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Ben Hur Invitational: Five Stars (IC)

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09/11/2016

12:35 PM

The Boardwalk

Freedom City

 

It really does say something about Freedom City that the men and women on the Boardwalk weren't overly concerned by the sudden sound of speeding cars. The echo of revving engines up and down the long wooden walks. The squealing of rubber tires. Oh, I grant you, the majority of the citizens present still dove for safety when a trio of multicolored sports cars came screaming past, but they didn't let it end their perfectly nice shopping day on Freedom City's famous Boardwalk.

 

The call had come in a few hours before - an 'anonymous tip' from a 'concerned citizen'. Five cars, complete with descriptions of license plates, would be stolen from the parking lot of one of the most expensive hotels in Freedom City. Cars worth millions - tens, if not hundreds of millions - in value. One, even belonging to a noted diplomat visiting from the Middle East. Thanks to the vigilant efforts of the FCPD, two had been stopped at the lot - one by catching the thief in the hotel bar's washroom (attempting to flush a shoe down the toilet?), and the other just before he'd jacked the door.

 

It was the remaining three that were giving the FCPD headaches trying to catch.

 

The first was a Lamborghini (because of course one was a Lamborghini) - it tore down one of the Boardwalk's straightaways, managing to take the lead for a few minutes - skidding around a corner on two wheels. Black, with red neon underlights; she belonged to a notable reality star who was currently screaming at one of the police officers in the hotel parking lot about how she'd sue the pants off anyone who so much as scratched it.

 

The second, riding right on it's tail, was a lovely Ferrari. Cherry-red, of course, and belonging to a pleasantly tubby multi-millionaire internet tycoon; producer of the notable Irate Fowl knockoff of a popular video game series. He wasn't threatening to sue the pants off whoever scratched it, he was more threatening to ruin their credit scores. Yeah, he was one of those people. Bit late for it, either way - the thief behind the wheel wasn't that subtle about ploughing through a souvenir stand, and a Centurion shirt was currently flying like a flag off the back spoiler.

 

And the last...oh, the last. Neon yellow Bugatti Veyron. This was the diplomat's vehicle. Import, with diplomatic plates, and who knew what in the glove compartment. This one was steadily remaining in the middle of the pack, the driver the most conservative of the three. Not to say he wasn't a point of concern - he'd escaped the parking lot by ramping off an asphalt pile and flying over the retaining wall. Credit where it was due, however, the gentleman in the turban who owned the car hadn't stated any threats or made any violent statements of intent if his car was damaged. He didn't really have to - savvy?

 

Either way, under the circumstances - made sense when multiple networks monitored by heroes of the city started screaming blue murder begging for help before someone got killed, eh? Let's see who answered the call and why!

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Thoughtspeed had been out for a run that night. He had been taking more of those, recently, between having graduated high school, and what happened with his grandfather. 

 

Then he happened by an electronics store with the news on, zipped in to figure out where they were at, and zipped back out, pushing himself to the limit to get over there quickly. It didn't really take him that long; they'd gotten some distance, but compared to him, those cars moved in slow-motion. The trick, of course, was going to be containing the situation without risking lives, or excessive property damage.

 

He was invisible at the moment, the action being almost instinctive. He was maintaining pace with the cars, just about 50 yards back for the moment. At this point he was hoping another hero or two showed up. He was worried about what would happen if he tried to take on all 3 at once. 

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This Sunday afternoon, Casey was wandering the Bayview Mall, mostly window-shopping and eating soft pretzels, when her ears picked up a call going out on the police radio frequency about stolen sports cars and illegal street racing. The blonde heroine wolfed down the last of her pretzel and slurped down her cherry Coke Icee in record time (ahhh, brain freeze!) before heading for the nearest exit. In no time at all, Miracle Girl was in her costume and in the air, flying over to the Boardwark.

 

It didn't take long for her to spot the three cars (the high performance engines flared white hot in the infrared), and soon she was over them, easily keeping pace with the lead car as she kept her eyes peeled for any pedestrians who might need rescue from the path of the speeding vehicles.

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"I know it's your uncles third favorite car."  Ace sighed into the phone as he stepped out into the valet line as the Danger Mobile rumbled to a stop in front of him.  With a smile he tipped the confused velt looking into the driverless car with wonder and slid in the driver seat, "And yes of course I understand it's sovereign territory when have I ever been one to disrespect that Kahlid?"  he asked with a hint of mirth in his noice as he punched up the link to the FCPD live feeds to track the cars and eased away from the curb, "I'll do what I can but remember this makes us even for that thing that time."  he reminded his contact before hanging up and patting the dash fondly, "Been awhile ol girl but I know you still have it let's show these kids a thing or two." he murmured as the Danger Mobile roared down the street to meet up with the pursuers.

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Miracle Girl and Ace Danger would soon feel the mental equivalent of a knock on the door, or perhaps a phone ringing. Assuming they didn't completely reject the contact, they'd soon hear the mental voice of what seemed to be a young man.

 

'Hey, this is Thoughtspeed! I'm tailing these jerks right now, just I'm not visible. Because sneaky. Anyway. I can keep us looped together like this. I'm going to help take these guys in but I'm not sure how to do this without making a big car wreck. My two best options will either leave these guys blind and driving high-performance cars at triple-digit speeds, or have me carving the cars up like a turkey. I can do either one no problem but maybe the problems are obvious? I'm open to plans here.'

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The psychic contact came as a surprise to Casey, though not an unwelcome one.

 

Hi, Thoughtspeed! Welcome to my head!

 

To be honest, I see problems with both of those plans. If you blind the drivers, you put a lot of innocent people at risk, at least as long as they're going at their current speed, but if we can slow them down first, I might not be opposed to that. Second plan is less dangerous, but may leave the rich owners of the cars mad; then again, cars can always be replaced and human lives can't, so to heck with them if it comes down to it.

 

I'm fast enough and strong enough to just fly down and pick a car up off the road with minimal damage; maybe then you can get under it and due enough damage to cripple it? Might be hard to coordinate, though.

 

During this mental conversation, Casey kept her attention focused on any pedestrians who might be at risk due to the cars' reckless speed, using her telescopic vision to scan the path ahead.

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The presence of the heroes went unnoticed - briefly - the drivers more concerned with the police than anything else. Of course, that changed dramatically in short order; Miracle Girl having probably a moment of amusement seeing two infrared heads whip round to stare at the oncoming Dangermobile. Veteran vehicle like that, any car thief would have given their right arm to pinch it. Or their left arm to have it go away in a pursuit. In turn, she saw the driver of the Veyron actually poke his head out of his car; a Freedom City baseball cap atop a surprisingly distinguished-looking face. A graying beard, craggy face, and a nonplussed look at her; before he simply tipped his hat, and tugged his head back in.

 

Naturally, that's when everything went sideways in a handbasket.

 

The Lamborghini took the initiative in shaking off pursuit - deliberately swerving to sideswipe a phonebooth (they still had those?) - the sheer speed of the vehicle causing the thing to literally go flying sideways; phone cord underneath spooling out fast. It toppled off the edge of the Boardwalk, the little old lady inside flailing and trying to push out of the dented door!

 

The Ferrari was even less subtle - with Miracle Girl flying above the lead, he ploughed clean through another stand...except this one wasn't selling Centurion shirts. As if guided by a mischevious god, the stand he'd ploughed through started to spark and fume, and a metric ton of fireworks just blazed up and exploded above the Boardwalk - illuminating the whole area with colorful lights, sparks, and mayhem - and making the air a whole lot more hazardous!

 

The Veyron chose a different pursuit as his competitors swerved and smashed - instead swinging into a bootlegger turn, roaring through an art display from the University of Freedom. Deft maneuvers sent him swinging and swerving through the sculptures and displays; moving about like on a slalom course - forcing any direct pursuers to be very careful in how they went through!

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Too late, Casey saw the festive fireball appear before her before she had a chance to stop; throwing her arms up before her face, she blocked the worst of it, though her face, hair and costume were all covered in soot as she trailed smoke over the boardwalk. However, once she saw the phone booth and its occupant hurling towards the water, the blonde powerhouse instantly shifted targets and dover after the battered box of metal and glass.

 

They just have to drag innocent bystanders into there things, don't they? Don't worry, ma'am, I've got you!

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Thoughtspeed took it all in in slow-motion. He saw Miracle Girl dive for the phone booth. One problem solved. He considered the options in front of them, before sending a mental message to Miracle Girl and Ace Danger.

 

'I've got the Lambo! Ace, maybe you should go after Mister Sparkler! Miracle Girl, maybe you could go after the Veyron when the grandma's safe?'

 

The young hero definitely wasn't demanding anything, but he was assessing the situation and thinking of a response at completely inhuman speeds. Frankly the main reason these thugs weren't more slowed down yet was because he was trying to prevent crashes or major car damage. But the latter was now not as critical in his mind.

 

'Unless one of you has a better idea for me I think I'm going to try ripping this jerk's tires up.'

 

As he thought at his allies, he was racing along the street, still invisible to the eye, even as twin blades of kinetic energy began to form around his hands, flowing into familiar shapes for him. 

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"Oh not cool."  Ace declared as screeching fireworks careened about the Danger!mobile scoring deep scorch marks along one side and catching briefly in the undercarriage, "I just had this thing detailed!"  He hollered in feigned distress as he maneuvered in behind the the evasive ferrari.  

 

'On it kid.' Came his crisp reply across the mental bridge thoughtspeed had crafted.  "Reminds me of that paris to dakar in seventy seven."  he murmured to himself and glanced in the rearview mirror, "less sand though."  he acknowledged as he put the pedal down and with a roar the Danger!mobile lept forward.  deftly maneuvering behind the ferrari he swerved up onto an empty stretch of sidewalk to surge in front of the thief and let out a small laugh, "Didn't have this back then though."  he snickered, "There was an oil shortage on."  toggling a switch on the console a hatch on the rear of the danger mobile opened up and unleashed a long stream of slick oil across the roadbed.  "Ferrari is alway the faster vehicle my aunt fanny."

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It was ease itself for Miracle Girl to seize the falling phone booth - the elderly lady inside going from screaming to trying to reach out and give the dear heroine a hug and promising all manner of cookies, brownies, and assorted baked goods in thanks for not letting her turn into a pile of squishy bits on the sandy floor below. Perks of heroism, eh? Still, she could hear the cars receding into the distance...

 

In the meantime, the deft maneuvering of ACE DANGER! brought him right in front of the manic-driving Ferrari - the oil slick deploying with a cheerful "Oil Slick Deployed" (because naturally the Dangermobile had to have a sultry voice speak whenever a gadget was used, right?). Still, even with the cunning maneuver, the man behind the cherry-red car was no dope. He swerved sideways, ramping off a food stand and landing beside ACE DANGER!'s car, the hero spying the driver sending him quite a rude hand gesture as he struggled to shift in front of him!

 

Thoughtspeed, on the other hand, had a whole other load of problems. The Lamborghini driver was in no way a nice one either; first having swerved to take out a little old lady in a phonebooth, now they swung the back end of their car out as they hit a corner; a hand sticking out the window with a heavy pistol in hand. BLAM, BLAM! Two shots rang out - impacting the back tank of a fry truck - spilling oil all over the ground right in front of the speeding hero!

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Miracle Girl gently disentangled herself from the sweet lady's hug; she was surprisingly strong for her age! Then with a quick smile and a wave, she was aloft once again, all her senses peeled for any trace of the three reckless drivers and their dangerous rides.

 

We have to bring a stop to this nonsense now! Even with all our combined powers, we can't keep everyone safe forever! Do you two still have eyes on the targets?

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