I squared off with Jack, Wally, Natalie, Anna Marie, and half a dozen others. We had a rare moment when the weather was relatively quiet, so we all gathered for the race. Evidently it had been established when the Jules Verne book had come out. Storm Riders had been circling the planet for ages before, but when that book came out, wagers were placed.
At first the record was three hours, but through practice and planning of routes, the record was now seventy-eight minutes to circumnavigate the globe. It was a punishing race, filled with cloudstepping, riding lightning, free fall, and cloud surfing. There was no stopping. There was no pause for contemplation. There was only getting to the next place where you could ride the next bolt of lightning to the nearest cloud bank.
Part of me wanted to throw the race and spend the time looking at the world beneath as I soared through the sky. I hadn’t wagered very much, so it was not big loss. But the pride and the hazing that would follow from coming in dead last was all I needed to do my best. I am so going to rub Jack’s face in it when I beat his ass.
I brought up the charge of lightning in my, focusing the direction and polarity of the charge, ready to bring up the lightning from the cloud I stood on to speed me on my way even as I cast out and ionized a path to the next cloud bank, several miles away. We all waited for the signal for when we could leave, all tensed with lightning at the ready, all ready to outrun the thunder that would accompany our lightning.
The first rays of the sun rose over the horizon, and I unleashed my lightning, the same as the others around me, and we rode.