OT: Two Interviews

on March 28, 2010 in Other Tales


Although Lucinda had arranged most of her interviews in advance by looking through the directory for Harlowe Hall, when she spotted the auburn-headed elfin figure eating an apple beneath a tree, she was intrigued enough to take a chance.

At first glance, Lucinda had taken her for a human. In addition to the red hair, her skin had a tannish cast to it that was very un-elven. But she had happened to cock her head to the side just as Lucinda was walking past, and the distinctly pointed tip of her ear was unmistakable. It stopped her short, and once she noticed the ears it became apparent that the girl’s build and facial structure were elven, as well.

The girl saw that she had Lucinda’s attention and she smirked.

“If you keep your eyes on me much longer, I’ll keep your eyes for myself,” she said.

“You… what?” Lucinda replied, then decided to brush past that remark and be bold. She took a step towards her. “Would you mind talking to me for a few minutes?”

“I… you want me to talk to you?” the girl asked. She blinked, her eyelashes fluttering in what seemed to be genuine shock at the idea.

“If you don’t mind,” Lucinda said reassuringly. “I’m a reporter… I’ve been collecting a series of interviews with students of different races, to try to get a sort of broader perspective of life on campus. I was actually on my way to another one, but I’m running kind of early.”

“Is this going to be in the paper, then?”

“Probably not,” Lucinda said. “There’s not a lot of support among the paper’s editorial staff for this sort of feature. I’m developing an idea for something on the weave, though… sort of an ethereal column.”

“But people will be able to see it?”

“That’s the idea.”

“Women?”

“I’m not sure how I’d screen them out, if I wanted to,” Lucinda said.

“Will you make me sound… interesting?”

“Um… that’s the idea, I guess,” Lucinda said. “Do you mind if I sit down?”

The girl’s face took on a wicked look for a moment, but then she seemed to swallow and then she just nodded. Lucinda came a little bit closer but sat down on the ground a respectful difference away. The elven girl seemed to her to be skittish, almost fearful… there was fear hiding badly at the back of her big, bright eyes.

“My name’s Lucinda.”

“Semele,” the elf replied.

“Nice to meet you, Semele,” Lucinda said. “Anyway, I thought it was important to get an elven voice in the mix, given that elven students are such a large contingent of the student body, and yet they stand apart so much. There isn’t a lot of mixing between Treehome and the campus.”

“I do not live in Treehome,” Semele said.

“Really?” Lucinda asked. “Because you look elven enough… from what I understand, it’s open to students who are at least one quarter elven.”

“No less than one quarter elven and no more than one quarter any other race that’s not human,” Semele said. “That is the rule, but it doesn’t mean me.”

“What races are you?”

“Just elf. What they call autumn elves,” she said. “Or copper elves. I prefer autumn.”

“Why?”

“The elves you think of are mostly silver and gold,” Semele said. “Copper… silver… gold. It sets up values that seasons don’t have.”

“I guess I can see that,” Lucinda said. “So you are a fullblooded elf, then?”

“Yes,” Semele said.

“When I saw you, I thought you must have some human blood in you… your coloration, your hair and skin…”

“Most humans think that,” Semele said. She was looking down at the grass to the side of Lucinda as she spoke. “Many elves do, too. Even those who know my heritage. The story is that human blood is why we are as we are. It isn’t true, though. The elves of Athanasia were many colors.”

“That gets left out of the stories, though, doesn’t it?” Lucinda asked. “I mean, I had a book of elven poetry when I was growing up, and all the elves were fair.”

“Did it say so?”

“Well… I guess it didn’t,” Lucinda said. “I don’t think it really specified that they were any particular color. I guess since it didn’t say otherwise I just pictured them as, you know, normal elves. Or what’s normal today. The illustrations showed them that way, though it was all modern artwork.”

Semele nodded.

“See?” Semele said. “If someone says ‘elf’, you don’t think they mean someone like me. Not ‘normally’.”

“To be honest, I didn’t realize that elves came in different colors,” Lucinda said. “I mean, aside from the light/dark split.”

“And because you knew we didn’t, you kept on knowing that even after you saw me,” Semele said. “This is why sometimes I feel invisible.”

“Really? You’re pretty distinct-looking, to me.”

“People talk about elves, they don’t mean me,” she said. “‘Elven chic’ doesn’t include me.”

“You said that Treehome’s residency rules don’t include you,” Lucinda said. “Do you mean there’s a rule against… autumn elves?”

Semele shook her head.

“Were you discouraged from going there?”

“How do you mean?”

“Were you told not to apply?”

“Not specifically.”

“Somebody said something, though?” Lucinda asked.

“No, not about Treehome,” Semele said.

“So you could have gone there if you wanted to?” Lucinda asked.

“No,” Semele said. “Places like that aren’t meant for me.”

“Do you think they would have rejected you outright, or just made you feel unwelcome if you’d tried?” Lucinda asked. Semele just stared in her direction, still not meeting her eyes. “I’m sorry if the question offends you, but I’m just trying to understand…”

“Then why don’t you listen to what I’m telling you?” Semele asked. “I didn’t need to be told not to go to Treehome.”

“So is racism… or colorism, I guess… pretty endemic among elves, then?” Lucinda asked.

“Why do you think there aren’t more of us?” Semele asked. “Winter and summer elves, they don’t even like differences in their own skins.”

“Yeah, elven homogeny is pretty well-known,” Lucinda said. “I suppose it’s not surprising that it can extend to intolerance for those who are different.”

“Extend to?” Semele asked. “I would like to know how you idealize one shade of skin without putting the others below it.”

“I’m sorry,” Lucinda said. “This… I don’t usually do this so off-the-cuff. I didn’t know you were an autumn elf, or even what autumn elves are, when I approached you. Maybe what I should have done is set up an interview for later, after I’ve done some homework.”

“When?” Semele asked.

“Wh… you mean, you’d be amenable to that?”

“If you want to talk to me,” Semele said. “When?”

“Um… how about tomorrow night?” she said. “Like, around six?”

“Alright,” Semele said.

“Where would be a good place to…?”

“The Lazar Center,” Semele said. “In the coffee shop.”

“Okay,” Lucinda said. “Thanks… sorry if I was clumsy. I guess I’ll see you then.”

“Yes,” Semele said. “Yes, you will.”

To be continued…


Lucinda met her next interview subject on the terrace outside the dining hall. She hadn’t chosen the subjects of her interview series for this reason, but it was definitely easy to pick them out of a crowd. There was only one kobold eating lunch at the moment. Lucinda was fairly sure that there was only one kobold on campus, but being a reporter she wanted to make sure she had her facts straight.

“Hello… Shiel?” she said, approaching and giving a little wave.

“Yes,” the short rust-colored goblinoid replied. “You must be Lucinda.”

Lucinda had been watching her face carefully to note emotions and visible reactions, and she found herself looking at the kobold’s mouth in particular. If she’d been asked to describe what the mouth of a goblin or kobold before, she would have said “big” and maybe mentioned the sharp teeth. She’d never really made a study of them before, though, and had never noticed or thought about how they differed from a human’s mouth.

When Shiel’s mouth was closed, there was just a thin, slightly line across the bottom of her face. If it had been as narrow as a human’s mouth in proportion to the rest of her head it might have been easy to miss, but it curved up almost to her ears. When she opened her mouth, the skin seemed to be retracting separately from and faster than her jaw opened, making the act of opening her mouth not entirely dissimilar from unsheathing a multitude of jagged metal knives.

“Lucinda?” Shiel said again. Her right eye actually seemed to quirk upward a bit in a gesture that reminded Lucinda of a raised eyebrow.

“Yes, that’s me,” Lucinda said, shaking her head. “Hi. Is it okay if I sit down?”

“Be my guest.”

“As I mentioned in my a-mail, I’m going to be capturing an echo of this, if that’s okay,” Lucinda said, taking out her crystal. Returning to form helped her recover her equilibrium a bit. “I’ll be taking notes, too, but this way I have an exact record, if I’m not sure about anything…”

“That’s fine,” Shiel said. “You said this isn’t going to be in the paper?”

“Probably not,” Lucinda said.

“If it is, I want to see it before it runs,” Shiel said.

“That might not be possible,” Lucinda said.

“I don’t give permission for my remarks to be published in the Gazetteer,” Shiel said.

“As long as you’re being quoted honestly, I don’t think you could stop me,” Lucinda said. “Truth is the ultimate defense.”

“Do you often quote people’s words without their permission?”

“Well, no,” Lucinda said. “But generally if someone doesn’t want to be quoted they won’t give an interview, or if they don’t want their direct words used or there’s a question of attribution, that gets worked out in advance.”

“Well, I’m working this out in advance,” Shiel said. “I’m giving this interview with the understanding that you’re going to use it to promote an independent point of view separate from the official school-sponsored student paper. If you use it outside that, then you’ve obtained it under false pretenses.”

“I don’t think the paper would run what I’m working on,” Lucinda said. “But to be honest, I’ve always planned on submitting it there first, once I can show what I’m doing.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m not sure yet,” Lucinda said. “The benefit and curse of working alone is I get to grope around in the dark a lot more.”

“Then just leave me out of the version of whatever this is that you submit for rejection,” Shiel said. “And put me back into the one that you put out yourself. Is that really so hard?”

“It seems like an unnecessary step, is all, “Lucinda said. She was having a hard time reading how Shiel was feeling, especially since she’d given up actually looking at her face. It was uncomfortably mask-like, and she found herself plagues by visions of what could lurk behind a mask like that.

“It’s not necessary,” Shiel said. “You’re choosing to interview me. This is the condition I put on that. I assume there are other, less picky people you could be talking to.”

“Aren’t you interested in getting your voice out there?”

“Yes, and I’m also interested in seeing what you do with this,” Shiel said. “I’ve yet to see how well those interests will actually mesh. What I’m saying is, you’re not my only option, either.”

“Okay,” Lucinda said. As annoying as this caveat was, she had to consider that Shiel was already proving interesting before she’d asked a single question… and what she was asking wasn’t really that unreasonable. It had taken her by surprise, but it wouldn’t actually change anything to accommodate her. “Deal.”

“Then you may begin,” Shiel said.

“So… since we’re just meeting, the first question is: how do kobolds greet each other?”

“Chest bumps,” Shiel said. “But I wouldn’t try doing that with a human. Aside from the differing significance of chests and the height difference, there’s also the fact that humans aren’t, generally speaking, kobolds.”

“So it’s not something you do with outsiders?”

“I don’t know if no kobold does it, but I don’t see the point,” Shiel said.

“Okay,” Lucinda said. “So… your name…”

“Shiel,” Shiel said.

“Yes,” Lucinda said. “Is it, uh, just Shiel?”

“‘Just’ in what sense?”

“‘Just’ as in ‘only’. I mean, is that your only name?” Lucinda asked. “Your full name?”

“It’s the only name I own,” Shiel said. “I don’t have an aftername, as you do. We use ‘attachment names’ to show a connection between a person and an organization or between two people, but I don’t like what that implies.”

“Which is?”

“Are you serious?” Shiel asked, both eyes shifting up.

“Well, yes,” Lucinda asked. “You just told me it shows a connections, so that’s all it implies to me. I could speculate, but what I’m really looking for here is your perspective.”

“It’s a form of ownership,” Shiel said. “Your father gets to put his stamp on you when you’re young, and if you get married, your husband does, too. Men take attachment names based on military or professional associations, things they belong to… women get them based on the people we belong to.”

“It seems like a bit of a double standard, but to be fair, it doesn’t sound that much different from how human surnames work,” Lucinda said. “They’re inherited patrilineally, and women tend to take their husbands’ names after marriage.”

“It’s not exactly the same since the attachment names are individual rather than belonging to a family,” Shiel said. “But yeah, the problematic aspects of it are hardly unique. Human women benefit from the human hegemony, but humans still suffer from the effects of patriarchy as most gendered races do.”

“Do you think of yourself as well-informed on human culture?”

“I think it’s difficult and dangerous not to be.”

“How so?”

“In the way that it’s difficult and dangerous to take a boat out into the middle of the ocean without being well-informed about the ocean,” Shiel said. “Even back home, human culture surrounded me even if I never had any direct contact with it. The conditions in the Imperium, the relations between it and the ruling class, affected me. If I ever left the warren, I’d be venturing into human territory. It was like being on an island, in a way.”

“And now instead of being surrounded by it, you’re immersed in it,” Lucinda said.

“To a degree,” Shiel said. “I like to think that I’m keeping my head above water, as it were.”

“It’s interesting to me that you’d describe things in those terms,” Lucinda said. “Do nautical metaphors come naturally to a subterranean race?”

“I don’t know why it would it be more difficult for me to grasp the concept behind them than it would be for anyone who lives in a landlocked region,” Shiel said. “It’s maybe not the first thing that would pop into a lot of kobolds’ heads, but it’s not like water is some fantastically alien concept to us. I mean, we drink it. We bathe in it. We even swim.”

“Where do you go swimming?”

“Pools, lakes,” Shiel said. “There are underwater seas as big as this province, though not around where we live. We mostly dig under mountains. There are lakes there, too, but not like that… and you have to be careful, because there are some very old and dangerous things lurking in some of them.”

“Things like what?”

“Like I don’t know,” Shiel said. “You hear stories growing up… ‘bogey men’, I think is the phrase you use, though that’s horribly gendered. There was a lake near my warren that nobody went to. Supposedly, something from the surface had crawled down into it long ago and either became trapped or didn’t want to leave. It was supposed to have great big eyes so it could see in the darkness, and big flat feet that could paddle through the water silently so you never heard it coming. Years of solitude had driven it crazy, so it talked to itself all the time. People who dared go near the tunnels leading to the lake would swear they could hear its voice, having little conversations with itself.”

“I thought you said you couldn’t hear it coming,” Lucinda said.

“Well, it’s a story,” Shiel said. “I think the idea was to scare people even more by suggesting that if you couldn’t hear the voice then it was coming for you? I don’t know. I think there probably is something down that tunnel, but the stories are just stories.”

“Do you know if the underground seas or real, or do you think they’re just more stories?”

“I’m pretty sure they’re real. Travelers have to cross them ,” Shiel said. “Gorgon caravans. They range pretty far, in the shallow tunnels of the underworld. Powerful families that don’t have to work all the time and can protect themselves go on trips to the seas… for fun… vacations?”

“Vacations,” Lucinda said, nodding. “How about your family?

“What about them?”

“They could afford to send you to school,” Lucinda said.

“They’re not what you would call ‘upper crust’,” Shiel said. “I guess we’d be upper middle class, or lower ranked nobility, in other cultures. My father’s a guardsman. He works but he doesn’t mine.”

“Is it dangerous work?”

“Mining’s dangerous, guarding isn’t until it is,” Shiel said. “In the warren complex, the guards dwell in layers between the miners and the rulers, for the rulers’ protection.”

“They’re there to prevent an uprising?”

“Or to protect the rulers in the event of an outside attack,” Shiel said. “There are garrisons by the warren entrances, but the guards’ permanent quarters are closer to the ruling quarters. They’re the first priority.”

“What are the rulers called?”

Urul. I’ve seen it translated as Master, Captain, Boss… I don’t like any of those words,” Shiel said. “Anything military would fit better into the guardsmen hierarchy. I like ‘ruler’. It’s purely descriptive. They have their own hierarchy with titles and areas of responsibility, but collectively they rule the warren.”

“So, if your family didn’t go on vacations, what do you do for fun in a warren?”

“There are games,” Shiel said. “Mostly involving imagination and bits of stone. Space is at a premium, materials that aren’t common rock are at a premium. But if you have nothing better to do, you can get pretty elaborate games set up with simple carved stones.”

“Like chess?”

“I’m not directly familiar with chess, but I’ve heard it’s sort of a war game,” Shiel said. “Yeah, like that.”

“And what do you do for fun here?” Lucinda asked. “Have you joined any campus groups or activities outside of Harlowe?”

“I’m not really involved in many ‘formal’ activities on campus,” Shiel said. “I went to a few meetings of the Women’s Action Guild, but while feminist theory speaks to me, the group… well, their concerns weren’t my concerns, to a large degree, and I felt like I had a hard time getting my concerns heard.”

“Don’t you suppose that could be because you were a new face?” Lucinda asked.

“A new kind of face, maybe,” Shiel said. “Other frosh didn’t have their voices silenced… not when their experiences matched everyone else’s. Can I make a candid observation, or is that against the rules of the interview?”

“No, go ahead.”

“That wasn’t so much a question as it was an apologetic for the status quo,” Shiel said. “I mean, I thought you wanted my perspective… but if I say I experienced something and your follow-up question is ‘um, are you sure?’, that’s kind of counter to your stated purpose.”

“I’m just trying to be rigorous,” Lucinda said. “I don’t want to give people a misleading picture of what the Women’s Action Guild is like.”

“Well, if you were quoting me saying something aren’t you kind of covered?” Shiel asked. “That’s explicitly my opinion, not something you’re certifying as objective fact.”

“It’s just, I was a member of the Guild last year and I don’t remember it being anything like that,” Lucinda said.

“Do you remember any non-humans in it?”

“Yes,” Lucinda said.

“Any who weren’t mammalian, traditionally aligned with humans, and generally conforming to human standards of appearance?”

“…maybe not,” Lucinda admitted.

“Did you happen to notice how many humans who weren’t white were there?” Shiel asked.

“I don’t pay attention to that sort of thing, generally,” Lucinda said.

“I suppose you don’t,” Shiel said. “I’ll confess I don’t know exactly where the dividing line is, but it looked to me like everyone who was there was white. It made me curious about the overlap between exoracism and endoracism, or ethnicism. Had the other-color humans who’d tried to join had experiences like mine? Or had they not even bothered to join, seeing it as a club for white women?”

“If somebody sees it that way, that’s hardly the Guild’s fault,” Lucinda said. “The membership rules are pretty explicit about welcoming women and allies of all races and colors.”

“I think there’s a difference between making a rule saying that people are welcoming and actually being welcoming,” Shiel said. “I didn’t feel welcomed.”

“What would it have taken for you to feel welcomed?”

“More effort than they were willing to spend, apparently,” Shiel said.

“Do you feel like campus groups owe it to you to make an effort for you in particular to feel welcomed?” Lucinda asked.

“Well, if they have a rule that says I’m welcome I’d expect it to be followed,” Shiel said. “Not me in particular, but anyone who’s not a member of the perceived default class. It’s not like it’s taking up energy they need for others… it’s easy to welcome someone who’s exactly like you.”

“You know, someone else was talking about something similar to me, today,” Lucinda said. “On my way here, even.”

“Really? Good,” Shiel said. “Maybe this campus is waking up.”


The next day, Lucinda met her next interview subject at the library. It had been her request… she had been unable to find many useable sources about elven ethnicities on the weave so was ready to hit the books… and to her surprise Rorick had not only agreed but said he would probably be there anyway.

“We have a sort of agreement with the library,” the faun explained. “Legally I can do my thing anywhere, but the library’s supposed to be quiet. Not pressing the point means I’ve got somewhere I can come to do my homework.”

“That makes sense,” Lucinda said. “After my first interview in this series, I’ve started off with the same question: how do fauns greet each other?”

“You ask everybody how fauns greet each other?” Rorick asked.

She laughed.

“No, I mean, I ask everybody how they greet each other among their own kind. You know, how would you do it in the… in your natural… among your own kind?”

“You mean, like… in the wild?” he asked.

“I’m not sure I’d phrase it like that,” Lucinda said. “I mean, that sounds kind of… that is to say…”

“You don’t want to give offense,” Rorick said.

“Yes,” Lucinda said. “Would you find something like that offensive?”

“If you, as a human reporter saying it in the context of getting a grip on ‘my people’, yeah, pretty much you’d get some head-shaking and disapproving finger-shaking,” Rorick said. “There are definite connotations of things like a nature preserve or a zoo when people start talking about my ‘natural environment’ or ‘habitat’.”

“Well, I’m not sure what else to say,” Lucinda said. “I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t exactly build cities.”

“Not cities, no, but there are usually a couple of huts and a lodge where we gather,” Rorick said. “I’ve seen less than that called a village, if the people who live there wear pants.”

“I’ll be honest… I didn’t realize that you lived in huts,” Lucinda said. “I think a lot of people would be surprised. That’s why I’m doing these interviews, though.”

“It’s not so much living there as sleeping there when it’s rainy,” Rorick said. “Wet fur isn’t pleasant.”

“I’ve heard that nymphs don’t get dirty. Do you?”

“It doesn’t take a lot of effort for me to stay clean, but I’ve got a bit of an earthier smell. Rain does not improve it.”

“It’s not unpleasant,” Lucinda said.

“And I’m not wet,” Rorick said.

“To jump back to what you were saying… you said that in the context of me asking you about your life, it would be offensive. Does this mean that…”

“Oh, don’t do that,” Rorick said.

“What?”

“Just don’t.”

“Don’t what?” Lucinda asked. “I’m just trying to get a handle on your perspective.”

“By turning this into ‘how come you get to say these things but I can’t’,” Rorick said. “Please don’t do that. I want so much to like you. You seem likable.”

“Well, I think any time you’re telling people what they can and can’t say you should expect that you might have to defend yourself,” Lucinda said. “Add in what looks like hypocrisy… I’m not saying you are a hypocrite, or rejecting your viewpoint. I’d just like to hear it explained.”

“Look… the idea that words mean different things depending on what other words are around them and what’s going on at the time they’re said and all manner of circumstances that surround their uttering is fucking non-controversial, right?” Rorick said. “That’s how words work. That’s how we get by with a working vocabulary of several hundred or a few thousand instead of millions or billions. Nobody pretends like it’s ridiculous or offensive to suggest that context matters until they see it as an infringement on their all-important rights.”

“So you don’t think the right to speech is as worth protecting as your feelings?”

“This isn’t about feelings, but if it were, would you think your feelings are more important than mine?” Rorick said.

“What is it about, then?”

“It’s about a framework used to understand me and my kind in a way that allowed us to be treated as animals… to be excluded from the privileges of intelligent races, to be fenced in, fenced out, exploited, even hunted,” Rorick said.

“In a past age, maybe,” Lucinda said. “But society has progressed from that point.”

“Yes, give yourself a pat on the back for what you managed to do when a major goddess threatened divine retribution if you kept treating us like cattle,” Rorick said. “And no matter what the law says, the mindset I’m talking about is still there, and it’s still influencing how people see me, how people treat me… whether they see me as a beast man or a fuck toy or what. Jokes about ‘the wild’ or supposed compliments about me being ‘savage’ and ‘untamed’… they all play into that.”

“But people use those same words to describe some people of every race,” Lucinda said.

“Right, and if a human gets called a ‘wild child’ they can be pretty sure it’s a statement on something about them in particular as an individual,” Rorick said. “There’s no larger context it’s playing into.”

“But if someone sees you at a party, doing something, I don’t know, crazy-like and said ‘ooh, he’s wild,’ how do you know that’s not a statement about you as an individual?”

“Okay, two things first,” Rorick said. “One, I don’t go around correcting everyone who says something about how wild I am. You brought up offense so I answered your question and explained. Two, I also wouldn’t take exception if someone else was offended by it. We all draw our own lines in the dirt. We all pick and choose what bullshit we’re going to put up with. Can I say ‘bullshit’?”

“You can say whatever you want,” Lucinda said. “If I can’t say it in the final print, I won’t quote it directly. Okay, and to get back to the question…”

“Well, what do you think we do?” he asked.

“When you put it like that…” Lucinda said, blushing. “Though I don’t know if that’s not just bad stereotyping.”

Rorick laughed.

“The fact is we’re likely to clasp wrists, clap a hand on the back, or just say ‘hey’,” Rorick said. “Sex-as-greeting is pretty much limited to dealing with other races. That’s not to say we can’t be pretty casual about that sort of thing, among ourselves.”

“So you do have sex with other fauns?”

“Yeah,” he said. “For certain values of ‘sex’ and ‘with’. A lot of mutual masturbation, frottage…”

“Not a lot of penetration?”

“No,” Rorick said. “It’s not like there’s a taboo or hang-up, but… well, it can take longer. Sex with another faun is satisfying on fewer levels than sex with just about anyone else. It’s pretty much a masturbatory exercise no matter what. Best to keep things simple.”

“You’re rooming with a satyr,” Lucinda said.

“Right,” Rorick said. “He’s all about penetration. Which, I don’t mind.”

“Is that cultural?”

“I think it’s personal,” Rorick said. “Pride in his work, which for him means fucking, and fucking means penetrating.”

“Would you say you have a shared culture, or is it pretty different?”

“I’m not sure it’s all that different from two groups of humans or elves who live in different regions, at least before long-distance communications,” Rorick said. “I’m not even sure satyrs and fauns are separate races, in the sense that elves and humans are.”

“You look pretty different,” Lucinda said. “I mean, there are similarities… goatish notes, I guess you’d say, but…”

“If you told two different people to draw someone who’s half man and half goat, you might get a picture of each of us,” Rorick said. “And really, that’s about what it is. Individually, we’re the product of mortal arousal and imagination. If you go back much more than a thousand years, the ‘goat’ part wasn’t even standard. The satyrs of those days were ‘beast-men’, ‘bestial’, ‘animal-like’. Sometimes that meant goats, sometimes it meant bears or boars, sometimes it just meant generic indeterminate mammalian beast-thing”

“Really? How did that change?”

“Well, I wasn’t around… but I guess people started talking to each other more,” Rorick said. “They started making more detailed artwork and circulating it around. They wrote stuff down and copied it. The goat version caught on, I guess.” He shrugged. “And then about four, five hundred years ago artists who’d never seen a satyr started painting versions that looked like two-legged goat-taurs,” he said, gesturing down at his furry legs and hooved feet, “with prettier faces and chests and arms, a more clean division between man and beast.”

“So… you look like that because the people who made you pictured that?” Lucinda asked.

“Yep,” Rorick said.

“If we pictured nymphs as being animal-like, would they be?”

“Probably,” he said. “Possibly. I don’t know. They tend to have some small plant-like or geological features. I don’t know how much of that is malleable. My hair might have come out a bit furry no matter what went into me.”

“So wouldn’t it also be possible that you would always be a little… beast-like?” Lucinda asked. “Because it would be odd to me that we… the mortal races… would put that kind of stamp on you but not on your female counterparts.”

“Well, I suppose it’s possible, but it would be odd to me that we’d have this kind of distinct ‘stamp’ by nature and nymphs wouldn’t,” Rorick said. “I’m more inclined to think it says something about other races’ sexuality than it says about us.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know,” Rorick said. “That male sexuality is seen as wild and animal-like? Or maybe that female sexuality is supposed to be tamed? Or that women don’t need to resemble farm animals to be seen as exploitable? It’s probably a whole ball of fuckedness, to be honest.”

“Don’t you think there’s an equal chance it could be something completely innocuous?”

“Have you seen the amaranth nymph who goes here?” Rorick asked. “Assuming she was produced by humans, then we’re supposed to embody what the human race thinks about sex. She looks like something out of a comic book. A comic book about prostitutes. I look like a goat. Look me in the eye and tell me there isn’t something fucked up about the society that pulled these images out for us.”

“Well, there may be some issues there,” Lucinda said. “But to look deeper on something you touched on… and get back to what you said earlier about masturbation and sex with other males… for an embodied fertility spirit, you sure engage in a lot of… well, non-fertile sex.”

“Hey, listen… I’m willing to accept ‘fertility spirit’ as a fairly apt descriptor, but that’s all it is. A description, a label,” Rorick said. “It doesn’t define the limits of who I am and what I do. That’s a very human thing to do, you know.”

“What is?” Lucinda asked

“Finding a label to hang on something that sort of works, mostly… or that applies really well to one side of something… and then not dealing well when it turns out the thing being described is bigger than the description,” Rorick said. “Like calling me a fertility spirit. Okay, yeah. I’ll wear that hat. I do do fertility, after all… but then someone sees me with my dick up something that doesn’t make babies and they go ‘that’s not natural for a fertility spirit!’ Like it’s my fault their views are limited by their own narrow definitions. You see this all over the place but it’s particularly bad when it comes to sex. I mean, once someone observes that sex can lead to baby-making… that baby-making demands sex in most races and species of animals… they associate sex and baby-making. They assume babies are the point of sex.”

“What is the point of sex, then?”

“What’s the point of anything?” Rorick asked. “What’s the point of fire? Is it smoke? Is it ash? You get these things, generally, when you have fire.”

“Yes, but usually what you’re after is heat and light,” Lucinda said. “The smoke and ash is just the mess you might have to put up with in the pursuit of those things. To extend the metaphor… okay, I guess that metaphor doesn’t really need extending.”

“Okay, so let’s say the point of fire is heat and light,” Rorick said. “What if you light a candle just for light? Or a fire just for warmth? Or to destroy a paper? Or transmute iron? Is this wasteful? Is it departing from the purpose of fire? Is it perverting it?”

“Well, I’d say all of those things are uses of fire,” Lucinda said.

“Right,” Rorick said. “They’re all uses. None of them define what fire is. None of them are the point of it.”

“What is the point of it, then?”

Fire. The thing itself. It has its uses. It can be pretty. It can be scary. It can save your life or take it. It creates and destroys,” Rorick said. “It does all these things and more, so much more than we could ever think of sitting here by ourselves, but fire is what it is and it won’t be limited by our definitions.”

“So then you have sex for its own sake.”

“Sex exists for its own sake,” Rorick said. “I have it because I need it, and because I enjoy it, and because it helps other people. Any one of those reasons would be a sufficient reason for me to have sex… for me to make use of its existence… but none of them are necessary to justify that existence. Sex is, whether it’s justified or not.”

“You seem pretty comfortable with sex, not surprisingly,” Lucinda said. “And yet you’ve used the word ‘exploited’ a couple of times now, to talk about how humans relate to you.”

“Well, yes,” Rorick said. “Not on the same level that nymphs have been… we’re not cultivated on the same level… but that aspect’s been there from the beginning. The ancient satyrs got used when they were convenient and killed or driven out when they weren’t. There’s not so much of the killing but there’s still quite a bit of driving out, and a lot of the using.”

“But isn’t it sort of a two-way street?” Lucinda asked. “I mean, you’re getting what you need out of it, too.”

“Right, well that right there is an inequality,” Rorick said. “I need sex. You don’t. Not on a personal level.”

“That doesn’t seem like it’s anybody’s fault, though.”

“I didn’t say it was,” Rorick said. “And on a practical level I’m not worried about the supply drying up. But it’s something I have to think about, to any degree, that you don’t. Food is provided as part of the cost of coming here. Nobody makes real allowances for sex. Nymphs are allowed to visit the guys’ dorms after hours. We’re not allowed to visit the women’s.”

“A lot of guys do, anyway.”

“And they’d get a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again if somebody made a stink,” Rorick said.

“Anyway, you’re wrong… we have to buy a meal plan separately,” Lucinda said.

“Right, but it’s there to be bought,” Rorick said. “It’s something that’s factored in to everyone’s expectations.”

“How would a sex plan work, though?” Lucinda asked. “Don’t you think there’d be something problematic about commoditizing sex the same way food is?”

“Sure, but again, the inequality is there,” Rorick said. “My sex is treated like it’s a resource. I don’t mind, much… but if I did there wouldn’t be much I could do about it. I’m not in a position to say no.”

“You don’t think you could be pickier at all about your partners?”

“A little, maybe, but I’d hate to experiment and then get shut out,” Rorick said. “And then there’s a whole religious thing… I’m not, like, fanatical about it, but my deity’s a bit more immediate than a lot of people’s. But still that’s kind of subject to interpretation and so I’m not even factoring it in here.”

“So on the balance, do you not like it here?”

“I like it here,” Rorick said. “I have a good time. I’m learning things. But there are things that are fucked up, and there are things that aren’t fun for me, and while I don’t go around bitching about them all the time I don’t really like the idea that I can’t have a legitimate beef about something unless it’s completely ruining my ability to have a good time.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that but there is kind of a mixed message,” Lucinda said. “When you keep going off on these things and then acting like you don’t really care about them.”

“I do care,” Rorick said. “Look, when you told me why you wanted to interview me… I got the impression you wanted something more than ‘I’m having a good time here and sex is fun.’ I could say those things. They’re both true. But are they what you’re looking for?”

“No,” Lucinda said. It sounded more like an admission than she’d expected. “No, I didn’t. And really, what you’re giving me is the sort of thing I was hoping for. Just…”

“Just?”

“I’m not entirely sure what to do with it,” she said. “I mean, you’re talking about things that have been going on for centuries, things that involve whole populations and cultural attitudes.”

“What, were you expecting to find out that racism and sexual fucked-upedness was something that five people came up with last week?” Rorick asked. “I don’t think anyone’s expecting you to solve anything. You’re a reporter. Write about it.”

“The more of these I do, the less sure I’m qualified to do that,” Lucinda said.

“Do you know anybody who is?” Rorick asked.

“No,” Lucinda said.

“Then I guess it’s up to you.”


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82 Responses to “OT: Two Interviews”

  1. david says:

    It’s a trap!

    Current score: 1
    • EB says:

      So says Ackbar. Doesn’t mean that traps don’t work both ways.

      Current score: 0
      • Luke_Licens says:

        Coffee shop?
        IT’S A FRAP!

        Current score: 2
        • Fred says:

          I was drinking soup when I read this. It went up my nose when I got the pun.

          Current score: 2
        • Jet says:

          Hot elf chick?
          IT’S A FAP!

          Current score: 3
          • Tomo says:

            can’t figure out how to get to the lazar center? take this!
            IT’S A MAP!

            Current score: 2
            • fastfinge says:

              I wasn’t expecting this level of terrible punning in the comments section.
              I’M A SAP!

              Current score: 2
            • Rethic says:

              My kitty thinks all these puns are funny, She’s
              IN MY LAP!

              Current score: 2
            • Arakano says:

              You guys are awesomely silly, so the sounds my hands are making right now?
              IT’S A CLAP!

              Okay, sorry, but all the good ones were taken. 🙁

              Current score: 3
            • Cat says:

              Okay, guys, I think we’re done now.

              IT’S A WRAP!

              Current score: 2
            • Kamendae says:

              Okay, guess I’ll head off to bed then.

              IT’S A NAP!

              Current score: 2
            • Arakano says:

              I draw my hat for you. Well, actually,

              IT’S A CAP!

              Current score: 1
            • Zukira Phaera says:

              I’m glad things stopped where they did because I am coming up with nothing but CRAP!

              Current score: 1
            • Grant says:

              It’s been a while since the last comment,
              IT’S A GAP!

              Current score: 4
            • Athena says:

              There are honestly not enough hearts in the world for this conversation.

              Sadly, I can’t think of a suitable pun for the life of me, so I guess I’m just a combo breaker 😛

              Current score: 0
            • zeel says:

              That’s okay, you’re still
              A GOOD CHAP!

              Current score: 0
  2. Alexander Johnson says:

    I’m surprised Semele didn’t tell her what to wear. This is going to be great.

    Current score: 0
  3. C8H9NO2 says:

    Not a trap – a date!

    Current score: 1
  4. n_g says:

    Lucinda came a little bit closer but sat down on the ground a respectful difference away.

    Current score: 0
  5. Melissa says:

    Semele. =D I love Semele.

    Current score: 3
  6. Zathras IX says:

    Copper/Autumn elves
    Often find themselves the butt
    Of off-color jokes

    Current score: 1
  7. Shayleigh says:

    It is a frap!
    http://holycrapthatsfunny.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/its-a-frap-27896-1260646033-56.jpg

    Current score: 0
  8. Anders says:

    Ah, I love Semele. It is a shame that she only likes girls.

    Also, I wonder how Spring Elves look like…

    Current score: 0
    • Rethic says:

      Maybe greenish like plants growing? I’d like to know myself.

      Current score: 0
      • fka_luddite says:

        When I read the passage, my thought was green or greenish. Followed by, perhaps thet’re the “dryads”.

        Current score: 0
        • Erianaiel says:

          It has already been established that Dryads are nymphs and are Mother Khaele’s children.

          Current score: 1
    • Andrea says:

      Hm.. maybe brunette? We’ve already got light blond and reddish shades covered, so that’s all that’s left in the normal spectrum of hair colors.

      Does anyone remember the color of Semele’s eyes, if it’s been mentioned? I think Winter/Summer elves usually have blue eyes. Maybe Spring and Autumn elves have different colors.

      Current score: 0
      • The Other Leighton says:

        I believe Autumn Elf corresponds to the standard definition of “Wood Elf” in RP parlance.

        Current score: 1
  9. Brenda says:

    Very nicely done, having her explain that she couldn’t apply to Treehome because she’s an Autumn elf, and since she’s an Autumn elf and knows she couldn’t apply she didn’t bother to see if she actually could, because she knows she just *couldn’t*…

    Current score: 1
  10. David says:

    A respectful distance away?
    IT’S A GAP!

    Current score: 1
  11. whatevermynamewas says:

    is that a moon?

    IT”S A TRAP!

    Current score: 0
  12. Drudge says:

    …gollum?

    Current score: 3
    • Smiles says:

      Noticed that too. Definitely gollum, methinks.

      Current score: 1
      • Decora says:

        Ha, glad I’m not the only one that thought that!

        Current score: 0
        • Abeo says:

          Ditto. Best laugh I’ve had in a week, probably.

          Current score: 0
          • Barnowl says:

            And Shiel is right to be scared by the story – Gollum did take goblin children. “Just the other week he had caught a small imp – how it had squealed!” (vague quote from memory from The Hobbit)

            Current score: 6

    • Eric M. says:

      My thoughts exactly.

      Current score: 0
  13. carson says:

    Precioussssssssssssssssssss. . .

    Current score: 1
  14. Lysaea says:

    “There are underwater seas as big as this province” – I’m assuming Shiel meant “underground seas” but I could be wrong =)

    Current score: 0
  15. Readaholic says:

    Well, considering what Ursula would do to Selene if she did dare to apply, and actually managed to get in, I think Selene shows a great sense of survival.
    And yesss, preciousssss…. will there be a birthday present? Gollum, gollum…

    Current score: 1
  16. Spring Hare says:

    “Do you know if the underground seas or real, or do you think they’re just more stories?”

    I’m thinking this is supposed to have are instead of or.

    And, indeed, Precioussssssssssssssssssss. . .

    Current score: 1
    • Lithos says:

      Of course they’re real. Dee at least lives on an underground lake/sea large enough to support “harvestable” fish populations(family has “fishing rights”). As a whole I think it’s safe to say that underground environments will tend to be lower energy which means you’d need a larger area than you’d see on surface lakes.

      Current score: 1
      • Kit says:

        Dee knows they’re real, then, but Shiel doesn’t now for herself. With all the delving people in this setting do, I’d assume more humans would be aware that things like underground lakes exist without our modern knowledge of deep caves and geology.

        Current score: 1
  17. Oitur says:

    “When Shiel’s mouth was closed, there was just a thin, slightly line across the bottom of her face.” Perhaps a word missing after “slightly”?

    We hates the nassty little burrow gnomes, precious…
    (I mean not *me*, Hazel & Honey are among my favorite minor characters.)

    Current score: 1
  18. Anders says:

    Shiel wants people to make an effort to welcome her? She should be the one making an effort to be welcomed. What are the rest, her slaves? If you want something, work for it.
    If her worries are not the same as the group’s, she could start working on the group’s and after that try having her worries heard, not just expect everybody to work for her while she does nothing.
    My experience has told me that it’s rarely the group who isolates individuals, but individuals who isolate themselves from the group. Hope I’m not wrong, on that, though.

    Current score: 2
    • Calia says:

      I think that depends somewhat on the demographics of the group- I’m white, moderately attractive, athletic enough to have been a good addition to any of the girls’ sports teams, and went to a primarily white high school. Sounds like a recipe for fitting in, until you add in the fact that I’m misanthropic, cynical, and have strange interests… So in this case, I isolated myself.

      However, I’m at a fairly multicultural college right now, and there’s quite a bit of racial tension on campus at any given time. I’m part of the Women For Choice group on campus, and I’ve sadly noticed that a lot of non-white girls who come to us, hoping to fit in and be welcomed, are ignored or talked about behind their backs. It’s the biggest reason I don’t really participate anymore. I’ve become friends with a couple of the girls who were ignored, and they’re sweet girls who were pretty upset that the majority of the group was pretty unwelcoming. Of course, there’s not a whole lot that can be done, since it’s not overt racism and our administrators seem have a policy of closing their eyes and ears and going “LALALALALALA” whenever something only “mildly controversial” happens.

      Current score: 4
      • Zukira Phaera says:

        At least someone recognized what was going on and reached out. Kudos to you!

        Current score: 1
    • Sarah says:

      Anders — but if a group says “we welcome people of all races”, why does it have to be an unspoken rule that people of all races get to work towards white humans’ goals?

      Current score: 2
    • Arakano says:

      Actually, Anders, I completely disagree with you. A group that is supposed to offer support to people who are oppressed or feel oppressed should not have the requirement of “work hard to be welcomed or piss off”, IMO. If Shiel did not feel welcome and did feel like her concerns were not shared or at least seen as worthy of consideration, how and why should she have changed that by making an effort? Are you seriously saying you’d expect her to shut up about her own concerns and act like someone she is not just to be accepted? I hope I am misunderstanding you. If not, then I surely would never want to be part of a group such as you describe!
      And allow me to be blunt: in my experience, it is very often the group who isolates individuals by shunning them, and then justifies its behaviour by blaming the individual in question. “She/he is weird/a loner/not fitting in”.

      Do I like Shiel much? Hm, nah, I think I would be annoyed by her aggressive and sometimes somewhat petty argumentativeness. At the same time, though, I admire her willingness to boldly face the challenges of a human university, and for standing up and fighting for what she considers right. And even though her behaviour may occasionally stray into obnoxious territory, or close to it, that doesn’t change the fact that IMO she is right more often than not and adresses issues that should be adressed yet sadly enough are mostly ignored by the majority.

      Current score: 3
    • Les says:

      I think you’re right that Shiel had to some degree isolated herself, I just doubt it was intentional and think it was more due to problems with her face… namely, her lack of one.

      Put bluntly, from how it’s been described so far, MUverse Goblinoids don’t have a ‘face’ as humans understand the concept, and an awful lot of non-verbal communication is handled by facial expression. Lucinda herself was having trouble ‘reading’ Shiel during the interview.

      Not saying ‘this is a white girl’s party’ wasn’t a factor, just that it wasn’t the only factor.

      Current score: 0
      • Anders says:

        Hmm.. many answers, I’ll try to answer them all in a single message:
        I’m not supporting a small group isolating the rest, especially when the group should be about welcoming, yet I find hard to believe that in such groups the main reason for lack of different people is because of the group’s rejection. It can be, in some cases, but it sounds to me like the exception, not the rule. Why would they be in such a group if not?
        What I am saying, and now I’m talking about my previous experience, is that you usually isolate yourself with your own attitude. You don’t need to act the way others expect you to act, but you can help yourself by not being rude and caring for others in the same way you expect them to care for you. Shiel said that her concerns didn’t match the rest’s and that she had troubles getting heard. Well, it sounds logical that the majority’s concerns take priority, to begin with, and it makes me wonder if she paid attention to them and made herself get known in the group before demanding her own concerns to be heard. That is how it usually works: you work towards the group, and then you can ask the group for help, you just get in demanding others to work for you.
        I might be wrong, though, and the group could be made of nasty idiots, but I tend to think that is a pretty caricaturization of reality, which tends to work both ways.
        @Sarah: there is an unspoken rule that says that if you want help, you might start by offering, not demanding.

        Current score: 0
        • Anders: you might try asking someone who is actually in that position how they feel about the group. It has been my experience groups of whites don’t even realize how unintentionally exclusionary their behavior can be to people of color, and are startled to hear what they did, when the PoC is asked for their opinion. You might find the discussion unpleasant, but it might also be fascinatingly eye-opening; I know it was for me.

          Current score: 2
          • Anders says:

            Well, I was not talking specifically about PoC, I was talking out of personal experience about rejection and acceptance in general groups, but that can be true.
            I feel you are talking about how whites should act, while I’m talking about how people who feel discriminated should. From that point of view, there is no contradiction, it’s a two-way thing.

            Current score: 0
            • Kit says:

              I would agree that people who feel discriminated against would benefit better as a group by, rather than trying to fit in, trying to join in and changing the overall attitude. On an individual attitude, this is asking people who feel discriminated against to go to an extra effort in their life just to enjoy things others take for granted, like being accepted at a supposedly accepting student activity. When those same people often have to work extra hard at many other things in their lives, I find it offensive to suggest it’s their responsibility to make nice with the majority to advance the discriminated group, even if I agree that it would be lovely if they had the energy and ability to do so.

              Look no further than esbians trying to come out in NOW for a real-life example that still boggles my mind. Rita Mae Brown bothered and managed to finally change the group’s mind.

              Current score: 0
            • Athena says:

              Anders: Are you at all a marginalised person who has tried to join in with a group that has privilege along your axis of marginalisation? Cause if not, I’m pretty sure you don’t have the first clue what Sheil is on about.

              The issues being alluded to haven’t got the first thing to do with rejection and acceptance in “general” groups… or more to the point realistically they do, but I’m guessing what you actually mean by “general” groups is “groups of other people like me”.

              Even a lot of rejection by “attitude”, ie, not fitting in well enough by the standards of the majority of the group, can more often than not turn out to be falling into exclusionary behaviours due to marginalisation.

              After all, what if the reason they’re considered “weird” or “creepy” or “antisocial” is due to behaviours installed by or a part of being poor, or queer, or trans, or having some form of invisible disability? That happens a lot.

              There is also such a thing as “unconscious bias”. A group does not need to be filled with a bunch of “nasty idiots” to express internalised bias and exclusionary behaviour.

              As it got mentioned several chapters ago, “Nobody thinks they’re the asshole”.

              Current score: 1
            • Athena says:

              Also, the privileged people in any interaction, first and foremost, have the privilege of being ignorant, and of staying within their comfort zone. As Sheil pointed out, she can’t afford to *not*know about humans. Thus with blacks and whites, with disabled and abled, with women and men.

              If, for marginalised people to be included, you demand first and foremost that they must make the privileged members more comfortable… well, marginalised people have every right to storm off in disgust, because you aren’t doing shit to help them. You’re furthering their oppression, and you will never be able to do anything to help them from that position. You cannot help dismantle oppression by first demanding “Be more oppressed, be more silenced, so that I might remain comfortable”.

              Current score: 1
  19. K-Li says:

    Senele was interesting, but I’ve lost a lot of respect for Shiel in this one. She’s not unrealistic at all, and in that she is well written, but she’s a spot-on picture of one of the most insufferable personality types on this backwater mudball.

    Current score: 2
    • Kit says:

      You mean the necessary kind that actually asks the big questions even when they’re not sufferable?

      Current score: 4
  20. Excellent! I like the idea of Autumn elves. I wonder what mischief Semele has planned…
    Shiel is always interesting. Smeagol reference FTW ^_^
    Moar plz!

    Current score: 0
  21. Zathras IX says:

    Kobolds seem to be
    Familiar with The Hobbit
    And The Lord of the Rings

    Current score: 0
  22. Bilbo says:

    “The rock and pool,
    is nice and cool,
    so juicy sweet.

    Our only wish,
    to catch a fish,
    so juicy sweet. ”

    “So bright… so beautiful… ah, Precious.
    Cold be heart and hand and bone. Cold be travelers far from home.
    They do not see what lies ahead, when Sun has faded and Moon is dead. ”

    Current score: 0
  23. thejoshgray says:

    is all, “Lucinda said.

    A simple case of a misplaced space.

    Current score: 0
  24. rien says:

    another example of every conversation sounding like it’s between the same two people.

    *harmless question*?
    *instant offense*!
    *attempted explanation*..
    *nononoyoucouldn’tpossiblyunderstand*.
    “oh, i guess i don’t know anything. everything is fucked up, all over, all the time.”
    “duh.”

    Current score: 2
    • Gruhl says:

      Maybe the point of it all was to show that there are really similarities between people…?
      Or maybe thats just your point of view. I don’t know, but I enjoyed reading it.

      Current score: 2
    • Drudge says:

      It does sound that way to be honest. You’d think there’d be ONE example of humans attempting to understand and having any success whatsoever. I mean, it’s not like theres that much real world stuff as massive as huge ethnic cleansings and divides carrying people across massive distances we don’t know SOMETHING about. Nobody seems to have even tried on their own before. In our world we can map out migrations of ancient human species that happened hundreds of thousands of years ago and have uncovered massicares a continent away from where they came from.

      Meanwhile no one in the MUniverse seems to be even TRYING. Everythings still so segregated it’s almost hilarious.

      Not to say there’s not a lot of prejudice left in our world or anything but a first world university Mack picked out to be reasonably unprejudiced(compared to the more southern institutions), and reasonably sane about it this seems a whole lot like the south way way back. You’d think if elves and dwarves were prevalent enough and living so close there’d be a bit more of people actually *learning* something BASIC about them. Such as the fact that they’re all so insane spending any amount of time amongst one’s within fifty years of your age can be deadly for the unwary. That sort of seems like the sort of thing that’d get out quick.

      Current score: 0
      • Anthony says:

        Yeah. It says a lot about the author’s mindset, no?

        Current score: 0
    • Kit says:

      Lucinda is always the same person.

      Current score: 2
      • Drudge says:

        The others however aren’t, but seem to act that way here.

        Current score: 0
  25. OhPun says:

    Personally, I think that a University with a sex plan would get a lot of student applications. I wonder about recruitment and scholarships. “We’ve been watching you since you were sixteen to see how you’d develop and we’d like to offer you a working scholarship. You’ll be working for Amaranth our director of Relaxation and Leisure Activities.”

    Current score: 3
  26. ““And really, that’s about what it is. Individually, we’re the product of mortal arousal and imagination. If you go back much more than a thousand years, the ‘goat’ part wasn’t even standard. The satyrs of those days were ‘beast-men’, ‘bestial’, ‘animal-like’. Sometimes that meant goats, sometimes it meant bears or boars, sometimes it just meant generic indeterminate mammalian beast-thing””

    Huh. I did not know that. But I’m glad I do now.

    Current score: 0
  27. Arancaytar says:

    “It was supposed to have great big eyes so it could see in the darkness, and big flat feet that could paddle through the water silently so you never heard it coming. Years of solitude had driven it crazy, so it talked to itself all the time. People who dared go near the tunnels leading to the lake would swear they could hear its voice, having little conversations with itself.”

    Preciousssss!

    Current score: 0
  28. Sapphite says:

    Still hoping for more here 🙂

    Current score: 0
  29. Tomas says:

    it has been remarked upon in one of the earlier comments, but apparently not corrected yet :
    Do you know if the underground seas or real, or do you think they’re just more stories?
    “or” should be “are”

    Current score: 0
  30. Sapphite says:

    To Author AE we have just one wish
    From she who has perfected this niche
    It won’t be a cinch
    Nor done in a pinch
    But one day we pray this will be finished

    Current score: 1
  31. Daezed says:

    I cannot bloody wait for semele’s interview. I have begun to really like her character. Want moar!

    Can haz som suzi/mel?

    Current score: 0
  32. pedestrian says:

    I realize that I am a couple of years late to this conversation but I wanted to complement Alexandra for breadth and depth of these interviews. She is so inventive in the quality of her characters. And when they speak, their voices sound natural and realistic.

    And for all the readers who participated in the discussion threads. I admire their maturity of voice and willingness to listen to one another. And lots and lots of punny humor to booty!

    Current score: 5
    • capybroa says:

      I take it that somewhere a few stories back the comments got moved here from somewhere else, because it seems like you and I and all the other Johnny-come-latelys have a lot more company on these threads than we used to. Hey, I ain’t complaining. Seems like a good crowd.

      Current score: 1
  33. JerK says:

    I really wish Semele was part of Mack’s group of friends. I’d take her over Steff or Ian any day.

    Current score: 1
  34. Lara says:

    I am looking forward to more Semele, I really like her.

    Current score: 1