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The First Drift (Story Rewrite)


Redro
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This thread is a retelling of the major plot points if you wish to follow the story behind my "Drift" Archetype.  Some details are emphasized while others are left out.  There might be some differences between the two stories, but I think this one does a better job at covering certain bases in preparation to continue the story at a later time.  Link to the original version HERE.

 

"A circle turns round and round and goes nowhere.  It is only when placed upon the surface of life and given strength from others that it can move forward." - Master Draft

The story begins on Gaia where humankind lived with a single great passion: racing.  Of all the racers and racing teams out there, one team stood head and shoulders above the rest.  This team called itself the "Blazing Wheels" and their leader was a hotheaded youth affectionately known as Captain Young.  While Cpt. Young was the leader and clearly held the most passion for racing, he would not be able to get anywhere without his friends and teammates: the team's doctor "Madoka", the head of the pit crew "Greaseline", the mystery racer only known as "X", and his mother and mentor "Master Draft".

Along with the rest of the team, the Blazing Wheels took the racing world by storm and defeated all comers.  Their races were so popular and their unique ways of working together was so awe-inspiring that their races were said to halt real world conflicts.

This claim would soon be put to the test...

 

"Destiny mocks me." - King Orichalcum

While the surface of Gaia was abuzz with its own activity, underwater, another civilization developed.  The undersea Atlantean peoples developed an exceptionally advanced civilization. However, just like the surface, they ended up developing a passion for racing.

While the king of the Atlanteans - Orichalcum - did not care much for this sport, he noticed that races kept the people content.  Still, he held another burden.  It was prophesied that his son would be the savior of Atlanteans.  At first, Orichalcum was overjoyed, but as his son grew older, the king realized the boy only had one passion: racing.  Disgusted, the king exiled the prince who began to endear himself with the people by becoming a racer.

The prince's racing skills were unrivaled and soon no racer under the sea could provide a challenge.  Atlantean scientists approached the prince and promised that they could give him a challenge if he would cooperate with some experiments.  The prince agreed and the scientists began to make clones of the boy: copies who had the prince's innate racing skill.  The prince got to engage with the first clone, treating him as his own child but he could not watch the development of the rest, so the scientists put the prince in cryosleep.

The lab's clones were a huge breakout success and soon enough the entire undersea circuit was clone vs. clone.  The prince was forgotten until a submarine from the surface found the Atlantean civilization...

 

"There is a line between good and great racers.  You both look so far ahead that you never noticed that you crossed the line ages ago." - Sunstreak

The surprise discovery of another sentient civilization on Gaia immediately raised hostilities, but the tension was calmed quickly when diplomats on both sides came to an agreement: how about a friendly race to introduce ourselves?

King Orichalcum was stunned at the development, but ordered a team of the best clone racers to be put together and his son be brought out of sleep: this could be the moment of the boy's destiny.

Master Draft received a call at her racing dojo and soon gathered the Blazing Wheels to inform them that they would be representing the surface in this race.

A month later, the Blazing Wheels met the "Destiny Racers", led by the prince.  They exchanged some pleasantries, but both teams had the burning desire to win.

The race was long and grueling over a course that had been prepared over that month.  It was still rough, and the self-sacrificing tactics of the clones knocked many of the Blazing Wheels members out of the race.  Soon, it was just Captain Young and the prince.  As they raced over the final leg of the journey, both cars were suddenly surrounded in a beam of light and, without warning, both vehicles were beamed inside a spaceship.

The owner of the spaceship - a humanoid alien named Sunstreak - introduced itself to the two Gaians, and told them that their racing skills were needed to save the universe from a galactic scourge known as the Яeverse.

Sunstreak explained to the captains that racing had been a greeting ritual that sentient civilizations had been engaged for eons.  The earliest known civilizations used to use racing to settle disputes and it was always preferable to war.  As such, racing teams like the one that Sunstreak belonged to were held with great respect and they were practically treated as peacekeeping organizations.  However, the Яeverse seemed to have been built to wreck this system, corrupting the losers and spreading their influences outside the bounds of racing.  Sunstreak's own team - the Galactic Flash - had been one of the most respected, but they lost many members to the Яeverse.  He had to seek out racers from underdeveloped species to help him save the universe.

The two team leaders agreed and Sunstreak turned the ship toward the Яeverse's home planet.

 

"..." - Ignition

The three were beamed down to the Яeverse's planet and drove out.  They were immediately surrounded by sleek, amorphous-looking cars of the Яeverse.  Sunstreak pointed at one car that was fancier than the rest and demanded to race.  The material surrounding the car stretched up and formed itself into the a metallic humanoid form.  The robot nodded.

Without much preamble, the trio set itself on a makeshift starting line and the black leader car and two other sleek looking cars pulled up alongside the trio.  A three on three race.

~~~

Meanwhile, on Gaia, something strange was happening.  Without any warning, thousands of surface-dwellers began clutching their heads as amorphous black metal began poking out of their bodies.  The Яeverse had finally begun their takeover.

The Blazing Wheels received an emergency notice from Master Draft.  Despite the friction during the race, the members of the Blazing Wheels invited the clones to Master Draft's secret dojo, and hoped she would know what was going on.

When all the team members got back, they were beamed into an enormous starship.  A human greeted both sets of racers, and - once he removed the helmet covering his face - everyone was shocked to see that he was the splitting image of Captain Young.  Master Draft hugged him and gave him a kiss, and explained that this was Cpt. Young's father.  The elder Young explained why he and the Galactic Flash were here: they needed to save their team leaders and more importantly, the universe.

Sunstreak had already attempted to face the Яeverse, and he had lost the race and his freedom.  Unknowingly, Cpt. Young and the Prince were in a trap.

~~~

The race seemed to be going well for Cpt. Young, the Prince, and Sunstreak.  They had managed to knock two of the robot racers off a cliff and out of the race.  The leader of the Яeverse - Ignition - was still ahead, but they were closing in.  But before either the Captain or the Prince knew what was happening, Sunstreak blasted the Prince's car and rear-ended the Captain's.  In a single fluid motion, Sunstreak knocked the duo out of the race and Ignition was gone.

 

"Mankind's greatest invention was the wheel." - X

The two team leaders eventually awoke inside the Galactic Flash's main ship.  Both men were being tended to by Dr. Madoka while the elder Young and Master Draft were in deep discussion with Zenith, the Galactic Flash's commander.  Once the team leaders were awake, Commander Zenith updated them on the situation.

The Яeverse's takeover was not limited to Gaia.  Many thousands of sentient species and trillions of individuals had been infected without notice.  The scale of this invasion was unprecedented.  There was only one hope: a legend passed down in Zenith's family about the true nature of racing.  According to Zenith's grandmother (the founder of the Galactic Flash), the legend stated that racing was a universal constant and it even stood as a core aspect to the creation of their universe.  By bringing together racers of significant enough skill, it may be possible to access that core nature of the universe and even bend its laws to one’s will.

This was their one hope.

Once the two leaders recovered, Zenith decided to take a limited group of racers down to his home world to "make the leap".  He opened the invitation to any members of the Blazing Wheels and Destiny Racers, however, only five people volunteered: The team leaders, Lady Young (aka. Master Draft), Dr. Madoka, and the first clone (the one closest to the Prince).  X did not go, but he secretly wished his bastard father and step-brother luck as they beamed down to the trial grounds.

The trial was a simple stone course, but its arrangement was odd.  The road separated and reattached, and even seemed to double in on itself.  There was no end, but it kept reversing, twisting, turning, infinite.  To each driver, it felt as though they were at once driving in the bodies of each other driver, yet completely alone.  The pain of being split into six other consciousnesses pulled against the truest depression of complete solitude and then, it was over.

Each member opened their eyes and found themselves in a realm unlike anything they had ever seen before.  All seven of them were lying on the surface of what looked like liquid silver.  As each of them rose, they made ripples on the silvery surface, but even when they stood, they did not sink.  The sky was piercingly bright blue and though there was no visible source of light, the realm appeared brightly lit.  Nothing broke the silvery smooth surface as far as the eye could see.  A golden line punctuated the point where the blue sky touched the silver sea.  In this place, there was nothing but that golden horizon.  Nothing except the Horizon and a sudden knowledge about the inner workings of all things.

With a flash of light, all seven racers were back in their cars, bumper to bumper and each of them knew what needed to be done.

 

"I have regretted many things in my life son.  Sons.  But this... this I do not regret one bit." - Young the Elder

Blessed with new power from the Horizon, some new clothes to denote their ascended status, and three special cars designed to deal with the Яeverse, the entire crew made their way to the Яeverse's planet once more.

With the power of the Horizon, the new team (dubbed the Dimensional Speedstars) demanded a suicide mission: 3 races.  If the Яeverse won a single race, the D.S. would forfeit.  But if the D.S. won all three races, the Яeverse would have to shut down completely.  Once more, Ignition agreed to these terms.  Every member of the trio of teams as well as the 7 Speedstars lined up for the race that would determine the fate of the universe.

The race was absolutely brutal.  The Speedstars seemed to drive in perfect sync, almost like they were also robots, but the Яeverse did not take any chances.  Many of the Яeverse's cars crashed into the other members of the Blazing Wheels, Destiny Racers, and Galactic Flash.  Some even crashed into each other just to create blockades and distractions to make things difficult.  And they just kept coming.

Ignition took the early lead, but somehow, without any knowledge how, Lady Young's car appeared in front of Ignition's.  She spun her vehicle and despite Ignition's mechanical precision, it could not avoid crashing into Master Draft's car.  Lady Young's final expression was a smile as she saw her son race past the mangled wreck of vehicles and take the first victory.

The second race was over a bridge over a blackened, anoxic lake.  Before the race began, the Prince left his special car and headed to his clone.  The two talked in muted tones for a while before giving each other a hug and swapping cars.  While Ignition could not call for reinforcements during the course of the race, it pulled in a few other Яeverse cars and seemed to upgrade itself.  The bridge was cracked and full of loose rubble, and most of the non-Яeverse racers had already been eliminated.  As this second race got underway, Ignition took a different approach: staying between the leading Speedstar cars and the rest of the pack.  As the Speedstars approached the finish line, they could see a blockade of tens of Яeverse vehicles.  Ignition's suspension rose and it's cars' wheels grew to the size of monster truck's.  It was going to crush the Speedstars' cars underneath its own.  As the Speedstars slowed down, one of them drove off the railing and into the lake below.  The Prince's laughter could be heard as he careened to his demise.  In the span of an eye-blink, a wave from the lake rose up as though a giant were scooping the water like goo, and launched at the Яeverse cars.  The wave was strong enough to push the Яeverse cars away from the exit and the clone pushed itself into the lead and across the finish line.

With two races down, the remaining team members were beginning to feel some hope.  Ignition's car went back to normal size, but it seemed to intake a few more Яeverse vehicles and looked more imposing than ever.  Even with the advanced technology normally keeping the car purring silently, the extra additions and advancements seemed to be pushing Ignition's vehicle to the limits.  The third race was to be off road and it would lead in a large arc back to the Galactic Flash's ship.  Pulling out all the stops, the teams' hearts sank as they saw hundreds of black cars coming over the hills and from all sides.  This was it.

The race was brutal.  Ignition shot off taking an early lead, and immediately, the rest of the Яeverse cars made beelines towards the remaining living drivers.  There was no pretense of a fair race, this was simply a fight to survive.  Most of the remaining racers died, but the five remaining Speedstars were still driving perfectly.  It was as though they knew what was going to happen.  As they broke away from the main mass of cars, the Speedstars were finally able to push themselves to catch up with the loud and destabilizing Ignition.  In fact, despite the constant appearance of new Яeverse cars, for the Speedstars, this race was the most straightforward.

---

aaaaaaand I'm tired.  Gonna have to finish writing this when I get back from vacay.

 

 

Edited by Tinkerer
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  • Redro changed the title to The First Drift (Story Rewrite)
  • 7 months later...

The Clone Prince and Zenith stayed along the sides of the other three racers, using their cars’ specific enhancements to keep the swarm of Яeverse cars away from the other three.  The three other Speedstars got in formation and drafted with each other, moving in perfect sync to give them the best odds on the uneven roadway.  It did not take too long for all five cars to catch up to Ignition.

Meanwhile, the remaining living drivers were having the fight of their lives.  The enigmatic Henshin Racer was the first victim in the flood of scrap metal, their transforming car doing little to stop the Яeverse.  A few members of the Galactic Flash went next, recognizing that their hopes had to lie in the Speedstars.  The mechanic Greaseline - Captain Young’s best friend - found himself caught up between two Яeverse cars.  With little hope for survival, Greaseline said a quick prayer before WHAM! One of the clone racers rear-ended one of the Яeverse cars, freeing Greaseline.  For these remaining racers, survival would not happen alone.

Nebula of the Galactic Flash and Rogue Racer X each saved the other from Яeverse.  Greaseline saved Gram the Prodigy who in turn detonated his engine in order to destroy several Яeverse cars and save the last clone racer.  The race was hard-fought, but with Gram’s final sacrifice, the surviving racers managed to pull far enough from the main Яeverse pack that they simply needed to stay ahead.

While all that was happening, the Speedstars had made their move.  Dr. Madoka had taken Zenith’s place in defending the outside and the elder and younger Young were harassing the slowly dismantling Ignition.  Zenith took one of the last corners from the inside while the elder Young pushed Ignition to the outside and the Speedstars had their lead.  Zenith slammed his foot down and pushed his vehicle to its top speed, taking the last straightaway at a speed impossible to catch.

Yet the sheer speed did not stop Ignition from trying.  Ignition’s car launched away all the enhancements it had gained in the last two races.  The speed and force of the shrapnel-like objects forced both Youngs to slow down to dodge the debris.  Ignition used the opportunity to go into high gear, but it was too late.  Zenith was already far ahead and though Ignition’s vehicle was slightly stronger, there was no way for it to catch up.  The Speedstars won the third race.

The kicked-up dust of the road began to settle around the finish line.  The Speedstars looked at the robotic car, hearts slowly returning to their normal rate.

Ignition was silent.  Its motor appeared to no longer be running.  The car, so sleek and futuristic-looking at the start of the race now looked many years old.  Loose pieces of the vehicle where the other Яeverse cars had combined appeared to stick out of Ignition's car at odd angles.  The sleek, dark silvery material that coated the outside of the car was covered in grime and dirt and seemed to have tiny scratches and dents from the race.  Now, the car simply looked old, worn out.  

But the heart of the vehicle - Ignition - was not ready to lose.  A race was merely a race, if no one left this planet alive, no one would know that the Яeverse had been defeated.  With a start, the headlights of the car blazed into life once more and Ignition drove at Zenith's vehicle at full speed.

"No!"

The Elder Young intercepted the sucker strike, veering Ignition off course.  However, his own car tumbled end over end finally coming to a definitive stop when it hit the side of a rocky overhang.  There was no doubt in anyone's mind.  The Elder Young, Gaia's once and greatest racer, was dead.

Captain Young saw everything play out in slow motion.  No godlike speed or skill with a vehicle could do anything to save his father.  His father, whom he only knew for a few weeks!  His mother had died to protect him and his father too died protecting a friend.  A sacrifice for family, a sacrifice for friends.  Though this universe may be driven by racing, the core tenet for true victory appeared to be sacrifice.

As these thoughts raced around Captain Young's mind, the tears began streaming down his face and he blinked, opening his eyes once more in the Horizon.

No one truly knows what knowledge Captain Young gained in the Horizon.  No one knows how long he stayed in the Horizon.  But when he reopened his eyes on the Яeverse planet, the Captain's eyes glowed with a silver light, streaks of white electricity seeming to shoot from the tracks of his tears.

Captain Young's car was enveloped in a heavenly light, its features transforming, becoming the true embodiment of a "car" in everyone's mind.  The ancient Zenith saw his grandmother's archaic vehicle, while Dr. Madoka seemed to see a perfect copy of Captain Young's old car.  Some of the members of the other teams had finally made it and X could see what looked like his father's race car bathed in the glow.

Even Ignition, who had righted itself from its own tailspin did not move, staring as the bright white version of its own car slowly glided forward.  Closer.  Yet closer.  Until Captain Young's bumper touched Ignition's.

 

"This undertaking will be the death of billions, but not doing so will be the death of the universe.  A sacrifice for family or friends may be done by mortals, but only the sacrifice of a god is meaningfully worthy for the salvation of the universe." - ???

Ignition's car began to crumble, the metal aging and eroding as stone upon a shoreline.  The dark silver sheen turned to a dull rust as cracks ran up along the automobile.  In a few moments, the entirety of Ignition's car was rusted through and falling apart.

Ignition emerged from the car.  Its body was also beginning to rust.  It stared at Captain Young through the windshield.  Ignition smiled, a horrible twisting of metal into a shape it was never meant to make.

"You have sacrificed the universal constant to win." The robot said, "I will exist no longer, but the race is not over, and all calculations now point to our victory."

Nothing more was said and Ignition continued to stare with its horrible smile as its body began to break, joints turning to dust, sleek exoskin sloughing off in chunks.  In less than a minute Ignition was nothing more than a mess of pieces on the ground.

Though it was Ignition who had deteriorated, the atmosphere among the remaining living racers was dead.  Captain Young made the first move, getting out of his glowing vehicle and making his way toward the wreck that was his father's car.  He still shone with otherworldly energy, hair flying about as though in a heavy storm.  One by one the other racers exited their cars.  X ran to catch up with Captain Young.

The two stopped at the wreckage.  Wordlessly, Captain Young knelt down and pulled his father's body from the mangled remains of the car.  The silver glow that seemed to highlight the captain flowed from his hands, moving into the corpse of the older man he cradled in his arms.  The man's eyes flickered and opened and a tear rolled down his cheek.  There was no pain in the elder Young's face.  The man gave a soft smile and uttered a few choice words to Young and X.  When he was done, the silvery glow around the older man faded and the body became lifeless once more.  The half-brothers remained there for a long time, fallen father held tightly in the arms of the younger.

---

...and now I just need the epilogue/result of the race on the universe at large.

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