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

Discussion in 'GT5 Race Reports' started by FireEmblem10, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    He's not. The thing understeers so badly I need to hit the e-brake to get around the turn fast enough.
     
  2. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

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    It ain't that bad as long as it's set up good.
     
  3. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Must be an issue with me and German cars, it seems to take twice as long to refine a setup for anything German. (Three times as long for anything French :dopey:)
     
  4. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

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    Takes 5 times as long for me to even bother driving a French car. FF's no matter what they are I generally find simple to tune.
     
  5. RCKakashi14

    RCKakashi14

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    When it comes to FFs, I'd pick two:


    Volvo C30

    VW Scirocco R


    :p
     
  6. Michelin

    Michelin Premium

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    I'll add the Atenza (Premium) to that list. A very nice ride, atleast for me at TOCA.
     
  7. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

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    Generally I avoid the Scirocco like the plague. Great cruising car but too understeery compared with my other FF's, even with a good tune. The main FF's I go for are:

    Honda Integra Type R DC5 '04
    Volvo C30-R Design '08
    Suzuki Swift Sport '07
    Daihatsu Copen '02
    Honda Insight LS '09
    Any Vauxhall
    And of course, who could forget the insanity with wheels that is the Dodge SRT-4?

    In case you hadn't noticed, I like FF's rather a lot.
     
  8. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    I know about the Swift and the Volvo love you had. Didn't know about the rest.

    My personal favorite is also one I can't seem to find; a low mileage Honda 1300 Coupe S.
     
  9. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

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    The Honda Insight is a hidden yet humble gem I've only recently started driving. The Dodge is an absolute riot and not bad through corners for an FF... with 612BHP... and more torque than a Corvette ZR1...

    Vauxhall is somewhat obvious to anyone who knows me in real life, while as you know, I'm obsessed with just about every Honda. The Daihatsu is pretty much the fastest Japanese Kei Car.

    As for the Honda 1300, it's your lucky day. I've had one for quite a while now, tuned, no miles whatsoever. But, it's from the OCD, so it's still broken in, for a whopping 208BHP! The car is fantastic. I'll dupe it for you if you want.
     
  10. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    If you have the time to do so, that'd be nice. Want anything in return?

    Next chapter will be here... Thursday.
     
  11. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

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    I'm looking for a 1995 or 1998 Subaru Impreza (no the 22B). If not, I'll dupe some horns and paint for you send back.
     
  12. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Been delayed due to a serious issue - my USB's been acting up and isn't seeing the PS3 when it's plugged in, even in any of the 4 ports.

    Getting a new one, so expect the next chapter on Saturday the 9th.
     
  13. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Never mind the previous post. It's working somewhat, so expect the next chapter within the week - I've not abandoned this fanfic at all, it's just been difficult to write it along with getting the pictures.
     
  14. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Chapter Twelve: Instinct Vs. Knowledge

    Time: 7:30 AM

    A Continental breakfast. Oh, goody. And to think I expected more... Looks like the people running this have a very tight budget, or a greedy CEO.
    After eating a bagel and downing a cup of steaming hot espresso, I made my way out to the main room where the drivers all met for the briefings.

    Only Miyu and Ricky were there, and they were sitting together, talking quietly with each other. I had half a mind to interfere, but something held me back and so I didn't attempt to break them up. It's nice, seeing people develop relationships...

    Not that I hadn't been successful at them myself.


    “What's the news?”

    “Not much, besides the fact that Andrew Norris – the other American here – is in the ER.”

    “What happened?”

    “The staff are saying that he took a pill for a headache, not realizing he was allergic to it. He's in a coma right now...”

    “...”

    Damn... very similar to Bruce Lee's passing. Not a good way to start the morning.

    “Anything that can be done?”

    “Nothing but pray that he comes through.”

    The general mood of the room as more people began to file in was one of deep sadness, like they presumed that he's already dead. I'm not an optimist usually, but I think he'll pull through despite what the general atmosphere tells me.

    “Alright... briefing time, everyone...”

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    “Some of you, possibly all of you, know that Mr. Andrew Norris is at the hospital, in a coma. He took a headache pill last night before going to bed, and it seems that it had an averse effect on him. We will keep you updated as soon as we get more information.

    Because we can't hold off doing these events, we've brought in a replacement driver for the time being.”


    In walked... a knockout of a woman.

    “This is Miss Rosalina Halls. She'll be Mr. Norris' replacement until he recovers.”

    Not a fan of those odds... it's more like if he recovers.

    She stood with all the confidence of someone who knows that they are the best – which I highly doubt. The only thing that surprised me somewhat were her eyes – they bespoke sadness. Deep sadness... eerily similar to Druten's eyes, before he died.

    “Today... we're doing the time trials, as scheduled. Is everyone ready?”

    A general murmur of agreement echoed.

    “Good. You'll be starting in half an hour, so be out there immediately.”

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Later in the day...

    I leaned heavily against the trunk of the Golf. I had done well, enough for second overall... but the margin between myself and the woman – Rosalina – was over three seconds. It just didn't seem to fit right.

    Miyu had finished in 5th overall, and with one more driver left... she could get bumped down to 6th. I could be bumped down myself, but it didn't seem to be a distinct possibility.

    I had followed Kenji's advice, and hit the handbrake when I began turning. Surprisingly... it worked to near-perfection.

    Once I had gotten over my fear of using it, the fast lap I had set came easy to me.

    I felt like I couldn't be beaten, like I was invincible. Until the woman had gone out with no practice... and completely trashed us all. The only driver left was Kenji, and I didn't think even he could win it.


    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    “Ready?”

    “Affirmative.”

    Wow... she wasn't bad, not bad at all. When Ricky had set his time, I had known that the only one to beat him would be me... until she went out and ripped his lap time to shreds.

    But... despite your skill level... there are better drivers in the world.

    And one of them... is me!


    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    [​IMG]

    History was made this day. Written in stone, here to be eternal.

    [​IMG]

    Instinct is something that's a natural reflex, a pendulum swing.

    [​IMG]

    Knowledge is a far greater power to have, one that can change the way you are.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Later in the day.

    “All right, everyone, if I can have your attention...

    Today was a very successful day of driving, and I'm sure you all had fun doing it. Since we're done with the time trialing, we've put together the order of racing for the next day. You can view it here on the board, because my throat is a bit sore and I'm not going to speak any longer. Goodnight to you all, and I'll see you tomorrow.”


    I trundled off to bed, alone and silent.

    Alone, because after my demonstration of pure technique, no one would talk to me anymore. It's like I was revered, and because of that reverence I was avoided. It could have been said that everyone thought that I could send their driving careers into the sewer in an instant.

    That's not what I'm able to do – I'm a human being, just like everyone else in the world. I can't change the world.


    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    An orphanage in Hong Kong, China;

    “Excuse me sir, but we're closing in half an hour – there isn't time to do anyth-”

    “Hold you tongue, daughter. Let's see what he wants first before making any hasty judgments.”

    Obviously, you thought I couldn't hear anything... and it was a bit difficult to pick up what you were whispering, woman. I'll play along for now, though.

    Despite outward appearances... I really am only here for one purpose – to adopt a child.


    One of the only ways I think I can make up for past sins of mine.

    “How many children do you have here available for adoption?”

    “Only about five. We try to keep the ones we care for well-kept, rather than have an overabundance and be lacking basic needs.”

    Well said, and also fully truthful. From my trained eye... the place seems well kept. I need to see the faces of the children here first, however.

    The woman led me into the room where the children were – and I knew right away that she had been truthful. Compared to the three other orphanages I'd visited during the day, these children were all taken care of.

    Outward appearances meant nothing, and all but one black-haired girl moved to the far wall when I walked in.


    “Why do they act like this?”

    “They were abused before I took them in. They don't like anyone but myself and my daughter.”

    “And the little girl here?”

    I indicated the black-haired girl, who just looked at me with an expression of contemplation on her face.

    “She's... a bit of a cynic, and doesn't get along that well with the other children. She's very smart, and that gets her into trouble.”

    “Hmmm...”

    The girl looked at me, and I noticed something odd – violet eyes? You don't see that every day.

    “...I'll take her.”

    “Really... do you know what you're getting in to with her?”

    “That's water under the bridge. She's obviously an issue, as you say, and taking her off your hands will help everyone here.”

    “Good point. I'll call the court magistrate and let him know you're coming over.”

    “Thank you. What's her name, by the way...?”

    “Micaiah. Odd name, I know...”

    In the meantime, I moved over to where the little girl was sitting quietly.

    I said hello in my passable Chinese.


    “I speak English too.”

    “Interesting. So... I've decided to adopt you. How do you feel about that?”

    “I think you're taking a risk.”

    “How so?”

    “You don't even know how I act or anything.”

    “How old are you?”

    “Only four.”

    Good Lord, only four but with that good a grasp of the world... Shocking. Now I see what the woman meant.

    “The head of the house tells me that you're a cynic. Do you know what it means, and do you understand the implications of being one if so?”

    “...I really don't know. I just view the world the way I want to.”

    “...That can be good and bad.”

    “How so?”

    “You'll see. So... am I taking you with me, or not?”

    “Are you being truthful?”

    “Yes. I need to get the court to sign the adoption papers later, and then you will be my daughter. How does that sound?”

    “Okay, Daddy.”

    “Daddy... I like the sound of that...”

    Fin Chapter Twelve
     
  15. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

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    Good chapter - if you do find trouble gathering photos, just ask me, I'm sure I can help somehow.
     
  16. DK

    DK Premium

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    Nice chapter. I swear I remember Micaiah from one of your abandoned fics, though.
     
  17. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Reused name.

    Not the same person, though.
     
  18. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Little notice bump - I've been sick for the past 5 days, and my thinking machine is kinda running a quart low at the moment.

    Just need a bit of time to recover and keep writing (and thinking!) and I'll be posting the next few chapters in a group.

    1,000th POST!
     
  19. MiuraSV777

    MiuraSV777

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    i just started reading this story, a couple days ago, from the very first chapter, and all I can say is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. ... I liked having the luxury of reading the next chapter whenever i wanted to though :lol:, but I will definately will be watching this thread

    Also, I might be able to help with pictures too, if you need it

    Congrats on 1000 posts!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  20. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Quick update...

    Been busy with life again, so I haven't had the chance to post the next chapter (or 2.)
    They ARE completed, I just needed to find time to post them (tonight is when I will finally get the chance to post them, actually...)

    So be ready!
     
  21. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Chapter Thirteen: Challenges

    Time: 4:00 AM

    “There you are, the papers have been signed. Thank you for waiting patiently.”

    “It was necessary.”

    The flunky walked away, leaving me with Micaiah.

    “So... I'm now your little girl?”

    “Officially, yes. This piece of paper gives me the right to be your legal caretaker and father.”

    “...Why do you need to have all this done? A lot more trou... trou...”

    “Trouble?”

    “Yes, trouble... than it seems to be worth.”

    “If there's one thing I've learned in my 40 years of life... it's that the little things can be ignored easily. Do this, and not much will trouble you. Pay close attention to them, and you can become constantly uptight, always finding faults in others and other things.

    But usually, when you do that, you overlook your own faults and try to imprint your view of the world on others. It leads to discord and strife, and should be avoided.”

    “I think you know far too much.”

    “I'd rather be educated than be ignorant. Willfull ignorance also is an issue with knowledge, but the more difficult your situation is, then you need to be all the stronger to overcome it.”

    “You're like a philo...philo...”

    “A philosopher?”

    “Yes, a philosopher. You... Hmmm... I really don't know how to say it.”

    “Some things are better left unsaid, and one of a man's best accomplishments can be just simply shutting his mouth. And the word I'd use to describe you is... precocious.”

    She was silent for a while, and I fell silent myself. What I began to sink into was the 'fall from grace' that I had taken. My 40 years on this planet of beings called Earth, and I had lived and fought and had many adventures that most men would give their left arm to do.

    When we came to the area where I had parked the car, the sun was beginning to stretch out her life-giving rays. I would have liked to have been out of China in the dead of night, but I needed to return the car to where I had borrowed it from – and getting in and out unseen is quite an issue.


    [​IMG]

    “What kind of car is this?”

    “Mazda RX-7 Spirit Type A.”

    “It looks fast... and dangerous.”

    “It's a reminder of a past life, one that I lived on the edge of, skating with disaster every chance I could.”

    “Why do you hold on to memories like that, though, if they were bad?”

    [​IMG]

    “...They weren't all bad. Most were. Almost all were.”

    “Then...”

    [​IMG]

    “Some things in the past... are better left behind. Just as you are starting a new life with me, so am I with you.”

    [​IMG]

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    The next day, finally back in Japan;

    “Wake up, Micaiah. We're here...”

    “Where? Oh...”

    “Welcome to the land of cherry blossoms, anime, and cats.”

    “You don't like it here?”

    “Not especially, but I have a good job, and when compared to the current job field in America, it's slightly better. We'd be in America if I wasn't sure that I could find a job to support you and myself.”

    “Your 'mysterious' past, again?”

    “Right in one. You're almost too smart for your own good...”

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    The Nurburgring, Germany;

    “You ready?”

    “I guess...”

    Hell, I was nervous. I hadn't done well in the qualifying round, and the car understeered so severely. Ricky had told me to use the handbrake to help with that, but I have a tendency to constantly keep two hands on the wheel as much as possible, even on a straightaway.

    I hated the Golf, the drivetrain layout, the lack of power when compared to the Miatas we had used in Laguna Seca, and the track itself. The only reason I still was driving... was for Ricky.

    I can't explain it – he has this dour aura that drew me in hook, line, and sinker – even if he can't see that I obviously like him a lot.

    The other guy that he talks to... Kenji... he's a weird one. A very piercing gaze, full of fiery intensity. He scares me, and all of the other drivers but Ricky and the blond girl – Rosalina.

    She's as much of a mystery as he is – keeps to herself, doesn't speak much, seems only interested in getting the results and doing the job right the first time.

    I really don't know if I can win this...


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    “Think she can do it, Ricky?”

    [​IMG]

    “Hope so.”

    [​IMG]

    “She has talent, that is obvious. I do notice some minor weaknesses, and I don't think most of the people here can spot them... but, to the trained eye... they're instantly seen.”

    [​IMG]

    “Such as? Try me.”

    [​IMG]

    “I did notice that she hates the car, the drivetrain layout, and the track – and once an obvious dislike forms in your mind, you don't try to be the best you can as much. It's something that I had to overcome myself, specifically with Suzuka Circuit in Japan...

    [​IMG]

    The biggest things I noticed besides that was that she floors the gas in the middle of the turn – which does work if you're driving an FR layout car and trying to slide the tires a bit, but in these Golfs, which are FF, that gives you understeer.

    [​IMG]

    She also can't seem to find the correct lift-off point for the brakes – she's either too early or too late. Despite this... I think she'll win this.”


    [​IMG]

    “Why do you think that?”

    [​IMG]

    “The other drivers... don't even have the skill she does.”

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    “What is this car?”

    [​IMG]

    “A Volvo 240 GLT Estate. A wagon with a turbo.”

    “Is it safer than the red thing?”

    “Far safer than the RX-7.”

    “And you own this one?”

    “Yes... along with two other cars. But, you'll be riding in this for now. It'll be night by the time we get to where I live, so just tell me if you need anything?”

    “Where do you live?”

    “About 12 kilometers outside of Hiroshima.”

    “And we're in Tokyo right now?”

    “Yeah. It'll be a stretch, but the turbo brick can do it with ease.”

    As Micaiah got in, she had a slightly puzzled expression on her face.

    “What's this seat thing?”

    “It's a booster seat – I'm betting by the uncomprehending stare you're giving me right now that you have no idea what a booster seat is.”

    “No, I don't. What's it for?”

    “You. You need to be in one until a certain height and age... But, since I like bending the rules somewhat, which say you need to be in the back... you're riding shotgun.”

    “Shotgun? You have one?”

    “No... it's an expression that means the passenger side, next to the driver.”

    “You have a lot of funny terms... where do they come from?”

    “...America.”

    “Is that a bad thing?”

    “No, not really... it's just that the stereotype of America and Americans is not the best thing in the world. I'm German-American, so I do get called a Nazi sometimes...”

    “What's a Nazi?”

    Oh, goody. What in the hell am I doing...

    [​IMG]

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    “Mei... you won. You do know that, right?”

    “Shhh... I'm in a dream world... don't ruin the moment.”

    “Well, you're doing a weird dance... and people are staring. And the cameras are rolling...”

    “:censored:....”

    “That's better.”

    Ricky said something in an undertone at the end of that, and I didn't quite catch it.”

    “What did you say?” I whispered.

    “Here come the media circus...” he whispered back...

    Oh. Lovely.


    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    “Wow... it's smaller than I was thinking.”

    “There's only two people, so smaller is better. Cheaper payments on utilities, water, electricity, all the fun stuff I'm forced to pay for owning a house.”

    We went inside, and she quickly ran around through the rooms.

    “Two bedrooms, a kitchen/dining room, a bathroom, and a living room. Seems very small.”

    “I told you, it's not a palace made of chocolate...”

    “They have those?”

    “Prince Pondicherry had one.”

    “Who's that?”

    “A character from a book that I'll read to you sometime. And, you forgot the garage...”

    “Oh, yeah... but that doesn't add much, does it?”

    “Go take a look... I need to lie down for a little bit. Headache...”

    I fell asleep very quickly, but was awoken almost too soon by a sharp tugging on my... head?

    “Adumafunagee... What in the...”

    “You're cute when you're sleeping...”

    “Ummm...”

    Micaiah was sitting on the arm of the couch, with a pack of barettes that she had brought from the orphanage, and... doing my hair?

    “Can you tell me just what you're doing?”

    “Seeing if your hair can be done like mine. It's nearly as long, so I thought I'd try it...”

    “Ugh. Despite the fact that I do have hair that is almost as long as yours... I'm a man. Men dont' wear barettes in their hair, and do it in braids.”

    “What about that biker we saw on the way here? He had a ponytail...”

    “...American stereotype, but yes... some men are... different. Very different.”

    I got up and walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water, all the while pulling the things out of my hair.

    “Micaiah, you do have to realize... there's a sense of decency that society says you should confirm to.”

    “What about the green and purple haired people we saw at the gas station?”

    “There's many different factors of society, and all want you to conform in some different way, adhere to one discipline or another.”

    “I don't like that... it's like China is. They want you to all be anti-religious, have just one kid, and all that conformity stuff that Communism brings.”

    I spit out my water in shock at that last statement – she spoke the truth, and basically won the argument.

    “Listen, Micaiah...”

    “Yes, Daddy?”

    “You do have to understand, although I think you grasp the basic concept... that some people just want things all their own way, at the expense of others. China is like this. North Korea is the same way – they want conformity, where all men work for the same wages and get the same amounts of food – yet the leaders of the countries live in splendor while the poor are neglected. You yourself were neglected, unwanted.”

    “I may seem like I'm being harsh about you, but it's the truth of life and of this right now – some things are just impossible to fix, despite the attempts of others. North Korea and the UN are trying to reach agreements, but the Koreans insist on more weaponry and nuclear development while letting their people starve.”

    “I used to be a Special Operative in an American organization, and I was sent all over the world to places like Kuwait, Russia, China, and Vietnam – and the world is full of people who want the best for themselves at the expense of others – it's the best way I can put it without being biased. Life may seem like it's not fair, and it's not.”

    She was silent for a while, then crawled into my arms and laid her soft head down on my shoulder.

    “But... don't you follow what society wants?”

    “No. I never do, and will never do so again. That's why I also rescued you from the orphanage – I'm doing something that others may be afraid to do, or they won't do, or they try to do and fail – guarantee life for another human being. It's hard to do, and very difficult at times, but the rewards you receive far outweigh the debts, even if the debts outnumber the rewards a lot.”

    “So... you're a bit of a maverick or anarchist.”

    “Depends on the issue and discussion at hand, but I can be.”

    She yawned, and closed her eyes. I laid her in her bed, and kissed her forehead.

    As I left the room, however...

    “Daddy...”

    “Yes, Micaiah?”

    “I do love you already... I hope you know that.”

    “I do, dear, I do...”

    I walked out, tears of a strange mixture of emotions that I had never felt in my lifetime running down my cheeks. The power of love... far outweighs any other emotion. As it's said in the Bible... “God's greatest gift is the gift of love.”

    Or, something to that effect.

    But... is this truly the right path? Only time, the inexorable passage of existence, shall tell.


    Fin Chapter Thirteen


    NOTICE: I may seem like I'm being sterotypical with my descriptions of China and Communist countries, along with the overtures of religious material. This is fiction, and is not representative of all the people in the mentioned countries and any religion in the world.

    I have all due respect for all human life on this planet, and I intend no harm, slander, or offense to others in any matter that is posted on this forum in the due course of these writings. This work, again, is FICTION and does not exist in the real world. Please, read this and understand that this is only a story and not representative of the world around us today.


    Having said that... my conscience is clear.
     
  22. Driving Park

    Driving Park

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    This was worth the wait. :tup:
     
  23. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

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    Ahh, the Volvo 240. Definition of hero, that car.
     
  24. the_racer100

    the_racer100

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    Great story here! Can't wait for the next chapter!
     
  25. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Update:

    Due to events beyond my control (I.E, the hacked car banning that's been going on, and my paranoia about it) I've been having to rewrite the next three chapters, as they featured the blue Skyline R32 that some of the readers have seen.

    Finding another suitable car has proven to be a challenge, but I think I finally got one... just need to make it work right for my needs.
     
  26. MiuraSV777

    MiuraSV777

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    Thats fine with me, because you cant rush perfection :bowdown::tup:
     
  27. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    Still having issues with finding the right car (has to be Premium; if the Amuse S2000 GT1 '04 was, I'd drive nothing but that) but for the time being I've found a suitable bread-getter.

    Still alive, still kickin', still working on this thing. Pictures are the final thing I need for the next few chapters, and I think they'll be ready this Saturday.
     
  28. DK

    DK Premium

    Messages:
    13,430
    Location:
    Ireland
    I enjoyed that latest chapter, and by the way there are some "hidden" parts (special tyres and turbos) that you can use on your Skyline R32 if you don't want to re-write the story.
     
  29. lbpomg95

    lbpomg95

    Messages:
    1,501
    Location:
    England
    Again, if you need a hand wth photos, just ask. I've normally got free time.
     
  30. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

    Messages:
    2,373
    Location:
    United States
    Chapter Fourteen: Shining Inside

    The next day.

    “Suddenly... life has new meaning...”


    One of my favorite songs is called Dreaming Light, an atmospheric rock ballad by the band Anathema. The song currently fits with the way I feel inside – like a great weight I didn't know that I was holding onto has finally disappeared.

    It's only been two days (chronologically) with Micaiah, and with my new position as 'parent', 'father', and 'guardian' for this small little girl, but... it feels like a lifetime has already passed between us. It's the strangest feeling – like I was meant to find her in the orphanage, take her home, and provide a life for her.

    Some can say it's the product of chance, or the guiding hand of Fate. I... disagree.

    I had been raised as an atheist, brought up to believe that there is no higher power, but all you do in life is 'for the best'. That belief has failed me now. I... do finally believe that there is a God. But, unlike Einstein... I'm not on my deathbed. I'm in the 'prime' of my life, however diseased it may have been until now.

    There's a ghost of a chance that I may be mistaken. But, in my heart... I don't doubt it. The path to forgiveness for my sins starts with the way of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost.

    Philosophical thoughts dissipate as we go throughout the day, through our proscribed tasks. But, we can do them to the best of our abilities. It pleases others, and it also pleases the higher power.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    “Daddy... wake up...
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Daddy... Wake up...”

    “Wuzzgoinon? Oh. What is it, dear?”

    “It's nearly 10 am... You'll sleep the day away if you have the chance!”

    “When you get to my age, you try to get as much sleep as is possible.”

    “You're not THAT old...”

    “Wisdom beyond my years, if you can think of it in that way.”

    “You don't look like... how old are you anyway?”

    “Forty.”

    “Oh... you look like a twenty-five year old.”

    “Appearances can be deceiving. Put up a false front, and very few people can pierce the veil of mystique to see the underlying parts made bare for all to view.”

    “You speak in riddles too much...”

    “I'm a philosopher in the making. I'm finally learning to think.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “I've made many a bad decision in my life, and now that I can look back and see them... I know what to do the next time a choice that can change a life comes up.”

    She pulled herself onto my chest and put her face directly in front of mine.

    “And can you tell me a story then, before breakfast?”

    “Howabout during breakfast?”

    “That's fine.”

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Nurburgring, Germany; a dingy backroom near the pit lane;

    “Well... we're running into some issues.”

    “As in?”

    “They're moving the location of the remaining events.”

    “To... where?”

    “Suzuka.”

    “Why and what for?”

    “Money. That's the biggest issue facing the track here right now, and they're begging the organizers for more and more money to hold the Academy here.”

    “That sucks. Isn't the group running on a small-enough budget as it is?”

    “Yes. We can't spare much more, and we dropped a large amount on a special item just this week.”

    “Any way you're going to tell me about it?”

    “You'll see it at some point, don't worry.”

    He walked off, heading to who knows where.
    Creepy idiot, whatever this 'special item' is... it doesn't sound good at all. And, knowing the Sage... It'll be Russian. Most likely a nuke or some relic from the USSR.

    Thing is... would he actually use it, or is it just a threat?

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    A plane headed to Tokyo;

    A dramatic turn of events, if you will. The whole spiel sounds a bit fishy, but I do have a measure of trust for the organizers of the whole Academy – they seem trustworthy enough, even with the shady characters.

    Even so... they left Andrew behind. They're paying his expenses, which is nice, but... he'll wake up in a foreign land, with no idea what in the hell's going on – that is, even if he wakes up. May seem a bit morbid, but I'm becoming quite the realist – as Ricky and Mei both told me straight to my face.

    And, I have to wonder if fate really is a cruel woman. Sending me back to the place where I lost the life I was going to have for myself...

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    At breakfast:

    “All right... story time.”

    “Fine... which tale would you like to hear?”

    “How you managed to get where you are today.”

    “That's a very big tale, you know...”

    “You made a very big omelet.”

    “True... but, if I leave things out, it's because that I don't have the right to speak them – it'd be a disrespect to the men and women who also know of them. So, you've been warned.

    Where to start...”

    “At the beginning?”

    “Usually a good place to start; and know this about my person – I was born forty years ago in Germany, to a young and happy couple. My father was a professional racing driver, and my mother was an American assistant to a diplomat stationed in Germany at the time. I could list every single memory of mine, including my birth – I have the ability to recall anything I've seen, read, or heard.”

    “That's a very special ability, right?”

    “Almost no one has it, and of the ones who do... they try to keep it a secret.

    My father discovered I had this ability when I was five, and from then on out he turned slightly colder to me and my mother each year. He had something or other to hide from both of us, and I never learned exactly what... only a general impression, and it isn't a very good one.

    My mother was truly the only person I kept a solid relationship with – she was the one who let me spread my wings to fly, and do things. I drove a car – a 1980 Volvo 240, similar to the one I have now – at the ripe old age of seven. I was young, and still very stupid, and got away with a lot of things that I shouldn't have – and driving a car was just one of them.

    That really is what started my car-based obsession, as you might have noticed that I do display. I took that thing apart about 17 times and had to put it back together again every single time. My mother allowed me to take part in a junior midget racing series – and somehow I caught the eye of a professional racing team. I was following in my father's footsteps... which proved to be an issue.

    This eventually led to my retirement from racing altogether in 1995 – and that's when I was recruited as a U.S. Special Forces member.”

    She was silent for a time, possibly meditating on my words.

    “Well, I will tell you more later, but for now... I'll hold off.”

    “Why?”

    “I need to get ready for work, and since you're too young for school and I also don't have a caretaker for when I'm not here yet... you need to come with me.”

    “Won't your boss say something about it?”

    “No. He's a very understanding guy... and gives me free reign when I need it, which I really don't need often... I try to use the advantages I get to a minimum.”

    “Isn't it easier to take the quick way out of anything?”

    “It's less honest and gives you a negative reputation with your employers.”

    “I see now. So... the more honest and right your work is, the harder it becomes?”

    “That's the basic gist of it. Something that you need to see for yourself to fully understand the issues with it...”

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    I drove to my job at a moderate pace, akin to a long haul trucker in the mountains – not fast, nor slow. I was tempted to open up and let it all fly out in the switchback section, but I decided it was against my best interests – Micaiah apparently doesn't like going fast, and hooning in broad daylight like Ken Block is sure to get you in trouble with the authorities here.

    Only at night are the mountain passes considered free game. With all the kids – meaning the new drivers up to the 25-year-olds – running the passes at night, the old-timers are slowly being forced out of the spotlights.

    Then again, I don't associate with the main group of old-timers or the young guns, or really anyone at all. The way I prefer it. Some of the young guns running around do come to me for advice, especially the ones that work at the shop, but my advice is always the same; “When you know your car inside and out like you know yourself, or rather the limits of your car like the limits of yourself... then you can experiment.”


    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Back in Germany...

    “It's... been stolen? How?”

    “I really have no idea. We put it into storage right before we started this Academy thing, and no one bothered to check on it – we didn't need to. No one knew it was there outside of the organization.”

    “Then there's a leak, or a spy.”

    “I'm inclined to doubt that... Mainly, for three reasons.”

    “What are they, then?”

    “Well... for one, this was Druten's car. Conceivably... he could have installed a transmitter that could not be found, despite our screening and near total dismantling and rebuilding of the car. We have not managed to find all of the secrets the U.S.A gave to their Special Forces, and it could have been keyed in a way that we can not find.”

    “Second... there's no sign of difficulty getting in, like no paint flecks or broken glass on the ground. This means that it was either a professional team of thieves, Druten again, or someone who cleaned up after themselves.”


    “And... this is all speculation, and not much more.”

    “The third point is that... this location was supposed to be secret. There are other cars, valuables, and technology stored here – and all that was taken was the car. Why Druten would have has such an attachment to a car is beyond me... but I think it was him, or the work of people under his direction. Call up the agent in his current area and tell us what he finds.”

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    An hour later...

    “We've got some news for you.”

    “Alright, shoot.”

    “We got a team out to inspect his house when he went to work.”

    “What did they find?”

    “He has two cars at his house, being as it is a two-car garage.”

    “And...”

    “One was missing – it was his 'daily driver', that Volvo 240...”

    “And what was the other car?”

    “A white... custom.”

    “Any special sigils or ID markings?”

    “It has a Amuse sticker on the back window...”

    “That's his famous White Knight Car, Minerva, or whatever he called that S2000. Nothing out of the ordinary...”

    “Well... from records that the city keeps, he owns THREE cars. We've been trying to find out what the third one is, but the city records didn't provide much information whatsoever.”

    “Where could he have the third one at, then?”

    “We don't know. All we know is that it's a red sports car, imported and left-hand-drive.”

    “That's a bit of a help... so no word on the GT-R, then?”

    “None.”

    “:censored:...”

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Three high school students working at a gas station;

    “You heard what's up with the Route 7 driving scene lately?”

    “Naught but rumors...”

    “What kind of rumors?”

    “The kind that there's a absurdly fast new guy or girl out there.”

    “Any pictures?”

    “Well, I was out there about a week ago, and one of my buddies snapped some pics...”

    [​IMG]

    “Sick drift there... almost nothing of the car, though...”

    “Yeah, I noticed that. He said that the driver was going at a ridiculous speed, and that's all he had time to catch.”

    “Any idea what car it could be?”

    “Some imported European thing... not a Ferrari or Lamborghini by any means, but stupidly fast, even on a touge.”

    “Wow... who is this guy, anyway?”

    “No one quite knows... but he or she is not much of a challenger, people challenge him or her – and get dusted.”

    Fin Chapter Fourteen

    Couple notes:

    ~Got tired of racing in Germany, so decided on a plot twist. (Hint - Suzuka and Kenji's issues with the track.)
    ~Lack of pictures; that's going to change in the next few chapters. Going to be a confrontation, and it's going to end ugly. (And someone's going to learn that they have less than a year to live!)
    ~Can you guess what the mysterious strawberry red machine is? It has a V6 and is a Premium.