Obsidian Command
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Trek Fast, Trek Furious (Backlog)

Posted on 03 Oct 2018 @ 1:41am by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sharpe

Mission: Character Development
Location: Promenade Holosuite
Timeline: Before the events of 'The Void'

Paul took in a deep breath as the smell of the burned rubber filled his nostrils and warmed his soul. It had been far too long since he and Richard had brought out this holo-program specially designed for them. Since Archie had kicked Paul out of their quarters (“Paul, I love you with every inch of my body but, Jesus Christ, you don’t need to ask me how Cooper and I are doing every 3 minutes. Now, go get some last minute boy time in before your free time gets eaten up by the baby.”), he decided to bring Richard in for a bit of testosterone-filled street racing, drag racing, and rallying. Richard’s new genetically-modified abilities had severely cut down the fairness of most of the programs they owned. However, with old fashioned car racing only foot coordination was the key to success. And a badass supercharged setup.

The race course was surrounded by the beautifully grand historical buildings of the late 20th Century Istanbul, Turkey. The midnight air and empty sidewalks added to the magnificently haunting atmosphere. Paul had the program designed with speakers that lined the tracks and played whatever music they wanted. Today’s soundtrack included a mix of techno, dubstep, and heavy metal (Paul’s special request) that made them want to press the gas pedal just a little bit harder. He was wearing his usual off-duty getup that included a black fitted t-shirt, fitted blue jeans, and black and blue sneakers.

Leaning up against his bright yellow 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon with black Dodge Demon decals on the rear quarter panels, Paul gave Richard a huge smile. Richard had just finished up his Quarter Mile warm-up and clocked in a rather impressive time. Archie was right as usual; Paul needed to let off quite a lot of steam before little Cooper was brought into the world the next week.

“Dude, Archie can push a Plymouth Roadrunner better than that!” Paul jested as he took a sip from his soda.

Richard stepped out of his gun-metal grey 2019 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and narrowed his eyes at Paul. "I'd like to see you do better in your Detroit cement mixer." He said, moving over to the ice-box to grab a cold soda for himself. He looked over at his car, with the breaks still smoking from the extreme use they'd just undergone. Service crew were going over the car whilst he waited.

Paul threw his head back and laughed. “I’ll have you know that cement truck will blow your little crotch rocket right off of the first turn on a street race. Need I remind you of my wheelie start during my drag race warm-up?” He shook his head as he looked over Richard’s first car pick. “It’s a shame that racing became a dead art in the 21st Century. The whole hover car invention took the fun out of driving.” His eyes moved over to Richard, who seemed in rather high spirits today. He hoped it was partially because they were able to let loose on the track. “Thanks for coming out today. It’s more fun beating someone than just timing myself.”

"I didn't get much of a choice." Richard chuckled. "I got a desperate plea from Archie to keep you away from her for several hours, else Cooper may grow up without a father. Naturally, as a concerned Godparent-to-be, I stepped up to the plate." He gave Paul a cheeky grin. "Incidentally, a 'crotch rocket' is a motorcycle, not a car. If you're going to use twenty-first century slang, at least get it right." He shook his head. "You got lucky on the drag-race, that was all. My car has a distinct performance advantage over yours."

“Would you rather I just tell you that you’re obviously overcompensating for something with that little roadster?” Paul gave him a playful smack on his back. “I'm definitely looking forward to bringing the little guy here. Maybe it’ll pump some extra testosterone in him and keep him from following his uncle’s footsteps and enlisting in Starfleet.”

"Pfft, it'll be my primary responsibility to prevent Cooper from following in his parents footsteps and becoming a flatfoot." Richard grinned. "I can't have my Godson become a copper, it'd be appalling. It's bad enough my little sister is dating one. You'd think she'd have better taste."

Paul finished his drink and tossed the bottle into the extra bin set out for them. “I’ll have you know I managed to weasel my way in to Security Chief so we must be doing something right.” He paused as the smirk slid across his lips. “And you expect Cooper to be a banana eating ape while he sits around the Marine locker room stroking his fellow officers’ egos amongst other things?”

Richard rolled his eyes. "No relation of mine is ever joining the Marine Corps. I forbid it." He said, sternly. "After what I've been through, what I've seen, I'd never inflict it on anyone I love. I actually hope Cooper falls in with Phil to be honest, he seems to be doing alright. He managed to bag Annie, and that's an achievement and a half. Love that girl to bits, so why she ended up with Phil of all people, escapes me."

Paul let out a long sigh. While he understood Richard's uneasiness when it came to his own brother, he had seen Phil make leaps and bounds with his self-created new opportunity to essentially start over with his siblings. "Richard, I don't think you're giving him as much credit as he deserves. Sure, the whole thing honestly shouldn't have happened and he should have moved Rebecca far far away from that bitch you call your mother, but he uprooted his entire life to be here with you and Rebecca and try to fix whatever was left of your broken relationship. And you've seen him with Annie... she's like," he paused, glancing over at the crews that were finishing tuning up their cars, "she's everything to him. And if that woman can forgive him for what happened, keep in mind that Annie changed her own last name after her own parents disowned her, I think you should be able to forgive him. He works incredibly hard and he takes care of her. He doesn't judge her, he doesn't tell her what to do. You know she deserves that after this past year of Hell."

"I dunno... I just find it hard to really get past him neglecting Rebecca for as long as he did. I've been trying to be nice and friendly with him, but there's still that thing holding me back. I trusted him to look after her, and he didn't. I know he has his own issues with our mother, but he dropped the ball - big time." Richard said. "But you're right, he's good with Annie. He's really brought her out of her shell, and I've never seen her so happy as she is right now, not even when she was with Alex or Thomas - you know... before he became a douche-bag murderer."

“Me, personally, I think you should sit down with Phil and just hash everything out. He and Annie did that even before they started dating, and look at how it’s made their relationship stronger. Just get everything off your chest. If you still feel the same about him as you did before, then you can say ‘At least I tried.’” Paul gave him another pat on his upper back. “We’ve all been through an insane amount of bullshit this year and have lived to tell the tales. We can’t take anything for granted, especially our families…” The sound of the crew leads calling out to the crews to finish their maintenance cause him to trail off his sentence.

"I'll consider it." Richard said, as he moved back towards the car. "Alright, straight up race. Loser buys the winner beer all night." He smirked, as he slid into the Aston and fired up the powerful V8.

Paul scoffed at the offer. “Deal, even though I find it incredibly unfair to you since you don’t drink alcohol.” He caught the vehicle keys one of the crew members tossed to him and he slid into the driver’s seat. “Two laps, since you seem to want to lose in that little wagon of yours. Five and a half kilometers of nothing but straightaways and drift corners.” He leaned forward and switched on the ignition, giving the engine a low rev and hearing the booming purr rumble and echo against the buildings. The adrenaline rushing through his veins sent an electric shock through his system and widened his already beaming smile. “Winner takes all.” He pushes the gas pedal again in a mocking gesture towards Richard.

Richard revved up his own engine which had a deep rumble of its own, just not quite as throaty as the big block under Paul's hood. He'd been glad that Paul had suggested this holodeck program, as it was one of the few activities he could genuinely do where being augmented really didn't give him any unnecessarily unfair advantage. Although he had heightened sight, senses and reactions - they weren't so disgustingly over the top as to be unfair to Paul. In fact, if anything, Paul was substantially better than Richard at this sport. Even with Richard having actual real world experience at driving, it was military vehicles, which weren't exactly race-cars.

"See you at the finish-line, Plod." Richard jeered as the lights began to beep the countdown. Red, Red, Red, Red, Green! Boom! Richard accelerated off the line, neck and neck with Paul as they floored it down the first stretch. Paul's Charger had a distinct advantage in horse-power, but being an American lump of pig-iron, lacked the sophistication and grace of British engineering that was in the Aston. His little 'pocket-racer' as Paul had called it, had only a few fewer horses, but could much better put it down on the road, plus it had an edge in handling.

As they approached the first bend, Richard positioned his car to take the inside line on the bend. Gently kissing the apex, he took the corner gracefully, and accelerated out of it, inching ahead of Paul, who was sliding around the bend with his tail out.

“Oh, you sneaky bastard!” Paul called out as he switched gears and tapped his breaks to drift the first turn and maintain only a slight distance behind Richard as they continued down the next straightaway in between the abandoned buildings. Paul maintained the stamina of his torque as he slowly inched up ahead and kept pace with Richard to his right. It was time to tease him a bit and have a bit of fun. Paul quickly glanced over at his friend’s stoic and determined face and slipped him a mischievous smirk. His hand moved up to view as he flipped off Richard and slammed on his accelerator. The engine grumbled under the hood and sent Paul to the lead before the next set of wide turns. “Deuces!” He let out a howl as he pushed the Demon’s engine to its limit.

"Well, that's just unsporting." Richard grumbled, as he dropped a cog and moved in on Paul's inside edge on the corner, coming out with Paul with his car nose level with the front passenger door on Paul's car. Richard shifted back up a gear and floored it, with the car roaring and moving to inch ahead of the Dodge.

In terms of raw speed, the Dodge did have the slight advantage, but it was heavier than the lighter European car, which hampered its performance somewhat. The Aston had much better acceleration and a slightly higher top speed, but the Dodge had that raw power that the Aston just didn't have. On the straights, the Dodge did have considerable gain on the smaller car.

The next bend, yet again, Richard moved into the inside to kiss the apex, but this time, Paul moved forward to shut the door on Richard's manoeuvre, giving Paul the lead out of the bend and into the next straight, which was the second longest of the track - where Paul could really make up some ground.

“Hells bells, Richard!” Paul teased as he peeked at his rearview mirror and spotted the half-car gap between them. Richard’s turns were insane yet smooth, giving Paul a run for his money. It seemed they both had picked very different vehicles that kept them neck and neck with each other. His heart pounded against his chest as they jumped through the half-kilometer strip in what felt like record time. He loved Richard but was taking far too much enjoyment in leaving him in the thick white exhaust. They both were very competitive men with Richard usually having the upper hand. Paul took great pride in his driving skills but also dug the fact that Richard still kept up with him.

As the next left bank came fast approaching, Paul switched his gears swiftly and pumped on his breaks. However, he hit his brakes slightly too hard, causing the Demon to skip on its tires and fishtail sharply. In a moment of pure concentration, Paul compensated and brought the fishtail in the opposite direction and away from the wall that was on his right. If he hadn’t, he would at least be grateful the safeties were on.

Unfortunately the minor mistake had caused Richard to gain a slight advantage of the turn and pull ahead to take a slight lead for the rest of the first lap.

Naturally, Richard had seen Paul fishtail on the bend, so he'd taken full advantage of it to cut inside and take the lead. "Haha! You snooze, you loose, Reed!" He shouted to himself, as he pulled away and past the finish line to begin the next lap. He kept one eye on the rear-view mirror to make sure that the yellow beast was still squarely behind him, as they moved on - as he was determined to keep him there.

The status quo remained this way for another quarter of a lap, until Richard took a turn a tad too sharp, clipped the corner of a building and spun out, slamming into the wall of the building opposite, wrecking out.

Paul let out one last yell as he slammed on the gas and blasted past Richard's wrecked Aston Martin and finished the rest of the circuit in record time after adding in a few unnecessary drifts on his turns. He was going to take every opportunity to showboat down the darkened streets of Istanbul. "Cement mixer my ass...," he repeated to himself as he slowed down after the finish line and eased himself down the gears until he relaxed in first. Pulling up to the defeated Richard, Paul rolled down his window. "Hey, Princess. Need a lift?"

Richard glared at him as he leaned against the wreck of his car. Since it had been a holographic car, naturally he had absolutely no injuries whatsoever. Only thing wounded was his pride at misjudging a corner and loosing in a spectacular way. Now he had to endure Paul rubbing it in. He opened the passenger door and got in. "I will sully myself by being transported in the Yank-Tank." He said, putting on his seat-belt.

Paul scoffed as he switched gears and sped the Demon through a low key victory lap. "This Yank-Tank tossed your Aston Martin like it was a fly on its shoulder," he looked over and grinned at him. "You Brits make a beautiful work of art but you don't even know how to handle it." He let out a chuckle as he took the group of turns with ease and continued onto the straightaway. "I'll just have to make sure I'm the one to teach Cooper how to street race."

"That's fine, I'll be the one to teach him how to fight, how to shoot properly, and how to actually be a grown-ass man." Richard teased. "So, between the two of us, we'll get his core skills as a human being down. Fighting. Shooting. Driving."

Paul's smile widened as he let out a loud laugh. "I just worry about the girls part. It's not like I've always made the wisest choices when it comes to dating. Took me 5, almost 10 years, to finally realize I should've married Archie in the first place because I'm an idiot. Though he'll be surrounded by a vast array of happy and successful couples. Maybe he'll learn early like Max did."

"If he's anything like his dad, he'll be a terror to the girls, but we have a long wait for that particular problem. No doubt Matt'll be of help in that department, ladies man that he is." Richard chuckled. "Let's just make sure that the gaggle of geese that'll be his female relations don't turn him feminine."

Paul shook his head. "Archie, Annie, and Sully all love drinking, shooting, and fighting. I'm pretty sure the kid will be just fine." After driving through the finish line, he pulled the Deman over to the side and climbed out. "Up for another race? Or has the bruise on your ego solidified and it's feeling a little sore?"

"I think I'm done for the day." He sighed. "Besides, I wouldn't want to inflate your engorged ego any further than it already is. Your head wouldn't get out the holodeck." He chuckled. "Come on, I'm buying."


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