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About DarkOwl57

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    Oscar: August 2003-March 2018

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  • Location Either going to school, getting beat up (In sports), writing, sleeping, or eating in Texas.
  • Interests Building fighter jets with BDArmoury.

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  1. KSP Weekly: The Grapefruit Satellite

    *See children, this is why we can't have nice things*
  2. Oh my god that is likely the most beautiful plane I've ever seen...
  3. So I've been re-reading the story, and just got to 68... Now I'm in familiar territory (Kinda, sorta, not really. IIRC I started keeping up at like 80?) Long way to go still though
  4. Idea! KSC staff kidnap Samantha, tell her to let Gene free, she says no, the team takes her up in a Stratowing, threatens to airdrop her onto the 7 sisters, she says okay, and boom, Gene's free! ... Don't look at me like that, it could work... Right? ... Okay, I haven't gotten sleep this week, shush.
  5. Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (20. Disaster)

    So I finished 20, and now it's time for an upload! Minor proofreading complete.. Editing finished.. Let's do this thing! (Oh boy formatting's going to be awful). Oh, quick thing: My Pages doc has hit 100 pages! 100. WHAT THE HECK?! Chapter 20: Disaster 11:00am, 2 Weeks later. Round 7 of 10: The Temple. United International Raceway “The Desert Temple. The oldest landmark Kerbin has ever discovered. It’s been the sight of majesty, suspicion and legends for thousands of years. But today, a new sight will be held. “Following his win in New Baskay, Four-time champion Phil Kerman is looking to take the leadof the championship. But before he claims that top step, he’ll have to get through a wall of youth. Jebediah Kerman has taken the world by storm, dominating his first season in K1, and continuing his winning history over to 2036. After winning the race here in 2035, can he come back and win it all again? The rivalry between best friends, though, can not be underestimated. Rookie Max Kerman has set off on a run of performance; winning in Tekkia and last race in Eradica. “The K1 circus comes to town today. Highlighted by long straights, fast turns, and sweltering heat, the United International Circuit is home to both heroics and heartbreak. Will the desert sun get to to the drivers? Or will the title competitors find a way to stay cool under pressure? Now it’s time to see; This is the Temple Grand Prix.” … “Good gods above, it’s so hot!” Everywhere you looked, crew members, fans, and drivers were using various cooling and shading techniques to try to get too hot. The sun blazed down on the track with an almost impossible fury, and with hardly a cloud in the sky, this race looked to be a hot one. Alexis had one of those hand fans and was futilely trying to keep herself cool. Fortunately, an umbrella did the trick for me, keeping the sun from melting the firesuit clear off of me. We were walking up to the grid, and in the blazing heat I could see waves shimmering over the tarmac; especially down in the incredibly fast Kerenna Curve. The turn was always flat-out, and with DRS the corner was incredibly exciting to attempt. Of course, it was stupidly risky. Just like Turns 11 and 12, braking for Turn 1 was a gamble. You’re breaking over 200 miles per hour, the heat is messing with the brakes, and you have to have total confidence with your car and your abilities to make it work. The Temple was home to four of the five longest straights in K1; an absolute power track. The Turn 3-6 complex was also really reliant on aero grip. A long right hander followed by a quick, flat-out right-left-right meant the track was a true wild card. “So you feeling ready?” Andy asked, holding a spray bottle with a fan attached. “Feeling good. I think we’re going to do great- especially down the straights.” We finally arrived at the car, which looked like it was ready for the race. The shark fin looked lethal; sharp and sleek. Andy had been working constantly with the guys back at the factory, and it looked like the work was paying off. In Practice, the setup was on point, and it carried over to qualifying where Phil and I locked out the front row. “I’m going to assume a one-stop?” I asked as we got to the start/finish line for the anthems. “Probably. We’ll call you in whenever.” The anthem started playing over loudspeakers, and we listened. In celebration of the 50th year of K1, the race organizers had arranged for the Blue Aces-an elite group of pilots flying modified F/A-18’s to do the flyover. Their engines screamed as the 7 jets flew overhead and their noise echoed off the walls of the track, the grandstands, and everything in between. “Wooo!” Max shouted as the jets retreated. The grid clapped and I threw my hat back on, which gave me needed comfort. I walked back to the car, which had an umbrella over it. I was starting on pole, with Phil second and Max third. So far this season, we (Phil, Max and I) had swept the qualifying podium- a tradition I hoped to continue. “Stay safe,” Alexis smiled, giving me a hug before I got into the car. “Thanks,” I replied, strapping the helmet on. Immediately, I felt a lot cooler thanks to the extra ventilation built in. The engine fired up with a hearty roar, and I felt the power behind it. The team started pulling out various cooling tubes, including one at the top of the engine cover that spewed out white steam as it was released. As the steam fell over me, I felt a massive wave of cold wash on me. Inadvertently, I shivered, but quickly warmed up as the umbrella was pulled back. We got underway quickly, and I felt the fans energy and excitement as we raced for the title. Into the tight 1 and 2 chicane, I could feel the car gripping nicely with a mix of stellar mechanical grip and setup magic. “Alright, all telemetry’s about what we were expecting… Everything feeling good up there?” I jammed the throttle and the car leaped forward. “Pretty nice. My feet are getting a bit warm, though.” Through the S section, the front wheels bit into the tarmac, holding the grip and the speed as I went through the section of corners. The car twisted and turned through the circuit, ripping down the monstrous backstraight like it was a fighter jet. “Car feels great, guys,” I said as I went down into Turn 16- the second part of a double-apex right hander. “Remember, Mode 4, please. Launch engaged. Good luck, Jeb.” I twisted the engine mix dial, and rumbled over the curbing for the tight chicane of Turns 17, 18, and 19. I got onto the front-straight and slotted into my grid slot. My heart was pounding nervously. This would be only my second start at this track, but the first time here ended in victory. The rest of the grid filed in, and I opened up my visor to wipe sweat off my face. Air temps were hovering at a sweltering 94, but the temperature on the tarmac was at 132º. I hoped the pit guys used a fan in the garage.. Behind, the green flag waved- partially obscured by the heat waves floating up a few feet. I saw one bright red light come on above me on the pylon. I activated Rich revs and pulled down my visor, cutting off the wave of dry heat. Two lights on. I pushed the clutch in, watching as the heat created a shimmering mirage down the widest straight in K1. Three. I pressed the gas, and the engine started revving up and becoming louder and louder by the second. Four lights. Launch Control engaged. I checked my mirror and saw Phil waiting behind me, and I saw the bright white circle of the sun reflecting on his tinted visor. Five lights. Here we go… My heart rate rose higher, and I watched the lights intently. The lights went out and I dumped the clutch off. The rear wheels spun just a bit, but grabbed the tarmac quickly, launching me forward. As soon as the wheels caught, I engaged EPB to get up to speed. Phil got a good launch off the mark and began closing in on me to the right. I quickly sliced down to cut him off, and he had to swing back to the outside in an overtaking attempt. We went through Kerrena Curve and Max had gotten up to the outside of Phil on the exit of the turn. Heading into the braking zone we went three-wide, and the crowd roared as we passed them. I broke hard for the tight turn that went just under 90º (It was like a hairpin; according to the map it was like a 75 or 80º angle), blasting over the curbing. Max locked up on the far outside and had to check up to make the corner, allowing Phil to slip past. Because I was on the inside of Phil, I managed to get past and have a clear drive into Turn 2 (Exactly the same as Turn 1 just turning left instead of right). In the short run to Turn 3, I pulled out a gap to Phil. I went through the wide corner, shifting down a couple gears mid-corner. I tapped the curbing on the apex and the car shook with a loud buzzing noise. I kept the momentum all the way through into 4 as I got tossed against my belts. I shifted down through 5 as the car attempted to understeer in the high speed left-hander. I went over the rumble strips on the apex, and flew up the track; right into the apex for Turn 6. Max was closing in on Phil behind, but was no match for us in the corners. I broke for 6 quickly, coasting through the turn. The crowd cheered as we passed, and I flew off the exit at max speed- shooting over the rumble strip and coming back down a second later. In the long run down to Turn 7, Max cut to the outside of Phil before coming back to the inside. Down the straight, Max got a clean run up the inside and got past before the braking zone. I cut down into the tight turn and tapped the apex curbing before flying up and out of the turn. Max got clear of Phil through the turn, and now I could tell he was setting his sights on me. Max closed on me just a bit out of Turn 8, and down the straight he started slipstreaming me. Into 9 I slammed on the brakes before turning down. I weaved right back to the inside, and turned in hard for Turn 10- a medium speed 180º corner that basically determined your speed for Forza International; the longest straight on the circuit. I rolled through the apex before jamming the gas. I flew out of the turn, trying to hold onto the rears on exit. Max lost some ground but caught into my slipstream down the straight. Unfortunately, DRS wasn’t available until the start of Lap 3, so I was forced to employ serpentine tactics to keep him behind. I cut down to the inside of the track but Max trailed along right with me. Sand and dust flew up into the air off my tires, streaming off the rear aero plates as it went through the gaps. I pushed in EPB and the car sped up a tad, but Max kept up the pace as the speed climbed. 180, 185… 195… 200… 205. Max cut to the outside, but couldn’t get past as we broke for Turns 11 and 12. I clipped the apex of 11 and slammed the brakes at an astounding 211 miles an hour, and the left front almost locked up. Max fell in behind me, and I cut into the hairpin. I went over the curbing and the suspension popped up before slamming back down. We repeated the daredevil act down the Runway Straight (Named because it used to be a runway back in the day). Max was slipstreaming me and I had to defend. The straight was a lot wider than Forza, and allowed me to cut left and right to stop the slipstream. Phil loomed in my mirror, and as soon as Max cut to the inside, Phil blasted past- engine screaming. He flew past Max and almost got past me before I broke for 13. Now I was in the middle of a 3-wide situation, and I could hear the popping of downshifts on both sides. Due to our positioning (Phil ahead on the outside, me in the middle, and Max behind to the far inside), we remained 3-wide on corner exit. On my inside, Max fought oversteer and lost ground as he slid up the track. On exit, Phil went widened also tried to fight oversteer, allowing me to get past. For good measure, I went as wide as possible to cut Phil off, allowing me to keep the lead and stop an overtake. It was a short run up the 13-14 straight, and I bounded over the apex curbing. I almost got up onto two wheels but kept in the gas. In my mirrors, I saw Phil and Max squabbling over P2- Max holding up the inside while Phil lost traction at the rear and allowing Max past. Now it was back onto another long straight, where Max got past Phil on the exit. I got up to 193 miles an hour before hitting the brakes for Turn 15- the first part of a high speed double-apex curve. I went into the apex and just missed the curbing before turning into Turn 16. I held the speed on exit and managed to keep from running wide, allowing me to slingshot out of the turn. “Oh my gosh, that felt perfect,” I commented as I broke 175. Then I went into the most challenging collection of turns in K1. I broke hard into Turn 17- a tight right-handed kink. It was all the way down to 80 miles an hour, allowing me to get into a tight 90º left-hander. I went over the curbing, and went back to the left for Turn 19 entry. 19 was the exact same as 18, but a right-hander that led us onto the front straight. I bounced over the curb and rocketed out of the corner- gas pedal to the ground. “Yeah, I bet K1 Race Hub is going to have fun with those last couple corners. Max is about a second behind, with Phil right behind him. Keep digging.” Sparks flew off the car as I topped 205 down into Kerrena. The car responded under braking well, and on corner exit it didn’t lose any traction under power. “You guys really dialed the car in perfectly- Feels amazing.” Phil was fighting hard against Max still, and their squabbling just allowed me to gain more and more. Through 5, I could see Phil attempting a move around the outside that made the crowd cheer. Eventually though, Max slid around the outside of 6 to take the position for now. By Lap 9, the team was ready for me to come in. The Temple circuit is massive- almost 5 miles in length. We only had 17 laps in the race, and every one counted. “Box, box!” Andy commanded as I came out of Turn 16 at max speed. The dash was telling me I had only a couple more units of fuel remaining- it was a miracle I hadn’t run out. I broke through 17 and went straight-on in 18, right into the pit lane. I activated the Pit Limiter and the engine regulated itself out, allowing me to turn the necessary dials on the wheel. I pulled into the stall right on the mark and was instantly lifted up. Four tires on, four off. I watched as the fuel was put in, and waited until the green light came on. The engine hummed in wait, and finally the jack dropped. I peeled out of the stall in a haze of white tire smoke and a loud squealing as the tires spun. I got out into the lane and saw Max pulling into his stall about 15 seconds behind me. I emerged onto the track well in the lead, with no one out the front of my vision or behind in my mirrors. “Nice job, Jeb. Take it to the end now.” The next lap felt amazing on fresh tires and a full tank of gas. “Car feels amazing you guys. Really dialed it in here.” I took Turn 5 at full throttle, grinning as the tires gripped in. It was smooth sailing all the way through the lap, and as I went down the Forza straight and into Turn 11, I set a top speed record. “That’s 216 miles an hour down that straight there, Jeb. New K1 record!” I pulled out of Turn 12 with a grin and gunned the throttle again- flying down the Runway. I flew over the apex curbing of the 17-19 section, and got onto the main straight to begin Lap 11. I opened up the DRS down the straight, and saw the speed climbing. 180. 190. 200. 210. I dove into Kerrena Curve and felt the rears lose grip. Remembering back to OTech’s Test Track, I straightened out the wheel. The car flew up to the runoff, and I pulled down to get back on-course before Turn 1. “Whoah, just had a huge oversteer through Kerrena. Almost lost it there.” I broke for Turn 1 and clipped the curbing before Andy responded. “Affirmative. Close DRS through the turn- we don’t want to risk crashing the car this late in the race. Repeat, close DRS in the turn.” I went into Turn 3 at max speed, flying through the turn. “Feeling good everywhere else. Probably took it too fast.” Through 4, 5, and 6 the car felt like it was on rails. “We’ll check the telemetry for now- Max is about 13 seconds behind you now so take it easy.” I ripped down the straight before braking for 7. The brakes held the traction perfectly and didn’t force a lockup- allowing me to get in and out of the apex with as much speed as I could take. The car was perfect for the next few corners, and near the end of the lap I stormed through 16 with as much confidence as possible. “Remember, brake for Kerrena, or don’t even use DRS. We don’t want to risk the car here.” In my mirror I saw the wing plate looking strong and powerful on the fin. “I know, don’t worry. Should be fine.” I went over the apex curbing for the chicane, and the sun momentarily glinted off my visor as the light cut past the peaks of the nearby mountains. I hit the DRS as soon as I crossed the line, and started speeding down the straight. My speed climbed higher and higher. I hit an astounding 207 miles per hour, before I tapped the brake pedal entering Kerrena. As soon as I did, I heard a huge explosion at the rear of the car, followed by a loud scraping. In my mirrors I saw the rear wing was gone, and behind there was a shower of rubber, metal, and sparks. The rear kicked out to the left and I spun around, enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Squealing from the wheels assaulted my ears, followed by the scraping of the car going over the gravel trap. I felt the rear of the car lift up just a bit. The car did another rotation and I saw the dark tire barrier approaching at an impossible speed. Uh oh, I thought before my head was smashed sideways with an impossibly loud crashing noise as everything went black. 2 Days later… Beep… Beep… Sssssshhhhhh pop! Beep… Beep… Where am I? Beep… Beep… Sssshhh… Beep… Everything hurts. Everything was still black. I couldn’t see anything. My chest felt awful… I couldn’t feel my right leg. Far away, I could hear something that sounded like conversation. I couldn’t make out the words. I heard a drone, followed by, “Paging Doctor Robins. Doctor Robins to Room 312.” My eyes fluttered open, and I saw a blurry white wall in front of me. Beep.. Beep.. Beep. Beep. “He’s waking up, I think,” a deep voice said. It sounded muffled and far away. “Jeb? Can you hear me?” Beep. Beep. Beep. My eyes came open slowly, and eventually my vision cleared. I smiled as I saw Alexis, Andy, Phil, and Max all looking at me. Max was wearing his MonsterGP cap, and Phil's big rancher hat that stuck out. Alexis was looking stylish in a good dress, but a nervous look on her face. Andy looked worried and almost guilty- kind of like a kid who got caught eating out of the cookie jar. “How do you feel?” Alexis asked, putting her hand on mine. I felt something get pulled off from around my mouth, and a nice wave of cool air hit my face. It took a while for my mind to wake up, but I managed to mutter, “Feel like crap,” which made Max smirk. “What happened?” I asked softly. Andy sighed and rubbed his hands together before standing up out of his chair. “I thought something might go wrong after you went wide through Kerrena.. I should have seen it sooner. Into the turn, the entire wing structure collapsed. The massive onset of downforce shattered the brace, and the entire system was destroyed practically instantly. Then…” He sighed and seemed to study his shoes. “When you hit the barrier…-” Phil cut him off. “We thought you were dead,” He explained, looking nervous as well. “They stopped the race immediately. I could see the big screen, and… It didn’t look good. The entire right half of the car was just gone. When the helicopter landed on the track…” He sighed, looking nauseous. “We all knew it was bad. They called the race about 5 minutes later, after everyone realized how bad you were. Er… That, and also the fact you punched a hole in the wall.” My eyes widened despite my splitting headache. “I punched a hole in the wall?” I repeated in shock. I knew I had hit at high speed.. But going through 6 layers of tires, and a reinforced concrete wall? Jeez. “The data recorder put you at about 170 when you hit the wall, despite the gravel trap. You hit that sucker with about 45 G’s. No offense or anything, but you should have died right there on the spot.” Alexis nodded, looking scared before Phil soldiered on. “You’re incredibly lucky. If that happened when I started racing, you’d be in a body bag right now.” Max sighed. “That debris field was massive. When the wing blew up, it scattered stuff everywhere.” I looked at Max and saw he was wearing a cast on his left wrist. “When Phil and I went through there, I guess I clipped something. The car never turned.. I guess the tire barrier was just angry.” I smirked and looked out the window. A large river flowed past, and citizens walked past enjoying their lives. “Uh… Where are we?” I asked. “Mechani. This was the closest center equipped for the kind of… condition you were in,” Andy explained. Alexis handed me her phone, which showed a picture of my car going down the straight. Heat waves obscured part of the camera, making it wavy and blurry. I pressed on the image and it started playing. “Jebediah Kerman, radioing that he might be having issues with the DRS, we’ll see how he takes Kerrena after that huge off last lap.” The car got closer to the camera and I could hear the engine howling. “Into- OH MY GOD!” The rear wing exploded in a shower of metal- similar to shrapnel flying off a grenade. The car spun in a full 180, smoke flying off the rears with a squealing. The car turned to the right as it hit the gravel with a scraping swishcracklescrape noise and tan dust puffing up. The car was going incredibly fast, and about 5 seconds after the rear exploded, I saw my own visor for a brief second before getting enveloped in the tire barrier with a concussive BOOM, shaking the camera and throwing the barrier out into the gravel. The shot panned out to show my car now about 15 feet away from the barrier- stuck in the trap. “In all my 15 years of covering K1, I’ve never seen a crash like that,” the announcer breathed in shock. “Cross your fingers, folks,” he said before a cloud of dust obscured the shot. Quickly, the camera whipped around to show a black and green car pound the wall hard- throwing debris up into the air and into the catch-fence. “And another one into the wall, it’s Max Kerman! The rookie from Monster competing for the win and the title- hard into the barrier. Red flag out immediately, and… My goodness. In all my years as a broadcaster, I’ve never seen a wreck like that one. Just.. Keep your fingers crossed everyone.” The video cut off and I handed the phone back to Alexis. “That’s.. awful,” I muttered in shock. Phil nodded. “When I saw Max go off, I thought something went down on the car. But then I saw you out there and…” He shook his head. “I felt like I was about to puke right there in the car.” Alexis sat down on my bed next to me. “I was watching the feed. I felt the crash before I saw it, even in the garage. I had to pinch myself, just thinking, ‘This isn’t real. This isn’t real.’ I’ve never been so scared in my life.” Just then, the door opened up and a doctor walked in. He looked to be about Phil’s age, and had a clipboard in hand. “Well, hello there,” He said, smirking. He waited for me to say something, but after about 10 seconds he gave up with a sigh. “You’re supposed to say, ‘Ah, General Kenobi.’” He shook his head sadly. “Kids these days,” Phil agreed. “No culture.” The doctor cracked a smile before looking down at me. “You know, I think you’re the luckiest kerb I’ve ever seen. If you’ve been going.. 1, maybe 2 meters per second faster, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t have made it.” I exhaled nervously. “How bad did I look when I came in?” I asked with a slight smile. “Pretty bad. You were in surgery for about 10 hours.” Good god! 10 hours?! “Don’t worry though, all your parts are in the correct places now.. I think,” The doctor joked, making me grin. “How do you feel?” I did a quick status check. “Pretty bad,” I replied. “Well son, I’d love to write, ‘Pretty bad’ on the report here, but my boss would kill me. Any specifics?” I chuckled a bit. “Can’t feel my leg, splitting headache, my arm itches, and it feels like someone parked a pickup truck on my chest. But other than that, I’m pretty good.” The doctor wrote down some notes on the clipboard. “So when can I get driving again?” I asked. Everyone’s face dropped like rocks. “Jeb, you sustained a 45 G crash,” Alexis whispered in surprise. “You could have died,” Andy continued with an equal amount of shock. “Fighter pilots don’t take that much G force anywhere,” Phil said in total awe. “It’s lucky you’re even awake- much less in one piece,” The doctor said firmly. Max just gave me a big, dopey grin. “There’s the Jeb I know,” He said with a laugh, extending his hand. I gave him a high-five and pain radiated up my entire right arm. “Ow, ow, ow,” I groaned, laying back down onto the bed. “Oh gosh that hurts.” I put myself back into the same spot I had been in, and looked at the doctor. “So how broken am I?” The doctor sighed and looked down at his notes. “Obvious concussion, broken right tibia, fractured ankle, fractured foot, broken rib, cracked rib, collapsed lung, broken thumb, and fractured wrist.” The doctor took a breath and looked at me. “Oh, so nothing too bad,” I joked. “I’m putting you at about 2, maybe 3 weeks before you can even get up. Timetable for a racing return…” I inhaled in anticipation. The season opener was about 6 months away now. Pre-Season Testing was 5. “7, 8 months minimum.” It felt like all the air in the room had been sucked out. 8 months?! “Hahaha, funny,” I chuckled, making my chest hurt like it was on fire. The doctor’s face didn’t change. “I’m serious. 8 months is going easy on you. Look, it’s a miracle that you’re even talking right now. By all means and precious evidence, you should have died right there in that turn. You’re not driving at all for at least 6 months- and don’t even mention going 200. With the proper rehab, we might get you back in the car by the third race. Maybe.” There was a beeping and the doctor looked at his phone. “I’ll check in with you guys in a few hours,” He said before leaving the room. It was silent as the grave, until Phil sighed. “Excuse me,” He said before getting up. As soon as the door closed, Alexis looked at me sternly. “There’s something you need to know,” She said softly. Max and Andy both looked at her like “What are you doing,” but Alexis waved them off. “Phil… Phil is quitting. He isn’t doing the last three races.” What? “Just before you woke up, Matty called and said it was okay. He said that… If it could happen to you, it could happen to him. He didn’t want to risk something worse. Lewis and Ryan are going to fill in for the rest of the season.” My mouth dropped open. “There’s no way Matty’s thinking about letting Lewis take next season,” I said in surprise. “He hasn’t hardly made it in ISCC- he wouldn’t have a snowballs chance in K1!” Max smiled and dropped his head, fumbling with something behind his back. “Yeah, uh… About that.” I looked at Max and saw him wearing a white and blue hat with the number 33 on the brim. “No way,” I muttered. “Yup. Confirmed just yesterday. After the season finale I head out to River City to move in!” I laughed and shook his hand. “Congrats, bud. You’re going to love it, I promise.” Just then, Phil walked in. “Could you guys give Phil and I a moment?” I asked. Alexis, Andy, and Max looked at each other, before they all went out. When the door closed, Phil sat down next to me. “So who told you?” He asked. “Not important,” I replied tensely. “Look, you can’t do this. Lewis might be good, but you can’t just throw him in the deep end and expect him to tread water by himself. He needs someone to guide him.” Phil rolled his eyes. “He’s got the team to help him out the-“ I cut him off. “No. No-one on the team knows what it’s like to drive that first race. The feeling of the tires on the track. When to turn in, when to hit the apex, when to brake. No-one can help Lewis or Ryan know when to steer out of a slide, and when to let it go. He’s a fish out of water and you know that.” Phil shook his head. “I can’t. There’s no way I could possibly do that- not now.” “Look, it’s only three races. Just finish out the season- that’s all I’m asking.” Phil seemed to weigh his options. “Please.” Phil thought for a few moments before sighing. “Fine. Three races, but that’s it. Okay?” I nodded. “Thanks. I promise, I’ll make it up to you.” Phil smiled. “I always wanted to get number five anyways,” He said confidently. I grinned. “And you will,” I assured, giving him a handshake. “I know it.” ———— A few hours later, the sun had gone down outside. Inside, I was fiddling with the remote in some attempt to get a TV channel I wanted. Finally, I ended up on K1 Race Hub, which fortunately came on just as I switched to it. “OTech Race Team still hasn’t given any official word on the status of their young star Jebediah Kerman, who is fighting for his life after suffering a massive crash a couple days ago at the Temple Raceway. On Lap 11 of the race, a rear wing failure sent Jebediah into the outside wall at over 170 miles an hour, resulting in an accident with forces climbing up over 45 G’s. Jebediah was airlifted to the Mechani Union, where he was listed as being in critical condition. MonsterGP rookie Max Kerman was also injured in the crash, and the team has said he will return to action by the Basilian Grand Prix. “Now obviously this is a devastating crash and likely season-ending, but will Jebediah be cleared for racing before next season?” “Well obviously we don’t know anything yet, but judging from the fact that he was unconscious when the crews arrived, this is definitely going to be a lengthy recovery for sure.” “And just a terrible turn of events for OTech- Their veteran racer is retiring at the end of the season, a new driver coming in to replace him, and we don’t even know if the second car is going to be on-track at the KSC. This is a crash that’s really going to affect both the morale of the team, as well as Jeb. We know he’s resilient, we saw that in Formula two years ago when he came from behind to win the title. But how will he react hopping back into the car that almost killed him? Will he be strong enough to overcome the adversity and the questions? In my eyes, we’re going to see a totally new Jebediah Kerman next season. Now is that going to be a good thing? I don’t know. But we won’t be seeing the same Jebediah Kerman next year.” ———— I clicked the TV off and chuckled softly to no-one. Oh yeah, I thought with a smirk. I’ll be ready.
  6. Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (20. Disaster)

    PM is fine- Thanks for the review though Thank you, and thank you!
  7. Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (20. Disaster)

    So 19.. I can't believe it- I'm happy to announce that Life At The Top is now (technically) a novel! According to a post from @Just Jim in Emiko Station, 40,000 words is the novel summit... Hit that about 3 chapters ago I've (so far, about halfway through Chapter 20) written a whopping 61,853 words. And I'm not even close to being finished! Anyways, enough about numbers and word count. Sorry if I've bored y'all- I tend to do that. For now, enjoy! It's going to be fun (I hope). Chapter 19: Revelation and Revival 9:10am. OTech Race Team Headquarters, River City, Owlia I slammed the door shut and Phil turned quickly. He sighed and looked at me, and in his eyes I could tell he was saying “About time you got here.” I huffed as I got up to him, overcome with a huge fury that had replaced confusion and sadness. I stomped up to Phil, and stopped about a foot or two in front of him. “What was that?!” I demanded with a shout. “What, you’re deaf?” Phil asked with a sly smirk. “I retired. You know, when you don’t do something anymore.” This was a new side of Phil that I hadn’t seen before, and to be honest I was surprised. In all the time I’d known him, Phil never used sarcasm or sharp barbs in retaliation. Normally, he just rewired the situation into a good joke we’d end up laughing about a few days later. “You’re full of it. You’re the GOAT, and you want to-“ Phil held up a finger. “I’m livestock?” I rolled my eyes. “‘Greatest of All-Time.’ Anyways, you’re the best, and you want to quit right at the top of your game! You’ve got one heck of a chance to win the title, and now you want to throw away your shot at the record books.” Phil’s nostrils flared. “‘Record books?!’ Oh, I don’t have a spot there anymore!” He threw his hands up in anger. “I’m not doing it for the money anyways. I’m not doing it for the records. Not the fame, not the recognition, not the spotlight. Not the awards, not the celebrities, not the cameras. I was doing it for the fun.” He sighed and turned around, looking out the window. “And now that fun’s all gone..” “I need you, Phil!” I pleaded. “There’s still so much I have to learn, here. You’ve got to help me!” Phil scoffed. “Seem to be doing pretty good for yourself,” he said. I felt my ears redden a bit. “But I won’t be around forever,” Phil continued. “Not for long..” Now I was confused. “What-“ I asked, before Phil turned around. “Have you heard of TTD?” Phil asked seriously, his eyes still sad. “Of course,” I replied. Every child, adult, and senior fears hearing those 3 letters. It’s a disease that kills from the inside out, killing off tissue as it goes along. Typically, it takes anywhere from one to 21 years for someone to die from it. The disease was genetic, and always fatal. There wasn’t a cure, but some medicines did make the symptoms better. Symptoms include small wounds that tend to stick around for longer periods, as well as a weakened immune system. My eyes bulged open as I remembered the awards ceremony. “No…” I muttered in shock. Phil sadly nodded. “Doctors said if I get out by this year, I might make it to 40. But that’s a big maybe.” He sat down at his desk and looked up at me. “Tell you what. You need help. I want something to do. So how about this: I become your mentor, and you don’t try to convince me to go back on my decision. Deal?” I cocked my head. “Mentor me how?” Phil seemed to think. “Have you ever seen that Karate movie? With the kid in it?” “Oh, the one where the kid moves to another country and gets beat-“ Phil looked confused. “What? I’m talking about the one where he moves to Angel City. Are you telling me they remade a classic like that?!” I nodded, and Phil sighed. “Alright, first we’re watching the original. Then we’ll get to work.” I nodded in agreement. “We’re really going to miss you,” I commented sadly. “I know,” Phil agreed sadly. “I’m going to miss this.” 1:30pm, 1 Week later. River Stadium, River City, Owlia “Pass the salt?” I asked Harold as I started on the fries. He passed me the shaker and I sprinkled some over the food. We’d been working on mending our.. Situation since we had last met, and this was our main place to go. “You did good last week,” Harold commented. I smiled inadvertently, enjoying the praise. “Some driving there at the start.” I nodded as I chowed down. “Uh.. I’ve.. got something to tell you..” Alarm bells started going off in my head but I kept on eating. He opened his mouth to start talking, but was interrupted by someone opening the door. She looked to be a bit younger than me, but I felt like I knew her. She had some rusty-brown hair, and I remembered where I had seen her before. She was the “fan” who had crashed the garage. “Uh oh, trouble,” I muttered, trying to shield my face. Harold looked up and I saw his eyes widen. He stood up as the stranger approached. “Kim??” He gasped. “What are you doing here?” Wait they know each other? The stranger- Kim- looked at me and smiled widely. “So you told him?” She asked happily. “Kim-“ Harold attempted. Kim soldiered on. “Apparently it was ‘Never the right time,’ and I’ve just been dying to meet you! When dad said you lived here, I knew-“ I cut her off and stood up quickly. “‘Dad?!’” I exclaimed. Dad seemed to shrink back. “You.. You didn’t tell him?” Kim asked, before muttering, “I can’t believe this,” under her breath. “Wait up a second, you’re telling me this is my sister?!” My eyes darted back and forth. “I was waiting! Until… I was waiting!” Dad stammered to attempt an explanation. “Is this some kind of joke?” Kim nodded. “I was just thinking the same thing,” She agreed before turning to Harold. “Are you serious, you haven’t told him?!” I put my hands up and shook my head. “I just can’t do this, not right now.. Baskay’s in a few weeks and I need to stay focused. I…” I sighed. “I’ll see you later.” I walked out of the door and the bell chimed almost happily as I left. Things just kept getting weirder and weirder. 6:45pm, 3 Weeks later. Round 5 of 10: New Baskay. New Baskay City, NMC “Glamor, Glitz, and Glory! The New Baskay Grand Prix features all of this, and more on our return to this glorious street circuit. Celebrities, Superstars, and the Richest of the Rich all inhabit the city of Baskay. Tight turns, short straights, and hard walls are highlighted by condos, yachts, parties, and the soft evening sky with the sunsets. But even as the Stars come out to play, the diamonds in the rough could throw up a surprise. “The recent years of Baskay have been highlighted by the successes of OTech. Phil Kerman was on course to take his fourth consecutive victory at this illustrious street circuit, before the young Jebediah Kerman came in to steal the show; en route to his first World Title. “With news of the retirement of Phil Kerman, OTech knows they’ll need to fill in a seat for 2037. Phil, however, is looking for victory in his final drive at the circuit he’s taken a record-breaking 9 race wins at, and hopefully, a perfect start to the second half of his swan song season. Across the garage at OTech, Season 2 vet Jebediah Kerman is looking for his second consecutive victory after taking a rain-soaked victory at the circuit he calls home. At Monster, Max Kerman is looking to turn even more heads after his stellar start to his career after winning in Tekkia- against his best friend no less. “Who will take the win here tonight under the spotlights of the world? Will it be the long-time favorite? The Reigning Champion? Or the Rookie? Answers to all these and more, now. “Three drivers, One trophy. The 2036 Baskay Grand Prix is ready to begin.” … The setting sun bathed the city in a stunning orange glow that made the hard and unforgiving walls look soft and kind. Probably why so many crashes happened on the first few laps. I took the short walk back to the second grid slot right behind Phil. The new car looked absolutely stunning, and I rubbed my hand over the new wings. The team had lowered it down to the absolute limit, and also widened it up a little tiny bit. The Plate (Our name for the plate on the rear fin) had also been shrunk a bit, but for this race the team had deployed it to massive levels on the setup. The car looked like it was made for greatness, and I couldn’t wait to get going. “Looking forward to this one?” Alexis asked as the sun started to set. A cool coastal breeze blew through the trees with a soft rustling as seagulls screeched overhead. “Feeling pretty good. Hopefully the break didn’t take too much out of me.” I put the helmet on and all sound briefly became a blur. It felt peaceful kind of. I opened up the visor to let some cool air in, and all the sound came back at me. Andy had walked up holding a clipboard and wearing his almost over-sized headphones. “How would you feel about trying a two-stop?” He asked, looking over the data. “Huh? I thought we were one-stopping at 20 or 22.” Two-stops were generally uncommon in K1, mainly due to the fact that the tires lasted so long. Fuel was the only real concern, but with proper saving techniques and a pit stop halfway through the race, it wouldn’t be difficult to make it to the end. “We would, but it all depends on the engine upgrade. We ran some tests but not enough to get accurate data on the fuel flow. Either you’ll make it to the end with a few laps to spare on the one-stop, or you’ll run out of fuel in the middle of the backstraight, lose the race, have no momentum and lose the championship.” Pretty optimistic outlooks there, Andy. Thanks. “Is it worth going through the pits for that second stop, though? We’d lose at least 20, maybe 30 seconds and probably get out of the top five.” We argued for a few moments but finally decided to play it by ear. I got into the car and buckled up. The engine hummed behind me like a beehive, and the plate loomed in my mirror. Finally, the lights went out, and I went away. “Not much wheelspin off the line. Pretty good grip on the traction.” I kept off the curbing through the first corner, slingshotting through the turn. I twisted the visor down to keep the sun out of my eyes, but despite the tinting I could still see the rays of light playing tricks on the hard plastic. Up the straight and into the canyon, the car bounced over tiny bumps. Tiny sparks flew off the under tray and diffuser of Phil’s car, and I could tell that my car was having an equal effect. “Be careful about that ridge at the top of the hill,” Phil’s voice warned me over the radio. “Thanks, buddy,” I said as we turned in. We got through Tilly Street fine (The tiny straight in between the canyon and the hairpin section), and I dove into a tight right-hander, and the short run to the Hairpin- Lowe. Then, we got under a tiny bridge on another tight right, a wider right, and into the tunnel. Throughout that lap, of course, I was giving updates on the car. Finally, it was time to get going. “Mode 4, please. All telemetry’s looking good. If that lap’s anything to go off, we’ll be running Option A.” I smiled under the helmet as I pulled the correct levers, twisted the dials, and pushed the buttons. Andy had finally come around to the idea of a one-stop. I pulled into my grid slot and waited. The engine sang in a droning tone behind me, and I watched the remaining cars slot in. Just like last year, a LakeFront had surprised us all, and despite terrible reliability and performance, had come into the Top 5 in qualifying. Micheal (The other Monster car) was slotted into Fourth, and after that I really didn’t care enough to look down the list. “Max is slower in the first sector, so use that,” Andy said as the rest of the grid came up. “Thanks,” I replied as the green flag waved in the back, signifying we were all good to go. One light came on above me, illuminating the track in a stern fire truck-red. I turned the engine up to Rich. Two lights on now. My finger came to a rest on the clutch button. Three. I revved up the engine, its tone being taken up by 19 other cars on the grid. The noise echoed off the walls of the city, and I felt the energy as we sat waiting. Four on. My heart was racing, and I could hear it beating like a timpani drum. Five. The lights hovered in the air and my vision turned to a small hole, focused on nothing but those lights. The lights went out and I released the clutch right on the mark. The rears grabbed traction with a squeal, slamming me back against the seat. I rocketed away, and Phil got a little bit of a late start (later than me at least). I tried a move up the inside of the tight straight, but Phil cut down as we got to Turn 1. I wiggled the wheel a bit as the rears lost their grip on the track, and I slid up the track in my attempt to not spin. Thankfully I didn’t hit the wall, but I had lost about half a second of time that I couldn’t afford. “Warn him, that was too close!” I told Andy as we went up the straight. Sparks flew off Phil’s car and hit the nose of mine, creating beautiful images as they hit and popped off. Into the canyon, Phil broke early and I had to slide up to keep from ramming him. We passed the Casino on the right and I attempted a move down Tilly. It was no good, and again Phil managed to get past. I gritted my teeth and went down to Standard, not wanting to get into too big of a fight. Phil, me, and Max went through the hairpin nose-to-tail, looking like a great snake. I looked for any kind of opening down the tunnel, but Phil wasn’t letting anything go. Even through the chicane, he got his line perfect and didn’t allow an attack. Still, I was getting close. At the start of the second lap, I was right on Phil’s tail yet again. I dove up his inside for Turn 1, and he had nothing as I blasted through. “Good move there,” Andy commented as I heard clapping behind him. “Extend a gap if you can.” I started to pull away little by little as Phil made small mistakes- a lockup there, wiggle there, understeer here- and by the quarter mark I was cleared by two seconds. “Fuel’s looking just fine; no need to stop here.” I checked the digital dash as I rocketed through the tunnel, and I saw I was a little over half a tank left. “Thanks. How’s the pace back to Max?” I dove into the chicane hard and fast, clipping what little inside curbing there was. “Max is two seconds back, Phil is one and a half. Keep on pushing, here.” On Lap 22, more than halfway into the race, disaster struck. I rolled through the hairpin at a mere 13 meters per second, and radioed in that it was time for the stop. “Affirmative. Crew is ready. Phil has already boxed, so we need this to be a quick in-lap.” I got into the tunnel and got up to Rich revs, wary of the fact I had about 7 units of fuel left, or a lap and a half. I blasted out of the tunnel. The sky was ink-black now, and the white lights were doing a great job at illuminating the track. Then, I did something truly stupid. I dove into the chicane, but a bit too early. I hit the curbing, but felt something yank at the rear, almost spinning me out. I jammed the gas on the apex to get back to the chicane, but I realized something was deathly wrong. As soon as I broke for the Swimming Pool chicane, the left rear exploded with a loud boom and a spray of rubber. “PUNCTURE! PUNCTURE ON THE LEFT REAR,” I shouted as I tried to gather up the car, which without a left rear was about as precise as an elephant on an ice rink. “Copy, copy. Don’t tear it up coming in. It’ll still be 4 and fuel.” I limped into the pit lane as the car made a pitiful THUMPTHUMP noise every time a strand of rubber contacted the ground. The team quickly got me up and put the new tires on, and I waited as the fuel got in. As soon as I was released, I noticed the yellow flag was out. “Damnit, I’m sorry guys. That was 100% on me there.” As I exited pit lane, Phil burst past- a blue and white blur in the corner of my eye. I punched the wheel in anger, and pulled up behind him as we followed the Safety Car. Max was still in third, but I had lost my 3-second lead. All through the Safety Car period, I was cursing and kicking myself for making that one stupid mistake. When the green flag finally waved, I pounced like a cougar. Phil had to cut to the inside to block off the run, but I swept around the outside with ease to reclaim the lead. Or so I thought. Into Turn 1, Phil made an incredible dive up the inside. I left him the space, and he stayed there the whole way through. On corner exit, I had to let off the gas to regain some traction on the dusty area next to the wall, and it was all Phil needed to take the lead. Max thought about a move around the outside, but I held the inside for Turn 3 and denied any opportunity to get through. On Lap 33, I was behind by only a couple seconds, still fighting. I activated DRS down the front straight, but couldn’t get any closer. On 36, I had only gotten up to a second and a half back. “Okay, Jeb, conserve the engine. Lean mix please. Just bring it home.” “Andy, I can catch him!” I protested as I tore into the first corner, almost hitting the wall in my attempt to find that extra tenth or two. The laps ticked down. 4. 3. 2. 1. I let off the throttle and coasted past the line as Phil weaved. Flares shot up into the air as Phil passed, and I shook my head in disgust and disappointment. “I’m sorry, guys,” I said, gritting my teeth. “I’m sorry.” —— The team all clapped for me as we entered the paddock, but I just kept my head down. “Hey, good race, Phil,” Max said as he got out of the car, giving Phil a handshake. “Thanks, kid. Same to you.” Max turned to me and smiled. “Good race, bud,” he said, extending his hand out to me. “Yeah, whatever,” I mumbled, shoving his hand away. Max shrugged and went to check the results TV, while I just sat on the couch, ruing that one stupid mistake. If only… I walked out to the podium, and listened as the anthems were played. I sat down on the steps and didn’t get up despite getting shot in the face with champagne. The podium interviewer came up to the stage and came around to me with a smile. “Jeb, great race out there today! You tried what you could, and almost took that victory; a strong result.” I adjusted my hat and went for the diplomatic route. “Yeah, we did what we could. Phil was just the faster driver this weekend, I’ve got to give it to him. I knew it was going to be a hard one to get past him, and Phil kept up the fight all race long. Just faster all weekend. I’d like to thank the fans for being out here tonight-“ I was cut off by a loud cheering from the gathered fans, and I smiled. “Yeah, just thanks to the fans. Now it’s on to Eradica where we’ll try to take back that points lead.” I waved and tapped my toes, waiting for the interviews to be over. —————— It was a quiet plane ride home. Everyone stayed well-away from me, and I kept re-watching that stupid move. “Jebediah, he’s got to make his stop- Oh, getting mighty close to that barrier there, can’t tell if he hit it. But he’s got to be pitting soon, don’t you- Oh my! Massive tire blowout on the Number 13 car- huge explosion! Now the question goes from when he’ll pit to will Phil be able to pass him?” I turned the phone off and threw it into my seat. There was no use reliving past mistakes. For now, it was on to Eradica. 4:15pm, 3 Weeks later. Round 6 of 10: Eradica. Eradica Grand Prix Circuit, Eradica “Hey, good race there, bud,” I congratulated after the race. This time, I didn’t make any mistakes. Phil and I had had a great fight, but Max had really stolen the show. Monster seemed to have a death grip on Eradica’s layout, because in quali both cars were almost two seconds faster than Phil and I. The only thing stopping Micheal from curb-stomping Phil and I to take a second place was an engine expiration about 3 laps from the end. Meanwhile, in the OTech garage, Phil had just beaten me to the line at the end. The podium was a lot happier and energetic this time around, and I could tell everyone was excited. With just four races remaining in the season, the top three in the championship were dead even. We all knew that anything could happen. The question, though, was what would?
  8. Thread to complain bout stuff

    We were playing Quizlet live, and I missed out on winning the whole thing (We played 10 games) by 1 win ! I got 3, and someone else got 4. At least I get 3 extra points on my next test grade
  9. 2018 Lowell Prestissimo GT Comfort Control Class Comfort, Control, and Class. Three words that make up the Prestissimo program. When OTech joined the world of car manufacturing, their first request was to 77I Industries for advice, and for collaboration. Many months (And hundreds of thousands of funds) later, the 2018 Lowell Prestissimo GT has been born. An OTech S01 All-Steel Chassis provides the base for a remarkable design that is both smooth and beautiful. Comfort, Control, and Class is the Lowell-OTech way. Due to a slight lack of manufacturing experience, the Lion and the Lamb made a compromise. OTech would supply the Chassis build, while the Lowell Department of 77I Industries would provide body development. What followed was beyond what anyone could have predicted. Stunning tech and luxury on the inside and out create a stunning vehicle that you can use on the roadway or the raceway. The Lowell team went all-out with this design, creating everything from dynamic aero devices to City lights and varying high-beam levels. The Prestissimo's suspension creates a smooth ride over every bump, and its luxurious leather interior makes it the perfect ride to take to the track or take the heart of that special someone. Its engine exhaust is piped out through a dual hose design and creates that yell that evokes memories of turbochargers, V10's, and racing down the main straight at 200 miles an hour. At just over 85,000 Funds, the Prestissimo isn't just for anybody. Of course, neither is making history. Or having fun. Buy yours today! https://kerbalx.com/Azimech/77I-Lowell-Prestissimo-GT-2011-v10 "I've tested your car, and it drives very good - You have not promised too much! The Friction is good balanced, and the dynamic spoilers also work great. The detailed Interior is built with love, as well as the clean lines of the body. Yet again a super vehicle!" -McFlyever; Test Driver and 77I fan. Imgur Album: https://imgur.com/a/8lCxW
  10. So what song is stuck in your head today?

    Got some Kanye and Eminem stuck in my head at the moment. Also a bit of Linkin Park. "But dark! Rap? Really? I thought you didn't like that?" Yeah, yeah whatever. I'm working on a... Project. More to come soon, but let's just say that it will involve a bit of good music and some greatness.
  11. Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (20. Disaster)

    So I've got a big big problem. Before I left for Spring Break, I backed up Chapter 20 (or what I had worked on for Chapter 20) onto my email. Only problem? I forgot to upload Chapter 19 to the forums, or my email! Now this wouldn't be an issue; I would just get either The Final Stand, or upload Chapter I and 1 or Renegades (My newest story detailing a post-apocalyptic Owlia torn by Civil War, blah blah blah). Only problem: I FORGOT TO UPLOAD THAT TOO. RARGH!
  12. KSP Military Mega Thread

    Whoah! What's that cockpit from?
  13. That's beautiful! Reminds me that I have to get camera tools before everything updates to 1.4..
  14. Ask the Mods questions about the Forums!

    So I've set up the notifications so that every time I get a notification here on the forums, I get an email on my regular email address. Well, lately that's not been happening. Instead of an email, I get nothing. I still get notifications, but no email. Help?