"Janush, I've told you how hard it is for me to raise intil with a Gen I've never taken transfer from."

"Yes, Yilli."

"What I've usually done is take transfer in a way that's more like a functional with the primary system than a real transfer. I... have excellent control that way, but... it's not very... satisfying... for either of us. I... don't want to do that with you."

"I want to do everything I can for you."

"Yes, I can zlin it... I think if we just stay here, alone together, for long enough... so I can feel relaxed enough... confident enough... and we can work on each other... maybe I... I think we can seduce each other into a really good transfer."

"I want that too, Yilli. You know I want the best for you, and I know you want the best for me."

"I'd like to just lie down here with you for a while. Will you hold me?"

"Of course. Here, let me pull this quilt up over us, so I can keep you warm. Just rest in my arms, rest on my field."

"I... it's not fair for me to let you see my problems, Janush. You're not a Donor-Therapist yet..."

"I'm your Gen. Everything I have is for you, now. You can tell me anything... I'll do anything you want... anything for you..."

"I'll never harm you in transfer, Janush, you know that don't you?"

"I know that. Zlin how much I trust you."

"Don't ever be afraid of me, I can't bear the fear."

"There's no fear, Yilli. You've never zlinned any fear of you in me, have you?"

"No, no I haven't. I'm sorry, I just... need... a lot of reassurance. I'm sorry to be so weak."

"You're not weak, you're just in hard need. You don't have to be strong now. I'm strong for both of us."

"Yes. I love your strength, your solidity. Sometimes I can't believe my luck, that they decided to haul you out of bed, that night in Capital."

"I can't believe my luck, either. It's been like a dream these past few weeks.

"Your support is excellent, Janush. You've taken most of the urgency out of my need and just left the desire and anticipation."

"Is that what you want now?"

"For a bit perhaps. You'll have to ease up later or I'll go into attrition lying here chatting with you and not care. Ah... well, not with that need-to-give you're projecting now."

"I'm not really projecting it. I'm just not holding it back as much."

"I wish you could zlin yourself. Right now you're the most beautiful thing I've ever zlinned."

"Tell me what it's like."

"Well, your repletion is like a golden light glowing out from your skin. And your desire to serve is like finding myself standing in a pool of warm sunlight on a bitterly cold day."

"It does sound beautiful."

"The way you have your arms and field wrapped around me reminds me of when I was a child and sick with lung problems again, and my Da would wrap me in a blanket and hold me on his lap and help me breathe. Sometimes I would fall asleep like that. It makes me feel safe and cared for."

"You're safe with me, Yilli. All my selyn is for you. And you can zlin how much I want to care for you."

"It's strange to try to express what I zlin in terms of other senses, but the other feeling or zlinning I have about the beauty of your repletion is that it's like the scent of rich soil, full of life and the potential for life. It just radiates from you, like the scent from a warm seedbed."

"What a beautiful image. I can feel it myself when you tell me these things. I feel full of wealth and life that I just want to give you, that I made for you, that I was born to make for you and give to you."

"May I... make a shoulder contact?"

"Of course, whatever you like. Ah, your hands and tentacles feel so good against my skin."

"Your skin feels so good against my hands and tentacles. I'm zlinning your selyn system. You are so much more replete than you've ever been. It's really beautiful. Let me try to share the perception with you. Can you drop your barriers and relinquish to me? Good. There, what did that feel like?"

"Strange. Kind of pleasant. Like a ripple from the center of my chest out to farthest edges of me and back again. What did you do?"

"It's hard to describe. Sort of like dropping a pebble in a pool, or maybe clapping and waiting for the echo. You're so replete that your selyn system is an unusually good medium for wave propagation."

"Is that one of Skyepar's in-House tricks?"

"No, it's something Roza and I came up with on our own."

"Yilli, is there anything that Roza does for you in transfer that you'd like me to do for you? Or not in transfer, for that matter?"

"No, not now. Sometimes she gives me Gen-controlled transfers. The Tecton frowns on those, but in-House of course we can still do as we like. Skyepar and I will teach you to do it sometime. It's a skill you'll require. Gen-controlled transfer is very good for channels, at least occasionally, and especially good for channels with any of a fairly wide array of transfer problems. The Tecton doesn't approve because they say that a channel should never relinquish control in transfer, he might get sloppy and depend on the Gen too much when the Gen isn't expecting it. I think that's absurd."

"Why do they think so?"

"I think it's partly the Tecton's belief that no Gen can really be as smart or competent as a channel, and partly Distect-phobia. There's also a good bit of that obsessive desire the Tecton has to standardize everything. They can standardize a lot, but unless they get their breeding programs into real high gear for quite a few generations, they aren't going to be able to standardize their channels, or Donors, for that matter. If they keep up this system of increasingly rigid rules, it's the channels who are going to break, if the rules can't bend. So then they send them in for therapeutic transfers from Donor-Therapists. It's like feeding people bad food, and then when they collapse from malnutrition, you feed them nutritious food therapeutically to try to repair some of the damage. Unfortunately, not every channel needs the same diet in transfer, but the Tecton just can't treat them as individuals, until it breaks them, or nearly. It's stupid and wasteful, but I don't have to tell you about that.

"Janush, if Roza could see me now, she'd laugh out loud. Here I am, in hard need, in the arms of a high field Donor, practically in a transfer contact, and what am I doing but ranting about Tecton policy?"

"Let's talk about this transfer then. What would you like me to do?"

"I'd like you to relax and enjoy yourself. You've never had a channel show you your potential this way any more than they have in so many other ways. I'll control the entire transfer. I'll start near the peak draw speed of an average Second, and I'll just keep drawing faster, as long as you can keep up with me. Then I'll maintain that speed until I've drawn all I can without harming you. I may have to take the last into my secondary, and you may perceive the cutover when that happens."

"Do you think I overmatch you in capacity?"

"I'm not quite sure, but I can tell that you aren't going to short me. Your production has been excellent, and hasn't completely leveled off yet, so I think if I really push you it's quite likely that you'll be able to serve Skyepar very effectively next month. But I promise I won't hurt you. I won't exceed your effortless release rate, and I won't draw more than you can release voluntarily."

"I trust you, Yilli, you know that."

"Yes, I do. I can guess what you're going to feel during the transfer, if you'd like me to tell you."

"Yes, please."

"The slilbliss is probably going to start right off, instead of just the peak-draw flash of it you've been getting serving Seconds. Then it's going to get more intense and go on longer than you can believe. Like any transfer, it will only take a few seconds, but like all really good transfers it will seem to last much longer. I don't think you'll perceive your TN-1 barrier drop, but you may. You will open to my draw like a flower, and in exchange for the selyn I take I will fill you with as much joy as I can. They we'll both collapse in postreaction and as soon as I can manage it, I'll deep zlin you and check you out carefully. If I haven't drained as much as I might, I'll take the last in channel's mode to make sure you have the best chance of matching Skyepar next month. Okay?"

"It sounds incredible, but of course I believe you. But even if it were only going to be like a good transfer with a Second, I just really want to serve you. May I... may I let my feeling into my field?"

"Go ahead, Janush. Ah. How beautiful. To zlin that carried on a nager with the texture of yours..."

"Zlin me, Yilli, zlin how intensely I want to serve you...."


"Zlin how much selyn I have for you... it's all for you... I made it for you, to give to you... you've helped me for weeks, to make this selyn to give to you...."

"I zlin it... you're glowing with it... I... I need you, Janush... please help me...."

"Whatever you want, Yilli... whenever you want... I'm here for you... do you want to use a shoulder contact?"

"No, I have better control with a standard one."

"Here, I'll help you sit up... You don't have to relinquish contact... I'll just reach up and touch your hands... that's it... take my hands... let me touch your forearms... just lightly run my hands over them..."

"Oh, Janush..."

"That's it, Yilli, I love doing this... I love touching you like this... I love the touch of your tentacles... that's it... good.... plenty of ronaplin... let me help you with the laterals... I'll just gently run my fingers down the sheaths... good... I love the touch of your laterals... I'm here for you, Yilli... you're safe, I'll serve your need... all this selyn is for you... I'll just get some ronaplin on my lips..."

"Thank you. I don't like to ask..."

"Anything for you... do you want to establish trautholo?"

"Not quite yet... almost."

"Plenty of time... whenever you're ready..."

"May I make fifth contact now? I won't draw right away... but soon..."

"Of course, Yilli."

*   *   *

"That was wonderful, Janush, thank you."

"It was wonderful for me, too. Even better than you said."

"You showed excellent intuition when you took the initiative and helped me make the transfer contact."

"From what you'd been saying, I thought it would be good for me to lead you to the transfer. And my desire to serve you was so intense."

"See how much you can perceive without zlinning?"

"At the peak I almost thought I could zlin. I felt like my whole selyn system was blazing with white light."

"That would have been when I pushed my draw speed up the last increment. I could feel you strain to match me... I know I didn't burn you, but I'll check you carefully in a little while."

"I'm sure I'm not burned. I feel wonderful. I just want to lie here with you, with our fields engaged, forever."

"I should congratulate you. You're a First now."

"You made it so easy for me. I love working to you, Yilli. I love being with you. The transfer was incredible, but every minute I've been with you, everything we've done together, has been so good. Please let me be your Companion. Let me pledge to Teiu."

"In a few days I'll pledge you for a year, if you still want it. Skyepar thinks it will be best if you're pledged before he zlins you again, and Roza agrees. She wants to be able to greet you as naztehr."

"Thank you, Yilli."

"Are you warm enough? I'll build up the fire."

"I don't want to let go of you."

"Follow me with your field. Even low field I think you'll notice a difference in your sensitivity now."

"I can feel where you are, even without you projecting need!"

"Our fields are still pretty deeply engaged from the transfer. This isn't Tecton protocol, but I don't want to stop. Do you?"

"If you won't tell them, I won't."

"Janush, I've corrupted you. I should probably pledge you for the next few hours so we can do as we like."

"There's no problem. I'm serving your postreaction, under orders from Controller Skyepar, my boss."

"What are you laughing about?"

"The Companion's book -- there's an aphorism: 'Any qualification you can walk away from is a good qualification'. You've walked away, so it must have been good. Oh, Yilli, I just feel so good."

"It was good, very good. I think I can deep zlin you now."

"If you use a shoulder contact, I can put my arms around you."

"Let's get under the covers then. We might as well take the rest of our clothes off."

"Okay. I love holding you. I always forget how small you are, your personality is so strong, but when you sleep in my arms I just want to hold you close and protect you from everything."

"I can zlin it. It's very good for me, it really helps me sleep well. I've had more and better sleep this month than any I recall. I feel so much stronger and less stressed if I can get enough sleep."

"I want to be your Companion and help you all the time, even if I can't serve you in transfer every month."

"That's a good attitude. There's so much more to life than transfer, but so many people get so focused on it in the Tecton. I wouldn't want to have to think about transfer all the time any more than I'd want to have to think about sex or eating all the time."

"Yilli, you don't seem very post."

"I am post, just not a lot. I have to control too carefully in a qualification like that, and you couldn't match my top speed. But it was very good, the best transfer I've had since the last one with Roza, and the next time you'll probably overmatch me in both speed and capacity and I'll be able to just let go and enjoy it as much as you do."

"I'm sorry I couldn't do better for you."

"You did very well. The emotional component and nageric characteristics were really excellent. It's quite a jump in rating in less than six weeks, and you'll continue to develop, especially with a high First like Skyepar to work on you too. Here, let me deep zlin you now... Good."

"I think I could feel your attention moving around in me."

"Really? That's great. We'll experiment with that later. You're in good shape, no burns. Your production rate is well up, getting ready for next month. Your whole selyn system just zlins really content, smug, even."

"I feel great. I've got that tired-but-happy feeling in my body that I get after I've been swimming."

"Do you swim? We've got a nice pond at the tree nursery, and there's a good swimming hole at the river a few kilometers away."

"Sounds great. I guess you have a lot more hot weather there than at Shen, more swimming weather."

"Yes, it gets pretty hot, and for a lot longer than in the mountains. I like the mountains better. I wish we could have reestablished Teiu up in the mountains again, but I had to be close to a big Sime Center to fulfill my commitments to the Tecton, and with what's left of my lungs high altitudes really aren't good for me. Even Capital is a bit of a strain sometimes."

"I've never been anywhere but Shen and Capital and the training camp, which was in between. Traveling with you has been really great."

"If all goes well, you'll see quite a bit of our world in the next few years, and now that you're a First, the Tecton could send you anywhere."

"But I'll have you as my Sectuib to protect me, or at least to come home to."

"Yes, if all goes well. Would you like to try something? You've got a few dynopters left that I can pull, and there's something in the Rialite volume I got from Skyepar that I'd like to try."

"Sure. What should I do?"

"You have to sit up for this one, but I think the room is warm enough now. Are you okay?"

"Yes, it's not cold."

"You have to sit up crosslegged, with your hands on your knees in this position, with your spine straight, and your head like this."

"Okay. Why the positioning?"

"Well, the book says it's based on some Ancient esoteric mumbo-jumbo about sexual energy and cosmic energy, and the practitioners did all this physical positioning along with it. I don't know how necessary it really is. They called it "raising the serpent power". It's supposed to pull this esoteric energy stuff through magical nodes in your body, from one in your groin to the top of your skull and out to join the universe, but what I'm going to do, following the instructions in the book, is pull something real, namely selyn, up through the real nodes in your selyn system, into my secondary. Of course, the Ancients didn't have selyn systems, so who knows what they were really up to, but I think you'll enjoy the effects described."

"Okay. Go ahead."

"Now I'll just kneel behind you here, and take a shoulder contact. I'll take the fifth contact on top of your head, so I better put a little ronaplin there -- you don't mind me getting your hair dirty do you?"

"No, it's fine. I am getting pretty curious though."

"Let's let it be a surprise. Now keeping your spine straight, you have to relax as deeply as you can. Good. Now, I'll be drawing only a small amount, but it will be from very deep so you'll have to really flatten your barriers and keep them down when I signal. Now relinquish your field to me and I'll form it for you. Can you hold that? Excellent. You really are finding it a lot easier now that you've qualified First."

"Yes, I am. This is great."

"Okay, now stay relaxed... here goes..."


"Did that feel as incredible as it zlinned?"

"It sure did. Wow."

"Here, lie down again. Get under the covers. I've got to try that one on Skyepar. I wonder if Roza could do something like it with nageric induction. It seems like the kind of Gen-impossible thing she's good at."

"That wasn't from the Sat'htine chapter of the book, was it?"

"Nope. Shen, you know who'd really appreciate it? Riyyh. I'll write to him and tell him to get the book when it comes out."

"Yilli, you're amazing. They never told us in training camp about any of these great things you and Skyepar do with your selyn systems, all the stuff we did in Capital, and things like this. I wonder if they tell the Gens they're training as Firsts?"

"I think the Tecton regards all of it as strictly extracurricular, and then they don't give you any time or opportunity to learn it. This is Companion stuff, not Donor stuff. You can only do it with people you trust, whom you can establish intimacy with. As an impersonal functional, it would be pointless, even if it worked. Embarrassing, even."

"Yilli, would you like to make love?"

"I'm entirely aware of the other effect of that exercise. You just relax and let me do something about it, okay?"

"I want to do things for you too."

"We'll take turns. Just open your field completely, so I can feel what you do, for now. Ah... beautiful. It makes me just want to melt... Now just relax and enjoy, you don't have to do anything else, you'll get your turn at me later."

38 days after autumn equinox, 12 AU

Dear Skyepar,

Enclosed you'll find the formal notification that Janush Stonemason, allegedly TN-2, is now Janush ambrov Teiu, and that while henceforth his primary allegiance and disposition lie with Teiu through me, and not the almighty Tecton, Teiu will honor his prior commitment to work with you at the CRF. If I've screwed up any of the formal language, let me know and I'll fix it when I get there.

Yes, the transfer went very well. Yes, I think he can do an adequate and possibly excellent job of serving you next month. He'll have the capacity by then, I'm sure, and I think you can probably elicit the draw speed you need. I was a bit cautious, as you'd expect from me, and didn't push him to my top speed, but it was the best transfer I've had since last time with Roza. Yes, I've got all the numbers and records, and you don't get them until I see you next. Let the notification of Householding membership percolate through the bureaucracy for a while first. Make it my problem, not yours.

Skyepar, it's the intangibles that made it so wonderful. You know how hard it can be for me to raise intil the first time with a Donor. Janush has such exceptional intuition -- he knew just when to take the lead, evoke intil with that incredible smoothness of field manipulation, that incredible beauty of nageric texture, to help me make a transfer contact and then relinquish to me with a purity of trust, a clarity of desire to serve that is breathtaking just to recall. The intensity of his slilbliss and his joy in sharing it with me were wonderful. When I think of the next time we may share transfer, when he'll overmatch me so that I don't have to worry that I might burn him if I'm not careful... well, you can imagine. So I think you're in for a remarkable experience, even if you have to be careful, even if you have to take a shunt first, which I doubt will be required. His production is way up there already, and still rising beautifully.

And yes, although he was more post than I was, I was pretty post, and am still feeling very good. No risk of the CDs at all, I assure you.

It's been very good, a very good month. I gave him an outline of my past, with most of the low points included, and he accepted it, at least provisionally. I can see and zlin he is still working through everything that he's heard, from me and from all the other people he's talked to. He loves me and wants to help me and I feel better about it now that he knows, but we'll have to continue to talk. It was the usual one-year pledge, and of course I'd release him from it sooner if he wants me to. After what he heard from me, I think he'll be able to bear anything he hears from the patients at the CRF. So I think I've discharged that responsibility.

I've kept good records on how his capabilities have developed. You've got so much more experience and access to the experience of others in training Firsts, and I hope the records will help you decide how to continue his development. It's been a real privilege working with him. The beauty of his field as he reached and exceeded his former capacity, repletion and rising field and that character of a Gen selyn system expanding to new limits, carried on that wonderful nageric texture he has is just indescribable. We'll both have the pleasure of zlinning it this month. It's something I'd never had the privilege of zlinning in a First before. His sensitivity and capability for precision control improved markedly throughout the month and advanced by quite a substantial increment after our transfer. In those aspects he may already be a high First.

He seems even more positively inclined towards you since hearing about our shared past, so I think you, too, will have the pleasure of working with another Companion who loves you. He'll see how well Roza takes care of me and won't have to worry. I think we really do have the potential for her little joke about Distect quadruples, despite the discrepancy in age and experience.


38 days after autumn equinox, 12 AU

Dear Skyepar,

I am now Janush ambrov Teiu, and it feels very strange. The ceremony and pledge were extremely simple. I pledged my life to Teiu through Yilli for a year from last night, she accepted the pledge through her for the House, she took a token donation of a few dynopters from me, at a speed I could feel and the renSimes present could zlin, everybody congratulated me and we all sat around drinking trin and eating little treats, naztehrhai together. After the party, Yilli and I went to bed and made love, and afterwards, with our arms around each other I asked her to make lateral contact and repeated one of my favorite poems in the Companion's book, A Companion's Vow. Yilli started crying with happiness at the beauty of the words and my nager as I spoke and felt them, and I started crying too, and then it all became so real to me. She is my Sectuib now, and I'm her Companion. It's so strange and wonderful to have a pledged fealty like that, and to have it to her.

As a pledge gift, the House gave me a wool cloak, dyed dark brown with walnut hulls, made from cloth the grandmother I wrote you about had brought in-T as a gift for Yilli, in thanks for training the missionary who served her grandson's First Need. The missionary had told her about the House and the House's color. Yilli says that although the fulling conceals the detail of the weave, it serendipitously has some property that makes my field seem particularly beautiful when zlinned through it. It's also quite warm, and cut wide enough in the shoulders that it should still fit well when I finish growing. I look forward to wearing this cloak, in the color of my House, for many years to come.

Our transfer went well, spectacularly well for me, but I'm sorry to say that she shorted herself in draw speed, and her postreaction was not very intense. I have no way of knowing whether she could have drawn faster without burning me. I hope that I'll continue to develop so I can serve her better. I hope I'll be able to serve you adequately next month. Yilli thinks I will, but of course it's up to you, and depends on what happens between now and then.

Skyepar, I want to talk to you about how I can serve her better in transfer. Will you teach me Gen-controlled transfer? She says it's something Roza does for her, and that it's an important therapeutic technique I should learn. I want to get my rating up not just to match you but to outmatch her, so she can feel safe and free in transfer and not to have to worry about harming me. I can tell that it's extremely important to her that she never harm a Gen in personal transfer, no matter what she does with her secondary in training missionaries. I know my own slilbliss will be less when I serve a channel I outmatch, but it's much less important to me than giving her the best transfer she can have. I must say that the idea of driving a transfer myself appeals -- I'd love to just flood her with my selyn, to overcome her resistance to her own enjoyment, to do for her what she won't do for herself. You've known her so long and so well, I'd really value your advice about this when we are together again.

We'll be doing some shifts at local Sime Centers, as well as some more sessions with the missionary students. She has Trina ambrov Teiu, QN-3, here and plans some training exercises for the three of us together, so I can learn some techniques of working with a channel on a channel patient. I'm looking forward to the medical work at the CRF and especially to working with you. Both Roza and Yilli have told me how skillful you are, and how good at teaching Gens to do healing. It's the opportunity I hoped for when I joined the Tecton, and I'm very grateful that you and Yilli are making it possible for me.

Please give my regards to my naztehr Roza. I look forward to seeing both of you in two weeks, when I'll be able to express my gratitude to you both, in actions as well as in words.

Janush ambrov Teiu, TN-1

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