Creeping Into Unseen Memory’s

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility, and when it comes to being a visible member of the transgender community, I think I meet the criteria.  It’s been a day over three years since I first appeared in public as Cassidy looking like a hot mess ’cause I knew nothing about makeup, I looked far too masculine, and my brows were for sure not on fleek.

In case you needed reminding, this was me then.

 

But that was three years ago, and today I’m once more in front of the Capitol being, you know, visible.

 

Can’t get much more visible.

 

I’m ready for my close up!

And three years ago I was writing about a couple of kids who were at a school for witches in the US–actually, I was editing the novel as part of a redo of the first part where Annie and Kerry met, so there wasn’t any excerpts those days, though at night, three years ago tonight, I began writing Act Two of A For Advanced, which you got as few days later.

And now look at my kids.

That’s not to say they don’t have some issues still.  A big one is coming up and it has something to do with the start of this scene.  And we find out that Annie has a few things she keeps to herself–

 

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

 

“Are you sure this is where we’re supposed to meet?”

Annie found it hard to keep from smiling at Kerry’s nervousness as they climbed the stairs to the first floor of Memory’s End. Annie had never told Kerry that she had been here nearly a year ago to speak with Deanna of her concerns about Kerry’s dreams, so he wasn’t aware that she knew her way around. She found it somewhat amusing that if he was somewhat bothered by the silent darkness closing around them, she wondered how he would fare visiting the first floor of the Witch House.

She stopped him just before they reached the floor. “Deanna indicated that she wanted to meet us in one of the meditation rooms. She explained in my email what it is they do in these meditation rooms and thought it would be a good place for us to meet for our lessons.” Annie didn’t mention that she had made up that last part, but felt by doing so it would prevent having to explain how she knew her way around this part of the building.

For moment Kerry appeared a bit hurt. “She didn’t mention any of that in my email.”

Annie took his hand. “You know Deanna and I are close, my love. Perhaps she felt more comfortable having me lead the way here.” She pulled him slightly closer. “I’m certain it wasn’t a deliberate slight.”

Kerry almost immediately felt that Annie was correct and shook himself out of his fugue. “You’re right, Darling.” He scrunched his shoulders together as he sighed. “I’ve just been feeling kind of—extra emotional today. I guess I let this get to me.”

Annie’s amusement turned to concern as she wondered not about his emotional state, but his physical. Though he wasn’t expected to return to the hospital for another couple of weeks, the hormonal imbalance Coraline detected when they first arrived at school was likely still present and she wondered if the minimal amount of estrogens in his body was finally affecting his moods. If they’re really beginning to affect how he is feeling now, wait until he feels the full effect after the first transition.

 

I can write from experience that as soon as Kerry has to live with the Evil E for a few hours he’s gonna feel like he’s–well, she’s losing her mind.  And it looks like it’s beginning to affect him a little now, but only in the sense that he’s getting moody and sort of turning back into that kids from his A Levels who sometimes cried at the drop of a hat.  So get ready for those moments when you hate how your hair turned out and that leads you into a full-on sobbing meltdown full of ugly crying, kid.

Now, there’s something about Annie… and it’s that she doesn’t always tell Kerry everything.  When she was concerned about his dreams she went and visited Deanna and they they met up on the first floor of Memory’s End.  Why doesn’t she tell Kerry this?  Most likely reason:  she doesn’t want to get into a discussion right now.  Though maybe she doesn’t want Kerry knowing about all the times she schlepped out to Memory’s End to talk to Deanna and worry about what was going on in his head.

Hey, a girl’s gotta have a few secrets.

Now that we’re beyond that point, let’s see what’s up ahead–

 

She kissed his cheek. “It’s quite all right, my love. Come: she’s waiting for us.”

They reached the first floor and did a one-eighty, walking towards the far end of the building bathed in shadow. They walk nearly to the end before encountering a door on their left marked Meadow. They both knew they didn’t have to knock; their emails specifically told them to come straight in the moment they arrived. Kerry waved open the door and waited for Annie to enter first before following her.

The interior gave him a surprise. Though he stood on hardwood floor covered in large pillows the three walls directly to his left, right, and front gave the appearance that he was standing in an open field ringed by trees perhaps half a kilometer away. He also appeared to be standing under a twilight sky, one that had already passed through magic hour and was approaching full darkness. He half-closed his eyes and drew in a breath, catching the scent of moisture on grass and enjoying the cooling night air. “This is like the real thing.”

“That’s the idea, Kerry.” Deanna approached the couple from behind and her left. “The idea is to produce an environment that is conducive to relaxation and mental focus. I thought an open field, like this one, would be something that both of you would enjoy. After all, I have heard you enjoy a location similar to this in your shared dreams.” She cast a quick glance at Annie. “Or so I was told.”

 

Yeah, those meditation rooms are like being in the real environment in some ways and it helps get one in the right frame of mind for what’s about to come next.  And what is coming next?

That should show up real soon…

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Finally At the End of Time

As much as I would’ve liked to write last night, I had a TV recap to get out and that took up the majority of my time.  Still, I’m about thirty-five hundred words up and I should get a few hundred more tonight.  As long as you keep writing, things are going to be okay.

I’m finally able to bring Kerry’s lesson to an end.  He’s had a lot of time to talk about time, which means it’s time for him to stop talking about time.  But before he goes, he has to give a bit of an explanation about his last practical experiment.  Because there’s an extremely important lesson to be learned in it…

 

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

 

He walked slowly towards the end of the semi circle where Naomi sat and stopped when he was a couple of meters in front of her. “You wanted to know what I could do with the spell like the one I’ve demonstrated? You could use it to momentarily accelerate yourself so that if you needed to get out of a jam you could actually run away faster than people could pursue you. Or you could use it to speed yourself up to complete the task. Or, if someone was about to hurt you and you had time to get a spell like that around you, you could either subdue them, knock them out, or even kill them.”

Kerry nodded to his left, down towards the far end of the room where Wednesday was finally removing the barrier. “If I’d hit anyone in the chest with that tennis ball, the chances are pretty good that if I hadn’t killed them they’d be in the hospital for a long stay. But it’s more likely I would’ve killed them.”

He walked to the far end of the room where he had thrown the tennis ball and retrieved a few things that had fallen to the floor. When he returned to face the students he dropped the burnt, shattered fragments of the tennis ball at his feet. “This is what’s left of the ball after it discharged all of the kinetic energy from it’s velocity. Now, the shield Wednesday put up was designed to absorb energy and dissipate it into the safety enchantment, so it’s a lot sturdier than anyone’s body. So instead of disintegrating as if I’d thrown it into one of you, it’s likely it would’ve collapsed your chest, torn off most of your outer skin, and probably made your organs explode.

“But here’s something you need to keep in mind: just because I could accelerate myself and throw a tennis ball at someone as fast as a Class 1 PAV, that doesn’t mean I want to do the same thing and then get into hand-to-hand combat. Punching someone while you’re accelerated is going to hurt them, but it’s also going to hurt you. An arm, a wrist, and a hand are just as soft and pliable under accelerated time as they are under Normal time, and throwing an accelerated punch into another person is going to feel like you’re hitting a wall. You may do a lot of damage to the person you hit, but you are for sure going to mess up your own arm as well.”

Pang stretched out his legs as he folded his hands across his stomach. “So jacking up your own personal time wouldn’t help you out a lot when fighting.”

Kerry looked down as he grinned. “Not unless you know what you’re doing.”

Like everyone else in the room, Pang knew that Annie and Kerry were in Advanced Self Defense and Weapons. “But you’ve probably figured out how to do it, right?”

“And that is a lesson for another time.” Not wanting to get into a long, drawn-out discussion of how accelerated time could be used in combat, Wednesday walked up behind Kerry and placed her hand on his shoulders. “Let’s all thank Kerry for giving us this demonstration. It was very informative, as well as being interesting.” She waited for him to return to his seat before she continued. “So now you have an idea of some of the things we’re going to work on tonight. Let me get the room set up so that we have our lab tables, and then we can begin.”

She took a couple of steps back for stopping and smiling. “And don’t feel as if you have to rush things tonight. Remember… We have plenty of time.”

 

If Kerry has already thought out the ramifications of what would happen if he accelerated his own personal time considerably and then punch someone, it also means that he’s figured out the ramifications of how to prevent his own arm from exploding when he performs said punch.  Because it’s not like him to think, “Wow, if I kick my own time up to five times greater than Normal and then slap someone, I could take their face off!”  Except he knows that if he does that, he’d probably rip off his own hand in the process.

But what other type of magic is Kerry really good at?  Something about transforming?  Like I said, he’s thought out the ramifications…

Now that were finished with Advanced Spells, it’s time for Annie and Kerry to go to their special advanced class.  One where they won’t only learn about how to do magic in this world, but do magic in another–

“Humans”, Season 2, Episode 7, “The Silo”

It’s time for big moves and their consequences…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via AMC]

It’s penultimate episode time and that means a lot of things to do been coming together for the last three or four episodes have finally come to a head and need to be resolved. But, given that this is the penultimate episode, that means there are events happening here that will have consequences that need to be handled later.

And as we’ve seen on Humans in the past, those consequences can be a bit messy…

There were only three major things that happened, so let’s go over them in a bit more detail:

Item 1 — I Want a Body:

Karen (Ruth Bradley) is bonding with Sam, the synth child, which is causing Pete (Neil Maskell) to feel left out–so much so that he’s out of the apartment rather quickly to go “do something”. Karen wants to do something as well: she tells Sam that she’s going…

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Real Time Time Applications

Yes, I actually started a new chapter last night. Which also means the start of the new scene.  While I didn’t start out with another thousand word night, I did manage to get just over five hundred and fifty words.  In considering I was having to think up a bit of history about the school the whole time, I consider that a good beginning.

This is how good beginnings look.

A couple of quick things.  The first three scenes happen within a few days of each other. In case you’re wondering 22 September, 2013, is a Sunday.  This means that the second scene, as well is the third, occur on the day Annie and Kerry have Advanced Self Defense and Weapons class, which means or whatever they are doing happens in class.  And any time you see a scene titled Testing Kali, figure it has to do with that scene from the trailer where Annie and Kerry appeared to be fighting off a group of zombies.

As for that last scene?  27 September, 2013, is Annie’s birthday.  Only I’m going to write this scene up just a little differently than I have the last two birthday scenes, so it’s going to come off in the story just a bit differently than in the other novels.  No big deal; I just wanted to change things up a bit.

Now, let’s head back to the classroom…

Kerry has already shown an exploding tennis ball and it was very entertaining. However, he just did something else with the time spell that didn’t cause a tennis ball to explode, and Serafina wanted to know why.  Being the nice student/teacher that he is, Kerry’s about to tell her and the rest of the class–

 

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

 

Kerry replied as soon as he was certain he understood the question. “Treontdn’t—” A second later he nodded at normal speed, so this time his words didn’t come out sounding like accelerated gibberish. “The reason it didn’t is because only way that you can change your own time and still sort of interact with the unchanged world is to pull the field so tight around your body that us sort of wear it as a second skin.” He ran his open hand over his right arm. “When I had this time field in place it was like only millimeters thick across my body, which meant while I was moving five times faster than you guys I could also reach out and touch any of you—” He held up the tennis ball. “Or grab this without it doing something weird due to Normal physics.”

A number of surprised looks passed between the older students while Naomi and Subhan appeared slightly shocked by a concept that no one in the regular B Level Spells class likely even imagined. Pang sat back her up his hands. “Geez, man, I’d have never figured that one out.”

Nadine, on the other hand, was interested in figuring out the various complexities of the spell. “So, how would you do a spell that’s going to affect stuff outside your time field?”

“Oh, that.” Kerry touched his lip You have to open up micro holes in the time field so that you can access unaltered time and craft spells within that time frame. Depending on your personal time frame it’s going to seem like you’re crafting exceptionally slow or exceptionally fast, so you need to take the difference into consideration so you don’t screw up your crafting.” He shrugged. “Or enlarge the field just enough to craft in your own space and then drop it from around the spell once you’re finished.”

Nadine slung her right arm over the back of her chair as she crossed her legs. “Oh, is that all?”

 

It’s a good thing Nadine and Kerry are Friends, otherwise people would likely think Nadine was being an insufferable smartass.  And to a lot of students at Salem, that’s exactly how she comes off.  But that’s the way Nadine is: she comes off as rather gruff and straightforward to a lot of students, and they don’t like her because that.  You really have to know her to understand her.   And that’s not always an easy thing, because she doesn’t always let people into her inner circle.  Annie and Kerry have been lucky in that she’s become friends with them; not everyone at the school has been that fortunate.

And this leads up to his next teaching moment–

 

The whole room joined her in laughter, even Kerry, who looked down with a sheepish expression. “Yeah, I do make it sound a lot easier than it is. But that’s really the gist of how one should craft the spell. It takes some time to figure it out, however: Annie and I worked on it for a few days here, and I spent time over the summer visualizing how it should work. So I have a bit of a head start on everyone.”

Naomi finally found the courage to raise her hand. “Excuse me.” She looked at all the other students as if to make certain it was okay for her to speak before turning to Kerry. “Even though you can do this, how useful is it really? I mean, I can understand maybe being able to speed up crafting spells, but why else would it be useful?”

It wasn’t necessary for Kerry to think upon an answer: he’d anticipated the possibility this question would be asked by one of the B Levels and he had already prepared a response. “I think it would be better if I show you what I could do instead of tell you.” He turned to Wednesday. “Think you can help me out again?”

“Sure thing.” Wednesday walk down to the far end of the classroom and crafted a huge dark barrier that covered a significant portion of the wall. When she was finished she walked back about half the distance between her crafted barrier and Kerry impressed yourself up against the wall opposite where the students were sitting. She nodded slowly. “Go ahead.”

 

Up next is some more of that “science stuff” that shouldn’t have any place in a story about witches and magic, but damn it all, sometimes you gotta go there.  I mean, Kerry has to deal with g forces when he’s racing, so why shouldn’t there be some science here?

The answer is we have it.  And it’s like this:

 

Kerry levitated a tennis ball out of the box once they had left behind and left it hovering within arms reach while he stood as he had before when crafting the previous time spell. When he was finished he snatched the tennis ball out of the air with his right hand and transferred it to his left hand. He stood still for just a second and quickly drew his left arm back and tossed the tennis ball.

The tennis ball flew so quickly across the room as to be impossible to follow. It seemed to have just left Kerry’s hand when it crashed into Wednesday’s black barrier with a loud crack followed by a sudden burst of light, flame, and heat as it was was enveloped in the dark shroud. Nearly all the students jumped the second the room was filled with the sound of the ball’s impact: even Wednesday threw up her left arm as if to guard against the heat emanating from the far end of the room.

Kerry waited for the excited students to calm down before he addressed Naomi. “That’s one of the things that you can do. I did the same thing that Wednesday did: I gave the ball and underhand toss that would ascend to the cross the room at about seventy kilometers an hour. Only the big difference between what Wednesday did and what I did is that she threw her ball in the time field were encompassed and now—which is to say, Normal time—and I accelerated my personal time to five times greater than Normal time.

“When I tossed the ball, it appeared to me that I wasn’t throwing in any faster than Wednesday through hers, which is to say it wasn’t traveling at anymore than seventy kilometers an hour. However, with my time since accelerated all of my actions were also accelerated by a factor of five, so the ball in this Normal time left my hand going five times faster than that—which means when it hit that barrier down there it did so going about three hundred and fifty kilometers an hour. You probably couldn’t even track the flight because it was moving as fast as Riv, Nadine, and I can move when we’re racing flat out on a straight—and if you happen to be standing near a course when we go by at that speed, you can’t follow us, either.

“Wednesday’s barrier was designed to not only keep the ball from blasting a hole through the wall, but, with the help of the safety enchantments, to absorb the kinetic energy released when it came to a complete stop. What she created was something similar to what we use on the race courses, ‘cause going into a barrier at over three hundred kilometers an hour means you’ve got a dissipate a lot of energy. Otherwise—” He pointed a thumb at the barrier at the other end of the room. “You’re gonna get an explosion.

“And if you want to get an idea of how big will the explosion… I did the math on our tennis ball before class and figure the amount of energy released in this little demonstration was approximately 2.835 times 10 to the ninth power ergs. If you want to know what that much energy can do—” The right corner of his mouth curled upwards. “Technically, there’s enough energy there to vaporize the human body, with the TNT equivalent being approximately seven hundred kilograms.” Kerry smiled as he turned his gaze from one student to the next. “As you might imagine, our brooms would make a far bigger boom if they could explode like that.”

 

Yeah, bitch!  Science!  And yes, my calculations were correct:  Kerry’s tennis ball coming to a complete stop would have released enough energy to vaporize a human, in that it would have flashed all the fluids instantly into steam.  And since he likes to talk about this–

He’s gonna tell you all about getting hit with a super fast ball.

It’s lots of fun.

Getting Personal With the Flow

I took a good long time getting there, but all that perseverance finally paid off.  Last night, I finished Chapter Ten of the novel.

It’s here and it’s done.

The scene that I thought would only be about fifteen hundred words long ended up being twice deadly, though when I get in there to edit it I’ll probably trim out a few things.  Having two nights where I wrote over a thousand words each night is what helped finish the scene in only four days time.  And those were for consecutive days of writing, something I haven’t done in a while.

And now, this allows me to get into Chapter Eleven, and this is going to be where Annie and Kerry get a chance to show off their skill with Kali.  But that chapter is going to show something else as well: it’s going to show set up and the aftermath of the tester going to perform. Why?  Because there’s something else afoot here as well…

Meanwhile we’re back in class and Kerry is still hard at work.  And he has some interesting things to say about his little time cube:

 

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

 

As the now slightly burning tennis ball continued digging into the time field, Kerry walked around it while never getting more than a meter close to it. “A time field like this, flattened and placed in front of the doorway, makes an excellent defense, because anyone interacting with this field by sticking part or most of their body into it, is likely going to die or take a lot of damage. Blood and oxygen wouldn’t be able to get into any extremity placed inside the field from outside and would cause considerable trauma to those parts that were on this side of the field. If you stuck your head in there there’s an outstanding likelihood your neck would explode as all the blood in your carotid arteries backs up with nowhere to go. Not to mention—” He pointed at the scorched ball. “Interacting with the field will cause the same issues with ridding a body of kinetic energy. Anyway you look at it, it would be a messy death.

“If you were to make the variation between the inside time and our time different—say, make the inside run four times slower—someone stepping into the field likely wouldn’t die, but the difference would hurt them and they’d probably pass out from the trauma. If you are looking to capture someone, that would be a good way of stopping them.” Kerry motioned toward Subhan, who had his hand raised. “Yeah?”

The Pakistani boy seemed incredibly curious about the events happening in and around the time cube, and had seemed ready to ask question almost as soon as the tennis ball exploded in flames. “Could you stand inside that field if you formed it around yourself?”

“Sure could.” Kerry nodded. “As long as you stayed inside that field everything around you inside with with would appear to act normal. But everything outside would appear to be moving twenty-five times faster—” He chuckled. “Which, if you think about it, would be pretty humorous. I doubt very much if you could follow our actions if you are living in a world that was moving twenty-five times slower.”

Serafina didn’t bother at raising her hand and simply blurted out her question. “The thing I find so confusing about these fields is being able to interact with anything on the outside. Like you say, if you’re moving fifty times slower than us, what could you do?”

 

Believe me, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about time moving at difference speeds in close proximity to each other, and the idea that your hand may age something like ten years while the rest of you stays the same is hooey.  What did the cells in your hand do for oxygen for those ten years?  Go into hibernation?  No, it dies and rots off in the blink of an eye and probably gives your body an advanced case of sepsis in that same eye blink.  Pretty messy death, like he said.

Serafina has a good question, however.  How does one interact through that time interface.  Kerry gave one explanation to the B Levels on their floor, but now there’s something else–

 

Kerry smiled as he shrugged. “Well, I wouldn’t use this field to interact with us, because as you pointed out, interaction would be a pain in the butt.” Kerry waved the field away in the now burnt out ball across the room, fell to the floor, and bounced twice before rolling off into a shadow. “What we would actually want to do is reverse the situation: we would be in a field moving faster than the flow of time in the Normal world. That would work to our advantage.”

Rivânia shook her head. “You’d still have the same issues with trying to interact with anything moving at what we would think of as normal time.” She turned Wednesday. “You could create a spell within your adjusted field; it’s getting it out of your field and into normal time that’s going to be tricky.”

“That’s true.” Wednesday crossed her arms looking slightly amused. “But Kerry has found work around.” She turned towards him. “I think it’s time we show them.”

He nodded. “Give me about fifteen seconds then go ahead and toss me a ball.” He held his arms out slightly away from his body with his palms down as he closed his eyes and imagine crafting his second time spell of the night…

As he placed the field around him Kerry watched as the other students visibly slow. He wasn’t going for a lot, just a five to one acceleration of his own time. But experiencing five seconds in the same time that everyone else in the room experienced one was enough to make it seem as if it everyone sitting had suddenly frozen in place.

He looked to his right at Wednesday and motioned with his hand. He knew if he spoke, anything that came out would sound like gibberish, but there was no need to speak: they had talked about what would happen here and he knew there was no need to elaborate. He prepared to move as Wednesday reached into her box, selected a ball, and tossed it his way—

Though Annie had seen Kerry craft the spell before, she still felt a small amount of excitement as she watched him do it again. She had worked with him the previous Sunday to get it right and she understood his expression to say that he hadn’t made any miscalculations this time.

She saw his head snap around in his right arm come up quickly as his fingers motioned for Wednesday to act. The instructor picked a ball from her box and tossed it on her hand for Kerry. He waited until what it seemed like the last moment to spin around and grab the ball out of the air with his left hand. He held it for a few seconds and held the ball out for all the students to see before giving it a slight toss in the air so we can catch it with his right hand as it came down. Unlike the previous tennis ball, this one wasn’t suffering any unusual time effects.

Serafina’s eyes went wide with surprise. “Che diavolo? Why didn’t the ball blow up?”

 

The part where Kerry sees everyone slow around him is in the C Level trailer, so you’ve sort of seen this before.  Now you know he’s teaching the class.

But why didn’t the ball blow up?  Is is because of–magic?  You know, I think I talk about this tomorrow–

When I have time.

“Humans” Renewed For Season 3

Finally, a bit of good news on the TV Recapping front.

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via AMC]

Today, the UK’s Channel 4 (National Treasure, Catastrophe) and AMC (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead) announced that the Kudos Productions was given authorization to begin pre-production for Season 3 of Humans.  Creators and writers Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley are once again attached, and it’s believed the key members of the cast will return to begin filming August, 2017, with broadcast likely to occur in the US in February or March, 2018.

It appears that the reasons for the quick renewal has to do ratings in both the UK and US (apparently great in the primary age demographics), but I imagine there is an urgency as well to bring the cast together quickly before they become immersed in other projects. Also, Channel 4/AMC had a bit of a misstep in taking so long to authorize Season 2, during which time many fans of the…

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‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 7, Episode 15: “Something They Need”

It’s Penultimate Time, and the living is about what you’d expect this time of year…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

Rick’s group catches a break in the penultimate episode, which means no one else does.

Here’s what went down in Episode 15 (entitled “Something They Need”) of Season 7 of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' Season 7, Episode 15, Something They Need, Rick's group storm Oceanside [Image via Gene Page/AMC]

Oceanside

Tara (Alanna Masterson) is feeling shitty about telling Rick (Andrew Lincoln) about Oceanside. This lasts for about a minute and a half until Rick gives a motivational speech that gets me wondering how Rick can still keep giving these speeches and how people can still keep believing them even though he rarely gets it right.

CF:  Rick Grimes, the World’s Shittyist Motivational Speaker in the Zombie Apocalypse.  His motivational speech was a lot more, “No, you can do that,” type bullshit than it being truly motivational.  We gotta remember, at this point we’re pretty much dealing with Crazy Rick and his motivations are understood only by him.

So, they arrive…

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