It felt like a nightmare.

It was dark outside, and the only thing I could see were the lights of the machine overlords, as they flashed by. I had been travelling for a while now, and I just wanted to get home in one piece. As I kept going, I could see people staring at me in the faint streetlights. I wondered if those were stares of admiration, of seeing a fellow rebel taking on the machines. Or were they staring disapprovingly, as I looked too different from them? (I refused to wear the typical rebels’ clothes and silly hats.)

In the distance I saw a familiar sight, and I knew I had to fight. I had always been able to take on the machines, but it takes only one mistake, and you’re done for. I could feel the adrenaline rush through my body. I was so close now, yet I knew this was one of the most tricky parts of my journey. I carefully but swiftly manoeuvred through the moving machines — dodged one, went around another, made one move out of the way — until I came to a stop.

I let out a sigh of relief; I had arrived at the final checkpoint. I would have to get the green light before I could finish my journey. I could feel the machines swoosh by on both sides while I was waiting, even closer than before. After a minute or so, it dawned on me: they would never let me pass. The checkpoint was designed specifically for the machines, and would refuse to let me through.

Finally defeated, I jumped off, and crossed the intersection on foot. I felt sad. Not for myself, but for society.

For it wasn’t a dream — it was bicycling in the United States of America.