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The Final Solo: Naming the Unmarked Roads

Well . . .

After leaving at nine-thirty to get my nails done, I returned about thirty minutes ago.  And looking at the big clock on the wall that means I have about ninety minutes to get ready for tonight’s dinner, which could see me flipping right the hell out at some point if people start talking shit.

But I look great, and don't any anything bad about my earrings.

But I look great, and don’t any anything bad about my earrings.

This means what I said I would do earlier–finish this scene before making this post–ain’t gonna happen.  I lied.  Annie will likely get mad at me at some point, but I can handle her.  I think.  Now that she’s learning Kali, aka Arnis, aka Eskrima, and she is learning how to use alongside magic, she’s gonna make Jason Bourne look like a child stumbling around in the dark.  Since Kerry is learning this as well, one has to say that you gotta pity the poor fool who decides to pick a fight with either of them, and just laugh like a loon at any one who think they can take them both on at the same time.

But where are we?  Oh, yeah:  the solo flight.

It’s the end of the solo flight as we know it, and it seems like the kids feel fine.  As you’ll see they reached not only Marker 2 but Marker 3 before setting sail for home.  Here’s how that looks:

Three buoys and a final leg home.  Pretty simple, huh?

Three buoys and a final leg home. Pretty simple, huh?

Marker 2 is about one hundred and ten kilometers, or about seventy miles, out to sea, with Marker 3 being one hundred and thirteen kilometers from the school, but about fifty-five kilometers from Cape Cod.  That’s going to come up later in the book, trust me, because it’s something important.  Would I lie?  Don’t answer.

Up until now the focus has been on Annie and Kerry, but now, with the flight nearly finished, we head for the school and see what Vicky and Isis are up to.  One might say “trouble,” but you’re looking at the wrong people for that . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

Vicky got into the habit of keeping half an eye on Flight Deck’s central holo display since Annie and Kerry departed the Marker 3 buoy almost fifteen minutes ago. After a short stay there Vicky gave them the approval to return to school at best possible speed. She’d imagined Annie wanting to return at as high a speed as she could stand, but they weren’t traveling much faster than they had at any point during the ocean legs of the flight, maintaining a steady three hundred and twenty-five kilometers an hour.

Isis returned to the Flight Deck after stepping out to use the bathroom. “How are they?”

“They’re fifteen klicks out—” Vicky checked the clock. “They should be here in three or four minutes at this rate.”

“Flight Deck, this is Salem Final Solo.” Annie’s voice showed just a touch of excitement. “Slowing to three hundred and preparing for final approach. Over.”

“Roger, Athena. We have you on final approach. We’ll meet you downstairs so we can take you to the hospital for a checkup. Over.”

Annie’s reply wasn’t immediately forthcoming, but given they were a few minutes out from the school Vicky wasn’t concerned. It was only after Isis’ sharp intake of breath that she snapped to attention. “What?”

“What the hell are they doing?” Isis pointed to the holo display.

Vicky immediately saw what was causing Isis’ concern. “What the hell?” She checked the numbers being fed back from Annie’s Band. “Why did they drop from two hundred meters to eight?”
Isis grunted. “Maybe you should ask?”

“Yeah, maybe.” Before she could query her fliers sound began filtering though the Flight Deck’s comm system. Vicky listened for a few seconds with a puzzled look upon her face. She was hearing music, but there was something else there as well— “Is that cheering?”

“Sounds like it.” Isis started at the display. “Gotta be Kerry.”

“Gotta be.” Vicky expanded the display as the music began to swell. “They’ve changed course. They’re heading for Good Harbor Beach and Brier Neck.”

“Looks like they’re gonna skirt northeast Gloucester.”

“Yeah.” Vicky called out to her students. “Salem Final Solo, this is Flight Deck. What are you doing? Over.” When a response wasn’t immediately forthcoming she called again, this time with more of an edge in her voice. “Athena, Starbuck, what the hell do you think you’re doing? Respond. Over.”

Kerry was half-chuckling as he returned the call. “Flight Deck, you’re breaking up. Last transmission tango bogus. See you on the flight line in a few. Over and out.”

“Wait—” Vicky tapped near hear right ear. “Salem Solo, Salem Solo, respond. Athena—” The music grew louder as a guitars and drum joined the synthesizer intro along with a loud blast of cheering. “Shit. Shit. I know what they’re doing.”

“Yeah, so do I.” Isis couldn’t stop smiling as she saw Annie and Kerry pop up to about forty meters just before they reached the southern coast of Cape Ann. “Here they come.”

The music blasted through the Flight Deck while Vicky alternated glances between the central holo display and the exit. “I should have expected this. Let’s get up to the roof—”

 

If you remember Annie’s last solo flight there were some shenanigans performed at the end.  Well, as this solo flight is a lot bigger than the last, said shenanigans gotta be properly proportioned as well.  And that’s where this scene is headed.

I’ll finish this up tomorrow over Sunday coffee.  You can believe that, ’cause Annie will come after me with magical batons if I don’t.

 

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