Time and Again
A ride from TIMEAGAIN Inc. was the perfect gift for a boy who lived for his hologame motorbikes; a boy who has never been …outside in his eighteen years. Mickey.
Adam had been a child when they sealed the Cities forever but he remembered playing among the last tufts of grass, under the dismal clouds of pollution. Now he could offer his son something infinitely superior.
In the bare launch room, the fastest bikes awaited them, three Suzukis Hayabusa, splendid antiques from the late 20th century.
He noticed Mickey looking for the neural net as he straddled his Suzuki. “No, boy, this is the real thing...” How he loved his son’s puzzled look…
He’d planned everything meticulously. Three rides to gain Guide Harlan’s loyalty and arrange the security details. His remaining fortune for the fourth.
The engines roared. The wall swirled in a psychedelic curtain and, as they charged through it blindly, air hit their eyes through the open visors. Sweet real air.
The sky held hues of bright pink, telltale of the impending sunset, stars already lit above the snowed peaks of Sierra Nevada.
Mickey’s braking reflex burned a black snake on the white concrete. He climbed down, staggering like a perpetual mariner cast to shore, and knelt, hugging the bike, sparkling tears in his eyes.
“California,” Harlan smiled. “Welcome to 1999…”
They tied Harlan well, to exonerate him of their escape.
“Happy birthday, son. Come on!”
They raced to the track’s fence, then onto the winding road beyond.