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The Story of Cali, An enhanced blog of my time here
This member is currently online Cali
Griffindor
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September 2084.
My name is Cali. I was just a ganger on a trade run of out Somerset. First time I had ever left the walls. And we barely left the walls. I was driving the van with Maura beside me. Maura was gang leader, she was a older lady who had pleny of experience in other gangs. Not sure what made her join up with us - we were so wet beind the ears we could shower without a stall. Charlene and Barbie were in the escort car - a nice Phoenix that had been loaned to us by The Crayons - a nice gesture to help us get established.
Barely half an hour our of Somerset they hit us. No subtlety, they just came straight at us. We might have been OK, but a loose bullet came through the windscreen and Maura ate it. None of us knew what to do after that. They first ran across the front of the Phoenix and Charlene just naturally followed to try and give Barbie a decent shot. Before they knew it, the other 2 cars were hot on her tail and shredding the rear armour. They were gone before the first car could even swing around and join in.
I still don't know how I got back to Somerset. Dodging behind dunes for cover...on road, off road...anything to keep the bullets away. It all looks so easy when you see the Arena fights, the Deathraces. Surely I would be a natural? It would be all so easy to go out and be an instant success.
I woke up in Somerset Hospital. The last thing I remembered from the chase was the walls in the distance and dust clouds as some other cars came into range. Who, what or why I have no idea. All I know is that I have a collection of bullet wounds and a large and angry emotional hole inside of me.
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vet0,1,0

*Posted Jun 5, 2017, 8:44 am Last edited Jun 5, 2017, 9:01 am by Cali
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Griffindor
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October 2084.
A month in the hospital. I feel so helpless. Apparently Neville went out to try and salvage what was left of the van. He didn't come back. Danielle got t-boned at the figure 8 at the rally circuit. And Tommy and Hermine were obviously affected by the same overconfidence and tried their hand at arena combat.
The rest of the guys came to visit yesterday, and to stop them doing anything stupid I told them I was going to start my own gang, and membership was not a matter of choice for them. Hopefully they will wait for me to heal up.
.........................
vet0,1,0

Posted Jun 5, 2017, 9:19 am
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Griffindor
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November 2084.
Ronald is convinced the reason I am starting a gang is for revenge. He's already playing detective to try and find out who the gang was who ambushed me, and maybe also Neville out beyond the gates.
The hospital stay is now behind me and we had a meeting. They're are only the 4 of us left. Drew and Dudly and the best drivers, and have been pressed into service even though they weren't really part of the school group. But Ronald say that our skills are more with guns, and that we need the drivers.
We've started race events, and very cautious attempts at deathracing. The money is coming is slowly. With the proceeds we've got ourselves a nice Phoenix chassis, a 4L engine as well as a machine gun and a minedropper. We're not the greatest machanics, but with help from the garage I think we can put something together. Ron wants to go out immediately and start scouring the desert for clues, but we're still a group of very inexperienced amateurs. Before we go out I want 3 cars and a team for each one.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jun 5, 2017, 9:28 am
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December 2084.
Maybe I do want revenge. The thought has been nagging at me for a few weeks now. Was there any reason? Was it just a random attack? I have been asking around and people just calm up when I mention things. Friends of my father are especially reticent to talk. "Let it go", they say. But they also don't deny that there could be a reason for the attack. Was my father involved in something? His death is still recent in my memory - he died soon after my birthday in August - apparently doing a trade run far to the south. Nobody is willing to give me details. The only real piece of evidence that I have is the memory of one of the pursing cars on the day we were ambushed. The distinctive 'V' motif on the bonnet is something that I will never forget.

But we've been doing well. We now have 5 cars between the 4 of us. Two are weaponless for racing, and three have various weapons that we've picked up in the marketplace. All we need now are a couple more trusted people, and probably a lot more weaponry. The cars are OK for deathraces, but we're still untried in any combat events. And to go out into the wilderness, we'll need every bit of training that we can get.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jun 5, 2017, 10:34 am Last edited Sep 11, 2017, 8:14 am by Cali
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January 2085.
We're being distracted from our task. Not by anyone else, but by ourselves. Ronald and Fred went into an amateur night combat event and by some fluke - since I can't imagine it was skill - came out alive and with a pickup as the prize. As we don't have a mechanic, we sold it and went and had ourselves built a small 1.6L Cadrona for racing. And since we got the car, and could actually enter more events, the guys went all out. As a result, we have a shed with 6 cars and we've got a reputation in Somerset. Enought that we're getting people coming out and wanting to join the gang. So far I'm saying no, I need to get the guys back on track as to why we're doing this - it's not to become race famous or rich.

We've just lost 2 guys. Fred took Harry into a Deathrace at the rally circuit, and then they won't be coming out. A pal of mine in the Celts then came over and pulled me aside. In a quiet whisper, he told me that Pearl Harris is a new member and has been asking about us ever since she joined. Taking an unnatural interest in us. And it's interesting that she was the one in the deathrace who seemed to deliberately maneuver into position to attack Fred and Harry. Someone is setting themselves against us. Or me.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jun 12, 2017, 2:22 am
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Griffindor
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February 2085
Ronald took matters into his own hands, and while on one hand we've whittled the Celts numbers down by 3, his actions in shooting after they had resigned hasn't done our reputation any good at all. We're getting boo'd when we race now. But, it also means that recruits aren't rushing to push me to let them join, so it's probably good for our focus. Our focus on the real task. Currently we're at 5 members and 7 cars, but where I wanted to be was 6 members and 3 cars. Dean though looks like a handy driver. One race, one victory, and he did it easily. The rest of us are slowly getting our skills up. I'm still not about to allow them into the arena though, we can't afford any more deaths.
But I am slowly getting together tidbits of information. Apparently I have something - something that someone else, someone important, deperately wants. I only wish that I knew what it was. There are people being paid to watch me hoping I will lead them to it. I've only identified one, but I've been told that there are more. So I've got a spy watching their spy. And at every opportunity, the Fighting Celts are being made to pay - whether they know she's a spy or not - they're going to pay for allowing her to be in their gang.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jun 18, 2017, 9:51 am
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Griffindor
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March 2085
Dean's gone, but Angelina looks even better. All her schoolyard games playing chaser have certainly turned her into a great driver coming from behind the pack. Up to 8 cars now. No idea why, we just seem be be aquiring them without trying.
I was going through some of my parents things the other night. They went on a road trip about 2 years ago and vanished. My father was a mechanic, and my mother a research scientist - how you get to be one of those in this day and age I have no idea - and I still can't find out where she worked, or who for. Their car was found, burnt out and riddled with bulletholes. I presume that their bodies were in there somewhere, but it was near one of the old cities and nobody has the time to do foresnic analysis when the threat of being attacked is high.
What I found though is that they think that they had discovered something. Something big. Something that could change this damaged world of ours. There were some notes, some maps and some technical schematics, which I am still trying to puzzle out. Is this what I am supposed to have? It's all hidden away now, I'll need time on this. And maybe it's time to start looking into getting some information out of someone so I can work out what I am in the middle of here.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jun 30, 2017, 11:07 pm Last edited Jul 8, 2017, 11:58 pm by Cali
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April 2085
I haven't done much racing or combat this month, I've been puzzling out clues. I know Ronald has got his two brothers to join the gang, so we're up to 6 of us. I think we'll need 2 more, drivers and gunners won't be enough. We'll need a machanic, and a scout, as everything I have found points me to going outside of Somerset.
All the notes and maps I found were old, from years before. Early notes on engines and power, maps that mainly seem to be showing where NOT to find something - it's all local places and known cities, all crossed out. The schematics are way too advanced for me, I can't even guess at what they are.
But there was one thing. A small cryptic note in a pair of driving gloves. A pair of gloves that I had coveted and my father said I could have when I was ready. A note that had been left for me. "Morgan. NW45. Phoenix".
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jul 9, 2017, 12:17 am
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May 2085
Have put together three decent cars, 2 Windsors and a Flail. I like the Flail. So we divided into teams and went for our first team scout outside of Somerset. Success. Came back with two extra chassis to sell, and a much better idea of what we are doing and hwo to do it. And then Katie goes and gets killed in a deathrace, along with a new member we were training. That's put us back a few months - she was our 2nd best driver.
Having never been a good student, I've now had to do a lot of catchup on Evan history. The solar intensity and why the world is how it is. Why am I doing that? Because my parents notes indicate that there is something more somewhere. Something that could even fix the world. And some cryptic notes that there are people who don't want it fixed.
I think a month's training and we're going to explore down towards Morgan to see what's there. If we can survive that long. As our profile goes up so does our safety, but there is still a gang that loves to keep shooting after the finish of a deathrace, but until I know more, the guys are all under instruction to keep their heads down.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jul 16, 2017, 12:39 am Last edited Jul 21, 2017, 8:33 am by Cali
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June 2085
Katie last month, Angelina this month. Our driver numbers are dropping, and we're losing all the best ones. Since we have some cash behind us now, decided it was time to get a bit more proactive. Since it's not really my specialty, and I didn't want the gang doing that sort of work, I contracted some locals to chase up Pearl Harris from the Celts. She's been asking a lot of questions, and following us both in the events and around the streets of Somerset. They kidnapped, questioned and ran her out of town.
Harris was a plant from a political group from Firelight. She had been told to keep an eye on us, and watch for any unusual trips that we might make out of town. And to cull numbers - but I was off limits. She didn't know details, but she seemed to think that I knew something that they couldn't afford to let anyone else know, but they needed to know. I don't know what I am suposed to know, but I'm starting to think that my parents did, and that they have left clues behind for me to follow. I need to get this gang sorted so we can start to head out and follow the one clue that I do have.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jul 21, 2017, 8:41 am
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July 2085
We headed out from Somerset late afternoon. It's 1000 miles or so to Morgan, so we planned to drive overnight and arrive at dawn. There were 7 of us in 3 cars, enough we hoped to deter any pirates along the way. We coasted south and slowly the darkness enveloped us, the sun slipping below the horizon and leaving just the ghostly aura lighting the sky.
We arrived as the light was just re-appearing, no doubt harshly dragging the town to wakefulness. We have nothing to do in the town itself, so we took our bearings and headed exactly north west, towards the towering mountains that Morgan has tucked itself next to, the shadows of which delayed the onset of the full force of the sun.
It was just under an hour, and it was Emma who first noticed something.
"There", she pointed, "there next to those rocks. It's definitely metal".
My heart started to race as we got closer. It was a car, and as we got even closer still, it was even a Phoenix. Burnt out...barely much more than the metal chassis. The wheels and tyres were gone, the glass had been smashed, and the interior just a mess of ash and rubbish.
"Well", said Greg, ´t's here. But what do we do now? Do we even know it's the right thing and not just a coincidence?""
"My Dad always tagged his cars. He always put an emblem onto the grill". I walked to the front of the car and from the ground picked up a cast metallic grill badge. "This is one of his. It's either his car, or he was here".
""That's great, but what now?", Greg asked.
We went over the wreck for an hour and found nothing. Not that there was much to search, the interior was gutted, and even the exterior had only one front panel that had any paint left on it. We stood there and stared glumly, and I couldn't think of a next step. Then, fingering the badge in my hand, I noticed that it had a seam...it seemed to have been cast in two parts. My eyes widened. "Hang on, I think this opens".
Inside the badge was a small black torch, no bigger than my finger. I flicked the switch, but no light came on.
"It's something, but we won't know until we can find some batteries for it"
"You're an idiot Cali", said Ronald, ´t's a black light, even I saw that". He took the torch and went to the front of the car and shone it on the almost undamaged panel to show the trace of the black light.
"Cripes, look at this!", he exclaimed.
On the panel, clearly visible under the black light was clear writing. "W5".
"What the heck does that...", he started and then suddenly turned. ╦ngines!"
"Back to the cars!", I said, and broke into a run, and even as we raced towards them, I heard the distinctive crump of a car mortar. It seems our visit to Morgan had not gone unnoticed after all.
.........................
vet0,1,0

Posted Jul 30, 2017, 9:40 am
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July 2085 - Part 2
We had pre-arranged tactics if we got attacked. Hershel and Ronald headed south. Emma and I went north, with Greg riding in the back. But with the rocks in the way, Fred and George had to follow us - they couldn't head west. Over the rise from the east came a couple of cars, then a couple more.
"We can...", started Emma, and then stopped. Four more cars appeared from the north east. I reached out the windows and gave the scatter sign to the other cars - eight was far more than we could handle. Even four would have been tough.
In the mirror I saw Hershel spin the wheels and shoot off - his Flail would easily outrun the two Mercenaries who were after him. Our Flail was also quick enough, and was in good position to cut across the front of the enemies, and Fred had been quick to get started and was in front of us and to our west. All he had to do was keep away from them.
I heard bullets hitting metal, and saw the smoke trail of a rocket pass behind us, but the quick start had got us past them and they had to turn, too slowly in the sandy surface. The disappeared into the dust we were throwing up behind us.
Fred and George's Windsor wasn't quite as nimble, and in going wide they came up hard against the rise of the hills that led to the mountains to the west. I watched in horror as they kissed the edge of some rocks, and the car was flung onto it's side, and then to it's roof. The heavy armour protected them, but within moments I saw them surrounded by four vehicles, and two more kept after us. I looked over at Emma, but it was Greg whose voice came first. "We can't help them. It would be suicidal. They'll surrender, and hopefully the car will be booty enough and they'll live". I was sceptical. This was no random pirate ambush, this was a planned attack.

An hour later, we arrived at the planned rendezvous point, and Hershel and Ronald were already there. Ronald looked devastated when we told him what had happened to his brothers. "We have to go back! At least to check for them!".
"We can do that, but very carefully. It's time to head back to Somerset anyway, we will need to plan what to do next. Two cars is not enough out here. We really need to add something like a Buzzer to our collection. Something imposing."

In the end it was an uneventful trip back. I don't think they expected us to have the courage to go back after how quickly we had run from them. There was nothing at the battle scene. No Windsor. But on the positive side - no bodies or blood either. Ronald looked at me hopefully "Maybe they walked away. Maybe they were taken...somewhere...I don't know. But I'm with you now for the long run, Cali. I'll find them."
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vet0,1,0

Posted Jul 31, 2017, 11:31 am
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Griffindor
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August 2085
A quiet month, in which I decided to spend the time loooking further into my parents stuff, and looking for a decent car, or maybe I should say, a decent tank. I'm getting sick of being out-shot by the pirates outside the walls.
So for the moment, the guys have been hitting the racetracks and developing their skills. We picked up a nice prize for coming 5th in the Somerset deathrace league, and the notoriety is helping protect us - we can't just be taken out without people asking questions, and I think the ones we are up against don't want questions.
I've really found nothing further about what we are looking for. We have our one clue, and we can't chase it down until we are better outfitted and upskilled.
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vet0,1,0

Posted Aug 9, 2017, 7:44 am Last edited Sep 11, 2017, 7:32 am by Cali
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September 2085
"You know Cali...", Ronald squinted from his seat in the lounge room, and then tailed off. I looked over at him and took note of how the lat few months hasn't been particularly kind to poor Ronald. Never an attractive guy to begin with, the left side of his face was quite a mess with one ear gone and he had lost his sight in that eye.
"Yes, I actually do know him. He's me."
"No, I was just thinking about what we are doing. And what we aren't doing. This racign and deathracing for money is fine, and soon we hould be able to get that Buzzer you are so keen on, but when we get that, and gear it up, we're still no more experienced at wilderness fighting. We should be getting out there. A mate of mine, Bootrag..."
"Bootrag", quizzed Emma from her seat at the desk. ""Bootrag???"
¤ don't know how or why he is called that, but he's a good guy and quite the combat pilot. And he's been asking me if I want to go out scouting with him. Good practice I'd say, and blimey don't we need some more of that"
In my heart, I knew he was right. "What do you think Emm?, you fancy going for a ride with a Bootrag. I've heard of him before too, he seems to know what he is doing and he's always coming back with loot"
"Sure. We can take our Flail. Ronald, do you think Herschel is up to some scouting with your Flail?"
Ron looked aghast. "Herschel? Why can't I go with Emm? You seem happy here checking notes. We could just go and you can look for more clues""
"You are not for one moment thinking I am letting you shoot my guns in my Flail. You can either take Herschel in your Flail, or take one of the other cars. My Flail is off limits."
¤'m a better gunner than you anyway", he muttered, which was probably true. But we only have 2 Flail's and I'm quite possessive of mine. Ronald shars a Flail with Herschel, but Herschel can be a bit unpredictable when driving, and I didn't think Ronald was quite ready to go out in the wilderness with him.
In the end it was Emm and I who met up with Bootrag and went out after a trader convoy. In the end it went smoothly - the Flail suffered littel or no damage and we came back with a looted trade van.
"Here you go Ron. Your own little project", I said to him when we were back at home in the evening. "We want more money, you want experience in the wilderness. Find a trade van team, and we can do trade runs with the Flails as escorts. The van is already at Jake's getting refitted. Kill two birds with the one stone."
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vet0,1,0

Posted Aug 21, 2017, 5:10 am Last edited Sep 11, 2017, 7:32 am by Cali
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October 2085
"╦rrr...Cali", started Ronald. The tone of voice sounded sheepish. I looked up from my breakfast and raised my eyebrows quizzically at him.
"Well, with the van ready, I went out to see what I could do with it. And in Dexter's you can sign up to take mail over the Elmsfield. $9k for a trip - good money I thought. Safe trip I thought, should be able to do it without an escort as well, the van has enough guns to hold off a pirate, and it's not slow so we can always run...and so I accepted one..."
Ronald tailed off and looked even more sheepish. I looked over at Emma and saw her trying deperately not to break into a smile. I was having the same problem - Ronalds's a nice enough guy but he always seems to miss something whenever he puts together a plan. I looked back at him and waited for him to continue because I didn't trust myself not to break into laughter if I opened my mouth to ask a question.
"The damn van also has a tiny fuel tank! It won't get me even halfway to Elmsfield!", he finally burst out. Emma gave up on restraint and put her hand over her mouth to restrain her giggles. I had more control, but I still had a grin on my face.
"How long do you have to get the mail there?", I asked.
"54 hours"
"Well, get a new tank fitted, plenty of time to do that and get to Elmsfield"
"Look mate, I'm not stupid you know. I thought of that. It's in the shop now getting it fitted"
"Well that's great. It would have needed it anyway, so no harm done"
"Yeah, but with the bigger fuel tank, now the mail won't fit in the van!"
Em gave up on just giggling and burst out laughing.
I stood up and stretched. "C'mon Ron, old chap. Let's see what we can do with this. We can either outfit you an escort and take a second car - they'll need bigger tanks too - or we'll rejig the van to fit the mail in. There's a solution somewhere, I'm sure"

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vet0,1,0

Posted Sep 1, 2017, 11:34 pm Last edited Sep 11, 2017, 7:32 am by Cali
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November 2085
As the year would down towards the Christmas period, the sun lost its determined intensity and shone with a slightly softer light down on Somerset. People seemed to relax a little, and the deathraces were run in an almost apologetic way. Although, as for our gang the leagues were run and finished, maybe it was just us that were feeling that way.
The experiment with the van hadn't gone well. We had recruited a couple of drivers, picked up a nice mail contract for a run across to Elmsfield, and sent them off. They didn't arrive. Ronald took this all pretty personally, and spent a lot of time looking into what might have happened, cross examining every incoming traveller and generally hanging around in the market, and out near the gates. It took several days, but he finally came home one night with the news that they are suspected to be in Firelight, captured and being put to use in the gladiator pits.
"At least they aren't dead. Do we know anyone who heads down that way?". We'd seen a change in Ronald over the last week, it was a much quieter and determined Ronald who had been chasing up his project, showing a distinctly caring side and deeply impressing some of the newer members of the gang.
The gang was now up to 11 people, the core group of old school friends who knew why we were together, and the others who were the racers and deathracers bringing in the money. We had decided that we needed a chassis, and I had done the research and decided that a buzzer would suit us nicely. It had the size to run a decent collection of weapons and make the pirates think twice, but would also get us in comfort back down to Morgan for what would be the second investigation into the Phoenix wreck.
Myself and Emm had been going through my parents papers in detail, looking for the slightest clue. Since the buzzer was going to cost us around $750k, we had a few months at least to try and piece togther the puzzle. One thing so far seemed to be a recurring theme.
"What is a haze shield?", Emm asked.
"Not a clue, but yeah, there are a lot of schematics about them. But from what I can read, they sure do need a lot of power. Look at the voltage and current lines...you'd need a medium sized power station to even get it started. Should we ask around and see if anyone knows what it is?"
"No...we've already stuck our heads up once and been bitten, let's stay under the radar for now". Emm furrowed her brows and stared off into the distance for a moment. "I wonder if there are any old data banks that might have information. The old internet would be a handy thing about now - pity it got fried along with the rest of the worlds electronics"
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vet0,1,0

Posted Sep 11, 2017, 8:05 am Last edited Sep 11, 2017, 8:26 am by Cali
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December 2085
Winter bought with it a cold and yet intense light, it was so sharp in the sunlight that you would think it could almost cut you. With all the events coming to a conclusion, the gangs that were out of the running were settling in to pimp their cars for next season. Every second pickup coming from near Jake's workshop had a shiny new engine sitting proudly in the tray, carrying all the hopes and dreams of glory and prizemoney that surely would come in the new year.
For me it was a time of impatience. Things just weren't moving fast enough and I kept pushing down the feeling time, for whatever reason, was running out.
While the gang at this point was around a dozen people, it was really split into two parts. Officially, our gang leader was Florence, who was originally our medic but soon showed a talent for organising the other guys, and with our desire to stay underground, she took over the public role of leader. She made sure the drivers had cars, they had races to enter, they got to those races, and when they finished that the cars were repaired and upgraded, the wounds were stitched and the broken bones set.
The inner circle, those who knew why we needed the cars upgraded and the prizemoney pocketed, was just the 4 of us. Myself, Ronald and Emma lived in my parents house, which had become official headquarters. Oliver was the other one - he was the close friend of George and Fred, and had been with us almost from the start. Their deaths had simply cemented his place in the core group, and his totally reliability to get a job done regardless of the obstacles and challenges had made him indispensible.
The four of us were having a impromptu meeting one evening, when there was a knocking at the door. There stood Tom - one of our gangers - and an older lady who was familiar to me, but nto someone I immediately placed.
"Can we come in and have a talk - I think we may be able to help you", Tom asked in a conspiratorial way.
"Help with what?"
Tom looked around, as if he expected people to be listening over his shoulder. "About why your mother might have needed to vanish"
While my background wasn't exactly a secret, we also hadn't advertised the reason for the gang, we had told everyone we were simply after the rewards of a successful deathracing career. None of our gangers should have known anything about my mohter, or that we were following clues to what might have happened.
I motioned Tom and his lady friend inside.
When we got to the lounge room, she looked at me, and said "My name is Merope. I'm Tom's mother, but more importantly I worked with your mother a few years back and I think I know what she was looking for, and why it might have attracted some very unwanted interest."
She had my immediate undivided attention.
.........................
vet0,1,0

Posted Yesterday, 3:42 am
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» Darkwind » Roleplaying » Dexter's Tavern » The Story of Cali

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