It was late, but Charley didn't seem to notice that. She was in the garage for the past six hours or so, working on something. The guys walked onto the room to check whether everything was okay.
"Charley," started Throttle. "Did you know it's twenty to three?"
"Uh-hum," she answered.
"Aren't ya gonna sleep, babe?" asked Vinnie.
"Oh, yeah, once I finish working on this bike."
"Can't you do it tomorrow?"
"It's owner WANTS it by tomorrow," she said, picking up a cover panel and putting it on the bike. The bike was lying on the ground, so that the guys could not see any of the finishing, except that panel. Once she put the panel back on and started fixing it in place, they could see the deep black color with random white specks. Modo was the first to notice it.
"It looks like "Nightsky"," he said.
"Yeah, it's a pretty color. It does look like the night sky," answered Charley.
"No, not the night sky, Nightsky is what we used to call a bike that belonged to one of our friends," said Throttle.
"Who brought it in?" asked Modo. Charley noticed only now, that Vinnie hasn't said a word since he saw the color of the panel.
"Are you okay?" she asked turning to Vinnie.
"Me?" her question seemed to have interrupted his thoughts. "Oh, yeah, I'm fine, sure, why not?"
"Oh, okay, I just thought." she turned back to Modo and Throttle. "So, who was the owner of that bike?"
"She, um, was a friend of ours, named Meggs."
"Yeah, she, um, died, saved our lives in the process." Modo almost whispered the last words and they all looked down.
"Oh my gosh, I'm sorry, I should've guessed."
"What's with Vinnie? I never saw him act like this," she whispered so that Vinnie could not hear her.
"Meggs, was, um, his, you know, girlfriend," answered Throttle. Silence followed. After about fifteen minutes Charley finally broke it.
"Well, I'm done with this bike, so I'll be going to sleep now, like you said I should, kay?"
Later that night Vinnie was tossing and turning in his bed, unable to sleep. One pretty mouse face appeared in front of him every time he closed his eyes. He could not bear the loss and opened them, but every second his eyes were open he wished he could see that face again and closed his eyes. Would anyone guess, that he still remembered?
It was a hot Martian day, when a young Martian boy was trying to figure exactly how much his Martian bike could do. Before, he did not try anything extraordinary, nothing but riding and jumping, but today was different. He just had to impress other boys, so he tried over and over to do some tricks he saw others doing. He was on one wheel, his bike standing up straight, he finally got it! He saw the ground getting closer and closer, he heard his bike hit the pavement, he felt pain in his knee.
"Are you okay?" he heard a pretty voice. He looked up and saw a girl, a year or so younger than him. She got down on her knees and took off her backpack. Opening it, she looked thought her stuff, searching for something. She took out a water bottle, two handkerchiefs, and some medicine he had no idea even existed. Only then he realized that she was staring at his knee, so he looked down and found the source of the pain. The skin was literally taken off by the pavement and the wound was bleeding. The girl wrapped one of her handkerchiefs around his leg right above the knee and poured some water on the other.
"I'm sorry, if this hurt a little," she said, cleaning the wound. It did sting a bit, but he didn't notice it. She put the medicine on the wound and it sealed enough for the infection to be unable to get in. She put all her stuff back in her backpack and got up, putting her backpack on in the process. She held out her hand, he gave her his hand, and she pulled him up on his feet.
"Hi, my name is Megganda, friends call me Meggs," she said.
"Vincent, friends call me Vinnie," he smiled at her. "Where did you learn all this doctor stuff?"
"I am a hospital volunteer, plus I just like to help people, so after some time I guess, I just kind of learned it," she answered. They started walking, and Vinnie had a good chance to admire her. She had silky fur, white as snow. Her hair looked like a waterfall of silver moon dust. It was long, a little wavy and very beautiful. Her deep green eyes could look deep into a soul and make everything better.
Vinnie came back to reality, realizing that what he saw was just a flashback. How much he wished for everything to happen all over again.
"Hey Nightsky," said Meggs. The black with white specks bike made a half engine half "purr" sound. Vinnie examined the bike. It was very pretty, and friendly, but appeared to have no guns.
"Hey, Meggs, where do you keep the guns on this thing?" he asked.
"I don't have any guns. Guns are on my list of most hated and most feared, along with insects, spiders, and pain. I would never touch a gun, without shaking like a leaf. I tried it once. The world went out of focus, I felt some interior pain and fear, and I dropped it. I was crying and shaking for half an hour afterwards. Same thing with insects."
"Can I take it for a spin?"
"What? The bike? Sure, if it lets you."
"Of course, it will," said Vinnie. Even then his ego was a bit above normal. He walked up to Nightsky and was about to sit on it, when the bike moved forward and he fell on the ground. After another five tries, he gave up.
"You know what?" said Meggs. "How about you drive and I sit in the back? That way, if I sit down first, it will let you "take it for a spin", kay?"
"Okay," he said. They sat on the bike and rode off.
"Hey Harley, what are you doing?" asked Meggs, walking into a garage where Harley was. Last was definitely not in her best mood.
"It's my stupid bike again! Heyya!" Harley yelled and kicked the bike that was lying in front of her.
"Oh, come on. I'm sure you can fix it if you just try again," Meggs tried to make her friend feel better.
"I can't! I tried many times already, but I just can't figure out what stops it from going!" she yelled again, this time it sounded more like a shriek. A tear rolled down her cheek as she sat on the floor exhausted of frustration. Meggs sat own next to her and patted her on the back in an attempt to soothe.
"You know what? How about I take a look at it?"
"Have you ever fixed anything?"
"No, but I read the manual. Maybe it is one of those things that are easily overlooked. You know like no gas, or something."
"Do you think I would be banging my head on the wall, if it was something simple?" she asked, starting to think that Meggs was mocking her.
"No, I just think that if you relaxed, the answer would be closer."
"You are a genius!" Harley exclaimed.
"Of course, why didn't I think of this earlier?" all tears were gone, in fact, Harley was smiling now.
"Think of what?"
"When the fuel goes too low to be consumed at a normal rate, in order for a bike not to die, it slows down its metabolism, right? Falls asleep, relaxes, and doesn't go! Now, all I have to do is check the pump and wake it up!" she said excitedly and started working on her bike again. As she progressed, her facial expression began to darken, until she stopped. She looked up at Meggs. "Now the only question is, how DO you wake up a bike?"
"You want me to take a shot?"
"Well, I surely can't do it, so I guess there is no harm. go ahead!" Harley said. Without any more words, Meggs opened the bike and started doing something, crossing wires, pressing buttons, pulling tiny levers. In about half an hour, she stopped and closed the cover.
"Wake up, bike," she said. As if life was given again to the bike, it got back up on it's wheels and made and engine sound.
"Thank you, Meggs. I don't know what I would have done without you. Are you sure, you have never done this before?" Harley asked in disbelief.
"Hey I gotta thank you and reward you properly. You wanna sleep over at my house sometime?"
"Actually, I think that "Thank you" is the best reward, but I'd love to sleep over. That is, if you don't mind."
"Of course not!"
"Hey Harley, how come none of the computers are working?" asked one of the senior Martians.
"Yeah, Harley could you PLEASE stop floating in the clouds and dreaming and start actually fixing this problem?" said another one angrily. The entire computer system was down for the past four days and Harley, being the only computer specialist, was not having any progress.
"I'm trying, I just can't fix it yet."
"You fixed that problem bike, so you can fix this bug!"
"But, I didn't." Harley realized only now, that everybody thought SHE fixed her bike.
"You didn't what?"
"I did not fix my bike, Meggs did," she answered, ready to take on the blame for not telling the truth.
"Who is Meggs?" asked one of the Martians.
"I'm Meggs!" sounded a voice. Everybody turned to the door and saw a mouse so light gray, she was almost white.
"Can you fix this?"
"I can give it a shot," she said walking up to one of the computers and starting to type something. In about five minutes of vigorous typing, she pressed a button and raised her head. "Try it now," she asked. One of the mice opened a program and smiled.
"It works! What did you do?"
Everybody started saying that they should be getting back to work, if she didn't mind leaving, it would be very nice. Meggs lowered her head and slowly walked out of the room. With a sad face, she walked down the hallway and didn't even notice that Harley ran up to her.
"Thank you for helping me. us, Meggs!" she said. Meggs looked up and smiled.
"Yo, Meggs!" yelled a very popular and very handsome Martian boy. "Why are you hangin' around that loser, when you can hang 'round us?"
"Because the only "losers" in this world are those who call people names and think they are better than the world," she answered, turning to Vinnie and smiling at him.
"Exactly! Do you know how many times I, no, WE heard him call people names and say he is smarter and better than us?"
"After the way you are treating him, he has every right to," she said.
"Ooo, I think she likes him!"
"I wonder how many people can say his name instead of "Him" in that phrase," Vinnie whispered in Meggs' ear.
"Don't say that, that's mean."
"Ow, come on, he deserves it!"
"Nobody deserves that," she said.
"Look, Mr. And Mrs. Loho-ze-her! Ha, ha, ha!!.
Years later, Vinnie was not called a loser anymore. He was one of the popular people, while the ones who were laughing at him, became the ones with boring jobs and no friends. The bond between Meggs and Vinnie strengthened. Until it all ended one fateful day.
"Vinnie? Vinnie!! VINNIE!!! Where are you?" Meggs was in an abandoned building looking around. Her usually black leggings were gray of dust, her hair was also filled with dust, and her purple sleeveless v-neck had gray spots. All because she was thrown off her bike in that building. She didn't even remember what they were doing there. He remembered Vinnie sitting in the front, her in the back, they were riding through the desert. blackout. her bike. the floor. Vinnie zooming off. She woke up later, all dirty, in the building, and started looking for Vinnie. She as not mad at him. He probably had a reasonable explanation. Maybe he just didn't know I fell off and now he realized it and is looking for me, she thought, looking around and calling his name. She felt rumbling everywhere in the building, and thinking it was an earthquake, ran to a column. She stopped dead in her tracks, when the column exploded, as did all the others. She tired to hide, but there was no place for her to run to, as everything around her collapsed.
Vinnie was riding Nightsky through an abandoned building, when suddenly he started loosing control of the bike. The got outside and stopped.
"Hey, Meggs, could you tell you bike to behave?" he did not get an answer. "Meggs?" he turned around only to see air behind him. "MEGGS! Where are you?" he was looking around, when he heard Nightsky rev up and ride back into the building. The next thing he heard and felt was rumbling everywhere. The building, he just came out of and, judging from Nightsky's behavior, where Meggs was, collapsed right in front of him.
Later, when everybody already heard of what happened, Vinnie went back there. He sat on rock, a fragment of the building for couple of hours, thinking, crying, thinking again. it seemed millennia passed, before he got up. He walked to the spot where Nightsky last entered the building. He sighed and was about to walk away, when he saw something in the dust, glitter in the sunlight. Taking a closer look, he saw that it was a piece of metal. He was going to disregard it, but then a thought crossed his mind. He reached down and moved some of the concrete dust. He saw that it saw a necklace, half buried in the ground. He dug it out and picked it up. The necklace looked gold, with a big amethyst. An ancient sign was carved into the stone. A both strange and familiar sign, but he didn't know what it meant. He turned the gem over but saw nothing on the other side. He turned the amethyst over to the first side, but instead of a symbol, he saw something familiar. At first, he could not figure out what it said, but as the stone glittered in the sunlight, he saw one word. It said "Megganda".
Vinnie woke up and sat up. He didn't even need to look out the window to figure out that in was daytime already: the sunlight was pouring into the room. In five minutes he walked out of the room and straight into Charley! She didn't see him coming and bumped into him, falling backwards. she was caught by Modo who happened to be walking behind her. She turned back to him.
"Um, Modo, thanks," she said and turned to Vinnie. "Well, isn't it our 8th wonder of the world finally deciding to shine its light on us?" she said sarcastically. Then, however, she smiled. "So, had a nice dream?"
"Yes. no! Kinda. I don't know." he said looking down.
"Well, never mind then. You want dinner?" she said walking to the kitchen. Vinnie followed her.
"Yeah, it's." Charley looked at her watch, ".six already. So you want dinner or no?"
"Did you eat already?"
"Nope, we are still waiting for the pizza. you want some? You'll have to wait then," she said.
"I'll wait," he said. Charley smiled at him and picked up the phone, dialing a number. Vinnie went back to his room. He sat on his bed and started to think about his dream. Why did he remember that? Why did he remember her? He reached into his pocket and pulled something out. In the last rays of sunlight, a small purplish stone glittered in his hand.
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