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> [FANFIC] Beyond the Horizon, On hiatus.
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Mar 7 2012, 12:33 AM


Patient Zero
**********

Group: Advanced Members
Posts: 4,272
Member No.: 37,947
Joined: Oct 1st 2011
Location: Update Profile





It all began January 1st, 2012, my idea to blur the lines between reality and imagination by creating a IDW and ID cross-over story. This is my first attempt at something this big. What am I thinking? This is going to be a freakishly long post...

Chapter 1 is a slightly edited version of this post. I've come up with a Prologue to supplement the events of Chapter 1, and now Chapter 2 to continue the story. I'm working on more chapters, so look forward to it!


SPOILER




~Prologue: Calling Out~

It was a cloudless summer night on Mount Akagi, the roar of Keisuke's FD echoed through the pass. Project D came to an epic conclusion a year ago tonight, but that never stopped the younger Takahashi brother from going out every night to hone his skills on the mountain pass. On the uphill, the sight of the yellow FD shooting through the streets was common. It was out every single night; rain or shine, snow or sleet, that car was there, running for a good two or three hours before disappearing into the night. It was the last run of the session, and Keisuke was on a roll; he managed to beat his previous time record by a hundredth of a second, but he wanted to go for more. The stopwatch hung from his neck, swaying with the road as the car moved along the natural curve. The yellow FD streaked by the hairpins like lightning, piercing the warm night air with the sound of its rotary engine. Keisuke's grip on the steering wheel tightened as he neared the end of the course; he was looking to cut at least a half second off of his previous record so there was no room for mistakes, he shot into the last turn at a mind boggling speed and barreled out into the last straightaway before the finish. Keisuke scolded at the road ahead of him, the look of concentration etched into his face, he tried to press the gas pedal down but it was already on the floor. The tachometer needle stalled at the seven thousand RPM mark before Keisuke realized his mistake; the FD was only fifty meters away from the marked finish line he let off the gas. The car still sped past the finish line but Keisuke didn’t bother to record his time, he knew that his previous record stood unbroken. Suddenly frustrated with himself, he turned the car around and started for home.

The Takahashi residence stood nestled between other manors of similar grandeur; while the other mansions had Mercedes Benz and other luxury cars in the garage, the Takahashi's stood out because of the two beautiful Mazda RX-7s that were resting in the driveway. Keisuke opened the front door with a turn of his key and entered into the elegant atrium, he went straight to the bathroom; he knew that his older brother summoned him to the office for a debriefing after the night’s runs but it could wait. Meanwhile the moon shone brightly outside the window of the study, Ryosuke was seated upon a tall leather chair looking at the screens before him. The computer monitors flashed data from his younger brother’s previous runs; some of them displayed the torque produced by the engine, others had the RPMs and speed. The amount of data that was being processed by Ryosuke and the computers was enough to make anyone’s head spin. There was a quiet knock on the door, "Brother, I'm back. I remember that you wanted to speak with me when I got home. May I come in?"

Ryosuke's gaze from the screens was broken as he looked up at the door. He expected that his younger brother would be late for their meeting and planned accordingly, "Yes, of course you can come in Keisuke."

Keisuke opened the study door and walked in; donning a pair of basketball shorts and a muscle tee, he was still drying his hair with the towel that he had in his hand. Ryosuke gave him an expectant look; Keisuke brushed it off and seated himself before his older brother. Ryosuke began his speech, "Keisuke, you've shown a lot of improvement in this past year. I'm proud of you, but don't let this get to your head. If you want to become a professional driver you must continue practicing. I'm talking to you today because I want you to know that these mandatory runs every night are no longer required. I know you know endure through a lot of trouble every day to free up time for this and I see that it inconveniences you. So, you can always practice whenever you want to but I'm not forcing you to train anymore."

At these words the younger Takahashi brother gasped. The towel fell out of his hand and slumped over his shoulder, "I know I've improved, but there is so much more that I can do! I stand before you today because of the training that you've given me. If I don’t get advice from you, then I can't better myself."

Ryosuke smiled, "Keisuke, you don't give yourself enough credit. I only give you advice, you're the one following it and improving. There is only so much I can do for you. I think you know more about your skills than I will ever know. Just use your instincts and you will continue to grow past your boundaries."

Keisuke was about to open his mouth to object when the phone rang. Whenever the phone in the office rang, it meant that someone important was calling his older brother, and it also meant that he had to leave the room. Calls from this phone usually entailed personal or private business that Ryosuke had to attend to. Keisuke shot the phone a dirty look before getting up and leaving the room. The office door clicked shut before Ryosuke answered, "Hello, Takahashi residence. This is Ryosuke speaking."

The voice on the other line was someone Ryosuke didn't recognize, "Hello? Ryosuke Takahashi?"

He was shocked; people who only knew Ryosuke personally had this number, but he remained calm and collected "Yes, this is him. How did you get this number?"

The voice replied, "I have my ways Ryosuke. Now shall we talk business?"

There was no answer from Ryosuke. The person on the other line took this as a yes and continued talking, "So Ryosuke, I am sure that you have received my letter in the mail the other day. Please don’t hesitate to open it as they contain the plane tickets to your destination, along with paperwork that I've already filled out for you. Allow me to explain the situation since I assume that you have yet to read the contents of the envelope. I have been a longtime fan of Project D and I have been patiently awaiting the conclusion of your expeditions in Japan. I cordially invite you and Project D to the U.S. to try your skills on different roads. I simply ask for a race with Takumi, the downhill Ace of Project D, there is more information in the envelope so I will not delve into the details here. I understand some of the apprehension that you may feel about traveling to America, but I've done my best to ensure that your trip overseas will be pleasant. Your flight is in two weeks, and I hope to see you there."

Without waiting for a reply, the voice on the other line hung up. The dial tone rang in Ryosuke's ear, there were so many things running in his mind. Without thinking he placed the phone back on the receiver and looked back the computer monitors, the data that they displayed meant nothing to him now; his mind was empty, it was difficult to process all the information that was thrown at him through the phone. Ryosuke averted his gaze to the stack of mail sitting on the corner of the desk; on the top of the pile was an unmarked manila envelope that he remembered getting a week ago. There was no return address but 'Ryosuke Takahashi' was clearly written in bold pen stroke. Ryosuke was previously afraid to open the envelope because there was something sinister about it, but the mysterious voice on the phone seemed to be talking about this particular piece of mail. His curiosity peaked, he wanted to know more about what the mysterious challenger was talking about; he reached over the desk, grabbed the envelope and hastily opened it. There were seven plane tickets--one for each of the members of Project D--a bundle of paperwork, and a note that was in the same bold handwriting. Chills ran down Ryosuke’s spine as read the message written on the little piece of paper.

Meanwhile Keisuke was in his own room, he had finished drying his hair and was now on his laptop looking at new parts for his FD. He was thinking about how he could continue to improve his skills without the advice from his older brother. Keisuke knew that he drove based on emotions, and without the guidance of his older brother he feared that he finally hit his wall. The younger Takahashi brother was still deep in thought when Ryosuke silently appeared at the door. The elder brother looked troubled as he walked into his younger brother’s room. Keisuke finally noticed his presence and turned around, "Hey bro, do you want to finish that talk with me or something?" Noticing the apprehension on his older brother's face, he quickly adopted a tone of concern and continued speaking. "Hey. Is there something wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost or something."

Ryosuke's blank stare was met with a look of worry from Keisuke; something out of the ordinary was obviously happening. Ryosuke gazed around the room before taking a seat at the edge of the bed; he explained everything to his younger brother and by the end of the conversation, both of them had the same shocked expressions on their face. Keisuke was the first to speak up afterwards. "Bro, this sounds really fishy… I don't know if we should go. But I don't want to pass up the free chance to go to America. With our cars no less! I think we should call everyone else and see what they say. If you want I'll call Takumi, Tomiguchi, Matsumoto, and Kenta for you. I'll set up the meeting time and place and we can talk about it over dinner. It's the perfect chance to get back with everyone from Project D!"

Keisuke beamed at his older brother, that silly look on his younger brother's face reminded the Ryosuke of the times long ago when the kid would ask him to do the most outrageous things. Obviously as an older brother Ryosuke would oblige, but this time seemed like a stretch. Going overseas at the request of a total stranger? The voice over the phone didn't seem like a harmful person. He thought about it for a moment and came to the same conclusion; he smiled back, "You're right Keisuke. I'll call Fumihiro. We meet the night after tomorrow!"


~Chapter 1: Mysterious as the Dark Side of the Moon~

The wind whipped around the cold midnight air chilling Takumi, he shivered as he perched on the edge of the curb looking out into the void empty white space. It was a foggy night and he was trying to look for any trace of road that was lost in the vastness of the mist. Ryosuke appeared out of the fog and stopped next to Takumi, together they stood in silence until Takumi broke the ice, "This fog is thick isn't it? I've never seen anything like it! It looks like I'm going to be driving blind this race huh?"

Ryosuke continued to gaze forward and calmly replied, "This fog is a bit of an anomaly but don't worry I know you can do this. Ok, so let’s go over this again; since this course is on a 27% grade, so there is no uphill portion. This course is also surprisingly short--only a one hundred meter dash into eight consecutive hairpins and a two hundred and fifty meter straightaway till the finish. I know you haven't had the time to memorize it yet, but I'm confident in your skills. Since this is the only race, you're carrying the team. I know you will do well."

Takumi shivered again before saying, "Thanks for the advice Ryosuke, but may I ask. What are we doing here? Seriously, what were you thinking, bringing us out to a place like this? On short notice too!"

Ryosuke smiled as he pulled his overcoat in a little closer to keep warm before replying, "All I know is that we are in a coastal city in the state of California. We are here because I got a call from someone who was challenging us to a downhill race. He personally requested a race from you. He is from this area and he offered to pay for all of our traveling expenses. How could I refuse something like that?"

Takumi eyed him with a hint of malice before continuing on his rant, "Well it doesn't really help that we don't know who this guy is. What if he's some crazy fanatic that wants to steal our cars and sell them for the highest bidder? My dad would never forgive me for letting anyone get away with stealing the 86!"

"I know, that's why I've taken preventive measures to ensure that--"

"You know cars like my 86 or Keisuke's FD go for a lot now in markets like these..."

Ryosuke turned to face Takumi and quickly shot, "I know this was a hasty decision by me but you must remember that Project D never declines a challenge. Now get ready, your opponent is here."

Their backs were illuminated by the glow of headlights as a car approached them. The hum of the engine swelled as a silver 2005 Corolla LE appeared--seemingly out of thin air--and pulled up next to Takumi's 86. The sound of the engine stopped with a turn of the key, instead of the door opening the window rolled down so that the driver was still hidden behind the tinted glass. He spoke, "Ryosuke Takahashi and Takumi Fujiwara I presume?"

Ryosuke, surprised by the way this new challenger presented himself replied, "Correct, are you the opponent?"

The voice inside the car seemed pleased with the way the conversation was going and answered, "Yes, I am very glad that you could make it out tonight. I apologize for my lateness, but I was busy running some errands. Shall we begin our race?"

A chill ran down Ryosuke's spine, "... Don't you want a briefing on the rules first?"

"That won't be needed Ryosuke, for I already know the rules. I'll start by following."

"Oh... Well if that is the case then let's begin... Takumi, get ready." Ryosuke threw Takumi a nervous glance. He motioned Takumi closer and whispered, "Takumi, this guy is giving me the chills--"

"Are you sure that you're just not cold?" Takumi shot back jokingly.

Ryosuke replied with a stern look, it was obvious that he wasn't kidding, "Please, for our sake Takumi. Finish this race quickly."

This surprised Takumi but he had to reassure the leader of Project D, "Hey Ryosuke, have a little faith in me! You're talking to one of the Aces of Project D, you selected me for this position right?"

At hearing this, the worry seemed to wipe off his face, Ryosuke smiled as he realized that fact, "You're right! Why am I worried? Best of luck out there Takumi."

He patted Takumi on the shoulder one last time before the young driver got into the waiting 86 and pulled up to the starting position. The engine of the Corolla roared to life as the opponent also started his car, it moved quickly to it's line and waited. Ryosuke checked with Keisuke one final time for the status of the finish line with his radio, "Keisuke, this is the starting line. How's does the finish line look?"

After the static of the radio died down Keisuke's voice rang through the night, "The finish line is clear. I haven't seen any cars so the road is wide open. To be honest I can't see anything in this fog, but we are ready when you are. Just give us the word."

Ryosuke nodded to Fumihiro who was standing in front of the idle cars, it was time. The air froze from the tension as Fumihiro raised his hand into the sky called out into the night, "Racers on your mark!"

The engines roared in response, they eagerly awaited the countdown that would soon come.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1....."

Ryosuke could feel the excitement was tangible to say the least. For a moment the world stood still as Fumihiro finished countdown. With a single swipe of his hand that cut through the fog he screamed, "ZERO!"

And like that, Takumi hit the gas pedal with everything he had. Ryosuke, Keisuke and everyone else in Project D was watching. He could not fail them. The 86 shot through the fog at a blinding speed, Takumi felt more at ease as the road in front of him transformed from the straightaway to the eight consecutive hairpins. Takumi checked his rear view mirror, the Corolla wasn't too far back. It finally started; the 86 sprung to life as it danced around the corners in the blanket of mist, it was exhilarating! The hairpins came, one after another, this was a feeling that Takumi hadn't felt in years; he pushed his car to the limit. He flew with the Corolla close behind him; but no matter how fast Takumi went, he just couldn't shake this mysterious opponent off. Panic started to rise up--like a poisonous spring at the bottom of a valley--Takumi felt fear as he rounded the third corner the glare of his headlights against the fog obsured his vision but he had to keep going. The mist as immense, and as Takumi cleared the fourth turn something extraordinary happened...

The white space around the 86 resounded with the roar of the engine; but it wasn't the 86, it was the Corolla. Instead of following the inside line, it took to the outside at an amazing speed. Words cannot describe the events that took place in that five second time frame, it all happened way too fast. By the time Takumi processed all of the information it was already over. The red tail lights of the Corolla disappeared into the void as it sped into the next corner. Takumi was crushed, the silence around him pressed into his very frame of being as the engine of the 86 hummed, it was futile to try to regain the lead at this point in the race; but he pushed on, the determination that he had was nothing short of incredible. When Takumi arrived at the finish line--an eternity later--the Corolla was already there, parked idly under a tree.

Takumi quickly pulled over and noticed a heap of shadows at the street corner. Everything seemed to move in slow motion now; Takumi slid out of his car and approached the shadows. Kenta came into focus and as Takumi looked around he heard a disembodied sob--it was Keisuke with a radio in hand. Keisuke looked up, there were tears in his eyes as he looked back at the youngest member of Project D. His voice, full of disdain and sadness cried into the radio, "Takumi... He-he... HE LOST."

Those words echoed into the cold and lifeless night as another wave of emotions swept over Takumi. His vision blurred as tears welled up in his eyes. He wanted to hide, the shame of his loss, the fact of his loss, these emotions that he felt; Takumi wanted all of them to go away. He ran back to the 86 and slammed the door shut; at this rate, if no one could reach him then he didn't exist. Keisuke sank to the floor as Ryosuke's voice sounded from the radio, "Wait, what? Keisuke! Give me the times... Never mind I'm going down. Wait." There was no response from Keisuke, the radio was talking to no one...

Another eternity passed before the silence of the night was broken by the unfamiliar sound of Ryosuke's FC pulling up to the other cars. There was the sound of footsteps, then a figure appeared and came up to the curb where Keisuke was seated--still crying. His sobs were held back in vain as he chocked out to Ryosuke, "I'm sorry brother..."

Ryosuke was shocked to see his normally tough brother in a state like this. There wasn't much he could do to console him, "Keisuke, don't worry this isn't your fault."

Keisuke stared long and hard at his brother before he said, "... The Corolla at 9'36"398 and Takumi at 9'48"073..."

Ryosuke fell back a bit, "WHAT?! A ten second lead!? On a course this short? How is that possible if the Corolla started following?"

The younger brother shrugged and pointed to the 86, "That I don't know... You'll have to ask Takumi."

Ryosuke walked toward the parked car, through the frosted windows he saw the figure of Takumi Fujiwara slumped over the wheel. It was pitiful sight to behold, Ryosuke tapped on the cold window, "Takumi what happened?"

There was no response from Takumi, he was in a world of his own. Ryosuke decided not to push the issue and called the rest of the team from the starting line down. A few minutes later the door of the 86 opened and the driver finally stepped out into the cold night air. Ryosuke gasped as he finally got a look at him, Takumi was in a state of total disarray. It looked as though he had just seen a ghost. He no longer looked calm--for the first time in his life--Takumi looked fazed, he spoke quietly, "Honestly? I don't know Ryosuke. I was leading for the first three hairpins and then... But I was taking it easy because of all this fog. Next thing I know, he was in front and then before I could even register the shock of it, he was gone. At least two hairpins in front of me. I'm sorry Ryosuke... I let you down..."

For once in his life, Ryosuke did not know what to do. He looked around in the swirling white mist for an answer... None came. Everyone on the team looked at him expectantly for a reply. He finally said, "It's fine. Don't worry about it. If anything this is my fault... I'm the one that should be sorry."

The dread that hung in the atmosphere was heavy, it was as if the water in the air condensed and everything was stuck at the bottom of the ocean. It was hard to breathe, hard to move, hard to think. It took all the effort in the world for Fumihiro to say, "Ryosuke? The guy in the Corolla wants to speak with you."

Ryosuke nodded and quietly said, "Right, we need to discuss the terms of his victory... Now if you'll excuse me, everyone..."

Ryosuke turned away from the group, he really had no idea what to do in a situation like this. He was nervous, it was that tight feeling at the bottom of the gut. It resonated with Ryosuke as he ventured through the void towards the car. The shadow of the car formed and solidified before them, Fumihiro stopped and allowed Ryosuke to continue on himself. There was the muffled click as the door of the Corolla opened, and the driver stepped out. Fumihiro took another step back to give the leader of Project D and the opponent some space, it took Ryosuke a moment to absorb the person that stood before him. He was quite possibly a few years older than Ryosuke, through the fog it was easy to see that he had no malicious intent. They both stood face to face before Ryosuke finally said, "First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your total victory over my team. You have earned our combined respects... Excuse me for asking so bluntly, but who are you?"

The man paused a moment as if to think about what to say next before simply smiling, he replied calmly, "Me? Why I am just your simple Project D fan. This race was unofficial--it never happened."

This took a moment to sink in. The victor calling his victory unofficial? Ryosuke stared in awe as the man turned around and started to rummage through the glove compartment of his car. The world around him froze. Who is this mysterious man? What is he trying to accomplish with calling this race unofficial? A few moments passed before the man turned around and handed an envelope Ryosuke, there was a grin on the man's face as he spoke, "These are your return tickets to Japan, but don't worry you don't have to leave right away. You have a week to spend here in San Francisco so enjoy your stay. I have enough rooms and garage space to accommodate you and the rest of Project D."

Ryosuke gripped the envelope tighter and stared at the man who beamed back at him. How was it possible that a challenger who was good enough to defeat them, be so welcoming? Ryosuke looked back to Fumihiro, he was just a silhouette against the white backdrop of the mist. Ryosuke returned his gaze to the man and finally spoke, "Why are you being so gracious to us?"

The man was already walking back to his waiting car. He stopped in his tracks and a moment of silence ensued. In that time the fog seemed to dissipate into nothingness and everything around them cleared up. The man stood, illuminated by the light of the moon. He looked back and shrugged, a faint trace of a smile appeared on his face, "Because... I told you, I'm a fan of Project D and that's it."


~Chapter 2: Tip of the Iceberg~

Ryosuke was shocked. How was it possible that a 'fan' of Project D had the skills needed to defeat the 'undefeatable' downhill ace? The very same ace that defeated him years ago while he was still at the peak of his skills? The silence of the night was broken by the sound of the Corolla's engine coming back to life. Ryosuke was snapped out of his thoughts and quickly ran up to the open window of the Corolla to speak to the man, "How can we ever accept your kindness if we don't even know your name?"

This required no thought from the opponent. He smiled, "If you must know, my name is Perry. And since it is pretty late now I will be leading the Project D caravan to my house if you will allow it."

There are only a certain amount of shocking things that a person can take in one day, Ryosuke was at his limit. He cracked a nervous smile as he gave into Perry's hospitality, "Sounds like a plan. I'll tell everyone else, please wait here."

Fumihiro looked puzzled as Ryosuke ran past him to the rest of the group that was assembled outside in the circle of cars. He was out of breath from the jog and the shock, "Guys... Our opponent--Perry... Has invited us to... Ah... Stay at his place for the rest of the week... I have our return tickets home right here..." He held up the envelope as everyone stared at him in awe.

Kenta was the first to speak up: "Ryosuke, are you sure that we should be doing this? I mean we don't even know the guy! He beat Takumi, he can't be human!"

With that everyone looked at Takumi, who stood separated from the group. With the fog gone, the moonlight lit everything it touched--except the 86. The little car and its driver seemed to be shadowed in a veil of darkness and despair. It was demonic, the sadness that emanated from Takumi was unearthly. Everyone expected a sign of acknowledgement or movement from the young man, but there was none. For a moment, time froze and the world stood still as they waited for the answer that would never come. The silence was broken by the sound of footsteps; Keisuke walked up to the young driver and grabbed him by the collar. There was no time to react; Keisuke shook Takumi, there was no resistance from the boy. "GOD DAMN IT TAKUMI! PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. IS THIS HOW YOU FACE A LOSS? HOW DO YOU THINK I FELT WHEN YOU DEFEATED ME? HOW DO YOU THINK MY BROTHER FELT? HOW DO YOU THINK EVERY-SINGLE-PERSON-YOU'VE-DEFEATED FELT? TO LOSE IS TO BE HUMAN. NOW GET OVER YOURSELF STUPID!"

The sound of a punch echoed through the night. Before anyone had the chance to process the information, Takumi was on the ground nursing a bruised cheek and Keisuke was walking back to the rest of the group. Matsumoto was the first to run over and help Takumi up, he shot Keisuke a dirty look before saying, "Ryosuke, I agree with Kenta. If he was able to beat Takumi on the downhill then I doubt that he's an ordinary person. There's something funny going on and I do not want to take part in it."

The soft moonlight illuminated the worry and the fear on everyone's face. Was it true that this defeat by an unknown opponent pushed Ryosuke over the edge of sanity? Because it was out of character for Ryosuke to panic, out of character for him to accept the gratuity of others, and out of character of him to overstep the boundaries of common sense. A moment passed before Ryosuke gave Project D a stern, reassuring look. "Look everyone, I know this is going out on a limb but trust me on this. I have a feeling that Perry means no harm. Just get in your cars and follow that Corolla. If this turns out for the worst, then you can blame it all on me."

At this everyone nodded and walked off to their cars. Tomiguchi stepped into the first support van, Kenta and Fumihiro took the second. Ryosuke and Keisuke walked to their RX-7s. Takumi stalked back to the 86 but as soon as he opened the door, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to identify the person who prevented him from getting into his car; it was Matsumoto, and he had a serious look on his face, "Takumi, you seem troubled. If you don't mind I'll drive for you."

There was a moment of silence, Matsumoto looked at him expectantly waiting for an answer. Takumi said nothing but nodded and stepped aside, this was as good of an answer that anyone could pull from the boy. Matsumoto acknowledged his reply and got into the driver's seat, Takumi walked around the car and slumped into the passenger's seat. The engine of the 86 grumbled to life and pulled up behind the Corolla; this was a sight all too familiar to Takumi. He looked down in shame and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. One by one the hum of the other engines were added to the symphony, and together they rode into the night. With the Corolla as the head, the great car-train snaked through the streets to their unknown destination. The drive seemed to last an eternity; city backdrops gave away to fields, fields turned into ocean, and then slowly evolved into the outskirts of a different city altogether. They finally pulled into a large driveway lit only by the glow of a lonely lamp post and the moon. Getting out of the old 86, Takumi felt the cold ocean breeze on his face; his bruise stung against the wind and he shivered again. Keisuke parked his FD next to the 86 and stepped out to survey his surroundings; Ryosuke parked his FC next to Keisuke's FD and walked out to stand next to him. Everyone else piled the luggage out of the two support vans and gathered around the three. The Corolla's door clicked open and Perry stepped out. There he stood under the glow of the street lamp; tall, and lean. Ryosuke was right to say that he had no malicious intent; he seemed too kind to ever think of hurting anyone. There was a smile on his face as he looked at the group of people assembled before him. He took a step forward and cleared his throat, "Thank you for coming out here everyone. It was a pleasure racing with you tonight. I will be showing you to your lodgings now, if you will follow me."

Everyone looked on in bewilderment as Perry walked towards them, the crowd parted as he walked through and together they started walking towards the manor that stood silhouetted against the midnight sky. It was a small residence perched on the edge of a hill that overlooked the city; everything was laid out before them in miniature. The lights on the city blocks looked like a quilt of yellow in a sea of black; it was an amazing view and the only person that stopped to admire it was Tomiguchi. Everyone else was too tired from the night's events to absorb the view; Keisuke nudged him to continue on. After three minutes of walking they reached front door, with a simple turn of the key the door opened to reveal a modest atrium. Perry walked into the center of the hall and turned around, he saw the shock on their faces and smiled, "Welcome to my home everyone. I'm sorry, but I only have three extra bedrooms so some of you will have to bunk together." He motioned to the stairway that led to the second floor.

It took a moment for Ryosuke to realize that he was the leader of Project D and that he was responsible for speaking on the behalf of the team. Keisuke pushed him out of the group and into the open; Ryosuke stumbled forward before looking back at his younger brother with an angry glare. "Thank you for your hospitality, Perry. This is more than enough. My team also thanks you."

The rest of Project D nodded in approval and slowly grabbed their bags and trekked up the stairs and into the hall. It was easy to see that Perry kept the place clean, each spare bedroom was well maintained with clean futons and cozy. Tomiguchi, Fumihiro, and Kenta took the first room, Keisuke and Ryosuke got the room with the desk (because Ryosuke needed a place to set his laptop up) while Takumi and Matsumoto had the room at the end of the hall. Keisuke called first dibs on the shower but it didn't really matter, everyone else was too tired to protest; they just wanted to go to bed and put the events of tonight to rest.

Within fifteen minutes, Project D was already situated and everyone seemed to overcome the initial shock of staying overnight in a complete stranger's house. In the first room, the Matsumoto and the other three were going over the happenings of the night. Ryosuke was in his room busy running diagnostics on the 86 and the course, desperately trying to figure out what happened during the race, while his younger brother took a shower. Takumi already had his futon out, and was laying on it, alone in the room. He didn't even change out of his clothes, he wanted tonight to be some kind of bad nightmare. He lay there in the warm comfy sheets and thought about what happened during his race; he didn't want to think about it, but the visions of the hairpins kept replaying in his mind. He closed his eyes tighter as he tried to push the thoughts out of his brain, but it was no use, the images of that downhill were now burned into his very being. Takumi wished to be back in Gunma in his own bed, waiting for the morning deliveries of tofu that he had to make, wishing to run up and down the streets of Akina in his trusty 86, longing to see Itsuki and the others at the gas station; he thought of home and the ordinary life that he could of been leading. With all these different thoughts running through his head, it was a miracle that he fell asleep at all.

Perry sat at his desk proofreading some coding that he developed; monitors surrounded him and displayed the data and statistics from the previous versions of the code. He was focused on what he was doing; nothing could disturb him now except the ring of his cellphone. He looked at the caller ID, it read Meteor; he smiled as he reached for his phone, "Hello?"

The voice on the other side was excited to hear from him, "Hello Perry! How was the race tonight?"

Perry paused for a second, his smile turned into a grin. He laughed.



And that's it for now! Tell me what you think. smile.gif

This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on Aug 20 2012, 07:26 PM
Meteor
Posted: Mar 7 2012, 01:00 PM


Were you expecting something else?
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There are a bunch of typos in need of fixing, but that's a small issue. I'd normally type up a longer, more in-depth review, but I'm a little short on time so for now I'll just say there's a lot of good writing in what's been posted so far and I'm looking forward to what happens next.

Also, lol @ me making a cameo in here.
Perry
Posted: Mar 11 2012, 12:33 AM


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I read it twice. Loved it. Your writing style is quite proficient. The way you describe the ambient setting is quite easy to immerse oneself into the story. I like how the main protagonist has the same name as I do. I feel like I am that Perry in the story. Interestingly enough, he even acts very similarly. If that was aimed at me, I am very flattered. I also like how you didn't exaggerate most of the dialogue between the characters. They all sound very real and reasonable. Most of the time, they are "in character." Great job! I am looking forward to the next chapter as well! smile.gif
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DownhillFR-S
Posted: Mar 18 2012, 12:50 AM


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Nice. Nice. It's looking good. That said, while the characterizations are wonderful, and the dialogue\character building is spot on, I would suggest making your race scenes a bit less vague. Lots of action, not a lot of detail.

This post has been edited by Downhill280Z on Mar 18 2012, 01:31 PM
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Mar 23 2012, 05:12 PM


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Thank you for the feedback guys! I need all the input I can get. So after a few weeks of thinking and writing, I've come up with three--count them--THREE chapters to post up. It's going to be a huge post... I hope you guys continue to read and comment! Now to address all these comments and to give my feedback on your feedback! happy.gif

QUOTE (Meteor)
There are a bunch of typos in need of fixing, but that's a small issue. I'd normally type up a longer, more in-depth review, but I'm a little short on time so for now I'll just say there's a lot of good writing in what's been posted so far and I'm looking forward to what happens next.

Also, lol @ me making a cameo in here.

Be sure to write me a full review when you get the time. I need your expertise on this topic. I also LOL'd at your cameo. I had no idea how to write you in but I did, and it seemed to work. laugh.gif

QUOTE (Perry)
I read it twice. Loved it. Your writing style is quite proficient. The way you describe the ambient setting is quite easy to immerse oneself into the story. I like how the main protagonist has the same name as I do. I feel like I am that Perry in the story. Interestingly enough, he even acts very similarly. If that was aimed at me, I am very flattered. I also like how you didn't exaggerate most of the dialogue between the characters. They all sound very real and reasonable. Most of the time, they are "in character." Great job! I am looking forward to the next chapter as well!

Thank you for the complements Perry! The Perry in the story is supposed to be my literary portrayal of you! So of course he acts in a similar manner. Or I hope he is. I'm basing all the character designs from what I've observed from talking to the various members of IDW. While the other characters have good reasons to act out of character, I'll explain it in later chapters. Or maybe in my analysis of my writing, if I ever decide to do one... Anyways, I'm hoping to add more people as the story goes; so if anyone else is interested in becoming a character, shoot me a PM and we can schedule something from there!

QUOTE (Downhill280Z)
Nice. Nice. It's looking good. That said, while the characterizations are wonderful, and the dialogue\character building is spot on, I would suggest making your race scenes a bit less vague. Lots of action, not a lot of detail.

Thanks for pointing out the obvious sir. I know my race scenes are really boring. I'm looking into ways to make them better and I really appreciate the fact that you're working with me outside of the forums to help me improve on my writing skills. Thank you!


So with all the comments aside, I present to everyone... Chapters 3 - 5 of Beyond the Horizon.



~Chapter 3: Of Thoughts and Discussions~

Perry stopped laughing right in time for Meteor to inquire again, "Perry, how was the race? I'm dying to know!"

Wiping the tears of laughter from the corner of his eyes, Perry took a deep breath and pushed himself away from the computer desk. He got up and walked over to shut his door before talking again, "Hello Meteor, it's been a while since you’ve called me like this. Where did you hear about the race? I thought I kept it a secret from everyone else."

Meteor chucked before continuing, "It's impossible to keep things THIS big a secret. Otherwise, I have my ways, Perry. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone knew what was going on by the end of the month, so be prepared for a mess of inquiries and phone calls from everyone in the upcoming days. I'm the first of many people who will be calling you. If you have a secretary, then it would be best to put that person to use now." There was a pause over the phone; Perry could only imagine Meteor sitting in a chair smiling mysteriously. Before he could say anything, Meteor spoke again, "Anyways, back to business. How was the race? I'm going to keep bothering you about this until you tell me."

Perry noticed that one of the monitors flashed, he had a message from someone else. Meteor was right, this was the start of a communications disaster. Perry thought of contacting his secretary before the night was over but decided against it, seeing as it was two thirty in the morning. He frowned at the clock at the corner of his screen; she was obviously asleep by this time. And there were no means of contact without her getting angry at this god forsaken hour. It would have to wait until tomorrow he thought and turned on the speakerphone. He put his phone down on the desk and replied to both the message on the computer and Meteor. The keyboard clacked away as Perry spoke, "Oh, it wasn't that big of a deal Meteor. Takumi and I had a downhill race on Lombard Street. It was foggy as hell, so couldn't see the road in front of me. I over took him on the fourth hairpin, it was easy. Surprised I had a full ten second lead on him though, but that’s a story for another day. I'll tell everyone about it in details when the time comes. For now, is that a good enough answer?"

There was a moment of silence before Meteor's voice came from the phone, "Hmph, fine. I guess that will suffice for now. Your story better be good when you decide to tell everyone! You keep too many secrets Perry, that's bad for your health. Anyways, it was great talking to you again and I wish I could extend this conversation, but I have other things I must attend to. I'll talk to you later Perry."

Perry looked at his phone and replied, "Of course Meteor. It's always good to talk to you. Hopefully our next conversation isn't about all this business talk." The cellphone answered back with the dial tone. Perry picked up the phone and hung up to stop the noise; he looked back at computer screen. He had five more messages, all bearing a different form of the same question. He sighed before pressing the power button on the monitors and getting up again from the desk. He walked to his closet, gathered a clean change of clothes and walked to his bathroom.

Fresh out of the shower ten minutes later, Perry opened the door to the hall and walked out; he made his rounds about the house checking if all the doors were closed and locked while all the lights were off or dimmed as needed. The moonlight shone through the ceiling windows in the atrium, lighting the way up the stairs back to the hall; Perry walked through the hallway back to his room when he heard the footsteps of someone else, turning around he saw Keisuke standing in front of the door to his room. Their eyes met and for a brief moment, he could feel the hate emanating from the man who stood before him. Perry felt apprehensive; as though the younger Takahashi brother would strike out at him if he made any sudden movements. Wordlessly, Keisuke strode towards Perry and extended a hand; Perry glanced down at it and then looked back at the young man before taking it in his own and shaking it. Keisuke smiled, "Thanks for hosting us Perry, even though I still have no idea why you should go out of your way to do such a thing. Your troubles mean a lot to us."

Perry returned the smile and looked at the Takahashi brother; Keisuke had a reputation of being the tough guy using his fists or his car to talk instead of words. It was a surprise that Keisuke was standing before him so candidly, fresh out of the shower and ruffling his hair dry with a small towel. "It's no problem Keisuke. It's an honor to host Project D, I hope everyone is enjoying the stay. It took days to clean the rooms and get everything ready. All I can say is that this is no easy task, hosting a Japanese semiprofessional racing team in California. Had to jump through a lot of loop holes and talk to quite a few people…" Perry chuckled, "In any case, you and the others should be getting some rest; we might have something planned in the morning when everyone wakes up."

Keisuke stared for a moment at the man who stood before him grinning from ear to ear; Perry's smile was contagious, the younger Takahashi let out a short laugh, returned the smile and shook his head. "You sure are one hell of a guy Perry. I can't read you, and I'm sure that my brother is just as confused as I am. Thank you again for letting me in on the plans for tomorrow--erm, I mean today. I'll tell everyone to get some rest. Good night Perry." Finally he nodded and resumed toweling his hair dry as he walked back to his side of the hall.

Perry watched as Keisuke walked to the first door in the hall and walked in; a brief, muffled conversation ensued with Tomiguchi and the others in the room and the chatter of everyone saying good night at the same time was heard. Perry turned around and walked back to his room thinking about the months of scheduling and planning that were taken into this single event. He would have to thank his secretary when the time came, for now he was pondering the long term effects of holding an event like this for a group of street racers. Hundreds of different thoughts crossed his mind as he opened the door silently and looked around, lost in thought.

He walked over to his bed and sat on top of the covers, playing with his phone in between his hands. Perry contemplated the consequences of his actions and the impact of this whole ordeal for a few minutes. Deciding it wasn't worth it to think about matters like this; he got up to turn off the lights and shuffled back to the bed, flopping down over the covers. He checked his phone one more time and silenced it before closing his eyes and going to sleep.

Ryosuke looked up from his computer just as Keisuke came back from the hall. In the cool summer night the younger Takahashi brother was forced into wearing sweatpants and a baggy shirt; either way he still looked good. Ryosuke silently wondered how his little brother didn't have a girlfriend yet and returned his gaze back to the computer before saying, "Keisuke, how do you think Takumi lost tonight? All the simulations that I've run do not explain how he fell a full ten seconds behind Perry. It's understandable that he lost but losing with a time difference that wide is definitely out of the ordinary."

Keisuke stopped drying his hair and thought about it for a moment. Something was definitely wrong during that race; but since he was not the one driving, there was no way to him to tell. After more than a few moments, Keisuke resumed toweling his hair and simply stated, "Dunno bro. I think for that you'd have to ask either Perry or Takumi. Anyways, I just finished talking to Perry, he said that we might have something to do in the morning so I already told everyone else to get some sleep while they can. I'll also be going to bed now, so good night."

Ryosuke closed his laptop and nodded. It was easily three o'clock in the morning and everyone else was done with the bathroom at this point in time. Ryosuke gathered his things and walked to the door, looking back he saw that his brother conveniently set up both of the futons and was already slipping into one. He couldn't help but smile, it has been years since the two brothers shared a room together; it was funny seeing the younger Takahashi wiggle himself into the futon. Ryosuke had forgotten the brotherly bond that both of them used to share, although he was not looking forward to the incessant snoring problem that Keisuke had whenever the weather would warm up and cool down like this. Ryosuke bid his brother good night and turned off the lights before walking into the bathroom that stood between Fumihiro's room and his.

"… I believe that Perry is hiding something from us. Beating Takumi is no easy task, I should know. I'm the one who works on the damn car!" Matsumoto yelled, it was easy to see that he was very annoyed with the situation. The four members of Project D were talking about the night’s race for over an hour now; and every single conclusion that they came to was either a dead end, or Perry being an alien or some sort of wizard. Fumihiro sighed and looked at the door as Kenta returned from his shower; standing up and clapping his hands together to get everyone's attention, "If everyone's done taking a shower, I'd like to draw this conversation to a close. We have been talking for over an hour to no effect. At this rate, the sun will rise before we come to a plausible conclusion. We can look for answers later, for now we have to get some rest. As Keisuke said earlier, we might have something planned when we wake up. And there’s no knowing what Perry may have in store for us in the morning."

Matsumoto nodded and wished the others good night again; he closed the door behind him noiselessly and padded through the small hallway. The hall looked less welcoming when all the doors were closed and the din of people talking died down. He noticed that the door to his room was still open and the lights were off; tip toeing up to the door frame, he whispered into the darkness, "Hey Takumi, you awake?"

The shadows did not reply; Matsumoto waited a few more seconds before he took his phone out. Wandering around in the dark, he used it to light the way to his futon; nearly kicking Takumi in the process. The futon was still folded neatly in a pile at the center of the room when he finally found it. He laid them out with his only source of light the moon and his little cellphone, looking up he saw a square of yellow light coming from the hallway. Cursing at himself for forgetting to close the door after him, he got up and shuffled to the doorway to immerse the room in complete darkness. He looked around before closing the door, Takumi looked like a mess. He didn’t even bother to change out of his dirty clothes before laying on his futon; Matsumoto made a mental note to apologize to Perry about this the next day and closed the door. Everything that wasn't touched by the natural moonlight was swallowed in darkness, Matsumoto cursed again at forgetting his cellphone by his futon. He had to make the trip back in the darkness; shuffling around the room to avoid almost kicking Takumi again, he smiled at his own forgetfulness and he made another mental note to make an effort to remember things more efficiently. It was an arduous journey back to the futon, but somehow Matsumoto made it; he got under the sheets, sighed, and closed his eyes.


~Chapter 4: Lucid~

The road opened up ahead as the engine roared in delight. Trees flanked the sides of the path creating the illusion of a green walled tunnel under the moonlight; with the start of the gentle incline, the Midnight Blue Impreza began its descent down Mount Akina. The trees gave way to sheer mountain walls and cliffs as the street snaked dangerously close to the edge, flirting with danger. The guardrails bore the scars of the less skilled, showing scratches and dents every few meters; this did not faze the driver, in fact Takumi was half asleep in his father's car as he was returning from the morning deliveries. The mighty blue beast stampeded down the winding mountain pass with the grace of a dancer; from the base of the mountain, its headlights appeared and disappeared as it sped past the trees and signs. Takumi yawned, since the conclusion of Project D a year ago his life became one long drawl. Day in, day out; he woke up early in the morning to do the tofu deliveries in the car of his choice, returning home to get ready for his other job, arriving in for his shift promptly every day, stopping by the gas station afterwards to hang out with Itsuki and the others, and returning home to do chores, eat, and sleep only to wake up early the next morning to rinse and repeat the entire process.

He sighed as the street leveled out before him and the trees were replaced with buildings, riding back home meant that he had to start another long day doing the same thing over and over again. Pulling up to the Fujiwara Tofu Shop he saw the 86 parked in its usual spot and an unusual sight. Bunta Fujiwara was standing in the frame of the front door waiting for Takumi to get out of his car, the yellow light emanating from within the shop cast a long shadow on the driveway before the old man; a trail of smoke wafted from the glowing tip cigarette and stopped as he inhaled. Bunta stepped in front of the Impreza and waited for his son to get out, the headlights illuminating his figure turning the smallest features of his face into jagged and strange shadows. Takumi stared at his father quizzically before shaking his head and pulling the car into park.

Something happened.

The Impreza would not stop. Takumi pressed on the brake; but instead of slowing down, the car sped up. There was a disgusting crunch and a bump as Takumi plowed his father over with his very own car. Bunta's expression did not change was he fell under the advancing vehicle; but his son’s face contorted in shock and confusion. Takumi looked back to see the mangled body of his father lying in the middle of the street. He screamed in protest as the car continued to move forward. Nothing he did would get the moving beast to stop. He tried to take his hands off the steering wheel to undo his seatbelt and unlock the door, but it seemed as though they were glued to where they were. He squirmed in objection and looked back again; the image of the scene was quickly fading into whiteness. He returned his horrified gaze to the road before him. There was no road. The Impreza lurched forward as it continued to gather speed, shooting into the blank void that opened up before him. With nothing ahead and nothing behind the monster car, the speedometer needle wound past the one hundred and eighty kilometers per hour mark and kept going. It took all the effort in the world for Takumi to hold the steering wheel straight. With only white space surrounding him, he could not tell how fast he was going, the speedometer could no longer be trusted and the noise of the engine drowned out any other thought or sound. Eventually, the hum of the engine became as constant as the fluttering beat of Takumi's heart as the Impreza continued into nothingness. Hours pasted by and the car never seemed to let up, there was a throbbing pain in both of his arms from holding the car straight. Even though he was in the drivers seat, it felt like he had absolutely no control over it.

After what seemed like an eternity, there was a slight pinching sensation in the palm of his hands; Takumi winced at this but did not dare to move his hands to check the cause of the feeling. The pain intensified until it clouded the driver's vision. Takumi doubled over in pain and released his grip on the wheel; at that moment the whiteness turned back into the normal landscape, he found himself at the top of the mountain pass. But there was nothing normal about it; all of the trees, the road, the sky, were in sepia tones. The car barreled down Mount Akina at an inhuman speed, while Takumi was regaining his senses. He looked up and gasped at the scenery flashing before him; in ten seconds flat the Impreza was at the bottom of the mountain and shooting into another white tunnel of nothingness. He noticed that his hands were not on the steering wheel and yet he was still sitting in the car in one piece. At that moment, the Impreza swerved and the whiteness was instantly replaced with the images of Mount Akina again but this time in stark black and white. Takumi couldn't react in time; he grabbed the twisting steering wheel and tried to keep in the middle of the lane. Controlling the Impreza while moving at a high rate of speed proved to be impossible, the guardrail entered his field of vision and quickly closed in on him. The whisper of the tires spinning in the warm morning air was followed by the screech of metal imploding upon itself, glass shattering, and the blood curdling scream of the driver who was trapped within the whirlpool of destruction.

"TAKUMI! WAKE UP! DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS? IT IS THREE IN THE AFTERNOON! YOU'VE BEEN SLEEPING FOR OVER TWELVE HOURS NOW; WE CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU FOREVER!"

Takumi sat up so suddenly he managed to head-butt Kenta resulting in a pounding sensation that reverberated in his skull. Staggering backwards away from the mess of blankets was Takumi’s futon and landing squarely on his butt; Kenta rubbed his forehead vigorously, "GOD DAMN IT TAKUMI! THAT HURT! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?"

"Ow… Jeez Kenta, you didn't have to hover over me while I was asleep. That's really creepy you know." Takumi looked around the room, the window was open and a warm summer breeze was coming in through and filling the area with the scent of the ocean and food. His stomach grumbled in protest, he tried to quell the sound by placing a hand over his gut but he couldn’t. He looked down at himself and his futon and gasped. He was tangled in the middle of the blankets and some of the sheets were wrapped around his left arm constricting his movement. He quickly unwound the sheets and disengaged himself from the rest of the blankets before getting up and looking at his teammate. "What was I doing? How did I get tangled up in all my blankets like that?"

Kenta was still rubbing his forehead as he pushed himself off the ground and stood to face the downhill ace of Project D. "I don't know exactly, Ryosuke just sent me here to wake you up. We were worried that something happened to you when you didn't come down to brunch. But when I came in you were mumbling in your sleep and squirming around. Did you have a bad dream or something?"

Takumi scratched the back of his head right hand and noticed that his hair was in knots and tangles. "Yeah, I guess you can call it that. But it all seemed so real. I mean, I was driving my dad's Impreza and then…" He stopped in his tracks, afraid to tell Kenta more; fearing that he would be ridiculed for thinking that such an absurd dream was a reality. "Yeah, you don't want to hear any more of it. It's actually really boring… Do we still have food? I'm starving."

Kenta glowered before replying, "Takumi. Its three o'clock right now. You know when we were supposed to be up and out? Noon. We need to move out now and meet up with someone else that Perry has scheduled a race with." Takumi gawked, but before he found the words to reply; Kenta ran around and started pushing him towards the door, grunting under his breath "Tak-u-mi… You. Stupid. Fat. Cow. MOVE!" With one final shove Takumi stepped forward and turned to look at Kenta while he fell forward into the pile of blankets. "GOD DAMN IT TAKUMI! JUST GO! YOU CAN EAT IN THE CAR! MATSUMOTO WILL BE DRIVING THEN!" Quickly pushing himself off the ground again, Kenta straightened himself out and left the room.

Takumi snickered as he slowly followed Kenta's lead out of the room, down the stairs and into the kitchen. Everyone was bustling around as they were getting things ready for what seemed to a long road trip but all movement ceased as the last member of Project D walked into the room. Keisuke stopped walking in mid-step, with one foot out the door he looked over his shoulder at his fellow driver, "Hey Takumi, what took you so long to get up?" Takumi was bombarded with similar questions from the rest of the team; he looked down at the smooth tiled floor and replied quietly, "Sorry everyone, I slept in…"

Ryosuke looked at the driver hastily before picking up another box of food and supplies that was destined for one of the support vans. Handing it to Fumihiro, Ryosuke quickly said, "Its fine Takumi, anyways you still seem tired. Relax for a bit and we'll take care of everything. Matsumoto will be driving the 86 since you still look exhausted, but Perry has also offered to give you a ride. So the choice is yours."

Takumi nodded and walked out of the kitchen to give everyone working some space. Finding his way to the high ceilinged living room he seated himself on the edge of an extravagant sofa. Deep in thought over the bizarre dream that he just had. His father's blank expression as he disappeared under the one thousand, five hundred kilogram vehicle was an image that was burned into the back of his mind. Wishing to rid himself of these thoughts, Takumi buried his face in his hands and sighed. He was so absorbed in thought, he didn't notice Perry walking in and sitting down in the reader chair across from the marble coffee table. Takumi looked up for a moment and saw that he was in the presence of another, embarrassed to be seen in a state like this he looked down at his hands and quietly whispered, "Hello Perry."

Perry smiled and got up from the leather chair and walked up to Takumi. At this point in time the boy had no other choice but to look at the man who stood a meter away from him. Glancing up from his hands he saw that Perry was holding a mug of tea and a plate of toast and Nutella. Perry took a few more steps forward and handed the plates to the hungry boy who eagerly took them away. Looking around awkwardly Perry took a step to the side and motioned to a space on the couch, "May I sit here?"

Eyeing the hazelnut spread with a hint of doubt, Takumi nodded. Perry took his seat and cleared his throat. "Hello Takumi. Thank you for the race last night. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Anyways, I was worried since you didn't wake up in time for brunch this morning. I'm sorry but everyone ate everything else. This is all I have left. I hope its ok."

Takumi nodded again and picked up a second piece of toast. It was obvious that the boy was hungry; the way he ate was a dead giveaway. Perry smiled again and got up to leave, Takumi turned to look at him. "Thanks for the food Perry, I think I'll ride with you today. I want to sit in the car that beat me last night. I need to learn some things about your car before I call a rematch."

"Sure thing. I'll tell Ryosuke and the others then."

Within the hour, the bustling in the kitchen migrated to the driveway where all the cars were parked. At five o'clock, the sun hung at a midpoint in the sky--neither high or low--but it was definitely hot; with no sources of accessible shade everyone was trying to finish their preparations quickly so they could retreat into their air conditioned cars. The mechanics were checking for any sign of malfunctions or maintenance problems that needed to be attended to, Kenta and Fumihiro were scrambling around collecting the last minute items, both of the Takahashi brothers were in deep conversation, and Takumi stood in front of the silver Corolla examining it with great interest. A few minutes later, Perry strode out of his house locking the door behind him. The sound of the front door closing was audible enough for everyone to stop what they were doing and look at the source of the noise. Perry strode down the driveway and towards his car, with a click the doors opened and Perry slid into the drivers seat. Takumi nodded at the rest of Project D and got into the passenger seat. Everyone else did the same; one by one, the sound of engines coming to life rang out into the warm afternoon air. The silver Corolla rolled out of the driveway followed the white FC, yellow FD, panda 86, and the two white support vans.


~Chapter 5: Thaw Out~

The evening city lights were a blur behind the windshield of the Corolla as it drove through the highways and out of the city, soon the speed limit was lifted and Perry pressed down on the gas a little more. The car revved in response and sped forward as the road leveled out to gentle slopping planes and wide open stretches of sand and dirt. Takumi looked bored as he sat in the front seat, pondering at nothing in particular. In reality, he was looking at all the movements that the driver made, the shifting points for all the gears and the readings on the gauges when shifts were made. But driving on a straight road offered very little challenge; going at a constant rate of speed quickly bored Takumi into a state of unintended stupor. The boy struggled to stay awake fighting in vain by looking around for something interesting on the barren horizon to focus on but soon nodded himself to sleep setting his head against the seat and closing his eyes. Perry looked over and noticed his passenger sleeping; he shook his head and returned his gaze to the road. Wondering if a rest stop was needed he checked his rear view mirror, the Takahashi brothers and the rest of Project D were not too far behind; although it looked as though the FC wanted to sprint down the wide open road with the FD following. Moving one lane over Perry let the two cars go; with a deafening roar that woke Takumi up, the FC blasted past the Corolla like white lightning. It was followed the yellow streak of Keisuke's FD. Together, the two brothers raced through the empty highway weaving in and out of each other's way; waltzing to the sound of their exhaust.

Perry heaved a sigh, what if those two were caught for speeding by the police? Perry had no chance in hell of sweet talking his way out of a situation like that; he glanced at Takumi again noticing that he was gawking at the two RX-7s ahead of him. Clearing his throat to get Takumi's attention, "Hey Takumi, what are the chances of those two getting pulled over for speeding? They're going almost double the legal speed limit. I may have a lot of connections, but I do not have the power revoke speeding tickets."

"Well, Ryosuke and Keisuke have been racing for a really long time and I've never seen him pulled over for any traffic violation. I think those two have amazing luck at avoiding the authorities… You shouldn't worry, Ryosuke never makes bad decisions." Looking at the shrinking tail lights of the two cars Takumi added, "Shouldn't you catch up with those two?"

Pressing the Cruise Control button on the console, Perry relaxed; sitting a little father back in the seat. The opposite answer that Takumi expected; for the second time in less than ten minutes, Takumi was caught staring at something. Perry shook his head and chuckled, "Why would I be in a rush to catch up with those two? Let them have their fun Takumi; if you say that they've never been caught for speeding then I believe you. Anyways, they know where to go. If they get there first, then more power to them."

Takumi stared ahead as the FC's taillights dipped under a gentle hill, disappearing from his view. Confused, he turned to ask more questions. Before the words even formed in his head, Perry started explaining himself. "Remember that you woke up at three in the afternoon Takumi. Everyone else woke up at ten o'clock sharp to get everything and ready for this trip. During that time I made brunch and debriefed the rest of the team on the plans for today. Originally, we were supposed to meet another one of my friends in the canyons north of the city during the afternoon for a photo shoot. So around…" Perry was looking for the exact time of their planned departure, screwing his face around in concentration before settling on a rough estimate. "Mmmmm, I'd say three thirtyish. Right about the time when you woke up. But we were not ready and Kenta was still trying to get you out of bed."

Starting to feel bad for holding his team back, Takumi shifted around in the seat and asked more questions. "Sorry again that I slept in so much. I'm guessing that I have a terrible case of jet lag or something… When are we getting there? It feels as though we've been driving for hours. I need to get out and stretch my legs."

"Maybe… Anyways, it's no big deal. He called me before we left telling me that his car wasn't going to be back from the garage until six tonight so he wasn't ready either. So it'll be dark when we get there. I don't know exactly who he wants to race, but I'm sure that there will be something going on tonight. That's why Ryosuke was hesitant to wake you up earlier. He knows that both you and Keisuke need to be well rested to drive at your full potentials. Anyways, we should be coming up to the end of the highway shortly. We're almost there." Looking sideways at Takumi, the driver gasped. Suddenly realizing something, Perry slowly uttered his deepest, darkest concerns. "Takumi. Did you take a shower when you woke up this morning?"

Perry's wide eyed stare was met with suppressed snickering from the passenger. Takumi burst out laughing, "Of course I did Perry! I would never sit in a car with dirty clothes! What do you take me for? Some filthy barbarian? I even told you that I was going to take a little longer because I was going to take a quick rinse and change my clothes." After Takumi regained his composure he added, "You really care about your car huh?"

"Of course I do. My Corolla is my baby. Don't you care about your 86?"

Takumi nodded and looked at the road ahead through the windshield, a lonely green sign covered in dust stated that the highway was about to end in a little bit and that the lanes from another local road were about to merge together. Perry pushed the clutch and shifted the car out of cruise control and pressed onward. Straining his eyes and ears, Takumi could not see or hear the two cars that sped away from them moments before. Looking behind him, he noticed the headlights of his 86 a few meters back, he waved to Matsumoto who answered with a flash of the high beams. Returning his gaze to the road in front of him, he finally spotted the RX-7s and another car parked on the side of the road.

Perry let his foot off the gas and slipped the car into neutral, letting it cruise to a complete stop before the three cars that were already parked there. The rest of the caravan followed suit and a few minutes passed before everyone was out of their cars and done stretching. Looking at the car that was parked at the head of the group Takumi couldn't help but notice the unmistakable glow of a new car. Its sleek design and aggressive look distinguished it from the other vehicles; making his 86 look like an outdated HotWheels toy with its curves and causing Keisuke's FD to appear a little girly with its impressive profile.

Quite a distance away from the pack of cars Keisuke and a man were enjoying a smoke together. Takumi could only assume that the guy that his fellow teammate was talking to was the owner of the car. Breaking away from Perry and the rest of Project D, Takumi wandered over to the two men stopping a few meters away making sure he wasn't interrupting a private conversation. The man took one more long drag from his cigarette before flicking it into the sand and stomping it out; looking up he noticed the Takumi and exhaled, the smoke creating a haze in the still, dusty air. "So you're Takumi huh? I'm heard a lot about you from your friend here Keisuke. Undefeated until your arrival to the US, and defeated at the hands of Perry no less. Interesting…" In less than six strides, the man cleared the distance between them. Extending a hand he introduced himself. "Brent. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Takumi looked at the person who stood before him. Brent was around Keisuke's age but obviously taller and more broadly built than his teammate. In the evening sun, it was easy to see that Brent one of those classy types; wearing a pair of freshly pressed slacks and a dress shirt. In the hot summer evening, he donned a pair of Oakley sunglasses and rolled up his sleeves showing off his well-toned arms. Takumi's eyes followed the fierce dragon tattoo that wound up his right arm; colored in fantastic tones of green and blue on the backdrop of a stormy sea, Takumi instantly realized that it was a tattoo sleeve of Ryujin, the water dragon mentioned in ancient Japanese lore. Takumi turned his gaze upward and nodded, shaking hands with this new person. "Takumi…"

Taking a step back and motioning Keisuke to rejoin the conversation Brent spoke, "Saw you looking at my car. It's nice huh? The new FR-S, just came out this year. It's the spiritual successor to your 86." Smiling at himself he continued. "It's bone stock at the moment though, so I have yet to do anything to it. But don't worry; I have some big things lined up. It's going to be a beast when I'm done with it... Anyways, what took you so long to get here? I thought you were going to come in your 86 with Keisuke and Ryosuke."

Takumi looked at the car Brent spoke so fondly about. Spiritual successor to the 86? How was that possible if the two cars looked so different? In the evening sun, the FR-S looked like a diamond in the sand; its powerful silver chassis attractively bending the dying rays of sunlight. It stood out from the rest of the cars parked around it causing them all to look old and tacky. Takumi broke his gaze from the group of cars and answered Brent’s question, "Oh yeah… I was too tired to drive here so I got a ride from Perry. Matsumoto drove the 86 here."

Brent eyed the young driver with suspicion. "Too tired to drive? Keisuke told me that you had well over twelve hours of sleep last night! I call bullshit."

Takumi glared at Keisuke, who smiled back silently and shrugged. Why did Keisuke have to let this new guy know everything? "I don't exactly how it happened, but I woke up absolutely exhausted today. Anyways, what are we doing out here?"

"Wait. Keisuke didn't tell you? I thought everyone knew what was going on tonight. Or did you sleep through the debriefing too?"

Takumi was starting to get irritated by the new guy. Keisuke saw this and finally stepped into the conversation. He walked up to Brent and spoke, "Hey man, don't be so hard on the kid. He said he was tired. Can't you leave it at that?"

Brent shrugged, turning away and taking another cigarette from his pocket, lit it and placed it in his mouth. "Whatever, as long as he is ready to race me once I'm finished beating you Keisuke." As he finished his sentence he strolled back to the cars and started talking to Perry and the others, leaving Keisuke and Takumi standing alone in a bare patch of dirt.

After a few minutes of listening to the crickets chirp, Takumi looked at his teammate and spoke again. "Keisuke, who the hell does Brent think he is?"

"Some guy who thinks he can beat us." Spat Keisuke as he started walking towards the group of cars, determined to get answers from the guy in charge.

This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on Apr 20 2012, 10:39 PM
DownhillFR-S
Posted: Mar 27 2012, 05:15 PM


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I ROR'D SO HARD
Meteor
Posted: Mar 29 2012, 04:33 PM


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QUOTE
Be sure to write me a full review when you get the time. I need your expertise on this topic.

I'll try to get around to it.

Man, fictional me is so mysterious. Also, he sounds slightly unlike me, but is quite an entertaining character so far laugh.gif

Onto the actual story. The convo starting off chapter 3 got this entire update off to a good start. The dialogue was fun to read and the small touches in between (Perry's laughter, him getting up to close the door, the messages that eventually appear on his screen, the brief and non-intrusive exposition about him having a secretary, all the small actions such as clacking away at a keyboard while continuing the call through speakerphone, etc.) made this scene very easy to visualize. Perry's meeting with Keisuke was good too. His initial apprehension felt very real, the descriptions of how the conversation started smoothly changed the mood of the scene, the mention of getting the manor prepared and what it took to bring Project D there added to the believability (is that a word?) of the story and the mention of something planned for tomorrow adds to the sense of plot-development happening. And because I'm likely to end up writing a very repetitive post if I keep trying (and perhaps failing) to mention all the decent dialogue and good descriptions for this chapter (and also because it was already 6:00 AM before I did a little rewriting here), I'll just say all the scenes in this chapter featured good writing.

(Though Ryousuke briefly noting Keisuke's good looks did feel a little out of place in this situation. But again, no big deal.)

Two typos I found:
QUOTE
“Hello Meteor, it's been a while since you’ve called me like this. Where did you hear about the race? I thought it a secret from everyone else.”

Should be "it's".
QUOTE
I wouldn't be surprised of everyone knew what was going on by the end of the month, so be prepared for a mess of inquiries and phone calls from everyone in the upcoming days.

Should be "have".

And it's now 6:31 AM. I guess I'll try to catch up on my sleep and edit in the rest of this review later. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the upcoming chapters smile.gif
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Mar 29 2012, 07:26 PM


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I know this update is a little soon, but I just finished another chapter and I can't wait for the other chapters to finish before I post it up! So this update will be small (only one chapter). If you guys think I should resume posting up three chapters at a time again then just tell me! I need more feedback from other people too; so if you're reading this and you have something to say, then post!

I know I have a lot of mistakes so feel free to point them out to me I promise not to take offense unless you're being rude about it! And thank you for pointing out those typos Meteor! I've fixed them so they should be better now. And I'll continue to fix any grammar or spelling mistakes that I see. Anyways, on to my feedback on your feedback! happy.gif

QUOTE (Downhill280Z)
I ROR'D SO HARD

I LOL'd pretty hard too. I'm not going to lie, but I'm having fun while writing this. laugh2.gif

QUOTE (Meteor)
I'll try to get around to it.

Man, fictional me is so mysterious. Also, he sounds slightly unlike me, but is quite an entertaining character so far laugh.gif

Onto the actual story. The convo starting off chapter 3 got this entire update off to a good start. The dialogue was fun to read and the small touches in between (Perry's laughter, him getting up to close the door, the messages that eventually appear on his screen, the brief and non-intrusive exposition about him having a secretary, all the small actions such as clacking away at a keyboard while continuing the call through speakerphone, etc.) made this scene very easy to  visualize. Perry's meeting with Keisuke was good too. His initial apprehension felt very real, the descriptions of how the conversation started smoothly changed the mood of the scene, the mention of getting the manor prepared and what it took to bring Project D there added to the believability (is that a word?) of the story and the mention of something planned for tomorrow adds to the sense of plot-development happening. And because I'm likely to end up writing a very repetitive post if I keep trying (and perhaps failing) to mention all the decent dialogue and good descriptions for this chapter (and also because it was already 6:00 AM before I did a little rewriting here), I'll just say all the scenes in this chapter featured good writing.

(Though Ryousuke briefly noting Keisuke's good looks did feel a little out of place in this situation. But again, no big deal.)


And it's now 6:31 AM. I guess I'll try to catch up on my sleep and edit in the rest of this review later. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the upcoming chapters smile.gif

Would you rather have your character be really super boring? laugh.gif

Anyhow, I try to be as detailed as I can when I write. Sometimes I get really esoteric and random in my descriptions. I had to go through about three different drafts and revisions before I got to the level of detail that I wanted. But even then (as you could see from Ryosuke noticing that his younger brother is very handsome [which should be a given fact!]) some of the information that's still in there is really strange, and/or out of place.


With all that aside, I proudly present Chapter 6 of Beyond the Horizon.



~Chapter 6: Danger to the Manifold~

Keisuke's reply to his question did not surprise Takumi and yet, the younger driver lagged in his reaction. Trotting to keep up with teammate he quickly added, "Keisuke! You can beat this guy right? He said his car is stock. It shouldn't be too hard."

As suddenly as he started, Keisuke stopped walking and turned around; causing Takumi to run into him. "Hey, what was that for Keisuke? Didn't you say that you wanted to…?" He looked at his fellow driver and noticed the apprehension that was drawn on his teammate's face. "Keisuke? Are you alright?"

Staring blankly into the quickly darkening sky he replied, "I'm fine Takumi. But tell me first… Was racing Perry hard?"

"… What are you talking about?"

"TELL ME! WAS RACING PERRY LAST NIGHT CHALLENGING?" As if repeating his question in a louder tone would help Takumi understand.

"Um… I guess you can say it was hard. Remember that there was so much fog last night I couldn't see where I was going. Now if I was stupid--which I'm not--then I would have pushed myself to the limit and I wouldn't be here right now. I would have won the race but ended up in the hospital or worse, the morgue…"

Keisuke wasn't satisfied with this answer. "So you could have won if you trusted yourself more?"

"If you want to put it in simpler terms. Then yes." Takumi looked at the older driver with a hint of suspicion. Was Keisuke finally going crazy?

"Okay. Now tell me, do you think I can beat the Brent character?"

"Depends, do you think YOU can?" Answering Keisuke's question with another question.

"I really don't know…"

Takumi was taken back, Keisuke was usually very confident in his skills. To the point where he would brag to anyone and everyone who was unfortunate to be caught in his line of sight. Takumi tried to reassure him, "Hey. What are you saying? You're starting to sound like me when I first started racing."

"I know. I'm probably being silly, but look at his car Takumi!" Pointing to the silhouette of the FR-S against the light purple sky. "Do you think I can beat that? It's one of the newest models of cars available on the market. It's less than a year old! Now look at my car!" Swinging his arm to the FD that appeared orange in the late twilight. "The damn thing is over twenty years old! I'm surprised it still runs. How do I have a chance of beating that beast in my toy car?!?" Keisuke raised his hands to his temples and made a motion of something gliding away from him. Takumi could only guess that was the symbolic representation of his chances of winning flying through the window.

"… Keisuke, you're overreacting. You'll do fine. He said his car was bone stock; he hasn't modified it at all. I'm sure that you two will be evenly matched."

"I'M NOT OVERREACTING!" Keisuke was on the verge of insanity.

"Well then, get over there and see what's happening. Get into your FD and beat the crap out of that FR-S. Show everyone that you have the skills to defeat these newer cars. Succeed where I have failed!" Takumi figured that the best way of consoling the nervous driver would be to provoke him into his old ways. Offering the chance of winning Ryosuke's approval was more than enough to snap Keisuke out of his panic attack.

"YOU'RE RIGHT! I need to get over there and win this race. Just watch me Takumi! I'll show you how it's done!" With a renewed look of determination, Keisuke turned and confidently strode towards his car. Takumi smiled at the success of his plan and started following his teammate.

Perry noticed the return of the two drivers, looking up from his cellphone he waved at them. "Hey Takumi! Keisuke! I need to have a word with you two before we get started!"

Changing his direction and jogging up to Perry who stood alone next to his Corolla, Keisuke inquired as Takumi caught up, "What's up Perry? Are you going to be the one debriefing us? Where is my brother?"

Perry pocketed his phone and nodded, noticing how dark it was getting he turned and stepped into his car. With the key in the ignition, he clicked the headlights on; a soft off-white light illuminated the area in front of the car causing the sand to glitter. "Ryosuke and the others are off scouting the location of the race as we speak."

Suddenly Takumi noticed the absence of the support vans and Ryosuke's FC. Looking around he only saw his 86, Keisuke's FD, the Corolla, and Brent's FR-S parked on the side of the road. Keisuke nodded, "Sounds good. So when are we going to meet up with them to start this race?"

"As soon as I'm done debriefing you. Brent already knows what's happening and I just got a phone call from your brother. We will leave as soon as you guys know what’s happening."

"Well then… What are you waiting for?" Takumi’s and Keisuke’s reply at the same time. They glanced at each other and laughed at the clairvoyance they had for that spilt second.

Perry smiled and started his explanation, "Ok. I've talked to both Brent and Ryosuke and we came up with this race set up. It's going to be the standard race, much like your previous expeditions. One uphill, one downhill run, starting side by side for the first run, then cat and mouse—you already know the rules. And after that we will have time trials. Brent is the current record holder for this course, so both of you will have a chance to take on his record. Here's the catch, to win the race you have to pass the lead car and finish with a two second time difference. Don't ask me why two seconds, Brent made that rule up. Ryosuke believes both of you can do this so whenever you're ready."

Without a word, Keisuke walked past Perry and got into his FD. Starting the engine he stuck his head out the window. Yelling over the sound of the engine, 'Hurry up! We don't have all night you know!"

Brent noticed that the three were finished talking, threw his last cigarette into the dirt and walked to his car. He pressed a button on his keys and the car instantly responded with a rev of the engine as it came alive, quickly getting in and revving it a few more times to get warmed up. Perry slid into his waiting Corolla and turned the key one more click, the car responded with the start of the engine. Takumi walked to his 86 and climbed in, checking if Matsumoto misplaced anything or changed any of the settings while he was away. It felt good to be sitting in the driver's seat again; Takumi smiled as he turned the key and felt the power surge through the little machine as the car revived itself. The four cars pulled off of the sandy pitch and started for the dark cliffs that loomed on the horizon.

Fifteen minutes later at the top of one of the sheer cliffs, Takumi sat on the hood of his 86 eating a cold sandwich that the others packed from Perry's house. Looking at the direction they came from he saw the faint glow of the city spread on the edge of the earth. A little bubble of light pollution covered the tall buildings that poked from the otherwise smooth horizon. Turning his gaze towards the pitch black sky, he saw the stars; the three stars marking Orion’s belt glittered like diamonds against dark velvet, looking around he noticed that the placements of the constellations were different from the ones seen in Japan. Takumi continued to watch the sky silently until the sound of footsteps broke his trance. Sliding off of his perch, he saw Ryosuke approaching. "Takumi, are you feeling better? We're just about ready to start the uphill portion if you want to watch Keisuke start… Actually you don't have a choice," He looked at the driver and smirked, shrugging and nodding his head. "Keisuke personally asked me to make sure that you saw and heard the entirety of this race."

Complying with Keisuke's request Takumi started following the leader of Project D to the finish line. Matsumoto was waiting for both of them with a radio in hand, once he caught sight of the two he spoke. "Fumihiro, you can start now. We're ready up here."

The radio initially replied with static and then Fumihiro's voice announced into the night, "Sounds good. Kenta, you can start the count down."

From the darkness below the disembodied voice of Kenta rang out. "RACERS ON YOUR MARK!" The two cars roared in response. "5… 4… 3… 2… 1…" Takumi's stomach tied itself into a knot from the tension in the air. "ZERO! GO KEISUKE! GO!"

The cool night air shook with the sound of the two cars shooting off into the night. Fumihiro called through the radio, "Keisuke’s taken the lead! Maybe he'll finish this in one round!"

The knot in Takumi's gut grew tighter.



Oh!~ I left off on a cliffhanger! What will happen next!? I'll try to get more chapters up as soon as I can guys! Thank you for reading! smile.gif

This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on Apr 9 2012, 05:48 PM
Meteor
Posted: Mar 30 2012, 04:25 PM


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Keisuke worrying about having to race against a much newer car didn't actually feel all that right to me. (Assuming you based it off Keisuke's thoughts during his first run-in with the Eight-Six) Remember, the main reason he was so hung up on having lost to an Eight-Six wasn't because it was a car from the 80s, but because it was a slow car that still easily won against his significantly faster car. Newer cars can be better than older cars, but a stock FR-S isn't a car that Keisuke should be so worried about. His FD has well over 400 hp now, whereas the FR-S was designed to be a relatively cheap car with good tuning potential and is not among the faster Japanese sports cars. Sure, his FD is over a decade old by now, but it's been maintained very well and still runs well. And Keisuke himself is a much better driver now. To be fair, his panic didn't last very long, but I found it weird that he overreacted to begin with in this situation.

Everything other than that was good though. All the other dialogue and the details accompanying it worked well and all the other descriptions made for some very vivid images. I want to see how this race goes smile.gif
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Mar 30 2012, 04:48 PM


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QUOTE (Meteor)
Keisuke worrying about having to race against a much newer car didn't actually feel all that right to me. (Assuming you based it off Keisuke's thoughts during his first run-in with the Eight-Six) Remember, the main reason he was so hung up on having lost to an Eight-Six wasn't because it was a car from the 80s, but because it was a slow car that still easily won against his significantly faster car. Newer cars can be better than older cars, but a stock FR-S isn't a car that Keisuke should be so worried about. His FD has well over 400 hp now, whereas the FR-S was designed to be a relatively cheap car with good tuning potential and is not among the faster Japanese sports cars. Sure, his FD is over a decade old by now, but it's been maintained very well and still runs well. And Keisuke himself is a much better driver now. To be fair, his panic didn't last very long, but I found it weird that he overreacted to begin with in this situation.

Everything other than that was good though. All the other dialogue and the details accompanying it worked well and all the other descriptions made for some very vivid images. I want to see how this race goes smile.gif

Looking back at how I wrote that part, I see where you're coming from but remember that he watched his teammate lose at the hands of another car. At that rate, Keisuke was worried that driving in America is different from driving in Japan, as this is his first match in the states. His panic attack does seem a little out of character though... But, it didn't seem right for Keisuke to go into this race overconfident since Brent looks like such a formidable opponent... I guess in the end, I DID IT FOR THE SAKE OF THE PLOT! pinch2.gif

I'm going to hold off on releasing more chapters at this rate to review what I've written so far. Anyways, I'm sure that reading three plus chapters of my story takes a really long time, I'll slow down my update speed to spare everyone the pain. laugh2.gif

This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on Mar 30 2012, 08:04 PM
JeremyGTS
Posted: Apr 4 2012, 06:22 AM


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Need more! lol Pretty good so far!
Wanderer
Posted: Apr 9 2012, 05:50 AM


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You've hooked me with the chapters so far. Now I NEED to know how K.T's race goes! X|
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Apr 9 2012, 06:14 PM


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Thank you for the kind words JeremyGTS and ATRUM_Neto! The little things like this motivate me to write more! Well, after a few nights of frantic writing I've come up with two more chapters to add on. The exciting conclusion of Keisuke's race against Brent's FR-S! Enjoy guys!



~Chapter 7: Swift and Sound~

The glare of the FR-S white headlights reflected off the rear view mirror of the FD as both cars rumbled up the canyon pass. Keisuke exhaled as he opened up the throttle, how long has it been since he was in his last serious race? His match against Go Hojo's NSX? That was the last uphill battle of Project D over a year ago. What about after Project D? There was no one good enough to take him on in a battle, except Takumi Fujiwara.

Takumi Fujiwara, one of the few people who were able to defeat both of the Takahashi brothers. Keisuke's defeat at the hands of the young driver was a lucky fluke at most, it would never happen again. He only lost because he was overconfident; he shook his head and continued to stare at the road illuminated by the glow of his headlights ahead of him. All he needed to do now was to call another match and beat Takumi in front of everyone else before moving onto the professional scene. Keisuke grinned at the prospect of having a rematch with rival. What were his chances of winning at this point in time? He's improved immensely since the conclusion of Project D, he was sure that Takumi also developed new skills and techniques. He wondered where to issue his rematch against his teammate… Snapping out of his thoughts, he downshifted and shot into the next turn with the FR-S following closely behind. Finally noticing the glare of the white LED headlights Keisuke swiped at his rear view mirror, it was annoying to have a white beam of light reflecting into his eyes. Glancing at his side view mirrors, he squinted again at the white beams. "What the heck? Those headlights are driving me crazy." Stomping on the gas, Keisuke continued the upward climb.

Two sets of headlights twinkled in dark canyon below; from his vantage point, Takumi could see everything that was happening in the valley and the thin narrow strip of asphalt that lead up to the surface of the cliff. He noticed that the headlights of the second car were a dazzling white color, looking over to his mechanic, "Matsumoto, what are those?" Pointing to the fast moving lights. "Why are those headlights so bright? I assume that it's really annoying for Keisuke."

Matsumoto followed Takumi's hand to the white lights and shook his head, "Those are LED headlights; apparently they're a really big thing in America. They provide more visibility to the driver while blinding anyone who is unfortunate enough to look at them. They're hard to ignore, but there is a way."

"How exactly do you ignore something that bright?"

"Simple, by ignoring your mirrors, the white light will actually help you by illuminating the path ahead."

Takumi nodded, taking a mental note so he could use the tip at a later time. Eight minutes later, the two cars arrived at the peak; the FR-S only meters away from the FD. Barreling to the end of the road and towards a lone traffic cone, Keisuke executed a well-controlled U-turn drift, reminiscent of his battle against Kozo Hoshino. Brent followed his lead and together they started on their descent to the starting line for round two. The smell of burning rubber filled the air and the road smoked with tire streaks. Perry stared at the traffic cone, obviously in a state of shock over the events that transpired in such a short amount of time. Ryosuke shook his head and called to the team at the starting line, "Fumihiro, they should be coming down in about ten minutes. The FR-S was only behind by about a second and a half. I have Matsumoto recording the times. Brent will be leading this next run."

The radio rang back in response, "Sounds good Ryosuke, can you tell me how the FD looks right now? We heard those tire screeches just right now. Is Keisuke being reckless again?"

Ryosuke laughed, "Hmph, Keisuke's just trying to show off his superiority. I thought he outgrew this phase. But apparently, old habits are hard to kill. Don’t worry about anything. The tires should hold till the race has been decided."

Perry stopped looking at the tire tracks long enough to see that Takumi was also looking at them. Striding over to the youngest member of the team, "I always knew that both of the drivers of Project D were capable of things like this, but I never imagined seeing it happen before my very eyes… That was amazing… Takumi, don't tell me that you can do things like this too…"

Takumi thought about it for a moment before replying, "I'm the downhill ace of Project D. Of course I can do things like this, but not to the extent of Keisuke's display just now…” Noticing the wide-eyed stare of Perry, he quickly asked, "Why do you ask Perry? Are you telling me that you can't do that?"

Perry didn't immediately answer. Instead he backed away from the driver and started looking at other things, his eyes darting quickly from one place to another. "Well actually… You see… I actually can't drift."

"What? Then how did you beat me last night? Don't tell me that it was pure luck!"

"I think it might have been… I mean, I drive that street home every single day to get to and from work. So it's no surprise that I know it like the back of my hand. I guess it's sort of like how you know everything about Mount Akina. You're unbeatable there, I'm unbeatable here."

Takumi continued to stare back at the other man, in utter disbelief. The words seemed to be caught in his throat; a few minutes passed before Takumi said, "You serious?"

"Yes…" Perry replied quietly, looking down at the dark street in shame.

"Well then, it looks like I won't be calling a rematch then!" Takumi laughed and clapped Perry on the back, knocking the air of him. "I'll just call you lucky then. Oh man, this will be a story to tell all the others. Or do they know already?"

"No one else knows yet. And to tell you the truth, I'm a very conservative driver. I'd never do anything as crazy as street racing again. I'll tell everyone else after this race; but for now, can we keep this a secret?"

Hearing the commotion, Ryosuke strode over to the two, "Why are you laughing Takumi? What do you find so funny?"

Perry exchanged a quick glance with younger driver and said, "Oh nothing Ryosuke. Takumi and I were just talking about something. How's the status of the race?"

Ryosuke stared at the two quizzically, "The race is going well. Based on the sounds that I hear in the canyon below, Keisuke is making moves to pass Brent. But we can't say anything for sure since we don't have people posted along the route. They should be up here in a few minutes, from there we will see."

Seeing that it was dangerous to be standing in the middle of the street while there was a street race occurring, the three moved off the road just in time. The roar of the rotary engine was heard as the FD streaked past the finish line; the yellow car performing donuts around the lone cone before the sound of the FR-S even was even heard over the burning of the tires. The powerful silver car slowly rolled into the finish line and stopped as soon as the FD finished its final loop around the marker a full six seconds after the official end of the race. The hum of engines died away as Keisuke and Brent simultaneously left their cars; walking up to meet Ryosuke and the others at the middle, Brent heaved a sigh. He took out another cigarette and lit it, looking at the man who defeated him. Takumi couldn't help but feel a twinge of sympathy for the guy. A moment of silence passed before Brent finally decided to break the ice, "That was one hell of a race Keisuke. I had a gut feeling that I wouldn't be able to take you on in my car… seeing the way it is right now. How about we have a rematch in a few months when I get my things together? If you're still here in a few months…" Brent nodded and extended a hand to the other uphill driver.

Keisuke smiled and shook his hand "I'll admit, you put up a good fight. Blocking me for the most part of that last run. You have the skills to dominate if your car wasn't stock. I'll take you up on that rematch. Just call a time and a place. I'll be there." Glancing sideways at his brother, Keisuke noticed that Ryosuke didn't object to his statement.

Brent was about to add to his previous statement before the radio sitting on the hood of Perry's Corolla interrupted him. "Perry, Ryosuke, Matsumoto, is the race over? What are the results?"

Matsumoto replied to the radio's inquiries "Yup. The race is over now, Keisuke won with a lead of six seconds. We should be starting the downhill run in about fifteen minutes. We'll radio you before we start."

The distant whooping and shouting of Kenta was heard from the darkness below. Keisuke shook his head. "That damn kid… I swear, he's my biggest fan and the most annoying person ever."

The cool night air was reverberated with the sound of laughter. Perry took a deep breath and resumed the conversation, "Well Brent, take a fifteen and prepare for the downhill; Takumi, you too. If any of you guys need anything, just ask me."

And with that, Perry and Ryosuke walked away discussing something in private. Brent went back to his car and leaned against the driver side door, enjoying his cigarette and texting someone on his phone. Takumi looked at his teammate "Keisuke, how exactly did you do that? A six second lead isn't easy to accomplish…"

Keisuke smiled as he looked at his rival. "Naw, it was as easy as cake! Remember you said his car was stock? That's the trick; it was no match against my FD. The difference in the power output of a stock FR-S and my modified FD is just too great. Ha, I guess I'll have to thank Tomiguchi later… Anyways, I had a feeling that Brent knew he had no chance in beating me, but he put up a good fight anyways. It kind of reminded me of the way you used to race back when you first started. You were always the underdog and yet you seemed to win…" Laughing at this lame comparison, he continued "But Brent didn't win this time. I feel bad for the guy, he has potential. I just hope I can race him again when our cars are more evenly matched."

Takumi nodded, understanding everything that his fellow driver said. He steeled his nerves for the race ahead; he knew the FR-S had amazing handling capabilities so he expected this downhill race to be a lot harder than Keisuke's bout. He was about to face off with the reincarnation of his 86, the thought made the little knot in his stomach grow again.


~Chapter 8: Premonition to Battle~

Shooting a glance at his next opponent, Takumi walked up to the new car; observing its fine details and the night sky that was faintly reflected off of the freshly waxed surface. Brent looked up from his phone and noticed the driver. "Hey kid, if you so much as scratch my car before our race starts. Then you can consider yourself a dead man."

Takumi jumped backwards from the sound of another person's voice, defending himself, "I wasn’t doing anything I swear! I was just looking at the nice paint job." Holding his hands in the air showing Brent that he had no malicious intent.

Brent smiled, "I'm just kidding Takumi. Relax. You just caught me at a bad time, that's all…" His face sullied and he returned his gaze to the phone.

"I guess I'll stop bothering you now since you seem busy…"

"Huh? Oh, it's nothing of the sort. I'm just texting another friend of mine. She has been nagging me the past couple of days and it's driving me nuts."

"You have a girlfriend?"

"Ha. She's not my girlfriend. I'm just talking to one of my friends who happens to be a girl. You might get to meet her later if you guys decide to hang out in the states for a little longer."

Suddenly finding himself in an awkward situation, the only thing Takumi managed to say was a skeptical "Hm…" Not knowing how to continue, he looked around and made to leave.

"Hey Takumi?" Brent pocketed his phone and was now looking at the young driver. "I didn't mean to be such a dick earlier… Can you tell Keisuke that I’m sorry?"

Takumi smiled "No hard feelings Brent. I'm sure that Keisuke understands too. But I'll tell him anyways if you want."

"Thanks kid." Brent walked away from his car to join the conversation with Perry and Ryosuke.

Walking back to Keisuke and his FD, Takumi noticed that the grips on the tires were worn bald. Keisuke stood looking at his rear tires, hands on his hips; he appeared to be silently scolding his ride. "Man that looks bad Keisuke. What are you going to do now? It looks like those tires aren't going to last much longer."

Keisuke looked at his teammate and ran a hand through his bleached hair. "I know. Damn, why did I have to do all those donuts? Looking back, it seems a little excessive now… What was I thinking?" It was easy to see that the victor was beating himself up over being so reckless.

"Well, maybe you should start heading down the Tomiguchi and the others then. Driving on things like this is dangerous. I'll tell Ryosuke and the others that you're going down the pass. Just be sure to be safe. Oh yeah, Brent says sorry. He didn't mean to be a dick."

His teammate smiled. "Ha, its fine. There's no need for Brent to apologize. He didn't do anything wrong." He let out a defeated sigh. "I really wanted to watch the start of this race, but I guess getting this tire problem sorted out is more important. I'll be heading down now, and don't worry. I'll be careful." He stepped into his car and drove off.

Takumi watched as the tail lights disappeared around the corner; he looked at the group of people starting at the FD as it departed, he walked to them and told them where Keisuke had gone. Ryosuke proceeded to radio the other group. "Fumihiro, Keisuke is coming down to get his tires replaced. He'll be there in about twelve minutes; his tires are really worn down so he's taking it easy."

Fumihiro was heard from the radio, "I knew it! Keisuke was being reckless! Anyways, we'll be waiting for him now. Don't start the downhill portion until you hear back from us."

"Keisuke wasn’t being reckless Fumihiro, he was just showing off after the race. Why he wasted all of the grip on his tires is beyond me. You can ask him when he gets down there. For now, we will be waiting on your word to start the race."

Setting down the radio, Ryosuke rejoined the conversation. "I was thinking that we should stay in the states for a little while longer if this event that you're planning is coming up. I haven't been on a proper vacation in years." Ryosuke smiled.

Takumi looked puzzled; Perry stepped in to explain. "I'm planning an event in Southern California in about a month. There I'll be meeting a few more friends; you guys might have the chance for more races there too. There are a lot of mountain passes in the area. So you are free to stay at my place for as long as you want."

"Uhhhhh… Have we talked to the others about this yet?" Takumi looked shocked.

"Not yet. I have plans to make all of my announcements after the race between you and Brent is over."

Takumi looked again at his opponent. Brent seemed bored by the proceedings, glancing at his phone and rapidly replying to a text before looking up to check his surroundings and repeating the process. After a few awkward minutes of silence, the rhythmic sound of Brent's cellphone keeping time, the radio sounded off. "Hey bro, Tomiguchi and the others are getting the tires on my car replaced at the moment. That means we're ready for you, so start whenever you feel like it."

Ryosuke replied, "Sounds good Keisuke, we'll start right now." Takumi and Brent nodded and walked off to their cars. The headlights of the little panda 86 flipped up and illuminated a little patch of street; while the bright white lights of the FR-S reached out into the darkness, dispelling all the shadows it touched. Matsumoto stood in front of the two cars, taking care not to stare directly into the LED lamps that flooded the world with light.

"RACERS READY!" The two cars rumbled in response, the FR-S completely drowning out the sound of the 86. "5… 4… 3… 2… 1…" Takumi's grip on the steering wheel tightened, all of this was really happening.

"ZERO!" Takumi slammed on the gas pedal and shot forward, Brent mirrored his opponent's movements and together, the two cars sped into the night.



I keep ending on cliff hangers! Have I left you on the edge of your seat yet? Stay tuned for the next set of chapters! Thanks for reading! Your comments are what motivate me to write (no joke), so keep posting your thoughts and opinions. I appreciate them! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on May 10 2012, 11:04 PM
JeremyGTS
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 01:57 PM


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That was a big shock that Perry cant drift... I kind of figured since hes in a FWD car. Cant wait to get the explaination on how he beat Takumi.

Meteor
Posted: Apr 15 2012, 04:35 PM


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Great updates again. The thoughts running through Keisuke's mind early in the race all felt in-character, the factor of the bright LCD headlights made things a little interesting and although this was an easy win for Keisuke, you wrote an enjoyable race out of it. Keisuke U-turn drift and victory donuts were easy (and fun) to visualize. He must've been in a really good mood when he reached the finish line.

Didn't expect that Perry can't do drifts. Liked the conversation between him and Takumi (and also the bit where Ryousuke asks them what they're laughing about).

Just one thing that seems to need rewriting:
QUOTE
Brent heaved a sigh. He took out another cigarette and lit it, looking at the man who defeated him. Takumi couldn't help but notice a twinge of sympathy for the guy.

Shouldn't "notice" be "feel" in this case? Or was he noticing other people's sympathy towards Brent or something like that?

Brent's reaction to his loss felt realistic. Character interaction between him and Keisuke was good too and the small detail of Keisuke glancing at Ryousuke to see if he'd object to Keisuke welcoming a rematch at anytime was yet another example of good writing in this fic.

And that Kenta never changes, does he? laugh.gif

In Chapter 8, you show more good writing through the way Brent and Takumi talk with each other and how Brent feels about what he said pre-race. The natural consequences of Keisuke's power-over victory celebrations help ground the story to reality, the event that Perry's planning makes me look forward to seeing that part of the story and I want to see how the last race of this night goes.

As usual, more chapters plz. Story's getting even better and you're getting more readers too.
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Apr 19 2012, 11:37 AM


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Thank you, JeremyGTS and Meteor for the kind words! I was hoping for more replies before I posted up the next chapter, but rereading where I left off--right at the start of the Takumi vs Brent. You guys probably want an update right now. Well I can't keep my loyal readers waiting can I? I was waiting for Perry's response to the fact that his character can't drift, but he took too long... So here is the match between the AE86 and the FR-S! First I have to give my feedback on Meteor's feedback. pinch2.gif

QUOTE (Meteor)
Great updates again. The thoughts running through Keisuke's mind early in the race all felt in-character, the factor of the bright LED headlights made things a little interesting and although this was an easy win for Keisuke, you wrote an enjoyable race out of it. Keisuke U-turn drift and victory donuts were easy (and fun) to visualize. He must've been in a really good mood when he reached the finish line.

Didn't expect that Perry can't do drifts. Liked the conversation between him and Takumi (and also the bit where Ryousuke asks them what they're laughing about).

Brent's reaction to his loss felt realistic. Character interaction between him and Keisuke was good too and the small detail of Keisuke glancing at Ryousuke to see if he'd object to Keisuke welcoming a rematch at anytime was yet another example of good writing in this fic.

And that Kenta never changes, does he? 

In Chapter 8, you show more good writing through the way Brent and Takumi talk with each other and how Brent feels about what he said pre-race. The natural consequences of Keisuke's power-over victory celebrations help ground the story to reality, the event that Perry's planning makes me look forward to seeing that part of the story and I want to see how the last race of this night goes.

As usual, more chapters plz. Story's getting even better and you're getting more readers too.

Thanks for all the praise Meteor! When I read my work, I always think that the dialogues that I write are always lacking in something. But maybe I'm my harshest critic. Fumihiro, Matsumoto, Tomiguchi, and Kenta don't have a really big spotlight in the anime or the manga so I'm taking the liberty to expand on their characters in my story. Hopefully its working out. There is a delicate balance though, and its hard making sure that all the characters are in-character, but its really awesome seeing how everything falls into place once everything is said and done. I'm really happy how that Kenta part turned out and I add a little more to it in this chapter.


Now I proudly present to you Chapter 9 of Beyond the Horizon. Takumi's race against the 86's reincarnation. The FR-S. Enjoy guys! biggrin.gif



~Chapter 9: Spirited Away~

By the end of the first straightaway the FR-S had a sizable lead; it was obvious that Brent knew what he was doing as he sped into the first corner. Takumi slammed on the gas in an effort to keep up. Through the first couple of turns, Brent drifted. The tires on the FR-S squealed as they went around the corners, the hot brake calipers flashed red as the car swung sideways. The FR-S flew through the straightaways with the little 86 following closely behind. Through the canyon road, the FR-S led its predecessor in a hot pursuit; both of the cars drifting through each turn with reckless abandon. They moved in synchronicity, the only thing that differed between them was the fact that Brent's braking line was milliseconds earlier than Takumi's. The young driver used that to his advantage and by observing the car ahead of him, he was able to catch up to the FR-S. Takumi was all out, every ounce of his concentration on driving and the road ahead of him, by the fifth turn he was glued to the bumper of the FR-S.

Moving in tandem, the little 86 and its reincarnation drifted around the bend, the front of the 86 mere centimeters away from the FR-S. Both of the cars shot out of the turn and continued speeding down the course quickly moving into the s-turn section. Brent smiled as he saw the reflection of the 86's headlights weave in and out of his rear view mirror; he had a feeling that winning this race was impossible in his stock FR-S--he saw that in his match against Keisuke's FD--but he had to put up a fight. It wasn't about winning anymore; it was about proving himself worthy for a rematch with the legendary racing duo. Drifting into the next corner he felt more at ease with his revelation, winning no longer mattered to him as long as he gave this race his best shot.

The tachometer on the 86 reached the shifting point before Takumi moved the car into the next gear; the little car lurched forward and sped after the FR-S. Aided by the gentle slope, the car gained a tremendous amount of speed as it turned into the upcoming corners, further closing the gap between the two driving machines. Takumi grinned at the progress that he was making. Following Brent's game, he continued to drift through the turns. As they shot down the street, the hum of the engines provided the beat to their waltz. He watched as the FR-S ahead of him held its ground as though its tires were made of glue, they slid out from under the car at the right time touching the apex of the turn with the skill of a well-trained surgeon; Takumi had to admit, his opponent's car had amazing handling capabilities.

As the road continued down the cliffs, the cars continued their descent twisting about the s-turns and shooting through the straights like two winding snakes entangled in an endless battle. Takumi strained his eyes looking for an opportunity to pass the car, but it seemed as though Brent knew what to expect. He covered the entirety of the small street with his car, creating an impenetrable blockade. Since this was Brent’s home course, he knew exactly where and when to block. A sudden realization dawned upon the young driver; Brent was prolonging the battle to a second round. A round where Brent would be able to follow and observe whatever Takumi did, a round where he would have to deal with those bright LED headlights. The knot in his stomach tensed up again as he continued to barrel down the street following the 86's successor, he just had to finish this race in one round or suffer leading the next round half blinded by the white headlights. Takumi’s grip on the steering wheel tightened as he prepared for the next section of high speed turns.

Takumi watched the FR-S dance around the corners. He was lost in its trance; caught up in the sound of both of the engines as they worked their way down the canyon pass. The line being drawn was perfect in every way possible; there was no way of getting around it. He followed the silver car ahead as it led the way to the finish line unable to break away from the line it took. Corner after corner, the car ahead of him blocked the path forward. Frustrated, Takumi pulled his eyes away from the FR-S and looked at the road ahead. The gentle slope was gone and there wasn't much left to the course. Now was the time to get desperate.

Surveying the course ahead, he noticed a slight change in the FR-S; Brent stopped drifting causing the outside line to open up. Taking another quick glance at the road ahead of him, the next turn was a high speed right turn. For some reason, Brent moved to the right opening a thin line to the left. The FR-S stopped blocking and uncharacteristically concentrated on one shoulder of the road, looking to the right of his opponent's car he saw it. There was a thin gutter on the right side of the street; Brent was going for a gutter run! Takumi thought quickly, if Brent succeeded in pulling off a gutter run at this rate; the race would go to a second round. The young driver tensed himself for the next move, "Nope. I'm not having a second round. Not tonight at least. It ends here."

Deciding that the next turn was the only spot to make a move, Takumi stomped on the gas. Again, the little car surged forward closing the gap and squeezing into the newly opened line on the left. Brent noticed the absence of the 86's headlights and looked to his left. He saw the dark outline of the Fujiwara Tofu Shop decal and his opponent. Both of the cars were neck in neck, barreling towards the last turn in three hundred meters. The cars roared at each other neither one yielding to the other. Only two hundred meters left; the FR-S would be on the inside line while the 86 would have to turn wide. Only one car could make it through the corner though, it wasn't wide enough for both of them to fit without one car suffering major damage. One hundred meters left, Brent stared at the bend in the road; there really wasn't enough space for both of them to fit in. He didn't want to pay for the repairs to his new car, but he needed to get this race to a second round. He wanted to watch Takumi on the downhill for as long as he could keep up. Forcing the pedal to the ground, Brent glared at the car next to him; as if staring the little 86 down would cause it to yield. The tachometer needle reached the red zone and the engine whined, the FR-S was maxed out. Fifty meters away, they were still side by side. If both continued at this rate, no one would make it to the bottom of the road in one piece. Ten meters, the driver of the FR-S decided that living to see another day was more important than getting this race to a second round. Brent let off the gas.

The sound of the FR-S waned and slowly started to retreat. At that instant the panda 86 took the chance and surged forward, with a deafening roar the powerful racing engine drowned out the sound of the world around it. As if a weight was lifted off of his shoulders, Takumi heaved a sigh of relief as he drifted through the corner and sprinted towards the last straightaway and the finish; looking at his rear view mirror, he noticed that the FR-S lost a considerable amount of speed and that his opponent was at least two car lengths away from him. There was no way that Brent could regain the lead at this point. The first race between the 86 and its reincarnation was over.

Rolling past the finish line with a good seven second lead Takumi was glad that the race was over and yet he felt bad for the challenger. Stepping out of the 86 and trying his best to ignore the uproar from the one man cheer squad that was Kenta, he walked past Keisuke and the other mechanic--nodding and acknowledging their statements of congratulations and approvals--to the now idle FR-S and knocked on the driver side window. A minute passed where Keisuke had to punch Kenta in the shoulder in order to get him to shut up, after hearing a muffled sigh from within the silver car Takumi heard the door to open. Slowly getting out of his car, Brent stepped into the cold summer night and inhaled bringing himself to full height; Takumi had the suspicion that the taller guy was going to punch him in the face if the silence continued on any longer. The victor spoke, "Brent that was a really good race. I would be more than happy to give you a rematch later if you feel like it." Holding his hand out, he offered a small smile to his opponent.

Brent sighed again releasing all of his held breath; he looked at the young driver shook his hand, "That sounds great Takumi. A rematch with you and Keisuke was more than I could ever hope for. Thanks for making that race epic. I can't believe you started drifting with me."

Takumi scratched his cheek, "Heh, it was nothing. Seeing you drift around those corners made me want to drift as well."

Brent smiled, "That last corner where we were head to head… I should have known that you were never going to let me through first. Either you're crazy, or I'm too nice to you kid."

"You're giving me too much credit now. I just threw caution to the wind. My victory tonight was out of pure luck. You were great out there. Keisuke was right to say that you have some skills with you."

"Stop being so modest kid. You won fair and square." Turning to Keisuke he asked, "Hey Keisuke, does the team at the starting line know that the race is over now?"

Keisuke nodded, "Yeah, Fumihiro told them a few minutes ago. We agreed that time trials are not needed as we already broke both of your records with those two races. They should be here shortly."

Kenta piped in, "I'm starving; I think we're going to get food before we call it a night. I overheard something about Perry making some announcements over some food. Will you be joining us for a late dinner Brent?"

"Sure. Why not? Better than my plan of having cold leftover pizza at my apartment."

Ten minutes later, the caravan--led by two silver cars--were back on the road to the city.



Thanks for reading guys. As my first attempt at a race chapter so I'll need all the feedback I can get. Go ahead and speak your mind! I promise not to bite! smile.gif

This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on May 10 2012, 11:06 PM
Meteor
Posted: Apr 20 2012, 04:06 PM


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QUOTE
When I read my work, I always think that the dialogues that I write are always lacking in something. But maybe I'm my harshest critic.

And that means you care about your work.

Onto the race scene. *begins analyzing* The mention of Brent getting a sizeable lead on Takumi pretty much gets the entire beginning of the race across with few words. But then it suddenly skips to both cars taking a turn in tandem, with the 86 centimeters away from the FR-S's bumper. Then it mentions Takumi catching up mid-way through the corner ("mere centimeters away" already implies the Eight-Six has caught up, so you could've instead mentioned the gap between the two cars shrinking even further if that's what you were going for). What's missing is the moment where Takumi begins to catch up enough to have both cars so close in the first turn. A reference to Takumi catching up during braking could've fixed the first problem.

Example:
QUOTE
By the end of the first straightaway the FR-S had a sizable lead; it was obvious that Brent knew what he was doing as he sped into the first corner. Moving in tandem, the little 86 and its reincarnation drifted around the bend, the front of the 86 mere centimeters away from the FR-S.

By the end of the first straightaway the FR-S had a sizable lead; it was obvious that Brent knew what he was doing as he sped towards the first corner. Catching up during braking, the little 86 and its reincarnation drifted around the bend, the front of the 86 mere centimeters away from the FR-S.


Everything afterwards had no problems besides the occasional typos (pointed out later in this post). Rest of the first paragraph was good, particularly Brent smiling at the Eight-Six in his mirrors and what he wanted out of this race.

Second paragraph.
Bringing attention to the tachometer's needle climbing up to the shift point and Takumi shifting up right there did a good job of building up to the Eight-Six immediately lurching forwards after the FR-S. Then you mentioned the slope helping it along. All this made the "tremendous amount of speed" the Eight-Six picked up very easy to imagine. The description of the FR-S's handling abilities seems to have room for improvement, but wasn't bad either.
Third paragraph.
Mentioning the road continuing down the cliffs added a feel of progress here. By the way, did you mean "the cars continued their decent twisting about the s-turns and shooting through the straights" or "the cars continued their descent twisting about the s-turns and shooting through the straights"?
Takumi straining his eyes for an opening to get past the FR-S brought in some tension to the race and the rest of this paragraph added to it.
Fourth paragraph.
Takumi watching the FR-S dance around corners and being lost in its trance implied a lot of good driving from the FR-S through the following turns without directly mentioning it. The constant, perfect blocking from Brent, Takumi's frustration at it and the slope of the road leveling out all add to this race. Takumi now has good reason to get desperate.
The way Takumi squeezed into the gap left by the FR-S could use some clarification (Did Takumi drift around the outside of the right turn to end up side-by-side with Brent mid-way through it? Did Brent simply exit that turn on the inside in preparation for the following left, inadvertently giving Takumi an opening? The writing isn't clear enough about it, though it seems to suggest the former.) but this part of the race was good as well. Brent seeing the Eight-Six show up on his left, both drivers trying to get as much speed out of their cars as possible in their race towards the final turn, the fact that only one car could make it through at those speeds, Brent initially deciding on continuing to the second round and finally deciding on not crashing, this part of the race was put together nicely.
And now it's over. The waning sound of the FR-S gets that across. The Eight-Six surging forward at that moment with a deafening roar nicely demonstrates how fast its going as it drifts through the last turn. Takumi's relief at getting out of that was well written. The huge gap between the cars shows that the race has been decided.

Everything that happens past the finish line serves as a great conclusion to this chapter.

*analysis mode off - checking for analysis mode upgrades. . . . no upgrades found*

There, some feedback on the race part of the race chapter. I hope it was helpful.

Oh, and typos and stuff:
."Aided by the gentle slope, the car gained a tremendous amount to speed as it turned into the upcoming corners, further closing the gap between the two driving machines."
."He watched as the FR-S ahead of him held its ground as though its tires were made of glue, they slid out from under the car at the right time touching the apex of the turn with the skill of a well-trained surgon; Takumi had to admit, his opponent's car has amazing handling capabilities."
(The "has" here should be "had" since otherwise you're mixing past-tense and present-tense words together.)

MOAR PLZ.
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Apr 20 2012, 11:15 PM


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QUOTE (Meteor)
Good feedback etc etc...

Woah, that is really good critique Meteor. I've edited the post in a vain attempt to fix all the mistakes that you've pointed out. And I just realized that I posted up the first draft of the chapter and that it lacked in so many details. I've filled some of the stuff in but I'm still in the process of editing and such so check back soon! There might be something in there that is different. But I've added a whole bunch of details and I hope that's good enough for now. I tried to hit everything you mentioned and I filled in the small plot holes I left in that race. I've made so many typos and everything, I don't even know if I'm writing English anymore. Thanks for pointing them out. I've fixed the ones that you noted and some more that I found on my own. pinch2.gif

Don't rush the updates! I need to give other people a chance to read and comment on the chapters I post up right?
JeremyGTS
Posted: Apr 24 2012, 08:42 AM


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Hey im back from vacation. The downhill was great. I love the FRS and I wanted it to win but I didnt want to see Takumi lose again LOL. I cant wait for more.
Meteor
Posted: Apr 27 2012, 11:27 PM


Were you expecting something else?
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The edits done to the chapter were good. The first paragraph is even better now and the ending of the race makes a lot more sense. There's one place that still needs work though.
QUOTE
Takumi was all out, every ounce of his concentration on driving and the road ahead of him, by the fifth turn he was glued to the bumper of the FR-S.

Moving in tandem, the little 86 and its reincarnation drifted around the bend, the front of the 86 mere centimeters away from the FR-S. Takumi managed to catch up to his opponent by then middle of the corner.

Since the Eight-Six was already glued to the FR-S' bumper by the fifth turn (I'm assuming this is before corner-entry), why would Takumi need to catch up again during the same turn?

I'd have pointed this out earlier but you said you were in the process of editing, so I waited for more edits first. Turns out I misinterpreted that.
Lonely_Driver
Posted: Apr 29 2012, 07:07 PM


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Snuggling up in bed right now to read it, hope its good laugh.gif
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: May 2 2012, 09:55 PM


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Sorry I've kept you guys waiting! It has been really busy the past few weeks and I've been toying around with the plot to see where it can go from here. Hopefully these four chapters will keep you guys busy for the next few days while I continue writing and getting everything together.

QUOTE (JeremyGTS)
Hey im back from vacation. The downhill was great. I love the FRS and I wanted it to win but I didnt want to see Takumi lose again LOL. I cant wait for more.

Welcome back! How was your vacation? Also, I'm really glad to see that you're enjoying the story. Your kind words motivate me to write more. smile.gif

QUOTE (Meteor)
The edits done to the chapter were good. The first paragraph is even better now and the ending of the race makes a lot more sense.

Thanks Meteor, I think I'm done editing that chapter now. I can't add anything more to it unless you want me to completely take down the chapter and write it from scratch. Next time I have a race scene, I'll PM it to you for opinions and critiques before posting it up.

QUOTE (Lonely_Driver)
Snuggling up in bed right now to read it, hope its good laugh.gif

Yay! A new reader! Tell me how you think it is when you finish reading all the chapters. I need all the feedback I can get and your opinions will not go unnoticed! smile.gif


Now to these next four chapters (Chapters 10-13) of Beyond the Horizon. No races sadly enough, but there are a few new characters who make their first appearance! Please continue to read and comment! Thank you!



~Chapter 10: R.E.L.A.X.~

The small diner was practically empty save the sleepy waitress who was serving the nine men who just walked in. After she led them to a large rectangular table, she started her routine, "What will it be for all you guys today?" She yawned.

"Hello to you too Angie." Perry smiled.

"Oh! Perry, what are you doing here at this time of night? And who are all of your friends?" The waitress looked at the eight other men. She quickly wiped her hands on the small apron she wore and straightened out her uniform.

"Eh, we were out late. These guys are from Japan, except Brent; but you knew that already right? I'm treating them all out to dinner."

"Hm. I remember Brent, but all these new faces. I was just curious. Anyway, I assume you want the usual? What about you Brent?" Taking out a pencil and a pad she started scribbling orders down.

Perry confirmed, "Of course same for everyone here too. How about you Brent?"

The guy across from Keisuke shrugged. "I'll have what they're having."

"Great. Water for all of you guys right?"

"No, beer." Brent replied sarcastically.

"BRENT! You're driving, this is no time to be getting drunk!" Perry exclaimed.

"I was kidding, take a joke why don't you?" The guy smirked and shrugged again, "We'll just have water Angie. Thanks."

The waitress smiled, "Water it is then. Perry you're going to have to introduce me to all of your new friends after this."

While she was walking to the tiny kitchen in the back Perry looked around the table. The only one who seemed wide awake was Kenta who was shifting around in his seat uncontrollably. But who could blame the kid? He was sitting next to Keisuke and Takumi, maybe the silly thought that sitting next to two people with godly driving skills was making him giddy with excitement. He cleared his throat to get everyone's attention, "Hey guys. I'm sure that you’ve already guessed, but I'm planning another event in Southern California in a few months. I'll be meeting with more people like Brent for a photo shoot and a hang out. They're all like Brent, street racers with really nice cars... You know what that means; Project D has more chances for races in America. Now I understand if you guys don't want to stay until then, but if any of you decide to change your mind, just know that my door is open to all of you. You can take some time to think your answers over, remember you have a week here in the states before you have to return to Japan."

Angie came back and passed around glasses of water to everyone at the table, everyone thanked her and she hurried back into the kitchen. The smell of steak started wafting through the double doors that led to the staff only section distracting everyone for a few seconds.

Ryosuke nodded, "I really don't mind staying in the states for a few more weeks. I'm free for the rest of the summer; it's up to the rest of you." Looking around the table at his team.

"I'm totally up for staying here for this event." Keisuke said looking at his brother and nodding.

Takumi added his confirmation, "I'm on vacation too. So I think my dad will understand if I can't deliver the tofu for the next few weeks."

"If Keisuke is staying then I'm with him!" Kenta said, earning a glare from the person he mentioned.

Fumihiro sighed, "Well if Ryosuke is staying, I guess the support team doesn't really have a choice huh?"

Both Matsumoto and Tomiguchi crossed their arms and nodded simultaneously.

Perry grinned, scratching the back of his head, "Then it's settled! I'll cancel your flight for next week… Looks like I have to do some more grocery shopping now…"

Brent looked up from his phone and added, "What am I now? Chopped liver?"

Everyone chuckled at his statement but Perry was the one who spoke up, "Don't be so sour Brent. Of course you're invited; you're obviously going to be there. Unless you have other plans..."

"Of course I'll be there. My FR-S is going to be a bigger, better, stronger racing machine by then and I'll rematch you two at the event. How does that sound?" Looking at the two drivers that beat him only a few hours before.

Keisuke smiled, "Sounds like a plan, I expect an even better rematch from you."

Looking at Takumi it was obvious that his teammates' answer applied to him too. Brent concluded the conversation, "Then it's settled. We will have our rematch in Southern California when the event comes. In a few months' time."

At that moment Angie came out with a huge platter of dishes. It took a few minutes to pass all the plates out but it was easy to see why Perry frequented this particular diner. The food looked amazing. Perry's usual consisted of a decently sized New York style steak, a helping of mashed potatoes, a pile of steamed vegetables, and a small dinner roll all artfully arranged on a large plate. As the men started into their late dinner, Angie walked back to the kitchen to put the platter away. A minute later she appeared at the head of the table setting down a jug of iced water, she seated herself next to Perry. "So guys, I guess I haven't properly introduced myself yet. Well, as you can already see," Pointing to her small faded name badge, "I'm Angie. It's a pleasure to meet all of you."

Starting with the man who was seated opposite of Perry, Ryosuke introduced himself. "Ryosuke Takahashi, this is my younger brother Keisuke Takahashi." Motioning to the guy who had half the steak sticking out of his mouth. The younger brother quickly nodded, between his mouthfuls of steak, "Nice to… meet you… Angie." He swallowed and coughed.

"Kenta Nakamura." Going down the table.

"Takumi Fujiwara."

"Shuichi Matsumoto."

Continuing to the other side of the table, "Hiroshi Fumihiro"

"Tomiguchi." The FD mechanic said casually pouring himself another glass of water.

Brent pocketed his phone for the umpteenth time and smiled, "Obviously Brent."

Perry finished off the introductions, "So Angie, everyone here except Brent, is a member of Project D. I'm sure you remember me talking about them numerous times in the past year. They're pretty big on the street racing scene in Japan. I invited them here to try their hand on American roads. Ryosuke is the leader, Keisuke and Takumi are the drivers, Fumihiro and Kenta are the support team, and Matsumoto and Tomiguchi are the mechanics. They're pretty good at what they do, even though it's illegal..." He looked around the empty restaurant and lowered his voice. "Angie, keep this a secret from everyone else ok?"

Angie did another quick sweep of the table before looking back at Perry. He had a suspicious smile on his face that made him look like a twelve year old at a GameStop. "Sure thing Perry. My lips are sealed." A faint voice was heard within the kitchen, "Ah, I'm being called. If you guys need anything else, then just give me a shout." She got up and left for the double doors.

The sounds of silverware against plates permeated the silence that ensued. Looking up from his half-finished dinner, Takumi spoke. "Perry, isn’t there something else you wanted to say?"

At these words, Perry froze in place. He put down his knife and fork and started playing with his napkin, gaining the attention of the whole table. "Uh… Oh yes. I almost forgot about that… I have another announcement... Now promise not to laugh at me for this but--"

Everyone at the table tensed themselves for this big announcement.

"I can't drift and I am not a street racer." Perry said quickly under his breath, he looked down at his plate trying in vain to continue on as though nothing happened.

"What? You mean you're not a street racer Perry... Surely you can't be serious…" Keisuke seemed skeptical of the whole situation.

"I kid you not Keisuke. The only reason I beat Takumi yesterday night was because I drive Lombard Street every day to get to and from work. Kinda like Takumi and Mount Akina... Except Takumi is an actual street racer... Anyone who has driven on that road can vouch for me; Lombard Street is not exactly a cake walk."

Takumi and Ryosuke nodded, they understood what Perry was talking about but Ryosuke just had to ask, "Then how did you get that amazing ten second lead on Takumi?"

Perry shrugged, "I know that street like the back of my hand. I can drive it blindfolded if I wanted to. That was my best run so far, my usual time for the course is around nine minutes and forty five seconds--Takumi's time--so I managed to smash my own record..." Perry chuckled nervously, "And I had a feeling that Takumi was being cautious because of all the fog." Out of the corner of his vision, he saw that Takumi nodded once, "Either way, if you asked me to replicate that race, I wouldn't be able to. That was a once in a lifetime occurrence. It's a fact that the fourth hairpin is where the lane is the widest; the rest of the course after that is high speed turns that I can clear in less than six seconds if I wanted to. At the fourth hairpin is where I usually pass people when I'm following someone. I've passed people on that corner before, and it's not that difficult; but last night I just flew. Maybe it was because I was up against Takumi and I was pushing myself to the limit... But I'm actually a really conservative driver. So you're never going to see me try anything that crazy again."

"What about that rematch then?" Keisuke eyed Perry suspiciously.

Takumi smiled, "Its fine, I'm not going force Perry into a rematch if he's not a racer. I'll give him the victory. I will try to go for the record though. If Perry was able to break his previous record while racing me, I think this will be a good challenge."

Ryosuke looked around and smiled, "Then, I guess that wraps up this mystery. Congratulations again Perry. You managed to beat my downhill ace."

Perry seemed embarrassed by the whole situation, "Thank you Ryosuke, Takumi."

Ryosuke laughed, "To believe I got worked up over this. Perry, you are mysterious."

A small round of laughter resounded through the diner. Five minutes later, everyone was done with their food. Angie gathered the dishes onto the platter and went back to the kitchen to drop them off. When she was back out, the guys were getting ready to leave. Paying the tab and leaving a huge tip for the waitress Perry thanked her, "Another stunning dinner Angie. My complements to the chef, I'll see you around later."

She smiled, "Hey, no problem Perry. Remember to be safe while you're racing out there alright?"

Perry laughed, "You know I don't race. Stop teasing me."

She walked them out of the restaurant, letting out a small gasp at the line of cars parked in front of her. By the glow of a nearby street light, all the cars looked aggressive. Given they were a little bit dusty. Brent was next to his FR-S smoking his twentieth cigarette of the night. Noticing this she pestered him, "Brent, stop smoking. It's bad for you."

"I know, but god damn! These cigarettes are way too good to give up." He threw it to the ground and unlocked his car. "Now if you'll excuse me, I must be off. I have to be back in the garage in fifteen minutes. Thanks again for the food Angie. Perry, Ryosuke, Keisuke… Takumi. Everyone." He nodded and slipped into his car, seconds later the tail lights of the FR-S were seen disappearing into the night.

Perry turned to the young woman, "Well Angie, take care." He nodded and everyone proceeded to their cars. One by one, the sound of another engine was added to the night as the cars came to life; their head lights illuminating the front of the diner and Angie's small figure. Her shadow traveled around her in a half circle as the cars pulled out of the small parking lot and headed back to Perry’s house.


~Chapter 11: Reminisce~

It was two o'clock in the morning before the Project D caravan returned to Perry's house. Unpacking the support vans could wait till tomorrow, everyone was too tired to move anything anywhere. The small pack of men walked up the stairs to the main entrance. Perry fumbled around with his keys and unlocked the front door, Tomiguchi bolted through first; he was covered in dust and grime from replacing the tires on Keisuke's FD. It was agreed upon during the drive back that he had first calls on the shower. But knowing Keisuke, if Tomiguchi took too long to occupy the bathroom, the younger Takahashi brother would take over for one of his infamously long showers. Keisuke called to his mechanic in the most pompous manner possible. "TOMIGUCHI! WHAT'S THE RUSH? AFRAID I'M GOING TO TAKE THE SHOWER FROM YOU?"

Tomiguchi's muffled reply came from within the room he occupied with Fumihiro and Kenta; he was frantically gathering a change of clothes and his towel, "You know me all too well Keisuke. But I have you this time. I will be the first one to take a shower and you'll be the one waiting!" The sound of the bathroom door slamming was heard. Tomiguchi succeeded. He had the bathroom first.

Keisuke laughed. Bounding up the stairs to the room he and his brother shared he shouted. "I call the shower after Tomiguchi’s finished!"

Groans of despair and agony were heard from the group of people that stood in the foyer. Ryosuke shook his head, "Well if that’s the case, I'm heading out. I need a drive to clear my head anyway."

Perry looked at the leader of Project D, "You're not going to get yourself lost are you? The streets around here can be a maze at times."

"I'll be fine Perry. If I get lost I'll give you a call." Turning around he walked out the door and into the night. The faint sound of the FC was heard as it pulled out of the driveway and drove off.

After a few moments of silence Fumihiro spoke. "Perry do we have anything planned for tomorrow?"

Perry looked up from his phone, "Hm? Oh no. We have nothing planned for tomorrow so feel free to stay up as late as you want. I'm not stopping you."

"Ah, sounds like a plan then. Well I'll be in my room getting some rest then. I'm tired." He left up the stairs with Matsumoto and Kenta. Takumi looked around and then padded up the stairs after them; together they disappeared into their half of the hall.

Perry closed the front door and walked up the stairs, he checked his phone. Three text messages and five missed calls. Things were really getting out of hand at this rate. Perry closed the door behind him and seated himself at the computer desk. The fan whirred as the system powered itself up, the screens flickered. Looking from his cellphone to the computer, Perry almost dropped his phone. He had over one hundred and fifty messages on the monitors; all of them had the same question presented in different forms. Stumbling backwards away from the desk Perry gasped, first thing to do when he woke up: call his secretary. There is no way a single person could handle all these inquiries alone. He gathered a clean change of clothes and walked to his bathroom. This whole situation would be sorted out in the morning, for now he just wanted to get himself cleaned up.

The FC hummed as Ryosuke cruised down the street, he looked lazily at the road before him. It was good to get away from the hustle and bustle of the university life; he was going to enjoy his time in the states. The highway was practically empty save a few large trucks that were hauling their daily deliveries of supplies to their destinations. Steering his car off the highway, he parked at the edge of a vista point on the cliff. The cold ocean breeze greeted Ryosuke as he stepped out of his FC onto the sandy pitch. Looking down the sheer rock face he saw the white crowns of the waves below him, the slow slushing sound of the sea was relaxing. He turned back to his car, the road stretched across the horizon dotted with the red tail lights of cars returning to the city; he retraced his route, he wasn't lost. Walking back to his FC he noticed it was really dusty, cleaning off a small portion of the hood with the sleeve of his jacket he leaned against the front bumper of his trusty FC. He felt the warmth from the hood and his mind started to wander. Ryosuke sighed, he was content with how things were going, for the first time since his admittance into medical school he was enjoying life, a vacation to America that would last a couple of months. When was the last time he was on vacation? Before his university days obviously. How long ago was that? Five years? Five years… When he met the first love of his life. When he was young. When he finally found something to live for… Her. He realized that he let his mind wander too far; he was coming across old memories. Memories he would rather forget. He closed his eyes, a single tear rolled down his cheek. "Kaori..."

To everyone's surprise, Keisuke only took thirty minutes in the shower today. He was now playing cards with Takumi and the others in Fumihiro's room. Tomiguchi was consistently beating everyone in rounds of Koi-Koi. There was a light knock on the door and Perry appeared. "Hey guys, we don't have anything planned for tomorrow, so feel free to sleep in!" Looking at the pile of hanafuda in the middle of the room, "Ah, are you guys playing Koi-Koi? It's been ages! Can I join in?"

Keisuke shrugged, "Sure why not? Try to beat Tomiguchi. He's really on a roll tonight."

Perry nodded and seated himself between Kenta and Takumi. After a few rounds Perry conceded his defeat. Lady luck was smiling on Tomiguchi tonight. Getting up and rubbing his hands together, Perry sighed, "Man Tomiguchi. I'm glad I wasn't betting anything tonight. I would have lost so much money if we were actually gambling."

Tomiguchi laughed, "I swear I'm not that good at Koi-Koi. You're all just bad at it."

"Hey! Don't make me punch you Tomiguchi!" Keisuke exclaimed sarcastically raising a fist to his mechanic.

"Fine. You guys are ok. I'm just better." He smiled and looked up at the door, "Oh, welcome back Ryosuke. How was that drive of yours?"

Everyone turned to look at the man who entered the room, the leader of Project D stared back at them. It was obvious, Ryosuke was tired. Keisuke stood up and walked up to his brother. "Hey bro. You look tired, go take a shower and get some rest. We don't have to wake up early tomorrow so don't worry."

Ryosuke nodded and turned to leave, Keisuke gave everyone a worried look before following his other brother out of the room. Fumihiro sighed and shook his head, "He's thinking about Kaori again. Why now?"

Perry and everyone else shared looks of confusion. Kenta asked the obvious question, "Who's Kaori?"

Fumihiro shook his head again before getting up and laying his futon out. "She's one of Ryosuke's old friends. It's a long and personal story. I can say no more… Well I'm going to bed now. Good night everyone." He slipped into his futon and turned away from the rest of the group.

Taking that as their cue to leave Takumi and Matsumoto got up and padded out of the room. Perry went downstairs to check on all the doors and lights. After his rounds he looked back at the Project D side of the hall, all was dark save for a crack of light was seen under the bathroom door. He returned to his room and checked his computer again. Seventy five new messages in addition to the one hundred and fifty plus that he already had, he sighed. If something wasn't done soon, the task of answering all these messages would become impossible. He shut his computer down and walked over to his bed. Lying on top of the covers he checked his phone again. One text message from Brent, "Hey Perry, I'm out of food for the rest of the week. You don't mind if I crash your place for dinner tomorrow right? I'll give you a call if I decide to come or not. XD" He quickly replied to the text, "Sure, just give me a call if you decide to stop by so I can make more food." Silencing his phone, Perry closed his eyes and fell asleep.


~Chapter 12: Good Morning!~

"ARGH!"

The muffled sound of anguish woke Perry up. He rolled off his bed and fell on the floor, dragging most of the covers with him. After a few frantic moments of wrestling with the blankets, Perry threw them back on the bed and jumped up; throwing his door open he leaped down the stairs, scrambling into the kitchen where the source of the noise came from. Kenta stood before a few pieces of toast that were heaped on the floor, surrounding the wasted food was the remains of a ceramic plate. Kenta looked up and saw the ruffled house owner standing in the doorway, "Uh… Good morning Perry… I was… Uh… Making some toast and… Yeah… You can see what happened… Sorry. I'll clean it up."

The young man stooped to pick up the bread and the pieces of broken dish when he was stopped. Perry handed him a broom and a dustpan, "You know you don't have to pick everything up. Sweeping it is easier."

Kenta nodded and within five minutes, it looked like nothing happened in the kitchen. Seating himself at the small dining table, Perry let out a tired sigh, "You really gave me a scare there Kenta. I thought you were attacked or something."

"Oh, sorry Perry. I didn't mean to be that loud. I hope I didn't wake anyone else up."

"You're fine, I didn't see anyone else running out of their rooms when I came down." Looking around the empty kitchen, he noticed it was eleven o'clock in the morning, "Would you like some tea or something to eat?"

"I'll have a mug of tea. Thanks Perry."

Perry got up and started rummaging through the shelves, "I hope you're not picky. The only type of tea that I drink is lemon tea. I'll go ahead and make some toast too since that is what you were craving, right?"

Kenta shuffled in his seat, "Thanks Perry."

At that moment Fumihiro walked into the kitchen, yawning he stopped to look at Perry. Perry looked back at the man, they stared each other down until Perry walked up to the sleepy guy and handed him a mug. "Morning Fumihiro, take a seat. I'm making some tea and toast."

He yawned again, "Ah, good morning Perry... Thanks." He seated himself next to Kenta, placing the mug out of his reach. He put his arms on the table and his forehead on his arms. In two minutes he was asleep again.

Perry finished his kitchen work and walked back to the table with a little ceramic teapot and a plate of toast. He stopped when he saw Fumihiro sleeping at the table, suppressing the urge to laugh Perry asked, "Kenta, why is Fumihiro here if all he's going to do is sleep at the table? Wake him up and tell him to get back to bed if he wants more sleep."

Kenta shrugged, "I have no idea Perry, he's usually a morning person. But you know, we all have our off days." He poked at his teammate, "Hey Fumihiro. You're too tired to be here. Go back to the room and get some more sleep."

He stirred, "Huh? Go away. I'm not tired. Mnph..."

"Fumihiro. Get out of here. Lay down on the couch if you insist on sleeping downstairs."

"Fine. I'm up. I'm out. I'll see you guys in a few hours or something..." He waved his hand in the air, swatting away something invisible. Getting up, he stumbled out of the kitchen and shuffling was heard as he disappeared up the stairs.

Perry looked at the door, "Well that was strange. Are you sure that Fumihiro is ok?"

Kenta laughed, "He's just tired. Trust me, I'm sure he just woke up while he was in the middle of REM sleep or something. You know that feeling when you wake up and you're simply exhausted? Yup."

Perry nodded and resumed his seat at the table, setting down the plate of toast he proceeded to pour himself a cup of tea. The rich sweet smell of lemon tea filled the kitchen, next he grabbed a piece of toast; looking up at Kenta he realized that he forgot a cup for his guest. Gasping and quickly getting up, "Oh, I forgot to get you a mug Kenta. Sorry." He ran to the cupboards and grabbed a matching tea cup.

Kenta took the cup and poured himself a little bit of the aromatic tea, taking a sip his eyes widened. "Mmm. Perry, this stuff is really good. I think I found myself a new favorite drink."

"Ha, everyone says that. Lemon tea can be really sweet or mild depending on how you like it." Grabbing another piece of toast Perry got up and walked towards the front door. He quickly picked up something from his doorstep and strode back to the kitchen. Setting down the small bag he unfurled the Sunday paper and started to read the front page.

Kenta finished his toast and looked around again trying to find a purpose, "Ah... Perry? Can you leave the front door open? I guess I can start unpacking the vans before the weather heats up too much."

Perry looked over the newspaper, "Sounds like an amazing idea Kenta, the keys are on the small table in the foyer. If you need any help, just call me."

Kenta got up and left the kitchen. Slipping on his shoes, he walked out the front door towards the cars parked on the driveway. It was the beginning to another wonderful summer day; the sun out and shining, a few clouds hung up high in the bright blue sky, the only thing that was wrong with the picture was the line of dirty cars. Kenta unlocked the first support van and started moving the boxes back to the house. Fifteen minutes later, both the support vans were void of their supply boxes. Returning to the kitchen Kenta heaved the last box of leftover food on the counter; Perry glanced over his newspaper and smiled. "Kenta, you look exhausted. Did you really just move all the boxes from both of the support vans?"

Wiping the sweat from his brow, Kenta nodded, "I'm going to take a shower now. Also, the cars need to get washed. Do you think anyone is willing to do it?"

Perry laughed, "I was thinking the same thing. We can start washing the cars once everyone wakes up. But you don't have to help, you've done enough today as is. Thanks Kenta. I have a few phone calls to make, excuse me." He folded the newspaper and got up.

Closing the door quietly behind him Perry checked his phone again. Twelve fifteen, his secretary was awake now, he was sure of it. Scrolling down his list of contacts he found her number. Taking a deep breath he pressed the green call button, placing the cellphone to his ear he steeled his nerves for the conversation ahead. The dial tone sounded a couple of times before it stopped, suddenly replaced with a female voice, "Hello?"

"Oh uh... Yes, Lena?" Perry managed to stammer out.

"Oh hey Perry! What's going on? You never call me unless it's for something serious. Is something wrong that you need me to fix again, or is the first time you're calling me just to talk?"

"More business I'm afraid... I need your help replying to all the messages I've been getting. My inbox is inundated with the damn things, I'll set up the accounts so that they're connected. You already know about everything going on right? You helped me plan all this out and you know the results of our race and such."

The voice on the other side of the phone replied with a long drawn out sigh, "Really Perry? You should have set this up earlier. I told you I was ready and willing to help you on the communications side of things. Well set it up, I'll get started on answering everything when I get back home. And don't worry about updating me about these things. I get enough text messages from Brent as is; he's keeping me posted."

"Thank you Lena! You are a life saver, what would I do without you?"

"Ha, you probably would be having a panic attack from all the stress that you're under. Anyhow, I know you're a busy person. I'll leave you alone now, I'll talk to you later tonight. Bye."

"Thank you again Lena." Thumbing the end call button he sighed. Mission complete, he turned on his computer; there were over five hundred messages that needed replies now. He ignored the number and clicked on the control panel. The keyboard clacked away as he changed the settings. Suddenly his phone started ringing on the desk, picking up and checking the caller ID; Meteor. "Hello?"

"Yo Perry, I just got a reply to my question from your secretary. Is it true that your victory over Takumi was due to luck?"

Perry gasped, she was making quick work of the task that was just assigned to her. "Oh yeah... About that... Yes it's totally true. You know I'm not a street racer."

"I know. But still, you're one lucky guy if you were able to beat Takumi at his own game."

"Ha, I know right? Well I was just lucky and that's it. I'm sure if I was challenged to a rematch I would lose."

"Don't say things like that, you'll jinx your chances of winning."

"You know it's true."

"Sometimes you're too pessimistic for your own good. Being sad all the time is bad for your health!"

"I'll try to take that advice to heart then. Thanks Meteor."

"Hey no problem. Well, I have to go so I'll see you around later."

"Another phone conversation that’s only about business? I'll talk to you later then Meteor." The phone replied with dial tone. Perry sighed and got up from his desk, he solved his communications problem. Muffled voices and shuffling were heard from the hall outside, opening his door he saw the rest of Project D. This time Fumihiro was wide awake, Perry smiled, "Hello everyone. Hungry? I'll whip up some lunch and then we can wash the cars afterwards."


~Chapter 13: Past Days~

Everyone was gathered in the small kitchen eating lunch. Instant udon and beef was on the menu today. It was obvious that Perry was running out of groceries to make food, a shopping trip would probably be needed in the upcoming days. The meal was a quiet affair, the sounds of chopsticks clattering together were briefly interrupted by short conversations about the plans for today. Other than washing the cars, there was nothing else scheduled so there wasn't much to talk about. After about three minutes of silent eating, Matsumoto spoke up, "I was thinking, after we wash the cars why don't we just explore the city for a little bit? Perry, don't you need to go out to do some food shopping anyway? We can kill two birds with one stone!"

Perry looked up from his bowl, "That sounds like a good idea actually. Let's go in the evening then, when the weather cools down. That's when the open air markets start."

"Great!"

The silence returned to the table as everyone was finishing their food. Takumi played with the bowl half eaten udon in front of him, once again he was spacing out. From the vacant expression on his face it was obvious that he was in deep thought over something or simply blanking out. Keisuke noticed and took his chance, "Oi Takumi, what are you thinking about?"

It took the young driver a few seconds to react, "...Hm? Oh nothing."

"Just spacing out again then?" Keisuke smirked.

"Yeah, what's wrong with that?"

"Oh, nothing..." And with that, concluded the final awkward conversation at the table; lunch was finished. An hour later everyone was outside in the afternoon sunshine. The cars were lined up in pairs, holding a hose and a sponge Perry looked at all the members of Project D who were assembled in front of the cars. "Ok guys. You know what to do. We're going to wash two cars at a time. Let's get started." Turning on the hose he sprayed his Corolla and Rysouke's FC.

Two hours later, the sun bore down on the surface of the earth vaporizing any trace of water on the asphalt and on the cars. Water evaporated off the vehicles and distorted the air around them making it seem as though there was an aura emanating from the racing machines that were parked on the driveway. Next thing to do was a fresh coat of wax; with no shade to hide under, everyone was forced to work quickly. By the time the rear bumper of the second support van was done everyone was exhausted; the cars gleamed in the late afternoon sunlight, a product of hard work. Everyone was cleaning up and returning the supplies to the small garage. Takumi lagged behind and glanced at the carbon fiber hood on his 86; his reflection stared back at him. He smiled as he ran a hand down the side of the car, it was flawless. Matsumoto walked up to the driver and placed a hand on his shoulder, "This is the nicest I've seen the 86 in a while. Hell, this is the nicest I've seen all of our cars. Good work today Takumi."

The young driver smiled, "Yeah. I think my dad would flip if he saw this though. He'd ask me to wash the Impreza too."

The mechanic laughed, "Another car to wash? No thanks."

Keisuke walked up to his FD patted it, "Man, that took a little longer than I expected."

Ryosuke stepped next to his FC and leaned against the front bumper, "What do you expect? We had to wash and wax six different cars. I thought this would take all day, we were pretty fast if you ask me."

Kenta seated himself in a little patch of shade cast by one of the support vans, "It's always so rewarding to wash a car to see how shiny it can get."

Taking a seat next to Kenta, Tomiguchi spoke, "Yup, well now we just have to rinse off and then we'll be ready for the open air market, right guys?"

"That's right. Everything is cleaned up now so you guys can go in and rinse off. We'll leave in an hour and a half." Perry appeared carrying a bag of cold sodas, handing one to each member of Project D he sat on the hood of his shining Corolla. "I hope none of you guys have farmer's tans. Those are so hard to get rid of."

There was a brief moment of panic as everyone checked their shoulders for any sign of the white tan line that marked that they were spending too much time out in the sun, Perry chuckled. Everyone was at least two shades darker now, Keisuke's blond hair looked even brighter and he had the faint trace of sunglasses on his face. Checking himself in the side view mirror, "GOD DAMN IT! MY FACE!"

Ryosuke laughed at his little brother, "I warned you about this Keisuke. I told you about putting sunscreen on."

"THIS USUALLY NEVER HAPPENS THOUGH! I NEVER GET THIS TAN!"

"How many hours did you spend outside today? Three hours? No four… How can you not get tan from standing in the hot summer sun for four hours?" Ryosuke shrugged at his rhetorical question.

Keisuke buried his hands in his hair screaming in distress, "WARGH! I'M GOING TO TAKE A SHOWER!" before anyone could object, Keisuke turned around and stormed back to the house.

Perry looked after the distant figure as disappeared into the house, "Well if you guys really want, you can use my bathroom to take quick showers while Keisuke is in there cleaning himself up..."

Tomiguchi jumped up, "Sounds amazing Perry, I'll take you up on that offer."

Perry led the way back to the house and two hours later in the purple dusk, they were getting ready to set out. Keisuke wore a huge pair of sunglasses to hide the tan line on his face; he looked ridiculous. Perry checked his phone one more time before stepping out the front door. He had one text from Brent, "Hey, looks like I won't be stopping by your place tonight. I have some errands to run in the garage. You lucked out this time!" Perry smiled and pocketed his phone.

Parking in the city cost and arm AND a leg so everyone agreed on taking one of the support vans and Perry's Corolla since both could comfortably fit four people each. There was a bit of a tussle when deciding who was going in which car but it was settled quickly with relatively little pain; Keisuke, Takumi, and Ryosuke in Perry's car while the rest of the team was in the first support van. As everyone walked off to their assigned cars Kenta looked absolutely crushed as he slinked off to the support van. Perry stared after the lonely figure, "Poor Kenta. Keisuke, why won't you let him sit with us? My car can fit five people."

"Because! He doesn't have to follow me around like this! It annoys me!" Behind his huge sunglasses it was easy to see that he was scowling at the van that sat only a few meters away.

"You don't have to be such a jerk about it though. I think you should apologize to Kenta."

"NO! Who are you now, my mom? Get off my case before I drive my FD into your sorry excuse of a car! Now let's go before I change my mind." Keisuke slipped into the passenger's seat and slammed the door shut, pouting as he locked himself in the car.

Ryosuke gave Perry a quick apologetic glance as he stepped into the back seat and closed the door. Takumi followed suit and soon the sound of the Corolla's engine broke the silence of the evening. The drive to the downtown area only took fifteen minutes, but it felt like an hour because of the awkward tension that hung in the air. Keisuke sat silently in the front seat while Ryosuke and Takumi were spacing out in the back seat.

The hustle and bustle of the city lessened as heads turned on the street to catch a glimpse of the pair of immaculate cars as they rode down the boulevard; two freshly waxed cars looked out of place in the oldest section of downtown. As they pulled into a crowded parking lot off the main street, they caused all of the other cars to look dull and old. It took a few minutes to find two open parking spots next to each other but by some miracle, Perry's Corolla and the support van were able to park side by side. Stepping out of his car, Perry gasped at the sight of the unmarked silver car that he parked next to. Takumi stepped out and stared at the car Perry was looking at, noticing his surprise. "Hey Perry, what's up? I know this is a nice car but why are you gawking at it?"

Perry partially regained his composure and looked at the young driver, "It looks familiar. Cars with the badges removed are hard to find in the city... It looks like..."

Ryosuke gently closed the car door and joined the conversation, "Hm. By the looks of it, I'll say that this is an Infiniti G35. What's so special about this particular car Perry?"

"It looks like..."

Keisuke stepped in, while he had time to cool down during the car ride, it was easy to see he was still a bit irked. "What are we looking for?"

The group from the van walked in to join the circle around the mysterious silver car. Everyone had curious expressions on their faces. Perry looked around nervously before continuing, "This car. This Infiniti G35. I think it's the Grey Ghost..."

At that moment the noise of the city was silenced by the sound of footsteps. "Hey Perry! Looking at my car eh?"



Oh my goodness that was a long post. Enjoy guys! More updates ahead in the near future if people continue to read and comment! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on May 21 2012, 11:51 PM
Meteor
Posted: May 3 2012, 02:47 PM


Were you expecting something else?
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Group: Advanced Members
Posts: 3,790
Member No.: 20,929
Joined: Oct 14th 2006
Location: Some place in South-East Asia





QUOTE (THE_HONDA_CG2)
QUOTE (Meteor)
I wish for a good book to read
Wish granted. Now you're stuck reading my fanfic. Which I just updated with a whole bunch of chapters, have fun reading! awesome.gif

laugh2.gif

I think you'll be pleased to know I did have fun reading. The quality of your writing is still as good as ever and these four chapters were definitely worth the wait. Liked the new characters, liked the dialogue and the little details that brought all the characters to life (as usual), etc. etc.

Some of these chapters could've easily been boring filler, but you're a skilled enough writer to make them plot-relevant and interesting.

Kenta's a surprisingly hard worker. Never knew he could be such a helpful member of Project D when it came to things other than scouting courses. So who is this Grey Ghost we've just been introduced to? We'll just have to wait for the undoubtedly skillfully written updates (hope I'm not putting too much pressure on you).

Just two things.
A typo:
"Perry looked after the distant figure as disappeared into the house, "Well if you guys really want, you can use my bathroom that take quick showers while Keisuke is in there cleaning himself up...""
And a most nitpicky nitpick:
QUOTE
Seventy five new messages in addition to the one hundred and fifty plus that he already had, he sighed; if something wasn't done soon. The task of answering all these messages would become impossible.

Something about the punctuation between "if something wasn't done soon" and the sentence right after it doesn't seem right. Perhaps the punctuation could be changed up here and there. Maybe like this:
QUOTE
Seventy five new messages in addition to the one hundred and fifty plus that he already had - he sighed. If something wasn't done soon, the task of answering all these messages would become impossible.


(A longer and more detailed review will be written on request. Anyway, this is still one of the best Initial D fics I've seen in a while)
Rudy
Posted: May 10 2012, 11:08 PM


Unregistered












(THIS POST WAS REMOVED BY REQUEST)
THE_HONDA_CG2
  Posted: Jun 21 2012, 11:28 PM


Patient Zero
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Group: Advanced Members
Posts: 4,272
Member No.: 37,947
Joined: Oct 1st 2011
Location: Update Profile





QUOTE (Post Screen)
The topic you are replying in is over 41 days old. Please be advised that you will be warned
for posting content that is irrelevant, repetitive, useless, or otherwise violative of any rules set forth by the Forum Guidelines.

Oh crap, has it really been 41 days since anyone has last posted this thread? I better get back on my game now. I know some of you guys are waiting on new chapters right? Well wait no longer! I have two of them right here!

QUOTE (Meteor)
laugh2.gif

I think you'll be pleased to know I did have fun reading. The quality of your writing is still as good as ever and these four chapters were definitely worth the wait. Liked the new characters, liked the dialogue and the little details that brought all the characters to life (as usual), etc. etc.

Some of these chapters could've easily been boring filler, but you're a skilled enough writer to make them plot-relevant and interesting.

Kenta's a surprisingly hard worker. Never knew he could be such a helpful member of Project D when it came to things other than scouting courses. So who is this Grey Ghost we've just been introduced to? We'll just have to wait for the undoubtedly skillfully written updates (hope I'm not putting too much pressure on you).

(A longer and more detailed review will be written on request. Anyway, this is still one of the best Initial D fics I've seen in a while)

Grey Ghost is obviously Dave! Just kidding, the off shot that you wrote is brilliant though, please continue. Please?

Anyhow, thank you Meteor. I put a lot of editing into those chapters and I'm glad to see that they turned out interesting and fun to read. Sadly enough, these next two chapters are filler once again, but hopefully I made them interesting enough to hold everyone's attention. I really wish more people would give me feedback, I need more readers since I'm running out of characters to write in again. sleep.gif

QUOTE (Demon Boost)
Honestly, it's one of the better written fics out there. I'm not terribly sucked in by the concept, but it is a neat deviation from the typical run-of-the-mill supr srs fic.

There's just little errors and quals here and there that need to be tidied up. Overall, I give it a 6 out of 10. Great first fic. smile.gif

This really means a lot coming from a master such as yourself. Thank you Demon Boost for taking the time out to read everything I've written so far. This was never meant to be a super serious fanfic. It's just a brainchild of mine that I decided to nurture and build upon. I hope that these next few updates that I have lined up catch your interest.


Okay, enough of this! Chapters 14 and 15 of Beyond the Horizon now! And if anyone is wondering why it took so long to put these chapters up, it's because I had to--literally--go through about ten different scenarios before I was happy with the outcome. rage.gif



~Chapter 14: Shine On Somebody~

Everyone turned to face this newcomer; he was handsomely tall and very young, perhaps around Ryosuke's age. There was a smile on his face as his eyes swept through the group of people standing around his car, "Well now, who are all these new faces? Perry, don't tell me that you actually went through with your plan and brought all of Project D here."

Perry quickly regained his composure, "Yeah, I can't believe I did this either." He laughed nervously, "Al, this is everyone from Project D, everyone this is Alastair."

There was a minute where everyone acquainted themselves to yet another one of Perry's friends. After the last introduction Perry seemed a little less surprised; he spoke, "What are you doing downtown Al?"

"Just relaxing, what else am I supposed to do on a day off?"

"Ha, I guess. We are just about to hit the open air markets. If you have nothing else to do then you can come with us."

"Oh I was just about to head out for dinner, would you guys like to join me for that?"

There was a moment of silence as Perry thought about his friend's offer. "What do you guys think? You want to grab some dinner first?"

It wasn't a surprise that everyone instantly agreed to have dinner first, spending the entire day washing cars would leave anyone hungry. Alastair grinned at the rest of the group as they turned to look at him, "I know this great Dim Sum place right here in downtown! We can just walk there. Well Perry? Are you feeling like some Chinese food?"

Perry chuckled, "Actually I think I know about the place that you're talking about. I haven't had Dim Sum in ages. Let's go before the evening crowd builds up. I hate waiting in lines."

Perry didn't even have to ask the rest of the team, it was obvious that they were starving. Alastair smiled again as he looked around; he had to ask one more time just to be sure, "So is it settled? Dim Sum right?"

Everyone nodded and together they started down the busy street. Looking at how silly Keisuke appeared--wearing sunglasses at this dusky hour--it was amazing that he managed not to walk into anything. The warm evening air buzzed with the sound of the downtown life as the group of nine men walked down the boulevard towards a small shop that stood on the corner of a semi-quiet intersection. Takumi gazed into the tiny restaurant through the large window, Peking duck and roasted pork hung from metal hooks in a glass display case and there were a few people seated at one table; the butcher raised a knife above his head before swiftly bringing it down upon a chunk of cooked meat, sliding it on a plate before giving it to one of the servers. He looked up at the sound of the bell tolling another customer's entry to his little shop. The front area was comprised of a glass counter that displayed all the different varieties of moon cakes and sweets, round tables equipped bottles of soy sauce and napkin dispensers filled up the rest of the small restaurant. The setting sun accented the warm lighting; the place was old but it felt homey. The cook stood behind a wooden counter, putting down his knife, he beamed at the small group of people; he spoke with a slight accent, "Hey Al! I haven't seen you in ages! AH! Perry! How are you? Are these your friends?" He quickly turned to a small girl who was sweeping, "Myla! Do we have a table for nine?"

The woman looked up and recoiled at the group of people who stood in the restaurant. She was either surprised by the amount of people in such a small space or the sight of a tall, blond man wearing sunglasses in a building at this time of day. Wiping her hands on the astonishingly clean apron she wore and fixing her ponytail. She hastily set her broom aside and grabbed a pad of paper, "Yes we do have a table for nine, sir." Turning to the group of men, "Follow me please."

Perry smiled back to the shop owner, "Great seeing you again Darryl. Let's catch up while we eat dinner alright?" He turned to follow the waitress to their table.

Darryl called back, "HA! Pay for my share of the food then!"

Perry laughed, "I take my offer back then!"

"We shall see about that!" The chef replied back, gaining the attention of the small group of people seated at the table.

Myla stopped at the back of the restaurant; turning around, she motioned the men to take a seat at the large round table. Once they were all seated she spoke, "So what will it be today?"

Perry answered for the rest of the group. "Dim Sum! Just give us everything. You know the drill when I bring in big groups of people like this right Myla?"

"Of course Perry. Oolong tea for everyone, right?"

"Let's be different today. Green tea."

"Alright. Sounds like a plan. The first round of stuff will be out in about ten minutes. I'll be coming back with your tea right now." Placing the pen behind her ear and pocketing the notepad she walked back towards the counter.

Alastair looked across the table to the other small group of people sitting at the table at the front of the restaurant. They quickly glanced back at him then resumed eating. Perry looked up from his phone, "So Al, it's been ages since I've last heard from you. What's new?"

Alastair looked at the person who spoke and smiled, "Oh nothing much. Other than the new modifications to my car. I've just been going around and DJing at various venues. Gettin' money, gettin' famous. What else can I say?"

Keisuke looked at Alastair incredulously, "What? You mean you have a car as nice as the G35 and you're not racing? You have most of the modifications and set ups for it, and if what you say is true then you're still working on it. Hell, you even debagded it to make it look cooler. It's easy to see that the car was made for the streets and the passes, it seems like a waste if you're not using the car to its full potential."

Alastair looked down at the bottle of soy sauce and turned it over in his hands; it seemed as though Keisuke's statement hit a sensitive spot. "I retired from racing years ago Keisuke. I just outgrew it."

Keisuke stared at the man sitting across from him, behind his sunglasses it was easy to see he was scowling. "You don't outgrow street racing. Once a racer, always a racer. It's our code. You're lying if you say that isn't true."

Alastair placed the little bottle down on the table and raised his hands. "Keisuke, calm down. I can explain."

Keisuke's scowl lessened and he crossed his arms, "Well, I'm waiting on it then. Your explanation better be good."

Alastair sighed, "Well, I just don't have the time for it anymore, I've made many friends on the racing scene" shooting a quick glance at Perry, he smiled, "I even got to meet this fool during one of my runs back in the day."

Perry chuckled, "Hey! I'm not a fool. What are you talking about?"

"You don't race to begin with Perry; if I didn't respect what you do then I'd go as far to call you a poser, but you're not. I'm amazed at the dedication that you show, I remember that you’d come out every night and take shots of everything. You were amazing. You still do that now right?"

Perry nodded, "Heh, you flatter me Al. I just do what I love, the same could be said about you."

"Look who's flattering who now." Alastair sighed, "Anyway, a few years ago I drove around a grey G25 and I obviously raced. I'll have you know though, I wasn't the world's best racer, but I was pretty high in the ranks for the locals. I wasn't technically on a team but I did hang out with a few other guys. I was pretty enigmatic, I would just do my thing and disappear--hence the nickname Grey Ghost. 'Grey Ghost? Oh yeah, that guy sure is mysterious. I wonder if he's the leader of a team or something...' would probably be the response that you'd get from a lot of people if you mentioned my nickname. I guess you can say I did lead my group of friends around; we just kinda did our own thing though, unlike conventional teams we went off on challenges ourselves. It was the high life, every night I would go out, race in a few rounds and then spend a few hours chatting it up with my gang. Racing and everything associated with it was a thrill for me, I loved it. I thought I would never leave this hobby behind. I got to meet so many good people and see tons of exotic cars... but it all happened in one night; a white GT-R--a R33 I think--appeared and I was challenged. You don't see a lot of GT-Rs stateside to begin with so I was honored that I was selected to race against it. We pulled up to the starting line and like that we were off. Normal right? No. This guy played dirty, on the first uphill run I had to fight to stay on the road. He tried to run me off the side of the mountain... and he succeeded on the downhill. Dropped my car into a ravine and drove off. I nearly died that night and on my way to the hospital in that ambulance I realized, I have so much to live for in this life. I can't waste any more time in this destructive cycle of adrenaline and gas. I wasn't destined for it, my car was totaled and I was out of commission for the next month and a half. Do you know what’s it's like? Siting in a hospital bed waiting to get better? I hated being useless, I couldn't stand it, my family was ashamed that I had such a dangerous and immature hobby. Aside from my family, the only other people who would come to visit me frequently were Perry and the few friends who helped me that night. When I was discharged from the hospital I had a new direction in life. I was going to become a music producer; I was going to get a new car and rebuild Grey Ghost, but not to race. That G35 that you see is a symbol of my past, a marker of the friends that I've made and a testament of my strengths as well as my weaknesses. And so now here I stand, I've spilled my guts and I've told my story."

Alastair sighed again, and an awkward silence enveloped the table. For a few moments the other eight men sat around the table contemplating the story. Perry placed a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Hey Al... Don't worry, as Keisuke said, once a racer, always a racer. We're here for you."

Keisuke suddenly stood up and bowed, "Alastair, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything to sound disrespectful. Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. I'm so sorry about everything that you went through..."

Ryosuke looked at his little brother and smiled, "Hm... this is just about the polar opposite of your normal behavior. Either way it's a good change, thank you Keisuke." He smile mysteriously vanished as he turned to look at Alastair, "You don't see a lot of GT-Rs on this side because of the restrictions and laws that you have to avoid when importing them. I have connections, if you want, I can help you trace the GT-R back to the owner. Do you remember the plate numbers?"

Alastair took the bottle of chili sauce into his hands this time, gazing into the different shades of red and pepper pieces he sighed again, "I just remember that it had Japanese plates... the province number was... 58."

Ryosuke's eyes widened, "The province number was 58. Are you sure?"

"How hard is it to forget the plates of a car that almost killed you? Given I don't remember the rest of it, I just remember seeing these characters..." Alastair put the bottle back on the table and grabbed a napkin. He then hastily scribbled down some kanji and handed it to Ryosuke.

Ryosuke smiled, he placed the napkin on the table and looked at Alastair, "Al, you just make my job a lot easier. The GT-R is from Gunma, I'll do some digging around and get back to you with an answer as soon as possible."

Alastair looked around the table and smiled, "Thank you Ryosuke... Thank you everyone." At that moment Myla popped out from the kitchen carrying a platter of tea pots and matching cups. She placed the platter on the turntable at the center of the table and straightened out her apron again. "Sorry for the wait guys, I was looking for nine matching tea cups." She laughed and started serving the tea, "You don't know how hard it is when Darryl likes to collect different sets of pots and cups."

Perry passed another cup of warm tea to Takumi, "Don’t worry about it Myla, we were just talking anyway. How much longer until the food is ready? Personally, I'm starving!"

"The food is actually ready right now. Let me go grab it then I'll be out of your hair." The little waitress took the empty platter and rushed back into the front of the shop. In less than two minutes she reappeared with an even larger platter of dishes, behind her was the owner of the shop--Darryl--with a plate of Peking duck. Myla placed the platter on the turntable and rushed to get the rest of the food. The chef found an empty spot on the table to put his dish, he wiped his hands on a towel and pulled up a seat between Alastair and Perry. The waitress came back with the last set of dishes, quickly placed them on the table and returned to the counter to man the front. Darryl clapped both of his friends on the back, effectively knocking the air out of them. "How's that guys? This is literally everything I have on the menu, if you somehow manage to finish everything then it's all on me. Promise."

Perry gapped at the feast laid out before him, "Darryl... Do you know what you've done? You're going to lose so much money after tonight!"

The chef chuckled, "Hey, this is the least I can do for a couple of my old friends. Go ahead, I know you guys are hungry. Money is no problem here." He smiled; addressing everyone else, "OKAY GUYS! EAT UP! THIS IS ON ME IF ALL OF YOU MANAGE TO FINISH ALL OF THIS FOOD! READY? GO!"

The other group of people glanced over at them for the last time. Simultaneously they got up, paid the tab and left; the bell rang as they opened the door, the oldest member of the group shot Darryl a questionable glance before walking away. The shop owner looked at the door and laughed as he helped himself to some har gow.


~Chapter 15: Meanwhile… IN JAPAN!~

"GOOD GOD! WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS WOULD CALL ME AT THIS TIME OF DAY?! DON’T THEY KNOW I'M TRYING TO SLEEP?" Bunta Fujiwara threw the blanket off to the side as he pushed himself off the old tatami mat. Shuffling through piles of old newspapers and other various pieces of garbage that were strewn around the floor, Bunta managed to get to the phone before it stopped ringing, "Moshi moshi, Jesus desu."

"DAD! DON'T THINK YOU'RE TRICKING ME WITH THAT AGAIN!"

"Oh dang it. It's just you Takumi. So what's going on son?"

"Why do you answer the phone like that now anyway? It sounds stupid and you're not going to trick anyone doing that."

"Hey! From what I've seen, it deters about fifty percent of would be telemarketers. They think I'm some sort of prankster or something. I'm impressed that it works." Bunta slipped on his shoes and walked outside. He took a half crushed pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and lit one. "Now, what did you call me for?"

"Oh yeah. Dad. I have a question for you."

Bunta took a drag of his cigarette and exhaled, replying to his son's request in the most extravagant manner possible, "Ask away my son!"

"Can I ask you to look around for a white R33? It has Gunma plates so I'm sure it's around there somewhere."

"What a strange request. Aren't you in America right now? Why are you trying to send me out to pick fights?"

"No dad, I don't want you to challenge the guy, I just need to find out if he's still in Gunma."

"Okay okay fine. What makes this R33 so important?"

"Umm, well Ryosuke and the others are led to believe that the owner of the R33 nearly killed someone here in the states. We need to find him and confirm that."

"HM! Sounds like you got yourself tangled up in something complicated. Be careful Takumi, I don't want anything happening to you."

"Oh how very funny dad. You just don't want anything to happen to the 86."

"No I'm serious! Be careful, you're in a foreign country, anything can happen you know. When are you coming back anyway?"

"... Oh yeah... About that, we also decided to stay here for an extra month. So I'm not coming back next week. I've already called my boss and everything, looks like you'll be doing the morning runs for the rest of the month."

"WHAT!? Are you serious boy?!" Bunta bit on his cigarette.

"Yeah, sorry I didn't tell you earlier."

He looked up to the noon sky, a few wispy clouds hung high up in the crystal blue, it was beautiful day, "It's fine, you deserve a vacation anyway, just be sure to get me something when you come back ok?"

"Sure thing dad. Well I should be going now, we're about to hit the open air markets. Do you want anything specific?"

"Yeah, how about a lighter in the shape of that one statue... you know, the one of the lady holding a torch?"

"That's the Statue of Liberty and that's in New York. I'm in California. But I'll see what I can do."

"Ha, you better come home with one or else I'm not paying you for the deliveries for the next two months!"

"WHAT? NOT FAIR!"

"Hey, life isn't fair kiddo. Well, have fun. I'm going out now. Talk to you later."

"Ok, bye dad."

"Bye son."

Takumi took the phone away from his ear and pressed the red end call button. Ryosuke and the others looked at him quizzically. Alastair spoke up, "Well Takumi, how did it go?"

Takumi looked up from his phone and grinned, "It worked. My dad's out looking for the R33 now."

Alastair clapped Takumi on the back, "Awesome! Thank you so much Takumi! How many R33s are there in Gunma anyway?"

"Not too many. White is one of the more popular colors for the R33, but there a bit hard to find in Gunma because they cost so much money to maintain and service. I've only seen a few on the street and most of them are owned by rich old people." Ryosuke answered, his eyes focused on something far away.

"Well then it shouldn't be too hard for your dad to spot one right Takumi?" Alastair asked.

"Uh, yeah... I just hope he didn't mean go out to the bar when he said go out. It's almost impossible to understand anything he says."

Perry spoke up, "Well you said that we were hitting the open air markets right Takumi?"

"Yeah..."

"Well! We can't lie to your dad right? Let's go before the night crowds gather! Anyway we need to work off all that food. I can't believe that we managed to finish everything that Darryl threw at us. I feel bad for the guy now..."

Everyone laughed and like that they were off down the street walking along with the crowd to the street markets.



Look forward to more updates soon! I'm in the writing mood! laugh2.gif

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This post has been edited by THE_HONDA_CG2 on Jul 15 2012, 10:38 PM

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