Letter 4

Church of Unity Northwestern Synod
Capital Guest House
Capital, West Nivet

2 days after autumn equinox, 12 AU

Dear Roza,

You'll notice from the stationery that not only am I back in Capital, but I'm staying at the Church guest house here instead of the Budget Hotel as usual. The Missionary Board was kind enough to invite me to stay at Church guest houses as I travel, since I've made their out-T missions possible. I guess it's a bit of a perq in addition to knowing that I've helped them save thousands of lives by now. I should ask the Church if they have any accurate numbers, in case I have to defend the whole project at another one of these hearings. Maybe I could do the Ediva act in the painting next time.

Actually, I think what happened was that they assumed that as a mighty Sectuib, I wouldn't want to stay in a crummy little guest house; I'd probably be wasting my House's resources by staying at the Territorial or one of those other pre-Unity palaces that are still going, but with the Gen cages and staples in the walls for chains removed. Jori must have told them that I was staying at the Budget. The guest house is very nice. It's one of those beautiful old mansions off what used to be the main road into the city. It was donated by a convert to the Church, the Gen daughter of one of the Nivet Council members Klyd tangled with. If she had established a few months earlier her father probably would have killed her himself or given her to one of his cronies to sweeten some political deal. As it was, she had a little trouble getting clear title to the place, but eventually she did and gave it to the Church and moved east. The guest house manager thinks she is running the Church's Newcomers House in Konawa now.

One amusing thing was that when I was out admiring the garden, I noticed that the fence that hides the compost bins and other less aesthetic areas was covered with Nivet Skies morning glories. I talked to the lad who takes care of the gardens after school, and he said he thought they were called Zeor Blue. I didn't want to explain how our seed company had to change the name after we got the letter from Muryin's lawyer, so I asked him about some other plantings. He really likes plants, and says that if he establishes he wants to go to ag school to study plant breeding. His family doesn't have any money, but he figures he can get through school by selling his donations, especially if he can pump himself up to GN-1 fast enough. I said that if things don't work out as he hopes he should write to me and I'd see if there was something I could do to help him. I told him about how our House had gotten into the seed and nursery business partly because we had so many semijuncts pledged in at first whose lives we were trying to prolong without killing. Most of these people were in poor health so we had to find light work for them. But we soon discovered that working with living things helped so much with the heart-sickness which was what was really making them die, especially when we got into producing tree seedlings for reforestation projects. These Simes were able to spend their last years in the House helping to grow trees that will restore life to the landscape and create beauty for future generations to enjoy. I could zlin he had never thought about people and plants this way before. I asked him if he had seen the historical paintings at the Museum, and if he knew that this had been the house of one of the Nivet Councillors in the painting of Klyd Farris and the Council. I told him that I had enjoyed sitting in the garden of this house and talking with a boy who really wanted to grow up to be Gen.

I'm going to try to get some sleep now. In the morning I'm heading off to Naros with Sectuib Riyyh. If I try to describe the hearing I'll get so mad that I won't be able to sleep.

Your sister and Sectuib,

p.s. Note that I never mentioned how we were prolonging those lives without killing, and in the Konawa Agricultural Gazette interview I never even mentioned the semijuncts. Well, in that case it was really our nursery equipment trainers serving out-T changeovers and us inviting the Heartland nursery guys up to visit when we could not guarantee that they would never see anything that was not absolutely Tecton standard. They never did, but that's not the point, I guess.

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