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Tel Aviv. The crowd roared, bathed in halogen white by the arclights, and broadcast across the globe from the network blimps drifting above the track.

The pit crew buckled Kyle Dorne into the seat, and Brace the crew chief was saying something to him at the same time a network drone shoved a mic into his face, asking about "the biggest race of his career." He heard neither Brace nor the drone. Dorne's mind was on the steering wheel and the car two places ahead of him. That car had the pole position. It should have been his.

Yellow lights in his heads-up display turned to green, but he knew the car's reactor was at full capacity by the way it vibrated around him. He never needed the instruments or the implants or the four-million-dollar sponsored neural reflex webs that the other drivers carried in their spines. He needed neither the synthetic adrenaline nor the enhanced subdermal chassis.

He just knew. He knew when the turns came. He knew what the other drivers would do. He knew when that green-flag hologram would drop across the vision field. It did so. Now.

Dorne became a blur. Cars fell past him as he pushed the reactor to its limits, and he felt the tracking lasers from the networks wash over him, funneling his stats and placing to fans worldwide, spidering the visuals around the sponsorship logos and pulsing advertisements for interlink dating services and legalized designer hallucinogens. For the sponsors, it was business. For the fans, it was neon carnage.

For him, it was life. He felt his car reconfigure for the gravity as his climbing speed pushed him into the seat. Two hundred. Three hundred. Four hundred miles an hour.  The dance of cars fell away in his mind's eye milliseconds before it happened on the track. He weaved, bumped and drafted as if he'd seen this play out hundreds of times before.

But still, that car stayed ahead of him. Red paint, with a hologram spread across the rear. Two roses, one black and one white, perpetually losing petals in the wind before a violet sunset.

Reno Mellifleur. He won the cup in Tel Aviv three of the last five years. As the name came to mind, Reno's stats pulsed into being at the edge of Dorne's vision, including the litany of the Frenchman's victories. Paris. Hong Kong. The Trans-Himalayan Gran Prix.

This was Dorne's first run in Israel, and only his twelfth on the pro circuit. Everything to lose, and everything to prove. He thumbed the car into the next configuration, feeling the wheelbase widen for the oncoming curve, and dropped to the inside, just before Reno did the same. Experience versus intuition, and Dorne rounded the Frenchman just enough to see the network lasers reflect from Reno's faceplate. Five hundred miles an hour, and the turn came, and the gravity.

Dorne was at the edge of his jumpsuit's force tolerance, and he felt the color bleed from his vision. Somewhere, Brace was yelling at him to dial it back. "Can't win if you're dead! Pull off!"

Instead, he opened the reactor. He'd seen it before. He'd hurt, but he wouldn't die. Reno fell away beside him. The track and the crowds and the arclights were a blur. The finish field lie ahead. Dorne could smell the melting paint on his quarter panels.

Then everything went quiet. He saw Mariah, and their little girl in her arms. Melody was her name, but they hadn't even decided that yet. Mariah still had three months to go.

It happened in a thousandth of a millisecond. The Frenchman's tire met his, and the world turned to flame. The projectors bathed the track in a checkered hologram, but Dorne never saw it.
A thing I've been playing with from time to time.

Part 2: [link]
Part 3:[link]
Part 4:[link]
Part 5:[link]
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:iconcentauran:
So far I have read to part 3. I find Memnalar's style intriguing; while he has an excellent command of the English language and a more than adequate vocabulary, he chooses to use his skills in unique fashion. His possible overeagerness to employ slightly strange wording is on the one hand unusual; his use of short, choppy sentences gives this work a persuasive punch. Add to this a swiftly-moving, exciting plot and a smouldering romance and you have everything you need to make this a novel you know you're going to enjoy for quite a while about 5% of the way in.
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:iconlunaticstar:
LunaticStar Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011
RELUCTANTLY CROUCHED AT THE STARTING LINE
ENGINES PUMPING AND THUMPING IN TIMING
THE GREEN LIGHT FLASHES THE FLAGS GO UP
CHURNING AND BURNING THEY YEARN FOR THE CUP

I won't bother with correcting the missing commas cuz it seems this infinitely more intelligent person above me has already hit that. (thank god, I didn't really want to do it). Honestly tho when I started this I read Tel Aviv and instantly thought war story. Woops. Good thing I didn't read it then, my eyes were glossed over looking for mentions of bullets. But back to reality. This was pretty cool. I wonder what'll happen after the accident? I think that he hated the cyborg drivers so much he's doomed to be one of them.
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011
Jerry was a race car driver.
He drove so goddam fast.
Never did win no checkered flags, but
he never did come in last.

And yep. You called it. :D

:heart:
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:iconbarbecuediguana:
BarbecuedIguana Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
A flaming blast
of oil and gas
and screams of ecstasy!
:D
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:iconlunaticstar:
LunaticStar Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011
Oh I did call it, I thought after chapter 2 I was wrong. xD

PRIMUS. Playing this summer in Santa Rosa, California...I'll buy the tickets if you come! hahahaha.
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:icontobaeus:
Tobaeus Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011   Writer
My only experience with racing comes from a handful of movies and Mario Kart. :D Nevertheless, if I had to imagine a race story, it would not look as good as this. Well played, sir.

And now, what few nitpicks I can find:

"The crowd roared, bathed in halogen white by the arclights, and broadcast across the globe from the network blimps drifting above the track." The second half of this sentence doesn't really make sense with the first half. Maybe that half could be reordered to be a separate sentence?

"and Brace the crew chief was saying something" Should there be commas around 'the crew chief'?

"spidering the visuals around the sponsorship logos" Spidering? This visual confuses me. What are the tracking lasers doing in regards to the sponsorship stuff?

"He weaved, bumped and drafted as if he'd seen this play out hundreds of times before." Drafted? I'm unfamiliar with racing terms. What does this mean?

"Reno's stats pulsed into being at the edge of Dorne's vision" Not a nitpick, just an observation. Having stuff like that in your peripheral vision has to suck when you're trying to focus. :D

And in regards to what comes next, you did a great job of dropping subtle hints about Dorne's abilities. And it's great that it hides under racer's intuition.

(Also, if not for a comment on the second one, I would have been convinced I accidentally knocked this part out of my message center. Curse dA's arbitrary nature!)
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner May 16, 2011
:heart:
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