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Friday, January 1, 2021

F³ Into The Drink

             By the time Maddy and I got to Florida, she was the one riding the lightning. She had a pretty good knack for it, once I explained the basics to her, leaving me to figure out the water stuff without a concrete example to operate on. So, by the time we arrived at ground zero, I still really had no clue as to how to figure out the water stuff.

            Without enhanced vision, we could see not just the air currents, but body heat of the other storm riders, even flitting around the massive storms.

            “So, I don’t think that more storm riding is going to do much, even with the Frost powers,” I yelled to Maddy.

            “Agreed! I think we need a more subtle approach?”

            “Lightning is about as subtle as I’ve got. What are you thinking?”

            For answer, she released the lightning bolt, and aimed us at the ocean in the world’s highest high dive. As we closed, I prepared to send a blast of air to break the water’s surface before we pancaked against it. Even though it churned from the storm, I knew we would hit it like concrete. But Maddy was already on it. I could feel it, though not really see what she did.

            The water swirled into a tight vortex, and we plunged into the dark waters, speeding down like a torpedo. We descended through the warm Gulf waters in a flash, finally slowing in much colder waters.

            “Now, we can work,” Maddy said, though how she modulated her voice to work underwater was beyond me. She also didn’t use air, but water from her lungs.

            It was then I realized I had been reflexively holding my breath. I pulled the air inside myself, storing it with the rest of my wind. I opened my mouth and sucked in the water. Of course, I began to panic, but Maddy squeezed my hand in a death grip, nearly breaking the bones.

            “Slow. It’s okay. Breathe the water. Your lungs will handle it.”

            Really? I mean abilities are one thing, but changing biology is something else.

            I had no choice, though, so I breathed in the water, concentrating on the mechanical process. Open the mouth, suck in the water, marvel at the saltiness, fill the lungs. Empty the lungs, expel water from mouth. Repeat. Broken down like that, I kept from panicking, and my lungs somehow stripped the oxygen out of the water, as if I had gills.

            “Good. Now, we have a lot of work to do. Pay attention.”

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