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> [Fanfic] Midship Monster!, Prequel #2 to Final Battle!
thx712517
  Posted: Oct 21 2007, 09:08 AM


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“Uncle,” he said in a cool voice, fighting to keep the emotion out of his voice.
“Nephew,” came the cold reply over the phone.
“I've found what you were searching for,” the young man said, surprised he was able to remain on the phone so long with someone he so desperately hated.
“What?” the older man barked.
“Your engine. The Grade-A. It's here, racing on Mt. Akina.”
“In what?” the older man asked, shocked but interested in his usual predatory manner.
“An AE86, with a tofu shop logo pasted on the side. The fastest downhill specialist in all of Japan, they're calling him, and undefeatable on Mt. Akina.”

Hayato paused for a moment and considered. The project manager had been furious when the engine had been accidentally condemned and shuffled off by one of their mechanics, and the racing team had suffered greatly for it. Even with the Group A series gone, if he could find the engine, perhaps he could regain some of his lost honor. After all, he had been responsible for the engine when it went missing.

“You are sure it's the Grade-A, and not another 20-valve 4A-GE motor?” Hayato asked.
“Of course I'm sure. It's defeated an AP1, an EA11R, an EK9, an FC, an R32, an FD.... write down a list of sports cars, and it has defeated them all on the downhill. Tell me what other motor could do that, uncle? In an AE86, no less. There is a group of street racers here led by a man named Takeshi Nakazato. He wants to defeat the racing team the AE86 is on, and although he has the uphill taken care of, he needs someone to defeat the hachi-roku on the downhill. I told them you could do it, with your AW11.”

“You're certainly bold to say such a thing,” Hayato snorted, about to hang up the phone. Something stayed his hand however, and he picked it up again.
“You said it was a tofu shop in Gunma, at the base of Mt. Akina?”
“Yes uncle.”
“I'll pay them a visit. Depending on that visit, we'll see if I race him or not,” Hayato said, beginning to smile.
“What are you planning on doing, uncle?”
“I'll ask him for my engine back. If he doesn't return it, I'll challenge him to a downhill battle. Winner keeps the 4A-GE.”

*

Fujiwara Takumi woke up suddenly, alert and confused. Shaking his head, he walked downstairs, splashed some water on his face and headed out to the alley where his father was loading up the hachi-roku with its load of tofu.
“Your friend tuned this engine well,” Bunta said, closing the hatch.
“Did he fix your bumper?” Takumi asked.
“Enough. Here, don't break the tofu,” he said, handing over a cup of water filled almost to the top. Takumi looked at it and made a face.

“This is more than you've given me before,” he said, unable to hide the disappointment in his voice.
“I've been getting complaints of broken tofu. You're not as smooth as you used to be. Slacking off,” Bunta said, lighting his morning cigarette. Takumi set the cup in its holder and grumbled to himself.
“Hard to be smooth delivering tofu in such an extreme car,” Bunta managed to hear from the 86's open window as it drove off. He shook his head and ground his cigarette out before returning inside.
“Sooner or later, they'll modify that car too much for racing and it won't be good for anyone to drive,” he said, shutting the door behind him. That time was fast approaching. The phone rang, suddenly cutting into his day dream.

“Fujiwara Tofu Shop,” he answered mechanically.
“Bunta, you son of a b*tch, I should have known you were the one to steal my engine,” the voice on the other end of the line said, a combination of angry snarl and humorous incredulity.
“Hayato?” Bunta said, looking at the phone before holding it to his ear again.
“Yes, Hayato. My nephew told me about an AE86 that was cleaning up the streets in Japan, defeating all comers on the downhill. A mix of insane technique and brutal power from its high-rev 4A-GE. My 4A-GE, Bunta.”
“It was never yours,” Bunta countered.

“You're right. It was the team's. You had no right to take it,” Hayato said angrily.
“I didn't take it. It was condemned. It turned up in a shop somewhere and I bought it, for old time's sake,” Bunta replied, feeling the corners of his mouth turning upward.
“You think an engine like that, in that condition, should have been condemned? You had your spy condemn it and send it to that accursed Suzuki shop, and you had your friend there install it. Don't lie to me, Bunta. If you had taken the Grade-B I wouldn't have been so upset, but the Grade-A? Don't you have any compassion?”

“Grade-A?” Bunta replied. “I didn't know we were calling it that.”
“You would be an idiot not to. Our team had three engines per car, Grade-C for fuel efficiency, Grade-B for endurance, and Grade-A for power. You had the Grade-A disappear days after it was installed, Bunta. Did you think anyone would believe it was truly defective?”
“You know about these engines, Hayato. They're built to such exacting standards, sometimes they don't come up to snuff. A good racing team budgets for this, so when an engine is discovered to be defective, it can be replaced. You did a poor job of budgeting for that season.”
“And just what, may I ask, was the defect of this particular Grade-A engine?” Hayato asked, his voice stressed almost to the breaking point.
“It had a scratch on the valve cover,” Bunta replied, scratching his nose.

“A SCRATCH ON THE VALVE COVER AND YOU CONDEMN A THREE MILLION YEN ENGINE?” Hayato screamed, his voice finally cracking from the stress.
“If you're going to yell, I'm going to hang up,” Bunta said.
“Hold on. Listen, Bunta. I know you were sore with the way I treated you, and I'm sorry for that. However I don't think you should hold a grudge for so long. It's not good for your heart. Just give me back the engine and things will be fine,” Hayato begged.
“Why should I give it back? They've stopped using the 1.6 liter 4A-GE for Group A. They've stopped racing Group A entirely. It's Formula Atlantic now, using Mazda engines,” Bunta replied.

“An issue of pride. I was responsible for those engines, I lost one, and if I can recover it, even after over a year of it being missing, I can clear my name.”
“Your name is clean enough to be a director for a racing team,” Bunta replied, about to hang up. “If you want the engine, come and take it out of the car yourself. You'll have to defeat it on the downhill first.” Without another word he firmly hung up the phone and sat down.
Masashi Suzuki had gone to some lengths to procure that engine, and he had goaded him on, pulling all the strings he could reach in order to make it possible. It was only a matter of time before TRD noticed that one of their racing engines had falsely been condemned and sold off. Of course they would have been furious with any racing team they had sponsored, and it was more than likely that they had withdrawn their backing from Hayato's team as soon as Group A changed engines, killing the team's chance at continuing with the same level of tuning.

“Hmm.” He lit up another cigarette and sat down, turning the options over in his mind. He could make the AE86 disappear, he could race against Hayato himself, or he could tell Takumi and let him figure out a plan of attack.
“Time for him to learn another lesson,” he said finally. “If he can defeat the Hayato I knew on Mt. Akina's downhill, he deserves to keep the engine. If he loses, he doesn't deserve to keep it.”

This post has been edited by thx712517 on Oct 21 2007, 07:50 PM
Meteor
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 09:35 AM


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Great start to the fic!

Looking forward to the next chapter.
207
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 09:51 AM


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damn bunta was sneaky. great start to the fanfic, keep up the work.
thx712517
  Posted: Oct 21 2007, 12:20 PM


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Fujiwara Takumi downshifted twice, screaming down Mt. Akina after his delivery, working on attaining the line his father had shown him, with his own variations added to it. The 86 pulled off a smooth four wheel drift through one corner, setting it up for an intertial drift through the next. With engine screaming, he maintained the drift through the short straightaway and gained enough traction to shoot forward into the next corner, engine held at the 12,000 RPM redline the new valvesprings had made possible. A white blur appeared next to him, heading up the mountain at high speed. Ryosuke? The shape was wrong for the FC. Takumi shook his head and continued downward, spotting another white shape in front of him. This one was clearly identified as Itsuki's turbo Levin, slowly but surely drifting through the corners.

“Early for him to be up,” Takumi said to himself, watching Itsuki's technique. The Levin started to drift, and at the apex of the corner he could see Itsuki attempting to go to full throttle, but the turbo took a moment too long to spool and spun him out. Takumi stopped the 86 and got out to look at his white-knuckled friend.
“What are you doing, Itsuki?” Takumi asked.
“Practicing,” he replied, forcing his hands to let go of the wheel.
“If you went full throttle before the apex of the corner, you wouldn't spin out,” Fujiwara suggested, smiling at his friend.

“I miss when you didn't know anything about cars,” Itsuki sighed as he started up the stalled engine. Takumi listened to the sound of the turbo and the difference it made to the Levin's exhaust noise.
“I don't. I like knowing more about cars,” Fujiwara said, walking back to the hachi-roku.
“I'll follow you down, Takumi,” Itsuki said, letting the clutch out and carefully driving back onto the road.
“Try and keep up,” Takumi replied, getting into the 86 and starting up its potent 4A-GE motor. The throttle bodies burped and snorted as the motor idled, making the idle rough. It had been like this ever since the cold had started coming to the mountain, but Ryosuke had assured him it would be alright.

The two cars, Trueno leading and Levin chasing, made their way down the mountain. Takumi gave up his practice and instead tried to drive in a way that would allow Itsuki to just barely keep up, altering his drift angles and slacking off on the throttle. To his surprise, in certain straights where the engine was spinning at less than 9,000 RPMs the turbo Levin would easily catch up to him.
“Must be the torque difference,” Takumi said, raising his rev limit enough to avoid being disgraced by Itsuki. When the Levin's headlights suddenly slithered off the road, Takumi stopped again and waited for him to recover. The lag of the turbo wasn't allowing his friend to drift the car properly, its power coming on suddenly instead of smoothly.

At the bottom of the mountain he stopped for a moment and let Itsuki come alongside.
“With a little more practice you'll be able to keep up soon,” Takumi said to encourage his friend.
“You think?!” Itsuki shouted happily. Suddenly he calmed down and pointed over Fujiwara's shoulder.
“Takumi, there's a truck in front of your shop,” he said, looking at the large tow truck waiting with its ramp down.
“I wonder if my old man blew up the Impreza's engine,” Takumi said. “Anyway, see you later Itsuki.”

Takumi parked the 86 on the street since the tow truck was blocking the alley. After locking it up he walked inside to where his father was standing with a grim expression on his face, a strange man roughly his father's age waiting on the other side of the counter. As Takumi entered, the strange man turned around with an artificial smile on his face and greeted him.
“You must be Fujiwara Takumi,” he said. “My name is Hayato. I'm an acquaintence of your father here. I run a professional racing team. I heard you were one of the fastest drivers in this area.” Takumi blushed, surprised at the attention. Was this his chance to go pro?

“It is my unfortunate duty to tell you that the engine in your Trueno outside is actually from my racing team, and was stolen from my team. I don't wish to involve the police, but I would be appreciative if I could have it back,” he said. Takumi's hopes were quickly replaced with anger.
“It's not your engine,” he replied.
“Yes, it is, and I have the VIN code casting right here. We can match it to the one cast on the engine block and that will settle that question. Your father came across it 'accidentally', and purchased it. I'm grateful to him and you for keeping it in good condition, but I need it back in order to fulfill my contract with TRD and move over to a new racing team,” Hayato said, holding out a piece of paper in his hand.

“I don't understand,” Takumi said.
“Racing teams are often sponsored by the factory. Toyota's racing arm, TRD, sponsored us by providing us with engines, including the one in your Trueno. The terms of our contract stated that if the racing series ended, we were to return the engines to their development team so they could be taken apart and studied, and the knowledge put into designing new engines. The Group A racing series we were participating in has ended, and we've returned almost all our engines. However, since we haven't returned this one and our other Grade-A, our contract for sponsorship is on hold. If we can return the engine you have, then we can get our sponsorship and our drivers can move forward in their careers. You don't really want to hold them back, do you?” Hayato asked. Something struck false in his words, and Takumi left the room.

“Young man, don't walk away from me. You can return that engine to me or you can go to jail for possession of stolen property. I know these codes match. I don't need to look at the block to know that,” he said, waving the paper in front of Takumi.
“You can't have it. It's our engine. My father paid for it. It's not stolen,” Takumi said, popping open the hood and leaning over the fender to stare at the codes stamped on the engine block. With a sickening twist in his heart he saw that they matched the numbers on the paper.
“You see?” Hayato said. He paused for a moment, guaging the situation. The young man was 18 or 19 years old, driving an ancient Corolla. It wouldn't be too hard to defeat him, especially if he put the other Grade-A into his AW11 for a short time.

“I'll make you a challenge,” Hayato said finally.
“A challenge?” Takumi replied.
“Yes. As it happens, I'm pretty good on the downhill. Before I was director for my team, I was a driver. It was my driving skill that got me into my director position, actually. I'll race you on the downhill of Mt. Akina for the engine. If you lose, I keep the engine and give you half the money you paid for it so you can find something new. If I lose, you can keep your engine, and I'll get you a position on my team, racing with the pros. Take your pick, Fujiwara.”

Takumi glanced at Bunta and then at the hachi-roku. No one in the country could defeat him on Mt. Akina's downhill save for his father. Bunta's expression was blank as it always was, offering no help in making his choice. Swallowing hard, he nodded.
“I accept your challenge. Winner keeps the engine.”
“Good,” Hayato said with a twisted smile. “Next Saturday, 10 PM, Mt. Akina. I drive an AW11, by the way. Have your friend Takahashi Ryosuke tell you about it. I tried to get him on my team a year ago, but he rejected all my offers.” Takumi's eyes went wide in shock at that, suddenly feeling sick to his stomach. Bracing himself against the wall, he watched Hayato signal the tow truck driver and hop inside. As soon as the truck disappeared from sight, he turned to his father.

“Did I screw up?” he asked.
“Maybe,” Bunta replied.
“Maybe? Can I beat him?”
“If you practice every hour from now until your race, maybe,” Bunta said, throwing down his cigarette and walking back inside.

*

“Hayato?” Ryosuke asked, leaning back in his seat so quickly he almost dropped his phone. “Mizaka Hayato? Of course I know him. He's the director of a racing team. Used to run Group A, now he's trying to get a team together for Formula Atlantic. Having some difficulties securing a sponsor because of something that happened a while ago. Why do you ask?”
“He came to the shop today and said the engine in my 86 is stolen. He wanted to take it back, but I told him he couldn't. He challenged me to a downhill race, winner keeps the engine. I accepted. Did I do wrong?” Takumi asked, clearly concerned. Ryosuke sighed and opened up a buried file on his laptop. His simulator program pulled up Takumi's hachi-roku and Hayato's AW11.

“Your opponent is an AW11, correct?” he asked.
“Yes,” Takumi replied.
“It will be a difficult battle. The model that Hayato uses is different from the SW20 you raced on Kyouichi's home course. It's the first generation model. Stock, it has difficulties with weight transfer and can be twitchy, with notable understeer during braking and turn-in. However, when I last saw it in action, Hayato's AW11 had a number of modifications performed to eliminate those tendencies. He uses 4 kg/mm spring rates up front and 10 kg/mm rates in the rear to soften up the front and induce weight transfer, dialing out the understeer to a more manageable level. Unlike other mid-engine cars, he uses the same diameter and width tires on all four corners, making it extremely agile.”
“That doesn't sound good for me,” Takumi said, his heart sinking.
“It isn't. If it were a supercharged model you might have a chance since those are heavier, but Hayato favors naturally aspirated high-rev motors. Fujiwara, he uses the exact same motor that you do, tuned in exactly the same way.” There was a long silence on the phone before Takumi could speak again.
“Ryosuke-san, am I going to lose?” he asked.
“I'm sorry Fujiwara, but unless there is an incredible stroke of luck, you will lose. He has a more agile car that weighs less and makes the same power. There is one other thing in his favor as well, Fujiwara.”
“What's that?” Takumi asked.
“Drivetrain loss.”
“What?”

“In all cars, a percentage of power is needed to overcome friction in the drivetrain and suspension. In FR cars, they have to turn the driveshaft which connects the engine in front to the differential in the rear axle. Spinning this driveshaft can consume up to 20% of the engine's power, which is why there is a difference between crank horsepower and wheel horsepower. With your 270 HP engine, that would mean you are putting down a little over 215 HP at the wheels. A front wheel drive engine has no driveshaft to spin, and has much lower drivetrain loss, usually 10% to 15%. Hayato's AW11 with its mid-engine placement and rear wheel drive has the same efficiency as a front engine front wheel drive. If his engine is making 240 HP, that means he has 215 HP at the wheels as well. However, if his engine has been tuned to the same level as yours, and I would expect it to be, that means he has 243 HP at the wheels, an advantage of 28 HP over you.” Ryosuke shook his head, wondering how Fujiwara could have been so stupid.

“I guess I don't know as much about cars as I thought I did,” Takumi said, his mind flashing back to his conversation with Itsuki only a few hours earlier.
“No, Fujiwara. My recommendation would be to go to Mt. Akina and begin practicing immediately. He gave you a little less than a week before the challenge, correct?”
“Yes. Next Saturday.”
“Five days. That might be enough to bring the odds a little bit more in your favor. I'll contact Keisuke. I want the two of you to spend those five days driving up and down that mountain at all times. Drive cautiously in the day, scouting the course, and drive wildly at night. On Thursday, bring your car to Matsumoto for tuning,” Ryosuke ordered.
“What tuning?”
“I've used carbon fiber on your car to reduce its weight, but we're running out of things to replace. I'm going to add a cage to stiffen your chassis and reduce body flex, which will help with your turn-in and how effective your suspension is. I'm also going to have Matsumoto install a carbon fiber driveshaft, which will reduce drivetrain losses by a small percentage. It won't be enough to even the horsepower, Fujiwara, but it will help. You need all the help you can get.”

Ryosuke hung up the phone and immediately called Keisuke.
“What's up?”
“I need you to go to Mt. Akina and practice with Fujiwara,” Ryosuke said, more of a command than a request.
“What's wrong bro? You sound upset,” Keisuke replied, walking out of the diner and getting into his car.


“Fujiwara has been challenged by Mizaka Hayato and his AW11. The winner keeps the hachi-roku's engine. Fujiwara agreed to those terms before understanding the situation. If we lose that engine, Keisuke, I don't need to tell you that Project D will be stalled until we can find a suitable replacement.”
“He did WHAT?” Keisuke shouted.
“There's no time to discuss his mistakes, Keisuke. Go to Mt. Akina and practice with him. The race is on Saturday at 10 PM, a downhill run. While you help him, I'm going to be preparing alternate plans,” Ryosuke said ominously before hanging up the phone.

This post has been edited by thx712517 on Oct 21 2007, 12:37 PM
DK_2
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 12:36 PM


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O-M-G. Your Fanfics are getting better and better!!
207
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 12:37 PM


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damn, need more chapters to this. cant wait for next chapter.
FinToy-83
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 02:16 PM


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*sits on the edge of his seat as he reads.. and eventually falls off* owww.. damn, this is good stuff. good ol' AW11 is one of my favourite classic Toyota's. I wonder.. how would it compete against certain KP60 Starlet..? shifty2.gif
thx712517
  Posted: Oct 21 2007, 04:04 PM


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“So what's this race you agreed to?” Keisuke asked as he let the FD's potent engine idle.
“A downhill race against this old man. He came to take away the 86's engine, and I wouldn't let him. He said he could either turn me in to the police or I could race him on the downhill. I chose the one I knew. I guess I chose wrong,” Takumi said, looking at his hachi-roku with troubled eyes.
“What would you have gotten if you won?” Keisuke asked.
“The engine, and an invitation to join his professional team,” Takumi admitted, blushing slightly at the admission. It didn't seem to surprise Keisuke though.
“I would have bitten for it,” he said in a contemplative voice, remembering Hoshino's sorely tempting offer.

“We're supposed to practice some more, right?” Takumi said, getting into his car.
“Yeah. I'll chase you down, you chase me up. It's about 9 now, so we shouldn't have to worry about any cars. I'll start getting aggressive. I'll expect you to do the same,” Keisuke said as he shut the FD's door and revved up the powerful 13B-REW. Fujiwara took off in the AE86, launching aggressively and hurtling downhill. Keisuke popped the clutch and followed, letting the FD's tail wag a bit out of sheer happiness to be racing again. The two plummeted down the mountain, cutting corners and drifting in unison, neither giving up a second to the other.

Takumi looked in his mirror at the FD's lights shining on him and felt the pressure on his back. Keisuke had gotten good at the downhill, and with a more powerful car he was able to push him harder, pressuring for a mistake. Fujiwara downshifted and initiated his inertial drift, sliding sideways down the short straightaway for the second time that day. Keisuke whistled in amazement at the sight, forcing his FD to keep up. Through the five hairpins the AE86 hooked the gutters, a maneuver the lower FD couldn't. Keisuke watched as the Corolla faded from sight for a few seconds before his power reeled Takumi back in. The two cars passed over the finish line and Takumi spun his car out, pointing it back up the hill. Keisuke turned the FD around, checked his oil pressure, and took off.

*

“Yo, Takumi, when's your next race?” Iketani asked as the two Project D cars pulled in for gas. Fujiwara got out of the 86 and sighed, shaking his head.
“Saturday, but, Iketani, I think I'm going to lose,” he admitted heavily, his shoulders slumped in frustration.
“Lose? You?” Itsuki said, turning away from the hachi-roku and joining the conversation.
“Yes. Apparently my challenger is driving an unbeatable car,” Takumi said.
“I've heard that before,” Iketani said.
“Yeah. You've beaten unbeatable cars, Takumi. The FD, the R32, the FC, the Evo, even Kogashiwa's SW20. What else is out there that can defeat you?” Itsuki asked, smiling at his friend.

“An AW11,” Keisuke said coming out of the gas station's shop.
“But that's even older than an MR2,” Itsuki replied, thoroughly confused.
“It's the same age as my car,” Takumi said, “and he has the same motor.”
“Even a tuned 20-valve 4A-GE isn't a match for your engine, Takumi,” Iketani replied.
“The same, Iketani. 12,000 RPMs, 270 HP, the same. In a midship like the MR2, more power reaches the ground than in my FR,” Takumi said, remembering his lesson with Ryosuke well.

“True,” Iketani said. “This could be bad. What are the stakes?”
“The engine. Apparently it was stolen from some racing program and put in my car, and this person wants it back so he can get sponsorship for his new team. If I win the race I keep the engine and get to join his professional racing team, but if I lose, I lose the engine. If I lose, I won't be able to race downhill for Project D anymore,” Takumi said. “Not that it matters,” he added, under his breath. Keisuke heard his muttering and frowned.
“Fujiwara!” he ordered. “Come on, let's get back to practicing.”
“But I'm hungry,” Takumi replied, putting a hand over his grumbling stomach. Keisuke responded by throwing a small sandwich at him that he had just purchased inside. Takumi looked down at it and frowned.

“No real food?” he asked.
“Not right now. Draw even with me on the uphill and we'll go to a diner and get a real meal. Until then, that's all you get,” Keisuke said, climbing into his FD and driving off toward Mt. Akina. Takumi sighed and rubbed his eyes, took a bite of the sandwich, grimaced, and then left after Keisuke.

Iketani turned to a shell-shocked Itsuki and an incredulous Yuichi.
“The engine is at stake?” Itsuki said.
“A heavy price. If he loses, he won't be able to compete in Project D anymore. With them so close to finishing, it would be a devastating blow,” Iketani replied. Yuichi shook his head and went inside to pick up the phone and call Bunta.

“For the last time, there's nothing I can do,” Bunta replied to an exasperated Yuichi.
“Is there anything I can do?”
“No. If Takumi wins against Hayato, then he deserves to keep that engine. If he can't win now, after all the training he's had and the modifications made to the hachi-roku, then he doesn't deserve such an engine. It will be sad to see it disassembled for analysis, but I knew it might happen when I set all this in motion,” Bunta said before hanging up the phone.

*

“Mizaka Hayato, a pleasure to meet you,” Nakazato said, shaking the older man's hand. Sayuki bowed slightly, smiling pleasantly at him.
“A pleasure in return. The AE86 raced by the child from the tofu shop has an engine taken from my racing team. I have challenged him to a downhill battle, winner takes the engine. I understand you were looking to challenge this 'Project D' team. Tell me more about it,” Hayato said in his businesslike manner. Nakazato looked across at Sayuki in surprise before speaking.

“Project D is a racing team made up of the two best drivers in Gunma. Fujiwara Takumi, downhill specialist in his AE86, and Takahashi Keisuke, uphill specialist in his FD. The team is managed by Takahashi Ryosuke, a legend in his own right, but he hasn't raced since being defeated by Fujiwara in a downhill battle.”
“Takahashi Ryosuke was defeated by Fujiwara?” Hayato asked in surprise. Perhaps it wouldn't be as easy a battle as he thought, remembering Takahashi's insane driving skill.
“Yes. He started this team and they've blazed a trail across Japan, defeating all teams on their homecourses and setting record times that the home team couldn't beat. He has only two more teams before he can claim Japan, so we decided to put the brakes on his team. Since his team is made up of Gunma drivers, they never raced here. I've improved dramatically and have a car capable of taking on Keisuke's FD, but I need someone with the insane downhill skill necessary to defeat Fujiwara Takumi. No one in Gunma or the rest of Japan has yet shown that ability save for an AP1 driver who refuses to race,” Nakazato said, leaning back in the booth at the diner to watch the older man's reaction.

“I've challenged Fujiwara for 10 PM on Saturday at Mt. Akina, a single downhill race to decide the winner. If you can get your Takahashi Keisuke to race at the same time, then you can challenge this Project D and I'll do what I can to help you, since our aims seem to be similar. Fujiwara must be defeated,” he said in such a cold voice that Sayuki felt herself shiver.
“What makes you think that you can defeat him?” Nakazato asked. “Your name was mentioned, but your abilities were never discussed.”

“I drive an AW11. You know what that is, right?” Hayato asked.
“A first generation MR2, built at the same time as the AE86 and with the same engine,” Sayuki replied instantly. Hayato smiled at her, giving Sayuki another shiver.
“Precisely, dear. The engine currently under the hood of Akina's 86 is none other than the Grade-A engine from my racing team. It has the most power of the three grades, and compared to the other Grade-A, a very slight advantage in horsepower. Fractions of a horsepower though, before you get any wild ideas. My trump card is the other Grade-A. It's the same engine, with the same tune, in my MR2. Can you tell me why this is such a good thing?” he asked Nakazato.
“Less drivetrain loss, so more power at the wheels,” Takeshi replied.

“Good. I'm glad you know something about cars, otherwise I would be disappointed. My car weighs less than his, has more power reaching the wheels, and can turn and stop quicker. In addition to that, I have a rollcage and other chassis stiffening braces, while I have seen nothing of the sort on his own car. Without the rigidity provided by a rollcage, Fujiwara is running with a broken ankle,” he said. Sayuki winced at the phrase, rubbing her still-sore and still-bandaged ankle to ease the pain.

“In that case, I'll challenge Keisuke for Saturday at 10 PM. Would you like to run first, or shall I?” he asked.
“Run second. When I defeat Fujiwara, it will dishearten this Keisuke of yours so much he won't be able to defeat you.”
“That's not very sporting,” Nakazato replied.
“Do you want to win or lose?” Hayato asked in a vicious tone of voice. “In professional racing there is no question of being sporting. You drive as hard as you can and as best as you can and if you can find a way to win, you use it. Don't get hung up on silly concepts like honor and sportsmanship, kid, at least not if you want to make it anywhere in the professional leagues,” Hayato said, throwing down a business card with his name and number before walking off.

Nakazato turned to Sayuki almost apologetically.
“I want to defeat Project D, but this doesn't seem like the best way to go about it,” he said.
“Too late now,” she replied. “With the way that man is, he'll race against Takumi whether it's part of our challenge or his. We might as well use him, Nakazato.”
“Still, if Fujiwara loses his engine, Project D will be finished. I just wanted to defeat them, not ruin them,” Nakazato said mournfully.

*

Ryosuke sat up with a start, having fallen asleep in front of his laptop. He brushed away the small amount of drool and stared at the monitor, forcing his eyes to focus.
“I've used every favor, followed every lead,” he said, standing up and stretching with a massive yawn and a series of pops and cracks from his joints, “but I can't find another engine as good as the one he has now.” He shook his head and looked at the simulator running on his screen and suddenly had an idea.

“Instead of searching for an engine identical to the current one, I should search for an engine that would allow the same performance,” he said excitedly, activating a new screen of his simulation program. With a furious amount of typing he fed the computer all the information it needed, and then told it to search for any possible combination that would allow for the same driving style.

“10,000 RPM 16-valve 4A-GE. No, not enough power,” he said, beginning to check them off. “Turbocharged. No, too much lag. Displacement increase.... that's an interesting possibility,” he said, sitting down to study the formula.
“Using an 7A-FE block with the G series cylinder head, 1.8 liter displacement is possible, as well as high-rpm operation provided the connecting rods and crankshaft are modified,” he said, turning it over in his head. The 7A-FE would be a possible choice, but the longer connecting rods would limit ultimate RPMs, still forcing a change in Fujiwara's driving style unless a lower final drive ratio was used, which would then hurt the AE86's acceleration.

“Supercharged,” he read, the gears suddenly turning in his mind. There had been a turbo Levin converted to a supercharger, and although Fujiwara had beaten him, it had been a close race.
“If I could provide Fujiwara with a decently high-revving engine coupled to a centrifugal supercharger setup, it would give him smooth power input without lag and allow him to retain his driving style almost completely,” Ryosuke said excitedly. “The use of a lower final drive ratio would be offset by the increase in power from the engine. If done properly, we could get the engine up to 320 HP,” he said, picking up his jacket and going out the door, intent on reaching Matsumoto to share his findings.

*

“So you want to supercharge the 86?” Matsumoto asked, scratching his chin.
“Not yet. If Fujiwara loses, he'll be out an engine. If we can find and build a suitable replacement, something that will give him an advantage against the AW11, he could win it back. Think long and hard about the engine's weakness, Matsumoto. Torque. Because of the lack of torque, we have to use a 4.30 rear gear in the 86 to help it accelerate. Since the engine revs so high, Fujiwara can still reach high speeds without having to shift up. If we were to install a supercharged engine with substantially more torque, we could lower the final drive ratio without hurting acceleration while increasing top speed in each gear. I'm not saying it's the best combination to fight battles from here on out, but if Fujiwara could quickly adapt to it, it would allow him to defeat the AW11 and get his old engine back.”



“It sounds like a good plan,” Matsumoto said. “Where would you start?”
“I would use a fifth generation 4A-GE from the AE111. It has twenty valves so it will flow enough air with some headwork, and it also has a strong block so we won't have to worry about popping the motor. We would need to drop the compression ratio a bit for it to survive the supercharger's boost, and figure out a way of getting it to breathe with the individual throttle bodies, but it can be done,” Ryosuke said.

“If we built a better enclosure around the throttle bodies, that would work just fine. Supercharger would breathe into the box, the throttle bodies would draw from the box. Were we going to use a Roots or a centrifugal supercharger?” Matsumoto asked.
“Although the Roots would be nice for the instant torque, it wouldn't do so well at the top end, and it would confuse Fujiwara. If we were to use a centrifugal supercharger, so it would build boost smoothly, I think it would complement his current driving style and allow him to build speed without having to worry about changing his driving style too much. I want him to be able to get into this car and drive it 100% within a day or so, Matsumoto,” Ryosuke said as he began detailing the build.

“Ryosuke, why don't we just put the supercharged engine in the 86 now so he can defeat the AW11?” Matsumoto asked finally.
“Because the AW11 driver will know it's not the right engine, for one thing. Honor is the other part. The challenge was made between two equal engines. It should remain that way. I used to think a win was a win, but recently I've begun to remember honor and sportsmanship. We should give Fujiwara the chance to prove his worth. With the new rollcage and the carbon fiber driveshaft, he'll have a thirty percent chance of winning. He's won before with even smaller chances,” Ryosuke admitted.
“True, but they've been flukes. An animal running out into the road, or a driver getting sick.”

“It's not desirable, Matsumoto, but for Fujiwara's sake, we'll let him race with the motor already in the car. If the supercharged motor turns out to be more valuable, then we'll keep it for our final battles.”
“Alright, Ryosuke. You're the boss. When will Fujiwara bring the 86 in for the upgrades?”
“Tomorrow night. Keisuke has mentioned Fujiwara's improvement, but it hasn't been as aggressive as I could have hoped. With the increased chassis rigidity and reduced drivetrain loss, he might have a better chance. That's all he needs, a slightly better chance.”
red comet 7
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 05:50 PM


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hell yeah dude! good stuff. i can imagine the characters in my head doin all this stuff.

id almost rather read this than wait for fifth stage.

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MORE CHAPTERS! SO ADDICTING!!!!!!!!
thx712517
  Posted: Oct 21 2007, 06:40 PM


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Hayato ruffled his nephew's hair as the two stood outside the bay, watching as the second Grade-A engine was lowered into place.
“With this engine, I'll crush him,” Hayato said proudly.
“Just watch yourself. If you pass him, he gets really mean,” his nephew said, memories of past races clear in his mind.
“Hmm. If he's Bunta's son he won't be an easy fight, but with this car in such a state of tune, his winning streak will end.”
“How do you know his father?”
“I can't talk about that right now. Maybe when you're older,” Hayato said, walking off to help install the ultralight chromoly flywheel and heavy-duty clutch that would help harness the 4A-GE's massive power.

*

“How is Fujiwara doing?” Ryosuke asked, collapsing into his chair.
“Better, but not by much,” Keisuke answered, popping the top on a soda and taking a drink.
“May I?” Ryosuke asked. Keisuke nodded and threw him a can.
“The caffeine is good,” Ryosuke said, sighing and setting the can down next to his laptop. He pulled up the simulator screen and entered the new information.

“Even with his improved times, he's raised his chances of succcess by only two percent. With the cage and the driveshaft he might be able to raise it another ten, but nowhere near a comfortable margin for success. We'll see how he does after tomorrow night's activities. Matsumoto and I will be pulling an all-nighter in order to get everything installed.”
“I still can't imagine you with dirt on your hands,” Keisuke said with a laugh before draining his drink.
“Laugh all you want, I built most of the FC myself. Have you been able to beat it yet?” Ryosuke asked, his voice almost suggesting a challenge. Keisuke looked sharply at his brother, wondering at the tone in his voice.

“It's not the car I can't beat, it's the driver,” he replied finally. “The FD revs higher and has a hundred more horsepower than the FC does. You still defeat me on the downhill because of your skill. If it were the uphill, I think I'd have you,” Keisuke said, trying to initiate some friendly brother rivalry. Ryosuke finished his can of soda, threw it in the trash, picked up his keys and went outside. Keisuke sighed and shook his head, then followed.
“Listen, I didn't try to piss you off,” Keisuke said.
“I'm not pissed. Get in the car,” Ryosuke said, shutting the FC's door quickly. Keisuke ran to catch up as the FC began moving, diving into the passenger seat just in time.

“Where the hell are you off to in such a hurry?” Keisuke asked, grabbing for any kind of support he could find as the FC drifted through a corner at 120 KPH.
“You said it yourself, Keisuke. It's not the car, it's the driver. I'll optimize everything I can on the hachi-roku to make it perfect, but it's up to Fujiwara to win. Practice will help him, and I'll take my turn in racing him after Matsumoto and I do our work, but for right now, I need to clear my mind, and to do that, I need to drive.” The FC drifted through another curve, the first of many on Mt. Akagi, pulling enough g-forces to smack Keisuke's head into the window.
“I think you get sick pleasure out of doing that,” Keisuke said as he rubbed his bruised head.
“I might,” Ryosuke replied, pushing the throttle completely to the floor and holding it there through a series of moderate s-curves as the car rocketed up Mt. Akagi. Keisuke felt fear beginning to rise inside him, fear he hadn't felt in years. He felt his foot searching for the brake, but the FC wasn't slowing down.

“Bro, you're gonna make me sick,” Keisuke finally said, feeling his stomach begin to turn somersaults.
“You mean the FD doesn't pull this hard on you?” Ryosuke taunted gently, drifting through a corner and flying down a long straightaway with the car completely sideways before diving into another set of s-curves at insane speed, a Fujiwara maneuver done at 250%.
“When I'm in the FD I'm in control so I know what's about to happen,” Keisuke ground out, his teeth clenched as the FC's bumper slashed through the overgrowth hanging over the guard rails.
“You're not going to faint, are you bro?” Ryosuke asked, twisting the FC through a corner so hard Keisuke felt like the whole car had spun around the base of his seat.

“N-no!” he forced out, surprised at himself. The FD was wider, had more traction, more power, and yet it had never thrown him around like this. The FC reached the peak of Mt. Akagi, paused for a second, and then whipped around for the downhill.
“Bro, hold on,” Keisuke began, but the FC wasn't slowing down. Ryosuke kept the throttle pinned to the floor, manipulating the car's line with left foot braking and the occasional clutch kick. It was too much for Keisuke. After the fifth corner with the FC running flat out, tires screaming the entire time, Keisuke felt the blood rush from his head and his eyes began to close. Swinging his heavy head to look at his brother, he noticed the small smile on Ryosuke's face before his eyes finally closed and his body slumped against the harness.

Ryosuke kept charging downhill, driving in a reckless manner unlike his usual style. After reaching the bottom of the hill, he drove along until he found a vending machine. After buying two cans of coffee, he checked the tire temperature of the FC and then hopped back in, handing a can to a slowly reviving Keisuke.
“What did you have to do that for?” Keisuke asked, popping open the can and drinking deeply.
“Do what for?” Ryosuke asked, the FC running smoothly at below-legal speeds on their way back home.
“Drive like that. You haven't driven like that in years.”
“No, I've never driven like that,” Ryosuke replied.

“I don't understand.”
“By driving with Fujiwara, I've noticed flaws in my technique. The more I drive with him, the more practice I get and the better I become. What you saw is my first serious attempt at driving since I've noticed all my little flaws. I think it's made me a better driver. Would you say so?” Ryosuke asked, smiling at his brother's pale face.
“It's made you more sadistic. Let's go home. I need sleep,” Keisuke said, draining his coffee.
“You can't. After a concussion you need to remain awake for six hours,” Ryosuke said.
“And who are you?”
“Training to be a doctor, remember?” Ryosuke retorted.
“Damnit,” Keisuke said, shaking his head.

*

“How was the delivery?” Bunta asked as Takumi came crawling inside Thursday morning.
“Rough,” he replied.
“Oh?”
“I broke some tofu again, and the man at the hotel wouldn't accept it. I'm sorry, but I'm getting so tired with all this practicing that I can't keep my eyes open,” Takumi said, stifling a yawn as he spoke.
“I'll take over the delivery for tomorrow and Saturday morning. I assume once you've raced Hayato, you'll be back to a more normal schedule?” Bunt asked. Takumi nodded and forced his tired legs upstairs. He could still feel the 86's wheel in his hands and feel the vibrations of the engine. He fell into his bed and instantly went to sleep, his mind continuing the race up and down Mt. Akina in his dreams.

Bunta sighed heavily and took another batch of tofu out to his Impreza, then stopped and put it in the AE86. Looking up at Takumi's window for a moment, he got into the hachi-roku and took off.
“It's a good tune,” he said, enjoying the free-revving nature of the engine. It had been tuned well, even if it spat and grumbled at idle. That Ryosuke fellow had done a good job fixing the Impreza's bumper, and a better job at tuning the 86's engine. The suspension was still wanting a little help though. After making the delivery and apologizing to the hotel owner, he came back down the mountain, testing the car. It only confirmed his hypothesis. For all his abilities as an engine tuner, Ryosuke had neglected some details in the suspension. Glancing at his watch, Bunta drove over to Suzuki's.

“Yo, Masashi,” he called out as he walked into the garage.
“Bunta, what's up?” a voice called out from underneath a large white van.
“I need to work on the 86. Can I borrow a lift?”
“Of course. Something wrong?” Masashi asked, rolling out from underneath the van to look at Bunta with concerned eyes.
“No, it's fine. I just want to tune the suspension a little bit to account for some engine tuning,” Bunta replied. Masashi nodded and rolled back under the van.
“You know where everything is. Don't stop for me.”

Bunta raised up the 86 on the lift, noting the slight flex of the chassis. A rollcage would fix that problem, and Ryosuke probably knew that. Would he do it for the race though? Shaking his head, he began to work. After adjusting the control arms and fiddling with the car's anti-squat geometry, Bunta played around with the preload settings of the swaybars.
“A little more of this, a little less of that,” he muttered, fine-tuning with laser precision. After finishing up with a slightly revised alignment, he let the car down off the lift, again noticing the slight settling of the body, and started up the car.
“Did you fix what you were wanting to?” Masashi asked, coming over for a second to chat.
“Close enough,” Bunta replied. “Some kid is putting a rollcage in this tonight, I bet, so I thought I would tune the suspension to take that into account. As long as they don't screw up the settings, it should handle decently.”

“Who's the latest opponent?” Masashi asked.
“Hayato.” Masashi dropped his wrench and cursed.
“Hayato?” he asked, picking up the tool and wiping oil off of it.
“Yeah. He found the engine and wants it back. Takumi has to beat him on the downhill to keep it, otherwise it goes with the police. The kid that manages him, Ryosuke, if I'm right about him he'll be putting a rollcage in this car tonight. After all the time we spent tuning the engine, I'd rather not have to replace it with another one,” Bunta said casually as he got inside the car and left. Masashi shook his head, worried for the Fujiwara family.

“A rollcage and some suspension tweaks won't put a stop to Hayato, not on the downhill,” he said before returning to the van.
Meteor
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 06:51 PM


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LOL @ Keisuke getting scared in the FC's passenger seat.

Looking forward to the next chapter.
207
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 07:01 PM


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lol ryosukes finally scares keisuke for a 2nd time, 1st was imo in keisuke's first ride in the fc. keep those chapters up.
s13_slider
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 07:08 PM


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Awesome writing!! I'm on the effin edge of my seat reading this stuff!
pnoytecknix
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 07:54 PM


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great stuff... you update quickly too. i was in the middle of reading the second installment before i went to church today, but when i came back there were two more updates. good stuff, cant wait for the next one.
red comet 7
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 08:03 PM


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man good stuff. i had to read this before i went to sleep! lol
thx712517
  Posted: Oct 21 2007, 08:35 PM


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Takumi dropped another gear and flew through the corner, no light showing between his front bumper and the guard rail. Keisuke swore to himself, desperately trying to keep up. As tired as he was, Fujiwara was exerting all his power and control on the AE86 and it showed in his segment times and the insane posture of the car. Keisuke watched the now-familiar sight of the AE86 scream through a corner sideways and keep the drift going all the way down a long straightaway before rocketing into the next corner and pulling the same trick on the next straightaway.
“Damn you and my brother both,” Keisuke said, pushing the FD's throttle open farther than he usually dared in an attempt to catch the disappearing hatchback.

The next corner he arrived in time just to see the tail lights of the Corolla disappearing, and the corner after that there was no sign of it at all. Keisuke thought for a moment on blaming his speed on his brother's antics from the night before, but shook it off. Fujiwara was getting faster and faster and there was no stopping him.

Three corners farther ahead, Takumi was bursting with delight over the behavior of the 86.
“You're so different,” he said to the car, slinging the wheel sharply to send the car diving through the hairpins, grabbing and releasing the gutters perfectly and with such incredible speed that the body creaked loudly as the stresses grew to higher and higher levels. At the bottom of the hill Ryosuke clicked off the stopwatch and smiled his approval.
“Alright, you're done practicing for now. Go to Matsumoto and tell him to get to work. I'll be along shortly. Where's Keisuke?”
“Almost here,” Takumi replied. “I lost sight of him once the turns started getting tighter.”

Ryosuke watched the AE86 disappear and had enough time to turn back to Mt. Akina's last curve before the finish line before Keisuke showed up, his FD at wide open throttle and blistering down the straight.
“He beat you by ten seconds, Keisuke,” Ryosuke said in shock.
“You knocked my driving skills out last night, idiot,” the younger Takahashi retorted angrily.
“It's not that, Keisuke. Did Fujiwara tune his 86 last night?”
“Not that I'm aware of, but he did say his father had made the deliveries in it and was late in coming back.” Ryosuke instantly grabbed his cell and called Matsumoto.

“Matsumoto! Have you started working on the 86 yet?”
“No, it just arrived. Why?” he replied.
“The suspension settings were changed. Fujiwara outlapped Keisuke by ten seconds on the downhill. Don't touch a single thing until I can get there. Photograph everything, but do not touch that car,” Ryosuke instructed, getting into Keisuke's FD.
“Hurry up,” he said. Keisuke grumbled and muttered, but he put the car into gear and took off for the garage as quickly as he could within the limits of the law.

Upon arrival Ryosuke jumped out of the car as quickly as he could and almost ran to the 86. With a nod to Matsumoto the lift began to move, hoisting the hatchback up off the ground. Ryosuke noticed the slight flex of the body and shook his head. With the hachi eight feet off the ground Ryosuke whipped out a notebook and pen and began making frantic notes, measuring certain dimensions and counting threads on everything that could possibly be adjusted.
“Look,” he said, comparing his notes to the last recorded alignment on the car. Matsumoto whistled.
“Someone was compensating for the rollcage install. But how would they know about it, and why tune it for the rollcage before the install? Who has that kind of skill?”
“Fujiwara's father. I met him once and he told me some things that I can't divulge, but he's the only one with this kind of incredible skill. We must do him right. Make sure that things don't get disturbed when we install the cage, Matsumoto.”

“You're helping?” he asked, surprised.
“Of course. We can't have Fujiwara lose to an outsider, can we?” Ryosuke said, rolling up his sleeves and picking up a wrench. Matsumoto watched in shock as Ryosuke lowered the hachi and began undoing the lug nuts, setting the wheels carefully aside. Keisuke watched the two get to work and shrugged.
“Fujiwara, lunch?” he said. Takumi nodded desperately and followed quickly.
“I promised you food if you could pass me, and you did and then some. I've got to hand it to you, going so fast in such a dated platform still impresses me. Just when I thought I was going to be able to defeat you,” Keisuke added with a laugh. Fujiwara turned his tired eyes over to Keisuke and studied the man for a few moments in a way very similar to Ryosuke.
“Truth be told, Keisuke, I've been afraid you would pass me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean in Project D. You've gotten so good at the downhill that I was afraid that Ryosuke would no longer need me. I'm glad I can make myself useful for a little bit longer,” Takumi said, blushing slightly before falling completely asleep.

“Beaten twice, once by my brother and once by Fujiwara. This sucks,” Keisuke said, slowing down to turn into the diner. A sudden urge to be evil took hold of his hands, and he jerked the wheel to the right, then the left and back to the right, whipping Fujiwara's head into the window and waking him up.
“We're here!” Keisuke said cheerfully, getting out of the car before Takumi could say a single word. The younger man was still rubbing his hand when they sat down in the diner.

“So what do you think your chances are against this Hayato?” Keisuke asked as he ate.
“Poor, but Ryosuke seems to think that I have a chance once he modifies the hachi-roku. I hope so. I liked how it felt today. I think dad did something to it to make it handle like that. I like it.”
“I would hope so. I'm still curious as to how you would perform in a more powerful car,” Keisuke said.
“How do you mean?” Takumi asked.
“Well, take my FD for example. It has, right now, over one hundred and fifty horsepower more than your car, much better traction, hell, my tires are almost twice as wide as yours are. If you were in a car like that, I'd like to see how you would handle Mt. Akina then,” Keisuke said, finishing up his plate. The two walked out the door, picking up a small order for Ryosuke and Matsumoto before leaving.

“Fujiwara,” Keisuke said, holding his key, “catch.”
“What?” Takumi said, catching the FD's key in his hand and looking at it in surprise.
“I want you to drive my FD on Mt. Akina. Uphill and down, as hard as you can. I want to see what lines you would take in a car with more power and traction,” Keisuke said, sitting in the passenger seat and buckling up firmly, placing the food on the floorboard between his feet. Takumi nervously opened the door and sat inside the car, adjusting the seat for his shorter frame.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Of course I'm sure. Come on,” Keisuke pushed, “hurry up before the food gets cold.”

*

“So what was this supposed to be?” Ryosuke asked, a smear of grease across his forehead and trailing down one cheek.
“Lunch,” Fujiwara replied.
“And what happened to it?”
“Keisuke fainted and the food slid around and it got all mixed up in the container,” Takumi said, looking sadly at the mixed-up pile of brightly-colored goo in the bottom of the tub. Ryosuke looked up from the jumbled food at Keisuke, who was blushing slightly.
“Again?”
“I get the point,” Keisuke said quickly. “No need to rub it in. I asked Fujiwara to drive my FD and see the difference and, well, I was still feeling ill from driving with you so I closed my eyes.”
“Right,” Ryosuke said, dumping half the food into a bowl and handing it to Matsumoto. The two sat down and began eating quickly, hungry but pressed for time. Takumi looked at the disemboweled AE86, then back at the two dirt-covered men.
“How are you doing?” he asked.
“Good. We've got the interior out, the cage is almost finished. We need to finish welding a few more places and then put as little of the interior back in as possible. Fujiwara, in addition to the cage and the driveshaft, we're going to put some lighter wheels on your 86. It's not much, but every bit will help,” Ryosuke said, setting down the empty container and getting back to work.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Takumi asked.
“No. I'd say go and practice, but you don't have a car to do so with. You can go home and rest, if you want,” Ryosuke said, turning back to the AE86 with gusto. Takumi walked out of the shop and followed Keisuke, who drove him back to the tofu shop.
“I'll pick you up when it's done,” Keisuke said before leaving. Takumi nodded and went upstairs
Meteor
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 08:42 PM


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That sure was a quick update.

LOL @ Keisuke fainting again.
DK_2
Posted: Oct 21 2007, 09:01 PM


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LOL. Keisuke is pulling an Iketani... shifty2.gif laugh.gif Ryosuke and Takumi are scaring the living hell out of Keisuke! laugh.gif It's so funny. laugh.gif Again another great chapter. It would've been better if you actually made a detailed bit of when Fujiwara was driving the FD and the part where Keisuke fainted. laugh.gif wink2.gif
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Posted: Oct 21 2007, 10:42 PM


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Great as always - I really wonder if any of your ideas will make it onto 5th Stage.
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Posted: Oct 21 2007, 11:00 PM


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@ thx712517;

I'd like to commend your amazing skill and enthusiasm in writing. For me, you really seem to have memorized each and every character... thier profile, personality, characterization... even the way they speak in your fanfic is good. On the other hand you also understand well automotive technologies that are used for Initial D. Not so technical to the point of boredom, rather to the point of entertainment... well said, and easy to absorb. You write stories in a whole and yet connected to the stages already realized, thur 1st-2nd-3rd-and-4th Stages... Yours indeed makes the connection. You also know when to use adjectives correctly and to a nature and ambience very much similar to Initial D. I really like the point when you make characters converse... they are very very very much Initial D. You make good stories... their fics... but i really say, you're stories and creativity got Initial D another stage!

I liked reading well on the stories, specially the way the AE86 is undergoing... words were able to best describe that slowly inside my head the image of a modified 86 looks so true... i really wish these were 5th STAGE inclusives!!!

I also felt into more curiousity the time you made Ryosuke driving ones again, the time Takumi was to drive the Keisuke's FD, the face that could have been painted when Bunta was frustrated, and the hot-gassed, vengeance-steamed Hayato... even this new guy Hayato... i can't wait to see his face in drawing... every thing is Initial D ambienced!

Keep up the Good Work, and Bring in the Next Chapter!!!


This post has been edited by Panda_86 on Oct 21 2007, 11:02 PM
FinToy-83
Posted: Oct 22 2007, 04:58 AM


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wtf.. you're updating this at incredible pace! blink.gif I can't keep up.. yet. shifty2.gif
thx712517
  Posted: Oct 22 2007, 07:27 AM


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Sorry, no update yet, but I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who has commented so far. I appreciate the kind words and it is what fuels my frantic updating pace.
FinToy-83
Posted: Oct 22 2007, 11:18 AM


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Be careful with that. it might seem to be a good idea to thank everyone and keep up the frantic pace, but it can also lead to running out of inspiration.
thx712517
  Posted: Oct 22 2007, 11:29 AM


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Haven't run out yet.....

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Nakazato kept practicing, driving the R34 up and down Akina with Sayuki in the passenger seat taking notes.
“Ready for the big night tonight?” Sayuki asked.
“You bet,” Nakazato replied, rolling into the R34's throttle and enjoying the roar from the worked-over RB26DETT. The upgraded twin turbos spun up quickly, feeding the engine more and more air, the lightened flywheel giving the big motor a more responsive attitude as it streaked up the mountain.

“How do you feel about the car?” Sayuki asked.
“Hoshino did a good job. I'm looking forward to being introduced to some of his pro friends. I think we could make a hell of a team in the rally world.”
“Who's that?” Sayuki asked, pointing to a small white car resting in the parking lot.
“That would be an AW11, and money says it's Hayato's car,” Nakazato said, pulling the R34 into the lot next to the little Toyota.

“Is that your uphill?” Hayato asked through the rolled-down window.
“Yeah, it is,” Nakazato replied. Hayato stared at the R34 for a while, paying particular attention to the wheels and tires before shaking his head.
“I won't lose, but you will,” he said finally, starting up his car and moving off. Sayuki stiffened in her seat, recognizing the sound of the AW11's engine. Nakazato watched him drive off and head downhill before turning back to Sayuki, a disgusted look on his face.
“I should never have involved him,” Takeshi said slowly, shaking his head sadly.
“He's involved now, and I don't think he would stop, even if we asked him to. It sucks, Nakazato, but we need him to win. That is, if you still want to win,” she said.
“I don't know if I want to win with this man,” Nakazato said honestly.
“Nakazato, listen. If you back out of the challenge, you'll be taunted from here on out because people will say you were afraid to take on Project D. They won't talk about your sense of honor, or your morals, but that you challenged Project D and then backed out.”

“I haven't challenged them yet though,” Nakazato said, suddenly realizing he had never delivered the message.
“That's where we're headed now,” Sayuki replied. “I've got word that Takahashi Ryosuke is in a garage nearby working on the AE86. We'll deliver the challenge there.” The R34 cruised along civilly, far more refined than the old R32, even with its modifications. With Sayuki's precise directions the monster car was soon idling outside of a small shop. Nakazato approached the open bay door quietly, looking at the hachi-roku coming down off the lift, a full cage tucked inside its body. He whistled softly in shock, then turned and almost walked straight into Ryosuke.

“What are you doing here?” Takahashi asked, wiping the dirt from his hands.
“I'm here to challenge Project D to a race. Saturday, 10 PM. My R34 versus the FD on the uphill, AW11 versus AE86 on the downhill. Mt. Akina,” he said. Ryosuke's eyebrow arched up, the only outward sign of the massive number of calculations running inside his mind. Nakazato was following his prediction and attempting an uprising in Gunma against Project D, and was more than likely responsible for the AW11's presence on Mt. Akina. A missing engine, absent for a year, wouldn't suddenly be needed.
“We accept,” Ryosuke said finally, “but one question.”
“What's that?”
“You brought him here, didn't you?” Ryosuke asked.
“Who?”
“Don't toy with me, Nakazato. Do you know the stakes he made with Fujiwara?”

“Stakes?”
“A deal, a bet. The winner of the downhill race keeps the 86's engine.” Nakazato tried not to act surprised, but he failed. Ryosuke knew him too well for that.
“I'm... I'm sorry,” Nakazato said finally, turning around and returning to his GT-R. Ryosuke watched him get into the car before stepping out into the light after him.
“Project D will be there!” Ryosuke shouted. “Be prepared!”

Ryosuke turned back into the garage and put his hand on the 86's hood, pushing down slightly and calculating the force of the suspension as it pushed back on him. A sudden devilish thought entered his mind, and he slipped the key out of his pocket, staring at it. Fujiwara had blushed deeply when he had handed it over, and for good reason. A small, hand-sewn AE86 was attached to the key ring. Ryosuke stared at the hachi-roku, his heart beginning to beat faster and faster. Fujiwara would never have to know. It could be explained away as a test drive. It was necessary.

He opened the light door, surprised at how familiar it feeled to his FC. He slid inside, bumping his head on the new rollcage as he sat in the bucket seat. It didn't need adjusting, another surprise, considering the height difference between himself and Fujiwara. He reached out and held the steering wheel in his hands, a perfect distance from his chest. His left hand strayed down to the shift knob, finding it without a moment's questing. With happily shaking fingers, he put the key in the ignition, pushed the heavy clutch down to the floor, and turned the key. The engine spun twice before catching, quicker than his rotary. It idled roughly for a few moments before it warmed up and the throttle bodies began to behave properly.

“Alright,” Ryosuke said, pushing the clutch back down and shifting into gear. With a gentle manipulation of the clutch and throttle he was backing the AE86 out of Matsumoto's shop. Looking up before shifting into first, he caught sight of Matsumoto staring at him with his jaw hanging open. Ryosuke froze for a moment, then ludicrously raised a finger to his lips and disappeared.

At the peak of Mt. Akina, thoroughly adjusted to the car, he paused for a moment and considered what he was about to do. He was about to race his team mate's car down Mt. Akina as fast as he possibly could a day before the race that would decide Project D's future. Thinking to himself about the supercharged motor he would be putting together shortly, he shook his head and put the car into gear.

*

Bunta sighed deeply, thinking over the events of the past week. Hayato's arrival and threat, the pending loss of Takumi on Mt. Akina, the ruin of the AE86 once its motor would be removed.... he shook his head and downshifted, clearing his mind the only way he knew how, driving down Mt. Akina at full speed. A familiar shape up ahead suddenly caught his eye, a shape that shouldn't have been there. It was Takumi's 86, but the boy was at home sleeping. There was no mistaking the car, there were none like it in Akina, especially with his logo on the side.

He downshifted again and quickly pulled alongside, catching a glimpse of Ryosuke in the driver seat, a guilty look on his face. Bunta pointed forward and tapped the brakes, bringing the Impreza behind the 86. He tapped the gas and began to ride the hachi's bumper, waiting for Ryosuke to make a move. With his racing heart beating slower, Ryosuke downshifted and accelerated flat out, headed downhill as fast as he dared. Bunta smiled with a predatory grin and gave chase.

The AE86 dove downward at full speed, the cage giving the chassis new-found stiffness as Ryosuke hooked a gutter and whipped through the hairpin as quickly as he could. Bunta was pleasantly surprised at the car's performance, pushing harder to keep up. Ryosuke began to sweat, revving the engine up as far as it would go to extract as much performance out of it that he could, the tires gripping to their utmost.
“The new cage is definitely helping. I can feel the chassis working instead of the body,” Ryosuke said, watching as the Impreza passed him effortlessly. He took his foot off the throttle and sighed in relief, free from the immense pressure that had been pushing on him for the past seventeen corners.

Carefully, quietly, he pulled up outside the Fujiwara Tofu Shop, shut off the engine, and walked inside, noting that the Impreza was tucked away in the alley neatly and looked like it had been there for quite some time.
“Fujiwara Bunta,” Ryosuke said, “I'm impressed.”
“Myself as well,” Bunta replied. “You took too long to install that cage. I would have put it in months ago if it were still my car.”
“My apologies,” Ryosuke said.
“If you've got nothing else to say, I need room for my customers,” Bunta replied, pulling on his apron and walking into the back.
“But there are no other customers,” Ryosuke replied in a confused voice. Fujiwara paused, shook his head, and then kept walking into the back.

“Takumi!” he shouted. From upstairs there were a series of thumps and bumps as Takumi woke up and walked slowly down the stairs.
“Hello?” he said, turning around the corner. Ryosuke looked at him and held out the key.
“I drove your car over so you could test it, Fujiwara. Keisuke is coming to pick me up in a little bit, so don't worry about me. Drive the hachi-roku, Takumi, and get used to the new chassis. You'll be pleasantly surprised.” Takumi took the key, blushing slightly at the hand-sewn ornament on the key ring dangling from his mentor's hand, his father looking at the two of them from the kitchen.
“Thank you,” Takumi said, walking out.
“Fujiwara Bunta, do you have any fried tofu?” Ryosuke asked, sitting down.

*

Keisuke shifted up, letting the FD's engine rev down a bit and make it easier to talk.
“So Nakazato is responsible for all of this, hmm?” he said, glancing at the tachometer's bouncing needle, the product of an ultra lightweight flywheel that stripped away almost all unnecessary weight and made the engine incredibly responsive.
“It would appear so,” Ryosuke replied. “He wants to stop Project D and figures this is the way to do so. He may very well succeed, but he hasn't anticipated all possibilities.”
“How do you mean, bro?”
“If Hayato wins the downhill, as it looks like he will despite Fujiwara's surprising luck and skill, he'll remove the engine from the hachi-roku and render it useless. When you defeat Nakazato on the uphill, it will then be a tied score. A loss on the downhill, a win on the uphill, with one more match to decide it. Usually that match would be the downhill again, but with one car inoperative, and the other driver no longer interested, it will be a stalemate.”

“What if Nakazato challenges me to a downhill?” Keisuke asked.
“You would be able to take him, I think. This car has been tuned very well, and your skills have improved since the last time you raced. Sayuki has made Nakazato dangerous, but provided you don't faint, you should be able to defeat him,” Ryosuke said, smirking to himself. Keisuke gripped the steering wheel tightly and fought back an angry growl.
“You gave me a concussion before you made me faint, so I wouldn't be so cocky. I was still feeling sick from that when I rode with Fujiwara. I don't faint,” he grumbled, his voice on the verge of collapsing into a whine.

“So you're up for the challenge then?” Ryosuke asked seriously.
“Of course. I'll take care of Nakazato. Don't worry about me. Just worry about Fujiwara and that AW11. Remember bro, if we lose that engine, the 86 is trashed.”
“I know,” Ryosuke replied. “Trust me, I know.”

*

“Any advice?” Takumi asked, sitting in the newly refreshed AE86. Bunta looked at the car and then at his son.
“He clears corners faster than you can, even with this cage. He puts more power down to the ground, even though he makes the same at the crank. He has more skill and has been driving longer, and he has pro driving skills. It's not a good situation to be in. He has no obvious weaknesses to be exploited, and he drives dirty when he's backed into a corner. Watch yourself, Takumi. The engine can be replaced, but you can't,” Bunta said, resting his hands on the door, his voice uncharacteristically kind. Fujiwara looked up in shock, surprised that his father would say such a thing.

Shaking his head, Takumi started up the engine and rolled out into the street. As he drove to Mt. Akina, he thought about his father's words and his concerned voice, and Ryosuke's prediction of failure. He needed someone to cheer him up, Takumi realized, and for that reason he stopped off at the gas station and honked his horn. Itsuki came running out in street clothes.
“Were you leaving?” Takumi asked, surprised.
“With you,” Itsuki replied, hopping inside the car and hitting his head on the new rollcage.
“Wow!” he said, rubbing his head, “a cage. I want to put one in my Levin. Does it feel different?” he asked.
“Yeah, it's much nicer,” Takumi replied. They were silent for a little bit before Itsuki spoke up again, this time in a more somber voice.
“Manager and Iketani-senpai were talking about you today. They think you're in danger. Manager was saying that Hayato drives dirty, like Shingo. Do you think you'll win?” he asked.
“I won't know until I drive him,” Takumi replied.

“I hope you win,” Itsuki said, looking out the window at the twilit roads. “I don't think this car would be the same without this engine,” he added. Takumi nodded in agreement, shifting up as he drove toward the peak. He glanced at the packed galleries and cringed.
“I wish we were doing this privately,” he said. Itsuki shrugged his shoulders.
“Nakazato challenged Project D to a battle. Yours is covering the downhill, and Nakazato challenged Keisuke himself for the uphill. Everyone wants you to win, Takumi,” Itsuki said, sighing.
“I hope I win,” Takumi finally replied.

The AE86 showed up at the top of the mountain and was greeted by a whole host of cars and observers. With the engine spinning just slightly faster than idle he rolled the hachi into place at the line, then shut off the engine and got out to talk with the Takahashi brothers. The number one Project D van was resting not too far away, and the tires on the hachi were quickly swapped to match the conditions of the race. On the other side of the road Nakazato and Sayuki were resting against their black R34 GT-R, talking to Hayato. A little farther off Takumi saw a small white wedge-shaped car, as much a box as it was a sportscar. Lowered and sitting on lightweight five spoke wheels, it had a predatory air and looked like the automotive version of Hayato. Dangerous, cold, calculating. Its stock rear spoiler had been relocated, pushed farther back on the lid of the trunk, making the car look even more intimidating.

“So that's an AW11, huh?” Takumi asked, pointing to the car. Ryosuke nodded.
“Keisuke will have the uphill taken care of, so don't worry about that,” Ryosuke was saying. “All your practice helped him too. He'd have to be an idiot not to improve after chasing you up and down this mountain, and your little drive in the FD helped him more than he knows. The downhill is the big concern here, where the pride is. That's why it comes first. Remember, Fujiwara, that your opponent revs as high as you do so there are no advantages to be had going into corners. Just as you don't have to shift up, he won't have to either. His car turns faster than yours does, and brakes quicker too. Remember how you drove against the EA11R, but don't think you'll be able to win in the same way. This race will take all of your skills, techniques, tricks, and luck,” Ryosuke said, patting Fujiwara on the shoulder.

Across the road on the other side, Nakazato looked at Hayato and begged him for the last time.
“Please, please don't drive dirty. I don't care what else you do, I just don't want you directly responsible for him getting hurt.”
“Your conscience is a handicap, Takeshi. But rest assured, he will come out of this alive. I need the engine unharmed. It's no good to me all banged up. If he crashes, he'll crash tail-first,” Hayato added, getting into his MR2 and starting it up. The two cars idled at the line, warming up for the big race.

“Racers, are you ready?” Fumihiro asked, pointing at both drivers. Takumi nodded, Hayato bared his teeth in a vicious smile. Slightly unsettled, Fumihiro began the countdown.
“San! Ni! Ichi! Go!” he shouted, waving his arm as the two cars lunged off the line. The AW11 immediately took the lead, its superior traction allowing Hayato to use more throttle to get started. Both cars shifted into second gear within an instant of each other, the drivers doing everything they could to wring all the power out of their identical motors. Third gear came, and then the first corner. Hayato hit the brakes first, allowing Takumi a chance to dive deeper before initiating his drift. To his shock, Hayato suddenly reappeared on the inside, passing the AE86 with incredible ease.

“Fujiwara has been passed at the first corner!” the radios screamed. Ryosuke shook his head, astonished that it had happened so soon.
“Once he's been passed he gets quicker,” Keisuke said to reassure himself more than the others standing around him. Fumihiro bit his lip, worried for the Project D ace.

Takumi watched the AW11's receding tail lights in frustration, pushing the throttle to the floor in a desperate attempt to catch up. The second and third corner passed by and the gap got larger, even with the strong chassis of the 86 and its new suspension settings. Takumi felt desperation rising up inside him. He couldn't lose the 86's heart. It would never be the same. He weight-shifted the car to drift through the next corner and kept the car sliding sideways down the straight before shooting off into the next curve, for what felt like the millionth time that week.

“The hachi-roku is catching up!” Ryosuke clicked on the radio to respond.
“How many seconds between the two?” he asked.
“Five,” came the reply. It was like a death sentence.

The AW11 dove deeply into the corner, its incredible grip allowing Hayato to bite deeply into the turn and reduce the amount of course he had to drive, picking up incredible speed as he exited the curve. Six seconds later, Takumi passed through the same curve, drifting so close to the guard rail that his headlights ripped leaves from the overhanging branches. At the exit, however, he was still five seconds behind the incredible MR2.
“How can I catch up?” Takumi wondered, turning the wheel as smoothly as he could and diving into the next corner, finally catching a glimpse of the AW11's tail lights again.
“Just drive faster,” he said to himself. “We both have four wheels and the same engine. If he can take that corner at that speed, so can I,” he muttered, holding off on the brakes for as long as he dared. With a sudden shock he realized that he had entered the turn too hot and the rear was starting to come loose on him. Working the clutch he regained traction but lost time.

“I can't follow his line,” Takumi said in frustration. “How can I stop him?!” The two cars dived into the next corner, a long left-hand sweeper with a straightaway at the end. In horror, Takumi saw that the MR2 was out-accelerating him, even with the carbon fiber driveshaft Ryosuke had installed. Although he had managed to reduce the AW11's lead by a few car lengths, as soon as the corner appeared the lead he had built dissolved in front of his very eyes.
“Tricks,” Takumi said, beginning to think hard. He dove for the gutter and shut off the lights, combining his two favorites in an attempt to disturb his opponent.

Hayato glanced in his mirror and chuckled.
“Fujiwara special, huh?” he said, pushing the AW11 closer to the inside of the corner, blocking Takumi from using the gutter to pass.
“I don't need to see you to know where you are, Fujiwara. Racers use the blind line all the time. We use something else, too. The nudge. Pass me and I'll use it on you.” He downshifted and drifted through the next corner, using his car's perfect balance and the incredibly potent engine behind his back to put another car length on the Corolla.
“This is the last corner before the hairpins,” the radio squawked. Keisuke picked it up.
“What's the situation?” he asked desperately.
“Fujiwara is eight seconds behind. Hayato is blocking the inside of every turn, preventing Takumi from using the gutters. It's not looking good.” Keisuke shut off the radio and almost threw it to the ground in frustration.
“Shit!” he finally shouted, anger boiling up inside of him. Ryosuke took the radio from his brother and gave it to Fumihiro, preserving their link to the finish line.

“I won't let you win!” Takumi shouted, diving into the first hairpin so hot that his bumper crashed into Hayato's, forcing him out of the way far enough to let him use the gutter and pass the AW11. Hayato recovered from the bump and returned the favor in the next hairpin, knocking the 86's rear tire out of the gutter and forcing it into a wild drift. Takumi barely recovered in just enough time to dive for the third corner, riding in the gutter to catch up to the AW11. Going into the fourth corner Takumi pushed hard, but he failed to pass.

“Fifth hairpin reporting in, Hayato is in the lead and Takumi is on his bumper. Both cars are within a meter of each other. Hayato is in the gutter!” the radio screamed. Takumi watched in horror as Hayato hooked the gutter and put three car lengths between the two. Takumi desperately tried to catch up, but at the exit of the fifth hairpin he was still trailing behind. The two accelerated down the straight as fast as they could, rushing toward the final corner where the road narrowed down and cut off all hope of passing.

Takumi brought the AE86 even with the AW11, glancing nervously over at Hayato. The two dove into the turn and Takumi watched in shock as the MR2 cut a sharper line, passing the AE86 and rushing over the finish line meters in front of him.
“The AE86 lost!”

This post has been edited by thx712517 on Oct 22 2007, 02:11 PM
DK_2
Posted: Oct 22 2007, 03:00 PM


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ZOMFG!!! *falls off the chair* *tries to regain reality of what I just read* OMG! You evil man. laugh.gif

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