can't get far enough ahead to start zlinning for a permanent solution?

Lanard: No, not really. I think they say "living from fingers to mouth" in Genlan?

Roger: Hand to mouth, actually.

Lanard: Ah. Thanks, Sosu.

Roger's Genlan is perfect, of course.

Lanard: And the Second Channel was running the House while I was away during my First Year, so it's really only been a few months that I've been trying to face the issue.

Roger: I see.

Katsura watches with ~~ interest ~~ as the elderly Companion and young channel develop a natural rapport.

Roger: Well, Sectuib Hiram is inclined to assist your House, at least long enough for you to find a more permanent solution.

Lanard: Y-you mean beyond th-th-this month? That's amazing. The deal was only for w-w-one month.

Roger: Well, he's not offering to give you Nick, if that's what you were thinking. Nysek can't pose enough of a challenge for him, you understand.

Lanard laughs.

Lanard: Of course not. I know I can't satisfy him. Or any ordinary Farris Gen. I must be the lowest-rated Farris channel that has ever existed. ~~ self-deprecation ~~

Katsura: Oh, Rimon and his earlier descendants were probably very low rated, not to mention his ancestors, who didn't know they were channels. The ancestors managed to survive on ordinary Gens, though rather a lot of them, as I understand it.

Katsura has heard and read a lot of technical speculation about the almost apocryphal first channel.

Lanard: ~~ eeew!! ~~ Sorry. I just let down my guard ... Sorry.

Katsura: That's okay. Sorry to have upset you. ~~ reassurance kindness ~~

Roger ~~ reinforces ~~ Kat's efforts.

Katsura: So how are you and Nick getting along?

Lanard smiles dreamily.

Lanard: Well, his nager is -- something else, isn't it? It's like being next to a really big bonfire. It warms you from twenty feet away, but you know if you ever got really close to it, you'd be burned.

Katsura: You don't have to worry about him burning you. He'll have no difficulty giving you a standard, channel controlled transfer. But his nager really is very strong and beautiful. I love to zlin it myself.

Katsura zlinned a peculiar reaction from Lanard at the mention of standard transfers, but it was fleeting and she wasn't expecting it. Perhaps Lanard has had unsatisfying transfers from Tecton Donors, and reacts badly to the term.

Lanard: Oh, I don't mean burned like that. I just meant, well, I'd just disappear into his nager, but I wouldn't be able to do much for him, at least not in the long run.

Lanard hesitates.

Lanard: I know he's not a Donor-Therapist, but I've had transfer from Donor-Therapists, and, well, ....

Lanard trails off. ~~ dejection ~~

Roger: It wasn't very therapeutic?

Lanard nods ~~ ruefully ~~.

Lanard: I hate being made to feel cheerful.

Katsura nods ~~ sympathetically ~~.

Roger: Sometimes it's necessary, for channels who've literally forgotten what it's like to be cheerful, but I agree, it's a bit unnatural.

Lanard ~~ relaxes ~~ another notch at all this understanding.

Roger: Have you been that depressed, then?

Lanard smiles.

Lanard: Only after transfer. Once past turnover, I'm fine.

Roger duly ~~ notes ~~ the reverse of the normal Sime pattern.

Lanard tries to fix Roger with a Hiramesque glare, did she but know it.

Lanard: That was a joke, Sosu.

Roger indicates that he understands with a gesture.

Roger: You do understand that Sosu Nick lacks the training and experience of a Donor-Therapist? He can give you a good transfer, I'm sure, but it won't necessarily have the lasting effects that a Therapist could manage.

Roger is perhaps underestimating the amount of experience Nick has with channels who have been shorted, although his training was in the School of Hard Knocks, not Rialite.

Lanard: I do understand that at least, Sosu. After all, it's not as if I have shorting problems. On the contrary.

Roger: Plenty of selyn, just coming in lousy transfers?

Roger grins ~~ wryly ~~.

Lanard: Yes. You see, I'm sensitive enough to zlin the pity behind the facade of satisfaction. I'm just glad I haven't had to pledge any changeovers yet -- what would I give them?

Roger: You may have to pledge someone, before your situation can be resolved. At least in a permanent fashion.

Lanard: To be sure. But I can't get eggs without chickens, or chickens without eggs.

Roger: True. Unless you decide to raise ducks, I suppose.

Lanard giggles.

Roger: Don't laugh. My mother raised a flock of ducks, and did very well with them.

Roger projects a touch of ~~ fake indignation ~~.

Katsura is charmed at how well the other two are getting along. An old man like Roger may be just what Lanard needs as a friend -- she doesn't have to be afraid of appearing too young with him.

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