Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Questioning, continued

Mirrored from Sythyry.


Student 3 (Herethroy): “Do you tend to have a specific gender preference?”

Inconnu: “I like co-lovers — I know they’re not Orren!”

Phaniet: “Inconnu, you need to tone that back a bit. You’re making yourself out as a fool. I like males, myself. Which might be another reason for being more comfortable traff — a Cani woman and wife is expected to satisfy her female spouses as well as her male ones, and I never much liked that.”

Phaniet: [silently, to me] “Boss, you’re giving me a look. I’m just leaving a lot of details out, OK? And making love with Mellilot is nothing at all like making love with a female mammal. You must know that. Now you’re on.”

Me: “No particular gender preference for me.”

Saza: “I seem to get entangled with several Cani of both Cani genders at the same time. So, when I’m having that sort of adventure, I don’t have much of a gender preference really.”

This was all deceptively straightforward.


Student 4 (Cani): “Do you find that you have become more skilled at reading the body language of each of your lover’s species, and can you intuit how they are interpreting your own emotional and body language better in knowing you?”

Inconnu: “I am so good at that, you’d never believe it! Just try me!”

Phaniet: “Stop it, Inconnu!”

Saza: “I think I understand other species’ body language quite well by now. The reverse is more of an issue — there are simply not enough Zi Ri around for most people to get used to. Plus, our body language involves wings and neck-twining, and many of us lack external ears, so there’s no similar prime species to help with the body language. Anyone who associates with us for long enough learns ours, though: lover or otherwise, I should imagine.”

Me: “I could repeat what Saza said; I could not improve upon it.”


Student 5 (Rassimel): “How can transaffection best be prevented in children as they mature?”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Student 5: “Of course you must admit that transaffection does nobody any good, and is a substantial harm to those involved in it. Of course you must wish to reduce the harm coming to your fellow primes, your friends! So, of course you must have a plan for reducing transaffection.”

Me: “That’s a hideously rude question.”

Mump: “I should say it is a fine question, even a fundamental one, if rather heartily over-assumptive and somewhat trenchantly phrased.”

Me: “The major premise is incorrect! Transaffection does no harm to those involved in it! Lacking that premise, the entire pasta-tower of reasoning instantly falls apart.”

Student 5: “What, you say that no harm came to the Rassimel Baron Vumblery, whose affair with his Herethroy equerry caused him to be shunned, to be voted out of the Legeriat, to lose the respect and income from one of his villages? There are a hundred examples of such harm, from all walks of life, in the last decade in Barency alone! How can you say that transaffection does no harm?”

Phaniet:Transaffection was harmless. Your vulgar and brutal city-mates’ reaction to transaffection did all the harm in that case.”

Student 5: “What? If I throw a log at you and break your muzzle, as is not unheard-of treatment for the transaffectionate, can I then claim that it is the log’s fault for injuring you? I just provided the initial impetus; all further blame lies upon the flying wood? Even you, foreign traff bitch, can see the fallacy in that!”

Phaniet: “Even I can — the fallacy being that the log is obedient to your wishes, but the city-mates are free-willed beings capable of directing their own actions.”

Saza: “And even capable of choosing to behave decently, or to behave horribly. They seem to have chosen the latter.”

Student 5: “I hardly think that upholding community standards and the will of the creator gods is ‘behaving horribly’”

Student 6 (Orren): “That’s a good question! Do the gods have any known opinion on transaffection?”

Mump: “Yes. They dislike it.”

Me: “That is, at best, an overinterpretation of the known facts: they created the first primes cisaffectionate. That was, I believe, a practical measure, to ensure that they would reproduce quickly. I have checked with my grandparents, who were first-created Zi Ri, and who know these things. Later generations were not entirely cisaffectionate. If the gods had wanted us all cissy, they could have made us innately cissy. They didn’t mind implanting other personality traits.”

Mump: “Interesting evidence. I had not heard that bit of detail before.”

Saza: “Of course a professor of transaffectionate studies would hardly be expected to investigate that sort of thing. It smacks of theology, or, worse, of history. Far outside of your department! Leave it to the wizards that you are insulting.”

Mump’s ears went flat, and he tucked his tail between his legs. He may not be used to hosting people who professionally and recreationally go to war against whole cities.

Mump: “Actually, I intend no insult to anyone. Forgive me if any words were amiss.”

Student 5: “I don’t withdraw the question! Transaffectionate people suffer nasty consequences from their perversions! Steps should therefore be taken to reduce the number of transaffectionate people! How would you recommend this be accomplished?”

Inconnu: “Ooh, a fanatic! I’ll bet you’re really traff and just fighting not to admit it to anyone, least of all yourself!”

Student 5: “One more remark like that, sir, and I will demand satsifaction!”

Inconnu: “You’re pretty cute … I could satisfy you all night!” Which provoked even the baffled Mump to laugh.

Student 5: “The duello, sir. The duello.”

Me: “Inconnu fought a duel not long ago, with an alien god who roughly corresponds to Flokin. Inconnu won, of course.”

Saza: “Well, he won with the help of certain magic items my cousin provided!”

Student 5: “I now completely sidestep the issue of the duello, without mentioning it further, ever. Instead I return to the basic question: how best should the number of transaffectionate people be reduced?”

Me: “You misunderstand your own argument! The question that follows from your hypotheses is, how best shall we reduce the nasty consequences that transaffectionate people suffer?”

Student 5: “Eliminating all transaffection would suffice to accomplish this!”

Me: “As would eliminating all punishment of the transaffectionate. Consider that each act of punishment is a unique atom: it requires an act of will and commission upon the part of one or more perpetrators. Once it is over, there will be no more of it; even the same perpetrators will have to perform another act if they wish to cause further punishment. However, traff-folk are born continually, and exist for quite a while — indeed, immortals are more often traff than the short-lived.” Which may be true, even, if Saza is typical and most Zi Ri do occasionally fall in love outside their own species on rare occasions. I wish they talked about it more! “So, if we eliminated all punishments today, the problem would be over today. If we eliminated all traff-folk today, the problem would return quickly. Thus eliminating the punishments is the superior approach.”

Saza: “My cousin’s logic is as sharp as zir claws — as the magic sabres zie constructs!.”

Student 5: “You are missing the point — you are obfusticating it, O Zi Ri!”

Me: “The point is that your objections to my choice of loves is rooted neither in theology, physics, nor logic. I suspect it is rooted in your own rather putrid little mind.”

Student 5: “Nothing of the sort! There are elemental physical reasons for despising the transaffectionate! If all primes were traff, no new primes would be born!”

Phaniet: “Oh, don’t be fatuous. We like children as much as anyone else. My Rassimal ~husband~ has helped out a Rassimel woman or two to acquire them.”

Student 5: “Then he is not truly transaffectionate!”

Phaniet: “Perhaps not, by a strict definition, but I admit that I am thoroughly satisfied by his efforts along those lines.”

Student 5: “Nonetheless, we have a serious problem with population! Monsters slay so many of us, childhood spell accidents so many more, emigration removes such and such a fraction of our great cities. Meanwhile, our enemies breed and breed — every year there are more and more pullulating swarms of cyarr and mherobump and taptet and mewellicaps! We must keep our own numbers up as well! There is no room for those who will not help!”

Mump: “I believe this discussion has covered all the main points, so, on that note, let us proceed to further questions.”

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.