I'd like to thank author Jeff Zweig II for sharing this character interview with us. Its certianly very enlightening. Am definitely looking forward to reading his book The End Begins: The Nine
So where are you from?
I'm not really comfortable talking about that.
It's okay. The readers are going to find out eventually. The book is basically your autobiography. It's fine.
Alright. I am from The Academy of the Nine. It is what you would call a institution for those with gifts - magic powers.
Yes. We are trained to use the energy our bodies produce and use it as magical power. Through technology we are able to focus that energy into more specific powers. For instance I can light you on fire, or heal a wound.
No fire inside, please. So you need technology to produce your powers?
There are specific spells that require it, yes. My people, as you would say, are naturally gifted with some very basic abilities of bending the earth to our will. We were architects of our time, creating vast cities and landscapes. But when the Coalition got a hold of us, they were able to develop technology that greatly advanced our abilities.
You seem conflicted as to if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
I'll admit, to find out we were created with weapons in mind is not something I find enjoyable. But it did help me liberate The Nine from the Coalition’s grasp eventually, so I'm grateful for that.
Wait. Did you say created?
Yes. Part of the Coalition's mission is to find new species and integrate it with their own. Ones they don't use right away they keep samples of in storage. I didn't know any of this until we brought them down.
A little overwhelming for sure.
I'm sure you have no idea.
Sorry, I didn't mean to presume.
So tell us about your book. It starts when you're at the Academy and Ends there.
It is entitled The Nine, correct? I guess the title, The End Begins: The Nine, is a play on "where there is one ending, a new beginning... begins." Sorry if that came out wrong.
Anyway, yes, as you said it is in ways my autobiography. It chronicles my journey from student to councilwoman - though that was not the intention of the journey. The core of the work is about how I joined this group called White Rose to retrieve a device called Eden's Gate before the Coalition did. Apparently it's acts as a path to your God. I don't want to get into the specifics of it ‘cause I'm really just learning about it. I like to absorb and ingest it first before trying to explain things I don’t fully understand.
Of course. Are you saying then, as far as God goes, that you don't have or believe in one?
I don't have much concept of a higher deity controlling all. I had Councilmen and women a part of a group called the Unseen Council which can be seen in a similar light as a God or Gods due to their positions. But as I study these things, now having some time and assimilating American culture into my own, I might understand that having that idea of getting to this Heaven relies on several factors or the belief in a certain person might hamper the cause for soldiers. That reason being why we never had that. It may have more to do with the Old Ways before the Coalition intervened in our people, trying to establish a world as close to the original as possible.
I see. Very interesting. Let's move on. What are you doing now? You're a young woman, surely you must have some men chasing you.
I would call it courting, but yes, I've always had men vying for my attention. Most of that has stopped since I became the one Councilwoman of the Nine. I had a man, Skylar, before I escaped the Nine. He was very driven - something I respected - but when it came time to be there for me - he saw me as a traitor. Since the Nine's gained its independence he and I returned to being friends. But he understands that we will never be a couple again.
So who are you seeing now?
Well - it's complicated. You might even call it daring. I'm seeing two men at the same time. It's kinda secret hush hush stuff, just because of everything that has happened. But they are the only ones I trust.
Who are they?
One is a young man named James Kesumare. Well, he seems young - looks around my age - but we're not really sure. He's a Gate Keeper - some kind of supernatural policeman who had knowledge of Coalition technology. He helped stop them from using Eden's Gate.
How are you not sure about his age?
He has some memory issues. Amnesia is what the doctors have called it. He's working on getting it back but it's been hard.
Who is the other guy?
His name is Caleb Knight. He is a Major for the Union Armed Forces.
Union Armed Forces? Never heard of them.
They are an occupying private military company in the United States. They became the Europeans Unions de facto military during World War II. You’re aware my world is different from yours, right?
Some might not, so that’s good to point out. One last question Cass, I know you’re busy. Being the de facto leader of the Nine, what does the future hold for it and you?
We’re just trying to make due. When we revealed to all the students that the Coalition was secretly running the Nine as they were, a lot of people thought it was best to go out to the general public. About half left. The other half stayed and we’ve tried to continue on as we have. But I have no illusions that we have no way to sustain ourselves long term. In time we’re going to have to integrate ourselves with the outside world. I just hope I can show them that, despite what it may seem, their lives have not come to an end but they have a chance to start anew.
Thank you Cassarah for taking the time to speak with us today.
The End Begins: The Nine - Written by Jeffrey Zweig II is a Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy novel now available in paperback and online through Amazon, Smashwords, and other retailers.