Ready on the Green: Run Your Race

I wasn’t too busy with the novel last night, mostly because I was working on my Humans recap, and by the time I finished that sucker, I’d ended up writing about, oh, fifteen hundred new words.  I should take that back:  after the recap I added another three hundred words to the scene, and then, this morning, I put an additional four hundred in.

Also, I was up at four AM:  first because I couldn’t sleep, second because of Pluto.  The New Horizon flyby was this morning, and as I write this it’s already happened, though we won’t know until about seven-thirty PM my time if it actually made it, or if it slammed into something fifty kilometers per second and went kaboom.  This is something I’ve been waiting for over the last decade, and I can’t wait to get the info.

As for the novel . . .

I added something this morning that I felt was missing from yesterday’s writing.  Since Kerry spotted Annie in the stands, it’s only reasonable that she saw him looking her way.  And she would respond, because if there is anyone who’d want Kerry to do well, it’s his Sweetie . . .

 

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

Kerry knew they’d both watch the races in comfort: the seats were not like what one normally found at sporting events, but were large and comfortable, and had small tables to the side upon which one could place they snacks and drinks. The first time Kerry sat in one, he felt he was about to see a movie or play instead of a race over one of the school’s courses.

(start new)  Annie saw he was looking in her direction and gave him a smile along with a small wave. He waved back, and for a moment the jitters he’d felt since stepped onto the lift subsided. He’d felt this way when he’d run his first B Team race, and he was feeling it a bit more now because this would be his first real race on a Class 2. Seeing Annie, however, put his mind and nerves at ease: no matter what happened to him on the course, he’d see her after he finished and they’d dance the night away. If he wasn’t in the hospital . . .  (end new)

Penny slid in close to Kerry’s left as they passed through the tunnel exit. “You remember the crossover rules?”

 

It’s not a lot, but it’s one of those touches that would put Kerry at ease and make him feel better.  And he will need that–

 

Erywin and Vicky met them at the Start-Finish line. They were riding Class 1 and were there to assist the fliers with getting into their proper starting positions. All fliers had run qualifying laps Friday morning and were familiar with their pole positions—though those had changed for a few racers due to the elimination of Hasan due to injury. Since he’d not qualified as an A Team member, nor had any A Team points to help with placement, there was only one position remaining for Kerry: tenth, or last, place.

He set up in the back and looked forward as he lowered his visor. His plan was to survive the race and make it to the next stage; his goal was to at least point this first time out. Kerry knew the positions of his teammates: Alex was seventh, Penny sixth, Darius third, and Manco second. I need to pass Alex and Penny to get a point, and after that . . .

There wasn’t any point in thinking about “after that”. Penny was correct: run your race and everything will be fine. He had his plan and his goals—all that remained was for the race to start.

 

It’s not a good thing that Kerry starts in the back, but he’s raced before, real and on a computer, and he knows what to do.  And he does . . .

 

Five red globes appeared above the start-finish line and flashed three times before changing to a steady yellow. This was the moment Kerry waited for: the start of the race. The yellow globes began flashing, and he knew there was only one more sequence to show—

They flashing yellow turned steady green. Kerry pushed on the handle grips and willed his speeder forward—and nearly ran over the eight place Ceridwen racer in front of him. He jerked the PAV to the right and poured on the speed. Three seconds later he slipped in behind Penny and followed her up through Rockport Lane. He triggered his racing HUD—which only showed speed and enchantment strength—and saw that a quarter of the way through the long, sweeping turn, he was already going two hundred forty-six kilometers per hour. Two hundred meters past start-finish and I’m going a hundred and fifty? This thing moves.

 

In case you’re wondering, that’s an acceleration of 11.56 meters per second squared, which is also about one and a fifth gravitates.  With a velocity of 68 meters per second at the time Kerry checks his HUD, how long did that take?

What do you mean, you don't get physics?

What do you mean, you don’t do physics?

So just under six seconds and he’s two football fields from the start finish, and still picking up speed.  If only the other twelve year old kids back in Cardiff could see him.

And if we want to put this in a proper context, the Formula 1 car Annie’s father drives has an average acceleration of 1.11 m/s2, which means if Kerry and Annie’s Papa were racing together, right now, Kerry would be beating him.  There’s probably a reason why Annie’s Mama might not want Papa to know her daughter is in love with a racer, because Papa knows how Mama felt about him racing, and . . .

Yeah, just another reason dads don’t like their daughter’s boyfriends.

How goes the rest of the start?  Like this:

 

Penny worked her way around another Ceridwen member and Kerry slid a half-meter to his left and pulled a half a PAV length ahead of the same flier. He hung there with the girl as she kept glancing to her left as they approached Graves. As he slowed and turned slightly to his right, Alex slipped in on the girl’s right and hugged the inside of the turn. The Ceridwen flier, finding herself stuck between two Cernunnos members, tapped her air brakes and dropped back a few meters.

Kerry sped ahead through the short chute leading to the gentle left-right-up-down chicane that was Gate Pass—the same place that his impromptu race with Emma began just over a year ago. He hung on as he pushed the speeder through the turn much faster than he’d ever done with his Espinoza, feeling it slide a bit as if he were on ice. But there wasn’t any ice in the air: the only think keeping him on the course was magic and willpower, and at the moment he had plenty of both. He dropped down into Keeper Path, again picking up speed as he headed towards the Sunrise Bends. He glanced to his right as Alex glanced to her left: her eyes smiled, and his smiled back.

He negotiated the entry turn and pulled to his right, following Sunrise towards the school’s outer wall and the hard left turn. You’re running your race— He felt the gees pile up as he pushed the speeder, and himself, through the long, wide, one-seventy turn towards The Narrows. Keep doing what you’re doing, and it’ll turn out great . . .

 

In the time this scene played out, Kerry covered this distance:

Follow the squiggly yellow line again.

Follow the squiggly yellow line again.

Even if that’s maybe thirty seconds, you’re still looking at about a two and a half-minute first lap, and about three to three and a half minutes for the next Blue Line lap.  Say six minutes to go Green to Blue to Green–that’s an eighteen minute race, probably averaging close to 175 mph the whole way–

And they gotta do it two more times after this.

Yeah, it’ll make for an interesting afternoon.

Ready on the Green: At the Post

It may be late, but it’s coming.  Wanna know why?  Well, you’re gonna!

See, I didn’t write yesterday.  Why?  I was on the road for almost six hours because I met with friends up in Rockford, IL, and in the best of times that’s a two-and-a-half hour drive for me.

Even Google Maps tell me so.

Even Google Maps tell me so.

Going up wasn’t that bad; traffic was pretty normal for the western burbs of Chicago.  Coming back, however, I had to deal with the end results of three accidents, and the last one forced me to make a quick detour off the interstate and down a highway which I know I’d traveled maybe thirty years before.  Needless to say, that and having to pick up dinner at the end of the day added more time than I’d anticipated for the trip home.

At least I was dressed comfortably.

At least I was dressed comfortably.

Even once home I had to make noted for my recap of Episode 3 of Humans, so by the time I was done with all that, I was tired and didn’t feel like writing.

So what did I do?  Wrote this morning.  Seven hundred and fourteen words worth of wrote.  Since you’ve been waiting, I’ll give it all.

 

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

Kerry stood next to his hovering Class 2 as the large service lift rose from The Diamond’s lower lever hanger, lifting him and the team to the infield section of the ground floor of the track. He wore his helmet, though the front was raised so his face was visible, otherwise he was ready to race.

He looked up into the stands where nearly the entire school body sat among the cavernous structure. He understood how The Foundation built for the future, but it was strange to see a little more than one hundred people sitting in a space designed to hold fifty times that number. He also felt a little sadness because the space represented the potential the school had hoped to achieve by now, but could not.

The lift locked into place and the command was given to the flier to mount their PAVs. Kerry liked the Class 2s; they superficially resembled the Class 1s, but only because they had a long frame and a seat in front of the processor. There the similarities ended and the Class 2’s uniqueness took over. The processor was about twenty percent larger and more streamlined. The saddle had a small back to prevent the pilot from sliding off during periods of high acceleration. At the front were canards about fifteen centimeters below the frame, there to allow more maneuverability at high speed. And rather than control the PAV by applying pressure directly to the frame, there was a set of handlebars with grips that were used to control the PAV.

For the same reason a Class 1 was called a “broom”, the Class 2 was nicknamed “the Speeder Bike” due to its resemblance of the device from the Star Wars universe. As Kerry mounted his PAV, he chuckled as he pondered the irony that they, too, were about to go forth and race in the woods. At least no one will be shooting at me

 

So now when you think of Kerry and the others racing, you’ll have this image in mind–

Stormtroopers and explosive crashes into trees not included.

Stormtroopers and explosive crashes into trees not included.

–‘Cause that’s pretty close to a Class 2, save for the modified single-line Class 1 frame.  Seriously, I’ll have to get into Blender and start designing these suckers.

 

They were given the command to head out to the course, and Kerry followed the team, led by Manco, from the infield towards the oval track. There wouldn’t be a parade lap: they’d head directly to the course out Exit Three. As they reached the track surface he looked up and saw Annie waving to him; she’d picked a seat midway down the backstretch where she could view the holograms showing the race from the various Spy Eyes that would follow and record each heat. Jario sat to her left: he was waving to Penny, who was waving back.

Kerry knew they’d both watch the races in comfort: the seats were not like what one normally found at sporting events, but were large and comfortable, and had small tables to the side upon which one could place they snacks and drinks. The first time Kerry sat in one, he felt he was about to see a movie or play instead of a race over one of the school’s courses.

Penny slid in close to Kerry’s left as they passed through the tunnel exit. “You remember the crossover rules?”

“Yep. Green under to Blue; Blue over to Green.” He sat up and rolled his shoulders as they emerged into the light. “I won’t forget.”

“I know; I just wanted to make sure you remembered.”

“And remember to watch the transition from Blue to Green—” Alex pulled into position on his right. “Every thought the pop-over is supposed to act like a chicane to Green Line, it doesn’t make you slow much; you’ll carry a great speed from Diamond Lane to Rockport.”

“You’ll carry a hell of a lot more speed into Graves—” Penny checked her helmet, as if reassuring herself that it was in place. “The first time I raced Blue to Green I almost crashed there because I wasn’t paying attention.”

“From The Sweep to Graves it’s as long as West End through Sunset Boulevard, and just as fast.” Alex looked over and smiled. “Don’t worry: we are sure you’ll do well.”

“Thanks, guys.” He closed his eyes for just a moment as they approached the start-finish line. “I won’t let anyone down.”

“Run your race and everything will be fine.” Penny slapped down her face front and flipped up the visor. “See you at the end.”

 

The area Alex is describing is the following:

Just follow the squiggly yellow line.

Just follow the squiggly yellow line.

When they say “Pop-over,” Alex means the course rises up over the Green/Blue crossover so fliers never run into each other–which would probably see one of the racers die if that ever happened.  It’s meant to slow up the racers on their way to the Green Line, but once you know how to navigate that chicane properly, one figures out how to take it without losing much speed, which leads to one heading into the Graves turn a lot faster than the B Team racers gets when running juts the Green Line.

It’s almost time to get this party started.  The racers are just about ready–

Are you?