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!

Sunday, May 15


I continued to watch from my sandskimmer at a safe distance. The mainland tourist who made himself comfortable in the seat beside me had slumped over minutes ago for snooze. Thank goodness for small favors. I could not let anything distract me from what transpired.

It was a breathtaking sight. The sands shook from the thunder of the radiant velocipedes as they roared from the shining column of silver. Twenty-four of them stopped in unison in tight formation as the column from which they escaped blinked out of existence, leaving a momentary trail in the eye like a bolt of lightning that struck close-by.

Instead of opening their vehicles, they dissolved into light and then nothingness around them as they stood. Most of them had black outfits, save for a few of the visibly attractive ones who were clad in white. But all of them had veins of energy in primary colors coursing over their clothing, matching the vehicles they had driven. They also had glowing discs fastened to their backs, which I conjectured were their power sources. The one with the crimson suit stood taller than the rest. Before he lifted his visor I recognized him as my creation.

Bloodwing had created an image of himself in the center of where the aperture stood. Even though he was in fact disassembled and spread around where the aperture had been. All of the newcomers, including Ash, knelt before their liberator.

"Welcome to Earth, brave Digital Knights! I shall graciously..."

I was distracted by a blast of cold air. Huge snowflakes pressed to my skin and stung as they melted. But we were in the desert of Cala Mondrago! What sorcery was this?

One of the knights stood and turned away from the Elder, and drew a baton that crackled with power. "Recognizers spotted!", he shouted in a voice so modulated it was barely decipherable.

What on Earth was a Recognizer, I thought. The tourist woke with a start and pointed upwards.

"Dude! Spaceships with giant chicken legs and laser guns!"

I flipped the switch on my console, engaging the twin Tesla turbines in the rear of the sandskimmer with a flash and a hiss.

"How astute. Please put on your seatbelt."

I floored the accelerator. Mr. Bishop was trying to make another observation at the top of his lungs, but I was too busy weaving madly through metallic claws and angles of burning light to ask him to repeat.