|Cannonball Run 2004: Down Under
Author: BKelly95 PM
A year has passed since the 2003 Cannonball Run. It's now time for the next one. A few surprises await the participants, though.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 7 - Words: 26,052 - Reviews: 11 - Updated: 12-29-04 - Published: 07-18-04 - Status: Complete - id: 1970200
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Plans Are Made
AN:Greetings and welcome to my new fanfic.
If the first part of the title hasn't clued you in, this is a follow-up to "Cannonball Run 2003". This will not, however, be a direct remake of "Cannonball Run 2".
As usual, I hope to create a worthwhile reading experience for you, the reader, as well as a worthwhile writing experience for myself, the writer. I invite your reviews.
A couple of acknowledgements (and we haven't even gotten to the story yet):
-to Anthony Bannon (a.k.a. Turbo Man): This is not Cannonball Run 5. Those plans are still coming along. And...
-to Penning Fantasy. Thanks for your help.
Anyways, let's get to the story. Oh by the way, the subtitle does mean what you think it does.
"You know how the Drake family made its fortune?" asked Seymour Drake Jr. as he chalked up his pool cue. "Speed. When we came to America, we had the fastest horses and the fastest wagons." He walked over to the pool table and made his shot. He sank the cue ball. "And now, due to a little madness with a yellowish metallic substance, we have the fastest planes, the fastest boats, and the fastest cars."
"Except for one." said his opponent, Brad Compton, as he tried to retrieve the cue ball from the return. "Yours."
"What do you mean by that?" asked Seymour, a.k.a 'The Drake'.
"Last year, you tried a simple task." said Brad. "So simple. You tried to emblazen the Drake name as 'Fastest in the World' by winning the Cannonball Run. But you failed."
"Easy." warned the Drake's bodyguard, Ron. "You don't want me protecting the Drake from you."
"Look, you weren't there." said the Drake. "You have no idea why I failed. It was because..."
"No excuses for your incompetence." said Brad.
The Drake moved towards Brad while preparing to use his pool cue as a spear, but Ron held him back saying "Hold on, you don't want we protecting you from yourself."
Brad waved the Drake over to his position. The Drake walked over until Brad was sure Ron was out of earshot. "What's the deal with your bodyguard?" he asked.
"He's an actor." said the Drake. "Hasn't had a series in seven years."
"Nine." said Ron.
Brad and the Drake looked at Ron and slapped him for eavesdropping. "Don't want me protecting you from me." he chided.
"Look, I know I didn't win." said the Drake as he prepared to make another shot. "The competition was fierce and I had an ulcer the size of the Grand Canyon."
Brad stuck his pool cue right into the Drake's nose. "I dare you to re-enter the Cannonball and win this time." said Brad. "Give me one good reason why you can't do that."
"Because the race organizers have disbanded, the police are keeping a sharper eye out for the race, and I still have a huge ulcer." said the Drake.
"You know why I say life is like an arcade game?" asked Brad. "Because any problem can be solved if you throw enough quarters at it."
"Of course." said the Drake.
A few weeks later, at an airport outside Wurtsburo, New York, J.J. McClure pulled up to an air show in his recently repaired Camaro. His girlfriend, Pamela Glover, climbed out and followed him. J.J. walked up to a man and said "Excuse me, I'm looking for Victor Prinsi."
"That way." said the man.
"Thanks." said J.J. He walked over to a large metal cylinder with the words "The Human Bomb" written on it. He knocked on the bomb and his partner Victor Prinsi looked out through a viewport.
"J.J." he said.
"How are you doing?" asked J.J.
"Oh, fine I guess." said Victor. "They got me doing this stunt where they're going to drop me from a plane in this thing."
"Guess what I got." said J.J. as he took out a telegram. "It's the Cannonball race, it's on again. A million dollars is the first prize."
"Wow!" exclaimed Victor. "I wish I could go, but I'm stuck doing this."
"I'll go see if I can get you out of your contract." said J.J. "So, what is this thing?"
"It's the Human Bomb." said Victor. "They've got this vintage dive bomb pilot from the 'Nam. They're going to let me out of the plane..." He knocked on the side. "...with this, and I'm going to hit the target. Go right through the target. After that, I go into a net. And if I go through the net, I land in some hay. Enough hay to feed all the cattle in Texas."
"Sounds dangerous." said J.J.
"Yeah, it is." said Victor. "To tell you the truth...I'm a little scared!"
"You're scared?" asked J.J. "Well, if you're scared, you can always have HIM do it."
"HIM doesn't come unless there's great danger to human life." said Victor.
"You're right." said J.J. as he backed away. "You'd better call him."
J.J. started looking for the manager of the stunt. He found him talking with the stunt coordiators and called out "Excuse me. I'd like to talk about Victor Prinsi."
"What about him?" asked the manager.
"What would it take to get him out of his contract?" asked J.J.
Pamela had gone to get a snack. When she came back, she found J.J. arguing with the man. Finally, J.J. walked back towards her and the bomb.
"Good news." he said. "The stunt manager is willing to let Victor out of his contract."
"Really?" said Pamela. "What did you have to do?"
"I have to do the stunt." said J.J. Pamela looked at him in shock. "Relax, I'll be fine." he said. "I know that Victor doesn't want to do it, so we're good." He knocked on the bomb.
"Dah dah daaaaaah!" called the voice from within.
"Oh shit." groaned J.J. as he undid the latch on the bomb and opened the hatch. Sure enough, Victor had donned his mask and cape and become his daredevil persona...Captain Chaos.
"J.J!" he called.
"Captain Chaos." greeted J.J.
"Long time no see." said Chaos.
"Nice to see you, Chaos." said J.J. "Listen, I was wondering if you'd do me the honor of letting me do the stunt for you."
"Have no fear, HIM is here." announced Chaos.
"It would make me really happy." said J.J.
"You want it?" said Chaos. "You got it!"
"Okay." said J.J.
Chaos stepped out and J.J. stepped in. Chaos slammed the hatch shut and said "What a guy!"
In Las Vegas, Jamie Blake was entertaining a lady friend in his hotel room.
"So, how about a continuation?" he asked.
"Why not?" she asked.
"Okay, how about a dry martini?" he said. He went to the hotel's mini bar and picked up a pair of martini glasses. Before he could go to his lady, someone knocked on the door.
"I know you're in there, Blake! I can hear the ice cubes! This is me, Fenderbaum, so open up!"
Blake walked over to the door and peered through the peephole at his teammate.
"Blake, I know you're in there." said Fenderbaum. Just then, he noticed the peephole and looked through into Blake's eye. Blake snuck away so Fenderbaum wouldn't see him. Fenderbaum stepped away and suddenly had a flash of brilliance. "The Candyman's here." he chirped as he walked away.
Blake turned his attention back to his lady and picked up the pair of martini glasses. "Everybody needs somebody sometime." he sang as he entered the bedroom.
He walked over to his date and presented the martini glasses. She looked at one, then the other. Both were empty.
"When I make a dry martini, I make a dry martini." he joked. She laughed and they started to kiss. A few seconds later, a knock at the window interrupted them.
"Someone's at the window." said Blake's date.
"It's probably a window cleaner." said Blake.
A second later, another knock was heard.
"Honey, who is it?" asked the date.
"There's nobody there." said Blake.
"Blake?" asked Fenderbaum. "Open up the window!"
"I'll be right back." said Blake. "Don't go away."
Blake walked over to the window and noticed Fenderbaum right outside. He threw the window open.
"Whatever it is, not now!" he groaned.
"Blake, I gotta talk to you now!" whispered Fenderbaum.
"You gotta?" asked Blake.
"Yes." said Fenderbaum.
Blake picked up his date's shoe and hit Fenderbaum's hand with it. Fenderbaum let go of the windowsill and leaned away briefly. After shaking off the pain, he grabbed on again.
"Do you realize I am eighteen stories above the ground?" asked Fenderbaum. "Eighteen!"
"Eighteen?" asked Blake.
"Yes!" snapped Fenderbaum.
Blake looked back at his date, then turned back to Fenderbaum.
"Eighteen?" he asked.
"Yes!" gasped Fenderbaum.
Blake picked up his date's other shoe and hit both of Fenderbaum's hands. Fenderbaum let go of the windowsill and dropped out of sight. Blake went to close the window and Fenderbaum stood up without holding on to anything.
"You know you're the tallest man I've ever seen?" asked Blake.
"Look, just read this, will ya!" said Fenderbaum as he took out a telegram. "Just read this. This is from the Drake. They're going to start the Cannonball again. A million dollars is the first prize. And you know what that means? The winner will be ONE MILLION DOLLARS RICHER..." He started to fall away from the window, but Blake grabbed his shoulder.
"Easy now, easy!" said Blake. "Look, don't come out. I'll come in." With that, Blake climbed out the window.
"Blake!" called his date. "Where are you going?"
"I gotta do this." said Blake. "It's a million dollars."
"You creep!" she yelled.
Blake and Fenderbaum lowered their scaffold. "Where did you get the scaffold?" asked Blake.
"Huh?" replied Fenderbaum. "I thought this was the elevator."
J.J. laid in the bomb as it was being flown to the drop zone. Besides the terror of the upcoming drop, he also had to deal with the pilot's attrocious singing.
"The ship's aground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle..." sang the pilot. "...with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann here on Gilligan's Island! Hey, I thought you might have a request."
As the pilot continued to sing, J.J. yelled "Hey! Hey!"
"What? What?" replied the pilot.
"I want out of here!" yelled J.J.
"You asked for it!" called the pilot.
The pilot steered back towards the drop zone. The crowd watched the plane approach.
"Here he comes." said Pamela.
"That's my partner." said Victor. "What a team!"
The pilot took his best aim and laughed. J.J. screamed. The bomb dropped.
The bomb plunged towards the ground and ricocheted. J.J. screamed again. The bomb ricocheted again.
J.J. screamed again as the bomb flew towards a parked RV. The people around it jumped out of the way just before the bomb tore through the RV.
J.J. screamed again as the bomb tore the tail section off a plane.
J.J. gave one last scream as the bomb finally flew into the target. As predicted, the bomb pierced the target, then the net, then crashed into the hay.
Victor, Pamela, and the manager ran over to the crash site to join the crash crew.
"J.J, are you alright?" asked Victor. "That was...wow, that was..."
"Ah, shut up and get me out of here!" groaned J.J. The crash crew went to work and opened the bomb. Within seconds, he was out and walking around.
"That was amazing!" said Victor. "What a hit! What a hit! J.J...J.J, you seem a little shorter."
"Are you okay?" asked Pamela.
"Yeah, I'm okay." said J.J. "I whacked my head pretty bad, but I'm fine."
"That was incredible!" said the manager. "Look, if we do this ten times a day, by the end of year, we'll be billionaires. What do you say?"
J.J. picked up a handful of hay and stuffed it in the man's mouth.
"What?" asked the manager.
"You want me to do this ten times a day?" yelled J.J.
"Nine?" asked the manager. J.J. stuffed another handful of hay in his mouth. "What a grouch!"
"So, that's it, huh?" said Victor.
"Yup." said J.J. "Let's see what we can come up with for the race. Oh, Victor, you have a passport, right?"
"Yeah, why?" asked Victor.
"According to the telegram," said J.J. "this year, the race is being held in Australia."
"Australia?" asked Victor. "Alright!"
In Los Angeles, Marcie Thatcher sat in a diner and surfed the internet. She looked when she heard engines.
Outside, three cars drove down the street and pulled into the diner's parking lot. First to park was Jill Boyd's Honda Civic. She climbed out as Steve Carter's RSX pulled in next to her. Pete Rivers' Toyota Corolla Levin pulled in beside Steve's car. The two guys climbed out and nearly hit their doors together. The three walked towards the diner and entered.
"Hey, Marce." said Jill. "What's up?"
"Just trading e-mails with another racer in Perth." said Marcie. "That's where the Cannonball is starting this year."
"Why are they running it in Australia?" asked Steve.
"Well apparently, thanks to Mr. Foyt, the Cannonball got some unwanted attention last year." explained Marcie. "Because of that, the police are keeping an ever watchful eye on any place that might be used as a starting line. But that's only in America, so..."
"They're not keeping an eye on Australia." said Pete glumly. "That's brilliant."
"What's with him?" asked Marcie.
"He lost a race last night." said Jill. "Worst way too."
"Newbie?" asked Marcie.
"Ricer." said Jill.
Marcie groaned. "White Prelude?" she asked.
"Hey, that guy never beats anybody." said Steve.
"Stinking little Tiburon is what." said Pete. "I don't know how, but he bested me."
"Hold on." said Marcie as she checked her e-mail. "Yes! We've got a response."
"I don't believe it." said Steve. "You're trading e-mails with an Australian racer so you can visit a friend down there."
Jill and Marcie laughed. "Not that simple." said Jill.
"What do you mean by that?" asked Steve.
"Marcie's not just hoping to meet this girl." said Jill. "She's hoping to borrow a car from her for the race."
"Not hoping." said Marcie. "I just finalized the deal. We've got a car. Hang on."
"What? What?" asked Pete.
"She says she has another car she can lend us." said Marcie. "Steve, Pete, should I tell her we can borrow that as well, or are you not coming?"
"You want us to come with?" asked Steve.
"Why not?" said Jill. "The more there are, the less chance the police will notice us."
"I'm in if Petey's in." said Steve.
"I'll come if you want." said Pete.
"Then it's settled." said Marcie as she replied to her e-mail. "Look out, Australia."
"I can't believe we're going to Australia." said Victor as J.J. drove to the shop.
"Don't get too excited." said J.J. as he held his head while driving. "We still need a game plan. We have to come up with some way of evading the police."
"I think we should take advantage of the fact that the race is being held in Australia." said Pamela. "You know, we might get a great idea which would only be good in Australia and really start kicking ourselves if we don't use it."
"That's a good point." said J.J. "Thanks, Pamela."
"How about an opal miner?" asked Victor.
"I don't know if there is such a thing." said J.J. as he turned onto another road.
"We could do a road train." said Pamela.
"No, too big and slow." said J.J. "Plus, I don't think they allow those in the big cities."
"An ice cream truck's still open." said Victor.
"No, it's not." said J.J. as he turned towards the main road.
"So, what does that leave us with?" asked Pamela.
"I dunno." said J.J. "Maybe a...whoa!" He slowed down when he saw a pair of police cars blocking off the road.
"What's going on here?" asked Victor.
"I dunno." said J.J. "I wasn't speeding. My inspection sticker's okay."
One of the state troopers walked over to the Camaro's driver side window, which J.J. rolled down.
"What seems to be the problem?" asked J.J.
"Pataki's paying us a visit." said the trooper. "His motorcade's coming through here."
"It's okay, guys." J.J. told Victor and Pamela. "Just the governor."
"Oh, that's a relief." said Victor. "I thought we were in trouble for a second."
The governor's motorcade drove by a second later. "Look at that." said J.J. "Must be good to be the boss."
"Yeah, I wonder what it would take for a goob like me to get a ride like that." said Victor.
Suddenly, J.J's eyes widened with a flash of brilliance. "Victor, you're a genius!" he said.
"Yeah?" replied Victor. "Yeah!" He went to shake hands with J.J, then retracted his hand. They then wiggled their fingers together. J.J. then tapped his temple with his finger. Victor responded by tapping him in the forehead. Unfortunately, that's where it still hurt.
"Ow!" yelled J.J.
"Sorry! Sorry!" said Victor.
"Michael!" yelled Jackie Lewis as he entered the lab. "Great news!"
"What is it?" asked Michael North.
"It's a telegram from the Drake." said Jackie. "He's starting another Cannonball. He's giving out a million dollar first prize."
"Wow." said Michael. "When is it taking place?"
"Two weeks." said Jackie.
"Whoa, that's pretty short notice!" said Michael.
"There's more." said Jackie. "The race is being held in Australia."
"It doesn't matter where it's held if we can't get a car." said Michael.
"What do you mean we can't get a car?" asked Jackie. "We work for Mitsubishi now. They have a well-known automotive division."
"I think you're forgetting something." said Michael. "Since nine-eleven, Australia's customs waiting period has been extended to a full week. I don't think we can get a car into the country in time for the race."
"Maybe we can get a car after we get to Australia." said Jackie.
"Not a chance." said Michael. "Rentals are too slow and we can't afford to buy one."
"Then maybe you'd appreciate some corporate assistance." said their boss, Mr. Takeshiro.
"How much did you hear?" asked Jackie.
"Enough to know I want to help." said Takeshiro. "I'll help you get a car and get into the country in time for the race. In return, I'd like you to represent the company in the race."
"If we have to, why not?" said Jackie.
"I'm in." said Michael.
"Good, now come." said Takeshiro. He led them to another room and told them "Many of the vehicular gadgets you've created since you started working on our payroll have been installed in a car we have in here. We are prepared to let you use it."
"Thank you!" said Michael.
"And due to your national origin," said Takeshiro "we decided to use one of our American market cars."
Jackie and Michael walked into the room and took a look at their car. Michael let out a squeal when he saw it. In front of them was a brand new, jet black Eclipse.
In Kentucky, Terry Fletcher was on the phone.
"Yeah, can I have Bathurst Raceway in Australia?" he asked. "I know it's transcontinnental and I'll accept the charges."
"Honey, who are you calling?" asked his wife, Sarah.
"I'm trying to reach Mel." he said. "What's that? Is Melvin Sharp there?"
"The Cannonball, isn't that what you were doing last year?" asked Sarah.
"Yeah, I promised you an exciting honeymoon." said Terry.
"Mel Sharp here. Who is this?"
"Mel, it's Terry."
Mel groaned. "What do you want?" he asked.
"You remember the Cannonball last year?" asked Terry. "Well, they're running it again. You want in?"
"No." replied Mel.
"Did I mention the race is being held in Australia this year?" asked Terry. "Don't you see? It's destiny."
"Do you remember why I'm in Australia?" asked Mel. "Because I got arrested for taking part in the Cannonball last year and they banned me from NASCAR! Now, I'm taking part in the V8 Brutes series races here because no one in America will take me!"
"Look, how many times can I say 'I'm sorry'?" asked Terry. "Do I even have to mention the million dollar prize?"
"Did you say a million dollars?" asked Mel.
"Yeah, a million." said Terry.
"Is that American dollars or Australian dollars?" asked Mel.
"It doesn't matter." said Terry. "A million dollars is a lot of money, no matter what country it's in. Even your third would be a hell of a lot."
"Third?" asked Mel.
"Yeah, Sarah's coming too." said Terry.
"Who's Sarah?" asked Mel.
"My wife." said Terry.
"Oh." said Mel. "Where and when do I pick you up?"
"Next Monday at the airport in Perth." said Terry. "Around three o'clock local time.
"Okay, see you two there." said Mel.
"Bye." said Terry just before he hung up. "We're in."
A week later, J.J, Victor, and Pamela were at LAX waiting for their connecting flight to Australia. They had just finished lunch.
"Good thing we had an hour's layover." said J.J. "I was hungry."
"How long until we have to catch our flight?" asked Victor.
"About fifteen minutes." said J.J. "Good thing since we still haven't met the guy the Drake's sending with us."
"Who is he?" asked Pamela.
"His name's Brad Compton." said Victor. "I used to work for him. He's the guy who told the Drake about the Cannonball."
"Victor's the guy who told Brad." said J.J. "Compton would've entered himself, except he couldn't clear his schedule."
The guys turned around to see the Drake approaching. Ron and the Drake's financial advisor, Susan, were with him. "Nice to see you made it." said the Drake.
"Nice to see you too." said J.J. "I thought you had a bad ulcer."
"I'm gonna get that taken care of." said the Drake. "By the way, I'd like you to meet the guy you're going to be racing with." he added as Brad walked around the corner.
"J.J. McClure? Brad Compton. Nice to meet you." he said as he shook hands with J.J.
"Nice to meet you as well." said J.J.
"Hey, Brad." said Victor as he strolled over. "How the hell are you?"
"Victor!" exclaimed Brad. "My God, it is you!" The two hugged, then released. "Whoa, Victor, it's kinda hard to get close to you." said Brad. "Last time I saw you, you were a bit more svelte."
"Well, what can I say?" asked Victor. "When you're working in the pizza industry and things are slow, you tend to eat the inventory."
"Yeah, but that's not good for the Cannonball." said Brad. "You don't need a car, you need a Murcielago."
"Well, even with the extra tonnage, I'm still the best." said Victor.
"So, Drake, are we going to see everyone again?" said J.J. "You know, Jill and Marcie and Jackie and Maddog..."
"Oh, Maddog's not coming this year." said the Drake. "He caught that nasty flu bug that's been going around."
"Ouch." said J.J. "I hope he feels better soon."
"Hey, why'd you decide to run the race in Australia?" asked Victor.
"I was the one who convinced Drake to set the race in Australia." said Brad.
"Why's that?" asked Victor.
"Well, there's a band on my record label." said Brad. "They're called the Lectroids and they recently started a tour in Australia."
"Think we'll get to see them perform?" asked Pamela.
"Sadly, no." said Brad. "They broke up on stage last night."
"Oh." said Pamela.
Everybody looked and saw Dr. Nicolas Van Helsing, who had ridden with J.J. and his team the previous year.
"It's a damn reunion." said J.J.
"What are you doing here?" asked Pamela.
"I got this." said the doctor as he produced a telegram like the one J.J. received.
"I hired him." said the Drake. "Say, when does our plane leave?"
"We should probably be boarding by now." said J.J. "Let's go."
On the plane, the flight attendants finished their safety lecture.
"What's the deal on the car?" asked Victor.
"I called used car dealerships all over Perth before we left." said J.J. "One said they had a Holden Statesman stretch limo in relatively good condition ready for sale. They said they'd hold it for us."
"They're gonna hold the Holden." said Victor. "Did you discus our plans with Brad?"
"I'll wait 'til we're in the air." said J.J. as he looked out the window as the plane taxied down the runway. He saw a flag on top of the airport. The flag was dominated by alternating red and white stripes. In the upper corner closest to the pole was a field of dark blue with staggered rows of fifty white stars.
J.J. looked at the American flag for as long as he could. He knew it would be a while before he would see it again.
A.N:And so it begins. What do you think so far?