Log:Inter-Rim Swoop Circuit - Sluis Van
"SLUIS VAN and THE SLUIS VAN SHIPYARDS present the FIFTH of the Inter-Rim Swoop Circuit races!" The voice of Gutu Phluu, Gran Major Domo of RACING is projected on a delay that spirals his voice around and around the stands and racers while he saunters along automatically unfurling bright blue carpet to his podium amidst a torrent of streamer ribbons broad glitter square confetti and seemingly endless band of dancers of various species and every gender. Laser lights sunk into the ground engage throwing light in hues visible to every spectrum of sight into the smoke and fog pouring from machines spaced all around. Holoemitters projecting the gran's visage into the air over a vast flat stretch of terrain that begins to split open and slide away when Gutu begins to speak
"Brought to you by Shim Productions, The Galaxy's premiere boutique party planners! For any and all who wish to show that they understand how to ensure a good time - contact Shim Productions and you'll have the event of the century!" The Gran's broad smile goes only wider as his arm sweeps over the opening ground. "Gentlebeings Sluis Van Shipyards presents to us, today, a marvel of modern manufacture! A gesture of their support of Swoop Racing and an intent to see only excellence in it!"
From the great circular opening in the ground raises a massive disk, three standard decks on a standard spacecraft and easily reaching three quarters of a kilometer across. Waving running lights encircle it at levels, display lights and spots flash out to the open as it finally reaches ground level. A cavernous hatch opens with guide lights marching towards the interior that remains obfuscated by the glare of the blue-white light shining through it.
"OUR RACERS are the first to experience the SLUIS VAN SWOOP SPIRAL! Three decks of interlocking, shifting and rotating passages that widen and narrow as they offer our competitors the ride of a lifetime! Be careful racers! Follow the guide-beacons on the interchanging lanes or you might find yourself running what could remain a solid wall or might eject you from the Spiral and the race itself! Keep your head and you'll find yourself at the very top of the spiral, at the winners circle where you'll find your own personal suite to rest after the action while your swoop is taken to the Sluis Van Mechanical Works to be repaired, tuned and prepared for the next race at your specification and the suggestion of their engineering expertise!"
Fireworks explode all around the Swoop Spiral, steam and smoke pouring off of it from specialized vents - adding to the spectacle of the light show.
"Racers! To the starting line!" a grand ramp extends from the spiral, hitting the ground with an impact strong enough to insure it is securely against the ground while squirting up dust. "THE FIFTH RACE IS SOON TO BEGIN!!"
No Sarlacc this time? No Sarlacc this time. No man melting industrial sludge? No man melting industrial sludge. Ah well. Nerys, already on her rented swoop, made some last minute adjustments to her controls, before she taxied the swoop over to the starting line, the engine kept at a low hum, as she looked first to the field, marking each of her competitors, any old and any new, before she cast her eyes beyond to the stands. "Just make sure you're strapped down." That, to the small droid sunk down into a disk and secured to her back.
The annoucner is imparting the informationg Tovani has already been gifted with. The Wroonian stands beside her bike with the BP symbol for the Blaster Path on Rishi. Come join us for a night out! Tovi pauses before pulling her golden helmet out, lifting her hand to wave at the crowd and shake the helmet in the air with the other. Blowing kisses towards the crowd she comes about, spying Nerys she winks and gives her exaggerated finger point while she plays to the crowd. She wiggles her figners at her droid companion before sweeping back around to bow to her competitors. "Good luck!" She calls out to them all. "Come out imn one piece! Thats the goal here."
Tug. Tug. Snug. The golden helmet covers her tattoo'd features as she rolls her shoulders and stretches her arms one in front of her chest then the other. Limbering up she finally steps up to her bike and slings a leg over to settle herself into position. Checking her engine and revving the thing to life she gets ready with one more wave to the crowd from the back of her bike.
Not wanting to provide further work for doctors, Xyo isn't there to race. Instead, she is sneaking into the stands, the Chiss having settled for a beige overcoat and.... no military uniform for once in her life. But she has goggles to watch, which she might not need. And... ears. She needs to listen, because there might be loose lips about things.
As the announcements are made, David starts walking his swoop out, setting it in line to face the indicators. He has a full helmet hanging off one handlebar, seemingly tired of the goggles and scarf combo. In fact the helmet seems like it's come off a piece of armor he owns, and to the knowledgeable person it'll be recognizable as a Void Armor helmet. So dark blue that it might as well have been black, with golden accent lines trailing on it. He sits there, returning Tovani's well-wishing with a wave before he slides the helmet on, fastening it down with a strap, in lieu of the rest of the armor.
A Bespin Motors JR-4 eases up to the starting line. An unknown face sits atop it, making minute adjustments to the throttle to ease the fore tip of the swoop's nose right into place along the designated spot. It's done with guidance from one of the race staff, who signals her with cues and finally brings his hand up in a halt. She nods at him and sits straight up so that her hands are dropped from the grips and instead place themselves against the leather of the seat beneath her. No sponsors, no decals, no nothing. The swoop suit Pranda Jax wears is as clean as the bike itself. She lifts its tinted plasteel visor and sweeps a gaze up and down the line. With nothing to do but wait, Pranda adjusts her feet against their rests and takes a slow, deep breath.
This time, the Kuati was ready. No squeezing into the stands at the last minute, oh no: "Tarq Najjic has /best/ view." He is halfway up the stands, with a large screen to one side and the view of the Swoop Spiral to his right. There are some empty spots near him, of which he is taking full advantage, spreading his legs out and using the empty seats to hold his drink and some snacks.
He has a larger-than-usual handbag with him - it's almost a duffel, if you could malign such a fine leather bag with a utilitarian label - and from it he has drawn out a chilled bottle of champagne and an indestructible transparent plastic cup. Into this vessel he pours the bubbly, and he sips it with a looping pink straw, watching the racers get on their vehicles. He consults a datapad, swipes on it to roll through the list of the racers, and stabs his finger down. Today he cheers for- "Let's go, TOVANI! EN-NO EN-NO!"
As other people try to enter his domain, he brandishes a fistful of tickets at them. "Friends are coming! Are just late. My seats!" Are there friends coming, though?
A fine day for racing and in the Pazaac & Tabac box Fyrris reclines with drink in hand and cards being shuffled in the lower pair. Feet up and looking out over the stands the Codru is nodding to himself to all of the theatrics.
"You know if Atrel knew I was getting all this fresh air, she'd likely run me through decontamination." "Decontamination?" "There's particles and germs out here." "Ah"
Fyrris turns slightly, looking at the service droid, brow raised, "Ah?" "Ah, sir." "What does that mean, ah?"
The droid stares back at the Codru-Ji, with the sort of blank expression only an automaton can manage.
Vega's not in the stands, or well, not just yet. The young white haired woman is elbow deep in wires and trying to get...something that died out of someones circuitry last minute. "What did you hit with this?!" is asked as she is rooting about. Feet are off the ground as she works as she's not really got the height of other mechanics. Her hair is braided in a crown sort of way with the other white locks have been hastily thrown back into a ponytail. She finally finds the dead womp rat and holds it up to the driver that she was helping, "That's your problem." she wiggles the corpse at him.
Bizz is here late, having come to observe and watch. He is coming from the Biscuit Baron mobile concession with a large tray of snacks, including: a Bantha Breakfast Biscuit with blue sauce, Gammorrean crackers, a silver package of blue macaron cookies, and a giant cup full of blue milk for dipping and drinking. The holy man takes a seat in the lower stands to watch.
Kael is in the stands. Well recently arrived as he finds a place in the stands. Obviously not next to Tarq with his sprawling all over and friends 'enroute' but he's near there because best view is the best view and he wants to have a solid view of the race this time. And a real drink in his hand as he sips on it watching the racers getting started.
Sebulba, the ranat Otho'oku and the Sanyassan Yu'Nasa move to position, checking their systems and offering mixes of well wishing chittering, a hissing bit of huttese insult and a reptomammalian growl in their initial preparation while saddling up onto their swoops. Hands raised to the crowds and 'public faces' in place when the cameras are focused on them. But it's Gutu's voice over all.
"RACERS! START. YOUR. ENGINES!"
The massive hatchway into the Spiral goes dark, strobing flashes giving momentary glimpses of the cavernous interior. Moving away from the hatchway and hints of movement within and not too deeply. The crowds roaring intensifying, the multitudes throwing arms into the air while cheering the names of their favorites.
Spotlights mounted on repulsor droids focus on the racers and narrow to create dotted lines to guide the action in. The entire saucer of the Sluis Van Swoop Spiral goes dark, all running and guide lights extinguished; somehow emphasizing the noise emanating from within. The heavy mechanical chunks. The far softer whirring hums.
Fireworks detonate in massive showers of coloured sparks, some cast apart by secondary charges that boom like thunder and some hold further surprise in the form of snapping cracks of pealing miniature thunder that give birth to miniscule stars.
The Spiral is overburdened by radiance again, a brand that banishes shadow, sections of the structure below and above the hatch now spinning slowly in alternating direction. The running and spot lights in full motion anew, each now a jubilant shade of intense green. All pulsing as if gravity were drawing the illumination into the hatch.
Nerys, who, usually, went hellbent for leather out of the gate did...precisely that, as her swoop revved its engine and she charged ahead towards the ramp leading into the course ahead. But there was some small amount of caution in her movements, as she stuck close to the guidelights, either giving herself time to acclimate to the new surrounding, or, perhaps, more strategically, allowing the other racers to test the waters of the course ahead. Just in the off chance that the shifting tunnels and darkened walls were not the only pitfalls to be found along the course.
Seated atop her bike the roar of the crowd can be heard even side her helmet and Tovi is grinning. Everything slows for a second as she draws a deep breath so she can drink in the crowds energy. The Wroonian twists the throttle as the bike remains in neutral, revving the engine as she looks up. The clear READY catches her attention and she sits forward, leaning into the bike as she settles her feet into place. The Zephyr redone in golds and teals catching the light. A few scuff marks here and there but the machine is primed and ready>
SET. It echoes and she can feel the adrenaline in her system begin to reach its peak. She rocks back and forth in her seat to find her center point before the the GO reaches her ears. It is merely a second before she responds as she rushes forward beneath a shower of hot molten sparks in different hues. Tovi breaks away from the group, the bike suddenly jump forwards in a surge of speed that rockets her forward and onto that puzzle of a track.
B'haav Adasta is late. Laaaaate. He jogs into the stands, steel-grey eyes on the lookout for a Kuati he had agreed to meet up with. A rawhide satchel stands out in sharp contrast to his deeb black Hapan suit as he puffs a little. There'd been a very enterprising opportunity on Chandrila, and he'd been running behind schedule ever since. But as if on time, he sees Tarq Najjic and waves. "Tarq Najjic, I've made it!" The Balosar begins climbing his way up the stands to the prime seating his friend had somehow secured. Getting closer, he spies the wide legs, snacks and drinks. No wonder it seemed the man had such an oasis of his own. Just as the Balosar is about to sit, fireworks detonate, the crowd is on its feet cheering, and B'haav narrowly dodges the two closest arms of the nearby Codru-Ju neighbor.
"I was trying to find someone taking bets, but there was no luck!" B'haav pats his bag. "I have entirely too many credits in here right now, so if I go down, please... Get the bag out of here." Priorities from the secret Balosar with the emerald green trilby covering those sensitive palps in the stands.
"That's..." Fyrris leans forward to get a better look at the Spiral.
"You couldn't afford it, sir." "I totally could." "What would you do with it?" the droid leans in slightly, head cocking to the side. "Casino inside a giant roulette wheel, B1." Fyrris turns back, downing his drink and giving a toothy smile while spreading out all four of his arms. "It's genius, eh?" "I can't deny the appeal of the aesthetic, sir." "Ha!" All four fists pumping in the sweet sweet victory earned by Fyrris on this oh most glorious of days that he was able to pierce the logic web of the service droid. A delicious victory flavored by the drink being refilled at that very moment.
David closes his eyes for just a moment, but they open once the lights start. Classic racing fashion, they beep with every step closer to the start. Plus, down here the announcer can still be heard. When the race does start, David punches it. Or steps on it. He definitely twists a handle and pushes it forward, leaving the stands behind, as well as a trail of dust, settled down on this manufactured track. Let's hope they didn't manufacture any eldritch horrors into this one!
The worst waiting is the few seconds leading up to the start. Pranda raises her hands to the grips of the bike after adjusting her visor down back into place. The thrum of the swoop's engine captivates the nervous excitement hinted at by the constant adjustment of her fingers resetting their grip every few seconds. Her feet shift, too, in trying to find the perfect point of pressure at the balls of her feet through the thick soles of the swoop suit's boots. Lights. Crowds. Pranda can barely hear any of it through the insulated lining of her helmet. She's focused forward on the track and the lights and little else. Her right heel annoys the rest with quick little taps. Heated exhaust from the sweeping engines along the aft side of the bike forces the air around it to waver from the heat. At 'GO', Pranda flicks her wrist and the swoop screams as it takes off.
Kael's arrival is noted eventually by the man-spreader doing his best to claim nine seats with just not enough body, and he waves his protective cup at him. Upon being hailed, he raises one hand. "Finally! Tarq Najjic has been saving seat for you!" When the Balosar is closer, he asks, "Is gambling - illegal - on Sluis Van?" he asks. "Maybe is just /poorly located/." He scoots over, so that B'haav can have three seats of his own. He tisks: "Will get both you and bag out. If necessary."
"Oh, am sorry," he adds. "Today we are nemeses. Tarq Najjic cheers for Tovani Enno. Oh, and friends are still on their way, yes?" He winks twice at B'haav, nodding slightly, a bit of theater for those around who would still lay claim to the fallow seats Tarq has rightfully manifested his destiny upon.
Sluis Van... First time Netep was here on 'professional' business, she was lugging around the old Audiotizer 3200 to listen for voices of undead spirits, took a poisoned dart to the face, and laid inert on the floor for the duration of the temple looting party while her colleagues helped themselves. The second time, she was running from the necrohorde. And third time....
Let's hope today's better. No Nightfalcon this race, Muri climbing astride a much smaller, compact model - the Razalon - on account of the Nightfalcon still undergoing repairs following her crash pre-race...last race. Let's definitely hope today is better. The past week has driven her to indulge heavily in two of her three favorite vices, but this adrenaline-pounding, risky business has provided her a 'healthier' option to take out her frustrations. Scream into the wind. Empty her mind.
In a matter of minutes, the tiny racer in blue/magenta/green swoopsuit is ready, rearing, to three...two...one...
She's off like a light.
"Gentlebeings we would like to remind our viewers both live and abroad via the holonet that the displays being shown here tonight are the work of Shim Productions and that the Betting Booths and VIP Boxes have been graciously provided by the Pazaak and Tabac. Nar Shaddaa's finest gambling and cigarra venue. While decadence is the arena of the Hutts - refined class and the willingness to challenge fate is the perview of the Pazaac and Tabac, in the Parmac sector of Nar Shaddaa!"
The paths opening up for the racers are as Gutu promised. Split decision thinking and instincts the watchwords. What starts as a broad entryway quickly splits into serpentine passages with walls closing from both floor and ceiling. Flashes in both the deck and the ceiling pulsing as each racer passes, leaving staccato trails of brief illumination behind them.
The shifts and changes following the speed of the racers; the sensation of some great, unknowable, intelligence following their movements with an intensity of a collector reflecting on prospects for their displays. Sections of these new walls open and new barricades with barely any time to allow racers the opportunity to turn, or choose which way when the fleeting diverting of paths come.
Nerys, who was far enough in the back that, had it been later in the race, her case might have been hopeless, paid no mind to the show of lights and engines from the speeders ahead of her. Racers were gonna race. And there was always the Ballad of the Comeback Kid. Slow and steady could still win the race. They were barely in the beginnings of it now. And then, out of nowhere, a swoop nearly crashed down on nerys' head, it's vents opening up close enough to her face that if her suit had been of poorer quality, it might have melted the helmet onto her head. "If he does that again," called back Nerys, as Bitty rotated around on her back, "Shoot him right in the ass." The flare of the engines had left her eyesight momentarily dazzled, but it was hard to miss that much wrinkled Dug posterior, even as she swerved to prevent being driven into the wall.
Tovani is holding onto her lead, trying to desperately to continually put distance between herself and David who is the next one in line. The fitted suit helps as she shifts and leans, causing the bike to dart right, then left as she faces down the woven pathways, edging forward with a pull back on the throttle. Her head remains low as the lights reflected and shining up in her passage play off the gold colors and the thick vizor that hides her reactions to the intricate maze rather well.
A quick glance back reassures her as she turns sharply and watches for a moment as Nerys fights off Sebulba. Its a flashing image as she is quick to turn her attention forward once more. "Come on, girl. Lets do this," she speaks to her bike, supposedly. Maybe herself. Whoever she converses with in her helmet does not speak back.
B'haav takes up his own trio of seats, resting the satchel beside him with a deathgrip on the strap. "I think it's location more than anything. New planet, don't know where to look." The Balosar pulls a water cannister from a side pocket and opens it, toasting to Tarq Najjic. "I do believe some of them are trailing behind. And were I not going to cheer for Netep Muri, Tovani Enno would be my next bet. I've only really met her once or twice, but she has a competitor's spirit. Still..." B'haav looks to the stands and summons up the stentorian voice he uses when speaking Huttese.
"GO NETEP! MURI FOR THE WIN!" The Balosar looks back to Tarq with a smile, as some of those in front are looking back to see where that noise came from. "Thank you for getting these seats. Very, very good view!"
Second place is a definite improvement over his last start, and David does think pretty highly of the one racer ahead of him. Out here it's entirely possible to psych someone out into making a bad call to cost themselves the race. David just focuses on doing that last part though, staying on the road and not getting caught in a path that shifts out of being. He makes sure not to follow Tovani -too- closely, staying just off to the side behind her, even if he's gaining ground slowly. The one downside of the path ahead constantly changing is there's absolutely no time to look over your shoulder. With that in mind, David focuses on Tovani's speeder, guiding him through. His hand tightens around the handlebars, pushing forward just that bit more.
The sudden acceleration that sends Pranda's JR-4 zipping into the Spiral is almost as bad as the deceleration when she downshifts and does her best to ride the apex around the first turn of the race. She leans into it and rides the throttle in a way that spikes the engine's revolutions in short, quick bursts. They play out as bright flares from the conal nozzles at the back of the bike's engines. She'll never hear the groan of the leather upholstered seat when she's forced back into it from accelerating out of the turn, but she can feel the padded seat shaping around her back down the next stretch. Despite the speed of the swoop, Pranda's heart feels like its racing faster inside her chest. The constant shift of the bike and the forces exerted on her have her panting to keep her breath at pace with the demands she feels her body is making. Lights flicker across her tinted visor and the swoop itself, and angle off when Pranda sweeps into the next turn.
The Razalon's stunted form gives it advantageous manueverability, allowing Muri to extend her decision-making by a whopper 0.032 seconds! It's almost not enough when the floor migrates toward ceiling and ceiling toward floor, forcing her to make a decision NOW. Saved by the rapid-fire readout in her helmet, Netep jerks the swoop in a 45 degree angle and slips through a narrow margin, forking to the right. Where it leads, well...that's to be determined.
Strips of lighting become reminiscent of hyperspace views, marking the slim boundaries of this serpentine tunnel (or tomb) into whose care she's commited herself. It won't be gentle....and that's okay. Muri's driving angry, so the feeling's mutual. If there are any hover cams honed in on racers' faces this go 'round, her expression is certainly not sunshine and rainbows. More like....pensive and pissed.
Racers who had been alone find themselves mixed into a sudden pack, intermixing for fleeting moments that allow for potential interference. The Ranat Otho managing to outmaneuver Yu'Nasa and nearly getting the Sanyassan eliminated if not for quick thinking that allows her to bring her nose aroun before it plowed into a wall. The lighting above and below each competitor brightening or darkening as if to indicate their position within the challenge itself - even if the spiral places them beside, before or behind their competitors. Sebulba and the Sanyassan now placed side by side with one another and the aggressive reptomammalian raider makes to try and smash Sebulba into a wall before they're separated again.
"Gentlebeings this is truly a marvel by Sluis Van. Guided by an amalgamated droid-hive processor the Spiral is capable of levels of observance that most species can only dream! Much as they likely do of the clothing and -hats-" the holo-display showing Gutu sporting a jaunty mid-brim affair with tastefully selected gemstones in the band, "For the discerning shopper who wants comfort -and- style. The Hapan Silk Commission."
Lines begin to split away again, giving racers fractions of blinks to decide if they will try to stick with, and overtake, their competition or risk going alone into he depths of the mechanical monstrosity. Suddenly dipping to drop to the lower deck or forming ramps to the higher. The passages begin to narrow dangerously in places, forcing careful precision driving or the choice to let the competitor to one side ahead, or force them behind.
While Bitty did not, as yet, pull out her favourite popgun with which to dispatch the dried out space raisin of a Dug, her little eye was wary, and she had a bead on him, oh, don't worry about that. As for Nerys, she took advantage of two things. First, the encroaching walls, which she used to her advantage as she purposefully got into Sebulba's way, the systems on her helm giving her a good view of where he was, and second, her complete lack of a self-preservation instinct. Her engines flared, as she tried to force the Dug to have to throttle back on his forward momentum.
The sudden changes that lie ahead are something to contend with. They are of course no sarlaccs but they are still something. Running into a wall that appears would be a bad thing. Glancing back she makes the momentary decision and Tovani is quick to dive deeper, meaning to look to cut her time in half while hoping to shake off those who are pursuing her. That golden helmet turns back forward as she slips through the narrow pass like she was born to flow right through it. She arrives at the other side unharmed and whole.
Letting a held breath she opens the throttle once more to gain some distance, but not on everyone. The lead is still her own but that can change in the blink of an eye and with bad results.
Resisting the urge to jump at the views surrounding him on his displays, Fyrris maintains a general stance of calm. Professional gambler, maintaining his veneer of indifference with lower hands folded in his lap and upper hands resting with a cocktail glass in the fingers of one and a cigarra in the other.
"See when this is all over I'm going to need to put up a big t'do at the Bar, you know?" "Shall we contact Shimmer?" "It'd be foolish not to show some solidarity." "Hapan Silk for your suit." "Probably." Fyrris gives a nod and looks around his private box, sipping his drink again. Adjusting his tie and the glowing red gemstone that serves as the head of the pin set in it. All smiles and sly looks while he studies the racers on screen that he cannot view live.
Vega is standing, much like some others that are near her. There is a shake of her head when one of the other mechanics asks if she wants to bet on who is going to win, "I think I'll pass." she tells them. Then she's taking a drink from her flask before she finds a spot on the bench to settle into with the other wayward mechanics that were just shooting the breeze. Her grey gaze looking over the screens and things so that she can see who is in the lead and things.
Tarq gives B'haav a thumbs-up, but his eyes are glued to the screens, because the course actively fighting to prevent safe driving is intermittently blocking the view. Walls do that. As people in front fight to maintain and increase their lead, Sebulba is busy being himself and trying to take out Nerys. "Oof. How is he still allowed?" Many in the crowd gasp along with him. "Guess that is why," he mutters. "Thrill of violence." He slurps up some champagne from his straw. "Enno and Muri seem to be playing fair - and safe... -ish." Reckless with themselves, not reckless with the others.
David smirks at the narrowing of the path around him. No moving parts? No unpredictable monstrosities? He'd feel disappointed if he wasn't busy racing for first place. Then the wall starts to move. "There it is.." David mutters inside his helmet, quickly adjusting his line to go around the wall. In the process, he's lost track of Tovani. Probably she was ahead and a wall closed off her path. Is he overtaking her? Is she on the short path? Is he going in circles?! Who knows! The pilot keeps it moving, undeterred, but with increasing suspicion of -walls-.
She has, sometimes, mere breaths to decide which route to take next. A sudden junction closing off forces Pranda to yank her bike to the right with a sharp lean. Rather than left off the accelerator, she guns it to provide the JR-4 with enough extra kick that the movement is immediate rather than a little more delayed. She balances it out, bike angling a hair back towards the other direction to keep her from ramming herself into the wall. There are other racers in the middle of engine flashing one another or trying to ram each other into the enclosed walls of the Spiral. It sets Pranda on edge, but she refuses to have her attention drawn away from the race at hand. Top speed is not an option for her here, what with the sudden course changes.
things in life catch up, whether it be while waiting in line for a magtrain, in the corner booth you /thought/ was concealed, or in your sleep. But while hurtling along and some few hundred kilometers per hour...feels pretty damn close to escaping. Muri's proximity alert warns of shifting structure ahead. VERY ahead. There's no thought given, no mind much paid to strategy as she's launched into the brief fray of intersecting paths, all Netep has a mind to do is...is go up! Up looks good, so sayeth her kneejerk impulse. The eventual finish line is at the spiral's peak, so here's hoping her sudden repulsor boost in elevation does not land her in some dead end, becoming intimately familiar with the wall.
The feeling of 'up', or any direction really, is much different in Muri's new ride. She finds herself missing the forward hug that made her one with the Nightfalcon. This swoop's posture feels more akin to sitting in an office chair. Not her comfort zone, those office chairs...
Brother Bizz is sitting on the benches watching the holoscreens and eating his blue macaron cookies out of their silver packet. "Lookit Sebulba go! Oh he's a famous Dug. Almost as good as Dud Bolt in his prime." He dunks a blue macaron in his blue milk then noshes on it.
Gravity decides to go the way of the Mythosaur when the changing walls of the corridors widen, the internal structure moving to suggest that for all of their speed the racers are at a standstill but the roar of machinery implicating that things are moving to match the breakneck speeds. Outside a panel opens. Moments before Yu'Nasa, the victim of poor fortune brought on by the Ranat Otho'oku Baj and then her own pride in attempting to capitalize on Nerys's attempt to block Sebulba from going further, was sailing through the air. Screaming and flailing until caught up in a repulsor field keeping her from a messy and painful landing. But also marking her unexpected exit from the race in addition to the howls of outrage by betting spectators who picked the wrong ronto.
Her swoop was in pieces behind the lot, being swept up by hovering droids who could catch what wasn't being crushed.
"Viewers we would like to remind you that parts of the durasteel and structural materials utilized to construct the Sluis Van Swoop Spiral were acquired through B'Rot Metal and Mining based out of Beautiful CLOUD CITY, Bespin!"
The passages seem to rotate into tight corkscrews that are revealed when racers are in proximity, making turns into hard banks or drops from what was thought to be the deck and are in fact half-loops dropping them from the ceiling. Sebulba narrowly holds onto countrol, three of his four limbs working systems while the fourth extends an extremely, censored for holocams, 'friendly' greeting towards Nerys and the word "MACLUNKEY!!"
"B'Rot Metal and Mining has the minds and backing of Bith knowledge and know-how to provide the Inter-Rim circuit the means to provide the amazing challenges you're witness to today!"
The fluctuating lights that chase the racers burning into hues of amber that bleed to shimmering that gives the impression of flames spuming up like foam behind speedboats - casting swoop drivers and those in proximity into hellish relief. Then darkness, of a fashion, swallows them all.
Aryn arrived late to help with the medic corner and provide attention to racers, and fans, who might be injured! She makes her way through a small crowd, down some stairs, and toward the area clearly marked for medical professionals. She stands out, slightly, for the cape, and maybe the bright blonde hair, but she tries not to do anything that might draw attention to her and away from the race.
Nerys, who had already gotten Sebulba back, if the report Bitty gave her in regards to the rude gesture, which was, returned with both of what counted as the smol droid's 'hands', got back into the business of racing, trying, for now, simply to make up her position on the field, despite the fact that she knew the racers who were in the lead were likely too far ahead of her for her to have any hope of passing them. But that was not the point was it? No, the point was to finish. It was always to finish. Okay, maybe beating the Dug was sort of the point too, but moving on! The swoop bike whistled through the rapidly shifting walls of the course, and perhaps it was a help that Nerys was so far behind, as it gave her more room to maneuver.
Now alone due to sudden changes in the map, Tovi does not have a chance to see exactly how the others are doing and she forces herself to focus on what lies ahead. She revs the bike and screeching forward she leans left and hits the breaks to throw herself around a tight curve. Her bike power slides for a second before the thrusters kick in and throw her back forward. As the bike rears she lets out a whoop inside her helmet and for those following her to catch her figure and throw it up on the screens she lifts a fist into the air before laying claim to the handle of the bike again. A grin paints her lips ands he ducks down and in, a feeling of elation running up her spine. Its just the bright lights dancing, the track, her bike...and her.
An 'errrrrgh' face when the Sanyassan goes flying, Fyrris and his droid share a look before they turn attention back to the displays before them and chaos on the screens, "See that's why I gamble with credits." "As opposed to your body." "I'm too pretty." "Most certainly, sir." "Sass protocol acting up?" Fyrris side eyes the droid to his side, still grinning and sipping from his drink as he flicks it a credit chit that is caught and tucked away neatly. "I know not of what you speak, sir." B1 lifts its head, to maintain a look of 'properly snooty' at such a ghastly idea. They stare at each other. Scrutinizing. As if now contesting in a duel. A duel with sweeping brass and choir accompaniment. A duel of the fates... maybe?
It all ends when Fyrris has a cigarra offered and lit by the droid.
Alright, David is -definitely- going in circles now. At least, that's what it feels like. The path just keeps going around like it is, but there's no repetition on the walls. Just.. increasing darkness. David flips a switch when the visibility gets too low, sending a beam of light ahead of him between the fins of the swoop bike. If he'd brought the rest of his armor, he could've used its built-in sight enhancers, but hindsight is 20/20 no matter how the visibility is. Oh well.
She has only a few moments to get a glimpse of the few racers ahead of her on the strip before the awful sound of bending durasteel fills the track. She doesn't dare chance a look over her shoulder, but a snap of her eyes towards one of the reflective mirrors riding along the throttle grip on the swoop bike allows her to catch a glimpse of the barreling, disintegrating vehicle that was once Yu'Nasa's ride. Pranda hones her attention ahead and focuses on a distinct point ahead and in front of her bike rather than allowing herself to get caught up in the twisting of the corridors corkscrewing far ahead of them. It means she deals with each obstacle just as its coming up rather than trying to absorb and make decisions on it all at once. One problem at a time. The most immediate is the sudden dipping sensation repeatedly playing out in the pit of her abdomen as her swoop changes elevation in quick down-steps. Then its another rapid deceleration, dropping through gears until the revs are spiking so that she can take the next hard bank. Apex, apex, and then throttle to zip ahead and forward towards the next trick the Spiral is going to throw at them.
Okay, well, nothing like becoming trapped in seemingly infinite loops of death spiral to distract one from their internal warfare! Muri's focus narrows immensely, spying just a reflective flash of...maybe another rider ahead? Or crossing through the tunnel she's momentarily commited to. Unsure! Breaths in through her nose....out through her mouth...in....out.
The fried gorg Netep ate earlier pipes up from the depth of her belly with a little 'croak'. Nothing like a little bile and greasily overcooked amphibian belch to gas the interior of one's own helmet...and round and round they go!
B'haav shakes his head. "Pod racing, swoop racing, Sebulba has always been Sebulba. Some only watch for the crashes, and he works hard to make them. There's a reason he's sought in as many places as he's banned." Steel-grey eyes look to the screens, but a tug on his bag pulls his attention back. An Anzellan has crawled on top of it and is trying to SNOOP. "Excuse me, that is not community property."
"'Scuze, keez, okay, only curious. It's a fine bag," says the diminutive figure, hopping back off the bag.
"Thank you, it was a birthday gift." B'haav picks up the bag and hugs it close to him. The Balosar claps as he tries to make sense of the standings, but the intrusion to his bag has rattled him. He glances to Tarq Najjic. "I'm going to... See if I can make my way to the ship and deposit this a little more... Securely." He rises, still watching the screens as he wills Muri onward, but makes his way through the crowd, earning more than a few unkind words as his hat blocks the view.
Tarq gives B'haav a royal wave, hand up in the arm and wrist swinging lightly back and forth. "Yes. Seat will be here." His attention on the screen is unwavering, except when he glances at the structure itself - where he can still see essentially nothing. "Is deathtrap," he mutters, watching the racers go back and forth. There's the sound of a straw whose drink has reached the end of its life, and he is forced to re-pour. His attempt to do so without looking fails, and about half the champagne is gone down the duracrete of the stands before he realizes it. "Ah!" Then he actually watches his glass. "Is too tense."
Those oscillations of illumination that had tailed after now streak out before each of the racers, a challenge in themselves for their shortening if the swoopers slow - reducing the distance of light to show the way ahead of them. Counter the greater the speed the further out and brighter the lights go. Measuring of risk with acceleration and melded with sudden walls rising or falling before, forcing quick shifts to one side or the other - and even drops or jumps between the decks to avoid the pain and potential fatality of a crash. Drops and jumps that nearly eject Otho and Sebulba when their muscling for rank causes one to sideslip down a sudden opening and the other is launched to nearly strike the ceiling while they sail airborne, seeking to regain balance with sparks flying all around them.
"Look at them go! LOOK. AT. THEM. GO!" Gutu's voice is everywhere at once, "We're nearly finished, gentlebeings! They're giving their all! LET THEM KNOW YOU APPRECIATE THEIR DARING AND SKILL!" the crowd erupts and the noise without is amplified within, focused through the changing tunnels.
Simulating plasma fire, akin to the curls of a solar flare arching away and back to its mother star, begins to radiate in form and fashion to the colors each of the racers has displayed so far and holo-emitters that have attached themselves to the swoops much like the recorders, begin filling peripherals with footage of the elated spectators.
The paths all begin to dip down and before the span of a breath all of the racers are on a single lane, wide enough for three - all arrayed to the distance traveled and the speed in comparison to the others. Walls slam closed to either side, narrowing to a single swoop width and then flaring out again at random intervaul; all of it leading centrally.
Vega is slowly starting to look over damage that is happening and the mechanic frowns deeply, "Well...this is something that is going to be in the books for 'most billable'." she chuckles to the others that give a nod to her. "Anyways, I'm going to go get another drink and be ready for repairs when I get back." she nods to this as she picks up her bag and heads up into the stands with it.
Aryn finally finds her place at the medical area and takes one of the seats. Once situated, her gaze goes to the monitors there to observe the race, and she's given a chilled drink to pass the time. What medical gear is available is enough to handle most trauma, but naturally, the worst case scenarios will have to be taken to a medical facility! Aryn takes a sip from her drink and makes a face, "What concoction is this?"
Well, this was going to be a day to celebrate, Nerys hoped, as her swoop was still intact. Check. She had not lost her rider. Check. Said rider flipped off Selbulba. Double check. And, and, she was ahead of said Dug. All the checks. There was no hope for winning, nerys knew that, but, she enjoyed the race regardless, as her swoop danced a merry jig along the route, trailing the lights that marked the way like fireflies in the final approach. "Look, I can't go any faster, okay? You can fist bump her when this is all over." Bossy droid was bossy. That did not stop said droid's hand from coming up and rapping Nerys on the back of her helmet. "Next time, why don't you try driving. If your feet even reach the pedals."
The journey she was taking of self discovery and disco dance floor driving, Tovi soon finds herself filtered back out into a central flow that suddenly has the walls closing in. "What the kriff....what is that?!" She veers as she sees the right wall coming in on her, snaking to the front and hitting the gas on that straight away as she runs that central line like someone able to visualize it. She rears her back when the thrusters throw her forward, spewing heat in her wake as she grins from ear to ear, lights gleaming off her helmet and bike as she does not look back, now is for what is trying to squish or push her from each side. "Come on beauty, lets take it." She is talking to the bike - she has to be.
All the good stuff is happening -behind- David, apparently. Is he still on the course? It seems so, the light is guiding his path. Also the walls on both sides of the road he travels. When the path goes down, it's not unlike being in an elevator, feeling your insides shift a bit as it goes. He can hear the crowd cheering now. Must be nearing the finish. Doors slam open and shut harshly, cutting off the sound occasionally, amplifying it at other times. David grits his teeth. He just wants to know where he's at, who's ahead and who's not. Just show him someone!
The track's sudden change to a singular lane unnerves Pranda. Her gaze snaps down towards the duracrete speeding by to check for obstacles threatening to pop up in front of the nose of her swoop before it races back up to the other riders jockeying for some semblance of position. This lane is far from simple, however. Despite most of the noise being relegated to her engine, it fluctuates wildly whether or not the lane is open or narrowed into single file, necessitating that Pranda brace for the upcoming choke points and be on constant guard lest she and another racer try to take it at the same time. The rev gauge spikes madly for a second and Pranda's bike jerks. For a second, she's bleeding speed and has to down shift. She grunts from the inertia, but she only feels it in her chest. As fast as she can manage, she shifts back up to the higher gear and twists her throttle harder, sending her bike back up towards the top limit of what it can pull.
Mmmm...paths are converging....
The wicked green glow of ignition out the back of Muri's swoop - unnervingly near to her head - burns all the brighter still as she pushes the Razalon to its max, gaining some ground initially and seeking to close ground with that very familiar Zephyr. This push into second place is suddenly thwarted by
The helmet's talking again but Muri's already seen the problem. WALL. She downshifts drastically and zigs around the corner juuuust in the nick of time to avoid catastrophic collision. Again, speed is creeping uuuuuup AND NO DENIED! Grinning in spite of the queasily close calls, she backs off just a smidge and concentrates on navigating this portion and coming out the other side in one piece. A couple overcorrections later and she's steadied out, brain seeking to make sense of the patterns of lane closure. The pattern is.....there isn't one. That's half the thrill!
A straightaway barely two lengths of most swoops, a hoop that appeared at first to be holographic simulacrum but revealed as a plasma ring setting fire to the air around it is past. Warming skin and clothes. Sparking off of swoops, and exploding like an iris gate millimeters in the wake of the tailing swoop.
"THIS IS IT!!!"
It banks into an insanely sharp curve with neon lights the span of multiple worlds rainbows helixing into a vacillating form not unlike an oscilloscope display every few moments. The curve widens with the corridors malleable nature continues, now changing heights and small ramps snap up from the floor to allow racers an opportunity to go airborne.
"WE'RE ABOUT TO SEE GREATNESS!"
Without preamble the way ahead sees open sky and the floor angles so that speed is required to keep racers centrifugally aligned - or risk spilling out on top of the structure, suggesting tumbling down an opening blast door and back to the depths. It's at that point, while attempting to repulsor shove Otho that Sebulba's own systems loose 'traction' after a fashion. Spinning out until he is pinwheeling through the air, leaping clear of his swoop while trying to keep his stomach contained, rapidly slapping at the controls to an anti-grav belt.
"AND THERE GOES SEBULBA! POOR LUCK OLD DUG!"
But the finishing line can be seen if one looks up and ahead. Deceptively dark and peaceful looking despite the jaunty black and white checks.
Now this was the end. Well, almost the end. She hoped the end. She didn't need more physical encouragement from her droid. And if Nerys noted that her nemesis had been dispatched from the race, well, it did not show, as Nerys hit the engines hard, twisting the swoop so that it eas running parallel to the walls the engines of the swoop nearly scraping along that expanse of barely used, almost brand new Sluis Van engineering, as Nerys seemed to be doing loop de loops along the final straight (figuratively speaking) away of the course. Sorry about it.
Bizz is just about to start his Bantha Breakfast Biscuit with blue sauce when Sebulba goes flying. The entire bench section Bizz is sitting at erupts in a cheer and now that biscuit is pinwheeling end-over-end toward the front row. "My biscuit!" he exclaims. A little bit of his blue milk also sloshes out, but the Ugnaught monk steadies it protectively. He still has a ramekin of blue sauce, thank the FORCE.
"By the Gods...those lights," Tovi mutters inside her helmets, the different colors swirling playing with her focus. She blinks a few times and manages to bank, pulling her brake to glide sideways and take it with speed. She hits the thrusters once she rights herself and feels gravity hold tight. Just as the wroonian is getting some decent speed, Tovani lets out a cry of surprise or maybe thats daring elation as a sudden ramp appears in front of her. "All or nothing..."
She guns it, throwing her bike into full open as it roars forward. She laughs brilliantly and hits the ramp, gliding upwards along its surface to suddenly launch without any contact into the air. Its here she squeezes the bike's seat with her calves and rises up, letting go of the controls to lifts both hands into the air.
Foolhardy? Why yes but what is expected of adrenaline junkies. Pumping a hand up once she is swiftly coming back down all thanks to gravity and she bends her knees, still standing off the seat to grip the handles and land that way before settling back into the seat with only a slight swerve off course.
David gets his wish! Kinda! As the paths all converge into one again, for the final run, the pilot ramps up into the ring of fire, full speed ahead. You have to, these things are built to go through fast. You don't want to go through them slowly, or any closer to the fire than is absolutely necessary, and the helmet will do the best job of not melting any important bits of both racer and swoop. It's made for that! David pushes down as soon as he clears the ring, he lands into the whirlpool-like area, steering against gravity as he circles the drain. Managing to hold on, he shoots forward out of the circle, onto the straight. He can see the finish! He can see racers ahead of him! Bummer!
The heat coming off the ring is almost enough to distract her. Pranda doesn't have time to think about what might happen if either she or her swoop faced the misfortune of touching it, though. The pulsating explosions of the ring as racers ahead of her pass through it is not enough to get her to let off the throttle. Pranda passes it and then is faced with the ridiculous bank. She downshifts, skipping entire gears and leaning so hard into the turn that her knee slightly flares out to the side as if she'll touch the pad covering it to the duracrete. Even leaning so hard, Pranda feels like she'll tip over the other way just from the severe curve of the track. She hits the middle of the apex starts accelerating. One gear. The next. Another. The finish line is in sight and her swoop bike gives gentle shudders with every new ceiling of speed that it can reach. The track becomes a blur beside her again, with her JR-4 zipping straightline towards the end of the race.
Returning from having to run to the bathroom Kael's back in the stands and still working on his drink or well another drink as he gets back to the seats. Looking around he realizes that his good seat was stolen but one closer to Tarq is still available and the big form of Kael ends up seated nearby watching the next bit of the race on the screens. "Oh that's just all kinds of fancy."
As the racers come in for the final pass, Aryn stands up and claps her hands in congratulations. It was an impressive feat to complete one of these high speed races, even more impressive was it to survive! She continued to clap for all the contestants even though the muffles slaps of her gloved hands were hardly noticeable at all!
WOAH there, that's a flash of heat! It registers once Muri's already blown about ten swoop lengths past the other side and is blinking HARD to keep her vision even keel. The hypnotic, psychedelic waves of neon are doing their best to confuse the frink out of her brain, while her stomach and contents thereof are slammed into the side of her ribs by that beast of a turn.
Netep likewise takes the ramp, but her motivations are to simply maintain her present course of straaaaight aheeeeead and keeps all limbs within the confines of her swoop. 'Look ma, no hands' can, in fact, lead to NO HANDS at these speeds and Muri's knuckles don't seem keen to release their tight'n'white grip on the throttle. It might be that she simply hasn't got the thigh power to hold on otherwise, though, and doesn't mean that she can't appreciate Tovi's flare as the Wroonian's swoop sails up into a long arc ahead of her. Both black brows raised behind Muri's visor and illuminated display appraise the little stunt approvingly.
"C'monc'monc'monc'monc'mon...." she whisper encouragingly to the petite steed jetting her along toward that faint, welcoming glow of THE END.
Vega sees that the race is coming down to the wire...almost literally and she heads back down from her perch with her drink. She was going to lend a hand to the mechanics and others before heading back to Chandrila. The white haired woman gives a nod as she digs her glasses out of the bag and watches for the racers to come in. It might be a long time to fix things.
The curlicuing raceway rises higher, moving on slanting lift plates and pistons until it is almost certainly fatal, if not near so, should a mistake be made. Leveling out and then falling like a carnival thrill ride while holding to the dangerous inward curve that terminates barely a quarter kilometer from the finish.
"HERE THEY COME! HERE THEY COME! NEWCOMER TOVANI ENNO IN A COMMANDING LEAD!"
As Tovani passes the finish first the explosion of color and light is a supernova that strews itself out over the racers behind and to the crowd surrounding the Spiral. Colors starting gold and bleeding through silver to bronze as the first three ranks pass.
"Gentlebeings! It's over! We have our WINNER! GIVE YOUR APPLAUSE TO TOVANI ENNO!!!"
The first three finishers are displayed in glorious larger than life hologram. Stills of their faces looking off somewhere into the distance. Highlight clips of their races tonight and before.
"BUT LET US NOT FORGET THEIR CLOSEST COMPETITION! IN SECOND PLACE NEWCOMER PRANDA JAX!!! AND IN THIRD NETEP MURI!!!"
The spiral proceeds past the finish, widening again to allow the racers a lap to slow until they can exit to a stopping zone where small shuttles have begun to land, boarding ramps showing not but opulence within; inviting the racers when ready to be taken to their suites.
"GENTLEBEINGS! WHAT AN UPSET! WHAT A RACE! WHAT A SHIFT IN FORTUNES FROM BEGINNING TO END!!!"
More pyrotechnics and light shows abound as the crowds are going almost out of control with the end of race five of the Inter-Rim Swoop Circuit!
"See I told you. I told you. ALWAYS bet on the outside option." "The Wroonian?" "Yes the Wroonian, after last time? Of course the Wroonian!" Fyrris pounds a fist on one of his arm rests. Finishing off another glass and throwing it over his shoulder to shatter on the floor of the VIP box behind him only to be served another with a glowing drink that shifts between chartreuse and sunny golden. "I suppose you've the understanding." "And the experience." "Of course, sir yes the experience. So many tables fled from." "I've never cheated." "But often won against sore losers?" the droid adds a citrus peel garnish to the drink and a droplet of something glittering silver that swirls itself within. Fyrris nods and gives a deep laugh as he shrugs. "Losers often are better shots. I'll give that."
Victory! And, let's be honest, for someone who was not a prufeshunal, any race you finished was a victory. And so, Nerys darted out of the course, almost in the last, but still looking, for all of the world, should any of the cameras deign to focus on her, as though she were having the time of her life. Two living arms, and two droid arms lifted up, at least for a second or two, announcing her exit from the course, before her swoop took a sharp dive, seeming to be racing like a bullet to intercept Tovani's swoop. Was it a sabotage at the end of the race, a rage quit? No, just Nerys trying to get in close enough that smol droid arms could pump fists in Tovani's general direction.
Tovi's bike screams across the finish line and further afield she comes to a stop, turning the bike to allow herself to flow sideways and come to a stop. Her booted foot touches the ground and she kills the engine. A grin is pulling at her lips already and off comes her helmet, the gold shimmering much like the tattoos upon her face. Fingers curl and seize the helmet to thrust it upwards as she stands astride the bike, straddling the seat as she waves her helmet in the air, holding a finger up in a number one. As the cameras come in she blows a kiss before white teeth flash ands he is cheering again, adrenaline still rushing through her veins.
"I am so glad there were no sarlaccs on this world, just structural creations with a life of their own." She chuckles and sees Nerys coming, her face lighting up as she sees Bitty on the back. "My friends!" She calls out and leans over, gripping the bike to mimic exactly what they had done the race before but with Nerys as the glorious winner. Seeing both droid arms up she drops her helmet and holds both fists out to ceremoniously bump Bitty - traditions are not being made. She pulls her hands back and spreads her fingers. BOOM BITTY BOOM.
A heavy WHOOSH of air - mostly relief - exits Muri's lungs with the force of a tiny, tiny gale. She stands upright on the pedals then, balancing her weight on the handlebars after breezing across the explosive finish line. It's gonna take a partial lap to slow down so she puts the Razalon through the paces a second time, albeit less frenzied than the first. At some point along that lap, her furrowed brow relaxes, teeth peeking through formerly pursed lips, and a smile thrown toward any other racers tooling along the same route. "Nice race."
She passes one racer and then the next, throttle gripped so tightly and twisted so hard that her hand and wrist hurt from the effort of applying that much pressure. The Bespin Motors JR-4 cuts through the wind like a dagger and eats up the track like a hungry nerf put to a fresh field. There's so much force on her from the forward momentum that Pranda finds it difficult to breathe during the last stretch of the race. A singular racer finishes ahead of her and then her swoop is across the line. It's seconds later, when a burning in her chest screams at her about the carbon dioxide build up, that she lets go of the breath she was holding. Beginning to slow her swoop for a lap around the track, Pranda tries to stay connected to the here and now when all her mind wants to do is float out of her body. It's hard not to when she can read her name up on the standings board and see that it's in second.
When she pulls into the designated spot and turns the bike off, the powerful vibrations of the engine are still tingling through her. It might be elation, too. She can't help the stupid grin plastered to her face when she peels off her helmet to expose sweat-slickened hair clinging to the nape of her neck, swept back as it is into a braided tail of hair meant to keep it out of the way. "Stang," she mutters under her breath to herself. Pranda's trembling from the combination of everything. The race, the crowd, the deafening cheers heard even through the protection slipped into her ears. She doesn't realize the physical toll it would have on her until she's off the bike and on trembling legs. Still, Pranda stands tall as she can given her diminuitive height and begins to board the waiting shuttle.
David comes in fourth, again just missing out on having his head projected via hologram, but only just. He frets not, however, because according to The Board, Sebulba has at one point crashed out. That means David wins in his heart, and that counts for something! He swings a leg over the side of his bike as it gently drifts beyond the finish line. He manages to steer it to the side into his box, only accelerating gently to get it there and not park it in the middle of the track. When he does, though, he seeks out Tovani's golden helmet and waves at her. Well done, again.