Okay, we're good. Accidentally pushed the post button. Chapter 20: Normality Restored I was finally back at home. It took me nearly two weeks to finish all of my business in Japan, but I'm back again. My neighbors did a good job of watching over my house and raiding my pantry, so I repaid them by getting them a new neighbor. The woman down the street was more than glad to rent out her house to such a young girl like Kyoko, and as long as the money continued rolling in, she could stay there as long as she liked. Of course, I don't really trust Kyoko that much, so I'm always heading over to her house to check on her. *Knock* *knock* "Hello, who is it?" "A molester, open up." "A what?" The door opened. Kyoko is rather aloof or something, because not only did she answer the door to a self proclaimed molester, she did so while wearing only a towel. "A molester." "Oh. AAAHH!" She ran back inside. "Oh, it was you. Hold on, I'll go get changed." Damn it, that girl has got some serious problems. I turned around to look at the driveway. Her RX-7 sat all sparkly in the driveway. She treated that car with serious respect, it was always in tip-top shape. She had an international plate on it, so it didn't have to worry about customs or anything. I turned around again to hear footsteps. The door opened again to reveal Kyoko in a small dress. Then again, everything about Kyoko was small. "What did you want?" "Just to talk and check up on you." "You checked up on me yesterday." "You were playing with the toaster yesterday." "Whatever." I walked in to see a nicely clean house. She at least takes good care of her property. I walked into the living room and sat on a sofa. "So, how are you adjusting to American life?" "I'm doing fine. Things are really different here, but I'm doing okay. Why are there coffee shops every few blocks?" "Seattle, baby. Get used to it." "Bah, whatever. What did you want to talk about?" "I'm still living in the profit of my exploits in Japan, but I need a steady income. I was going to finish up the beginner races, and I wanted to know which I should start with." "Hmm, well, I'd start with-" Suddenly the doorbell rang. "Who is it?" "Travelling salesmen!" "Travelling salesmen!" Two voices spoke out in unison. I could recognize them as Jason and Tatsuya. I figured they'd come and visit. Kyoko started to get up, but I pushed her back down. I pulled my .22 pistol out of my back pocket, and with a gasp from Kyoko, I walked toward the door. "We don't want no wares." "David, that you?" "Yeah, I want to play a prank on Kyoko, could you play along?" "Sure. Don't worry sir, we've got only the finest Tupperware." "Let me see it." I opened the door to reveal Tatsuya holding flowers and Jason holding a tupperware container full of potato salad. "Is this Tupperware biodegradable?" "Umm, no..." "David, what are you doing?" "THEN IT IS USELESS TO ME!" I lifted the gun and fired it twice between Tatsuya and Jason. They both fell backwards like they had been shot. "Oh my god David, what have you done?" "Non-biodegradable tupperware is a sin against the planet." "But those were Jason and Tatsuya!" "Oh. So they are. Well, they deserved it." "No they didn't!" Kyoko started to tear up. I had to reveal this soon. "Well, Jason molested little girls, does that make you feel better?" "I did not! That was a false charge!" "What?" The gig was up. We walked into the living room again, and we explained what happened. Kyoko started hitting my arm, but I deserved it. After she settled down, we got back to business. "I was telling Kyoko before, what race series I should enter now." "That's what we came over to do." "This whole story is full of weird coincidences, isn't it?" "Yeah." "I was thinking you should do them in ascending power. FWD, RWD, AWD. You still need a bit more mods on your MR2 before it can compete with the NSXs." "Okay, that sounds cool. Any other ideas?" "Skill. RWD, FWD, then AWD. You're best at RWD, FWD is easier, but AWD is your least skilled subject." "Yeah, I agree. But I think I'll go with Jason's idea this time." "Hell yeah!" Tatsuya gave Jason a one dollar bill. I don't like how they keep on betting on me. "So, I'll go ahead and apply for the FWD races now. I'll go take the Mirage over to Motorland and get in some serious practice." "We'll come with you." I looked out the window, and I saw Jason's Cappuccino and Tatsuya's MR2. Looks like they want practice too. "Okay. Shall we head over now?" "Yeah. Kyoko, follow us." We left Kyoko's house, and I joined the party after getting in the Mirage. It was interesting getting used to the MIVEC system on the engine, but I got the hang of it by the time we arrived at Motorland. "Ascending power, I say." "I agree. Go forth and conquer, Jason." Jason got in his car, drove out on the track, and did a few laps. As expected, he's a good driver. I personally trained him, so he's a fairly fast driver, but he's still living up to his name of B-Spec Bob. Y'know, that Cappuccino looks tiny on that track. Jason came back in the pits, and Tatsuya went out. His MR2 was the original inspiration for me upgrading my MR2. It still looked just as stable as it always was, but I could tell Tatsuya had improved slightly. He beat his last record time. He came back out, and tagged me in. This track was weird. I had raced in it about four or five times, but it's weird, it's like I already knew this track. I could clip the apexes perfectly, and it's like I instictually knew the right line. This track was very, very familiar to me, but I couldn't tell why. I pulled a few more laps, then went back into the pits. I was still puzzled, but I hadn't seen Kyoko's driving since I left her alone. I'd like to see it. W...Wow. Her driving looked almost like mine. I could still easily beat her, but she was following the line I developed seventeen years ag-what? This is strange, very strange. I wonder if mom knows anything about it. As I thought that, Kyoko pulled into the pits. "This is a very cool track, it reminds me of Tsukuba in the length in spite of complexity." "Are you sure you're not a native English speaker? I'm not sure how many people would just rattle that off their tongue." "No. So this is the local race track? Not bad." "GT's Seattle Circuit is closer, but it happens to be a street most of the time. Apparently, Pacific Raceways hasn't been included in this cycle." "It's a shame, really. Want to go back home?" "Yeah. It's almost lunch time." After about an hour of racing at Motorland, we drove back to a small bistro in Seattle. We went our seperate ways after that, but there was something I needed to get to the bottom of. I've been noticing a whole bunch of things, weird dreams, strange phenomena, natural ability. My memories don't seem to match up when I think really hard. It's like they've been erased and replaced. I'm going to ask my mom about this, maybe she can tell me. I drove to an outskirt of Seattle, a town called Duvall. My mom lives here, in a small house populated by about five cats. She moved here after I moved out, and left our old house to my sister and her family. I had a few questions to ask my mother, as soon as I can find her in this godforsaken house. "Mom!" No answer. She's probably taking a nap. I walked into the bedroom, where a woman, about 40 or fifty, was sleeping, with four cats hanging off the bed. "Mother!" "Who is it!?" She very quickly whipped out a huge revolver, a .44 Colt, her favorite. I've had that thing pointed at me many times, but it never gets any less scary. "It's me, David. Put down the gun." "Oh, sweetie. Sorry about that. Go sit in the living room, I'll bring you some tea." I walked into the living room, and almost tripped on a scratching post. This was ridiculous. She loved those cats. "Here we are, your favorite, Earl Grey." "Thanks mom." "I've heard that you won a few races in Japan. Good job." "Actually, I wanted to ask-" "You can't help but think your memories are stitched together?" "...Yeah. How did you know?" My mother was capable of fierce expressions. When she was younger, she was incredibly beautiful. But her sharp tongue and quick wit scared off most suitors. There was only one man with the balls to approach her, my dad. He was the first one to see that my mother could make a kind face. "You've fallen prey to a psychological condition. When you were younger, you had an accident, one that mentally scarred you." "Why didn't I know about this earlier?!" "You weren't ready. I didn't want to tell you." "I'm easily the most stable one in this family! I can take anything!" "Maybe. But you were the closest to your father." Her face that was so used to expressions of anger and kindness, showed pity and sadness. I get the feeling I don't want to hear what comes next. "Sit up and listen. What happened to you, and your father, is a very dangerous secret. It doesn't leave this house." ====== End of chapter 20. Not much racing, at all, but here's a lot of plot coming up. This is the start of the next arc, likely to be in Europe.