Torrance is as ordinary as anyone can be. That is until she finds out what she is; an experiment. She is one of the mindless Machines that were designed to kill and fight each other for entertainment. But she is different; half of her heart functions on technology and the other half is beating and alive. And that is why she is wanted dead. After her uncle disappears, it’s up to Torrance to find out the truth about her world, the Machines and more importantly their purpose before it’s too late. But by finding out the truth, Torrance will have to make choices that could change her entire world.


3. Chpater Two

Chapter Two:

Anger sizzles in my veins and my pupils are probably so narrow they look cat-like. What is it about him that makes me wish that I brought a sledge-hammer with me? It's that belief of superiority to everyone. I can sense it oozing off him, as he smirks and eyes me up playfully. I roll my eyes and ignore him.

"You expect me to race? I don't even know how to work that...thing!" I begin to whine, hoping he would let me off, but the look on his face tells me otherwise. I vow to find him one day and tear out his oesophagus.

"Hakuna your tatas, Sparky," he drones on, "You don't actually need to drive. It's a paired race," his voice is dripping in boredom, as if it's the most obvious thing in the world.

"What if I refuse?" I test him.

"Then you will never hear the end of it from Hugo and I will get to keep the token. Who knows, I might as well just zoom by your place so your parents can see the company you keep," the evil grin is back on his face. I am not going to point out that I don't have any parents and I that I don't care, but something inside of me clicks.

I realise that I want to race. I don't know what is wrong with me and I'm guessing that I love a challenge; it's in my nature. Someone offered me to prove myself and I accepted it. I furrow my eyebrows and give up. Amitra must have realised as well, because she propels her feet to me and grabs me by my shoulders, almost knocking me off the my feet.

"Tor, no. I can get it back for you. This is stupid. You'll get yourself killed! I saw the race and it's not pretty," she says quickly, her voice shrill. I brush her off and direct my gaze to the boy. Her feeble attempt to stop me has failed. It's too late. The adrenaline has already begun to hum around my body.

"So where do I get a partner?" the smile on his face creeps back up and he straightens his back.

"He's already waiting," the boy rocks on his heels.

"You mean, I'm going to race with you?" my eyes are wide.

"Hey, it's either me or one of those," he points to a few drunken looking boys and others that have weird tattoos and piercings all over their faces. I shudder.

"Baby, sorry," I hear Hugo kiss Amitra on the lips, but she can't hide the disappointment, "I don't want you getting hurt. I'll give you a ride another day, but not tonight," she huffs out a sigh and nudges his shoulder. Hugo grins and winks, "Wish me luck,"

"You better win," she teases and Hugo is turning the motorcycle around and slowly drives past us.

"See you at the race, Sparky," he leers.

"I'll kick you teeth out when we finish," I hiss, but he laughs as if it's a silly thing. Suddenly, I am jumping back, when his wheels zoom by me, nearly crushing my feet and a puff of smoke trails behind him, "Jerk!" I yell.

"If we loose, I get to kill you," I say darkly to the boy, "Have you um....raced before?" my voice shakes. He looks amused slightly and moves to put on his gloves that have the fingers cut off.

"Nope," he makes a popping sound with his lips, "First day today. You're the lucky one,"

I move to sit on the bike, when his hand pushes me softly aside. I look at him in confusion,"You need a belt, Goldilocks," he purrs, blowing the smoke at me. I cough, waving my hand in front of my nose. He realises and drops the cigarette to the ground, rubbing it with his foot to extinguish it.

I look around and spot Amitra with a belt. I give her a meaningful look and she finally gives up. She unfastens it and flings it to me, a bit more forcefully than I expected. I smile in thanks, but she rolls her eyes and looks away. She's worried, no doubt. But I don't point out that if she wasn't here in the first place, I wouldn't be plunging to my death.

"Can you guarantee that my brains won't be mashed into the cement?" I say nervously and he bursts out laughing.

" And since when do you have a brain?" he lifts his eyebrows and I shove his arm away. At least he is honest about it, "Wait for the start line and then fasten yourself," he advises and without warning he presses on the gas and we zoom fast through the crowds.

I grab around his torso without thinking and shut my eyes closed. My aunt told me she'd kill me if I ever got on a motorbike with a boy, but I'm guessing I will get killed faster than she will find out.

The wind rushes through my ears, making me shiver. My fingers feel numb and my legs vibrate like they received an electric shock. The engine purrs beneath me softly and suddenly comes to a stop.

I open my eyes, but the hands refuse to let go. A sonorous laughter rumbles under my fingertips and I blush, feeling the muscles relax and contract.

"Take it easy there, Goldilocks," he chuckles, "I can't drive with you ripping my jacket off. You'll get us both killed," he turns his head back to me.

Realising that I am practically pulling the jacket off him, I loosen my grip and turn a bright carmine colour. The smell of burnt matches and after-shave is strong on him and even though it's a weird combination, it smells...pleasant.

I see the we are all lined up in unison at the white line that is painted across the cement. A half-naked girl waves a red flag around her slim body. Her tight skirt is not even past her knees and her underwear is seen when the wind surges forwards. Her red hair flaps around in the wind and curls at her pale face.

All around us is the rubble of walls and old roads. I'm guessing we will race around the port. The water gleams in the moonlight to my left and crowds begin to surround us from both sides.

I see Hugo three racers down from us and he smirks, pulling out his hand and draws it across his neck, as in "you're dead". Hugo is with a dark haired girl for which I am glad. At least that part of his brain clicks. He was smart enough to keep Amitra safe.

I look away, my mind is preoccupied with the actual race. What was I thinking? I am completely suicidal! My stomach jumps up and down and my heart flutters as if trying to escape as well from the cage formed by my ribs. I feel my skin warm and sweaty. My throat is airtight and I can't move, because I am so stiff.

The boy must have noticed it, because he turns around and looks at me softly, "Don't worry, Goldilocks. You're with me,"

"And you are?" I point out, clutching to my beating heart. He doesn't answer and I have a feeling that he really hates revealing his name. I wonder is it that embarrassing or is he some criminal? I figure both.

"Belts. Off!" a voice booms from the speakers and I see the girls get off each bike and take off their belts. I follow suit. Their long legs seductively stretch when they step off and they all shake the belts above their heads and show their tongues to the crowd that materialises behind the contestants. I look like a turtle getting off, nearly tripping over my own feet.

I stand there meekly, waiting for the moment this ends. My bones tingle and I feel goose bumps erupt all over my arms. My heart beats abnormally faster and I can sense the 'lum-dum' sound it makes.

"Take you hair down," the boy tells me over the screaming and the engines. I give him an incredulous look, but he pulls the clips out of my hair and the blond curls blow around me in the wind. The smell of honeysuckle fills my nose. He smiles and turns away. What was that all about?

"On your marks!" the voice bellows and each girl heaves herself up on the bike, making sure to flex their bodies and sway their hips, each begins to fasten the belts. I quickly sit back down, looking more like a retarded duck. Back to back with the boy, I let him fasten me to himself. The tug is tight and forceful. I gasp a little from the surprise and he takes my hands and brings them around to his front so I clasp them together.

"Get set!" the man on the speaker yells and the engines playfully purr and growl. The boy does the same and adds a bit more gas to the bike which is on the breaks. He yells something to me, "Time for some fun!" and everything seems like a mirage; Amitra waving and yelling good luck to me in the crowd of faces, the fans of the racers rushing after us and screeching in excitement, the banners with the name 'Ambrose' scrawled over them and the sudden surge of wind in my ears.

We are off into the night, racing and zooming through the wind like a bullet. I can't help but scream for the first few minutes and my throat is hoarse from all the yelling. I gulp the glacial air and clamp my eyes shut. The boy is tense, but nevertheless we are first and ahead of everyone else. My feet feel heavy and my hands are clinging to each other so tight that I might crush the bones.

My hair tangles like vines, whipping me across the face mercilessly. Fear courses all over my body, spreading to each piece of me it could find, but the next moment it is replaced by a tingling sensation of adrenaline. Forget the butterflies. It's more like killer bees inside of my stomach and my insides do a somersault.

Suddenly, I feel something beautiful. The sensation of flying. I close my eyes, leaning my back into the boy and let the wind carry me away in its talons. My hair whirls in my face and the wind gently brushes my red cheeks, softer than a kittens paw.

A sonorous horn echoes through my ears, causing my impossible dream to dissolve into a dark abyss. "One wheel!" the man yet again shouts and I feel a sudden surge downwards. My face is unexpectedly so close to the cement and I can smell the wet concrete and reek of gasoline off it.

My hair glides across the pavement that supersonically blurs by me. I let out an involuntary scream which seems to last forever. Then, I am pulled back upwards, blood flowing from my head and I curse loudly. I don't think the boy has heard it, because of the noise around us. We have passed the second lap and this is now the third.

I gasp when I see two motorcycles come at level to each other. One of the racers pulls out his hand and fiercely pushes the other contestant. The bike swerves and collides with a nearby wall. The pair are okay, no major injuries as far as I can see. I guess rules don't apply much around here.

Their figures become two specks in my view, as we come back around to the port. People wildly yell and cheer us on.

Just one more lap. One more. One more. I am repeating every prayer that I know of, until I realise that I am actually saying them out loud. I chew on my lip, but that is a bad idea. Blood bursts into my mouth and now I am close to tears. I really am mental. Why couldn't I just let Amitra take care of it? I had to let my pride take over, didn't I? One day it will be the end of me.

Hugo is nowhere to be seen. Although I hate the guy, I really hope he's not badly injured. It would be my fault, well sort of. I don't want Amitra to worry.

We pass by the sea border, the roads stretch outwards and suddenly, I feel a sharp pang in my heart. It's like someone is prodding it with a knife. The pain pumps everywhere and I jerk accidentally. The bike swerves, but the boy regains balance, cursing loudly at me.

His words come out in a slur and the images fly by me in slow motion. I see everything clearly; the blue water slowly lapping at the walls, the jagged road, the lamp posts and electricity wires, the nearby city lights, the old ruins and the mountain rocks. The wind even makes my hair flap around as if it is suspended in water. What is going on?

All the little details are magnified. I notice that the boy has specks of dust and beads of sweat on the tips of his hair. The tips. Each one is so clear that it's like I am looking through a microscope. What is wrong with me? I must be hallucinating, but I never took drugs or alcohol before in my life. Am I insane? Most likely.

I gasp, as the force of something flows into me. It's like tiny ants creeping up all over my body, starting from the toes and surging towards the heart. My hands feel like they are buzzing with electricity and they feel heavy too, like I am holding a thick metal bar.

I scream as the lamp posts and electricity wires begin to burst whenever we pass them, one by one in sequence. They shower us with sparks, but to be exact the golden zoom of them surges towards me and collects at my hands. My eyes are wildly looking for an explanation and the only one I am able to find logical enough is that I am dead.

I see the other motorcycles catch up with us, but as soon as they are near us, the engines go out and the pairs almost fall over from the sudden stop, swerving and the wheels screech. I gulp. Am I doing this? Of course not! That would be stupid.

The problem is; our bike is still going.

I hear the boy yell something like the breaks aren't working. I am overwhelmed by energy. I feel like my body will explode. I feel it buzzing through my veins and loudly humming. My heart beats faster and stronger than normal, as if trying to smash my ribcage. It's very heavy and I am struggling to stay conscious.

I feel dizzy and my eyes droop heavily. But the bike can't stop. I feel like I am controlling it, like I am part of it. I feel like I could stop it if I wanted to, but the energy inside of me refuses to leave.

We keep going and going....we are headed for the water at the sharp turn. I wan to stop us, but the effort is too much. I feel like I will be drained of everything. I want to succumb to this powerful force inside of me. I want it to take over. Anything, just so I can close my eyes.

Something in me whispers like a monster waking up. My head is going to explode from all the noise, the buzzing, the blurs. I scream from agony and tears fall from my eyes. The strange part is that they burn my cheeks. They are hot and scorch the skin they touch. I choke on them, trying to keep them down. My chest painfully contracts and warms up rapidly as well, as if my heart is melting.

"Hold on!" the boy bellows and I can't do anything but watch. The wheels are rumbling beneath us and we rattle on the cracked concrete until we fly off from the edge of the road and into the water. I am submerged into the sea, plunging deep with the bike. The glacial liquid cocoons my body in frost and I feel the warmth of my palms and my chest grow less and less.

All around us is seaweed and murky water. I faintly notice garbage like old tires, cans, metal and plastic floating at the bottom.

The boy struggles, trying to untie himself from me, but my eyes are elsewhere. My body feels like it weighs a hundred pounds. It sinks fast and deeper into the green water, drowning from the surface and the light.

The last thing I see before my eyes shut down, is something bright.

My whole body is glowing.

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