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Back On the Blue: Southward Bound and Done

Here I am, up early and getting the post out before I have to hit the road for The Burg in a few hours.  An so I wouldn’t have to rush around this morning doing a lot of different things while trying to get this out, I wrote last night–a lot.

First off, I did manage ninety thousand words without a problem–

As you can see.

As you can see.

But that was just the beginning.  See, I didn’t want to leave this scene hanging while I spent ten hours on the road, so I decided I’d finish it.  Which meant that no matter how much time it took, I would.  And . . . I did.

It took two thousand and sixty-eight words, but it is done.  This scene is finished–just like Kerry’s first A Team race.

It wasn’t easy to write, and there was a lot of looking at stuff I made up and imagining the Lad From Cardiff as he zip through the various check points on the ground and in the air with a little blond Ukrainian hot on his butt, and I even had to do a little math here and there as well because science and magic do work together at times.

Speaking of that math, it starts right away:

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

The turn coming up was one of the easiest on the Blue Line, and yet still one of the hardest. Observatory Bend was a two hundred and ten degree carousel turn three hundred by three hundred meters long and across. It was a lot of room to make a turn, but most racers tried to take the turn at as high a speed as possible, and with those high speeds came high g forces. In a couple of practice runs Kerry had taken the turn on his Class 1 at two hundred twenty kilometers and ran up a force of two and a half gravities, but now, racing on the Class 2s with Alex a matter of meters behind him, two hundred kilometers and hour wouldn’t be enough: he’d need more speed . . .

He slowed just enough to keep from overshooting, but still held on to more than three hundred an hour as he hunkered over the handlebars and held on. The g meter in the upper left of the HUD showed the gravities building: two Gs, three, four . . . Three hundred meters into the turn, and with five hundred to go, Kerry held the turn while pulling five gravities of centripetal acceleration. His vision was turning gray; his shoulders, ribs, and hips hurt, alleviated only slightly by enchantments in his racing uniform; his wrists felt like they were about to snap away. Worst of all, even with protection, his genitals alternated between being pushed into the saddle and being crushed by a torso suddenly five times heavier. His first two times around Observatory Bend weren’t nearly this bad, due to his speed being slower because he wasn’t racing

He held the turn for almost eight seconds, then straightened the PAV, managing to catch his breath so he could accelerate through the fast turn to the right that once more led him back the Observatory Tower and on to Skyway. This stretch was only a third of the length of the Green Line’s West End, but Kerry was sixty meters above the ground and well clear of the trees, and the kilometer long stretch allowed for a quick seven or eight second sprint into the one turn that scared the hell out of everyone. Kerry entered the sweeping left hander at end of Skyway, popped his speed breaks, and set up for the most feared turn on the Blue Line . . .

 

Those g forces and the time down Skyway–how did I know them?  I have online calculators bookmarked for when I need to figure something out.  Figuring out the amount of force Kerry and the others pulled.  I did know how large the turn was because I measured it:

 

I used the three hundred meter stick.

I used the three hundred meter stick.

Then I went to my calculator and plugs in the numbers:

Ignore that red mark, it knows not what it says.

Ignore that red mark, it knows not what it says.

So I know that Kerry pulled five gs through that turn.  And since I can find the circumference of a circle, and I figure out from the angular velocity that he would cover the distance I have in about the time I indicted.  Just for the record, Kerry and Alex were going about one hundred and ninety through that turn, which is about what a stock car does going through Turns One and Two at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Should turn these kids loose on those dudes . . .

As for the trip down Skyway, I used another calculator:

Once you know how long and how fast, the rest is easy.

Once you know how long and how fast, the rest is easy.

So in figuring out an average speed for four hundred fifty kilometers per hours, Kerry would cover that kilometers in around eight seconds.  I didn’t even figure out the g forces here, but they’d be pretty good, too, probably two or three every time they accelerated and braked.

And speaking of breaking . . .

 

Helter Skelter was, according to nearly everyone who raced the Blue Line, the most technical turn, the most difficult turn, the most hated turn, and the most feared turn—usually all four at the same time. Kerry brought his PAV to as slow a speed as possible before yanking on the hand grips hard to pull himself through the one hundred and fifty degree turn to his right, then shot downward towards the tree tops. He skimmed the tops, spotting his entry into the trees by way of the three elevation gates placed in an slight opening in the forest. In the middle of the gates he forced the speeder around to the left through one hundred and forty degrees and shot downward at an angle towards a gate sitting a few meters above the floor. This was the entry for the last turn, taken at ground level, an easier one hundred degree turn to the right, through a gate, and straight off into the woods in nearly a straight line for six hundred meters before heading back into the sky.

While entering the last turn he felt Alex right behind him. He didn’t bother to look in his rear view: she was there, probably a meter or two off his tail. He didn’t give her any passing opportunities—he stayed close to the inside of each gate on each turn—and she didn’t force the issue. The second turn was where Hasan lost control, crashed into the barriers, and fell to the ground breaking his leg, so both racers were acutely aware of the dangers. Only the most foolish took unnecessary chances here, and neither Kerry or Alex were foolish.

 

Technical turns like these are always a pain in the butt, because you have to do them right and quick.  Screw up either, and you’re gonna lose positions, or you’re gonna break a limb.  These kids don’t want that:  they’re in line to do something good.  So Kerry doesn’t rush it, and Alex doesn’t push the matter.

Though going through Residence and into Aerodrome–

This big turn in the sky here.

This big turn in the sky here.

–Kerry understands that Alex is drafting him to either shake him up or hang with him until the last kilometer of the course, when she’s going to try and pass him either on the South Side Slide or The Sweep and run hard for the finish line.

That would be this section here, about two kilometers total.

That would be this section here, about two kilometers total.

And how did that turn out?

 

They were both through Back Path and heading into the slight rise that led to Van der Kroff Heights before they turned left and held as much speed as they could through long, descending right-left that was South Side Slide for the final run through The Sweep and into Diamond Lane. This was Kerry’s big moment. He’d heard nothing of either of the two pilots in front of him DNFing, nor had he passed anyone in trouble. If he could hold off Alex he’d finished third in his first A Team race and end up with a podium. He topped Van der Kroff Heights with his thoughts on how to protect his advantage, then jetted through the turn at almost four hundred kilometers an hour, and slammed downward through South Side Slide with Alex right behind him.

They were kicking up dirt and debris as they leveled out next to the Groundkeeper South structure, keeping most of the speed he’d possessed leaving Van der Kroff Heights. Kerry knew he could get through The Sweep at this speed, and that he could hold the turn for the three or four seconds needed. It was going to hurt: he’d easily pull five and a half gees, and his boy bits were going to take a thrashing, but at the end lay a third place finish, and the gain was worth the pain.

Kerry set up on the far outside of the turn and held there before starting his entry to The Sweep. He began his turn, staying as close to the outside safety enchantment as possible, and held on. The weight piled on and his vision began to gray once more. He stopped watching the g meter when it passed five and a half, and he felt like he was pulling six, maybe seven. The only good thing was with him being on the outside like this, Alex couldn’t get around him—

Half way through the turn Alex’s speeder came around on the inside, maybe a meter from Kerry, carrying just enough extra speed that she was able to come out of the turn ahead and slide up in front as they sprinted towards the finish.

What the—? He ignored the pain in his body and set off after Alex, getting in behind and drafting her as she’d done him. They hit four fifty, five hundred, six hundred kilometers an hour, with Kerry less than a PAV length off her processor. This was over in the next five seconds, and Kerry had one chance to pull ahead: out of the short dog leg leading up to the last three hundred meters he caught as much of the draft he could, snap slid to his left, and pushed the speeder ahead, hoping the combination of physics, magic, and willpower would help enough . . .

Alex reached the finish line a half a speeder length ahead of Kerry to finish third.

 

No podium for Annie’s Racing Soul Mate, but he’s happy he had a good finish and a clean race from Alex.  After they slow down they meet up with Penny and Kerry asks his questions–

 

He found her waiting with Penny, who hovered about ten meters from the start-finish. Kerry pulled along side and gave Alex a thumbs up before raising his helmet front. “Congratulations. That was great.”

Alex and Penny both had their helmet fronts up. “Thank you. And congratulations to you as well. Forth and points the first time out—” She laughed through the huge smile on her face. “Much better than my first time.”

He leaned forward and addressed Penny. “Did you get second?”

I think so—” She nodded towards The Diamond. “The results will be finalized once we’re inside.”

As they flew slowly towards Exit Three Kerry turned to Alex. “That was a sweet move at the end. How did you do that?”

“It wasn’t magic, if you were wondering.” Alex moved around on her seat, relieving his own tenderness. “Girls can take higher g forces; it’s because how we are made—”

A broad smile spread across Penny’s face. “And we don’t have to worry about squashing our lady parts on high speed turns.”

Kerry laughed. “Yeah, you have an advantage on me there.”

“I knew I could pull more speed through that turn than you—” Alex sighed as if she couldn’t believe her own luck. “It was just a question of whether I could hold the turn and not hit you.”

They entered the exit tunnel. “You proved you could. Great race, both of you.”

Penny stretched out her arms as they entered the Diamond and proceeded to the infield. “You helped make it a great race. Imagine if we could have run the whole race that way.”

Alex looked up at the overhead displays, awaiting the official results. “It would be one, two, three.”

 

Yeah, not squishing the lady parts does help a lot when you’re pulling a five g turn–or as they both did at the end, closer to seven or eight.  And the part about women being able to pull higher g forces is true:  the US Air Force did studies on this back in the 1960s.  It’s all about the hips and that uterus that helps prevent blood from pooling in the lower torso during a high speed turn.  Power of the Womb, yo.

And the results do come:

 

The results flashed upon the holographic displays, and the green border indicated their were final. Penny let out a scream. “Second. Hell, yes.” She tapped Alex on the arm. “And you got third.”

“Two podiums.” Alex pointed at the display. “You got forth—”

He finished her statement. “And Manco got sixth.” Kerry began laughing. “We got four of six point positions.”

“And two of the three podiums.”

Penny leapt off her speeder and pulled Alex and Kerry from theirs before binding them up in a huge hug. “Second, third, forth—” She looked up at the screen, then back to her floor mates. “We got a shot at Mórrígan.”

Alex was almost bouncing up and down. “It was a good day to race.”

Kerry looked up into the stands to where Annie was sitting. She was on her feet applauding while looking his way. She kissed her right index and middle fingers and extender her hand in his direction, in the way they’d begun doing to each other over the last year. He kissed the index and middle fingers of his left hand and slowly extended them toward his happy soul mate. “You’re right, guys.” He smiled as he dropped his arm to his side. “It was a good day to race.”

 

And there you have it:  nearly thirty-six hundred words of how Kerry did in his first A Team race.  Actually, more wordage than that, if you count the scene before, but I’m just talking about this part.  And now that Kerry’s through and has his Sweetie waiting for him, I need to get ready and hit the road back to my other Home in the East, which is not to be confused with a Home By the Sea.

Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll get to write tonight.

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