- Future Cars
Flying Car Island: Page 2
Flying Car Island: Page 1
- Flying Car Island
Fuel leaked onto his hand. He felt the cool evaporation of ethanol quiver quickly along his arm hair. He trembled pouring the reserve tank and tiny "ping ping pings" emanated from the intake. The old man...
Back to Beringia
The return of the short-faced bear was a remnant of the roaring 2020's. The old man had quickly adapted to the monstrous scavenger. These "Bulldog Bears" turned out to be giant half-ton babies that mostly tried to steal camp food or eat garbage. Nico had warned Bodaway about the genetically bred half grizzly half short-faced bears that had escaped their enclosure on the islands bizarre menagerie of creatures.
Nico set his hands akimbo on his hips, as if to punctuate his observations with disdain, "They tried a few things with the Smilodon too, but no luck. Mountain lion D.N.A. didn't work, neither did the Bengal Tigers. By the time they were finished with their hunt for a good Sabre Tooth Tiger match, I think they were using Calico house cats. So look out Bodaway, there may be a few giant toothed house cats roaming about too. The short-faced bear will leave you alone if you hang your food, and sleep in a sling, or real close to a fire."
Bodaway was close enough to the fire to singe his knuckle hairs just a little.
In the morning the sun peeked up through a crown of clouds, shining beams of light out everywhere in a piled up mess among scattered purple and orange clouds. The old man woke up with a circle of orange light on his cheek. He looked up at the sunrise through one eye, keeping the other closed gambling that maybe he would fall back asleep. The last of the coals in the fire popped. He watched as a red-hot coal the size of a dime bounced a few inches from his nose. It piped a tiny thread of smoke, and hissed as it hit all the oxygen away from the rest of the fire.
After an arresting bleat and whistle of every sound the old man's body could make, he wandered over to the Vimana, and popped open one of two small side compartments. Here he pulled out the last of his Kona coffee and his french press. He filled his small kettle with water and stoked the fire a bit more. Wandering around his camp, two red squirrels voiced their incessant complaints, "EY! EY! EY! EY! EEEEYYY!"
Bodaway eyed one menacingly, but the squirrel did not back down, but instead stared back at the old man while he ground down a pine cone. He admired the little red creature's bold attitude. Today was the day to return the Vimana, or leave. To get back to the mainland, he would have to traverse a few hundred miles of ocean weather, unpredictable after leaving Beringia. The transmitters were local, and only found on the island. The rest of the world was a few hundred miles away still. Most of the villages on the mainland barely had drinkable water, much less working radio transmitters and receivers.
Bodaway recalled his concierge remarking on the genius of the Vimana 3000. "Older petroleum fueled combustion engines on ground based autos piped out Carbon Monoxide. Our scientists figured out a way to use the over abundance of Carbon Monoxide left over from the glory days of Petroleum and convert it to higher octane Ethanol. Combine that with a body almost completely covered in solar panels, and you have a green machine. Depending on the amount of sun, a twenty gallon tank of ethanol could last over two thousand miles."
"That's over 100 miles to the gallon. Amazing!" Bodaway put down his champagne. He couldn't believe the island cultivated champagne grapes. On the mainland the grapes were mostly seeds.
The island was covered with fueling stations, and Nico had warned him to fuel and leave early on the last day, "a weeks worth of maneuvers and I think you'll get it. There are a few lakes you can practice on. Once you head off the shore and get maybe fifty miles away, you won't be able to get back to Beringia. The prevailing winds will knock you back, and you might fall into the sea. The Vimana's a lot of things, but I don't know if it's a boat."
Bodaway opined, "What if the prevailing winds aren't prevailing that day? I won't make it back with that amount of fuel will I?"
Nico winked, "You were always a good swimmer."
...just enough smoke in the liquid to wake up the old man's frontal lobes...
Staring back into the bonfire, Bodaway noticed the water had begun to boil. He poured the water into the French press and let the coffee and hot water combine. A few minutes passed by and he pressed the chrome plunger down and poured himself a thermos full of piping hot campfire coffee, just enough smoke in the liquid to wake up the old man's frontal lobes. He chewed on a prepackaged cake, the first prepackaged breakfast cake or prepackage food he'd seen in over ten years. All the food on the mainland was cobbled together and home-made, sometimes in villages, other times from Bodaway's own secret garden.
From his point of view, Bodaway could see down a long slope from his camp. Off in the distance he watched as another, black Vimana raced steadily along the edge of a woodland. The driver had his arm out the window of his vehicle, and he was pursuing something. The amorphous blob that galloped in front of this black Vimana was in fact a giant Short-faced bear. It was a strange site to behold, this bear was easily twice as big as any grizzly bear he'd seen, massive, epic. The flying machine hovered up and down back and fourth manically. Morning haze shuffled back and fourth across the slope making it a little more difficult to see the action. Bodaway picked a piece of cake out from his back moler as he sat up to watch as the bear took cover in the woods. Then the black Vimana hovered at a dark archway of yellowing tamaracks as if waiting for the bear. Even from this distance, he could hear the bear let out a loud, "ROOOAAAARRRR!!!"
The vehicle slowly turned and in an instant was facing Bodaway. He chugged his coffee. "Hrrmpff!" He cocked his head to the side as he watched the black Vimana creep ever more slowly towards his end of the slope. Bodaway slammed another scalding blast of coffee down his throat.
He quickly walked over to his Vimana and popped the hatch. Looking in the array of mirrors that gave view to the rear of the vehicle. He jumped in. The flying machine leapt to life with whirs and buzzing sounds. The sultry voice sounded, "Good morning Boda..."
He interrupted gruffly, "Nearest Fuel station now!"
With a smooth hum the red Vimana 3000 floated up above the trees. Bodaway looked again to the rear and this time saw the black Vimana was closer still. The machines both flew even higher above the trees. This was the first Vimana he'd seen since leaving the Beringian camp, and he was under pursuit. As the two craft floated along they gained a rhythm that mimicked one another, one went up the other flew up. The red blur sailed lower to a prairie, and a few seconds later, the black blur of the other mysterious Vimana followed suit. Bodaway resisted the urge to take the machine off of automatic and draw more attention to himself. Perhaps the bear hunter was only on his way to fuel at the same station he thought.
- Flying Car Island: Page 3
On the horizon the sun lobbed great big orange baskets of color off the ocean and into the cliff crevices that framed Beringia's edge.
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