The Rising Generation: Episode 7

Roger has arranged a picnic for his nephew, and recruited Shorsh to drive them out to the lake. He hopes Adrian will find it sufficiently entertaining.

Roger: ...and there's the water. Quite pleasant on a warm day, isn't it?

Adrian: It certainly is, Great-Cousin. A great spot for a picnic, really.

Roger: I hope you find the picnic adequate. The food is good, but we only have some vin extremely ordinaire to go with it.

Shorsh: Our home product.

Roger: I have to admit, I'm a bit spoiled after prolonged exposure to that excellent brandy.

Adrian laughs.

Shorsh stops the buggy in a nice spot under some trees, gets out and unharnesses the elderly horse.

Adrian: I don't have a particularly well-developed palate as yet. The plonk will be fine.

Roger: It has alcohol. The rest is optional.

Adrian: Quite. The food is very good, though, better than I expected in Simeland.

Roger: Well, Sat'htine is a Householding. Half the membership is Gen. And most of the kitchen staff.

Shorsh: And we have our farm, so we grow what we want and have plenty of it fresh.

Roger: At least, of the stuff that grows here. Some things we still have to import.

Shorsh: We have arrangements with some other houses that go back decades. One down in Gulf sends us some things we can't grow here like citrus and coconut.

Roger: I'm very fond of coconut macaroons, and the kitchen makes lovely ones. We also get some very nice maple syrup from up north.

Roger: So tell me, Adrian, is there anything in particular you'd like do while you're here?

Shorsh unloads the picnic basket and spreads a tarp for the group to sit on.

Roger settles down on it, only somewhat ~~ stiffly ~~.

Adrian: Well, now that I know I don't have your Donor talent, I guess it's a matter of finding a job, preferably nearby.

Roger: You like the area?

Adrian smiles crookedly.

Adrian: Well, I'm already cutting my ties with all Templetons but one. Perhaps it would be better to retain some sort of family connection -- I might find it useful someday.

Roger: Adrian, I haven't been a Templeton in fifty years.

Adrian: Oh, I know! That's what makes you such an appropriate relative to me -- in fifty years, I won't have been a Templeton either.

Roger: Are you sure you really want to cut all ties with your previous life? I did, but I didn't have a choice.

Shorsh doesn't point out that Roger cut most of his ties when he got drunk and let a recruiter talk him into the Gen Army. Even Adrian isn't quite as spontaneous.

Roger: Do you really hate the whole family that much?

Adrian: That was then, this is now. If I can get established, really established here, I can go back later on whenever I need to. And no, I don't hate my family. I just want them to stop pushing me around.

Roger: If you leave them, they may not want you back. You could end up as completely cut off as I was, but without a Householding's protection.

Adrian: The Templetons may not want me, but that doesn't mean Gen Territory as a whole won't accept me. After all, I have the most important qualification.

Adrian looks pointedly at his tentacle-free forearms.

Shorsh smiles. Out-T Gens were encouraged to immigrate in-T for some time after Unity, not just for their selyn, but as role models for kids turning Gen in-T.

Roger: As Shorsh here discovered recently, smooth arms don't necessarily make you socially acceptable, if you're labeled a Simelover. Right, Shorsh?

Adrian: Yes, but Mr. Farris is a Donor. Capital D.

Shorsh: There seems to be some prejudice out-T against any Gen who donates or even speaks to Simes.

Adrian nods.

Adrian: Still, in ten or twenty years, when I start to think about re-immigrating, I expect that'll be a lot less.

Shorsh: Of course, you'll retain your New Washington citizenship, unlike Sime immigrants.

Adrian: In short, gentlemen, I've worked out everything except my actual choice of career!

Roger: Don't you think you should do that, before you burn your bridges?

Adrian: Me? Burn my bridges? I thought this was a private conversation.

Roger: If you stay on this side of the border, people are going to notice.

Adrian: Oh, I won't be here that long -- this time. Unless, of course, something breaks just right in the next week or so. In which case, I have my bridge-burning supplies right here.

Roger: What sort of job are you going to look for?

Adrian: Hmm. Perhaps I could offer a course in upper-class Gen accent and mores for Sime cross-border entrepreneurs?

Shorsh ~~ rolls his eyes nagerically ~~, which neither Gen can perceive.

Roger ~~ considers ~~.

Roger: I don't know how much interest there is in such classes, and starting a business like that is risky. Do you have enough funds at hand to support yourself until it became self-supporting?

Shorsh: I doubt there'd be much call for such a service around here -- you'd probably have to go to a large city, perhaps a border city.

Adrian nods.

Adrian: Sounds reasonable. I'd like to use it to bootstrap my way into some kind of trading business, eventually. I'm good at financial math.

Shorsh thinks the whole thing sounds awfully optimistic, although he's never had to find a job or engage in entrepreneurism himself.

Roger: Are you good at Simelan? You'll have to learn it well before you can teach in-Territory students.

Adrian: No, but every Sime immigrant manages to learn, so why can't I?

Roger: Well, some people learn better than others. And faster.

Shorsh: Those Simes have the unfair advantage of coming here at the start of their First Year, when they can learn things like languages with exceptional ease, yet some of them never become fluent.

Roger: Have you ever tried to learn another language?

Adrian looks nonplussed.

Adrian: What other language? Everybody speaks English until you get to Mexamerica Territory.

Roger: It's not as simple as it seems. Different languages force you to think in different ways -- and Simelan is far more different than Spanyol, I'm told. You should try to pick up at least some Simelan before you try to live here.

Adrian: Well, perhaps I ought to start with an intensive Simelan class, then?

Roger: That would be wise. And think about what sort of job you can get to pay your bills while you learn the language. Donating won't support you the way you're accustomed to.

Adrian: Oh, I know. "Send food" -- "No food available, tighten belt" -- "Send belt."

Adrian alludes to a legendary exchange of telegrams.

Roger: Somehow, I don't think you'll be able to write home for money with which to pursue your plans.

Shorsh hopes the young man isn't planning to sponge off the Householding indefinitely.

Roger: What sort of temporary work could you do?

Shorsh looks around casually for the horse, which usually grazes on the lusher grass near the shore, but doesn't see it. He stands up for a better view and notices that someone has left the bars down on the gateway to the adjacent maize field.

Shorsh: I think the horse may have sneaked into the maize. I better go catch her before she eats herself sick and pisses off the field crop team.

Roger: We'd better help -- it's a big field.

Roger gets to his feet.

Adrian gets up too.

Roger: Come on, Adrian.

Adrian: Sure. Hey, that's one thing I could do -- I'm good with horses.

Roger: That's something.

Shorsh heads off toward the gate at a fast walk.

Roger follows with the spare lead rope.

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