Day 1, Leg 8
Before the Stage
“Weather’s getting worse.” Scott said, looking at the clouds.
“Yeah, and this thing’s already a bitch to stop. Now replace the dirt with some mud and our 215mm wide tires, with our brake fade, and our ailing transmission, and we’ve got a recipe for disaster.” Luke said.
Linda packed the umbrellas back into the doors, while Amy tried to get the crumbs out of her seat.
“God damn it, Scott! Your fuckin’ chip binge covered half of the car in crumbs!” Amy grumbled, sweeping a fistful of crumbs out of the car and then getting into her seat.
“I was hungry.”
“We have burgers, moron.”
Day 1, Leg 9
Luke rolled into the power this time, taking it easy on the transmission. As the Snail-Boat roared down the hill, Amy grabbed a pack of batteries from the glovebox and replaced the expired battery in the MP3 player. Linda then grabbed it and started up some modern pop music before Amy grabbed it back and changed the playlist.
“No. We’re not listening to some teenage brat with a voice that sounds like cats fighting in a metal shack. I’d rather put up with Luke’s classical music playlist than that.” Amy said, putting the MP3 player as far out of Linda’s reach as was physically possible in the car.
“But I haven’t listened to her since before we left.” Linda whined.
“Good. You’ve listened to her music within the recent week. I agree with Amy, it’s bad enough you blare that in the house so I can’t get away from it, we don’t need it in the car.” Scott replied.
“Luke, make them stop being mean.”
“Sorry, busy driving, and given that the three of you have been running the playlist lately, it’s my turn anyway.” Luke said. “And, just for the record, my vote doesn’t count between you three. Two against one, so the modern pop playlist has been vetoed. Plus, keep in mind who sourced this cassette adapter, and this cassette-to-8-track adapter. And if you keep complaining about poor choices in music, I think I’ve got a couple actual 8-track tapes in here.”
“Oh no.” Linda said. “But that’s all music my grandparents listened to.”
“Just think about that before you start with begging over music. Borrow it at the mid-point of the race if you must, but use headphones. If we make it that far.” Luke said, ending the argument.
Each time Luke hit the brakes going down the hill, they slid more than they stopped, nearly 2-and-a-half tons of 70’s vintage steel shoving them forward with an alarming amount of force.
The engine’s growling roar was surprisingly complimented by the quiet classical music playing from the Sinistra’s old radio, along with the quiet-yet-sharp clicking of the relay-controlled windshield wipers.
As they reached Northshore Road, and the tires touched pavement, Luke gave the old Snail-Boat a bit more gas, trying to make up a little time. They arrived in Niles a little later than expected, and the team seemed a slight hint road weary, though it may have just been an after-effect of the weather.
Day 1, Leg 9 Aftermath
“Well, with that much rain, it’ll have washed any evidence off the transmission as to whether the smeared sealant worked to slow the leak, so just top everything up as usual.” Luke said.
Linda made a grab for the MP3 player, only for Amy, who happened to be just a little taller, to hold it out of her reach. “Seriously, gimme it!”
“No. You had your turn, you blew it by picking music no one likes. She can’t sing, it’s all auto-tuned anyway.” Amy replied. “Put up with the fact that you’ll have to listen to real music, back when you actually had to know how to sing to be famous.”
Linda grabbed the cable connecting the cassette adapter and the MP3 player and pulled, only to hear a sharp twang and a thud. Half of the 8-track contraption was still sticking out of the slot, but the other half was laying on the center console.
“Nice going, sis. You just broke Luke’s 8-track adapter.” Scott said.
“Good. I was tired of classical anyway.” Linda said.
“You don’t get it, do you? You just ruined our only source of decent music because you couldn’t wait a few more hours.” Amy replied.
“Well, we still have the radio.”
“It’s my car, and no, you’re not allowed to touch the radio now that you’ve broken this. We’ll continue on with only the V8 for company. Good job breaking it, hero. Now no one gets to listen to music.” Luke said. He tried to remove the other half of the 8-track adapter from the slot, only to find it was jammed in there.
“Yep, the 8 track player’s gacked and fucked. No more music, because I never bothered fixing the radio antenna. The plan was always to use this, and you’ve broken it.”
“Wait, Luke, you’re saying there’s no music at all?” Linda asked.
Luke turned the radio on, and the only response was static as he turned the tuning knob all the way across the band.
“Yep, you broke it, sis. Unless Luke can un-jam that 8-track thing from the slot, you’ve broken our only source of music.” Scott said.
“Least I can use the MP3 player, then.” Linda said, giving a smirk.
Luke picked up the MP3 player and crushed it, throwing the broken bits of plastic into the back seat. “Go right ahead. It’s now about as useful as my radio is. Have fun. You know, I understand you didn’t like the choice of music. You chose, because you didn’t like the music, to ruin it for all of us. So now we have no music at all. Enjoy.”
Transmission condition uncertain, assuming unchanged.
8-track player is jammed, though functional. Could be mucked with to return music, if someone apologizes to the team.
MRL +3 overall. Bad weather and worse grip led to the downfall of the morale. The loss of the music, however, has brought rage and fury to three of the four members of the team. A vote was passed among three of the four members in Team Twin-Snail. While it’s not possible, at this exact moment in time, all three would vote to leave “the radio breaker” behind. The fourth member of the team was not present for this vote. An alternate plan was thought of, and Linda will simply be ignored for the rest of Day 1 as a result.