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moment, it was as if his own body were pulsing with the creation of selyn
rising right out of the nucleus of each cell in his body, and for Im'ran it
was as if his own need had been relieved at long last. Neither knew or cared
who was controlling now.
At the very apex, an alarm rang in the back of Digen's consciousness. He
terminated the transfer then, a bare one per cent short of repletion. Not
quite perfect this time, but he now had a four-plus Donor, and Im'ran's
capacity would grow. At the next transfer they would have the dependency
whipped, and it would be perfect. He could wait now. Knowing that, he could
wait.
He came out of hyperconsciousness to feel Im'ran relinquish the lip contact,
letting Digen's systems begin the slow decline into need again as he
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dismantled the lateral contacts.
Then, without warning, Im'ran pitched forward, unconscious. Digen moved with
Sime swiftness to catch him. /burned him! I could have killed him ! That shock
revived him enough to stagger to his feet. He found two glasses with liberal
doses of fosebine already measured. He had to' cling to the sink, dizzy with
the recovery transients coursing through him. Somehow he got the water into
the glasses, and after what seemed like years he reeled back to the lounge
where Im'ran lay draped over the edge and struggling feebly to get to his feet
to help Digen.
Digen propped the Gen up and made him swallow again and again. The fanir's
strong, steady nager was weak enough to frighten Digen. He heard himself
whispering, in a wild mixture of English and Simelan, "Im', you-^you don't
dare die on me, not now!" He shook the Gen. "Im", listen to me, we made it!
You did it! We did it!"
Im'ran came to a focus on Digen, reached to take the glass from Digen's
tentacles, cupping them all between his fingers. He sat up shakily and gulped
down the potion without even making a sour face. "I'm all right, Digen.
Nothing to worry about, honest. I've had worse just practicing outfunctions.
What about you? Did I hurt you?"
Digen, seeing Im'ran's field strength and coordination return, slumped. From
somewhere came an unaccustomed prayer:Dear God, thank you. Thank you . And, to
his own shame, he knew it wasn't all relief that Im'ran was safe, but
something more selfish, more personal.
It's over, the waiting, the aborts, the chronic cellular starvation, the
whole Donor shortage for me is over. With Im'ran every third or fourth month,
Digen knew, he could survive, he could do anything he had to, even
surgery.It's over. I'm going to be all right .
Deep inside, a wall crumbled. He let the tears come, shameless before Im'ran,
surprised that it had held off this long. Ordinarily, the moment transfer was
completed, all the emotions that were blocked off during need surged back,
leaving the Sime highly unstable for hours, sometimes for days. Digen gave
himself up to it, knowing that this emotional upsurge was part of the
channel's stock in trade, that he had to experience it fully in order to
produce it in the Simes he treated. And it had been so long, so very long,
since he could savor this to the full. He was only dimly aware of Im'ran
leaving him, of the shower running in the other room, of Im'ran coming back in
a fresh coverall. The Gen sat by him for some moments, and finally, when Digen
showed no signs of calming, he reached out to touch his arm.
"Digen. Don't talk, just try to listen to me. I don't have much time, and
there's no easy way to say this. I wish oh, God, I wish I didn't have to do
this to you!"
Digen didn't want to hear, didn't want to do anything but abandon himself to
the luxury of posttransfer syndrome. The real thing, this time, after so many
months of stunted reflexes and incomplete reactions.
But Im'ran instead of encouraging the catharsis kept on talking in that
neutral, therapist's tone, which Digen began to hate. "I have to tell you now,
Hajene Farris, exactly what's been bothering me all day. But I want you to
understand first that I had to keep it from you or it would have ruined the
transfer."
Digen let go of his tenuous hold on the postsyndrome and sat up slowly. "What
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are you talking about?"
The cool therapist melted before his eyes. "Digen, you're going to hate me
worse than you hate Hajene Hayashi. I don't know how I'll live with that."
Digen frowned, reaching for Im'ran's hands, the ronaplin still active on the
Gen's skin, giving him deep contact. Im'ran slid his fingers up Digen's arms,
savoring the contact, and then, as if relinquishing forever something
infinitely precious, he slid away and stood.
"Digen, this morning I found some doctor from the hospital in Mickland's
office. With a three-Gen escort, no less. He told Mickland you had examined
that little girl they operated on before the surgery& that you knew she was in
changeover and anyhow you left her to be cut open. Is that true, Digen?"
"Yes. It's true. She would have died in changeover, Im'."
"Then there's nothing we can do," said Im'ran bleakly. "The law is very
specific. The minute you know a child is in changeover, it is your duty to
have them brought in-Territory. That's Tecton law, and it's binding on you
even when you're out-Territory. There's no way to contest Mickland's
reprimand. I knew there wouldn't be."
"Reprimand?"
Im'ran handed Digen a yellow card. "This was in your box this morning, with
your mail. By controller's edict, your special transfer privileges have been
withdrawn, including your extra month on my therapy list. Since I'm not
required here now to treat you, they're sending me to the islands. I I
can't even sit out this postreaction with you. I have a train to catch, right
now."
He backed toward the door a pace or two, but his attention was wholly on
Digen, waiting for the concepts to sink in and register.
Digen rose, blankly, stunned, and then shook his head in disbelief. "No& no!
Mickland can't do this. Nobody can." Backing away from Im'ran as if to block
his rising hysteria, he said, "You're sensing fields now, you're a qualified
four-plus. There are maybe three others in the world who can do what you've
learned to do today! One in a thousand a hundred thousand one in a million! I
did it, I did that, and now they have no right You're mine,God damn it all ,
mine!"
In that colorless, neutral tone, Im'ran said, "I'm sorry, Digen." But the
mask slipped and his nager shattered on the last syllable. He turned away,
face twisted in unformed sobs. He made for the door, but Digen seized him by
the shoulders and spun him around. "You lied to me. You deliberately lied to
me."
"No, Digen. I helped you lie to yourself, that's all. It had to be that way. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]