Apex Universe

Chronicles - Chapter 4

SANDMAN

by Mauricio Mori

Exit light / Enter night
Take my hand / we’re off to never-never land

 

The constant beat from the drums and the high notes from the guitar mixed with the roaring kinetic engines while leaving behind the gates of the Conglomerate. It was an old song. From the days when there still was hope. From a golden era that only lived in the memories of those who survived. Those who live in shit and haven’t yet lost their minds to forget it completely.

 

Say your prayers little one / Don’t forget my son

To include everyone

 

Is it a race for Glory? For Reputation? Yes, one could say so, but the prize here is not a crappy trophy or a title, but to keep one’s heart beating. Blood flowing in the veins with a ton of adrenalin. Being alive is already the ultimate reward. The opponents on the road are also the brothers in arms. Then who are the enemies? The corporations, of course.  Wealthy spoiled brats, sheltered in ritzy quarters, enjoying divine meals interspersed with endless gangbangs. If this sounds gross, I apologize. Education is another luxury out of reach for the outsiders, be it a K-Truck Racer or one of those bums who wave at us when we get there with our cargo. They still have faith, some in God, and others in the Devil. What they should really friggin’ do is to pray for us.

 

Something’s wrong / shut the light / Heavy thoughts tonight

And they aren’t of Snow White

 

All the cargo is on board, time to go. Today, there are eight trucks. Two newbies have joined the road wolves’ pack. It’s quite likely that neither will ever return. Screw it, I’m getting optimistic again. The truth is that it’s quite likely that none of us will get to the drop zone, rookie or not. The difference between us, old vixen, and the new recruits, is that they don’t know yet, but we are all dead already. Dead Men Racers. If we don’t die from blindly accelerating on poorly charted roads, over mine fields, against pilots who are desperate for credits, fame and reputation, the fuckin’ Corp drones will shoot us. A nice demise for all. There is no such thing as luck. At least not here. Time to transfer energy cubes to the engine. Let’em eat our dust! Let’s cover their windshields with earth. Sand in your eyes. It’s time to challenge the odds.

 

I tuck you in / warm within

Keep you free for sin / till the Sandman he comes

 

No credits will ever be enough. Not when your child needs daily doses of Vaiudium to stay alive. A damn drug manufactured exclusively by the Maya-Centaurus Corporation. If I didn’t manage to buy it in the black market of the ghost cities, by now he’d be a vegetable or something worse. However, the price of smuggled goods is always on the rise, and the credits I make from putting my life at stake on the road are my only hope. I must finish this run. Junior. That’s my kid’s name. His father’s name, his mother’s looks, which makes everything worse.  Watching his pain is like reliving her death piecemeal. That’s why I have no choice. I must race. I must win. I must be Jock “Sandman” Sanderson to the end. His end or mine, whichever comes first. 

 

If I die before I wake / pray the Lord my soul to take

 

I see a flash in my rearview mirror. The blast is heard a bit later. It always comes, no matter what speed is shown on the dashboard. I don’t know who the victim was. I know who the killer was. Damn agent! Let the Great Mother welcome this poor chap. And let her strengthen my shields. A mine field is ahead. Frenzied opponents approaching from behind. It is like a nightmare repeating over and over in an endless loop. Stop reasoning, Jock. Focus! For Junior. It’s fuckin’ hard to have one happy thought in this dark Neverland.

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