This is a character chat I did for Zette's Gym on Forward Motion (FM). I thought it would be fun to post here:
I'm sitting at my desk watching Chat pass by when Likii walks in through my front door. And it's closed. She/he stops to look at me and shakes her/his head before stepping over to prop her/his rump on the arm of my sofa. She/he looks like she/he will in a few years in the MS I'm working on--brown hair loose around her/his shoulders, earrings, a multitude of fabric necklaces decorated with beads of various colors and shapes, a sleeveless sand-colored tunic that extends to her/his knees, a shesees (a voluminous garment worn to protect against sun and blown sand), barefoot, more lengths of fabric laces with beads wrapped around her/his wrists and ankles.
"So, when do I get a say?" she/he asks.
I glance at her/him. "Well, considering the way my Muses are acting, probably not for several more months."
"Ha ha. Very funny. Without being foolish, A." Likii folds her/his arms and tosses her/his head a little, flipping the ends of her/his loose hair back.
"I'm thinking after Zaashen leaves the Oasis," I say.
"You're not going to go into the beginning of my training with Yasaroon?" Likii asks.
"I'm not sure," I say. I watch a few more posts enter Chat.
"I'd like my point of view to be included sooner," she/he says.
I look at Likii. "I know, but you know how much it's going to drive readers nuts reading 'she/he'?"
Likii laughs. "So? I choose to honor Keena-Valaacha. If you don't let me be myself, I won't cooperate."
"What?" She/he asks, voice perky. "I didn't get that, A. Speak a little louder."
I chuckle against my will. "I was complaining about other characters getting to you before I trained you properly."
"Oh, you'd hate us all of we followed you like sheep, A., so don't try to tell me otherwise. So, how many years do I have to wait before I can rejoin Zaashen?"
I sigh. "A few," I say. "He'll be at the Oasis for a few years, then leave to work on the next settlement, and you'll have a lot of training. You really should stay with your Oasis."
"What for?" Likii asks. "The community's too small to require additional homes, and once Yasaroon's set the mage lights and I've added my power, they'll be good. Besides, if Zaashen's going to be trekking a new community to an oasis for settlement, he'll need me along to set that up. And a few of whose years? Yours or mine?"
"Yours," I say. "Four, I'd say, but I don't think you'll take the same path he does. You'll have a few things to do on your own."
Likii groans. "How am I supposed to help Zaashen if I can't be with him?"
I chuckle. "I'm considering sending you on that trek with the new community instead of him. I think it'll be good for you, teach you some things about responsiblity that you'll need to know. Why does Zaashen need that?"
"No reason, I suppose. So, are you going to have me reconcile with Zaashen now?" Likii asks. She/he stretches out her/his left arm and shifts the bracelet on its wrist around with her/his right hand; the cord the beads are on is the same color as the rest of her/his priestly garments. She/he looks at me, folding her/his arms again. "I'd like to, you know. I mean, where you are in the MS, I'm angrier than a sandstorm, but I do want to reconcile with him. I believe you should put in my point of view now, A., because I think I have something to say where you've left off." She/he snickers. "And I think what you've got going on right now is kind of boring, never mind Napiina's squeamishness about sex. And at his age," she/he snickers again, shaking her/his head.
I chuckle, remembering Napiina. "I'm trying to figure out how to go about the reconciliation. And I'll consider putting in your point of view now, too. That's all I can promise."
"Well, I know better than to beg," she/he says, rising. "I have a question."
"What?" I ask, watching her/him step over to the door.
She/he looks at it as though really paying attention to it for the first time since her/his arrival. "Will I be able to walk through doors like I did when I came in here after I've had my mage training?"
"Not unless you use the mage plane," I tell her/him.
Likii winces, looking at me. "I don't think I'll do that," she/he says. "I'm not looking forward to meeting my want-to-be mentor for the first time, and I'm not too sure about Yasaroon, even though she/he's kept away from the mage plane as much as possible."
I chuckle. "That's understandable. I have a question for you."
"Why did you choose to remain known as both when you don't want to be a mage in the first place? I mean, other mages who are also priests or shamans choose one gender to be referred to as."
She/he looks at me, smiling a little. "Like Zaashen told me, I'm the perfect bodily image of Keena-Valaacha. I want to honor Her/Him. That's my entire basis for accepting myself as I am, even to my future agreement to being trained by Yasaroon. Like I told Zaashen, I'm what Keena-Valaacha made me to be--with, of course, the additional bits I've acquired since infancy--but I'm essentially Keena-Valaacha's child, and I refuse to disrespect Her/Him by not claiming all that I am." She/he starts to step through the door, then halts and leans back to look at me. "Ah, A.?"
"Yes?" I ask, ignoring Likii; looking at her/him leaning through the door makes me queasy.
"Will Yasaroon be the one to teach me how to raise the structures for the new settlement?"
"Yes," I say.
"Oh, that's a relief," she/he says. "Nice speaking with you."
She/he leaves and I slump in my chair, putting consideration into her/his suggestion. Maybe I will put in a bit of Likii's pov now in the MS. I think I'm seeing what she/he has to say.