autumn equinox, 12 AU
Okay, I've got more time now.
First I'll tell you about the new seminary students I met. There were four of them, three Gens. We talked about the out-T missionary program. The Gens asked me to deep zlin them. I told them that I couldn't screen them for the program until they were recommended by the Church, but in the meantime they should donate every four weeks and make GN-1 if they aren't already. Also, they should spend as much time as possible with Simes, especially Simes past turnover, but they should be very careful not to let any enticement color their empathy. If they ever slip up and raise intil in a Sime, the Church will never let me train them. They have to be stricter than the Tecton. I reminded them that a Gen can be as harmful to a Sime as a Sime can be to a Gen.
They asked me to pray with them, and I told them that I don't believe in their God, but it would be a privilege and a pleasure to experience the beauty they can bring to the ambient with sincere prayer. And it was. Even the renSimes do it. I wish we had some way of teaching it to people without getting religion involved. The Tecton should look into that. In the traditions about the founding of Zeor, there's some stuff that sounds very much the same. The Church of Unity traces its roots to the same events, but of course the modern Church is a different organization.
The renSime was from out-T and had been served in First Transfer by one of the Church's missionaries. He was very happy to meet me personally and thank me for his life and the life he might have taken had there been no one to help him in changeover. I told him that it was the great privilege of my life to be able to train the missionaries. The Church had given me the opportunity to indirectly save far more lives than I ever could directly as one channel. I told him that I hoped one day no child anywhere in the world would have reason to fear changeover. He said he hoped the same and had been praying for the further success of the missionary program ever since his changeover. He wants to work with disjunct renSimes from out-T once he graduates from seminary, to help people who had not been as lucky as he had been.
Why don't I finally tell my understanding of what happened up at the border that got the Regional Controller's knickers in a knot?
Jori was coming down from the north bringing three new Simes in-T. He had served all three of them over a seven day period. His field was right back up there even though the last transfer he'd served was less than three weeks before. My methods work. They go into this little Sime Center in the border village, Elk Mountain. Now you'd think the Tecton would send good staff to a place like that. Not only do they serve the village and all the scattered little farms around the area, but they get quite a few terrified and guilty former berserkers dragged to the border in chains, who don't know the language, don't know the culture, and would be out looking for strawberries if they knew what they could do with them. Well, we can hope. According to Jori, who's been through there several times before, they used to have a more competent controller, but he gets there and Hajene X, QN-2, is in the lobby extremely flustered. There's a big crowd which sorts out to be an older Sime couple, their daughter in changeover, the girl's Gen brother, Hajene X's Donor Sosu Y TN-2, and everybody else in the Sime Center who can walk.
Into this comes Jori, who wouldn't be doing the job he does if he weren't a very unflappable person, with three out-T Sime kids past turnover, one approaching need, who are now experiencing their first exposure to Simeland and the mighty and benevolent Tecton in the form of this scene of confusion and hysteria. Jori's used to changeovers, confusion and hysteria, so since Hajene X the Controller isn't managing the crisis, he tries to help. What's happening is this. The poor girl is a channel, Hajene X thinks at least a Second. Hajene X is afraid to give up his Donor, since he's been shorted a bit lately, and she's the best he's going to get. Besides, they're not due for transfer for a few days, and Gens Must Not Be Hurt, even if they volunteer. Sosu isn't real happy about this, she's willing to take a burn, but she has to do what Hajene says. He doesn't want to give the girl channel's transfer, because his secondary is pretty low and he thinks the girl outrates him, but he will heroically sacrifice himself even if it gets a new channel off to terrible start especially if she starts clawing at his primary and burns him or he shens her. He's already drained the girl's brother who gave a regular donation last week anyway and a couple of file clerks, ditto. His Thirds are all away -- it's harvest time and they've gone out to the farms -- so he can't top up from them. Apparently the whole area shares some expensive harvest equipment and they all get together and do everybody's crop in rota, and it's more reasonable to bring the channels to the Simes under these conditions. Plus harvest is dangerous, so it's good to have the healers on the spot, too.
If you want to know why this decision-non-making is happening out in the lobby in front of the family almost in tears, the kid who has had normal changeover training but is getting really scared, a bunch of rubbernecking file clerks and janitors, three young renSimes who don't speak Simelan and a Gen who just walked in off the road, so do I.
So Jori ambrov Teiu, TN-3, who could calm a Farris if the Farris would stay hypoconscious, or duoconscious and cooperate, invites Hajene to compare his field to Sosu's and allow him the privilege of serving First Transfer to the girl. He offers his arms. Hajene falls onto them gratefully, and zlins him deeply for longer than it should take. A pool of calm spreads out from the pair. The clerks and janitors back up and look embarrassed. The out-T kids stop spiking fear and confusion. The parents and brother look hopeful. Sosu looks relieved. The girl in changeover looks about to vomit on the floor, but less scared, nonetheless. Hajene agrees, and formally hands over management of the changeover to Jori. Everything is going to be all right, right?
Here's what got the bureaucrats upset:
(1) Jori is not assigned to the District and is not on the District rota. In fact, Jori is not assigned to any District, nor is he on any rota.
(2) Jori did not explicitly inform Hajene X of (1).
(3) Jori must have been trained in some non-standard way in order to be able to carry this off, perhaps by serving DISTECT STYLE TRANSFERS TO RENSIMES.
(4) Hajene X did not fill out an assignment card and give it to Jori, which might have twigged him to (1), but that's an internal matter.
(5) They didn't appear to be, although they should have been, concerned that Hajene X had a number of other alternatives which he did not take, nor even appear to consider, and it was not Jori's job to point them out to him. This is also an internal matter.
I think there was quite a bit of
(6) How could Jori, TN-3, calm a roomful of excited renSimes, Gens, a TN-2, and a channel and a half who outrate him? Is he using ANCIENT SORCERY? Is Teiu training Third Order WER-GENS for the Church, a weird out-T type bunch who believe in nonexistent beings with supernatural powers?
You know how most of these high Firsts are. They've never lived out-T. They do all their interpersonal interaction nagerically. They don't even raise their own children. It never occurs to them that people can influence each others' emotions any other way. Jori has had lots of experience calming groups of frightened and angry out-T Gens. Here in the Sime Center lobby nobody is angry, just scared, worried and confused. For him, it's a snap.
The true reason, however, that this matter didn't quietly die out in the District Office, after a reprimand to Hajene X for his incompetence, if it even had got that far, was
(0) Word spread quickly in the community of what a splendid job Jori did, and a petition was sent to the District Office requesting that they send another Donor of similar skill to Elk Mountain Village Sime Center to provide more of their children with such a well managed and extraordinarily beautiful experience of changeover. You know exactly which hot button this pressed with immense force.
Roza, they are a bunch of canola farmers. They really meant well. This was the most exciting thing to happen in the area in years. Everyone knew the child. Hajene X had the parents so terrified with his bungling that they were convinced the girl was going to die or kill or both. For Jori to walk in the door and not only save the girl's life, but provide her with such a magnificent experience was what they would have called a miracle if they were religious. They wanted the Tecton to know how grateful they were that Jori was there to serve the highest rated (and nearly the only) channel that their area had ever produced with such skill under such difficult circumstances. They wanted the Tecton to do nice things for Jori since he's such a wonderful man. They've sent me a similar letter at the tree nursery thanking me for training Jori and saying that I should be proud to have such a fine human being and skillful Donor in my House. They also wrote to the Church in Shen saying nice things about Jori and asking whether they could send someone up to their village to tell them more about the Church. Both my letter and the one to the Church had the signatures of just about everyone at the huge communal changeover party and harvest celebration, including those who could only sign with an X. I suppose the one to the District Controller did as well.
Anyhow, let me summarize how Jori performed with skill and beauty that impressed everyone in the entire area. First he asked everyone who was not involved to leave. Then he asked Hajene to provide him with a room with a bed. He was thinking ahead here -- if the girl burned him or he had to shen her to save his own life, or both, it would be smart to be on a surface they couldn't fall off of if they passed out. Hajene has nice quarters in back with good insulation and a comfy double bed. The family, Hajene and Sosu, the three young Simes, Jori and the channel-to-be go back there. The girl is feeling weak and dizzy, so Jori carries her in his arms. Jori is a big strong fatherly guy, and this does wonders for her morale. She's probably also zlinning a little and being right inside that calm and loving field is great for her too. Jori and the girl take off their boots (he was raised right). They lie down on Hajene's bed, leaning against the pillows with Jori's arm around the girl. Sosu fetches trin and everybody relaxes. Jori chats with the family and introduces the renSimes he's taking to the Church's Newcomers House in Shen. In broken Simelan they describe how First Transfer with Jori was the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to them. That he saved their lives and their families' lives and they will never stop being grateful to him as long as they live. God sent Jori to help them out-T and now God has sent him here to help this girl. Tears come to their eyes, despite being past turnover. Tears come to the parents' and brother's eyes. The ambient fills with relief and joy and gratitude and confidence in how well Jori is going to pull this off and how lucky they all are that he walked in the door. Even Hajene and Sosu look confident and relieved. Of course, I'm inferring the state of the ambient, but you know what I mean. Jori asks the out-T renSimes to pray with him, thanking God for how well everything has worked out for everybody. The ambient gets even calmer and takes on that beautiful effect I mentioned earlier. The girl snuggles against Jori and dozes. Hajene tells Sosu to put a blanket over them. Jori suggests that the brother take the renSimes out and tell them about life in-T and help them with their Simelan. Hajene says he should get the renSimes documented and start Tecton files on them. Jori says they all had uncomplicated changeovers and are fine young men, blessed by God, with wonderful futures ahead of them. More tears, happiness, gratitude, etc and everybody leaves but the two on the bed and the parents.
The girl is asleep, doing very well. Jori tells the parents that ever since he heard about the missionary program he had hoped he might serve First Transfer to a channel, helping to bring into the world someone who could do so much good for so many people. They tell him that they have no children of their own, but after Unity adopted six young children from a Genfarm. Two died within weeks, but the others grew up to make them proud. Three have established. One is in teacher's training school in Shen, one is working on the farm with them, and the young man he met learned beekeeping and has formed a company with some schoolmates to produce wildflower honey and contract pollination services to the fruit growers. He is going to marry in the spring. All these beekeepers can stay in the community; they won't have to go to the cities to find work. Now their last child is not only changing over, but she is going to be a channel. They grew up in the old days, of course, and the thought of having saved a child from the Pens to become a channel affects them even more than it does Jori.
You know, next time I get a features reporter sicced on me, I'm going to tell him to go out and collect beautiful stories like the one of this family. People will enjoy them and the Tecton will be happier about them than they were about my interview with the Konawa Agricultural Gazette.
Jori gently explains to the parents that the girl may overmatch him, but he is trained to deal with this sort of situation. That she may burn him a bit, but he won't let her kill him and won't let her feel any of his pain. Hajene will help him and he doesn't mind a little scorching in order to have this wonderful privilege. He explains that changeover proceeds faster for channels and that it will be better if they aren't present at breakout, but they can stay a bit longer, at least until the girl wakes up again.
Hajene and Sosu come in, the girl wakes up in transition, Jori coaches her through her breathing exercises, she finds she can rest on his field, her parents cry with happiness and tell her how much they love her, to trust Sosu Jori and they'll see her in a little while when it's over. They tell her that the prospect of some day taking transfer from her gives them more joy than anything that has ever happened to them in their lives. She cries too, tells them that she can zlin their love, and thanks them for saving her and raising her to grow up to be a channel. The parents leave.
Well, from here on, it's the usual routine. Jori tells the girl that after the transfer she should lie down on the bed with him to let her systems adjust. This is of course in case he has to shen her. That she shouldn't worry if he isn't ready to get up either. That Hajene and Sosu will stay with them and provide any help necessary. That the chance to serve a channel in First Transfer is something he has long hoped for. She zlins his confidence and sincerity and joy and tells him how glad she is that he is here to help her. Breakout contractions begin, he coaches her through them, she has breakout, he offers, she draws, she overmatches him in speed but not capacity, he gets burned but not badly, they both have the sense to get horizontal and stay there, and Hajene almost spoils things by freaking out over Jori's burn. Jori asks for some fosebine for both of them and tries not to let anybody zlin the headache-all-the-way-down-the-spine that's starting up.
Jori told me that he could definitely feel the two selyn systems being engaged, and she only overmatched him when she was drawing into her primary. It was slower into the secondary and he knew it was going to be okay when he felt the draw beginning to taper well before the level I teach them never to let a Sime go beyond. He knew if he had to shen her it would be so near the end of the draw as to make no big difference. He said I had burned him worse and drained him deeper when I was training him, and he now had the confidence to take on a First. The girl turned out to be a pretty high Second, so maybe he can. I told him to be careful about black haired kids with big noses who are allergic to wool.
He also told me that despite the pain and despite the necessity to retain detachment and control to protect himself, the mind-boggling orgasmic ecstasy of the peak draw was something he had never imagined possible. He still couldn't think about it without shivering. I could zlin the shiver through his entire selyn system myself. It was a very impressive shiver.
How this happy scene deteriorated into the situation that developed later I'll continue with in the next message. You'll probably get the whole lot in one bunch anyhow. I'm going over to the main Sime Center to see if they plan to send any Donors south to Capital any time soon who might like to travel with the QN-1 Sectuib in Teiu. If not, I'll go with the kids who are heading for the seminary. If I start falling apart or get into obscure high-rated nageric trouble, I'll just ask them to pray. Maybe I can pick a Donor up on the way. The committee at the hearing seemed to think it was really irresponsible for a channel to even consider going anywhere without a matching Donor to support her. I thought we were supposed to have better control than renSimes? I can just imagine what they'd say if I suggested that to be consistent, no renSime should go anywhere without a matching Gen. Like I said, they have no sense of humor, especially about that.
your sister and Sectuib,