TMCC20 - Only Moment

ROUND CLOSED
The first part of reviews should be out within the next few days, with a conclusion projected to follow a week after.

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please don’t let there be salt

PART 1/2
REVIEWS

Having received a number of submissions from companies eager for their vehicles to feature in the movie, the screenwriter, executive producer, and director walk into a meeting room, ready to make a decision. A projector is turned on, casting a 3D mockup of the first vehicle onto a whiteboard.

CENTURION
9000

@ldub0775

EP: First things first, we got a semi truck with a hell of a gun turret on it.

D: That looks… awfully unsteady. Like it’d have more of a chance to tip over and flatten the heroes instead of turning them into Swiss cheese.

SW: [derisively] Probably really good at doing wheelies though.

EP: Okay, okay, let’s… Can we just focus on the actual truck for a second?

D: Credit where credit’s due, it does have a lot of presence. The bull bar certainly helps.

SW: Yeah, no, the gun just doesn’t do it for me at all. It’d be fine in some CG animation from a couple decades ago, but now? I’m afraid not.

EP: Can you please just shut up about the placement of–

SW: It’s not just the placement, it’s the complete and utter lack of detail! Something that can practically saw through the heroes’ car deserves at least a bit more respect!

EP: Mm. Yeah, okay, that might be a problem. Especially since the 3D department’s got their hands full with the, uh, other weapons.

SW: The 3D model we were sent also lacks any sort of driveshafts or differentials. And brake lights. And door handle–

D: We get it. I mean, detail or not, this should be a competent vehicle to use in the scene–oh.

SW: What?

D: Looks like the base truck hasn’t received a safety certification since… the 90s.

EP: Jesus, you serious?

D: Yup. And even if we were to retrofit it for stunts, which is already well outside of our budget, it’s not all that well suited for barrelling across the desert sand.

EP: …I see. Well, I guess that settles that.

VERDICT
ELIMINATED

OOC: The idea of mounting a massive autocannon to an otherwise regular heavy truck is intriguing, but this specific instance of such an idea has a few flaws. For starters, the autocannon itself is awkwardly positioned and is sorely lacking in detail. The armoured 9000 itself is a decent build, but it too could use a little more detail (such as taillights and door handles, both of which are absent). The final nail in the coffin was the questionable decision to use advanced 1960s safety on a chassis from 2014, implying that the folks at Centurion never bothered to do anything with the 9000's safety for decades, as well as its offroad score that fell quite short of the required minimum. In short, it seems to me that more attention was paid to the general idea of this entry instead of how to best go about it, and it suffered as a result.

MCF
VBLM 24/105

@MCF

EP: Alright, something more reasonable this time.

D: Yep.

SW: Ooh, look at the offroad testing data. This thing can take uneven terrain like a champ.

D: Doesn’t cost too much to keep in shape, either.

EP: Fellas, I think you’re missing the part where it’s got specs for three axles, but the model only has two.

SW: [visibly confused] Huh?

EP: It’s stated to ride on six wheels, but… at risk of stating the obvious, it doesn’t line up.

D: We can contact them later. For now, I suggest we take a look at what kind of weapons this baby’s got.

SW: …I had no idea you could do that with these models.

D: Do what?

SW: Look at that sensor array on the turret. See how it pulses red like that?

D: I see. Smart. Though I don’t think the gun would be the easiest to use with that stuff on the roof in the way, since it doesn’t look like it can aim up or down.

[The director notices something else on the model.]

D: Is it just me, or is the inside of the car showing?

SW: You mean the interior? I don’t think the 3D model they sent us was supposed to come with one.

D: No, I mean, the inside of the body and whatnot. Stuff that would normally be hidden by the interior, or opaque glass.

EP: Looks like a few corners were cut. I mean, it may not matter in the actual movie, but you gotta admit, it doesn’t leave the best of impressions.

SW: Still better than that semi truck, at least. It definitely aligns more closely with what I had in mind for the scene.

VERDICT
ELIMINATED

OOC: On its own, this is a solid build with a decent amount of detail (the team's turret-related nitpicks aside), but its lack of an interior (despite transparent windows) and use of wheel quality that implies an additional axle put it at a disadvantage in the context of this challenge. Furthermore, in spite of its decent stats, it being a "regular" 4x4 LAV means that it simply doesn't bring enough to the table compared to some other entries.

SUISEI
TYPE 14A IFX-A

@Falling_Comet

D: Woah.

SW: “Woah” is right. This… this definitely goes beyond what I had in mind.

EP: Uh… you don’t think that it’s more than a little suspicious that someone is able, and willing, to deliver a brand-new military IFV to the set?

D: [chuckles] Well, I wouldn’t put it past a Suisei exec, or government offical, or both, to pull some strings.

EP: As much as I wanna say you’re reaching, I can’t think of a better explanation. But still, if something’s too good to be true…

D: Well, it seems to be the real deal, given its lower upkeep costs and tolerance for crappy fuel.

SW: This 3D model, though… it seems kind of unfinished on the inside.

[The screenwriter gestures to the “screen”, and zooms in on the 3D model.]

D: Hmm, I didn’t know you had interior shots in mind.

SW: I don’t. It’s just… agh, never mind. Just me nitpicking again, I guess.

EP: Looks like this one’s the most expensive of the bunch so far. But it’s got decent reliability and off-roading prowess, so I guess you get what you pay for.

D: Either way, this one definitely has a chance.

VERDICT
ADVANCES TO FINAL DECISION

OOC: Although it's not the most out-there of possible entries (at least if the Mori below is anything to go by), it does what a regular armoured 4x4 does, and does it better. Whether it's the grilles on top of grilles, the lack of windows, the tightly-packed recessed headlights, or the multitude of rivets that span the fully-armoured ingot-like body, the Type 14A looks more than prepared to take just as much as it can dish out.

FLANKER VEHICLE

@Texaslav

EP: So, this one doesn’t have a company name attached to it, though I think that’s because it’s a custom job. Built by a shop somewhere in Texas, I was told.

SW: Definitely looks like they used an existing car as a base, though I have no idea what car that would be.

EP: Let’s see here… it’s got an 8100 V8, a couple of what I assume to be Ma Deuces in the front, and a mounted M134. Certainly makes an impression.

SW: It’s got the seats too. Just a partial firewall, which I guess is to be expected for something like this, but… there’s no steering wheel.

D: So, uh, extra hearing protection, and get 'em to put some actual controls in the finished product. Noted.

SW: Also, we might need bulletproof grates for those massive exhausts. One more thing: could we ask them to maybe redo the rear of the car? I’m not feeling it with the current design.

EP: We could, but that’d likely be too much of a time investment, so no. As the name implies, there’d be two or three of these in the scene (and we can certainly afford them), but since they’re custom-fabricated… yeah, that would simply take longer than it would be worth.

D: A bit of a shame, honestly. Something other than the expected truck would’ve been cool.

VERDICT
ELIMINATED

OOC: The uniqueness of this entry works to its benefit. What doesn't, however, is the lack of refinement. A barebones interior would've been nice to see had it been equipped with a steering wheel, a shifter, and other such controls, and design-wise, the unmodified greenhouse and awkward rear of the car leave something to be desired. Aside from it being the least expensive entry, at just over half the cost cap ($45500), its stats—while decent—are nothing special. Even if more of the budget was used, the car's design would need work as well for this to be a true contender.

AT-HI
MORI MK1

@T0M

D: …So, I don’t suppose anyone has any idea as to what this is doing here?

SW: Well, ya gotta admit, it’s not your dad’s GT-R. I mean, I’m not entirely opposed to the big, hulking armoured truck being replaced with a bunch of these swarming the heroes.

D: I’m not really sold on the carbon wheel wrap or the yellow calipers. They just seem a bit shouty to me. It does have quite some detail, though. Warning labels, an emergency pistol…

EP: It’s got a hell of an arsenal too. Take a look at the spec sheet real quick.

SW: Grenade launchers, active suspension, explosive reactive armour, 670 horsepower… man, the stunt guys are gonna love this one.

D: Wait, explosive reactive armour? Is that even legal here?

EP: Uh, the stuff with asterisks is fictional. As in, it’s what the car is armed with in the movie, not in real life. So we’ll need to get the pyrotechnics department to take care of that.

D: I see. Anyways, what do we all think?

SW: How did the company not become deadbeat from this insane design exercise that is in no way guaranteed to make it into the movie?

D: …I meant besides that.

EP: From the looks on your faces, it seems like you’re not entirely sold on this one due to it, y’know, going against the general idea and whatnot. Which is a sentiment I share, by the way. …Not that that precludes its appearance.

SW: In any case, we can decide later if it makes the cut or not.

VERDICT
ADVANCES TO FINAL DECISION

OOC: This isn't what I was expecting at all, but this take on the FF6 Flip Car concept results in something that isn't really out of place despite its stature. Equipped with a twin-turbo LMH LMP1-derived engine (remember, this is in 2014) that punches above its weight, as well as enough weaponry to turn anyone into extra-crispy KFC, the Mori presents a compelling argument towards an alternative approach to this challenge.

Stay tuned for the conclusion and final rankings!
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Really cool review style! Totally on me for not ‘finishing’ the car, as is. I hate interiors and while I did have this kind of “breaker panel” thing in mind with switches and buttons for guns and stuff, I just ran out of motivation ig

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UPDATE
Writing is well underway (past the halfway point), and I still need to shoot and edit a few photos in preparation for the conclusion.

Thank you for your patience.

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PART 2/2
DUBAI, UAE

14:30 GST

Multiple gunshots are heard reverberating from within an underground parking garage, accompanied by the angry exhaust note of an eight-cylinder engine. Almost immediately after, a bullet-riddled Quezon Custom Built rushes out of the entrance, drifting to the left as it's pursued by a handful of black sports bikes. Inside the car, the driver subtly saws the wheel to avoid traffic, while a middle-aged passenger in a suit, riding shotgun, clutches the handle of a metal briefcase in one hand and a 92FS in the other.

As the Custom Built weaves between honking cars and trucks, the driver spots another black-clad motorcyclist in the middle of the unusually empty stretch of road ahead… who then proceeds to draw two submachine guns and let loose. The Quezon lurches forward and its tires chirp as the driver flicks to the right and swerves left onto the approaching street, but not before its previously merely cracked windshield becomes a limp sheet of shattered laminated glass resting on the dash.

Seeing an opportunity in the form of a bike to his right, the passenger shoots at its rider, hitting his SMG-wielding left hand and causing him to accidentally shoot two of the riders behind the car, before he himself veers into the path of another. A futilely honking truck approaching from an oncoming lane signals the two riders’ demise, but there are still three left on the Custom Built’s tail.

A cacophony of screaming inline-fours, gunshots, and police sirens follows the Custom Built and its roaring V8 across the outskirts of the city.

“Oh, what the hell did they bring this time?” The driver’s annoyed question is answered by the sight of a white-and-green police supercar in the rearview mirror. The passenger smirks. “Whatever they brought, I can just tell it to fuck right off,” he replies in an unnaturally laid-back tone. “If you say so,” the driver jokes back.

One of the remaining riders aims his gun, but is interrupted by the sound of a sharp clack, immediately followed by him and the other two riders being engulfed in an explosive fireball. The passenger, having just gotten rid of their two-wheeled company with an M203 pistol, lets out a smug chuckle as the two drive away into the desert, with the pursuing police car being successfully scared away by their firepower.


HOURS LATER

CENTRAL OMAN, EN ROUTE TO DUQM AIRPORT
17:45 GST

While driving along a desert road towards their flight to Asia, the Custom Built's check engine light comes on, much to the amusement of the driver. "Mm. Well, I guess that's what happens when you feed it 9mm instead of 5W20..."

The passenger, lost in a thousand-yard stare, doesn’t respond, his mind flipping through flashbacks like one would skim through a book at the bookstore out of curiosity. Memories of his first failed mission that allowed a black market kingpin to see another day, a subsequent successful hit on a businessman with various conflicts of interest, the two men that broke into his house, the mass murder of an entire police unit… no. He’d merely done what had to be done. But there’s one thing that keeps coming back to him, though: the kidnapping of his—

“Hey.” The driver manages to return the passenger to reality. “I know this is gonna sound like bullshit, but hear me out: everything’s gonna be just fine when all this is over.” “How can you be so sure?” the passenger replies.

His question is answered for him by the sound of a turbodiesel fading into earshot. A glance at an unbroken part of the shot-at rearview mirror reveals a headlight positioned high enough to belong to some sort of off-roader, which grows closer and then mysteriously veers to the left.

Suddenly, the Custom Built loses control and spins, and its occupants catch a glimpse of what appears to be a large truck before the SUV comes to a stop in the facing backwards. “Well, that’s new,” the passenger remarks. “No shit.” There’s a hint of anxiety in the driver’s voice, but the passenger manages to keep his cool. The two are now fully aware of what lays stopped several metres down the road from them: a vehicle so heavily armoured that it lacks a windshield.

A massive Suisei Type 14A IFV in desert camo.

Staring down the two barrels of its turret-mounted autocannon, the driver steels himself by revving out the battered Quezon’s V8, now more feral than ever due to exhaust damage, and the enemy Suisei revs in response as two more previously unseen IFVs drive out from behind it.

The driver slams the shifter into reverse and steps on the gas to do a J-turn, but as soon as the Custom Built spins back around, it’s greeted by the IFV from before that had spun it out—albeit now with its turret pointed backward, straight at its targets. The other two IFVs stop to each side of the SUV, their guns also aimed and at the ready. The passenger brandishes his M203, pointing it straight at one of the IFVs and resulting in quite the Mexican standoff.

“Shall we?” The passenger breaks the silence with a call to action, with the driver’s reply being a simple “Yes.” The Quezon suddenly bounces off the rev limiter as its rear wheels begin to spin in place. The donuts that follow throw large clouds of sand and dust into the air. All four Suiseis shoot at the middle of the growing cloud, causing the sound of the engine to cease.

The IFV crews’ satisfaction is short-lived, however. An all-too-familiar V8 roars back into action, the driver having killed the engine and silently coasted out of the smokescreen. As the distance between the Custom Built and its pursuers increases, however, smoke from the engine joins the cloud of dust in its wake, and the four 8x8s begin to slowly catch up, approaching in a diamond formation.

With the Quezon on its last legs, the passenger and the driver nod to each other as one of the IFVs nudges the rear. Briefcase in hand, the passenger makes his way to the trunk, readies himself, then kicks it open and makes a leap of faith. The driver uses the last of the engine’s strength to pull away before making a handbrake turn and sending the car backward. He stares the convoy down as he starts to climb onto the hood.

— — — — — — —

After pulling himself up onto the hood of the frontmost IFV, a sense of unease fills the passenger as he notices that the gun isn’t pointed at him, but rather straight ahead. He peers over the top of the vehicle, anticipating being shot at from the other IFVs, but instead, a soldier appears from behind the turret and grabs him by the neck.

“Been a while, hasn’t it?”

The deep, full-bodied, American-accented voice comes from the soldier in question, a nearly seven-foot-tall glacier of a man clad in what can only be described as a cross between tactical body armour and a bomb disposal suit.

A kick to the abdomen with both feet frees the passenger from the soldier’s grasp, causing the latter to stumble backward. “Indeed it has. It’s a shame this’ll be my last visit.” The passenger puts the briefcase down and draws the combat knife he’d just swiped from the front of the soldier’s vest, while the soldier himself unsheaths a machete from behind him. The two charge at each other with a yell.

— — — — — — —

With another of the Suiseis about to ram the dying Quezon, the driver runs from the hood and jumps towards it—leaving the SUV to coast to a stop in the middle of the desert—just as the gun begins to fire at him. Diving to the side of the turret to avoid having golf ball-sized holes torn through him, he grabs what looks like a plastic-wrapped brick from inside his jacket and shoves it between the turret and body of the IFV. He runs to the rear of the vehicle and hangs off the edge, managing to outrun the gun turning to face him. Its sweeping fire just misses his fingers, harmlessly richocheting off the top armour instead.

— — — — — — —

After dodging a series of calculated attacks from the machete-wielding soldier, the passenger finds an opportunity in the soldier’s extended arm and retaliates with a horizontal reverse-grip swing that plunges the blade through his unarmoured upper arm.

“HAAAAAaaarrrghh…”

The soldier’s inhuman pained groan is followed by a grumble as he reaches to pick up his dropped machete, but discovers with a grumble that the passenger had kicked it away onto the ground behind the convoy.

“‘Last visit’, huh?” the soldier scoffs. “And yet, since you left us, you can’t seem to stop yourself from coming back for more. Despite your best efforts.”

“I’m merely doing what’s asked of me.”

“By whom, these days?”

“Myself.”

The passenger glances to the driver, still hanging from the back of the rightmost IFV, and nods to him. He turns to face the soldier for the last time.

“It’s been fun.”

At that moment, an explosion rips the turret from the top of said IFV, sending it sideways. The stunned soldier only has enough time to turn his head towards the source of the sound before he’s knocked off the top of the lead vehicle by the two-ton mass of flaming metal, which then bounces off of the upper edge of the leftmost 8x8 and into the air.

Having been thoroughly bisected from the force, the soldier’s now-detached lower body falls to the ground, joining his machete to sit underneath the scorching Middle Eastern sun.

The rear hatch, left open by the soldier, provides the ideal opportunity for the passenger to escape impending gunfire from the other two active Suiseis, troops waiting inside be damned. To his surprise, though, only the driver and gunner remain. Noticing the passenger, the gunner steps down from his seat and draws a pistol on him, leaving him no other option but to put the briefcase down and stand in place.

— — — — — — —

Inside another one of the Suiseis, dead soldiers and shrapnel are shown strewn around the back of the infantry bay, before the driver jumps in from above and lands in front of them. Pulling another corpse off of the steering wheel, he steps into the seat and coaxes the now-unarmed IFV back up to speed to rejoin the convoy and regroup with the passenger. It’s then that he notices the passenger being held at gunpoint in the lead vehicle, with the other two behind it. The turret of one is aimed inside the rear hatch, and the other one is aimed at the driver’s hijacked IFV.

The lack of gunfire slightly confuses the driver, but the sight and sound of an anti-tank missile being fired in its place turns that confusion into panic.

Thinking quickly, the driver slams the brakes, causing the Suisei to tip forward as it rapidly sheds speed.

— — — — — — —

“This is Unit A1. We have the target onboard.”

The gunner enunciates his message over his walkie-talkie, eyes and pistol still locked onto the passenger.

“Just how far are you guys willing to go to try and get me back? And how long have you been convinced that that’s even possible?” The passenger’s defiant tone of voice belies the uncertainty of his mission.

Out of nowhere, an explosion behind them signals the apparent demise of the driver, with his IFV being engulfed in a fireball. The corner of the gunner’s mouth begins to creep upward in a smirk of self-satisfaction.

“That far. And more, if you really wanna test us.”

The driver chuckles, realizing what the explosion likely resulted in… and so does the passenger. Of course, as the gunner finds out in a fraction of a second, it’s merely a ruse to get him to let his guard down.

“You motherf-” BLAM!

Pistol still in hand, the gunner collapses to the floor with a jagged hole through his military-spec Oakleys. The IFV driver retaliates with a few shots from his own gun, none of which find their target. He, too, is easily dispatched with a shot to the head, allowing the passenger to take his place.

“A1, what happened?”

Now driving, the passenger tries to imitate the driver’s voice. “Gunner’s down. I’m afraid we’ve lost the target.”

“You can’t fool us!” One of the other Suiseis moves into position behind the passenger, ready to send another missile through the open rear hatch.

“Ya sure?” a familiar voice blurts out over the comms system. The passenger looks behind him to see the IFV behind him being rammed off course by the driver’s IFV.

“Back so soon?” the passenger quips. “Let’s not celebrate yet,” the driver replies.

“A3?! …You fucking idiot! I told you one missile wouldn’t be enough!” The furious yelling of another enemy troop overheard through the comms system shatters the camaraderie between the driver and passenger.

“Ya might wanna floor it.” The passenger heeds the driver’s suggestion, matting the gas pedal and wringing out the turbodiesel V10 as the Suisei picks up speed. The driver wedges a rifle between the base of the seat and the gas pedal in his vehicle, causing it to follow suit as he climbs out through the hole in the roof. Noticing a turret pointed at him, he runs.

In slow motion, bullets the size of knives whiz by the sprinting driver at barely perceptible speeds until one grazes his left shin. Mustering his rapidly dwindling stamina, he jumps towards the hatch, with one last round passing within inches of his face.

A loud thud in the infantry bay behind the passenger, followed by a grunt, marks the driver’s return to action. The passenger finishes his stint in the driver’s seat by steering out of the way of an incoming rock face, which the now-unmanned Unit A3 crashes into. The passenger closes the rear hatch just in time for it to deflect a chunk of shrapnel from Unit A3’s crash and resulting explosion.

Now in the gunner’s seat, the passenger sets his sights on Units A2 and A4. “I’ve just about had it with you two,” he grumbles, the coldness in his voice contrasting with the heat of an impending explosion.

The missile coasts over Unit A2 before indirectly tearing the massive vehicle apart into flaming chunks of metal and composite armour in an explosion that briefly darkens the sky.

“A2 down! A2 down!!”

The passenger aims the turret at the remaining IFV behind them and fires another missile, but the IFV shoots it down in midair. A subsequent missile also fails to reach its target. Not willing to use the final missile just yet, the passenger yells as he begins to empty the autocannon into the enemy IFV’s front grille in a last-ditch effort to stop it in its tracks. The enemy vehicle responds in turn by shooting at the turret.

After some time, a bullet suddenly finds its way into the cabin of Unit A1, having finally breached the turret’s now thoroughly dented armour. Meanwhile, Unit A4’s engine begins to produce black smoke that rises from the hood vents, and not long after, sparks spring from the hood as the IFV starts to lose speed and its comms system cuts out.

Through clenched teeth, the passenger points the turret at the missile battery and releases one last burst from the autocannon. A massive explosion occurs, and the scene fades to white.

— — — — — — —

A scorched severed leg lays amidst countless pieces of burning metal and shrapnel as a man in a suit places a metal briefcase on the ground and opens it. Inside it, surrounded by foam padding, sits a butterfly knife and a photo of a boy in his teens.

“Every time I killed someone… it was the only moment I felt alive. It felt like my only purpose in life was to rob others of it, whether they deserved it or not. But… things have changed since then. I have a family now.”

The camera pans out to reveal the passenger talking to an unknown individual on the phone, with the driver sitting on the ground behind him.

“I guess that’s the thing with people like you. Being so desperate to feel like you’re on top of the world, so deluded by your desires, that you don’t have the slightest chance of knowing when that feeling couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“You trained me to kill people who abused their power.
But it was only a matter of time before I realized that my victims paled in comparison to you.
You’ve exploited me for too long, I’m afraid.”


FINAL RANKINGS
1: Suisei Type 14A IFX-A

@Falling_Comet


2: AT-HI Mori MK1

@T0M


3: MCF VBLM 24/105

@MCF


4: Flanker Vehicle

@Texaslav


5: Centurion 9000

@ldub0775


Congratulations to the winner, and I hope the entrants and spectators alike had as much fun with this round as I did formulating it!
Writing up the conclusion was another story though (pun intended)...

Also, special thanks goes to

@variationofvariables

for allowing me to feature his vehicle in the story!


SPREADSHEET:
LINK HERE
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Congrats to Yuri, that IFV sure is impressive

Also thank you stig for hosting

a P2 finish, not bad, but I’m going to get that P1 next time lol

2 Likes