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  1. Horst was worried. He wasn’t concerned because Karrie was getting a dressing-down. She got yelled at all the time; the girl thrived on getting told to sit down and behave. She never listened – except to Rob but that was only because he was almost as crazy as her. That almost was key; even Karrie knew that when Rob was cautioning her, it was serious. Horst knew that the Navajo nova loved to push her limits. That’s why he set ones for her; so that she’d have something to rail against. But if real limits were set for her and the consequences were grave enough, he was sure she’d leave. Coyote had the option of walking; any company in the world would snap her up in a heartbeat and cater to her every whim. Horst didn’t want the DSA to lose her brain. But the president was going to try to contain the mad scientist; try to talk “reasonably” with her. Horst had already gotten his dressing-down, for not “controlling” Coyote, as if such an insane creature could be controlled. Horst liked the girl for the most part; she was funny and brilliant and did great work. She was also a good person, if not quite as obviously generous as Telluris. If one wanted the results of her insane genius, one had to accept that she was insane. The president seemed to think he could lay on the charm and convince her to “settle down”, to “play ball” and magically manage her where Horst had not. “Manage”: like she was some kind of errant child who needed to be shown the proper way to be. Horst almost wished Carlson flubbed this, just to show the President that Horst wasn’t a moron. Carlson had talked on and on about having a firm hand with her and Horst’s assertions that Coyote would not react well to that were not well-received. The President thought that Horst was being too soft on her and didn’t want anyone else to show him where he’d been wrong. This was all political, of course. The EuroZone was bitching about Karrie’s little stunt; they hadn’t stopped giving the president shit about it. Yes, she’d been trespassing. Yes, she’d technically violated EU law. However, all she’d done was talk to someone; when arrested, she’d cooperated – though he’d heard stories that she’d given them lip the entire time, which sounded like something she’d do. And yes, she should be punished for trespassing; Horst agreed with that. However, how you punished someone like Karrie and kept her working for you was the question. The president was going to lay down the law with her and it was probably only going to be a warning from him. But she’d go out and do what she was ordered not to do, just to see if the President would actually follow through on his threats. And when she was actually punished, truly disciplined, for that – because she’d have to be – she’d leave. Horst sighed and shifted in the chair, watching Karrie sitting in the Oval Office on the small camera. He was currently in the White House security office, waiting for this mess to be over so he could start damage control – or maybe just take Karrie to lunch, if she wasn’t talking about quitting. The Secret Service agent in the next chair glanced at him. His name was Carl Eastman, and he was the head of security today. Horst liked the older man; he seemed competent and respectful. “Sir, are you sure you want to stay? We can make sure that Ms. Dineh gets back to the DSA.” “No, I’ll wait.” Horst didn’t add the reason why. Horst wanted time on the drive back to convince her not to quit. He was sure she would, if she felt like she was being constrained too much. And if he couldn’t do it, he’d get Rob to work on her. Horst wasn’t sure how much influence Telluris could have on the young woman in this case, but it would be more than his. Frankly, there were times he didn’t know how he would have been able to have as much sway as he did over Karrie without Rob; the kid was a stabilizing influence on her. It had been a true boon for Horst in his dealings. Also, dealing with Rob had been great practice for dealing with Karrie. Horst was about ready to authorize Karrie for full field work. That could be a carrot I could offer to convince her to stay, he mused. Of course, then she’d think he’d done it just to keep her. In truth was something he’d been considering for a while now. She’d done well in Germany and if she had a touch more training, she’d be a good field agent. And if she were paired with Rob, he could keep her in line and watch her back. They’d be a good team; Rob was smart enough to not slow Karrie down and he could protect her – and protect others from her. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- The two Secret Service agents moved through the West Wing of the White House, their steps unhurried. Though they were relatively new, having been here for less than a year, they were known to the staff. Nods were exchanged; in one case, the cuter of the two gave a pretty staff member a wink. She giggled and turned red before ducking into a room. Behind the two men trailed four more. They were wearing overalls and carrying electrical equipment; one of them pushed a cart filled with bigger tools. Their two-man escort showed them to the electrical room just behind the Roosevelt Room, following the technicians inside and shutting the door behind them. As the agents watched, the four began to set up their equipment. After five minutes of work, a box-like container had been set up by one of the men; it looked to be a cube about the size of an air conditioner. It had only a single button on it. There was no need to adjust the settings; that was already prepared for the team. Meanwhile, the other three were opening a secret panel in the box and pulling out firearms. They passed them around to everyone, including the two traitorous Secret Service agents. The technicians had removed their overalls to reveal Kevlar vests covered in various equipment; the “agents” were shedding their jackets and white shirts to reveal the same. “We ready?” the leader asked, his cold blue eyes sweeping over his team. “Is POTUS were he’s supposed to be?” “Yes. We’re ready.” Their technician reached out and pushed the button. It immediately began to hum. Moving quickly, the six men exited the room. They quickly broke into three groups; one went for the office of the Vice-President, one group went to collect the other staff and the third went to the Oval Office.
  2. “Something’s getting in the way, Something’s just about to break, I will try to find my place in the diary of Jane As I burn another page As I look the other way I still try to find my place in the diary of Jane So tell me how it should be.” Karrie paused in mid-eyeliner application. Her iTunes had a very creepy habit of pulling up songs that applied to her life in some way, and a song about a boy trying to work his way into a girl’s life rang close to her own efforts tonight. “Desperate, I will crawl Waiting for so long No love, there is no love Die for anyone What have I become.” “Skip!” she shouted, gripping the sink a little tighter. Her computer obligingly cut off Breaking Benjamin in mid-beat and shuffled to the next song – What If We Could. “Oh, god damn it! Just stop!” iTunes killed the song, but not fast enough. Karrie didn’t believe in omens, but her people did, and she’d been raised with just enough superstition for that doubt to twist around in her brain. “It’s going to be fine. Remember what Rob said? Lots of kinds of awesome. You’ll be fine.” Carefully, she leaned back in and finished her eye, then leaned back to see how she looked. Connor’s last article in Vogue said that he liked it when a woman didn’t wear a lot of makeup. Kitty’s primping lessons on the boat now helped Karrie to still Kitty’s ex away from her – forever! “Oh yeah, when this night is done, I’ll so be Connor’s girl!” Karrie tried to put complete confidence into that statement but it came out a little flat. She just hoped she was dressed right – expecting dancing to be casual, she’d worn a gray denim skirt combined with a turquoise top. The top was too dressy for the skirt, making it look dowdy, and her black sandals were a little too dark for the outfit. Karrie didn’t seem to notice. The ringing door bell made her jump, sending her large silver earrings swinging. “Oh, god. Oh, god, oh, god, ohgod! That’s him!” Karrie took a few deep breathes and fanned herself, then went to open the door. Unfortunately, she was too excited and ended up whacking herself in the forehead with it. “Ow!”
  3. There were many things that Karrie despised. A lack of a sense of humor was one thing. A lack of justice was another. And of course, her boss would add a lack of respect for authority to that list. The truth was that Coyote generally didn’t actually hate these things; rather, she loved their opposites too much to tolerate those things. There were forms and procedures and generally a lot of useless work involved in getting to see novas who were currently at the Ramillies Nova Centre. Karrie really didn’t feel like messing with all of that nonsense so in typical Karrie fashion, she didn’t. They would have denied her anyway, so why bother? The Common Tern sailed over the walls of the Ramillies Centre, banking once on three-foot wings. The large white wings twisted in the wing, the bright orange bill catching the sun. Karrie saw that her quarry was alone, her bird-eyes picking out the silver hair and lithe build. Another twist of her wings, and she was settling down in the garden, some distance away from her target. Vysarian was sitting alone still when she approached. She’s never seen him but he’d been described in the article she read. There was no mistaking the androgynous features, pale hair and, of course, the pointed ears. Still, Karrie straightened out her denim skirt and t-shirt. The shirt advertised for Montoya’s School of Fencing and displayed two men with crossed swords on the front. In honor of this visit, Karrie had even added some make up to her face, accenting her eyes and trying to downplay her jaw and nose. “Hi,” she said as she took the bench across from him. Her eyes met his and she paused, startled by his eyes. “Hot damn, but you have pretty eyes.” Then she waved her hands in dismissal. “Sorry, that’s not what I meant to say. Lemme start over. Are you Vysarian Araseal and/or Amaranth Marie?”
  4. Sometime last summer… The buzzing of her phone interrupted Karrie’s writing. “Damn it,” she growled, shoving the laptop further down the couch and kicking her feet over it. She’d really been in the grove; Shadows of the Endless Night, the latest installment of her Endless Night fanfiction series, was just reaching its emotional climax. The glance at the caller id didn’t help her mood: Mom. With a groan, the girl rolled her eyes. “‘Karen, do you have a boyfriend yet?’” she squeaked in a high falsetto. “‘Karen, are you still collecting that stupid anime?’” She punched the connect button with a sharp tap of her thumb. “Hi, Mom.” “Karen?” The sound of her mother’s voice wiped away all her anger. “Something’s happened. We need you to come home.” “What’s wrong Mom?” Karrie asked, her fingers tightening around the phone. “Is Dad okay?” Oh, please… not his heart… “Karen… Sami’s dead.” -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- “You can’t catch me!” The girl scurried up the rock face, her nut-brown skin scraped and dirty. She wore ragged jean-shorts and a thread-bare hand-me-down Power Puff Girls t-shirt. “Samantha, wait!” the other girl called. She was just as dirty and brown as Sami, but where the older girl moved with grace and confidence, young Karen moved less certainly. Still, she gamely followed her cousin up the rock face, pulling herself up as rapidly as she dared. Her own t-shirt was an oversized tee that proclaimed her a diva. Like Sami, her shirt had come from the local mission. The two girls went higher and higher, the world falling away behind them. It was only twenty feet, but to two children less than four feet tall, it was as high as the world. Karen was panting by the time she’d pulled herself up onto the top, but even she had to admit that it was worth the climb. Being on top filled her with an exaltation and sense of success rare in her life. Her house was below them; other buildings dotted the area. Sami was sitting on the edge, looking out over the sparse beauty of their ancestral land. “You can see all the way to New York,” she told Karen, who believed her because Sami’s eyesight was better than hers and she had no idea how far away New York was from the Four Corners. “What’s it look like?” young Karen asked. “It shines in the sun and everyone’s smiling,” Sami said, her gaze faraway. “No one’s hungry, and everyone’s happy. The children play all the time, and adults laugh at least once a day.” Karen knew that wasn’t true, but even at that age, she understood the necessity of dreams. They were free, and that was all most on the Rez could afford.
  5. Some things are too painful for words; the stigma of those terrible things linger in the mind long after they are gone. This trauma in particular echoes through the subconscious until there’s only a memory of the pain. But even as it fades, the year turns and it has returned, fresh and strong. It was the Annual DSA Science Convention. In theory, gathering scientists from around the world wasn’t so bad. But the people who thought it was a good idea were 1) masochists or 2) not there. The problem was summed up nicely by a Cal Tech professor who formulated a theory that every scientist had a certain level of smug. Most levels of smug were undistinguishable to the human senses, but if you brought them together in a small space, the smug actually increased exponentially. And the Annual Science Convention always had a lot of scientists there. Physicists tried to impress biologists who lorded their knowledge over chemists who snubbed the physicists. The astronomers kept to themselves while the engineers tried to be friendly to everyone and were largely only tolerated. The in-betweeners – the biophysicists, chemical engineers and their ilk – drifted between the islands of people, seeking to find their place among ‘purer’ scientists. Karrie Dineh wove through the room, trying not to openly laugh at people. To her, this ridiculous one-man-up-ship existed solely for her entertainment. She was pondering spiking the punch – that could only improve the party in her point of view – as she eased through the crowd. That was looking more and more like a very real possibility if she remained this bored. Being a mechanical engineer – technically, though she didn’t have a degree even – meant she wasn’t very popular. Well, she was popular in that she was kinda attractive, but no one wanted to talk to her. It was really annoying. Bored and annoyed were two very dangerous combinations for Coyote.
  6. Personal Information: Identity: Karen Nascha Dineh Names: Karrie, Coyote Occupation: Engineer/Inventor for Department of Superhuman Affairs Legal Status: American National by birth, Navajo National Marital Status: Umarried Known Relatives: Joseph Dineh (father), Tonya Dineh (mother), Michael Dineh (brother), Hana Dineh (sister), Ruth Dineh (sister), Simon Dineh (brother), dozens of aunts and cousins [father's sister, Ally Dineh and mother's brother Nathan] Allegiance(s): Family, DSA Physical Traits: Weight: 134 lbs Height: 5’6” Apparent age: early 20's Gender: Female Ethnic Background: Native American Eye Color: Brown Hair Color: Black Handedness: Left DOB: 16MAY1990 Appearance: Coyote is best described as “cute”, a word which she has come to hate. Why do so many call her cute? Yeah, she’s not beautiful, and her hips are sometimes called 'birthing hips', and there’s that tendency to nerd out at the drop of the hat, but why do people have to call her cute!? Surely there’s a better word than cute! She can do sultry, but it does take a lot of work to put on all that makeup. And there’s sexy, but she can’t really wear lingerie – it doesn’t go with grease stains very well. So maybe there’s no great word – but she knows she’s not cute! Powers, Skills, and Personality: Known Powers: Being Really Effing Smart Abilities/Special Skills: Coyote, in addition to being a killer at ME3 and being able to tell you the differences between the RX-77-3 and the RX-77-4, can build a car engine out of legos, or so her file claims. While these may be an exaggeration, there is no doubt that the girl is almost insanely smart and has a definite quantum-knack for building things. She’s not bad at doing it on the fly, either, as she’s demonstrated before. Personality: Coyote is a massive extrovert. Worse, there are few thoughts that enter her head that don’t get said. She’s maniac and loud and generally quite likeable, for those who enjoy those kind of people. She is a classic ENTP personality. Some people do find her abrasive and annoying. To those she counts as friends, there’s no task too big or anything too much to ask. Part of this is seen in her finances; she makes quite a bit of money every year, but there are a lot of poor relatives on the reservation, and there’s always someone needing a new car or bail money. Coyote never begrudges them a ‘loan’, even knowing that it’s unlikely to be repaid. Growing up in a large family means that she can share and she as an altruistic streak that surprises many. The darker side of this is a cruel condemnation for those who ‘cross the line’. This might not be so bad, but for Coyote, the line is only generally defined and can change. Her trickster nature makes her justice particularly harsh, and she doesn’t forgive or forget. She’s willing to wait for vengeance, nursing a grudge with dark patience. Her relationship with the Navajo Nation is interesting; she’s taken the name of a Trickster god, but she’s female. There are some who believe she is Coyote, but most prefer to only pretend as a joke on the White Man. It seems like something Coyote would approve of. Coyote doesn’t see herself as Coyote, but rather as a source of hope for her people. If nothing, it’s a funny joke. What she finds really funny is that she hasn’t disclosed her powers to DSA. She’ll get around to it – at some point. Background: Karrie was born to a large Navajo family. Her father worked as a mechanic, but like many on the Four Corners Reservation, he scrapped by. Her mother waited tables when she could, supplementing their income enough to feed their children. ‘Their children’ didn’t mean just their five, but any number of cousins and relatives who needed food as much as their children. No one in the extended Dineh family ever went hungry. It was this ‘open door’ policy which led to Nevada’s Division of Child and Family Services to remove the Dineh children from the home. The social worker who made the call deemed that the environment was unhealthy to the children. Her brothers were kept together, but the girl each went to a different foster family. Karrie was placed with a very nice family who treated her well. Her foster brother Baxter became a close friend to her and he introduced her to something wonderful: anime. Anime became the gateway to other types of nerd-dom, and by the time the Dineh’s got their children back after seven months, Karrie was thoroughly hooked. This obsession would remain with her for life. Her father attempted to offset this weird ‘white-man’ stuff. He assumed her interest in these ‘Gundams’ was because she was interested in engineering. He was close and she began to help him in the garage, working on cars with him. Unfortunately, Karrie had learned another obsession with her foster family: high-fructose corn syrup. She’d had it before, but in moderation; after hanging out with Baxter, that moderation was gone. She’d gained twenty pounds, and would add to her weight until she was about fifty pounds overweight at sixteen. At a medicine man’s urging, she went on a spirit journey into the desert. And shit got weird. Karrie was fasting, and at some point, she knows that she collapsed. Like many Native Americans, she was less tolerant of sugar than white people, and the sudden change resulted a drop in blood sugar. She passed out, only to wake up surrounded by coyotes. At first she was afraid; then she realized that she was coyote. Figuring it was part of the vision quest, she rose to her feet and made friends with them. Together, they went foraging for food and Karrie was sure that was going to be end of it. Only it wasn’t; it was the start of a very long week. During that time, she struggled to figure out what had happened to her, but the struggle to survive was all-consuming. Karrie found herself hungry all the time, and had to work nearly constantly to find food. Sometimes, she scrounged in human garbage; other times she ran down rabbits. Once, she realized that a group of people walking the desert were looking for her. She tried to approach, only to get shot at by one of the searchers. After a week, she woke up in the coyote den, only to find them milling nervously outside. She followed, only to realize she was human again. The coyotes ran from her, leaving her behind. Unsure which way to go, she began to walk in a random direction and ran into the Old Man. He told her that the last week had been real; that she was one of the special people. At the moment that Karrie had been on her quest, the refugees had arrived. He advised her to hide her secret for a time, coming out only when she was ready. Then he told her how to get home. She walked away, only to look back and see he was gone. Karrie walked home, where the entire community turned out to stare. She claimed not to remember what had happened in the desert, and most people assumed she didn’t want to talk about her quest, which was respected. There had been some unmistakable changes in her. She was deeply tanned after a week living ‘wild’ and had lost all of her excess weight. No one was quite sure what to make of her, but she was welcomed home. That night, she couldn’t sleep so she went out to the garage and began to tinker on her father’s broken Jeep. By morning, she’d completely rebuilt the engine, improving its mileage and nailing down the oil leaks that had plagued the old vehicle. When her father came out, she had a long talk with him about what had happened. By noon, they had a plan. Karrie was too young to join the Army, but she and her father went to talk to them anyway. The plan was simple: Karrie would present herself as a savant who wanted to serve her country as a consultant; Joseph would facilitate this, if the army was willing, by being the consultant on paper. The recruiter was doubtful, but he had been told to watch out for things like this, so he sent the request on up. Three days later, Karrie and Joseph were visited by a government official, and the next day, Karrie quit high school. Over the next two years, she got her GED while doing high level work for the military. AT this time, DSA approached her. At first, Karrie turned them down, content to continue her work. When they came back the second time, it was her father who urged her to accept their job and make herself a career rather than creating a fake one for him. Though sad to leave her family, Karrie took their offer and moved to Washington DC to their research lab. While some of the new people became known as national heroes or stars, Karrie worked in relative obscurity. She’d taken to calling herself Coyote, just to mess with the white people. They were all picking ridiculous codenames – why shouldn’t she?
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