Technology had connected the universe, making space suitable for recreational and residential dwellings, travel between livable planets acceptable in duration, and old age such a slow onset that populations overran worlds. Death was still the unknown, and I wanted to find it–not by dying, but by seeking its destination.
The purple sky—mingling with aqua light from the moon and a mercurial haze—crackled as if it were a pixelated gif. On the horizon, parallel, horizontal lines of neon green stacked—radiant skeletons of Twelpinc City’s downtown skyscrapers.
High on a hillside on the outskirts of the city, I extended my rocket bike’s rear, tripodal landing gear and tipped it backwards, propping its lightweight composition in the upwards position. The pearlescent finish on the burgundy metal husk sleekly reflected the slender, missile-shaped design and beauty of the chassis hidden beneath like a muscular body in skintight garments. I stepped up into the small, one-person cockpit, remaining in a standing position, and engaged the tinted canopy shield that slid behind me and enclosed me. After adjusting my jumpsuit, I activated the bike’s launch mode. Two sharp wings jutted outward and a resin compound enveloped my body, excluding my arms and face, and compressed, securing me in human shrink-wrap. A digital prompt with the options “launch” and “disengage” appeared on the visor display of my helmet. Below the “launch” option, a systems check icon flashed green, notifying me of systemwide approval.
I selected “launch” by focusing on its words with my eyes and double-blinking.