Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
The Early Years - The Checkered Flag
Sun May 30, 2010 2:21pm

Just ahead, he watched as Cable and Merlin split off, each taking a different path through the cavern. He had options of course. He could follow one of the others or try to blaze a new path for himself. Trying to blaze his own path wasn't very smart since he didn't know the run. He could end up lost or shoot into a dead end and might end his career real fast that way.

Following Cable seemed like the safe bet, because he knew that the larger machine would be a liability in the tight quarters. Cable's path would be less dangerous and for Demios's first run, he didn't want to end up splattered on the inside of one of these caves. Near the end, he could probably take the lead and hold it until the finish line.

He could follow Merlin as well. With similar machine characteristics, Merlin's path would likely give him the faster time. However, tailing the other racer might prove difficult with the disparity in agility and Demios could end up behind and potentially even lost. Of course, it was his only likely chance to actually win the race.

As the other racers split, Demios heaved the Mars after Merlin.

The path was winding and narrow and made the hair pin turns before feel like a joke. He ducked and juked around the spires and rocks, twisting through tight openings and nearly bashing into the wall at several points. Even though he wasn't going a quarter of the speed he was through the hair pins, it felt far more dangerous. And thrilling.

Demios's face twisted into a grin as he followed the racer ahead of him. He had begun to use the other's machine's vectored thrust to give him indications of how to attack the turns. And to Merlin's credit, the other racer never once seemed to blink as Demios kept as tight a follow as he could. Sometimes less than a meter separated Demios's nose and the back wash of the blue racer's plasma exhaust.

As they pulled into a longer corridor, Demios managed to glimpse the intense s-weave ahead of them. A cave in had left the path with alternating rocks, forcing the racers to weave in between them with only a little room to spare. Demios snarled in his own throat. That vectored thrust is going to allow Merlin to easily swerve into each of the openings. I can't match that level of agility... But maybe...

The green armored reploid had always been adaptable but one could only wonder at the speed at which he had mapped the obstacles ahead. With a twist, he sent his machine sideways, the anti-grav rising him up onto the wall. By the time the first obstacle passed, Demios would have had to look straight up at it. Increasing his speed so he could maintain centripital force, he swerved along the ceiling to avoid the next while Merlin's machine deftly fish tailed between them. Demios had found the perfect line, and as he twisted around the interior of the cavern like it was some tube he slowly but surely began to gain on Merlin. Soon, he was all but bashing into the other racer as they exited the cooridor and slid into the next turn.

Each turn favored one of the racers or the other as they swapped inside lanes. Demios couldn't spare even a glance towards his opponent as his mind focused on the path ahead. Every turn he was on the outside, he had to keep the pressure up, use whatever centripital force he could to try to keep pace. When he was on the inside, he desparately tried to find some way to block Merlin's turn and pull ahead. Yet no opportunity present itself and his optics quickly adjusted as they burst into the sunlight.

"And it's Demios and Merlin in the final stretch, neck and neck!" Demios could hear the wild roars of the crowd and the finish line was only a kilometer ahead of him. This is it!

Demios had long since expended his dash system and he hunkered down, trying to provide as aerodynamic a profile as he could. He spared a glance towards the slim rider aside him, seeing Merlin getting in the same position. Throttles open, they powered for the finish line with neither one gaining a clear advantage.

Yet, as the ambient noise died in his mind, he felt rather than heard the reconfiguration of the machine beside him. A scoop opened on the front of the blue machine and the terrible scream of another pulse of fire sealed his fate. A SCRAM engine!?

What he had assumed to be weight reduction grooves in the rear of the blue machine flared to live as super hot gass spewed out, giving Merlin the last needed jolt of thrust in order to pull ahead of Demios. He could feel the heat wave from the plasma and jet thrust wash over him but it only barely matched the ice in his gut. After all his tricks, his adaptations, his energy and drive...

The checkered flag dropped over Merlin.


Trans lips screwed around his cigarette into a smile. Amazin' run, Dem. Y'r g'nna be a true force to contend with.


Demios slowly powered down the plasma engine as he used the grav plates to maneuver the bike towards his pit. He didn't feel much like celebrating but when he saw the exstatic smiles and energy of his mechanic team, he couldn't help but feel a little better.

"Amazing Demios! I've never seen flying like that!"

"You're insane, man! Those stunts were absolutely killer!"

The four techs hovered around him, the one woman in the group hugging tight around his neck. Demios looked over towards Jack, "She flew beautifully."

"Of course she did. Considering her age and lack of enhancements, it's absolutely unreal that you would be able to keep pace with those other racers." The cyborg said, "Though, watching you race, I know exactly how we're gonna tune it next time. You barely needed to use maybe eighty percent of the acceleration we gave you, so..."

He was interupted as a huge shadow eclipsed him. A reploid in yellow and black armor stood behind the cyborg. Jack sensed more than saw the repoid and moved out of the way. The large reploid looked down at the still seated Demios. "'Vell done, comrade." He said with a russian accent, "Your flying was inspired."

It took Demios a second but he realized who he was talking to, "Thanks, Cable. You really gave me a run for my money there."

The other pilot smiled faintly, "'Zis track does not favor my Anya. 'Ze is far too much woman for 'ze tunnels."

Demios wasn't exactly sure what to say, so he simply shut up.

"I shall 'zee you on 'ze winner's platform. We shall race again, Demios. Do not disappoint me." With that, the reploid turned and headed back for his own garage pit, leaving Demios just a little more in awe of this world he had stepped into.

  • The Early Years - Weapon AdaptabilityDemios, Sun May 23 1:12pm
    mios couldn't coax any more speed out of the Mars as his forward grav plate bounced into Slalom hill. The climb was another place his lower powered engines would be a liability and true to form, he... more
    • The Early Years - The Checkered Flag — Demios, Sun May 30 2:21pm
Click here to receive daily updates