The Rune Vision: Together Again and Waiting

Another morning, another getting up at 6:30 and wondering where the day was going to go from there.  Actually, it went just about where I wanted it to go–

It’s been cold here in The Burg due to the high winds we’ve had all week.  It seems like every time you’re out, you’re having to fight the extremely brisk wind shooting down the Susquehanna Valley like it’s in a hurry to get down to The Shore.  Given that I’ve been out in that mess the last couple of days, I decided to stay in and enjoy some warmth.

Now, even though I watched Wind River–which is a great but albeit depressing movie–I managed almost another six hundred words today. I did so while listening to the original 1970 recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, because it’s a great album and is one of the few where I know all the lyrics.  Really: when I was in wood shop in high school I used to pass the time by singing it to myself, because I certainly didn’t care to be in wood shop.

We’re back in the Rune Vision and things are starting to shape up with what my kids are up to.  And it’s not stuff relating to school–


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

“Don’t congratulate yourself too much—” She checks her appearance again in your mirror. “That’s about all I remember after a decade of your quotes.” After quickly touching her hair into place she glances towards you. “Do you think they’re going to give us any time together after tonight?”

You levitate your tuxedo jacket towards you. “Hard to say. I’m still surprised they let us drop what we were doing nine months ago to go to the wedding together.”

“In that instance someone above our handlers were calling the shots.” Annie picks up a pair of emerald stud earrings and begins putting them into place behind the first set of earrings. “It’s nice when you have friends in high places.”

“That is it.” You put on the jacket, rolling your shoulders to get it set. “Still, there are probably dozens of operatives who could go to this party, yet they need us. I don’t get it.”

Annie smiles as she finishes putting in her earrings. “You know how it is: such is the way—”

“—When you’re gray. I know.” You let out loud sign. “Whatever.”

“I’m not complaining.” Annie gives her hair a quick pat. “It’s been nine months since we’ve seen each other face-to-face in person so I, for one, so I’m thankful they did pull us out of the field for this party.” She looks about the room, unsure what she should do next. “I only hope we can get a week together before returning to our on-going operations. It would be nice.”

“I agree.” You turn and look out the window of your hotel room, gazing upon the opulent city beyond. “You think this guy’s gonna be there?”

“Intelligence says the likelihood is high.” She picks up a pair of sunglasses as if she’d considering wearing them to the party. “We know the buyer will be there because we’ve seen the guest list; our target has met with the buyer five times in the last month; and seeing how the buyer is bringing along five guests the probability is high whatever business they’ve planed to transact will occur tonight.” Annie sets the sunglasses aside and sits on the edge of the bed, crossing her legs. “I know you see it the same way: you’re just asking the question because it’s something you always do when you’re restless.”

You snort without turning around to face Annie. “Guilty as charged.” After pulling the sheers back into place you glance over at Annie. “Also, the fact that we haven’t received conformation about whether or not we’re suppose to snatch this asshole isn’t exactly instilling confidence The G know what’s going on.”

Just then Annie’s phone dings as a message appears. She points at it and levitates it towards her. “Speak of the devil.” It only takes a second to read the text. “We’re on. We’re to snatch our target and the buyer.” She sets the phone in her lap. “They must want to know if the buyer is acting as a go-between for someone else.”

“Which he probably is.” You take a couple of steps towards Annie. “Are we authorized to go public, or do we have to keep this private?”

“They didn’t say: let me ask.” Annie speaks the question into the phone and sends the message; the response comes back some twenty seconds later. “We’re to keep it private: they don’t want to involve a media team on this operation.”

“Sounds good.” You pace across the room and back once. “I supposed this means I need to make sure my other disguise is suitable, too.”

Annie nods. “It does. Let’s see, then.”


There you go: Annie and Kerry doing something for “The G”, which is pretty easy to figure out.  Some of the other stuff that isn’t so clear–well, eventually it’ll get talked about–

Just not here.  And by me.


The Rune Vision: Gettin’ Ready and Set

I thought I’d get in some writing this morning, but while the mind was willing, the body wasn’t in the mood for that shit, not at seven in the morning, which was when I crawled out of bed.  I also had to run out and send off something UPS before heading over to Dick’s and picking up a sports bra that was not only on sale, but fits so well I may go back tomorrow and pick up two more.

Getting out is something I’m trying to do so I don’t get stuck in another mental rut and begin falling into the rabbit hole.  I don’t have to do anything, but being away from the apartment does wonders for me.  I’ll see how I feel after doing this for a couple of weeks.

But after an hour nap I felt like doing something, so I sat before the computer and wrote six hundred words, said words being the opening to the vision Kerry is having–you’ll know this right away.  And like the other vision, there’s a bit of a set up:


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


The mirror forms in the air and you take a moment to examine your attire and features. Hair is a little longer than when you graduated, but your facial features haven’t changed much at all, which is why it’s necessary to add some aging to your face before going out—the curse of being an Aware who doesn’t age at the same rate as a Normal.

It’s easy to see the rest of your body as well, which is almost perfectly average. The black dress pants are perfectly tailored, as is your white dress shirt, because of a little transformation magic, and your half-brogues feel as broken in as a pair you’ve own for years even though you bought them this morning.

You’ve just finished fastening the cummerbund around your waist when Annie walks out of the bathroom in her bra and panties, having just made her hair and makeup as perfect as possible. She stand on the other side of the large bedroom from you and waves at the air before her, creating her own full-length mirror. She slides her feet into a pair of black pumps before turning around to face you. “Give me a hand with my dress?”

“Of course.” As Annie levitates the dress to a position directly behind her you hold it lightly by the shoulders and phase it through her body. She helps position it until it’s perfectly in place and the moment she nods to let you know she’s satisfied, you remove the spell and take a couple of steps back. “Black metallic looks great on you.”

Annie turns and smiles. “Why wouldn’t it, my love?”

You make a quick nod towards her right shoulder. “That new ink is peeking through; you gonna hide that?”

Annie checks the tiny portion of her new tattoo just visible beyond the hem of the sleeve and makes it vanish with the wave of her hand. “Good catch. I wouldn’t want to risk that someone’s seen that somewhere else.” She looks at you as you return to your mirror. “Are you wearing earrings tonight?”

“I was thinking of wearing my diamond studs, but I’m not sure which ones.” You shrug. “What do you think? Squares? Hexagons?”

“Did you bring the octagons?”


“Wear those. I like them.”

“Done.” You remove the earrings from a nearby jewelry box and deftly slip them into place.

Annie continues admiring you as she put on her own earrings and a tiny smile curls up the right corner of her mouth. “I wish you could wear the dangling pentagrams you wore the last time we were out.”

“I would love to wear them as well, but they’d look a little out of place on this form.” You snort as you tie your tie. “That’s the problem with going to these swanky parties as a guy: it’s all the standard white shirt/black tie bullshit.” You finish your tie and tug the ends as you face Annie. “The only good this is I get to wear a bow tie—”

Annie slowly walks towards you. “Because bow ties are cool.”

The moment Annie is close enough you put your arm around her waist and give her a kiss. “Exactly, Pond.” You kiss her lips once more before releasing her. “See, I knew that part of me would rub off on you.”

“Don’t congratulate yourself too much—” She checks her appearance again in your mirror. “That’s about all I remember after a decade of your quotes.” After quickly touching her hair into place she glances towards you. “Do you think they’re going to give us any time together after tonight?”


There we start: looks like the kids are a bit more grown up–though, it would seem, not as old as they were in their last vision–and they’re going somewhere nice.

But why?

Well, wait until tomorrow–

The Rune Vision: Sleeytime Kids

What is this?  An Excerpt?  Why yes, it is.

While I mentioned I was going to start working on this next, in the future, chapter, I wondered if I was going to start on it last night.  I didn’t, mostly because I started beating myself up over something and wouldn’t let it go for hours.

However, when I awoke today, I decided I needed to get to it and that’s exactly what happened.  I started working on the first scene in the chapter and didn’t stop until I was done.  Why’s that?  Because I knew it wouldn’t be a long scene–and it wasn’t: almost eight hundred and seventy words.  And it leads into the vision that’s coming in the next scene.

But first, let’s get through this:


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


Relaxation Room #2 was known as The Sleep Chamber, because it was not only the quietest room at Memory’s End, but the quietest above-ground room throughout the School of Salem. Several enchantments prevented any outside sounds from penetrating the walls and door, while another set of enchantments thickened the shadows to create a darkness only found deep within caves.

The Sleep Chamber was only used for a couple of things. The first was when Coraline needed to conduct a study with a student having a difficult time sleeping, and the second was when Deanna wanted to conduct a Divination lab that involved dreams.

Today was Deanna’s time in The Sleep Chamber and she was nervous.

After a few weeks of study since returning from Yule Holiday, today’s second Divination lab involved rune dreams—and this had Deanna slightly on edge, in much the same way as the first lab. While this was going to be the first experience with runes for the C Levels, some C Level students had already experienced rune dreams.

Given that she knew the contents of Annie’s and Kerry’s first and, so far, last rune dreams, Deanna’s concern was that this next rune dream would likely be on par with the first vision they experienced during a lab—which was to say extremely vivid and perhaps a touch embarrassing.

The runes Annie and Kerry chose randomly from the bag at the beginning of class did little to alleviate her concern. Annie took Raidho, which indicated travel in both physical and personal form, and was often seen as opening up an individual to changes in their lives as well as allowing them to view things from a greater point of view.

Kerry’s was Kenaz and Deanna kept her face as blank as possible when she recorded the result of his pick. Kenaz represented, among other things, visions and revelations, and was often views as a harbinger of transformation and regeneration of self, giving one the power to create their own reality. It also represented both passion and sexual love, which conjured the worst possible visions in Deanna’s imagination when she considered what could happen if Kerry were to share a dream vision with Annie.

The only thing that gave the seer comfort was that everyone in the class would be asleep, so there wasn’t any possibility that something embarrassing could occur with those two that the rest of the class could observe.

Class prep was quick because they’d spent the last half hour of the previous class going over the process. First the students would randomly choose a rune and hold it, giving it power from their aura. Then they would place it under the pillow they’d use during their sleep time to allow it access to their minds. After that they’d consume a light soporific—courtesy of Erywin—that would allow them to drift off to sleep with little difficulty. The last step, of course, was to get comfortable, lay down, and crawl under a comforter before falling asleep for an hour or so.

At that point Deanna would position all the spy eyes into place over each student, plunge the room into total darkness, and wait to see what transpired. After the students awoke she’d have all of them write down their dream visions if one actually occurred. She recognized—and passed this along to her students—that not everyone would have a vision—

Though she didn’t mention that some students might decide to speak in their sleep, eliminating the need to write anything down. She’d handle those instances on a case-by-case basis.

Almost as one the students charged their runes and placed them under their pillows, then lined up to receive their soporifics before returning to their pillows. The majority of students decided to sleep under a comforter and quickly crawled under them as they readied themselves for the quick nap. Only a few students decides to sleep together as a couple—though it wasn’t difficult to know which two students were going to do just that without being asked…

The moment everyone was down and appeared ready to sleep Deanna killed the lights, allowing darkness to fill the room. She sat quietly in the darkness for what felt like a long time, but after producing her own magical light source—a deep red that wouldn’t damage her night visions—she noticed the time on her table and saw that only five minutes had transpired. She got to her feet and began checking on a few students, seeing that they were all out and sleeping peacefully.

She gingerly stepped over bodies until she stood next to Annie and Kerry, who had, of course, decided to sleep as a couple. Their comforter was pulled up almost to their chins, but it was easy to see Annie nestled softly and snugly against Kerry’s chest, with his left arm under the covers but draped over her body. Deanna knelt near their heads and bent to get a closer look at their faces—

After only a few seconds of observation she saw their eyes moving under their lids.

The seer drew in a quiet breath and dimmed her red light. It’s started


So tomorrow I hope to start on the vision and get that posted here.  It might only be five hundred words or so–

But they’ll be my words.

Forward Into the Wibbly Wobbly

Twenty-four hours can see a big change…

Yesterday about this time I was really up and feeling good.  It was sunny, life seemed good.  Last night, however, I started falling into another of my depressions while out enjoying a bout with teammates and by the time I was home I was ready to chuck it all over the balcony–myself included.

So I made a comment on Facebook about this.  I got a lot of sympathy–and one comment from someone who I respect a great deal.  Her comment was to stop letting depression define me because I was allowing it to happen and that I should “bone the fuck up” and move forward.

And it did snap my ass back into shape.

A lot of shit that’s happened to me since the end of last year has been me letting depression get the better of me.  I know the signs, I know what this can do to me, and, in the past, I’ve told it to fuck off and been successful.  And I’ve admitted, on more than one occasion, that my pursuit of my 27/5 has been fucking up my life something tremendously.

This morning I work up in a better mood and I’m ignoring the time change last night and just going with the fact it’s almost 11:00 right now.  It’s bright and cloudless outside and I’m going skating in a few hours, because that’s what I do on Sunday.

Oh, and I laid out a new chapter–

Yes, Kids: it’s on.


This is the scene that’s been bugging me for a while and since I’m hearing from people who’d like to see something out of me, I’ve decided to skip out of what I was working on and move ahead–leaving the linear progression of the novel behind and getting a few chapters that I want to write.  And in doing so I hope it kicks loose whatever the hell is holding me back and that allows me to get back to writing.

‘Cause since I have the time I damn well should.

Not only has this scene–Annie’s and Kerry’s second vision–been bugging the hell out of me, but I was running it over in my head before setting it up in the time line and then laying out the chapter here.  I know what happens in every scene because I’ve already thought this out, so there’s no remaining mystery for me.  All that remains is for me to get to writing–something I expect to do tonight after dinner since I have nothing on tap once I return from skating and I’ll have a lot of free time up until The Walking Dead comes on.

And what happens after this?  Well, I’ve had a require to show Kerry heading off with Annie to Pamporovo for Yule and it’s likely I’ll write that.  Some also want to see The Polar Express, but you need the Girl’s Weekend Away before you get to The Polar Express because… you do.  I know this sucker: you don’t.  And that’s how it plays out.

And if I can get all that down then I really want to get to Annie’s introduction to derby, ’cause yeah, I know how that shit plays out as well.

Right now I feel good, I feel bright, I feel… almost happy.  Does this mean I’m back to writing full-time after nearly a month off and two months of just sort of pecking at my work?  We’ll see ’cause right now I can’t say.

But as Liz Smith once said:


“We try to live responsible logical lives, but we can’t tell our hearts what to feel. Sometimes our hearts lead us to places we never thought we wanted to go, and sometimes our hearts can be the sweetest gentlest things we have. Sometimes our hearts can make us feel miserable anger, excited and confused all at once. But at least my heart is open, and I’m writing again. I’m feeling. I’m breathing.”


Right now that’s good enough for me.

From the Beginning

A lot of time writers hate to go back and look at things they did when they were first starting out.  I know I do–at least, with some stories.  Those stories that I don’t want to see no longer exist, for they truly were masterpieces of shit.

My first real story was some cheap horror I knocked out in a matter of hours.  I really wasn’t good and it ended with a couple of the oldest tropes in the book: an Apocalyptic Log with That Was the Last Entry tacked on.  It was quite shitty and I believe I just erased it from my hard drive at some point because I never wanted to see it again.

But after I wrote a couple of stories for my creative writing course for adults and joined a writer’s group–which was a big mistake, but that’s another story for another time–I was ready to write.  And not just write, but try and write a–gasp!–novel.  Why?  ‘Cause I determined that I couldn’t write short stories due to the fact I’m a wordy bitch.  Everyone commented on the fast that while I seemed pretty good, I couldn’t write a story in 5,000 words if my life depended upon that.

What follows is the first thing I ever wrote for my novel Transporting, making this penned–if you wanna use that word–a some point in 1987.  I know that because I worked at Playboy in Chicago in 1988, and while I walked to and from the train station to the office–a distance of about 13 blocks–I used to think about these characters and how they would fit into a multi-story arc.  I’d also sit in my office during lunch and work on character building, so this part here had to come before.

Believe it or not, about 98% of what’s below is original.  It’s been polished to fix spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but the words are mostly unchained.  What I wrote 30 years ago is still there using the same voice, and I can’t say I’m displeased.

This is done in the form of a first-person diary–as you’ll see–while there are parts of the novel written–as you saw yesterday–in third person limited.  There are two clues in this manuscript that indicates that the narrator is from Earth, but it’s probably not our Earth.  You’ll figure it out, I’m sure.

So here you go: the 2,500 words that set me on the road to writing.



(Excerpt from Transporting by Cassidy Frazee, Copyright 2018.)


When it comes to finding the right thing to say, I always fall back on a movie for a good quote. Why? Can’t say. Most flicks suck total ass; crappy dialog, shitty plots, characters who disappear when they turn sideways—it’s all there. But when they’re done right, when everything is tight and well crafted and about as perfect as a well-oiled watch, they’re damn near magic.

That’s why when I’m looking for a quote to describe, in twenty-five words or less, my current outlook on any situation, I turned to the movies. Not every time, but I mean, shit, it’s not as if I have a musty corner of my brain filled with a millennium of witty things to fall back on. I got to get my material from somewhere.

Sure, there are good quotes that can be found in any number of books. And most of them were made by people a hell of a lot smarter than me. But I should point out that most of the time those quotes—they don’t always move me. You could blame my intellectual attenuation on bad TV or movies. You could, but you’d be discounting the three thousand or so books I read long before I arrived at this place I call “now” and you’d end up looking more of an asshole than me.

I’m not saying there’s nothing in literature that can compete with the visual medium. That’s complete bullshit. But “Ask not, what your country can do for you,” doesn’t hit home, to me, as much as “Just once, I want to do something right.”

Or maybe it’s the voice behind those words, they who speak the line that sticks in your head and makes it so real. I’ve read the line “There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always.” And I’ve also heard a voice, a particular voice, quote that same line. When I hear the voice-over for that scene—the quote always brings a tear to my eye. Always. When I read it… if I don’t put Gandhi’s (or at least Sir Ben’s) voice to that quote, it means nothing.

It’s that magic I enjoy. That’s what I live for.

So why am I talking about quotes? What does this have to do with anything I’m saying right now? Not a goddamn thing, actually. Just thought I’d bring it up because I’m like that. I procrastinate by meandering.

Though in a way it does have something to do with this thing of mine, what I’m trying to put down, here through this electronic medium that can be recalled from about anywhere on the planet.

It has to do with why I’m doing this.

There’s a simple explanation for the why. It’s all Lynette’s doing. No, really. She was the one who had the idea to start a journal. I’d been the one who’d been pissing and moaning about a “lack of history” concerning what’s happened with me, to me, and she finally threw up her hands and yelled, “Dammit, why don’t you write about what’s happened? Stop complaining about a lack there of and do this thing!”

Easier said than done. Even though I’ve written stuff, I’m not sure I’m much of a writer. I can explain things—or can I? I remember, back in my old life, one of my bosses told me I was a “bad influence on others in our department” and that my written instructions were “hard to read.” I remember asking if he would instead say in my annual review that my written work was “incomprehensible to the point of inadvertent obfuscation” as that description was far more clear and precise. I thought the cocksucker was going to stroke out on the spot. That’s a manager for you. Fuck his stupid, monosyllabic butt. What the hell did he know?

(Can I mention that he’s dead—worms spit the best part of his ass out long ago—and I’m still kicking? If so, just one more time, with feeling—fuck you, dickwad. Thank you.)

I’m being hard on myself. Sue me.

I decided to do this damn thing if, for no other reason, than (1) it keeps me from drinking and/or getting high, and (2) it helps me remember everything that’s went down recently. Believe me, the first reason is good enough, and the second… there’s plenty to remember and talk about.

And I want to talk about it, I really do.

Even if no one other than The Gang of Four reads this shit, at least I’ll get a hell of a lot off my chest. Shit. My chest. You don’t know how fuckin’ silly that sounds, man.

Before coming to “now” I had a lot of baggage. Now—

Now it’s time to fall back on that movie quote.

I should revise that. A “TV quote” is what we’re really shooting for here, gang, but I’m splittin’ fuckin’ hairs, you know?

Once more, a quick diversion. There’s good news and bad news concerning my new home. One, I have access to just about everything recorded during the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries. That’s the good. The bad news is just how goddamn bad the majority of this offal was! Christ! Ted Sturgeon was aiming a bit low when he said ninety percent of everything is crap. He should have adjusted his numbers upward based on the last two decades of the Twentieth Century. I mean, after 1980 we definitely started inching into something akin to tau zero numbers. While the overall Craptacular percentage might, after years of trying, hit 99.9999999%, we would never actually reach one hundred percent the Speed of Complete Shit. Because, try as Hollywood might, a gem would always float to the surface of the cesspool that was American Culture I used to know and—ah, hem—love. Sometimes this happened by design, more often by sheer dumb fucking luck. But it did happen.

So while I’ve pissed on a lot of things, I have also managed to dig a few gems out of the shit, and these have, in some way, left a splendid and lasting impression upon my soul.

There was this show that popped up latter half of the Twentieth Century. Strike that. Last years of the Twentieth, first of the Twenty-first. Got it? Good. It was pretty cultish in its day—you know, 150 channels then and nothing on, so there was a great deal of competition to prevent it from getting great viewing numbers, but it had a very loyal following for the five years it was on. It was about alien teenagers growing up in, of all places, Roswell, New Mexico—hey, I hear you snickering out there. Fuck off, bitches. I liked it. It was… I don’t know. Strange. In a good way.

(In a slightly off-the-rails-once-again yet on-subject topic, ‘cause I’m good at that shit: I once asked Tommy about the Roswell Crash. Tommy can be a right bastard when he wants and he hates it when I start grilling him about these old paranormal events because he doesn’t give two damns about them. So the day I got into him about the crash he grew extremely pissy, got red in the face and began spouting the party line: that it was a US military test, no extraterrestrial ship had ever crashed on Earth, that people then wanted to believe something from another world had landed. I remember him saying—screaming, really—”It never occurred, it was all a stupendous fantasy, why do you continue wasting my time with this RUBBISH?” Of course I had to mention that I’d tried using Heather to access a MOS database and discovered that what I was looking for was secured under a 16,384 bit encryption key, so if this was just some fantasy, then what is your government so fuckin’ eager to hide? Tommy got very quiet for about twenty seconds, staring off into space as he normally does when he knows he’s being fucked and doesn’t want to lose face. He finally rubbed his chin and said, “I’m positive it’s nothing important,” then spun on his heel and left in a huff. So maybe there’s nothing in that database. But I’m going to crack that fucker one of these days if it’s the last thing I do.)

Getting back to my story… There was an episode on this show where a couple of the female characters—one human, the other alien—were hanging around after class on the school grounds, BSing and doing their toenails. The subject of relationships comes up. The human asks something about why the alien girl—who’s wildly hot, incidentally—why she doesn’t talk to people, or go out that much, and, gee, is it because you’re like from another world, huh? The alien girl asks the human, “Are you afraid? I mean to let someone in; to let someone see who you really are?” The human girl thinks about it—she’s just started to get a crush on Alien Girl’s brother, first-time love and all that crap, and knows sort of what Sis is asking about—and replies, “Yeah, of course I am.” Alien Girl looks Little Human Girl in the eye and tells her, “Well, multiply that by about a million,” which is meant to give an indication about how worried she is when it comes to people learning about the real her.

And that, my friends, sums up everything when it comes to me. That is exactly how I feel.

There’s so much I don’t want people to know, yet so much I’m afraid they’ll discover.

Lynette says that’s another good reason for doing this journal. She tells me it’s “cathartic” to let everything out. My thoughts. My feelings. My fears. All the junk that I’ve hidden for years, kept bottled up like some hundred year old wine I’ve been saving for that special occasion that is never special enough.

She doesn’t realize how much she’s asking from someone who never lets anyone in. How difficult I find it to open up. I feel as segregated from everyone as those aliens. Multiply their fear by a million? That would be start.

Partially that’s true. Partially it’s a cop-out, though. Cy knows all this was my idea. I think—I believe she’s the one that put the idea in Lynette’s head, but she’s hidden that memory away so I can’t see it. I know, what a little bitch. The least she can do is let me see if I was right, you know?

I know I spoke with her about doing something like this when we got back. But she knows that getting me to do instead of say are two very contrasting ideas. When it comes to working on something, like this, let’s say, I’m the biggest lazy ass in the world. I admit it. Mea cupla and all that rot. What can I do?


So Cy told Lynette. Lynette got in my ass. I got the push I needed.

Now I’m down to wondering what should go in here.

Fuck all that, Jack. I know what I should put here: everything. The things I learned. The way I’ve changed. (Should I say instead, “Become a new person?” Oh, my. Now that’s a fuckin’ scream.) The last two years.

That’s a lot of ground.

Actually it’s more than two years, but I’m not in the mood to start tearing down the structure of the universe this very moment to get it straight. Call it two years, dude, and we’re even.

I’ve spent a few days prior to now doing what I normally do. Sitting around and scratching ass. The usual. Then… movie time again. And another quote.

I was watching, for about the sixtieth or seventieth time, The Music Man. Great flick. Saw it the first time when I was about six and fell in love with it. Couldn’t tell you why, but can anyone explain love of anything to me? How it occurs? No? Thought not.

The Music Man is that way for me. The film is a love feast. Corny as all hell, but it still leaves you feeling as if you’ve been a part of something special when it’s over. Shirley Jones. Buddy Hackett. Hermione Gingold. And, in his Academy Award winning role, Robert Preston, the con man who always thinks there’s a band. No one else could play Prof. Harold Hill the way he did and I can’t imagine anyone else walking away with that award that year. (Okay, Peter should have gotten it, but I wasn’t voting. Is it my fault he was British and didn’t have a chance in hell?)

Here’s the scene: Harold’s conned just about everyone in the town about the bogus band that’s never coming and he’s getting ready to scoot with the loot. He’s conned everyone except Marion the Librarian, played by Shirley Jones. Harold finally gets her alone and asks her if she would care to meet up at the bridge in the park, the local Lover’s Lane. “’No, please’,” Marion begs, “’Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow?’”

And Harold looks as her with those sorrowful eyes he owns and tells her, “’Oh, my dear little librarian. You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to make today worth remembering.’”

I paused the movie—again. And remembered another time that line got me going—

It didn’t take a genius to know I’ve got too goddamn many empty yesterdays and can’t afford to piss away any more.

Harold was right.

So, I’ve finally begun. Jerking along like a car that hasn’t been run in a while, but I’m really doing this goddamn thing.

And trying to do it right.

I’ve got to lay out as much as I can. Tell what I remember. What I know.

Maybe I’ll leave something behind that, when it’s scanned, people will say, “So, that’s how that was done.”

But what I’m really trying to do: I’m trying to make this perfect.

I want to leave behind some magic. But to get to the end, I gotta start at the beginning.

And that’s a mess that, if I could, I’d have bleached from my brain and never miss a moment. But despite how drug and booze soaked my memories of that time are, I do remember how this all started.

October 13, 1986. A Monday. Christ, the day was suck-o. Chilly, about 45, with a low overcast and the wind cutting through your ass like a hot serrated knife. Some rain as well, but not much. Par for Chicago in the middle of October.

The day was shit and I had it off. I took it off. Called in sick. Why, you ask? Were you sick? No. So you wanted it off? Yes. For the love of all that’s good, why?

I knew it wouldn’t be a good day. It wasn’t the sort of day that you’d want to spend outdoor having fun.

About the only thing a fucked up day like that was good for was killing yourself.

Which, incidentally, was what I was planning…



Some Past Future History

One of the things I love about world building is trying to construct a history around why something happened.  How did The Foundation come to be?  Well, I had to think that one out and build a history that made sense.  Now, while you may not ever seen the whole history, I have, because I need to know the whys and wherefores and stick to those suckers.

Because if there’s another thing I’ve learned when writing, it’s that you need to stick to the internal logic of the story created by whatever history you have.  Otherwise it’s all chaos, and we don’t want that, now, do we?

It was the same way when I wrote Transporting.  I had to created a bunch of history to explain why things were the way they were at the time of my story.  And one of the things I created was something of a quick summation of how humans went from an interplanetary to interstellar to time traveling species.  And in little more than thirty-five hundred words I did just that.

This is Chapter Ten from Transporting, and this is the first time it’s ever seen the light of day.  This is where my inner sci fi tech geek comes out and get all crazy with the handwavium so my world works.  You get to see if first.  And I do hope you enjoy.

If nothing else, if gives you another insight into how my mind works.

Which might not be a good thing…


(Excerpt from Transporting by Cassidy Frazee, Copyright 2018.)


Human-kind developed advanced propulsion systems for space travel in the early and mid-22nd Century. A 1G fusion drive developed by the ESA made its first full-system run in 2112 and began mass production ten years later. The Kranok Drive was rendered nearly obsolete when, in 2142, a Japanese/ Indonesian consortium developed a matter/anti-matter powered drive that could achieve accelerations of up to 10Gs and maintain that velocity for extended periods of time. The energy produced by the Masawana-Sukarno-Koh Drive also powered another consortium breakthrough: a device that would compensate for inertia and eliminate the gravitational effects produced by acceleration. With this in place, the MSK Drive could run at its maximum and passengers and crew would never feel anything more than a comfortable .9Gs enveloping them.

With these tools the Solar System was finally opened for business.

Now that people could move from planet to planet in days instead of weeks or months, the next five decades saw the first real outward rush of Terran society. Luna became a suburb of Earth. The population of Mars nearly doubled. Large habitats were built in orbit around Venus and Jupiter. A mining colony was established on Mercury. And scientific outposts sprang up on all the large outer moons.

Because of its efficiency and lower cost the Kranok Drive was not scraped, but was instead used by large, slower system freighters that didn’t need to zip from one place to another. However, it was soon discovered that the Kranok Drive was perfect for something else: the first generation of the unmanned interstellar probes. The first Rigil Kentaurus probe, Jupiter 3—the name was chosen as a homage to an early science fiction television program—departed Mars orbit in 2160 and arrived in-system eleven years later. Probes were built and sent to Barnard’s Star and Procyon in 2171 and 2174 respectively. Although Barnard’s Star proved to be a bit of a disappointment—only three small planets were found, along with a huge asteroid field waiting to be plundered—both Rigil Kent and Procyon were found to have planets that would be considered hospitable for humans after a little terraforming.

Now the biggest hurdle would be getting people there. While the MSK Drive could get a ship up close to the speed of light in a very short time, no one had yet discovered a way to go faster than light. While there were a number of theories as to how an FTL system might work, turning the might into would was proving elusive as hell. Between 2170 and 2200 no less that twelve billion Terran Scripts were spent on research looking for this Holy Grail of space flight. It all turned into dead-ends, however. Everything that had been written on the subject over the prior one hundred years was poured over by the greatest minds throughout most of 2202 in the hope that something had been missed, that perhaps someone had come up with an idea that, while brilliant, had been so astounding that the work was immediately discounted and discarded in the dust bin of history.

3 Jan, 2203, a paper was published detailing the findings of the team. Their findings: nothing of use was there. All that has been thought possible was, instead, proven impossible. Faster than light travel was an enigma. It was a fantasy dreamt only by those who could not face the harsh reality of nature; that if anyone wished to travel to the stars, it would be done in small steps taking so many yet-to-be counted generations, or at relativistic speeds that would, in effect, be one-way journeys for those aboard.

The paper summed up its conclusions nicely, leaving no doubt as to its conclusions: “Never in our life times, or our children, or our grandchildren, or even our grandchildren’s grandchildren, will this vision of swift and effortless travel to the stars become a reality. We may one day step foot upon the earth of nearby systems after decades of travel, but one must immediately give up the possibility of interstellar empires where one can visit numerous system in a matter or weeks, or month. Such a notion is, and will always remain, impossible.”

There was but a single rebuttal, written by the only person on the team who refused to sign off on the findings. Her message was simple and to the point: “We should never forget Clark’s First Law.”


On 16 June, 2235, the Eris Observatory detected a large, focused neutrino burst emanating from a point 26 degree below the Elliptic and approximately 118 AU distant. Probes in the Oort Cloud had, as well, detected gravitational variations not far from the point of the initial burst. Though Eris had nothing that could readily investigate this phenomena, the research ship Kamehameha would soon be passing Pluto’s orbit—at the time it had been on its way from Terra to study Trans-Plutonian bodies—and could be dispatched.

The Kamehameha was ordered to Eris where they laid over just long enough to pick up three specialists: Gibson Daimler, an astrophysicist, and Tracy Powell and Karlena McNutt, both engineers. The ship was then ordered to a point where they could intercept the object that had been the true source of the neutrino emissions: a large vessel traveling approximately fifteen percent the speed of light, which was currently following a long, curving arc around the Solar System.

The unknown ship was intercepted by the Kamehameha two days later. The vessel was huge: 380 meters long by 60 m wide by 35 m high. Though the ship did not respond to any of the Kamehameha’s inquiries, after a day of probing the hull an airlock was discovered. Within hours the crew had access to the interior of the alien vessel.

Though the ship was apparently empty, the lights were on, environmental systems were on-line and were working, and there was oxygen and gravity, with these being exactly like what one would discover on Terra. Quarters were found that appeared built for creatures perhaps slightly taller than humans, though no one could say for certain what these creature may have looked like—one of the specialists, Blair Humon, surmised from chairs found in several rooms that the aliens that built the ship may have been tripeds, or even quadrupeds. No food was found in an obvious kitchen, nor was any organic material discovered in what appeared to be a medical facility.

For a full day the crew searched those parts of the ship they could enter. They found a bridge that seemed singularly devoid of instruments—although as Powell stated, they could be standing next to the navigation system and never know it. What instruments the bridge did possess were covered in characters similar to hieroglyphics. They also found several common areas, as well as entrances to what were believed to be the engineering and the computer sections. As with other locked rooms no one could figure out how to open the doors, as reading the alien characters on the panels next to the doors was impossible. No matter what actions were taken with the panels, they were unable to open any doors.

Finally Karlena McNutt was given permission to force open the door thought to lead into engineering. She and Powell gathered equipment and a few explosive charges they’d brought from the observatory, and proceeded to work. Less than three minutes after they indicated they were wiring the door the alien ship began to accelerate away from the Kamehameha. Two crew members who were also on-board the ship with McNutt and Powell were able to return, but the Kamehameha had to break off as the alien ship accelerated away at 40Gs, stranding the women. Two minutes later the ship vanished with a burst of neutrinos. The Kamehameha crew returned to Terra and submitted their findings, which were immediately classified secret.

Only a handful of people ever knew what had happened to Powell and McNutt.

2 March, 2236, another neutrino burst occured—only this one was detected just outside the orbit of Uranus and not in Trans-Plutonian space and belonging to a ship entering the Solar System and decelerating slowly from six percent the speed of light. This ship was not nearly as large as the other: only 43 meters by 18 by 12. And while it wasn’t responding to inquiries, its orbit indicated it was on a direct course for Terra, something that scrambled nearly every ship from Mars to Neptune.

The craft was intercepted just outside the orbit of Saturn. It resembled the other ship the Kamehameha examined in nearly every way except size. As the patrol destroyer Euxine approached the alien vessel the ship hailed and, to the surprise of everyone, on the bridge, Tracy Powell sent a greeting: “How the hell are ya? Me and Karlena would like to know: where you want us to park this thing?”

The Euxine and five other ships escorted Powell and McNutt to the research station on Phobos. The ship was instantly placed in storage for examination while the ladies were sent to Luna, where they spent the next four months undergoing every imaginable form of regression therapy known to find out where they had been and how they’d come in possession of the ship. After four months the people examining Powell and McNutt discovered two things:

One, the ship had been given to them by a race known as the Sha’lan and it possessed an FTL drive.

Two: nothing beyond that.

The station on Phobos set themselves to reverse engineering the Sha’lan drive, attempting to figure out how it worked. There were manuals, written in English—later discovered to have been written by McNutt without her knowledge—to help them along, as well as an explanation of the basic theory. After some of Earth’s top physicists were able to go over the formula for FTL travel, there was heard the sound of collective head-slapping, for once some advanced principles of quantum physics were taken from the Sha’lan’s theories and factored into some Terran ones, it was easy to see how similar they were.

So much was understood that a new drive was built in six months time, while the ship took another three. On 21 February, 2237, the Bonadventure became the first human vessel equipped with an FTL drive to go faster than light in a vacuum, reaching a speed of 220c during its shake-down cruise.

The door to the stars had not been opened so much as kicked down.


For just over a hundred years the top speed of the Powell-McNutt Drive, as the system was known because no one would be told it was an alien drive until 2840 GS, was 250c. Then in 2348 there was a small increase to 300c and a bigger jump to 500c in 2487. While one could always go slower, it seemed there was a top speed.

The reason was simple: the PMD phased a bubble of “Trans-Einsteinium space” around the ship, allowing it to slip into an extra-dimensional continuum. The density of the phase bubble was the true gage of speed: the more dense the bubble, the faster one could travel. The bubble could be made denser by pumping more energy into it, but there lay the really tricky part: much of the original theory on the PMD didn’t seem to work when it came to increasing bubble density. Or rather, the theory said one thing, but the reality of that change was something all together different.

Simply pumping more energy into the bubble didn’t work. There was a bit of symmetry that came into play when adding energy to the surface of the phase bubble; it wasn’t something that could be done through brute force, since the bubble needed to be reconfigured so as to better handle the additional velocity. These reconfigurations were insignificant at lower velocities, but the further engineers pushed the drive beyond 500c, the more complex the patterns became.

Over 300 Standard years passed before the 1000c limit was broken and this was followed by what engineers refereed to as the Century of Speed. In 2803 a speed of 1200c was achieved; then, only 67 years later this was increased to 1500c. Finally, in 2937 a velocity of 1800c was reached. It was thought that 2000c would be reached if not within the next 50 or 100 years, at that point not long before the start of the Third Millennium.

No such thing occurred.

The PMD reached 1800c in the last few years of the 30th Century and remained there. Nothing the FTL experts did could make a ship go faster. There were moments when engineers believed they had cracked the PMD Limitation, but when actual tests were performed the ship never passed the 1800c marker.

By the beginning of the 32nd Century the Limit became for many scientists and engineers what faster than light travel had been at the start of the 23rd Century: an absolute that would never be solved or beaten. Academic paper after paper was published explaining why there would be no further advances in the PMD. How 1800c would be the upper limit; how the Empire would simply have to live with this constraint.

Of course there were detractors: there always are. Most were not taken seriously. The detractors had nothing to offer in the way of a solution, and so their arguments were moot.

That would all change before the century was out.


Dr. Thomas McCrimmon had already made a name for himself by 3172 Galactic Standard. His genius was established early in 3159 GS when, at the age of 14, he published a paper redefining the basic quantum wormhole theory behind the creation of transom lines; the application of his work allowed them to be produced more efficiently using less power. Two years later, already in his second year of college, he published another paper that, within a year, led to the development of a portable transom device that used a fraction of the power of the current prototypes being tested. These contributions led to Tommy receiving a substantial royalty of a half a million Interstellar Pounds a year, as well as making him one of the few people who could travel anywhere in the Empire for free.

By the time he’d won the Copley Medal in 3170 GS, he’d already given the Powell-McNutt Limitation problem much thought. Tommy had never been one for listening to what others had to say concerning his ideas—as he often told anyone who’d listen, if he had, he would have never published his first paper—so he was disinclined to believe anyone who said 1800c could never be bettered. Pure rubbish as far as he was concerned, for he remembered how Terran theories had been very close to breaking the FTL barrier before the gift of the Power-McNutt Drive and how the pundits of the day had stated that the light barrier would never be broken. At a lecture he gave soon after winning the Copley Medal, Tommy boldly stated that humans would have developed a FTL drive on their own and in all likelihood would have done so within fifty years of the date of their acquisition of the PMD. Despite having nearly a thousand years to review the evidence, Tommy’s remarks were met in the mainstream with considerable skepticism.

Tommy knew the solution to the Limitation lie not in getting more energy into the phase bubble, but in creating a new element for the bubble. The PMD phase bubble was created in a trans-dimension of Einsteinium space-time, so as Tommy reckoned, if the current trans-dimension was imposing limitations, then a different trans-dimension was needed. This had been tried in the past: the PMD formula had been adjusted many time to work towards the creation of the phase bubble in a hereto unexplored sub-dimension. All of these attempts had failed and Tommy knew why:

None of the people developing these theories believed as strongly in Clark’s Second Law as Thomas McCrimmon.

Tommy spent two years revising the basic drive theories before hitting upon his solution. The trans-dimension he would use was really little more than a quantum sub-dimension of a sub-dimension of superspace, that unique parcel of quantum space-time that was just now coming into vogue as a possible power replacement for mater/anti-mater reactions. Tommy had become the leading proponent of superspace topographical theory and he believed that he could use this quantum sub-dimension to not only break through the PM Limitation, but set a new maximum speed so high that if he were correct—and he had no reason to doubt he wasn’t—the Empire might be looking at intergalactic travel by the end of the century.

After the basic theory was developed a test craft was constructed. Tommy was able to fund much of the development from his own finances due to the money he’d earned from transom royalties, so he didn’t have to worry about backers telling him he was doing everything wrong. He oversaw much of the development and construction himself, often having parts auto-fabricated at New Oxford, where he’d begun teaching. Most of his time he was in his lab the going over delicate working on the engines, the first to tap superspace energies, and developing the trans-dimensional phasing integrator that would create the new phase bubble that would propel the craft—the Quantum Extra-Dimensional Conveyance, as he was calling it—to velocities approaching an estimated twenty million times the speed of light.

Finally the time came to test the craft and theory. A twenty light-year race course was set up outside the University system to test the conveyance. A school research ship brought the conveyance to one end of the course where it was deployed. The time had been set to begin the experiment, so both sides could record the exact moments of departure and arrival. Tommy had decided that he would adjust the speed so the twenty light years would be covered in ninety seconds—a speed of nearly 7,000,000 C.

On 12 April, 3173 GS, at 17:22:00 UMT, Tommy set the controls and de-phased the craft from normal time-space. The conveyance vanished—

And reappeared at the other end of the course ninety seconds later.

The test was a success.

Tommy said little during the three day trip from the track to University. He refused to review the data until he was back in his lab. He would only allow one message to be transmitted to New London and University indicating the test had been conducted and appeared successful, but stated nothing else. He knew what he and the others had done, but he wanted to be certain that nothing was amiss before acknowledging that they’d beaten the PM Limitation. He wanted to be certain there’d been no unforeseen problems.

Tommy found nothing out of the ordinary. His avatar assistant Heather found nothing out of the ordinary. But Tommy knew something was wrong. He felt it, that something was amiss, but he couldn’t see it.

Two days later he found what he was looking for. The problem was, to say the least, unexpected. Tommy spent another two days pouring over the data to see if there was the possibility of misinterpretation. There wasn’t. He knew he had to confirm these finding before he could even begin thinking about turning his discovery over to the Ministry of Science for evaluation.

He scheduled another test two weeks after the first. He set same criteria as the earlier test. Tommy would de-phase the conveyance at one end and re-phase at the other and the time between these events would be ninety seconds. Then they would then gather up the data and return to University to analyze what they’d collected.

The test went as expected. Nothing seemed different from the one before. It was only a few hours later, while Tommy examined the data, in particular the clock readings from both sides of the race course, that he found his “abnormality”.

The clocks were synchronized by a tacyhon pulse sent out every one-one hundredth of a second from University. The clock on-board the conveyance had been synchronized by the same pulse, so technically, all three clocks should be the same. It was right after the first test Tommy noticed a tiny discrepancy: while the timer on the conveyance showed a 90.0032 second journey, the race course clocks showed a different time: 89.9999999999987. It wasn’t a huge difference, but it was enough to make Tommy wonder.

This time there was no mistaking what had happened, for Tommy had forced a problem the second time. Tommy had de-phased the conveyance at 10:15:12 UMT. The clock on the conveyance showed it had been de-phased for 90.00004002 seconds. It was the re-phase that was troublesome, however. For the conveyance had returned to normal time-space, at the other end of the test course, at 10:15:08 UMT.

The conveyance had arrived at Point B before it had left Point A, just as Tommy planed.

In one of the greatest failures of his short career, Thomas McCrimmon—much to his considerable chagrin—had created a working space-time machine.



And there you have: my own little slice of future space history.

Now, let’s see what I can come up with tomorrow…