So here I am in sunny Indiana–which, is sunnier and warmer than Pennsylvania. It’s also still held to drive around here, and my trip getting through Indiana to Valparaiso was quite the experience–when I don’t wish to do again.
But already I been out for breakfast:
Because you got to have it
And I’m sitting down to write after spending the morning talking and watching TV. Normally him down to the coffee shop, but that’s back in Harrisburg, and I thousand kilometers from Harrisburg. I have to go out and do some running this afternoon, so perhaps I’ll find coffee shop do a little relaxing this afternoon.
Oh, and last night I also finish my mermaid story. The question now becomes do I decide to publish it as a novella–which it twenty-seven thousand, six hundred fifty words it certainly is–and maybe make a little cash off of it, or do I just let it lay? I know a couple of people who might be willing to do a cover cheap and if they would, then I might just throw it up on smash words and Amazon and let people have it for ninety-nine cents. Hey, why not? Writers gotta to write and eat.
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
“I was thinking—” Franky fidgeted as he glanced in Kerry’s direction while speaking to Ramona. “I decided I don’t need to do this.”
“You did, hum?” Ramona glared as she crossed her hands in front of her.
“It’s just that—” Frankie’s face grew impassive as if you were trying to hide his emotions. “I’m willing to let this go.”
“I’m not.” Ramona jabbed a finger in Frankie’s direction. “You were given the opportunity before this judgment trial started to walk away and you refused. You are about to discover, Mr. Smith, that all actions have consequences, and the actions you’ve taken today have led you to this point.
“You are going to participate in this judgment trial whether you like it or not. And your choices, once I begin the trial, are simple: you can either fight, or you can step out of the ring and forfeit the judgment. Either way, the choices made next going to be yours, not mine.” She glanced down toward his trousers. “Are you going to tell me how many spell casters you have remaining?”
Franky gave Ramona a pissed-off look at he removed his other spell casters. “Two.”
“I suggest put them to good use.” She turned a deadly gaze upon him as he put the spell casters back into his pocket. “You currently have two yellow penalties against you. Keep your hands where I can see them until after the match begins.”
She pointed at both boys, keeping a close eye on Franky, who held his hands out away from his body, palms down. “And—BEGIN.”
Waste an instructor’s time and you are liable to find yourself in deep shit with said instructor. Ramona gave Franky every opportunity to walk away from this judgment trial: it was actually the first thing offered. But he didn’t, so in the process he decided to fight, broke the rules, sucker punched the hell out of his opponent, and now wants to walk away. Ramona is having none of it: Franky wanted this fight and Franky is going to get this fight, and if he doesn’t want to fight Kerry, he can just forfeit the match by stepping the hell out of the ring. And given the amount of latitude the instructors at Salem are given, Franky can bitch all he wants but is not can get his way.
Franky has two more prepackaged spells ready to go and he’s up against someone who is fighting in obvious pain. Kerry’s not able to concentrate well, which means Kerry isn’t going to be able to throw around magic the way he did when Annie and he did their little zombie test. But here’s the thing Franky never took away from that zombie test: Kerry doesn’t need magic to beat your ass. Sure, Annie used it, but Annie was in good shape physically and wanted to use her considerable talents to light up her opponent so she could make a point.
Kerry can’t use his considerable talents to light up Franky–but all Kerry needs are a couple of, to him, simple spells. And Kali. Because when you know Kali, you don’t need magic:
Kerry wasn’t about to see what Franky was going to throw at him: he didn’t care. He had to get this match over, and fast, because there was only so much he could do to kill the pain in his arm, face, and chest, and he figured in a couple of minutes he’d be unable to continue—
Which meant he needed to deal with Franky fast. Fortunately he knew how to do just that.
Crafting was going to be sketchy so he stuck with things he knew he could do. He threw a huge Illumination spell at him, flicking on the light source so for about two seconds it was like having a strobe light go off in his eyes. Then Kerry visualized wrapping himself in one of his “wear it like a suit” time spells, jumping his personal time upward by a factor of ten, and sprinted hard to his right.
Everything around him shifted into slow motion as he jogged about four meters to his right-center of the mat. He wanted to be able to see Franky while at the same time staying out of his line of fire. He pushed his pain aside as he watched him, right hand reaching for his pocket, react to his Illumination attack, wincing and throwing up his left hand reactively. That was exactly what Kerry wanted, as it was going to make what he wanted to do next easier…
He pivoted and ran at Franky, covering the distance between them so quickly that the other boy didn’t have time to react. The moment he was alongside him Kerry dropped his time spell and swung around, using his right arm to take hold of Franky’s left. Fighting against graying out, Kerry placed an arm lock on Franky and held him for a few seconds to put pressure against his shoulder joint and make him wince in pain.
Kerry kicked hard at Franky’s left shin, knocking him off balance. The boy fell forward, which is what Kerry wanted. Using Franky’s weight and momentum against him, Kerry twisted his arm and jerked in another direction. He felt Franky’s shoulder pop out of its socket, followed closely by the sound of his left bicep breaking. Kerry let go and left Franky to slam hard the mat, screaming as hit face down.
I’ve done a bit of foreshadowing a couple of times concerning Kerry in time spells, and considering he taught Wednesday’s class how to use the old “pull this time field around you like it’s a suit and you can do incredibly crazy things faster or slower than other people”, it only made sense this was going to be his go to spell. The Illumination spell was just a throwaway: at this point Annie and he probably toss those out when they enter a dark room because it’s easier than looking for the light switch. But the time field? Kerry only had to keep it in place for a few seconds, which means he’s had plenty of time to visualize it and likely knew just how much energy he needed to keep it up.
Franky never had a chance.
And then when Kerry is up close and personal with Franky, he locks his arm, pushes him forward, and then uses Franky’s own momentum to break his arm and dislocate his shoulder. Because of you going to make a point, do it with as much pain as possible. And Franky is in a lot of pain. Because this kid has not experienced the sort of damage over the last two years that Kerry has. As it’s already been stated, Kerry’s literally broken every limb he has, and has suffered a couple of concussions. Oh, and also, he’s come close to dying a couple of times. So he has learned, through experience, how to push that pain away long enough to get a job done.
On the other hand, Franky has probably never suffered anything worse than a bad muscle pull. Actually having to fight someone hand-to-hand? Nope. Getting his arm broken during that fight? An even bigger nope. Again, if this was some sort of master plan Franky, and by extension Lisa, had to embarrass the hell out of Kerry and give themselves some bragging points, it just blew up in their face.
And since Kerry loves to do his Vin Diesel imitation when he has someone in this kind of position–
Franky rolled over on his back, unable to concentrate as pain reverberated throughout his body. Gasping for air, he looked up and saw Kerry, burnt and ashen, standing over him, maybe two meters away. He wanted to yell at him, but he couldn’t as he found himself crying uncontrollable from the pain in his broken arm.
Kerry stared at him for about five seconds before he smirked. “So what you wanna do, Franky?” He did his best to shrug. “I can keep busting you up all day, dude, so what’s it gonna be? Your call.”
Looking to his left Franky saw Ramona standing about three meters away, saying nothing but waiting for something to happen. He nodded twice as he stammered out an answer to Kerry’s question. “I—I qu—quit. I quit. I quit—”
Ramona thrust her arms to her sides. “Stop.” She pointed at Kerry and then behind him. “Kerry, return to your starting position.” As soon as he was in place she waved Nurse Bianca on to the mat.
Bianca was half-way to Franky when she turned and pointed at her equipment against the wall. “Annie, bring me the stretcher.”
“Yes, Nurse.” Annie walked over to the stretcher, making certain she didn’t hurry herself. She knew Nurse Bianca asked her to get it because one, she was still part of the hospital’s Triage Team, and two, she suspected Bianca knew having Annie help would piss off certain students. She was right: Lisa glared at her the entire time she carried the stretcher out to Bianca and she continued glaring as Annie levitated Franky into the air—something that she didn’t really need to do, but knew it would hurt Franky even more if she did—so Bianca could get the stretcher under him and move him to the hospital.
After Franky was gone Ramona waved Kerry out to the center of the mat. Though he was still on his feet, his skin was pale and clammy. “Kerry, I declare you the winner of this Judgment Trial and as such, no judgment or punishment can be given to you for the slight of which you were accused. Do you have anything you’d like to say?”
Kerry held out his right arm which Annie slipped under so she could support him. He swallowed before speaking in a soft, far-away tone. “If it’s all right with you, I’d like to go to the hospital now.”
Even Nurse Bianca gets in on the action by asking Annie–a member of the Trauma Team–to help out, and she does so knowing it’s likely going to piss Lisa off. Which it did. Of which Annie gives zero fucks about. The take away here is that instructors and staff recognize a bad actor when they see one, and it’s quite likely they’re not gonna kiss your butt because you try to pull a fast one on everyone.
So the Judgment Trial is over and Kerry is on his way to the hospital. Are we going to follow him?
I’d say the odds of that happening are pretty good.