Bringing Sexy Back

Saturday, right?  You know what that means, right?  Video time!  And here comes the newest one.

 

Join the Club: Making the Pitch

Let’s admit it: I was a bad girl last night.  I had to go out and get my nails fixed–yes, I had breaks–and once I was done there I went out to get something to eat.  And have a glass of wine.  And another.  And two more after that.  I started walking home after four glasses of wine and got into one of my “moods”.  So after a moped around for about twenty minutes, I finally got home and didn’t feel like doing a damn thing.  I watched TV until about ten-thirty, then read for about forty-five minutes before going to bed.

Why I do this to myself I don’t know. Well I do know: it’s depression.  And I deal with it.  Or at least I do my best.

Tomorrow I’ll do much better because on Tuesday nights I have started doing a weeks worth TV recaps, starting next week.  I don’t wanna find myself getting behind the ball on those.  At least with my writing I’m doing well.  Or I’ve convinced myself I’m doing well, I’m not really sure which.  No, I’m doing well.  I’m sure.

So now that we got this nonsense all the way, let’s figure out why Annie has been called out to Gwydion Manor for a meeting.  The answer is actually quite simple…

 

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

 

Ramona Chai’s voice rang out within the empty building. “We’re back here, Annie.”

Annie headed toward the back of the Manor to the professor’s office, which was the first door on the left in the hallway leading to the locker rooms. Even though the door was open she knocked on the frame to announce the presence and was somewhat surprised to discover that Helena was here as well, sitting in a chair directly across from Professor Chai, who sat behind her large, ornate desk. “You wanted to see me, Professor?”

Ramona motion for Annie to enter. “Please, come in. Take a seat.” She waved the door closed and waited for Annie to get comfortable before continuing. “How are you feeling this morning, Annie?”

“I’m feeling well.” She pressed her shoulders together and smiled. “I’m glad to be back at school.”

“After spending nine months here you get to where you want to come back while you’re on summer holiday.”

“Yes, that’s exactly how it feels.”

Helena cleared her throat. “You see Kerry off to class this morning?”

Annie positioned her chair so she could see both Ramona and Helena without having to turn her head too much. “I walked with him to the Flight School then flew back to the Pentagram. I was going to grab a couple of snacks and head out to the Witch House for a little reading.” She looked down as she smiled. “That was before I got the message that I was needed here.”

 

During the entirety of their B Levels Annie always walked Kerry to the Flight School so he could attend class.  The only time she couldn’t do this is if it was impossible for her to get away from something, but almost every Friday she made the walk down to the south end of Selena’s Meadow to give him a kiss and wish him well.

And to remind a certain ginger girl from Boulder, Colorado, that is certain ginger boy from Cardiff, Wales, was off-limits.  Yeah, this last one took some time to sink in.

Just as with so many other things that happened to her at school, the instructors are aware that she has this routine that she follows.  The interesting thing is, Isis is actually warned both Annie and Kerry about establishing a routine.  As she pointed out, if someone really wants to get to them at school, it’s a rather easy thing for people to know where they’re at a specific time, as they seem to follow that quite regularly.  Isis is one of the people at school who is likely aware that Annie and Kerry are doing Guardian things, and she’s giving them a friendly warning.  Maybe next time she’ll jump out of the shadow and grab Kerry around the throat and then start lecturing Annie on why having a routine is a bad thing.

‘Cause they usually take something like that to make people realize that the advice are getting is good.

Since everyone knows where everyone is supposed to be, we now start to find out why everyone is here instead:

 

Both the instructors relaxed and sat back in there chairs, with Ramona speaking for them both. “In case you had some concerns, you haven’t been summoned because of the disciplinary issue: you’re the last person in the school needing disciplinary action. This also isn’t discussion about how you’re doing in class either mine or Helena’s.”

Annie played with her right ear ring. “Well, I didn’t think it was either of those. But that doesn’t mean I’m not curious about why I’m here.”

“They wish to get down to business.” Ramona moved her chair closer to her desk and leaned against the surface. “Helena and I are responsible for the Rapid Response ground team—you are familiar with this?”

“I do.” The Rapid Response ground assault team was comprised of instructors and students who were charged with defending the grounds inside the walls should anyone dangerous breached the defense screens. Their presence was only required one security protocols were advanced due to an attack, or possible attack, on the school, and the last time they were called out was during the Day of the Dead.

“Due to the deaths we suffered a couple of years ago and the graduations of happened since, we find we’re in need of replenishing our ranks.” Ramona rubbed the tip of her nose.

“Your name is at the top of the short list of students we wanted to ask about joining.” She chuckled as a crooked smile formed on her face. “Now you know why you’re here.”

 

Salem knows how to protect itself, and the teams they have in place to watch the ground in the air do a great job of protecting.  We also know these groups are not playing, as there were deaths in the Day of the Dead attacks, both in the air and on the ground, though the majority of the deaths in the air were not from the Air Assault teams.

But here it is: Annie’s being asked to join one of the teams responsible for defending the school grounds in the instance the bad guys get it.  It’s actually something of an honor to be asked to do this, because Helena and Ramona know that anyone put in this position as a certain amount of bravery, works well in groups, is able to follow orders, and is probably a stone cold killer.  That last one is a necessity, because if you can’t kill the bad guys there’s no point in you being out there with the bad guys.

Well, we know Annie doesn’t have a problem with that last

A Glimpse of the Coming Year: Not Ready to Come Out Alone

Last night my Dragon was being naughty, doing things it shouldn’t do like using one word when I for sure said another, but when I swore it was able to replicate that perfectly.  Regardless, I wrote 1,234 words last night as I put the kids in their first minion class of the year and allowing Annie to remark on the new A Level from Ireland who has been making eyes at Kerry because–well, she’s a Ginger, he’s a Ginger, wouldn’t they like to make some Gingers, too?

It also gives Annie an opportunity to make a snarky remark about Kerry’s mom, which is more proof that Annie won’t be the perfect daughter-in-law Mama Malibey hopes for.

Last time we found out that the Guardians were not only thinking of sending the kids out on missions with others but that they were considering sending him out after that little change thing happened.  Well, Kerry has some thoughts on that…

 

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

 

Kerry clamped his right hand over his mouth, something he did when he was thinking quickly. “Can I say something?”

Helena gave a slight shrug. “Go ahead.”

“I don’t mind going on a field operation with other girls. I mean, by now—” He held up his hands to indicate the other people in the room. “Doing stuff with other girls is pretty much second nature to me. But I gotta do a field operation without Annie, I’d rather not do it as Girl Me. I probably won’t have had a lot of time to get use to being that way and I’m probably gonna feel a little self-conscious. Not to mention, doing all new stuff in a new body…” Kerry shook his head. “I’d spend a lot of my time feeling like I’m about to screw up. And that won’t be fair to everyone else on the team.”

Helena was about to offer a retort when Erywin spoke first. “I agree with Kerry.”

“What?” Helena swiveled her chair to the left. “Why would you say that?”

 

Since Kerry got an earfull about that witch’s brew called The Estrogens it’s likely he’s been giving some thought to how he’s gonna feel once the tap is wide open–and figures it might not handle things all too well.  After two years of hanging around girls who deal with hormonal issues on a daily basis it’s pretty much even money he thinks he might not be able to handle Deconstructors and hormones at the same time.

"I'm supposed to help bring you in--why is my BRA SO IRRITATING?  I'LL KILL YOU ALL!!!"

“I’m supposed to help you bring them in so I’ll stay in the back and watch…  Why is my bra SO IRRITATING? I’LL KILL THEM ALL!!!”

Yeah, might not be a good idea to have her out in the field.

And Erywin agrees.  Why?  Well–

 

“Because it’s true.” Erywin’s right eyebrow shot upward he saw the disbelieving gaze Helena was turning her way. “Do you want to hear, or would you like to disregard my opinion even though you asked me here as a counselor and advisor?”

Helena knew better then to argue with her longtime partner. “Please, let’s hear it.”

Erywin glanced toward Kerry. “We don’t know when his transition is going to occur, only that it’s going to occur sometime within the next six months. Even if it would happen tomorrow how many opportunities is he going to have to get used dealing with all the things that girls at his age will need to deal with? Maybe one or two times a month?” She brought a mischievous gaze to bear upon Helena. “Do you recall how moody you used to get when you were thirteen years old?”

“Slightly.” The right corner of Helena’s face screwed up in a frown. “I don’t remember being that bad.”

“That’s because one, you started going through puberty when you were about nine years old so you had a few years to adjust, and two, you’re full of shit.” Erywin chuckled. “You know goddamn well what you used to be like when you were a C Level, and it wasn’t always pleasant.

“One of the things Kerry’s going to have to learn to deal with are the new emotional and mental responses that come with being a teenage girl, and it’s not something he’s going to pick up in one or two turns through the new body. It could take months for him to get reasonably acclimated—” Erywin gripped both armrest as she settled back into her chair.  “Considering it takes some girls years to get acclimated within that timeline is not entirely out of the question.

“I’ve heard you say on many occasions that you often have to think of your duty to the group before you think of your duty to yourself.” Erywin twirled a finger around in her hair and stared at Kerry. “He knows if he goes out as a girl and she is not fully prepared for the internal onslaught she is going to deal with on top of whatever other shit she’s dealing with externally, that could put everyone in danger. And we don’t want that.”

 

Erywin is about the only person at school who can call Helena on her bullshit and not get death glares in the aftermath of the exchange.  And if there is anyone who knows exactly what a hormonal thirteen year old Helena was like, it was an equally hormonal fourteen year old Erywin, and she knows the girl was a tattooed hell-beast at times.  You can bet these two were a real party at times.

But Erywin is right:  Kerry might not be ready to mix estradiol and death spells right away and it might be best to keep Girl Me, as he says, out of the field for a while.  Even Helena begins to see the light:

 

Hum.” Helena scratched the bridge of her nose as she considered Erywin’s statements. “How about this: we put through the recommendation, based upon what you just told me, that Kerry not be allowed to go out to the group mission as a girl for a period of one year after his first transition? That way, if they do want him for a group mission, he goes as a boy.”

Erywin gave the matter some consideration. “That would work.” She suddenly remembered something else. “If nothing else Kerry could always invoke a Right of Refusal if they try to force him into switching genders for a mission.”

Kerry began laughing. “Yeah, what are they going to do? How would they make me change if I didn’t want to?”

Helena slowly turned and regarded the boy carefully. “They have ways.” She slid back up right in her chair and stretched. “I’m also going to include in the assessment that the

Guardians have to specify which gender they wish Kerry to present when informing him of a mission. That way—” She held out her arms and shrugged. “It makes giving a Right of Refusal easier.”

Erywin nodded. “Agreed.”

“I like that, too.” Only a moment passed before Kerry appeared slightly dejected. “Though it kinda sounds like I’m getting a lot of special treatment.”

Annie saw the glances Helena and Erywin exchange and felt it best to say something. “Kerry’s medical exam yesterday showed his estrogens count is higher than normal. It could affect his moods.” She gripped his hand. “I’m sorry, my love, but they need to know everything.”

He looked up rather sheepishly. “I’ll try not to let that happen too much; I don’t want people to think they can’t count on me.”

 

Now things are straight, or at least gonna get there, and Kerry can move one thing off his “I gotta worry about this” plate.  As I said before, Kerry’s got people looking out for me and he’s actually looking out for people he hasn’t met yet.  It’s a good think the Guardians have their eyes on Annie and him, because the other divisions in The Foundation would probably like them as well.

And how does this all end?  You find out tomorrow.