PG ExcerptTru wasn’t afraid of death. It happened to everyone eventually, and it was what you did with the moments between then and now that mattered. She climbed onto the edge of the basket. From this height, she knew she could get at least a ten count out of it, but the daredevil part of her wanted to push for longer. “I count twenty, and then I throw the pilot chute.” Well aware of her love of adventure, Elvis shook his head and chuckled. “Ten, fourteen if you want to push it, but don’t go longer than that. We’re not that high up. You have an altimeter, so don’t forget to use it. Don’t push past 250 feet.. If you’re panicking, it’s okay to pull it early, better to be safe than a pancake. If you really open up in your batsuit, you’ll definitely get 10 seconds of flight time.” He pointed to a field in the distance. Two trucks, tiny like toys, were parked on the road next to it. “James is waiting for you there.” As she threw a leg over the edge, Tru winked at Elvis. “See you on the other side.” She jumped straight out, careful to keep her eyes on the horizon so that she didn’t become disoriented. It was different than skydiving from an airplane. The wall of air was missing, and she found that she loved the complete lack of sound. She spread her wings. Wind whistled past her ears, but it was the kind that enveloped her in silence and wrapped her in a singular cocoon. This mindless nothingness, these moments of pure delight, was the sweet bliss she spent her life chasing. She was gloriously adrift. Ten seconds might not seem like a lot of time, but with the absence of everything, it stretched to an eternity. Even the ground rising up to meet her took on a surreal quality. It was deaf and blind, shades of green and brown that meant nothing and everything all at once. It was breathless beauty, earthy and elemental in its stunning simplicity. And it was the void, that great, black nothingness where she stored her most precious parts. She lived a lifetime in those ten seconds, but a check of her altimeter showed that she’d run out of time. Reluctantly she pulled the pilot chute to open her parachute. With a tremendous whoosh, it deployed, jerking her from the freefall and delaying the moment of death. The ground still rushed at her, but it came slower, and it seemed suddenly real. As she fell, she used the handles to steer so that she didn’t end up in a tree or an awkward bush. Soon she felt her feet make contact, and she ran a few steps until the chute touched down as well.