“Fear not, the cavalry has arrived,” Jack Dailey announced as he and three dozen others touched down on the cloud.
I gave a tiny golf clap, followed by a middle finger.
“Good to see you, too, Reilly. Anyone got anything approaching a plan?”
“Stop it before it reaches land?” Kate suggested.
“I said plan, not goal.”
“Fuck you, too, Jack.”
“We can negotiate a threesome later. Time to focus on the matter at hand. Anyone got a way to divert or break this bad boy up?”
Blank faces looked back.
“Can we confirm that there is a storm inside the eye?” One of the other European contingent said with a German accent.
Esteban nodded. “I have flown over it and confirmed it. The storm in the center is not as intense, perhaps a category 3, but it does complicate things.”
“How?” Said a woman I couldn’t identify, but I thought it was an Italian accent.
“They share mass and momentum,” Jack and I said.
Jack looked at me appraisingly, then nodded.
“Well, it’s too big to divert,” Nat said. “I think the best we can hope for is to break it into pieces, hope that they don’t form their own storms. It’s still hundreds of miles away. If we can get enough air moving from this far out, we can hit it with a hammer and see what breaks off.”
Several nodded in agreement. Anna-Maria began making assignments about how to do it. The great thing about storm riders was that our ginormous egos didn’t give a shit when it came to getting things done in the face of Armageddon.
Before I got an assignment, Jack hauled me away. Nat followed.
Jack pitched his voice low. “We’ve got a snowball’s chance in a Miami summer of this working. We need another idea.”
“Jack, you’re not suggesting—” Nat began.
“I am. You got a better idea?”
Nat shook her head sullenly. “I don’t have to fucking like it.”
My eyes darted between them. “What’s the idea?”
Jack pointed at me. “You. Frost.”
“You two said never to do that ever again, now you want me to do it in front of half the storm riders on the Goddamn planet?”
“I think Jack’s right,” Nat said, looking pained to admit it. If this works then we can abort, but I think we need a different approach on all of this.”
“Well, fuck. Guess I better get going, then. Could’ve saved some time by telling me before I got down to Florida.”
“Quit your bitching and move,” Jack said.