The snow is bearing down on us as I write this, and in about twelve hours we’re gonna get hit with Snowmageddon 3: This Time It’s Personal. Bring it: I’m ready. I went out after work to get my staples, and I’ll make it through no matter what. Plus I’m crazy and I’ll walk down to something if it’s open–if being the operative word.
Needless to say today will be Panic in The Burg, and I’m certain at least one person at work will yap on about this shit for more than a few hours. It’s even possible we’ll be sent home early because The Burg shuts down once there’s a couple of inches on the ground–or, as we say back over by Chicago der, “It’s Friday.”
Anyway . . . after getting home I started writing, and for the first time in a while I actually felt like writing. Even though I had to do a bit of calculating in the next section of about eight hundred words–at one point I had four tabs open, each with an online calculator ready to go–I was still a happy girl as I tapped away at the keys.
Yeah, that could be entirely possible.
There’s racing, and know I know who the hell is doing want. And here they are–
Have at it, kids!
All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
The course straighten and vanished into the gray, misty forest. Kerry pushed forward hard as the acceleration tried to force him backwards and off the broom’s saddle. Jaramillo stayed on Kerry’s left while Iglesias stayed about half a broom length to the left and back from her, and all three quickly reached a hundred and eighty kilometers an hour as they closed on Manco and Soroushi. Kerry pushed his speed, hitting two hundred then two-ten, but the girls from Blodeuwedd and Ceridwen stayed with him, as did the gaggle of racers coming up through his draft.
He needed to clear the people in the front in the next twenty seconds, otherwise the people behind him were going to jam on him and the girls to his left, while he jammed into the two fliers in front—the sort of situation that might see someone getting pushed into the safety enchantments and maybe crashing, or blowing an elevation gate and taking a five second penalty. Maybe all of those.
Kerry jerked a few centimeters to his left, just enough to make Jaramillo think he was going to tap her, then cut to his right as he lay his body over the control column and pushed on nearly five gees of acceleration. Two seconds and two hundred meters was all he needed to boost his top end to just over five hundred thirty kilometers an hour. He sailed past Soroushi—who had finally pushed her speed to what seemed like a bit over two hundred—and moved back to the center of the track.
Unfortunately, all the others behind him had the same idea. Fortunately, a few of them did pile up behind Manco and Soroushi, which meant they’d have to catch up at some point later on the course.
That “two seconds and two hundred meters” was the first of those things I needed to calculate, and it necessitated having to open three calculators. First to find out how much speed I’d pick up if I pushed on five gees of acceleration–which, in case you’re wondering, is 49 meters per second squared. Once I knew how fast I’d go, I looked up another calculator to make sure my meters per second to kilometers an hour I was calculating on my computer was correct. (It was.) Then I brought up a third calculator to see how much distance I would cover. Two hundred meters, by the way, is six hundred and fifty-six feet, and in case you’re wondering how far that is–
Kerry flew from the far side of the West Wing of the White House to the other side of the East Wing in two seconds. That’s some pretty good flyin’ there, kid.
But now he’s go something else to do–
Kerry didn’t care. He was entering the South Branch turn at four hundred thirty kilometers kph, and though he thought he should kill some speed so he didn’t bounce off the safety enhancements, he decided to gamble, because he knew if he didn’t, people behind him would. He pulled his broom to the left and entered the turn.
The gee force wasn’t bad—he figure he was pulling two and a half gees at the most—but it went on for a bit longer than the seven or eight seconds needed to get through Observatory Bend. He held the turn as he made the slight climb towards Twelve Cut, then cut his speed considerably as he reached the right turn and head off and up.
What I didn’t point out is that the fourth calculator I used here told me that Kerry held that speed through the turn for about twelve to thirteen seconds. And my calculations may have been off just a little, but that’s why this is a first draft, so I can go back and fix things later. Sometimes I’m a bit too eager to make sure my kids do it right. Or at least I get it right.
Anyway, this leaves Kerry almost in the lead. Only one thing up ahead . . .
The climb to Barrell Around was a good hundred meters, and the only one between him and that crest was Anna, who was only about eighty meters ahead. Her flying surprised him, because Nadine told Annie and him after last Wednesday’s Advanced Spells class that most pole sitters fade on the South Branch climb, and it was extremely rare for them to stay in the lead all the way to Pond Switchback. Kerry figured she might hold on to the lead through Barrell Around, but he was going to take her through the flat of Twin Peaks before they did the quick ninety meter drop to Pond Switchback and made the difficult left-hand turn and nearly two hundred and seventy meter climb to North Climb.
Anna flew into Barrell Around and vanished into the right hand turn. Kerry went after her, picking up speed through the blind corner leading into Twin Peaks, the narrow passage between two five hundred fifty meter hills. He hit the acceleration and caught up to the lead girl just as she was dropping out of the passage down the cut dropping almost a hundred meters to the hairpin switchback overlooking the Lower South Branch Pond—which they could almost see through the barren trees.
Kerry noticed Anna’s helmet twitch: she was checking her mirrors and knew he was behind her. She pointed down and to her left, indicating that she was letting a faster, more experienced flier pass. He pulled to the center of the turn as Anna slid a bit to her right—
He was a quarter of the way through the turn when Emma slid hard into Kerry, nearly knocking him off his broom, then straightened herself and pulled away from the Switchback and up the side of North Ridge towards North Pass, almost a kilometer away and three hundred and fifty meters higher.
Emma! How you doing, you little race-bumping ginger bitch? So here’s Kerry racing Anna, who is being nice and safe and using hand gestures–which are legit and used in a few different series–and who comes along and runs into Kerry–again? Can you say it? Say it again! LOUDER!
I wonder what might happen now? Well, I know what’s going to happen. But you’ll have to come back tomorrow to read about it, because I won’t write it until tonight.
Assuming I’m not buried in snow on the walk home.