by Larry Colen
The scream cut through the early morning mist like a sharp dagger through silk. It was a primal scream of power, of youth, it was the scream of 1,000 cc's shouting to the world why it is good to be alive. The bike and rider carving down the mountain road as one. It is the song of speed, only few have danced to the tune heard when engines sing at 13,000 rpm. Very few choose to dance the 100 mile per hour ballet.
A drunk in a pickup crossed the center line on a blind turn. The bike was transformed from a technological masterpiece, a sculpture of alloy, plastic and speed. Now just bent and twisted metal. Shattered aluminum and fiberglass. The rider flew. His body hit the pavement 40 feet away, the first time. Tumbling and cartwheeling like a shapeless rag doll it finally came to a stop. He lay there unconcious as the ambulance came and took him away. He lay there unconcious as the doctors worked to save his shattered life. He lay there unconcious as the I.V. fed nutrients directly into his veins.
Two weeks later he woke up. He had no recollection of what happened. The last thing he remembered was pulling out of his driveway for a Sunday morning ride. He didn't have to remember the accident to know what had happened. He couldn't feel anything below his neck. He couldn't move his arms, his hands, his legs.
While he was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, a man from the government came by. "We can't give you your own body back" he said, "but we can give you something else".
The scream cut through the early morning mist like a sharp dagger through silk. It was a primal scream of power, of youth, shouting to the world why it is good to be alive. As the plane stood on it's tail and rode a pillar of flame into the sky. Now he had truly become one with the machine. The nerves at the base of his skull grafted to the silicon wafer. Rather than arms he had wings, he felt the air rush over his fuselage. He felt the g's pulling on his airframe as he snapped through a roll.
One young man died that morning on a mountain road. Another was born this morning on a desert runway.
Last modified 07/10/98
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