Las Vegas, Nevada
It was one fine day to kill myself, but somebody had to do it. Sometimes you just can’t count your luck.
And I had a blistering headache, too.
The kind where any amount of daylight stabs the back of your pupils like a hypodermic needle injecting nitric acid into your eyeballs.
You know, the kind of headache that you bought in the bottle the night before.
And makes your mouth taste like fermented sawdust.
I was a red-eyed mess this morning, my long black hair medusaed out in snaky waves of badness, undoubtedly gelled with a little bit of last night’s drool.
A pair of law enforcement mirrored sunglasses and my Vega Phantom motorcycle helmet took care of the visual hygiene problem.
For body odor, I find that a spritz of grapefruit hydrosol is remarkably neutralizing a few seconds after a misty full body application.
And one more tip. Black leather motorcycle pants don’t wrinkle when you accidentally wear them as pajamas on the spare couch in your granddad’s laboratory, too.
Traffic on a downtown Monday was horrific as I revved the engine of my Mad-Maxed Ducati. This motorcycle’s got real off-road tires for superior ground feel, steel reinforced side cases, and tons of secret compartments. I’ve got it all tricked out for survival anywhere. Burrum burrum.
I love the lion’s purr.
I could listen to the twist of the throttle all day.
We all know it’s totally unnecessary to rev an engine like that, but it’s annoying and anti-social, and that makes the car driving folks nervous enough to check the rearview screen.
And that’s the point.
Keeping the cager’s aware of their surroundings keeps the streets safe when I blast around them illegally at the speed of fireball lightning—well, it reduces the chance of vehicular collision, anyway.
The glittery glass skyscrapers winked a multitude of square eyes at me in the chilly winter sun. The casinos were aerial-blasting their porch-swing holograms over Fremont Street traffic. (I call them porch-swing—my term for elderly technology. You know, it’s like when you’re outdated and you just want to sit your tired bones down on the front porch and park it).
The pedestrian tourists were oohing and awing because you don’t get this kind of show in a decent and moral city, like San Francisco. (So I’ve heard. It’s the only other city left after the wars, but what would I know, I’ve never left Las Vegas.)
I guessed the porch-swing holos had a new galactic theme this morning when a metallic spaceship zoomed by my helmet, cat-and-mousing with a freakish centipede alien, yellow lasers exploding into puffs of nothingness all around.
That always unnerves me when I’m riding my motorcycle, the street-grams.
Illusions are distracting.
And who can tell what’s real or not anymore these days since holo tech has became the rage? I don’t believe in aliens or anything, but what if real aliens did land? They could walk the streets of Vegas all day with their centipede heads, but no one would believe they were really there.
That’s just wrong. What you see should be what you get.
But new technology is booming now, anyway.
There was a slight interruption for, oh—let’s say more than a century. But I’ll explain that later.
Of course, in keeping with the vices of Sin City, new technology is only legal as long as it can do something illegal. And I should know because even though I’m barely legal at twenty-one, I’ve invented a lot of it.