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The Great Automation Run | Chapter 16 and final results!


#459

The Scagliati lads roared off down the highway, preparing to fight their way though the weekend traffic along the riviera, the only saving grace being that everyone else would be in the same boat. Christoforo eased the car off the A9, aiming the car for the coastal road that they decided to take a gamble on. Pasquale was taking a quick nap, full on gas station sandwiches. Just as the car set off into Sete, Pasquale was awakened as the radio crackled to life with frantic shouting…and it wasn’t good news at all.

“Zocca, what’s going on…more polizziotti?” Christoforo asked as he dodged around an Espace, the kids in the back staring agog at the noisy, red roadster.

“Too much chatter right now…wait…” Pasquale paused, the handset pressed to his ear to try and hear better, “black cars…scattering…machine guns…Santa Maria, this is not good Christopez!” Pasquale added, turning the same colour as his suit.

“Wait, what are you talking about…machine guns?!” Christoforo replied, almost in shock. “Who is doing this? The local cops? The gendarmes?” Flipping to the police band, Pasquale was greated by more frantic reports of automatic weapons fire from cars, and an arguably even greater level of confusion.

“No Christopez, the locals have no idea it seems, they’re just as confused as our competitors.” Pasquale paused, for a moment.

“This could only be one thing, Zocca,” Christoforo said, slowing the car way down, to blend with the traffic, “One of the borgate…” he added, quietly.

“I don’t know, Christopez…not even those Napoletano bastards are this brazen,” Pasquale added, “il Russi, maybe?”

“Either way, I’m not going to draw any unwanted attention to us!” Christoforo said, driving as inconspicuously as possible.

“In a bright red roadster with your name on it?!” Pasquale said as he shook his head, slinking down in the seat.


#460

One of two things. Either somebody in the mob REAAAAAALY hates street racers… or really hates SOME of the street racers


#461

still, surprisingly, doing well.


#462

Chapter Five (or, for those who prefer, Capítulo Cinco)
Here, have a flashback

Sumgit was coming to realise he’d never catch the leaders of this race, but that made him decide to do his best not to fall any further back. Around a bend, up a hill, down shift, floor it, up shift, rinse, repeat. The freeway part was fun enough, but his concern was with the potential of local law enforcement being able to catch his 300hp POS. When he had departed from, what was that sign? “Chocolateria Valor”, that green thing wasn’t even in his mirror.

Through the run, he managed to lose a spot to the Tsukuba (and wasn’t surprised), but had succeded in passing the… red… this thing fff, but it was still close enough to be a worry.


And now for Chapitre 6
With no idea who Francois Arago was, Sumgit rushed past houses that seemed too close to the road for his comfort. A hard left at the roundabout, then through the centre of Mont-Louis, he assumed the Tsu was somewhere not t far ahead, but couldn’t be too sure. After pressing a random combination of buttons on his GPS, he found out that he’d covered around 1138KM (pretty dangerous doing that while driving, I know from experience) at an average of 145Km/h. Flying past the entrance to the Sauto Train station, he glanced in his mirror for the twenty thousandth time, and there… about 7 seconds back, still, was that neon Kermit-mobile.


#464

“Who drives these cars? What do they want?” Teuvo pondered and mumbled to himself as Kiito crept through the streets. “I don’t like them one bit. They seem threatening,” Jorma said and unintentionally stopped Teuvo’s train of thought. Teuvo agreed and decided to keep a low profile, although the race-tuned engine made it difficult. Suddenly he said: “You know what? Take this.” He reached into his jacket’s inner pocket and pulled out an old Mauser C96 and gave it to Teuvo. “Why do you have this? And how did you get it?” Jorma asked as he grabbed the gun. “It’s my great-grandfather’s. He fought with it in the civil war. Handle it with care, it’s loaded,” Teuvo explained as he kept an eye on the black cars. “I hope that you actually don’t have to use it.”

Soon after hell broke loose as one of the racers got attacked by one of the black cars. Teuvo saw this and shouted to Jorma: “Fuck this low profile shit! GUN IT!” Teuvo shoved the accelerator to the floor and the V6 growled like an angry cat, spitting out a flame when Teuvo shifted up. “Don’t use the gun yet, Jorma. It’s a last resort,” he said and Jorma nodded. The Erins were mostly concentrating on the other racers, but one stuck behind the Kiito. Soon enough the Erin tried to grind the blue coupe against a railing, which sparked Teuvo to hit the brakes and shout in fury: “BASTARDS! MY PAINTWORK! Jorma, now’s the time to use that gun and shoot that car!” Teuvo accelerated in front of the Erin and Jorma started to shoot the car’s critical parts. Two bullets pierced the radiator and one hit it’s tire. The Erin was forced to stop and the Kiito got away to a safe distance.

The road started to get wider so Teuvo kept his right foot glued down. The Erins were still giving chase, but none of them gave the Kiito too much trouble. Both men were extremely tense. Fear of death was pounding at the back of their skulls. They didn’t care about the racing itself anymore. This was a struggle for survival, where rivals had become allies.


#465

Cath and Julia’s Slightly Illegal Grand Tour of Europe - Part 5!

Two middle aged women, a boot full of booze and an Erin Scarlet!

Original Post - Previous Post


The driving had been hard all day, but the Scarlet hadn’t fretted for a moment. The French Riviera was in sight now, a place where this car was truly at home. Not that they’d have time to visit it before turning north and heading towards central Europe.

“Crouton?” said Cath, offering Julia, who was in the drivers seat.

“Ooh yes please, and if you have any more of those dips and the melba toast. And the breadsticks” she replied. Typically, this was their idea of chcoclate bars and crisps.

Just then, a black Erin Berlose flew past going in the other direction. Another one overtook them shortly afterwards. “Odd” said Julia. “Has Marco sent us a present?”

“Pah, present?” replied Cath, sarcastically. “This is the man who’s bought be a Dolly Parton CD for Christmas 3 years in a row”. They both chuckled.

But something wasn’t right. Cars were driving more slowly up ahead, there were emergency vehicles driving about, and a couple of other racers were at the roadside making repairs.

“Is this in your guidebook?” joked Cath. Julia laughed, but it was a nervous one. They passed one of the crashed Berloses. “Geez” she said.

“I don’t like this” said Julia. She tensed up as they approached sea crossing of the D114. It was time to get serious.


#466

Also

Is it the Dacia Sandero?


#467

Walter had been making steady, if slow progress, throughout the course of the run thus far. Up to now, he had rarely encountered anything out of the ordinary, with his slipstream pass on the Barracuda being the highlight. But what happened next would leave him utterly shocked, horrified and stunned. And he was totally unprepared for it.

Within minutes, he came across the scene of a failed mob hit that quickly turned into a brutal massacre. None of the other racers were injured in the shootout, but some of their cars had been damaged and subsequently repaired. As he drove past the carnage, he screamed loudly, “What is this, Die Hard with a Vengeance? Those bloodthirsty, idiotic maniacs must really have a grudge against someone - or something to commit an atrocity on this scale! They have no right to wreak wanton destruction in any car race, legal or not! I hope they ALL get what they deserve sooner or later!” Seething with rage, he immediately upped his pace and set off into the distance to close the gap on those ahead of him - and escape from any assassins.

It wouldn’t be easy, though. These narrow roads tested his concentration, especially on the coastal section where a crash could potentially be deadly. The wider freeway that followed, meanwhile, was a test of guts, but he relished this section: it was the ideal place for him to stretch his car’s legs. And so, he defiantly uttered the words that he hoped would strike fear into the assassins: “If anyone ever tries to destroy this car or take my life, then it will be over my dead body!”


#468

Chapter 8


The Friala cruised which kept the sound at bay but the abundance of crazy cars in a pack didn’t do much for the lower profile despite the efforts of the racers.

“That pick-up truck is still behind us and that blue Kiito is just ahead of us aswell” said Francesca turning to Kyle and throwing a glance through the rear window at the other racers.

“There’s a Berlose between the Kiito and us it’s all blacked out. Didn’t see it at the start of the race” replied Kyle who also was looking out of the rear window of the car.

As soon as the words left Kyle’s lips the unmistakable sound of gunfire ricocheted through the air and in an instant the three racers stepped on it, the snarling V8, growling V6 and roaring V12 resonated and filled the air but as they racers accelerated the sound of a spooling turbo and straight six engine became audible.

“Holy shit!” yelled Kyle turning to Francesca with his mouth open, his cry was almost completely drowned out by the sound of engines.

The blacked-out Berlose began squeezing the Kiito into the guardrail but cannily the driver of the blue car slowed to avoid a crash and Francesca swerved around the Berlose not managing to catch a glimpse of the driver due to the heavily tinted windows.

“Bloody hell they’re going to kill someone” shouted Francesca as the Berlose driver began to open fire on the barking dog that was hanging out of the window of the pick-up truck. “Oh no you don’t, Kyle get that brick from the glovebox”

“Brick! what brick?!” replied Kyle in a panic whilst rummaging through the glovebox. “Got it never mind.”

Kyle leans out the window brick in hand and just at the moment when the driver of Redneck Express executed a rather skillful pit manouver on the Berlose, Kyle launched the brick into side of the spinning Berlose. Kyle gave the thumbs up to the pick-up driver and crawled back into the car. Francesca changed up a gear, the car whistled and spat and shrieks of civilians were heard.

The road division forced the pack of racers into two sides the Friala piled in with other racers close behind, despite the speed the two inside the car were anxious if they could outrun the tuned Erin’s on the highway.


#469

Cindy nervously rowed through the gears, with the roar of the Thunderbolt’s V8 being the only thing calming her nerves after that ominous helicopter kept watch of the pack. That and the 4 cups of coffee didn’t help either. But just as she looked down from the sky, she saw an even more ominous lone of black cars. As th rolled down their windows, her first instinct was to chuck her (scalding hot) 6th cup at one of them. She then retreated as she heard gunfire.

She had overheard some mob related plans that she probably shouldn’t have, but she didn’t think the race would be targeted by anyone but the cops. She began to brake sharply to avoid incoming fire, using the Thunderbolt’s agility to her advantage.

Even so, she’s shaking from the thought of getting in over her head (that and she threw her last cup of coffee out the window)


#470

#Team Marx

Lenin: oh dear, are those gunshots?

Marx: Sounds like it, but much faster than i ever heard before

Lenin: what kind of gun do you think it is?

Marx: one of the Maxim guns from the American civil war?

Lenin: no, sounds faster than that.

Marx: well i don’t know, i’m not from 1995

Lenin: oh, right.

Marx: then you better keep driving before we’re shot to death!

Lenin: on it.


#471

Team Angus - Chapter Eight

Team Angus - Chapter Seven
GAR - Chapter 8

8th of October, 1995, Sete, France…

As we entered Sete proper, Sooty nonchalantly got up, stretched, then spun the inside camera to face the rear. He then sat next to the camera in a way that rendered re-positioning the camera impossible. My curiosity piqued by this weird behaviour, I looked in the mirror and saw a nondescript Erin Berlose slide into position between us and our rival, the closely following Chevallier. In case this car was a snooping member of the local Gendarme, I chose to keep a low profile. Ben was taking a moment to snooze and Valerie was rooting around in one of her bags, somewhat frantically, muttering about misplacing “it” and sounding rather stressed…

All of a sudden all hell broke loose! Another dark coloured Erin had sidled up alongside the Chev, rolled down the window then the occupant stuck the business end of a H&K MP5-K out the window! The Chev’s occupants ducked just in time as the shooter let off a burst into the cabin. As far as I could tell no-one was hurt but the body suffered some damage. Just then Valerie triumphantly yelled and displayed what she was looking for; a black Beretta 92 compact, chambered in 380 Super. Valerie then proceeded to climb into Ben’s lap then lean out of the window, facing to the rear. She then fired five shots into the front grille of the Erin behind us; the Erin spouted a geyser of steam then swerved off the road into a street light!

Satisfied with her work, Valerie returned to the back seat, even as I was hitting the gas, while Ben woke up thoroughly startled by the shooting and being clambered over. Having removed the blocking Erin, the driver of the Chev also gunned it, shoving the shooter’s Erin aside, his passenger firing a pump-action shotgun at the Erin all the while, then hung onto our tail as we hightailed the heck out of Sete!

What happened next was a breakneck free-for-all! Hurtling through the city, civilians running in panic, gunfire as the goons attacked indiscriminately and screeching tyres as some used drift techniques to avoid them. My, now forward facing, camera picked out two of the more intense moments. One of the goons tried to shoot the dog out of the back of a huge black pick-up and got spun out into a shop front for his troubles. Another goon was fast-tracked to the morgue when she took a bullet to the left eye while trading potshots with the passenger of the Tsukuba.

The highway exiting Sete beckoned so we entered it, hopeful that we’d avoid further involvement with gun wielding goons and the inevitable involvement of local law enforcement…

TO BE CONTINUED


#472

Kenji’s POV on Chapter 8

  • Uh… - thought Kenji. - Those guys are more challenging than it may seem, and tourist buses don’t help. - Then he had looked at the nearest traffic and other racers in sight. In meanwhile, when the road became more clear he had noticed some black Erin Berloses in his rear mirror.
  • Huh? More racers or undercover police, or what? - the Japanese thought, shortly after hearing the gunshots that were directed at his car - OH SHIT.

Kenji gone rapidly under the window line to avoid getting taken down by a headshot and pulled out his seat, revealing a secret spot for the SMG, which was fully loaded for such occassion. Kenji wasn’t exactly sure where did this come from, but he did not had time to assume. He had pulled out the gun through the opened driver’s window and one-handedly pointed at the Berloses.

Then, after a while of silence, a massive gunfight had begun. Mafia thugs were shooting to Kenji from their machine guns and the Jap did not mess around with them either. To make shooting down even more difficult NRZ began swaying around from one side of the road to another to avoid gunshots and drifted almost every corner to make a smokescreen between Berloses and itself. After some minutes, Shimura had finally managed to take down mafia: One of the Berloses got hit in the radiator, causing it to stop to avoid overheating, another one got it’s rear tyres deflated resulting in crashing into the guardrail and in third one the driver got headshoted.

There was however one, stubborn Erin Berlose with a driver that basicly was so clever that he was predicting all of Kenji’s moves. The Jap had noticed that too and, after the Sete city he did something extremely stupid and unpredictable: he just had jumped onto the rails heading into oncoming freight. Last Berlose’s driver was hotheaded enough to repeat the maneuver - Maesima had turned in the last moment into Quai des Mouins while the Berlose’s driver panicked and basicly sunk his car in the Canal de la Peyrade to also avoid the train.

Kenji, after losing the mafia pursuit, to make up for the lost time with these Berloses rapidly turned into Eaux Blanches Avenue and continued to push the car even harder to reach the legendary 80s touge racer from his beloved country of origin. He also picked some number at his satellite phone and, after gaining connection, asked:

  • Hello? Kenji here.
  • You don’t use this phone very often. What’s the problem? Great Run starts to be problematic? - the voice had replied.
  • You guessed it, Nanaka-san. YOU are supposed to be my support, at least this is what I’ve been guaranteed, so I called. I’ve just avoided some mafia thugs.
  • Mafia…? That’s interesting. What were their cars?
  • Black Erin Berloses, from sound I guess that they had a turbocharger and were stupidly quick. They’re also armored, so can you send me some… backup? - Kenji asked, with a visible grin on his face and sinister voice tone.
  • Shimura, we can provide you air support containing a chopper. Is that enough?
  • I hope it’s in Europe.
  • Yeah, it is, it will take off in some minutes from Paris. Is that good for you?
  • Fuck yeah! Oh, and send something to keep an eye on the yellow Contendiente Ataque. I heard that there’s another Jap in the race, and he might drive this thing. From rumors, he’s a pro so it would be bad if someone would take him down.
  • Roger that.

As the call had ended, Kenji was just about to enter the D114 route and head to north.


#473

More news.

Christmas has been very busy, and the free time I had was used in different things. I’ll be resuming this challenge in the matter of a day at most. Sorry for the greatly delayed chapters. I’ve set myself a goal of finishing this challenge before January is over.

Chapter 9: quick death.

13 december 2017, 21:32PM. Brooklyn Heights, NY, USA.

Aaron grabbed a noteblock and a pen. Holding the phone between his head and shoulder, he gave the cigarette another puff. A hint of a nervous breathing could be heard from the other side of the phone.

“First question. What made you take part in the race?” - Said Aaron.

“What race do you mean?” - Replied the voice from the other side of the phone.

“The Great Automation Run. You took part, in an '85 Contendiente Conquista, with a Nohda engine swap. A V6 from a Nohda Assent you bored and stroked to 3L…am I wrong?” - Said Aaron.

Silence reigned for a few seconds.

“…I did.” Replied the voice. “What do you want from me, Aaron?”

“You know the backlash we could receive if this was found out by one of these street racing bloggers or something like so? Oh, they’d inmediately point at Motornation for giving you a job!” - Replied Aaron, taking a deep breath. “People like these pseudo street races where the drivers stay in the same lane all the time and slow down if someone approaches them. But you, Kuro…you really went overboard.”


Outside Sétè, France, 15:35. 8th of October 1996. 4221km to Athens.
The google maps route can be seen here.

The cars blazed past the bridge, with the few remaining Erins still chasing. A symphony of different engine sounds, at high speeds, was everything that could be heard at the coastal forest. From the sides of the road, between the trees, a few more black Erins joined the chase. The racers knew it. They had to escape now or never.

Special rule!: every car that’s slower than the mafia car will have to roll a drivability roll. If the roll is not passed (the Arrest/s. rule section equals 1) the racer will be shot at and slowed down.


(Musical suggestion by @ramthecowy!)

The initial straight crossing the forest was followed by an s turn. The Bonham started recovering lost territory to the Chupacabra, trying to flee from the gunshots that were taking place further behind; both were followed, although not closely, by the Evo, which struggled to keep up with the two leaders but was comfortably outrunning the rest and the mafia.

The forest was left behind. In the middle of a fight for the place, the Dolphine bumped the Blood Eagle, sending it out of the road. The classic had to recover, which fortunately didn’t end in anything breaking down, but the place was lost. Further down the pack, one of the mafia cars started shooting at the Dingo Z. The gunshots couldn’t hit the driver or codriver, but the swerving necessary to avoid them slowed the car down, which was passed by the Kiito.

As the road widened and they passed a few road restaurants, the T25 and the 350 Biturbo passed the NRZ. The Friala tried to pass the Maesima as well, only to start losing power as soon as the dogfight started. They desperately looked for a place to stop where they couldn’t be seen, finally stopping behind a bush. A broken injector. The two drivers of the car started the repairs as fast as they could.

With the road widening again but becoming straighter, a dogfight between the Tsukuba and the Breezer broke out. Both cars received gunshots from one of the Erins which was ruining their aero and exhaust mounts, and forcing them to slow down due to the scraping.

The racers soon reached Vic-La-Gardiole. The roads soon joined the train tracks, with the group still being chased by the Erins. The Invader was shot by one of the mafia shooters, piercing one of its wheels. Spinning out into a ditch, the driver found themselves forced to duck until the mafia cars passed to start changing the wheel. The long straight allowed some of the cars to stretch their legs and take places; the Comet GT-R overtook the Scagliatti during this stretch.

Inside the narrow roads of the French Coast the racers had a hard time to maneuver. The Arumina, Bushranger, Canny R and the Visios received a few bullets as well, breaking their aero. They didn’t stop, but they’d have to stop to fix it later. The last Erin in the pack tried to send the Montauk out of the road; however, the driver of the car outreflexed him by braking before impact, letting the black car crash into a ditch.

The racers approached Lattes. One of the black Erins tried to PIT the Canny R; the Scarlet, however, was the one to PIT the mafia car, which rolled over after spinning out. The highway was getting wider and wider, and the Erins were starting to either be taken out by the racers or struggling to keep up. The racers stormed throug the town, hearing the gunshots followed by the inhabitants screaming again, bullets sparkling everywhere. The road was divided once again, making the not too wide road tighter even. Some of the racers decided to take alternate routes, going through parking lots and even a mall, finally getting the mafia out of sight.

The group exited the town. The mafia was nowhere to be seen. The racers sighed, relieved. The race was now taking place in the plains of France, with no place for an ambush to happen. But would this be the only time they’d encounter the mafia?

To be continued.




#474

Team Angus - Chapter Nine

Team Angus - Chapter 8
GAR - Chapter 9
Team Angus Bio

Our hopes were dashed that this nightmare would end upon reaching the highway as more nondescript Erins entered the chase, too slowly to catch the leaders but with plenty of time to get in our way. Valerie then informed us that the occupants of the Erins were local Mafia goons and that she knew this because her brother had been killed by the Mafia. Valerie then intimated that she had then gone on a one woman rampage, killing underworld figures left and right, until the police got too close so she fled to rural Spain, where we picked her up…

Suddenly there was a loud thudding against the rear of the car! We were being shot at again!!! Realising that we’d lost track of the Chevalier and that an Erin had taken its place, I took to the side roads to lose the tail. With little room to maneuver, however, this wasn’t working too well. Valerie then switched seats with Ben, who ducked down in the rear so that he made himself a smaller target, and she then fired three shots. One of those shots took out the Erin’s RHF tyre and the rest impacted the bonnet, causing the Erin to swerve violently and crash into a parked car, we were in the clear!

It was then that I noticed the damage. The rear spoilers were holed and loose and were making a terrible racket as they slapped about in the slipstream. Thankfully no-one was hurt and after a brief but frantic search, Sooty was found fast asleep under the front passenger seat. The damaged aero would require us to stop to either fix or remove it but, for now at least, it was too dangerous to do anything but keep racing.

I sure hope nothing bad has happened to that Chevalier…

To be continued


#475

Walter had survived the previous mob hit without so much as a scratch, but was now aware that it was only his first encounter with the mob. This time, the stakes were higher; the mob had sent in reinforcements just to stop the racers from reaching the end of the stage. Escape would be difficult, considering how narrow the roads were, but not impossible. So he called on every last bit of his driving skills, and after a few nervous minutes, evaded all of his pursuers, before setting off in pursuit of the competitors ahead of him.

While Walter’s Guardsman escaped unscathed, he heard rumors that some of his rivals weren’t as fortunate - and would need to conduct emergency repairs sooner or later. This gave him some much-needed hope, seeing as he was still struggling in the lower midfield. But there was still a very long way to go - and Walter knew that the angry mob could return again at any moment. So he reverted to his usual fast, steady pace and kept on driving as if nothing had happened, which was essentially the case.


#476

Luigi: That car’s coming at us rather fast!

Blake: I see him.

Luigi: Shit!

Blake: Hang on!


Blake: Hold on to your ass!
(Blake slams on the brakes, the Erin misses the Montauk and crashes into a ditch.)
Blake: Gotcha you son of a bitch!

Luigi: Who the hell was that?

Blake: I don’t know. They don’t look like cops. And I doubt we’ve seen the last of them.


#477

Lenin: hey God, why are those people shooting at us?

GOD: they’re the Mafia.

Marx: Can you make them stop?

GOD: but why? you’re avoiding them.

Lenin: good point, let them keep shooting the competition then please

GOD: nope.

at that moment the highway opens up letting the cars escape

Marx: throws middle finger up to the sky again


#478

Marcus kept his foot to the floor, the XR-3’s engine screaming to the world as he tried to outrun the Mafia. He kept the little Makarov in his left hand, threatening Mafia and Racers alike if they dared get close to the little fiberglass sedan, occasionally shooting at the black sedans to make his point serious.

Hooking his thumb into the steering wheel, he rummaged through the center console, grabbed the box of roofing nails, flipped the lid open, and let them fly. This was very shortly followed by a mostly-full glass bottle, before Marcus made a sudden weave into the shopping mall.

There was glass everywhere from other cars making their way through here, but Marcus kept his foot down, driving through a booth selling candy in the process. No one was hurt, but he’d managed to add to the mess, the chaos, and the confusion as gumballs went everywhere. He burst out of the mall and made a bee-line for the outskirts of town, to the safety of the open plains.

With little chance of an ambush, Marcus holstered the gun, keeping an eye on his fuel. “Looks like I’ll be okay for a little while.” he said to himself. “But I’m running lower than I’d like. And whoever dragged the Mafia into this is really going to regret it, if I ever find out who they are.”


#479

Cindy is still quite jittery from the lack of coffee. She’s just about to stop and refill when she hears the 2nd round of gunshots. “Fucking hell, who are these people, ans why do they hate us? No way those are cops. If they were, they’d definitely have choppers and roadblocks set up. I don’t know, this shit’s too shady for me.”

She cycles to a fresh tape the first free moment she has.

The gunfire and ramming picks up again, and she makes a hard right through a small parking lot to avoid being rammed. The Erin driver she threw her coffee at wasn’t happy to see her. But the V8’s sheer potency helped her keep her distance. She quickly sped off as they got out onto the plains, where she sped up, hoping to gain positions. In the meantime, Cindy tapped into her water reserves, still lamenting the total lack of caffeine.