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The Great Automation Run | Chapter 16 and final results!


Berga, Catalonia. A small industrial and culturally rich city about one hundred kilometers away from Barcelona perched in the mountains of Spain.

Situated on the banks of the Canal Industrial de Berga since 1975, Cavallera had made this their home. By the late 80s, they broke out of their ownership and launched into the 90s with a somewhat successful motorsport foundation in a time of economic prosperity around the world. The engineers at Cavallera had been making cars and engines for almost 30 years at this point. This expansion of the company meant that many of the engineers and designers not only put together the cars but also raced. A few people were so driven by their passion that they even committed their free time to it as a hobby alongside working full-time at an automobile company.

Two young men, a junior test driver and an engineer, Xavier (Xavi) Llobet and Rocco Martell formed Enso, starting off as a bodyshop company that only worked with BMMAs and Erins, both each a love of the two. This story began with a crashed Salmon that rolled into their shop one day in 1991. It was no major repair, just a bumper replacement, a new radiator, new headlights and an wheel alignment job, but for Xavi that was all it took it to spark a new infatuation. Two years later he managed to save up enough money to buy a used mark 3 BMMA Dolphine. Gutting the internals, the engine bay was cleared deeming the inline 6 too weak for any performance to be extracted out of it and the drivetrain was modified to rear wheel drive, but the original gearbox was retained, the only change done was a tweak to the final gear. The Dolphine was put through a severe diet, with fibreglass panels replacing much of the exterior, out went the semi-active suspension together with most of the passenger amenities. All these changes added up to a car weighing in under a thousand kilos without an engine. What was left was to get one.

This was where Roc came into the picture. His father’s love for cars, specifically Erins had rubbed off on him as a child. The aging father decided to hand over his beloved 1986 mark 1 Erin Scarlet X. Roc quickly realised the car had not fared well after all the enthusiastic driving it had taken, so the best choice would be to save what could be and find a different Erin. Extracting the 3.6L V8 from the now retired British beast, the two began the process of overhauling the engine. By the time the engine had been fully modified with a displacement enlargement, race spec cams, exhaust and intakes, custom ECU with tuning, an uprated fuel system and ignition timing changes among many other small tweaks, the summer of 1994 had arrived. It had been a long and tiring process but they were nearing the goal. The last of the fabrication steps commenced ensuring the powerplant was securely mounted and breathing in the BMMA. Remaining exterior functional parts like wings and lips were fitted and the required extra cooling was accommodated for.

After three months of hard toil, the car was finally in one piece but had nothing under its belt. And so commenced the enduring process of tuning and testing on the road, on the mountain passes and canyon routes as well as the track.

(out of narrative, this is just some technical info for comparison)

Powered by a 382 horsepower naturally aspirated 3.9L Erin V8, the tuned Dolphine nicknamed “Sprint-RE” can go from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds, hit a top speed of 277kph and corners at over 1.3g average while weighing 1020kg. It manages an impressive 12.2L/100km, netting an estimated 435 km range. On the ATT it completes a lap from a standstill in 2:05.86.

Xavi and Roc found out about the GAR through word of mouth on the street racing scene. The notoriety and scandalous nature made news of the event spread like wildfire and being young frisky bloods, they were drawn to entering like moths to a flame. Fueled by their potentially overenthusiastic belief their own workshop, engineering and driving abilities they set off to Malaga with basic necessities and all of the hot-blooded youth.

Olvan, 7th of October, 1995. 5:32 AM

“Get in, oncle, it’s cold outside!” shouted Rocco through the wound-down window.

It was a chilly morning high in the Spanish mountains. Wispy mist swirled through the small towns perched in rocky crevices cut into the face of the Catalan landscape. The cold early morning wind whipped the mop that was Xavi’s hair.

Xavi took a moment to look up and down the length of the Dolphine before gripping the door handle. “Ah man, what kind of idiot idea was it to wake up this early, you son of a…” he griped, opening the door. “At least this car is an absolute beauty. Looks savage, sounds raucous.”

Putting the Dolphine into gear, Roc grinned. “Do you want to make it to this race or what? There’s a 12 hour drive ahead and then a race across the continent so if you’re going to complain about this we won’t be getting very far.”

A few silent minutes passed as they rolled down the desolate roads, they were abandoned at this ungodly hour, so Roc decided it would be a good time to further prod Xavi. Stomping on the throttle caused the Dolphine to gurgle as the intakes opened up and the highly strung 8 cylinder inhaled deeply. The car jolted forwards as it accelerated unexpectedly, pushing it’s occupants back hard. Xavi’s eyes opened wide and his hand shot out groping in the air for something reassuring to hold on to at this sudden punch to his guts.

Capullo!” he swore over the sound of his friend cracking up next to him.
“Why do you always choose times like these to mess with me, you bastard! Damn it, man.”

Roc reached over to playfully hit him on his head, “You need to wake up, that’s all. You’re driving in an hour, so, get prepared.”


The day wore on to the backing track of the droning straight piped Erin V8 and they had done two shifts each. The sun had emerged and was sparkling up above the pair.

“How much longer, tío?” asked Rocco.
“Pff - and you say I’m the one who complains too much!” snorted Xavi.
“Who’s complaining? I’m asking a question, now answer,” he replied.
“Alright, alright. We left Valencia about two hours ago which means we have about 5 hours left to do, just a little over halfway.”
“Good, we’ll make it there in time for tomorrow morning,” Roc mused.
Xavi shuffled around in his seat and yawned. Shutting his eyes he said, “Wake me up when it’s my turn to drive,” slyly.
“Oh you’re a real lazy fucker,” Roc replied, laughing while slowly stepping on the accelerator.

~BMMA Dolphine speeding off into the horizon~


Doesn’t communism require adandoning any form of non-state submission (I.e.- religion)?


That’s why Marx flips off the sky


precisely so


A black Montauk pulls into the parking lot.

Luigi: There’s a few cops on patrol.

Blake: I’m not surprised, look at this place, looks like a car show. All sorts of different types.

Luigi: I don’t suppose they’d simply think that’s what this was?

Blake: Not likely, I doubt anyone got any kind of permit to hold an assembly here.

Luigi: You’ve been fairly light on that skinny pedal.

Blake: Trying not to get everyone’s attention from the loud exhaust.

Luigi: Didn’t you think a straightpiped exhaust would attract attention?

Blake: This is an American muscle car in Spain, we’re gonna attract attention no matter what.

Luigi: Man, all different kinds of cars here.

Blake: I’d love to see one match the rumble of this baby.


Marcus drove to the parking lot, the lime green Dynamite XR-3 chugging along like an old tractor as he pulled into one of the many parking spaces there. He switched off the ignition, pulled the hood release, and got out of the car, making sure every bolt he could reach with his socket set was tight.

Convinced that the bolts were as tight as they were going to get, Mark then grabbed the driver’s side floor mat and tossed it out of the car, glad to see that the soda explosion earlier hadn’t gotten to the carpet. For several minutes, the proud 4.1 liter inline-3 was visible to everyone, showing off the multi-point fuel injection manifold and long tubular headers, and dual-overhead-cam design.

With the trash removed from inside the car, Marcus closed the hood, then got back inside, flipping a couple of switches in order to turn on the bright green neon underglow lighting, and the obnoxious green-tinted fog lights. With the lighting settled, it was just a matter of waiting for the racing to start, as Marcus started the big triple again and looked through his collection of cassettes.


Otis “quietly” or at least relatively, like many others he decided against any kind of mufflers, but ran a single 5" pipe out the back, even at idle it was quite loud (95) and giving away the fact that this wasn’t your typical American OHV V-8 truck, but a monstrous DOHC V12. Despite the high tech engine the rear axle was still a solid unit held in place by leaf springs.

Jake wearing his helmet, is hanging out the passenger window with his tongue hanging out looking at each of the cars as they passed.

After backing into an empty spot Otis hits the horn which plays an Elk bugling. It was either that or Dixie, but decided on at least a little unexpected. Now its time to sit and wait, wondering who has already made the assumption that he is just a dumb hick in a truck. He pulls out a portable cassette player and starts playing country music, starting with Garth Brooks friends in low places.


James; “I knew we shouldn’t have painted it pink, for once being inconspicuous might have been a good idea”

Jim; “…That option went out the window when those turbos went on, and those exhausts along with them”

James; “Yeah well I need to check the car when we get out, I’m sure I heard something scraping”

Jim; “Maybe you should have mounted them a little higher, besides, until one gets knocked off we’ll be fine”

The two round the last corner to the meeting point, idling the car down the street to an empty parking spot, eyeing up the unique set of cars already here. They pull up and park, the car shuddering to a halt as they exit the car, James walking around to pop the bonnet, Jim reaching behind the back seat to grab a jerry can, topping off the tank before discarding it, shutting up the filler and going for a wander around the cars that are already there, peeking into those deciding to show off and those trying to be a little more secretive, gauging what he’d be up against. i3’s that wouldn’t be out of place in a tractor and rednecks in pickups being amongst the crowd.

A short while after he returns to the car

Jim; “What’s the damage?”

James; “They’re barely scraped, but-”

Jim; “Great, nothing to worry about then”

James sighs, going to shut the bonnet before Jim waves him not to

James; “So you’re just going to let everyone see?”

Jim; “Why not? We hardly have the most displacement, and with our figures I doubt they’d believe us anyway”

Jim leans against the driver’s side door, opening a can of pop and taking a sip

Jim; “Besides, fear puts people off, right? What’s scarier than this thing?! Imagine seeing it in your mirrors for a second, only for it to fly past at over 240!”

James; “…You’re seriously not going to try that, are you? Have you seen these roads? You’ll kill us both!”

Jim simply smirks and takes another sip, causing eye-rolls galore with his partner


After an excruciatingly long flight, Cindy calls for a taxi to take her to the docks. A few hours later, she pulls her bright red Thunderbolt out of its container. It roars to life, it’s rumble echoing of the inside of the container, and throughout the shipyard, drawing tons of stares. She quickly sprints off after that.

She immediately takes to the back roads just to see what her new machine can do. It still corners masterfully, and the post-apex acceleration is gutwrenching. And when she eventually forces herself onto the highway, she makes sure to go through all the gears, doing a few pulls in the process. She almost gets the attention of some local cops, but she pulls far away before they can read her plates.

sigh “That was close.” She decides to short shift until the start to not attract needless attention. Fortunately, as she thought many others would do, she purchased a police scanner, and just as she set it up, heard a call about a red sports car fleeing from officers. She decides to take back roads until she crosses the border into Spain.

She then decides to disconnect 4 of her cylinders until the start to reduce the noise slightly. Somehow, this and a ham fisted excuse of a leaky manifold gets her past cops, who don’t suspect it of being that fast. That and her moderately broken Spanish may have confused them. “Either way, I’m glad they bought it, but they really, the fact they didn’t even question my Virginia plates just shows incompetence.”

Upon arrival at the start, she scanned the competition and got the start time and location. “I was expecting more like the XR3 over there. And I certainly didn’t expect a massive pickup with a makeshift hot tub in the back. But I can’t let my guard down. Especially since the cops seem to be onto us.”

Speaking of, the scanner lights up with more chatter about race related activities in her area, so she flees before they get the chance to spot her and heads off to the nearest hotel.


A roadster glides through the dark streets of Malaga. Only the rough sound of a high-strung V6 can be heard. The noise attracts a bit of attention from the local youths so Teuvo decides to give them a small show by accelerating quickly to the distance. Jorma isn’t too happy by this.

Jorma: Could you calm down a bit? We still don’t know where we are and where to go next.

Teuvo: You have the map, you’ll need to instruct me where to go.

Jorma: Well, ok… Go left at the next intersection. I think.

Teuvo: Mm… Hey, this seems like the right place! There’s a lot of cars and… Are those two Lenin and Marx squatting on the side of the road there?

Jorma: Must be some kind of weird cosplayers or something. Let’s leave them be.

Teuvo parks between two normal cars and they decide to go scope out the competition for a bit. Teuvo tries to eye out his opponents while Jorma concentrates on the cars. Returning back to their car, Jorma says: “This is going to be tough. Some of those cars have monstrous amounts of power.” “What, those ricers? You sure? Like, the only car there that’s going to be even a challenge is that Assoluto,” Teuvo said, actually meaning it. “Looks can deceive. It’s like they’ve done it on purpose. But don’t worry too much, our car is one of the lightest cars around and it has decent amounts of power. We won’t be dead last,” Jorma assures.

Back in the car, Teuvo asks: “What now? The race won’t start yet, we’ll have to wait for a few hours.” “I’m going to make sure everything is alright with the car, then we’ll go for a test drive. While I tinker with it, you can entertain yourself with this,” Jorma says and tosses a portable cassette player onto Teuvo’s lap. It has an old Ramones cassette in it. “Well, I guess I can work with this,” he says and hits the play button.


Just a few hours before the start, Walter had taken a look at some of the other entries’ cars and their drivers. He knew that his Guardsman would be up against a very diverse field, which included one huge truck and quite a few actual supercars. But he wasn’t here to win the race; he wanted to see if a few minor modifications could make a big difference on the Guardsman’s performance. He then checked his car and prepared to start the race before remarking to himself, “It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it - and that person will be me.”

And with that, he set off towards the starting line in Malaga to embark on what would either be the trip of a lifetime… or an utter nightmare.


Toughtower would soon take the wheel from McCrackwick for the last six hours or so before they arrive in Malaga to rest up before the start of the race. They’ve both been at a bit of a loss as to who the agents might be - they didn’t suppose they would be running in one of the muscle cars entered. Too obvious. That somewhat beaten looking police interceptor might be something to take a closer look at.

As for the rest, much of the field seemed just too creative for someone from Carr to come up with. Just the other day, when they where cruising down the highway at a reasonably easy 150 mph they were quite astounded at having been passed by a historical exhibition piece.

“Was that a Peregrine just now?” McCrackwick asked with a slightly puzzled look at the speedo.
“Sure looked like one” Toughtower replied, “Damn, I had a poster of one of these in my bedroom when I was young, that was even before…”
“Before the Chicxulub Meteor struck the planet?” McCrackwick cut the Lawyer short.
“Just shut up, will you? You know you’re under my care - you go out of line, I can have you rot in a cell so deep underground you wouldn’t even notice if another one went down.”

Just as they were getting up to temperature for yet another one of their little wordfights, a pink something thundered past them at a speed so ludicrous the indistinct shape of the car shimmering through the heat haze from the exhaust almost seemed to leave an oddly patterned trail behind.

“What the hell was that?” McCrackwick wondered, upon which Toughtower replied in disbelief: “They’ve gone to plaid…”


Considering the fact that this will soon go into 1000 replies territory, I’d recommend creating a separate thread for @Mr.Computah to post the official story, and the racers to keep posting here. That would make it easier to navigate the events of the race


The following is the first part of, uh, what seems to be turning out to be a full blown novel which I don’t have time to write. Most likely I will not be writing nearly as much for the rest of the challenge. Also be warned, some parts are a bit overwritten because I haven’t had a chance to edit and very large chunks of what follows is drama, as opposed to what I tend to write, which is action and thriller.

For the TL;DR, here is the vital information:

Driver: Annabel Herrington
Age: 23
Background: Anna is the granddaughter of the founder of Armada Motors, Arthur Herrington. A fiesty, impetuous engineer who isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty, she laments the crumbling legacy of her late grandfather in a manufacturer that is now more concerned with building practical ecoboxes that sell instead of pure sports cars. Marginalised by her poor relationship with the executive board of the company, she wishes to revive the brand by crafting a legend so great that the company will have no choice but to see the wisdom in staying true to the original brand vision. As for how her participation in the race transpires… you’ll have to read on.
Car: 1984 Armada Motors Group B EVO RC


With 719bhp of engine-swapped boosted AWD, the modified car retains much of its rally roots, but also features arch flares housing much wider wheels and a drivetrain lifted from a modern supercar. Emphasis placed on reliability and drivability despite that amount of power, given the rigors of the journey ahead.

Woman on a Mission

A brief foreword, if I may: this tale takes place in a world of men, and sometimes, men and their women, for behind every great man is a woman. The woman in the title, however, is determined to stay behind no man. Yet, thanks to the nature of this world, it will take many lines of many men to explain the circumstances of her ascension, and the legend of her mission. Yet for this, her spirit will prevail, and her deeds will most certainly extend far beyond the reaches of this episode, etched indelibly into the history of an entire motoring marque.

This is the story of the women of the founding family of Armada Motors.

Chapter 1

Of Suits and Sportscars

We begin in Hethel, a small country village just southwest of Norwich, on the Eastern head of that grand country known as Britain. Home to the formerly-warehouses factory of Armada Motors, founded by one Arthur “Ableman” Herrington. Arthur was a mechanical engineer, graduating one day, drafted the next to the Navy for the duration of the Second Great War. What he did during the war was a lot of wrenching and never mind the rest. After the war, he knew two things: one, that he never wanted anything to do with war ever again, and two, that cars were the future and the Brits would love their sport. And there were no shortage of like-minded men, emerging from tanks and jeeps and planes, who wished to partake in this vision, for want of honest work, and for building things once more instead of knocking them down or blowing them up, so it was that several dozen of them joined forces and, under the makeshift spotlights in the abandoned sheds of a healing nation, they set about creating the joy of four-wheeled power.

Time, and a generation passed. Arthur wed his university sweetheart, Maisy, and they had a daughter, Christine. Armada Motors thrived in the heady fumes of gasoline, racing and placing and just sometimes, even winning. The faithful bought their cars for their thrill and their risk. The afficionados bought them for their uncommonness under the hood. These were not the machines to multiply by their hundreds of thousands, but like all other great things British, gradually to be collected and become revered for the tales of their exploits. This was how the hundreds of Armada Motors flocked to the local legend, with names such as Sprite, Trident, Talon, yes, how could anybody forget the Talon, and of course, the most bonkers of them all, the Evo RC.

But sometimes, legend alone is not enough to preserve the legacy of survival, propogation and persistence. Which was why, like all great things British, they kept running out of money. Other companies had ther factories closed down, their ownership transferred offshore with each ebb of the economic tide. As for Armada, just as their misadventures rivalled their own rivals, so too did the regular rounds of near-crippling deficits and dead-end projects that left gaping black holes in their ledgers, and all through the eighties, theirs was the plentiful company of debt collectors, the boys in blue and the Crown knocking at their doors. To top it all off, Arthur’s dream was to enter the Evo RC into Group B rally, thus cementing its place among the legends of legends, but on the cusp of their preparation, Group B crashed and burned, along with the fiery remains of its cars and drivers, and the dream ended before it began.

In 1987, Arthur, at the ripe old age of 69, dispensed with the drudgery of a possible retirement plan in the confines of a gaol cell, and skipped straight to shuffling off his mortal coil by virtue of a coronary. At this time, he, finally admitting his acumen was for engineering and not business, had just assigned the task of reviving the dream of Armada, through whatever means necessary, to the sharp-looking bespectacled finance-looking type, one Graham Streeton. Graham’s gift lay not just with numbers, however, but also with observation, all the world’s information filtering through the prisms of his lenses into a picture for his mind’s eye. And his mind’s eye was always spotting the trends just as they were engendered. In the case of the 80s and motoring, it was the rise of the hot hatch. Armada may have done much with small cars, light cars, fun cars, but never quite such a thing as the front-engined hot hatch, but Graham made a compelling case. Armada rose to the occasion and made a not-so-compelling hot hatch. It did little to impact upon their fortunes, and so Arthur died under the impression the company was to die with him, scattered along with his ashes, the memories of what they achieved to follow him through the Pearly Gates.

But Maisy and Christine survived Arthur, Christine herself already married and with a daughter, Annabel. And as three generations of Armada Motors women, they witnessed Graham’s labor starting to bear fruit. The first Fore may have been fussy and confused, but the second generation, starting in 1991, came to critical acclaim and the promise of a new generation of followers. Seeing this, Graham knew what it was that needed to happen. And that is where we stand today: with him having just emerged from an executive board meeting having reached a consensus to squash any notion of a follow-up to the legendary Evo RC and its tipo 308 from across the Channel, on the grounds that its relevance had long been buried along with Arthur’s ashes.

“Graaaaaaaham! What is the meaning of this!”

There it was, the British lilt of rising indignation, come to assail him. Sure enough, in all her twenty-three years of frizzy brunette and freckled complexion pocket rocket, was Annabel Herrington, Arthur’s granddaughter, Armada’s crown princess. In her, Graham saw Arthur’s hopes, dreams and passions. And complete lack of business sense. For her part, Annabel saw in Graham a fusty suit with a receding hairline and old mothballs for testicles. As it were, she was marching across the factory floor, in her stained coveralls, hands on hips and war writ on her face, a scowl beneath her greasy warpaint as she approached.

“I thought we had an understanding, that the Evo project was to remain open.” Annabel stared laser beams, piercing his lenses, searing into the back of his eyes. But Graham had the numbers, and he would stand upon them.

“The understanding was conditional on our fiscal situation allowing it. Which it hasn’t.”

“Bollocks,” Annabel clipped. “You said yourself we were back in the black.”

Graham adjusted his glasses, perhaps trying to get those blasted laser beams to refract somewhere else. “That was insofar as we had enough to cover the production costs of the Fore Gen 2 and the engineering costs for a third.”

“I don’t care about the third gen. My grandpa died of a broken heart, Graham. Broken because he saw our motorsport days coming to a close, because we’ve had nothing worth racing since Group B died. And if we lose the same passion that he had, then his vision too will also have died.”

“Annabel-” Too late he realised his mistake, when Annabel’s eyes flashed: “Don’t Annabel me!”

“Anna.” Wiping away the cold sweat with a handkerchief he kept in his breast pocket specifically for when Anna harangued him, Graham resumed. “Passion alone doesn’t guarantee survival. Your grandpa hired me for the singular purpose of saving this company. That meant tying up all the loose ends. Paying back unpaid debts. Streamlining the workflow. And most importantly, focusing on the investments that yield the most. Of all the things we were able to do, this is the best, and dare I say, the only option for us. Rest assured that I will respect your grandfather’s wishes, first and foremost, by keeping Armada’s doors open.”

Anna wrung her hands. “I know that. I’m not saying you’re not doing a grand job of that, either. It’s just that to see us being reduced to an ecobox company-”

“Since when were we becoming an ecobox company? The Fore has superior handling and the Eagle superior performance to their direct competitors.”

“But the Birdie comes with an optional slushbox. Remember the last time the company tried that? Remember the Feltram? Last I saw the Birdie variant didn’t do awfully well and still isn’t. That’s what we get when we turn our backs on the spirit of the company. If we don’t have that-”

“What if I told you that the Fore represents the future of motorsport? That it will become the ideal platform for World Champhionship Rally?”

“Well I would say that I don’t like it and you and all the suits running the show aren’t looking in the right places. Yes, Group B was unsafe. So was F1 for that matter. But fans are pining for something daring, and they look to us. The Evo RC was incomplete, it borrowed an engine from the Italians. It should be our mission to finish what we started, even if, especially if what we create is unique in the world.”

Graham’s brow knitted. This was why he was getting wrinkles: when an unstoppable force such as Anna came along, he had to be an unmoveable object, but being an unmoveable object to Arthur’s granddaughter was a special task. Why does she have to be so like you? Graham cursed under his breath.

“You should give the Fore a chance,” Graham insisted. “The world is changing and we have to change before it does or we won’t even survive the present. Trust me, there’ll come a time when it forges its own legend worthy of any other Armada name.”

Anna stared at him, chewing her lower lip, arms crossed. Finally, she spun on her heel and stormed away. “We’ll see about that,” she shot, not even bothering to look back as she vanished through the giant roller-door and into the England grey.

Chapter 2

Portrait of a Young Man and his Queen

A man’s home was his castle. The rundown Wymondham shanty Edward Cox shared with Anna and three others may have been a far cry from a castle, but he fancied Anna, and he reckoned Anna fancied him too (why else would she agree to live with him after all of high school), so he might as well have been the bloody king and she his queen as far as he was concerned. And no less for the reason that Anna was motoring royalty, granddaughter to the founding father of Armada, which technically would have made her a Princess, perhaps. Either way, the analogy fell apart a bit for he was no king, though as an aspiring journalist (in motorsports no less), his vocation was surely no less noble.

Right now, at the unholy hour of eight in the evening, as he was scouring the sports pages for clues in his future rivals’ travails, Anna was pacing up and down, her slippers going plap plap plap on the linoleum. All that plapping was starting to perturb him.

“Anna dearest,” Edward murmured, “It’s not healthy to frown so deeply.”

Anna ignored him. Well, she was deep in thought, so it probably wasn’t ignoring him. Suddenly she snapped upright, grabbed the plastic chair and dragged it to directly opposite Edward, plonking herself into it so she straddled it, chin propped on folded arms, and stared at him. “Ed, I’d like your thoughts on something.”

Edward blinked, his heart skipping a beat. With a gaze intense and purposeful, Anna did not look the part, but Edward knew a damsel in distress when he saw one. Tilting his imaginary visor, he prepared his most chivalrous voice, only for his mouth to fill with cotton when he saw the legs of her coveralls riding up her thighs, exposing her tan lines from the balmy Summer sun. Averting his eyes and licking his lips, he tried again. “M’lady how may I avail thee.”

Anna’s frown deepened, at least, one half of it, and she stared at him for a moment before continuing. “Can you predict the future of motorsports?”

Edward gaped for a moment, before remembering that this was Anna, his Anna, that was the way she had been since he’d known her. Not like normal girls, no, but perhaps that was part of why- Well, no, of course he couldn’t, so he went for bluster instead. “Maybe. Let me consult my crystal ball. Maybe it’ll tell us who’ll win at Snetterton and we can make a quick buck.”

Anna rolled her eyes. “I don’t mean that you smart-arse. What I mean is, in your journalistic pursuits, have you picked up on any trends or inside news in the codes about how the codes might change across Britain and Europe.”

Edward slowly raised his shoulders into a shrug. “…why would you want to know that?”

“Because I don’t have a controlling stake in my grandpa’s own company and the guy who’s in charge wants to ruin it,” she harumphed, then started muttering under her breath, “I’ll be damned if that Graham turns the company into an ecobox procession just because rally cars are going back to milk carton displacements…”

Ah, the black knight, Graham Streeton, planting the seeds of poison in her mind, to usurp the throne, and oust her from her empire. It was up to him, then, the white knight, to fend him off, and pour the sweet ambrosia of salvation to her lips-

“I mean, wouldn’t you agree that motorsports that got slower instead of faster was dull, unexciting? Not good for fans?”

Edward jolted back to the platonic present. “Yes, yes it would, and fans indeed get upset when the thrill of the racing becomes secondary. Although to be honest with you, the big focus right now on the big codes is safety, because fans also get really upset when their favourite race driver dies in a crash. Just last year, Aryton Senna-”

“Yeah I know about all that, but F1 is a bit of a basket-case anyway. And it’s not like Armada Motors was ever going to be about that.”

“But that just begs the question, what is Armada Motors about now? Because-”

“Exactly!” Anna pounded her fist into her other palm. “We haven’t made a big impact on the enthusiast scene for over a decade, and-”

“Actually,” Edward held up a finger, “The Eagle GTi is making a big impact; great reviews, improved sales-” Irritated, Anna cut him off.

“I know very well about all of that and don’t need to hear it again thank you. And before you say it’ll be the future of motorsports, need I remind you it was very mediocre when it ran in the BTCC.”

“Ok, ok,” Edward capitulated, muttering under his breath something about how Armada’s form in actual competition motorsports was patchy throughout all of history and that was just the way the world turned. “Anyway, what do you think Armada Motorsports should be about? If it’s not about the Fore?”

Anna’s eyes went starry. “Real sports cars, naturally. Roadsters. Coupés. Little mid-engine rockets. Delivering near-supercar performance on a budget. And no blasted ecoboxes.”

Edward looked at Anna’s radiating, regal self and almost caught himself sighing. A gem as rare as this needed not only to be treasured by one worthy, who appreciated her true worth, but also to be cut and polished to reveal her true brilliance! Fleeting visions flashed before him, of Anna storming the fort and defeating the rigid, crumbling Black Knight, of a crown atop her curls, and him at her side, dispensing the new rule of the land with his knowledge and wisdom, a rule of the love of the sports car, all stemming from her seeking his aid! But before all that, the work that needed doing started now: “Anna, that is a pure and beautiful vision and I love y- it. We need to lay the foundations to make it happen.”

“Well Ed, that’s exactly why I’m talking about it now. See, the way I see it, Graham’s missing a huge opportunity here, canning the Evo RC successor, what with the rally grey-market imports really making the money among the real enthusiast scene. And beyond that, the world desperately needs another Talon. The problem is, how do I even get Graham to listen?”

Edward put on his best wisdom face. “A dry, earthly mortal like Graham clearly only cares about one thing: money. That is why you’re in this predicament. Convincing him means convincing him that sating the fans demands will translate to money. And what does that?” Edward didn’t wait for an answer to his rhetorical question: “That’s right, word of mouth! Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday! The fans pass on their recommendations and it filters through to the general public.” Edward puffed up in preparation for his moment of glory: “And so it will be the duty of motor journalists such as I-”

Anna popped his bubble. “Yeah, but, you can’t have words without deeds.” Edward’s face fell while Anna mumbled on in deep thought. “Besides, the Fore’s success was despite the whole Winning On Sunday thing not actually happening. The last real victory we had was the Pikes Peak record in 1984, and of course that was in the Evo RC. Which we can’t even enter into the European Rally Cross because different regs. Not that the board would ever approve factory support for a race team, unless we look to sponsor privateer, but these days they only appear in historical and classic rallies, which isn’t relevant for creating a legend, which leaves us with…”

Edward tried to regroup: “Anna dear, you shouldn’t underestimate the written word. The fans will rally around the romantic notion evoked by my articles, that is what holds real power-”

He was once again interrupted, this time by Anna jumping upright, kicking the chair away with a clatter. “Of course! Why didn’t I think about this sooner!”

Crestfallen, Edward couldn’t help but ask. “Think about what?”

“I’ll do the racing myself.”

“You’ll what?”

“I’ll find a code that’ll take me, and if I don’t, well, the wannabe boy racers have another thing coming!”

Once again Edward found himself struggling to find words, but this time, not due to brain-blocking hormones, but sheer shock. “T-t-that’s… have you flippin’ lost it? That’s crazy! And dangerous!”

Anna squared off, hands on hips. “Make up your mind Ed. First you’re agreeing with me that the fans need some excitement. Now you’re telling me that racing is dangerous and I shouldn’t. Is the thought of putting one’s money where one’s mouth is so scary?”

“But, but, why does it have to be you doing the racing? And on the street?”

“Why not? All the boys seem to be doing it. Is it because I’m a girl?”

Emotion swirled through Edward, threatening to destabilise the fragile conception of his kingdom. A coup of the heart, a mutiny of the sexes. His sweet princess, queen, now given to be a warrior, slipping away from his grasp. The dangerous glint in Anna’s eye loomed large, but in his youthful emasculated turmoil, Edward lacked the preternatural instinct to recognise the thin ice he had ventured way over.

“Well, there’s a reason racing is done by the boys. Brutish, testosterone laden, it’s patently unladylike.”

In the blink of an eye, the glint had turned into a flash and then a conflagration. “Unladylike, huh? Pray tell, what would you have me do and not do, as a lady? I was born and raised with motorsport in my blood, and be damned if some feckless pillock deign to advise me on the delicacies of my constitution by declaring me unfit to drive.”

Feckless pillock!? Surely this was just asking for a joust. There came a time in every man’s life when man must assert his strength and stand his ground, and stand he would, for surely Anna would expect no less! So Edward put his paper down and thrust his jaw out. “There is a good reason why there are so few women in motorsport. Name one who was successful-”

“Michèle Mouton,” Anna answered even before Edward had finished.

Edward faltered. “I said successful.”

Her lips pursed, her voice clipped, Anna bit out each word, “Four rally wins, a hundred and sixty two stage wins, a Pikes Peak record and a Le Mans class win, I daresay she was successful.”

“Walter Röhrl still beat her to the championship.”

“But she still wiped the sexist smirk off Ari Vatanen’s face.”

Edward was running out of legs to stand on, and started fumbling at his collar. “She’s the only one! And she retired nearly ten years ago! To have kids!”

By now Anna’s voice was bordering on a shout, not in volume, but intensity, the straining cords in her neck working her jaw furiously as it strangled her words. “She retired, because Toivonen died, and Group B died with him! Don’t you understand?”

Completely flustered now, both by the conversation and the fact that he was currently witnessing both hot and cold kinds of fury emanating from Anna, Edward flung his hands wide. “Understand what?! Come now, you’re being completely unreasonable! No woman in their right mind looks to go racing just because-”

No longer was the fury radiating from every pore and every hair; it had coalesced into the fire in her eyes, and the squaring of her jaw. “The world of motorsports needs more Moutons. Clearly I should take up her mantle, and others after me. And the suits and the pillocks will naysay, but we will persist. Wouldn’t that be something to write about.” She turned on her heel and strode away, out of Edward’s kingdom, transcending the elements into yet a higher, divine plane. It was at that moment that Edward knew that she was mad, and madly out of his league, and he could say no more.

The other two chapters will be posted as soon as I’m done. If I get the time I may also sketch Anna. HT to accent for very entertaining portraits!


You are crazy, you know that? :smile:


Kenji’s point of view, part 1

Malaga, Spain. Kenji drives his Maesima to the city centre, where the race should begin, when driving and noticing that there’s noone there yet, he thought:

I think that’s a wrong place.

Despite that, he had checked his map once again and parked the car in one of parking spots. Then, he had walked out of the car and stood in front of it, smiling demonicly.

So they are calling you the Executor. I wonder if you’re that scary.

Then Kenji saw the first car approaching, a blue muscle car with two stormtroopers straight out of Star Wars saga walking out. Kenji became a little suspicious when seeing those movie characters, but he took them just as cosplayers and thought a bit looking at the logo:

FOA… Haven’t seen this brand, but those drivers, are they cosplaying stormtroopers…? Okay, it explains it all, just two Star Wars freaks.

Then, next vehicle was a Communitasia. As Kenji was drinking water, sight of people walking out of the car basicly made him piss all the water: those people had looked EXACTLY like long dead Charles Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Lenin, noticing that had walked to the japanese man and asked:

Ay privet comrade, everything’s good with you?

Kenji was looking at him, surprised and terrified at the same sight, so he had shortly replied: Yes. That was enough to make the creepy man go away to his friend. Meanwhile, Kenji had jumped into the car, drank three beers and hit himself in the head in case of hallucinating due to hours long trip. Next car was a blue Armada that had some problems to pass quietly and peacefully. Kenji observed it and thought that it must have well over 600 hp. After that, he went for a walk watching another racers going on the start and observing their cars.


[quote=“Oskiinus, post:257, topic:22228”]
First Order Automotive? Explains it all, Star Wars freaks [/quote]

I wouldn’t make that connection in 1995, actually.


Shimura is ahead of his time back then, deal with that. :ok_hand:


Squidhead is correct for the following couple of points…

In the Star Wars universe The First Order didn’t exist before 2012 (when Disney threw away all of the expanded universe material and decided what they were going to class as canon!).

The logo on the car is actually the logo for FTi, as the car is not allowed to be branded as FOA because, as previously stated, “FOA do not make muscle cars!” Yes, FTi is a subsiduary of FOA but is primarily used for Bob and a select group of engineers, to modify FOA cars and use them in motorsport or for their own special projects.

And finally, FOA’s actual logo is actually that of the Sith. I made logos for Empire Engineering and FOA but they looked crap.

FOA’s time line is
1916-1960 - SiTh Engineering (more commonly known as simply SiTh)
1960-1985 - Empire Engineering
1986-Present - First Order Automotive, First Order Engineering (Mods - look closely at the towbar :slight_smile: ) and Force Tuned integration (1994-present)


So, my bad then :laughing: Gotta correct.