Swirling blades spinning the Tourists move across the sky, their miniature turbines spitting precisely. There’s a bunch of them, about six or seven, all going to the same place. And not in Virtual Reality either, but kitted out in real flight gear riding real diesel engines. Its the nostalgia kick, the thrill of the chase.
Of course they don’t fly very high – just fast. Kings of their own speed putting everything into a blur. Heaven and hell in one band of light; shafts spread and pass.
The Tourists are locked tight in their shell.
As essential as the brightest star in the sky that still shines, they pass across shining and radiating, burning some heat – bubbling a golden colour, a hot syrup lethal and permanent slips to the floor spitting and popping.
They race themselves round the earth in one day. Faster and faster. Dragging down the belly, killing more and more. Attend to their drive motors and power giving energy feeding dull mind inside a soft steel helmet which turns brittle and hard with needle spikes pointing inwards if they think they’ll lose a thrill – lose a chance to kill. Then they die, they die for real – that’s the real thrill. An instant implosion, bright and frightening without any flames, just a molten core sagging into silence. Gold turns back to lead and stone: big slag mountaintops.
Zoom and swoop, the dull ache of perpetual high. Ragged and torn, tearing themselves apart. Their minds locked in one fixation, going down a channel which gets narrower and narrower until pop!
The Tourists race round with digital panels in front of them, dirty and basic. Coccooned they breathe and live. Tap a button with a sqiggle, then another button with another squiggle: incomprehensible black lines read out a scale on a magnitude uncalculated. They just watch the patterns and jump when it feels right. Sit in a deep dark cage , everything goes by: twitch with intuition flicking tentacles and fingers in an enclosed void. Completely cutoff and self-composed ringing each Tourist mind into some sort of total independence.
And to everybody else these speeding stars are a clogging throwaway thrill at the end of the world.