HIGHER LEARNING, ACT V
The storm came out of nowhere.
One minute, Frederica, Griffith, and the rest of the Barnstormers were out for a pleasant Saturday morning flight. The next, they were being buffeted by seventy kilometer winds a hundred meters above the city. The group scattered, seeking safety among the skyscrapers. Frederica followed closely behind Griffith as he dove toward a nearby roof.
A sudden updraft caught him off guard, sent him spiraling out of control. She lost sight of him for awhile with the rain stinging her eyes. Then she spotted him again, far below, dangling from the edge of the building.
She touched down hard and ran to him, growing several times her size along the way. She gathered him up with one hand and gently laid him on the roof just as Karen and a couple others reached them.
“You guys okay?” Karen asked, raising her bat-like wings to block the rain.
Frederica returned to normal size and stroked Griffith’s face. He winced and sat up. One of his wings was bent at an unnatural angle, his feathers frayed and tangled. He looked up at Frederica.
“It’s bad, isn’t it?” he asked.
“Well, it could be worse,” the doctor said. “It’s a simple fracture, no tissue damage. Should heal up nicely in about… six weeks.”