October 23, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
“…and with the study of the way weasels use aether that we are covering in Biological Systems currently, we can see that the weasels who spend the most time among people become more like people. They become brighter. They solve problems faster and solve more complicated problems – there’s Ezhtovevky’s labyrinth for a classic example – and there’s the more modern experimentations with using weasels to clean massive pipeworks, primarily in Tovetikar-Gen’s work.”
Uzharinrin smiled cautiously around the classroom. He was the seventh student to present his paper, and Pelnyen was growing obviously and increasingly agitated, even while the rest of the class was getting more and more excited. With the first paper, Pelnyen had grumbled and told Riensin to see him after class. With the second one, he’d been angrier still. By now, he was past anger into some jittery stage that looked almost like a medical emergency. Was he going to let them keep going? Every single one of them had something.
Uzrin kept going. His presentation seemed to be focused mainly on Ezhtovevky’s labyrinth and the studies of domestic weasels, but he was doing a very nice job of bringing it back, time and again, to the idea that the weasels were using humanic aether, and that in using such, they were becoming smarter. He was quite eloquent, more what Enrie would have expected out of Diplomacy House than Textiles house, although the very nice fit of his uniform and the lovely weasel embroidery on his under-tunic did add a certain emphasis to his speech.
“And in conclusion, it is very possible that every animal that Akebviedkeb observed did, indeed, exhibit thought. But as the Lanberger theory of observation dictates, he changed the animals by the very process of observing them.”
Pelnyen sputtered and finally spoke up. “Student Uzharinrin, this is a very interesting concept, but you can’t honestly be perpetuating the awful concept of humanic aether as an argument against the All-Thought School, can you?”
“No, Instructor Pelnyen.” Uzrin looked so very sweet and innocent; no judge would convict him. “I am suggesting that the reason the All-Thought School succeeds is because of humanic aether. Everything that comes in contact with humanic aether is changed by it, whether that is animalistic aether or the ground itself. Thus, animals we observe think; anything that we observe might think, if it has the ability to use aether. ”
“By that theory,” Pelnyen complained, “people who used a specific kind of aether would, in turn, be changed by it.”
“Actually, Instructor Pelnyen…” Larrabietta stood up. The skinny Alchemy House student had been the hardest to convince of this project, until Riensin had gotten his twin brother Kietsaip involved. “That would be the nature of my presentation: How those who spend a great deal of time in the study and use of a particular kind of aether are changed by it. After Dadaron’s Theory, sir.”
“After…” Pelnyen seemed to choke for a moment. He cleared his throat and tried again. “After Dadaron’s Theory. Where did you read about Dadaron’s Theory? That’s third-year student work!”
Larrabietta looked innocent. She was, Enrie noted, very good at that look. Something about her face, still a little chubby in the cheeks. “In the Library, sir, while I was looking up more sources on the All-Thought Theory. One of the papers refuting the theory mentioned Dadaron, so I did a little more research.”
“Out!” Pelnyen didn’t so much say it as he bellowed it. “All of you, every single one of you, get out of here, get out of here, get out. And I’d think twice about coming back tomorrow!”