Along the Shore of The Foundation Pond

Thursdays are never a good writing night for me.  I was tired, for one, and actually napped sometime around six-thirty.  Then Singin’ in the Rain came on, and though I’ve seen that movie maybe a dozen times, I can’t turn away from its greatness.  The lateness of the hour plus being sort of out of it night resulted in just under six hundred words being written–

Ah, but it’s a great set up.

The title of this post refers to something said a long time ago by Nadine when she first started to tutor Kerry for the Ostara Performance.  She downloaded sheet music from their Internet, and mentioned that if it had been created, The Foundation had access.  Her comment at the time was, “Welcome to the Pond,” meaning here was the place where one could find everything The Foundation had their fingers upon.

It’s also a secretive little place as well, a much smaller location within the gigantic ocean that is the world as a whole.  That’s because The Foundation has things that no one else does, and for now they’re keeping it pretty much too themselves.  Like, you know, being able to heal even the worst injuries over night–like what’s happened to a certain kid from Cardiff a few times during the course of this story, or the repairs made to the broken arm and cracked skull that his girlfriend received some time back.

Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone had that.

"Should I release one of our cures this week, or let the conspiracy theorists keep at it a few years more?"

“Should I release one of our cures this week, or let the conspiracy theorists keep at it a few years more?”

Here is what I wrote about Salem’s particular place in that pond.  Witches have gathered, but they’re not standing around a cauldron; it’s more like they’re relaxing comfortably while waiting for someone . . .

 

All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Mathilde closed the door to the First Floor Library in the Instructor’s Residence, gently pushing it against the frame until she heard the latch snap closed. She turned back to the other women assembled in the room with her. “I’m glad we didn’t have many students to meet tonight.” She sighed as she retook her seat. “It’s been a long day.”

“Graduation Day is always long.” Wednesday stretched her legs out before her and pushed her arms over her head. “It’s bad enough we have to get all dressed up—”

“Something you should do more often.” Jessica removed her heels and flexed her toes. “You’re so adorable when you look like an adult.”

Wednesday began laughing with a couple of the other instructors in the room. Besides being the youngest instructor in the room, she was also the one who still looked the most like a student. “Yeah, well, how about you kiss my ass, Jess? The kids don’t seem to mind, and neither does Isis. Besides, I ain’t an ex-model like you—”

“I can show you how to become one.”

“Maybe tomorrow.” She adjusted here skirt and crossed here legs. “I want to finish this up and take a long, hot, soaking bath.”

Erywin, who was sitting to Wednesday’s right, nodded. “Same here. I want to get undressed and into my night clothes and spend the rest of the evening snuggling.”

Sitting all the way to the left of the collected group of women, Helena chuckled. “I know how my time will be spent tonight.”

“Isn’t it spent that way most evenings?” Erywin turned to her right, where Mathilde sat. “It is a bit disappointing to have only four students tonight. I had hoped for a slightly larger selection this year.”

“Better four great students than eight mediocre ones.” Mathilde checked her smart phone display, which remained black. “At least we have two out of the way—”

“And two to go.” Jessica ran a long nail across the tip of her nose. “Saved the best for last, no?”

Wednesday nodded. “I’d say so.”

The screen of Mathilde’s mobile came on and she checked the message. “They’re here.” She turned to the women assembled upon her left. “Before we start, I have to ask: are you certain this is what we want?”

Erywin nodded. “We’ve discussed this for four days: it’s decided.”

“It has.” Wednesday folder her hands into her lap. “You know what I think.”

“It’s what I want to do as well.” Ramona Chai slipped her feet back into her low heels. “I don’t see a problem.”

Mathilde nodded. “Jessica? Vicky?”

The Mistress of Transformation leaned forward so she could see the headmistress better. “You know what I’ve said all along.”

Vicky shrugged and nodded once. “As well as with me. And there’s the other matter—”

“Yes, I know, Vicky.” Mathilde nodded back. “We’ll get to that tonight as well.” She eyed the last silent person in the room. “Helena? No opinion?”

“Only the same one I’ve given you for the last week.” She leaned against the right arm of her over-sized chair and crossed her legs. “It’s the same one I’d give you now.” Helena pointed at the phone near the headmistress’ right hand. “Now that you know the answer, go on and bring them in.”

Mathilde picked up the phone and held it close. “Send them up.” She set the phone aside as she stood and moved toward the door to great the new guests.

 

Astute people will recognize that not all these women are coven leaders–there are only two, in fact–and there are a two people here who seem a little out of place, namely Ramona and Vicky.  And why is Helena here?  Is she holding down the Guardian fort?  In this last moment of producing this post I suddenly realized:  I should actually model this library, because I want to see the scene–

And this won’t be the last time we visit this location.

The Short Suppositions

So here we are, the final post of 2014, but the penultimate writing for The Novel That Wouldn’t End.  But that’s not true anymore, either.  Sitting here on the cusp of a new year, there are seventeen remaining scenes, split among five chapters and two parts.  And once those are finished, then it’s The End time and I can take a bit of a rest and figure out what comes next.  There’s also the possibility that I’m going to add one last scene, because the final scene in the novel is really two-in-one, and I do love splitting that stuff up.

The funny thing is I don’t remember writing a lot last night.  Getting into Google Docs and having a friend help with editing another project I’m working on, yeah, that took a while, but when I comes to the novel it didn’t seem like I wrote a great deal–and yet, there’s two thousand and sixty-six words in the scene, and that’s not something to brush aside.

But what were those words?  Questions asked by Erywin, questions answered by Helena, and, it would seem, and understanding between them of what may lay ahead for my kids.

None of this are happy thoughts, but then what are at this point?

 

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

Erywin took a long, deep breath before asking her next question. “Any news on Ruth?”

“According to the people who were doing clean-up, the woman you fought was her doppelgänger. They’ve checked up on her family and they’d fine—mother, father, younger brother, all still alive. She probably left in a hurry from home just like fake Kaden did.” Helena shook her head. “As far as the real Ruth is concerned, we’ll never see her again. The Deconstructors are good at disposing bodies: they either dissolved her after leaching as many memories as they could from her, or dumped her in the middle of nowhere.” She slipped her hand from Erywin’s and folded both in her lap. “I figured a team’s looking into the matter now, and by this time tomorrow Ruth McRoberts will have never existed.”

Erywin hated hearing such news. “Such a waste. The girl has one year of school with Tanith, and for that she dies. Not to mention I hate it when women join up with the Deconstructors—”

“Our struggle stopped being the matriarchy verses the patriarchy a long time ago, my dear. May as get used to the fact there are as many pissed off female witches these days as there are male who aren’t buying into what The Foundation is offering.”

 

Just as they would have done had Kerry and Emma died, it looks like the Guardians are going in and “harmonize”, as they would say, the McRoberts Family with the new reality.  You don’t have a daughter; you never did.  And everyone who ever knew her will forget she existed.  Maybe Tanith will remember her, but she’ll never know that the girl she was talking to the day before she met Annie and Kerry was an impostor.

Also, in that last statement from Helena, you get a tiny glimmer of The Foundation/Deconstructor brouha.  Is it really as simply as a battle between the genders?  Hum . . . you’ll probably find out if I ever get around to writing the third novel.

Something else is on Erywin’s mind . . .

 

“True.” Erywin had been carrying a question since they arrived at the CDC, and she needed it answered. “Why didn’t they attack the children right away? Why did they wait?”

“Could be any number of reasons.” Helena had wondered about this as well. “Best answer I can come up with is miscommunication on the Deconstructor’s part. When Tanith left early fake Kaden probably didn’t check with fake Ruth to see when they were suppose to get together. He probably then told the third member of the party to get over to the mall and get some eyes on Tanith, and by the time he got there Annie and Kerry had already hooked up with Tanith and were on their way to the park.” Helena crossed her legs. “That would explain fake Kaden leaving in a hurry: once they realized there were Foundation witches with Tanith, there was a need to get everyone on site in a hurry. And then the kids went invisible and silent, you were laying low, so . . .” She shrugged. “They threw up blocking spells and waited for everyone to show themselves.”

 

Deconstructors:  Bad Guys You Don’t Want Planning Anything.  And there is some truth here, because they don’t have a huge network, they don’t have centralized headquarters, they seem like a bunch of mopes involved in a rear guard action.  Which, we all know now, can screw up a modern army pretty well if you plan your hit and runs effectively.

Something pushes Erywin’s buttons, however, and it would appear that the Deconstructors moved into KC about a month before Team Salem showed.  As Erywin points out in a passive-aggressive way, that was about the time they were called into action.  So one might assume . . .

 

Erywin sighed before standing up. “Walk with me, please.” As soon as Helena was along side, Erywin began speaking in a low, confidential voice. “Tell me you had no idea we were going to run into Deconstructors.”

“No mentions what so ever, and I didn’t have anyone coming to me with secret information.” Helena stared straight ahead. “You saw the same reports I saw.”

“I believe you. I know you’d never lie to me, and if there had been evidence of Deconstructors, we wouldn’t have gone.” Erywin stopped near a small line of trees and stared out over the lake. “But I think someone in San Francisco knew. I think they were aware of what the kids could do. And . . .” She exhaled a long, low sigh. “I think they wanted to throw those kids into a situation where they’d have to do everything they could to stay alive, and they’d use everything magical they had to make sure that happened.” She frowned. “It seems they got their wish.”

 

If the Guardians are good at watching and manipulating, then one might stand to reasons that they knew there was a good chances that a throw-down was inevitable.  I mean, if you suspect you’ve got a couple of wonder witches working for you, it’d be a shame to let their powers and skills go to waste, right?

And what does Helena think?

 

Helena slowly reached out and took Erywin’s hand. She held it in silence for about fifteen seconds, just staring out over the lake with her partner and companion. “I believe that, too. I know the Guardians too well, and even though everything seemed on the up-and-up . . . it appears that everything was leading to the three of you confronting the Deconstructors.”

Yep–she’s got the same sinking feeling.  Probably even more so for her, because she not only knows the sort of buttholery the Guardians can employee, she helped put the kids on the firing line.

Which leaves my two witches having these last thoughts:

 

Erywin said nothing, allowing the quiet of the CDC campus gather around them. “What happens now?”

“Now?”

“Are the Guardians going to keep after them until they bring them into the fold?”

Helena shrugged. “Why wouldn’t they? They kept after me, didn’t they?”

Erywin snorted. “Yours was a different situation; they knew what you were from day one.”

Helena’s dark eyes shifted just enough that she could take in Erywin’s profile. “Yeah? What the hell makes you think they haven’t known the same about those two?”

 

That’s right, Helena:  plant that kernel of doubt that maybe the Guardians have known something for a while, and this was their way of proving it.  The situation was different with Helena–her grandmother did work for the Guardians, and though it’s never said, her mother works for them as well–and Helena was pretty much learning to kill at an early age.  It could be said that the Guardians have had their eye on Annie for a while, but Kerry?  Well, he did have the fortune of living right in the Guardian’s back yard in San Francisco for a few years, and they picked up on him pretty easily, so . . .

I’m not saying.  At least not right away.

Act Three is currently just over seventy-six thousand words–

That'll do quite nicely, now, won't it?

That’ll do quite nicely, now, won’t it?

–And by the time I’m finished with tonight’s scene with Annie and Kerry, it’ll be closer to seventy-eight thousand.

We’ll see, won’t we?

The Quiet on the Campus

The fight in Kansas City is over, and it’s time for some rest and reflection.  This scene–the first of only two in Chapter Thirty-Eight–is a big change of pace from what’s happened before.  One, no one is watching someone else, running all over town, and trying to puzzle out mysteries.  And two–they’re not in Kansas City any more, Dorothy.

Time to see what happened, right?  After all, it’s time to wind down a bit and reflect . . .

 

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

Erywin sat back and looked up and enjoyed the feel of the sun on her face. Compared to Kansas City, it was much nicer here—brighter and warmer. And from her position on the bench she could turn to her right and look out over the small lake just below this quite viewing area.

She spotted Helena, wearing her ever-present leather jacket, heading her way. She glanced towards the lake every so often, but for the most part kept her eyes locked on Erywin. She didn’t acknowledge Erywin’s presence until she was four meters away. “We’re all packed and checked out.”

“That was quick.” Erywin crossed her left leg over her right as Helena sat to her left.

“When you have four other people having you pack it’s easy to clean up and clear out in fifteen minutes.” She slid her arm over the back of the bench and behind Erywin. “I checked us out while our luggage was sent back to Salem.”

“So no need to return to Kansas City?”

“No.” Helena snorted. “There’s nothing there for us to do anyway. The Link walkway has been cleaned up, and the Guardians are all over Kaden’s house looking for additional clues. We were the opening act—” She turned to Erywin and grinned. “The headliners are on-stage now.”

 

Yeah, those lucky headliners:  they let you set up the audience and talk all the abuse from the fans who didn’t come to see you.  Helena has the right attitude:  you do your job and get out.  There’s usually no glory in what they did–even though they did save someone’s life.  Or is that lives?

It’s pretty obvious that they aren’t in Kansas City any longer, either, since Erywin’s asking if they have a need to return.  So where are they?

 

“The headliners never had to worry about getting killed.” Erywin looked at the long building within her line of sight. “They told me they should be able to release Annie and Kerry about sixteen.” She glanced over to her partner. “Did you see them?”

“I did. They’re getting the finest Foundation care a fake biosafety level 4 unit at the CDC can offer.” Helena looked around, taking in the campus. “You know, this is the first time I’ve been here.”

This was the first Erywin learned that Helena had never visited The Foundation facilities at the Center for Disease Control. “They never brought you here when you were hurt?”

“I was never injured while operating in North America.” Helena chuckled. “You three got lucky. I figured with you hurt they’d take you off to San Francisco or Minneapolis or Tucson—here you get pulled to the best lab facilities The Foundation has to off on this side of the world.”

 

Yep.  When I mentioned that The Foundation has places where they “hide in plain sight,” many of those places are pretty well known facilities.  We know Helena had access to underground bunkers used for continuation of government purposes, and that they held meetings at the World Trade Center, but now we find out The Foundation has facilities at the CDC?  Sure, why not?  After all, wouldn’t getting diseases under control be something they’d want to get their hands around?

You can see Erywin and Helena if you look just above that lake.  And Annie and Kerry if you look to the long building to the right of the lake.  You won't see the bad guys:  they're in the morge.

You can see Erywin and Helena if you look at the dark circle just above that lake. And Annie and Kerry if you look to the long building to the right of the lake. You won’t see the bad guys: they’re in the morgue.

Did The Foundation help build this place?  Maybe.  Do they help run it?  Perhaps.  Do they have a hospital here?  Damn right.  They do a great job keeping the image of the place up, too–

Although the Deconstructors have somehow gotten out word that they are working on the virus that will bring about the zombie apocylopes.

Although the Deconstructors have gotten out word that they are working on the virus that will bring about the zombie apocalypse . . .

Which is probably one of the reasons the CDC put out their information on getting ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.  Don’t forget to check out the comic, too, if you go to the website.

And now that they’re here, Erywin has a question about someone that came in with them . . .

 

“Probably because of Kaden.” Erywin looked around to make certain no one else was within range of their voices. “I saw that rig they pulled off him. Is that what you found him in?”

“Yeah.” Helena sighed and stretched. “Hanging in the goddamn closet. The Deconstructor doppelgänger was using the enchantment in the crown unit to leach off the real Kaden’s memories so Tanith didn’t know she wasn’t living with her father. The rig was keeping him alive, too.”

“So I heard. One of the doctors told me he was dehydrated and malnourished, though.”

“Happens. Those rigs are only good for keeping someone alive for a couple of months.” Helena shrugged. “That’s about all they’d need if Tanith was their real target.” She faced Erywin. “Did you see Tanith?”

 

So now you know why Helena called an abort:  ’cause when you see the guy who just left the house trussed up like a turkey in the closet, you know the Deconstructors got there first.

And what about Tanith?  Glad you asked:

 

Erywin nodded. “For a little bit. She thanked me for saving her father and her, and she wanted to know if she could see Annie and Kerry.” She gazed out over the small lake. “I told her ‘our people’ might let her in to see them, but it really wasn’t up to me.”

Helena nodded. “Good answer.” She’d not told the children that once the operation was over their access to Tanith would be cut, and the likelihood that if Tanith did meet Annie and Kerry again in the foreseeable future, it was unlikely she’d know who they were. Standard procedure on a field operation like this— She tapped her fingers against her thighs. The people who come to bring you in are erased from your mind so you can’t ever go after them should Deconstructors get you again—or you decide to turn. “I’ll have to talk to them tomorrow about the operation followup—just in case she were to show up at school next year.”

“They need that.” Erywin placed her hand on top of Helena’s. “Did you see them before coming down?”

 

The good news is Annie and Kerry saved the girl.  The bad new:  she’ll never remember them bringing her in.  Just as Isis talked about sending in “memory speicalist” to take care of Kerry’s and Emma’s parents and family if it turned out they’d died during the Day of the Dead attacks, those same people will go to work on Tanith to make certain she can’t even blow Annie’s and Kerry’s cover in this field operation.  It’s sort of a crappy thing when you think about it, because they were probably starting to bond and stuff, and now . . . nope, she won’t remember them.

Oh, and Helena has other news . . .

 

There was a lingering pause as Helena debated telling Erywin this next, and figured she needed to know. “I met with Gabriel up in the ward.”

This surprised Erywin greatly. “What was he doing here?”

“Wanted to see how the kids were doing, and pulled me aside to get a quick update. He told me we don’t have to debrief until Tuesday morning.”

“Why wait so long?”

“For one, Kerry’s a bit out of it and anything he says is going to be crap, and two . . .” Helena chuckled again. “I think he’s giving us a chance to get our stories straight. He told me he was at the walkway scene for a few minutes—said he was a bit surprised by what he saw.”

 

“Getting your stories straight” is usually a euphemism for, “You guys left shit really messed up and I don’t wanna have to ding someone.”  Which is what comes up next–

 

Erywin snorted. “I’m sure he was.” She turned to Helena. “Are they going to red flag Annie’s file?”

“I don’t think so. I made a point of telling him that she’d been under orders not to kill anyone if she could help it—” Helena shrugged. “Spells must have gotten away from her.”

Erywin nodded slowly, a slight smile on her face. “Must have. What about Kerry?”

“They’ll yellow flag his file for sure.” Helena slowly ran her finger over the bridge of here nose. “Did you hear about what he did to that last Deconstructor?”

“I just heard something quick after they brought in the bodies, but nothing specific.”

“He had four broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, perforations to his small intestine, and damage to his liver.” Helena gave Erywin a slight nod. “You told me he used an Air Hammer—he used dark energy on it, didn’t he?”

“Yes. No way I didn’t feel that.” Erywin cleared his throat. “Definitely trying to kill him, wasn’t he?”

“Probably why the guy was so pissed off. If Kerry hadn’t been trying to juggle two spells at the same time, he might have pulled it off.”

Erywin took a long, deep breath before asking her next question. “Any news on Ruth?”

 

We now learn, for real, that Kerry was going for the kill shot.  Unfortunately, he was also trying to charge up shields, and as good as the kids are right now, that’s a little too much on their plate to put up incredible shields and bounce off killer spells.  At least there was enough energy in the shields that no one was killed, just a little messed up.  Kerry:  once again saving lives and getting messed up in the process.  And, yet again, the girl came in and saved him . . .

“Any news on Ruth?”  Well, you’ll get that when I finish this scene, and a whole lot more.  That’s coming tonight, and then, for New Years Eve, I finish out the chapter and part while finishing the year 2014.  So when Beltane starts up in the novel, it’s a new year, and I have the impetus to finish the novel by the end of January.

Almost there, people.  Almost.

Oh, and Helena does not approve of fake CDC buildings.  Not at all.

Oh, and Helena does not approve of fake CDC buildings. Not at all.

For Whom the Foundation Watches

Before we get too far into this thing, this is my NaNo this morning:

And not a turkey in sight.

And not a turkey in sight.

According to my measured count, I have one thousand, three hundred, and thirteen words to go until I hit the magical NaNo Fifty.  I’m told I’ll finish tomorrow, but it looks more like I’ll get that out of the way sometime today.  And this means if I get in some writing tomorrow and Saturday, I’ll finish up with around fifty-three to fifty-five hundred words total.

Another NaNo in the books.  And who said I couldn’t do this?  Well, me, for one.

When I left off yesterday I was about cut loose with the secrets about this Guardian field operation.  What is being observed?  And why are a couple of tweens involved?

Your wish is my command . . .

 

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

The sorceress waved her hand once more and the floating display showed a man who could have been aged anywhere from twenty to forty. “Kaden Granstrom. Born February, 1976; attended Salem from fall of ‘87 until early summer 1993. He wasn’t the greatest witch in the world—even though we say we take the best, not everyone is like you two—but he was good with super science, and he had a Gift: he could do logistical planing in his head in a matter of seconds. You could give him an inventory list of goods that needed moving or delivering, and in about ten seconds he’d know the best way to get everything from A to Zed and all points in-between.

“The Foundation moved him into Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque in 1995. While the Sandia Corporation is legitimately owned and run by Lockheed Martin, it’s a major front for The Foundation and a lot of super science projects are conducted in some of the more secure areas of the complex. Kaden was a natural to work there, giving special consideration to our products and ensuring they made it to the right places on time.

“In April 1997 Kaden married Phaedre Balli—” The image of a young black woman replaced his. “She also worked in the lab, but she was a Normal and had no idea about what Kaden was and who he really worked for. She never knew his real work—because of his position he could claim extreme security prevented him from talking about it—nor did she discover that he was a witch.

“Then this little bundle of joy came along . . .” The display popped up showing Phaedre holding a baby while Kaden stood to her side. “Tanith, their daughter. Now that the happy couple had a possible witch-to-be The Foundation started watching them a little closer, only because that’s what The Foundation does when children are born to any of the Aware.”

 

Sneaking and peeping on a married couple and their probably not so baby girl these days?  Wait, that’s not all–

 

Before Kerry could express surprise at this news, Annie touched his hand to get his attention. “They’ve done that with everyone in my family, even me. Just after my sixth birthday my mother told me I was a witch and showed me how magic worked, and it was only three months later that I had my first visit from Foundation people.”

Kerry looked down for just a second. “You’re okay with that?”

She shrugged. “It’s not about being okay; it them knowing that you’re developing properly. And I was only visited every couple of years.” Annie patted his hand. “Don’t worry; you’ll see how it works when we have children.”

Annie moved the conversation forward, not giving the somewhat-surprised Kerry a chance to respond. “You were saying, Helena?”

 

Zing, Annie!  Just what you want to hear your twelve year old girlfriend to say:  “Just wait under after I drop a baby out of my girly parts, you’ll see how this works.”  And now Kerry’s gonna have to deal with the “Was she kidding or serious?” mind messing that comes with a statement like that.  He can handle it, I’m sure.  Probably.

As they say, there’s more:

 

The sorceress couldn’t help but smile at the way Annie told Kerry what he needed to know, and then set him up. “The Foundation kept an eye on Tanith, but didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary about her. By the time she was six there wasn’t any indication that she might slowly becoming Aware, which didn’t mean anything: late Awareness happens in children. However, not long after her seventh birthday everything turned upside down.”

Annie lightly tapped her leg. “What happened?”

“Phaedre was returning to Albuquerque from Socorro when her car left I-25 at high speed and rolled over several times. The local medical examiner determined she was killed instantly, and our own people confirmed that. The Foundation also performed an investigation on the accident to make certain there wasn’t any foul play, and confirmed that the right front tire blew out, causing her to loose control of the vehicle.” Helena shook her head. “Nothing out of the ordinary, just a simple yet fatal, accident.”

She waved the display off and sighed. “Kaden didn’t accept those findings, however. By the time of his wife’s death people around him noticed he was becoming a bit disillusioned by the whole Foundation setup, and Phaedre’s death only made him want to get away from them even more—”

“Why?” Kerry couldn’t understand the reaction if all The Foundation did was check up on his daughter once in a while. “Why’d he want to get away?”

“Some people are what we call Sideliners.” Helena came around to the front once and and leaned against the desk. “They aren’t going to go over to the Deconstructor side, but at the same time they want nothing to do with The Foundation. They decide they want to lead the Normal life, and forsake everything.

“That’s what Kaden did. He left his position at Sandia and took a position with a trucking firm in Kansas City—the perfect sort of job for someone with his talent. Tanith began attending school, and is currently enrolled at the Lincoln College Preparatory Middle School. Kaden keeps to himself and hasn’t entered back into the dating pool: Tanith has a few friends and seems normally adjusted—save for one thing.” She pointed at both kids. “And this is where you come in.

 

So not everything is rosy with this fractured family, and not every witch straight outta Salem is happy with their lot in The Foundation life, so they don’t quite go Rouge, they just sit on the sidelines and watch things from as far away as possible–if they watch at all.  And from the looks of things, Kaden isn’t watching–but The Foundation is . . .

 

“Like it or not, even if you leave The Foundation, you’re never actually rid of The Foundation—not unless you leave your old life behind and go underground—”

Erywin crossed her legs trying to get comfortable. “Because today’s Sideliner could become tomorrow’s Deconstructor.”

“Exactly. The Foundation would like to prevent something like that from happening. Also, they wanted to make certain that Tanith wasn’t a late bloomer, that when she hit puberty her Awareness didn’t hit as well. It didn’t then, but . . .” Helena raised her right eyebrow. “There’s indications is it now.”

Annie gripped the arms of her chair and learned forward. “She’s becoming Aware? Now?”

“That’s what The Foundation believes. The thought they picked something up on her a few months back—they manage to get an aura scan on her every three, four months—and while they haven’t picked up anything that would indicate she’s done any actual magic, they think she’s at the cusp and ready to pass over.”

 

So young Tanith is turning out to maybe be a late bloomer.  Is this a problem?  Does The Foundation look bovvered by this?  Turns out, yeah, they are.

 

Being the only one in the room who had been exposed to magic for only a few months, Kerry was a bit confused why there was concern. “Why is this a problem? How old is she?”

“She just turned twelve a week and a half ago.”

“Well, I didn’t start doing magic until I was eleven. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal—”

“Annie . . .” Helena’s soft voice cut Kerry off faster than a quick yell. “I know you know something about this—” The right eyebrow rose once more. “You want to get him up to speed?”

Annie’s gazed shifted to Erywin quickly before she slowly turned towards her soul mate. She’s read the same report as Deanna—Helena probably has as well by now . . . “You knowingly did magic here for the first time, love—” I hope he doesn’t get upset. “But The Foundation was tracking you from about the time you turned six. They knew you were Aware, and that you may have actually performed magic without realizing.”

Kerry stared back at Annie for several seconds. “Really?”

“Yes. San Francisco is the North American headquarters of the Guardians, and they look for this sort of activity constantly. You . . .” She lay her head to the side and gave him a sweet grin. “You set something off, they came looking, and they found you.” She touched his hand once more. “That’s why you’re here.”

“You probably did do magic during that time without realizing you were.” Helena stuffed her hands in the pockets of her jacket and crossed her feet at the ankles. “Spontaneous magic happens when you become Aware at an early age, but your mind is too underdeveloped and mature to understand what’s happened. You might see a change in your hair or a light tanning of your skin; things could move around in your room during the night; you might even imagine that you hear voices once in a while.” She held up her hand. “You don’t think anything of this; to a child of six or seven, even one as intelligent as you, things have happened but you’re not cognizant of what occurred.

“Now, imagine you are you current age, right now, and you still have no knowledge of our world—and this shit starts happening to you. What is your reaction?”

His reply was a short, soft scoff. “I’d probably freak and think that maybe I was schizophrenic or something.”

 

No kidding you’d probably freak, given that Kerry has been known to lose it emotionally over some slight things from time to time.  So if a girl who’s lived a Normal live for now twelve years suddenly finds herself tossing fireballs, what sort of crazy does that produce?  And what is the ultimate Guardian plan to deal with this?

 

“The concern with Tanith is that she’s going to go beyond the tipping point and have a full-blown incident where she’s overcome with full Awareness and the spontaneous spells just come. If it happens at home that’s not a problem: Daddy would more than likely step in and take control of the situation. If it were to happen in public, however . . .” She looked down and shook her head. “She liked to take the bus to the Crown Center Mall after school and on Saturdays, and if she tipped over there, the results could be disastrous. She could hurt others—she could even hurt or kill herself.

“The idea of this mission is to have you observe her on Friday, first at school and then at the mall. Watch her actions, determine if she’s really close to being Award, and even watch and see if she’s Crafting. Then on Saturday the plan is to approach her, get her alone, tell her who you are and maybe show her what you can do.”

Annie’s eyes shone with excitement, though she still had questions. “Shouldn’t the father be involved?”

“Normally it would be his responsibility to bring in Foundation people and take care of this with their help. That hasn’t happened, though, because he doesn’t want them involved—and we wonder if he even knows what’s happening with his daughter. The concern from The Foundation is that he’d ignore their advice and disbelieve their reports that Tanith was becoming Aware, and that she’d do so anyway.

“With that in mind The Foundation—through the Guardians—sees Tanith responding more positively to a twelve year old witch—” She pointed at Annie, then to Kerry. “—and her eleven year old witch boyfriend, who explain what’s happening to her by showing what’s happened to them.” Helena slid her hands back into her jacket. “I agree with their belief. I think once you’ve had the chance to speak with her, maybe even show her what you can do, show her that it’s what she’ll be able to do, Tanith will respond.”

 

So there you go:  our two little witches are suppose to find their target, observe the creature in her normal habitat at the wall, and then approach her and say, “Hey, look here:  I can do magic, and so can you . . .”  It seems like a simple plan–unless, before they can get to her, Tanith starts freaking out in the food court at the mall and blows up the Taco Bell, or loses it completely while trying on leggings at Forever 21 and gives one of the sales girls purple skin and a unicorn horn–which would make her a hit at the next My Little Pony con, but otherwise leave her screaming like crazy.

Which is why Helena said this mission could be moved up, ’cause there’s a witch in need, and she may need help pronto.

Now we know the whys and wherefores.  All that remains is to get these two trained up and on-site.

Easy Peasy, right?

Right.

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/26:  2,057

NaNo Total Word Count:  48,687

Revelations in the Library

This happened last night:

I just beat Act One!

I just beat Act One!

As did this:

Looks like I'm gonna have to reset the counter

Looks like I’m gonna have to reset the counter.

So that’s the thing:  with Act Two’s end in sight, I passed both 150,000 words and 300,000 words total.  What am I guessing this will finish out at?  With three more scenes, maybe another five or six thousand words and she’s finished.  And then, this being NaNo, I can hop into Act Three–the final act.  And wrap up this story in another . . . let’s not talk of this, shall we?

As for NaNo . . . hit my word count, and edged in just over nine thousand words since I started writing on Saturday.  That’s not unusual:  I’m right around the ten thousand mark by the fifth day, and I’ll clear that tonight with ease.  At the rate I’m going, I should finish Act Two by Friday–which means I have Saturday to get started on Act Three.

What happened in the recently concluded scene?  Annie and Kerry are at the library, and Kerry’s doing most of the talking, Trevor Parkman–the librarian–is doing most of the listening.  Annie’s already heard this story a couple of times, but she doesn’t mind hearing it again.  For all we know–well, I don’t, but you do–Annie’s the one that got them there tonight.

And what is Kerry talking about?  No, his grandfather doesn’t know about Salem and his grandson being a witch–but he knows there was something strange in the family a long time ago . . .

 

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

 

“Her name is Aisling Callaghan. She’s my great-great-great-great-grandmother.” Kerry checked his tablet from time to time; his notes were there, and unlike when he’d first given Annie an overview, he wanted Mr. Parkman to heard what he’d told Annie the second time. “My grandfather knew she was born in Ireland in their early 1800’s, but he couldn’t pin down the exact year: he figured it was anywhere between 1804 and 1810. He had almost nothing on her except the name of a church parish near Galway, and some information that she’d moved to Liverpool when she was a girl—again, no exact date.

“He and my grandma went to Ireland in the late eighties trying to hunt her down, but they didn’t find anything useful—”

“Given the family name, if he didn’t have much to go on, he’d have a difficult time tracking her down.” Mr. Parkman sat back and crossed his arm. “Callaghan is such a common name.”

“That’s what my grandfather said. But he had a parish name to go off; it was suppose to be in an old town that had been located between Tuam and Headford.”

“Yes, so many towns up and vanished during the Ninetieth Century.” Trevor gave the matter a few seconds of thought. “Did he mention the closest town to where this town was suppose to have existed?”

Kerry check his tablet. “He mentioned Caherlistrane.”

“Okay.” Trevor filed the information away in his encyclopedic memory. “Go on.”

“Like I said, he didn’t find anything, even though he spent a couple of weeks in the area. So he just filed it all away and came back home after spending three days around Liverpool trying to find something on her.”

“He find anything there?”

“No.”

Trevor raised an eyebrow. “I find that a little strange. There aren’t many Catholic churches in that areas, and I’d imagine they’d have her name on a parish roll.”

Annie spoke for the first time since the conversation began. “Unless she didn’t attend church.”

Kerry looked at his girlfriend a little strangely, while Mr. Parkman chuckled. “Heaven forbid that thought. Even if they left the Emerald Isle and came to England, they found time to attend church.” He paused and his eyes took on a vacant gaze as he tried to remember something salient to the conversation. “They would have had a record of her at St. Peter’s, and then move those records to St. Patrick’s or St. Vincent at some point.”

 

All those places are real, and while Kerry’s grandfather didn’t find Great-Granny’s date of birth, you know I have it.

And there’s more, because when you have a good mystery hugging you around the neck, you don’t let go:

 

Kerry nodded. “Yeah. After my mom and dad were married in 1997, he and Grandma went back to Ireland that summer; he told me they’d planed to spend a month in around Galway checking every parish within a hundred miles of the city. He told me he’d mapped out the location of every church in the area, and even found the locations of parishes that had closed. He said he started checking all these places, and after two weeks he’d come up with nothing. Again, a lot of Callaghans—”

“Which is expected.”

“—But no Aislings. None at all. Or, at least none that fit the time for when she might have been born.”

Trevor held up a finger. “Excuse me, but what was he using as a point of reference for her date of birth?”

“She had two kids: Gwendolyn and Randal. He found birth records for Randal from . . .” He checked his tablet. “9 July, 1849, in Leeds. The hospital record listed the mother as Aisling, but only gave her age as ‘Early 40’s’. He figured from the birth record that she might have been born in the time frame he was checking.”

“I’m surprised they listed her age that way.” Trevor leaned onto his elbows and rubbed his palms together.

“Is that unusual for the UK?” Annie knew from her own family history that the records were fairly exact—but then, her family had information on their lineage going back seven generation.

“It depends if she knew her actual age.” Trevor shook his head. “Most of the time a person will still give an age and not bother with approximations. And a hospital wouldn’t normally list the mother’s age in such a fashion.” He looked at Kerry. “What sort of hospital was it?”

“My grandfather didn’t say, but . . .” He tossed his head to one said. “I got the impression that it was a pretty good one.”

“Which meant they wouldn’t have listed the age that way.” Trevor scratched at the back of his left hand. “Interesting.”

“No—” Annie cleared her throat. “The interesting part comes next.”

“Oh.” Trevor sat up and lay one hand over the other on the table top.

“Yeah.” Kerry chuckled. “You’ like this.”

 

We find a couple of more of Kerry’s ancestors, with Randal being his many-times-removed grandfather.  And born in England as well, which probably burns up his father.

But what’s this interesting thing Annie’s speaks of?  Kerry tells him:

 

“Okay, well . . . After a couple of weeks he tells me he’s got nothing to go on—none of the churches he’s visited have any information on the parish my ancestor was suppose to have attended, and a few even said the town he talked about never existed. The way he described things, he sounded pretty out of it ‘cause according everything he was finding, this Aisling didn’t exist.

“So my grandma and him are sitting in a cafe in Galway having lunch, and this woman comes up to them and introduces herself and says she’s with some historical preservation society that’s gathering data on all the old parishes around the country. She’s heard from several of the churches that he’s looking for information on an ancestor, and guess what?” Kerry threw up his hands an expressed surprise. “She just happens to have everything he’s looking for.”

Trevor was listening even more closely now. “That is interesting. What did she have? Parish records? Marriage records?”

“It’s better than that, Mr. Parkman.” Annie eyed the librarian closely.

“Do tell.”

Kerry grinned broadly. “There were parish records, information on her mother and father, travel documents to England, a few school records—” Kerry pushed his tablet to one side. “According to the documents my grandfather was given, when she was eleven she was sent off to attend a private school—in Scotland.”

Where in Scotland?”

Annie spoke up. “Near Edinburgh.”

Now Trevor was grinning as well, though his tone indicated he was skeptical. “You believe she went to ECMI?”

Kerry nodded tow his girlfriend on his left. “That what Annie thinks.”

“Edinburgh was built in 1808—” Annie was growing excited as she spoke. “Kerry said the papers he say said she started school in 1818. It makes sense.”

Trevor held up his hands as if to hold back the girl’s enthusiasm. “However, there were other private schools in Edinburgh—”

“There’s something else—” Kerry paused for effect. “She graduated from the University of Oxford.”

“What?”

He checked his tablet. “My grandfather showed me documents and pictures. She attended The Queen’s College and graduated in 1830.” He leaned forward, his voice serious but rising with excitement. “I checked, Mr. Parkman: Oxford didn’t accept women until 1878. There is no way she could have attended one of the colleges at Oxford in the 1820’s unless . . .”

Annie finished the statement. “Unless she had help from an organization like the Foundation.”

Trevor rubbed his hands together, working the fist of one in the palm of the other, while he thought. “The Foundation as we know was still forming, but The Lucifer Club was gathering considerable influence in England at that time, and they were doing much of the same things that The Foundation does today.” He pointed at Kerry. “You’re certain she graduated from Queen’s College?”

“Mr. Parkman . . .” Kerry took a deep breath. “My grandfather was not only given her diploma, but there was a graduation picture of her and four other people—three of them women.”

 

It was really nice of that woman–whomever she was–to simply hand over all that secret information without a second thought–right?  Edinburgh was one of the schools attacked during the Day of the Dead, and another of the larger schools in The Foundation.  So if Grandma Aisling went there . . . yeah, witch.  Not to mention she and three other women graduating from Oxford almost fifty years before women were allowed in?  Someone was playing around with records . . .

 

And the only way your great-over-grandmother—and whomever else was in the picture—could have done that would have been with help from The Lucifer Club, or one of the organizations affiliated with them.” He nodded slowly. “It sounds exactly like a Foundation shadowplay.”

“What’s that?”

Annie answered before Trevor could. “It’s where they change the identity of a person and give them a new life. I didn’t want to say anything when you were telling them this earlier, but since Mr. Parkman isn’t saying you’re wrong—”

“Then it’s likely the assumption is correct.” Trevor stood and stretched before leaning on the back of his chair. “If someone discovered she was a witch, it was prudent to move her out of Ireland as quickly as possible. It’s also likely that Aisling Callaghan isn’t her real name; the chances are the only people who would know her real identity is—”

“The Foundation.” Annie nodded. “And would you be able to access that information, Mr. Parkman?”

“If there is any truth to what Kerry is saying, then it’s likely she’s in the data base.” Trevor sat down behind one of the computer displays and began typing away on the keyboard. “Could you spell her name, please?”

 

So Trevor hops on the computer and starts checking the data base–and gets locked out.  He enters his security code–because he does have a right to see sensitive information–and he’s told to make a call . . . to Paris . . .

 

“Paris is the main headquarters; there’s always someone there. Not to mention this is through the Archivist Division, and they run 24/7—” Trevor’s call was connected. “This is Trevor Parkman, Librarian and Archivist for the Salem Institute of Greater Learning and Education. I’m conducting a data base search and I’ve triggered a security lock. Yes, it’s—” He read the code off the screen and waited about tens seconds before speaking to the person on the other end. “I’m performing this search at the request of one of our students . . . Kerry Malibey—M.a.l.i.b.e.y.. Yes, he’s here now—” He listened for a second, then lowered the phone and turned to Kerry. “Is your given name Kerrigan?”

Kerry nodded slowly. “Um, yeah.”

Trevor was back on the phone. “He says yes.” He said and did nothing for the next thirty seconds save nod. When he did speak again, it was in a less authoritative tone. “I understand completely. I’ll let him know. Thank you.” He closed the call the returned his mobile to his jacket.

It was all Kerry could do to keep from shaking in his seat. “What happened?”

Trevor sighed and snapped the monitor off. “I was told you’ll get your answers tomorrow.”

Annie recalled a few times when her mother ran into situations like these, and what usually happened when her “answers” arrived the next day. “They’re being hand delivered, aren’t they?”

Kerry glanced from Annie to Mr. Parkman then back to Annie. “What? What do you mean?”

“What she means is we’re getting visitors from Paris.” Trevor leaned his elbows on the table and almost set his chin against the back of his intertwined hands. “Someone wants to speak with you.”

 

See what you get poking around, Kerry?  You should have been happy with the orgy of secret data your grandfather was given, but no!  You just had to go looking around.  And now you’re getting a visit from Paris.

Tomorrow.

Which is today.

And I will write that up tonight.

 

 

NaNo Word Count, 11/2:  2,240

NaNo Total Word Count:  9,027

Bringing Up the Screens

It’s been an interesting morning, mostly due to (1) having no internet access at Panera, which kept me from getting out this post earlier, and (2) having some guy semi-hit on me there while bestowing all his worldly knowledge and also simply ignoring everything I’d say.  Ah, the joys of womanhood.

But, even with the distractions, I managed to finish up the next scene in Chapter Nineteen.  Both are under fifteen hundred words, which is short for me, and makes the chapter less than three thousand words so far.  Believe it:  I’ve got a scene three times longer than that, so this is an accomplishment.

They seem so . . . tiny.

They seem so . . . tiny.

The current scene sees the headmistress coming into the Security Center to speak with Isis, and while Isis is getting permission to up their security level, this happens:

 

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

Having never seen her security people at work under these conditions, Mathilde marveled at their efficiency. She was about to ask Isis a question when Tamera spoke. “Isis, we’ve just received a message from SDNF.”

Isis responded instantly. “Show me.”

Mathilde listened carefully. SDNF was the Sociedad para el Desarrollo de la Nueva Futura, the sister school of Edinburgh located in Valparaiso, Chile. The headmistress was suddenly taken by an unease, for if they were experiencing a problem . . .

Tamera popped the message up in the center of the room:

To all Schools on This Network; to Isis Mossman:

We have experienced intrusions against our outer screen similar to those reported by ECMI, as well as tentative probes against our Phase One firewall. Probes are intermittent but not random. Initiating Security Level Two protocols immediately; will stay in touch with network as long as possible to advise all of our on-going situation.

“They addressed it to you as well.” Mathilde turned towards Isis, who was continuing to stare at the message. “Is that usual?”

“Estrarel knows me well.” Isis turned to the headmistress. “Something’s going on down there; if she’s going to Level Two, then she suspects something bad is coming.” She looked past Mathilde to her staff. “Holly, splice our third tier servers into the firewall—and let me know the instant something starts bumping against us.”

“Yes, Chief.”

“Tamera?”

Isis’ second spun around in her chair. “Yes?”

“Get the guillotine in place.” The guillotine was an enchantment that would cut the school’s internal network away from the external Foundation networks as well as the public Internet. “Set it per standard orders: voice actuation on either yours or my command.”

“I’ll have it up in two minutes.” Tamera turned to her display and began working.

Isis didn’t bother trying to sway the headmistress with a lot of preamble. “Valparaiso wouldn’t have went to Level Two without good reason—and that bothers me. Suhaila—” She moved in behind the woman. “Contact Dragon Home, Thunderhead, Loongana, and Hayasaka, and ask them if they’ve noticed any unexpected hits against their firewalls. Particularly Thunderhead and Hayasaka—”

Mathilde was somewhat confused by the request. “Why those two?” She knew those four schools were the next largest behind ECMI and SDNF, but she didn’t know why Isis was singling out South Africa and Japan.

“Thunderhead and Hayasaka have a higher percentage of mad scientists than straight-up witches.” Isis slowly returned to the center of the room. “They’ve both got a hell of an advanced network, and that makes them both juicy targets.”

“What’s your thinking here?”

“Someone’s trying to hack the networks. That’s the impression I’m getting from the SDNF message, that someone’s trying to access their servers. With Edinburgh going dark, I’m wondering if someone decided to take them head-on and physically access their systems.” Isis glanced around the room. “They’re an older school and even with the improvements I’ve helped them establish, there are spots there that could be rendered vulnerable.”

There you get to see some of the other schools in The Foundation, and you even know where two of them are located.  These are places that I put together back in October of 2013, during the period when I was “making things up” to build my world, and now I get to use them.  Just for the record, Dragon Home is in Sweden and Loongana is in Australia.  With that you now know the names and locations of six other schools besides Salem.  The Foundation, they appear to be everywhere.

Then again, I did say they were The Pond once, didn’t I?

Living in Pond Life

First off, a good Ramadan to all my Muslim readers, and I know I have a few because–well, because.  That’s one of the great things about reaching out around the world:  you touch everyone.  Pretty soon I’m gonna have to keep track of things everywhere, and imagine how busy I’ll get then.

The second bit of good news is Chapter Fifteen is finished.  The last scene waited for me, and after taking a long nap in the afternoon I decided I was going to bring it all to a close, because I got more chapters to write and I need time to write them, I got to work.  It was just a little over twelve hundred words, so no big deal, right?

With all these First Drafts I could run a good race at Daytona.

With all these First Drafts I could run a good race at Daytona.

The idea behind the last scene was getting Kerry set up with the music tutor Professor Ellison promised him all the way back in Chapter Ten.  Kerry gets to the practice room a little early mostly because that’s normal for him, and also . . . well, let’s find out, shall we?

 

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

There were a half dozen keyboards in the room, as well as a couple of drum machines. One of the keyboards was a dedicated electronic piano, but the other five could probably play just about anything once hooked up to the two racks of MIDI controllers in the corner. You’d run out of hands before you’d run out of sounds.

He spun around as the door opened, and gasped when he saw who it was: Nadine from the Advanced Spells class. “Hey, how you doing?” She waved the door shut and tossed her book bag into a corner. “Surprised?”

“Yeah.” Kerry set his backpack down next to her book bag. “How come you didn’t say anything the other night?”

“’Cause I didn’t find out about this until yesterday.” She smoothed down her skirt and tugged at the sleeves of her thermal undershirt. “I knew I was going to get someone to tutor a couple of weeks ago, but Professor Ellison didn’t tell me until after class on Thursday.” She smirked. “I think he was going to give me to someone else, but after you got dumped into The Pond last week, he decided to put us together.”

Kerry could almost hear the capitalization of Nadine’s terms for advancing out of your first level. “Does everyone call everything above A Levels The Pond?”

“Pretty much.” She wiggled the fingers of her right hand and a brush appeared, floating in mid-air. Nadine grabbed it and combed her hair as she spoke. “I’ve heard Sladen and Kinshna call it the same thing, and they’ve both been here like forever—Sladen in particular.” She made the brush vanish from her hand. “That old witch has been her for like thirty years, as a student and teacher.”

“What’s she like as a coven leader?” Kerry was genuinely interested in knowing more about Mórrígan Coven, which seemed to be about the most mysterious of the covens—though Professor Kishna’s Ceridwen Coven ran a close second.

“Pretty good. She’s a good listener, really empathetic, an if you really, really need something, she’ll get it for you.” Nadine stretched as she giggled. “She’ll also tear up your ass if you try to play her. She puts up with no bullshit.”

Kerry wasn’t surprised to hear an upper level student cursing. He swore once in a while, and he’d heard kids a couple of years old that him swearing as much, or more, than some of the adults on the block. “Yeah, I’ve noticed that about her.”

Nadine nodded, then decided it was time to get to work. “Okay, so Ellison tells me you’re considering performing at Ostara. That’s pretty ballsy, dude.”

“Well, I mean . . .” He had just recently gotten used to being complemented by Annie, and now he was getting complemented by not only a girl, but an older one as well. Though, technically, Annie was older as well. “I have a couple of ideas.”

“Let’s hear them.”

 

But you don’t get to hear them–I don’t even mention them in the scene, so neener, neener.  And there’s that Pond again, the one the older kids swim in and that Annie and Kerry got, as Nadine says, dumped into.  And, pretty much for the first time, we get swearing from the students!  Sure, Kerry swore, but he did it in Welsh Cymraeg, so it sounded like he was gargling.  But Nadine–who is thirteen, by the way, and will turn fourteen before the end of the school year–doesn’t mind letting a few things rip.  You’ll for sure see this happen in the next chapter.

The scene ends on the two students coming to an agreement–well, one that’s kind of driven by Nadine:

 

“You’re already thinking about this as a performance.” Nadine smiled as she flipped her hair back behind both ears. “Yeah, you could program a drum machine for the beat. For the guitar you could do that on a keyboard, and probably lay down the bass on a synth pad.” She looked off to one side of the room, her mouth twisted up while she thought. “You’d need help with all that, though. You couldn’t do it by yourself.”

“Yeah, I know.” He tried not to appear dejected and failed miserably. “I guess I should just worry about playing the piano.”

“Nonsense.” Nadine tapped him on the arm. “Let’s see what we can shake out of this, and what we can put together, okay.” She walked over to the computer station next to the MIDI racks. “I’ll print out the sheet music and we can start with that.”

“You can get sheet music?” Kerry was a bit surprised. He’d discovered the hard way how difficult it was to find proper sheet music for popular songs on the Internet.

“Sure can.” She brought up a browser then went to a page that Kerry had never seen before now. She typed in a user name and password, and ended up in some kind of song data base. “We can access just about every song that’s ever been written and recorded during the last four hundred years—including a few that, I guess, you could call demos that never saw the light of day.” Nadine turned and winked. “Welcome to The Foundation, Kerry. This is what The Pond looks like.”

“Yeah, I see.” He thought about something Nadine had just said. “You said ‘we’ just a minute ago—”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Are you thinking of helping me perform?”

She shrugged. “I was thinking about doing a performance, but . . .” She turned to him. “Would you mind? I could run the drum machine, the synth pad, and the back up keys, and you could do piano and vocals. It’d be your lead; I’d be your backup.”

Kerry winced thinking about vocals. “Yeah, that vocals part . . . I’m not that good a singer.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Nadine turned away from the computer to face him. “We got enchantments that’ll auto tune you better than anything Kanye’s ever had. You’ll do great.” Sheets of paper began silently popping out of a nearby printer. “Just as soon as that’s done, we can start work.” She leaned against the computer counter. “You ready?”

 

Listen to the voice of experience, kid.  She’s in the database takin’ the sheet music, and you ain’t gotta worry about paying royalties ’cause technically you’ll never perform the song.  Makes it sound like The Foundation is the ultimate Pirate’s Bay.  Come along Pond; we need to download something.

Next up:  bad ass sorcery at The Witch House–and I do mean that–a little informal PAV racing, and the Halloween Party–or as the kids at school call it, The Samhain Dance.  It’s time for October to heat up and wind down, and lead into the end of the calendar year stuff.  Pretty soon it’ll be the holidays and the start of 2012 at the school–

Man, that doesn’t seem all that long ago.

Be good to us, October; November isn't going to be that nice.  I know, I've read ahead.

Be good to us, October; November isn’t going to be that nice. I know; I’ve read ahead.