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DInner with SeraiEdit

[add more sensual imagery, choreography]

        Serai laid the table carefully imitating all she knew of his customs, which wasn’t much. {specify how the table looked and what food, and why]

      He entered the room slowly, with dignity, carrying a lamp and wearing a teacher’s robe she’d made long ago for Chathalen, much too small for Chathalen now. It didn’t reveal much, but she already knew enough of what it hid. Teacher’s robes were designed for inspiring the respect of students and thus were more ornate than most D’zeron clothing. It was her best effort at the time, though not with the usual intention for teacher’s robes: I was less experienced in both kinds of weaving then

        His pale hair was neatly combed, and braided along one side of his face. His skin glowed in the lamplight, alien and wonderful. Jason was beautiful and intelligent in an exotic alien way, no matter what –if anything—he wore, but seeing him dressed in familiar D’zeron clothing  --part of her world and still wonderfully alien-- pleased her, and even more the smile that light his countenance when he met her eyes. She wanted to rush forward, to hold him and never let go, but she rose carefully, slowly, with practiced serenity. 

       “I asked Harris about your courtship rituals,” She said. “Something called dating. Eating dinner is sometimes part of it. and flowers. and it has to be planned ahead. you have to agree to meet at a later time. We did that, right? You can consider this as a date, right? See? I put flowers on the table.” 

      Jason grinned when he saw her, and didn’t even notice the pain. She rose gracefully as he entered the dinning room, glided towards him like a magical creature, a will-o-the-wisp leading him on to some mythical adventure, clothes in multi-colored silk, which swirled around her, etherial, and her long brown hair loose around her face, amber eyes shining with anticipation and reflected lamp-light. 

      He was touched by her concern, but disconcerted by her efforts to imitate the rituals she thought he needed,-- rituals he had always shunned. 

      “I’ve never dated, Serai,” he confessed as she took his hand to lead him forward. “I avoid these rituals” She dropped her eyes from his, let go of his hand and the light seemed to fade around her. His heart pounded. I’ve offended her. She thinks she’s done the wrong thing trying to court me. I’m hurting her. Tears of shame stung his eyes and he reached for her desperately trying to make it right. “Thank you, Serai. I am honored to let my first date be with you and pleased that you seek to learn the customs of my people.” 

        She took his hand again, sparkled brighter. He felt one with her as if he had drowned in a pool of colored silk and lamplight. Time dissolved. He found himself seated, stunned and grinning, staring at her across a small lamp-lit table scattered with fragrant and colorful flowers intermixed with dishes of strange but wonderful food. He didn’t remember having walked from the door to the table or sat down. By force of will he reclaimed his composure and pulled his face into a more dignified expression. His face felt warm and he hoped his blushing would not be too apparent in the lamplight. 

        “Will you not eat? Are you not hungry?” The worry in her voice called him back.  

         “I’m sorry. Yes, I am hungry and I will eat. I thank you for bringing me food, and flowers and…” he feel silent, almost grinned again, stopped himself from grinning, stared at her, unbelieving, and then reached for her hand across the table. “You’ll have to forgive my rudeness, Serai. I have never dated and I’m still a bit disoriented from my illness. I haven’t yet convinced myself that I really am in D’zeron, and this is not a dream.”

       “And I am your butterfly girl?”

       He allowed himself to smile, slightly. “Yes, butterfly girl. You are much more unbelievable than D’zeron.” 

       She frowned theatrically. “Poor Jason, you waited so long to visit D’zeron and you still haven’t seen it. Only the temple. Tomorrow I’ll take you to see D’zeron, and your brother Tersh.”

      Tersh. He hadn’t even asked about his brother since awakening. He had been too worried about Serai, and his own identity in the village. There was a jarring but welcome shift in his perception as he found him self back on the task which had brought him here, a blissfully familiar task. “Tell me about Tersh. He was a baby when Jonathan left. What’s he like now?”

       “He’s crazy. He never felt accepted because his father was an alien, even though he doesn’t look alien, as Chathelen does. He never accepted a place in the village. His place is to not fit in.”

       “Chathalen looks just like my dad. You like aliens, don’t you Serai?” 

       She nodded “You are the most beautiful alien I have ever met.”

       Jason giggled, and blushed. “Thanks Serai. No one ever said that to me before.”

       “When I was very little,” said Serai “I thought I would marry Chathalen. He can dream. His grandmother was a dream keeper, so our children would be of the linage. But once Allissa noticed him, there was never any question who he would marry.”

       “Allissa.  He mentions her often. She’s is away someplace? He’s very committed to her.” 

       “Allissa is the daughter of D’neira the dreamkeeper, No one knows who her father is, it is forbidden to speculate. She’s a very skilled dreamer, and we never doubted she would become a dream keeper, in spite of her eccentricity. She refused to grow up. In body and mind, she is childlike. She was raised by D’harra, the head of the farmers, so she should have become a farmer, or a healer. But she wouldn’t. Chathalen taught her to climb…it wasn’t his role in the village but he climbed to escape, all children climb occasionally… and she took to it completely. She’s like a forest creature, not quite human. She would easily climb trees and cliffs the rest of us would never even consider. Even though she wasn’t of the hunter clan, She became the leader of the foragers at a very young age, but she ever really lead them, mostly she foraged by herself, and they followed her with a sort of awed admiration that she never even noticed. She didn’t care to fit in, and while other girls were dreaming of handsome young men who they hoped would become their husbands, Allissa dreamed of Tersh the crazy old alien. 

       “And Serai was dreaming of beautiful young aliens,” Jason teased.

        Serai paused, frowning thoughtfully. “I really didn’t. I suppose I should have, but I didn’t. I lived, by necessity, in the service of others. My early childhood was spent taking care of my mother. My father died before I was born…”

        “Your father died. So we have at least one thing in common.” said Jason.

         “Jonathan died? Harris told us he was still living, and that he taught you about D’zeron.”

         “Not Jonathan. My…biological father, Desmond Harris, he died. before I was born. Jonathan adopted me.”

          “Desmond was your father?” She seemed surprised, and impressed. “Harris told us about Desmond Harris, The man you both were named for, a great leader of Paragangia, who built a new home for his people, but Harris did not tell us you were the son of Desmond Harris. So-- you are prince as well as a hero. Destined to lead, like Allissa.” Her eyes shown with increased admiration.

          Jason fell silent. Of course. Harris told her many things. She knows all about me, but only from Harris’s perspective. And Harris loves me more than he should. He’s given her a very skewed impression. I’m just a celebrity to her, as I am to my students. The beautiful alien who kills wildcats, the Prince of Paragangia. She knows all this, and it’s all wrong, But I don’t know her at all. 

        “Jason? Are you okay? Did I say something wrong?” She looked worried now.

        He shook his head, and stared at her, seeing only a stranger. A D’zeron woman. An informant, I am here to learn, and to do a job for Paragangia, for Alexandreil. I’m a negotiator, this is a field study. Be polite and keep her talking. “No, I’m sorry Serai. Please forgive me, I’m just still a little confused. You were telling me about Allissa, and Tersh. I’m sorry I interrupted.”

        “Tersh burned down his house when Allissa was four. She reveled in every detail of the spectacle. Tersh fought off every attempt to put the fire out as flames consumed the wood and thatch. The fire enthralled her, and Tersh became her hero: the lord of flames rescuing her from the darkness and boredom of village life. 

         “To most of us Tersh is frightening and confusing. He willfully violates every convention and the things he says never make sense. Allissa found him kind and understanding. She never felt a part of us, just like Tersh. She never cared about social rules or social roles, He didn’t treat her as a child or a wife or a mother, or the future matriarch. He shared with her as an equal. No social rules separate or bind them. Together they were free. Allissa wanted to marry someone like Tersh.”

          “I understand. I’m like that too,” said Jason. “She wanted someone to love her for herself, not because of the role she played.” He fought back tears. I am just a beautiful alien. 

        “That’s right” Serai went on, not noticing his discomfort. “The fire that made Tersh Allissa’s hero was Chathalen’s greatest tragedy.”

      “Serai?”

      “What’s wrong?”

      “Allissa sounds a lot like me.” 

      Serai smiled brightly “She is. The two of you would get along perfectly, Harris told us you even climb well. You could go foraging with her, if she was here.”

       “I would like that.”

       “She would too, I think.”

       “And you wanted to marry Chathalen. You have more in common with him than Allissa does. Why then…”

       She stared at him as he spoke, her smile fading and her eyes growing wider, until she could take no more. “No! Jason, I was only nine when I thought I could marry him. I was just beginning to train as a weaver, just beginning to consider marriage.”

      “Oh. So you were about where I am now.”

      “I could never marry Chathalen. I do love him, as a friend, almost as a brother, but we aren’t right for each other. When I saw him with Allissa, I saw how they brought out the best in each other, and brought each other peace, that’s when I began to understand, began to see the pattern for weaving lives. We need balance to be good companions, not just likeness. I understand your thought, Jason, but it isn’t true. You don’t understand. You’re not a weaver.”

        “I’m not.” He agreed.

        “You and Allissa are far too much alike. She would be a terrible wife for you. She might easily agree to it, and so would you, because neither of you can see the pattern, and you would feel a certain comfortable kinship, but you wouldn’t take each other forward.” Serai seemed increasingly uncomfortable with this thought. 

        “What if I don’t want to go forward?” Jason argued, just to argue.

        “I’m glad she isn’t here, for the sake of both of you, glad she won’t get to meet you.” She stared at him silently, disappointed.

        He stared back, surprised at her passionate objection to his speculation. Is she jealous? Afraid I would rather marry Allissa? Should I reassure her that I’m not here looking for a wife? He shook his head. Field study. Stay objective. Do the job you came to do. “I’m sorry, Serai. I’ve upset you. Please accept my apology. I assure you I have no interest whatsoever I marrying Allissa. Please, continue.”

     “Okay.” She took a deep breath, watching him as if assessing his reaction, or perhaps trying to remember what she had been discussing before Jason’s last interruption. 

       He smiled reassuringly, held his fingers close to the lamp, feeling the warmth of its flame. “You were telling me about the time Tersh burned his house down.”

       Finally She continued, “Chathalen always wanted to just be part of the village, like the other children. He was born in that cabin; his mother died there when He was four. We called it Sh’harra’s cabin because it was built for her when she became the dream keeper. Everything that connected Chathalen to the village and made him more than just the son of an crazy alien, That fire burned. His dream-keeper linage. His home, His memories of a happy childhood with a loving family. I think Tersh wanted to help Chathalen let go of all that and accept his true place in the village. And it worked, in the end, because of Allissa.”

       She paused and looked at Jason questioningly

       “Go on, I’m listening.”

      “I was nine, and beginning dream training with Allissa and Chathalen, and training to become the weaver. After the fire Allissa told me about wonderful Tersh, and Chathalen’s beautiful eyes reflecting the smoke.”

        “His eyes look smoky when he gets upset?” Jason asked “Like my father’s eyes.” 

        “Yes, they do that. Tersh’s too.” Serai agreed

        “Harris says it’s a Paragangian genetic trait,” said Jason “They call it shattering.” 

        “Jonathan was Paragangian, like Harris?”

        “Partly, I guess.” Jason shrugged “I didn’t know until Harris told me. Jonathan doesn’t look Paragangian. He often shared memories of D’zeron but he never talked about his time in Paragangia.”

        “Your eyes are not like Chathalen and Tersh.” 

        “No. My eyes are like my mother’s eyes.” 

        “Your eyes are always like smoke. We will never see if they shatter, but your first father was Paragangian.”

        “Maybe. Sort of. I don’t really know. He grew up in a terran colony on a place called HomeWorld.”

        “HomeWorld” she repeated dreamily “what a beautiful name”

        Jason smiled “I suppose. I never really thought about the name. It is a beautiful place. I lived there for a year with Desmond’s family when I was twelve. With Aunt Rae. She would love you. They aren’t Paragangian.”

        “Are you sure?”

         strange question. “Of course I’m sure!”

         “Are you Paragangian, Jason?”

         Annoyed, he held up his hands between them “Of course not. Do I look Paragangian to you Serai?”

        “Yes. The only aliens I know are Paragangian. You father is Paragangian, your brother is Paragangian. You came on a Paragangian ship, representing Paragangia.”

        He dropped his hands to the table, squeezed his eyes shut tight, and shook his head. When he opened his eyes he was calm and numb; rational. “I’m sorry, Serai. I keep interrupting you; I don’t mean to. I’m sorry. Finish the story.

       “Chathalen and Allissa were best friends from that time forward, exploring the forest, updating the books in the temple library, which describe all the creatures of the forest. He knew he would marry her, we all knew, and they would lead the village together. He had the skills she lacked to lead, he would make her ascension possible, and being her husband would give him a proper place in the village so he could feel like he belonged. She loved him dearly, but never thought of him as a husband. She thought she had a greater destiny than marriage. 

        “D’neira and Allissa took care of Chathalen after the fire, for the most part, because Tersh wouldn’t. Chathalen became a healer, and then a teacher, learning the skills he would need to support Allissa when she replaced D’neira.

         He was so attractive in formal robes with his hair in a thick, neat braid down his back. Allissa would help him comb out all the tangles and twigs after their forest climbing, and braid it for him. It wasn’t appropriate for her to help with this, but Allissa took no notice of such customs. Chathalen let her because he already considered her as his wife.”

        “In D’zeron, you wear your hair loose when you are courting, and braid it when you are married, right?”

        “We do, that’s right. We braid it when we work, even if we are not married. But for a young woman to braid a young man’s hair –well— it’s not appropriate, unless you intend to marry.”

        He touched the braided lock of blond hair at the left side of his face. He had, unthinkingly, braided it to hold it back while he ate. The rest of his hair was loose. A mixed message, which suited his feelings. “That makes sense. But they did intend to marry.”

        “He did. She never thought that way. It was hard for him, waiting so long. He’s five years older than Allissa, and she’s oblivious, even for her age. I tried to get her to realize what a perfect husband he was for her, and she’d say “If he’s so perfect you marry him Serai.” I told her I wouldn’t want Tersh to be my only kin in the village.”

       “If you marry me, Tersh will be part of our family.” He noticed the worried tone in his own voice and wished he had remembered his resolve not to interrupt again.

        She laughed. “Of course he will, Sweetheart. I like Tersh. I was only thirteen at that time, and I didn’t really mind him, but Allissa loves Tersh more than anyone. I hoped Allissa would realize that by marrying Chathalen, Tersh could at least be part of her family. He’d even be obligated to marry her if Chathalen ever died. She would gladly have married Tersh but he believes his wife still lives on the dream plane, so he’s still married. 

        “He’s old enough to be her father.” Jason objected impulsively.

        “So?”

        “I’m sorry. I know age doesn’t matter. Sh’harra was older than Tersh is when Jonathan married her. It’s not like that In America. We marry people close to our own age.” In D’zeron I’m a child, and you’re a village elder.

        “Sometimes old men make better fathers. They have experience, and are better able to provide for their families. How old are you Jason?”

         “I’m twenty one. Just barely a adult in America, but in D’zeron I’m a child. Less than a child maybe. I couldn’t provide for a family here.” Not old enough to marry. Not old enough to be a father.

         “I’m nineteen. Is that close enough for America?” 

         He smiled “Close enough for America. But at our age we wouldn’t probably be considering marriage in America.” 

          “You are like Allissa. She never thought about marriage. I tried to make her look at him the way a young woman looks at a man…”

         “The way you look at me.”

         “….one day, when he had become our teacher, I was eating lunch here, in this room with Allissa. When he came in to call us back to lessons I said ‘Look at him, Allissa, isn’t he handsome in his teacher’s robe?’ It was a robe I wove for him. That robe.” She pointed at Jason.

         He looked down at the robe he was wearing. When Chathalen brought it he hadn’t really noticed, except that it was soft, and comfortable. He was too nervous about meeting with Serai to think about clothing. Patterns of Flowers and families of animals and rain and rivers intertwined in an intricate design, every sort of fertility symbol one could imagine, woven of soft, sensual silk. It was very skillfully made, give the level of technology. Pretty obvious why Chathalen chose this one for me tonight. “You wove this when you were only thirteen?” 

      “Twelve.” She nodded. “I could do much better now. But I tried to make it special so she would notice him, recognize him as the man she would marry. I wove it with good intentions, with love for my friends. And she said ‘you should marry him, you’re almost old enough.’ It looks perfect on you. Maybe it was never really meant for Chathalen.” 

       He smiled They all conspire against me now, just like they did with Allissa. No wonder she chose not to see. “You’re a very good weaver.”

       She frowned “Well, I hope I do better for you than I’ve done for Allissa and Chathalen.”

       He blushed “That wasn’t what I meant.”

       “When will you marry me?”

       “I’m sorry Serai. I know it seems simple and obvious to you but for me it’s not that simple, or that obvious.”

       “Am I not worthy to be your wife? How must I change, to be good enough for you, to become the woman you are waiting for?”

       “It isn’t like that, Serai. I can’t imagine anyone more perfect. Maybe if you were less perfect, this would feel more like reality.”

      “Are you dreaming?”

      “No, not really, but it’s like the transition between dream and waking when I don’t know who I am or where I am. It’s not real and not a dream. It’s both mixed together. It’s very confusing and I don’t know what think or feel and not knowing scares me and I don’t know what to do.” his voice broke, and tears rolled down his face, but he didn’t bother to wipe them away. “I don’t know which world I’m in or what rules apply here. I’m not part of D’zeron, and in America marriage isn’t expected of me. Men are expected to settle into their careers first.”

       “Why?”

       “We have to be able to take care of our family, I guess.” Why, indeed?

       “I take care of myself.” Serai protested “I can take care of our children. I have taken care of you. We will take care of our family together.” 

        Tears filled her eyes. “That’s it, isn’t it?” She whispered. “You think I don’t need you. You don’t want me because I won’t depend on you for survival, I can take care of myself. Don’t you see? I have been alone so long for this very reason. I waited. I could have chosen anyone but I allowed them all to marry someone who needed them more. You’re different, Jason. Nobody needs you more. Of course I can survive without you, but there’s more to life than just surviving, alone. I want to be with you, I cannot be a family for myself. Everyone who was ever kin to me has died, and I’m alone. There is no better wife for you, Jason. I do need you. Share my life and give me children. You can give me that.”

        “How do you know?” He protested, then blushed, realizing she had slept beside him when he was delirious, and dreaming. He remembered some of those dreams. If his body had followed what his mind was doing in any of those dreams she probably did have fair evidence of his qualifications for giving children. Strange to be so intimately involved with a women he had never really met before today. 

       She moved closer, touched his face, smiled passionately. He turned away, considering her words.

         He took in the desperate sincerity of her face, --her beautiful face—and remembered Harris’s words: ‘sounds like your career is over; it’s time for a new one.’ Jason had always unthinkingly assumed he would return to his work at the university. I could be part of this village, raise a family with Serai and never go home. I really could.

      “It’s okay that you don’t need me to take care of you here, Serai, and I could if we went back to America. I do have a great job, and if I didn’t, I still get royalties from the books I wrote when I was younger. That’s not a problem. It’s just that guys my age usually just have temporary relationships like pretend marriages with no children and they avoid having babies. I never wanted that.” 

        “You won’t have to do that. We will be a family. I’ll never leave you. If you go back to your great job and the kingdom in which you are royalty, I’ll still be your wife. Choose me.”

        He wanted to be with her so desperately that it terrified him, so he tried to go on arguing. “I’ve only just met you today, I don’t make friends easily. I never got close because I don’t want to lose anyone and I wasn’t ready for marriage so I never considered....”

       “We’re are friends. “ she interrupted impatiently “You won’t lose me. I know you have a duty to return to Paragangia but I’ll go with you, like Sh’harra, or I’ll wait for you like Tersh waiting for Chathalen’s mother. You’re close to Harris but you don’t worry about losing him. He’s your brother, so he can’t be lost. We will be joined together like you and Harris. I will be your family. Like Harris. You weren’t ready because you hadn’t found me yet. You’re ready now because we are together; What else do you need to consider?”

       “Serai…” He blushed again, shyly confessing, his fair skin turning quite red. “I’ve never been with a woman before…”

       “I know you’ve never been married.” Then her eyes grew wide in horrified surprise as she realized what he was suggesting. “Is it true that in America a man must not marry unless he has first defiled himself outside of marriage? What sort of culture is this?” 

      He giggled, not having seen it quite that way.  “It’s the culture I grew up in. The culture I’ll go home to. It does sound wrong when you put it that way, but that’s how it is, Serai. The Mormons on HomeWorld would agree with you, but not my colleagues in Kansas. To commit forever to someone I’ve just barely met, having never been with anyone else would seem ridiculous to them.”

      “Are colleagues in Kansas more important than our family? Does no one in America wait for marriage to make love? Is sex not sacred in America?”

       He smiled softly, reaching out to her. “I should take you to see my Aunt Rae. She would love you. Sure, some people wait. Mormons wait. I waited.”

       She brightened. “You waited for me; Your wait is over.” 

       And my career?  “It’s easier for you, Serai. Girls your age are usually married here. You were married once. This isn’t new to you. But it’s new to me. I’ve never done this. I’m…”

        Tears of frustration filled her eyes again. “Jason, you are just as new to me as I am to you. Sam chose me as his wife so I could care for him while he was dying. He never tried to give me children, never tried to really be my husband.” 

       “You were married, but he never made love to you? Is this the custom in D’zeron? What sort of man was he?” His surprise made the question sound more derogatory than he intended. 

        She reacted accordingly. “Sam was a good man, Jason, from the family of dreamer keepers. Not a perfect man like you, but as good as I could ever expect in D’zeron. I already lived in his home. If I could have healed him, even just enough… if he had given me a child before he died, my child would be a dreamer. I could have been the mother of a dream keeper, or a boy who dreamed, like Chathalen. But he never could. Not like you could. 

        “It is customary for kin of a lost spouse to marry the one left behind and take care of the family. I had just turned 14 when Janna died, and I was her only remaining kin. Someone had to take care of him. Someone had to try to bear his child, to keep alive the linage.” 

      “It was a marriage of convenience, of genetics and caretaking. You never loved him. You were like a servant.” 

      “We all serve our community ad our family Jason. Is that wrong? Convenience does not mean a marriage is without love. Nor does good linage. I loved him, truly wanted shared my life with him and be the mother of his children, but he couldn’t. I believed he would recover. I took care of him, like I took care of my mother, and Janna, like I took care of you. He lingered for months barely alive, too sick to ever really be my husband.” 

       She met his eyes “Not like you. You could have, even unconscious, but D’neira said no. Not until you chose me knowingly. Chathalen believed you wouldn’t live. The fever was getting worse, before we learned that Kitten could help you. I thought you could give me a child. Then even if you died, we would have a child, and you would still always be my husband, the father of my child. But Chathalen talked to D’neira, and they decided I shouldn’t even be allowed to kiss you, or dream with you. They said I had to make you live first, so I did.” 

         Jason tuned away, embarrassed and confused. “You would have raped me, used my body without consent just to have a child? You don’t want me, you want a child who can dream, a child like Chathalen.” 

       “Jason, No!” cried Serai, horrified, kneeling in front of him , where he had turned away. “Jason?” 

        His face between her hands, she tried to bring him to look at her, but he refused.     

        “Jason, I love you. Chathalen was sure he couldn’t save you. I only wanted to keep you. I still wanted to be your wife and have your baby even if you died. It was a way to hold on, not to lose you completely. It wasn’t rape. The part of you that still lived was clearly willing. If I could only have you in your dreams, and delirium, I loved you no less for that. Harris talked to you in dreams. You were lucid there. You told Harris you wanted me. If they let me dream with you, I could have asked you.”

        “Of course I wanted you in dreams,” he replied bitterly “I thought you were a dream sprite created by my own imagination. I had no idea you were a real.”

        “I know. And I’m glad I didn’t try it. But your body was willing. And knowing you had a wife and a child might have help you choose to live. Don’t condemn me for considering my options when I feared with good reason I was losing you completely. How would you have felt in my position, if you thought you were losing me? I could have done it without anyone’s approval but I didn’t, Jason. In the end it was my decision. I knew they were right. I didn’t dream with you, or kiss you, or try to be your wife. I just took care of you. I held you close --like a dying child, not like a husband-- I believed you would live and hoped you’d wake soon. And you did.” 

        She sat close, holding on to him, trying to reach him, but he wouldn’t look at her. He covered his face with his hands. She went on, trying desperately to dispel his discomfort. “I inherited the weaver’s house. I can survive alone but I don’t want to be alone. I need you Jason. Please don’t leave me just because marrying would be convenient.”

        How could I leave you? I would never… He wanted to reassure her, to hold her and give her the kind of love she had never had. To give her the child she wanted. His child. He had never wanted a child but suddenly, strangely, now he did. Her child. Their child. But it was too right to be right. He dropped his hands from his face but still couldn’t bring himself to look at her. “I don’t deserve you, Serai. You are amazing. You are a leader of your village and I am a pathetic little alien boy with a messed up face who doesn’t know who he is anymore.” 

        She leaned towards him, gently ran her fingers down his stitched cheek. “You really don’t know who you are, sweetheart. I will tell you. You are a man who dreams, a hero who fought to protect his brother from a crazed wildcat with a sharpened stick and a boulder. You have scars to prove it. And when you couldn’t honor her life, you asked me to do so as your wife. We shared this honor. We are bound by it. You are my husband.” 

       He started to protest but she put her fingertips over his lips, gently, caressingly. She moved closer, he could feel her breath warm on his face. “I know. You were delirious. You didn’t know. But the people believed. In D’zeron this is who you are. Destiny isn’t something we seek. It is the hunter, and we are the prey. You’re thought to be a prophet like Tersh, because you are his brother. Why don’t you see this?”

       He sat back and pulled her hand away from his mouth but then couldn’t bring himself to let go of it. He looked down at her kneeling before him “Tersh is a prophet? Why do they think this?”

       “Because he is. He sees destiny. Nothing useful, though. Are you a prophet too, Jason?” She wrapped his hand in both of hers, interlacing their fingers, and held it to her lips, very gently, her amber eyes warm and inviting.

      “The only destiny I ever saw was you, and D’zeron.”

      “You are a better prophet than Tersh if you see only the things which matter most.”

      “Are you a prophet, Serai?”

      “No. I’m a weaver of cloth and of the people; of the social fabric. Weavers see the future in a different way. I can’t predict which path people choose, only where a path will lead if they choose it. I see patterns. I see the best path for us all. But each of us must choose. Will you marry me now Jason? Share life with me, give me children, extend our posterity though all generations.” 

        He knew if he agreed it would be more binding than what he unknowingly initiated in his delirium. He wanted her.

       The room around him wavered, like waking from a dream and he withdrew his hand from hers. Tears streamed down his face “I don’t know,” He whispered, fleeing from the room. He lay down on his bed facing the wall. Serai lay down behind him, and held him jsut the way he used to hold Jonathan when they dreamed. Wrapped in the warmth of her arms he cried himself to sleep.


Dream with serai and kittenEdit

            Warm, clear American sunshine falling like the inverse of Kansas sleet, caressing his skin, comforting and familiar. 

     Home. 

     Grass-- prickly beneath his back clinging to his damp skin. 

     The smell of red clover weaving a multi-sensory melody with the songs of the birds and the warm spring breeze evaporating the moisture from his skin, cool and comforting.  

     I have run a long way, only to end up here on this field of spring on a hillside in Kansas where American children will sled when the snow falls. Thoughts swirl as unfocused as the hillside’s hazy green with purple blotches. 

           Where are my glasses? How will I find them? Lucid, he chooses not to act; not to even move. Make the world stop spinning, Jason! He commands himself teasingly, then laughs. 

         Watching clouds move past above, imagining the rotation of the earth, he is a tiny speck on the surface, buried beneath layers of atmosphere which cover him like safe warm blankets. Spinning. Weaving.

         Soft paw pads land hard upon his belly and he curls up gasping for breath aware of nothing but the need to breathe. Let me catch my breath, he commands himself then stands.

       “Kitten! You want to play?” From the pocket of his tan cotton shorts he pulls out a long piece of silky rope, intricately braided of multicolored fibers. He runs, dancing barefoot through the field of flowers, Kitten following behind pouncing at the end of the rope. 

       There is no transition. Instead of  rope there is Serai; she is smiling, laughing, loving, and they run hand in hand through fields of flowers that feel like home in Kansas sunshine with Kitten following, pouncing the trailing hem of Serai’s long rainbow-silk dress. They run to the top of a hill, beyond which the sun is setting. At the crest of the hill they stop short. Kitten catches them, tangling himself in their bare feet and they tumble together to the ground into each other’s arms and tumble back down the hill through the fragrant clover landing dizzy and laughing at the bottom, lying breathlessly together as the evening sky around them darkens. 

         He see nothing but her face, holds her, almost painfully warm and soft in his arms until she is everything, and he does not exist nor does the world around them, ecstatic to be nothing but with her.

        “Jason Scott-Harris,” Her voice calls to him musically –silently—an echo from a different world. “I love you I want you”  She kisses him softly, gently; a kiss almost too light and too brief to perceive yet he is overwhelmed with it, engulfed by it, lost in her intangible kiss, and in her.

         “I love you too Serai.”

         “Why don’t you choose me?” Her absolute sadness, grief, loneliness beyond all depth of loneliness chills him, steals his breath like Kitten pouncing him while he lay lost in the sky. He is drowning in it, overcome by it, suffocating…

     Jason drew a desperate gasping breath, suddenly wide awake at the temple of D’zeron. He turned to face her. Sleepy amber eyes smiled back at him with a look of childlike wonder as she wrapped him in her arms and drew him closer, soothing him. “I’m sorry Jason, I didn’t mean to wake you. I’ve never shared dreams like this before. I’ll be more careful next time. I’ve been unfair to ask so much of you so soon. It’s enough for now that you love me. You don’t have to choose me yet. I’ll wait for you, however long you need. Go back to sleep sweetheart.” 

        He lay wide awake in stunned astonishment for a long time, as she slept peacefully, snuggled up in his arms. She shared my dream, the way I share dreams with Jonathan. We can dream together. 

       When he finally came to terms with this realization, they slept blissfully through the rest of the night wrapped in each other’s arms, and if he dreamed at all it was of sleeping there with her, wrapped in eachother’s arms.


XXXXXXXXXEdit

meeting with village leadersEdit

Meeting with D’neira

        The greenish tint of the soft morning light pouring through the skylight from the orange sky above filled him with joy and wonder now, rather than fear. Chathalen brought him breakfast. 

      “Where’s Serai?”

      “I sent her home. There is no medical reason for her to stay in the temple now. This is not her place. If you want to marry her, you will publicly choose her as your wife at the village meeting today and go home with her.” 

        “What if I don’t marry her?” 

        Chathalen shrugged casually, as if he didn’t care, but Jason sensed a certain tension in his reply. “Stay here until you find another place in the village, but she cannot stay here with you. You will meet with D’neira and the village leaders this morning. We will discuss your position in the village. Then if needed, D’neira will call the village meeting.”

          Jason brightened “Serai will be there?”

          Chathalen smiled, nodded. “She is the weaver. She will attend, but D’neira has no patience for her flirting and may dismiss her early. How long she stays will probably be up to you, Jason.”

         “And Tersh?”

         “My father.” Chathalen seemed to grow sad and tired. “As your closest kinsman he should attend. He’s angry that D’neira called me to be a dream keeper and even more upset that I didn’t refuse. He has his reasons. He’ll tell you in due time. Or he won’t. With Tersh you can never say for sure. He won’t attend the meeting. But Serai is planning to take you to see him later.”

       “where’s Harris?” 

        “ Harris is out playing the children, that’s where he always is when he’s not here with you. Or building something. I’m not sure where he is. it doesn’t matter. He’ll be there.”  

        Chathalen left him alone to eat and to gather his thoughts and dress. The job he agreed to do in exchange for the privilege of coming here: represent Alexandreil and Paragangia to D’neira and D’zeron. However much D’zeron honors me, However much I care more for D’zeron than I do for Paragangia, I still must complete this assignment. I must pay my passage.     ****what did Alex want him todo?/ask him to do?

       He tried to put the previous night and day out of his mind and think of the task at hand. Setting aside the confusion of his personal life to do the job he came for would be somewhat comforting, but it was impossible to keep his heart…let alone his body…from remembering Serai and being thoroughly distracted.

         ***Explain how they all arrive and sit, introductions, how the room is furnished and how distracted Jason is by Serai immediately when she arrives.***

***In attendance as leaders would be D’neira, Serai, Chathalen, the leader of the hunters, and with him the leader of the foragers, who is his daughter, Jordi. She’s about to come of age and will flirt with Jason and tease him, offering to marry him if he does not want to marry Serai. She will make this offer as soon as they are introduced and he will blush bright red and she will laugh in delight and then go on to embarrass him at every opportunity to try to get him to blush. She’s actually sort of vicious, and rude. later when she learns how easy it is to make him cry, that becomes her favorite pastime. But she knows her job and does it well, so she assigns him to work with a boy instead of with herself, after threatening to work with him personally. She will make the assignment in the most intimidating and embarrassing way possible.  Perhaps she will say she can’t work with him because she doesn’t feel safe, thinks he will rape her. and then she warns the boy against the same danger, saying his father was known to have had a male lover he kept with him at all times even after he was married, and since Perry is such a pretty boy, he’s better watch out for Jason, but it’ll be good for him--- Being the prey will make him a better hunter, and Perry, she says, certainly need to learn to fight. Perry will then explain that though he is only 10, he intends to Marry Jordi as soon as she is old enough because she is way too annoying for anyone else to tolerate. And she is going to become a hunter like her father, as soon as she is of age, so he will become the leader of the foragers then, because  [this may not actually happen, though, because I think I have him actually marry Jason’s protégé who is one of Serai’s students. this might anger Jordi and she would cause trouble because of it. ***

***in attendance also would be a woman who is the leader of the people who produce things, [weapons, clothes tools homes] she is in charge of the economy basically, and will encourage Harris to produce things.***Dahrra would attend just to meet them, but having no business with them and little interest in them would excuse himself immediately, saying that anything Jason needs to know about farming he delegates to Serai. She will thank him for this, and flirt with him a little bit. Perhaps she will enter just as he is excusing himself with this.*** 

***They will explain the leadership structure of D’zeron and Harris will explain how very similar it is to the factions of Paragangia. but there is not a spacer faction in D’zeron….the closest thing would be building boats, so he will begin his apprenticship with boat building. [although he is at this point not planning to be there more than another week or two, and would have already met with all these people when he arrived, and worked with them, asking them to teach him their trades and then finding better ways for them to do it] D’zeron would have some wheeled vehicles, I hadn’t really accounted for that before, but there is no reason for them not to have. A person could build one from scratch easily with natural materials, so the tradition would have carried down from the first Terran colonists.

***They explain to D’neira what Alexandreil is (claims to be…actually Alex is just making excuses to try to reconnect with Tark) trying to accomplish through their visit to D’zeron which it to establish open communication so that he can negotiate with D’zeron personally. *****[I need to sort out what Alex’s and Rhonda’s motives are in this, and Thaeron’s, or the people of ESM, and what D’niera would remember of Alex, how much contact he had with the village. [a shy awkward young man who shadowed Jonathan everywhere he went on his first visit, and did not return when Jonathan returned]

      D’neira agrees to allow them to remain in D’zeron as long as they like, but while they are there they have to fully participate in the community and obey the customs, which Serai and Chathalen agree to help teach them.

    She also agrees to consider their request to allow someone from the Marion Jay to pick Harris up in a space taxi, since he came only to save Jason. She realized that he is fitting in very well already and is not likely to actually need this, so she freely agrees to consider it. 

They then discuss what Jason and Harris will be doing in the village while they are there. 

***Questions of destiny, such as who you will marry, are forbidden to speak of in the village, but in the temple, exemptions are made, so people come to the healers or the matriarch when they really need to talk of such things. Thus it is ok in this meeting to discuss these things.***This will be interesting from an LDS perspective, because the temple is a place of healing,  a place of learning, a place where people are joined together into families. ****  

They discuss whether Harris will agree to marry in the village, He explains his commitment to DaraJeen, and plans to return home soon. They agree he will not have marry but require that he be adopted into a family for the time he is there so he will have a kinship place in the village. They discuss Tesh in this context, and decide that because he is considered Jason’s brother he will be also considered kin to Tersh and Chathalen. {this would have been decided at an earlier meeting for Harris’s benefit, but would be repeated here for Jason]

They discuss Jason’s marriage to Serai. D’neira forbids her to flirt with him or to sit by him or to visit him in anyway unless they have business together until he has made a definite decision to marry her, or not. Jason is grateful to be given time to decide,because he knows he can’t think clearly when he is around her, but is devastated to be kept away from her because he desperately wants to be with her all the time, even though he’s not sure about marriage.

D’neira does agree, though, that Serai should be the one to take Jason and Harris to visit Tersh, because she is one of the few people Tersh will tolerate a visit from. Jason is very grateful for that chance to spend time with her, even though she has been ordered not to flirt with him (so that journey will be fraught with sexual tension)

They assign him to foraging because it is the beginning level of hunting, and he is considered a hunter (The hunters Guild claims ownership over him and will not concede him to anyone else, even though his wife is of another guild. Serai attempts to claim him as a weaver, because he will live in her house and will therefore will work with her animals and students. This claim is rejected because he has not yet agreed to marry her. Serai is annoyed at this because the hunters were the ones who insisted on the marriage to begin with.

****before they turn to matters of dreaming, the other village leaders are dismissed. Serai appeals to be allowed to remain because she can dream, though it is not her position, but now that she has Jason, it is of significance to her. ****

D’neira. “This matter does not much concern you as weaver Serai, it is not about the relationships between the people of the village but about the village’s relationship to the rest of the galaxy. There’s no need for your attendance, you may go home and attend your students and chores. (which were neglected the forgoing week and a half or so due to her attentions to Jason.)

“This business involves my husband, so it involves me also. I should participate to know of the choices which are made”

“He has not yet chosen you” D’neira protests

Harris and Chathalen insist that she should stay though D’neira is reluctant and Jason ambivalent, desperately wanting to be near her but knowing her presence will make his task much more difficult.

She wants to sit by Jason, D’neira sees how distracted Jason is and commands her to sit not by Jason, but by D’neira, warning her irritably That she must not distract him if she wishes to remain in the meeting.

(I need to sort out when and why they would now talk of these things*****

*** Harris explains about Spacer dreaming. (later, only to the dreamers)***

Harris explains the Spacer’s dream bonding, as he explained it to Jason, and what the Paragangians are trying to do with the dreamstone.[which I need to figure out before I write this part]

         “The temple is made of dream stone” Harris observed to Jason “and the Pillars which surround the city made of it also,”

          “Jonathan showed me the pillars, and told me some of their associated mythology. they are said to protect those who sleep within their circle from dream creatures”

        “across the river there’s also an unusual structure of no known use which they call the well of morning.” 

       “Jonathan showed me that also. I’d like to see it for myself. Jonathan said children use it to practice climbing”

         Chathalen suggests he ask Perry to take him there to assess his climbing skills when he begins his training as a forager.

“We don’t know how the temple was made” Explained D’neira “or from what. Like the Well of Morning, it’s been here longer than anything else, as if it were always here. We consider it to have been built by the Ancients” [clearify the history]

“who are the Anchients?” asked Jason  “ do they live in the ancient forest, with Tark? I assume Harris told you about my dream.” 

Harris touched the stone wall reverently, excited. “it’s definitely dream stone. This is what I was telling you about, Jason, this is the stuff Alexandrial believes we can use to create a dream field in space to link us to the planet, so we can be with our families in our dreams even when we’re out in space. I can feel the power of it. Don’t you feel it, Jason?”

 “Fascinating” said D’neira coldly, “The material you seek permission to mine is the same material our temple is built of. I would like to learn more of this, later.” 

Harris met her eyes “I’m not a miner, Matriarch D’neira. I’m a ship community navigator. It won’t even benefit me; the woman I love is Terran, and only dreams alone. My family live aboard the Marrion Jay. But I do enjoy dreaming, and I think your temple and the materials it is built of, as well as the technologies of it’s construction are quite amazing. I’m sorry you find offense in this but I’m quite honored to have the privilege to sleep within the walls of this temple of dreaming.”

D’neira wasn’t sure whether she should thank him or apologize, so she did neither.

Jason explains about his methods of dream travel. And when he begins to explain the wind, D’neira sees the nervousness in Chathalen’s face, and his sudden lack of questions. ****the forgoing bit should be dialogue, not summary****

         She turns to him, asking sharply “You already know of this don’t you Chathalen?” 

          No reply. 

          “Tersh taught you to do this, he learned it from his father. Now you can’t do it because of your authority. You kept this secret to protect him.” 

          He looked down, guilty and sad; missing his father and sorry to have had to deceive D’neira, who had always been kind to him. D’neira crossed the room and sat next to him, hugged him as if comforting a small child. “That’s why he’s angry, isn’t it, sweetheart? You didn’t lose only Allissa that night, you lost your father also.” When he lifted his eyes they were veined with grey. Serai sat down on the other side of him, taking his hand. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, I’ll talk to Tersh for you, and make everything okay.” She moved to stroke his face with her hand.

      He pushes her away angrily “Leave me alone Serai! You have Jason now, stop bothering everyone else.” But his eyes had returned to their usual darkness.

         She grinned flowing obediently away from Chathalen to sit very close holding Jason’s arm, whispering in his ear  “Chathalen hates when I flirt with him. It make him angry, so it takes his mind off his troubles.” they smiled together at her friendly deviousness and her soft warmth beside him felt comforting and natural, as if she were a part of him. He wrapped his hand around her fingers on his arm, and she leaned her head on his shoulder. He felt complete with her. 

D’neira gives her a warning glare wondering again whether allowing  Serai to remain at this meeting had not been wise. Though she had great respect for her skills as a weaver, The matriarch never had much patience for this girl’s flirting. Serai sat up and withdrew from him slightly, but Jason, oblivious to that exchange, still held her hand, so she didn’t pull away completely 

D’neira considered this. “I suppose anything that does not require entry though the portal cannot be forbidden. How could I presume to rule a place I have never entered? 

         Chathalen grinned “Tersh’s dream walking will be legal now?  I can walk with him, and not break my vows?” 

          D’neira smiled back “Yes, Chathalen, you can walk the dream wind with your father” 

          He hugged her “Thank you D’neira”

         “Can I too then, D’neira?” asked Serai, her voice breaking with excitement “I never cared much about dreaming, but with Jason it will be fun.” 

          Jason smiled back at her, drifting away into her eyes and D’neira scowled angrily, almost yelling. “Serai we are here to discuss serious matters. I asked you not to flirt with Jason, yet you have done nothing else.”

         “Not true” Serai pouted theatrically “I flirted with Chathalen also. And D’harra. And Perry, although that was just to annoy Jordi. Besides, how can you say this is not a serious matter? Families more important than anything. The village is looking forward to our marriage and it certainly effects all your serious matters.” 

          “I agree. But your efforts to convince him have become counter-productive. You have done all you can to help him choose. Let him decide now. Show him clearly what his choices are. Come sit over here, Serai” the Matriarch ordered.

        Jason reluctantly and apologetically let go of her so she could return to her designated place by D’neira. She trailed her fingers lovingly up his back as she rose, sending shivers down it. yet as much as he hated to be parted from her, what D’neira said was true. He needed to be allowed decide for himself. He rose. “I’d like to speak with Serai privately for a moment, D’neira.”

      “Is that wise?”

      “Yes. Trust me.”  

       She considered the young anthropologist thoughtfully. Though the stitches on his face  still testified to the traumas he had endured, he seemed to be recovering well now.  “You’re not the one I don’t trust” she said, giving the girl a warning glare as Jason led her out of the room.

         In cool quiet darkness of the temple hallway, Jason turned to face Serai. Touching her reverently he looked up into her eyes. He had never stood this close beside her. After 3 months among Paragangians, all Terran people seemed refreshingly short. Serai was only about 6 inches taller than him. It didn’t matter. She obviously didn’t mind, and She was beautiful, and warm, and understanding and he wanted her in ways he had never expected to ever want anyone or anything, as well as in the more expected ways.

        Part of him wanted---Really wanted---to make love with her right then right there in the cool dark hallway without considering the consequences, while their friends went on talking about dream travel not more than 10 feet away. He saw the same passion reflected in her eyes, as she wrapped her arms around him and drew his body close. He was quite certain she would not refuse him if he made that suggestion. He wanted to just dissolve into her, become one with her, abandon himself to passion with out considering right or wrong or duty or customs

         He also knew that would be ridiculous and inappropriate and he wouldn’t take that path no matter how much he wanted to.

         He really did want to though.

         Taking a deep breath, he drew himself away from the warmth of her embrace just slightly, pushed his desire away, amazed that anything could enter his mind with such force, amazed that he was seriously entertaining such thoughts, especially with an alien woman he had really only met the day before. He felt as if they had always been together. As if she really was already his wife. D’zeron thought so, and his feelings wanted to just go along with them. bu not his thinking mind. Dragging himself back to sanity, to rational behavior; pushing all his feelings back down where they had always hidden, he spoke.

        “You’re the sweetest most wonderful woman I have ever met, Serai. By far the most attractive. I want you. I have never wanted anyone as much as I want you, as much as I know you want me. Stop trying to seduce me. I truly have not come here just to marry you, I have come here to speak with D’neira on behalf of the Paragangian government. This is my duty, this is my job. If not for this, I would not have been able to come here and we would never have met. before I am free just to be with you.I have to honor this promise. I very much enjoy your flirting but you know how much it annoys D’neira and makes it hard for me to think of anything but you. I know you can chose to control yourself.”

          “I can. But why should I?”

          He wondered if it was any easier for her than for himself. He never understood before how difficult to control passion really was. “I know it’s been hard for you, Serai. I know how long you waited for me, and I haven’t made it easy by being sick so long and then afraid to choose. But I still have to do this. I should ask you to leave, so I can do what I need to do.” her eyes and his heart pleaded desperately against this thought “But I want you to stay. I want to be with you. Knowing you are there makes me whole. please stay. But I need you to pretend you don’t want me, or something. Please? Stop trying to control everyone else, Serai, just for a little while, and just control yourself.  ***add some weaving metephor here to the effect of sometimes you have to back off and let the pattern form itself*** Let us finish our discussion without interruptions, sweetheart, I promise I’ll make it up to you.” 

          She looked into his eyes, into his soul, assessing his sincerity. She saw longing there, a desperate hunger for her in spite of his previously expressed fears, and his present rejection. Satisfied, she leaned down and kissed him lovingly, and he returned her kiss with equal passion. She pulled away. He let her go very reluctuantly. She was content with this.

         “Will you chose me as your wife today at the village meeting, Jason?” 

         “We’ll talk about it later. The longer this meeting takes, the long you’ll have to wait.” 

          He still isn’t sure of me. Still holding back. why?  She looked disappointed, and he whispered “I’ve missed you. I want to be with you. But I came to D’zeron for a purpose.”

          “To find your butterfly girl”

          “No, Serai. I was brought here by Alexandreil Teppin, the king of Paragangaia to convince D’neira to agree to talk to him again. I must do my job. If it weren’t for him, I would never have been able to come here, and I would have never found my butterfly girl. I owe him that.” 

***write new ending….he sends her away until it is time for her to take them to see Tersh? that would be in the evening before the meeting. **** 

            



***** and for Jason, climbing clothes, defining him within the culture as a forager like Allissa, so he will then be expected to take on that role while he is there, and Chathalen will perhaps be expected to train him, but he will also be assigned to some young D’zeron child who is the current lead forager now that Allissa is gone. the child will be a boy, and not a dreamer, and will be very interested in things from other planets, but not in dreams, and will show Jason the non- dreaming side of D’zeron culture. ****

After Serai agrees not to flirt, they return to the temple. they talk about how long Harris 

and Jason are going to stay, what they each understand of the intentions of Alexandreil and the Paragangians, about the possibility of having the Marrion Jay (or it’s taxi ship) come to pick up Harris and take him back to the Marrion Jay. They agree that Jason will stay at least through the winter, but Harris will go back as soon as possible. Since Jason is staying he will take his place in the village as a forager, since he does not want to be a hunter and has the climbing skills he needs to forage, and the village has need of this because of Allissa’s departure. the villagers consider him a hunter, but they are content with his choice to forage since this is where young hunters begin as children. Chathalen will introduce him to other foragers who will teach him. Perry is anxious to take on this task. Perry might eventually become D’zeron’s representative in the new Paragangia. H also might refuse to leave home because his village needs him. Perry can dream, and knows it but chooses not to because he does not want to go into training. Jason will train him secretly.

All Alexandreil has really explained to Jason is that Alexandreil wants to create a friendly alliance between D’zeron and Paragangian for the purpose of obtaining materials available only on Kaar-Taal with the intention of building a communication system whereby community ships in motion can communicate with their loved ones in other parts of the Empire. He does understand that the material needed is obtained from the ancheint forrest, and that Alexandreil eventually plans to go there with a different expedition, but this journey is only to establish a friendly relationship with D’zeron, or at least diplomatic communications. 

Rhonda would have another adjenda. for her people, she wants Paragangia to have a more open relationship with Terran 8 because her home planet is there, and the communication system also interests her, because she believes it will increase travel to Terran 8. her main reason for being on this mission, though is that she needs to return to her home planet so she can plot the takeover of Paragangia, and the medical crisis will take them there. 

She does this in Alexandreil’s name, but without his consent. 

there is one part of Alexandreil’s mind she cannot access or control, and that is the part which love’s Jonathan and Tark. Alexandreil will have little memory of the time he was being controlled…sort of like when a memory implant is removed…most of the actions he did under her power he has little memory of. Killing Desmond he remembers, because he had contemplated it vengefully before it was done. the plan was his, the skills what he had learned from Jonathan, but she was the one who chose to carry out the plans. 

AM meeting when Jason is introduced to the village--oldEdit

54 the town meeting to introduce Jason to the village.

***circumstances have changed, need updating***

this meeting will be held after the leadership meeting and before the visit to Tersh to clearify Jason’s standing in the village. 

Jason is introduced to the village in his capacity as the representative of Alexandreil and as a forager?   He is officially forgiven for antagonizing the wildcats and the dream creatures, etc.

the village greets him as the husband of Serai, realizing this is his only real identity in the village sends him to tears again, D’neira will sense that Jason is not ready to commit to Serai and realize how much more of a legend he will become if he marries her in the meeting. 

in order to save him from this legendary status, she forbids them to marry at the meeting unless they can pass some strange test to prove they are ready which they cannot pass. 

***she orders them to sleep separately, because they are not married, because Jason  Is not ready to publicly declare himself to be the husband of Serai.

.Harris might know Serai is a Shaman and encourage D’neira to do this to see if Serai will transport to Jason, because Harris might know what such conditions could produce teleportation if she has the capacity for it. (thus add a conversation between the two of them before this point)

and anyhow, by the next morning they will be married, everyone knows this, and have prepared a festival to celebrate the next day. (becoming dreamkeepers is an added suprize for the village though)

He will publicaly decline to marry Serai at that time but agree to marry her soon?

***other version:

The first night after Jason regains consciousness, Serai makes him dinner and they dream together. The next day he meets with all the village leaders at the temple, he is ntroduced to the village and forgiven for antagonizing wildcats, and honored for killing the wildcat in defense of harris, and appointed as a forager. He is then faced with the reality that his primary identity in the village is already “Serai’s husband” –not Jason, or the little pale guy, or the friend of Harris-the story-teller or the anthropologist or the alien or even the brother of Tersh. ****write those parts****

       This realization makes him cry (of course) and he is unable to declare himself as the person they consider him to be in the village, so D’neira (with Serai’s agreement, Serai is deeply concerned that he is so upset) declares that his place in the village will instead be declared the next day, at which the villagers are all very excited, because they know this means they can make a big celebration of it. 

Serai takes him to meet Tersh, and to her house to meet her students. 

Jason is then sent home to his room in the temple. He spends a few hours there alone just playing his guitar and thinking things through. When Chathalen comes in later he asks about Serai, and is told that D’neira sent her home, saying it was not appropriate for her to sleep with him in the temple when they are not married and he does not need her caretaking. ***write this part***

meeting Tersh Edit

Needs major corrections. meeting now not scheduled until morning. 

*** add a paragraph of Jason walking through D’zeron, being greeted by many people, congratulated on his marriage to Serai, told they are looking forward to the ceremony that evening. this is all very trying for him, but he deals with it. Serai is aware of his discomfort and tries to minimize his contact with villagers as they travel to see Tersh, so they take the long way, around the edge of town partly through the forest. Harris has already bet and become friends with just about all of the town, and been introduced in a town meeting so everyone knows him and loves him even if he hasn’t met them personally. 

          Tersh was waiting for them in front of his cabin, calling out cheerfully from a distance.  “Serai Nice to see you honey, you’ve brought me visitors from other worlds, do they please you?” 

          “We’re in luck, he’s in a good mood today” She whispered to them, then danced ahead to him, smiling brightly. “Oh yes Old man, They please me very much and I should think they will please you also. They have told D’neira about your wind walking, and she declared it as legal as any private dream of the earthbound. You may play with Chathalen again now, isn’t that good news, old man?” 

        Tersh looked startled and annoyed “I have no secrets now. my only place of solitude welcomes the whole world, and you say I should be grateful for this. How do you know about my wind walking, butterfly girl?” 

        She laughed, and put her arms around his shoulders from behind him holding her face very close to his. “You silly boy, Tersh. I was there when they told D’neira. It was fairly boring, actually.” She pouted, stroking the old man’s cheek, “and this young man here” she pointed to Jason “forbids me from flirting with him for the whole rest of the day. Can I flirt with you then, old man?” 

        “No! get off of me. your flitting time is over” He shoved her away roughly, holding a hand out to Jason, smiling as she gracefully stepped away in defiance of his attempted violence.

        “I’m Jason Scott-Harris from planet Earth, this is my friend Harris Jenzar of the Marrion Jay” the young anthropologist explained hastily, shaking the hand of his stepbrother. “I’m a friend of your father, Derreck Landon. He is eager for news of you. He’ll be very please to learn you are doing well.” 

         The old man scowled “Derreck Landon, the alien invader, and you come here claming him as a friend. The father I never had and you call him your father. Your friend calls him a traitor. I think I’ll side with Paragan on this one. He shook Jason’s hand warmly at first, then pulled away in a sudden, dismissive way, turning back to Serai “Who says I am doing well? My only son has abandoned me and so has my princess. My brother is still missing.” he turned back to Jason “What’s so good in the news you bring, son of Desmond?” 

        Jason grinned at him, immediately fascinated. Certainly the prophet of obscure and irrelevant information that Serai claimed him to be. Also as harsh and irrational as the villagers thought, and though his hair and completion and physique were typical of a D’zeron man, his eyes were just like Derreck’s.  Somehow that all come together to leave Jason feeling he was the most interesting person he’d ever met, other than Serai and Harris.  “Your son has permission to walk the wind with you, I am your brother and I will walk the wind with you, and I have spoken to your brother Tark. Surely that counts for something good?”

        Tersh turned back to Serai “Yeah, he’s good honey, you could do a lot worse. Go for it. Thanks for bringing him out to get my approval.” Jason suddenly had distinct impression that Tersh sincerely believed the real reason for their visit was for Serai to seek Tersh’s permission to marry him. He stood confused, unsure what to think or feel, until and Tersh went on, looking him steadily in the eyes, with kind dark eyes like Derreck’s which seemed to see through him. “See you on the wind tonight, little bother. I’ll take you all to see my little princess” Then he looked at Harris, whom he hadn’t even seemed to notice before. Tonelessly, his face expressionless he said,  “Nice to meet you too, young Jedi, the course you have chosen will be much longer than you yet imagine.  May the force be with you” and disappeared into the cabin slamming the door behind him, leaving his visitors staring after him in stunned silence. Chathalen orders him to rest when he returns to the temple and sends Serai home. (she needs to take care of animals, anyhow, and Chathalen will not let Jason go with her.)

here maybe they talk with Chathalen about Allissa, and talk with Jason about still not being sure about his marriage. 

x

after this they return to the temple, and make plans for the evening. Jason is still ill and is very tired from walking around town during the day. 

Rejoining D‘neira and Chathalen at the temple they tell of their visit with Tersh “he said he would see us on the wind tonight, and take us to see Allissa” 

“He’s seen Allissa?” Chathalen was very excited to hear this “Where is she, is she ok?”

“He didn’t say, only that he would take us to meet her”

Chathalen was suddenly very sad again “I can’t go.”

“There is no need for you to go Chathalen; you already know how to walk the dream wind, right? And with unrest among the dreambound someone should to remain here to guard the portal.

“True” Chathalen agreed, looking very disappointed.



xx space to add moreEdit

 




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