Monday, March 19, 2018

Page 1619

((Triple Monday -- Page 2 of 3))
Agh,’ growled Hector. ‘Tell Diego to stand still for a minute.

Hmm? Okay. Hey, Diego! Quit moving around so much! Hector’s trying to do something!

The Lord Redwater looked confused but acquiesced.

That was better.

He vanished the legs of the giant table as they neared the highway, and then he slapped a coating around the bottom of the remaining platform. But it wasn’t just a normal coating. It was a hovering stabilizer, of sorts.

Hector couldn’t simply have the platform itself hover, because the platform needed to remain stationary so that everyone didn’t slide off of it like a moving walkway. This hadn’t been an issue before, because on the ground, he could have the top of the platform remain still while everything below it grew and pushed onward. In midair, though, there was no longer anything to push against, which was why this new, floating “holster” for the platform was necessary.

And it worked, just as he thought it would. The platform soared over the rushing cars below and up into the night sky.

Hector, holy shit!

It was actually quite difficult, Hector discovered. Even now, with everyone staying still, he was having trouble keeping the encased platform fully stable. That, and every little jostle was worrisome in its own way, threatening each time to destroy his concentration, which he very much needed right now.

The others were talking more loudly now, perhaps even to him, but he still couldn’t make out their words over the wind. And he was busy trying not to panic and drop everyone, anyway.

Why the hell had he thought this was a good idea? There were two non-servants in their group. They would surely die if they fell from this height or at this speed.

Hector, we’re going the wrong way now,’ said Garovel.

Agh. Shit.

The wind was becoming a problem. The higher they went, the more intense it got. And it was somehow easier to make the platform ascend than descend. Probably because in the beginning, he’d been most worried about crashing into the ground and killing everyone, so he’d decided to err on the side of upward movement, just in case.

The idea of descending was simply more frightening. That was the problem, Hector realized. It wasn’t that it was actually more difficult to pull off. He was just more afraid to do it.

But now he didn’t have a choice. They’d have to go back down eventually. And at this height, going back down a little was no big deal, right?

Goddammit. This whole thing was way more nerve-wracking than he thought it would be. He had to get a hold of himself. They were flying. Under their own power.

He tried to ease up. He had to weaken the force that he’d applied in order to counter gravity.

It worked. They began to lose altitude. But not without more turbulence. Considerably more. He heard a feminine shriek.

Sorry, Elise.

He stabilized his work and course-corrected.

Yeah. This was a better altitude. Still maybe a little too high, but the wind wasn’t so crazy, at least.

He opened his eyes. When had he even closed them? He’d been relying on the Scarf completely, he realized. Thankfully, he’d made sure to keep it wrapped snugly around his neck after removing his armor earlier.

Everyone was staring at him.

Not knowing what to do, he tried to pretend like he didn’t notice.

It didn’t work.

Diego started walking over to him, though he was obviously being slow and deliberate about it this time, which Hector appreciated. It was much easier to account for the balance changes.

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