ysabetwordsmith: Jump gate showing diamond ring of light (blueshift)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem belongs to The Blueshift Troupers, introducing Zasha. It fills the "prosperity" square in my 1-31-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This is also for the Bingo Valentines fest over on [community profile] allbingo, exploring love of family and of humanity as a whole.

Title: "You Should Go"
Fandom: The Blueshift Troupers
Prompt: Prosperity
Medium: Poetry
Size: 675
Rating: PG
Warnings: Family tension. Searching for one's purpose.
Summary/Preview: Zasha makes a personal discovery that causes him to question what he's doing with his life.
Notes: Love begins at home, but it can stretch across a galaxy.


"You Should Go"


"You should go into medicine,"
Zasha's father said to him,
and so Zasha went.

It was no hardship,
for they lived in the capital city of Umbo
on the cosmopolitan planet Scute,
and in the wide ring of the Annula
opportunities were everywhere to be found.

Zasha found that he had
an affinity for living things,
the natural and the technological,
the whole and the damaged.

The time seemed to fly past,
and before he knew it,
Zasha had completed
the first phase of his training.

"You should go as far as your gifts can take you,"
Zasha's mother said to him,
and so Zasha went.

There was so much to learn,
and the more he learned,
the better he got at what he did.

Zasha could look at the worst injuries
and immediately see how to piece them together,
examine the strangest complaints from alien worlds
then figure out what had gone wrong and how to fix it.

Even before he graduated,
people were beginning to seek him out,
which made Zasha feel
a little conspicuous
and a lot useful.

They offered him money,
which he took when he needed it,
and they offered him contacts and favors,
which he accepted more gladly.

Zasha took up volunteering at charities
where some of the most difficult cases came,
and that satisfied a hunger he was just now noticing:
He liked helping people who without him
might not get any help at all.

He was motivated not by the love of luxury
but by the love of life, in all its colors and flavors.
He looked ever inward toward the center of things
to find the hidden meaning written small within their core.

It was this existential curiosity which led him
to the discovery that would change his life forever:
while exploring the depths of his own genome,
Zasha found himself to be a latent shapeshifter.

They were so rare and so valuable
that shapeshifters could go anywhere,
take any position they wanted
and put their talents to good use there.

"You should go into private practice,"
Zasha's grandfather said with a frown,
but Zasha did not want to go.

There was no doubt that he would be good at it,
that it would fulfill his duty to society,
that it would bring him success and prosperity,
that it would keep him close to the family he loved

but there was no need for it,
nothing Zasha could do there
that could not be done just as well
by any other talented young medic.

He had no sweetheart to hold him at home,
no children requiring his care,
although he thought that he might
like to have some of those eventually.

Somewhere out there,
beyond the bright ring of the Annula,
fanning out into the lace-edged night,
lay challenges commensurate
with the gifts that Zasha was given.

He just wasn't sure how to find them.

"You should go where your heart guides you,"
Zasha's grandmother said with a smile.
"Now where do you think that might be?"

"I will go where the need is greatest,"
said Zasha, and so he went.

Zasha went into the spaceforce,
which always needed medics
because space was a dangerous place.

He learned how to shift his shape,
body adapting to new information
with each fresh template that he took,
now tall, now short, now male, now female,
all the different kinds and colors
into which humanity had spread itself
in pursuit of the stars.

He met hiveships and liked them,
fascinated by their complexity
and the combination of
organic and inorganic technology.

He met the human crews
who accompanied them,
and it felt good to find
other shapeshifters like himself,
to see what they were doing
with their time and their talents.

When an opening came on
one of the problem-solving crews,
Zasha took it, slipping into place
like a ball into a socket,
jointing himself into the team
as smoothly as if he had
grown there from the beginning

and given his shapeshifter nature,
perhaps in a way he had.

* * *

Notes:

Zasha faces conflicts between community and autonomy here, trying to find a balance between what his family wants for him and what he as an individual wants for himself.

It's important to know your purpose, and your talents point right to it. Follow the steps to find your life's purpose.

The members of the Blueshift Troupers show different types of intelligence. Zasha has existential intelligence, which focuses on deep questions and large patterns. This is sometimes called being "cosmic smart." People with this type of intelligence often go into theoretical or spiritual fields, but intelligence doesn't necessarily determine a person's interests or abilities. Zasha has a knack for science and medicine, so his mindset expresses itself in a search for the deep secrets of life and death.

Altruism is a drive to do good things for others without personal gain. Done right, it increases happiness. There are tips for practicing altruism.

Zasha also excels at making contact with other people. Human bonding involves psychology and chemistry. In this setting, some people have an affinity for biotech, and are also drawn to other humans with a similar affinity; it helps them find compatible relationships. Close connections make people healthier and happier. There are ways to connect with people and to build rapport.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-22 05:07 am (UTC)
thnidu: edited from img383.imageshack.us/img383/3066/ss35450qf7.jpg (smiley)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
This is so pleasing, he fits so well into his wants and needs and abilities.

And for lagniappe, well of COURSE the capital of the Shield is the Boss at its center! B-)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-22 03:00 pm (UTC)
thnidu: blank white robot/avatar sitting on big red question mark. tinyurl.com/cgkcqcj via Google Images (question mark)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Now tall, now short + Conservation of mass -> Now tall and thin, now short and wide?

Re: Well...

Date: 2014-02-22 05:52 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

“metamorphic shapeshifting, not magical shapeshifting”

Biological, not magical: that's why I figured conservation would have to apply. From what I've read of this series, I don't recall any on-stage shapeshifting, so I didn't have a sense of how long it takes or can take.

I still don't, for that matter. But

• it takes longer • The genetic blueprint for the body changes • added in progress if the person has proper medical support during metamorphosis, or may be consumed after emergence

all suggest that it's not generally something done on the spot or tactically, but rather that it takes [→ is best handled] with forethought, planning, and time.

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