Interview with Cassandra Ackerman and Violet Engel, Clara’s Sisters:
Esperanza Enlaces, Interviewer/Transcriber
Interview Date: June 16, 2018
CASSANDRA: Hi, Espe. Thanks for doing this with us together. We sisters from almost opposite sides of the continent don't get to be in the same room enough.
VIOLET: True. Thanks, Espe. With me and my family mostly in the old Chicago area and you and yours over in old LA, Cassie, even with fast transport, we're mostly too busy to visit in person these days.
ESPE: Glad to do it. Clara wants to thank you both for coming to The Campus for your Interviews so she could also spend time in person with each of you and for all three of you to be together with her and your brother, Thomas, Raisa, their kids and grandkids, those who also live here right now.
CASSANDRA: It's a veritable Ackerman clan take-over, isn't it?
ESPE: Let's get started. I think we can begin with...
CASSANDRA [Interrupting Espe, simultaneously speaking with Violet]: TINTING! I want to talk about tinting.
VIOLET [Interrupting Espe, simultaneously speaking with Cassandra]: Excellent Skills and Superpowers! We got 'em.
ESPE: [Laughing] Okay, okay. We can do both, but not at the same time, regardless of theoretical timultaneity! Clara is right about you two: I do have my hands full.
CASSANDRA: Oh, wahh, wahh: if you can handle Clara, you are fine with us, believe me.
VIOLET: Yeah: SHE's the handful.
CASSANDRA: Short, but mighty. [Laughing]
VIOLET: I'm still the tallest. And the youngest. And, the most limber. And, the prettiest...
ESPE: I'm taller than both of you. Don't know about “limberest.” Challenge is ON for who's “prettiest.” May we begin, please?
CASSANDRA: Clara is right about YOU, Espe! You do have enough fire for Ackerman status
ESPE: [Mockingly modest, taking a grand bow] ¡Muchas gracias!
VIOLET and CASSANDRA [In unison, bowing in return]: ¡De nada!
CASSANDRA: Oh! Right. We also want to tell about the first time we meet the holographic aliens—The Band—yes, Vi?
VIOLET: Certainly do.
CASSANDRA: I also want to brag about my kids and their Transition activities, jobs, all that.
VIOLET: Mine, too.
CASSANDRA: And, our Excellent Super Powers.
VIOLET: I already say that to Espe, Cassie.
CASSANDRA: So? I can't tell her, too? I agree with you!
VIOLET: What is your deal? Are you having a thing, again? Chill!
ESPE: No “things,” no “deals.” Let's all chill. [Muttering sotto voce] I need a Referee's whistle for these two.
VIOLET and CASSANDRA [In unison]: We hear that, Espe. [Laughing]
ESPE: Let's take the topics one at a time, please. I have on my list: Your “Super Powers,” or Excellent Skills; Tinting; meeting The Band; your kids during Transition. I also want your responses to having Clara as Earth's Chief Communicator and being your older sister. What about having so many Ackermans living on The Campus and so many of you in the ESP trainings? What about having your nephew, Moran, as Chief of the OverSeers and OS Special Operations? What about Eli Kriegsman as leader of the Psi-Defiers? Do you know Eli? [I pause, consult my tablet] Oh, and does either of you go off-planet much? Where and why? We probably won't have time for all of these, but they are on my list.
CASSANDRA: You're right: we can't possibly talk about all of those today. Want to schedule a “Part II” for later this week?
VIOLET: I can't, Cassie: I have to get home by Friday. I can't stay more much more than a week here this time. With the Ackerman Games last month and this now, I'm away too much as it is.
CASSANDRA: We could vidcall you in, Vi. What do you think, Espe?
ESPE: Let's see how far we get and take it from there, all right?
CASSANDRA: Do you have on your list our suggestions, recommendations, critiques for Clara? We have a lot, don't we, Vi?
VIOLET: We sure do.
CASSANDRA: Don't forget to mention my son, Caleb's, invention: the Wilson Temporal Shift (WTS) Parking App for parking in alternate space-time. He's a genius, right? Drivers in congested parking areas can now check for open spaces in any timeline. Find one, park the vehicle there. Go about our business in our own 'line. When we're ready, we retrieve our vehicles in the alternate 'line, then return to our original 'line? The WTS App is selling like crazy.
VIOLET: That IS the “mention,” Cassie. Really? Plug, much? Then I want to talk about Jessica's OPTS, which we know is the acronym for the Optimal Positioning Temporary Suit, or Optimal Personal Traveling Suit, which are also “selling like crazy.” Without them, most of the off-p travel would not happen, you know.
ESPE: Consider them both “plugged.” All right, then. Moving on.
CASSANDRA: May as well continue with the kids' bragfest, then. Aaron is doing great, you know. His unique musical compositions are solicited all over the 'verseweb . He's invited to conduct, perform and teach so much he's never around, anymore. He and Zephyr are co-coordinating the next ProtectArts gala for musicians and composers. So cool!
VIOLET: That is so exciting, Cass! I'm proud of him. You know about Gabe, Espe? He's 'casting for 'verseweb sports events weekly and playing on several trad and nontrad teams: baseball, soccer, some other sports I don't even know the names or rules for, yet. Such a monster athlete and also, he never stops talking: perfect combo career for him.
ESPE: I hear Gabe's broadcasts sometimes. Clara and I listen when we have time. He's excellent. Funny, great voice, very engaging...
CASSANDRA [Interrupting]: What about Leah? You know what Leah's doing?
ESPE: Um, not exactly. Tell us, Cassandra.
VIOLET: Oh, c'mon, Cass. Leah is “managing” something or other. Communicating with cetaceans. Whatever. Great work, but not all that interesting.
CASSANDRA: Come on, Violet. Is Jessica's fashion design “all that interesting”? Seriously?
VIOLET: I want to talk about the twins, who each are doing excellently, thank you. Dara and Shira are about to finish their compulsory ed requirements a year early and go off-p for more study. Veterinary, human and interspecies medicine for Dara and Shira wants to follow Gabe a little, getting more and more into cultXsports [Cultural collaborations Xchange Sports]. They each have holopals in their respective interest areas from many MWC member orbs. We're so proud of both of them!
CASSANDRA: That is great, Violet. Sounds fascinating. Keep me posted. Now, back to Leah. She's...
ESPE: Hey, you two. I do want to hear more about your kids, but we aren't even into the other topics, yet, and those “other” topics are the main subjects of my Interviews about The Transition. Could we get back to those, please?
VIOLET: Yeah, Cassandra. Quit pulling the focus. [Laughing]
CASSANDRA: Wha-a-a-t? [Fake sputtering] Me? What about you?
ESPE: Ladies. Women. Girls. Sisters. STOP!
CASSANDRA: That Violet is such a trouble-maker. The youngest always is. Such a ba---
VIOLET: If you say “baby,” Cassie, I'm leaving!
ESPE: [Shouting] ENOUGH! You're driving me insane! Could we please get to my interview topics?
CASSANDRA: Sorry, Espe. We don't get together that often, and when we do, it takes about ten minutes for us to regress to about, what, Vi? Ages 6 and 12 or thereabouts? Time travel's got nothin' on sibling rivalry.
VIOLET: More like ages 4 and 10, but, yeah. Sorry, Espe. Where do you want us to go next? Conversationally, I mean.
ESPE: I have an idea. Let's put each of you on a schedule so I can interview you separately later. For now, you two go hang out. What do you say?
VIOLET: Are you sure?
CASSANDRA: Espe, you are the best.
ESPE: I'm sure.
VIOLET: All right, then. Ping us when you're ready to schedule.
ESPE: Pinging as we speak. [I type on my tablet as Violet and Cassandra leave together.]
VIOLET: [Glances at her phone, sees schedule] Oh, good. I'm first. I'm never first. [Calls to Espe over her shoulder] Thanks, Espe.
CASSANDRA: Sure. You go first. [Turns around to say to Espe]: I'm fine with going second. I'm always second in this family...or third.
VIOLET: You are the poster child for birth order psych problems, Sister. Let's go nosh and kvetch [Yiddish, snack and complain].
CASSANDRA: You're on.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish