It was an interesting after-work situation yesterday, only because I did something I rarely do, which is venture out into public. I was out because I had to pick up a book–yes, I still read–and then it was over for dinner. However, the internet at my local Panera wasn’t working, so all I could do is write. Damn it all, as they say, are you trying to make me productive?
It was a good thing there wasn’t an internet, because I cranked out nearly six hundred words in about twenty five minutes. Ah, to be back in the old zone. It was a good feeling.
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“A little.” He nodded his head back and forth. “Mostly, though, I used to do computer racing.”
“A few years ago I got a racing program for my computer. It was really more of a simulation for grand touring cars—”
Annie couldn’t help but grin. “FIA-GT.”
“You know that?”
“Oh, yes; I know that. Go on.”
Kerry wanted to ask how she know about that particular series, but decided to tell Annie his story. “I have a steering wheel at home that I plug into my computer—gear shifter and foot peddles, too , so using the program was as much like driving the car as possible. The tracks were modeled perfectly on real courses, so when you raced at, say, Spa, it felt like you were really racing there with other drivers.”
“Did you race there?”
He nodded. “Yeah, that was one of my favorites. I did the twenty-four hour endurance race there a few times.”
This time Annie chuckled. “I know all about that one.”
“How do you know about that?”
Like she’s going to tell you, kid. Actually, you’re going to find out in just a bit.
This part was really easy to put together, because Kerry is speaking from the writer’s experience. I used to do a lot of racing on my computer, using my GTR2 racing simulation game. I also had the same wheel set up he had, which is how he know it was like driving a race car.
That was my rig right there. I wore out the gear shifter, and because I was unemployed at the time it went belly up, I didn’t use the rebate for the wheel to by a new one. Which is probably a good thing, because I drove thousands of lap on that game. Remember Kerry saying he did the twenty-four hour endurance race at Spa? I did two. The first one was in the rain and took 550 laps to complete. The second one was in good weather and I managed 600 laps. I didn’t drive both of them in twenty-four hours straight. That’s insane.
He tells Annie about how racing was a challenge to him. It wasn’t recklessness; it was about being good at what you do and having your car in one piece at the end of the race. And he talks about setting Emma up:
“She threw a couple of blocks at me in the north part of the course. I figured out that she was trying to throw me off, to get me upset, so I’d do something dumb and lose ground to her. So . . .” His grin turned positively ornery. “I set her up on West End, and when she threw a block on me in Sunset—” He demonstrated with his hands how he got around Emma. “She wasn’t thinking about how this course is three dimensional. So I got her.”
Annie giggled and almost applauded. “I’m impressed. That’s a good thing you did there.”
He looked off to his left and scoffed. “Then again, if I hadn’t gotten in front of her, she wouldn’t have crashed into me.”
She gave his hand a stronger, lingering squeeze. “If you decide you want to race, you’ll quickly discover these things happen.”
“Is that what happened with your dad when he was here?” Annie grew still and quiet, though she didn’t turn her eyes away. “Professor Salomon told me a while back your dad used to race here, and Nurse Coraline told me the same.” He quietly swallowed, clearing his throat. “Does he still do that?”
“You could say that. He still races PAVs now and then, but . . .” She took his hand in both hers. “My father is Victor Kirilov; he races in the Formula One series. He also raced in FIA-GT for a while, which is why I knew about that.” She slowly breathed in and out. “The team he drives for is owned and run by The Foundation. They de-engineer super science technology and test it on their cars, so it can be used on Normal vehicles.”
So there it is: it’s out. Annie’s finally admitted that Daddy’s a big deal. Of course Kerry is confused by the name.
“Oh.” Her smile was soft and enchanting. “That’s how it is with Bulgarian names. My family name is Kirilovi, with an ‘I’ at the end. My father’s name is the masculine version of the family name, which removes the final ‘I’. My mother’s name, and mine, are the feminine version of the name, with an ‘A’ at the end—hence ‘Kirilova’.” She leaned back slightly, hoping she hadn’t confused Kerry too much. “Do you understand?”
He nodded slowly. “It’s sort of like with Russian names.”
“Yes, something like that.”
“I get it.”
The scene finishes with Annie’s true apology. Sure, she was mad, but her real reasons for seeing Kerry tonight are as such:
“That’s okay; I understand—” He looked up as the lights in the ward flashed twice. “Is that your two minute warning?”
Annie was looking up as well. “Gretchen is letting me know my time here is almost over.” She took her time lowering her gaze, little by little, until she once more settled into his deep green eyes. “There’s my apology. I won’t be mad at you for the things you want to do, or at least try. I won’t ever tell you what to do or try either, Kerry. I can offer suggestions, or give advice, but you have to gain these experiences on your own. I’m never going to be that girlfriend who tells you what you have to do, what you must do, and what you can never do.”
She scrunched up her eyes and shook her head. “I know you like to fly, and there’s a fair chance you’ll want to try racing. And . . .” She tightened her grip on his hand. “I love flying with you, and though it might scare me horribly, I’ll watch you if you end up racing.” She bent over and kissed his hand. “I’ll never try and keep you from being the person you’re meant to be.”
And there you have it: the real reason Annie’s there. To let him be himself, she has to let him be himself. Of course, there’s also something else going on here, because a while back she confessed to the School Seer that there was a lot more going on than meets the eyes.
Something I’m going to write about tonight.
They’ve got a few minutes before Gretchen kicks them out to get things said . . .