Arr ambrov Rurid reports for her monthly donation. She's an unremarkable Gen with no Donor talent whatsoever, on paper.
Arr does have some talent as a spokesGen for the House, and has been recruited by the Sectuib to sell some of the House's surplus. She has tackled the project with a generous helping of the House virtue, but has not forgotten her primary House duty as a Gen, however.
Ell, also obeying the House virtue, comes out of his cubicle to fetch the next Gen.
Ell: Who's up? Oh, Arr! Glad to see you.
Arr: Hi, Ell! Busy day today?
Ell: Not so bad. Fortunately, it's not one of those days when half the female Gens in the house all max out at once.
Arr: Hey, whatever happened with that cousin of yours? The old guy?
Ell: He came, he saw, he conquered. What a nager.
Ell's eyes go slightly unfocused with reminiscent Genlust.
Arr: Didn't you say the guy was retired?
Ell: Umm, yeah, well. Let's go into the insulated space and talk about it.
Ell, as a First, doesn't require nor get much recovery time, but as he says, there's no real line at present.
Arr follows Ell into the cubicle where they are allowed to take as long as they like with nobody calling them on it.
Ell: [sotto voce] I heard the most scandalous rumors about Great-Cousin Roger.
Arr: Really? ~~ eagerness ~~
Ell: That he's mixed up with a very weird Householding, not Sat'htine, that he's also First Companion of.
Arr: You can be First Companion for more than one House? I thought that went out with Hugh Valleroy.
Ell: This is all just the rumor mill. Anyhow, he's not First Companion in Sat'htine, not even retired First Companion, so I suppose his Sectuib must know all about it.
Arr: Well, of course. Don't Sectuibs know everything?
Ell chuckles, then gets gossip-serious again.
Ell: Anyhow, they say that they, the other House I mean, sell brandy to jaded Simes who do -- weird sex and pain rituals with Gens. And they, still meaning the House, actually lead those rituals. I mean, the Sectuib herself!
Arr: Pain rituals? Are they junct, then?
Ell: N-no. I can't believe that. It must be, like, just physical pain... But still -- very weird.
Ell: Maybe it's just the Gens who inflict pain on the Simes....
Arr: Did this cousin of yours zlin odd? That sort of thing has to leave a mark, after all.
Ell: Nope. Perfectly normal, ordinary, strong TN-1. I guess it just goes to show, [English] if there's a need, there's a Templeton to satisfy that need.
Arr: Are there really that many Templetons?
Arr starts rolling up her sleeves, just in case Ell's Donor decides to make an appearance.
Ell: We're everywhere. New Washington Territory, Heartland Territory, Nivet, Gulf, for all I know Norwest and Maple Leaf. Sometimes I think we can't all be relatives, some of us must be adoptees, except the family resemblance is strong, like the Farrises.
Arr: Are the Templetons all Firsts?
Ell: Who knows? There's Roger and me, and that's all we know about. Most of the family is very conservative, and even if there were more Templetons who made it across the borders in the junct days, we wouldn't necessarily be in touch now.
Arr: I suppose not.
Ell: One thing for sure, we're not Farrises. Or Tigues.
Ell scratches his very ordinary-sized nose.
Arr: Look at it this way: you wouldn't have made it to Rurid if you'd been a Farris or a Tigue. No Donors.
Ell smiles and nods.
Ell: Who knows, maybe some day my children will be Sectuibs, and they'll be talking about "Templeton Houses".
Ell giggles at the idea.
Arr: Oh, Ell, I've got some news for you! I've hardly told anyone yet.
Ell: Hold on to that. Ecks is finally waking up from her nap, and we'll need to do the donation.
Arr pouts ~~ playfully ~~.
Arr: Oh, all right.
Ecks does indeed wake up, but only to assume a more comfortable position on the couch and drop off to sleep again.
Ell: Well, she's one of those Donors who works collectorium best in her sleep, anyhow. Let's do it.
Arr holds out her hands.
Ell competently takes her hands, seizes her arms in his tentacles, makes lip contact, and takes her donation.
Arr is an uncomplicated donor, except for a House-proper dose of ~~ youthful enthusiasm ~~.
Ell is no longer post-transfer but is still nicely pre-turnover, so he soaks up the youthful enthusiasm to replay for House renSimes who will need a good dose of it come transfer time.
Arr waits ~~ enthusiastically ~~ for Ell to dismantle the contact.
Ell does just that, and relaxes on the couch for the prescribed, though short, period of rest.
Ell: Ooookay. Tell, tell!
Arr: He said yes!
Ell's jaw drops.
Ell: But -- but I thought -- his family --
Ell is speechless.
Arr: He hasn't told his family yet, of course. But he says he doesn't care.
Ell: Boooooyah! A new member!
Ell is rather tired of being "the new member" and looks forward to the new new member.
Arr: Actually... he isn't sure he wants to pledge. At least, not if his parents will accept our engagement.
Arr: He says he has responsibilities to his parents and their legacy. Our children, well, they'll have a choice. All of that is conditional on his parents agreeing. Otherwise, well, if he doesn't have a home, we'll have to offer him one, right?
Ell: Hmm. Right. But I can't see you of all people agreeing to marry out. I mean, you're what, third generation? Fourth? And what do your parents say about that idea, while I'm asking snoopy questions?
Arr: They like him a lot. They don't know we've made it official without waiting for him to pledge.
Ell: Oh really? I didn't zlin a pregnancy yet.
Arr: We've agreed to an engagement, anyway. The rest will come with time.
Ell: It certainly will, if you're doing what comes naturally.
Arr: Now, that would be telling.
Ell: It certainly would! But since I'm debarred from finding out for myself...
Arr: It would be easier if we had a child already, but really, we can decide we want to be together without that, and plan accordingly. Right?
Ell: Yes, well, certainly.
Ell is nowhere near thinking about his own genetic contribution to the House yet. If any.
Arr: So we'll have to tell both our parents soon, I guess. And Sectuib.
Ell: Yes. Always keep your chain of command clear.
Ell echoes both Templeton and Householding wisdom.
Arr: Seriously, do you think Sectuib will mind?
Ell raises his hands over his head.
Ell: I have no idea. Really. I've known him for a year, you for your whole life.
Arr: You're a channel. You work with him every day. I see him maybe once every six months.
Ell: Okay, okay. I could point out that he talks to me a lot more than I talk to him, except for reports. But he seems a reasonable fellow to me. Still, reasonable people aren't always so reasonable when the subject shifts from business to the well-being of family members. Especially those of the opposite sex and/or larity.
Arr: Yeah, I know.
Ell talks fast to try to get himself out of the channel-as-advisor stereotype.
Arr: On the other hand, my genes aren't so valuable that the House has to stake a clear claim to them.
Ell: Don't remind me. At least I don't have a Farris grandmother to hound me about it, or something.
Arr: That's good, right?
Ell: Sure it's good. I like freedom. Maybe I should have applied to Keon.
Arr: I'm glad you didn't.
Ell ~~ sighs ~~. His emotions are complex: he's glad to be here with his new friends, but he's still ~~ lonely ~~.