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Discussion in 'GT4 Race Reports' started by DK, Jan 29, 2010.
Silencers don't work very well, I hope you know. Unless it's on a .22, and as large as the gun itself. Actually, why am I complaining? Excellent chapter.
Silencers take all the fun out of it... unless you are in the Pacific during WWII.
Anyway, keep the great work up!
Chapter 14 - A Visit
Ah, who is that?
I opened the door. Two men in expensive tuxedos stood there. I knew who they were. Miki Watanabe and Dmitri Petrov.
Miki - "Good evening, old man."
- "What do you want?"
Miki - "Well, I was thinking I could have a nice glass of wine and something to eat. And maybe have a nice quiet time beating the out of you."
Dmitri - "We saw you at Le Mans."
- "Of course, my cousin lives there. He has cerebral palsy."
Miki - "We meant the racetrack!"
Dmitri - "And we know you don't have a cousin with cerebral palsy. Or one who lives in Le Mans."
- "Well, I wanted to watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
Miki - "Rubbish. That's on in the middle of June. We saw you there a week ago, in the middle of July."
Dmitri - "You agreed to never race again."
Miki - "We know about your kid."
My heart froze.
Miki - "What's his name?"
I stayed silent.
Miki - "Olivier, isn't it? How old would he be? 14? 15?"
Dmitri - "He look like Lewis Hamilton. His mother is English, daughter of Jamaican immigrants."
Dmitri hands me a sheet with a picture of a silver Clio Trophy Race Car. My Clio Trophy Race Car.
- "Okay...I wanted to show him what I used to do. I wanted to show him that beneath the cheat, there was a legend!"
Miki - "Beneath the cheat? No wonder he doesn't take your surname."
- "Do you remember...the first time I saw you race?"
Miki - "Of course...how could I not?"
- "So, Chun Mei...what did you bring me here for?"
Chun Mei - "He aggressive. Very aggressive. He undefeat in official race, too."
Miki - "Argh!"
CRX driver - "Jesus...this guy needs to cool down!"
- "Why does he drive so aggressively?"
Chun Mei - "There is rumour. He lose to this kid in S14 Silvia in downhill mountain race."
- "You mean, touge?"
Chun Mei - "He lose in mountains around Suzuka City."
- "How did you hear about this rumour?"
Chun Mei - "Ask people who are his age from Suzuka. They tell you."
Miki made a clean pass, as the white Integra's driver was intimidated by his aggressive style.
Miki - "ARGH!!!"
Miki rammed the driver of the S14 in a fit of rage.
S14 driver - "What's his problem?!"
The Primera moved over to avoid falling victim to Miki's wrath.
Primera driver - "Screw it...2nd place is not worth the loss of a bumper to this wacko."
Miki easily passed the leading Mazda 323F.
- "He's already in the lead?"
Chun Mei - "I tell you that he very scary to race against!"
- "Chun Mei...did you race against him?"
Chun Mei - "Yes...he beat me."
- "Bah...you're nothing like your brother."
- "He must be tearing his tyres to shreds!"
Mazda 323F driver - "Damn...this guy is psychotic..."
- "Oh my God...he's already so far ahead...this driver is...dare I say it...a child prodigy..."
I took one look at you, the driver of the Integra. The way you changed gears was angry. The way you turned the steering wheel was angry. I could imagine the way you pressed the clutch, the brakes and the accelerator pedals was angry.
Even the way your car rode the kerb was angry.
To come second to you was honourable. You had above-average skills. Come to think of it, you were barely 19.
Chun Mei - "I know that look. You think of something."
- "I'm wondering...how can I process that raw anger into a finished product...that finished product being a world class driver."
So, I went looking for you.
Miki - "What do you want?"
- "I'm impressed by you."
Miki - "My insurance company isn't. I'm paying 500,000 yen a year. KFC wages don't cover my costs."
The driver of the Silvia came over, a woman.
S14 driver - "Why were you ramming me?!"
You pushed her down to the ground. I never saw such raw anger in a person. She staggered to her feet and rushed off. It was as if she was scared of you.
Of course. My ex-girlfriend got a restraining order against me...the bitch.
- "As I was saying, I'm impressed by you. How about you have a go in my car?"
The wheels spun as if we were driving on ice. I could see you struggling to control nearly 600 angry horses.
Even though the car was tuned to be balanced, you managed to get it to oversteer, a habit you must have picked up from driving a FWD, naturally inclined to understeer.
It was as if I was sitting next to a young Keiichi Tsuchiya. Even though the man has reportedly sworn to kill me if he had the chance.
I noticed the style you went over the kerbs. It's as if you were running over a mortal enemy.
But then you spun out at Turn 9.
- "Are you okay?"
I was actually worried about you.
Miki - "Yeah."
- "Have you ever driven a RWD before?"
Miki - "There was this one guy. He was once my friend. But then...my girlfriend cheated on me with him. Her dad was his dad's business partner. They own a garage together. They occasionally tune cars. But mostly it's just repair work. I remember driving his Silvia in my high school's parking lot. It was a multi-storey car park. It was me, my girlfriend, him and his friend...Toshi. It was oversteery compared to my Integra. It was a completely new experience."
You spun the car around so quickly that I thought for a second that I was going to vomit.
The tyres screamed like teenage girls at a N'Sync concert.
Then the car spun again.
You just let the car spin. You didn't bother correcting it.
Although this car was equipped with all sorts of safety equipment, I feared for my life.
I could see through your visor that you just had a completely blank look on your face.
You spun the car around, again.
- "No hard feelings, huh?"
You stayed silent.
Your handling of a potential spin-out impressed me.
Your foot was firmly pressed to the floor.
- "Ever thought of not throwing the car onto the kerb?"
Miki - "It's how I race."
I thought up of an intelligent question.
- "How much do you spend on tyres per month?"
You were stuck for words.
- "20,000? 40,000? 60,000?"
Miki - "80,000 yen."
- "You should invest in some official GT Association tyres. They may seem expensive, but you get a lifetime guarantee offering to replace your tyres for free."
Your throttle control was excellent on the third lap. The tyres were no longer squealing for mercy.
You were no longer treating the tyres so mercilessly. You were no longer throwing the car onto the kerb.
- "The kerb is not always your best friend. Sometimes they retain water, and that will send you spinning out."
You managed to keep your cool as Turn 9 threatened to spin you out.
- "Mon dieu...my tyres!"
I noticed the lack of grip the tyres had by now.
- "I think we should return to the pits."
And then you noticed...the NSX.
Miki - "Who owns the NSX?"
- "No-one. Yet."
We got out of the car, and walked over to the NSX.
Miki - "What does that mean?"
- "I've searched for a driver who can impress me with his style. This is yours. You can do whatever you want to it."
I just remembered the look of pure shock on your face. And what you would say would completely shock me.
Miki - "As you French say...merci beaucoup."
Miki got up.
Miki - "Seeing as you've come out of retirement, I have a favour to ask of you."
Miki - "There's this guy. Hiroto Matsuda. He's beaten-"
- "All the Lieutenants?"
Miki - "Yes..."
- "Then you should race him. You should call him and challenge him."
Miki - "Yes...but what I'm thinking of is installing you as our temporary Circuit Lieutenant."
- "So that means..."
Miki - "I get some breathing space, because then that means he hasn't beaten all the Lieutenants."
- "Fine. I know where to race him, and I'll get the Esprit ready."
Miki and Dmitri left.
Miki - "So, Dmitri. Seeing as Mikhail is doing his thing over in California, I want you to do something for me."
Dmitri - "She's-"
Miki - "Don't start. But, I am thinking about a woman. Or rather, a girl."
Miki hands Dmitri a piece of paper, with someone's name on it. That person's initials were "M.M."
Chapter 15 - Sacre (Bayside) Bleu
For three whole days, I waited for a call from Miki.
- "I don't get it. Why hasn't he called?"
Gareth - "Well, once you beat all Lieutenants, you get a call from their leader. In my case it was..."
Even the thought of him made Gareth mad. His veins were fit to burst.
Gareth - "...Pierre. I HATE THAT !"
My phone rang.
It wasn't Miki.
- "Hello, monsieur. Do you know who I am?"
I took a wild guess.
- "Pierre Bernard?"
- "Which one? There could be hundreds with my name across France."
- "The one who cut my frien-"
Gareth grabbed my phone.
Gareth - "YOU BASTARD!!! WHEN I FIND YOU, I'M GOING TO RIP YOUR HEAD OFF AND DOWN YOUR NECK!!!"
Having said what he needed to say, he calmly handed me my phone back.
- "You realise that is impossible for a human to rip off someone else's head?"
Clearly he hasn't heard of Ozzy Osbourne.
- "What's this about?"
- "Well, little do you know, Franz Becker is dead."
I don't want to believe that.
- "You're kidding. Please tell me you're kidding."
- "No. Shame, really. He was such a good rac-"
Gareth voiced his opinion again.
Gareth - "AND HE WASN'T A CHEATING BASTARD LIKE YOU!!!"
- "I wonder...where are you two?"
- "A hotel in Sacramento."
- "Anyway, back to the purpose of this call. Franz Becker is dead. Miki refuses to recognise your victory now that he is no longer the Circuit Lieutenant."
I took a wild guess at who was the Circuit Lieutenant.
- "Are you his replacement?"
- "Only for a few weeks."
- "Where do we race?"
- "I have a very good idea..."
A long transatlantic flight later...
All I could see in Gareth for the whole flight was pure anger. His veins were bulging. His fists were shaking. As far as I know, he didn't sleep during the flight.
As soon as we left the terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport, we saw a man with a placard saying "Matsuda". Seconds after seeing the man, Gareth had knocked him to the ground. The man was obviously Pierre.
- "Please! Stop!"
Gareth slammed his head onto the bonnet of a Renault Megane.
Gareth - "YOU'RE GOING TO PAY FOR CRUSHING MY SKYLINE!"
I heard a few tourists asking, "What's a Skyline?"
- "You want a cheque? I'll write you one. €200,000, that should cover it-"
Gareth - "You think 200 grand will make me forget about my car? Ever heard of sentimental value?"
- "Well, I thought-"
Gareth didn't care. Pierre's head met the metal of the Megane's bonnet. The Megane's driver got out.
- "Hey, arrêtez d'utiliser ma voiture comme une arme!" (Hey, stop using my car as a weapon!)
Gareth and Pierre were pulled apart by passing pedestrians.
- "You are an animal!"
Gareth - "Of course I am, I don't use photosynthesis, do I?"
- "You are nothing more than a monkey!"
Gareth - "ARGH!!!"
Gareth wrestled himself free of the two people holding him back. He subsequently scared off the three holding Pierre back. Pierre's head yet again met the bonnet of a car - this time a Citroen C3.
Eventually Gareth and Pierre were separated by the police.
- "I want to press charges! This man is an animal!"
3 days later
Le Mans. Two words that mean a lot. It's the opinion of many that the 24 Hours race forms one part of a Triple Crown - the other two being the Monaco Grand Prix and the Formula 1 World Championship.
Pierre's challenge was this: 1 lap. 1 lap around the chicaned version of Circuit de la Sarthe. I took a deep breath, and drove out of the pits.
- "Where's your friend today? "
Pierre took a cruel dig at Gareth, who couldn't come to the race.
- "I can beat you without him."
- "Please, monsieur. My Lotus will far outclass your -crap car."
- "My illegitimate son is half-black. How can I be racist?"
- "You used the J-word."
- "Everybody uses it."
- "No, just anti-immigration Tea Party members."
The Callaway was just too easy to catch up with. As I said before, there is replacement for displacement.
Callaway driver - "God--dammit! That ricer's already caught up with me!"
I dived down the inside of the Callaway at Tertre Rouge.
Callaway driver - "What. The. ?"
I caught up with the Aston Martin under braking for L'Arche Chicane.
Aston Martin driver - "Oh dear...this chav is trying to catch up with me..."
Aston Martin driver - "Oh, blast you!"
I got onto the radio to communicate with him.
- "What the hell are you on about?"
Aston Martin driver - "Shut up, you chav."
- "Chav? At least I didn't ruin an economy."
The Aston Martin driver muttered something.
Aston Martin driver - "It's not my fault Northern Rock are in trouble..."
I had the Lotus Esprit Sport 350 in my sights.
I braced myself against the door as my Skyline swayed through La Florandiere chicane. I worried about the Esprit getting away from me on the straights.
Meanwhile, Pierre took the lead from the leading Esprit V8 at Mulsanne kink.
- "Try to keep up now!"
I caught the slipstream of the Esprit Sport 350 after Mulsanne corner.
Esprit Sport 350 driver - "Sacre bleu! How is he keeping up with me?!"
I passed the Esprit Sport 350 on the inside of Arnage.
Esprit Sport 350 driver - "Gah! Cheat!"
As I looked behind leading into the Porsche Curves, I saw the Callaway overtake the Esprit Sport 350.
But then the Callaway put two wheels on the grass.
The Callaway's driver couldn't control his out-of-control car.
Callaway driver - "Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap!!!"
He tried desperately to stop the car from spinning.
He managed to keep the car out of the gravel and also out of the wall. But he lost 4th to the Esprit Sport 350.
The Esprit V8 was easily beaten in the Porsche curves.
Esprit V8 driver - "Crap! Damned Datsun!"
Datsun don't exist anymore you dunce.
The ATTESA ET-S system was showing its advantages in the corners. Who needs a car with an MR drivetrain?
- "You've caught up? What the..."
- "The GT-R is known for punching above its weight, Pierre."
I could easily out-brake Pierre.
- "What the..."
- "How do you like my Brembo ceramic brakes, bitch?"
That's one hell of a useful modification here.
I just had to, in Gareth's words, "take the piss".
The trouble is, Pierre isn't a good loser.
- "Take that!"
Then again, as the Lotus isn't very heavy, I barely felt the bump. It was more of a nudge.
- "Is that all?"
Pierre used all of the Esprit's 1,325 kilos to try and shove me into the gravel trap.
- "I hope you have a fork ready."
- "For what?"
- "So you can eat those words."
- "No...no...not like this..."
I heard Pierre's engine become quieter. He must have given up.
I scrambled across the kerb. The Lotus fell back.
Because Pierre was such a stereotypical rude Frenchman to me, I decided to taunt him. I love schadenfreude.
- "We, are the champions, my friends..."
- "Damn you and Freddie Mercury!"
After the race...
- "Come on! Hand over the keys!"
Pierre obviously doesn't understand the concept of a pink slip races.
Gareth - "Come on, nothing can give me more satisfaction."
Gareth had decided to come to Le Mans anyway. His calmness surprised me. Besides, the was one thing that would give him more satisfaction - the chance to go back in time and stop Britain from taking over his country.
- "Are you sure about that, monsieur?"
Gareth - "As sure as the Pope hates atheists."
- "I can offer a substitute for my Lotus."
- "What is it?"
- "What is it?"
1 hour later...
- "Here we are...Garage 2G."
Pierre grunted as he lifted up a metal shutter marked "2G".
- "I thought that was..."
- "Yeah...what happened?"
- "I took it upon myself to restore this to its former glory, before it crashed."
- "But why..."
- "Did I cut the brakes? I knew that it was far superior to my Supra. It had better handling, more power, better response...even though I never wished to admit that."
- "Of course it was superior!"
Gareth staggers to his feet. He immediately jumps onto the Skyline's bonnet and kisses it.
Gareth - "Did you miss me, babe? Daddy's never gonna leave you again!"
- "I'm sure I'd do the same thing if I saw my Skyline again."
Gareth - "Hang on...the day I woke up in the hospital, I was sent a picture of a crushed Skyline."
- "Allow me to explain. I bought a non-turbo Skyline R34 and painted it in the colours of the Mine's Skyline, and then had that crushed."
Gareth already had the Mine's Skyline fired up.
Gareth - "Come on, get in your Skyline! I wanna know how this car drives again!"
- "Pierre, even though you were a total bastard to me, I have to say, thanks for giving Gareth his car back."
- "You're welcome."
I got into my Skyline, and with Gareth in his Skyline, we drove off.
In the forests of Mie Prefecture...
Chaser driver - "Gah! I can't believe I've lost this guy!"
Chaser driver - "Oh, there he is!"
The driver of the Chaser gets out, as does his passenger. The driver has messy dark hair and glasses, and looks like he's in his mid-20s. His passenger, a woman in her early 20s, is wearing $100 sunglasses, a mini-skirt and a Miata Cup t-shirt, and like the driver has messy hair, and also looks as if she's in her mid-20s.
- "Ah, Fujimoto-san. I've been waiting for you."
Fujimoto-san - "Michio...you're some son of a bitch."
The passenger pipes up.
Passenger - "How long have you guys been waiting here?"
The passenger of the silver car gets out.
- "Michio, that passenger's seat is so comfortable!"
Michio - "Toru, I should know. I sat in it when we kicked Fuji-san's ass on the highway."
Passenger - "Uh...you haven't answered my question."
Michio - "About 25 seconds. I just cracked open a can of Coke."
Passenger - "It's hard to believe you guys are nearly 50."
Fujimoto-san - "Yeah, and Toru-san, I can't believe you're coping so well."
Toru - "*sighs* It's been about 5 weeks now..."
Toru turns to Michio.
Toru - "Michio...I hope your son can get my daughter back..."
Fact file: Pierre Bernard
Home course: Chamonix, Le Mans
Specialty: Road courses, snow, RWD
Likes: Crepes, his Supra
Hates: Losing, backstabbers (which makes him a hypocrite)
I will now adopt the phrase faceMegane. Thank you, Driftking, thank you.
Chapter 15.5 - Challenge Accepted
Gareth is certainly one hell of a driver when it comes to scary beasts like this.
- "And this...is a Skyline GT-R?!"
I've never associated GT-Rs with oversteer.
Gareth - "I LOVE THIS CAR!!!"
Coming around the last corner of the Opera Paris circuit, Gareth said something which scared me.
Gareth - "Wanna have a go?"
How could I say no?
Gareth slammed the brakes and unbuckled his harness, prompting me to do the same. We then got out and switched seats.
- "HOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYY !!!"
The car accelerated like a rocket. The G-forces in the corners threatened to make me regurgitate my Burger King Royale with Cheese.
Gareth - "Easy...easy...relax the throttle..."
I couldn't say anything, I was that focused.
I braked too late at turn 7.
Gareth - "Jesus Christ, that was close!"
I pulled the handbrake, and drifted through turn 10.
Gareth - "How...you've only driven my car for a lap...how did you learn how to drift it?"
I didn't answer Gareth's question. I carefully applied more and more throttle through the corner.
Gareth - "How does this compare to your R34 and your R32?"
- "Quite frankly, if my R32 is a Saturn V rocket, this R34 is the Millennium Falcon."
Gareth - "Millennium Falcon! Such a perfect name for this!"
Gareth - "Uh, Hiroto...don't use the kerb too much. These are S3-Grade tyres, I don't want to wear them out."
Out of turn 4, I floored it.
- "How...fast...does...this thing...reach 100km/h?"
Gareth - "Last time I checked, about 3 seconds."
Who needs a Ferrari?
Gareth - "Let's bring the Millennium Falcon in. I'm feeling some bad vibrations from the tyres."
As we entered the pits, I too noticed the bad vibrations.
Gareth - "Do you like it?"
- "The Skyline? Hell yeah."
My phone rang. It was a "private number". Someone obviously doesn't like to be found out.
- "Mushi mushi?"
Miki - "Hello, Hiroto."
My blood runs cold.
Miki - "So, I've heard that you've beaten Pierre."
Miki - "So, all that remains is me, correct?"
Miki - "Tell me Hiroto...what made you think you could take my girlfriend?"
- "She was never yours to begin with."
Miki - "What? Garbage. Me and her were in love."
- "Just because you saw "Gladiator" together doesn't mean you were a couple. Me and Toshi were there too."
Miki - "I never forgave her for cheating on me...nor have I forgiven you for stealing her from me!"
Should I tell him that he's imp...actually, screw it.
- "You can't accept that she didn't love you. What about Sayuki Fujimoto?"
Miki - "Her brother's too defensive of her. And she's obsessed with Miatas and her brother's stupid Toyota Chaser."
- "Look, I know why you called. You want to race me. We race at Suzu-"
Miki - "NO!!! Not there. We will race in Hell...the Green Hell, that is."
Miki then hung up. And then he called back 10 or so seconds later.
Miki - "And one more thing."
Miki - "When I win, I'll have that bitch all to myself. Because you'll be dead."
He hangs up again.
Gareth - "Green Hell? I know someone who can help us with that."
- "Me too."
- "Maria Meyer."
- "Maria Meyer."
Kasatori trail, Mie Prefecture.
What could have gone wrong on Miyu's date, has gone wrong.
Dmitri - "Помните Юрий, что г-н Ватанабе хочет, что девушка жива!" (Remember Yuri, Mr. Watanabe wants that girl alive!)
A rugged-looking, shabbily-dressed Russian, Yuri Dagarov, is firing from the passengers seat of a E55 Mercedes.
Yuri - "Эй, я хочу, чтобы иметь возможность метко стрелять!" (Hey, I want to be able to shoot straight!)
Dmitri - Это не моя вина, г-н Ватанабе нравится его Brabus настроенной Mercedes! (It's not my fault Mr. Watanabe likes his Brabus-tuned Mercedes!)
Miyu frantically turned the steering wheel. Her passenger obviously didn't think the date would end like this.
Miyu - "Jūnichi wa, gomen ne, kore ga okotta!" (Junichi, I'm sorry this happened!)
Junichi stayed silent. He had wet his pants.
However, Miyu had some luck. Dmitri reacted to quickly to his car oversteering, and it smashed into a concrete barrier. Yuri, without his seatbelt, had no chance.
The Mercedes smashed into another concrete barrier. Yuri flew through the windscreen and smacked the barrier head-on.
Miyu stopped. She looked behind her.
Miyu - "Nantekotta..." (Oh my God...)
Junichi felt that it was now safe to speak.
Junichi - "Miyu wa...doko Kazumi, Hiroto to Toshi ga kurasshu ****a koto ga arimasu ka?" (Miyu...isn't that where Kazumi, Hiroto and Toshi crashed?)
Miyu put her foot on the accelerator very lightly and drove off, slowly.
Fact file: Miyu Matsuda
Age: 18, 20 according to her fake ID
Specialty: Learning quickly
Home course: Suzuka
Likes: American TV (especially Friends), American movies, Daiki Kasho, Paramore, driving
Hates: Rude people, assassins, fundamentalist Christians
Another great chapter!
P.S.: when posting things with Russian language, please provide a romanization .
Yeeesss... Excellent. Now, the battle begins!
Bllod and guts. LOVE IT!
Anyway, keep it up! Epic conclusion is building!
Chapter 16 - Wilkommen
It's 6am. I look in the wing mirror of my Skyline. My eyes are bloodshot. I want to sleep so much, but the damned Red Bull won't let me. I look back at Gareth's Skyline. He's asleep already. I get out of my car, and knock on the window.
He's drooling from one corner of his mouth. He doesn't notice me, or at least pretends not to notice me. He slumps over onto the steering wheel.
He looks like he put his finger in an electrical socket.
Disgruntled resident - "Was die Holle?!"
The residents of this quiet street were opening their windows and letting Gareth know how much of a jackass he was.
Gareth - "Can't a man have 1 bloody minute of sleep?!"
A woman wearing a dressing gown with long "dirty blonde" (i.e. dark in most parts but tinged with blonde) hair approached us.
- "Mein gott, a minute on this street and you've already made an impact."
Gareth got out of his car.
Gareth - "Hi Maria."
A neighbour shouts from his 3rd floor window.
3rd floor neighbour - "Maria? Kennst du diese Leute?" (Maria? Do you know these people?)
Maria - "Ja, sie sind meine Freunden." (Yes, they're my friends.)
She turns back to us.
Maria - "Come in, you look really tired."
All I know about what happened next is that I collapsed on her couch.
Maria - "Wakey-wakey sleepyhead."
I smell toast. I find a load of pictures on the coffee table, which had a Logitech Driving Force GT steering wheel attached to it and numerous issues of "Du und dein BMW" magazine.
I notice this picture at the top of the pile.
- "A WedsSport Celica? I never knew a BMW 320i could take on these."
Maria - "Well, I took part in a race against GT300 cars."
- "I've been more of a Nismo man myself."
Maria - "I guess it's in the blood."
Gareth swallows his toast and joins the conversation.
Gareth - "My dad's friend owned a Mk. II Escort. My granddad - my dad's dad - owned a '68 Mustang. For ages it was the only one in the country."
I look at another picture, this time a clipping from a magazine.
- "'Meyer passes Ichikawa at Midfield Raceway, Sussex.' Midfield Raceway? That dump?"
Gareth - "Don't mock Midfield Raceway. That's where Ryosuke Sato found me."
- "I just find the track dull."
Maria - "Let's see if you call it dull when you're coming out of the tunnels into bright sunlight. Or if you're coming out of the tunnels onto wet roads."
- "If you played it in Gran Tu-"
Maria - "Do you really think Sebastian Vettel or Michael Schumacher spend their time playing video games?"
- "Do simulators count? "
I look at another magazine clipping.
- "You passed that MR-S? It has a crapload of downforce at cornering speed!"
Maria - "That's me in the BMW, you should know."
I notice one magazine clipping in a frame on a shelf above a Samsung LCD TV.
- "'Maria Meyer passes...Keiko Yamamoto?'"
Maria - "That move in June 2006 started our rivalry."
The frame includes an article - in German.
- "Uh, what does the article mean in English?"
Maria - "It says, 'Maria Meyer was criticised by one of her opponents. Keiko Yamamoto, 22, from Japan, criticised her driving skill for not taking enough risks.' This is the person who-"
- "Blew a crapload of engines."
Gareth - "Hiroto...didn't you win an RX-7 off of her?"
- "Yeah. Why?"
Maria - "Mein gott, stop interrupting me!"
Gareth - "Hiroto - ever thought of using the RX-7 against Miki?"
- "No, never. I'm using a GT-R. Miki only has-"
Maria - "A heavily-tuned NSX. Face it Hiroto - even with your skills, you'd be screwed."
It dawned on me that I was facing a monumental task. And just then, my phone rang.
- "Mushi mushi?"
Miyu - "Hey."
- "Why are you calling me?"
I looked at another magazine clipping, and lost my train of thought for a few seconds.
Miyu - "Jesus Christ, I'm talking to you numb-nuts!"
- "Sorry. What was your call about?"
Miyu inhaled deeply.
Miyu - "Two days ago...I was being chased."
- "By what?"
Miyu - "A Mercedes E-Class. It smashed into the wall and one guy flew out of the car, and he was holding a handgun."
- "Where are you?"
Miyu - "Police station. This Dmitri guy is-"
- "Dmitri who?"
Miyu - "It began with a P...and ended with a V..."
- "Dmitri Petrov! That bastard!"
Miyu - "Well, he's brain-damaged, so..."
- "Brain-damaged...that's wonde-"
Miyu - "Don't be so cruel!"
- "That bastard deserves it, he tried to kill you!"
Miyu - "Look, I'm about to run out of call cred-"
She hangs up. She probably ran out of credit.
I look at another magazine clipping.
- "That guy in the RX-7 again?"
But Maria and Gareth weren't listening. They were staring at me.
Maria - "What was that call about, Hiroto?"
- "Dmitri Petrov. He was in a crash and now he's brain-damaged."
Gareth - "Wait a minute...Hiroto, do you remember when Hans was killed?"
Maria - "Hans Becker?"
- "Yeah, why?"
Maria - "My father..."
Her voice trails off. Her eyes start watering. A tear rolls down her left cheek. Then, she turns on the water works. She falls onto the couch and starts bawling. Gareth and I leave the living room and go to the guest bedroom.
- "Why is she crying?"
Gareth - "You really don't wanna know."
- "Come on, tell me."
Gareth - "Fine. Follow me."
I follow Gareth into Maria's bedroom. Gareth opens her wardrobe, and roots around. He takes out a small wooden box.
- "Are you sure about what we're doing?"
Gareth - "Maria trusts me. It's just that...whenever someone mentions her father...she remembers what she doesn't have."
Gareth takes out some magazine clippings from the box.
Gareth - "1993 - Otto Meyer passes Carlo Russo for the lead at the Opera Paris street circuit."
- "Hang on...I saw him back in May! What happened?"
Gareth ignores my question.
Gareth - "1994 - Otto Meyer passes Adam Hansen..."
- "...For the lead, right?"
Gareth nods in agreement.
Gareth - "...at Opera Paris."
- "Was that for anything important?"
Gareth - "No, only the DTM."
- "Otto Meyer! Of course! Two-time DTM champion!"
Gareth - "From 1995 to 2000, he was part of the Mercedes GT World Championship team, and helped them win 3 Constructor's Championships."
- "So what happened to Otto?"
Gareth - "He crashed at the Nurburgring."
Gareth - "It was at Aremburg. Otto Meyer knows the Nurburgring like the back of his hand. So, an accident like that was unnatural."
- "Why did he crash?"
Gareth - "Guess who he was racing against?"
Gareth - "Worse."
Gareth - "You can guess what Miki did."
- "He oiled the track, right?"
Gareth - "Obviously Otto couldn't control the car. He smashed into the wall at around 150mph."
- "What happened to him?"
Maria - "He severed his spinal cord...
She points to the base of her neck.
Maria - "...Here. He was dead for 20 minutes. He's now in a vegetative state."
Gareth picked out a final magazine clipping.
Gareth - "'The motor-racing community was in shock today after Otto Meyer, 50, was in a serious accident. Meyer was actually dead for 20 minutes, and is now in a vegetative state in St. Marien Hospital, Cologne. His family have called for criminal proceedings to begin against his opponent, Miki Watanabe.'"
Maria - "What the article doesn't say, is that I retired."
Maria - "Because...the next time I see Miki Watanabe...I will make him wish he never made my father crash...because dead people can't feel pain."
Fact file: Maria Meyer
Home course: Nurburgring Nordschleife
Specialty: RWD, the Nurburgring
Likes: trance music, thrillers, Fanta
Hates: Miki Watanabe and the fact that he isn't dead, Fox News/people who stereotype Germans
As far as I'm aware, the Mustang was actually sold in Germany in the mid/late 60s.
So it can't possibly have been the only '68 in the country for decades. Aside from that, good chapter.
Gareth and his family are Irish, not German. And seeing as Ireland wasn't a very rich place in the late 60s, not everyone could afford a Mustang.
Welcome to the world of touring car drivers. They become SO good, and then some idiot like Miki (or a dude from a later part of my story) comes up and cripples them. Good times.
Anyway, keep it up!
Chapter 17 - Time for an Epic Training Montage
# Radio presenter - "Gratuliere! Du hast ein neues Audi A3 gewonnen!" (Congratulations! You've won a new Audi A3!)
I punch the button marked "Off". Unfortunately, that broke the alarm clock.
- "Oh crap."
I looked around the room. It was still dark, and I'm not a morning person.
Maria - "Guten Morgen!"
Maria is, though.
- "I don't wanna get up!"
Maria - "Nonsense, Hiroto. Besides, you've got practice."
Standing in the doorway was Gareth, already wearing his dark green racing suit with a dark green helmet in his left hand.
Gareth - "Come on, we have to beat the traffic."
I'm still groggy.
- "Uh...what time is it?"
Maria - "Halb sechs."
I completely forgot that "halb sechs" means "5:30".
Maria - "No, not 6:30, 5:30!"
I collapse back into my bed.
Maria - "Get up!"
- " off!"
Gareth - "We don't have time for this !"
- "Well, I do!"
Maria - "You're going to be racing against a glorified gangster in a week. You need to practice!"
I had to be dragged out of bed by both Gareth and Maria.
Before long, I was sitting in Gareth's Skyline, and he was doing 320km/h on the Autobahn.
- "This is crazy!"
Gareth - "I'm not the one getting dressed while travelling at 320km/h."
He had a point.
When we arrived, we didn't go straight to the Nordschliefe. We went to the GP track.
- "Uh...why are we in the paddock of the Nurburgring GP track?"
Gareth - "Well, you will probably need to know how to handle very fast cars around the Nurburgring."
We went into what looked like an empty pit garage. No tools, no tyres, no fuel tanks, just a BMW 320i Touring Car.
- "How much horsepower does this thing have?"
Gareth - "This...is Otto Meyer's masterpiece. 260hp? that. This has been tuned to 480hp."
My mouth dropped open.
Gareth - "Hiroto, you'll catch flies with that mouth."
- "How much does it weigh?"
Gareth - "About...1,140kg. And it's on R3-grade slick tyres."
I looked inside. Usually, in a racing car, there would be 1 seat - the driver's. This car had a passenger's seat.
- "What's with the 2nd seat?"
Gareth - "That is a seat for an instructor."
- "Why's Maria not coming?"
Gareth - "The track will probably bring back some bad memories."
- "So, you're taking her place?"
Gareth - "Exactly."
- "What qualifies you to be able to teach me how to drive around here?"
Gareth - "My dad bought a house near here, as a sort of holiday home. I would spend the whole summer holidays here. When I got my license, I also got my first car."
- "What was it?"
Gareth - "You can't remember? It was the Mitsubishi you drove at Hong Kong!"
- "Oh yeah, that tin can. "
Gareth just rolls his eyes. He knows that I'm joking.
Gareth - "Whatever. I remember that there was this middle-aged guy in a really dark blue Mercedes, and he was always passing me."
- "Let me guess - Otto Meyer."
Gareth - "The thing was...he was sitting on the right. He was the passenger."
- "When was this?"
Gareth - "I started racing when I was 16, so..."
- "Ha...you're one year behind me."
Gareth - "It's rude to interrupt, you know."
- "My apologies, O' Neill-sempai."
Gareth - "*sighs* Look, do you want to learn or not?"
- "I do! Come on, when was it? When did you see the Mercedes?"
Gareth - "Every day. Every day since I first raced at the Nurburgring, in 1999."
- "Who was driving?"
Gareth - "One of them had a plain purple helmet. The other had one that looked like Michael Schumacher's."
- "You raced against..."
Gareth looks at me, as if to say, "That's one hell of a retarded question."
Gareth - "It was Karl Meyer, Otto's son and Maria's older brother, that was wearing the Michael Schumacher helmet."
- "Did you try racing against them?"
Gareth - "Whenever they came up behind me, I'd gun it. The thing was, it was the person in the purple helmet who was quicker. Plus, my car couldn't compete."
We got into the car, and drove out of the pits and almost the whole way around the GP track. Then, just before the last corner, Gareth told me to turn left.
- "Uh...there's a barrier there!"
But just as I said that, two marshals opened a gate, bringing us onto the Nordschliefe.
Gareth - "Welcome to the jungle, Hiroto."
My response was predictable.
- "Are we going to have fun and games?"
Gareth - "Don't spoil the moment, man."
The marshals closed the gate behind us.
I listen to the turbocharged engine hiss. The wheels spun as I put my foot to the floor.
Gareth - "Hey, watch out, this car's expensive!"
The laps went by. Gareth called out my time as I crossed the start/finish line each time. I can't believe he can still hold onto a 15-inch Toshiba laptop while we went over the many bumps of the Nurburgring.
Gareth - "Stay calm, Hiroto. Panic is your biggest enemy."
Gareth - "Don't take too much of the kerb!"
Gareth - "That's it, hit the apex!"
The lap times started tumbling. 7'20. 7'17. 7'15. 7'13. 7'10. I was sweating like the proverbial pig, but I was enjoying it.
I wasn't taking too much kerb in the corners. The car handled perfectly.
I got into a duel with a Calsonic Skyline.
I passed it after a lap. When I passed it, the driver waved at me.
- "What's with the wave?"
Gareth - "You're actually somewhat famous among racing drivers."
Was my white and red helmet that distinctive?
The 5-speed gearbox was limiting me to 280km/h, which became annoying after a while.
Gareth - "Ease off the throttle, you don't want to overheat the engine!"
The car rattled as I went over the kerbs, with a Pennzoil Skyline in my sights.
I put him under pressure and I was right up his exhaust. Which isn't good when they're expelling hot gases.
With less downforce, and therefore less drag, I could easily pass the Pennzoil Skyline in a drag race.
Gareth - "Just hit the apex there..."
I tried passing a Raybrig NSX...
...but, I carried too much speed into the corner and understeered.
I didn't matter, as my car was quicker on the straights.
I then passed a Loctite NSX a lap later, on the same straight that I passed the Raybrig NSX on.
Gareth - "Ride the banking!"
Gareth yelled this each time we approached Karussell.
Gareth - "Keep the car off the grass!"
My use of the kerbs had to be bad for the tyres. But it didn't matter, as I was driving out of my skin on my 10th time around.
Gareth - "Christ on ice skates, you're 6 seconds up on your last time!"
There was no time to look at the scenery. Besides, this wasn't Gareth's Mitsubishi.
Gareth - "Hey, I thought we gave up on that!"
- "I said that out loud?"
Gareth - "You also laughed, you jackass."
I did a 4-wheel drift, just like I used to do with my Skyline on the touges around Suzuka City.
I heard a loud exhaust note that wasn't coming from the BMW.
Gareth struggled to hold onto his laptop, as I went into full attack mode.
As we were about to land, I saw out of the corner of my eye that Gareth was bracing himself.
Gareth - "ARGH!"
The car landed hard. Although we had been over this bump 9 times before, I was going full throttle this time. Gareth almost dropped his laptop.
I stayed in the slipstream of the Alfa Romeo in front, which I had caught up with.
I dived down the inside of him at Kleine-Karussell. He waved his fist at me in anger.
Gareth - "I guess this guy lives his life by 'rubbing is racing'!"
At the next corner, though, I managed to lose him, thanks to what was probably the BMW's lighter weight.
However, he chose a quicker racing line, and unlike me, he hit the apex perfectly.
Over the main straight, I lost him, as the Alfa couldn't keep up with the BMW, which had been turbocharged. Still, I had to keep my foot from fully flooring it because I didn't want it to redline.
Through the last S-bends, I braked while still turning. My heart was beating rapidly.
Even though I put both right wheels on the grass, I still wasn't unnerved.
As I cross the line, Gareth checks the laptop.
Gareth - "Oh my God...Hiroto..."
I took my foot off the throttle. I could feel that the tyres were falling apart.
Gareth - "You just did...a 6'56.392. My best is a 6'58.781. You're faster than me. You did only 10 laps, and you're faster than me. Wait 'til Maria hears this..."
Just then, Gareth's phone rang. It's not a good idea to use your phone in a racing car...
After a minute, he hung up.
Gareth - "That was Maria. Otto has died."
Fact file: Gareth O'Neill
Specialty: Nurburgring, 4WD
Home track: Nurburgring Nordschliefe
Likes: Gran Turismo, Grand Theft Auto IV, Arsenal F.C., Quentin Tarantino movies, crime books, The Sopranos
Hates: The Orange Order, Disney, Chelsea F.C., Uwe Boll and his movies, South Dubliners, Anglo-Irish Bank, Rupert Murdoch
Nicely done my friend.
Chapter 18 - GT-Resurrected
- "So, what are you going to do with the ashes?"
I was completely unaware that Maria's aunt Angela doesn't speak English. I then heard someone shout my name.
- "Hey, Dad."
Maria butted in.
Maria - "Ah, Herr Matsuda, you came?"
Michio - "I was at the back."
- "Is Tanaka-san here too?"
Speak of the devil, as soon as I mentioned him he arrived.
Toru - "Michio-san, should we tell your son about our latest project?"
Michio - "The Zombie?"
- "Zombie? What the hell are you guys on about?"
Toru - "Hiroto, you've played Resident Evil, right?"
- "Yeah, and I think I've blown about 30,000 yen playing 'House Of The Dead' and its sequels as well."
Toru - "A zombie, is, by definition..."
Tanaka-san took out his iPhone, and Googled "define: zombie".
Toru - "Zombie: a dead body that has been brought back to life by a supernatural force."
- "'Supernatural force'?"
Michio - "We're that good at tuning!"
Toru turned to Maria, who was talking to her mother.
Toru - "Uh...Maria, we took a taxi here. Is there any chance you could give us a ride back to our hotel?"
Maria - "Of course, anything for my father's friends."
- "Her father's 'friends'..."
Me, Maria, Tanaka-san and my father got into Maria's Golf, and drove off to their hotel. While driving there, Dad took out his wallet.
Maria - "Why are you taking out your wallet? I'm not a taxi driver."
Michio - "No, I have something to show to my son."
I've actually never seen the inside of my father's wallet, as he's that protective of it.
- "Hey, that's me in my S14!"
Michio - "That was taken after your first ever lap of Suzuka. You were only 15 back then."
- "Of course, I came 3rd in that race."
Michio - "And that was your debut! And you knew the track off by heart without ever doing a lap of it in real life!"
Tanaka-san added his 2 cents.
Toru - "Of course, because he was watching us masters at work!"
- "And I was watching Schumacher, Hakkinen, Hill, Villeneuve..."
Michio - "Yes, but they were in F1 cars. Plus there was also the Formula GT greats, like Satoshi Ichisuda, James Goodwin and of course Ryosuke Sato and Takeshi Hunasuke. I could go on, really."
My father then took out another photo, which was folded and was behind the photo of my S14.
Michio - "Do you remember when you were 6 years old? Do you remember when we went to Italy for our summer vacation?"
Michio - "Do you remember that Tanaka-san, his wife and Kazumi-chan came too?"
Michio - "Do you remember when we went to the island of Capri?"
Toru - "Do you remember me bringing my S13 Q's?"
- "No...what's this about?"
My father unfolded the photo.
Michio - "Guess who was in the Renault."
- "Was he...Pierre Bernard?"
Michio - "Yes. Guess who was in the Silvia."
Michio - "My friend, Fuji-san, tells me that Pierre has only been challenged three times since his rallying days, and that he never lost. I'm here to say that Pierre is talking . I beat him."
- "How come I never heard about your reputation, then?"
Michio - "He paid me to stay quiet. I regret taking that money. Although $500,000 was a lot, I never knew how much I could have made from bragging about it. Fuji-san tells me I could have made millions and that there would be racing teams begging me to race for them. When I was up against Team Nightshade, there was only me and Tanaka-san."
Toru - "I was his mechanic, and he paid me handsomely."
- "But why would anyone want to face you?"
Michio - "Back in the late 80s, I had a fearsome reputation. I was 'The Silver Dragon'."
- "'Silver Dragon'?"
Michio - "My father made a lot of money by selling his rice field to a property developer. Do you know what he did with the money?"
Michio - "Well, he bought a Skyline GT-R KPGC10. I was fascinated by it. 160hp was a lot those days, for a Japanese car at least. He bought the house that we now live in."
Michio - "When the Skyline GT-R R32 V-Spec came out, I bought one. Everyone was jealous. Your mother went crazy! As for you, you went crazy in a very different way. You were captivated by it. I was so regretful when I had to sell it. It didn't matter how much your mother respected me for moving on. You were..."
- "...Distraught. I didn't understand why you sold it."
Tanaka-san butts in.
Toru - "Your mother was deep into the environment and all that crap."
Michio - "Do you remember the day you got your GT-R, Hiroto?"
- "Yes. Mom said that I had no idea how much they cost to run."
Michio - "Do you know who you bought that from?"
- "Yeah, I re-imported it from Australia."
Michio - "That's funny, because the man who bought my R32...he was Australian. His name was James Thompson, and his son was named Ronnie."
- "I borrowed a car from him!"
Michio - "Yes. Do you remember who you bought the car from?"
- "All I remember was that it was on the Australian Auto Trader website."
Michio - "Do you remember the e-mail address?"
- "Yeah, firstname.lastname@example.org..."
Michio - "That's him. You drove my old Skyline, and that little bastard Miki Watanabe tried to destroy it!"
- "What do you mean, 'tried to'?"
Maria - "We're here!"
Toru - "Maria, could you drive us to the top floor of the hotel's car park, please?"
Maria - "Sure, no problem."
- "What's on the top floor?"
After driving up 5 floors, I saw an almost-empty floor. There were some people-carriers, a few German sedans...and a Skyline GT-R R32 V-Spec.
Michio - "I've put 6 weeks of hard work into this. Tanaka-san and I spent many sleepless nights putting it back together. Your former boss, Sato-san, contributed as well."
We got out of the car. I walked slowly towards it, one step at a time. I knocked on the bonnet. Carbon fibre. I knocked on the door. Carbon fibre.
- "How much does it weigh?"
Michio - "About 1,250 kilos."
My father threw the keys at me.
- "How...did it survive?"
Michio - "The car has been completely stripped out. Only the driver's and the passenger's seats remain, and those were replacements. We've had to replace all of the panels with carbon, which Sato-san helped us with. The engine has also been swapped out and replaced with an RB26DETT from a crashed Skyline GT-R R34."
- "So, that means 340hp?"
Toru - "No, and thanks to some work from yours truly, the engine now puts out 538hp."
- "Why do I need this much power?"
Toru - "Rumours say that Miki Watanabe's NSX has around the same amount of power."
Maria - "Hiroto...you need every bit of help you can get. You are racing for my father..."
Toru - "...And my daughter..."
Michio - "...And your friend Toshi..."
- "...And my life."
Fact file: Michio Matsuda
Specialties: Touge, 4WD
Home course: Suzuka
Likes: GT-Rs, Silvias, Coca-Cola, Best Motoring
Hates: Supras, people who dismiss the GT-R for being a Nissan
It is rumoured that Michio was Japan's greatest street racer, and it is rumoured that he has raced against Keiichi Tsuchiya during the early 80s.
Fact file: Toru Tanaka
Specialties: tuning, RWD, NA cars
Home course: Suzuka
Hates: expensive European supercars and the people who drive them
Toru has been Michio's friend since high school, and the two set up their own garage after Michio received $500,000 from Pierre Bernard. Toru prefers NA cars as he likes their typically higher-revving engines. Because of this, he bought a Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86, a fact that Michio has always mocked him for.
YAY!!! The R32 is BACK!!!
Awesome chapters. Keep it going!
To quote Blue Oyster Cult "go go godzilla". It is kind of Ironic that the GT-R is known as godzilla and this GT-R rose from the sea the same way(in essence) that the giant lizard godzilla does.
Chapter 19 - This Is The End
Date: August 14th, 2009I could barely sleep last night. I had butterflies in my stomach. I woke up at 5:37am. I think that I fell asleep at around 1:30am. I walk to the bathroom, being very careful not to wake anyone else up. I squint my eyes when I turn on the lights. I look at myself in the mirror. I look like a Japanese Dave Grohl. After doing what I needed to do, I had breakfast. Two bowls of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and two slices of toast with marmalade. I look at the clock in the dim morning light. It's just past 6am. The thing is, despite having had only 4 hours of sleep, I don't feel tired. I just go back to bed anyway. Just as I'm about to settle in for a brief nap, my phone rings. It's a "private number", and I can easily guess who it is.
- "Good morning."
Miki's voice makes my skin crawl.
- "Why did you call?"
- "Just to tell you when the race starts. 9am sharp at the Nurburgring. One lap of the Nordschleife."
- "Okay, right, I'm hanging up no-"
- "No one hangs up on Miki Watanabe! Especially if they're a woman!"
I hear a muffled scream and a dull thud which sounded like someone being punched.
- "What was that?!"
- "You listen to me! When I beat you, you're going to die. My good friend Mikhail has killed that traitor Franz, and I would love to see him reduce you to a cold, lifeless, still corpse. And when I beat you...Kazumi and I are going to have a little...party. Oh, and I'll kill that waste of flesh that's known as Toshi Sagata."
I hear another muffled scream.
- "What are your terms?"
- "If you win, you get your friends back and, as is custom for Team Nightshade's races, my car, my NSX."
- "And if you win?"
- "I get to burn you alive inside your car. Sayonara, Hiroto."
He hangs up. I suddenly realise what I'm up against. I also realise that if I lose that I would die a painful death. I feel sick. I lean out of my bedroom's window, and I puke. I collapse back into my bed.
Maria - "HIROTO! WAKE UP!"
- "What time is it?"
Maria - "Funf nach sieben."
- "In English, please?"
Gareth - "Five past seven."
I get up. I am in no mood to be dragged out of bed. I get dressed, and walk out the door. Just as I'm about to head out the door of the building, Maria shouts my name.
Maria - "Hiroto, wait!"
Maria - "I just wanted to say 'happy birthday'."
She hands me a gun.
- "What's this for?"
Maria - "Miki Watanabe is a murdering piece of . I wouldn't go up against him without something to protect myself, and you shouldn't either."
I don't tell her that today could be my last day as a living, breathing human. Just as I was walking along the street on my way to the car park where my Skyline was parked, Gareth caught up with me.
Gareth - "We're coming with you."
- "There's no point. I have to do this alone."
Maria - "Please, Hiroto! We want to support you! We want to be in your corner!"
Gareth - "We're your friends, man. Isn't this what friends do?"
I just walk off. I hear Gareth sigh.
Gareth - "What's gotten into him?"
Life is a blur at 300km/h. My car is terrorising the autobahnen while I watch the German countryside go by. The RB26DETT is inaudible over the whoosh the car makes as it hits the air at speeds the Devil Z could only dream of. I try not to think of the consequences of me losing. I don't want to think about my charred body floating alongside Toshi's in the Rhine. I don't want to think of Miki's planned "party" with Kazumi.
I brake violently as I spot a sign for the off-ramp that would lead me to the Nurburgring. All that remains of the journey are the back roads.
As I throw the car around the turns, the radio plays a very appropriate song:
Tears well up in my eyes. I'm sitting inside the car which may very well be my coffin.
I listen to the engine roar as I enter the tunnels. I never knew that an engine could sound sad. I try to stop myself from crying. I listen to the engine's lonesome noise through the tunnels, ignoring the cars that are being passed. How could it come down to this? How has this race become a matter of life and death?
I hear the exhaust belch flames as I downshift using the flappy-paddle gearbox that replaced the old one.
Then I see this sign. I have arrived at my destination. Almost immediately after signing in for the 9am race, a marshal installs a radio into my car, so I can communicate with the other drivers. I'm told that qualifying has ended and that I'll start at the back. It's only when I leave the pits that I realise what I'm up against.
- "Welcome to GT TV's Amateur Series! We're just seconds away from the start of the 9am race!"
I wonder how many people are actually watching this.
# TVR driver - "Nice Datsun, chav!"
Do I look like I drive a Vauxhall Corsa?
- "So, Miki Watanabe, of Team Nightshade, leads the pack as they go over the line to start the race!"
- "This is so unfair!"
- "And it's go, go, go!"
- "Save your Murray Walker impersonations for your stag nights!"
- "Oh dear! Matsuda's understeered! Hiroto Matsuda, of course, has the only 4WD in the field - what will that do for tyre durability?"
- "GODDAMMIT YOU'RE SO GODDAMN ANNOYING!"
I actually have to listen to this tool while I drive. And I can't talk back to him!
- "Ladies and gentlemen, Watanabe is running away with this race! Steiner in the Nardo W12 can barely keep up!"
- "Wait a moment! Matsuda is passing Maxwell Parker in the TVR! The Nissan's up to 5th!"
# TVR driver - "Damn you you bloody chav!"
- "Is that all you got, Maxwell?"
What sort of parent names their kid Maxwell?
- "The Skyline has cemented 5th place! Now, onto the Cadillac of Lance Tucker!"
- "I can do this, I can do this!"
I tried willing myself on.
- "Come on, don't let Miki win!"
- "Oh my word, the Japanese is already on the back of Tucker! That Skyline sure is fast."
# Cien driver - "Around the outside? You son of a bitch!"
- "Amazing! Matsuda has the Cien behind him now! That Skyline is incredible!"
- "Matsuda is driving like a man possessed!"
- "More like a man repossessed..."
- "And now he's onto the Germans, Steiner in the VW and Kahn in the SLR!"
# Nardo W12 driver - "Was die Holle? Ein Nissan?" (What the hell? A Nissan?)
# SLR driver - "Marcus, es ist ein Skyline GT-R! Es is sehr schnell!" (Marcus, it's a Nissan Skyline GT-R! It's very fast!)
As I learned a bit of German from Maria and her tapes of her father racing in the DTM, I knew what the meant.
- "Thanks for the compliments, it is fast isn't it?"
I slam on the brakes just before Aremburg. The car remains incredibly steady.
- "Amazing! Matsuda has kept up with those German supercars!"
- "Whatever, kiss-ass!"
# SLR driver - "Mein Gott! Du bist verrueckt!" (Oh my God! You're crazy!)
- "Hey, kamikaze moves are my style."
- "I think Matsuda's exhaust is pretending to be a dragon!"
# Nardo W12 driver - "Why are you so fast?!"
- "Matsuda has passed Steiner! Now there's only his countryman, Watanabe, left!"
# - "Fine, Hiroto...if you want a fight...I'll gladly give you one."
- "How long will the NSX last?"
- "It all comes down to this...the Skyline and the NSX..."
I didn't care if Miki had the road-going version of the Honda NSX LM, which won the 2004 and 2005 GT World Championship Class A title. My skills made up for any disadvantages this Skyline may have.
- "I'll enjoy watching you burn!"
- "I'm better than you, Miki! I've beaten you before! And I'll beat you again!"
- "First, you have to pass me!"
- "What demons are possessing Matsuda? He's throwing the car into the corners, but it still sticks!"
- "You can't run forever, Miki!"
- "Watanabe is fighting an impossible battle!"
- "Matsuda's now forcing him into mistakes! There must be some bad blood between these two!"
- "The GT-R's lining up behind the NSX! Watanabe is in trouble!"
- "Matsuda's trying to push his way through!"
Then I see a marshal wave a blue flag. I have to give up that attack.
- "Oh dear, what a shame...the lead could have changed hands."
- "Wait a minute! Matsuda's going around the outside! He's made his move!"
Did you really think I was going to give away the result this early in the race?
Fact file: Kazumi Tanaka
Age: 23 (24 in October)
Home course: Suzuka
Likes: her Skyline, her old Silvia, Italian food, old PS1 games (especially Gran Turismo 1 & 2), Hiroto
Hates: Miki, perverts (actually, those last two are kind of the same), FWD, anything that takes a long time
Fact file: Toshi Sagata
Home course: Suzuka
Specialty: You gotta be kidding me
Likes: cars in general, Call of Duty, fast food, sleeping, tuning
Hates: Miki, losing all of the time
Sweet. I await the next chapter, I really hope Miki chooses to be a bitch after the race is over, so Hiroto has an excuse to kill his murdering, lecherous ass.
AAAAHHHH atleast let it get to the start finish line.
Chapter 20 - This Is The End - Conclusion
- "Wait a minute! Matsuda's going around the outside! He's made his move!"
Miki slammed the left-hand side of my Skyline in a desperate attempt to keep the lead.
- "Matsuda's on the grass, he must yield!"
- "Goddammit! cheat!"
- "I think Watanabe is going to start to really frustrate Matsuda now..."
He doesn't know the half of it.
# - "Face it, Hiroto. You can't pass me because I'm the best driver there is and ever will be!"
- "I WILL NOT LET YOU KILL ME!"
- "That mid-engine layout of the NSX is helping it through the corners. Matsuda must find somewhere to pass Watanabe!"
- "I need to use this slipstream to my advantage..."
- "And now Matsuda is slipstreaming Watanabe! This is exciting!"
The W12's driver decided to have a word with me.
# Nardo W12 driver - "Hey, Matsu-whatever, I can still see you!"
- "It's Matsu-DA! And yes, it is annoying stuck behind this assmunch!"
# - "Assmunch? That's not what Kazumi's said la-"
I despise that evil voice.
- "SHUT THE UP!!!"
I can't stay in Miki's slipstream forever. Especially seeing as that screws up your tyres.
- "Matsuda must be starting to lose some grip in the tyres by now..."
I had already done half a lap. Although I had caught up to Miki easily...it's as if he waited for me. It's as if he held back.
- "Matsuda's been forced off the racing line! Watanabe's got the speed and he's got the racing line, and Matsuda hasn't!"
There was something holding me back. If I were to take both of us out, I'm sure that the next thing I know is that I'll be in a shallow grave, which isn't a nice thought.
- "Again, the NSX is showing its prowess in the corners!"
- "But it's impossible for Watanabe to shake Matsuda!"
- "You've got no chance, no chance in Hell, Matsuda!"
He laughs as if he's Heath Ledger's version of the Joker.
Again, the exhaust spits fire as I downshift using the flappy-paddle gearbox. I think I should rename my exhaust Charizard - my brother Kenji would love it.
- "I've got to find somewhere where I can pass!"
- "There's no way Watanabe can hold off Matsuda if he makes an error!"
- "Come on, Godzilla!"
- "It may be 16 years old, but that Skyline is making that NSX soil itself!"
- "And that's one hell of a hard bump!"
Despite the downforce that my rear wing provided, I still took a really nasty bump. But I didn't care - the adrenaline in my veins dulled the pain.
- "Watanabe has the advantage in the corners, but Matsuda is tearing him to shreds on the straights!"
- "Just 40 seconds, and then...the long back straight...you can't hold me off forever Miki..."
Nardo W12 driver - "Mein Gott...I can feel the hatred between the drivers of those two cars..."
- "Oh dear! A misjudgment by Matsuda! His car has oversteered!"
- "Damn it! Come on! I'm not going to die! I'M NOT GOING TO DIE!!!"
- "Wait a minute! Matsuda is alongside Watanabe! This will be big!"
- "Matsuda's using the banking on Kleine-Karussell He has the racing line!"
- "NO! NO! How the is this happening!"
- "Matsuda has perfectly outbraked Watanabe! And now he's pulling away, and the Skyline has clean air for the long back straight!"
- "Come on, just 3 kilometres to go! Come on! I need you Godzilla!"
- "It's over...I have nothing left..."
Miki then contacted his team-mate, Mikhail.
- "Mikhail...prepare Plan B."
Mikhail - "Understood."
- "Watanabe can't hold that VW behind forever!"
# Nardo W12 - "Now you'll see the power of 600 wild German pferden! "(pferden = horses)
- "Matsuda's being reeled in by the VW! And Tucker, in the Cien, is catching up to Watanabe!"
# Nardo W12 - "Come on! You may have passed the NSX, but you can't keep me behind!"
I moved over to the right slightly.
- "It's a good thing for Matsuda that we don't use the one move rule here!"
# Nardo W12 - "What's the use...a great driver shouldn't lose because his car is slower..."
The Nardo's driver resigned himself to 2nd.
- "And now, they're rounding the last three corners! Matsuda's famous braking skills will easily compensate for it's lack of top speed!"
- "And it seems that Watanabe will come home in a disappointing 4th place...a shame, too, as he was on pole."
#- "You may win this battle, you piece of ...but don't worry...I'll win the war."
I was frightened by this cryptic message.
- "Matsuda wins! Matsuda wins, with Steiner 2nd, Tucker 3rd, and it looks as if Watanabe will be 4th..."
I didn't care what happened to the TVR (which suffered from a brake malfunction) and the SLR McLaren. All that mattered was this:
1. H. Matsuda - JPN - Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec R32
As I drove back to the pits, I approached Miki's NSX. But just as I was about to knock on its back window, it sped off, into the...well, I can't say night. So, I went back to my garage. I noticed a small parcel in my holdall which I had kept in a locker provided by the track. I unwrapped it, and found 4 cartridges for a .22 pistol. I check my gun. It's a .22. I notice a slip of paper stuffed inside one of the cartridges. It says:
Remember us? Shiro and Michel? Well, we have had our disagreements with Miki. Shiro thinks that Miki is leading Team Nightshade down a path which we cannot reverse out of. We don't want to be gangsters. We have formally split with Team Nightshade. We know that Miki has been planning your demise for quite some time. We cannot consciously allow a fellow racer - even one who has, for want of a better word, humiliated us in front of many spectators - be murdered. It's kill or be killed. From what we know, Mikhail Kalashnikov owns a disused warehouse along Rotwald Trail, and that's where we think your friends are being kept. Through your friend Maria we have supplied you with a gun, and forgetting that you needed cartridges, we delivered this parcel to you. All we can say is: good luck. You'll need it.
It's quiet. Eerily quiet. I'm now wearing my normal civilian clothes, which I was wearing before my race against Miki. I get out of my car, making sure to bring my gun and the 4 cartridges with me. I look around the warehouse. No guards. And then, I see it. Miki's NSX. I clench my fists. There is nothing more I would like to do than to kill Miki. But I don't want to stoop down to his level. I check the .22 pistol, to see if it's loaded. It is. 12 rounds. I actually have some experience with guns. Back in college I was in a paintball club. And of course, I spent so many hours playing the likes of "House of the Dead" or "Ghost Squad". I really wish that it hadn't come to this. But sometimes things get out of hand.
After reaching the warehouse, I peer inside. There's no-one there. The door is unlocked. The warehouse is dark. I see some lighting, but it's actually just strategically placed flashlights. There are rows of stacked crates, cardboard and broken ceramic tiles around me. The ground is cold, hard concrete. I would not like to be slammed into that. As I move closer to the other end of the warehouse, there are smashed glass bottles. There is a worn-down baseball bat, with flecks of blood on it. As I stand next to it, I notice dents. Someone has obviously been bludgeoned by it. Could that have been used on my friends? As I reached the end of the aisle of packaging, I notice a rotting, wooden door to my left. I walk over. Just as I was about to turn the handle, I hear footsteps. They were muffled, soft, and sounded as if the wearer was using sponges for shoes. In other words, racing shoes. And that means one thing...
*gun being cocked*
- "Good morning."
I turn around. I'm staring straight at Miki. He has greasy, straight, jet-black hair. He isn't smiling, he's smirking, smirking as if he was about to engage in an activity that he would find very pleasurable.
- "Any last words?"
- "Why what?"
- "Why Kazumi? Why Toshi?"
- "You don't know anything about warfare, do you? Especially when it's of my personal favourite, the psychological kind."
- "Why? Why did you have to take them?"
- "Answer me this: why did you have to take Kazumi?"
- "I didn't take her!"
- "Really? I beg to differ."
- "It was her choice!"
- "We were in love! And you...you turned her against me!"
- "You have done that yourself! Look at you...you were my friend! We were friends! Don't you remember that? Those late nights spent duelling just for fun on the touges, on the racetracks, those days we spent killing zombies in the arcade or playing Street Fighter and Tekken! Those days were we, me, you, Kazumi, Toshi, where we would just hang out and relax? You were my friend. But then...you changed..."
- "Friendship is what defines weakness! You're only friends with someone so you can achieve a goal which alone you cannot!"
- "Exactly! We became racers together! You made jokes about Nissan, I would make jokes about Honda...we were friends! That's what friends do!"
- "Friendship is something gay little kids sing about in pre-school. You're only friends with someone so you can achieve a goal which alone you cannot...at your current level! When you're alone, you have more motivation. You work harder to achieve the same result as those that work together. I am a lone wolf. Mikhail, Dmitri, Chun...they were all just cheerleaders. Assistants. Friends hold you back from achieving your true potential. friendship. Now...say hi to Hitler for me."
Miki pulled the trigger. I prepared to say goodbye. But nothing happened. Miki kept pulling the trigger. Nothing happened. Miki looked in the barrel.
- "Why won't you work?!"
Then, it does. The bullet goes right through his left eye, through his brain, and exits out the back of his head. He falls back, as if in slow-motion. He hits the floor, head-first. I check his pulse. He's dead. I check the rotting door, and I bust it open. Lying on a soiled mattress was a crippled Toshi.
Toshi - "Hiroto...is that you..."
His face is bruised. I try picking him up, and he screams.
- "What's wrong?"
Toshi - "My legs...they're broken..."
- "Where's Kazumi?"
Toshi - "The next room...I think..."
He collapses back onto the mattress. I exit the damp, cockroach-infested room which Toshi occupies. I find a padlocked door next to the door of Toshi's room. I try kicking it down.
As you could probably tell, it wasn't successful. Using my whole body, I tried ramming the door down. I end up crippling my right shoulder for a minute or so. I had an idea. I go back to Miki's corpse. I notice the flies have already claimed his corpse as their territory. I search his pockets, and take out a ring of keys. I walk back to the thick door. I try each of the keys, and eventually after much fumbling I manage to get a key with the Mugen logo stamped on it to fit in the padlock. I push the door open using all my strength. The room had a dusty desk and two metal filing cabinets. The desk had a name plate on it that has long since been vandalised and now says "Miki Watanabe, Babe Magnet." As if to prove that this was Miki's room, the desk was covered in old Playboy magazines. I look over the desk. Lying there, almost lifeless, on a relatively dry mattress compared to Toshi's, was Kazumi. I try shaking her.
She makes a quiet moaning noise. She's alive.
She opens her eyes, slowly.
Kazumi - "Hiroto? Where's Toshi?"
- "He's in the next room."
For a woman who has spent two months in captivity, she looks remarkably well. She isn't a size zero, for starters.
- "Do you need any help getting up?"
Kazumi - "No...I'm fine."
She grunts as she gets back on her feet. As soon as she does that, she hugs me.
Kazumi - "Thank you..."
- "You're welcome..."
Date: October 14th, 2009
Location: Hiroto's apartment, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan
Gareth is noticing a picture I have framed on my wall.
Gareth - "Is that you beating Miki?"
- "Someone in our class had a camera phone, so they took a picture, and I asked them to send it to me afterward."
Gareth - "So, this is a nice place you got here."
Kazumi - "Yeah, but I keep telling Hiroto it's only big enough for 2!"
Gareth - "So, Hiroto, I heard about your new job..."
- "Racing for the Calsonic Formula Pacific team?"
Gareth - "You never told me that you were a karting legend when you were younger."
- "I never really seen it as important. I mean, I drive a Skyline, so I thought I was going to be in Super GT and the likes."
Kazumi - "Think about it, Hiroto...first Formula Pacific..."
- "...Then Formula GT...mwahahahahahahahahahah..."
Kazumi - "Uh...what was that about?"
- "I'm not sure. I guess I just wanted to have an evil moment. And to go to the bathroom."
After doing my business, I washed my hands and noticed an empty tube of toothpaste.
- "What's that doing here? This is going in the bin."
I stepped on the pedal of the bin, and the lid flung open. I notice something. A long, plastic object with a blue part at one end. I notice in the middle that there's a blue + symbol.
- "I think that's why she's got sick this morning..."
I bang my head off the wall. I'm going to be a dad. Whoop-de-doo.
Fact file: Hiroto Matsuda
Home course: Suzuka
Specialty: 4WDs, learning courses quickly, braking
Likes: His Skyline, arcade games, paintballing, modern rock music (e.g. Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers), the Gran Turismo series, PlayStation, computers
Hates: Toyota Supras, Honda NSXs, Forza, Xbox 360
All unedited images (i.e. images that contain 1 or more cars or elements which require photoshopping, e.g. engine smoke) are the intellectual property of driftking18594. That's gotta count for something, right?
Special thanks to drvac for his awesome photo editing skills.
And special thanks to all those who commented on this story. Without you guys, I really wouldn't have the will to post more chapters. If it weren't for you guys, Hiroto's story would remain unfinished. I'm planning a sequel for Hashiriya, if the interest is there. But it will have to wait until I can get a PS3.
Time for some Blue Oyster Cult outro
(hits play and "Godzilla" comes on)
Looked down the barrel of a loaded gun and pulled the trigger... A disgraceful end for a disgraceful man. I can't think of a single better way for a scum of the earth to go. And Hiroto is going to be a father. A Supra hater deserves such a fate.
EPIC FAIL!!! Well, he deserved it, for being such a goddamn cheater.
Great end to the story. It was absolutely amazing! *Starts to read the whole story again*
Unfortunately there was a small syntax error about color and bold tags...
One Question: What about the bodies found in Hiroto's R32?
Good question, eagle-eyed reader. They were taken out so autopsies could be performed, and they were later repatriated to their home countries.