March 10, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Enrie’s hands were moving through the air and her teammates were watching her as if she was giving a school presentation. Which she supposed she was – just an informal one, like Riensin’s plan to thwart Instructor Pelnyen.
“You have this rip and you’re trying to pretend you don’t anymore, so you sign a treaty or make a new law, and then you pretend the problem is gone.”
Taikie frowned. “Not quite like replacing a panel of fabric, but I see what you’re saying.”
“So… What if we tried to deal with problems by making the rip part of the pattern? Saydrie is very different from either of us, but it works. Our roommates come from distant places, but that helps us all understand the whole nation.”
“Instead of…” Taikie looked both thoughtful and a little fidgety. “Say, hiding a problem between two nations so deeply you need to know folk songs to figure it out?”
It was Enrie’s time to be squirmy. “Instead of that, yeah. Hiding great big holes or problems by ripping out the whole section of history. Or not telling anyone about something like, oh, Emperor Ipaagtyentaag. It seems like pretending to be whole and competent instead of actually doing the work to be whole and competent.”
Saydrie raised his eyebrows. “Like your cheating cousins?”
Enrie winced. “Like… yes.” It was such an ugly word, but she was talking about not hiding problems; she wasn’t going to hide behind euphemisms.
“So what are you thinking about mending?” Taikie frowned. “You don’t mean your relationship with Olisama, do you?”
“No, of course not. I never had one to speak of, except the fact that she wanted all her cousins on board with following her lead. But I’m thinking of how to handle this as a royal, because it’s obvious that the scandal exists and just cutting out the problem doesn’t leave anything to learn from.”
“You could talk to Aronaraariennie. She isn’t involved in this, I’m sure.”
“I’m pretty sure she’s not, either. But she’s also not part of the problem. I was thinking of talking to the Martial House cousin who clearly knew what Olisama was talking about.”
“Talk to Aronaraariennie, too,” Taikie insisted. “She’ll be helpful.”
Well, Aronnie was in Taikie’s House. Enrie nodded reluctantly. “And I’ll find out the cousin’s name – assuming she’s a cousin and not another follower-on of Olisama – and I’ll talk to her, too.”
“Interesting they’re all female,” Saydrie commented.
“Well.” Enrie sighed. “Our grandfather the Emperor is growing old. I imagine most of the men are keeping their head down and trying to remain mostly unnoticed. It is always a bit strange when the power changes.”
“I’ve never really understood your inheritance system,” Saydrie admitted. “Maybe by the time I’ve graduated from here, I will.”
“You’re in the right House for it. There are plenty of Calenyena who don’t understand it – some of those have vowels in their names, too.”
“But that’s a matter for another day, isn’t it?” Saydrie looked at Enrie expectantly. “Today, you want to mend some rends?”