ATTUNGA

Date 23 October 2012.
Author Iarwain iarwain@aanet.com.au
Subject Attunga Part 3.

The author retains copyright (2012) to this story. Reproducing this story for distribution without the author's permission is a violation of that copyright.
This story is fiction.

Thank you Nifty for the opportunity to post this story.

This story is part of the TALES OF THE TERRAN DIASPORA.
Wirrin shares his life with two friends on one of the great space habitats.

PART 3.



"Make yourself comfortable boys. It's great to see you again."

Their mentor's name was Warrigal and he had his usual friendly and welcoming manner. They all liked and respected him, and as far as Wirrin was concerned he was the best person he knew. According to the open databanks he'd been a citizen of Attunga ever since it was built fifty-five years ago and taken on his mentor role the year before they'd been born.

"You're bursting with curiosity so let's get down to business. I've been watching your talk with Flute and I must say I envy you. Calen, you're the reason for this get-together as the dolphinarium people want to see you again. Flute has made a request for you to work with her pod."

Wirrin felt his hair stand on end. Calen would be out of his mind with excitement. Every evening for the last few weeks the dolphin adventure had been one of the main topics of discussion and he'd immersed himself in dolphin research. The display wall in his cubicle had been changed from the African wilderness area on earth to a dolphin experience. Yes, he had his stunned look.

"Me? Flute requested me?"

"She certainly did and it's created a turmoil. Evidently the association the dolphins want requires that you live at the dolphinarium for constant access."

Oh no! Calen's disappointment radiated like a black fog.

"But I can't. I'm not eligible to leave home sector for another three years."

"Yes you can. I can arrange for you to be there tomorrow if you like."

"But..."

The three friends stared at each other in shock.

"And Wirrin and Thom can go with you."

Warrigal was smiling.

"It's extraordinarily sudden isn't it? Like a bolt from the blue. ...That's an old earth saying, expressing the unexpectedness of a lightning bolt coming from a clear blue sky. I used to watch lightning before I left Earth. Its an inspiring experience."

Warrigal's smile grew even bigger.

"I'm not waffling. You needed a moment to take in what I just said. We've talked about your plans to register as a trio and I wouldn't be much of a mentor if I couldn't help you make it happen."

Wirrin needed another take in moment. He was still agog with the idea of a move to the dolphinarium, and now Warrigal was talking positively about their trio plans.

"Every time we talked about it you said it would be difficult?"

"And normally it is, but you've got recommendations that even a primary AI or a Witness wouldn't question. My own view is that you should experience trio life for a year or two in a shared living space before registering formally, so I've dicussed with the dolphinarium and made that one of the conditions if you decide to go."

The lightning bolts weren't coming from the blue. They were coming from Warrigal.

"A shared living space? That can't be possible. What's going on Warrigal?"

The current living space entitlement for Attunga citizens was 600 cubic meters, but couldn't be claimed till the completion of first level Skilling and Education. For Wirrin, Calen and Thom that was more than two years away.

"It is extraordinary, but it's what the dolphins want. After meeting and speaking with you it seems they've decided you're already a trio and hence mustn't be separated."

There was a short silence then Calen's face lit up as he looked at Thom and Wirrin.

"That's why they asked asked all those questions about how we love each other. They must think we're like a dolphin pod."

He turned to Warrigal.

"They asked us really personal things and if we wanted to have children, and when we said yes they wanted to know how it would happen."

"Yes, I watched your meeting and your talk. It was an eye-opener."

"You watched?"

"Of course I did Wirrin. I'm responsible for you."

"What sort of things do the dolphins want me to do?"

"I understand it's something about the new baby. You'll find out more if you decide to go to the dolphinarium."

"What about EdCom, and our studies?"

"That's irrelevant Wirrin, and you know it. Attunga looks after you where ever you are."

"We wouldn't know anyone."

"You soon would, and besides you already do know Gelar and Flute."

The unusualness of the statement set them all smiling.

"And not many people can say they know a dolphin."

Thom suddenly gave Calen a big hug.

"You and your animals. What have you gotten us into?"

They looked to Wirrin who nodded and, wondering why they always left the final decision to him, jumped to join the hug. Warrigal watched and waited till they separated and gave him their attention again.

"Well, that was certainly unanimous, but you haven't even met with the dolphin people yet. You should know what they say before you make any final decision."

"They'd have to say something very bad to keep us away, after all the things you've told us."

"They won't."

Warrigal keyed his holo display and Gelar appeared. With a twinkle in his eye he did the slow wave dolphin greeting and laughed when it was returned. "Wonderful. We'll meet with Flute and Puck this afternoon, then I'll take you to your temporary living space. Honored one, the dolphins send you their thanks."

Warrigal nodded then made the slow wave just before Gelar's image dissolved. Honored one? That was the term reserved for a Witness. Wirrin stared.

"Not yet Wirrin. I'm still a mentor for another five years. I have started early training though and Gelar was acknowledging that. Now, let's set some arrangements in motion so your big move runs smoothly."

Wirrin had a sudden thought.

"Warrigal, who will look after us? I mean if it's a new sector do we have a different mentor? He wouldn't know us like you do."

"No, you're stuck with me ...and we have a great deal to discuss. This change might be focused on Calen but it has major implications for all of you."

***

Wirrin wriggled happily between Calen and Thom. After a long talk with Warrigal they'd gone to Wirrin's cubicle to wait for over an hour before setting out for sector 1-1-3, and their excitement had bubbled first into a tussle on his sleeping field and then into intimacy.

"They really worked hard to make sure we'd move didn't they?"

"I know. Mentor was keen too. I couldn't believe it when he said he'd arranged a living space."

"Gelar said it would be a temporary one."

"Well it has to be. We can't have our own if the planning AI doesn't know what to build. What do we want Thom? We haven't even thought about it."

"I have, but not seriously. A full shared space for three people is the same as twelve of our cubicles."

"Twelve? That's enormous. What will we do with it all?"

"A proper display wall instead of the little ones we've got now."

The cubicle display walls were a standard two meter by four meter fitting.

"We could have a space to grow natural food."

"And a big information center for your projects Wirrin."

"And a triple size sleeping field with grav controls."

Wirrin turned towards Calen and poked him in the stomach.

"What do you want dreamy?"

"What do I want what?"

"In our home, brainless. Aren't you even listening?"

"I'm thinking about the baby dolphin."

Wirrin gave Calen another poke and started thinking himself. If they were seeing Puck they must be seeing the baby too, as there was no way they'd be separated at this early stage of his life.

"I wonder if they've given him a name?"

"Who? The humans or the dolphins?"

"Do the dolphins have their own names as well as human names?"

"...I don't know."

"What? All that research for the last two weeks and you don't know?"

"I can't know everything."

Wirrin gave him a few tickles till he smiled.

"It's a bit scary."

"No it's not."

"Yes it is."

"No it's not."

"Yes it is."

That set them all laughing, exactly as Wirrin intended. It was quite scary really, as if forces they didn't understand had reached in and guided their lives - the dolphins wanting them moved from their home sector, Mentor changing the rules about living space and trios, and even, from what Mentor said in their talk, having the city AI's take a high interest.

"Gelar's not scary and neither is Flute. You'll know a lot more by the end of the day. Hey, let's go now."

"We'll be an hour early."

"It doesn't matter. That's good."

"Will we play the portal game?"

"No Thom. We're together today."

***

END OF PART 3.
I hope you've gained some enjoyment from this story.
Any comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.
My email address is iarwain@aanet.com.au
Alternative address, iarwain7@ains.net.au
Should you be interested, my other stories can be found by looking under 'Iarwain' in the authors section on Nifty.
Iarwain.