Well, another year begins, and it’s been a tough morning for me. One, I was out last night and had a few drinks. Well, more than a few. That caused me to wake up fuzzy and not feeling my best–at 3 AM. I had coffee using my next Chemex maker, which is a bit time consuming, but makes the coffee taste so good–
Also, some jackass gave me shit about my “existence,” which is to say he was being a transphobic asshole. He kept saying he couldn’t except my existence because gender was a “simple thing,” and I couldn’t be who I was. I finally told him–twice in fact–that my existence didn’t require his belief to be real, and that if he couldn’t handle that, it was his problem, not mine. He finally left me alone when I realized he wasn’t going to get under my skin and make me spin out.
Oh, and I also broke a nail again, but it was the same nail I broke back last July, and I have a feeling that what broke off was something that was going to break eventually no matter what. It’ll grow back, so no biggie.
Now, back in the story . . .
While I didn’t write yesterday, I was writing at four this morning, and I’ve been writing, off and on, since then. We’re now into the flight of Salem Night Solo, and it’s going . . .
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie crossed US 1 just north of Putnamville Reservoir and began to parallel it as she headed towards I-95. A little over twenty-seven kilometers out, and she was not only feeling the cold, but everything Vicky and Isis mentioned about how things looked different at night were all coming true.
Departure from the school went as expected. Vicky instructed her to climb to three hundred meters, get her bearings, and then head to the first objective, which Annie accomplished with no problems. After months of working with her Band she understood completely how to use the mapping function to find a location and determine her heading. What she found more difficult now was keeping her altitude steady. With the ground more difficult to see, it was easier to slip up and down off the hight she was ordered to maintain. Annie knew that as the flight progressed, she’d get better at staying level throughout the flight.
Once they were moving Annie saw for the first time how the school was ringed by Normal civilization: since there were only a few areas inside the school walls that were illuminated, the demarcation between the darkness inside and brightness outside was striking. It was one thing to view the darkness of the school from Observatory Tower, but this high above the Flight School, she realized for the first time how isolated they were from the outside. That made her feel comfortable in an unusual way.
The moment Kerry and she cleared the south walls Annie felt a faint smile forming under her balaclava. Right now all the other B Levels were either in their towers or elsewhere on the school grounds, and here she was with her soul mate flying free away from the school and into Gloucester and point south. The first solo flight felt no different from the times Kerry and she had flown out on their own, but now she felt as she was at home: able to do what she wanted and as she pleased—up to a certain point. Back in Pamporovo her parents didn’t give her objectives to reach and photograph . . .
It was while traveling to the next objectives that Annie began to feel the cold, and she realized that she’d have to keep an eye on her HUD. Objectives in the distance could only be guessed at and not completed determined, and she knew once they were closer to Boston, the lighting might give everything an appearance of sameness, making it more difficult to pick out locations.
I know I can do this— She crossed I-95 as she kept US 1 to her left. I simply need to concentrate more.
“Flight Deck, this is Salem Night Solo.” Annie adjusted her goggles. “I have my next objective in site; it’s about two kilometers ahead. Over.”
“Roger, Salem Night Solo.” Vicky’s voice was smooth and clear. “We confirm your position in the tank. Hold at an altitude of one-fifty over objective and catalog. Over.”
“Roger, Flight Deck. Over and out.” Annie descended from two hundred meters as she approached the Halstead Danvers apartment complex. Once over the central building she turned to her chase pilot. “Please get this for me?”
“Sure thing.” Kerry unshipped his tablet from the sticky enchantment that held it in place while they were in motion and photographed the complex below their position. “Flight Deck, this is Salem Night Solo, Starbuck Actual. Objective snapped and confirmed. Over.”
“Roger, Salem Night Solo.” Vicky’s chuckle was easy to hear over the comm. “Athena Actual, can you confirm that your in-love-with-his-call-sign boyfriend has confirmed your position? Over.”
Annie didn’t try keeping the mirth out of her voice as she could almost see Kerry blushing under his balaclava. “I confirm that he has confirmed. Over.”
“Okay, Night Solo. Take five and get your course sent for the next objective. If you’re ready to go before five minutes has gone by, radio in. Over.”
“Roger, Flight Deck.” Annie nodded to herself while watching Kerry. “It shouldn’t take me long. Over and out.” She tapped her comm to standby before bringing up the navigational maps of the region.
Kerry side-slipped his broom until he was about a meter away. “How’s the next part look?”
You have to love how Vicky and Annie are sort of making fun of Kerry, who you know is taking it in stride, but probably blushing like hell as Annie suspects. It would also appear that Annie has reached the sight of the old Danvers Asylum without any issues–
Given that I don’t have anything to do today, and that I’ll be home all this time, odds are good I’ll get around to the next leg. And bring in 2016 with some lovely soul mates flying.