|Alexander the Great
Author: Zone-Blitz PM
Post show one shot. Cunningham gets knocked out of a race and has to deal with his own decrease in effectiveness due to aging. Not wanting to pass the torch as best pilot to Takashi just like Yamma didn't want to pass it to him. I don't own IGPX, ShortRated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,229 - Published: 09-02-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6292501
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Great Alex Cunningham made the final turn of the first lap and began the battle lap. He adjusted his course to the left, getting himself in perfect formation to unleash the Indaraga Mana, just like he had against Skylark, and Black Egg, and Sledge Mama, he just wasn't prepared for the crazed blue and yellow mechanical blur, coming at him like a starving rabid dog that had just seen it's first meal in weeks.
He tried to dodge, to get out of the way, to at least make it to the sideline so he could regroup and breathe a little bit but who was this guy? What possessed him? Takashi Jin slammed into him at full speed. Later on while watching on film Cunningham would see that he'd made several crucial mistakes, he stopped moving his feet and had stood up as a way to avoid the hit. High and stationary he was totally and completely vulnerable and Takashi took advantage.
It was like Imperial Rome, like the gladiators and the coliseum, violent, visceral, exciting and crazy. Alex Cunningham was about to become a sacrifice to the hundred thousand fans in attendance, and the millions watching on TV. He could hear them even through his helmet, as they shouted for the young Satomi pilot to finish him, to spill his blood on the dusty sand of the arena.
The crowds and mobs that had at one point been so polite and loyal to him, now sensed weakness and were shouting for his blood. They wanted to see the new and upstart challenger rip him apart, and Takashi Jin was only too happy to oblige them.
He was laying flat on his back. Takashi had delivered a few devastating blows to his chest, before taking off both of his arms, and leaving him in a disgraced pile of twisted and ruined metal.
Several minutes later he heard a familiar thundering cheer and he knew that another pilot had been taken out of the race. He wasn't sure who had been taken out, the crowd would probably have cheered no matter, who was destroyed. They were a fickle bunch.
He couldn't help but feel angry and betrayed. He used to be the one crowds cheered for, he used to be the one that would easily destroy his opponents, but now age and the miles were catching up to him. Everyday he could feel a little big more speed slipping away.
That was why he worked so hard, in the foolish and delusional chance that he could retain that speed and strength that age had robbed him of, even if he couldn't get it back, he could stop more and more speed from leaking out of his body, like a wineglass with a crack in it.
Looking back now he remembered when he'd first made it to the big leagues and Yamma was still the superstar. He remembered he'd been such an arrogant punk, dismissing the older pilot because he had never really been pushed all that hard before. He was confident that he could make it with his lackadaisical effort.
That delusion hadn't lasted long. He'd been smacked around his rookie year, and come into the off season primed and ready to work. By the time the next year had started he'd put on muscle and had gotten much better at watching and deciphering film. He hadn't been the best pilot that year but he'd been above average, so he kept working, until he was the best.
He was improving dramatically, while age was hitting Yamma harder than any pilot could. The older pilot was slowing down, until he was what he was now, a shell of his former self that got by on more experience than most coaches had, and a mean streak a mile wide. He really had been a dick to Yamma, Cunningham realized.
Now that he was getting older and slowing down he realized that slowing down couldn't have been easy on Yamma. The man was so competitive, and so determined to improve, that watching his times get slower and slower had to burn like acid.
History repeated itself, and it was a bitch. He found himself sitting in Yamma's spot while Takashi Jin passed him by. The difference was that Takashi wasn't half the jack ass that he himself had been to Yamma. He also wasn't the jackass that Yamma had been but that was inconsequential.
He still found himself hating the younger pilot. Like a jealous ex girlfriend who was mad that the boy she was dating was now going out with one of her friends. The crowds and their approval were the boy they were fighting over, and Cunningham felt like he was getting older and losing his attractiveness.
There were times when he felt like he still had it. There was a race against Skylark where he'd put the moves on some rookie and left her on the track similar to how he was lying now. He'd felt good for the first time in a while, but now he wasn't feeling it. Now he felt like a bitter old man.
Eventually the race finished and Cunningham let out a blue streak that would have made his older rival proud. Once again, Velshtien was cut down by Satomi. Once again Satomi would hoist that damn trophy, the trophy that they had had so many of back at headquarters that they lay forgotten and abandoned on top of refrigerators in couches offices, with all the celebration and dignity of empty coke bottles.
Now though they hadn't gotten won in three years. Satomi had won two in a row, then Velshtien had stuck their nose back in once again but after that they'd been shut out for three years and Satomi had taken it home again and again and again. Satomi was now being billed as the new dynasty, and with five championships in the last six years it was hard to disagree.
Velshtien's fortunes were heading in the opposite direction. They'd slipped from the best team in the league by a wide margin, to the second best team, and now finally many experts were predicting them to finish third next year. His continued decline and River's continued improvement meant that Sledge mama would probably once again take over the mantle as the second best team in the league.
He was finally hauled out of the mech by his crew and he had to watch, and plaster a terrible fake smile on his face as he watched his younger rival stand on the platform and hold up the stupid gold cup that he himself had busted his ass and sacrificed so much for.
He cut out early. The league would probably slap him with a fine but the thought of shaking hands and pretending to appreciate Takashi was just too much to ask of him. He'd probably end up punching the younger pilot in the face, and then he'd get slapped with an even bigger fine, so he stripped out of his suit and walked back to his apartment as Takashi's face plastered on TV screens and billboards mocked him. That should have been him damn it.