Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

***Heirs of the Magi News Flash!***

Cassie's Journals have now come to an end with the start of the Magi Ascension storyline on June 15, 2018! Ethan and Ehlana will now be taking over the Heirs of the Magi daily updates as Cassie prepares to move on to college - and you can read all about her story by picking up a copy of Magi Ascension - Part One! Ethan's and Ehlana's roles in the Ascension of the Light is just beginning now too; so their journals will offer a different perspective on the events going on at home while Cassie is away at college!

Happy reading this summer; and I hope that you enjoy this new 'chapter' in the Heirs of the Magi story!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cassie's Journal - April 30, 2014

Okay, it’s the last day of April – enough with the rain already; let’s get on with the May flowers!

The rain didn’t seriously mess with our adventures today, but we still had some wet moments getting between our shuttle bus and the hotel, Smithsonian buildings, or restaurants.  Michael and I would have rather been outdoors for Tai Chi yesterday and today, but that’s only because we felt a bit closed in by our spectators in the area we’d picked to exercise on the main floor of the lobby.

My reports this week have been fairly negative about some of my experiences here in our Capitol, but that isn’t the case today when it comes to the Smithsonian museums.  If there’s one thing that we know from ancient history, it’s that the little details get lost over time.  There have been entire empires for which we now know almost nothing – though Mom, Ethan, Ehlana, and I have access to more knowledge for things like that than anyone else does thanks to our archives.  The point here, though, is that the Smithsonian is a wonderful resource, and while the trappings of power here seem way over the top to me; I’m glad that we do have this particular national treasure.

We spent the morning immersed in history; had a fast food lunch; and then just spaced out for the afternoon.  The Space museum was the teen favorite, and the IMAX show, Dark Universe, was both a first for most of my classmates and a highlight of the day.  There was so much going on at the museums today that I’d have to write all night to cover it all, but instead of doing that; I’ll just recommend that everyone put a visit to the Smithsonian on their lifetime to-do list – assuming it’s still there whenever you’re reading this in the future.  If going to Washington isn’t an option, there are virtual tours that can be found online; but that isn’t the same as being there.

Our IMAX immersion into the ‘Dark Universe’ ended our visit to the space museum, and our schedule for the day ended with a steakhouse dinner that went over better with most of the guys in our group than seafood night had.  Getting a ‘free’ evening didn’t mean we could do anything we wanted, and with the ongoing rain around here; outdoor play time was not an option.  More shopping for some of the girls was approved and they had our two non-Magi chaperones along to supervise that little adventure.  Uncle Nick took another group out in search of video arcade action; and the rest of us stayed at the hotel.

Staying in tonight had everything to do with getting some alone time – at least for Michael and me; and for Rowen and Tim too.  Michael and I were in my room while Rowen and Tim were in his.  I wouldn’t rank that couple of hours on the list of hottest moments ever for us, mostly because there were three other girls with keycards to the room; but we did have fun and watched a half-decent movie while enjoying a bit of semi-intimate play time.

Rowen got back here about fifteen minutes ago and Michael went over to his room then too; and we’re still waiting for Sally and Gretchen to get back from their shopping adventure.  That’s why I’m writing this now; and I have every intention of being asleep before midnight this time.  That isn’t an end-of-month thing; it’s just that I’m getting tired and can use the extra rest going into our last full day here in Washington.

Before I wrap this up, though, there is a bit of news from home to report.  Uncle Adam bought a new minivan today after Sarah Landry talked him into a month-end deal he couldn’t refuse.  It’s basically a slate-gray, newer version of Mom’s minivan; and the choice of vehicle was definitely influenced by the need for space when hauling babies, car seats, and gear around before even getting to things like picking up groceries or supplies.

With two minivans now, we girls might not even need to borrow Dad’s truck for our big shopping trips anymore!

We have incoming roommates, so it’s time to go.  If anything else comes up; I’ll add it to the next update.  Until next time…

…Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Cassie's Journal - April 29, 2014

The first thing I want to report from today is that the top tier of our federal government could seriously use some Magi-powered honesty.  I’m seriously into empathic overload tonight; and some of what I picked up today was just as ugly as anything I sensed the few times I was around Corwyn or Gawain Hathorne.

That isn’t a very nice thing to find out for sure about my country’s leaders, but I doubt that there are really all that many people living outside the beltway who would be surprised at that revelation.  There would be a lot of shock if I could reveal the things I learned today; but that can’t happen.  It isn’t all dark and sinister in the halls of power here, but there also isn’t much light either right now; and I have no idea what it will take to change things for the better here.

It’s been raining pretty much all day here, which fits right in with my inner mood – even though I’ve tried my best to be happy on the outside.  That isn’t to say that I haven’t had any fun, because we have had a pretty good day for everything except for the barrage of empathic ugliness I’ve been under.  Though I know more about the White House and Capitol Hill than most people who live and work here, thanks in part to some archive records; it was pretty special getting to do those tours with Michael, Rowen, Tim, and the rest of our friends.  The buildings really are very cool to see in person; and it was fun to watch my friends too as they experienced politics up close and personal for the first time.

Those reactions were fairly diverse, and while I was the only person in our group – or in the city, for that matter – who could passively sense so much empathically; I wasn’t the only one taking everything we heard with a large grain of salt.  To be more blunt, as one of my friends suggested; it’s a good thing that bullshit alarms aren’t part of the security systems or they’d be going off all of the time!  Thankfully, he saved that critique for after we were on the way back to our hotel this afternoon; since that observation probably wouldn’t be amusing to some of the people working on Capitol Hill.

Continuing along those lines, most of us had our personal bullshit alarms working just fine today; and we especially needed them while having lunch with one of our Congresspersons.  In this particular case, Congressman is appropriate, though I won’t name him; or write about some of the things I learned from being in close proximity to him.  I know that there’s a propensity for citizens to believe the best in their own representatives while being much less charitable of the rest of our government, but if I had that bias before today; I don’t anymore.

After a busy day of tours and empathic overload, I was as ready as anyone in our group to have a fun night of dining and shopping; and we started and ended that part of our day with a full-immersion experience on the Washington Metro system – a first for most of my friends.  That was fairly entertaining for me, but my favorite part of the evening was our seafood dinner stop.  That’s one thing that I’ve definitely missed since needing to move from our last home on the Atlantic coast; and Michael and I were the only teens in our group who were adventurous enough to try some of the really great menu options.  We each picked different meals and appetizers; and then shared everything so we could try more of the different foods – though we got in on some mixed platters with the adults in our group too.

For the rest of the girls, it was the visit to the DC USA Mall that was the most fun, and while I do love shopping as much as the next girl; a chain store in Washington D.C. isn’t so much different than the version in Crystal Springs that it gets to the top of my list of best moments of our trip so far.  There were some small, local shops that were interesting enough, and Rowen and I both picked up some new clothes and some gifts to take back home with us; while Michael and Tim kept themselves entertained by checking out the electronics, gaming, and sporting goods at the usual ‘guy’ stores.

They still spent some of that time with us; but we spent as much time with Gretchen, Sally, and some of the other girls.  We did some of our gift shopping together, particularly when Rowen and I wanted some guy advice on gifts for other boys – like our brothers.  We ended up having a bit more than two hours of shopping time before we needed to head back to our hotel; and then almost no time left once we were there before the bed checks were done at eleven.

Doing goodnight hugs and kisses with my boyfriend is not exactly romantic when you have a chaperone standing nearby; tapping on a watch to let you know that you’re not in your rooms on time.  At least I didn’t have to deal with the added stress of having a parent for one of those chaperones, though in Tim’s case; he’s pretty much exactly the same around his mother as he is the rest of the time.  That probably scares her now and then; but at least she knows he isn’t playing any teen games with her.

Rowen and I got to have turns in the tub tonight while Sally and Gretchen led the post bed check entertainment and chat time; and it was once again heading toward twelve-thirty by the time they were falling asleep and I was able to start my usual nightly computer checks.  There’s nothing new going on with the Hathornes that I could find; I had a bit more family business work come up that I took care of; and there were more than a dozen email to read and answer from my family and friends.  Rowen fell asleep already too, but it’ll be a while longer before I’m wound down enough to get some rest.

We’re getting a lot of rain now, and that’s going to continue all day tomorrow; so it’s a good thing that we’ll be hanging out at two of the Smithsonian museums for the day.  The guys are all fired up about the second-half of those plans because space is way cooler than history; but I think that I’ll probably enjoy seeing the history of both places more – particularly when being able to put the artifacts into context with my Magi archive knowledge of those events and eras.

Our steakhouse dinner plans for tomorrow evening are still on, but since the evening entertainment was going to fit in with our Memorials and Monuments day, and required good weather; we’re tentatively going to have a free evening instead.  I wonder if anyone would notice if Michael and I disappeared; hid in one of our rooms; and made out for a couple of hours.

Yeah, I’ve got three Magi chaperones; so I’m sure our absence would be noticed.  Then again, being in one of our rooms would be safer than going out anywhere on our own; so it might just work! ;^)

That’s a nice thought to wrap this up with, so I’m going to call it a night and try to get some nap time in before it’ll be time for Tai Chi with Michael again.  Until next time…

…Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cassie's Journal - April 28, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday, Emma!

I couldn’t be there to celebrate, and you might think that our first day of adventure and fun in Washington should come ahead of birthdays back at home; but my family and friends will always come first for me.  Hopefully Emma’s had a great day; and I hope she likes the gift Michael and I left for her.

My day started out great when Michael and I went outside for Tai Chi at sunrise.  That earned us some attention from other hotel guests and staff; and that was as much fun for us as always.  After that – and a few good morning kisses – I had to share bathroom time with my roommates in a mad dash to get ready for the day – starting with breakfast for twenty-six.  We were all fired up about our first day in the Capitol, and while I’m still looking forward to our visits to two of the Smithsonian museums; I was okay with the change in our itinerary that Uncle Nick and Principal Jacobs made for today due to the weather forecast for the rest of the week.  Basically, we’ve switched our Monday and Wednesday schedules for the morning and afternoon; and we went on the Memorials and Monuments tour today.

There are some advantages to mostly self-guided touring!

Breakfast was decent, if no comparision to Jacob’s cooking, and then we were on the go and off to the National Mall and an all-morning tour of the monuments and nearby Memorials.

Before I get to that, let’s just mention for the record that the girls in our class – who shall remain un-named here – were hopefully joking about being devastated after finding out that the National Mall is a park and not a shopping attraction.  There has to be at least one or two in every group; but that doesn’t make it any less scary.

Now, on to my impressions of everything we saw today.

My perspective is definitely affected by my education, and in this case; the millennia of history that I know in details far beyond anyone else except Mom.  That doesn’t make architecture like the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial any less impressive; but that is still in context of comparing history that is only decades or centuries old to thousands of years in the past.  The Washington Monument will be open again soon after undergoing years of repair from the earthquake and storm in twenty-eleven, so we didn’t get to go into it; but it’s still something to see.  The Lincoln Memorial had more of an impact on me; though that was more from seeing the inscriptions of Lincoln’s famous speeches – and the history that surrounds the place.  With all of my abilities, and knowing a lot about history, doesn’t change the fact that there’s something special about personal, hands-on experience – and the undeniable feeling of being in a place where great people have stood and history has been made.

Those feelings don’t change who I am, and I can’t help but also point out that there is not a single monument or memorial anywhere in the world for any Magi of the Light.  Many of those Magi did far greater deeds than any President or leader of any kind; yet most of those events are lost to history – intentionally.  Any Magi reading this will understand why that happens, and I certainly do too; but I am also thinking tonight about why I’m still so deeply affected by some of our nation’s great displays of hubris.  I’m sure that perception would be ridiculed by the masses, but if we were truly the greatest nation on earth; we’d have been solving world hunger and there would be peace everywhere instead of palatial homes for our leaders and billions of dollars spent on what’s essentially idolatry.

Time to step off of my soapbox and move along.

The second half of our day was more somber – which is why Uncle Nick hadn’t planned this for our first or last day in the city.  I can assure you that my perspective on Memorial Day at home in Witch Falls is going to be different this year after visiting the war memorials and Arlington Cemetery.  I’m also not going to step back up to the podium for a rant on the futility and waste of war.  Instead, I’ll just be quietly horrified and saddened for all of those men and women who have been lost to war; and the families that have suffered from those losses.  All of those deaths over the centuries is mind-numbing; and the lost potential for our country is incalculable.

It seemed appropriate to me that the rain started to fall as we neared the end of our afternoon tour; though I was also okay with the fact that it didn’t start raining harder until we were on our way back to the hotel.  We – okay, the girls – were given a half hour to freshen up before heading out to our dinner and a movie night; and then we were on the go again.  I love Chinese food!  We don’t exactly have many opportunities to have it back home; but I was reminded tonight that I seriously need to find a good Chinese restaurant in Crystal Springs and put meals there onto some of our shopping itineraries.

The food was great, though we didn’t really have that much time to eat before needing to move on to the theater for the early show.  There was nothing educational about our evening entertainment, and teens from cities would probably think it was a boring way to spend an evening in the Capitol; but that wasn’t the case for most of us – and it wasn’t as if we could have had any outdoor fun with it raining anyway.

More than half of our group picked Captain America for their evening entertainment, including some of our friends who had already seen it with us on Gil’s birthday; but the rest of us opted for Transcendence – including a few girls who were happy to see anything with Johnny Depp in it.  I wouldn’t dream of criticizing Johnny Depp or anyone else involved in the movie – particularly around my Depp-fan friends – so let’s just say that Transcendence wasn’t; and leave it at that.

The cuddle time with Michael was very nice, though; so it wasn’t a total write-off of our time! ;^)

We went straight back to the hotel from the theater, and were left with just a little time for socializing before our eleven o’clock room check.  I’m sure that it was just random luck that put Michael and me alone in my room for nearly a half hour while the rest of our roommates were either in his room or off having a snack break with some of the other teens.  I’m sure that our parents will hear about it, but my Magi chaperones pretended not to notice that we were alone and unsupervised in a hotel room.  I’m not going to write anything more about that little blast of fun either; other than to say that we took advantage of the opportunity – and are both very happy campers.

Don’t be shocked – and we weren’t the only couple looking for some alone time either.

Speaking of couples, though, I haven’t mentioned the teen drama from last night that most of us didn’t find out about until this morning.  Kris Robinson broke up with Denise Burroughs sometime last night between dinner and our bed check.  His timing sucks, and Denise was upset today; but then she also seems to be getting past that fairly quickly too.  We’ll see, but maybe they’ll be happier this week than they would have been hanging out together when they weren’t really getting along anyway.  That is two of the troubled couples down with just one to go.  I’ll guess there will be more to come on that soon.

There was some tub time going on in our room tonight, but Rowen and I weren’t in on that; and instead left the bubble baths to Gretchen and Sally to take turns having while we spent some time on our computers and chatted about everything from our adventures so far and plans for tomorrow to boys and YouTube videos.  It was past midnight before we were all in bed, and I waited until Gretchen and Sally were sleeping before doing the bit of family business work done that had popped up in my email.  I did a Hathorne Industries check too; and they’re all in New York with no listed plans to travel to Washington this week.  Mom’s checking that more often for me; and will let Uncle Nick, Principal Jacobs, or Tracey know if that changes during the daytime while we’re out and busy.  I’m not getting any bad feelings, but then that doesn’t always happen with much notice either; so we’ll be careful.

As I’m getting ready to wrap this up for the night, it seems as though my reporting on our trip so far has been a bit under-whelming – particularly when I’ve written almost nothing about the city.  All of my classmates share feelings of pride and awe for our Capitol, and there are lots of comments about what we see as we’re driving around the city.  I have that sense of pride too, but to be honest; I’m also often a bit overwhelmed by the empathic vibes around here.  I have that problem to a certain extent in all cities, but it’s particularly tough to handle in big cities and crowded areas – especially when the bad vibes outweigh the good ones.

That’s definitely the case here; though there’s a contrast between tourist crowds and the locals and visiting dignitaries and businesspersons.  Since we’re going to be at the White House and on Capitol Hill tomorrow; I’m probably going to be in for an interesting day.

I really should wrap this up now; though I’m not sure that sleep is going to come easily tonight.  Rowen’s still fired up too, though, so we’ll eventually talk ourselves out and crash for a few hours.

Until next time; live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cassie's Journal - April 27, 2014

This daily journal report is coming to you live from our nation’s capitol – aka Washington D.C.

Try not to laugh, but my first thought when we arrived here was that the President won’t the most powerful person in the city for the next five days give or take a handful of hours.  Then again, the President isn’t actually in Washington right now anyway – he’s playing in Asia right now and won’t be back until mid-week sometime.

We’ll try not to mess up his home while he’s away! ;^)

Before I get to that part of the report, let’s back up and cover the news from the start of my day back at home in Witch Falls.  I was up early; grabbed a shower; got appropriately for a travel day; and put the last few things I still needed to take along with me into my bags before carrying them downstairs.  I was first to the kitchen, so I put a pot of coffee on for Mom and Dad, and then I went outside to catch a bit of fresh air and early-morning sunshine.  We didn’t have time for Tai Chi today, but Dad made sure that I had a good breakfast before heading out on the drive to the airport.  We needed to be at the school for seven o’clock; and Dad made sure that we were there a few minutes early.

The rest of my classmates didn’t have everyone in their families come to see them off, but I also wasn’t the only one who did – though I was the only teen with aunts, uncles, and cousins there too.  Aunt Deborah and Leah were there to see Uncle Nick off, and Uncle Adam, Aunt Leanne, and Zack came to see me – though they didn’t make it to the school until about five minutes before we left.  While I was one of the first teens there, Lisa and Gretchen both beat me to the school because their mothers are the two non-Magi chaperones and drivers; so they had a slightly earlier start time.  Tim’s mother was there early too, but he’d been too slow getting ready; so Tracey had left without him and let him walk over.

Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I were with Tracey in her SUV for the long run to the airport, so I loaded my bags while waiting for everyone else to arrive.  Pastor John stopped in at the school and shared a prayer with us shortly before we needed to load up and hit the road, and while his thoughtfulness earned some teen eye rolls; I thought that it was very special to have a Pastor who always thinks about those little details while caring for his congregation.  I was definitely one of the last to take my seat by the time I’d finished with all of the goodbye hugs and kisses; so I didn’t have long to wait before we were on our way out of town by seven-thirty; and starting on our big adventure.

I haven’t really done all that much flying, but I have been on more flights than most of my friends and classmates; so the air time wasn’t as much of an adventure for me as it was for everyone else.  The drive to the airport was entertaining from the start when Michael and I got to sit together while Tracey had Rowen and Tim split up – with Tim riding shotgun in the front seat with her.  We couldn’t exactly talk about our trip for the entire two and a half hours, but we still managed to find enough to talk about and do to fill up those two and a half hours.  Getting from the parking garage to our gate wasn’t much fun at all, but our chaperones seemed happy to get all of us through that without major problems or losing any teens along the way.

Tracey and the other drivers had rain to deal with on the way to the airport, and that also caused some slight delays for take-off too; so we had a bit of a wait before boarding, and another one while in line for take-off.  We had one stop on the way to Washington, but also had a long-enough wait that our delay didn’t cause a problem.  Layovers do make for a long day of mostly sitting around, though, and we were all very happy to be nearly finished our travel for the day by the time we touched down at the airport in Washington.  Getting our luggage took a while, but Uncle Nick had our hotel shuttle taken care of by the time we finished waiting around for our bags; so we then had a fairly quick trip to our hotel.

Check-in didn’t take long either, because everything was already set up for our little group; so it was basically just a matter of distributing keycards and taking our bags up to our rooms.  Rowen and I were in a room with Sally and Gretchen – one of the three ‘girls’ rooms.  There were three girls’ rooms with one group of three; and three boys’ groups.  It would have been nice if Michael and Tim had gotten the room with just two guys, but they didn’t get that lucky; and are sharing their room with Marc Johnson and Joshua Parker.  That works out okay for Sally, Rowen, and me; but Gretchen is happily single while Marc is dating Lily.  Since Gretchen’s mother is one of our chaperones, she told us that she’ll be on her best behavior anyway; though that doesn’t mean that Sally, Rowen, and I won’t still try to help her out with having fun – or checking out potential boys of interest for her too.

We only have one single in a room for our group, and though I hear there was some joking about having Uncle Nick share a room with two of the other chaperones; Aunt Deborah vetoed that suggestion so he’s on his own for the week.  Tracey and Principal Jacobs are sharing the room next to ours; Uncle Nick is across the hallway from us; while Gretchen’s mother, Jocelyn, and Lisa’s Mom, Audrey, are at the other end of our little block of rooms.  I wasn’t surprised about having my Magi protectors close to my room; but we did get teased a bit by our friends about why our group needed to be closest to our teacher and principal.  We just played along with that and had fun – and having fun is exactly what we expect to be doing all week.

Uncle Nick – Mr. Ayres – gave us a half hour to freshen up and then it was time to go out for dinner.  Since our travel times could have been delayed a lot, we didn’t have reservations anywhere tonight; and that meant going for fast food instead of trying out any of the more famous restaurants.  Pizza worked for us, though; and there’s a good chance that Michael and I could be the only teens who will appreciate the better dinner options we’ll have over the next few nights.  Even a fast food dinner for twenty-six takes a while, so it was heading toward nine o’clock by the time we got back to the hotel again.  We had some free time then to go exploring; though one of us had private instructions to stay close to the hotel – or be with one or more of my ‘special’ chaperones.  That wasn’t really an inconvenience for me because everyone stayed close to the hotel anyway instead of venturing out into the city streets.

An eleven o’clock room check probably sounds early to some of you reading this in the future, but the time was set more because we’ll be starting early each morning – and it’s not as if any of us were sleeping by then anyway.  Let’s start with covering the obvious – four girls and one bath when we all wanted to have a shower or soak after a long day stuck in cars and planes.  That’s a big reason for why it’s after one o’clock as I’m writing this – I needed to wait for two of my roommates to get to sleep first; after we’d all taken turns getting cleaned up and ready for bed.

The girl chat time was fun, and though Michael and I didn’t get to share anything hotter than a goodnight kiss outside of my room tonight; the rest of our day together was pretty good.  Tomorrow is going to be even better, so I should wrap this up now; Rowen and I both need to put our computers away; and we need to get some sleep too.

Rowen just reminded me that we’ll be four girls sharing a bathroom in the morning too.  I should’ve booked my Tai Chi with Michael even earlier!  Oh well – we’ll work it out.  That is going to be all I have for tonight, though; so, until next time…

…Live long and prosper, fellow Magi of the Light!