Having a Good Night

And a good day–and other days!  Enjoy!

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All Is Not Fair–

In writing, you know?

I was planing on getting out another excerpt today, but people–I’m not a big fan ’cause they keep asking things.

Tomorrow.  We’ll see what happens.

Beyond the Rune: What’s In a Code Name?

It’s an interesting day, filled with lots of doubt, crying, and indecision about my future. It’s also the day I picked up my first driver’s licence outside the State of Indiana and I’m shocked–Shocked, I tell ya!–that they actually put an “F” on it for “Sex”.  Even with all the bad stuff happening to me today–and last night, let’s not forget last night–I had one bright spot that made the day shine.

And speaking of shinning…  Today is an important day in my story history.  For today is the eighteenth birthday of The Heartbreaking of Bolder, Colorado, Emma Neilson, making her the next to last member of her graduation class to reach the Age of Emancipation within The Foundation.  And if you’re paying attention, that means there’s just one other birthday from that class to celebrate, and that’s Kerry’s, which happens in two weeks.  That means Emma is probably out getting loaded somewhere–I’m sure she’s got ID that will let her get served–and Annie is counting the days to when Kerry and she can put their names on that wedding licence application.

And speaking of Emma–well, not yet, but just wait!

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie turned to Helena. “And why does it appear my code name is ‘White Queen’?”

Helena glanced off into space for a few seconds. “That may have something to do with me.”

“How is that possible?”

“Because my code name is Black Queen.” The sorceress scratched at her right cheek as she continued. “My mother called me that when I was a girl and it stuck with me when I came to school. Once I started going out on Guardian field ops it became my official code name and has stuck with me ever since.

“When I was out in San Francisco right after the first of the year—”

“What were you out there for?” This was the first Kerry had heard of Helena making trips to the North American headquarters of The Guardians.

“Had to do with the operation Annie was on while you were doing the Polar Express.”

“Oh. Okay.”

 

Keep in mind I’m writing of future events, and this one happens after Annie’s Girl’s Weekend Out with The Guardians and Emma’s and Kerry’s Polar Express.  In fact, this is happening two weeks after those events transpired, so it’s totally legit to speak of them in the past tense.

And what happened out there in the City By the Bay?

 

“Anyhow, when I was out in San Fran a few weeks back, getting intel on our—” She motioned between her and Annie. “—operation, some of the wags in the meeting called you White Queen because of our association.”

Annie gave this news a few seconds of consideration. “Maybe they feel I’m a bit of your opposite.”

“Or maybe they came up with that because a lot of Guardians are smart arses. Anyway, when your code names arrive don’t be surprised if that’s yours.”

The office was quiet for a few seconds before Kerry spoke in a soft voice. “What about mine?”

“Someone at that same meeting mentioned that.”

“They did?”

Helena chuckled. “About a third of the way through the meeting several pictures of your, um, other self, were displayed and a couple of them were of your and Annie together. A couple of people in the room called you the Red Queen and one even said that given your history of pop culture you’d probably appreciate Annie’s and your code name.”

Annie looked to her right once more. “What do they mean by that?”

Kerry didn’t have to think long on the matter once again. “It’s all comic book stuff, even your name, Helena. The Black Queen and the White Queen were members of The Hellfire Club in the X-Men comics. The Black Queen was a student of The Shadow King and was the leader of The Pale Riders during the Age of Apocalypse. The White Queen—” He chuckled. “She’s just a bitch. And she has a habit of not wearing a lot.” A smile slowly formed on his face. “The Black Queen and White Queen also have something in common.”

“What’s that?”

“Their first name: it’s Emma.” Kerry waited for Annie and Helena to exchange looks before telling them the rest. “Specifically, The Black Queen is Emma Steed—named after Emma Peal from The Avengers—and the White Queen is Emma Frost.”

While Annie simply stared at Kerry in silence, Helena seemed to speak for both women. “I’d make sure a certain ginger from Colorado doesn’t discover we’re sharing her name—” She arced her right eyebrow. “At least in a way.”

Annie humphed. “I know I won’t tell her.”

Kerry nodded. “I won’t, either.”

“Now that we know our code names—” Helena pointed at Kerry. “What about yours?”

“Oh, yeah. The original Red Queen of the Hellfire Club was Margali Szardos, who was a powerful sorceress, really big into demons, and the adoptive mother of Nightcrawler. In the Days of Future Past story, Psylocke was the Red Queen.” Kerry shrugged. “Given some of the stuff I know, I can see that name fitting.” He glanced at both women. “Even though I not completely thrilled to have that moniker laid upon me.”

“If I’m going to have the name Emma following me around, you can have a girl’s code name.” Annie smiled as she finished her sentence then turned to Helena. “One last thing: what’s a media team?”

 

The Guardians know Kerry far too well by now and seem to be thinking along the same lines. While I’m certain Helena’s mother called her daughter “The Black Queen” because of her eyes and attitude, she does also link up with her two protegees, the White Queen and the Red Queen, so there’s a lot of Guardian symmetry going on here.  Also, every geeky word Kerry said is all true because you know it is.

I’m also pretty certain he’ll need kid Annie about having a code name for a character named Emma, because… well, don’t mess with little witches who may react badly to Gingers From America.  Yeah, don’t go there, kid.

Besides, you don’t want Annie digging into your comic collection and finding an outfit for you to wear based upon one of your code name’s characters.  You don’t.  And you know it…

Beyond the Rune: Under the Lens

Hey, guess what, everyone?  I wrote today!  Yay!

Last night we had recruitment but not a lot of people showed, in part due, I think, to the weather turning shitting late in the afternoon.  We have another coming in a couple of months, so there’s no worry.  I was dressed for the event, as usual, and even posted some good song lyrics for the picture:

 

And today I visited the Midtown Scholar, our local independent bookstore.  I had a tea and picked up a book and all was well.

 

This afternoon I got to writing another five hundred words and in that group I came up with the answer to Helena’s statement, where she basically said that she was quite certain Kerry knew the answer to what a gray operative was.  And does he?

Well, Kerry?

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Without further prompting Kerry gave the matter a bit of thought and had what he believed to be the answer in less that five seconds. “Like gray lensmen—right?”

Helena nodded. “Exactly.”

“That means nothing to me.” Annie fixed her gaze upon Kerry. “What is that?”

“It from the, um, Lensman series.” There was a bit of soft throat clearing before he continued. “The Lensman series was written in the 1930s and 40s and is considered one of the best examples of space opera ever. The Lensmen themselves were a group of—I guess you could say they were intergalactic cops who used a device called a lens that gave them some incredible physic powers.” Kerry gave a slight shrug with his left shoulder. “There’s a lot of people who believe the Green Lanterns were taken from the Lensmen, though there are others who disagree.”

Annie didn’t seem satisfied with the answer. “Green Lanterns?”

“Yeah… it’s a DC comic series.”

“I see.” Her demeanor hardened just a bit. “None of that gives me the answer to my original question.”

 

Yeah, Kerry.  Knock it off with the geek knowledge and get to the meat of your soul mate’s question:

 

Kerry immediately realized his mistake. “Right. Um, gray lensmen were members of the corps who worked undercover: you could tell they were different from the rest of the group because when they were back at base for rest or training, they wore gray clothing to note their status. Hence, gray lensmen.” He alternated his gaze from Helena to Annie and back to Helena as he finished his train of through. “You could think of the Lesnman Corps as the Protectors, while the gray lensmen were more like the Guardians.” He raise a brow as if trying to elicit a positive response from the sorceress. “Right?”

Helena nodded. “Quite.”

“So what came first? The literary version or our version?”

As she usually did whenever asked about possible Foundation connections to the Normal world, Helena ignored Kerry’s question and spoke to kids. “A gray operative is one who works independent of the normal team dynamic. Given some of the things I’ve already heard from San Francisco, they’re integrating you into the normal team operations now so they can see how you work independently in the future.”

“So, what we saw was real?” Annie tried to keep her excitement suppressed. “Or at least will be in the future?”

“Who knows? Maybe Deanna does; I don’t.” Helena offered a warm smile. “We know they’re interested in Kerry as an Infiltrator and given what you both say you saw, it seems they’ve expanded upon what we spoke about earlier in the year.”

Kerry nearly rolled his eyes thinking back to the start of the school year when The Guardians said they wanted Annie and he to go on separate field operations alone and that they wanted to integrate Kerry into a field team as his female self, something he more or less shot down—for now. “Yeah, but it looks like I’m working with The Guardians using both genders—”

“According to what you both said, that seems likely.”

“So why do I get that code name?”

Annie turned to Helena. “And why does it appear my code name is ‘White Queen’?”

 

There you have it.  It once more appears that The Foundation has affected Normal pop culture with a science fiction reference—or maybe it’s the other way around?  It seems like it’s something that a lot of people in The Foundation don’t like to answer, but it’s always likely that there have been geeks in the rank long before Kerry showed up and that they liked to give themselves pithy names they discover while out in the Normal world.

Now, does that mean the Operative in the movie Serenity was taken from The Guardians?  Only Joss knows for sure…

It seems like we’re getting into another area now: why the code names?  Why those code names?  And you know who may have an answer?

The Head Sorceress.

Beyond the Rune: Hearing Those Words

Yes, I did get out some writing.  Not a lot, however, ’cause my mind is like a sieve today and nothing is sticking to it well.  Which is to say while I managed three hundred and fifty words in the new scene, getting more out of me was starting to become a chore.

Also, I did a lot of running around today ’cause I went to bed starting to slip into a funk and that funk was with me when I woke, so I decided to stop giving into my depression and do something rather than sit around and mope.  Also, I realized that I was once more digging into shit for which there was no reason to dig because said shit hadn’t happened and likely won’t.  Once more, my mind fucks with me more than anything else.

Anyway, I’m ready for the new ladies to show up–

–and I hope I can help them get interested in derby.

Meanwhile, someone is interested in a dream that two of her more interesting students had and it’s possible it’s causing her a little pain…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Helena took Annie and Kerry to The Witch House, where they listened to the audio of they rune dream in the privacy of the Head Sorceress’ main office. No one spoke during the fifteen minute recording, though there were moment when Helena would sigh aloud or muttered something just under her breath, as if she couldn’t believe what he’d heard.

After the recording finished she asked both children to tell her what they’d seen and done within the dream. When Annie asked if the conversation was being taped, Helena confirmed that she was shooting video for Deanna to watch as that had been their agreement in the instance that Helena required details on a specific vision.

It was only after all the specifics of the rune dream were given that Helena sat back in her chair. “Recording off.” She lowered her head as she rubbed her eyes. “Fucking Christ, did you two fall into it.”

Kerry asked the most obvious question. “Are we in trouble?”

Helena replied without giving him an answer. “You’re having a vision dream of things that may not happened to you for years, maybe decades, to come and you’re speaking of things of which you can’t possibly have any knowledge.” She sat up and uttered a dry chuckle. “Grey operatives; media teams; code names even. I mean, it’s not like I don’t expect you to achieve the level you mention in your vision, but for the moment—” She cleared her throat. “It’s just that no one expected you to hear about these thing by now.”

“So, what is a grey operative?” Annie wasn’t concerned about being in trouble as they had no control over what was in their vision, so she expect there wouldn’t be a punishment. “I mean, since we heard of it in our dream, it doesn’t make sense to keep the information from us now.”

There was a moment of silence in the office while Helena drummed her fingers on her desk. When she did answer, it was in a roundabout manor. “I’m sure he—” She pointed at Kerry. “—can figure it out.”

 

And if you know Kerry–and you probably do, only not as well as me–you know he’s gonna have an answer.

If you’re lucky he’ll tell you tomorrow.

All the Things I Was Gonna Do–

But you know the story: I was up early–and up late last night–working on bout video, and then I needed to roll out and get some pills, then… well, it’s been rainy and I was tired and you know how it all goes.

That means the writing I was going to do today never got done.  So there’s always a chance I’ll post something new tomorrow.

Keep your fingers crossed.

The Rune Dream: Loose Lips

Believe it or not, I not only have an excerpt for you, it’s also a completed scene.

Yes, I’m down to the coffee shop this morning, enjoying caffeinated beverages and getting ready for Bout Day–

Though no green wig–yet.

 

And while here I decided to write.  It wasn’t a big deal, as I knew what I was going to say in the next scene after the kids woke up from their rune dream.  I also had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be a long scene–and I was right.  Clocking in at just over six hundred words, this is probably the shortest scene I’ve written for any of the novels, but while it’s short it sets up everything for the next scene, which is likely to be far longer: perhaps as long as the rune dream scene itself.

I’m nothing if not quick.

 

So, what happens to Annie and Kerry once they’re awake?  Let’s find out.

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“—Be off.” Kerry’s eyes snapped open as the last words escaped his lips. He lay still for a moment as he forced himself to awaken fully, clearing the slight grogginess he always felt when he came out of a deep dream. As the room was still pitch dark he crafted a small illumination point and set it to hover about a meter above him.

Once it was in place he rolled to his right. Annie was just waking and her unfocused eyes told him she’d fallen as just as deeply into the dream as he. Kerry didn’t find this surprising: as with almost all their other visions he was certain Annie has shared this one with him and when she finally turned an looked at him, his felt his certainty was confirmed. “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” Annie lay on her side looking back at her soul mate. “And you?”

“Right as rain.” He slid as close to her as possible so he didn’t have to speak above a whisper. “Did you see everything I did, White Queen?”

She smiled the moment he used the code name mentioned in the rune dream. “I did—Red Queen.”

He signed. “Yeah, about that—”

“It’s something that happens in the future: don’t worry about it now.” Annie tilted her head back just a bit. “I wonder how everyone else is doing?”

Kerry spent a few seconds listening to the darkness. “I don’t hear anyone—they must all be asleep.”

“Let’s see.” Working with Kerry’s Illumination point, Annie moved it another meter into the air and brightened it enough that nearly half the room was now dimly visible.

What she was was completely unexpected: all the sleep positions were empty. “I don’t understand—”

“I don’t either.” Kerry moved up to his knees and threw another Illumination point into the air, making almost three-quarters of the room visible. It was more of the same: all the sleeping areas laid out at the beginning of class were empty. “It looks like everyone’s gone.”

“They are.” Deanna stepped out of a shadow near the back of the room and made her way towards her students. “Most of them were already out of their rune dreams and awake before you—” A small smile appeared, framing Deann’s bright white teeth. “Entered yours.”

Annie knelt next to Kerry. “Why are they gone, then?”

“Because you began speaking in your sleep as you both sometimes do. And—” Deanna stopped a couple of meters from the couple. “You were saying things.”

Kerry glanced at Annie before asking the question. “Things?”

“Yes.” There was another protracted pause while Deanna found her words. “While I wasn’t sure that what you were saying shouldn’t be heard by the others, I didn’t want to take any chances. I ordered all those awake from the room and made the rest leave as soon as came out of their dreams.”

There was silence in the classroom for nearly five seconds before Annie addressed the seer. “How would you know that the things we were saying shouldn’t be heard by the other students?”

“Because I gave her a list.” From near where Annie and Kerry knew the classroom door was located Helena calmly strolled into the dim light. “She asked last year for some key words to listen for that might be related to—well, some of the things you may do in the future.” The sorceress stopped a few meters from Deanna as everyone looked in her direction. “Apparently you said one or more of them.”

Deanna nodded. “They did.”

“I see. As that’s the case—” Helena motioned both children to stand. “We need to talk.”

 

Yeah, Helena wants to talk.

And you can just bet that’s gonna be a good talk…