New Middle Grade Story (Hexagon 1NE Chapter 3)

Plot: Flying hover cycles. Fiery mecha bots. BFs. After earth ends and re-population begins, two cKlone tweens get trapped outside of their safety pod hexagon by a fertility doctor who is out to snatch their souls.

Photo Credit Source: Bettye-Winters

CHAPTER 03––HOVER

Flash stood streetside, holding his thumb up in the air. His recycled, cybershirt fit skin tight.

“What are you doing?” Arik asked of Flash’s odd choice of sign language.

Flash grinned. “I read it in the archives once. When people were in need of transportation, they threw a thumb high in the air like this and said the word, ‘Taxi!’”

Arik glanced at Flash, confused with his head titled at a fifteen-degree angle. “Wait … you read?”

“Har-har.” Flash smirked.

Arik had a better idea than using hand signals. He retrieved his smart-pod communicator from his back pocket, a worn PrestoX unit with a smiling emoji sticker. The sticker held the worn device together like tape.

Arik tapped the screen and a hologram hovercraft appeared. It suspended in air just above the PrestoX. Curious, Arik swiped his fingers left to right as the hovercraft changed into a five-wheeled clunker. Definitely not his style. He toggled graphic arrows that rotated from four-wheel vehicles to a three-wheel craft. He stopped on a sleek hover cycle.

“Watcha think?” Arik asked of Flash.

Flash agreed, impressed. “ABSOLUTELY!”

Arik double-tapped the hologram and in less than six seconds, two glossy hover cycles appeared. Dust wafted from the street as they lowered to ground level. Lights from the engine powered the two vehicles on.

A hologram safety operator appeared on a transparent screen. Her hair was tucked under a helmet that displayed an official hexagonal badge.

“Good afternoon, rider. Please scan your identification,” said the hologram operator.

A red light beamed from her eye.

Arik waved his wristband in front of the red light. The operator’s eye changed from red to green.

“Access granted. Arik, your excellent, gold safety record has earned you an extra reward. Would you like the upgrade applied?”

Arik looked to Flash’s eager eyes. Even though Arik wished he could use it for his sisters in some way, he nodded in agreement. “Yes. Let’s do it.”

Hover cycle one’s solar engine powered on. Ready, Arik climbed aboard as the dashboard reflected in his eyes. Each feature and benefit appeared as if being typed.

Hover Cycle Features:

  • Aerodynamic … smooth velocity
  • Heated seat and foot rails … comfort
  • Gyrosphere … safety shield 100% crash protection
  • Automatic … input coordinates and relax
  • DJ-Max … unlimited soothing surround music

Flash stared in awe as a tune began to play. A simulated water-thin shield enclosed Arik. It surrounded him on the hover cycle.

The music was air tight, too.

“Rider …” The safety operator turned to the other cKlone. “Please scan your identification.”

Biting his lip in hesitation, Flash waved his band.

The red scanner swiveled in a circular wheel pattern. Waiting. Waiting. More waiting.

Arik revved his hover cycle.

Flash shrugged, wondering about the hold up.

“Access granted.”

Flash breathed relief.

“Nelson, your safety record has earned you the following features …”

Hover cycle two’s engine lit up. Only this version transformed from a sleek, white cylindrical cycle into a dented, cycle clunker. Bulky and clearly in need of washing. The digital dashboard displayed …

Hover Cycle Features:

  • Manual drive only
  • Safety warning … do not fly with your mouth open

“Please cycle safely,” the hologram officer said.

“Har, har,” Flash replied. “You’re soooo funny.”

“Thank you,” the officer continued. “Would you like to hear a joke?”

Before Flash could answer––

“How do you identify a bad cyclist?”

Again, before Flash could answer––

“Look in the mirror.”

“Ugggg,” Flash moaned. But he couldn’t help but glance at himself in the mirror anyway. “End signal, please!”

“Certainly, HAVE A SUPER DAY,” said the hologram officer with a smile and disappeared, ending the transmission.

Upon boarding his clunker, a simulated helmet appeared on Flash’s head. He powered on the engine light.

POP.

The cycle quickly flickered off.

A wave of burning metal filled his nose. Flash tried again.

Pop-pop, pop-pop.

The cycle lifted off the ground, sideways.

“Whoa-whoa!”

Slowly, Flash leaned on the handles. He shifted his weight to counter-balance the cycle until it leveled.

A voice came over the speaker. “I dropped a pin where we’re going,” said Arik from inside his cycle. “We can take it at your speed.”

“Oh, everyone’s a comedian today.” Flash pointed Arik two fingers, the two index fingers on his six-fingered right hand. He leaned forward on his ride. “Do try to keep up.”

Rev. Rev. Vrooom.

And away Flash jetted on the hover cycle. A fiery backfire emitted from its rear power source.


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