10/6/15 Basic (MODED)

They hurtled upwards. Buildings whipped by and left them completely. Above Yu could see the beam of the liteway, the traffic there. Some Tilt-Bikes and trucks, but it was mostly deserted at this time of night. The smell of the streets faded. She always forgot how fresh air could smell when you weren’t surrounded garbage and unwashed working bodies.

They burst up, through the liteway, the exoskeleton of the bike throwing sparks at it passed through the magnetic field. Yu looked over her shoulder to see a sedan swerve. It missed them by inches. It’s front bumper sheared through the spinning gyroscope frame. She could see the arms of electricity branch and zap the sedans hood, the raw power made the hair on her arms stand up, even through the microfiber suit she wore. Then she was thrown back again as Null gunned the accelerator. It was clear he had no idea how to drive the Tilt-Bike and it was by dumb luck they weren’t dead.

A text came to her, appeared in the upper right corner of her vision. Link me directions.

I’ll tell you as we go. How do you think he doesn’t get caught? He values discretion.

Null tilted his body to turn the bike at Yu’s instructions and took the first exit that would take them in the direction of the Lodges. Yu noticed Null had a difficult time keeping his weight centered on the Tilt-Bike and he slowly drifted about his lane as he adjust on the seat. She did her best to counter act his sporadic changes in weight distribution with her own. She realized how difficult it must have been for Null to make it to her apartment—he was lucky the traffic was so sparse this early in the morning, she’d seen Tilt-Bikes ride three to a lane, little room for error.

On the liteway the city stretched out below them and branches of the illuminated magnetic road split off into the distance. The roofs of buildings were illuminated and some were dark despite the night she could feel a tension in the air. She couldn’t tell why, but maybe it had something to do with Null. He was undoubtedly naive in the realm of the underground. He was obviously scared, but if what he said was true, if he had hacked the system—so many people had tried and failed—then change really was right around the corner, she thought—she hoped.

Take the next left.

He leaned left and the Tilt-Bike jerked to the left, then evened out, he tried again and the bike jerked. Yu braced herself, wishing she could have driven, but Null’s app only worked for him, same as his MOD.

The liteway split and they took the left lane in jerking turns.

The lodges were a shared community of connected buildings. On the outside it was mostly Basic families. People who were given just enough to eat and spend. They shared bathrooms and even dormitories, but they had enough. They existed to create more consumers. That’s why the corps provided for them.

The Lodges themselves were plain concrete with small windows. At the center of each was a small concrete courtyard. Most were filled with cheap plastic toys and rusting playpens. Those on Basic didn’t work for anyone, and that included themselves, Yu thought. She hated Basic, because the people who were content with it were content with living in filth. Content to live in the system that oppressed them. It was as bad as being an enforcer.

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