So what is going on with Volume 4 of the Demeter series edits for Haumeah? A lot. Debbie continues to evolve and a delightful and frightening character. The photo I’m sharing is obviously not Debbie for the excerpt I’m sharing, but you can begin to see how she has evolved and yet is still the same in the following excerpt:
Debbie began the launch sequence, and the soft purr of the Raven engine came to life. “If you don’t want to come along for the ride, you better get off! I’m lifting off in twenty seconds,” turning to Becky she advised, “Start the launch countdown,” then back to Zaina Wepesi, “Find a safety harness or you better start running.”
“You can’t frighten me!” Zaina took the challenge and sat down in the navigator’s station. “We may all die, but I will be there to testify to your ancestors that you are a fool,” she buckled in.
“Ten seconds to launch,” Becky announced. The purr of the Raven thrust system began to increase in intensity.
Debbie seemed distracted for a moment, “Not right now!” she spoke, and Becky at first thought Debbie was talking to her, but she continued. “Duncan, I’m busy, we can talk about that when I get back.” With a mischievous grin on her face, Debbie took the Raven airborne. The craft stuttered for a moment, then found its balance.
“How fast to do you think my little bird will fly to Europe against atmosphere?” she asked to no one in particular.
“I thought we were going to try a run up to Shimmer’s Head and back,” Becky inquired, but already sensed the answer.
“Heck that won’t tell us if she’s ready to go, let’s give her some juice and see how she runs,” Debbie laughed a little too loudly.
Zaina Wepesi sat stiff as a board. At least she fits comfortably into her seat, Becky thought. The seating was designed for the much taller PerSians making Debbie and Becky look like small children driving a rather large car. Becky couldn’t help but think that maybe they were acting like small children, but kept the thought to herself.
Debbie leveled the Raven at a thousand feet and started to accelerate the craft. A few seconds later the whole ship started sputtering and shaking.
“I told you we needed to run more tests!” Zaina chided from her seat.
“I don’t need any backseat drivers today,” Debbie snipped as the craft began to lose altitude.
“You may be able to get it to hover if you switch off the power and shift to emergency systems,” Zaina spoke up again as it they began to fall.
Debbie looked perplexed, but unrepentant. Becky prepared to enter the voice activated program code for emergency systems, but Debbie waved her off. “Let me think,” Debbie advised.
Three or four seconds that felt more like an eternity to Becky passed when she saw the light come on in Debbie’s eyes. “This could be good or bad,” she muttered out loud.
“Good, I hope!” Becky responded, not realizing that Debbie had been talking to herself.
“Hold on to your seat!” and with that, Debbie pushed the nose toward the ground into a sharp dive. “I think this might do the trick.”
At two hundred feet, Debbie pulled the craft out of the dive, and the power system caught. She drew the controls to her arching the craft skyward again.
“You scared me to death,” Becky admitted.
“We’re not done yet,” Debbie spoke but her jaws were locked.