Our People in Paris: the Meetup

NaNo wordage was met last night, and then some, but due to . . . shall we say, issues, occurring, I didn’t finish the scene.  And I know some people reading this right now are probably reaching for their hair going, “Cassie!  You promised!”

 

"Seriously?  You're pulling this crap?"

“Seriously? You’re pulling this crap?”

Sue me, sunshine, because sometimes there are things well beyond your control.  But I managed my NaNo count, and the scene is close to an end, and I will probably flow into the next scene tomorrow.  Either way, Act Two will finish this weekend at the latest.

But what happened last night?  Well, there was a meeting, but before that was a nervous Kerry . . .

 

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

Kerry had pretty much stopped shaking by the time he reached the Main Conference Room across from the Headmistress’ Office. He’d found a message waiting on his school email account that he was to report there by ten, and that the meeting with the person from Paris would end before lunch. Nothing more was stated, which didn’t leave him feeling at ease.

Even though she wasn’t asked, Kerry brought Annie along. He wasn’t at all sure about what he was going to hear, or what was going to happen, but he wanted her next to him no matter what. He was afraid she was going to be asked to leave once they arrived, but he was intend to argue for her to be there.

After all, he had nothing to hide: he hoped the people from Paris didn’t, either.

They showed up in the antechamber that separated the Headmistress’ Office from the Main Conference room. Kerry found someone familiar waiting. “Ms. Rutherford—what are you doing here?”

“Hello, Kerry.” She gave him a quick smile, then turned to Annie. “Hello, Annie. It’s nice to see you again.”

“Nice to see you, Ms. Rutherford. And congratulations on being Kerry’s Intermediary.” Annie found it a bit unusual that this particular woman was here; Kerry had told her about the new part she was playing, but it didn’t explain why she was here now.

“Thank you, Annie.” Ms. Rutherford looked over both children. “I don’t recall anyone but you being invited, Kerry.”

“I know, but . . .” He held Anni’s hand tight and gave it a squeeze. “I want her to be here—I think she should be here.”

“Very well, then.” Ms. Rutherford pushed open the door to the conference room. “Shall we go in?”

 

So is Ms. Rutherford there to calm someone?  To reassure?  What’s going on?  And she’s not from Paris, either:  we know that.  But we find out who is from Paris, and why she’s there.

 

The room was large, but at the moment the only things inside were a long table and seven high backed chairs. The Headmistress stood at one end of the table, and next to here stood a tall dark haired woman with a dusty complexion. No one else was present. Ms Rutherford led Annie and Kerry over for introductions. “Kerry, Annie, this is Ms. Yalpat. Nuray, this is Kerry Malibey and his . . .” A slight grin spread across Ms Rutherford’s face. “. . . girlfriend, Annie Kirilova.”

“Pleased to meet you both.” For a moment it seemed as if she were going to shake Kerry’s hand. “You’re the one who brought me here, yes?”

“Um . . .” He wasn’t sure if he should answer the question or not.

“It’s okay, Kerry.” Ms. Yalpat chuckled and waved away his concern. “It was meant to be rhetorical. Come, let’s sit.”

Kerry waited for Annie to sit before he picked the seat to her right. Ms. Rutherford and Ms. Yalpat sat on the other side of the table, with Ms. Yalpat sitting across from Annie and Ms. Rutherford across from Kerry. The Headmistress selected to sit in the chair at the head of the table. The moment she was settled she looked about the room. “I think we can start now, even if it is a little early.”

“A little early gets me back into Paris in time to freshen up before dinner.” She turned her attention to Kerry. “As you’ve surmised, I’m here before of the search that was conducted on Aisling Callaghan. As you may have also surmised, Aisling is indeed in our data base—but what you couldn’t have known is that we’ve been waiting a long time for someone to look for her name.

 

And once the preamble is out of the way, Ms. Yalpat gets into the history:

 

“Aisling was a witch, as you may have guessed. She was born 20 April, 1807, in the area where you grandfather searched for her. Callaghan isn’t her actual family name: it was originally Whelan. Nor was Aisling her given name, but seeing as how she was shadowed into the Normal world, none of that matters, do it?

“Aisling was discovered just after she turned seven—”

Annie looked at Kerry and spoke in a “Almost the same age at which you were noted.”

“What?” This was the first time he’d heard concerning the first time he’d come to The Foundation’s attention.

“It’s not important, Kerry.” Ms. Yalpat shot Annie a disturbing look before continuing. “What is important is that Aisling was moved in with a family in Liverpool that knew something of magic, and it was there she was allowed to perform magic and perfect her Craft before going to school.”

“There were families that knew magic?” It wasn’t a surprise there were witches in England at that time, but Kerry imagined they’d keep quiet about what the could do. Except if the people before The Foundation were involved in this, then they had to know about these people . . .

“Of course, Kerry. In fact, the family Aisling lived with were rather good at it. The father had studied with a coven in Belgium, and the mother—” Ms. Yalpat chuckled. “How do you think we came to know of the famous School of Salem?”

 

And that’s how we knew of the the Salem school, ’cause witches hooked up with those groups who were on their way to becoming The Foundation, and talked about what they learned.  For historical sake, The Foundation didn’t buy the Salem School until the 1870’s, about two hundred years after it was founded.  History!

And Kerry learns, the hard way, how Greatty Grandma Aisling could go to Oxford and not get tared and feathered by all the dudes there:

 

“Aisling learned her Craft, and eventually attended school at Edinburgh, which we now know as ECMI. Aisling graduated from there and then went on to attend school in Oxford—”

“How did she manage that?” Kerry was still puzzled about how she and other women could go to an all-male college and never have a problem. “No one noticed there women going to class?”

“Kerry—” Ms. Yalpat crossed her arms on the table top as she leaned over them. “You saw the Abominations breach the Salem defenses, did you not?”

He nodded slowly. “Yeah.”

“Did you hear of hear of any the major news organizations in the Normal world reporting on the attack on Salem?”

“Um, no.”

“Your parents work for the BBC; did they hear anything from their news organization about the attack?”

“No.”

“Well, then . . .” Ms. Yalpat’s eyes sparkled. “If magic can be used to cover as large an event as the Day of the Dead Attack, it should be rather easy to enchant women with Glamore spells so they aren’t noticed, don’t you think?”

“Of course.” Annie turned to Kerry. “I didn’t think of that, either.”

“Neither did I.” They were just getting into using Glamore in Advanced Spells, and everyone was finding it a little tricky to work because you had to visualize an image you wanted to project for others to see, and getting the image right was hard, especially when you couldn’t see the image from the outside. “That would make everything easier.”

 

Glamore, bitches:  it works.  Most people would look at that as a fae spell, and I’m not saying if there are fae or not.  There were fae in Torchwood, and they were mean little suckers.

There’s something else that comes up in conversation as well:

 

“All that changed when Deheune came along . . .” Ms Yalpat’s demeanor changed. “She’s the one that we’ve kept hidden.”

This was a name Kerry hadn’t heard yet. “Who’s Deheune?”

“She was Aisling’s first born, and almost as good a witch as her mother.”

“I thought the first kid born was Gwendolyn?”

“That was the history that was created; she was born five years later. Deheune would have been your great-great-great-great aunt—had she lived.”

 

So there wasn’t another witch, but . . . what happened to her?  Well, I said in the scene, but I’ve not said it here.  Needless to say, she didn’t found a witch line, and if The Foundation kept her hidden from Kerry’s family, something happened to her.  In the scene Kerry discovered he’s the first of his family to hear of this aunt that never was.

There’s something else, too–

 

“It’s likely. Aisling watched her children, and grandchildren, for signs they might develop Awareness, but by the time your great-grandmother Paulette was born she’s pretty much given up hope of ever seeing another witch in the family.”

“Wait a minute . . .” He sat back and held out his hands as if pushing something away. “I’ve seen my grandpa’s charts, and Grandma Paulette was born in 1904; Grandma Aisling died in 1903—”

“No, Kerry: Aisling vanished from sight in 1903.”

“What?”

Annie stiffened slightly: she knew what was coming, and she was afraid Kerry wasn’t ready to hear what was coming next. He doesn’t know about how long we can live . . . “Kerry—”

He turned to his left. “Yes?”

“Remember how I’ve told you to keep an open mind from time-to-time?”

“Yeah.”

“This is one of those times.” She nodded at Ms. Yalpat. “Continue, please.”

 

This is going to come up in the next scene:  age, and how long witches live.  As you see below, Aisling had a long life . . .

 

“Yeah. Um . . . when did Aisling die?”

Ms. Yalpat finally pulled the tablet in front of her. “8 June, 1950. Her son Randal passed on almost two years later.”

Kerry took several deep breaths as he consider everything he’d been told. “Okay, yeah. I mean . . .” He didn’t know how to put his thoughts into words. “I can’t tell my grandfather about this, can I?”

“No, not yet. We’ll send you an electronic copy for this, and in a couple of days we’ll courier over hard copies of everything.” Ms. Yalpat shook her head. “But you wouldn’t be able to come out with this information until at least after your B Levels are complete, and maybe . . .” She spread her hands. “Maybe even a little longer.”

“I understand.” Kerry turned to Annie, then looked down the table to the Headmistress before turning back to Ms. Yalpat. “Is that all?”

“Actually, Kerry . . .” Ms. Yalpat shook her head. “That’s not the reason we’re here.”

 

And why are they there?  Only I know!  Sorry, I had to throw that in.  But I will write this tonight, and you’ll learn of it tomorrow–I promise!  I really do.

You gotta trust me on this one . . .

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/2:  2,043

NaNo Total Word Count:  11,070