2019-11-30 - Bikes of Future Past


Mutual appreciation for obscure motorcycles; a meeting of minds

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Nov 30 20:00:00 2019
Location: A parking lot

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Theme Song



The sun is set and a crisp winter breeze blows down the streets of New York City, nipping at exposed skin and carrying the faint dampness of rain later in the night. Headlights and street lamps cast streaky bands of light around the side parking lot of a club near the edge of the city, were brick buildings of shorter stature stand in the shadows of the distant skyscrapers of downtown and tight street parking relaxes. Most of it's still paid of course, but weekend rates are lower.

Heading to the lot from one of the other bars down the street, a tawny woman with short white hair slows her walk as she passes the motorcycle parking space, casting an eye of idle curiosity over the vehicles while shifting the helmet tucked under her arm. Given the cool weather and coming rain there aren't too many to pick from, but one stands out for its sleek black frame with blue trim, knobby off-road tires, and thick front suspension. A trim and light-looking off-road vehicle, not a single part of its engine is exposed beyond matte paneling and exhaust pipes are conspicuously absent. Oddly, that's the one vehicle the woman isn't paying attention to.

Amidst the scatter of rice rockets and patriotically American machines is another outlier - sleek lines over the kind of bulk that speaks to power beneath the chassis, though the 'Norton' moniker emblazoned on it in elegant script is one likely to be meaningless to any save enthusiasts of obscure corners of motorcycling history. The styling is black with chrome highlights, suiting its somewhat archaic design.

Also of potential note is the woman - blending into the shadows in her all-black leathers, though a flash of blue in her black hair might catch the eye - crouched down on the far side of the bike, a little tool-roll unfurled on the ground beside her as she works on changing an indicator bulb.

Ava bends to one side as she looks around the powerful motorcycle to its rider. "'ey chica," she greets off-handedly, ambling closer on the side of the electric motorcycle a couple spaces over. "Engine trouble?"

Looking up, the crouching woman momentarily arches her brows at the white-haired new arrival - than cracks a grin. "Thankfully not. I couldn't hope to fix it, if it played up." One hand gently pat-pats the chassis, before she cracks a grin. "Just an indicator, thankfully. But I don't want to risk getting pulled over. Or have someone drive into my friend here."

"That's lucky. You might be the only one in this area to use a blinker in the first place," Ava chuckles as she glances around at the artificial light of the street. Despite her opening and dusky complexion, her accent is casually American, with a bit of a southern drawl. Uneven light casts a shadow across her face, making dark valleys to one side while making her green eye on the other almost seem to shine. "That's a nice bike you've got. What kind is it?"

"Norton F1 Sport. Obscure old thing from the nineties." The crouching woman's accent is polished, but non-descript - 'not from the USA' is probably as firmly as it can be pinned down. "Based on the company's racing design, it's built around a rotary engine." The machine receives another fond little pat, before Scandal returns some of her focus to finishing the task of changing over the bulb and then replacing the cover. "I don't get to take her out too often, sadly."

"Nice~. That sounds unique - I've never seen a Norton before," Ava admits with an approving smile as she gives the motorcycle a little more of her attention, then slides her hand along the flush seat of her own ride. "I bet you've got almost as much pep as mine."

"I suspect that a few of the horses that used to power it have escaped, in the past twenty seven years." Scandal cracks a grin. "But I do love the acceleration from a standing start. Getting one hundred percent of the power the instant you ask for it makes for a rather unique ride. The rotary engine's a fascinating design… but a total bitch to get fixed, nowadays. It's not as if there were ever very many people who really understood how they worked."

"I know what you mean," Ava responds slyly as she hangs her helmet on a handlebar and walks around to stand closer to Scandal's motorcycle - and the young woman herself. "You must be proud of your zero-to-sixty then."

"Oh, there're a lot of more modern machines that could wipe the floor with my friend here, nowadays. But even as old as she is, she can more than hold her own against most of the idiots who pull up alongside and rev their engines at us." Scandal *clicks* the coloured bulb-cover securely into place, then looks up to crack a grin. "So… what're *you* riding?"

"A little custom project that came from letting an egg-head in the garage one time too many," Ava chuckles as her attention shifts to the black-and-blue electric cycle nearby. "It's based on a Zero. Maybe not as much style but it's *all* performance," she regales proudly while reaching over to flip a switch which flicks on the vehicle headlights while illuminating a ZERO brand on its side with white backlights. "All-electric, so instant torque. It had some serious pucker-factor to start with. Now I'll bet my jacket it smokes anything street-legal, and it's almost thrown me a few times."

Scandal laughs softly as the ZERO lights up, cracking another grin as she shakes her head at Ava. "My old girl certainly can't match the light-show. But a wholly-custom model? That's impressive. You must have some nice friends, to help out with something like that."

"Just a genius friend or two who's good with technology," Ava corrects modestly as she takes her left hand from her pocket and drums it against the bike, creating a tinking sound as metal fingers tap against metal frame. "It's not pure custom but it's had some pretty serious upgrades. This stuff's the future; give it a few more decades and it'll all be robots and electricity whether we like it or not."

Chuckling ruefully, Scandal nods as she busies her hands with stowing away her tools, then furling the roll. "I'm going to keep this old girl going as long as I can, but I fear she's going to take ever-more work just to keep on the road. And at some point, I'll probably have to see about converting her to run on biofuel…. But I hope there'll be a place for flesh and blood, as well as elegeant mechanics."

"Well said," the bionic woman praises, tucking both hands behind her head for a moment and stretching her neck. "I'm not in a rush to see that day either and I think we've already got too much fancy tech, but it's too late for the pebbles to vote. I think we're getting that one day whether we want it or not."

"Where're you headed from here?" Ava questions.

Leather creaks softly as Scandal shrugs expansively. "I really hadn't decided. I'm at a bit of a loose end for the moment," she admits with a grin. "I'd not got much in mind beyond doing a little exploration. I'm still 'learning' New York."

"Well," Ava broaches as she collects her helmet and slides it on. "Want me to give you a lil' tour of up-state? There's some nice roads this time a' night."

"Drive off into the night with a stranger whose name I don't even know?" Rising to her feet and flipping up the back of the seat so that she can stash the tool-bundle in a compartment, Scandal laughs. "Why not? What could possibly go wrong?" She winks cheerfully.

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