Compromising Situations: Episode 19

Crynwyr: I tell you, things aren't as simple out here as they teach you in school. This is a sophisticated and complex culture, much older than our own if it comes to that. Why, my friend Seruffin -- well, not friend exactly, but we are acquainted....

Crynwyr pauses to take a breath.

Akrasia: I've met Seruffin, Crynwyr, at that crazy senator's party, remember? Where you were so embarrassing to everyone in sight?

Crynwyr: Um, well ...

Akrasia counts off on her fingers:

Akrasia: Seruffin, that senior old guy senator and his wife -- were they ever disgusted --... Those ambrov Sat'htine, 3 of them Farrises... your host and his elderly mother... all your colleagues....

Crynwyr: Not all, surely. Some were out of earshot. And as for the old guy Senator, he may be a Senator, but he was certainly also clueless. My questions were totally reasonable.

Akrasia: I thought he was going to have a stroke. You have to be careful around these old people. He did collapse not long after, too. He'd be dead if Seruffin hadn't been there.

Crynwyr nods.

Crynwyr: That was a piece of luck all around. He's alive but out of power.

Akrasia: That assumes his replacement isn't even worse.

Crynwyr: No matter how bad, he won't have the pull Tsibola did, not for decades.

Akrasia shrugs.

Akrasia: So what were you starting to lecture to me about?

Crynwyr: Bah. What's the point? A closed mind gathers no moss, as they say out here. You've made up your mind about "wild Gen savages", and that's that.

Akrasia refrains from making a comment about allegedly tame channel savages.

Crynwyr picks up on the gist, if not the particulars, and suddenly flip-flops.

Crynwyr: Sorry. I think it's not having enough work today -- it makes me irritable.

Akrasia's attitude ~~ softens ~~ and she projects a little ~~ comfort ~~.

Agarwal comes ~~ storming ~~ into the office, without either signaling or knocking.

Crynwyr doesn't quite need to hide behind his Donor physically, but he's certainly tempted. He takes all the ~~ comfort ~~ he can get, leaning hard, then steadying.

Akrasia provides ~~ solid Tecton-standard support ~~ .

Agarwal: Are you in charge here?

Agarwal glares at them impartially.

Crynwyr: Um. Yes. I suppose. Yes. What are you needing?

Agarwal: I need satisfaction, that's what I need. Those idiots out there are hopeless.

Agarwal gestures vaguely towards the front rooms, where the duty Thirds are taking care of donors.

Crynwyr: Satisfaction? You are giving donations, you feel not good about it?

Agarwal has not been educated in the niceties of Simelan grammatical conventions.

Akrasia can't zlin that the Gen is still high field, but wants to be placatory to balance her channel.

Akrasia: Most Gen not feel satisfaction during donation, just after that they have give life to Sime. Only Donor to channel feel that during.

Agarwal: I'm as charitable as the next man, but I've never suffered fools gladly, I'll have you know.

Crynwyr: That I can hear.

Akrasia doesn't get all that, but picks up the word 'suffered' and the epithet 'fools' and is ~~ concerned ~~.

Agarwal has spent a frustrating day trying to find out what has been done about locating his missing wife and the missing jewelry she had the temerity to steal when she left.

Crynwyr: But for what can I help you today, then?

Agarwal: I want to know where my wife is. She had no business leaving the house against my express orders, much less crossing the border. And I'm tired of having people tell me that it's somebody else's problem, they've no idea how to help me, which is just as well because they couldn't care less.

Agarwal glares at Crynwyr.

Akrasia didn't get most of that.

Akrasia: All adult Gen can come here and donate.

Crynwyr: Very well. Here to be helping you am I. But for what?

Agarwal: My wife crossed the border without my permission. I am here to find out what you people did with her. After which I will return her to where she belongs and make sure that she doesn't do such a thing again.

Crynwyr: I see. But have you talked to lawyer? We here, not lawyers.

Agarwal: Lawyers take forever to do anything. And they want a lot of money to do it, too. Tell me where she is, and I'll take care of the details of getting her back.

Crynwyr spreads his hands in what he thinks is the out-Territory gesture.

Crynwyr: I? I not know where one woman is, with not even name? How?

Akrasia: We not keep donors here. They give then they go.

Agarwal: Her name is Portia. Portia Agarwal. She ran away a couple of months ago and hasn't been seen since.

Crynwyr: Ah. And you think she stolen by our people? No, no, we raise our own Gens here now.

Crynwyr points to his Donor.

Akrasia: We not steal Gens, not since war. Is First Contract. No more raids.

Agarwal: I'm glad to hear it. So find her and return her to me.

Crynwyr: You ever try to make female do what she not want to do, go where she not want to go? No, sir, hopeless. Go home, lick wounds, find new wife.

Crynwyr's tone is intended to console.

Agarwal is not consoled.

Agarwal: I paid a very large settlement to Portia's father. I spent plenty on the jewelry I gave her, and she stole that, too. She's mine, and you have no right to keep her.

Crynwyr: Umm, you give her jewels? Then jewels hers, no? Anyhow, I am explain we are not keeping her. If she still in Sime Territory at all, she keeps herself, like all adults. Work, or live on donation payments, whatever.

Agarwal: She's living on my jewels! She's my wife, and that means she stays with me unless I choose to send her back to her father in disgrace.

Akrasia: [Simelan] Is this guy crazy or can people here own Gens?

Akrasia doesn't add "since you're such an expert on out-T culture".

Crynwyr: Here, may be true. In Simeland, all adults equal. And as I am saying, if you give her things, gifts, those are her things.

Crynwyr: [Simelan] No, it's their peculiar attitude toward women. But this guy must be an extremist.

Agarwal: If I buy a jewel for my wife to wear, that doesn't give her the right to sell it. Particularly not to fund... perversions.

Crynwyr begins to worry. Perversions?

Akrasia picks up on 'perversions'. Is his wife a Distect sympathizer?

Crynwyr: Is your wife... work with Simes who like pain?

Akrasia thinks that may be even worse than Distect.

Agarwal: She does disgusting things. Her "special friend" got her into it.

Crynwyr winces.

Crynwyr: Of this we cannot approve. Gens who give transfer untrained to Simes, or Simes who crave pain, this will we find out and put stop.

Agarwal blames Dilena for turning his wife against him, because he doesn't credit Portia with having the nerve, left to herself.

Agarwal: Good.

Crynwyr: But return them to you, no! If your wife is criminal, Sime law will deal with. Prison, maybe more.

Akrasia: [Simelan] Wait a minute -- where would she find a Sime out here, Crynwyr? Think!

Crynwyr: [shiftily] [Simelan] Oh, there must be a few about.

Agarwal thinks that what Portia and Dilena do together is at least as disgusting as a Gen giving transfer to a Sime.

Crynwyr: If case severe, possible death penalty.

Agarwal nods in ~~ satisfaction ~~.

Agarwal: They must pay the price for what they have done, certainly.

Crynwyr: What? You pleased see you wife die? You are pervert, I think! ~~ outrage ~~

Akrasia nods in ~~ agreement ~~. She's heard of 'junct Gens', but never met one.

Agarwal: When she ran away to become a criminal, she showed herself unworthy to be a wife. Yet her actions still reflect on me.

Crynwyr: They certain do. I do not believe this story one bit. Get out.

Agarwal: You agree what she does is a crime of the worst sort, and yet you criticize me for wanting not to be tainted by it?

Akrasia: You not want her back, so why make trouble here? We no keep you wife here anyway.

Agarwal: She took my name, my wealth, and my reputation. I want them back. I was told you could help me. Goodness knows my own embassy hasn't helped a bit.

Akrasia: You not get that things here too.

Crynwyr: Why could we help you? We take donations. Obviously you are taker, not giver. Get out, I say.

Agarwal glares at Crynwyr.

Crynwyr shrugs off the glare, or rather the emotions behind it.

Akrasia expresses nageric ~~ solidarity ~~ with her channel,.

Agarwal: Very well. At least nobody can complain that I haven't tried conventional means to resolve this.

Akrasia: Complaining at Sime Center make not sense. Go complain at Nivet Embassy.

Agarwal: This isn't the Embassy? They told me next door that I could be helped here.

Crynwyr: No. Now leave. You are disturber of the peace, and next I have you thrown out.

Agarwal had the misfortune to run into an Embassy clerk who knew even less Genlan than this pair, but he's pretty sure that she directed him to here.

Crynwyr stands up to add whatever authority his modest height can give him.

Agarwal: It is people like you, sir, who have triggered every revolution that has ever overthrown a tyrant.

Agarwal stalks out.

Akrasia: What did you zlin? Is he actually crazy? No wonder his wife went in-T to get away from him.

Crynwyr: I think someone told him to talk about perversions because he knew that would get a rise out of us. But really he's just one of those out-T men who think they own their wives because they paid their fathers for them. And if she did leave him and take her jewels, so much the better.

Akrasia: Men murder their Sime children and sell their daughters to other men. What did you call it, "a sophisticated and complex culture"?

Crynwyr raises his hands over his head in token of surrender.

Crynwyr: Okay, Sosu. You were right and I was wrong. You are the true heir of Rimon Farris. I apologize.

Akrasia: Hmph. ~~ amusement, kindness ~~

Akrasia: Both of us, Hajene. And not that guy.

Crynwyr: For sure not. Say, what happened to all the other Farrises who stayed in the Genfarm business? Did you ever hear anything about them?

Akrasia: They probably all died of chronic shorting. Or allergies.

Crynwyr winces.

Crynwyr: Probably.

Crynwyr is, as always, glad he's a Second. Firsts have too much responsibility, Thirds not enough charisma.

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