"My point is… every day I was confused, or scared, or didn’t know what was wrong with me. I felt ungrateful. So blessed with so much, and I couldn’t just live the life people expected from me. And then… then I started reading about you. Not just the pioneering aviator, or aeronautical engineer… but a woman who kept her own name after marriage. A woman who lived her life and when it was public may have been coy but she was also unashamed. I wanted that, so badly. I just wanted to be… me. And be happy. You helped me believe that was possible. And then… the Pentad made it real.” She took a deep breath. “And I believe you’re really the ghost of Amelia Earhart. I don’t know why, but I do. And it feels like this is my big chance say all this to you, and to thank you – for everything, as well as for the advice you’re giving me now.” She paused. “Even when that advice is full of crap.”
“Are you nuts!?” Orville shouted. “Are you seriously about to call down an orbital strike on yourself!?” “Please,” Jetgirl muttered, kicking into full burn. “Sky-eye’s at ten thousand feet at the most. It’s hardly Low Earth Orbit. This is just a garden variety energy-weapon airstrike.”
Landing in his full grey tunic and uniform with the pink v-overlay, pink mask on his face, the man landed with arms spread wide. “I dare, Kitsune!” He moved into a fluid spelldance, protective fields spreading out to protect the civilians – he’d quietly warded them before, so Jetgirl knew these new ‘wards’ were just theatrics. “Last of my Order from a World that never was! Red Point of the Pentad of Guardians! Founding Excelsior and exemplar of life! I am the Heart and the Healing! I! Am! Hearth!” “…oh God don’t do the catchphrase,” Jet muttered. “There are people here.”
Dedicated to Chris Meadows
Clear skies, hot jets, and good hunting, R_M.
Jetgirl stared. “Why are you being so blasé about all this? I mean, these people are in danger and if she’s taking everyone hostage to find some lost sprocket I can’t imagine we should let her find it.”
“It’s bad form to leap into local affairs uninvited,” Hearth replied, lightly. “And they’re looking for the 'Silver Spoke Cog,' not a sprocket.”
“I will wire you ten thousand dollars today if you can correctly define the difference between a cog and a sprocket, right here and right now, without looking it up on your phone first.”
“Well, I know Cogsworth sold cogs and Spacely sold sprockets on the Jetsons. How much is that worth?"
For almost two decades the Cheshire Kittens have been at the forefront of the music scene and the Parahuman Rights Movement alike. Now, with their founding drummer walking out and their future in question, veteran journalist Todd Chapman returns to Amplifier in this special double-issue profile. The Cheshire Kittens have survived turmoil, trauma, and travail. Can they still survive each other?