- Genre: Angst, Friendship
- Word Count: 2,139
- Pairing: First Person x ???
- World: Acceleracers
When morning finally arrived, I entered the cafeteria, taking a seat next to Tork who nodded in acknowledgment. He and Karma were the only ones in there at the time, so I was able to get some peace and quiet as I rested my head on the metal table. It was cold and felt good against my pounding head.
“You’re not eating?” Tork questioned.
“Don’t have much of an appetite this morning.” Which totally isn’t because I had a guilt-ridden nightmare which lead me to end up passed out against a Teku car. Yeah, that totally didn’t happen.
He remained silent and I worried that he was going to ask me something other, but my saving grace appeared in the form of Taro. He sat across from me after grabbing a tray of food, his eyes narrowed at me.
“You’re up early,” He sounded suspicious.
“Is that a crime now?”
“You hate mornings,”
Damn you, Taro. Why do you have to pay so much attention to others, huh? “I’m turning over a new leaf, so what.”
The door opened and in walked Vert and Shirako, both of whom smiled at me. I cleared my throat as I stood up, mumbling about how I was going to go work on my car. I could feel multiple pairs of eyes on my back but I did my best to ignore it.
Mark was already at the cars, working on his Spinebuster. He nodded at me when I approached but said nothing. I was thankful that he kept his mouth shut for once.
My eyes scanned the length of my Night Hawk as I remembered the feeling of rejection from that night. I reached out, hesitating for a moment, before letting my hand rest on the hood. The metal was ice cold, just as it had been before, but it didn’t feel quite as distant.
I bowed my head as I rested my other hand on the hood, ‘Night Hawk… I know I’m not as strong as I pretend to be. As a car belonging to the Metal Maniacs, you deserve someone with a stronger will behind your wheel, but I… I won’t give up. I will keep fighting and moving forward, even if I have to destroy those in my way. I hope you’ll continue fighting by my side.’
“You look like shit,” Mark commented, raising his brow when I met his gaze.
I scoffed, “You ain’t no field of daisies, either.”
“Did you even sleep last night? And what the hell happened to your hands?”
“Will you quit with the third degree already? Damn,” I popped the hood of my car and started my routine check to make sure everything was in order and ready to go.
“You’re acting pretty defensive, kid.”
“And you’re acting pretty annoying, kid.” I scowled, pointing the wrench at him. “Don’t forget I’m older than you.”
“Are you sure? I mean, you’re pretty short,”
“What does being short have to do with age? Work on your car and be quiet, will ya?”
“Che,” He glared at me but did as he was told. It wasn’t long before that damned alarm sounded again.
Please, for the love of god, let it be something simple this time.
“A new realm is opening,” Dr. Tezla announced over the loudspeaker.
Yeah, because we couldn’t hear the alarm.
“Hey, kid!” Porkchop pulled up beside you in his Jack Hammer. “Wanna roll with me this time?”
I dropped the hood into place with a nod, hopping into the passenger seat. He took off before the door even closed, following close behind Shirako. We entered the ball of light.
We were in a cavern, dark and damp. There were bright yellow crystals edged into the walls and ceilings which gave off a faint glow, but that clearly wasn’t enough for Shirako. Soon after entering, his car started to glow like a damn disco ball that was exposed to radiation.
“Turn off the lights, Teku, I can’t see!” Porkchop complained, swerving back and forth across the track as he did his best to see past the blinding lights.
“He’s more than just a stereo on wheels, he’s a feckin’ rave on wheels,” I muttered, earning a sharp look from Porkchop.
As is the Maniac way, he increased his speed so that he was beside the male before ramming into the side of his car and sending him into the wall. From the passenger seat, I could see Shirako’s smirk as he eyed Porkchop and I knew what was coming.
His lights were off due to the impact but were quickly replaced by his bass-centric stereo system.
“Now I can’t hear!” Porkchop complained, and I had to agree.
Being that close to the music was making the Jack Hammer shake. I briefly worried that it was going to shatter the windows, but we had bigger problems to worry about. The bass from his music wasn’t just shaking the car, it was shaking the cave and sending stalactites falling onto the track.
“Look out!” Kurt’s voice came through the radio, followed by the sound of tears squealing.
Porkchop narrowly missed a rather sharp looking stalactite that hit just inches from his car.
“Shirako! The sound waves, they’re bringing down the stalactites!” Lani was practically screaming over the sound of his music. Even then, I was barely able to register what she was saying.
I really wished that the track would break off like it had in the Swamp realm.
“We got drones, Maniacs!”
Sure enough, as soon as Mark’s voice came through, two green and black cars were hot on our tail, but they were having about as much luck as we were. One of them misjudged the distance of the rock sticking up through the track and slammed right into it, exploding on impact. The other one managed to dodge but spun himself out doing so.
“Jeez, these guys are endless,” I muttered as three more drones took their place.
“On the bright side, we lost the stereo on wheels,” Porkchop said.
I had been too wrapped up in the chaos to notice, but we had pulled ahead of the pack. “Hey, Porkchop, I don’t suppose you have that anchor in here, do you?”
“Left it in the big rig,”
The car suddenly jolted as a giant bat landed on top of the roof, its claws digging into the metal. It leaned its head down, trying to bite him through the open window but he dodged and punched it in its mouth. Using that as a distraction, I pulled my blade from under my shirt and pulled half of my body out of the window. It noticed me just as I reared back, slamming the metal into its neck. It screeched out in pain and released its grip on the car.
My gaze met Shirako’s as he pulled up behind us, two bats clinging to his car. I could faintly hear someone come through the radio before Shirako started blaring his music again. The sudden increase in volume made Porkchop serve, but he grabbed my legs and roughly pulled me back inside just as the side of the Jack Hammer skimmed one of the rocks.
I breathed out, offering him a grin. “Thanks,”
He laughed at the adrenaline rush, pushing the gas pedal to the floor. We went soaring through the portal, skidding to a stop back in the Acceledrome. An accelecharger materialized in front of him, glowing a chocolate brown.
Seconds later, Teku music filled the drome as Shirako skidded to a stop beside us.
I grabbed onto the accelecharger, feeling raw power surge through my hand.
“Hey, the race is over, turn it off!”
But Shirako was too enraptured by the music to hear anything that was said. Mumbling angrily, Porkchop pulled off and parked his car.
Dr. Tezla approached us. I couldn’t see his eyes behind those dark glasses of his, but I just had the feeling that he was very excited. “You got another accelecharger,”
I glanced at Porkchop, but he was too busy mumbling under his breath as he kicked a few loose tools lying on the ground. Hesitantly, I placed the charger in his open palm, watching him walk away without another word. I still didn’t trust that guy, and after feeling the power contained within the accelecharger, I didn’t trust him even more.
Who’s the say he isn’t the bad guy and the drones are just trying to stop him?
The line between good and evil was seriously being blurred here and it was driving me crazy. I needed a serious break.
Sliding into my car, I started the engine. It roared to life like an angry lion as I pressed on the gas, tires squealing from the sudden force. Taro yelled my name as he stepped out of his car, but I acted like I didn’t hear it and took off down the ramp leading out of the Acceledrome.
The speedometer rose as I pressed the gas pedal further to the bottom of the car. I was worried that someone would follow me and I just wanted to get away as soon as I could. Once I was out of the winding cliffs, I could disappear in the endless expanse of desert.
I’m not sure how long I drove for, but I finally came to a stop at a cliff overlooking the ocean. I stepped out of the car and approached the edge, feeling the wind blowing around my body. My arms raised on their own, spreading out like wings.
It felt so freeing, like I could just fly away from all of my problems. As much as I hated to admit it, I knew it was just a fleeting emotion.
I fell back onto the dirt, my back resting against the front of my car. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky that day. It was just a blank canvas of pale blue.
My hand clutched around my pendant as my eyes slid closed. ‘I wonder what you’d say if you were here, dad. Would you be proud of what your daughter has become? Would you be disappointed? Would you care at all?’
No, if he were here, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’d probably be in prison, to be fair. The only reason I’m free now is because of Taro and Tork, but if dad hadn’t died, I never would have met them.
As much as I miss my dad, the thought of never meeting the Maniacs… that thought hurts worse. I love my dad, but we were never a family, we were just two people that shared the same blood.
“I wonder… how long will this last before it all comes crashing down?” I pulled my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them. How long would it be before everyone learned the truth about me and turned their backs on me? Only Taro and Tork knew about my past, and even they don’t know the whole story. Granted, Taro knew more than leader did, but that’s only because I had a mini breakdown and couldn’t stop running my mouth.
Night descended upon me before I realized it, the temperature dropping drastically. Every time a gust of wind blew by me, my body would shake, but I had no desire to move. My legs and ass had fallen asleep, going numb against the hard ground.
A part of me wanted to stay there forever. It was peaceful, quiet, and didn’t ask bothersome questions. Would anyone come after me? Probably not. I had turned the radio off and disabled the GPS so they couldn’t find me.
The other part of me wanted to return to the safety of the Maniacs. They were rowdy and loud, and not the least bit subtle or gentle, but it felt safe with them. It felt warm. It felt… like home.
Pushing myself to my feet, I stretched to wake up the muscles that had long since fallen asleep. They started to tingle like they were being pricked which made me do this weird looking dance to get rid of the feeling.
Just as I opened the door of my Night Hawk, a pair of headlights blinded me. There’s no feckin’ way they found me…
The headlights turned off. That was definitely not a Maniac or a Teku.
The door lifted up and a man stepped out, dressed in a blue suit and tie. “We finally meet, Tiger Wesley.”
“The hell are you?” I demanded, my hand automatically reaching for my blade.
He held up his hands and offered a smile. “Easy, there. I’m not your enemy.”
“Really? ‘Cause you damn sure look like one.”
“I knew your father,”
With those four words, it felt like the blood in my veins froze over.
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