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Life At The Top (A KSP Racing Novel) (My Personal Comeback + 39. The Rookie)


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In every world, there are legends. This is the story of how 2 ordinary Kerbals went from zero. To Hero.

This is…

Life At The Top

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By: Forum User DarkOwl57

 

Contents

I. Who I Am

1. In The Making

2. Making a Name

3. Demotion

4. Up In Flames

5. From the Ashes

6. Coming Back

7. The Return

8. Wild Weather and Wild(er) Teams

9. Going Up

9.5. Downfall

10. Top of the World

11. Famous

12. Lights, Camera, Action!

13. Operation Domination

14. The Final Battle

15. Winter

15.5. Reunion

16. Season Two

17. What We've All Been Waiting For...

18. Chaos

19. Revelation and Return

20. Disaster

21. Finishing Strong

22. Saying Goodbye

23. Recovery

23.5 RiverBowl 2037

24. 2037

25. Tekkia

26. The Storm

27. Solaria

28. Coming home

29. Summer

30. Aquaria

31. The Aquarian Grand Prix

32. Redemption

33. The Comeback

34. Basil

35. The Champion

36. What's Next?

37. All-Star

38. Back in Action

[1-year break. LATT 1.5??]

Chapter 39. The Rookie

 

So yeah, this is my first story that I anticipate being longer than 30 chapters! (Go expectations, eh?) I hope that this story has a lot of good response and an even better storyline. In writing, I hope that I'm going to easily convey my new writing style for this story. I'm planning for this story to be a lot more laid-back, relaxed, snarky, and (hopefully) funny, compared to the war series's seriousness (Quick little note to the moderators- I'm not going to try to break any rules, but if I do then I'll try to keep my fingers in check for the next chapter). The story's going to be first person (Another first for me), which will definitely be a big challenge for me. Now note: This is going to be written with The Final Stand. No, this canon won't affect any of my war series canon, though some characters will be similar or the exact same. (I'm planning on adding Paddy, and maybe some characters from @Just Jim if I get the all-clear.) Also, I'm... changing some plans. Instead of this being all Thomply, I'm going to add some backstory. Now, Jebediah Kerman is in this thing. Yes, Jeb. That slightly insane, always happy, awesome kerbal. He's where our story is going to start. Part 1 if you will. Don't worry, Thomply, our air racing epic, will be Part 2. This is by far my biggest challenge, I think. First Person, characters with... Character (Wordsmith is obviously not in the office at the moment), and what I hope will be my longest-lasting series yet, and most enjoyable to read and write. 

So without further ado, I hope you enjoy this. Buckle up, keep your seats in the upright position, and make sure your tray tables are in the upright position, and stay seated. It'll be a bumpy ride. 

Edited by DarkOwl57
Chapter 39 time bois.
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The Intro Chapter. This is going to be my most ambitious project yet, and I can't wait to see how this turns out. For the first part, we'll be following K1 Racing Legend Jebediah Kerman. Sound cool? Let's do this thing!

 

I: Who I Am


    So. You’re here. Ah well, I guess I should expect that, after all. I mean with me on the cover, how could you resist this dashing, dapper young lad? I mean it would be like choos- Wait… Who the heck put the kid on the cover?! Well I’ll make sure to talk to my publisher and give them a stern talking-to after I write this. Stupid morons.. Anyways.
    This is my story. The story of how I became the greatest driver in K1 history. The story about my struggles, and my triumphs. The story of how I became a house-hold name. The story about how I- wait. I’m sorry; I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, aren’t I? My apologies; I tend to do that occasionally. Life at the Top tends to throw your priorities around. So. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
    My name is Jebediah H. Kerman. Don’t ask what the H stands for. You might have heard of me. You know.. being one of the greatest? I mean I just told you like 5 lines up. Let’s just say, I’m kinda a superstar. Not to seem full of myself; far from it! It’s just that I got so tired of arguing with everyone who approached me on the street, I just decided to accept what they were saying. So. My story. Let’s see… I’m going to take you way back. Way, way, way back. Back to where it all began… When I was 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 1: In the Making

11:05am, Bahmuto City Under 13 Karting Championship Finale

    You know that feeling you get when you’re remembering how good life used to be? Back when you could run a 5-second 40 meter? Back in the day when you could jump up higher than 2 feet without breaking a bone? Back when you were a little kid? What’s the word… Nostalgia. That’s what I’m feeling right now.
    Anyways, here I was, in Bahmuto City. The illustrious Bahmuto KPark. 15 turns, max speed in all-electric karts. Now let’s backtrack a bit. I got into racing when I was like… 5. The legends of Damon Kerman, Jason Kerman, and the almighty Enzo Kerman. Then, I eased myself into competitive stuff. And now, here I was at Bahmuto KPark about to compete for my first ever karting championship. Let me clarify for a second.
    The “Bahmuto City Under 13 Karting Championship” was a city-wide racing league. And it wasn’t all in Bahmuto actually. In fact, one race went all the way to Port Vargo of all places! But anyways, that didn’t change my thoughts on it. So here I was, preparing to race in the high-powered, super fast (By my standards) kart. Top speed of a blazing 22 meters a second, the karts were beasts to drive. And now it was time to race.
    “Ready?” My friend Max asked as we got ready. “As I’ll ever be.” I grabbed my helmet and Max grabbed his. Then, we did what we’d done for the entire season, and knocked our helmets together. Now looking back on it, I realize how stupid we must have looked and I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that now, but that was what the pros did back then, so there’s no way I’m gonna judge. Then, the announcement came up over the speaker system. “All drivers in the under 13 class, please report to the start line. All drivers, to the start line please.” This is it! Max and I both sprinted towards the grid, and now was the time.
    As I got in my kart, I looked up at the sky. It was a dreadfully cold and cloudy day, and just above Bahmuto’s High School Football field, I saw the windmill blades ascending up and spearing into the low hanging clouds, before retreating back to where we could see them. A light mist was falling down, and I could feel little droplets falling onto my arms.
    I strapped myself in, and looked up at the portable bleachers that had been erected all over the track. Over the course of the season, we had gathered the attention of a few dedicated fans, but mostly there were parents in the stands. Also, some had gathered because they had nothing else better to do on a Saturday morning. And some had gathered for a much more important reason; at least for me. Up in the top step of the stands were 4 kerbals in nice, fancy tailored suits; too good to be just a normal parent or spectator. They held clipboards and stopwatches, and stared down at us like hawks waiting for a tasty meal. Yes, I knew who they were, though I hadn’t heard anyone talk about them, nor heard their voices. They were the Scouts. And at the end of the day, a lucky few of us would go home with a ride in a K1 program.

    5 laps into the 28-lapper and I had established domination by a landslide, already being out front by a full straightaway. Max was trailing (I think; I mean I couldn’t see him), with my arch nemesis, Ricklen Kerman in hot pursuit. A quick word on Ricklen. He’s snotty, arrogant, cares nothing for anyone but himself, a dirty racer, and cocky. Max and I both hated him with a passion, but fortunately he had taken himself out of contention for the title last week by binning the kart into a wall on the warmup lap. Now, it was down to me and Max.
    I was cruising along, minding my own business, when I hit the 1/4th mark. Each lap was incredibly short; only about 30 or 45 seconds, and I grinned beneath my helmet. Max and I made a pact with each other at the start of the season that at the 1/4th mark, we’d punch it and start blazing. I took myself out of my normal driving mode, and began setting hot lap after hot lap; getting more and more confident at my abilities. Before long, I had caught up to the slower bunch; the back-markers.
    I flew clean around the outside of one of them, and then filed into line behind the rest of the pack. At the end of the lap, however, disaster struck. One of the markers about 3 or 4 in front of me gently kissed the grass with the left side wheel. He yanked the wheel hard, and sure enough, he spun right in front of me. Just my luck. The spinning cart was slammed in the left rear by the kart in front of me, and I dove to the right hand side in an attempt to avoid the crash. A kart spun across the road in front of me, and I slammed the brakes in a desperate attempt to stop the kart. The other kart in front of me went off into the grass, and I gunned it; shooting ahead and leaving the wreck behind me. As I looked to the left, I realized that not only had the yellow flag come out, but the Scouts were furiously writing notes down on their clipboard and talking among themselves quicker than a hive of bees.
    The red flag was called, and 5 minutes later I was describing my experience to Max over a styrofoam cup of lemonade. Just as I got to the good part, Ricklen came over. “Hey there. Fancy seeing you out here.” Ricklen crossed his arms and smiled a sickly, evil looking grin. “Thought you’d be off partying.” As always, never changing.
    “And I’d thought you’d have been in that wreck back there,” I retorted. “Your survival and dodging skills are worse than a tree I'm the middle of a wood farm.” Max covered his mouth to keep from laughing, but his smile was still visible. “Apply cold water to burned area,” He chuckled, making Ricklen’s face redden. “You’ll see,” He muttered as he went back to his kart. “You’ll see.”

5 years later…


    “Hurry up, you’re gonna be late!” Mom shouted at me from the front door. I chucked on my cap, and ran down the stairs 2 at a time with the occasional 3. “You ready?” Granddad asked as we buckled in. “As I’ll ever be.” It was another drizzly and cold day, with light mist falling and the clouds blotting out the sun. We were in River City, Owlia for the K1 trials. It was a huge gamble, but I hoped that somehow it would all work out okay. “Got your lucky hat?” Mom asked. “Yup. And my lucky watch.. Hopefully it’ll work…” I absentmindedly rubbed the face, and remembered.. Dad had given it to me as a present.. It was the last time I had seen him.
    We rolled up to the building, and I felt my breath catch a bit. The elaborate glass and marble building was a large, modern structure. A huge K1 logo was plastered on the door, the window, and just about every surface that could identify them. A loud noise blasted past, and I saw the 2035 Test Cars shooting past, their figures a blur as they went down the straight. We walked in, and I saw the waiting room. It was as extravagant as it had looked on the website. Fancy, luxurious couches, a massive hall, and overall glorious features. “Wow..” We walked towards the desk, where a receptionist was hurriedly typing away.
    “Um.. hi, my name’s Jebediah Kerman; I’m here for the Young Drivers Test?” The receptionist looked up and smiled at me. “Down that hall, third door on the right. Ask for Andy.” She handed me a pass. “Good luck.” I walked to the door, and went in. The room was an office, and a young-looking kerbal was checking his computer for notes and chatting away on his phone.
    “Well I don’t care if he wants to or not, what did he say about the money? Mmhmm. Uh huh. Fine. Just.. Offer him a bonus. But if he says no, make sure to call Alexis. Oh she’s on the way? How long? Really? Great; cancel the contract, he doesn’t seem interested anyways. Gracie. Uh huh. Yeah, let him represent someone else; Jeb doesn’t need him. Yeah. Thanks. Caio.” He clicked off the phone and looked me straight in the eye. Then, he stood up, and walked over to me. “Andy Kerman. Chief Engineer. How are you?” He escorted me to a chair. Without waiting for a reply, he soldiered on. “My job- if everything works out that is- is going to be to get you the car and setup you need to win races. Also, I’m kind of like the crew’s representative to you, the driver. Same goes for driver-to-team. If you’re uncomfortable, we’re uncomfortable.” I smiled.
    “Can’t wait,” I said as I rubbed my hands together. “So who’s Alexis?” Right then, the door opened, and I turned. There was an incredible figure standing in the doorway, wearing a dark grey dress. Her hair was chestnut brown, and tiny auburn highlights streaked through. She looked powerful, but also delicate. I got the feeling that if I stood up, she’d be about 3 or 4 inches shorter than me. From what I guessed, she couldn’t have been more than 20; maybe 19 at most. Her face was beautiful; smooth skin with a smile that seemed to light up the room. She began walking towards us.
    “Alexis Kerman,” She said, walking over to Andy. “Superstar Talent.” Andy stood up and shook her hand. “Pleasure to meet you, madame,” Andy replied with an equally huge smile. She turned to me and I stood up. Just as I thought, about 3 inches taller. Probably 3 and a half. “So. You’re my new client, eh?” She seemed to be sizing me up. “Uh.. Yes ma’am. Jebediah Kerman. And you are…?” She pulled out a tiny business card. “Your new Agent. If what everyone’s saying about you is true, you’re going to be really hot on the market. And that’s where I come in. World Championship-caliber drivers don’t handle their own affairs by themselves. The Agent is the one who handles all the… ‘Behind-the-scenes’ bits. Contract offers, news, sponsors; all that’s going to come through me. Of course, a win or two wouldn’t make my job any more difficult, after all. I handle you off-track, and you handle the on-track. Sound good?” She didn’t appear breathless in the slightest, while if I had tried that, I would be passed out on the floor wheezing for air. Very good first impressions. “Sounds great,” I grinned in reply. “So. When do we start?”


—————

    “Comm check. Jeb, you got a copy?” I jumped a bit in my seat. “Uh.. I’ve got a copy. Could you maybe turn down the volume? Or take the mic out of your throat?” Andy chuckled and asked “Better?” I nodded and gave the thumbs up. “Good. So we’ve got to start up the engine. First test the transmission to make sure everything’s running smoothly.” I flipped the car up into first gear, and then back down. “Alright, everything’s ready. You can go ahead and pull out.” This was it.
    The jack lowered the car down, and I saw the wheels go up a bit as the suspension settled, and Chris, the lead mechanic, went out to check if the pits were clear. When he gave the go command, I exhaled. Then, I lightly eased onto the throttle, pushed in the clutch, and… The car stopped. I jammed the throttle, and the car lurched forward a bit, before shuddering to a halt. Chris shook his head, and Andy committed the almightiest of face palms I ever have seen (And probably ever will see). The guys pushed the car back, and I couldn’t help but laughing underneath the helmet.
    “Well that went about as well as it could have,” Alexis sighed as the team checked the car over to make sure I hadn’t broken anything on my escapade. “You’ve got to push the clutch in harder on the start. You accidentally activated AntiStall, and the car’s computer didn’t know you wanted to go. Okay?” Andy lectured me as I was about to get in the car. “Uh… Where’s the clutch?” I asked pretty stupidly. He looked at me like I had just come from space. “You drive an automatic?” He stressed automatic like you would say “You eat shoes for breakfast?!” Which made me feel even more embarrassed. Imagine my horror when I confided in him “I don’t even drive.” Now to this day, I’m not even sure who was more embarrassed; me for admitting that or him for choosing to be my engineer.
    15 minutes, 3 red faces, and 1 car tour later, I had found out where the stupid clutch was (Behind the steering wheel) and was heading out on track. “Alright, remember the clutch this time. Pinch it as hard as you can; act like it’s a really resilient clip that’s not wanting to open up.” Andy’s analogies were among the greatest I’ve ever heard in my many years of racing. I pushed in the clutch, and eased onto the gas. The engine began to howl; first low, then high, until finally it sounded like a horrible, anguished and angry hive of bees being chased by a vacuum was behind me. I released the clutch, and the car shot forward. I turned into the pit lane, and just missed the pit wall. Then, I hit the Pit Limiter button, and went off down the lane.
    As soon as I exited the pit lane, the car slammed me against my seat as it yowled and whooped down the track, my foot still planted on the gas. I felt the wind knocked out of me as I went forward, speed climbing. 40 meters per second. 50. 60. 70. 80. 90. Then, I saw the brake boards coming up, and I slammed the brakes; sending up a massive cloud of smoke from the front tires as I went into the hairpin. I turned in neatly, just clipping the apex curbing. I slid onto the throttle, and the EPB helped me out a ton, allowing me to just blast out of the corner. The lap was really choppy as I got to grips with the… grip. I know this isn’t really a problem most drivers face, but I was having trouble with the amounts of grip available from the car; it was insane!
    Finally, after I had pulled into the pit lane, Andy crossed over the pit lane to talk to me. “That was really good Jeb,” He said, giving me a smile. “As of now, you’re top in the session. You’ve got some places to improve, but with time, I thi-“ A car blasted past at full speed, drowning out everything and anything Andy was saying. I heard loud clapping in the garage next to me, and someone cheered. I looked over at the telemetry screen, and saw a new name on top of mine.

“1. Max Kerman”

    I smirked. Let the games begin.

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10 minutes ago, Mukita12 said:

so Will there Sebastian V Kerman or Lewis H Kerman

For this, I'm thinking of Jeb as a mix of 2009-2013 Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo. A great driver, and a pretty cool guy. And of course there'll be challenges along the way; don't worry :wink:.

Jeb: Vettel/Ricciardo

Max: Ricciardo and maybe a hint of Verstappen

Ricklen: Error 404: Not Found

I'm basing a lot off of a neat little thing on YouTube; FIFA videos. Now I know it doesn't make sense, but I'm watching the cutscene "movies" from the past 2 games, and on my gosh I've got some material! 

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17 hours ago, DarkOwl57 said:

For this, I'm thinking of Jeb as a mix of 2009-2013 Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo. A great driver, and a pretty cool guy. And of course there'll be challenges along the way; don't worry :wink:.

Jeb: Vettel/Ricciardo

Max: Ricciardo and maybe a hint of Verstappen

Ricklen: Error 404: Not Found

I'm basing a lot off of a neat little thing on YouTube; FIFA videos. Now I know it doesn't make sense, but I'm watching the cutscene "movies" from the past 2 games, and on my gosh I've got some material! 

And Hamilton

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So this is Chapter 2, the least wordiest (Is that a word?) chapter I've written as of yet. I kind of just decided to go straight to the point with this one; no need to draw it out. Anyways, enjoy!

 

Chapter 2: Making a Name


Around 3 days later..


    I balanced the phone in my hand and sat on my bed. My foot rapid-fire tapped on the floor as I waited nervously for the call. The Young Drivers Test had ended 2 days ago. It was a clear fight between Me and Max, both of us dueling over both of the two days. I was a lot faster in the wet sessions (The series had soaked the track with sprinklers), and it felt good to hear praise from numerous teams. So far, MonsterGP, LakeFront Racing, TT Motorsports, and OTech Race Team had said they were “interested” in my future. Alexis was busy hashing out the contracts and deals, and hopefully she would call soon. Mom walked in and sat down next to me.
    “It’s not going to ring if you keep staring at it,” She said. I sighed and set it down next to me. “They’re not calling. They’re not going to call.” I slammed my flat down on the floor, and fell back into the bed. “You know how the legendary Hannah Kerman started his racing career?” Mom asked. I scoffed and laid back as she started talking about her role model. “She started out in the ISA as an undrafted rookie out of River City. No-one thought she could do anything. She was short, underrated, and not from a wealthy family. But she kept on fighting. And you know what happened?” She turned to me to finish the story. “5 titles, National Squad Selection, 257 Goals, 400 assists, and 7 International Competition Titles.” Mom smiled. “Exactly. Just give it some time! They’ll need you.” As soon as she finished saying that, the phone began vibrating in my hand. “See? Watched pot.” I answered the call.
    “Jeb. Hi.” Alexis’s voice sounded cheerful. “Hi Alexis, what’s up?” I tried to play this cool. “Great. I just got off the phone with some teams. 3 teams in fact.” I gasped out loud. “Wh- Are you serious?!” Alexis laughed. “OTech, MonsterGP, and LakeFront are all bidding for you to come race for them this season. I told each of them that you’ll make your decision as soon as possible.
    “Now, we’ll go over the teams. First, we’ve got LakeFront. They’re fairly new, inexperienced, and they’ve got a long fight ahead of them. They’ll have a lot of struggles, being the back marker team for most-if not all- of the next few seasons. However, there isn’t going to be much of a fight for a driving spot.
    “Next, there’s MonsterGP. Modern, fast, and they’ve got an OTech Chassis. They’ve got tons of funding, and don’t tell everyone, but I think you’d look amazing in that black and green firesuit. However, there might be a bit of competition for the driving spot, but if you can get there it’ll be amazing.
    “Finally, we’ve got the best team in K1; OTech Race Team. This year, they’re going with a high-downforce setup, and it looks like it will be another year of domination for the team. The only problem? It’ll be like fighting through honey for the spot; Hard, but not impossible.
    “So? What’ll it be? 3 teams, 3 great chances.” I felt the seconds ticking mentally. 3 choices… I had wanted to drive for OTech since I was like 5. Monster though.. Promising deal.. And with LakeFront.. No competition, and I could build the car around me.. I turned to mom.
    “Alexis?” Mom smiled. “OTech. Take the OTech deal.” Mom clapped and Alexis replied “Nice! I’ll get on the phone with Matty right away. I’ll let you know more soon!” The phone clicked off, and I jumped up, punching the air in celebration. “YES! YES, YES, YEEEEEEEEESSS!!!!!” I’d done it. Maybe now, I could be a champion.

———

    5 days later, I was strapped into the loving harness of the drivers seat in the ORT-33 car that led Phil Kerman to his 5th Championship. The engine sounded moody. Fast, but like it was peeved at being forced to be stuck at a dead halt. Outside the garage, the sky was equally moody, with white and dark grey hues rolling through the sky. It had been raining just 45 minutes ago, but now the track and the skies were relatively dry, so I could get underway for my “audition” for the team. 
    “Comm check. Jeb, you got me?” Andy’s voice filtered in through the radio. “I got you loud and clear, Andy! Perfect weather for a test, eh?” I looked in the mirror and saw the ginormous Rear Wing plate behind me. “Agreed. Let’s get out there and show the world what we can do, eh?”
    The car lowered down onto the ground and then I pressed in the clutch. I eased onto the gas and the car went forward much smoother than it had with the 77I/K1-30 Stock Chassis. Probably the Launch Assist, which lowered wheelspin and increased launching grip. “Alright, so just run a couple banker laps; test your pace.” I have always had a small problem. I don’t do banker laps. Every lap I do is all-out, all the time. I immediately set off on my run, which was going max speed. When I went through Turn 5, the fast, long corner, I felt so much more confident running the inside groove at max speed, my car’s left wheels just kissing the apron. “Oh boy this thing has grip!” I jammed the gas and threw the car up into Rich, activating the third engine and giving me around 20 extra kilo-newtons of power to work with.
    “Feeling good,” I said as I zoomed past the finish line to start the lap timer. Entering the Turn 1 and 2 complex for the first time felt amazing; the car responding to the simplest twitch of the steering wheel with unfailing confidence and stability. Then I lunged up into Turn 3, and as I was getting ready to go into Turn 4, another blue and white car came out of the pit lane right in front of me. “You can overtake Ricklen; go for the overtake if you can.” Ricklen?! I thought to myself. How did he get a drive for OTech?!
    I punched the DRS button and got into his slipstream in an attempt to overtake. However, by the time I had hit 75 meters per second (About 175 miles an hour), I felt the rear beginning to lift up from the lack of downforce and the application of actual lift. I closed the flap and held back off Ricklen, keeping in his slipstream. After we got towards the end of the backstraight, I was right on Ricklen’s rear. I lunged the car up the inside and felt the aero grip coming back to me as I made the move stick.
    “Great job Jeb. Now full attack. Remember, you can use DRS everywhere; just don’t take stupid risks, okay?” After that notice, I was a speed demon, blasting into and out of every braking zone at max speed. However, I was locking up almost everywhere. Really sloppy. Finally, after so much trying, I set the absolute perfect lap. And then I went faster. And faster. Eventually, I had set 5 purple laps in a row with speed to spare. But then.. Then I made an absolute idiot of myself. I got too greedy; simple as that.
    When I went through Turns 1 and 2, I kept my foot planted. DRS was still open, and I felt the rears losing grip. However, I kept in it, and straightened the wheel out just in time. “That was close,” I breathed to myself as I went through the 90 degree turn of 3. Then it was off to 4, another 90 degree turn, and then into the super long 180 of Turn 5. It was like a super speedway that turn. 33 degrees of banking, max throttle, and top speeds of up to 190 miles per hour through the corner alone; the straight topped out at over 205! After my turn 1 and 2 escapade, I decided to do something stupid, that no K1 driver has ever accomplished; much less done it well. I opened the DRS at 160 miles per hour, on the fastest turn in K1.
    Quick physics lesson. DRS stands for “Drag Reduction System”. When activated properly, slots on the rear wing open up to remove airflow and drag on the car to increase top speed. Now see, that drag creates Grip. How? Well, the air is normally stationary. But with a K1 car, we’re moving so fast that we’re literally cutting through the air as we go. And when the still air contacts the wing parts, it creates lift. Well in K1, flaps are angled down to make the air shove us into the ground, and this action (or force) is called “Downforce”. But back to DRS. So when we activate DRS, those flaps that make the air push us down open up and reduce the airflow, sometimes creating lift, or negative downforce. So when we open DRS, Downforce is reduced, and speed is increased. But when downforce is gone, rear grip is gone, making the rear end of the car much less stable. Basically, Drag = Grip, Drag = Slow. DRS makes it so Drag is lowered, and speed gets higher. Got it? Good. Now back to the session.
    I opened up DRS mid-turn and immediately felt the rear losing grip. I squeezed the wheel tightly and straightened the wheel out as good as I can, sliding up the track. However, I was running out of track- fast. When I was just inches from the wall- throwing up old dust from who knows when- I twisted the wheel to cut back down. Now I'm not sure what exactly happened there. My guess would be that the dirt and DRS combined just was a horrible mix. The rear picked up, and I heard loud squealing from behind me as I lost everything. I let go of the steering wheel as the car took control. The car slammed down onto the apron, whipping the steering wheel around and sending up sparks as I hit. White smoke enveloped the entire cockpit as I spun downwards; the noise from the tires becoming almost too much. The apron was stupidly bumpy; almost like going over dirt. Then, I hit the grass. I slammed into the wet grass at max speed, and dirt, mud, and green grass assaulted my visor. Loud rumbling shook the entire car as I slid over the grass, and finally it stopped. The engine had stalled out, and the car appeared to be jammed in the grass. White steam was hissing out of the rear side ports, and the steering wheel was saying I had temperature warnings from the radiator and MEU. If there’s one thing all racing drivers dread, it’s having to admit you screwed up to the team over the radio.
    “Ah, yeah, I messed up. Tried to take too much out of the car. I.. I can’t get out. Yeah. No dice.” I punched the wheel and shut down the car, removing the steering wheel. And putting it on the top of the nose base, just above the top of the steering wheel. “Alright. There’s a car coming to pick you up. Any damage?” Andy was incredibly down-to-kerbin about the whole situation. “I think I screwed up the underbody; hit the apron pretty good, but I kept it out of the wall.” I sat back and waited to get a ride back to the pit lane. That was the worst moment of my career, and it was only 1 week old.

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On 11/20/2017 at 3:26 PM, DarkOwl57 said:

For this, I'm thinking of Jeb as a mix of 2009-2013 Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo. A great driver, and a pretty cool guy. And of course there'll be challenges along the way; don't worry :wink:.

Jeb: Vettel/Ricciardo

Max: Ricciardo and maybe a hint of Verstappen

Ricklen: Error 404: Not Found

I'm basing a lot off of a neat little thing on YouTube; FIFA videos. Now I know it doesn't make sense, but I'm watching the cutscene "movies" from the past 2 games, and on my gosh I've got some material! 

no Ricklen just wants left alone

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Sorry about the no uploads in a while; got busy. Y'all ready for 3? Let's do this thing!

 

Chapter 3: Demotion

2 Days later. OTech Race Team Headquarters; River City, Owlia


    I walked into the main building and waved to Alli, the receptionist. “Morning Alli,” I said. “To Matty, right?” She nodded, still typing away like a machine gun. “Yup. Up to the 3rd floor on the elevator and then 2 doors down.” I swear her eyes never left the screen. “Could you give me a hint on how I did?” I asked. I didn’t have to. Just then, Ricklen came sprinting down the hallway, with Claire, his engineer, following close behind. Then, he slid onto the white marble with his knees, looking like a pro soccer player just scored the game winning goal. His arms extended, and he shouted “WOO HOOO!!!!!” At the top of his lungs, his voice echoing off the walls of the building. Claire gave him a double high-five, and they celebrated in the lobby. That gave me all the info I needed. Feeling sick at my stomach, I trudged towards the elevator. Every inch I climbed, I felt like I was heading to my execution. I got to the door and heard angry shouting from behind it. Slowly, I opened. Alexis was absolutely berating Matty, Andy was trying to keep her from punching Matty in the face (While still shouting at him of course), and Matty was trying to explain himself. Then, Alexis saw me.
    “Jeb. Jeb, please. Trust me, I tried. We tried.” I sat down next to them and acted like I didn’t hear anything. “What’s up Matty?” I asked. Matty sighed in relief that I wasn’t going to light up on him. “Okay, so we’ve got a problem. We’ve got only 1 spot on the team available. And even though you’ve got the pace… We’ve decided to sign on Ricklen as the number 2 driver.” After the showcase from Ricklen, I didn’t expect any different. But still.. Formula? I’d expected reserve and test driver at the least. “Why?” I asked. “He set the fastest time of the test!” Andy exclaimed. “But he wasn’t consistently fast, which is the problem,” Matty explained. I sighed. “So.. what am I supposed to do now?”
    “We’ve got a seat open for you in the Formula K team. If you take it, you’ll be driving the #13 car. We’ve got a pretty good car for Formula, but you’ll have some competition. If we think you’re ready to come up, we’ll take you back in. Basically, it’s going to be like going out on loan.” I nodded. “Jeb, remember that Monster and LakeFront still have their offers on the table,” Alexis cautioned. “You can get out if you want.” I considered my options. One one hand, I had the team that I’d wanted to stay with my whole life.
    “Fine. Formula it is then.” Matty seemed happy that there wouldn’t be any bloodshed (yet), and handed me the contract. Quick as a flash, Alexis snapped it up. She reviewed it, and after 10 minutes, she nodded. “Are you sure you don’t want to take the fallback option?” She asked. I shook my head. “Who knows. Maybe I’ll be able to turn some heads in Formula. And anyways, it’s better than nothing.” I grabbed a pen and signed a very sharp and neat signature. My fate was sealed. Another kerbal who was keeping silent in the background walked up.
    “Hi. Paddy Kerman. Head boss for OTech GP. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay with us; it’s really nice. World class facilities, a great crew, and not to mention a lot of fun. I’m sure you’ll love it. I’ll expect you at 9:00 tomorrow morning to get a debrief on everything.” He shook my hand, and sat down in a chair. We continued talking some more, before I finally stood up after what had seemed like forever. “Thank you Matty. We’ll be getting on our way, I guess.” We (Alexis, Andy, and I) all got up and walked out of the office. “Jeb?” Matty said. I turned and looked him in the eye. “I’m sorry.”
    “Yeah…. So am I.” I let the door slam on the way out.

    I threw my phone as I got out of the elevator. It skittered along the marble floor, and when I reached it, I picked it up. Somehow, it had no cracks. Ricklen walked up, looking smug. “Better kerb won?” He extended his hand. Alexis hovered behind me, and Andy got right up next to my ear. “Don’t do something stupid you’re going to regret,” He warned in a whisper. I extended my hand and shook. “Good luck,” I replied to him, before going out. I went out to the bench, and sat down. Alexis and Andy came over and sat next to me.
    “It was a bluff,” Alexis admitted. “I had hoped that if I mentioned other teams, he might get worried and let you back…” I shook my head. “It’s fine. I did it to myself. I just wanted it too much.” I felt a tear squeeze out of my eye. “This just sucks!” I leaped up and kicked the bench, making my foot bounce back. For the first time in my life, I felt out of control.
    This was going to be a struggle.

1 week later.. OTech GP Formula Team Headquarters, River City, Owlia


    “Already feeling like this thing is a handful,” I said as I stormed through Turn 5. The Formula test track was the exact same as the K1 test track- just smaller. I had so far had to wrench the wheel around 3 times to keep the thing from spiraling into a wall. The car was a lot slower (Only 40kN instead of 60), and the rear had so little grip it was almost like I didn’t have a wing at all back there.
    “Go easy for a couple laps!” Andy cautioned over the radio. “Just test your abilities before going full tilt the whole time.” I responded by “drifting” (i.e. Doing a slide that dirt drivers would dream of) through the high speed left hander of Turn 12. The car was definitely a loose little thing, but I was somehow holding on. To tell you the truth, it was pretty darn fun.
    “YEEHAW!!!” I shouted as I half-drifted through 1 and 2. The car felt amazing. Fast. Smooth. Powerful. It was just how I like cars; just you and the track with the only thing keeping you from spinning was the seat of your pants and some fast reflexes. I couldn’t wait to get out on the KSC circuit and test it through the R&D section.
    Back in the Garage, Alexis turned to Andy. “He seems to be enjoying it out there,” she said, watching my in-car feed. “Yeah,” Andy nodded. “He sure does.”

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7 hours ago, DarkOwl57 said:

I couldn’t wait to get out on the KSC circuit and test it through the R&D section.

That seems so Kerbal, to let somebody relatively young, in their first time in an unfamiliar car, drive through their scientific wing, with several of those yellow tankers already driving about, especially after the kerbal had literally crashed a week ago. :D

Edit: will characters like Val feature in this story?

Edited by MiffedStarfish
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Chapter 4 inbound! Life's never easy, and especially not Jeb's life! So.. yeah. Enjoy Chapter 4. (Note: I just finished Chapter 6, and now I'm averaging 2028 WPC (Words per Chapter). That's insane!!!

 

(Editors note: Y'all better be happy with me; the forums don't transfer certain formatting like... say... centering, text size, extra little bits, italicizing/bolding/underlining, and more. So I've literally been here for like 5 minutes just making sure this is all okay. ugh.)

 

Chapter 4: Down in Flames

2 Months Later. Round 1 of 8; The KSC.


    “Remember. Drive smooth, drive smart, and drive within your abilities. Don’t do something stupid Lap 1 and get taken out. Remember, this is your first race; no need to go out and go for every gap.” I nodded as Andy continued giving me advice. The first race of the season was always stressful for any driver; much less the first race of a career. The first corner in the KSC was a massive cluster, and it tightened up so much into 2 that first-corner contact between someone was a given. “Finishing goals?” I asked. “Top 8. Again, don’t be crazy off the line. Get a good start, get into a rhythm, get some momentum, and don’t be stupid. Sound like a plan?” I nodded. “Then let’s get to it.” I stood up and walked out of the hospitality suite.
    The sun was high in the sky, washing down on everything with a beautiful yellow-white glow. The crew was on either side of the walkway don to the paddock area, clapping for us and giving me high-fives as I passed. I had my firesuit on, and it felt muggy as summer in the desert with all that insulation. Before I went to the paddock, though, a reporter stopped me and Andy dead in our tracks.


…KRN Report…

    “So, Jeb, first career race for you. Are you excited?”


    “Uh.. yeah, I am. I mean it’s not the car I’d hoped to be driving in today, but it’s a start. These past 2 months have been grueling- with testing and practicing, it’s been really hard to find free time. But I think that practice is going to help us. We know this car inside and out, and it’s a great car to drive in. It’s really a drivers car, this; it’s so fast and so incredibly fun to drive. I just hope that I can give the team the performance they deserve.”


    “The KSC is known for being hard to overtake on and even harder to survive. Do these stats make you nervous at all?”

    “Not really. We’ve got a strategy, and if I can keep it out of the barriers, the plan should come out good for us.”

    “Are you going to go for the win?”

    “If I see the opportunity to go for it, I will. But I’m not going to take any unnecessary risks.”

    “Thank you for your time, and good luck to you in the race.”

    “No problem; hope it’s fun to watch.”

…This has been: KRN Report…

    “Feeling good?” Alexis asked as I got my gear strapped up on the grid. “Nervous, but ready. I feel like this is going to be a good race.” I put on my helmet and got in the car. “Comm check; Jeb, you good?” I keyed the mic and did the standard test. “All systems looking good. Good luck.” The engine’s fired up and I could feel the deep pounding through my helmet. As we set out on the formation lap, I felt my heart rate jack up a couple notches. Heading into the Tempesta Chicane, I saw the infamous Wall of Champions. Then, behind the Wall sat thousands of spectators. Even on a good day, live viewership topped 100,000, but today you could feel the crowd before you saw it. They cheered as we passed and their voices bounced off the wall of the VAB. Instead of going through the most famous corner in K1- Velocidad- we passed by it on the cut-off road. I exhaled as I got ready. 20 laps. My first race. We went into Turn 19, and I pulled into the grid spot of 10th position. I waited for the other cars to roll in. Then, a green flag waved at the back of the grid. This is it!!!
    A single red light came on above us, and the engines revved up. I chucked the car up into rich and pushed in the clutch.
    Two lights on now, and I jammed the gas.
    Three. The Engines crescendoed up to their peak, and they echoed off the walls.
    Four. I readied my finger over EPB.
    Five. This was it! I prepared, and looked in my mirror.
    The lights went out, and the front-straight crowd cheered as we got underway. I got a monster launch over the car in front of me, and I went up the middle of 2 cars. I managed to slip right between them, and into Turn 1 everything was looking good. I eased into the corner, and prepared for my corner exit. As I hit the gas however, disaster. 
    I got into the middle of the corner, and as soon as I straightened up, I heard and felt a huge BOOM! from behind me, and the car jumped up into the air sideways. When the car sat back down, I was sliding through the grass, and the nose pounded the outside wall for Turn 2. My front wing shattered off, and the front suspension was toast as the left front wheel was bent dead to the left. The steering wheel was twisted sideways, following the left front. I clicked the car into reverse, and turned out of the wall. The Safety Car drove past behind me, and I tried to follow it around. I went into first gear, and tried to drive away. The car was busted. The left front wheel was trying to spear me off into the outside wall, and the left rear was also bent left, making me crab along the circuit.
    “Ah, someone got me. Suspension’s pretty bad… Yeah, it’s toast. Sorry guys.” I turned off the track and shut the engine down. The car sounded about as sad as I was at the moment as the engine whined down. I unstrapped my harness and with great difficulty unclipped the HANS device from the seat, and removed the steering wheel. I stood up and kept my helmet on, not wanting to look at anyone. A marshal helped me up over the wall and 5 others came to push the car back behind the wall. I shook my head in disgust. This was supposed to be my first race. And already I was screwing up. I was never going to make it to K1…..

……………

2 Weeks Later. Round 2 of 8; Port Vargo, Tekkia

    “You know what to do. Now just remember to not be so aggressive on the start; that’s what put us in that spot to begin with. Just stay smooth, stay calm, and stay confident. You’ve got the pace, we saw that in Quali. We’ve just got to keep you from getting ahead of yourself. Now. You’re starting in second. We’re running the aggressive strategy of the undercut. Maybe we’ll be able to get a spot or two in the pits, but it’ll mainly be up to you. Make sure to not overtake in the Industry Section; it’s way too risky. If you do decide to ignore my advice, at least wait until Turn 13 or 14. That’s where it’s widest and the best opportunity to get up the inside. Sound good?” I nodded as I fidgeted with my fingers. 25 laps. The KSC was hard, but this…. This track was insane. The final corner had a 1 meter high wall. 1. Meter. 3 feet. This was what a city circuit was all about. Fast. Tight. Fun. I stood up and went outside into the coast air. It’s showtime.

———

    The lights went out, and I grabbed the opportunity. The rears gripped perfectly, and I shot into P1, leaving Max in the dust. Yes, Max. He’d been picked up by MonsterGP, and I absolutely blasted him. By Turn 3, he was half a second back. I swear I could see his face, laughing through the helmet visor. Our rivalry was so on.
    As I came out of the final corner, I felt the rears giving out. I did what I had been taught, and gently straightened out the wheel. Within a second, I had regained control and passed the Wall of Doom. My heart was beating like crazy, but somehow I had held onto the car. I crossed the line and grinned wildly as I set the fastest lap. 
    14 laps in, and I was in the lead. I was so far ahead, I couldn’t even see Max in the mirrors anymore- even on the back straight. “Alright Jeb, Lilly has just pulled into the pits; Lilly into the pits. Box this lap please; box this lap.” I chucked the car up into Rich and prepared to get into the pits. There wasn’t any real need to push; I had a huge lead with no-one anywhere in sight. It would come back to bite me. I dove down into Turn 14, and as soon as I hit the gas, the car shifted down into neutral. The engine whined down to a shuddering halt. No… I looked back in the mirror, and I saw billowing white smoke coming out the rear, and bright yellow flames licking at the rear wing. I punched the steering wheel as hard as I could, and shouted at the top of my lungs, “NO! NO!” The crowd rose with one collective shouting groan, feeling my pain as I pulled the car off to the side of the road. Even EEP wouldn’t work. I undid the harness and got out of the car, not even worrying about HANS. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I crouched down on the ground, stunned. A loose radio cable dangled out of my helmet, and I heard the other cars driving past.
    I had lost again…

———

    “Jeb! Jeb, look over here!” I kept my head down as I walked towards the car. The sun was setting over the bay, but I didn’t care. Fireworks were going off as Max celebrated his win. He now had 35 points to my 0. “Jeb!” I spun around and faced a reporter. Might as well get this over with.
    “You were looking so confident out there today; what happened?” I sighed, and just repeated what Andy had told me.
    “We believe that the Electric Energy Bank overheated and melted the Cooling Systems. Because the OCU broke, the oil overheated and the Power Unit just destroyed. How the EEB overheated I’m not really sure, but at this point, it’s kind of moot. I’m not up there on that podium, and we’ve got a broken MPU.”
    “What are your hopes for Grestin in 2 weeks time?”
    “Well we’re going to go over our data, review what went wrong, and try to make sure it won’t happen again. After that, it’s all up to me and luck.” I began walking. “Thanks for having me.” I flicked my sunglasses down and walked away. I just wanted to get the heck out of there.


2 Weeks Later. Round 3 of 8. Jumper Space Port, New Grestin


    The team was muttering as I got into the car, preparing for the race. “What will it be this time,” They seemed to ask. Or maybe it was just me. 2 Straight DNF’s. This was awful. How could I have 2 straight DNF’s? They weren’t my fault, but still…. The higher-ups in the team didn’t seem to agree though. Alexis had warned me that I had better step it up. My career could be on the line. Maybe you don’t belong here. I sat up in the seat. You’ll never get to K1. You’re a failure. You won’t- The voice stopped as the engine fired up. I was starting in P12; 4 positions from last. Quali was my worst yet this season, after I had failed to pick up a tail slide and binned the car into the outside wall of Turn 4.
    “You ready?” Andy looked nervous on the grid as we got ready. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m ready. Smooth, Consistent, Fast. Find a groove and stick to it. As long as we get our stop right, we’ll be there at the end.” Andy smiled, and nodded. “Let’s do this bud.”

———

    I released pressure on the gas as I crossed the line. “P10 Jeb, P10. Good job on the point.” I gritted my teeth and resisted punching the side of the car as I went on the cool down lap. “I finished last, Andy,” I muttered. “Not last! You got 10th out of 16 dri-“ I interrupted him. “Those 6 others retired. Last place, 1 lap down.” Andy sighed. “Fine. Come on in. We’ll try to find out what happened and.. Go from there I guess.” Andy sounded exhausted, and I was running out of patience. So much for my glorious career.

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This story is shaping up really nicely! Poor Jeb, he’s written off 4 or 5 cars by now... he must be crushed, seeing his career crashing all around him.

Oh and also, there have been races in Owlia, Tekkia, and Grestin, could there maybe be one in Aquaria? Please? Pretty please? :D

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1 hour ago, MiffedStarfish said:

This story is shaping up really nicely! Poor Jeb, he’s written off 4 or 5 cars by now... he must be crushed, seeing his career crashing all around him.

Oh and also, there have been races in Owlia, Tekkia, and Grestin, could there maybe be one in Aquaria? Please? Pretty please? :D

PM'd you on the Discord; if everything goes well, I'm planning to use....

Spoiler

The KSC

Tekkia

Grestin

Halco

The NMC (Basically the Monaco GP of K1)

Aquaria

Owlia

Basil

Behin

Eradica

Spearka

Soltem

The Desert Temple

And back the the KSC for the Finale.

All of these are going to be used at the near end of the story, but for now (Story year is 2034), here's the schedule for K1.

Spoiler

The KSC

Tekkia

Grestin

Owlia

NMC

Eradica

The Temple

Halco

Basil

The KSC

However, for Formula K.... Who knows :wink:

(World Map to show y'all what I'm going on about)

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/65bsyjaenbsldhf/AACs5mZkk7mWhDM4BbJQuoEja?dl=0&preview=World+map.png

Edited by DarkOwl57
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13 hours ago, qzgy said:

This is shaping up quite nicely. But.... you've got that 6th link in your sig that seems to be mildly abandoned.... Hows that going?

It's In Progress™. Diplomatic answer: Lack of engagement. Real answer: Computer's running way too slow to be able to preform the simplest of tasks. I'll have to do some more checking, but expect updates by either today or tomorrow afternoon.

 

Also, Chapter 5 time! So, what did I use for inspiration on this chapter? Malaysia 2016. Literally, I did the math to convert the exact pit-stop laps into the K1 laps. Super hard, but I think I did a good job. Enjoy!

 

Chapter 5: From The Ashes

1 Week Later. Round 4 of 8; Owlia Grand National Raceway- New Owlia City, Owlian Union

 

*Sports Intro*
*Camera pan to 2 Kerbals in suits sitting in chairs either side of a table*


    “Good morning everyone, my name is Steve Kerman here with my good friend, Darrel Kerman, and this is SportsHub. Starting off today, Rookie Phenom Danny Kerman set a new IGL Record at the Masters, sinking in 3 hole-in-one’s in a row, becoming the first ever to do so.     “And now, onto racing. We are hearing reports out of the OTech GP Team camp that young superstar Jebediah Kerman may be getting released from the program. Jebediah has failed to score more than 1 point this entire season, and in the greatest team in motorsports, that’s a problem.”
    “Yeah, well I can see this, but at the same time, those 2 DNF’s weren’t his fault. The first race he just got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, and in Port Vargo he was showing that he can get up to the front, before an electrical power malfunction that caused an engine failure. But in Grestin, he just didn’t have it. He was way off the pace, and ended up finishing a full lap down, in a car that has won 5 straight titles in Formula K.”
    “And what, do you think, has caused this lack of pace?”
    “I don’t really know. Inexperience. Pressure. Maturity. He’s driving for a top-level team, and he isn’t driving like a top-level driver. I’m just going to throw this out: Jebediah Kerman isn’t ready; at least not yet. He’s far too young, and in my honest opinion, I just think he’s falling to the pressure too much.”
    “Well thank you Darrel. We’ll be monitoring the situation closely, and make sure to check the SportsHub App and tune in weekly to hear more on the Saga of Jebediah Kerman. Until next time, see you then.”


………

    Alexis pulled me aside before I went into the garage. She looked nervous, and I didn’t blame her. Having a client that was 0-3 on wins in the best team in the series. I couldn’t be a very easy guy to represent. “Look. You’ve got to pick up the pace. The bosses are really anxious about your recent performance and I can’t keep them back much longer. You’ve got to get some results in, okay?” I nodded. “Good. Now show them what you can do.”

    One light. The engines revved up as high as they could again, and I felt my pace quicken.
    Two. I myself hit the gas and prepared for the lights to go out.
    Three. Rich Revs.
    Four. I can do this…
    Five. I exhaled.
    The lights shut off, and I felt the familiar bite of a launching car as I released. EPB helped me to hold my grip, and I launched up the middle of 4 other cars, making it 5 wide on the widest straight in the IFR. I blasted through all 4 of them, and went way up to the outside of the track, preparing to enter Turn 1. When I entered the corner, I saw a puff of smoke up in front of me. Then, one car spun around and debris slid across the racing line. Then, a red car- I think Redwind Racing- flew right up the track. I slipped in between the spun car and the straight car, and found myself in P3 by the end of the second corner.
    “Great start Jeb! Slow it down here; Safety Car’s out, Safety Car out. Watch your delta here, and make sure not to overtake.” I went down into Lean mix and pedaled the throttle, falling into line behind Car Number 33; Max Kerman. When the Safety Car came out, I decided to stay out, as did the other two ahead of me. “Alright, so Wiley has retired. Lewis was spun, but he’s alright for now we think. Let’s buckle down and try to get this win.” Easy enough. I smirked and weaved the car around as we got on the back-straight.
    The Safety Car dove into the pits, and I leaped at the chance. I flew past Max, who was caught napping. I flew clean around the outside, and managed to get straight in front of him heading into the first corner. “Yeehaw!” I shouted as I passed. “Nice job, Jeb. Let’s get P1.” Heading into Turn 4, I attempted a move. The car locked up a bit, and I slid wide, allowing Max to get by up the inside. “Sorry. Locked up.” I tried to get by Max but it was useless when we got into the S section. Owlia’s S section was the most exhilarating and entertaining sections on the entire calendar; maybe even in the whole world. Max speed, loads of grip, elevation change from up to down to back up- it was tons of fun. Unfortunately, the cars are super twitchy through that bit of track, and trying to pass through there was all-but impossible. You’d need guts, a good car, and nothing to lose to make that move work. 
    After a lap of hanging behind Max, I decided to try one last move up the inside of Turn 1. The fronts looked like they were going to lock up, but thankfully they held. However, as I went up the inside, I had overcooked the entry and the rears were trying to slide up the track. I wiggled the wheel as I made the turn, and the crowd went insane as I drifted all the way through the corner- still just a couple inches from Max. Max managed to get the better exit (I mean he wasn’t sideways, so that might have helped), and got away from me. “Ah, good try. Go ahead and hang back; we don’t want to risk the tires too much.” I shut off Rich revs and slotted into line, letting Max go by a couple hundred meters.
    On Lap 7, it was time to hit the pits. I came in fast, and just got the speed limit cleared before the line. The lane was busy, but there was only one car I cared about. Max. I pulled into the stall, and the team responded like they should. The tires flew off of the car with a single whirr, and then back on. Then, I waited until the fuel was put in. The second the jack dropped I was gone, tires squealing as I departed. I looked, and Max was still in the stall. He was having to wait for me! I went past him, grinning beneath my helmet. I exited out of the pit lane, and jammed the gas on exit.
    Now, Lap 18. I had made the tires last a good bit, but Max was right on my tail heading into the S. I went defensive into the left-hander, but he was full-on attacking. The crowd roared as Max flew around the outside of my car, and we went side-by-side through the corner. Just as he looked like he would get it done, a slight wiggle made him lose all the momentum he had gained, and I managed to swing around his outside through the right-hander of 6. Max was right on top of me the rest of the lap, but then… Oh, then. See, we were fighting for second place. First was long-gone to the tune of about 25 seconds. As we entered the final corner, the fans screamed, and the yellow flag came out through Sector 1. When I got through the corner, Max still trying to get past, I saw it. A huge cloud of white engine smoke obscuring the outside of Turn 1. “The leader’s had an engine failure, repeat: The leader’s had an engine failure; go for the win.” Max and I dueled it out before we got to the Yellow Flag zone. It was so close between us, but I just edged him as my wheel turned yellow. We both slowed down, and then I saw the boards on the side of the track turn yellow and black. Safety Car. It was over. I had won.
    As I crossed the line on Lap 20, I stuck my arm up into the air in celebration, enjoying the moment. “YES! WE DID IT!! WE WON!!” I pumped my arm into the air again and again, and enjoyed the victory. This was the comeback. My return to glory.

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Chapter 6 is up next! And whooooooo boy is this one a whopper! According to Pages, I've got an immense 3,137 words in this chapter. Let that sink in. Three Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty seven. That's insane! I put as much detailing as I could into this, and now, finally, I think it's ready. Are you? Sure? Positive? 100%? Alright then. I present to you, Chapter 6 of Life At The Top.

 

Chapter 6: Coming Back

1 Month, 3 weeks later. Round 8 of 8; The KSC

    The cheering crowd penetrated even the heavily insulated walls of the hospitality lounge. Artificial light from the thousands of spotlights around the track bathed the KSC in a powerful white light. I tapped my feet on the floor anxiously, and I looked out at the track. Over 200,000 fans had turned up to the track, and over a million were projected to watch live on TV. 
    It was “The Fight of the Century” according to the news. Me vs Max. We were tied heading into the final round of the title, and I was the heavy favorite. “The Comeback Kid” was making his comeback, and no-one could have anticipated it. After 2 DNF’s to start the season and a 10th place finish, everyone thought I was going to be fired at the end of the season. Instead, here I was in a dogfight between myself and Max.
    “Hey, Jeb? You ready?” Andy asked as he knocked on the door. I sighed and got up. “Yeah. Let’s do this.” I opened up the door, and immediately a wall of flashing light assaulted me, and the crowd roared their approval. Reporters clamored for my attention, and their cameras flashed wildly as each of them tried to get a shot of me. Cali Kerman, my favorite reporter on the grid, motioned me to come over. I smiled and continued walking towards her, and the sea of cameras followed my every move. “And here I am with Title Hopeful Jebediah Kerman- Jeb, how do you feel about your chances of victory today?” She turned the mic towards me, and I smirked.
    “Well, I think that we’ve got a great chance to get this one, Cali. We’ve got a fast car, I feel confident with the track, I’m really happy with the setup, and if we just do our jobs and minimize mistakes, we’ll be set. It all depends on the other cars though. A mistake on an overtake, a failure- all of those could affect our race. But if we play our cards right and do what we know how to do, we’ll be ready to take this one.” Cali nodded, and asked “This is the track where your dismal first half of the season started. How does that affect you heading into the title race?”
    “Well as a racing driver, you’ve got to put that all out of your head. I mean outside of the car, you can be as scared or nervous as you want. You can be nervous about the track conditions, or the other drivers, or crashing out, or something on your car breaking and throwing you into a wall at 200 miles an hour. But once you put that helmet on, you can’t think about that kind of stuff. All you’ve got to focus on is the race, and how you’re going to finish your race. I am a bit nervous to be honest with you, but again, once I put that helmet on and that engine fires, there’s nothing I’m going to be nervous about except for how much fuel I’ve got, and when I make that stop.” The camera flashes intensified, and Cali said “Thank you for your time,” Before the flashing got to be too bright. “No problem, thank you.” I turned and walked off, but I just heard Cali giving the outro. “Brave words coming from the rookie; we’ll be eager to watch his performance in the race today.” I smiled, and kept on walking. I had a title to win.

———

    I rubbed my hand over the fresh grass, and traced it all the way out to the old skid-marks from about 4 months ago. It felt like so long ago… The fans were cheering my name, and I saw so many waving flags larger than themselves with a countries flag. I waved, and the crowd went ballistic. “Enjoying the spotlight?” Alexis asked as she walked over. Oh yeah, I thought. I’m ready.

——

    The 5-plane formation thundered overhead, and their screaming, piercing tone rattled everything from my teeth to the super-light front wings on the cars. It was time. The final race. I got my radio earplugs in, and as soon as I picked up my helmet, Max walked over. “You ready, buddy?” I asked. “Ready as I’ll ever be,” Max replied, holding up his helmet. “Old times sake?” I rolled my eyes, and hit the helmet. Camera flashes flew to life, almost blinding me as I got into the car as every reporter wanted a shot of the future champion. It’s showtime.

——

    The car launched well, and we set off on the formation lap. I was starting from Pole position, and Max was right behind me in second. All the cars on the grid formed one huge conga line as we snaked around the course. I rumbled over the curbing into the Turn 3 Hairpin, and waved to the crowd on the outside of the corner. They cheered and clapped, and I felt like maybe, for once, I was doing something right with my life. The circuit was fast, fun, and flowing. It also gave the fans some really amazing places to watch the race from as well.
    “Alright buddy, you know what you’ve got to do. 20 laps, easy as a breeze.” I was startled a bit as Paddy’s voice filtered in over the radio. “Ah thanks, boss! I’m really happy to be a part of this. Hopefully we’ll be able to make something work, eh?” Paddy chuckled, and answered, “Hopefully. Now get out there and show em what you’ve got.” The crowd cheered when we got down the Grand Straight- Il grande rettilineo- and I could feel the energy pulsing out of the grandstands. I entered the Turn 18-19-20 complex, and got ready for the start. I blipped the throttle, and the car fishtailed, cleaning off the tires one last time. The 15 other cars on the grid all filed in.
    One light. Here we go.
    Two. One
    Three. Last
    Four. Time.
    Five.
    The lights went out, and I flew forward off the grid. Max had a perfect launch, and we were side-by-side through 1. Entering 2, I got the gap out, and it was smooth sailing all the way through Turn 3. Behind me, the crowd cheered, and through the hairpin I saw smoke rising from Turn 1. Max slotted into line behind me entering 4 and 5, and as we entered the R&D Section, the yellow flag came out. “VSC Deployed, VSC; slow it down and hold your time to the Delta. VSC Deployed.” Normally the VSC didn’t come out; this must be for the debris from the Turn 1 crash. Max was just chilling a couple feet behind me, occasionally darting up before going back. It was a 3-way fight for the lead between me, Max, and some RedWind Racing Team driver; I think it was Jim. Entering the back straight, my worst fear was confirmed. Safety Car deployed.
    “Gah dangit!” I shouted, punching the side of the car as I slowed. “Alright, we can work with this. Stay out; we’ll keep to the original strategy.” I weaved the car around down the straight and when we went into the third hairpin (Turn 15), I shut off EPB to preserve the system. We passed by the wreck fest of Turn 1, and I saw 3 cars resting off to the side of the track, and debris was scattered over the length of the track. I looked back, but Max was gone. He had pulled off into the pit lane, and now Jim was in Max’s place. Good, I thought as the Safety Car picked us up and led us around. Now I can get a bit of a gap.
    On Lap 4, the Safety Car came in, and it was time to get back going. The roaring tune of now 13 Formula cars rumbled through the KSC, and I got off to a massive start. As soon as I got into Turn 4, I had left Jim in the dust; he was still at the hairpin! I continued extending the gap, and when it was time for my pit stop on Lap 10, there was no-one in sight. I wheeled in perfectly, and the team responded like magic; getting me in and out with almost 5 seconds to spare on the pit timer. I sat in the box and waited until the light came on. As soon as the pillar above me switched to green, the jack dropped and I powered out of the stall. A loud hissing behind me sounded. As soon as I looked back, a huge BANG! came out of the rear end, and all power from EPB was lost. I hit the throttle as soon as I left the pits, but no matter what I did, EPB was just gone.
    “Uh.. guys? What the heck is going on here?” The radio was silent, but as I entered the Canyon Section, Andy came on. “Uh, Jeb? We’ve got a big problem. The EEB is disabled. We believe that the bank has either come loose or the Generator’s suffered way too much damage to be fixed. If it’s the Generator, then the Alternator should work.” I looked in my mirror and saw Max. “If it’s the bank, how much time am I going to lose per lap?” Andy calculated the odds. “At least 2. Probably 3 plus. Just try to manage the gap best you can; 10 to go.”

    With 2 laps remaining, Max was hot on my tail. Only a couple seconds separated us, and it was all or nothing. I was running Rich revs, and employing as many devious tricks I could to keep Max behind. He was closing fast, but I was slamming into every apex, using as little brakes as possible, and hunkering down into my seat as best I could to reduce the drag. We flew into Turn 15, and Max absolutely leaped up towards me on the exit.
    “Let’s go Jeb!” Andy yelled into my ear. “Last lap! Give it all you’ve got!” I flung myself into Turns 1 and 2, and Max oversteered a bit from my dirty air. That completely compromised his entry into Turn 3, and I managed to get a good gap out. I fishtailed on exit though, and behind I saw the tiny little skid marks from a car losing traction. We blazed into the Turn 4/5 Tunnel, and the sounds of our two cars echoed all around me. We popped out of the tunnel, and the circuit was again bathed in a huge, florescent white light. The crowd roared as Max make a look up to the outside. However, I had one last trick up my sleeve. I was planning to save this for the trip back to the pits on EEP, but now I knew I had to use it. The Auxiliary Battery Bank; ABB. It had only 100 units of Electric Charge, which would only last about 4 seconds. Gotta make it count. Through Turn 10, Max was right up on me. 11 and 12 came up, and then Max was all over me. Slipstream, Rich Revs, and his EPB all worked into his favor as he powered alongside me. But then, he stalled. I took advantage and jammed the EPB button. An extra 6 meters per second kicked in, and I blasted past him- the crowd roaring behind me. 
    Now that I had let my little secret slip, I had to keep it safe. Through Turn 15, the bank had recharged from Alternator Power. It was a short, grueling, 5-turn stretch to the line. I kept the AAB energy ready, and through Turn 18 I used it again. This time, Max was no match. 
    100 meters from glory. The crowd thundered like a jet engine. 75. I saw the crew leaning off the wall and pumping their fists for joy. 50. The flag official began waving the flag. 25. I stuck my arm up into the air and dove down the track right under the stand. 0. Fireworks went off, and I felt the warm, orange glow through my suit. “YES!!!! YES! YES! YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! CHAMPIONS!!!” I pumped my fist up into the air as I coasted down the track. “You did it!!” Andy shouted from the box. “Jebediah Kerman, you are the World Champion! World! CHAMPION!” I heard loud cheering in the background, and Alexis was screaming for joy somewhere in the mix. “I can’t believe it! Oh my god..” I felt immediately tired, and decided to open up my visor. “BWAGH!” I shouted as a wave of cold air assaulted my face. I clapped the visor shut as quick as I could, and realized that I was already entering Turn 3. The crowd was chanting my name, and when I passed the stands, I pulled out my secret item I’d stuffed into the car pre-race, just in case. The flag whipped up against the side of the car, and I lifted it up as high as I could. The crowd went wild, cheering so loud that they drowned out the engine.
    “Jebediah Kerman, you are the 2034 Formula K World Champion!!!” Paddy shouted at me as I went through the R&D sector. “Thanks Paddy! Means a lot coming from you.” Paddy laughed. “Now. Burn ‘er down bud!” I went onto the backstraight and smiled. “With pleasure.”
    In front of the crowd, I pulled off to the side of the track. As soon as the final car had passed, I began fiddling with some dials on the car, and grinned. I waved my arms up and down to get the crowd going, and jammed the gas. The car responded like I knew it would, and when I blipped the wheel. To the right, the rears lost every bit of traction they possible could have. I spun around, and smoke filled my vision. Now, I turned the wheel hard right, and the car continued to spin around, filling my vision and the air with a massive cloud of white smoke. The crowd whooped and whistled, and by now the entire team had run across the track to stand on the wall in front of the stands and cheer me on. I grinned as my car finally ran out of fuel. Responding perfectly on cue, the crew leaped up over the wall and ran over to the car. I had unstrapped and was getting out when they arrived.
    “YEAH!!” I shouted, standing up in the seat and sticking my arms up. They jumped up around me and gave me huge hugs and clapped me on the back and helmet. After we had finally finished my celebrating, I realized that the fans had gone behind the VAB, where the podium was going to be held. “Come on! Let’s just push it!” Now in hindsight, I could have just used the limited amount of EEP to get to the podium. But come on; how awesome is it, having the whole crew pushing you into the space after you’ve just won the title? You know you’d want to do it to.
    As soon as I got into the podium parking space, I decided to do what Lewis had done after his home-race victory. I jumped up onto the tiny little wall that separated the fans from the podium, and did a little bit of crowd surfing. I mean, why not? I was World Champion. Now it’s on to K1. And maybe… Maybe my new legend.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

12:25am. Somewhere over the border of the Kalban States of Serbia and Menton (KSKM) and Troakia. Altitude: Around 7500 meters.

    The 4 engines outside were surprisingly quiet through the layers of insulation. Red, Green, and White frequently illuminated the sides of the plane, but I had my eyes closed. My hand slowly drifted over the trophy, which had my name stamped on it. Also, I would have my name on every other Formula K trophy for the rest of time. I smirked, thinking about my name on that trophy for the next little kid who would win, and see “JEBEDIAH H. KERMAN, #5, OTech GP: 2034” when they picked up that trophy. Then, I got one of those little cartoon-lightbulb ideas. My eyes snapped operand I picked up the trophy. It was super light; Alexis had said it was made out of Aluminum and some steel to reinforce it. My eyes traveled down to the base of the shiny, wavy piece of metal. I decided to read off some of the names and see if maybe I would be able to pick out any of my heroes. I saw legends like Jack, James, Enzo, Damon, and- my hero-, Sebastian Kerman, #5, Driving for OTech.
    “Sebastian V. Kerman, #5, OTech: 1990, ’91, ’92, and ’93.” I chuckled. Seb had brought OTech to where it was. He never made it to K1, but gosh was he a legend. Brave as a lion, excellent control, and inducted into the K1 Hall of Fame. Andy snored himself awake, and he coughed. “Ow..” He muttered, clutching his head. “I told you to hold off!” I chided. “Ah, whatever,” Andy waved. Alexis walked into the compartment from I guess the cockpit, and sat down next to me. “Captain says we’re about 45 minutes away from home,” She said, bending around to peek out the window. “Once we clear the mountains it’ll be smooth sailing over Baskay.” Andy nodded. “Are you going to be around much this winter?” He asked, also looking out the window to see the mountains that were falling away from us.
    “I think,” I replied. “Taking my mom out to Basil; she’s always wanted to go there. Then I’m going to hang out in Soltem for about a month.” I lowered the window shade and leaned back in the chair. “I’ll be home before Khristmas.” Alexis tapped away at her phone, and smiled. She poked my arm and turned the screen to me.
    It was a Tweeter post, and it showed a little kid in his bedroom. The room was filled with bright blue and white everywhere, and my face was on almost every surface in the area. The walls, the bedsheets, a lamp; everything. The post (From @That_Wild_Soccer_Mom_97) said “Thanks to @JebK5 for making my sons year! Stayed up all night watching that finish, and I don’t know who’s happier; you, or him! lol. #DriveForFive #Champion #FormulaK.” I smiled. “Look at that,” I muttered. “I’ve got fans!” Alexis returned the smile. “They believe in you,” She said. I nodded slowly, and went to sleep.

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Chapter 7 up now. I'm actually getting pretty close to my "What I'm writing now" bar. I've completed 8 chapters and uploading #7. Also, as of Chapter 8, I've typed 18,422 words, making for an average of 2302.75 Words Per Chapter. That's crazy! Compare this to my most recent story (WWK), which had 30 chapters, 43,046 Words, and a WPC average of a mere 1,434.867. Just goes to show which one I'm enjoying the most :wink: I really hope you guys enjoy this chapter of 2,029 words.

 

Chapter 7: The Return


4 Months Later. Round 1 of 8; The KSC


    “Car feels amazing, guys,” I said into the radio as I went through the Turn 11/12 complex- Tempesta- on my reconnaissance lap. It was a 10-minute period where drivers could drive around the track to get a feel for the course pre-race. Kind of like a warm-up period. The car responded with all the grip, and I enjoyed the entire experience. I was no longer a rookie, but now it seemed that more pressure and expectations were being put on me. 
    Can he continue his dominance?
    Was 2034 just a fluke?
    Will he be moved up to K1?

    The media and fans kept on asking the questions that at most times I didn’t even have the answers to myself. But every time someone came up and asked me, I just flicked down my sunglasses and kept on walking. Pretty easy to just ignore the confusion and the questions. I was 100% in my element, no matter what the reporters, or the internet columnists, or the rivals said. I pulled up to my grid spot, and the team was ready and waiting. I stopped right in the grid spot (In First place I might add), and the team was waiting for me. I shut the car off, and began unstrapping. When I was finally feeling okay, I took the wheel off and laid it down on the nose of the car, and began running up to the flagpole for the international anthem.
    The crowd was a rumbling wall of noise that I was able to hear even through the walls of the hospitality suite. That was 45 minutes ago. Now, it was a loud, almost impossible-to-hear din that seemed to penetrate everything both on and off the track. I swear they could hear the crowd in the helicopters hundreds of meters above. I waved up into the stands towards the thousands of fans, who cheered even louder. Then, the anthem started playing. It rose and fell, and when it was finally over, a squadron of 5 Air Force jets- F/A-18 Hornets- flew over. The engines piercing scream broke through the crowd noise, and I watched them fly off into the distance over the water, before breaking off and flying away. 
    I went over to the car, and got all my stuff. I reached down into my seat and pulled out my helmet. “You ready?” Alexis asked while I was getting everything on. “Yeah,” I replied; my voice muffled by the helmet’s grip on my head. Alexis nodded, and got up right in my visor slot, to where only I could hear her. “I don’t want to say anything, but Paddy said that if you do good these next few races, the team might take you back to K1.” My eyes leaped open. Before I could ask for a clarification, Alexis had said “Good luck!” Given me a hug, and run off to back behind the pit wall. I sat into the car, and some engineers helped me tighten up the straps and make sure everything was nice and buckled in. Finally, when the crew felt everything was nice and safe with the car, they scampered back to the pit wall with Andy to get ready for the race.
    The Gen2 engine roared to life, and I looked back at the new lowered spoiler. Formula K had gotten right peeved at us after we’d unveiled a new double-decker rear wing last season, but for some reason they’d let us keep it. Now, thanks to the series, we had been forced to changed it up. But now it was lower (The top of the wing was just above the rear wheels) and a lot more awesome-looking. I mean I don’t think it really made much of a difference; if anything if felt like we had more grip than before. The lights turned green, and we all launched onto the formation lap. “Alright, go ahead and cycle through the gears,” Andy said as I went through Turn 1. I complied, and flicked the car up into 8th, and then back down to first through the turn. 
    I preformed some more pre-race checks for the team, and now, finally, I had gone through Turn 19 and was waiting for the rest of the grid to arrive. My heart was speeding up from the adrenaline. The final car- a LakeFront- filed into their spot. I saw a green flag waving behind in the mirror. This was it. 
    One light. I activated Rich.
    Two. I hit the gas, and the new engine yowled behind me.
    Three. EPB ready.
    Four. Breathe in…
    Five. Breathe out.
    The lights went out, and I released the clutch. The car leaped out of the space, and my head was slammed against the seat-back. The rears slipped a bit, but then grabbed traction as quick as they had lost it. Within a second I was already lining up for Turn 1, and the rest of the field followed. Max hung right behind me, and I saw the rest of the pack lining up nice and easy; single-file through the radius. Entering the double-apex of Turns 2 and 3, the crowd cheered when I passed.
    Now, out of 3 and into the short straight to Turn 4, Max made his move. He peeked inside, and I sliced down, stopping his move. However, I was stuck on the inside as Max attempted to get around the outside entering the tunnel. To keep both of us from committing suicide-by-wall, I slammed the brakes early. Max flew around the outside before we turned in, but I had miscalculated my speed. Now, we were side-by-side going through the tightest section on the entire track.
    “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!” I screamed as we went into Turn 5. I gave Max plenty of space entering the corner, and again Max went past. Then, without warning, he slammed on the brakes and I was flung right up the inside of him through 6. “Safety Car’s out, Safety Car; Max had to let you past.” Ah. We went under the bridge and I went into Lean Fuel mode. Why is it that every time I get a fairly good start, some wreck has to foul it up?
    When I went into Turn 19, Max tried to fake me out and look like he was going into the pits. He dove down the track just in time, and I chuckled. The Safety car picked us up in 3, where the wreck was. It looked like an exact copy of my wreck last season, with one car spun off into the inside wall. “So we’re keeping on the same pit strategy, right?” I asked as we wormed through the R&D section. “We’re changing it around a bit; pit on Lap 8 now instead of 10. You alright with that?” Throughout the period, Andy and I debated on which strategy would work out best, and then it was time to get back going on Lap 5. I launched forward, and Max kept it calm and clean entering Turn 1. The track tightened up immensely through that part of the track, and overtaking was practically impossible. I extended my gap through the R&D Section, and now I had gotten a healthy lead heading down the backstraight.
    “Box, Box, Box,” Andy called out on Lap 8. I eased into the lane and stopped right on the mark. The crew lifted the car up, and took off the 4 worn tires. Now, 4 new ones came on, but I stayed jacked up until the 12 second minimum had ended. I counted. 9. 10. 11. 12. I jammed the gas, but the wheels spun helplessly as the wheels were still hovering a few inches above the ground. Finally, the jack dropped me, but I had lost 4 or 5 seconds. “What just happened?” I asked as I rejoined the track. “The jack was jammed we believe. Nothing we can do about it now; push for the win.”
    I pushed on, and on Lap 14, Max finally came in. I wheeled myself out of the final corner- the rears losing a bit of traction and making me have to make a slight correction. I mounted the exit curb and tried to hold as much momentum as possible. I looked ahead and saw a jet-black and lime green car break out of the pit lane exit. Max had jumped me in the pit stop cycle. I turned up the engine and went off like a mad-kerb; trying to catch up. On lap 19 of 20, I finally had. We went down the back-straight and I held in the slipstream. I was right on top of him, but I decided to hold back and wait. We passed the finish line, and I was right on Max’s tail. Entering Turn 1, I made a dummy move but Max didn’t bite. We flowed through 2 and 3 smoothly, and I kept on looking for places to sneak by.
    When we went through Turn 6, I tried to get around the outside. Max didn’t see me, but as we entered the tightening apex of Turn 7, I had to let out of the gas. I was running out of time, but I knew I had the pace. We were inches from each other entering Turn 9, and into 10 I locked up. I managed to avoid Max, but now he had gained about 50 or 75 feet. I still wasn’t out of it.
    Max went cautiously into Tempesta, but I was having none of it. I mounted the curbing, and through 11 the right wheels lifted up off the ground. Then, I turned in for 12 and the car slammed down onto the ground- sending up a flurry of bright yellow and orange sparks. I had gained all the time back, and now it was all or nothing. I stayed in the slipstream until the last second and when I thought I was about to wreck into Max’s car, I cut out to the right. I flew around the outside, but I ran out of track into the braking zone. I had to slam the brakes to avoid running wide, and I felt a huge thud from the rears as the car bounced up. I hurriedly snapped the wheel around, and looked back. An endplate and numerous cascade elements from Max’s wing flew out to the far outside wall. His wing wasn’t totaled, but it was really damaged on the left side. I hoped and prayed the tire would hold long enough to make these final 5 turns. 
    Through 15, I slammed the brakes and felt the car understeer a bit. Max was right behind me though. 16, 17, and 18 was the technical chicane- left, right, and left again. I rumbled over the curbing, and now it was up to the final corner. Turn 19. Wide-ish approach and loads of curb on the exit, the corner was a perfect mix of entry speed, mechanical grip, aero grip, and guts. I blazed into the corner at max speed, and I clipped the inside curbing. I smiled as I felt that satisfying rumbling of the left-side tires shooting over a curb, and I used the momentum to slingshot out of the corner. I felt the rears losing grip, and I corrected just in time. When I straightened up, I was already on the outside curbing. The Right Rear tire brushed the outside wall, and I felt the rear jump up a little bit. I fish-tailed all the way down the straight, and punched the air as I crossed the line. 
    “YES!!” I shouted. “That was frickin’ AWESOME!!!” I let off the throttle, and the engine revved down. “That was incredible, Jeb; absolutely incredible!” Andy said as I went into the Turn 1/2 complex. “Oh man, that was amazing!” Alexis shouted. I waved to the fans and grinned. A great start to a new season. K1, here I come.

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5 hours ago, DarkOwl57 said:

his fortunes will change soon™

For better or for worse? Going into air racing and being fricking amazing is as much a turn of fortune as crashing and burning alive :/

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