Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014
10th Serialized Excerpt, 3/28/14
Zephyr Branon, 38, only child of
Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator
7. Which of the MWC members or other species visitors do you have contact with? How and why, and how is that for you?
ZEPHYR: Again, I’m in a unique position. The Band delegates are kind of like relatives to me, at this point, like uncles and aunts, almost. Not that I see them often, but I hear about them a lot and I have been “with” them many times, as holos and off-p. I am one of the first non-OS trainees, adults, to be enrolled in ESP [Excellent/Extraordinary Skills Program] training, so Mick and I are quite close, I think, since he runs it.
When Kayla, Kendall and I move to California, right near The Campus, in the summer of 2015, that is right before The Campus has its big blow-out celebration for my mom’s birthday. So, we’re here for that. Things heat up, so to speak, right after that regarding the psi Wars and lots of other stuff.
What I mean by that is, my family and I are spending a lot more time being directly involved in MWC activities and with things at The Campus now that we’re so close.
And, Espe, well, you’re like a sister. Right, E? You call me a lot, we hang out, we email and text.
When you have trouble understanding my mom, I am the translator. I think part of it is that we’re the same age, so we get each other. I often have to explain you to my mom as well.
[We both laugh.]
ZEPHYR: Plus, you and Kayla are great friends. Sometimes I think you and Kayla get together so you can vent about the Branons. I don’t blame you!
Of The Band, I think Mick and I are the most “in tune,” since he’s the main tech guy and he also, like me, is very into music. But, I really enjoy the pairPartners [Janis—Diana], and since Kayla is a dancer, they groove with each other very well, too.
When I want to know more about how my mom’s doing or feeling: I ask Janis—Diana.
When I have questions about protocol or Re-sets, issues or politics, Led is my man.
For the ESP training “insider” stuff, like cheats and shortcuts, I go to Ringo. Ringo also knows a lot about what’s happening back on the IGC [InterGalactic Council] mainframe, so to speak, so for up-to-the-minute news about Exchanges, innovations and such, I ask Mick or Ringo.
Most Earthers have to use their iDs, but because I’m, well, me, I have special Access to each of them, directly, you know, telepathically. Only Moran, my mom and I have that, I think. Or, maybe, Epifanio does. I don’t ask him about this, actually.
You can’t ‘path The Band, right E?
ESPE: I cannot. They can ‘path me, though. Usually, they don’t.
ZEPHYR: As far as communicating with other Earthers, especially non-humans, that depends on what I’m doing, I guess, and where I and they are at any given time. Some of the Primates make music with me. The best are the cephalopods, especially some of the Octopuses. They are remarkable!
I get together with musically inclined off-worlders at every Music Exchange. I record some of that, which is so cool. With music, we don’t even need to use the fish [Interspecies Communication System]. Tell listeners/readers to check out my music site, OK? [zephyrbranonmusic.mwcw]
8. What transforms your life more: your fish [Interspecies Communication System], your iD [Individual Access Devices Interface], or travel to other planets/moons? How?
ZEPHYR: Obviously, I love my iD and use it constantly. I love the way my iD has a wireless hook-up to my music players, both at home and when I’m out, so I can get music from ANYWHERE, any time. That is sweet.
I use the fish a lot when I travel or am out in nature. We use it at home to talk with our cat and dog, but not often as an ordinary translator. With telepathy, once I’m at Level 2 solidly, I can understand most species on Earth or off-p, one-on-one, without the fish.
Interplanetary and intergalactic travel are the most amazing addition to our lives that anyone could imagine, and I am still humbled and excited every time I get to go out. I never get tired of that and hope to make many more off-p trips. I want to bring my family on some, too.
We don’t do that, yet, although Kayla goes out and we make one trip together, also. Got to bring the kids, right? It’s what families do on a family vacation, like going to the Grand Canyon or whatever, only infinitely more cool.
As far as transforming my life…that’s harder to see, for me. I’m sure my life is transformed, and not only on the surface, but how to explain that?
I can’t imagine my life without it, all of it. Timulting isn’t my thing.
We change every day, every minute. How, specifically, does the Transition change me…? I’ll have to get back to you on that.
My dad has a hard time with some of it, like many people his age—he’s ten years older than my mom, so almost 70 when she starts being the CC. They talk a lot, which I think helps, at first, but then she gets so busy she doesn’t check in as often, and he’s kind of a hermit-type.
I think my dad is kind of awed and mystified, but he is that a lot, anyway, about many things and people. He’s a Sufi. A mystic. He whirls. Like they do in Turkey. With the big hat and skirt with metal in the hem. Ever see him do that?
I zoom in on him a lot these days, and I worry too much, probably. Try to imagine: my dad is one of the oldest Spanners, born in 1944. What he’s lived through, the changes he’s seen! I can’t really grok it, myself.
It’s harder for him after we move here, so I visit him a lot. That’s another thing I appreciate: off-p travel methods work on-p as well, so getting to and from, say, old California to old New Hampshire: just a thought and a movement away. No TJ needed, either!
9. How do your friends, family, wife and children feel about your mom as the CC and how does this affect your own relationships?
ZEPHYR: If you want to know how Kayla feels, you best ask her. Kendall has no clue, since she’s not even two. To Kendall, the famous Chief Communicator is just my mom and her grandmother.
My friends are mostly jealous. Completely.
Some of them say things like: “We’re so NOT surprised that your mom is doing this; she’s always been…unusual.” They’re right, of course. My mom is always the one who is way over in the red zone on the Strange Meter compared to my friends’ moms. Good strange, though, not awful strange.
I feel kind of badly when friends ask me stuff and I’m not allowed to say, but they understand, by now. I am allowed to talk to Kayla about things that I can’t talk to anyone else about (I get permission, and so does my mom, early on), and also, to my dad. My mom also talks directly with my dad, so that’s cool.
I don’t know what my dad tells his brother and sister; my grandparents on that side are dead already before the changes set in (my grandfather is dead almost ten years before; my grandmother is already demented and then dies early into the Transition), so, in a way, that’s good, or this would kill them, for sure. They never liked my mom.
I think this would be a lot harder without those permissions, though. That would suck. I know about that a little since I am not allowed to say anything to Kayla or my dad until December, when I know since October, in 2012. Those two months last FOREVER.
Once I am able to talk with them, though, especially Kayla, everything is much easier. She really helps me adjust to the “fame.” I am not expecting that. I blame my mom; she doesn’t put my fame problems in Volume I, which is the only one I see BPC [Before Public Contact]! [laughter]
I do have questions I can’t ask her. Here is one exchange I can share in which I ask some key questions.
During one of my ESP training sessions, I ask Mick: “Why does the MWC only come to one member of the dominant species on each member orb to be the Liaison for Transition and after that? Isn’t that a lot of pressure on that one being, their family and friends?”
Mick replies: “Every time we try working with more than one being as Liaison, we have to do extensive Re-sets. This happens on my planet, my CeeCee tells me [The Chief Communicator on Mick’s planet is a relative of his, like an uncle].”
“Problems are two-fold,” he continues. “One, consistency of information dissemination; two, reliability of witnesses.”
I start to ask a follow-up, but Mick’s on a roll, as he often is: “As soon as you have more than one individual telling any story, you run into contradictions and disparities. These widen out the further you go from each individual until the distortions are unacceptable. It’s like your game of ‘telephone,’ yes?”
I nod. I see the problem clearly as he describes it. I know he can tell I understand, because he nods and says: “So, one Transition, one Liaison. Information flows in a straight line from the MWC to the Liaison, from the Chief Communicator via her media contact to the orbs’ inhabitants. Works best. Protocol, now.”
I believe him.
Mick then gives me a nodding gesture with his headpiece and says,”You are our second choice.”
I feel as if he punches me in the gut with that. No way! I could never…
Then, Mick makes his laughing noise.
Whew! Just kidding!
Sick sense of humor. Gotta love that.
I do wonder who else is on their short list, though? No pun intended, Little Mom.
10. What else do you want to tell us about your experiences of Clara as the CC or the Transition?
ZEPHYR: When I am a kid, my mom and dad raise me to be different from mainstream people in about a hundred ways. For example, they really talk with me from a very young age and still do. They and all their friends raise kids the way they raised me, communication-wise. For a while, I don’t know how different I and my peers in this community are.
Then, at about fourteen, I go out “into the world,” away from the private, Waldorf-education-“bubble,” away from our hippie community, into public schools, cities, etc. I am amazed at how different I am from those teens and how far my families in our community are from those families. Values, lifestyles, attitudes, sex and relationships, personal choices, money use, decision-making processes, dealing with emotions, clothing, music, reading materials (that we read for fun at all!), cable TV vs. NPR [National Public Radio]: countless differences that, one at a time, don’t seem significant, but add them all up and we are worlds apart.
Being an adult seems to be more of that same experience: I still see a huge disparity between me and most people, even guys my age “Western” Earth societies. Kayla agrees: I am Clara’s son and it shows.
There is one guy I feel a kinship with, even though we’ve never met: Matt Damon. When I’m a kid, my mom tells me about this feminist researcher on gender roles who writes about her son who wants to wear barrettes in his long hair to keep it out of his face. Since I have long hair (my choice) from age three to sixteen, I am interested. She goes on. This writer explains how much crap the school teachers and others give them, but she and her son were quite happy with his choices. This writer/researcher/mom produces several books about masculinity, raising sons, war toys and other topics in the category of feminist parenting that are dear to my mother’s heart.
Who is that feminist parenting icon? You guessed it: Matt’s mom [Nancy Carlsson-Paige]. I know, if we ever get to talk, we find we have a lot in common.
With who my mom is and her being CeeCee, I feel unique, but this feeling is not unfamiliar, you see? For example, I can cook, do laundry, balance checkbooks, play with kids, plan a schedule, hold a job, manage my life, deal with emotions, communicate clearly (even though I do yell a lot for a while), all by the age of 16. We know people, especially men my age NOW, who can’t do most of those things.
Kayla says I am “the only man she’s ever known who… ” Fill in the blank, with about ten useful or appealing (to her) characteristics or behaviors. Her parents don’t know quite what to do with me or my mom, even now, five years later.
Kayla’s parents are nice, mainstream, good people. That’s the thing. Regular. I don’t mean commonplace or average, just, well, ordinary. Not unusual in any large ways. They are unique, of course; everyone is. But, you know what I mean? They blend.
My mom, even before she is CC, says about herself: “I’m so far from the mainstream, I can’t even hear the river running.”
So, imagine coming from a mainstream upbringing and marrying into this family? Holy shit! I hand it to Kayla: she’s courageous! I tell her, all the time. She laughs at me. In a nice way. With hugs.
Kayla and her parents are offered a trip out with me about two years ago, when Kayla is only a few months pregnant, to go to one of the Exchanges (Cultural collaborations) on Led’s planet, Gliese 581 d. Kayla says “yes” and she does go.
She really tries to talk her parents into coming, but they can’t wrap their minds around it. Won’t come. And, they’re younger than my mom, so it’s not age that’s making them less flexible, less open to change.
Also, Kayla’s parents seem kind of spooked by the whole ESP training and are uncomfortable around me in new ways once I’m in the Program. I think they believe I’m reading their minds or controlling Kayla or something. Sheesh.
Transition and its opportunities are not for everyone to embrace equally.
Me? Mostly, I love it all. And, I love my mom.
I feel very lucky, all around.
Are we done?
This is fun, E. Thanks.
Stay tuned on Sally’s blogs on WordPress (which has all links) and Tumblr, and on The Spanners Series‘ pages on Facebook and Google+, for each of the upcoming Excerpts from Volume II from March 16 – April 18, about one/day.
4/18/14, Volume II becomes available for Pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook for half-price: @$1.99, through June 8, 2014.
On 6/9/14, Vol. II goes LIVE everywhere ebooks are sold for $3.99.
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