APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 5 May, 1999


Dreams and Reality

Wayne Chang

"I am NEVER going to even LOOK at another guy again!"

Kattrine sat on her friend's bed, trying to comfort the sobbing figure.

"I HATE men!" cried Fran, but muffled by her pillow and her sobs, sounds like something quite different. Nevertheless, Katt understood.

"No you don't..." began Katt, "you just..."

"Yes I DO!" said Fran, whipping her pillow across the room, knocking several items off her table. She proceeded to muffle her sobs with another pillow.

Katt just shook her head and walked over to pick the fallen items.

"But Davit didn't leave you, you left him," said Katt over her shoulder, picking up a comb.

"That's 'cause he's so obsessed about those damned Gears!"

Katt picked up a fallen Gear figurine, a perfectly sculpted Hunter, with all the details and decals. One manipulator hand was held high in the air, and in its palm, a beautiful sparkling sapphire. It was Davit's anniversary present to Fran. Even Fran hadn't loosened his grip on Gear obsession.

Katt chuckled. Davit was a tried and true Gear head. His every waking moment was spent thinking about Gears. Yet somehow Fran has managed to divert his attention long enough to get him interested in her. Now, after Davit had announced that he was going live out his dreams, to try out amateur Gear racing, Fran had given him an ultimatum, the Gears go, or she did! She never expected the answer.

Now he was gone. Katt replaced the figurine on the table and turned back to her friend. Poor girl...

Davit switched on his wheel, then off. The whir-click of the locking mechanisms did little to calm his nerves.

"Hey kid! Relax! You're gonna do fine!" said the voice from his helmet communicator. "It's only a trial run, so just stay calm, and remember what I taught you."

Davit nodded, the Hunter's head mimicking his actions on the outside. He didn't trust himself to speak. He moved the joysticks gracefully, the Hunter responding by moving its arms, as if stretching or unlimbering itself.

The Gear's head looked over once more at the man who'd been teaching Davit Gear piloting for the past couple months before moving to the starting line.

The race was simple. One kilometer long obstacle course, no weapons. The two Gears would have to make it through the course without getting tagged by any of the course's weapons. Since this was a trial run, there would be no live fire, but getting tagged meant a penalty to their final times at the end.

Davit lined up his Gear at the starting line. His opponent, in a totally revamped Sidewinder, looked back at him, almost as if in contempt. Davit shook his head and focused his attention on the course.

The starting lights hit green, and the two Gears were off! The first stretch, a straightaway, was to build up speed to jump the sandpit that followed. Even though the Sidewinder pilot was a little ahead, it didn't keep him from giving Davit's Hunter a little nudge... enough to send him bouncing off the retaining wall! The Sidewinder cleared the sandpit with ease, while Davit struggled with the control, barely managed to keep his Hunter from tripping over.

Davit's eyes narrowed in concentration as righted his Gear and began to play catch up.

They race went back and forth for a good five minutes, with Davit catching up, and the Sidewinder pulling another dirty trick. Davit was almost caught up when the Sidewinder entered the minefield. This was a dangerous area, where a tag could mean a severe time penalty. Davit found his opportunity to catch up!

As Davit sped up, the Sidewinder pilot poured on more speed as well, trying to gain a further advantage. He barely missed several mines as he dodged left and right. Davit followed his path, slowly closing...


Davit's Hunter was thrown back as warning lights starting going off in his cockpit! The Gear tumbled over, nearly snapping off an arm in the process! Davit shook his head to clear it... the sensors had registered an explosion...!

"The minefield is active!" screamed Davit into his communicator. The channel buzzed with static momentarily before he got a response.

"This is Control. Stay where you are and don't move. Rescue is on its way." Davit managed to mumble an affirmative.

He propped his Gear up onto one elbow, and looked forward. He regretted it immediately.

What was left of the Sidewinder lay in front of him in a flaming wreck. The anti-vehicle mine had gutted the Gear, ripping it apart. The wreckage was strewn over a large area, along with the black soot marks of the explosion. Davit tried to blink at all the destruction... but all he could manage was a short intake of air.

He turned his Gear's head away only to see the Sidewinder's head lying a few meters away. The omni-camera stared blankly at him...

Katt handed Fran the last tissue from the box. Luckily, she didn't need anymore.

"Well... that's it then," said Fran resignedly, "He's gone from my life. I have to cut him out now."

Katt patted her friend on her shoulders. "It was for the best."

She stood up to stretch her legs as Fran walked over to her desk and picked up the Hunter figurine. She held it for a minute, watching the sun play off the jewel. She walked back and handed it to Katt.

"Could you give this back to Davit for me? I don't think I could face him right now."

"Of course..."

"Why don't you give it back to me yourself?" sounded a playful voice from the doorway.

Both girls turned in time to see Davit, with his usual "Chicks Dig Gears" jacket on, walk through the door. Fran only hesitated a moment before dropping the figurine (on Katt's foot) and throwing her arms around Davit and covering his face with kisses.

When Davit was able to get a few words in, "I hope you can forgive me," he said. "You are so much more important to me, and if you can take a little bit of Gear fanaticism, I hope you have it in your heart to take me back?"

"Of course my dear. But no more talk of this Gear racing, promise?" said Fran with a sly smile, punctuating her question with another kiss.

"None whatsoever. I've learned my lesson. From now on, I'll stick to thinking about them." Davit smiled, "There are a lot better things to do with my life! Starting with you..."

Katt looked away from her two friends and took the Gear figurine back to the table. She placed the figurine down and slipped quietly out of the room, the inscription on the base echoing in her mind...

"A little bit of dream, with a little dose of reality."

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APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 5 May, 1999