Authors note: I started writing this a long time ago. And recently I got the urge to continue it.

Survival of the Fastest

The Semi Finals

The roar of the crowd, and hundreds of motors being revved, and started. The smell of exhaust, and burnt rubber. The bright flashing lights, and people jumping up and down waving signs. The whole stadium shimmered and rippled as the crowd did a wave. Three hundred thousand people rising to their feet, then sitting down in rapid succession. It took about a minute for the ripple to make it from one end of the massive stadium to the next.

All these sights, smells and feelings assaulted Jace as he wheeled his motorcycle into his starting gate. His Silvanest Mach three model racing bike was sleek and silver. He wore a protective jumpsuit and helmet that matched. He locked the bike into the gate, and mounted it. He kicked it to life. The engine came to life and roared as he worked the throttle. The whole bike vibrated and shook as he revved the throttle up and down.

Jace was part of the international motorcycle racing competition. Every year hundreds of men and women competed for the chance at the grand championship. Jace had worked hard to make it to the semi finals. He had raced, and won several competitions. And when his agent told him he had a spot in the MRI track, he jumped on it. MRI stood for motorcycle racing international. It was the biggest event in the world.

Being the year 2746 the Superbowl was a thing of the past. The closest thing to that was the powerball competition. The game of powerball resembled football, but it had more advanced rules, and capabilities. The championship of that was pretty big, but nothing compared to the MRI championship.

The rink it self was enough to attract people. It was a mass of track spiraling around in complicated curves, loops, and jumps going for over one-hundred miles of total distance. And three laps made the total distance raced to be over three-hundred miles. The actual track didn't take up that much distance because it looped over itself, and was made into one big huge complicated high rise building.

Jace was revving his motor, checking the onboard computer for a systems display, as the announcer came on.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the thirty-seventh annual motorcycle racing international competition. We are currently thirty races into, and the semi finals begin. All the racers here before you have placed fourth or better in different races, and are all assembled here." The announcer yelled into his microphone. His voice was amplified across the massive stadium by hundreds of different speakers placed all over the superstructure. He moved on to introduce individual racers. "Here are tonight's racers starting on the far left. First we have the notorious loner, Jace!" The announcer screamed Jace's name. Jace turned and waved to the crowd. His image projected on about thirty different monitors, and millions of TV's, watched by people not witnessing the race in person. Jace went back to checking out his motorcycle.

As the announcer said, he wasn't part of any racing team. He only had a crew of two men, friends he recruited after he made it into the MRI competition. In all his other races he did all repair and pit work himself. But for the MRI it was essential for him to have a pit crew. Even though most people had a crew of six.

"And next we have the racers from team Stranix." The announcer went on. "We have Miles, Jake, Duke, Mouse, Kathryn, and young Stranix junior." As in many racing events, the names were not their real names. And only one name was needed, because no two racers had the same name. The producers made sure of it. If a racer had the same name as another, he either used his last name, or made up a new one. Like the next racer. He is known throughout the racing world as E-man, but only a fine few know that his real name is James Gavin. As for Stranix junior, he is the son of the owner of the team. A spoiled rich boy who has the best equipment money can buy, but not enough experience to make use of it.

The announcer went on to introduce the other three teams of four that were racing. Jace didn't even bother to acknowledge their names. The three loners on the far right concerned him. Paying to get into the MRI was incredibly expensive. And if your a loner with no sponsors, then you pay for it by your winnings. So that means your incredibly good. There are a few occasions where a rich person suddenly takes up racing, and he has enough money to pay on his own from the start. But there aren't that many.

The three racers were Vince, Denath, and Justin. Vince raced a Black Knight style motorcycle, in solid ebony. He was a shadowy figure. Not many really talked to him. Denath was a bulky male riding a yellow motorcycle with black stripes down the side. Justin was riding a Vindicator class motorcycle, painted red with white stripes.

Jace, satisfied that his bike was in perfect running condition, shut the motor off, and clipped on his tether. The tether was a ripcord for the parachute built into the back of his jumpsuit. Because of the high speeds, and death defying jumps they did, if a rider is thrown from his bike, the parachute activates and slows him down if he is sliding across the ground, or stops him from falling too fast.

The announcer finished the introductions, and called for the pit to be cleared. Crewmen made last minute adjustments, and then ran away to the pit that was used during the race.

"Gentlemen, START! YOUR! ENGINES!" Roared the announcer. All the racers kicked their machines to life at the same time. The roar of the motors was deafening, but the screaming of the crowd was louder.

Vince pulled his visor down, and revved his motor. The whole bike vibrated, and struggled to get free of the starting bracket. The light on a post out above the track lit up red. After a few seconds it turned to yellow. Every one stopped revving their motors, and put their foot on the clutch. Silence fell throughout the stadium. When the light went green, the roar of all the engines going at once drowned out the crowd for all the racers.

The starting gate let go of the wheelybars and the race was off. Jumping up to one hundred miles per hour in less that a second, the bikes ripped across the track. There was a deafening squealing coming from all the tires as they peeled out. The metal of the wheelybar groaned as the front tire rose up about an inch, but the bar stopped the bike from flipping. Smoke covered the track, and the smell of burnt rubber came fast and strong.

The racers tore out of the starting block, and accelerated as fast as they could shift. Vince maxed out at one-twenty in first, and hit the clutch, and shifted into second. The bike accelerated slower, but still got up to one fifty pretty fast. He shifted again, and again and again. After the strait away that went for seven miles, he was going a good three hundred miles per hour.

He reached the area designated for dropping the wheely bars. He flipped the switch by his right thumb, and the metal bar unclipped from the back of the motorcycle, and dropped to the ground. It traveled on two wheels for a while, it's front end evoking sparks from the ground. Then the ground opened up, and the bar dropped down, leaving the track clear of obstructions. Once all the wheely bars were off the track, the ground closed up.

Jace raced on. With out any obstacles, everyone was pretty much even. The better shifters, with better bikes were out in front. As of now Jace was in fourth. Stranix junior was out in first, followed closely by the mysterious Vince. The lines in the track dividing it up into separate lanes ended, and all the racers were free to go where they pleased.

Everyone came to the first curve around the same time. But it turned left, so Jace, who started on the far left side of the track, jumped forward as other struggled to get on the inside without hitting each other. He went to take the turn tight, but Stranix, who was in front of him cut across, and cut him off, forcing Jace to tap the break to stop from hitting Stranix's bike. Jace cursed to himself as he reapplied the gas.

He made it around the first curve in second place, but the next was a right turn, so he had to cut across the rest of the course to get there. Denath, who couldn't get an inside position on the last curve had fallen behind, but now he shot towards fist. Stranix came and cut him off as well. Jace turned in towards the corner, but Denath was in his way, so he couldn't tuck onto the inside. He lost ground against Denath because the bigger man was traveling less distance at about the same speed.

The next curve was not a curve at all, but a loop. And like in front of every loop, there was a small strait away. Stranix with his top of the line equipment pulled ahead by even more. He would make some pretty big enemies this race is he continued to cut people off. His bike shot forward even faster as he applied his nitrous boost.

A nitrous boost is the same concept as the nitrous oxide systems used in old style cars. But there is a much more combustible gas in the system, so it propels the bikes even faster, but people still call it nitrous because the new gas has some long and complicated name that no one can remember.

'This kid is gonna wind up in last if he uses his boosts now.' Jace thought as he goosed the throttle in preparation for the loop. Stranix was already going up and around it.

How many actual boosts you can get depends on how big the boost system installed in the bike is. Stranix would probably have some huge system modified perfectly, and expensively to fit in his bike, so he had double the boosts with half the weight of the rest of the racer's bikes.

Jace hit the loop. He went up, and around. It was always eerie feeling gravity pull you down, but centrifical force keeping you in place. As Jace came off of the loop, several team members boosted, using the downward slope of the loop to increase their speed even more. They drew even with Denath and Jace who were fighting over second after the loop.

There was a light curve, then a strait away leading to a jump. Jace and Denath battled for the inside position on the light curve. Jace won because he was on the outside last time. He pulled just a little bit ahead of Denath, coming into the strait away.

Everyone neared the jump. Jace took it just a tad bit ahead of everyone else. One of the team members, a young kid hit his boost as he was gong up the ramp. He drew even with Denath, and they bumped sides in mid air. Within a few seconds of each other, everyone went off the jump, and into the air. Everyone stood up on the pegs, to balance the bike as it sailed through the air, and to soften the landing of their bodies when they hit on the other side.

The kid and Denath were still side to side. Denath drew back and kicked the kid away from him. The force sent the bike into a spin, and the kid was thrown off. His parachute caught him before he crashed into the ground far below, but his bike, crashed into the edge of the track, and was torn into pieces.

Jace landed, softening his body's landing by bending his knees as he was forced down into his seat. He pushed hard with his arms to keep his face from smashing into the handle bars. After he recovered from landing, he goosed the throttle as much as it would go, and leaned into a slight curve. Denath did the same, and the pair began to battle for the inside again.

This curve went left, and Jace was already on the inside of the left side, so he would have won right out, but it seemed Denath liked to play dirty. He began to ram the front of his bike into the back right side of Jace's. Jace struggled to maintain a strait course as he was assaulted from behind.

As the two battled on, their speed decreased. Vince capitalized on this, and hit his nitrous boost and passed the both of them on the outside. He tore around the light corner, and began to gain on Stranix.

Jace, getting tired of Denath hitting him, let off his throttle a bit. Denath went to slam into him again, but Jace goosed the throttle back up to full, and turned right slightly, bringing him out of Denath's way. Denath struck the corner, and was thrown from his bike. He went forward into a fatal dive, but his parachute opened, and jerked him to a painful, but survivable stop before he hit the ground. He still fell ten feet to the ground rapidly, but he was alive. How long was in question, because about seven team members were barreling down on him.

The lead two were on the left and right of him, so they didn't even have to turn. But the next turned so hard to the left, that his bike turned ninety degrees, and began to slide across the track. Smoke rose from the tires as rubber was incinerated.

Then the person who was behind him went crashing headlong into the sliding bike broadside. The kid who hit the sliding kid was thrown forward, but was stopped by his parachute. The kid who was on the sliding bike was thrown to the side. His chute began to open, but he hit the right side too fast. There was a sickening snap as his back broke, and he tumbled over the edge. The parachute opened finally, and slowed his decent to the ground, but he wouldn't be walking any time soon.

Denath jumped to his feet, and ran over to his bike. It wasn't too damaged. It could still race. He unclipped his parachute, and tossed it over the side. He then picked up the bike, and began to accelerate slowly. He didn't have a wheely bar anymore, so he couldn't accelerate as fast as he wanted to with out flipping over.

After that brutal crash, Stranix was in the lead, Jace was gaining on him, and there was no one else even close to the pair. Jace goosed the throttle, and tore after Stranix. 'I'll show this kid that it takes more than good equipment to win a race.' Jace thought as he tucked down to give the smallest profile to limit the wind resistance.

He began to coax all the speed from his bike as he could. And he was taking the corners flawlessly with no mistakes. He went on the inside of each, but never to far that he would have to turn too hard to make it on the inside of the next curve. He began to gain on Stranix rapidly. The inexperienced racer was obviously relying on his equipment, not his own skill to win. And Jace was an experienced racer.

Jace was just drawing even with Stranix as they came to a jump. But this one was more complicated. The ramp leading up to it had a curve, and the landing ramp was a continuation of that curve. If you didn't take it right, you would end up flying over the edge, and it was a long way down.

As the pair began their curving ascent, they drew even. Jace was on the inside corner, so he caught up. They took the jump at the same time. Jace leaned in mid air to keep his bike from floating to the right, and off the track. Stranix didn't. He went strait forward. They landed, Jace was sure to make sure he landed going strait, but he was as far to the left as he could be with out flying off. Stranix didn't turn in mid air at all, so he was cutting it dangerously close to the wall. When he landed, he didn't have enough time to turn before he hit the wall. There was enough of a curve that he kept going, but his momentum was killed totally, and it also messed up his lovely paint job.

Jace sped past him, confident he had gotten all the speed he could have off of that jump. He took the lead, imagining the roar of the crowd as he crossed the finish line. That image was shattered second later. He rounded a curve, and came up to a strait away. And he saw on that strait away, Vince. He had forgotten all about the other rider. Now the images came flooding back to him. Seeing Vince pass him by as he struggled with Denath. Vince must have passed Stranix a while back if he had such a lead now.

Jace hit his nitrous boost. He accelerated incredibly, the needle of his speedometer going all the way up and quivering there because it couldn't go any higher. Vince began to get closer and closer as Jace tore after him. Vince had used one of his own nitrous boosts to pass by Jace and Denath, so he was conserving them for later.

Jace had caught up to the other rider as the pair left the strait away in a light curve to the left. That was followed by a had curve to the right, which Vince got the inside on, because he let Jace get the inside on the last turn. He obviously knew that the harder turn was coming, and let Jace mess up on his own.

The hard right curve went to a small strait away, that led to a loop. The pair tore towards it with Vince slightly in the lead. They took the loop expertly, and came down the other side.

The next obstacle was a tricky one. It was a section of large, very hard turns. They turned in a four complete circles, and spiraled down in a corkscrew kind of way. Then they straightened out and dove down for a few feet before leveling off gradually.

An idea to beat Vince suddenly appeared in Jace's mind. There was a slight rise in the track, then it went strait, then it curved into the first turn. So the rise in the track was in line with the hole in the center of the circles.

Just as Jace got to the bottom of the small rise, he hit his nitrous boost. The combined effort of his increased speed, and the small rise tossed him up into the air. He stood up, and leaned all his weight forward. Pushing down on the handle bars with all his might. That brought the front of the bike heading strait down. Strait down the center of the corkscrewing track.

He sailed through the open air for the fifty foot drop, and landed on the steep slope at the end of the last curve. He was at the precise angel of the slope of the road so the landing was incredibly soft even though he fell fifty feet. Jace still had to push hard with his legs to keep from slamming into the handle bars though.

But it didn't matter if he did. He was in first place by a margin of about three hundred feet. And when your traveling at about the same speed, and have to rely on good driving to do good, that is a hell of a lot.

Because he was going an average speed of two hundred and seventy five miles per hour, if you add in obstacles, and things like loops that take some speed away, then the race would take about an hour and fifteen minutes give or take. So after taking the lead, Jace held it for about an hour. It took him about ten minutes to assume the lead, so that left about five minutes left, give or take.

In the hour that Jace held the lead, Vince had been gaining on him steadily. Despite his best efforts to drive a perfect race, making no mistakes, the other racer still gained on him.

When it came down to the final five minutes Vince was right behind Jace. They struggled on until the finish line was in sight. By that time they were neck and neck. It was down to one strait away left, and they both hit their nitrous boost buttons. Jace was just a little bit later than Vince. So when Vince's boost wore off, about ten feet from the finish line, Jace's still had more to go. So Jace finished ahead of Vince by about four feet.

The roar of the crowd was deafening as Jace slowed to a stop. Everyone in the stadium was on their feet yelling and clapping, cheering and shouting. Millions of cameras flashed at him as he stood up and spread his arms to the crowd. He had just won the first race into the semi finals of the MRI circuit. And he had just one thing to say for himself.

"God damn what a rush!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The flashing neon lights above the door of the club splashed the street in reds, and pinks and blues. The sign would flash from a picture of two motorcycles, then to one crashing and the other crossing a large checkered finish line. Then it flashed the words "Survival Of The Fastest."

The club was the hangout for racers involved in the MRI, and was conveniently located close to the stadium. So after the racers finished stowing their gear in the massive garage, they could go to the club to relax. A few choice upper class citizens were admitted to the club, but other than that it was limited to the parties of the racers.

Jace entered alone. His crew members weren't much for celebrating, and had chosen to return to their quarters rather than celebrate with him. He passed Denath, who was surrounded by a very large group consisting of three other guys, and no less than seven women. Denath himself had his arms around two different women, only letting go to take a sip of his neon green drink. Jace proceeded to the bar, and sat down on a stool.

"What can I get you tonight?" Asked the pretty bartender. She was wearing a bright green dress that was very tight and revealing.

"Firewiskey." Jace said. She placed a glass in front of him, and filled it with the amber contents of a bottle under the bar.

Jace sat there sipping his drink, trying to ignore the gales of laughter, and glances from Denath's table. Soon however, the mysterious Vince came and sat next to Jace. He had a glass with the same neon green drink as Denath. It was called a green dragon.

"Tough crowd tonight." Vince commented.

"Very." Jace replied.

"That man Denath, he seems to have it in for you." Vince said.

"We knew each other before we started racing. We grew up in the same neighborhood. We were always rivals growing up." I said.

"And what happened to make him hate you so?"

"We competed in a downhill race on the old style street luges when we were in high school. He came in close to me and began to try and kick me out of the way. I braked as he tried to kick me, and he missed, caught his leg on the side of a building, and broke it. He ended up crashing, and the police caught him, and arrested him because we were racing illegally. He blames me for his leg, and getting kicked out of the street luging federation." Jace replied.

"So I see." Vince said.

"So he likes to risk other people's necks, as well as his own in his attempts to get at me. Like that kid who crashed today. He may never walk again, all because of a schoolboy's grudge." Jace said.

"Indeed, racers like Denath are not needed in a competition, but there still seems to be many of them." Vince replied.

"What about you, not many know much about you?" Jace asked.

"What do you want to know?" Vince replied.

"How did you get started in racing?" Jace asked.

"I helped my uncle repair bikes for men in the MRI when I was little. Been into the ever since."

"That simple?" Jace asked.

"That simple." Vince replied. His tone however suggested something else. But Jace didn't push the subject. "Now if you would excuse me, some friends of mine just arrived." Vince said, nodding towards a group of people who just walked in the door.

Jace didn't reply as Vince moved off. He just sat there sipping his drink, wondering why he even bothered coming in the first place. He was on his third drink, and was becoming a little disorientated by the hard liquor, when someone came and sat down on the stool next to him. It took him a moment to realize it was Denath.

"I just noticed that your all alone over here and thought I would cheer you up some." He sneered. Jace ignored him.

"What you got nothing to say to your old buddy?" Denath persisted.

"Yea I got something to say, drop dead." Jace said without even looking at Denath.

"Strong words for a coward." Denath said, barley effected by Jace's remark.

"I don't have anything to prove to you, I already beat you today." Jace said.

"A cowards move." Denath said.

"I'm not the one who crippled that kid today!" Jace said hotly.

"Neither am I, he crashed, nothing I could do about it." Denath replied coldly.

Jace jumped to his feet, knocking over his stool in his haste. "Maybe if you learned how to drive, and stopped risking other peoples lives when you race things like that wouldn't happen." He said, his tone icy.

Denath slowly got to his feet, his eyes glowing with rage.

"You got a problem with the way I drive?" Denath said, his height and weight advantage over Jace seemed considerable as he glared down on him.

"I do!" Jace said. They were starting to get stares from people.

"Then why don't you cool down a little, your meager success seems to have turned you into a little hothead!" He said, grabbing Jace's drink off of the bar. He moved to fling it into Jace's face, but Jace shoved the bigger man backwards, the drink instead dumping all over Denath's arm and chest.

Denath took a misguided swing at Jace. Both were heavily under the influence of alcohol, so Jace just barely dodged the punch, and Denath was taken off balance as he over extended. Jace punched him as hard as he could in the stomach, but the bigger man hardly recoiled.

"That the best you got little man?" Denath sneered. He reared back and slugged Jace right in the face. Jace stumbled backwards, but didn't go down. He ran at Denath and barreled into the bigger man. He wrapped his arms around him and dove through him. They hit a table, falling over as they hit the edge, and ending up on top of the table. Drinks were scattered as the two men lay on top of the table, each doing his best to pummel the other.

Denath managed to pull his leg up, and put his foot in Jace's chest. Denath pushed off with all his might, flinging Jace backwards. Jace stumbled, struggling to remain on his feet after getting thrown like that, and was loosing. He lost completely when he tripped over his fallen stool from before.

Jace leapt to his feet again, determined to regain his standings by pummeling Denath senseless. However as he ran at the bigger man, several people grabbed his arms, and waist, holding him back. It was Stranix and his teammates. Jace could see Vince and his friends holding Denath back. Denath's friends stayed out of it, a few of them exchanged money. Obviously they had placed bets on the fight.

"Jace Jace chill man!" Stranix said. "He's not worth getting thrown out of the tournament for."

"Get off me scum bag, or in the next race I'll run you off the course!" Denath screamed at Vince, who with the help of his friends had Denath completely confined.

"Calm down or kiss the pavement!" Vince yelled. The owner vaulted the bar, a baseball bat clutched in his hand.

"You two get the hell out of my bar!" He screamed, advancing on Jace, who had already stopped struggling.

"Sir, be reasonable. I will pay for the damages, plus some extra, just let them stay. It was a bit of tension released and it's over now. Isn't that right!" He yelled the last part, glaring at Denath. Denath stopped struggling, but shot a look of pure malice at Stranix.

The members of team Stranix finally let go of Jace, and Vince and his friends let Denath up. They both adjusted their shirts, which were soaked heavily with the drinks they had scattered. Stranix paid the bartender, then beckoned to Jace.

"Come and join us." He said. Leading Jace back to his private booth.

For the first time Jace looked at the members of Stranix's party. There were four men, including Stranix, and their dates, plus their only female racer, Kathryn, who had arrived stag. She was tall and thin with long blond hair, and a very pretty face.

They all piled into the large booth which could have seated twice the amount seated there. Kathryn sat herself right next to Jace.

"I will pay you back for the damages you covered." Jace said, reaching toward his wallet.

"Please, don't worry about it. The young boy who crashed today was one of our team members, and an enemy of Denath's is a friend of mine." Stranix said. His teammate's faces mirrored his look of hatred towards Denath.

"I am so sorry, I did not realize he was apart of your team." Jace said.

"Don't worry, he was our newest addition, and that was only his second race." Stranix said.

"That maniac should be run out of the tournament for what he did." Jake said.

"I bear as much responsibility as he does." Jace said.

"What ever do you mean?" Stranix asked.

"The boy crashed because he was avoiding Denath when he fell. I was the one that caused Denath to fall." Jace said.

"I saw the footage, and it was nothing of the sort." Kathryn said.

"Indeed, you merely saved yourself from crashing. And had you been in the track when Mouse came around the corner the result would have been the same. Denath plays dirty, and no one is to blame but him." Stranix said.

"I wish that would make me feel better about it." Jace said.

"Lets not talk of these things anymore. Waitress!" He called "Another round of drinks on me." He said as she worked her way over. "Put all the drinks on my tab." He said to the serving girl. She nodded. She was wearing a short, skin tight dress that was very low cut over her breasts.

She leaned in low, winking at Jace as she picked up the empty glasses. Kathryn scowled and sidled a little closer to Jace. Jace slid his arm across the top of the bench, and rested it down on her shoulders. The serving girl gave a shrug and walked off to get the drinks they ordered. Kathryn slid even closer, and slid her arm behind Jace's back. He looked over and smiled at her. She returned it, he eyes flashing in the changing light that leaked in from the dance floor beyond the bar.

"So where will you guys, and girl be racing tomorrow?" Jace asked. Everyone but Jace, who won, goes into preliminary bouts that decides who gets a second chance at racing. Jace would race against the winners of other heats the next day.

"The pit." Stranix replied. Everyone winced at the mention of the track most notorious for crashes. The pit was a very high speed track with twists and turns like no other, and a place known as devil's drop, an area where the track suddenly stops, and it doesn't continue for thirty feet, seventy-five feet below the level where the track stops. All those not going fast enough don't make the jump, and crash on the rough ground in-between. The nature of the crash didn't leave much room for the parachute to be any good, so several racers have died.

"That place is bad news. I'm surprised they haven't closed it down with all the crashes off of devil's drop." Jace said.

"No kidding." Jake said.

"Can't we talk about anything else but racing?" Kathryn asked.

"The powerball playoffs start next month, anyone watch those?" Jace asked.

"Strikers all the way." Stranix said.

"Men." Stranix's date said rolling her eyes.

"I know, always about the sports." Kathryn said, eyeing Jace with fake malice.

"It's something other than racing." Miles said.

"The only two things men know about, racing and powerball." Jake's date said.

"And proud of it baby!" Jake said, extending his fist over the table. Jace brought his fist down on Jake's, who then did the same to Jace's, in the old but trusted handshake spin off.

"If you men are finished getting inebriated, maybe you'll join us women on the dance floor?" Kathryn asked.

"I'm game." Jace said.

"Agreed." Stranix said.

Everyone exited the booth and walked to the dance floor that was through a door on the far side of the room. Flashing lights and music were leaking out through the door, which was left open all the time. A kind of enticing offer to the patrons of the bar to join those dancing.

So the group walked across the room until they entered the dance floor. The girls pulling the boys by their hands as if they were dragging them there.

The dance floor was twice as big as the bar, and didn't have any obstructions like tables. All it had was tons of people swarming all over the place, dancing to the loud music that was blaring. Neon and strobe lights slashed all over the place. It could almost be overwhelming.

Without a word, Kathryn started dancing with Jace. Everyone joined in, and began dancing together. They danced for a while.

After a few minutes of dancing, Jace saw that Vince was dancing as well. It was strange to see the notorious loner dancing like it was nothing at all. And actually, he was quite good. His tall frame easy to pick out among the other dancers.

After some time of dancing, the music went slow for a spell. And Jace and Kathryn took advantage of this opportunity to rest and talk a little bit.

"So how did you end up being a racer?" Jace asked as he wrapped his arms around her waste in the traditional slow dance style.

"I've always loved motorcycles, ever since I was a little girl." She replied, wrapping her arms around his neck. "But what's your story. I haven't heard why you started up."

"Ah, that is my little secret." Jace replied.

"Really now?" She asked. "I guess I'll have to get it out of you some way."

"Many have tried, all have failed." He replied, smiling.

"All men of course, but a woman will prevail." She replied.

"What makes you so sure that they all were men?" Jace asked, smiling.

"Oh really." She said back, smiling even more. "I guess I'll have to join them." She whispered in his ear.

What She didn't know was that Jace and Denath used to be car thief's together when they were younger. After their organization broke up, they both turned to the only thing they knew how to do, race, to make money. The story about Denath and the broken leg was true. That was the first place they tired to make money. In the street luging federation. But they were both kicked out because of the accident. Denath blamed Jace much, much more however.

After dancing for a while, Stranix told his team they needed to leave.

"We got a race tomorrow, we have can't stay up all night." He told his team.

"The race isn't until six at night, we can stay up as late as we want." Kathryn protested.

"Fine, but we can't stay out drinking all night, we have to get some rest." Stranix said. "Come on, the bus is leaving, we gotta go now." Stranix persisted. There really was no bus, but he meant that anyone who wanted to ride with him had to leave.

Kathryn leaned in close and whispered in Jace's ear. "I share a room with our female mechanic, but she's out with her boyfriend, so our room will be empty tonight."

Jace pulled back a little, and looked into her eyes. She leaned in close again.

"What do you say?" She asked.

"I say I'll drive you myself." Jace said.

And things were finally looking up for Jace. The first time in a long time.