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Chapter 24B: Hiding Rifts


March 4, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Instructor Dainanan passed around several examples of the mending technique.  Small, even stitches in a contrasting color joined the ripped fabric with a backing piece in yet another color.  The effect ended up looking like the ripping was on purpose, rather than accidental.

Enrie ran her fingers over the first sample when it reached her.  If everything was going to be mended, maybe they had to admit they had a hole first.  Some of that wasn’t really in her purview – she didn’t have nearly enough status to convince people to talk about the problems with the Cevati Bitrani, for instance – but the cheating was an obvious “hole” and one she could maybe help with.

She didn’t really want to talk to Olisama.  But there had been other vowel-named people in that lunchroom confrontation.

She didn’t want to bother Aronaraariennie.  She’d been there to keep Olisama out of trouble and she wasn’t involved with the cheating, as far as Enrie could tell.   Iekazhievie was just a Bitrani-hater – that might come into play later, but it didn’t matter when Enrie was worried about cheating.  She wasn’t sure about the Art House one.  She might have something interesting to say, but she hadn’t been part of the cheating, either.

That left the Martial House girl.  Of course.  It had to be War House.  Enrie chewed on her lip and tried to pay attention to class.  There was time enough to worry about mending holes when she was done here and Intro to Textiles was harder than it looked.

When they finally left class, Taikie waved a hand in front of Enrie’s face.  “I know the history is interesting, but I have never seen you that engrossed in embroidery techniques.”

Enrie ducked her head.  “Well, it’s neat.  I wonder why it went out of fashion?  It seems less wasteful than replacing an entire panel.”

“I think that, outside of Engineering and fields like that where you really do get dirty – filthy – and banged up a lot,  maybe it became too much of a stigma to have done something that would have ripped your clothes?”

Enrie scoffed. “That’s like saying that it’s a stigma to use the bathroom.  Humans make mistakes.”

“Maybe ideal skilled humans don’t?”

“You Calenyena have strange ideas.” Saydrie winked at them.  “Humans are without fail if they’re good enough?  What do you think the gods would say about them?”

Enrie grinned.  It was nice to see Saydrie being more comfortable with joking around – and with talking about the gods with Calenyena.  “Well, I think they would say ‘strive to be perfect.’ I’m not so sure about embracing flaws.  But I was thinking not personally, but diplomatically…”  She began sketching out in the air.  “So, you have a rift.”  She drew a jagged line between Saydrie and Taikie.  “And the rift is based on disagreements about how the world should be.  What the gods think, even.  What color you should or shouldn’t wear to temple.  How you should cook your rice.”

“Your rice?” Taikie looked dubious.

“Rifts have been formed over less.  The thing is, you can sign a treaty, you can make an agreement, but that disagreement doesn’t go away.  So you’re just trying to hide something that’s still there.”


  1. John says:

    smart girl now two problems one will anyone listen to her two do they want to.

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