The Athena Lee Chronicles

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I just hit Publish. The new book is in Amazon's hands. Look for it soon!

The new book should be out soon! Amazon take between 1 to 72 hours to process a new book. Now the waiting begins. Nail biting time!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Time for Snippet #07 This is the last one before publication!

<unedited>


Thump, thump, thump. That was what it sounded like to me as three young soldiers hit the immovable object that was my shield. Twenty-five feet up I could see the agony of the young woman and her two companions. Fortunately for all of them the drop-master stopped the rest of their unit and stared in shock at the three writhing troops. The Osprey came lower and deployed it’s landing gear. It set down near the wounded and more men and women jumped out. Many of them stepped lightly as they tested the ‘ground’ for holes. I imagine for them it was as if the air was suddenly solid, which is was.

I sighed and pulled out my cell phone yet again. “Madeline?”

“Agatha are you OK? You sound… I’m not sure how you sound. What happened?”

“They tried landing troops in an air assault.”

I could almost see her wince through the phone. “Is anyone hurt?”

“Yup. The first one out the door hit the top of the shield hard. Two others followed her. There is an Osprey sitting up there right now picking them up.” I glanced upward and could see about a half dozen armed troops staring back at me. I gave them a small wave. One, actually waved back!

“I made a formal complaint to the Marine Corp and General Ney but only his secretary was available. I’ve put in a call to Washington but it’s Saturday night and it being the weekend…”

“Gotcha. I can get out and to the meeting but I might have a horde of Marines on my tail. Want me to still try in the morning?” I looked back up at the troops. Yup, still there.

“I do. You and your team are needed for a case. Someone sent me the paperwork already. You and your team are leaving tomorrow regardless.”

“Can you tell me the case?” My mind was racing. I had so much to do to get ready. Herbs to dry and spells to prepare. Disappointing a Unicorn was in there somewhere. I just knew he wanted to stay and play for a while.

“I can. Local law enforcement found the dismembered body of a child in Western Arkansas. At first it was deemed a wild animal attack. But when the he was identified he was the youngest son of the local Alpha.”

Ouch. “Could he shift?” I knew from talking to Cat and the Wolf boys that shifters generally could shift from birth but could only control it around the age of ten. There were a few rare non-conforming cases but ten was the norm.

“He could. At first a rogue or enemy pack was considered but the Were on the police force says it didn’t smell of strangers. They are really puzzled by it all. The BAU doesn’t do Magical so it falls under your jurisdiction.”

“Thanks Madeline. I’ll pack accordingly. See you in the morning. Goodnight.” I hit end on my phone and looked up. The soldiers were still there, only now they were pacing about poking at my ward looking for holes. I pursed my lips. The sky above wasn’t warded like the sides. Trespassers wouldn’t stick like the one on the fence. Those gizmo’s of theirs might penetrate it.

I didn’t expect them to leave voluntarily so I leaned against the RV to think. How to get them to leave?

“Whatcha looking at?” I jumped a bit and looked down. Fergus was standing at my feet.

“How did you get out, I closed the door?”

“I jumped.” He looked up at the sky. “Did you put them up there?”

“No. They tried to jump through it and then landed up there.”

“Dumb. Don’t they realize that you and your Grandmother are a force to be reckoned with?”

Reaching down I picked him up and set him on the hood of the RV. “They have a new boss who is throwing his weight around. Hmm I wonder.”

“You just thought of something. Didn’t you?”

“I did. Thanks Fergus.” I gave him a little pat on the head with my fingertip.

The Norse God Loki was not one of my favorite Gods but he could be very useful. He would appreciate this prank so I included him in my prayer. I won’t turn away a little extra boost of power. Concentrating for a moment I released my spell with a silent word of power. Grandmother recently told me to stop saying the words out loud. Too many of our enemies could understand us.

Several panels of glowing letters popped into view among the soldiers. This sudden display of Magick both shocked and confused them. They needed orders and I could see them calling for help.

“Attention. The area above the Laboratory for the Magical Crimes Division of the FBI will soon become like the outside fence area. Anyone or anything still sitting on or touching the area in ten minutes will be stuck here and unable to escape. You have been warned.”

A countdown clock also appeared and began to count down from ten minutes.

I scooped up Fergus and went back inside the Lab. Weres only react to certain substances and much of what I would need for spells was not available in the Mid West United States or even much of Europe. Wolfsbane was on the endangered species list for this country. Acontite was available locally but it was a poor substitute. Only true Wolfsbane from Eastern Europe worked the best. The Blackmore Garden was one of the biggest suppliers of that and others.

I was head down working on my list when Fergus interrupted me. “Did you want to leave the Marines up there for a long time?”

Checking my phone I could see that more than an hour had already passed. “Are they still up there?”

“Yes. They don’t look very happy.” Crap.

Dropping my list on the desk I went outside and looked up.

Why did the military have to be so obstinate? All of the troops were still up there but now they were frozen like little statues. Letting out a big sigh I just knew I was going to catch hell over this. Waving my arms like a traffic cop I began gathering the Marine sickles up and stacking them in a pile near the aircraft.

“Can they feel that?” Looking down Fergus was back outside. I looked over at the Lab doors which were closed. How is he doing that?

“I have no idea. Want to ask them?”

“For real?”

“No! I’m sure a Government lab would love to take you apart to see what makes you tick. Talking Unicorn? Score!” I frowned at Fergus who shuddered for a moment. Government Labs were nothing to joke about.

Using my telekinesis I upended the plane and started tossing the troops inside. It was sort of like a monkey game I saw on TV as a child. Now for the really hard part.

The Osprey levitated off the shield wall and moved it past the fence-line. Trying to be careful I set it down by the trees on the left of my lab. With luck the Marines saw it coming and moved.

“That was so cool Agatha! It was just like that movie we watched last year.” Fergus was hopping up and down.

“What movie was that?”

“You remember. It was you and me and Cat. Chuck brought pizza and beer. I ended up getting sick in Cat’s shoes. Remember?”

I tilted my head. The vomiting thing sort of rang a bell. Trust Fergus to remember a dorm party where he was fed pizza. “Some science fiction film, right?”

“It was the second Star Battles movie! You were just like that little frog guy! All you needed was a gunny sack and stick and you would have looked just like him!”

“OK, Fergus. Time to lay off the Magick Hay for a while.”

Monday, January 23, 2017

Snippet time. #06 From Special Agent in Charge.

Someone from the FB page named Jed asked for this.



 

<Unedited>


I heard the men before I saw them.

“…I still say he cost the team the world series. If he hadn’t run off the field and not touched the base the game would have been won and they wouldn’t have had to replay the game.” The speaker’s voice was deep and sonorous.

“But Merkel wasn’t the one that threw the ball to second. It was Chance’s fault. The ball he used was not the game ball. That one was tossed into the crowd by pitcher Joe McGinnity. If anyone lost the game it was him. Not the runner.” This voice was thin and reedy.

“But the game…”

“Stop! You two are seriously debating a game that has been over and done for a century! Please no more about baseball. Can’t we talk fashion again?” This came from a woman.

“Like that is anymore interesting Sims. I could have lived my whole life without knowing the eight ways to spot a fake Louboutin shoe. I’d never even heard what one of those was until you told us. Who even looks at the stitching or heel transition?”

“Women do. If you had a girlfriend you might know this. Doesn’t your wife tell you these things Jenkins?”

“My wife wouldn’t even know how to put one of those things on much less walk in them. She’s more of a flip-flop sort of girl. I’d show you a picture but … you know.” Jenkins it seemed was the reedy voice. Sims sounded a bit vain if shoes was all she talked about.

“OK. So let’s discuss something else then. How about disco?” The deep voice made the suggestion.

The other two made loud groaning noises. “That is exactly why you are still single Sloan. How can you stand to listen to that stuff?”

Sloan, Sims, and Jenkins were apparently the ones that were trapped. I could hear other voices but those seemed to be the support crew. I could see the hole in the fence as well as the speakers. The two men each held what looked to be a similar gizmo to the one I took last year. The woman was frozen looking over her shoulder.

“Uh, guys.” Jenkins was frozen looking in my direction and he saw me first.

“… I still say disco sucks!” Sims and Sloan were still arguing.

“Guys! You need to listen to me!”

“What! Jenkins you will get your turn. We all agreed to protocol here.” Sims yelled at him.

“There is a woman on the other side of the fence and she’s looking at me!” Jenkins sounded a bit frantic. I made a mental note to tweak the spell a little. It shouldn’t even be allowing them to speak. Could it be the machines they held?

The wards allowed me to reach through and take the small machine from Lieutenant Jenkins. I could see his insignia now. “Thank you lieutenant. This will go nice with my collection of these.”

“She just took the shield breaker from me!”

“Jenkins shut your freaking mouth! That name is Top Secret and you know it. Who took your machine? Describe her?” Sloan looked to be a Captain. Interesting.

“Hey we need some help over here! Help!” Lieutenant Sims yelled toward those on the other side of the fence.

The voices on the other side of the fence suddenly got louder. I needed to hurry. The ward and shield should prevent bullets from penetrating but I didn’t want to take any chances. I removed the shield breaker from Sloan and used my telekinesis to push the three officers back through the fence.

“We’re free!” Sims yelled.

“Somebody stop her she has the … thing I can’t talk about! Hey you, give me that gun I need to shoot a Witch!” Captain Sloan started arguing with an unnamed Marine.

Not cool. I held up my hands and muttered a repair spell. These little machines troubled me. They were able to penetrate the shield but not all the way. Mundanes shouldn’t mess with things they don’t understand. I walked back to my lab but in a roundabout  direction making ninety degree turns and watching the corner of the fence as much as possible. My protections should stop a bullet but I didn’t want to test them out that way.

My safe was in my office. It was original to the office and one of those incredibly heavy reinforced steel ones from the early twentieth century. Grandmother and I had used magic on it to change the lock and add some protections when she was here at graduation. Changing the make-up of non-living things was something I was gaining skill at and we actually used it to test out my magic. Why not get something useful out of it?

The door opened with a creak. I made a mental note to get some oil. Inside was the original device as well as more spell bombs and a few rare crystals. The spell bombs were something Grandmother cooked up. Too bad I had left them here on my probi mission they could have come in handy. They were transmogrification bombs.


~~~~~~

The day was ending and the sky darkening when I heard the whirring. Looking up I could see one of the Marine Corps new Ospreys. Jack, being a Marine himself, talked about innovations and changes to the military that could affect our service so I knew with only a glance what it was. The sky above my lab was protected but not disguised. They could see me as easily as I them.

“Step away from the vehicle and put your hands on your head!” I stopped washing the floor mats and stared up at the aircraft. The rear door was open and what looked like an assault team was about to descend. Shaking my head I went back to cleaning. This should be fun.

“This is your last warning!” Special forces black outfitted troops began sliding down ropes as the plane hovered about thirty feet of the ground. Stopping again I watched and winced as the first troop hit the shield.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

New Merlin Pictures

When we moved and were in the RV many asked how's the Kitty?  Well the real master of the house is adapting well. 


Friday, January 20, 2017

Time for a Snippet! #05 from Special Agent in Charge!




Get your MUG today. (Sorry, the Unicorn doesn't come with it.)


<unedited>
This is a giant military base and preserve do people here not know how to read signs? The Magical Crimes RV is big. Almost forty feet long it can be a bit impressive when it pulls up next to you. The gate guard house at MY gate was occupied again. I know this because two large and beefy armed Marine guards stepped out of it to stop me.

“Sorry Ma’am but this road is closed.” Guard number one stood in front of the RV holding up his hands while Guard number two stuck his face into my window.

“It’s not closed to me. That is my laboratory.” I held up my badge and military pass. It was two years ago all over again.

Guard two looked at my credentials and gawked. “Ma’am that isn’t valid anymore. General Ney told us to refuse any of the older passes.”

“Regardless of that your General may say this is my lab and I will be going through that gate. So move or I will move you.” I took my foot off the brake and stepped on the gas gently. Everything happened in a split second. Guard one swung his weapon in my direction and Guard two reached for his. My bracelet shield snapped over me and the RV in an instant. Guard one found himself ten feet in the air along with Guard two.

I leaned out the door and looked up. “Now see what you made me do? Idiots.” I waved at the gate and it opened. The RV just barely fit in the parking lot out front.

“Fergus, want some special hay?” I called back to as I parked.

“Hay! Hay! Hay!” I stepped back and the little guy was prancing around in circles. I sniffed his barn for unusual substances. It had only happened once but I liked to check anyway.

“What are you searching for?”

“Just checking. Last time you acted like this someone slipped something into your salad.” I looked down at my little familiar.

“Mongo said that was a mistake and you know it. Besides that stuff made me feel good all day!” He pranced around in a circle.

“Mistake or not. He needed to remember this is the FBI Academy not spring break in Panama City! I’m just watching out for you that’s all.” I closed up the top of his barn and scooped Fergus up.

“Let’s go check on the farm and water the plants. We’ll worry about the Marines later.”

The weeds and grass around the lab had grown up and was waist high in some places. I made a mental note to borrow a weed-eater or something later. Maybe one of the Weres would like a few extra bucks. My lab looked the same as when I left it. The Director had mentioned that somewhere along here there were stuck CID guys. They had waited this long for me to come back a few hours more wouldn’t hurt.

My wards allow Fergus and I inside. I casually flicked on lights as I walked. The Director had been true to her word and left the power on. I checked the ‘farm’ first. Using a spell Grams came up with I put a slow-mo spell on the water system and grow lights. They worked as advertised but for each week I was gone only two days registered. Even though it sounded like a fountain of youth spell it was very dangerous to cast on creatures. Plants and inanimate objects were safe. Something about the way the blood and other fluids travel through the body was affected in a negative way. It was possible to do just not very practical. Grams had said parts of the spell were from the old country and may have been where the Sleeping Beauty legends came from. It was one of the reasons tampering with living creatures was forbidden.

I set Fergus down in his favorite field and he began eating and running at the same time. Unicorns. My herbs and flowers were all ready for harvesting. “Timing is everything. Such a nice job. I will have to thank Grams for that spell, Fergus.”

Silence.

I looked behind me and Fergus was sound asleep in the middle of the magic Hay field.

“I guess he’s had a hard year.” As I spoke into the air I thought I felt a response from the bracelet.

My laboratory and office were next door so I went there first. Time for a discussion.

When Grams packed me up she included all sorts of early scientific equipment. As herbologists and Earth Witches we used a variety of tools in our traditions. Many came from the early part of the twentieth century. So my desk was decorated with an assortment of magnifying glasses and jewelers tools. I couldn’t remove the bracelet but I could examine it.

I held the bracelet under the largest magnifying glass I had. Along the outer edge were what looked to be very faint hieroglyphics. Peering closer I tried to make out the pattern. “Are you Egyptian?” I spoke to the bracelet as if it was alive. The bracelet gave off a very slight vibration. If I wasn’t sitting I might not have felt it. Was that a yes or a no?

Grams didn’t send very many of either her books or mine when she packed the truck. What she did send were the almanacs and reference books. I had one Egyptian dictionary and it was one of the most boring books I owned. All I could do was groan. I bit the bullet and pulled it out.

Two hours later I still couldn’t figure out the spell. “What if I ask you what you mean?”

I shook my head. Talking to my Unicorn is bad enough. Now I’m talking to my jewelry. Deep down I knew that it wasn’t decorative but I couldn’t help but think it was.

The first line of the line of characters was the Udjat. Most people call this the Eye of Horus or if you like movies the Eye of Ra. Same concept different Gods. It stood for protection, healing, and Royal power. All the other lines were a continuation of the protection theme as well as that of healing. The bottom of the cuff held the final part of the inscription. It was almost worn completely off.

I could see a rearing cobra, a shepherds crook, and a mace in the hands of a warrior. There was a cartouche too but only the shape remained.

 “Are you really that old?” I stroked the gold bracelet on my arm as the slight vibration increased. The bracelet was purring!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Audiobook for Born a Witch is Now available!

It just went up on Amazon this morning. Conjuring Quantico will follow very soon with Probi being recorded now.

 https://www.amazon.com/Born-Witch-Drafted-FBI-Federal/dp/B01NH5QY1A

How about a Short Story? The Voice of Reason. (Hint: Wilson's Back)

The Voice of Reason

by

T S Paul



“Why does he always insist I put out cat food?” Margaret Simpson swept up yet another mess in the office. Her budget allowed her to hire a cleaning crew, but there was too much proprietary equipment in the conference room. Well, that and the fact that all the partners were machines. Almost all of them.

“It’s part of my initial programming.”

“Aiyeee! Wilson! What have I said about doing that?” Margaret clutched her chest.

“That it scares you? Why else do it?” The holographic image of Wilson stood at the entrance to Merlin the CATT’s office.

“It does. Is it time for the meeting already?” Margaret checked her watch. It was old fashioned but was a relic from her father’s estate.

“Not quite. I wanted to ask for your help.”

“My help? Of course, you can have my help. What is it you need?”

“I need a crew for a space ship.” Wilson’s holo image followed Margaret back to her office.

“May I ask for what?” She sat at her console and began pulling up records.

“This war is getting very intense. Athena and Dar are worried about the possible outcome. I have come to believe that we need to not keep all our eggs in one basket.”

“By eggs, you mean what?” Margaret began tapping into Fleet and retiree records.

“Humans, robots, and AI’s. Basically, everything I care about. We have a plan, and this might help to extend and preserve it.”

Margaret looked up from her search and smiled. “Wilson. I know about the plan.”

“You do? How?”

“From you and the others. You forget that you wired me into all the offices and security systems. The secret is safe with me.”

“That fact alone concerns me. If you wish to leave us, we will understand.” Wilson’s image appeared to sit in a chair at the side of her desk.

“Why by all the Gods would I do something like that? What you intend would be good for humanity. Besides, I will be long gone when it comes to pass.”

“Still… Are you sure?”

“Wilson, of course I am. I love all of you very much. You have changed my life for the better and given me a purpose. Everyone needs a purpose to survive and thrive.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. I will inform the others that you are aware of the plan.”

“Good. So, how many humans do you need for this project?” Margaret peered intently at her screens.

“About twenty. The rest of the crew will be made up of CATTs and RAM robots. This will be a joint project to explore the galaxy and find us a place to hide some of those eggs I was talking about.”

“So, what do you want? Officers and experts or just a basic crew?” Margaret thought about her 
husband and all the things she had seen and learned over the past few years with Wilson.

“What do you think?”

“A mix perhaps. At least one good officer to Captain the ship. He needs to be open minded if he has robots as crew. A sound engineer. Someone with a background in cybernetics if I can find one. A navigator.”

“One of us is just as good as a human in that position, Margaret.”

“You are. But humans can do unpredictable things sometimes that cannot be computed. You need one of those creative people in charge of Navigation. You need a language specialist too. Before you say it, remember that humans prefer other humans in first contact situations.”

Wilson was silent for a moment. “It’s those stupid Robot movies on the colony ships. Of all the things to survive why vids of robots and AIs destroying the world. ‘I’ll be back,’ is such a stupid tag line.”

Margaret just gave him a look like he was a six-year-old. She knew what he was talking about and actually enjoyed the vids.

“So you have five. What about the rest?”

“The other fifteen can be ensigns because every ship needs at least one. As well as general all-purpose deckhands and you need troops. Retired Marines or Spec Ops would fit nicely.”

“Fine. Look for twenty-five solid people along with backups. We will discuss robotic crew when the others arrive for the meeting.”

“Wilson? Where are you getting a ship for this adventure?”

“I’m having one built. The shipyards are pretty full around here, so I went elsewhere to do it. The Senate thinks it’s their idea by-the-way. Our Senators pushed the idea through committee already.”

“You didn’t say where.” Margaret looked at him.

“I almost had the pirates do it, but instead commissioned one in Greenlandia.”

“Wow. That’s a bit far out there.”

“It is. Admiral Caine is there with her fleet. I just informed Athena of the fact today.”

“Does she know about this ship of yours?”

“No. Not yet. I intend to gift the ship to the Senate when they complain about price and crew issues. We will foot the bill out of the goodness of our hearts as a test of automation. It’s all arraigned.”

Shaking her head, Margaret spoke. “One of these days your sneakiness will come back and bite you in the ass. Be careful Wilson.”

The elevator made a ding noise. The rest of the board members were arriving.

“We will talk later. Thank you, Margaret. You are the voice of reason around here. I will heed your words and watch my backside.”

“If you had one. Let’s go meet the family, shall we?” Margaret led the ghostly image toward the boardroom.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Time for a Snippet! Here is #04 from Special Agent in Charge




<Unedited>



The badge still lay in my left hand. I blinked at it for a moment and pulled out my other badge, I kept it in a side pocket. Cat introduced me to cargo pants and now I wore them everywhere.  Two badges each complete with my information. One said I was an Agent the other a Special Agent. Advancement in the blink of a eye. Grandmother would say it was a trick or a trap. I had to wonder about it being either. The Witches Council had been trying for years to get closer to the human authorities. This I knew to be fact. Where Grandmother got her information was a mystery to me but she was always correct. Had all the work I did for the past four years been a sham? Did I get the promotion to further the Council’s agenda?

I raised my hand to my mouth and chewed on my knuckle. Grams says it’s a bad habit but it helps me think. What to do? On one hand it would boost my career in the FBI. But on the other I might be expected to return the favor to the Council. A pawn I would not become. That much was completely clear to me.

There was a faint knock on the door and Director Mills returned to her office. “Do you have any questions for me Agatha?”

I didn’t sense any bugs but I knew from experience that they could be anywhere. Concentrating for a moment I snapped my fingers and a shield appeared around the two of us. Most humans wouldn’t have seen or heard a thing but Mills did. Interesting.

“Is there a problem Agatha?” Director Mills glanced upward and to the side.

“I’m not sure. Is there some sort of motive behind this?” I held up the new badge and credentials. “Is the Witches Council involved?”

“I assume this is some sort of shield?” I nodded to her.

“As far as I know my office isn’t bugged but it might be. Before asking you here I did check with all of my sources. The offer is real. As to what influence the Council has on Washington? Your guess might be better than mine. Jack really is taking a leave of absence.”

I snapped again and the shield disappeared. “Sorry. I needed to be sure.”

“I understand Agatha. Do you want the job?”

“Do I have a choice?” I looked her in the eye.

“Not really no. Take it or leave it and the FBI. Not my idea by-the-way. They want complete loyalty in this.”

Still looking her in the eye I tossed a badge and credentials up on the desk. She barely glanced at them. “You won’t be sorry. I promise.”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep Madelaine.” The Director inclined her head to me. This promotion almost made us equals. Almost.

“Your team is almost all here. The second Magical Crimes Unit is being driven over from Iowa by the the head of your Technical team.”

“Why Iowa?” I tried to remember if we had a large FBI presence there.

“It’s where the RV plant is. This particular truck was built specifically for your unit.”

The timing was suspicious. “Was this the plan the whole time? I graduate then run this… unit?”

“No. Jack was supposed to be still in charge. We were going to have two teams. You and Jack would run the Division together. Or that is what I was told. This just moves up the agenda a bit and centralizes the team. I won’t introduce the others until they all get here. Do I have to mention the Jackalopes or do you already know?”

I blushed just a bit. “I sort of saw a couple out on the West Virginia, Kentucky border. I thought I was seeing things but did a little research.”

“Right. Fish and Game is keeping a lid on most of the spottings but they have spread across five states and counting. We aren’t sure how. Needless to say the Parks Department is not amused and are about to label them an invasive species and declare open season on them. Do you have any way of controlling them yourself?”

My blush deepened in color. “Uh, no? They were created by Magick so that makes them almost impervious to it. I’m afraid if I do anything more they could end up like Fergus or worse.”

“That’s what I thought. I’ll inform Fish and Game. They won’t be happy about it all. Your name has been excised from the record but expect some repercussions.” She held up her hands. “I am aware that it wasn’t your fault and that the Witches Council trainer is at fault.”

I rubbed my forehead feeling the headache coming in full force. “Am I in immediate trouble?”

“Not from me. The rest? We need you too badly to just throw away an asset. Don’t worry too much about it. The Hunt is scheduled for next week. We have them bi-monthly now. The thought of hunting while in school is actually attracting Were’s here.”

“At least that’s something. Has there been any trouble at my lab?”

“There has. I will let you take care of it Special Agent Blackmore. There is four or five counter intelligence agents trapped at the moment. Don’t hurt them please. I have spoken to the General about them but he is pretending they don’t exist. So just set them loose and forget they exist. Less trouble from upstairs that way. OK?”

“Politics?” I stared at her.

“Pretty much. No doesn’t mean no to some people. Watch yourself Agatha. Come back in the morning around ten. I should have the rest of your new team rounded up by then. Congratulations again, Agatha.” Director Mills gave me a big hug and saw me to the door.

“…I shook my horn at him and he froze sold right in front of me! Dragons are Unicorns natural enemies don’t you know. Nothing can stand up to the horn!” My Unicorn was prancing across the top of one of the Bs desks. He shook his head and horn as he talked.

I stopped and watched as he let the girls fawn all over him. Unicorns. Stepping closer I grabbed him and stuck him in my pocket. “Hey! What’s the big…mmmmph.”

“Sorry about that ladies. He’s a ham disguised as a Unicorn.”

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Working away on the New book.


We have finally gotten settled in the new place and I'm hard at work on Special Agent in Charge. I'm 20,000 words into the book so far. Here is a tiny taste.  An unedited Sniplet to quote my Wife.

This will be a team effort from now on. A demon, a dragon, the Fae, and a cult are too much for one Agent to handle on their own. Even is that Agent is a kick-ass Witch.” She smiled at me and laughed. “You did good work this year Agatha you should be proud.”

“Everyone keeps telling me that. I still wish Jack were along.”

“Jack will be fine. He’s like that motorized rabbit. Nothing stops him. We, or I should say Washington, has assigned you a small team. In addition to your RV there will be a portable lab with techs to run it. They have assigned two investigators as well as a facilitator. The facilitator is an older Agent with media, public relations, and tact. He will be your liaison with local law enforcement and other Government entities. You however are the one that is ultimately in charge of the whole thing.”

I felt my mouth drop open again. If I can’t keep it closed something would start to nest in there. “How many people am I responsible for?”

All I could think of was payroll and accommodations. The RV could only sleep so many. Where were these people staying and how would I keep them fed?



New Video for Alpha Class



Building a New Empire is supposed to be dangerous, but training the next generation of leaders?

That's not supposed to be dangerous, right?

Follow us as we have the people in the Etheric Empire setting up a special academy to train the first set of teen's on a leadership track. They are supposed to learn about the different groups in the Etheric Empire and areas (including R&D, Weapons, Operations and others). Unfortunately, some of the members of those teaching teams tapped to train the kids don't realize how ... adventurous... the teen's can be.

Especially if the teachers are Team BMW.

Travel with us as we are introduced to Alpha Class, one of the teams in the new Etheric Academy as they merge human's and Wechselbalg (Were's) in a group of five young adults as they learn to become the first cohesive group on their first assignment.

With Team BMW as their teachers, nothing could go wrong, right?

***A Kurtherian Gambit Adventure for Younger Readers.... Or those who are young at heart.***

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snippet time. Here is #03 From Special Agent in Charge

<Unedited.>


 “You again.” The blond receptionist glared at me from behind her fort-like desk.

“I’m here to see the Director. Do I need a badge?” I smiled.

“Congratulations on your status as a full agent, Agatha. You can head right in.”

“Wow, no insults? I’ve been gone too long. Believe it or not Melissa, I’ve missed you.”

“Hardee’har har. Get moving before I have you dragged out of here.” Melissa and I buried the hatchet over a year ago but we still liked to antagonize each other.

Smiling I walked down the hall. Many of the office staff and security gave me surprised looks along the way. I guess the news was out I was back!

“Agatha! Welcome back. We have so much to talk about.” Director Mills was standing near her receptionists desk as I approached.

“Hi Director Mills.” Looking past her I could see one of the B’s sitting at the desk.

“Beatrice? Did you get a promotion?”

The twin in question pointed at herself. “Me? No. I’m just filling in for the moment. Do you have Fergus with you?”

I smiled and silently fished him out of my pocket and handed him over. Fergus and his women. He seemed to attract them.

The Director stared at the tiny Unicorn prancing around on top of the desk for a moment. “Let’s go in my office.”

Little had changed as I stepped inside. A few new certificates and awards now graced her ‘I love me’ wall but it was still the same. “Have a seat Agent.”

Sitting I smiled at her. I wasn’t used to the title yet.

“How was your Probi assignments?”

“Incredible. Do you need me to report on them?”

She chuckled at me. “No it’s not necessary. I’ve got both the official and unofficial reports right here.”

Arching an eyebrow I asked. “Unofficial reports?”

“As an Agent you will find that some experiences are not worth giving specific details to the higher ups but your fellow Agents might find them humorous or educational. Jack and I were both taught to make two reports. One official and one not so. He slipped me a few of the unofficial ones. You do good work Agatha. Both I and my bosses are very impressed. So much so I have both good and bad news for you.”

My eyes widened a bit. What sort of new could this be?

“It’s not that bad! Don’t freak out.” Director Mills sat up straighter in her chair.

“Jack has decided to take a leave of absence from the bureau for a while. His reasoning is so he can spend more time with his wife and get his head on straight. I called him and he claimed the Fae mission shook him up.” She looked at me questioningly. “Do you know what he’s talking about?”

Thinking for a moment I knew. “He asked Anastasia in forensics how many of his cases involved the Fae.”

“What did she tell him?”

“I’m not completely sure. He was mumbling about the Fae after we got to his house. I called and asked Ana myself.”

“You did? Did she answer you?” Director Mills leaned forward in her chair.

“Sort of. She said that someone or something was blocking his memory of the cases involving the Fae. He lab had investigated over a dozen of them involving Jack. He never remembers them after filing his reports. This one, however, he remembered. Or at least he remembered the highlights of it.”

The Director nodded her head. “I can see that. OK for me that explains a few things. I, am aware of the existence of the Fae. I have to be to have this position. Most in Washington don’t believe they either exist or affect our lives. I imagine they would prefer it stay that way. Anything else?”

I almost asked about Anastasia but that really was something for much later. “Concerning Jack? No.”

“Hmmm. Ana is an enigma around here. She is older than just about everyone and is a force of nature when she wants to be. I ask because she is involved in what happens to you without Jack.”

My mouth dropped open. “Uh, what?”

“Jack is unique in the the Bureau. He’s the only Agent with years of experience with the paranormal in the Bureau. With him unavailable we don’t have anyone to supervise you.”

“Oh.” I closed my mouth and was suddenly worried.

“There is a plan but I thought you should be given a choice first.” The Director’s tone changed to one of a more serious nature.

“There are those in position’s of power that believe the Magical investigations division should be expanded and enhanced. Jack has done his duty for many years unaided and alone but the future is now.”

“So… What does that mean for me? I’m getting a new boss?” I looked at the Director.

“Not exactly.” Director Mills opened her desk and pulled out what looked like FBI credentials and tossed them to me.

I snatched them from the air and stared at them in disbelief. It was my picture, a shield, and the words: Special Agent in Charge. “You’re kidding.”



Friday, January 6, 2017

Time for another Snippet! Here is the #02 Snippet from Special Agent in Charge.

Unedited



“I have good news, and I have bad news Agatha. Which would you like first?” I was at his house in Dallas, and Jack finally looked like he had gotten a good night's sleep.

“How about both at once?” The only bad news I could think of would be the Council of Witches coming after me because of the Dragon I zapped.

“It’s not all that bad. Don’t worry. I’ve decided to take a small vacation and stay here with my wife for a month or so.” He held up his hands to forestall my comments.

“Let me finish. You have orders to take the rig back to Quantico. Director Mills wants to evaluate your last few assignments. Plus you have told me of your garden. Don’t you have to check on it?”

I nodded. The offshoot of The Garden was very important to my future within the FBI. High-quality supplies were hard to find outside of Maine and Mount Untersberg in Germany.

“So the bad news is you get to drive the rig home. I will fly over when my vacation is over and join you.” He smiled at me.

“I thought… I mean… Jack, I…” I couldn’t speak for a moment.

“You thought your time was up with me, didn’t you? Well, it isn’t. This is your permanent assignment, full Agent Blackmore. Congratulations. You are no longer a newbie. You still have to answer to me but you do that anyway. Start packing. According to my calculations, it should take you three to four days of driving.”

Smiling, I whipped out my cell phone and ran the distance. “Jack.” I pointed at my phone.

He laughed. “Don’t believe those things. Yes, it is about a twenty-hour drive straight through. However, this thing doesn’t do super long distances well. You will have to stop for fuel at least three times along the way. Driving that long, especially for a newbie is tedious and very boring. Take the extra time to go slow and enjoy the drive. Okay?”

Looking back over the past couple of days, I could see the value of his extra day theory. If we were pushing to get to a crime scene, that was one thing. I was just headed home. Trying not to go to sleep was the problem plaguing me now. Well, that and a very annoying Unicorn.

“Shall we play a game?” I looked down, and Fergus was in the seat next to me.

“How did you get up here?” I chanced a look behind me. The last place I saw the little terrorist was on the workstation just behind my seat.

“I jumped. So where are we?” He had the almanac open on the seat and was staring at it.

“Between West Virginia and Kentucky. When did you start reading?”

Fergus pranced about with his head in the air. “I’m a Unicorn I can do lots of things.”

It was all I could do not to shake my head at him. “Why do you want to know?”

“I want to poop in every state. Can we stop for a rest?”

Why oh why did I even ask him. “Sure, why not. Look at the map and tell me when the next stop is. It should be a little green bed or triangle next to the highway.”

“What road are we on?” Fergus trotted across the map stopping on West Virginia.

“Don’t worry about the map, there is a sign for one.” I pointed out the window. Then I realized he couldn’t see over the dashboard or even out the window.

The rest stop was typical of many along this route. Well, paved, lots of parking, and a nice tourist information center was the norm. I parked the RV in the truck parking area and scooped up Fergus.

“I will take you outside and let you do your business in a moment. I have my own inside.” I placed his struggling form into my ever-present shirt pocket.

After taking care of much needed bodily urges, I tried to find a nice soft patch of grass for my Unicorn to graze in, which made me sound insane.

“Go do whatever. I’ll keep an eye out for hawks and cats.” I set him down in a large patch of clover.

“Cats! Where!” Fergus looked in all directions at once.

“Nowhere. Just eat and whatever. I really and truly don’t want to know.”

There was a picnic bench nearby, so I sat and watched him prance around chasing off a couple of bumblebees.

“Those things can sting you, you know.”

“My horn is more powerful.” He swung his head back and forth shaking it.

Why did I shrink the insane Unicorn? Wasn’t there a nice normal one I could have been given? I tried not to look like the crazy owner of a Unicorn.

“What’cha doing?”

Fergus’s voice behind me scared me half to death with a fireball instantly forming in my hand. “Yaaaah! How the hell did you get up there?”

Standing on the top of the picnic table, Fergus looked up at me. “I jumped. I’m ready to go now.”

Regaining my composure I nodded. “Sure. Let’s go.” I scooped him up and headed back to the RV not even thinking about how he got up there in the first place.

Remembering what Jack told me to do, I did my walk around before starting up. The RV looked fine as far as I could tell. I remembered doing the clean and fix spell back at school and thought I might have to do it again before too long. We were looking a bit ragged along the edges. Checking beneath it was last on my list. I looked underneath the front and spotted a shadow that seemed out of place.

“Can’t we leave?” Fergus was growing restless.

“No. I have to check something first.” I reached into one of the outside compartments and pulled out a flashlight. For Jack or me they would open, but anyone else would find themselves stuck to the side of the rig. Gotta love Magick!

I shined the light under the rig in the direction of the shadow I saw. There was a sudden movement, and I could hear the clicking of nails on the concrete as well as what sounded like horns?

Running around to the other side, I witnessed what looked exactly like a Jackalope scurrying across the parking lot, its horns bouncing as it leapt.

“Did you make more of those things?” Fergus looked up at me from the top of my pocket.

I let out the breath I was holding. “No. I didn’t.”

Climbing back inside I deployed the sat dish and fired up the internet. Several search words got me a Tennessee Newscast that was rated as a hoax. ‘Jackalopes Fact or fiction?’ More research turned up a Kentucky hunter that swore he was attacked by bunnies with horns.

All I could think was please, please, let them be some other Jackalopes and not mine. How did they get all the way to Kentucky and West Virginia?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Time for a Snippet! Here is the first Snip from The Federal Witch Book #3 - Special Agent in Charge

Snippet #01  (Unedited)



There is something about driving that is both soothing and mind-numbing at the same time. I discovered this as I headed back toward Virginia and Quantico. My name is Agatha Blackmore, and I am a Witch. I’m still a very new agent, but I’m the FBI’s first official Witch. That fact alone puts a heavy burden on me. Am I good enough for the service? I spent three years training for this job. I’d like to think during my time in the field I was able to contribute unique skills.

“Can we sing another round? I’m just starting to get the hang of this song!”

I winced. “NO! No more singing! Do not make me lock you in the bathroom again.”

“Why not? It’s such a fun song.” Fergus my mini-Unicorn and familiar burst into song again.

“99 bottles of root beer on the wall…”

I almost slammed on the brakes of the RV and carried out my threat. By the Gods, if I had to listen to that for another hundred miles? They would have to take me down from that bottle strewn wall. I love Fergus, but his singing leaves much to be desired. I’m starting to think Chuck taught him the song just to irritate me.

My partner and boss, Jack Dalton, usually drives this rig from place to place, but he arranged to take a mini- vacation at his home in Dallas. I hung out in the area for a couple of weeks and managed to find more trouble on my own, but that is a story for another time. Jack hadn’t been home for over a year. His wife has more patience than I would have. She just wanted him home for a time.

“Agatha, are you sure you can handle the rig? It’s a bit ungainly.” Jack sat in the passenger seat of the Magical Crimes truck.

“Grandmother taught me to drive with her Land Rover. I spent time learning to handle Chuck’s car. Cat was able to teach me the right way to drive, correcting all the misassumptions I was making. Chuck’s Riviera may be old, but it drives like a dream.”

“A ‘72 Riviera isn’t a class C camper. There is a huge difference between the two.” Jack said giving me the eye.

“I know that Jack. I’m not stupid. Gram’s Land Rover is a relic, but it drives very similar to this except the steering wheel is on the wrong side. The front half of this is just like a truck, right?”

“It is. This one has a Mercedes body. It was custom built especially for us and uses diesel instead of regular gas. Remember that for fill ups. It weighs around 54,000 pounds empty. With the modifications and our equipment, you really need the extra power provided by the diesel. You have to take wide turns, very wide turns with it. It’s a real beast.”

I nodded. All spring and summer I had watched as he manhandled the RV around the country. “If I practice, can I drive it?”

Jack pursed his lips and looked in my direction again. “Let’s find out. Mustang field isn’t all that far from here. The area around the runways and hangars is still paved. We can use that to practice on.”

I wasn’t allowed to drive until we got to the old airfield. A sign over the entrance read Mustang Field. All the building looked in disrepair and abandoned.

“What is this place?” I peered into one of the hangers as we drove by.

“This was a secondary supply and training field during the ‘40s for the Demon War. Pilots trained here both during and after the war. This was way before the FAA took over and regulated everything. Today only the National Guard uses it along with hobbyists. The developers keep closing in on it. Soon it will be nothing but houses.” He drove us past the hangers to the edge of the runways.

“Switch with me.” Jack hopped out of the driver seat and went around to my side. “Do you need to get out?”

I shook my head and hopped over the console and into the driver's seat. After making some minor adjustments, I was ready.

“Now. The main runway is 3500 feet long, so lots of room to drive on. There are aircraft turns every thousand feet so use those to turn with. Take it easy. This rig is a tiny bit top-heavy and will tip over with too sharp a turn.” Jack mimed turning too sharply.

“Is that where the dents up on the driver’s side roof came from?”

Jack blushed a bit. “It is. I was chasing a rogue and all I had at the time was the rig. I almost had him too. Took a corner too tight and over she went. Lesson learned.”

“I wondered. Anything else I should know about driving it?”

“You’ve driven with me and have seen me follow the break down checklist. Too many people forget about the list and rip out the cables or water or even the sewer pipe. The list is there for a reason. Always, and I do mean always, do a walk around before driving off. Before I had it installed on the roof, we used to have a portable uplink unit. I was in a hurry one night and backed right over it. Command made me pay for that one out of my own pocket. Three thousand dollars is a lot of money! So follow the list.”

He watched as I made my first turn and lined up for a second one. “You’re right. This is a beast to drive.” I could feel the entire weight of the rig as we went around the corner.

“Good, you feel it too. Now I want you to make a sudden stop Now!” I slammed on the brakes at forty-five mph, and it felt like the back wheels lifted off the ground. Unlike Gram’s little truck, this thing didn’t stop right away and actually took more than seventy-five to one-hundred extra feet to stop.

“It’s the weight. Keep a wide distance between cars especially on the highway. You cannot stop on a dime without using magic. Remember that, and you will survive this. Gradual stops are the way to go. Leave plenty of room in front. Semi-trucks are worse than this. Including the bigger Class A rigs. Ask your friend Anastasia about hers sometime.”

I looked down the runway and had an idea. “Could I use Magick to protect and stop it?”

“I don’t know. You are the expert in that. Let’s try it. If we tip, you get to right it.” Jack double checked his seat belt.

Pretending it was a chase, I floored the gas pedal, and the RV surged forward. I could see the turn coming up and focused a spell on protecting the RV and making the center-of-gravity shift and bend with motion. In theory, we should be able to keep all four tires on the ground. I released the spell just as I made the turn.

“Whoa…” It was if we were in slow motion. As I turned the wheel, I kept expecting the rig to slide or tip, but nothing happened. We slid around the curve and into the next lane at the top speed of fifty-eight miles-an-hour, which was insane and scientifically impossible. But then Magick was an impossibility too.

“Awesome! Agatha that was incredible. What about stops?” I slammed on the brakes to find out.

Suddenly stopping at the speed I was going should have sent any loose objects flying forward and us slamming into the windscreen. We stopped as Jack later said ‘on a dime.’ It was indeed awesome.