The Calm Before the Light: History and the Oncoming Girl

Needless to say I’m still suffering from the effects of this cold, but it’s not quite as bad as it was a few days back.  I’ve also been busy writing away:  four hundred words last night, and just over a thousand this morning, all because there’s somewhere I need to be a ten AM, so I’m under the gun just a bit to get this post out.  Sure, it’s just before eight right now, but I gotta get ready and put on makeup and–you know:  girl things need a-doing.

Maybe like a certain character in this story is going to discover one day.  But I get ahead of myself.

The part I started last night detailed a little of this history of this Bigender Gift, and what there is known about it and how it works.  It seems that, as Jessica hinted, this all deals with auras, in particular, a person’s aura that is changing not slightly, but considerably.  It’s at this point that what little everyone knows about this gift starts coming out–

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Just as they’d planed that afternoon, Deanna handed this part of the discussion. “It’s true that everyone has one aura, but in the instance of those few who’ve developed the Bigender Gift, they have another aura—I suppose you could say it’s a sub-aura, something small and underdeveloped, but created at the time the person is born the same as the person’s regular aura.

“This secondary aura has continued to grow, but there’s an issue here: it needs to integrate itself with the primary aura and become part of the whole—and in order to do that, it seems the person’s mind undergoes some sort of realignment to allowed for this integration.”

Little of this made sense to Kerry, but it sounded as if everyone sitting across from him seemed to finally understand what was happening. “Why is there a realignment? Why do I have to get used to the idea?”

“Because of what change this new aura brings about.” Erywin shifted around in her seat, leaving a few moments for Kerry to prepare himself. “We only have six recorded instances of this Gift seen over the last three hundred years, and in each instance the secondary aura took on the aspect of a form from the opposite end of the physical gender spectrum. So, of the six, five were born female who developed auras with male aspects. The other, like you, was born male and developed—”

“A girl aura.” Kerry appeared pensive as he considered this news. “That’s why I’m seeing this girl in my dreams, right?”

“That’s right. She your mind’s way of taking what it knows about this new aura and giving it too you in a fashion you can try and understand.” Erywin glanced down at her feet for just a second. “This afternoon we perused some of the diaries of Lucyna Gorczynski, a Polish witch was first discovered to have this Gift in 1952. She had been writing about everything that had happened, and was happening to her, since she had her first dreams during the summer of 1946. She came forward with this information only after The Foundation discovered the existence of a second person with the Gift, an English woman named Kaity Caspersen who had been living as as a man off and on since 1943 on both coasts of the United States.

“Lucyna began handing over most of what she’d written down about her experience, and one of the things she mentioned were the dreams she had leading up to the Acceptance phase—”
Kerry rolled his eyes. “What do you mean by these phases?”

“In her diary Lucyna pointed out that she felt her dreams progressed in three phases. The first is Adjuration, which Deanna already mentioned: your mind’s appeal to accept the coming change. The second is Acknowledgment, where the person in question has what she called the ‘mirror dream’—finally seeing yourself as that other person and accepting that it’s going to happen—and then stating aloud that you this other person is you.” Erywin cleared her throat. “Two others who’ve had this gift have mentioned that part as well.

“And the last phase is Acceptance, where you have a last dream together with the manifestation that’s your secondary aura, and you allow your mind and body to initiate the change.” Erywin gave a slight chuckle. “Lucyna was big on alliterations.

 

There is Lucyna Gorczynski, she of the diaries that Erywin finally wanted to see.  In that one paragraph about how she came out due to the discovery of Kaity Capersen I had developed an entire history about how Capersen was discovered and why Gorczynski came out.  I may include it in this novel, or I may wait until the next to talk about that moment in time.  Needless to say, it’s interesting.

And so six other people during the last three hundred years.  How do I know?  You know how I know:

I have the time of my lines, that's how.

I have the time of my lines, that’s how.

There you see it starting in 1691 with Remy Durivage before moving into the 1700s and 1800s with Catrina Severo, Pesha Petrakis, and Tamae Miyazawa.  Then we’re heading into the Twentieth Century with Kaity Caspersen, Lucyna Gorczynskim, before finally, with only eight months left in the century, there’s the birth of Kerry and we pass on into the Twenty-first Century.

For something like this I had to know the information, just like I needed to know where certain parts of the school were built.  This is why I sometimes get crazy with the time line, and why I used them to help plot things out.  Just wait until I finish this novel and I show you how I figured out the B Levels . . .

But there’s still more history to come.  Now it is time to learn about these phases and what they mean–

 

“You’ve passed through the Adjuration and Acknowledgment phases—”

“What if I hadn’t, you know, said what was needed to be said after this dream?”

“Lucyna indicated she went through the dream three times before admitting she knew the identify of the boy in her dream. Another person with the Gift, Pesha Petrakis, indicated she went through the dream seven times before admitting to the true nature of this other, strange boy.”

The Phoenix finally spoke after several minutes of silence. “And if I hadn’t removed that block to your E and A, you’d find yourself stuck trying to verbalize the name of that girl.” She raised an eyebrow as she shrugged. “That would kinda suck.”

“Kinda?” Kerry snorted while shaking his head. “I don’t know about you.”

The spirit smirked. “Most people haven’t for the last three hundred years.”

He ignored The Phoenix and returned to the conversation. “What happens after this next dream?”

 

This is where I came up with the titles for this chapters–

Which I happen to have right here.

Which I happen to have right here.

I’d actually figured out these names before I started writing the first novel, so the Three A’s have been with me since about late 2012, early 2013.  And for obvious reasons I’ve kept these chapters under wrap for a long time, which always sort of sucks when you know you have to do something big, but at the same time you need to sit on it for a while.  Just like with the Big Time, which I’d started developing in 2011, and didn’t write about the very end of July, 2014.

Yeah, that’s how these things go.

Now that we know what happen, what’s going to happen next?  Well, I have the answer–

 

Coraline perked up. “I’ll take this—” She faced Kerry with a smile. “First, allow me to explain something that has us all a little excited. With the other six individuals who had this Gift, no one knew what had happened to them until after the fact. Since we know so little about how this gift works, you’re going to find yourself monitored a bit.” She held up her hand as Kerry appeared about to protest. “The Headmistress and I have already discussed this matter, and given your status as a minor we can keep monitoring as unobtrusive as possible. We’re not going to allow you to become a sideshow attraction, Kerry—I won’t allow that to happen. I’m going to see to it you’re protected, because no one has ever seen or monitored what you’re going through right now, nor have they had the opportunity to measure the upcoming events.

“What is coming, then? From what we understand you’ll have a last dream where full aura integration takes place. Then you wait for the next event, which is an involuntary transition—”

“Wait: what?” Kerry didn’t much care for the word involuntary.

“An involuntary transition. At some point in the next year you’ll go to bed one night as the person you are now, and wake up—” Coraline raised her right hand and shrugged playfully. “—as the other you. We don’t know about the first two people to which this happened, but the last four said they transitioned as early as sixty-three days after the last dream, and as late as two hundred and eighty-six days after their last dream. This is why we figure it happens within the period of a year.” She shrugged once more. “As stated, these so much about this Gift we don’t know, and you’re going to help us compile a lot of data on the subject.

“Your transitional form will be that of a biological girl. In a way it’ll be like Mimicking, but in many ways it won’t. With Mimicking, you copy the exterior of the other person’s physical aspect, but everything inside is still you, so even when you Mimicked those girls in Jessica’s class the other night, nothing inside you changed.

“This new form, however: it’s you outside and in. We already know what your exterior looks like—we’ve seen her.”

Annie’s eyes widened. “How?”

“On video recorded during Kerry’s gender Mimicking from last week.” Jessica glanced at the woman next to her. “Erywin spotted it when we were in the process of reviewing, and we discovered Kerry was filtering through this secondary aura before Mimicking the aura of his female subject. He didn’t even realize he was doing it—”

Erywin cut in. “And that process may have actually sped up getting into this previous dream.”

Not every day you go to bed as one person and wake up as another, but this is something Kerry’s gonna have to start living with, at least for the next year.  And before you ask:  yes, there are measures being put in place to deal with this should it happen while he’s back home in Cardiff.  That actually is dealt with in the next chapter.

But first, there’s a touchy little matter that Coraline needs to break to the Ginger Hair Boy . . .

 

Coraline nodded. “That’s entirely possible. Anyway, we’ve seen what she looks like—what you’ll look like. But what you need to understand, Kerry is that the changes won’t simply be external: they’ll be internal as well. When you are in that form you will be biologically female, and that means . . .”

Jessica leaned closer to Erywin and muttered softly. “Here it comes.”

She shot the transformation instructor a warning look. “Just wait—”

Coraline moved ahead hoping for the best. “Inside you’ll be just like us. Your body will produce estrogen instead of testosterone, so when you are in your female form for any amount of time you’ll notice it developing as would the body of any girl your age. Most importantly, however, is that you’ll have a working female reproductive system. This means you’ll have all the same equipment as all of us—a vagina, a uterus, and ovaries—and because of that, should you spend any time being a girl, you’ll develop a natural cycle; again, just like the rest of us, Annie included.” She sat back and waited for Kerry to understand the ramification of her comments.

He sat quietly for nearly ten seconds, blinking several times as he analyzed this new information. It was then that his eyes grew wider as he finally comprehended Coraline’s statement. “I’m gonna have a period?”

 

Don’t worry, Kerry:  Shark Week isn’t that bad.  Is it?  He may or may not ever know–

Because the rest of those ramifications come tomorrow.

The Calm Before the Light: Let’s Talk About Change

Let’s get the Report From the Sickness Ward out of the way first thing:  I felt like I was dying last night.  Really, work was a blur, and while I managed to stay awake all day and not fall asleep at my computer, the walk home hurt.  I couldn’t relax, I could sit right, I couldn’t lay down.  I was stuff and coughing up a lot of fluids.  Not a good time at all.

If I were younger and a ginger and had a real bed, this might almost be me.

If I were younger and a ginger and had a real bed, this might almost be me.

However, I did have a plan.  Everyone kept asking, “Are you going to see a doctor?” and the answer is always, no, they won’t do anything for you beyond telling you to rest and keep pounding down warm fluids.  So I stopped off to get some warm fluids:  specifically, a bottle of Rémy Martin VSOP cognac, which is my drink of choice when I’m looking to burn out a cold, and has served me well twice in the past.

"$120 for a doctor visit, $40 for a bottle of Rémy. Here's to getting well!"

“$120 for a doctor visit, $40 for a bottle of Rémy. Here’s to getting well!”

While I won’t say I’m one hundred percent, my nose is drained and I don’t feel the fluids building in my upper chest like I did last night.  There’s still a bit of a cough, but nothing like I had last night, and more importantly, I slept, so this morning I feel alive than I did throughout the rest of the week.

The downside to all this is try as I might, the six hundred and fifty words I wrote last night were a hell of a struggle, and I didn’t attempt to push past that number once it was obtained.  However, I did get that party started, and here’s what became of that:

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

All eyes shifted towards Erywin, who had been chosen ahead of time to answer these questions. “First off, let me explain why I’m here. Because of some—concerns about the evasiveness of your answers regarding the last few dreams, I was asked to investigate whether or not there was a possibility you might be transgender, and that you were avoiding discussing the matter.”

He cleared his throat. “I thought that might be the reason you’re here.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you—”

“It’s okay.” Kerry waved his hand as if pushing the idea away. “I understand. Did you find anything? I mean—that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?”

“It is, indeed.” She leaned against the arm of her chair, making herself more comfortable. “I’ve examined what you’ve already told Coraline and Deanna, and I’ve seen the video of you performing your csigender transformation—and that video is what put on the track to the truth about what’s happening to you.

“First off, something you’re probably eager to hear: you’re not transgender. Based upon what I’ve seen of the physical evident, and what we’ve learned since this afternoon—and are learning now—my report is going to indicate there’s no need to proceed with discussions along those lines.

“However . . . that doesn’t mean there isn’t a gender-related issue to discuss.”

It was impossible for Kerry not to appear confused. “If I’m not trans, then what?”

Erywin meshed her fingers and pressed her thumbs together as she often did when she was about to make an important point. “You have a Gift.”

 

Of all the questions that’s hit me in the last couple of week, the biggest one has been, “What’s going on with Kerry?”  And since I’m like George R. R. Martin and I have to sit back and watch others pull out their hair while their favorite characters put through hell–and that’s the only thing I share with that gentleman–I couldn’t say a word about what I’ve known for like–three years?  Probably.  Maybe longer, because the first time I really starting thinking about this was late summer, 2011, and that’s closer to four and a half years.  Yeah, I’ve been sitting on this that long.

So he has a gift, and it’s one that keeps on coming apparently.  And here it is in part:

 

A few seconds passed before he understood the meaning of Erywin’s last word. “A Gift? I already have a Gift.”

“It’s not unheard of for someone to have two Gifts, though it doesn’t happen that often. But since Deanna was able to put the last piece in place—”

Annie spoke this time. “You mean this mirror dream?”

“Yes, that. Evidence we received early this afternoon indicates you have one of the rarest Gifts ever cataloged.” She paused to allow Kerry to ready himself for what was about to come. “You have the Bigender Gift.”

His eyebrows slowly rose from a combination of surprise and confusion. “What’s that?”

Erywin glance towards Jessica, who picked up the conversation. “You understand how Mimicking works?”

He nodded. “Yes. I interface my aura with that of another person and then use that information to change my physical form to match theirs.”

Coraline chuckled. “He sounds like you, Jess.”

Her smile was uncharacteristically pleasant. “He’s a great student with a great instructor.” She turned back to Kerry. “As you’re likely aware, your aura is not only a reflection of both your mental and emotional states, but it’s the astral aspect of your aspect in the Physical Realm. When you both begin your studies of Astral Magic you’ll discover that someone well versed in both transformation and astral magic can adjust a person’s astral aspect and have that change reflected in their physical aspect. In short, you change a person’s aural form, you may be able to change their physical form.

“The Bigender Gift does that while also acting a bit like being a Mimic as well. It’s really nothing more than altering your physical aspect—your body—based upon the selection of a astral aspect. As you change that form, your physical form changes as well—”

 

Did you get all that?  This is one of the reasons that the whole Mimicking Gift was explained a couple of times during this novel, because it was sort of a setup for what was coming.  It’s also nice to know that some asshole witch who’s powerful enough to do both astral and transformation magic can alter your aura and your body, and leave the proper authorities–i.e. The Foundation, probably The Guardians–unable to tell if you really were changed or not.  Which should tell you a little about transforming people, in that if you body changes your aura probably doesn’t.

Also Jessica seem quite pleased that Kerry can ramble off that mantra about how Mimicking works and sound like a pro.  Jessica gets like this sometimes, and it’s one of the reasons some people feel she’s a bit stuck-up and tends to feel superior over others.  The fact that she can turn you into a potted plant is probably another reason everyone acts strangely around her, but I’m only guessing here.

One thing, however, and Annie figures it out right away ’cause she’s that kind of girl–

 

“Wait.” Annie was sitting quietly up until now, but something Jessica said didn’t seem correct. “Whose aura is Kerry accessing in order to change his physical form?”

The transformation instructor half turned her head in Annie’s direction. “His.”

“That’s impossible. If Kerry’s aura is a reflection of his physical aspect, how can accessing it affect his body? He only has one aura—”

The right corner of Jessica’s mouth curled upward into a wicked smirk. “At the moment.”

“What do you mean?”

 

Yeah, Jessica, what do you mean?  What’s the “at the moment” stuff, huh?  Well, if I’m feeling better tonight, you’ll find out tomorrow.

And so far, I feel good.  I knew that I should now, too.

Gather Here the Brain Trust: The Remembered Studies

And as promised, the scene and chapter are finished, after going through what was probably the biggest day of writing I’ve had in the while.  I did a little over eleven hundred in the morning, and a little over eleven hundred at night, which means I wrote two thousand, two hundred, and thirty-three words total on the novel, then took about a thousand words of notes for the TV recap I’m writing up tonight for The Walking Dead . . . and that’s over three thousand if you’re keep track, and I haven’t done three thousand words in a day since NaNoWriMo 2013, ladies and gentlemen.

The chapter is put it way, it’s over, it’s history.  And in the process of doing all this, I’ve set up the scene for another long day for my kids.  It was left off with Kerry’s dream friend, Carrot Girl, seeming like she wants to come out and play since she’s standing right there in the holographic display where he should be standing.  As the kids say today, “What is this sorcery?”, though Helena would give you a good argument that there isn’t any sorcery involved, but that’s another story . . .

Anyhow, being this is transformation related, Erywin turns to the one person in the room who is the expert on transformation for an answer.  And she has one–

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The instructor stared at the display as dumbfounded as the other two women in the room. “I have no idea why that happened.”

Erywin’s face became a mask of disbelief. “What do you mean?  You don’t know?”

“I mean I don’t know.” Jessica held up her hands, motioning towards the display. “I’ve never seen that happen before.”

Coraline was feeling just as surprised as Erywin appeared. When it came to matters of transformation magic there were few in the world better than Jessica, so to say she didn’t understand something that appeared to be transformation related, it was worrisome. “Maybe there’s something particular to him as Mimic that’s doing this? Something buried down in his mind?”

“Mimicking doesn’t work that way.” Jessica turned to Coraline with an exasperated sigh. “When you mimic another person you go from one physical form to another there’s no need for a transitional form. I’ve worked with mimics before: this doesn’t ever happen.”

Deanna clicked her tongue. “Perhaps Kerry doesn’t realize he’s doing this. He is new to this gift, after all.”

“No.” Jessica shook her head. “It doesn’t work that way.”

 

I may have mentioned this before, maybe not, but the saying of, “Those who can do; those who can’t teach,” does not apply to the instructors at my school.  The instructors at Salem are among the best in their field, and in Jessica’s instance there are maybe five other witches who perform at her same level.  When she tells you, “It doesn’t work that way,” she’s not saying that because she’s blowing you off:  she’s saying that because it’s true.  She knows, and don’t try to tell her otherwise.

Erywin is also the best in her field as well, but she’s also smart, and while there’s an argument going on about what’s happening on-screen, she’s got an argument going on in her head . . .

 

While the other women argued Erywin continued examining the changing boy in the display. Deanna’s right, that does look like the girl he’s describing in his dreams. There was something tickling her memory, however, playing right at the edge of her thoughts. She closed her eyes, trying to concentrate. He transformed into this form while going from csimale to cisfemale

Jessica’s voice returned:  There’s no need for a transitional form.

Erywin took a deep breath. Then why would he do this?

Deanna’s works suddenly struck home: Perhaps Kerry doesn’t realize he’s doing this.

This wasn’t making sense to Erywin.  Then if he doesn’t realize he’s doing this, what is the cause?

Once more words came flooding back from her  short term memory. A Mimic interfaces their aura with that of another person.

There’s no need for a transitional form.

Perhaps Kerry doesn’t realize he’s doing this.

Her breath quickened. Maybe this happened because he had no control over the process. Maybe it was invol

She slowly opened her eyes, locking on the holographic image before her.

Involuntary transition.

Erywin pressed her fists against her forehead. “Son of a bitch.” She spun around and faced the surprised women. “That makes sense.”

Coraline found enough mirth in the situation to chuckle. “Is there something you’d like to share with the class?”

She ignored Coraline’s comment and turned to the one person in the room who could likely answer her question. “Deanna, what can Trevor access from the Paris archives?”

Deanna didn’t find it unusual that Erywin was asking this question: everyone in the room was aware that Trevor and her were more than friends, and that she knew a bit about his role as School Librarian and Archivist. Given that, it didn’t seem unlikely that they’d never discussed the huge underground archive The Foundation maintained near the main headquarters in Paris. “He’s mentioned that he can access all but about five percent of the archive.”

“And the other five percent?”

“Well . . . He’s mentioned that four percent of that he can access with a request from either Mathilde or Isis, and the last one percent—” She shook her head. “It requires more security access than we have here.”

Coraline’s curiosity was getting the better of her. “What the hell is in the Paris archives that you suddenly need so badly?”

Erywin slowly faced the doctor and spoke in a cool, measured tone. “I want to see Lucyna Gorczynski’s diaries.”

 

And that is a name I know you haven’t heard before, because it’s been sitting on my time line for a while and I’m not in a habit of showing you my time lines.  But there is a mention for Lucyna Gorczynski there, and now she’s coming out to play.  The interesting thing is the other three women in the room appear to know that name, and their reaction isn’t what you’d expect–

 

Silence fell over the group, appearing shocked at Erywin’s mention of that particular name. Jessica glanced at the monitor then back to Erywin. “You aren’t suggesting—”

“What do you think I’m suggesting?” Erywin pointed at the frozen display behind her. “If you don’t know what that is, then it’s time to start grasping for answers, and based on a few things I’ve heard here, looking there makes fucking sense.” She sighed long and loud. “I remember reading that she turned over the last of her diaries ten years ago, so the entire collection is there. It’s just a question of whether or not we can access them.”

Coraline glanced between Jessica and Erywin. “Why do you think there’s any relevance here?” She motioned to the display. “How is what’s happening there—”

Deanna blurted out a single word in a surprised voice. “Dreams.”

Erywin nodded. “Yeah. It’s been twenty-five years since I read anything on Gorczynski, but there was something there—”

“About dreams.” Deanna quickly nodded. “I remember something when I was doing my dream studies during my D Levels.” She looked from side to side. “There was something about her in a section on dreams as they related to non-visions—”

“Yeah, I remember there were dreams. And something about transitions—” She closed her eyes as she hung her head. “It’s all fuzzy; that’s why I didn’t think of this before.”

Coraline was just as fuzzy on the matter as everyone else, but she knew the name and saw where Erywin was going. “We’ll probably need to get Mathilde involved.”

Erywin grunted. “I don’t doubt that.”

“What are you going to tell The Foundation when you put in the request?”

“That I’m doing research for due diligence on an LGBTAIQ matter.” She turned her gaze upon Coraline. “I don’t have to tell them any more than that.”

“Not until it’s necessary.” Jessica moved closer to the two women. “So we go to Trevor and Mathilde—”

“No, we don’t.” Erywin pointed at her feet. “We bring them here. Here we’re secure and we can speak without being overheard. And if the four of us head to the library and grab Trevor before heading off to the Headmistress, people will see us and begin spreading rumors. No: we don’t allow that to happen.”

Deanna joined the group. “I agree: we’re in a much better place to speak here, and we can show them the video.” She nodded towards the computers. “Trevor can even contact Paris from here: it’s as secure as making the request from either of their offices.”

“We’re going to need Mathilde with us on this anyway.” Jessica glanced over her shoulder at the display. “If this turns out to be true, Paris is going to freak.”

“There’s something we’re forgetting—” Deanna glanced side to side. “If we’re looking for something in Gorczynski’s diaries relating to her dreams, it’ll be difficult to compare them to Kerry’s.”

 

By “Paris”, Jessica is referring to The Foundation headquarters there, in cased you didn’t pick up on what I was saying throughout that last passage.  So whatever is happening could possibly make The Foundation freak out, and that’s something that doesn’t normally happen, ’cause when they freak out as a whole, it’s usually something that’s not good.

There is something else going on here, however, and Deanna’s brought it up for the others to figure out:

 

Coraline slowly lowered her gaze towards the floor. “Yeah, he’s been reluctant to go into any details—”

“Or unwilling—” She caught the shape look Coraline. “We have to consider the possibility that he’s deliberately obfuscating.”

Erywin set her hands upon her hips. “How do we fix that?”

Deanna leaned her head to one side. “There is a way.”

Jessica picked up on Deanna’s comment first. “Are you certain you want to do that? That we need to do that?”

Coraline avoided looking at the others as she pursed her lips and remembered a promise she’d made to a couple of sleeping children. “I told Annie we’d figure this out and we’d do it fast, ‘cause right now I’m suppressing Kerry’s REM functions, and I can’t do that forever, not without harming him.” She looked at Deanna for a few moments turning to the others. “We may not have a choice except to go with Deanna’s idea . . .”

 

There you have it:  my brain trust has gathered and found something.  Chapter Twenty-seven was all set-up.

And a pretty nice set-up at that.

And a pretty nice set-up at that.

Now comes the next step:  research and a solution.  Well, actually, you’ll miss all the research, and the solution actually comes in Chapter Twenty-nine.

Right now, we’re about to watch people get their hands dirty.

Gather Here the Brain Trust: Let’s Go To the Video

So here we are, out and about in The Burg once more, down to the coffee shop for my “writing fuel” as the woman who works her told me.  It’s really a beautiful day right now–

As you can see from the steps of the Capitol Building.

As you can see from the steps of the Capitol Building.

And it has added greatly, ’cause in about two hours time I whipped out eleven hundred words to go with the nearly eleven hundred words I wrote yesterday.  Things are getting pretty interesting, but I only say that because I have a vested interest in this story, and . . . well, I know what’s going on in this world.  Though I should correct that last statement because I’ve made some miniscule changes to the time line, and even added a few events that are going to kinda set the tone for the Summer of ’13 in the next novel.  Yes, I’m already thinking ahead.  But then I have done that since the start of this project.

Last time we left off with a question for Erywin, and being a nice lady she gave an answer–

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

“It means nothing.” Erywin brushed a few strands of hair from her face. “I do find it extremely unusual, however, that Kerry said he couldn’t focus on the image of a girl for the purpose of spell crafting. He’s done so many things already that are several levels above what he should be capable of doing that hearing this—” She shook her head. “It’s a bit mind boggling, actually.”

Coraline cocked her head to the side as she raised an eyebrow. “That’s for sure.”

“You said there was video?” While Deanna found Kerry’s predicament puzzling, she wanted to see what other evidence the two coven leaders brought for examination.

“Yes, there’s video.” Jessica turned toward the computer stations. “Sabrina, are you there?”

The voice of the school’s AI to emanate from everywhere. “I’m here, Jessica.”

“Load video AT 19032013 Malibey.” The holographic display came on a few meters from where the women stood showing Kerry dressed in a blueish-black one-piece leotard. “Thank you.”

“What’s with the outfit?” Erywin did poorly at transformation magic as a student, and that prevented her from progressing beyond C Level studies, thereby missing out on the D Level spells involving full-body transformations.

Jessica shot a quick glance at Erywin. “Standard enchanted garment designed to mold to the person’s body no mater what humanoid shape they select. For this class everyone wears them.”

A giggle escaped from Deanna’s lips. “They look like footie pajamas.”

“Having the feet covered keeps the students from standing around barefoot. It’s either that or getting them enchanted slippers that do the same as the garment.”

“I see.” Deanna nodded towards the display. “They don’t hide anything, do they?”

Coraline offered the answer. “Just like healers, transformers can’t afford to be too modest about their, or other’s, bodies.”

“That’s true.” Jessica interlaced her fingers and began tapping her index fingers slowly. “And since they’re trying to swap csi-forms from one end of the binary to the other, this can tell me quickly how well they did.” She turned to the other women. “This was Kerry’s first mimic attempt. He was mimicking Sudarat Chiangmai, who’s from Thailand—” Jessica turned back to the display. “He mimicked her and Kaisa Božic, a D Level from Croatia, without any difficulties.”

“What about the third girl?” Coraline was aware of class composition due to her position as the school’s doctor.

“Jordana wouldn’t agree to being mimicked. She said she found watching Kerry become twins of the other girls ‘disturbing’.” Jessica’s body language indicated she didn’t agree with this particular student’s opinion. “I’m going to have a talk with her tonight—”

“Before that happens—” Erywin pointed at the screen. “Could we see the video?”

 

Back when Annie and Kerry were starting their marionette gig they wore something similar, but this outfit is a lot more form fitting, and there’s no hood.  Based upon Deanna’s and Coraline’s comments, it’s obvious that all the little bits south of the waistline are visible, and like Jessica says, if Kerry’s gonna mimic a girl, she wants to know that he mimicked everything.  There ain’t no body modesty in Advanced Transformation, that’s for sure.

Now, about that video . . .

 

“Certainly.” Jessica stared at the display. “Sabrina, do you have Kerry’s transformation point marked?”

The young-sounding AI replied immediately. “I do.”

“Position the video to ten seconds before the transformation point, please.”

The scene shifted slightly as the video was set to the correct time stamp. “Done.”

“Run.”

The video began. Kerry concentrated while Jessica spoke a few words of encouragement off screen. He took a breath and started straight ahead with great intensity. Without any indication something was about to occur he changed from the red haired boy everyone in the room knew to a shorter girl with a darker complexion and long black hair. The new Kerry then turned to his right and spoke in a voice that was no longer his. “Did I get it right?”

Coraline blew out the last breath she was holding. “Goddamn, he’s fast.”

“Stop.” Jessica turned back to the women in the room. “You don’t know how fast. The other mimics I’ve worked take anywhere from five to ten seconds to complete their transformation.” She pointed at the display. “You can’t even follow him. One second he’s Kerry, the next—” She waved her hand and dropped it to her side. “Someone completely different.”

“What was that thing that happened?” Erywin took a step closer to the frozen display and motioned to her head. “It was like something flashed.”

“That was likely the skin crawl.”

She turned to Jessica. “Skin crawl?”

The transformation instructor nodded. “That’s what we call it when you’re switching from one form to another and things are shifting around. In some cases it looks exactly as if your skin is crawling.”

“I can see that, but—” Erywin turned back to the display. “This looked like something—”

“I’m certain it wasn’t anything important.”

“Would you mind if I look at something?”

Jessica shook he head. “Be my guest.”

 

Erywin’s a lot like the bulldogs that come from her fair island, and when she sets her mind to something she doesn’t give up easily.  And she learned something new:  skin crawl.  Wouldn’t you like to see someone’s skin moving about as they transform into another person?  You’d think they’d do it more like in a movie, where the CGI keeps everything nice and smooth and seamless.  I’m sure you’ll get to see that at some point–though back in the first novel when Jessica did her Mystique thing in front of the A Levels her skin didn’t crawl.  There’s a reason for that, and you’ll learn it one day.

But right now Erywin’s got her finger on the button and she’s playing with the video.  Let’s see what she’s up to, shall we?

 

“Sabrina.” Erywin took a couple of steps back from the display. “Please reposition the video to three seconds before the transformation point.”

The scene shifted back to Kerry before the transformation. “Done.”

“Set video to run at half speed.”

“Done.”

“Run, please.”

The video ran forward at half the previous speed, and everyone watched as Kerry approached the point of mimicking and proceeded through the transformation. The moment it was finished Erywin called for Sabrina to stop the playback. She turned to Jessica. “Did you see it that time?”

She nodded slowly. “I saw something, yes.” She appeared thoughtful. “I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.”

“Because you’re used to seeing this stuff all the time. And with Kerry’s transforming so quickly, it’s hard to see what’s happening.” Erywin appeared to consider something for a few seconds.

“Sabrina, please reposition the video to one second before the transformation point.”

Again the display shifted back to Kerry pre-mimicking. “Done.”

“Set video to run at one-eighth speed.”

“Done.”

Erywin took a short breath before giving the order. “Run, please.”

The video crawled forward, the one second interval stretching out to eight seconds. Erywin kept her eyes affixed upon Kerry’s form, waiting for him to start the process of transforming from himself into another person. The process began as his features began shifting, changing—

STOP.”

 

That’s a pretty hurried stop, Erywin.  Do you have something good for us to see?

 

Kerry’s image froze in place. Erywin slowly moved closer to the display. “Sabrina, center on Kerry’s torso, display from waist up only, expand to fill screen.” As the final instructors were carried out

Erywin stopped and pointed at the transformed boy in the display while turning back to the other three women. “What the hell is that?”

Coraline, Deanna, and Jessica stood silently as they regarded Kerry’s image, which was that of a girl with a pale complexion, green eyes, and long, curly red hair. Deanna was the one to state the obvious. “Based upon what we’ve heard, that’s the girl from Kerry’s dreams.”

Erywin nodded. “Yes, but what the hell is she doing there?” Her arm flopped to her side. “Jessica?”

 

I believe this is the point in the narrative where I say shit is about to get extremely real . . .

I’m about to head out for brunch, then back to the apartment for a nap.  But I think, I really do, that I can finish this scene this afternoon.  Because this chapter is nearly done, and it’s time to move on to the next and find out what this crazy transformation stuff has to do with Kerry’s issues.

And by now you should know I'm all about transformations . . .

And by now you should know I’m all about transformations . . .

Gather Here the Brain Trust: Setting the Scene With the Unbelievable

Yes, this is getting out a little late today, but that’s due to starting on the scene at six AM, writing until nine, getting ready to go out and get my hormones, then stopping to get groceries, and finally getting back here to eat.  It’s time consuming, let me tell ya.

"Do I want to get makeup or make up a blog post?  Oh, I made a funny!"

“Do I want to get makeup or make up a blog post? Oh, I made a funny!”

At least I managed over a thousand words this morning, and after I’m through with this point I’m gonna sit down and take a nap, and then get back into the scene because I’d really love to finish this chapter tomorrow before I sit down and watch the zombies and do a recap for their shenanigans.

All that said, things start out a little slow here, ’cause it seems we’re missing someone–

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

“Said she’d be along shortly. She said there was a bit of business she needed to handle and that we could start without her.” Coraline pointed to the lunches. “Do you want to eat first?”
Jessica removed her suit jacket and hung it over a chair. “I’d rather work first and discuss matters while eating, if you don’t mind.”

Coraline suspected this being the case considering the women present. Erywin was well-known for being able to work while eating, and Jessica’s powers of transformation allowed her to consume and digest any meal in a matter of minutes if she so desired. “Okay, then—” She turned towards the lift entrance to see if Deanna had arrived. “Where do you want to start?”

Erywin scratched her chin. “What happened with Kerry?”

“This is what he said—” Coraline explained the little she discovered about his dream before telling her guests what she’d done for both children.

Jessica nodded. “How much longer are they going to be out?”

“I don’t expect them to wake up before fourteen hours. I have an active motion sensor in their bay, and the moment one of them starts moving around or appearing aware, Bianca or Thebe will get the catheters out and order them lunch—”

“Which I expect they’ll need.” Deanna quickly walked into the room. “Sorry I’m late, but you know how coven business gets.” Erywin and Jessica, both coven leaders, nodded in agreement. “Did I miss anything?”

“I told them about what Kerry said last night—”

“Let me guess: he saw that girl in his dream and it scared him.”

“Pretty much. Do you—?”

Deanna shook her head. “I caught the conversation after came up on the lift; I was standing back there waiting to hear it all.” She stepped back and took in everyone. “We need to move on to this information Erywin has.”

“I agree.” Coraline stepped back as she motioned to the other two instructors. “You have the floor.”

 

Deanna likes to hang back and listen, and we know everyone is caught up on the sleeping beauties two floors down.  But there’s information to be had here, and Jessica’s about to lay it on everyone.  So, Mistress of Transformation:  what gives?

 

The two women exchanged a glance before Jessica spoke. “Last Tuesday night my Advanced Transformation class performed their gender change spells, which, if you’re not aware, allows a student to change from their current gender—” Erywin loudly cleared her throat. “Sorry: allows them to change their physical cis forms from one of the binary to the other.” She eyed the woman on her left hard. “Better?”

Erywin smiled. “Better. Continue.”

“Erywin came to me a month ago telling me what she was look for, and asked if I’d give her access to the videos of the class. Naturally I complied, but gives this was Ostara week—” She looked at each of her companions. “You know how busy it gets before the weekend.”

“Why do you wait until right before Ostara to do this then?” Coraline raised an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t it be better to wait until after the weekend events are finished?”

Jessica chuckled as she crossed her arms. “Ostara is all about change—and I consider these spells among the ultimate in change.”

“That’s all well and good—” Erywin set her fists on her hips. “But let’s move on.” She turned to Jessica. “Tell them what you told me Friday.”

“A little back ground first.” Jessicas glanced down for a second as she appeared to think for a couple of seconds. “Because Kerry’s a Mimic it’s necessary to teach him all the components of transformation magic before turning him loose. Just because one can mimic it doesn’t mean one can put all the parts together property.”

Deanna raised her right index finger. “I’m a little unsure as to what a Mimic does.”

“A Mimic interfaces their aura with that of another person, and since an aura is a reflection of a person’s physical aspect, they are copying that information to their aura and using it to alter their physical form. That’s why they need to know the specifics of doing a full transformation before they can craft the magic.

“With Kerry it’s been necessary for me to teach him how to craft a full-body transformation before allowing him to mimic someone. He was performing small mimics before entering class, and I readied him for the full mimics over the last couple of class. Two weeks ago he did his first full mimic on the other boy in class, Fekitoa Naitaku. Fekitoa was a good one with whom to start: he’s from Fiji and he’s somewhat bigger than Kerry, so getting the transformation right would require considerable skill.”

Coraline asked the question everyone wanted to hear. “Did he do it?”

“Yes, and with flying colors. He actually did the transformation so fast that a couple of students gasped. However, I first had him perform a full-body cismale transformation, which he also performed marvelously.”

Erywin leaned towards the transformation instructor. “Tell them what you told me.”

Jessica drew a deep breath. “I wanted to do the same this last week and have Kerry attempt a full-body cisfemale transformation before mimicking the girls in the class. And . . .” She released a slight sigh. “He failed.”

 

I know what you’re thinking:  Kerry failed?  And you’re not the only ones–

 

Coraline and Deanna glanced between them before Deanna spoke. “What do you mean ‘he failed’?”

“I mean he was unable to perform the transformation.” Jessica held up her hand to forestall any questions. “By that I mean he couldn’t craft the spell. He wasn’t able to do it at all.”

Coraline’s eyes grew wide. “Not even partially?”

“Not even partially—which is strange because he has performed small csifemale changes before, mostly hands, feet, that sort of thing. When it came to doing a full-body change?” Jessica shook her head. “He told me he couldn’t visualize a girl’s form.”

“Wait.” Deanna held up both hands as if trying to stop something from getting by her. “He couldn’t visualize a girl’s form?”

“That’s what he said.”

“That seems impossible.”

“I agree.” Jessica looked about the room as if she were uncomfortable speaking about this event. “It’s never happened before with him in my class.”

Deanna appeared slightly surprised. “I don’t believe it’s happened to him in any classes. I’ve heard of him having some difficulty at the start of learning a new spell, but—”

“This wasn’t the same thing; he’s shown he can do the transformations on a smaller level.”

Coraline turned to Erywin. “What does that mean to you as far as conducting your due diligence is concerned?”

 

This is suddenly getting into some strange territory, for saying Kerry was unable to do something that, up to that point, everyone was certain he’d pull off without a problem–it’s troubling.  And you’d think by this point in his life, particularly given his current sleeping situation, he’d have no trouble making it happen.  But that’s not the case, and suddenly things are going sideway.

Where am I going with this?

Off for a nap, if I must be honest.

Gather Here the Brain Trust: A Bit of History

It’s time to get into the home stretch of Chapter Twenty-seven, and this is where it begins:  back at the hospital and up somewhere I’ve never traveled before.  Actually, this chapter has already gone places I’ve never been before–the astral realm–and there won’t be a scene anywhere within this chapter that doesn’t technically go outside of one of the buildings at the school.  I say technically because when Deanna crossed from Åsgårdsreia Tower to the Great Hall she had to use the outdoor walkway to get there, but she wasn’t outside:  she remained on the plain where it doesn’t rain in Spain.

Now, I’ve written things where the kids remain indoors for the chapter, but those scenes usually involve class.  This doesn’t.  This is something–well, you’d likely say medical.  And it is.  Which is why so much of this chapter takes place inside the hospital.  And now we not only see a little of the hospital we’ve never before seen, but you’re gonna get some history as well:

 

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

There were five levels to the Salem hospital. Originally the ground floor area consisted of the ward, a small operating theater, and the doctor’s office, while the supply room and the morgue occupied the lower level. Once the first floor was added to the east and west side sections beyond what later became the Dining Hall, that became the new Isolation Ward. Upon the completion of the second floor the Isolation Ward and operating theater were moved there while the first floor became the new main ward. It wasn’t until 1786 when the third flow was constructed that the hospital took on its current layout, with the second floor becoming the intensive care ward and operating theater and the first floor left as the main ward and office, the ground floor was used exclusively as storage, and the morgue remaining on the lower level.

The third floor was used for many thing over the last two centuries: isolation from infectious diseases, a holding area for the insane, and even a quiet ward for those close to death. In the last fifty years the third floor remained empty, and it wasn’t until Coraline became the school’s full-time doctor that she began using the floor as a secure area to conduct examinations and hold meetings. She had computers and holgraphic displays installed, and having most of the space enchanted in the same way as the Dining Hall so she could configure furniture as required.

All of these were employed before Coraline’s guests showed. The computers were on and the main holographic monitor was active, with both tired into Sabrina, the school’s artificial intelligence. A long table with everyone’s lunch order sat out of the way, and a large circular table with four chairs was set up closer to the holographic display so the group could pull up information while eating.

The floor was ready: all that remained were the members of the brain trust to arrive.

Erywin and Jessica arrived on time, as Coraline expected. She glanced about the open space as Jessica and she crossed the eight meters from the lift to the holo display. “Where’s Deanna?”

 

Finally I get up to the third floor of the hospital, a place I’ve known about for some time.

Though you wouldn't know it from this layout.

Though you wouldn’t know it from this layout.

In my original design of the Great Hall I worked up the hospital:

Like here, where you see the location of Annie's and Kerry's second home.

Like here, where in the center of this picture you see Annie’s and Kerry’s second home away from home.

But while I knew the third floor was there, I couldn’t show it because the computer I used to render these plans was freaking out a little due to the processing requirements.  But I know about this floor because–oh, that’s right, I can’t tell you.  Spoilers.

I’ve also known about the history of this building because . . .

I have a time line?

I have a time line?

Here, in condensed form, is a few hundred years of Salem construction history.  Most of the high points are shown, and I’m certain as time goes on, when I think of something that needs adding–and looking at this I already know it’s needed–then I’ll put it in.

This also means that the events happening in this part of the book are also in my time line, so they are known.  And they are coming.  And there’s going to be little that can stop them.

This Matter of Mimicking

This morning has been good, although it would be much better if this cold would be gone with the wind and leave me along, because I damn sure need a good night’s sleep, and I’m tired of heading off to bed and coughing up a lung for twenty minutes as I try to relax.  It’s a total pain in the ass, let me tell you.

But that’s neither here or there.  At the moment there is writing as done at the coffee shop down the road from my apartment . . .

Not that far from the capitol, a place I pass twice a day when I'm working.

Not that far from the capital, a place I pass twice a day when I’m working.

Enjoying myself–

I was told my smile looks real.

I was told my smile looks real.

But pink smiles ain’t gonna cut it if I don’t have something to keep you interested, right?  We left off with Jessica figuring out that Erywin is doing a write up on Kerry, and while one might assume that it’s because Kerry’s doing a little gender changing in private, it’s really a far simpler matter–

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

“Why do you say that?” Though she’d told Coraline and Deanna that she suspected Jessica would figure out the student in question, she kept her face straight, not giving away anything.

Thought the Formulas instructor was good at hiding her thoughts, she was nothing compared to an expert at transformation magic when it came to keeping their feelings invisible. “All of the students in that class have already attempted those spells—with the exception of two, and one of them informed me that she’ll feel more comfortable being taught this lesson by ‘someone else’.” Jessica finally showed a faint smile. “Really, Kerry’s the only student you’re investigating. It might be someone else, but I’d guess not.”

Erywin considered saying nothing, then reconsidered for several reasons. As a coven leader Jessica was responsible for a fifth of the students, and in her weekly dealings with her witches she found it necessary to keep secrets. Perhaps they weren’t always devastating secrets, but students felt Jessica would keep them once they were told.

There was also a persistent rumor Erywin had heard for years, that during her years as a runway model Jessica had supplied information to the Protectors, particularly during her travels through Japan and Korea. Every time Jessica was ask about this rumor, the reply was the same: either no, or that she’d already answered the question and her answer remained the same. Even Helena, with her friends in the Guardians, could find out if this rumor were true or false, though Helena didn’t find this all that unusual, as the Protectors and Guardians were notorious about keeping their own contacts and spies to themselves.

It was entirely possible that Jessica was telling the truth about not spying for the Protectors, and every no uttered without elaboration was the truth. It was also possible that she had done something for them, and continued to hold onto the idea that whatever the job it remained between her and her handlers. Either way, Jessica knew how to keep things to herself—and, as Erywin saw it, if the Mistress of Transformation were the one who’d first noticed these things with Kerry, or any other student, she’d have come to her with her suspicions and said nothing to anyone else.
Erywin still needed to confirm that she had nothing to fear. “I trust you won’t say anything?”

“You know I won’t.” Jessica set her unwavering gaze upon the fellow coven leader. “We both know how to keep secrets—though I think you’re are far deeper than mine.”

Erywin wasn’t about to get into a discussion of which of her secrets were deeper than Jessica’s. She suspected that the transformation instructor was referring to last school year’s Kansas City operation undertaken for The Guardians. “Now’s not the time to get into that.”

Jessica gave the comment a single, quick nod. “Agreed. Getting back to the original question—anything in particular you’d like me to watch?”

Jessica does the process of elimination, and if there hasn’t been an issue with her older, already known students, then the subject of Erywin’s scrutiny must be one of the two new students–one of whom has indicated they want someone other than Jessica to teach them how to do gender changes.  One might wonder why Annie is saying she only wants Kerry teaching her this spell, but we won’t try to figure that one out, not now.

Now we get into the questions, and for the first time we learn about Kerry’s gift:

 

“Have you noticed anything?” Erywin figured the day before that if Jessica did figure out the name of the student, she may as well ask her about any in-class issues.

“Nothing at all. Kerry’s been the model student, just like in every class.”

“How’s his Mimicking coming along?”

“As expected. I have to teach him the basics of personal transformation first, then show him how to apply that to Mimicking.”

Erywin didn’t know a lot about transformation magic—it wasn’t one of her stronger subjects as a student—so Jessica’s last statement came off as a bit confusing. “I don’t get it. I thought being a Mimic meant he could just duplicate another person.”

“In time, yes.” Given that most witches didn’t actually understand the finer points of transformation magic, Jessica enjoyed educating people. “A Mimic interfaces their aura with the aura of the person they want to copy, and once those changes are applied to their aura, they can pull them down, so to speak, and apply them to their physical form.” She shrugged. “That’s it in simplified form.”

If that was the simplified explanation, Erywin knew it was actually far more complicated. “Why go through the aura?”

“Because our auras are a astral representation of our physical forms. A Mimic can reverse that, and make their physical form mirror their astral one.”

“So why teach Kerry everything else about transformation magic?”

“Because he still has to know the how of changing himself and others. It’s all about taking the template in your aura and applying it correct.” A grin slowly formed. “A great Mimic will eventually be able to take parts of another person and apply them wherever they feel on themselves once they have total command of the gift.”

For the first time since she’d hear that Kerry was a Mimic did she get what was involved with his gift. “I understand now. Thank you.”

Jessica gave an approving nod. “You’re welcome.”

 

Magic ain’t that easy, even when it looks easy.  There’s a lot more to mimicking that just “copying” another person or their parts, though we’ve seen that Kerry could do hair with easy at least a year ago, and he could even do the hair change to others–just ask Annie and Erywin.  Still, it sounds as if one must know how to transform correctly before one can put all the parts together the right way.

This leave Erywin to ask one last thing . . .

 

“I don’t want to keep you from lunch.” Erywin stood but didn’t immediately head for the door. “Would you be interested in help with this where necessary?”

Jessica leaned forward against her desk. “Helping you with due diligence?”

“Sure. I mean, our last trans student was also pretty good with transformation magic, and you were the one who brought him to my attention—” Erywin shifted her weight to her right leg. “I’m not saying there’s a correlation, but something could pop up in class next month, and you’ll be right there.”

“Of course.” Jessica stood and came around her desk. “I’ll be happy to help.”

“Good. I’ll want access to the videos of the gender change class before they go out on the public server.”

“You’ll have that.”

Erywin started to turn for the door and caught herself to ask one last set of questions. “Has Kerry done a full mimic of anyone?”

Jessica’s response was a tiny head shake. “No, not yet. The week before we do the gender flips I’m going to have him mimic one of the boys—”

“Then do one of the girls the following class?”

“I’ll have him try change on his own before he does a mimic, but . . . yes. One of the girls the follow week.”

“Thank you. I’ll keep in touch. And enjoy your lunch.” Erywin left the office and exited Ceridwen Coven tower. Rather than use her teleporter to head for her own office in Mórrígan Coven tower, she chose to walk the inside of the Pentagram Walls back. It would give her time to think, to plan out how she was going to analyze the information, how she wanted to make certain of everything before she took the step of speaking with Kerry alone—

His life has already changed a couple of times in the last year and a half, and all for the better. Erywin stepped out of the wall and under the enormous arch of Founder’s Gate. I want to be absolutely certain before I speak with him that we’re looking at another change that’s good for him.

 

At the end we learn that Jessica help with the last trans student at the school, she’ll make certain Erywin has access to all her video before the school sees it, and that she wants to be damn sure she has all her T’s crossed and I’s dotted before she decides to call Kerry in for another “talk”–especially because she’ll probably want to speak with Kerry alone, and won’t that set well with the Chestnut Girl.  You betcha!

The most important thing here, however, is that Chapter Twenty-Three is finished.  Yep, it was a short one–

Another one bites the dust, so to speak.

Another one bites the dust, so to speak.

The next two chapters are almost all flying, divided between Annie and Kerry.  Annie is up first, however, and she’s about to do something that no other B Level has even done . . .

It’s gonna be great.