Edited by Gwen Brown, with my many thanks to her.
I won’t bore you with the details of the month following my unfreezing. Just know that marine drill instructors have nothing on Amanda. She worked me hard to make sure I was ready for my trip to the moon. I unlearned everything I’d done before, from walking to speaking. And my previous prediction was right, the mannerisms were the most difficult part, but I got through it. I wasn’t perfect, and I still slipped up every once and a while, but I could pass to the point that no one, except for a finishing school teacher, would notice the little imperfections.
The only thing that really disturbed me, at first anyways, about the whole training experience that Amanda had me go through, was when she started quizzing me on history. Or more importantly, everything that took place between the time of my freezing and waking up. I didn’t miss a single question. I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around how I was able to do this, and Amanda, or mom as I’ve taken to calling her to make it easier on everyone, explained it to me. Apparently while I was frozen, they downloaded everything that was taking place around the world into my brain. I started to feel like Sly Stallone must have felt in the movie ‘Demolition Man’. I knew how to use every new device that had come out since the time of my freezing, but more important to me, I knew every detail of racing history. Now THAT’S cool. From presidents, to world affairs, there wasn’t anything I didn’t know. Isn’t science wonderful?
I did get my new body into the best shape it’s ever been in. By the time my day to take off to the moon came, I was sporting a budding pack of abs. Granted only the top two were clearly visible, but the other’s were starting to make their presents known. Plus to make things better, I did finish a five mile run with mom, the day before I left. So I took some pride that in a month I was able to make some headway with getting into shape.
The morning of my flight to school I was a bundle of nerves. Back in my day, flying into space was something only select few did. And it was a dangerous undertaking even when they did. But imagine my shock when we got to where my flight was going to take off, only to find it was very much like an airport from my time. The runways were a bit longer, and the planes were a touch different looking, but it still looked like a normal airport.
I had some time to kill, so I just sat back and relaxed with the magazines I’d picked up for the flight. To my pleasure, many of the same ones I’d read before were still in print. Even more surprising was that not ALL that much had changed in regards to how to make a race car go fast. The engines are a bit higher tech, and the chassis are somewhat differently designed, but most of that is for driver safety. I breezed through the mags and ended up opening my wrist-top computer to see what was out there for games to play on the flight. Again I was met with the happy shock that some of the same ones I’d played back in the day were still out there for download. So I got to it, and by the time they were calling my flight, I had obtained a couple of my old favorites for the flight.
I tucked my wrist-top computer under my sleeve and buckled in much like a normal plane flight from my time. The girl next to me was nervous in a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs so I tried to chat with her to try to ease her nerves.
“First time flying?” I asked with a smile.
“No, first time flying out of the earth’s atmosphere.” she said as she wiped the sweat off her brow. “My parents are sending me to some fucking school on the moon for gifted students. All because I scored a 185 on that damn I.Q. test they gave us at school.”
“I’m going there myself.” I said with a smile. “I’m Amy.” I told her as I offered her my hand.
“Grace” she said as she shook with me.
“Look, we’ll be fine. They say you’re safer flying then in a car.”
“I know, it’s just I hate heights.” she told me as the craft started to taxi for takeoff.
“It’ll be alright. We’ll be on the moon tomorrow. And that’s as solid ground wise as the earth is.” I said and she just nodded.
I thought I was ready for the takeoff, but to my shock we didn’t take off like a plane would. Once we were at the end of the runway, we tilted back as the ground opened up and I felt the ship rumble as the engines sent us skyward. Grace grabbed my hand once we left the ground and I swore for a moment she might break my fingers with her death grip, but she relaxed as soon as the pilot announced that we could use electronic devices. I reached down and fired up my wrist-top, quickly bringing up one of the games I downloaded, on the holographic screen. I could see out of the corner of my eye that Grace was watching what I was doing, and she started asking questions.
“I hate unrealistic games. I mean if I’m going to play something at least give me something real.” she said with a sigh.
“Well this is pretty much the way it was a thousand years ago.” I said as I started to paint the pro-modified drag car I picked from the game.
“Car’s don’t look like that.” she told me emphatically.
“Oh? And what do you call this?” I asked her as I showed her the ‘back in the day’ section of the drag racing magazine I had with me.
She looked at the pictures of what drag racing was like from back in my time, and I could see her puzzled at the types of cars and how they looked back then. I had read in the magazine that the new cars were much quicker, and much safer then the old ones were, but something about a powerful v-8 with a supercharger on the top gets me excited.
“Wow, those are ancient.” she told me with a grin.
“Yeah, but it’s still fun to see how it was back in the day.” I told her, not wanting to tell her too much. “I want to work on race cars some day.”
“What a coincidence, I’m going for motorsports engineering as well.” she told me.
“Rock on, maybe we’ll be in the same dorm.” I said with a grin. And went to make a pass with the car in the game.
I did the burn out and staged like normal, but on the hit of the throttle the rear tires smoked more then the crowd at a Grateful Dead concert. So I shut the car off, and chose to go to the pits. Once there I made some changes to the fuel curve, and softened the clutch up. Then once back to the track, I made a safe pass of 6.10 seconds. That’s when she asked me more questions.
“How did you know what to change?” she wanted to know.
“My dad showed me on his real car.” I told her then I dawned on me that Mark didn’t have a race car.
“Cool. So is that as fast as those cars went?” she asked looking at the time sheet the computer was showing.
“Not really. With the technology in the cars in this game, they can go as quick as a mid five second pass with the right settings. But you have to watch the track conditions.” I told her as she started to relax a bit. And I took the car back to the pits to try to go faster.
“So what does this do?” she asked pointing to one of the adjustments.
“This is how hard the clutch engages at the hit of the throttle.” I said as I wanted a bit more out of the hole so I increased it a touch. “And this is how soon the clutch locks up off the line, then over here is the rear end gear, and this is first gear, the wheelie bar height, how much the rear suspension squats, the blower speed, launch engine speed, and shift light engine speed.” I told her as I adjusted each one to help coax more speed from the ‘53 corvette I was racing.
“Wow you sure know a lot about these cars.” she said as I started another pass.
“I’ve picked it up over the years. It’s not that hard to figure out what to do, once you know what each adjustment does and compare it to what the car is doing as opposed to what you want it to do.” I told her as I clicked off a 5.83 second pass, and the time slip came up on the screen. “You see these incremental times?” I asked her pointing to the time slip.
“What does it all mean?” she asked me.
“Well, this first one is how long after the green light came on that the car left the line. And this next one is how long it took the car to travel sixty feet, three hundred and thirty feet, half track and the entire quarter mile.” I told her pointing to each one as I went. “The big one is sixty foot time. That is how hard the car left the line. That means a lot to how quick the car will run.” I told her as I went back to the pit screen.
“So how hard is it to make these changes to a real car?” she asked me, basically telling me that she’s never worked on a real car before.
“Well at a race, they give you seventy minutes between each pass. In that time some teams can change an entire engine or rebuild a hurt one. It’s really a beautiful thing to watch, almost like watching a ballet.” I told her as I made a couple of more changes and then got ready for another pass.
“Can I give that a try when you’re done?” she asked sheepishly.
“Sure, just give me a couple of seconds.” I told her with a giggle to my inside joke. Once I was done, I backed out of the race, and brought up the car type select screen. “Ok, choose here what class you want to run.” I told her showing her the four different types of cars and the class for pro-stock motorcycle they had to choose from.
“These are kind of cool looking.” she told me as she chose pro-mod, bringing up the car select screen.
“Alright, now choose the body style you want. They have many different to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.” I told her.
“Ok, what’s the best car?” she asked.
“Well all the cars in the game are basically the same. That is to say you can get them all to go pretty much as quick as all the others. What they do, is give a weight break for anything with a body style before 1980. But the car’s after that have better aerodynamics, for the most part.” I told her, trying to explain the difference between the cars.
“Oh, I like this one.” she said as she clicked on a ‘63 corvette, bringing up the engine screen.
“Alright, now you choose your power adder.” I told her
“Power adder. That’s what they call them. They have a supercharger, nitrous oxide, and turbo chargers. Again each one had an advantage and disadvantage.” I told her.
“Alright, which one is better?”
“It’s not a matter of better or worse in the game. In real life, you can do more with a supercharger, or turbo. They are more tuneable. But in the game, you can use any of them to get the results.”
“What do they do?” she asked not really sure what any of them was.
“Well a supercharger and turbo charger does pretty much the same thing. They both pump more air into the engine. The biggest difference is a turbo is driven off the exhaust, and a supercharger is belt driven off the engine. Nitrous, is a gas that when added to the engine allows the fuel to burn better.”
“Which one is easier to understand?”
“Well, I prefer superchargers. Because you can control how fast it turns by changing the gear on the pulley that drives it.”
“Alright.” she said clicking the blower, and bringing up the paint shop
“Now have fun. Paint the car however you want it. Have fun. Let me know when you’re ready to run. I’m going to catch a quick nap.” I told her, knowing that most people can spend hours getting the car to look just right.
She gently shook me a while later letting me know she was ready to race. So I helped her with her first pass. It went pretty much like my first one did, with the tires smoking. So I helped her understand what each adjustment did to the car, and before long she had the hang of it. We had to take a break when they served the first meal we’d be getting on the flight, so we just sat there and talked a bit.
“So what kind of music are you into?” she asked me between bites of the sandwich she had.
“You’ve probably never heard of any of the bands on my play list.”
“Try me. I like some of the new stuff.”
“It’s all old bands. I mean REALLY old.”
“Come on, let me listen to one.”
I pulled out my MP3 player and she looked at it funny. I just smiled and pulled up my running play list, then brought up the Flogging Molly’s ‘Drunken Lullaby’ handing her the ear buds. She did pretty much the same thing mom did when she first heard my favorite songs. She started bobbing her head to the beat and started to smile before she handed back the ear buds to me.
“That’s kind of cool.” she said with a smile. “Who was that?”
“It was a band from the early twenty first century, ‘Flogging Molly’.”
“That’s a silly name for a band.” she told me with a giggle.
“Well then what do you think of the name Dropkick Murphy’s or Tossers?”
“They had pretty funny names back then didn’t they?”
“Yeah, but it was all in hope to get noticed and get a record deal.”
She nodded and we finished our meals. After lunch, we went back to the computer, and I showed her another game I had downloaded. This one was a stock car game from back in the day, and once again she thought the cars looked funny. It was a bit harder for her to figure out how to tune the cars it this game, since it’s all chassis adjustments, and she had never worked on a car. I gave her some pointers but the only good thing about stock car racing is that a good driver can take a bad car and make it perform half way decent. But by the time dinner was being served, she had gotten the hang of it for the most part. The only thing we had left to do was work on her driving, which isn’t easy with these games with a keyboard.
All through dinner she talked about home, her friends and how she was mad at her parents for making her go to school on the moon. That’s when I really started to look at her. Not just as a scared girl who I was trying to help take her mind off flying, but as a person; and a cute one at that. She was a brunette, with a round face, and cute button nose. She kind of reminded me of the actress from my time, Melissa Milano. But Grace was younger. Maybe Melissa when she was on ‘Who’s the boss’. Her body was that of a normal girl in her early teens. She wasn’t overweight, but she wasn’t too skinny either. She was just average, but a cute face made up for it. I kept thinking about how cute she was and how much it was nice to meet someone who shared some of my interests. I finally realized she had dozed off after the turkey dinner we had, and I feeling a bit sleepy myself so I pushed my seat back and drifted off to sleep. The flight attendant woke us up when she started serving breakfast and we both ate as we let our thoughts drift, we both wondered what the school would be like.
I’ve been to many schools back in my time, and had no idea what, if any had changed in the past millennia. Back in my day I’d been through high school, and college. Those were both what would be considered traditional schools. That is to say that the high school was like any you’d find anywhere in the north east of the United States. A single building that was sectioned off into the different courses the students took. There was a math wing, a social studies wing, English, foreign languages, science, technology, and music. Then there was the large gym. We actually had three different gyms to use. The wrestling teams were multi-time state champions so the booster club bought them their own room to use for practice, and then there was the main gym where the basketball and volleyball teams had their courts. But how could I forget the weight room. That thing was big enough to put many health clubs to shame. There was at least three of every machine available to help push the athlete’s bodies to the limit of performance. All in all, it wasn’t that different from many of the schools my friends in college went to.
College itself wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It was just a bunch of buildings, one for each major, and we had seven dormitories available to house the full time students. The only thing to write home about, about the campus was that you had to be part mountain goat to get anywhere on campus. The majority of the dorms were at the bottom of the 30% gradient hill, with the classes being near the top. The only deviation from this was the Mackenzie Complex. This was a two hundred room dorm that was split into four segments to make it easier for security to patrol. This was located at the highest point on campus. And if you were lucky enough to have one of the rooms on the top floor of one of the blocks in the North building, you’d have an unobstructed view of the valley below.
The school I went to for being a crew member on a race team was pretty much like going to college. That is to say, it was AT a college, in North Carolina; right in the heart of stock car racing. It wasn’t that big of an adjustment to go there right out of college. The only hard part about being there was picking up on the heavy southern accents that many of the teachers and some of the other students had. I figured if I could survive my years in the Deep South, I could take anything the moon could throw at me.
It was about the time the flight attendant told us we’d be getting ready to land when I came back to reality from my thinking back to day’s gone by. The only thing that was different about landing in the ship we were in, and a plane from my day was they handed out crash helmets for us to put on. This freaked out Grace a bit, but I held her hand as we made a rather smooth landing. Once stopped, and we were able to get off the ship, they ushered us into a large room near the terminal. That was when I saw that everyone on the ship was going to be starting school, just like Grace and I would be. Our attention was brought to the front of the auditorium when a rather short woman called our attention.
“I’d like to welcome you all to the new term of the United Nations Lunar Learning Center. I am Ms. Hagar, the head mistress of the school. Once you get your room assignments, you will each find a packet that has a rule book and map of the school. There isn’t much that we do not allow here. However, the rules we have in place are for the safety and well being of all the students. That being said, we have some of the brightest students the earth has to offer here with us today, so I can only assume that you will all act like ladies and gentlemen during your stay with us at the Center. Can I have all Freshmen girls, please leave out door number one, freshmen boys out door two, sophomore girls out door three, boys four, junior girls five, boys six, and senior girls seven, and boys eight. Thank you all for your time, and I’ll be getting to know each of you later.”
After her short speech, Grace and I both made our way out door five, and found ourselves in a line for rooms. It didn’t take long, just hand them your passport, and they hand you it back with a room key. I thought back to my time at college and wished it had been this simple back then.
Grace and I started to hug as we found out we’d be in the same room, but that was short lived when I heard a comment that kind of shook me.
“Awe, look at the little dykes. Aren’t they cute hugging like lovers?”
“Who do you think is the bottom, the blond?”
“Nah, she’s a top. Look at her build; she’s too strong to be a bottom.”
I turned to see a group of older girls standing there laughing at the tender moment Grace and I had just shared. Without thinking I walked right up to one of the girls and got right in her face, letting my anger override my common sense.
“You got a problem?” I asked in a defiant tone.
“Look nooby. You don’t know who we are yet. But we run this school. So just go back to your girlfriend and you won’t get hurt.” the tall blond told me.
“Let me clue you in on a little fact little girl.” I said in a calm tone. “You may think you run things. But you stay out of my way, and I won’t make your stay here a living hell.”
At that point two of her friends grabbed me and I watched in shock as she took a swing at my stomach. Good thing I’d been doing sit-ups with mom for the past month. I simply tightened my abs and heard the dull thud of her fist hitting me. There was a slight discomfort, but it wasn’t all that painful. For me that is, the girl who hit me on the other hand, was using her other hand to hold the one that she’d hit me with. Clearly not expecting me to be as fit as I am, add that to the fact that I had on a baggy sweatshirt, and she thought I was just another overweight girl. It was about that time that Ms. Hagar came around the corner and saw me being held and the other girl holding her hand in obvious pain. She demanded to know what was going on and the girls who were holding me scattered, leaving only Grace, the girl who hit me and me to answer her.
“Amy and I were happy we were assigned the same room, and hugged, when this girl and her friends made some snide remarks and called us homosexuals’ ma’am.” Amy told her.
“I kindly told her,” pointing to the girl writhing in pain, “that she wasn’t being nice, and I wasn’t here to fight, I was here to learn.”
“She swung at me first. I was defending myself!” the girl shot back.
“That’s enough out of you Angela.” Ms. Hagar told the other girl. “I saw the whole incident. You go to the infirmary.” she told her. “And you two, go to your room, and wait for me there.”
We both nodded and did as we were told. We found the room was much like a small apartment. We each had a bedroom, and there was a kitchen/dining room/ living room set up with a couch, and a television. We both dropped our bags off in our bedrooms and I found that some of the things that mom and dad had sent ahead were already waiting for me. I decided to unpack later, and grabbed my packet that was sitting on my desk, and headed for the dining room table. Grace joined me after a couple of seconds and we sat down together to go through the packets.
It was pretty much the same as I’d seen in college; a booklet of do’s and don’ts, and a map of the complex. The only good thing was the map was on a touch tablet, and you could zoom in at any time to make sure you knew where you were, and where you were heading. We had just finished the rule book when Ms. Hagar arrived.
“I’d like to apologize for the welcoming committee earlier. We are very pleased to have you both with us.” she said with a smile. “You are both the brightest students we’ve ever had here at the Lunar School. And please don’t let Angela and her brood discourage either of you from doing your best and being who you want to be.”
“Thank you.” we both said to her in unison.
“It wasn’t anything major at all.” I continued. “I think little Miss Mike Tyson, is hurt more then I am.”
“I gathered that. But I want you both to know that we do not condone that sort of action here. You did the right thing by not fighting back.” she told me
“I’ll be honest with you,” I said sheepishly, “if I could have gotten my hands free, I probably would have.”
“I see.” she said as she pulled off her glasses and started to clean them. “That’s not at all what I’d expected to hear from a girl with a 195 I.Q.”
“I know, you thought I’d be smarter then that.”
“No, actually I thought you’d be too afraid to fight back.” she told me.
“I’m not your normal bookworm, ma’am.”
“I know you aren’t.” she told me pulling out a file with my name on it. “Your parents made sure we know what was going on.” she told me with a wink.
“What’s going on?” Grace asked in confusion.
“Nothing that you need be concerned with dear,” Ms. Hagar told her.
“I’ll tell you later.” I piped in.
“Now as for the two of you,” Ms. Hagar continued, “you have been put together because you are the two brightest students we’ve ever had, and as it turns out, you both are the first women to sign up for our motorsports engineering major. So don’t disappoint me, and use this as an opportunity to get ahead of others your age. By the time you both leave here, you’ll have earned your degree’s and be as ready as we can get you to enter the work force.”
“Thank you ma’am.” we both said in unison, and started to giggle.
“They say great minds think alike.” Ms. Hagar told us, joining the laugh.
She bid us good bye and said she was having a little get together for the faculty and staff in her quarters later. She mentioned that she’d want us both to attend, and would be back later to pick us up. I nodded and shook her hand and Grace took my cue and did the same thing. Once she left we both got to the business of unpacking. It all went pretty quick and I had just finished putting my clothes put away when Grace peeked into my room and mentioned that it was getting near time to get ready. I nodded and pulled the black dress I’d packed out of my closet and started to get ready, while listening to my play list of music I'd been able to transfer from off my MP3 player. I was just finishing putting my makeup on when I heard a knock on my bedroom door. I called for Grace to come in, over the music, and the door opened to show that it was Ms. Hagar.
How can I describe Ms. Hagar? I think every boy’s wet dream pretty well sums it up. Let me explain. Most guys I’ve met over the years have had a fantasy about a teacher who is slightly older and sexy as hell. Trust me, if Ms. Hagar’s model beautiful face isn’t enough to get you thinking nasty thoughts about her, then the two watermelons she has stuffed in the woman’s business suit she has on will. Now don’t get it twisted. She is far from what you’d call a BBW. Her waist is pretty damn small. I’d say she probably works out from the sheer lack of a waist she has. Of course as the old saying goes, ‘nothing grows in the shade.’ And believe me; her breasts do quite enough to shade everything under them. I never knew a woman like her could exist. That is to say that when I watched her walk away earlier, there was, and still is no doubt in my mind that her breasts are 100% natural.
“I didn’t know anyone still had my great-grand father’s music.” she told me as I turned down Sammy Hagar’s ‘I can’t drive 55'.
“Yeah, well call me old fashioned. But I like the music from back then.”
“Do you miss it Josh?” she asked me straight faced; causing me to turn white as a sheet.
“Uh.” was all I could come up with.
“I know what’s going on Amy. I read the file, and the letters from the medical staff. It’s not a problem. You see, I know who you really are.” she told me.
“And you’re cool with it?” I asked not really sure what else to do.
“It’s fine. Just please remember that you are dealing with teenage girls and boys. Both of which have hormones raging in their bodies causing them to do and say things that as adults we wouldn’t.”
“I know what you mean. I’ve been feeling the effects of that myself lately.”
“Alright, just be careful. And here’s my private number. Call me if you have any questions. Amanda and I are old friends and I told her I’d look after you here for her.” she told me with a tender smile.
“Thank you.” I said as I felt myself start to cry and quickly grabbed a tissue to stop the tears from ruining my makeup.
“It’s going to be fine.” she told me as she pulled me into a hug. “Once I saw that you’d changed your major, I called Mandy and asked her what was going on. She explained everything and while I did feel sad at losing my goddaughter, I was happy when she told me that you were going to go on living for her.”
“Oh wow, you didn’t have to tell me that. I feel bad enough that Mark and Amanda lost their daughter. I didn’t need to know that you were her godmother.” I said as I started to cry again.
“It’s alright.” she said rubbing my back. “I’ll be here for you, just like I would have been for her. In fact, I’d like very much if you’d consider me the same for you. I know you don’t have anyone. So consider me a second mom, alright?”
“I’ll try. Just keep in mind that I know very little about being a girl. So if I do or say things that don’t sound very ladylike, please cut me some slack.”
“I can do that.” she said as we hugged. “Do you have any pictures of what you used to look like?” she asked me with a tender smile.
“I do.” I told her as I pulled out a box of my old things, and grabbed a team picture of one of the stock car teams I worked with. “I’m the third from the right in the back row; right next to the guy in the black polo shirt.” I told her pointing to the big guy with the braided goat-tee.
“Oh my, you were a big boy. What did you do on race day?” she asked as she kept looking back and forth between the picture and me.
“I was the tire specialist, and jack man.” I said proudly. “I was also the shock specialist. I built all our shocks in house. And was one of our chassis fabricators.”
“Wow, so you did a lot in motorsports already.” she said with a smile.
“Oh, that was just on that team.” I said with a smile. “Once I left them, I went to crew chief a sprint car out west, and did everything myself. I even built the motor we won the Western States Open with. Then when they stopped racing, I went to work for a pro-mod drag team and was the tire, and top end specialist. I was in charge of building the heads we’d use for each weekend.”
“Wow, I didn’t know we’d have an expert in vintage racing coming to our school.” she said with a nod. “So you can weld, and machine. What about electro-magnetic propulsion?”
“Uh, that was reserved for trains, back in my time.” I said as I rubbed the back of my neck.
“Alright, so there is one course you might have to study for.” she said with a wink. “Come on, let’s get to that party.”
We grabbed Grace, and were off to the gathering at Ms. Hagar’s place. On the way there, I noticed that the entire school was set up like a small city, complete with shops and restaurants. Ms. Hagar explained that the restaurants were free to the students, but the shops would only offer a discount on the items purchased. We passed one of the several banks and I saw that it was my own bank from back in the day. Hopefully my ATM card would still work, and I’d be able to get some money to use.
To Be Continued.
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