The Speedsters

The Speedsters

A Chapter by TabaD
"

One never stops learning... truth that became fact for the first Dragon as she ventures to Kansas to learn the art of racing and the meaning of speed.

"

The Speedsters

 

During the following week, David Bowman began to contact John and asked for my help, as it was expected. It wasn’t hard for him to find me, I mean, everybody knew by now where the first dragon to ever exist lived. I answered yes, and through John I arranged with David how it all would go. David sent satellite pictures of his home and reference points to John as we agreed I would fly to his home in Kansas to stay and train for the Selections. It had to be that way; otherwise, it would take David and Icy a whole day to make a trip I would make in a single hour.

 

One afternoon I was in the highest point of the Darst Family’s lands, laid on the ground and looking at the city… wondering how different Kansas would be from the places I knew. Suddenly, Elvis and Pyro landed near me. As I lifted my head from the ground, I greeted them.

 

Elvis, Pyro…

 

To what Pyro answered… We came to wish you good luck. Are you ready for this?

 

I am not sure…

 

-Don’t worry, Furia… -Said Elvis with a very enthusiastic tone-… Sports can induce a very strong competitive instinct; you will be feeling better once you start practicing for the competitions.

 

Thanks, guys… I mean for everything. I wouldn’t have snapped out on my own.

 

You know you’ve got your back covered, sis. I’m sure you are going to Ace this. Said Pyro, to what I answered while getting up from the ground…

 

You guys are the best. I’ll see John before the journey. See ya in some months!

 

Giving my home a last glance, I reviewed in my mind the pictures John had showed me of David’s home and the reference points. I took off and flew low to the house. Outside there were John and Sahara, he was getting ready the saddle to go to meet some customers when he saw me arriving.

 

-Hey, Furia; is it time?   -John asked.

 

Yup… I’m gonna miss you all in these months.

 

-We will miss you too. We know you are going to give your best.

 

I will… -I then turned around and took off North towards Kansas, while roaring as I said-… See ya when I come back carrying the first prize!!

 

To what Sahara answered with a roar as well… First price or nothing Furia! Good luck!!

 

As time flew by, I began to see the dragons that lived in Kansas’s Outskirts and began to look for the reference points that would direct me to David’s house. Later, deep into the city’s aerial space, amazed by the features this new land had for me to admire, it was difficult for me to find my way to the meeting point. What distracted me the most was the “RPM Speedway”. I knew race tracks, when flying above them in Texas, I could see the races and also Patrick told me about them, though I never thought of becoming a racer myself.

 

It took me a while to find David’s home, it was a big house in the other side of the town’s outskirts. I was received with a loud cheer from both people and dragons as I landed in the evening. It was like some kind of an outside party, there were people having drinks together and there were two buffets one for people and another huge one for dragons. For the dragons there were many kinds of meat with a variety of sauces to bathe the big cuts of meat into. There were also employees whose job was to help the dragons with their drinks; taking the big or small barrels, whether it was beer or strong alcohol, towards the dragon who asked for it. The employees had their dragons scattered tactically so when a dragon ordered a drink they could tell their riders the kind of drink they ordered.

 

Suddenly, David and Icy stepped in front of the crowd and saluted me, which meant great relieve for me. Though I didn’t know them very well, I had spoken with them through John and that at least connected me with them in some way. At the moment, David and Icy were the only individuals I at least knew out of the big group of dragons and people that welcomed me.

 

-Furia “Wings of Liberty”! It’s such a great honor to have you among us! How grateful Icy and I are cannot be expressed, thank you. Now come, let me introduce you to everyone.

 

David introduced me to his wife and her dragon; there were also David’s and Icy’s sponsors, some important investors and associates, personal friends of them and a couple of important personalities from the world of Dragon Racing. And David had me meet every single one of them.

 

At a moment, David introduced me to his best friend and his dragon…

 

-This is my best friend, Dani Qismat, and his dragon Mantra. We know each other since we were kids and they are the only ones that can match me and Icy when it comes to Dragon Racing. You’ll get to know them very well too, since we’ll train with them…

 

David also introduced me to his important contacts…

 

-If it wasn’t for these guys, you wouldn’t be able to help us right now!

 

And so on until I found myself comfortable, eating, having a drink and telling anecdotes to a small group of people and dragons.

 

Later in the night, everyone bid farewell to me and complimented David for the party before mounting on and riding away, except Dani and Mantra. I, who found myself tired and lightly inebriated, was walking around with Icy, David, Dani and Mantra, far away from the house. We could be seen having a good time as we chatted on, a dragon and his rider on his back at each of my sides. Mantra and Icy were a couple of feet taller, larger in general, than me, like two warriors escorting me through some dangerous place. Icy saying…

 

… I had to take a very closed curve at a very high speed in order to pass the racers in front of me. It was suicidal! The energy we carried combined with that sudden change of speed and direction could have killed David and hurt me like hell; I could have broken my spine in the twists or something like that. But we wouldn’t give the first prize just that easy. We took the curve without lowering our speed not even a little bit and flew up and to the left while twisting to that same direction. I could feel the strain on both David’s and mine bodies, but it was so priceless to see the racers braking before the curve that I felt even more encouraged when I throttled up and dived at top speed towards the finish line. As soon as we landed, David threw up and fainted while I just collapsed and fainted as well. Two days later we were awaken and our sponsors informed us that we got the first prize by a head!

 

To what I answered…

 

Man, that was an amazing race.

 

Not only that, the luck we had. I got a couple of vertebrae slid out of place while David was lucky he could get out of bed on his own. David couldn’t heal me in the state he was thus the doctors lasted a week just figuring out how to put my back together.

 

I’ll be frank; I never thought the Dragon Sports could be so risky.

 

Oh, they are, no one has died so far, but they are. Combat Aces events can be as fierce and dangerous as an actual dogfight in the battlefield. I have seen many broken wings and crash-landings. And the Air Climbing event? The strain on the wings and the effort a dragon has to do to take off straight up is so exhausting that I have seen dragons passing out right next to me in the middle of a competition. If it wasn’t for the emergency dragons, they would have crashed straight down, meaning certain death.

 

I got to remember my own encounters with death and battle injuries, I felt insecure about all this for a moment. In the end, who made me feel comfortable when surrounded by death and pain it was always Patrick. Though I wouldn’t let myself be felt pity for, I quickly redirected the conversation towards Dani and Mantra by turning my head to them…

 

How come you two aren’t participating? You guys are the only ones who can match David and Icy after all.

 

Then Dani answered me…

 

-David and I went for a “Rock, Paper, Scissors” match.

 

This triggered me to ask…

 

Why not a race? to let the best one go for the gold…

 

It was Icy at my other side who answered…

 

No need to. These events aren’t one-in-a-lifetime-like; so, in some years, the next racers for Kansas will be Dani and Mantra.

 

Of course, they were friends. They wouldn’t create a rivalry between them just for a race. Without mentioning that they both knew no one else would be a match for them if one of them was the winner. Though the first idea Icy gave to me about the Dragon Sports was the same as a battlefield, this was evidence that be it between friends and/or racers, there was some kind of code between the speedsters. After that quick and relieving realization, I came up with an idea…

 

Why don’t we go get more drinks?

 

Why not, indeed?

 

Yeah, let’s go!

 

Answered Icy and Mantra respectively… We took off and got to the area the drinks were, but this time there were no employees to open the barrels for us, nor we had David and Dani to do it. We just bit off the top of the barrel… wasted a bit of beer, but was the quickest way to get the alcohol. Half an hour later we were wasted out to the level of not even making sense when talking.

 

Next morning… or more exactly, next noon, I woke up with a horrible hangover. I grunted hard before I got up and stretched my wings and legs as I yawned epically. Mantra and Icy were next to me; we were separated by a couple of meters from each other and surrounded by empty barrels. There were piles of ashes and burnt meat to the black point. What was left of the sauces was now spilled to the ground. We had created the mother of messes.

 

David and Dani were walking by, suddenly, David said…

 

-Hey Furia! You sure know how to party!

 

I couldn’t give him a clever answer, nor would I try to with this headache, so I just gave him a gesture: I tilted very lightly my head with a quick movement and winked in the act. As if I was saying “You know I do.” Then Dani said…

 

-Oh crap.

 

-Fifty dollars, Dani! I told you!!

 

As Dani took out some money from his wallet and gave it to David, he said…

 

-How come Furia woke up first? Both Icy and Mantra are bigger!

 

-Furia has been drinking since earlier, that’s what matters, idiot! �"David said before laughing out loud.

 

-F**k off… -Said an angry Dani.

 

David then told me…

 

-You must be awfully thirsty, huh?

 

I nodded with enthusiasm, slightly opening my mouth and sticking out my dry tongue.

 

-There’s a river not very far in that direction.   �"Said David as he pointed out with his arm.

 

I gratefully nodded and thought of taking off, but I was still too dizzied up. Plus I decided to wake up Icy and Mantra; no point of roaming on my own this new lands. I proceeded to roar at them, which was an awful idea; my own sounds rebounded in my mind and stung my brain. Icy and Mantra lifted their heads and slowly looked around and as they saw me fully awaken, Icy said…

 

Oh, Furia, what the f**k…

 

To what I answered…

 

Hurry up and wake up. How come this hatchling can handle drinks better than both of you grandpas?

 

You are older than both of us, that doesn’t count.  Said Mantra.

 

To what I just laughed at; these racers were supposed to be more experienced than me. The same with Sahara, she is my rider’s father’s dragon, she was supposed to be a parental figure for me, but instead, I helped her at learning to fly. I was so young and so old at the same time.

 

Time went fast in the rest of the day; we all flew over Hays, including Dani, and David, who I allowed to ride me with Icy’s saddle, not to strain Icy. Mantra and Icy told me about the sports and how they trained together. Also… my training would start in the next day. When we were tired, Dani and Mantra flew to their home; they would meet us at David’s early in the morning to start training. We went back to the house at night’s birth and, as soon as David unsaddled me, I dropped asleep on the ground.

 

The next morning I woke up so fresh and revitalized. Went to hunt really early for a small prey, so when everyone woke up to train me, I would be sharp and ready. Eventually, David and Icy woke up and we were waiting for Dani and Mantra. In the meantime, David and Icy told me about the competitions.

 

-There are many kinds of events, what matters about them is how many you win in the end, not which ones you won. That’s why you have to be good at every single one of them or at least the most possible to win. There’s the Racing Event, nothing special about it; just a couple of laps, end in first place to earn a Victory. The Air Climbing Event is divided in two competitions, The Top Flyer, which consists in determining who of the Riders can get to the highest altitude before coming down. And The Speed Air Climber, this one is about getting to a certain altitude in a straight line up and faster than the rest.

 

There is also the Combat Aces Event, as well divided into different competitions: Dogfight Event, all teams in the air and whoever is hit with Vital Energy lands; the winner is whoever stays untouched in the air. Dragon Wrestling, this one is just for dragons, immobilize your opponent until he or she gives up, oh, which reminds me, participants must dull their fangs and claws to participate.

 

I intervened and interrupted Icy because I kind of didn’t hear well.

 

Wait, what? I must… “dull”… my fangs and claws?

 

Well… yeah, Furia. The competition involves biting in order to immobilize your opponent and it’s too risky with naturally sharp fangs and claws, you could kill a competitor by accident.

 

I’m not going to dull my weapons, Icy.

 

But we need all the points necessary to…

 

-Wow, Icy! Furia is helping us, if she doesn’t want to participate in a certain event, then she doesn’t have to. Besides, it’s just one point…

 

Just one point, David? Are you forgetting about the Flame Throwing Event?

 

What about the Flame Throwing Event?   -I asked.

 

David sighed and said…

 

-There’s one team that is specialized on flame throwing, Hershel McGriff and his dragon, Valkyrie “Hell’s Hound”. Her flames can reach a distance of twelve meters and she can hold them for up to four and a half seconds.

 

I can hold my flames for almost 3 seconds and can reach almost 9 meters, improving my flames won’t be a problem.

 

I proudly stated, but was quickly turned down by Icy…

 

It isn’t that simple, Furia, improving the flames takes a lot of time and is horribly painful, especially if you try to go further very hard. Hershel McGriff is an all-time known pyromaniac, no wonder that’s his dragon’s specialty.

 

Well, don’t worry; I’ll handle all other competitions; are those all?

 

There’s another division from the Combat Aces Event left, Rider’s Arts, which is the same as Dragon Wrestling, but for riders.

 

-There’s also the Free Style Presentation, in which each team performs an acrobatic maneuver. The presentation can involve anything, from displays of ability with Vital Energy by the Rider to risky maneuvers with fire by the Dragon.

 

And the most important event is left for last, The Endurance Course.

 

That doesn’t sound as intimidating as the other names…

 

-Don’t let that fool you, Furia; The Endurance Course is a four hours long race with stations with challenges for the Rider. In the end, the purpose is to arrive to the end in first place, so everything has to be done as quickly as possible; there are no stops to catch breath. That competition is hardly completed by half the participants.

 

Four hours! That’s insane! I can only fly for three hours, and that’s ending up completely exhausted…

 

-Don’t you worry, Furia, we are professional Racers; we will help you improve your numbers in no time! Now, wait here…

 

David then walked away and went around the house. A minute later, he came back carrying what I assumed was a very weird saddle.

 

Is that a saddle?  I had to ask.

 

Placing the saddle on the ground, he said…

 

This is a standard training saddle; two times heavier than the saddles you are used to, and three times less aerodynamic. You will notice a lot the difference at first, but when you start feeling comfortable with it, then it means you are getting somewhere.

 

Alright, what are we waiting for, then?

 

Just Mantra and Dani… Oh there they are; perfect timing.

 

-Come on guys, I thought we’d be ready to go when I arrived!

 

Exclaimed Dani as he and Mantra landed near us. Soon David saddled me and we began our training. We did maneuvers, some kind of shorter endurance course, and to finish, a sprint. One important detail was that Dani and Mantra used a regular saddle while I used the awful and wrongly designed training saddle.

 

It was horrible just to try to keep Mantra’s pace, impossible for me to catch up with them. I found myself many times cursing the damned saddle as well as amazed. Come on!! Come on, Furia!! You can reach them… F**k! Are you kidding me!? Just a little bit of weight!!? Come on!!

 

I was panting, laid on the ground as David unstrapped himself and jumped on the ground. Dani unstrapped himself from Mantra, who was so sparkly and shiny with energy she made me question my own physical state. I have survived countless battles, I trained an army, I revolutionized the whole world… and… a saddle… a saddle! … brought me to the ground… just… unbelievable.

 

-Well, Furia… want to hear it?

 

I turned my head to David, sweeping the dirt with the underside of my jaw, doing a small gesture in the end so he would start.

 

-Your strength is awesome when it comes to short periods of time, Furia. You are a very strong dragon and very agile at the same time. But when it comes to racing, you rely on your instincts and your speed only. In result, your movements are too sharp, as if we were constantly under attack, which was very important back in the day. Right now, what we have to do is turn the sharpness and aggressiveness of your movements into soft and fluent movements… that and improving your cardio for the Endurance Course Event. I think we focus on those and you’ll be ready to win the Selections. Let’s take half an hour so you can recover some breath.

 

I actually enjoyed hearing David pointing out my flaws so frankly and directly. It remembered me so much of when Clyde trained me and Patrick for combat. After nodding to David, I turned away my head and just looked to the distance, remembering good times… and bad ones as well. I just couldn’t kill the idea in my mind that it was my fault everything that happened to Patrick.

 

Turn legends or turn forgotten, Furia.” was what he said. “We’ll do it together.” Was what I answered… sure we would, Patrick… sure we would. I’m sorry.

 

After the half an hour, David climbed onto my saddle once again and we went for another flight with Dani and Mantra. We continued training until exhausting me in the end of the day.

 

 

 

 

Not exactly that day, somewhere in Missouri… a man opened his office and entered, happily whistling, carrying a small glass with three blocks of ice, a bottle of whisky, a cigar and a newspaper. The man sat at his desk, served himself some whisky and then proceeded to light his cigar. Exhaling a large cloud of smoke, the man looked at the first page, where the important titles were, and his barely starting good day suddenly dropped with his eyebrows as he frowned at a certain new.

 

The man sighed and grabbed the phone on his desk, pressed the speed-dial and waited a couple of seconds. When the person he called answered, he just said…

 

-Sanchez, I want Smith alive.

 

The man then hung up the phone and proceeded to read his newspaper. He was back again having a wonderful day as he smoked and drank in the quietness of his office.

 

A couple of days later, one night, the man was about to start a very intimate event with his wife when his cellphone, next to them on the bed table, rang. He turned his head to the source of the sound and tried to reach for it with his arm, but his wife held him hard and said…

 

-Come on, hun, just this one time…

 

As she finished, she proceeded to kiss him. But he didn’t answer the kiss; he just slowly pushed her away and lowly said…

 

-Wait for me.

 

His wife grunted and sighed as he just reached for the phone and answered just saying…

 

-Sanchez…  Good Job. Have the rest meet you at the place and wait for me.

 

He then dialed another number and said…

 

-Joe, you know the drill.

 

The man then hung up, called his dragon with his mind, took a shower, got dressed, saddled his dragon and took off.

 

Somewhere else, still in Missouri, in a very isolated cabin, a man was tied on a table. There were as well another four men in the cabin, one short Latin-American, one tall and muscular and two athletic twins. They weren’t tied; they were just standing next to the table and watching over the tied one.

 

-Please, Sanchez, you don’t have to do this. I can disappear! Shawver, please!! You won’t get any problems! I swear! Please, help me! Claypool Brothers! Anyone!!

 

Later, the man arrived and landed near the cabin. There was another man that greeted him; he was dressed as a surgeon, just waiting in the cabin’s porch.

 

-As soon as I go, he’s yours, Joe.

 

The surgeon, so called Joe, nodded as the man walked past him and entered the cabin. As he found himself inside, he said…

 

-Good job, Sanchez.

 

-Thank you, Mr. Prisco.

 

Suddenly, the man on the table intervened and said…

 

-Boss!! Mr. Prisco!! Please forgive me!! Send me again!! I won’t fail this time!!!...

 

-Shut up, Smith! I know you won’t fail me anymore (as the man on the table shut up, he continued)… besides, this is not happening to you because of a failure, relax. (He went closer and put a hand on the shoulder of the man on the table). See, Phoenix failed once and it cost me a million dollars to vanish him from the authorities’ records, he shot his target in the head and this one miraculously survived. Peterson also failed in his very initiation; he stabbed his target eleven times in the chest, but this one survived. He only cost me six hundred thousand dollars because he used Vital Energy. Both of them haven’t failed me since then because they know I’ll kill them if they do. Now, since what you did isn’t exactly a failure, I’m killing you because you think yourself smarter than me…

 

Smith interrupted Mr. Prisco with tears in his eyes…

 

-No, boss… it isn’t…

 

-Shut up… Let me tell you why you aren’t smarter than me, and also how you fucked up the entire job…

 

-It wasn’t my intention!! I thought it would be better to avoid problems with the Dragon Division!!

 

Mr. Prisco punched Smith in the face a couple of times, and continued…

 

-Which is why you didn’t kill “Speed Demon”, you should you could scare them off instead of doing what you were told. You didn’t think David Bowman would surely try to compete with another dragon… to then participate in the National Cup with his dragon. At least we still have time to clean this s**t YOU created.

 

-That’s impossible! One can’t compete with another dragon!

 

Mr. Prisco sighed and said…

 

-Damn, I should have got rid of you long ago… well; just for your information… the contracts for the racers don’t specify the dragon’s name… at least not for now.

 

Smith could just look at Mr. Prisco with wide eyes and a broken breathing.

 

-What? No, no… no… that can’t…

 

-It is, Smith… (Mr Prisco then directed himself towards the other men, who just were standing a couple of feet from the table.) Sanchez, make sure the whole organization knows of this and why it happened. Also, wait for Joe to finish, and then go home. Good job.

 

-Thank you, Mr. Prisco.

 

Mr. Prisco then walked towards the door as Smith screamed…

 

-No!! Please!! Not Joe!!! NOT JOE!! NOO!! Please kill me yourself, boss!!! NOOOOO!!

 

Sanchez and the rest followed Mr. Prisco outside and lit a cigarette as he saw his boss and his band getting onto their dragons and taking off, and then nodded to Joe. Joe then went inside and Smith’s screams increased exponentially…

 

-NO!! JOE PLEASE!! I can pay you!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS!!!! NOOO!! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

 

The next wasn’t just screaming, Smith was squealing, crying as the most horrible pain was being inflicted to him.

 

Sanchez, on the porch, just smoked peacefully, used to the background sounds. He had heard the same melody many more times than what is mentally healthy. A cost he gladly paid for being Mr. Prisco’s right hand and the head of the band of assassins. At a moment, Sanchez just muttered…

 

-F**k you Smith, using less poison… I told you this was going to happen.

 

An hour later, the crying stopped and Sanchez, who was still smoking, said to himself…

 

-Finally, time to go home.

 

Suddenly, the door opened and Joe slowly walked outside. His sleeves were all covered in blood and he was carrying a huge bag that was still dropping blood. Joe walked to his dragon, who lay on the ground and opened his mouth as Joe got closer and closer. Joe then placed himself right in front of the dragon’s maw and opened the bag and turned it upside down, pouring the meaty and bloody contents out as they splashed inside the dragons jaws as if he was a trashcan. When it was over, he took off the surgeon suit, revealing he had clean regular clothes underneath, while his dragon tasted and swallowed the food he was just given. Joe placed the surgeon suit along with the bag and asked Sanchez for a cigarette, who gave it to him. Then he slightly dipped the filter with the blood on his suit and put the cigarette in his mouth. Joe then asked Sanchez for a lighter, and with it he lit his cigarette.

 

When Joe returned the lighter, Sanchez said…

 

-F**k, Joe… it’s like the fifteenth time I see you doing that and still it’s fucked up.

 

Joe smiled and blew smoke at Sanchez’s face, who just waved it away with his hand as he said…

 

-Just finish already with this… you sick b*****d.

 

Joe then stepped away as his dragon arched up his neck and stood up, to then exhale a firestorm just at the bloody bag and the bloody suit…and just a moment later… there was none of it to be found… everything was burnt to nothing but ashes. A clean crime scene with no body nor traces in the end. Joe cleaned the cabin and once done, both he and Sanchez got onto their dragons and took off in different directions.



© 2016 TabaD


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Added on January 23, 2016
Last Updated on January 23, 2016
Tags: sports, racing, endurance, improvement, racers, lessons, training, speed, mafia, gore, assassination


Author

TabaD
TabaD

Santiago, Dominican Republic



About
My main characteristic as an individual is that I enjoy strong emotions. I like horse riding, off-road driving and gun shooting. I enjoy Metal music mainly, my favorite band is Corroded. I like writin.. more..

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