As Promised! Here is the first Snippet for the Etheric Academy! Fresh from the Kutherian Master himself. Michael Anderle!
QBBS Merideth Reynolds
Bethany Anne was eating in the common Cafeteria. Her area was a little offset from most, allowing a few feet of extra space for her guards to react. Marcus, however, wasn’t frisked before he approached her table, “My Queen,” she glared at him, “I mean Bethany Anne, may I have a moment?” Marcus Cambridge was a bit frantic, which got her attention right away.
She raised an eyebrow and set her tablet aside, “Marcus, what’s wrong?” She tried to avoid reading the minds of her oldest friends.
“What is this memo I just received about teaching a class?” He was holding out his tablet, shaking it, “I asked Bobcat but he was laughing too hard to tell me. Since it came from your office I came to you first.”
Smiling, she decided to break it to him ever so gently. “That is a reminder about the Etheric Academy. You are slated to be one of the primary instructors.”
Marcus stood up straighter. “Academy? As in students? When did I sign up for that?” He looked back at the document, his eyes searching the words again for another clue.
Bethany Anne put her elbow on the table and laid her chin in her cupped hand, “If you remember, it was actually your idea to begin with. We were laying out the basic outline for the Meredith Reynolds and you said it would be great if we had some sort of science academy to train up our people. I took your basic idea and implemented it.” She opened her arms wide, a smile gracing her face with a gleam in her eye, “Surprise!”
Marcus’s face was all scrunched up. “I don’t remember saying any of that.” He stood there a moment, “Damn that Bobcat and his drinking parties!” He turned to her, a look of resignation on his face, “So I have to lecture or something?”
Bethany Anne couldn’t hold it her humor in any longer. She shook her head and laughed just a little. “Not quite. Adam pull up the Academy layout for Marcus, please.”
The wall behind Bethany Anne lit up with a full color graphic design layout of the Academy built inside the Asteroid base Meredith Reynolds. She pointed to some numbers, “We tested all of the children; both Wechselbalg and human alike. The tests were hard since TOM and ADAM came up with some of the questions. Only the best of the best were good enough for this first trial. They needed to already be excelling in regular school and have a desire to advance themselves for the greater good.”
She turned around and reached for her fork, “We had thirty students pass the first time.”
Marcus’s eyes opened wide, “Thirty? I have to teach thirty?” Marcus was starting to panic.
She put up a hand, “We have broken them up into groups of five students. We mixed personalities and skills to make each group a possible working team. Using a block schedule, they will each spend six weeks on a topic or skill. What you will teach them is ultimately up to you. You will get them all eventually. But only five at any one time.”
“Oh. I guess there was a memo or something that I missed?” Marcus blushed a little bit.
“There was. Do I need to assign assistants down in the lab for you? Do not use the kids for that. I want them to learn stuff, not play fetch the left handed wrench because it’s funny.”
He nodded his head, his eyes getting his now infamous thinking look. “I think we can come up with some things to do.” He returned his focus to Bethany Anne, “What else are they learning?”
Bethany Anne shrugged and started counting on a hand, “Orbital mechanics, Navigation, Engineering, Weapons and tactics, Flight controls,” she closed the hand and started counting off once more. “Logistics, Space walking, computers and programming to begin with. We plan to add a few other skill sets as we go including Genetics, negotiation, and survival.” She looked at him, “These children are our future. Remember, eventually we are leaving Earth behind. They need to learn these skills.”
He put up a hand, “Oh, I agree!” He looked to be concentrating on something. “This was really my idea?”
“It was. You wanted Tina to have a place to learn that didn’t involve Earth and NASA.”
Marcus started backing up, “Good. I think. OK, then. Thank you my Queen I can make this work.” He turned around and bumped into a chair, never seeming to notice.
Bethany Anne waited until the scientist was out the door before breaking out in laughter. She turned to her guard, “Did he really not know?”
John Grimes had a look of disbelief on his face. “I think Bobcat may have neglected to tell him due to some sort of bet.”
Bethany Anne cocked her head to one side. “Yes, that is what ADAM says as well.”
“That I can see.” He turned around to stare at the Academy layout still on the wall. “Is everything ready to go down there for this?”
“They keep saying it is. Your niece was accepted you know.” She stabbed at some green beans, “I have an obligation to make sure she gets whatever she needs to succeed.”
The large man nodded his head. “I remember. Too bad Todd didn’t qualify. He hasn’t completely come around to our way of thinking yet.”
“He’ll get there. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum tell me he is obsessed with aircraft and spaceships right now. Maybe you can give him a nudge in the right direction.” She put a forkful of food in her mouth as ADAM and TOM bitched in her mind about her using Tabitha’s nicknames for Hirotoshi and Ryu.
“Maybe I can.” The big man stared off into space for a moment.
FROM MICHAEL >>> AND SO WE BEGIN!
Way back (some of you might remember?) between books 7 and 8, we had a Frank Kurns story about Cheryl Lynn, Tina and Todd. Then, Cheryl Lynn ends up becoming part of Bethany Anne’s team and Tina and Todd show up in the mercenary / terrorist event w/ Boris in It’s Hell to Choose.
I had readers ask me ‘what ever happened to the kids’ after that. Which was really, really cool to hear.
And really frightening.
Why? Because I don’t think I can WRITE Young Adult. The desire to write to an adult level is too ingrained. I have always spoken to my own kids this way as well. Even when they were young (ok, not the cussing part, but the treating them like them were older).
So, this concept of branching off into the massive amount of different areas readers (not all readers, just a good portion) cared to explore was born (plus egging from other associates in the 20BooksTo50k group, or my editors, beta readers, Amazon Forum Friends and Facebook followers…Basically my Peeps!
(Oh! Remind me to tell you why Son #3 got embarrassed some time when we meet up. Catch phrase “Street Cred.”)
So, TS (Scott) Paul graciously agreed to take on writing the core part of the book and allowing me to come along and help. Like all books, the author and I speak about it, but with Paul there isn’t so much I have to explain.
Because he was a reader from LOOOONNGG ago. Check out the credits in Book #6 and you will see his name. The whole concept of a Nazi Base in Antarctica? Yeah, that was born out of a talk with him.
Now, we have a series during the 3 years between books 13 and 14 (My Ride is a Bitch and Don’t Cross This Line). We are answering the question(s), “What happened to the kids?”
Both Scott and myself hope you enjoy the ride… Because, what could POSSIBLY go wrong with a bunch of smart, rambunctious young adults with Bethany Anne and her team as role models?