Aid Time, Emma and Annie’s Quiet Moment

Finally, a pretty good night of wirting, even if there were more than a few distractions happening.  But I’m used to that these days; it seems to be the way of a writer’s life.  You work your way through them, adjust, and keep moving.  As it was I managed about eight hundred words last night, but more importantly, I inched closer to the end of Chapter Twenty-Two.

This is the penultimate scene, and if you can’t tell by the title of the post, Emma and Annie meet.  How do they meet?  Like this:

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

18:32 to 1838

The warning alarm wasn’t loud, but the beep-beep-beepbeep-beeeeeeep was easily designed so as not to be mistaken as something other than an incoming teleport. The moment it started Coraline turned to the location about two-thirds of the way towards the center of the Rotunda and made her announcement. “We have incoming, people. Time to do our jobs.”

Annie got into position. Her instructions were simple: if anyone permitted to teleport through The Pentagram screen wasn’t who they were supposed to be, the Annie was to launch death spells on them without hesitation. She did so with the understanding that if any Deconstructors made it through the minute opening in the screens the Security Center allowed for emergency teleportation of the wounded, and they saw her standing off to one side watching everyone coming into the building, they might decide to launch a death spell her way first.

It was a calculated risk, and one she accepted ever since letting Coraline know that she could do the killing for them were it necessary. If you’re going to be a sorceress, you have to accept the life they lead. And it’s not always a safe one

An eerie silence filled the Rotunda right before the pop that came with the arrival of someone teleporting. Annie wasn’t certain who the person was, but Coraline rushed up to her, so she obviously knew the person. Addressing them by name helped as well . . .

“What do you have, Suhaila?” Coraline checked the person that Annie now saw this Suhaila cradled effortlessly in her arms. The Chief Medical Officer for the school motioned for the other woman to follow her to the triage area.

“Flier trying to get back in.” Suhaila didn’t have an issues with the person in their arms, which led Annie to believe she was an AP like all of Coraline’s staff. “Found her outside The Diamond; her wingmate and her reported in as soon as the comms were back on-line, and it was thought best to bring them in through there.” She laid the girl in on of the reclining chairs instead of on a stretcher. “She’s in shock: I think she was attacked by an Abomination.”

It was only when Coraline pulled the flier’s helmet off that Annie saw the cascading red hair that had been hidden there moments before she heard the question. “She got a name?”

Suhaila nodded. “Emma Neilson.”

 

Now we know who was supposed to go pick up the kids, and if there hadn’t been some Anime Wannabe hanging out and spoiling the night, Annie would be back with her Kerry.  Instead she gets the wingmate and some bad news . . .

 

Annie froze in mid-step as she listened to the conversation—

Coraline conjured the orange glow in her hand while looked at the monitor over the head of the chair. “Yeah, she’s in deep shock.” She nodded at Gretchen. “Okay, let’s bring her out.”

“Yes, Coraline.” She pulled a slap patch from her jacket and gently applied it to the right side of Emma’s neck. “That should do it.”

Coraline checked the monitor. “And three, two, one . . .” She placed her hands upon Emma’s shoulders as the near-catatonic girl gasped for air as she convulsed. The head nurse leaned in close to the girl’s head. “It’s okay, Emma; it’s okay. You’re in the hospital; you’re safe now.” As Emma stopped shaking and started to calm down Coraline turned to Suhaila. “You said you were out there to pick up two?”

“Yes.” She nodded slowly. “The other flier wasn’t there.”

“What’s their name?”

Annie shook her head slowly; she didn’t want to hear the name of Emma’s wingmate. Don’t say it; don’t say it. Please don’t say

“Kerry Malibey.”

 

No, not what Annie wants to hear.  Also, she didn’t want to hear an Abomination was there, so things aren’t looking up for her.  Even Coraline is a little worried–

 

Coraline shot a look in Annie’s direction, then quickly turned back to Suhaila. “Okay, we can take it from here. You need anything from us?”

“No.”

“Good, then.” She patted the security woman on the shoulder; as soon as she teleported out, Coraline turned back to the now fairly serene student in the examination chair. “Emma, I’m Nurse Coraline. You know me?”

Emma nodded slowly. “Yes.”

“Were you attacked outside The Diamond?”

Her eyes opened wide and she shook slightly. “I was. I—”

“It’s okay; you’re safe.” Coraline looked up at Gretchen. “There’s no injuries other than bruises and contusions.” She stepped away from the examination chair and led Gretchen away for consultation. “We can get her up to the ward—”

Annie wasn’t listening to their conversation: she had instead moved next to the examination chair and was now standing over Emma. She calmly looked over the girl before speaking. “Emma.”

Emma slowly looked up. “Oh, hi, Annie.”

 

I look at that last line and so want to write, “Oh hai!”–it’s so hard not to put that in.  Who’s the last person you expect to see after being attacked by a monster?  The girlfriend of your wingmate–I’m sorry, I mean, Soul Mate.  And, from the looks of it, a not so happy one . . .

 

She wasn’t in the mood for an “Oh, hi,” however. She wanted answers. “Where’s Kerry?”

Emma managed a weak smile. “He saved me.”

“What were you doing out in the open?” Annie moved so she was standing next to Emma’s raised torso. “Why weren’t you somewhere safe?”

“We couldn’t; we almost crashed.” Emma slowly licked her dry lips. “We were in the woods and Kerry got me to find a place to hide.” Her eyes rolled for a second. “It was nice, too.”

“What were you doing at The Diamond, then?” Annie’s voice remained steady and level, but a dangerous tone began creeping into her words. “Why weren’t you hiding?”

“I wanted to get underground.” Emma’s voice was growing distant as the medication she was given was removing all the effects of her shock. “I thought we’d be safer. Even Kerry thought the plan wasn’t bad.” She chuckled. “We were almost all the way there when Nightwitch told us to go there and we’d get picked up.” She nodded. “See? It was good.”

Annie leaned over Emma, the distance between their faces closing. “Emma, what happened to Kerry?”

Her voice was weak and far off. “He saved me.”

She grabbed Emma by the front of her flight jacket. “How did he save you?”

“He attacked the monster.”

Annie’s eyes turned cold as she calmly pulled Emma towards her. “He attacked an Abomination?”

Emma chuckled once more. “I heard him screaming at it, and then it screamed at him, and there was more screaming . . .” She gulped as her breathing turned ragged. “There was a lot of screaming.”

As her hands slipped up to the collar of Emma’s flight jacket, Annie fought to keep her anger under control. She was loath to show her feelings to others, but this very moment she felt as if she were about to go off on this stupid girl. “Mozhete glupavo malka kuchka . . .” She pulled the jacket tight around Emma’s neck. “What happened to Kerry? Where is he?”

“He flew off.” Emma continued speaking calmly, as though nothing out of the ordinary were happening. “He flew off and the monster went after him.”

Kerry’s out there with an Abomination after him—” Annie pulled Emma to within a few centimeters of her face.

Emma stared back at Annie as if dumbfounded. “He saved me—” She slowly blinked twice before chuckling. “You’re so lucky.”

 

Yeah, that little bit of Bulgarian there . . . Annie’s not happy.  And the “You’re so lucky” line . . .  Full disclosure here:  as I’ve stated a few times before, Annie and Kerry came out of a role play that me and another person did for most of a year.  This actual scene was more or less played out, with my friend playing Annie, and me playing Emma.  Some of what happened in this scene is as presented–I’ve had to change a few things, and our role playing scene was shorter–but what Annie does to Emma here is what my friend did with Annie.

And when I laid the “You’re so lucky” line on her, she lost it.  Annie literally went all murder time on the girl.  I was actually a bit shocked at how she went at Emma, but now I understand her motivation.  I understand that you don’t mess with her soul mate, and if you did something stupid that might have gotten him killed . . .

You’re gonna suffer, honey.

A couple of days ago I saw my friend who played Annie on-line, and I told her I was getting ready to write this scene, and after I said, “You’re so lucky”, she tells me–and here is the exact quote:  “And the lucky thing . . . honestly . . . If I could have gotten away with it, I would have pulled her lungs out of her body and squeezed them.”

No, she wasn’t bothered at all by what Emma did.

What does Annie do?

Well . . . I’ll write that up tonight.  Considering Annie’s the Dark Witch–what do you think?

And here Emma thought she left the horror outside . . .

And here Emma thought she left the horror outside . . .

That Which I Left Behind

If you come here looking for more of the novel today, nope, won’t find it.  There was some, but not a lot.  Why?

Sickness.  For the most part.

I did as I am want to do; blog in the morning and head for work, though sometimes those lines get blurred just a little.  But if you’ve been following me for the last few days you’ll know I’ve not been feeling one hundred percent, or even close to seventy or eighty.  It’s been like a low-level “blah” that had taken over, and it was messing me up something bad.  A few headaches, some dizziness, and a bit of nausea.

It was the last that really hit me yesterday morning, and I was unable to work through it as I have over the last couple of days.  So it was a quick walk to the bathroom to, um, purge, you might say, and then back to my desk.  I repeated that about ten minutes later, and once back at my desk I was about to pen an email to my manager telling him I was leaving for the day when he strolled in and I told him in person.

"I have to leave for the day; I don't feel well.  PS:  sorry about the bathroom."

“I have to leave for the day; I don’t feel well. PS: sorry about the bathroom.”

After a slow walk home I crashed and slept for about an hour, hour and a half.  I think it was more than an hour, but I’m not really certain because my head was kinda spinning a little by the time I made it through the door.

The thing is upon waking up I felt fine.  My head wasn’t spinning, my stomach had settled down, and I could actually wear my glasses without feeling like my head was spinning out of control.  In short, I seemed much better, and told my friends this amazing fact.  With this I changed my clothing and went out to pick up a few groceries, then decided much later to do an early dinner, with my computer, and get in some writing.

See?  Pretty much better.

See? Much better because I’m doing what I always do.

The writing wasn’t there, however.  I knew what I wanted to write, but I couldn’t get my head around it.  I’d written twelve hundred words the night before, and a lot of times when I do that I can’t find the focus to do the wording.  I manged just a little over four hundred, but when I realized more wasn’t coming without some teeth pulling, I shut it down, just as William Gibson suggested.

I realize today that I will be incredibly busy over the next week.  I have a novel for my book club to finish, a letter or two to write, and a few other things planed.  Next Friday I do my shot in the morning because I have labs in the afternoon, and the next shot after that I’m going to do a little video for.  I’m also planing on doing another video reading, probably within the next couple of weeks.

And the novel; don’t forget the novel.

This is all going somewhere.  I just wish I knew where.

 

Abomination Time, Contact

A strange last twenty-four hours, mostly because I didn’t know I was going to make it to this point today.  Because yesterday, at work, I nearly passed out.

I’m breaking in these new glasses, which are not only bifocals–yes, I need those–but are larger lenses as well as high definition.  Which means everything is so bright and clear.  I also received a new computer monitor, which is also bigger and HD and bright and clear . . . and I was sitting way too close to it because my other glasses were kind of the suck.

The upshot of all this is I was getting some wicked vertigo while coming down with something at the same time.  I realized I was getting sick when I made it home and relaxed with my glasses off and my eyes closed for a bit, and felt the illness coming on.  That was when I slipped into my warm red flannel pajamas and slipped into my comfy Fuug boots (fake Uugs, if you’re wondering), and drank tea to get the warm fluids into my body.

If I'd had the blue cozy I'd probably been sitting at my computer in it as well.

If I’d had the blue cozy I’d probably been sitting at my computer in it as well.

Did I mention sitting at my computer?  Where else would I be?  I wrote nine hundred words towards that character I told you about on Sunday, and then . . . well, I have a novel I’m slowly building too, yeah?

The last time we saw my kids they were ripping along the south end of the school when they got word the comms were back on line.  Ergo, it only makes sense to let someone know they’re alive . . .

 

 (All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Though he wasn’t suppose to respond, Kerry felt he had no choice but to let the professor know Emma and he were still alive. “Nightwitch, this is Starbuck. Selene and I are still out here; we’re trying to get to safety. Please respond—over.”

Vicky was on the comm immediately. “Starbuck, Selene, where the hell are you? Over.”

Emma took this one. “Nightwitch, we’re on Gloucester Bend going flat-out towards The Diamond. We want to get underground. Over.”

There wasn’t any time wasted making a decision. “Okay, stay on the Green Line and head for The Diamond. Pop over Chicane and proceed to Exit Two. Everything’s sealed, but I’ll contact Fortress and see about getting them to drop it long enough to let you in. Acknowledge—over.”

Since that had been their plan all along, Kerry didn’t wait for Emma to give her okay. “Got it, Nightwitch. Over.”

“Copy on that. We don’t have the detection grid up yet, so radio in when you’re at the exit. Over.”

“Copy, Nightwitch. Over and out.”

Emma quickly looked back at her wingmate. “See?”

“Yeah, I see.” Kerry didn’t try hiding his smile. “Good call.”

“I told you.” They finally straightened out on their finally approach to Chicane. “They lost the detection gird, too?”

“Sounds like it.” Kerry slowed as Emma did, sliding into the sweeping left/right meant to slow racers before heading for the Start/Finish Line. “Don’t go too high—”

 

Yeah, don’t go too high because you never know who might shoot at you or see you.  But they get there okay–no one blasts them–and they make their way to the place they’re suppose to go . . .

 

Emma dropped to the ground and leapt off her broom some fifteen meters from the exit, allowing it to drop to the ground. She gave the status report as she ran for Exit Two. “Nightwitch, this is Selene. We’re at the exit. Over.”

Kerry settled slowly to the ground as Vicky responded. “Roger, Selene. Fortress is sending someone for pickup. Hold tight; they should be there momentarily. Over and out.”

Emma was standing next to the exit. It was not only physically sealed, but was covered with a screen that shimmered with a dark red. “Roger. Over and out.” She waved at Kerry. “Come on; hurry up. They’ll be here soon.”

Kerry dropped his broom as low to the ground as possible without scraping his bad knee and retried Emma’s broom. “Why you dropping your equipment like that?”

“Oh, please.” She stood with her weight planted on her right leg. “It’s not like—”

Something large dropped from above the exit, wrapped Emma up in two long, thick tentacles, and dragged her screaming form along the ground for nearly twelve meters before picking her up and slamming her against the side of the building.

 

. . . and everything goes straight to hell.  ‘Cause when something wraps their tentacles around you, it’s never a good thing.  Then again, this is Lovecraft Country–maybe this thing just wants to say “Hi.”

"Hey, tell her 'hi' for me, too!"

“Tell her ‘hi’ for me, too!”

Anyway, you wanted the Abomination–you got it.  I’ve got a thousand words even on the scene, and if I get into a good writing grove tonight, I’ll probably get closer to two thousand.

After all, Kerry just can’t stand by and watch Emma die–

Can he?

"And he watched the creature bite her head off, after which he just boogied on out of there."  Well, that would certainly be easier to write . . .

“And he watched the creature bite her head off, after which he just boogied the hell on out of there.” Well, that would certainly be easier to write . . .

Abomination Time, Moving

We’ve come to that point in the story where people may die.  Well, they already had, but this is getting more personal now, isn’t it?

But I didn’t have time for writing yesterday.  Not really.  I went over a few things about this character I’m creating–for one, her name is Lauren Rafferty, her month is Cecilia Rafferty, aka “Cici”, and her father was Jacob Rafferty.  Also, since I was on the road a lot–I was actually twelve hours away from home–I was pretty knackered by the time I rolled back though the door a little after six PM.  But I had fun:

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and kinda Ugg boots.  Total Basic White Girl stuff going on here.

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and kinda Ugg boots. Total Basic White Girl stuff going on here.

And I brought home some new friends . . .

All hail my new ponies!

All hail my new ponies!

As I said yesterday I’d written a few things, almost five hundred words, Saturday, and since I didn’t get to it last night, I’ll have to get to it tonight.  But since I already have something, it would be poor of me not to share it with you.  So let’s go!

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

18:26 to 18:30

Kerry followed Emma along the wall gap, flying south at a good rate. He fell in behind her because his knee was killing him and it made it difficult to things clearly, and with Emma relatively undamaged and clear of thought, having her pick their way at high speed along the Cove Path wall towards the Reservoir curve was a far better thing—

He was about doing this right, not letting his ego get in the way of who was best for this kind of flight. Emma was the best right now, that’s all there was: let her lead.

As for the rest . . .

Once Kerry had admitted that her plan made sense, it was difficult to convince her that they were better off staying and not moving. It was a bad thing to say it aloud, for once that was past his lips there was no taking it back. And there was no chance of Emma saying no. Not now.

The only thing to do was saddle up and make their way towards the wall.

Kerry had to admit that Emma’s plan was good. Using the night vision ability in their goggles they were able to take their time inching through the forest. Finding southwest wasn’t hard with the HUDs working, and they made their to the Cove Path in about five minutes. Then it was another few minutes of creeping through the forest before they reached the wall gap.

After that Emma led them south, reading the wall to know when it was safe to jump onto the Green Line, hop back over Cove Path—keeping close to the trees—and then winding up the speed on Gloucester Bend. Kerry kept his eyes tied to her back, because his mind was bouncing a little. He was trying to push the pain in his knee away, as well as reminding himself that leaving it wasn’t that bad an idea to leave their hidey-hole. Mostly, though, he kept remembering something he promised Annie, and he felt he’d broken some kind of bond by flying through the dark with Emma right now.

“It’s right here.” Emma pointed to her left and popped up and over the trees. Kerry followed and couple of seconds later found himself on the apex of Reservoir curve. He kept turning to the left, following Emma as she popped over Cove Path again, then dropped in behind her as they accelerated through Gloucester Bend and the southern most section of the Green Line.

He was just passing two hundred kilometers an hour when Kerry once again felt like someone was sitting directly behind him. He was about to say something when he heard Professor Soloman’s voice. “Attention all fliers. This is Nightwitch. Communications have been restored. Report to your rendezvous points if you are not already there. Do not respond to this transmission. Over and out.”

 

There you are:  Salem is back on the air.  And a couple of kids are racing like mad, in the dark, to get to safety.  What happens next?

I’ll write that tonight.

You better, girl, or the abomination is coming for you!

You better, girl, or the abomination is coming for you!

Back to the Character Boards

Before getting to all the Abomination nastiness–of which I wrote close to five hundred words last night, but it was the boring setup so no need to worry–I realized that I’m doing a quick post because today is one of those days where I’m out doing stuff again–you know, things . . .   And really, I am.  Oh, the things and stuff I’m doing . . .

But that’s beside the point.  Here’s the point of this post . . .

'Yes, Cassidy, enthrall us with you wisdom of stuff and things . . .

“Yes, Cassidy, enthrall us with you wisdom of stuff and things . . .”

I have a couple of ongoing projects this coming week.  I have to finish a book I’m reading, and . . . I have a make a character.

Let me explain that last.

I’m back to writing with someone.  It’s a strange sort of experimental thing, because we’re going to speak epistolary story.  If you don’t know what that means, our characters are telling a story through letters.  Which we are really doing, because we’re sending the story to each other in letter form, but ass our characters.

You fallow?

Like I said, a strange and interesting, and perhaps wonderful thing.  And considering I haven’t done anything hand-written in a long time, I’ll probably have to send along a decipher key so my friend will be able to understand my chicken scratch.

The thing I’ve started this week is developing the character.  There was a time when I used to knock this out in no time back in the old days, but today I know a little bit more about creating characters that are real, who have real body and interest and desires.

How I usually do that is by walking around my apartment and talking to myself.  Seriously.  That’s usually how I create all my characters.  I get an idea, and then I start talking.  Yeah, I know:  I sound like the eponymous character from last night’s Doctor Who episode, but that’s pretty much how I do it.

Or I do it while I’m driving.  I’m blogged before how I’ve worked out scenes for my stories–particularly this story I’m working on–where I’ll just “speak out” the character’s dialog while I’m zipping down the road at 80 mile an hour.  I’ve worked out many a scene that way, and there’s a good chance that I’ll do that today.

See, I already know what this character is like; I already have some ground rules for her, and I have an image in my head for how she looks.  That’s always important, because I need to see them and feel them before I can write them.  When that doesn’t happen, it shows.

I don’t want it to show here, because this has the ability of being something great.  I hope.

It’s always a writer’s hope that when they start off on something, it’s going to be good, and there is always the outlying possibility that it’s going to be great.  I would settle for good, but what I really want is magical, because that comes oh, so rarely with every and anything.

And magical is, really, what I love.

Tally Time, We Know and Worry

It was Dinner with Writing time last night, and I managed to do both and have a wonderful time.  I stuck with pasta and ice tea, and then, after getting out of the Internet, got down to writing.  Almost a thousand words of writing.  And I also got complemented on my look, so it’s a plus there.

Here is the Lady Writer in her natural habitate, feeling good after hearing good things said to her.

Here is the Lady Writer in her natural habitat, feeling good after hearing good things said to her.

The end of the scene Tally arrived.  We learn a little more about what happened, and what’s going on to get things up and running.  We know it’s almost another forty-five minutes before the ass kicking can commence, though for all we know, it’s already happening.

And we learn what Isis thinks was happening with the attack:

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

It was difficult for Isis to keep her unease hidden. “It’s difficult to get an exact number because f how the breach occurred, but after looking at the data, I’d say maybe forty to fifty Abominations, and perhaps thirty Deconstructors.”

“That’s quite a few.”

“Not as many as could have come thought.” She paused to take a short breath and slow her thoughts. “The modification Wednesday made to the enchantment did exactly what it was suppose to do: it concentrated more energy at the strike points and reinforced the screen at that point. They threw close to eight hundred Abominations at each of the three strike points—without that enhancement in place, they might have blasted a hole right through the screens.”

Mathilde’s breath caught in the back of her throat for just a second. To think there could be more here . . . “Where exactly did they strike?”

“South, central, and north ends of the school. They breached at the south and central points, but never made it through the north—don’t know why yet.” Isis paused for a moment, checking something on a monitor. “I think their plan was to blast through the screens and weaken them enough that they could send hundreds of Abominations through, along with a few hundred Deconstructors. With it being almost nightfall, and our detection and comm grids down, we’d have been at a huge disadvantage.” She tossed her head to one side. “They might have actually been able to overwhelm us.”

 

When it comes to taking down Salem, it looks like your round up your nasties and bum rush the stage, so to speak.  But Wednesday, good witch that she is, came up with a solution and got it into place.  That’s how you get things done; that’s how you keep people safe.

However, Isis still has a couple of concerns . . .

 

Isis cleared her throat. “I may have a situation, Headmistress.”

“Oh?” She didn’t care for the sound of this.

“Two of the missing fliers are A Levels: Emmalynne Neilson and Kerry Malibey—”

The Headmistress twitched the moment the last name was mentioned. “The one who is, um, seeing the Kirilova girl?”

Isis tried to keep from smiling when the Headmistress said “seeing”, because if what Wednesday said was true, there was a bit more than seeing going on. “The same.”

“I’d heard Vicky allowed those two to fly.”

“Apparently they both checked out on Espinozas at the beginning of the year, and Vicky felt they could do the job. They were the ones who called in the first breach and they handled that nicely.”

“What is the situation that has you worried?” Mathilde didn’t want to discuss this matter any longer than necessary.

“With them being A Levels, and from Normal families, we can’t tell their parents what happened to them in the instance—” Isis covered her mouth for a few seconds. “Well, you know.”

“Yes, I do.” The Headmistress gave the matter some thought. “We may need to work with the memory specialists in the Guardians.”

 

This is the first time we hear about not being able to tell the Normal parents about what their kids are really doing–and we discover that their a “memory specialists” working for one of The Foundation’s enforcement and intelligent groups.  Obviate, my ass:  for all we know they’ll give both families a new kid and make them think they were theirs all along.  Or maybe they’ll just be happy with a few cats . . .

 

“If Kerry is dead, it will be necessary to tell Annie Kirilova; she’ll need to know.” Isis lightly placed her index fingers across her lips. “Headmistress, her student file is Yellow Flagged.”

Nearly five seconds passed before Mathilde realized what her Director of Security was not only saying, but asking. “Isis, are you requesting a Maginul intervention if it’s necessary to tell Kirilova her boyfriend is dead?”

Isis stared hard into the video monitor. “Headmistress, the way Wednesday and the other instructors talk about them, he’s more than a boyfriend to her.” She shook her head. “If I have to deal with a grieving sorceress who already knows death spells, I’d like to know she’s not going to lose her shit and try killing everyone in the immediate vicinity.”

Mathilde said nothing as she held her chin against her right fist. “All right. If you should need to speak with Kirilova, consult with Coraline and determine your best course of action. If you need to administer Maginul, tell her I’ve given authorization.”

“Thank you—” Isis nodded slowly as she looked down. “Headmistress.”

 

It’s the first time you see two new things:  Yellow Flagged, and Maginul.  Yellow Flagged you might be able to figure out, since there have been clues spread around the story about Annie, and what this might mean–and, no, it has nothing to do with her daddy racing.  And Maginul appears to be something medicinal, since “Coraline” and “administer” are stated in the same sentence.  Poor Annie:  this is what comes of being a scary little girl.

And how does it finish?

 

“You’re welcome. And Isis?”

The director’s head snapped back up. “Yes?”

“You’re doing a fabulous job. The situation may have been far worse had you not spent as much time as you have preparing our defenses.”

Isis didn’t feel like she was doing a fabulous job, but Mathilde was right: the current situation could have ended up far more worse. “Thank you, Headmistress.”

“Please notify me the moment the detection and communication grids are back on line.”

“Will do.”

“One last thing—” Mathilde leaned closer to her monitor. “When they are up, would you pass along a message to the Ground and Air Assault groups?”

What does she want to say? Isis was curious, because the Headmistress wasn’t one for giving inspiring speeches. “I will.”

Her voice dropped into a lower, ominous tone. “I want those bastards removed from our grounds. I want them sorry they attacked Salem.”

“Don’t worry, Headmistress.” Isis smirked back, imagining the coming response to this order. “You’ll get that—and more.”

 

The magical version of “You Deconstructors, get off my lawn!” gets thrown out, and you understand Headmistress Mathilde is taking this break-in badly, personally even.  And since there’s a lot more of the book ahead, you can probably guess what happens to the bastards on the grounds.

Where are we in this mess?

Somewhere around here, I believe.

Somewhere around here, I believe.

Four scenes in this chapter, and two more chapters in Part Seven, before moving on to Part Eight and the end of Act Two.  It’s all coming together nicely–

Someone asked if they were going to get to see an Abomination.  Since I have a scene coming up named Abomination, it’s pretty much a certainty that I’ve given you my version of Chekhov’s gun, and if it isn’t going to be seen, then why talk about them so much?  Maybe I just like foreshadowing?

Or maybe I’m going to do something . . . bad.

Bwah, hahahaha!

Tally Time, the Tale of the Tape

Where to begin?  Probably with something that I feel is a breakthrough for me, and trust me when I say this, because I never speak lightly of breakthroughs.  Okay, sometimes . . .

Yesterday I mentioned that my HRT doctor said I was suffering from hypertension, and that I felt I needed to do something.  True, I do, and I’m planing on taking steps to bring it under control without having to resort to drugs first.  I spoke about this on Facebook with some friends, and I wrote something down that, at the time, didn’t strike me as strange, unusual, or even noteworthy.  But after some reflection, I realized I’d admitted something that, obviously, marked a change in my behavior.

What was it I said?

 

“I don’t want to die.  I’m happy and I want to stay that way.”

 

That, after much reflection, came as a bit of a shock, because I don’t think I’ve ever said either of those statements, individually or combined, at any time in my life.  Happy was always relative, and death–that’s something I knew would come one day, and so what, right?  But here I was, in an open forum in front of hundreds of people who knew me, saying that I didn’t want to die.

I think I’ve finally turned a corner.

You can tell I'm happy because I'm just one step away from becoming a feminine hygiene ad.

You can tell I’m happy because I’m just one step away from becoming a feminine hygiene ad.

Also:  writing.  I got through that last night, though not as far as I wanted, but you do what you do.  And I still managed nearly five hundred words, so I’m chugging along.

Now we reach the part, after Isis has thought about how hard it is to keep death out of the school, the tell the Headmistress the current count after the breach of their defenses:

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Isis stared into the monitor, directly into the Headmistress’ eyes. “Right now we have, from the flyer’s group, eight missing and one confirmed death. Because we don’t have access to the detection grid, anyone who didn’t report in after the go to ground command is being listed as ‘missing’ until we can confirm they’re alive or . . .” She looked down as she cleared her throat. “Otherwise.”

Mathilde seemed to consider Isis’ report. “What was the situation surrounding this confirmed death?”

“Flier from Ceridwen was snatched off her broom about twenty-five meters from Laputa—the Observatory—by an Abomination and dragged into the forest. As they were in the process of locking down no one could go after her. Three people saw what happened; two were able to identify her.”

“You say she was from Ceridwen?”

“Yeah.” Isis checked a nearby monitor, but she already knew the covens of the missing and dead fliers. “Three from Mórrígan; two each from Åsgårdsreia and Cernunnos; one each from Ceridwen and Blodeuwedd.”  She turned back to the monitor.  “That’s the toll so far.”

 

Of course we know that two of those fliers–one from Mórrígan and one from Cernunnos Covens–aren’t dead, but since I can’t tap my characters on the shoulder and tell them that, this part of the story continues to believe that.  As for the others:  we know Kerry saw people falling from the sky, and Emma did as well, so it’s reasonable to say that some of those missing aren’t coming back to classes.

And we haven’t even touched upon the people on the ground . . .

What of the state of defenses, you ask?  The Headmistress asked, too, and Isis answered:

 

“We have two nodes coming up. Wednesday’s been on Sunset for about eight minutes now, and it looks as if we’ll be able to activate it in another five to seven. We have a second node in the southeast coming up; Wends was hoping to run into Erywin, and it looks like she did.”

“How is that coming along?”

“We started charging that node a couple of minutes ago. It should be ready to go in ten or so minutes.”

The Headmistress nodded. “What’s your estimation for bring both grids on-line again?”

Isis had those numbers all figured out. “There’s some staggering in the charging times, but it’s not significant. I figure to have both these nodes charged by 17:50. Give them time to move to the next location and start charging, that’s probably fifteen to seventeen minutes each to finish the next one. Looking at those numbers—” Isis scratched the side of her face a couple of times. “We’ll be operational between 18:20 and 18:30. Though I expect the comms to be up before then, only because those nodes require less energy.”

 

Given the time of the conversation–around 17:45–it’s another forty-five minutes before some serious ass-beating can take place.  The next part of the scene–which I’m doing during my “I’m Out Having Dinner and Writing Night” tonight–will mention what Isis believed the Deconstructor’s plan all along.  That and something else concerning a certain couple . . .

Looking over the remainder of Act Two, there are still a lot of things to write, but it’s nothing insurmountable.  It’s just a matter of time, and getting words down on the paper.  It’s slow going at the moment . . .

It doesn't look slow, however.

It doesn’t look like work, however.

But it’s getting there.  Maybe by the time the next NaNo rolls around, I can spend that time getting a novel ready for publication . . .