A note to readers:
Please bear in mind that this is how I write in first drafts. You’ll find bumps, bruises, inconsistencies, and gaping holes. The editing process (if/when I ever get to it for this story, I mean) tends to smooth all those things out. I let it sit for months and then edit mercilessly. I have someone else edit it, to catch things I missed, and finally, I edit it again. Please do not judge a first draft as you would a finished work. This is a work in progress.
Parts 1 through (however many) of this story can be found in the Archives for March.