Sunday, March 15, 2009

Get Your Motor Running

"CASCADE BEER AND THE LANCE POINT OIL CONSORTIUM BRING YOU THE LANCE POINT GEAR RACING RALLY!" Gears raced across the desert sands as the loud thud of a bass drum and compelling electronic music tried to make the Lance Point Gear Racing Rally the coolest thing in the Badlands. Girls in tiny bikinis and boys in tight shorts frolicked in the foreground while behind them a couple of gears kicked up a huge trail of dust as they raced through the desert.


The trideo image flickered as the Longrunner jostled a bit from the drive. Avatanya Brom grunted, beer in hand, remote control in the other. Her hair was up in curlers, her eyes half-open, half-interested, half-drunk. Avatanya had so little free time to enjoy, but she couldn't help herself. The trideo's siren call beckoned all too alluringly. She took a slug of beer and watched the advert for the racing rally that was going to prove quite lucrative for a savvy enough caravan trader.

"Anyone with a gear can enter!"

ZOOM! A tricked-out Hunter flew past the camera.

"All gear models valid!"

ZOOM! A Jager flashed by in the other direction.

"5000 Mark or Dinar entry fee!"

Trudge-Trudge-Trudge. A Groundhog work gear waddled past.

"Sorry! Only gears with Secondary Movement Systems allowed!" (waah waah waaaaaah)

ZOOM! The Hunter and Jager zipped by again, causing the Groundhog to spin and fall in a cartoonish heap.

"Entry Deadline is 33 Winter 1920!!

See LancePointRacing1920 on the Hermes 72 Network!"

Avatanya was already snoring loudly by the time the commercial break ended, and her favourite Emirate reality soap opera, "LOVESLAVES", was back on.


"Well, would you look at that!"

"That's one fine looker right there!"

"Hot damn!"


The assembled little group in the Cave, the Longrunner truck devoted to vehicle repairs and maintenance walked around the newly revealed gear.

"Peter, I'm impressed!" nodded Josephina, as she inspected the Hunter.

"Yeah, well, Peter didn't do this all by himself, you know!" Trishaw Carmichael puffed on a cigar as he leaned into his cane, "damn machine took nearly a week of work!" he mumbled the last bit to himself.

"Thanks Jo, thanks Carmichael," the large gear pilot smiled shyly from atop the Hunter's shoulder. Peter clambered down slowly, and then sat down on the gear's foot armour piece.

"So, you like?"

Natty nodded vigourously, "I love the paint job!"

"Thanks. It's my old scheme from Innsbruck," Peter smiled. Peter had been a professional gear racer on the Innsbruck Death Track 1000 race before the war. His old gear, a Grizzly, was painted blue with red flash. This Hunter was done up in the same way.

"What's her name?" Kelly asked, as she inspected the Hunter's legs, "I like the reinforcements here," she pointed, "but you've taken off so much armour!"

"Yeah, well it's cuz of the race I'm entering. The 500km cross-country endurance. I figured I'd get Carmichael to reinforce the legs while I took off some armour for more speed. It's going to be friendly anyways," Peter looked as unconvinced as the rest of the caravan crew. "Well, I didn't take off too much armour!" He chuckled.

"Fine fine fine," Ari Mendelbaum nodded, "what's her name?"

"Bulldog" Peter replied.


"Sorry Peter, I couldn't help it!" Ari grinned his toothy grin. The tall, lanky pilot tugged off the canvas from his Warrior III. The fabric fell and revealed a grey and red painted gear.

"Ooooh!" Natty cooed, "sexy!"

Ari blushed a little, "er, thanks!"

"So what, the two of you are gonna race off? Sorry Mendelbaum, but I don't think you'll beat Peter," Kelly patted her caravan partner on the shoulder, reaching up slightly, "no offense."

"Hey whoah whoah!" Peter raised his hands up, caught off guard as he admired Mendelbaum's gear, "Ari's got a shot, Kelly!"

"Aww, thanks Pete," Ari grinned back, mussing Kelly's hair in a dangerous way, "but I'm not entering the endurance race."

"Oh?" Josephina frowned.

"Nah. Not my thing. Corsair here is running the urban obstacle race. It's only three laps, and really intense." Ari patted the gear's leg joint, "I have Corsair rigged up to give me a speed boost and some extra torque. Should come in handy in those tight corners," he winked at Josephina, who smirked in reply.

"Well Mendelbaum," Kelly looked at the gear, "you might just make something of yourself yet."

The laughter lit up the Cave and the pilots and techs decided to adjourn with a bottle of whiskey. Two pairs of eyes looked around the corner from where the two racing gears were now parked. Karin and Tessa looked at each other ominously.

"Do you think we should tell them?" Tessa asked quietly. She looked over her shoulder at the form hidden under a tarp, tucked discretely behind a pile of old crates.

"Nah, I think it should be a surprise," Karin followed her friend's gaze and smiled excitedly, "we're gonna blow their minds!" she whispered.


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.