“For birds? I don’t know. On a board? Definitely.”
“I hope so.” Tally pulled her bracelets on and stepped
onto the hoverboard. It bobbed a little as it adjusted to her
weight, like the bounce of a diving board.
“Check your belly sensor.”
Tally touched her belly ring, where Shay had clipped
the little sensor. It told the board where Tally’s center of
gravity was, and which way she was facing. The sensor even
read her stomach muscles, which, it turned out, hover-
boarders always clenched in anticipation of turns. The
board was smart enough to gradually learn how her body
moved. The more Tally rode, the more it would keep itself
under her feet.
Of course, Tally had to learn too. Shay kept saying that
if your feet weren’t in the right place, the smartest board in
the world couldn’t keep you on. The riding surface was all
knobbly for traction, but it was amazing how easy it was to
The board was oval-shaped, about half as long as Tally
was tall, and black with the silver spots of a cheetah—the only
animal in the world that could run faster than a hoverboard
could fly. It was Shay’s first board, and she’d never recycyled
it. Until today, it had hung on the wall above her bed.
Tally snapped her fingers, bent her knees as she rose
into the air, then leaned forward to pick up speed.
Shay cruised along just above her, staying a little