Today hasn’t been the greatest. I’ve been going back and forth about… stuff… with the soon-to-be-ex and it’s driving me nuts. I had to visit a blood doctor because my white cell count is up over 10,000 and no one knows why. I had two jobs respond to my resumes and they told me I wasn’t “right” for them, which probably means they think I want too much money given my age.
Yeah, not a good day.
So what did I do? I wrote.
This is the four time in four days I’ve written over a thousand words and I do hope I keep it up. What this means for now is that I’m two scene, or about 2,400 words, ahead of what I’m posting today. It’s nice having a surplus, you know? It doesn’t stress me out.
Here you go: all of the second scene in one bit, with explanations in between. After all, I don’t want to confuse you all.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie was with forty-two other girls sitting in a circle in the middle of what they were told was the track upon which they’d play. Like Annie, the other girls were wearing their elbow and knee pads along with their wrist guards. Some were wearing their mouth guards, trying to get used to wearing an appliance over their teeth without gagging, though a few weren’t succeeding…
Just before the last of the girls were in their gear and moving towards the center of the track, the two women who’d help them get checked in and ready went behind a privacy screen. Though Annie had heard a reference to someone named “Angry”, she’d yet to see this person. She knew it wasn’t one of the two women they’d already met: as she learned when she was given her release form, the tall blond was named Princess and she discovered from Elisha that the woman checking them in was named Holly. Annie believed these weren’t their correct names: Kerry discovered, through his research, that everyone on a team has a “derby name”, so she figured the names given were those.
The screen dropped and Holly and Princess headed towards the group, fully geared, including helmets and skates. They stopped just outside the circle and motioned for the girls to move apart enough to allow a third woman to skate into the center. As she reached the middle she widened her stance and spin through a hundred and eighty degree turn, going up on her toes and coming to a stop so Annie could just see her right profile.
Annie examined her closely. She was not too tall—maybe a meter six-five—but her upper arms and thighs were quite muscular, as were her calves. She had long, ginger hair pulled back in a pony tail and short nails painted black. Like Holly, this woman also had a great many colored tattoos which showed up well against her pale complexion. The ones on her arms extended about midway down her forearms and she had a large tattoo on her left calf, something easily seen as the woman was wearing short leggings.
The woman put her hands on her hips and looked around. “I’m surprised to see so many here tonight; I expected maybe half this number.” She slowly turned in place as she spoke. “My name is Angry Orange, though people outside of derby know me as Lucy van der Sloot. If the name and the accent didn’t give it away, I’m from The Netherlands: Buchten, in case you’re wondering. I’m also a former student of Salem, having graduated in 2007. I’m a member of Ceridwen Covern, but that doesn’t make me an expert on transformation magic: just ask Professor Kishna the next time you see her and she can give you details.
“For my Real Life Experience I maintained an apartment in Amsterdam while traveling the world, ‘cause I always wanted to live there. And once my RLE was over and it was time to go to school, in 2008 I began attending the University of Amsterdam. I graduated three years later with a bachelors in Law and just this last spring I finished my masters program in International Criminal Law. So now you know: I’m a stickler for rules and regs.
Now you know: some witches go into college and becoming big-time lawyers. It’s not a surprise Lucy–I’m sorry, I mean Angry Orange–went into law, because if she works for The Foundation, she can set up in some corporate front and now how to handle all those pesky Normals. She could even get a job with, say, Interpol, which gives her a leg up in knowing what they’re up to.
Unlike a certain witch universe, it helps to not only keep an eye on the Normals, but to be right down in them from time-to-time.
But Ms. Lucy ain’t here to teach law. No, she’s got something else on her mind:
“But it was the summer of 2009 where I found my life really changing. I was hanging out in the city, enjoying the museums and coffee shops and everything else Amsterdam has to offer, when I fell in with these women who were doing something—different. They were putting together Amsterdam’s first derby league, the Amsterdam Derby Dames. Now, I’d not done any sports here: I’m not a fighter and I couldn’t race on a broom to save my life. But once I understood how to play roller derby, and once I got to where I was good enough to play, I fell in love with the sport. I’ve been a part of ADD since the beginning and technically, I still am, though I’m on sort of a leave of absence right now…
“Late in 2011 I discovered that Edinburgh had not only put a league together and was playing some of the Normal derby leagues around them, but that Dragon Home, KSBE, and Le Fortier’s were also putting together leagues. ECMI not only put their league together without help from the outside, but they applied for, and was accepted into, the Junior Roller Derby Association—which is to say, they’re pretty much to play with any other junior league in the Normal world.
“So me and a few other witches who play derby got together and decided that with things in the derby arena going well on our side of the ocean, why not bring the same thing here? So while the three of us are here—” She motioned to the other women on skates next to her. “—there are others at Dawson Creek, Tech Pec, and Sky and Summit, all working to set up leagues that can play against each other—and, in time, play against Normal leagues in their regions.”
At the time of this excerpt–November, 2013–that particular league to which Angry Orange did indeed go by the name Amsterdam Derby Dames, but recently–2017, actually–they changed their name to Amsterdam Roller Derby, and that’s how they’re known today.
There’s also a lot of names thrown around: Dragon Home, KSBE, Dawson Creek… These are all schools and training centers in my little Foundation Universe, none of which save maybe Edinburgh you’re heard of before now. So a quick run down:
ECMI, Edinburgh Center for Magical Instruction, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Dragon Home, Home of the Winter Dragon (Hem för Winter Draken), Fatsjön, Sweden
KSBE, Kellenberg School for Gifted Development (Kellenberg Schule für Begabte Entwicklung), Reiselfingen, Germany (Note: this school has a heavy emphasis on sorcery and it was one of the places Annie was planing to go before learning Kerry was going to attend Salem.)
Le Fortier’s, aka The Girls Club, Le Fortier’s School for Girls, Dijon, France (Note: this is where Mathilde was teaching before she was ask to take over as headmistress of Salem.)
Dawson Creek, aka Alaska Gate, Dawson Creek Science Center, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada (Note: it’s nicknamed Alaska Gate because this is the location of the southern terminus of the Alaska Highway.)
Tech Pec, Center For Special Studies (Centro de Estudios Especiales), Tehuantepec, Mexico
Sky and Summit aka S and S, Sky and Summit Observatory, Granby, Colorado, United States
There you have it: a nice cross section of schools The Foundation maintains. And that’s just a few of them: there are a whole lot more, with three we know of from the first novel in Chile, South Africa, and Australia. Just wait until we see some of the others.
So a couple of these joints have derby leagues and Angry and company are bringing the sport to North America, where it started.
And like the Cylons, they have a plan:
Angry began skating slowly in a circle, taking time to look at each girl seated on the floor. “We have a plan and while it’s ambitious, it’s also doable as hell. Starting next week, we begin practice in ernest. Monday and Thursday nights and Sunday afternoon, two hours each day, except every other Thursday we practice for three. Each practice is going to be held in a time compression field, so no matter how much time we spend on practice here, one hour will pass outside this hall.
“In order to play, each of you must pass a set of minimum required skating skills as laid out by JRDA for their leagues and we intend to follow a ‘boot camp’-style format to get there. I will be your head coach. Holly Goblightly—” Angry motioned to the brunette to her right. “—is my assistant coach. And Princess Powerpuff—” She motioned to the tall blond on her left, who curtsied when named. “—will act as our Fresh Meat coach next school year. Since you are all fresh meat at the moment, Princess will spent extra time this year with those who we feel require assistance to pass their MRSs, particularly at the Skill Level 3 assessment. This is to say if you need help getting bout ready, she’s gonna be kicking your little butts as hard as she can.
“By the end of February and the beginning of March, we expect to see the first of you pass your MRS: by the end of April we expect everyone who started practice, and is still with us, to certified. And by the end of next September, when all of you have returned to school for your next level, I expect to have the first roster set up for our first bout at the end of October, for the Samhain celebration.
MRS are your Minimum Required Skills needed to get certified, and with the JRDA you have a three level system you go through, building upon what you need to know before moving onto more advanced stuff. Level 1 is all about basics, Level 2 is more advanced stuff and developing track awareness, and Level 3 is where you get into hitting and stuff. Level 3 is also where you do your 27/5, which is the crap I’ve been working on for months. But Annie and the others are young and should have plenty of energy.
And now you have they overall plan: certify and get everyone bout ready by the end of the school year, and have them ready for their first bout over Samhain weekend, 2014. Which means you’ll likely see Annie play if she can. What am I saying…?
In case you didn’t notice, the three coaches all have the same color hair as The Powerpuff Girls. That’s not a coincidence. I intended that from the start.
“In case you are wondering this is the reason we have A Levels here for recruitment.” Angry spun around and began skating backwards at about a half as normal walking pace. “No one will play this year: it’s all about getting your certified and bout ready. Next year, when everyone’s moved up a level, you’ll be eligible to play. At that time we’ll take in A Levels as our newest Fresh Meat, but we’ve reassured the headmistress that only under the agreement of all three coaches will those freshies be allowed to play before becoming B Levels. If we have enough people next year, it’s possible we could develop a second team—but that’s a decision for next year—
“This year it’s all about teaching you what we know and how to use that knowledge. And in order to do that, we first have to get you on skates. Everyone on your feet.” Angry stopped skating as all the girls in the circle stood. “You need to go over to the gear area laid out for you, get your helmet and your skates, and finish gearing up. Tonight all of you will use Riedell R3s; for those of you who intend to continue beyond tonight, we’ll meet this Saturday morning to size you up and pick out your skates.” She smiled. “Trust me when I say we’ll have your skates ready for you come next Monday’s practice.” Angry turned to the women standing in the middle of the circle. “That’s all I have to say.”
Both nodded and smiled before Princess skated to one side of the circle, spun around, and came to a stop. “Okay, Freshies.” Her voice boomed out through the hall. “Let’s get you geared up all the way so we can see what you can do.”
Now you know why A Levels are there: they won’t play because no one is playing this year. And next year A Levels can join the madness and be Fresh Meat and maybe even play if they get permission. But for now, everyone starts the same, everyone learns the same.
Which means it about time they learn something…