It’s been a strange night and morning, let me tell you. This morning my computer has been slow to come up and do anything, to the point where I’ve already rebooted once to get it going again. That tends to happen any time the anti-virus program decides to update, which is pretty much every other day, it seems. But here I am, typing away at six-oh-eight in the morning–and I’ve been messing with this computer just short of an hour, so that should give you an idea of when I got up.
And getting up . . . the vivid dreams are back, people. The last couple of nights I have had some amazingly interactive dreams, so vivid that at one point I felt someone pushing at my back so hard that it woke me up. Seriously. I could feel a person there. The thing is, in my dream I was laying down, so that would mean someone was pretty against my back in bad. If only . . .
But before that there was writing, and it was good. One scene, short–if you want to call eleven hundred words short, so be it–and it’s setting up all the stuff that’s happened and confirming whether or not my little kids are ready for the spying witch thing . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“Which brings up the next point . . .” Helena had been dreading this part of the conversation, because she knew Erywin wasn’t a fan of what they were doing. “Are they ready for this operation?”
Erywin rubbed her hands together for a few seconds. She had to give an answer—and an honest one that Helena wouldn’t see though. “From a professional standpoint, they’re ready. We already know they have the skills, and they’ve shown that in their test runs here and in the city. They’ve been able to conduct themselves as excellent witch out in Normal public, and have taken great care to blend in with the rest of the population. Given Kerry’s background, and with Annie being in the semi-public eye for a part of her life, I didn’t expect this to be a problem. They both know there are lots of eyes watching them.
“As for their emotional maturity—they can handle this. They haven’t complained when we’ve given them little to do other than follow people around, and that’s going to be a huge plus for them once we’re in Kansas City. They understand this isn’t going to be a glamorous operation: it’s more sneaking and peaking, and they’re expected to blend into the surroundings like any other pair of tweens.” She rolled her shoulders and sighed. “All my personal opinions aside, they can do this.”
Erywin was the key in this, really: she knows people well, and if she said Annie and Kerry weren’t ready for this thing, Helena would have pulled the plug. But she also knew she had to be honest with Helena, who after thirty years would know if her partner was giving her a line. Who else can you trust if not someone whose life you’ve shared for that long?
And we find out why Helena hasn’t tried harder to stop this . . .
Helena nodded slowly. “And just so we’re still on the same page, I still share many of your personal opinions.”
“Yes, but you’re not doing anything to put a stop to this.”
“And you know the reason why.” Helena pushed back into her chair and stretched. “We let them go now, with us handling them in the field, and there’s less of a chance for everything to go tits up and for them to come back in worse shape than they left. Otherwise . . .”
Erywin wasn’t about to leave the comment hanging. “Would they really turn this into a training operation just to get them in the field?”
“They could. It would be completely legal, and were that to happen they couldn’t use their Right of Refusal to turn it down. All they’d need to do is bring them to a facility, do a workup on them, and then turn them loose in a city—who the hell knows what might happen?” Helena pulled her mobile from her jacket and laid it upon her desk. “And they could also do this during the summer, when there’s limited visibility on our side. No: this is the best course of action. We can keep them in our sights and come home if shit gets too deep.”
See? I have little Catch-22s everywhere. Just label it a different way and there you are: you’ve got a couple of twelve year olds spending the summer perhaps running for their lives. See, it’s not a “Field Operation”, it’s a “Monitored Test”. Just like it’s not torture, it’s “enhanced interrogation”–and a monitored test could end up being just about the same thing.
But did you think things we’re going to happen with a bit of a twist? Guess again!
“And it’s all on us now.” Erywin stood up and started slowly pacing the room. “I worry about myself.”
“You’ll do fine.” Helena meant it, too. She didn’t see this as a dangerous operation, and was aware that her partner could take care of herself in any situation. “If you could fly Air Patrol during the Day of the Dead, you can handle this. I wouldn’t have asked you along if I didn’t think you were capable.”
“I know. Still, I have by doubts—”
Helena’s mobile buzzed. She snatched it off the desk and checked the message. “Son of a bitch.”
Erywin didn’t like the tone of her lovely girl’s voice. “What?”
Helena typed in something quickly and sent off a message before tossing the phone down. “They moved the operation up a week—” She sat back, smoothing out her hair. “We leave this Thursday.”
“You did say we could expect this.”
“I know. But for the reply to come back so fast . . .” She shook her head. “They must have known they were going to move it up a few days ago. Which is why they asked for a decision by tonight.” She chuckled. “Bastards.”
Erywin leaned on the back of one of the chairs. “You could still kill this operation.”
“I could, but I’m going to let it go.” Helena shrugged. “Like you say, we knew it could happen, and I was half expecting this. No, we go on. Like it or not, this isn’t a huge deal breaker.”
So it’s the Tuesday night follow the Sunday meeting in the Grove, and now it looks like our Fearsome Foursome is going to leave sometime Thursday afternoon or evening. And the next scene is a late night one with the kids, and it’ll serve to clear a few things up, as well as push Act Three over the fifty thousand word mark, and maybe even three hundred and sixty thousand words.
If there aren’t a lot of distractions at Panera tonight, I could finish the scene, and that would mean I’ve been ready to start on the next part, Kansas City, by Friday or Saturday. I already know there are things in the first chapter of that part I want to add, so I’ll likely start layout out those scenes as soon as I can.
Oh, and you’ll see some surprising things in Chapter Thirty-Five.