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Friday, March 23, 2012

F3 Cold Snap

     Temperature typically wasn't our thing. Burners did a much better job of using temperature at both extremes. They could pump heat in or suck it out with equal skill. For Storm Riders, we had to resort to other means, and cold was far easier than heat. It all came down to control.

     Jack set the glass down on the rock, half full of water. Knowing Jack that was a metaphor. He kicked back in his camp chair reading Entertainment Weekly, catching up on some of his Hollywood gossip.
     I looked carefully at the glass, wondering just how much I would need to make this work. It wasn't like I had gauges to go off or a way to measure like in a recipe. I looked up, and saw nimbostratus clouds. The moderate heaps could go quite high, and at the highest altitudes were quite chill. I steadied and deepened my breathing. This part started like thunder, but quickly differed. I wasn't trying to make pressure, but wind.
     I took in as much as I could, then put my hands up to my mouth. If I wanted normal wind I could skip this, but I had to shape this into a jet stream. I still didn't know why, but certain gestures were important.
     I blew, and the wind shaped into high speed currents tunneling through the existing air. It would be short-lived, lasting no longer than I could actually sustain the breath. I let loose the long stream, and felt it passing up to the cloud, circling around the tall heaps of clouds with frigid air and suspended ice, then it routed its way back down. I used my hands to subtly steer the path of the stream, curving it around the glass. I felt my air giving out, but a blast of frigid air started draining heat from the glass. In moments the glass frosted and froze solid just as my air ended.
     I sucked in heaving breaths, and Jack inspected my work.
     "Not bad, pal, but you tend to overthink things. Sometimes you gotta work simple." He arced fingers around the glass, not touching the glass or his fingers. Tiny bolts extended from fingertips in a jagged rectangle. In moments the ice melted.
     "Good control on the stream, though."
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