Rusty's Fiction

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Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Wed 8 Jul 2009 - 20:01

So this is my first attempt at a "serious" fiction involving my OC. It'd consider it more easy reading than heavy drama, but hopefully it's still somewhat enjoyable to read. I'm posting it up on the forum first as a trial run, before I go as so far as to try posting on FF.net. So we'll see how it goes. I'll probably post in chapters, as it allows me to make edits so I don't have to do them later. Razz

Oh yeah, might help to name the title. In classic summer blockbuster horrible movie titles - "Sand Dollars"


An (Un)Ordinary Morning

“Dammit, where is she?”

Clayland Stanaway, the British-born American, walked through the Social Welfare Agency compound and searched every possible area he could think of looking.

So far he had checked the lounge, the kitchen, the gym pool, the parking lot, Petra's room, Olga's office, and even Priscilla's hidden booze closet. Still no sign of her at all. For a minute he wondered if she had tried to sneak off in his Range Rover again, and actually looked outside a window to make sure it was still in it's parking space.

Good.

He didn't want to be reminded of that fateful Saturday afternoon during last year's summer season. Too many embarrassing memories. Impatient and unfazed, Clayland continued his search for the wayward blonde. After another 20 minutes he finally resigned and gave up looking, plopping down in a leather recliner in the lounge. He let himself slouch deeply into the chair and close his eyes. The SWA was bigger than it looked and he was tired from crossing the grounds repeatedly – especially while carrying two heavy cases. Clayland was just about to nod off before he felt a tap on his shoulder.

“Mr. Stanaway, I'm surprised to see you here.”

“Mmm? Eh?” His head snapping forward as he hastily, and clumsily, rose from the chair. As he shook the dashed opportunity of a nap from his mind, Clayland addressed the person who had alerted him.

“I said I'm surprised to to see you here. I thought you would be with Laine.” Ferro stood before him arms crossed in her usual business-like manner, her face a neutral mask. He sighed and shrugged.

“Well I would be, but I can't seem to find her. I've looked everywhere.” It was true, he had looked in all of her usual hangout spots.

“Obviously you didn't check the indoor range. I let her in two hours ago. She said she had your permission and you would meet her there.” That explained why he couldn't find her. The indoor range was soundproofed and frankly, he couldn't remember the last time she had voluntarily practiced her marksmanship. Clayland's eyebrow arched at this latest news.

“Oh did she?” Not that it mattered anymore, he supposed, but it would have been nice if she actually had come to ask him, instead of simply finding the nearest person with a key. “I hope she's still there.”

“I would think so, she asked for quite a bit of ammunition from the armory.” Ferro shrugged and began walking off. It didn't take long until Clayland rushed off in the opposite direction.

Sure enough, as he neared the sealed door into the firing range he could make out the barely audible sounds of semi-auto fire from within. He pulled open the heavy door and walked inside.

*BAM* *BAM*

With the soundproofed seal broken, the sounds of gunfire echoed cleanly and loudly. Clayland approached the blonde who was standing in one of the far lanes, bright orange plugs in her ears. He plugged his own ears with his fingers to dampen the noise. All over the ground he saw spent casings and empty boxes. If Laine noticed his approach, then she was ignoring him as she continued to fire.

Clayland watched for a minute before deciding to interrupt. As he reached out to tap her shoulder he felt a hand wrap around his wrist and twist. Laine stopped the rotation at the cusp of pain and set her now emptied pistol down on the counter before her. She pulled the earplugs from her ears before speaking.

“Pro Tip: Don't sneak up on people holding a gun, Clay.” Clayland felt her release her grip as she started to reload a magazine. Clayland rubbed his wrist and checked it for injury.

“Pro Tip: It's not 'sneaking up' when the person knows I'm already here.” He said, reaching down and picking up a target sheet off of a large pile. This particular one was merely average, the groupings larger than a shooter would like. Looking down at the ground Clayland saw that as he went up through the stack, the groupings got tighter and tighter. “You don't seem to have lost your touch, after a little practice that is.”


“Yeah well, you're always complaining about how I don't come down here enough, shooting off guns like some redneck gun nut.” She finished loading one mag and grabbed another empty one. “Besides, I'm finally starting to warm up to them. I'm not much of a gun person you know.” She said while nonchalantly twirling between her fingers the combat knife she usually kept somewhere close by. Clayland looked beyond her and saw her German compact USP and 417 laying on their sides, empty magazines sprawled out in front.

Great, now she begins to like the guns she has...

“Yeah, speaking of that...Glad I found you here, actually.” He began, setting the target in his hands back onto the floor. “Looks like we're getting a change of scenery. A big change this time too.” She didn't turn to look at him as she continued to refill magazines.

“Oh? What makes this one so 'big?'” She set down the pistol mag next to the others and opened up a box of 7.62 NATO.

“We're going to Africa. Egypt, more specifically. For an undefined amount of time. One of those 'highly unpredictable' operations.” He heard her sigh loudly.

“Great, the desert again. Remember that mission in Saudi Arabia? It was ungodly hot.”

“Well, this won't be as bad, I think.” He reassured her.

“So what does this have to do with you being glad I'm already here?” Finally she had managed to hit the million dollar question. Clayland wasn't sure how she was going to react, but there was no use delaying the inevitable.

“That's where these come in.” He finally made mention of the two black polymer cases he had been dragging with him all morning. Clayland set them up on the booth next to Laine's. She peered as he opened them both.

“You've got to be kidding me.” That was about the reaction he was expecting. Inside staring back at her were two pairs of guns, one for each of them. “Didn't I just say that I was just getting fond of the old ones?” She gazed disapprovingly upon the new weapons. “Or should I say the 'new' ones?”

Agreeably, the AKMs that Clayland brought didn't look very pretty, but he had made sure they were in working condition. He picked one up and handed it to her. Laine inspected them as she held them in her hand.

“I'm no gun aficionado, but even I know these feel awful.” She remarked and her handler had to agree. They certainly weren't as nice as their usual weapons.

“Well, these are what we'll be using. Long explaination short, AKs are what they use over there. I don't want to think about trying to replace a part for your fancy HK in Africa.” Laine disdainly looked the right sided cocking handle of the Kalashinkov – this would take some getting used to. “Also, take one of these.” He pulled up another small gun case and opened it. He handed her a black metal framed pistol. 'Sig Sauer' was clearly stamped onto the slide, and P229 molded into the grips.

“This is heavier than my old gun.” She noticed that it also had a recessed hammer. Indicative of the DAK model.

“These are what I used back in my Homeland Security days. I was able to grab them at a very good price from a former colleague.” He did a quick field strip and Laine saw a sense of nostalgia flow into his expression.

“I'll never understand men and their fascination with guns.” Taking a moment of pragmatism, Laine let the matter go. “But as long as it'll go 'bang' and put deadly chunks of lead into bad guys, I'll defer equipment preferences to you.” She teased him lightly, then went back to the bigger picture. “So, the 'big' assignment. What is it?” She leaned up against the counter behind her and crossed her arms.

“We're going to become young, hip, adventurous black market gun smugglers.” Laine stood there a moment in silence, devoid of expression, awaiting Clayland to continue. He didn't.

“Wow.” Was all she managed to say with a deadpan expression. “Sounds like a Michael Bay movie. That's all the info you've got right now?” Clayland grinned at her and stood up.

“No, but all we really need to discuss at the moment. I'll fill you in more in the upcoming week before we leave.” He stood up and grabbed the HK guns from behind her and opened the second case where he would place them in storage until they came back. “That's all for now. I'm going to take these down to the armory for safe keeping.” Clayland was just about to leave when he once again felt a familiar steel grip on his wrist.

“Hold on there mister. While you're there, I'm sure you'll be sweet enough to get me a case of ammo for this new gun won't you?” She let his wrist go as he turned around. “After all, I'm going to need to practice.” Clayland watched as the corners of her mouth turned upwards into a smirk.

That's never good.

He thought to himself.

“The armory is on the other side of the compound. Couldn't this wait until tomorrow?” He tried to persuade her. Another trip back across the grounds, this time with a case of ammo would ruin him. Unfortunately, Laine saw right through his ploy and cocked her head.

“I'm going to expect you to take responsibility. Reap what you sew, Clay.” She turned around and began humming as she inspected her new weapons. Clayland walked out of the range to cross the SWA for what would be his 14th time.

Why do my good ideas always end up being bad ideas?

Chapter 1 posted.

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by emperor on Thu 9 Jul 2009 - 5:55

You have several one-shot of Laine's central fiction in here too.

It'd be nice if you edit them.

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Thu 9 Jul 2009 - 13:44

@emperor wrote:You have several one-shot of Laine's central fiction in here too. It'd be nice if you edit them.
You're right, I should probably move the one-shots I have in the art section to here. Especially since I've now made an "official" fiction thread. In the mean time, onto Chapter 2.


Chapter 2 - Details, Details

The patter of footsteps broke the morning silence as two silhouetted figures cut across the SWA courtyard against an early morning sunrise. After reaching the main gate, both of them slowed down to a passive, yet brisk, walk.

“So how was it?” Laine asked Clayland, who needed to take in deeper breaths to catch his breath. He waved his hand for a moment, then checked his digital watch.

“You had a split time average of 4:25.” He pressed a small button on the side. “While I, in comparison, only managed a snail's pace best of 5:50 on the first mile.” Laine smiled as she stretched and twisted her neck and back, leaving audible popping noises.

“And you only ran two of five miles with me.” She chided as she sat down on the ground to stretch her legs. "I had already done three before you showed up."

“If I were to make a point, I would say you have a slightly unfair advantage when it comes to physical contests.” He took in a large breath and slowly exhaled, feeling his pulse slowly regain baseline. Clayland looked down at Laine who appeared to still be relatively chipper for just running five miles. He hadn't meant to join in on her morning exercise routines, but after no small amount of being called “lazy” he felt the need to defend his honor. Laine narrowed her eyes mischievously.

“You always make that excuse.” She reached forward and grabbed her left foot with her hands, feeling her calf muscle pull slightly. “Frankly, I'm surprised you managed to wake up this early. It's not even six yet.”

“Yeah, don't think that fact has been lost on me.” Her handler wiped a sheen of sweat off of his forehead. “I was more surprised to learn that you do this every morning.” Clayland had just learned from conversation with the other SWA employees that Laine had been exercising like this from the first time he had met her.

“A girl has to take care of herself.” She moved to stretch the other leg. “What with a rigorous taskmaster like you.” Laine mocked him, trying to imitate his voice with her last sentence. Ignoring her latest jab, Clayland checked his watch one more time.

“Well I think I'm going to go shower and get another two hours of sleep.” He managed to yawn despite the aching feeling in his legs.

“Isn't that a little backwards?” Laine said jumping up from the ground.

“Probably. How about we meet for breakfast in the cafeteria at 8. I'll meet you there and give you some information about the trip to Egypt this weekend.” He started to walk away and towards his SUV, where he kept a change of clothes and a towel.

“Fine with me.” Laine replied as she walked away towards the compound. She wondered if she should try to wake Petra so she could keep her company while she waited, but decided against it. “She needs her beauty sleep.” She said while taking in a beautiful Italian morning.

*****

Clayland watched as Laine walked over with a plate of assorted fresh fruit and a glass of water. She sat down and immediately starting eating her breakfast. There was a moment of silence until she manged to raise her eyes and look up at him. After realizing he was staring at her she couldn't stop heat flowing into her cheeks.

“W-what is it? Why are you staring at me like that?” She said while setting her fork down and grabbing her glass to conceal her flush. Clayland smirked and shook his head.

“Calm down, I was just thinking.” Laine looked at him for a few seconds before resuming eating.

“Thinking about what?” Reaching onto her plate she grabbed half of an orange and began to peel away the skin.

“I guess it's dumb of me to ask this late in the game, but are you a vegetarian?” He quizzed while sipping on his cup of coffee. It was terrible instant stuff from a can, but he supposed caffeine was caffeine. Laine tossed the orange peel onto her plate before pulling apart the slices.

“Of course not. I just prefer to not eat anything heavy for breakfast or I'll feel sluggish for the rest of the day.” She looked across the cafeteria at a certain female Russian employee and indicated towards her with a flick of her chin. Clayland swiveled his head to see what she was motioning towards. Sitting two tables away was Olga with what appeared to be a mountain of pancakes and sausages. His jaw almost dropped as he watched the formidable woman attack the plate of food with a Stalinist fervor. A mighty Russian assault against a bastion of griddled cakes.

Laine grinned and returned towards her own food and grabbed a shiny red apple and bit into it with white teeth, licking away some of the juice off her lips. She spoke with a mouthful at Clayland who had just managed to tear his eyes away from the Red breakfast carnage behind him.

“See, this is what you miss when you aren't here for breakfast.” She grinned and set down her apple, only half-eaten. “Done.” Clayland chuckled with her and arched an eyebrow.

“I guess I'll have to remember that from now on. And also, if I want pancakes, I better show up early.” His comment made both of them laugh again which mingled with the sound of the other people inside the cafeteria making morning chat. Finally the moment passed and it was back to business.

“I assume you have more to discuss than my diet.” Laine spoke in a surprisingly serious tone.

“Right.” Clayland nodded and pulled out a manila folder. He unwrapped the string fastener and opened it. “Remember last week when I mentioned that we had an upcoming operation in Egypt?” She nodded and let him continue. “Well, tomorrow is the day. We have an outbound flight at 9 AM.” Laine looked through the pile of papers that Clayland had splayed out in front of her. There were boarding passes, maps, bank records, and two (she presumed forged) passports.

“I know you already explained the mission in great detail,” She emphasized the last bit with extra sarcasm, “but how about another quick overview? For those of us who may have missed it the first time.” Clayland scooped up the maps and laid one out in particular for her.

“We're going in under the guise of black market weapons dealers. Our main objective is monitoring an underground paramilitary organization that operates around the Nile river region.” His finger traced the blue line on the map. “The name of the group is known in the region as al-sama' fulad, but we're pretty sure this is an unofficial moniker. Anyways - “ Clayland stopped as he saw Laine cross her arms. “What?”

“Let's not gloss over things with fancy foreign language and terms. Are they terrorists?” Her handler sat there for a moment before responding. Clayland understood her concern. As a team they had dealt with the occasional mobsters or shady businessmen, but never the political scale of terrorist cells.

“Officially no." He paused a minute. "Unofficially, they're terrorists.” It was as Laine thought. “But, like I said, we'll be monitoring, not fighting.” To be honest, he wasn't sure if that made much difference in the scheme of things, but either way the operation was planned and there was no backing out. “Also,” Clayland added almost hastily, “this is a new development, but it will be a semi-joint operation.”

Now Laine was intrigued. If he had meant another fratello, she would have known by now from buzz around the SWA. However, since it was not going to be another SWA team, she wondered who exactly they would be working with. Clayland answered quickly.

“We're going to be working loosely with an Egyptian Task Force 777 contact who has been monitoring the militants for weeks.” He motioned the passports towards her. “He or she is where all of our reports are going to be going and also the reason we have these.” The blonde grabbed one and opened it up. This particular one was hers and she read it aloud.

“Laine P. Broussard – June 12th, 1988. Five-foot-seven, blonde, violet eyes and...115 pounds?” She raised her eyes from the passport towards him. He shrugged at her.

“Hey, I went with a guess. You actually weigh in around 180 pounds if I remember your last medical - “ Suddenly an orange peel flew into his face that was expertly aimed at his mouth. “Pttu,” Clayland spit the peel out, “what was that for?”

“Don't go around saying how much I weigh.” Laine crossed her arms and turned her head away from him.

“Oh c'mon, it's not like it means anything anyways. You do realize you're quite a bit heavier than a normal woman.” As soon as he had said that Clayland winced but it was too late.

Aww crap...

“Quite a bit heavier? What does that mean?” She raised her hand up to throw the half-eaten apple, when her handler raised his hands up in defeat.

“It doesn't mean anything.” Laine still didn't lower the fruit she held in her hand. “You're a very attractive girl.” Her eyes went wide for a moment, then she dropped the apple. She took another drink from her glass to hide the second rush of heat into cheeks of the morning.

She's unusually moody today...

Clayland thought to himself. After a minute, they were on speaking terms again, and Laine had a question.

“So does the 'P' stand for?” She pushed her passport over to him and pointed at the name printed onto it.

“Oh that. It stands for 'Penny.'” For a brief second, she swore she could see Clayland try to hide a smile. It took her a few moments to realize why.

“Har har, very funny Clay.” Rolling her eyes, she shook her head at his horrible humor.

“Aw, but Laine – Penny – 'Penny Lane'! I thought it was cute.” Laine could tell by looking at him that he genuinely did think it was funny and unfortunately she didn't have the heart to tell him that she hated The Beatles.

“Let me see yours then.” With a quick slide, Clayland pushed his passport over towards her. She perused the contents and stopped when her eyes read over a row of numbers. “You didn't tell me it was your birthday last week.” Right there in front of her was the date April 30th. Clayland didn't seem to notice what she was saying.

“Hmm?” He spoke while flipping through more papers.

“It was your birthday. Birth. Day.” Laine held the page in front of him and waved it around. “You didn't say a thing about it.” He looked at what she was indicating with her fingers and shrugged.

“Oh that. Well... you know both of my parents have died and I'm an only child. Besides, none of my old friends live here in Italy so I just sort of...” Clayland shrugged at her. “...forgot about it.” He went back to browsing maps and charts while Laine set the passport down.

“But...” Laine started to say, but stopped when Clayland stood up.

“Well, if that's all the questions you have for now. I think I'm going to get another cup of horrible coffee, then double check our flight for tomorrow. I'll be in my room if you need me.” Picking up the papers and replacing them in the envelope, Clayland gave her a small wave then walked out of the cafeteria. She slouched in her chair, propping her chin on her hand and sighed.

“...But I was here.”


Last edited by rusty-spring on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 9:06; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by sasahara17 on Fri 10 Jul 2009 - 3:46

This is pretty good Rusty.

You planning on posting this elsewhere? I didn't see it on FF.net.

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 10 Jul 2009 - 9:27

Same here... It should be posted on FF.net!

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Fri 10 Jul 2009 - 15:20

@sasahara17 wrote:You planning on posting this elsewhere? I didn't see it on FF.net.
@ElfenMagix wrote:Same here... It should be posted on FF.net!
I haven't posted it on FF.net yet. Partially out of laziness and partially because I'd like to have a bit more written before I post it up. I was always a bit annoyed at a story being posted with only 2-3 short chapters up. Razz So I'm thinking at least hitting 10 or so chapters up before I think about posted it up on FF.net (since my chapters are short as well.) I'm also sort of writing on the fly, with no solid outline, just basics of where I want the story to go.

Meanwhile another update, and thanks for the comments Smile .


Chapter 3 - On a Jet Plane

*Pop*

Laine's gum snapped as the bubble she blew burst open. Chewing a bit more, she blew another bubble that popped in a similar manner. She checked her watch and noted the time. Their flight had been overbooked and there was a long line of people at the boarding desk, making sure they weren't bumped off. Clayland was among them. Laine looked at her iPod and switched the song, white plastic buds flowing music into her ears.

[Bring It (Snakes On A Plane) - Cobra Starship]
She slid her thumbs into her jeans pockets as her fingers tapped to the beat. Laine briefly wondered if they ever actually played that particular film as an in-flight movie before Clayland walked over to her. Pulling an ear bud out, she listened to what he was telling her.

“I managed to keep us on the flight. So far everything is going fine, except for the previous overbooking problem.” Laine looked Clayland over they stood waiting. He was dressed far more casually than she normally saw him. His jeans and fleece pullover really made him look younger than he was. The hiking backpack hanging off one shoulder only completed the look.

“You look like a tourist Clay.” She quipped. Her handler looked down at himself and wiggled a tennis shoed foot. He shrugged and smiled.

“Speak for yourself." He replied. "Besides, with our connection flight included, we're going to be out and about for almost 10 hours. I want to be comfortable.” Laine nodded in approvement.

“It suits you. You're hardly as stiff as you try to look.” In comparison, Laine was wearing her usual attire. A pink tanktop over a pair of artificially distressed jeans. Clayland didn't want to know how much they had cost, seeing as how pre-worn jeans were always more expensive than the non-ripped ones.

For the next hour they stood leaning against a column, waiting inside of the terminal. Fiumicino Airport was one of the largest international airports in the world, and they only needed a quick glance around to see why. Passengers were in a constant flux of movement as annoucements in Italian, French, and English were spoken over the PA system, alerting passengers of last minute updates. Clayland was able to notice a few British and American passengers as he watched them pass by.

“If you were wondering, our equipment is being transported separately on a private cargo. I don't think I have to mention that there's no way we'd be able to take that stuff with us on this flight.” She looked at him with a strange twinkle in her eye. Clayland blinked a few times then his expression dropped. “You didn't...”

With a quick motion Laine flipped out a three-inch blade folding knife. Covertly, she quickly slipped it back into her waistband.

“Do I even want to know how?” He said exasperated. Laine shrugged.

“Fully ceramic knife. I thought you'd have guessed that.” He was disappointed, but it was too late now.

“Just keep it hidden. I don't feel like being arrested any time soon.” With a sigh, he went back to the magazine he was flipping through. Clayland felt her give him a soft nudge with her elbow.

“Don't worry, I'll behave.” She gave him a grin. “You worry too much.” Her handler wasn't satisfied with that.

“I just don't want you to get into any trouble.” It didn't take long for Laine to find the gaping holes of his logic. Turning her MP3 player off, she stepped in front of him.

“I think you're forgetting who you're talking to.” She was of course referencing the fact that she was a half-inorganic assassin. Breaking laws and black morals were part of the job description for both of them. Reminded of that fact, Clayland smiled wanly.

“You're right.” He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I guess sometimes when it's just the two of us like this, I almost forget you could kick my ass in innumerable and unmentionable ways.” Motioning with his arms, Clayland indicated that they were doing things the normal public did – such as waiting to board a plane. Listening to him talk in such a way, Laine abesentmindedly formed a smile. She was about to retort when the PA system alerted the people waiting in the terminal.

“Passengers for Flight 382 to Athens, we shall begin pre-flight boarding at this time.”

“That's us. Have everything?” With a quick look around her, Laine indicated that she was indeed. They were amongst first in line when the door opened to board the plane, taking a final look at familiar surroundings.

*****

It was their second leg of their journey, Anthens to Cairo via Olympic Airlines. It was now almost 2 PM and they were currently over the Mediterranean Sea. Clayland looked out of his window-side seat. He had offered it to Laine, but she claimed that the view would only make her dizzy – a strange complaint he thought. He wasn't sure if the SWA girls were capable of getting motion sickness, but he agreed to switch seats.

“..............”

Speaking of which, Laine sat dozing quietly next to him. Thankfully, for such a large flight they had managed to luck out. Not a single screaming child or snoring man could be heard. Slowly, from a weak grip, the magazine in Laine's hand slipped out and fell to the floor. With a smirk, Clayland reached over and picked up the magazine from the floor and slid it into the seatback pocket. From across their aisle, another woman looked at him and he shrugged at her. She grinned and nodded in understanding.

Moving back into his seat, Clayland once again looked outside the window down at the green and blue colored sea. With a soft rustle he felt something fall against him. Looking over he saw that Laine's body had leaned over and was now resting against his shoulder. With his arm pinned against himself, Clayland tried to readjust his arm into a more comfortable position without waking her.

No such luck.

Looks like I'm going to have a stiff shoulder when we land.

He thought to himself with a helpless expression. Ignoring the weight against his side, he thought about the upcoming mission. This was going to be a first for both of them. They were slated to be operating in Egypt for as long as it took to expose their target's objectives. It could take weeks, perhaps even a month or two before that happened. Such a long-term assignment was going to be a real test of their teamwork.

Feeling a bit stuffy, Clayland reached up with his free arm and turned on one of the overhead vents. Cool air flowed over his face as he sat silently. From the geography outside of his window, he knew it couldn't be more than an hour until they'd be stepping off the plane. The white noise from the air conditioning nearly drowned out the sound of the jet engines he was seated beside.

Then, before he had a chance to take more than a few deep breaths, he felt soft trembling transfer into him. Looking next to himself, Laine was still asleep, though shivering lightly. With an amused grunt, Clayland reached up and turned off the vent above them. Soon afterwards, Laine stopped shivering and he resigned himself to being slightly hot for the rest of the flight. Just before he decided to take a short nap of his own, he heard a quiet voice speak to him.

“Mnnhm...thanks...”

Laine murmured before quickly falling asleep once more. Clayland only nodded before letting his own conciousness drift off with his shoulder now feeling almost completely numb.

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by Sakura on Sat 11 Jul 2009 - 1:34

I like how your Laine story is going so far. While you may call it more "serious", I like the lighthearted scenes as well as how Clayland and Laine interact with each other. I've only read a few of your other stories, but from what I've read here I can already get a feel for your characters. I'm looking forward to where you plan to take this.

On a side note, you might want to change Clayland's passport b-day of April 31st. Razz

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Sat 18 Jul 2009 - 0:21

Another update for those interested.


Chapter 4 - Sun Dried

The first steps outside of the air conditioned airport greeted them with a blast of hot air. Clayland pulled off his fleece and stuffed it into his backpack. Beside him, Laine yawned, having just woken up minutes before the plane landed. She followed him as he headed towards the taxi queue outside of the terminal.

It didn't take long for him to signal down a rather dusty looking white and green four door. He opened the door for Laine, who stepped in first. When they had both entered the car, a tan skinned driver turned his head towards them. For a moment, he seemed to stare at the obviously western passengers, but soon composed himself.

Oreed an azhab ela fondoq Four Seasons al kahera.” Clayland spoke from memory. He was glad he managed to learn some basic Arabic before they had arrived.

“No no.” The taxi driver seemed to shake his head. “I speak English a little, please.” The driver managed to say in his own strangely accented version of a foreign language, mirroring Clayland's own language fumblings.

“Ah I see. Thank you.” Feeling slightly relieved, Clayland nodded as taxi driver pulled away from the curb.

“Four Seasons Hotel? Tourists?” Out of the corner of his eye, Clayland thought he saw Laine smirk a little.

No matter where you are in the world, taxi drivers are all the same. Cabbie small talk.

She thought to herself.

“Yes, something like that.” And with that, talking inside the cab ceased until they had reached their destination. The taxi driver punched the meter in his cab to get the final fair.

“35 pounds.” Clayland reached into one of his pockets and pulled out a fresh 50 Egyptian pound bill, and slipped it through towards the front seats. The driver took it and examined it.

“Keep the change.” Opening the door, he stepped out of the cab, and Laine followed. Saying goodbye in Arabic, the taxi pulled away, leaving them standing before an emmaculate looking luxury hotel. Laine looked surprised at his choice of accomodations.

“This looks pretty fancy Clay. You sure we're staying here?” She looked up at the golden archway entrance to the hotel. Beside them, a line of Bently limos stood off to one side to provide shuttling for important guests.

“For a few nights. I figured that since we'll soon be leaving for the middle of nowhere soon, you might engjoy a final taste of civilization before you undoubtably hate our next living
arrangements.” He said this amusedly, already knowing that Laine had gone to great lengths to describe what she'd do if they were forced to sleep in a mud hut in the desert. She turned towards him with a blank expression, that quickly turned into an impish grin.

“If this is your attempt at seduction, it's not going to work on me.” Laine teased and pointed at him.

“Oh of course not. A fine British lady like yourself couldn't be taken in by such posh circumstances.” This only caused her to grin wider.

“Be a dear and bring the luggage will you?” Speaking in a haughty, overly-done, high-brow accent, she walked off before him into the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel where a doorman opened the polished glass doors before her. Clayland shrugged tiredly as he picked up her duffle and followed her inside.

*****
The room they had chosen was a relatively small, three room suite. There was a sitting area with coffee table, chairs and couch and the bedroom with an attached bathroom. Idly flipping through the satellite TV stations, Clayland heard the shower in the bathroom cease running. Settling on reruns of last year's Wimbledon, he felt the room dim slightly as the sliding doors between the living room and bedroom slid shut.

“Feeling better?” He called out.

“God yes.” He heard her muffled voice behind the closed doors as she changed into fresh clothes. “This desert heat gets me all sticky and sweaty.” She didn't speak again for a few minutes until she was redressed, then stepped into the living room area. “So this is what you're planning on doing for our last few days of civilization?”

“Not the entire time, but for now? Yes.” He grinned and stretched out on the couch. Laine rolled her eyes and stood behind him, as if waiting for a change of heart. After realizing there wasn't going to be one, she shrugged and plopped down on the couch next to him, folding her legs to the side on the cushion. The only sounds for a while were the subdued voices of the TV commentators, and the sound of tennis balls rebounding off racquets.

“I still can't believe Federer lost the final.” She quipped. This caused Clayland to raise an eyebrow.

“Aha...” He mused aloud while looking at her. It took her a few seconds to register that he was gazing at her.

“Wha? What now?” She glanced at him, then locked her gaze back on he TV. To Laine, most people - especially men, were easy to read. Clayland, however, managed to elude her “sixth sense” on a semi-regular basis.

“I didn't know you took such an interest in tennis.” He continued to grin. “I know I have you play a match with me every weekend, but you always seem a little bored.” Whereas Clayland had momentarily had the upper hand in the beginning of the conversation, Laine immediately felt the ball, appropriately, drop into her court. Now it was her turn to fire back.

“I hate to tell you this, but you realize that when we play I'm forced to restrain myself. Remember? I might look a little bored while doing that.”

Right to the gut. She ended with a sickeningly sweet smile. And there it goes.

Like an avalanche, the smile on Clayland's face dropped from the memories.

“Tsk, you're right. How could I forget that?” Scratching his head, Clayland remembered the first time Laine had finally began to get the hang of tennis.

At that point, she could reliably keep up a volley, and even begin to attack with her shots, instead of merely returning them. After a while Laine's better-than-human speed, strength, and visual acuity allowed her to hit winners at impossible angles and power. To add insult to injury, she could also hit serves reaching nearly 170 miles per hour – without even exerting herself. Clayland was no tennis slouch, he had won quite a few tournaments on his highschool team, and even played a few years competitively in college. All this experience meant nothing in the wake of someone who was a better built human being. Since that revelation, and to save money on constantly restringing racquets, Laine toned her game down to more human levels by purposefully crimping her ability. “Remember that time you served right into my stomach?” He reminisced.

“Of course I do.” Laine laughed. “You had a nice, little round bruise for a week.” On that memory, silenced returned as they sat side-by-side watching a match they already knew the results of. Then Laine spoke up once more. “I don't hate tennis.”

“Well that's comforting to hear.” Clayland said absentmindedly while watching the TV. Noticing that he was no longer completely committed to their conversation, she decided to make another quick jab.

“I just hate having a sub-par match partner.” This made him laugh, and Laine smile. After a commercial break, he flipped the mute button and turned towards her.

“Sleepy?” He querried. Laine didn't have to think very long.

“Surprisingly yes. I think I'll head off to bed.” She stood up and stretched. With a quick motion, she pulled the hair-tie that was keeping her ponytail up and slid it down her wrist.

“Well go ahead and take the bed, I'll crash here on the couch.” Naturally, Laine found enough energy to protest once more.

“That's dumb. You should take the bed, this is only a love seat anyways. You can't even lay straight on it like I could.” She grabbed his arm and attemped to drag him up. He nudged her off.

“What kind of gentleman would I be if I were to *yawn* let a lady sleep on a tiny couch?” He ignored her and with a weary voice flipped off the TV and laid down, his legs dangling off one side. “If you really want the couch, you'll have to carry me to the bed.”

“Tsk, fine.” Laine gave him a harmless poke in the chest. “Just don't complain to me when you're sore tomorrow.”

“Yeah yeah.” He said, pulling a cushion off the back for a pillow. “By the way, I know there's a TV in the bedroom, but don't stay up too late.”

“Something happening tomorrow morning?” Laine asked, walking her way towards the bedroom.

“Yup,” Clayland paused for another yawn, “we're going car shopping.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Do you know what Jesus said in John chapter 5? Don't bring me any trouble, bitch." - Eda, Black Lagoon
"Anybody can be cool...but awesome takes practice." - Lorraine Peterson
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rusty-spring
The AWESOME Baron

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Original Characters : L is for Laine

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Refrain Teaser

Post by rusty-spring on Thu 7 Jan 2010 - 3:34

A bit of a change of pace that I'll be posting here. It's some "teaser" chapters of Project Refrain. It takes place during the second episode of the series, and involves the more action oriented characters in the universe, compared to Sloane's slower paced detective arcs. Some of the characters should sound familiar since I've posted artwork on them (Which you can see here). Anyways, hopefully everyone enjoys a part of this project.


REFRAIN

Episode Two – Host

Chapter 1

Municipal District 1-B
9:27 AM
Tuesday


“Call incoming. Direct Action Team E-Ten-Thirty-Three report to the staging area. Repeat, report to the staging area for a Class-3 response.”

A klaxon sounded off alongside the station wide PA system. Within seconds the sounds of footsteps could be heard from all directions. Among them, Adam Lockard quickly checked his watch as he hustled down the hallway.

“Shit, and I'm not even clocked in yet” He met up with 11 other men and women and headed towards the south wing of 1-C's Civil Defense headquarters. Adam acknowledged another man with a small nod which was promptly returned. Together, the dozen officers entered a brightly lit locker room.

“Any word on the call Sergeant?” A red haired man with cropped hair shouted across the room while slipping on a black kevlar vest.

“Not yet, we're gonna get details en route. So hurry it up, I want us on the road hauling ass in five.” Unlike the rest of his team, Everet Dietrich was already fully geared up and ready to go. “Meet me by the trucks.”

“That's the sarge for ya eh?” Adam felt a nudge on his shoulder as he slipped on his own vest. He gave the man who nudged him a grin.

“Yeah, someday someone's gonna have to tell me how he kits up so fast.” From across the way, the redhead spoke up again.

“Didn't anyone tell you Lockard? The sarge sleeps in that stuff.” That got the entire team laughing as they finished putting on their gear. “Gotta pay attention rookie!” He felt his head jerked back as he was given a noogie.

“Get off me Goehagan.” Adam jokingly shrugged the surly man off his back. The redhead grinned widely.

“I'm just psyched. This is our first call all month since being in 'pole position'.” Everyone else agreed. “Pole position” was what they called being the primary team of the month. Due to the rigors of assignments and training, each team rotated active duty. For Direct Action Team E-1033, their time had almost gone by without a single call.

“Don't forget your gun honey.” Another male teammate teased as he tossed Adam a gear bag. Checking that he did indeed have his sidearm strapped to his leg and his gun bag across his back, Adam jogged to catch up.

~*~*~*~

Brollin Avenue – En route to Business District 23-G
9:35 AM


Two Civil Defense Division SUVs sped down the road in tandem with lights flashing.

“Here's the deal people, we've got a hostage situation. A group of armed men have taken the lobby of the Shichirobei Business Complex, with one of them claiming to have explosives.” From the front SUV, Sergeant Deitrich spoke to the rest of his team through their radios. From the rear SUV, a female team member spoke up.

“Any demands? How many people do they have trapped inside?” A young looking man behind the Sergeant worked with his laptop. His fingers flew across the keyboard as he overlooked the day's statistics, then replied.

“9:30 on a weekday morning? I'm going to say there are hundreds if not a thousand inside that building right now. Currently they haven't mentioned any demands. So far they've simply locked down the building, making sure no one can get in or out.” Every member of the team remained silent. From the back seat of the second SUV, Adam began thinking to himself.

Hundreds? That number of hostages would be impossible to control. Not even the most skilled terrorists could hope to...

“They're not making any demands because they don't have any, do they Sarge?” Adam spoke up above the others. The rest of the team kept silent as they waited for their leader's response. The response was as expected.

“...In this situation, I would say that's a likely scenario.” The two black vehicles had almost reached their destination as they made a left turn.

“Shit. They're gonna blow the place up.” A gruff, but short man next to Adam grunted. “How'd they even get inside? Don't these places have ID checkpoints?”

“That's possible to fool, if you know what you're doing.” The man with the laptop replied as he continued to tap away.

Team E-1033 finally pulled up to the Shichirobei Business Complex, a police cordon already set up around the perimeter by a Civil Defense patrol team. The group of 12 jumped out of the SUVs and huddled up around their commander.

“Verdenza, get over here with the map.” The man with the lap top stepped up beside Dietrich and spun his laptop towards the others, so they could see. A wireframe 3D blueprint of the building flowed into view. “We don't yet know how many terrorists there are, or even where they are.” He tapped on the screen that indicated the first floor. “There are at least ten men in the lobby for certain, but with a building this large, we have no idea how many more men there could be. Could be a 'sleeper' inside as well, so we're going to need to do a bit of homework and quickly.”

“Galvers.” The sole female member of the team acknowledged her name. “I want you to take Goehagan and begin surveillance measures. Minicams, pulse scanners, anything you can think of so we can see where people are and when.”

“Gotcha.” Immediately the two teammates went to the second SUV and began unpacking large crates filled with equipment.

“Verdenza, you're here with me. I need you to coordinate between myself, the surveillance team, and the point teams.” The man standing beside him nodded and set his laptop on the hood of the SUV. “Washington, Ford, Marcelo, and Ricci – You're Unit 2. Take up position by the front lobby. In case we need to get messy, you guys are going to bust in the front doors.” Finally he turned towards Adam and the rest. “Nicholson, Lockard, Tempe, and Shito – You're Unit 1. You're going to be working in tandem with another CDD team and are going to clear the building from top down. I want this as clean as possible, so do it quietly.”

“Another team sir?” The large black man, Nicholson, queried. The Sergeant nodded. “We've got a sniper team coming. They'll be splitting up into four units to cover all sides of the building. They'll be your support, as well as an extra set of eyes while you're sweeping through.”

No sooner had Dietrich finished talking, a large black CDD van drove up beside their SUVs. Immediately, eight people filed out of the back, long black rifles slung behind their shoulders. In the lead, a woman wearing tactical gear and a baseball cap walked up to them. Her vest was labeled “McCrea” and wore Sergeant stripes like Dietrich and gave him a respectful nod which he returned.

Howard Tempe nudged Adam in the side and flicked his head and waggled his eyebrows at the female sergeant. Adam rolled his eyes and tried to ignore him. Unit 1 listened as their Sergeant gave the operation details to the sniper team. For a brief moment, the female sergeant looked over Dietrich's shoulder and at the four men standing behind him. She briefly made eye contact with Adam as her eyes scanned the group. Turning back to Dietrich, she nodded in understanding. With a few short orders, she split her own team up into four and pointed out their perch locations. When she finished, she walked up to Unit 1.

“Sergeant McCrea. Pleased to meet you.” She introduced herself. To Adam's surprise, her voice wasn't at all gruff as he expected. Galvers, the female member on his own team lacked when it came to feminine attributes, speaking bluntly and not ashamed to let loose a variety of bodily noises in public. He fixated her on voice as she continued. “I've split my team into four groups and we'll be taking vantage points around the Shichirobei Building.” She pointed up at the skyscraper next to them. “Now due the size, we're going to have to coordinate carefully. We can only cover about 10 floors before we'd need to relocate, so every time you move that many floors downward, you'll have to radio us and let us move into position again.” Acting highly unprofessional, Adam let his attention wane as he watched the female sergeant finish her briefing. He snapped out of it as he felt a sharp jab in his ribs. It was Tempe again. “Are you getting this Officer...” She looked at his name tag. “...Lockard?”

“Yes ma'am! Consider it received.” He gave her a hasty salute. The Sergeant seemed to find this amusing and let out a chiding grin.

“I'm glad to see you're so enthusiastic, but this is important. I need to make sure you're with me.” Howard jumped in and gave Adam a slight knock on the head.

“Don't mind him Sergeant, he's a rookie.” Adam tried to brush off the patronizing hand patting his head.

“I see.” She slung her rifle and pointed towards her radio headset. “We'll be on channel 4, so make sure you keep in contact.” Unit 1 nodded and committed it to memory. “I may be a ranking officer, but this is your operation. We're here as support. Once you're in there, you'll be calling the shots so don't slack off. Any questions?”

Everyone shook their heads. Looking at the Shichirobei Building once more, Sergeant McCrea turned back.

“All right then, let's get to work.”

Chapter 2


Business District 23-G
Shichirobei Buisiness Complex – Floor 96
9:53 AM


The VTOL dropped off the four man team of Unit 1 onto the roof of the Shichirobei Building. Adam gave a thumbs up at the pilot, indicating they had all managed to drop down safely. Beside him Tempe hailed Sergeant Dietrich on the radio.

“We've made it to the roof Sarge. Any word on the terrorists yet?” The radio crackled back at him.

“Well so far they've made one demand.” Dietrich paused. “They've asked for news cameras.” As Adam listened he knew that there was only one reason for that.

“They want an audience.”

“Sounds like it.” Thankfully, Civil Defense had done a good job stifling any news media for the time being. Any and all operations such as these were deemed confidential and anyone wanting to record the events needed to go through the necessary red tape. “Our negotiators have managed to stall them. Telling them it takes time. I think they've bought it, for now. To be honest, this seems pretty amateur already.”

The team all agreed. Let them think they're in control for the time being. Unless the terrorists were “tourists”, they would understand that it would take a while to get the news feed they wanted. Of course, if they were exceptionally smart, they would already know that it was as much a chess game on the side of the police as it was for them.

“Either way, I want you to hustle. As soon as Sergeant McCrea tells you her team is ready, I want you sweeping those floors fast as possible.” Down on the ground level, Dietrich switched channels. “Galvers, how are those surveillance systems coming?”

“Nearly complete. I've managed to wire into the building's security cams remotely, and I've got the pulse scanners up on remote climbers. It'll take a bit for them to reach the top though.” She spoke quickly while still wiring together a bundle of fiber optic cables.

“That'll have to do. Hopefully the top floors will be fairly empty. They'll reach them when they reach them.” Dietrich signed off with that and Galvers and Goehagan watched as the basketball sized remote vehicle began a slow climb up a corner of the building.

Adam and his team up on the roof finished some last second checks. All their weapons were loaded and ready to fire, and were affixed with suppressors. They stood by the roof's access door awaiting for McCrea's team to give them the green light. It didn't take long before Adam heard her voice come over the radio.

“This is McCrea. We're ready when you are.” Giving his teammates the thumbs up Adam reached down and pulled up the heavy steel double doors that led to the floor below. “By the way, those mirrored windows might look pretty from a design point, but they wreck havoc with our ability to sight in targets. You'll have to tell us when you move and where.” There was a slight pause. “All we've got to see is low depth thermal until we break the glass. I wouldn't want to shoot any of you.” She added with a pause. Adam assumed she was joking, as the idea of getting shot by friendly fire was hardly a laughing matter. “One last thing,” Sergeant McCrea's voice spoke once more, “if things are going to absolute hell in there – and I mean hell – the code word is 'Broadside'. Once you say that, find yourself some cover because we'll pour as much fire into the floor as we can, but I can't guarantee that some bullets won't find you. There's also a good chance quite a few civilians could get hit.”

“Well, hopefully we won't have to use that.” Adam spoke over the radio. McCrea sent one last transmission before he hopped down with the rest of the team that had entered before him.

“Same here.”

~*~*~*~

“This is Lockard, we've reached the 50th floor. It's clean.” It had taken roughly 10 minutes to check each floor. Thankfully most of the upper floors were sparsely populated due to panicking people rushing to get to the lower levels in order to get out. No doubt as they went farther down it would only become harder and harder.

“Gotcha, keep going.” Dietrich relayed. Hopefully his instincts were correct and all the terrorists were at ground level, but he couldn't escalate the mission before he knew for sure. Adam led the way down the next stairwell before he heard someone on the radio.

“We've reached the next checkpoint.” It was Sergeant McCrea from the sniper team. Fortunately, their abilities were thus far unnecessary. As Unit 1 opened the door to the next office level a bunch of scared looking workers turned their heads towards them.

By now, Galvers and Goehagan had caught back up with Dietrich and Verdenza at the SUVs. They were monitoring the systems when Galvers noticed something.

“Yo Sarge.” Walking over, Dietrich looked at her.

“What's up? Find something?” He looked at her laptop screen.

“Yeah...the security camera feed shows 102 people on that floor. But look at these nine...” She pointed at her screen. The pulse scanner was originally used as a search and rescue device, to find people who had been trapped beneath rubble or an avalanche by picking up the minute electricity generated by a beating heart. However, the police had managed to find more martial uses. The screen she pointed to displayed a wealth of flashing red blips dotted with green ones. “See all those red ones? Those are elevated pulse rates...” She tapped the screen at a green one, which wasn't beating quite so fast. “These are only slightly elevated, in fact nearly normal. In a confused, hostage situation? Does that add up to you?”

“I see.” Any sane person wouldn't be acting completely calm at the idea of terrorists with bombs inside their building. He grabbed his earpiece. “Unit 1.”

“Go boss.” Replied Tempe.

“Galvers thinks she's picked up something funny on that floor. Nine individuals. Calm as clams. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious. I'm going to have her pinpoint those people for you.” Dietrich nodded at Galvers, so she could continue.

“Lockard, you've got one to the left of you. 10 meters.” Cautiously, Adam walked over to where she indicated. There sitting prone was a young-ish looking man with his eyes closed.

“Sir?” Adam walked closer, gun raised. “Can I have you stand up for me?” The man didn't answer. “I said stand up sir.” Still he didn't respond. Adam reached down and was about to force the man up by the collar when suddenly he heard something drop. A small, black sphere came to rest between his feet. It took a second of realization, then Adam immediately took a flying leap out of the way. “GRENADE!” He yelled out before hitting the ground behind an office partition. Seconds later the small explosive detonated, tearing the man and the area around him to shreds, wounding several other people in the area.

~*~*~*~

“Shit!” Down below Galvers swore out loud. The explosive device wasn't particularly large but it was enough to shatter the nearby windows and send bits of debris flying out. The green pips all elevated at once, and were lost in the sea of red. Soon gunfire could be heard from above. Immediately Dietrich got on the radio.

“Unit 1 report!”

“This is Nicholson, we're being fired upon by some of the civilians!” He could hear gunfire over the radio.

“Those aren't civilians, they're terrorists. Assume anyone with a weapon a target, take them out!”

~*~*~*~

“Easy for you to say!” It was Tempe's turn to sound frantic. Inside the building, it was total chaos. People were running for cover left and right, bumping into the team. “Hey, where's Lockard?” He watched as Shito ran over to where the grenade had gone off.

“I think he's out cold.” He yelled to the other two before he managed to see one of the gunman. A quick burst from his submachine gun and the man went down.

~*~*~*~

“Uh...Sarge?” Outside, Goehagan got the attention of his CO. “Those guys on the ground floor are looking pretty damn antsy. I think the jig is up.” Things were escalating out of control. Now that the enemy knew they were being sniffed out, they would likely move to do something drastic.

“Send in Unit 2 now. Have them blow the front doors wide open with detcord and flashbangs. Take out anyone that resists.” Goehagan quickly got on the radio and watched as the situation fell apart around him, a clean and swift solution was now out of reach.

~*~*~*~

“I said what's going on in there?!” McCrea's fevered voice came over the radio as Nicholson and Tempe exchanged fire with three gunmen. Automatic fire sprayed across the room as the terrorists indiscriminately fired, hitting some of the fleeing civilians in the process.

“What do you think? We're being shot at! Can't you do something?” Nicholson barked as he barely dodged a hail of fire. Across the room, Tempe watched Shito continue to cover Lockards unconscious body and fire back.

“I can't. The only thing we've got is thermal and standard optics, there's too many bodies running everywhere.” Through her scope, the only thing she could see was a blur of technicolor bodies sprawling all about.

“Ugghh....” With a groan Shito felt something move beside him. Glancing down he saw Adam struggling to roll over. “What's going on?”

“Nice of you to wake up – Mag.” Shito reached a hand out towards Adam. Managing to shake off the majority of his grogginess, he reached inside a pouch and pulled out a full magazine for his teammate.

“What about the snipers?” Adam quickly peeked around the the partition and saw where the fire was coming from. He took his gun and disabled the safety.

“They say there's too many people moving around. Can't get a clear shot at the baddies.” Adam peeked over and ducked again as he was fired upon. “Tempe nailed one of them, but I count at least seven more.”

“Hey, Sergeant...Mc...uh.” He spoke over his radio, still slightly fuzzy headed as the tried to remember her name.

“This is McCrea.” He heard her voice come over his earpiece.

“I've got an idea. So get your team ready to fire.” Curiously, McCrea raised an eyebrow as she peered through her scope. Through the thermals she could still only make out a mass of red and yellow.

“You don't sound so well.” She replied cautiously.

“No no no nonononono. I'm fine.” The amount of “no's” he mumbled out made her think otherwise, but McCrea continued to listen. “Get ready, but...uh...keep the lid tight, this might not work.”

“What might not work?” She questioned him. Adam took a look one last time at the gunmen and at the people scurrying around the area trying to escape somehow. He took a deep breath, then yelled as loud as he possibly could while tackling a nearby civilian to the floor.

“DUCK NOW YOU FUCKING MORONS!”

Instinctively, the other three teammates ducked their heads as they heard Adam shout. A couple people around them screamed out as all the civilians followed suit out of fear. The only ones that seemed confused were the terrorists, looking at each other clueless.

With a surprised grunt, Sergeant McCrea listened to the strange order over her headset, then understood as she saw seven silhouettes with weapons standing clearly above the rest.

From inside, the crack of rifles pierced the awkward break in gunfire. From all four sides, windows shattered and the seven terrorists arrayed around the 49th floor dropped as bullets riddled their bodies.

~*~*~*~

On the street, the rest of Team E-1033 heard the snipers fire repeatedly through the 49th floor windows. Bright muzzle flashes appearing before the sound reach their ears.

“Unit 2, go go go.” Dietrich waved his hand towards the front door. On cue, the four men standing before the entrance tossed a quad of flashbangs through the front door. They went off a second later, shattering glass with a deafening clash. Immediately Unit 2 swarmed into the entrance.

“Left Ford, left!” Someone yelled through the radio. The sound of fully automatic gunfire flooded out into the street.

“Got him, two more by the reception desk!” From her position by the SUVs, Galvers watched her screen, the pulse scanner showed two more blips disappear as their hearts stopped beating. Out of the corner of her eye she saw one running towards a stairwell.

“Unit 2, you've got a runner! East stairwell.” She informed the team.

“Shit. Can anybody run that guy down?” Ricci popped out from behind a large potted plant and fired a few rounds.

“Maybe if I was bullet proof!” Replied Washington.

Swearing while watching over Galvers' shoulder, Dietrich switched channels on his radio.

~*~*~*~

“I can't believe that worked.” Adam said incredulously while scanning the room around him.

“Clear!” Shouted Tempe as they finished sweeping the building.

“Clear!” Confirmed Nicholson. They were beginning to attend to some of the wounded when they could hear gunfire from below them. “Looks like they sent in Unit 2.”

“Report Unit 1.” The four men heard Dietrich over the radio.

“All terrorists on the 49th floor are dead.” They could hear gunfire clearly now, through the radio link. “What's going on down there?”

“I've sent Unit 2 in, and they've got a runner. I need someone to intercept, he's going up the East stairwell.”

“I've got it.” Adam said while standing up. The others looked at him. “I'm not in any shape to tend to any wounded right now, but I'm sure I have another tackle in me.” He looked down rather apologetically at the woman he had dove to the ground a minute earlier.

“Fine, we don't have time. Verdenza says you can take the B Elevator down to the 5th floor and cut him off.” Adjusting the strap on his gun, Adam doubled checked to make sure it was chambered.

“Copy that.” He left the area and walked towards the nearest elevator. It arrived in seconds and he hopped in, then pressed the button for the fifth floor.

~*~*~*~

“Lobby is clear Sarge.” With a short sigh, Dietrich felt a bit of tension leave his body. The entrance to the lobby was just as hectic as the firefight on the 49th floor, but there were no injuries to civilians or his officers.

“Any sign of explosives?” He asked curiously.

“Not that we can detect. What about that guy that got away?” Around them, blood pooled out from the bodies of the terrorists. They had numerous guns and ammunition on them, but no sign of any bombs or detonators.

“Lockard is going to intercept, I want you to split up and send two to back him up.” Quickly, Ricci and Marcelo volunteered to go after the wayward terrorist.

~*~*~*~

The elevator raced down the 44 floors to the 5th. Adam felt the familiar uneasiness as it arrived in seconds. The doors opened and he raised his gun while exiting the elevator.

“Galvers, where is he?” He asked over the radio.

“He's almost to the fifth floor, to the stairwell to your left.” Quickly, Adam jogged over towards the door and waited beside it. As expected, the door burst open and a man sprinted through. With a quick lunge Adam grabbed his legs and caused the terrorist to trip and tumble to the ground. The man kicked his feet, trying to dislodge himself as Adam held fast.

“Stop moving!” Adam ordered as he pinned the man to the ground. He barely missed a flash of silver as a knife came diving towards his head. With a quick roll, Adam dove out of the way, saving his face from a fatal wound. Unfortunately he didn't moved far enough and the knife blade embedded itself into his left shoulder. Yelling in pain Adam punched the man in the face with his right fist, sending him falling back.

While Adam struggled to pull the knife out his shoulder, the terrorist jumped up and started running again. Yanking the short blade out by the handle, Adam reached for his pistol and aimed it at the fleeing suspect. He fired two quick rounds that hit the man in the hip. The terrorist stumbled to the ground once more, unable to run. With a pained face Adam walked up towards him.

“Don't move!” What little patience Adam had reserved was now extinct and he yelled at the man below him, gun trained on his head. There was a brief silence before he could hear what sounded like laughter. Reaching down, he rolled the man over, despite the searing pain in his shoulder. Adam's eyes widened as what he saw. Dozens high explosive bricks were strapped to his chest, a detonator in his hand. At that moment, Marcelo and Ricci had just entered through the stairwell behind them.

“Move as many people as you can out of the building!” Adam waved the two off as he dove towards the detonator in the man's hand. Without any further explanation the other two officers moved into action, fleeing back down the stairs yelling into their radios.

Rolling over each other, Adam and the terrorist fought over the detonator. Adam punched the man again while the terrorist caught his other hand and bit into his forearm causing him to release. Not knowing what else to do, Adam stood up and dragged the man with him, punching him once more in the face. Slightly dazed, the terrorist stumbled and the detonator slipped from his hand. For a brief moment, Adam thought it was over, until he noticed a high pitched whine coming from beside him. Glancing at the terrorist, the beaten man looked up at him.

“Too late. You're too late.” The explosive vest began to whine louder, indicating that detonation was mere seconds away. With a grim face, Adam grabbed his pistol again and fired it repeatedly at a nearby pane glass window shattering it.

“Yeah, well I'm stubborn.” With as much strength he could muster from his body, Adam booted the man through the empty window. Just as the body flew out the window he felt a pair of hands grab him by the vest and drag him backwards with alarming speed. The ensuing fireball blinded him momentarily before a piece of debris struck him in the head, sending his world into blackness.

~*~*~*~

Adam had felt pain before, being a police officer was hard work. Though nothing he had experienced felt as bad as the headache he currently had.

“Shit...” He felt something sticky on his forehead and reached up to determine what it was. Oh great, it's my brains. My head is split open and my brains are spilling out. He stopped his monologue when someone grabbed his hand firmly.

“Don't do that.” He heard an unfamiliar voice speaking towards him as Adam realized he was lying down. In no position to argue he merely laid back down without opening his eyes. “Sergeant he's awake.” The voice called out to a group of footsteps that came closer.

“You look like shit.” Adam recognized that voice, it was Tempe and his usual carefree attitude. Deciding to brave the world of vision, Adam slowly opened his eyes. It was fuzzy at first, but slowly gained focus. He was laying on a stretcher, next to a CDD medical van. The person he heard talking earlier was a medic, tending to his injuries.

“Am I gonna live doc?” Despite this, Adam managed to crack a joke. The medic looked at him with a disproving expression.

“A concussion and a shoulder wound isn't going to kill you, though I'm surprised that's all you've got.” Looking around he saw his team staring at him with looks of amusement and concern.

“What about the bomb?” Adam laid his head back down and closed his eyes. He felt the stretcher being turned slightly.

“Take a look.” Opening his eyes again, Adam saw the Shichirobei building before them. A massive semi-circle had been blasted out from the side of the building.

“That's it?” He joked again. Dietrich scoffed with a grin.

“Could have been worse, if you hadn't pushed that guy out before the bomb went off. The blast radius might have hit one of the support pillars inside the building. The whole thing could have came down.” Adam relaxed his body again.

“Ah so I'm a hero. Good.” A round of sarcastic “oohs and ahs” came out from his team as they teased him. Some of them gave him a supportive pat on the boots before they walked away from Adam to pack up their gear. Next to him, a figure jumped out of the back of medical van, with bare arms wrapped in bandages. She walked over towards him and then looked at the building.

“You have a unique sense of self-preservation.” Standing in the fading sunlight, Sergeant McCrea raised an eyebrow while smiling. Looking at the bandages once more Adam replied to her.

“So that was you that pulled me out of that mess.” She nodded.

“You're lucky you happened to be next to the elevator. I managed to drag you inside before most of the debris flew into the room.” Her words made Adam wince as he felt the throbbing in his head.

“How're your arms?” He pointed a bit at her bandages.

“Just some cuts and scrapes. I have you to thank for blocking most of the scrap from me hitting me.” Adam thought he heard amusement in her voice, but his headache kept him from thinking too hard.

“What were you doing in there anyways?” As far as he knew, the sniper team had remained in their perches during the whole operation.

“Once most of the terrorists were down, I switched my team over to the roof to help your unit tend to the civilians. I pick up word on the runner and headed down. None too soon either.” McCrea grinned, then looked him over. “You really did a number on yourself, didn't you?” Adam eyes looked upwards towards the gauze and icepack that had been tied to his forehead.

“I guess I owe you one then, Sergeant.” She shrugged lightly and pulled off her cap. The brunette hair that had been held up for most of the day fell down messily around her face, a ponytail blowing in the slight breeze.

“You certainly do Officer Lockard.” Adam laughed painfully, wincing. Feeling the pain ebb, he sat up on the stretcher.

“You can call me Adam.” The Sergeant raised an eyebrow at him. “I figure saving someone's life entitles them to a first name.” She laughed. Once finished she nodded.

“Marron.” She said, indicated her own name. “Well, no doubt my team is waiting for me. I better be off.” Adam nodded then gave her a small salute. She returned it politely before stepping away. Watching her leave, Adam turned towards the medic who had been silent, packing up medical supplies while they had talked.

“I guess there are worse things than being rescued by a pretty woman. All in all, I call this a good day.” By now Tempe had returned and was standing next to him.

“That's the concussion talking. We'll see you later buddy.” Adam relaxed as his teammate helped the medic load him into the van for a thorough medical check. As the doors closed he shut his eyes, the last thought in his head being how soon it'd take until Sloane would scold him for being a “reckless moron.”

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 7 Jan 2010 - 14:25

@rusty-spring wrote:A bit of a change of pace that I'll be posting here. It's some "teaser" chapters of Project Refrain. It takes place during the second episode of the series, and involves the more action oriented characters in the universe, compared to Sloane's slower paced detective arcs.

study study study study

cheers cheers cheers cheers

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 13:56

Top Gear Fan Review
by Laine


[Scenes from the American heartland. Tractors tilling fields, football practice, KFC. As the scenes progress, a voice over from Laine begins.]

In the deep country climate of the American south, there are three absolutes:

  1. God
  2. Football
  3. Pickup trucks
Being unable to prove the first, having trouble finding a field in Italy to play the second, that leaves me with the third and final option.

The pickup truck, also known as the “Texas Cadillac”. They are widely popular around the world, but no more so than in the United States. Perhaps best known for their perceived aura of machismo, they are the modern world equivalent of the work horse. In fact, one American politician upon commenting on an opponent's flaws, stated that “he hadn't spent enough time in a pickup.”

[Cuts to Laine, who is walking along the track, speaking to the camera]

Now, you may think that I've chosen exactly such a vehicle. A truck that's driven the fields, embattled countless moving days, and hauled the very lifeblood of America. Bringing one down to the track would be a testament of the hardworking, blue collar, American determinism that helped create one of the most powerful countries in history. And -

[Camera shifts over to Laine who has stopped walking with a mischievous grin.]

- You'd be completely wrong.

[Camera fades out, then back in. Viewers see a cherry red pickup truck power slide into frame, smoke from the tires streaming behind it as American rock music beings to play. View switches to inside of the cabin, where Laine is grinning widely, wrestling the wheel to straighten out the vehicle. She laughs.]

This is the 2001 Ford SVT Lightning. It's based around the F-150, the best selling truck in the States. What Ford has done to this one however, is taken the blue collar American...[View of SVT cutting a high corner, the back sliding out once more then snaking into a squeal of acceleration.]...and fed it a diet of cocaine and steroids.

[Laine reduces speed down to a cruise while she turns towards the camera periodically.]

Now the standard F-150 is a 4.6L V8 and puts out 250 horsepower, and 290 lbs. of torque. Plenty for hauling 6000 pounds around dirt roads. The SVT however has a 5.4L supercharged V8 and 380 horsepower and 450 lbs. of torque. That's comparable to a Corvette. And here's another interesting fact – it'll go 0-60 in 5.2 seconds. All this in a “Texas Cadillac” no less!

[Cuts to a view of the SVT speeding up again.]

However, that's also the bad news. Although having power close to that of a Corvette and a quickness of a Boxster, under all of that it is still a pickup. It's heavy, the steering lacks feedback, and the ride is horrendous. Match that with internals that are complete rubbish. I have yet to find a single piece of the dash not made of play school playdough.

[Laine revs up the engine]

Worst of all, it doesn't even sound that good.

[Camera changes to a panning shot of the SVT sitting on the track.]

So then, is the entire idea of a performance pickup complete rubbish? Is this the best America has to offer?

[A artful view of the inside of a dark garage. The doors open and as light streams in, it highlights a looming black shape.]

No, it's not.

[A mad, frenetic shot of a black pickup creating billowing clouds of smoke as it spins doughnuts. Another Laine voice over.]

Meet the Dodge SRT-10.

[Cut to Laine inside of the cab, trying to force the truck out of the spin, and failing. She shifts into neutral.]

If the Ford was nuts, then the Dodge is psychotic.

[Laine drives the Dodge around the track, an obvious look of concentration on her face.]

Somewhere, in 2002, some bloke in America thought “Hey, let's pull the engine out of a perfectly good Viper, and shove it into a very ugly truck!”

[With a laugh, Laine screeches the SRT-10 around a corner, rear wheels flying into the grass before spinning out and ending up half on the asphalt.]

What you end up getting would be the equivalent of sticking a 350 pound strong man into a very tiny speedo...on second thought, forget that image.

[Laine grimaces.]

A couple of improvements over the Ford. Like I mentioned before it has the V-10 from the Viper, so that means it puts out 500 horsepower and 525 lbs. of torque. That's enough to move this entire compound one building at a time.* It has more than enough power to pull a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds...that's just not right for a pickup truck.

Also, it replaces the automatic transmission for a six speed manual. In my opinion all truly great performance vehicles throughout history have had a manual gearbox, so I'm glad to see Dodge has done the sensible thing and followed suit.

[SRT-10 does a few more corners, then drives out of frame, then cuts back to Laine in the cabin.]

However, just like the Ford, this is still a truck. The SRT-10 weighs over two-and-a-half tons. And look in the back.

[Camera cuts to the rear of the vehicle.]

It has a rear spoiler! What kind of idiot puts a spoiler on pickup? That'd be like sticking a wing on an Avantime...[Laine stops quickly, then looks contritely at the camera.]..Ah...right.

[Shot of the SRT-10 parked next to the SVT. Laine walks out between them.]

Finally, there's the matter of price. Both of these vehicles, after being imported into the UK, would set you back nearly £35,000. And for what? Two utility vehicles tuned to go very fast, in only very straight lines. For that amount of money you could get yourself a good selection of faster, prettier sports cars.

You see, that's my biggest problem with these performance trucks. They're trying to be two things at once. Sure, you could use them as an actual pickup and haul around pigs or badly made Swedish cabinets, but then you wouldn't really be unleashing their full potential.

And if...

[Laine walks behind one of the trucks and pulls out a giant flat plastic panel]

...You wanted to go flat out, you only get the best results if you put these massive lids over the truck beds, thus removing the benefits of having a truck to haul things in. It's all just incredibly pointless.

[A scene of both trucks driving together through the track. Laine voice over]

So, in conclusion, would I recommend buying either of these vehicles? No.

[Cut to a previous clip of Laine power sliding the Ford around a corner with a wide grin]

Would I borrow one off a redneck friend with too much money for a day at the track? Definitely.

*An exaggeration.


Last edited by rusty-spring on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 13:58; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 13:57

As I noted in chat, I am not being polite or engaging in hyperbole when I say that was frackin epic. That was a proper, honest to goodness, JC Limited Edition Top Gear review. You're now in charge of writing Kara's review of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster for the "Top Gear Contest" story.

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 18:21

Definately

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by MP5 on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 22:18

I third this motion. this is spot-on JC.
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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by Alfisti on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 22:53

Haha! Awesome... spot on JC

One nitpick... JC's British and Laine's in Europe, so "football" = soccer, which you can find plenty of fields for in Italy

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by MP5 on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 0:19

@Alfisti wrote:Haha! Awesome... spot on JC

One nitpick... JC's British and Laine's in Europe, so "football" = soccer, which you can find plenty of fields for in Italy Razz
it's not football, it's handegg:

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 1:03

Top Gear Fan Review
by Laine

[Laine standing on the track. It's cold and her breath can be seen in the dawn light.]

I had the intention of reviewing a couple of American SUVs today, but unfortunately, the SWA Road and Track division were unable to source the vehicles I wanted. Something about American SUVs being too troublesome to import this week.

[Camera pans over an empty track and Laine beings walking into the grass.]

In short, I will not be reviewing American SUVs. [Laine stops.] I'll be reviewing a Russian one.

[Laine steps next to and leans against a giant, blocky vehicle.]

This is the Dartz Kombat T98. [Tense, bass heavy music beings to play. Camera begins to pan around the vehicle] It costs £127,000 pounds. It weighs 4.2 tons. Inside the cabin, you can comfortably seat five. And this here...[She peers into the bed of the T98]...is to mount a 23mm machine gun for when you're stuck behind caravans.

[View of the T98 driving laps around the track.]

There are different engine options for the Kombat. The base model comes 6.0L V8 engine that
gives out 300 horsepower and 360 lbs. of torque. And that's pretty good...if you're a gerbil. [A throaty roar as Laine applies more throttle.] However, for those among us who desire something with a bit more heat in the trousers, there is an 8.1L V8 that gives 40 more horsepower, but more importantly 95 lbs. more torque.

[Laine pulls the T98 over, and hops out.]

To give you an idea of what a 4 ton vehicle with 455 lbs. of torque can do, I've set up a little demonstration.

[The camera pans forward to see a half-dozen Volkswagen Beetles lined up.]

I have here six VW bugs, linked and tied together. They soon shall be chained to the back end of the T98. [She steps up to each one and peers inside.] Just checking that the parking brakes are engaged.

[She hops back into the T98 and closes the door. She starts the engine and shifts into drive. Slowly the first VW begins to drag behind the vehicle, with the others slowly skidding after.]

Allow me to talk about the interior for a bit. [She motions her hand around her.] Look at it!
The gauges are made of titanium. The seats and dashboard out of fine grain leather. And look at this – right beside my climate control is an onboard computer with a reported 200 functions. [She hits a few buttons on the touch screen.]...I think it's telling me what color bra I'm wearing. [Laine looks at the screen, then down at her chest a few times in confusion.]

[View shows that Laine has managed to accelerate to a speed of 45 miles and hour and is still climbing. Then the view changes to outside where the dozen Beetles are still in tow. The train of VWs are beginning to snaked back and forth. A few of them are hopping about as their tires lose grip against the surface and buck up away from the pavement. Suddenly in dramatic fashion, the third Bug in tow has it's bumper ripped off and loses connection to the chain.]

Gaining a bit of speed here, must be hitting the T98's sweet spot.

[Behind her, you can see that the unhitched Bug has slammed into the remaining ones, flipping the last few on their sides. Laine is now driving a train of half-uprighted cars leaving a trail of sparks.]

Best yet, listen to this sound system! [She flips on the radio and the song that comes on is
O Tebe - Ranetki Girls. It drowns out the sound of scraping metal and crunching steel.]
Absolutely wonderful! [Laine shouts while shifting into 4th gear.] Though I will have to ask Petra if she managed to sneak one her CDs into the disc changer...

[The T98 rounds another corner. One of the overtuned Beetles snaps off of the chain and rolls numerous times into the grass embankment in a shower of pieces.]

Now, I've left perhaps the most impressive part of the Kombat T98. It's listed in the brochure as a “Fast Attack Vehicle.” As such, it is armored against the most toughened aggressors. From small arms like AK-47s to RPGs. In fact, I believe it is even rated against Stephen Joseph lobbyists.

[Laine puts her foot down even harder on the throttle.] To help demonstrate this, I've employed the help from a few good friends. [Camera shoots ahead down a long straightaway of the track.] Ahead of me should be Petra, Kara, and Claes...though I don't know how Kara managed to rope her in.

[Rounding the last corner the VW Bug train has completely turned to shambles. Each one is missing numerous body panels and broken windows. Most of them are still turned over and streaming sparks.]

My friends will be positioned alongside the track and I am so confident in the T98's protective ability, they shall be firing at me with live ammunition!

As a British television personality was known to say at these points: Cry havoc and let slip
the dogs of war!

[Rumbling symphony music begins to play and the T98 lurches ahead with the final amount of
power it has. As the T98 approaches the killzone Laine hammers on the throttle and pulls a hard right turn to narrowly avoid a stream of tracer laced bullets. Again she swerves as a plume from an RPG streaks past the passenger window.]


Perhaps they should make the color of these seats a more brownish color.

[Again Laine swerves, a few bullets manage to hit the windows, which only leave a few small
pockmarks in the 3-inch resistant plastic.]


And we're through!

[Triumphantly, Laine grins and pulls the T98 over.]

What did I tell you? This is a marvelous, marvelous machine. [Laine takes a deep breathe] I'm exhausted. [Laine looks behind her at the carnage. Her makes a surprised face, then quickly slinks out of the camera shot.]

[The other girls walk up to it eyes wide and agape at the twisted and burning wreckage linked behind it. Any fire that didn't hit the SUV hit the Beetles. One in particular, a pale yellow one with Italian plates is a blazing inferno. Suddenly a figure approaches them running from the far side of the track.]

Priscilla: What's all this racket? And why do you have...

[A piercing cry of shock echoes through the track as the camera pans out to show an aerial
view of the fire.]

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by Five_X on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 1:07

Hehe. Very nice. I've never seen Top Gear, but I understand this craziness. Very, very well written.

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 1:18

I'm glad people are enjoying these. Admittedly the second one doesn't have the "punch" of the first, but that's what you get for trying to review a very rare and niche car with hardly any publicity information to go on. Razz

I plan on writing reviews of more normal cars in the future. (Plus the Kombat T98 only goes 110 mph. How fun can THAT be? )

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by MP5 on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 1:27

Rusty, may I suggest a Nissan March Super Turbo, if only for its rarity and quirkiness? Maybe have Allison (or her alter-ego, The Stigette) compete against it in a more current Fiat 500 Abarth SS?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8f2n1OOAgA

Or better yet, have Allison race her in an '87 Shelby GLHS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_GLHS

sissy slapfighting

It'll be a late 80's hot hatch shootout:

Puns aside, they're a pretty even match. The Shelby GLHS has more thrust and power, but the March Super Turbo doesn't have to worry about lag. the Shelby GLHS also weighs more than the March Super Turbo, clocking in at 1043.2 kg versus the March Super Turbo's measly 675 kg.

How about it? Sound like an old-school battle for hot hatch supremacy?
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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by Alfisti on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 4:28

Hmm, I wouldn't go Arbarth SS it, ummm... it hasn't had a good reception. Maybe one of the hot Renaults?

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by MP5 on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 9:13

@Alfisti wrote:Hmm, I wouldn't go Arbarth SS it, ummm... it hasn't had a good reception. Maybe one of the hot Renaults?

Those would work, except I thought it would be more exciting if its competitor was a hot hatch from the same era, and even more interesting, an American-made one. Arguably, the best hot hatches of the day were made in Europe, but I thought it would be interesting to see these obscure Japanese and American creations duke it out.
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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by Alfisti on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 9:28

@MP5 wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Hmm, I wouldn't go Arbarth SS it, ummm... it hasn't had a good reception. Maybe one of the hot Renaults?

Those would work, except I thought it would be more exciting if its competitor was a hot hatch from the same era, and even more interesting, an American-made one. Arguably, the best hot hatches of the day were made in Europe, but I thought it would be interesting to see these obscure Japanese and American creations duke it out.

Hmm, true... However, as much as I love old, quirky and just downright strange cars, I think, if you're writing a group test you need a yard-stick as well, something people are more familiar with. As for the rest: I guess I was more looking at the first part where you suggested putting an older car against a newer one, like a "see where we've come" type test. Though I guess that's been done before, plenty of times... I always like reading those tests with a new hatch and, like, a Pug 205GTi (or EVO's recent Minis feature) because it always seems that everyone gets out of the older car going "I'd forgotten how much fun those were".

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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by rusty-spring on Sun 14 Feb 2010 - 17:33

Top Gear Fan Review
by Laine

Subaru Impreza WRX STi Spec-C

[Laine driving down the street in a Lotus Exige. It attacks the corners beautifully. Camera shifts to the interior where she has a small smile.]

One of the biggest problems about modern sports cars is that they're too specific, too harsh. Take this Lotus Exige for example. Let's pretend for argument's sake I was a soccer mom, trying to take my kids to and from practice but my husband took the people carrier cause he's a bit of a bore. [She looks around the interior.] After loading the bags, balls, and all of the anti-anxiety medication, I'd have room for...[Pretends to think hard in her head]...exactly 1/3 of a child. 2/3's if I happened to have had a Hamster's children.

[Exige speeds out of the camera view.]

Don't get me wrong, this Lotus is an absolute joy to drive...as long as it's on a track. Also I must mention this...[Laine steps on the accelerator and grimaces at the sound.] I've only just hit 70 mph and already I'm having to nearly shout just so my voice can be heard over the cabin noise. It's horrible! [Plugs one finger into an ear.] It's like the midget lovechild of Gilbert Godfrey and Fran Drescher has gobbed onto your face and is gnawing at your ears.

And then there's the ride comfort.

[Car rolls over a small bump in the road. Laine winces.]

The coccyx isn't important right?

[Camera fades out and then in as a silver sedan cruises down a similar highway. Laine is again at the wheel.]

And then you have the polar opposite. This is a Toyota Solara. It has a very reliable and economical four cylinder engine that puts out a very reliable and economical 155 horsepower and 158 lbs. of torque. In other words, it's utterly reliable and...economical. On top of that, it's part of the Toyota Camry family, meaning it's infinitely...[Laine pretends to drift asleep, with eyes closed for a few seconds. She then snaps awake and looks around herself.] Bugger, I was hoping I was only dreaming that drivel...

[Cut to Laine walking along the test track.]

But as with all things in this world, designers have been trying for decades to hit that perfect balance between practicality and fun. [Begins to walk by a few hatchbacks.] Some of them are good, like the Honda Civic Type R or the Golf GTI. Then you have your automobile experiments worthy of war crimes. [Laine then moves between a group of crossovers.] The Pontiac Aztek or heaven forbid the Chrysler PT Cruiser. [She turns towards the two vehicles and then shouts off into the distance to someone off-camera.] Two large brown bags please! Ughh...

[Camera moves to showcase a blue hatchback with gold painted rims. The sun rises in time elapsed fashion behind it.]

Well one car maker believes it can take the balance of practicality and fun, and make it even better.

[Footage of the STi driving down a straightaway, before taking a corner crisply and accelerating upon exit.]

This is the newest Subaru Impreza WRX STi Spec-C. [Laine pauses and takes a deep breath.] They're only making a few hundred of these, and one would think that with such a long name with tons of fiddly letters, it'd be pretty darn good. [She pressing down on the accelerator, and the engine plays throaty tone.] Luckily, it is.

[The Subaru hits a tight corner and again pulls through perfectly.]

Subaru has taken the good points from the last model and made it better. It still has the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Only this time they've managed to increase the output to 305 horsepower and the torque to 311 ft. lbs. This adds up to one incredibly hot four-door hatchback. [Laine presses down the gas.] You get this immense smile on your face when you hit it's RPM sweet spot and feel the turbo kick in and push you back into the seat. [She laughs.] And speaking of seats...[The Subaru slows down again to a cruise, and Laine looks into the rear view window.] In the back there's enough room to fit a whole person.

[The Subaru turns another corner.]

Further still, as a hatchback, it has an extremely generous boot. In fact I have four bags of today's groceries in there. As a bonus, listen to this. [She accelerates again.] I'm going nearly 90 mph and I can still talk with a voice barely louder than my inside voice.

[Laine again concentrates on the road ahead.]

So I've already mentioned how powerful it is and how practical it can be, but...how fast is it? [She grins then shifts into a higher gear and puts her foot down.] Oh yes, that'll definitely tighten your trousers...or I would if you were a man. They've lightened the entire car by replacing all the heavy bits with lighter materials. An aluminium hood, lightened alloy wheels, laminar windows. This means the new Subaru will go naught-to-sixty in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 160+. Also, as a four-wheel-drive, it has the grip to direct all of that power directly into the pavement. Better still, when you hit the corners...[Laine pulls into a sharp turn.]..it's wonderfully planted and solid all the way through.

Now, you might say “Well good acceleration and wonderful handling is nice, but what if I really want to let loose and have some fun? Will it let me do that?” [Turning to the camera, Laine smirks.] Let me show you. [She presses a button on the dash that reads “Traction Control”, turning it off.]

[As the Subaru meets the next corner, the back end swings out and power slides around the apex.] That, [She laughs] is rightly addicting.

You see, this car distributes the power 40% to the front tires, and 60% to the back tires. Meaning when you head into a corner like this...[She turns into another bend.]...and give it a bit more throttle...[Again the rear of the car swings out into a slide.]...there's just enough
power to slide around a track like an honest to goodness RWD car. But it's not just the capability to do it, it's also the ease of it. Never once do I feel like I'm really losing control. It simply does what I want, when I want it.


[Panoramic of the car sitting on the tarmac.]

But it certainly has it's flaws.

[Laine sits on the hood, and knocks on the bonnet.] The engine does struggle a bit at low revs, so you have to be especially diligent on the clutch so that the engine won't cut out. Any length of time in heavy traffic and you'll need to have your knees replaced. Plus, it still has that annoying turbo lag so every burst of power comes a few moments later than you'd expect. A smaller complaint is the interior. It's all a bit plastic-y and cheap looking. And then there's this...

[She opens up the trunk. Inside are the bags of groceries, tossed about in disarray.]

It may be too practical. With such a generous boot, you'd be well minded to secure any cargo you may be carrying. [Laine lifts up a carton of broken eggs that leaks onto the ground. She opens up her cellphone.]

Hello? Yes, I don't believe we'll be having omelette's tonight.

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"Do you know what Jesus said in John chapter 5? Don't bring me any trouble, bitch." - Eda, Black Lagoon
"Anybody can be cool...but awesome takes practice." - Lorraine Peterson
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rusty-spring
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Re: Rusty's Fiction

Post by MP5 on Sun 14 Feb 2010 - 19:24

As usual, Rusty-- Phenomenal work.

head bang

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