It may be late, but it’s coming. Wanna know why? Well, you’re gonna!
See, I didn’t write yesterday. Why? I was on the road for almost six hours because I met with friends up in Rockford, IL, and in the best of times that’s a two-and-a-half hour drive for me.
Going up wasn’t that bad; traffic was pretty normal for the western burbs of Chicago. Coming back, however, I had to deal with the end results of three accidents, and the last one forced me to make a quick detour off the interstate and down a highway which I know I’d traveled maybe thirty years before. Needless to say, that and having to pick up dinner at the end of the day added more time than I’d anticipated for the trip home.
Even once home I had to make noted for my recap of Episode 3 of Humans, so by the time I was done with all that, I was tired and didn’t feel like writing.
So what did I do? Wrote this morning. Seven hundred and fourteen words worth of wrote. Since you’ve been waiting, I’ll give it all.
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry stood next to his hovering Class 2 as the large service lift rose from The Diamond’s lower lever hanger, lifting him and the team to the infield section of the ground floor of the track. He wore his helmet, though the front was raised so his face was visible, otherwise he was ready to race.
He looked up into the stands where nearly the entire school body sat among the cavernous structure. He understood how The Foundation built for the future, but it was strange to see a little more than one hundred people sitting in a space designed to hold fifty times that number. He also felt a little sadness because the space represented the potential the school had hoped to achieve by now, but could not.
The lift locked into place and the command was given to the flier to mount their PAVs. Kerry liked the Class 2s; they superficially resembled the Class 1s, but only because they had a long frame and a seat in front of the processor. There the similarities ended and the Class 2’s uniqueness took over. The processor was about twenty percent larger and more streamlined. The saddle had a small back to prevent the pilot from sliding off during periods of high acceleration. At the front were canards about fifteen centimeters below the frame, there to allow more maneuverability at high speed. And rather than control the PAV by applying pressure directly to the frame, there was a set of handlebars with grips that were used to control the PAV.
For the same reason a Class 1 was called a “broom”, the Class 2 was nicknamed “the Speeder Bike” due to its resemblance of the device from the Star Wars universe. As Kerry mounted his PAV, he chuckled as he pondered the irony that they, too, were about to go forth and race in the woods. At least no one will be shooting at me—
So now when you think of Kerry and the others racing, you’ll have this image in mind–
–‘Cause that’s pretty close to a Class 2, save for the modified single-line Class 1 frame. Seriously, I’ll have to get into Blender and start designing these suckers.
They were given the command to head out to the course, and Kerry followed the team, led by Manco, from the infield towards the oval track. There wouldn’t be a parade lap: they’d head directly to the course out Exit Three. As they reached the track surface he looked up and saw Annie waving to him; she’d picked a seat midway down the backstretch where she could view the holograms showing the race from the various Spy Eyes that would follow and record each heat. Jario sat to her left: he was waving to Penny, who was waving back.
Kerry knew they’d both watch the races in comfort: the seats were not like what one normally found at sporting events, but were large and comfortable, and had small tables to the side upon which one could place they snacks and drinks. The first time Kerry sat in one, he felt he was about to see a movie or play instead of a race over one of the school’s courses.
Penny slid in close to Kerry’s left as they passed through the tunnel exit. “You remember the crossover rules?”
“Yep. Green under to Blue; Blue over to Green.” He sat up and rolled his shoulders as they emerged into the light. “I won’t forget.”
“I know; I just wanted to make sure you remembered.”
“And remember to watch the transition from Blue to Green—” Alex pulled into position on his right. “Every thought the pop-over is supposed to act like a chicane to Green Line, it doesn’t make you slow much; you’ll carry a great speed from Diamond Lane to Rockport.”
“You’ll carry a hell of a lot more speed into Graves—” Penny checked her helmet, as if reassuring herself that it was in place. “The first time I raced Blue to Green I almost crashed there because I wasn’t paying attention.”
“From The Sweep to Graves it’s as long as West End through Sunset Boulevard, and just as fast.” Alex looked over and smiled. “Don’t worry: we are sure you’ll do well.”
“Thanks, guys.” He closed his eyes for just a moment as they approached the start-finish line. “I won’t let anyone down.”
“Run your race and everything will be fine.” Penny slapped down her face front and flipped up the visor. “See you at the end.”
The area Alex is describing is the following:
When they say “Pop-over,” Alex means the course rises up over the Green/Blue crossover so fliers never run into each other–which would probably see one of the racers die if that ever happened. It’s meant to slow up the racers on their way to the Green Line, but once you know how to navigate that chicane properly, one figures out how to take it without losing much speed, which leads to one heading into the Graves turn a lot faster than the B Team racers gets when running juts the Green Line.
It’s almost time to get this party started. The racers are just about ready–