Out On Their First Flight: Checking Off the Points

The last couple of nights have seen slow progress: I’ve been lucky to write about five hundred words a night.  Part of it has just been my mood, which is very little on the dark side of late.  I’m also finding this novel a bit more challenging than the last two, simply because I’m having to deal more with complex feelings.  My kids are growing up fast and are at that point where they’re still kind the kids, but they’re so ready to start being adults, too.

And with witches is even more difficult because immature so much faster.  Yeah, all that magical energy flowing to your body does strange things to you on top of the hormonal changes you’re already feeling.  As I’ve stated before, the staff at Salem know that the school is a bit of a pressure cooker in that there are a hundred and fifty tweeners and teens all away from home for probably the first times in their lives, all going through puberty, and all learning magic.  Things do get a bit nutty and when Coraline has mentioned that she’s had to sit with students and work with them through bad romantic and sexual encounters, she’s not kidding.  Actually, why do you think the school has three counselors?  Because they got a deal down that Witches R Us?

Now that we’ve dealt with Annie’s Friday morning, it’s time to deal with Kerry’s Friday morning.  Of course, he’s not on school grounds.  In fact, he’s not even in the same state–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry opened his jacket and gazed through the thin foliage on the southern flank of Mount Defiance at Lake Champlain a couple of hundred meters below, then glanced to his left and spotted Fort Ticonderoga a couple of kilometers away. Making certain his flight gloves were secure he removed his phone from an inside pocket and examined the photos he’d taken from the air only five minutes earlier before snapping another one so he can remember what the fort looked like from this vantage point.

“Hey, Kerry.” He turned and saw Emma rummaging around in her backpack. “You want a turkey or roast beef sandwich?”

“Roast beef, please.” Kerry headed back toward their small encampment with their backpacks resting against one tree and their brooms against another. Emma levitated the sandwich toward him and he snatched it out of the air the moment it was within arm’s reach. “Thanks.”

Emma nodded and leaned back against the tree as she unwrapped her own sandwich. “You’re welcome.” She took a bite of her sandwich as she stretched out her long legs. “Ugh, that feels so good. Felt for a while like my knees were hyperextending.”

Kerry sat on a rock outcropping a couple of meters from his wingmate. “I thought the broom was supposed to automatically adjust for your height?”

“It’s supposed to, but Vicky told me that may need to be some adjustments made.” She grunted. “It’s just a little bothersome; it’s not gonna kill me. Just need to stretch my legs for a few minutes when we reach each of our checkpoints.”

He nodded. “No problem. Just let me know how you feel when we get to them, okay?” He crafted up a small ball of cold fire and forced the sandwich wrapping inside, where was vaporized instantly. “Don’t forget to give me your trash before we leave.”

She flicked her trash and Kerry’s direction and watched it fly across the open space before he grabbed it and pushed it inside the cold fireball. “Keeping the Earth litter free through magic.”

Kerry shut down the cold fire spell. “And what better way to keep everything clean than by incineration.”

 

You finally get an idea of how the school gets rid of their trash; it’s very likely they have large bins full of cold fire and they just chuck stuff into them.  If the fire is hot enough there’s almost no residue left over, and in Emma’s and Kerry’s instance, it’s likely all their leaving behind is some real fine ash that would be hard to detect with the human eye.  And at the school, it’s probably a simple matter of transforming the ash into something that’s either easily transportable or easy to use in other applications–like say, transforming the ash into a form of fertilizer that can be used in the garden.

 

Emma looked off to her right and the Lake Champlain Valley. “We’ve got Fort Ticonderoga checked off the list. What’s the next two?”

“The next one is Pocono Speedway.” He closed his eyes as he drew in a deep breath of fresh air. “That’s about four hundred kilometers away in Pennsylvania. Then after that we come back into New York and get pictures of the Woodstock concert site.”

She sat back and stared off in the space. “You know where this speedway is at?”

“Sure I do. It’s outside Long Pond. I know the location from when I used to watch NASCAR.”

“Let me guess: the Woodstock concert site is near Woodstock.”

Kerry made a loud buzzing sound. “Oh, I’m sorry, Emma, but that is wrong. You care to try your luck at Double Jeopardy, where the prizes are bigger?”

Emma let her hands drop into her lap as she rolled her eyes. “Okay, smart ass. I’m sure you’re going to tell me exactly where the site is without looking.”

He got up to retrieve a metal water bottle and returned to his seat before answering. “It’s in Bethel, New York, about seventy kilometers from Woodstock.” He took a long swig off the bottle washing down his sandwich.

She didn’t doubt her navigator was wrong, but she was curious about the differences in location. “So why is it called the Woodstock Festival if it’s not in Woodstock?”

Kerry finished the rest of his sandwich and took another drink before giving the explanation. “They wanted to hold the festival in Woodstock but the promoters couldn’t get permission. They eventually held in on Max Yasgur’s farm outside Bethel.” He set down his water bottle and his feet. “The Woodstock concert location is kind of a trick question. It’s probably why Vicky gave it to us: she figured if she gave it to anyone else they go to Woodstock and get lost looking for the place.” He stretched his arms and shoulders. “Instead, we get to have our picture taken next to the Woodstock stage.”

The corner of Emma’s mouth turned upwards of a smile as she gave an approving nod. “And you’re probably the only kid in class who knows this.”

“Probably. It’s another one of those useless facts I happen to have hidden away in the back of my head.”

“I’m glad you do because it makes our job of finding these places a lot easier. Since we don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for our targets we can just race there, get our pictures, and get home before everyone else.” She levitated Kerry’s water bottle toward her so she could get a drink. “What did Vicky want to ask you without me present?”

 

Since I’m not going to answer Emma’s question today we may as well get to this snipe hunt Team Myfanwy doing for their first day of Advance Flight Two.

First off we have the points they are visiting and they are way the hell out away from the school:

Like states away out.

Like states away out.

Emma and Kerry are flying over a thousand kilometers through five states so they can get pictures at three different locations and be home by lunch.  For these two it’s not a problem:  Kerry knows his locations and Emma can stay a course like no one else.  And zipping between destinations at 400 kph isn’t a problem, either, ’cause they both know they won’t miss their targets.

Their first stop–where this scene takes place–is on Mount Defiance overlooking Fort Ticonderoga, located in northern New York state.

If you look hard you can almost see the kids.

If you look hard you can almost see the kids.

Fort Ticonderoga is famous for being taken during the Revolutionary War by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boy.  The legend says that when the British demeaned to know on whose authority Allen demanded entry, he replied,  “In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”, but historians know Allen was pretty much an atheist and an extremely profane man, so people who’ve studied this moment believe Allen probably said, “Open the goddamn gates, you bastards!”  Why didn’t we learn this in history?

Then it’s down to Pocono Speedway in Pennsylvania–which is a nice track but if you’ve seen one NASCAR track, you’ve seen most of them–and then off to the site of the Woodstock Concert, which is right where Kerry says it is, and is there for the same reasons stated.  These days the site is a music and arts center with a covered concert pavilion, but that isn’t the Woodstock stage to which Kerry was referring–the area where the festival was held is now something of a tourist attraction and a historical site, and a duplicate of the stage is there to remind people how the place looked minus all the rain, mud, and trash.  And the musicians tripping on acid, but that’s another story.

You can't see it, but there's a peace sign cut in the field, because of course.

You can’t see it, but there’s a peace sign cut in the field, because of course.

And knowing Kerry they’d someone get up on stage for their photo.  Because that’s how he rolls.

Now that we know the sights, what about the meeting?  Well…

Gather the Fliers: There is Only the Flight

Though I said  I’d get in some writing yesterday it didn’t happen.  I was far too busy before leaving for D.C. and I didn’t return home until 1 AM.  The only good thing is that I did not encounter a lot of traffic coming home, which is a first as I-495 to I-95 to I-695 is  usually a madhouse even late a night.  Instead, once I was off the Capital Beltway the trip home was pretty nice and I could drive long distances on cruse control without having to change lanes because drivers were unsure if they should go slow or fast.

So I’m out for coffee this morning and I’m down one cup and ready for my hot cocoa.  I’m also ready for this afternoon’s protest march–

All pinned up and ready to go.

All pinned up and set to go.

Today is also Big Excerpt Day, where I finish off the scene I’ve been in for a few days.  As I am now only 6,100 words ahead of you I need to get some writing in today least you overtake me this week.  But since it would be ridiculous to split up the rest of the scene, it’s all coming at you so we can move on to the next.

And  this is gonna be fun because it’s All Vicky, All the Time…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“Good morning, pilots.” Vicky Solomon stepped out of her office and walked slowly toward the middle front of the Ready Room. Like the students she was dressed in her flight gear, though given her years writing a broom her jacket, pants, and boots all possessed a well-worn appearance. “Look at you, all so ready and eager to start the year. Is everyone here?” She waited a beat and received no responses. “Okay, then. I guess that means I’m going.

“Just so we get it in the record books this is Advanced Flight Two. Everyone who is in last year’s class is here this year—although it would appear we have one or two people who are still changing.” As if on cue the door to the girl’s locker room opened and two students came hurrying out. “This is the last year we will have flight instruction. After this class the next time any of us will meet will be in Introduction to Jaunting, which you will all take in your E Levels. But that’s two years from now: today, we deal with what’s going to happen in the level to come.

Vicky stepped behind the podium. “The main emphasis of this class is to teach you more about maintenance of the PAVs, and not just your Class 1, but also the Class 2 and 3. We are also going to learn about long-distance flying and navigating, as well as some of The Foundation’s guidelines and rules concerning flying in the Normal world. This will come in handy for you in the future, as I’m certain some of you will want to begin taking the knowledge you’ve developed in these classes and use it to begin going out and enjoying the recreational benefits of being able to fly long distances without spending any money.” This last remark brought out laughter from several flight teams.

She gripped the sides of the podium as she leaned slightly forward. “But there’s one thing that’s going to happen in this class that will overshadow everything else and you know what it is without me even having to mention. The most important goal you have this year is to prepare yourself for the Polar Express. You’re going to spend at least two days and two nights in the Canadian wilderness in the second weekend in January, and it will not be a picnic.

 

Now we  know when kids start learning to jaunt:  during their E Levels.  Of course some students don’t wait that long because they are Pushy McPushface when it comes to learning new stuff, and Annie has already stated she intends to start on jaunting soon, no matter what.  Which means it won’t be long before Kerry starts learning to jaunt.  It’s gonna be interesting to see who learns it the fastest.

But Vicky hits on the one thing that’s on everyone’s mind:  the Polar Express.  It’s been spoken of through the last two novels and we’ve seen Penny and Alex head off into The Great White North to partake in the event.  Though we’re about to discover it’s more than a normal event…

 

“Everyone approaches the Polar Express the same way. When they first hear about it they think it’s going to be fun, just them and their wingmate spending a couple of days doing winter flying and camping. How hard can it be? Well, you got a little taste of how hard it could be in Advanced Flight One, when we went out on overnight flights and you had set up tents in winter conditions at night and then spend the next day flying a thousand kilometers with minimal navigation equipment. Some of you bitched; some of you didn’t do so well. And at least one team came damn close to not even making this class because of their performance on the overnight flights.” Vicky stared off slightly to her left so she wouldn’t have to see the glares Franky and Jiro were sending her way.

“This year the minimal navigation equipment will be slowly rescinded. You’re going to do one overnight flight in November with maps stored on tablets and accessed via a holographic interface, but your HUD compass will still work. There will be another overnight flight December using tablet maps and hand-held compasses because that is the gear you’re going to use on the Polar Express. In the weekend before the Polar Express the teams will be sent out on individual overnight excursions—call it a test run. You’ll be jaunted down somewhere within a thousand kilometers of the school and you’ll have to set up camp, prepare for and sleep through the night, then break camp, load up the sleeping bags and tents, and find your way home with the same navigational equipment are going to be using the following weekend.

“The test run will be your make or break: if you can’t complete it successfully, if you get lost and have to use your panic button—which each of you will have when you go out on both the test flight and the Polar Express—to get home, you will not be jaunting off into wintertime Canada the following weekend.” Vicky’s eyes swept around the room. “This last item is nonnegotiable: if you can’t make it back to the school on your own during the test flight, there’s no point in shipping you off to the middle of nowhere hoping you’ll make it back then. In all the time I’ve been at Salem I’ve never seen anyone go out to retrieve a body, nor have I had to do it myself. I’m not about to set a precedent this year.”

Vicky stepped out from behind the podium and slowly made her way around the room.  “Besides having just a map and compass and visual flight rules by which to navigate, you won’t know from where you’re starting, you will have limited supplies, and all of your brooms will be throttled so that they have a top speed of two hundred and fifty kilometers an hour. That way I can pretty much be sure you’ll spend at least two days flying home and you won’t be giving yourself a case of severe frostbite and hypothermia by trying to set speed records getting back to Salem.

“One of the unpleasant things you’re going to have to learn is how to hunt small game in the wild.” As she expected, this statement brought out a few grumbles. “You all know the deal here: the Polar Express is first and foremost a survival test and you will not have enough supplies to last you two days in the Canadian wild. You will need to supplement those supplies with food found in the wild.”

 

And by “food found in the wild” we don’t mean nuts and berries, ’cause there’s no way in hell that shit is growing on the frozen tundra.  It means a snow fox or bunny is gonna have to give up their life in order for our intrepid fliers to not get that hunger going in their bellies.  Either that or the teams will need to get home before they run out of food.  Or ration their shit.  Either works.

But really: who doesn't want to get their Hanna on?

But really: who doesn’t want to get their Hanna on?

No matter how great the flight has sounded in the past, there doesn’t appear to be anything “cool” about the Polar Express except for the weather.  It sounds like a stone bitch and the test leading up to the actual event don’t seem like a cakewalk, either.  And if you wash out on the “test” flight, no Polar Express for you, kids!  This is also the first time they’ve heard about their brooms being throttled back so someone figures out they can make it home in three hours if they just fly five hundred kilometers an hour the whole way.  Sure, they’ll have frostbite and likely be deep into Stage 2 hypothermia with their sights set on Stage 3, at which point they fall unconscious, slide off their brooms, and die.

That is something Vicky doesn’t want…

 

Vicky held up her her hands to hold back the now increased grumbling. “You knew this when you entered this class, so end this bullshit now. Either you accept the terms of the test—and this is a test upon which your proficiencies will be marked should you decide to go—or you can just say right now, or at any time within forty-eight hours before departure, that you’re not up to the trip. That way you don’t put yourself and me through a lot of unwanted torture.”

The room went quiet as Vicky stood in the middle and looked around. After a few moments of silence she did something that no one expected: she laughed. “Man, you guys should see your faces. Most of are sitting there looking confused as hell, but you have absolutely no idea what it is him talking about.” She walked back toward the front of the room and stepped behind the podium. “And the truth is, you don’t know what I’m talking about. You’ve heard the stories, but you don’t know.

“That’s all going to end starting with the next class. This class—” Vicky raised her right hand and shook it back and forth. “Eh, today were going to have a little bit of fun. You may as well get some in today, cause I think you’re gonna find from here on out, the fun is probably going to be limited—and it’s going to be spaced out…”

 

Now you know:  Emma and Kerry are out “having fun”.  You can imagine they’re not off at another person’s house playing GTA on an xBox, but probably flying in a big-ass hurry to some location many hundreds of kilometers away.  Because that’s how this class roles:  getting the kids out off the school grounds is great fun and also gives them an opportunity to see parts of New England they didn’t know existed.

But while The Ginger Hair Boy is off on his broom, the Chestnut Girl has some fun of her own coming  up…

Gather the Fliers: Trials and Revelations

Here we are, the end of the week, and I’m ready to move into the weekend.  Yesterday was ten of a busy day.  Not only was a folded work, but when I got home I had to do a video for The Snarking Dead, edit it, and upload prior to putting the post together.  Since I was kind of tired because all of the prior stuff I just mentioned was done as soon as I got home from work, I sat down and watched Maggie, a movie from a couple of years ago with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin.  It was kind of a zombie movie, but at different zombie movie, and it’s strange seeing Arnold as an older man now, because he’s lost nearly all of his muscle definition and he looks normal.  It’s an enjoyable and interesting flick, and if you have Amazon Prime you can watch it for free.

So is finally nine o’clock PM when I got around to writing.  I thought I might only get off four or five hundred words, but in the doing a little over nine hundred and forty before calling it a night.  Since the night before I had written right around one thousand eighty-one words, I got a thousand words per night average for the last couple of days.  Not bad at all.

I kind of expect to finish up the scene I’m in right now either tonight or tomorrow, because I think I’ve reached the point where I haven’t got that much more to say in the scene.  But I can move on to the final scene and get on with Chapter Ten.  In that chapter I’m going to write about special things these kids do during class, which means it gotta get my thinking cap on and start devising them.  Yeah, I know pretty much what they’re going to do, but it’s always a case of, “Now I can write this stuff out so the readers will understand it,” which can be a pain in the butt at times.  At least I know that a couple of the scenes are in the movie trailer, so I’ll just pull those off and write around them.  Because that’s what writers do.

Now, back to the Ready Room.  Emma asked Kerry if he thought she do well in a judgment match.  Right off the bat Kerry steps in with a correction…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“It’s judgment trial. And yes, I think you could. You can still do an Air Hammer, can’t you?”

During their last overnight flight of their B Levels, Kerry found time to help Emma perfect an Air Hammer spell, and by the time their school level ended she’d become good enough that Kerry told her she could probably use it as an offensive spell. “I can still do one, but not as well as you. Also, I’m not a sorceress: I can’t use dark energy.”

“Neither can Franky: he was a crap sorceress.” He gave a slight shrug. “If you ever get into a match with Franky, just keep hitting him with Air Hammers over and over and don’t let up.”

“What if they’re not that good?”

“It doesn’t matter as long as you keep throwing them. And the one thing you are good at, Emma, is crafting a spell fast. Move around the ring, throw spells, keep him off-balance.” Kerry grinned. “That’s how you beat a guy like him.”

The bravado that Emma had shown moments faded slightly. “I don’t want to have to fight him, but if I have to, I will.” She patted Kerry’s arm. “And thanks for not jumping in and saying you would fight for me.”

Kerry chuckled. “Like I said, you can take care of yourself. I ain’t some dude who’s gotta keep their masculinity on display; I know the girls here are as good, or better, than the boys when it comes to handling themselves in bad situations. You can all hold your own in a fight.”

Emma said nothing for about ten seconds, then spoke in a soft tone. “There’s probably few people here who could beat you in a fight.”

He shook his head. “I’ve never been a real fight. Sparred and done stuff against zombies in Self Defense class, but I’ve never been in a judgment trial like Annie was.” Kerry look straight ahead. “Once you’re on the Mat it’s a completely different story.”

“You’d do good. I think when it really comes to fighting Annie’s probably the only person who’s your equal.”

Kerry half turned his head so he could see his wingmate. “Why do you say that?”

For just a moment Emma looked straight ahead as if she was considering something. She didn’t look directly at Kerry as she spoke. “Fabienne’s in class with you on Sunday. She’s told me a few things.”

 

Kerry is definitely not the sort of guy who will step in and say, “Don’t worry I’ll take care of this for you, little girl.”  He knows he get his butt dusted by someone if they tried that, more than likely by Annie.  He’s been aware since the first day of school that the girls outnumber the boys considerably, and if you’re someone suffering from a fragile masculinity, you’re not going to do well.

He knows his wingmate well enough to know that if he started doing a lot of chest something all she was arguing with Franky, you’re likely pissed Emma off bad.  He also would cause her to lose face.  Fortunately, Kerry knows Emma can defend herself well enough because he showed her the one spell she could use to do that.  And we finally learn something about her concerning magic: she can craft a spell quickly.  Maybe she does know whole lot of spells, but if I can keep throwing Air Hammers at you every two or three seconds, I don’t need to know on spells.

And now we learn one last thing: apparently, there someone in Annie’s and Kerry’s Advanced Self Defense class who’s talking about them–

 

Kerry was aware that Fabienne Ratsiraka, a D Level from Toamasina, Madagascar, was also Emma’s covenmate, but he hadn’t been aware they conversed. “What has she said?”

“She says Annie and you spend almost all your time together working on your forms and that you two either spar with each other or you spar with Professor Chai. She said you’re both learning something called Kali and that you not only know how to fight hand-to-hand, but that you use weapons as well.” Emma look straight ahead for a moment again. “She said you’re both really good at using magic with martial arts, too.”

He didn’t find anything Emma said surprising. Yesterday Professor Lovecraft had told her students about how people spread rumors, and Kerry knew that both Annie and he were the source of a number of rumors. The one thing he hadn’t heard to this point, however, was the work they did in Advanced Self Defense. He found that a bit unusual as there were eight other students besides Annie and him, and he was almost certain that one of them would start talking about how the two B Levels were spending all their time learning a Filipino martial art—and that they were both getting rather good at it fast.

Kerry did his best to sound nonchalant. “Yeah, Annie and I do Kali and we both picked it up fast. One of the reasons why we do work together is because were the only ones in the class doing Kali and the only other person is any good at it is Professor Chai.” He gave his wingmate a slight smile. “And knowing how to use it with magic is half the fun, isn’t it?”

Emma shook her head. “Sometimes I don’t know about you, Kerry. It’s like, in a school full of witches you’re the most mysterious student in our level. I don’t think anyone here really knows what you’re up to most of the time.”

Kerry felt the need to put her coat on this conversation. “One person knows what I’m up to all the time.”

Emma’s face pinched up as if she just tasted something sour. “Sure. One person does.”

 

It has been mentioned in sort of an offhand way that Annie and Kerry are the only ones taking Kali, the martial arts out of the Philippines that is also known as Arnis and Eskrima, and is used quite a lot in movies and television because it looks impressive as hell, as well is being deadly.  Here we find out that the only people Annie and Kerry are sparring with Professor Chai, because she’s the only other person in the class who knows the discipline well enough to keep up with them.  Yeah, they’re like a couple of little Jason Bournes running around the School of Salem just waiting for someone to give him shit so they can put him down a couple of quick hand movements.  Or maybe they’ll just create bastons made out of mystical energy and beat the crap out of someone.  Either way, it sounds like you’re not someone you want to mess with.

The last line, though… Yeah, Emma still got that bit of sour taste in her mouth for Annie and how she seems to be a certain wingmate’s one and only.  Time to grow up, Emma–oh wait: you have!  Sorry, just had to get that one in.  This is probably the point in Emma’s life were she’s gonna have to realize that she needs to get Kerry’s relationship with Annie behind her, because it isn’t going to go away.  And since it seems as if this year the two of them may be spending a lot of time alone out in the wild, if she doesn’t put the relationship behind her, it’s just going to eat her up.

Also, there’s that whole thing from the year before where Annie threatened to break Emma’s kneecaps, and that threat hasn’t gone away.  Step out of line, Boulder Ginger Girl, and you’re going to find a Bulgarian Buttercup in your face faster than you can say “soul mate”.  In some circumstances Annie would likely help Emma if he was needed, but in one particular circumstance, she would grind her ass into the dirt until she was dust.

Annie doesn’t make threats: she makes promises.

And speaking of promises, we finally get to see Vicky coming into the class and doing the thing that she supposed to do, which is instruct all the little flyers on what to expect this year in Advanced Flight Two.

And what she expects is a lot…

Gather the Fliers: Initial Put Downs and Combacks

It’s a chilly morning here in the highs are expected to be around 40 F/4 C later in the day.  Here in the United States, it’s Groundhog Day, and as we speak there are people standing in a public square in the town in central Pennsylvania preparing to worship affect rodent with a claim can predict the weather.  I can predict the weather, Jack: it’s going to be cold, it’s going to be gray, and it’s going to last rest of your life.  Or so says Bill Murray.

But this is another important day.  Because if you been following this blog for any amount of time you would know that two years ago today a rather important event happened in my life.  Today is the day that, after more than half a year of hiding, I came out of work and began living my life 24/7 as the woman I am today.  Or as I like to say, the groundhog came out of his burrow, saw his shadow, and said we had six more weeks of winter, where has I came out of my closet, saw my shadow, and decided to remain a woman.

Today is my Groundhog Day.  I’m going to do my best to make it a good one.

Much better now that I'm just about to mainline java.

In case you needed reminding about how I looked then.

 

And how I look today.

And how I look today.

Meanwhile, back in the Ready Room of the School of Salem, someone’s trying to do something they shouldn’t.  And they just opened a can of shit they’ll probably wish they hadn’t…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Both Emma and Kerry look back over the shoulder and found Franky Smith and Koyanagi Jiro, coven mates as well as wingmates, standing in the center aisle as they poked fun at Emma. Kerry immediately got the reference: kaiju were the enormous monsters from the movie Pacific Rim, which it premiered over the summer. And given the look on Emma’s face, she understood the references well.

They were both about the let the remark go when Jiro spoke. “We better go get ourselves a couple of Class 3’s so we can nuke this sucker before she goes on a rampage and starts tearing up the school.”

Franky laughed. “Yeah, nuke her from orbit so we can be sure.”

Kerry looked straight ahead and sighed. “That’s Aliens, guys.”

Jiro looked confused. “What?”

He half turned his head so he was now looking more at the ceiling instead of the two troublemakers. “’Nuke ‘em from orbit’ is a quote from Aliens; kaiju are from Pacific Rim. So what you want to say instead is—” He turned to Emma with a serious look on his face. “’All right, Mako. Get ready, this is for real.’”

Both Franky and Jiro appeared displeased as Emma and Kerry laughed, and Franky decided to voice his displeasure. “Well, excuse me, Malibey, for not being at the same level of idiot geekness as you. Instead of worrying about movie lines, maybe you should wonder about whether or not your wingmate’s PAV is going to be able to lift her monstrous frame off the ground.”

Emma instantly stopped laughing and got to her feet. She turned to face the Canadian boy and didn’t hold back. “I’ve had enough of your bullshit, Franky, so why don’t you just kiss my ass?”

 

First off, never go for the geek reference when Kerry is around ’cause he knows all the references.  It’s obvious he saw Pacific Rim over the summer–yes, he could have as it came out 12 July in the US and UK–and if you don’t think for one moment he didn’t have all the pertinent quotes memorized after a week, you don’t know Kerry.  And for anyone to mis-quote something from Aliens?  Get ready for the pain.

Emma must have saw the movie, too, ’cause she knows what Franky’s talking about.  Sure, Kerry made her laugh by including her in a bit of geek take down, but since Franky is a mean little asshole he doesn’t know well enough to back away and lick his wounds, and his next quip gets Emma on her feet and swearing.  We know she’s somewhat scared of Annie, but Franky ain’t Annie and she lets him have it.  Maybe she feels save in the Ready Room, or maybe she’s decided to blow assholes off–

"So, telling Franky to kiss my ass isn't going to far?"  "I'd say you need to go father..."

“So, telling Franky to kiss my ass isn’t going to far?” “I’d say you need to go further…”

And that’s when it gets real–

 

Franky said nothing as he stared back with open score at the defiant girl, while Jiro appeared uneasy and seemed to want nothing to do with the rest of the conversation. Finally the Canadian boys spoke. “You’re acting pretty brave all of a sudden.”

“Brave has nothing to do with it.” Emma hooked her thumbs on the pockets of her flight jacket. “I’m just through taking your crap.”

He smirked. “You’re trying to get me to call you out, aren’t you? You trying to get me out to the Manor so you can get me in the ring?” Franky looked slightly to his left. “Is that it, Kerry? You gonna be her champion?”

Kerry sat looking straight ahead as he released a long, loud sigh. “Emma doesn’t need a champion; she can take care of herself.” He tilted his seat back a touch as he crossed his feet at his ankles. “She shouldn’t have any problem dusting you.”

Franky shook his head as if he hadn’t heard correctly. “What did you say?”

Kerry finally tilted his head up and looked back. “Emma doesn’t need my help to beat your ass. You’d know that if you weren’t so damn stupid.”

By this time the whole Ready Room was silent as the other pilots watched this confrontation unfold. Everyone waited to see what happened next: Franky’s jaw tightened as he looked away a couple of times. “You want me to call you out, don’t you? You two had this all planned.”

Kerry stared up at the ceiling and moaned while Emma rolled her eyes. She shook her head as she replied. “Yeah, Franky, you’re right: we had this all planned out. ‘Cause we knew you were going to walk in here and act like the jerkoff you normally are and make rude comments about my height. You got us all figured out, dude.”

“The question now is—” Kerry finally sat up and spun around in his chair so that he was looking straight at Franky. “What are you gonna do about this?”

Jiro came over and tugged on Franky sleeve. “Come on, man. Leave these two alone. It isn’t worth getting involved.”

Franky snorted and turned away. “Yeah. Let’s get our seats.”

Emma sat down the moment the two boys were seated. She spoke with Kerry in a hushed tone. “I do not want to put up with this BS the rest of the year.”

Kerry glanced to his right, a slight smile on his face. “Keep putting him in his place the way you just did and it won’t be necessary.”

She said her left elbow on her chair arm and rested her chin in the palm of her hand. “You really think I could take Franky in a judgment match?”

 

Sure, Kerry may have helped set up the shot, but Emma put it away and finally brought the shame to Franky.  It’s not hard to do because the kid is a total dipshit, but Emma has never stood up to people like this and it’s all new for her.  There weren’t any threats, but there were a lot of well-placed comments that did the trick.  Because this happened in front of the class, it’s likely Franky won’t try dissing anyone in class anytime soon–least of all Emma.

Now, concerning a theoretical judgment match between Emma and Franky, I’m sure Kerry has some sage advice.  He could even use a Pacific Rim reference to get his point across–

"Hit him in the crotch with an Air Hammer, Emma!  Hit him again!  UNLOAD THE SPELL!!!"

“Hit him in the crotch with an Air Hammer, Emma! Hit him again! UNLOAD THE SPELL!!!”

Yeah, that’ll work…

Gather the Fliers: Opening Obervations

First off, a good Imbolc to all.  It’s Saint Brigid’s Day and that means it’s time for a bonfire and lots of celebrating.  You do know that all those little witches that have been writing about her getting ready for their celebration tonight, and it’s easy to remember that it was on this night in the first novel that Annie’s and Kerry’s life took a major change, for this was the day the Guardians came calling to ask about two special kids.

And just like this holiday, it’s been a party ever since.  Well, maybe it’s a party if you like to hold them in the middle of the punk rock festival.  Let’s not dwell on this matter–

After weeks of showing excerpts from the previous chapter, I finally get you all caught up and show you things that have been written in chapter I’m currently working in, Chapter Nine.  Although, I’m not really showing you what I’m working on, as am slightly ahead of the curve…

Just a bit, mind you.

Just a bit, mind you.

At the moment I’m seven thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four words ahead of the start of this chapter, so once you see this excerpt I’ll still be seven thousand words ahead of you before I write more tonight.  I imagine by the time I start showing excerpts in the second scene I could be ready to finish out the chapter.  Either way, it’s good to be slightly ahead of what I’m showing versus what I’m writing.  No pressure, as I said before.

As the chapter states this is Freaky Friday, and while it’s a bit of a different day there will not be anybody switching going on.  At least I don’t think so.  It is something we can do if we had homunculi, but then I gonna come into play today.  It’s more freaky because of things getting started–plus, since everything in this chapter takes place on Friday, it seemed like a good title.

But what is it all about.  In some ways it’s about new beginnings, in some ways it’s about reflections of the past.  But before we can get to any of that, it’s necessary to set up the opening scene:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry exited the locker room and entered the nearly empty Ready Room. Three students were already here, all members the previous year’s Advanced Flight One. He was surprised to see that everyone who admitted last year’s advanced flight class had moved up to this year’s class, for he was certain there were at least a couple of people whose proficiencies weren’t good enough to move them forward.

He took his seat in the front of the room near the podium. He felt a small pang of sorrow when he realized that come the end of this school year, he would no longer sit here. For two full school years this was his seat for all flight briefings, and the only thing that changed was that Annie was no longer on his left and Emma would once again be on his right.

Come the end of May, 2014, he would no longer sit here except in those instances where it was necessary to bring all the race teams together for a meeting. Within that growing feeling of sorrow was the deeper understanding that when this class was over, half of his education at Salem was over as well.

As Nadine had told him once before, as soon as the first three years are over, it’s all a downhill slide to the end from there.

Since he wore his flight gear, it went without saying that it was likely they were going to fly today. The last time Kerry had been on the room was when Annie had come to see him week and a half before they left for Paris—and once more it was a week and half later and he was ready to take to the sky. Last weekend he had specifically told Annie that he wasn’t going to fly, because he wanted to spend time with her either on the school grounds or on trips into town. He had a sneaking suspicion that not only was he going to spend time flying around the New England countryside, but since he had a free afternoon, there was a possibility he may not even make it back for lunch…

 

It’s time for ruminating and Kerry has a lot of it going on.  Two years of flying are behind him, and once this year is over he’ll have no further need to come to the Flight School.  And as is indicated, once this class is over–indeed, once the school level is over–half of his education at Salem is done.  He’s thinking this way because, let’s face it, even with all the trials and tribulations he’s seen, the last two years at Salem have been good to him.  He found a girlfriend; he discovered he was a witch; he discovered he could do magic; he discovered that his girlfriend had been his girlfriend for a long time; he discovered his girlfriend would eventually have a girlfriend and that girlfriend would be him; and he became invested in the supersecret spy society known as the Guardians, who have the job of protecting The Foundation.

Oh, and he also learned how to fly and race.

So a lot of bitter sweetness going on in this moment, because Kerry likes the routine, he likes coming to this room, he likes sitting down and imagining that he’s some kind of World War II pilot getting ready to set off into the wild blue yonder.

And then his wingmate shows up…

 

Emma crossed in front of him and nearly threw herself into her customary seat to his right. Having had three classes with her this week, he had an opportunity to see how well she was handling her return to school since her summer growth spurt, and from what Kerry could see she wasn’t dealing well with the changes in her life. As she had expected she was nearly a head taller than all the other girls in their level, and there were now only a few boys who matched her, or surpassed her, in height. While nearly everyone seemed fairly nonchalant about what happened—everyone knew that similar things were going to happen to them either this year or next—Emma’s awkward self-awareness made her almost painful to watch.

Kerry watched how she did everything possible now not to make herself look tall. She wrapped her arms around her torso, slid down in her seat until her head was just slightly lower than Kerry’s, then stretched out her legs so her knees weren’t hyper-extended. From Kerry’s point of view, however, her actions did little except draw attention to the fact that she was trying not to draw attention to herself.

He leaned over so he was close enough to whisper without being overheard. “Can I make an astute observation?”

Emma glanced at him without turning her head. “You could just say you want to ask me something, Sherlock.”

Kerry didn’t let her snarkiness bothered him. “You look ridiculous. You do realize that the majority of your height is actually in your legs, so when somebody walks by here—” He waved at her extended legs. “You’re not hiding the fact you grew some over the summer.”

She let out a long, slow breath before sliding upward in her chair so that she was sitting normally. She slowly crossed her legs as she turned and looked at her wingmate. “Better?”

He crossed his legs as well. “A lot better, yeah.” Kerry began running his fingers up and down the teeth of his flight jacket. “You have a run at any of the courses yet?”

“Nadine and I took a run on the Green Line Wednesday morning while you guys were in sorcery. We did five laps before I did a couple more on the Blue Line.”

“How did feel?”

“Not too bad. The only thing is the bubble screen in the front has to be a bit larger to protect me, so I end up getting a bit more wind resistance.” Emma was referring to the enchantment which sat at the front of the PAV and preventive the pilots from taking the full brunt of an air blast that could exceed five hundred kilometers an hour. “Nadine said she’d show me a few tricks I could use so that I could streamline my body more so I wouldn’t have to fight all that resistance.”

Knowing that her new size and how it would affect her racing had been a prime concern of a mess when she returned to school, Kerry was happy to hear that it seem like the situation was mostly resolved. “See? It wasn’t really a problem. Now before you know it, you’ll be dusting us out on the courses.”

“Yeah, right. You’re just saying that—”

“Hey man, is that a kaiju?”

 

Kerry is probably the only person Emma knows who can point out to her that she looks stupid trying to hide her height and not get his head bit off.  Of course, Kerry would probably tell her to get bent if she did bite his head off, as they’d sort of established that he is no longer taking her shit.  But, you know, a weekend trip through frozen Canada can quickly because the Canuck Death Flight if the flight team is constantly bitching at each other, so it’s best to make nice now.  At least Kerry figured how to pivot the conversation to something they both know, as height is something Kerry will deal with while racing one of these days.

And just when you think things are going well between the wingmates someone comes along and shits on this party.

Wonder who?

How to Train Your Metrics

I’m here to tell you that at this point I’m less than seven hundred and fifty words from hitting the ninety thousand word mark, which is something I hope to do tonight.  I’ve already worked out the numbers and if I hit ninety thousand tonight it will take me twelve days to do ten thousand words.  However, on one of those days I did not write, so the actuality is I hit ten thousand words in eleven days once again.

And if you do your math, you’ll see that all have eleven more days to reach the end of the year.  It is entirely feasible that before midnight on 31 December, 2016, I’ll hit a hundred thousand words, and all I really need to do is write close to a thousand words every one of those eleven days.  So that’s my goal: it a hundred thousand and kick back as we slide into Armageddon.

Just kidding on that last one.  I hope.

After the run I have last night I look at what I have ahead to excerpt and realize I could stop writing the rest of this week and still have excerpt material.

Do the math once again and you'll see I'm not lying.

Do the math once again and you’ll see I’m not lying.

As of right now I’m close to seven thousand words up on what I’m excerpting below.  It’s actually kind of nice not feeling like I’m rush to get something written so I can show it to you.  Because when you rush you make mistakes, and I hate making mistakes.  I hate screwing up anything, but when it comes to my writing I tend to get pretty anal.  Fortunately, I’m in a section of the story that I’ve thought out for several months now, so I don’t have to fear about screwing up.  At least not in the usual ways–

If today it seems as if I’m speaking of math a lot, there’s a reason.  Because today’s excerpt has a lot to do with math.  It also has a lot to do with growing up–and in particular how one student of Salem has taken to that term literally…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie and Kerry stopped and turned towards the student who called out to them. Neither tried to look surprised, but both felt they failed miserably. Kerry spoke after a few moments of uncomfortable silence. “Hi, Emma.” He tried to not look her up and down but could tell by the look on her face that he failed. “You’ve—changed.”

“Uhuuuh.” She hung her head. “I know. I was hoping you wouldn’t say anything.”

In the last few months of their B Levels it was obvious that Emma was growing taller than the rest of her classmates. While both Annie and Kerry had each grown nearly three centimeters, Emma had started off school year slightly taller than Annie but left school nearly five centimeters taller—and her growth spurt hadn’t stopped. While Annie and Kerry had grown another five centimeters over the summer, Emma was now at least eight centimeters taller than Kerry and ten taller than Annie, while at the same time she moved beyond the tall, lanky, awkward stage and move directly into becoming a young woman stage, with her hips and breasts filling out as well.

Annie did her best to make Kerry’s wingmate not feel so self-conscious. “You look good, Emma.”

The ginger girl from Boulder rolled her eyes. “I look like some kind of mutant. I’m the tallest kid on my floor: I’m even taller than the boys.”

Kerry smiled as he shrugged. “It’s not that bad—”

She stared down at the floor. “That’s because it didn’t happen to you. Last night everyone was looking at me so strange…” She sighed. “The only thing that kept me from crying most of the night was having my dormmate there. I didn’t want to embarrass her.”

 

Yes, if there is anyone who needs a growth spurt, it’s Emma.  She’s at that point in her life were her puberty is driving her upward–literally–and, as pointed out, she’s turning into a young woman.  One has to wonder how this is going to affect her social, because now that everyone is turning fourteen boys her age, and even some who are older, are gonna notice this ginger girl from Mórrígan Coven.  Maybe she shouldn’t of worn that Ginny Weasley costume last year.

And as we discover this change is all about genetics.  It’s all about finding one of Kerry’s pet peeves, too:

 

Annie moved closer so she could speak in a softer tone in an attempt to put Emma at ease. “At our age this is likely to happen. Kerry and I grew as well.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t shoot up four inches in six weeks because your parents aren’t freaking Amazons.” She calmed herself, fearful it looks like she was making a scene. “Both my parents are tall: my dad’s five-eleven and my mom’s six-one. I’ve been hoping for a long time that I wasn’t going to take after them, but nooope, I not only follow in their footsteps but so does my sister.” Emma pointed at Kerry. “She’s as tall as you.”

Kerry decided to stick to simpler, more direct question. “How tall are you now?”

Emma gave a half-hearted shrug. “I’m five-seven, but—”

“One seventy.”

“What?” Emma rolled her eyes. “Seriously, are you gonna bust my ass now because I didn’t use metrics?”

Kerry turned serious. “We’re C Levels: you shouldn’t be using Imperial measurements for anything.”

Emma crossed her arms under her breasts. “I’m just talking to you two.”

Annie touched Kerry’s arm. “If we use measurements when we’re talking, we always use metrics.”

“Uh, huh.” Emma’s shoulders slumped. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

“It’s going to be if Vicky smacks one of your proficiencies again.” He reached out and grabbed Emma by the arm. “Come on.”

 

Now this next part is something that I’ve actually had in my head for the better part of a year, and it sort of checks out as a quick and dirty way of approximating converting from Imperial to Metric.  So, for you Imperial snobs who think that Metric stuff is just too weird for you, I’m gonna show you how to at least figure out your height using the Metric system.

And here we go!

 

Kerry.” Emma didn’t resist is leading her toward the benches near the south end of the Rotunda. “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to teach you something I should’ve taught you last year.” He glanced at Annie—who had not said a word about his actions—then turned back to his wingmate. “This is a quick and dirty way to estimate height and measurements in the metric system. You ready?”

Emma considered walking away at this point before noticing the stern glare that Annie was giving her and decided it would probably best to stay. “Sure.”

“Okay. Here goes.” He took a deep breath and let it out as so to clear his mind. “Twenty inches is approximately 50.75 centimeters. That means forty inches is about 101.5 centimeters and sixty inches—which is exactly five foot tall—is…?” He held his hand out toward Emma, expecting her to answer.

She didn’t need to give it much thought. “152.25 centimeters.”

“Right. It’s actually a little more than that, but we’re estimating here.” Kerry realized he was using his hands as he spoke but he didn’t mind. “Now, an inch is 2.54 centimeters, but since were estimating will say it’s 2.5 centimeters. That means two inches is approximately 5 centimeters, so we can now use that get to the heights over any of our twenty-forty-sixty points. You’re five foot seven, which is sixty-seven inches. Six inches is—” He looked at Emma with raised eyebrows.

She picked up on his hint. “15 centimeters.”

“And adding another inch would make that?”

“17.5 centimeters.”

“So if we add that last to 152.25 centimeters, you’re going to get—?”

Once more Emma did the calculation quickly. “169.75 centimeters.”

Kerry gave one slight nod. “And since we’ve been estimating a little on the low side, be sure you always round up to the next quarter at the end. And when we do that the final number is…?”

Emma responded with the correct number immediately. “170 centimeters.”

A large smile appeared upon Kerry’s face. “Care to guess what five foot seven is in centimeters?”

A puzzled look appeared on Emma’s face as she turned to Kerry to Annie and back. “A hundred and seventy centimeters?”

Annie chuckled. “Close enough.”

“Really?” Emma looked at Kerry with half closed eyes as she gave her head a slight shake. “You’re kidding me.”

“It’s not that hard.” Annie remembered something that Kerry missed. “And if you want to convert to meters you move the decimal two places to the left. That makes 170 centimeters—”

“1.7 meters.” Emma turned to Kerry. “That’s all there is to it?”

Kerry nodded. “That’s all there is to it. So I don’t expect to hear you using Imperial measurements anymore.”

 

See?  That’s all there is to it.  Emma’s good with math so she can rattle is often her head without a problem.  For the rest of you might take a little work and maybe even whipping out your phone and pulling up the calculator app.  But the above cheat system checks out: I even used it to estimate Annie’s and Kerry’s height.

And speaking of Annie’s and Kerry’s height:

You know I have it worked out.

You know I have it worked out.

In case you’re wondering who Veronica is, that’s Emma’s little brat of a sister–who we now know is not that little.  Why is she included here?  For one, Emma told Kerry her sister was as tall as him.  And two, you’ll hear more about her later.

There is also a bit of an amusing story as to why I put this section in, and I may touch on that tomorrow.  Because today I’ve laid out a lot of stuff and you probably don’t want to hear about the discussion I had over two years ago.  But you will get the story one of these days–

Along with a lot of other stuff.

The Last Laps: Truth and Accolades

Finally, here I come to the start of the end of Chapter Thirty-One.  After this there are four chapters, fifteen scenes, and I’m done with another novel.  Also, I’m close to going over three hundred thousand words, like twelve hundred words close, and I’ll probably head over that point during the first scene of Chapter Thirty-Two.

And I know you’re going to find this a little strange, but with all the other stuff going on–the novel writing and the recapping–I’m working with someone else doing a little world building on another project.  Yes, like I don’t have enough to do, I decide I’m going to do a little more.  The obvious answer to “Why?” is probably “I’m nuts,” but right now I’m not coping to that.  Let’s just say I’ll probably have more to say about that in the future.

Now, for the main event . . .

The race is over, as is the season, and all that’s left now are the cheering and the accolades.  Both of which happen . . .

 

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

As soon as the final race concluded the entire student body was asked to report to The Diamond for the ceremonies surrounding the final race of the season. Kerry stood with the rest of the team while Vicky stood at a podium and read from the list of names of those fliers who’d finished at the top of the final standings.

There were three sets of podiums set up in the infield. The lowest one, just a step up from the ground, was a long, flat surface; behind that, two steps higher and fitted with steps on the sides, was a smaller podium designed for two people. Behind that, two more steps higher than the middle surface, sat the classic inverted “T” podium, with a raised middle section flanked by two smaller sections, and accessible from the back by stairs.

Vicky asked the crowd for silence and began her address, first recognizing the Individual standings. The lowest podium was set up for those fliers who finished Tenth to Sixth, with the fliers walking on to the surface from the audience’s left and moving all the way across to their right.

The lowest finishing flier was called first and Kerry smiled when he heard the name and coven. “Tenth place: Emmalynne Neilson of Mórrígan.” Her fifth place finish gave her just enough in the way of points to sneak into the last recognized Individual position. She turned and flashed Kerry a thumb’s up as her teammate, Nattat Adriano, was announced at the ninth place finisher. The other three students to take that podium were Fana Okeke of Ceridwen—the only flier from outside the top three covens to place—and Rezi Lahood and Getasew Berhanu, both from Åsgårdsreia, in seventh and sixth place respectively.

 

Something tells me I should model this set-up so people can actually see what it looks like.  ‘Cause I know I’ll get that question at some point.  And as for the question, “Emma got into tenth by finished fifth?”, the answer is going to come later in the scene.

It’s interesting how nine of the top ten are from the top three covens, which once again goes to show, consistency is how you win.  And if you keep being consistently good, you’re going to push out all the others who aren’t.

Now we have tenth through sixth out of the way:  what about the Top 5?  Glad you asked:

 

Then came the moment for which Kerry had fought and waited. “In fifth place:  Kerrigan Malibey of Cernunnos.” He marched up the stairs on the audience’s right and stood in his racing uniform with his arms dangling at his side. Kerry looked to his right as the next name was called out. “In fourth place:  Alexandria Chorney of Cernunnos.”

Alex bounced up the stairs, almost unable to contain her excitement. She waved to the crowd before turning to Kerry to give him a hug. “We did it.”

He nodded as he released his covenmate. “We sure did.”

Vicky waited for the applause to settle down before speaking again. “And now, at last, the top three positions in the Individual Computation. In third place:  Penelope Rigman of Cernunnos.” Penny stepped on to the podium position directly behind Kerry, and both Alex and he shook her hand. “In second place:  Nadine Woodley of Mórrígan.” Nadine took her position behind Alex and the congratulations between the four fliers in the top five happened once more. “And lastly, the winner of the 2012/2013 Salem Racing Individual Standings: Rivânia Suassuna of Åsgårdsreia.” Penny and Nadine each gave Riv hugs and congratulations while all the students and instructors gathered applauded and cheered.

After the podiums cleared the fliers returned to their teams and moved to the larger inverted “T” podium used for the Team Standings. There wasn’t any surprises here: Mórrígan took third, Cernunnos finished in second due in a large part to the team’s three best fliers, and Åsgårdsreia took the top position, only four points ahead of second place. All the teams took turns congratulating each other, and Manco took a moment to stand together with Nadine and Rivânia for the team captain’s picture.

The moment Kerry saw a certain person step out of the stands he excused himself and headed towards her and her waiting smile. He held his arms wide as he neared Annie. “So how’d I do?”

 

Because Kerry missed the first few races of the A Team season he essentially had five DNFs (Did Not Finish race) against him, and that meant he didn’t point there.  He made fifth place because he consistently finished in the Top 5, just as Alex did in order to finish fourth.  Same with the ladies at the top of the podium:  you get there with good finishes.

The Top 5 this season are going to be really fighting it out in Kerry’s C Levels.  The biggest question is whether or not Rivânia decides to race during the 2013/2014 season, as she’ll be a F Level and sometimes the F Levels just drop out of racing and let people from the B Team come up.  She may do the same.  I haven’t decided yet.

I should also point out there are three gingers in the Top 10:  Emma (10th), Kerry (5th), and Nadine (2nd).  Just imagine if they all make the Top 3.  Ginger Podium!

Now to finish up this scene and get ready for someone’s birthday.  Before I can do that I need to write a recap and probably work on my other project doing a little world building.  Busy writer, am I.

Assuming I can finish this post writing like this.

Time be passing, I be writing.  Sometimes.