Billy: Hello and welcome to Questions from the Audience. I'm Billy Morph and if you're reading this you've either just read the Freed or followed the link from my website. If it's the later, go read the story, it's worth it.
Now, the Freed has been over for some time now, but I managed to track them down at the end of the book and brought them here for you amusement. Say hello flock.
Everyone: Hello flock.
Hawk: How do you manage to speak in bold like that anyway?
Billy: I have no idea what you mean. Now, as you can probably guess we'll be doing this in script format, mostly to stop Hawk making stupid faces behind my back… which is only funny if people can see them by the way!
Hawk: How'd you know I was doing it?
Billy: I'm the author. Now, let's first give a big hand to mergirl007 for sending these in, and we'll lead with a question to Hawk.
Q: If you were confronted with a computer with no accessible power button which had been turned off, could you turn it on using your power?
Hawk: Yes, if it was just the internal switch, then I can just arc the power over the gap and it'll work fine. If it's unplugged I wouldn't be able to it, or at least, I couldn't keep it running for long.
Q: Can you detect the faint electrical field that all humans give off?
Hawk: Also yes, but I can't do a thing with it. Weird seems to be able to mess with it pretty effectively though.
Weird: Stop talking about that.
Q: Could you hijack radio transmitters and broadcast whatever you wanted to?
Hawk: Yep, and I've already done it to announce we were being invaded by Martians.
Q: Do you think you can store computer programs in your brain?
Hawk: I think the Voice did it once. No idea how though.
Q: Were the chips in everyone's arms like tiny computers or simple tracking devices?
Hawk: Tracking devices, short range ones too or I'd probably have noticed them sooner.
Gale: Which is odd because they seemed to find us regardless.
Hawk: It's a conspiracy, what do you expect? Next question.
Billy: Actually this lot's for Gale.
Gale: Well, better give the public what they want. Fire away.
Q: What was Toad Boy like in the lab before you escaped?
Gale: Arrogant, abrasive, but at least quiet. Also I was down the other end of the room from him so we didn't get a massive amount of contact, much to my relief.
Q: Who in the flock do you mother most?
Gale: Don't be ridiculous, I don't mother anyone.
*Tapper clears throat pointedly*
Gale: Okay, fine. Weird. Next!
Q: Did you bring all the kids straight to the warehouse after you left Max?
Gale: More or less, there were a few nasty hours in the sewer where we got jumped by Erasers but after that we got out of town and Tapper found an abandoned building for us. Once we were settled Toad boy made his power play and we stayed there for the month, I wanted to keep moving, but that didn't work out so well.
Q: How did you manage to get food for so many people every day?
Gale: Mostly foraging from dumpsters. Of course, that wasn't exactly very hygienic but I didn't know about germs and food poisoning and all that, so that can't have been very good for us and it didn't help that we had basically zero immunity at that point. But, what's done is done, and by the last week Hawk had figured out how to buy fast food.
Q: What was the worst test at the lab?
Gale: They fired baseballs at me for three hours. I still don't know what they were testing for.
Billy: The next lot is for Tapper.
Q: What do you usually think about when you're being quiet?
Tapper: The indefinable nature of the universe… No, I kid. Actually I'm usually looking around for anything dangerous, or interesting. It's an old habit. I also try to come up with a plan just in case everything goes south, but Hawk usually beats be too it with a better one.
Hawk: You do know I don't plan.
Tapper: And that infuriates me no end. Next question.
Q: Who do you want to lead most: Hawk or Gale?
Tapper: That's kind of an unfair thing to ask, particularly because both of them are here with me. Honestly though, you should follow Hawk when there's danger and imminent death, but follow Gale if it's quiet and you don't fancy starving. Each has their own strengths and they tend to play to them.
Q: How long did it take you to make the taps system?
Tapper: Err… Well, I first started it when I was about four, and back then we knew so few words that I could have a sign for each. As we got to know more experiments I rewrote it so it could be used for any word, known or unknown. To answer your question then, a few years, and I've recently been thinking of just teaching everyone Morse code and being done with it.
Q: What test at the lab did you hate the most?
Tapper: Anything involving sound. Urgh.
Billy: Thank you Taps. Right now some for Cam.
Cam: Cool! Bring 'em on.
Q: Were there any other avian-chameleon hybrids in your original test group?
Cam: Well we did meet some, Rainbow and Mir, but there were twenty or so of us. I was under the impression that I was the only one left but it was the White Coats who told me everyone else died, so I'm not so sure anymore.
Q: To whom in your flock are you closest?
Cam: Hawk. United against the girls.
Q: Do you ever want another guy in the flock to even up the boy/girl ratio?
Cam: Do I ever. But hopefully younger than Hawk. He's always so aloof and preoccupied.
Hawk: Well excuse me for saving everyone's lives.
Gale: You're excused.
Billy: Well, that's all there is for Cam.
Billy: But now we move onto everyone's favourite Weirdness magnet.
Weird: I told you I wasn't going to answer your stupid questions.
Billy: Really… well let's try the first one and see if you want to answer it then.
Q: What does teleportation feel like?
Weird: What! I don't teleport. What I do is create a extremely low pressure column of gas between us and our destination, accelerate everyone up to a dozen kilometres per second or so, and slow us back down when we arrive. Teleportation is impossible.
Hawk: Yeah, and what you do is so much more plausible.
Weird: Oh, shut up.
Q: Did you get a lot of special attention/tests at the Lab?
Weird: More than my fair share it turns out. I was showing telekinetic potential quite early on, and it took me a while to realise that I would just get more attention if I was flashier. That's why I stopped doing anything new until we escaped.
Billy: Well that's all folks, but if you have any more questions for the Freed we'd be…
Hawk: Wait. You've still got some questions on your sheet.
Billy: Err, no I don't.
Hawk: Yeah you do, there at the bottom.
Billy: That's a typo.
Hawk: Really…? Hey look! A massive distraction.
Gale: Got 'em!
Billy: Hey! Give that back.
Gale: Question: Billy: Do you remember how you thought of the original idea for The Freed?
Billy: Urgh. Okay, okay. It was early September 2006 and I'd just read the first two books several times over, having been introduced to fan fiction about a year before that I decided to try my hand at writing a companion story to the second book. One that ran along side, but never directly interacted with the main characters. That was pretty much the original idea, though I must confess I have no idea how I thought it up. Most of my ideas either just grow on me, or come in a sudden flash, and occasionally are wholly due to the setting throwing up something interesting.
Gale: What type of physics are you in to?
Billy: Yeash, broad question. I suppose I'm just interested in physics and science in general. But, as I came up with a power system based on macro scale mechanics driven by quantum physics, I'd say those two are my favourite topics. I also dabble a little in biology, and I had such great fun figuring out what internal systems my characters would need to fly (wings are just the beginning) that in my new project, Vast Worlds, I'm actually creating an entire alien species with its own morphology.
Gale: Who's your favourite published (or unpublished) author?
Billy: Well there's this guy called Billy Morph I've been hearing a lot about. But seriously, Terry Pratchett, I can only hope to be half as hilarious or prolific in my writing as he.
Billy: Well, that really is all this time. But if you've got any more questions for these nutters you're welcome to send them in.
Billy: Now if you excuse me. I may have to run.