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Discussion in 'GT4 Race Reports' started by Rykon Zero, Sep 5, 2008.
I hope the next chapter has some pictures. There's a lot of kamikaze cameramen at Amalfi.
Oh, there's going to be some serious picturage.
Just noticed, halfway through the reboot, David's name mysteriously changed from Jackson to Johnson. I'm too lazy to change it back now, so I'll chalk it up to quantum physics and improbability drives.
Chapter 8: Greatest Trial Yet?
"This... Will not end well."
"Why do you always say that?"
"Why are your words suddenly dark gray?"
"Touche. Hey, wait! We aren't supposed to break the fourth wall until chapter 10!"
"And the readers have only heard me say "This will not end well" once. Or twice, if you're counting that."
Anyway, before we went off on a tangent, we were discussing the race we're going to have very soon. We're in a garage right now, preparing our car for my greatest battle yet. Yesterday, we met Andrea Vespucci, a retired WRC driver, and a GT racer for several years now. He's arguably one of the best drivers in the world for road rallies, and not only is my car inferior to his, I've also challenged him on his home turf. If I even have a chance at winning, it'll be because he's holding back. Damn, I'm screwed.
"Alright, back on topic. I think you already know of a strategy to beat him, and if you don't, I am dissapoint."
"Yeah, I've got one. Not so sure it'll work, though."
"Well, spit it out. I want to see if we have the same theory."
"Alright. So, my MR2 is light, isn't it? Assuming we're on the same tires, which I believe is the case, I'll be able to take corners ever so slightly faster, and that, on this track, might give me the edge."
"There's another part you probably forgot."
"Really? What's that?"
"The Delta is a very early all-wheel drive sports car. Not only that, but it's a pre-computer age car, which means that it's pretty much a mechanical system. All these things combined mean that the Delta's going to suffer from major understeer on the tight hairpins near the end, and it'll even show onthe rest of the corner. Your MR2 is light AND mid-engined, so you're not going to have any problems with understeer."
"The coin has two faces. You of all people should know that my MR2 has some oversteer issues, and on the long downhill straight, I'll be picking up some serious speed, and that combined with the weight shifting, means I'll be in real trouble if I mess up the braking. I've seen more than a few videos of people spinning out on that downhill and crashing."
"Then you have no choice but to be careful. Look, this one race is worth more than any of the races before. and we need the money too, we just flew non-stop from Seattle to Palerno, and that can't be cheap."
"Yeah, and there's the hotel we're staying in... Alright, I'll do my best to win this race."
"That's the spirit. Anyway, how's your car holding up?"
"She's doing fine. I put 120 lbs of ballast in the trunk, to hopefully make the car a little more forgiving under braking. Other than that, I was planning on driving up to the Vatican to have The Pope bless my car, but I woke up a little late this morning, so I didn't have enough time. Stupid jet lag."
"I don't think the Pope would have blessed it anyway."
"Would have been worth a try."
After this, we talked back and forth about nothing in particular, girls we liked, food, cars, things to just cool down my mind. We went to lunch at a different bistro, and we had some pretty good food. If this seems like a rather boring and unrelated chain of events, I should enlighten you; my hands were shaking the whole time. This wasn't because I was scared, no. At this point, I had gotten over it. My hands were shaking, because deep down, I wanted to race against this man. I get into this mode occasionally, and since Jason had been my friend before middle school, he of all people knows what I can do in this mode, of unparalleled competitiveness. I will sacrifice life and limb to win. Literally, my body shuts off the flight response and my sense of self preservation. Because this track has no grass, no gravel or pavement on the side to protect me if something goes wrong, in my competitive mode, I could die, very easily. This is the reason this man is my friend, because if he's a bit of a dork sometimes, he makes up for it by simply caring.
The race was scheduled at 1:00 PM, and it was 12:30 when we finished our lunches. We hurried up to the garage where we found a race advisor. It seemed he was waiting for us.
"There you are. We just made sure your car was elligible for the race, and to get things squared away. At 1, We're closing off the other routes. We'll let you do a pre-lap, and when you cross the start line, the race begins. Mr. Vespucci is taking the lead because he knows this track. Good luck, sir."
He walked away. I turned on my car, drove to the coast, and parked right in front of the start line. These thirty minutes were hell for me, I had to spend the whole time calming myself down, but my hands never stopped shaking. Then, I heard the Delta. It came up from behind, and parked right next to me.
"Shall we start the race, then?"
Andrea pulled ahead, I followed. We drove the track, a series of left-right hairpins, leading to a curvy back straight, another hairpin, a long back straight, a left hand haripin, a right-left double corner, a right hairpin, then two extremely tight zig-zag hairpins, then the straight. We pulled up to the start line, and then the race was on.
I floored the throttle, but it wasn't enough. The power of the Delta overwhelmed the meager power of the MR2, and by the end of the first straight, Vespucci had a nice lead.
During the first corner, however, my car had shown it's ability; while the Delta understeered into an imperfect line, my MR2 dove in, nose almost touching the inside corner, and pulled out, Vespucci's lead dramatically reduced.
"Not bad, kid." A voice crackled over the radio. Since this was a one on one race, we had a simple radio installed into the cars, so we could communicate. I was initially worried about bashing, but Vespucci claimed that he wouldn't bash me, so I figured we had a little agreement.
"Kid? You're only about ten years older."
"I guess you're right. *chuckle*"
The same thing happened on the next hairpin, and by the corner after that, I was already on his tail.
Unfortunately, on this hairpin, I dove in too early, and to save the car, I had to brake and lose precious ground, and Vespucci's lead increased again.
"Damn and blast!"
"Don't be too hard on yourself, I make rookie mistakes all the time."
I thought he said there was no bashing?
I had to spend most of the lap making up his lead. The next corner, the corner after that, the back stretch, it wasn't until the downhill stretch that anything interesting happened, and it made up full force.
I worried this would happen. I knew I could make up the lead if I braked later than the Delta, which was easy, but I braked at the wrong time. All the weight shifted forward, and I had to turn slightly to stay on the road. All of this combined into a serious slide, and one pointed away from the corner. If I didn't compensate enough, or compensate too much, my car is doomed.
Perfect. I corrected the slide, Failed to put it into another, and kept the car in a line that conserved as much speed as possible. My hands were sweating like nothing else.
"Not bad. I thought for sure you were paint on the wall."
"Maybe next time, Vespucci."
"Heh. Maybe, maybe."
And so, following the chicane and the next hairpin, I was on Vespucci's tail again.
But here were the tight hairpins, perhaps the most important part of this race. I could make my lead or break it, all depending on my performance here.
I made my move. The Delta understeered again, giving me and my MR2 just enough space to pry into the inside, get a better line, and perform the most daring overtake I've ever completed in my life.
"Wow, molto bene! You already discovered my weakness!"
But I couldn't pull ahead fast enough, and on the second hairpin, he had the lead again.
"You're still too early to take me on my home course!"
But again, he understeered, this time, badly.
Naturally, I took full advantage of this, turned back on his inside, and shot out of the hairpin while Vespucci was still trying to keep his car from hitting the wall.
But by this point, the race was already won. My onslaught was relentless, and by the end of the race, I had already built up a good five second lead. I was happy about the victory, but this was wrong. It was all wrong. This is not the skill of a veteran GT racer, let alone a man who won a championship in the WRC. I had done some kart racing as a kid, and went to an autocross every so often, so my victory here makes no sense. I didn't even get the stange boost like I felt in Seattle, I was just racing normally. He was playing me the whole time; he hadn't even started to show me his ability. I slowed to a stop, and got out of the car. I wasn't angry, I just wanted to know why. Why he had gone easy on me.
Vespucci pulled in right behind me, and got out of his car. Before I had a chance to speak, Vespucci had started speaking.
"Why did I go easy on you, is that what you're thinking?"
"How did you know?"
"You're a novice, but you're also a born racer. You could easily tell I was holding back."
"Yeah, I guess."
"I was holding back for the reason you think. I was testing you, and you passed with flying colors. You can have the 5,000 for winning this race, I'll give you that, but to get the prize, you need to race the reverse course, and that one is my specialty. I'll also not hold back. Judging by how well you did there, you still have a chance at beating me, but it's about a 1 in 20 chance. I'll be waiting in an hour. Take this time to do what you need, good luck."
He smiled the same smile he always did, but this time, I felt not anger, or malice, but pure competitive spirit. Back in school, I had a reputation for being lucky. I'd always win games of chance, even when the odds were against me. About a year back, Jason took me to a casino for his brother's birthday. Every game I played I made a profit on, enough to get me thrown out. I don't know if I still have that incredible luck, but I'll need it if I have any hope of winning this one.
Hope you enjoyed today's chapter. Please post and comment. It'd be nice to have a lot more traffic.
Wow, today's chapter? I have no life!
Great work, Stig. Quite interesting, and funny. Keep it up!
StigNumbers, you've been here long enough to know that bypassing the profanity filter by altering a single character from an obvious word is a definite no-no.
Uh, yeah, forgot about the "no partial profanity" thing...
It's always the lapses in judgment that get me. Sorry, it won't happen again.
Great chapter. The bit where you broke the 4th wall was genuinely funny.
I still wish I had more readers. Not that you guys don't already rock.
Here's the last chapter of the Amalfi Coast arc. Hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 9: Lady Luck, Smile on me.
"And that's how it is."
"That's how what is? You just walked in here, sat down, stared at the table for a few seconds, then said that's how it is."
"I figured the readers remembered the exchange we had last time."
"Oh. Hey! It's still not chapter 10."
"Sorry, just had to. Anyway, didn't you hear our conversation? We spoke right in front of this garage."
"Yeah, I just needed to have the daily allowance of lulz before we get to the serious drama."
"Serious? It's not like anything bad's going to happen."
"Yeah, I guess. We have enough money to get back home-"
"Told you, the flight's free."
"-So we don't have to worry about this race. So what's your problem?"
"I want to win this race, I really do, but my body wants to win at all costs."
"Woah, calm down man. If you get into your "Reckless Abandon" mode, you might not make it out alive."
"I'm sorry to say this, but it's already too late. If I get in that car one more time, I'll be fighting with no self preservation. And since I've only got 45 minutes to prepare, I hope you don't mind if I spend this time working on the car."
"*sigh* Your life is in your hands. I hope your mother doesn't yell at me if something bad happens. Anyway, I was actually getting ready to work on my car. There's a race series I wanted to enter with this car when we get back home. It takes almost completely in Motorland, which is just over in eastern Washington."
By this point in time, I was pretty much ignoring him. I don't have many ways of tuning this car, but you better believe I'm going to figure them all out. I've equipped my sport suspension, so there's a little I can do here...
I spent the whole time tuning the car, to hopefully improve my chances. Did a little bit of suspension tuning, dialed in the settings for a little more understeer and grip under acceleration. That's where my car does badly in comparison to the Delta, and if I can help that a little, I've got a better chance. It's all up to skill, and me keeping my reckless abandon mode under serious wraps. I want to win, but it's all for naught of I don't make it off the track. Or make it off the track during the race.
"Did you get what you wanted to do, done?"
"More or less. I wish I could have done a little more, but the GT approved suspensions are really expensive, and the cheaper ones are banned."
"Yeah, but you get some good deals, sometimes."
"Are you kidding? It's a $1000 fine to make your car lighter!"
"Err, yeah, I guess they are ripping us off... Anyway, ready for your race? Got your reckless abandon under control?"
"More or less. I'll really need to concentrate for this race."
"Well, good luck with that."
I started up the MR2, and pulled out in the opposite direction. I already know the track, so I don't need to do a warm up lap. A minute before 2, Andrea pulled up next to me.
"Got all you need done?"
"I'm ready, but are you?"
"Funny man, funny man. So, do you need to do a warm up lap?"
"See what I said five lines up?"
"Ah. You want to cut right to business. That's just like you."
He smiled again, and Walked back to his car. It didn't look like he did anything with it, maybe he's really that confident in his abilities. Andrea started the Delta, and pulled in front of me. I followed close in behind him, and as we turned the once first corner, I felt a very familiar sensation.
"Calm down David, we can't risk it this time..."
*crackle* "What was that?"
"Nothing, don't worry."
As the Delta crossed the start line, the race was on.
First up is the two sharp hairpins, and my fears were realized. The car needed more power to get to a similar speed, so via a lapse in concentration, I accidentally let my tires spin, and got to a worse start than Andrea.
"It looks like you're having problems with traction. Do you need any help?"
"Shut up, paperclip."
And to pile on the problems, I scraped the car against the inside corner, and lost a lot of speed. Made it up on the next corner, but the Delta still held a noticable lead.
I tried to gain a short amount of space with better handling, but I could not gain on him. Then, on the next hairpin, I accidentally apexed too early, and swung wide. Not a problem on most of this course, but this was probably the worst place to do it. It's because I knew the long uphill straight was next, and I'd need to retain as much speed as possible.
And while my car should be better in the corners, by the end of the back stretch, The Delta had a nice lead built up.
But by the end of The Ladder, pulling on to the home stretch, even though this was the place where my car should have shined, if anything, the lead had grown even greater.
"Look kid, this is the power of a professional racer!"
"I hate to have to do this, but I have no choice..."
And so, given the chance on the straight, I relaxed. The concentration I had, trying to repress my instinct, I let go of. This familiar feeling of no inhibitions, or no self oreservation, washed over me. I had no worries any more, and now I could direct my full ability into racing. Coming up to the double hairpins, While Andrea had started braking long before, I held off as long as possible, and closed the gap between us as much as possible.
"Not ba- Huh?!"
I really had no self preservation at this point. while Andrea took a wide, but fast line, I took a very close line, and jammed the MR2 right where Andrea wanted to go.
I forced the Delta into a position of understeer, in such a way that anyone would back away from, thanks to the overhwelming sense of surviving. While I continued on, Andrea had to stop to avoid hitting the wall.
"You little son-of-a-gun. I never thought you'd have the balls to do that."
I'm pretty sure that even your balls would be running for cover in that situation.
And some how, some way, I managed to get myself a lead. If I can safely get my car to the finish line, I'll be good now. I got my will back together, and suppressed my reckless intentions as much as I could. If I just drive safely and quickly, I'll be fine, I'll be fine, I'll be fine...
But just safe isn't going to win. I had to clip these corners as close as I could, to make sure I leave no openings and to get through the corner as fast as possible. And on the hairpin leading to the uphill straight, I cut it close enough to punch a person in the face.
(Incidentally, that person)
On the back stretch, I kept my lead, and descending the ladder, I got far too close to the walls in hopes of just keeping my lead.
The descent had the distinct feeling of two evenly match drivers, putting in their all to see their victory. But by the second to last corners, it was plainly obvious who was the winner of this race. Provided I don't mess up, I've got this victory in the bag.
I saw a lone flash out of the corner of my eye, as I flew over a bump in the road. For a brief moment, I thought I saw the face of a young boy behind the camera.
And so, pulling a smooth drift around the final corner and on to the home straight, cameras flash, as the onlookers realize I've toppled the king via giant slaying. But again, I realize that I shouldn't have won. Yeah, Andrea was racing for real this time, but I still should not have won. Think about it- I'm a rookie, and no matter how gifted I am, I should not be able to win a race against a professional, let alone in a worse car. A well timed camera click captures the moment when I cross the line.
The race is over, and I am tired. I overclocked my body, keeping my instincts in check. I nearly fall asleep as I drive up to the garage where Jason is. I pull up along the sidewalk, and Andrea drives up behind me. I got out of the car to meet him, and I notice he's sweating, a lot.
"Excellent work, excellent work! Molto bene! I cannot believe you really pulled that off!"
"Pulled what off?" I asked. I wasn't quite sure what he meant.
"You dove your car right into my line, and forced me to pull away, and I almost ran into the wall! You have to be as brave as a war hero!"
"Well, actually..." I told him about the psychological condition, and how when it's in full effect, I literally feel no fear of any kind, or of self preservation.
"...I knew you were a born racer."
"What does that mean?"
We walked into the garage and into the shade, as we heard the GT workers tearing down the barriers.
"What I mean is, you have the rare ability to get rid of your fear. You are one of the few people in the world who can truly aspire to being the fastest drivers in the world. You can push vehicles to their limits, not yours."
"I... Didn't realize it was so useful."
"There of course is a downside to it all, and that's that most people who have it die racing. No sense of fear means they are constantly on the limit, and if they make even a tiny mistake, it could end it all."
"Yeah, I knew that. I almost did lose it, when I overtook you. I wanted to know something, actually."
"Oh, what is it?"
"I still shouldn't have won this race. I'm a novice, and you're a professional. You weren't driving at full force."
"I was, but I'll explain why you won. When you did your daring overtake, it shook me. My hands were shaking after you pulled that stunt, and I couldn't drive nearly as fast. But the true reason why you won?"
"I tuned my car for extreme understeer. The average person would have difficulty merely driving the car on the streets, it understeers so much. If the car were dialed in properly, you would not have stood a chance. Though, there is a point I will concede; if we were driving the same cars, you might still win, and if I take into account your recklessness, you have about a 50% chance of success against me."
Our conversation was halted by the appearance of the race adviser dude.
"Great work Mr. Johnson. Nice driving Mr. Vespucci. Mr. Johnson, Here are your two checks for $5,000, they add up to a total of $10,000."
"What about my prize? I heard I'd get a prize if I won both races?"
"A guy will drive up with it in a moment. Here's your two trophies. I hope you have a good day, sir."
I put the two trophies in the back of the Life Step, and the two checks in my wallet. Moments after, I heard a loud rumble approaching. It got closer and closer, until it pulled into the garage. It was a white, red, and green SUV. It looked like a rally raid car, but I didn't recognize the model, until the driver got out of the car.
"Your prize for winning is a Toyota RSC Rally Raid Car. It's a concept that Toyota is making. Here is the information sheet."
"Erm, does it handle well?"
"Eh. It's okay. Enjoy your prize."
I turned over the sheet and read the specs. Andrea and Jason read over my shoulder.
"Okay, it's a turbo four... Really, really light... Huh. If it only handles "okay" then what's the purpose? It doesn't even come with it's own dirt tires! I bet it's good off road, but I can't afford the dirt tires! They're more expensive than most of the cars I can buy!"
"Uh, David, I don't think you've seen the selling price, have you?"
I scanned the page for a price, and I found it all the way on the bottom.
"Ah, sale price... $265,624?! Are... Are they joking?! I could buy a Ferrari-"
"Not here, you can't."
"Or a Lamborghini-"
"Or a Porsche-"
"Umm... Ford GT?"
"Sweet! But, I think that would be an unwise idea. Let's keep it as an investment, or if we suddenly need a lot of money."
"David, there was something I wanted to ask you."
"What is it?"
"Have you given your MR2 a nickname yet?"
"...No actually. I gave the Life Step and the Cappuccino one, but not the MR2."
"Can I propose one, then?"
"Go right ahead."
"I would like to call this car, Azzuro Cuneo."
"Azz... Blue Wedge?"
"Yes. Not only for it's shape, but because of the driver's method of racing; pinning the opponent, and jamming into their line, like a wedge. I thought it was a befitting name."
"I like it."
Again, we were interrupted by a voice. A very familiar voice, belonging to a 12 or thirteen year old...
"It's you again! How did you get all the way to Italy?!"
"It's a family vacation, and I heard you were racing in the area. You said you liked my pictures, so I took another one."
He brought out another picture. This time I knew which person he was. He was the person sitting near the bump in the road, he took my picture as I jumped.
"Do you like it? It's a bit blurry, so..."
"It's wonderful. Can I have it?"
"Sure! I made sure to press the button twice, so I have a copy, too!"
"Coming dad! Sorry, gotta go!"
He left as suddenly as he arrived, leaving the picture in my hand.
"Looks like you already have a fan. Good work on that. In my heyday, I had lots of fans. I'd treat them my bringing them home and-"
"He's a boy."
"Oh. Never mind."
We talked and joked for a few hours, got some great dinner, then said our farewells, as we left to the airport where our plane was. We boarded the bright blue 747, checked that our cars were secure, and prepared for takeoff.
"So, you had a hard battle, did you?"
"Yeah. Andrea said that if his car were truly properly dialed in, he'd have won, hands down."
"It wasn't dialed in properly?"
"No, it was set for extreme understeer, which explains a lot, really."
"Ah. So, we're finally heading home now?"
"You know of course, we still have some serious challenges ahead of us, right?"
"Yeah, I know. But for now, rest. I wore my body out, fighting against the reckless abandon mode."
"Night, then. We'll talk later, then?"
But by this point, I had already fallen asleep. Turns out, I didn't really need the luck this time. I won by pure, hard audacity, and it paid off in the end. Oh, did it pay off. Azzuro Cuneo, eh? Not a bad name...
End of the Amalfi Coast arc. Any questions that come to mind, please go ahead and ask. Any suggestions will be taken to heart, and any comments are gladly accepted. You may ask for the full size of any picture in my gallery, and I'll be glad to give it to you.
By the way, forgot to mention: in the list of pre-race modifications David made, one was moving all the ballast to the rear, to increase traction in the uphill corners. And considering I was the one doing all the racing, yeah, it really needed it.
Nice chapter. I would've loved to see your car get close to the kamikaze cameramen though.
Chapter 10: 4th Wall Remodeling
It's been three days since I got home. The day after, I felt the repercussions of using the reckless abandon mode. I'm pretty sure that at this point, any psychiatrist would say I was mentally scarred by this. I practically went into a panic attack when I remembered how close to death I was right there. But I've been through worse. I didn't get the title "Most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse" by clinging on to things like that. By day two, I merely thought it a memory best confined to my subconscious, and by today, I'm pretty much okay. I'm afraid that this may make me scared of driving fast, but I've got no other choice. And besides, I run headlong into danger as is, I'll be fine. I hope.
So, I woke up this morning to the unique sound of the neighbor's stupid dog barking. It actually was a pretty nice day out, so none of Seattle's drizzle, which is good, considering my plans for today. I sat up in bed, and looked directly to my left. There, on the wall above a car that doesn't exist and below a Zonda, was a Delta Integrale rally car.
My views on that car have changed so much in just a day. From a cool car that no one understands, to the very object of fear, a force that should be reckoned with. I smirked a bit at that picture before I got up out of bed, went to the bathroom, and went downstairs. I made some toast, because toast, and checked my cupboard.
"There... Are no Froot Loops or any other kind of cereal."
I quickly downed the toast, got on my jeans and a GT shirt (I actually did get a prize for beating those records, a truck delivering GT merchandise crashed into my yard, and as consolation, I kept whatever fell out. I have GT everything now.) and walked outside. It was about 70 degrees, so nowhere near Amalfi, but it was still warm enough. Ah, but that dog's barking again, what to do, what to do...
I hit upon an excellent idea; I grabbed the shoulder mounter supersoaker I got a few years back, and filled it up. This sucker was powerful enough to have recoil when firing, I'd like to see what it does for a 10 lb dog. I walked back out again, flipped the switch on the air compressor, let it get 30 psi, and let her loose. That dog did two backflips before landing gracefully on the neighbor's prized tulips. I very quickly hid the super soaker, brushed off the dirt on my shirt, then got into my MR2, Azzuro Cuneo. That name's getting cooler and cooler. The car smelled like it always does, except for that brief time it smelled like spinal fluid, so I started the engine. The four cyl. had a calming effect on me, and with my mind cleared, I put her into gear, and went.
The area around me is full of racers, for whatever reason, people around here get an itch when they drive cars, so my town is a hotspot of racers. I had no trouble finding people who felt like me in school, and that continued through life. Two friends are drag racers, one is a rally driver in the Paris Dakar, one races LMPs, and one races the Pikes Peak. I'm the only one, other than Jason, to do the GT races, so we've got many bases covered. I waved at the driver of a 350Z, and he waved back. He had a GT badge on the side of his car, but he wasn't a racer. I asked him a few months ago.
I pulled into the parking lot of The Store. I walked in, and while getting the box of Froot Loops, I noticed again, the sheer amount of things you can buy here. I was under the impression C4 was illegal...?
After paying, I walked out again, and noticed something interesting. I saw an MR2. Not just and MR2 either, it was an AW11, same generation, and looking at the body, same year too. But the most important part, was the GT symbol on the side. Perhaps he was a poser, but there was only one way of finding out. As the man got out of his car, I walked up to him.
"Excuse me, sir."
"Hello. What is it?"
"I was wondering if you were a GT racer."
"Actually, I am. Did the GT badge set it off?"
"Yeah, but there's a lot of posers around here, you never know."
"Yeah. Are you a GT racer, too?" He looked down at my shirt.
"I am, but what really caught my attention was your car, It's the same model and year of mine. Mine's blue, though."
"Wow, really? Is that it over there?"
"Yep, my pride and joy. So, what mods have you given this car?"
We spoke about the modifications we put on our cars, and it turns out, his has much the same equipment as mine, but a step further. His has a better exhaust, better suspension, an LSD, and a GT stage 1 NA tuning kit.
"Yeah, after this, I was planning on driving over to the Driving Park, and doing a few laps around Motorland."
"That's cool, so was I! When are you going?"
"Me too. My name's David, by the way. let's head as a caravan."
I hopped in my MR2, and tailed the other MR2. After a few hours of driving, We arrived at Motorland.
"Here we are. Actually, did you want to drive my car?"
"What? Oh sure! I'd love to."
"Here's the keys, take care of her. If you're going to crash, make the damage as light as possible."
He winked. That scared me.
And so I got into his car. I was thinking it should be almost the same as my car, but with more power, but as I drove onto the track and set off, I realized that wasn't the case.
The ridiculous oversteer present in my MR2 was completely gone here. This man knew how to tune this car, and he's done a great job. It's been lightened, and none of the weight I felt in my MR2 was here. This is exactly how I want mine to feel like.
I finished two laps, then pulled off to hand the car back.
"So? How is it?"
"That is the best car I've ever driven."
"Hahaha, yeah, she's a good one, isn't she?"
"Yeah. There was none of the oversteer I get in mine, how did you do that?"
"You're having trouble with oversteer too? I had a lot of difficulty, especially under braking, with the oversteer. It all but disappeared, though, when I bought a 1.5 way differential for it."
"A diff? Didn't think that would do it, but now it makes sense. I had to put 50 kilos of balast in my car to keep it from flying everywhere."
"Well that's what I did here. I think the 1.5 ways are about $4,250, so they're not cheap, but they're worth it. You gonna stick around? Do a few laps?"
"Nah, I'm good. Thank you so much!"
I started to walk back to my car, but Tatsuya called over to me.
"Hey, I never caught your last name."
"Oh, Johnson. David Johnson."
"Dav... David Johnson?! THE David Johnson?! The one who beat the undefeated champion at Amalfi?!"
"He was undefeated?"
"Yeah! Wow, I finally got to meet you! I knew you lived in Seattle, but I really should have recognized the car! I'm glad I was able to help the "Shadow of Seattle"!"
""Shadow of Seattle?" What's that?"
"It's your nickname, you're practically a legend, considering how you beat a rally driver at his own game."
"Huh. Never heard it before."
"The name's Imahara. Here's my number. Put in a good word with the GT Association, will you?"
"Haha, sure. See ya!"
I got in my car, and left, not quite sure how I failed to get his name before we arrived at Motorland, but at any rate, I drove back home. There were a lot of advertisements for the GT series, they must hold a lot of power in the world. I pulled back in to town, drove up to my house, and found the neighbor's dog strangely absent. Right as I walked in the door, the phone rang. I put the Froot Loops away, and answered the phone.
"David's murder for hire, you bring 'em, I swing 'em. By bring 'em, I mean you bring them over to my house, and by swing 'em, I mean I swing my metal bat at their face until they inevitably die. How may I help you?"
"Damn it David, I told you to stop answering the phone like that. Anyway, come over to my house, I need to talk with you."
"Suuure thing. So it's the full hit, complete with the house isolation and optional clean up package? That'll be $19,999."
"See you." *click*
Looks like I have another trip today.
His house is kind of small, but it seems much larger with the technically illegal Suzuki Cappuccino in the garage. It's no more than 20 feet wide, and is two stories, so it seems like it belongs in a place where space is a little more limited. Ah, whatever. I pulled into his driveway, making sure to put a wheel on his perfectly manicured front lawn. I say lawn, but it's more like a small patch of grass. He hates it when anything happens to it, and since its one of his very few berserk buttons, I make a note to take full advantage of it at all opportunities.
"So, you don't just invite me for scones and tea, what is it?" I said, walking through the door.
I turned the corner to another room, and my answer was found. Lying on his coffee table were scones and tea.
"I stand corrected."
"Damn straight you stand corrected, but that's not why I brought you here. I think the readers are pretty curious too."
"I thought there was no breaking the fourth wall."
"It's chapter 10."
I sat down on the chair opposite his sofa. He had a laptop with a web-cam set up on the end of the table.
"What's that thing for?"
"Hey, kid, you're finally here."
"Andrea? That you?"
"Yep. Here over Skype. So, The reason why you're here is you've got a problem with your car."
"What's wrong with it? It's fine."
"So you think. But I saw you driving, and your car was sliding all over the place."
"Oh, about that. I got it under control. A person I met told me what I needed to do."
"Oh? What's that?"
"I need to buy an aftermarket LSD for it, a 1.5 way."
"And do you know how expensive one of those is?"
"And don't you think you should first spend that money on something you can win more races with?"
"What are you trying to say?"
"Look, I know you adore that MR2, but the money you need to spend to make it a better car, able to win more races, is better spent on another car. Okay? We're not saying sell the MR2, just spend the $15,000 you've got on a faster car, so you can make your car competitive."
"So, buy a car fast enough to win races that get enough money to make my old car into a faster car?"
"Erm, if the readers can understand that, then yes."
"Yeah, guess you're right. I'll need about 30,000 to make the Wedge fast enough for the MR-Races. I'll go withdraw some money from the bank and go buy an Autotrader."
"Good luck with that."
"May I suggest something rear-wheel drive? It'd be redundant to get an MR, and I'm not sure how experienced you are with AWD and FWD."
"I'll see about it."
I got in the MR2 and drove to The Store again. I figured I'd get the three generations they show, Classic, 90's 1, and 90's 2. There's a bit of a problem though, they have cars from everywhere, and it's often when a person would have to fly to a different country to get their car. I don't have to worry about it with the GT license, but it's still annoying. I was actually lucky with my MR2. Anyway, bought the three Autotraders and headed home. I sat down at my coffee table, and looked through the books in chronological order, starting with the Classics. I saw a Fiat 500. If the Life step has less power than my lawnmower, then the 500 has less horsepower than me. Well, looking through, nothing gave me anything near the feeling the MR2 gave me. The Miata has too little power, the RX-7 dittos that, but the R32 looked relatively okay. Waaaaay to expensive, but that's because it had less than 10 miles on it.
The 90's gave me a better time. Not much better, mind you. Most interesting cars were either too expensive, like the GT-Rs, or too ugly, like the first Evos. I liked the Subaru Impreza, but only as a fall back. I found a really cheap GT-R, though. R33, for almost 17,000. Expensive, but still reasonably within my budget. There were ridiculous amounts of RX-7s, but I've heard only horror stories about their oversteer, so I held off on those.
In the second book, my luck changed completely. The 240SX looked nice, black, and it was in Portland, so almost local. Flipped through some more, found a bunch of Evos and Impretzels, and I was about to call about the 240SX, when I flipped to the last page.
There it is again. That feeling. The feeling I've found what I'm looking for. For the low cost of $10,350, a Nissan Silvia S15. Not only that, but it was an R-Spec. 250 hp, and from what I've heard, perfectly capable of 400+. I was sold on that, but not only that, it's blue. Yeah, it's got the aero kit, but holy cow, man, it's freaking blue! Oh. Downside. The car is in Japan. Well, minor problem. Then I had a brilliant idea.
*ring ring* *click*
"Hello, Tatsuya here. How may I help you?"
"Hello, this is David Johnson."
"Oh, hey David! What's up?"
"I was going to pick up myself a new car, I don't have enough funds to make the MR2 as fast as I'd like. I found the car I want, but there's a small problem. It's in Tokyo, and since you're Japanese, I was hoping you could help me."
"David, what race are you?"
"Erm, I'm half German-"
"So I'll call you up when I need something in Germany, right?"
"I have an American accent. You have a very slight Japanese accent."
"Oh. You cheater. Yeah, I grew up in Shinjuku, I'll be able to help you. When will we be going?"
"I've got a plane, we can fly over at any time."
"You have your own plane? Whatever. I'm actually on vacation as of today, and it'll last a few weeks. We can go tomorrow."
"Alright, see you tomorrow."
I hung up the phone. I'll be flying to Japan tomorrow, home of some of the best cars and the weirdest culture. I can already tell we're going to get in trouble over there, and all I can do is ride the incredibly awesome storm out. So I called up Jason.
"Find a car? We had a bet going. Andrea said you'd choose an RX-7, I said you'd choose a rally homologation car. Which is it?"
"Andrea's closer. Silvia S15, and we're getting on a flight to Japan tomorrow, hurry and pack."
And thus, we were set on a new path. A path full of seafood and strange references no one will understand.
Two days later
"I hate international flights, they always take so long."
"Welcome to life. And Japan."
We were all in a cranky mood. Being stuck on a plane sucks. It's better that we had a bunch of things to do on the plane, but it still sucked.
"David, you kept the number for the car, right? Call in."
I walked over to a payphone and made the call.
I handed Tatsuya the phone. We were, after all in Japan, I doubt they'll speak English.
"He does. Here."
"David Johnson? Driver of the Blue MR2?"
"I'd be glad to sell this car to you. Get over here ASAP, I'd like to talk to you."
"Okay, thanks! We'll get there... Tatsuya! How long will it take?"
"About two hours."
"In three hours. We'll be there soon. Bye."
I factored in a bit of excess time in case we needed it.
"So. Will we take two cars? We brought the Life Step, the Cappuccino, and the MR2."
I had a brilliant idea, one that rivals the brilliant idea I had earlier.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"I think so."
We looked around, then back at each other.
End of chapter 10. I do not condone incredibly awesome activities. Any comments are appreciated. Wait until the next chapter to see what happens with the Life Step.
This is the start of a new arc, not really sure how long it'll last. I'm guessing ten or so chapters.
This is a good read! I like how you reference the readers within the story, kinda reminds me of Blues Clues. Also, that last pick of the Step Van bottoming out was great.
AWESOME! This is an awesome story. Keep it up!
Thank you guys! As per schedule, I'll have another chapter up tomorrow. i can't remember the name of it at the moment though. Just know everything's going to be blown way out of proportion, and awesome ensues.
Awesome chapter. Maybe Hiroto needs to fix his own Silvia S14?
I think that is a good idea.
Chapter 11: Missed Moment of Awesome
"NEVER AGAIN! NEVER. AGAIN."
"THAT WAS AWESOME! I LOVE THAT VAN!"
"Hahahaha, we can't tell anyone about this."
"No, not a soul. Well, maybe Andrea."
"I didn't know Japanese police cars could flip like that."
"Neither did I, and I grew up here."
"Renaming that van: Armageddon Van!"
"Ahhhh. Anyway, it's about a ten minute walk there, we can't risk the Life Step being seen by the SDF base around here."
"No, I think they'd tear it apart for government testing."
There was a long trail of sirens along the path we just carved, and I had the odd feeling that we made a legend that will be passed down through the ages. I'm not sure what we managed to do, all I know is that every TV we pass is turned to the same program. Tatsuya also told me that the person speaking is the Prime Minister. Huh.
The windows were blacked out on the van from the first coal plant, so we didn't have to worry about being recognized by the police. We walked to the house where the car was being sold, and found a very tiny house, not unlike Jason's. The garage was shut, and I assumed the car was behind it. I walked up to the door, checked the address again, then rang the doorbell. After a few short moments, a relatively old man, about 40 or 50, answered the door.
"Hello, I'm David Johnson, the person who wanted to buy your car."
"Oh! David! Sorry I forgot, the Prime Minister was just giving a report about some explosion or something."
"Oh, an explosion? Was it by chance a military base?"
"Yeah, did you see it on the way here?"
"Something like that."
We kind of caused it...
"You boys are lucky, a whole bunch of people called up right after you, asking about the S15 but you guys showed up first. Did you take a train? You got here awfully fast."
"Nah, Tatsuya's just a fast driver."
"Hey, don't blame this on me."
I glared at Tatsuya.
"So, why are you selling your car for so cheap? All the other s15s cost at least 14,000, even the Spec S's."
"Well, to be completely honest, I got in a bit of trouble with the Yakuza, and I need a bunch of money to keep them off of my back. I also needed the money quick, and I couldn't think of any other way than selling my car."
I really felt that. Years ago, my father got involved with some loan sharks, and that's the reason he's not with us.
"Sir, Maybe we can help you out a bit. Do you know I'm a GT racer? I could do a bunch of races for you, and get you enough money to pay off your debts."
"You... you could do that? I'd be so, so thankful. I... I don't know what to say. Thank you... So much."
The man got tears in his eyes.
"Ken Matsumoto. *sniff*"
"...Ken. If I can do something to help you, I'll be glad."
"Thank you. Look, you can take the car. If she's in your hands, she's in safe hands."
"Here, I'll give you the money right here, and I'll tell you what; I'll win a few GT championships here, and I'll give you a nice car. Better than the Silvia."
"You don't have to, you really don't..."
"I always do selfless things. It's on me."
So, after exchanging the ownership title, phone numbers, and a few glasses of tea, Jason, Tatsuya and I got into the Silvia, waved a farewell to Ken, we were on our way. We stopped at where we hid the Armageddon Van, and we drew straws. Jason lost, so we gave him the task of hiding the van, and after scouting out an abandoned shed, he put the van in there, after washing it down to remove the coal and charred rubber from it. He very hurriedly got back into the Silvia, and moments before a helicopter flew overhead, we set off.
We left the town and got onto a highway. We had booked a hotel in Tokyo, but that was quite a ways away. A sign pointing to Tokyo showed up, and we turned onto a section called SS Route 5. What was strange was that it was closed off.
"Is this the only route to Tokyo?"
"I think so, there's obivously more than this route, but the nearest detour would take several hours."
I stopped the car near a barricade, then noticed that it was all set up like a race track. I got out of the car, and spotted a man who looked rather angry.
"Excuse me, do you speak English?"
"Yes, I do. Why?"
"Why have you blocked this off?"
"Well, we've had a sanctioned race here, but a competitor bowed out after seeing the opponents. The other drivers refuse to quit, because they payed good money for this. The problem is, an official GT sanctioned race needs to have either 6 or two competitors exactly. We only have five. I'm trying to have them call it off, but they all refuse."
"Well, hell. I'll join in. Is that okay?"
"Um, sure. I'll have the men open the barricade, and I'll tell the drivers to start driving."
He got back on his phone, and I could tell he was less agitated. Two men opened a barricade, and a trail of five cars went by. I joined the ranks at the back. The competitors were fairly scary, I honestly wouldn't blame that driver for dropping out. Taking up the lead was an R32 GT-R, followed by a Honda NSX. Those are two scary cars, but behind them was a Subaru Impreza 22B. That is going to be a tough opponent. Behind that is a newer R33 GT-R, almost like the one I wanted to buy before. And behind that was... A 64 Tempest Le Mans GTO. Pontiac. Umm...
"Oi, David, you know we're still in the car, right?"
"I know. Just buckle up and we'll be fine."
"You said you're a good driver, right? You won't crash, right?"
"I just bought this car, I'll go easy on it. Besides, it needs an oil change."
"Oh, god, we'll be racing an NSX in a car that needs new oil..."
Whatever. There was a line ahead, and after that, cars began to accelerate, so when I crossed it, I did the same.
"Those signs are written in English, that's weird."
"Your radio's on, you know."
We took the radio from the MR2 and put it in this, seeing as we'd be driving this thing around, rather than the MR2.
"We can pretty much understand you, we all know English. Except for the one in the GTO."
The first turn was uneventful. Other than some unexpected understeer, we got through the corner fine.
I'm really feeling NFS vibes from this one
Second turn, not so much. Muscle cars are good at one thing, straight line speed. They suck around corners. The Silvia is good around corners. Second turn, I braked lake, slipped right on the inside of the GTO, and passed it by easily.
Next to go was the R33 GT-R that I was worried about. It happens so, the driver's a bit scared of his own car, and on the next corner, which happened to be a 2nd gear corner, I passed him.
Next was the 22B. He was a fairly good driver, so it took me five corners to pass him, but when I did, in traditional David style, I swung around him on the outside, and cut really close to the guardrail on the next turn to cut off any of his chances of getting his place back.
But that NSX was feisty. I technically overtook him on the second gear hairpin, but his car had more power, and when I tried to intimidate him to backing off, he pushed me within inches of the wall.
"My god man, be careful!"
But I got back at him. I slipped in behind him on his other side, and braked late into the next corner, and with a Slingshot Overtake, pulled in behind the R32 GT-R, and boom; after a quick left-right series of corners, and seeing my opportunity, I cut the corner, then slid right in front of the GT-R, like clockwork.
This race was mine.
"So, that's how you do your First Lap Finisher."
"What are you talking about?"
"I've heard that when you race, you overtake the whole field by the first lap, even if you are vastly outgunned."
He had a point, I even overtook Andrea on the first lap, and at the beginning of the second lap.
The second lap, despite a few hiccups, was uneventful. The GT-R was overtaken by the NSX on the first corner, and the NSX kept at a fairly consistent distance the whole time.
"Kuso... Why can't I catch up!?"
"What did he say?"
"Basically, damn it."
I had this race in the bag, and the NSX was about a second behind me as I crossed the finish line.
We pulled into the makeshift pits, and the driver of the NSX charged up to me.
"How did you do that? What kind of power are you running?"
"Erm... How much power does one of these things make?"
"About 250 normally, but about 240 because the oil's bad."
"She's running about 240."
"But... What tires you running?"
"Stock. Look, everything is stock."
"But I'm driving an NSX! It's much better than that crappy Silvia, in every way!"
"Your car is better. Not the driver. I'm David Johnson, by the way."
His expression went from anger to shock.
"Oh god. That explains it. I thought you were just a story, made by the Americans..."
The man walked back to his car with a dazed expression. We got in the Silvia, and after the gates opened, we drove off.
"I didn't think that a name drop would mean that much."
"You're a popular guy nowadays. You've done impossible things in your career so far, and you haven't even been racing a month. For god's sake, you beat one of the best drivers in the world, on his home turf, with an inferior car! I've even heard you haven't raced in your life!"
"Not true, I did karting when I was younger and autocrosses when I got older."
"Does that compare to ten years of rally racing and ten years of GT racing?"
Looks like I really have done the impossible, not counting our roadtrip. I almost feel bad, utterly destroying people on the track, who have a hundred or a thousand times more experience than me. I am subverting weeks and months of hard work and practice. The names people give me now, the stories people tell, maybe they aren't blown out of proportion as I think? Shadow of Seattle. Not really descriptive, but it's nice to already have a nickname. Slingshot Overtake? Nah, I named that one. First Lap Finisher. An almost impossible feat, but one I make almost every race. As I drive to the hotel in Tokyo, and as I gaze out on the water, where I see the smoking ruins of a coal factory, I wonder about what other names people will give me, what moves people will copy from me, and what legends I will start.
End of chapter 11. I didn't think this one was very well written, but it opens up the plot a bit to what's going to happen. Thank you for reading, and by all means, comment.
Wow! Great, calm, words. Great chapter!
"That's how it is Andrea."
"Hmm. A person of his level should have no problems there. There's no doubt he'll win. No doubt at all."
"But he's indirectly doing business with the mob!"
"He'll be fine. They won't be able to catch him."
"*sigh* If you say so. I think I hear them coming, I should log off now."
Jason's a good man, taking care of his friend like that. And it turns out, David's made a new friend. If he's in Japan now, it might be a good time to let one of my friends teach David a lesson. I'm more skilled than David, but even I have to admit, he's got more potential than I could ever wish for. If he keeps at this for a year, he'll be better than me, no doubt. He learns fast, and hard. But he needs refining. I've been talking with his friend, Jason, to pull som strings behind the curtain. This is all for his advantage, and I'd like to see what this guy can do. I'd also like to see a rematch soon. Jason said David is getting money to upgrade his MR2, which is good, but that means I can't use my Integrale. A word for you at home, I lied to him. I didn't tune the Integrale for understeer, it was completely stock. But he still managed to beat me. That surprised me. But he's still not quite good enough. Not good enough for this.
I walked out to the back yard. I had a small shed in the corner, untouched for several years. I was getting older, and I wanted the car of my dreams, the Delta. I opened the door of the shed, and walked in on a shape covered in a shroud. The Delta was safer, and handled smoother. It was the car of my dreams. I pulled off the shroud to reveal a car. If the Delta was the car of my dreams, this is the car of my nightmares. I opened the door, put her into neutral, and rolled her out of the shed. I drained the fluids from her, because I knew I couldn't let another person drive against it. I locked her away for these years until I found the right person. I filled her fluids back up and started her. This was my old car. I loved her dearly, but she was too dangerous. by the time I was done with her, I could barely control her. She was the most dangerous car on the road. I was one of a few who could control her, and the only of those who I would allow to drive her. But now, now I've found a man who can. Who can control her, and who I can trust to not be killed by her. David will have his work cut out if I want to give him this car, but he can make it.
"Sure is a nice day out. I can't wait to find an opponent."
"Oh? Speak of the devil."
"Wow, he's already caught up! This'll be good!"
"Wh...What?! How did he-"
"One corner?! How- What kind of monster is that?!"
"I see you're just as scary as always, my dear. You've always been too much for me to handle. But I have good news for you. I've found a person who I think can handle you."
A short interlude. I meant to put this in as part of a chapter, but I didn't think it fit very well.
There's no way in hell Bunta Fujiwara was in that 22B...there has to be gutters somewhere on that track!
A Renault 5 huh?
Deadly little buggers. Fast, but very deadly.
Yeah, what's nice about those Renaults, is that I have yet to spin it out. I've driven it on dirt, and I've drifted it, and I've pulled out being perpendicular with the road. Really twitchy too, and that's exactly how it should be.
This is a double post for a reason; This is a separate and complete chapter.
Chapter 12: Game Breaker
"Mr. Johnson, the race is beginning in ten minutes. Make sure your team is ready."
"Will do. Everyone ready?"
Everyone went to their respective stations, except for Jason.
"Hey David. We've gotten pretty far in these past two years."
"Yeah, we have, haven't we?"
"First the Japan GT Championship, then the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, then LeMans, then Nurburgring 24, and now here, at the first Formula GT championship. We've made a lot of friends, too. Andrea, Tatsuya, all these other men and women you've raced against these years. I look back, and can't believe we've made so much money, raced so many cars, and got so many friends, that we were able to make our own racing team. You've made Overdrive Motorsport and the Shadow of Seattle household names. Be proud."
"Yeah, I'm proud. Too bad this dream won't last."
"Yeah. It's a bit of sequence breaking, to be honest."
I shot straight out of bed. It took me a while to get my bearings, but here I was. Tatsuya's family had a house over here in Japan, and they lent it to him for the time being. This would save us some major time and money, and seeing as we'd be based out of Japan for a while, that's a lot of time and money saved. Yesterday, we bought a new car, a Nissan Silvia, and compromised a fair amount of international security. The dream I just had was rather lucid. It felt like it really happened. But we both know that can't be. But, I remembered, I need to get another car to help that old dude, and regain the money I lost. I may have bitten off more than I can chew.
"You finally up? It's 8:30. We have things to talk about."
"Yeah, I'm up. Are you making breakfast? Because that would rock in about 317 different ways."
"Yep. Something simple, eggs and hash browns."
As Tatsuya made breakfast, I got up, got dressed, and went to the room with the TV. I don't actually watch all that much TV, but I wanted to make sure we weren't identified by the SDF, even though the Van didn't have license plates. I walked in to see Jason watching the TV already.
"I have absolutely no idea. I can't speak Japanese, so I flipped through the channels until I found some Gundam Wing."
"Anything on the news?"
"Well, I found something. Earlier, on this one channel, there was this really cute girl saying something or another, and they were speaking while they showed pictures of a burning coal plant, then of a military base with upside down tanks."
"You did the tanks, didn't you?"
"Yeah, you did the police stations."
"Wait, really cute girl? What was her name?"
"David, I couldn't tell you if they were talking about terrorism or sanitary towelettes."
"Breakfast is now served!"
We ate the food, and then after we had finished cleaning up, we sat around this little tiny table thing with an awesome heater and a blanket.
"Wah, this thing's warm!"
"Kotatsus tend to be. So, what's our plan of action?"
"There's a whole bunch of Japanese GT races, and I thought we'd take a look at them."
"Here's the full list of GT races, I brought it with us."
I flipped over to the Japanese events, and read through the list.
"Japan Championship. I don't stand a chance, I think those cars are tuned Skylines and NSXs. All Japan GT Championship. In other words, the JGTC. I only have the RSC, and I doubt that will work. Japanese 70's, 80's and 90's Classics. I can't enter the 70's, but for the 80's, I have the MR2."
"Weren't you saving up to buy that LSD?"
"Oh, yeah. Well, that leaves the 90's. The Silvia's a '99 model, so it counts. I can also race against pretty much any Japanese car out there on even ground. The only other consideration is the Compact Cup Champio, and seeing as only the MR2 qualifies, and I'm trying to work on it, that's out. Only choice is the 90's Classic. I'll go ahead and register."
I got up and walked to the phone. There was a number I had to call to ask for permission to register. It was a really convoluted process, but I'll survive.
"Oi, Tatsuya. I'll need your help for this, it just crossed my mind I can't speak Japanese."
"There's no problem there, sir. All GT representatives are required to speak at least five languages."
The woman at the other end spoke with a nearly flawless accent.
"Why does everyone I meet speak English?"
"Because the world hates you and wants your efforts rendered useless."
"That's comforting. So, I'd like to apply for the Japanese 90's Classic races."
"Registration's not for two more days. If you'd like, as compensation, I'll put your name on pole position for qualifying."
"Wow, really? I've always been placed at the back of the grid."
"Nope, just kidding. We hate you and all your incarnations. You get caboose for the rest of your career."
"You suck. I should have joined the Forza Federation. At least then I could repaint my cars."
"But Forza sucks."
I hung up the phone. I'll have two days to screw around in Japan. I've already done several million in damages, so I thought I'd just do a little technically not legal racing.
"It's two days to registration and racing, so it's basically vacation time until then. I've got 4,000 in the bank to do stuff with. Not enough to buy that differential I wanted, and since I'll be making a lot of money in the 90's cup, so I'll use this money to do maintenance on the Silva."
"I firmly agree. That Silvia has more miles on it than the entire Russian military. It needs an oil change, desperately."
"To the Batmobile!"
After our little digression, we drove to a store with stuff. It has car stuff in it. I bought a few quarts of oil, Tatsuya bought a floor mat that had Ford written on it, and Jason bought some lightly charred pink fuzzy dice. There really was a lot of stuff in this store, we could even buy fake alloys. It's a shame they're banned from the GT races, they keep falling off. There wasn't much of a line, but it was still enough to get a conversation going.
"What was your father like?"
"Oh, dad? He was a pretty cool guy. He was a banker, so he was always bored. When he got home from work, he'd sometimes take me out to ice cream. After that, he'd drive me to..."
Where did he drive me to? I don't know, but I feel like I'm missing a major part of my childhood.
"Anyway, he was also a pretty strange guy. He changed his name to my mother's, not the other way around. His original name was Fuhrmann, I think. Yeah, that was it."
"Sounds like your dad was a pretty cool guy."
"Yeah, that he was."
After we checked out, We drove back, and after readying an oil pan that I put the biohazard sign on, the three of us prepared to change the oil.
"Got gas masks!"
"Let's start this baby."
I popped the hood, then slid under the car. I found the oil drain, put the pan under it, and after backing as far away as possible, I carefully undid the oil drain plug. What came out could kill an elephant at ten paces. The MR2 had more miles, but this one's miles were mostly done under racing situations. The oil had not been changed for 27,000 high speed miles. I got the feeling there were only so many people that could change oil in the world, going by how long people don't change oil. I suddenly realised the internal monologue I was thinking until now was caused by the rancid oil fumes overpowering the gas mask filter. It kept most fumes out, but a few molecules found their way in, and I was in danger. The oil was glowing a very faint green, and the actual shade of the oil was dark green with hints of red. I heard a very faint voice behind me.
"Help me pull him out, the oil's got him!"
"One, two, threeeee!"
I was dragged away from the car, and my mind cleared from the less potent air. If I stayed under there any longer, I'd have certainly died. Jason and Tatsuya had placed blankets on the car to protect the paint, but the fumes had already dissolved the finish on the once black rims.
That's an effect of David's brain dissolving.
I took a look at my glove, and noticed a spot where a bit of oil dropped on it, and there was now a clean hole. I started to think how the car was still running, but I couldn't any more, after a light breeze wafted more noxious gasses in our direction.
"Why can't it drain any faster?!"
We were nearly unconscious until we got enough reason to move upwind. After the oil drained, Tatsuya, while using a very long pole covered in magic seals to hopefully keep the pole intact before the fumes could melt it, put the lid of the pan back on. The pole held out until the last twist, where acid and radiation finally took it's toll. We buried the pole in the backyard, with a small sign with "Brave Pole" written on it. We gave a short salute, before we went to the task of putting the oil drain plug back on, and filling the car with oil. I bought a quart more than I needed, but I used that too, because the oil from before dissolved some new oil before it was diluted enough to neutralize the old fluids. After two hours, a metal pole, a bunch of oil, and some gas masks, we had finally changed the oil. We could now expect about 250 hp, and we used all of those 250 hp to drive the oil pan as far away as possible before it destroyed itself. A job well done, we drove back proud. The car was now all set to start racing, and tomorrow we would warm up by doing a few technically not legal races for a small amount of profit. We had already barely survived our trip in Japan several times now, and we could now only guess how much more danger we were in. Turns out, not very much, and we bring it upon ourselves.
"Fuhrmann. Have you ever heard the name?"
"You're kidding. Fuhrmann?"
"That's what I heard. They're back again. Got to go."
Heh. I don't believe it. His father was a Fuhrmann? If that's who I think it is, and I don't doubt it at all, David's father was Daniel Fuhrmann. He raced about ten years before me, but he was the fastest man on Earth. His real name was not well known outside of the top racing groups, but Daniel did everything. Every kind of race, and no matter what it was, he was the fastest at it. When ever I see his psuedonym, L. Tracer, attached to a lap time, I've not been able to come within a second of it, and that was at my peak.
I heard 25 years ago, Daniel fell off the grid, and no one's heard from him since. Maybe he did start a family. But I wonder what happened to him later?
19 Years Ago, Seattle, Washington
"Dad, this is fun! Yaaay!"
"Any normal person would be scared of this. I guess you really are my son, aren't you?"
"Dad, you're so cool! Can you go sideways through this corner too?
End of chapter 12. I've already done way more than twice the writing I did when I stopped the first time. This is really fun too, getting to race as another person. Because when I race as a different person, I'm not me anymore.
My Last Name's not Fuhrmann
I rofl'd at the "We aren't supposed to break he fourth wall until chapter 10!"
Nice new chapter, I'm glad to see this story become one of GTPlanet's best in the GT4 Race Reports sub-forum.
Also, I doubt you're going to meet Ryosuke Sato (Jr.) at the 90's Classics races. I wouldn't mind if he made an appearance, though.
One of GTP's best? I actually revived this, to hopefully see more of GTP's best. I want moar Red-Zone!
There's some compression this time around, but if you really want some clean pictures, I'll send them to you.
Chapter 13: Lucky Number
"Kyoko, wake up!"
"I am awake, and have been awake for several hours."
"I know, I just thought it would be a good chapter intro."
My brother's always being such a weirdo. Hi, I'm Kyoko Kakujima. For whatever reason, we're speaking English, so please ignore that rather glaring plothole. I've been a street racer since I was 16, and my brother taught me to drive when I was 14. I'm 20 now, and I've got four years racing experience. This, combined with my prized car, a 2000 Mazda RX-7 RS. It's been lightly modified, but my skill can more than make up for that. Thanks to sheer persistence and hard work, I can beat cars with 20, 30, sometimes even 40 more horsepower. I am a force to be reckoned with in the underworld, and as of me appearing on the official GT racing scene, I boast a pretty good record, winning 10 races out of 23. As I expected the official races have opponents a step above the underground, but I'm still better than most of them.
Today, I am entering another race, it's a GT sanctioned short race around Tokyo R246. I've been here quite a few times, I know the track by heart, and I guess you could say, that in the GT series, R246 is my home. After my brother and I ate breakfast, we drove out to the track. We parked our cars on the field , but since I was the fifth person here, I got the fifth spot on the grid. Usually I'm first or second, but my idiot brother Takeshi slept in late. The grid is pretty intimidating.
There's a Mitsu 3000GT. It's heavy, so I'll be able to get him on the corners, but I'll have to watch out on the straights. Next is a Subaru 22B. That's a dangerous one, I'll have to watch out. Next is a Pontiac GTO, an import. It's either some idiot into the American style, or an actual foreigner. Those have a lot of torque and power, plus it's a relatively new car, so it'll be pretty good in the corners. I'll have to be really careful. Next is an R33 GT-R. I'd normally have to worry about that, but I know the driver, he's pretty weak. But at the back is a Nissan Silvia S15. I heard it drive up earlier, and it's got a turbo, so it's likely an R-Spec. That man has pitted himself against some tough opponents, unless it's been modified.
"Why am I always at the back!?"
A voice shouted through the radio. Sounded like an American. An American driving a Silvia? That's odd. Whatever.
"Your radio is still on, moron."
Oh great. A bunch of idiots.
An announcer spoke and said the race was starting. It's about time, too. I was getting bored here. The red lights went on, then finally the green. I got off to a pretty good start, but that Silvia didn't. He was falling way behind.
The first corner went great, but again, that Silvia was weird, it took a really strange line, and by the time we got through the corner, he was right next to me!
That is unnatural. he had set himself up for the next corner without me realizing, and in one fell swoop, overtook the GT-R I was trying to get. This man is fast. But, what... Is this? That Silvia has less power than this RX-7, but it's actually fighting for the lead? What kind of monster is that behind the wheel? Some LMP racer?
I got to concentrate on this race. I was able to overtake that GT-R on the straight after getting a better corner exit. That guy really is meek.
Whoops, I accidentally slid a little, and lost a bit of speed near the back corners, so I lost a bit of spa... Is that Silvia really that far in the lead?
I was able to take the 22B on one of the back stretches, and next up was that 3000GT. Probably take it on the upcoming hairpin.
And now onto the home straight. That GTO is still in front of me, as well as that Silvia! It can't be stock, it's got to have tires or weight reductions!
The GTO driver isn't very skilled, but the speed of the car makes up for that. At the end of the straight, he starts to really slow down, and on the first corner, I'm right up behind him. I might be able to win.
I don't get any opportunities, and by the home stretch, I can't make it past him. On the bright side, we've managed to reel in that Silvia.
The GTO gets really close to overtaking the Silvia, but he backs off. I guess he couldn't get a chance before the finish line.
We had a nice 1-2-3 finish, Silvia, GTO, then me. If we only had another lap, I'd have been able to win.
The cars pulled into the pits, and as I got out, I saw the Silvia. There were three men arguing. A Japanese one, the shortest of them all, this blond haired guy, in the middle, then a black haired and slightly Asian looking man, the tallest of them all. The tallest one was holding the keys, so I assumed he was the driver. I walked up to them, as I heard their conversation, in English too.
"Wow, you almost lost there at the end."
"Gah, I know. I hate this track so much! It's so wide, it's hard to judge the speed you need, and this little braking indicator on the dashboard lies, it tells me to go a gear slower than I need."
"And you're racing on a high speed track. You still managed to do your First Lap Finisher, even though you were against cars that specialize here. Great work."
I didn't notice until now, but these guys were huge! I'm 160 cm tall, so I'm not short by Japanese standards, but the Japanese guy, the shortest of the bunch, was still a good 15 cm taller than me. That tallest guy is easily more than 180 cm! I stalled a little, but I kept walking, when the Japanese one saw me.
"Hey, looks like someone wants to talk with you."
Man, that track sucked. I hate it so much. I was only against a GTO, and I almost lost! Thank goodness it was only two laps. There was that one RX-7, though. The driver managed to crawl in behind me by the end of the final straight. That was surprising, especially since they started at the back with me. I do impossible things all the time, but when someone else does it, it's surprising.
"Hey, looks like someone wants to talk with you."
There was a girl walking toward us. Damn, she's cute. I wonder if I got a new fan, then I might heed Andrea's advice on this one.
"Are you the driver of the Silvia?"
She spoke with a heavy accent. She had the words down right, which was nice.
"Yeah, that's me. What did you want?"
"I'm the driver of the blue RX-7."
Wait, this girl drove that RX-7? How old is she?
"I wanted to know how you managed to win? What sort of modifications are you running?"
"The car's stock, but I did give it some nice oil."
She seriously cannot be more than 15. I heard that Japanese girls can look young into their 30's, but that can't be the case here, right?
"She's about 20, David, stop thinking about it."
"Um, I wasn't thinking about it."
"What are you talking about?"
"Wait, did you just really say that Silvia's stock? I don't believe it."
"If you want to make sure for yourself."
I popped the hood of the Silvia and turned the wheels out to show off the tires.
"The car is completely stock."
"I can't believe it. No engine mods, not even a new filter. The exhaust is stock, and even those tires are normal."
"I just bought the thing, I've only been able to get an oil change. And besides, I'm saving up to modify my normal car."
"Normal car? This isn't your normal car?"
"Nope. Mine's an MR2. It's blue. I love the thing dearly, because it won me a race against a rally driver, so I'm using this to make some money."
She had an inquisitive expression, and thought for a few seconds. Did I say something wrong?
"What's your name?"
I know exactly where this is going, and I'm not revealing it without some payment.
"How old are you?"
"You expect me to answer that?"
"Do you expect my name?"
"*sigh* I'm 20. What's your name?"
"Holy crap, you were right."
"Told you so. A buck for doubting me."
I gave Tatsuya a one yen coin.
"Oh? David Johnson."
If this man is who I think he is, then that explains everything. He's tactless, though. Asking a lady for their name.
"Oh? David Johnson."
Oh. My. God. Blue MR2 and the beating a rally driver? This IS the guy I've heard about. I didn't think he actually existed, but he really does. I've even seen his power, he beat a car with almost a hundred more horsepower. Without a doubt, this is the man, David Johnson, Shadow of Seattle.
"Why are you here, in Japan? Shouldn't you be taking on more powerful opponents?"
He really should be out racing in the JGTC or the Formula GP. Why is he here?
"I assume you've heard the stories?"
Who hasn't? The man who beat Andrea Vespucci in an MR2, the one who set lap records on every track he went to.
"Those stories, while very big, are exactly what happened. And all that's happened. When did you first hear the stories?"
"About last week. My brother was talking about them."
"That's because that's when the stories started. I've been racing for a month. That's how long my career's been."
Only a month?! He totally annihilated me! And I've got 4 years of practice!
"What else do you do?"
"Nothing. I started racing karts briefly when I was younger, but I stopped after a season. I seriously only started racing a month ago, and my victory in Seattle was the third time I drove that car."
How could this be? He's broken. If I'm compared to a video game character, I'm an A-rank, almost at S-rank. This man is beyond S-rank. He's an EX-rank.
"So, is that all you wanted to know?"
"So, is that all you wanted to know?"
Squidgy bleah bleah blurgle squirt. Oh, wait, I'm the narrator again.
"Yeah... I guess it is..."
She turned around and walked away, slump shouldered.
"Hey, just so you know, I know how much I'm damaging prides and careers by bursting onto the scene like this. I also know how much that's affecting you. You've got about five years of driving experience if I'm right, and it all shows. Those drivers were absolute pushovers, but they still had skill. You were able to, with a car that also was an under dog, rise through the ranks to get third, and almost second. That is some serious skill right there. As a reward, how about I take you to dinner. It'll be the four of us, unless you want to bring a friend."
She had turned around, and she has a surprised face.
"I'm not sure if my attitude is also shared through those stories, but at the very least, I try to be a nice guy. So if there's anything you want, I'll be glad to help."
Now she had a sly expression. I don't like sly expressions.
"I'll bring my brother. I know of a good place to eat, but I'll only tell you on one condition."
Uh-oh. I don't like conditions. Ah, well. If I don't like them, I'll just say no, Tatsuya can show me around.
"What are is your condition, little girl."
What are is?
"My condition is this; You have to take me around with you, and teach me how to drive so fast."
"Well, that's a shame, I- Wait, what?"
"I want you to teach me how to race. Please."
"Dude, do it, she's hot!"
"Yeah, I know! Well, I need to know your name first, girl. I don't think you like being called girl."
"Kyoko Kakujima. At your service."
"Nice to meet you. This is Tatsuya Imahara-"
"Pleasure to meet you."
"-And Jason... The writer never did give you a last name. Venturi. That was Andrea's rejected name. How about it?"
"I've been your friend for several years! How do you not kn- actually, Venturi sounds awesome. I'll go with it."
"Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you all. Here's my number. I'll go pick up my brother, and I'll call you to tell you where to go."
She gave me a piece of paper with a phone number written on it.
She ran back to her car, looking very pleased. The RX-7 started up, and as Kyoko went by, she honked her horn.
"Damn cute, no?"
"Yeah, I was surprised. I didn't think we'd find one so good looking so soon."
"What do you mean about that?"
"A female driver. We need one for morale."
Later that evening, we went to a sushi place. Kyoko's brother, Takeshi has a nasty habit of breaking the fourth wall, and it appears Kyoko has no recognition of the story, but she does have the narration ability. She probably doesn't even realize it. anyway, dinner was great, and later that evening, we decided that tomorrow, we'd do a few laps at Tsukuba to assess Kyoko's ability. It's pretty nice to have an apprentice, and it's even nicer to have one so good looking. I'm so glad she's legal.
"So, that's him, eh? David Johnson. Doesn't look like much. Andrea told me to teach him a lesson, but I doubt he'll make it through first period. I wish my son had stayed away from him, he's a bad influence."
End of chapter 13. So, the second love interest shows up. The first was Ken. Also, David's nemesis shows up. I know no one likes it when someone always wins, so I brought him in to even the score.
Awesome chapter. The Skyline is certainly gonna make an interesting opponent.
Chapter 14: A Bird Flew Innuendo
"So, how was it?"
"What did I do wrong? I tried as hard as I could."
"Pushing too hard isn't good. Being smooth is preferable. Like this."
"Oh, wow, that's nice."
"Your turn. I'm experienced, so you don't have to worry about me."
"But what if I go too fast?"
"Don't worry, for me you can't go too fast."
"Um, is right here okay?"
"Eh, move a little to the left."
"My left, or your left?"
"In this position, the same, really."
"Good, here we go."
"Now, here, smoothly let off, go down a bit, shift your weight, then get back on. You don't have to worry, you can push all you want here."
"How was that? Was it good?"
"That was perfect. Wanna go again?"
"Sorry David, the track time's over, you got to get off now."
"Why do I get the feeling we said something easily misinterpreted?"
"Because the readers have dirty minds."
"No one. Never mind."
Today, we're going to apply for the 90's Classic races, but since the application was at Apricot Hill, I thought I'd test out Kyoko's racing ability. She's pretty good, but her corner exit speeds don't even compare to mine. Plus, she tries too hard to be textbook, She's driving the car into the perfect line rather than conserving energy and speed. She's a safer driver than I am, and more refined, but I'm still better in the place where it counts; raw speed. I'll need to train it out of her.
"How about this, I'll let you do the first race? We are in the same team, so I think they'll let you drive."
"Uh, sure? I get my car, right?"
"You're a good driver, but you wouldn't make it with my car, I think."
"Okay, cool! I get to ra-ace, I get to ra-ace!"
That girl is way too easily excited. Well, since I had Jason apply for the race while Kyoko and I did some laps, and the race is today, I figured I'd see how Kyoko does in a real racign situation. I noticed she also doesn't cut the corners, and I'm not sure how she does in overtaking. If we're up against some serious racers, with anything like a tuned GT-R, I might have to race in her stead.
I walked up to a race advisor.
"Hey, do you know what kind of car my team will be up against?"
"We're not allowed to tell drivers what opponents the have until they're on the grid. It keeps things interesting."
Blast. Ah, well. If it's a worst case scenario, it'll be a good learning lesson for her. I walked back to our pit garage.
"Okay guys, listen up. I don't know what we'll be racing against until it's too late. I still think I'm going to send out Kyoko, but if you two have any disagreement, speak up."
"But, what if she's up against a GT-R or an NSX?"
"She's skilled enough to take them on in her car, at least. Don't worry about that. I am, however, talking about tuned GT-Rs. You might have trouble with those."
"I think- no, I know I'll be fine against those."
"If that's how you feel. So, I'll send in the information, Driver: Kyoko Kakujima, car: RX-7, tuned. We're up in heat 5, so get ready."
I left to turn in the information. I was still worried about the race, but in a different way. After I got back, we watched some TV, it was a news program about rebuilding the US Navy base and the coal plant, among other things. We haven't told Kyoko, but we'll find a time.
"Attention: heat five is now beginning, will drivers Andrew Ingalls, Azusa Ishimura, Alex Icarus, Alois Ihlenfeldt, Alfonso Iacocca, and Kyoko Kakujima, please line up on the grid, in that order. Thank you."
A crowd outside yelled out "COMBO BREAKER!!!" for some reason.
"I'll be talking to you through the radio, tell me what cars are racing, and I'll assist in techniques. When the race is about to begin, I'll see it on the race cameras. Good luck!"
"Thanks! I'll need it."
Kyoko got in her car, started the engine, and drove out. After a short period of time, the radio crackled.
"You're not going to believe this."
"Why? What are you racing?"
"A Mitsubishi Mirage, Honda Prelude, a Civic, and two more Preludes."
"Uh... Really? Hold on, race cam's up."
"Are you serious? I could have sent you out in the MR2 and still win this race."
"I'm kind of dissapointed."
"So am I. How about this, it'll be good practice for you. I'll see how you get on for this race."
"Roger. The countdown's beginning. Over and out."
"Are you really sure you should be doing this? Teaching her how to drive?"
"You are a very fast driver, but you're too unrefined. You're fast enough to beat almost anything, but you're still too reckless. We almost his the wall several times in Tokyo."
"Yeah, I know. I'm making sure she's only learning things that she won't have to undo. I'm teaching her conservation of movement and corner cutting. She's brave enough to do a few of my reckess abandon maneuvers, but I'm not going to teach her until she is good enough to recover from a failure."
"You're surprisingly responsible."
"What kind of person do you think I am? I have an honest care for people, you know."
"Actually, how is Kyoko doing now?"
"Still only third? By this point, I'd have overtaken them all."
"Looks like she's choosing to slow down to avoid contact, rather than drive around. She's being cautious."
"I taught her to be cautious first, that's the first step to being fast."
Wait, how do I know this? I only learned to race a few weeks ago...
"She's finally overtaken them all. Let's see how she does from here on out."
"Did she pick up any bad habits from you? I know you did half the driving."
"She might have. I've got a very reckless conservation method, but I hope she doesn't use that yet."
"Eh, she's not cutting the corners as much as I'd like."
"That's probably a good thing. We'll have more time after this to practice."
"Oi! Kyoko! Smooth and fast does not mean reckless! Focus on smooth, then fast! Conserve energy, but not at the cost of safety!"
"Oh, sorry! Understeered!"
"I thought you said the RX-7s oversteered?"
"I was talking to the person I heard that from, he drove an earlier model, before they refined the chassis. The newer ones are far better."
(I'm not going to buy an early model RX-7 any more.)
"Good! you're doing well on that part."
"If you keep that up, I'm going to go out on that track myself and spin you out faster than you can say "Dies ist mein handy!""
"Wah! I said I'm sorry!"
"No! Don't die! You still owe me for that oil from the second chapter!"
I finished the race, and won by a huge margin, but I think David is angry at me. I was trying to imitate how he drove, but I couldn't get it. I drove into the pit garage and saw Tatsuya hiding some keys, and Jason holding David down on the couch with a towel on his face.
"Calm down, you insufferable man! She tried her best!"
"Um, what's going on?"
"David was foaming at the mouth when you went off the track. We had to hold him down to keep him from going out."
Oh dear. Maybe I really shouldn't have copied him...?
"I am going to give you warning now. Listen up. I am going to train the ever loving out of you to make sure you do NOT do anything I tell you not to. You tried to copy me, right? You don't even have to answer. Look, my driving is dangerous. Too dangerous for someone of your level. If I thought you could handle how I race, I'd have taught you by now. But there is a solid path you must follow to get here, or else you might end up like..."
He stopped talking. It's like he couldn't remember what he wanted to say.
It was like I couldn't remember what I wanted to say. Who ended up like this? I can't remember!
"Just... Follow what I tell you, nothing more. Okay?"
"At any rate, you did good. You have promise."
We packed every thing up. The heat had died down, so we brought the Life Step out of hiding, and we were now using it for transport. We drove back to the Base, as we like to call it, and settled down.
"Okay, we need a new course of action."
"What do you mean?"
"We need a different car for this. Even if we use the Silvia, we'll curb stomp them. We need a car that is slow enough to make this series a challenge."
"My MR2 is too old."
"My Cappuccino would be raped."
All eyes turned to Kyoko.
"My brother has an S13 Silvia, and he's modified it a lot. He might let us use it."
"What color is it?"
"It's... Blue with gold wheels. Why?"
"I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!"
"Why is every car important to the plot blue? Why!?"
"My car's not important!! Waaaahhh!"
"He's got himself an apprentice."
"That idiot. He's not good enough for an apprentice."
"That's what I thought."
"So, should I confront him next chapter?"
End of chapter 14. Watch things pick up a bit.
That was probably the most "clever" intro to any story I've read. Looking forward to seeing the baddie.
It took me a long time to come up with that intro. It's deceptively hard to make sexual innuendo that make sense with driving.
And yeah, that baddie is a big one. No spoilers, but David is way, WAAAAAAY out classed this time. Just wait until you see the track he's challenged at.
There likely won't be a chapter over the weekend, I use this as time to get a little ahead so I can look over the chapter with a clean mind.
Might do a side story or so. Something like that.
Where's he off to?
I was thinking about maybe going in depth about his friend who races at LeMans.
Anyway, yeah. These stories are pretty lifeless until I sleep, and add or take away things. I just take the time to polish things.
Actually, maybe I'll do a short story on David's father.
Close enough... it's about a dude with my Name