Before the Stage
With the radio still playing, even at a reduced volume, and the soundtrack having changed to some mid-80’s techno, Team Twin-Snail packed up their campground goodies. Scott put a bunch of bratwurst in buns, then wrapped them in a towel to place in the car for snacking on during the run, Linda placed the ceramic blocks back in the holding brackets welded to the catalytic converters, Amy packed away the grill and any as-yet-uncooked food, and Luke checked, then double-checked the fluid levels.
“Everything looks good. Oil’s topped up, brake fluid’s topped up, transmission’s as optimal as it’s gonna get, and we’ve even got about half a pint of headlight fluid in the passenger side highbeam lamp housing after the last rainfall.” Luke said.
“Mind draining the headlight coolant, Luke? Wouldn’t want to lose all the headlights, now would we?” Amy said. Luke gave a light nod, then unbolted the trim ring and the lens, letting the rain water drain out before putting it all back.
After the last minute checks were done, the hood was closed, and everyone was in the car, Luke cranked it over and they headed to the starting line for the last time that day.
“Got any plans, Luke?” Linda asked. “My calculation says we could use a bit of a speed boost.”
“I could rev the piss out of it and neutral-bomb it. Either spectacular transmission failure occurs, or we throw gravel all over the place.”
“I like our luck so far. Do it.”
Day 1, Stage 11
The huge bright-blue convertible roared as Luke held it in neutral, banging on the rev limiter before the flag dropped. With a well-timed yank and drop on the column shifter, Luke popped it into Drive as the revs started climbing again, causing the car to snarl, sneeze, then proceed to burn the tires going out onto the steep mountain road.
The all mechanical beast sang to the setting sun, the pounding roar of the crossplane V8 mixing with the shrill sound of the turbochargers, combining with the variety of music from Scott’s phone set on Shuffle. A blend of techno, metal, and rock became the background music to their winding ascent, blended with the pure, raw mechanical sounds of their old car.
Luke turned the headlights on, not that he needed them, but he understood other teams needed to see them. As they rounded the last corner and drove through the campground, Luke aimed the car with the same precision they’d first arrived in, narrowly missing a trash can, two benches, and the toilets.
Day 1, Leg 11 / Day 1 Aftermath
“Damn good driving, Luke!” Scott said, unwrapping the bundle of bratwurst, then unlocking the trunk to get out the beer.
Linda and Amy set up the little grill, placing the two very-hot ceramic blocks in the bottom as they prepared some food.
“Hey, Luke, did ya hear about those guys in the Bogliq?” Scott asked.
“What about 'em?” Luke inquired back.
“Their radio’s broken, too. Maybe you could do a favor for 'em, go poke at some broken solder joints with that soldering iron of yours.”
“Well, if they bring it to me, I’ll consider it. Though I’ll have to warn 'em that I don’t use that ROHS-compliant lead-free crap. Not for repair-work, at least.” Luke said, after giving it a half second of thought.
Amy looked at the ignition of the Sinistra Savage, then asked, “Luke, where the hell are your keys?”
“Tucked neatly away in my under-arm compartment, away from thieves. And if anyone thinks they’re going to pry open one of my compartments, I’ve got 400 psi of grip force that says every bone in their hand will be powderized. I’ve also got a soldering iron built into my left hand index finger, so I could just brand them as a thief. And if it gets nasty, you’ll find ol’ Dragon’s Breath in the trunk.”
“Ah, that pile-of-junk oxy-propane torch you built out of things laying around the shop.” Linda quipped, giving her trademark “I’m just joking” grin.
“Hardly a pile of junk. You show me a welding torch with gas bottles that fit on a belt and can provide the heat needed to make quick work of it. Then I’ll consider replacing it.” Luke replied, having missed the grin.
“Why’d you bring it, though?” Scott asked.
“Well… It’s both a welding torch and a cutting tool. It’s something anyone can use.”
Intact, seems to be running fine. Transmission leak is still not conclusive as to being worse or not, but everyone’s assuming it still exists. Fan belt replaced after Luke noticed the one they’d run all day with looked like a rat chewed it. Radio works. Top still sticks, but right now, no one really cares about that.
MRL +7 overall. Feeling good, and comfortable that they’ve made it halfway. Confident the car will at least start for tomorrow. Not overconfident enough to think it’ll breeze through day 2, but hopes are up. Scott’s preparing the mother-of-all-exhaust-leaks for later. Luke currently has no active projects. Amy is teaching Linda how to cook with a grill. Linda is learning not all food comes from a microwave.
(out of character. Needless to say, I’m open for the open RP session. Just had to tie up the loose ends of the day, and now Team Twin-Snail’s ready. If you’ve got broken electronics, you may try your luck with whether Luke can fix them or not. Essentially, he’ll try to fix it, but ultimately, it’s up to VicVictory as to whether it can function or not. Also, feel free to ask for a beer or two, we’ve got plenty, along with bratwurst and burgers. Effectively, this is my declaration that I’ll be active in this.)