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> [FANFIC] Chick Fight!
thx712517
  Posted: Jun 6 2008, 07:39 PM


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Okay, so I guess I unintentionally fibbed when I said I was done writing fic for Initial D. Yes, I'm still working with RC7 on Battle of the Masterminds, and as that fic is drawing to a close I got an idea for something unique I'd like to do on my own.

This is what you need to know. This fic takes place in 4th Stage, before Project D's battle with Purple Shadow but after the Saitama Alliance. It is not part of the universe of fics I've created in the past, so don't expect Itsuto to show up, or a 2000GT. (Although I still want to revisit Itsuto and his Roadster at some point....)

This is a one-off fic. I feel like the stuff I've written recently has been about insane modifications and insane skill, and it's time for a reboot back to normal levels, attainable cars, and fallible humans. The Gunma crowd has gotten a little better, a little wiser, and their cars have gotten a little stronger, but otherwise, normal. That's what this is for. It's not going to be very long (I've already got most of it written, I'm just pacing out the updates). If you like it, awesome, if not, well, maybe I need to give Initial D fic a break!

Dedicated to Tiqlado, who helped me out a lot with polishing this concept and trying to keep Kyoko in character.

user posted image

***************


It was a slow hot humid night outside, and there were two lights still on in the impressive and thankfully air-conditioned house that the Takahashi family called home. One light belonged to the young and hot-headed Takahashi Keisuke, a devil in his bright yellow FD uphill or down, a proficient student of emotional instinctive driving. The other light belonged to his older brother, Takahashi Ryosuke, the self-acknowledged master of mindgames and an undefeated legend on the downhill. The two, looked down on by their parents for indolent and unproductive illegal racing, were known by the street racing world of Japan as the Takahashi Brothers of the Rotary Engine. Their faces were plastered in magazine articles, their names were on the lips of every racer on the streets, and they were idolized by any rotary-driving racer that knew of them. Tonight, on a long restless night in the middle of summer, they were both unable to sleep.

Keisuke threw down his magazine in disgust after realizing he had read the same article ten times over without absorbing any new information. The crumpled magazine lay on the floor where he had tossed it, a picture of a red S2000 on the cover with the proud headlines declaring it as the best-handling car to have come from Japan. The article he had been trying to read had pitted the brand new S2000 against the latest iteration of the FD, and the S2000 had soundly trounced it in chassis rigidity, handling, and braking. The FD was getting old, and the article had dared to suggest Mazda should dump the rotary has-been. Rising out of bed Keisuke ground his heel into the cover of the magazine, tearing the front cover and ripping the bright red S2000 in half. Jamming his hands deep into his pockets he walked quietly down the hallway to avoid waking his parents and rapped on his brother's half-closed door with his knuckles before entering.

The soft sound of clicking computer keyboard keys continued, a continual tapping that underscored their conversation.
“Can't sleep?” Ryosuke asked, still staring deeply into his screen, his eyes focused on a wireframe model of his FC.
“Yeah, it's too.... I dunno. I feel restless. I don't like the idea of Takumi racing against this S2000, either,” he said, finally voicing the concern that had kept him up all night. Ryosuke sighed and turned his chair around to look at his brother.
“I saw the magazine you bought today. I read it too. You think that because the most modern version of your FD can't beat an S2000, his old AE86 hasn't got a chance. Right?”
“Yeah,” Keisuke said with a chuckle. “You can see right through me, can't you?”
“You're not the most mysterious person, I'll agree with you on that point. Project D has come this far, we can make it. This is the biggest step we've taken yet. But we can do it. I know we can. We were able to take on the Northern Saitama Alliance, we can take on Purple Shadow. Don't worry about Fujiwara. He can worry for himself. You need to concern yourself with Hoshino.”
“I know.... which is kind of why I wanted to ask you something,” Keisuke said slowly, nervously.
“What?” Ryosuke asked, his eyes narrowing.

“The whole Project D thing is stressing me out. I'm doing my best, but I keep worrying that I'll fail. I crashed the FD. I could have ruined it for us then. I either need a break, or I need a race for fun.”
“A race for fun?” Ryosuke asked, more than a little confused. To him, racing was always fun, especially when it was a pressure-cooker of a challenge.
“Yeah. Something that won't count in the record books. Something for fun, to blow off steam. Something weird.”
“Something for fun, huh?” Ryosuke asked, considering.
“Yeah. Just a chance to blow off steam and have a lot of fun without worrying about ending our undefeated legacy. Legends take a lot of effort to build, and I need to have fun before driving turns into a chore,” Keisuke said.
“Go find Fujiwara and speak with him about it. If he agrees to a race for fun, I'll put up a notice on our website. If you hurry, you should be able to catch him on his delivery,” Ryosuke said, tapping his watch. Keisuke left quickly, and Ryosuke could hear the FD's engine starting up with its characteristic triple spin before it caught. The FD tore off into the night, headed for Mt. Akina and a meeting with Fujiwara. Ryosuke turned to his laptop and began to type again, carefully wording the message to be posted. It would have to be done properly, carefully, politely, or it would be disastrous for both teams. It would require just the right wording to find a team willing to have fun without being egotistical, dedicated but easygoing. It would take a miracle.

*

“Next corner drift wide to avoid gravel at the apex, go to full throttle and prepare for hairpin left!” Sayuki shouted.
“Okay!” Mako replied, pushing the throttle down farther than normal in order to understeer the Sil80 through the corner, pushing them wide of the inside line and skirting past the loose gravel that had collected at the corner's apex. The incredibly fast machine whipped through and stood on its nose to weight-shift and negotiate the hairpin turn, screaming through with tires scrabbling for traction. Sayuki looked at Mako with approval.
“You're getting faster, Mako! I'm amazed!” Sayuki cheered, and she truly was surprised. Mako had gone into a slump after racing against Takumi, but she had still gone to watch him race against Ryosuke. The sight of the legendary White Comet being defeated had stirred something inside her, and she had returned to practice with more energy than she ever had before. The poor Sil80 had gone through two full sets of tires in under four months, the rears being worn down to the cords in both cases by the time new ones were purchased.

“Hard right, full acceleration, drift left and then come to a stop,” Sayuki announced, bracing herself for the massive burst of power that churned the rear wheels of the Sil80 and shot them forward. The new turbocharger had been an expensive upgrade, but one felt necessary by Mako, and it had dropped their segment times significantly. Of course, bringing the Sil80 up to a stout 300 HP was bound to speed up their descent, even if it did make the car a little more difficult to control.
“How do you think the brakes are holding up?” Mako asked as they sat at the finish line, going over their notes and feelings for the run.
“Too hot, they're not holding up well at all. Pads are glazed. We're running more heat through them than they can handle. I think we need to upgrade to larger rotors all around, Mako. It's not cheap. That's a hundred and fifty thousand yen for the least expensive option,” Sayuki said, putting the pyrometer back in its case. She could feel the heat radiating off of the wheels, and the tell-tale mirror shine of the rotors told her everything she needed to know. The increase in power demanded an increase in braking capacity and there was no getting around it.

“Say, who's that?” Sayuki asked, looking over her shoulder and noticing a familiar shape coming slowly toward them.
“It's an FD, but it's black. Wasn't there one at the last Project D race?” Mako wondered.
“Yeah, Keisuke drove one during one of his battles when his FD was damaged. I wonder if that's the one. I heard it was a girl driving it,” Sayuki added. Mako smiled. It was rare to see women racing, at least in the drifting world. It was expected for them to be draped over hoods and holding umbrellas, but not behind the wheel.
“Excuse me,” the young woman asked as she pulled to a stop, “I'm lost. Can you tell me how to reach the top?”
“You're joking, right? You go uphill,” Sayuki said in her usual blunt fashion. The other driver blushed for a moment.
“You caught me. I saw you driving downhill and thought I'd get you to race me.”
“We might be interested,” Sayuki said. “What's your name?”
“Iwase. Iwase Kyoko. You're Impact Blue, aren't you?” she replied, looking at the Sil80 closely.
“We might be,” was all Sayuki would say. “Race us and find out.”

“My FD's very good at hillclimb, I don't want to hurt your feelings,” Kyoko said politely.
“You won't,” Sayuki growled, getting into the Sil80 and explaining the situation to Mako quickly. The two cars lined up and began to rev.
“You go first, and if I can overtake, I win,” Kyoko said. “It's really the easiest way to race when there isn't someone to start the cars off.” Mako revved the Sil80 twice, listening to the blowoff valve hissing loudly into the night air, and then revved once more and let out the clutch quickly, the rear tires scuffing and chirping as they fought for grip before throwing the car forward. Sayuki heard the sound of the FD's rotary engine spinning up and the sound of its large single turbine spooling, accompanied by a much louder scream of tires as it lunged after them.

Mako kept her foot buried to the floor, lifting for half a second to work the clutch and quickly shift into second gear, opening the throttle once more and listening happily to the turbocharger. For the first second or so the engine accelerated softly, but the turbocharger soon spooled up and shoved the Sil80 forward hard, putting some distance between the Nissan and the Mazda. The two cars charged hard uphill, the Sil80 cutting the apex closer in many turns, but the smooth linear response of the black FD allowed Kyoko to roll into the throttle sooner, keeping close to the nimble Sil80. They fought desperately until the two were side by side, barreling along a short straight. The FD's greater power allowed Kyoko to pull into the lead, and by the time they reached the next corner she was ahead far enough to drift the FD through the corner and block Mako from passing.

“You're doing good,” Sayuki said, encouraging Mako. “On this next corner position yourself wide on the outside. That'll set you up to overtake her again on the corner after. Once you overtake, there's a short straight and then a hard right. We're going to have to enter that turn pretty hot, but we can make it with the new tires. Don't be afraid to push it, Mako,” she said. Mako nodded and instantly set to work, winding out the SR20DET as far as she dared before shifting. She entered the first corner a little hot, letting her speed push the car wide of the apex. The black FD dove in tight, letting off the throttle in order to manage it. The Sil80, with its engine in the meaty part of its powerband, blasted ahead down the straight as the 13B fought to spool up its turbo. With the FD falling quickly behind, Mako dove into the sharp right, one foot on the throttle and the other balancing the car with the brake. The Sil80 flew through the corner and was soon over the finish line, Kyoko's FD close behind.

“That was amazing!” Kyoko said as she approached the still-ticking Sil80. Mako and Sayuki got out to join her in the pool of light cast by the headlights of their cars.
“Thank you,” Mako replied.
“Why are you running a single turbocharger?” Sayuki asked immediately.
“So you noticed, huh?” Kyoko replied, chuckling softly to herself.
“There's nothing else out there that would let you go to full throttle before the apex of a turn without breaking your rear tires loose. The 13B-REW is a quick-spooling engine that requires careful throttle work to drive fast. People who want big power will get rid of the twin turbos and replace it with a single large turbocharger, which gives them greater power but slower response. Your driving style seems to take that into account and use that as a strength. It can be defeated easily though,” Sayuki said. Mako looked at her friend and shut her mouth. Sayuki talked far too much for her own good.
“You've got me,” Kyoko replied. “It spooled up fast enough for the drivers in Saitama, but I was defeated by Takahashi Keisuke when we raced. Still, he was able to use my car and win when his was damaged.”
“It's good, but why not use a smaller turbo?” Sayuki asked. Kyoko looked at Mako.
“You're very quiet. Do you always let her boss you around?”
“She doesn't boss me that much,” Mako laughed.
“I wanted to find Impact Blue and talk to them about a special plan of mine,” Kyoko said craftily. Sayuri's eyebrows arched upwards in interest, and Mako leaned forward a bit herself.
“What plan?” Mako asked.
“Oh, so you are Impact Blue, hmm?” Kyoko teased.
“You found us out,” Sayuki said sarcastically.
“Is there anywhere near here where we can sit down and get something to eat while we talk?” Kyoko asked, trying to remember something about the area.
“Well, we're used to Mt. Usui, so this is kind of new to us,” Mako said.
“I think I saw a diner a while back. Follow us, and if we don't find it I know of another one a little farther away,” Sayuki replied, navigator that she was.

The two cars traveled down the mountain quickly, the Sil80 in the lead with the FD nipping at its heels the entire way down. Even with its large turbo, Kyoko knew how to manipulate the car well enough to keep close behind. They were soon idling in the parking lot of a small diner, letting their respective turbochargers cool down. The three women walked into the diner and were soon sitting at a booth, looking at each other over three glasses; one of water, one of tea, and one of coffee.
“So what's this plan?” Sayuki asked.
“Very simple. I was looking at Project D's website and I found out that Takahashi Ryosuke is looking for a new challenger,” Kyoko said proudly.
“New challenger? They won't race anyone from Gunma, they say that they're the best. We don't have a chance against Project D,” Sayuki said.
“Well, that's the idea. Takahashi is searching for a group to race, but it's not going to count on the official record. It's kind of a relief battle, some way to blow off some steam. Apparently their last few battles have been really intense and it's getting to them. Since it doesn't count, it's open to anyone. They're looking for an uphill/downhill team to compete against for fun. I can cover the uphill, with a little bit of training, but I need someone for downhill,” Kyoko said.

“Too bad you couldn't get Fujiwara to race on your side, he's an incredible downhill driver,” Mako said.
“I happen to know someone who has the potential to be just as good, especially with the modifications made to her car,” Kyoko said cheekily.
“Us? Why us?” Mako asked, surprised.
“I want another chance at racing with Keisuke. I thought you would be interested in being my team mates,” Kyoko said simply.
“But if it doesn't count, why bother?” Mako asked.
“How would you like to be Impact Blue, one of the fastest teams in Japan?” Kyoko asked.
“We already are,” Sayuki sniffed, a slight exaggeration on her part.
“You're the fastest girls,” Kyoko said bluntly. Sayuki hung her head, acknowledging the truth of the statement. There was no denying it. Even their team mates on Usui introduced them as the fastest girls in town.



“Racing is a boy's game. Girls are around to look pretty and drape themselves over hoods, not race. We did good when we raced Takumi, and we learned a lot about him and his AE86. You almost defeated Keisuke. I think with a little bit of work to our cars and a lot of training, we can take them on and beat them,” Sayuki said.
“I'm in.” Mako choked on her gyoza.
“Excuse me? Aren't we a team?” she said as soon as she could breathe again.

“We are, and we have been for years, which is why I said yes. You know you're going to race with me, don't deny it. You want to be a racer without an asterisk just as much as I do,” Sayuki said.
“Asterisk?” Kyoko questioned.
“She means,” Mako said with an understanding glance at Sayuki, “that whenever someone references you, they add the fact that you're a girl. It's just like any other sport, they have a little asterisk by your name in the record book. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have one next to my name. I want Sato Mako to stand on her own.”

“The way I see it,” Sayuki said plainly, “if we almost win, we shake their confidence and people see us as a threat. People expect us to lose because we're facing Project D, a team that stands with an undefeated record. No one expects us to win and they won't be surprised if we lose. If we lose by a little, we get taken seriously. If we win,” Sayuki added, her eyes gleaming, “if we win, then we'll have shifted the balance of power in Japan. As I see it, there's no shame in losing, and everything to be gained if we win. I want to win. Do you?” There was silence at the table as the waitress brought the three their food, and for a few minutes the question hung in the air as they ate. Finally Kyoko pushed back her plate and looked at Mako and Sayuki.
“We can do this.”
“You're right. We can,” Mako replied.
“How much time do we have?” Sayuki asked.
“We'll need to reply to Project D soon. They're racing against Purple Shadow in two weeks. I would figure that their race with us would be before that, but it might be after. What's our team name going to be?” Kyoko asked.

“Big Impact!” Sayuki blurted out.
“What?” Kyoko and Mako asked, looking at her curiously.
“Well, if we win, we're going to make a big impact on Japan, aren't we? Sounds appropriate. I like it, don't you two?” Sayuki asked. The two looked at each other, shrugged, and nodded their ascent.
“Good. So now we need a plan, a strategy. Kyoko, I want you to contact Project D as Big Impact and ask for a race. Emphasize the all-female aspect of our team, that should interest Ryosuke and lull them into a false sense of security. Mako, we need to upgrade the brakes on the Sil80 as soon as possible. And Kyoko,” Sayuki added, “we need to work on your spool-up time.”
“I know. I've got just the cure in mind,” she said. They paid for their meal and left, lingering for a few moments in the parking lot to exchange contact information before going their separate ways.


*************

I'd like to know what you think. Interesting? Worth a few more updates?
pnoytecknix
Posted: Jun 6 2008, 10:12 PM


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awesome... good idea. well worth running with, imo.

i agree that this is different from your previous works, but its still just as good so far.
Meteor
Posted: Jun 6 2008, 10:26 PM


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Very interesting. Very interesting indeed.

Just one mistake. Impact Blue isn't a team, so Mako and Sayuki have no teammates. Impact Blue is only the name of the Sil-Eighty duo we all know.

I wonder what's the first step in Big Impact's great plan. I'm looking forward to MOAR, thx and tiQlado biggrin.gif
The Stig
Posted: Jun 6 2008, 11:28 PM


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requesting, humbly... MOAR!
VTiRoj
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 03:23 AM


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QUOTE (thx712517 @ Today at 4:39 AM)
I'd like to know what you think. Interesting? Worth a few more updates?

Its worth more than a "few". laugh.gif

I saw the title and thought this was going to be a little comedy where maybe Natsuki and Mika fight over Takumi and people screaming "chick fight!"

But no, I find a pretty damn awesome idea brewing. Sending the chicks of Initial D against Project.D! Heres to hoping Kyoko kicks Keisuke's ass! biggrin.gif

I chuckled a bit at "Big Impact", no idea why. whistling.gif

MOAR Chick Fight!
thx712517
  Posted: Jun 7 2008, 03:39 AM


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For Impact Blue, I'm using the word team to indicate two people working together rather than a racing team. Little bit confusing, I know. so it may get edited for the final draft. Tell me what you think about this next bit.

********


Ryosuke blinked rapidly, leaning back from the screen in contained surprise. To get a reply so perfectly matched to his request was amazing, the more so since it came quickly. He read over the message again, noting down the specifics with one hand while rapidly entering the data into his favorite simulation program with the other. To include the exact specifics of each car was surprisingly confident of them, but it could be a trick. Still, there was nothing out of the ordinary for a three hundred horsepower Sil80, or a four hundred horsepower FD. Surprisingly enough the FD was none other than Iwase Kyoko's, a former opponent of Keisuke and a car that he had driven in battle soon after. With Keisuke's knowledge of the FD and detailed information on the Sil80, it would be a very evenly matched battle. Digging into the file he kept on Takumi, he noted with a hint of pleasure that Fujiwara had raced the Sil80's driver last year before their own battle and his surprising defeat. Flexing his fingers he began to tap away, formulating the necessary response. After a moment of hesitation he hit the send button and leaned back in his chair with a pleased smile. Rising from his chair he stretched his arms and yawned before leaving his room and walking over to Keisuke's.

After a quick knock he stepped inside, looking with some distaste at the posters hanging on the walls, pictures of the FD and a few models hanging from the walls. It was significantly more lived-in than his own room, which seemed antiseptic in comparison. A few model cars rested on the dresser, and an unused laptop rested on the desk, its lid covered in dust. A torn-up magazine lay on the floor, the cover's red S2000 ripped in half and wrinkled beyond recognition. Keisuke was half-covered by his rumpled bedcovers, snoring to himself with the occasional dream-induced twitch of his muscles. Ryosuke's hand reached out and his fingers curled around the volume knob of Keisuke's radio. With a devilish smirk he twisted the volume all the way up, but his smirk turned into a confused expression when a Eurobeat song came pounding out of the speakers, singing about running in the nineties. Keisuke sprang upright, shaking his head quickly to wake up.
“Don't you knock?!” Keisuke shouted.
“I did. You were asleep. What are you doing listening to this music?” Ryosuke asked, before shaking his head and refocusing.
“Never mind. Don't tell me. I don't want to know. Listen,” he said, pausing to stare at the radio once more, “listen, I've got a team lined up to challenge us. Big Impact.”

“Big Impact? Sounds impressive. Who are they?” Keisuke asked.
“You've raced them before, you and Fujiwara both. I think you'll enjoy it,” Ryosuke said with a smile. Keisuke stood up and stretched, yawning as he finished waking up.
“Who are they now?” Keisuke asked.
“Iwase Kyoko and her FD will be the uphill challenger, and Impact Blue will be challenging Fujiwara on the downhill. Course of our choice. I've already accepted, the race is next week.”
“But, but, I don't want to race against Kyoko!” Keisuke stuttered, his eyes wide in panic.
“Why not? Afraid you'll be beaten by a girl?” Ryosuke teased.
“It's not that, aniki, it's just.... well, she's...”
“Cat got your tongue, Keisuke? Spit it out.”
“She likes me. Or she liked me. I told her to go away. I don't want to be distracted by a girl when we're trying to keep Project D on a winning streak,” Keisuke confessed. Ryosuke shook his head in disapproval.
“I admire your dedication, little brother, but I don't want you to deprive yourself of friendship or a relationship just to keep us winning. We can always challenge again. I admire your dedication, I really do, but live a little. Anyway, you want your race to blow off steam, we have the challengers. I'll contact Fujiwara. Prepare yourself,” Ryosuke said, rising and shutting the door behind him.

Once more in his own room, Ryosuke sat down at his laptop, glanced over the program's end results, then paced across his room a few times debating whether to call Fujiwara or visit him in person. It was another late night, and if he left quickly enough he could reach the midway point of Mt. Akina just as Fujiwara was descending. Picking up his keys from the desk Ryosuke ran downstairs and hopped into his FC, starting up the 13BT and putting the car quickly in gear. Driving along the deserted roads at three in the morning he hummed to himself over the dull roar of his unmuffled engine, tapping the steering wheel in time to the beat in his head. Suddenly he stopped and frowned as he realized he was humming the Eurobeat song that Keisuke had been listening to. As the kilometers went by, however, the song kept repeating itself in his head until he finally broke down and began to sing out loud, bopping the steering wheel and bouncing in the seat.

“Running in the nineties is a new way I like to be! I'm just running in the nineties, come on baby run to me!” he sang, stopping suddenly as he recognized the Trueno's headlights screaming towards him. With a flash of his lights the Trueno came to a halt, stopping in a surprisingly short distance. Ryosuke got out of the FC and walked over to Takumi, who was approaching him quickly.
“Something wrong?” Takumi asked, slightly out of breath.
“No, nothing wrong. I just wanted to let you know I found a team for you to race against,” Ryosuke said pleasantly enough for it being 4:30 AM.
“Oh, okay. What team is it?” Takumi asked.
“Big Impact.”
“Never heard of them,” Takumi responded, stifling a yawn. It was very early and he was in desperate need of some sleep.

“They're a new team, formed for the single purpose of racing us. You've raced against your opponent before,” Ryosuke added, savoring Takumi's surprised look.
“Who is it? The Cappuccino?”
“No, a Nissan,” Ryosuke replied, drawing it out as long as he could.
“A Nissan? Nakazato?” Takumi asked, confused. “Not Iketani, I never raced against him...”
“No, Sato Mako and her Sil80. You remember Impact Blue, right?” Ryosuke asked. Takumi blushed, remembering going down the waterslide with Sayuki.
“I remember. But I thought you said Big Impact, not Impact Blue.”
“It's a new team. Impact Blue will be racing you on the downhill, and Iwase Kyoko will be challenging Keisuke on the uphill. It should be a nice break. It won't count on the record, and you'll have a chance to have some fun without all the pressure of a normal race.”
“That sounds nice,” Takumi said, still a little confused as to how more racing would relax him from racing. Still, he was humoring Keisuke-san, so he just went along with it.

“The race is next week, before our match with Purple Shadow at the end of the month. It'll give us time to race, relax, and tune the cars up for the Purple Shadow match.”
“Are we detuning to compete against Big Impact?” Takumi asked.
“No, but I was hoping that this race would allow us to pinpoint some new areas for optimization. I'm not entirely happy with your brake bias, or Keisuke's turbo spool,” Ryosuke said, rubbing his chin as he thought out loud. Takumi shrugged his shoulders.
“Whatever you say. I'm going to bed now. Call me when it's time to battle,” Takumi said, getting back into the AE86. The 4A-GE fired up with a roar, its individual throtle bodies gargling away at idle as Takumi rolled down his window.
“Can I bring a friend?” he asked. Ryosuke nodded.
“Of course you can.”

*

“WHAT?!” Itsuki howled, clenching his fists and turning red in the face. Takumi took an involuntary step back, afraid that his friend would accidentally hit him.
“Project D is going to race against another team for fun, and I want Iketani to come with me. I'm sorry, Itsuki, but I think it's for the best. You can watch in the galleries, but I'd like Iketani to be allowed to watch with the rest of the team,” Takumi said, hoping his friend would forgive him. Itsuki's anger was quick to flare up but even quicker to die down.
“Okay, but can you tell me why?” Itsuki asked. Takumi looked side to side quickly, checking to make sure that Iketani wasn't close by.
“The downhill team I'm racing against is Impact Blue. I wanted to give Iketani another chance with Mako. It's not something I'd usually do, but he hasn't been the same since then. I think if the two of them saw each other when they're both obsessing over cars....” Takumi ran out of words. It wasn't something that he knew much about, or had any experience with. He just had the desire to help out his lonely driver friend, and in his mind it seemed simple enough. Speaking his mind made it seem a little more strange and weird. To Takumi's surprise, Itsuki smiled and patted him on the back.

“I didn't think you were into such things, Takumi. You're always such an airhead, it's strange to think of you talking about something other than cars. As a lonely driver who's had his share of relationships, I'll do what I can to help,” Itsuki chuckled, his face changing to a mask of stupidity as Iketani walked up.
“Help with what?” Iketani asked, looking at the two of them.
“Takumi's going to race against a new team next week for fun. He was wanting some help in working on the hachi-roku, so I said I'd help,” Itsuki stammered, his face turning red.
“Why doesn't Project D work on his car?” Iketani asked.
“It's not a big match. We're just doing a fun run, that's all. Ryosuke thought it would be less intimidating if the rest of Project D wasn't there,” Takumi said swiftly.
“In that case I better go, Itsuki. We don't want Akina's legendary hachi-roku at the bottom of a valley because you forgot to tighten the caliper bolts,” Iketani joked. Itsuki turned red from anger for a brief second before deflating like a balloon, rubbing the back of his head as he chuckled.
“Yeah, I'm kind of dumb. You better go, Iketani.”
VTiRoj
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 03:54 AM


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Hahahaha! Ryousuke loses in a battle against Running in the 90's. laugh.gif Seriously what is Keisuke doing listening to Eurobeat? I would of thought he'd be into rap or something. laugh.gif

I have a model of a FD on my window sill! biggrin.gif

I wonder what'll happen between Iketani and Mako... shifty2.gif But wait... there were no chicks in this chapter! What?! blink.gif laugh.gif

MOAR.
Meteor
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 04:12 AM


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QUOTE
I saw the title and thought this was going to be a little comedy where maybe Natsuki and Mika fight over Takumi

I have to admit. This was exactly what I thought.

And then it turned into something far better. .

QUOTE
Driving along the deserted roads at three in the morning he hummed to himself over the dull roar of his unmuffled engine, tapping the steering wheel in time to the beat in his head. Suddenly he stopped and frowned as he realized he was humming the Eurobeat song that Keisuke had been listening to. As the kilometers went by, however, the song kept repeating itself in his head until he finally broke down and began to sing out loud, bopping the steering wheel and bouncing in the seat.

“Running in the nineties is a new way I like to be! I'm just running in the nineties, come on baby run to me!”

WE! ARE! RUNNIN IN THE NINETIES! Is a new way I like to be! I'M JUST! RUNNIN IN THE NINETIES! Yes you wanna know! Yes you wanna see! laugh2.gif

The ending to this chapter was fun to read as well laugh.gif

MOAR CHICK FIGHT PLZ!
207
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 06:41 AM


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^ lol same here, at first i saw a the title and only noticed thx after opening th post. i really like the idea for the 3 girls to get another shot to defeat the 2 drivers in project D w00t2.gif . keep up with the awesome chapters thx!
thx712517
  Posted: Jun 7 2008, 09:15 AM


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I'm glad you're liking it so far. I may even write another fic at some point set in First Stage, but it would require some creative thinking to make it work at the moment, so we'll see how it goes. This next chapter does have chicks in it, for ultimate female goodness. There's a steady pattern of back and forth between the different parties involved which I'm sure you've noticed. I never really liked how the Gunma characters seemed to remain stagnant while Project D ran around challenging others, so you're going to see more character/car/driver development. I really would like to write a Gunma Uprising kind of fic, but I'm not sure how that would work just yet.

Are you appreciating the modification and tuning information I'm throwing in here? I'd like these fics to serve a purpose, and it seems that using Initial D to help educate people a bit better on real tuning and real modifications might help alleviate some of the newbie-ness I've noticed. Not trying to be superior, I'm just trying to offer an alternative source of tuning information couched in Initial D terms.

Wow, that's a lot of typing that isn't story related! Better make up for that real quick, right?

***********

Mako's blue Sil80 charged down Usui's straight leading up to the famous C-121 corner, the deciding factor of both her defeat at the hands of Fujiwara and her triumph over the Lan Evo driver of the Emperors. Sayuki remained silent as her friend buried the throttle to the floor, accelerating with reckless abandon toward the treacherous left-hand sweeper. She fought the urge to cry out as the braking zone became shorter and shorter, until finally Mako pushed the brake pedal down to the floorboard with unrelenting force, throwing Sayuki against her harness until the wide belts began to hurt as they pressed into her chest. The Sil80 instantly began to drift, Mako balancing the car with judicious amounts of throttle. The power-mongered SR20DET churned the rear wheels into tire smoke as the Sil80 screamed through the corner faster than it ever had before.

“Excellent!” Sayuki cried. Mako smiled, taking the rest of the course easily to let the brakes cool down. The new brake kit had yet to arrive, and it was dangerously easy to overheat the current brakes with the more powerful engine.
“When is she supposed to meet us?” Mako asked suddenly.
“Who, Kyoko? Soon. She said she changed out her turbo to a smaller unit that spools faster. She was getting it tuned when I called her, I could hear it in the background. It sounds aggressive,” Sayuki said. The Sil80 rolled to a stop at the finish line and pulled off the road to get out of the way of the less-skilled drivers that littered the mountain.
“Do you think we can beat them?” Mako asked.
“An emotional driver like yourself behind the wheel? Once we get the brakes installed, Takumi better watch out. Just don't hurt him too much, I think he's cute,” Sayuki teased, getting out to check the rotors. Mako followed her out and leaned against the front fender, hands in her pockets as she looked at her feet.
“What are you thinking about?” Sayuki asked as she worked.
“Hmm? Oh, just thinking about shoes,” Mako replied. Sayuki stood up, dusted off her knees, and looked at her friend closely.
“Shoes? You never think about girly things like that. Is there something wrong?”
“No,” Mako said quietly, blushing.
“You're not convincing me,” Sayuki said, and she was about to go further when the sudden rev of a 13B cut her off. The two turned and saw the expected black FD coming to a halt beside them, engine idling smoothly and hazard lights blinking.

“Hi!” Kyoko said cheerfully.
“You got here quickly. How's the new compressor?” Sayuki asked, walking over to the hood of the FD. Kyoko pulled the release to pop the hood and hopped out, coming around to help Sayuki lift it up. The 13B idled smoothly as the two girls looked down on it. Kyoko patted the intake tubing with her palm like it was a friendly dog. Sayuki held her hand over the engine, noticing it was very cool for a car that had just come to a stop.
“I went a little bit overboard on the cooling system,” Kyoko explained bashfully as she closed the hood.
“I have an insulation blanket over the turbo and ceramic-coated almost everything I could. The vents in the hood help, of course, and the big radiator. My precious 13B likes to get hot, so I do everything I can to keep it cool,” Kyoko said, patting the car's fender.
“Why do all this?” Sayuki asked.
“I just want him to watch me again,” she replied quietly.
“Who, Takahashi Keisuke?”
“Darling. I don't think there's anyone else out there like him,” Kyoko said. “I don't think I could fall in love with someone else. He's incredible, and he drives an FD,” she added, smiling even as she sniffled. From the other side of the FD Mako looked at the woman and wondered about Iketani.

“I don't need men. I don't need Iketani,” Mako said to herself, walking back to the Sil80. She sat down in the driver's seat and looked at her shoes once more. She had promised to herself never to wear heels again, and all that she had worn since then had been sandals or sneakers.
“Why should I change who I am because of one person?”
“Hey, Mako! Quit sulking. We're going to go to the diner, and I'm riding with Kyoko to get a feel for her turbo. Meet us there!” Sayuki called. The black FD revved up and shot off with a little squeal from the rear tires. Even if the girl was a ditz, she had magnificent car control. The drive over was quick and quiet, the Sil80's motor revving effortlessly, keeping close behind the black FD. What the rotary engine gained from its higher redline, the SR20DET made up for with its greater torque.

“Any more news from Project D?” Mako asked as they were seated at their now-regular table. Kyoko took a long drink from her glass, set it down on the table and smiled at her comrades.
“Not only have they agreed to a race, but they want to race this Saturday evening at the course of our choosing. I'm no good with strategy, so I thought you two would be able to think of a course where we would have our best chance at defeating Project D.” Sayuki and Mako both fell into thought, going over the local courses in their mind, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
“Tochigi?” Mako suggested.
“We'd have to sweep all the Hondas out of the way if we wanted to race,” Sayuki countered.
“Tsuchizaka?”
“I'd rather not be hit on by those creeps,” Kyoko said.

“Mount Fuji?” Sayuki offered.
“Way too many people. Everyone goes to Fuji to race, that's the street racing hotspot,” Mako said. The three sat staring at the table for some time, each trying to think up the perfect course.
“Akina?”
“Akagi?”
“Usui?”

“If we pick a course they've already raced on, it gives them an advantage of having data for that course. On the other hand, it shows that we're confident in winning and we aren't afraid of them,” Sayuki said.
“What about Myogi?” Mako asked.
“Myogi? Isn't that where motorcyclists race?” Kyoko asked.
“That's what it's known for, but there's a group that races there, the Night Kids. They're a good team, if a little underdeveloped. Their leader, Takeshi Nakazato, races a black R32. You've probably seen it at a few of the Project D races,” Sayuki said.
“Would they let us race there?” Kyoko asked.
“I'm sure Nakazato would if you smiled at him and giggled a little,” Mako teased. Sayuki choked on her tea and coughed violently, spraying the table in front of her as she hacked and wheezed. After she recovered and wiped the table, she glared at the smiling Mako.
“Is he your boyfriend?” Kyoko asked.
“No, he's not,” Sayuki answered sharply.
“Oh, but he likes you! He thinks you're cute!” Mako said, thoroughly enjoying herself.
“I'm sure he does, but that doesn't mean I'd manipulate him just to race on Myogi. It's a public road, anyone can race there,” she sniffed, wiping a few stray spots from the table.
“So Myogi is where we're racing?” Kyoko asked.
“Yes, Myogi. I'll call Shingo and let him know,” Sayuki said, flipping open her phone.

“So you really like Takahashi Keisuke?” Mako asked quietly. Kyoko nodded her head.
“Very much so. He likes me too, I'm sure of it, but he wants to concentrate on racing. His rejection hurt. But if I can show him that I can help him rather than hold him back, maybe he'll change his mind. It's my only hope,” she said firmly, clutching the key to her FD.
“How can you help him?” Mako asked.
“Oh, by racing against him in practice, or keeping him relaxed between races, anything really. Once Project D is over he wants to go pro. If I can't get him to change his mind about me soon, I never will, and I know I'll never find another one like him in all the world,” she sighed. Mako wondered how the woman in front of her could be so naïve and innocent, yet so determined. Challenging the dominant racing team in Japan just to win back a boyfriend?

“Shingo said it shouldn't be a problem. Saturday's free with no races lined up, although he couldn't check with Nakazato since he's not there right now. He said he'd call and pass on the word though,” Sayuki said, shutting her phone.
“You mean you weren't able to talk to your handsome suitor?” Mako teased.
“He's a creep. All he did the last time I saw him was sit there in his seat without saying a word, staring at my chest. He lost to a jerk in a Lan Evo. How does an R32 equipped with a power-mongered RB26DETT and ATTESA-ETS all wheel drive lose to a two liter? He can't possibly have any skill. He's probably just some lonely loser driver that can't cope with understeer and can't find a girl to save his life,” Sayuki said angrily, rising to leave as someone's cell phone began to ring. The other two girls followed suit. As they walked out to their cars, Sayuki suddenly froze. There, resting next to their Sil80, was a black R32 with a Night Kids sticker in the window. She turned around and saw, to her horror, Nakazato sitting in the booth that had been next to theirs, talking on his cell phone. She blushed in the darkness and fumbled quickly for the door handle, wishing she could disappear from the face of the earth.

“What's wrong?” Mako asked as she buckled up.
“That was Nakazato in the booth behind us,” Sayuki whispered in horror. Mako peered through the windshield and saw the R32 sitting next to them with its owner still inside.
“Oh no. Well, you don't like him, so this way at least he won't bother you anymore,” Mako said weakly, trying to help her friend.
“I don't hate him, I just... I haven't warmed up to him yet,” Sayuki confessed, staring at the floorboard and avoiding Mako's gaze.
“Well...”
“Then he heard me say all those horrible things about him. I mean, they were true, but to say it so bluntly when he was less than a meter away,” Sayuki wailed, blushing from embarassment.
“As long as we can race on Myogi, it'll be fine. The worst you'll have to do is apologize to him. He knew you didn't see him there. Maybe he won't say anything about it,” Mako said hopefully.
“I doubt that.”
VTiRoj
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 09:58 AM


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Haha! Poor Nakazato! laugh.gif

And yes, the tuning information is educational. smile.gif I think you enjoy writing about the Itsuto's MX-5 modifications. tongue.gif

MOAR.
Meteor
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 10:29 AM


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Yeah. Poor Nakzato! laugh.gif

Damn. That Sil-Eighty's sure getting pretty fast. I'm looking forward to seeing (or in this case, reading tongue.gif) that thing in action when it's got those new brakes.

And as for the tuning info. Yes, we do appreciate it. Stuff like that adds to an Initial D fic.

And I have to agree with Mako. I wonder how a person (Kyoko) can be so innocent and naive, yet so determined.

This post has been edited by Meteor on Jun 7 2008, 10:30 AM
thx712517
  Posted: Jun 7 2008, 11:05 AM


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No philosophy this time, but if you have any constructive criticism or comments to make, it'd be appreciated.

***********


Ryosuke leaned back in his seat, somewhat surprised. There had been two messages waiting for him, both concerning the race on Saturday. The first had come from his original contact with Big Impact, Iwase Kyoko, explaining that the course was Myogi and setting the times for racing. The second email was unexpected. It was from the driver of the Sil80, requesting a chance to race against him in exchange for providing the battle with Fujiwara. He sat forward and read the message again, making sure he hadn't misunderstood the intent of the message. It was clear, the driver was requesting a race with him and his FC. Ryosuke composed himself, his fingers hovering over the keyboard, and began to write, mumbling his message out loud as he typed.

“Sato Mako, I am honored by your request for a battle. However, as the purpose of this match is merely to be a fun race for Fujiwara and Keisuke to blow off steam, it isn't my race to run. Although I consider you a formidable driver (I wouldn't have chosen your team otherwise), I'm afraid if I raced you on the street, I'd push you to your death. Both you and I know that there are few women who have the skill and courage to race, and I would despise myself if I were to reduce that number. I look forward to your appearance on Saturday at Myogi, and I hope you will channel your energy into racing against Fujiwara Takumi. With my kindest regards, Takahashi Ryosuke.” His message finished, Ryosuke read it over a few times, considering the wording and how it compared to Sato Mako's email. It was condescending but polite. He closed his eyes and was about to hit the send button just as his brother walked in.
“Don't you ever knock?” Ryosuke asked in an irritated voice. Keisuke jumped back in surprise, unsure of what had unsettled his brother.
“I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. I'll go, just... You know, it might do you good to race as well. You're too wound up,” Keisuke said as he wandered down the hall. Ryosuke looked at the computer screen, at his mouse hovering over the send button. He hadn't clicked it. Would he? Should he? From somewhere deep inside his mind he remembered the thrill of racing against a competitor, learning from their mistakes, penetrating their defenses and utterly destroying their lines in order to claw ahead and win. It was a powerful feeling and he missed it.


*

Nakazato pressed the accelerator pedal down farther, listening to the big inline six rev up through its powerband, the twin turbos surging with power. His black R32 roared up Myogi, all four wheels grabbing the road as he rocketed through the curves. Sayuki's words stung him deeply, but they made perfect sense. The RB26DETT climbed ever higher, its tachometer needle racing toward the redline as the R32 shot up the straight, Nakazato shifting gears as quickly as he could. Diving into his favorite corner Nakazato used his left foot to depress the brake two millimeters, keeping his throttle foot on the floor. The R32's massively powerful engine fought against its brakes, the two opposing forces bringing the chassis into balance and sending the coupe through the corner at the limit of its traction. Shingo's red EG6 fell quickly behind, its naturally aspirated B16 completely incapable of keeping up.

At the peak of Myogi the two cars came to a halt, and Shingo chuckled as he hopped out of the EG6. He walked over to his friend's R32, admiring it with new eyes.
“I have to say, Nakazato, you've gotten faster! What have you done to your R?”
“Nothing yet, Shingo, but I do have a few parts on order. Nothing major, just some wheels really, but it should be enough,” he said ominously.
“Enough for what?” Shingo asked nervously.
“I overheard your friend talking about me last night,” Nakazato said coldly.
“Sayuki? Did she say something good?” Shingo asked with another nervous chuckle.
“No, can't say that she did. What she said was the truth, I can't deny that. So I'm taking steps to rectify things. After they're done racing Project D, I figure I might have a chance at clearing my name as ruler of Myogi,” Nakazato said, walking back to his R32. The RB26DETT started up instantly, launching the coupe downhill with a violent roar. Shingo watched him go and wondered what to do for a few moments before walking briskly back to his EG6.
“I better keep an eye on him, he's not acting in his right mind,” Shingo said, twisting the key to start his B16. The little motor whirred to life idling fast and high, the only way it could run with such massive cams. Revving, he shifted into gear and took his foot off the clutch, launching the little hatchback downhill.

At first he traveled slowly, afraid he would encounter the banged-up R32 around any corner, but as time went on and not a tail light could be seen, Shingo picked up his pace, winding out the B16 to its redline of 9500 RPMs before shifting into third. Diving into one of Myogi's tighter corners he hit the brakes with his left foot, keeping the throttle open with his right and sliding the car through before lifting off the brake and burying the throttle again, enjoying himself as the engine vibrated and sang with power.
“You were worth every yen,” he said, stabbing the clutch and banging down into second for the next corner, the tachometer needle swinging upward rapidly. He had spent a considerable amount of money building the engine, fitting the reinforced and sleeved block with lightweight rods and crank, as well as high compression pistons, a ported and polished head, and the massive cams that allowed him to keep making power well past his motor's stock redline. The lightweight flywheel and aluminum pressure plate certainly helped matters, as did the aluminum underdrive pulleys. When the EG6 made it to the foot of Mt. Myogi without ever sighting the R32, Shingo whistled quietly to himself in amazement and made for home. Nakazato was pissed.

*


Takumi downshifted twice, taking the Trueno down from fourth gear into second, tapping the brakes before rolling into the throttle and slinging the hachi-roku's rear through the corner, pushing the car past the optimal angle for the sheer fun of it. He felt a smile steal across his face as he balanced the hachi roku's drift angle with the throttle, the 4A-GE motor singing happily at 10,000 RPMs. Takumi lifted off the throttle for a moment and turned the wheel rapidly, letting the sudden weight-shift rotate the car like a top, sending it into the next corner sideways with all four tires sending up plumes of smoke. Straightening the car up for the straight Takumi buried the throttle, sending the tachometer needle racing toward 11,000 RPMs, shifting up at the last possible second and running up to redline in third before hitting the brakes for the next corner.

“I forgot what this was like,” he said to himself, dropping down into second as he clutch-kicked the car into a drift, once again pushing it as far as he dared, balancing the Trueno on the ragged edge. Every time he got behind the wheel to drive aggressively it had been for practice or a battle, with no time to goof off or have fun. It was work, hard grinding challenging work with no pay but a definite chance at a career in motorsports. Ryosuke had been inundated with requests since his days as the White Comet of Akagi, and now people were beginning to take notice of Keisuke. Bunta had even mentioned an old friend of his calling about him. It was a heady thought, making a living out of playing with cars. Much better than driving a moving truck or running a tofu shop.

The Trueno's exhaust note wasn't alone, however. A familiar S13 was chasing him, as well as Itsuki's AE85. The two turbo cars were fighting hard to keep up, so in the spirit of kindness Takumi lifted off the throttle and let the AE86 coast for a while, giving them a chance to gain on him. He sighed as a full minute passed by before their headlights showed in his rearview mirror.
“Maybe Keisuke's right. A race against some challenging drivers without all the pressure,” Takumi said to himself, willing Iketani and Itsuki to press their accelerator pedals harder. With all three cars grouped tightly together, Takumi let the hachi-roku fade to the back of the pack so he could observe his friends. Iketani had spent considerable time practicing his braking drifts and it showed as they entered one of Akina's more difficult corners, his S13 sliding through without a hint of fishtailing at corner exit. Itsuki's AE85 had been tuned to improve on what it did best.
“Whatever it does,” Takumi said, trying to think of what the roly-poly hachi-go could be considered best at. Itsuki had spent a decent amount of money on new brake pads for the front and more aggressive shoes for the rear, choosing different compounds to help with the car's brake bias. It turned in sharply and the turbo gave it a decent kick at corner exit, and with Itsuki's growing skills it was slowly becoming a respected car on Akina.

“Three, two, one, heel toe!” Itsuki cried, his feet flailing rapidly as he danced on his pedals, shifting down from third to second and sending his 4-AC into a fit as he drifted through the corner. Iketani found himself passed on the inside as the two battled down the mountain, each leapfrogging the other while Takumi watched from behind. Once they were safely back at the gas station Iketani walked over to the AE86 and looked at Takumi.
“When is the race?” he asked.
“Tomorrow night, at Mt. Myogi. I'll pick you up here on my way out, unless you'd like to drive yourself over,” Takumi said.
“I think I will. If I'm going to work on your brake pads I'll need a few tools,” Iketani said, going off to rummage through his toolbox.
“Does he know?” Itsuki asked. Takumi shook his head.
“I don't think he expects it at all. I hope seeing Mako race will help him talk to her again.”

twitchykun
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 11:10 AM


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I like. Keep it up.

Well written, too.
Rudy
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 12:01 PM


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VTiRoj
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 12:17 PM


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Apart from the e-mail, there was no chicks! Although I see a pattern.

Chapter 1 - Chicks
Chapter 2 - No chicks
Chapter 3 - Chicks
Chapter 4 - No chicks

In theory, the next chapter will have chicks! biggrin.gif

MOAR.
thx712517
  Posted: Jun 7 2008, 02:22 PM


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Reiji, thanks for the compliment man. VTiRoj, chicks!....and Ryosuke.

*********

“Are you catching a cold?” Sayuki asked. Mako set down her wrench to wipe her nose a few times before shaking her head.
“No, just a sneeze I guess. Hand me that line wrench,” she asked, sliding back underneath the Sil80. The brake kit had finally arrived, and its installation was rapidly consuming their Friday. Taking off the old parts had gone quickly enough, but bolting on the new caliper brackets took a bit of testing and refitting before they would go on, and the calipers needed a few adjustments before they would slide on without binding. With all the hardware installed and the rotors held in place by a few lugnuts, Mako was desperately trying to install the braided stainless steel brake lines. To her ultimate frustration, however, the springy line wouldn't bend enough for the threads to line up. Sighing for the fifteenth time in ten minutes, she wiped the sweat from her forehead with a greasy hand and tried once more. If she exerted too much force on the line she might bend it permanently or kink it. With Sayuki's careful help the two were able to gently guide the line into place and tighten it down.

“That's the last line. Time to fill it up with brake fluid, check for leaks, and then bleed the system,” Sayuki said, setting down the service manual and picking up a container of Motul. Mako popped up a can of coffee, downed it quickly, and then sat in the driver seat.
“Let me know when you're ready,” she said. Sayuki went around to the rear of the Sil80, opened up the bleeder valve, and hooked up the hose and drain bottle.
“Okay!” Mako slowly pumped the pedal until fluid began to flow into the drain bottle. Sayuki closed the bleeder, checked the fluid level in the master cylinder, and then repeated the process for the other three corners. Their work done, the two rested for a while nursing their coffee, looking at the Sil80 as it rested on its jackstands, wheels carefully resting in the corner.
“What now?” Mako asked.
“Well, brake kit is on, new lines are in, fluid's filled up and brakes are bled.... we just have to bed in the pads and then we should be good.” At that moment the distinctive sound of a 13B blowing off boost could be heard outside. The two girls went out and saw Kyoko and her FD, with a small trailer hitched to the back.
“What's this?” Sayuki asked, walking up to Kyoko as Mako investigated the little trailer.
“Tires!” Kyoko shouted happily, grabbing Sayuki by the wrist and pulling her back. The three were soon poking and prodding at the mass of black rubber Kyoko had accumulated.

“I don't understand, we already have tires,” Mako said. Sayuki hissed in excitement as she ran her hands over the closest example.
“These are race tires! R-compound race tires! How did you afford these?” she asked, grinning crazily as she pawed through the little trailer.
“I know a friend who's dating one of the managers of a big racing team. She told him about our race and he was able to appropriate a set for both of our cars. He condemned them, saying that they had too much mold release compound on them, but they're perfectly fine. They're short distance stuff, but great. We'll just have to let them cool down for a few seconds in between runs.” Kyoko smiled, knowing that she had done well.
“Project D always races on aggressive street tires, they almost never use race tires. I doubt they'd bring race tires out for a fun run, so this will give us a huge advantage over them. If we can't finish the race on our first run, we'll have to stall for time before running again so the tires will have a chance to cool down. Maybe we could run nitrogen to keep heat buildup to a minimum,” Sayuki said, her mind racing through the options available to them.

“This is a cute little trailer. Is it just for tires?” Mako asked. Kyoko nodded.
“There's a little hitch under the rear bumper of the FD, and this bolts up. It can hold two sets of tires and that's it. I like it though, it's Nobuhiko's. He uses it to bring tires to circuit races. I asked if I could borrow it, and he said okay,” Kyoko said. Mako nodded, watching Sayuki out of the corner of her eye.
“Alright girls, time to get these mounted up. The Sil80's almost done, and I'm assuming your FD is ready, right Kyoko?” Sayuki asked.
“Ready to win,” she replied.
“We'll get these tires mounted up and ready to go. We've got a spare set for the Sil80, but do you have a spare set of wheels for the FD? Or would you like to mount them on your current wheels and just drive over to Myogi on them?”
“I've got another set. That way I won't have to worry about picking up a nail on the way to the race,” Kyoko said.
“Wheels are at home, right? Okay, go get those tires mounted up tonight or tomorrow afternoon, and be sure to be at Myogi by 9:30 sharp so we can prepare. Race is at 10. We're going to win!”

*

Ryosuke walked out to the FC and looked at the white coupe, wondering exactly what he was going to do tomorrow. He had been given a challenge by Sato Mako, although it had been worded more like a request to drive with him than a serious battle. In all honesty, it reminded him of Takumi's request to drive with him a second time before Project D was formed. Something was unsettling about Big Impact though, something that seemed dangerous about them. As a precaution, he started up the FC and decided to drive it over to Matsumoto to detune the 13BT a bit. The ride over was quiet as Ryosuke kept the radio off to listen to the sounds of his FC. The transmission made a whining noise whenever he let the car coast, caused by the lightweight flywheel he had installed. The turbocharger's blowoff valve made a whistling chuff whenever he shifted, a welcome sound and significantly louder than the stock system.

Turning into the garage's parking lot he rolled over the grating at the curb and felt the gut-shaking thump-bang as the stiff coilovers refused to submit.
“Yo!” Matsumoto called, getting Ryosuke's attention. The FC pulled into an open and waiting bay and was soon on the lift, the two men poking around underneath.
“You want to detune it a bit?” Matsumoto asked after tightening a loose swaybar clamp bolt.
“Just a little. Remember when I dropped the power down to race Fujiwara?” Ryosuke said. The mechanic nodded and pulled out a thick black book from the shelf, the modification log of the FC. He leafed through page after page until he came to the appropriate entry near the three quarter mark of the book and began looking over the settings.
“Well, we changed the compressor and retuned the engine for it, but we left everything else alone. It'll help you with spool-up times, but are you sure you want to change it for something smaller? The new turbochargers have much better response times. I'm sure we could use a ball-bearing turbo, properly size it for the driving that you want, and have a good setup,” Matsumoto said.

“Any interesting sales this week?” Ryosuke asked unexpectedly.
“A big brake kit for a Silvia, some wheels and a swaybar for a GT-R, and a friend of mine at another shop is installing a rear axle in an AE85 on Monday. Haven't really heard anything else,” Matsumoto said. He always felt odd keeping tabs on his customers and competitors, but it made Ryosuke happy.
“Rear axle?” Ryosuke asked, somewhat confused.

“Well, you know about the AE85. It uses a smaller diameter axle with a weaker differential than the AE86, and there aren't as many gear options or limited slips. From what I heard, the customer is upgrading to an AE86 rear axle with a 4.30 differential and a limited slip. That way he can use disc brakes as well, instead of drums. It's an expensive custom unit, lighter than stock and stronger too. Thinking about getting one for Takumi's hachi-roku?” Matsumoto joked.
“I didn't know they made such a thing. I'll keep it in mind for the next round of upgrades. Where's the AE86's log?” he asked, walking over to the shelf. He soon found it, a thin binder, a tenth as thick as the one for his FC. Picking up a pen he jotted down a quick note, adding to the list of upgrades that were already planned.

“Anyway, I've changed my mind on the FC. Just make sure the alignment is good. I'll change the oil myself,” Ryosuke said, hanging up his jacket on a peg in the wall and pulling on a simple shop shirt.
VTiRoj
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 03:27 PM


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QUOTE (thx712517 @ Yesterday at 11:22 PM)
VTiRoj, chicks!....and Ryosuke.

Hey hey, you forgot Matsumoto! laugh.gif

That AE85's axle modification... could it be Itsuki? I'm assuming the brake kit for the Silvia is Impact Blue's Slieighty and the GT-R parts for Nakazato's 32.

R tyres for the girls eh? Sneaky. shifty2.gif

MOAR!!1
thx712517
  Posted: Jun 7 2008, 06:16 PM


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Got it right. Axle's for Itsuki, brakes for Mako-chan, and wheels/swaybar for Nakazato. Let's see how this progresses, eh? Ganbatte, Nakazato!

***********

Iketani looked at the AE86 as it sat happily in the alley by the tofu shop, its carbon fiber hood gleaming in the morning sun. Takumi was washing the little car, taking his time and caressing every panel with a big yellow sponge. He was in the middle of cleaning the bumper when Iketani cleared his throat.
“Hello, Takumi. I wanted to come by this morning and take a look at your brakes to see what tools I'll need for tonight,” he said.
“Oh. You're standing in a puddle,” Takumi said, pointing with his chin at the puddle that had grown around Iketani's feet. The man shuffled out of the puddle and shook his shoes dry, then walked toward the hachi-roku and looked at the gleaming front wheel.
“Is this an RS Watanabe?” he asked, running his hand over the black spokes that were cool to the touch.
“Yeah, dad says they're magnesium. It's a pretty neat wheel, I didn't know a lot about it until recently,” Takumi said, taking the sponge to the exhaust tip and polishing it up. Iketani whistled to himself. They were very neat wheels, only four and a half kilograms a wheel and one of the reasons the AE86 was so easy on its brakes.

“There's a jack just inside the door if you need to take the wheel off,” Takumi said, turning his attention to the windows. Iketani grabbed the jack, a nice aluminum-framed piece, and soon had it positioned under the hachi-roku. After loosening the lug nuts he began pumping, raising the body of the car up and up and up.... Wiping the sweat from his eyes, Iketani couldn't believe the wheel still hadn't lifted off the ground. Finally after another vigorous round the car was up in the air, its wheel clear of the ground and waiting to be removed.
“Takumi, this car has incredible suspension travel,” Iketani said, understanding how the little hachi-roku could pull off some of the tricks it had. A normal AE86 with a modified suspension had a very short amount of suspension travel, forcing most tuners to run very stiff spring rates in order to keep the shocks and struts from bottoming out. The components on Fujiwara's hachi roku had been extensively modified for travel, allowing him to use a proper spring rate for optimal handling and letting Takumi pull off his rally-style tricks and gutter hooks.
“Yeah, Ryosuke mentioned something about that himself. I like it, this car has a great feel to it,” Takumi said, moving to the inside of the car to finish cleaning the windows. Iketani pulled off the wheel, drooling over the incredibly light wheel and the aggressive tire. He carefully set it to the side and looked at the brake setup, noticing with a smile that the coilover springs were a cheerful blue.

There was a large slotted rotor of course, and an impressive caliper packing a massive brake pad. The fittings and bolts seemed simple enough, with only a few tools absolutely necessary. Considering the size of the rotors and the braided stainless steel brakelines, it wasn't a surprise that the AE86 never suffered brake fade.
“I should have all the tools I'll need at the shop. I'll put my box in the S13 and bring some brake fluid as well, just in case. Anything else I'll need?” Iketani asked.
“Bring a decent shirt. I want you to look good for the Takahashi brothers,” Takumi said, hoping it was enough of a deception for Iketani to get dressed up. Takumi didn't know much about relationships, but Itsuki had provided him with the basics, and looking good was required.
“Alright,” Iketani said, putting the wheel back on, threading on the lugs, lowering the car, and tightening the lug nuts down again. He patted the fender of the AE86, smiled, and walked back to his S13.
“I'll see you tonight at the peak of Mt. Myogi, Takumi. Double check the lug nuts on that wheel,” he added, putting the S13 into gear and cruising off toward the gas station. Takumi did as he was told and, once he was satisfied that the lug nuts weren't going to come off in the middle of a battle, he returned to cleaning out the hachi-roku, vacuuming the interior and wiping down the dash.

*

Nakazato pulled up to his favorite tire shop, new wheels in the passenger and back seats, still in their boxes. Parking out front he shut off the engine and walked inside, smiling at his friend behind the counter.
“Noboru!”
“Nakazato!”
“What are you doing here? Crash your R again?” Noboru asked, smiling as he said it. Takeshi was a very regular and loyal customer, as well as profitable.
“No, I didn't crash it this time. I need you to put some wheels on for me,” Nakazato said.
“Okay, what have we got? Something insanely expensive and light, I hope,” Noboru wondered, rubbing his hands together happily.
“Volk wheels. Two different sizes though. I want you to put the wider wheels up front, and the narrower wheels in back. Same size tires though,” Nakazato said, smiling.
“Weird. I've heard of it before. Where'd you hear about it?”
“An Evo III driver on Irohazaka runs wheels that way to help his car turn. It's the fastest-turning four wheel drive I've seen in action. Do you have any nitrogen? I'd like to cut down on the overheating if I could,” Nakazato added. Noboru nodded, scribbling down all the information he was given.

“Alright, Takeshi, we're good. Go sit in the waiting room and I'll get everything taken care of. Those tires you have are still pretty new, right? How are they doing?”
“They've just broken in. I like them, they feel great. You were right about going to that compound, I know they're a bit harder than what I was using but they're able to take a lot more abuse before they start understeering,” Nakazato said. After handing over the keys he walked over to the waiting room, noticing a girl holding a magazine up high, almost as if she were intentionally hiding her face. Nakazato observed her sneakers, shapely legs, and the tuning magazine she held and smiled. He sat down heavily in the seat next to her and began slowly leafing through a magazine featuring an article on the new R34. Sighing, he threw down the magazine and looked up at the ceiling. The girl with the magazine hadn't moved a millimeter.

“I'm such a lonely loser driver,” Nakazato said to himself, just loud enough for her to hear. The magazine quivered slightly as the girl's knuckles turned white.
“Here I am with an RB26DETT, power-mongered no less, an incredible ATTESA-ETS all wheel drive system... and I manage to lose to a little Evo with a two liter engine. I just can't avoid understeering into walls,” he said, frowning a bit as he realized the truth in that statement. Still, it got the desired reaction. The magazine was shaking now, still held high, completely covering the face of the girl sitting next to him.
“I can only hope that the new swaybar I installed and the wheels I'm putting on here will give my car the ability to take on the greatest team on Mt. Usui. Even if they are girls,” he added, smiling wickedly as he said the words. The magazine was thrown to the floor and Sayuki rounded on him, clenched fist ready to fly.
“We may be girls but we're still the fastest driving team in Gunma!” she shouted before flushing a deep red.
“What are you doing here?” Nakazato asked calmly.
“Getting tires mounted on the Sil80. We've got a race tonight on Myogi. You know that,” she said quietly, looking at the floor, afraid that if she made eye contact with him she'd have to apologize for her words in the diner.
“What are you doing here?” she asked suddenly.

“Getting tires mounted on my new wheels. I'm hoping to challenge Impact Blue after their race with Project D on my mountain,” he answered.
“Why new wheels? Trash your old ones?” Sayuki asked, blushing when she realized what that implied. Nakazato took it in stride.
“I'm trying to balance out my throttle-on understeer. What kind of tires are you getting?”
“Some.... I can't say. A friend gave them to me. They're supposed to be good. We'll find out in ten hours, won't we?” she said.
“In the meantime, would you like to get some lunch?” Nakazato asked, surprised it had come out so smoothly. Sayuki, undoubtedly shocked herself, simply blushed and nodded.
pnoytecknix
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 09:44 PM


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damn... such quick updates... had to read 5 chapters to catch up tonight. great developments tho. another awesome story coming from IDW's FF King.

one thing in particular that i'd like to comment on is that you keep everyone in character so very well, and i think that helps make this story believable in a sense that if i hadnt known any better i would have thought that this really did happen in ID.

This post has been edited by pnoytecknix on Jun 7 2008, 09:45 PM
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Posted: Jun 7 2008, 09:46 PM


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QUOTE
Alright, Takeshi, we're good. Go sit in the waiting room and I'll get everything taken care of. Those tires you have are still pretty new, right? How are they doing?”
“They've just broken in. I like them, they feel great. You were right about going to that compound, I know they're a bit harder than what I was using but they're able to take a lot more abuse before they start understeering,” Nakazato said. After handing over the keys he walked over to the waiting room, noticing a girl holding a magazine up high, almost as if she were intentionally hiding her face. Nakazato observed her sneakers, shapely legs, and the tuning magazine she held and smiled. He sat down heavily in the seat next to her and began slowly leafing through a magazine featuring an article on the new R34. Sighing, he threw down the magazine and looked up at the ceiling. The girl with the magazine hadn't moved a millimeter.

“I'm such a lonely loser driver,” Nakazato said to himself, just loud enough for her to hear. The magazine quivered slightly as the girl's knuckles turned white.
“Here I am with an RB26DETT, power-mongered no less, an incredible ATTESA-ETS all wheel drive system... and I manage to lose to a little Evo with a two liter engine. I just can't avoid understeering into walls,” he said, frowning a bit as he realized the truth in that statement. Still, it got the desired reaction. The magazine was shaking now, still held high, completely covering the face of the girl sitting next to him.
“I can only hope that the new swaybar I installed and the wheels I'm putting on here will give my car the ability to take on the greatest team on Mt. Usui. Even if they are girls,” he added, smiling wickedly as he said the words. The magazine was thrown to the floor and Sayuki rounded on him, clenched fist ready to fly.


lol that was hilarious, im liking the direction the races seem to drift.
Meteor
Posted: Jun 7 2008, 09:57 PM


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You're updating quite quickly. smile.gif

R Compound tires for Big Impact (though a bit moldy). . Once the brakes arrive, the Sil-Eighty's going to be quite a car.

Real smooth there Takeshi. And I'm not being sarcastic wink2.gif

MOAR CHICK FIGHT!
tiQlado
Posted: Jun 8 2008, 12:14 AM


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I'm very honored, THX. And speechless. Thanks. happy.gif

Looks like it isn't just Project D who's out for some relaxation. smile.gif Enjoying yourself much too much, THX? wink2.gif Sounds like this would be another monster fic, the rate you're going. laugh.gif


QUOTE
I'm looking forward to MOAR, thx and tiQlado


Meteor: I can't take any credit. laugh.gif I just... gave him a little push.
VTiRoj
Posted: Jun 8 2008, 05:27 AM


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Awesome chapter! biggrin.gif

But wait, there was a chick in this chapter. huh.gif You broke my pattern! pinch2.gif

Anyway, the scene between Sayuki and Nakazato was hillarious. laugh.gif Heres hopinh something happens between them. tongue.gif

MOAR Chick Fight!
thx712517
  Posted: Jun 8 2008, 05:32 AM


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I don't think it'll turn into a monster fic, just because no one is swapping engines or (hopefully) blowing stuff up. The most we've seen here is wheels, swaybar, brakes, and tires. Although Itsuki's little AE85 is going to be a pretty tough contender once he gets that axle in. I'll admit to having a lot of fun writing the Nakazato/Sayuki scene, just because I could see it so well in my head, especially her flinging down the magazine to argue before realizing it was all a trick to get her to talk.

Tiqlado gave me a very well-timed push, and it's giving me a chance to relax and blow off steam myself. I've written about 19 pages of material in one day? It's a nice feeling. We're drawing near to the end here, nothing left but all the races. Good luck to all the teams!

****************

“Thank you!” Itsuki cried, waving goodbye to the yellow NSX that was soon tearing down the street. As Itsuki pulled his cap back on he heard the distinctive sound of his friend's 4A-GE motor downshifting. No other car on the road possessed a Group A motor stolen from Formula Atlantic racing, an engine capable of 11,000 RPMs that breathed through individual throttle bodies. The panda Trueno soon appeared around the corner, slowing down quickly to make the turn into the gas station. Takumi pulled into the station and parked in front of the pump, hopping out and waving at Itsuki.
“Fifteen liters of high octane,” Takumi asked, heading toward Iketani's S13. Itsuki wiped down the AE86 and began filling it up, watching as his friend went to find the leader of the Akina Speed Stars.
“I hope he can get Mako to talk to Iketani,” Itsuki whispered to himself. He patted the hachi-roku's fender.
“You'll help, won't you?” he said.

“Iketani, are you ready?” Takumi asked, knocking on the S13's fender with his knuckles to get his friend's attention.
“Ah! Yeah, I'm ready Takumi. I've got all my tools in the trunk, and a full tank of gas. Aren't we leaving a little early though?” Iketani asked.
“It's good to be early,” Takumi replied, smiling as he remembered how many races he had shown up to at the last moment before he had joined Project D. Itsuki overheard his friend and chuckled, remembering the scare he had gotten before Takumi's battle with Nakazato and his R32.
“Alright Itsuki, we're heading out. Are you going to come watch?” Iketani asked.
“As soon as the manager lets me,” Itsuki replied. Yuuichi walked out of the station, a smile on his face. He looked at Itsuki's AE85, Takumi's AE86, and Iketani's S13.
“The three of you are my best customers, do you know that?” Yuuichi said. He closed his eyes and tilted his head upwards, tapping his chin as he stood there. Itsuki got the hint and ran for his car as the other two dumped their clutches and peeled out onto the street, headed for Myogi. Yuuichi smiled, chuckling to himself as he flicked off the station's lights and locked the door. Five minutes after the young Fujiwara had disappeared, Bunta and his blue Impreza turned the corner and came to a halt.
“Out of business?” Bunta asked dryly.
“Shut up,” Yuuichi replied, getting into the passenger seat and shutting the door.

*

Mt. Myogi had become the center of attention for one night, with cars climbing up to the peak one after the other. Nakazato's R32 led the procession, followed by Shingo's EG6, Ryosuke's FC, Keisuke's FD, Takumi's AE86, Impact Blue's Sil80, Kyoko's FD, Iketani's S13, Itsuki's AE85, and a few stragglers to sit in the galleries. Takumi almost missed a shift when he thought he heard a boxer motor revving, but he shook his head and tried to focus once more. The cars pulled to a stop and the drivers got out, forming up in three lines. Nakazato and Shingo stood with arms crossed, with Project D's drivers in one line and Big Impact in the other.
“How are we going to do this?” Nakazato asked.
“Uphill or downhill first?” Keisuke asked, nervously eyeing Kyoko a few meters away. Sayuki and Mako talked to themselves quietly, desperately trying to catch Kyoko's attention. Finally a decision was reached.
“We'd like to race the downhill first,” Sayuki said. Takumi gulped nervously, afraid to face Sayuki after the pool incident.

“How would you like to race, Fujiwara?” Mako asked softly. Outside of a car she was a kind and gentle girl, quiet and modest. Iketani, who had just gotten out of his S13, saw the blue Sil80 and Mako standing a few meters away and almost fell to the ground.
“Mako!” he whispered, shutting the S13's door and trying to disappear into the galleries. He saw her talking with Takumi, the two of them trying to decide the style of their race. Finally, a decision raced, the two drivers retreated to their separate cars. Takumi was waving at him. Steeling his nerves, Iketani picked up his toolbox and walked over.
“Iketani, we're going to race side by side. Do you think the brake pads will be good for that?” Takumi asked.
“Of course,” he replied, afraid to turn his head and glance at the Sil80.
“Alright. Enjoy watching the race,” Takumi said, getting into the AE86 and shutting the door.
“That's it?!” Iketani cried, turning around to watch the hachi-roku drive into place, making eye contact with Mako as he did so. Both flinched as if shot. Before he could move or say a word he saw Sayuki say something to Mako, and the Sil80 rolled forward to line up next to the hachi-roku.


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