Day 1, Leg 4
Before the Stage
"Thank you, Mother Nature." Linda said, as the rain slowed down and eventually stopped altogether. Sure, it was still cloudy as hell, but it wasn't chucking down buckets of rain.
"So, who's drivin'?" Scott asked.
"You volunteering to drive?" Amy asked. Linda looked at their map, then said, "I'll do it. It's mostly gentle downhill, a bit rocky, but we've got that auto-locker in the diff so we shouldn't get stuck."
"Okay, Linda, your turn to carry the keys of destiny." Luke said, handing over the keys to the Sinistra. "Remember, the starter isn't like that in normal cars, you'll have to hold in 'start' until the "starter speed" light comes on."
"Ah, so it's like my dad's shitty diesel van, you've gotta hold on the glow plugs until the light goes out, but in this case, you're waiting for a light to come on." Linda said. "Gotcha."
The team got back into the Snail-Boat and Linda held down the key, the starter whining quietly as the flywheel spooled up. The light went red, and Linda let go of the key, hearing the harsh thud as the starter kicked the engine over. Instantly, the big V8 snarled, gave a muffled roar, and sneezed through the blow-off valves.
"Let's get this mess going!" Linda said, throwing it in Drive and doing an almighty burnout to the starting line.
Day 1, Leg 5
Scott fiddled with the MP3-player-tape-converter-8-track-unit stack, then decided the best song for that leg was AC/DC's Back in Black. With it turned up enough to drown out the cannon-fire from the exhausts, Linda pulled the car down into Low, stood on the brakes, and brought the car up to the torque-converter's stall speed. The flag dropped and instantly, the car lunged over the line, kicking up a spray of loose gravel.
The first scrape gave everyone a bit of worry, until Luke mentioned something unusual about the Sinistra for its time. "She's unibody, and she's galvanized. You're not going to do anything but scrape off the under-body coating doing that." he said, followed by, "And even if you do scrape that coating off, we should have that can of sealant in the trunk."
"Yeah, I checked the supplies this morning. It isn't there." Amy said. "Thought it was a bit suspicious how that stupid can I kept having to move to get to the pre-cooked food was suddenly not in the way. Someone's thieving, and if I catch them at it, they're getting a torque wrench to the lug nuts. And I'm not talkin' their car."
Another scrape caused minor concerns as they heard the sound of the Sinistra's four mufflers banging against rocks, followed by a clanging of metal as the mufflers hit the remains of Team Arstotska's muffler. "Ran over some garbage." Linda said. "Was either that or hit a rock, and I like this car too much to gouge the door like that. Especially on my side."
A third scraping and screeching was heard as they drove over a rock and scraped all the way across the underside of the floor pan. "That sounded bad." Scott said.
"Just a rock. Just sounded worse because we were going a bit slow." Linda said.
Shortly after that, Amy gave a grunt and started cursing as the car slid into a rut and she banged her head on the window.
"We might be stuck." Scott said.
"We've got an auto-locker, a twin-turbo 662 cubic inch V8, and an automatic. We're not stuck!" Linda said. She stomped on the gas, and the car roared, sneezing between the gear change, then roared again, throwing rocks and mud behind the car as it crawled out of the rut, then surged down the hill to the meadows below.
As they crossed the finish line for that stage, parked the car, and got out, they couldn't help but admire the view for a moment before getting the car ready for the next leg.
Day 1, Leg 5 Aftermath
"So, who do you think's the one stealing stuff, Luke?" Amy asked.
"If I had to hazard a guess? There's a couple teams with suspicion, but if I had to guess right this moment, based on what little I've picked up since being here, I'd say those guys in the Grasshopper. They've got one guy who's been wandering away from their team and every time he does, trouble happens or things go missing. But I can't confirm anything without evidence, and that's not permission to go raid their van. We don't need a cycle of retribution going on while we're trying to keep our car going." Luke said.
"So, if you're going to keep me from making a pre-emptive strike, what would you do?"
"Lock the trunk. They damage the lock, keep us from getting to our supplies, I'll do something." Luke replied.
"Like what?" Amy asked.
"I'll come up with it in the moment if it comes down to that. Though I wouldn't be above etching "Thief" into their car, preferably somewhere important." Luke said, before opening the trunk to get to their oil and transmission fluids to top them up again.
Linda and Scott were busy collecting burgers from under the hood. "Hey, we've got lunch!" they said. "Heard about this from those guys in the Enforcer. Supposedly it works, long as you don't have an oil leak."
"Well, ours burns oil, but we don't have an exhaust leak, so I suppose it works." Amy said, getting the buns out of the trunk and preparing some burgers.
A little scuffed, a little scraped, but running fine.
MRL +3 overall. Feeling better, annoyed about missing supplies. Currently enjoying burgers and some music.