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Veronica Danger

 

Veronica grinned at Lulu’s comments about what the next few days would hold for them as they crossed the Great Sand Sea. At the Southern redhead’s question about where they would be sleeping for the night, the teenage Danger gestured towards a section of the makeshift mini-city that lay up ahead of them.

 

A Danger International marked Ranger Rover was parked up ahead, next to a small tent that had been set up and an open space large enough for both the Mini and the Kamaz being driven by Liz, Davyd and Micah. Along the outside of the space for the vehicles were five small, almost egg shapped, objects, each about twelve feet long, with dark windows long their length, solar panels across the top and a small wind turbine extending up from one end. "We each have our own ecocapsule." Veronica stated as she slowly pulled the Mini into the open area set up for it.

 

"Well, day one down." She replied with a grin before unbuckling her harness and climbing out of the Mini start getting things ready for when the others caught up.

 

About an hour later…..

 

Liz and the others had continued through the White Desert, eventually arriving at the huge collection of tents and other temporary structures that had sprung up in the middle of the barren desert. The edge of the Great Sand Sea was visible on the horizon, the setting for the next two days of the race.

 

As they slowly drove through the cluster of tents and vehicles looking for Danger International’s site, the teens in the Kamaz could see several of the more notable competitors in this year’s rally. There were teams from numerous major corporations visible, Volkswagen, Subaru, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, PanStar, Mars Tech, Peugeot, among many others.

 

Soon Liz spotted the Danger International area and pulled the Kamaz up into the area prepared for it. Veronica was moving around the Mini, still in her DI jumpsuit, but with the top pulled down and tied around her waist, wearing only a T-shit in the late afternoon sun. The Mini was fully lifted off the ground and all the tires had been removed. Veronica walked over to the Kamaz as Liz powered it down and the three teens began to disembark.

 

"Welcome to our camp for the night." Veronica said with a smile. "We got the basic stuff started with the Mini for you to start on after stretching your legs some Micah."

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Horrorshow

 

Muscular!Davyd again emerged from the Kamaz support truck, and helped with unloading what needed to be unloaded, singing something in Ukrainian as he did, a tune his mother would hum as she worked in the garage.  After that was done, he took a moment to look over their surroundings, both the other competitors and the Great Sand Sea beyond their camp.  There's a lot that could go wrong out there, he thought, if anything happened to your vehicle out there, you could be stranded for who knows how long.  I'm sure they've got search & rescue teams on hand, drones to keep an eye on things, but we want to make sure we all get to the finish, yeah?

 

His attention shifted to the Ecocapsules they'd be sleeping in.  Oh yeah, Veronica had sad something about "individual accommodations."  Never imagined it'd be something like that!  He leaned in a bit, shifting his eyes to a more birdlike form to give him better distance vision, looks like there's enough room for two in those -- I could really stretch out!  Oh, his head jerked back, now there's a thought.  Could I turn into one of those? To provide shelter for others?  He leaned forward again, studying the mobile dwelling in more detail, I can go big enough, I think, provide a warm environment... but what else?  He hopped off the crate he'd been sitting on and started walking towards one of the pods.

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After enjoying the view from several hundred feet in the air, Lulu shifted her sensory focus back to down to Earth, as she took her travel gear to her ecopod. She found it to be both surprisingly cool and roomy, and as she so often did she marveled at the path her life had taken since leaving rural Alabama. She was so moved that she actually sat on her bed and took a moment to pray.

 

Dear Lord, I want to thank you for the opportunities you've given me to make amends for all the hurt I did with my family. I know I was just a kid, but I should have known better. Oh, and watch over my brother Bobby back in Atlanta. I miss him so much, and I just want the best for him. Amen.

 

Feeling a bit better about her place in the grand scheme of things, Lulu began to unpack.

Edited by Heritage
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Liz nodded as she disembarked the truck, but didn't respond immediately; instead she stood still for a moment, stretched, and bent her back in a way that probably should have hurt. "Mmhh," she said. "Sorry. I don't know about you, but I kept hitting little bumps and I think my spine's about an inch shorter now. I don't have a lot of inches to lose!"

 

She flashed a grin, turning her attention back to the tents and a worrying expression on Davyd that she wasn't going to think about for too long. "Camping in style!" she said, turning back to the truck long enough to pull out her personal bag and lock up. "Lemme stash my stuff and I'll help out wherever I can."

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Micah had climbed out almost before the truck stopped moving, and had put a couple feet between him and it. He was already in the midst of some stretches when Veronice came over. He nodded at her words, finished his deep knee bend stretch, and stood up straight.

 

"Sounds good. I'll be there in a minute."

 

He glanced at Liz as she offered to help.

 

"If you're interested, an extra pair of hands won't hurt much. But get settled first, I'm going to be a couple minutes getting the kinks out and then just looking at it first."

 

He seemed unworried about needing to look at his own capsule. While it was a bit later in the day, Micah had been able to doze a bit now and again on their drive, especially the final hour or so after Veronica and Lulu had made it safely to the camp site. So instead he went back to his stretches, clearly trying to work out all the stiff points. 

 

After a couple of minutes he wandered over to the Mini, and before he even touched it, just started a walk-around. Micah wanted to let his eyes catch any problems as they roamed over the frame. 

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Veronica Danger

 

As Micha did his walk around the Mini, he could see minor cosmetic damage to the paint and lower parts of the side panels from rocks and sand. But the critical components of the vehicle were all in excellent shape, dusty and sandy to be sure. After finishing the visual inspection, Micah rejoined Veronica to begin the maintenance and fine tuning of the vehicle for the next day with Liz assisting the two after she came back from dropping off her things in her pod.


Making his way over to one of the ecopods, Davyd examined the interior of the generally egg shaped shelter. Inside he found both a table and bed to the right of the doorway. To the left, set into the end was a small kitchenette with a sink and a small range. Next to the kitchenette was a door which Davyd discovered lead into a small bathroom.

 

As Lulu finished unpacking her things, she heard a small chime from her tablet, alerting her that she had received an update on times for the first stage of the relay. Looking at the posted information on the official times, the redhead saw that she and Veronica had tied the team for Summit Transnational for third place in their category!

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Horrorshow

 

"Ooh," Davyd breathed, marveling at the sleek yet simple elegance of the ecocapsule.  He took a step outside and walked slowly around the pod, running a hand over the fiberglass exterior, and craning his neck up to see the built-in wind turbine.  He could just make out the edges of the solar cell array on the roof, and made a note to check those out later.  Then he went back inside.

 

He repeated the process, giving the interior a slow visual and tactile examination.  It was predominantly white in color, with blond wood accents.  He tested the folding bed and fold-out table, the sink in the kitchenette and the shower in the restroom, and peered into the waterless separating toilet.  Glad I won't be needing that, he thought to himself.

 

He walked back to the center of the pod and stretched a bit.  "Alright, now to give this place a really close look."  He began to shrink down, legs fusing and arms retracting as he did.  His hair melded into his skin, which sprouted sand-colored scales, and his skull warped into a more triangular shape.  Soon he was an exact copy of a tiny Sahara sand viper, perfect for slithering in and out of air ducts and water pipes... which is exactly what he did.

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