Professor Otep ambrov Meuziek interviews Yilli, Sectuib in Teiu, for the sealed archives. Spring, 13 AU.
Prof Otep: In this interview I'd like to take up the topic of how you continued to develop your training methods in your projects with the Church of Unity.
Sectuib Teiu: For the past six years I've been working with the Church of Unity to train their out-T missionaries. The value of this program is so wonderfully evident in the thousands of lives saved from murder and the Kill, that I'm tremendously grateful to have had the privilege of helping to enable these Gens to do so much good in the world.
The Unity Seminary is in Konawa, which is very convenient. From students interested in this work, they select those that they think are suitable based on their character, temperament and other factors they have an excellent opportunity to evaluate during the student's first year. I select from these candidates ones I feel can develop adequate selyn production and capacity and whom I can train readily. Unlike the semijunct transfer partners, the missionaries exclusively serve out-T changeovers, which are always unscheduled, and they have no Simes, much less channels, to help them discern whether they will have enough selyn to serve the transfer.
I have long discussions with the candidates and carefully zlin their reactions. I do my best to scare them away. I warn them that I will cause them pain to teach them to accept and manage pain. The Church has already selected these Gens as people who can make harrowing life-and-death decisions. There will be times when a missionary will have to shen a child in order to save his own life. I teach them to recognize when draw is about to reach a depth that will kill them and junct the child if they let it go any further. At that point they will have to make the decision to risk killing the child. I use kill explicitly in the sense of causing death by selyn movement. In most cases, the child will just be shorted and have a suboptimal First Transfer, but he will be alive, his family and neighbors will be alive, he will not be junct, and channels will be able to work with him later to help him overcome the consequences of a bad first experience. This has happened several times already, but so far there have been no kills of either sort.
It's also going to happen eventually that this situation will come up with a higher order channel in changeover, and the missionary is going to have to crush the child's lateral nerves to save his own life when he can't overcontrol the child and shen him. I am only willing to certify Gens to do this work if I can zlin that they really understand that in putting their own bodies between the Sime and the Kill, they may eventually have to make the split second decision to kill a child so that they themselves can survive to save other lives.
In order to teach them to recognize when they are about to be in danger of their lives, and how to react at such times, I have to do some pretty dramatic simulated transfers, actually sequences of simulated transfers. I burn them so that they can learn what a burn is like, and how much of a burn they can survive under conditions where there is no channel to treat them for it. I try to teach them to drop their barriers absolutely flat when necessary, so the burn will be spread evenly across the selyn system, rather than focused at a barrier. In this way a draw that could cause unsurvivable damage can be managed to cause an even light burn over the entire system, readily healed within days to weeks. I call this a zero-resistance burn, because the burn is caused not by resistance, which is the usual form, but by the draw exceeding the intrinsic maximum speed with which the Gen's selyn system can release selyn under draw.
At the time I began training missionaries, I didn't know whether it was possible to teach a Gen to manage his own selyn system with such finesse in the split-second duration of a transfer going bad. Fundamentally it's just an extension of what every Gen learns in Donor training -- to drop his barriers. At the same time he has to be prepared to instantly take control and possibly kill. I found it surprisingly easy, though harrowing for both myself and the Gen, to teach the skill in simulated transfer.
So far it has worked well in practice, but we have never had a missionary attempt to serve First Transfer to a QN-1. It's possible that such a child will have a natural control adequate to shen herself when she zlins the pain she is causing, but I would never count on it. The missionaries have served several Second Order channels successfully with minimal injury to themselves. One child was quite a high Second and will probably qualify First Order by the end of her First Year. It was an extraordinary achievement for the missionary to serve this child and deliver an essentially perfect First Transfer in which she experienced none of his pain and he took minimal personal injury. I'm proud to have been the channel who trained this young Gen to use his body to accomplish this remarkable feat. He felt that it was a high point of his life. Enabling these Gens to go out and save far more lives than I could ever do alone makes up for the pain I have to cause and experience myself in order to accomplish it.
Still, outside the channel families of the Householdings, Seconds are very rare, and Firsts are extraordinarily rare. Most channels are Thirds, at about 1% of the general Sime population, and the missionaries are all qualified TN-3 and can easily serve these transfers. Of course, they won't know they've served a Third until they hear back from in-T after the new Sime has been examined by an experienced channel. Even Klyd Farris didn't know he was serving Thirds in First Transfer until a dozen years ago!
Prof Otep: Yilli, are you telling me that you're burning these Gens and training them to be prepared to crush your lateral nerves if they can't shen you? How can you take such a risk of horrific injury?
Sectuib Teiu: What I'm training them to do is manage their selyn systems as effectively as possible in a case in which they begin serving a renSime while too low field. That they should be able to use this self-evaluation and control to similar effect in a very rare situation, that of serving a channel who overmatches them, is an additional benefit. It's up to them to decide whether to risk a burn trying to serve a channel who outmatches them or to go ahead and kill. The child would have died anyway, and might have killed one or more Gens as well. It's their duty to preserve their own lives, at the cost of any one child's life, so they can save many other children. I have no intention of training martyrs. Martyrs can't serve transfer.
Every Sime is vulnerable when in a standard transfer grip with a Gen or another Sime. We don't like to think about it, but it's true. There has to be trust. That I am teaching these Gens to manage pain by experiencing pain, to be prepared to kill by crushing lateral nerves in a context in which my lateral nerves are as exposed as those of any Sime in a transfer contact, requires mutual trust, but not extreme trust. However, because of the intimacy that develops between me and my students, the trust on both sides is very great.
Prof Otep: I think I require a little time to compose myself, Yilli. Would you like more trin?
Sectuib Teiu: Yes, please. Let me offer you a bit of support.
Prof Otep: Thank you.
Sectuib Teiu: Otep, you aren't a channel so this vulnerability has never been driven home to you. You take a transfer contact once a month with a Tecton channel whom you can absolutely trust not to harm you. You don't have to think of the vulnerability of the transfer grip. But that channel every day presents his own vulnerability to dozens of Simes and Gens, strangers whom he knows only from sketchy notes and impersonal numbers in files he has time to only briefly scan. Every channel has to make some kind of accommodation to this situation to survive, and almost every one does.
I'm sorry, I'm making it worse.
Let's just sit here and sip trin, and I'll support you for a while until you feel able to continue, or we can adjourn if you prefer. I'll try to be more careful about such disturbing topics in the future.
Prof Otep: No, Yilli, we must record all this no matter how disturbing it is to me.
Sectuib Teiu: I apologize, Otep. I've been doing this work for many years, and the few times I've had a chance to discuss it in detail, it's been with other channels and Donors. It was rude of me not to consider the impact of these ideas on a renSime. I could zlin you were getting upset.
You may want to tell the channel about what just happened, before your next transfer. If you like, I can work with you a little now or after the interview to help you with it.
Prof Otep: I'm tempted to take you up on that whether I require it or not. You have an extraordinarily beautiful nageric touch, Hajene.
Sectuib Teiu: You just don't get attention from Firsts very often. Let's go sit on the sofa together for a bit. It will comfort me to work with you too. I admire you a great deal and I'm sorry to have upset you.
Prof Otep: As much as I'm enjoying this, I think I'm ready to continue.
Sectuib Teiu: I can keep up the support as we continue even though you don't require it, although I don't think we will run into anything else very disturbing today. These interviews have sometimes been hard for both of us -- why not take some comfort when it presents itself? I'm not familiar with the culture of your House, so if I'm overstepping the bounds, let me know.
Prof Otep: By no means, Yilli. We are a fairly pragmatic lot too.
What were your arrangements with the Tecton that enabled you to extend your program of direct Gen transfer for semijuncts to train Gens as changeover attendants out-T?
Sectuib Teiu: First, let's not consider this program to be an extension of the other one. The main connection is that the first program gave me a great deal of experience in training general class donors as TN-3s, as well as an appreciation for how quickly and easily Gens of this sort, who have no unusual or 'natural Donor' capabilities, can not only be trained as TN-3s, but can acquire skill and finesse that most channels would regard as unusual in a TN-2. I can increase their capacity only so far. I can do little or nothing to increase their ability to match the draw speed of a higher-order channel. I can somewhat increase the rate at which their field returns to the level characteristic of a TN-3, after donation or transfer. I can't make TN-1s out of them if they weren't born with the capability, but I can teach them to do a great deal with what they have.
While simulated transfer is not the usual training method for Tecton Donors, it's not prohibited, and it's up to the training channel to decide whether and how much of it to use. I find it to be an extremely effective method. Early in training it dispels the mystique of transfer that may be standing in the way of a student's rapid progress. To serve a simulated transfer far earlier than it would be ethical to arrange a personal transfer with a channel, under circumstances where there is absolutely nothing to have any trepidation about, boosts their confidence immensely. I am, after all, fully authorized to qualify a Donor at any level, although I will not generally do so, mainly for political reasons.
In simulated transfer I can assess in the most intimate and accurate way the students' capabilities and determine how they react to various problems I can present during transfer. When I send them to a Konawa Sime Center for their qualifying transfer, the Gens often react with a bit of disappointment afterwards: "Is that all there is to it?" So maybe I'm not dispelling enough of the mystique! The channels they serve have been uniformly pleased and often very enthusiastic about my students' performance in serving personal transfer. They've written some remarkable praise on the Transfer Report Forms. Note that I can often accomplish this in three months starting with a GN-1.
I haven't seen any reason to specifically petition the Tecton about any aspect of the missionary training program. I am training my members as Companions in my House. This is within my rights as Sectuib and competence as a First. The students are all pledged to Teiu before I begin training them. I use two forms of oath. When I am not doing anything very unconventional in developing the capacity of these Gens and their response to selyn flow, I take a temporary oath. Should they not be able to continue with the training, the oath elapses and is no obstacle to their future activities. Once I deem them suitable for complete training, they swear a stronger and permanent oath. The Church and I have worked out a form of oath that satisfies all parties.
There should also not be controversy over the fact that the missionaries are ambrov Teiu, yet work outside House facilities. Even Zeor has dispersed its members. I have one member who is a lecturer at the agriculture school at North Nivet University. Just as NNU pays her and provides her with facilities and equipment to accomplish her work for NNU, the Church pays my members who are missionaries and arranges for them to do their work for the Church.
It has long been customary for there to be methods, skills and activities in selyn management matters that are private to the House. Having kept within the constraints the Tecton has imposed upon me, I intend to use this precedent should I be required to defend the form or content of my training programs.
The Tecton has not yet been able to interfere in the internal affairs of the Householdings to the extent which I fear they will in the future. Because Teiu is a newly reestablished House, they have already been able to restrict me in ways they cannot restrict older Householdings. It has always been the absolute right of the head of a House to conduct internal selyn management affairs in any way she sees fit. I was required to swear that no Gen in my House would serve transfer without being qualified at least TN-3. I was also required to swear that there would be no direct Gen transfer to renSimes. The Tecton and I as Sectuib in Teiu made a separate agreement or dispensation for the semijunct program. It was also required, as a condition of the Tecton's recognition of Teiu, that henceforth every Head of Teiu would be Sectuib and not Sosectu. This was after they had already coerced that promise out of Chanel, a daughter House of Zeor, and forced it to appoint a Sectuib.
Chanel was never a Distect House, and neither was Teiu. When Teiu was destroyed shortly before Unity, the only survivors were my father Danno, First Companion in Teiu, and my sister and myself, still children. As sole surviving adult and qualified Companion, my father declared himself Sosectu to preserve the continuity of the House until a Sectuib could be appointed. We fled out-T, and not long before my father died there, my sister Roza established. She demonstrated her ability as a Companion by serving First Transfer to several Simes. One, our first cousin, was probably a Second Order channel, judging by his changeover progression timing, and his draw speed and capacity. He did not survive to come in-T, so we will never know. After Roza first served transfer, in lieu of the traditional pledge donation, my father pledged her to the House. When he was dying, he passed the House to her, and she became Sosectu in Teiu, again preserving the continuity. Less than a year later, I changed over, Roza served my First Need and passed the House to me as Sectuib. I then took her pledge as my First Companion.
Can you believe it, Otep, it's been used against me that people have overheard me joking with my own sister, calling her Sosectu?
Sorry, I'm getting off topic. As far as direct transfer to renSimes by the Gens in the missionary program, we thought this out carefully. First, a Tecton qualified Donor may legally serve transfer to a renSime in an emergency situation where no channel is available. Second, a Donor may serve a direct transfer when delegated by a channel who holds the Tecton's authority. The most common case is that the channel suspects but is not sure that a child in changeover is a channel and will benefit from direct transfer. This usually happens in remote areas where the best channel available is a QN-3. Third, the Tecton has no authority out-T, except within Sime Centers. There are no laws out-T prohibiting people from attempting to serve transfer, any more than there are laws prohibiting people from running into burning buildings. While the Church is active in the few out-T cities with Sime Centers, they always use the Sime Centers for changeovers.
Prof Otep: Is the Church's out-T missionary program documented anywhere besides in your own records and theirs?
Sectuib Teiu: The Church plans to publish a book about the program, tentatively titled "Gen Attended Changeover". I'll write up the technical aspects and the other authors will cover various philosophical, spiritual and practical aspects of their plan to someday make transfer available to every out-T child in First Need. There have also been many articles and letters published in the Church's periodicals. Church members both in-T and out are very interested in the program and eager to hear of its successes.
It's clear that the Tecton, despite the most intense efforts, will not be able to provide channel's transfer at more than a few dozen locations out-T for decades at least. Genland is huge, the population is large and more thinly dispersed than a Sime population can be, and there will just not be enough channels changing over for a very long time to come. This first phase involves the missionaries, who have a strong commitment to the Church's objective of promoting Unity and stopping the Kill and the murders out-T. The group I'm currently training includes converts from out-T, and if anything, they are more committed than those born and raised in-T. Their training is progressing just as fast despite their handicap of not having had an opportunity to stimulate the development of their selyn systems by exposure to Simes soon after establishment.
The Church has a technical school in Cago, where the book will be published. The school trains teachers and nurses -- non-nageric healers -- and promotes technology transfer between territories by sponsoring conferences and short courses in which people from both sides of the border can share knowledge and expertise in a wide range of technical fields. The Church wants me to visit their school and investigate the feasibility of training nursing and teaching students as changeover attendants. Most but not all of the students are members of the Church and committed to its ideals. There's hope that someday every school and hospital will have teachers and nurses who can provide changeover training, identify children in changeover, manage the changeover and serve First Transfer. Even if it isn't possible to save the child in changeover, it may prevent the murder of children who are not in changeover but show superficially similar symptoms. I am reserving judgment on whether training many out-T Gens who don't have the same personality characteristics as the missionaries to do the technically and morally demanding work of an out-T Gen changeover attendant can be accomplished.
Since I've slashed my own laterals again and again in these interviews...
I'm sorry, Otep, I disturbed you again with that image, didn't I?
Prof Otep: No, it's just so soon after the other... I'll be all right.
Sectuib Teiu: Here, let me support you a bit... I do get carried away, especially when I launch into a diatribe. I'm sorry.
Prof Otep: Thank you, Yilli. It's all right. Future historians require a record of these times, emotion and all. Once we're all long dead, they can write up the dry, objective analyses of what we zlinned and did and felt and thought. It's up to us to give them our observations, our reactions, our understanding of our times, as vividly and accurately as we can present them.
Sectuib Teiu: Shall I go on now? I'll try to watch my language.
Prof Otep: Yes, please do.
Sectuib Teiu: Well... Since I've been guaranteed confidentiality in these interviews, I'd like to criticize the Tecton on the issue of providing assistance in changeover out-T as well. I am just one channel. I am Sectuib of a House and have many responsibilities, yet in six years I've been involved in training nearly a hundred Gens to serve changeovers out-T. I don't know exactly how many children they've served in First Transfer, but one of the earliest graduates told me last fall that he had personally served more than two hundred children in less than five years. He is serving more per year every year as word spreads of what is possible. So several thousand children have been saved, as well as the Gens they might have killed before they were murdered.
I've repeatedly demonstrated that most interested Gens who can qualify GN-1 can rapidly be trained as Thirds or higher. The Church always has more excellent candidates than I can train. If I had two or three more QN-1s, they might be training changeover attendants at the same rate I am, just from the Church's candidates. I've had many letters from people out-T who have been impressed by the work of the missionaries asking if they can come to Teiu for training. I have to turn them down. I've had letters from communities all over Genland begging me to do something to help them stop murdering their own children to save their own lives, because the Church can't send out missionaries to them for lack of trained missionaries to send. There isn't a thing I can do to help them.
Tell me, Otep, why is the Tecton, with its vastly superior resources, not doing this work as well? If they are afraid the Gens would be overtaxed, and can't bear the thought that one of them might take a burn, let them overstaff and refuse to serve apparent channels. The Church worked with some of your statisticians and demographers upstairs to develop methods to model the number and time distribution of changeovers in various communities before a missionary is sent to them. Let the Tecton send three or four for a community where the Church would send one. It costs little to set up a group of Gens in a town out-T, unlike a Sime Center. The community can invite them and provide a house, or the Tecton can infuse some money into the town by buying or renting one.
The Gens can do some other productive work, or just act as informal ambassadors showing people out-T that people in-T are not very different from them. They can provide changeover training, changeover attendance and First Transfer. They can look after the young Simes and supervise their interaction with their families and friends until they can be safely transported in-T.
Most people out-T have never seen a Sime except a terrifying berserker. What will it do for Unity for these people to have their children saved from murder and the Kill, able to talk to them and let them see that they are still the same children that they raised and dared to love? The Tecton won't have to go through all the diplomatic contortions and legal formalities of sending Simes out-T. There will be no Simes except nonjunct recent changeovers in these little towns to inflame fear and prejudice, just a group of Gens. Gen women might be best, since gender is more important out-T than here, and women are seen as less threatening in any stressful context.
So why is the Tecton uninterested in this rapid and easy method of making substantial progress in disjuncting Genland? In the First Contract, they promised to do so, yet more than twelve years later, all they've managed is to put a few Sime Centers in large cities and get the Gens to drag a few junct berserkers to the border in chains. Is it because they don't believe Gens can be fully competent adults working without Sime supervision? Is it because they are so horrified at the concept of direct Gen transfer, even once at changeover, that they believe a child is better off dead or junct or both? Are they afraid that a Gen changeover attendant may be harmed either by a transfer gone wrong or by hostile people out-T, and that Gens are not full adults capable of balancing the risk to themselves against the good they can do and making a responsible decision to take the risk? Doesn't it seem strange that to defend a few Gens against a small risk of harm, even if the Gens wish to take the risk, that they will allow the status quo of murder and kill to take life after life, millions of lives, out-T?
These are of course, the same people who preferred to send perhaps fifteen million Gens to deaths in the kill camps in the first ten years after Unity rather than waking some of them up and teaching them to serve direct transfer to semijunct Simes, as was done in the days of Fort Freedom, and more recently in Gulf. Can you understand the reasoning there either? It's better to kill millions rather than let a few get hurt, as long as we all pretend that the massacre of the millions is a secret?
Prof Otep: Ah, Yilli, now it's you who requires comforting.
Sectuib Teiu: I'm sorry if I've upset you again, Otep. I've been fighting these battles my entire adult life. I know I can't save millions, but I keep trying to save the few I can, and even there it's a constant uphill battle with the Tecton every time they notice what I'm doing.
Prof Otep: Come sit on the sofa with me, Yilli. Let's see if an elderly renSime can do anything to comfort a young channel. I'll send out for fresh trin.
Sectuib Teiu: Thank you, Otep. Your kindness is very comforting. I'm no longer a young channel. I've already lived twice as long as I expected to. If Roza and I hadn't managed to coerce the Tecton into reversing the official status of Teiu as an extinct House, I would have been on the road from kill camp through circuit of junct channels and back to kill camp until my heart and lungs finally gave out. It wouldn't have taken much longer. It was a terrible life in the Tecton in the early days if you didn't have a House to protect you from abuse.
Prof Otep: You know, we historians have wondered what you two did to accomplish the resurrection of your House at a time when the Tecton was adamantly against recognizing new Houses except as daughters of existing ones.
Sectuib Teiu: We leapt through all imaginable hoops. We stood on our dignity. We acted as if the House existed whether the Tecton recognized it or not, hoping to create an outline in the air that could be filled in later. At one point, when it looked like I was dying, Roza tried begging and pleading. That was counterproductive. If I'd just up and died, the whole issue would have resolved itself, with no blood or sputum on the Tecton's hands.
Prof Otep: There was the private meeting in 5 AU between the entire House of Teiu, namely you and Roza, and Muryin Farris, Sectuib in Zeor and Tecton Controller. Afterwards, the objections to resurrecting Teiu seemed to vanish. What really happened at that meeting?
Sectuib Teiu: Muryin and I had a frank exchange of views. After all, we had a lot in common. She was Sectuib in Zeor, I was Sectuib in Teiu. While she was crossing south Nivet with her Da, the best channel in the world, and other important people, I was running for the border with my Da, the best Companion in Teiu and my sister, the only important people in my life who were still alive. While she was being Tecton Controller for the Tecton, I was personally facilitating innumerable kills for the Tecton...
Perhaps I used my powerful midrange QN-1 channel's nager, backed by my sister the wer-Gen, to influence a QN-Zero Farris who could zlin through my showfield like chicken wire.
Prof Otep: So you won't tell me.
Sectuib Teiu: Let me know when you're on your deathbed, and I'll whisper it in your ear. But you'll have to swear unto Meuziek to actually go ahead and die immediately afterwards.
Prof Otep: Well, Yilli, historians are insatiably curious. Perhaps I shall. Here's the trin. May I pour you some?
Sectuib Teiu: Yes, please. Otep, I'm a little concerned about some of the material I'd like to see go into the archives. Much of what I'd like to tell about the kill camps and the experiences of the semijuncts there is so disturbing that I'm afraid it will be too hard on both of us if I try to relate it in these interviews. Would you like me to write it up, so it can be preserved in that form?
Prof Otep: That would be very welcome. Perhaps after I read it, we can discuss it further?
Sectuib Teiu: Yes, we could try that. I was thinking of the story of Nalko and his pact family. Parts of it are charming, like the story of Mavis and Matti, or heroic and moving, like the story of how he and the other pact parents formed their pact and struggled and sacrificed themselves to do the best they could for those children. But I don't think I could relate the things he had to do to survive after his psychological disjunction without upsetting us both to the point where I would have to soften what I said or stop altogether.
Prof Otep: Anything you can contribute, in whatever form, will be much appreciated not only by myself and my colleagues but by historians unborn. I wish it had been possible to start this project earlier, when more of the participants in those times were still with us.
Sectuib Teiu: Before those times destroyed them.
Prof Otep: We'll all be dead in a hundred years, Yilli, but our thoughts and words can live after us.
Sectuib Teiu: And our deeds, I hope, at least for some of our deeds.
Prof Otep: Your many deeds, and my sealed archive.
Sectuib Teiu: It's a comforting thought, Otep, especially for us atheists.
Prof Otep: Perhaps history is my religion, then. Here, may I refill your cup?
Sectuib Teiu: Yes, thank you.