Neurons at Night

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Neurons at Night

   Rixton Lee smirked. His fat head bobbled sheer to his shoulder pack. The hose running straight out of the base of his skull into his life support spewed grey. 'Remember you need to wait for the Cater-8 to work! You're going to lose the connection if you don't wait at least fifty minutes and then—' he gummed his toothless mouth with a pale green tongue. The edges of his lips a blue pale. The little motor mounted to his left clavicle laboured as he spoke.

'When did you drop cater-eight?' Maude barked as our car sped away. I turned and shot Rixton a quick middle finger through the back windscreen.

   'Who cares?' I acknowledged the red beeping alert on my wrist.

AX558 or AX658. The decal on the hood was decades old.

'Is that a five or a six?'

'Why did you drop eight?' Maude answered.

'I think it's a five, or could that be a six?'

'You're going to kill yourself.'

'I'm serious Maude. The Bright have been hacking rides, and sending the oblivious passengers to their death!'

'You're being so dumb right now.'

'It must be a six right? My wrist says AX658 is our designated car.'

'Why don't you ask Rixton?'

'Why don't you like him?'

   'He's gross.'

   'He's a war hero! You can't blame a guy for serving and returning in pieces,' I say and grabs Maude's perfect thigh.

   The car rattles its way down Aloita boulevard. Concrete squares press hard against each other and form great seams rising as if plates of the earth itself had crashed together. The car crested one of those monoliths and moaned, its old steel skeleton compressed and shook the cabin. The headlights rise and fall like a kid thumbing a lantern. The effect casts awkward shadows across the decayed buildings and shattered storefronts that sit in complete darkness until our loud eyes careen past. I look at the long display embedded in the dash. The screen has an elongated crack that has shattered above the speed indicator, but the clock is visible. It confirms my wrist, it's nearly three am, and the girl I'm with sits with her hips pressed firmly against mine.

   'Get out,' her shoulders shudder with an unexpected smile. She then brushes my arm playfully. 'You'll kill yourself!'

   'I'm paying for the ride, so I decide.' I look into her green eyes, ringed with silver glitter. She looks like a butterfly replete with loud blue faux eyes painted on her cheeks. Her little pink shorts and black boots slowly turn toward me. I pull her knees forward to complete the move, and her warm skin presses to mine. 'Tonight is my fourth link, I've got to push my new brain to its limits if I'm going to find any answers.'

   'I thought you were joking.' She grabs my hand with a ferocity that's not her. 'You're not serious.'

   I nod with an awkward smirk. 'Where do you think we're going?' I wave a hand dramatically past the window to Honshieg's dismembered skyline. The dash shows four minutes and thirty-eight seconds until we reach our hitherto hidden destination.

   'Why are you doing this?'

   'I need to know how far I can push,' I tap the back of my neck. 'Join me,' I smile. 'It makes everything better.'

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