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!

Awake Time, Emma Makes Her Case

It’s been a busy morning for me, and here it is, just a little after eight AM, and I’m now getting around to writing my blog post.  That’s because I finished up the Awake scene, writing about six hundred and fifty words last night, and then finishing up with five hundred and thirty this morning.  I really wanted to get it out of the way, and considering I wrote nineteen hundred words in three days, it shows.

I think it’s due to coming up on the last three scenes in the chapter, when things sort of get crazy for everyone.  Not to mention, the next chapter is really important for my kids, and there’s one scene, Dreams on the Ward, that I’ve been waiting to write for a long time.

I see you hiding there.  Won't be long before I make you give up your secrets.

I see you hiding there. Won’t be long before I make you give up your secrets.

The last time we were here Emma was feeling a little uncomfortable with their hiding arrangements.  How are they doing now, you ask?

 

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

He really didn’t want to discuss the matter. “Emma, we’re fine. As long as we stay here, we’ll be okay.”

“Someone could find us.”

“No, they can’t.” As painful as it was to move his leg, Kerry rolled on his right side so it was possible to more or less face his wingmate. “There’s fifteen square kilometers of land inside the school walls; that’s about nine and a half square miles.” He shook his head. “No one’s going to find us if we don’t want to be found.”

The produced a silence that lasted all of twelve seconds. “It’s gonna get cold, though.”

Kerry chuckled, trying to keep the mood light. “We’ve been flying in cold conditions all day. It was this cold when we took off this morning, and the wind chill made it colder.” He tugged on the wool collar of his flight jacket. “These’ll keep us warm until we’re told what to do.”

“But what . . .” Emma looked worried. “What if they don’t?”

“Why would that happen?”

“What if there’s no one—” She started at the ground near her knees. “What if something happened?”

“Like?”

“What if there’s—”

“Emma.” It wasn’t as if Kerry hadn’t thought about this possibility, but there were too many things happening that made it seem impractical. “Have you heard anything bad happening?”

“No, but—” She appeared a bit sheepish. “We were asleep.”

“Are you hearing anything now?” Kerry slowly looked around their hiding spot. “It’s quite. If there was a war going on out there, we’d know.”

“Would we?” Emma chuckled just a little. “We didn’t hear those drain things go off.”

Kerry didn’t meet Emma’s gaze as he tried to come up with an answer, but couldn’t. She has a point; they didn’t make any sound. And if they didn’t— “I would think—”

“And we didn’t hear anything when those things were slamming into the defense screen.” Emma leaned closer to Kerry and spoke in a loud whisper. “We don’t know what sort of magic they’d use to break into The Pentagram. For all we know—”

He shook his head. “No, that hasn’t happen.”

“You don’t know.”

Yes, I do.” Kerry wanted to believe that The Pentagram was safe, that no one was attacking, or had attacked, it, and that it was still standing. It has to be okay, ‘cause . . . “It’s there. I know it is.”

 

Don’t go talkin’ about The Pentagram blowing up, Emma; you’re gonna get Kerry all upset.  And you don’t want to see him when he gets upset.  It’s telling, though, that bringing up mention that a certain someone may be in danger doesn’t set well with Kerry.  One would almost think . . . nah.  Not going there–

But that gets Kerry thinking . . .

 

Emma was way ahead of him, however. “Now that there are bad guys on the grounds.” She chucked. “If they’re locked down, why aren’t we?”

Kerry didn’t have a good answers for this question, either. The simply answer was to stay put, but Emma was quickly changing her mind about that. She wants to go and she wants to do it soon. He knew she was worried about being in the open, maybe even a little scared, but moving now wasn’t a good idea—Not to mention I can’t walk.

There was something else, too: a promise he’d made before leaving the Dining Hall. If you’re paired with Emma, don’t let her talk you into anything. He didn’t want to break that promise, not if he knew he was right. “I can’t move around well.” He slid his hand down his left leg. “You know?”

 

Yeah, don’t listen to that crazy ginger girl, the one that already tore up the knee you’re having trouble with again.

Unfortunately, she has a captive audience, which gives her the opportunity to chat on:

 

“But we have the brooms enchanted now; we don’t need to walk.” She moved closer to Kerry, under her head was next to his. “I have an idea; would you like to hear it?”

Everything was telling him, No, I don’t, but Kerry knew it would be rude not to give Emma a listen. “Sure.”

“Okay, okay. I’m thinking we could make our way over to The Diamond.”

“Whoa.” The Diamond was the huge indoor racing complex located away from everything in the southeast corner of the school grounds. Kerry had flown over it several times, and with racing season under way, he’d been there on a couple of occasions to watch the PAV oval racing. The Flight Class had been there at the beginning of October, touring the facility so they could familiarize themselves with the layout before they started flying there later in the year in order to learn the basics of racing. “That’s like a kilometer from here.”

“Yeah, but here’s what I’m thinking. You know how there’s a gap between the wall and the tree line?”

“Yeah.” Kerry had seen that line plenty of times flying around the school.

“Right. So . . . we can make our way over to the wall, and then fly south until we hook up with Reservoir—

“I see.” Reservoir was one of the main turns on the Green Line. It came out of the central woods, flew over the Cove Path, then turned close to the wall and hopped up over Cove Path again as the course turned east along the south wall. “Then once we’re over the path—”

“We’re on Gloucester Bend, and we open it up all the way to Chicane.” Emma face lit up for the first time since they’d fallen out of the sky. “It might take us like ten minutes to get there.” She pointed at Kerry’s PAV. “And since you got the brooms working for us again, we can make it.”

 

Kerry should look up the expression, “Hoist with his own Petard,” because he just did that.  Sure, totally not the same as being blown up, but you can bet this isn’t gonna go well for Kerry.

Then again, who is gonna get hoisted in the next scene?

Awake Time, Rise and Shine

Now we’re getting down to the end of the wire.  We’re out of the Great Hall and back onto the school grounds once again.  We’re back with Kerry and Emma, Team Myfanwy, and we’re about a half hour after sunset.  Of course, the whole “darkest before the dawn” stuff doesn’t work here, because dawn’s a long ways off, and chances are good they wouldn’t make it out in the open until then.

Maybe.  Who knows?  Do I?  Yeah, but I’m not telling.

Yet.

Let’s get this party started . . .

 

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

18:04 to 18:20

Kerry awoke to a dark forest and silence. He didn’t see much beyond the trees around him, which made the darkness a bit claustrophobic.

He lay upon his back breathing slowly, trying to remember falling asleep. He charged the enchantments in both PAVs, then became a bit dizzy, laid down—and now he was here, having no idea how much time had passed since then. He figured the person who would know best would be Emma—who was strangely silent as well.

“Hey, Emma.” He kept his voice low as he turned his head to the right. “Do—?”

Emma was sound asleep next to him. She was curled up on her left side, facing him, and her head was resting upon his outstretched arm—which he was just noticing was numb beyond the elbow. Kerry noticed she’d removed her goggles before laying down, which he took to mean that she’d probably decided to join him right after he’d passed out.

He tried slowly pulling his arm from under Emma’s head; that’s when he realized that she’d folded her hands under his arms before deciding to use it as a pillow. Since extracting himself quietly was out of the question, that left only one option . . .

“Hey, Emma.” Kerry shook her gently. “Emma. Wake up.”

 

Just want you want to discover:  your wingmate using your arm as a pillow.  Kerry finds out there’s no mystery as to why she conked out–

 

After a couple of shakes Emma’s eyes opened slowly. She looked around without moving her head, then realizing Kerry had shaken her awake, she slowly raised it from his arm. “Oh, hey—” She sat up and stretched. “Sorry about that.”

“It’s okay.” He flexed his arm a few times to get the circulation flowing before sitting up. “Did I just pass out?”

“Yeah. The moment you laid down, you were out.” She looked past him into the gloom for a second or two. “I laid down maybe two or three minutes later. I was feeling so tired—”

“Adrenaline crash.”

“What do you mean?”

Kerry looked for his goggles and realized they were still on his helmet. He took them off and wiped them. “We were high on adrenaline after nearly—well, not dying. Heart rate jacked up, breathing hard—we didn’t notice it.” He slipped the goggles back over his helmet. “After getting here and resting a little, it all stops and you crash.” He slowly brought his gloved hands together. “Boom. You just sort of pass out after that.”

“Yeah, that’s how it felt.” She nodded towards here broom. “Plus you also charged these up.”

“That I did.” He brought up the HUD of his broom and nodded. “Thirty-eight percent.”

Emma checked hers. “I’m up to forty.”

“That means we can fly just about anywhere now if we have to.” He shut his down and leaned back on his elbows, trying not to move least he twist his knee. “Now to just wait for the comms to come up again.”

 

Being out on their own as they are–in the dark in a lot more more than one way–they have no idea what’s going on around them, and that people are working to get everything back to normal.

And being out on his own, Kerry has to deal with the fact that he’s not alone . . .

 

“Yeah.” Kerry didn’t want to lay down because he was afraid he’d fall sleep again, and he didn’t want to leave Emma awake alone. On the other hand, there wasn’t much to do right now save to sit and wait. And sit is all I can do at the moment . . .

However, Kerry was worried Emma wasn’t going to be content with sitting and waiting. Since they’d awoke he’d watched her the best he could in the darkness. He saw the slight shifts in her body, the way she looked about, how she stared up into the sky when she radioed for help, hoping that someone would answer. He was aware that even though they were well hidden, Emma was worried about being out in the open.

He hoped she wasn’t going to mention their situation—

Emma soft sighed. “Kerry, I don’t know that we should stay here.”

 

Maybe he shouldn’t have charged up the brooms and told Emme they could fly now.

Another seven hundred and almost fifty words into the scene, and I do believe I’ll finished up tonight, because I don’t imagine it’s going to be a long one.  Then we get into the nasty stuff, huh?

I mean, how bad can it get when your next scene is titled Abomination?

I mean, how bad can it get when your next scene is titled Abomination?

Maybe if I’m really lucky I can almost finish this chapter by the end of the weekend–

Almost.

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 . . .