Here we are, four nights in a row of a thousand words plus each night. And I should be able to make it five tonight, which will be something new for me as I haven’t written over five thousand words in five days in a long time. But we’ll see: I’m in the middle of a scene where the kids are having a rather frank conversation and–well, Annie finally brings up something that she’s not mentioned through the first two novels. Like I said the conversation is pretty frank and little is held back.
But that’s in the future and right now we’re in the present. Or the past, if you like, as it is 29 August, 2013, in the story as this scene unfolds. Nothing like a little time travel to keep you on your toes. And talking about flying–which my kids are about to do…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie smiled and nodded. “Papa’s flown on one: he said it was incredible.”
“Really? How did he get on one?”
“He was on Emirates Airline: they flew his and several other teams to Abu Dhabi for the Grand Prix race last November. It was a Normal commercial flight, but he flew first-class.” She looked out the window toward the aircraft. “I imagine are seating accommodations are going to be far different.”
“Oh, quite different.” Erywin approached from behind and joined them. “The Central and East Asian and Oceanic returning students are right now flying on the first one The Foundation bought; this one is the second. It’s my understanding The Foundation bought a third, for right now it’s being prepped.”
Kerry faced the instructor. “Seems like an awful lot of plain just very around, oh what? Thirty-five people?”
The A380 is a monster aircraft: it’s pretty much a 747 where the upper deck in the hump at the front of the aircraft is extended all that way back to the tail. In a standard First/Business/Economy class configuration it can seat up to 575 people, but if you go full-on Cattle Car in the Sky mode, you can get close to nine hundred passengers inside one.
Sort of like The Hunger Games at 30,000 feet. May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor that you don’t lose your mind.
But this is a Foundation flight and they do things way differently–
Erywin shrugged. “Remember, The Foundation looks at operating costs a bit differently than the rest of the Normal world. For them, flying a bunch of returning students on this aircraft isn’t that big of a concern for them.”
Annie gave a quick nod. “What does The Foundation really intend to do with these aircraft?”
“It’s mostly a lot of show for various dignitaries, but—” Erywin’s tone softened as it usually did when she was relaying information that wasn’t well known. “For the most part they can use these for flying conference rooms: that allows them to avoid problems such as we had twelve years ago.”
Kerry shot Annie a quick look: by now they both knew what really happened at the World Trade Center back in 2001. “I can understand that. They could also use them for flying command posts.”
“Which, I understand, is one of their intentions. There is ever another Day of the Dead event, they can get all VIPs into one aircraft and get them airborne.” Erywin nodded toward the window. “Under Normal circumstances, that aircraft could stay aloft for twenty-four hours. Under a Foundation emergency, it could fly like a PAV and stay aloft indefinitely.”
Kerry glanced toward Annie. “If they can keep Salem hidden, it would be nothing keeping aircraft like that hidden.”
“Exactly.” Erywin nodded toward the check-in gate. “Deanna and I have finalized everything with the airport people. I’ll see you aboard the aircraft.”
It makes sense that they’d use their A380s a little like Air Force One in that they’d put one or two up as flying command posts. And the idea of using them for important meetings in the sky is a good one: get everyone together and fly out over an ocean and chat for a few hours. They’d likely never file a flight plan and never show up on any radar until both were required for landing.
And in the meantime they can be used twice a year to ferry students at their most prestigious school back and forth because why the hell not? When you have billions at your disposal spending a few million on a couple of aircraft for a day of operation is no big thang. It allows the kids to relax and allows the pilots to gather data on how the aircraft operates. You can bet that some of the Mad Scientist in The Foundation are gonna analyze the flight recorders and look at ways of–improving the aircraft. Yeah, that’s what they’ll do.
But we’re not quite on board yet. In fact, Annie’s doing a little eye spy, and her eye has a couple in view–
Annie was hoping that Kerry and she could spend a few quiet moments together, but only moments after Erywin left Anna and Elisha approached. Annie was somewhat surprised to see that he didn’t appear too self-conscious together in public: they’d seen them together when they were visiting Montmartre and they seem to have a bit of an awkwardness about them, as if they weren’t certain if they should act like friends or a couple. Seeing them together now, it was obvious they’d decided to lean toward couple.
Kerry obviously noticed a difference in their mood as well. “You two seem to be getting along nicely.”
Anna blushed. “We’re still sort of—” She glanced at the Turkish girl next to her. “It’s still a bit of a learning phase, you know?”
Annie smiled when she spoke to Elisha, attempting to put her at ease. “We saw you both at the Eiffel Tower that night when Anna told you what she was feeling. I’m pleased to see how happy you look now.”
Elisha glanced at Anna before turning back and replying to Annie’s comment. “Thank you. It’s still taking a bit getting used to this.”
Kerry hooked one thumb the strap of his backpack. “You mean not realizing that Anna had feelings for you?”
“I, um…” Elisha glanced at the German girl once more and blushed just a little as she spoke. “I mean, it’s never been a secret in the coven that Anna’s interested in girls. I’ve been friends with her for a while and she hasn’t been afraid to talk about the subject.” She cleared her throat. “What’s taking me some time to get used to is that I didn’t realize I had feelings for her. When she told me the other night how she felt, it was like a gate opened up and all these emotions started coming out.” Elisha chuckled. “I never expected that to happen.”
Kerry smiled and nodded. “Yeah, I remember when I realized I was in love.” He reached for Annie’s hand, took it and kissed it.
Annie leaned close to him and spoke in a near whisper. “I remember both times you realized you were in love with me.”
“Both times?” Anna perked up. “You mean there was more than one?”
Just then and announcement in French came over the loudspeaker. Annie listened closely and spoke before the announcement was over. “They’re calling our flight.”
The announcement ended and was repeated in English. “Your attention, please. Those passengers traveling to Logan International Airport via special charter please report to Gate L22. Your flight will commence boarding momentarily. Thank you.”
Does this means Anna and Elisha are becoming a couple? Could be. Like Anna said, they’re still in a bit of a learning phase and they won’t know more until they’re back at school and they are spending a lot of time together. Love at school is a tricky thing at a school for witches. Unless you’re Annie and Kerry. They you were born to love. With an occasional mind-blocking detour once in a while, but witches are a strange bunch. There will be more on this as time goes on.
Thanks to Annie understanding French they are probably among the first in line to board. And once we’re inside the plane–
Just you wait.