Into the All Clear

After the busy day I had yesterday–and it was–I needed to have a small part to write.  And I knew this next scene would be small, because, well, I know my scenes.  There wasn’t much happening, so there wouldn’t be much to say.

But since it’s part of a chapter, it doesn’t need to be large–it merely needs to convey a message, to show the reader what’s happening in the story.  And this scenes gets right to the point and tells everything.  Let’s then get right into it, all of it, and what’s happening down at the school.

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

19:50

Upon returning to the triage center Annie imagined that things would become busy quickly, but she was wrong: almost nothing happened. A couple of students teleported in—one with broken ribs and another with a broken wrist—but they were quickly treated, after which they returned to the school grounds.

Otherwise it was quiet. Annie didn’t know if she should be worried that things were going badly for the Salem side, or if she should be happy that it was possible the Salem forces were overwhelming the Deconstructor forces.

Without updates from beyond The Pentagram, it was impossible to tell what was happening on the school grounds.

Nurse Coraline returned a little before 19:55; Annie noticed this because she happened to be standing next to one of the examination monitors and checked the time. She looked strained, but related to her staff that Professor Palmescoff was resting, that she was in a time field for now so if she her vitals should begin failing someone could get to her quickly. Coraline pulled Nurse Gretchen aside and spent a few minutes discussing something quietly: Annie suspected they were developing a plan for taking care of the professor should the current situation continue—

“Attention. This is Fortress.”

Annie, along with everyone else in the triage area, stopped what they were doing and began staring off into space. She raised her gaze slightly, not looking straight ahead but more at the darkened area that was the First Floor of the East Transept. She didn’t know why she did this, but there wasn’t anyone she wanted to turn to in this moment, and since the voice seemed to be coming from somewhere above . . .

“Based upon our analysis of our the school grounds, and information being related to us from our people in the field, and have concluded that the enemy forces which assaulted the school are now vanquished.” Isis’ voice—which Annie recognized without difficultly—tried to speak as dispassionately as possible, but she could hear a quiver behind some of her words.

“As such, the school is now being stepped down to Security Level One protocols. Which the outer defense screens will remain at full strength, The Pentagon defense screens will be deactivated, and students can leave their lower tower levels and move about the grounds—though we advice that students not venture far from The Pentagram until we are able to further assess the situation beyond the walls.

“We have also reestablished contact with one of The Foundation networks and expect to reestablish contact with the other two soon. They are aware of out situation, and Protectors are being dispatched to assist in the cleanup.

“I will instruct the kitchen to begin preparing dinner, and to remain open until 22:30 to accommodate all students, staff, and instructors. Students are now free to leave the lower levels and return to their rooms and the Great Hall.” Isis’ tired sigh was audible to everyone listening. “Thank you for your cooperation during this emergency. This is Isis Mossman, Director of Security, over and out.”

Annie wanted to run for the hospital ward, to see how Kerry was doing—Thebe had returned some time before and told her he was resting comfortably—but at the moment the teleport alarm went off and three people appeared in the staging area and slowly made their way—one limping severely—towards the triage center.

Kerry was going to have to wait.

Annie had work ahead of her.

 

There you have it, all five hundred and eighty-two words, one of the shortest scenes I’ve written.  The emergency is now over, and things can get back to–normal?  Or what passes for normal in this joint?  Anyway you look at it, the bad guys and their monsters are history, and probably in a rather permanent way if you think about it for any amount of time.

Two scenes left, and they’ll likely be close to or over two thousand words each.  Since the chapter is up to almost thirty-eight hundred words, those two scenes should drive this chapter up to near or over eight thousand words.  The next two scenes are going to be fun and hard to writer, particularly the last one, as it’s going to be personal and will reveal some secrets between Annie and Kerry.  But that’s okay, because why else be at school if they didn’t have secrets to tell each other.

And it looks as if I have plenty of space where I can tell secrets.

And it looks as if I have plenty of space where I can tell secrets.

Isis of the Dark

First off, let me tell you that taking a couple of hours and going out to get your brows waxed does wonders for your mental state.  The skin is still a little red, but they look so much better now; it doesn’t look like I have a couple of dark caterpillars crawling across my forehead.

Not to mention that I needed a little “me time” yesterday, because I was just losing it during the morning.  No energy, no urge to do anything.  It was really suck-o, people.  Then someone said, “Hey, Cassidy, you need to go out and get your brows down, relax, just enjoy yourself,” and that’s exactly what I did.  Had them done, made an appointment to go back to do something else in a couple of weeks, got a small sub for dinner, and finally made it home about nine PM.

And then sat down and wrote almost nine hundred and fifty words.

I started out by repeating Isis’ comments from the end of the last scene, only this time I wrote them in English so the people at home could follow along . . .

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Isis flew down from the Security Center to the Dining Hall, hurrying to bring the news to the headmistress and the other. She motioned the west door open and flew though, touching down in the empty space between the students and the gathered instructors about five meters ahead of the closing door. With all eyes now on her she shouted as she stomped towards the Headmistress. “We’re dark; we’re in the dark. The whole fucking system just went dark.”

Mathilde motioned for Isis to calm down. “Isis, please: not in front of the students. Now, slow down and explain.”

Isis continued speaking in Esperanto, the language nearly every administrator and instructor in The Foundation spoke in public when they didn’t want Normals to know what they were saying. She expected everyone facing her would do the same. “The networks just went dark—”

Helena leaned forward as she spoke. “Which ones?”

All of them.”

 

So now you know what she and Mathilde were speaking:  Esperanto.  Created in 1887, it’s the most wildly spoken constructed international auxiliary language, and actually translates into English as “One who hopes”.  Humm . . . sounds just like the sort of language an organization that maybe controls the world from the shadows would use . . .

What happened is this:

 

Isis took a moment to calm herself, then nodded twice. “The current situation is this: I was on a five-way video conversation with Dragon Home, Dawson Creek, The Cosmodrome, Loongana, and Hayasaka—”

“I thought you were going to contact Thunderhead?”

“I wasn’t, but they went dark about a minute after I sent them a message. Anyway, I’m speaking with them about the situation at Edinburgh and Valparasio, and Dawson Creek goes dark. Then Loongana and Hayasaka. Less than twenty seconds later I lose Dragon Home and The Cosmodrome. All of them, dark, in the span of forty seconds.

“I had Holly immediately send out a message on the educational network to find out if anyone else has noticed this, and there’s no reply from anyone. So I go over to the security network and send a message to Boston—nothing. I send a message to New York—nothing. I shoot off messages to San Fransisco, to Amsterdam, to London—not a damn thing. I even sent messages off to Chicago and Paris on both the Security and Foundation Open networks, and I can’t get a reply from them, or from anyone else.”

Isis held her table tightly against her side as she addressed the Headmistress. “As of four minutes ago we are completely cut off from The Foundation. I can’t even find the headquarter servers using the alternate IPs I know I can ping through the Internet. They simply aren’t there.”

 

And just so you can tell where is where, Dragon Home, as stated, is in Sweden.  Dawson Creek is in Canada, and is the southern entrance to the Alaska Highway.  Loongana is in Australia, Hayasaka is in Japan, and The Cosmodrome is really the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  Thunderhead is in South Africa.  The Foundation is everywhere!

All everything that’s when down, it’s time for the rubber to his the road, and that’s where Isis steps up and lays it all out for everyone:

 

The time for debate was over: Isis stepped directly before the Headmistress and faced her. “Per our earlier agreement, I’m initiating Level Two Security Protocols as of right now. Who are your seconds?”

Mathilde was a bit take aback finding herself being questioned on her second-in-commands so abruptly. “Isis—”

Who are your seconds?”

There was no dodging the question: she’d given Isis this authority hours before, and her Director of Security was now issuing orders. “Matthias and Deanna.”

Isis pointed at the Arts and Music instructor. “Matthias, you’re not a coven leader: get to your station.”

He looked to the Headmistress for instruction; Mathilde nodded then motioned with her head towards the east door. Professor Ellison got up and immediately left the Dining Hall.

Isis now addressed the rest of the assembled instructors and staff. “Deanna, since you’re a coven leader, you can wait and escort your students to your tower. That goes for the rest of you leaders: get your kids to your towers, get your administrative assistants in place, and then get to what you’re suppose to do.

“Trevor, get your assistants and lock down the library; Harpreet, get out to the Observatory and get it preped. Coraline, the portals into the hospital from your triage station will be operational in five minutes and your people have been notified to start setting up.

“Ramona, Helena: you need to gather your Rapid Response Teams and get to the Manor; Vicky, you and Erywin need to do the same with your Ops Patrols and Air Assault Teams and get out to the Fight School. You guys know the routine: if you need volunteers, ask, then get to your assembly points.”

Isis pointed at Mathilde. “Tell the kids what’s going on and then leave.” She nodded towards the east door. “Holly’s outside with a big gun; she’ll make sure nothing happens when she escorts you to Sanctuary.”

Her orders given, Isis tapped an imagination watch on her right wrist. “You have fifteen minutes to get to your stations—I’m locking down The Pentagram in twenty.” She pointed at one woman out of all the other instructors. “Wends, you’re with me.” Isis turned and headed for the same door from which she’d entered; Wednesday Douglas joined her, and both left the hall, neither looking at or speaking another word to anyone before leaving . . .

 

And that is how you handle an emergency in my school.

I also managed to clean up the time line so that it makes more sense, and this morning realized that I probably need to add a scene in there between Issuing Orders and Into the Air.  Because I’m nothing if not as thorough as my Director of Security . . .

Just like my brows, the time line is all cleaned up.

Just like my brows, the time line and everything else is all cleaned up.