How exactly am I to achieve redemption on the road, where “I” am a nameless, often faceless, man on a motorcycle? What are my crimes? Are they linked to motorcycles in some way?
Without a priest, can I be redeemed? Where do the priests come in to this? Are they an unlockable upgrade?
Will there ever be a priest, or must I ride this road alone? Does Jesus ride pillion with me, his hand upon my shoulder?
And then: how is motorcyle crime itself so intrinsic to this process of redemption? If I commit enough motorcycle crimes – beheading men with battleaxes, say, as I ride alongside them, or blowing up cars as we speed down a highway side-by-side, kicking a police officer off a bridge into a canyon – will I be delivered from my sin?
What awaits me at the end of my journey? Is this some dark pilgrimage?
Is that why there are so many other bikers on the road alongside me, all racing for whatever is held in that Big Red Skull on the East Coast? Is that why so many of my missions, which come from an unknown source, involve outpacing or killing them? Is the mission where I must kill other men using only my bare hands a test of loyalty? Is every grapple off a helicopter, swinging from rooftop to rooftop, a leap of faith?
Are we clerics, pilgrims, zealots, of some mad-eyed leather-skinned motorcycle god? Is there only room for one in his dark temple, where the dead halls echo not with the prayers of the faithful but the roar of engines, the thump of metal into flesh, the clang of metal into metal? What arts are practised there? What do they hold sacred and would we, soft-skinned mortals all, be able to bear knowledge of it once we knew?
But then – is redemption earned in blood indeed redemption?
Is this some world of the blind, where each and every eye has been taken, and we are pawing uselessly, sightlessly, towards an equally grim tomorrow, like pallid eyeless creatures on the floor of a cave?
Is this even redemption as we can understand it? Is it redemption from what we would understand as goodness? Are the actions of these motorcycle pirates, these crimson pilgrims, a direct rebellion from what we hold to be holy – and that, to them, is a sacred act?
Can they gain redemption through sin, so corrupt is their compass, so dissatisfied are they with our society? Is the world on the tarmac some dark, utter mirror of our own? What does that say about us, the players, who engage in this for pleasure? Are we all just on a digital pilgrimage to tomorrow forever, wishing for the right cocktail of virtual sin to free us from a life that seems cursed by a vengeful God?