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The Great Automation Run | Chapter 16 and final results!


#509

team Marx

Lenin: we seem to be losing places.

Marx: indeed.

Lenin: and not much else seems to happen.

Marx: indeed.

Lenin:…

Marx:…

Lenin:…

Marx: throws middle finger to sky

GOD: what was that for?

Marx: no particular reason.


#510

On a stretch of derestricted Autobahn, Walter was once again able to exploit the Guardsman’s straight-line performance. However, it was rather limited compared to many of the other cars which entered this race, although being lighter than stock certainly helped. Still, even though the sun had long since set, Walter was relishing the opportunity to feel like Michael Schumacher charging hard along the long straights of the Hockenheimring. Given that there was no possibility of police intervention, Walter easily maintained a steady speed of over 150 mph for extended periods of time.

Shortly after entering Poland, he got a rude awakening from a police chopper. He knew that it was trying to coordinate the ground units that were approaching the pack of racers. This seemed like a chance to utilize his defensive driving skills and make an escape. But would it work? For now, evading the cops would override his priority of getting a good finish.


#512

Chapter 14: Outrun.


Outside Krakow, Poland, 02:59. 9th of October 1995. 1982km to Athens.
The google maps route can be seen here.

The racers started turning soutbound, in an attempt to avoid the police that was still following them. Their target: getting to Greece before the police could catch them.


(Musical suggestion by @Mikonp7!)

(Special rule: b routes. If the police focuses too much on one driver (doesn’t pass a drivability check) they will have to find a b route, losing some time in the process.)

The Bonham was too focused on avoiding the police to be able to try and close the stretch between it and the Evo. If that wasn’t enough, the roads were becoming twistier and twistier, with the driver having to not only keep their car under control but also their awareness of the police. This eventually overwhelmed the driver, and as soon as the group reached Gronków, the Bonham detoured through Lesnica. The green lime wagon managed to get rid of the police and rejoined the group after the border with Slovakia was crossed. The drivers of the Evo and the Bonham switched places, with the Bonham, however, only 5 seconds in front of the Evo, which wasn’t giving up yet.

With the police still following the group, they found why the roads were becoming twistier and twistier: they were going directly towards the Národný park montains. The group entered a mountain pass, where the Maesima overtook the Bohrs during one of the hairpins. There, the Guardsman also took advantage of the twisty environment to overtake the Visios and the Perenne as well.

The police units were starting to show uncapable of keeping up, some of them dropping out of the pursuit; not before forcing the Friala to detour, though, as they reached Brezno. The roads became less and less twisty gradually, allowing the 219+13 to stretch its legs and get behind the Fatalita, starting a exotic car duel. In the meantime, the Chevallier drafted behind the Barracuda, getting up to speed and overtaking it, but not before some paint sharing again. The racers smashed through the border with Hungary, the border officials informed too late that the racers were going southbound.

The racers avoided Budapest, from which more police cars joined the pursuit. The chaos was starting to break out between the different police cars, some of them crashing into each other. This allowed the racers to have some margin to breath, but the pursuit was far from over.

The Serbian border was the next to be crossed. The racers were still pursued by the police cars that still had some fuel range to keep up, while others were outran or started to run out of gas. Little cars were still in pursuit by the time the racers crossed the Danube. Those who had a police scanner picked this up:

Policeman: “We lost them. We’re retreating.”

Other policeman: “Last known direction?”

Policeman: “Southbound. Either towards Macedonia or Bulgaria.”

Other policeman: “We’ll inform the borders. This is getting outta hand.”

The racers chose to go through Bulgaria. Some more police cars rejoined the pursuit at the border, but they were unable to chase the racers. Only the Bushranger and the Barracuda were forced to change their route; the last stretch before Greece was mostly twisty, where the Dolphine managed to extend its advantage in front of the Fatalita and the 219.

The last few minutes of Bulgaria felt tense to all of the racers. They didn’t know what would wait for them at Greece, only that Athens was roughly 700km away at that point. Consumed by the fatigue, but kept aware by the threat of the police ambushing them, some of the drivers cracked an energy drink open, while others lit a cigarette up whenever they found a stretch safe enough to do so.

Then the Greek border became visible in the horizon.

To be continued.


Times spreadsheet:



#513

Team Angus - Chapter Fourteen

Team Bio
Team Angus - Chapter 13
GAR - Chapter 14

Poland proved to be a bust; too many cops and too much chaos. Upon reaching Krakow we turned south so we could try and lose the police in Hungary instead. Unfortunately all that was achieved was a smashed border post and two different flavours of police cars mixing together the same way Coke and Mentos mints do…

There was nothing for us to do but run for Hungary’s southern border, shared with Serbia, and hope that the police gave up the chase. They didn’t, of course, only stopping the chase when they ran out of fuel! Serbia was almost as bad for us, we were able to reach the border with Bulgaria unscathed, but a last minute road-block on the Serbian side of the border saw us having to take the long way via a ‘B’ road, losing us precious time.

As we approached the border to Greece, Ben and I shared a significant look; the end of the race was at hand. We needed that money and we needed it bad. What difficulties would Greece reveal and was there any hope of our team actually winning this thing, or would we be selling the Bushranger to be able to get home…

TO BE CONTINUED


#514

In Poland, the police presence was much heavier than it had been at any previous point in the race. But as Walter saw the mountains of the national park come into view, he saw an opportunity to evade the cops on the increasingly twisty roads. He did just that, and promptly overtook the Visios and Perenne in the process. However, the high-speed sections that followed exposed the Guardsman’s relative lack of straight-line pace, although it still held its own with ease. As Walter drove on through the night and across several borders, his adrenaline was pumping, partially negating the fatigue that had been bothering him lately.

By the time he got to Bulgaria, the situation was as tense as it had ever been. Walter decided to up the stakes by pushing harder through the night. The strategy paid dividends; he did not have to take a detour en route to the Greek border. Meanwhile, the racers ahead of him fought over the top placings as if there was no tomorrow.

The race had gone well for him so far. No, he hadn’t managed to work his way very far up the field, but given the presence of several highly tuned machines, the lack of progress was basically a given. Even so, anything could happen in the last few hundred miles, and to fail to finish now would be a huge disappointment. So Walter decided not to take too many unnecessary risks on the rest of the route, and concentrate on reaching the finish line.


#515

Jorma was awakened from his slumber when Teuvo shook him and yelled: “Jorma, I need you!” “Wha-? Is something wrong?” Jorma answered while still being half asleep. “I need you to spot traffic and cops, especially from our rear flanks! I need to concentrate on the road ahead!”

The men made an excellent team. While Jorma spotted the cars and read them like pace notes, Teuvo could concentrate fully on the driving. However, soon enough they felt a harsh bump from the rear which sent them into a spin. Teuvo was able to recover and keep driving straight but he noticed how the car was veering to the right and felt less powerful. “Goddamnit, someone shunted us! That bastard… Something broke, I can feel it. We need to stop.”

By the side of the road, Jorma immediately noticed what was wrong: their rear-right wheel was pointing to the left. Jorma quickly took the wheel off, saw bent suspension work and cursed heavily. “We need spares… We need to keep driving and hope to God that the next service station has the parts we need.”

Luckily, the next service station was close and happened to stock the parts that the men needed. Jorma was able to quickly change the bent parts to new ones while Teuvo filled up the car and bought some goods. “I got us some of these energy drinks. I hear they’re all the rage.”

The men were able to race through the rest of the stint without too many complications. Soon they realized that the race was starting to be at its last legs. “We’ll be crossing the border to Greece soon. Ahh, I’ve been waiting for this”, Teuvo told, seemingly relaxed. “The land of Socrates, Souvlaki, and Ouzo. Trust me, I’m not going to leave as soon as the race ends. I’m going to stay here for… Well, at least a month.” Jorma didn’t answer, as he was pondering what he would do. With silence inside the car, Teuvo pushed the gas pedal to the floor and the car rode into the sunrise.


#516

Otis was grinning ear to ear, Jake was barking hysterically as they finally passed the Thunderbolt gaining back a position they had swapped many times. Unfortunately the pass was short lived when one of the locals not seeing the rapidly approaching truck in the distance pulled out on to the road. Otis slammed on the brakes and tried to steer around the car but clipped it solidly enough to rip the front plastic of the other car completely off along with part of its grill. The car was knocked off the road and into a ditch where the driver and passengers cussed Otis in a language he didn’t understand, or hear for that matter. A short distance later Otis was forced to pull over to fix the front bumper, fender and flat tire. Not only did the Thunderbolt pass, but so did the Conquista.


#517

For Marcus, it was loosely restrained chaos as he floored the neon-green XR-3 down the highway, dodging traffic, cop cars, border patrol, and debris from the other cars. He held a cigarette in his left hand, also gripping the wheel with that hand as he ripped through the gears, the loud snarling engine propelling the lightweight little shit-nugget down the road.

As they burst through Bulgaria, Marcus hurled a bottle out of the window at a police car, then flicked his cigarette as well, setting the car on fire. “Stay off my ass.” he grumbled, roaring toward the Greek border in the fiberglass sedan.


#518

Being from a RHS drive country, this type of stuff always confuses me momentarily.


#519

Chapter 15: Land of philosophes.


Near the Greek border, Bulgaria, 9:44. 9th of October 1995. 618km to Athens.
The google maps route can be seen here.

The Bonham was getting ready to smash into the Greek border when the driver realized all of the lines through the border were full of cars. Having to brake, the lime green wagon stopped behind another car that was going through the inspection at the moment. As soon as the previous car left, one of the border agents stopped in front of the car while the other moved towards the driver side window, swiftly unsheathing their gun and pointing it at the driver. The border agent then gestured the driver to lower the window.

“Alright, you little shit…you guys have 15 minutes until we set the alarm off. You better drive quick. You know the drill, Athens.” - Said the border agent. The barrier was raised and the cars let through.


(Musical suggestion by @titleguy1!)

The cars floored it as soon as they exited the border, finally into the hilly landscapes of northern Greece. Inside the twisty but fast highways, the Evo was the first car to make a move and overtake the Bonhan after a long draft.

The quickest route would be through the coast. As they blitzed past the downhill towards Salonica, the Dolphine claimed its place back from the Blood Eagle yet again. Traffic was starting to fill the highways again, proving to be a challenge for the racers to avoid once again, combined with the fatigue most of them were feeling by now. As soon as the racers got past Salonica, the long straight allowed the Bushranger to overtake the Scarlet.

The temperature was rising as the racers drove next to the sea, allowing them to grip the road a little better. However, the tyres were more than broken in by this time, and worn as well. Some close calls took place, as the Redneck Express lost traction for a second before recovering control; not before allowing the Kiito to overtake them, though. The roads swiftly became wider, allowing the Friala to overtake the 333 GT3 by sheer brute force. The road was progressively getting twistier, but that situation wouldn’t last forever. However, the Scagliati took advantage of this stretch to overtake the XR-3.

The coast went by swiftly, and soon the racers found themselves next to Glifa. The Comet GT-R overtook the Conquista there, after a clever move. Soon, the Evo and the Bonham were fighting it out next to Anthili. The drivers of the Bushranger checked in their map. That was the last waypoint before Athens. They were now roughly…200 kilometres away from Athens.

To be continued…or perhaps finished? :smirk:


Times spreadsheet:



#520

so… the Evo and the Chaucer are separated by 3 seconds.

This will be :popcorn:


#521

Chapter 16: End of the road.


Outside Lamia, Greece, 12:08. 9th of October 1995. 200km to Athens.
The google maps route can be seen here.

All of the racers knew it. This would be the last stretch. The final sprint. Some of the racers’ minds were being consumed by the fatigue, but their will kept them going forwards to try and finish the race. After all, having done more than 5000 kilometres, 200 kilometres wouldn’t make too much of a difference.


(Musical suggestion by @dylansan!)

With the Evo still in fighting range, a battle broke out between the Gr. B monster and the lime green wagon. Both cars started swerving around traffic, avoiding trucks, cars and motorcycles alike, furiosly making their engines scream through the torture device the throttle pedal was. It wasn’t until they arrived at the bend away from the Kallidromo park that the worn tyres the Evo was sporting lost grip, forcing the car to slow down as it countersteerd and allowing the Bonham to take the lead once again, not wasting its opportunity. The Chupacabra was too far behind to be a threat, which served as a relief to the two racers now battling the first place out.

The highway was starting to lose its twistiness, allowing the cars to stretch their legs for the last time. Taking advantage of this, the Cannonero desperately tried to draft behind the Guivre, but failing to do so as its top speed was insufficient; the blue coupe kept outrunning the orange one despite its repeated attempts; however, as the highway became twistier again near Kamena, the Cannonero made a move, fooling the Guivre into thinking it was going to draft behind and overtaking it on the outside. The following few corners just confirmed this, giving the Cannonero some advantage over the Guivre. The same happened with the Dolphine and the Blood Eagle; the latter tried to overtake the former in the inside, but the traffic stopped it from completing the overtake as it had to slow down, letting the black coupé keep its place.

Not much happened until Proskinas, where the Interval, dummy overtaking the Kiito, took the inside and passed the blue sports car. The Kiito wasn’t taking that, however, and tried to fight back several times until Lake Illiki, where the cornering of the Interval and wider powerband paid off, extending the difference between the two cars.

Then the cars entered a long straight. There, the Tsukuba overtook the Conquista, which had previously taken the place the Comet had taken during the last stretch. There, the Scarlet overtook the Visios and the Chevallier, both vehicles trying to fight back during the overtake and sharing some paint in the process.

The racers went by Ekali, the outskirts of Athens finally visible. This was it. The race was about to end. The road was starting to get narrower. The last stretchs of the urban highway were full of events, with the Guardsman trying to fight in the last minute with the Barracuda. The racers exited the urban highway towards the city centre. As the Bonham and Evo took the detour towards the docks, two people with helmets raised papers which read “FINISH”. The racers went past them, stopping not far after.



(Musical suggestion by the host!)

The Bonham saw the Evo still chasing him. The streets were narrow, forcing both cars to swerve past traffic. People jumped aside in panic, and the few police cars present could barely follow the two racers. The Bonham gripped the turn towards the right, while the Evo Scandinavian flicked it, taking the inside of the turn and forcing the Bonham to hold back. The extremely narrow streets made the Bonham unable of overtaking, but it kept up with the brute force the engine was feeding the rear wheels.

The narrow straight abruptly ended as the two cars rejoined the main street, the Bonham glued to the Evo’s ass like the result of the race would save his life. The two cars swerved past the traffic jam, leaving a trail of chaos and noise behind them. The long street was dominated by the Evo, but the Bonham wasn’t giving up yet, keeping the pace up. Both drivers felt the fatigue and pressure on their shoulders, and knew only a couple of kilometres separated them from the finish line.

Both racers scrapped their paint as they rubbed against objects and other cars in their way to the docks through the industrial area, before the streets had the chance to open up again. The end of the industrial area was determined by the widening of the streets and sight of boats stationed at the docks.

Both drivers floored it. Their engines screamed, their tyres squealed, worn out. The effects of such an unforgiving race were clear on their cars.

The last straight was there. They could see another guy holding a portable blackboard with “FINISH” written on it with both hands. The two cars were side by side, head to head. The street was empty.

Both drivers banged through the gears, sweating like they never had before. As both cars redlined their last gear…the Bonham passed the Evo again, braking before for the last roundabout and arriving at the man the first one.


The same man that gave the start a day ago in Malaga was there, standing next to the Evo and the Bonham, which were now stationary at the final roundabout of the docks, their tyres worn out, their engines overheated, with the fans on their car struggling to cool them down. The man grabbed his Alcatel phone, dialing a number. Two tones were heard before the phone was picked up at the other side.

“Any news?” - Replied a deep, but quiet voice.

“Ye. Race is over, boss. Got the results for ya.” - Replied the man, with a wacky voice, high pitched but clearly a man’s.

“You go ahead and tell me.”

“This is the top ten:”

1st place - @Leonardo9613 (Congratulations for the first place! The lime green Bonham will be remembered as the winner of the GAR.)
2nd place - @strop (Congratulations for the 2nd place and constant pressure and rivalry with the Bonham! Has to be one of my favourite entries.)
3rd place - @Stryfe (The Chupacabra proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Congratulations on closing the podium!)
4th place - @stensen (An unexpectedly strong contender. Great job!)
5th place - @Rk38 (Consistent and fast, held its place for most of the race. Congratulations!)
6th place - @ramthecowy (With a proper eightilicious entry, Xavier and his Dolphine take the 6th place!)
7th place - @JohnWaldock (Took the risk, submitted a classic car, paid off! Welcome to the top 10!)
8th place - @Deponte (The fusion of a muscle car and a sports car. I believe. All I know, is that it made it to the top 10! Congratulations!)
9th place - @TheElt (Probably the craziest entry in this challenge, with over 1000hp. Congratulations!)
10th place - @Deskyx (The Fatalita closes the top 10)


Special thanks to all the people who put up with my lack of consistency in the upload of this challenge, but I’m glad we all got here finally. I hope you guys enjoyed this challenge as much as I did, even with its lows and highs, and some times, wacky stories. Special thanks to all of them who submitted a car and tried an approach at an extremely unforgiving race, spanning several countries and around 5600km. This challenge couldn’t have been possible without you :grin:

But you guys determine if the challenge is over or not. You can rp epilogues for you characters, flashbacks some time later, or any ideas you come up with. :wink:

And now, I’ll take a good break before my next challenge. As @squidhead and @EnryGT5 pointed out to me, being burnt out is definitely not a good idea. See you guys then!


#522

The penultimate leg was one of the most intense stages of the race, and by now Walter was resigned to the fact that he would never be able to win outright. On the other hand, he was impressed by the performance of his lightly tuned - and lightened - Guardsman, and the excitement and wonder that came from entering the Run far outweighed any amount of financial reward. But he was eager to salvage some pride, and floored it anyway as he entered the Greek freeways. Surprisingly, the Guardsman held its own on this fast, flowing section, and maintained its position with ease.

On the coastal roads southbound of Thessaloniki things were going well as usual, despite the dense traffic. Even after driving non-stop for the better part of a full day, Walter was determined not to let some of his rivals out of his sight, and kept up the pressure. While the high temperatures ensured that his Guardsman would grip the road better, it also accelerated tire wear, and so Walter had to call on every ounce of his skill to avoid a spinout or blowout. Fortunately, he stayed out of trouble, and continued to follow the pack south to Athens.

During the very last leg of the race Walter maintained his usual fast but steady pace. He was jockeying for position, with a Scarlet and Perenne lurking behind him. There was no way he could catch the Barracuda, though, but he could hold his head high as he entered Athens. Even though he had failed to beat the highly strung Goliaths with his lightly tuned David, he was proud of what he had done. After weaving through city traffic at breakneck speed, he finally crossed the finish line, 33rd out of 45 entrants, feeling elated and relieved at the same time.

Shortly afterwards, Walter received a phone call from his boss, Roger Hart.

“So, how was it?”

“Uneventful, except for a run-in with the mob somewhere in France, followed by an intense police chase on the Autobahn, but I came through those unscathed, as did the car. By the way, I didn’t enter this race to win - that acid green Bonham-Borch was just too fast for me, or anyone else for that matter - but to see if reducing weight made any difference to the Guardsman’s performance - and it did, ensuring that I beat a Scarlet and Perenne, of all things, to the finish line. Besides, the thrill that comes from an outlaw road race is more valuable to me than any financial incentive will ever be.”

“Great. By the way, I managed to covertly take a few pictures of your car while it was on the move. I have to say that our colleagues are impressed by your showing. As of now, WMD has officially decided to commence production of the Guardsman 3.0R, to your exact specifications, with a production total of 500 units annually. I’m sure that reward will be commensurate with your abilities. However, if you ever decide to do a cross-continent race like this again, keep this in mind: driving like Michael Schumacher or Damon Hill will only get you so far. You’ll need a much more powerful car to keep up with the leaders. That’s why I’m giving you a chance to drive just that - by promoting you to Chief Test Driver, effective immediately.”

“Sweet! Thanks for those action shots. I would have gone mostly unnoticed without you. Anyway, I have to head back home now, but what will you do with the car?”

“You can keep it for as long as you want. Anyway, thanks for the ride. Goodbye.”

Overjoyed at receiving a promotion from his employer, Walter walked away from his Guardsman as his fellow WMD employees loaded it onto a trailer to be shipped back to his home and smiled, knowing that, despite a lack of power, he had managed to finish the Great Run without any damage at all, and held his own against more potent machinery.


Congratulations to the top ten finishers, and many thanks to @Mr.Computah for hosting such an enthralling challenge!


#523

A suitable finish. Falling agonisingly short is only right for a rookie with a lot of spunk but less experience.

I’m told that everybody doesn’t have long until the cops close in. As soon as I figure out my timetable this week I’ll finish the story I started at the beginning of this all, because it’s going into official Armada lore.


#524

Cath and Julia’s Slightly Illegal Grand Tour of Europe - Part 7!

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

Original Post - Previous Post


Julia and Cath arrived some time after the commotion of the finale. They’d passed a few cars on the run into Athens, but they’d long concluded that they werren’t going to win. Still, it hadn’t been all for nothing; Cath had got a whistle-stop tour of Europe coutesy of Julia’s excellent knowledge on the continent, and they were now in Greece with no need to leave for at least 2 days.

A weekend away from the husbands in the gentle autumn warmth of southern Greece? What could be better!

Cath cruised the Scarlet along the Pireas waterfront. “Shout if you see a cocktail bar” she noted to Julia. “Especially if the bar staff look handsome”.

“Here we are, on the right there” Julia said. Cath parked; Julia grabbed her Gucci sunglasses, while Cath rummaged around on the back seat to grab her beach shawl.

“Yes darling, we’re fine. We’ll be back soon. Love you. Bye.” - Cath pushed the aerial back down on her phone. “Marco’s fine, it’s raining back in Nottingham but he’s promised me he’s not staying in the office all weekend”.

“Nice” said Julia, soaking in the view across the marina. The a waiter came over, the same one that had been serving them all afternoon. Julia turned to him with a flirty smile; she’d already checked him out twice.

“What will the ladies have?” he asked, confidently.

Cath smirked. “Another Singapore Sling please, add it to the tab darling”.

“And I’ll have another Sangria please. Go heavy on the sliced orange” Julia requested, subtly pouting at the young man.

“Coming right up” he said, before walking off.

“Julia!” Catch exclaimed. “What about that Arthur fella in the Bonham?”

“I thought you said I couldn’t flirt with him” Julia retourted.

Cath chuckled. “Oh dear, you are funny one” she remarked. “He was definitely loving it”

“Oh the waiter? For sure. He looks local to me” Julia replied.

“Ask him when he brings the drinks” she said.
Julia put her sunglasses back down and put her feet up. It was a good end to a good drive.


Awesome work @Mr.Computah and well done for slogging through all those calculations, loved following the story. And big congrats to Leo’s Bonham and Strop’s Evo!


#525

The engine on the XR-3 roared along as Marcus flew through the finish line, though he didn’t stop driving like many of the others. He knew his only chance to avoid getting arrested would be to fight his way back through the field (thankfully he wasn’t a front-runner, or this would be far more difficult) and make a break for Russia.

The big triple made a spectacular show of fire as Marcus spun the car around and headed back through the group, driving the wrong way and into traffic, reducing the chance of a sustained chase through fear of injuring civilian traffic.


It would only be several years later that rumors of a bright green sedan with neon lighting would spread out from Moscow, and how it held the Russian police off for three days trying to catch it before a bystander, sick of the noise and police cars driving around, threw a trash can at the car and all-but-destroyed the fiberglass paneling. Those rumors insisted that the same man drove the steel unibody through the streets until he disappeared somewhere near China, the car found with a blown engine, but the man long gone.


And yet, Marcus made it back to the United States of America, once again without his street-racing car, but still alive. More importantly, he had a suitcase full of tapes to try to get his brother to drop the street racing act. Unfortunately, they got Cody deeper into the street racing scene, riding on his brother’s infamous chase through Russia to raise his own street cred. This continued for several years, up until Cody faced jail time if he went racing again. Marcus wouldn’t be seen for a long while, though he made an appearance for a clunker-race, where time, fate, and his temper caught up with him.

But that… That is a tale for another time.



Congratulations to the Top Ten, thank you to @Mr.Computah for hosting this awesome and wild race, and thank you to the Automation Community for making this so much fun to read!


#526

Team Angus - Chapter Fifteen, Sixteen and the Epilogue

Team Bio
Team Angus - Chapter 14
GAR - Chapter 15
GAR - Chapter 16

When we reached the border crossing to Greece we found ourselves being waved through by the border guards. Not willing to look a gift horse in the mouth we hightailed it past the barriers and into Greece proper. We followed the other racers in selecting the coastal highway and took advantage of the straights to make up for lost time dodging cop cars…

Traffic on the highway proved to be heavy but Ben kept up the pace, despite his fatigue and the worn state of our tyres. This meant that we were in for for a pleasant surprise… We’d caught up with the Erin Scarlet S!!!

B: “Well stone the crows! There’s that slippery l’il fish from up in the alps!”

V: “What is this thing you call a crow and why do you want to hurt it?”

A: “Crows are birds like a raven. But we don’t want to hurt them, stones or no stones”

V: “Then why mention them? Is this some sort of code?”

B: “Strewth! It means that I’m expressing surprise, OK!?!?”

V: Ooh, OK… Like, how do you say it? Holy shitsnacks?"

A: “Yeah, just like that. Ben! Overtake that car ASAP!!! Our honour is at stake!”

B: “Want me to challenge them to a winner-takes-all Touge?”

A: “Haha, very funny, just pass them will you!”

B: “Let’s see… I have a plan”

V: “Shoot them?”

A & B: “NOOO!!!”

A: “No shooting competitors! Ben, just get it done, please?”

B: “Already on it old bean, don’t fret!”

Ben waited for the right moment then drafted the Erin and pushed past at the next corner. As per their spectacular pass on us in Italy, we didn’t touch them at all, we just roared on by. We were now clear for our run into the final stage of this crazy mess of a race. There was now no way we’d win it but we were determined to at least reach the finish line…

V: “Map says we’re really close to the finish, only two hundred kilometres to go!”

B: “I can’t wait for this to be over! I’m looking forward to going for a swim when this is all over!”

A: “Me too… Clear Mediterranean waters, golden sands and something cold and refreshing to drink”

V: “I have business to attend to in Athens but I’ll definitely come along for the ride!”

A: “What about you Sooty?”

Sty: “Meow!”

All: “Hahahahahahahahaaaa…”

The final stretch was anticlimactic to say the least; all the action was taking place among the front-runners! By the time we arrived four hours had passed since the winners had been declared and there was no-one to see us pass the line except for a lone race “official” who marked our arrival time on his pad then told us to “sod off”…

We ended up 40th out of 45 entrants. Both the Chevallier (38th) and the Erin Scarlet (35th) ended up beating us. The Bushranger was too big, too heavy and most crucially, too slow. We got really good footage of shootouts but it wasn’t likely that it’d be useable for the movie I had planned.

After we’d moped about a bit (while Valerie spoke on a payphone to someone) I decided to get us somewhere to stay for the night, as well as to get our car off the street.

A: “OK team, let’s get ourselves a place to stay and get ourselves off the street before some cop spots us and we find ourselves spending a long, LONG time in a jail cell somewhere downtown”

V: “Don’t worry, I have just the place where we, and the car, can slip under the radar for a few days”

A: “OK, lead the way, you know what you’re doing”

V: “Also, give me those guns, you won’t need them and if we DO get arrested you don’t want to add firearm charges to the rap sheet”

B: “If you say so…”

We handed the Marakovs back to Valerie who returned them to her carry bag then Valerie kindly offered to drive so that Ben could have a rest. Ben moved into the back seat and I sat shotgun while Valerie proceeded to her hideout via the empty streets of Athens poorer areas. I must have dozed off because all of a sudden we stopped. We were in an alleyway behind a warehouse at the Athenian port!

A: “What’s going on?”

B: “Yeah, I wanted to go for a swim but at the docks? Ewww”

V: " We are waiting for my friends to arrive, then everything will be fine, juuust fine"

A: “Uhhh, Valerie, why is there a gun in your hand”

V: “Time to get out, both of you, now MOVE!!!”

We bundled out of the car and sat on some crates as directed by Valerie. A couple of minutes later a big, black BMMA Narwhal drove down the alley and disgorged four gangster looking dudes who then slowly approached Valerie and our Bushranger…

Gangster Lead: “So, do you have the footage?”

V: “Yep, it’s in the back seat of the car, take it and take the car too, this thing is all over the police radar at the moment”

GL: “What about the stiffs?”

V: “Nobodies. Give 'em their passports and let them hitch their way to their embassy. No-one’s gonna believe them anyway…”

GL: “Fine… Bobby, Marko, do as the lady says and get those two out of my sight!”

And that was the last I saw of either Valerie or our Bushranger. We managed to get a lift to the Australian Consulate and from there, once we were processed, we caught a ride home on a tramp freighter. Upon arriving home in Aus, Ben and I resolved that if there was another race, this time we’d take something with a turbo and a LOT more power!

Faced with a smaller budget than usual, Angry Angus: Irritation Road was re-jigged to be about an Aussie with anger issues who, while on location in Japan, has to race different members of the Yakusa in Touge events to win his freedom and that of his leading lady.

The film sold better than expected which meant that Sam got what he wanted, despite losing the race! Ben was paid more money for this film, mainly because he traded a salary for a larger slice of the proceeds, and was able to finally buy himself a house…

THE END!!!


#527

Chapter 15

Otis was pushing hard now, the race was nearly over. The windows were up the ac turned off the giant truck slid around every corner. Jake was no longer barking a the cars he was looking out the front window with his hackles up. He also knew the end of the race was near.

Otis pushed too hard, and took out a section of guard rail the damage to the left rear corner was extensive with the rear bumper jutting almost straight out and the side behind the tire smashed in. He kept going, at this point the truck would make it or it wouldn’t.

Chapter 16

Athens was in sight, in the far distance. Otis only had one fuel stop left to make. He pulls into the station with the tires squeeling leaving large black stripes snaking through the lot. As he fills the tank tufts of smoke come out of the wheel wells from the brakes and tires. The smell of hot brakes, burnign tires, antifreeze, oil and molten chocolate fills the air. Jake stays inside waiting for the tortuous pause to end, whining when ever any car goes by on the road.

The refuel ended Otis takes off leaving another pair of snakes out of the lot.

Athens is roaring past when otis sees the finish. He crosses the line a mere 2 hours and 30 minutes behind the lead, considering what he was driving he feels good its still an impressive finish.

Otis doesn’t stop, he heads straight for a dock, once there he drives straight into a waiting shipping container the side mirrors both get smashed in on entry. Jake and Otis climb out the back window and out of the container to find that due to the bent bumper the truck no longer fits. One of the dock workers brings over a gas powered cutting saw and removes the offending piece. The doors now closed the truck finds its way back to the States in a few days.

Otis, “Well Jake lets go and find out what position we are in shall we”

Dock worker, “If your headed into town your going to have to have your dog on a leash.” He then opens another container and a box inside and tosses Otis a brand new leash fresh from China.

Jake gives a low growl, he doesn’t ever like being on a leash.

Otis puts it on him anyways the lets the other end fall to the groud to be dragged behind Jake. They then head off to go hail a cab to take them to where they can find out how they did.


#528

Cindy flew past the finish line. Although dissapointed in her loss, she was proud of herself for finishing amidst the police chases and encounters with the mafia. Her acheivment gave her much greater confidence in her driving ability.

“Guess I just need to get back to Virginia and sell this thing before anyone realizes what happened here.” A few days later, she’s back in Arlington as though nothing happened. She manages to sell the Thunderbolt for close to what she paid for it, so money wouldn’t be a major issue.

Her life after the race is pretty normal aside from her getting more involved in motorsports than before, now making the time to make weekly appearances at local events. Not to mention finally opting to turbocharge her RX7. This race solidified Cindy’s obsession for all things speed. And next time, she plans on dominating.


#529

“We won”

That is what Arthur’s text to his boss and to the madman at Borch read. Simple and straight forward, for a good reason, typing on his old Motorola was a nightmare and he had bigger things to deal with. Like the arrival of the rozzers, for one.
He nodded to the Evo driver to thank her for the continent long race, that was decided in a matter of seconds.

The thousands of miles travelled really ended him, his back with severe pain after sitting on the bucket seat, his ears partially death and nearly bleeding from the engine racket. But he had won, and nothing could ever feel better than that.

The plucky lime green wagon with a rushed engine transplant and extremely stripped out interior made it and beat many other great cars on the process, that was a feat in itself.


Thanks to @Mr.Computah for undertaking this very challenging endeavour and also to @strop for the great battle.