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The Great Automation Run | Chapter 16 and final results!


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!


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…



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.


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.


“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.


Twenty-two years later…

The Scgaliati Museum, Sunday Afternoon, just before close…

As was his usual habit, Christoforo Scagliati was in the company museum…it helped remind him of the legacy of his company…his father and grandfather, and his connection to them. He smiled quietly as he watched the last stragglers make their way past the assembled cars; young families, with their wide-eyed children in tow, husbands (or wives!) towing their disintrested significant others through, having made the pilgrimage to Mirano to worship at the altar of serenity and dominance. Seeing everyone - and everything - in the museum filled him with a sense of purpose…a sense of duty, to do the very best he could do for the company, now that he was poised to be named to the board of directors. But one car in particular, he always stops to pay homage to himself…the red, 1967 330 Turismo that carried him and Pasquale on their adventure across Europe.

Like every other time, Christoforo stopped to admire the car, all long and slender, absolutely pristine on its display, and yet, with a bit of a mournful look about it, as though the car somehow wanted to be back on the road, dodging the cops and the mafia in a white-knuckle charge across the continent. Lost in thought, Christoforo was gazing at the slightly imperfect front bodywork of the car, when he was interrupted;

“E-excuse me, Mister Scagliati?” A timid young voice asked from behind him.

Christoforo whirled around to see a young woman, a little shocked not only that someone else was with him, but also that they recognised who he was. “Yes?” he replied. “What can I do for you?”

“I’m sorry, is this a bad time?” The young woman asked. “My name is Jennifer, and I write for the New Yorker. I was wondering if you would be willing to answer some questions for me?”

“Umm, certainly…” Christoforo replied with a smile, “Being here in the museum, I’m assuming you’re doing a travel piece? I’d be happy to help you…”

“Actually…” Jennifer replied, in a bit of a conspiratorial tone, “I was wondering if you could answer some questions about the car…” she paused for a moment, “…about the race…”

Christoforo went wided-eyed for a moment, a little taken aback by the request. “Well, umm…” he took a deep breath and sighed, a little flustered, “I haven’t really spoken about that with anyone for the last twenty or so years…and with my new position in the company…”

“The new appointee for chairman of Scagliati, and a position on the CMW Group’s supervisory board…” Jennifer interjected.

“Yes, that…” Christoforo replied, “You can understand my apprehension discussing this in the media. I mean, it was an illegal race, after all…”

“I don’t have to quote you directly, if you want…I can keep you as an anonymous source!” Jennifer blurted out, sensing Christoforo’s evasiveness, and her own growing desperation, having been stymied at every step of the way and by nearly every competitor in the Great Automation Run. “Please, my bosses are going to have my hide if I don’t get anything after everything I’ve gone through so far…”

Christoforo furrowed his brow, then sighed. “Alright…meet me in the cafe, and I will answer your questions,” he replied, turning to walk away from Jennifer. “Tell the barista that I said you’re allowed to be there, I will be by in a few minutes…I need to go talk to someone.” With that, Jennifer wandered back through the museum to the trendy cafe, replete with elegant, modern furnishing and a sleek, modern design motif. She spoke quickly with the barista, then took a seat and placed her notebook and recorder on the table, looking around as she waited. After a few minutes, Christoforo returned with an older gentleman, in his mid-70s, but still fit and with a sparkle in his eye, who joined them at the table.

“Jennifer, I want you to meet Pasquale Zoccarato, my co-driver on the rally, and the current director of the Scagliati Museum.” Jennifer shook the older gentleman’s hand as his face lit up.

“Co-driver, Christopez?” Pasquale asked, with wry tone to his voice, “cazzate! HE was the co-driver!” Both men laughed and sat down, getting comfortable for what looked to be a lengthy interview.

“So, let’s get to business, shall we?” Jennifer asked, clicking on her recorder. “Let’s start with what happened in Milan…”