FinalGear Wacky Races - The Race for the Quest for the Winter Cup for the Thing

PaperBiro

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Just a quick note, I need somebody to be behind the attack, so if anyone wouldn't mind playing villain, it would be greatly appreciated.
Katstein the Terroristkat?

BBC News said:
The headquarters of the underground racing team veloceINDUSTRIE has been destroyed today, reports confirm.

Fatalities are reported to be high, though the exact number has not yet been given by officials.

Police suspect that the attack was performed with American aircraft and arms stolen, against all odds, from the Jordanian Army.

It is believed that this military hijack was carried out by Al-Qaeda. However, the infamous terrorist organisation was most likely not behind the attack itself.

Witnesses report seeing a giant bionic meerkat running around with an AK-47 whilst screaming "MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THE DARK LORD SHALL RISE AGAIN" at the top of its reportedly "psychotic" voice.

Meanwhile, the Swiss government, being really neutral and all that jazz, has said and done absolutely nothing in response to the major international crisis on their own soil.
I'll make another post about this on Friday.
(BTW: don't worry Vikirad, the politics will stop after this post. ;) The rest will just be about Katstein running around ruining everybody's races like if the Terminator and the Joker had a bastard lovechild. )
 
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ninjacoco

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Topgearfanatic

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Kimi doesn't make enemies, he makes them pay for what they have done.
 

Richmondgal

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Letter from Freddie said:
Dear Richmondgal and Scotty,

My apologies to you for this disruption. I should say that being back live was not my intention and I have been doing orders from a underground section of the North Korean Government. Believe me, they are much more powerful than you think. But I shall digress.

The son of the Great Leader, Kim Il-Un, made a order to turn me back on after they had bought a high valued piece of technology that they wanted in their possession. The deal was made from an old madman who used to be Captain Thincrackers' (who was killed sadly) second in command (he too was also killed). They didn't know how to turn me on (I don't know how they replicated the Yellow Billed Black Sparrow Parrot's Mating Call, but they didn't) so they corrupted my computer and therefore it put me back into life.

I was given orders to capture a certain creature of the Meerkat breed, but this Katstein was too quick for me. I'd be careful if I were you. After I failed the mission, they put me in captivity until I found a way to escape and ran to the north border into China. Unfortunately, the Chinese were informed of my escape and captured me not long after my border crossing. However, they were interested in my technology, seeing it is something that has never been seen before. And they haven't, as it is 70% made in Mars with Earth technology. They told the North Koreans that I was killed, but really they were sending me off to Shanghai.

But there was a mix up with the crates and so I was sent on a boat to Australia instead. I've been in hiding for 7 months now. I also tracked down the broken Monaro that you did your race in. What did you do to it? Anyhow, I gave it a healing power to restore it to its condition, but for some strange reason, it evolved instead. Your 2003 Monaro model will be in an allocated storage depo just outside of the CBD. I have provided the keys and address to the store room and you two should be there in no time. I did try to contact you two, but I somehow came out of it as the creepy pedophile stalker. Again, my apologies.

Take care of the Monaro and if you do insist on looking on my whereabouts, please don't.

Yours sincerely,
Freddie AKA CPK 12.34
 

Cryptopygia

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Last post for introducing my new characters...

Associated Press said:
The DSEnterprises parking lot was the scene of Earths first encounter with alien life, after the appearance of three enormous robots and who some believe to be their leader. Confirmed reports that the aliens, possibly a diplomatic mission, attempted to communicate with DSEnterprises CEO Daniel Strowe, confusing him to be the leader of the planet. A private conversation between the alien leader and Strowe, which took place inside DSEnterprises headquarters, resulted in a misunderstanding, causing the robots to become combative. A potential crisis was averted when the alien leader was able to coerce her guards to hold their fire.

Additional information is forthcoming, once DSEnterprises sees fit to release. Currently, the corporation refuses to divulge any information. Rumors that this contact may be related to several mysterious files recorded by various countries and organizations, including DSEnterprises' TeleAwesome subsidiary.

In related news, DSEnterprises has asked for any potential information regarding the location of DSRacing CEOs Clay Alcata, James Richards, and Jessie Aromando, who disappeared approximately the time the alien mission reached our planet.
*The interrogation continues in the main lobby. The robots are now a far less intimidating height, although all three are taller than me. One guard remains, Sgt. Wright having gone to stall the reporters. The researcher hands each robot one of project DS0964. The creature presumably tells them how to use it. The second robot asks her something*

Her: He is unconvinced that using the translator is as simple as simply inserting it in his ear.

Me: Tell him that's how you did it, and how it was designed.

*The robot doesn't seem fully convinced, and decides to watch the first robot use it first. It steps forward, reaching for its metallic face. The metallic plate comes off, revealing a not at all robotic creature underneath it. He removes the respirator covering his muzzle, which comes off with a sudden hiss. Without it, I can see that he is the same species as the creature.*

Me: *As he removes the rest of his helmet* You were right. I apologize.

Her: I did tell you so.

*With his head uncovered, I take the time to observe him, with him doing the same for me. Physically, he appears similar to the female creature, except with very dark grey eyes and fur, compared to her blue/green and light grey. Parts of his face have small hoses leading from ports in the skin and down his neck. A small bundle of hoses and cabling heads from the back of his head. I can see two canines poke out from under his lip. Carnivorous? He asks the female something, surprisingly with the same mechanical drone. She responds, and he begins to insert the device.*

Me: If he panics, you're the one who stops him.

Her: Good idea.

*Needless to say, he does. The female almost immediately latches onto him arm, knocking him onto the table behind him, struggling to keep him from pulling the device out. Considering how much she has to work to keep him from getting at the device, he must be far stronger than her. And me. Perhaps through a stroke of luck, she manages to keep him from pulling it out, finally pulling herself off him as he goes limp, face blank.*

Her: *As he recovers* How do you feel?

Him: Ugh, I- I need something to-

*He pauses, realizing that the words coming out of his mouth are not in his own language. Notably, I note that the distortion through which his voice was filtered is not present. A vocoder? Then he notices me, and jumps to his feet.*

Him: *Filtered* YOU, CITIZEN. *Points to me* DESCRIBE THIS TECHNOLOGY.

Her: Perhaps it would be better if the other two had theirs in, first, before he explains.

Me: You would also be better served asking our researchers that question... where is- *notices the researcher hiding behind a sofa* Oh, get over here. *He does.* Also, if you could not use that filter for your voice, it would-

*He gives me a very nasty glare, as though I said something that should of gotten me killed. I can his ears flatten behind his head, and he snarls slightly, revealing even more sharp teeth. Yep, definitely a carnivore. His growl (which he decides not to filter) reminds me of a Hunter from Left 4 Dead; rather high-pitched and hollow, but still very threatening.*

Her: I think he is right. You would be better off using your normal voice.

*He glares at me for a bit, then nods. He turns to the others signaling for them to put theirs in. They remove their helmets. The larger one is again the same species, but instead of a single solid color, his face is decorated in a distinct stylized skull pattern, almost like a Mexican calavera, with bright green eyes. The smaller creature is an entirely different species, with a vaguely catlike face, covered in dark grey fur, with a tan robbers mask over his brown eyes (This time with visible pupils).

The researcher, after some prodding, hands the two the remaining devices. This time, no one needs to prevent them from pulling them out. They must have realized that the process is normal. I notice that the short one reattaches his helmet after the process is finished*

Him: *unfiltered, to the researcher* Now that we have these translators, you will explain to us how these devices operate.

*I notice that his unfiltered voice is pitch-perfect with Clays'. He notices my surprise*

Him: You are startled by something. Explain.

Me: Um, it's that you, uh, have the same voice as one of our missing employees.

*He stares at me for a bit, then turns to the research*

Researcher: These translators, which are code-named "Babelfish," work by-

Him: Explain the name.

Researcher: It is from a famous series of science fiction books. They work in a similar principal to their namesake. They intercept brainwaves, and isolate those relating to language, whether spoken by the user or another being. The spoken phrase is identified and uploaded to our central supercomputer in real time, where it is translated in a complex and constantly updated database for each language. The translated result is then uploaded to the device, which manipulates your brain waves allowing you to comprehend the phrase. It also allows you to speak, read and write in any language, as well. If the language is unidentified, it can "learn" a language from the speakers knowledge of the language. It will do all this seamlessly.

Him: You stated that it analyzes a user to learn unidentified language. Explain.

Researcher: To do so would require that you have a detailed understanding of how the human mind works.

Him: Human?

Research: Human being. Homo Sapien. Our species. *points to himself and I*

Him: *Turns to me* We asked you earlier for our location. You stated that we are in a country you called the "United States of America." Tell us what planet we are on, and its leader.

Her: I feel that we do not need to know the planets leader at this time. From our earlier conversations, he seemed to imply that this planet has no central government.

Me: She's right. We are on the planet Earth. We have no planet-wide central government. The closest are the leaders for the individual countries.

Him: And yours?

Me: Technically, our central government is split into three branches, though perhaps our closest person would be our President, Barack Obama.

Him: We will assume that he is located in this countries' capital city?

Me: Yes, the District of Columbia, or Washington D.C.

Her: Do we need to ask these questions?

Him: As a Guardsman, it is required for any new territory.

*Oh no...*

Me: Guardsman? Territory?

Him: *another glare* You will remain silent until spoken to. As it stands, we are to claim this planet for the United Sak'khar Federation. You will be integrated as a newly annexed territory under Sak'khar law once an official delegation arrives.

Me: What?! Why would you do that?! You can't... We won't.. You won't-

Him: Your military will consider it wise not to resist.

*He knew what I going to say?*

Him: The scale and training of our armed forces far exceed your own. To resist will be suidical.

*He turns to his teammates, activating his vocoder, and speaking in his native language.*

Me: Please tell me he is simply making a sick joke.

Her: I'm afraid he is completely serious.

*Then I notice the insignia on her uniform. I know I've seen it before, but where... Oh yeah!*

Me: Wait!

*They stop talking and turn to me. From the looks, I can tell they think poorly on me for stepping out of line and interrupting.*

Me: I think we received a message from you some time ago.

The short one: ELABORATE.

Me: A sound file with encoded images.

Him: Show us.

Me: Call the TeleAwesome guys. Send them here with the files.

*After a short wait, one of them comes in with an iPad.*

Him: Give us the device.

*TeleGuy does. It seems that what I presume is actually a soldier is stumped by the device (OOC: :p), as he stares at it, trying to figure out what to do.*

Him: *To TeleGuy* You. Tell us how to access the file.

TeleGuy: Uhhh... press the icon three rows down, one column to the right.

*They listen to the file.*

Him: It is our transmission. Access the images.

TeleGuy: They appear as scaled down versions on the interface. Press the button with a square on it first.

*He seems to understand that, and manages to bring up the images. What I don't expect is to see what appears to be confusion.*

Him: This is our insignia, but the images are dated roughly 600 years ago. When did you receive these?

Me: About 60 days ago.

Him: A month?

Me: You must have a different measure for a month, because it is two months for us.

Him: You must have newer transmissions. Display them.

Me: Those are the only ones we have.

*The larger one takes the tablet from him*

Him: No planet should have received a transmission this old, so recently. You are certain this is the only transmission from us?

Me: Yes.

*The other two find the second recording. For a minute, all four aliens freeze, intently listening to the voice from the iPad. When it finishes, the first soldier turns to me. It is clear he is furious. The other soldiers are no more pleased. By the time I think to run, he has already grabbed me, lifts me up by my coat, and slams me against the wall. The guard aims his weapon at the alien. The other two respond by aiming at him. The sole non-soldier, TeleGuy, and the researcher are rooted where they stand in panic.*

Him: YOU LIED! YOU STATED THAT YOU HAD RECEIVED NO NEW MESSAGES. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN RECEIVING A MESSAGE FROM OUR ENEMY?!

Me: I didn't lie! We received it at the same time!

*The non-soldier suddenly runs for the iPad, grabbing it from the larger one.*

Him: *Growling* Do not lie to us. You stated that you had received no recordings after receiving ours.

*She manages to bring up the associated image for the second recording. The shorter soldier notices, and examines the image for himself*

Him: You will either correct your statement, or we will be allowed to execute you.

Short one: FIRST LIEUTENANT 078423. THIS IMAGE WAS TRANSMITTED CONCURRENT TO OURS.

*He tosses the iPad to my assailant, who releases me. TeleGuy gasps as his expensive toy is thrown through the air like a frisbee, sighing in relief when the first soldier deftly catches it. For a tense minute, he examines the message for himself.*

Him: No. No no no. No nononono. You cannot have received 600 year old transmissions. You should not have been able to.

Me: Then how do you explain why we were able to record it?

*He is silent, backing up to a seat. He sits down, clutching his head. He begins muttering to himself in his native language. The other three seem to be coming to grips with their situation themselves. They silently remain standing, staring at the ground. I realize that they know they are impossibly far from their home.*

Me: *to the researcher* I think we may have just dodged a bullet.

*Maybe I shouldn't have said that, as the first soldier gets up and walks toward me, hands balled into fists. I really can't run. He's far too fast, and he could easily shoot me, if necessary. He backs me up against the wall. He pulls his fist back...

And lets it fall to his side. He collapses against the wall, sobbing. The other three stare at him, as though such a display of emotion is violating an important rule. Considering his rather emotionless delivery before, it probably is. I notice that the other two seem to be close to crying themselves, and the non-soldier is in tears.

It is probably an exceptionally stupid idea, but I couldn't help myself. I gently rub the back of his head, trying to comfort him. He stops sobbing, and turns to look at me, in an expression that clearly states "Get your hand off me." He doesn't hold it for long, though, and dejectedly gets up and walks back to the others, sitting down in a sofa. For a minute, there is a strange silence in the air.*

Him: *after a long, deep breath* So what do we do, now.

Her: We are stranded on this planet. Perhaps we have no other choice, but to integrate into society.

Short one: *removing his mask* No. We are not them. They will never accept us. Nor do they deserve having us become part of their society. *James voice, right down to the Scottish accent. Is somebody trying to tell me something?*

Large one: You speak like an Androsuesse nationalist. You are proposing that we separate ourselves from humans? *That's a female voice! Ookay, not what I was expecting, but...*

Short one: Have you not observed how populations react to us. They always try to rebel against us.

Large one: We are four soldiers, not an invasion force. If we try to integrate as individuals, we stand a far better chance at being accepted.

*As they bicker, one of the guards contacts me*

Guard: Sir, we've reviewed the security footage.

Me: Yes, and?

Guard: The video clearly shows them disappearing into thin air. No other form of escape was seen. Also, we are unable to find Jessie's tracking beacon anywhere in the world.

Me: So they're gone?! Just like that?!

Guard: I don't know what else to tell you, sir.

Me: Uuggh...

*So if they're gone, than these must be... no. It couldn't be. Are they? Goddammit.*

Short one: Corporal Alessarro! Are you seriously suggesting that we-

Me: I have some questions of my own.

Short one: YOU WILL REMAIN SILENT UNLESS ASKED TO-

*The ease with which he switches voices is startling*

Him: No, let him.

*And that response even more so*

Me: Uh... *shakes head* Why don't we start with your names.

Short one: We are forbidden to...

Him: No one is going to find out. You can tell him.

Short one: *Sighs to himself* Josares Hoaressa.

Him: Subject 914a.

Large one: Jeraisa Alessarro.

Her: Serrera Alessarro.

Me: You're related.

HerSerrera: We are sisters. I am five years her senior.

Me: *raises eyebrow*

Serrera: Females in my family lineage tend to be quite short.

Jeraisa: I have had extensive genetic and cybernetic modifications. Height was one of the changes.

Me: *To Subject 914a* So why "Subject 914a?"

914a: If you expect me to have biological parents, then yes, it is a strange name. But I was created in a laboratory, specifically to serve in the Guard.

Me: Your people can create living beings in laboratories?

914a: They engineered my species. *He motions to Jeraisa and Serrera* Creating an individual is comparatively no challenge.

Me: And that species name is?

914a: Fela'hari.

Me: *To Josares* And you?

Josares: Gerral.

Me: All right, and what is the Guard you mentioned?

914a: The Imperial Guardsmen. We are the elite force of our nation.

Me: The United Sak'khar Federation?

914a: Yes. We have been trained, modified, and engineered to be the pinnacle of warriors on our planet.

Me: And your government?

Serrera: An oppressive military dictatorship. Is there a word for multiple leaders?

Me: The closest I can think of is junta.

Serrera: It will do. They are focused on conquering any territory they can reach, and defeating their neighboring enemy, to the detriment of everyone else.

Josares: If it keeps them from coming under Androsuesse rule, it is very much for their benefit.

Serrera: They only reason you believe that is that they constantly imprint it on your mind.

Josares: It is not propaganda, as you believe.

Me: That enemy would be who sent the second recording?

Josares: That would be them. The Imperial Androsuesse Nation.

914a: They are historically known for their genocides against anyone that is not pure Androsuesse blood. In fact, our nation was founded in order to fight them off. At first, it was the polar opposite of the Androsuesse. Somewhere along the line, they largely became the oppressive nation they were fighting against, minus the genocide.

Josares: The enemy changed. The Empire needed to change.

914a: To the point where any action against the government is liable to earn one a long stay is a realignment center? *Knowing what I'm going to ask next* They torture a law-abiding nature into you. It is not pleasant.

Josares: That is perhaps extreme, but any weakness could set us up for an enemy invasion.

Me: *shakes head* You were saying.

914a: Meanwhile, the Androsuesse worked to change its world image. They now present themselves as every the Sak'khar Empire was. The thing is, we are highly suspicious that the same royal lineage would change like that.

Me: Monarchy, I'm assuming? Either way, different individuals could run the country differently.

914a: They are bred to continue the same style of rule, so no.

Me: How do you know that?

914a: Spies.

Me: Ah. Anyway, I've asked my questions. Though if I may make a suggestion, you could consider taking up jobs here.

Josares: And why would we accept that?

Me: You are stuck here, and you will need money at some point. The employee you would be replacing could not find jobs until they came to us. I'm certain it would be even worse in your case. It would probably make it easier for all of us if you actually adopted their roles.

Serrera: So you are suggesting we become a different person?

Me: No. Just assume their identity?

914a: Would your government allow that?

Me: Technically, no. However, we have some influence, and four giants.

Jeraisa: We would intimidate them, you are saying?

Me: Partly that, partly pad their re-election funds. Your predecessor was extremely good at the "intimidation" part.

Jeraisa: *Evil smile* You have my interest.

Serrara: Oh, boy...

914a: I do not see any other choice, so...

Josares: ... Alright.

Me: Excellent! So, you *914a* will be known as Clay Leonard Alcata...

Clay: Alright. I like the name.

Me: ...you *Josares* will be James Daniel Richards...

James: ...

Me: uhh... anyway. You *Jeraisa* will be... This is gonna be a weird question, but... Are you a hermaphrodite?

Jeraisa: Yes, why?

Me: :blink: The one you're replacing was...

Serrera: It's a genetic quirk on our planet. I am female, by the way.

Me: Okay, so you will be Jessica Natasha Aromando, "Jessie" for short.

Jessie: ^.^

Me: And you... *Serrera* We'll come up with something. For now, you'll be Serrera Aromando.

Serrera: :D

Me: Alright, now, who has any racing experience?

*Nobody rasises their hand*

Me: In any form?

*still none*

Me: Virtually?

Clay: I have some simulation experience.

Me: You have four wheeled cars?

Clay: Yes.

Me: Then its a start. We have a very large event for the three of you, *points to Clay, Jessie, and James* so you will need all to practice.

James: What sort of event?

Me: The FinalGear Wacky Races. It's a 24 hour race, with very little rules, weaponry allowed.

Jessie: So, you entered us into certain death.

Me: No, you will be fine. You predecessors did it for years without another racer hurting them. Also, we can probably adapt the car to fit your armor.

Serrera: And me?

Me: Well, what sort of talents can you bring?

Jessie: She's a firearms enthusiast...

Serrera: ^.^

Jessie: ...to the point of being a lead designer for one of the major firearms manufacturers our government contracts. In fact, she co-designed this railgun. *Hefts it up for display* It has not let me down once.

Me: You designed that?

Serrera: Most of it, yes.

Me: So you have a fondness for large guns.

Serrera: Indeed.

Me: I think we have just the position for you...

---And so my new character introduction is finished. Shorter wacky race related posts from now on.---

---Edit: Except for one thing...---

Me: Oh! One more thing: how did you shrink down to this size earlier?

Clay: *Cheeky grin* These.

*He pulls the collar for his armor down to reveal a pair of gray crystals in the sides of his neck. The same as Serrera, it occurs to me.*

Me: James and Jessie have the same?

Clay: Indeed. Do not ask us how, but any sentient species on our planet, or some alien species with genetic modification, can utilize something called "Reality Bending." It is simply the most common name. With these crystals, we can do things that appear to violate the rules of physics-

Me: Laws of physics, for us.

Clay: Noted. Reality itself seems to have little effect. Watch.

*Clay is suddenly enveloped in flame*

Everyone not Clay: WTF?! (Or to that effect.)

*The flames suddenly, instantly extinguish. Clay himself is untouched, but his armor crackles as it cools.*

Clay: And that is a relatively easy ability.

Jessie: Under Sak'khar law, citizens are barred from all but a select few skills. Imperial Guardsmen are allowed access to a greater amount, but still limited. Only our leaders are allowed complete access.

Clay: However, a resistance group managed to secure a copy of the complete anthology they use - We have no idea how - and transcribe it to... to...

Me: Your version of the Internet?

Clay: Does it link various computers together?

Me: Yes.

Clay: Then they transcribed it to our Internet. Needless to say, the government is working very hard at removing it from the Internet.

Jessie: Do not underestimate their power. They likely will. Needless to say, when one source is taken down, another springs up.

Clay: I actually took part in one removal process.

James: Which you took advantage of to procure your own illicit copy.

Clay: *Grinning* And now that we are out of the government's reach, we can use it freely.

James: We?

Me: Provided it doesn't break Federal law, right? Right?

Clay: Mostly, and I will need to upload copies.

Me: Ahh, crap. Three reality warping giants I need to keep under control...

Serrera: Four, actually. I can receive a copy. I have had cybernetic implants.

Me: Dammit.
 
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LeMans GTR

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REUTERS (UK)

Only just narrowly escaping a deadly assassination attempt, the head of veloceINUDSTRIE and business partner, the Countess of Abbingdon, Lady Lara Croft have announced today at a press conference today that events will proceed as planned for this Winter's FinalGear Wacky Race.

When asked about the car, all that was revealed was that the car was to be fueled by Dom Perignon champagn

It is currently assumed that political insurgent Katstein the Terroristkat was allegedly behind the attack with more apparently in the works.

Participating teams in the rally have been warned to pay close attention to employees and take measures to ensure the safety of employees.

Whatever the situation, veloceINDUSTRIE plans to reveal their car in a lavish launch party at 'Nobu' in the coming days
 

Cryptopygia

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Car(s)
Whichever car is still working
*With relative normalcy restored, the DSRacing squad, now under new leadership, can continue working towards developing our vehicle. As such, the customary pre-race keynote speech is held. Once again, the main conference hall is packed; surprisingly, it is devoid of furries. Perhaps the confirmation that Original!Clay, James, and Jessie were gone left them with no reason to visit. Heh, our crack security team isn't complaining. Regardless, the manufacturer has been lined up, and development has started. Before the conference starts, I pay a visit to Alien!Clay's dressing room. Given the hectic nature of the past day, I've never had the chance to him since hiring the group. Not to mention another group has asked a favor from me regarding him, so.*

Me: *Opens door* Hey Clay, I need to talk to you about...

Clay: *Trying to figure out how to get a pair of his custom ordered jeans on* DO NOT COME INah... *swears in Sak'kari*

*The two of us stand there, unsure of what to do. Out of his armor, and only partially dressed, :)wicked::p) I notice some other details that the armor covered up; namely, that his arms and legs were replaced with cybernetic prosthetics, clearly intended for combat, with lighter armor plating covering synthetic muscle on his upper arms and the whole of his legs, and thick plating for his forearms, which, along with his armored knuckles, I imagine were for hand-to-hand fighting. I also notice his ventral area is covered with bony armor plates, except for his throat, which is covered in woven black material*

Clay: Get out. Now.

*He raises his arm, and two large red, transparent blades appear from slightly behind his wrist, giving off a faint electrical crackle. I can guess that they are not for show.*

Me: Hey, I just needed to talk to you. And besides, you wouldn't dare hit me with those.

Clay: *At first glaring, but eventually smiling* Heh, you are correct. *The blades disappear* So, *stands up to an officially measured eight feet* what did you want to tell me?

Me: Uh, get dressed first. Then we'll talk.

Clay: Very well. *He turns to get his jeans on.*

Me: Didn't I say to wear a tux?

Clay: The suit you ordered has not been delivered, and none of my predecessors clothing will fit.

Me: You can shrink further, right?

Clay: I would rather not. I have grown quite used to this height.

Me: You're lucky we don't emphasize formality. Uh, what are those things on your back?

Clay: Those are covers for a synthetic secondary spinal cord.

Me: I meant the other things, the ones that look like cooling ducts on a car.

Clay: That is because they are cooling ducts. *He turns around, revealing intakes on his shoulders and the sides of his abdomen* Those were added to Fela'hari as we will suffer what you call heatstroke very quickly under even relatively little exertion, due to our being engineered with an overemphasis on strength. These ducts act similarly to the cooling systems on your race cars. *The intakes contract, sending a peristaltic ripple through the entire cooling system. Clay notices my surprise* That is to encourage airflow when standing still.

Me: Well, that would explain the extra muscle mass you have over Original!Clay. Go put a shirt on.

Clay: Yes sir. *He pulls out a shirt reading "I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite shirt on the Citadel" and quickly pulls it on. I notice he has had holes cut out for his intakes.* So, you wanted to talk to me.

Me: Oh yeah, the United States Army is interested in getting in contact with you. Original!Clay served as a Lieutenant, and they are interested in having you take his position.

*I can see I've hit on a sensitive subject, as he becomes rather depressed and turns away from me.*

Me: Hey, I understand you not being thrilled about joining the military again. You aren't required to join. Just say the word, and they'll leave you alone.

Clay: ...

Me: I take it the Empire was not exactly morally bound.

Clay: Where did you hear me call the Federation the Empire?

Me: I overheard Jessie.

Clay: Calling war "moral" is an oxymoron. Trust me, what I was forced to do in the Empire would reduce a normal being to insanity. I do not want to experience that again.

Me: Technically, you do not have to fight on the front lines. There are always positions you could serve outside of direct combat.

Clay: ...

Me: Look at it this way: you're growing to like the freedoms we're allowed, right?

Clay: Yes, I am.

Me: Well, if you do accept, realize that you would working to protect them. Not expand an oppressive totalitarian empire. And I probably should point out that I am not saying that out of blind faith

*It seems to work. His mood brightens a bit.*

Clay: Do I get to use my armor?

Me: I imagine you will. They were particularly interested in your suits.

Clay: I will consider it. By the way, do you mind explaining this shirt.

Me: I'll have to introduce you to video games, then.

*A few minutes later, Clay and I are backstage, alongside James, waiting for our cue. James has managed to find a suit that fits. However, Jessie is nowhere to be seen.*

Me: James, have you seen Jessie anywhere?

James: Shi said that shi had left to do some clothes shopping. None of hir predecessor's clothing fit.

Clay: Too small?

James and Me: Too large.

Clay: :blink:

*I pull up a picture of the missing dracoserval on my phone*

Clay: :? I never thought a female would be so...

Me: Muscular? Shi got that a lot.

Clay: I think Jessie has returned. ... Yes, it is her.

Me: How can you te... *Jessie enter* Oh. Uh. Jessie, can you...

Clay: That is... uh...

James: :|

Jessie: *Wearing those stereotypical goth pants. You know, extremely baggy, oodles of useless zippers, pulls, straps, and whatnot, as well as a black tank top.* I saw some females wearing this style of clothing. I liked its appearance somewhat.

Me: *facepalm* Ah, cripe. And we go on in a minute.

Jessie: Will I need a change of clothing?

Me: No, there isn't enough time.

*The music starts, an ambient electronic tune, the last piece Original!Clay composed.*

Me: And there's our cue. Just follow me, get in position and step forward when I call your name.

*The four of us file onto the stage. A group of lab-coated engineers stand ready. Among them, the trio stick out like a burning Spy ("I appear to have burst into flame.") A spattering of camera flashes burst from the audience. I can see Jessie and and James squint from the light. Clay doesn't. The music seamlessly blends into Deadmau5's Ghost n' Stuff, as a montage of DSRacing's previous racing efforts displays on the screen behind them. The music fades out as the newly stylized DSRacing insignia is displayed on the screen. A spotlight comes on, highlighting me as I take the podium.*

Me: Hello.

*Applause*

Me: Well, this has certainly been a rather chaotic few days. I think just about everyone in this room should know why. * I add an aside glance to the group to my left* Anyway, the time has come to, once again, introduce our car.

*I walk to the car, which has been hidden under a white sheet. With a quick yank, the sheet flies off, revealing a gleaming, technologically sophisticated...












...bone stock Ford Transit Connect. There are murmurs throughout the audience, and the aliens are rather confused themselves

James: You want us to compete in that? It is a utility vehicle. You told us that we would use a bespoke racing vehicle.

Me: Do not underestimate our madness, James. This was our racer last year. *A slide of the Caterpillar 450E from last year appears on the screen.* We've turned construction equipment into racing vehicles, we can turn a van into a racer. In fact, these are the concept sketches our engineers have given us.

*For the other racers, imagine a mashup of these two vehicles*

Image credit goes to Salguod



James: ... I retract my previous complaint.

Me: Thank you. Now, in those brochures that you all have are the planned upgrades we hope to implement.

*Now to really let the wackyness flow*
Engine: 3.5l twin-turbocharged, intercooled petrol v6, 1250bhp, 864ft/lbs. Equipped with anti-lag, KERS, and overboost. (Finally, I enter a v6/v12 powered vehicle)
Transmission: 6 speed sequential manual w/ reverse.
Drivetrain: 4wd with fully active differentials.
Suspension: Independent, unequal-length a-arms. Fully active suspension. Ride height adjustable to suit terrain (Smoother terrain: drop the car to let the aerodynamics work. Rougher terrain, raise the car to clear obstacles.)
Brakes: Brembo.
Tires: Custom Falken tires.
Aerodynamics: HUGE rear wing, just as huge front splitter and dive planes, redundant front aero setting for if the front splitter is ripped off. Ground effect undertray.
Crew count: 3.
Additional aids: AI Core fully integrated into vehicle systems. (Temporarily borrowed from Jessie's armor*) Self-replenishing supply of nanites to continuously repair vehicle. (We kept a supply of Original!Jessie's nanites, just in case anything happened) Storage cubby for food and drink.
Weaponry: twin .50BMG miniguns, bespoke railgun adapted from Jessie's own. Rear firing port for a rocket launcher.
Shielding: Designed for reduced susceptibility to EMP. Kinetic shields stop most projectiles, yet allow airflow to where it's needed.

Me: And so, we must introduce our drivers. The familiar lineup you know and sometime wank over, sadly, cannot be reached. However, we were able to replace them. And so, our driver, Clay Alcata...

*More murmurs from the audience, since the thing standing on stage is clearly not Clay.*

...Co-driver Jessie Aromando, and main gunner James Richards.

*There is a massive flurry of photography, as flashes strobe throughout the audience. Jessie and James reel back, blinded from the light. Clay looks at them, wondering what was wrong with some cameras. Then he, too, stumbles backwards in pain. Then the questions start. By the time the three can register being asked a question, ten other reporters ask their own.*

Me: *Seeing Clay mouth "Help... meeeee..."* Unfortunately, thanks to you, we have to draw this presentation to an early closure. Now get out.

The obligatory hobo: But eetsch warm in heer.

*Meanwhile, the furries heard their beloved names announced, and attempted to enter the building, only to be blocked by my crack security team. They were then told never to come here again by my crack security team. They were put back together by a crack EMT squad.*

*Sak'khari Heavy Support units such as Jessie are supplied armor with an integrated AI core, which allows for the optimal elimination of targets, tracking specific enemies, and watching for enemies trying to flank them. Some support units control a second purely robotic foot soldier, controlled by the AI Core under the guidance of the user.
 
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PaperBiro

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Meerkat Manor Motorsport Press Conference said:
A Message From Katstein: A Potted History of Meerkat Manor

Ladies and Gentlemen. Actually, there's just one of you, so just lady. You will not know this, BECAUSE YOU ARE A FOOOOOOOOL MAHAHAHAAAAALOLAAAAAAA, so I will tell you. I RULE, YOU SUCK. Therefore, you, AS AN INFERIOR BEING, you deserve to know of my origins, and the origins of my base, Meerkat Manor.

Meerkat Manor originally belonged to some rich dude called the Earl of Winchester or something. Anyways, this guy got around. Half of the monarchs in Europe are descended directly from him. He would be my HERO, IF I WASN'T BETTER THAN HIM.

ANYWAYS, YOU SUCK, JOURNALIST. DID I MENTION THAT? HAHA. IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE IT'S TRUE. ALSO, what happened next was the house became adopted by Manor Motorsport as their HQ. Manor Motorsport have sinced moved their HQ, BECAUSE THEY CAN SUCK MY HAIRY BALLS.

So it was then taken over by Count Von Smythe from Switzerland AKA THE DARK LORD. He captured meerkats, put them into an eternal state of coma. He tried to turn them into crazy killing machines.

BUT SOMETHING WENT WRONG. HE SUCCEEDED.

I AM THE RESULT. FEAR ME.

I WAS GIVEN BIONIC SUPERPOWERS AND AN EINSTEIN WIG. ACTUALLY, I GAVE MYSELF THE WIG, PURELY BECAUSE I KINDA LIKE IT.

I HAVE TAKEN SERGEI PRISONER, AS WELL AS ALL THE OTHER MEERKATS. I INTEND TO ENTER THE WACKY RACES AND BLOW EVERYTHING UP FOR THE FUN OF IT.

IF YOU SEE ME, DO NOT APPROACH ME. IN FACT, RUN. I AM CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS. EVEN THE IDIOT FBI AGREE, AND THEY DON'T NORMALLY GIVE ME COMPLIMENTS BECAUSE THEY'RE IDIOTS.

WELL, AREN'T YOU GOING TO LISTEN TO THEM? RUN!
BBC News said:
It has confirmed today that the only journalist stupid enough to attend a press conference held by the infamous insurgent Katstein the Terroristkat has been killed after she fell through a trap door which then blew up into a giant fireball for no reason. Explosive experts have called the second part "completely unnecessary".
 

ninjacoco

puffalump? inquire here!
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How did these pants get in my trunk and why do they smell like...k?ttbullar?
 

Cryptopygia

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Katstein said:
BUT SOMETHING WENT WRONG. HE SUCCEEDED.

I AM THE RESULT. FEAR ME.
I AM A BIOTIC BIONIC GOD! :p


Also, Jessie and Serrera decided to try some local food. The result is documented below.

Associated Press said:
Local Men Hospitalized After Failed Attempt at Romancing Aliens.

Wildwood, NJ - Two men, ages 24 and 25, were hospitalized yesterday after attempting to romance DSRacing employees Jessie and Serrera Aromando at a Wildwood restaurant. Witnesses describe the two men, who have not been identified, as "guidos," a culture popular amongst Italian-Americans residing in the Tri-State area, and popularized by the controversial television program "Jersey Shore." The two men were reported to approach the sisters during their lunch break. Witnesses report that the men, possibly drunk, became increasingly rowdy in an attempt to attract the aliens, who reportedly angrily refused all advances. Witnesses also report the men calling both sisters "f**king skanks." The two men then attempted to have sex with both sister where they sat. Serrera reportedly shot her assailant with an AK-47 handheld machine gun, while Jessie proceeded to knock the other man to the ground and punch him into unconciousness.

Police declined to press charges, ruling the sisters response a case of self-defense. The men are expected to make a full recovery, whereupon they will be charged with disturbing the peace, public intoxication, being guidos, assault, and attempted rape. Both sisters refused to comment.
 

PaperBiro

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MMM (Meerkat Manor Motorsport) would like to announce their new car:



A Maybach Exelero, which by request of our leader, Katstein, is equipped with nukes.
 

Matt2000

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Following the MMM announcement, ShotHouse Racing would like to release images of their car as it will race:


 
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Cryptopygia

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*A knock on my office door*

Me: Come in.

Serrera: You wished to see me?

Me: Oh, hai. Yes I did, just give me a minute...

Computer: Victory. *Dun-Tik-Tik-Tik, Dun-Tik-Tik-Tik, Dun-Tik-Tik-Tik, Dun-Tik-Tik-Tik, Dun Dun Dun Dun Disconnected*

Me: You were saying?

Serrera: Uhh yes, we had decided that a rocket launcher would not work in the car.

Me: And the reason why?

Serrera: The heat from launching could damage important components for the vehicle.

Me: Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.

Serrera: Because of that, we had elected to design a sniper rifle, instead. We have managed to finish the prototype yesterday.

Me: Excellent. I take it you brought it with you?

Serrera: Yes, sir. Let me go retrieve it.

*She walks back into the office carrying a sniper rifle about a foot longer than she is tall. Given how thick the barrel is, it must take a very large bullet.*

Me: Whoa. Um, Serrera, you know we have a limit for how long the weapon is, right?

Serrera: We do?

Me: We have a limited amount of space to fit the rear gun. This one is far too long.

Serrera: Oh. :(

Me: Did anybody tell you how long it should be?

Serrera: No, they said "as long as necessary."

Me: I'll need to have some heads banged together, then. Until then, can you shorten it without affecting accuracy too badly?

Serrera: I think our ammunition will allow us to do so.

Me: How so.

*Serrera pulls out a bullet and a complete round. The cartridge is roughly as thick as my wrist.*

Me: This looks complex...

Serrera: It is a guided, explosive projectile. When it leaves the barrel, theses fins deploy, and adjust the heading of the bullet. Inside is a shaped charge of Composition 4 explosive. When the computer registers a hit, it detonates, punching a hole in the target. If programmed not to explode, the bullet is designed to pierce armor. We can also delay the explosion, turning the bullet into a fragmentation grenade. However, it may be unreliable, as the onboard computers may be destroyed by the impact.

Me: We have access to nano-robotics. You can program those to become the computers for these. They are also self-replicating, so shortage of computers parts shouldn't be a problem.

Serrera: That can work too.

Me: Other than that, it is ready for testing.

Serrera: Yes, it is.

Me: Excellent. Also, did they finish Jessie's other guns from the plans you gave the engineers?

*At that point, Jessie walks by in her armor, a massive minigun mounted to her right arm in place of the railgun, and carrying a flamethrower in the other.*

Me: Never mind.

*Enter James*

James: Do you know where Clay is? I need to talk to him.

Me: Working on a little wager between us.

James: *Facepalm* What have you bet?

Me: Clay claimed that video games were incapable of scaring him. I disagreed. So we wagered $500 each that he could not get through one full game without screaming. He's locked in a darkened room with a computer, headset, and a copy of Amneisa: The Dark Descent. He has to get through the whole game, regardless.

James: You are going to lose that bet. We have medicine delivery systems that inject drugs that are designed to reduce the effects of fear and other emotions, as well as stimulate us as needed, if...

Me: your modifications are not enough? Jessie told me.

James: Yes, and we carry a finite amount. That was what I wanted to talk to Clay about.

Me: I've contacted a pharmaceutical and chemistry company we have worked with in the past. They've agreed to synthesize and supply the drugs you need. And about the bet, I specifically told Clay to disable them during his playthrough.

James: How will you tell he has not used them.

Me: We've designed a crude telemetry program for your cybernetics, and fashioned a plug to connect to that port in the side of your neck.

James: How will you tell if Clay screams?

Me: We've got a camera with microphone recording him. Watch.

*I turn the screen to James, revealing a night-vision image of Clay playing Amnesia. I click a button to enable sound.*

Clay: OH SHIT! Oh, fuck...

James: Are those Eng...

Clay: OH SHIT I CAN SEE THE THING!

James: ...English swears?

Me: Yes. He seems to be slowly adapting to American culture.

James: *rolls eyes*

Clay: No no nononono. It's coming, it's comin-*Rargh! Slash!*AAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!*His voice gains an extra octave or two*

Me: That's $500 in my pocket then.

James: You humans can be quite bizarre, sometimes.

Me: Maybe just in your view.

James: Just contact me when Clay is finished.

Me: Will do.

Clay: RUN! RUNRUNRUNRUN! *Slash* AAAAA! OH SHIT, OH SHEEEENNNNGGG! EEEHHH! EEEHHHH! Where is he? Where is he-AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!

Serrera: You are enjoying this, aren't you.

Me: Can you sense the Schadenfreude?

Clay: *Sobbing in terror while sprinting for a door in-game.*
 
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Cryptopygia

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Yeah, yeah...

*VeloceRACING HQ, [LOCATION REDACTED] Swiss Alps, 1600 hours*

Clay: *Now $500 poorer* There it is. Do you have the equipment?

James: Yes. *Taps the fabric bag attached to his abdomen*

Clay: Good. I can see four guards patrolling the ground, two on the roof of the entrance.

James: Can we cloak past them?

Clay: The ground troops might be easier to avoid, but it will be hard to avoid the second group without taking them out. I suggest we put them down before proceeding.

*The two produce custom scoped rifles from their kit. They take aim.*

Clay: Rangefinder predicts a distance of 200m. You take the one on the left.

James: Copy that.

Clay: *Adopts an Australian accent* Heh heh heh, someone's about to have a real bad day.

James: Really, Clay? Now, of all places?

Clay: They did not hear us. I can make a Team Fortress 2 reference.

James: *Rolls eyes, and refocuses on the target.* 3, 2, 1...

*The two air rifles quietly launch their payload of tranquilizer darts. The guards cough, look around in confusion, then collapse into the snow.*

Clay: Move up.

*The two cloak, turning them into a vague shimmer against the lot. They take the long way around to avoid leaving any footprints directly across the ground. Then they get to the door, only to find a fingerprint scanner.*

Clay: Dammit. How do we find a way past this... thing.

*Before James can respond, the door opens, as an employee steps out for a smoke. The finest cigarettes available, of course. Clay and James duck through the door before it can close. Inside the compound, they duck into a janitors closet to let their cloaks recharge.*

Clay: Alright, our maps say we are here, and we need to be here *highlights a small communications room* to complete our objective.

James: This is where we are longer required not to kill anyone?

Clay: DSRacing would prefer we keep casualties to a minimum. "Prefer" with a wink and a nudge.

James: I believe I follow what you are saying.

Clay: *Takes the safety off on his newly issued, silenced M4 carbine* Then proceed.

*The halls of the complex are surprisingly barren. Perhaps Veloce employees prefer the luxuries the company is famous for. Suddenly a shadow appears from an intersecting hall.*

James: Let me take him. *Takes off in a sprint, his augmentations and exosuit powering him to a speed that would shame a decorated Olympic runner.*

*A bored guard continues his patrol. Why he had to do his patrol in these boring back halls was beyond him. No one would make it past the front guards, and they would probably stick to the main halls. They present more options to hide, but are brimming with security cameras, sensors, and hidden weapons. Whoever took the halls would be cut to shreds. Suddenly, he sees movement out of the corner of his eye. He turns to see a black figure charging at him, another armed figure behind him.*

Guard: Hey, y-

*By the time the guard can begin his second syllable, James sharply waves his hand in front of the guard. He stops in his place, as though frozen. Clay slows down and lazily walks up to the guard, who seems unaware of his presence*

Clay: How long until he...

James: Should be a few seconds...

*A few seconds pass before anything happens. Then Clay gently pushed the guard. With a sickly wet slurp, the guard peeled apart into five cleanly cut sections. Another victim of the monofilament razor wires hidden in James gloves, one of the primary melee weapons of the Sak'khari Scout.*

Clay: How long until someone notices the pile of scraps?

James: I cannot say. Let us get to the objective first.

*Fortunately for the two, the back halls are rarely patrolled. Although a map glitch did end up getting the two lost, they eventually made it to the communications room. Clay gently opened the door.

In stark contrast to the barren halls, the communications room was filled with computers, televisions, everything VeloceRACING needs for their commercials and photo shoots. Three guards and two employees occupy the room. They all look up as the door closes, seeing a combined total of four glowing red eyes in the shadows. Clay readies his M4.

The guards had little time to react to Clay opening fire. The Guardsmen are all expert marksmen, capable of hitting targets at distances no normal sniper could manage reliably, and capable of switching targets in the blink of an eye. Clay had left the gun on semi-auto mode, as he had no need for full-auto. One shot per target was all he needed. The last guard managed to get two shots off at the two as the previous guard fell, striking armor designed to absorb the impact of much more powerful rounds than those from a .45 pistol. By the time the pistol leveled itself for the third shot, the final bullet from Clays rifle met his head.

The employees were frozen in fear, as the guards were cut down around them. The intruding gunman then leveled his gun at them.*

Clay: IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO DIE, YOU WILL RUN.

*The employees remained were they sat, petrified.*

Clay: NOW.

*They eventually scarpered.*

Clay: Aw, they left before I could fire a warning shot.

James: I believe that your time here is causing you to forget your training-

*Clay manages to pin James to a row of desks*

Clay: I assure you that I have not forgotten any of my training. *Releases James* Get to work on the audio. I will work on the surprise.

*James pulls out an iPod and some wiring, and tosses Clay some small electronics and three packs of a white, malleable plastic.

The main hall of the VeloceRACING compound was packed from the weekly lavish parties held by the head of the team. Ms. Croft stood beside a 15 year old Australian kid watching over the proceedings.

Ms. Croft: Sir, we have received reports of a breach in the compound. Two intruders

LeMans GTR: Don't worry, the guards will take care of them. *Swigs a glass of wine.*

Ms. Croft: We have reports that they managed to evade the front guards. We believe they are inside the compound.

LeMans GTR: *Spittake* Well, who sent them-

*Suddenly, the intercom crackles to life, bringing the party to an early halt. Then...*

...just with the beeping looped.

*Everyone in the building screams and stampedes toward the front exit. Everyone that is, except for two aliens in the communications room.*

Clay: *Watching the security footage, doubled over in laughter* Co... Come on, James, you cannot say that th... this is not funny.

James: It is not part of my job to find humor in my work.

Clay: You are an extremely cold person.

James: Your hysterics have not interfered with your preparations?

Clay: *Trying to choke back his giggling* Nope, it is armed and ready. We should leave, soon. Before they come looking for us.

James: Indeed.

*Outside...*

LeMans GTR: *over the still blaring message* I cannot believe that... whoever these intruders are would go as far as ruin my party by broadcasting a phony message over my intercom!

Ms. Croft: Be thankful, sir, that this was all they ruined. We are sending in guards to find the source of the message.

*On a hill with an excellent view.*

Clay: *pulling out a detonator* You know, this will involve another Team Fortress 2 reference.

James: *growls in disapproval*

Clay: Heh, I will do it anyway. *Arms the detonator, then takes a breath* KA-BEEEWWWWWMMMMM!! *Presses the firing button in time with the second syllable. The VeloceRACING complex is enveloped in a bright orange fireball, rising silently from the rubble, until the sound of the explosion reaches them a few seconds later.*

...I can see why humans seem to have an affinity to explosions...

Edit: Is it just me, or is the race feeling especially empty?
 
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Lupin_IV

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Perfectly Legal Racing has unveiled it's new car - a 1975 Bricklin SV-1.

The SV may have stood for Safety Vehicle, but we're pretty sure it will turn out to be a death trap.

This year, Lupin will be attempting to complete the race without a co-driver by consuming potentially dangerous amounts of Tim Horton's coffee and doughnuts.
 

LeMans GTR

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Almost forgot about this, thanks American TG Man. However, THIS MEANS WAR!

INT: Asploded veloceRACING HQ - Parking Garage Rooftop 2100 Hrs

Me: (exits fire escape door leading from the complex to the parking garage) Okay, the cars have been crushed under the rubble, the bottom floors have been flooded by the water tanks, there is no electricity, gas or water and we can't call for help at the moment because I can't get reception here so we're screwed

Lara: (obviously drunk) Quite, now I say we go get plaasterd in the wine cellar and deal with all tomorrow...sdhgkj(falls asleep)

Me: (Looks over and sees one car undamaged) - or y'know we can go. Get up Lara

I help Lara over to the Alfa 8C Coupe standing by, the only car left undamaged where upon opening the door, she hurls all over the upholstery

Me: Oh god

But luckily this is one of our cars which means self cleaning upholstery by way of an holographic English butler

Me: Hmm...I don't remember building this for the race but hey, it'll do

We drive away from our leveled building

INT: Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel 2200 HRS

Concierge: Sir, Madam, right his way we have a suite waiting for you

Me: Just one second - I head back to the car and entered a key into the Sat Nav

NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM: ACCESS KEY REQUIRED

I plugged in my key and turned it, yes it was a rip off of GoldenEye but I rather liked that movie and created my arms system pretty much half an hour after watching the movie for the 600th time.

SET LAUNCH TARGET: DSRacing HQ - New Jersey, United States

TARGET ACQUIRED

FIRE MISSILES

CONFIRM: YES/NO

YES

Calculating Trajectory

IMPACT T-MINUS: 2 Hours
 
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