Y.O.T.B.R. - Finale + Epilogue

  • Thread starter Anathema
United States
Heaven's Fence
Justin Jectlol
Year of the Black Rainbow:

Hello, and welcome to the third volume of the fan fiction “Pain & Heaven”. This volume is a slight departure from the previous two volumes – in this one, none of the main characters from anything previous but Kenji appear much, if at all (unless they have died.)

This volume follows the path of two men and their attempts to reconcile the demons of their past by forging a new chapter for themselves in their lives – while also dealing with the mysterious organization known as “Wind Stars”, which ,for reasons unknown, wants to see them both fail.

If you haven't kept up to date, you need to know a few things.

~John van Druten, the greatest driver of the age, and maybe of all time, is dead. His wife, Emily, and daughter, Yune, are still living, keeping their memories alive.

~Han Tzu has taken the power that shattered in the wake of John's death and made it into his own. He is basically the ruler of all things racing – that aren't controlled by the FIA, such as Formula One.

~Kenji Yamamoto has vowed to avenge John's death, but he is beginning to find that the Veracity organization, headed by Han, is his biggest visible opponent. His biggest invisible opposition is the Wind Stars organization, dedicated rulers of the racing underworld.



The first words that came to my mind when I heard about my old friend being dead were... “He gave me my... Camaro.”
The strength of his memory and the car itself gave me the courage... to chronicle his footsteps as one of his few close friends.

I wasn't going to write a book about his failures and faults, like so many others had already done. The only way to accurately write about him... was to figure out the path he had taken.

Which meant... Becoming a racer again. Not like before, with a deathtrap of a old car. No, this time... I would get the skills I needed... to show John that I had been a true friend. Yet... I had lost contact with him for five years, and I only knew of his fate through the local news station. A pity that I had to rely on that.

I also gleaned many facts about John that I had never known before. He left behind a wife and child – and he had sworn to me that he would never marry. Funny how it goes on like that – life is a fickle bastard that loves to throw you curveballs with unerring repetition.

I am... Rick Robledo.
I am... the one true friend John had left before he became famous.
I am... ready... to show the love I had for my friend...


Chapter One: Time (Once Again)

Location: Trial Mountain, Dapplering, Wyoming, USA.
Date: 5/10/11

#And now, will the silver Camaro please commence your run...

Whoosh. The thrum of the V8 engine's growl was like the sound of angels to me... but I'm sure that most people would think I'm a fanboy of Harley-Davidson bikes.

Wrong. Those are loud, obnoxious noiseboxes that piss me off to no end.

This engine, though... is the sound of angels.


I remember a little of the past here.

I wrecked my old Z29 Camaro here. That wreck cost me three years of my life I'll never get back – all spent in rehab. I gained a dour outlook after I realized what I had wasted. I bounced around until I realized that I had had this still sitting at John's cousin Rex's shop.

Poor man. Died of a heart attack last year. A lot of people attended his funeral – almost as many as were at John's.

The great men of the Druten line are dead.




And there's the turn that did it all.

What... a pitiful existence I lead.



After completing my lap count for the day – I headed home. Not like I set a record, or there is any reason to stick around.

When will I ever begin my dream again? Never is the most distinct possibility.


The former Druten Eifel complex.

I sat... staring at the cordoned-off remains of the place where my family perished... all because of the hate for the greatest driver the world has ever known.

Life... doesn't seem fair anymore. To anyone.
And here... is where my life came to a shattered halt.
Amid the wreckage sits my one-time love, the white Subaru STI I owned.

The one that John had bought for me.

How much I miss him... and my family.


“Is Requiem still in a coma?”

“Yes. He still doesn't respond to outside stimuli. And we don't want to have to resort to the method we used for you, Sage.”

“It took a lot of work to bring me back... that much I know. The people who did all the work, they're in the Dictator's employ.”

“So... you're saying that if we want to make Requiem well again, we need to overthrow him.”

“No, Rose. You of all people know the risk of genetics, gene splicing, stimuli from genes, and bio-genesis. You're a scientist with a taste for racing, but... speaking from personal experience at the hands of the KGB's deep science division... It won't work. There's always a trigger that returns people to this world... from wherever they go.”

“You've given me much to think about, Sage. I'll keep you updated. Midnight Rose out.”

Disgruntled about how I had to rethink my past, I gave the pipe a long drag.

“The world... doesn't realize... who's really controlling things. I don't believe in magic, or the guiding hand of fate, but... As I know it, the world will become a battleground.”

“All sides looking for the one thing that all people are driven to... domination over others. As it is in the racing world, so it shall be in the whole world.”

I got into the Honda and began the trek back to the Installation.

Fin Chapter One

Couple notes:

The Mourning Sage and the Midnight Rose are part of the Wind Stars organization - these are the only two members whose identity will be revealed in the next chapter. The full number of members is in this volume; they will remain unidentified for the foreseeable future.

The Midnight Rose is NOT Emily, though.

Hope you will enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it.
Last edited:
The update screwed up the perfect handling it had, plus I'm not a big fan of the newer Subies in general. I like the GC8 body style...
Great start.

I know this sounds off-topic, but a lot of GT fanfics do seem to have the same basic plot. I guess it's creating interesting characters which can make a GT fanfic great.
Mine may end up slightly different than you imagine...

I think the issue you mentioned arises from the basic concept of GT fanfics - they revolve around cars and racing. It's limiting. I'm trying to be less of that, more of the fight between people kind of thing - you'll just have to see what's being planned, though.

I think the planned endings of this volume and the next will be a bit of a shock.
The ending of the last one wasn't what you'd call standard GTP fanfic procedure either. :P I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes, and it's off to a great start. 👍
Chapter Two: Normalacy (Anything But...)

I drove home to my 'house', if you can call a trailer in a trailer park a house. It was functional enough to keep me sheltered, and the Camaro.

Only thing I could truly call my own was the house – the car wasn't mine. John had given me my true love...

And I could never pay him back.

The lyrics to a Queensryche song popped into my head again...

I have so much more to say, my brother.
Can you hear me?
A fool is left to live as the brave ones fall.
I swear if I were able,
I would have done the same for you.
But now you're gone and I wish I were too...

Why, dear God, why?


Location: Tokyo, Route 246. WFMZ-TV (69News), Japan.

“Police reports place the shooting occurring at around 5:24 AM – the witnesses say that a black sedan drove up to the side of the Nissan, a window rolled down, and three shots were fired at Mr. Kobayashi. Whether this has any connection to his son, the Formula One driver, is unknown.

What is known is that the black car appeared to have been a German BMW M5, probably the 2005 model. What that car's significance is is entirely unknown, but the police suspect members of the Yazuka were involved.”

How... ignorant... these people have become. The Yazuka pales in comparison to the extent of my operations – spreading throughout the world.

But, due to my high standing in the world today, I have to deal with the petty bureaucrats and men who believe they rule their own little section of the world.

No. I rule now. China... birthed me into the Communist system. I escaped it, but realized that capitalism is still just as bad – conflict will never end in this world. The fight between men is inevitable – it is just how we are.

I aim to change that. Through the use of genetics... I believe that the natural enmity between people can be removed. Which is why I was meeting with three of the world's top scientists in the former Mosohito company's HQ.

The man – his name was Enrique Sunsanio – had arrived first, and proceeded to explain to me that the human race as a whole has the same tendencies wherever you go. He said that it can be done – as in removing the natures I don't want – but it could take some time.

The first woman – Naomi Hunter – came second, and also proceeded to explain to me that the science of life can be limited, especially by time. You can't just expect to have things done in a day, and I do understand that.

The second woman, a Russian named Rosalina Alexandrov, appeared to have the most positive outlook and appeared to have an understanding of how to go about changing genetic code the way I required.

This led me to believe... the people she works for... are already dabbling in this science extensively. Whether they would challenge me on this issue was unknown.

“Well... I've listened to the three of you. I want to know... what is your opinion on this... topic... I've approached... you with?”

“If you mean... the morals of this... then I don't have a problem with it. If it needs to be done for the sake of progress, it can and will be done.”

“I share the same opinion as Mr. Susanio.”

“And you, Mrs. Alexandrov?”

She took a long time to respond, so I took as that as either a sign of taking time to think... or as avoiding the question.

“Mr. Tzu... I happen to think it depends on the usage. If you're using it for pure science for the sake of science... then I'm generally fine with it. If you're using it to change others against their will... I've seen the results firsthand what happens if it goes wrong.”

I sat back, thinking about that possibility.

“And... what did exactly happen?”

“The subject turned into a vessel for pure hate and anger. He killed eight scientists in the most horrible way before being finally removed.”

“And you haven't ventured into that field anymore since then?”

“No. Despite the wishes of the KGB, the installation was shut down.”

“...You all have given me much to think about. I will contact you to see what my decision is on the matter – whether to pursue or not.”

They all filed out in an orderly line, and after a good bit of time... I summoned my lieutenant.

“You caught all of it, Rican?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And... what is your opinion on the three?”

“The man is willing and able to work with you. The first woman is as well. The second... She's been... hit hard... by experiments in this before – I recognized the symptoms of reconstructive surgery on her legs. They looked... non-prosthetic, but... not entirely human, either. My best guess is that she won't oppose you, but neither will she help you.”

My thoughts exactly... Douglas Rican has an incredible mind for picking up the smallest things that I miss. Like the... bionic... legs. I wouldn't have ever seen the signs of that.

“I happen to agree... And maybe you could find out about Mrs. Alexandrov's new legs. They're very... lifelike. Maybe the Russians have developed a special bionic program... and one they've kept hidden from the rest of the world.”

“I'll have a tail set on her.”


I suppose... I guessed correctly.

I also lied incredibly well. One of the skills I had to develop, despite the issues that come with it.
He was looking... to try to experiment... in the methods that had cost us so dearly.
All the failed treatments and experiments... and we still had no success.

Technically, we were able to animate one subject... but he had been frozen in a cryogenic chamber like the one Mr. Freeze had his wife placed in – and I am a fan of Batman, despite being born and raised in Russia. He was the only superhero who didn't have any superpowers... and I admired that, I guess. He was just a normal one...

Like most of us. There are those who are... different. The people with syndromes. Their world viewpoint is different than the rest of the world's.

Reanimating the one man, though... cost us all a little bit. He retained all of his personality... and all of the sorrow he had in him.

He became known as the Mourning Sage – his codename in the Russian Special Forces from when he served them.

And... He formed a group with those who were like him. Mourning... Broken... Torn to pieces.
He contacted me after a while... Realizing that I was the only person who showed him kindness during our... work... on him and his body.

You might think this is the stuff of mystics and the science of alchemy... but... we were able... to bring a dead man... to life.

There were certain... requirements for reanimation. The foremost... was the want... to come back. The Sage had it. And he still does – otherwise, he would have committed suicide. Strong constitution – able to deal with the death of his wife, daughter, and his best friend during his time.

I got in my daily driver and headed back toward the airport, where I'd be taking a private plane back to the research facility.

There... is still work... unfinished... that calls me... to finish it.

Fin Chapter Two

Bit of a departure, you might think? Oh yes. Always something I had planned out - that in the world I've created in the mind's eye... development of technology had gone far enough to bring the dead to life again.

Odd and hard to wrap around your mindset, I'm sure.

You will see how this pans out, though... and if it backfires or not.

I also suggest checking out the song "If I Were King" by Queensryche. Really... simply amazing.
Great chapter, although I'm finding it hard to wrap my head around the idea of genetics being involved in racing...
Great chapter, although I'm finding it hard to wrap my head around the idea of genetics being involved in racing...

EXACTLY what I said. I read/listened to a few articles and guest speakers at a pre-college course at my local university, and I remember the one man saying something that was heavily related to using genetics to make people better than they are... Of course, it is all theoretical.

Metal Gear Solid had something related to this, and that led into the inclusion of genetics and how controversial they are into my story.

You'll see what happens with this issue. Just like all of the other controversial issues that have managed to work their way into the story.
Could be a slight delay in the next chapter's release for one very simple reason...

That hurricane thingy that's heading up the East Coast.

Might lose internet (highly probably) and power as well.
The important thing right now FE10 is you, your family and friends being safe because of the hurricane. We can wait for the next chapter.
Just an update (posting from my local library):

I may have not have power until Wednesday of the coming week. The water came back on today, thankfully.

Our house wasn't hit, although the one pine tree did chew up a bit of the yard while missing our little tree that's growing.
The people to the next of us had two trees land in their pool and one take off a corner of their house, and the people at the end of the road had a telephone pole shatter and land in their yard.

We were pretty well off compared to the rest of the area - Hamilton Twp. basically had about 50-100 trees fall in the space of five square miles - our entire town only had 13 fall.

Hopefully will be posting it soon (I've had time to write - AMAZING.)
I also suggest checking out the song "If I Were King" by Queensryche. Really... simply amazing.

Speaking of amazing music, though not to everyone's taste, I'd recommend listening to some of Slipknot's work. In between the shouting and heavy distortion, there's some very interesting lyrics, quite a bit of marxist stuff. Disturbed is similar on that basis.
Power's been back on since late Saturday night, water is still under a boil advisory however.

New chapter is almost done, just have to get the pics to my USB and onto Photobucket.
Chapter Three: Sled Dogs.

Location: Route Ten.
Date: Janaury 26th, 2011.

Time: 8:30 PM

(From the Sage's POV-)

I sped down the highway of Route Ten – or X, as the common name for the area was.
It was a superhighway built to ease the traffic flow in Japan's Wangan highway system – and it was perfect for illegal street racing.

The longest section was at least three miles long, probably even more. I'd never actually measured it, but I knew one of the team members had documented it. For drag racing purposes.

I'd never driven on the route before, but... The new car was begging to be tested for top speed.

Audi... had created a beautiful machine. I could have had the 5.2 liter version, but... power isn't everything. I thought that the theory of lower power usually results in a slightly easier-to-drive car. Ironic, then, that my specific car when tuned to my specifications made 558 horsepower – more than the 5.2 version comes with normally.

I didn't ask for much when I required a new car to use for our operations – I'd learned not to ask for much anymore. Comes with the job as the head of Wind Stars.

The R&D team did a fantastic job creating this build for me, and I've been putting it to good use ever since I got it...

I never had tried pushing the Audi to find the top speed, but...

200 MPH... came and went.

Shocking, how far I'd come in only a scant 8 years of professional racing, three in the Super GT
series as a driver for a private racing team at the helm of a Supra. The new car that was in development for Honda, though... was a shocker to everyone, because it hadn't even been released as a mass-market car – or even as a car for sale to anyone.

My idol in the series had always been John van Druten – the guy was a god at racing. His white Mobil 1 NSX always signaled fear and awe when it showed up for events in the Super GT calendar. Or, at least, the few times I raced against him.

Five times was the full amount I was able to share with my idol – and I was destroyed by the white NSX every single time. He would manage to pressure me into making mistakes, and then he'd take advantage of that.

I took some training with a few ex-F1 drivers on the subject of opponent pressure after the fifth time, and eventually learned to pressure others myself.

I would have had the chance to try to beat my idol with my new knowledge... but he was killed before I had the chance to prove to him that...

I really don't know what I would have proved to him. It's something that comes up in my mind every time I think of it. It eats away at me... and I don't think I can ever get away from it all.

Unless the special project we've undertaken works.



I plunked down to watch the TV, seeing if anything caught my eye... anything to take away the blues.

An advertisement caught my eye, and I picked up the phone and called the 1-800 number.

“Hello, this is New Stars Racing Academy. Please state your name and why you've called us.”

“This is Ricky Robledo, and I noticed that you had a TV ad for people to compete in a racing league?”

“Yes. It's an experiment designed to see if the best talent can be found even in the streets. Very similar to the GT Academy.”

“I've heard of that... Where do I sign up? Need something to do.”

“We'll send you an e-mail with the form and the required items we need.”

I gave the woman my e-mail, and then hung up.

Probably a scam or spam, but just maybe... I can do something with my life.


Little did I know that in Japan... someone was doing the same as I was.


Tachibana Family House;


“Kenji, come ON! You need to do SOMETHING to support me!”

“...🤬 off, I'm in the middle of a match.”

“Please... for my sake, and the baby's.”

After John's death... Kenji had been unable to achieve his vow to avenge my husband. Instead, he had begun to loaf around and do next to nothing but play Black Ops. I had managed to find a job to support myself and Yune, but the only sources of income for the Tachibanas were the parents working to try to support Ryo, Sanaki, and Kenji.

All Kenji had been able to do was get Sanaki pregnant, even though they weren't married or even engaged. Speaking of engaged, I had managed to find love again. A former driver in the Super GT series named David Alexander had managed to capture my heart.

He wasn't anything near what John was as a driver – or as a man. But he understood that, and accepted the costs that came with being in love with me. I me him at the company I work for now – Honda. I work in the sales and management, he works as a test driver.

It's nice, being in love again. No one... can replace John in my life, though. David understands that fully – and he's come to accept me and Yune into his life.

The marriage is going to be held in two months.

Meanwhile... I'm stuck listening to Kenji, Sanaki, and the Tachibanas fight.

“You got me pregnant, now you need to support your unborn child!”

“...Fine. You find me something to race in, I'll do it.”

She walked out of the room – or, waddled, really. From prior experience... pregnancy sucks. Sure, you're bringing a new life into the world, but the side effects... Harder to walk, debilitating sicknesses, and all that – it's not fun.

He returned his attention to the screen, and proceeded to kill more players while waiting for Sanaki to return. She did return – with an ad from the local paper.

“Seems like I may have found something to get your lazy 🤬 going. Check this out...”

He amazingly put down the controller and read it.

“New Stars Racing Academy... looking to find unrecognized talent... Japan's is being held at Twin Ring Motegi in Honda Integras...”

Something I had heard about from David – but I thought it best not to mention it in this time bomb of a family household. Which does remind me... time to go get my new apartment fixed up for me and Yune.

“I'll be back sometime soon. See you all...”

I quickly walked out and shut the door, still hearing the yelling coming from the living room.


"She's left the house. Do we move in?"

"...No. Stay where you are - this is just a mission to gauge the interest of the Kenji kid."

"Not really a kid anymore, sir."

"He's the one who vowed to avenge his idol's death... my triumph. Instead... move in on Dr. Naomi Hunter. We want her captured... alive. We need her services..."

"Understood, sir. Out."

Fin Chapter Three

EDIT: Oh, dear. My pictures appear to be missing... Will add them later.
Last edited:
Awesome. 👍 Took probably a little longer than it should have (on my part, not yours) to figure out whose perspective it was from. :P Great way to start up after the brief hiatus. 👍
Chapter Four: The Project

Date: February 2nd, 2011.
Location: Classified

Time: 20:05


“We picked up a very faint tremor in the brain area, Rose. Smallest it could possibly be, but... it's a sign. And a very good one at that.”

“So... he may yet be reborn?”

“Preferably whole, but better than he was. I think, with the gene splicing we've managed to do on the Sage, we can give him... superhuman... senses and abilities.”

“Excellent work. Is anyone in the chamber?”

“Not at the moment. You want to see our progress?”



Amazing... the state of preservation. It almost looks like he could get up and live again. Which he will be, in a very short time – if our efforts prove to be successful. I can pick out the details, the lines in his face... Simply remarkable. The scar along the side of his cheek... still there.

Finally... our plan will be commenced.



The Mourning Sage:

Back in the days... After the Soviet Union had fallen in 1991... I was out of a job.

I ended up turning to drug running in California, using a heavily modified Subaru WRX STI wagon that had originally been a autocross racer until the owner decided to sell it. That was when I had learned just how good I was at racing – I sure wasn't the fastest, but I had the ability to methodically pick my way through the field.

I began to be known as “The Closer” in the field of the illegal street racing world and the drug trade. I became famous – or infamous, as it was – for being able to win at the end, and for also being able to avoid chases at the very end.

Until I had been contacted by a group of former Soviet Union employees – the Russian ambassador to England had gone missing while heading to a conference.

I tracked her to a mansion in the foothills of England's countryside – the estate of Tuscany.

The memories of that place still haunt me in my dreams. The sheer insanity the Count was under... enough to give all the great names of history as the bravest men to go running home to their mothers.

If you got through the myriad sets of traps and killing fields... you had to contend with the wild animals in the halls, plus murderous servants of the Count's. The ingenuity of everything made me realize... a brilliant minded individual is in charge here.

I still think the only reason I made it through the place alive... was the operative known as “Ghost Silence.” You may better know him as John van Druten.

In the middle of the manor, during one of the rooms where there were ravenous and rabies-infected animals... he saved my life. We worked together after that to try to get through the manor – to save the diplomat.

When we finally came to the center – and our goal – I saw the ambassador for only a second before Druten pulled me out of the room and slammed down on top of me. I only had a second to wonder why when a silver axe flew sideways into the space we both had just occupied.

I heard a thunk, but didn't think much of it...

Until after the Count had been hung by his own whip in the industrial fan he used in the “Killing Room” - his lair.

I went back to where the ambassador was sitting... and noticed immediately that her head was split down the middle by the axe head I had seen flying.

I wouldn't have made it out of Druten hadn't knocked me unconscious and dragged me back through the house. When we were back at our starting point... the group of Russian operatives that were waiting for my arrival nearly shot Druten before I stopped them, saying;

“Этот человек спас мне жизнь.” (The man saved my life.)

I decided to swap my Dragunov sniper rifle for his Barrett .50 cal. It was a simple gesture of thanks... for saving my sorry backside.

I never saw him again.

How I missed... the only one who had seemed to care just an ounce for me... enough to save my life.


The next day.
Time: 0600.

Rose Rain:

“Нет! Стоп, что вы делаете этот момент!” (No! Stop what you are doing this instant!)

People... don't seem to understand... that even though we are dealing with those... dead to the earth... we need to treat them with respect. Especially... the scientists... I'm forced to deal with as a member of the Wind Stars.

“Почему вы спрашиваете нас?” (Why do you question us?)

“Относитесь к телу с заботой и уважением, даже если он все еще мертва.” (Treat the body with care and respect, even if he's still dead.)

Sometimes... I hate being a product of a system I don't believe in anymore. “Science... for the sake of science!” No, I don't believe in that anymore.

Not after how things originally turned out on the first project. Midnight Rose thinks that we can make people better than they are by changing their genetic coding... While this is true... The person who is experimented on... can change in a way most unpleasant.

“Ты идиот. Он мертв ...” (You idiot. He's DEAD...)

“Затем идите делать то, что вы хотите, и быть наказаны на руки Роуз.” (Then go do what you wish, and be punished at the Rose's hands.)

“Это не то, что я имел в виду ...” (That's not what I meant...)

Then understand what I'm doing... We're doing the impossible here. We need to do it as best as possible... and we are doing this MY way.

“Throw the switch...”

Power began to course through the table that the body was sitting on... with the tubes implanted, the data devices all running, the inputs monitoring activity...


20 minutes later, we were conceding defeat. It... just hadn't worked... this time. Due to the effects of the methods we were using to revive the dead, a time limit had had to be set... so as not to cause permanent damage to the subject when they were revived.

I began to walk sadly away when...

Suddenly... Movement.

The smallest eyeball twitch...

“Держите его, держите его! Смотри ...” (Hold it, hold it! Look...)

“Я не верю в это! Это сработало!” (I don't believe it! It worked!)

“Начало сплайсинг гена и изменения сразу. Наконец ... мы можем использовать его ... чтобы сделать все правильно еще раз ...” (Begin the gene splicing and modifications at once. Finally... we can use him... to make things right again...)

And then a movement of the right hand.

“Откройте глаза еще раз в землю живых ...” (Open your eyes once more into the land of the living...)

I gazed down into the face... that had stood through so many trials and errors... and wondered... Is this the right way to do things?

The right eye opened first... revealing a icy cold blue orb... that said much of the character of the man behind it. I could see the dispassion and emotionlessness behind the striking gaze...

And when the left eye opened... I saw with a gasp what had been done by the machines... A liquid fire of what looked so much like lava began to dribble out of the right eye...

As I called for the technicians to come over and stabilize it, I noticed that through the gaze of both... the only emotion I could see... was a hatred deeper than the depths of Hell itself, as if we had awakened a force of pure revenge and evil on the world...

I was shuffled off in the mess that followed by the Midnight Rose and her cling-on group of people (and numerous gigolos, if truth can be told.)

As they elevated the head to where the light shone through the window and where the exit door was located, I glimpsed back for just a second.

And when I did... I noticed the blue orb's countenance had changed to one... of desperate hope and longing. It puzzled me, and I was about to go back – but then the Rose began her genetics work.

I was chased out by the screams of the tortured soul... that, in my opinion... we mistakenly brought back... to our world from wherever his was.

Why... must we do this...

Something... I couldn't tell what emotion, exactly... began to make me think... what I needed to do next.

To survive this... coming event... that I foresee in my mind.

Fin Chapter Four

Possibly the most controversial chapter yet - this is dealing with deep stuff, man. Deep, deep stuff. Hope you can make sense of my writings and current impossible things that can be done only in the mind's eye.

And, if you haven't gathered... the Midnight Rose and Rose Rain are two different people.
WOAH!!! This is different than anything I've read in these forums... Genetics, living dead, Count of Tuscany (I see what you did there), Queensrÿche lyric quotes, it's all there. 👍
The idea is to be unique, but not be completely off-the-wall creepy.

I think I'm succeeding so far, at least.
So...is that STI wagon the infamous bread van? And the Dragunov rifle the same one that appeared in the last volume (I think)? Anyway, awesome chapter. 👍
No. You'll see the infamous bread van sometime soon... and the rifle's the same. Not being used, just added in to keep the plot...


Chapter Five: Bracket Racing

Date: February 7th, 2011.
Location: Ricky's trailer.

Long night. Far too long.
I had proceeded to go get hopelessly drunk the night before, and managed to somehow get my sorry 🤬 back to my trailer.

Didn't know how I did it, really. Any sane man would have stopped me from having such a large chance to kill myself behind the wheel of a car, but... I guess no one cares about others anymore.

We're all caught up in our own lives, living out our pitiful existences... without an end in sight, and the only thing to look forward to being death.

Morbid thoughts, but 'twas a morbid night. We were drinking to the health of one of my bosses' wife – she was dying of cancer... and we were all getting stone-dead drunk. On cheap generic light beer, of all things.

After slamming down two waffles, I checked my e-mail while turning the TV on, in preparation for my only entertainment in my life anymore... PS3 games.

Portal and Black Ops are SO addicting...

I forgot about the undertow effect as I noticed the header line... “New Stars Racing Academy”.

Hmmm... Maybe it isn't a lie...

After activating my antivirus, I opened the e-mail.

It read;

“Dear Mr. Ricky Robledo;

You've applied to try out for the New Stars Racing Academy, as evidenced by you calling one of our representatives. Since we don't ask for money or anything – all we ask for is hopefully talent – all we really want you to do is just show up at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for your tryout in a day's time. Sorry if this is short notice, but with so many applications... we needed to do it the hard way.

Will see you on track soon;

New Stars Racing Academy – Juan Diego Vespucci.”

“Laguna Seca, eh...”

Not one of the places I'd really cared for, although I do know how to drive on it – and about the infamous Corkscrew, where Alex Zanardi's dive-bomb of Bryan Herta still rings in my head as the best pass ever made.

If this is a scam, it's pretty well thought out. But... I'm really starting to believe that this is true, despite my original misgivings.

I sent my email reply, finally fimly believing in this venture... if only for John's memory.


Location: HQ Hurricane, home base of the Wind Stars.

“Sir... we've got a hit from the server. One of the ones you asked us to track.”

“... Get the Sage on the line.”

“...Got him, sir.”

“Yes? What's the news, Diamante?”

“One of the IP addresses you asked us to track has sent back a hit to the server. With an e-mail sent as a reply stating that he will be there.”

“Which one will be there?”

“The one named... Ricky... Ricky Robledo.”

“Excellent. Not the one I was originally thinking of, but the second one – the one from longer than the Yamamoto kid. Continue searching for the Yamamoto idiot's reply – I think we've planted the proper evidence correctly.”

“Will continue to do so, sir.”

“And tell your crew... excellent work.”

“Will be sure to do so. Diamante out.”

What an interesting man. So... mechanical and inhuman in sound and appearance, yet... he does still have humane qualities. Whether this is something to be feared or comforted by, I don't entirely know yet.


Tachibana Family Timebomb (House):


“What are you doing, Kenji?”

“Hm? Oh... Ryo. Good to see you walking, even with a cane...”

“I'm getting better, day after day. Just need to take it slow... reconstructive neck surgery isn't the best thing to have done, although it can work. You aren't playing Black Ops?”

“No... I went and had a long talk with the local pastor yesterday. And now... I think I need to get my priorities straight – helping you and your family out, even after all the 🤬 I've caused...”


“I'm going back into racing – the horrors of the five weeks spent as an intern in the hospital was too much. Not so much the patients, but the blatant corruption in charging patients for usage of their equipment – even if it's a simple wheelchair – is just disgusting. All they're trying to do is make more and more money, bilking out people...”

“...You know how we feel about that.”

“Sanaki suggested – no, not suggested – slammed in my face about it, trying to get my sorry butt to do something. Well...”

“There's more... I can tell. What's truly bothering you?”

“...I'm not ready... to be a father. I just can't do it.”

“You can't just abandon-”

“I know that. I KNOW. That's why I'm taking this Academy thing on – not for myself, and not for the memory of Druten.”

“...That one... hurts you deeply, doesn't it?”

“...No. I've learned that hero worship won't get you anywhere. I need to prioritize here, and that means supporting Sanaki and our child.”

“...You seem to say... Druten's name... with a certain dislike now...”

“I see the error of my ways in following him. I wasted my dad's life, my mother, my brother and my sisters... I ruined my career as a doctor, and I tried to ruin you and your family's lives.”

“...Didn't he teach you anything?”

“Yes... that with power comes great responsibility. And he didn't use it right, that's for sure.”

“You sure?”

“Yes – he left his wife and unborn child for whatever fate we have after death. How... selfish of him. And look... she's lonely and needs someone to support her – I don't want that for Sanaki and myself to happen.”

“...You've changed. You had to finally become a man in the space of a day... It hurts, seeing you thinking like this.”

“You think I'm wrong, then?”

“Not entirely. Power does have responsibilities – but I don't think Druten erred in his ways by helping you – he actually was trying to give you a future-”

“A future where I nearly ruined it.”

“Let me finish! And with Emily... You have to understand, she was a faster driver than he was... because of the difference in their styles. Have you ever seen her pre-2005 driving? She abused the hell out of the cars she drove, but got 110% out of them. The equipment was battered, but she was consistently faster than anyone else - if it didn't fail her. People expected her to die at the wheel. She didn't have anything to live for.”

“Yet now she does.”

“Exactly why she needs someone else to support her – because of the obligation she has with having Yune around, she can't just drop everything and go make huge amounts of money racing – she'd either get seriously injured, or burn out pretty quickly.”

“How do you know this?”

“I spent a long night with her in the hospital the night she was due. They stuck us in the same room... and she was afraid she would die in childbirth.”

“... Not with today's medical-”

“It was one of her fears that arose after John's death. That if she died... no one would know the truth of John van Druten. It's the book I've been working on.”

“You've become quite the professor of rhetoric... You going to publish it?”

“Not for a while. The public outcry is still great over the controversies that have arose... and even if it's from the only truthful source, it's not going to be proven – because certain parts of his life are classified.”

“... You're making me think. And my head hurts.”

“Well good, you're thinking. Let me check for steam coming out of your skull...”

“Hahaha. Well... thanks for the talk, I guess... It's making me understand more.”

“No problem.”


From the writings of David Alexander;

The poison that courses through the mind of the many when they are wronged... is completely acceptable. And why I was so naive.


It's taken me six years to understand... why I'm not the best at what I do. Why I can be beaten and/or outsmarted. Why... I couldn't hope to achieve the best, if only for myself and my reputation.

In 2006, I was a member of Team Wiolo. Wiolo was the front name for the Boss's organization – the man known as Steven van Druten.


I was the driver of the #23 Xanavi Nissan Skyline R34, and Federigo was the driver of the #22 Nissan Motul Z. It sort of felt like the Rule of Two – Darth Bane's Sith Lords. Whenever and wherever Federigo got into trouble on the track, I was there to pick up the slack.

We nearly monopolized the series – except for the final race, where we were defeated for the only time we drove on the same team.

Suzuka. The name... means quite a lot. Currently, it's the opening round for the Super GT series. And the track has its fair share of history – the epic scrapes and fights, and the sad memories of those who have died here.


We didn't know where the S2000 had come from. From what we understood... it was John van Druten's. The problem was... he wasn't driving it. It had been stolen – but we only learned about that once it was returned to him.

Within a week, Federigo and Steven were dead. And I... I'm still alive. No one's managed to trace me to what I did before. Which, actually, was just race – only after I had been taken by the police did I understand the extent of Steven's activities.


What got me... was that Druten... was proven not to have been the driver. On his deathbed, his cousin Rex... had confessed to having the car stolen while he was finishing it – and having it returned to him the day after the Suzuka race.


And we don't know who it was that actually had beaten us. I talked to Emily about it, and she doesn't know, either.

Why does it eat at me? Because I work for Honda now... and I'm asked about that S2000 almost weekly.

If I could know... I might finally have some peace at work, what with the racing academy that's been set up. And, of course, I've been asked to be one of the coaches/leaders.

Am I upset about it? No. But... I wish I knew.

Fin Chapter Five
Nice chapter, and it's nice to see some racing in this chapter too. 👍
Chapter Six: What Is Humanity?

Location: Classified (Previous classified location.)
Date: February 8th, 2011.

Time: 0600 AM.

“Is he ready for... operation?”

“If you call our experiments that, then yes... he's all ready to go. There are a few things I'd like to try before he gets used, however.”

“Give me a time estimate.”

“Within a week, possibly less – depending on the cooperation of Requiem and our chosen host...”

“So... he may be sterile?”

“Distinct possibility, with all that has been done to him. However... We've removed a lot of his human emotions to better him – or we think we've removed them, from what we can tell.”

“...This is all quite interesting... and to think you could have done it to me.”

“You're a team player – not a loner like Requiem is. You fit the mold better.”

“It warms my heart to hear that... wait, I forgot, this is an artificial one.”

“Humor... one of the reasons we left you as much of who you were as possible. I will keep you updated. Rose out.”

He must know... that I hold the ultimate power. While he may be the head and leader of the organization, I'm the real power behind the scenes. And he knows it. I could have done so much... but he is cognizant of the fact that I did not choose to go as far as I have done now.

The perfect man... is now truly perfect.

I made my way down to the cell where Requiem was being held.

He was, remarkably, sitting in a Indian pose – although it must cause him pain, with what I've done to him. But he'll pull through it – he's showing the added fortitude I gave him.

“Hello again, gorgeous.”


“Still not speaking? Well, we've got one more thing we need to do with you before you are released and begin your work.”

“...And... what would that be?”

Ah, the voice... We were able to save that enigma of a speech function. And it's just like I always dreamed...

“So the silent one speaks again... We need you... to help create... the perfect being.”

“...Explain yourself.”

“We need... a father for our final creation. To create the ideal human is my goal... and with the work we've done to you... you will make a perfect father.”

“...I see. You're mad...”


“...You're insane. Someone has tried to do exactly as you want before... and it ended in failure.”

“Then reviving you and the Sage was a 'failure', as you're saying?”

“...It shouldn't have been done. It's not right...”

“It's the way things are being done now. You're going to help us... you can't escape that.”

“...And how do you know that?”

He's speaking with absolute conviction... like he knows something I don't. Even though he must be bluffing.

“Do you think you have an 'inside man' here? You haven't been allowed any contact with the outside world ever since you were reborn.”

“You believe what you believe... your 'perfect' ideal... Everything isn't flawless... especially you. You don't believe the world has any hope without you, so... you're trying to make... the ideal you hold in your head... reality.”

“...Always the brilliant mind. It's a pity you can't do a thing about it.”

“And you'll kill me if I refuse to cooperate in your... dream? No, that just would be redundant, since you can revive me as you wish. Nay, I think I know what you'll do if I refuse...”

“And what do you feel about what you think I'm thinking?”

“...You removed love and compassion from me. I don't have any feeling, anymore... except for my own preservation. Kill my family... I am unable to feel for them anymore, thanks to your meddling...”

I lost control for a second and kicked him in the jaw.

He fell back, but kept his gaze on me the entire time – no deviation, an unbending stare...

The eyes were unnerving to the point where I wanted to lash out again – the ice-cold right orb, and the replacement left... a fiery mechanical red, burning into my soul...

“You can't win. I can control you as I wish now.”

“Believe in your little fantasies.”

Close to losing control and venting by killing him...

“Send in the host...”

“She's not chosen yet!”

“Then pick the most expendable. I don't have time for this anymore.”



The sunrise... is so beautiful here in Germany. I miss my homeland, and relish every chance I get to be here... Even if it means working for that horrible woman... Midnight Rose is the one person I think who wants to rule the world – but in a different sense than usual.

She wants to make an ideal world... where everyone is as perfect as they can be. Scary thinking... removing almost all aspects of individuality besides outside appearances.

It's so... wrong... that I almost can't bear it anymore. I'm requesting a transfer to the racing operations soon – I'm not the best by far, but I have the ability to be.

Especially with this car – nicknamed “Songbird” by the legendary John van Druten. One of the only things that was able to be recovered from either the Eifel site or the El Capitan site.

When we made our way to the El Capitan site... The cars were all gone, except for this one. The famous white and silver Hondas named “Minerva” and “Diana” were nowhere to be found, and the hulk of “Cymbeline”, the black one, was also gone as well.

And for all our organization's efforts... this is the only car we managed to recover. How did I get it? No one else has the ability to drive it as I do. It's funny, really. The best driver in the organization is actually Purple Meteor – but he's driving in NASCAR at the moment, on the legitimate side of things.

The time he did drive it, he got out within a minute and said... “The car is indescribable... I can't drive it in good conscience.”

I'm the only one who has proven their ability in the car.

My phone began ringing...

“Rose Rain here, Q. What's up?”

“The other Rose has asked for your help on a project... and she needs you back here as soon as possible.”

Oh God...

“Tell her fine, and that I am on my way right now. I should be there in about fifteen minutes.”

“I will let her know. Q out.”

What does she want now? She has made her dislike of me quite clear before...


Fin Chapter Six