Tuesday, August 02, 2005


8:48 a.m.
Somewhere Else

Nothing spectacular happened when the Valkyrie's electrical system failed. No cinematic sparks and explosions. No popping noises. Not even a whiff of burnt plastic smoke. All the lights on the skycar's dashboard simply died 500 meters above Guadalupe Viejo.

My vehicle shuddered in mid-air. And, no longer immune to the laws of gravity, began to plummet.

400 meters.

The 1978 Valkyrie had been the model that elevated Morisato Motors' name among the skycar giants. It had flown out of the Morisato Imasagi plant five years before auxiliary power systems became mandatory for all vehicles that hovered higher than three meters.

I slam my hand on the dash hoping against hope that the lights would all come back on. Nothing.

300 meters.

Perhaps the Valkyrie got its name because some Morisato Motors employee had listened to Wagner at the Imperial Opera House a few decades ago. Or he had the vague idea that a Valkyrie was a kind of flying Norse deity.

Which was accurate. More or less.
Without power, trying to steer the Valkyrie is virtually impossible. I manage to smash a Nissan Strato's tail lights as I try to get the vehicle to hit the Pasig River instead of EDSA.

200 meters.

The smiley guy at the Clear Skies used aircar dealership in Banawe had promised, had sworn even, that I was getting a great deal for such a classic. He even threw in a service warranty. For life.

My nosedive is almost abruptly stopped by a HoverCab that barely manages to swerve away, horns blaring.

100 meters.


If I die in a Valkyrie...would I end up in Valhalla?

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Heh. Excellent piece indeed. This what happens when "Blade Runner" got set up in Metro Manila, eh?
Ei Banzai!

Valkyrie is part of a series of little parallel reality stories I dish out from time to time. They all take palce now. But not here. Mah bad for not making sure that the stories can stand alone, particularly for readers who haven't seen the previous ones. Heh.

Valkyrie is set in 2005, not 2019, in a reality where people did manage to make cars fly, presumably during the post-war era. Wasn't thinking of Blade Runner at the time I wrote it (the De Lorean from Back To The Future, however, popped up in my mind when I was deliberating if I should bother explaining how the cars flew), but your comparison is a great honor. ^__^

And now that you've mentioned it, I've realized that there are certain similarities. Such as the implied Japanese dominance (at least over the skycar industry in Valkyrie's case), and the decay within a technologically advanced world.

Again, thanks for the kind words.
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