CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE (draft)

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 CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

 “Hold on!” I exclaim, and then I sing the sequence to increase speed, followed by variations to keep the board away from various obstacles in our low-hanging path.

The hoverboard under us lurches onward, and I feel the increased wind-drag against the skin of my face and all of my upper body. Since I am the lead anchor, the wind tears into me first.

That’s another thing I didn’t think of—when you’re flying fast, it’s impossible to look straight ahead without squinting, and your eyes dry out. What you really need is protective eyewear such as goggles or sunglasses. Bike and motorcycle riders know this. I bet Atlantean hoverboard riders know this.

It is also really hard to sing. Hard to open your mouth even, as the wind fills your lungs immediately.

So I keep my face half-turned and try to sing the notes that way.

“Can someone look around and tell me who’s behind us?” I cry out.

“Two guys on boards—no, make it three. The third’s a girl. They’re all Blues.”

“Damn these Blues and their craptastic firearms!”

We move along Arrow Highway then turn off north on some side street, because two hoverboards are coming fast from both sides behind us, to cut us off from the south, while the third begins to rise to treetop level, so that it ends up tracking us while coming down from overhead. The guys balanced on the boards are holding automatic assault rifles. So is the girl overhead.

They are now only about fifty feet away, and coming hard and fast.

The two marathon-style runners on the street with us take note and pick up the pace, then wisely disappear into the nearest side alley.

Volleys of shots ring out behind us.

I make the board swerve as we are flying too fast now, way too fast for safety and my ability to navigate it properly.

“Go up! Up!” Jared cries. “Go faster!” He’s the one in the back, so if anyone gets hit, he’s first in line.

Coming up directly before me is the 605 Freeway overpass. I direct the board to fly right underneath the wide concrete slab and then we turn a corner behind giant support posts and freeze in place, levitating right below the ceiling that happens to be the freeway underbelly. It’s not really a hiding place, but at least it’s out of direct line of fire.

“What now?” Sarah says softly.

“We’re trapped,” Zoe mutters.

I am breathing fast. At least there’s no onrushing wind and I can breathe and think straight, if only for a moment. “We’ll wait them out . . .” I say.

“How long?” Jared whispers. “They’ll just take us out the moment we show ourselves. And we have no weapons that can take them on. My knife-throwing skills are crap and besides, I’ve only got one.”

“Besides, what’s stopping them from coming in under here and just executing us all? They can guess we don’t have firearms,” Sarah says.

“Would it be too much to hope that they just leave us the hell alone and go on their own way?” I grumble.

“Hey,” Jared says. “Can you do something again to take over their boards?”

“What, me?” I say.

“Yeah, who else? You, Gwen. Do that weird singing command thing that you did before.”

I frown, thinking.

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