Randayl is seated at a table at an outdoor cafe, sipping chilled trin and ignoring the platter of Sime-friendly tidbits on the table.
Saag takes a cherry tomato from the platter. He doesn't want to take more than his fair share, but he doesn't want the food to go to waste, either.
Saag: These are good, Randayl. Try one.
Randayl: Go ahead, Saag. I had some fruit earlier.
Randayl blushes, not quite as redly as the tomatoes.
Saag thinks that Randayl isn't following the nutrition guidelines taught at the First Year camp very well, but isn't going to nag. He doesn't think that's why Randayl is blushing, though.
Saag: So, anything new and exciting in the landscape maintenance world today?
Randayl: Well... There was one particularly fetching bit of the landscape that I was admiring...
Randayl gives a ~~ sappy ~~ smile.
Saag: Oh? ~~ interest ~~ amusement ~~
Randayl: Brenda. The Ambassador's wife's maid. Since the weather has been so pleasant, she's been eating her lunch outside.
Saag: You think she's cute?
Saag thinks she's kind of stupid.
Randayl: I think those freckles are adorable. And she's been pretty nice to me, too.
Saag: That's good. I didn't think she was very comfortable about Simes.
Randayl: She isn't, really. But she's getting better. And I think... I think she likes me.
Randayl hasn't had many girls like him, before.
Saag: Gonna ask her out?
Saag is half ~~ teasing ~~.
Randayl: I think I just might, when my check finally comes. She's been pretty lonely here. She might like to see more of Capital. She hasn't left the Embassy grounds more than twice since she got here.
Saag: I guess she'd be nervous about exploring on her own.
Randayl: Yeah. And a lady's maid doesn't qualify for a diplomatic escort.
Randayl is struck by a sudden thought.
Randayl: Can you imagine my father's reaction to me asking a servant out?
Randayl starts snickering.
Saag: I'd think he'd be more upset about you having anything to do with a Gen woman.
Randayl: That, too. Although he'd view any servant who would agree to a social occasion with me as deserving whatever she got.
Randayl: Unless it was something good, that is.
Saag: I don't think your father's opinions about your social life are worth thinking about. His opinions about anything, really.
Randayl: He's my father, Saag. He doesn't have as much power over me as he used to, but he still can control my sisters.
Saag: Still, it's none of his business who you go out with.
Randayl: True. But when has that ever stopped him? I don't plan to let him run my life, but I can't ignore him completely, either.
Saag: Well, he won't know if you don't tell him, and why tell him anything?
Randayl: I'm sure he's having me watched, as much as he can.
Saag decides not to point out yet again that Randayl has the upper hand now, no matter how his father tries to coerce him.
Saag: So how are your sisters doing?
Randayl: It's hard to tell. I've gotten some letters, but they're kind of stilted. I don't know if Father is making them write against their will, or if they're afraid he'll punish them if they seem too friendly. They have been taking changeover training, however, so at least they've got a chance.
Saag: That's the important part.
Randayl: Yes. Whatever they think of me, they won't go through what I did. And if one of them does turn Sime... well, you know how that can change your perspective on how "respectable" it is to associate with a Sime.
Saag laughs in ~~ strong agreement ~~.
Randayl: Seriously, I hope that if that happens, my sisters would have the sense to seek me out. In fact, I hope they'd do so whatever their larity, if they get into trouble and can't stay with Father any more.
Saag: They'll ask them at the First Year camp if they have any relatives or friends in-T, and if they mention you, the staff will get in touch, right?
Randayl: I hope so. They know my new name, and where I can be reached.
Saag: And once they're sixteen, or they establish, they can cross the border on their own.
Randayl: Yes. Although if all goes well for them, I don't think they will. It would ruin their chances of a good marriage, and that's more important to a girl than a brother.
Saag: They're still just little girls. It will be years until they're sixteen, and they probably won't know when they establish unless they make a real effort to find out.
Randayl: I know. I'm just glad I was able to make contact with them now. I expect Father will restrict them more in the future, if he manages to get his finances together enough to do without my money.
Randayl: Right now, though, it's me who's doing without the money, mostly.
Saag: I wonder... once you get the money and get settled... you could write to your mother, and tell her she can come here with your sisters and you'll take care of the whole family. They could all get away from your father that way.
Randayl: I told my mother I'd be glad to have her visit me any time. If things get bad, I hope she'll remember.