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    10 – Auricom Originals (United States of America)

    Team Principal:

    Jessie Fairbank ()

    Slogan:

    "Race the Auricom Way"

    Backstory:

    A household name across the USA, Auricom is one of the finest home brands that the States can boast nowadays, and boast it does. From the beginnings of setting up an Anti-Gravity technology centre in the USA to compete with FEISAR, AG-Systems and the up-and-coming Qirex teams, Auricom has branched out and has been found to be producing everything from cruise liners to pacemakers. The blue, white and red star is splashed across the front of every public transport system in the United States, and it marks the doors of several hundred new residential blocks that it built to help house those in squalid slum accommodation after the monster-twister that hit the majority of western Pennsylvania in early 2167.

    All of this would not of course be possible without what Auricom was born and bred doing. Started in 2025 but only really made into the racing team in 2045 by Delia Flaubert, Pierre Belmondo’s favourite protégée at AG-Systems, Auricom rose to take the fight to their parent company and their dark mirror image in Russia, Qirex.

    From the very earliest days of the league, Auricom believed in the spirit of the rules and regulations and their pilots flew for the joy of it, making racing into an art rather than a sport or a business. Even the controversial Anastasia Cherovski never made herself out to be too ostentatious, always getting into the ship at a race and performing her utmost, sweeping from corner to corner without breaking a sweat at the end of it.

    Unfortunately, in direct contrast to their rivals from Russia, Auricom’s fortunes fell as the years went on. A snappish attitude towards other pilots and teams began to alienate them from fellow AG-racers FEISAR at a very early stage and a lack of technology sharing (which they believed to be outside the ‘spirit’ of the rules) meant they began to fall behind, dropping down to the lowest of the four initial teams by the F7200 league and even being eclipsed by the newcomers Assegai occasionally.

    There was a general feeling of smugness about the team when the F9000 league arrived with the sudden buyout of Qirex by Tigron Enterprises, a Greek business outfit with absolutely no interest in racing besides the money. Auricom officials even went on record saying they sent their condolences to the Qirex team, and not just those who were laid off by Tigron.

    The smiles were wiped off their faces when Tigron began the downslide of the AG racing league into brutal, vicious warfare rather than any sort of piloting skill. The loss of their ally AG-Systems to the similarly profit-driven G-Tech disheartened a lot of Auricom employees and only the regular encouragement from their pilots such as Belmondo, Rouser, Gonzalez, Tanganyika and Song kept them going. It didn’t help that as the complaints about the league got louder from Auricom, the more it seemed that G-Tech and Tigron began closing in on them.

    Piranha, Van-Uber and even FEISAR began to coalesce about the veterans in the races, showing great unity but a lack of emphasis on outright winning. After a few more championships went quickly to Xios and Tigron, Auricom finally announced they were leaving. FEISAR and Van-Uber followed shortly after, the latter unfortunately not surviving very well without regular races to keep their profits afloat. Piranha continued to race until the tragic downfall of the league at which point Aries Piermont expressed his regrets that he did not listen to Auricom well enough before that point.

    Auricom busied themselves with commercial projects and releasing civilian sports ships in the years between the fall of the F9000 and the revival of the series with FX150 in 2185. Along with AG-Systems and FEISAR, Auricom signed up and was delighted to see that instead of the now defunct Qirex team, the South Africans had arrived with a resurrected team Assegai. By the end of the championship, Assegai claimed their first ever world championship but there were smiles at Auricom as they hefted the silver trophy. Back to clean, skilful racing – it was what they always wanted.

    Unfortunately, the plans had already been laid for weapons to make a comeback, provided by Triakis Industries of Australia and they were there in the second year of the championship. However, despite the lack of purity as lead pilot Xiao Qing called it, she won the championship fair and square thanks to Auricom’s experience with having to make halfway decent shields.

    FX200 brought a newcomer to the series in the form of Triakis themselves, and Auricom found themselves in a tight fight once more with a superior combat ship, meaning that old experience needed to be drawn upon to crush the emerging Australian threat. By halfway through the season, Auricom was shining as the lead team with a nippy ship that could take a punch and looked like it would be toying with Triakis the rest of the way. But the scoreboards soon updated with a sixth team and to the shock of all in the American team, their old rivals were back with a new name and new mission statement.

    Qirex took the brunt of Auricom’s technologically superior ship in the remainder of the season as the Americans sought to ram home their place at the top of the pecking order, leaving Triakis to squabble with their friends AG-Systems. Auricom brought home the FX200 cup but managed to anger a team they could possibly have made amends with.

    Unfortunately for Auricom, some of their ship builds have been somewhat of a faux-pas in recent years. Their ACM-7K7 ship for FX300 was a great craft but it failed to be as much an all-rounder as Qirex’s LS-04 and ended up level on points with the purple ship, both teams losing out to AG-S, Triakis and embarrassingly the brand-newcomers Harimau International. FX350 and FX400 brought even more of a disappointment as a behind-closed-doors policy on their ship development meant that the ACM-8K series lost out to the ‘collaborators’ at Qirex and they scored but a single gold medal in the
    championship last year.

    Allies: Piranha, AG-Systems
    Rivals: Triakis, Goteki 45, EG-X
    Arch-Rivals: Qirex

    Searching AntiGravity Racing Archives for Subject ‘Qirex and Auricom’.
    1876 Matches Found.
    Opening File...

    Why don’t I fly for my home country? Are you serious? Auricom? *subject laughs dismissively* Oh, sure – they’re a good racing team. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to sit in one of those babies. They can outrun Lisa here no problem, and sometimes I wish I had that sort of oomf as well. I’m sure we all do, unless you’re Sibrand or Silvaris. *subject nudges Pilot S. Van Saur next to him, and then pours a drink*

    My problem with Auricom is that they are nice people who treat so many others badly. Yeah, sure they donate to charity a lot, give out a lot of aid and have done some wonderful stuff for communities, but if they’re a good team they could try and be polite for once. It’s like all of us – yeah, Goteki too *subject indicates Pilot T. Ferrai. There is a pause in the quote as Pilot J. Acosta previously of Triakis speaks. Subject nods* And Triakis – it’s like we’re exempt from the general niceness you’re supposed to exhibit towards other human beings.

    I keep hearing from the Yanks that they’re such a pure and clean team with six championships to their name from the very beginning of the championship. That confuses me – Qirex has won eight and that’s not even counting the four that Tigron won. We never make a big fuss about it – we just race, be as gentlemanly as our profession allows us. We’re all trying to race in AG-Leagues here, but somehow Auricom thinks they’re better than all of us. That’s why I don’t like Auricom, and why I’d never race for the stuck-up bastards if they paid me a billion times what I’m getting now.

    -Pilot R. Pinewood, of Qirex Research and Development, Press Conference 2206, Anulpha Pass


    Ship Details:
    The ACM-9K0 is a vast departure from Auricom’s previous chassis designs, much bigger and bulkier, which Auricom officials claim is due to incorporate several new gravity stabiliser systems as well as improved shielding capabilities. Talk on the thrusters and engine core has remained low though, so the belief is that the ship still won’t quite be able to catch the Triakis, Piranha or Icaras on open tracks, but the increased handling ability should even the odds in tighter tracks.

    Auricom has also gone for the confusing option of mounting the airbrakes in the centre of both hulls rather at the back to cause a smoother turning motion with the moment about the centre of the craft rather at the back. The three pilots have gone on record saying they prefer it over the old system though, and all have agreed it is proving effective in Zone tracks when they simulate the ACM-9KZ.

    Lead Pilot – Platon Dhavoric ()

    Platon Dhavoric has been with Auricom since the fall of the F9000 league. His mother worked in a Datacast film crew and he was with her during the fateful race in which the corruption of the F9000 was revealed. Mrs Dhavoric had the most sensible first impulse at the sight of angry supporters and began to run, taking a private plane to the United States and seeking amnesty there. She was given a job filming reality TV programmes and panel shows, again often bringing little Platon with her as she couldn’t afford to send him to a nursery or pre-school.

    It was while filming the popular ‘Kasey Talks’ interview show that Sara-Lu Messent, one of Auricom’s high-end officials appeared on the show and began talking about their search for young men and women with interest in becoming test pilots. Ever a fan of playing with toy ships, the six-year-old Platon waddled out from behind his mother and raised his hand before Ms Messent, saying he would be interested.

    Overcome by the sight and the overwhelming audience support, Platon and his mother went to the Auricom young pilot’s centre at Tucson where the young Russian was given a few basic reflex tests and allowed on a child’s hover scooter. Sara-Lu was impressed and offered to take Platon under her wing for several years to train him. Mrs Dhavoric agreed readily, eager to see a better life for her son than what she could provide.

    Platon was extensively race trained, with regular hover-scooter sessions and AG-buggy trials until he came of age and was allowed to drive full on hover-cars. By that time however there were mumblings of a new AG Race system, the FX150. Auricom instantly abandoned their most recent supercar project and began making what would become known as the ACM-7K0 as a successor to the ACM-6K series that Auricom had abandoned with the end of the F9000. Platon was ideally placed to become a pilot for the team and the Russian was the first man to wear the Auricom star-spangled suit since they had left the F9000 in 2162, as backup to the professional racing pilot Xiao Qing.

    Qing’s unfortunate crash in the early stages of the second FX150 league meant that the young Russian needed to be called up quickly to replace her and Mr Dhavoric put any critics to shame by easily eclipsing the average lap times of his more experienced predecessor, and continuing that momentum to two world championships. To this day Platon remains one of the most successful pilots in the FX leagues, a quiet if determined man who races hard but fair, even against his arch-nemesis Rory Pinewood of Qirex.

    He is more than adept at swinging the massive Auricom ships around corners they have no right getting around. His weapon skills are notoriously poor though, once causing a great scare when one of his rockets hit the Chenghou Project monorail. Nobody was hurt, but from then on it’s rare to see Platon do anything with a weapon nowadays save absorb it. A few in the paddock question his worth to Auricom when the ACM-9K0 is such a combat ship, and especially how he will do in Eliminator events.

    Second Pilot – Torogu Ukantu ()

    Originally Assegai’s second pilot, Torogu was known as a fast pilot but aggressive in his overtaking manoeuvres even before weapons were re-introduced into FX150. He won an impressive stack of trophies for Assegai in their first season to clinch the championship, but with the arrival of Triakis and weapons systems, Torogu’s method of winning races lost him favour with his team. He was marked for switching out with the smoother Nyoko Kassan at first, but was instead ‘gifted’ as a second pilot to Auricom after Xiao Qing’s crash at Talon’s Junction as Platon Dhavoric moved into first position.

    Kassan took a long while to get used to the heavier Auricom and it wasn’t unusual for him to drop back in some of the earlier races, struggling to keep up with the other three teams. He started to come into his own when Auricom switched their focus in FX200 to beating Triakis, and though his style of piloting is radically different to the controlled aggression of Dhavoric, the two pilots kept up a good relationship and exchanged set-up information to bring them to another championship in addition to the FX150 trophy mostly brought back by the Russian.

    Unusually for an Auricom pilot, Torogu can be quite cold to others, and has a sharp and rude tongue in interviews, especially towards Goteki 45 pilots after their return to racing midway through the FX300 series. He has few friends on the grid besides Dhavoric, which has made him something of a lone wolf in his races. Even Piranha pilots, typically Auricom’s oldest friend, avoid him when they can. Journalists are still speculating however whether or not he will be good in Eliminators thanks to his aggression or if he will be picked on and quickly dispatched by his rivals.

    Third Pilot – Tara Shannon ()

    Daughter of a pub landlord, Tara is American by birth but Irish by heritage, and adopted the nationality after a four-week holiday in Cork while she was still studying at Auricom’s pilot development centre. After applying for the passport and changing her citizen’s forms, she was offered a chance to do a demonstration of Auricom’s old F9000 chassis, the ACM-6K4 around the Dublin Metropolis for a publicity stunt in late 2205. Platon Dhavoric came as well for a day to help set up the ship, but found that the Irishwoman was fairly apt at handling the notoriously heavy ACM-6 around the Dublin track, and bearing in mind that the 6 had been built to survive Tigron attacks, the Russian expressed his interest in taking Tara as a development pilot for his ship for the FX300 series.

    Tara was given a lot of Friday running throughout the season and both Platon and Torogu gladly allowed her into their set up and race strategy meetings. Within a few tournaments, Tara had been elected the main reserve pilot for FX300, and third pilot for FX350, greatly increasing Irish interest in the sport. The result of this is the pure-zone track Corridon 12, based loosely around the double-loop Dublin track, put together by some of the best technical students in universities across the United Republic of Ireland. As a result, Auricom’s European base is now based in Belfast, which Icaras have sometimes said feels a little too close for comfort.

    Shannon’s extensive training for her race seat paid off handsomely and she currently holds the lap record at Tech De Ra, as well as a fair number of bronze medals. She has yet to win a race, but experts say that in time, she will soon reach the top step. The only possibility of that opportunity being prolonged is Tara’s fierce rivalry with Qirex’s two female pilots Samirsdřttir and McKellen, sometimes having gone out of her way to hammer them with mines rather than absorb and replenish the shield energy she needed, which would have been more useful in the long term. Now that both women are on the same team, Tara has become profoundly more nervous about Eliminator matches.
    Last edited by Challenger #001; 4th February 2011 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Pictures

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