The Viceroy’s Race

A glimpse into secret testings of the new prototype interporters for Parvice's Viceroy shows something's amiss.

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The purple argon breeze wafted through the parked interporters on the floating raceway above Parvice’s Royal Academy of Mechanics. It wasn’t quite halfday and still the temperature eyes on the racecourse only registered 6.7 mega waves. Borast fuel needed at least 6.9 mega waves for optimal dimensional movement.

And so the racers waited. Some spent the time reviewing their machines. Others sipped on pickled moss fusions at the raceway’s spectator bar.

There were no spectators today. Today was the Viceroy’s private race. They had called the racers together to test the new prototypes the Academy had been building.

The willowy Viceroy, Charmis, sat in their box in the center of the raceway. It was completely sided with glass panes for 360 viewing. They sat alone in the box, reviewing machine lists and reading the holographic tablets for each prototype.

A slight humming whine, roused Charmis from their study. A young flightless roboserver entered bearing a tray of their favorite snacks. Each delectable morsel bore the signs of careful attention and strict adherence to Charmis’s dietary demands. Each vegan dish was made entirely from plant soluble crystals, flavored by spice berries and fragrant nutrient capsules.

“Thank you, Orn,” Charmis said. You may leave the food on the side platform. I’ll consume my quota before the race begins.

Orn did as it was asked and removed the liquid paraffin shot glasses discarded on the computation screen. With another quiet humming, its notice screen inquired if the Viceroy wished an oil bath.

“Not today, you fool. I cannot be late for the starting shot of the race,” Charmis shaped. “Off with you!”

Orn’s humming pitched an octave higher as it backed out of the observation space and returned below.

Movement on the raceway caught Charmis’s attention. One of the interporters turned a brilliant shade of violet, shuddered and sneezed. That didn’t usually happen until after the race. The internal chemistry must not be calibrated properly, Charmis thought. They would have to speak to racer number 0.33 about that soon.

The four suns had climbed to their apex and the temperature eyes indicated optimal running temperature had been achieved. The moment of truth was upon them.

Would the prototypes hold up to this new test. Charmis prepared the gathering gong for what was to come. They bent to the food and fueled themself for their unique duty.

This short story is part of a daily 36-minute freewriting exercise I’m committing to. I used the following prompts:

  • Character: A vegan
  • Action: Sneezing
  • Setting: A raceway
  • Phrase: “Not today, you fool.”