Inflicting Change

To Sky’s request to this call for Addergoole prompts.

Between Years 19 and 20 of the Addergoole School

Luke’s voice still wasn’t up to par, but he had gone to the wedding, of course. His Student had invited him – and she and Hayden deserved this, more than Luke had words for, even when his voice was properly working.

When he came back, Mike was waiting for him. “I’ve been thinking.”

It had been the years for it. Regine had been meddling more than normal; she had pushed them to meddle more than normal. What had resulted was a cluster fuck that, if they were lucky, the students affected would eventually forgive them for.

“Me, too. I’ve got an idea.”

They didn’t need much more conversation than that; they had known each other for quite a while. A few more words, a plan, and then it was Mike (who still had a voice, who had not been shouting at Regine until he was hoarse) who presented it.

“You need Students.”

“I have had Students in the past.” Regine’s normally-calm-and-collected voice and still body posture did not change much, but there was a tilt in her head and a minute quaver in her voice.

“You had one Student, Regine. We mean a full cy’ree – at least four students – every year.”

“This will take time from my other projects.”

“This school is your project.” Mike’s voice rose up a little louder, a littler firmer. Luke watched with interest. It hadn’t been the Daeva doing the shouting – but he had a feeling he’d missed some things along the way.

He’d missed a lot, this year; he’d gotten enmeshed in one Student’s concerns.

He coughed, and tried for a quiet voice, because nothing louder was going to work anyway. “You need Students because you’re too far from the problems. You need to be emotionally invested.” He sounded like Maria. Well, there were worse people to sound like.

“I do not become emotionally invested. It is part of my strength.”

Mike fielded that one. “It’s become the school’s weakness, Regine. You focus on the theoretical and ignore the human.”

“We are none of us human.” Her voice was beginning to have inflection, and Mike’s was losing it.

“And that, Regine, is the problem in a nutshell. Students. A real cy’ree, four or more. Every year.”

“And if I do not?”

They had been expecting this. Neither of them answered. A heartbeat passed. Another. Another.

“Very well.” Regret and something that Luke could not identify tinged her voice. “Four or more Students. Every year, beginning this September.”

It was only a beginning, but it was that, at least.

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