Night Ride

Nira tore through the desert night on her ’72 Appaloosa single-cycle, the silent lightning in the distance painting shadow-Nira’s at varying angles across the cinnamon-colored sand. She didn’t need the predictive analytics or the visual enhancements from her visor’s HUD—she knew this desert road well. It was straight and flat and rarely used, and the self-healing topcoat ensured it stayed that way.

It was like her own private salt flat.

She leaned forward savored the wind against her body, felt her jacket flapping in the air like it was possessed by the spirit of a phoenix trying to lift itself from the death grip of an ash heap. Personal wheeled vehicles were already out of favor back when her father had purchased the App’ back in the late 2070’s, and Nira didn’t know anyone who still owned one. It took a lot of work to keep it running—she’d rebuilt it twice since inheriting it—but it was worth it for this feeling.

She rolled the throttle downward and avoided watching the speedometer in her HUD, but she couldn’t help but notice when it clicked over into triple digits. Her skeleton vibrated in harmony with the engine screaming beneath her seat, but the one-wheeler rode smooth as glass. Nira held her breath and white-knuckled the grips. Any slip up and she was a goner, miles and miles from anyone; and no one knew she was here to begin with.

She was on the edge of something…sanity maybe? Yes, that must be it. This was the only time she felt sane—lucid. In control. Her mind cleared as she pushed past 160 mph.

Action is power. Of course.

She let the cycle roll to an eventual stop like a slow death, and then she sat there thinking while the engine panted like an overheated dog. The lighting still lashed the sky in the distance.

If action is power, she thought, then I shall act.

She turned the App’ around and gunned it back toward the city.

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