Portal – Chapter 30

Lady Justice was gasping for air, trying to keep up with Dart and Turbulence. They had been flying hard and fast after several days of lectures, static demonstrations, and short flights around the state. This was the longest she had flown and her body was aching to land. She had to bank left again as she almost flew directly behind Turbulence.

Although many powers were similar, the mechanics and effects of powers varied greatly. Dart, Turbulence, and Lady Justice all had the ability to fly but not always the same way. Dart had the ability to minimize wind resistance against his body as he changed the gravitational forces under him. His record of Mach 1.5 at sea level was still a world record. Turbulence, created a vortex behind her, like the wingtip vortex of aircraft, as she propelled her in the direction she wanted to travel. Her vortex was a powerful wave of destructive wind forces that became more dangerous the faster she flew. Lady Justice made the mistake of flying behind her once during a training flight two days ago. She spun out of control and crashed into the waters of Lake Michigan near Gary. She flew back to Indianapolis soaking wet with a laughing Turbulence and admonishing Dart.

Turbulence was faster, with more endurance, and certainly had the favor of Dart, when he was not talking about himself. Dart thought flying was more art than science and he was a master sculptor to the sky. Each cut had to be precise and with authority, anything less produced unacceptable results. During static practices, Dart praised Mari for becoming that perfect instrument of flight while calling Alaina a large rock hurtling towards inevitable drop back to earth.

Today was Dart’s last day in Indianapolis after training all week. The first day was with the entire class discussing combat with Flyers, then Dart worked with the Turbulence and Lady Justice individually, improving their techniques and sparring one on one. Lady Justice learned quickly that Dart’s abilities made him faster than anyone else she had ever faced in the air. He avoided her lightning with his exceptional turning capability and speed, never slowing down enough to get a clean shot on him. She was obviously not the first Elementalist he had challenged.

“C’mon, chica,” Lady Justice heard over the radio, “you’re slowing us down.

Lady Justice was too tired to respond, trying to concentrate on staying airborne.

“Lady, you are still creating too much resistance, flatten your body. Don’t fight it the air. Control it.”

“I’m…done for the day. I’m RTB,” Lady Justice responded, hiding her pain and disappointment as best possible. She could not keep up with Dart or Turbulence any longer.

“Copy, Lady Justice,” Dart said. “ We’ll debrief  when we get back. Turbulence, follow me.”

As Lady Justice slowed down to hover, she watch Dart and Turbulence become small dots on the western horizon, somewhere over Illinois. They were too far to hear but if they had looked back, they would have glimpsed clear sky lightning arcing angrily across the sky.

Now that Lady Justice had returned to base, Dart want to push his star pupil as hard as possible.

“Now, become that knife and cut through the air,” he started over the radio. “Let the wind slide over your body and free yourself.”

Turbulence laughed to herself at his instructions. If Dart did not love himself so much, his constant attention to her body could be mistaken for innuendoes. She wagered Dart had wet dreams of sex with himself than a woman.

“Keep going,” Dart encouraged. “Feel it.”

Turbulence could feel something different, the air no longer rushed over her, it parted. She was a queen and the sky bowed at her presence and authority. Turbulence’s thoughts of dominance  were interrupted as she flew out of control. After a few seconds and several hundred feet of altitude, she regained control.

“What the hell was that?” Turbulence called over the radio. “Hello? Dart? Do you copy? “

Turbulence looked around but Dart was nowhere in sight. She slowed to a hover and looked down at the pasture below covered in cow dung. The cows were running away in various directions, frightened from the explosion.

Turbulence heard a soft moan.

“Dart! Do you copy?” she called over the radio again.

“Yeah,” Dart said softly with an intermittent cough. “You could have warned me? Oh, shit…”

“Of what?” Turbulence asked confused, still looking around for her instructor.

“Ugh,” Dart replied to his own crisis, ignoring her question.

Turbulence could see in the distance a lone figure flying towards her. He was moving at a high speed and she was unsure if he was going to slow down or attack her. Dart effortlessly  stopped a few feet in front of Turbulence, who noticed his white uniform covered in brown cow dung and grass stains.

“You hit Mach 1 and all of a sudden, a giant shockwave was there. I spun out of control … and the ground here is not exactly soft …  or clean.”

“Oh, Lo siento!” Turbulence cried quickly. Dart was an egotistical ass but she would never intentionally try to hurt him, especially since his report could end her career in the JTF.

Dart furrowed his eyebrows, not understanding the Spanish. He started to laugh when he realized she thought she did something wrong.

“Please don’t kick me out,” Turbulence begged. ” I didn’t know that would happen. I’ve never clocked over .7 before.” Her lip quivered at the thought of never flying again. If the JTF expelled her, she would be Earthbound and useless.

“No, no, no. You don’t understand,” Dart said as he smiled widely, putting up his hands in reassurance. “That was amazing. I mean, it hurt like hell to crash, but your flying is  beautiful. There is no way we’ll kick you out. In fact, when you graduate, I’m going to recommend you for my unit.”

Turbulence floated in silence, shocked by his evaluation. Since she could fly at 12, she always wanted to be a superhero like the mighty Valkyrie. She just took a huge leap forward to reach that goal.

“I could almost hear the wind,” she commented. “It wanted me to go faster.”

In all the time he had worked for the JTF, no one understood him. He trained many Flyers but all were like Lady Justice. They could fly but they could not dominate the air.

Dart, covered in cow shit from head to toe, smiled at Turbulence.