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…

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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He Blinded Me With Time Science!

All sorts of writing yesterday followed by all sorts of political stuff.  It was a busy day and it feels like the week is slowing up a bit, which is good.

Now, tonight I’m going to try and finish up Chapter Ten.  I really, really, really believe I have a few hundred words left and that will allow me to get into the next chapter, which I’m eager to do ’cause Chapter Eleven, besides being one more, is gonna be fun.  Trust me.

Now we get into time.  And time is–well, it’s not what you think.  In fact, you can do some interesting things with it…

 

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

 

“Okay, great. Let me get set.” For a few moments Kerry appeared to be measuring out a cube of space maybe a half meter on each side. As soon as he dropped his hands to his sides the faint outlines of the floating cube became visible. “What I did here was create a confined space where the time inside is moving twenty-five times slower than us. That means for every twenty-five seconds we experience, only one second passes inside this area.” He kept at least a meter from the cube as he addressed the class. “And one of the reasons you’re just able to make it out is because light is being slowed as it passes through this field, and while it’s pretty insignificant in relationship to how fast light travels, the difference is just enough to give it this ghostly outline.

“Now, were going to do a little experiment here to show you what happens when you set up a field like this and then attempt to interact with it from outside in the Normal world.” Kerry took two steps back from his floating cube time field and nodded at Wednesday. “Go ahead, toss it.”

Wednesday grabbed a tennis ball from the box and gave it a fairly quick underhand lob toward the field. It hit the field and appeared to freeze in midair, but it became quickly apparent that something else was happening.

As the ball slipped excruciatingly slow into the field the opposite end of the ball compressed slightly, as if the ball had struck a wall. But instead of bouncing back it continued forward and it’s now snail pace, to the compressed part of the ball appeared as if it were rebounding away. Seconds later the ball’s yellow fuzz located at the time field interface quickly darkened and began smoking before bursting outward from the cube in a massive eruption of fire. Within five seconds all of the ball outside the time field was engulfed in flames that were nearly a meter in diameter.

 

Great ball of fire!  Yeah, you didn’t get flaming tennis balls at Hogwarts–hell, half the students didn’t know what a tennis ball was.  Now there is a reason for this happening, and that’s where that science I keep promising comes in.  You have been warned and I’m proceeding.

 

Kerry waited for the flames to die down a bit before addressing the class. “What happened here is a simple matter of Normal physics encountering Aware time manipulation. Before everyone got here I had Wednesday toss a couple of tennis balls across the room so I could get an idea of how fast she could throw one. What you saw was a toss that would allow the ball to cover five meters in about a quarter of a second, which works out to around seventy kilometers an hour.

“If you were watching you saw the ball hit the cube and try to rebound, but it couldn’t because it’s still technically moving forward.” He pointed at the still moving ball which was now about a quarter of the way into the time field. “Normally, if it had hit a solid wall, kinetic energy would’ve caused it to fly back towards Wednesday. But that couldn’t happen because the ball itself is still traveling forward, albeit at a much slower speed. Yet, all this kinetic energy that’s built up around the tennis ball wants to go somewhere because science in the Physical Realm says there has to be some sort of energy transference, and nature will make that happen.

“And that’s why the tennis ball burst into flames. It was going about seventy kilometers an hour and weighs about sixty grams, so the amount of energy it produced when it was trying to go forward and backwards at the same time was—” Kerry pulled out his phone and looked at something on the screen. “1.2 times 10 to the eighth power ergs. I looked up an energy equivalent for that and it works out to the same amount of energy you would get instantly burning five liters of gasoline.” He pulled on his lower lip for a few seconds. “It’s also equivalent to the amount of energy released by detonating twenty-eight kilograms of TNT.”

 

Allow me to point out that I did my research and found that the weight of a tennis ball is indeed sixty grams, and an underhand lob can make a ball travel fifteen feet in a quarter of a second:  the actual velocity I calculated was 72 kph, which is only 45 mph.  And then I run it through a calculator and came up with the number that Kerry indicated.  A little more investigation proved that, yes, I had a shit load of kinetic energy going off in that room.  Which means if there had been the possibility of it all going off at once, it would have been bad–

 

 

He let everyone have a few moments to comprehend what he had just said. He knew what Annie’s reaction was going to be as she had been present when he was working out the Normal physics with Wednesday. But for everyone else this was something they hadn’t expected when they were told the week before they’d be working on time spells tonight.

It was Rivânia who finally broke the silence. “Holy hell, that would take out most of this part of the building.”

Nadine’s eyes widened as the shocked look on her face faded. “No shit, man. That would fucking kill us all.” She turned toward Wednesday. “That’s why we’ve got all the safety enchantments in place, isn’t it? They would’ve kept us from dying. Right?”

Wednesday nodded. “If there had been any chance of an explosion the safety enchantments would’ve thrown us all into stasis and automatically jaunted the source of the explosion into the quarry to the north of the Witch House. As it was, Kerry and I reviewed the possibility of an explosion before going ahead with this experiment and determined that the threat was minimal.” She turned to Kerry and nodded once in his direction. “You may continue.”

 

Now you know:  if there is anything like an explosion going off safety enchantments lock down time for every one–when you’re in stasis no time passes, so you can’t be hurt–and the explosion is sent to the north quarry, which is an old quarry from which marble was taken and is now full of water, which does well for containing explosions.  It’s also where the Green, Blue, and Red Lines pass and give those courses a name for their appropriate segments.

I imagine an explosion going off while people are racing by would add a touch of excitement.

So there’s the science I promised–but wait!  There’s More!  Really, there’s more.

‘Cause Kerry’s teaching and he has things to say…

Visualizing the Unseeable Flow

Here it is, Sunday, and I’ve been hard at work since about six this morning.  Yesterday I bought a program that will allow me to do videos of what is on my computer screen while I’m working, so this means that video I’ve wanted to do on Dragon will become that much easier to create and put up on the blog.  You can expect to see that sometime soon–and you going to get a little treat along with that, because I’m actually going to write in the novel as I’m demonstrating Dragon.  Call it spoilers if you will.

Speaking of the novel and the current scene… When I said during the yesterday’s video that I expected to current scene run maybe two thousand words or so, I lied.  I’m already past two thousand words and I’m now expecting it to run maybe another thousand before I’m finished. I also checked the timeline on Chapter Ten for the novel and found that I started five weeks ago, back in the middle of February.  Based on these dates, it’s likely this is the longest I’ve worked on a chapter in any of these three novels.

In Friday’s post we had Kerry getting ready to teach Advanced Spells all about time.  Well, he’s up in front of the class having a few last thoughts…

 

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

 

He rolled his eyes as he faced his audience. On his far left sat the two new B Levels, Naomi and Subhan. To Subhan’s left sat Pang, and on his left was Kerry’s empty chair. Though Naomi had the option to cluster herself with the rest of the girls, she stated that she felt more comfortable sitting with someone from her own level.

To the left of his empty chair sat Annie, looking at him with friendly intensity. Nadine sat next to her, and to the ginger girls left sat Regina and Serafina respectively. Kerry knew he didn’t have to worry about any of these girls, though last year Serafina made it known that she wasn’t all that interested in time spells and he half expected her to ignore him for most of this class.

 

What Kerry is doing is very similar to something I used to do when I taught. Yes, way back in the early 1980s I actually taught computer classes. Let me tell you, it can be a bit intimidating getting up in front of a bunch of students who are looking to you for the answers–or who really don’t give a shit if you have anything to say.  And I was far older than Kerry at the time, so you can imagine how he’s feeling.

Fortunately, he knows most everybody there, so getting started doesn’t seem to be much of a problem–

 

He stared at the floor in front of his empty seat for a few moments before looking up. “I find time to be an interesting concept. Not just from the point of view of someone who enjoys reading stories about time travel and time manipulation, but also from the point of view of someone who has come to somewhat understand how it can be manipulated.” A smile crossed his face as he scanned his fellow classmates. “Also, given how long all of us will live, I guess you could say we’re already cheating time before we even learn how to cheat time.

“What makes time spells so tricky, at least to my way of thinking, is that it’s difficult to visualize how to craft the spells necessary to pull off various effects. I mean, it’s difficult enough for some people to pull off what we now consider simple spells and even some of us have trouble with crafting the more difficult spells due to their concepts, so it’s not completely out of the question that understanding time is going to be an easy thing.

“As all of us now know, time is not always a simple progression of cause to affect—and, no: I’m not going to tell you what I think it is because all of you’ve already heard my explanation.” He flashed a quick smile around the room at the relieved looks of students who didn’t want to hear about timey whimy balls of stuff. “Though right now I know how to accelerate and slow down time, I’m not quite as good as those witches who have actually learned how to stop and reverse it. But, I think slowing it down and speeding it up are more important to us right now.

“One of the really interesting things about time spells is that they can have an introvert effect on objects in physical space—and those effects can be harmful. Let me show you something.” He turned towards Wednesday. “You ready to be my handy assistant?”

Wednesday conjured a small box of yellow tennis balls that popped into existence near her right waist and floated alongside. “I’m all set, Teach.”

 

I’m sure there was a point in Kerry’s life where he was lying on his bed in his dorm in the coven tower, staring at the ceiling, thinking, “Man, all those years of watching Doctor Who have finally paid off.”  Though it probably wasn’t just this show they got them started on the concepts of working with and bending time; I’m sure he got a bit of an education reading ‘—All You Zombies—’ by Robert A. Heinlein, a story he wrote in one day on 11 July, 1958.  That story, along with another, By His Bootstraps, were full of quirky paradoxes which shouldn’t happen, but did within the stories.  Heinlein love playing with time paradoxes, and these two create some of the most fantastic paradoxes ever.

And in terms of how time can be affected at the School of Salem, these are likely paradoxes that one would not want to have happen to them.  Helena learned the hard way that one needs to avoid paradoxes, and through geek culture Kerry is probably quite aware of how poorly things turn out when you go back in time to inform your past self of something they should or shouldn’t do.  It’s quite likely he knows that playing with time that way is quite similar to what happens when you try to manipulate the present to either bring about or prevent a future vision you’ve had.  As Dan has pointed out, without a frame of reference from which to work, it’s highly likely that whatever you are setting out to do will never happen.

Now, comes the obligatory warning: the excerpt you get tomorrow is going to be full of science.  Sure, there’s magic, but sometimes that magic comes with a sprinkling of science–

So says the writer who has a girl who can fly.

And Filling in Today Is…

Believe it or not, I finally finished the penultimate scene.

Really, I’m not making this up.

Last two nights saw about thirteen hundred words written, which was just enough to put the finishing touches on one of my longer scenes–one that I thought was going to keep going on and on and on.  Some scenes are like that, you know: you don’t expect him to last that long, but before you know it is spending the better part of a week getting everything done.

This means that tonight I can start final scene in this chapter, which I think I have a good idea of how that particular scene will proceed.  Or maybe I don’t.  I suppose I won’t really know until you sit down and begin writing–which these days involves putting on a headset and talking everything out.

Now, you’re probably wondering about the title of this blog post.  I know it can be a bit confusing, but trust me: a clear up the confusion rather quickly.  Like, it’ll be cleared up in the first paragraph–

 

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

 

Wednesday pace back and forth a few times deep in concentration, the soles of her Doc Martins making not a sound. “As I said, I’m not a fan of time spells but I know how to use them. However, we do have two students were rather good with them, and one of them is downright masterful. If none of you object, I’d like to have Kerry perform a few practical applications for us and explain how he is able to pull off some of his crafting.” She stopped and glanced from one student to the next. “Anyone have any issues with that?”

There were a few seconds of silence before Nadine Woodley crossed her legs and readjusted her short skirt as she got comfortable in her chair. “We all know Kerry knows this shit the best and Annie’s right behind him—” She looked across the semi circle at the two B Level students. “Well, maybe they don’t know, but they soon will.” She drew in a long breath as she dropped her shoulders. “I got no problem.”

“I don’t have a problem, either.” Rivânia Suassuna nodded as she looked at Nadine. “The majority of us have been in this class long enough to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and I don’t mind learning from someone whose knowledge in a particular type of magic is better than mine.”

Wednesday didn’t expect push back from the two girls who were generally regarded as being the leaders of this class. If they say they’re fine with the situation, the others will follow their lead. After a few more seconds of silence she acknowledged the will of the class. “Very well, then.” She motioned that Kerry. “Come on up here.”

 

It probably didn’t hurt Kerry’s chances of acceptance and that the two girls who vouch for his abilities are also team captains of their respective coven’s race teams, as well as being friends with both Annie and him.  Though Nadine is rather outspoken and if she thought Kerry sucked with the spells, she’d say so.

But we know Kerry is good with time spells, because we been hearing about it here and there throughout the last hundred and forty-three thousand words of this novel.  So it makes sense that the instructor who teaches advanced spells would have someone who’s more advanced in their advanced spells than her to come up and show the rest of the class how it’s done.

Which, if you think about it, can be a bit intimidating…

 

Kerry was a bit self-conscious about getting up in front of the class. It wasn’t that he had been in from of this particular class before: it hadn’t been unusual over the last two school years for everyone to perform a spell or two in front of the rest of the class. He also wasn’t that put off at the idea of offering instruction to other students—after all, Annie and he were minions in both sorcery and Wednesday’s other spells classes as well as coming into Transformation and Formulistic Magic classes. Since they were often asked for assistance during lab sessions, it wasn’t uncommon to show one or more students how to make a spell work correctly.

But this time the situation was a little different. This wasn’t lab work in the actual sense: Wednesday had told Kerry Monday during lunch that she wanted him to actually lead the class in the discussion on time spells, as he had a far better grasp of them than she—

She was asking him to teach.

That didn’t scare him. He taught Annie what he’d learned in Advanced Transformation and had to give a report on their time together to Helena every week. But teaching Annie and private was one thing and having to get up in front of class and do the same thing Wednesday did–that was a completely different matter. It meant going from a relaxed, private environment with Annie to being out in front of everyone here in the Spells Center.

His hesitation must have shown because Wednesday placed a hand on his shoulder before he had a chance to turn and face the class and spoke in a near whisper. “You gonna be okay with this?”

He nodded slowly. “I’ll be okay. It’s just that—” Kerry wanted to turn around and look at Annie, knew that would be a bad move as it might because the other students to doubt his abilities. “It’s a little intimidating doing this, isn’t it?”

“It is, just a bit.” Wednesday’s grin was slight yet knowing. “First time I got in front of a class one of the students asked when the teacher was coming. Not too embarrassing a way to start off.” She leaned in slightly so that this time she was able to whisper. “You don’t have to do this, you know.”

Kerry looked off to his left as he nodded. “Naw, I got this.”

Wednesday’s smile flashed into a full grin. “All right, then.” She stepped away from Kerry and headed off to his right. “Take it away, Doctor.”

 

It isn’t difficult to imagine Wednesday stepping up in front of her first class and being asked by students about when the instructor will appear, since Wednesday still comes off looking like a student from time to time.  Which is in her youthful appearances. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you.

While Kerry is pretty comfortable teaching Annie, he still has some trepidation about getting up in front of a class full of students.  But this is a small class where everyone is pretty much intimately entangled with one another and that makes the process of teaching easy, so Kerry shouldn’t have any issues.

If he did, I wouldn’t have another four thousand words from the scene to offer–

“Humans”, Season 2, Episode 6, “Drawing the Line”

The best laid plans of synths and humans…

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via AMC]

These last couple of weeks have seen AMC drop four episodes of Humans, with five and six running back to back the week before six and seven. So here I am, trying to play catch-up and get three weeks worth of recaps out in about a week. Yeah, this is how we play the game.

The sixth episode has started setting things into play, getting everything ready for the last two episodes. Some people had big stories, some people had small stories. But everyone was on stage…

Fox On the Run:

Niska (Emily Berrington) is pretty much fucked. She’s trying to avoid capture but notices synths everywhere staring at her. She’s finally able to learn from one that the government has issued a nationwide alert to all synths to be on the lookout for her, and if seen they are to notify the government of her…

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