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    Default Piranha Advancements Team Profile



    5 – Piranha Advancements (Brazil)

    Team Principal:

    Zack Vilmă ()

    Slogan:

    Official: "Now with added BITE!"
    Unofficial: "Nom nom nom"

    Backstory:

    Piranha enter the FX500 series bearing their old number once more, as team number five in the lineup, the ones just outside of the spotlight and yet always harrying the heels of the established squads. Now a veteran team itself, Piranha is here and back on the FX grids with a bright and bold ship that is destined to perform the role of ‘bouncer’ to the upper echelons of the race series. If you want to get noticed, first you have to beat Piranha.

    Piranha’s origins are dim and little evidence exists from that point in its’ history, a few years after the beginning of the F5000 league. With Qirex, Auricom, Feisar and AG-Systems established as the big four players in the AG-Leagues there was talk of the need for a fifth team that would help to do ‘dry’ runs on tracks to test them before the established teams went out, with power to match the full-sized ships unlike the J3200 league for rookie pilots.

    An artefact that is proudly on display on Piranha’s Datacast site is a 360-degree viewable copy of the contract that was signed by Pierre Belmondo himself giving the contract to make a hyper-powerful, weaponless ship to a Chinese consortium calling themselves ‘Piranha’. Their ship, which was given the artistic name of the ‘Crimson Flash’ was a ship the speed of which beggared belief amongst new viewers to the sport and even Qirex officials were seen whistling at the stats. Piranha was the business, and set about ruining a lot of lap records in the early stages of the league. However, it was never quite placed within the leagues themselves due to the lack of weapons technology. After getting approval from all four teams to join them in Phantom class series, Piranha hit the tracks with pilot Tao Liu at the helm and despite all hype about their incredible speed of the ship, it was left for dead by the established squads.

    With a lack of results, the Chinese backed out of the deal hurriedly and left Piranha up in the air towards the final third of the F5000’s series run. The purchase of the squad was done in equally mysterious circumstances to the formation of Piranha, though enough was found out by expert sleuths amongst the tabloid reporters to reveal the identity and nationality of the buyer. A Mr Aries Piermont, of Săo Paolo, Brazil.

    AG-Systems in particular breathed a sigh of relief with the disappearance of another Asian team to take their staff – Qirex was close enough for comfort in Irkutsk and a team in Shanghai would only prove to rattle the Tokyo-based team further. It certainly gave them breathing space for F7200 as Piranha got themselves their own sparring partner in the form of fellow newcomers (albeit ones with pedigree and talent) in the form of Assegai Developments. The 7200 season proved to be a fierce one with rivalries springing up everywhere except for AG-Systems and FEISAR, who were often forced to weave out of the way to avoid the sprayed weapons of Piranha and Assegai as they duelled over fifth place. It was something of a shame amongst most teams therefore when Assegai was bought out by Piranha, which seemed to put an end to another series of good on-track battles.

    The meshing of two rivals was never an easy task to manage, but as Piermont stated in his autobiography ‘The Fish That Bites’, he never attempted to treat the new African engineers in any way different to his own employees. They got exactly the same benefits and pay, worked the same hours and were offered the same options at the cafeteria. In his own words:

    ‘I had the vision of a perfect Piranha. I had saved this team from the death it would surely have suffered at the hands of bankers and stockholders and raised it up into a force of its’ own. Piranha. We were accepted by the great Mr Belmondo into his league and we were given a rival to prove ourselves against. Assegai were a worthy foe but they fell. To have them working with us is an honour, and I had no right treating them worse than my own employees. And yet I could not treat them higher than my men, who made the better ship. So they are equals. We strive as one, all as one, towards the goal of perfection. I repeated this over and over again as I stared at the image of our new ship for the upcoming league. The Swiftkiller.’

    The rest, as they say, is history. Hiring the Tibetian AG-Pilot Myima Tsarong was a bold move by Piermont, but the woman did not let him down and Piranha began domination of most of the F9000 ‘Fusion’ leagues, winning five manufacturers’ championships and as many pilots’. And yet Aries never seemed satisfied much to the disappointment of his pilots and staff. This only egged them on to work harder and harder to leave Xios, Feisar and Tigron in the dust however, and the race wins were monstrously in favour of the red-and-yellow squad. Eliminations on the other hand... the less said about those, the better.

    After the fall of the F9000, Piranha seemed to disappear off the map in the same way that their spiritual cousins eG-r seemed to, retreating to their underground base in the underhive city of Jamanha, just outside Săo Paolo. The gates would let nobody pass for many, many years, with very few visitors to the factory. Mostly these visitors were in driven in hover-limousines, and the men stepping out of them dressed either in ornate suits or military fatigues, all of which showed the green, blue and yellow Brazilian flag.

    It wasn’t until 2193 that the door finally opened before a swarm of reporters called before Piranha’s front gate. The man who strode out was the popular pilot who had flown for Piranha in the closing stages of the F9000 league after Jann Shawdeckler’s death in the Temtesh Bay disaster, Zack Vilmă. When Myima Tsarong left Piranha after the fall of AG racing to return to her temple in Tibet, Vilmă was all that was left of the team. With the death of Aries Piermont in 2178, the popular pilot had been given new command over the tea, named in Aries’ will as the successor to the team.

    Vilmă has been typically secretive as Piranha always has been, saying little in team press conferences and not appearing publically with many other team bosses – something that Aries Piermont possibly taught him. His leadership skills are not the same powerful ones that brought Piranha to their five world titles during the F9000 seasons, but he has brought a team back from the dead to race again, and for that a good deal of people in the paddock have great respect for the man. That said though, he is not without enemies.

    Vilmă has done nothing to quell the fires between Assegai and Piranha, and he has been outwardly rude about Icaras and their ‘so-called’ powerhouse of an engine. His scathing remarks about Qirex to the end of last season when Piranha beat them to fifth in the constructor’s championship haven’t helped either, and Harimau have made queries about Piranha’s involvement with the ‘Azteca’ casino in Las Vegas, near the site of the Amphiseum circuit. Rumour has it that Vilmă has provided rare Amazonian panthers and jaguars as live exhibits in the hotel/casino, yet this has never been proven. It hasn’t stopped several Harimau pilots and team members trying to break into the casino though in an attempt to find out what abuse may be being done to their beloved felines inside though.

    Ally: Auricom
    Rivals: Qirex, Icaras
    Arch-Rivals: Assegai

    Searching AntiGravity Racing Archives for Subject ‘Piranha and Assegai’
    68 Matches Found.
    Opening Selected File...

    Sol 2? Love that track. Such a huge view, so exhilarating to fly and such a risk too. Not to mention we do well on that track regularly. Are Mirage flying there too? The Egyptian is a damn fine flier there...

    Ah, they’re not going there? I suppose monetary issues... unfortunate for them. Who is going? Feisar, AG-S... usual suspects... oh, Piranha too? Excellent, I hope they pick Silvaris. Hm? No, why should I be angry at them going to Sol? They’re a racing team, right? They’ve got a right to fly there... hey, no! Bad Suhi... bad girl...

    *Subject proceeds to calm a snarling one-tonne lioness with a scratch behind the ears.*
    Easy girl, easy... Heh, not the only lioness who needs to take it easy, let me tell you. That’s the main reason I like to take on Piranha. Nobody flies like Silvaris does, she’s just a goddess at the helm. Always a challenge, maybe not so much on Sol given how twisty it is, but Metropia’s a great place to play cat and mouse with them. The engineers seem to like the challenge as well.

    *subject is informed of the rivalry between the two teams reaching back several years*
    You’re kidding, right? They’re fighting over something that happened nearly a hundred years ago. Jeez... stupid. All this fighting is just getting to me. It’s bad enough with Auricom and Qirex at each others’ throats every race, and we could do without AG-Systems and Triakis glaring at each other on the starting grid. It’d make the whole place a bit safer to race. I don’t want to have to keep looking over my shoulder for Piranha mechanics trying to sabotage my ship when I’ve got to deal with their pilots chasing me already. That Harimau contract can’t come...

    *subject stops talking abruptly, and busies himself with brushing a large lion male’s mane, avoiding any more attempts to bring up the subject*

    -Pilot N. Kassan of Assegai Developments, private interview with ‘Float Nation’ magazine, Nairobi 2202


    Ship Details:
    The FX300-400 ‘Rockettooth’ series of ships got critical acclaim for looking fantastic and possessing one of the most powerful thruster systems in the league along with enough shield to suffer quite the battering. The problems caused by initial launch thrust power and poor handling capabilities limited Piranha’s climb up the table with the second and third pilots sometimes having trouble getting the heavy ship off the grid and control issues at high velocities.

    Piranha has been hard at work though and have certainly pulled off an interesting craft in the ‘Razorfin’. The longest of all the Fury Ships, it seems that Piranha’s aim in this is to cram as much long-boost technology as they can into the allocated chassis, meaning that the crash structure is somewhat thin and long (easily visible on the Zone Battle Razorfin). The Razorfin is about as wide as the Rockettooth, but that is mostly due to the bodywork and brake systems this time located underneath the wings. In addition, the Piranha boosts the only air-cooled engine system on the grid this season, having ditched their sometimes unreliable cooling system from last year that cost Dominguez the win at Anulpha Pass once.

    That said though, there have been doubts raised as to the effectiveness of the Razorfin at high speeds once more – with such an odd centre of gravity, turning will become quite difficult at Phantom class speed. Piranha as a whole have said that that’s a problem they’ll deal with when they get to it.

    Lead Pilot – Leona Silvaris ()
    ‘Float Nation’ magazine is no stranger to wanting a nice juicy piece of gossip to talk about, and once ran a survey to try and work out just which lead pilot the money-paying public wanted to find out more about. The winner by a clear mile was the enigmatic new pilot that Piranha Advancements had picked for its’ return to AG-racing. Silvaris had said very little in the press conferences she had attended and rarely mingled with the public in keeping with Piranha’s secretive nature second only to EG-X in terms of how much they keep their mouths shut. She had been seen sometimes in the garage working on the ship along with the mechanics occasionally, but it was unsure if she was aiding them or simply looking on. The magazine’s spies pulled strings to find what they could, and have produced the only working biography of the pilot herself which Leona has grudgingly accepted is mostly correct.

    Silvaris was born into a Catalonian biker gang, and never attended school. Instead, she learned how to spell and read from watching the many racing championships the biker gang would crowd around a great hololithic projector to watch. From the Cross-Atlantic hoverbike series to F9000, the young Silvaris was enthralled by AntiGravity racing. Her mother reportedly said that the question she got most from her daughter was why they didn’t have a hoverbike instead of the ones that ran on wheels and petrol engines still that gave such a rocky ride at times.

    Whenever taking on odd jobs in towns her gang passed through, Silvaris made a habit of keeping the money she made and guarding it jealously with her life. While her peers spent their money on tarting up their own bikes, Leona kept her own money and her own, broken and forever failing bike that she was underneath as much as on top of. On her eighteenth birthday though, after persuading her friends she didn’t want the trip to a male stripper’s club and would just want the money instead, she packed up and left the gang, riding to Seville and its’ great hover-port.

    Leona and her bike took a bargain cargo transport system to Brazil, and in particular to Jamanha, the subterranean city that was the home of Piranha Advancements. Despite the fall of the F9000, Piranha had never fully set up shop, only going into silent contemplation as they allowed the Assegai technicians to return to Africa. It was when getting her first taste of Brazilian cuisine that she noticed a business-suited man desperately looking at a dead cellular device and calling for a taxi.

    Finishing her meal, Silvaris approached the man and asked if he needed help. The businessman promised her ten thousand reals if she would simply follow his instructions to get him where he needed to go within half an hour. Twenty minutes later, Silvaris and her passenger found themselves outside the gate to Piranha Advancements Headquarters. Realising that the man worked there, Leona asked him if he could get her a job instead of the reals. Zack Vilmă, still trying to hold on to his own lunch after the speed that Silvaris had shown, motioned for her to follow him indoors. Five days later, Silvaris was testing the ‘Rockettooth’ prototype.

    Leona is the only pilot to double up in terms of what she flies – as well as a permanent pilot for Piranha Advancements AG-team, she also participates in the Andes Endurance Hover-Bike championship yearly in a custom built device that uses the chassis of a Florida Panther hover-chopper and the engine out of an old FX300 Piranha prototype which she maintains herself, giving rise to the assumptions that she works on the ships along with the mechanics herself.

    A loner amongst the pilot community, Silvaris prefers to keep to herself and her mechanics, though their recent boorish behaviour towards Assegai has meant she has drifted from the Brazilian squad of late. She has few friends amongst her fellows going into the FX500 league and one particular enemy in the form of Sibrand Van Saur of Icaras, whom she has almost come to butting heads with in terms of flight technique. Her racing talent is obvious for all to see, but with the Eliminator matches putting stress on pilot relationships it seems that Silvaris needs friends outside of Piranha to see her through the tough matches.

    Second Pilot – Esteban Dominguez ()
    An antidote to the quiet and withdrawn Silvaris, Esteban Dominguez is forever being heard including when he doesn’t need to talk. Verbose to the point of being a constant nuisance, the Mexican at least is willing to tell the engineers how he wants the ship rather than insisting that he does it himself. A lot of people in the paddock can’t quite make up their minds whether they’re irritated by Esteban or love him – for every time he’s made a public outburst or gone on incessantly about himself in a press conference, he’s managed to kick life into another meeting that’s going downhill, diffused a potentially dangerous situation between rivals or simply told a genuinely good joke.

    Fifth son of a fifth son, Esteban grew up in Tijuana, Baja where the second race of the newly formed FX150 series took place, looping between Baja in Mexico and California in the United States of America on the imaginatively titled Death Valley Sprint race. As one of the few reliable restaurants about the Mexican part of town, Esteban came into contact with a lot of AG-race personell, particularly members of FEISAR who set up shop in Mexico to keep costs down from the expensive and primarily Auricom-focussed USA.

    The young cook got himself involved in carrying food personally to the lead pilot of FEISAR at the time, the Grecian Thanos Ikrausus. Spotting the lad’s lust for more information about the leagues, Ikrausus asked Esteban’s father if he could let his son accompany him as a personal cook and aide over race events given how unpredictable the ones he was given by FEISAR could be. Mrs Dominguez complained loudly, but Diego gave his permission and Esteban was soon touring the world with Ikrausus. During the middle of FX250 though, there was a scuffle and an argument from inside Thanos’ quarters, and Esteban ducked out and fled the circuit.

    He has taken after his new Piranha masters quite well in that he says little as to how he got to wear the red and yellow overalls, something he is at least quiet about and remembers to shut up concerning, but speculation says that he was hired by them for advice on the ship and was installed as first a test pilot and then a second pilot behind Silvaris when his knowledge of Ikrausus’ setup was determined to be accurate and useful.

    Though he is obviously thankful for the break given to him by Piranha and the fame he receives back home in Mexico, there are dark clouds that follow the most talented chef on the grid around. His acceleration and timing is lacklustre and has left him either trailing the pack at the first corner off the line or overcooking the thruster like he did at Anulpha Pass during the FX350 series. He also is rather openly vocal about his dissatisfaction with the way the team always puts Silvaris first, claiming that on his lacklustre performance. But whatever is keeping him at Piranha’s door must be tempting, for he was not ignored when it came to retaining pilots this year...

    Third Pilot – Morgan Victius ()
    Aries Piermont once famously went on record stealing one of Qirex’ most notable quotes at the height of their performance in the F9000 league that ‘not just anyone’ can fly for Piranha. Vilmă seems to have taken this to heart, and Piranha is only one of the mainstream teams that does not have a junior squad. When all squads at the beginning of the FX300 were told they could use their FX200 and 250 ships and any craft built to that specification for running a junior squad, Piranha was one that refused on principle rather than any monetary worries such as Qirex or Icaras had.

    The old saying goes that what the fans want, the fans will get, and a private interest purchased an old Assegai ship under the claim that it was truly a Piranha with what the Africans had stolen from the Brazilians. The ‘Jaguar’ was painted bright red with yellow and white teeth marks and entered under the title ‘Amazon Fury’. Considered a curio by most of the established teams, with Piranha giving little to no assistance to their unofficial squad, it was little surprise when few pilots volunteered for the mock-Piranha squadron. The one who did make the cut was a boy who’d grown up racing jet skis around his home island of Antigua and had fancied himself as something of a pilot.

    To the surprise of everyone, Morgan’s skill in the pirated Assegai was impressive, and aside from the Van-Uber squadron who dominated the proceedings with their light, nimble craft that aided the newcomers and gave rise to the new Korean star Park So-Gun, was ranked amongst the biggest surprises of the season. It was almost no surprise when he sealed the championship in the year of the FX350 and like a parent whose bastard child turned out to be a gifted student, Piranha snatched up the laid back and quiet Morgan.

    Though ‘Amazon Fury’ has dropped back in the JX leagues now, Morgan is settling comfortably as a very unintrusive and capable pilot in the Piranha family. Like Esteban, he lacks assistance from his team in favour of Silvaris, but unlike Domingues he is unconcerned, saying that it was his job to impress the team enough to give him equal terms. This however is proving more difficult than he thought, trying to get used to the heavy Piranha from his paper-light Assegai days.
    Last edited by Challenger #001; 4th February 2011 at 04:24 PM.

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