So, here is a little scene from Luminescence. It's one of those that I really liked, but needs to go because it doesn't really advance the plot and offers a little too much detail. I enjoyed writing it, though, so I thought I might post it in case anyone else wanted to read it. Note: since it's being deleted, I didn't spend too much time editing or tweaking or polishing this.
In this chapter, the Twilight Phalanx has a lead on a place where Dr. Timberi might be imprisoned. They're taking Conner with them so he can practice using his new powers:
After getting permission from his parents, Conner streamed over to the school athletic field. Since no one was there yet, he practiced streaming, shooting laps around the track. He was hoping to break the one-second mile when the sky to the east started to glowed like the clouds had swallowed lightning and caught on fire.
A familiar noise filled the air around him. He’d described it once like the high-pitched roar of a hundred race cars all shifting into higher gear. That noise got louder and higher—and then a sonic boom shook him to the ground as a blinding flash of hot white light sizzled through the air.
Conner jumped back up as as rainbow-colored ring of Light appeared over the field, swirling like a satellite image of a hurricane on super-fast-forward.
Two comets, dusty brown and emerald green blasted down from the spinning rainbow, landing next to Conner and becoming Lee and his second-in-command, Lieutenant Miranda Grimaldi.
“Howdy Dell,” Lee said. “Grimaldi, you got Dell’s issue?”
“Here, you’ll need this.” Miranda tossed something gray to Conner. It was fabric—folded up. When he shook it out, he saw the gray combat suits the members of the Phalanx wore—gray with a silver Magi emblem gleaming on the chest.
“No way!” Conner said. “I seriously get to wear this?”
“We don’t want you to stand out any more than you already will,” Grimaldi said.
“Sweet!” Conner stared at the suit. The issue of the Twilight Phalanx. Did this make him a full-fledged member? He looked up to ask the question, but Lee cut him off.
“You know Dell, that suit ain’t made for looking at. The idea was that you’d put it on—no, not over your clothes. You have any idea how hot you’ll get?”
Conner stammered and felt heat on his cheeks. “But, uh—” He nodded towards Grimaldi. Lee laughed. “Oh, I didn’t think about that. The Phalanx is sort of all one big happy family. We don’t have many secrets. But yeah, I see what you’re saying. Grimaldi, could you turn around for a minute?”
Grimaldi laughed and turned her back to Conner. “I have little brothers at home.”
Well that’s really great, Conner thought. But I’m not your brother and I’m not changing in front of you.
With Grimaldi’s back turned, he pulled off his jeans and t-short, then pulled the suit on. It felt amazing. Cool and soft on his skin, perfectly flexible—almost like a second skin.
“That will keep you warm in freezing temperatures,” Lee said. “Or cool in the tropics. Amazing stuff. Okay—now listen, Dell. We’re flying in formation. That means we’re going to be streaming in a circle, like we’re all chasing each other. That covers our individual Light signatures and also provides a sort of aerodynamic flow in the Lightstream. It’s the equivalent of geese flying in a ‘V’. It allows us to travel longer distances and go faster than we could on our own. The leader—that’s me—will guide the circle in the trajectory we need to follow. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Once we get up there, just chase Grimaldi’s comet and keep doing that until you hear me give orders to stop. Got that?”
“Yes, sir!” He saluted, feeling official.
“Okay,” Lee said. “Let’s go.” He jumped into the air, flipping backwards and blurring into a dusty, brown comet that shot towards the swirling Light above them. Grimaldi spun around once or twice, also blurring into a comet. Conner took a running start, and found himself turning into a comet within three steps. Not as elegant as Lee and Grimaldi. But it worked for now. At least he didn’t trip.
When he joined the swirling Light above him, everything sped up. The first thing he noticed was that the Phalanx streamed much, much faster than anything he’d experienced. He also noticed that going much faster was easier than he’d ever experienced.
Twelve people streaming in a circle created a powerful current—almost like a whirlpool. So the whirlpool made them move faster, but the faster they moved, the stronger the whirlpool seemed to get. Way cool. He could see the advantage of the formation in traveling long distances.
At the same time, moving that quickly also heightened his perceptions, so he could see, in a really cool way, each of the twelve people streaming. They kept at precisely the same distance from each other no matter how fast they went, following Lee with perfect precision. Actually, the whirlpool motion helped with that.
He also noticed that it looked a lot different on the inside than on the outside. Outside, you only saw white light—the result of everyone moving so fast, so their Light trails blurred together. But inside, when you were part of it, all the individual Magi colors became much more obvious.
It took Conner a few minutes to get used to the feeling, and he struggled to keep the required distance from Grimaldi. At one point, he shot past her, almost hitting the person in front of her. Then he over-corrected, slowing down too much and avoiding causing a major traffic jam only because Grimaldi shot in reverse and grabbed him, pulling him forward to his place in the circle just before he crashed into the person in back of him.
Dell! Lee growled.
Sorry, sir, Conner said.
Don’t be sorry, just don’t do it!
Lee seemed unusually tense today.
Just relax, Dell, Grimaldi said. You’ll get it.
Conner focused and within a few minutes, he got used to it and if he didn’t keep his place with perfect accuracy like the others, he didn’t cause any collisions.
Where are we going? he asked Miranda after a few more minutes of successfully not causing any crashes.
That’s classified, she said. Only the Colonel knows that. We just follow him.
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