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Hiatus Fic One: Twin Problems


October 13, 2013 by Lyn

To Rix-Scaedu’s prompt

5 September 2004

“She’s pregnant with twins.”  Nurse Jo shook her head.  ”After her first set.”

“That’s teach that boy to be meddlesome.”  Dr. Caitrin was cross; Jo could tell by the way she started pronouncing all of her consonants as if she were biting them off.

“You can’t fault him for the first pair.”

“No, I imagine it runs in the family a bit, too.  See Penny.”

“Penny had help, or, at least, helped herself.”

“That’s true.”  Caitrin shook her head.  ”I wish they’d stop doing that.  It’s not healthy for the infants or the mothers.  Akaterina, Eluned… like they just want to get it over as fast as possible.”

“Well, can you really fault them for that?”  Jo normally kept her opinions about that part of the school to herself.  In this case, however…  ”Being told at fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, that, surprise, you’re going to be a mother…”

“I’m willing to bet neither Eluned nor Akaterina made the choice for themselves.”

“Likely not.  And that again, is a problem.”

Caitrin glanced at her.  ”How would you suggest we change the policy, then?”

Jo pursed her lips.  ”Hasn’t the Director been making noises about the, mmm, Mabina-and-Cassidy-style answer to the requirements?”  Mabina-and-Cassidy, insisting on having their two children with each other and touching no one else.

She’d hit a nerve.  Caitin put down a pile of towels and stared at her full-on.


“Is it a lesser evil?”  Jo pitched her voice very low.  ”Or a greater one?  Most students already have two children with two different partners.”

“It wouldn’t have fixed the problem with Eluned.”

Jo’s felt her smile like a muscle strain; there was no mirth in it.  ”I have an idea for that, too.”


  1. Wysteria says:

    I’m not really clear what the Mabina-and-Cassidy style solution is.

  2. Rix says:

    I may need to throw money at you when I get home so we can hear Nurse Jo’s idea. 🙂

  3. Kuro_Neko says:

    I thought part of the whole setup here, purposely keeping the grad requirements a secret and allowing Keepers to impregnate (or be impregnated by) their Kept regardless of the Kept’s opinion on matter, was meant to encourage the Students to have their children with multiple partners as a matter of maximum genetic diversity? And that the reason of not using in vitro fertilization and/or surrogates involves something along the lines of natural methods giving better results for the breeding experiment (which manipulating for twins would invalidate)? If one or the other of these facts isn’t something Regine believes to be true then they’ve been putting these kids through a ton of trauma for no reason, when the grad requirements could simply be ‘supply sperm/egg sample’ and/or the geasa could not ban discussion of grad requirements, allowing the Students to discuss and negotiate it like somewhat civilized people. Something additional would have to be added as well, to stop the all sexual assault, since the grad requirements are only part of the cause of that, but it would go a long way.

    • Wysteria says:

      Regine isn’t one of the two talking, so we can’t really say what her opinion is in regards to this idea, I think.

    • Lars says:

      They’ve been putting the kids through a ton of trauma, and deliberately creating conditions that would (in the real word) cause deliberate abortions.

      Regine is NOT an unbiased observer. She is an idiot, and incapable of recognizing her own blindspots.

      Letting her run this thing was an exceedingly poor idea.

      • Wysteria says:

        I don’t think anyone ‘let’ Regine run anything.

      • Wysteria says:

        A few followup thoughts:

        *Regine is by no standard an idiot. She is very smart. That does not mean she is wise, sensible, or kind, but precision of language, you know?

        *In the real world, some of these kids would indeed be going to whatever means necessary to have abortions. If you think about it, that says very unfortunate things about the school mind control, doesn’t it? It’s one of the nightmare fuel things, for me, that none of the kids even /think/ about it. The closest you get is Miryam, who goes to great lengths to ensure her access to birth control.

        *Lack of bias is important when it comes to anthropology, but for a genetic experiment, the only thing you need to be unbiased about is the genetic data. She is not, so far as I can tell, terribly racist about it all.

    • lightdefender says:

      I don’t know if Kuro will see this, but I can think of two possible reasons for not using in vitro fertilization.

      1) An Ellehemaei uterine environment somehow affects development as Ellehemaei. This seems contraindicated by Aelfgar (sp?) siring half-breed children on fully human women, though. Unless said women are strongly Faded? We don’t know.

      However, if Regine suspects this, I would expect her to test for it! All male students provide sperm samples. Female students are given the choice of either two live births (either by a male student of their choice or through artificial insemination with sperm chosen by the school administration) or providing egg samples. Then Regine could investigate any differences in children carried by their genetic mother, an Ellehemaei host mother, a Faded host mother, or a fully human host mother.

      2) Perhaps more likely, it has something to do with the Law. Do children Belong to their genetic mother or their host mother if these are not the same? We don’t know. Regine may not know, and may not wish to risk losing control of the child this way.

      There’s also the naming ceremony by the father to consider, though I think this is tradition and not Law.

      Kuro, if you do see this, you may also find my recent comments on an earlier chapter to be interesting:

      • Kuro_Neko says:

        The thing is, in vitro fertilization and surrogates are both shown in-story to work. Not only work, if the student insists, Regine and Caitrin will allow it. Both heterosexual females not interested in carrying the baby to term and homosexual couples of both sexes have made use of this in the story. It’s stated that Regine frowns upon the practice (it’s never stated why) but allows it.

        • lightdefender says:

          Have we seen in vitro fertilization? I know we’ve seen artificial insemination (one of the Thorne girls with Conrad’s sperm) but I don’t recall in vitro fertilization.

          • Kuro_Neko says:

            If I remember correctly, Aelgifu and Ioanna, a lesbian couple from the year five stories, have a baby together, as in together together, no sperm required. Which almost assuredly would require some form of in vitro fertilization.

          • Wysteria says:

            Zita serves as surrogate for an upperclasswoman with a male donor for the father, in canon.

          • lightdefender says:

            @Wysteria: Oh, huh, I missed that.

            I did recall Ayla and Ionna, but little detail is given as to how that was arranged.

            So, yeah, no idea why things like that aren’t explicitly stated as options then.

          • Wysteria says:

            That’s in the backstory/worldbuilding, not written up into canon, lightdefender – that’s why I mentioned it.

            As for why they’re not explicitly stated as options: Addergoole has a ‘if you ask, you’ll probably get an answer’ style. If you’re the sort of person who goes to Caitrin and goes, “What different ways are there for me to have a baby?” she’ll probably tell you. But there is no explanatory pamphlet. I get the impression that as a culture they don’t really believe in explanatory pamphlets. Like it’s against their religion. o.0

  4. Lyn says:

    @Wysteria – aah. Well, in that case, she definitely used it as a marker when choosing progenitors for the project, looking for a weighted mix of purebloods, primarily thin pure-bloods (i.e., like her, those whose children never came out pure) and half-bloods. But the half-blood diversity is part of the project.

  5. Kuro_Neko says:

    What I got out of it up to this point, is Regine is trying to revitalize her race. I gathered that pure-blood Ellehemaei are no longer breeding true, either producing children that don’t Change, or no children at all. Regine has observed that this is not the case when it comes to half-bloods and is trying to split the difference as it were, to produce new pure-bloods, like Jamian, who don’t have fertility issues. What I never got is why she’s being so hap-hazard about it. The initial breeding, the one that produced all the kids we’re currently seeing in Addergoole, was to all appearances carefully planned. But since then she’s been allowing the students to breed as they choose. Yes it has been implied that she steers pairings occasionally but for the most part doesn’t. That’s the part that has always puzzled me. The best I’ve got out of it, is she somehow believes that letting them breed naturally will give her something that she wouldn’t get from selective and/or artificially induced breeding. Though what that something is I have no idea. Otherwise the breeding aspect could be completely separated from the schooling aspects (using in vitro fertilization or surrogates) to the benefit of everyone concerned.

    Yeah, the mind control is much more then the Staff makes it out to be. It’s not just a matter of limiting emotional extremes and mental breakdowns like they claim. It actively controls their thoughts, preventing them from thinking about escape, revenge, revolt, abortion, suicide, homicide and infanticide. As I mentioned once awhile back, the suicide rate for rape victims, single rapes mind you, is 13%. That’s one out of every eight victims. There are Students that are suffering hundreds of rapes in the span of a school year. And yet no one has attempted the ultimate escape? You need look no further then that for solid evidence that the mind control is much deeper and broader of scope then the staff claim. That is also perfect proof that the staff, or at least whoever set up the mind control, knew exactly how bad things could get, otherwise there wouldn’t have been any need for that level of control. If they truly expected that the worst that could happen would be something like Ty or Cya then there wouldn’t be any need for anti-homicide or anti-suicide controls. You’ll also note that rape was not included in my list of things the mind control stops, which is especially damning.

    One has to wonder how the Zeroth cohort managed their mini rebellion, unless the mind control was less then and was beefed up in response. In which case, way to go Kairo, you did even more harm then good. And yeah it is very disturbing when you really consider it. Which leads back around to my belief that all the Staff are monsters, but you all are well aware of my feelings in that regard so I won’t say anymore.

    • Wysteria says:

      Lyn has confirmed, though it hasn’t been canonized in-text, that there’s a murder-suicide in the cohorts before the 5th cohort, which leads to a tightening of the mental restrictions.

      • Lyn says:

        There’s a DW story about it. Ghoooost.

      • Kuro_Neko says:

        Which is treating the symptoms not the disease. It wasn’t a murder-suicide by the way, just a murder (Kept killed Keeper), if you’re referring to the DW short.

        You’ve got to wonder at their logic sometimes, their tortured rape-slaves are attempting murder/suicide so their solution isn’t to stop the torture, rape or slavery, it’s just to slap more mind control on the victims. *sigh* No wonder I think they’re all monsters.

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