Let’s get the Report From the Sickness Ward out of the way first thing: I felt like I was dying last night. Really, work was a blur, and while I managed to stay awake all day and not fall asleep at my computer, the walk home hurt. I couldn’t relax, I could sit right, I couldn’t lay down. I was stuff and coughing up a lot of fluids. Not a good time at all.
However, I did have a plan. Everyone kept asking, “Are you going to see a doctor?” and the answer is always, no, they won’t do anything for you beyond telling you to rest and keep pounding down warm fluids. So I stopped off to get some warm fluids: specifically, a bottle of Rémy Martin VSOP cognac, which is my drink of choice when I’m looking to burn out a cold, and has served me well twice in the past.
While I won’t say I’m one hundred percent, my nose is drained and I don’t feel the fluids building in my upper chest like I did last night. There’s still a bit of a cough, but nothing like I had last night, and more importantly, I slept, so this morning I feel alive than I did throughout the rest of the week.
The downside to all this is try as I might, the six hundred and fifty words I wrote last night were a hell of a struggle, and I didn’t attempt to push past that number once it was obtained. However, I did get that party started, and here’s what became of that:
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
All eyes shifted towards Erywin, who had been chosen ahead of time to answer these questions. “First off, let me explain why I’m here. Because of some—concerns about the evasiveness of your answers regarding the last few dreams, I was asked to investigate whether or not there was a possibility you might be transgender, and that you were avoiding discussing the matter.”
He cleared his throat. “I thought that might be the reason you’re here.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you—”
“It’s okay.” Kerry waved his hand as if pushing the idea away. “I understand. Did you find anything? I mean—that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”
“It is, indeed.” She leaned against the arm of her chair, making herself more comfortable. “I’ve examined what you’ve already told Coraline and Deanna, and I’ve seen the video of you performing your csigender transformation—and that video is what put on the track to the truth about what’s happening to you.
“First off, something you’re probably eager to hear: you’re not transgender. Based upon what I’ve seen of the physical evident, and what we’ve learned since this afternoon—and are learning now—my report is going to indicate there’s no need to proceed with discussions along those lines.
“However . . . that doesn’t mean there isn’t a gender-related issue to discuss.”
It was impossible for Kerry not to appear confused. “If I’m not trans, then what?”
Erywin meshed her fingers and pressed her thumbs together as she often did when she was about to make an important point. “You have a Gift.”
Of all the questions that’s hit me in the last couple of week, the biggest one has been, “What’s going on with Kerry?” And since I’m like George R. R. Martin and I have to sit back and watch others pull out their hair while their favorite characters put through hell–and that’s the only thing I share with that gentleman–I couldn’t say a word about what I’ve known for like–three years? Probably. Maybe longer, because the first time I really starting thinking about this was late summer, 2011, and that’s closer to four and a half years. Yeah, I’ve been sitting on this that long.
So he has a gift, and it’s one that keeps on coming apparently. And here it is in part:
A few seconds passed before he understood the meaning of Erywin’s last word. “A Gift? I already have a Gift.”
“It’s not unheard of for someone to have two Gifts, though it doesn’t happen that often. But since Deanna was able to put the last piece in place—”
Annie spoke this time. “You mean this mirror dream?”
“Yes, that. Evidence we received early this afternoon indicates you have one of the rarest Gifts ever cataloged.” She paused to allow Kerry to ready himself for what was about to come. “You have the Bigender Gift.”
His eyebrows slowly rose from a combination of surprise and confusion. “What’s that?”
Erywin glance towards Jessica, who picked up the conversation. “You understand how Mimicking works?”
He nodded. “Yes. I interface my aura with that of another person and then use that information to change my physical form to match theirs.”
Coraline chuckled. “He sounds like you, Jess.”
Her smile was uncharacteristically pleasant. “He’s a great student with a great instructor.” She turned back to Kerry. “As you’re likely aware, your aura is not only a reflection of both your mental and emotional states, but it’s the astral aspect of your aspect in the Physical Realm. When you both begin your studies of Astral Magic you’ll discover that someone well versed in both transformation and astral magic can adjust a person’s astral aspect and have that change reflected in their physical aspect. In short, you change a person’s aural form, you may be able to change their physical form.
“The Bigender Gift does that while also acting a bit like being a Mimic as well. It’s really nothing more than altering your physical aspect—your body—based upon the selection of a astral aspect. As you change that form, your physical form changes as well—”
Did you get all that? This is one of the reasons that the whole Mimicking Gift was explained a couple of times during this novel, because it was sort of a setup for what was coming. It’s also nice to know that some asshole witch who’s powerful enough to do both astral and transformation magic can alter your aura and your body, and leave the proper authorities–i.e. The Foundation, probably The Guardians–unable to tell if you really were changed or not. Which should tell you a little about transforming people, in that if you body changes your aura probably doesn’t.
Also Jessica seem quite pleased that Kerry can ramble off that mantra about how Mimicking works and sound like a pro. Jessica gets like this sometimes, and it’s one of the reasons some people feel she’s a bit stuck-up and tends to feel superior over others. The fact that she can turn you into a potted plant is probably another reason everyone acts strangely around her, but I’m only guessing here.
One thing, however, and Annie figures it out right away ’cause she’s that kind of girl–
“Wait.” Annie was sitting quietly up until now, but something Jessica said didn’t seem correct. “Whose aura is Kerry accessing in order to change his physical form?”
The transformation instructor half turned her head in Annie’s direction. “His.”
“That’s impossible. If Kerry’s aura is a reflection of his physical aspect, how can accessing it affect his body? He only has one aura—”
The right corner of Jessica’s mouth curled upward into a wicked smirk. “At the moment.”
“What do you mean?”
Yeah, Jessica, what do you mean? What’s the “at the moment” stuff, huh? Well, if I’m feeling better tonight, you’ll find out tomorrow.
And so far, I feel good. I knew that I should now, too.