Andromeda Moon and the Technobroom Debut
Andromeda Moon’s Technobroom Debut
The hardest part was building the technobroom. I spent three weeks with a soldering laser, up to my throat in gears and wires and microfission power cells. I tapped the Stream for holo of skycycle mods, but those bikes are too heavy-duty. We needed something smaller that could be adapted into a plausible update of a witch’s broomstick. In the end, I took the guts out of the kind of floater my grandmother used to get around with, triple-jacked the power unit, and built it into this lean custom frame.
My boyfriend, Jax, figured I’d never get it off the ground (literally) and a month of his mewling about illegal sky traffic, amateur power cell abuse and romantic neglect nearly had me single by the time of the Hallows party.
“What’s the spike about Hallows anyway?” he said last week. “Ancient superstition combined with sublimated adrenalin cravings and chemical overstim? Andrea, it’s the twenty-second century now.”
“It’s Andromeda now,” I said. I’d chosen my majority name on my fifteenth birthday, per my family tradition. Andrea Mueller-Hernandez was a thing of the boring, limited past.
“You’re really going to enter the laborstream as ‘Andromeda Moon’?” he scoffed. I gestured a retro-obscenity and test-flew the technobroom around the block of Caen Alley that isn’t vidwatched. Fell six times, but never from more than five feet up.
“You can’t fly with EM-field stabilizers,” Jax said. “You’ll flip in every crossdraft.”
“Full wing stabilizers won’t look like a broomstick,” I replied. “EM-field’s invisible. Anyway, I have great balance.”
“You’ll never get greened to operate it,” he said. “Policebots will tase you and lock you up.”
He was trolling about cosplay, too, but I told him he couldn’t come with me to the Hallows mob in civvies. I made him a classic Merlin, just a simple robe and silver microfilament beard—bare minimum, I figured. He just about flipped when I floated the ‘broom to his twentieth-floor apartment and tapped on the window. I don’t know if he was more upset at me swaying and bouncing in the cold wind as the fog rolled in behind me, or that I’d genespliced my skin green for the costume.
“It will take months after the RNA fix before you’re normal.” Accusation in his voice, as though I’d done this specifically to upset him. Which was, at best, only 40 percent true.
“My parents gave it epic plus,” I said, climbing onto his balcony. “Said I’m embracing my heritage.”
“Find me one green girl in all Church of Wicca history,” Jax replied. “You people are just a little too …”
“Exuberant?” I offered, a challenge in my grin and arched eyebrow.
“Delusional,” he deadpanned. “We have our equivalences in six weeks, and after New Year, we’ll be profiled in Laborstream, and you’ll look like an animax character.”
I stood in front of the boy who has been my first and only love, since handholding in midlevels. Wobbling on these retro non-maglev heels, I was eye to eye with him for once. I laid my hands on his shoulders, kissed him softly on the mouth and sighed.
“Jax, I think we’ve reached autodelete.”
“Drea,” he whined, eyes moon-wide. I tapped the ‘broom, floating beside me, and it followed me to the balcony. “Andromeda!”
In the city below, the unsanctioned—but rarely policed—Hallows party was just getting under way beneath the fog-laced twilight. Squatters in SOMA Harbor, living in condemned buildings four floors underwater, were streaming holo that I blinked into my corneal lens. The street scene in the Castro and Nob, well above the water line, was more dignified, but the walkways were packed.
I gave him one last lingering glance—he looked sad, and small, and an entirely reasonable product of modern corpocracy—before I leaped out the window. I found my balance only after the technobroom plunged a good ten stories. The waterlogged archipelago of San Francisco spread out before me, skytraffic overhead glimmering against an indigo sky as I looped between skyscrapers.
Drown the equivalence exams. It was Hallows, and I was a lime-green witch with a flying broomstick. The night was fog and moonlight and magic. And all mine.
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