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Thread: Wipeout Chronicles

  1. #31
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    This is by far the longest entry in the Chronicles yet: 2000+ words (in contrast to approx. 13-1500 entries). But, in my view, it was worth it.


    Woflgang Van-Über

    There is without a doubt that Wolfgang Van-Über is right up there with the most influential personalities of AG racing as well as with the best pilots of all time. A much loved figure, Van-Über is quite famous for his purist stance to racing, even refusing to use weapons and insisted to race on skill alone. And even in retirement, he was still a familiar sight within the AG Leagues through his home-grown racing team, Van-Über Racing Developments. Van-Über is very much a true living legend of the sport.

    Van-Über’s beginnings were quite humble. Born in a blue-collar, racing fan family in Hamburg on 3 September 2107, Van-Über’s early passion was athletics. Van-Über was quite competitive, becoming a regular sight in numerous regional and national athletic competitions and events. This was a key reason* why he would adopt an anti-aggressive stance on AG racing later on:

    “…When I was sprinting, in my youth, there was no politics; no aids; nothing. It was just a group of young boys running to find out who was faster out of our own devices. With AG racing, if someone passes you, you wait for a particular corner or hold a weapon and use that to your advantage – you will get back ahead. In running, if you got passed you’ll give it your all to get back and if you can’t, that’s just the way it is: you win some, you lose some.”

    As Van-Über got older, his attention turned to AG racing, and eventually made his debut in the European Junior Championships in 2123. Although it can be noted that Van-Über used weapons as much as the other pilots, these Leagues were much less reliant on weapons to change the outcome of the race so eliminations in themselves were quite rare. This started to change when he started to associate himself with the main F7200 teams, namely FEISAR. Although quite eager to race with them, it was reported that Van-Über expressed some dissatisfaction with racing at this level and had complained about how much firepower he had to use to turn the race his way.

    As Van-Über admits, he threatened to walk away from the League on more than one occasion, but one thing was keeping him from doing that: his speed. In his time trials, Van-Über is one of the fastest pilots to ever have raced with FEISAR, and in turn tried to use his speed to his advantage. At times this worked, but he was still hindered from weapon hits.
    If there was a definitive moment where Van-Über announced and stuck with his anti-weapon belief, it was a Venom class race in 2130, as Wolfgang remembers it…

    “I was in second coming up behind an Auricom craft (fielded by a privateer team) towards the end of the race when my crew chief had told me to eliminate him quickly. The pilot of the Auricom craft hadn't run a perfect race (he was caught in a crash with a few other pilots), so his shields were quite low, but had decent speed to keep my craft at bay. I initially didn't want to do it because I thought I can catch him, but I was ordered by my team. So I eased off and eliminated him with a missile on the last lap (anti-climatic, I know). After the presentation ceremony, I immediately left feeling quite upset with my team and myself; not just for not having faith in myself but for not winning with my own skills…”

    His attitude towards racing in the F7200 changed dramatically midway through 2127 when his older brother, Klaus, got involved in a high-speed hovercar crash which left him with severe spinal injuries. Although with the advancements of medicine, Klaus was still able to walk but was permanently disabled. Klaus, like Wolfgang, had ambitions to race in the F7200, and was quickly approaching his zenith in the European Leagues. Wolfgang, taking up the mantle as the family racer, swore to race for his brother as well as himself and contributed a sizeable share of his winnings and sponsorship funds into Klaus’ ongoing treatment. Klaus never forgot his brother’s generosity.

    Van-Über made his official debut with FEISAR in 2131 alongside Johan Janson of Sweden and Canada’s Léa Guise and made a big impact. He constantly placed within the top 10 and scored a few points along the way. The most notable was the final race at Arridos IV, where he managed to score third behind Alisa Novosad and the late great Katsuogo Muro. Van-Über became hot property throughout the 2132 season with offers for quite a few teams, whilst continuing to score point-scoring finishes for his original team. Van-Über would sign a contract with Auricom at the end of the year.

    For Auricom, 2133 was to be one of the strongest years in years with Van-Über signing alongside their current lead pilot, American Aaron Hayden. Hayden, like Van-Über, had been a rapidly rising star-of-the-future, placing 5th in only his second year of competition. It was acknowledged that either pilot can successfully challenge for the title, but was more difficult for Van-Über because of his principles. This is reflected in the final points tally whereas Hayden had consistent high placed finishes, eventually finishing second, Van-Über was placed all over the top 10 from as high as third to as low as 9th.

    This was similar in 2134, although this time Van-Über only stood on the podium once when he should’ve been supporting his teammate’s assault on the dominating AG Systems. It was rumoured that Van-Über’s contract with Auricom would be cancelled if he did not produce good results for the next season, strongly suggesting to abandon his now infamous belief in, what was now called, the “purity of the race”.

    However, there were radical changes to the League in 2135. For one, the death of Muro dragged AG Systems’ morale down a lot, but the F7200 Race Commission (under administration from Overtel) had changed the calendar back to Mega City. With the generally more technical circuits was where Van-Über’s “handicap” didn’t appear. Motivated for a place on the team, Van-Über blitzed everyone with his performance, even more with his refusal to use weapons (unless absolutely necessary) and clean-swept the season; his nearest opponent was 49 points behind.

    2136 was a tough year for Van-Über and the Auricom team with a tough battle being played out between Van-Über and teammate Bobby Butler, Vincinius Albeniz (Piranha), Fyodor Eppirov (Qirex) and Laughlan Ivers (FEISAR). However, Auricom had a firm grip on the Teams’ championship (they were the only team with two point-scoring pilots) and Van-Über taking the last three races to take his second title.

    2137 was marred by a brawl between Icaras and Goteki 45 at P-Mar Project which lead to the suspension of both teams. As this was the last year of his original contract, Van-Über had originally decided to leave the sport using the P-Mar Brawl as the perfect opportunity to distance himself from the current state of the sport. As stated in his autobiography, it took a lot of convincing from newly installed Director of Operations Gideon Oldfield that made him change his mind from an early retirement, and signed a new three-year contract that he was allowed to exit anytime he wanted.

    It’s fortunate he re-signed, as he showed some of his best racing in those three years as he battled against “DJ” Jukka Rautio (who had signed with Piranha). Whilst just beaten to the 2138, he came back stronger in 2139 and battled hard with Rautio to achieve his fourth title before announcing his retirement from professional racing.

    Van-Über’s retirement stunned everyone. This was because that Van-Über was still quite young at 32 and was still at a strong point of his career with many years still ahead. His reasoning, when quizzed by the media, his family and Auricom themselves, is that:

    “…no team should continually have one pilot to take all the glory, and that another pilot should have a chance to shine in his place. And in turn, he would make sure that other young pilots had a chance to fly and be successful as I had been.”

    Leading up to his retirement from racing, Van-Über had developed an interest is the development of the craft, and was quite involved in the development of his Auricom craft during the last few years. When he retired, Van-Über wished to enter craft development and pass on his on-track experience into developing an ideal craft. FEISAR offered Van-Über a position on their team as a head designer, but Van-Über turned this down, insisting he wanted to do it alone. After experimenting with a few designs over the next few years, Van-Über formally established Van-Über Racing Developments in 2142 along with Klaus and a good friend of Van-Über, Ryan Morgan, with technical assistance from FEISAR.

    For the first 10 years, Van-Über saw considerable success in the European AG League, even managing to score back-to-back titles in 2149 and ’50. This success, as well as the announcement of the F9000, motivated them to push for entry into the AGRC. They were granted a full season entry in 2151, filling the position vacated by Assegai, and used this season as an experimental season, to observe the field that would be entering the F9000. Van-Über’s nephew, Sören, performed quite well managing two podiums (which is more that can be said for the other two pilots, who failed to score all season).

    Their first season in the F9000 wasn’t a good one, with the team finishing only one race in the whole season (Songen Grey’s 6th place at Temtesh Bay), but they gradually grew as the seasons progressed. The scored their first and only race win at Cubiss Float in 2157, and coming in 5th place in the 2158 and 2159. However, the durability of the craft plagued the team and they gradually fell to near bottom throughout the rest of the F9000.

    But despite this, Van-Über was quite popular due the charisma of Wolfgang and his belief in the “purity of the race”. In an interview in 2159, he famously quoted “…we must remain cleaner than clean… If all the clouds in the sky turn black, who can hope that the rain will ever cease?” In this period, he coined the term “the sublime and delicious game”, which has entered common use and has further influenced the name of the AG datasheet “Sublime and Delicious” and Van-Über’s own range of men’s toiletry products, S&D. Also, the appeal of one of his pilots, Nami Mishima, helped the image of the team, as she had often been compared to the late Arial Tetsuo, Auricoms’ lead pilot in the early years of AG racing. This has made her popular with young fans, but also the target of constant sabotage which has plagued her performance over the years.

    Due to the increasing political pressure from the F9000, Van-Über followed Auricom’s lead and withdrew from competition at the end of the 2169 season and returned to regional racing. However, the Fall of the F9000 a year later virtually halted all of Van-Über’s activities. Whilst they still continued performing R&D work and produced craft for public consumption, the team was rapidly declining. Wolfgang would liquidate his share of the company and retired to a quiet life in the German countryside.

    Van-Über was present at the AG Rebirth Festival in 2185 and express absolute delight when it was announced that AG racing was to return to prominence. However, he did show disappointment as he would not lead the charge to promote the “sublime and delicious game” in the new era of AG racing. His grandson, Helmut, would rebirth the team in the 2198 with his grandfather’s blessing to compete in the newly-formed FX300. Piloted by German-born American Daniel Albrecht and using a updated variant of their old F9000 model, the team enjoyed moderate success in this era culminating with Albrecht winning the title in 2202.

    The team did not transition into the FX400, mainly due to the health of its founder. Approaching his centennial birthday, Wolfgang had become quite reserved from the media particularly with his team’s victory in 2202. It appeared that Wolfgang had achieved his dream of “leading” a team to League success, so now he can spend the rest of his years in peace.

    At age 105, Van-Über is one of the oldest AG champions still alive today (only beaten by 2126 Champion Mélissa Flament), but his pacifist beliefs and his extraordinary career makes him a true legend of AG racing, up there with names such as Muro, Tetsuo and the great Kel Solaar.

    *There are other reasons behind Van-Über’s ideal, such as his Roman Catholic background and his admiration of primitive Formula One drivers as seen in old videos.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Woflgang Van-Über passed away peacefully in his Lower Saxony home on January 3 2214, beside family. His heath had deteriorated over the past few years, particularly over the past year, restricting him to the confounds of his home. A private burial was held on January 7th, followed by a public memorial the following day, which included numerous AG racing personalities, including the AGRC Chairwoman, Natasha Belmondo. Van-Über was 106.
    Last edited by keg_11; 13th January 2014 at 05:15 AM.

  2. #32
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    While all of it may be fan-fiction. I have to apprecieate an extent of effort and detication in an attempt to flesh out quite an interesting world as WipEout.

    It's to say the least an impressive undertaking, and at least for me, something inspirting. I wanna say more, but I want to read more, before I can be more detailed.

    That and finish some fan-art, and that includes a potental successor to van uber's team.

    Until then.

  3. #33
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    Thank you, Rossriders! It's good to see that my work is being supported.

    Sorry that I hadn't posted some new content lately. Part of the reason is that I was the only one posting and that I wasn't sure that people were having a look (I was probably expecting a small discussion after each entry), so I might have been a bit disheartened.

    I've got a few stories that I've completed but yet to be posted, and seeing how there are people still looking at my work, I might start writing new content soon.

    Thank you again for your support. I really appreciate it!

  4. #34
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    Also, I do read it too and a very good story.

    stevie

  5. #35
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    It's understandable to feel a bit disheartnened, and I can loosely relate, given lately when posing on DeviantArt and elsewhere...given my subject matter (cars and whatnot) how few take a look. If it's something anthro maybe...stories on say a site that's art centered is a different story.

    That and part of me wishes there was more of a discussion because honelsty this is quite an undertaking. While Fanon at the end of the day, it's again hell of an attempt to serioulsy try and flesh things out in the world of Wipeout to quite an extent.

    Hell, it's made me want to revise more my own story to Matrix racing Reserach and Development, while it woun't exaclty 'fit' in your fanon of Wipeout, I very tempted to give a lot of nods in more ways than one to your work in some way or another.

    That and, part of me is curious to some of the other teams in reagrds to the results. I feel embrassed that I failed to check that earlier, since a few new names have caught my attention, and I'm curious to what some of those teams are.

    That and if I'm not mistaken, your contributions to the Wipeout Wiki, including all those craft screenshots, have given me more to work with and figure out.

    Espeically when trying to figure out 'transition' craft between leages (F3600-toF5000 or F7200 to F9000 and so on), which I may or may not get to sooner or later, that and again drawing out that Van Uber successor team 'MR[RD].

    I'm a bit in doubt given how life has been to say the least unpredictable...

    and there's a LOT of things I want to try and draw, but they all of course require work, and I hate being half-hearted (more so since I've been actually taking studying quite a lot on ALL the wipeout craft from (timeline wise) 2048 to 2207, espeically the FX-350 standard and fury craft designs, and how I can apply something loose of those ideas to the ship designs I'm trying to make).

    And then there's the stuff I'm trying to write out as well...

    Rambling aside, looking forward to seeing more of your work, and hopefully next time I comment, I can say even more.

    Until then.
    Last edited by Rossriders; 9th March 2013 at 02:32 AM. Reason: a few more things to fix

  6. #36
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    After a couple of months of limbo, and strong encouragement from fans of my fanfics (Thanks, guys!; especially Rossriders!), Here are some new entries! I'm posting two now with a third very near completion, with fresh content to be started on quite soon.

    Hope you all enjoy and thanks for the support!

    2164 Temtesh Bay Disaster

    Because of its very nature, it’s very rare in motor racing, and in turn AG racing, that an accident is so severe that it can rival other man-made disasters, such as Titanic or the Hindenburg. But by saying that, events like that do happen. The most famous is the 1955 Le Mans Disaster where the Mercedes-Benz of Pierre Leveigh crashed into a slower car and flew into the crowd, killing 84 and injuring 120 spectators. The nearest equivalent in AG racing would have to be the 2164 Temtesh Bay disaster. This disaster would cost the lives of six F9000 pilots plus a dozen emergency crews in what as seen as the culmination of the radical nature of that era of AG racing.

    The Temtesh Bay track had always been a favourite of fans and pilots alike. Prior to 2164, Temtesh Bay was the only track to be used in every season of the F9000. Organised by the Australian business tycoon Bruce Bloomer, Temtesh Bay was constructed within an open-cut mine in central Australia and always had the flair synonymous with Bloomer. The designs were straightforward: a short track winding around the perimeter of the mine; a medium course which dived into the tunnels of the old mine; and to top it off, a weaving long course going up and down around Beehive Rock.

    Of course, such a radical track caused some criticism. Kurt Graham, four time F7200 champion and design advisor for the new track was quite against having the track go through mine tunnels, emphasising the risk of cave-ins from the barrage of weapon that would be used in them. Despite his arguments, the medium course was built exactly to plan (although, Graham put a lot of effort in the design and construction of the long course, and was quite pleased with it).

    The track (short course) opened the first F9000 race in 2156 with great acclaim, and ushered in the arrival of Natasha Belmondo to the F9000 scene. Year after year, the atmosphere around the Australian round was always buzzing. For those who would like to get out of the heat, the main festivities in nearby Adelaide were only an hour away by grav-train. All the while, the track remain unchanged despite some damage to some areas due to weapon use in races (there was only small repairs that, in hindsight, were less than adequate).

    Coming into the Australian round of the 2164 season, Tibetan Piranha pilot Myima Tsarong held a slim lead ahead of the two Xios pilots, Natasha Belmondo and the previous year’s champion, Zala Wollf. Also, Auricom’s Pascale Rouser and FEISAR’s Daniel Johnson score quite close to the frontrunners.

    It was expected that this round, around Temtesh Bay’s medium course, would be a very close one. In qualifying, Tsarong managed to score pole just ahead of Rouser, with the Xios pilots struggling with their wider crafts and placing 6th and 8th respectively.

    On March 11 2164, the race got underway in a flurry of paint and metal as they entered the mines. Tsarong pulled a good lead followed by Rouser and Tigron’s Omarr Khumala (started 5th). The only person that didn’t start well was Australian FEISAR pilot (and great-nephew of Kurt Graham) Zack Graham. For some reason, his LS-59340 loss al power as soon as he hit the thrust. Graham had started in a low 12th. It was lucky for him that he stayed on the grid for him, or anyone else, could’ve expected what was next.

    An explosion within the mines causes the whole tunnel to collapse towards the far end of the course. All communications between both the ships and officials were cut, so no-one knew what was going on. And then, amidst the confusion, there was a much larger explosion which sealed the race’s fate. This larger explosion shook the whole mines and simultaneously collapsed every single tunnel of the track, entombing anyone that was in it. The time it took between the first explosions as the complete collapse of the mines was a fraction of a minute.

    The race was immediately halted and everyone evacuated from the mines as rescue crews came in to dig for the missing pilots and officials trapped in the mines. Already out was Natasha Belmondo. She just got out as the last bulkhead locked shut (as were standard operating procedure of the mine, but the closing bulkhead had damaged the rear of her craft. So far, those pilots present and accounted for were Graham of FEISAR, both Van-Über pilots, both Auricom pilots, Khumala of Tigron, Belmondo of Xios and Tsarong of Piranha.

    Luckily, this count grew after the first hour where rescue crews managed to dig out an injured Zala Wollf, followed by a severely injured Daniel Johnson and several officials. According to her accounts, she had stopped just before the second last bulkhead but had gotten caught in the mine collapse. Her refuge was an escape tunnel just off the track which the officials used to get themselves and Johnson (who was discovered towards the epicentre of the explosions) to where Wollf was. Wollf had relatively minor leg and neck injuries, but Johnson had become paralysed from the neck down.

    Day after day went by, but with no further luck. Despite one or two other officials that were found but later died in hospital, no one else could be found. This meant that six of the 14 pilots of the F9000 had perished. In the cleanup, Wollf’s Xios and a Tigron craft, with Sveta Kirovski still in it were found, but after a few close calls with loose rock and dirt, the cleanup was cancelled.

    Following the disaster, the Australian Government and the Australian Federal police (AFP), in association with Confederation of Australian Anti-Gravity Racing (CAAR) and the AGF launched a Royal Commission into the disaster and investigated the event from all sides as it seemed that the disaster was a deliberate act. This Commission uncovered severe maintenance holes within the organisation of the event and, in turn, the League as a whole.

    But to everyone’s surprise, a week after the disaster, FEISAR’s Director of Operations Xavier Menendez claimed full responsibility for the disaster on behalf of Daniel Johnson, who was in intensive care, and the FEISAR team. He revealed that just recently the F9000 Federation approved the use of a development of FEISAR’s Super Missile. This new weapon didn’t fire as much missiles as the old weapon, but had more explosive power than its predecessor. As it turned out, Johnson had picked up the Super Weapon and had aimed to take out Wollf but missed and the subsequent explosion on the wall caused the mines to collapse.

    As such FEISAR were held as the main suspects for the disaster, but this did not explain the secondary explosions that were the overall catalyst of the entire mines collapsing. As a result, FEISAR were fined US$1 million dollars in damages for the disaster in addition to severe restrictions imposed on AG racing which saw Super Weapons banned indefinitely, all development of F9000 craft frozen and strict revisions of all F9000 tracks to make sure they’re save to race. As such, several courses, such as Alca Vexus 2 and Cubiss Float 2 were abandoned.

    It would be almost 20 years before the actual culprits were identified. In 2181, new sources claim that Chinese team EG-R played a role in the disaster in that they caused the main explosions in the mines. As such the Commission was reactivated and investigated the activities of the former EG-R, who by this time merged with Xios to form EG-X Technologies. As it turned out, anxious that their top secret technology would be exploited by rival teams, the team deliberately detonated their craft and pilots to cover up their technology. The size of these simultaneous explosions further dislodged the rock in the mines causing them to collapse. The investigation also uncovered that so determined were EG-R in concealing their tracks, they did the same thing after the F9000 fell in 2170. Although they ordered both China and EG-X to give up all those involved in the team, no-one has been brought in. Actually, no-one associated with the team had been seen since the fall of the F9000. (This gave Xios the perfect opportunity to gain control of the operations hence founding EG-X).

    Despite the sheer tragedy of Temtesh Bay disaster, AG racing continued nevertheless. Wollf would return to AG racing in the Swiss round at Cubiss Float and all the other teams found replacements for their teams, eventually fielding a full pack for the 2165 season. However, as well as those who perished, Johnson would be permanently disabled whilst Wollf and Tsarong, distraught from the disaster, retired at the end of the 2164 season.

    It’s commonly accepted that the Temtesh Bay disaster started the descent of the F9000, eventuating in the Fall of the F9000 in 2170. But none the less, the sport has learned its lessons from that event and as such, there hasn’t been a death in AG racing in almost 40 years.

    In memoriam:
    Sveta Kirovski - Tigron
    Jann Shlaudecker - Piranha
    Roberto Sergio - G-Tech
    Naomi Turner - G-Tech
    Paul Cheung - EG-R
    Alex Reece - EG-R
    Last edited by keg_11; 7th May 2014 at 11:54 PM. Reason: changed death "ever since" to "in almost 40 years"

  7. #37
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    The first of my extensive team bios. Some references in the entry are from Challenger #001's entry, so credits include him. (NOTE: This is now my longest entry, with over 3200 words )

    Qirex Research & Development

    It's without a doubt that Qirex Research & Development deserves to be considered as one of the most famous teams in the history of AG racing, as well as the most successful. Although winning a record 39 Leagues is successful in itself, it's their journey from a domestic military contractor to a well respected anti-grvity research organisation is legendary. And at its forefront, some of the most iconic pilots and personnel ever involved in the sport.

    The original Qirex Industries was founded from the merger of two companies: Quantax CFD and Irkutsk Nuclear Developments, by Russian businessman Sergei Reznikov in 2017('QI' for Quantax-Irkutsk, 'REx' for Reznikov). Originally, Qirex was an industrial conglomerate with a stake in the majority of Russia's industries, from transport to economics to manufacturing. They were also contractors for the Russian military.

    When anti-gravity technology exploded in the mid 2030s, Qirex was very interested in the new technology and started development. However, their early developments were quite primitive in comparison to other period designs. Basically, they were adaptations of AG System's patented AG generator for a variety of operations.

    When the AGRC was announced in 2044, Qirex quickly expressed interest for competing but were still struggling with the quality of their crafts compared to that of AG Systems and other companies. Salvation came in the form of Holst McQueen, the former head of technology of AG Systems. McQueen had been dismissed from AG Systems because of his hostile rivalry with Delia Flaubert, the former head of design, over the direction AG Systems should be heading. This cost them both their jobs at AG Systems. McQueen argued that AG System's constant research and development were preventing them reaching the massive financial potential of the technology. When he heard that Flaubert was establishing her own orgainisation based on her ideals (of Pierre Belmondo), McQueen went to Qirex to develop their AG sector.

    In the three years in the lead-up to the first AGRC season, Qirex had evolved from a local industrial conglomerate to one of the most prolific organisations in the world because of McQueen's designs. Qirex also managed to acquire a number of talented, yet unorthodox pilots in the lead up to the 2048 season. One of which was fomer Russian Air Force pilot, Kel Solaar.

    The former Major had a long desire to reach the sky from an early age. As such, he immedialy joined the airforce after graduating from school and trained to be one of the best pilots the Russian air force had seen. As well as this, he also was a formidable weapons expert, which would make him a lethal enemy if anyone approached him.

    When Qirex first started their AG racing program, Solaar left the air force and became the main Qirex test pilot. What was quite notable of him was his ability to control the heavy Qirex ship with reletive ease considering the opposition. It didn't really matter that Qirex ships couldn't beat everyone in a straight line, Solaar would anniliate the competition through corners and his strategic use of weapons to slow down opposing craft. It was not surprise when Solaar claimed the first AG racing pilots championship in 2048.

    Whilst Solaar was 'bringing home the bacon' on the track, there were quite a few events happening behind the scenes. McQueen had manoevered himself through the ranks of Qirex to eventually becoming CEO in 2052, following Reznikov's retirement. Whilst McQeen was in power, the focus of Qirex shifted to become an AG research-only company determined to deter Flaubert's Auricom Research. A lot of people believed this was the motivation behind Qirex's acquisition by the Ovetel media organisation three years later.

    It was this rivalry between McQueen and Flaubert that created the intense rivalry between Qirex and Auricom, This was particulary evident in the earlier years of AG racing. Both pilots form both teams rivalled each other for differing reasons, in particular the Tetsuo twins Arial and Arian, the latter affilited with Qirex. The twins were raised and in turn started their careers in vastly contrasting backgrounds: Arial was very popular with the crowd and was discovered by Auricom because of her success in the AG Youth League of Japan; Arian was a street racer before she was hired by Qirex. This bitter feud also elevated off the track where Qirex, quite infamously, lauched a smear campaign against Arial ranging from formal cheating to more serious allegations. Qirex were formally accused of blackmail in 2060 and fined an undisclosed sum. Whether this worked or not, this did not deter either Qirex's performance or reputation.

    In fact this period, specifically during the 2060s & 2080s, were the greatest in Qirex's history and cementing their place as the most successsful team in AG racing history. After Auricom dominated the 2058 and '59 seasons with their revolutionary dual-hulled design, Qirex were determined to rise above them with their own dual-hull craft. Using a development of the infamous "barzha" of the AGRC, Qirex and Solaar scored 7 consectutive championships between 2060 and 2066, including a 19 race winning streak from 2060-62.

    Solaar and Qirex were an icon, so it was expected that Solaar's retirement after the 2068 season was an emotional one for all those involved. Solaar had become a hero of the Russian people, and was admired with an almost cult-like status. But despite the media frenzy behind him, Solaar disappeared from the limelight thereafter (he would reappear during the 2090s).

    Solaar may be gone, but Qirex still continued as strong as ever. To replace Solaar, Qirex hired former FEISAR and Auricom pilot Sofia de la Rente on a year-by-year basis. The combination of de la Rente and Qirex number two Arian Tetsuo would give Qirex another League in 2069 before retiring herself.

    At this point, Qirex first tasted serious competition. With the surge from the Japanese AG Systems outfit, Qirex was relegated to the midpack, even last for a number of years. This wasn't helped with their line-up consiting of the under-performing Arian Tetsuo (who would be left without a seat in 2072) and the "Mad Matador" Matteo Munoz. This started to change when Konstantin Rykov joined the team to replace Tetsuo in 2073. Throughout the next few seasons, Rykov was constantly near the front, even scoring a League title in 2075. His battles with AG Systems' Nobuyuki Sato during 2076 cemented his place as one of the great Qirex pilots, loved by all sides (even Auricom). When he left the team the following year, his number one spot was passed down to Finn Makku Eerik, who would (start) to bring Qirex back in front by scoring consectutive titles in 2078 and '79.

    The man who would bring Qirex back to the forefront of AG racing was Scot Michael McLeod. McLeod had, in fact, replaced Rykov when he left for Auricom in 2077, and had potential to be a title contender despite his mid-pack finishes. These were proved right when he pushed to become the 2082 champion ahead of Jean Dreyfus for Auricom. McLeod would continue to battle and take the next four Leagues, all the while fighting against a young German FEISAR pilot by the name of Stefan Geist.

    Geist had been branded a title contender from the start: he managed to score third in his first season with FEISAR in 2083. And he had continued to pushed for the title, coming into grief with McLeod and the Qirex team more times than he would've liked. But alas, both McLeod had the upmost respect for his German rival, and was more than happy to have him as a teammate in the first F5000 League in 2085. This dynamic parnership would give Qirex four more titles with McLeod and Geist winning two each. Geist would take over McLeod's number one seat after he retired at the end of 2088 and continued to win for the team into the 2090s. By the time Geist retired in 2093, Qirex had won 26 Leagues, over double that of all the other teams combined.

    Things were even better for Qirex when Geist's place in the team was filled by Konstantin Rykov's own daughter, Alisa. Raised through Qirex's own pilot development program (a rare feat), Alisa started small inside the field during her first few seaons with the team and started to mature by scoring sixth in the 2099 season. By the turn of the century, Alisa was Qirex's only chance at a title as their other aging pilots, Vladimir Tuchyon and Andrew Zao, were falling by the waistside. Alisa did just that in 2101 quite comfortably, and the image of both her and her father on the podium together at Spilskinanke still remains one of the most famous images of family involvement in the sport.

    However, Alisa's success was overshadowed by the tragedies that stemmed from the introduction of Phantom class in 2097, which caused the deaths of three pilots and would paralyze Kumiko Takahashi (Champion 2097, '98 ) from the waist down. Although saddened from these tragedies, Alisa's resolve was to keep racing and that the sport should continue to move forward and not dwell on the past. Her title the following year made sure of that,and successfully pushed on to take the following two Leagues as well, surpassing her father's record in the process. Alisa would continue to fight hard, but her performance was, once again, overshadowed by this time the in-house rivalry at AG Systems between Belarussian-born Russian Zmitar Tikotsky and Australian David Colquhoun. She would score two third placed finished before retiring in 2108.

    At this point, Qirex's stranglehold on the sport was at an end and would see many changes over the next few decades. For one, Qirex had evolved from a military contracter to a premier AG research and development organisation. As such in 2111, Qirex officially changed their name from "Qirex Industries" to "Qirex Research and Development" to reflect this new focus. Also, the rise of new teams such as Piranha and Assegai Developments would demote the team to the level of their competitors, and would see stiff competition as the league was upgraded to F7200 specification. They did enjoy some success in this League, with Laura Kohlemainen taking the first F7200 League in 2116 and Australian Austen Graham (the twin brother of AG Systems' Kurt Graham) would give Qirex four Leagues between 2119 and 2122.

    Qirex's biggest change in this era was the change in ownership. Following Pierre Belmondo's death in 2128, Overtel heavily lobbied for control over the F7200 Commission (which was in direct control of the Belmondo Foundation), but was restircted because of their support for the Qirex team. As such, Overtel re-organised Qirex as a self-supported independent entity so that they can concentrate their efforts towards the Commission, achieving that in 2132. The transition left Qirex in a highly solvent state to the envy of just about every other outfit in the league. The team still kept a firm presence on the field, with pilots such as Johan Janson and Georgy Alkaev scoring respectable finished along the way (the latter taking the 2143 League for the team with George Dravare), and it seemed that Qirex could've been very stable for the decades ahead.

    But in 2145, the Russian economy collapsed. Struck by a reduction in farmable land along with the slowing down of local industry saw the country rapidly falling into debt. This was effected by Qirex as well, slumping to some of their worst performances in years (part in due of ot having the funds to hire talented pilots. Alkaev, who stayed on by his own accord, still kept scoring point finishes). Over the next few years, a depression had set in and created the best conditions for a takeover.

    Early in 2149, a criminal faction known as the "The Brotherhood" overthrew the Russian Government and re-proclaimed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics along with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan (all with Brotherhood governments). The Brotherhood immediately took over all of Russia's industries, both private and public, into a single "legitimate" front called Tigron Enterprises. Qirex was unceremoniusly absorbed into the Enterprise and made up Tigron's AG research sector. The racing team was renamed Tigron for 2150, which also saw the introduction of their own craft that used Qirex technology. A number of Qirex staff lost their jobs, and an even larger amount were suspectedly kidnapped from other professions to work on the Tigron craft. Howerver, the agressive methods Tigron used, both on and off the track, made Tigron one of the more favorited teams of the F7200/F9000 League. Tigron's antics (which also involved corruption iwth the F9000 Federation) lead to Tigron's downfall in 2170 in the Fall of the F9000. The Brotherhood's government fell soon after, leaving the former Qirex facilities derelect.

    But salvation came in the form of businessman Feliks Levovich. Levovich (born Feliks Stanovich) was born in 2140 and was the son of Qirex engineer, Lev. Lev had a great passion for everything Qirex, which he distilled into his son at an early age. Feliks was with Lev during the last race of the 2149 season, the last race for Qirex befor the change into Tigron for the next season. Taking the opportunity to retire, Lev spent his remaining years restoring a damaged 2127 Quantax Model 9 (used by Austen Graham) with his son assisting after school. Sadly, Lev’s health deteriorated over the years and he would succumb to heart failure in the winter of 2162.

    Meanwhile, Feliks had moved to the United Kingdom where he studied to become an entrepreneur with the goal to be involved in the management of AG racing. But to much of his luck, the F9000 fell as he was starting out with his professional career, so therefore, the effects of the fallout did not effect him very hard. Re-emerging two years later, Feliks (who had changed his surname to Levovich, after his father) successfully purchased the old Qirex-Tigron facilities and moved the two craft his father had left him (the Model 9 and a 2060s Model 6, piloted by Kel Solaar). Througout the depression, he kept himself busy by restoring old Qirex craft using parts from the factory. By 2179, he had restored 16 models.

    In that year, Levovich purchased and re-estabalish Qirex as an entity under his control and started maufacturing replacement parts for other Qirex enthusiasts. This proved to be fruitful with the rise of amateur AG racing during the 2180s. Levovich was present at the Anti-Gravity Rebirth Festival in 2185, where he displayed his collection of craft and promoted his brand. Eventually, the demand for parts and entire crafts had grown to such an extent, Levovich managed to employ engineering staff and restart production of Qirex craft for the first time in almost 40 years.

    Levovich was also an avid supporter of the FX150 Amateur League, supporting many pilots who used the old Qirex ships (and to a lesser extent, Tigron). When the FX300 League was announced in 2195, Levovich re-established the Qirex team and began designing a whole new craft. One key element he wanted was to make his new craft more balanced than the old Quantax models, partially because he didn't had the astronomical funding of the old team but he wanted the craft to be more accessable to pilots of average skill. In 2197, the first new Qirex was revealed for the first time. Designated LS97 in memorium of his late father, the craft was breath-taking, using a curved dual-hull that made it aerodynamic as well as lighter than it's predeccessor. In pre-season testing, it constantly rose above the opposition without it being quite bullish.

    Another welcome for the new team was the hiring of Adam Reznikov as the pilot. Reznikov was a descendent of the original founder of Qirex, Sergei Reznikov, a fact that was pointed out by Levovich when he was introduced to Reznikov. Reznikov had met Levovich some years prior to the FX300 through the FX150 where he piloted an older FEISAR craft in some European events. Quite impressed with Reznikov's style, Levovich signed him up as Qirex's test and FX300 pilot.

    The partnership between the LS97 and Reznikov proved successful. In it's first year of competition, Reznikov found himself in stiff competition angainst Alistair Hunter of the new Triakis team. But managed to scrape ahead on race wins to take the first FX300 title that year. This success was to continue with two more titles within the next three years, as well as consistant high-placed finishes in the seasons following. By the end of the FX300, Qirex had firmly established themselves as a strong contender in this new era of racing.

    Whist this new Qirex became a force in its own right, there was no denying its period under the "Tigron" banner. Levovich was uninterested in the old team, even detesting it so much he either destroyed most of the Tigron name from his facility and refused to recreate new models (he did produce replacement parts for the old craft for enthusiasts). However one final Tigron craft, the BULL-666 v5.0, remained from the old facility and never been raced. Initially all for the craft's destruction, it wasn't before the intervention of Denis Kosma, Qirex' lead engineer, who suggested to use the craft as a training ship for pilots to get accustomed to heavier ships. This ship raced under many pilot's hands (including current Qirex pilot Nadia Elenova) before it was scrapped after the FX300 League finished in 2206.

    Also, as with it's predecessor, controversy surrounded the Russian outfit. The first came from FEISAR, who sued Qirex over the use of the "LS" initials in their craft name, which FEISAR had been using since the start of the sport. Instead of simply changing the name, Levovich lobbied and comprimised hard so he can keep the LS initials. Eventually, Levovich settled to an undisclosed sim to FEISAR and the restiction that he can only us the initials if it's immediately followed by a year number (e.g. 2207 would be "07"), whilst FEISAR would continue to use the LS-XXXX designation.

    Another controversy was the rise of Quantax Dynamics. Natalia Yarochevskaya, one of the old engineers for Qirex, was not happy with the new designed Levovich had created, and that it went against the tried and tested Quantax models going back as far as the AGRC. Infuriated that her concerns were ignored, she set up her own team based on the old Quantax schematics. Although very stressed for money (getting corporate sponsorship from PUMA), she was determined to proved her point and eventually became a thorn in the side for Levovich. When the Quantax team start to score points in the series, Levocich decided from a compromise. Needing a ship for the FX350/400 Leagues, he agreed to used the old Quantax designs, but they were to use technology from the FX300 craft so it remained a balanced craft. Satisfied, Yarochevskaya shut down the team at the end of the FX300 and partnered with Levovich with the new craft.

    Lastly, this new Qirex seems to have dulled their extremily bitter rivalry with Auricom, who was still strong under the leadership of former FX150 pilot Jesse Fairbank. In a recent interview with the AG Network, Levovich maintains that the focus of Qirex is not to create a spectacle of the sport, but to simply be the best team out there. Fairbank shares this same view and acknowledges that Levovich's Qirex is indeed not the old Overtel Qirex. But still, their rivalry for on-track dominance still remains, and may it always remain. In one way, the rivalry between McQueen and Flaubert still lives on to this day.

  8. #38
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    After this, I plan to write up an "abridged" version on the invention of AG (when I mean abridged, I mean I'm not going to go into detail about the technology they researched or considered. Rather, an overview of the key events in development of the Nx1000. If anyone thinks this is too ambitious, just reply and I'll put it on hold)

    Apart from that, enjoy my next entry as I try to include PUMA's excessive promos in Pure into the mix...


    PUMA Delta Leagues 2205-6

    The re-emergence of AG racing by way of the FX300 was a major boom for sponsors as well as the competitors and fans of the League. Although small at the start, these gradually grew and by the time of the FX400 many companies supported the League through product partnerships, such as Jap Energy Drink’s partnership with FEISAR, all the way through to League sponsors such as ICOM Communications. But by far the most extravagant, and oldest sponsorships came from shoe company PUMA.
    PUMA was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler after a falling out with his brother, Adolf, which led to the two splitting their shoe company between them. Adolf’s half became Adidas (an anagram of his nickname “Adi” and DASsler) whilst Rudolf’s half became RUDA (RUdolf DAssler) before changing to PUMA. As such, PUMA and Adidas were fierce rivals for some years as private companies before being sold off to larger conglomerates after their founders’ deaths. But both companies became world renowned and became one of the top sporting companies in the world (behind American Nike and British Reebok).
    However, as time passed, changing tastes and market trends saw most of these brands decline over the next century some of which disappeared entirely (such as Adidas). PUMA was not immune from this trend also, gradually declining to manufacturing sporting shoes and clothing for competition use. Eventually, they diverted into research & development to investigate new technologies within their products.
    In the mid-22nd century, PUMA pioneered “Speed Legs” for Major League Football use. These bionic legs, patterned of hoofs from a racing horse, allowed players to run, jump and manoeuvre to lengths never before seen in the sport (much more than the high-spring derivatives that had been used since the 21st century). This saw a rebirth in the company, and helped them survive the 2170s depression resulting from the fall of the F9000. PUMA went to strength to strength in producing and promoting this and other related products and before long, they were the leading apparel company in the world (in close rivalry with 2nd Skin).
    With the re-emergence of AG racing at the end of the century, the executives at PUMA saw this as a prime area to branch into and began their association with the sport. At first, they produced pilots’ suits for smaller teams such as Van-Über and Goteki 45, before deciding to take it to the next level and sponsor the League. This was unsuccessful. Disgruntled, they went and upped their presence in the league by heavily sponsoring the Al-Vaskei and Quantax team for entry into the 2204 FX300 League. This proved to be a fruitless venture with neither team being very successful during their respective tenures in the league. In fact, Al-Vaskei has one of the worst finishing rates by percentage in racing history (second only to Icaras).

    But their most extravagant act was to come. During 2204, PUMA went to the FX300 Commission again, this time proposing a series of exhibition races to be run before the annual season starts. Somewhat more throughout than their previous venture, they stated that the series would seriously promote both the League and the PUMA brand around the world as well as provide an equal, friendly ground for the pilots to race on without team orders or reputations at stake. After serious convincing, the Commission eventually allowed the series on the provision it was to be organised mainly by the Commission in co-operation with PUMA executives.

    As such, the first PUMA Delta League was hosted on New Year’s Day in Vineta’s Entertainment Hub nearby Sinucit. Fans were divided over the design of the first track, named “Iridia” either admiring the semi-technical corners or the near vertical banking or disgusted over the amount of PUMA advertising adorning the track side. All those differences were put aside one the main attractions came into view. The line-up was the same from the previous year, except for the introduction of two new teams, both heavily sponsored and promoted by PUMA: Al-Vaskei Racing Developments, based in Saudi Arabia; and Quantax Dynamics, a Russian team instantly rivalling Qirex by using the old Quantax designs that Qirex used before their absorption into Tigron Enterprises in 2149.

    It was expected that the reigning champion, Elena Yakubu of Assegai, would get off to a good start having clinched the League a few months before. However, the predominately easy track did not play to the Assegai’s strengths and Yakubu ended up starting 5th for the race. As such, the faster teams, such as Triakis and Auricom, took the advantage of the fast track and posted fastest times. To a lot of people’s surprise, David Diaz managed to score pole for Auricom; he was followed by Vincent Stephenson for Triakis and Thanos Ikrausus for FEISAR.

    The first race got off spectacularly with Stephenson and Ferrai controlling the lead, followed closely by “Le Blur Rouge” Amy Senand (started 4th) and Ikrausus. This scrap continued for a few laps until a lucky plasma bolt by Auricom’s David Diaz debilitated both Ferrai and Senand, placing them far behind the leaders. Some more aggressive piloting by Diaz eventually saw Stephenson fall back, despite that military shielding. Diaz looked set for a win, but didn’t consider the small FEISAR of Ikrausus biding his time behind the Auricom. A quick missile on the last lap saw Ikrausus push past Diaz, and held him off to take the first race of the cup with Stephenson behind them both in third.

    The rest of the season saw a constant competition between Ikrausus, Diaz, Stephenson and Ferrai with Senand and Harimau’s Ronald Wong putting pressure on the top trio. At the next round on the split-tracked Anulpha Pass, Diaz pulled a good lead from the start and comfortably took out the race ahead of Ikrausus by one second. However, Ikrausus fought back at Koltiwa managing to fight back to a victory after a dismal qualifying (qualified in 6th), as well as Diaz being unlucky enough to have been bombarded with a rocket and a bomb on the third lap, cutting his dominant lead.

    Coming into the final round at Khara Descent, notable for its stepped back straight and guard-less inner edge, Ikrausus was leading Diaz by two points; their nearest opponent was Stephenson on 14 points. Unfortunately, what was expected to be a closely fought battle between the two leaders reached an anti-climax on the first lap: starting in third, Diaz was unlucky enough to have been hit with a quake just after hitting a string of mines deployed by Tauban Ferrai (started 2nd). Struggling to keep up with the front runners, Diaz had to settle for fourth, giving up the PUMA Delta League to Ikrausus.

    The 2205 FX300 was expected to be similar to the results of the Delta League, with Ikrausus leading FEISAR into a second season of glory. In fact, all of the front runners of the Delta League underperformed. Ikrausus achieved podiums in the first two races of the season, but became a mid-pack runner throughout the year, eventually placing 5th, 9 points ahead of Stephenson.

    That season was dominated by old rivals Senand (Piranha) and Adam Reznikov (Qirex), along with Andrew Dekka (AG Systems) and Liam Reid (Icaras). This was also reflected during the next Delta League in 2206. At the first round at Iridia, Amy Senand achieved a splendid victory with Maxim Tsyzyrev giving Quantax its second (and last) podium by finishing second, and Reznikov filling the podium in third. At the next Anulpha Pass, the all-too common sight of Senand versus Reznikov was showing, with both pilots taking the top two places respectively, with Dekka in third by two seconds.

    The next race at Koltiwa became quite an interesting race as at first a clear winner was hard to guess. Both Reznikov and Senand were obvious choices, but face stiff competition by third placed Liam Reid and Elena Yakubu of Assegai, with the latter managing to qualify second half a second behind Reznikov. The next couple of places comprised of Senand, Reid and Daniel Albrecht of Van-Über, all within a second of each other. During the race, Yakubu got off to a good start but struggled to stay ahead, eventually falling back to 5th within the first lap. She would manage to pass Albrecht to take fourth. Senand, Reznikov and Reid all shared the lead over the course of the race. Starting the last lap, it seemed that Reid would deliver Icaras their first win since returning to AG racing, but a rocket attack from Reznikov denied him of that. Reznikov would win that race, followed by Senand and Reid.

    Going into the final race, Reznikov, Senand and Reid were separated by only 3 points so, like last year, the League could’ve been anyone’s. Liam Reid of Icaras made his intentions clear by qualifying first for the race, narrowly beating Reznikov. During the race, Reid tried to pull a strong lead over Reznikov and Senand, but found himself in trouble after a quake by Maxim Tsyzyrev’s Quantax. Force on the defensive because of the Icaras’ poor shielding, he quickly found himself passed by Reznikov. But, now in the lead, Reznikov now found himself pressured by the other two leaders. It went down to the wire as the remaining laps fell, but the perseverance typical of Russian Rockets showed as Reznikov held off Reid and Senand to take the race and the League by four points.

    This stiff battle during the Delta League trickled its way into the season, but it was mainly behind a dominant Triakis team, who would take a clean season before being disqualified due to the Reverse-inertia Deceleration System on their crafts.

    Despite the success of the Delta Leagues socially, it didn’t translate into profits for PUMA, who decided to pull out of the sport completely when the sport was upgraded to FX400 specification. This wasn’t helped by Al-Vaskei’s liquidation and Quantax’s absorption into Qirex. However, their contribution to the AGRC had been impressive, with more interest by outside sponsors in the sport. Also, the Anulpha Pass track was chosen over the other Delta League tracks as the permanent configuration for the entertainment hub for use during FX350 League events.

  9. #39
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    yay, more story and...I want to say more though it seems like every time I get to start, I'm too exhausted from the day to comment much, and today is sadly no exception.

    I will say, again a lot to read and it gives me some ideas.

    I'll just say...I can't be the only one here who's wondered or even tired to draw some key people like Pierre Belmondo...assuming we can even have a basis on how to try to draw him, or anyone else really.

    Could try...

    Hopefully next time I'll speak, i'll have more worthwhile things to say.

  10. #40
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    I'd really like to see what a drawing of Pierre Belmondo would look like, or maybe a photo of someone and made that as Belmondo. Strange no-one has done it yet.

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