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  • Writer's pictureSTEVEN YU

THE MOTOR RUN (A Flash Story)

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

"You have less than 30 minutes before Shabaz and his men come," Baba cried to Nisha. "You must make it past the East Wall and there you will be safe." Baba's disease was eating away at his body and in his final moments all he wanted was to make sure his 13 year-old daughter, Nisha, the sole survivor of the village, would make it safely to the Blue Zone, past the East Wall of Erasmus. Millions of villagers in the war-ridden city of Jeddah dream everyday of making it past the wall to escape the militia ran by Shabaz and his men. Baba had spent his entire life devoted to finding a way out for his family. 30-something years later, that solution would come in the form of the Arnab exosuit.

"I can't just leave you,” Nisha cried trying to help her father up, but Baba was too tired. Three decades of toiling and struggling to put Arnab together stealthily under the watchful eyes of the militia leaders while battling with his disease, Baba was ready to rest. Now it was up to Arnab to take care of Nisha, but it was only an armored suit programmed to protect and serve her. It needed bravery and cunning to know how to move through the enemy and out of harm’s way; that rested on Nisha, who Baba had trained since she was a toddler to fight…and run. “The enemy is larger, the enemy is stronger, you will not win standing your ground. It is useless,” Baba would tell her. “Too many people look at running away as a weakness, but here it is your greatest strength. The enemy is barbaric and relies only on physical force to achieve what they want; but you will beat them with speed, skill, and intellect!” Nisha always felt the day where she would put her skills to use would soon come, but she didn’t expect it to arrive the same day her father would leave the Earth.

“Baba, you could come with me -”, but he shook his head and interrupted Nisha’s bartering.

“No, child, this is the end for me. Everything I’ve done has led up to this point.”

“I can’t just let you die like this!”

“Go now so you can make it to the Blue Zone. Stay with me and all of my hopes and dreams of making sure you stay alive perish! Please, go now, Nisha.” He wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled, “Run as fast as you can. Show them your might and your will.”

With that, Baba’s eyes closed and his spirit lifted from his body.

Outside the engines of Hilux trucks loaded with weapons roared loudly as a band of Shabaz’s men raced towards Baba’s compound.

Nisha wiped away the last of her tears. For they will not help in warfare. She looked stoically at the Arnab exosuit. The hardware was conceptualized and built by the great Mohammed Abdul-Sana Al-Saud, a former military engineer and military strategist whose genius knew no bounds. Everything he put into his work and every man hour he spent perfecting the perfect suit was all for his family. With a deep breath and a sigh of acceptance, the once and future great Motor Runner realized it was time to honor her father’s wishes.

It was time to suit up.

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