“Beyond the Wave and Foam”, Part 31

Part 31

 

Calista was exhausted. Not so much from the work she just completed for the UK Royal Navy about three hundred kilometers east of Diego Garcia—the Navy had issues with a “package” that required retrieval—but more from the fifteen hour flight from their to Johnson Atoll, which pretty much tested the range of AFI’s specially outfitted 777-300ER.

Though she’d slept through most of the flight, remaining in a half-tank for the entirety of the flight wore her out through sheer boredom. She knew if she were still human she could have gotten up and walked about the cabin—but there wasn’t any need to think that, for she hadn’t been human for a little more than nine months.

But a few good thing came out of the trip. One, this was Calista’s first dive with her in charge of a team of four other mermaids and they managed to recover the Senior Service’s package in half the time they estimated it would take. Two, because they left Diego Garcia at 18:30 Local Time, they not only got back a day crossing the International Date Line, but still landed at Johnson Atoll at 17:50, an hour before they left the Indian Ocean on the same day.

Most importantly, Calista was home. After being taken off the plane she was place in a speed boat and taken to the drop off point about a hundred meters from Down Below Town. She gave the pilot a good natured wave and dived right in, heading quickly towards the mermaid enclave with a few flicks of her powerful tail.

She expected Harmony to spot her right away and she wasn’t disappointed. Her former mentor, now close friend, swam towards her, stopped when she was but a few meters away. “How was Diego?”

“Pain in the butt.” Calista slowed her pace as Harmony moved along side. “You could tell they didn’t want us there, but they knew they had no choice. And it made them pissy because they couldn’t micromanage us by being directly on site while we worked.”

“Screw ‘em.” Harmony chuckled. “You get their toy for them?”

Calista nodded. “Oh, yeah.”

“Was it important?”

“Important enough that we had to sign NDAs before leaving the airport.”

“Point taken.” Harmony’s tone softened. “A few of us are heading over to Hikina Island after dinner. Just gonna hang out and relax and chat.” She turned towards her friend. “I know you must be beat, but I thought you guys might want to join us.”

Though she was tired, Calista also thought spending some time with friends was a good way to start out a week of down-time so she could adjust to local time and rest. “I’ll see how Princess is doing, but I’m guessing she wants to get out for a little as well.”

“Watch out.” Harmony’s voice took on a warning tone. “She nearly snapped my head off the day before when I checked up on her.”

“Thanks for the heads-up. What time is everyone meeting?”

“About 18:30.”

Calista gave Harmony a quick wave. “See you then.” A quick flip of her tail and she was off toward her bungalow.

She swam in and slid the door closed behind her. “And how’s my two baby?”

Izzy looked up from the bed upon which she lay and gave Calista a kiss before answering her question. “I’m fine, but this little shit—” She pointed to her swollen belly. “She won’t settle down. Swish, swish, swish with the tail all day and night. I’m ready for this pregnancy to be over.”

Calista folded her tail under her and settled next to Izzy’s bed. “I’m sorry The Newt is being a pest.” She slowly ran her hand over Izzy’s belly, feeling the movement of the baby inside. “She’s a swimmer, that’s for sure.”

“Well, I wish she’d swim the hell out of my belly ‘cause I’m tried of her crap.” She sighed as she looked at her best friend and lover. “If I’d know the gestation period of a mermaid was ten and a half months, I’d have never had sex with you.”

“Liar.” Calista touched Izzy’s lips. “You never seemed to complain once we were able to have sex again after that first time.” She moved her hand down past Izzy’s belly and felt the smooth muscles of her tail beneath her almost lime green scales. And now that you’re one of us, that sex was so much better.

Though she’d never admitted any wrongdoing, Harmony was correct in her assumption that day so many months ago: Calista knew Izzy’s cycle down to the day. And she’d read many of the Internet tales that spoke of what happened when mermaids and human women not only had intercourse, but of the consequences of getting pregnant…

Within a week of arriving at Johnson Island Calista was certain that not only would Aquatic Future Inc. have refused her request to transfer Isabelle to the Special Assets, but she was just as certain Izzy would have said no to the idea, even if it had meant the two of them being together. Back then Calista still thought of herself as straight—but then, she didn’t know everything there was to know about mermaid reproductive, despite all the lurid tales she’d read online. And once she knew—

It was as she’d told Harmony that day: as a human woman she could never become intimate with Izzy no matter how much she cared for and, yes, loved her, but once she wasn’t human it didn’t matter. And she also suspected that once Izzy was confirmed pregnant, AFI wouldn’t want to terminate the existence of another mermaid, this one created the old fashion way—

So since it was impossible for a human to bring a mermaid baby to term, the only solution that remained was to made sure a mermaid could.

Calista was also correct in her summation that once Izzy knew what was going to happen to her, she’d accepted it, if for no other reason than they’d still remain together. While the transition didn’t go as smoothly as hoped for, once Izzy reached the point where she found it necessary to sleep underwater—with Calista beside her—the process went, well, swimmingly.

It was a devious and somewhat underhanded way to keep them together, but Calista knew from watching Izzy’s body language these last nine months that she held no ill will towards her. If anything, Calista felt her friend’s growing love and suspected that once their daughter was old enough to have others watch her, Izzy was going to enjoy being mentored by her friend—with Harmony supervising, of course.

Calista planted a light kiss on Izzy’s lips and watched her eyes light up. She lay her head upon Izzy’s shoulder and felt her companion run her fingers through her floating ginger hair. In that moment she understood what this moment really meant. Because for anyone in love, it wasn’t just enough to come home to one’s lover and companion—

They wanted to come home to their best friend.

And for the first time in her life, Calista was home.

 

The End

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“Beyond the Wave and Foam”, Part 30

Part 30

 

“I can’t believe you did this.” Harmony was doing the mermaid version of pacing, slowly drifting from one side of her underwater bungalow to the other, all the while focusing her fuming upon her live-in mentee. “You got Izzy pregnant.” She stopped and faced Calista, who stared back with a somewhat blank expression on her face. “Why?”

Calista’s expression didn’t change. “It just happened.”

“Bullshit. Bull-shit.” Harmony closed to within about a quarter of a meter from the passive mermaid. “I’ve seen you at work: things just don’t happen with you.” She backed away and spent about twenty seconds with her back to Calista. “Tell me—” She turned back towards her mentee. “You spend a lot of time at Izzy’s? Say, after going out?”

“After a night of dancing and cosmos?”

“Mimosas, actually.” For the first time Calista smiled. “You got the dancing part right, thought.”

“Spend the night there?”

“Yes, I did.”

“So you had a chance to use her bathroom—”

“What are you getting at?” Calista didn’t seem perturbed as much as she seemed tired of the questions.

“Well, from what I remember from my human days, when you stay over at someone’s place, you have a chance to brush your teeth and freshen up so it doesn’t seem like you’re taking a Walk of Shame from someone’s place.” Harmony eyes Calista carefully. “You probably knew Izzy didn’t use birth control.”

After five seconds of inaction Calista nodded. “I asked her about it once; she said she didn’t need it. I thought it was because she wasn’t seeing anyone at the time, but…” She shrugged. “I was wrong.”

Harmony hovered in place while slowly running her right index finger back and forth over her lower lip. “You knew Izzy’s cycle, didn’t you?” Calista sat without saying a word, but Harmony saw something in her eyes. “Of course you did. You guys spent a lot of time together back in Florida, and then there was all the time here.” She looked down and sighed. “Of course.”

Calista’s tone betrayed her sudden unease. “Of course what?”

“Of course you knew when she had her period—which means you knew when she was ovulating.” A short, sharp laugh came from Harmony as she moved slowly towards her roommate. “Son of a bitch. All the while you were putting shit off, delaying when you wanted to say your final goodbyes to Izzy—you were waiting for her to ovulate.”

Harmony continued on before Calista had the chance to respond. “And I’m gonna guess, knowing how much of a mermaid geek you were before becoming one, you probably read everything you could on us. And that would include—” A smile flashed into existence. “All the urban legends about mermaids getting human women pregnant.”

Nearly ten seconds of silence passed before Calista gave one, slow nod. “I’d read about it a couple of years back. Something about an employee who got pregnant from sleeping with one of the mermaids she did lab work for. There was never any real conformation as to what happened other than the woman vanished, but—” She shrugged. “It didn’t take an expert to figure out what might have happened.”

“What might have happened?” Harmony snorted. “She damn near died because you got her pregnant.”

“But she didn’t.”

“No, she didn’t.” Harmony moved in a slow circle. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Why stop now?”

“Why the hell didn’t you sleep with Izzy before all—” Harmony motioned to the undersea habitat. “This.”

Calista laughed. “Because I wasn’t a lesbian.”

Harmony’s eyes grew wide with surprise. “And that’s different now?”

Of course it is.” Calista came off her seat, bringing her eyes about a half meter from her mentor’s. “As you like to constantly remind me, I’m not a human heterosexual woman any longer: I’m an intersex mermaid that just happens to look like the top half of a human woman.” She grunted as she shook her head. “Having intercourse with Izzy then didn’t make me a lesbian: it meant that it was possible for me to perform the act with a human. Besides—” She moved back but kept her eyes locked with Harmony. “It’s no secret you were planing on being my first.”

Harmony’s face finally broke into a smile as she chuckled. “Well, someone has to show you how to make love, mermaid style.”

Calista finally closed the distance and threw her arms around Harmony’s shoulders. “You still can. After all, can’t I have my cake and eat it, too?”

Harmony slowly rolled her eyes towards the ceiling of her bungalow. “The way you think things out—” She gazed into Calista’s eyes as she placed her arms over her shoulders. “You are gonna make one hell of a salvage coordinator.”

Beyond the Rune: What’s In a Code Name?

It’s an interesting day, filled with lots of doubt, crying, and indecision about my future. It’s also the day I picked up my first driver’s licence outside the State of Indiana and I’m shocked–Shocked, I tell ya!–that they actually put an “F” on it for “Sex”.  Even with all the bad stuff happening to me today–and last night, let’s not forget last night–I had one bright spot that made the day shine.

And speaking of shinning…  Today is an important day in my story history.  For today is the eighteenth birthday of The Heartbreaking of Bolder, Colorado, Emma Neilson, making her the next to last member of her graduation class to reach the Age of Emancipation within The Foundation.  And if you’re paying attention, that means there’s just one other birthday from that class to celebrate, and that’s Kerry’s, which happens in two weeks.  That means Emma is probably out getting loaded somewhere–I’m sure she’s got ID that will let her get served–and Annie is counting the days to when Kerry and she can put their names on that wedding licence application.

And speaking of Emma–well, not yet, but just wait!

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie turned to Helena. “And why does it appear my code name is ‘White Queen’?”

Helena glanced off into space for a few seconds. “That may have something to do with me.”

“How is that possible?”

“Because my code name is Black Queen.” The sorceress scratched at her right cheek as she continued. “My mother called me that when I was a girl and it stuck with me when I came to school. Once I started going out on Guardian field ops it became my official code name and has stuck with me ever since.

“When I was out in San Francisco right after the first of the year—”

“What were you out there for?” This was the first Kerry had heard of Helena making trips to the North American headquarters of The Guardians.

“Had to do with the operation Annie was on while you were doing the Polar Express.”

“Oh. Okay.”

 

Keep in mind I’m writing of future events, and this one happens after Annie’s Girl’s Weekend Out with The Guardians and Emma’s and Kerry’s Polar Express.  In fact, this is happening two weeks after those events transpired, so it’s totally legit to speak of them in the past tense.

And what happened out there in the City By the Bay?

 

“Anyhow, when I was out in San Fran a few weeks back, getting intel on our—” She motioned between her and Annie. “—operation, some of the wags in the meeting called you White Queen because of our association.”

Annie gave this news a few seconds of consideration. “Maybe they feel I’m a bit of your opposite.”

“Or maybe they came up with that because a lot of Guardians are smart arses. Anyway, when your code names arrive don’t be surprised if that’s yours.”

The office was quiet for a few seconds before Kerry spoke in a soft voice. “What about mine?”

“Someone at that same meeting mentioned that.”

“They did?”

Helena chuckled. “About a third of the way through the meeting several pictures of your, um, other self, were displayed and a couple of them were of your and Annie together. A couple of people in the room called you the Red Queen and one even said that given your history of pop culture you’d probably appreciate Annie’s and your code name.”

Annie looked to her right once more. “What do they mean by that?”

Kerry didn’t have to think long on the matter once again. “It’s all comic book stuff, even your name, Helena. The Black Queen and the White Queen were members of The Hellfire Club in the X-Men comics. The Black Queen was a student of The Shadow King and was the leader of The Pale Riders during the Age of Apocalypse. The White Queen—” He chuckled. “She’s just a bitch. And she has a habit of not wearing a lot.” A smile slowly formed on his face. “The Black Queen and White Queen also have something in common.”

“What’s that?”

“Their first name: it’s Emma.” Kerry waited for Annie and Helena to exchange looks before telling them the rest. “Specifically, The Black Queen is Emma Steed—named after Emma Peal from The Avengers—and the White Queen is Emma Frost.”

While Annie simply stared at Kerry in silence, Helena seemed to speak for both women. “I’d make sure a certain ginger from Colorado doesn’t discover we’re sharing her name—” She arced her right eyebrow. “At least in a way.”

Annie humphed. “I know I won’t tell her.”

Kerry nodded. “I won’t, either.”

“Now that we know our code names—” Helena pointed at Kerry. “What about yours?”

“Oh, yeah. The original Red Queen of the Hellfire Club was Margali Szardos, who was a powerful sorceress, really big into demons, and the adoptive mother of Nightcrawler. In the Days of Future Past story, Psylocke was the Red Queen.” Kerry shrugged. “Given some of the stuff I know, I can see that name fitting.” He glanced at both women. “Even though I not completely thrilled to have that moniker laid upon me.”

“If I’m going to have the name Emma following me around, you can have a girl’s code name.” Annie smiled as she finished her sentence then turned to Helena. “One last thing: what’s a media team?”

 

The Guardians know Kerry far too well by now and seem to be thinking along the same lines. While I’m certain Helena’s mother called her daughter “The Black Queen” because of her eyes and attitude, she does also link up with her two protegees, the White Queen and the Red Queen, so there’s a lot of Guardian symmetry going on here.  Also, every geeky word Kerry said is all true because you know it is.

I’m also pretty certain he’ll need kid Annie about having a code name for a character named Emma, because… well, don’t mess with little witches who may react badly to Gingers From America.  Yeah, don’t go there, kid.

Besides, you don’t want Annie digging into your comic collection and finding an outfit for you to wear based upon one of your code name’s characters.  You don’t.  And you know it…

The Rune Dream: Loose Lips

Believe it or not, I not only have an excerpt for you, it’s also a completed scene.

Yes, I’m down to the coffee shop this morning, enjoying caffeinated beverages and getting ready for Bout Day–

Though no green wig–yet.

 

And while here I decided to write.  It wasn’t a big deal, as I knew what I was going to say in the next scene after the kids woke up from their rune dream.  I also had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be a long scene–and I was right.  Clocking in at just over six hundred words, this is probably the shortest scene I’ve written for any of the novels, but while it’s short it sets up everything for the next scene, which is likely to be far longer: perhaps as long as the rune dream scene itself.

I’m nothing if not quick.

 

So, what happens to Annie and Kerry once they’re awake?  Let’s find out.

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“—Be off.” Kerry’s eyes snapped open as the last words escaped his lips. He lay still for a moment as he forced himself to awaken fully, clearing the slight grogginess he always felt when he came out of a deep dream. As the room was still pitch dark he crafted a small illumination point and set it to hover about a meter above him.

Once it was in place he rolled to his right. Annie was just waking and her unfocused eyes told him she’d fallen as just as deeply into the dream as he. Kerry didn’t find this surprising: as with almost all their other visions he was certain Annie has shared this one with him and when she finally turned an looked at him, his felt his certainty was confirmed. “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” Annie lay on her side looking back at her soul mate. “And you?”

“Right as rain.” He slid as close to her as possible so he didn’t have to speak above a whisper. “Did you see everything I did, White Queen?”

She smiled the moment he used the code name mentioned in the rune dream. “I did—Red Queen.”

He signed. “Yeah, about that—”

“It’s something that happens in the future: don’t worry about it now.” Annie tilted her head back just a bit. “I wonder how everyone else is doing?”

Kerry spent a few seconds listening to the darkness. “I don’t hear anyone—they must all be asleep.”

“Let’s see.” Working with Kerry’s Illumination point, Annie moved it another meter into the air and brightened it enough that nearly half the room was now dimly visible.

What she was was completely unexpected: all the sleep positions were empty. “I don’t understand—”

“I don’t either.” Kerry moved up to his knees and threw another Illumination point into the air, making almost three-quarters of the room visible. It was more of the same: all the sleeping areas laid out at the beginning of class were empty. “It looks like everyone’s gone.”

“They are.” Deanna stepped out of a shadow near the back of the room and made her way towards her students. “Most of them were already out of their rune dreams and awake before you—” A small smile appeared, framing Deann’s bright white teeth. “Entered yours.”

Annie knelt next to Kerry. “Why are they gone, then?”

“Because you began speaking in your sleep as you both sometimes do. And—” Deanna stopped a couple of meters from the couple. “You were saying things.”

Kerry glanced at Annie before asking the question. “Things?”

“Yes.” There was another protracted pause while Deanna found her words. “While I wasn’t sure that what you were saying shouldn’t be heard by the others, I didn’t want to take any chances. I ordered all those awake from the room and made the rest leave as soon as came out of their dreams.”

There was silence in the classroom for nearly five seconds before Annie addressed the seer. “How would you know that the things we were saying shouldn’t be heard by the other students?”

“Because I gave her a list.” From near where Annie and Kerry knew the classroom door was located Helena calmly strolled into the dim light. “She asked last year for some key words to listen for that might be related to—well, some of the things you may do in the future.” The sorceress stopped a few meters from Deanna as everyone looked in her direction. “Apparently you said one or more of them.”

Deanna nodded. “They did.”

“I see. As that’s the case—” Helena motioned both children to stand. “We need to talk.”

 

Yeah, Helena wants to talk.

And you can just bet that’s gonna be a good talk…

At Home With the Fictional Families

So, today…

Today I was on TV and aren’t you lucky, ’cause it’s out already.  If you follow this link–Harrisburg Area Roller Derby is Skating Into 2018!–it will take you to the video which is embedded inside a propitiatory article.  You’ll see my coach, Madhouse Mexi, me, my gear–yeah, it’s on the table–and, I believe, some footage I shot of past bouts.  Or not.  I’m still checking on that part.  Hope you enjoy.

Yesterday one scene ended and a couple of things became apparent.  One, the kids are dealing in some cloak and dagger stuff in the future.  Oh, and two: Annie misses sex and wants more.  A lot more.  Like a week of it ’cause that’s her.  These kids: all grown up and stayin’ jiggy.

Naturally this brought up a comment from one of my followers about something that will likely follow Annie and Kerry for a while once they’re married.  And that something is:

Where are their kids?

Now, first off, there’s no saying in the vision I just wrote up that my kids have kids yet.  I mean, if they’re busy off doing Bond-like shit, the odds are really good that Annie’s kitchen is shut down and Kerry’s–well, during those times when he gets to be a she, I’m gonna guess that the last thing she wants is two years of sidelining to take care of a Malibey spawn.

But this doesn’t mean there won’t be kids.  No, not at all.

I’ve said on more than a few occasions that they’ll have kids.  And notice the plural: yes, as they’ve stated, they have no intention of raising an only child.  Also, I’ve known for some time when they are having their womb goblins and when, and even when they’ll attend the School of Salem themselves.  What?  You didn’t think they were going to another school, did you?  You really think Annie would allow that?

There’s even a distinct possibility that everyone will have a chance to see one of their kids before my kids graduate.

Wait… what?

There is a scene–and you can probably imagine what sort of scene–when both Annie and Kerry manage to meet one of their kids face-to-face years before the child is born.  I know what they look like and I know their name.  I even know how old they are at the time and where my kids meet their kid.

It’s all really sweet and beautiful, if you know what I mean.

There will be children for my kids.  They will have the opportunity to be parents.  And, like it or not, if I ever write the stories, we’ll get to see how The Kirilovis and the Malibeys handle being grandparents to some little witches.  We can already assure that Pavlina and Victor will love their grandkids, while Davyon and Louise… well, Davyon will probably like being a grandfather…

There is love and eventually comes marriage, and after that–well, Annie and Kerry won’t be pushing any baby carriages right away, but that will happen at some point.

But before we get there, let them have the chance to live.

Even when it’s gonna be a hell of a struggle.