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> [FANFIC] Battle of the Masterminds
thx712517
  Posted: Mar 21 2008, 04:56 PM


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It was past ten and Team Emperor was gathered at the top of Irohazaka. Kyoichi Sudo was about to try for a new personal best on the downhill record. The gallery was packed with fans and rivals all waiting to witness the amazing speed of the Emperor and His Evo III roar down the winding road ahead of him. The Evo III sat menacingly at the starting line, the exhaust note filling the night air along with the clamor and stirrings of the excited spectators that crushed against the guardrails to get closer to the incredible machinery on display. Seiji stood next to Kyoichi, who was himself meditating by his Evo III, composing his mind for the record run attempt. The wait was stressful making sure everyone was set up with stop watches and in sync with each other at the checkpoints, but it was necessary to eliminate having to redo a run. Sudo was not one to get worked up before a race, using the time instead to run over the course in his mind, his hands making small movements as he turned his imaginay steering wheel. He needed all his focus for this one.

Suddenly the radio in Seiji’s hand sprang to life, announcing for everyone to hear that the road was all clear and ready to go, timers were positioned and spectators had moved clear. Kyoichi opened his eyes and without saying a word opened the door to his Evo III and climbed in.
“Understood,” Seiji replied. The gallery, picking up on the situation, moved closer to the starting line. There was a collective moment as more than one person stopped to take in the beauty of the Evo as it revved and backfired, the banging of its exhaust like a gun firing in the night.
“San! Ni! Ichi! GO!” Sudo took a breath, floored the throttle, popped the clutch and launched with astounding precision into the long straightaway that led to the dangerous hairpins that had built Irohazaka's fearsome legend.

The Evo had been tuned specifically for his needs for the record attempt. He could no longer afford to lose time in the straights, resulting in another powerup of the iron-block 4G63 engine. This wasn’t a battle where honor polluted the issue, this was for time, and the clock felt no remorse, no twinge of honor. A record to prove once and for all why he was the Emperor of Irohazaka, a record that would establish him once and for all as the dominant driver of Irohazaka, as great as Ryosuke on Akagi. With adjustable cam gears, turbo cams, a full catback exhaust and a highly tuned ECU the horsepower had been upped to 385 and the coilover suspension retuned to his preferences based on data from countless runs. With this setup no one would ever beat his record, not even Ryosuke and his unbelievable ancient RX-7. The first corner came on much faster than usual. Sudo slammed the brakes, enjoying the incredible response as the slots in the rotors wiped the incandescent pad material off, the drilled holes bleeding off the gases before they could dull the response of the brakes. Without a touch of the handbrake he rotated the Evo III around the hairpin, buried his throttle pedal, and rocketed out of the corner into the night. This was his home course and no one could touch him here. His time would be remembered for generations to come.

*

Back at the peak of Irohazaka the Emperors were celebrating their leader's new incredible record. The new time was an astounding nine and half seconds faster than the previous best of Sudo or any other racer that had ever turned a wheel in anger on Irohazaka. It was a total and complete victory. The Emperors and gallery continued to talk and converse on the amazing feat they had just witnessed. Through the crowd and the showers of praise and congratulations Sudo noticed a strange man crouched next to his parked Evo III, clearly examining it and its setup.
“Hey! What are you doing?” Sudo barked as he parted the crowd and strode quickly towards the man examining his car.
“I... I was just admiring it,” the stranger replied.

“I think you’ve done enough admiring for one night,”Kyouichi said sourly, unwilling to let others benefit from his hard work. The stranger stood up slowly but his gaze never left the rear of the car. He was tall and dark, older than Kyoichi, taller than him as well, and somewhat shaggy. His appearance and attitude put Sudo on edge.

“I'll finish my admiration, but it was long enough to notice the incorrect suspension setup too. It isn't much, but you could pick up your speed a bit quicker if you softened it in the rear some. It's a common mistake to set the shocks too stiffly in the rear of an all-wheel-drive vehicle, don't feel bad about it. If you kept them a bit softer and altered the toe settings you could accelerate harder coming out of the corners and push harder out of the apex. Your setup right now is good, don't get me wrong, but it’s not perfect. But I guess it depends on what you prefer and what works for you, really.”

“I don’t know who you think you are, but this Evo is specifically tuned for this mountain and there’s no way it will ever be defeated. I know this Evo better than the back of my hand, and if you think you’re going to step in here and school me on how to tune my car then you’re sadly mistaken,” Sudo growled.
The stranger smiled slightly and shook his head.
“You’re all the same…all I did was offer you advice. I didn’t say you had to take it. But if you’re too proud to listen to a kindly pointer then I can accept that. But remember, even Emperors have advisors.” Kyoichi turned and followed the stranger to his car, one that Kyoichi wasn’t expecting.

A gleaming red FC3S stood before him, dominating the pavement it sat upon. It had an aggressive stance and black five spoke wheels were shadowed underneath the body of the immaculate car. Kyouichi watched in hostility as this newcomer climbed into the RX-7 car and started it up. The stranger was eerily similar to Ryosuke and his overbearing manner, and the man's voice rankled in Sudo's mind. Kyouichi couldn’t take it any longer.
“Perhaps you’d like me to prove to you in person why I’m Emperor here. My suspension setup is more than good enough to erase an old FC from my rearview mirror!” The stranger looked back at Kyoichi with piercing eyes and a serious expression, one of a teacher about to scold a student for overstepping his boundaries.
“You’d be a waste of my time.”

And in no particular hurry the FC cruised off at a normal pace down Irohazaka. Sudo turned to watch the red FC and this disrespectful driver begin his deccent. It was then that he realized the gallery had been watching the issue for quite sometime and expected something to happen. There was no way he was about to let this outsider insult him and the Emperor’s legacy. Especially in front of all these people. A thousand eyes were focused on Sudo, expecting him to do something. If he didn't, his image would be tarnished, blemished by a stranger who had done nothing other than toss a few meaningless words around.
“Screw this!” Sudo jumped into the Evo III and rocketed off after the FC as the crowd watched in shock and delight.The Evo was a monster on the downhill, devouring the distance between the two cars quickly and easily. The gap narrowed instantly as Kyoichi caught the slowly moving FC in a short straight before a hairpin.

“Alright, stranger. Time for some Kyoichi Sudo instruction. Witness what my Evo III is made of!” The FC driver glanced in his mirror at the pair of flashing headlights breathing down his neck centimeters away from his bumper. He shook his head with a frown on his face.
“Alright. I'll play your game. I don't want to, and I don't think you want me to either,” he chuckled. Kyoichi watched with satisfaction as the FC slowly crept away from his bumper.
“Ha! I knew it, another torqueless rotary with a cocky driver!” Kyoichi depressed the throttle and was immediately back on the FC’s bumper with ease. He followed the FC into the corner and drifted parallel with the FC around the corner.
“Not only are you slow in the straights, but you’re slow in the corners too! An outdated FC cant compete with my perfectly tuned Evo. Its YOU who’s the waste of my time. Time for me to end this and earn my glory,” Kyouichi said.

Sudo buried the throttle as they entered the straightaway. He swung around the FC and began to rocket past, his 4G63 motor bellowing with raw power. the pass never came. Kyoichi looked over at the driver of the FC who was dead even with his Evo, staring him dead in the eye. To know exactly when to look over was a feat of timing, and being able to take his eyes off the intense winding road was the mark of a genius or a madman. It sent shivers down Kyoichi’s spine. Even at full throttle with all the immense horsepower and torque of his engine he could not pass the FC.

Kyoichi’s blood was ice but nothing could have prepared him for what happened next as his entire night was shattered. The FC shot past with a burst of acceleration that put a three car length gap between the Evo and the FC. The acceleration was effortless and unstoppable. The FC had been holding back all along. Kyoichi watched in horror as a blue flame erupted from the FC’s exhaust as it downshifted and swayed into a drift in the opposite direction of the turn before whipping into an inertial drift through the hairpin, disappearing into the night by the next hairpin. Kyoichi slowed to a stop. He had been beaten on his home course by an FC driven by an outsider he had never seen before, moments after his record breaking run. It was too much.

“Who the hell was that?”


*

“Hey Takumi! I’m not going to say it again! Get your butt down here, don’t make me come drag you out of bed!” There was no answer to his cry, and Bunta grumbled to himself as he trudged upstairs to wake Takumi.
“That brat gets lazier every day,” Bunta muttered. He rounded the stairs just in time to see Takumi bolt from his room to the bathroom and immediately throw up in the sink.
“Well that’s a good way to start the morning,” Bunta said dryly. Takumi glared at him as a trail of spit dangled from his lip before vomiting again.
“Never mind. I’ll do the deliveries today,” Bunta said, watching as Takumi crawled thankfully back to bed. Bunta padded down the stairs with the paper cup in his hand, grabbed the keys for the loaded Trueno and walked outside.

“It's been awhile since I’ve done the delivery. I wonder...” He settled into the Trueno’s highly-bolstered bucket seat and started the engine. He placed the paper cup full of water in the dashboard cup holder, even though it wouldn't be needed. Once the engine was warm he took off towards Mt. Akina, keeping the engine below eight thousand revolutions per minute as he made his way to the base of the mountain. Shifting into third, Bunta smiled and realized he was actually enjoying the change of pace. He missed doing the deliveries every now and then. Takumi needed the practice as much as possible, but it still felt good to shake off the rust.

A hard uphill hairpin was coming up fast. He flew in and braked at the last possible second while heel-toe downshifting as fast as the water would allow and smoothly letting the rear of the Trueno hang out wide through the drift before pumping the throttle and rocketing into the next corner. As he began to floor the throttle for the short straight, he saw a pair of headlights whip around the hairpin behind him and rocket towards his front bumper as if there was a magnet drawing it closer.
“Hmm...fast car,” Bunta observed. He upshifted and floored the gas pedal. It had been forever since he had raced someone uphill with the cup of water. It would be just the thing to stretch his muscles for the downhill.

“This should be a challenge,” he said before glancing down at the water and smiling. A true challenge. The headlights eventually reached the bumper of the Trueno and closed in tight. This driver was different. He didn’t flash his lights. No incessant honking on the horn as a signal, nor was he swerving or attempting to whip around. It was the mark of a mature racer. Bunta and the mystery car charged full speed into an uphill tight left hairpin.

Bunta checked the water in the cup with an automatic glance before abrubtly letting off the throttle, turning the wheel, and rolling back into the throttle again to sling the car into a graceful but high speed drift upward around the corner. An amazing sight to behold, and fun to perform. Bunta checked his rearview mirror again and, to his surprise, the headlights were still there.
“Fast driver.”

A few lazy sweepers passed by with the trailing car still glued to his bumper but not attempting to pass. It was almost as if he understood Bunta’s handicap and was deliberating whether or not to exploit it. The next hairpin was rapidly approaching. Bunta set up for the corner and heel-toed into a precision drift, again rotating the water in the cup carefully, but he saw a glimpse in his rearview mirror of his follower’s headlights shooting further to the outside. Bunta began to steepen his drift angle to block the pass, but ran out of room. Glancing over his shoulder he saw the pop-up headlights of a red vehicle staring at him through his driver side windows. Bunta knew he wasn’t trying to pass. There could be no mistaking it. Instead, it was almost as if the driver was trying to see inside the car, trying to see who he was driving against.
“What are you after?” Bunta wondered.

The chase continued in a controlled manner with the car glued to the Trueno’s bumper until Bunta reached the hotel at Lake Akina. As he was slowing down and signaling his turn his opponent finally came around at full throttle. Bunta listened to the sound of the rotary engine and the loud hiss of the blowoff valve as he caught sight of the red FC that had tailed him up the mountain. For the first time in a while Bunta smiled and felt genuine happiness as he watched a ghost from his past round a corner and disappear out of sight.
“Well I’ll be damned.”

After unloading the Trueno, Bunta cruised to Lake Akina’s shoreline and sat on the hood of the hachi-roku and lit up a cigarette. It had been awhile since he had taken in the night and the beauty of Akina. Usually he was driving too fast to appreciate how beautiful it truly was, and the encounter of this morning had put him in a reflective mood. Bunta heard a car pull up behind him and didn’t need to turn around to know who it was.

“Rotary.”
“Hey,” a deep voice from behind said. Not the voice Bunta remembered. It was a man’s voice now, no longer that of a young teenager’s.
“You got any extra tofu? I’m in need of an early breakfast.”

“Sorry, I'm fresh out. Just dropped off the deliveries at the hotel. You’ll have to come by the shop later this morning if you still want some. You should remember where it is.” Bunta still hadn’t turned around to face who he was talking to, but he didn't need to.
“Damn, just my luck,” the voice said while walking towards Bunta until finally the man stood beside him, hands in his pockets as he looked up at the same stars Bunta was observing.
“Oh well. I never was a big fan of your tofu anyway.” Fujiwara turned to look at the man who was now smirking so much he could hardly keep from laughing.

“What kind of greeting is that?” Bunta chuckled as he stood up and faced him. The man beside him smiled as he reached out and hugged Bunta. In the privacy of the night, Bunta returned the affectionate embrace before stepping back to look at him.
“How have you been, Kichirou?” Bunta chuckled as he ruffled the man’s hair.
“I’m doing great actually. I figured it was about time to stop by and pay a visit to my old friend Fujiwara Bunta.”
“It took you seventeen years to finally decide to pay me a visit?”

“Well you sort of dropped off the face of the earth for awhile Bunta, and after that I was busy with life. I have a wife and a kid now.”
“Is that so? So who’s the lucky lady?” Bunta asked politely.
“Who do you think?” Kichirou asked sarcastically, smiling even as he said it.
“That redhead always did have you whipped!” Bunta chuckled. The two laughed together before Bunta took another long drag from his cigarette.
“You know the last time I saw you, Kichirou, you were eighteen and you only had your license a few months, but you were dead set on giving me hell and riding my bumper no matter how fast I drove.”

“I was still nowhere as good as you Bunta,” Kichirou said truthfully.
“I don’t know about that. You were good. Real good. I’m sorry I couldn’t have helped you out more than I did.”
“Hey you’re responsible for who I am today. You taught me so much.”
“I only helped you build on what you naturally had. You can’t teach natural talent. You were one of the few that had what it takes to make it as a racer. I was proud to have you under my wing, even if it was just for a short while.”
“I still can’t believe you gave up your sponsorship to me. If it wasn’t for you I don’t know what I’d be doing with my life now. I can’t picture my life any other way than me racing cars,” Kichirou said.

“You deserved it. Besides, it was time for me to settle down. I had a wife that needed me, and a son on the way. I couldn’t be running around risking my life in car races with a pregnant wife. Besides, it all worked out in the end.”
“I guess you could say that it did. Still, I wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me, Fujiwara. I'm coming through the area and I'll be here for a few nights. Say, where's your son?” he asked.
“Sick. He's been running a fever for a while now, and I was waiting to see when he would finally admit he was too sick to drive. He's a lot like you were, stubborn and fast.”
“Good to see I'm not the only one. There seem to be a lot of hot-headed jerks out there, Bunta. I had a scrape with one of them on Irohazaka, driving an Evo III. Poor guy, he couldn't understand how I blew past him,” Kichirou chuckled.

“I'm surprised to see you still driving the FC, although it's good to see you finally got it repainted. Have you done much to it since we last met?” Bunta asked.
“You should know that better than me, old man. It's been roughly the same. I've changed out a few things over the years whenever something wears out, buying the latest and greatest gear as it hits the market, but I haven't gone crazy with it. You and I both know it's easier to destroy a car's balance than it is to improve it. I've done my best to keep reducing weight, increasing suspension travel, maximizing the contact patches. All the usual stuff. I can't believe this little hachi-roku is still alive!” he exclaimed, rapping on the roof with his knuckles.

“It's seen a lot of damage,” Bunta replied. “I've replaced every body panel with carbon fiber over the past two years, lightened it as much as I could, stiffened it, and of course I put in the 4A-GE race motor. It's done well. It fell into the hands of a racing group for a while and they did a lot to it, but I fixed what they screwed up.”
“That sounds familiar. You're so particular about your tuning setup, Bunta, I think you'd blame Toyota for doing a bad job building the car.”

“Hmm. Maybe. Anyway, time for me to get back to the shop. Are you going to come and get some breakfast?” Bunta asked.
“No, I hate tofu. Especially yours. I'll be around though, for at least a few days. I'd like to see how your son handles this hachi-roku. Well, ja na!” Bunta watched him go and privately hoped that Takumi would feel better soon. A run-in with his former pupil would do his son well.

This post has been edited by thx712517 on Jul 26 2008, 07:21 AM
VTiRoj
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 06:20 PM


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A former pupil of Bunta? No wonder he spotted Kyouichi's suspension flaw and blew him away on the downhill! grin2.gif

Really liking this one! Cant wait for the next chapter! Great job you two. biggrin.gif

Get well soon Takumi. tongue.gif
Meteor
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 07:04 PM


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This is freaking epicness! Just the first chapter, and I'm already blown away.

Great work you two! biggrin.gif

Oh, and get better soon Takumi. The fic needs you tongue.gif
s13_slider
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 07:16 PM


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Beautiful work so far!!!!!!
pnoytecknix
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 07:49 PM


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awesome!... hope there are alot of updates in this coming week since im finally on break.

btw, does this continue from the end of your last fic, or is this a completely separate fic?
thx712517
  Posted: Mar 21 2008, 07:59 PM


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This is intended as a separate fiction from everything else I've written, but red comet 7 had made a few references to some of my previous fics, so I guess it's somewhere in between. Updates will come as they can while still maintaining the current quality level.
207
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 08:36 PM


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sweet another fan fic. i like how it started off, it should be a good race w00t2.gif.
pnoytecknix
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 08:40 PM


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good to know... im sure anything you put out will be awesome, thx.
207
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 08:45 PM


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thx: am i correct in guessing this is the fanfic that you're making along with red comet's help?
red comet 7
Posted: Mar 21 2008, 11:06 PM


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yes this is my original idea, that THX is helping me bring to life, and it is supposed to be a continuation from THX's so far.

im glad you like it...

.....i think you're going to be a little surprised at who this MAJOR battle is actually between... wink2.gif

207
Posted: Mar 22 2008, 04:42 AM


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QUOTE (red comet 7 @ Today at 2:06 AM)
yes this is my original idea, that THX is helping me bring to life, and it is supposed to be a continuation from THX's so far.

im glad you like it...

.....i think you're going to be a little surprised at who this MAJOR battle is actually between... wink2.gif

well you also hav a great idea for a fanfic. i'll be pleasantly surprised to see who the battle is in between as i hav no clue who the red fc will be targeting.
pnoytecknix
Posted: Mar 22 2008, 10:45 AM


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ok, so the original idea for this fic was supposed to continue from THX's work... im just trying to get the facts straight, not to be all picky n shit.
im certain thisll be great no matter what the original intentions were, i just like to keep a timeline of previous events in mind...

my guess for the major battle is Kichirou vs Ryosuke...
takumi isnt really a mastermind yet, and since Kichirou is one of Buntas former pupils and not some old rival, there really isnt anyone to match up against Bunta... yet?
thx712517
  Posted: Mar 22 2008, 11:07 AM


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After announcing Downhill Specialists as my last fic, red comet 7 approached me with an idea of his own for a fic, asking me to bring it to life in my style. He provided a large amount of the material, most of which only needed very minor tweaking. It exists in the same universe as my other fics, but stays closer to Initial D canon than some of my own stuff. Should be an update tonight for those eager for it.
red comet 7
Posted: Mar 22 2008, 11:24 AM


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just a little forshadowing of Kichirou's character, think of him as a god like Toshia and God Foot, except in the prime of his life...not that old man stage yet...
thx712517
  Posted: Mar 22 2008, 02:54 PM


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“Hey aniki, did you hear the news?” Keisuke asked as he flopped down on his brother's bed, leaning back with his hands behind his head in the confident and somewhat arrogant manner that he always projected.
“I've heard a lot of news. What are you talking about?” Ryosuke replied, turning around in his chair and clasping his hands over one knee as he observed his brother. Keisuke squirmed under his older brother's analytical stare for a moment, a relic of his time racing under his brother's tutelage. It was the look of a teacher dealing with a recalcitrant student.
“There's a red FC on Irohazaka that destroyed Kyouichi Sudo shortly after he set a new record on the course. I thought you might want to meet him,” Keisuke said.
“It is rare to see someone using an FC. It would be nice to pick his brain over suspension settings. My fight with Sudo was difficult, it would be nice to make it a little easier. Not that the FC is my weak point,” Ryosuke added, blushing slightly. Keisuke noticed it even though the blush was gone in an instant, and smiled at his brother. Always defending the FC.

“It is rare, you're right. He was last seen on Mt. Akina at four in the morning, and a red FC was spotted outside the Fujiwara Tofu Shop this afternoon, about half an hour ago. It appears that the driver is a former student of Fujiwara Bunta, if my intelligence is correct,” Keisuke said. Ryosuke arched an eyebrow at his brother.
“Since when do you take such astute notes?” Ryosuke asked.
“Since you chided me for not being able to analyze my opponents. Ever since I was first defeated by Fujiwara I've tried to emulate my big brother, even if I'm better looking,” Keisuke added with a laugh, walking out of the room and down to his FD. Ryosuke heard the car pull out of the driveway and leave before he decided on a course of action.


*

“Yo, Takumi, are you still sick?” Bunta asked as he walked upstairs, entering his son's room to find him awake and pulling on a clean shirt.
“I'm better. I just needed to rest,” Takumi said, poking his head through the shirt collar and sniffling a bit.
“Good. Go do the delivery, and take the Trueno.”
“But today is the Impreza,” Takumi replied.
“I know, but I loaded up the hachi-roku. Hurry up or I'll do the delivery myself.” Takumi grumbled to himself but trudged downstairs and out to the loaded Trueno, remarking that the car sounded a little bit different than normal.

“Did you do something to the car?” he asked.
“Just tightened your accelerator cable. It was a little loose. Now stop stalling and go drive,” Bunta chided, taking a quick glance at his watch. It would be a near thing if Takumi didn't leave within the next five minutes. Takumi grumbled some more and got in the car, chirping the rear wheels as he shot off down the street.

Driving up Mt. Akina with the cup of water almost full to the brim Takumi slowly began to wake up. It was unusual to drive the Trueno out of rotation, considering how determined his father had been that he would change back and forth throughout the week. Playing favorites with a car was against his nature. Then again, so much was against his nature. That wicked fast Impreza was frightening for all its abilities and untapped potential. After unloading his precious cargo at the hotel, Takumi emptied out the car and looked at it for a few moments, his mind still a fuzzy blur from being sick.
“Almost time to come pick up the empties,” he said. There was a stack of empty containers waiting somewhere in the hotel's kitchen, cleaned and drying out in anticipation for being picked up on Friday to start the cycle over again. He took a half-hearted step toward where they might be, thought better of it, and shut the hatch on the Trueno. Getting inside he started the engine, wished there were a radio, and put the car into gear, the heavy shifter snicking into first with rifle-like precision.

“I wish I was driving the Impreza,” he grumped to himself, hitting the throttle with his heel and jamming his toes on the brakes to swing the car around a tight left turn, jamming down into second and revving the engine toward its eleven thousand revolution per minute redline. His surly mood evaporated as the engine sang, its power vibrating through the car and shaking the air inside his lungs. It was an impressive motor, responsive and quick to the touch, monstrously powerful but lacking in torque. For a one point six liter four cylinder engine though, it was a real masterpiece, even if it hated the cold and needed frequent oil changes to keep it in prime condition. Drifting through another corner, experimenting with the one-handed steering Joushima had shown him, Takumi noticed a set of eerily familiar headlights in his rearview mirror.
“Ryosuke?” he wondered, keeping his pace. If it was Ryosuke, he could catch up whenever he pleased. The car drew up closer and closer, silently hovering behind his bumper so close that the Trueno's brake lights lit up the face of the driver behind him. It wasn't Ryosuke, and it wasn't the white FC. The stranger was driving a red FC of the same year as his mentor's and driving it in a similar manner, explaining the moment of mistaken identity but not revealing who he truly was.

“Let's see if you can keep up,” Takumi said, downshifting to bring the tachometer needle screaming up into the engine's powerband, a burst of flame belching from the hachi-roku's tailpipe. The driver of the FC smiled slightly and rolled into his throttle, the FC steamrolling forward thanks to its massive quantities of turbocharged torque. The two cars barreled down the mountain, Takumi fighting harder and harder to gain a lead on the unshakable pursuer seemingly glued to his tail. The two cars screamed through a tight right-hand hairpin, the hachi-roku screaming sideways in a perfect zero-counter drift, the hallmark of Fujiwara's skill. The panda Trueno kept up the drift through a short straight and powered through the next corner, a feat Takumi could achieve only through intense concentration and effort. Kichirou's eyes widened a bit as he witnessed the incredible skill shown to him and pulled off the same drift as effortlessly as someone would pull on their coat. Takumi began to sweat, his heart racing and pounding so hard in his chest that he could feel it thump against his ribs over and over again, threatening to hammer out of his body as it pumped his body full of adrenaline. This was driving!

Takumi floored the engine, winding it up to 11,000 RPMs before upshifting, slamming into the next gear without taking his foot off the throttle, relying on the heavy duty clutch to absorb the horrific shock without breaking. The rear tires barked as power was forced upon them, but they didn't slip, instead pushing the AE86 downward faster than Takumi had ever attempted before. Takumi felt the rush of adrenaline soaking through every muscle in his body, his knuckles turning white and fear screaming at him to let off the throttle, to slow down and let the incredibly fast FC pass him by. It was unbelievable. He was rushing down Mt. Akina faster than he had ever dared before, the gentle familiar corners looming large and hideously dangerous, threatening to tear the fragile hachi-roku apart if he missed his line by a fraction of a millimeter. With all the precision years of driving the same path had given him Takumi kept his foot to the floor even though every fiber in his being was crying out, was screaming and begging and pleading with him to slow down. Hitting the brakes hard the Trueno's rotors glowed brilliant cherry red as they shed the car's massive speed, letting Fujiwara kick the clutch and drift through the next corner with his rear bumper millimeters away from the guardrail. Kichirou let out a silent whistle in admiration, realizing that he was watching something truly amazing unfold before his eyes.

Takumi was running scared, unable to believe his chaser was still able to keep up. The man had to have incredible skill to drive so quickly and stay so close on a mountain that Takumi had made his own, a road where he knew every bump, dip, scrape, gouge, and oil stain like his own body. The two cars, locked in mortal combat, streaked down Mt. Akina, rapidly approaching the five hairpins that had made the course a legend and Fujiwara Takumi the target for anyone who wanted to be known as a real driver. Approaching the first he hooked the AE86's tires into the gutter and swung through with the throttle almost completely open, popping out just in time to run for the next. The red FC followed suit, remaining glued to his rear bumper. Sweating, Fujiwara attempted the exit-oriented gutter technique, and to his shock, the red FC copied it perfectly, popping out of the gutter a little bit sooner than the hachi-roku in order to accelerate to an even faster speed, the car's low red nose creeping past Takumi's rear wheel. Throwing it through the remaining gutters it seemed useless. No matter what he did, the stranger in the red FC copied it perfectly, doing it better than he did, but holding back.

“You've proven you're a faster driver. Why won't you pass me?” Takumi wondered, shifting into third and barreling down the short straight. They were coming up on the final few turns, the next one rapidly approaching with the FC still behind him, centimeters from his bumper if not less. They screamed through the turn where three lanes converged into one, the hachi-roku on the inside and the FC drifting toward the outside. With a short burst of acceleration the red FC finally made his move, effortlessly sweeping past Takumi on the outside, gaining a tremendous amount of distance down the short straight, and rounding the final corner five car lengths ahead of the panda Trueno. Takumi, completely shattered at having been beaten so soundly, could only limp home, his eyes wide open in shock, his body trembling from the adrenaline that was now draining from his system, leaving his hands and feet achingly cold and stiff.
Parking the AE86 in the alley next to the tofu shop Takumi remained inside the car, letting it idle as he thumped his head against the steering wheel, trying to calm his body's screaming nerves enough for him to get out of the car. He felt a wave of nausea wash over him, settling on his stomach. Opening the door frantically he stumbled out of the car, fell to his knees as the seatbelt caught around his arm, and vomited on the ground, his overstressed body unable to contain itself anymore.

“I see you met Kichirou Tsubasa,” Bunta said as he brought his son a cup of cold water and a piece of bread. Takumi rinsed out his mouth with the water, then took a bite of the bread to settle his stomach.
“Who is he?” Takumi asked, completely unsurprised that his father knew who the driver was.
“Before your time. He was a pupil, a son before I had my own. A great driver with natural talent who I coached, and eventually he became a pro driver. He's been racing professionally for many years now, has a family of his own. He's visiting the area, and I wanted him to meet you. Come inside, he'll be here in a few minutes.” Takumi was sitting on the couch slowly feeling like himself again when there was a knock at the door.

“So you're Fujiwara Takumi, eh?” Kichirou asked as soon as he was inside the door. Takumi rose to his feet and nodded.
“You drove well, I was impressed. I thought it was your old man for a while there. No one corners like he does, but you're almost there.” Takumi felt a smile spread across his face at the sincere praise, a smile that was magnified when he saw his father's put-out expression.
“You were incredible,” Takumi said honestly. “I've never been pushed like that on Mt. Akina before. How long have you been driving?”
“Oh, years,” Kichirou replied casually. “It's all been in that FC. I think I've spent more of my life inside that car behind the wheel then I have doing anything else. It's a fact my wife resents sometimes, sweet though she is.”
“You sound like Ryosuke,” Takumi said, laughing to himself. Kichirou, as calm as he appeared, stiffened slightly in his seat.
“Who's he?” Kichirou asked casually.
“He runs Project D, it's the racing team I'm a part of. I take care of the downhill while his brother handles the uphill. We're undefeated at the moment,” Takumi said, somewhat proud to tell this stranger of his achievements. Kichirou nodded, thinking to himself.
“What kind of car does he drive?” he asked.
“A white FC.” Kichirou stood up quickly and headed for the door, his hand reaching out for the knob before Bunta cleared his throat.

“Going somewhere?”
“Yeah. Remember when I said I was going to be here for a few days? There's a reason. Bunta, watch out for that son of yours. He's going to kick your butt one of these days, and it's going to be sooner rather than later.” With that he quickly passed through the door, shutting it behind him, and disappeared. Takumi heard the sound of a rotary engine start up and drive off, tires chirping at every shift. Turning to his father, Takumi was about to ask a question when Bunta spoke for him.
“If I had to guess, he's here to sign your friend up to a racing contract.”
Meteor
Posted: Mar 22 2008, 06:53 PM


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And another attempt at getting Ryousuke to sign a racing contract. Or is it?

Another well done chapter. I'm kooking forward to the next.
207
Posted: Mar 22 2008, 07:45 PM


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nice race between the fc and the 86 w00t2.gif. lol everytime that i click on this thread i analyse the size of the scroll bar on the right side of the screen to see if there are any updates. looks like ryosuke will hav a good battle though the winner is ambigious atm sad.gif .
pnoytecknix
Posted: Mar 22 2008, 07:56 PM


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awesome update, cant wait for the next one...
red comet 7
Posted: Mar 23 2008, 07:12 AM


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the next chapter's are where it starts to really get interesting... wink2.gif
Meteor
Posted: Mar 23 2008, 07:37 AM


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QUOTE
the next chapter's are where it starts to really get interesting... wink2.gif

All the more to look forward to smile.gif
VTiRoj
Posted: Mar 23 2008, 07:57 AM


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Sweet battle between the FC and 86! grin2.gif

I wonder if there will be a FC vs FC battle? whistling.gif
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Posted: Mar 23 2008, 08:03 AM


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  Posted: Mar 23 2008, 12:43 PM


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Ryosuke stared at his FC, his eyes focused intently on the hood, pondering the state of his car. It was a difficult question to ask, and painful to probe. The FC, like all FC3S RX-7s, had started out in life designed to be a grand touring car, capable of decent handling and a good turn of acceleration, but not the bare-bones sportscar that the SA22 had been, or the FD had proven to be. It was a paradox, the middle model that was more powerful than the old one but heavier than the new one. The suspension was originally designed for relaxed cruising, and it had taken some serious and expensive work to convert it from its casual stance to the aggressive one necessary for tackling the touge. The expensive coilovers had been one of the biggest changes, allowing Ryosuke to endlessly tune the damping and rebound as well as switching from the softer stock springs to far more aggressive ones that had changed the FC's ride and handling immensely.

After that it had snowballed, with adjustable swaybars front and rear, engine work, transmission work, until everything that could possibly be refined, strengthened, or lightened had been. The white FC sitting there in the driveway of his parents' home was completely different from what it had been on the showroom floor years before. Thinking back, Ryosuke realized he was completely different too. He chuckled and reached out a hand to touch the FC's gleaming white hood before walking around, trailing his finger along the fender, opening the door, and sitting inside. Resting in the supportive bucket seat he started the engine and listened to the sound of the rotary engine spinning and humming to itself. The porting job had set him back a decent amount, but that was three years ago and it had helped him tackle the next level of drivers out there. His triumphant ascent to the peak of the street racing world had left a number of previously-revered drivers tossed to the wayside and forgotten. It was a fate to be avoided at all costs, and it was one of the driving forces behind Project D. Even when his personal records were blasted into the dust by newer drivers with better machines and more skill, the legacy of Project D's year of domination wouldn't be easily forgotten. It was the first attempt by anyone in Japan to create such a small team with such concentrated power, and even when other teams had bested their records, they would be forever noted in street racing history as the first to pave the way and race across all of Japan. Sighing, he shifted the FC into gear, backed out of the driveway, and made for Mt. Akagi.

*

Bunta stood outside the tofu shop in the early morning, smoking a cigarette when a familiar red FC pulled back up to the shop, arriving shortly after the 86 had left. Walking over as the driver's window rolled down, Bunta leaned down and smiled at Kichirou's grim face.
“So, did you find him?” he asked, knowing the answer before his friend answered.
“No, I went to Akagi last night but no luck. I found an interesting yellow FD though, and had fun with him for about fifteen minutes. He's got spunk too, I like him. I'm guessing that was his brother, but I'm looking for Ryosuke himself.” Bunta let out a long trail of smoke, grasping through his memory for an answer.

“I think that's Takahashi Keisuke, he's sort of Takumi's friend. He was the uphill specialist from what I gathered from Takumi, like his older brother but more aggressive.”
“Hmm. I bet they were a lethal combination. No wonder they were able to succeed in their efforts with so few setbacks,” Kichirou said.
“Yeah, he's definitely got talent. Of course not quite as talented as Ryosuke though,” Bunta said, smiling at the memory. Kichirou looked at him carefully, examining his mentor.
“And how would you know that?” he asked curiously. Bunta finished another long drag from his cigarette before responding.
“Because I lost to the brat on Mt. Akina's downhill.”
“Are you telling me THE Fujiwara Bunta in the legendary hachi-roku lost to Takahashi Ryosuke?” Kichirou asked, completely shocked at the surprising development.


“Calm down, Tsubasa. He didn't beat me in the 86. I was driving my Impreza. He barely crossed the line before I did, and completely totaled his car in the process. He was pried out of his car and carried to the hospital. I wouldn't exactly call it a solid victory. Besides, if I had been driving the hachi-roku I would have beat the pants off of the kid. You know that.”

“Okay, well that's not too bad. But still, the fact that he gave you a decent run for your money is quite impressive. Even if it wasn't the hachi-roku, you still raced on Akina,” Kichirou said, his mind turning over this new information and trying to process what it meant for his mission to find and sign the young man. To be willing to destroy his car and hospitalize himself in order to win was a frightening sign of devotion.

“He's a talented young man. He has a lot of guts," Bunta said before taking one last drag from the cigarette, throwing it to the ground and grinding it out under his foot.
“But...he's still missing something..." Bunta added, almost under his breath. Kichirou looked down from the stars to give a slight smirk of acknowledgement to Bunta. His friend, unable to see the smirk, continued.

“The thing is that even though he's fast, there are points in his technique where you can see and feel that he knows the line that he should take, but doesn't fully know how to go about taking it. He still hasn't bonded with the car on a physical level to the point he can make the car do anything he wants. There are certain techniques that fall into your arsenal once your car becomes a part of you like a part of your own body. That's one of the reasons Takumi has progressed as far as he has. That car is a part of him. That's also why I would have blown away Ryosuke in the 86. Experience and the bond you have with your car are just as important as the money and labor you put into it. Until you're one with your machine, there's a limit to how fast you can drive. I'm sure you know that, Kichirou.”

“Hmm,” was all Kichirou could say. Both knew what Bunta had said was the truth. It was one of the reasons his red FC was so fatal to those who battled against it.
“Ryosuke is talented and has helped Takumi greatly. I think that if Ryosuke can finally bond with his vehicle the way Takumi has, he will find new information and techniques and his speed will increase again. I'm hoping he can pass down some of what he learns to Takumi. It will significantly speed up his learning process. If he wants to go pro one day he's going to need all the help he can get.”
“Well, how are you expecting Ryosuke to learn that type of control and those techniques?” Kichirou asked his mentor.

“I was hoping you could do me a favor and give him a crash course by beating the hell out of him for me. I would do it myself in the hachi-roku, but I'm getting a bit old for this kind of thing. I think it would mean more if his defeat came at the hands of someone driving the exact same car,” Bunta said. Kichirou's smile disappeared quickly at the suggestion.
“I'd love to oblige, but I came here to recruit a racing driver, not get into a kid fight. Besides, I don't want there to be any hard feelings between Ryosuke and myself if he's going to race with my team. Come on, Bunta. Beating him might actually send him further away from the idea of pro racing. He might not think he's ready and just run away.”
“Or it may give him a stronger reason to pursue it, once he sees what's become of you after going pro.” As Bunta finished the sentence he began to hack and cought violently, finally unable to hide it from his young friend. It was uncontrollable, and it was painful for Kichirou to watch his friend double over from the force and pain of the cough. All he could do was place a hand on Bunta's heaving back and wait for it to stop. Slowly Bunta stood up and tried to regain composure.

“How long has this been going on?” Kichirou asked intensely, concern mingled with anger on his expressive face. Bunta feigned a sheepish expression and held out his hands in a gesture of forgetfulness.
“A while now, it isn't an issue.”
“Have you been to a doctor about this?” Kichirou asked.
“Of course not,” Bunta laughed. “You know I hate those places. Hospitals are for the dying.”
“Bunta, you need to get that cough of yours checked out. With as many cigarettes as you smoke, your health could be in serious danger.”
“I'll be alright. You sound like an old woman, worrying like that over nothing.”
“I lost my father to cancer. I don't want to lose my mentor and friend, too.”
“I said I'm fine!” Bunta growled. There was an awkward silence. The tension was thick in the air as the two stood there, minds whirling with the words that had just passed between them. Finally Kichirou broke the silence.

“Fine. You want me to race Ryosuke, I'll do it. But only under the condition that when I win, you go see a doctor and get checked out. I think that's fair enough, don't you?” Bunta stared at the concrete of the sidewalk, then at the red FC in front of him. Finally his eyes turned back to Kichirou's stubborn stare.
“If not for yourself Bunta, do it for Takumi. You know what I went through. Save him from that. Please.” Bunta turned his gaze toward the stars for a few moments before finally turning back to Kichirou, shaking his head as he did so.
“Fine. It's a deal.”

*

Ryosuke started up his engine after letting it cool down, tired of the mountain breeze messing with his hair as he sat brooding on the peak of Mt. Akagi. Shrugging his shoulders he fastened his harness, glanced over the information pouring in from his guages, and shifted into first. Letting out the heavy clutch he felt the responsive rotary engine's revs dip as the friction point was met, and then began feeding in more throttle as he let the clutch out, pointing the car downhill and traveling as fast as he dared during daylight hours. The FC was battered and sore, it was true, but it had done well, and after being repaired it was impossible to detect any weakness in the frame. The car was, to all his senses, in perfect condition. So why did it feel like it was lacking something?

At the bottom of the mountain he paused for a moment to let the engine cool, idly wondering if he needed to upgrade the radiator yet again, before tackling the uphill. It was a way of attacking a problem, he realized. Unable to bring the issue directly to his mind, Ryosuke dove deeply into the art of driving, his body and mind focusing so intently on manipulating the car that all his troubles melted away, their chains slipping from his soul and casting him free, free to race with every ounce of his being. Diving into one particular corner, a favorite of his, Ryosuke pushed the clutch in, slapped the shifter into second, popped the clutch out again and buried the throttle to the floor, smiling broadly at the sound of the screaming rotary engine and the whoosh of the turbo. It was on the fifth pass down the mountain that he realized someone was attempting to tail him.
“Fast car on the straights, good handling, familiar,” Ryosuke said, analyzing it intently through his rearview mirror. He let off the throttle, hearing his blowoff valve vent to the atmosphere, letting the mystery car catch up.

Kichirou felt somewhat nervous. It had been difficult to catch up to the white FC on the previous two passes, and now there was his prey, slowing down for him to close the distance. Tucking in close behind in his standard attack position, Kichirou braced himself. Akagi was different from Akina, and it had been quite some time since he had raced there, putting him at a slight disadvantage. The driver's style was unique, Kichirou noticed, different from Bunta or Takumi and far more restrained now that he was conscious of being tailed.
“So, are you really him?” Kichirou asked, noting the license plate and the modifications of the car. Delving deeper into the tuning of the vehicle from the way it reacted to the road and the driver's inputs, Kichirou whistled privately to himself. The white FC was a mirror image of his own red RX-7, right down to the camber of the rear tires and the response of the turbo. It had to be Takahashi Ryosuke, no one else could tune a car like that and drive it with such incredible skill, not even his younger brother or Fujiwara Takumi, although the young son of Bunta was incredibly close. The two FC3S RX-7s screamed through the sweeper in a tight parallel drift, their mirrors almost rubbing as the two cars countersteered and shot down the straight, revs rising in sync and gears changing within milliseconds of each other. Kichirou felt as if he was racing against a mirror image, a feeling enhanced when both cars hit the brakes and slowed down at the exact same rate for the next corner. Taking his eyes off the street for a moment Kichirou thought he could recognize the tire tread as the same kind as his own, his smile growing larger as he freely laughed, plummeting down the mountain in an increasingly desperate battle.

Glancing over, he saw the slim young man behind the wheel of the RX-7 and remembered the photograph he had been given of Takahashi. His identity now fully confirmed, Kichirou strove to keep close to Ryosuke as the two sliced and diced down the mountain, each one driving their car to the limit of their abilities. It was a close battle, and when the two reached the bottom of the mountain Kichirou had made no advance but had lost no ground to the street king. Unable to pass him, Kichirou watched in vain as Ryosuke drove off, his white FC quickly disappearing at one of the many intersections. Frustrated, he slammed his hand against the steering wheel, hung his head, and then swung his own car, hot and in need of a cool-down, toward the Fujiwara Tofu Shop. Pulling in front of the store just in time to see Bunta walking out, Kichirou parked the FC but left it running, getting out of the car to speak with his mentor.

"You look a little hot under the collar," Bunta said. "I was just about to do the delivery. Want to come?"
VTiRoj
Posted: Mar 23 2008, 03:10 PM


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Schweeeeeeeet! grin2.gif

Ryousuke and Kichirou are evenly matched at Akagi it seems. Cant wait for the next chapter! biggrin.gif
DK_2
Posted: Mar 23 2008, 04:38 PM


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ooooooooo.
the smoking is finally taking place here interesting.

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