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There are quite a few options how to resolve the situation, but they have to fit the story.
I know - I've offered two (contradictory) options already.
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012


robkelk Wrote:I know - I've offered two (contradictory) options already.
I offered another one in IRC even before the first part had been posted. Wink
I can add that to the melting pot. There's definitely a place for it in the existing plan, since there's a lot of timing and coordination that needs to be done.

But there is a plan.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
Alright. A little more

Quote:The best part about having her visor down, Jet figured, was that it kept the flashes from bothering her eyes. While true fans could spot the differences from an AU away -with some padding hiding the markings on her shoulder - she could pass for Sylia Stingray

It was all in body language. Look confident. Look strong.

The Highway Star was the last record holder built in the era of hardtech machinery. The 1907 Curtiss V8 Sora Hasegawa sat astride beside her was the first. Or a replica at least.

Both machines had two wheels and spat out a wall of noise when running, and this was about the limit of what they had in common.

“Any chance you could start it them up?”

Jet flipped her visor up.

“Sorry. Ran out of petrol.”

3600cc’s of turbocharged rotary engine did not equal a winning formula for fuel economy. It emptied its tank just getting down to the car park.

“I’ll need a bumpstart. And a 4 litre V-8 is tough to bumpstart,” answered Sora, offfering a conciliatory smile.

“We’ll be moving them when the event is over anyway,” added Jet “That’s 43 minutes from now,”

“I’ll be back!” the fan offered with a grin.

And after that, it was across the carpark to where the anime replicas were hanging out, prior to a panel on anime vehicle design. Ford’s GT500 restore had been parked there, with the expectation that Rally Vincent would show up. Lebia Maverick was lurking, along with the Third Highway Star and a few Tachikoma.

The event centred on the carpark, set in the bottom of an old excavation pit deep in the core of the asteroid.

It was where attendees gathered in their vehicles, just to show them off, or offer rides. A StellOil outlet provided fuel at fair rates for those that needed it, while a few chargepoints had been provided for the BEV’s to slurp.

At both ends of the carpark were gates allowing access to the tunnels of Frigga. The general idea was that it could form one full loop around, with various routes branching off. And a few secrets hidden in the dark areas.

The T-72 parked in the middle acted as a showpiece for its crew. And a nice chicane to keep morons from screaming through at full throttle - inspite of the limits and pass gates. A speed limit of 50kph was enforced near public areas. And the con rules left people in no doubt exactly who was responsible if someone got injured because those limits were broken.

Jet’d already personally escorted one fool to the landing bay after he was banned for dangerous driving, then got uppity about being treated unfairly. Joining him was a groper who groped the wrong person and got a black-eye and lifetime ban for the trouble.

Three other Kunstler from the Kammer Gruppe provided some real hard muscle to back the security. Nobody was going to try rip off some of the expensive machinery on show with them watching.

The trade hall and panel rooms were up in the accommodation block, a short drive - or lift ride - away.

She could see Vulpin Fury down by the Batmobile collection. Star of the show was a Barris Batmobile, along with an original Tumbler in camo, parked next to a blue replica. A few mundane celebrities mingled with the BNF’s, and a film crew from England who were getting in the way while trying to film a show about the ultimate evolution of the petrol engine.

The Highway Star was slated to participate in a showpiece later.

Effectively, a century of vehicular evolution was displayed on one stand. And now the world had changed, and the internal combustion engine was rapidly going the way of the dinosaurs that once fueled its mighty roar.

There was a certain pride in being the last velociraptor standing.

"Hey, big sis, I like what you've done with your body!"

Jet was snapped out of her momentary melancholy by a voice. The crowd parted around Kohran Li.

"Thanks. You're still wearing that one?" Sora answered, with a mischievous grin.

Kohran folded her arms defensively "It suits me. Have you met Yuu's boyfriend yet?"

Unsubtle change of subject there.... thought Jet.

“No..... Ikari right?”

“One of Jet’s,” said Kohran, completing the redirection of attention.

“I know the story. Some of it anyway.”

Sora’s eyes asked for more information from the cyber.

“They’re in his apartment together,” Jet answered, feeling painfully like a third wheel dragged into a family conversation. “I’m glad he found someone.”

“They’re perfect for each other!” Kohran announced. “And you know Yuu deserves it, considering...”

“Yeah,” Sora nodded.

Jet kept quiet, only knowing the truth through Great Justice reports. She’d been assigned to other duties at the time.

“So, Jet, Isn’t that pushing it?”


“Anime replica panel.” she pointed right at the image in the conbook on her datapad. “The Highway Star, and a Griffon replica? In the one room? It’s just begging for the laws of drama to intervene.”

Jet offered her an almost mischievous grin “Why do you think it wasn’t waved? It exists outside the laws of drama, in the real world.”

"I'm an engineer, I solve practical problems. I hate the laws of drama sooo much." Sora sighed, leaning forward on the handlebars of the Curtiss replica, checking the messages on her wrist-com.

“So? What about you and Mackie?” Kohran continued. “Last I checked your spec, there’s more wave in you than a motoroid.”

Jet shook her head slowly. “All I’m saying is, I’m not going to be chasing a homicidal cyber-car on this.” She knocked on the tank with her knuckles. “Because if that breaks down, it’ll break down like any other car. ”

Which meant it’d come slowly coasting or grinding to a halt, either smoking, non-smoking or blazing on fire. And the Star was out of fuel.

“Looks like the network reached its limit. It just booted me off," said Sora, not really sounding like she was bothered by it.

Kohran checked her own wrist-com. “Me too.“ She struggled to hide an amused giggle.

It was well known that Frigga’s network architecture was a little bit.... creaky.

The vanes on Jet’s back adjusted themselves silently, searching. “My signal’s fine.” Better than fine. The realisation struck her like a train. “It’s gone to emergency.”

“On behalf of operations we have an emergency announcement. There is a high speed runaway vehicle in Tunnel B-4. All drivers in all locations are to stop in the next refuge area and wait in their vehicles. Pedestrians on foot should not cross tunnels. Vehicles in the parking area are to remain where they are parked unless directed to move by security. ”

Jet’s blood ran cold.

“Told you so,” Kohran grinned.

Sora was staring. As were maybe fifty other people who’d gathered to take pictures. It wasn’t long before they began to speculate.

Jet could feel her face go cold and pale.

“If it’s coming from B4 at full speed, it won’t be able to make turn. It’s going to come straight in through there. And that tank’s in the way.”


“Miss Sierra. We have a problem.”

“It’s coming through the Tunnel at speed. It’s not going to be able to make this turn here, at the gates to the carpark. It’s already going too fast for the trap barriers.”

“How long to clear a path?”

“That’s the problem. The T-72’s parked right in the centre. ”

“When that gets moved, it can go through and through the exit gate, then back around the loop.”

“Jake. I need the tank moved off to one side. I need a safe path straight through the carpark from gate to gate. And I need it in one minute or we’re going to have a real disaster on our hands.”


Myk looked at the Stig to his right. Then at the strobing lights ahead marking the refuge. A few cars had already parked up their headlights ablaze.

The tension was crushing. Both stared at the rear view mirrors, waiting for a flash of light behind. The Stig had gone stoney silent. It was an unsettling change from the chatty man who’d been waxing lyrical about the perfect balance of the Mclaren F1 they both shared.

They were a few kilometres short of the exit into the carpark.

Myk didn’t want to think about what’d happen if that thing reached the carpark at full speed. They had barriers... he’d seen them. He had to hope they’d be enough to stop some runaway.

He had to hope they’d make it to the rest stop

The alternatives made goosebumps prickle across his skin.

“This is Ray, your Safety Director. Vehicles in B-Tunnels should immediately pull in to the left hand side of the course. Vehicles in B-Tunnels should immediately pull in to the left hand side of the course. Turn rear foglights on. Make yourselves visible, this thing will be coming up fast.”

Stig had been hugging the wall as close as he dared. He wasn’t travelling slow... not by a long shot. He was doing his level best to get the Mclaren to safety as soon as humanely possible. It was going top speed.

Easily 360kph.

The V12 strained to push it faster.

Myk saw the flash of blue light in the mirrors a moment before it blasted past with a scream from its engines. The very real possibility that the Mclaren could be punched against the wall and wrecked by the slipstream trailing behind danced through his mind for a few sickening seconds. The Stig sawed at the wheel, keeping the car under control.

It was gone a moment later, trailing a dull roar and a red glow, far ahead in the tunnel.

“Mother of God....”

It was all the Stig managed to say.

They were travelling at maybe a hundred metres a second. A kilometre every ten seconds. And it had screamed past them so fast they might as well have been standing still.

Myk felt himself seethe inside with white, hot anger for a moment. It faded, dissolving into a sickening horror as he realised where exactly this tunnel opened out into.

It was yet another reminder of just how dangerous handwavium was, when mixed with a fool. And this was about to be demonstrated in the most horrific manner possible.


Mackie knew about the tank.

Through the fog of terror, the thought occured to him to just wreck the car and be done with it... with the slim hope of them picking something salvageable out of the remains.

He pondered on it for what felt like an age, weighing the relative merits of sacrificing himself on the altar of Murphy, against letting the Griffon slam into the tank, against hoping they’d gotten the thing moving.

He looked up a moment later.

It was already too late.


Lifting a car isn’t hard, once you’ve got the knack of it.

Moving them was even easier. Lift up the back wheels, then push. If the car was in gear, smash the window and knock it into neutral. It took ten seconds to move one car. The Tachikoma had been drafted... a pir of them lifting a Subaru at both ends before carefully placing it out of the way.

A third towed a black Darth-Vader Buick.

2 Motoroids got in on the act, the owners directed by con-staff to where they were needed.

Most cars were quickly moved by the owners themselves. There was no real scheme to it... just getting as much space in the middle was the aim.

Despite being told not to, people darted across the centre of the room, gambling that they’d see the runaway in time. A few were grabbed by any nearby Dorsai.... most made it across and back.

It was almost chaos. It was noisy. It was on the edge of being a panic. But it was just about under control. And for that, Jet was most thankful. She boosted up above the melee of vehicles for a moment, landing at the back of a Mustang II.

She pushed it back out of the way, and kept pushing until it was forced to stop by the door of a black Testarossa. Big deal.

Another fender bender interrupted the flow of things with a hollow bang, as both drivers decided they had to get out and sort things out immediately, rather than just get out of the way. They were quickly encouraged to move on by the threat of having their vehicles moved instead.

Except for the tank.

She landed on top of the drivers compartment,

“Hey, What’s the holdup?”

“It needs thirty seconds after cranking or it’ll overheat the starter,” answered the driver with a yawn. Jet could sees her own hard gaze reflected in the black lenses of the driver’s goggles. He had three days worth of stubble on a bony chin, liberally smeared with grime and soot.

“You don’t have thirty seconds. You don’t have twenty. Get it spinning and get it moving or a lot of people are going to die!”

“Right, right, keep your armour on,” he waved her off.

Jet jumped down again, getting clear of the tank. The starter motor whined and struggled, cranking the engine lazily over. It popped and clattered a moment, belching a puffball or two of white smoke before dying.

“Can we get anything to tow this?” she broadcast on an open channel.

“Nothing in the time we have,” the answer came back.

The driver’s head popped out from the hatch.

“Lady... I’m not sticking around in here to die...”

Jet snapped back. “Either get it moving, or get people killed!”

If in doubt. Make them feel responsible. Inside, she was shaking.

“Alright. we’re not going to make this. Lets try and get as many people out of it as we can.”

The local security commander had decided to bow to the inevitable. Jet watched as the message went around the floor crew. They kept it professional to the end. A lot of people were about to die....

One of the Dorsa, in full uniform, was herding the crowd back away from the Griffon’s path. “Get back! Everybody get back towards the walls.”

If it did come screaming in and hit the tank - or plough through the parked cars - the debris and fire would keep moving forwards. By moving as many people as they could in the direction of the entry gate... they’d get as many of them as they could out of the line of fire.

It’d still be a horrific mess.

Ten seconds.

The tank’s engine thundered to life, belching thick blue clouds of smoke from its twin exhausts.

“Back! Back! Back!” yelled Jet, desperately hoping. A space had been cleared for it. She glanced to her left, just in time to see a flash of blue light spark into view.


Lime spotted Eljay at about the same moment Eljay spotted Lime. Both of them had found themselves on separate sides of the carpark in the confusion. The tank thundered to life a heartbeat later, belching blue oilsmoke from its exhausts. The asteroid itself shuddered as it clanked backwards.

Lime knew nothing more than that she wanted to be with Eljay. She glanced right. Saw nothing. And started to walk.

“Daddy!” she called out, waving.

“Stay there!” Eljay yelled over to her, gesticulating with his arms for her to go back.

“I’m scared!” And that was far moment important to her.

Eljay froze for a moment... took a quick glance in the direction of the tank. Dim blue light glowered through the smoke. He took a second to consider, glancing back at Lime.

Somebody had to stop Lime. Everyone standing there despite the best efforts of the Dorsai seemed to be watching for the car. The ignored instructions to run. Their own risk. Lime took another step. The decision was made by instinct. If the car was there, it was far enough away.

Eljay bolted, running as hard as he could.

The red form of the car loomed through the smoke, headlights ablaze, throwing a lengthening shadow down the corridor. He could almost feel the heat on his skin.

It hit hard in his lower back, tackling him forwards. The shock of it caused him to yell out as he was carried forward, before being unceremoniously dumped on the ground with a dizzying tumble.

His mind stopped spinning long enough to recognise Lime standing over him with tears in her eyes... and the full armoured form of a cyborg looming over him with an expression somewhere between regret and relief.

The pressure in his chest was crushing.

“Oh.... my...” he managed to stay, before concluding that those are pretty stupid final words. It got worse, burning down his arm, draining his strength as he tried to move.

He was aware of cold metal fingers touching his neck. There was an electric tingle to the touch that seemed to flow through his body.

“He’s asystole,” the cyber announced, almost dispassionately. “Do you want emergency biomodification? Do you want to live?”

There was something about the cyborg’s glassy grey eyes that made disagreeing impossible. Like it was his right.

It took all his effort just to say. “Do it.”

Lime loomed over him. “Think happy thoughts Daddy.... happy thoughts.”

Her hand was warm as it closed around his. The cyber removed something from a compartment on his leg. It was a fat needle - practically a nail - with a big fat shot of green wave on top, mixed with a cocktail adrenaline and stimulants to kick the body into overdrive. It had to be tough to go through the breastbone and hit the heart to work.


It hurt like all hell going through with a nauseating crunch, before lighting his chest on fire. It rolled through his body, filling him entirely before swallowing his mind whole, leaving him with the final idea that some of the greatest superheroes gained their powers in a moment of desperation and the certainty that ultimately, everything would be okay.


It took less than a second for the Griffon the blast through the carpark.

A blur of noise, light and terror that left him clinging white-knuckled to the steering wheel in the hope somehow he’d be able Mackie saw his sister standing in front of him for the briefest instant before she disappeared. He saw a man getting tackled from behind by a cyborg. He saw the T-72 with its lights ablaze. He saw camera flashes and video cameras and a single Tachikoma standing above the blur.

He saw darkness as the Griffon plunged into the tunnel beyond once more.

Mackie offered a desperate prayer to our lady of blessed acceleration....

But she didn’t deign to intervene.


Jet saw Mackie in the driver’s seat.

Terrified beyond mortal comprehension. She looked right into his eyes and knew she’d never seen someone that frightened.... none that lived to tell about it anyway. His eyes had bulged out of their sockets... staring right through her.

Begging for help.

She boosted up over the top of it at the last possible moment, landing on her feet just in time to watch it disappear into the dark once more.

Disaster number one averted. But she couldn’t feel relieved.

“Code Scramble 08. Code Scramble 08.”

It burst into her mind through her radio. Scramble 08. A Panzer Kunst code. Ordinary Human. Lethal Injury. Consent to emergency biomodification given. Whoever that was was in for an interesting ride, if they made it through the other end.

Still. It was one near fatality. And probably a whole clutch of minor injuries amongst the crowd.

And everyone was looking at her now...

“Damn it Mackie,” she whispered to herself.


The Dorsai commander highlighted the Griffon’s target on the map. “It’s hamster-wheeled for now. It’ll keep running around that loop until it runs out of gas”

Ford stared at the marker, almost hoping the force of her gaze alone would bring it to a halt.. Dozens of others were stopped in refuge areas all along the route. If the Griffon crashed near any one of them....

“If that thing runs out of gas, it’ll crash. We can’t risk it crashing into one of those refuges. We have to stop it. Anybody who has a plan.... listen to them,” she said, her voice hardening as she spoke. “Get as many people as far away from the B-Tunnels and car park as you can. Use the fire evacuation routes.”

She’d be damned is this event went down in history as the next Kaboomite. Not a chance in hell. She still had to talk to the Committee and make sure they were on the same page. This wasn’t a time for arguments.

One disaster avoided.

A dozen more to go.


What happens to VF afterwards.... is up to his writer to write. I just went with the suggestion on offer. It can be tweaked if needs be... had to make it fit with what I already had. The same goes for anything really. There's a lot of 'other people's stuff' here

Everything else.... I'm doing my best.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
I can certainly say, having talked with Myk's "prototype" about how he wouldn't be racing because of his increasing age, that he's probably exceptionally glad on a certain level that he was only in the tunnel because the Stig himself was doing the driving.

"Even when I was at my peak, I would have at the very least wound up buried in the tunnel wall, if not actually crashed together with that... monstrosity of a car."

"You know how parents tell you everything's going to fine, but you know they're lying to make you feel better? Everything's going to be fine." - The Doctor
Works so far, now I just need to ask the RNG spirits...

Fair flip:

[Image: kidstuff__mary_marvel_by_kidnotorious-d41zg4e.jpg]

"Pfft. Just HAD to think of Karen before it all went dark."
''We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat
them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.''

-- James Nicoll
Welp. This is the sort of thing that's bound to make Mackie's next maintenance checkup an....awkward...experience.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
"You know how hard it is to find old-school modest outfits in my new size anymore?" VF sheepishly traced her hairline. "Don't mind the hair, though." She absently tugged at the hem of the knee-length skirt of her costume.

"Right, let's see what wear and tear you have on your mimetics."
''We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat
them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.''

-- James Nicoll
"So..... you're not.... mad about it?"

Ultimately, it'll also do little to dispel the idea that Frigga is becoming a bit of a Jokusetzoku.... especially after Mackie gets booted off to Nekomi to learn a little restraint.

He's going to be an interesting addition to any Engineering Ethic's class.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
Dartz Wrote:"So..... you're not.... mad about it?"
"Not your fault it turned out like this." A look of studious concentration crossed her face as she manipulated the waldoes doing micro-scale repairs to his joints.  "Heck, now I can roughhouse with Lime, and even survive one of her hugs like she used to give Karen. Excuse me." She sniffed daintily, emotion coloring her voice.
"Besides," she said, mastering herself. "I heard about the tongue lashings afterwards. Nah. It was only a matter of time before I got modded one way or another. I work with the stuff too much."
An impish smile crossed her face. "But now I can finally go to Disney World. This face isn't on their 'do not admit' board." She twisted her lips into a moue of disgust. "Good thing I don't smoke or drink though. I'd get carded for the rest of my life."
''We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat
them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.''

-- James Nicoll
"Thanks. For what it's worth... I'm still sorry that it happened."

He's going to be guilty for a long time, especially as he's spending the next few years just across the city. He's also going to be a little bit surprised at just how well VF is taking it...... The idea frightens him deeply.

It's going to be tough for him for a long time..... because a lot of people aren't going to be so generous. But hey.... either he pulls through it and grows as a person, or this isn't Fenspace.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
VF's ease probably comes from having used really good telepresences for about 15 years by this point. Hell, he's probably done at LEAST one mission as Kusanagi, even of it was only as opfor for training the real deal in using Telepresences.
''We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat
them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.''

-- James Nicoll
"Hey, VF, I like what you've done with your body!"

"Thanks, Kohran. You're still wearing that one?"

"It suits me."
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012


Hmmmm. Know KJ'd be there, probably with the thing he'd built to try to compete with the Highway Star; a somewhat more streamlined 2-wheeled beastie (think at least front fairings and such) built around a Cosworth XD (2.65L methanol burning single-turbocharged race V8) Call it the SS-19 Stiletto, keeping with the faction's theme, though the stuff that's not recycled indy car is bespoke; most of the construction from carbon or magnesium to keep the weight down. All hardtech, given its purpose. Color scheme would be black carbon fiber with pseudo-military insignia, laid out similar to a normal bike... probably looking closest to an NHRA Pro Stock drag bike, but with the engine lengthwise and the rider almost but not quite straddling a turbocharger. At where it's tuned for the purpose, it should be around 900kW at 1 atmosphere of boost and 14k RPM semi-safely, more possible if it's to turn into a grenade engine (IE, plot demands!) and a weight of about 350kg sans rider. KJ himself is wearing 'waved blue and white motorcycle leathers for what it's worth.

Shoehorn wherever!

"Jet; not sure if you've got a plan, but I brought out the new thing to show off. It should be able to pace the Highway Star at least; what can I do to help?"
I'm going to randomly and just for the heck of it NOT shove my nose into other peoples' disasters. Given how long this is after the Shinji Crisis, if I'm reading it correctly, Chris Marsden isn't even in the solar system at the moment, he's busy poking his nose into a Gardener station somewhere in the atmosphere of Annwyn.

The only Greenwood/Rockhounds people onsite are a group of fans who came to watch the Top Gear segment get filmed, and have no relevant expertise or part to play in the rescue unless someone more involved in the writing than I gets a sudden burst of inspiration and wants to make use of them, in which case I grant permission to do so.
Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.

The tunnel lights streamed past in two pale blue snakes. The interior of the cockpit seemed to flicker, like it was being lit by an old television showing static more than the usual strobe effect of speed.

A single red light flashed past, gone faster than his mind could note it. Every single spare iota of mindspace was dedicated solely towards keeping the car away from the outside wall.

Even as he knew as sure as he could smell the tyres starting to overheat that it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened.

He glanced again at the engine shutdown switches. He could stop the engine.... but then he’d lose hydraulics. He’d loose steering. He could barely keep the car out of the wall as it was.

The speed was obscene. It was faster than he’d ever gone on a road in his life. It was faster than he ever wanted to go. He never wanted to travel at speed again... never. No sir. Lesson learned and then some. So please let me stop now.

The thought occurred to him to just give up and let it crash.

He wasn’t human. They could pick up the debris.

He wasn’t sure if it was courageous or cowardice. He wasn’t sure what’d happen to the debris if he just wrecked it. 2 tons of metal and kerosene did not just stop. He’d give up and kill someone. He’d keep going and kill someone.

He was dead if nothing changed.

His sister would bail him out. She always did. Come flying to the rescue, punch a hole in the roof, slip right into the cockpit beside him and just fix the car. All would be well....

A refuge was gone in a blink. Eight seconds later it was a kilometre behind him. The next one was coming up just as fast. His comm gave an electronic warble. He answered it without hesitation, pinning it between his ear and his shoulder.


Ford’s voice.

“I’m sorry,”

It just blurted out, but he meant it with all his heart.

“Lets not talk about that now.” Ford’s voice was calm and certain. It was something solid to grab on to. “Let’s focus on getting you stopped. I need you to tell me how much fuel you have on that thing.”

“Fifteen, Twenty minutes maybe. Maybe 160 litres.”

“Good. Engine cuttoffs.”

“In here with me.”

The engine controls were mounted on a panel attached to the roof. Still illuminated, they were on a different circuit. N1 was at the redline, N2 was holding just below. Output shaft was at maximum, the engine’s governor kicking in to keep it from overspeeding. EPR was green. EGT was already going yellow.

As far as the engine was concerned, it was happily giving its best.

He could cut fuel pressure, or dump the fire extinguisher bottle. He could start the engine too, not that that’d help much. Disabling the governor would cause it to overspeed and explode. Cutting fuel pressure would shut it down within seconds. The fire bottle would do it even faster.

None of this would help.

“Any external network connections?”

“No. It’s just a car Ford..... nothing else.”

“Can you get it into neutral?”

He tried again. No less in vain than the last time. The gear stick went into place, but it’s electronic sender unit was powerless to send a signal.

“No response from the shifter..”

“What have you got on brakes.?

“I think I boiled the brake fluid.” He pressed on the pedal. It was still spongy beneath his foot, but the car slowed, “But I can slow down a bit. Emergency brake is gone.”

“Just keep it circulating for now. Let the brakes keep cooling. We’ll need them later.”

He swallowed that fat lump in his throat.

“Should I find somewhere to stop it.”

In that moment, Mackie hoped she’d say no. If only to prove that he had permission not to go through with it.

“Not yet.” she answered, to his relief. “We’re going to get this thing stopped. We’re going to get you out of there.... Then I’m going to kill you.”

He genuinely wasn’t sure what’d be worse. Dying in the wreck... or facing Ford afterward it was over.

Only one. But I've had a busy week.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
Quote:“Okay... I need that broadcast to the emergency channel now. The whole committee needs it.”

Anika answered through a speaker on the desk. “Done. And I’ve already signalled for emergency aid from Asuka. Response teams will be here within the hour.”

Ford had managed to get three of them, the medical officer, the safety officer and the public relations officer. The rest of the committee was either in the Trade Hall, in their quarters, or otherwise busy herding cats and con-members to safety. Either way, too far away and too busy.

Sydney, the con’s medical, sat on a spare terminal. His fair hair and almost boyish face joined with a rebel alliance uniform gave him a Skywalker charm that stood at odds with the seriousness of his expression. “We’ve had ten casualties so far.” he said “Mostly light injuries. One heart attack requiring emergency biomod. No fatalities”

“Thank fuck. Evacuation?”

Ray Holley -the safety officer from Marsbase Sara with the autobots t-shirt - was standing by the map, paying more attention “The plan is good. The last few stragglers are leaving the B Loop. The Beeb blocked an emergency door with a caravan here, so they’re stuck here.” he placed his finger over their markers on the map. “The Carpark’s about half empty already.”

“How long?”

He thought for a moment. “5 Minutes. Without tunnel access, it’s slow going. The plans assumed we’d have at least one, even if we had a developed fire.”

Ford offered a silent prayer of thanks. All their planning and preparation was working. The relief flowed through her body.

Janet, the PR officer from Ganymede with the brown duster spoke next. “I’m telling them the truth.... ain’t got much else to say. Keep clear a’ the tunnels and carpark,. Keeping music on’ll keep people calm. It’s all nice’n orderly like. A few complaints over the network being cut off, some folk think we’b trying to hide something from the ‘verse at large but most understand.”

“Okay.” Ford took a few moments to gather it all together in her head. She twirled one of those projecting sideburns through her fingers as she mulled the situation over, trying to get her mind on top of it all. "Now that we know where we are. What do we have that can stop it before it wrecks?”

“Nothing....” said the safety officer. “No really. Nothing we have was intended for these speeds. We have crash barriers... they’re good for 2 tons at 320kph. The foam will stop it... but again, at these speeds we’re losing the driver.”

“He’s a CI, not a human being,” said Sydney, in a cool tone. Everyone glared at him. He raised his arms in defence “I mean.... he’s tougher than a human, isn’t he?”

Ford though for a moment “I don’t know. But I don’t want to take that chance. ”

“Can we route it to the surface? Shoot it out into space?” suggested the PRO, with a hopeful expression on her face.

“There’s no way it could make the turn onto route A2 at those speeds,” Ray answered quickly,

“Then drop the partial pressure of oxygen...” she continued

“That’ll take way too long. Half an hour, easily.”

“And there’re people trapped in those sections.” Sydney added.

Ford flipped open her comm-link. “Anika? Can you see if anyone over in the CGI pit has anything that’ll stop it.” Her eyes scanned the room “We need more options and we need them quick.”


Jeph remarked to himself on the relative unfairness of the universe, as he looked up from the stack of paperwork that he had to personally deal with, and over at the flyer tacked to the wall for MoCon.

"Hey, Jeph," Holly called out, his face appearing on one of the monitors. "Wavecall from Myk."

"Thanks, Hol," he said, picking up the handset from the base on his desk, the one spot not covered in paperwork. "Jeph's Den on Iniquity." Nene, over in the corner, snickered. Then, Jeph straightened up in his chair, shifting to female so quick there was almost an audible snapping sound.

"What?!" She listened for a second, then exclaimed, slightly lower. "What?" A few seconds of some sort of... tense voice on the other end, then she repeated quite, quite flatly, "What. No, I heard you, Myk. Crystal clear. Who the FUCK does that sort of thing?"

A pause.

"Oh, bloody fucking joy on a shit stick. How bad?"

She paled as Myk said something unpleasant over the line.

"Oh dear gods. Have they got a handle on it yet? ...fuck me, they haven't? No, do what you need to do over there. Seriously, Myk."

Another pause.

"Yes, I understand this is pissing you off good. I can feel the intensity from here. We can start on our way over to pick you up when it's all finished."

A few seconds, as she nodded her head. "We'll ship over at full burn. Holly and Geo should be able to take care of things here while we're gone. Yes, you take care too." Jeph set the handset down onto the base gingerly, slumping back in her chair. "Oh fuck."

"What's going on?" Nene inquired, coming over and setting a hand on Jeph's shoulder. A
shoulder that was already tensing up.

"Someone - it looks like Mackie - souped up some sort of car into the Griffin, and it jammed it's throttle wide open." Nene turned white as a sheet, as she remembered what the Griffin had done in the OAV. "It's already bad, and possibly going to get worse. Get your overnight bag, we're taking Starbug 1 over there as fast as we can burn."


The Ferrari seemed to somehow sulk.... the red machine not especially taking to well to being parked up when something so simple had challenged its dominance. Gas turbine engines were, after all, the easy route.

They were bad. For all the reasons producing power through the use of pistols and crankshafts was good.

It seemed however, especially annoyed at being forced to park between a Range Rover, and a caravan being pulled by a Transit van.

The Ferrari’s driver took the opportunity to record a quick piece to camera while the produces busied themselves trying to figure out how to move it without blocking the tunnel

“What’s happened people is that we’ve had an emergency due to a runaway car - that isn’t ours - and the driver of the mobile production office has pulled in to the designated refuge with us. And he’s blocked the evacuation door with it.”

He glanced nervously over the top of the crash barrier, peering into the tunnel.,

“So now we have to move it. Or we’ll be trapped in here and there might be a big crash and we’ll all be killed.”
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
Final scene comes Courtesy of Cobalt Greywalker.

Some modifications to fit.


The Ferrari seemed to somehow sulk.... the red machine not especially taking too well to being parked up when something so simple had challenged its dominance. Gas turbine engines were, after all, the easy route.

They were bad. For all the reasons producing power through the use of pistols and crankshafts was good.

It seemed however, especially annoyed at being forced to park between a Range Rover, and a caravan being pulled by a Transit van.

The Ferrari’s driver took the opportunity to record a quick piece to camera while the produces busied themselves trying to figure out how to move it without blocking the tunnel

“What’s happened people is that we’ve had an emergency due to a runaway car - that isn’t ours - and the driver of the mobile production office has pulled in to the designated refuge with us. And he’s blocked the evacuation door with it.”

He glanced nervously over the top of the crash barrier, peering into the tunnel.,

“So now we have to move it. Or we’ll be trapped in here and there might be a big crash and we’ll all be killed.”


A dozen fans stared at Jet.


It was obvious what they wanted. It was written all over their expectant faces. There was a Griffon. There was a Knight Saber. There was only one way to stop a Griffon with a Knight Saber. It was big, red and made a lot of noise.

Jet scowled at them. To hell with the laws of drama.

“The Committee’ve nothing that can stop it. Which means I’m going to have to go out there, catch up to it and get it. And I’m faster by air.”

“And how are you going to stop it, Jet?” asked Sora, mildly.

Jet’s mind was clearly focused elsewhere. The cyborg glanced back at Sora for a moment - long enough for her to get a look at the real and deep fear lurking behind Jet’s eyes.

“I’ll figure something out when I get there,” answered Jet. That fear had pulled her voice taught.

“You’re worried about him, aren’t you?”

“Of course.”

“Just...” Sora paused. It was the pause that actually grabbed Jet’s attention more than aything. She stopped, turning to face the android. Sora continued, her expression deliberately neutral. “Don’t let it cloud your judgement. Rash actions now will just make it worse.”

Jet wore a look of solid determination. “That’s how I make my living.”

Blade Running was the romantic description for what most people would call making it up as you go along.

Sora’s face betrayed her momentary disappointment, but it passed. Kohran bulldozed through the crowd, toppling someone dressed as the Bean Bandit in the process, nearly taking her sister with her.

“I was thinking, Jet....” she started with a force behind her that demanded attention and made whatever Sora had been planning to say utterly redundant. The mad’s gleam shone in Kohran’s eyes. The circle of fandom surrounding them shrunk back away from her “If someone chased it on the Highway Star. They could just grab Mackie out of it at speed.”

“What if he’s dropped?”

I could survive it,” she answered, with pride swelling her chest. “I’m built tough. I’d need a new shell but..... my point is, he’s a CI. So long as his core’s intact he can probably be salvaged, which is more than I can say if he crashes and burns.”

The cyber took a moment to gauge Kohran’s expression.

“You want to ride the Star?”

The grin that twitched across her lips was the only answer Kohran could give.

“Keys are in the ignition. Comm frequency 401.85 Megahertz.”

“Got it!” Kohran was already running to get her helmet and riding gear, leaving Jet standing there with a stunned smile on her face, already having second thoughts.

“Hey!” another voice grabbed for her attention.KJ Dupree, already ready to go in his waved leathers with a helmet in one hand, and the boost controller in the other. “The Stiletto can keep up if you want a plan B.”

The grin across his face told her that a 2650 cubic-centimetre capacity turbocharged, methanol-burning V8 powered motorcycle could do more than keep up.

Jet answered with a grateful smile. “If you can get out in front of the car, could you give us a warning if there’s anything in the tunnel ahead?”

“No problem,” he answered, holding up his helmet. The Red Star shone in the overhead lighting “I’ve got comm’s in my helmet if we need them.”


“Hi there!”

It burst into her mind like a grenade in an enclosed space. A tachikoma popped up in her vision a moment before the firewall warned her of the attempt. The avatar waved cheekily.

Jet flinched in spite of herself, glaring at it with her minds eye.

It bowed down, an oversized sweatdrop rolling down the side of its central bowling ball. “Sorry about that.” No it wasnt. “But.....Well... we were talking with our mommy, and we have a way to stop the car.”[i]

“Yeah... what is it?” Jet radioed back, her irritation still plain for all to hear.

[i]“There’s no time to discuss the details. We’ll burst it to you. Mommy says you can handle it.”

Oh Joy. Jet braced for the onslaught.

“Go for it,/ she answered with the enthusiasm of a prisoner ordering their own execution.

“Is something wrong?” KJ asked, noticing her expression blackening over.


Shinji sat staring at the monitor.

“Berserker,” he murmured. He recalled something Ford had told him months earlier. This was the accident that everybody had known was coming.

Yuu placed her hand on his shoulder to support her weight as she leant in to see for herself. The convention’s website would only load the same emergency page, outlining the required evacuations.

"Oh, gods...” She covered her mouth with her other hand to keep herself from saying more. @ Is there anything we can do to help?"

Shinji placed his hand over hers on his shoulder, clasping gently.

"I'll ask Anika." Shinji's expression went blank for a brief moment - if Yuu hadn't also been an AI, she would have missed it. "If you know any way to get medical help here quickly, they'll take it. The con's infirmary isn't set up to handle it if the worst case happens.."


Yuu pulled out her StellviaCorp cellphone and double-tapped the "PANIC!!!" icon on the screen. "Good thing there's a Halcyon node here, and the Global Frequency's connected to Halcyon”

It took less than a moment for it to ring through.

“Hello, Buckaroo? Yuu Inagawa here. Patch me through to 4077 Asuka, please - we've got a potential multiple-victim medical emergency at 77 Frigga."


“We’ve got a workable plan down here, Ford.”

The committee were watching.

“What’ve you got?”

“Lebia’s down here with KJ DuPree, and Kohran aswell. To cut a long story short, we’re going to use the Tachikoma and a Tumbler to slow it down to a safer speed... then have Mackie cut the engine. They can keep it under control until it stops.”

“Simple,” Ford remarked, almost surprised.

“If that doesn’t work. I’m getting aboard the thing myself. I’ll steer it while Kohran grabs Mackie out the driver door on the Highway Star.“ Jet paused for a moment. Plan C is to stick it into a wall and hope we can get Mackie out of the wreckage. Unless you’ve got any better ideas.”

She definitely expected one.

“Go for it.” Ford answered,allowing the cool relief to flow through her.It wasn’t over. But it wasn’t going to be a full blown disaster either.

It lasted until her mind caught up with who exactly Jet had said was involved.


Scene: James May and Richard Hammond are stood with the second Unit production assistant in the main display hall, talking to a portable speaker phone.

The picture is far more wobbly than normal, given that the cameraman is only pointing the camera in the right direction on trained instinct.

The voice coming out of the speaker phone is easily recognisable.

Jeremy, from phone: …So we have an idiot in a waved car who has lost control and is barrelling along at over 320 miles per hour, and we just avoided getting sodding killed!

James: At least you’re in the refuge area now, that’ll keep you safe.

Richard: And the F70 too, ‘cause Ferrari would be seriously pissed if anything happened to it. Wiping out at those speeds…

James: Easy Richard. [reaches over to grab Hammond’s shoulder] Deep breaths. [Tries to grin] The insurance guys throw enough fits…Oh Cock!

The camera catches May’s astonished face, Hammond turning rapidly to catch what has his fellow presenter so shocked and his face falling in slack-jawed amazement before a blur of movement as the cameraman swings around to their sightline.

Jeremy Voiceover: May’s expression of surprise was well warranted.

Scene: A half dozen Dorsai are pushing the crowd away from the podium. This is because three Tachikoma have just arrived, and are lifting the motorcycle from the stand, directed by a woman in white armour. They put it down and begin checking it over.

Richard, off screen: They can’t seriously-

Jeremy VO: They did.

The pods on the Tachikoma open and a couple of the Dorsai start pulling gear out of the capsules.

Jeremy VO: The bike the disturbingly cuddly spider-tanks were working on was no less than the Highway Star.

James Voiceover: The first of the line, a fully hardtech bike with TSAB docs to prove it, got the motorcycle world speed record before the FIM allowed waved bikes to make records. It’s owner, Jet Jaguar, is the Sister of the driver of the runaway.

The Tachikoma start to pick up the gear extracted from their pods. They start filling bike’s fuel tank .

Jeremy, on speaker phone: Guys? What’s happening?

James, off screen: Jezza, the Fen seem to be prepping the bloody Highway Star. Jet Jaguar is getting ready to ride it..... Is that really the best name she could think of?

Jeremy, on speaker phone: …Surely you can’t be serious?

James, off screen: Oooh yes. And don’t call me Shirley.

Another motorcycle is wheeled into place, this one styled long and low, more like a dragster. A turbocharged V8 engine is visible through the cutouts in the fairing, driving a fat rear tyre. Printed on the side is a single red star, cryllic marking and the registration SS-19. It’s very Soviet in execution.

James: Cor, that thing looks like a missile.... if you squint.

James VO: The SS-19 Stilletto, powered by a turbocharged methanol-burning Cosworth V8. Built by an officer of the Soviet Airfoce in Exile to go very-very fast and make the Highway Star look very-very slow.

A deep throated rumble is heard. The blocky shape with huge front tires, looking like the cross between a tank and a stealth fighter, pulls up sharply. The metallic blue of the body panels gleam in the light.

James: And given the only Fen I know attending that has a bloody Batmobile has just turned up, I’d say they really mean business.

Richard Voiceover: Said Fen was none other than Lebia Maverick.

The cockpit of the Tumbler rises and pulls back, revealing the blond hair and head of Lebia before she stands up and begins climbing out.

Richard VO: Ms Maverick owns the second Highway Star, and is the creator of both the Tachikoma spider tanks currently helping out among other things, like the Mk.IV Tumbler she arrived in. Or the Third Highway Star, which is the fasted object known to mankind....

With Lebia out of the way, we see a purple-haired woman also sat in the cockpit, who passes out some items to Lebia and a waiting Tachikoma before standing and climbing out herself.

Richard, off screen: [BLEEP]

Jeremy, on speaker phone: What?!? James, what the Hell’s going on?

James, off screen: Lebia Maverick turned up with Kohran Li in tow. They’re talking with Jet Jaguar and . It looks like they have a plan

Scene: Jeremy is standing by a folding table in the refuge area with the mobile unit director, stearring at the portable speaker phone in horror.

Jeremy VO: None of this sounded at all good. Ms Li had a well-earned reputation for making things go boom. Admittedly in this case the thing going boom would probably be the runaway. The situation was quickly becoming a disaster, so I reverted to instinct.

Jeremy: Do you think we could get video of the whole thing?

[[Soundtrack:: Thunderbirds March]
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
There wasn't a lot of sound in the cockpit of Starbug 1, as Jeph listened to something on her earpiece, then nodded. "Holly's already diverted Eighteen towards the scene, Buckaroo. They were delivering medical supplies already, and the ship's set up it can be used as a field hospital just by plugging in the equipment." She paused for a second, and pulled up a screen of data next to her pilot station. "They'll beat us there, I can guarantee that, Buckaroo. I'm sending you the data now. Our next nearest Midget if we need it is Four, but they're about 12 hours behind us if we have to divert them over. If they're needed, you can talk to Holly directly, I'm sending him the authorization for anything that might be needed on short notice." She listened again to the calm voice on the other end. "We're already at full burn here, Buckaroo. Nene says they've got a network lockdown, we have some of the basics, but we're trying to keep the Halcyon traffic clear for Frigga's use."

"You know how parents tell you everything's going to fine, but you know they're lying to make you feel better? Everything's going to be fine." - The Doctor
Light-hours away, a small crowd of men and women sat on couches around a fireplace in a comfortable-looking living room. All eyes were glued to the holo-screen that floated above the table before them, displaying the latest news reports from the scene of the disaster-in-the-making. White knuckles showed, where fingers gripped furniture, then forcibly relaxed themselves.

"Fifty says they get him out in one piece," Lufy finally said.

Rumy glared at her. "L - Lufy... how can you be so casual about it? And what if the car crashes and hurts someone else?"

Shildy just shook her head. "I'll take that action," she said, reaching out to squeeze Rumy's shoulder. "And lighten up, kid. What can we do about it from here?"

"They're just as worried as you are, Rumy," Lafiel added from her own seat, sipping a cup of tea. "This is just their own way of not letting it bother them."

"I know," the younger girl said. "And I know we can't get there in time to be any help. It still..."

This time it was Rei's soft almost-monotone that answered for her. "Others are already on their way. Some of whom we have funded and equipped and trained. Sometimes it is all you can do."

Elza nodded, gathering Rumy close on the couch. "The cost of command...."
Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.
Relevant News Story. Maybe Mackie shouldn't feel too bad, if a major manufacturer can have the same issue.

Having owned one of these cars, I can confirm that the electrics used to be pretty hairy. Though mine liked to stick in Third gear and stop responding to a few controls.... among other things.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
And Pop


Jet reached out with her mind and joined the node. The Tachikoma were already busy calculating the optimum intercept point.

“Top speed?” they asked her.

“540kph,” she messaged back.

The communal map updated, a section of the tunnels leading back from the Car Park flashing bright green. This was the maximum distance the Tachikoma could reach travelling backwards, assuming they departed at the same time as the Griffon passed the Car Park.

They couldn’t enter until the tunnel until after it passed, the risk was too high.

It was passed to Lebia, who had to calculate the time for Tumbler to catch, assuming it departed as soon as the Griffon passed. It took barely an instant to calculate that the Tumbler’s earliest possible intercept was well before the green zone.

It was then a simple matter of selecting the furthest refuge the Tachikoma could reach.

“Here,” they suggested.

Jet checked with the current convention map through Anika’s downlink. “Occupied” she answered, before suggesting the next one down the line, marking it as clear.

“Agreed,” answered the Tachikoma.

Kohran logged onto the node, watching as the plan developed.

“Too close to the carpark,” she said. “If it fails, it’ll make it through easily.”

“That’s the earliest we can do it,” the Tachikoma answered.

”It’s not perfect,” the second added.

“How much fuel does the Highway Star have at those speeds?” Kohran asked.

“Full speed? Not even five minutes,” Jet answered.

Not enough to keep up for the whole circuit around.

“We should use the third,” Lebia suggested.

“Is the suspension set up for it?”

“It’ll take two seconds.”

“No!” Kohran put her verbal foot down. “Besides, the original was modified for that Bonneville race... while the waved Star is still based on the original template. If my calculations are correct, the original will be faster over the road.”

“You have to wait for it to come back around,”said Lebia.

“No problem. It’ll need to warm up anyway.”

Kohran just seemed glad to have an excuse to ride it

“I can chase by air easily,” Jet added. “I can double its top speed no problem”

Jet didn’t even bother adding her range to the map.

“KJ. Fuel in the Stiletto?” Asked Lebia.

The answer seemed to take an age, coming through via standard voice channels.

“Enough for one lap,”

Top speed was estimated as equaling the Highway Star’s, with it’s acceleration based on already known stats, before having an estimate of it’s displacement over time plotted against that of the Griffon.

“You need to leave within the next thirty seconds to not get overtaken.”

“I’m gone already,” Again, the answer was painfully slow. “I’ll need a bump start.”

A tachikoma trundled up “On it.”

“Are we good?” asked Jet.

“As good as we can be,” Lebia answered. “Synchronise time to my node.”

Jet’s onboard clock adjusted a few milliseconds as she switched it to take its time signal from the node aboard the Tumbler. There was something reassuring about the certain uncertainty of it all. Everyone knew their goal. Everyone knew their intent. Things came together like they were designed to fit all along. It felt like Great Justice.... it felt comfortable that way.

“Kohran. The bike’s tuned for 600 kilowatts. That should be enough to keep up. The water injection tank should be full. That’ll give you a thousand if you need it.”

“For how long?”

“Less than a minute.”

A smile crawled across Li’s face. She was going to use every second of that. Even if Lebia’s plan succeeded. And if she saved in the process Mackie’s life, all the better. It was a strange inversion of history.

The intercom chimed, grabbing the attention of everyone left in the carpark.

>>“This is your safety officer. We really suggest you evacuate the tunnels and car park. If you want to watch, then you’re responsible for your own safety from here on in. We can’t be responsible if you stay down there and get hurt. Internal and external network access will stay restricted to emergency staff only for the time being.”
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
At this point, this music is running through Kohran's mind: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgZSnAkQc4c

She might inadvertently quote some of the lyrics while she's got her mind on the real work. Or she might not.

She'll definitely be using more contractions and dropped final letters than she usually does - when she's "in the groove," her accent comes back.
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
Add another scene courtesy of Cobalt

And singing Tachikoma

Quote:510kph. Give or take. That was Mackie’s estimate.

He timed the markers flashing past. It wasn’t that hard once he knew the distance between them. He was passing just shy of three every 2 seconds.

His hands were locked rigid on the steering wheel. EGT was slowly edging towards the dangerous end of the temperature scale. It was a race between fuel exhaustion and the turbine melting.

Either one ended up in a high-speed wreck.

A knock on his window snatched his attention. He blinked, then smiled in deep relief. He knew he was safe when he saw his sister cruising along beside him.

His sister’s visor popped up and open, revealing her smiling face, just in time for his phone to ring.

“Hey..... we’re going to rescue you. Just sit tight and don’t crash it.”

He offered his thanks, to whatever God’s would claim it.


The tachikoma were singing as the drove.

Time to face the day,
Time to make it snappy
But you know first you gotta make it out of bed.

They formed a digital harmony, perfectly in sync and in tune, seperated only by the microsecond differences in acoustics caused by their positions in the tunnel. Synthetic voices resonated off the walls.

They were happy. They were useful and they got to show just how useful they were.They got to make sure everyone saw how useful they were and just what Tachikoma-kind were capable of.

You couldn’t do this with a motoroid.

Hello Mister Sunshine
Today you’re gonna be fine
Cos you know sunny skies are always right ahead.

Take on the day with a one-two punch....

They rounded the curve to be met with a Land Rover parked in the road, camera crews milling around it. They shared a thought, one agreeing to peel off and wait behind for a few seconds, while the others swept passed, dodging around without losing speed.

It stopped opposite the all-wheel-drive, spinning to a halt in front of the producer.

“Hey!... You can’t stay here. You’ll get in the way,” it announced, in its own chirpy voice.

“We’re moving the caravan to evacuate,” the producer responded, swallowing a sudden lump in his throat.. It was big, blue and armed. And was way too cheerful for something with guns.

“Hurry up!” the second tank called back with its radio. “You’ll fall behind. We only have a ten second margin of error left.”

It stood for a few milliseconds, calculating whether it was better to spend time encouraging the humans to move out of the way, or leave them to it and risk not making it in time.


It waved once, before whizzing off to catch up.

“Time to Point Charlie-10, 99476 milliseconds.”


It took a few seconds of standing dumb for the producer to get his composure back. The diesel engine in the four wheel drive growled as it waited.

“Alright, keep going. Landy’s out of the way. We can move the caravan... get them shuffled around and back in in time. Three minutes people!”

The presenter sighed in resignation and turned to face one of the cameras to offer an excuse for the ultimate failure. “Our producer is still new. Anyone who is in any way familiar with our program, knows exactly what’s going to happen next.”

The camera tracked back to the parked Ferrari.

“Hopefully nothing important would be harmed.”


“That monster really gonna keep up?“ Kohran asked over the radio.

“Watch me.” Lebia replied, mentally engaging pursuit mode and flooring the throttle. With a roar like a triumphant Lion, the turbine was let off the leash to deliver all 2250 kW of power it produced into the drivetrain. The speed on the HUD quickly rose from 320 kph to 480 kphmph, 3.5 metric tonnes of armour and engine hunkering down through adjustments to the aerofoils. With the turbine scream reverberating off the walls, the Tumbler punched through the air of the tunnel pushing itself up to 523 kph

“An’ catch up?” Kohran wondered.

“What else does a Tumbler normally have Kohran?” Lebia replied flatly, more of her concentration taken up by monitoring the Tachikoma chasing the Griffon, the tunnels around them, the telemetry from the Highway Star, the com-net the Tumbler was the node for, and the Tumbler itself.

“Tell me you’ve a jet in that thing.”

“And an afterburner” There was a twinge of amusement in the blonde hacker’s voice. “Engaging super pursuit mode. “ Lebia notified the net, before triggering the reheat.

The hot air from the turbine radiators was suddenly squeezed by deployed baffles just prior to exiting out of the huge exhaust, and aerosolised fuel injected. Pressure and heat combined to ignite the fuel in the same way a ram-jet worked. A shock diamond formed behind the Tumbler as Lebia was pressed into her seat like the hand of an angry god was trying to squash her like a bug. The force eased off almost immediately, but not before the Tumbler covered most of the way to 600 kph.

“Time to intercept: 103 seconds.”


Kohran's accent might be hard to capture...
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
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