The Rising Generation: Episode 14

Nick is waiting in the World Controller's outer office for an appointment.

Nick is not quite as ~ ill-at-ease ~ with the surroundings as he would have been a year ago, but he ~ doubts ~ he'll ever be truly comfortable among such a swarm of Authority Figures. Fortunately, he's more than competent enough to hide his feelings from any but a top First Order channel.

Jaklin is taking the opportunity to meet Nick Reckage, now Nick ambrov Sat'htine, for the first time in person. She's pleased that her idea of sending him to Sat'htine seems to have been beneficial for all concerned, except for Firlith's clique.

Jaklin is interested to compare what she's heard and read about him to the man himself. How accurate has all that hearsay been? What makes him tick? Is he happy with how things have turned out? Can life at Sat'htine remedy his sometimes disastrous faults and make him more productive and less of a loose cannon?

Jaklin figures that since he's in Capital and he and his channel had transfer only a few days ago, she'll take the opportunity to find out.

Jaklin zlinned Nick arrive a few minutes ago, a bit early for his appointment. a good sign. She opens her door and beckons to him.

Jaklin: Welcome, naztehr. I'm pleased to meet you at last.

Nick: Controller Jaklin.

Nick's tone is courteous but reserved. He's dressed in Sat'htine livery, not a Tecton Donor's uniform. Nick hates the Tecton uniform with a passion, and House livery is allowed.

Jaklin: Come in.

Nick enters the office.

Jaklin steps back and gestures toward a grouping of comfortable seating around a trin table furnished with teapot, cups and a tray of goodies.

Jaklin: Let's sit and chat.

Jaklin sits and pours fresh trin for two.

Nick accepts a cup, adjusting his nager to ~~ comfortable neutrality ~~.

Jaklin observes that even unengaged and neutral, Nick's nager is exceptional in its aesthetic qualities. Even his enemies agree on that.

Nick's comfortable neutrality nager is one of his best and he pulls it out whenever he feels ill at ease around a strange channel with authority over him. He waits to see what the World Controller wants with him.

Jaklin: I'm sure you know that it was my idea to send you to Sat'htine. I hoped you'd find an environment there that suited your personality and met your needs. Since you've pledged, I assume I was right. I'm very pleased for you.

Nick: Thank you. I'm much happier at Sat'htine than I have been in quite some time.

Nick means, since before Snake poisoned Arat and made him go batty bonkers.

Jaklin: As a Householder of many generations standing, I'm somewhat prejudiced toward that way of life, but I recognize that it doesn't suit everyone. I'm glad it suits you.

Jaklin pushes the tray of pastries closer to Nick, then leans back.

Nick obligingly takes a pastry and ~~ savors ~~ it, providing an appetite stimulus.

Jaklin enjoys Nick's enjoyment of the pastry. What a delightful nager.

Jaklin: So tell me, what have you been doing, what's happened to you, how did you come to decide to pledge to the House?

Nick: It seemed to both me and Sat'thine that we had much to offer each other.

Jaklin nods, and gestures him to tell her more.

Nick: For instance, their emergency response team lacked experience in actual emergencies. And there were some techniques I've picked up in various places that have been very useful.

Jaklin: Keeping a Farris channel healthy and functional when there's almost no opportunity for work is a rare skill, and a seldom needed one. But when it's needed, it's needed crucially.

Nick: Yes. Entran is nothing to fool around with.

Jaklin: Especially with Farrises. It's miserable for the rest of us, but it can kill a Farris.

Nick: I know.

Nick takes a sip of his tea.

Jaklin wonders if it will be possible to get Nick to relax and chat freely with her. It doesn't zlin like it. Perhaps she should have invited Katsura Farris to this meeting as well.

Nick has been hurt a great deal by the organization Jaklin represents and she still has a great deal of power over him, despite his pledge to Sat'htine. He's therefore reluctant to tell Jaklin anything that might be used against him. He is, however, free to talk on other issues.

Jaklin: How do you like the Sat'htine line of Farrises? You've met Zeor Farrises and worked with the Audnes line. From a Companion's point of view, how do they differ?

Nick considers.

Nick: The only Zeor Farris I've met seemed to take for granted that the world would readjust itself to his preference, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Jaklin smiles.

Nick: Snake and her father assumed that the world would be hostile unless they could control it. The Sat'htine clan seems more inclined to take life as it comes.

Nick: That doesn't mean they don't require looking after, of course. For instance, Kat has been missing her pediatrics work a great deal. There are plenty of sick and injured children in Capital -- would it be possible for her to spend some of her work shifts helping them?

Nick lets his nager ~ coax ~ just a bit, not to an unethical degree, of course. His coaxing nager is much more beguiling than his polite neutrality.

Jaklin smiles at Nick's none-too-subtle but none the less beguiling projection. Very nicely done.

Nick can do subtle very well, but sometimes the obvious approach is more effective.

Jaklin: I don't see why not. Has she asked? Working with children won't do much to stave off entran, of course. Their nagers are just too faint.

Nick: Oh, I can manage the entran. What I can't always do is make her stop being a bit homesick.

Nick's ~~ confidence ~~ in his ability to keep his channel healthy is quite apparent. He's not experienced enough to understand how few Donors would be that confident of keeping a Farris channel healthy in such circumstances.

Jaklin knows that Nick's confidence is entirely justified. He's demonstrated his ability to keep a Farris channel healthy more than once, and under far worse circumstances than working in Capital with a healthy young channel.

Jaklin: Wasn't she in Konawa for a few years before you went to Sat'htine? I'm not sure what Hiram wants her to do here in Capital, now that the New Washington ambassador is settled in. But as her fellow ambrov Sat'htine, you are her home when she's away from home.

Nick: I believe Sectuib was hoping that she would get some experience that would be useful when she has to represent Sat'htine to the Tecton.

Jaklin: Well, I suppose she has to get such experience, since she's the heir. Perhaps he's arranging some work for her. But I don't suppose you're interested in that sort of work. Have you picked out a medical specialty you'd like to train for?

Nick: We've discussed it a few times, but we're still working on discovering the things I don't know yet. A disadvantage of picking up one's training in a haphazard fashion.

Jaklin: I hoped that Sat'htine would be able to help you with that, fill in the gaps, teach you alternative methods.

Nick: That has gone both ways, actually. Apparently, some of the things I've picked up are more useful than the traditional alternatives.

Jaklin smiles.

Jaklin: I'm glad that worked out, too. Sat'htine can be more open-minded about these things than an ordinary Sime Center can. They can analyze and legitimize a new technique, so it can be added to the standard methods. It's a good fit for an innovator like you.

Jaklin zlins Nick speculatively.

Jaklin: Full time administrators like me never really get enough time to do channeling work. My Donors do well for me, but sometimes, like today, I get a certain level of entran. Not dangerous or debilitating, but most annoying and unpleasant.

Jaklin thinks it wouldn't be a bad move to show Nick she trusts him enough to let him work on her.

Nick raises an eyebrow.

Nick: Would you like me to work on you?

Jaklin: Would you? You don't have to. I've heard a great deal about your skill, and I'd like to experience it for myself.

Nick: I don't mind. I'm getting used to being a curiosity.

Nick scoots over to sit beside her and reaches to take Jaklin's hands.

Jaklin's hands meet his and slide into position. She wraps her handling tentacles lightly around his arms.

Nick's nager reaches out to link with Jaklin's, giving her a much closer zlin of it.

Jaklin leans her head on Nick's shoulder in the standard posture and extends her laterals onto his arms. She sighs with pleasure. What a beautiful nager.

Nick starts to work on the entran in his usual subtle, slightly offbeat style.

Jaklin is delighted at the experience. Too bad Nick outrates her by so much -- no hope of ever sharing transfer with him.

Nick's work is effective, but he attacks the problem in a slightly different order than a Tecton-trained Donor would use.

Jaklin: Interesting.

Jaklin thinks that despite Nick's attractive appearance, standard for most of Riyyh's inbred get, his nager is quite different. Nature versus nurture -- perhaps growing up and developing far away from the culture of Naros makes all the difference. Nick's nager shows a lot more discipline and complexity than the standard Naros gravitates toward.

Nick tends to throw together an eclectic mix of techniques from Snake's half-learned Zeor training, moderated by Arat's Audnes tradition, a touch of Naros, and now a good leavening of Sat'htine. He's pretty good at improvising on the fly, as well. He therefore has no problem unkinking the knots in Jaklin's secondary system.

Jaklin reluctantly disengages her field from Nick's and releases him.

Nick learned his self-discipline in the migrant labor camps of Gen Territory.

Jaklin: Thank you, naztehr. that was well and beautifully done.

Nick: You're welcome.

Jaklin stands.

Jaklin: Please give my regards to Katsura, and when you get home, to Hiram and Lusinka.

Nick: I will.

Nick stands as well.

Jaklin: It was good to meet you. I hope we'll meet again.

Jaklin walks Nick to the door and ushers him out. He did a good job on her -- she feels much better.

Nick waits until he's well out of the building before he lets himself feel his ~~ relief ~~ at surviving the encounter.

Jaklin is pleased that her plan for rehabilitating the so-called notorious rogue has worked so well. Nick is clearly a Companion by nature, no threat to the Tecton. He just needed to be put in the place he naturally belonged, where his commitment and loyalty can have an appropriate target.

Jaklin is slightly ~~ smug ~~ as well as ~~ relieved ~~ at a problem solved.

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