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Chapter 30B: Missed Connections


May 20, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Enrie looked helplessly between Taikie and Kekdela’s retreating back.  “Well.”  She glanced at Saydrie, who looked a little confused and a little abashed.  “Taikie, you know, Riensin…”

“I have absolutely no interest in anything involved with Riensin,” Taikie answered shortly.  “None.  He could fold up and fly away like incomplete project notes in the waste-bin for all I care.”

She was, Enrie considered, awfully eloquent in her arguments.  “Surely there were boys back home…”

“I am not here for my suffix! Taikie caught her breath and continued in a more moderate tone.  “And until everyone stops assuming that, I want nothing to do with anyone that is not directly related to classwork — or, ah to saving the country and other projects that could, I guess, maybe be considered classwork?”  Her cheeks flushed and she ducked her head.  “I shouldn’t have yelled at Kekdela, though, should’ve I?”

Enrie cleared her throat.  “It’s not — well, probably not — Kekdela’s fault that Riensin might be interested in you, and it’s definitely not her fault that we teased you about it.  I’m sorry, Taikie.  I know you’re not here for—”

“Then why say it?  It’s just like the House Monitor; every time I do anything, it’s all Taikie-Rie this and Taikie-Rie that and,” she dropped her voice to a whisper, “I thought his twin was nicer.  But,” her voice came up to normal tone again, “I’m not interested in any of that.  I’m here to be an Engineer.”

“Well.”  Enrie twisted her lips ruefully.  “Sometimes I forget that, and I’m very sorry.  Many people here are, you know.  Here for a suffix, even if they’re also here to be Engineers — or Diplomats.”

Taikie wrinkled her nose.  “Well, that’s their business, I suppose.  Though I don’t know how you’d study with all that distraction… oh.” She ducked her head.  “That’s what… you mean…”

“Enerenarie.”  Gianci stepped up.  “You are a surprisingly hard person to find outside of the dorm room.”

“I tend to stay busy,” Enrie offered cautiously.  “It makes everything easier.”

“Mm.  I imagine you do.  I’ve heard that, at least.  Um.”  He cleared his throat, looked over at Taikie, and, when she didn’t appear to offer any clues, looked back at Enrie and cleared his throat again.  “There are carriage races going on tomorrow and the night afterwards, down in Ileltedez proper.  Stable-Master Korten has several carriages going down, and I wondered if you… if you would like to go down with me.”

Enrie swallowed.  “The carriage races?”  She found a smile coming to her lips, and just as quickly it faded.  “I… I can’t.”

Gianci’s expression darkened.  “I see.  Of course.”  He bowed stiffly.  “Sorry for bothering you.”

“It’s not… It’s not any bother at all.  It’s just that we already have something arranged…”

“No, I understand.”  He bowed again and strode off.

Enrie sighed.  “The point,” she said, very quietly, and not quite looking at Taikie, “the whole thing about Edally is to make connections, not just to learn in classes.  That’s why our teams have people from different Houses. That’s why our classes are mixed.  We find connections that will last the rest of our lives here.”

Taikie, wisely, didn’t say anything in return.


  1. Rix Scaedu says:

    She may have to ask him out to something, mightn’t she?

  2. Marina Brave says:

    Ahhh, I see what Taikie’s sensitive about. You’d think she’d take in mind her parents, tho.

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