Interview with Zephyr Branon, 38, son
of Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., Chief Communicator
This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Volume II, The Spanners Series
by Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Copyright 2014 Sally Ember, Ed.D.
St. Louis, MO
Interview Date: May 20, 2018
ZEPHYR: Espe gives me and all my cousins this questionnaire and tells us she’s going to call us and interview us on these questions. She tells us that Earthers–—that’s what everyone on our planet is now referred to, including communicative and intelligent nonhuman species, like whales, squids, dolphins, orangutans, bonobos, chimps, parrots and gorillas–—want to know what The Transition is like from the points of view of younger people, particularly those close to my mom, the Chief Communicator. Well, I guess I’m the closest young person to Clara Branon, since I’m her only child.
I don’t feel that young, though. I am 32 when the MWC holos first come to her and I’m 38, now. But, I guess by Spanners’ standards, I’m young.
Espe is asking us to speak in the present tense (for those of us who understand that, I suppose), to keep with the timultaneity (HA! That’s MY word!) awareness that is everywhere, now. It’s weird, but I say I try. I know Espe fixes it afterward.
We are each responding to the same ten questions, which Espe tells me are like those “Ten Questions for….” famous people interviews that TIME magazine uses. That’s fine. But, I tell Espe I’m going to say what I want. If a question doesn’t lead me where I want to go, I’m going, anyway.
She agrees that my perspective is unique and I am generous to share it. Generous. Sure. Opinionated, more like it. And, very informed. My mom and I talk. A lot.
Most of my numerous cousins are significantly younger than I am. Lavi Ackerman is one year older and his brother, Agam, is one year younger than I, but the rest stair-step down from there, all the way to the Aunt Violet’s twins, Dara and Shira, over twenty years younger. This makes sense when you know that Violet is eleven years younger than my mom and has four children.
Uncle Thomas, one year older than my mom, also has four children. Cousin Lav is his eldest. Aunt Cassie, about six years younger than my mom, has three. [See Appendix E for Family Tree.] Basically, there are a lot of Ackermans.
Kayla Marsh, my wife, and I are married in 2015. She and I are together but we’re not married when The Transition starts.
So, Ten Questions for the twelve of us each to answer. We’ll see how that goes.
[Editor, Esperanza Enlace‘s, note: anything in printed square brackets or signaled at start and finish by the “bing” signal, for the vision-impaired or those who are listening rather than reading, are the Editor’s comments or explanations and not the Interviewee’s words.]
10 Questions for Clara Branon’s Son: the Transition, 5 Years Later
1. How old are you when the Transition begins, winter, 2013, and how old are you now?
ZEPHYR: I am 32 when The Band comes to my mom (I name the group that!), in late December, 2012. I am now 38, since this is mid-May, 2018, and my birthday is May 1. [Zephyr names the MWC delegation “The Band” since they all choose nicknames that belong to famous 1960’s pop or rock & roll band members: Led for Led Zeppelin; Ringo for Ringo Starr of the Beatles; Diana for Diana Ross; Mick for Mick Jagger; Janis for Janis Joplin.]
2. What is your favorite part of the changes since The Transition? Why?
ZEPHYR: I really love it when all the Xchanges begin, first Earth Physics & Astrophysics, in early 2014, then all Physical Sciences throughout that year, then Social Sciences and ESP [Excellent Skills Program] studies in 2015, along with Communication & Technological Innovations, Arts, Writing & Music, Cultural Collaborations.
They have one or two each season until we have them all in a regular rotation. I attend the first one of each Xchange, and now I go to about three a year. They’re like TED talks on acid!
My favorite ones are the Technology and Arts/Music ones, because I work in the first area and play in the second, but I like them all. Inventions/innovations are awesome. I especially like going when they have them on planets or locations that are new to me (all of them, almost!).
Space travel is the BEST! I hope every Earther gets to go off-planet at least once. Going “out” changes us. If anyone wants to know more about any Xchanges, use your iDs and Access them.
One story and then I’ll move on.
For the first Technology Xchange, which is on Kepler 22 d in the Earth summer month of July in 2016, I am one of only a handful of Earthers invited and able to attend. We travel there in various ways. I go with my mom, you [Espe], and a few others. When we arrive, many are not feeling so great, especially my mom and I. Something about our livers, a genetic predisposition to problems there for us both, affects us during the off-p traveling experiences.
Knowing that some of us are physically less than optimal seems to instigate a fly-over: We have on our OPTS [Optimal Personal/Positioning Travel/Temporary Suits] for the gravity differential (about 25%), but we’re carrying the head gear since the air is breathable and many of us are reducing our sleeves since the temperature is about 77F/25C.
Led and a few others who are there in physical form (our first time meeting most of them except as holos) come to the enclosure (which has no roof) in which we are staying and hover over us. While they are hovering, a kind of mist or drizzle of some bluish substance begins to emanate, falling towards us from their bodies. When it reaches our heads or arms or wherever it first touches us, it enters our systems via our pores, hair follicles and scalps.
We are immediately calmed, soothed, happy. We are also no longer nauseated, tired, or strained. I mean, like, in one second, human time, from contact to relief.
Amazing. Best drug, EVER. Not a high, but a very soothing relief.
I find out later that this is something they call, in English for our sake,”Travelers’ Juice,” even though it’s composed of something akin to nanobots suspended in a liquid medium. Hilarious.
Led tells us we could drink it, bathe in it, wear it or let it touch us: works in all those ways. Is Travelers’ Juice [TJ] something that falls within technology, health, science, chemistry, or what? You decide.
Whichever it is, Earthers start making and using it from that day onward, as we all know, now. For free. Anyone can go to a TJ bar or fountain. Stores that carry TJ offer it cheaply or free, the way people could get matches, napkins or water a while ago. Widely available.
TJ is a soother, kind of like aspirin if you have a headache, but better. No ill effects, no addiction possible. Excellent. Don’t leave Earth without it!
TJ also works for all types of motion or altitude sickness and depth diving since TJ balances nitrogen to oxygen and rectifies all neurotransmitting chemicals, inner ear workings and whatnot for humans. I have no idea what it does to other species, but all of us seem to dig it.
3. What Transition changes have been the hardest or least favorite for you, and why?
ZEPHYR: Well, it’s very weird having the CC [Chief Communicator] for a mom, or having my mom become the CC, however you want to look at it. It’s not all good or all bad. It’s unique.
People bug me a lot asking for information I don’t have or rudely invading my privacy. I can’t really blame that on The Transition, exactly, but I kind of have to, right? I mean, she wouldn’t be CC if there is no Public Contact. Anyway, I’m not the only one with this exact problem or situation, but I think it’s worth mentioning.
It’s also so WRONG, to make her into a doll or, worse, a teddy bear [Zephyr is referring to the “Clara-Bear,” which comes out as a toy and collectors’ item late in 2013]. Would you like to see one of your parents’ likenesses starting at you from a toy’s face, especially a bear’s? Downright spooky. On the other hand, our daughter, Kendall, who is almost eighteen months old, receives a few every month.
Kayla, my wife, laughs when I get all creeped out by having my mom’s face all over Kendall’s toys. For this, the CC’s son needs intensive therapy. Kidding.
Now that she can talk a little, Kendall calls these dolls or toys and my mom CAH-LAH, since she can’t manage “Clara,” yet. Kendall also calls my mom CeeCee ’cause she hears others call her that. My mom prefers “Grandma,” though. We’re working on it.
Unfortunately for my mom, I think “CAH-LAH” may become “Grandma” for my kids. It’s a tradition in my mom’s family that the oldest grandchild nicknames the grandparents, and since I’m my parents’ only child, it’s all on Kendall.
More seriously, about The Transition and my mom as CC: it is upsetting and scary to hear about all the deaths and psychotic episodes people are having during those first few weeks and even months, APC [After Public Contact]. My mom and I talk during this and she explains what’s going on, but, still, I am very unsettled by all that.
We all know people who die, go berserk, can’t handle the T [Transition]. My dad [Abraham Wood Branon] loses a lot of friends, mostly because his friends are a lot older than my mom, as he is [ten years older].
Some of my tech and music friends are cool with it, but a few are quite rigid in their thinking. Their minds can’t cope with the new info–—aliens, other species communications with fish on Earth, off-p travel–—the whole deal. They freak out.
Some join the Fraggers [Fragmenters] so they can find people who agree with them to join them in yelling or writing public letters about it. They’re angry, but mostly harmless. The scarier ones become Trenchers, fighting the T all the way until they get ReInvolved or Qed [Sequestered].
My cousin, Moran, and the other MWC Psi-Warriors plus my mom and The Band have a lot to do with how nonviolently this all goes down. I’m glad that almost no one is killed during the Psi Wars without a chance for ReInvolvement or the choice to be temporarily Qed.
I know my mom does everything she can in advance to help prevent and reduce the numbers of people adversely affected, so no one can say it is her fault or responsibility, although some people DO. Those must be the same people who blame President Obama for Hurricane Katrina’s devastation on the USA southern coastal cities even though he isn’t even President when it occurs, or who blame the hurricanes on homosexuality.
I know my mom still feels badly about not being able to save more people. She’s very sensitive that way. I understand that.
4. Where are you and what are you doing when you find out about the Many Worlds Collective and that your mom is the liaison/Chief Communicator?
ZEPHYR: My reaction is not the same as anyone else’s because my mom starts sending me the “story” as if she’s writing science-fiction novels, in February, 2012. I have a feeling, knowing my mom, that a lot of it is true or about to be true. I don’t say anything like that, at first.
But, when things start happening for her and you, Espe, and for her and Epifanio, just as she writes, I ask her about the rest.
So, around October, 2012, she tells me the MWC are actually coming. I get about a two-months’ head start on most people, about a year to get mentally ready.
I’m all in favor of it. Membership in the MWC, I mean. Earth really needs help. No question.
I know how my mom explains it but I still do not understand why they choose her, of over seven billion humans and all the other, in my mind, more obvious choices among Earthers who could have been chosen. Why not one of the dolphins, for example? No offense, Mom.
But, I’m getting used to it and glad she is CC, in some ways. I get some really cool tips, “toys,” experiences and privileges as the CC’s only child that no one else gets.
5. How do you feel about Clara’s role when it starts? How are you affected immediately?
ZEPHYR: I think I previously answer this. Move on.
Oh, all right.
I feel downright special.
There. Happy, now?
ZEPHYR: OK, wait. There is one thing. Some people I know start to treat me differently. The way I could compare it might be this: if I had won the lottery, certain people would come out of nowhere and claim to be my friend, but they just want money.
In that vein, some people I haven’t talked to or don’t know well are suddenly going on and on about what “good friends” we are. Some of them go on the media and talk about knowing me and my mom, being at our house when I was growing up, being my girlfriend or best friend, or hers, and stuff like that. When it’s true, I don’t mind. But, some of them are actually lying or wildly exaggerating and that burns me.
My mom convinces me to let them be, so I do. I