From one type of flight yesterday to another today.
I’m finally almost out of the first week, and it’s only taken my fifty-eight thousand words, give or take a few dozen. The last couple of weeks I’ve slowed down the output, mostly because of–well, more than a few reasons. But I’m breaking things up a bit, and today and tomorrow see me running off to get my face zapped again (tomorrow) and see about getting a new wig (this afternoon). Who knows? I could come back with a completely different look by tonight.
That won’t affect my kids, who are now hanging out somewhere in the south-center of the school. It’s time for Annie to get taught by Isis about flying without a broom and a net, and she’s ready. However, I need to set the scene, because this is an area of the school that doesn’t get much mention . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Of the three buildings on the Salem campus dedicated to aeronautical usage, the Aerodrome was the middle child: not the smallest, nor the largest, and always living the the shadow of its more well-known siblings.
The Hanger was the smallest of the three structures, and also the oldest: the first version of the Hanger was built in 1936, and was replaced by an improved building in 1976. The current version of the Hanger was built over the summer of 2000, after the second version was destroyed during The Scouring. Though PAVs were still constructed and tested here, it was normally used for other experiments conducted by students from the Tesla Science Center, or used for the testing of Gifts, as had been done with Annie prior Saturday.
Likewise, The Diamond replaced the original structure that once stood on the same location as the huge building there now. The first racing oval was little more than a four hundred meter track cut out of the woods in 1907, and the first set of rules were put into place five years later. The first dedicated track structure was constructed in 1936, and upgraded in 1953 and 1978. After years of oval racing outside, The Diamond went up in its current form in 1995 and was used for A Level training as well as novice and coven racing.
The Aerodrome was different in that it didn’t replace an existing structure: before the Aerodrome equipment was stored either in the Hanger or at The Diamond. It was built during the 1984/85 school year, and immediately took over as the testing, training, and storage center for the school’s PAVs.
It was twice as long as the Hanger, three and a half times as wide, and almost three times as high, making it nearly as large as the Great Hall. There was enough room inside to test a Class 5 PAV without fear, and six elevators were used to access the massive lower level hanger. Enchantment were in place to allow race teams to practice without fear of serious injury, and B Teams even ran point races there in the last month of the coven racing season.
First let’s look at the area:
The Hanger is where Annie did her first test, and the Diamond all the way down by there is where Lisa crashed Kerry into wall. It’s possible to get from one structure to the other through The Chunnel, which runs from left to right just above where the Hanger and Aerodrome sit. And directly above the Aerodrome is the Flight School and Selena’s Meadow to its left, while the lines you see as well as a few labels–like “Double Back” and just part of “Double Dip”–are the Green Line and Blue Line race courses. Yes, I’ve got it all: history, and layouts.
And I even calculated the sizes:
I also start talking about PAV Class sizes, and I know those well: the first three will be seen in the current story, and the last two, Class 4 and Class 5, will get their time in the light later. Needless to say, they’re bigger and faster, and have a lot more performance options and functions.
The people are now in place. The Aerodrome is closed off: Isis and the kids have the place to themselves, which is sort of like clearing out the Great Hall so three people can work on something they want no one else to see. That last usually doesn’t happen save late at night–and Annie remembers a moment like that–but here, in this great big open space, it’s possible.
Particularly when you’re working with the Director of Security . . .
Isis smiled as they approached. “All ready for flying, I see.”
“As you requested.” Annie and Kerry had traveled to the Flight School to change into their flying gear before coming to the Aerodrome. Vicky had stopped by during last night’s dinner that they should both dress for flying, and Annie could keep her gear in her room after her first class. Unless her first day in Basic Flight, Annie didn’t feel strange wearing flying leathers, boots, and a helmet—which, at the moment, she carried along with her gloves and goggles.
Isis’ flight gear was a bit different from theirs. Her leather pants were more form fitting, and her black leather flight jacket was stylish enough to wear out on a date. She wasn’t wearing a helmet, gloves, or goggles, but Annie figured that was only because there wasn’t a need for them. The only thing Isis’ outfit had in common theirs were the boots, which were black and broken in well. To Annie’s trained eye, it appeared they’d likely been worn on occasions that had nothing to do with flying.
Leave it to Isis to have stylish flying gear, though it can be said that Annie has to use her leathers from the year before. How did she know she was gonna need to look pretty when she was flying without a broom?
There we go: all set and ready to go. Now all we need is some flying.