Reality Skimming
8Apr/14Off

Excerpt from Without Bloodshed Part 1

3Advesaries1
Matthew Graybosch is a Romantic science fantasy novelist from New York who codes for a living. He’s also a gamer, a long-haired metalhead, and a geek who passes for normal by not talking about the nerdy stuff that excites him. He lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife, two cats, and a bicycle that nags him whenever he doesn’t meet his daily word count. He’s hard at work on the next Starbreaker novel. You can reach him by email or on Google+. His home page is at http://www.matthewgraybosch.com/

Chapter 11, "Three Adversaries Walk into a Bar" (Scene 2)

Naomi last rode a motorcycle several years ago, but she recalled her former skill within minutes. The motor purred beneath her, powered by a miniaturized thorium-fueled nuclear reactor which comprised half of the bike's mass due to shielding requirements. She opened the throttle, pulling alongside Morgan, who sat his chopper with a proud ease worthy of a paladin in the medieval romances they read while recording the Crowley's Thoth album Le Morte d'Arthur.

His hair remained unbound beneath his helmet; rather than wear head protection tailored for bikers, he settled for an armored helmet issued to Adversaries and militia, and protected his eyes with sunglasses. Sid did the same. Naomi regretted accepting the expense of a 'proper' helmet; having the visor down left her head completely enclosed, and evoked a sense of claustrophobia. She opened a secure talk session with Morgan. You were right about the helmet.

Do you want to stop and switch? My gear should fit you.

Naomi used her implant to pull up the map; only a kilometer and a half remained before they reached their destination. We're almost there, but you were knightly to offer.

Knightly?

Sorry. You look very gallant astride a motorcycle. She slowed to keep pace with Morgan. A message from trafficnet to her implant advised her of a seventy-five percent reduction in the maximum safe speed due to heavy truck traffic. They entered South Boston, and began passing warehouses and small factories. Trucks laden with goods bound for delivery occasionally lumbered forth, forcing Naomi and the others to stop and wait. Their pace was so reduced, she felt a temptation to tuck her helmet into a saddlebag. A foolish idea, no doubt. Morgan might not mind being stabbed, bludgeoned, and shot like an irreligious Rasputin, but he damn well wears his helmet.

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