The newly appointed team head of a police team pondered the nature of her assignment. What would it take to have a legitimate pre-cognition team? Unfortunately, answers were hard to come by at the moment. Before she threw open the search for officers to seek for the job or sought to encourage people to transfer to the new team, she needed to know what it was that could be done or expected from such a team. In talking with the chief of internal security, some basic ground rules were set.
“Is it a problem that I am not bonded with any korinthidons myself?” the head asked.
“Not necessarily,” the chief replied.
“What is the purpose of our team?” the head replied.
“The emperor wanted us to utilize the power of the korinthidons in our security efforts, and we have found that there are not any security officers at present who are bonded with korinthidons, and the result has been that there have been royal korinthidons who do security and people who do security, but not a lot of interaction between the two. This new team you are heading is meant to help that,” the chief continued.
The head pondered aloud, “Do you know anyone who would be able to combine an interest in criminal law and have knowledge about the relationship between korinthidons and human beings?”
“Have you sought out the imperial university yet?” the chief replied.
“I must admit I haven’t thought much about it since I graduated in criminology,” the head replied. “I suppose it would be worth investigating matters, though.”
It did not take long for the head to take a trip to the imperial university after ensuring that she could visit the criminology department office to talk about the possibility. While she was certainly able to talk about something like this remotely, she figured that an in-person visit to the university would allow her to visit the library and also get some information about people she could see face-to-face, and even with all of the technology that was available it was still preferable to deal with some things face to face, and one of those things was the relationship between korinthidons and advance notice of crime.
Her visit with the department chair in criminology at the Imperial University went better than could be expected.
“What brings you here today?” the chair asked her.
“I have just been appointed to be in charge of a team that is going to combine people and korinthidons together to tap into the insights that korinthidons have. But I’m running into a problem that we do not have any officers in the security force who are bonded at present to korinthidons, and that makes it difficult.”
The department chair frowned and looked at her console.
“What’s wrong?” the head asked.
“I can’t honestly tell who in this department is bonded to a korinthidon. It’s not actually a piece of information that we check. There have been concerns about people being discriminated either for or against because they are bonded, and that has prevented the collection of data about bonding to begin with, because one group of people is concerned that those who have bonded would be looked down upon as potential security threats and one group of people is upset that those who do not have the possibility of forming such a bond might find it more difficult to get in, especially from off-planet,” the department chair replied.
“Is there any way that we might be able to find out indirectly what people might be best suited to talking with us who might have such knowledge and who would not worry about discrimination?” the head asked, figuring it was worth a shot.
“Actually, there is one student we could talk to, but she’s probably really busy,” the department chair replied.
“And who is that?” was the answer.
“Well, she’s a graduate student, and part of a multi-disciplinary effort that involves our international relations department, our xenobiology department, and the criminology department, all relating to the possibilities of diplomatic and security service relating to korinthidons.” She looks through her console. “Lisbeth Zambrano is her name.”
“Is she any relation to deputy chief Giuseppe Zambrano?” was the reply.
“I believe that he is her father. At department dinners she has told some of the funnier stories from his experiences, and the two of them were both heroes of the Cherry Hill operation,” the department chair said proudly.
“She was involved in the Cherry Hill operation?” the head thought to herself. “What was she, about sixteen at the time?”
“Yes, basically,” the department chair replied. “She got her scholarship here to the university as a result of having bonded with a korinthidon while simultaneously serving as a major information source to what the former ministry of Culture was doing.”
“I see,” the head said, almost to herself. “Do you think she would be interested in talking with me about the crime-fighting potential of korinthidons?”
“Certainly, if she has the time. She is pretty busy given her work involves three separate departments and she is going for a Ph.D in all of them,” the department chair stated, having sent a message about it. She looks at her console and finds that her message has been seen and that there is a link to her TA hours, which were about to start. “You’re in luck,” she continues. “Her office hours as a TA are just about to start and she has said that you are welcome to drop by and ask her questions while she waits for students to come in looking for help.”
“That sounds good, then,” the head says, glad to have had a successful experience and to be on the way of figuring out her new job at least somewhat.
She walked the short distance from the chair to the small office where Lisbeth sat alongside her korinthidon associate behind a desk with chair that she supposed she would occupy unless an undergraduate student wanted to brave the two of them.
“I hope I’m not taking too much of your time,” the head said. “I was just put in charge of a team that is seeking to utilize the insights of the korinthidon in order to reduce crime, and I don’t really know much about how such a thing could be done.”
“How is it that you wish to reduce crime?” Lisbeth replied.
“Well, I didn’t know how it is that korinthidons can have insight into the moods of the people around them, but I do know that there are some who gain knowledge from their bond with korinthidons, like yourself, I imagine,” the head replied.
“That is certainly true,” Lisbeth answered. “The royal family is the most notable example of a case where a prolonged period of generational bonding between human beings and korinthidons has increased the wisdom and insight of the people themselves, and studying this has been somewhat difficult, you may imagine.”
“Yes, I imagine it would be a great security risk to figure out how it is that bonding with korinthidons increases the insight of the emperor and his family,” the head answers with a nod.
“What we have found out in years of research, frequently involving those few nonroyal examples we know of bonding, like that between this dinosaur and I, is that there are several aspects of the connection between human beings and korinthidons and korinthidons and each other that come to play when one is attempting to solve crimes or mysteries of any kind or gain insight.”
The head of the team wondered if she had time for a text dump, and decided that she did have the time to ask questions to her heart’s content, hoping that they could be answered.
“Where do we begin?” the head said, trying to buy time for some more specific questions.
“Well, let us take this dinosaur and myself,” Lisbeth answered. “The two of us have been bonded now for a good decade or so at least, since I was a teenager. During that time I have found that few people have been connected to her family, but that there have been a great many dinosaurs in this region who are her relatives, so that I find myself feeling a lot of contentment about wandering around in the forests near here or enjoying the hillside and the like.”
“The dinosaur you are bonded with is a her?” the head asked.
“Yes, that’s right,” Lisbeth noted. “That is something that we have found, that dinosaurs bond in a status relationship that is based on gender as well as, for lack of a better word, class. Both this dinosaur and I are females, and both of us are what could be considered to be middle status people, or at least we were when we bonded, and we were both at the same level of life, being juvenile at the time and young adults now. I do not think that we would have been able to bond together now, except that my increased status appears to have increased her status among her tribe. It is hard to tell. At least from what we are able to know, at the time of bonding neither the first of the emperor’s family that met up with these dinosaurs nor the dinosaur himself were particularly high status, but something happened that made both of them higher status in their interactions with each other. And the same thing appears to have happened with us, so it is perhaps possible that the bonding process itself increases status on both sides. Not enough people have bonded with these dinosaurs for us to know for sure.”
“How many people are bonded to dinosaurs?” The head asked.
“Not many,” Lisbeth responded. “It is the dinosaurs who must initiate a bond, and they do not bond with people unless they figure it can be to their advantage. Of course, once they bond with people it is very much to our advantage, and it also seems to be to their advantage too if the bonding is successful. I think in my case it has been very mutually beneficial, but it is hard to draw more conclusions because we know of so few cases where the bonding process has been known and openly acknowledged.”
“Do you know enough bonded people for a team of people devoted to stopping crime?” the head asked.
“I do not, not yet at least. I suppose that is worth finding out,” Lisbeth said. “We would need a climate where people would feel free to claim a link with dinosaurs and be able to prove it.”
“Would you be able to prove it if someone made the claim?” the head asked.
“I believe that between the dinosaur and I we would be able to prove such a link existed. There is strong evidence that the links between beings influence others who are sensitive to them. For example, if the crown prince and I were having a conversation, both of us and our dinosaurs would be able to recognize the links that connected us together. And if someone was merely pretending, their bad faith would itself be something that we would be able to sense.”
“So you think that we should set up a situation where people are given the opportunity for a good job and scholarship situation and to do so they have to reveal a bond or a willingness to bond with dinosaurs?” the head said.
“I think that is part of it,” Lisbeth said, but not all of it. “What you probably need first is to set up dinosaurs that you would want to be involved in security.”
The dinosaur looked at her and tilted her head before nodding a bit. The task force head looked at them both, pondering the sort of intuition that goes between them. “I have a question, she asked.”
“Go ahead,” Lisbeth replied.
“How much information can you two gather from each other, and what sort of range are you looking at?”
“That’s an interesting question,” Lisbeth replied. “Korinthidons can send emotional data a very far distance from what we have seen, and it is possible to locate where the signal is coming from if one has access to the right kind of mapping systems. But while the communication between these bonded creatures can occur across very large distances, the information that is conveyed tends to be very personal, more like what the person is thinking. So, for example, if my bonded dinosaur and I were separated across a distance of many parsecs, we would be able to feel what the other one was feeling and have some idea about the state of our lives, whether we were happy or sd or things were going well or if we were injured or dead, and so on, and that bond would be intensely felt no matter how far apart we were in distance. But each of us would only be able to send information about ourselves or about what we were directly seeing or experiencing at the time.
“So to use these dinosaurs to reduce crime, one would need a high degree of coverage where thee dinosaurs could feel what was going on around them and notice people being suspicious?”
“That’s right,” Lisbeth said. “And there would have to be links in between the various groups of people and dinosaurs to communicate their feelings to another. I don’t think it would be hard to get dinosaurs that were linked together, but finding people linked is going to be more of a challenge.”
“Are you willing to help us out?”
“I am indeed,” Lisbeth said. And after a bit of silence and some mental processing, the interview was over, and the head of the korinthidon task force returned to her office to think and to issue some communiques.