Thursday, May 25, 2006

Silence of the Lambs?

I first heard the following news when reading Her Snarkiness. "Absolute Write" is 'off the air' (temporarily we hope.) Read about it here. Barbara Bauer is allegedly behind the disruption. Check out her site for yourself. Read the posts and make up your own mind. Jim Hines and Dawno have some other ideas as to what to do in this case.

Green Sister on Hiatus

Hi, all. Thank you for reading the Green Sister. We are leaving on vacation today and I will not have access to a computer until next Tuesday. However, feel free to leave comments about the story and any ideas you have about Janna, Mark, Lee, Nancy, Ann or anything else.

I hope you are having as much fun reading this as I am writing it.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Green Sister 31

Mark and Lee were leaning against the car talking when Janna walked up

"Are you okay?" Mark asked, concern in his voice, as Janna reached them.

"I'm better," she said, forcing weakness into her voice. "It must have been something I ate."

She noticed Lee looking at her with a speculative gleam in his eye and tried to avoid his direct gaze. He always was the suspicious type, which was why he was so good at what he did. That didn't make it easy for a girl to keep a secret around him, though.

"Let's go on, then," Lee said, after an uneasy silence. As they got in the car, he continued, "Reports started coming in about strange things happening here... buildings suddenly curving, mostly. There had been rumors in the Agency for years about someone trying to harness the power of pi. Then, we received a cryptic message from someone calling herself 'Nancy the Black'."

Mark frowned. "I've heard of her. There've been articles in the past about her in our newspaper." He turned to Janna. "Don't you remember? There was a whole series of pieces about her a couple of years ago. I thought the Green Sister had taken care of her back then."

"I thought so too," Janna said. She tried hard to keep a wry tone out of her voice, but from the looks her cousin and Mark shot her, she was pretty sure she'd not succeeded. She mentally crossed her fingers, hoping they would let it pass and not pursue this any further.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Green Sister 30

The Green Sister listened intently to the silence around her. In the background she could hear the muffled sound of Lee and Mark talking. She focuses and they faded even more into the background, leaving her senses open to the bond that she and Nancy shared. After only a few seconds, her body began to tingle on the right side. With determination, GS turned that way and began a loping run. Hopefully she wouldn't need to go very far, but she knew from experience not to burn herself out with a sprint.

As she traveled, the tingling grew stronger, until her face felt as if it were on fire. In the distance, she could see a large building and a small figure standing beside it, manipulating some kind of hand-held device. She drew nearer and, before she could get a look at the face of her adversary, the other woman cocked her head as if she heard GS coming, then shimmered out of sight.

GS stopped her run, swearing under her breath. To be that close and to miss her. That disappearing trick, that was new. It was going to be hard to overcome that, given that Nancy could sense her as readily as she could sense Nancy, but she would have to come up with something.

She made her way back to the administration building, turned back into Janna and walked back to the car, her thoughts whirled with what she had seen, ideas of how to get to the machine that Nancy developed and plans on how to rescue Ann from Nancy's clutches.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Green Sister 29

Somehow she had to find a way to get away from the two men. Only then could she change in the Green Sister and look for Nancy the Black. Somehow she must have involved Ann in her scheme to harness the power of pi.

The three sat in silence as the car moved through the empty streets. As they turned into the driveway of the university, Janna let out a loud moan and grabbed her stomach, doubling over.

With looks of concern, both Mark and Lee turned towards her.

"What's wrong?" Lee asked, as, at the same time, Mark said, "Janna, are you okay?"

"I...I don't know," Janna said. "All of a sudden I have a terrible cramping. I think we need to find a bathroom... quickly."

Lee tapped on the driver's shoulder, directing him to pull over. Janna got out of the car and, yelling over her shoulder that she'd be right back, started running toward the nearest building, still clutching her middle. Once she was out of sight of the car she looked around and, not seeing anyone, turned the ring she wore on her middle finger three times to the right, then five times to the left. With a puff of smoke, Janna Thomaston became the Green Sister, resplendent in her form fitting black catsuit and chain cape. She briefly mourned the fact her magnetic bike wasn't with her, but that was life. Hopefully, she would be able to pick up Nancy the Black's aura, be able to avoid both her freezing finger and whatever she'd devoloped to turn everything circular and rescue Ann from whatever hold Nancy had on her and make it back to the car before Mark and Lee got too impatient.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Green Sister 28

Janna shook her head "no." "The first thing we knew was some guy in a decontamination suit just rushed us off when we went to Ann's office. She was in high school with the two of us, and I wanted to talk to her about her job." That was close enough to the truth.

Lee wiped his face with his hands. "You do have a knack for turning up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Okay, I'm going to tell you what I know...but it's against my better judgment. Ann Vivane has apparently been working on a way of harnessing the power of pi."

Janna gasped and Mark slowly nodded his head, almost as if he expected that answer. Janna turned and glared at him.

"You suspected her all along, didn't you?" she said, her hands clenching in her lap.

He had the decency to look shamefaced as he admitted, "I knew she was working on something like that several years ago. That's what our falling out was about. She was always an intense person, but after she left school and we got in college, things went worse. We started hanging around with these people who wanted to not study mathematics as a pure science, but find ways it could be applied. That was all well and good, but some of them wanted to harness the power for monetary value, not for altruistic motives. That's where she and I split apart."

"You could have told me," Janna said, trying to be calm.

"Why? You said you just wanted to ask her questions about her job for background for a book. You didn't say anything about us walking into anything else."

Janna turned away from him and looked out the window, over her cousin's stony profile. There was nothing she could say ... nothing that wouldn't reveal her secret. And, she would not risk anyone else getting hurt because of her secret.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Green Sister 27

Just as Lee got into the car, Janna and Mark reached it and Janna grabbed the door handle as Lee tried to shut the door.

"Nice try, cuz," she said, as she pulled the door open and she and Mark got in the backseat with Lee. "I'm a lot quicker now than I was when I was six."

Lee smile wryly. "Well, you can't blame a guy for trying. Mother will have my head if anything happens to you. She nearly did the last time. The three of us are the only ones left, so..."

"I can take care of myself."

Mark broke in. "I hate to break up this happy family reunion, but will someone tell me what's going on? What does all this have to do with looking for Ann and getting an interview?"

Lee snorted a laugh. "Is that what she told you? She's always dreaming up some hairbrained reason for getting involved in things that don't concern her."

"I DID come to Falstaff to talk to Ann. I have some questions about the next book I'm going to write." Even to Janna, her tone lacked conviction.

"Oh, I don't doubt you want to talk to Ann Vivane," her cousin said calmly. "I just don't think it has anything to do with your books. I think, somehow, you've managed to find out what she's been doing."

"Doing?" both Janna and Mark echoed, the surprise evident in their voices.

Lee looked at them with consternation. "You really DON'T know what's going on, do you?"

Monday, May 08, 2006

Green Sister 26

Lee cleared his throat and tugged at his collar. He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped his brow.

"Listen, Janna," he said, leaning over the desk and talking in a low voice. "Please, just forget you saw anything. I can't believe you were brought by that way, but you don't need to get involved in this."

Janna leaned back in her chair and folded her arms as she studied her cousin. She was almost tempted to give in and tell Lee what he wanted to know, just to wipe the look of fear off his face, but she knew she would never be able to rest until she reached the bottom of this mystery. With a hint of regret, she slowly shook her head "no."

Lee bowed his head and then, as if coming to a silent agreement with himself, looked back at her and said, "Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you. The last case you got involved in nearly killed you and I think this is going to be even worse."

He stood up and started walking toward the front of the tent. Janna grabbed Mark's hand as she began to follow him.

"C'mon," she said, as Mark nearly fell out of his chair. "He won't wait for us. That's a favorite trick of his... telling me I can go with him then moving so fast I can't keep up. It might have worked when I was six, but I'm not going to let it work now."

"What's going on? It sounded, back there, like you and he have quite a history."

"His mom and mine are sisters and they used to spend summers with us on the coast. He was always a pain in the butt, and hasn't improved with age. But, right now he's the best chance we have at finding out what Nan..."

With a sinking feeling, Janna realized that she had almost let her suspicions slip. Darn Lee, anyway, for throwing her so off-balance.

"Who is Nan?" Mark asked, confusion evident in his voice.

"I'll explain it later," Janna said, sprinting to keep Lee in sight. "We don't have time right now. He's almost to that car."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Green Sister 25

Of all the men in all the military tents in the world, the one that had to walk in on Janna was Major Lee Griswold. She sat there staring at him in disbelief. The days wasn't bad enough already, apparently. He sat in the chair, a smirk on his clean shaven face.

After a silence, Griswold said, "I should have figured you would show up here... somehow, someway you always manage to get yourself into a mess. What are you doing here?"

"Is there someone else I can talk to? Maybe a janitor? Or perhaps Hannibal Lector is available."

"Tsk, tsk. Such bitterness. And we had such a wonderful time the last time we were together.”

“Hmph. Such a wonderful time together, my foot! You nearly got me killed," Janna said, not caring that her voice had risen. She sensed Mark turning around in his chair, but did not turn her attention from the man in front of her.

“I told you to stay behind…that it was dangerous for a civilian, but you have always had to do things the hard way, even when we were kids. You are congenitally unable to accept advice from anyone.”

“Not anyone… just from you.”

The two glared at each other for several moments.

Janna shifted in her chair then sighed. “How’s Aunt Betty? And what’s going on here that it requires the Special Attache’s attention?|”

Griswold grinned. “Mother’s fine and you know I can’t tell you that, even if you are my favorite cousin.”

Rolling her eyes, Janna said, “Puh-leeze… I’m your only cousin! And… does all this,” she waved her arm at the bustling tent, “have anything to do with the odd shaped barn I saw on the way in from the campus?”

As the blood drained from her cousin’s face, Janna knew she was on the right track. And, she also knew that things were a lot worse than she had thought if it brought that look to Lee’s face.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Green Sister 24

Janna's stomach tightened and a band began tightening around her forehead. She cast an anxious gaze around the room. She recognized the feeling... it was the same one she got everytime she and Nancy were in the same room. Nancy the Black was here. A quick look was enough to assure her that, if her instincts were correct, Nancy was not here in her trademark black clothing and mask. Of course, she reminded herself, you aren't exactly advertising you are the Green Sister, either. Somehow it had never occurred to her that Nancy also had a life outside of her criminal activities. In her favorite show growing up, Batman, the Joker, Riddler, and Penguin were always the Joker, Riddler, and Penguin.

Janna and Mark were ushered toward the far end of the tent. Janna's sense of danger increased around the middle of the tent and then eased off as they walked toward the back. Further away from Nancy. Further away from being able to tell who Nancy was. She craned her neck scanning the room behind her.

"What's wrong?" Mark asked in a whisper.

"Nothing," Janna said, turning her attention back toward the front. "Just looking at everyone."

As they were directed to sit in chairs at separate desks, Janna and Mark exchanged glances. Janna could see her emotions echoed in Mark's eyes...no matter how much they might distrust each other, there was comfort in being together.

Janna sat in the chair and folded her hands in her lap, waiting for someone to come question her. She mentally itemized the few items on the desk: blotter, pens, papers. She tried to make out what the papers said, but before she could she heard the desk chair being pulled back. She glanced up and her mouth went dry. Of all the people in the military to be assigned to question her, why did it have to be him?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Green Sister 23

As they followed the man out of the building and into a van idling beside the curb, Janna kept looking for anything out of the ordinary...anything that might give her a clue as to what was going on. The van pulled out of the driveway and turned back toward the town. Across a field, Janna caught site of a strange-looking building. On one hand, it looked like a barn... it was red, with large doors and what appeared to be a hayloft, but it wasn't square or rectangular. It had a decided circular appearance, as if someone had taken a barn and forced it into a round mold.

There had to be some connection between Nancy the Black and this place, but what could it be? Maybe when they get to whereever they were being taken, she could find Ann and get some answers.

The van stopped in front of a large tent and Mark and Janna were bustled out. The tent was crowded with people sitting in chairs and being questioned by men and women in military uniforms.