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Thread: Faster Than Angels

  1. #911
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 34.5

    The referenced album title of Part 34.4 was Fear of a Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree.

    [s2_26.5: Part 34.5] A Fragile Mind

    <22120809>

    Sunday, August 9th, 2212

    Nokav Vertigo, Rocky Mountains, USA.

    08:53:43

    The previous day's qualifier had put Angelus in 2nd and 8th position for the race, which went without a hitch, thanks to the software engineers' security update, which gave the team an immunity to Crinale's viral warfare. Gareth's craft did need some alignments and fine-tuning done to fix the damage the virus did to it, but the craft was back to its optimal performance in time to post a competitive time. However, said competitive time was not the best time the craft could do.

    "Tch, if only we had more time, I could have put in a better time." Gareth commented, "I didn't do the Xygen justice, I'm sorry."

    "It's alright, just relax." Brandon replied. "You did what you could, we all did. The starting position is not the be-all-end-all, the race is what matters."

    "Yeah, you're right. I'll be able to catch up to Kyoko... I think."

    "That's the spirit! Now go on, the 5 minute warning should sound an-"

    "Warning. 5 minutes remain until race begins. All pilots please move to the start line in your relative positions." The announcement sounded, cutting Brandon off just as he was mentioning said announcement.

    "...ahem, as I was saying."

    "Yeah, I'll get going now. See you on the other side of the race."

    Gareth then ran off, heading for his craft, which was in position, ready for him to enter and get ready. Kyoko, on the other hand, was already in her craft, waiting for the race to start. But, for the first time since she flew for Angelus, she was scared. Syncline knew... of course they did, they seemed to know about a lot of things pertaining to this horrid league, that would explain her visits to Angelus itself.

    However... what she could not forgive... was that they could not keep their mouths shut...

    "And for that... they need to pay!"

    3, 2, 1... GO!
    <09:00:00_>
    <nokav vertigo: short fwd_>
    <race: lap 01 of 109_>

    02.
    FUJ616.0.43.194 (#43 | Kyoko Fujisaki | AX2.0_r2)
    04. ERI220.1.99.175 (#99 | Halvred Erikson | V.ult-2X1024)
    08. ARD889.1.19.194 (#19 | Gareth Ardos | AX2.0_r2)
    11. SCA308.0.7.329 (#7 | Lucia Scarlatti | F0-RA8/00095)
    12. TUR847.1.13.329 (#13 | Leon Turner | F0-RA8/00127)

    <strobo migraine | callasoiled_>


    The craft shot off the line, and as usual, Crinale set about attacking the competition, gaining offensive weapons to make their gradual climb towards the lead. Fortunately, Gareth was able to avoid most of their barrages, catching up to Hal and Kyoko, who were in 2nd and 3rd respectively. However, when he caught up to them, what he saw shocked and confused him.

    When the race started, Kyoko's higher thrust Xygen rocketed away from Hal's 'Vulture', but she let him catch up to her once he had gotten his speed up. Once he passed her, she began her revenge. She ditched her speed-based racing technique and became more violent towards the red and purple craft. She was actively trying to eliminate Hal. Since it was just her, Hal decided to ignore and evade her, aiming for the top position. Unfortunately, Kyoko was having none of it, as her faster, more agile craft could easily keep up with him without breaking a sweat, where she continued to fire her weapons at him. It was getting to the point where if Hal didn't stop ignoring her, he would be eliminated fairly quickly.

    "...Kyoko? Are... you okay?" Gareth spoke, after catching up to the two craft battling.

    "Perfectly fine. Why do you ask?" Came the reply of the 'faceless' pilot.

    "You... seem to be... how should I put this... in the mindset of Crinale."

    "Please, they're worse. I'm just delivering some well-deserved revenge."

    "'Well deserved'? What did they do? ...Oh, whatever, it's not important, just let them go."

    "You let go. Keep that lead spot warm for me, I'll be there once Syncline learns to keep their damn mouth shut about sh*t they don't understand!"

    "Rockets"

    That point blank attack pushed Hal back, but he wasn't going to let that defeat him.

    "Missiles"

    He attacked back, impeding Kyoko's progress. Due to that battle commencing, Gareth decided to heed Kyoko's advice, and blast out in front, slowly reeling in the lead spot, but not before taking the full brunt of the heavier Vulture, as Hal's more violent solo racing style took over. The attack required some quick thinking on the Angelus pilot to regain control from the ram. However, he was back on track, and resumed aiming for 1st place.

    Many laps later, though, the inevitable happened.

    <contender eliminated_>

    Someone had been eliminated. Gareth, who was in a battle of racing skill and strategies with the craft in first place, naturally assumed Kyoko had finally eliminated Hal.

    'Tch, what's with her? What did they do to her to cause her to go haywire?' He thought, before speaking to his teammate. "Hey, Kyoko, you finally get him?"

    The response was... not what he expected.

    "Ah... about that..."

    ------------
    09:06:47

    As Gareth shot off with an amazing acceleration, Kyoko and Hal continued their battle, trading blow after blow. Despite the overall violent nature of their battle, their attacks were quite different, Kyoko taking advantage of the Xygen's light weight and agility to dodge and dart about, making it difficult for Hal to hit her, while also refraining from letting him escape her grasp, bringing him back down to where she was to resume the battle. Hal's technique was more direct, making use of his Vulture's heavy frame to, as well as firing weapons at the white, agile craft, ram into said craft whenever he got the chance to.

    'Khh, what's with her?' Hal thought, 'Usually she'd be shying away from violence, not taking part in it.'

    Naturally, since he was not aware of what Kat had done, he had no idea for Kyoko's reasons for attacking him. Nevertheless, he continued defending himself, but the constant hold ups of being attacked in the first place brought the two pilots down in the ranks, albeit not by much. He kept his defences up, while continuing to go all out on Kyoko.

    Kyoko kept forcing weapon after weapon into the purple and red craft, becoming increasingly annoyed in the process.

    "Tch, come on! How much sh*t do I have to pump into you?! I should have done enough damage to eliminate you already, even if you've been absorbing weapons!"

    Her increasing annoyance was stemming from two sources. The first was the more obvious fact that Hal was not as defensively weak as she had initially anticipated. He could cover his bases quite nicely, something she naturally didn't see due to all of their other races that she had observed showed the two working together to aid the other. With this race, though, she could see Hal's natural racing talent, and close-up from her insistence on eliminating him.

    The second source of her annoyance was her craft. Or more specifically, the shielding system. Another reason why she thought Hal should have been defeated by that point was the fact that her own shields were nearing the end of their usage. She was about to be eliminated. Or so she thought. As she ran over a weapon pad, the image that displayed in her HUD gave her a rather difficult choice.

    She could potentially go for the kill and fire the Plasma at Hal, but also run the risk of missing. Alternatively, she could absorb it for a rather sizeable and much needed increase to her shield energy.

    "...Agh, screw it! Haaaiiii-YA!"

    She charged and fired the plasma right at Hal... who took the hit, but was still not yet out. Although, he was dangling on an extremely thin wire, having his shield energy percentage go down to just single digits. As the white craft passed him, he unleashed something that was only seen twice before.

    "Im-flash"

    The super-weapon of Syncline was a homing projectile weapon similar in design to a missile. However, it, like Angelus' Railgun, dealt no direct damage. The weapon temporarily messed with the hud and other visual and aural inputs, effectively blinding the pilot to the outside, as well as not allowing warnings from incoming weapons to be announced to them. Kyoko was, reasonably, hitting the walls, removing more of her shielding. And, just as the weapon wore off...

    "Bomb"

    Instinctively, the girl flicked her right wrist, making the light craft sideshift, avoiding the explosive device by a minuscule amount. As she soared past the failed attempt to eliminate her, she let out a sigh, passing Hal and taking a particularly sharp corner. Hal had learned how she acted through corners by watching her as they battled, however, and was ready to strike at the opportune moment.

    "Plasma"
    <contender eliminated_>


    A short yelp from Kyoko was the final and only thing that she was able to do, ending her race at the hands of Hal.
    Last edited by Ace3000; 20th April 2017 at 06:22 AM.

  2. #912
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 34.6

    The referenced album title of Part 34.5 was The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails. Remember this, it will be important... maybe.

    [s2_26.6: Part 34.6] THREELAYERPOSTRACESTRUCTURE

    <22120809>

    Sunday, August 9th, 2212

    Nokav Vertigo, Rocky Mountains, USA.

    10:06:57

    It was a close race, but the overall winners of the race by mere milliseconds were Wyvern, just snatching the victory from Angelus. However, Brandon had some words for Kyoko.

    "Hey, what was that just now? I understand what you're going through, but that performance was... how should I put it... ah. I've let you keep somewhat of an open mind when making your racing strategies, except when it's absolutely necessary, because you know what is to be expected of Angelus. However, that performance was really pushing the envelope. We must race pure, Kyoko, do not fall into the F12000's trap. Do not give in to the violence."

    Kyoko just sat there, looking down at the floor. When he finished speaking to her, she bowed deeply.

    "I am sorry. I am so sorry... I do not know what came over me, I just... I just felt like I had to eliminate him. It will not happen again, I promise."

    Brandon smiled. "That's what I like to hear. Anyway, let's go back now that it's all over."

    ------------
    On the other end, Hal had something to do as soon as the race was over for him. He picked up his phone and called a certain someone.

    "Yeah?" The voice on the other end answered.

    "Hey Nikole, it's Hal. Um... I, uh, just thought you needed to know something."

    "Go on."

    "It's Kyoko. She was acting rather odd in that race. She was going for me, only me."

    "What do you mean?"

    "She was trying to eliminate me. She was being quite forceful about it too."

    A brief silence came from Nikole's end, before she responded. "...Interesting. Well, I'll keep that in mind. Thank you."

    "Not a problem. Later."

    He put the phone down, and stayed there. He could have left at any time, however, there was something he had planned. for that day.

    ------------
    17:30:13

    Throughout the past two weeks, a certain couple had been catching up with each other over the phone since they had met up in Germany. For the first time since then, they were able to meet up again, after the race. When they finally met up, and they were sure that no-one could see them, they embraced each other with a large, warm hug.

    "Aaaahhhh, it's felt like forever since we could actually see each other!" Lucia greeted Hal.

    "It does feel nice to finally meet up again. How've you been holding up?"

    I've been okay, not too bad. Missed you though. How about you?"

    Hal let out a small chuckle, then replied.

    "Yeah... much of the same. So what about Nokav? How did that treat you."

    "With Crinale's heavy-ass craft? It was quite a challenge, I have to admit... but I liked it, it was the good kind of challenge."

    "Ah, yeah, you have traditional airbrakes. Syncline's are quite unique, so on that course, we had an alright time."

    "Ever the competitor, aren't you?"

    "Oh, come on, it's fun, isn't it?" Hal laughed.

    "Well... I would be completely lying if I didn't enjoy racing."

    Lucia had a smile on her face, but she was holding her arm, looking away. It seemed like that smile was an attempt at hiding her true emotions, which Hal picked up on.

    "Lucia... are you alright?"

    "I..."

    She had thought about lying to him, but had somehow gained the inability to do so, due to her mental self-promise.

    "...no. I'm not. Hal, I... I heard something I wasn't supposed to... a-about... Crinale."

    "...when was this?" He looked at her more intensely

    "Right after the German race."

    Hal's shoulders drooped.

    "Of course... why didn't you tell me this earlier?"

    "It... it wasn't something I could tell you over the phone. I had to tell you in front of you." She looked up at him, looking somewhat distraught. Whatever she heard, Hal thought, it must have been pretty bad. But that was Crinale, if only she knew what that team was up to...

    "It's okay, I'm here now, just tell me."

    With a nod, Lucia told him of every word she had heard her team director say. Hal looked at her directly, taking in every word. When she had finished, there was a small silence, as he processed everything she said.

    "...Yeah, that fits exactly with what I know of them, and a certain other group of interest Syncline have been investigating."

    "H-huh?"

    "Oh, trust me, Crinale are definitely corrupt, it's not your imagination." He thought for a moment more, before speaking again. "...[sigh], you're a smart, good girl, you need to know."

    "I-what? Know what?" She looked up at him, her anger rising ever so slightly. "Also, I don't think I care for you treating me like a kid. I got that sh*t from my parents, I don't need you giving me that too."

    "Wh... I... I'm sorry, that wasn't my intention. But what I'm about to tell you is the truth. I know how you feel about Crinale, so I know you can take what I'm about to tell you."

    Lucia just kept looking at him, curious and afraid. Hal took this as a sign to continue, so he did.

    "Crinale are very much corrupt. They've had a past of using stolen and illegal technologies to get their wins. But they were much tamer in the past. They made an attempt to make a league similar to the F9000, and, according to some of our sources, that is exactly what they've done, with this, the F12000. Ah, let me explain the F9000 to you, and why it's so bad. It was controlled by a corporation called Overtel, who were corrupt beyond belief. Quite a lot of races were fixed, financial irregularities ran amongst some teams and blackmailing had definitely occurred. A lot of people died there. It... it was practically war, with weapons taking more precedence than it should. This Crinale are making it happen all over again, just for everyone's entertainment. It's only a matter of time before the blackmailing and race fixings happen again..."

    "I-I... wh-wha-?"

    Lucia was in disbelief. Her racing team, her career... was run through corruption? She... just wanted to race... that's all she wanted to do... and yet... and yet... he was still acting like her parents. She wanted to believe him, but...

    "God damn it... not you too... why is everyone trying to f*cking stop me from racing?!"

    "I'm not... I want you to race. I can see the passion in your eyes. But... that's the truth about your team. We're working on stopping it, we are. You can have your perfect race, you won't be forced to use weapons even when you don't need to use them, I promise you, Lucia. I... I'm telling you this because I love you, not because I want you to quit doing what you love."

    The girl looked down. She had been quick to judge, and she started to realise her mistake in doing so. He did want her to race, he could see how much she enjoyed it. But still, whenever she got angry like this, she stayed like that for a long while, so she was also still pissed off at him. On top of that, it was a lot of harsh information to take in, so she also felt lost, unsure of what she should do, if anything at all. Shaking her head, she looked back up at him, her face clearly showing that she was flooded with emotions.

    "L-look... I'll forgive you. Not now, but eventually. I... I must go, I have a lot to take in."

    Not waiting for a response, she promptly spun on her heel, and walked out of the building they were talking in, clearly wanting to return to a place where she could have some time to herself to process all of that information, getting too far deep into something she didn't understand, apart from knowing it was clearly very bad. But she needed to plan what she was going to do with the new info, as she could not just go back to her normal life after this.

  3. #913
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 35.1

    The referenced album title of Part 34.6 was THREELAYERSTRUCTURETHEORY by Calla Soiled.

    [s2_27.1: Part 35.1] An Umbra Called Crinale

    <22120821>

    Friday, August 21st, 2212

    Monte Carlo Nouveau, Monte Carlo, Monaco

    11:05:30

    The next course in the roster was Monte Carlo Nouveau, a course that contained copied sections of the antique circuit, scaled up for the larger size and higher speed of the F-class craft. The course itself was situated several meters above the original road that constituted the course. The actual road was still being used for other road races, for cars that could fit within the road's dimensions.

    After a several very fast runs, a certain F12000 pilot set about making her own strategy for the race. She made note of all the points in which she could use her craft's high thrust output to gain the advantage over the competition. However, that was naturally stopped when a higher ranking individual, employed by Viktor, walked past her room, seeing the plans laid out.

    "What the hell is this? You don't need a strategy like this, you are paid to race our way." The head mechanic said.

    "Not this crap again." Lucia sighed, before lying to them. "Look, it's only half the plan, you need to go fast to win. The other half comes from being violent."

    The eyes staring into her narrowed. They knew of her difficulties in the past, as such not buying her story for one second. "Are you testing me? Do you believe you can lie to me?"

    "Of course not. However, I was signed on for my racing talent. Do you believe you can hold my talent back like you're doing now?"

    "SILENCE!" They yelled at her. "You will not speak to a superior like that! Y-"

    Lucia clicked her tongue and rolled her eyes, interrupting them "Listen, the pilots are the most important people. You cannot tell me what to do or how to do it. I'll race my own way, without interference, or you can just simply say goodbye to your amazing talent as she walks out the f*cking door."

    As the young girl stood smugly with her hands on her hips, she did not see the the head mechanic pull the object from the pocket their hand was in the whole time and, gripping it tightly, slash her face with it with a speed so fast the object became almost invisible with how much it blurred across the air.

    "Agh!"

    The resulting attack caused Lucia to fall to the floor, her injury not even having time to cause her any pain. However, when it did...

    "A-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

    She held her hand up to the wound, yelling out in pain. The mechanic looked down their nose at the crumpled heap of the girl, scoffing disgustedly while they slipped the screwdriver back into their pocket.

    "I sure hope that serves as a lesson, young lady. You will race for Crinale. You will race and you will race our way. Let that be a lesson to never go against us. Understood?"

    Lucia responded by continuing to breathe heavily, remaining in the position she had found herself in on the floor. The head mechanic took that opportunity to walk over to the plans she had laid out, and take them, which included her half-completed strategy. Their final fate were going to be destruction, as the head mechanic left, not even paying the shocked, injured Lucia any mind.

    Slowly, silently, she looked at her hand. Instead of the usual pale colour, a glistening red hue took its place. She was bleeding, the screwdriver must have cut deeper into her than she had thought. Although, with that said, she did not recall the actual attack, only that she had found herself on the floor afterwards, the sharp, searing pain taking precedence shortly thereafter. But she realised that she could not lie there on the ground all day. Finding enough energy to stand up, she slowly left, her hair covering half her face. She let another, different higher-up that she was returning to her hotel room.

    Of course, this was a lie. Upon leaving the circuit grounds, she began her search, moving throughout Monte Carlo, looking through every single bar and hotel in search of the one person that could help her, the one she was the least pissed off at. Finally, after looking in the final building, she gave in, slowly and reluctantly pulling her phone out and sending a text out.

    "Where are you?"

    A few minutes later, she got a reply. He was in a hotel she had checked earlier. She had just missed him. She set off, running towards and into the hotel.

    "Lucia, he- what the hell?" Were the first words to come out of Hal's mouth upon seeing her, as she entered his room.

    She began to explain what had happened prior. His face changed from curious, to intrigued, to somewhat shocked. Finally, he calmed down.

    "They... what?" He finally spoke. "Show me."

    "No."

    "Lucia, please. If you don't show me, I can't help you."

    "I don't want you to see me like this."

    "I need to see it, Lucia. I need to know. Please, show me."

    "You 'need to see it'? Please, no-one needs to see it."

    "Lucia, look. You aren't invincible. Wounds, especially facial wounds, can become more hazardous to your health if left alone. Please, I care about you... just... show me."

    She looked down sadly, not because she lost the argument, but because she was still afraid. Afraid to show the one person she cared this much about something that horrific. She raised her arm to brush her hair aside, but then dropped it. Hal moved closer to her, raised an arm slowly and, when she didn't flinch to his movements, brushed her hair aside.

    "...Sh*t. They did this to you?!"

    "Goddamn it. This was why I didn't want to show you. It's not that big a-"

    "Not that big a deal? Bullsh*t. I... I care about you... to me, it is a big deal, nothing will change that. Now come, let's treat that."

    He sat her down and treated her wounds, using a first aid kit he had, which sat in his room. When he was finished, and her wounds treated, she stood up. He did as well, checking out his work, seeing if he missed any areas.

    "Th-thanks for that. I... I appreciate it."

    "It was nothing! Nothing at all! I care about you, my friend, that's all that matters."

    In a soft voice, she replied. "No it's not, it's more than just simply caring about a friend."

    With that, she turned to face the man whose face was close enough to hers. She didn't have to move far forward for her lips to meet his.

    "Mmm?!"

    She held that position for several long moments, neither of them pulling away. In fact, Hal reciprocated, kissing back. The passion, the pure emotion that went into the kiss was more than either of them had ever expressed before, let alone to each other. Their arms soon found their way around the other, holding each other in an embrace as their lips remained pressed together.

    She wanted to be here, living this one moment forever. The feel of human contact made her feel like everything was okay, the feel of Hal's arms around her, his lips pressed against hers... it was euphoric. She never wanted to let go, and she was so sure that Hal felt the same way. In fact, it was like, in that embrace, each other's feelings, their emotions, were displayed in full view of the other. She had never felt this way about any other person in her life, such that she never thought she had the capacity to feel these emotions in the first place. But here she was, completely enthralled by Hal. This... this was love, pure and simple.

    Eventually, Lucia was the one to break the kiss, but not because she wanted to.

    "I... I want to stay, I really do, but I need to go. Those assholes need to still think I'm loyal to them. Don't worry, they'll eventually pay their dues, but I can't do sh*t right now."

    Hal just smiled. "It's okay, I understand. Just... Stay safe." He let go of her.

    She pulled herself towards him for another hug, "I'll try." She spoke into his chest, before breaking contact and running back to the hotel Crinale rented out.
    Last edited by Ace3000; 30th June 2017 at 04:40 AM.

  4. #914
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 35.2

    This part was an experiment to me, being written in a unique way that I have never attempted before. Nothing and no-one are referred to by name, and there is zero dialogue in this part. Still, I hope you enjoy it.

    The referenced album title of Part 35.1 was Umbra by Boom Boom Satellites.

    [s2_27.2: Part 35.2] Rage Against Everything

    <22120823>

    Sunday, August 23rd, 2212

    Monte Carlo Nouveau, Monte Carlo, Monaco

    13:55:14

    <swamp | callasoiled_>

    One pilot, due to previous events, had made her presence less known, but her higher ups were still aware of her being there, and as such had prepared her craft. Like the past two days, she had her hair draped over her face where a wound lay. Because of them being the cause of her wound, she had also been actively avoiding her team's head mechanic, however it was only technicians that were dealing with her craft.

    Wordlessly, she climbed onto and entered the craft. After getting herself properly seated, she performed the final checks on the craft, the diagnostics being sent to the technicians. When they had received the data, and perceived it as being normal, they gave the okay to have the craft moved up to the track proper, where it sat on the grid, ready for the race to begin.

    When the craft's brace had brought it up, its pilot flipped all but one of the final group of switches. The last one, the ignition switch, was flipped for the briefest of moments. A low rumbling noise soon turned into a high-pitched whine, as the craft's unique thrust system gained power. As she looked upon the different racing craft developed by different racing teams ahead of her, she wondered briefly what it would be like to race for them. Would they let her race however she wanted? Or would she have to follow a strict racing style like the team she raced for?

    Her brief daydream was, however, cut short. The race's countdown had started, which pulled her out of it. She quickly built up the craft's thrust, waiting for the moment the green light appeared to release that thrust to launch off the line. The high thrust output of the unique system ensured that her craft would get to the higher places quickly, which was a good thing, because two days were not enough time for her to recover mentally from the attack she received.

    She was eventually passed by several craft, even, briefly, by her own teammate. She was racing far from 100%, as her mind was clouded by a mishmash of emotions, which blended together into one massive lump of uncertainty. She was not feeling right, about herself, about her team, or about what she should do or how to go about it doing it. Despite that, being passed by the other similarly coloured craft forcibly brought her far enough out of the depths of her mind to pass it and stay ahead of it, but she still wasn't at her usual limit.

    That was because, while racing less passively than before, she was still piloting her craft subconsciously. She navigated through the course through sheer memorisation of the twisty, elevated course, and was using her weapons moderately, just to slow the competition down. It was a racing style she was able to use when she wasn't trying to cater to one of the two extremes: Pure, weapon-less runs or violent, weapon heavy racing. The racing style usually came up when she wasn't actively thinking about racing, but wasn't her true default style, which was her pure style.

    After racing like that for a long time, her mind still preoccupied, she saw it.

    One lone craft, clad in a white and azure paintjob...

    Cutting through the sky so cleanly, so majestically...

    They look so happy...

    ...

    The girl's uncertainty began to change, one solitary emotion growing, changing.

    It was changing to a deep rage, but it was more than that...

    ...Hatred, for the team that would do anything to get their way, even resorting to violence to have their pilots fly their way, even if her way would garner more results...

    ...Fear, for what they might do to her if she were to defect to a team that would let her do her own thing...

    ...and Jealousy, for her forced-upon arch-rivals, who looked so happy, and flew in a racing style that she preferred...

    She was a racing prodigy, she knew how to win... but her talent was being impeded by them... forcefully...

    <my violent heart (instrumental) | nine inch nails_>

    The rage within her grew to such an extent that she could no longer hold it inside her. At that point, she silently exploded. They had got what they wanted, the girl had begun to race more violently than she ever had. Her rage was poured into the controls of the craft as she gripped her craft's controls. Her mind was slowly clearing up, her racing becoming more of a conscious task.

    She gritted her teeth as she actively pressed forward, catching up to them by firing every single offensive weapon she received into the craft representing the team she was the most jealous at. To the other team ahead of her, though, it was seemingly just like any other race. They thought it was just violence as usual, without knowing that it was more than that, that it was a very effective outlet for her built-up pressure.

    Her rage was so great, that she had actually started doing something she had never tried before. Pulling alongside the white craft, she shifted her craft to the side, ramming into the craft. Pulling away from the craft, she did it again, and again, and again, until she received something that, when unleashed, could very well represent the pilot's own vast rage.

    Pulling back so her black craft was behind the opposite coloured one, she charged the massively powerful weapon, and fired. A bright blue beam shot out from the craft's front, hitting the one ahead of it. A few seconds passed between the beam making contact, and the craft's shields becoming destabilised, failing and eliminating that particular pilot. Shifting sideways again, out of the way of the rapidly decelerating craft, the angry, upset young pilot continued to race forth.

    Reaching the second light craft after bombarding the other racers with weapons and rams from her craft, some avoidable, some not, the pilot started actively attacking them. All of a sudden, her vision began to blur. She was able to blink and shake it away, but it would just return after a few seconds. It was then she realised the blurriness was stemming from her tears, streaming down her face, from attacking the team she was the most jealous at, the team that, after this, would most likely not accept her, even if her current team would let her leave to pursue her own team, her own career.

    Nevertheless, her tears did not slow her down, she kept on, firing weapon after weapon into it, and then ramming the craft, first from behind as it slowed down from the weapons' damage, then from the side as it regained its speed. She had started to become very emotional, yet despite those emotions coming to the surface, her rage persisted, still being as strong as ever.

    The only time she would lose ground over the craft was by one of the two rather hard, tight corners. Otherwise, she would be right on top of them, whittling down their shield energy just that bit more. The pilot of the remaining white craft proved to be more skilled than the other that fell, but it was still not a challenge for a prodigal racer. Even when the odd weapon or two hit her and she fell back, the amount of effort to return back to following the craft at a very short distance was not overly much.

    The white craft gracefully rounded the tightest hairpin of the course, pulling away from the looming black craft. The pilot of said craft following them launched their final attack on that particular team. A large, unavoidable weapon was fired, guaranteed their elimination from the race. The already critical shields took the final hit, which reduced their energy to zero. The black craft shot past, the pilot looking back at the remains of the craft.

    As she looked back forward, having given that particular team what she thought was an accurate representation of how enraged she was, she set about finishing the race, not hesitating to fire weapons into any craft that stood between her and the finish line. It was not a victory by any means of the word, and even if it was, she would still not feel satisfied, as she was still part of a team that she actively disliked.

    Her fear of what they would do if she did leave kept her from doing so. She had become a prisoner to her own feelings, her own fear, and like how was proven in that race, something would eventually have to give way, it would not stay like this forever. Pressure was constantly being built up within her, and only time would tell when she could not take any more, and would release it all.
    Last edited by Ace3000; 30th June 2017 at 04:39 AM.

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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 36

    The referenced album title of Part 35.2 was the self-titled album by Rage Against the Machine.

    [s2_28.0: Part 36.0] The Takeover is Happening

    <22120829>

    Friday, August 29th, 2212

    Somewhere in South Korea.

    12:05:58

    "Lucia, meet your friend's brother, Sterling."

    Hal had taken Lucia to accompany him to meet up with Sterling Turner, the older brother of Leon. While Leon acted more intellectually, Sterling acted more physically, being the leader of a certain private military company, whom Syncline often sought their services. The man looked down at the girl and raised an eyebrow.

    "Ah, so you are her. Pleasure to meet your acquaintance, Lucia. Hal has told me a lot about you."

    She blinked. "Hal? I thought you'd have also heard about me from Leon."

    Sterling smiled back. "Ah, him. Let's just say we both think the other's a humongous bell-end."

    "A what now?"

    "They don't like each other." Hal chimed in. "Well, either way, we're here for a reason, I'm sorry for going off-topic."

    He shook his head. "It's fine, I guess. Anyway, I only know of the Crinale name because of my tosspot brother being a pilot for them. I've spoken with the boss numerous times, and he seems convinced now is the right time to destroy them from the inside."

    "They're a corrupt team that'd do anything to win." Lucia said passionately, "We're going to destroy them so that corruption dies too."

    Hal turned to the her. "Lucia, I believe you can help us, but this job isn't without consequences. A small mistake could mean your life if you're lucky, are you sure you wan-"

    "-I know they're corrupt, and they also slashed my beautiful face open. I. Want. Them. Dead."

    "Great, I knew you'd do it." Stirling said cheerfully.

    Lucia looked to Sterling. "Alright, how are we gonna plan this? Wouldn't be as simple as going up to Viktor and killing him, I'd think."

    "Very true, although I doubt he can defeat me in combat. With a solid strategy, we will be able to end him. So, let's begin planning it out..."

    ------------
    <22120831>

    Monday, August 31st, 2212

    Angelus R&D HQ, Perth, Australia.

    12:05:58

    Two people were standing over a half-built machine, while Angelus technicians were working on it. That half-built machine was an AG Pod, in the process of being constructed.

    "There has been a recent development that will change everything to do with this." Brandon spoke to Nikole. "It appears that we don't need a sample to maximise the effectiveness."

    "Does that mean-" Nikole started, before being cut off by Brandon.

    "Yes. We will be able to build them and put them to use as soon as we can now."

    "That's fantastic, but what exactly was the development that didn't require the chemical?"

    "In all honesty, I should have grabbed this data while my team and I were planning it. I obtained a chemical make-up of our subject before everything went to hell. That gave me all I needed to create a filter that kept everything except that chemical make-up out."

    "Fascinating. How old was that sample?"

    "2205, taken from Sydney."

    "Alright, that's good enough. When would they be completed?"

    "The first should be completed in October, there's still some fine-tuning to be done to get it absolutely right. After that, though, they should take about a fortnight or two to be constructed."

    "Excellent. Keep the first here, we'll take a few, and if we need more, we'll let you know."

    "Sure thing."

    "Oh, another thing. The basic strategies of the plan to take Crinale has been laid out."

    "Oh, right?"

    "It would take a while to complete the plans. We've got the best person we know working with us."

    "It seems like there are lots of people now rising up against this new Crinale. Even my old employees."

    "What's that supposed to mean?"

    "I believe they call themselves CO; Crinale Originals. They were the original 13 Angelus employees that split off to form Crinale. Alex has recently been in contact with them."

    As Nikole opened her mouth, Brandon continued, not giving her a chance to speak. "I have overseen a couple conference calls, and I can definitely say they're on our side, they want Crinale back in Alex's hands."

    "Really? I have seen some of them, they only mention an OE-0."

    "It's a codename for a certain mutual enemy we all have." He smiled. "It is a need to know basis kinda thing, but I figure that we all need each other's help. Yours, mine, Alex's and the COs. We've all agreed to do the same thing, so I might as well make an attempt to bring everyone together and up to speed."

    "Well, thank you for that. We'll do some more investigating into things."

    "Fair enough. I will also let them know that Syncline are helping them. Oh, with your consent, that is."

    Nikole closed her eyes, shrugged and looked the other way. "Do what you must. As you said, we are all fighting against a mutual enemy. I don't mind if they know of our intentions."

    "Alright, thank you."

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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 37.05

    A Letter Found in the Room of A Certain F12000 Pilot.

    <22121108>

    Sunday, November 8th, 2212




    Click the baton thingy to open the letter. If you're having difficulties reading it because of the transparency, here's a version without.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Ace3000; 18th March 2017 at 07:24 AM.

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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 37.1

    You thought that one image constituted as a part? You thought wrong, here's the actual part!

    The referenced album title of Part 36 was This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem.

    [s2_29.1: Part 37.1] 2212: A Pilot's Odyssey

    <22121108>

    Sunday, November 8th, 2212

    Omega Harbour, Perth, Australia.

    19:51:02

    Angelus were more relaxed than usual, which was natural considering the course they were on, this time on the more difficult medium course.

    "Alright, Omega Harbour round 2. The best thing we can do is make an attempt to not have a repeat of last time. The true challenge is not the yellow run, but the red. In any case, like the last race here, I expect less weapon use than usual, but I won't be angry if you do end up using them as usual... just don't overdo it. Anyway, that should be all, You guys know what to do and how to do it. Good luck!"

    As the personnel exited the room to do their assigned tasks for the race, Catherine entered, having been let through by the guards.

    "Hey, Brandon, I wanted to cheer you guys on... even though I'm not supposed to have favourites when working at the AGRC... but whatever, it appears that I didn't have to work today, so here I am."

    Brandon shrugged and smiled warmly. "I don't mind, make yourself at home."

    "Thanks! ...Ah, that's right! I'm also here to see Alex."

    "Of course! She's right here, so you can come in and catch up."

    "Cool!"

    As Catherine walked in, she saw her girlfriend sitting at the desk.

    "Hey you!" She smiled.

    "Catherine, hi!" Alex greeted.

    "I'm needing to observe the race, so I'll take my leave. Have fun, you two!" Brandon said, getting up and returning to the control room, the race almost ready to start.

    "Sorry I'm late." He said as he entered. "I'm just glad I got here before the race started."

    "Well, it's not like we have to talk our pilots through, right?" A team member said.

    "'Course not! This'll be easy."

    "That's what you said last time."

    "Ugh... don't remind me of that."

    "Seriously, what happened in that race, we definitely had it... and then we didn't."

    "I'm putting it down to bad luck. Besides, we can't win 'em all."

    "Yeah, guess not. But really, our home course?"

    "Quite a few teams have lost on their home course this season, it's not really a big deal at this point... oh, wait, here we go."

    3, 2, 1......

    ------------
    Several minutes earlier...

    Just as Kyoko had finished preparing for the race, she found a note lying conspicuously in the room.

    'How did that get here?' She thought, 'Moreover, what exactly is it?'

    She picked it up and began to read it in the few minutes she had remaining until the 5 minute warning.

    "What... the hell? Is he for real? FINE. If it's a race you want, it's a race you'll get. There's a reason you're 2nd, Gareth! Screw Brandon's stupid purity, I'll be as violent as I want to be. I'll eliminate you so hard your stupid craft will be a smouldering wreck on the side of the track! ARGH!"

    She stormed out of the room to her craft, getting in and performing the final checks before entering the grid.

    Finally, the race was about to begin...

    3, 2, 1... GO!
    Last edited by Ace3000; 18th March 2017 at 12:37 PM.

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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 37.2

    The referenced album title of Part 37.1 was A Funk Odyssey by Jamiroquai, which is a reference of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    [s2_29.2: Part 37.2] Plans Falling Apart

    <22121108>

    Sunday, November 8th, 2212

    Omega Harbour, Perth, Australia.

    <4001 | squarepusher_>

    3, 2, 1... GO!
    <20:00:00_>
    <omega harbour: med fwd_>
    <race: lap 01 of 67_>

    01.
    FUJ616.0.43.194 (#43 | Kyoko Fujisaki | AX2.0_r2)
    02. ARD889.1.19.194 (#19 | Gareth Ardos | AX2.0_r2)
    12. SCA308.0.7.329 (#7 | Lucia Scarlatti | F0-RA8/00095)
    19. TUR847.1.13.329 (#13 | Leon Turner | F0-RA8/00127)


    The craft exploded off the line, Angelus more so than the rest, as the two pilots were hell bent on defeating each other. The medium course ran through the second half of the course, and the only official route that contained the 900 spiral.

    "And so it begins." Gareth said, psyched up for the race that meant the most to him.

    The two Xygen Vs gained no ground over one another until the first corner, where Kyoko slipped ahead. Gareth had slowly shifted from his usual racing style, into his unparalleled zone run style, even though it had been proven to him on more than one occasion that the racing style was ill suited for an actual race, due to the use of weapons. However, on this occasion, he somehow ended up avoiding most of the weapons fired at him.

    With his newly adapted racing style, he treated Kyoko's ship as a time to beat, an unattainable target that he was sure he could get. He entered the renamed 'Omega 900' turn, the 900 spiral, on the inside, getting gradually closer to the inner wall until he was almost scraping it. This caused a significant gain on Kyoko, who couldn't get on the inside due to Gareth.

    With a snarl, Kyoko made a move no-one had seen before, a unique maneuver that caught even Gareth and Brandon by surprise. The craft drifted almost perpendicular to the wall and tilted sideways towards the front of the track. That had resulted in an unexpected speed increase which was just enough to pull away from Gareth.

    That was, however, not a smart move, as it only urged Gareth on, pushing him to speeds he could only achieve through the higher zone speed classes.

    "Kyoko, you don't understand. You don't know how determined I am to win... I can defeat you!"

    "I would like to see you try."

    Out of the Omega 900 spiral, Kyoko straightened out. Gareth had caught up with a turbo, and was using her slipstream to catch up. He was close enough that he could pass her at any second...

    "Get off me!" Kyoko growled.

    "Mines"

    Instantly, that ground he made up was lost, as Gareth was hit by all 5 mines before he knew it. As the first one hit, he instinctively turned, then sideshifted when that proved ineffective, but hit the last one as the craft shifted, which planted him into the wall, sending him into critical shield energy levels. He was able to restore enough energy in a short time, but at the cost of catching up to Kyoko all that much quicker.

    Shaken out of it, Gareth slowly reverted back into his zone mindset. Slowly, he managed to gain the ground he lost due to a bout of good luck, obtaining far more turbos than his teammate, whose racing style had gotten slightly more violent. Finally, after several laps, he could see the white and azure craft ahead of him. He held onto his EMP Railgun shot for a while, then he got a clear shot.

    "...no. I don't have to resort to that." He said as he absorbed the weapon.

    "Wrong choice."

    "Bomb"

    This time, Gareth had time to prepare himself, since he wasn't close to Kyoko. He sideshifted out of the way with minimal effort, shifting back into the slipstream once more. As he was in view of her, Kyoko began turning using her new-founded style, pulling away from the pursuing Xygen, forcing him to chase her down all over again.

    Gareth, on the other hand, was grateful she did that. He began to enjoy the speeds he could achieve through the chase. In fact, he enjoyed the chase more than anything, being able to hunt Kyoko down.

    "This is the greatest race EVER! You just keep making it better!"

    "How? You just keep failing to pass me!"

    "Bhhah! While I do care about passing you, this little chase is so much fun! Also, because of my determination to win, I've been racing faster than I've ever done."

    "Argh, you were so much better when you were more passive, now you're just getting annoying."

    "You just don't understand my passion."

    "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!" She shot back. "You act as if I feel the same way you do! BUT GUESS WHAT?! I. DO. NOT."

    Suddenly, her racing style changed, becoming instantly more violent in nature. She was all over the place, turning late in some places, sometimes delaying or limiting her acceleration out of a turn in others, all in an attempt to put Gareth off his perfectionist run. However, that was not enough to put him off, as her overall speed was enough to keep herself ahead of him, and because they had both used that tactic before.

    "Either way... I will defeat you... for myself."

    "DO IT! I DARE YOU TO TRY. You will only destroy yourself in the process."

    "Heh. Hehahahaha... Do you realise how much you sounded like Alexandra Gelorum in her Crinale days?"

    "I don't care. I care about nothing anymore... do you know the despair I feel? Of course not, because you only think of yourself, you weak, ignorant, arrogant, selfish BASTARD! You will never know what it feels like to hide under a mask, to pretend you are someone else, to act as if you know not... as if you have no feelings towards those you love! Your friends, your hobbies, your likes, your dislikes, ALL GONE! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I HATE THIS! BUT I'VE DONE IT ALL FOR HIM!..."

    Kyoko suddenly slammed on the airbrakes, slowing down to allow him and several other pilots to pass.

    "What the hell?" Gareth blurted out

    "Kehhahahaha... That's it... I have had ENOUGH!"

  9. #919
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 37.3

    The referenced album title of Part 37.2 was Things Falling Apart by Nine Inch Nails... a companion album to The Fragile. Did you remember like I told you to?

    [s2_29.3: Part 37.3] The Destructive Condition

    <22121108>

    Sunday, November 8th, 2212

    Omega Harbour, Perth, Australia.

    <20:48:20_>
    <omega harbour: med fwd_>
    <race: lap 36 of 67_>

    01.
    FUJ616.0.43.194 (#43 | Kyoko Fujisaki | AX2.0_r2)
    02. ARD889.1.19.194 (#19 | Gareth Ardos | AX2.0_r2) +0.120
    06. SCA308.0.7.329 (#7 | Lucia Scarlatti | F0-RA8/00095) +16.306
    14. TUR847.1.13.329 (#13 | Leon Turner | F0-RA8/00127) +28.294


    Looking at the race's progression, Brandon could see clearly that there was something horribly, horribly wrong. Gareth's racing style was more perfectionist than ever, a display of pure, determined racing that he had never seen before. Kyoko, on the other hand, was all over the place. The racing style she had adopted was wild and rough. While there were no opponents to attack, she was overall violent.

    'Violent?' He thought. "....OH CRAP... sh-she... she was right... it's happening."

    Brandon was worried for a reason, he recalled a meeting he had with Nikole after the Stoica incident...

    ------------
    Monday, June 15th, 2212

    "Because my trust in you has been regained, I'll hear you out. What's the info you have? What's wrong with Tarah?"

    "Didn't I tell you at the start of the year? We need some kind of payment."

    "As long as it doesn't negatively affect our financial status or our participation in the league."

    She thought for a moment, before making her proposition. "Okay, how about this. That car you've shown off, the Neko, I believe it was?"

    "What about it?"

    "It was really an announcement for Angelus' participation in the World Rally Championship, yeah?"

    "Yes."

    "Drop out."

    "Drop out? From the WRC?"

    "Yes, retract your intention to participate. It will do nothing but help you focus more on the F12000."

    After some deliberation, Brandon responded. "Fine. As soon as I get the chance, I'll make the announcement, but officially, Angelus will not intend to participate in the WRC as of today."

    "Fantastic. Now, the information... We have reason to believe Tarah is under the influence of something called 'The Condition'. The symptoms depend on the host, but basically, it can either cause someone to have extremely violent thoughts without reason, or the more subtle effect, making them more sociopathic."

    Brandon had his eyes closed in thought. Suddenly he snapped them open.

    "...Sol 3 eliminator..." He muttered.

    "What?"

    "Nothing... So, is there a cure for this... 'Condition'?"

    "That also has to do with it's origins." Her eyes flicked briefly to Alex, then back at Brandon. "It's origins can be traced back to an event that occurred in 2209... Crinale's infiltration of the abandoned Tigron building."

    "Sh*t." Alex exclaimed loudly. "I know exactly what you're talking about. When we salvaged that Tigron data, there was one piece that we never used. It detailed an experimental drug that would make their pilots more aggressive."

    "Exactly. What you didn't know was that the active compound increased in potency in the 39 years that it lay there unused. When you broke in, that chemical was able to be released into the atmosphere."

    "...what? Is... that true?"

    "Unfortunately, yes."

    Alex placed her hands behind her head... then slammed it on the desk.

    "It... was all my fault." She mumbled, her head still planted on the desk. "God... F*CKING DAMN IT!"

    Both Brandon and Nikole flinched at Alex's outburst. Slowly, she raised her head, placing her hands on the desk, then suddenly bowed her head down.

    "Please... Let me help... I'll do whatever it takes, just let me fix this!" She begged.

    After a moment's consideration, Nikole accepted Alex's proposition. "Sure, let's do this. I will need to test you to see if you aren't affected, if you aren't, then I will be more than willing to help you."

    "First off, however, I need Crinale back in my hands, the data is securely archived."

    "Can't you just access it now?"

    "I can, but I have no idea what Viktor will do if he finds out I'm accessing what is effectively his database. Also, I'd be needing access to my researchers, won't I?"

    "I'll be willing to help if you need me to." Brandon spoke up.

    "No, you've helped more than enough. Please, this is something I must do."

    "I disagree. This affects the entire world. We need as much help as we can get. I will do everything I can until you get Crinale back in your hands."

    "...okay, fine. Let's do this."

    ------------
    "...if she keeps this up... then... ugh."

    His fears became more than just a reality. Kyoko didn't just keep up her violent racing style, it got worse.

    "What the hell?"

    "Kehhahahaha... That's it... I have had ENOUGH!"
    Last edited by Ace3000; 20th April 2017 at 06:22 AM.

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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 37.4

    The referenced album title of Part 37.3 was The Ideal Condition by Paul Hartnoll.

    [s2_29.4: Part 37.4] The Holy Angel of Anger

    <22121108>

    Sunday, November 8th, 2212

    Omega Harbour, Perth, Australia.

    "Kehhahahaha... That's it... I have had ENOUGH!"

    "What are you doing?!" Brandon yelled, slamming his hands on the desk

    <salt in the wounds | pendulum_>

    "Plasma"

    BOOM.

    <contender eliminated_>

    "HH....AAAHAHAHAHAHA! This is it! THIS IS THE END OF IT ALL! Screw purity! F*ck hiding! Today... I WILL UNLEASH ALL OF MY HATRED UPON YOU ALL! NOW.... DIE."

    Despite the low power output of Angelus' weapons system, Kyoko continued on her rampage, firing her weapons both wildly and strategically, depending on the weapon.

    <contender eliminated_>

    She looked behind her for a second and saw Lucia behind her, slowly catching up.

    "YOU!"

    "Hahaha, it looks like Angelus has finally lost it. Did all that 'purity' get to you?"

    For the second time that race, Kyoko jammed open the airbrakes, the craft jumping under the sudden increase in drag. She didn't question why she could suddenly hear Lucia, there was only one thing on her mind: Destroy.

    "Huh?"

    As soon as Lucia was ahead, Kyoko closed the brakes and jammed the thrust open with a low "BOOM". Finally, as the black craft was completely in front of the pure white one, she sideshifted directly behind Lucia.

    "Rockets"

    BOOM.

    "Ngh! What gives? I thought your fearless leader taught you to not use so many weapons so aggressively?"

    "Pah! You're just a child, you couldn't possibly understand the sh*t I'm going through."

    "I'm not a child, I know enough to know that Smith would be unimpressed by your racing right now. Give it up, become a good little pure pilot and accept your fate as Crinale's b*tch."

    "How about you learn to respect your elders?"

    "F*ck no, just let us eliminate you like you are supposed to. Know your role, sl*t."

    "Cannon"

    <contender eliminated_>


    "You sh*tty CHILD! I told you to respect your f*cking elders!"

    Brandon jumped backwards in his seat.

    "Kyoko... just eliminated Crinale... how does that even work? ...This situation is worse than I thought."

    Kyoko was far from finished, though.

    "As for the rest of you..."

    "Quake"

    "KYAHAHAHAHA! Beware Gareth, I'm coming for you now!"

    In less than no time at all, with help from the quake and her new racing style, Kyoko was directly behind her new target.

    "Now... allow me to give you a taste of your own medicine!"

    "Mines"

    "HWHH-?!"

    Contrary to her warning, Kyoko was instead the one to taste 5 mines from following closely to the opposing Angelus craft. This time though, her craft twisted itself, facing the wall. She was able to turn it back to face the track again, but she wasn't able to avoid any mines.

    "Hah, looks like it was me that gave you a taste of your own medicine. You need to relax, Kyoko, you're being too violent."

    "No! I will never relax! You have not once considered my feelings, and now I've had enough of everything! Do you hear me, Gareth Ardos? I. WILL. DESTROY. YOU."

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