Undisclosed Revelations

Just like I promised the scene with Helena is completed, though it took a lot longer than expected, and took more words than I’d thought necessary.  But when one starts getting into a couple of lengthy descriptions of things happening–you know, stuff?–it ends up taking time and words.  And the first description also involved looking up a couple of things simply because that’s the way I am.

So we learned that Helena can Jump.  What is that?  It’s a Gift–think “mutant power”, but the reality is it’s something magical that always on, that’s inherent to the witch in question.  Isis has Flight, which is like levitation only she doesn’t need to expend magical energy to make it happen:  she just thinks about flying and off she goes.  With Helena she can jaunt up and down the time line–that’s how she met with Gabriel:  she waited an hour after he left, found out which route he took when he left the school, and went off to grab and gab.

She has to be careful doing this, however, and one of the things she’s never, never, never supposed to do is go up or down the line and meet with herself, because trying to change her personal timeline almost always creates a bit of paradox, and that’s never a good thing.

Which leads us to the next part.

There have been questions about how Helena was maimed.  Sean Bean notwithstanding, one does not simply lose both their legs, and a hell of an accident has to go down for such a thing to happen.  One of the things I wrote into this scene–something that took me a while to get right last night–was the exact cause of her accident.  Hang on tight, ’cause here is Helena reminiscing about the one really bad day in her life . . .

 

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

Ti

A year and a half after the event at Salem known as The Scouring occurred, the upper echelon leaders of The Foundation agreed to meet to plan their final moves against the Deconstructors. The Guardians’ Special Operations and Programming division brought in Helena to coordinate security for the meeting: she’d completed field operations for them over the last five years, and they felt she was the right person to watch over the seventy managers who’d show up for the discussion.

There were aspects of the meeting she didn’t like. For one, she hated the site: she felt it was too public, too open. She requested that the meeting be moved to either Mount Weather or Burlington at Corsham, but after five attempts to change the location were vetoed she gave up and did her best to make the security at the primary location the best possible.

People began gathering at seven-thirty. Helena made certain there were multiple exclusion fields surrounding the meeting area, and that access to the floor required a personal okay from her at each of the multiple checkpoints along the way. The meeting began at eight-thirty sharp, as demanded by the schedule Helena had put together, with the intention of breaking for fifteen minutes at nine forty-five, and finishing with the first draft of a plan drafted by eleven. She wanted this done and over with in under three hours, because she felt the longer they were at this site, the more vulnerable.

She was walking the floor, examining the enchantment around the checkpoint, when she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Helena spun around and saw herself laying on the floor, her clothing torn, her body covered in white dust and red blood, with one leg was missing and the other barely attached to the thigh. The injured her reached towards the uninjured her and spoke three words: “Get them out.” Then the her on the floor vanished, leaving the shocked uninjured her behind.

Helena hesitated for far more seconds than normal: her mind was locked up, unable to function. When she finally came to ran towards the meeting area. She shouted to drop the exclusion fields immediately, then burst into the board room and ordered everyone to jaunt immediately—

It was eight forty-six on the morning of 11 September, 2001, and a few floors above The Foundation meeting area on the 92nd Floor a 767 slammed into North Tower of the World Trade Center. As the ceiling exploded in debris and fire Helena grabbed the two closest people and jaunted out. The woman in her right arm was killed by the same piece of metal that severed both of Helena’s legs: the women in her left survived and managed to get Helena to a medical facility, when, while delirious, Helena Jump jaunted back to warn her that they were under attack, and in doing so create a paradox that ensured that she would hesitate long enough to allow the approaching disaster to occur. . . .

 

This was the “job” that Helena did for the Guardian’s SOP division that Gabriel referred to way back at the start of Act Three, the one that ended up costing almost three thousand people their lives.  That was a dig that wasn’t deserved, for in time the whole history of that job and what part Helena played in it will be revealed, but for now that’s the story of what happened to Helena, and why at the end of Act One Erywin mentioned to her pretty girl that everyone was concerned that she was going to maybe some kind of PTSD flashback that day–which just happened to be a few minutes after midnight on the morning of 11 September, 2011.

A couple of things that I wanted to share to show where Helena’s mind was during that time in 2001.  She mentions that she wanted to hold the meeting at either Mount Weather or Burlington at Corsham.  And what are those places?  They’re huge underground bunkers built in the 1950’s to ensure continuation of government in the instance of a nuclear war.  Mount Weather is in the Blue Ridge Mountains about an hour west of Washington DC, and is suppose to be like a little city inside the mountain:  rumor has it one gets around on electric trams, and there’s supposed to be a small lake inside that acts as both fresh water storage and place where one can sit and think about the world going to hell on the outside of the mountain.  The site first came to light in the 1970’s when a plane crashed into the mountain about a mile from the entrance to the facility, and since then the above ground facilities have become the home of FEMA.  In one of the real ironies that makes life a lot stranger than fiction, Mount Weather is where nearly all of Congress was sent to ride out the 11 September attacks, so it was probably a good thing Helena wasn’t there with The Foundation.

I'm certain Helena would have had a real party here--

I’m certain Helena would have had a real party here with the Congress Critters–

Burlington is Burlington Bunker, located near Corsham, England.  It’s also about an hour west of London, and not only is the bunker still there, but there’s a train line that runs right through the middle of it.  The idea was that in the instance things were about to go to hell, The Royal Family, the PM, Parliament, and anyone else deemed necessary to keep things running would board a train and hightail it out of town for the bunker.  The train would enter the tunnel that runs through the complex and stop, letting everyone off to go inside and ride out the storm.  These days the bunker is decommissioned, but there is a brand new Ministry of Defense complex sitting right on top of the bunker, so don’t expect all that underground goodness to go to waste anytime soon.

You enter the tunnel from the right riding the Last Train From London.

You enter the tunnel from the right riding the Last Train From London.

There is one place Helena didn’t mention, and that’s Raven Rock, which is about an hour due south of where I’m writing this post.  It’s another Command and Control bunker, and it’s become more famous over the last few years as the place Dick Cheney always visited when he needed to get out of town and chill for a bit.  Does this mean Helena was afraid of upsetting Dick by taking over his digs?  Surely you jest; she probably didn’t want to be responsible for cleaning up the place after she went all Dark Sorceress on his ass.

The original Undisclosed Location.

Welcome to the original Undisclosed Location.

I mentioned to someone yesterday that The Foundation has places where they “hide in plain sight”, and these are a few of them.  You’ll get to see another of them two more scenes from now, and once you see it you’ll go, “Oh, yeah, that makes sense.”  Because it does.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Helena wants to get into Kaden’s house.  There is a way to do this thing, but she has to be careful least she set up another paradox that messes up Kansas City–and while she might not give zero shits about the city, she doesn’t want to get in trouble with people on her side of the magical line.  How does she do this thing?  Watch and learn:

 

Helena knew her paradox Jump a little over ten years ago led to the deaths of almost everyone at that Foundation meeting, and since then, whenever she found it necessary to Jump, she made certain she wasn’t anywhere in the area of her destination. This time was different, however: she needed to be close to the house so she could seek Kaden come out so she could Far Sight beyond the open door.

Fortunately Helena knew just want to do.

She checked the time on her mobile: twelve-oh-three. Kaden had left the house maybe three minutes ago, which meant that if she wanted to craft a Far Sight spell, she’d need to be ready about two minutes before he left. And she knew exactly where to set up—

She Jump jaunted and positioned herself about fifteen meters behind where her invisible self stood. Helena checked her mobile once more: eleven fifty-eight. She scanned the area between her new position and the house: she knew she was there, watching the house, and that she hadn’t turned around once, so she was safe where she was. All she needed was for Kaden to leave.

Right on scheduled the front door opened and Kaden walked out. Helena didn’t have a great deal of time, but she’s already crafted her Far Sight spell, and as the door began opening, she cast—

It felt as if she were moving at high speed towards Kaden, then she was past him and through the door, into the darkened living on the other side. She cast her senses around, sensed the dining room just beyond the living room, moved her Sight there, looked about and found a niche where she could hide.

Helena jaunted.

The moment she was in the house she threw herself against the wall and listened. She was still invisible, but that didn’t mean Kaden might not have heard the pop of her arrival. There wasn’t any worry, however: she heard the lock bolt home followed by Kaden stepping off the porch. She dropped her invisibility and stepped through the archway into the living room.

Another quick check of the mobile: a minute after noon. Helena smiling when she thought about her still being out there deciding upon the best way to get into the house, and now that she had solved that problem there was only one thing left to set right: the time frames for herself. Right now she was in two places at the same time, and in a moment she was going to jaunt away from her position in the park and set herself up five minutes earlier so she couple pop in here and think about how she was outside getting ready to jaunt five minutes back in time—

What’s that shit Deanna says all the time about divination? Helena unlocked the door. It’s wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff? She should try a practical application of this shit sometime . . . Helena needed to break the shielding around the house so she could get back to where she should be, and pulling the door off the latch should do the trick. And if doesn’t, I’ll just bounce off the walls and end up in a heap on the floor

She Jump jaunted again, this time moving back up the time line to where she was in time before jumping about in time and space. She ended up on the other side of the playground set, and the moment she was settled she checked her mobile: the clock rolled over from twelve-oh-three to twelve-oh-four. That was what she needed. She dropped her invisibility and walked across the park and street to Kaden’s house. Up the porch, to the door—push it in. The door opened.

Helena entered.

 

And that’s how you do it, kids.  As the Mythbusters say, don’t try this at home:  leave time traveling to the experts.

She’s looking around for things, magical things, stuff that would make her understand why Kaden’s got such heavy-duty shielding around the house.  She finds no evidence that magic is being used full-time around the house–one of the things she notices is that, unlike witches who like to keep their things nice and shinny, Kaden’s letting his furniture age naturally, just like if he were a Normal–and Helena heads upstairs to scope out the bedrooms.  Tanith’s bedroom is neat and orderly, something she probably picked up from her dad.  And speaking of dad–

 

From there Helena headed into Kaden’s bedroom, and found much the same, though with fewer posters and plushes, and far more muted colors. The bed was made, the items on top of the chest of drawers all in their right place, the curtains drawn, a couple of items of clothing folded and placed upon a chair in the corner. She looked around and found his shoes next to the bed, ordered much the same way Tanith’s shoes had been ordered. She threw open the closet doors, expecting to find more of the same order she’d found in Tanith closet—

What she found caused her to take a step back, eye wide in horrid realization of what was likely happening this very moment.

“Oh, shit.” She double-tapped the bud in her right ear. “Parkland, this is Homestead. Abort, Abort, ABORT.”

 

A surprised Helena is not a good Helena, and she’s ordered the plug pulled based upon what she found in Kaden’s closet.  One can assume she didn’t stumble across a Rainbow Dash onesie, that’s for sure.

And one can deduce from this that things are about to get interesting for my kids . . .

Take My Heart to San Fransisco

As I like to say, another one bites the dust.  Chapter, that is.  Twenty-Six was completed last night after writing nearly two thousand worlds–well, one thousand, nine hundred, and fifty-seven.  But who’s counting?

Scrivener, that's who.

Scrivener, that’s who.

It was another case of stepping away from the drama that is the Internet and throwing on some tunes while I wrote.  (Said tunes were, by the way, Tumbleweed Connection, Honky Château, and about two sides of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, all by Elton John.)  I started about seven-thirty, finished about nine-thirty, and was happy that I’d banked a good set of wordage into the story.

What is happening?  Well, Kerry is resting, and he gets rousted . . .

 

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

Relaxing on “their” sofa, Kerry had found himself drifting from full consciousness to something akin to a slight mediative state. He wasn’t thinking or contemplating the events of the day: he was doing everything he could to clear his mind and ready himself for his trip to San Fransisco.

It wasn’t going to be long now. The Dining Hall had been silent for the last thirty or forty minutes, and he was fairly certain he was the last person left in the hall, if not in the Great Hall. I’m departing pretty much as I came here. He turned his head to the right and half expected to find Annie sleeping in the crook of his arm. Amidst by the silence of the hall

“Hey, you awake?”

He looked to his left and up and found both Isis and Wednesday standing behind the sofa. “Yeah, I’m awake.” He sat up and flung his left arm over the sofa back. Both women were wearing tee shirts, jeans, and athletic shoes; a small purse was slung across Wednesday’s body, and Isis carried her ever-present tablet. “Is it time to go?”

“Almost.” Isis checked her tablet. “You’ve got an escort, and we’re just waiting for them.”

“An escort.” Kerry turned and stretched as Wednesday and Isis came around to the front of the sofa. “What am I? Special?”

“I think so.” Wednesday chuckled. “So do a few of the other instructors—as does a certain young girl we know.”

 

It’s always nice when one of your instructors and the Director of Security  come to get you.  It’s even better when they tell you someone is coming to take you away.  He also discovers Isis and Wednesday are in the final stages of shutting the joint down.  Kerry learns that no one will be on the premises except for a certain school Phoenix and a few “beasties” that Isis refers to as her “pets”.  Since Kerry saw one of her pets, he asks if there’s a difference between them and the Abomination he fought, and Isis tells him with a straight face that the creatures at the school won’t kill and eat you.  That’s nice to know.

And he learns something else, too . . .

 

“O-kay. Is it gonna be late when you get home?”

“No.” Isis shook her head. “I live in Palm Springs, so I’ll be on Cali time just like you.” She checked her tablet. “I’ve already cleaned up, so I’ll pop home about nineteen-thirty, change, and head out for dinner.”

“Cool.” He turned to Wednesday. “What about you? I thought you lived in Austria.”

“I do. But this year I’m heading west for the holidays.”

“Oh? Where you going?”

“Um . . .” She ran a hand down her purse strap. “I’m heading out to Palm Springs, too.”

Kerry smiled broadly. “That’s great; you guys can hang out together then. You gonna be staying with Isis?”

“Yeah—” She turned to Isis, then back to Kerry. She raised her eyebrows a little before she spoke. “You might say that.”

A few seconds passed while Kerry studied the curious look on Wednesday’s face moments before he noticed a similar look on Isis’ face. Only then did he make the connection. “Oh—oh.” He reflexively looked around to see if anyone else was listening to them—which given they were the only ones in the Dining Hall, was impossible. “Really? You guys?”

Isis nodded. “Yeah. For three years now. Only we’re not as open about it as Helena and Erywin—”

“At least not yet.” Wednesday grinned. “The staff and instructors know, but there’s only a few students who kinda figured it out, and they’re not talking.” She crossed her hands in front of her. “You’re the first student who knows for sure.”

 

Now you know why Isis was so worried about Wednesday making the trek outside when here non-pets were running loose on the school grounds.  There was a little more that simply friendship involved, and when I think about their history together–I know they actually played a huge part in saving the school during The Scouring because I wrote that novel–I had to ask, “Why did they wait so long?”  Um . . . that’s another story.

Kerry’s escort is Ms. Rutherford, who was the woman who picked him up from home, who chaperoned him and Annie and two other kids to Amsterdam, and who was in on Annie’s reason for being in London and gave her free reign to take Kerry out on a day stroll.  Sure, that all happened about two hundred and fifty thousand words ago, but I remember.  And rewrote it.  A couple of times.

Then jaunt from Salem right to San Francisco International Airport–

He's right in there--somewhere . . .

He’s right in there somewhere . . .

. . . where he’s told The Foundation not only has jaunt stations there, but at nearly every major airport in the world.  It makes “Hiding in plain sight in the Normal world” that much easier.  And there’s something else Ms. Rutherford wanted to say as well, which is why she woke up early—like two AM to start getting ready early–to take him across the US:

 

“Yes. I’ve been assigned as your intermediate.” They rounded a corner and stepped onto an up escalator. “That means when you’re away from the school—like this, on holiday, or during the summer—if you need assistance with something, I’m your point of contact to the Foundation.”

“Why would I need something from The Foundation when I’m off from school?” They stepped off the escalator and Kerry followed the young woman as she turned left. “In case there’s trouble?”

“That’s one of the reasons.” Ms Rutherford walked slowly so Kerry didn’t have to hurry alongside her. “You likely won’t need much now, or over the coming summer, but once you come out after your B Levels—” She snapped her fingers. “Ah. That’s usually when you want to talk to someone.”

He knew about The Foundation policy not to reveal to the parents of those students coming from Normal backgrounds the true reason for his attendance at Salem until after they’d completed two full school years. The reasoning was since they’d lived as Aware witches with their Normal families all that time, there was nothing to fear from that point on. “Could their be trouble?”

Ms. Rutherford stopped outside a set of double doors and turned to Kerry. “You’ll receive more orientation on this next year. Just know that if there was a problem, I could help you.” She placed her hand on the handle and pushed the door open. “Shall we?”

 

The whole “Getting Outed as a Witch After Your B Levels” is something that won’t come up until, well . . . if there’s a third novel, you’ll see what happens.  You’ll hear about it if there’s a second novel, but you’ll see it in the third.  Will there be trouble?  Not gonna say.

They meet another woman who Kerry is handed off to; she’s going to take him the rest of the way to meet his parents.  Ms. Rutherford tells Kerry he’ll get her contact information tomorrow by email, and says she’ll see him at the end of the school year in Amsterdam.  Now that the new woman, Naseema, has Kerry, the subterfuge of being Aware in a Normal world begins.

 

Naseema began doing her job as soon as Ms. Rutherford was gone. “Here is your travel packet, Kerry.” She handed him a manila folder which he placed in his backpack. “Your ticket and boarding pass for the flight have been processed and are suitably worn. Your ticket and pass for the return flight are in there as well—” She removed a luggage tag from her pocket and wrapped it around the handle of his bag. “You were briefed on your flight here?”

“United Flight 477.”

“Aircraft type—” The woman gave Kerry a pleasant smile. “Since I was told you tend to know those things.”

He did. “757.”

“Seat assignment?”

“First class, second row—seat 2F.” He pointed to his right. “Window seat on the right side of the plane.”

“Outstanding.” She opened a second set of double doors that had been behind her when he entered the room. “This way, please.”

 

Yeah, he falls into that role pretty well.  And there’s more . . .

 

Kerry followed Naseema out onto one of the concourses. She spoke they walked towards what he figured was the Arrivals area. “We sent a car for your family: your parents and grandparents are waiting for you.”

“They didn’t think it was strange?”

“They were informed of your travel plans two weeks ago—well, the Normal ones.” She grinned. “We let them know it’s a common service given to our students.”

That should impress them. “What about when I return?”

“We don’t imagine there’ll be any issues. We know your parents are flying out the day before, so they’ll say their goodbyes then. You’re supposed to take a late flight, so we don’t anticipate your grandparents will accompany you to the airport.’ She shot a quick glance to her left, eying him. “I’ll come for you. There shouldn’t be any issues driving into the city, but if there is we can jaunt to the airport.”

“Sounds good.” Ahead were the doors leading to Arrivals. “Thanks for all this.”

“You’re welcome. And Kerry—”

“Yes?”

They stopped a few meters short of the automatic doors. She stepped close so she could keep her voice low. “You should begin getting used to this treatment. This is the way things are done in The Foundation: this is your life now.” She nodded towards the exit doors. “Let’s not keep your family waiting.”

He walked through the doors with Naseema to his right. The second he was through the doors he spotted his mom, his dad, his grandparents. He waved to them as he began to smile. His gaze shifted from his family to a nearby clock, which showed the time 7:21.

His smile grew wider as he calculated the time for the other side of the world. It’s 5:21 in Pamporovo; Annie’s probably waking up right about now . . .

 

It’s crucial to note that Naseema drills into him that he’s special, that the sort of treatment he’s getting is normal for him now, and that he’s no longer some kid from California moved to Cardiff, Wales:  he’s important.  This is something Annie’s already come to understand:  she’s lived this way all her life.  And it’s something that Kerry will get used to, though he’ll be in a slightly different position as he deals with his Normal family . . .

So there they are, both my kids finally at their holiday destinations, separated by 10598.29 kilometers, or 6585.472 miles.  I know ’cause I checked on the map below . . .

Pretty much oppisite ends of the Earth.  Can't be further away unless one of them went to the Moon.

Pretty much opposite ends of the Earth. Can’t be much further away unless one of them went to the Moon.

Also, Kerry’s last thought is of Annie waking up.  Since the first scene of Chapter Twenty-Seven is Morning in Pamporovo, and that it starts at 5:21 AM, anyone wanna bet what Annie’s first thoughts are?

Lay your money down now . . .

The Road From Sadness Leads to Vienna

Wednesday night is Panera “Eat and Write” night, and while I didn’t write as much as I thought I might–if you call almost eleven hundred words “not as much” a bad thing, that is–I finished a scene and made up my mind about something else I wanted to do with the story.

First off, the scene:

It really is time for Annie and Kerry to split up and say goodbye.  It’s 16 December, and they aren’t expected to return to the school until 2 January, 2012, and those are a lot of days to be apart in Young Lover’s Time.  While there’s time Annie sits Kerry down on “their bench” so she can give him some parting advice . . .

 

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

Annie and Kerry sat in silence for nearly a minute. Annie suspected that he was waiting for her to make an opening, possibly out of fear that he would stumble through what he wanted to say. She knew how to get the conversation started. “Kerry, I want you to promise something.”

He started laughing. “The last time I promised you something, I ended up in the hospital.”

Annie rolled her eyes. “This time it’ll be different.”

“I know.” He looked down for a moment before he again looked Annie in the eyes. “What would you like?”

“I want you to promise you won’t show your sadness the entire time we’re apart.” She laid her right hand upon his left and began making slow circles. It’s one thing to be sad; neither of us will enjoy this separation. But please don’t mope, and please don’t pout. Most of all, please don’t break down and crying, particularly in front of your family. I wouldn’t want them to see you that way.”

She took both of Kerry’s hands and held them. “I’m going to miss you; I’ll think of you every day, and wish you a good night when I go to bed—”

“So will I.”

“I know. But this is our holiday as well, and we should enjoy the time with our families. Let’s not spoil it for them.” She slightly lowered her head as the eyebrows rose slightly. “Okay?”

Kerry was about to agree when he picked up on something; a slight waver in Annie’s voice, a tiny different in her body language, the way her fingers seemed to tremble a little against his hand. “You’re sad already, aren’t you?”

Annie slowly closed her eyes an softly grunted. “You know my moods.”

“I should; I’ve been around you almost constantly for the last four months.”

 

“Yeah, honey:  if possible, can you keep the crying to a minimum?”  It also says something for Kerry that he can pick up on Annie’s feelings after a few short months–or has it been longer?  I’m not saying, not yet.  Mysteries, remember?

 

She nodded a couple of times. “Yes, I’m sad to be leaving you. I know you aren’t leaving until tonight, and I would love to stay with you—”

“I promise.” He turned his hands over and pressed his palms into Annie’s. “I’ll keep my sadness private. And I’ll think of you every day, too.”

“I know you will.” She leaned in and kissed Kerry, hold the kiss for many long seconds. “I love you, Kerry.”

“I love you, Annie.” He allowed his eyes to focus on Annie’s locket. “You really are wearing that for your parents to see.”

“I said I would.” She held the locket between the fingers of her right hand. “My father won’t know that I didn’t leave for school with it, but my mother . . .” She looked at Kerry and smiled. “She’ll know different.”

“You’ll tell her where it came from?”

“I will.”

He was about to ask another question when school PA system seemed to be, as always, speaking directly to them. “Attention: all students departing for Vienna please report to the public jaunt center. I repeat: all students departing for Vienna please report to the public jaunt center. That is all.”

Kerry stood. “That’s you.”

“Yes, it is.” Annie shouldered her bag and stood as well. She held out her right hand. “One last time this year?”

“One last time this year.” They strolled hand-in-hand to the Great Hall, passed through the West Entrance, and turned towards the first door on the right.

 

“One last time this year.”  If I’d ever had any kind of eleven year old romance, I probably would have lost it at that moment.  Right now I’d settle for any kind of fifty-seven year old romance, but that’s another story.  I also love using the word “jaunt”.  It comes from The Stars My Destination, one of my favorite novels, and was later used by Stephen King for his story, The Jaunt.  It is what it is:  teleporting.  Sure, it’s done with magic, and some people do it on their own without a problem, but if you need to move a few people from place-to-place, sometimes it’s best to confine the magic to a particular spot, and have someone oversee the jaunting . . .

 

Holly approached Annie and Kerry as soon as they were a few steps inside the room. Even through Holly didn’t need to ask which student was traveling, there was protocol to follow. “Departing for Vienna?”

Annie took a step forward. “I am.”

“Name please?”

“Annie Kirilova.”

Holly spun around the tablet she held and presented the screen to Annie. “Place your dominate hand on the display, please.” Annie set her right hand upon the screen: a second later the tablet beeped. Holly checked the readout. “Thank you, Annie. You’ll be on your way in a minute or two.”

“Thank you.” She gently pulled Kerry to one side and held his hands while faced him.

Kerry had nothing but emotions running through him at the moment; it was as if he’d lost the capacity for intelligent discussion. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Say nothing, then.” She pulled herself into her soul mate and rested against him. “We’ll linger in the silence.”

They stayed that way for a little over a minute before Holly made the final announcement. “All students leaving for Vienna please take your luggage and step upon the platform. Everyone else please stay on this side of the yellow line.”

She gave Kerry one final hug. “Until next year, my love.”

Kerry wrapped his arms around Annie and returned the embrace. “Until next year. Have a great Yule.”

“You too. Happy Yule.” She retrieved her roll-on luggage and stepped onto the platform, which was nothing more than a large section of the floor marked out in red and yellow at the east end of the room. She stood in the front so she could see Kerry before jaunting.

He smiled at her, the kissed the index and middle fingers of his left hand before extending them towards her. “Moyata polovinka.”

Annie did the same using her right hand. She broke into a huge smile. “Moyata polovinka.” Her arm was still extended and the smile was upon her face when she and the other students vanished with a soft pop.

 

And there she goes, off to Vienna, and remember her final stance, because that will come up the next time we see Annie–which should be at the start of the next chapter.  Chapter Twenty-Six is Kerry’s chapter, and while he’ll be by himself for the most part, he’s not really alone.  And he’s going to learn some interesting things during that time . . .

Like in the next scene. which I debated writing.  I’d come up with it on Tuesday, and yesterday it was flowing through my head, the conversation I envisioned.  The only problem was, the more I thought about it last night, the more I wondered if it would kill the flow of the story at that point.  But this tale is about characters and what they learn, and how they use that learning experience.  Also, the conversation includes a character who will actually play an important part in Kerry’s life in a few years, and this moment in time would be a good point to set that foundation.

So now Chapter Twenty-Six looks like this:

Sometimes you have to look hard to see the changes.

Sometimes you have to look hard to see the changes.

Where there was a deleted scene, it’s now been moved and has become part of the narrative.  Even after a year, when I thought I had the story laid out the way I wanted it, new things come to mind.

It’s nice how that work.

Where In the World Is Yule Going?

In my novel the year 2011 is winding down, and people are leaving the school.  Yes, it’s true that there are people of all faiths attending my fictional location, but given that was it originally founded by a bunch of European witches in the late 1600, and that the school still celebrates the old holidays as were once celebrated centuries before, there’s little reason why they wouldn’t clear out the school for a couple of weeks to allow people some time with their families, and to pretty much keep the Åsgårdsreia kids from scaring the crap out of everyone by reenacting the Wild Hunt.

Annie’s leaving:  so is Kerry, though not at the same time.  Annie’s heading back to Bulgaria, and Kerry’s heading to California.  Just like in the days when they “met”, right?  Because of the time zones, Annie’s leaving out about nine AM, and Kerry–well, he’s going to be around most of the day, actually.  You’ll find out more about that in the next scene.

Right now, however, it’s all about getting Annie to the station on time–the teleport station, that is.  The one the school has stashed away for things like the beginning and end of the school year, and the mid-year holiday.

And how is our couple handing this departure?

 

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

Kerry waited in the corridor outside Annie’s room. He’d been there for about twenty minutes, and while he could have waited in the mezzanine commons, he thought it best to stay close to her door.

He didn’t want to miss a moment of walking her to the jaunt platform.

Annie finally emerged. She’d changed her top so she was wearing a dark sweater with a full collar, with her locket positioned outside in full view. She was still wearing her dark tan skirt and black leggings, but had changed out her flats for warmer, thicker, tan boots. She had a brown weekender bag slung over her shoulder, which she set to the floor as she turned to shut her door.

Kerry was on the bag in a moment. “I can carry that.”

“It’s okay: I have it.” Annie lifted it to her shoulder with ease. “There’s not a lot in it; most everything else is already being sent to the jaunt room.” She held out her right hand and Kerry immediately took it before they started walking towards the stairs.

 

Annie laid the same move on Kerry that she laid on her father before leaving for school, and almost a year ago, back when I started writing this novel.  She doesn’t want anyone carrying her bags for her.

And where is everyone at this very moment?

 

Students had been leaving the school for the start of the nearly two-and-a-half-week Yule holiday since late last night and early this morning. Unlike the start and finish of the school year, and A and B Levels were being jaunted to various staging locations around the world with their fellow upper levelmates. While Annie wouldn’t need documentation to explain how she arrived at her destination, Kerry knew once he arrived somewhere in San Francisco, he’d be given tickets and boarding passes to prove he’d taken a non-stop United flight from Logan to San Francisco International, and that he’d return to Boston on the second of January.

Cernunnos Tower was mostly cleared out, even now before nine AM. The East and Central Asian and Oceanic students had already departed, and the Western Asian, European, and African students were in the process of departing now, with some of the South American students departing after them. Except for those students living in Alaska or Hawaii, most North American students wouldn’t leave until late in the afternoon–or as in Kerry’s case, not until late tonight.

 

Because The Foundation has to snow the parents of those A and B Level kids, because they don’t know what sort of witchcraft their little love goblins are up to yet.  Hence the gaslighting being referenced, to make Kerry’s parent think he just spent several hours going to Logan International, and then sat on a flight sailing across country to his final destination.

But that’s for later:  Annie’s talking now.

 

“Both your parents are coming?” Kerry had asked the same question last night, but he was trying to keep his mind off her departure by making small talk.

“Yes.” Annie looked straight ahead as Kerry held first the inner tower door and then the other tower door. She continued staring straight down the covered walk as they strolled through the bright light and brisk morning air. “I wasn’t sure if Papa was coming, but Mama said there wasn’t any way he was staying home.” She finally turned and gave Kerry a smile. “Sometimes it seems like I have a difficult time with my parents, but I do miss them—it’ll be good to see them again.”

“Yeah, I can imagine.”

Annie didn’t want to dwell on her family holiday versus his. In the last five weeks Kerry had received two emails from him family: one confirming that he was coming to his grandparents home outside San Fransisco for Christmas, and the last one this past Tuesday requesting flight information. “You’ll have a nice time visiting with your grandparents; concentrate on that.”

He nodded and squeeze her hand. “I will. You going straight home after that?”

“Yes. We’ll jaunt home, then I’ll take my adjustment medication, sleep for three or four hours, and when I wake up we’ll go into town for dinner. By the time we get back it should be around midnight, and I’ll be ready for bed for real.”

 

Yep, teleportation, jaunting, whatever you want to call it:  it’s the only way to travel.

"You guys are flying back to Europe?  You're adorable."

“You guys are flying back to Europe? You’re adorable.”

But there’s a bit more to this story than just getting Annie in a room and sending her home.

You’ll just have to wait for it.