Fun Fictional Distractions
Argus wasn't replying to Kailian’s messages for some reason, but she had figured it out anyway. Despite all the advances in vehicle security measures, there were always workarounds, and that's how she had gotten the bike working. Now she was riding it down an old road in the Arizona desert sun. Kailian had often cursed that almost no cars were built to fit a creature of her size. There were several she would have loved to drive. Oversized motorcycles were a little easier to find. She had lucked out on this one. It even had oversized custom controls. Had she wanted to, she could have told the computer to take over, and the bike's stabilizers would keep it upright. It had a self-driving feature to match. Kai wasn't interested. Riding like this, leaned over the bike with the wind roaring through her mane was a way she could get close to the feeling of flying with her own wings again, and being in control of the experience was part of that. It had been so long. Besides, she was almost there.
There was a campsite in the middle of nowhere. Mr Oracle dragon was supposed to be there. The forum denizens had speculated it had something to do with energy vortices or ley lines in this location, not that it mattered to Kailian. A photo had been posted of the camp, and somebody had forgotten to turn off geotagging. The hunt was on.
She had to slow down for a curve or two that took her over a hill. This brought her to the remains of a town that had been abandoned sometime in the mid 2000's. Nothing much had happened there in a while. A lot of towns like this had turned into ghost towns, with some moving to cities for jobs and the rest heading out into the wilderness to go off grid. Kailian passed through this one in less than two kilometers, and rode out past a small river.
Almost there. She looked left and right through the HUD glasses she was wearing. Through the data from the bike, she caught a glimpse of a path leading off to an unusually green area. That was it. She turned off here and rode into the field. A voice came into get earbud saying,
"You have arrived at your destination."
Kailian looked around. There were plenty of places where the grass has been disturbed. She saw several black and gray piles of ashes. The location matched the one in the photo, but no one was here.
"Damnit," Kai growled.
She had come all this way, too. She sighed. She might as well look around. She turned off the bike, and the whine of the reactor died away. She dismounted and walked towards one of the campfire pits. She could smell burnt mesquite wood. She counted at least three tents around this one. A big group had been here. They had cleaned up after themselves pretty well. She turned and walked over to another campfire.
"Hey you!" A gruff voice shouted, "Burning Man is over. This is private property!"
Kailian looked up to see the men, shabbily dressed in t-shirts and faded jeans. One of them, who was shouting, had a cowboy hat. They seemed to be walking in from the entrance to these grounds where she had come in. She grinned deviously. This could be fun. One of them had an old-fashioned shotgun. The ancient kind that used gunpowder. How cute.
"I'm here to get answers and cause pain," she bellowed back,
"And I don't have any answers."
The men looked surprised. One of them even too a step back. This would be easy.
"And did you run the campers away, too?" She said, taking a few steps towards them.
"They cleared it with the boss to be here," the spokesman for the group said. "That rabbit with 'em goes way back with Sarge, and he worked it out."
Sounded like these guys probably weren't alone. Kailian rested her hand on her gun.
"You need to leave."
Mr. cowboy hat sounded a little less sure now.
"This is private property..."
"Do I look like I care?" Kailian growled as she kept stepping closer.
"I said I'm here for answers. I like causing pain if I don’t get them," she said. "Don't get in my way."
The three men stood there for a moment like they were unsure of what to do. Kai was close enough now that they could get a much better idea how big she was. Now that they had to look up to make eye contact, they seemed to be getting nervous.
Kailian roared and leapt forward. The three men jumped, turned and ran in different directions.
Kailian looked around the vacant grounds and laughed darkly.
"Easy fools," she said, and turned to walk towards the campsite again.
The next campfire site was pretty clean, too. There were signs of food trash in the ashes, and maybe even the smell of burned paper somewhere. This one was still smoking a little, too. Somebody had left some napkins lying around. How naughty. That’s when she noticed a shape in the dirty on the other side of the firepit. She reached for it, and turned it over. It was a metal cutout of weird figure leaning over and playing...a musical instrument, maybe? It had things poking out of its head and back. It was ornate to have some cutouts in at portions. The edges were ground smooth. The sunlight showed some dark writing in marker on the other side that said,
“For the seeker”
Kailians’s eyes narrowed. She was going to keep this thing.
That’s when she noticed a sound that was like thunder, but constant. It was getting louder, too. It was a familiar sound, but she hadn’t heard it in many years. Her ears flickered attentively. It sounded like…. Fossil fuel motors? It sounded like more than one, too.
“Not fair,” she muttered looking at the bike she had.
The reactor on her bike only make a whiny whoosh noise. Whatever they had made the old-fashioned vrooming noises she remembered from when she was younger. Kailian ran over to her bike, opened a saddle compartment, and dropped the metal figure in. She opened the one on the other side, pulled a handful of grenades out, and filled her coat pockets with them. She jumped onto the bike, powered it up, and turned it towards the entrance to the field.
https://youtu.be/tcI-IX-OcVA <- musical accompaniment
She got to the road and looked to her right. There they were, coming at her. There were at least ten motorcycles, all ancient gasoline types. Where did these guys get fossil fuels these days? All questions Kailian could think about after she had messed these idiots up.
“You gonna play chase?” she said in a high pitched, talking-to-the-dog voice, even though she knew they couldn’t hear. “C’mon… c’mon.”
She grinned as she turned the bike and sped left towards the old town.
“Autopilot, on,” she said loudly into her headset.
“Autopilot engaging,” said an automated female voice in her ear. “Please state your destination.”
Why did these things have to be so annoying?
“Pheonix, Arizona,” Kailian shouted. It was in the right direction to take her through this town, and she could change it later.
“Autopilot engaged,” the voice said. “You may let go of the handlebars.”
Kailian grinned over her shoulder. They were two to a bike. The ones in the back had more primitive shotguns. They were taking potshots at her. Kailian pulled a grenade out of her jacket. She grinned back at the motorcycle posse.
"Wanna play?" She crooned. "Wanna fetch?"
She pulled the pin and tossed the grenade behind her. She heard the clink on the pavement, and three seconds later,
She turned her head to look. That took out several bikes. There were several still in pursuit. Kailian swung her right leg over the bike and drew both her guns, firing wildly behind her, her face covered in spooky calm.
"Wait," she said, glancing alarmed at the controls. "Why are we slowing down!"
"30 mile per hour speed limit within city limits," the dry computer voice replied.
Kailian snarled and shouted "Fuuuuuu….!"
She looked up to see the remaining motorcycles bearing down on her. She sent a stream of energy bolts flying at them with her left hand and pulled out another grenade with her right.
Kai spun around on the bike. One of the motorcycles was almost on her. She lit it up with energy blasts, causing a fireball to erupt from where the bike had been.
A shotgun went off close by. Pellets glanced off of the left side body of Kai's bike. Kai twisted her torso to look. Her eye locked onto the front wheel of an old Harley less than twenty feet away. She reflexively fired, and the front wheel caught on fire, sending the bike tumbling end over end with a scream. The last bike was behind it. It swerved, and the panicked look on the driver's face was deliciously priceless. It crashed through a garage door in a building. There was a crash, and a fireball blew out all the windows there.
Kailian raised her arm to shield her face. She didn't know what that was, but she laughed loudly. It was perfect.
"She got the still!" Somebody shouted in the distance. "This means war! War!"
"I'm sorry," Kailian said sweetly to herself, "I just don't care."
She pressed a switch to turn off autopilot.
"Good luck finding me, you backward weaklings."
She had the controls. She gunned it. The bike came to life, and with a screech, she was off like a shot, daydreaming of flying again.