The roar of the engine was deafening as town after town blurred past. The tires squealed and smoke started filling the cab. I can't breathe. I'm gonna die. I can't breathe! Burning! Something's burning. Flames started sprouting through the console and heat filled every inch of the car, until it felt like the heat gathered in the center of my chest. I could almost feel every cell burst as the flames spread over my skin...

I felt a kick in my side. "Get up!" The voice was deep and dry. He kicked me again. The pain in my side was nothing compared to the searing pain in my neck and my skull.

"What happened?" My throat felt like someone had tried to clean it out with steel wool. I felt cold metal touch my shoulder and heard a slosh of liquid. I took it and drank it without hesitation. Oh, thank G-...thank G-...aw, hell, it's water! Another cup was passed to me. I took it, and the next one, and the next one. Finally, after the eighth cup, I was able to speak clearly. "What happened?"

"First night as a Ghost Rider." The man sitting by me had on biker gear and a bruised-up chopper was set in the corner. He was glaring at me. "You attacked me, kid. You were lucky I didn't kill you. Why did he send you?"

"To kill you...and some guy named Blackheart. I don't know what happened last night." The roar of the engine. Flames licking at the metal frame. Screams echoing from a flaming skull. "Where am I?"

"A few hundred miles outside Pheonix."

"Arizona? I was in Alabama last night!" He shrugged.

"I saw that car of yours. I'm not suprised. It's very impressive." Chrome and flames everywhere. My racing suit glowing from within. The heat. The smoke. I can't breathe. I'm gonna die. "All I know is you ran me down and started attacking me. I'm sorry about your neck. Those bruises look nasty." He tossed me a compact mirror. My neck was decorated with a pattern of bruises that resembled...the chain hanging on the side of the chopper. Jackass. I tossed the mirror back to him and he grimaced. "You said you're looking for Blackheart. Funny, I killed him. I gave him the Penanace Stare, burned his soul to a crisp." I sighed. I'll never be free then. Ass. "What did you sell your soul for?"

"My brother's legs. He was paralyzed. I wanted him to drive again. You?"

"My dad. Look, kid, you can ride with me, but next time when you try to kill me, wait 'till I get off my bike. If you're gonna run me over, I want it to be just me. Leave the bike alone. I'm Johnny Blaze." He held out his hand.

"Ah, hell, Riley Fallon. Pronounced as fall-in." I shook it.

"How appropriate." Tires squealing. Smoke. I can't breathe. I'm gonna die.