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Aces High 6: Running Low.

Mandroid Dec 8th, 2013 338 Never
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  1. =Aces High 6=
  2.  
  3. >"Alright people, let's go let's go! We are go in minutes!"
  4. >Shit shit.
  5. "Yeah yeah, cut me some slack, Mane!"
  6. >You run down the hall of your hotel looping your pack on. You shield your eyes as you step out into the too-bright lands of Zebrica.
  7. >"Yo, Anon, let's go!" someone above you calls.
  8. >You look up, Soarin hovers in the air tapping his hoof against nothing.
  9. "I'm comin' I'm comin'!"
  10. >The pack on your back ignites as you clench your fists and fly up to meet Soarin, the two of you zoom towards the racing area.
  11. >After a long flight across Eternity's Crossing and a brief stop in Cervidas, The Wonderbolts had finally made landfall in Zebrica, a first for the team and the nation.
  12. >It was sort of a big deal.
  13. >Spectators from all around the country had come to see the race, between The Wonderbolts and the Black Panthers, Zebrica's premier ceremonial running team.
  14. >When you first heard that, you -almost- laughed, but held it in.
  15. >"Down there." Soarin' says.
  16. >You both angle yourselves down towards the racetrack where Spitfire and the others were idling, the Zebra team nearby as well.
  17.  
  18. >On either side of the starting line, hundreds and hundreds of zebras, camels, deer, and even a few younger and smaller dragons sat in the stands.
  19. >Spitfire slaps you on the back. "Ha! 'Bout time you showed, you find some nice Zebra-girl bedwarmer?"
  20. "I don't think these beds need it."
  21. >Seriously, they were like sleeping on heaven. You -had- to get one back home.
  22. >Fancypants trots up to the six of you, a headset on. "Alright team, let's not dawdle. We've a race to race. Double up!"
  23. >You join Spitfire and walk out onto the field to the roar of the crowd. The Zebra team walks from the other way, their bodies covered in gold and brass piercings and jewelry,  and takes their positions. You get positioned next to one.
  24. >"Good luck to you, my bipedal friend. I hope to see you at the end."
  25. >You nod.
  26. "Race well."
  27. >A horn sounds and a King T'challa steps away from the box seats with the Princesses and other politicians onto a platform in his golden regalia.
  28. >"Friends from near and friends from far! I welcome you to the first in a race without par! The Wonderbolts, of Equestrian and will race our Panthers through forests thick. They will race around this city of Zevera, with speed that must rival the mighty Cheetah. I, King T'challa, do ordain this race, and wish to the speeders luck so they may do so with haste! Now let this monuments event unfold, as we hold the greatest race known round the globe!"
  29. >Huh. So the rhyming thing was cultural, you take it.
  30.  
  31. -Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V4IEV8l-gA-
  32. >The race officials wave their flags and clear the track.
  33. >Cameras focus in on the starting line and the world goes slower.
  34. >The announcers come over the system.  "Here we are in Zevara, about to start the first race in the International Grand Cup! Today we have the Equestrian Wonderbolts going up against the mighty Zebrican Black Panthers! I'd like to remind everypony that today is the first race after the recent restructuring the RRF and its partners have gone through so be prepared for thrills, spills, and a whole new sport!"
  35. >The checkered flag is waved and held as the lights countdown.
  36. >All the racers tense, gathering up all the potential energy they could before the big moment. You can count your heartbeats, the world is so slow.
  37. >1
  38. >2
  39. >GO!
  40. >"And they're off!"
  41.  
  42. >The flag is waved and both teams dash off the starting line, your fellow Wonderbolts flapping their wings and taking to the air while you kick up Ol' Gold Booster and rocket ahead to the rest of your pack.
  43. >Down below you, the zebras run with an incredible speed built up from years of running the long flat planes that made up the whole of Zebrica. The race rules stipulated that the Wonderbolts had to fly in a path mirroring the path the zebras were taking to make the race fair.
  44. >You squint your eyes and see a streak of orange and yellow near the front of your pack.
  45. >That'd be your partner, alright. Time to catch up.
  46. >"Looks like Anonymous is making a move!"
  47. >You clench your fists and throw them back, kicking in your afterburners and pushing yourself forward as you angle yourself below the pack.
  48. >Your burners carry you under the rest of the team and closer to Spitfire.
  49. >Staying close to your partner was probably important.
  50. >You inch ahead under the rest of the team and come up underneath and behind Spitfi-
  51. >Spitfire flaps her wings and blasts you in the face with a massive gust of air.
  52. >You spin end over end and feel yourself start to descend. Ahead of you, you hear Soarin' yell "Dude!"
  53. >"Oh no! It looks like Anonymous was blown off course!"
  54. >Shitshit. Compensate, compensate Anon.
  55. >You spin around once more before righting yourself.
  56. >You're alone in the air, the Bolts are pinpricks in the distance and the zebras obscured by a cloud of dust.
  57. >SHIT.
  58.  
  59. >"I DON'T BELIEVE IT." The announcer starts. "Anonymous has been blown from fourth to last place by a distance almost indescribable in a matter of seconds, turning the course of the race!"\
  60. >OH NO YOU FUCKING DON'T.
  61. >You clench your fists so hard you swear they're bleeding as you try to catch up.
  62. >The massive pack that once was the racers has changed to a stagnated line now as each of their flying and running patterns make themselves known.
  63. >You've kicked in your second set of afterburners now, making the pack on your back shake like a thing possessed and belch black smoke behind you.
  64. >Come on...COME ON.
  65. >You had to retake position, this could be catastrophic.
  66. >On the horizon appears a vast forest of long wooden cylinders grouped closely together.
  67. >This was where your roles would reverse.
  68. >The Forest of Spears was an obstacle that the committee dreamed up as a way to spice things up. The Wonderbolts were to drop altitude and weave -through- the pikes while the zebras were to bound along the flat tops.
  69. >Right, let's do this.
  70. >You soar over Streak and a zebra jockeying for position and enter the forest.
  71. >This was a -lot- like playing chicken and the rule of chicken is to never shut your eyes, so you fight through the pain of keeping them wide open as you dart between the wooden pikes.
  72. >One on the left, two on the right, one fallen over, you bob and weave through every obstacle you get thrown and try to avoid anything that would slow you down, contorting your hands in every possible way to steer your thruster flame.
  73. >Nothing can distract you...nothing at al-
  74. >"That's quite a face you have there."
  75.  
  76. "GAH."
  77. >You lurch, almost crash, and swerve to narrowly miss a pole before you look up.
  78. >A zebra, the one you saw earlier, skips, flips, and pushes off the poles above you.
  79. "You almost crashed me!"
  80. >"If you are to blame me, also you should blame your partner who almost threw you into the Golden Sea."
  81. >Golden Sea was the name of the long stretches of grass they had along this course.
  82. >You-
  83. "What?"
  84. >"Your flier of the fire mane, she was the one who cut your team in twain, or is this exercise perhaps a feign?" he ponders, hoof to his chin as he does a single hoofed launch into the air and back flips through the air.
  85. >You grumble.
  86. "No...I'm willing to be she-" [spoiler][/spoiler] >You dodge a pike. [spoiler][/spoiler] "-missed me there."
  87. >"A team and partner must operate as one, there is simply no other way it can be done."
  88. >You roll and fly under something, looking him in the eye
  89. "What's your name?"
  90. >"To-bei is my name, Buckswanna is from where I came."
  91. >You nod and kick in your burners and rocket out of the forest.
  92. "Thanks for the talk."
  93.  
  94. >You spend the next 10 miles and most of the marathon race with fists clenched pushing ahead.
  95. >From here, you could see the frontrunners.
  96. >Looked like two zebras tailing Spitfire as she lead the race with a few more racers between you and her.
  97. >Come on, you gotta catch up...
  98. >"Things are neck and neck here in the final stretch! We can see the pack leaders here from C'omt'n stadium and it looks like a close one!"
  99. >Come on...
  100. >You squeeze harder and feel yourself accelerate faster.
  101. >"It's Spitfire and Kintei as they get closer and closer to the finish line! It's neck and neck.
  102. >Come on, Anonymous...
  103. >"I think we may have our le- what's this? Anonymous is pulling in closer to third!"
  104. >COME ON, ANOYMOUS!
  105. >You grit your teeth and streamline yourself as much as you can physically withstand.
  106. >You can feel the chill of the air you cut through in your bones and the razor talons of the wind tear at you.
  107. >You shut your mouth for fear that the speed would suck the oxygen from your lungs, forcing you to scream in exertion inside your head alone.
  108. >"HE'S CLOSING IN ON THE PACK!"
  109. >YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU JUST HAVE TO GO A LITTLE BIT FA-
  110. >You lurch as your thrust gives out momentarily and your pack hiccups.
  111. "NO!"
  112. >Not now!
  113.  
  114. >What you prayed was just a stall wasn't the coughing continued and you lost both speed and altitude fast.
  115. >"What's this!?"
  116. >No dammit n-
  117. >Your thoughts are cut off as you skip like a rock over the surface of a lake and plunge underwater.
  118. >Your anger at the situation subsides as your thoughts turn from that to not drowning. You swim up and greet the surface with a gasp for breath just in time to hear the announcer.
  119. >"OH! IT LOOKS LIKE ANONYMOUS HAS HIT TECHNICAL TROUBLES! That's an ill omen for the Wonderbolts!"
  120. >You squint and see your name on the scoreboard change from "pending" to "DNF".
  121. >Did not finish.
  122. "...FUCK!"
  123. >You slap the water and dig your pack off as other racers soar over you and dash past you.
  124. >The gauge on the back of your pack reads E, empty.
  125. >You'd pushed yourself so hard trying to catch up to everyone that you ran out of gas.
  126. >And you can't help but go back to -why- you had to catch up.
  127. >You swim to shore and flop back onto your back, staring up at the sky while you wait for the med crew.
  128. "...Ah poodoo."
  129. >Dammit Spitfire...
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