A Darker Shade of Fear - Pt 12


Here - watch THIS!
May 24, 2001
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing…

He was the next to last car to arrive at OCRP, Georgine and Hal admiring the blown Mopar as it slid by their hut with an idle that sounded like a barely muffed ProStock ride. He had barely enough time to park his car and leave Rico in the pit lanes to start getting the slicks bolted on and head over to where everyone who was actually going to be racing was standing around listening to Megan. She was standing in front of the Merc go over the layout for the evening. But, not wanting to break tradition, he didn’t hurry even for that. As he walked up behind the guy with the 911, he decided that maybe he would just lay low for the evening, at least for a while. No sense wasting good gas on easy pickings, right?

Rico had followed him over in his Ford Harley Davidson Special F-150 with the slicks and tools beneath the tonneau cover in the back. Actually, he had set up the bed of the truck as a mini pit tool area, even having mounted an air compressor and carrying one of the NASCAR one-stroke floor jacks. Kneeling down on the concrete, he slid the jack beneath the rear of the Challenger T/A and positioned the lift cradle right below the pumpkin. With one quick downward movement, the rear of the Dodge was in the air and the tire changing began.

“Ok, one more time for those that maybe came in late” she said, her stare directed at the man behind the 911 owner. “For the first two hours, it’s run what you brung. Enjoy the track rental and get all the runs in you want. I’m told we’ve got about 28 or 29 drivers listed who want to run so you should get plenty. But at 11pm, that stops.”

She paused watching a few of the early comers head back over to their cars which opened up some room for Zane to slide up closer. She continued.

“At 11, we’ll start with the grudge matches. I’ve got about 10 or 12 of them listed so we get those out of the way pretty quickly. At 11:30 that’s when everything else stops and I’ll tell you at that time who is going to do what. I paid for the rental; I get to make the rules. I can tell you this – my car will not be running anyone until 11:30 – I’ve already beaten every one of you at one time or another….” Heads nodded in the crowd, those having met up with ANNIL8R before had no objection they could offer to her statement.

Now she turned towards Dan and Sally who she at first didn’t see in the crowd. A slight grin changed the deadpan expression on her face to something a little more friendly. Sarah just leaned against the fender of ANNIL8R wishing she had worn warmer clothes and wondering if Megan was really going to follow through with what she had told her that morning…

“Dan. And Sally… how absolutely lovely to see you tonight.” Her tone was hard to read. Some thought she sounded sincere – Dan and Sally thought otherwise. Zane took a special interest in how they just stared blandly at Megan, memorizing what they were wearing and their faces. That information would be handy later…

“I’ll see you guys at 11:30. You don’t have to run anyone here either if you don’t want to. Actually, you may want to save what you’ve got for later. You will definitely need it.” Her smile was gone now, at least the one she had for Sally. She turned and headed for the tower with Sarah in tow and disappeared into the evening’s shadows.

“Weird, huh Sally?” pondered Dan.

“I don’t know if it’s so much ‘weird’ as it is downright creepy, Dan. I don’t think Megan is all there but hey, who am I to judge. I just hope our plan works and no one gets hurt.”

Dan nodded in agreement as they headed towards their cars. Most others were already headed to the staging lanes but not them. At least not yet. They were just going to watch and keep their eyes open. The TR and the X were locked up safe and secure parked where they were so the headed to the bleachers to see who could walk the walk…

Within 30 minutes, everyone knew who had the smoke and who didn’t – at least of those who were running. Most cars were low 12’s or high 11’s - except for two. Zane’s Challenger ripped easy low 11’s and everyone knew he was letting off at the big end. A couple of times, the brake lights were lit as he crossed the traps.

“Why’s he pulling that crap?” asked Sally.

“Well, I don’t know who this guy is but I’ve heard about this Plum Crazy Challenger. As far as ‘why’ he’s letting off? My guess is he wants to make some money about midnight.”

Sally thought for a second and then nodded silently in agreement. Oddly, the old “Fox in the Henhouse” story popped in her mind, just as another cool gust sent more leaves scurrying on the stones beneath the bleachers. The moon was already high in the sky and seemed to be playing hide and seek behind dark clouds. It’s funny how your mind can play tricks on you, she thought. She was sure that she heard a wolf howl – but there are no wolves around this part of the country. Right?

The sudden blast of exhaust brought her mind back to reality as she saw the purple Challenger come to the line against the LS6 Chevelle. Eleven some seconds later, she saw the reflection of the Challenger’s teal lights on the side of the Chevelle, the “Win” light tripping in the Mopar’s lane.

And so it went.

The 911 got in several runs but only beat one car – a young girl driving an LS1 T/A. Everyone else he ran he lost to – and he lost bad to the Challenger, as did nearly everyone else. The ’56 Chevy with the 502 held up pretty good until about the eighth mile mark… but then Zane just walked off and left him, beating him by about 4 car lengths. With the brakes on.

But oddly, there was one other car who came late and got into the fray around 10:30 that was merciless against everyone who lined up against him. It was a silver ’97 Supra that was obviously way past the BPU stage. He seemed to be avoiding the Challenger (or so it seemed to Zane) until shortly before 11. That was when the driver walked over to Zane’s pit and asked him if he would run him in a grudge match. Zane was sitting in a lawn chair and watched the guy walk up, thinking it was odd he still had his helmet on. He laughed out loud when the guy challenged him. Zane had watched the Import run – he was impressed of course, seeing it rip off low 11’s. But he knew he had the Supra covered – but the Supra driver didn’t know it. Why not make some money on this, he thought?

“Tell you what, Supraman… I’ll run you for a grand. How’s that?” Rico, who was sitting nearby, didn’t even look up. He just kept twirling the ratchet while holding onto the socket, enjoying the clicking sounds as it rotated around and around and around…

The driver just stood there for a moment and then reached into his left pocket and pulled a folded stack of bills. Peeling off 10, he held them up for Zane to see while he put the rest back.

“My money will be at the tree in 5 minutes and so will my car. I trust you and yours will be there too.” He quickly turned and walked away toward the starting area.

Zane was surprised to say the least. But he sure wasn’t against taking the guy’s money.

“I’ll be there” he called out. “I’ll be there alright.” Man, this was going to be even easier than he thought.

Dan looked down at his watch. 11:02 pm it read.

“Well, who’s running who?” he asked Sally. They saw 13 different pairs of cars back in the staging lanes; the last two were the purple challenger and the Supra that had been terrorizing the lanes for the previous half hour.

“I don’t know most of the Danny, but I AM interested in watching the last two run. What’s your guess?”

Dan craned his neck to see the last two cars before he answered, giving him time to think for a moment.

“The Hemi will take him. Hands down.”

Sally waited for a moment then answered.

“Nah… I don’t think so Dan. Tell you what - I’ll bet you an ice cream that the Supra will beat him” she grinned as she slid her arm around Dan’s shoulders and pulled up close to him, the breeze ruffling her soft, raspberry scented hair against the side of his face.

Dan chuckled. This was one of the many, many things he loved about Sally – she always liked a good challenge.

“You’re on. I can taste it already. Make it triple chocolate, ok?” he teased back.

“Make mine butter pecan there, Mr. Smarty Pants. You’re gonna lose so don’t even think about chocolate.”

Dan smiled once more. “We’ll see…”

Most of the grudge races were close. Two Turbo Buicks (an ’86 T-Type against the ’69 Chevelle and a WE4 against a TTA, the TTA losing even with a 12.2 time slip) ran but not against each other but hey probably should have. They both walked their opponents fairly easily. Two Syclones ran each other with the race being ultra close. The winner had a 12.98 against a 13.0 for the loser with identical .44 R/T’s. A woman driving a ’70 W30 ran her husband in his ’71 GSX – and showed him the vertical taillights above the oval exhaust tips. Dan and Sally agreed it would be a long weekend for that guy. The ’64 GTO ran someone in a 2001 WS6 T/A – and lost by more than just a couple of car lengths in spite of his 389 Tri Power being very healthy. A guy in a AMX ran a buddy in his built 340 Demon – and smoked him easily, stunning everyone in the stands. Seems the AMX wasn’t stock – it had a transplanted SVO Ford Crate Motor 5.0 under the hood feeding a built C4 going back through a Dana rear that was spraying enough NOS to fog Cleveland. Talk about your mixed marriages… Either way, he got the win light.

Even Carl got some revenge against a loudmouthed buddy with a heavily tweaked ’99 SS. The Mach 1 promptly pulled the SS by a couple of cars in spite of the 150 shot of spray the built LS1 was using. There, that ought to shut the assclown up, thought Carl with his big grin. A LOT of grudges were settled it seemed.

Finally, the Challenger and the Supra were behind the water boxes.

Both warmed their tires at the same time and everyone in the stands were hushed. Even the other drivers, including the embarrassed Porsche driver, were all at the Cyclone fence or in the bleachers to see the Clash of the Titans – Part 1.

No surprise to anyone, the blown Hemi won the psuedo-burnout contest, doing a John Force style smoker a hundred yards past the staging beams. The Supra simply boiled the hides until a nice white fog covered the rear half of the car and pulled up, watching Zane backing up and hearing the crowd’s approval for the prelims.

As both cars lined up and broke the Prestage beams, the crowd was all on its feet. Even Megan and Sarah were watching from the tower, Megan standing near the Microphone for the PA, waiting to announce what was coming up after this race was over.

In the stands, numerous side bets had been placed. Money was going to change hands soon and not just in small amounts.

*Blink* Both Pre-stage bulbs were lit for both lanes. Zane waited for the Supra to stage first, figuring that the Supra would want to build boost. But surprising, the Silver car just sat there too. Then, Zane pulled on into the Stage beam with a curse. *Blink* Time to show this guy what he’s not shown ANYone yet tonight. Hell hath no fury like that of a Blown HEMI… The Supra immediately followed into the Stage beam. *Blink*

The tree began to fall.

*Blink* First amber. Both cars had the RPMS up, the HEMI rumbling deeply with hundreds more cubes than the inline six of the Supra, its blower’s butterflies cracked just a little and the Supra’s Turbo spooling up while it sucked hundreds of cfms of intercooled air through its train-car size front mount. But the Supra was no Library Saint itself – it was noisy but in a much different tonal spectrum than the Challenger. However, another interesting item was the transmissions the cars had. The HEMI was a Lenco type tranny, the Supra had a built auto. Zane would be yanking levers – the Supra just had to point and shoot.

*Blink* Second amber. Both cars now were full against the transmissions. The torque application to the drive trains was enormous with each motor trying to tear itself free of the motor mounts. Boost in the Supra was now near 4 psi and climbing quickly.

*BLINK* Third amber – both drivers began their launch each aimi*Blink* ng for the perfect .40.

*Blink* GREEN! Both cars were already rolling now, the torque twisting the drive trains harsh enough to lift the noses of both cars. The Supra stayed planted – the Hemi lifted both wheels 6 inches off the pavement as it launched with a deafening roar. Even with its nose in the air, the Challenger got the lower 60-foot time – a 1.54 to a 1.59. Things were looking grim for the Supra and the poor guy didn’t even know it.

At the eighth though, it was neck and neck. The shifts were flawless and right at the top of the power band for both cars. Those farther down the track could see the enormous butterflies gaped open on the 6-71 as the purple car tried to leave the ground with each shift.

At the far end, Rico saw it coming. He saw the launch and laughed as the HEMI reached for the sky, knowing that Zane had finally let it all hang out. Then, just when he thought the Supra was done for, he realized that it was not even close to being over. From his view, the Supra looked to actually be pulling ahead.

In the stands, everyone cheered at the wheel stand and watched in awe as the HEMI headed down the track with the Supra seemingly welded to its side. Dan marveled at how far technology had come. If someone had thought even just 15 years ago that an inline six-cylinder import could even dare launch with an elephant, he would be laughed at. Now, it was obvious that size truly does not matter. Well, not much anyhow. Maybe he would have to buy that Butter Pecan after all…

Megan and Sarah waited for the electronics to announce the winner. It was simply impossible to tell from their vantage point who had the lead.

Zane looked over to his left as he grabbed 4th and saw the Supra still at his side.

“Damn!” he cursed, trying to shove the pedal on through the floorboard. The HEMI was definitely going to bust the 10’s and he knew it. But so was that damn Ricer.

The Supra jockey listened to the music of the modified Mark IV screaming like a banshee in full song as he kept the HEMI close. Would he pull it off? The traps were only a second away.

Those at the finish line, including Rico, could not agree with who won. They all ran back a little to see which lane got the win. Everyone gasped and few cheered when the bulbs lit up for the far lane.

The HEMI had a 10.33.

The Supra’s board showed a 10.35 and the win. His .41 R/T won the race over Zane’s .44.

The crowd was stunned! A bird had killed the Elephant.

Zane was shocked to see he had lost when he picked up his slip at the shack. He knew it was close – but not that close. But the numbers didn’t lie. Now, not only was he a thousand dollars lighter, this just HAD to have screwed up what was going to happen later.

He settled himself after a moment.

No, it didn’t have to change all of it. Not the really good part, anyhow – right?

Sally looked over at Dan with a smug smile. “I’m not going to say anything. Well, other than ‘Make it a double’”.

Dan laughed but still stunned at what he had just witnessed.

“Well… I guess there is the proof that there IS a replacement for displacement.”

Sally smiled and nodded just as the PA crackled and squealed, Megan finally getting the knobs right in the booth. Everyone hushed and looked up at the closest speaker.

“I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight to the track. I’ve been waiting a long time for tonight and soon, you’ll see why. Many of you here know me; many of you don’t. But I doubt if there’s any of you that haven’t heard of the Black Mercury I drive.”

Heads nodded in agreement as the murmuring died down completely.

“I want to see five people at the base of this tower in five minutes. Dan and Sally – you know who you are. Zane. And Jenny – the Supra driver.”

The crowd was stunned once more – it was a WOMAN driving that car, they asked each other incredulously? And who was this Rico fellow?

“And lastly, I want Joshua to meet me there too.”

Dan and Sally were now stunned. Joshua? Wasn’t he the guy with the badass Cobra a couple years back that was in a fiery crash?

It seems it is – the one and the same. What could HE possibly have to do with the events of the evening?

Unfortunately, they would find out in less than an hour…

To be continued…(Sorry, but you know this story just has to have 13 parts!)
What the ***, what do you mean to be continued?:confused: and why does this story not have a buick winner in it?:confused: But a good little story:D
Originally posted by black84
What the ***, what do you mean to be continued?:confused: and why does this story not have a buick winner in it?:confused:

If you only knew how bad it's going to get before it gets better... if it gets better at all.