US Road Trip Special

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 15 Jul 2010 - 0:16

Kara awoke with the rising sun. She went to the window and saw a United Airlines Airbus A320-200 climb into the clear sky. Instinctively knowing it was Michele’s plane, she wished him a safe journey and then went to the closet to select an outfit. She settled on a pair of brown fur-lined shorts held up with a leather belt with silver and turquoise buckle she’d bought in New Mexico. She wore a grey long-sleeve tee over a black camisole and finished the outfit with her black Prada leather boots.


Model: Chiaki Kudou

Claes soon rolled out of bed and dressed in a long-sleeve flower print shirt, denim miniskirt with lime green leather belt with silver grommets, and brown Loeffler Randall Eloise flat boots in tan leather. She added a bright orange beret to finish the look.


Model: Park Han Byul

“It looks to be about 600 miles to San Francisco,” Kara noted as she traced her finger just above the iPad’s glass surface. “Google Maps says that will take 12 hours, but I figure we can shave a good bit off that.”

Claes nodded and the two girls set up the HD cameras for the Car Roundtable filming. They then settled onto the couch and started listening to Peter Ustinov’s “The Grand Prix of Gibraltar” spoof, waiting for word from the others that they were awake and ready to go.



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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by rusty-spring on Thu 15 Jul 2010 - 12:58

Once the taxi had arrived at the hotel, Liesel and Alpha stepped out first, followed by Laine and Clayland.

"Thanks for the pick up." He thanked the pair.

"I know, we're amazing aren't we?" Alpha grinned. Clayland smirked, then turned to talk to Laine, but had noticed she had already ran towards her Corvette parked in the lot.

"I'm pretty sure that if I was to paint myself Daytona yellow and put a big black racing stripe down my face, I would get more attention." He sighed and walked over to his rogue partner.

"Don't be silly Clay, yellow isn't your color." She grinned then fell into step with him.

"Well I hope you enjoyed your little victory flight last night, cause we no have no time for sleep." They walked into the hotel and walked towards the elevators. "Have to shower and freshen up then get ready to drive to California."

"Not even a nap?" She asked.

"Sure, you can ride with me in the Escalade and I'll just return the Hertz to the rental lot..." Clayland drifted off and pulled out his cell phone.

"Don't think so." Reaching out, Laine grabbed his phone and shoved it into her pocket. "You'll get this back once we're back on the road."

"You really think I'd do something like that?" Clayland noted as the elevator doors closed and he hit the button for their floor.

"If you were sneaky like me, maybe you would." She added.

"I think that's impossible." He added as they stepped out of the elevator, and headed down the hall towards their room.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Thu 15 Jul 2010 - 14:10

"Well they seem a bit more chipper," Alpha said looking at Clayland and Laine.

"Well anybody would after the scare you usually give people," Liesel added.

"That was unintentional," Alpha smirked remembering their activity from just a small while ago.

______________________________________________________

-Earlier-

"So; let me get this straight," Alpha said as he pinched his nose as Clayland and Laine. "Clay, you won a Sikorsky..."

"Yes," Clay answered.

"And then you let Laine take the stick mid-flight."

"Yes," Clay answered a bit sheepishly.

"Laine; you somehow forgot to mention that you knew how to fly, but not land."

"I said I was sorry; dammit," Laine said before kicking sand at Alpha.

Shaking his head, Alpha then looked to Liesel, "Could you get me my bag please, I'll take care of this one."

"Are you certain?" Liesel asked. "We could always split the work."

"I'm sure," Alpha said nodding.

Laine and Clayland became very concerned for their well being as they began searching for their weapons; suddenly remembering that they had left them in the now departed heli. Although they had yet to see Alpha and Liesel in action, photos of the aftermath were enough to tell that you didn't want to be there.

"Clay," Laine whispered

"Eh?" Clayland answered.

"I pretty sure I can outrun Liesel. So if you can distract Alpha long enough, I can make a clean getaway."

"And me?" Clay whispered a bit loudly.

"I'll...um...remember you fondly?" Laine said looking up at Clay with a huge grin.

Suddenly Liesel came back to Alpha holding a gray bank-bag with the Bellagio emblem emblazoned on the side.

"Here you are," Liesel said handing the bag over to Alpha.

"Thanks," Alpha responded with a huff as he opened the bag revealing a sizable amount of cash. Pulling out two stacks in the $20K amount, Alpha walked over to the demolished fruit cart and placed the two stacks in one of the downed wheels.

"I didn't take you for being a good samaritan," Clayland said smiling in relief.

"With luck," Liesel said gaining Clayland's attention, "we can avoid filing an incident report on the matter altogether."

"I...I see," Laine said suddenly reminded that they were still members of the SWA despite being on vacation.

"Hopefully," Alpha said walking back, "the owner of their cart will think that it was one of Nellis' test drones that landed in his cart."

"Nellis?" Laine and Clayland looked around suddenly shocked at knowing where they were.

"Yes," Alpha stated. "As in Nellis AFB about 20 miles south of here. Didn't you two bother to check the map before taking off?"

"Umm," Laine muttered as Clayland bored his eyes into her soul.

"C'mon," Alpha called. "It's daybreak and we've got a long enough day ahead with not enough sleep in between."

"Not to mention the lack of recreation," Liesel added.

Looking at each other and then back at Alpha and Liesel, Laine suddenly had her inquiries stilled by Clayland.

Walking back to the Challenger Laine looked over at the magic that was MOPAR and just had to ask, "Can I drive?"

"NO!," was the response given to her in unison by Alpha, Liesel; and not surprisingly, Clayland.
______________________________________________________

"Shower, pack, and then buffet?" Alpha asked as they stepped into the elevator.

"We could save time if we shower together," Liesel said with a smirk.

"And how many times have we been able to successfully shower together without...incident?" Alpha said jokingly.

"...Good point," Liesel said with a giggle.

Stepping off of the elevator, Alpha and Liesel walked down to their suite to prepare for the home stretch of the trip.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Thu 15 Jul 2010 - 22:50

The next morning, Allison woke up groggily, having had a hard time sleeping ever since the incident the previous evening. As she showered for the day, the brunette sighed to herself.

"Dammit Adeline, you and your stupid prank..."



Several hours earlier...

Adeline made her way quietly back to the Mirage, after doing a ton of bargaining with Rick, the owner of Gold's Pawn Shop. She couldn't believe how highly priced a backup costume of Jason Voorhees, her favorite horror movie character ever, was to them. Either way, she bought the costume and had everything she needed to absolutely scare the daylights out of one of her friends.

While she was walking into the Mirage with her things, Adeline looked around closely. No George, none of the other cyborgs or handlers in sight. Good, she thought. It looked like she might do this without getting stopped out of curiosity by any of the others. Her phone then vibrated her in pocket with a text message.

Allison wrote: Where have you been? You missed dinner and now we're all going to bed. We got a long day ahead of us. See you in the morning.

With that, Adeline quickly raced to the front desk of the Mirage and called a receptionist. "I need to place a call to Brian McDonnell please."

"One moment," the female receptionist said as she picked up a phone and dialed a number for Allison's room. Adeline stood there for three minutes before the receptionist said "He's not available at the moment, would you like to take a message?"

"No thank you," Adeline said. "What room is he?"

"He's in suite 501..." By then, Adeline had bolted away. Rushing into the elevator and taking up to the suite floor where Suite 501 was located. When she got there, she found herself in luck as a maid was making her rounds out of the room just at the right moment.

"Lady," Adeline said, stepping closer and fishing out a $100 dollar bill. "Can you open that door for me?" The Latino maid didn't even say a word, taking the money and opening the door for Adeline to walk into the room, where she took her hiding place inside the closet. Quickly changing into costume, Adeline lay in wait for her target.

****

15 minutes later, Allison and Jay came to the door of the suite. The two finished their nighttime cruise around Las Vegas, and Jay had offered to at least walk his companion to her room. As Jay was just about to walk back to the Stratosphere, Allison stopped him.

"Hey, you wanna hang out with me a little longer? At least until Brian gets back?" asked Allison somewhat timidly.

"S-sure." replied Jay, taking the opportunity to be a little closer with Allison. the brunette smiled and stepped inside, leaving Jay temporarily in the hallway as he looked both ways down the corridor before loosening his tie and placing it around the door handle before shutting the door.

"You mind having a drink or two with me?" asked Allison, thumbing toward the minibar. "Don't worry, I'll cover the cost."

"Maybe just one, Allison."

****

"...and the bartender replied, 'Do you think I asked for a 12-inch pianist?!'"

Allison and Jay both broke into laughter at one of the dirty jokes Jay had managed to remember from late-night comedy sessions with Ike back at the Section 2 boys' dorms. Their inhibitions fairly loosened, Allison didn't mind the inappropriate nature of Jay's jokes, and Jay was a lot more relaxed now that the two were well into their third Margaritas.

"Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Oh! Oh, Jay, I can't breathe, that was so funny!" guffawed Allison, barely holding her drink in her hand.

"Glad you liked the joke, Allison." replied Jay with a grin before looking at his watch. "Man, it's getting late. I better get out of here."

"Aw man... do you really have to leave already, Jay?" whined Allison, sitting up straight.

"Kinda have to if I'm gonna do any driving in the morning." said Jay. "I'll see you at breakfast."

Jay went to stand, but the effects of the alcohol took hold as he lost his balance and fell back towards the bed, knocking into Allison in the process. The two had shut their eyes for what was likely to be a painful collision, but Jay's arms had automatically stopped him from falling onto Allison. When the two opened their eyes, however, they were surprised by how close they were. Jay had just barely stopped his body from falling smack-dab on Allison, but he had inadvertently pinned her arms above her head in the process. For a brief few seconds, the two stared at each other in silence, their faces red from more than just the Margaritas they'd had.

Then, whether it was the alcohol, their own repressed feelings, or the state in which they saw each other--Allison beautifully vulnerable in her red dress and flowing hair, Jay domineering in his partly-unbuttoned shirt--the two closed their eyes as their faces slowly moved to meet each other's lips...

Suddenly, the closet burst open, and the two were quickly startled by the sight of a machete-wielding homicidal maniac with a hockey mask coming towards them unleashing a terrifying roar. sobering up in a split second, Allison and Jay leapt into action, the boy quickly flinging a throwing knife at the threat with enough force to remove the machete from his hands while Allison leapt forward, Kimber drawn from under her pillow.

"Freeze, you crazy sonofabitch!" yelled Allison with authority. The surprised interluder raised their hands in the air.

"Mein gott, don't shoot, Allison, it's me!"

Jay pulled off the hockey mask to reveal that it was just Adeline in a Jason Voorhees costume.

"Adeline?! What the hell are you doing here?" asked Allison, bewildered and shocked.

"I was just trying to play a prank on you; I didn't know you'd react this way!"

"Well, how do you think I'm supposed to react when I see fucking Jason Voorhees coming at me and Jay with a machete?!"

"Sorry!" replied Adeline apologetically. "Look, that was wrong of me--" she looked back and forth between Jay and Allison. "--and I didn't mean to interrupt you guys."

Allison realized quickly what had happened brief seconds before Adeline's intrusion and blushed quickly, turning away from Jay, an action repeated by the brown-haired boy.

"Adeline, could you please just get out of here?"

"All right, I'm sorry..."

Without another word, Adeline left the suite with her things, leaving Jay and Allison alone again. Jay finally broke the silence with an apology.

"Um... about the thing just now... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to--"

"No," apologized Allison. "That was my fault, I should have called it quits after the first round of drinks. I got both of us buzzed, and well..."

"Yeah..."

Allison straightened out her hair and smoothed out her dress as Jay fixed his appearance before heading to the door.

"See you tomorrow?"

"Yeah."

"Have a good night."

"You too."

Jay shut the door behind him, stuffing his tie in his pocket while Allison simply went to change clothes before going to bed.




Back in the present...

Allison thought back to that moment of passionate tension. Was it a bad decision? Once their inhibitions were stripped away, did she reveal her true feelings to Jay? Were Jay's own feelings true at that moment? What if they were? What if they weren't? What if Adeline hadn't interrupted them? Would they have gone much further than a kiss?

What would Jay think of her?


Allison groaned and shook her head. With the lack of sleep and her mixed emotions, she couldn't think straight, and in her despair over the whole situation, she added a few silent tears of frustration to the water coursing over her body.

A few minutes went by, and she finally calmed down enough to leave the shower to dry herself off and face the day. After packing her things into her luggage, Allison sent a text to Kara:

Allison wrote:
I'm up and about. See you guys in a few.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 0:16

"Allison is on her way," Kara noted as she read the text.

Claes nodded, her mouth full of pancakes.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 0:28

Finally arriving at Kara and Claes' suite in the Bellagio, Allison knocked, and Kara let her in. There was already quite a large breakfast cart in the suite, enough for several people. There were several platters stacked high with Belgian waffles, pancakes, French toast, sausages, bacon, corned beef hash, eggs, and sundry other breakfast items to satisfy almost all sorts of traditional breakfast cravings. Allison picked up a plate and started off with Belgian Waffles topped with whipped cream and strawberries and dusted with powdered sugar. On a side plate, she piled on several strips of bacon and an omelet, as well as two slices of toast

" Mornin', guys." greeted Allison.

"Likewise." greeted Claes, placing her fork through another pancake. "You see anyone else on the way here?"

"Petra and Laine should be here soon." answered Allison, spreading the whipped cream on her waffles before slicing a portion off and digging in.

Sure enough, Allison had not gotten very far in her breakfast when the aforementioned presenters had arrived, plus Triela, Hilshire, and Brian. The latter three presenters grabbing their plates with breakfast items, sound checks were quickly made before Allison kicked off the roundtable presentation.

"All right ladies, we've got one day and 600 miles left to go. We've traveled hundreds of miles of U.S. highways, weaving through entire seas of caravans, people-movers, and l...lorries. Yesterday, however, we've had the chance to really open up our own cars as well as each other's on a proper track, and even try other cars that Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch offered. I got a chance to drive a Lotus Carlton (most bonkers 4-door saloon car I've driven yet) and a replica Lotus-Ford 49, on which I'll comment later. Kara, you're arguably the head of things here. How was your experience at Spring Mountain yesterday?

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Jacen Starslayer on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 0:40

As soon as Jay entered his dark hotel room, after leaving the McDonnell's hotel room he plopped on the bed and began staring at the ceiling.

What the hell have I done? Jay thought as he remembered what had happened in the McDonnell suite not even an hour ago.

"Now what am I supposed to do about this?" Jay asked himself as one of his favorite songs played over the radio, All Or Nothing by Theory of a Deadman.

"Oh man...Seems like even the fates are against me." Jay said before laughing, "I just hope that Allison doesn't hate me for what happened."

"Damn, I'm beat." He said with a yawn, "Sink or swim, I'll deal with it tomorrow."

His last thoughts were of Allison, before sleep took him.
The next morning, Jay woke up to the sound of someone knocking on the door.

"Who is it?" He asked as he climbed out of bed.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 9:53

"First off, I love the 599 HGTE. It truly deserves to be Ferrari's flagship model, even if they're coming out with amazing machines like the 458 Italia. I know there are beefs with the onboard computers and how you can use the manettino dial to literally decide how close you want to take a corner in centimeters, but it just responds to your will and desires in a way that is pure magic. It's as comfortable and at home cruising for hours on an Interstate or Autostrada as it is thrashing around a race track.

"Speaking of computers, we come to the Nissan GT-R, a car designed as much by software engineers as automotive engineers. It's like they took a car out of Gran Turismo and brought it to life as a PR stunt. I'm sorry, but if Formula One does not build engines in a vacuum chamber, then neither does Nissan. And creating engines and transmissions that only work with each other? Please. And all this for €65.000? They must be taking a bath on each one they shift.

"Now, don't think that means I hate it. I have not experienced acceleration, deceleration or cornering forces like that car generates outside of a dedicated race car. And like the 599, it's as docile off the track as it's savage on the track. It is, however, ugly as sin. Which brings me to the Porsche Panamera. Gorgeous interior, but an exterior that looks like a dead body that's been underwater for a couple of weeks. It's fast, however, at least in Turbo form."

"Now it's common knowledge my idea of a 'classic car' is something created before 1997, which certainly applies to your GTV, Allison. That being said, it is an Alfa Romeo, which means it's automatically full of win. And I've heard of this Calloway fellow - evidently he likes to tune Corvettes? Anyway, I can't really comment on her performance since, being an Alfa, she broke down, though she fortunately didn't strand me on the side of the road where I could have been murdered by a Camaro driver.

"Anyway, next up is the Ferrari California. An entirely different machine from the 599, but at this point, I'm ready for a comfortable convertible that will still scramble when I boot her."

Kara turned to Claes.

"I liked the Ferrari because it was fast, yet stable, which made me feel comfortable."

"Anything else?"

Claes shook her head.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 10:30

"Well, I did get to spank Catherine around the track a good bit." said Allison. "What Caterham has done is preserve the natural personality of the postwar British sportscar, and leaving it up to the owner as to how they want to power it. Catherine, in particular, has a lot of zip in the corners, and unlike a conventional turbo, the VGT I mounted on the S2000 engine I added makes acceleration brisk and powerful when heading out of a turn. But of course, since the Caterham is my car, I'm going to love it no matter what. I'm sure, Kara, that you'd have a different opinion on her."

"I did revive Sonia recently, and I'm glad I put in those new turbos. 420 horses makes a huge difference round those corners, and the overall response is much better. However, I will probably have to fine-tune the suspension and brakes now that she has more power to play with, but most of all, I'm glad she's alive again."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 22:31

"So what did you think about the Challenger?" Allison asked.

"That is one hairy - and scary - beast. No computers to save you ass there if you are too hard on the throttle or the brake. I've driven with Alpha, but my respect for Liesel grew a bit seeing how well she handles that bruiser."

"And the Caterham?"

"Chapman was indeed on to something with that lightness kick, but I feel even though it is road-legal, it's road-impractacle. It belongs only on a track."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 23:21

"For my part, I'd never really driven many cars before this trip." began Petra. "All I've ever driven was my... boyfriend's Smart Roadster. Cute city car, good zip, saves fuel, all that good stuff, and I was actually surprised to find they have them here in America as well."

Petra took a bite from a strip of bacon before continuing. "But this is Top Gear we're talking about, so I couldn't be driving one of those this trip. So, being a good co-driver, I've had a few turns with Catherine, and I have to agree with Kara. Road-legal? Sure, that's fine. Practical? Not by a long shot. It's hard to hear the radio with all the noise, and there's little in the way of sound deadening. The high-revving VTEC is also a source of dissatisfaction. It revs to 9000 RPM's, and at that area of the power band, it's harsh. It's more a race car than a road car, and generally, making street-legal race cars is an exercise in futility. In short, Catherine is a blast to drive, but you have to be really committed if you're willing to drive across highways in varying states of repair in such a bare-bones car."

Petra took a bite out of her waffles before continuing. "Now as for the Callaway Alfetta, That's a different story. 'Sonia' is comfortable, classy, yet performs on demand. Sure, reliability is a coin-toss as it is an Alfa Romeo at heart, but when it does work, it's brilliant, and I like the recent horsepower boost. Sonia was smooth through the corners, and had great pickup out of the exits. I wouldn't mind driving her for the rest of the trip--provided that nothing breaks down, of course."

"The GT-R was an interesting, intense beast to drive, on the other hand. Maddening grip through the corners tried to pull my face out of my racing helmet, and the acceleration tried to squeeze the air out of my lungs. However, it feels like a semi-detached driving experience, because the computers are there to make me look like Ayrton Senna--which I'm not. I like the overall performance, but knowing that there's all that IT wizardry is behind it doesn't really sit well with me."

"The 599, on the other hand, is excellent. It might have a lot of computers and things like the GT-R, but it feels like it enhances the overall driving experience. and to be honest, the noise has to be there. The GT-R may be an excellent performer, but it doesn't sound as right as the Ferrari V12."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 23:35

Kara and Claes both stared at Petrushka, forks halfway to their mouths.

"Что?" Petrushka said.

"Having Allison as a roommate really has rubbed off on you, hasn't it?" Kara asked.

Petrushka blushed. "She talks of cars all the time so i cannot help but pick up the lingo. I blame Mr. Sandro's instruction on how to be a good intelligence operative."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Sat 17 Jul 2010 - 1:08

Allison grinned and placed her arm around Petrushka.

"America, eh? Zero to Petrolhead in the span of several days. There's hope for you yet, Petra!"

"Ah, you guys are corrupting me!" exclaimed Petra in mock horror as she bit into one of her waffles.

"Consider it payback for your disguise lessons. Trying to pass myself off as una Puertorriqueña for my field trial was a hard habit to break!" shot back Allison, temporarily lapsing into a flawless Latina accent, and then realizing the details mentioned. "Edit."

"Now then, Triela, You've been quiet all this time. You weren't at the track with us yesterday, how come?"

The pigtailed blonde looked up from her french toast. "I was sleeping in, sorry. Me and Adeline both; in fact, I think she's still asleep right now. The Range Rover's been comfortable, so no complaints there, and I didn't really want to try and race it, anyway. But last night, I did win something amazing as part of our little stay here in Vegas."

The camera was panned to the window by Brian and focused onto her new SLR.

"I still can't believe you won a Supercar while gambling." groused Allison sourly.

"And I get to drive it all the rest of the way!"

"What about the Range Rover?"

"Well, we have a support crew, this just gives them more room!"

The camera panned back to Allison to start concluding the roundtable.

"I simply must echo Petra's opinion on the Ferrari." said Allison. I've always wanted to take a Ferrari out on the track, and thanks to you guys, I did. It was a blast to drive, and there's no better feeling than having it dialed-in just right as you scream through the corners with the V-12 on full-bore."

"The GT-R for my part was exciting, though I'm sure I could do without the computer wizardry, but nonetheless, it was still a fairly decent track machine."

"Now then--The Lotus Carlton. For a machine that came out before the advent of optional traction control, it's an absolute blast to drive. It's ferocious, insane, unreasonable, you'd have to be mad to buy one--and as soon as I get back to Italy, I am going to try and find one. In terms of absolute larking about, it's right up there with Holden-slash-Vauxhall's VXR8 Bathurst Edition."

"Driving the Lotus-Ford 49, however, was on a whole different level. I didn't struggle the way I did with a street car. Despite the age of its design, it was an absolute rocket with what must've been laser-guided precision. The way it just sliced through the corners so beautifully, I could've turned on a diamond with that thing. I thought Catherine was fast; but the Lotus was fast on a whole different level."

The camera finally panned to Laine.

"As much fun as the GT-R was, I really wanted to get my hands on something American. Luckily, Spring Mountain had a Zed-R-One available for rent, so that's immediately where I headed. I got my wish, but the Corvette cannot deny its Motor City roots. While it can out-corner most muscle cars, it steers wide compared to a GT-R, but 638bhp on the straights picks up the slack real well with most of the power coming in on the lower end of the rev band thanks to the supercharger, something that the GT-R would be hard-pressed to replicate, even with twin turbochargers."

"Then Allison offered me a go in her Caterham. Would I race one? Yes. I'll admit, the setup wasn't bad, and it could put down power while taking a corner drastically better than the ZR-1, because it's also lighter. But would it be my first choice? No. It's loud in an unpleasant way when you get to 9000 rpms, and most of its torque is top-end despite the fancy VGT allegedly installed on the four-cylinder engine. It corners like a housefly, but I don't get the same satisfaction flooring it on the straights that I got with the ZR1. For reasons like that, I rented a Corvette ZHZ from Hertz."

"The Ferrari was fun, and I didn't mind driving it a bit. V-12 noise is exquisite, and I like being able to fine-tune traction control and suspension on the fly. But I'll take the more affordable ZR1, thanks."

"Tried the Alfetta. Pretty good, I like the new turbos, but I'd rather drive something that won't break down and make my life hell. Otherwise, a fairly good example of car; though I wouldn't mind driving a Callaway Corvette instead."


Last edited by MP5 on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 0:27; edited 1 time in total

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 17 Jul 2010 - 13:40

[OOC]

We're now approaching the final day of the TGI Road Trip. The destination is San Francisco, but we're not going to be taking the most direct route.

The initial stage will be along US 95 from Las Vegas to Beatty, NV. From there, they cross into California and through Death Valley National park along California 190 to Lone Pine. They will then follow US 395 north along the eastern edge of multiple national parks and forests of the Yosemite area to Bridgeport, CA.

Once the reach Bridgeport (perhaps after a "collection stop" at Mono Lake), they will cross Stanislaus National Forest to the city of Stockton and then it's Interstate west to San Francisco.

Most likely we'll be arriving in San Francisco in the late afternoon. Kara and Claes will be staying at the Grand Hyatt in Union Square.

Pictures of the route are available here.

[/OOC]

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 17 Jul 2010 - 13:47

They finished the filming and breakfast and then everyone prepared for the drive to San Francisco.

The phones in the suite started to ring and Kara picked one up. She spoke with an unidentified person for a few moments and then hung-up.

“Sounds like our new rides are here,” she reported to Claes. They grabbed their luggage and headed to the lobby. While Kara checked out, Claes went to the Valet to recover the Ferrari and the Porsche.

“Miss Pagani?” a young man dressed in a suit asked as he came up to Kara.

“Hi, I’m Todd. We have the new vehicles your father ordered,” he said. Behind him a blue metallic Ferrari California and a silver metallic Aston-Martin V8 Vantage Volante were parked on the outer edge of the lobby drive.





He handed over the keys and thanked them for their patronage, then he and his associate took possession of the 599 and Panamera. A moment later, a black Maserati Quattroporte S motored past and down the drive.

“Ooh,” Kara said as the sound of the 4.7L V8’s exhaust sent a shiver up her spine. Beside her, Claes just rolled her eyes.



As the Vantage motored through the desert towards the California border, Claes pressed down on the throttle, the sound of the exhaust sending a shiver up her spine.



Claes had learned to drive on the Autobahn in a Lamborghini Gallardo with a 382kW V10. At first she’d known real fear, but she learned of a magical property known as “downforce” - the faster she drove, the more stable the car felt. Driving with Kara at high-speed scared her, but now she realized those feelings drew not from the speed, but from the fact that she was not in control.

When it was her hands on the wheel and feet on the pedals, the sensation of fear had changed into one of exhilaration. Michele became their Sciences teacher and chaperoned their Astronomy field trips and she and Michele would occasionally go for evening drives and she would sometimes take the wheel when they were on deserted roads and drive as fast as she dared. She also attended a Driving School and had even experienced her first “Track Day” a month prior. Claes now understood why teens so looked forward to earning their drivers licenses and she also understood why many of them lost their lives in the months soon after – the sense of power and speed was intoxicating.

However it was on the wide-open Interstates of America that Claes learned the true meaning of the “need for speed”. She wanted to blame the fact she was wearing Kara’s boots at the time, which everyone knew had lead for soles, but at this moment the boot on her right foot was her own and she couldn’t help but press it down hard just to hear that roar in her ears again.

Behind the wheel of a €105,000 sports car dressed like the daughter of a rich industrialist, Claes wondered if that is why Las Vegas had welcomed her with open arms. She looked at her reflection in the rear-view mirror and the face that stared back at her looked, at best, 16, even if her passport said she was 21. Kara and Petrushka both seemed able to effortlessly pass for older girls, while Laine and Allison benefitted from their greater height to look like young adults.

America was known as “The Land of the Free” and Claes had certainly adopted that motto during this trip. She’d taken a Ferrari to almost 200 miles per hour on a highway. She’d worn an outfit that left little to the imagination and gone clubbing. She’d imbibed, gambled and even socialized with boys on this trip – all things just a week ago she would have scoffed at. The only thing saving her from absolute shame is that Triela had been doing the exact same items so they were locked in a form of the Cold War’s “Mutual Assumed Destruction”.

Two years ago, her life at the Agency had been one of quiet routine. Work in the garden. Read in what she referred to as her “library room”. Practice the piano. Watch a film and write an essay for Jean. Assist the medical staff. It was at times dull, but she found the regularity comforting – even a bit safe. She’d only left the compound twice – and both times she’d seen action – and she’d come to appreciate that staying behind the walls insulated her from the violent world beyond. A world her sisters lived – and died – in.

And then the Pagani fratello arrived…

At first, things remained the same for her. As a second-generation cyborg, Kara mostly kept with her own type up on the third floor. But eventually joint operations with the original girls happened and it didn’t help that Henrietta had “adopted” Kara and worked to make her feel “part of the team”, inviting her to the room she shared with Triela for tea and cake.

Claes had already had to give up her painting studio to the “Gen 2s”, as the staff referred to them, and now they were invading what she considered her own private space. She still had her garden, but then Michele Pagani set up his own plot on another area of the compound and in contradiction of her own modest efforts at growing some herbs, he soon had a full vegetable and flower garden underway. While she showed little interest in earning a green thumb, Kara had created a Japanese rock garden, which she could often be seen working on before and after a mission as she mentally prepared herself or mentally wound down.

Claes respected the handlers and staff because she felt she had to, as they were both adults and her superiors. However, the more time she spent with Michele in the garden, the more she came to respect him as a person. She found him very intelligent and worldly and over time they began to regularly discuss various subjects, which she came to not only enjoy, but to actually look forward to.

And then she’d been forced by him to kill Marcello Palumbo in a back alley across from the Palazzo Viminale and everything changed. She soon recovered the memories of her previous handler, Captain Raballo, and to protect those memories she’d pleaded with Michele to allow her to become her handler in addition to Kara’s, even though she had no wish to become an active asset.

As she’d expected, Kara was not pleased with sharing the handler she had strong feelings for, though she remained the professional and accepted Claes as her new younger sister.

Now she was part of an active fratello again and what had been a life of quiet routine now was anything but as she and Michele and Kara travelled Italy and Europe hunting threats. A life she would too soon be back living.

But for now, she just pressed her foot down again and listened to that marvelous V8 growl.



In the Ferrari, Kara pressed her own boot down hard as she pursued Claes. Due to the staggered departure times, everyone agreed to meet just over the California border.

“Selected. Calling Ferro Milani. Is this correct?” the Sat Nav’s female voice exclaimed.

“What?” Kara said as she heard the distinctive dial tone of Telecom Italia.

“Abort! Cancel! End Call!” Kara yelled.

A strong feminine voice boomed over the speakers.

“Ferro Milani.”

“Uh, hi, Ferro!”

“Who is this?”

“It’s Kara.”

“Kara? Are you still in the United States?”

“Yes, I’m leaving Las Vegas,” Kara replied, cringing at the inadvertent pun.

“Michele called from the plane. He should be approaching Washington soon,” Ferro reported.

“Okay. Thanks, Ferro,” Kara said and ended the call.



The shimmering expanse of Death Valley National Park stretched out before them and Laine pulled over to the side of the road, followed by Kara.




“Grab your iPad,” Laine said. “You need to hear this new song I found. It’s perfect now that we’re in California!”




“That is a good song,” Kara agreed, heading to the iTMS to purchase and download it.

“I think when the rest of the convoy arrives we should all have them load this into their MP3 players,” Laine suggested.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Sat 17 Jul 2010 - 23:28; edited 1 time in total

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Sat 17 Jul 2010 - 23:05

Parked on the street just outside of the lobby parkway, Liesel sits in the driver's seat as she inputs the route sent to her from Allison and Kara into the GPS.

Keeping an eye out for the departing members of TG:Italy, Alpha leans on the passenger door looking up the parkway as he eats a concoction of scrambled eggs, bacon, shredded hash browns, roast beef hash, and sausage patties; somehow held together by two pancakes.

[OOC]Alpha: It's a breakfast taco, leave me alone! [/OOC]

As she finishes inputting the route, Liesel turns to the MP3 player where she selects Metallica's Four Horsemen followed by King Diamond's The Puppet Master and Dimmu Borgir's cover Burn in Hell.

With the last song's final chorus playing, suddenly Alpha spies a Ferrari California and Aston Martin Vantage Volante pass by.

Liesel watches them as they pass by her open window and then looks at Alpha.

"Was that Kara and Claes?" Alpha asked as he chewed his latest bite looking through the open window at Liesel.

Giving Alpha a stern look, Liesel then turns over the V-10 and says, "The others won't be far behind; finish that thing and get in."

With a few well placed bites; Alpha finishes his brunch, claps his hands together a couple of times, and gets in to wait for the rest of the convoy. As the Range Rover exits the parkway, Liesel puts the Challenger in gear and pulls up the rear. Soon they are followed by Jay and his Sierra.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 17 Jul 2010 - 23:32

[OOC]

I'm an old school King Diamond man, so Michele would be listening to "Them" followed by "The Eye".

[/OOC]

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 0:39

Kiskaloo wrote:[OOC]

I'm an old school King Diamond man, so Michele would be listening to "Them" followed by "The Eye".

[/OOC]
[Also OOC] Damn! We didn't know you had it in you Kisk!

For those who don't know who King Diamond is...
Spoiler:
[OOC]

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 0:53

As the rest of Top Gear Italy pulled out from their hotels, Adeline would ride with Allison due to the fact that the incident that occurred the previous night affected her right hand. For the first time the entire trip, Adeline took passenger's seat.

"Wow, this thing is low." commented Adeline as she settled into the bucket seat. "Cushy, though."

"Buckle up, we have to keep up with the others."

As the convoy began to leave Las Vegas, Allison scrolled down her playlist and found an iconic song. Hitting play, an opening guitar riff came out of the speakers as they accelerated with the sun rising further in the sky behind them.



As the song really got going, the whine of a supercharged V8 was all the warning they had before Triela squeezed past them in her brand-new SLR.

"Rub it in my face, why don't you?" sneered Allison, her mood soured by the reminder that she had not won the car. "Enjoy it while you can, Princess. It won't be exclusively yours anymore once we're back home."

In the passenger's seat, Adeline smirked at Allison's smoldering envy.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 12:55



As she motored along the single-carriageway that was US-395 as it wound through Inyo National Forest, Kara looked to her right at the surface of Lake Crowley, glittering in the sun. Though she was over 2000m in altitude, the temperature was north of 30° and Kara considered raising the metal roof and switching to the air conditioner. However, a cooling breeze coming off the lake tempered the fierce temperatures and she settled back and listened to her “Touhou the Line” playlist.






As she approached Mono Lake, Kara dialed Claes and said she was going to pull off and stretch her legs. Claes concurred and the two vehicles, followed by Laine’s Corvette, took the Picnic Ground Road exit and headed east to the shoreline.

Kara pulled off her boots and socks and waded barefoot out into the lake.

“Oh that feels so good,” she sighed.

“Why would you two would wear boots in 30° weather is beyond me,” Laine noted to Kara and Claes with a chuckle.

“Because I look good in them,” Kara replied. “And Michele likes girls who wear boots.”

“He does?” Laine asked. “He told you?”

Kara shook her head.

“Then how do you know?”

“When he was in university, his family hosted a number of exchange students from Japan. And when he graduated, he went to Japan for three months to visit them. In all the pictures, the girls are wearing boots.”

Laine facepalmed.

“Kara, do you remember another article of clothing all those girls were wearing?”

“Uh…”

“Michele took that trip from November to February. It was winter in Japan, so of course they wore boots! Along with jackets, scarves and gloves.”

Kara tilted her head to the right at a sharp angle as a confused look crossed her face.



“Damn you, Kara. My feet have been roasting in these things!” Claes complained, lifting her right boot.

“You do look really cute in them,” Laine noted.

“Really? Thanks,” Claes replied. Her smile then turned to a scowl. “That’s not the point!”

“I just figured you liked wearing them, since both of you have so many pairs,” Laine replied.

“That’s because I thought Michele liked them!” Claes yelled.

A large smile broke out on Laine’s face.

“Awww… Little Claes was trying to impress her handler. That's just precious.”

Claes proceeded to chase Laine around the beach for about five minutes, but her footwear and short legs made catching her older sister impossible so she stomped back to the Aston and leaned against the front fender, her arms crossed and a sour expression on her face.

“I’m sorry, Claes. We’re supposed to be having fun. It is our last day of vacation, after all.”

“How you doing on fuel?” Kara asked her blonde peer.

“Uh…okayish…” Laine said, sheepishly.

“Okay, let’s stop in Lee Vining and refuel our cars and our bodies, since I am feeling a bit peckish,” Kara said and the three returned to their vehicles and headed into town.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 16:30

Leaving security duties to Fernando temporarily, Alpha and Liesel followed Kara, Claes, and Laine to the shores of Mono Lake. However, they took care to remain a fair bit of distance away in order to give them their space and to have some privacy for themselves as well.

Sitting on the beach overlooking the smooth green waters of the lake, Liesel leans into Alpha as Alpha wraps his arms around her.

"Al?" Liesel called.

"Yeah?" Alpha answered.

"Do you think that we could have met each other if not for the Agency?"

"I like to think so."

"How so?"

"I don't know how, I just...know."

"Hmm," Liesel said smiling at the prospect. "You mean along with a chance meeting between our parents?"

"Or at some sort of big, grand social function?"

"Or while attending a prestigious university?"

"Or maybe...just walking down the street."

"Mm, I remember."

"Remember what?"

Craning her neck to look up at Alpha; Liesel smiled, "The way you looked at me when we first met."

"That first introduction in the Director's office?"

"Yes, I was at first a bit uneasy with that look. You looked so much older than I...well, at the time that is."

"At the time?"

"Yes," Liesel said suppressing a giggle.

"Though not intimidated, I suppose."

"Of course not, I had Altheus there. He would've kicked your arse from there to Torino and back."

Sharing a fit of laughter, Alpha and Liesel settle into each other once more as they view Claes chasing Laine to little effect.

Soon, the trio stands up and brushes themselves off as they make their way back to their vehicles. Alpha and Liesel do the same with ALpha walking toward the driver's side. Just before they reach the Challenger, Liesel grabs Alpha's arm and pul;ls him close to her.

Suddenly, Liesel begins to kiss Alpha, a kiss that quickly becomes passionate with the two embracing each other. After a minute, they look into each others eyes as Liesel says, "I believe as well."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 18:08

Well ahead of Allison and Adeline, Triela reveled in the raw power of her new toy. As she flexed her right foot on the gas pedal, her grin grew wider with the increasing whine of the supercharged V8.

"I love this car. This car is awesome. I love this car." repeated Triela in a semi-mantra. She turned on the radio as she lowered the windows before putting on her shades as the desert wind fluttered her hair. The lowered window let in the sound of an approaching vehicle, the combination of her ears as well as Allison's lessons on cars notifying her that an American-built V8 was approaching from behind very fast. It was a slightly more guttural note compared to the Mercedes' V8, but they were fairly close in sound. out of the corner of her eye, she saw a Gloss Black 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Firebird with a Throttle-body Injection manifold sticking out of a cutout in the car's hood, gates open as an evidently-supercharged 305 cubic-inch Small-Block V8 roared and whined in unison. A spiky-haired man wearing wraparound sunglasses pushed the lenses up to his forehead and caught Triela's attention.

"Hey, Pretty Lady! Sweet ride!"

Triela flashed a winning smile back. "Thanks, yours too!"

"She belong to your boyfriend or something?"

Triela snorted. "Get real, buddy. This baby's all mine! If you're looking to hit on me, you could try harder than that!"

"How about we drag to Mono Lake?"

"What's your price?"

"Only that I get your number if I win!"

"All right then, you're on!" Triela rolled up her window and revved the SLR's powerful V8. The Trans Am's driver gave a reply with a snorting growl from his modified muscle car. he flashed three fingers, two, then one as he floored it, pulling away from Triela momentarily before the SLR gave chase.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Marder on Sun 18 Jul 2010 - 21:50

A few hours earlier...

Jay slept quietly though rather messily in his bed at the hotel. He hadn't slept well after the incident last night with him and Allison and Adeline freaking them out dressed up as a homicidal maniac. He had spent nearly the
whole night thinking about those events, trying to piece them together to get answers to questions about him and Allison. Most importantly, just whatt were they doing last night?

He was slowly waking up when he was jolted out of bed by a series of loud knocks on the suite door. He cursed at their thunderous noise. “Who the fuck is it?”

“It’s Adeline,” he heard shouted through the door. He got up and looked into the small hole in the door with his eye. Sure enough, it was the cyborg biker girl. Jay sighed in exasperation. She was one of the last people who he wanted to see at this moment. But he couldn’t walk away. She knew he was there and any attempt to not answer was futile, same was ignoring her all together.


“What do you want?” he grumbled.


“Well one to tell you it’s time to go soon,” she said. “And two to apologize. Can I come in?”


“Go away Adeline,” he said through the door. “I’m not in the mood.”


“I’m serious I just want to apologize for last night. I was just trying to have fun.”


“Are you doing it because George told you to?”


“Well yeah but I mean…look are you upset because I caught you and Allison well…"


“Adeline, just go away.” He sat down lazily against the door in his pajamas.


“Jay please. Look I know how you feel about Allison, and I know that you’re upset with me but please just let me in so I can talk. Please Jay.”


“I accept your apology already, now just go.” Adeline sighed from the other side of the door. She cleary wasn’t getting inside to talk to him.


“She likes you Jay, you’re just too blinded by your own self pity to see it.” She walked away down the hall and Jay sat against the door again. He looked down at the floor and then stood up to get dressed. All the while the words that Adeline spoke were deep in his head, and already starting to repeat and give him the courage to do something he thought was so crazy it just might work.

The wind blew briskly through Adeline's hair as they drove on through the sunny Nevada air. Heading on down the road, down the old route and towards California, Adeline reflected on the previous happenings for her in Las Vegas, especially with Jay. She wanted to tell Allison, or at least talk to her about it. But her mouth couldn't form the words.

"Are we going to go near that Donner pass place?" Allison looked over and gave Adeline a look with one raised eyebrow. "Nevermind." Allison turned back to driving. "Are you still sour about last night?"

"You think?" Allison said sharply. She focused on the road ahead of her. Catherine seemed to have no trouble handling it, though it felt a tad awkward for Adeline. She kept it to herself.

"Well how was I supposed to know you two were going to get hanky panky? Don't blame me for all of this."

"Don't blame you? YOu jumped out of a closet wearing a hockey mask and wielding a machete?! Bad enough I got the bejesus scared out of me but having Jay have to see it? Why Adeline, why?"

"I wanted to have fun."

"You could've had fun other ways! You could've come driving with us at the racetrack or done something? Your way of fun was trying to make me die of a fright induced heart attack?" Adeline grew agitated.

"I know what this is. You didn't like that I interrupted you when Jay was about to go down on you huh?"

"He wasn't going to go down on me," Allison grumbled. "It was just a kiss."

"Looked to be a little bit more then that," Adeline pointed out. "I mean you two were clearly a little buzzed Allison. It may have gone places."

"It wouldn't have gone anywhere," Allison sighed. She kept her eyes on the road. "It's not going anywhere."

"Who said that?"

"I did," Allison said. "It's not going anywhere. He doesn't want it, and if he doesn't I don't either." Adeline struggled not to tell Allison, but she did manage to come up with the proper response to her question.

"Well you got that far," Adeline said. "I bet you can get farther."

"We were buzzed, like you said. It's not getting back there."

"Doesn't mean anything. I bet he would go back to that if you two weren't intoxicated."

Adeline reached down and touched her best friend's hand that was placed on the shifter of the Caterham. The road moved on faster and faster. The sun was still high, and they were nearing the Sierra Nevada mountains, which were approaching on the horizon in the distance. She smiled.

"I'm your best friend, and I wouldn't lie to you. I think you got a chance Allison. Don't give up because of one bad night that I wrecked," Adeline explained. She saw Allison sigh a bit and then crack a small smile before
holding her hand. Adeline smiled back.

"When we get to San Francisco, do you want to go see the Giants?"

"I think we got enough baseball in this trip already."

"Well I overheard George, Jay, Hilshire, and Michele talking about it," She said, lying through her teeth. Allison didn't appear to catch on. "They're going to see the Giants. You should go since Jay is.

"You think so?"

"I know so." Allison gave a small nod of her head, then shifted the Caterham into high gear. Adeline held on tight as the car picked up more speed and headed down towards Lee Vining.


Last edited by Marder on Tue 20 Jul 2010 - 11:39; edited 1 time in total
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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Mon 19 Jul 2010 - 22:43

3 miles away from Mono Lake, Triela and her new opponent were neck-and-neck. What the man in the Trans Am didn't know was that Triela was stringing him along while he pinned the pedal to the floor. In fact, she let off the pedal for a brief second, allowing her opponent to streak ahead.

"All right, her digits are as good as mine!" yelled the Trans Am driver, pumping his fist.

"And now, goodbye~." said Triela with a grin as she mashed the throttle. 617bhp came online with screaming protest from the supercharger as the SLR cut through the air and rocketed past the Trans Am, turning her opponent into a mere speck in her rearview mirror in less than five seconds.




The members of Top Gear: Italy eventually reconvened at Latte Da Coffee Cafe in Lee Vining after fueling their vehicles at the local Chevron.

"How much further to San Francisco?" Kara asked.

"234 miles, according to Google Maps." replied Allison. "And it's the best way possible."

"How?" asked Laine, playing with her napkin.

"Look at this highway. It's like the closest thing America must have to the Transfagarasan, and about double the size, too."

On Allison's iPhone, Google Earth was displaying California State Route 120, known as Tioga Pass road. It was a 100-plus mile two-lane road stretching from Lee Vining to Tracy, with an especially twisty area snaking through Yosemite National Park. The road was littered with chicanes and hairpin turns--exactly the kind of territory where sports cars were meant to prove their worth.

"Ladies, I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that I am going to make the most use of Catherine through here. Even if we can't speed through the National Park--a felony offense, or so I heard--I'm plenty sure taking the corners will have our full attention."

"I just wish my hand wasn't hurt." said Adeline, looking at her bandaged right hand. "I'd have much more fun on a bike, I'm sure."

"Trust me, Adeline. When you ride shotgun through a twisty road with Allison, you'll definitely forget anything you've experienced on a bike." said Petra with a grin.

"Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?"

"You'll have to find out for yourself." replied the redhead.
-------------

Rolling out of Lee Vining, the group soon found their way onto SR 120 and were eventually inside Yosemite National Park. As they passed by other motorists, the nice weather came to prove to the girls that they were not alone in their splendid idea to tackle the mountain roads:





At one point, the convoy pulled over to the side of the road to simply appreciate Yosemite's natural beauty.



While Italy had a charm all its own, its people were marred by political strife and violence, and the girls themselves had to stay in the shadows most of the time, engrossed in killing, training, conditioning, learning, and so on. It was hard for them to get a chance to simply bask in the glory of nature, something that wasn't high on the list of the Agency's priorities. but for these few moments, the girls (and boys) said nothing, simply taking in the view and inhaling the scent of fresh mountain air. Finally, Allison looked towards the road ahead to be driven--to be conquered--and she broke the silence.

"Let's do this."

----------------
Anxiously awaiting the twistier sections--this time, at the head of the pack-- Allison's patience was rewarded by a rare and delightful radio call from Brian up above in the Mosquito.

"Lazy Fly reporting no sign of Smokey or traffic for the next five miles. Have at it, ladies."

In the driver's seat, Allison turned to Adeline.

"You ready for this?" asked the brunette, placing her hand on the gear shifter. Adeline cinched up her racing harness until she was snug in the seat.

"Punch it." replied the biker girl with a nod. Allison grinned and obliged, flooring the clutch pedal, shifting up a gear, and letting the clutch out as she hit the gas. The tachometer climbed as the engine roared to a higher pitch, and the lightweight Caterham picked up speed towards a series of tight turns. Kara watched as the 'Petrolhead Princess' of Section 2 flirted with danger going into that first turn. The rear brakes lit up on Catherine as Allison slowed for the corner with heel-toe downshifting and swung the nose inward, kissing the apex of the hairpin before shifting up on her way out, applying power on the straightaway. Beside her, Adeline smirked.

"Nice line, but nothing I can't do on an R100."

"Oh yeah? How about this?"

As she entered a right-hand hairpin, Allison yanked and held the handbrake for a split second, locking up the rear wheels as she turned the steering wheel to induce a slide. As soon as she felt the car going perpendicular, Adeline held on for dear life as Allison let the handbrake go, feathering the throttle to induce further wheelspin, counter-steering left into the right-hand turn. As the Caterham drifted through the hairpin, Adeline regretted looking out the side as the rear bumper barely came within centimeters of the guardrail (itself of dubious quality) separating them from certain death. Finally, Allison powered out on the straightaway, and Adeline swallowed her soul to keep from fainting.

"Are you crazy?! We're on a verdammt mountain, Allison; are you trying to kill us both?" snapped the biker girl angrily.

"No, but revenge is a dish best served with tire smoke." replied Allison with a grin.

It wasn't long before the rest of the girls got into the spirit of things. Kara and Claes were soon racing through the twisties, the V8 of Kara's Ferrari California providing a sort of tenor at high revs to the bass of Claes' own V8 Vantage before the song was joined by Laine's own acceleration in the Corvette. Towards the rear of the pack, the tuned exhaust and blow-off valve of Sonia as piloted by Petrushka and the supercharged V8 of Triela's SLR created their own melody, until it would be interrupted by the low growling bass of Alpha and Liesel's Challenger. Even the support vehicles got into the spirit of things, but it became disorganized quickly when Jay had to start slowing because of his extra load. Whatever the case, as each car roared through the mountain roads, their sounds reverberated off of the stone faces of the hills and cliffs, creating a beautiful cacophony that echoed through the park, softened by the evergreens and pines in the way. The girls had found driving nirvana in one of the most scenic places on earth, and nothing, it seemed, would put a stop to that.

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

"Come on! While we're not yet old and gray!" yelled Allison at her tormentor. Three cars behind, Laine leaned on the horn of her Corvette gesticulating with much more energy. In the Ferrari, Kara hung her head and sighed in exasperation. Even Claes looked cross behind the wheel of the Vantage. Petra pinched her nosebridge at the wheel of Sonia, and Triela was smacking her head against the steering wheel of her SLR.

"Even here, I can't get away from these stupid things!!!!" complained Allison as she let Catherine coast behind the vehicle up front.

"Well, it's a tourist spot, Allison. They're bound to show up sooner or later." noted Adeline.

As all good things must come to an end, so did the girls' flying run through one of the more exciting sections of Tioga Pass Road, and now they were stuck behind the bane of all petrolheads: the slow-moving caravan. Try as they might, there was no way to pass. Too many cars were going the other way, and the accursed lumbering beast in front of them created blind spots that obstructed their view. Right now, there was nothing they could do but wait.

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

It would be three and a half hours later when they would reach the Sonic Drive-In after pulling off of the Robert T. Monagan Freeway near the city of Tracy, California. Brian had to touch down in the Mosquito to refuel nearby, and the arrival of the rather flashy convoy in general elicited stares from the locals as several carhops came out on roller skates to take the convoy's orders. With permission, some locals even took pictures of the cars, and Allison handed out business cards with a URL to the Top Gear: Italy Youtube Channel.

All too soon, however, the girls and boys in the convoy had finished their meals, and had to get back on the road again. Locals were treated to quite the exit as the exotic vehicles roared out of the drive-in, engines roaring in a disorganized symphony before heading back onto the freeway. It would be another hour before they finally reached the famed Golden Gate Bridge, and as they crossed into San Francisco, the support vehicles went well ahead of the girls and their cars and Brian used the Mosquito's mounted steadicam to capture an aerial shot of Top Gear Italy's cars traveling in a dual-chevron formation. Upon crossing into San Francisco, the group was now on their own, and they all split up for their lodgings.


Last edited by MP5 on Fri 23 Jul 2010 - 21:06; edited 2 times in total

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 21 Jul 2010 - 20:18

The sun was well over the Pacific when Kara and Claes fought their way through traffic to the Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf. Kara checked in and they were escorted to a VIP Suite with two double beds.

“So, what do you want to do?” Kara asked Claes.

“I’d like to take a night cruise if they offer them,” Claes replied.

Kara nodded and picked up the phone to call down to the Concierge.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Wed 21 Jul 2010 - 23:14; edited 1 time in total

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by rusty-spring on Wed 21 Jul 2010 - 22:56

In their suite in the hotel, Laine looked out of the balcony and towards the ocean. Clayland finished unloading his day pack and joined her.

"Now that we're in California, is there anything in particular you'd like to do?" Clayland asked.

"Hmm...maybe go to the beach this afternoon and take a walk." Laine thought, bringing her hand to her chin.

"While tempting every male gaze in your vicinity?" He jabbed.

"No, I thought I'd just go as I was dressed." She replied simply. Instead of a bathing suit Laine was dressed casually in light denim jeans and a white tank top.

"Surely you're not going to go skinny dipping." Clayland was rewarded with a jab to the shoulder. "What then? Knock over some poor kid's sand castle?"

"You really think I'm nothing more than a mischievous brat don't you?" Hands on her hips, she turned around and faced him.

"Well then, what DO you want to do?"

"I already told you, go to the beach and feel sand beneath my toes." She started walking towards the door. Clayland followed.

"That's it?" He asked.

"Yup, that's it." Laine grinned. "Are you coming?" Her partner mocked contemplation for a moment.

"Weeelll...I suppose I better make sure the tide doesn't sweep you away." Clayland joked again and quickened his pace to catch up.

"Good answer." After making sure their room was locked, the pair headed downstairs towards the lobby.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Thu 22 Jul 2010 - 16:51

As they walked into their suite, Alpha was quick to put aside their baggage as Liesel plugged in her laptop to the available dataport, bringing up the program which monitored the panic buttons soon after.

"Liesel," Alpha called.

"Yes," Liesel answered.

"I'm going to check on the others, do you want me to get anything?"

"Actually," Liesel said as she rose from the desk, "if I recall; we, especially you, have not had any rest since the night before last in Las Vegas."

"...True," Alpha stated, "but what does that have to do with checking up on the convoy?"

"I have already checked on the convoy and notified them that you need your rest in order to effectively complete your assignment."

"Uh-huh," Alpha said suddenly perplexed. "You know; despite it's reputation, San Francisco isn't exactly safe."

"The Panic System is online and will notify us of any emergencies."

"Liesel?" Alpha suddenly asked as he looked to where he had deposited his pocketed belongings.

"Yes?" Liesel smiled as she could read Alpha's concern.

"Where's my room key?"

Raising her hands over head; Liesel flashed Alpha a smile; "I have it placed somewhere on my person, which you must find."

"Liesel," Alpha said in slight concern.

"These terms cannot be negotiated."

As Alpha approached Liesel in order to search her, Liesel leaned back as she faced the king bed before them. As Alpha began to search Liesel's pockets, he took care to be mindful of certain area's as he didn't want to start something he could not finish. However, Liesel was typically a half-step ahead of Alpha as per a woman's prerogative.

Slipping his hands in her back pockets, Alpha suddenly heard Liesel softly sigh as he felt her pert and supple rear through the denim fabric. In a flash of a moment, Liesel hook Alpha's leg with her own and gave him a hard shove towards the bad.

In the second it took for Alpha to become aware of what just happened, Liesel was on top of him with her hands holding his wrists down. Blowing tufts of breath along his neck, Liesel suddenly rose to face Alpha.

"You may display bravely all that you wish," Liesel stated, " but you should know that it is futile to attempt hiding your weariness from me."

"And if I refuse to rest?" Alpha said looking into Liesel's eyes.

Planting a soft kiss on Alpha's throat, Liesel moved to Alpha's ear and breathed, "Then you will force me to take measures assuring that that you will require rest after."

Smiling up at her, Alpha moved his hands to the small of her back as after Liesel had relaxed her grip. Liesel then suddenly gasped as the feel of thin plastic rubbed against her bare skin. Bringing his hand within Liesel's sight, Alpha revealed that he had found his room key. As they looked at the object for a minute, Alpha then tossed it aside as his hands returned to Liesel's back.

Liesel began using her fingertips to brush against the sides of Alpha's face as Alpha softly kneaded Liesel's back. For most of their voyage through America they had been repressing their emotion for each other as they stayed true to their assignment. However, now that the assignment itself was coming ever closer to it's end, they felt it was time to celebrate the completion of a mission as they had since that very first time.

Gazing into her eyes, Alpha let his own speak for him as Liesel did as well; saying all of those things that they knew, but somehow felt too much like saying goodbye. Altheus had once told them that it was just the nature of the job, and that to quote 'Just because you don't say it, doesn't mean that you don't mean it' .

A moment later, Alpha leaned forward in order to kiss Liesel on her chin. Liesel returned the kiss in kind. Soon they were kissing each other with a deep rooted need. With Alpha's massage becoming more firm, Liesel's fingers began exploring Alpha's disorganized mess atop his head. All the while, they melted into each other, as if tomorrow was going to be their very last.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 22 Jul 2010 - 19:51

An hour later, Kara and Claes were aboard one of San Francisco’s Red and White Fleet’s ships on the “California Sunset Cruise” heading past Alcatraz Island towards the Marin Highlands. In the distance, the Golden Gate Bridge stood brilliantly illuminated from behind by the setting sun.




They stood on the railing with drinks in hand, enjoying the cool marine air.

“You miss Michele, don’t you,” Claes noted.

Kara merely nodded her head.

“He’s only been gone less than a day. And you’ll be together again the day after tomorrow.”

“I know.”

“You’ve spent longer times apart when missions required it,” Claes observed.

“That just meant I liked it less than when it was only a short time,” Kara replied.

“I kind of miss him, as well,” Claes said.

The two of them drank and snacked lightly as the ship sailed under the Golden Gate and then past the city skyline before returning to port.




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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by rusty-spring on Thu 22 Jul 2010 - 20:47

"I have a confession." Laine said as she and Clayland strolled along the beach. Clayland raised his hand to shield his eyes from the setting sun.

"And what would that be?" He asked.

"This has been a great trip and all, but there still something I really wanted to do..." She turned towards him and stopped.

"Oh?" Laine motioned to Clayland to step closer. He did so and as he approached, Laine stood up on her tip toes and whispered in his ear.

"I really DID want to knock over that contest winning sand castle this afternoon."



Upon that declaration, Laine chuckled and cocked her head. Clayland responded by playfully kicking some sand at her.

"You know, if you ever want a day job I think industrial demolition would be an excellent choice." With a laugh, Laine agreed and they headed back towards the hotel.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 18:30

Once they left the boat, they made their way to the Boulevard Restaurant, said by Michele’s friends in the city to offer delicious French-infused American cuisine and specializing in fresh seafood.

Claes wore the same outfit she’d donned in Las Vegas, while Kara had changed into a dress with a tartan pattern of reds, greens and yellows before leaving the hotel for the ship.




The two cyborgs decided to share, choosing for starters abalone and lobster-stuffed calamari from Monterey along with fresh soft shell crab flown in from Maryland that afternoon. They switched to meat for their mains: Kara going with a locally-raised duck breast wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon while Claes tried a fire roasted natural Angus beef filet mignon. While Kara had benefited from watching Michele, she lacked his palette and therefore put her trust in Sommelier John Lancaster whose picks expertly complimented their starters and mains.



“I don’t look forward to going back,” Claes noted as the two of them treaded water in the shallower end of the pool, allowing the heated water to relax them. Above them, strings of lights hung, offering soft illumination and as the hour was late, the pool area was mostly empty.

“Having too much fun?” Kara teased.

“More afraid of how Jean is going to react. He’s had seven handlers and nine cyborgs out of circulation for a week. And during that week, one of those cyborgs won $35,000 US dollars and the other won a €700,000 Mercedes hypercar. You know he’s going to have us on 26-hour snap alert every day for a month just to remind us we're supposed to be finely-honed weapons.”

“There are only 24 hours in a day,” Kara replied.

“And you think that will matter to Croce?” Claes asked.

“Point.”

“But yes, I did have a great time. It felt…good…to let go of Agency life for a bit.”

“You certainly came out of your shell,” Kara noted, but her voice carried no sense of malice or scorn.

“Michele has a way of making you want to push yourself and step out of your Safe Zone,” Claes replied.

“Very true,” Kara replied. “I have not always wanted to go where he was suggesting, but afterwards, I realized I was better for it.”

Claes moved to float on her back and slowly swam a lap of the pool.

“If he buys you a 599, I want a Vantage Roadster,” she noted when she passed Kara on the return segment.

“Deal,” Kara agreed.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 21:44; edited 1 time in total

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Marder on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 21:37

Meanwhile back at the Hyatt, Adeline bounced around on a bed in the suite Jay had gotten for himself. It wasn't her room but George allowed her to stay with her best friend for as long as she was welcome to and planned on having a good time with Allison. Unfortunately, her idea of fun was once again not quite on the same page as Allison.

"Adeline," she said. "Adeline." No response as she kept jumping on the bed. "Adeline!" Allison's best friend fell down from the air onto her back on the bed. "Will you cut that out?"

"Come on I was having fun!" Adeline complained.

"You can do that in your own bedroom," Allison pointed out. She continued to unpack her things. "Besides I got a feeling you'd break it."

"I would not! So how am I supposed to have fun now?" Allison handed her the remote for the TV. "Fine." Adeline turned on the TV, and instantly a commercial caught Adeline's eye.

It's a showdown of two National league titans...

The Phillies got the bats to bring down AT&T park, but the Giants shut them down at their home in April with their powerful pitching.

Jon Miller (Giants commentator): (Giants ace Tim Lincecum strikes out Phillies second baseman Chase Utley) And he got him! Utley down on strikes again, and that's a dozen strikeouts for Tim Lincecum.

And now they got the bats to complement.

Jon Miller: (Giants catcher Buster Posey hits a grand slam against Brewers pitcher Manny Parra). High and deep to right. This ball is way back...OUT OF HERE! A Grand slam for Buster Posey, and it's 12-0 Giants.

But this time, the Phillies got an arm of their own. An ace from the American league that goes by the name of Doc..

Chris Wheeler (Phillies commentator): And the pitch...he struck him out. Another strikeout as Roy Halladay continues his dominance in a complete game shutout!

It's a showdown for the ages as two Cy Young caliber aces take each other on. Can the Giants shut down their foes in at AT&T Park, or will it be a "Halladay" for the Phillies in San Francisco. (montage of video highlights and epic music). Giants versus Phillies, Lincecum versus Halladay. Tonight at six thirty.

Adeline sat their with her mouth wide open. "Allison! We're so going to see the Giants!" Allison looked at the TV and shook her head. Her friend really was too much, but still awesome.
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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 0:41

About an hour or so later, Allison, Adeline, Triela, Petra, and Jay all were ready to go to the game. Rather than take in baseball, their handlers decided to just go on a bit of a pub crawl instead and have Petra pick them up after the game, wherever they might be. The 'kids' were told to go and have fun at the game, and so Allison and Adeline set off in Catherine while Triela followed in the SLR and Petra and Jay followed in the Range Rover, now detached from its trailer. The quick jaunt down to AT&T Park was almost trivial, and despite a bit of hassle getting at-the-door tickets, the group finally got in and sat in the middle section of the stadium seating. Noticeably, however, Jay and Allsion sat on completely opposite ends of each other, Triela, Adeline, and Petra acting as sort of a buffer between the two. neither boy nor girl was really concentrating on the game, seemingly content with staring off into space despite the excellent game of baseball going on below.

"These two can't keep avoiding each other forever." said Adeline into Triela's ear. The blonde nodded in agreement.

"I've got a plan. Let's nip this in the bud tonight."




After the game, the group was on their way out when Petra turned to everyone else.

"I better go pick up the other guys, I'll see you all back at the hotel."

Petra bid the others goodbye as she went off to go hop in the Range Rover and find their handlers before they got too wasted. Triela suddenly crossed her legs as if she had drank one too many sodas.

"I gotta go use the facilities, I'll be right back!"

Triela power-walked away, and Adeline quickly made up a similar excuse.

"I'm gonna go join her, actually. Meet you guys right quick!"

Jay stared in bewilderment as he watched Adeline disappear into the crowd as well.

"What is it with girls and going to the bathroom in groups? Well, I suppose it's another thing I won't understand about female culture..." muttered Jay. Allison stood uncomfortably nearby, and she kept making quick glances at Jay before averting her eyes from him. There was a tension between them as thick as the vacating crowds. Jay felt he had to break the silence.

"Hey, Alli--"

Jay was interrupted by the roar of a supercharged V8 speeding up, and Allison quickly recognized it as Triela's SLR. It screeched to a halt at the pick-up/drop-off zone as Triela quickly rolled down her window.

"The hell?! I thought you guys were in the bathroom!" said Allison in shock.

"Change of plans, we're going home ahead!" shouted Triela.

"But--I need a ride back!" cried Jay.

"Ride with Allison, Jay!" Adeline said firmly.

"B-but--"

"No buts, Mr. Valentine! You two need to work out whatever's eating you guys, and don't come back until you have!"

With that, the SLR peeled away in a cloud of tire smoke as it sped out of the stadium parking lot. Jay was left at the curbside, staring in disbelief as the silver hypercar wove its way into traffic, disappearing in the exiting rush. he turned around to see Allison regarding him with a slightly nervous expression, and he did not want to make her any more uncomfortable.

"H-hey, if it's all the same to you, I don't wanna bother you; I'll just get a cab back to the hotel."

Allison said nothing as she watched the brown-haired boy take out his cellphone and dial up a local cab company. Shaking her head, she walked up to him and gently pulled his hand away from his ear and Jay looked Allison in the eye as he unconsciously canceled the call.

"Something the matter?" asked Jay with concern.

"I don't really want to drive home alone tonight." said Allison, her eyes downcast. "I...was wondering if... you'd like to go on a d-drive with me? Adeline's right, not talking is only going to make things more awkward."

"All right. I don't think I'd mind that one bit."

With more strained silence, the two went to Catherine's parking space and were soon out of the stadium and headed wherever Allison's subconscious would take them.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Jacen Starslayer on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 3:06

Jay sat in the passenger seat of the car trying to figure out what to talk about with her.

I should probably stick with some small talk... Jay thought as he started to start with some small talk.

"So Allison did you catch who won the game?" Jay asked finally attempting to break the earlier tension.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 10:39

Kiskaloo wrote:“If he buys you a 599, I want a Vantage Roadster,” she noted when she passed Kara on the return segment.

“Deal,” Kara agreed.

"A Vantage Roadster?" a familiar voice off to the side chided in. "My-my that is ambitious of you, Claes."

"It's only fair," Claes said with a smirk as she continued her laps.

"Good evening; Liesel," Kara said as she watched the Slavic beauty wade towards her.

"And a good evening to you Kara," Liesel said with a soft smile.

"Where's Onii-san?"

"He is resting...finally."

"About time, I worry when he stays awake for days on end. He's not like the rest of us."

"Agreed, and he can be ever so stubborn about it."

" I quote," Claes said as she slowly passed the two, "If I'm not better than the rest, then how can I properly protect the nest."

After sharing a short fit of giggles, Liesel began to float as she gazed at the starry sky above.

"Allison and I had an interesting conversation during our first night in Las Vegas," Liesel stated.

"Oh really?" Kara said thouroughly intrigued.

"About what?" Claes said as her curiosity held her from completing her lap.

"She wanted to know how it was that I am not jealous of Kara and Alpha's closeness."

"Oh, really?" Kara said curiously.

"It looks like what it looks like," Claes teased.

"Oh hush; you," Kara said at Claes to which Claes responded with nothing more than a smirk.

Giggling silently at the exchange between Kara and Claes; Liesel continued, "I told her my assessment on the matter however, but it seemed to make her feel uncomfortable."

Kara got even more curious as Claes shrugged and began her laps anew, "Try as she might to put it off; the sooner they confess their feelings to each other, the better."

"What do you mean?" Kara said.

"She means," Liesel answered, "that Allison is looking for a couple to compare herself and Jay against. Sandro and Petra are here, but it is obvious that the relationship is largely one-sided."

"True," Kara said, "in Japan, you and Alpha would be considered a number-one couple."

With a fit of giggles between herself and Kara, Liesel returned her attention to the starry night sky.

"Kara," Liesel called.

"Yes?" Kara answered.

"Thank you."

"For what?"

"For arranging this trip along with Allison, Laine, and the others. Al has mentioned vacationing for quite some time; but as the lead field unit, there is little chance that we would ever be approved for a leave. This has given us an opporunity to grow even closer that would otherwise not have been possible, and for that, I thank you greatly."

"It has been a pleasure," Kara responded as she too began to float, staring at the night sky.

"It is so very nice to enjoy yourself in a pool without any male gawkers," Liesel mentioned. "Is it not?"

"Very true," Kara replied.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 11:48

“I’m surprised Allison could not tell you were besotted with your handler,” Claes noted, careful to ensure she was out of Kara’s reach. Unfortunately, she forgot that while not as strong as a first generation cyborg, the second generation was hardly weak and a tsunami of pool water washed over her.

“Don’t try and deny it,” Claes noted, sputtering.

“I’m not denying it,” Kara replied. “It’s just a…sensitive…subject for me.”

“It must be difficult to share a handler with another girl,” Liesel noted.

“It has been at times,” Kara admitted.

“I’ve told you time and again, Kara: I respect Michele, I don’t love him,” Claes noted.

“I know, Claes. And I believe you. I honestly do. It’s just that Michele could have a relationship with you, even though the age difference ensures he never would. But he can only see me as his daughter and that is a wall between us that can never be breached.”

“Having feelings of affection, even attraction, for one’s handler is something I think most of the girls can understand,” Liesel noted. “The first generation girls were programmed to feel that way to strengthen their loyalty and bond and for the second generation, the choice of less…emotionally damaged handlers has allowed such feelings to naturally grow.

“However, it’s something different when those feelings are towards a fellow cyborg as is the case with Allison and Jay. Fortunately, both seem to have mutual feelings for each other. It might have been awkward if it had been a unrequited attraction for one of them.”

“So what did you tell her? I mean about you and Alpha and Kara and Alpha?” Claes asked.

Liesel merely smiled and drifted off towards the deeper end of the pool.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 14:19

Jacen Starslayer wrote:
"So Allison did you catch who won the game?" Jay asked finally attempting to break the earlier tension.

Allison chuckled nervously. "Can't say I did; I wasn't really focused. Giants, or Phillies?"

"Your guess is as good as mine." admitted Jay with a half-smile. "I wasn't paying attention, either.

Silence reigned once again, and the sound of the engine and the city filled in for some seconds as Allison shifted up. Her thoughts revolved around her passenger. Ever since the previous evening in Vegas, their interaction (or lack thereof) was minimal, all because of their inebriated daze during the night. There was something in that moment where they nearly kissed, but it was diluted by liquor, and she had wondered if there were indeed true feelings at that very moment, unspoken and ready to be revealed to one another. But her car, with its lack of privacy, loud noise, and requiring a fair amount of focus, was no place to talk with the boy she had strong feelings for.

For a brief moment, Allison's thoughts wandered to their night in Chicago, after dinner at Everest. The stroll on the beach was tranquil, simple, unfettered and allowed them to speak freely. She wanted that setting back. Passing a road sign, she noticed that Ocean Beach was in the direction they were headed. Without saying a word, she followed the route to Ocean Beach, shifting up and accelerating.




15 minutes later, Allison had pulled up to the parking lot near the entrance to Ocean Beach. Before her and Jay, the night sky above the Pacific Ocean beckoned, stars twinkling over the now-black and glossy surface, punctuated by the roiling whitecaps of the surf.

After letting the engine idle, Allison shut Catherine off and extricated herself from the driver's seat, Jay following suit, though not as gracefully as he stumbled out of his seat, causing Allison some worry. After he righted himself, Allison brought out her Scuderia Ferrari jacket, remembering that beaches can get rather chilly at night.

"Shall we take a walk?" asked Allison.

"If that's what you'd like, sure." replied Jay. The two simply walked onto the sand, bare-footed side by side, not arm-in-arm like they had done at Lake Michigan. The two went some distance before Allison broke the silence.

"We really do need to talk, Jay. I don't like having clipped conversations anymore." admitted Allison meekly.

"Me neither, but... what do we talk about?" replied Jay.

"I dunno.... stuff..." trailed off Allison before finding a topic. "Well, it's our final day here in America. did you enjoy the trip?"

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Jacen Starslayer on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 0:27

"You know this has probably been one of the best weeks that I've had in a long time." Jay said as he looked up towards the sky before letting out a sigh, "It's a shame that it has to end. Come tomorrow, we're all be on the plane heading back to the compound, doing the same stuff that we always do."

Jay reached into his pocket and pulled out a quarter. As he rotated the quarter between his fingers he was thinking, Damn why am I choking up I should be able to talk to Allison. That's it, I'll leave it to fate. If she wins the toss I'll confess my feelings otherwise I'll wait until she makes the first move.

"Heads or tails?" Jay asked randomly before flipping it in the air.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 7:30

"Heads." replied Allison as she turned to see the coin land atop Jay's hand.

"Heads it is." said Jay, silently cursing to himself.

"What was that all about, anyway?" asked Allison.

"Nothing in particular."

"All right..." said Allison, trailing off. A question burned on her mind, and she had to know the answer straight from Jay himself. Taking a deep breath, she turned to Jay, causing the boy to stop in his tracks.

"Jay, about last night--"

"You don't have to apologize, that was my fault. Don't beat yourself up over it." said Jay reassuringly.

"It's not that, it's something else." said Allison. Steeling herself, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes before opening them to look Jay in his as she continued.

"Jay... I... I want to know what you think of me."

"Well, I--"

"Wait, let me continue. I want to know what you think of me, because.... well... I really... I really like you, Jay." admitted Allison, her face now flushed a bright pink. "I think you're the sweetest, most handsome guy I've ever met. You're a kind soul, always willing to help, and I really like you a lot! It would mean the world to me if you would accept my feelings for you."

Tears began to form in Allison's eyes as she continued. "I... I was afraid to talk to you today after what happened last night between us. I don't want you to think that I'm some kind of out-of-control party girl or bottle fairy! I'm afraid I might have given you the wrong impression last night, and I understand if you think I'm a bad person. But I have to know Jay, please. What do you think of me?"

Having poured out her feelings, seconds felt like an eternity as she awaited Jay's response.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Jacen Starslayer on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 11:52

"I... I was afraid to talk to you today after what happened last night
between us. I don't want you to think that I'm some kind of
out-of-control party girl or bottle fairy! I'm afraid I might have
given you the wrong impression last night, and I understand if you
think I'm a bad person. But I have to know Jay, please. What do you
think of me?" Allison said with tears in her eyes.

Jay hung his head down for a second before reaching out and hugging her.

"That's a relief to hear, Allison. I was afraid that you'd hate me or think that I was taking advantage of you. In all honesty, I've liked you for the longest time. You're probably the most intriguing, unpredictable different girl that I've ever met." Jay said as he hugged the girl. "I've been trying to gather the courage to tell you for a while now."

They held the embrace for several minutes.

"Okay, would you be upset if I didn't have any clue on where to go from here?" Jay asked bashfully.

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I have struggled to stay true to his dreams and ideals
Never knowing defeat
Nor victory
Forever waiting for his return
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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 19:44

After their swim, Kara and Claes said their goodnight to Liesel and returned to their suite. They showered and then changed into their pajamas and retired for the night.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Mon 26 Jul 2010 - 19:47

"Not in the slightest, Jay." replied Allison with a relieved smile. "But I think this means we'll be seeing each other a lot more often now?"

"Y-you mean, like Sensei and Liesel?" asked Jay, turning red.

"Well, maybe not exactly like that..." Allison trailed off, also turning pink. "But I think this means we can be open and honest about our feelings to each other, even if showing affection in public is a little embarrassing."

Allison nuzzled into Jay's embrace for a little bit more warmth. "And it's a great setting right now--just the two of us on a beach, star-sprinkled night..."

Suddenly, an explosion and flash of light startled the two teens, turning to face the source. Further down the beach, a barge full of fireworks lit up the night sky as spectators clamored and cheered from the shore. Rockets and shells erupted in a fountain of smoke and light from the barge before exploding into dazzling patterns in the evening sky. Some shells even burst into shapes, like stars and even pictures, like the American Flag, but most took form of multicolored bursts. Allison and Jay were quickly entranced by the display, their faces awash in the brilliant colors given off by the exploding pyrotechnics.

[OOC Music Cue:] I'm Yours by Jason Mraz[/OOC]

"Look at them, Jay. Aren't they the most beautiful things you've ever seen?" Allison asked.

"Not necessarily." replied Jay, locking eyes with Allison and pulling the surprised girl into a long kiss. Shocked at first, Allison soon closed her eyes and let herself melt into the kiss, the sky exploding in colors behind them serving as an appropriate backdrop. Of particular note, so engaged were they in their public display of affection that they missed a particular shell that exploded into the outline of a pink heart, which if viewed properly. outlined the couple, as if a sign of things to come.




"Mission accomplished." said Triela with satisfaction, looking upon the scene from a distance, a pair of binoculars in hand.

"Told you it'd work out." quipped Adeline, sitting on the hood of the SLR.

"I just didn't think Jay there had the guts." replied Triela. "Not bad, Valentine. Not bad at all."

"So what now?" asked Adeline.

"As Marisa suggested once, we should mount a tactical retreat and perform a total communications blackout." replied Triela, getting into the SLR.

"Except we can be more subtle about it."

With that, Triela started up the SLR and eased out of her parking space, making a drive back towards the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf.



"Hey, we should do something to remember this day by." suggested Allison, watching the rest of the fireworks, Jay laying his head down in her lap as she absentmindedly ran her fingers through his brown hair.

"Any ideas?"

"I've got one, even if it won't be a lasting memento." said Allison with a smile, picking up a nearby stick.

The next day, people visiting Ocean Beach would have their curiosity drawn, even if only momentarily, to the place where Jay and Allison had confessed their love for each other. Where they had been, there was a simple picture drawn in the sand, a large heart with an arrow through it diagonally. In its center were two sets of initials, "J.V. + A.M". People with a more old-fashioned sense of romance would recognize the meaning, whereas those too young to understand would have to do with an explanation from their parents or elders, who saw the simple work of art as a reminder of young love, and the feelings it brought back.




"All right, mates. Catch you all in the morning." bid Brian as he walked with a barely-noticeable wobble to his suite. He and the other handlers had gotten fairly inebriated in their bar and pub crawl before Petra came around to pick them up. By then, the normally-reserved Hilshire had been chatting up a decent crowd of trendy, good-looking society girls and being too suave for his own good, Sandro was being an out-and-out lech before Petra smacked him upside the head when she found him, Clayland had puked twice while the others made fun of him for being a lightweight, George was arguing Lady Gaga vs. Britney Spears with a gay man, and Brian had headbutted a "Jersey Shore"-type musclehead in the chest for making him spill his beer. Amazingly, no charges were filed.

Now fairly sober compared to the others, Brian whistled a jaunty tune as he slipped his room key into the card slot and opened the door, only to find something unexpected.

Asleep on the couch were Jay and Allison together, the latter leaning her head on Jay's shoulder. Brian watched with some mirth and amusement as Allison frowned momentarily and began to turn in her sleep before Jay unconsciously reached his arm around Allison's waist, settling the younger McDonnell down as she smiled and wrapped both her arms Jay's body as she nuzzled closer to him. With a smile as he shook his head, Brian took out his Blackberry Storm and snapped a photo of the peaceful scene. He then sent it out as a picture message to the other handlers and Alpha and Liesel --as well as Allison's closest friends, just to tease her-- with the caption:

"Everyone, say it with me.... D'awww!"

With a mischievous grin, he hit 'send' and his Blackberry chugged the message out to its intended recipients as he got ready for the next morning.


Last edited by MP5 on Sun 1 Aug 2010 - 16:17; edited 2 times in total

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Wed 28 Jul 2010 - 17:23

Bidding farewell to Kara and Claes, Liesel made her way to the room she shared with Alpha.

Opening the room she found Alpha awake, though weary, and flipping through the available on-demand viewing selection.

"You; sir," Liesel said. "I expected to be resting."

"I did,' Alpha said sleepily. "For a time anyway."

"What has changed?"

"My stomach refuses to be denied."

Laughing at this, Liesel rubs the back of her neck as she approaches Alpha.

"So are we to go out?" Liesel asked.

"Nope, too...exhausted for that. I ordered room service."

"Very well. How long has it been since placing the order?"

"Approximately 20 min. ago."

"I see."

Leaning forward, Liesel plants a kiss on Alpha's head as she holds his cheek; looking upon him in adoration.

"Do be sure to save me an adequate portion if the cart happens to arrive while I am showering," Liesel requested as she shed her robe on her way to the bathroom.

"Of course," Alpha replied as his eyes followed her every movement.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 28 Jul 2010 - 18:29

Kara and Claes awoke with the sun. Deciding it was better to try and wear themselves out so they could sleep on the long flight to the Continent, they dressed in loose and comfortable clothes and caught a cab to Town's End Restaurant & Bakery on the Embarcadero where they stuffed themselves silly and then took another cab to Golden Gate Park and walked it off.

They returned to the hotel a bit before 10:00AM where they met a representative from the rental company who recovered the Ferrari and Aston Martin. As they waited for Allison's text to meet up for their final video taping, Kara called the Concierge and requested a limousine pickup at noon to take them to San Francisco International Airport.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Wed 28 Jul 2010 - 21:41

The next morning, Jay awoke with sunlight streaming in over his eyelids. His face twitched, and he blinked himself into a state of consciousness. Upon moving, he felt a noticeable weight leaning on him that began to shift. Glancing to his left, he realized he had fallen asleep on the couch alongside Allison, and recalled the events of the previous night, which were just as exciting, but with a more pleasant outcome than what had happened in Vegas.

Now, he could not help but smile a small smile as Allison stirred next to him. They were more than just friends, now. They were bonded to each other by love, the red string of fate, cupid's arrow, and other such terms for romance, and he could only be reminded of this fact when Allison opened her eyes and smiled at him before giving him a smooch on the lips.

"Good morning, Jay~!"

"Good morning, uhm.... Good morning, Allie." replied Jay, trying to think of a term of endearment and failing.

"If you're trying to come up with a pet name already, don't. Not yet. That's for when we move in together." said Allison teasingly.

"Thinking that far ahead?" replied Jay. "Wow, let's hope so. Somehow, I have the feeling I won't hear the end of this from sis."

"Let people say what they want. Right now, aside from Brian and Cousin Tommy, you're the most important guy in my life, and I want you to know that."

With a giggle, Allison snuggled up closer to Jay, who smiled and leaned his head close to Allison's, enjoying the moment, which was quickly interrupted.

"*sniff* I'm so proud of Allison--*hic*--My little sister is finally growing up!"

The two teens turned their heads around to find Brian standing in the doorway, pretending to choke back tears of joy.

"Oh, cut it out, Brian." said Allison rolling her eyes, earning a grin from the elder McDonnell.

"Seriously though, I'm proud of you, kid." replied Brian, straightening up. "You've reached another milestone as part of growing up, and I congratulate you."

Brian turned to Jay and continued. "Even though I don't tell her this often, Allison is the greatest joy in my life, and I'm glad to see that she's chosen someone worthy of her. Congratulations, Jay. I really hope you and Allison have a good relationship from now on, and I can rest a little easier knowing that she's in good hands. Take care of my little sis, all right?"

"Uh, th-thanks, Brian. I will." replied Jay meekly.

"Brian, enough serious talk; you're scaring him!" said Allison, hugging Jay closer to her. "You make it sound like we're gonna get married!"

"Well..." trailed of Brian with a grin, causing Allison to groan in exasperation. "I might be serious about that, I might not be, you don't know. Either way, young Mr. Valentine here has my blessing."

Brian would have continued had he not been beaned in the head with a throw pillow from the couch thrown by his flustered little sister.

"Ignore him, he's always like this." said Allison, getting up along with Jay. "Meet you downstairs for breakfast?"

"Where do you wanna go?" asked Jay. "I'm buying, of course."

"You don't have to, but I was thinking pancakes from Caffe Delucchi over on Columbus and Stockton would be a nice start to the day." replied Allison.

"Then it's settled. See you in a few." replied Jay, stretching. Grasping Allison's hands and leaning in to kiss her, the brunette met him halfway as they shared a quick kiss before Jay turned to leave the suite.

"I can hear the wedding bells already. You pick out a maid of honor yet?" asked Brian teasingly.

"That's enough out of you. I'm taking the shower first."

As Allison went off to get ready for the day, Brian went to watch TV as he settled down on the couch.

I really hope you do beat the clock, Allie. Live a full life and be happy with Jay. thought Brian, using the old regiment term from his days in the SAS. Anyone who did not end up having their name inscribed on the clock tower memorial at the unit's HQ in Hereford was said to have 'beaten the clock' once they were through with their tenure. The 'Belfast Bastard' was one of them, though he had gotten discharged because of an accident that almost lined up his name as the next one on that clock. Now, he wished that same sort of luck on his adopted sister, considering she lived on what was considered borrowed time.




Half an hour later, Allison and Jay had taken Catherine a short distance to Caffe Delucchi, where with some excitement, they asked for an outdoor table for two that morning, sitting down to a hearty breakfast of buttermilk chocolate chip pancakes with candied pecans, bacon, eggs, and toast. As they finished, the two took some time to relax.

"I really wish we could stay longer." mused Allison with a sigh as she looked Jay in his eyes. "Then, we could do more things that couples do."

"This is one of them, isn't it?" asked Jay with a playful smile. "Having breakfast together? We can do this when we get back home, I'm sure."

"Oh shit, I completely forgot about Jean!" exclaimed Allison, folding her arms and placing her head atop them. "He's gonna flip his shit if he finds out about...us."

"Allie." said Jay, reaching his hand across the table, laying it atop Allison's. "I'm sure we'll find a way to make this work. Just look at Sensei and Liesel."

"I think they're a different case compared to us, Jay." said Allison.

"I think that if we can remain professional while being in a relationship, Jean won't mind." said Jay reassuringly. "And that's saying a lot, considering how much I hate him."

Allison chuckled at the last bit. "Okay then, Jay. Let's make this work."

Before Jay courteously picked up the bill while Allison dealt with the tip, Allison sent a text off to Kara and Claes.

Allison wrote: I'll meet you guys at the Hotel. How do you want to close out this special?

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by rusty-spring on Thu 29 Jul 2010 - 1:36

"I'm really going to miss you. We didn't spend that much time together, but I want you to know that this has been the best weekend of my life." Laine mournfully spoke.

"Um...I need the keys miss..." The Hertz Rental Agent looked around uncomfortably as the blonde before him was splayed over the hood, hugging the Corvette.

"Sorry, she doesn't get out much." Clayland managed to peel the cyborg off the car, and handed the man the keys. He practically dragged Laine away, who was limp in his arms.

"Clay..." She looked up at him with puppy dog eyes. "...do you think when we get back home we can get a car like that? I promise to take care of it and remember to feed it and wash it and - "

"It's not a dog, Laine." Clayland mused as they stood together.

"Damn right it's not, a dog can't go 0-60 in under four seconds." The fire returned to Laine's eyes as she spouted out car specs.

"Now there's the Laine I know."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 29 Jul 2010 - 6:35

Allison wrote:I'll meet you guys at the Hotel. How do you want to close out this special?

Kara wrote:Let's just meet near the pool area.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Thu 29 Jul 2010 - 22:36

After a hearty breakfast, Liesel insisted on Alpha getting some extra
rest as Alpha had to drive the Challenger back to the Chrysler
Headquarters in Michigan to return the Challenger after bidding her a good journey back to Italy.

Taking her orders only half-heartedly, Alpha decided to lounge out beside the pool while Liesel did some last minute souvenir shopping for those that didn't come on the trip. Looking out toward the city skyline, Alpha took in the scene as it had been a long time since returning to San Francisco and it would most likely be a very long time before they returned.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Thu 29 Jul 2010 - 23:09

Upon receiving the text message, Allison and Jay made the quick jaunt back to the Hyatt. As Allison went up to her suite, she tapped out another text message to Kara.

Allison wrote:We're at the hotel. Swimsuits for the segment?

A few seconds later, a reply from Kara arrived.

Kara wrote:Might as well, since we'll be finishing this poolside.

Allison turned to Jay. "See you at the poolside in a couple minutes?"

"Of course." replied Jay with a grin. "You're busting out the Ferrari bikini again, right?"

"Jay, control yourself!" exclaimed Allison, scandalized and turning red at her new boyfriend's comment.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 30 Jul 2010 - 6:34

Claes and Kara changed quickly and headed down to the pool area, setting up near the foliage.

Claes set up the camera and checked the focus and framing, using Kara as a reference point.


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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Fri 30 Jul 2010 - 23:56

Minutes later, Allison and Jay came out to the pool clad in Ferrari bikini and swim shorts respectively. Jay held a bag with the audio equipment in one hand, and in the other was Allison's hand grasping his own. Alpha, wearing just a pair of board shorts and sunglasses was the first to notice them enter the area.

"Well well, if it isn't the happy couple." greeted Alpha.

"Congratulations, you two." commented Kara, Claes nodding her head in agreement.

"H-how do you guys already know?" asked Allison, turning tomato red.

"Brian." chorused the three other cyborgs, showing Allison the very same picture message Brian had sent the previous evening. It was that very cute picture of Allison and Jay snuggled up together on the couch, unaware that the elder McDonnell would capture the scene and embarrass them with an unauthorized announcement of their official courtship.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by rusty-spring on Sat 31 Jul 2010 - 0:25

Laine showed up poolside wearing an odd choice of clothing:



"Good lord, why are you dressed for winter?" Kara asked. Laine shook her hand in a sign that the topic wasn't up for discussion. Luckily Clayland was there to pick up the slack.

"Seems our perky pal here decided to raid the hotel kitchen's freezer for some shaved ice." Clayland grinned and ignored a glare from his partner. "Then got locked inside for half-an-hour."

"Shut up, I'm freezing." She wrapped her arms around her waist. "Why didn't you come look for me?"

"I did," Clayland responded, "but how was I suppose to know you were locked in an icebox?" He shrugged at Kara who was clearly amused.

"And here I thought we were out of wacky adventures for the trip." Kara teased, while Allison looked on in understandable confusion.

"Well you know me...I love encores..." Laine replied sarcastically while taking a drink from her steaming espresso.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 31 Jul 2010 - 14:18

"And here I thought we were out of wacky adventures for the trip." Kara teased, while Allison looked on in understandable confusion.

"Well you know me...I love encores..." Laine replied sarcastically while taking a drink from her steaming espresso.

“Speaking of adventures, you didn’t have a challenge,” Alpha noted. “Don’t the UK boys always have a challenge on a road trip?”

“Well we did have that ‘Escape an attempted car jacking’ challenge west of Seligman,” Claes deadpanned.

“I don’t think we can show that,” Kara retorted.

“What happened to that footage?” Laine asked.

“Michele took it back with him to Rome. Evidently the Technical Branch wanted to review it for more ‘in field’ data. The Embassy sent someone to meet Michele in D.C. and put the tapes in the Diplomatic Pouch.”

Allison smacked her head. “Damn! I should have had him put my 35 grand in there, too!”

“I imagine the Pouch is not big enough for an SLR?” Triela asked as she came forward, dressed in a red and pink two-piece bikini.




Kara lay stretched out on the chaise and Laine pulled a chair up next to her, creating an interesting visual dichotomy. Claes sat on the edge of the pool, dipping her legs. Allison and Triela both went into the pool and clambered onto floating pool furniture, while Jay went behind the audio and video equipment.

“Ready,” he announced a few minutes later.

“Maybe you should take Clarkson’s role for this,” Kara suggested with a smirk.

“Shut up, Kara,” Laine groused.

“So here we are, journey’s end: San Francisco. We started seven days ago, 3,800 miles to the east in New York City. In 1971, American racing icon Dan Gurney and legendary automotive journalist Brock Yates drove 2800 miles from NYC to Los Angeles in just under 36 hours in a Ferrari Daytona during the second running of the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, but we were here on vacation and while we drove…exuberantly…at times, we were here to relax. This is my second trip across the United States, having participated in the Gumball 3000 Rally in 2002 where I was behind the wheel of a Saleen S7.

“Post-World War II America was built on the car and the US Interstate system is a wonder of transportation mobility. However, it’s ascendance came at the cost of the loss of absolutely amazing pieces of road like US Routes 50 and 66 and the towns that had depended on them for survival.”


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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Sat 31 Jul 2010 - 16:01

Allison picked up where Kara left off.

"Yet even though these pieces of history have been cast aside for the sake of efficiency through the Autobahn-inspired Interstate Highway System, their spirit continues to live on. Because post-war America thrived on the car, it gave rise to a generation who won't forget what it meant to 'get their kicks on Route 66'. Through their efforts, Route 66 still thrives, albeit in a smaller capacity thanks to these individuals, and they serve as a practical, real-life history lesson to younger generations. Sometimes, these pieces of history are what attracts visitors to America and its culture."

Jay panned the camera over to Laine.

"The same generation that spawned from postwar America also created the start of the American 'gearhead' subculture. We saw this in Michigan, arguably the origin of America's garage. Their vehicles, lovingly kept in the best condition possible, reflected decades of American motoring design and prowess hearkening back to an era of raw power and good-old-fashioned domestic engineering, which, like Route 66, fell largely by the wayside when it was decided that it would be easier to build cars for consumers elsewhere. To the people who keep the muscle cars and cruising classics of eras bygone running and roadworthy, their prized possessions are more than just a reminder of their youths or a personal toy. To them, they are literally vehicles of patriotism and an act of defiance towards the wayward auto industry that makes cars based not on what is best for or wanted by Americans, but rather, on what is the cheapest way to line their executives' pockets."

The camera then panned back to Allison.

"Yet America is also a blend of multiple cultures. Despite the majority of our time in Michigan being flooded by a sea of American muscle, the presence of Italian styling and passion was also welcomed with open arms in an area that was a satellite of Motor City itself. It's why people still gave our ragtag convoy of foreign cars smiles and thumbs up instead of trying to chase us out. It's also why I could ascend to being a true petrolhead in the most unlikely of places, and I will take that find home with me. Contrary to popular belief, America is not full of arrogant, loud, and foolish people. In fact, our general experience on this trip with the people of this unique country has been a positive one, encountering people from all walks of life, many of them intelligent, friendly, and humble."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by rusty-spring on Sat 31 Jul 2010 - 16:44

MP5 wrote:Contrary to popular belief, America is not full of arrogant, loud, and foolish people. In fact, our general experience on this trip with the people of this unique country has been a positive one, encountering people from all walks of life, many of them intelligent, friendly, and humble."
Laine cleared her throat.

"If you can forget my attempted lynching by a bunch of backwater inbred rednecks. Oh, and the time we got attacked by those carjackers with automatic weapons. Plus, there was also the moment in the casino where I almost got shanked by a -"

She spoke sarcastically, but it was then that Clayland cleared his throat louder off camera.

"...What I mean to say, is that I love America. *V for victory sign* By the way Mr. Theodore Williams from Las Vegas, I noticed that some careless and no doubt drunk individual, to whom I have no connection, had landed a helicopter on your market stand. Out of good will from Top Gear Italy,
you shall be receiving a check of 5.6 million US dollars in the mail."

"Ah so that's where the money from selling that Sikorsky went to." Kara noted. "Mr. Williams is going to be able to buy quite a replacement..."

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 31 Jul 2010 - 20:29

Once they completed the taping, Kara and Claes excused themselves and returned to the suite where they changed back into their travel clothes.

They collected their bags and headed to the lobby, where a Lincoln Town Car limousine drove them to San Francisco International Airport. They checked in and hung out in the United Airlines First Class lounge as they waited for their flight to board.

“I still find it difficult to accept that something that large can fly,” Claes remarked as she looked out at the Lufthansa A380-800 at their gate. They proceeded to the upper section, which allowed direct access to the second deck, which Lufthansa had configured solely with First and Business Class seating.

The two entered through the large door and were greeted by a smiling flight attendant, who looked at their boarding passes and directed them to turn left into the First Class cabin, which consisted of eight pod suites upholstered in dark cloth in a modern setting (about 1:20 in).




The two girls settled into their seats, Claes in the forward left window seat and Kara across from her. Michele would have taken the seat next to her, but for this flight it now went empty.

Once boarding was complete the plane was pushed back and started for the taxiway. Within fifteen minutes, she was rolling down the runway and lifting into the clear sky.






Eleven hours later, their flight touched down at a soggy Frankfurt am Main airport.




They disembarked and were escorted to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal where they freshened up and had a meal. They were then escorted to a Mercedes S500, which drove them to the A320-200 that would take them to Rome and back to the Agency.

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Sun 1 Aug 2010 - 1:41

"Our time in America was short, but sweet. We took in baseball, experienced its many cuisines, got a taste of what its constitutional Second Amendment allows, and indulged in the miles of road it had to offer. Thanks for having us, America. And thank you, viewer, for watching. Till next time." Triela concluded as she and the other presenters gave a salute to the camera. As Jay finished recording, they began to file out of the pool area, knowing that they would have to be in the air by the end of the day.



Up in the McDonnell-Melita suite, Allison had already changed out of her swimwear and was busy packing up her things when Jay came into the room.

"Hey, Allie." greeted the boy.

"Hi, Jay." replied Allison. "You all packed up already?"

"Didn't have much with me to begin with. So, we head home today, huh?"

"Yeah... still wondering what we're going to do with our winnings, as well as the logistics regarding Catherine, Sonia, and Triela's SLR. I really don't like the thought of the Guardia Di Finanza slashing my winnings in half the moment I set foot in Italy. Not when I'm going to help pay for Triela's insurance on the SLR, and certainly not when I'm also going to be helping her deal with the tax issue on the SLR as a prize vehicle. I still have to worry about shipping Catherine and Sonia back to Italy. Alpha's already dealt with my '66 Stingray, and Brian is paying the shipping on that. Ugh, thjs is going to cause me a massive headache..."

"Maybe this bit of news will help take some stress off of it." said Brian, coming into the living room. "I just got off the phone with Jennifer. She's got an IL-76 that is going to be heading back to Alice Springs from SFO after offloading supplies at Travis Air Force Base. She said she can take yours and Triela's cars all the way back to Pratica Di Mare if we can forward her ten grand for all three cars and that also means meeting the plane on the tarmac."

"That solves one problem, but how can we keep our money?" asked Allison, still concerned about hers and Jay's winnings.

"We'll have cousin Tommy hold on to it and then have him wire transfer the money in increments of €10,000 Euros over the next while."

"Let's do both of those things, then. I'll pay out of my winnings for the transport, and I trust Cousin Tommy to manage my money." said Allison, her mood much improved.




Once their things were packed, the second string of presenters met with the first string at the lobby, where they bid each other farewell.

"See you guys back in Italy!" said Allison, exchanging hugs with Kara, Claes, and Laine.

"Don't be late." said Kara. "You know how Jean is."

"All too well." replied Allison. "Say, we've got a couple of unused mission cars from Q-branch that are still in good condition. Wanna chuck 'em in with the SLR as part of the carshare?"

"Why not?" said Laine. "Might as well, really."

"Actually, I've been thinking a front operation would be sort of prudent with this situation." noted Petrushka.

"A front operation?" asked Claes with a cocked eyebrow.

"Yeah. We'll call it the 'Top Gear: Italy Car Share Service.' The main draw will be exotic and performance rentals featured on our show that are now available for use by the public. We'll run it by proxy, but the majority of profits go back to us. We'd make more money if we had a large client base."

"We'll just iron all that out when we get back." said Allison. "Right now, let's just get home."




At SFO, Catherine, Sonia, Adeline's R100 (she pitched in at the last minute for transportation costs), and Triela's SLR were driven onto the tarmac towards the waiting Warhawk Military Aviation Ilyushin IL-76 cargo jet. Brian drove off to Golden State Adventure Rentals in Goliath with the Mosquito and the K1200R on the trailer before catching a shuttle back to the tarmac, tapes from the Steadicam in a messenger bag. Allison went about siphoning fuel out of the vehicles with an evacuation pump until they were down to half-tank, as required for air freight safety. crewmen aboard the IL-76 began tying down the vehicles, careful not to put a scratch upon any of them. Outside the aircraft, Brian met with one of Jennifer's pilots, a Ukrainian man named Yuri Bohdanko.

"Sorry to impose on you like this, Yuri." siad Brian sheepishly.

"Is no problem, Brian. Allison is good girl, and I would gladly help her out with favorite cars. She fix my old Ford Granada, make it run like new again!" replied Yuri with a large grin.

"You know, she's got a boyfriend now."

"Oh? Who is lucky man?"

Brian pointed to Jay, standing and watching the cars being loaded onto the IL-76. Yuri was unsure what to make of him.

"He not seem very impressive."

"He's a good kid, though. Treats my little sister as a gentleman, he's honest, has a good head on his shoulders, and he's in love with her. That's all I really ask."

Yuri chuckled. "Heh. Well, you be sure to invite Yuri to wedding, da?"

"Da, Yuri. I'll send you the invitation in the mail." replied Brian with a smile.


Several hours later, as Alitalia flight 302 took off from J.F.K. as a connection from Flight 999 inbound from San Francisco International, Brian had already deposited his, Allison's, Triela's, and Jay's winnings from Vegas into his UBS account and then wire transferred it to Tommy, whom he had just finished speaking with. Over the next couple of months, increments of €10,000 Euros equivalent would be wired to Brian's account, each increment being used to help insure Triela's SLR and securing informal joint-ownership over the vehicle. Meanwhile, the Ilyushin IL-76 carrying Catherine, Sonia, and the SLR was already in the air on its way to Alice Springs, where they would be transferred to a Boeing C-17 Globemaster that would be flying a straight shot to Pratica di Mare.

Now, as the sun began to set behind them, Brian looked around at his fellow travelers. Petrushka was asleep with her head on the still-awake Alessandro's shoulder, Adeline was zonked out next to George, Triela was dozing off while listening to music as Hilshire was already fast asleep next to her.

Brian then looked down a few seats and smiled as he saw Allison and Jay asleep, Allison's head on Jay's shoulder, their hands intertwined as Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat's Lucky began to play on their headphones.

Do you hear me? I'm talking to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying

Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Ooh ooh ooh

They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I'll wait for you I promise you, I will

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again

Lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music fill the air
I'll put a flower in your hair

Though the breezes through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
As the world keeps spinning 'round
You hold me right here, right now

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again

I'm lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

Ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh, ooh...

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by boomer_gonz on Wed 4 Aug 2010 - 7:41

Standing at the British Airways terminal in San Francisco International, Alpha and Liesel embraced for what appeared to be hours as the minutes ticked away before the final boarding call.

Alpha and Liesel had contacted the SWA to see about extending their stay, but the order was clear. One or both, but definitely not neither. With Alpha more knowledgeable about America and their arrangements, Alpha opted to stay and send Liesel back to Italy.

As the final boarding call for First Class rang through the intercom for Liesel's flight, Alpha and Liesel seperated finally to gaze at each other.

"I shall miss you dear treasure," Liesel said as she took a step back.

"As shall I of you," Alpha answered.

Gingerly holding each other's hands, Alpha and Liesel finally part as she gets on the British Airways 747-400 nonstop to Heathrow, London and then from there back to Rome on an Airbus A320.



Watching her plane as it left the runway, Alpha stood beside the window for a long time before turning away. In the parking lot, Alpha stepped into the Challenger for the drive back to Michigan and the Chrysler Headquarters in Auburn Hills. Looking over to the empty seat next to him, Alpha took a deep breath before turning over the American V-10.

Letting the engine idle for a minute, Alpha turns to his MP3 playlist and selects a few songs in additon to leaving Liesel's favorites on the queue. Coming on first Reverend Horton Heat's cover of Get Rhythm.



As Alpha was approaching Nevada on the I-80, he saw a black 60's Oldsmobile Hearse come up behind him. Recognizing that car anywhere, Alpha picks up his CB and radios Fernando.

"Neptune, is that you?" Alpha asks over the radio. "Come back."

"10-4 Gypsy King, this is Neptune. Over."

"I see you're going to see about the camp out before Burning Man."

"Negetive Gypsy, our mutual friend in New York said he has a surprise for you when you get back."

"And you?"

"Burning Man isn't for another week so I figured what the hell."

"10-4 Neptune, let's tear it up."

"Roger that, Gypsy King; out."

Pressing the throttle closer to the floorboard, Alpha speeds faster along the I-80 as they approach the Nevada crossing.



-Two days later-

With the morning rays piercing the windows of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum; Alpha walks beside Sergio Marchionne with Robert Kidder following closely behind. As they catch up on old times, Sergio then asks him varying questions about the Challenger and on whether Chrysler would be able to profit of the special edition. Alpha's answer is a very enthusiastic, yes.

"I know a great deal about prototype vehicles Sergio," Alpha says. "Will the fate of this one be any different?"

"Unfortunetaly," Sergio said with a sigh, "yes. Ater the usual battery of typical tests for the Department of Transportation, she is scheduled to be crushed."

"Might there be any way of saving her?"

"...There might be, but you know these ways require plenty of discreet paperwork. Not to mention the purchase of a dummy car. Something has to be in the crusher after all."

"I understand, and believe you me, it is money well spent."

"Damn, and here I was going to try and keep her for myself."

Sharing the boisterous round of laughing that seemed to be lost on Robert Kidder, Sergio Marchionne held out his hand. Alpha was only too happy to take it in his own.

"For anybody else, I would not partake in such a request. But for you, it will be a humble pleasure."

"I thank you deeply Sergio, truly."

"Just make sure you do not wreck her, eh. She's one of a kind after all."

"I assure you Sergio, I shalll treat her as if she were my own babe."

"Sergio," Robert Kidder suddenly said. "We have the 11 a.m."

"Ah," Sergio said looking at Robert Kidder before looking to Alpha once more. "Of course Mr. Kidder. Alphonse, I bid you a good morning. I shall have my assistant send you all of the necessary paperwork to Italy as soon as possible."

"Thank you Sergio, and you take care."

With a final handshake, Alpha and Sergio Marchionne parted ways.

Outside of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, a lone Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR sat beside Fernadno's Oldsmobile Hearse as payment for Alpha's 'work' on test driving the prototype Challenger.

Rolling down the window of the Hearse, Fernando tossed out a bag from the nearby McDonald's.

"Two Big Macs; one 20-piece McNuggets," Fernando said as he continued to eat his own meal. "I don't remember your tastes changing much."

"Thanks," Alpha said as he pulled out a Big Mac sandwhich after leaning against his new Viper.

"So," Fernando said after taking a swig of Manhattan Express Coffee Soda, "do you have enough cars now?"

Laughing, Alpha swallowed his latest bite before answering, "Yup, this car is mine to do with as I wish and I just convinced the head CEO to sell me the prototype Challenger."

"Still planning on exploiting the douchebag billionaires with too much money?"

"Of course," Alpha answered.

"Well," Fernando said before downing the rest of his coffee-soda, "at least you're in something that can keep up."

"Oh, she can do more than that."

"Then nut up or shut up, son."

Climbing into the Viper, Alpha was pleased to find that it had been outfitted with the same custom uConnect system that had been in the Challenger as he requested. Plugging in his Zen, Alpha pressed the engine start button as he waited for the songs to appear before the display. Choosing Road to Nowhere by The Talking Heads, Alpha was quick to throw the Viper into gear and peel out of the parking lot in pursuit of Fernando as they made their way to New York City. At Alpha's request, he and Fernando blasted R.A.M.O.N.E.S by Motorhead though their speakers.


Having driven like maniacs straight from Michigan, Fernando and Alpha make it into NYC in a little over 8 hours. Seperating at the I-95 overpass, Fernando continues on to his home in Spanish Harlem while Alpha makes his way to the Brooklyn Marriot. After arriving at his room, Alpha can't help but look out at the view and spot his old Brooklyn stomping grounds of Sunset Park in the distance. With a smile, Alpha goes to bed with dreams of hot pastrami from the Sunset Deli dancing in his head.

The next morning, Alpha took to walking around his old home of Brooklyn's Chinatown which had since then now came to be refered to Little Fuzhou as it seemed to be expanding well past it's 8th Avenue roots. Looking about, Alpha noticed that few shops that he frequented had closed and that more had opened in their place. To his surprise, most of those that he visited still remembered him, remarking on how much he grew. He considered also visiting Brooklyn Tech High School where he worked as an on-call custodian to further his cover when employed by the CIA. Time was against him however, as Alpha waited at the counter of the Sunset Deli on 4th Avenue for his pastrami and swiss sub on wheat. Eating it on his way to the 6th Avenue Express.

Arriving at the 145 St. Station, Alpha smiles as he finds Fernando and a mutual acquaintance of there's waiting for him.

"How you been; kid," Leon asked holding out his hand.

"As good as ever; old timer," Alpha smiles as he shakes Leon's hand. "So why am I all the way out on 145th when M&G is back at 125th?"

"Because, M&G ain't around no more," Leon answered.

"A damn shame too," Fernando added with a sigh.

"...Shit," Alpha said as he kicked an errant can. "I'm gonna miss their fried chicken."

"So," Leon stated, "we're going to Wimpy's on Amsterdam Ave."

"Wimpy's ain't that good; old man ," Alpha said. "We would've been better at the Bus Stop closer to the old M&G."

"I know," Leon nodded as he reached into his shirt pocket and opened an old-fashioned ciggarette case, "but Wimpy's doesn't exactly enforce the smoking ban, just like the M&G did...or didn't."

"A bonus is that the crowd at Wimpy's won't mind if we get a little loud," Fernando added.

"Loud?" Alpha asked. "What the hell are you planning Fernando?"

"You'll see," Fernando smiled.


Last edited by boomer_gonz on Fri 6 Aug 2010 - 18:26; edited 3 times in total

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Re: US Road Trip Special

Post by MP5 on Wed 4 Aug 2010 - 19:26

EPILOGUE



24 hours later, after touching down in Rome, the members of Top Gear: Italy had the chance to sleep off their jetlag, but the next morning brought them right back into the world of Special Operations. Of course, a few things had changed on the compound. Allison and Jay were seen having breakfast together and holding hands, leading to some speculation by cyborgs and staff alike. Any further developments, however, would have to wait, as the cyborgs and handlers who comprised Top Gear: Italy were all called in for a joint briefing.

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

"Man, not even a day back home, and we're already on a mission call-out." complained Laine as she swung her legs absentmindedly in the waiting area.

"No rest for the wicked, right?" said Allison as she sat next to Jay, discreetly holding his hand behind the both of them, hiding the gesture from view.

"But notice they called all of us from the U.S. Trip in here." said Claes. "What could be so important to require this many fratello?"

Suddenly, the door opened as their handlers streamed out with Lorenzo and Jean behind them. They would not be kept waiting for information.

"All right, everyone. Hope you haven't put away your travel luggage; we have an overseas mission for you folks." said Lorenzo.

"As much as I don't want to do this, I have to send you all out of Italy again." said Jean with some bitterness in his voice. "But fresh intel doesn't wait, so here it is."

"The Five Republics Faction, as some of you may already know, are trying to achieve funding any way they can. Recent intelligence indicates that they are engaged in a guns for drugs-and-cash trade with both organized crime and terrorist elements in Japan, such as the Japanese Red Army and the Aum Shin Ri Kyo cult. we've been reading signs of increased armed attacks on police and civilians in Japan, and it is most likely connected to the trade." Lorenzo revealed.

"The problem is, we don't know from where they're operating, whom the FRF are working with, and how many more are related." added Jean. "So we need eyes on the ground to narrow down the epicenter of the trade and get some answers. Breaking this trade will put a serious dent in Padania operations and funding"

"The reason we're sending all of you is because Padania is working with more than one group." said Lorenzo. "In addition, Japan has its own 'home team' equivalent to the Social Welfare Agency, so any information you gather can be exchanged between agencies--hell, they probably know where we can find those Five Republics bastards, but they won't share unless we have something to trade. Until we have some intel worth sharing, don't expect to be assisted by them in any way. Proceed with the mission with the mindset that this is a Section 2 operation only. That is all. You are dismissed, and your handlers will give you further details."

Lorenzo and Jean left the room as the cyborgs shared glances with one another. Finally, Brian broke the silence.

"Well, you heard the man! Get packing."

"Here we go again." said Allison with a smile. "I can't wait to get my drift on in Tokyo!"

"'No rest for the wicked' indeed." opined Claes.

"Looks like I won't have to wait for New Year's." said Kara with a grin.

"Hey, Mr. Sandro, Avoid the 'Love Hotels', all right?" joked Jay.

"Only if you do the same with Allison, kid." shot back the elder man with a smirk, eliciting a furious blush from Jay and Allison.

With renewed vigor, the fratelli in the room went off to get packing for their big mission. It seemed that Jean was going to be merciless this time, and the group would be absolutely helpless but to follow orders.

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


I aim to misbehave.



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Fan of : Sandro/Petra Fratello *dodges bullets*; Michael and Jamie Christiansen

Original Characters : Allison-Brian McDonnell Fratello

Comments : You gotta ask the cutie before you touch dat booty.

Registration date : 2010-02-01

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