(Author’s note: The following constitutes chapter one of my second novel. A ten page prologue precedes it, covering when Encee, the narrator as of this chapter and through the rest of the story, encounters Cee for the first time in 1995. The prologue has a third person narrator, and it sets up the narrator character.)
For all but one of the six point five billion people in this world, nightmares, replays, and temporary escapes from the encumbrance of reality constitute the bulk of our dreams. For the one, dreams provide an infinite whiteboard of creation used to divine the greater shape of reality and its uses, space unconfined and unhindered by declarations of impossibility.
A person need not feel shame for lacking vision as an inventor of useful material things. Against a scale of one, I stand with every other in the unblessed multitudes, constrained as they by the accepted physical rules of the universe what dominates science we learn in our schools. My imagination ranges far and whips up an endless stream of hellacious tales, but the freeform realm of storytelling won’t transfer into this constricted realm of the possible. I work to the halfway mark of the Cee dream equation with no apologies, before the reality stop, writing out my inspiration for entertainment purposes only, from the unlimited space of fantasy. In contrast, Cee found her way into the limitless space of actual reality and set up shop.
Writing inspired me since I first threw down the alphabet with success. Over my life, I rode assembly of words to success. On another track, order shaped my life, in ways good and bad. Slow change began back on the snowy New Year’s Eve in 1995, the night I met then twenty-one year old Courtney Ellen Simmons. Life continued on an acclaimed public course and an errant private one. It shifted towards the bad over the next seven years. Without Cee and WOTA, my ashes now ride the trade winds and explore the Earth.
No one beyond the limited circle of WOTA knows of Cee and her remarkable, almost unbelievable work and vision. Those on the outside believe Cee shallow and unpredictable, prone to say the inane at any moment. A vagabond in the workforce, employers learned to keep her from the important. Before I knew her, Cee held innumerable part-time positions, each one a cover, a projection aimed at those in and around her personal life. Every position but one resulted in dismissal. The one quit happened when a crisis left Cee no time to work up to a firing. Harm threatened someone, and she needed to get away to help. Since my advent in the group, the need for pretend work disappeared, because I am her cover.
If I wrote her story as a factual public accounting, critics would claim it leapt out of me as another novel. Renown as an author would save me not from raised eyebrows and mocking claims deeming the story ludicrous. Instead of acceptance, words like hyperbole would lurk in reviews, used in the same sentence with claims I draw upon extravagant powers of description. Imagined criticism accepted insofar as it filtered through fallacious understanding. Published proclamations of Cee’s feats make a nice fantasy for me as a writer, drawing on whole truth for once. Still, the author in me loves to ponder how I might tell her life story and mission. The mouths and eyes of the disbelieving would spread wide and lock as proof backed my words and unfolded before them. Their scepticism would dissipate as if ice placed in a superheated oven.
If only. Cee’s work makes my own tougher, in a way. Every day I see the impossible and the extraordinary. How does a writer create stories when she knows the rules of the universe changed, or better, never existed in the form the rest of the world believes? While I’m cognizant of my creative limitations in a way not understood before, I gained a focus on the human, on life, on overcoming our stumbles and travails of interaction. I avoid the things only Cee can explain.
Only a few of us understand the science behind the reworked physical laws. For everyone else life goes on, unaware of the different shape of reality, but this may change.
WOTA debates the efficacy of continued secrecy. Some amongst us wish to alter our stance for the sake of deterrence. They reason if abusers know of us, if they know we might appear in defence of an abused woman, they might re-evaluate their conduct. Cee believes in a democratic approach with the group, so a change to public comes down to a vote. I just don’t know which way I’ll vote.
Since its inception, WOTA managed secrecy despite undertaking and completing projects using resources no nation on this planet possesses. While notable achievements of a historical scale, the rescued won’t share the information, and I rather doubt any assailant opens their mouth less they face judgement for their conduct and mental state. As a result, we don’t contend with government authorities or the media.
A relative latecomer to the group, WOTA completed much of the infrastructure work before my arrival. The recordings of excavation and construction of the facility enthral. Nations and corporations would give or do much to access our technological capability. This makes security essential and vital for everyone involved should we go public. In the wrong hands, the knowledge and technology would threaten calamity.
A public path means we ramp up our security, and I’m uncertain our limited staff can make it work. Anonymity works on our behalf now, it does most of our security work. Public acclaim matters not in relation to our work, and never to Cee. Wotans care about accomplishments, fulfilling our mission to make this a better and safer world for the one and as we can, for the many.
Despite her intelligence and her work, Cee lives a simple life. She possesses clarity of vision, embodied in our mission statement to rescue abused women at a stage where the rescued will accept a new way to live. Every Cee technical achievement furthers our social work, not for profit, not for personal gain in any way. We just wish abuse to stop, and we will do our best to make it stop.
Some could claim Cee an enigma because of the dual personality deception, a ploy she adopted in high school. When I met her at the 1995 New Year’s engagement, a hint of ruse teased at me. The deeper spirit she tried to hide glowed through the façade, if only a vague smidgeon. Too many never notice because they accept a stereotype, how a person of her age with near white hair can be nothing if not an airhead.