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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. Who's...Oscar? A pet?

  2. DarkOwl57

    Thread to complain bout stuff

    So homecoming is Friday, and of course, the standard problems of who's asking who is comign up. I was going to ask one girl- she's good at sports, fun to hang out with, and (best of all in my opinion) on the same intellectual level as me! I was going to ask her today after lunch- I had a speech and everything. "Was." She got asked during lunch... By a senior... And she said yes... God I hate school
  3. DarkOwl57

    Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (29. Summer)

    So, guess who got back on the trail? I'm currently starting slow- only 4k compared to my typical 5 or 6. Don't worry though- 30 is already surpassed the 6k mark... And I haven't even started the race itself yet... Might have to split it in two- not sure yet. Anyways, enjoy this (belated) return of Life At The Top. (If anyone is still even paying attention to this thread) Chapter 29: Summer 6:30pm, 2 Weeks later. Round 5 of 10; The Baskay Grand Prix. New Baskay City, NMC. The sun wasn’t quite setting yet, but it was getting close. Seagulls flew overhead as I walked through a sea of reporters- camera flashes turning sunset into day. Thank god for sunglasses. I waved to the cameras before stepping into the garage and greeting Andy. “Ready to go?” He asked over the loud noises of drilling and engine revving. I gave a thumbs up and set my stuff in a locker before zipping up the firesuit. “What’s the plan? Same one-stop we were thinking about before?” A car drove past and the engine made it so I couldn’t hear, but a quick nod confirmed the question. Across the garage, Max was talking with Claire about something- pointing at a screen and asking her something. I couldn’t tell what was being said- there wasn’t really any reason to worry. He’d smoked the competition (And me, I guess) in qualifying by about a second and dominating the session. It was kind of depressing if I’m telling the truth. “Ready to get out on the recon lap?” I nodded and walked over to the car- sitting down in the cockpit-like tub. As I got my gloves on, I saw a TV camera at the opening to the garage, and I waved with a smile before grabbing the helmet and putting it on. The team got the car set down and I pulled out into the pit lane. The engine was revving evenly, and I could feel the power behind me. Update on the state of K1, the technical regulations for 2038 were proposed, with the final regs being decided on prior to the Temple race. The rules were testing the idea of different shark fins, and now the rules were 100% open. Andy had been shut in his office for about 3 days after that announcement. Also, the cars would be a lot different in terms of weight. A new rules regulation that was really controversial was the prospect of no refueling in a race. This would save time on the pit stops, as well as make fuel saving even more crucial over the course of a race. Andy was shut in his office for about 3 more days after that announcement. On the tire compound front, K1 had struck down the idea… For now. It was still on the table for ’39, but many (including myself) think that they’ll bring it in for 2040 for the new decade. Another proposition that was proposed was a singular front wing for 2038- removing the double-decker design that we had now. The idea was Less Downforce + More Speed (From updated engines, tires, etc.) = Better Racing. So far it didn’t sound bad. For this week, we’d done a lot of updates for the tight turns of Baskay City. First off, the aerodynamics had gotten a substantial upgrade with numerous updates to the T-Wing and Shark Fin. We’d lightened the small bottom wing beneath the Shark Fin base, and we’d beefed up the T-Wing from the Tekkia package. Instead of one or two wings, we had three- giving us a ton more downforce than before. The rear wing got a working over as well- now it was a bit angled to provide both speed and grip. Underneath, the turbo had been reworked- lightening the load and improving response times. As I blasted through the turns, I could feel the improvements at work. “Car feels amazing. Y’all really hit it on the nose with the updates.” The car weaved through the corners with pinpoint accuracy (Helped by about 3 hours on the simulator last night), and I knew I could bring the fight to Max. Maybe. … The lights went out for the formation lap and I got a great jump off my grid spot. I got up the inside of Max to kind of spook him, but backed off before entering Turn 1. “Great launch off the line. Tires have a ton of grip.” Even in the slightly dirty air of Max’s car, the wheels turned through the tight city streets with relative ease. Micheal was behind (Surprise, surprise), and it looked like we would perform another typical, “Drive away into the sunset“ type of race. Finally, we arrived at the starting grid, and I could feel the anticipation. This was the final race before the five week Summer Break, and a good finish here was crucial. The rest of the field got into position, and I waited anxiously. The black and green Monsters lined up in third and fourth, with (surprisingly) a Lakefront rounding up the Top 5 (again. I don’t know if they make their cars specifically for the NMC or what.). I waited for a few seconds, and saw a green flag in the background. Here we go. A single light came on- glowing red against the brilliant orange of the sunset. I forced out a breath- echoing in my helmet as my heart raced. The second light came on, and I pushed in the clutch. Three lights. I shifted the engine up into rich revs and started pushing in the gas pedal. Four. The engine started yelling along with the rest of the grid, and I focused on the lights with the focus of a hawk. Five. The engines were at their peak volume, and I could almost feel everyone waiting for the start. The lights went out and I released the clutch- flying out of the spot with a slight puff of smoke as the wheels spun for grip. I got a good start and put my nose up the inside of Max, but Max out broke me into Turn 1. I tried to get up the inside but he was past- already streaking off out of the corner as I put the power down on corner exit. The rest of the field trailed out of Turn 1 but I couldn’t look as I got right on the tail of Max. I was behind Max, and I could see every little detail of the blue and white car. We bounced over little bumps in the road and sparks flew out from under both Max’s and my car. I was so close that Max’s sparks just barely glinted off my nose but never really flew up into my face. We broke for Turn 3 and Max got a tiny gap out to me as I wrestled the front tires through the sweeping turn. The car blasted through Turn 4, and I shot over the curbs mere inches from the wall in an attempt to get back on Max. I spared a brief glance back, and saw everyone else weaving through the turn like a multicolored snake before diving into Turn 5. The track tightened up drastically, and I couldn’t get a look into the corner. After the impossibly tight hairpin and a turn underneath a bridge, we went into the Tunnel. Max and I flew through the tunnel as our cars echoed off the concrete walls. Just when we were about to top out, the braking zone for the Chicane came up. I had to fight to keep the car under control in the corner, but there was just enough grip to stay behind Max and hold the line. The car had plenty of acceleration available, and I flew up behind Max on the corner exit. We flew through the Swimming Pool Section and bounced over the curbing- flying over the bumps with such force that the wing started shaking as I landed. On the final two corners, Max lost a bit of grip- allowing me to get close behind him. I got onto the front straight and darted up the inside in an overtaking attempt, but Max closed the door on me before I got the chance to dive up the inside. As I turned into the corner I heard a loud shout from the crowd, followed by a squealing of tires and a loud crash when I exited the turn. I looked in my mirror and saw a Monster car flying into the air on top of the tire barrier. As the yellow flag came out, I hit the radio. “Holy cow!” I started slowing down as the red flag was put out, and shut down the engine to conserve. “That was a big crash. That didn’t look good at all. Is he okay?” I transitioned to the electric motors and heard the small electric whining as I went down the straight. “We don’t know. Red flag, they’re stopping you at the Start/Finish line.” When we got to the line, I got unbuckled as the team came over and went to work. I took off my helmet and set it down as everyone got to work. I saw a big screen on the straight, which was showing a replay of the crash. Louie, who had darted to the inside of a Regal, broke late entering Turn 1. The left-rear clipped the front of the Regal and the car leapt into the air sideways. The car tilted in a cloud of smoke before hitting the wall right-side first. Suddenly, the car violently crashed into the barrier- hitting with such a force that the car flipped up into the air before barrel-rolling over the wall onto the top of the barrier. “Ooh,” Max groaned, looking at the screen. “Ouch.” The screen changed and we saw the replay from the TV shot. “That’s gonna leave a mark,” I replied, nodding. As the replay ended, we saw Louie in the car- nodding his head with the safety crews. Behind us, Claire was looking smug as she scribbled down notes. I looked back and saw a distinctive (and damaged) SL/FR flap on the side of the car. I turned to Max. “How are you so quick?” I asked, making him chuckle. He looked at me and wiggled his fingers like a magician casting a spell. “Maaaaagic,” he joked. “Now, if you’ll stick around after the Red Flag, I’ll do another trick!” He walked over to his car. “I’m going to make this car disappear!” I laughed and shook my head, before feeling a growing sense of unease in the pit of my stomach. Why do I feel like he’s telling the truth… 9:15pm Max leapt into the pool with a massive grin- holding the trophy in an extended fist before disappearing into the water with a loud splash. After the green flag went out, Max fulfilled his end of the bargain- vanishing as the gap grew with every lap. I didn’t really want to talk about it. After the race, Louie had gone to the medical facility, where he was released with a sore neck. As Max came up for air, I cannonballed right next to him- throwing water up at the team who were standing around the edge. Max had the momentum entering the break, but I was still up by a race win. Our first race in Aquaria was going to be crazy. 7:45pm, 4 days later. Dolphins Stadium; Nomlas, Aquaria Pop music thudded in from hidden speakers laid high above the seats. Just for fun, Kim had invited us to the Week 3 game- Stars at Dolphins. The game was bound to be a blowout, despite the trade of the Stars Goalkeeper to the cross-town Royals. Kim had scored about 5 goals so far this season, including a dominant 3-goal performance against the Royals on opening day. Alexis and I walked down to the field, where Kim was warming up. She saw us, smiled, and came over to us as the team started ball drills. “I never thought you’d show up,” Kim chuckled, leaning up against the barrier. “You kidding? Gives me reason to watch my little sis kick some tail!” Kim laughed and shook her head. “It’s only Week 3!” She leaned in and whispered. “Plus, it’s the Dolphins. There’s a good chance I won’t be in for too long.” I smiled. “All the more reason! It’ll be a scoring expo.” Kim chuckled and started walking back to the team. “See you after!” She spun and waved before jumping along with the team. We walked back up to the box seats and got in our chairs just as the anthem finished. 5 jets screamed over the open roof of the stadium- flying over before disappearing behind the upper areas of the oval stadium. The game got underway a short time later, and the Stars looked to be on the attack. The first goal, which came in the 15th minute, was caused off a beautiful cross from Kim- straight to the feet of Tori who pounded the ball into the back of the net. The Stars were cheering as Tori slid onto the turf on her knees and extended her arms to the crowd. The game was fairly uneventful until about 10 minutes left until halftime. Kim got the ball and started cutting through the defense like they weren’t even there. Everyone stood up as Kim faced off against the goalkeeper one-on-one. Kim pulled her foot back and kicked the ball with tremendous force- slamming it into the back of the net straight past the goalkeeper. “Yes!” Kim ran to the edge of the field and yelled in celebration. With that score, Kim had broken the River City Stars record for most points scored by a single player by the fourth game of the season- breaking the old record with a week to spare. As the team gathered around Kim, I saw a number of camera flashes going off around the stadium before a large display showed the accomplishment. Finally, the halftime whistle blew and the teams all went off to the locker rooms as the crowd began to murmur. The 2-0 score had practically sealed the deal- an opinion cemented by the slouching, defeated body language of the Dolphin’s players who trudged to the locker room. The game got going again, and the Stars were right back on the attack. Kim started off a beautiful attack, and crossed it to the center. Amy, a midfielder, kicked the ball hard to the top-right corner, but was just a tad off as it harmlessly bounced off the post. She kicked the ground before running back- readying for defense. Before the Dolphins even got past the midfield line, Kim made a stunning dive to get the ball back- taking it away before getting it from a pass. She started running to the goal, but a defender- Number 10- dove for the ball. I stood up. It wasn’t a dive to challenge for the ball- it was of desperation, of frustration. The ball flew underneath the defenders arm, and, almost in slow-motion, Kim leapt up into the air. She tried to hurdle the defender, and it looked like it would work. However, at the very last second, Kim’s foot hit the defender’s shoulder. She was tossed forward in mid-air and without anything to stabilize her, Kim careened wildly out of control before slamming into the ground head-first. Grass flew up into the air as Kim rolled once on the ground before landing belly-up. The crowd gasped in shock as whistles started coming in and players converged on the scene. Kim was motionless as teammates and doctors came around in a circle around her. I saw a Stars player waving for a stretcher, and covered my mouth. “This is bad,” I muttered to myself nervously. The crowd was silent in shock as the Dolphins players also came out- trying to help however they could. I saw the coach stomping out onto the field- worry and fury painted on her face. “What the heck was that?!” The coach lit up at the defender holding her shoulder, and it was hard to turn my attention away. I couldn’t read the players lips, but I could tell the coach was one unhappy camper. “You weren’t thinking! Idiot!” The player tried to explain, but the coach was having none of it. “GET OUT!” She pointed to the bench in a throwing motion and the crowd cheered as the player walked back to the bench- something that surprised me. Suddenly, Kim’s eyes popped open. She looked around before grabbing her head as the stretcher came out. Kim was about to get up, but before she could, she grabbed her leg and collapsed to the ground again- holding her knee and rolling on the ground in obvious pain. As Kim was carried back to the bench on the stretcher, she waved to the crowd- drawing cheers and whistles. Everyone separated, and I stood up as the game got back underway. “I’m going down there,” I told Alexis, who nodded and joined me. We got down the steps and walked out to the bench where Kim was sitting on the grass- holding her knee to her chest as a team of doctors waited close by. I cupped my hands around my mouth and shouted, “When I said, ‘break a leg,’ I didn’t mean it literally.” Kim turned and smiled at me. “Should’ve clarified,” She joked back with a smirk. “I couldn’t tell. Maybe speak lou-“ She was cut off by a yell from the crowd, making all three of us turn. A Stars player was running past the sideline in a flash, and we watched as she went uncontested up the line before crossing it inside. The ball wobbled in the air as Ason dove for the ball- just missing it as the ball rolled out of bounds. Kim shouted, “Focus, guys!” The team reset for the restart. “One play at a time!” She gave a thumbs-up before turning back to us. Alexis raised an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you be like… In a hospital?” Kim raised an eyebrow. “I mean you did kinda get knocked out. You… Didn’t look good.” She trailed off as a whistle restarted the game. “Knocked out? Nonono, I fell and tore a muscle- probably something like a hamstring or something. I’ll be back by the Conference Championship for sure- Divisional if I’m really lucky.” Alexis raised an eyebrow, and I sighed. “Kim, what do you remember?” I tried to channel my inner-team doctor- reliving my unhappy experiences of the first couple days after the Temple crash. And every ISCC crash. And- I’ve crashed a lot, okay? Kim focused. “Let’s see,” She said, trying to remember. “I kicked a goal… Halftime… Coming onto the field… And everything’s kinda fuzzy from there. Got one heck of a headache though- feel like I’ve been out for one too many.” She sighed. “Wait, what happened again?” Alexis and I looked at each other, and then back to Kim, who groaned. “Fiiine, I’ll go to a hospital, get checked out. Okay?” She accidentally jostled her knee and hissed. “Owowow. Ooh, that hurts.” —— Alexis and I followed Kim along with the team down into the locker room. “Hey, y’all don’t need me,” Kim joked as some teammates came over to wish her well. “I’ll be back before the playoffs- championships at the very worst. We’re taking the title this year; with or without me.” As we departed the locker room to get an ambulance, I heard something that stuck with me. To this day, I still don’t know who said it, but its chilling tone made me internally shiver. “We might have won the battle,” one player said quietly. “But we might just lose the war.” 8:00pm, 1 week later. Sparky’s Smokehouse; River City, Owlia “Take 2,” I sighed jokingly as we got our drinks. Alexis smirked at me and took her drink- a (thankfully) non-alcoholic one- and held it up for a toast. “To a winning Summer Break,” She said, smiling warmly. “And every year to come,” I replied, clinking the glasses together. The Carbonale was nice- maybe a little warm, but other than that okay. Contrary to the last time we tried going out at Sparky’s, Alexis and I had a nice private dining room that was quiet and hopefully away from possible embarrassment. “This is really nice,” Alexis sighed a moment later after we ordered our food. “The drink?” I must admit, it looked amazing- especially for a pink lemonade. Alexis shook her head. “This. The restaurant, the mood…” She hesitated. “The fact we’re even doing this right now.” I chuckled and shook my head. “I’m serious,” Alexis said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I made an idiot of myself right there, where everyone…” She groaned. “I knew you’d never want to even see me after that… But you did.” Alexis stared at me. “Why?” I thought for a moment before answering. “Because I love you,” I replied. Instantly, Alexis’s cheeks went bright pink. “And you’re my best friend. And my number one supporter. And everything in between. I know it sounds cheesy, but you’re probably the best thing that ever happened to me.” Alexis looked to be about to cry, and dabbed at her eyes with a napkin. I took a sip of my drink and continued. “And because if I didn’t, you’d have the power to royally screw up my career if you wanted to.” Alexis laughed and playfully hit my arm. “I’m pretty sure that’s illegal,” She said, smiling. “Never hurts to be cautious.” I couldn’t help but grin a little bit. — “Thanks for tonight,” Alexis said as we walked up to the door. I shrugged. “It’s been a while since we did something like this,” I replied, walking up the steps. We finally got to the door and stopped. “So I’ll see you at work?” Alexis nodded. “I was thinking maybe a commercial deal over the break- I’ll be out checking the whole thing out tomorrow. Shoe commercial- nothing too hard.” I nodded. For whatever reason, my heart was going a thousand miles an hour. What the- I was cut off as Alexis leaned in. I could smell some kind of fruity scent- banana maybe? Mango? Oh my god, focus! She put her hands on my shoulders. No, definitely banana. She reached up, and I looked into her piercing blue eyes. Some perfume blew up at my face as we were separated by less than an inch. I leaned down, and we kissed. My heart was still racing (At this point it was at least 100, maybe 500 beats per minute), and by the time we separated, my arms and legs felt like jelly. “So…” Alexis whispered, sounding a little bit hoarse. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” I whispered back as my vocal chords also decided to go down in a flaming ball of mush. “Yeah…” Alexis nodded. “It’s kind of late, so I’m going to turn in. Goodnight.” She turned and went in. Just before the door closed, I whispered back, “Goodnight.” On that ride home, I felt like I was on top of the world. 5:00pm, 2 weeks later. Stars Stadium, River City, Owlia Kim clicked into the box on her crutches- struggling a little bit with her massive cast that went up the entire length of her leg. “I’d just like to point out how much this sucks,” She muttered as she sat down to watch the game with us. “Oh you don’t have to tell me,” I replied with a sigh- watching the pregame. Alexis and I were right next to each other, with Max sitting over a ways. I noticed that she also had some kind of tape stuff on the back of her neck. “So what’s the doctor say?” Kim sighed. “Well, first, the knee’s a little bit worse than I thought. Multiple ligament tears and hyperextension.” I grimaced. “Then, apparently, I popped something in my neck that isn’t supposed to move, so I have to take that easy for a while. And I did have a concussion, but it’s okay now. Season-Ending unfortunately.” Kim sighed. “But Coach said she might get me an assistant coaching job. Basically, I hang out on the sidelines, offer help where needed, and don’t screw up too bad.” Max interrupted. “Quick question,” He asked, staring down at the field. “How many of them are available?” Kim rolled her eyes. “I’m doing an experiment you see.” I chuckled. “Pretty much all of them,” Kim smirked, stoking the fire. Then, she whispered in my ear, “I’ve already told them to avoid him- they’d just as soon punch his lights out than go out with him.” Max nodded. “Do you think maybe I could get down on the field?” Kim nodded. “If you can get through the 3 layers of security, sure, go for it.” I think Max only heard, “Go for it,” and smiled. Kim rolled her eyes. I can’t say I expected anything different. Ever since the 6th grade, Max was a ladies man. Always chasing the next girl. Typically chasing them away, but whatever. I leaned over to Max. “Quit drooling,” I joked in a very serious tone. Max wiped at his mouth, felt nothing, and waved me away with an angry look on his face, making me laugh. He shook his head and went back to looking at the field.
  4. DarkOwl57

    Weather Chat Megathread

    So this morning was interesting... I had to go to cross country practice this morning at around 6-ish. It was cold, and, of course, I didn't want to. I went anyways and started running. As I ran, I saw something I never thought I would- steam from my breath. It was cold enough for steam to begin forming. As if that wasn't enough, I walked out of practice after my run and walked over frost. It's only September for crying out loud!
  5. DarkOwl57

    I'm looking for 1 more race driver...

    I'm up for this- on the weekends of course. I've done a couple racing leagues- heck I write a story about racing. Count me in! (As soon as I finish the Dessert D- aw screw it, I'll just do it on my free time and not worry about time)
  6. DarkOwl57

    Weather Chat Megathread

    So it's been raining... And Raining... And rain- oh hey, it stop- wait no nevermind, it's still raining It's been raining non-stop from Tuesday all the way to now basically. Forecasts show it'll stop maybe Tuesday- the day after my second cross country meet. My first? Also filled with rain. Is this because of the tropical storm that hit to the east? (I live in West Texas for reference)
  7. DarkOwl57

    The Dessert Derby 2018 setup

    I just realized that I've never actually commented on this. Sign me up!
  8. DarkOwl57

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    Just got Infinity War today... This is going to be awesome
  9. DarkOwl57

    A Thread for Writers to talk about Writing

    Life At The Top is getting back on track after about 3 months of procrastination and sadness. 3 months, 1 chapter... *sigh* First off, I'd like to apologize to the readers of LATT. I didn't hold up my end of the bargain, and I know that. I promised chapters over the summer. I failed y'all. That said, I promise that I'm going to get back on the grind. My fingers may have stopped typing, but my brain never stopped turning. I've written so much ideas, plans, and general nonsense for LATT I can see this going on for years (Wait.... I just... curses.). LATT is going to go on. The story shall never stop. I promise- y'all are going to love it. And if not... Get out Hope y'all stick around for the ride. Now for the purpose of this thread: Does anyone else feel a kind of weird connection to their characters? I don't know why, but in my brief time of writing them, I feel some kind of special feeling with my characters. I've "seen" them grow, mature, and go through success and failure. I've loved them, hated them, and then loved them again. All while stressing myself out to all oblivion. Anyone else get that feeling or am I just a nutcase?
  10. DarkOwl57

    I'm joining the Squad Team!!!

    Congrats! I don't know a single person more deserving than you to be getting this. *Silently cries that Emiko won't be as frequent* I'm not crying, you're crying
  11. DarkOwl57

    Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (29. Summer)

    It's more just setup. Those lines you see at the top, the various formatting- it's just all set up and ready for me right then and there. I'll see what I can do here on the forums
  12. DarkOwl57

    Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (29. Summer)

    Okay, I should probably explain. I haven't uploaded in a month for 2 reasons. And I'm sorry. 1) It's summer break- I've been slacking off, enjoying the break, etc. 2) I write the chapters on a computer that has all the fonts and stuff I need on it. However, that computer has been in maintenance for a while now, but I should be getting it back soon (TM) I've got a ton of ideas formulating in my head, but I can't write them- which is SO frustrating y'all have no idea. If I can't get the computer back by the weekend, I'll just bite the bullet and type it up here on the forums. Expect an upload within the week.
  13. DarkOwl57

    Revelations of the Kraken (Interlude: Bodies in Motion)

    Just spent about an hour catching up on what I missed, and I've got to say, this has been amazing! The mysterious snow, the futuristic Union- all coming together! And that ending.. Fantastic. And here I was thinking the war against the plague people was going to be the most exciting part about these chapters...
  14. DarkOwl57

    Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (29. Summer)

    Chapter 28 is up- and only 2 days later than previously intended! Enjoy Chapter 28: Coming Home 1:00pm, 1 Week and 6 days later. Owlia Grand National Raceway, Owlia. Formula K Round 4 of 10: Owlia As the small but loyal crowd filtered into the ginormous grandstands, I sat back in the garage. I typically don’t watch the Formula races, but I had decided to show up to Owlia. It was the three-year anniversary of my first ever win with a Spec car. As I sat down in a chair near the back of the garage, I heard some whispers. The pit crew was taking nervous glances at me and muttering amongst themselves, and I could hear some of the chatter. “That’s Jebediah Kerman.” “What’s he doing here?” “Is this really true?” “I thought he was shorter.” “A real K1 driver!” I put my shades on and leaned back in the seat as a familiar figure entered the garage. He was wearing a slightly green tie underneath a very official looking suit that he had worn when we said our goodbyes. As soon as Paddy walked past, I coughed loudly, trying not to smile. Paddy jumped- a bit startled- and turned to me. I could tell he was about to ask who I was, but then his eyes brightened. “Jeb!” Paddy exclaimed, extending his arms out. “What brings you to our humble neck o’ the woods?” I smiled and stood up, giving him a handshake and pulling him in for a hug. “Just decided to come by and see how the times have changed since I left,” I replied, sitting back down with Paddy getting down next to me. “Been a while. How have you been?” Paddy sighed and chuckled. I noticed that his hair had a few extra grey spots in them, but I didn’t point it out. “Busy,” Paddy replied. “Quite busy. Lewis has been a stellar driver these past couple of years, and it was great to see him go to K1. However, the real star has been Arcazon. You should see him- he’s quite possibly one of the best drivers to grace OTech GP. Present company included.” I nodded and looked at the walls. Lewis’s portrait stood with a slight frown as he crossed his arms with helmet in hand. On the other wall, there was a new driver I’d never seen before. He looked to be really young- maybe 16 by my count. He had a big, almost goofy smile that reminded me a lot of Max and I when we first joined Formula. “But, that’s not all,” Paddy said with a big grin. “Next year, we’re opening up a new branch of OTech- in K1! Matty and I have talked about this for ages and we decided that in 2038, OTech Engineering will open up as a junior team. It’ll give us a chance to get our driver training program further up, and also hopefully bring in some star talent.” He smiled. “I’ve been selected to be the manager of the team! I’m going to carry over the entire staff from OTechGP and bring them to K1. What do you think?” “What’ll happen to OTech GP?” I asked. This place was my first home, and even though I hadn’t been here in years, I still didn’t want to see it shutter up for good. “Don’t worry, team members will be either hired or moved up from other series- we wouldn’t dare close down the GP team.” I breathed a sigh of relief and leaned back in my chair. “Whew,” I said, chuckling. “Had me going for a minute.” Just then, I heard what sounded like a lot of revs rising and then dropping to the floor at once before growing in volume again. I watched on the TV screen as the cars started the formation lap, and I had to take a second look. “Whoa,” I whispered, leaning towards the screen. “Are those the cars?” The new Formula K cars looked beautiful. The single wing was still in place (In K1, there are 2 layers of front wings), but looked a lot more basic than before. The tires were a lot wider as well, and the entire front looked more open and airy than in years past. As soon as the cars turned into the corner though, I saw the real big changes. The rear end had been changed completely, and was open. Instead of a large shark fin, the rear was flat. Also, the Air Inlet had been moved down slightly, making the cars even more slippery in a straight line. The rear wing had been almost 100% changed- now just a simple but stylish little wing plate instead of a massive cluster of various downforce-generating bits and pieces. I also noticed a different engine sound- deeper and more throaty than in the past. “Yeah,” Paddy smiled, looking out at the beautiful cars driving around on the formation lap. “The 2037 changeup was a big one. The cars have a lot less aero grip, and the tires have been made just a little bit slicker to make it a driver’s car.” I smiled. Back when I was driving, the Formula cars seemed so connected to the track- not that different from the K1 cars. It felt good to know that now we were getting cars that tested ability. The cars all lined up on the grid for the formation lap and I looked at the line of cars. It’s kind of weird from this view, I thought, looking at the screen above us. A single light turned on above on the pylon and the engines started getting louder. Two lights, and I could feel the tension ramping up. Three. Four. Five. The lights went out and the cars all launched away off the line- dropping revs and gaining speed as they got off the line. “Good start from the OTech driver of Lewis Kerman, getting up to the top spot!” Lewis swept around the inside of two other cars and I swear I almost saw a wave from him as he blasted by- practically devouring the competition. The cars got up to speed before braking hard for Turn 1, and as the camera panned to track the whole field, I saw a cloud of white smoke. Behind, a car had locked up and went straight into the rear of what looked to be the other OTech car- Arcazon. The blue and white car flew into the air and spun around once in a cloud of smoke as the car behind collected another car- losing the left front tire in the process. Debris and smoke covered the track as the team groaned and yelled in frustration. “And that’s Arcazon around! Multiple cars involved and we’re under a Safety Car here on Lap 1.” “Damnit! Got a puncture, coming to you guys.” The team scurried around as a silver car drove past with a throaty rumble- yellow lights flashing before passing the entrance of the garage. The team was already outside and revving up the wheel-guns, prepared for the stop. As the cars came past, I looked up at the screen and saw Arcazon limping around the track with a rear puncture. Paddy looked out at the box and seemed to be watching closely. The car pulled into the box perfectly and was lifted up on the jack. Wheel guns screamed as the tires came off, and the team went to work checking the damage. Apparently there wasn’t too much damage as the team put hard tires on and dropped the car. Arcazon blasted out of the pit box and the team all got up from their half-kneeling position, rolling the used tires back to the rack. As the race got underway, I watched as Arcazon got off to a lightning restart, flying past a car as he crossed the line. Not bad, I thought to myself as Arcazon went past another car before the braking zone. Not bad at all... Lewis stretched out a gap ahead and Arcazon continued slicing up through the field. He was cutting all around- left, right, around the outside, down the inside- blasting past the opposition like they were hardly there. “He’s good,” I muttered to Paddy as we watched him go onto Lap 13 of 18. After coming back from dead last, he was all the way up to fourth- fighting for the podium with just 5 laps to go. However, it wasn’t looking like he would get there by the end of the race as there was a 15 second gap. However, that lap, the driver ahead- Louis (Not Lewis)- came into the pit lane. He went onto the Soft tires and peeled out- getting passed by Arcazon. “Looks like this’ll be a massive fight at the end of this- Arcazon on the older hard tires, but Louis on the newer softs but well back! What’ll happen here with just 3 laps to go?” I watched as the cars got closer and closer on the screen, and on the final lap, Louis passed. The crew groaned and I put my hands on my head. I noticed cameras pointed at me but I didn’t focus on them as Arcazon fought for his third place. Arcazon pushed into Turn 4 but couldn’t get up the inside of Louis as he was cut off. Arcazon put his hand up in the air in frustration and went blasting through Turns 5 and 6 down and back up the hill. Come on kid... The two blasted over the double-apex in Turns 7 and 8 and Arcazon got right up alongside off the corner exit. They stayed together down the 11-12 straight and I sucked in a breath. “They’re going to go side-by-side into Turn 12!” The camera changed to the view of the inside of Turn 12 and watched as Arcazon went around the outside- squeezing Louis down the track. however, there was a snap of oversteer and he had to correct- flying up the track and almost spinning out. There was a loud yell as Arcazon’s car started sliding up the track close to the wall, but somehow, miraculously, he corrected it. However, Louis had now flown past with a massive momentum advantage. Arcazon got a stellar run down into Turn 13 and got right back up to him, though, and now there was just one turn left. “One corner left, this is it! Arcazon coming up, gaining on Louis! This is for the third place fight here! All or nothing into Turn 14!” I heard a crackle over the radio as Arcazon came out of the corner. “Gonna send it,” I heard calmly before the radio cut out. Paddy smiled, and I saw him mouth, “Do it.” Arcazon held in the slipstream down the straight- holding right behind him and gaining. However, at the Braking zone, he broke incredibly early. Louis on the other hand locked up the rears and looped the car way outside of the Turn 14 hairpin- spinning in a cloud of smoke and a scream from the engine. Arcazon passed on the inside and the team leapt up out of their chairs in joy and excitement- yelling and screaming as they watched the feed. “Yes!” Paddy yelled as he watched the feed, pumping his fist when Arcazon crossed the line. “And an unbelievable finish here at the very end, Louis Kerman spinning at the end of the race off of a costly mistake. Amazing finish!” I nodded. This kid has some skills. 10:00am, The next day. Round 4 of 10: The Owlian Grand Prix. Owlian Grand National Raceway, Owlia. I sat down onto a small but very sturdy looking deck chair and adjusted the microphone tucked onto my T-shirt. The sun had just come up a couple hours earlier, and the sky still had tiny tinges of yellow on the horizon if you squinted just right. Across the small table from me, Josh Kerman sat down wearing a nice suit and a smile. “Good to see you, Jeb,” Josh said, extending his hand out for a shake. I leaned out and extended my own arm to return the handshake. “Pleasure to be out here,” I replied, smiling back. “I’ll just start this off with the obvious question on everyone’s mind- how does it feel to be back home in Owlia?” I looked out at the empty track as a few fans made their way either through the infield or around the track- touring it before we went out there for the race. “It feels amazing, just being home and at a track that we all know really well.” “You’ve had a lot of history at this track; does that make it any more special to you?” “Oh yeah, by far. This track was where I got my first win in Formula, my first win in K1- it’s really a special track for myself and the team, just being here. It’s really an emotional race for us every year, with the pressure from not only the team but the fans themselves. They’re some of the most loyal in the world, and we just feel kind of obligated to get the win for them.” “How important is this race for the teams and yourself?” “Well, first off, it’s the first Baskay race of the season. Most of the teams are based in the Baskay region, so it’s really kind of a marker for ‘Where are we compared to everyone else?’ This year is really important for Owlian teams though, after Hurricane Harey hit last month. For us, it’s almost like a way to come back sort of. But in any other year, it’s our first race in Baskay, and really the first ‘home’ race of the season. It’s... Really special to say the least.” “With Max getting the victory in Solaria, do you think that this season will be another dogfight between you and him?” “I’m thinking it’ll be a close season, but obviously I’m hoping to clinch the championship early. This race’s looking to be fun though, that’s for sure.” “Finally, what’s your favorite corner on the track?” I thought for a couple moments. “I really don’t know to be honest. There are so many good corners that could take that prize. 1 and 2 have a wonderful braking zone that can cause problems but be so rewarding at the same time, as we’ve seen last year. 5 and 6 have those elevation changes that are so fun to drive and, I hope, fun to watch. Turn 12 is that long, sweeping bank that is just so dang fun- going flat out down on the different lines with the banking. Then of course 13, with that really tight and technical hairpin. There’s just so many good corners to choose from, I can’t really find a way to take one over the other. Everything about this course is just amazing- the turns, the straights, the fans. It’s the best track on the calendar, hands down.” “Thanks for your time, Jeb.” We shook hands as we stood up, and I smiled. “No problem. Glad to have the time to sit down.” The camera cut out and I almost sighed in relief. “Gosh, I like these things,” I said as I took the mic off. “But it’s so dang stressful!” Josh chuckled and took the mic. “Good luck in the race.” Before I could reply, however, he rushed off- likely to conduct some other pre-race interview. “Thanks,” I muttered to myself as I walked out and down to the grid. “Just might need it.” 12:00pm 7 jets screamed through the sky with a cloud of smoke trailing them. I could hear the crackling of the engines in the air as the planes departed- shooting up into the sky with a cheer from the crowd. I clapped and put my hat on as I walked back to the car. To celebrate the nearing 50th anniversary of OTech Race Team, we’d gotten a new number livery added onto the car. The numbers were sharp, sleek, and, if I do say so myself, really cool-looking. I got up to Pole Position, and got into the car- strapping on my helmet. The crowd noise muffled as the helmet seemed to hug my head- fitting perfectly as I stood up into the seat. Before I sat down, I turned to the fans and gave them a quick salute- drawing loud cheers, whistles, and yells. Tech Updates: This week, we’d gone for a whole new look aero-wise. The T-wing was now 100% gone, and the Shark fin was barren (Besides our numbers). The V-Wing (The small wing that was at the base of the T-wing) was slightly larger though in an attempt to regain the downforce lost by the T-Wing. On our nose, we’d added a small sticker that read “Owlia Strong” in bold white lettering. As I’ve already mentioned, the numbers had gotten a redo, as well as the paintjob. The wing surfaces had been turned pure white, while the rest of the car was a sleek and dark blue. Overall: New paint scheme, new number, new look. Oh, and we lowered the Rear Wing slightly to help out some aero. “Feeling good?” Andy asked me through my visor as I sat down. I nodded and sighed into the silent radio. The team rushed around, getting my stuff ready as I got myself ready mentally. Andy handed me the steering wheel and I put it onto the mount. I keyed the radio and static filled the com before cutting out as I spoke. “All’s good in here,” I said to Andy as he lowered the mic down on his headset. “Good. Now remember, 28 lap race. Make sure to keep yourself out of any Turn 1 incidents, be calm, and be smooth. We know we’ve got one of the faster cars this weekend, so try to keep out of trouble, build a gap, and we’ll go from there. Boxing on Lap 14, per usual.” I nodded and the engine fired up right on cue, making me chuckle a little bit. “Weather?” The sky was picture perfect above us with clear skies as far as I could see. “No chance of rain. 80 degrees right now, expected to stay relatively the same. Winds out of the South at around 5 knots. Looking like a perfect day to go racing.” The team set me down and I got out of the grid slot to begin the formation lap. “You said it, brother,” I replied as we got out to start the warm-up. The car bit out of the spot and accelerated quickly as I laid down the gas. As I weaved down the run to Turn 1, the tires bit into the smooth tarmac that had been so kind to us in the past. I could feel the car working perfectly just in the first little dart down the track. I jammed the throttle and the car leaped forward with a yell. I went into Turn 1 and rode the curb all the way around the turn and felt the car rumbling over the strip. The car held on the curb perfectly and I flew out with a jam from the gas pedal. I came out and went back to the left over the Turn 2 curb. The corner was a downhill slope and I felt the fronts lose a bit of grip as I dropped down. “Car feels good,” I said to Andy as I rolled through the apex. I held on the gas and started speeding away from Max, who hit the gas and started trying to chase me down through the long, sweeping Turn 3. As I warmed up the tires down the 3-4 straight, I watched Max weave behind me in almost perfect motion. At each grandstand, I could see flags waving in the air as we passed. The formation lap was fairly uneventful- just warming up the tires to get myself prepared. As I went into the grid slot, I dialed up the engine and heard the tone shift up slightly as the mapping changed. The crowd was ready, and as I waited for the remaining cars to form up, I could almost feel the tension building. I saw a green flag wave in my mirror and looked ahead as heat waves shimmered off the tracks surface. A single red light came on above on the pylon and I exhaled. Two lights. I held the clutch in and pressed down a little bit on the gas pedal, making the engines tone grow in volume. Three. I opened the engine up fully- feeling the engine roar behind me. Four. My heart rate started racing- faster and faster as I watched the pylon through the tinted visor. Max was lined up in second to my inside and I knew he would try a move into Turn 1. All five lights glowed bright red and I watched intently as the grid was filled with the roaring of engines. Good start, good start, I told myself. The lights went out and I instantly released the clutch- getting the launch perfect without any wheelspin. The car leaped off the grid and started accelerating. I raced through the gears- 3rd, 4th, 5th. I saw Max in my mirror and sliced down to the inside line to defend the run into Turn 1, and he went around to the outside. Max got right up alongside me but couldn’t make the move stick as I swept down the inside. Behind, the field was jostling for position and mixing around with each other. Max held right with me but couldn’t get up the inside as I watched him almost hit the rear of my car before I sped out of the Turn 2 apex. The car felt on rails as I rolled out of the corner and jammed on the throttle, pulling away from Max. We raced through the long Turn 3 and I brushed the right side tires up against the curb before coming back up the track. The car was perfect on the surface of the track- gripping into the tarmac so smoothly as I turned out of the corner. The aero allowed me to seemingly slip through the air like a missile and I felt in control as I darted down the straight. Max tried a look up the inside into Turn 4 but I held my line and he thought better of it as I went over the curbing. As I raced through the dip of Turn 5, the car sparked and bottomed out before evening out. Max’s car flew up the hill with me and held right in my slipstream. I held on line and blasted over the 7-8 curbing at full speed and flying right up to the exit curb. The car flowed through the S perfectly and I blasted down the 11-12 straight as the speed started to climb. As soon as I broke 200 miles an hour, the car began to tilt through Turn 12. I went down about half a car width off the flat yellow line that told us where the banking ended. The engine yelled in 8th and max gear as the car sped up even more. 210. 215. 218. I slammed hard on the brakes and the car resisted with all its might as I slowed down for the Turn 13 hairpin. I turned in with all the strength I had in my arms and just clipped the curbing before pulling out of the apex and down the backstraight. “WHEW!” I breathed aloud without hitting my radio button. Yeah, let’s never try that one again. Max lost a lot of time as he had broken earlier, and I now had a good gap back to him. Again, I started revving up through the gears. The car sounded almost happy to be going this fast, and I felt happy to oblige. Just maybe not going into Turn 13. I broke for Turn 14 and gently nudged over the inside curbing before flying out of the hairpin. “Good first lap there! Keep pushing,” Andy said as soon as I finished pulling out of the corner, making me jump. “Andy, don’t talk to me through the corners. I almost spun out there on the apex.” I went down the straight to finish the lap, and looked back in the mirror. Max was almost a second back, maybe a second and a half. I kept lapping around the course- going full speed and pushing as hard as I could. The car felt on rails as I blasted over curbs, apexes, and exits. By Lap 14 (our pit window), Max was about 10 seconds back. The tires were really starting to feel the force of me abusing the life out of them, and I was tiptoeing around to not lose any grip. “Coming to y’all this lap,” I told radioed in, braking for Turn 1. The car still felt good with the aero, but I could feel that it wasn’t as strong as it was during the first part of the stint. “Copy,” Andy replied as a car passed him- the engine echoing through my helmet. I had to let off a little bit in Turn 7, but besides that the car felt okay to drive. Max was gaining, and I had a feeling he was pushing for his in lap next time around. I started braking for Turn 13 and the left front spat a tiny puff of smoke into my visor before unlocking. I went over the small curbing and pulled up out of the turn- carrying the momentum with a tiny impromptu drift of oversteer (100% intentional- not an accident at all). I broke for Turn 14 and went straight at the apex to enter the pit lane- heading up and gassing it as I went up the track. “You’ll be somewhere around P-4 or 5 when you emerge,” Andy told me as I rolled down the pit lane with the limiter on. I went down and round the box- turning in perfectly and stopping on the mark. The team lifted up the car and I watched as they went to work. 4 tires on, 4 off. In the mirror, I saw the fuel going into the car. The light above me went yellow and I put my finger over the clutch as I waited for the 10-second window to end. Finally, the car was dropped and I peeled out of the pit stall with a squeal from the tires and a tiny trail of smoke. Finally, I got out of the pit lane and released the limiter- speeding up quickly. A bright yellow Firebird car blasted past in a blur, chased by a black Monster car. As they started braking, I made a look up the inside but held my spot as I broke for the corner. Both of the cars got really backed up in Turn 2, and I almost hit them. As we came out of the corner, I threw my hand up in frustration. “These guys have to get out of the way,” I said as I went up the inside of the Monster in Turn 3. “They’re ruining my race!” I got into the tiny gap between the Monster car and the Firebird, catching the slipstream before darting to the inside mid-straight. “God that’s annoying. They have no chance of winning- they need to move out of the way before they cause a wreck.” I got clear and steamed out of Turn 4- getting out of there as fast as I could. “Good overtaking. Go for it.” I shook my head and went out on a mission- attacking every corner like I was fighting for the win. In a way I was. I attacked the curbs as hard as I could- pushing flat-out into every single braking zone and full-throttle turns. I was now in third and used my DRS to fly down the 11-12 straight before flying through Turn 12. The engine screamed as it broke 210 mid-corner. Come on baby, little more here. I pushed and as the car evened out, I pushed harder than ever before. I broke 220 before slamming the brakes into Turn 13. As soon as I got out onto the straight, Andy radioed in the call. “Max just entered the pits, come on!” The engine started pushing at its maximum attack range- pushing the edge of its limits. I broke into Turn 14 and flew around the curbing, barely touching it as I seemed to float through the apex. I swear my foot never let off the gas pedal as soon as I stopped braking. The car sprinted out of the corner as it stretched out its legs- pushing as hard as possible. COME ON!! As I passed the start/finish line, I leaned down to reduce drag in an attempt to get some speed back up in the car. Max exited the pit lane just as I went by, and I knew he was going to be pushing like crazy. Max dove up the inside of me and I had to give him the room. He tried to hold the spot but I jammed the gas on exit- flying past him on the outside that quickly turned into the inside for Turn 2. There was a small bump from the rear as Max accidentally nudged my right rear with his left front. With the contact, he went up the track and I managed to gas it out of the corner to get away. That shouldn’t have worked, I thought in awe. But it did. Max held in my slipstream as we raced through Turn 3- fighting with each other for the lead. He had newer tires but they were cold- this was my chance to get out to a lead before he started to try and reel me in. I dove into Turn 4 and the car went through the apex perfectly. In my mirror, Max slid a little bit and went wide- allowing me to get away. The laps kept ticking down and the gap grew higher and higher, just like in Tekkia. Tiny lockup here, slide there, bad exits- all accumulating in a healthy 5 second gap on the final lap. I came out of Turn 13 and looked in my mirrors at Max, who was just now coming down the straight. The crowd roared and I went down to Lean to conserve the engine. Max didn’t try to fight for any last-minute heroics, and I looked out at the fans as I went down the backstraight about 20 miles an hour slower than usual. As I went through the stunning Turn 14, the crowd was roaring. The OTech Section. As I looked out at the crowd, I saw a #14 flag waving as the fans jumped up and waved- celebrating victory. I was 100 meters from the finish. 75. 50. The team started waving from the wall and celebrating- cheering and yelling as I got closer. 25. The flag started waving. 0. There was an explosion of noise as I crossed the painted line- thousands of fans roaring in unison. “Yes! Yes Jeb! Amazing drive! Top class.” I opened up the visor and let the air start cooling me down as I rubbed at my eyes. The crowd was roaring as Max crossed the line- well ahead of third place. I felt tears starting to sting my eyes and I wiped them away- trying to lean my head down to get at it. When I finally did, I keyed the radio button as the engine continued to rev down. “Thanks Andy, that was one heck of a race. In some ways, I think that that one was for Phil. He deserved this.” I raised my hands up in the air and the crowd started to hush down just a bit- returning the salute with me. “This one’s for you, buddy,” I sighed, looking up at the sky through the visor. Then, I remembered something. See, holding your hands up in the air is dangerous. You could have to turn sharply and hit someone or something on track- no time to react. You could think you have the room but really not and throw yourself off-track. So, I reached down. Matty had gotten it for me before this race in the hopes that I wouldn’t hold up my hands- risking a damaged car at the end of the race. I slowed down in Turn 1 way off to the outside and Max stopped behind me- our engines quietly humming. I rummaged through the cockpit and finally found it. A small flag with the number 14 on it- piercing blue with the white number emblazoned boldly on the front and back. I jammed the gas and the car leaped forward with a yelp before evening out the revs. The crowd cheered as the blue flag whipped in the wind behind me, and as I raised the flag up I saw the crowd all returning the salute. I noticed that third place (Louie) had formed up behind us, as had the rest of the grid. Together, the drivers had (I guess) decided to give Owlia a proper sendoff for Phil- all lining up to form an amazing group line of cars on the cooldown lap. That one’s for you.
  15. DarkOwl57

    Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (29. Summer)

    Hey everyone, great news! So I have decided, that for no reason whatsoever, I'm going to make a LATT discord channel! You can post critiques of the chapters, get up-to-date news on the future of the story, and, best of all, see what the heck I'm talking about as I upload pictures! You'll also be able to see what's going on with the discussion process in real time, and, of course, learn more about LATT than ever before possible. Now why am I doing this? Well, because I've 1) got nothing better to do, and 2) I just decided that it could be a cool idea. LATT Part 1 is going to be going on until 2019- that's a fact (There's no way I'm blasting 30 years in 6 months). And that's not all! Part 2 (The air racing part that everyone was looking forward to I think) is going to be just as long! Prepare for the million-word novel here ladies and lads. The Discord invite ===> https://discord.gg/DDPekA2 <=== This thing