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Writings : Essays
Cooking with Katra: Recipe for the Past.
by Katra and the rest of the Traveling Court, 7/17/01

We're going to play today.

Recently we've been going through a few arguments about what 'we' are. These sorts of things are about what kind of person we portray and so on. Also, we need to either readjust our Council or wrap together loose ends, because this level of stress is literally killing us. Plus, we've been losing Ariel, who's been pretending to fill a role for so long that he's started to blur around the edges as another person wakes up from the long years of half-sleep. What can we do about this? Why not another Front?

For nothing but amusement, we're putting this up here for others to read. It's a sort of 'how-to' with us in here.

Your host today is Katra. Because Traveling isn't as good with having the inner workings open to us--because Summer's got a choke-hold on control, as well as on the materials--we'll be doing something minor today. We'll be reassembling a person, which is easier than yanking one together from scratch to save ourselves with.

In truth, we're cheating here, because all we're doing is putting back the pieces together of someone from our past who happens to remind us of someone we want now. This isn't Creation--it's just Remembering. But it makes Reb twitch, which is always worthwhile, and it provides a decent line of How To in here. If you're in a plural group and ever feel embarrassed or awkward because you don't feel like you 'work right'... don't. We're utter rejects ourselves. As seen here.

Final Product Desired: Twentyish-year old male with the ability to be happy and unworried. Will serve as front to filter out all the unnecessary things the rest of us stress over. Will act both off and online, and so must be a decent and average representation of the entire group; he will be our amalgamation overall for ease of Fronting for everyone. Must be unconcerned enough to let his memories and mind be picked over by others, and not become upset when he is controlled to do things the rest of us need. Must be dynamic enough to be good company for the rest of us, and not just a paper puppet--that's personal preference though, just selfishness.


Selene: The original Selene is actually our base for this, before she became Irish. And female. When last she was what we want now, the body was 14. For now, she has Judith's traits of enjoying entropy--she was given them to keep Judith from being lethal, as I understand it--so we'll have to peel those off first and try to keep them separate as -Her-. If we fail and lose her, they'll come back later in something unexpected, but we'll let Summer Court take care of that mess.

One of the distinct, unique traits we need from Selene is her continual peace with possible death at any time, and the expectation that it will come, without her fussing. We'll see if that's one that can be adapted without her losing it, since different versions of things doesn't require them to be shared.

Facet: To this, we're giving up Traveling's Front for the cause. Unfortunately, *prod* *prod*, we can't rearrange her how we want to just take on all these new characteristics. I guess she's too defined for her own sense of self-identity... oh well. We'll give Souji her job and let her do what she wants in retirement.

Ariel: The sound of Ariel's laughing and his less formal way of speech is something we also want to add. For this, we don't have to take it away from him, but copy it back over to where it used to go. Also, Ariel's haircut and general build, aged a little past sixteen.

Mick: We'll take a little of Mick's innocence. He could use losing some.

Katra: It wouldn't be fair if I didn't contribute something too, would it? Actually, fairness doesn't matter to me. Which is exactly the sort of thing he needs to remember his old philosophy.

Kyth: Kyth's center of calm is what we rely on these days, but the strain of having to carry it all for all of us is killing him. We'll copy that over too, and mix his compassion with...

Laric: Laric's compassionlessness. Or more his tendency to not back down from messy situations, which Kyth does. It'll make for someone nice, but who understands when to say no.

ReChorder: We need memories to flesh out the reasonings behind why Souji will act the way he does, and we can't take Selene's directly (she won't let us and Judith's giving us those wary looks again that says she doesn't like interlopers.) We'll borrow from ReChorder's mental notes and pick up whatever bits we can scavenge.

Anything else, the boy can and will pick up on his own as he remembers what parts go into him.

Mixing: Because we of Traveling aren't privileged enough to get at members of other Courts and just take what we want, we have to petition for help. Since we'd rather not have Rebekka do it for us, we'll try what we can, and not try to salvage the much older and longer-buried traits of this person which has been scattered from here to there.

Selene stands the most to lose from this, since it's a somewhat regression/changing of her back to her original state. But we're only taking the base traits from her that she doesn't need to lose in her own unique way--only a little copied and definitely altered. Facet just loses her job.

Now that these things are tossed together, we can look at the mess and try to remember if everything was as it used to be at fourteen years, or however old this person last was when used. It looks -about- right, but it's hard for Traveling to say, since we didn't know him personally.

What the heck. That's good enough.

Baking: Heat the oven to a stressful time and place inside. Remove after settling, affect temperature, and repeat. Continue until a solid crust has baked over the surface, and then remove. Test with a toothpick to see if the center is still raw.

Winter Court used to deliberately create these heated times, either by whispering thoughts or manipulating events, but we're on Ch. TRVL today and we'd like to think we can be a little more tactful.

Taste Test:

Does he remember who he used to be? No, and we're not about to let him, because those are also Selene's memories. We don't need more confusion than we already have.

Does he have a sense of his own identity as apart and drawing firmly on what he has been given for his past? Yes. Good.

Can he function as he is required, both online and off? Yes.

Can he function as a Front and get along with the rest of the Fronts, also performing the ambassadorial duties that the Fronts do to other Courts? Yes. But Summer looks like they're trying to steal him, or at least Ariel is...

Does he require special talents or trade education? No. He can let people perform as needed through him, and does without a hitch.

Does he have enough of a range in his behaviors to allow all of us so interested to act Outside without feeling as if we betray each other's public face by doing so? Yes. This is a very important point to us right now.

Is Selene still there? Yes, a little tired looking, but otherwise fine.

Is there a distinct difference between him and everyone he borrowed/revived from? Yes. Yay!

Storage Instructions: Keep active for the next few weeks in high-energy situations and without letting him slide back to nothingness. After that point, he should be at fragment-status if he is let back to not being used again, instead of just being utterly lost.

And that's that! Although he does remind us a smackingly-lot of Bard. Bard? *peers* BARD! Where... oh, drat. I think we lost him.

*thinks about this, and hides*