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A Day at the Races (standard:science fiction, 970 words)
Author: SalamanderAdded: Oct 04 2000Views/Reads: 3386/2099Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A girl who wants to drive at 14, an experienced young racer, and a simulator through an endless jungle.

BUUUUURRRRNNNNNN!!!! I slammed on the Turbo and roared forward. My
Hover-Bike was like some unstoppable animal. It must have been going 
1,700 MPH down the last turn, and then skidded to a perfect stop in the 
goal area. 

“Not bad, Steve!” Rick leaned on my bike. “You might be as good at me

I laughed. “I’m already better than you. You can’t break 27 seconds! I
must have done 23!” Rick looked a little irked, but he nodded. 

“Yeah, whatever. By the way... There’s a new trainee waiting out back.
Go teach her the basics. I would, but I’ve got a race in five 

“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure she doesn’t chip your precious Bike’s
paint.” Rick growled. “Okay okay okay... I PROMISE that she won’t 
damage ANY of your equipment. Catch you later.’ Rick jogged off. I 
drove around to the back of The Center (as we call it) and found a 
young girl reading a textbook. She looked a little pale, and not the 
sort who would learn to ride and race Bikes. But I can’t complain. She 
looked up as I slowed to a stop. 

“Are you Steven?” 

I winced. “No. Call me Steve. I’ll teach ya whatever you want to know
about Bikes.” 

“Um, well, I need to know how to drive one first...” 

“Oh. You’re trying to drive early.” The state had passed a law that
anyone 14 years old or above could get a Bike license. She blushed, and 
nodded. “First, you’ll need a simulator. Come on in.” I started to walk 
inside The Center, and she followed behind. I led her to a Bike on a 
small stand. “The Center is the best place you’ll find for Bike 
lessons. Anywhere. We teach racers, early-birds like you, cops, even a 
fair share of video game players out for the real thing. This here is a 
simulator. It can and will teach you everything about basic driving. 
Hey, I never caught the name...” 

“I’m Tara.” 

“Nice to meetcha. Sit on the bike.” I watched as Tara got on in perfect
form, but too far back. “No, on the saddle part.” She instantly 
corrected herself. “Say, do you ride horses?” 

She smiled. “I love horses. I’m going to be a horse breeder, but first I
need to learn how to drive, or I won’t be able to go anywhere when I 
start. I ride horses every day, to answer your question.” She seemed 
more than a little pompous (borderline arrogant bastard) in the final 
statement, but I ignored it. 

“A Bike is a horse. A rabid, completely insane horse that has decided
that you are not important to the riding experience. You will have to 
do everything possible to stop it from killing you. Got that? You are 
not in control of the Bike. You simply tell it where to stampede. But, 
it’s essentially a horse. After a while it becomes familiar with you, 
and you’ll find it won’t try as hard to kill you. But still, you have 
to watch out.” She looked nervous, and I laughed. 

“I’m joking with you, Tara. But think of it as a horse and you won’t
have as many problems. Screen on.” My last statement was directed more 
to the simulator than to Tara, and a greenish haze surrounded her eyes. 
‘I’ll join you in a second.” I ran to my bike, pounced on it, punched a 
few buttons. 

I was suddenly on my bike, on a straight dirt path in a dense jungle.
Tara was on a bright orange Bike next to me. 

“Step one,” I said. “Grab the throttle.” She complied. “Now yank it back
and hold on tight.” 

Just as Tara started to pull back, a synthetic voice spoke. “Self
training on or off?” 

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