Black Out

by The Jopp

5.15 - Machiko Tetsuhara - Scrambled Scorpion

Machiko guided her Scorpion through the fast-flowing traffic as her Renraku GPS & NavDat computer gave her directions for the fastest route to Redmond, the green acres of Snohomish were soon replaced by the gray, gloomy buildings of central Seattle.


The traffic flowed smoothly, for a moment - then everything went black!


Nightvision and Thermo kicked in out of sheer reflex as she wrestled with the motorcycle, three vehicles in front of her swerved out of control as the grid shut down, leaving their vehicles powerless. The sudden screech of rubber on asphalt and metal on metal was deafening for a moment and then she was flying.


The display in her vision was distorted, an angry “MALFUNCTION” blinked at her for attention, the smell of petrol was heavy in the air. She tried, and finally managed to sit up, and instantly regretted the action as her body reported the assortment of bruises and minor wounds she had collected. Her left elbow was dislocated and her right eye had ceased to function. She would have a nice bruise along her left thigh down to her calf, she was lucky she hadn’t broken any bones - the biomonitor also reported other minor annoyances like malfunctioning cyberware, like she wasn’t already aware of it.


The bike was wrecked and her fine elven features contorted in a grimace as she took in the damage, and the probable cost of repairs to get the scorpion working again. Panic seemed to be the general reaction in the area as she salvaged her gear and started walking, this had NOT been a good day…


7th Street the first sign proclaimed, the other one said Morgue. “I don’t think I’m ready for the Morgue yet” Machiko mumbled as she stumbled up the steps to 7th Street Morgue. It had taken everything from bribery to violence to get this far, all she needed was a functioning phone, but such mundane things needed power, and the city was in a state of total blackout.

There were a lot of patients but she managed to find an empty chair and plopped down in it, opening up her black and pink motorcycle coveralls and putting her helmet in her lap before she did anything else.

It had been a long day so it wasn’t long before she dozed of to sleep, despite the pain.

Copyright 2002 - N. Dahlgren

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