T-Minus 5 Seconds
Photons were less than four-times the distance from the moon as the moon was from the Earth. Racing at full speed with nothing in the way, the fates guided the energies that now were visible light.
On the highway, Russell had a passing thought of dinner on the back patio of burgers that he would cook on the wood-fired grill outside. The smell of smoke was light in the air from the wildfires seventy-miles away mixing with pine scent of the forest filled the senses as they rode on the rumbling Hog.
Riding on the back of the motorcycle that Russell had named after an adventurous water-bird “Gertrude”, her arms around him, and looking around at the mountains that gave her such joy to be among trees that dwarfed any other living thing and Lulu could see the bare stone above north shore where an avalanche stripped the mountainside clear of vegetation down to bare rock decades before and had not yet recovered.
Smiling, she leaned back, the wife and mother looked out to the right, over the sapphire-blue water of the twenty-two mile long lake. Water so naturally pure, even as it sat in the lake, open to the sky it would pass any health and any purity tests that a government body could do. Naturally soft water, pure as it could be.
Those that sailed on the waters of the lake were known to have occasional attacks of acrophobia, a fear of heights, when they would look over the edge of the boats rails into the water. Such was the lake called Tahoe.
In some winters, the big lake would partly freeze and ice would pile up on the shore in large piles when the wind blew hard. Summers it was known to have waterspouts that danced on the big lake and often made local headlines.
Over the lake, Lulu pointed out and began to fumble for her camera, a bald eagle circled, the big fishing raptor was on the hunt.
*Maybe* She thought. *If I get just a little lucky, I might get a shot of the eagle diving for a fish.*
Less than two football fields ahead, Lucy turned her steering wheel as far as it would go and inched forward into the beginning of her turn. A big truck rumbled down the highway, partly blocking her view, but it looked clear behind the trailer to do her illegal U-turn.
Captain Thomas stood at the end of the ramp to the garage that held his engine, waiting for the rumbling group of Harley’s go past. A curiosity of who would be riding through, interested him. A few clubs were at constant odds and, on occasion, murdered each other.
Engineer Thomas cussed as he dropped a socket and it rolled under the rolling tool-box he maintained at the garage for light maintenance of the fire apparatus.
A break in the traffic in the direction that Lucy wanted to turn was a treasure that God had sent her and she was going to take it.
Russell, dropped back from closing on a semi-truck that had “Eat Organic” in a graphic painted on the back of the trailer. Remembering to make a call later in the week on an investment that would boost a local organic farmer’s business.
“Honey, make a note to call Charlene tomorrow? I want to get a meeting with her on a distribution idea.”
Lulu focused on the eagle as the big bird circled, searching for its next meal.
“Okay.” She felt frustration in her heart at the uncooperative raptor. “I was not getting that picture anyway.” As they approached a wide spot in the road, she saw a sedan sitting on the shoulder of the highway.
Stonn “Hammer” Erikssen rolled on his heavily modified motorcycle. A Harley-Davidson by heritage, but the engine that powered this two-wheeled fury, an Orca engine, the second largest in the line, more horsepower than many cars generated kept his soul happy. Third in command of the small group of riders, they were closing on a rider and passenger about a half-mile ahead.
From the photon’s point of view, the continents on the earth could be identified. At the universal speed limit, the ETA now?
A little over three heartbeats.