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Thread: GBalao888's Take on the Temtesh Bay disaster

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    Default GBalao888's Take on the Temtesh Bay disaster

    "Oh my god, this course is horrible!"

    - Hellfire

    Motorsports has evolved where other than pursuing maximum speed and performance, safety is paramount to ensure the sport's reputation. Over the years, the number of fatalities in many racing disciplines have dwindled, but are still never zero.

    However, back then, heroism and bravery were almost universally required to become a racing driver, much more to actually win a race. Notable incidents that rocked the motorsport world were the 1955 Le Mans disaster, with Mercedes-Benz at the center of the tragedy, bringing along its top driver, Pierre Levegh, alongside the lives of 83 others, and 120 severely injured, mainly due to the ensuing fireball and wreckage as a result of Levegh colliding with Lance Macklin's Austin-Healey.

    Another would be the 1964 Indianapolis 500 where on the first lap, a fiery seven-car pileup would lead to the deaths of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald.

    Lastly, a notable incident that comes into the minds of most motorsport historians would be the deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna, during practice and qualifying during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Italy, 170 years prior to our story.

    Despite the potential risks, racing is always remembered as a violent and unpredictable sport. Anti-gravity motorsport is no exception, with the stakes being even higher, thanks to the introduction of lethal weaponry in the mix. Despite the AGRC's destructive weapons arsenal, these were promptly banned during the F3600 era, only to be re-introduced again in the F5000 League, as Pierre Belmondo saw it as the "evolution" of his ideals for anti-gravity technology to benefit mankind.

    Stefan Geist, a German Qirex pilot at the time, was chief among Belmondo's critics and a staunch supporter for safety and anti-weapon usage in anti-grav racing, where he was notable for the following catchphrase:

    "We race. We die. There is no beauty anymore."

    As a result, the F5000, to this day, holds the most number of fatalities in any league of anti-gravity racing. This reached a peak when AG Systems were disqualified for illegal violence during the 2098 season, especially during the controversial "Terafumos massacre" which led to the deaths of four pilots from every other team (F.E.I.S.A.R., Auricom, Qirex and Piranha) due to their use of the controversial "Shield Raider", which later inspired Tigron's F9000 super-weapon. It was essentially an amplified missile (basically a weapon of mass destruction) that would leave an opponent with barely any defenses left, even a solid ram can cause an easy and devastating elimination.

    This was used to eliminate everybody from every other team, and the ensuing incident left the Race Commission no other choice but to disqualify AG Systems and give them a five-race ban for the succeeding season in 2099. However, despite the controversy, AG Systems pilot Kumiko Takahashi kept her championship title, while second-placed Auricom were considered the champions for that season. As a result, super-weapons have been indefinitely banned since then.

    With the advent of more frequent eliminations, the pilot protection pod, or evacuation cage, has become necessary to protect pilots from the blast radius and carnage from their destroyed ships once eliminated, and these will carry a signal to the nearest rescue craft (colloquially known as the "wuss wagon") where pilots would be escorted by these vehicles to safety. But as with the 2098 F5000 season, these are not entirely fail-proof.

    During the F9000 League, a similar yet more graphic and terrifying incident would follow, the Temtesh Bay disaster.

    Temtesh Bay is a racetrack best known to be the inaugural venue of the F9000 League, set in a desert area in central Australia, near Uluru.

    As per F9000 standards, each race venue has three distinct layouts relating to its length: short, medium and long. As with the case of Temtesh Bay, the short and long layouts feature the sharp, twisting turns known as "Beehive Rock", and the medium layout is known for its underground mining tunnel that had been recently vacated by Australian mining company ShellTec Extraction.

    Track owner and creator Bruce Bloomer has been met with scrutiny due to the underground mine layout of the medium course, due to its treacherous corners, unstable bulkheads which could damage craft along the way, as well as the risk of cave-in due to immense weapon fire, with some saying that it's absolutely the most difficult racetrack in the history of the sport, even worse than Silverstream during the F3600, the most notable being an anonymous race historian only known as "Hellfire".

    The 2164 season was also a hotly-contested one, with F.E.I.S.A.R. having dominated six out of eight races, with Temtesh Bay being the penultimate race before Katmoda 12 on the Moon. On October 5th, 2164, this had been the third running of the medium course throughout the F9000's history, with previous winners being Natasha Belmondo (2159), and Myima Tsarong (2162).

    Somehow, despite the race about to get underway, the outcome was about to become quite predictable as Daniel Johnson was looking quite confident, even if he had qualified in fourth, behind Naomi Turner (3rd), Myima Tsarong (2nd) and Jann Shlaudecker (pole).

    Then as the race began at 3:00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, a loud, deafening noise could be heard from the grandstands of the track, and the ground shook, just a few seconds after the race began.

    Any satellite communication was disabled whilst under the mine area, so the only way that teams could get data on their pilots and telemetry would be via the ship's black box systems and onboard cameras.

    High-definition footage showed Johnson's ship firing three unusual-looking missiles directly at Turner and Shlaudecker's ships. This later caused a chain reaction where the resulting fireball from the explosions were violent enough to have actually caused the mine to collapse on itself, trapping everybody inside. It even produced a shockwave so great that it veered ships off to the closest wall and sustaining further damage.

    Both Naomi Turner and Jann Shlaudecker were instantly killed from the flaming wreckage, with their bodies burned badly beyond recognition, and their ships reduced to fragments and pieces of carnage with debris scattered everywhere. Johnson, on the other hand, was at the epicentre of the explosion, having collided with a large piece of rock, and was unable to move outside of his craft. G-Tech pilot Roberto Sergio was completely crushed by one loose boulder, with his Revver craft completely demolished and flattened, and that his blood and guts spilled onto the bodywork of the craft.

    Minutes passed by with no progress into the race, with the Race Commission immediately canceling the race and declaring its results null and void, with rescue operations going swiftly underway. Luckily, Natasha Belmondo was the first to come out of the mines intact, but with her Xios SMF-X's rear end split in half after a bulkhead went haywire.

    Subsequent pilots such as Pascale Rouser and Franco Gonzalez of Auricom also made their way out, followed by Omarr Khumala (Tigron), Nami Mishima (Van-Uber), Ripp Griffon (F.E.I.S.A.R.), Myima Tsarong (Piranha), Zala Wollf (Xios) and Alexander von Himmelreich (Van-Uber).

    Eventually, Daniel Johnson was the latest pilot to have been fully evacuated, after 20 minutes within the disaster, which rendered him unconscious, and was airlifted to hospital. Test results showed that he had irreparable spinal cord damage which paralyzed him from the neck down, although he did not have any signs of burns and other such thermal injuries.

    A media firestorm later developed, originally within Australian media which highlighted the chaos that had ensued from within the race. Several days later, while trying to look out for remaining survivors, Sveta Kirovski was trapped inside her Tigron BULL-666 craft, as her evacuation cage had malfunctioned. She had originally survived the disaster, but was struggling to get out of the craft, which nobody even noticed, and passed away mere hours later. While trying to recover both EG-R pilots, their craft immediately detonated within proximity, killing 26 rescue marshals and further worsening the aftermath of the disaster, leaving the mines to an impassable wasteland.

    Thus, six pilots were identified and were confirmed to have perished, being that of Naomi Turner (G-Tech), Jann Shlaudecker (Piranha), Roberto Sergio (G-Tech), Sveta Kirovski (Tigron), Paul Cheung (EG-R) and Alex Reece (EG-R). Temtesh Bay's medium course was never to be raced again, although its short and long layouts remain on the F9000 calendar.

    F.E.I.S.A.R. were fined $20 million US dollars as a result of the disaster, with team director Xavier Menendez claiming full responsibility on behalf of Daniel Johnson, and that he revealed that the missiles used were experimental "super missiles" that fired three missiles at a time with up to three times more explosive power than the original, to the point where they could actually be considered nuclear missiles used in warfare.

    As a result, Menendez was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and conspiracy, and is set to be extradited to his native Spain where he will receive a life sentence for his crimes. Chief team engineer Nicolo Testa would succeed Menendez's post as the team director effective immediately. Menendez would eventually be released for good behavior, by 2176, but he was forbidden from managing or directing an AG racing team ever again.

    The story of the disaster quickly spread like wildfire where chief executive of the Race Commission, Barratt Lidell, as well as Overtel Corp.'s founder and CEO, Rosaline Harmonie Belmondo, the estranged daughter of Pierre Belmondo himself, were also indicted for the same crimes, but their untransparent business operations, criminal connections and powerful positions allowed them to evade these charges following the disaster.

    (Rumor had it that this falling out between Rosaline and Pierre was mainly due to the fact that the latter caused the former's mother, Rosetta Estelle Caline to pass away from a broken heart, as his dedication to anti-gravity research put a strain on their family relationships, and thus, this led Rosaline to rebel against her father's legacy by establishing Overtel Corp. during the F3600 days.)

    As a result, Super Weapons were banned forever in anti-gravity motorsport, with craft development frozen for at least two years. EG-R would never race again, choosing to continue their work in secret, while G-Tech would replace their pilots roster for the entire season. Piranha Academy graduate Zack Vilma would step in to race in Shlaudecker's place, and vowed to win future seasons in memory of the pilot who inspired him. Due to their developing PTSD, Myima Tsarong and Zala Wollf have announced on social media that they will retire by the end of the 2164 season.

    The 2164 season even gained more controversy as Daniel Johnson was still eventually crowned the champion of the season, with F.E.I.S.A.R. as the championship-winning team, despite their complicity with the Temtesh Bay disaster, as if they got away with it, earning the scorn of race fans alike.

    However, Johnson was not present to collect his awards due to his injuries, and of this degree, he may never be able to fly another AG racing ship ever again.

    He will, however, eventually marry Natasha Belmondo two years later and would become a central figure of the AGPC (Anti-Gravity Purity Coalition), being the thorn on Barratt Lidell and Rosaline Belmondo's sides, as the disaster had changed his outlook on anti-gravity motorsports, advocating for purity and the sport's traditional ethos as opposed to the current extravagant and unsafe ways.

    And since Johnson was now a Belmondo, this fueled more fire into the family feud of the Belmondo bloodline. Despite her marriage to Johnson, Natasha would remain as an F9000 racer until the end of the League.

    The Temtesh Bay disaster itself can also be a catalyst for the F9000's impending downfall and eventual doom, and remains the deadliest on-track incident during a race throughout the history of anti-gravity racing. However, the "White Purple" incident of 2219, which involved the fans of the eponymous K-pop girl group at the Amphiseum, would significantly surpass the number of lives lost on-track, despite no racing action going underway.

    For nearly 35 years, there hasn't been a fatality in anti-gravity motorsport, until the death of Triakis pilot Xavier Chaffin, caused by a Quake elimination from AG Systems rookie pilot Hajime Hisanaga (later known for winning the 2201 season using the Coke Style ship) in 2199 during the FX300 League.
    Last edited by GBalao888; 19th May 2024 at 08:39 AM.

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