Kisa leaned out of the corkscrew and upshifted as the front tire began to lift off the ground. The third place rider was in her sights as she banked hard left into the next curve. She noticed as his taillight rose as he exited the same curve, he was only a few seconds ahead. She came out of the curve and fired her last of three EMP bombs. Each racer was given three to start each race; like a fool, she’d deployed the other two within the first eight laps of the event. The EMP missed, sailing onto the electromagnet barrier; the only separation between the track and the fans. They erupted in celebration. Oblivious to Kisa’s now tactical disadvantage, her crew chief miked in, “You just became the first one out. Hope it was a good shot.”
“No it wasn’t….” she thought to herself. Trying to find an opening to make her move into third. They entered the straight, seven seconds later they began lap nineteen. Kisa had been in fourth for seven laps now if she was going to make a move it would be now or never. All eyes were on her. She needed to place third or better here to have a shot at the championship in the standings.
As they entered the curve she found herself tire to tire with third, it was a risk but she overtook him coming out of the hairpin. She saw second and first battling for position. No way would she allow them to have all the fun.
She watched their backsides through the entirety of the lap as they switched places several times. All the while she was closing the distance. It took her by complete surprise, only luck kept the EMP from striking her bike, as number twenty-seven was elbow deep in his bag of tricks trying to take his spot back from her The projectile whizzed past her line of sight, narrowly missing the front of her bike.
“Fourth place is out. Just race em now!!” Kisa’s Crew Chief informed. There were no EMPs left between any of the top four racers; just time and tarmac. Although she’d been as close to her fuel tank as possible before now, somehow Kisa found an extra inch of space to close up to it. Wanting to get the most aerodynamicism as she could as she pulled nearer the top two riders.
Leaning up out of the left hand curve she saw the rider ahead of her begin to wobble and jerk. Suddenly, the road snatched his bike one way and the air took him the other; unable to settle their differences and just taking what belonged to them instead. The violent nature of rubber, speed and pavement had promoted her to second place.
The final straight aligned immediately after the corkscrew turn; both Kisa and the first place rider lifted out of the corner simultaneously. Kisa knew that meant he was close enough to be passed. She gave the two-wheeled machine every degree of throttle it could muster, eyeing the speedometer as she accelerated. “293…294…296…298…299…” Kisa looked up and into the brick wall that shocked her out of the dream for the umpteenth time.
Kisa rolled over and looked at the hotel clock: four in the morning. She hadn’t even been asleep three hours. It was going to be a long night.
She flipped on the television not wanting to think about the race tomorrow; trying her hardest to put the weight of being the first female racer in grand prix history aside. It would be a tough race with that much baggage. Let alone having gotten no sleep.
The TV didn’t help take her minds off things a bit. Other than the news forecasting a heavy meter or shower, there was a re-run of fast and dangerous three playing on one channel, a sleezy romantic-comedy featuring a terrible go kart racing scene and if that wasn’t enough to drive Kisa insane, the last channel she tried was playing a horror movie — about a haunted race bike — she just couldn’t get away. She hit the red button in the upper left of the remote and slammed her head back into the tough hotel pillow.
“Get back in the kitchen!!”
“Good job warming it up sweetheart!!”
“Nice rear axle, eighty-eight!!!”
The bantering and heckling had begun as soon as she entered the speedway arena. It was at its peak now that she set up in starting position. She tried her best to block the misogyny out; adjusting her gloves and visor once again and again.
“Ignore it kiddo…you gotta business to handle!” The Crew Cheif said into the helmet mic. She looked over towards her pit and nodded in recognition of his thumbs up. Comms. Check.
Kisa settled in, rocking side to side and envisioning the track in her mind. Blurring the outside world from her senses. Zoning in on the task at hand. The announcers call was the only thing that broke her trance; she started her engine along with her male counterparts. The smart-track beneath their feet and tires illuminated red. The track was made completely of solar panel displays. Not only did it intake enough energy to power the entire speedway complex, it also provided holographic details for the fans in attendance to keep up with the happenings of the race in real time. They got to literally see a live race and intuitive display at the same time. No where else but the Grand Prix would anyone find this technology.
The electromagnet barrier began to materialize overhead. They were seconds away from the start. Kisa noticed the vibrating click as the EMP charges were registered to her motorcycle. Moments later the track illuminated a bright amber hue. The crowd began to cheer ravenously. Including Kisa all of the racers began to feather their throttles, adding adrenaline and anticipation to the fan’s growing fever pitch.
All went silent. Everything slowed. All the focus in the entire arena was directed to the flashing amber track. At the onset of the third, the entire raceway illuminated “go” – green.
The racers burst from their starting positions. Kisa had to be careful here, riders at this level loved nothing more than to catch another racer with an early EMP heading into the first turn. Kisa hung towards the rear of the pack and watched the damage unfold.
Two crashes and four stalls was the result. Which meant the absolute worst she could place now was twentieth. The pressure of being dead last was at least off now.
She accelerated past the group of slaggers as they exited the first turn, propelling her instantly to tenth place. Seven more to go, for history. Nine more for the glory.
Unlike in her dream she held onto the first of her EMPS; even as the ninth place rider continued to cut her off from passing. She ignored the clear shot she had and focused on nothing more than racing.
She trailed him through the first three laps before finally releasing the bomb. He stalled. It was a direct hit. Kisa zoomed by as the former ninth place holder careened his dead bike into the gravel.
Eight. Seven. Six. Five. They all came with ease as she overtook them all out of pure discipline to the racing line. Better yet, she still had two EMPs, as they entered lap twelve.
In the straight to enter the sixteenth lap she finally fired the second projectile. It landed with perfect timing. The fourth place rider slid off track, his bike sparking along the pavement not to far behind him.
This was it.
The final straight aligned immediately after the corkscrew turn; both Kisa and the first place rider lifted out of the corner simultaneously. Kisa knew that meant he was close enough to be passed. She gave the two-wheeled machine every degree of throttle it could muster, eyeing the speedometer as she accelerated. “293…294…296…298…299…” Kisa looked up and fired the last of her EMPs. The bomb struck something but not the rider in first place. It began to phase in and out of invisibility, but it could not be mistaken for anything other than what it was — a flying saucer! The saucer crashed, systems fried from Kisa’s EMP. Her rear tire slid forward as she squeezed and stomped onto the breaks. Despite the booming emotions of the crowd, Kisa couldn’t hear a thing other than the pneumatic discharge coming from the spacecraft.
The other racers soon slid in beside and behind her. Unable to drive around the track covering aircraft.
Stairs appeared from the craft and folded down mechanically until they came incontact with the earth. Upon impact there was a loud — BOOM — from the stairs. Stiff-legged and suddenly a creature exited the star-craft. “Kisa!! Kisa Anderson?!?!”
Kisa looked around and the other racers were frozen solid. Some still had white smoke suspended above the point of tire and pavement, in midair. “What was happening?” She thought to herself. “Of all times for weirdness…”
“Kisa!!!!!”, she knew that voice better than any sound she’d ever heard, her father. “Kisa!!!!” He bolted around the frozen bodies, shoving a few to the ground as he made his way towards her. “Kisa are you okay?!?”
She didn’t respond to his franticness, only pointed towards the grotesque creature that now approached them from the ship. “It is time Gil…” it spoke.
“No, no, please. You can’t take her now…”
“You’ve done well…you will be—“
“What is he talking about Dad?”
“Please…no…”, Gil continued to plead.
“You knew this day would come…it is here…you have succeeded.”
With those words the creature pulled out a round orb-like device and slung it out towards Kisa. With an inhuman reflex she caught the device one-handed, whilst remaining balanced atop her sport bike.
Gil’s jaw dropped as he watched his daughter transform before his eyes into the Martian she was all along…..
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