Race Car Driver

February 26, 2015: A qualifier race is interrupted by thieves. Arsenal and Rain to the rescue!

Somewhere in South New Jersey

Squantalia Raceway is an older raceway, famous for the Squantalia Silver Prize, later the Squantalia Gold Payout, traditionally providing a third of the prize monies, for those races which have prizes, in large-denomination coins. Of course the racers can (and usually do) exchange them for more portable money, but the tradition continues!



  • Lian
  • Captain

Mood Music:

Do races have 'half-time'? Well, no, but it's been debated for a while; every few years it comes up. This race, being a set of four relatively shorter races, has a half-time. And there's a prize for some lucky person: they get to drive a (stock) race car! One belonging to the team that won the second qualifier, just over. And, of course, because it would be boring if it was some random car, the team that won was Storm Front Racing, owned by Johnny Storm. They have a raceworthy stock car, a Stock Chevy flying a big Stormfront banner and a circle-4 banner.

"ANDndnd Thethethe Winnerer of thethe Drawwaw is Numberer FOURour Oh Sixixix!" the voice of the announcer echoes … really man, turn DOWN the gain on the mike, or turn up the filters. Something.

Johnny Storm waits by the car for the driver to be located and escorted down.

Her household help was worried about Rain. She'd gone on a nice date with Johnny Walker and some others after falling into despair for awhile. You need to get out more, they said. Rain sighs, quietly watching. Maybe this is a sport she'd be okay with… She's so not a sports person. Rain is a living stereotype. And really, why not the drawing? Though, the speaker and announcer's echoe voice makes her wince.

"Geez." The talking cat next to her in his trench coat pokes his head up, batting at the ticket in her pocket. "Hey, that's us." "Wait, what." Oh geez. Make no mistake, Rain is an /excellent/ motorcycle and broomstick rider. She has to be, or else she'd end up smeared on the side of a building or on someone's front lawn. "Don't get petrified. Go." Pokepokepoke. Motivational cat is motivational, as the shy, violet-eyed witch slinks along. Whynot.

Kicking back, Roy Harper glances down at his raffle ticket, shrugs, and then shakes his head ruefully at Johnny, giving him a thumbs up and a wave. Beside him, Lian Harper checks her father's ticket, sighing wistfully, before waving back down as well.

"Hey, Johnny!" Roy calls down. "She looks nervous! You gonna ride along with her?" Not that he knew how these things worked, but presumably -someone- actually did a ride-along to make sure that they didn't, well, get any bright ideas and cause a wreck.

Johnny looks up into the stands and grins, spotting a familiar face in the front rows. That guy again. The arrow guy.

"YOU COULD RIDE ALONG WITH HER!" he yells. The track rep frowns, but Raylene (one of the Storm Front mechanics) is already leading Rain from the stands across the track to the waiting car. Johnny gives a 500 watt smile and says, "Hey, if you're nervous, don't worry, there's a limiter so you can't go faster than 200 miles an hour and there's an emergency autopilot if you can't handle it — not standard equipment, that part."

He's wearing a Storm Front racing one-piece, which lacks the circle-4 logo. A bit of 'this is mine' in his branding.

(Note: Johnny has not noticed the cat in the pocket. Yet.)

The arrow guy. But Rain is a witch. A WIIIIIIITCH. Nervous might be putting it lightly. Rain's trying to overcome being a Level 10 Dire Introvert. Maybe Zee was kind of right maybe. Ish. Stare. "Yeah, sure, he cancometoo." Words spill out like water from a dropped bowl. People are loooooooking at her. She smiles politely at Raylene. She seems kindly enough, just terrified. "Fair enough," Nod. And rebranding is fair enough. Much in existence is personal, and some follow the Greek principle of 'while we may not live forever, perhaps that of what we do and what we create will'. Make people remember you.

Nevertheless, Rain smiles politely. And he seems friendly, not like the people'd who wedgie her. "S-sure." Okay. She's gonna wait for MYSTERIOUS ARROW GUY and instructions. Always instructions.

"What, me and her…? No, that's okay!" Roy shouts back, causing Lian to nudge her father.

"Daddy, be nice…" she says, as Roy leans forward. "Hey, hey, girl…! Go show him how a driver drives!"

"Do you know how to drive a car, honey??" Raylene asks, in a slow friendly southern drawl. "If you need to we can turn on that pilot for ya?? Nobody has to know."

Johnny sees the bulge in one side. A tail extrudes, then pulls in to be replaced by an ear and then an earnest enough feline face.

"Huh. You probably don't want the cat to be in your pocket for this. The seat belt won't fit right. He'd get squished."

The little girl next to Arrow Guy gets a grin out of Johnny. That… yeah. She's the one the alien hottie was babysitting, right?

"You can come down and take a look when she gets done, show your little girl what a race engine looks like, maybe she'll grow up to drive," Johnny calls up. Raylene is doing all the hard work, helping Rain get set in the car and so forth.

"I do. I usually ride a motorcycle, though," Rain admits quietly. "But it's nice to know it's there."

Captain is a jowly, orange male tabby from Gotham. He peers at Johnny. "Are you calling me fat?" "CAPTAIN." Rain looks frantic. "He has insulted my honor!" Pause. "Heh, just kidding." The cat hops out and onto the ground easily enough. He has a rich, deep baritone tinged wth a Gotham accent.

His tail flicks a little. There's a faint smile to Roy and Lian. She is a good - person to set up at least, figuring out where she needs to be and what goes where.

"Hmmm…" Roy muses. The decisions is mostly made for him, though, when Lian squeals, leaps up from her seat, and dashes down, before being stopped by security. "But he said okay!" Lian protests, as Roy is on her tail quickly.

Once granted access, though, Roy immmediately picks up Lian, the better to keep her from dashing off without him, and holds on.

"Fine!" Roy calls out to Johnny, giving him a nod. "I just hope she comes back alive!"

Johnny seems only mildly fazed by the talking cat. He may have seen talking animals before. Or he's just that badly reality-shocked.

"Thank you, wierdness magnet," he says quietly, "my life had been boring lately."

Which isn't true. He grins to the cat and says, "No, you don't look like a fat cat to me."

And when Lian and Roy show up, he just laughs. The track official shrugs, it's good for ticket sales having cute kids… if they're kept SAFE.

"I don't think it'd make the guys who own the track happy if I had you ride with the nice lady, but I'll take you on a ride around when she's done, OK?" Johnny says to Lian.

Raylene has the car with its driver ready to go. "Just remember, hon, turn left," she says, and it's OK for Rain to drive.

Poor Johnny. Captain snorts softly. His ear flicks. This place is kind of noisy for a predator with good hearing. He nods sagely up at Johnny. Rain smiles a little, watching all of this. She nods at Johnny's words. "Okay, fair enough." Oh gosh. She'll make sure everyone is cleared before doing the driving thng.

It's a little nerve wracking, but the truth is, Rain is a REALLY good broomstick/motorcyle rider, so she might do pretty okay in a car. At least she's smart enough to pay attention, and she does play with machines, so her mechanical senses are pretty good (though, she totally cheats. Freaking technowitches. Oontz oontz.). Rain does pretty well, startlingly enough. Zoom!

Affixing herself at Johnny's side, Lian watches with fascination. "Daddy, I want to drive!"

"Not today, sweetheart. Just a ride," Roy sighs, looking back at Johnny and shrugging ruefully.

"Can I have a talking cat?" Lian asks, shifting subjects, causing Roy to shake his head. "I'm not sure we can get one… and I don't think you can have that one."

Glancing over towards Rain, Roy whistles. "Hey, good luck!"

The car is responsive, seeming to be rather eager to get moving. It almost drives into the curves itself, the engine purring at first, but roaring when Rain decides to push down more on the pedal.

Johnny grins at Lian's eagerness to drive … he might've said the same thing at that age. They're prepping the Forumula One for the next race, which happens in another half-hour; the purse for the next race is being delivered by an armored vehicle at the far end of the stands. It's a feature of the races at this track, that they pay out the first ten-thousand in prize money as gold coins, which are handed over in big sacks — they actually write a check for the bulk of the winnings because it lets the racers keep track of taxes and so on, but the symbolism goes back.

And, near the other end of the stands, a pair of gentlemen of dubious intentions waits. They're wearing pseudo-military garb; camo pants, olive drab shirts, cloth billed caps, and in the tradition of Open Carry, they have guns. Races don't really object to this. It's part of their clientele.

When Rain is around the corner and not visible, Johnny asks Lian if she wants to see the engine on the fast car.

Whee, indeed. Rain is, fortunately, pretty careful and gently amps it up. Probably less interesting, but also less messy to scrape off the walls (and less likely to need said scraping). She appreciates the good luck gesture, and Captain is gonna check Roy and Lian out, triangle nose a-wriggle. He even has a few little black dots on his nose and ears (such is the cost of being a ginger-kitty). Lian's adorable, it's true.

Rain doesn't seem aware of the dubious dudes, and really, she's paying attention to driving. Doing pretty well, gotta go fast, etc. She'll come back around the corner and slow in due time. Wheeeeeeeeeee!

"Just how fast is she going?" Roy asks, tilting his head as he asks Johnny, turning… only to see Lian trotting off with the Fantastic Four member, only too excited to see what was going on.

"Hey… HEY!"

Moving along quickly, Roy catches up with Johnny, pausing to grab ahold of the too-eager-to-get-in-the-fast-car Lian. As Captain saunters up, though, the young girl is only too happy to be distracted by talking kitty. "Hiii, kitty! My name's Lian, what's yours?"

Apparently dealing with K'tten and her crew was enough to treat felines as though they were royalty too.

While the race is being run, people don't cross the tracks, normally. Instead they get to the center by going through a tunnel under the tracks. There are four such tunnels, leading from under the stands; the two men of dubious intention move through one of the tunnels. They've picked up backpacks, large ones, and their guns are now unholstered. They approach the area where the cash is being divided.

"You have to keep up," Johnny grins to Roy. "Hey Raylene, how fast was she going?"

Raylene looks up from where she was watching on a tablet device, and says, "She got up to 175, good control. She could be taught." That's high praise from Raylene.

"Now this car is too fast to be driven on city streets," Johnny explains. "You would get in, go VROOM and you'd already be at a stop light and have to screech your tires to try to stop."

Two of the guards have gone missing - chloroformed. The other two are watching the transfer, and the armored car driver is in the rest room.

Cats never forgot Ancient Egypt. Those were good times, although one might argue that with all the cat-worship, writing on walls and such, that history does indeed, repeat itself. Captain is fortunately, an easy going cat. "Hello there. Nice to meet you, Lian. That's a nice name. And my name's Captain." He nods. He looks up to Lian. He is willing to chat, it seems.

Rain wil end up coming back to be let out. She is unaware of the badness going on, alas. Rain smiles, seeing Captain greeting Lian and - well, it is cute.

"Not bad, not bad…" Roy muses, his attention shifting towards Rain's car.

Lian, meanwhile, is only too happy to plop down on the ground, sitting there without heed for how dirty things are (odd, considering how otherwise fastidiously neat she is. KIDS…) and pet Captain, asking questions such as how does he talk, how does he clean himself, if there are others like him, can she take him home…

Roy pauses, as his eyes shifts back towards something he;d seen. "Um, Johnny…? That's not security, is it?"

Raylene helps Rain from the car. Johnny looks up from the girl-with-cat (sadly, he lacks pockets for a camera phone or this would be YooToob fodder) and glances towards where Roy's looking. There are two men entering the trailer that the race officials work from… NOT looking like they belong.

"You're right. I can't flame on here in the pit, there's too much chance of a fuel explosion," the Torch says. "I couldn't hold it all down safely. Can you deal with this?"

Rain thanks Raylene and does her best to help get her witchy self out.

Meanwhile, Captain lets himself be pet, purring a little. He answers her questions. Magic, like most cats, sometimes goes to a groomer, sure, and well, he's Rain's cat but he can visit. Also she should ask her dad. It really is cute, and Captain is a patient sort. He has to be. He's a cat.

Alas, she's on the tail end of the conversation, blinking at hearing something about flaming on? Wait, what? "Huh?" She might follow their gaze. Is something going on?

"Sure could," Roy responds, as he borrows a couple of tools from a nearby toolbox. Right there, menace them with a screwdriver and a hammer. What good was -that- going to do?

Then again, he did do pretty well with a toolbox. They didn't call him Arsenal for nothing.

"Keep an eye on Lian, ok? Lian, stay here, don't go anywhere," Roy replies, as he starts for the trailer.

"Got it!" Johnny says, then looks at Raylene, shakes his head - he KNOWS her kids - and yells over to another mechanic, "Jimmy! Come over here!"

He looks at Rain and says, "You should take cover. There's armed intruders over at the trailer there."

Like that works with most hero types. He's planning to hand Lian over to Jimmy if things get out of hand.

Rain emerges from the car. "Oh. I can help." And she will. She'd rather not get some poor mechanic or that odd guy with the tool box (screwdriver to the face?) killed. "Captain, help keep an eye out," She offers to the cat. The talking cat seems fine with watching over the duo or at least staying nearby. She'll at least follow Roy. Uh oh. Someone's gonna get newted.

It's all fun and games until someone gets a screwdriver to the eye, apparently. Blast those injury to the eyes motif.

Closing ground, Roy doesn't do too much to call attention to himself, just yet. Better to be close enough to be able to do the whole - screwdriver to gun hand and hammer between the eyes of the other guy. And just how many others were there…? Let's see… if the trailer door was open and there were other people inside… maybe just… "Hey, why are you following me?"

Well, there ARE other people inside. The armored car guard is in the far back of the trailer in the tiny bathroom. There are two guards unconscious in the tunnel, but not visible from here. There's the two guards still inside, the two intruders, and two men and a woman in buisiness suits, who were counting up money into bags and making notations on a ledger, before they were interrupted. There's also a television and a security camera. Inside. The one that's supposed to be watching from outside was broken last week and they haven't gotten around to fixing it.

Nothing happens at the pit … yet. Johnny whispers to Jimmy that he might have to do the Torch thing, and several of the other mechanics eyes go wide… there's a clackity-thump-click-wheeze from various devices as fuel feeders are locked down and a whirrr as the forced air scrubber in the covered pit area is turned on. Part of the 'dissipate any fuel gas' safety protocol.

Pause. "Normally, I'd hide and do something but that equipment looks pretty ominous," Rain states. "Also, I sometimes solve problems." That's awfully vague. And she has a talking cat. That's also not exactly usual. Nevertheless, she's just gonna follow along. There's a moment, before she helps peer around. "Okay, so what're you going to do? Because I was gonna turn a guy into a newt or turn into a bear and bite him. Or something." Normally, she's not so forthright, but this is /urgent/ or something.

Whatever he's going to do, he should let Rain know before she gets all Yogi style up in here. Captain is going to hang out with Lian and the others.

"Another one of… that talking cat of yours is related to what you can do, is it…?" Not -too- slow on the uptake, that Roy Harper.

There's a motion. "Back me up in case there's more than two…" he whispers. And then…

Into the trailer, quick and fast, at the intruders, the planned hammer and screw attack.

The intruders were pretty much focused on the guards, not expecting someone to come in the door behind them. Hammer attack - a strike to the cranium would be lethal, but Roy knows better than that in a relatively confined space. The hammer, obviously, is used on the underside of the elbow of the closest one, a charlie horse of world-shattering proportions. The gun is knocked off-target, as well, and fires a short burst into the ceiling. The screwdriver, half throw, half lunge, goes into the firing mechanism of the second gun, making it unable to fire. He drops it, and Roy's in a position to catch it.

The guards, inside, are flat-footed, stunned, and stupid; their guns were not only still in their holsters but strapped tight. Not. Very. Effective.

The one whose gun was ruined lunges for Roy, shoving his elbow-smashed, screaming partner backwards.

There's a clear line of sight for Rain.

Back in the pit, Johnny smiles at Lian. "I know what you need," he says. "You need a HAT!" and he gives her the one he's wearing with the Storm Front logo on it.

"Yes, I'm a witch," Rain sighs. "… at least, I have no idea what you would-" What would he do with a hammer? Nevermind, Rain doesn't want to think about it. Nor does she want to know about his screw attack. Ahem. As things get all kinds of fighting, Rain decides to do her thing. She has to concentrate intensely for a moment, but one of the bad guys? Totally gonna turn into a yellow spotted newt. Granted, they'll get better at least. Eventually.

Captain is just gonna tag along with Johnny and Lian.

"No time to talk, witchie-poo, do your thing. I've got that other guy…!" Roy exclaims, as he catches the jammed gun, and then spins around and… putting it delicately, clubs the wannabe-thief with the handguard at just the right angle to stun him enough to grab and prepare to shove at the other guy in case it's necessary.

Becoming a newt is a major career change for your average violent racist, and the man on the floor screaming is not an exception. But his screams change, getting higher, and then stopping with a surprised gasp. His smashed elbow stops hurting as much … but then it's turned yellow, spotty, and slippery with slime… along with the rest of him. He's also shrinking. His clothing shrinks with him, transforming into a pattern on his skin. He is now an olive-chested, yellow-spotted camoflaged newt, seven inches long, on the floor, and the shock of changing has him not really able to do much.

The other attempted thief, losing the rifle to a clever disarm move, starts to draw a knife when he takes a gunstock to the face, and he's down. One of the guards wakes up enough to toss a zip-tie to Roy.

"Woah. He turned into a newt!" the other guard says.

"… witchie-poo?" Rain turns a baleful gaze to Roy. "Okay!" And then, there's a newt. "Anyone got a cup or jar?" Because she's going to scoop the newt into it. "Are these all of them?" She asks quietly. "And yeah, he'll get better," Rain offers to the guard. "Just - for now…" And at least the cops will have time to get the newt.

Snatching the zip-tie out of the air, Roy ties up the robber quickly. When he's done, he glances towards the… "Well, nice job, witchie-poo," Roy comments. "I didn't catch your name, anyway. Harper, Roy Harper."

Glancing out, Roy turns to the guard. "Only two?"

The police, in the form of two officers who were attending the races off-duty, arrive very shortly - they have two or three officers around on most race days, as well as the hired security guards - and the gunfire has brought them. One of them stops at the tunnel, checking the unconscious security, while the other one meets Roy and Rain and asks what happened. The announcer calls out over the speakers, "IT'S OK, No need to panic, folks, we had a little robbery but it was thwarted."

Johnny smiles at Lian and says, "You want your ride now? We'll have to wait for your Daddy to say it's OK first."

And in the trailer, the armored truck driver comes to the front having finished his business and says, "Wait, what's going on here?"

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