15th Serialized Excerpt: Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

final cover - digital and web

Cover and logo art by Willowraven.

15th Serialized Excerpt, 4/7/14


Leah Iris, 29, Niece of Clara Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator

Interview Date: May 26, 2018

10 Questions for Clara Branon’s Niece:

the Transition, 5 Years Later

1. How old are you when the Transition begins, winter, 2013, and how old are you now?

LEAH: I am 24 when the five MWC holos first come to Earth to work with my Aunt Clara, and I’m 29, now. Since we’re each five years apart in my family, my brother, Caleb, is 24 and younger brother, Aaron is 19 [interviews with them and another nephew of Clara’s, Gabriel, are in CHAPTER THREE]. My boyfriend, Josh Lasky, and I are recently together (about three years, now), so he isn’t with me when the Transition begins.

2. What is your favorite part of the changes since the Transition? Why?

LEAH: Well, as my aunt Clara and everyone else who knows me knows, I’m a geek and proud of it [laughs]. Let my freak flag fly! So, Access, my iD, the fish, my cousin-Jessica-designed OPTS (totally stylin’), all the other new tech, the gadgets, toys, space and time travel components, the whole confirmation of the multiverse moment: LOVE! Also, I’m kind of a music geek: the pieces that combine non-humans with humans are the BEST! Especially, Angelina [Cetacean Leader, Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, South Pacific near former Guam] and her pod’s co-creations with Zephyr: amazing!

Also, I am very impressed with the respectful, pretty much nonviolent ways the MWC manages the Fraggers and Trenchers. That is, if you do not consider involuntary ReInvolvement or forced Qing to be violent, which I do not. The alternatives are much worse.

Having Moran and a bunch of my friends in the OSes and OSOps who are eligible to be Psi-Warriors, Levels 6 and above to fight Trenchers, especially the Psi-Defiers, is quite fine. I’m glad that “fight” takes on a different meaning in these contexts, one that is involves less physical violence and more mental competitions. I am a fan of Qing, for sure. And, dueling psi is kind of astonishing, really. I’m only at Level 2 in my ESP training, but that’s OK; I’m so busy [laughs]!

3. What Transition changes have been the hardest or least favorite for you, and why?

LEAH: Well, it’s no secret that some of my other cousins and relatives have a very hard time with the Transition; Aunt Clara talks about that a lot. I know some of Aunt Clara’s acquaintances and friends try to mitigate the damage and help people along, as does she, but, still…. Many people are unable to cope.

Although I do not agree with most of them nor miss them, exactly, it seems kind of harsh that so many get Qed or forcibly ReInvolved, you know? I mean, these hapless souls are sort of innocent, in a weird way. Born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and then handle it all so badly. Can’t help it, really. Products of their times, cultures, religions.

Thought prisons are the worst and the hardest to break out of. I know a lot about that. I have many years of dealing with my self-esteem and empowerment issues that inform and form me.

Here is the main question: How can Fraggers refuse to believe what’s right in front of them? Seriously? Things are better APC. It’s obvious.

It’s kind of a happy accident that I—that some of us—are inherently better prepared, more open and ready for these revelations and changes than others. Comic-Con fans like me, it turns out, are especially well-suited to the MWC era, right? [laughs]

Once everyone knows about Aunt Clara and that I’m her niece (because of Facebook, for one), the ways my friends are “sorted out” is also kind of difficult. Some turn out not to be such good friends and we part ways. I’m fine with that, now. A few of those losses are surprising and hurt at the time, though. Other friends and new ones really come through, liking me for me and not for my relation to the CC. Josh is one of those, and I’m so grateful!

4. Where are you and what are you doing when you find out about the Many Worlds Collective and that your aunt is the liaison/Chief Communicator?

LEAH: I don’t want to answer that, since some of what I know I am not supposed to know as early as I know it and I don’t want to get anyone into trouble. [laughs] Let’s just say that I hear about all this more than once, from more than one of my relatives, and leave it at that. I don’t tell anyone else until we’re all allowed to, though. No leaks from me. They choose to tell me a bit early so I could try to help some of those that need it.

I do try, but….[long pause] Best I could do.

Probably more than where or when I find out, you want to know how finding out affects me, right? Let’s talk about that.

I’m not as surprised as I expect myself to be, which I know sounds kind of strange, but hear me out. My Aunt Clara is not ordinary. [laughs] We all know that. [laughs] From as early as I can remember, my mom—Cassandra—and others in our family all acknowledge Aunt Clara’s uniqueness and not always favorably. [laughs]

But, Aunt Clara and I have a special bond. She and I connect many times as I’m growing up and after I am on my own. On purpose, not only because there is a family event: we talk, we message, I teach her to make vid calls, I do things for her, she helps me think about stuff—like that. We enjoy each other, even though we’re not so much alike, she and I. And, I trust her.

So, when Aunt Clara tells me something in a serious tone, I listen carefully (because sometimes she’s just being silly or playing on her weirdness, as a joke). When she and my mom tell me the same things and if I hear about it again from Zephyr and another person I trust, I believe it. Have to.

My finding out doesn’t exactly happen that way, but you see where I’m going with this? When she means to be, Aunt Clara is a trustworthy source of information, so my shock turns quickly to curiosity, then certainty. I do not spend much time in disbelief the way some people do.

I think that’s the reason I adjust more quickly. I can believe Aunt Clara and go from there. I’m all: “What does this mean?” and “What do we do now?” not, “Is it true?” See?

Aunt Clara’s very practical, so she’s direct, factual and helpful. She tells me exactly what our joining the MWC means and what to do, so I relax. As long as I have a plan, I’m fine. [laughs]

That’s one thing she and I have in common: we’re very organized. I’m a bit OCD and she’s just O, she says. [laughs] [Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Obsessed]

First thing I hear is that I’m not—we’re not—in danger. Check. The rest is easy, after we establish that. [laughs]


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.