William Gibson once said that when he didn’t have anything to write, when the words weren’t coming, then he’d find something else to do. Usually it was writing related, but he is a firm believer that sometimes you can’t make the ideas in your head pop out on to whatever it is you use for paper.
So yesterday I was planing on writing. Like I said, planning. What came out was something different, because the words weren’t happening. There were there, they just weren’t making themselves available. Though that might have been due, in part, to Breaking Bad being on yesterday, which is occupying my Sunday late afternoons and evenings. True, I can hear Jessie Pinkman looking up from the screen and saying, “Yo, you should be writing, bitch!” at which point I’d probably start laughing, but then I always laugh at that sort of stuff.
But words I did have, so I’m going to lay them on you. The situation is dire, but my school’s Chief of Security, Isis, is a cool lady. She is not going to let a little thing like, well, bad guys–and worse, just you wait–running around the school mess up her day. She’s a professional.
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“All right, people.” With their outer detection grid and communications down, and known hostiles inside the walls, Isis wasn’t about to allow the situation inside the Control Center to deteriorate into a lot of shouting that would require an effort on her part to pick out the useful from the noise. The initial attack was over: that didn’t mean that chaos couldn’t continue. “I want a point-by-point determination of the status of our primary defenses: right now I’m more interested in what we have than what we don’t.” She looked around to room and saw she had Tamera’s and Suhaila’s attention. “We ready, ladies?”
Both women nodded; Tamera, as second-in-command, gave the acknowledgment. “Ready, Chief.”
“Let’s start with what’s on our doorstep.” Isis realized she should start with the outer screens, but the breach had already taken place: she was concerned whether she needed to move their security status to Level Four. “Give me a Green/Yellow/Red statue for each system. Ready?”
Tamera nodded. “Go.”
Isis clenched her right fist, then relaxed and moved forward. “Pentagram defense screen.”
The response was immediate. “Green.”
“Pentagram shields—wall and tunnel doors.”
“Pentagram detection grid.”
“Pentagram communication grid.”
That’s everything I wanted to hear. Isis wasn’t surprised by this evaluation; they’d have seen attacks against the Pentagram on the computer monitors. That meant they were safe—for now. It also told Isis other things about what was happening out on the school grounds . . .
“Okay, let’s move out.” She clenched her fist once more, ready for the bad news. “Outer wall defense screen.” Let it be green, let it be green—
The outer wall systems were Suhaila’s area. She had the answer instantly. “Green.”
Isis resisted the urge to sigh. “Outer wall shields—gates and doors.”
Now for the real problem . . . Isis was aware the outer detection and communication grids were down—it was just a matter of whether the grids were “Outer detection grid.” She readied herself for the worst—
Suhaila looked over her shoulder at her chief. “Yellow.”
“You certain?” That wasn’t the answer Isis expected.
“Okay, we come back to that.” It gave her hope that the the comm grid would be the same condition. “Outer communication grid.”
She got the answer right away. “Yellow.”
They’re not destroyed; that means we can work with those. Isis turned to the hologram of the school. “Show me the detection nodes here and give me a color status for each one.”
And now, for Part Two later today . . .