PAWN STORM: BOOK SIX

Pawn Storm: A situation arising from opposite-side castling. One, of both players, advance their pawns towards their opponent’s king. This is usually not done on same-side castling, as advancing the pawns in front of one’s own king is generally unsafe.

We’re Gettin’ Serious.  From the outset we see Christine (Cirhce) is in a dark place.  Without those she trusts around her she is forced to be the candle in the dark that projects a light it cannot see and a warmth it cannot feel.  This is essentially the tone of this chapter of the Metatron’s Army series.

It isn’t about overcoming adversity so much as knowing who you are because of it.

There were a number of considerations when deciding the setup of Pawn Storm, sixth in the series.  I chose to intersperse backstory with current perspective in the opening scene.  

Akin to a chess teacher pointing to each piece and explaining what it is, its strengths and weaknesses.

I recognized this could be considered a bit remedial which is why I also explain why each piece is where it is.  

This provides readers with a deeper understanding of Cirhce’s world highlighting unique variables involved with the key players who move in that world.

It is evident by the fact she continues to run events through an Earth filter Cirhce has not come to terms with who she is.  Despite evidence to the contrary she continues to identify as human.  

The bond in question was an energetic connection shared with Light Being Verix Sterling, aka Godzilla.  From what she’d been able to determine, based on research and careful questioning of Alexander Craig – another Light Being – it was a type of soul to soul connection.  

Light Beings were energetic; beings, but so were humans.  Er, Ivarans.  She may have been raised on twentieth century Earth, but she’d been born on twentieth century Ivar, a planet in the Vetria Star

This gives readers insight as to where she is on her journey of transformation.

There’s work to do.

There is a duality in her relationship to those around her.  Even as she seeks their assurance if not validation she refuses to accept what they tell her about who she is.

So, here she was, trying to keep her stomach from heaving, about to buy herself freedom from hell, a soldier who didn’t want to be, an heiress who didn’t want to be, and a vengeance she didn’t know how to be.

I introduce a number of key players in this book.  

And provide deeper insight into those already known.

This gives readers a glimpse at the method to Cirhce’s madness when it comes to how she thinks and strategizes.

There are a number of reveals in Pawn Storm.

Christine dropped the glass, effectively spilling water all over Dacan.  She jumped up, ran for a towel.  It gave her time to think, and she needed to if she was going to avoid passing out.  

Dacan and Alexander watched the Princess fight to stay conscious.  Neither was willing to intervene.  This was an internal struggle only she could win.  

There are a number of decision points.

 “After you complete Advanced Flight Maneuver, you have completed the requirements for graduation.”

“I -.”  Christine shifted.  “Then it’s time I – went on the offensive.”

Including the decision about who she is.

Christine laid her head on his shoulder, stared up.  “I don’t think I can handle any more change right now.”

“Of course you can.”

“You don’t understand.  Every change makes me lose a little more of myself.”

I provide insight regarding the world into which she is being thrust.

“What about my post-graduate assignment?”

“That is being finalized.  I’ll let you know when I have the details.”

“Oh, goodie,” she grumbled.  “Another note.”

I also show that like other key players Cirhce is holding her cards to her chest, working independently even as she is part of a team.

She hadn’t told him about Metatron’s Army.  She shrugged.  “I’m still working out the details but yeah, I have a few thoughts.  It will depend on whether or not I get those other details finalized.”

As I’ve written, Metatron’s Army is about transformation.  Change.  There are a number of ways to demonstrate change.  One I had fun with is a plot device by which characters can measure that change.

Christine followed Verix onto the carpeted elevator.  “Baliss Level please,” she said then stepped over to the side where she could get a better view.

The doors closed silently and the lift moved slowly upward.  Within seconds a view of Sky Harbor appeared through freshly polished glass.  Boats bobbed, birds dived, and cargo ships maneuvered their way to and from the docks.  Same as always.  That wasn’t exactly true.  The activity remained the same.  She had changed.  Numb.  Empty.  The soldier she never wanted to be.

“Baliss Level,” the operator announced when the doors slid apart.

This scene, first used in Zwischenzug appears throughout the series.

The dynamics between characters is highlighted as we see Cirhce’s perspective toward them changing.

She recognizes her friends – fellow grads – as professionals.  

She sees her companions as individuals with unique gifts to contribute.  

This is different than seeing them as fellow students, part of a collective.

She is coming to see herself as being on even footing with senior players and recognizes she has a responsibility to them.

Especially those who invested their time and energy in helping her succeed.

She is put in a number of situations where people are counting on her to make sound judgment calls.

The stakes are higher.

A number of conflicts resulting from hidden motives are coming to light.

There is definitely trouble on the horizon.

Much of this stems from refusal to see where she is on the journey of transformation.  

She has a title and responsibilities but not much in the way of acknowledgment.

 Ironically, the worst offenders are those claiming to support her.

“Christine, I made mistakes in how I handled the news and I’m sorry.  I let my past color my feelings.”

Conflict will continue to build until and unless she takes action

“You’ve taken a lot on your shoulders, Christine.”  He hated to think how much of it he’d put there.

“Like I said, my life is not my own.  There are a lot of people counting on me.”  

Is she in or out?  Her words say she’s in but her actions do not support that.

The journey is far from complete.

Excerpt.

Christine stared at the response on the comm device.  “You have got to be kidding me,” she growled.  “That arrogant -.”  Her head snapped up, eyes zeroing in on the jet assigned to her.  She hadn’t had time to personalize it, was planning to do so after she returned from the graduation ceremony.  Sliding the comm device into a pocket, she stalked toward the jet.  Ignoring Roddy and Corus, who stood near a small group of cadets several feet away, she wheeled steps toward her jet.

“Christine, what are you doing?” Corus called.

“Not now, Corus.”

“What do you mean, not now?  What are you doing?”

“Stay out of my way.”

“Where do you think you’re going, cadet?” he asked as she climbed into the cockpit.

She looked down to where he and Senior Cadet Roddial stood, hands on hips.  “To take care of something.”  She fired up the engines, began preparation for a vertical take-off.

“You are not cleared to leave.”

“Hear that?” she yelled over the roar of the engine.  “That’s my clearance.”  She shut the canopy then lifted into the air.

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