Tuesday, May 17

Speed on the Desert Sands

Despite my speed and evasive maneuvering, I was certain I was done for when one of the Dazdi ships hurtled through the desert sky straight towards my hovercraft. My doom was averted by the near-deafening crack of thunder beside me that sent the metal shell spinning off past the horizon.

My overzealous passenger's tattooed arms were held out stiff as planks, cradling a vulgar work of gleaming metal.

".44 Desert Eagle! Sweet Push, yeah?"

"Oh please don't let this make it to the journals..." I muttered.

I was distracted by a roar of machinery behind us. In my rear-view mirror I glimpsed a wall of crimson stretch out behind us like a ribbon. Bishop sat up in the passenger's seat (he hadn't heeded my advise to strap himself in, of course) and scanned the the featureless sands behind us. I watched the Founder's new squadron of Digital Knights exchanging beams of searing light with Baba Yaga's fleet from their two-wheeled wonders with a speed and precision that made my defensive driving seem positively oafish!

Ash's light-cycle rode up beside my sandskimmer. He turned his helmeted head to glance at us once, then veered far too close! I had to swerve to keep from hitting the wall of energy his craft generated!

I flipped the switch on my Marconi transmitter to ask him what the blazes he was up to. I heard one of the female Knights dictating orders in a metallic monotone. What did this code mean? "G-6?"

When my passenger started bobbing his shoulders in time with the oscillations while he shattered holes in the light-wall large enough for us to jet through with his pistol, I realized I was in fact listening to one of those horrid songs that pass as entertainment on the mainland! Bishop, this ignorant fool, had obviously been fiddling with my transmitter while I was watching the Elder's conjurations!


There was no way I could recalibrate the equipment in the middle of a high-speed chase! I was tempted to knock him out of the 'skimmer myself, but...

The red light-cycle crushed in on itself from the force of Bishop's bullet and disintegrated. In the mirror I watched in horror as the rider tumbled and rolled helplessly over a sand dune until he lay still.

I glanced in murderous fury at the imbecile who had far, far outstayed his welcome. I held back the bile in my throat as his pink loincloth flapped madly from our rate of speed. Wait...pink loincloth? Even for a testosterone-driven savage like him that was a rather outre'...

The theatrics dropped the moment he lowered his aim at me. I felt the heat of the pistol's smoking muzzle a mere centimeter from my temple.

"Bishop's three to Knight's one."

I kept my eyes straight forward.

"Checkmate, dear brother. Checkmate." I never could beat him at three-dimensional chess.

But then again, the chessboard never came equipped with an ejector seat. The instant he started to lift, he fired and devastated the steering column instead of my cranium. I instinctively covered my face with my arms to protect myself from the shower of sparks and the imminent impact as the hovercraft rocketed at full speed towards the the city of Cala Mondrago that loomed on the horizon!

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