|Cannonball Run 7: High Speed Heroes
Author: BKelly95 PM
Co-written by The Turbo Man. The Cannonballers have returned for another race around the world for a five hundred million dollar first prize. Who will rise? Who will fall? And who will win the Cannonball Run?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 8 - Words: 215,006 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 03-31-13 - Published: 02-06-11 - id: 6722311
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
CANNONBALL RUN 7: HIGH SPEED HEROES by Bkelly95 and the Turbo Man.
CHAPTER SEVEN: 'Let's go vampire hunting':
Somewhere else in the Benelux region, the Detector drove along.
"Thanks for picking us up, 99." said Corey.
"No problem." said 99. "I thought I couldn't leave you out there with all the vampires around."
"Hey, why weren't you at the club?" asked Tuesday.
"Someone had to stay with the car." said 99. "I thought it should be me since the Angels work so well together."
"You could've helped them." said Corey.
"Yeah, then we'd be down one vampire instead of three Angels." said Tuesday.
"No, you had to stay in the car." said Corey.
"Don't you think I've thought about that?" snapped 99. "I wanted to help out my teammates, but they suggested someone protect the vehicle! I volunteered for that mission without considering that we'd fail! So, give me a break already!"
Corey and Tuesday got quiet after that.
"Look, I'm sorry." said 99. "I'm just a little pissed that I didn't get to help my teammates. I wish I could have done something to help them."
"Maybe there is." said Tuesday. "Maybe we can organize a raid on Dracula's castle. Then we can defeat him."
"Will that change the vampirized Cannonballers back?" asked 99.
"Hey, with all we've seen, anything's possible." said Corey.
"Then, let's get to it." said 99 as she picked up the microphone for her radio. "This is Agent 99 calling anyone with knowledge of vampires."
"This is Mortimer Goth of Team Sims. How can I help?"
"We have a situation." said 99. "Several Cannonballers have been attacked by vampires and turned into such."
"And I missed it?" asked Mortimer.
"Yeah, we have a decent vampire community back in SimCity." said Bob. "They usually keep to themselves and only turn locals who are close friends. I ran into one and had a conversation with him. Interesting."
"Where did you run into one?" asked Mortimer. "I've been looking all over Downtown for one."
"The Hub." said Bob.
"Ah." said Mortimer. "So, back to the subject at hand. What is it you need for this situation?"
"Do you know of any way to change vampires back into people?" asked 99.
"Why would you want to do that?" asked Mortimer.
"I know of a way." said Bella. "There's a Gypsy Matchmaker in town who sells a potion called Vamprocillin-D. One drink and your vamp is back to normal."
"Can you think of someone who might have some around here?" asked 99.
"I think so." said Mortimer. "Just before we left on this trip, the matchmaker set us up with a contact in Europe. I'll see if we can get in touch."
Back at the club, Natalie regained conciousness after being bitten. Dylan, Alex, and Maeve stood nearby. Maeve looked around rapidly.
"Welcome back." said Dylan.
"So, this is what it's like being a vampire." said Natalie.
"Takes some getting used to, doesn't it?" asked Alex.
"Needless to say, our secret is out." said Dracula. "The Cannonballers will be coming for us. We should retreat to my castle."
Maeve said rapidly "WellthenIthink wecanjustwaituntil theygetherethengetthem!"
"What is with her?" asked Dracula.
"Uh, that's my fault." said Alex. "I drank a lot of coffee before she bit me."
"WOW!" screamed Maeve.
"I think she has a good idea." said Hyde. "We should go back to your castle and wait for them to come to us. They surely won't give up."
"You know, I agree." said Dracula. "And just to be on the safe side, when we get back to the castle, I will send some of my vampire troops out into the field to take out as many of the Cannonballers as they can. That race has gone on too long!"
"We never won it anyway." shrugged Dylan. "Who needs it? This is MUCH cooler!"
"If you have your guys attack a few innocents as well, that would really mess the Cannonballers up." said Hyde. "They never can resist being heroes when they can!"
"Capital idea, Mr. Hyde. I admit I've had plans for certain parts of Europe for a while." said Dracula.
"The Cannonballers will never get out of Europe without becoming like us!" laughed Alex.
"So, let's head to the castle." said Dracula. "Shall we take your cars?"
"Castle! Castle! Castle!" said Maeve.
"She doesn't drive." said Dracula.
At Race Central, Ron talked to April O'Neil and Chip Foose.
"It's hard to believe, but ratings are so good, the network are asking us if we can pull an allnighter!" he said.
"Well, it IS only 9.30 in Europe right now." said April. "There's bound to still be some action going on."
"If it makes you feel better, Ron, me and April here could step in briefly so you guys can get a bit of downtime." said Chip.
"If you don't mind doing it, that's fine." remarked Ron.
"Are you kidding?" asked April. "I'd love to get in on the action again!"
"Just keep the President busy, that's all." Chip said, shuddering a bit.
Meanwhile, Love Fist talked to Chili Palmer and Linda Moon.
"So, I got tired of these arseholes saying that heavy metal frontmen are lazy because they don't play an instrument. So I learned to play one." said Jezz Torrent.
"Well, what do you play then, Jezz?" asked Chili.
"This!" said Jezz triumphantly as he held up a harmonica.
"He thinks that's an improvement!" laughed Percy.
"Hey, pal! Need I remind you that a lot of early heavy metal was inspired by the blues?" Jezz said indignantly. "Just listen to some of Deep Purple's early albums."
"True." agreed Chili. "And some of ones they recorded when David Coverdale was in the band."
"I think it would be good to hear a bit of blues influence on your next album, Jezz." said Linda. "After all, a bit of blues guitar enhances my sound from time to time."
"Well, with Percy being a card-carrying Santana fan, it could be possible." said Dick.
"Aye, 'cause Santana plays blues GUITAR!" said Percy. "In what universe do you think a harmonica could work?"
"Just give me a chance and I'll prove it!" said Jezz.
The Usagi drove along towards the Holland/Germany border. As it did, Buffy got over the radio to Buckaroo.
"It looks like your vampire expertise could come in handy, Doc." she said. "So, I think we should arrange a meet. I'll let as many of the others know as possible."
"We may have to put out a wide alert as well." said Jordan. "With some of our friends being affected, we need to be doubly careful."
"I understand. Head for Hamburg right away. We'll have the meet there." said Buckaroo.
As Buckaroo hung up the microphone in the Trio Incarnate, Reno sighed.
"Holy moly. First Total Anarchy and now vampires. I sometimes feel the Cannonballers are gluttons for punishment." he said.
"Well, just never forget why we drink that fermented mare's milk, Reno." said Rawhide. "Evil may be defeated but a new threat remains to fight."
"Amen, brother." said Buckaroo. "Pinky, Hamburg! And don't spare the horsepower!"
"Roger!" said Pinky at the drivers' wheel.
"I'll dig out those vamp weapons." Lt. Simms smirked.
On a highway approaching the city of Munster in Germany, the Clover and the Ambitious had pulled up alongside each other.
They both had their screens tuned to Race Central to see Chip and April anchoring.
"So, guys, the sun has gone down and yet the blood is still racing for you." said April.
"You bet your ass, lady." said Denis. "We decided to take on Michael and team here to see if they can handle their car."
"Are you dissing my ability?" asked Michael indignantly.
"Well, no offence, but you regularly drive an airport step truck." said Dane. "That's totally different to a tricked-out Chrysler."
"We have no doubt that we'll be victorious." said Tobias. "At the tune-up we practicaly had half of The Racer's Edge put under the hood."
"That may be so, guys." Chip warned. "But it's one thing to install a buttload of aftermarket parts in your car...and another thing entirely to know how they all work together. And I fixed up the Clover for Denis, so I know what it's capable of."
"That's why Denis had Officer Jones put him through driving lessons for the Cannonball." said April. "That Pontiac has too much grunt for a greenhorn."
"And Denis is no greenhorn." chipped in Dane.
"Well, does the horsepower in your car match the bullpower in your mouths?" asked Buster, sounding unusually cocky.
"Only one way to find out." said Denis. "Last one out the other side of the city takes an hour's penalty!" smirked Dane.
"I feel a song coming on." said Chip.
"Appropriate, because here are Franz Ferdinand with a little driving music!" said April as Franz Ferdinand set up onstage.
"We decided on a song close to your heart, Denis." said Alex Kapranos.
"Any fans of 'Rescue Me' feel free to sing along." smirked Paul Thomson as he got his drumsticks ready.
Denis smiled to himself.
As the band began to play, Denis and Michael both performed burnouts and raced down the country highway.
On another day, c'mon c'mon.
With these ropes tied tight can we do no wrong.
Now we grieve 'cause now it's gone.
Things were good when we were young.
The Clover managed to maintain a decent lead on the Ambitious as Denis drove like crazy. Dane was extremely thrilled but also slightly afraid, especially as Denis moved through some very sharp curves as the Ambitious gained a little ground.
"I take it from your driving style that you've paid your insurance?" asked Dane.
With my teeth bite down I can see the blood.
Of a thousand men who have come and gone.
Now we grieve 'cause now it's gone.
Things were good when we were young.
"Come on! Stay right on his ass and give it to him! Rough and hard!" yelled Tobias to Michael.
Michael flinched when Tobias said that.
Dane noticed they were heading for a hairpin turn.
"How does this thing corner?" he asked nervously.
"With a police-trained driver like me at the wheel, like the bitch is on rails!" Denis smirked.
"I hope so." said Dane.
Denis turned the Clover and negotiated the turn with little problems or speed loss.
As the Ambitious turned, its rear wheels went dangerously close to the edge but he kept up pursuit.
Is it safe to say? (c'mon c'mon)
Was it right to leave? (c'mon c'mon)
Will I ever learn? (c'mon c'mon)
(c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon)
As they appropached the entrance to Munster, Michael finally got an opening and activated the nitrous in the Ambitious.
"YEAH!" yelled Buster. He was about to rub Michael's shoulder in congratulation, but looked at his hook and thought better of it.
"Not on MY watch!" Denis said. "Let's have some fun!".
Denis turned a hard left and drove down a wide flight of stone steps that lead to a public park.
"HOLY (BLEEP)!" Dane yelled as they went down the steps.
Denis then drove through the park and laughed as he made his way back to the road. They cut out in front of the Ambitious just as Team Bluth celebrated their apparent triumph.
"CRAP!" yelled Michael as he tried to catch up.
As I make my way, c'mon c'mon.
Through these battered nights that seem too long.
Now we grieve 'cause now it's gone.
Things were good when we were young.
With my teeth bite down I can see the blood.
Of a thousand men who have come and gone.
Now we grieve 'cause now it's gone.
Things were good when we were young.
Denis negotiated a couple of narrow gaps through the traffic and managed to block the Ambitious each time it tried to find an opening.
"Ram him or something!" yelled Tobias. "Ram him right up the..."
"Palisades Parkway!" Michael suddenly cut in. He had to stop briefly to avoid cross traffic that the Clover had already gone through.
Is it safe to say? (c'mon c'mon)
Was it right to leave? (c'mon c'mon)
Will I never learn? (c'mon c'mon)
(c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon)
Is it safe to say? (c'mon c'mon)
Was it right to leave? (c'mon c'mon)
Will I never learn? (c'mon c'mon)
(c'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon)
The Clover finally blew out the other side of the city with the Ambitious too far behind to have a hope of winning.
"YEAH! You are one loco motorscooter, my friend!" cheered Dane.
"Much obliged." Denis replied.
And on this day these deepened wounds don't heal so fast.
Can't hear me croon of a million lies that speak no truths.
Of a time gone by that now is through.
-"C'mon C'mon" by the Von Bondies.
The Ambitious came driving up.
"Tough luck, guys." Denis called out. "But hey, look on the bright side. You have an hour to stretch your legs, have a smoke and/or coffee break. You could use the exercise."
"Yeah, I suppose so." sighed Michael. "But I want a rematch!"
"So? I want Dunkin' Donuts to go back to just selling coffee and donuts like they did back in the day. But it doesn't look like that's gonna happen as long as those finger sandwich eating dickheads are still around!" Denis replied with a nasty smile as he and Dane roared off.
"Damn!" yelled Michael.
Tobias looked a bit confused. "Why does that song sound familiar?" he asked.
"It was featured in 'Burnout 3: Takedown'." said Buster. "The soundtrack also used 'C'mon' by Go Betty Go and 'Come On!' by the D4."
"I didn't know Gob helped pick video game soundtracks." said Michael.
At the Pink Swan, Janice Foyt looked happily at the cell phone number Gob had given her earlier after their 'date'. Alice did not look pleased though.
"Can't you see he's up to something, Janice?" Alice said in annoyance. "This always happens when you try to get serious with someone!"
"Mom, did you want me to be a nun or something?" protested Janice.
"Of course not. But you have a tendency to pick men who give you nothing but trouble!"
"Name one instance of that." Janice retorted.
"How about that guy you met in boot camp: Hank."
"Hank wasn't the problem. His parents were the problem." Janice replied.
"His parents weren't the ones who shot you during a training exercise!" Alice said.
"Friendly fire, mom. Besides it was only a flesh wound." Janice answered.
"Okay. What about that guy you met in Berkley: Steve."
"I never slept with Steve." Janice retorted.
"Because he cut the brake line in your Caprice because you turned him down for the prom!" Alice yelled.
"I wasn't hurt for God's sake! I caught him in the act and he was expelled!" Janice said.
"All I'm saying is that Bluth must be up to something!" Alice said. "Don't you find it a bit odd that he'd been talking to Gentiles?"
"Mom, relax. It'll be fine. Besides, at least I don't have as bad taste as Brenna does." Janice said, making a slight sneer when she said the name of her younger sister.
"True. Very true." Alice shuddered. "I should have known better than to let her go to the University of Texas. Damn limpwristed pantywaist wimps afraid to use a little discipline!"
"Yeah, well let's not talk about her." Janice said. "Gob's going to take me to dinner tomorrow night. I'd better pick out something nice."
"Watch your back, though." Alice warned.
Janice smiled and reached into her suitcase. She pulled out a silenced 9mm pistol.
"No problem." she smirked mischeviously.
"That's my girl." Alice said proudly.
In the small, mountainous region of Andorra which bordered France and Spain, Jack and Jo drove along the night-time mountain roads in the Maria Serpente.
"It's been quiet." Jack remarked. "A little TOO quiet."
"Maybe we should have gone with Buckaroo to Germany." Jo remarked.
"Maybe, but someone needs to make sure nothing nasty happens on either route." Jack replied as he checked a readout.
"Not detecting Total Anarchy yet. Don't know if that's good or bad." he said.
"That's what worries me. They must be saving it for a grand finale." Jo said.
Just then, the Cowboy roared past them at high speed. Memphis gave a little wave to Jack and Jo as he went past.
"Glad some Cannoballers are having fun. But I hope he's careful on these roads. Especially at night." Jack remarked as he smiled. "I've heard that several European variants of Dead Man's Curve can be found around here."
Memphis and team sped along the road. At one point they passed a dirt road leading up the slope of a mountain.
Parked there was Angie in her 'Cuda. In keeping with the fact that it looked exactly like the Squalo, she had named it the Dead Ringer.
She laughed to herself as she pulled out and gave chase to the Cowboy.
As Memphis continued to drive, Sphinx saw the Dead Ringer's headlights through their back window and turned to look.
Needless to say, the mirrored windows like the ones currently on the real Squalo fooled him.
"Looks like Joan wants to give us a challenge." he said.
"I'm glad there are other women who like a Hemi 'Cuda." Sway smirked as Angie got behind them.
"So, shall we go for it?" asked Memphis as he raised an eyebrow.
"I believe we should!" smirked Sway.
Memphis floored the accelerator of the Cowboy and got up to over 90mph. Angie chuckled evilly and got on her gas pedal as well, staying right on their tail.
Sphinx looked a bit worried.
"Why isn't she trying to pass us?" he asked.
"Probably waiting for a straightaway." said Sway. "If so, she'll have a long wait until we reach Spain."
"Aw, crap!" Memphis grumbled as the Cowboy's headlights illuminated a road sign. The sign showed that a dangerous curve was coming up in about a third of a mile and warned motorists to slow down to 50 kph.
"Don't worry. I'm sure we'll get back up to speed." Sway said as Memphis began to slow down.
Sphinx kept his eye out the back window at Angie and then looked terrified. "Guys...Joan's not slowing down!" he yelled.
Indeed, the Dead Ringer roared forward and rammed against the back of the Cowboy.
"What the hell?" Memphis yelled.
Angie backed off a bit and rammed the Cowboy again.
The curve was now less than twenty seconds away from the two cars.
"Has she gone crazy?" yelled Sphinx.
"Hang on tight!" yelled Memphis as hed tried to keep the Cowboy on the road.
As the curve was now upon them, Angie rear-ended the Cowboy one last time.
The Cowboy went off the edge of the road as Angie then braked.
Over the edge was a long, steep slope. Luckily, Memphis was able to drive down it without flipping the Cowboy over or losing control, but he and his friends were still shaken up.
Back up on the road, Angie honked the Dead Ringer's horn mockingly and drove off at high speed.
"Wilder is as good as busted now." she smiled to herself. "That'll teach her to make my childhood a misery!"
As Memphis and team got out of the Cowboy to observe the damage, the Maria Serpente had come up to the curve.
Jack and Jo looked shocked as they had witnessed Angie's attack from a little way back on the road.
Jo picked up a radio mic and contacted Sway over the Cowboy's radio.
"Are you guys okay?" she asked.
"Shaken up, but no serious injuries." Sway replied. "I don't know what the hell Joan and her team were thinking."
"Joan Wilder's team?" asked Jo. "Good thing we got a look at their car."
"We'll find 'em and catch 'em!" Jack said. "I hate to have to bust one of my favourite authors, but with that kind of behaviour they should be banned from the Cannonball."
At three fifty-eight PM in Las Venturas, Dante and Randal manned their station. In the crowd, Norman, Stu, and Leonard stood about wearing trenchcoats and fedoras.
Dante and Randal looked stunned as they and several other Cannonball officials had just seen the Dead Ringer's attack on the Cowboy through their satellite camera.
"I don't believe it!" Dante said. "I knew Joan Wilder got emotional when writing her books, but I never knew she was on the verge of going psycho!"
"What do you expect?" Randal scoffed. "You spend enough time detached from the real world and you go nuts. Maybe she turned out like that Stephanie Meyer chick."
"Who?" asked Dante.
"You know: that crazy bitch who doesn't let anyone write fanfics based on her work." Randal said.
Dante realised what Randal meant.
"That's not Stephanie Meyer. She wrote the 'Twilight' books." Dante corrected him.
"Whatever. All those vampire books are the same. All a bunch of emo, forbidden love bullshit!" Randal moaned. "And now they expect us to believe there are vampires in Europe right now? Yeah, right!"
"Well, it could be you know." said Dante. "You saw that photo circulated of that blonde Irish chick they said was a vampire." said Dante, referring to Maeve.
"That looked more like the big-boob chick from 'The Commitments' to me." said Randal. "We're supposed to believe she was a vamp 'cause she had pale skin? She could just be a goth who forgot to dye her hair black! I'd see a more convincing vampire on a goddamn Count Chocula box!"
The clock changed to four o'clock. Norman ripped off his trenchcoat and hat to reveal he was wearing a blue bodysuit. He picked up a cardboard sign that read "Go C". Everybody stared at him.
"Norman, what are you doing?" asked Stu.
"The sign holding." said Norman. "Why? What's wrong?"
"Don't you check your voice mail?" asked Leonard.
Norman pulled out his cell phone and checked his voice mail.
"Norman, it's Eljin. I'm stuck in traffic and I'm going to be late. I think we should push back the sign holding to four thirty. Thanks, bye."
Norman lowered his sign and said "Got it!" He picked up his sign and clothes and snuck off.
"Well...that was unexpected." Dante deadpanned.
"Is that the new version of the Blue Man Group?" asked Randal. "Intel Inside must be really desperate."
Somewhere in Germany, around 2.30 am Europe time, the Starlight had parked at a store. Corvax and Butthead were inside getting supplies while Beavis walked out with a bag of cookies.
"Mmmm, this is going to be tasty. Yum, yum, yum." he said.
He reached into the bag and took out a cookie which he promptly stuffed in his mouth and started chewing. He chuckled while eating.
Beavis turned around to see Natalie looking at him.
"Heh heh, hello there, Angel. Heh heh." he said.
"So, what's a nice guy like you doing out here?" she asked.
"Um, eating cookies. Heh heh." said Beavis.
"Well, isn't that nice?" said Natalie.
"Yeah, yeah. Heh." said Beavis.
"Perhaps you could let me have a little bite." said Natalie.
"Sure." said Beavis.
"Thank you." said Nataie. She bared her fangs and lunged for him.
"Ahhh!" screamed Beavis.
Corvax and Butthead walked out of the store.
"Where's Beavis?" asked Butthead.
"There he...oh dear." said Corvax.
"Back!" yelled Beavis as he threw a cookie at Natalie. "Back, demon!" He threw another cookie at her.
"Get to the car fast!" said Corvax.
"Stay back!" yelled Beavis as he threw another cookie at Natalie. This one landed in her mouth.
"Mmm, that's tasty." she said. "Now for your blood."
Just then, Corvax pulled up in the Starlight. Beavis jumped into the passenger seat. A second later, they were off.
"Nuts." said Natalie.
Corvax sped down the road, leaving the store behind them.
"That sucked!" said Beavis.
"Yes, it appears demonic forces are at work." said Corvax. "It seems best to be on our toes."
"Yeah, yeah." said Beavis.
"Hey, Beavis. Huh huh." said Butthead. "You tossed your cookies. Huh huh."
A group of Cannonballers had gathered to meet with Buckaroo Banzai in Hamburg. Among the teams were Buffy and her team, Mad Max and Jake Kesey, David, Darryl and Elizabeth, Mason and Spike and Richard Miller representing the protectors.
"Vampires?" Max asked incredulously. "I was just getting used to the idea of ghosts, but this is crazy!"
"Crazy, but true." Buckaroo remarked. "And it's just been confirmed that a few of your fellow Cannonballers have been turned. We've let Race Central know about this."
"Dracula has been known to use a buttload of his minions in battle." New Jersey said. "And he hates the Cannonball with a vengeance. Also, intel gathered from a friend of Buffy's by the name of Blade has confirmed that a lot of vamps have been finding solutions with regard to moving about in the daylight."
"Hence Ms. O'Riordan's purchasing of tinted windows for her Evo." Jordan remarked.
"So, do we have a plan?" asked Spike.
"So far, it's been decided that we must find Dracula's castle in Romania and storm it so we can change the victims back." said Billy Travers. "But for all other vampires, lethal force has been approved."
"Now you're talking." smirked Buffy.
"No offence, Buffy, but as you could be attacked on the road, this situation calls for a bit more sophisticatiion than the stake." Simms said. "As I said, we adapted these weapons that Weird Eddie invented around the time of the Martin house situation with the Augers."
He handed out laser guns to a member of each team and Richard.
"These guns use a special laser beam based on ultraviolet light." Simms said.
"Sunlight in other words." smiled Richard.
"Exactly. Simplicity itself. A vamp attacks you, just aim and push the trigger. Any vamp that gets hit by the beam becomes instant ash pile." Reno said.
"But, if you prefer, there are these as well." said Perfect Tommy as he passed out a couple more guns. They looked a bit like a cross between a pistol and a crossbow with a sniper rifle sight. It came equpped with a box of stakes.
"So, there IS use for a stake after all." remarked Veronica.
"Yep. Aim the laser sight right at the vamp's heart and the stakes will be shot directly at it with enough force to take them out from a distance." said Pinky.
"Righteous." Darryl said.
"Very solid plan. But I think that we should try and find a few of these vamps you think Drac will send out into the field and spy on them." Mason remarked. "Just to make sure we don't go in blind."
"Good idea." said Jake. "Vampires are not exactly my area of expertise but I think I could find them for you."
"And we've got Darryl here." David remarked. "He can sense them."
"Alright then." said Spike to both Darryl and Jake. "Consider yourselves drafted."
"For a second time." said Darryl a bit wearily.
"You be careful, David. I don't want you getting vamped." Elizabeth warned.
"She's absolutely right, David." Jake replied.
"Who's absolutely right?" asked Rawhide, confused. "Who said anything?"
"It's a long story." Jake remarked.
"Yeah, and we've got more important things to do than hear it now." Max said.
"Okay then. Let's go vampire hunting." Richard smirked as they all returned to their vehicles.
The next morning in Team Rocket headquarters, Butch sat on the couch attempting to solve a crossword puzzle he had found in a magazine. Cassidy, Oakley, and Domino sat with him. They all watched the morning report from Race Central as the second day in Europe for the Cannonballers had just begun.
Onscreen, Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone anchored.
"It's just been confirmed that a situation involving vampires has broken out in Europe for the Cannonballers." said Ron. "I know that sounds like the kind of rubbish you normally read in the Weekly World News, but this is no joke."
"We've heard reports that a few of our racers may have been bitten." said Veronica. "Brock Yates has just told us that this is NOT a cause for alarm, though. The Cannonball will still continue."
"However, he has issued the word to the race officials watching over the bridge in Greece leading to Africa that each individual Cannonball team is to be checked through the bridge before heading to the next continent." said Ron.
"In addition, the Cannonballers may still continue through Europe but are forbidden to leave Europe until it has been confirmed that the threat is neutralised." said Veronica.
"So, be prepared for a bit of a delay. But we have total confidence that our courageous racers will handle any adversity thar they encounter. But for now, we wish them good luck and Godspeed." said Ron.
"I'm Veronica Corningstone..."
"And I'm Ron Burgundy. Stay classy, Cannonball fans."
Oakley shut the TV off in disgust.
"Vampires! What a load of crap! Do they think we're morons or something?" she snapped.
"Would you please not yell?" asked Cassidy as she took a couple of aspirin and washed them down with a glass of water. "My head is killing me!"
"Well, whose fault is it you have a hangover?" Domino asked. "I told you not to mix your drinks."
Cassidy sighed and looked over at Butch.
"How's the crossword going?" she asked.
"Not well." Butch replied. "Some of these clues are really annoying. Like this one here." He read it out. "Irish alternative rock band. Three letters. Middle letter is 's'."
"Ash." said Oakley.
"That's what the answer is. I love their music. Why didn't you ask me?" she said.
Butch filled it in and saw that it was indeed right.
"Thanks." he said.
"You should never be afraid to ask for help you know, Buzz." said Domino.
"It's BUTCH!" Butch snapped. He then calmed down. "Sorry. Didn't mean to yell. Could you give me a hand with a few of the other ones?"
"Which ones are giving you trouble?" asked Cassidy.
"Well, here's one." Butch pointed out. "'Play (something) For Me'. Five letters."
"Misty." said Domino. "That was a chilling movie."
"Great. Thanks." said Butch as he filled it in. "Next one: Wrestler Lesnar. Five letters again, second letter 'r'."
"Brock." said Cassidy.
"You watch wrestling?" said Oakley as she raised an eyebrow.
"It's not just for rednecks you know." Cassidy said defensively as Butch filled in the word.
"Okay, next." said Butch as Annie walked into the room, carrying a glass of iced cola. "Mozart opera: 'Don (something). Eight letters.".
"Giovanni." said Oakley. "A great opera that was. I loved listening to the excerpt Double Cleff FM kept playing."
"Perfect." said Butch as he started to fill in the word. He then paused and frowned. "Do you notice a pattern with these answers?"
"Can't say I do." shrugged Cassidy as Annie walked over to the stereo and inserted a CD.
"Okay. Next is..." Butch began.
Just then the stereo blared into life, playing 'Land of 1000 Dances' by Wilson Pickett. Annie whooped as she started to dance to it. This greatly annoyed the other Rockets.
"ANNIE!" they all yelled.
"What?" she asked indignantly as she hit the pause button.
"Could you please put these on?" asked Cassidy as she handed a pair of headphones to Annie. "We're trying to concentrate here and I have a headache!"
"Fine." huffed Annie as she put the headphones on and plugged them in.
"Right." said Butch as Annie unpaused the stereo. "As I was saying..."
"GOTTA LEARN HOW TO PONY! LIKE BONEY MARONIE!" Annie sang along to the song...loudly. "DO THE MASHED POTATO! DO THE ALLIGATOR!"
The other Rockets glared.
"That's it! I'm going to get some shuteye!" Cassidy said as she got up and marched out of the room. "Don't disturb me in less than ten hours..OR ELSE!" She warned.
Outside Dusseldorf, the Battle had pulled over to a service station so they could refuel. Rock 'n' Roll and Clutch were sat in the front seat while Snake Eyes laid down in the back seat.
Stalker hung up the gas pump after filling the tank while Shipwreck paid for the gas and supplies in the store.
As Stalker got back in the car, they heard the roar of an engine. Rock 'n' Roll looked and saw a red 1981 BMW M1 roaring down the autobhan at high speed, followed by the sound of blaring sirens. A man was hung out of the passenger side window of the M1 firing gunshots from a sub-machine gun at a squad of police cars that were chasing it.
Also in the chase were a silver 2005 BMW E90 and a grey Mercedes-Benz C350. They both had undercover police sirens flashing in their windshields, sun visors, and side mirrors.
"What in tarnation is going on?" inquired Shipwreck as he cane out of the store and witnessed the chase.
"Looks like the local cops are having a bit of trouble." said Rock 'n' Roll. "I think we should give 'em a hand."
"Great idea." said Clutch. "After all, helping people is what we do."
"Get in quick!" yelled Rock 'n' Roll as he fired up the Battle's engine. Stalker and Shipwreck got in beside the still sleeping Snake Eyes and Rock 'n Roll peeled rubber out of the service station.
Further on down the road, the gunman in the M1 had taken out a few of the police cruisers with extreme prejudice as the getaway driver kept cutting through the dense traffic like a knife through butter.
The cop cars' engines had been shot up and tyres punctured. Miraculously, there were no fatalites. In the E90, detective Semir Gurkhan of the Cobra 11 highway task force knew it wouldn't stay that way for long unless the two fugitives were stopped.
The Mercedes driven by his partner, Detective Ben Jager, had got a lead on him and prepared to engage the M1 in battle.
As the Mercedes approached, the driver of the M1 quickly sideswiped the side of a truck carrying a cargo of oil barrels. The barrels fell into the road. As they did, the gunman fired shots at them, causing a lot of them to explode in mid-air.
Jager did his damndest to avoid the explosions but had to bank into the side of the autobahn when the Mercedes spun out.
He leaned out his window and fired several shots after the M1. As the E90 caught up, Jager motioned to Gurkhan with his gun to continue the pursuit.
As the E90 roared off, the Battle went past the Mercedes as well, getting ready to catch up.
The driver of the M1 laughed as the gunman reloaded his weapon and prepared to open up on their pursuers again. Gurkhan's E90 had caught up. Gurkhan kept one hand on the wheel and the other holding his gun as he attrempted a PIT manouevere.
The M1's driver had seen it coming and activated a shot of nitrous oxide and got a lead. Gurkhan gritted his teeth and made to try and catch up.
The Battle got alongside him. Stalker rolled down the rear window and yelled to Gurkhan in German.
"(Officer, we're with the U.S. Army! Do you need assistance?)" he asked.
"(Normally the Cobra 11 team could handle this ourselves, but these people are vicious bastards!)" Gurkhan yelled back. "(If you want to help, you can, but I warn you: we can't be held responsible for what happens to you.)"
"(We understand. You take care of your team-mates back there!)" Stalker replied as Rock 'n Roll gunned the restored Chevy's engine for all it was worth.
"What was that about Cobra?" asked Clutch suspiciously.
"Not THAT Cobra." Shipwreck replied. "Cobra 11 is the codename of the special division of the highway patrol these guys belong to. They have their own TV show."
Clutch looked surprised but then shrugged. "What the hell? The California Highway Patrol had 'CHiPs'."
"Yeah, but this chase going on now is another day at the office for these guys." said Stalker as Rock 'n' Roll managed to close the gap with the M1.
The gunman fired several rounds from his weapon at the Battle but they just bounced off its armour.
Rock 'n Roll got right beside the M1 and tried to push it into the side wall of the autobahn.
The M1 driver sneered and shoved them back. Rock 'n' Roll hit them back again and nearly pushed them off the road again.
The Battle now got ahead of the M1.
"Come and get us, mein herr!" Rock 'n' Roll laughed as he hit the Battle's nitrous shot.
The two criminals in the M1 came right after them, with the gunman letting rip with more rounds from his Mac-10.
Rock 'n' Roll had steered a path straight towards the rear of a car carrier truck whose rear ramp was lowered down and pointing straight up.
"Are you thinking what I think you're thinking?" asked Shipwreck, who had turned a bit pale.
"I think so." smirked Rock 'n Roll as he roared right up the ramp.
Snake Eyes was amazingly still asleep, but the other four Joes strapped in tight as the Battle roared off the edge of the ramp and landed in front of the car carrier.
The Battle kept going and stayed right in front of the truck as the driver angrily honked the horn.
"Something tells me these guys won't be able to resist being stunt drivers here." said Rock 'n' Roll. "Stalker, get ready."
"Yo Joe!" said Stalker as he leaned out his rear window and got his rifle ready.
The M1 was now approaching the truck's ramp. Gurkhan and Jager had caught up with it and were each trying to force it to stop.
The driver laughed sadistically as the gunman climbed back in and strapped himself in.
The M1 roared up the ramp just as the Battle had done and prepared to jump the truck.
Just as the BMW sports car leaped over the truck's cab, Stalker let rip with his machine gun into the rear of the M1.
The two rear tyres were completely shredded. Stalker also fired one shot at the engine compartment in the middle of the car so damage to the engine was done.
When the M1 landed, the driver struggled to maintain control as the rear wheels scraped on their rims against the road and the engine smoked.
But the car quickly flipped and rolled over a couple of times. It miraculously landed back on its four wheels and continued for a brief few seconds, but eventually came to a halt at the side of the autobahn.
Gurkhan and Jager had cleared the car carrier and both helped the Battle to box in the M1.
Clutch saw the two criminals were injured but still alive.
"Typical day for these guys, huh?" he asked.
"I know I like the music I get my name from. But this is appropriate considering where we are and what we did." smirked Rock 'n Roll as he used his cellphone to download a song. He hooked it up to the Battle's radio and started to play it.
It was 'Autobahn' by Kraftwerk.
Stalker, Clutch, and Shipwreck all laughed as Snake Eyes finally stirred from his sleep.
"Fun, fun, fun on the Autobahn." Rock 'n' Roll sang along.
Clutch frowned a bit. "Was it just me or did the perps' car suddenly change from an '81 M1 into a '79 when it crashed?"
"Just your imagination, I daresay." replied Stalker.
Gurkhan pointed his gun at the two criminals as they groaned in pain.
"(You should thank God you had that rollcage built in.)" he deadpanned.
As Gurkhan kept his gun trained on the perps, Jager radioed in the capture.
"(We nailed those two O'Malley syndicate drug runners outside town.)" he said. "(But seriously, Dieter, where the hell were you and Hotte? We had to rely on outside help because you couldn't show up!)"
"(We've been assigned to patrol the outskirts of the city looking for Cannonballers.)" replied Dieter Bonrath, a uniformed officer who was normally their back-up. "(Take it up with the chief, not with us.)"
Indeed, both Bonrath and his overweight partner, Horst 'Hotte' Herzberger sat behind a billboard at the entrance to Dusseldorf itself in their silver and green police Porsche Cayenne.
Positioned in various locations throughout the suburbs were undercover police officers disguised as ordinary citizens. They were all in radio contact and ready to pounce as soon as the Cannonballers appeared.
"(How much longer are we going to have to wait here?)" asked Herzberger.
"(As long as it takes. It's not as if they're expecting us to jump them.)" Bonrath replied.
None of the taskforce were aware that the Vulcano, the Darkness, the Regalo, and the Hellenbach GT all drove through the sewer tunnels underneath them, very slowly and making sure they couldn't be heard.
As they drove along, Lara contacted Kermit, who led the way.
"Great idea to go this way after we picked up the cops on the radio, Kermit." she winked. "It was pure genius."
"Well, thank Skeeter for it partially." Kermit smirked. "Back when we were getting the cars tuned up, he gave us a few pointers on how to evade the cops."
"He told us that his pal Taurus once used this trick to slip past the LVPD when he had to get into Vegas and they were all over the place." Gonzo chipped in.
"Yeah, but you wanted to do this just in case the Hellenbach was at risk of damage, right?" Huckleberry said as he raised an eyebrow.
"So what?" Rizzo grumpily grumbled.
"Okay, there's a storm drain leading out by the side of the Rhine coming up." said Fozzie. "Just to play it safe, stick to the speed limit until we're out of the city."
"Roger." said Rob Zombie, looking a bit unsure.
"Que pasa, Rob?" asked Stone Cold as they neared the exit by the river side.
"We pissed off quite a few members of the German police so far." Rob replied. "I mean 'we' as in 'this team'. They're bound to put out an APB or whatever very soon. We can only stay lucky for so long."
Stone Cold frowned. "Yeah, you're right. We need to get a disguise or something."
As the four Cannonball vehicles exited the sewers by the side of the river Rhine, the Hellenbach, Vulcano, and Regalo all drove on.
"BYE BYE!" Animal called as they drove off at high speed.
The Darkness still hung back a bit.
Rob casually glanced around and he perked up when he noticed something.
"I'll be goddamned!" he said.
Stone Cold and Nemesis followed his gaze. They saw what looked like a huge metallic sculpture jutting out of the ground. It was surrounded by a strange growth of red thorns.
"Ssssstars?" Nemesis asked.
"Yeah, it looks like Eddie was thinking of us again." smirked Rob. The object was one of the Guardian of Metal's Motor Forges.
"Well, it's good to know he got one into the real world. But there's a snowball's chance in Hell we can raise it!" said Stone Cold.
"Wait and see." smirked Rob as he got out of the Darkness, opened its trunk and pulled out a Flying V guitar.
He stood in the middle of the Devil Thorn growth and played a short heavy metal riff. Despite the guitar not being plugged into an amplifier, the sound of the riff roared majestically.
And sure enough, the ground quaked as the Motor Forge rose up out of the ground to reveal its garage door.
Rob gave a thumbs-up to his team and jumped back into the Darkness. He started it up and drove it through the now-opening portal, into the netherwordly red light emanating from it.
Further up the road, Lara's team looked confused at the guitar sound.
"I didn't know Judas Priest were in town." Joanna said.
"Forget that. I didn't know they could start a rock concert at 9:30 in the morning." said Anna.
Back on the Autobahn outside the city, the two perps had been cuffed and were now being tended to by paramedics. More ambulances were dealing with the other drivers who had been injured.
Gurkhan and Jager were congratulating the Joes.
"(Your help was much appreciated.)" Gurkhan remarked. "(And thanks to you, those two are going away for a long time. They practically had half a Colombian dope farm in their trunk.)"
Jager could sense that Snake Eyes was annoyed as he snapped his fingers in a frustrated way.
"(Your friend annoyed at missing the action?) he asked Stalker.
"(A bit, but he'll get over it.)" Stalker replied.
Two horns honked and the group turned to see the Nightcrawler and the Barbarian driving up. Willenholly, Amos, and Michael Knight had heard about the action and just wanted to check if it had anything to do with the Cannonball.
"Hey, guys, you okay?" asked Michael. "I went a bit out of my way when I heard there was trouble here."
"It's okay. No one was killed." Shipwreck said.
Amos leaned out the window of the Nightcrawler. "That may be, but we know Cannonballers have been sighted near here." he said. "And if it turns out you guys are Cannonballers, you're in a whole world..."
Jager looked stunned when he saw Amos.
"Johnny Jive?" he asked in English.
"What?" asked Amos in surprise. Johnny Jive had been his stage name when he was with Disco Express.
Michael looked at Amos and realised who he was. "Hey! You ARE Johnny Jive! From Disco Express!"
"So what?" asked Willenholly.
"Don't be surprised if you get stopped to sign copies of 'Lava Lamp Lovin' and 'Dance Mania' while you're here." Stalker remarked as both Jager and Gurkhan now looked stunned.
"Our second and third albums?" asked Amos. "They were huge flops!"
"(Not over here they weren't!)" Gurkhan remarked. "(People over here are dying for you to go on a reunion tour!)"
Willenholly, who spoke German, translated for Amos.
"WHAT?" Amos yelled.
"Yeah. Disco Express had a buttload of hit singles in Germany and Austria back in the early 80s." said Rock 'n' Roll.
"They're big stars over here." Michael said. "A bit like that guy from 'Baywatch'."
"They always wanted you to tour over here, but you never did." said Clutch. "I always wondered why you passed on that. You could have made millions."
"I never knew..." Amos began. He then took a long pause. At the end of it, he looked furious. "Is there by any chance a greaser-looking guy driving a '57 Ford in the Cannonball?"
"We wouldn't know. We're all law-abiding citizens." lied Shipwreck as he looked knowingly at his teammates.
"Well, if there is, he is DEAD!" yelled Amos. "And I'm talking Sam Peckinpah-meets-Quentin Tarantino style, all day CNN coverage dead!"
Amos floored the accelerator on the Nightcrawler and it sped off.
"That guy was pissed." said Clutch.
"Ya think so?" asked Michael sarcastically. "I have to go now. Family business."
"That's an odd way of putting it, Michael." KITT remarked.
The Barbarian turned around and drove off back the way it came.
"(You guys keep an eye out for Cannonballers.)" Jager said. "(They can be real trouble.)"
"(Don't we know it.)" Stalker said with a mischevious look.
The Darkness now sat in the Guardian of Metal's lair in the middle of a huge, hellish cave. The Guardian had set up a bank of strange machinery to help trick out the Darkness.
"It's about (bleep)in' time you came to see me." the Guardian remarked. "Eddie put in a lot of good words for you guys."
"Well, he did mention that the Cannonball was something you'd like the sound of, pal." Stone Cold remarked.
"Well, of course it is!" The Guardian remarked. "I love you guys, even if you are all (bleep)in' mad! The lot of you!"
"Are you sure you've never met Ozzy Osbourne?" asked Rob.
"Oh, for (bleep)'s sake!" the Guardian complained. "You may as well go the whole hog and ask if Killmaster's ever met Lemmy or if the Baron has ever met Rob (bleep)in' Halford!"
"Well, anyway, you can help get our car a bit of a disguise?" asked Stone Cold.
"Pffft! Sure!" said the Guardian. "I had to set up these machines because I know things are a bit different in this world."
"Sssstarsss!" said Nemesis.
"Got it in one, mate!" said the Guardian. "Just this once you won't need Fire Tributes or money."
The Guardian took his seat at a makeshift computer.
"Now then." he began. "Metal, noise, blood and fire, Tell me what you most desire."
"Great rhyme." smirked Stone Cold as the team gathered around the computer.
Twenty minutes later...
Stone Cold and his team climbed happily back into the newly modded Darkness. The '87 Buick had now been outfitted with a House of Kolor Galaxy Grey paint job, smoked lights and tinted windows. In addition, the suspension had been lowered.
"Sssstarrrs!" Smirked Nemesis.
"Glad it's to your liking, bud!" said Stone Cold as he turned the Darkness around and got ready to drive up the road leading out of the cave and back into Dusseldorf.
"See ya later, Guardian of Metal!" waved Rob as they drove off.
"ROCK AND ROLL!" yelled the Guardian as he gave an 'Ozzy' salute.
The Maria Serpente had now made it to Spain and approached Girona in the Catalonia region. Jack paid attention as Jo explained a piece of equipment to him.
"The Jump Jet, huh? So, how exactly does it work?" he asked.
"Basically, according to what Fargo told me, a miniature but powerful jet engine opens up at the rear." Jo explained as she drove. "It gives us a strong boost of speed to enable us to catch up with an evading car."
"Right." Jack said, nodding. "Anything else?"
"Yeah. When it's aimed in a certain direction, it can also give us an upward boost of speed which will enable us to clear any and every obstacle that we may face in the road." Jo smirked. "Hell, it's so powerful, we could clear a train."
Jack frowned. "In other words, it will help us jump over anything that gets in our way, much like a certain other well-known piece of equipment will?" he said.
"This is an idea people have had for years!" Jo said indignantly.
"Whatever. I just hope that Michael Knight isn't offended." Jack shrugged.
Jo rolled her eyes and then focused on the road ahead.
She narrowed her eyes when she noticed the Squalo up ahead.
"Hold tight, Carter!" She said as she activated the Jump Jet. The Serpente's rear license plate opened up to reveal the mini-jet engine. A burst of flame shot out as it was activated.
It gave them a boost strong enough to overtake the Squalo.
Jo swerved the orange Mastretta so that it blocked the road.
She and Jack both got out and pulled their sidearms.
"What in the hell?" Ralph indignantly said as he slammed on the brakes.
"Didn't those two help out last year?" asked Joan in surprise.
"Yeah. I wonder what their problem is." Jack Colton said. "I know we didn't violate any rules."
"Out of the car!" Jack Carter yelled.
Jack, Jo and Ralph got out of the Squalo.
"What seems to be the problem here?" asked Joan.
"Don't think that playing innocent is going to help you." Jo warned. "We saw what you did to Memphis Raines' team back in Andorra.
Jack Colton looked confused. "We haven't even seen Memphis' team since Calais."
Jack Carter pretended to sneeze. "Oh, excuse me." he then said. "I'm allergic to bullcrap! We both know what we saw! You're lucky you didn't kill them with that stunt!"
"Hey, look, pal! We don't know who you're lookin' for but it's not us!" Ralph protested.
"We do want to win the Cannonball, but not by taking out anybody!" Joan added.
"Why don't you just come clean and stop making things worse for yourselves with this stupid song and dance?" Jo demanded. "You're in enough trouble as it is without lying!"
"What do you mean?" asked Ralph.
"Contact Race Central and see what we mean." Jack said.
Jack Colton got back into the Squalo and activated the comms link to the Four Dragons.
When the page opened he saw Brock, J.J, Victor, and Mr. X all looking very sternly at him.
"I see that at least you decided to face up to what you did, Mr. Colton." Mr. X said seriously. "Have a look at this."
Mr. X activated a switch and a video of the Dead Ringer attacking the Cowboy was shown. Jack Colton turned pale.
The screen switched back to show the four organisers again.
"Anything look familiar to you now?" asked J.J. humourlessly. "Our video satellite caught this earlier. So, what was that you were saying?"
"Guys! That wasn't us! We were..." Jack began
"Framed?" asked Victor sternly. "Look, Jack, I know us Cannonball veterans have been a bit crazy, but even we know a lame excuse when we hear one."
"I'm telling you..."
"No! WE'RE telling YOU." Brock cut in, sounding angry and disappointed. "I know we said anything goes, but we don't condone outright attempts to use lethal force in this race. And I must say I'm disappointed to see such behaviour coming from a team I thought I could trust to play fair. So, as of right now, consider yourselves on probation."
Jo came over and attached a silver metal disk to the undercarriage of the Squalo.
"Sheriff Carter and Ms. Lupo, with our full approval, are planting this homing beacon on the Squalo." J.J. explained. "It will enable us to find you on the map and find you with the Cannonball video satellites."
"And as much as we hate to do this...if you attempt anything to seriously harm another Cannonballer, your team will be both disqualified and banned from the Cannonball Run for life." Mr. X said in a firm tone.
Joan and Ralph had joined Jack Colton and looked horrified.
"Harsh treatment, yes." Victor added. "But since Mr. Raines and his team only survived that attack by the skin of their teeth, there's no doubt that it's deserved."
"We can only hope you've learned your lesson. Race Central out." said Brock as the video link was severed.
"This is bullshit!" yelled Ralph as he angrily hit his hat against the Squalo's windshield.
"Live with it, pal!" Jack Carter said stenly. "And make no mistake, the other Cannonballers and protectors will hear about this."
Carter and Jo returned to the Maria Serpente as Jack Colton's team looked at each other grimly.
Back at Race Central, the news had just been announced about Team Colton's situation.
Misty, Veronica, and Ron interviewed the members of Moving Violation.
"This is indeed a shocking revelation that Joan Wilder and her team haave gone too far." Misty remarked. "We have just been told by Mr. Woozie that just this once, you guys can change your bet to a different racer if you want."
"Well, Misty, while we ARE stunned at finding this out, we're going to stick by our bet with Joan, Jack and Ralph." Mike Z announced. "We're big believers in 'innocent until proven guilty' and there was something odd about the Squalo in that video."
"What was that?" asked Veronica.
"We can't quite put our finger on it, but something did seem a bit odd about it." said Natasha. "Whatever it was, I hope that Joan can behave herself and earn back the trust of Mr. Yates."
"We hope so too." said Misty. "Because, candidly, that was not the behaviour that I know would come from the Joan Wilder I know."
"You read her books?" asked Veronica.
"I have been known to be romantic from time to time." Misty said defensively.
"Does that include with a certain Mr. Ke..." Ron began.
Misty wheeled around on Ron and pulled out her mallet menacingly. "It is VERY important for your future as a broadcaster and otherwise that you don't finish that sentence." she growled.
Veronica hurriedly changed the subject just as the clock in the ball room changed to 4:30 pm.
"Anyway, whether Team Colton have indeed been framed or not still has to be proved. But we all hope and pray that they are just the victims of a scam and that the perpetrators can be caught!"
"And on a more cheerful note, check this out!" yelled Ron. "We've got a group of superfans out there!"
Norman, Eljin, Leonard, and Stu stood in a row in full view wearing blue bodysuits. They held signs reading "Go C", "nbal", "anno", and "lers".
Eljin looked up at the signs and said "Leonard, we're out of order."
Leonard looked up at the signs. "Oh." he said. "I thought we were in alphabetical order."
"Then, why is Norman at the front?" asked Eljin as they traded signs.
"Good point." said Leonard. The signs now read "Go C", "anno", "nbal", and "lers".
In his new headquarters in the German town of Nurburg, Big Boss took a report over a video link from the Stacked Deck.
They had all just heard the news from the Cannonball reporters about Team Colton's situation. Angie, needless to say, looked very content.
"You did excellently, Angie." he remarked. "One more attack from the Dead Ringer should see Colton's team banned from the Cannonball. One less problem to worry about."
"They DID say they suspect foul play, though, Big Boss." said Kenji.
"So what? They're all morons! They don't have the brain power to understand what we're doing!" said Badvibes. "What that singer said about spotting something odd about the Dead Ringer was mere clutching at straws!
"You're right, Doc!" laughed Lidell who was with the Stacked Deck. "With the organisers now against Colton's team, they are as good as amscrasyed right now!"
"You couldn't possibly be happier about it than I am!" Angie smirked. "That bitch Wilder deserves everything she gets!"
"Why do you hate her so much, though?" Squeaky asked, unsure.
"Angie's name is short for 'Angelina'." Wolf explained. "And you know how big Joan Wilder's Angelina adventures were."
"I got grief about it all the time!" said Angie furiously. "Every time I got into a scrape in school, the kids'd tease me about needing Jesse to come to my rescue!"
"They obviously never read the books then." Buttons remarked as he watched the conversation. "Angelina could take care of herself."
"Yeah, but it always came down to her needing Jesse because he was the only man she trusted or some shit like that!" Angie angrily yelled. "And for that, Joan Wilder must suffer! For making people think I couldn't cope in a so-called 'man's world'!"
"Plus, of course, we hate that mushy romantic crap as well." said Darius. "So, it's a good arrangement."
"Well then, you just keep up the good work." smirked Big Boss. "The rest of us are going into the field now. The Cannonballers are about to face their Waterloo!"
Big Boss cut the video link and marched out of the room, followed by Squeaky, Turbo and Buttons.
As they went, Big Boss looked happily at the Total Anarchy mask. "I'd love to see just what this thing can do. DeMarco's not out of jail yet, so I can have a bit of fun with it!"
As they exited the building, Big Boss and Squeaky went towards the black Infiniti G35 that Squeaky had picked the Foyts up from Orange County in.
"The Wildboar here is all ready to kick ass, Big Boss!" smirked Squeaky as he climbed into the driver's seat and Big Boss got in the back.
"How's the Ram Raider doing Turbo?" asked Big Boss as Turbo and Buttons climbed into a silver and heavily-armoured TVR T350C.
"She's all ready, chief!" smirked Turbo as he started up the TVR, known as the Ram Raider. "She's not indestructible. But she'll take a hit that would send any production line model, and quite a few modified ones, straight to the boneyard!"
"Good. So, what's your plan of action?" asked Yuri as he and Mr. Chairman, who had been waiting outside, climbed into their stolen Tesla.
"Turbo's bright idea was to stay here for now." grumbled Buttons. "You know how that Nurburgring track is here? He's convinced that a few Cannonballers won't be able to resist going out of their way to have a spin around it."
"Could work." said Mr. Chairman. "But you'd better not be doing it because you want to show of as well, Turbo! We want results out of you this time!"
"Ain't a problem!" laughed Turbo as the Ram Raider sped off.
"Let's go ourselves!" said Big Boss.
As the Wildboar and the Tesla drove off, Mr. Chairman pulled out some kind of remote control.
"This will help us when we take on the Cannonballers." he smirked to Yuri. "It's the targeting and firing control for ACME's latest satellite laser weapon."
"How powerful is it?" asked Yuri.
"It could melt an armoured personnel carrier like a hot knife going through butter. That's why the satellite is called the Triple S."
"Triple S?" asked Yuri. He then looked slighly amused. "As in 'Sigue Sigue Sputnik'? The Russian for 'burn burn satellite'?"
"Yes." huffed Mr. Chairman. "But we DIDN'T name it after that crappy 80s one-hit wonder band!"
Yuri raised an eyebrow. "So I didn't hear you singing along to 'Love Missile F1-11' on Flashback FM a few weeks ago?" he teased.
"Aw, shut up!" Mr. Chairman grumbled.
As Yuri drove on, he started to sing the song to get a rise out of Mr. Chairman again.
"There goes my love rocket red, shoot it up, shoot it up!" he sang.
"Well, look at Mr. Maturity." grumbled Mr. Chairman.
Back in Spain, the Overlord drove through the city of Zaragoza. Ford had won a series of races back in London against its chapters of the American Royalty club. As a result, the money he'd won had been used to buy forged rods and pistons for the Overlord so it could now handle the nitrous with the engine fully tuned.
In addition, the wheels now had matte black American Racing MC5 rims on them.
As the team drove towards the location of Zaragoza's chapter of American Royalty, the reason why Ford had picked those rims became apparent as he sang along to 'Kick Out The Jams' by MC5 as it played on the Overlord's stereo. Don joined in with him.
"KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER(bleep)ERS!" they both yelled as the intro to the song began.
Jazz reached forward and turned off the radio.
"Sorry, guys, but there's only so much of that song I can take." she explained. "Anyway, we're nearing the Parque Grande. It says on the PDA that the Zaragoza chapter of American Royalty is near here."
"Thanks, honey." said Ford as he concentrated on the road. He then noticed a gathering of about thirty muscle cars parked near the entrance to the Parque Grande. "Looks like we just found 'em."
He drove up to a young man standing beside a '66 Chevrolet Caprice and rolled down his window.
"Senor, habla ingles?" he asked in Spanish.
"Depends on the question." the young man replied. He had a Spanish accent with a slight American lilt to it. "You looking for action or something?"
"What made you guess?" asked Jazz.
"Look, senor, word of advice." the young man said. "Don't be coming around here with some lame ass '57 Fairlane and expect to run with it. You could end up losing it. Pink slip and everything."
"You have yet to see what this car is capable of." smirked Don. "We could beat your lame ass Caprice any day."
"My grandmother's Buick could waste your piece of shit Ford!" the young man scoffed.
Ford laughed heartily at that.
"Don't believe me, huh?" the man replied as he raised an eyebrow. "Wait and see."
He turned towards the other members of the club and whistled.
"Hey, grandma! Some asshole wants to run!" he yelled.
At that, the sound of a mighty engine approached.
Ford looked stunned as a fully-blown yellow 1970 Buick GSX came out of the gathering of cars. At the wheel was an attractive old lady in her late 60s, wearing a black t-shirt, jeans and a racing jacket.
She pulled up next to the Overlord and rolled down her window.
"Hey, you're that Fairlane guy." she said in an American accent. "That rock 'n' roll private eye."
Ford smiled. "You're a poet and didn't know it! OHHHH!"
"Well, my name's Kathy Minton. And I happen to be the leader of this American Royalty chapter." the old lady said. "It's a very rare occasion when anybody beats us in a race."
"We can tell from your accent you're originally from the States." commented Don.
"Yep. California. Moved out here to be with my daughter when she got married." Kathy said. She nodded to the young man. "You've already met my grandson, Carmello."
"What part of California?" asked Jazz.
Kathy sighed a little. "Pasadena." she said.
"That sounds familiar." remarked Jazz.
"So, you wanna run or not?" asked Kathy, quickly changing the subject.
"You bet your ass, lady!" said Ford. "I could use the extra cash."
"Well, here's how we roll in this city." Kathy explained. "Quarter mile drag. Best two out of three wins. Winner take all. And the prize will be three times the amount you lay down at the start of the first run. That suit you okay?"
"Sure does." said Ford.
"Just one thing." Carmello cut in. "We don't race for less than one thousand euros. The price of fuel these days, you understand."
"No problem." said Don as he held up a wad of Euro notes they got when they had their London winnings converted to Euros. "We can make it four thousand if you want."
"Excellente." smiled Carmello.
"So, are we doing this?" asked Jazz.
"We are indeed. Follow us to the Paseo de Echegaray y Caballero and we'll get started." Kathy smiled as she led the way with her GSX.
The Espion and the Ignition both sped down the highway leading to Barcelona.
Jesse James kept the Ignition up to full speed but had difficulty keeping up with Snake and Ethan because of the supercharger Bosco had sold them.
"I tell you, guys. For a vacuum cleaner, that gives a hell of a boost." Jesse remarked.
"Well at least we're keepin' up with 'em." smirked Tombstone.
Both teams heard the sound of a siren and looked in their rear-views to see the Aggressor coming up behind them.
"We gotcha now, you crazy sumbitches!" laughed Buford as Roscoe drove.
"Hold on!" said Ethan as he kicked in the supercharger again. Despite its power, both the Ignition and the Aggressor kept after them.
As they approached a highway junction with an overpass, a vehicle suddenly cut out in front of them and swerved around to face them head on.
It was the Hitman. In the driver's seat, Simon laughed as he took control of the twin machine guns on the car and opened fire.
Goldilocks and Uzi leaned out their windows and added more firepower from their guns, while Digit climbed on top of the Hitman and opened up with an AK-47.
"What in tarnation..?" yelled Roscoe as he frantically swerved the Aggressor to avoid the gunfire. He did a good job but they still took damage. The Espion and the Ignition were taking damage as well, despite their special armour and glass.
Digit laughed maniacally as he and the other Lords kept up the gunfire.
Junior and Buford took out their guns and returned fire.
In the Espion, Ethan kept his hands on the wheel while Snake took out his tranq gun and his SOCOM.
"I'll take out the AK first!" Snake yelled.
As the Espion got out front, Digit fired the AK right at the front of it.
Snake then got a shot off from his tranq gun and hit Digit in the side of the neck.
The huge muscle man groaned as he felt the sting and then fell unconscious on the roof of the Hitman.
"That helped a bit." said Body Drop. "But can we still get out of this alive?"
"No problem." said Jesse as he kept driving. "I'm gonna ram 'em!"
"Go ahead and say it." Tombstone said to Body Drop.
"That ain't gonna work!" Body Drop yelled.
"Wanna bet?" asked Jesse as hit a switch and a strong titanium shield extended from the front of the Ignition as it got ahead.
Simon, Goldilocks, and Uzi kept up the fire, but looked nervous when they saw the Ignition not slowing down.
Simon kept firing until the twin machine guns on the Hitman's hood ran dry. But still the Ignition kept coming.
"Get the hell out of here!" Simon yelled as the Volvo was nearly upon them.
As Simon and Uzi grabbed Digit off the roof and Goldilocks joined them and ran, the Ignition plowed right through the Hitman, wrecking it.
Simon angrily roared after the three vehicles as they escaped. He raised his gold-plated .38 and fired a few shots at the rear ends of the Cannonballer and cop vehicles.
He smiled as he saw small sparks, indicating that he had succeeded in hitting them.
"So, it wasn't a total loss." Goldilocks remarked as he and Uzi tried to wake Digit up.
"Maybe so. But those assholes are toast next time we see 'em!" Simon yelled.
He looked down at his crumpled clothes.
"Goddamn it! They messed my suit up!" he growled as he threw his arms down in frustration.
As he did so, the .38 fired off, nearly shooting Simon in the foot.
He looked even more angry now.
"SHIT!" he yelled as he threw the gun away.
Back in Nurburg, Minnie and Daisy had driven Giselle onto the starting grid of the Nurburgring.
"Are you sure about this?" asked Minnie as Daisy took her seat behind Giselle's wheel.
"I just wanted to make our little stop in Germany complete. And to show what the two of us are now capable of behind the wheel thanks to Jim and Diane." Daisy smirked.
"Jim Douglas and Diane Darcy by any chance, ladies?" asked Thunder Bob over their radio.
"Affirmative. To make sure we wouldn't go into the Cannonball cold, we had them teach us everything they know racing wise." Minnie smirked.
"Well it's served you well so far." Toni remarked. "We hope that the 'Ring will be a good challenge to both of you and that you can best it."
"Thanks, Toni. If you're still performing your special DJ duties, we'd like to request a song." Daisy said.
"Just name the tune." Toni smirked.
"We'll have 'The Getaway' by Hilary Duff." said Minnie. "Unlike a certain other actress who got her start with Disney, Hilary's done us proud."
"Okay. Here we go." said Thunder Bob as he loaded the CD. "Break a leg, ladies!"
As the intro to the song began, Daisy peeled rubber and drove Giselle off the starting grid and into the first part of the 'Ring's course.
Here I am again,
Talking to myself.
Sitting at a red light.
Both hands on the wheel.
How am I supposed to feel?
So much runnin' through my mind.
As Daisy came upon the first hard set of turns, she slowed Giselle down to make the turns safely, but once through them was able to get back up to speed with no problem.
"This is why we picked a melllow song, Min." Daisy said. "So I could keep a cool head while doing this."
"Well, just keep it up. It looks like we have company." said Minnie as she looked in the rear-view.
Behind Giselle, the Ram Raider was driving on the 'Ring, with Turbo handling the turns brilliantly with his fast reflexes. Also involved in the chase was the Speed Demon. Slater and Michaels, though, were having a lot of trouble.
The Speed Demon wobbled a lot and nearly crashed into the side walls a couple of times as Slater kept his foot on the accelerator and couldn't make the sharp turns easily.
First you wanna be free,
Now you say you need me,
Givin' mixed signals and signs.
It's so hard to let you in.
Thinkin' you might slam the brakes again.
"Could you possibly try NOT to kill us, Slater!" yelled Michaels in anger.
"Whoever designed this course should be bagged and tagged!" Slater replied.
"So, it's obvious you've never played 'Gran Turismo'." Michaels replied as he hit Slater on the shoulder. "Hell, I bet you never even got your driving skill maxed out in the GTA games!"
"WHOA!" yelled Slater as they went through a difficult chicane and he went off the side of the track and hit the wall, denting the nose of the Speed Demon badly.
Put the pedal down.
Headin' out of town.
Gotta make a getaway.
The traffic in my brain is,
Drivin' me insane.
This is more than I can take.
Turbo looked back at the Speed Demon and sneered. "Jerks probably only used to drag racing." he sneered. "Straight lines are for good cars, but curves are for good drivers, like yours truly."
"Then just keep it up." said Buttons as he opened a roof-hatch on the Ram Raider and stood up so his top half was visible out of the car.
You tell me that you love me first,
Then throw your heart into reverse,
I gotta getaway.
As Daisy kept her eyes on the course and negotiated another hard set of turns and then went onto one of the few straightaways on the 'Ring, Buttons unbuttoned his suit jacket to reveal the two machine guns he had cybernetically built into his chest.
Laughing nastily, he opened fire with both of them on Giselle.
The gunfire strafed the road near Giselle and she took a couple of hits on her body work but kept going.
With a combination of Daisy at the wheel and Giselle's own skills they kept ahead as Buttons kept trying to blow them off the 'Ring.
I can't keep comin' back to you,
Every time you're in the mood,
To whisper something sweet in my ear.
It's so hard to move on,
'Cuz every time I think you're gone,
You show up in my rear view mirror.
"Get back in, bright boy." said Turbo. "We'll put a little dent in their ego!"
Turbo climbed back through the roof hatch and strapped himself in the passenger seat as Turbo floored the Ram Raider's accelerator.
Is this just a detour?
'Cuz I gotta be sure,
That you really mean what you say.
It's so hard to let you in,
Thinkin' you might slam the brakes again.
The Speed Demon had got back into the chase but had sustained more damage. The body was now completely covered with dents and the doors were hanging half-off.
"Are you mentally fit to drive?" asked the annoyed Michaels.
"Just shut up for God's sake. We have some felons to catch and money to earn!" Slater replied. He then put on a Yoda voice. "Much you still have to learn, young Padawan."
"Hey, it doesn't look like that A-Team car is trying to help the Lancia." Michaels remarked as he saw the Ram Raider move up beside Giselle and try to sideswipe her off the 'Ring.
Put the pedal down.
Heading out of town.
Gotta make a getaway.
The traffic in my brain's,
Driving me insane.
This is more than I can take.
Giselle honked her horn rudely at the Ram Raider as Turbo got ahead of her. Turbo then slammed on his brakes to see if Giselle would crash into his rear end and wreck her front.
Daisy had seen the move coming and swerved around the Ram Raider with expert moves. She then got back up to speed and went through a chicane. Turbo laughed as he floored the Ram Raider's accelerator and caught up with Giselle.
You tell me that you love me first,
Then throw your heart into reverse,
I gotta getaway...
To a place where I,
Can be redefined,
Where you're out of sight.
Slater had finally worked out about slowing down to make the turns and then getting up to speed and had made some ground. As he caught up with Giselle and the Ram Raider, he had noticed Minnie and Daisy in Giselle.
"HEY! It's the Disney girls!" he said. "That settles it! We help them!"
"Friggin' A!" said Michaels as he took out his gun. "No one attacks my childhood favourites and gets away with it!".
And you're out of mind.
But the truth is,
I can't even say goodbye.
As Slater kept his hands on the wheel and handled the driving, Michaels opened fire with his service revolver on the Ram Raider while Turbo still tried to ram Giselle from behind or sideswipe her into the wall as they approached the final stretch of the 'Ring.
Here I am again,
Talkin' to myself.
Sittin' at a red light.
Both hands on the wheel.
How am I supposed to feel?
So much runnin' through my mind.
Michaels had done some damage to the Ram Raider, but not much. Turbo and Buttons laughed evilly at the two NY cops' inability to stop them.
"This is so easy, it almost takes the fun outta bein' a crook!" laughed Turbo uproariously.
"You wouldn't have a can opener by any chance, Slater?" asked Michaels as he reloaded his gun.
Put the pedal down.
Headin out of town.
Gotta make a getaway(A getaway)
The traffic in my brain's,
Driving me insane.
This is more than I can take(I can take)
The Ram Raider was now right on Giselle's tail as Daisy and Turbo went into the final quarter mile.
"Now we got 'em!" yelled Turbo as he got up to Giselle's rear quarter panel and prepared for a PIT manouevere.
"Nobody can stop us now! NOBODY!" Yelled Buttons in triumph.
Suddenly, there was a huge and hard impact on the front of the Ram Raider. The front of the armoured vehicle was completely crushed.
Slater and Michaels caught up and looked surprised that the hit was the result of the Powerpuff Girls and Meteor Man punching the front of the Ram Raider at the same time.
"Holy hole in a doughnut!" Michaels remarked. By this time, Giselle had crossed the Nurburgring's finish line and both Daisy and Minnie cheered in triumph.
You tell me that you love me first,
Then throw your heart into reverse,
I gotta getaway.
'The Getaway' by Hilary Duff.
As the song ended, Giselle performed a power slide and came to a halt.
"I think you ladies just set a new record there!" Thunder Bob cheered through the radio. "And all that with the distraction of interference from bad guys and the law."
"Thanks, Thunder Bob." said Daisy. "Now, we must get going!"
"Don't spare the horsepower!" cheered Minnie as Daisy drove Giselle at top speed to the entrance to the 'Ring and drove back out onto the highway at maximum velocity.
As this was happening, the Powerpuff Girls used their laser eyes to cut away the rest of the armour on the Ram Raider to apprehend Turbo and Buttons.
At the same time, Slater and Michaels both trained their guns on the Ram Raider.
"What this doesn't look like is good." grumbled Buttons.
"Remind me to kick Badvibes' ass if we see him again in ten to twenty." Turbo replied.
The Hellenbach GT drove through Munich, nearing the German border with the Czech Republic. Kermit talked to Thunder Bob and Toni over the video link.
"So, the race has been going well for you so far, Kermit?" asked Toni.
"I have to say it has. There's been no major trouble. Which is odd, considering who's at the wheel." Kermit smirked.
The camera panned over to show Animal now behind the wheel, grinning madly.
"I'm not sure that was wise, Kermit. Considering we have a special guest here right now." said Thunder Bob.
Bob and Toni stepped aside to reveal Miss Piggy, who looked very annoyed.
"PIGGY?" yelled Kermit in shock.
"I came to Venturas to cheer you on, mon cherie." Piggy said a bit sternly. "And I thought I told you not to let Animal or Gonzo drive, and so far I've seen that both of them have taken turns at the wheel!"
"Now, look, Piggy. The car is fine. And IF it gets damaged, it can be repaired. You know we can afford it." Kermit protested.
"Yes, I appreciate that." said Piggy, her expression softening a bit. "But to be honest, I didn't really care about the car. I gave that warning to you at the start because the Hellenbach is replacable. But YOU aren't."
"Huh?" asked Fozzie.
"Kermie, having seen what goes on in the Cannonball three years ago, I was worried for you and just wanted you to be safe." Piggy said. "And no offence to Gonzo or Animal, but I doubt that anyone's safety is assured with them in the car."
Animal and Gonzo looked a bit offended.
"Now, Piggy. I think you're being a bit unfair. They've both handled the driving with expertise." Kermit said as Animal drove the Hellenbach past an alleyway.
Team Muppets failed to notice that Horace had pulled out of the alley and was coming up behind them very fast and revving his engine menacingly.
He overtook the Hellenbach and kept in front of them for a few seconds as Animal honked the Hellenbach's horn at him.
"What about all those losers who want to stop the Cannonball, then?" Piggy still protested. "If you were seriously hurt..."
"Miss Piggy, please." Gonzo said. "You can trust us with Kermit's safety. There is nothing to be..."
Animal yelped in surprise as he saw Horace raise his rear license plate up and reveal two grenade launchers. The other Muppets saw this too and looked shocked.
"...afraid of!" Gonzo nervously finished.
Horace fired a couple of grenades at the Hellenbach.
"BAD MAN!" Animal yelled as he steered with skill and managed to avoid the explosions.
One grenade detonated close to the front wheel of the Hellenbach, nearly making the car flip over.
Animal clenched his teeth and managed to make the car do a barrel roll and land back on its' four wheels again.
"WHOA!" yelled Rizzo.
"Kermie! What's going on?" Piggy yelled over the link.
"Hold, please!" Fozzie said in a 'telephone operator' voice as he shut the screen off and ignored it when it started ringing again.
Animal turned a hard left and drove the Hellenbach down an alleyway under a railway bridge. Horace kept driving straight ahead.
"Whew! Looks like we lost him!" Rizzo sighed in relief.
"No way it could be THAT easy!" Kermit said as Animal kept going.
As they passed an intersection with another alley leading from their left (south) side, Horace roared up from the southern alley and hit the side of the Hellenbach, putting a dent in it. He honked nastily as Animal recovered from the blow and drove on.
"I hate it when I'm right!" Kermit grumbled as Animal kept driving at high speed with Horace on their tail.
"Head for the warehouse district, Animal!" Gonzo yelled. "I have an idea!"
"It better be good!" said Rizzo, nervously looking back at Horace who rammed into their rear end a couple of times before Animal hit the nitrous and got ahead.
At the beginning of the long, Zaragoza street called the Paseo de Echegaray y Caballero, the Overlord and Kathy's GSX had pulled up to a makeshift starting line.
Don and Jazz stood along with the other members of the Zaragoza American Royalty club and cheered Ford on as he revved the Overlord's engine.
He looked over at Kathy and gave her a smug look. Kathy just kept her eyes on the road ahead.
After a tense few seconds, Carmello stepped forward, and dropped his arms.
"GO!" he yelled.
Ford and Kathy shifted their cars into high gear and roared off the starting line and down the long street.
As he drove, Ford banged his head to 'Purple Haze' as it played on the Overlord's radio.
The Overlord managed to keep up the lead for about fifteen seconds.
Then, as Ford started to make guitar noises along with the radio, he failed to realise that he'd missed a shift and lost speed.
Only when the Overlord's engine began to whine did he realise his mistake.
"SHIT!" he yelled as Kathy overtook him.
Ford quickly shifted and got going again. By now, it was too late. Kathy had crossed the finish line and the American Royalty members at the end of the course cheered for her.
"Son of a (bleep)in' bitch!" he yelled.
Jazz and Don looked disappointed.
"Jazz, for the next one, I think you should drive." Don said. "IF the Overlord wins, we still win."
"True. And I think Ford needs taught a lesson." Jazz added.
Horace had lost sight of the Hellenbach GT but had seen that it was going in the direction of Munich's warehouse district.
As the evil VW swerved into a courtyard, he drove slowly, taking care to make sure he wouldn't be taken by surprise.
He swiveled his headlights from left to right as he drove down a stetch of road leading between a warehouse wall and a set of crates that had been laid out in a stack.
As he neared the huge cargo door leading into the warehouse on his right side, there was the roar of an engine.
Before he had time to react, the Hellenbach roared out of the warehouse and rammed into his right rear quarter panel, nearly spinning him out.
"SURPRISE!" Animal yelled in delight.
As Horace was distracted, the Hellenbach turned to the left and roared back towards the entrance.
Horace revved his engine, making a 'snarl' noise and turned a 180 to go after Team Muppets.
The entrance had a long stetch of road, beside which were several stacks of packing crates.
As Animal reached the entrance, he turned the Hellenbach around to face the way they had come.
"I hope you know what you're doing, guys." Kermit said as he, Fozzie and Rizzo gulped.
"Relax. This is gonna be fun." reassured Gonzo.
As the Hellenbach now faced forward, Horace came back into view, speeding down the narrow roadway towards them.
Animal laughed and drove the Hellenbach down the road, straight towards Horace in a chicken run.
Rizzo was now whimpering to himself. "I think I'm having a near-death experience. Soon to be a full-death experience."
Animal and Gonzo kept their eyes straight ahead as Horace kept roaring towards them.
Fozzie solemnly took off his hat.
"Any regrets, Kermit?" he asked.
"Maybe 'Muppet Treasure Island'." Kermit replied as he broke out in a sweat.
Animal and Gonzo kept their eyes on Horace as they continued the chicken run.
Just as the two cars were about to collide, Horace bottled out and swerved off to the right.
He rammed right through several stacks of the packing crates and they began to fall on top of him, until he was nearly buried.
"CHICKEN!" Animal yelled.
"YEAH!" Gonzo yelled triumphantly as Animal did a reverse 180 and drove the Hellenbach out of the yard.
The other three Muppets were now ecscatic with joy.
As they drove past the disabled Horace, Rizzo leaned out the window and flapped his arms like a bird.
"BUCK, BUCK, B'GAWK! B'GAWK!" He laughed as Team Muppets left the evil VW behind for now.
Kermit sighed in relief. He then turned his attention to their comms device, which had been ringing a lot ever since he'd cut Piggy off earlier.
He activated it and saw Piggy onscreen looking worried.
"Listen, frog! You'd better tell me you're alright!" Piggy said in desperation.
"Yes, Piggy. Everything's fine. We're all okay. And the car's fine." Kermit reassured. "Well, apart from a few little dents."
"I told you, Kermit. The car can be fixed. Are you certain you're okay?" she insisted.
"Yes, Miss Piggy. We're all okay." said Rizzo.
"Well, even so, that settles it. From now on, only let Gonzo or Animal drive if it's an emergency." Piggy said sternly.
Team Muppets looked at each other knowingly and laughed.
"What's so funny?" Piggy demanded. "If you say it's a joke Fozzie told, I'll know you're lying!"
"It's a long story, Miss Piggy." said Gonzo. "We'll explain later."
"In the meantime let's find a garage." Fozzie said as they exited the city.
Back in Zaragoza, the Overlord was now parked alongside the GSX back at the start of the Paseo de Echegaray y Cabellero, preparing for the second run.
Jazz was now behind the wheel of the Overlord while Carmello had taken the wheel of the GSX.
As they prepared to race, the Tempest came driving up. Bam looked confused as to what was going on.
"Hey, Ford, Don. What's the caper?" asked Tony.
"Just a little side race to earn us some mod money." replied Don.
Bam perked up a bit. He'd been trying to think of how he himself could raise the money to both repair and pay off the Job after what the Bloodhound Gang had done to it pretty much since leaving France.
"I don't like that look." Tony said unsurely.
"Aw, eat my ass!" said Bam as he addressed Don again. "Do these guys accept bets?"
"Bam!" said Torquenstein in alarm.
"Sure we do." said Kathy as she stepped over. "Who'd you like to bet on?"
Bam took out a wad of cash and handed it to Kathy. "200 large on the '57 Ford." he said. "Double or nothing."
"You're crazy!" yelled Tony. "Getting the Job fixed up isn't worth that!"
"You seem to forget it's Bam Margera who's your team-mate, skate boy." Kathy said as she took the money. "You do know it's best two out of three runs and this is the second?"
"Yeah, but I'm down with it." said Bam.
"You'll get paid after the third run...IF the Ford wins." Kathy replied.
"Come on, baby! Kick his ass!" Ford yelled encouragingly to Jazz, who kept her eyes on the road.
Kathy went over to the GSX and patted Carmello on the shoulder.
"Ride 'em, cowboy. Make your maw-maw proud." she smirked.
Carmello smiled as he revved his engine. Another member of American Royalty stepped in between the cars and dropped his hands to signal the start of the race.
Carmello got out of the starting grid before Jazz did, but Jazz was able to catch up and shift with expertise as she gained ground on Kathy's GSX. As Carmello got a fraction of a lead, he activated his NOS.
"Too soon." smirked Jazz as she activated the NOs on the Overlord and got a lead of a car length on the GSX as they neared the end of the quarter mile.
Carmello tried to catch up, but to no avail.
The Overlord roared across the finish line, leading by a nose length.
"YEAH! THAT'S MY WOMAN! OHHHH!" yelled Ford as he punched the air in delight.
Bam cheered as well.
"What are yo so happy about?" asked Torquenstein. "There's one run left to go!"
"You are SUCH a buzzkill!" groaned Bam.
Near the Germany/Austria border, the Barbarian had managed to catch up with KITT 3000. Both supercars were now parked.
"Where were you, dad?" asked Mike Traceur.
"When we heard about that hoo-hah on the autobahn outside Dusseldorf, we thought we shold help out." said Michael. "Plus we had a suspicion that Garthe may have been involved. But he was a no-show."
"That makes sense." said KITT 3000. "We last picked up KARR on our scanner somewhere in Hungary. But before we could get a precise fix on either him or Goliath, they just disappeared."
"What do you mean?" asked KITT.
"We mean just that. No matter how powerful our scan was, we couldn't detect either of them." said Mike.
"I don't like the sound of that." said Michael. "If they've come up with a way to block our sensors, we're in dutch."
"I couldn't agree more, Michael." said KITT. "I can't detect any of KARR or Goliath's readings either. It looks like Garthe had the same idea we did. To upgrade before we next battled."
"At least we more or less know where they are now." said Mike. "We've tipped off the Hungarian authorities and there's been no report of either vehicle crossing the border into either Romania or the Ukraine. And Serbia's not on the race route."
"Okay. Then it looks like we'll have to head to Hungary and sniff 'em out." said Michael.
"Okay. Let's go." said KITT 3000.
Meteor Man and the Powerpuff Girls had just delivered Turbo and Buttons to a police station in Nurburg, where they were waiting to be bailed out.
As the four superheroes went out of the station in satisfaction, Slater and Michaels walked with them.
"That was friggin' awesome what you guys did back there." Michaels said.
"We know you're helping out the Cannonballers, but that's no problem with us." Slater said. "You see, when my buddy here and I were kids, we hated cops."
"Seriously?" asked Blossom.
"Sure. We only got jobs as cops 'cause the money was good. That's why we weren't gonna arrest Minnie and Daisy back there." said Michaels. "We see a bit of ourselves in guys like the Cannonballers."
"Plus, we grew up on Disney stuff." said Slater. "Especially the Herie movies, so we weren't about to let that little Lancia get impounded."
"Well, that's good to know that you're being open-minded." said Meteor man as he checked a flashing green light on his suit.
"What's that mean?" asked Buttercup.
"It means I need to recharge." said Meteor Man as he turned a dial on his suit's left wrist. "My buddy Michael worked out this gizmo so I could recharge without falling asleep for days or losing my powers. But it takes about ten hours to recharge. That's a long time to be out of action on a mission like this."
"We'll keep the nasties off the Cannonballers' backs for you, Meteor Man!" cheered Bubbles.
"We were just wondering if you girls could do us a favour, though." said Slater as he took out a piece of paper.
"What's that?" asked Meteor Man.
"It's an affidavit confirming that our car was wrecked in the line of duty." said Michaels as he nodded to the wrecked Speed Demon.
"You see, we don't want our chief knowing we let a Cannonballer go and he offered compensation for vehicle damages." Slater smirked.
Blossom chuckled and put her hands on her hips.
"You guys." she sighed.
"Well, we scratched your backs. It's only fair." said Slater.
"True." shrugged Meteor Man as he signed the affidavit.
"And...we were wondering if you could...um...enhance the condition of our car a bit if you could?" asked Michaels.
Buttercup and Bubbles smiled as they cracked their knuckles.
"I'd say it's possible." smirked Buttercup.
"I'd say it could be a while before we regroup with Agent Banner. Don't you say, Officer Slater?" smirked Michaels mischeviously.
"I'd agree, Officer Michaels." said Slater. "I've always wanted to try REAL German beer."
"Then let's take a little constitutional while these good citizens help out with the car." Michaels replied.
Both cops laughed and headed off as Buttercup and Bubbles approached the Speed Demon.
"Unbelievable." said Jesse as he drove the Ignition down the road towards Madrid. "Raging gun battle and I forgot to bring a gun."
"Jesse James forgot a gun." said Body Drop. "Can you say irony?"
"Hey, guys." said Tombstone. "The ride feels kind of weird. I think we might have taken a hit."
"I agree." said Jesse. "I'm getting some crazy feedback in the steering."
That's when the car let out a rattle followed by the sickening grind of metal on pavement.
"That was the front tire." said Tombstone. "We gotta pull over."
"Not necessarily." said Jesse. He flipped a switch on the console.
Four wheels lowered from the bottom of the car and lifted the normal wheels off the road. A small catwalk extended from the side.
"Okay." said Jesse and he and Body Drop made fists. "One, two, three, shoot!" They shook their fists at each other. Jesse extended his first and middle fingers while Body Drop flattened his out.
"Ah!" groaned Body Drop as he undid his seat belt. "Tombstone, get that spare ready."
"Wouldn't it be safer to pull over?" asked Tombstone.
"This rig is good for sixty miles per hour." said Jesse. "Pulling over is good for zero."
Body Drop climbed out of the car and stepped onto the catwalk. Tombstone handed the spare tire to him. Body Drop grabbed it and stepped over to the front wheel. He placed the spare on the hood and hooked a cable to the fender.
"Man, that looks dangerous." said Tombstone.
"It is." said Jesse. "You're doing it next time."
Body Drop used a torque wrench to remove the front rim and replaced it with the spare. He took out the torque wrench again and bolted the wheel back on.
"I think he's got it." said Jesse.
Body Drop handed the spent rim to Tombstone and climbed back inside. Jesse flipped the switch back and retracted the catwalk and extra wheels.
"Alright!" said Jesse as he high fived Body Drop. "You just got out of paying for gas for two continents."
Elsewhere in Spain, the Espion and Aggressor pulled over at the side of the road. The occupants of both cars climbed out. Roscoe, Buford, and Junior were completely unaware that the Aggressor was leaking fuel into the gutter.
"Nice to be out of that firefight." said Ethan.
"Yeah, it is." said Roscoe.
"Maybe we can take a little breather before we get back on the road." said Snake.
"I think not." said Roscoe as he, Buford, and Junior drew their guns.
"This here is the end of the hunt." said Buford.
"Should've known it wouldn't be easy." said Snake.
Ethan sniffed. He then looked to the gutter and saw the fuel trail. "Can you really bring us in like this?" he asked.
"Oh, you bet." said Junior. "We've got authority in several countries."
"But do you have the equipment?" asked Ethan. "I mean are those guns even loaded?"
"Just watch!" said Roscoe. He aimed his gun into the gutter and fired, igniting the fuel trail.
He and Junior looked at the flame running up the gutter towards the Aggressor. After the flame went behind the car, it exploded.
"My sandwich!" yelled Buford.
Ethan and Snake used the distraction to run back to the Espion. By the time Buford, Roscoe, and Junior noticed this, they had already gotten in.
"How did you know he was going to do that?" asked Snake as Ethan started the car.
"Lucky guess." said Ethan as he threw the car into gear and raced off.
All Roscoe could do was stand there and watch them leave. Junior turned to him and asked "Now, who's the dipstick?"
In Zaragoza, Ford had climbed back into the Overlord and Kathy had now taken the GSX back from Carmello as they prepared for their final run.
"Okay, Ford, check this." said Don. "It looks liked the Buick has more torque than the Overlord, so it will probably get a lead on you."
"That's right." said Jazz. "So it's a question of shifting and using nitrous wisely. And be prepared for any surprises. You CAN'T let yourself get distracted this time."
"Okay, guys. Thanks. I hope this will work." said Ford. "She's a lot tougher than those guys in London."
"Well, watch yourself." said Don as he patted Ford's shoulder.
Team Torquenstein stood among the American Royalty crowd with apprehensive looks as Kathy and Ford revved their engines.
As the final race began, Kathy did indeed get a lead on Ford. He clenched his teeth and shifted into overdrive. As he gained ground on Kathy, Don, Jazz and Team Torquenstein tensed.
Kathy's GSX held the lead for a few seconds. Then, suddenly, a delivery truck drove out of a side street.
Both vehicles swerved around it, but Kathy was monentarily distracted and missed a shift herself.
Ford gained the lead and hit his nitrous.
Holding the lead by two car lengths, Ford crossed the finish line.
"YEAH!" yelled Bam as he punched the air.
Carmello winced a bit, but then smiled as the Overlord and Kathy's GSX both turned around and drove back to the starting line.
As the Overlord returned, Ford performed a powerful slide with his car and came to a halt near Jazz.
"Fair lady, your chariot awaits!" he beamed as Jazz smiled.
"Ain't we gotta pick up the dough first?" asked Don in a business-like manner.
"Way to ruin the moment, playa!" Tony Hawk joked.
"Hey, easy with that shit, okay?" warned Don.
Kathy pulled up beside the Overlord and sighed.
"It's true there was a distraction." she said. "But I do recognise superior driving when it comes along. Congrats, Mr. Fairlane."
"Thanks, mam." smirked Ford as Carmello came over and handed him his winnings.
Another member of the club handed Bam the cash he had won from his bet.
"Happy now?" asked Torquenstein.
"Not sure it's quite enough for the Job." said Bam. "What other action is going on right now?"
"Oh no, you don't!" said Tony as he grabbed Bam by the scruff of the neck and frogmarched him back to the Tempest. "We are now continuing the race."
Torquenstein rolled his eyes and joined them.
The American Royalty chapter cheered as Jazz and Don got back into the Overlord and Ford waved farewell.
As he peeled rubber, Jazz checked the PDA for the next Speed Zone location. "Head to Valencia next, honey." she said.
"I wonder which improvements we should get next." mused Ford in a joking way.
"Well we ain't wastin' the cash on a bass boost for the stereo. That's for goddamn sure." said Don.
Bob drove the Wisdom through Austria.
"Good thing she had a decent stock." he said.
"I hope this works." said Mortimer. "These things cost sixty-five simoleons each."
"Relax, honey." said Bella. "We can make up the cash. Remember that UFO you spotted?"
"That was a false alarm." said Mortimer.
Something started to beep.
"This isn't." said Bob. "The robot detector just picked up something."
"What does that mean?" asked Bella.
"Well, obviously it means that there are robots in the vicinity." said Mortimer.
"I think that's them." said Bob as he looked in the rearview.
Behind them were four humanoid figures riding Honda CBR900's. The motorcycles were yellow with black stripes.
"Any chance this is a non-issue?" asked Mortimer.
Guns emerged from the headlights of the motorcycles.
"Doesn't look like it." said Bella.
"Hang on." said Bob.
He floored the accelerator. Just down the road, the Maniac 2 drove along.
"Sounds like competition's on our tails." said Laura.
One of the motorcycles fired on the Wisdom.
"And it sounds like they've got trouble." said Liam.
The Wisdom and the motorcycles raced past them.
"Unbelievable." said Max. "I'm getting beaten by a Honda."
"Max, this is a Honda." said Liam.
"Guys, those were Wasp droids!" said Laura. "And they were riding Rats!"
"Holy cow, she's right!" said Max.
"Let's kick some android tail!" said Liam.
The agents donned their masks and took off after the Wisdom.
"Mortimer, can you get to the cargo hatch?" asked Bob.
"Yes, why?" asked Mortimer.
"I managed to build something in my spare time." said Bob.
Mortimer made his way to the cargo hatch and opened it. A small, black robot with two rotors flew out.
"Oh, you've made a SentryBot." said Mortimer.
"Watch him go." said Bob.
The SentryBot flew out of the rear window.
"Let's hope this is a good scenario." said Bob. "In that case, the robots will be shorted out."
"What happens in a less-than-good scenario?" asked Bella.
"Recharging." said Bob.
The SentryBot flew up to the first Wasp droid, extended a rod, and released a bolt of electricity. The Wasp suddenly froze and crashed.
"Good scenario." said Mortimer.
The Maniac 2 came up behind them.
"Liam, would you do the honors?" asked Max.
"Right." said Liam. "Twister, on!"
His mask projected a pair of blue energy tornados. The Wasp at the rear got caught in them. The tornadoes tore it to shreds.
"Two down." said Bella.
"We've got one coming alongside!" said Mortimer.
"Not a problem." said Bob.
He looked in his rearview and saw it running next to them. He quickly opened his door and hit the brakes. The Wasp crashed into the door and smashed into the pavement.
"Just one left!" squealed Mortimer.
"Got this one lined up!" said Max. He hit the red button on the dashboard and transformed the Maniac 2. As soon as the transformation completed, he fired the laser cannons at the Wasp and destroyed it.
"We got them!" said Mortimer.
"Let's give a big thank you to these guys." said Bella.
The Maniac 2 pulled up next to them.
"Good going, you guys!" yelled Bob.
"What are you lads doing this way?" asked Liam.
"You're not going to believe this." said Mortimer. "Dracula has risen again and he's turned some of the Cannonballers into vampires."
"Whoa!" said Laura. "That's pretty serious!"
"I know." said Bella. "Luckily, we were able to find a cure for vampirism and we're delivering it now."
"And those Wasps got in the way?" asked Max. "That could've been a disaster!"
"Good job we got there, right?" asked Liam.
"What about the rest of the way?" asked Laura.
"They handled themselves well." said Max. "But what if the next attack is worse?"
"I can't allow that to happen." said Laura. "First, do no harm. Remember?"
"What do you say, Liam?" asked Max.
Liam didn't answer him. Instead, he picked up the microphone for the radio and pressed the button. "This is Liam O'Grady from Team MASK calling Race Central."
"Go ahead." said Brock.
"A serious issue has just come up." said Liam. "Unfortunately, we're forced to abandon the puzzle hunt. Repeat, we are abandoning the puzzle hunt."
"Are you sure about that?" asked Brock.
Liam turned to Max and Laura. They both nodded.
"That's an affirmative." said Liam.
"Okay, I'll call ahead to Genoa and tell them there will be one less for dinner." said Brock. "Maybe we'll see on a later continent."
"Aye." said Liam. "I'm out."
"In more ways than one." said Max. "Dracula, prepare to die...again."
Back in Tennessee, Sheriff Baxter and a large group of the technicians who had worked on the Crusader had driven the vehicle to a local training facility. It was a mock-up town by the name of Daniels' Creek.
Accompanying the group this time was Masado. He currently sat in the driver's seat of the Crusader, wearing a racing jumpsuit and a crash helmet.
The Crusader was lined-up at the entrance to the 'main street' part of the town, which had many fake businesses and homes set up, even a Town Hall.
"Look, Masado. I'm not so sure you should be doing this." Baxter said as he stood at the driver side window of the Crusader.
"It's no problem, Sheriff. You know I'm used to driving an SUV. Plus I'm qualified to be much more than just an interpreter for this squad." Masado cheerfully replied.
"Yeah, well just try not to let it get away from you. We had the rollcage built in just in case of emergency." said the head technician. "The Crusader's been souped-up to hell and back and we want to ensure the survival of the driver."
"And don't take that as meaning that it's okay to try and test the strength of the body." said Baxter. "So far, we've poured about $40,000 of taxpayers' money into this project."
"Well, no offence, sir. But it won't be worth 40,000 pins if it doesn't work." said Masado.
"Good point. But this test isn't just of the Crusader." Baxter said as he pulled out a strange-looking gun. "Our lab boys came up with this projectile tracking device. We're going to chase you for a while and then lose sight of you. Just before we lose you, we fire the tracker at your rear bumper. As soon as we can find you, we'll know it works."
"And then it'll be adapted as another armament for the Crusader." the head technician chipped in.
"I understand." Masado said as he started the Crusader's engine.
Baxter and the head tech then climbed into a squad car and started it up. Little did Baxter know that Masado intended to sabotage the Crusader project so that his arrangement with K.T. and Takumi could pay off. He had every intention of trying to send the Crusader to the scrapyard.
Baxter got in contact with Masado over the radio.
"Right. You've got a ten second head start. Try and make it interesting for us." Baxter said.
"Yes, sir." said Masado as he peeled rubber off the starting grid.
The Crusader roared off down the street.
As it did, a few police officers in civilian disguise pulled out of side streets in test vehicles so Masado could attempt to evade and weave through traffic.
Masado handled it with no problems. By this time, Baxter had started to drive after the Crusader in the squad car.
As Baxter and the head tech stayed on Masado's tail, Masado drove across a 'public park' and crashed through a couple of benches.
"Hey! I said 'easy on it'!" Baxter yelled through the radio.
Masado continued to lead the black and white on a merry chase, dodging and weaving out of many streets and alleyways.
As the Crusader crashed through a stack of packing crates in an alley and reached the end of it, another police test vehicle pulled out and blocked Baxter's way.
"Okay, NOW!" yelled Baxter.
The head tech leaned out the window of the cruiser as the Crusader disappeared into the distance.
He fired the tracking device in the direction of the Crusader.
As the projectile was shot, the tech pulled out a small PDA and checked for the signal from the tracker just as the test vehicle let them through.
"YES! We got him!" said the tech in triumph. "The signal is coming through clearly."
"Good. So it works." asked Baxter. "Now, let's fire up this puppy and see where he's gone."
"Yeah, we fire this thing up and it turns out he's right next to your SUV." joked the technician.
"He'd better not be." laughed Baxter. "That's a loading zone."
The tech checked the PDA and looked confused.
"It looks like it's stopped." he said. "According to this, it's somewhere cars can't go."
"Uh, Sheriff." another member of the taskforce said over the radio. "Masado had a slight mishap."
Sure enough, the Crusader was now lodged in the front display window of a fake furniture store.
Masado had deliberately tried to wreck the vehicle. He looked annoyed that it didn't work.
"This is gonna be tougher than I thought." he mumbled to himself.
The squad car pulled up outside. Baxter grunted in annoyance as he got out and approached Masado as he removed his helmet and safety belt.
"Goddamn it, Masado! Didn't I tell you not to let it get away from you?" he growled.
"Sorry, Sheriff. I guess there was a bit too much horsepower for me." Masado said in a mock-serious way as he climbed out of the Crusader.
"Well, that settles it." said Baxter. "Tomorrow, for the test run on the highway, that guy Bolan can drive it. He was an army driver before joining the force so he should be able to handle it."
As Baxter was saying this, he had turned his back. While he was distracted, Masado surreptitiously crawled under the Crusader and reached into the engine bay.
As Baxter went over to talk to the head tech, Masado found the connecting rods and loosened a bolt on one. He did it in such a way that his sabotage was not openly visible.
He smirked and climbed back out from under the truck.
"Let's see him deal with that." Masado thought to himself as he exited the store and went to join Baxter.
"So, at least we know the tracker will work." said the head tech as Masado came over.
"Yeah, but I think Masado should stay working with the lab boys." said Baxter.
"That's fine with me, Sheriff." shrugged Masado.
"It's an order, not a request, pal." said Baxter sternly. "Seriously, a few inches to the left and you could have wrecked my car. Do you have any idea how hard it was to convince my ex-wife NOT to take it as part of the settlement?"
"I guess not, sir." said Masado, giving a sneaky smile as Baxter turned his back.
Back in Spain, the Squalo now sped down the highway towards Alicante.
Jack Colton looked angry. "We have to find out some way who framed us." he said.
"Well, from what I've heard, as far as who would want to sabotage the Cannonball goes, the line forms to the right." saidf Ralph grimly.
Highway came alongside them on his Turbo Cycle and gave them an 'I'm watching you' gesture with his free hand before he accelerated past them.
"Shit." Ralph grumbled.
"Well, to me, it's obvious." Joan said. "Someone must have made a replica of the Squalo. So as much as it pains me to do it, we'll have to deactivate the cloaking device on the windows."
Jack then hit the steering wheel in frustration. "Goddamn it! Why didn't I think of that before?" he said in frustration.
"Sometimes this does feel like 'The Young and the Stupid' I'm caught up in." said Ralph.
"We didn't hear YOU think of it either, kumquat!" Jack said as he deactivated the mirror device on the Squalo's windows.
Just then, Highway's voice came over their radio from far up the road.
"You guys have REALLY done it this time, Colton!" he said. "When help arrives, you'll be disqualified, banned, AND under arrest! Attacking a protector like this is going too far!"
"Shit! Sounds like Highway's met whoever framed us!" said Jack.
"Hold on a second!" said Joan as she activated the comlink to Race Central.
"Mr. Yates, you said you could find us with the video satellite, right?" she asked.
An angry Brock replied "Why? You wanna turn yourselves in?"
"Just get a shot of the immediate area. Including where Highway is." Joan said. "PLEASE! It'll sort things out!"
Brock noted her sincere tone. "Okay. We'll do it. Jack and Jo will be watching as well."
"Thanks." said Joan.
Jack stepped on the gas and roared up the highway. Within about half a minute, they came upon Highway being chased by the Dead Ringer.
At one point, Angie swerved around Highway's cycle and got a good bit in front of him.
Angie laughed as she dropped a few mines from the rear of the Dead Ringer.
Highway struggled to avoid them, but managed to do so. He then heard a horn honk and looked around. His jaw dropped when he saw the Squalo behind him.
"Have I got some weird double vision or something?" he thought.
At Race Central, Brock, Ron, Veronica, and President Harris had now seen everything on the screen as the Dead Ringer and the Squalo respectively tried to hinder and aid Highway.
"A replica of a Cannonball vehicle?" Ron asked in disbelief.
"Nonsense." scoffed President Harris. "Both those Plymouths are distinctive. Except for the one in front which is identical."
Brock gave Harris a withering look and then looked back to the screen.
"The one helping Highway is the Squalo. We can see that Joan's team turned off their mirror windows. The other one must just have mirrored windows that can't change like the Squalo's can."
"So, now do you believe us?" asked Joan over the link.
Brock swallowed hard. "Joan, I apologise profusely. You're no longer on probation. But we can save the formal apologies for when you save Highway."
"Right." said Jack as he swerved around Highway and got on the Dead Ringer's tail.
"Shit!" snarled Angie as she saw that Joan's team had rumbled her.
Jack activated a switch and a pair of laser guns extended from the Squalo's roof.
Angie kept the hammer down and dropped a few more mines as she tried to escape.
Jack fired a few shots from the laser guns, aiming for her tyres.
As Angie tried to keep the lead, she picked up her CB.
"Darius! I've been rumbled! The Cannonballers are onto me! Get your ass over here and give me a hand!" she yelled.
"I'll be right there!" said Darius in reply. "There's a junkyard half a mile from where you are. Head there and I'll get you!"
"Roger!" snapped Angie as she activated her nitrous.
Jack did the same and continued to snap at her heels.
Highway had watched the whole thing happen and now reported to Jack Carter and Jo Lupo.
"Team Colton WERE set up." he said. "I got a good look at the other 'Cuda's license plate. It was an Arizona plate while the Squalo has a New York plate. I'm sending you and Professor Hikita the Arizona 'Cuda's number now to see if you can trace it."
"Affirmative, Highway." said Jo. "The least we could do for Team Colton is figure out who did this to them."
"Let's let Memphis know too." said Jack Carter. "He's bound to have a bone to pick with these sleazeballs."
Angie had, by now, got a good lead on the Squalo and had swerved and crashed through the locked but rusty gate of the junkyard.
As she made her hard entrance, she had slammed the Dead Ringer into the side of a pile of wrecked cars.
In a flash, she undid her safety belt, drew her gun and jumped out of the Dead Ringer.
As she heard the sound of the Squalo approaching, she ran off through the rows of wrecked cars, looking for a hiding place.
As the Squalo came through the gate, Jack smirked as he saw the abandoned Dead Ringer.
He fired a laser blast at the gas tank and blew the replica 'Cuda to smithereens.
"Now they've got nowhere to go." he said. "And don't worry. I saw that the door was open and no-one was in it."
"Let's get 'em!" said Ralph as he and Jack each pulled out a gun and went to look for Angie.
"Why do I have to stay with the car?" asked Joan indignantly.
Jack went down one row of cars, keeping his eyes to the front.
"Come on out, you crazy bastard." he whispered to himself.
He heard a gun being cocked behind him and froze.
"I believe you mean 'crazy bitch'." said Angie as she stepped out from a side alley and kept her gun trained on Jack. "Drop it, sucker!" she said arrogantly.
Jack grunted and dropped his gun.
Angie picked it up and now aimed both guns at him.
"YOU LOSE! Good day, sir!" Angie sneered triumphantly.
"Making pop culture references doesn't make you witty." Jack said.
"You're just saying that 'cause you can't think of anything witty to say either." Angie laughed. "Night night."
Just then, Angie got an electric shock and shook wildly.
She dropped the guns and fell to the ground.
Standing behind her was Joan, holding a taser gun.
Jack saw this and laughed. "I'm glad you finally found a use for that, Joanie." he said.
"Let that be a lesson to you about leaving me behind." Joan chided him.
Back at the entrance to the junkyard, Ralph had done a complete circle of the area and failed to realise that Jack and Joan had taken care of Angie. He was about to head back in and look for them when he heard a roaring engine approaching fast.
He turned to look and was stunned as he saw Darius' A4 do a power slide into the junkyard, with Darius keeping one hand on the wheel and firing a gun out his open window with the other.
"NEVER get out of your car, asswipe!" Darius yelled triumphantly as Ralph returned fire and then ran for cover when he ran out of bullets.
"COLTON! JOAN!" Ralph yelled as he ran.
Jack and Joan forgot about Angie and ran to help their friend.
They didn't know that this was just what Darius wanted.
As they ran towards the north of the junkyard, Kenji's Civic crashed through one of the light walls of the yard and stopped in front of Angie.
Wolf and Kenji got out and quickly pulled their fallen comrade into the Civic and then whooped in triumph as they drove off.
"We got her, Darius. Now get the hell out of there!" Wolf yelled into his radio.
Darius smiled and hung a 180 out of the junkyard as Jack and Joan joined Ralph and Jack fired a few shots after the retreating Audi.
"Goddamn!" Jack snapped.
"Well, at least we're off the hook." shrugged Joan.
"True. But these assholes are gonna pay!" Ralph yelled. "Their ass is grass and I'M the lawnmower!"
Jake and Max pulled into a rest area somewhere in Austria. They found the Midnight Club members parked there.
"This is it." said Jake. "This is where Darryl said Dracula was holding a meeting. Just a couple of clicks north."
"I hope those guys are aware of the danger here." said Max.
"Don't worry." said Jake. "We'll just tell them it's not their concern."
"Hey, look who's here." said Dice.
"Stop for a little rest as well?" asked Parfait.
"Nah." said Max. "Got a little personal matter to attend to."
They walked into a forest path as Priss pulled up on the Streetfighter.
"Where are those two going?" she asked.
"Don't know." said Dice.
Priss ran after the two of them.
"Where is this meeting taking place?" asked Max.
"There." said Jake.
They came upon Dracula and a group of vampire minions gathered in a clearing. Dylan was with them.
"Don't vampires have super sensitive hearing?" asked Max.
"Yeah, they do." said Jake.
Dracula stood tall and addressed his minions.
"I have summoned you all here for a mighty purpose." he said. "As you know, once again the Cannonball Run is going through Europe. Too long have us children of the night allowed these arrogant gearhead fools to run roughshod over our land. AND allowed vampire hunters like Buffy Summers hide amongst them to make our lives a misery. That is why I have finally decided that we will no longer stand idly by. It is time we brought the Cannonballers around to our side. With the help of Ms. Sanders here, we will make great changes to our battle plan."
There was the sound of a communications device ringing. It came from Maeve's Evo, which was parked nearby. "Dylan, if you may?" Drac said.
Dylan stepped away and went over to the Evo.
As Dracula turned to address the vampires again, Priss walked up. She looked confused as she saw her fellow Cannonballers spying on the vampire meeting.
"We have obtained the European route of the race from the GPS in the Bonfire, the race vehicle used by the new additions to our ranks." Dracula continued. "As you know, our best scientists have been working in laboratories in my castle to work up new ways for us to move unhindered in the daylight. We have recently tested such devices and are now positive they will be of use to us in stopping this infernal race."
Priss snuck up behind Max. "What's going on?" she asked.
"Be as quiet as possible." whispered Max. "The vamps are making plans."
Dracula moved over to a car that had been covered with a tarpaulin. He whisked the tarp off to reveal a black Ford Mustang RTR-X with hints of green paint on the hood and green rims on the wheels. The windows were strongly tinted.
"You will each be given an attack vehicle exactly like this." Drac said. "It has the horsepower to keep up with any race vehicle and armaments to take out even the strongest assault vehicle. You will be able to see through the windows clearly, but no sunlight can penetrate them to harm you."
The throng of vampires looked amazed.
"In addition, should the vehicles be in any way compromised, these will help." Drac said as he took out what looked like a strong suit of armor with a mirrored visor.
"This armor has been developed so you can move about in the daylight. It is completely flame proof so no harm will come to you should flamethrowers be thrown into the mix. Again, no ultraviolet light can penetrate it. And...watch this."
Drac took out a stake and a sword. He rammed the stake into the chest plate of the armor but no damage was done. He then sliced around the part where the helmet met the shoulder but the sword broke in half.
Max and the others looked stunned when they saw this.
"Indestructible." Drac said. "No blade or stake can stop you. The suits also have mounted weapons of their own. You can thank one of our sympathisers in Stark Enterprises for stealing the technology. You will be unstoppable with these weapons and vehicles. And the Cannonballers shall finally meet defeat and earn their just desserts for meddling in our affairs!"
The vampires cheered.
"Now, with the element of surprise on your side, go and bring new recruits over to our side!" Dracula yelled in triumph as he raised his hand.
The vampire throng cheered and howled.
"That sounds like a huge problem." whispered Priss.
"Well, what now?" whispered Jake.
"We get out of here as stealthy as possible." whispered Max. "Then we get to Lt. Simms and inform him about this development."
Dylan ran over very quickly. "We have a problem, my lord." she said. "The officials are onto us."
"Holy crap! Dylan's a vampire!" yelled Priss.
The vampires all looked to them.
"They heard that." said Jake.
"Damn." Priss said flatly.
"Get them!" ordered Dracula.
Jake, Max, and Priss made a run for it. Any vampire who wasn't Dracula or Dylan chased them, hissing wildly.
Dice, Parfait, and Savo walked down the path.
"What could be taking them so long?" asked Parfait.
"We'd better see if they're alright." said Savo.
The others came running towards them.
"They look fine to me." said Dice.
"Please try to keep up." said Priss as they ran past them.
"Whatchu talking about?" asked Dice.
The vampires came into view.
"Sacre bleu!" said Parfait.
The Midnight Club members ran after the others.
They came upon a gate. A man saw them running over.
"Walk." he said.
"Vampires!" yelled Max.
"What? Oh." said the man. He promptly closed the gate and locked it.
The Cannonballers ran up to the gate.
"You can't leave us here!" yelled Dice.
"Uh, I'd hate to be the 'we got company' guy but..." said Jake as he looked over his shoulder.
Everybody turned around to see the vampires had caught up to them.
"Okay, here's what we do." said Dice. "Bum rush!"
The Cannonballers made a run for the vampires and forced their way through the undead horde.
Parfait danced around a pair of vamps and made her way towards the cars. Dice threw his shoulder into a vampire and shoved him into the crowd.
Max whipped out his shotgun and pointed it into another vampire's face. Jake ran through a gap between vampires and attacked a third.
"Back to the cars!" yelled Savo.
After managing to battle off a few more of the vampires, Priss, Max and Jake all returned to their vehicles. Team Midnight Club piled into the Ecureil and took off after them as they drove off.
As a few more Cannonballers had just exited Vienna, the Harbinger and Fleetline continued their race. Lana had now taken the wheel of the Harbinger and handled it very well.
"Did you learn those skills from your boyfriend or did you have 'em to begin with?" asked the Fleetline driver.
"I'll tell you if you tell us your name, mister." Lana mischievously winked.
"Thanks, but I prefer a bit of confidentiality." the Fleetline driver replied.
"What is this, 'The Driver' or something?" asked Trikz.
"The what?" asked Ty.
"You've never seen 'The Driver'?" asked Lana. "It's that movie with Ryan O'Neal as the wheelman."
"I guess not." replied Ty.
"But you like Tarantino movies?" asked Trikz, surprised. "Tarantino said it was one of the coolest movies ever made."
"Yeah, well I haven't found the time to check out all his influences." Ty protested.
"Come on, mi amigos!" cheered the Fleetline guy as he got a fraction of a lead. "Last one to Hungary buys lunch!"
"I hope you brought your credit card!" laughed Lana as she sped up.
Suddenly, there were two energy blasts that nearly knocked the Harbinger and Fleetline off the road.
"Surprise, do-gooders!" yelled Dr. Drakken as the Capital and Comrade roared up behind them.
Shego leaned out the passenger side window of the Capital and fired her energy blasts, along with a bit of gunfire from Mad Dog to help.
In the Comrade, Skeletor and Jafar fired magic blasts of their own from Skeletor's fingers and Jafar's snake staff.
"Now that I've been allowed to get in on the action, you fools will crumble before the might of my magic!" Jafar yelled as the Fleetline guy dodged and evaded as many of his blasts as possible.
"You guys go ahead!" Fleetline Guy yelled as he spotted an abandoned munitions factory on the right side of the road. "I'll deal with these guys!"
"Gotcha!" said Lana as the Harbinger sped on, pursued by the Capital.
The Fleetline drove through the open gate of the old factory, followed by the Comrade.
"Come and get me, assholes!" Fleetline Guy mumbled to himself.
Inside the factory, both vehicles drove down a long straightaway.
There wasn't much room on either side, so Skeletor and Jafar had to climb back inside the Comrade.
"Don't let him get away!" yelled Jafar to Oil Can Harry, who was driving.
"No problem!" laughed Harry as he pressed a switch and a couple of guns popped out of the grille on the Comrade's front.
"Stay on target." Captain Hook said as he and Harry took control of the firing switches and tried to get an opening to attack.
Fleetline Guy had managed to get a good lead on the Comrade by this stage and reached the exit to the straightaway.
As he did, he swerved his car around to block the Comrade's way.
He got out of the Fleetline with one hand held behind his back.
"What the drokk?" asked Mean Machine.
Fleetline Guy pulled his hand out from behind his back to reveal an M4 sub-machine gun.
"BLAST HIM!" yelled Jafar to Hook and Harry.
"It's okay. Our windows are bulletproof." sneered Skeletor.
Fleetline Guy opened fire with his M4 towards the Comrade's windshield. Although the glass wasn't penetrated, it still took damage from the bullets, causing it to crack and for the sight to get blocked.
"Damn it!" yelled Hook as Harry swerved to get under control.
A few more shots from Fleetline Guy caused the Comrade's hood to pop open and block Harry's view completely as it banged against the windshield.
"This is NOT good!" said Hook.
Suddenly, the Comrade pitched forward and fell into a car-lift's pit that they hadn't seen.
Fleetline Guy had seen it and managed to avoid it. He saw the Comrade trapped for now and laughed.
"And that was all she wrote." he laughed to himself as he returned to his Fleetline.
As the Comrade sat on its' front end in the pit, the villains snarled to themselves.
Just then, there was a crash.
Harry looked out the window.
"Of all the..." he began angrily.
The wheels had fallen off the Comrade again.
Back on the highway, the Harbinger was still being pursued by the Capital. Mad Dog and Shego kept up their fire as the two vehicles approached a four-way intersection.
"We've got you now, fools!" laughed Mojo.
Just as they got to the intersection, a tractor trailer drove across it.
Lana clenched her teeth and was able to slip under the truck's trailer.
"That's my girl!" Trikz cheered as the Harbinger continued on its way.
"Thanks for showing me how to do that." smirked Lana as Trikz leaned over and gave her a peck on the cheek.
The Capital had missed the clearing and nearly crashed into the rear wheel of the truck.
Shego had used her powers to prevent them from crashing and the Capital had come to a halt.
"Damn. That was TOO close!" said Mad Dog as he breathed a sigh of relief.
Then, there were two gunshots, each followed by a hiss of air.
Shego looked out her window and saw that both the Capital's rear tyres had been punctured.
There was a mocking honk of a horn as the Fleetline roared past them and after the Harbinger as the truck moved on.
In his free hand, Fleetline Guy was holding a Colt .45. He had shot out the Capital's tyres.
He gave Drakken's villains team a mock salute with his gun hand and drove on.
"Asshole!" Shego grumbled to herself.
"We DO have spares, don't we?" asked Drakken.
"I took them out to make room for the lunch basket." Mojo sheepishly admitted.
"I thought so." Drakken growled.
"Okay, let's find a garage then." sighed Mad Dog.
"I hope someone speaks Austrian." said Shego. "I don't think imitating Ahnuld's accent is gonna cut it."
Elsewhere in Vienna, Charlie pulled the Terrific into a garage.
"What are we doing here?" asked Lyle.
"I got into contact with Rob." said Charlie. "We thought it would be a good idea to get Stella somewhere safe while we kept with the race."
"Wait." said Stella. "What's that going to do to our deal with Mashkov?"
"Hopefully, he'll be reasonable for once." said Charlie.
"Here he comes." said Left Ear.
A red '68 Chevelle with a black stripe down the center of the hood and a black roof pulled up. A tough-looking bald man (who bore a striking resemblence to Frank Martin) climbed out.
"Rob, good to see you." said Charlie.
"Mashkov's girl spilled the beans." said Rob. "How much time do you have?"
"I don't know." said Charlie. "I hope it's enough. Are you up to this?"
"If these guys are as dangerous as you say," said Rob "I've got this one all set."
The CM Venga drove past, then turned around.
"Wait, that's them." said Clouseau.
"More Cannonballers." said Cato.
"Crap, they found us." said Charlie.
"Let's get somewhere else." said Rob. "We can make the exchange there."
"Nice car." said Lyle.
"Thanks." said Rob as he climbed into the driver's seat. "I call it the Speedshifter."
Clouseau turned towards the garage and almost ran into the Orange Crush. Both cars stopped.
"Excuse me!" yelled Clouseau.
"What are you doing?" yelled Virginia.
"I'm pursuing Cannonballers!" yelled Clouseau.
"Toretto." muttered Virginia. "I'm coming with you!"
"We can't get out that way." said Left Ear.
"Watch." said Charlie.
He hit the gas and drove towards an alley. This led straight to a shopping mall. The Terrific and Speedshifter drove into an open passageway and raced through the hall. The CM Venga and Orange Crush were right on their tail.
The Terrific made its way around a corner while a janitor washed the floor. The Speedshifter hit the same corner and spun out. Rob quickly got back into motion and kept going.
The CM Venga hit the same corner and slid into a store display. The janitor got up and stared. Clouseau got back into pursuit with the Orange Crush right behind him.
Charlie swerved close to a restaurant and Lyle grabbed a cheeseburger off of a waiter's tray. "I missed dinner." he said.
Charlie raced out of the mall and into the loading area. The Speedshifter, CM Venga, and Orange Crush followed him. They came upon a ramp next to a wall. Charlie raced up the ramp and jumped the Terrific fifteen feet.
The Speedshifter raced off the ramp behind him. Clouseau crashed through the wall and drifted to a halt. The Orange Crush went over the ramp and stayed with Charlie and Rob.
"I think we can keep going." said Clouseau.
The CM Venga fell apart.
"Maybe not." he said.
The Terrific tried to lose the Orange Crush by driving through a traffic jam. Suddenly, the Charger appeared before them.
"This is Charger!" he yelled into his radio. "I've spotted the girl! I'm going after her!"
Charlie drove onto the sidewalk to bypass the traffic jam and ended up driving into a U-Bahn station.
"I'm getting a sense of deja vu!" said Left Ear as the Terrific bounded down the stairs.
The Speedshifter, Orange Crush, and Charger followed them into the station. People jumped out of the way of the cars as they raced through the tunnel.
"Yeah, we've definitely done this before!" said Left Ear.
Charlie raced out of an exit tunnel and made his way towards a used car lot. The Terrific and Speedshifter drove into the lot and made their way through the maze of cars. They came upon a couple of empty spaces and backed into them.
The Orange Crush and Charger drove past without seeing them.
"Okay, it's now or never." said Charlie. He and Stella climbed out. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"We already agreed to this." said Stella as he moved over to the Speedshifter. "I'll talk to you when we've got the all-clear."
"Come on, let's go." said Rob.
"You take care of her, Rob." said Charlie.
"I'll remember she's yours, Charlie." said Rob.
The Cannonballers who had encountered the vampires regrouped.
"Okay, what is going on here?" asked Dice.
"I've seen this before." said Savo. "Vampires. I've had my dealings with them during the Cold War."
"Well, there goes the neighborhood." said Priss.
"You've had your dealings with vampires?" asked Max. "Can you give us a hand coming up with a defense against them?"
"I will try to help." said Savo. "We will need weapons that exploit the vampires' weaknesses. They are weak against holy symbols, garlic, silver, and fire. They can be detected by holding up a mirror and seeing if they have a reflection and they can infect others simply by feeding."
"Okay, we've got our list." said Parfait. "Let's get to work, mes amis."
The racers started to amass weapons.
"I had a thought." said Max. "Maybe we can use your powers against the vampires."
"Not likely." said Jake. "My powers are limited to ghosts. They wouldn't work too well with vampires."
Savo picked up Parfait's compact and looked into the mirror.
"Well, I just thought it was worth a try." said Max.
Savo used the mirror to inspect the two puncture wounds in his neck.
"We should probably call on someone more connected to vampires." said Jake.
Savo looked at the others concerned.
"How about that Buffy girl?" asked Max.
"Sounds like a good idea." said Jake.
"Something just dawned on me." said Dice. "What if someone gets bitten? How would we know they were turning?"
"If someone gets bitten," said Savo as he sat in the back seat of the Ecureil "they can expect the following symptoms. First, the victim starts to show signs of lethargy. After that comes fever and sensitivity to light. Shortly after that, the victim's skin starts to turn pale, they grow fangs, and they develop a thirst..." Just then, his fangs grew in. "...for blood."
Everyone else jumped back in shock. "You were bitten!" yelled Jake.
"I thought that maybe I was special." said Savo as he jumped to his feet.
"Special?" yelled Priss. "You're not special! I'M special!" She pulled down her collar to reveal a bite on her neck. "I was bitten ten minutes ago and I'm..." She stopped talking when she grew fangs.
"Okay, no one's special!" yelled Dice.
"Run!" yelled Max.
Max and Jake ran for the Black Knight. Dice and Parfait did an end run around Savo and dove into the Ecureil.
At a roadside restaurant somewhere near Austria's border with Hungary, Tanner and Jones had stopped off for a meal. It was a family restaurant so quite a few families who were on road trips had stopped to eat there.
Outside the restaurant, three of the RTR-X's handed out by Dracula had pulled to a halt.
"That looks like a Cannonballer to me." said the lead vamp as he noticed the Sorcerer in a parking space.
The second and third RTR moved in and blocked the Sorcerer's way, preventing it from getting out.
"You stay here as back-up." he said. "We'll offer these people our family discount."
The three vampires from the lead RTR laughed and got out of their car and headed towards the restaurant.
Jones had noticed them approaching.
"Tanner, unless there's a renaissance fair somewhere today you better get ready." he said warily as he pulled out his gun.
Tanner turned and saw the vamps as well.
"Shit." he grumbled to himself. He pulled out his gun and yelled to the crowd in various languages, all with the same message.
"(Everybody be calm! We're police officers and you're in great danger! Everybody take cover!)"
As the vamps kicked the door open, Tanner and Jones trained their sidearms on the vampires.
"Your little pea shooters ain't gonna help you, buddy!" one vamp sneered. "Lord Dracula is gonna take all of you down!"
Jones fired a few shots at the armoured vamps but the bullets failed to penetrate.
The head vamp smirked under his helmet and pulled out a sword.
The other two did so as well.
"It IS a damn renaissance fair." Jones grumbled.
Tanner quickly ran to the bar and pulled down a Winchester rifle that had been hanging above it. He turned to the bartender.
"(Is this gun real?)" he asked.
The bartender nodded.
"(You got shells for it?)" Tanner asked again.
The bartender nodded again and reached under the cash register for a box of shotgun shells.
As Jones' gun ran dry, he looked behind him and saw a battle axe hanging on the wall as a kind of decoration. "Screw it!" he said to himself as he threw his gun down and grabbed the axe.
While the three vamps were distracted, the other patrons ran for the exit in a panic.
As they came out, the other two RTR's fired up their engines and tried to herd the people back to the restaurant.
About a mile away, the Firestorm drove down the road. As Rory drove, the Doctor fixed a communications device.
At one point he accidentally intercepted someone's cellphone signal. It was someone from the restaurant calling for help.
"That did not sound good." said Amy. "Do you think we should interfere?"
"Of course we should!" said the Doctor. "Always do what you're good at. Rory, you know that red button I told you not to press?"
"Yes?" asked Rory.
"Press it!" said the Doctor. "And strap in tight."
"Okay." said Rory as he pressed the button.
The Firestorm suddenly rocketed to over 200 mph and sailed down the highway in a matter of seconds.
"Woo-hoo!" Amy whooped in surprise and joy.
As they came up to the restaurant, the Doctor pulled a lever and the Firestorm dropped back to normal speed as a parachute extended from its rear.
As Rory saw the two RTR's holding the crowd hostage, he looked at the control panel.
The Doctor pointed to two buttons in turn.
"Machine gun. Missiles." he explained. "I approve of their use this time as I can tell these guys in the Mustangs are vampires."
"REAL vampires? And not just those aliens we faced in Venice?" asked Rory.
"They're extinct now, remember?" said Amy.
"Yes. And the Time Lords had their dealings with real vampires in the past." said the Doctor grimly.
"Right." said Rory.
Inside the restaurant, Jones was more than holding his own against one vamp with the axe while Tanner blasted at the other two with the Winchester.
At one point, Tanner aimed for the lead vamp and took out the catch that connected his helmet to the rest of his armour.
Jones saw this and quickly dived in. With a powerful stroke, he took the head vamp's head off. This caused him to dissolve into a pile of ashes.
The other two saw this and looked stunned.
While they were disracted, Tanner fired both barrels of the Winchester at them and succeded in blowing them outside through a plate glass window.
As the two vamps got back up, they activated twin machine guns in each of the arms of their armour suits. The other two RTR's joined in with machine gun fire.
"Shit!" yelled Tanner as he and Jones ran for cover.
Suddenly, the Firestorm roared into the battle. With precise aim, Rory took out the machine guns on the two RTR's while the Doctor leaned out his window with his sonic screwdriver at the ready.
"Time you fellas loosened up a bit." he laughed as he fired a beam from the sonic screwdriver towards each of the standing vampires.
Their armour suddenly came loose at the seams and started to fall off.
"Holy..." one of the two vamps yelled as their armour fell completely off. They were now vulnerable to the sunlight. Within seconds, it started to burn both of them to ashes.
Seeing this, the other vamps in the RTR's performed bootleggers and drove off.
"Oh no you don't!" said Rory as he drove off after them.
Tanner and Jones ran out and returned to the Sorcerer and joined the chase.
The relieved patrons cheered as they saw the vamps on the run.
Tanner smirked as he drove down the road.
"And people think I'm useless outside the car!" he scoffed. "I think I handled that rather well."
"We would have been sunk if that weird British guy hadn't shown up, though." said Jones.
"Spoilsport." Tanner grumbled.
Professor Hikita had finished his computer search and addressed Team Colton, Memphis Raines' team and Jack Carter and Jo Lupo over the video link.
"Okay, that fake 'Cuda was registered to an Angelina Chitwood." he reported. "I've found out that she's a known street racer from the Arizona city of Palmont. She used to be the leader of a muscle car racing clique called the 21st Street Crew but a few years ago, she joined forces with another crew chief to form a group known as the Stacked Deck."
"Is there any info on those guys?" Memphis asked.
"I'm sending you the details now." Hikita remarked as he uploaded the criminal records of Darius, Kenji and Wolf to the respective cars' onboard computers.
"I think I saw these guys somewhere in England." said the Sphinx.
"Yeah. I seem to remember Brodie said something when we were talking in France about being pulled over by a bunch of American street racers in England. They apparently threatened Jay and Silent Bob." Jack Colton remarked.
"According to this, the one called Kenji was indeed arrested in Canterbury for street racing." Jo said. "The guy called Darius bailed him out."
"How did he pay for the bail?" asked Jack Carter.
"Way ahead of you." smirked Hikita. "He paid with his credit card and I got the details after a bit of hacking. I've now put a trace on it, so you can find him if and when he uses it."
"Great thinking, prof." said Ralph. "We can take care of one more threat to the Cannonballers."
"He last used it somewhere in Southern Spain." said Jo as she checked the readout. "And we've got all their current license plate numbers so that'll help. Great work, professor."
"Thank you, Jo." said Hikita. "By the way, I've made some progress in finding out who hacked GD's server for you."
"Do tell." said Jack Carter.
"Well, when I checked the files, I found this spam message in Fargo's email folder." said Hikita as he activated a link.
The image that appeared was a parody image of a magazine promo for Apple Mac, which showed a man in a black suit attacking a Mac computer with an axe. Coming from the man's mouth was a speech bubble which read 'I'm a PC...and you've been HACKED! LOSER!".
"My research has shown that this message has popped up in quite a few hacked servers and plundered databases recently." Hikita continued. "So it seems your hacker likes to leave a calling card. I've started to analyse the software used in the hack and it seems to be custom made. But I will find out who it is eventually. Considering whom we know to be opposed to the Cannonball this year, it shouldn't take long before we find a connection."
"Great, professor." said Jo. "You keep us updated, okay?"
"Sure thing." said Hikita as he signed out.
In Hungary, the two RTR's sped down the highway in a panic still being chased by the Firestorm and the Sorcerer. Night was starting to fall, but the vampires doubted they'd have an advantage for long.
In the leading RTR, the three vamps in it had removed their armour in frustration.
"Damned gimmicks! Ain't good for nothing!" the driver yelled.
"I think we've lost them!" said one of the passengers as he looked out the rear window.
"When they catch us they're gonna make us pay!" the driver yelled.
"You mean IF they catch us! Now drive the goddamn car!" the other passenger yelled.
"I'm driving the goddamn car!" the driver yelled as he went to go under an overpass. "Are you sure we've lost 'em?"
"Pretty sure." the first passenger nodded.
Suddenly, the Firestorm swerved across the road in the path of the RTR. In the front passenger seat, the Doctor had his window down and leaned out with the sonic screwdriver. He activated it and shorted out the custom Mustang's engine.
As it sparked, the driver lost control and the car flipped up and onto its roof.
Amy, driving the Firestorm, reversed and turned it around so it faced directly at the wrecked RTR.
As the vampires crawled from the wreckage, she smiled.
The vampires hissed and bared their fangs.
"You guys are too pale." Amy said. "I'll give you a tan!"
She activated the headlights on the Firestorm to their maximum brightness. The light was so strong, the vampires screamed in pain.
Within seconds, they had all smouldered away into piles of ash.
The Doctor looked happy, but also relieved. "Well, at least we know that adjustment works." he shrugged.
A little way back, the second RTR had taken a pounding from the Sorcerer's weapons.
The other group of vampires were panicking.
"I'll take 'em out!" one yelled as she pulled out a hand grenade.
Just then, the RTR hit a pothole, causing her to drop the grenade just as she pulled the pin.
Tanner slammed the Sorcerer's front bumper into the rear quarter panel of the RTR, spinning it out.
As the car went off a steep drop at the side of the road, it exploded in mid air.
As the car hit the bottom of the drop, the other group of vampires had been wiped out.
"Isn't that odd how it exploded BEFORE it hit the bottom?" asked Jones.
"Are you guys okay?" Amy's voice asked over the radio.
"Affirmative." Tanner reported. "That's that lot taken care of. Now, I think we should find and help out the Cannonballers who've been turned."
"Good idea." Jones nodded.
Gob had met up with Janice in the restaurant of the Pink Swan in Las Venturas.
"Hello, dearest." Gob smiled as he took Janice's gloved hand and kissed it.
"Gob. Good to see you." she smiled back as he led her to the table.
As they took their seats, a waiter gave them a pair of menus.
Janice looked at her's in shock.
"Good grief! How can they fit so many fattening dishes onto one menu." she exclaimed. "That mixed grill they're offering is practically a heart attack on a plate!"
"I'm sure you'll find something you like." Gob said reassuringly.
"Do you know how hard I had to work to keep the figure I have now?" Janice said indignantly.
"No, but tell me. It could be interesting." Gob lied.
"For years at high school, I got picked on for being slightly chubby." Janice said. "Shows how empty-headed those big-boobed skeletons on the cheerleading squad could be. Just because I didn't have borderline bulimia like them didn't mean I was like Kathy Najimy before she lost the weight. So to show those bitches, I dieted like crazy and kept to a strict fitness regime, WHICH I still adhere to. And I put on a whole load of muscle. Soon enough those bitches learned to rue the day they insulted me. Especially that stupid cow Lisa Barber. If her dad hadn't been on the PTA..."
As Janice ranted on, Gob leaned his head on his hand. "I've made a huge mistake." he muttered to himself as he continued to listen to Janice's speech.
Rob hid the Speedshifter in a shed somewhere in northern Italy.
"I think we lost them." said Stella.
"I hope we did." said Rob. "Those guys are starting to get on my nerves."
"Someone is getting on YOUR nerves?" asked Stella mockingly.
A police officer on a motorcycle pulled up. He climbed off and started to tell them something in Italian.
"This doesn't sound good." said Stella.
"He's saying that we're tresspassing here." said Rob.
Just then, Charger pulled up.
"Shit." muttered Rob. He promptly started the car, put it into gear, and tore out of the shed.
The police officer yelled at him as he raced past. Charger immediately got on his tail.
The officer ran to his motorcycle and picked up the radio microphone. He started to report on the situation when Stingray ran up behind him and covered his mouth with a chloroform soaked rag. He struggled to get out of her grip until he lost conciousness. Stingray picked up his helmet, put it on, and jumped onto the motorcycle.
The Speedshifter and Charger got onto the highway. Rob watched the Charger in his rearview as it raced up and rear-ended him.
"This guy just won't give up." said Stella.
"I've seen worse." said Rob.
Stingray raced up behind Charger on the motorcycle.
"And there's his partner." said Rob.
"Any ideas?" asked Stella.
"Watch." said Rob.
Charger raced up for another hit. Rob quickly turned the wheel and hit the brakes. The Speedshifter spun three-hundred and sixty degrees as the Charger and motorcycle passed it.
"Now, he's in our sights." said Rob.
Charger turned to Stingray and yelled "Plan B!"
Stingray nodded to him and raced off ahead. Charger concentrated on the Speedshifter.
Rob raced forward and rammed the Charger. Its namesake was thrown off balance, but managed to keep it together.
"Hit him again." said Stella.
Rob raced forward and rammed the Charger again.
"That's it." said Charger. "Stay behind me."
Rob rammed him again and jerked the wheel to get him to spin out.
"Keep it up." said Stella.
"This is the one that does it." said Rob.
As they rounded a curve, they came upon the motorcycle that Stingray had left in the middle of the highway while she stood off to the side. Charger saw it and smiled.
"Here we go." said Rob.
Charger swerved at the last second and let Rob race towards the motorcycle.
"Oh f-" yelled Rob.
The Speedshifter hit the motorcycle and flipped onto its roof. It ended up sliding quite some distance due to its speed.
"We got 'em!" cheered Charger.
"Are you alright?" asked Rob.
"Nothing too badly damaged." said Stella.
Stingray walked over to the overturned car and looked inside.
"No." muttered Stella.
The five remaining teams in the Puzzle Hunt sped through the streets of Genoa in Nothern Italy.
Pitt was more than a bit worried about the speed of the Peligro which was in front of the Panama.
"I know we want to win this puzzle hunt, but who put a firecracker up you guys' asses?" he asked over the radio.
"We haven't seen those guys with the weird masks in the Acura in ages!" snapped Giovanni in reply. "That can only mean they've got ahead of us! Which means that if we don't stop dragging our feet, THEY'LL BEAT US! You dumb cowboy!"
"Hey!" Pitt replied in a hurt tone.
The Thunder Rodd suddenly roared past both of them with flames coming out of its exhaust pipe. Taz was driving and babbling wildly.
"TAZ! You don't hold down nitrous! It's for quick boosts!" yelled Daffy in a panic.
Bugs quickly clamped a chloroform-soaked handkerchief over Taz' nose and mouth and let him fall unconscious. Daffy took the wheel as Taz fell backwards into his seat.
Within about three minutes, the five vehicles came to a stop outside the Aquarium of Genoa.
"This is the place." announced Ron as he checked Wikipedia once again on his cellphone. "Largest aquarium in Italy and the second largest in Europe."
"Does that thing's battery EVER run out?" asked Venom.
"It's helping, isn't it?" asked the Drake as they got out of the Utopia.
"It couldn't find Lake Anna in Barberton, could it?" grumbled Venom.
"Oh, can it, VERNON!" Ron taunted.
Venom grabbed Ron by the collar when Ron called him by his real name.
"Only certain people are allowed to call me that, and you ain't one of 'em! Watch it, pal!" Venom warned.
The challenge table was set up in front of the aquarium.
Gunn, the Drake, James, Marge, and Daffy all took seats for their teams this time as the officials placed their meals in front of them.
"For this leg of the puzzle hunt, a dish native to Genoa." the head official announced as the dome covers were removed.
The meal was a pasta dish cooked in pesto sauce.
"Ooooh, pesto!" James cheered excitedly. "I love Italian food.".
"Then let's dig in, pronto!" said Marge as the five Cannonballers placed their hands behind their backs to have them tied.
Ten minutes later...
As the chess clock rang, Daffy had finished the meal first.
"YAHOO!" he yelled. "WE GET THE CLUE! WE'RE WINNING! WE'RE AHEAD OF THE PACK!"
"Don't forget you have to share it with us." the Drake reminded him.
"Aw, nuts!" Daffy grumbled as his hands were untied and he took the clue from the official.
The other team members gathered around.
"Hey! Don't read over my shoulder! I'm going to tell you what it says!" Daffy snapped as he read the clue. "In Roman mythology, the goddess of wisdom, strength, strategy, and courage was known as Minerva. In another culture, she has a different name and has a city named after her. Find the ancient high city in this place and you will claim your grand prize."
"Mythology!" groaned Bart. "They never even tried to teach us that at school!"
"Well, maybe if you spent less time in detention, you'd learn a bit more." smirked Lisa.
"You guys are so uncultured it's unbelieveable!" said Giordino. "Don't you think it's a bit worrying that I know the answer?"
"You do?" Homer said in disbelief as Maggie also removed her pacifier in shock.
"I've picked up a few things on our various exploits." Giordino replied. "It's talking about the Greek goddess Athena."
"Which means it's talking about Athens in Greece." added Pitt.
"Which means the 'ancient high city' is the Acropolis in Athens." chipped in Gunn.
"Which means that's where the five mil for Europe is." said the Drake.
"Which means you're gonna EAT OUR DUST!" yelled Meowth as Team Rocket ran for the Peligro.
The other teams quickly rushed for their vehicles and fired them up.
Giovanni quickly turned on the Peligro's windshield monitor and called up Google Maps.
"Right! This route should work!" he said. "Now let's go!"
"Roger!" said Jessie as she put her foot to the floor.
KITT 3000 drove along a highway near Szekesfehervar, the regional centre of the Central Transdanubia region of Hungary.
Mike Traceur looked a bit frustrated as the Barbarian had gone on ahead of him to scout out the land, but KITT 3000 was currently stuck behind two slow-moving cement trucks driving one behind the other.
"It's a shame there's not enough room to Turbo Boost." he complained.
"I have an incoming message from Dr. Barstow." KITT 3000 remarked as the video image of Bonnie appeared on the windshield.
"Mike! You and your dad are in danger!" Bonnie said urgently. "KARR's telemetry finally showed up again. He's within three miles of your location."
Mike was alarmed...and then looked up ahead of himself. One of the cement trucks had now pulled over to the opposite lane and drove alongside the lead one. Both of them had started to pour quick-drying cement onto the road in front of KITT 3000.
Unable to stop in time, Mike drove into the small lake of cement and it dryed quickly around his tyres.
"Crud!" he yelled as he tried to pour on the speed to break free.
In the two cement trucks, two Afrrican men in military uniform smiled. They were members of PALM, the revolutionary group formed by Garthe Knight's associate Tsombe Kuna. Kuna had volunteered them to aid Garthe against the Cannoballers.
As KITT 3000 tried to get free, Goliath appeared in the road behind him. At the wheel was Kegaleisa. She laughed sadistically as she took aim with Goliath's missile launcher.
"I suggest, Michael, that this time we say 'to hell with the lack of space.'" said KITT 3000 as he activated his Turbo Booster to its' highest level. As the great speed boost took effect, the Mustang was able to crack and break free from the cement.
Using quick skills, Mike drove around the two cement trucks and roared up the road.
Kegaleisa grunted to herself as she drove Goliath off in pursuit of KITT 3000, followed by the two PALM mercenaries in the cement trucks.
About two miles up the road, the Barbarian was travelled at high speed.
Suddenly, with a squeal of tyres, KARR swerved out of an opposite line of traffic and got right on Michael's tail.
"I knew I detected him!" KITT said. "I just found it odd he was heading right towards us."
"Garthe hasn't changed then." said Michael as he sped up. "He still tries to get the drop on us!"
Garthe smiled in triumph as he, Yogostein, and Kitaneidas rode in KARR.
Garthe pressed a button on the steering wheel and a blue laser beam shot from the grille on KARR's front and hit the Barbarian.
The Barbarian's circuitry sparked quite a lot.
"That doesn't look good." Michael remarked.
"It isn't, Michael. My Molecular Bonded Shell has been disrupted!" KITT said. "We're now as vulnerable as an ordinary car."
"Surprised, dear 'brother'?" Garthe's mocking voice came over the comms. "A little something my new acquaintances came up with. Don't worry: it only lasts for two minutes."
"But two minutes is more than enough time to reduce both of you to scrap!" KARR sneered. "You have no chance of evading us for that long!"
To demonstrate his point, KARR boosted himself forward and rear-ended the Barbarian. It took a dent in the rear and nearly crashed into the back of another car on the highway.
Michael avoided the collision by the skin of his teeth.
"Don't count on your bastard son to help you either." Garthe laughed. "We took care of him. Now to put you out of my misery for good!"
Michael accelerated the Barbaian for all it was worth. KARR kept up with him as both of them wove through the dense traffic.
At one point, KARR nearly forced the Barbarian off the road by ramming its side.
KITT 3000 still dealt with the two cement trucks manned by the PALM soldiers. As one went to try and sideswipe him, Mike braked at the last minute and caused his cement truck to miss him. It went down the side of an incline near the road and rolled over.
The other cement truck got right on KITT 3000's tail and tried to ram him.
"Rotate your Turbo Booster, KITT." Mike ordered.
As KITT 3000 did so, Mike activated Turbo Boost. The unusual direction of the speed boost caused KITT 3000 to backflip completely over the cement truck and end up behind it.
As the PALM soldier looked above himself in shock, he went off the highway and crashed his truck into a tree.
"I hope that's the only time you'll ask me to do that, Michael." KITT 3000 warned.
Back up the road, the Barbarian tried to outdistance KARR.
Garthe and the two Pollution Ministers laughed as KARR kept up with KITT.
"(He wouldn't dare use Super Pursuit Mode in traffic as dense as this!)" Yogostein laughed.
"(He's evaded us for one minute, though, Garthe-san!)" Kitaneidas said. "(Finish him off before he gains his strength back!)"
Garthe smiled in a vicious way as he slammed twice into the Barbarian's rear quarter panel, trying to spin Michael out.
"Hold on, KITT! I've got an idea!" Michael said as he spotted a difficult turn coming up.
"I hate it when you say that." KITT groaned.
Michael pulled the handbrake. The Barbarian turned a 180 and now faced KARR head on.
Michael slipped the Barbarian's gear into reverse and drove backwards up the highway.
Garthe laughed arrogantly and came right at him, ramming into the Barbarian's front end and damaging it.
Michael continued driving backwards as a rear-view monitor showed what was behind them.
As their two minutes expired, KARR prepared to fire the disruptor beam again.
Just as he fired it, Michael activated KITT's deflector on the windshield, causing the beam to bounce back to KARR.
"Damn." KARR grunted.
Michael then looked at the rear-view monitor again and saw the turn almost on them.
He yanked the handbrake again and turned the Barbarian around to face the front again, just as Garthe prepared to t-bone him as he turned.
With amazing skill, Michael made the sharp turn at high speed and left KARR in his dust.
KARR, unable to turn in time, swerved and crashed his rear-end into a barrier closing off a dirt road into a quarry.
The impact dented his now-vulnerable side and lifted him off the road briefly.
As the injured Garthe and his Pollution Minister friends tried to recover, they heard the sound of police sirens.
"KARR? Can you still drive?" asked Garthe.
"Barely." KARR weakly replied.
"Then just get us out of here!" Garthe snapped.
KITT 3000 had now only Goliath to deal with.
Kegaleisa laughed as she fired missiles which Mike narrowly dodged.
Then, Yogostein's voice came over the radio.
"(Kegaleisa-chan! Adandon pursuit and come pick us up!)" he ordered. "(We need to make new plans...again!)"
Kegaleisa swore to herself and turned down a side-road that would let Goliath rendezvous with KARR.
"Good work, KITT!" Mike cheered.
"That could only be them out of action for Europe, Michael." KITT 3000 warned.
"We can still help out when the Cannonball reaches Africa." said Mike as he contacted the Barbarian.
"Are you two okay?" asked Michael as his image came onscreen.
"A bit shaken up, but okay." Mike smiled at his father.
"Glad to see I'm not rusty after all these years." Michael smiled. "And that you inherited a lot from me, son."
"Right. Now, let's make sure you get to Africa in one piece." KITT 3000 said as he sped up. "Garthe may be down but not out."
"I was afraid you'd say that." KITT groaned. "At least that big brute Goliath didn't score a victory."
"Thanks for the warning about Goliath, though. Bonnie said she may have an idea for dealing with it." Mike replied as he drove off to join his father.
Charlie, Lyle and Left Ear had arrived at the point where they had agreed to meet up with Stella and Rob.
"No sign of 'em." said Left Ear. "You think they haven't got here yet?"
"Are you forgetting who was driving the car?" asked Lyle.
Lyle's laptop beeped and he opened it up. A video image of Michael Bluth appeared on it.
"Hey, Napster." greeted Michael.
"The man knows! The man knows!" Lyle said happily.
"Yeah, I thought I'd start the message on a happy note, because you guys have got trouble." Michael added.
"Stella?" asked Charlie as he came over.
"Yeah. I got another message from those weirdoes with the muscle cars." Michael said. "The usual. Showing her tied up but with some bald guy who looks a lot like Frank with her this time. They're trying to use them both as leverage. Again. Or at least as far as Stella is concerned."
"Yeah, well WE'RE the ones who have the real problem." Left Ear said grimly. "Now that's two of our friends they've got."
"Did they say where they were?" asked Charlie.
"They only said some heavily-fortified place in Italy. And they're giving us two hours to respond or else."
"Which means WE can't help because we're in the middle of the Balkans right now." Buster said as he leaned into view on the monitor. "We're really sorry about this. But we DID contact two teams of Cannonballers who can help."
"They should be there..."
The Bisonte and the Falcon suddenly drove up and parked near the Terrific.
"...any minute now." Michael finished.
"Thank you very much, kind sir." Charlie smiled as he saw Brodie wearing the Chaos mask as he climbed out of the Falcon. His jaw dropped when he saw Jay and Silent Bob were wearing their Bluntman and Chronic costumes as well.
"We're here to deal with all the low-life shit-suckin' sacks of elephant piss in the world! SNOOTCHIE BOOTCHIES!" Jay yelled triumphantly.
Brodie looked at them with good humour. "Thank you, good citizens. Your help is appreciated."
"Are you kidding?" asked Darius as he got out of the Bisonte. "Do you guys even have weapons?"
"Check it out!" said Jay as he pulled out a sword hilt. He activated it and a lightsaber-like beam emerged from the hilt except the 'blade' was shaped like a joint.
"What in the hell is that?" asked Left Ear in shock.
"It's a bongsaber." said Lyle. "They were used in that movie based on these guys."
"George Lucas is gonna sue somebody." grumbled Frank. "But seriouly, can we get our arses in gear and help your friend and my second cousin out, Charlie?"
"Will do. Napster, start a search and see if those muscle cars have been seen anywhere in Italy in the last 24 hours." Charlie ordered.
"On it." said Lyle as he climbed into the Terrific with his laptop still active.
"We can also check our system for any large installations within two hours' driving distance of here." Frank added as he activated the Bisonte's monitor screen.
"I've got a batch of stuff from Shavers we can use." said Darius as he took out guns and handed them out. He then opened the box with the bullets in them. They were specialized tranquiliser darts.
Effective as the tranq you shoot an elephant with." Darius explained. "Also stings like a bitch."
"Great." said Left Ear as he took one. "Not too loud, are they? I'd hate to lose my hearing completely."
"Ever hear of silencers?" asked Darius as he handed out some gun suppressors as well.
"Hopefully, they'll not be needed, though." said Charlie. "Now, let's get going."
The Rumor sped along the Costa Blanca in the Valencia region of Spain. Dom and his team enjoyed the beautiful scenery as they kept up high speed.
"Reminds me a bit of when I drove my Chevelle down the Baja Peninsula." Dom said contentedly. "I understand this region's popular with English tourists."
"Hell, I think ANY tourist would love this place." said Vince. "Can we stop so I can get Nico a souvenir?"
"What do you get a three-year old kid in a Spanish tourist trap?" asked Brian.
"I'm sure I could think of something." said Vince haughtily.
Just then, there was a roar of an engine as a silver Nissan 350Z suddenly cut out from behind and got alongside them.
The Z-car had Nismo suspension, sway bars, and an Extreme Dimensions body kit. Dom could tell from the sound of the engine that there were tuned cams and headers under the hood as well.
"Looks like a challenge." said Brian as he looked over at the Nissan.
Sitting behind the wheel of the Z-car was a bald-headed, clean-shaven African-American man with a mischievous grin on his face. He showed Dom's team his middle finger and then wagged it around a bit.
"Shit. It's Rome." sighed Brian, as he recognised his childhood friend Roman Pearce. Dom smiled as well as he remembered Roman's help on a past job.
In the Nissan with 'Rome' were a Hispanic man wearing an orange vest top and orange and green striped doo rag and another African-American man with a beard and moustache and a small Afro hairdo.
Brian recognised them respectively as Orange Julius and Slap Jack, two street racer friends of his from his time in Miami.
O.J. signalled for the Rumor to pull over.
"Why am I doing this?" sighed Dom as he pulled over.
"To remind the tough guy there who's numero uno in our crew, of course." said Vince with a big grin.
The Rumor and the Nissan came to a stop in a lay-by.
Rome, O.J. and Slap Jack smirked as they approached Team Furious.
"'EY, YOU GUYS!" greeted Rome. "Glad we caught up with ya! How's the Cannonball goin'?"
"Pretty good so far." said Brian. "So what brings you guys here?"
"I wanted to visit some of my familia." said O.J. "Also, your eses Rico and Tago told us there was some great action in Europe as far as racing goes."
"Hell, we're not just going to Europe. We've got Asia and Australia on our travel list as well." said Slap Jack.
"I just had the Zenith here modded out after blowing away some guy in a Z31 in Madrid." said Roman, gesturing to the Nissan.
"Right. It's a Z-car so you pick a name starting with 'Z'. Very clever." smirked Dom.
"Surprised you know a word like 'zenith'." Brian joked.
"We named her that 'cause she's at the peak of her performance after we got through with it at the performnce shop." smirked Slap Jack.
"So, you pulled us over just to say 'hi'?" asked Vince.
"Hell no! We want to see if we can beat you guys!" smirked Rome.
"Did you ever wear a helmet when you were riding a bike, Rome?" Dom asked jokingly.
"'ey! You had YOUR chance to beat Dom, crazy-ass white boy! I wanna see if a brother can do better!" Rome replied.
"You're SURE that's what you want?" asked Dom as he raised an eyebrow.
"Bet your ass, cabron." O.J. said.
"The AP-7 Highway along the coast should do for a quarter-mile drag." said Slap Jack. "No money or pinks this time, though. Just the respect."
"You better be sure, pal." said Vince. "Like our pal Jesse would say, you don't climb in the ring with Ali just 'cause you think you can box."
"It's okay. We'll do it." said Dom as he folded his arms. "I could use a break from the monotony. Plus, no-one's allowed out of Europe until that vampire shit's dealt with. We can afford to kill some time."
"You're in over your head, Rome." Brian smirked as all six street racers went to head for the starting line.
In Rome, a couple of the RTR's approached the Vatican City. The vampires in the cars had removed their armour and applied a white lotion to their skins.
"You sure this'll work?" one asked. "I mean it was Deacon Frost who thought of it. He wasn't even goddamn pureblood."
"It'll work long enough for us to get through with our business here." another spoke up. "Should work better than that overrated armour did for our brothers and sisters back in Austria."
"Yeah, well do you wanna be the one to admit to Lord Dracula that we disobeyed orders?" the first vamp said.
"Enough!" the driver of the first RTR snapped. "We are carrying out his orders by coming here. When we're through with God's representative and the order he stands for, Lord Dracula will make us heroes! And with an organised religion in our group, nobody is safe!"
The vampires all laughed and hissed hungrily as they made their final approach to the Sistine Chapel.
The Rumor and the Zenith raced side-by-side down a stretch of the AP-7 Highway. At a spray-painted finish line a short distance away, Brian and Vince cheered for Dom to win. O.J. and Slap Jack did likewise for Roman.
Dom held onto the lead for most of the race. As they came to the final stage, Rome activated his shot of NOS and got ahead.
"YEAH! COME ON, MAN! GO!" yelled O.J.
"Buster." Dom smirked to himself as he went to activate the Rumor's NOS shot.
When he pressed the button, there was a pathetic little hiss and nothing happened.
"What the...?" he said in shock. He then looked up to see that Rome was about to win the race.
"Nononononnono!" Vince yelled in shock.
Dom tried to catch up, but sure enough, the Zenith crossed the finish line first.
Dom braked and hit the steering wheel in frustration.
As Rome got out of the Zenith, O.J. and Slap Jack high-fived him.
"That was some good driving, ese!" O.J. smirked.
Brian went over to the Rumor and looked stunned. Vince joined him.
"What the hell, Dom? Did you LET him win?" asked Brian.
Dom gave him a withering look.
"Vince, come here." Dom said in a serious tone.
Vince came over to the window. When he got there, Dom slapped him on the top of the head.
"You ass clown! I told you to make sure the NOS was always fully stocked!" Dom yelled. "We ran out! And now look what's happened!"
"But, Dom..." Vince began.
"DON'T 'BUT, DOM' ME!" Dom yelled. "It was your goddamn responsibility to check the NOS and keep it filled up! I give you ONE friggin' job to do and you can't even do that!"
Brian looked at Vince partly angry but partly with satisfaction. "Who's the buster now?" he said.
Rome and his crew went to get back in the Zenith.
"Better luck next time, homeboys!" Rome said in triumph.
Dom glared at Vince. "You'd better hope that we get a rematch. Now get your ass in the back! Brian, you're up front with me. I know I can count on you."
"This is bullshit, bro!" Vince yelled.
"Talk to the hand!" Dom said as he held his palm up in front of Vince's face.
The Red Fury came to a stop in the Vatican, and the Red Rangers climbed out.
"Have you heard that some of the Cannonballers were turned into vampires?" asked Mack.
"I heard, but vampires don't exist, right?" said Casey.
"They do actually exist." said Nick. "In fact the Pink Ranger of my team was one of them. We had to break the curse to change her back. Her sire was cured as well and is now living back in Briarwood."
They then heard several screams in Italian. They didn't know what was being said, but they knew it was a cry for help can coming from the Sistine Chapel. They made their way inside and found the Swiss Guard fighting several vampires.
"Hey! What are you freaks doing!" Nick asked the vampires.
"Isn't it obvious, mortal?" said the lead vampire. "We've been waiting for this day for a long time. With His Holiness on our side, we can finally get more food and more converts from the Catholic Church. All on orders from Lord Dracula."
"Not if we can help it!" Casey said. "It's morphin' time guys!"
Race Central watched via their spy satellite.
"The Power Rangers are once again showing that no evil will stand in their way!" said Misty.
"I've got a good song to perform for them." Jezz said.
"Should we be doing it, though?" asked Willy.
"Hey, if Megadeth could do a version of it, so can we." said Percy.
"Megadeth would do a song for practically ANY movie soundtrack in the 90's." grumbled Dick.
"Come on! Let's go!" yelled Jezz.
Love Fist then took the stage and started playing, just as the Rangers pulled out their morphers.
"Magical Source! Mystic Force!"
"GALWIT MYSTO RANGER!"
"Jungle Beast! Spirit Unleashed!"
With the Rangers morphed, they ran into battle.
They've got a power and a force,
that you've never seen before.
They've got the ability to morph,
and to even up the score.
Casey struck down a couple of vampires with his fingers, using them as claws. Then he fired off his animal spirit in a projectile. The spirit of a red tiger rushed at the two and turned them into ash upon impact.
No one can ever take them down.
The power lies on their side.
Nick used his mystic wand to literally burn up the three vampires he was facing, when two more charged at him. He then turned his wand into its sword mode and struck them down. They didn't immediately burn into ash, and Nick realized something.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
You Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
"Hey guys! These vampires are wearing sunblock! We can't burn them in the sunlight coming in through the windows!"
"Yeah but we can use other methods to take them down!" Casey replied as he used his tiger spirit to destroy two more vampires.
They know the fate of the world,
is lying in their hands.
They know to only use,
their weapons for defense.
Mack brought down two vampires with his Drive Lance, then clocked another in the face with his fist and wiped some of the sunblock on his glove. When said vampire fell into the sunlight, it immediately burst into flames.
No one will ever take them down.
The power lies on their side.
Getting an idea, Nick used his wand to summon red towels for all three Power Rangers, who tackled and wiped off all sunblock off of the vampires' exposed skin.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
You Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
They pushed them into the sunlight and killed them instantly.
No one will ever take them down.
The power lies on their side.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
You Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
Go, go, Power Rangers.
-"Go, Go, Power Rangers" by Ron Wasserman.
The three Red Rangers gave a victory pose as Love Fist finished the song.
"(Thank you Power Rangers.)" Pope Benedict said in Latin.
"No problem, your holiness." Mack said.
"You knew he said 'thank you'?" Nick asked.
"Of course. I was programmed with just about every language on Earth. Helps on expeditions you know."
In Southern Spain, Lidell had just exited a roadside restroom when he saw the Maria Serpente, Cowboy, and Squalo all rushing past.
"I don't like the look of that." he said to himself.
Then, with a huge engine roar, the silver Super 8 Hemi that had spied on the Killer Cars back in San Andreas drove past as well.
"And I REALLY don't like the look of that!" he said. "Sorry, Darius, but you're own your own."
He ran over to the metallic black '69 Chevrolet Corvair Monza he'd been issued and drove off in the opposite direction.
"At least I won't have to listen to those fools' jibes about my wheels any more." he remarked.
In the Maria Serpente, Jack Carter checked his scanner.
"It's confirmed. The Stacked Deck are at a garage up ahead. Darius just used his credit card to buy gas." he reported.
"If it's okay with you, I want to deal with the bitch who ran us off the road." Sway growled.
"Yes, ma'am." Memphis said in a deferring tone.
The Super 8 suddenly overtook all of them.
"What the hell?" asked Jack Colton.
The large concept car quickly outdistanced them.
At the garage, Angie, Wolf and Kenji all waited as Darius walked away from the gas pumps.
"Okay. We need to think up a new strategy." Wolf remarked.
"It better involve me getting a set of wheels I WOULD like to be seen in!" Angie snapped, angry that she'd had to ride in the Civic.
"At least tuners drift better than muscle cars." Kenji defended. "I thought that permanent scratch you got on your Charger would have told you that!"
"HEY! Enough okay!" Wolf said.
"Exactly." said Darius. "If we fight among ourselves we'll be caught off guard by these Cannonball assholes!"
Suddenly, a loud crash came from around the side of the garage.
They looked around the corner to where Kenji had parked the Civic.
The mysterious Super 8 had t-boned the tuner into the wall of the garage. It had completely wrecked the engine bay.
"Like that." Darius deadpanned.
The four racers pulled out their guns. Before they could open fire, the windows of the Super 8 were rolled down and the Stacked Deck immediately came under fire from machine guns.
"CRAP!" yelled Wolf as they dove for cover.
As Angie ran towards the garage store, she found her way blocked by Sway. The Cannonballers had shown up.
"Out of my way, blondie! Or I'll put a bullet through your face!" Angie yelled as she held up her gun.
"Make me, dearheart." Sway cockily said.
Angie went to pistol whip Sway with the gun. Sway dodged and delivered a strong punch to Angie's gut. She then twisted Angie's arm and made her drop her gun.
As this slugout continued, Jack Colton, Ralph, Memphis and Sphinx stood by cheering Sway on.
Joan had decided to join Sway in getting revenge on Angie.
"Watch it, lady!" Ralph sarcastically yelled to Angie. "These girls pull hair!"
"Should we break it up?" asked the Sphinx.
"Hell no! I'm enjoying this." said Memphis.
Jack Colton filmed what was happening on his iPhone.
"I could put this up on youtube, but I don't want to be skinned alive!" he joked.
As this had been going on, the three men of the Stacked Deck had run for Darius' Audi, firing a few unsuccessful gunshots and got in.
Darius fired up the engine and the three men of the Stacked Deck sped off.
The Maria Serpente had shown up.
"Oh no, you don't!" said Carter as he took off down the road after the Audi.
Within less than a minute, Carter and Jo got the Audi in their sights and Carter closed in for the capture.
Looking in his rear-view mirror, Darius cursed at seeing their pursuers. He kept his foot down but had difficulty gaining ground.
"Why aren't we losing 'em?" yelled Wolf.
"Because I've got you two geniuses in the car, that's why!" Darius snapped. "You're weighing us down!"
"Hey, don't pass the buck to us 'cause you didn't upgrade this ride when you had the chance!" Kenji yelled back.
The Maria Serpente had now pulled up alongside the Audi and tried to force it off the road.
"Come on, jerkoff! Come on!" Darius smugly yelled as he pushed the Audi for all it was worth, gaining a lead by about fifty yards.
As this happened, Jo activated the Jump Jet and the Serpente soared over the top of the Audi and turned to block the road.
With lightning-fast reflexes, Darius swung a 180 and drove the opposite way at high speed.
"YEAH!" yelled Wolf.
"Suck our dorks, porkrinds!" Kenji yelled as he gave the finger.
Carter grunted and turned the Serpente around. Within a few seconds, he and Jo were back on Darius' tail.
"Shit! Not again!" groaned Wolf as he saw the Serpente chasing them again.
"Shut up!" Darius yelled at him.
As both vehicles sped down the road, a truck was approaching fast from the other direction on the narrowing road.
The Serpente and the Audi again tried to force each other off the road.
"Eat this, losers!" yelled Kenji as he leaned out his window with a baseball bat and swung at the Serpente a couple of times.
"Easy, Carter!" Jo cautioned as she saw that the Maria Serpente drove on the side of the road overlooking a steep drop.
Carter had focused so much on trying to make Darius stop that he didn't notice the oncoming truck until the last minute.
"CRUD!" he yelled.
Just before the truck was upon them, Darius hit his nitrous shot, performed a masterful turn and got ahead.
The Audi moved around the truck and overtook with no problem.
He, Kenji, and Wolf laughed as the Serpente came to a screeching halt just short of hitting the truck head-on.
The Serpente had spun out and Carter pounded the dashboard.
"Dammit!" he yelled.
The truck had stopped too and the driver angrily honked his air-horn at the Eureka residents and yelled in Spanish.
Meanwhile, Darius steered the Audi up a dirt road leading to a mountaintop.
Just as he reached the top, the V8 Ghost suddenly pulled out from a side road and pushed the Audi to the edge of the cliff.
Darius had slammed on the brakes as soon as he saw the white Lotus.
Mr. Incredible had parked right up against his driver side door.
Darius tried to open it and confront the superhero family, but with a blur of movement, Dash ran out of the V8 Ghost and clamped a club on the Audi's steering wheel and a boot on the front wheel.
Moving equally fast, he snatched away Darius, Kenji and Wolf's guns and handcuffed Darius to the steering wheel and Kenji and Wolf to their respective armrests on their doors.
As Dash left the Audi, Mr. Incredible nonchanlantly drove forward a bit and forced the Audi's door closed.
"It wouldn't be wise to try anything heroic." Elasti-Girl smiled.
With his free hand, Mr. Incredible picked up a CB.
"The Incredibles here, Sheriff Carter." he reported. "The other three nasties are in our custody. They ain't going nowhere."
Back at the garage, Joan and Sway had finished kicking the tar out of Angie. Angie now lay across the hood of the Super 8 with her hands cuffed behind her back.
The Cannonballers thanked the occupants of the Super 8.
"So, you guys were the 'John Doe' who warned us back at the start?" asked Jack Colton.
"That's right." said Keith Martin, the first blond caucasian man with the red jacket. "And we're colleagues of Richard Miller as well."
"When we heard he was called in by Mr. X, we decided to chip in as well." said Robert Baxter, an African-American man with a blue jacket.
"No point in the 'One Man Army' hogging all the fun." said Claude McGarren, the man in the SWAT team battle gear.
The Maria Serpente had returned.
Jack Carter and Jo looked in confusion at the new arrivals.
The other blond caucasian an in the grey and blue jacket, Wesley Lambert, held out a VSSE I.D. card.
"It's okay. We're here to help." he said.
"Did those other guys get away?" asked Alan Dunaway, the dark-haired main in the red and grey jacket.
"Not at all." Jo smiled. "The Incredibles cornered them. We let the local policia know about it."
"I hope Richard will appreciate you guys giving him and us a bit of help in the field." said the Sphinx. "We certainly do."
"We do our best." Claude said. "And so does the Reckoning."
"That beast there?" asked Jack Colton, nodding to the Super 8.
"Yep." said Alan.
"What is it with our protectors and REM albums?" mused Memphis.
"Don't worry about the Stacked Deck." said Carter. "It's a complete 'do not pass go' situation for them now."
"Thanks, fellas." said Sway as she and Joan mopped their brows.
"This PMS is murder." Joan joked.
"Tell me about it." laughed Sway. "And I've never even been married."
"We've managed to track those villains' muscle cars to somewhere outside Naples." said Frank over the radio. "You can find our location if you use the GPS system in the Bisonte."
"Working on it." said Lyle as he worked on his computer.
"So, let me get this straight." said Brodie. "These guys mistook your girl for the former girlfriend of another racer and are trying to use her to blackmail him?"
"That's correct." said Charlie.
"How long do you figure before they realize their mistake?" asked Jay.
"If they haven't by now, they might never." said Left Ear.
"Okay, I've got their location." said Lyle. "It's a military complex outside of Naples. It was designed for the planning of secret operations and prisoner interrogation. It is to be put into operation next month. Oh, this is a problem. The complex is equipped with a gas dispersal system containing a powerful knockout gas. After it is released, it takes thirty minutes to break down and become safe."
"That's long enough to lose positions." said Brodie. "We should probably try to hold our breath as we escape."
"If you inhale the gas, it will render you unconcious for three hours." said Lyle.
"Just thirty minutes, you say?" asked Brodie.
Silent Bob turned to Jay. "If you get gassed, I'm not hauling your fat ass out of there." said Jay.
At a rest stop near the forest where they had been bitten in Austria, Priss and Savo stood overlooking the view of the woods from above by moonlight. The Streetfighter was parked nearby and a wolf's howling could be heard in the distance.
"Please resist the urge to make any remarks about the children of the night." Priss playfully warned Savo. "I don't know about you, but I feel invincible! Like this, I can handle any cop who tries to cite me for speeding! Just a little nip, and no more problem!"
"Exactly." Savo said. "This whole world could be ours if we throw in our lot with Dracula."
"You like the idea of joining up with him?" Priss raised her eyebrow.
"Why not? I feel invincible too. The whole Russian army couldn't stop me! Check this out!" Savo yelled as he jumped high up into the air and turned into a bat.
"Can you hear me?" his voice said in Priss' head.
"Cool." Priss smirked.
"I think the opportunity is approaching for you to show what you can do." Savo said telepathically as he saw a convoy of Cobra Python cycles approaching, followed by the Thunder Machine.
It was the Dreadnoks, following the homing beacon Storm Shadow had earlier attached to the Streetfighter.
"That looks like the nice bit of fluff ol' Chromedome said caused him some trouble." smirked Ripper as they pulled to a halt.
"She looks like a bit o' fluff that bites, mate." said Gnawgahyde.
"Wuss." sneered Torch.
The Dreadnoks dismounted their bikes and approached Priss from behind. She had turned away from them.
Buzzer held out his chainsaw and motioned for the other 'noks to hold back for now.
Buzzer held out his chainsaw and said "Guess who's here?"
Priss turned to him and bared her fangs.
"Or don't!" said Buzzer, terrified. Then he ran.
"Where the bloody 'ell are you goin?" Yelled Torch.
"She's the bleedin' undead!" Buzzer yelled as he pointed.
Priss had now fully bared her fangs and hissed wildly.
In the Thunder Machine, Thrasher powered up the miniguns and opened fire.
The bullets ripped into Priss but she still stood tall and little to no damage was done.
As the 'noks looked shocked, Priss inhaled and then exhaled. This expelled the bullets from her body and her wounds instantly healed.
"Now you've made me mad!" she laughed. "I may be bulletproof but I don't like getting shot.
Roadpig let out a loud roar and ran in with his cinder block hammer. He swung it right at Priss, but she effortlessly sidestepped and Roadpig slammed his hammer into the ground, breaking the cinder block. He looked stunned.
"You broke Roadpig's hammer!" he said. "That's not good! Donald won't be happy!"
Priss slammed her fist into Roadpig's mid-section and knocked the wind clean out of him. She then lifted him high up despite his huge bulk and threw him up against the Thunder Machine. The impact was so hard that the armour covering the Thunder Machine's windshield got heavily dented and nearly ripped the top off the cockpit.
"Come on, ya bloody morons! Kick 'er arse!" Zarana yelled from her cycle.
"YOU can try if ya want!" said Monkeywrench as he, Buzzer, Ripper and Torch rode off. "No reward is worth getting our arses 'anded to us by Lily Munster there!"
Zarana and Zandar got ready to attack Priss, but were then both surrounded by a flock of bats. As they tried to keep the bats away from them, Savo suddenly materialised in the haze and beat Zandar into submission.
Savo hissed and turned to Zarana.
"Leave her! She's mine!" smirked Priss nastily. "I'd like to see if I can do a better job of beating her down than Lady Jaye did back on Cobra Island."
There was suddenly an engine roar and a loud horn blast. When Priss and Savo turned around to see what it was, they were suddenly blinded by a bright light. They both roared in pain at the intensity of it. It was UV light, being directed from two lamps on the Trio Incarnate.
"That's a low enough setting to incapacitate but not kill them, boss." said Rawhide at the driving wheel.
"Fire the nets then." ordered Buckaroo.
Two metallic mesh nets shot out and sealed themselves around Priss and Savo.
Zarana decided on discretion and mounted her cycle to ride off.
Thrasher had pulled both Zandar and Roadpig back into the Thunder Machine and fled after her.
Rawhide had now doused the lights while Reno and Perfect Tommy took Priss and Savo inside the Trio Incarnate.
"We apologise for this, guys. But to use a cliche, you'll thank us later." Reno remarked.
"At least that alloy the nets are made of is strong enough to hold them." Simms remarked.
"Yeah. Found out about it in a little correspondence I had with the Doctor a while back." Buckaroo smirked.
"Doctor what?" asked New Jersey.
"Not 'what'. 'Who'." Buckaroo mischeviously smiled.
"Will I EVER get enough carte blanche at the Institute to know all that goes on?" Jersey groaned.
The Megere had pulled up just as the Dreadnoks had departed.
"What was their hurry?" asked Elizabeth. "They could have an accident and end up like me."
Buckaroo noticed the Megere.
"Hey, Dave, Darryl. Any word on Drac's castle?" he asked.
"Yeah, we scouted out a few locations and found the right place." said Darryl. "No doubt that the place is bloodsucker central. I was hit by one of the biggest dark auras I ever felt! Nearly made me puke my guts up."
"We've sent the details to the other teams heading there." David confirmed. "I just uploaded them to your GPS there, Dr. Banzai."
"Right. I think there's enough of us to handle the threat. You guys just continue with the race. You've been a great help." Simms saluted.
"Tear those things a new one for us!" Smirked David.
In the Italian military complex...
"Okay, here's the plan." said Darius. "While Bob disarms the gas dispersal system, Lyle hacks into the complex's computer system and does pretty much whatever we ask."
"And Charlie and Darius rescue Stella." said Lyle. "Meanwhile, the rest of us stay behind as backup."
"Exactly." said Frank.
"So do I get to whup some little bitch's ass?" asked Jay as he waved his bongsaber around.
"Wait and see." said Darius as he and Charlie raised their tranq guns and crept through the main entrance.
Charlie quickly ducked behind a corner when he saw a security camera.
Silent Bob reached into his Bluntman costume and pulled out what looked like a laser gun.
He fired it at the camera and shorted it out.
"A real damn laser gun?" Darius whispered in disbelief.
"Okay, guys." Frank's voice came over their earpieces. "The gas dispersal control room is about 200 feet down the left side of the corridor on the east side of the detention block. The cells are on the west side about fifty feet from it. But be very stealthy. It won't take the kidnappers long to figure out something's up."
"Roger." Charlie whispered.
Silent Bob looked up and saw a vent cover on the ceiling. He pulled out another gun device and shot a miniature grappling hook, taking the cover off. Once the passage was open, he retracted the zipline and then fired the hook again and attached the other end to his belt so it could lift him up to the vent.
"I'll be darned. Captain Chaos, you've got yourself some competition." Charlie said.
"I heard that, good citizen." Brodie replied over the earpiece. "Bluntman is a fellow crimefighter like me and I see no need to compete with him."
"Okay, Lyle, we're on our way." said Darius as they headed for the stairs.
As they went, Silent Bob started to crawl through the ducting. Not an easy feat considering his girth.
Lyle got on his laptop.
"Okay, here we go. Shutting down the cameras so those morons won't see what's happening." he said as he clicked a button on the keyboard.
In a common room, Stingray, Charger and AMX sat playing Texas Hold 'Em in a security room when the cameras suddenly shut down.
"Huh? How did that happen?" asked Charger.
"No need to panic. With this place still under construction, there's bound to be glitches in the system." AMX said.
"I'm ready. Just in case." said Stingray as she reached for her waist and took the safety off her gun.
Back on the ground floor, Jay got restless.
"Goddamn it! When are we gonna see some action?" he yelled. "I didn't get dressed up like this to look good!"
"That's okay. You don't look good." joked Left Ear.
"Citizen Lyle, how goes the system hack?" asked Brodie.
"I'm into the security system now. Just looking for the disable locks command."
"Hey, can I do it?" asked Jay. "I'm good with that shit!"
Lyle looked at Jay down his nose.
"From what I heard, you didn't even know what the Internet was until ten years ago." Lyle said.
"So, I didn't know the right way to drive before that but I picked up on it." Jay beamed.
"How about a compromise, friends." said Brodie. "Citizen Lyle, if you talk Citizen Jay through the process of releasing Stella and Rob from their prison, then you can both have been of help."
"Yeah, come on, ya dorky little asshat!" Jay yelled in anger.
"SHHHHH!" Left Ear whispered.
"Alright, but you'd better know what you're doing." said Lyle as he let Jay take over the keyboard.
"Okay, so, what do I do?" asked Jay.
"The screen is on security systems map, okay? Scroll through the 'Commands' menu." instructed Lyle.
Jay followed his instructions. Jay beamed.
"B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his name-o!" he whispered. "I see the open security doors command."
"Yeah, well there should be a list of locations for it." Lyl said.
"Yeah, there is." said Jay as he looked at the sub-menu. "Rear doors, front gate, research facility. All that shit."
"Is 'Prison Cells' there?" asked Left Ear.
"I'm trying to find it!" Jay protested. "So many things need locked up here you'd think it was the friggin' Area 51 of Europe!"
"I tell you what. Just hit 'p'." said Lyle.
"Hit what?" Jay asked as he turned around to face Lyle.
"'P'." repeated Brodie, Frank, and Left Ear.
"What?" said Jay, even more confused.
"'P' on the keyboard!" Lyle hissed.
"I'm not gonna do that!" Jay said in disgust. "It's friggin' gross! Besides, wouldn't it short circuit the thing."
Lyle rolled his eyes and took over control again.
"It's 'p' for 'prison cells', chucklehead!" Lyle growled.
"Sorry." said Jay sheepishly.
On a winding road in the Carpathian mountain region of the Ukraine, the Regalo and the Wayfarer had a friendly race.
As Howard got a lead on him, Yogi suddenly felt a strong headache.
"I feel very weird." he said. Suddenly, his eyes misted over. He lined the Regalo up behind the Wayfarer and activated the Regalo's nitrous.
"YOGI! What are you doing?" yelled Ranger Smith as he quickly grabbed the steering wheel away from Yogi and avoided hitting the Wayfarer.
Yogi snapped out of it. "What just happened?" he asked.
"What do you mean? You almost killed Howard!" said Cindy as the Regalo got ahead of the Wayfarer.
"It felt like I was under someone else's control." said Yogi in a dazed way.
Huckleberry looked concerned. "Didn't they say something about a psychic villain back at the start?"
"I think this is him coming up now!" said Quick Draw as he saw Yuri and Mr. Chairman coming up behind them in their stolen Tesla.
Yuri had his hand to his temple and projected his powers. He had now taken control of Howard's mind. Howard turned the Wayfarer around and activated the front-mounted guns under the headlight.
Yogi had to fight to avoid the fire as Howard shot at them.
As they got past him, he turned around and came after them, still firing.
"They don't get away that easily!" smirked Mr. Chairman as he took out his remote control and activated the laser weapon on ACME's Triple S satellite.
"Hold on, guys!" yelled Yogi as he desperately tried to avoid the red laser beams being shot at them from outer space.
Amazingly, he had more trouble avoiding Howard's gunfire than he did avoiding the satellite laser.
"What the hell are you doing?" asked Yuri as he removed his hand from his forehead.
"I thought those morons fixed that glitch with the targeting system!" Mr. Chairman groaned in frustration as he kept trying and failing to get a fix on the Regalo. He then realised that Yuri no longer controlled Howard's mind.
"What the hell are YOU doing, you halfwit?" he yelled.
"Damn." said Yuri as he saw that Howard raced towards the Tesla with all guns blazing.
"No one messes with my cerebral functions!" Howard yelled.
Yuri attempted to focus his powers again, but was distracted as the Air Raid chopper suddenly appeared overhead.
"Take that chopper out!" yelled Mr. Chairman.
Yuri tried to attack Bullseye with his mind but couldn't make a connection.
"They're blocking me!" Yuri yelled in anger.
Sure enough, Bullseye wore a special helmet which blocked psychic powers.
Mr. Chairman clenched his teeth and drove the Tesla off, swerving around Howard and off on the mountain road.
The Air Raid chopper kept after him.
Close behind on the road was the Silver Bullet.
Hardtop kept up the speed in the car.
"Those informants of yours really helped, Lone Wolf." he said.
"Of course. Now let's nail these a-holes!" said Lone Wolf.
The Silver Bullet got alongside the Tesla.
The two cars brushed against each other as Mr. Chairman tried to force Hardtop off the road.
As they reached a section of the road on top of an incline, Hardtop performed a PIT manouvere and caused the Tesla to crash through the railing.
The Tesla's rear end hung off the top of the incline.
Hardtop threw the Silver Bullet into reverse and backed into the Tesla.
This caused the stolen car to roll down the steep incline and eventually come to a halt on its roof.
"Another hostile taken out." said Hardtop. "And I'm still reading life signs from the car so our buddies are still alive."
"Okay, Bullseye. They're all yours." said Lone Wolf over the radio as Bullseye flew the Air Raid towards the crash site.
Mr. Chairman and Yuri had crawled out of the wreckage. They were bruised and battered but still willing to fight.
They both looked up to see the Air Raid swooping down on them with its siren blaring.
"Here, give me that!" said Yuri as he snatched the satellite control from Mr. Chairman.
As the Air Raid was nearly upon them, Yuri smirked and fired a laser blast from the satellite.
It hit the rotors of the Air Raid, making it spin wildly.
"Shit! Coming in for emergency landing!" said Bullseye as he moved the chopper away to a reasonably safe landing zone.
"Now, I believe we must, as they say, skedaddle for now." said Yuri. "But at least they now know we are no pushovers."
"They still have Fat Boy to deal with." agreed Mr. Chairman.
The Silver Bullet had caught up with the Regalo and the Wayfarer.
"Thanks, you guys." said Boo Boo.
"We have a feeling it's not over yet, though." said Lone Wolf.
Sure enough, parked on a road above them was the Wildboar. Big Boss and Squeaky regarded the Cannonballers with hungry expressions.
Big Boss smirked as he pulled on the Total Anarchy mask.
Camaro sat in the gas system's control room, keeping a watch over the controls.
He heard the sound of metal straining and looked up to the ceiling.
"Something's fishy here." he thought to himself.
He raised his walkie-talkie to his mouth.
"Guys, I think we need to be prepared." he said aloud.
"Bluth can't be trying anything." said Charger in reply. "He's too stupid."
"Let's be ready, just in case." Stingray chipped in.
Charlie and Darius waited just around the corner from the prison cells where Rob and Stella were held.
"Lyle, how goes it?" whispered Darius.
"I thought you'd never ask." chirped Lyle in a cheery, musical voice.
After working through the security system, he finally hit the command to unlock the prison cells.
"YEAH!" yelled Jay in triumph.
"Okay, let's go join them." whispered Frank as he and the others snuck up to join Charlie and Darius.
In the gas system room, Camaro had turned around in his swiveling seat to face the back of the room. He looked up at the ceiling and saw that cover of a vent fall off.
Smirking to himself, he pulled out his gun and aimed it in front of him as Silent Bob dropped out.
When Bob saw Camaro aiming his gun at him, he looked deflated.
"Word to the wise, chubby." Camaro said. "That crawling silently through vent shafts only works in the movies. In the real world, you make a lot of noise doing that. Ain't you ever seen 'Mythbusters'?"
Bob glared at him.
"You especially shouldn't expect the process to be silent if you're as fat as Pop 'n Fresh." Camaro added nastily.
Keeping one hand on the gun, Camaro picked up his radio.
"We have a situation here!" He said. "One of the Cannonballers..."
Suddenly, Silent Bob kicked out with his left foot and knocked the gun away while Camaro was distracted.
Camaro angrily got to his feet.
"I'll deal with the Great Retardo here and you guys keep those two Brits from escaping!" he yelled back into the radio.
"Right! We're on our way!" Stingray replied.
Camaro set the walkie-talkie down and took up a fighting stance against Silent Bob.
As they began to duke it out, Charlie and Darius ran past the door to the control room with the newly liberated Stella and Rob in tow.
Rob had noticed the fight going on.
"Shouldn't we help 'em?" asked Rob.
"We'll rendezvous with the others and then take out these creeps first." said Darius as Lyle, Left Ear, Frank, Brodie and Jay ran up to them.
"Good work, good citizens!" Brodie smirked.
"Hi, Rob. Good to see you." said Frank as he saw Rob.
"Not our typical family reunion day is it?" joked Rob.
"Okay, so let's grab the tubby bitch and get outta here!" yelled Jay. "We gotta race to win!"
They all heard the sounds of guns being cocked.
They turned around to see Stingray, Charger and AMX all pointing AK-47s at them.
"Who's the bitch now, you pothead plankhead?" sneered Charger. "Now we just have more hostages to bargain with."
"And unlike you wimps, we KILL! Hence our nickname: the Killer Cars!" AMX said.
"I hope a goddamn giant cartoon cat comes along and crushes ya!" grumbled Frank.
"What?" asked Charger in confusion.
"What? You make jokes but you haven't heard of 'Monty Python'?" asked Rob.
"Well, the lot of you better watch it, or you will be ex-Cannonballers." sneered Stingray.
"You'll be bereft of life and resting in peace!" added Charger.
"You'll have shuffled off this mortal coil!" laughed AMX.
"Always comes back to that goddamn Parrot sketch!" moaned Brodie. "They did do other great stuff too!"
AMX aimed his gun at Brodie's feet. "Maybe I should make you dance and sing 'The Lumberjack Song' at the same time!" he chuckled. "You look like you'd look comfortable in high heels, suspenders and a bra! Ya gender-confused wuss!"
While this was going on, Silent Bob fought with Camaro in the room. Suddenly, Bob caught Camaro with a punch to the nose and sent him stumbling across the room. Unfortunately, Camaro fell on the control panel for the gas dispersal system and activated it accidentally.
As the warning klaxons sounded, Bob ran out of the room.
Camaro got back up off of the floor and yelled "Where are you going? Get back here and fight like...shit." He then tumbled to the floor and passed out.
The klaxons also sounded in the main room.
"What's that?" asked Charger.
"That's the warning for the gas dispersal system." said Darius.
"We have to get out of here before we're knocked out." said Stella.
"Wait, you're not British!" said AMX.
"And you're not stupid." said Stingray.
"Well, it's about time you figured that out!" said Stella.
"We've made a huge mistake." said Charger.
"We have to get out of here!" said AMX as he ran into the exit tunnel.
"Wait, don't go that way!" yelled Lyle.
AMX ran into the exit tunnel, stumbled, and fell into the elevator unconcious.
"The system is designed to disperse into the exit tunnel first." said Lyle.
"There!" said Left Ear as he pointed to the office nearby.
The Cannonballers ran for the office. Stella looked over her shoulder and saw Charger keel over and drop to the floor.
The Cannonballers entered the office and Charlie slammed the door behind him.
"We should be safe now." said Chaos.
Suddenly, Stingray ran up to the door and started pounding on it. "Open this door now!" she yelled.
"If I open the door, it'll break the seal!" said Stella. "You'll have to find another way out!"
Stingray pulled her gun and aimed at Stella. "Open this door before I get to three!" she yelled. "One! Two!" Before she could get to three, she dropped her arm, rolled her eyes, and collapsed.
"This is unbelievable." said Charlie.
Just then, Silent Bob ran into the main room and looked around.
"Oh no." said Stella.
"God." said Frank.
Bob looked at the unconcious villains, then looked at the door to the office. Jay looked through the window in the door distraughtly.
"Jay." muttered Bob. He then got dizzy, grabbed the edge of the table, and fell to the floor. Jay cringed.
At Dracula's castle, Buffy's and Mortimer's teams got out of their cars.
"Well, Miss Summers." said Mortimer. "Have you brought the vampire-hunting gear?"
"I never leave home without it." said Buffy. "Did you bring the Vamprocillin-D?"
"I bought one for everyone Dracula has bitten." said Mortimer.
"Great, let's go vampire hunting." said Veronica.
"Let's wait for the others first." said Bob.
The Maniac 2 was the next to arrive. Max, Liam, and Laura climbed out. "What's the word?" asked Max.
"Vampires." said Buffy.
"Oh yeah." said Laura. "That old thing."
"What's the plan?" asked Max.
"I thought we'd do some recon first." said Jordan. "After that, we'd get the rest of our guys in there and defeat Dracula. In the process, we try to cure our friends."
"Recon?" asked Max. "I'm on it."
"Don't, Max." said Liam. He turned to the rest and said "Look, I know Max is probably our most qualified specialist for an infiltration, but it's dangerous. He's my cousin. He's my best link to my family in the New World. I'd prefer if someone who could handle themselves went in there instead."
"Then you probably should have stopped him." said Veronica. "He snuck off while you were explaining why he shouldn't go."
"What?" yelled Liam as he turned to Max's position to see he was gone. "Oh, bloody idiot! I knew we shouldn't have mentioned that in front of him!"
On a dark highway nearby, the Evenflow drove along. Victoria cursed her luck at not finding any Cannonballers so far. Little did she know she would face an even bigger threat.
Out of the woods came a pair of vampires who watched the Evenflow drive by.
"Looks like the main course." smirked the first one.
"My favourite kind too: female." hissed the other as he bared his fangs.
The two vampires climbed into their SUV and drove off after the Evenflow.
After about a minute, they had caught up with the Evenflow and rear-ended it.
"What the...?" yelled Victoria.
The vampires got alongside her and tried to force her off the road. As the vamp driving the 4X4 kept trying to run her off the road, the passenger jumped out the window and landed on the road.
He quickly clung onto the underside of the Evenflow and drove his left fist into the floor, trying to break through.
"Shit!" Victoria yelled as she tried to fight off this two-pronged assault. She took one hand off the steering wheel and groped for her gun.
Still keeping one hand on the wheel, she tried to fire at the SUV.
"Don't worry! It won't hurt!" the vamp driver hissed as he leered at her.
Victoria fired a shot from her gun directly into the vamp driver's eyeball, blinding him briefly.
As the SUV swerved off the road, a long and sharp branch that jutted out from a tree smashed through the SUV's windshield and right through the vamp driver's heart. He screeched as he disintegrated.
Seeing his companion dead, the other vamp renewed his efforts to punch and claw his way through the underside of the Evenflow. His hand burst through and he clawed at Victoria's feet.
Gritting her teeth, Victoria drove the right side of the Evenflow up a narrow embankment and flipped the car over.
As it came crashing back down on the road, it was badly damaged. Victoria's safety belt saved her from serious harm. As the Evenflow came to a halt, she quickly undid her belt and got out of the car.
She looked at the almost completely wrecked Chevelle in fear to see if there was any sign of movement from the underside.
"Please tell me you're dead, you freak!" she said in her mind.
Just then, the Murmur drove up. It swerved a bit as Dudley slammed on the brakes and indignantly got out.
"What do you think you're doing, stopping in the middle of the road like that?" he demanded of Victoria, oblivious to her frightened expression. "Don't you know you could..."
An unholy roar interrupted him as the vampire lifted the Evenflow off himself and prepared to attack.
"Oh dear." Dudley deadpanned.
"RALLY HO!" yelled Fluid Man as he swirled himself out of the Murmur and completelty soaked the angry vampire.
The vamp screamed as if being burned by acid and slowly dissolved into nothingness.
"Let that be a lesson to you in picking on helpless people!" Fluey smirked.
"How...?" asked Victoria.
"A brief visit to a church about ten miles away from here." Coily said. "When we heard there were vampires around, we decided to help out by getting Fluey consecrated."
"Well, I guess I should thank you guys." said Victoria. She winced at the sight of the Evenflow. "Just a pity my car had to get totalled."
"Don't worry!" beamed Dudley. "The best mechanic in all of the RCMP is here to help."
He took out a bag of tools and immediately got to work on fixing up the Evenflow.
"Why are you guys helping me when I'm against the Cannonball?" she asked.
"There's been a situation this continent that requires us to put our differences aside." said Multi.
"More of these bloodsuckers you mean?" she asked. "I guess I can live with letting the moving violations slide this once then."
"I'll have your car fixed up in no time, m'am." Dudley beamed.
"I hope so." said Victoria. "I'm sick of this new Hollywood trend of wrecking classic American muscle."
At Orange County prison, a box truck pulled up to the gate. Golem jumped out of the driver's seat.
"Whatcha got?" asked the guard.
"Vending machine delivery." said Golem.
"It's about time." said the guard. "Those ice cream sandwiches have been piling up since that Bluth guy left."
"Uh, yeah." said Golem. "That's why I'm here."
"Okay, I need you to sign this." said the guard as he handed Golem a clipboard.
"Alright." said Golem. He started to sign the form and yelled "Boom! Pow! Bam! Bang bang bang bang bang!" He showed the form to the guard and asked "Do I need to put my middle initial?"
The guard shook his head.
Golem went back to signing the form. "Bang bang bang bang bang!"
Lester and Luther watched from the truck. "Did this guy sustain a lot of piledrivers in the ring?" asked Lester.
"Here you go." said Golem as he handed the form back to the confused guard.
"Thank you." said the guard.
"We're in." said Luther.
Max crawled into a hallway in the castle. "Boy, I don't want to go through that again." he said.
He got back up and snuck down the hall through the shadows. As he came to an intersection, he heard voices and stopped at the corner.
"This is a nice gown." said Dylan as she looked over the white gown she wore. "Dracula definitely has good taste in fashion."
"You're right about that." said Natalie as she looked in a mirror while wearing a similar gown. "Wish I could see how I looked in it." All she saw in the mirror was the wall behind her.
"I'm concerned about something." said Alex. She wore a similar gown. "Hyde suggested we retreat to Dracula's castle to attract the Cannonballers here. What if they manage to sneak in and we miss it?"
"Relax, Alex." said Dylan. "We're vampires now. Our senses have been enhanced."
"Let's see how enhanced sense handles no sense." whispered Max. "Whisper, on!"
He was surrounded by a blue glow and walked past the hallway without making a sound.
"Smooth sailing from here." he said.
That's when he came across Roger whose hair was rather messed up.
"Where do you think you're going?" asked Roger.
"Oh, is there a bathroom around here?" asked Max.
Roger went to attack him and he ran.
The Yellow Bird travelled along a road in Greece. Tommy had taken over the driving from Claude.
"So this is Greece... Still the same as it is every time I drive through here." Tommy said to himself. "I think those temple ruins look different somehow. Did they film that remake of 'Clash of the Titans' here?"
"Hey, watch out!" C.J. yelled suddenly.
Tommy swerved wildly to avoid an empty car that seemed to have been thrown towards the Yellow Bird. The team managed to avoid injury.
"Where the hell did that come from?" Tommy demanded.
Just then, two more cars suddenly appeared out of thin air and flew towards the Yellow Bird.
Tommy used every driving skill he had to avoid harm, but it got increasingly difficult.
This strange occurence was a power of Total Anarchy. The Wildboar was about fifty yards behind the Yellow Bird and Big Boss stood up through the sunroof in the rear seat, wearing the evil mask. As he conjured up more and more cars out of thin air and threw them at the Yellow Bird, he laughed evilly with a strong resonance to his voice.
"Keep on them, Squeaky!" He yelled. "Nothing can stop us now! Total Anarchy shall run rampant on the Cannonballers!"
"Right, Big Boss!" Squeaky smirked as he kept right on the Yellow Bird's tail.
Tommy had managed to evade most of the thrown cars but one clipped the side of the Yellow Bird and nearly knocked it off the road.
"We shall try something new." Big Boss thundered and reached out his hand.
The driver of an oncoming car suddenly stiffened and swerved into the Yellow Bird's lane, driving right towards them.
"SHIT!" C.J. yelled as Tommy narrowly avoided a crash by swerving at the right moment.
Claude glanced behind them and saw the Wildboar...and Big Boss with the Total Anarchy mask. He tapped C.J. on the shoulder and pointed their enemies out to them.
"I should have known it was that asshole mask!" C.J. said. "I bet if we break the wearer's concentration it would help us."
Claude pointed towards a button on the dash.
"Tommy, I'm gonna use that modification I made." C.J. said as Tommy still tried desperately to avoid being hit by other mind-controlled drivers nearly ramming headlong into the Yellow Bird.
"DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!" Tommy yelled in a panic.
C.J. hit the switch and a spike strip slid out of a hatch on the rear of the Yellow Bird and landed on the road.
As Squeaky drove the Wildboar, he failed to see it. As he ran over it, the Wildboar went out of control as all four tyres were punctured.
The wild swerving threw Big Boss out of the sunroof opening. He fell on the road and rolled for about thirty feet.
"WHOOOOOOO!" C.J. yelled in triumph as the Yellow Bird made its escape.
Squeaky got out of the disabled Wildboar to check on Big Boss. Big Boss groggily got up and groaned in pain. But as he looked at his injuries through his torn and dirtied clothes, he saw them healing incredibly fast. Within seconds the pain was gone.
Despite this loss to Tommy's team, he laughed in triumph.
Squeaky looked worried. "Are you okay, sir?"
"Nothing could be more perfect, my friend!" Big Boss laughed. "As I said, NOTHING will stop Total Anarchy. If DeMarco wants it, he'll have to haggle."
"Is that wise?" asked Squeaky.
Big Boss let out a menacing laugh again. "He's an insect compared to Total Anarchy! If he thinks he can defeat me, I will crush him like the drug-peddling parasite he is!"
Big Boss' laugh became thunderous.
Squeaky became more than a little unsettled.
The Cannonballers entered Dracula's castle.
"Max, where are you?" muttered Liam.
"Guys!" yelled Max. He had climbed to the second floor and now held onto a gargoyle. "I climbed out here to escape them. Can you get me down?"
"Sure, no problem." said Liam.
"Just a second." said Buffy. "Were you bitten at any time in this castle?"
"Ya bit? Huh? Ya bit?" asked Tuesday.
Suddenly, Max lost his grip and fell to the floor. His mask fell off and revealed he was still human.
"He's fine." said Laura.
"Relatively speaking." said Liam.
Just then, Eric, Kelso, and Fez burst in. Buffy raised the wooden stake in her hand.
"Whoa! Easy there!" said Eric. However, Buffy kept her stake up. "It's okay." said Eric. "I'm not a vampire. See? No fangs. Decent skin tone. I bet if you took your compact out, you'll see I've got a reflection."
Buffy raised her stake into a throwing position.
"Look, I know this isn't exactly my field." said Eric. "I'm only here to help you handle Hyde. When we find him, I'm sure he'll respond better to us. Just spare me, alright? There's something behind me, isn't there?"
Eric turned around to see that Dracula was behind him.
"Well, you've returned." said Dracula.
"I come back more often than Shirley MacLaine." said Buffy.
"Let's get this over with." said Bella.
"Very well." said Dracula. "But first, a snack."
Dracula looked to Eric. Eric said "You don't want to suck my blood." then swept his hand in front of Dracula's eyes.
"I actually do." said Dracula.
"You don't want to suck my blood." said Eric before he swept his hand in front of Dracula's eyes again.
"I am certain that I do." said Dracula.
"Eric," said Fez through gritted teeth "you are not a Jedi."
"This is for Hyde! Catch!" said Bob.
He threw the Vamprocillin-D to Eric. Unfortunately, Eric wasn't ready and it bounced off his chest and fell down a hole.
"Oops." said Eric.
"Come on!" yelled Fez. He and Eric ran to the stairs.
A prison guard walked up to DeMarco's cell with a small package. "Hey, you've got yourself a delivery." he said.
"Must be my lucky day." said DeMarco as he got off his bench and walked over.
DeMarco took the package and opened it while the guard walked away.
The package contained a note which read "Stay right there."
Suddenly, the back wall of the cell exploded and collapsed. Lester and Luther poked their heads through.
"Oh good." said Lester. "It was the right cell."
"Coming, boss?" asked Luther.
DeMarco ran for the hole in the wall as the guard came back.
"What was that explo...oh, shit." he said.
"How do we get out of here?" asked Luther as he pulled up his shirt.
"Let's see." said Lester as he looked at Luther's chest. "The tunnel leads to the basement, then to the courtyard...then it hits this mole. Really, you should get this thing looked at. I guess the passage leads to the loading dock where we have the truck."
"What truck?" asked DeMarco. "Who's watching the truck?"
"Some guy we brought." said Luther. "We told him to watch the truck."
In the loading dock, Golem stood near the truck and looked at it.
Natalie engaged Laura in combat. "Once I get that pretty little mask off, we've got another recruit." said Natalie.
"Not having it." said Laura. She put her hand to Natalie's shoulder and said "Doctor, on!"
A wave of white energy spread from Laura's glove to Natalie's body, knocking her back.
"Just as well." said Laura. "I'd probably lose my mind if I became a vampire."
"How did you know that would work?" asked Max.
"It works all the time in role playing games." said Laura.
"Sweet." said Max. "My wife's a closet geek."
Katie tangled with Corey.
"Kill me, Corey." said Katie. "Wouldn't you like to explain to dad?"
"We found a way out of this." said Corey as he grabbed Katie by her wrists. "For you and Roger. We can restore you to humanity."
"Why do you want to do that?" asked Katie as Corey pushed her to the wall. "I'm immortal. I'm super powerful. I am a god!"
Tuesday immediately started to wrap a rope around Katie's wrists. "Sorry, one is all we need." said Corey.
Tuesday hooked the rope onto a wall mount and said "Now, let's get Roger."
"Don't leave me here!" yelled Katie. "Untie me and face me like a man!"
"I will NOT give up on you!" said Corey.
Mortimer battled with Roger.
"I think it's time you joined us." said Roger.
"I dare you to try." said Mortimer.
Roger came at Mortimer with a clawing attack. Mortimer tried to hold him off with a simple blocking move, but failed. Roger grabbed Mortimer and prepared to bite him on the neck.
"Now for the prize." said Roger. As he went to sink his fangs into Mortimer's neck, Bob hit him over the head with a vase.
"Sorry." said Bob. "Didn't earn it."
"Why did you do that?" asked Mortimer.
"He was about to bite you." said Bob. "By the way, you need to work on your defense. It almost looked like you were trying to get bitten."
Buffy tangled with Dracula.
"Can't you feel the terror?" asked Dracula.
"This is my sworn duty." said Buffy. "I am not afraid."
"You will be." said Dracula. "You...will...be."
He launched a dashing attack at her, but she managed to dodge it. She responded by thrusting a wooden stake towards his chest. He deflected the attack and swung his fist at her. She dodged again.
Dracula ended his swing facing away from Buffy. She quickly took out her stake and tried to drive it into his back. He intercepted the strike and turned to face her.
"Nice try." he said. "But nobody gets me from behind."
He forced her hand back over her shoulder. She dropped the stake into her other hand and immediately thrust it into his chest.
"They always get me in the front!" he gasped just before he disintegrated.
The vampires all stopped fighting to see what had happened.
"Okay." said Buffy. "Who's next?"
The other vampires all looked at each other. They all decided on discretion and fled the chamber.
"Wimps." Buffy smirked.
As the vamps ran for the castle's main entrance, the Trio Incarnate sat in wait for them.
"You guys could do with a tan." laughed Simms as he activated the huge UV lamps on the Trio. The vampires howled as they were burned to a crisp.
Any vampires not caught in the beams were gunned down by Rawhide and Reno with the mounted stake cannons.
Within a few minutes, all that was left of Dracula's minions was a huge ashpile.
"Clean-up on aisle twelve!" Billy jokingly remarked.
Two guards at the prison looked over a tablet.
"The phantom vehicle phenomenon is rather widespread." said one. "Look here. It says that a Brtish man in the early 80s crashed his car while trying to avoid a truck that suddenly appeared coming towards him and then vanished."
"Yeah, I think I know what really happened." said the other. He mimed drinking from a bottle.
Lester, Luther, and DeMarco snuck through the tunnel. They came to the courtyard.
"Great, we'll never get past those guards." said Lester.
"Not a problem." said Luther. "I gave Golem a radio." He picked up the radio and pressed the transmit button. "Golem, we need your help."
Golem started looking around confused.
"We need you to take out those two guards." said Luther.
"Help me!" yelled Golem. "I'm possessed!"
Luther facepalmed himself. "I told him what this stupid thing is." he muttered.
"Let him finish." said Lester.
"Is everything alright?" asked one of the guards.
"I'm infested with ghosts!" yelled Golem as he ran towards the guards.
"Sir, I suggest you calm down." said the other guard.
"Calm this!" yelled Golem. He grabbed the two guards and threw them together, knocking them out.
"How about that?" asked Luther.
He, Lester, and DeMarco left the tunnel and approached Golem.
"Golem." said Luther. "Are you okay?"
"I'm possessed!" yelled Golem. "I don't know what's going on!"
"It's okay!" said Luther. "We got rid of them. The ghosts are gone."
"Huh? How?" asked Golem.
"Uh, this." said Luther as he held up the radio. "It's a ghost repelant. It scared off the ghosts."
"Oh." said Golem.
"Can we go now?" asked DeMarco.
"Right." said Lester.
All four of them piled into the truck. Lester started the engine and backed towards the exit. Suddenly, two police cars pulled out and blocked the exit. Lester backed right into them.
Warden Gentiles walked out into the courtyard. "Futile effort." he said. "I think you and your friends will be spending time in the White Power Bill Memorial cell."
"Plan B." said Lester. Everyone ran into the back of the truck.
"Men, can you please recapture Mr. DeMarco?" asked Gentiles.
The guards approached the truck. They stopped when they heard an engine start.
"What do we have here?" asked Gentiles.
The back of the truck fell onto the hoods of the police cars. Inside, the Snakehead roared to life.
"Great, get us out of here." said DeMarco.
Luther put the car into gear and drove out of the truck, over the police cars. Golem cheered in the passenger seat.
"And so another great plan comes to fruition." said Lester.
"Now, let's work on some more." said DeMarco.
"Okay, now that Dracula's out of the picture," said Bob "it's time for your medicine."
"It's about time." said Katie. "If I have to live forever, I'm going to go broke keeping up with modern fashions."
"THAT'S your main concern?" asked Tuesday.
"You first, Angel." said Bob as he tossed a vial to Dylan. Buffy gave him a curious look.
Dylan drank the Vamprocillin-D. "I don't feel anything yet." she said. "When's it supposed to..." Suddenly, the Vamprocillin-D took effect and she was changed back into a human. "Ah, that's better." she said.
Natalie and Alex had also been restored to humanity. Natalie checked out the dress she'd been given in the mirror. "This is a nice dress." she said. "Can I take it with me?"
"Well, I don't see why you have to be dead to wear it." said Max. "Go right ahead."
Roger and Katie had also been restored. "Well, that's a load off my mind." said Katie.
"Now, let's get back on the road." said Roger.
"Um, Roger?" said Corey. "I've got some bad news." He handed Roger a mirror.
"Why? What's...?" asked Roger as he took the mirror. He looked into it, saw his messed up hair and screamed.
Maeve had been restored as well, after finally coming down off her caffeine high. She looked relieved as some colour returned to her cheeks.
"I'll make sure I heed warnings from superstitious old ladies from now on." she sighed.
"I'm glad you're not going to miss being a vampire." said 99. "What about your car?"
"I think I'll keep the tinted windows. They look cool." Maeve smiled. "I'm more worried about what to tell my boss about where I've been the past few days."
"I'm sure our officials can sort something out." said Buffy. "Probably involving a pay raise and some vacation time.".
Over in another corner of the room sat Priss and Savo. Buckaroo had just administered their dosage of Vampirocillin-D after bringing them in from the Trio Incarnate.
"I feel much better now." said Priss. "I hope I'll get my bike back, though."
"No problem, Priss. I had New Jersey bring it along from the rest stop." Buckaroo smiled. He then turned to Savo. "Your team-mates have been notified and are on their way."
"Good." Savo replied. "I can't wait to get back in the race. What WAS that metal the nets were made of anyway? It must've been the strongest I'd ever seen."
"It's called dwarf star alloy." Perfect Tommy said. "It's the hardest metal in the universe."
"Now I can see why the Doctor told you about it." smiled Priss. "You can be counted on to keep it a secret. Though I suppose you'll have to call your friends from MIB now that you've told us about it."
"It's okay." said Buckaroo. "If you do keep it quiet I can ensure that your past history of traffic violations in Tokyo can be erased."
"Now, that I like the sound of." beamed Priss.
"So, you say that Dracula resurrects every year?" asked Mortimer.
"Oh yeah." said Buffy. "He's got some kind of connections. There's always something that pulls him back."
"Thank you." said Mortimer. He walked over to Dracula's ashes and tucked in his card. "This is my number." he said. "When you come back, be sure to ring me up."
"Hey, what happened to Eric and his team?" asked Corey.
Eric and Fez ran through the lower levels of the castle.
"It should be over there." said Fez.
"I hope so." said Eric. "This is the bottom level."
Suddenly, Hyde appeared in front of them. "Going somewhere?" he asked.
"Look, Hyde." said Eric. "You know that I'm not exactly a perfect specimen. I actually had to be checked by a doctor to prove I couldn't pass gym class."
"I found it!" yelled Kelso as he held up the Vamprocillin-D.
"Found what?" asked Hyde.
"Uh, a blood sample we took from Fez to see if he was worthy of biting." said Kelso.
"Then let me see." said Hyde. He took the Vamprocillin-D from Kelso and drank it. "This doesn't taste like blood." said Hyde. "Are you sure this is..."
Suddenly, he started to convulse and twitch. After a few seconds, his fangs disappeared and his skin tone returned to normal.
"What just happened?" asked Hyde.
"Oh, yeah!" said Kelso. "That wasn't Fez's blood! It was that stuff that turns vampires back into people!"
"Oh, man!" said Hyde.
"Did it work?" asked Fez.
"Yeah. Yeah, I think so." said Hyde. "I don't have this urge to drink blood anymore. I do, however, have an urge for a little you-know-what. Forman, did you remember to pick up any in Holland?"
"Sorry." said Eric.
"Hey, Kelso." said Hyde. "Thanks for curing me. It was kind of fun being a vampire, but I really wouldn't want to repeat that."
"Hey, Hyde." said Kelso. "I had to do it, man. You know, because friends help out friends and you needed help in a big way. Even if I had to trick you like that, it was worth it to save you."
"Come here, man." said Hyde. He put his arm around Kelso and hugged him.
"Can we go now?" asked Fez.
"Yeah, we gotta." said Eric.
"Let's go." said Hyde.
The group then started to walk out of the room. Then, Kelso and Hyde stopped.
"Oh, Hyde." said Kelso. "There's one other thing. BURN!"
Kelso ran out of the room laughing while Hyde just stared at him.
Herbie sped down the road towards Athens so he could reach the main bridge leading to Africa. Right on his tail were the Jawbreaker, Opus, and Starbreaker.
"You guys in the bug have nowhere to go!" yelled Banner over his loudspeaker. "We're gonna squash ya!"
Herbie started to honk his horn erratically at Team Disney Guys' pursuers.
"Hey, it's morse code!" Donald remarked.
"Is he talking to the cops?" asked Goofy.
Mickey had a listen to the morse code Herbie was beeping and looked stunned.
"I certainly hope so." he said. "And I thought Herbie could be so polite!"
"WHAT?" yelled Bullock in the Jawbreaker as he heard Herbie's morse code. "NOBODY says that about my momma!"
"We're gonna wash his tailpipe out with soap!" Montoya agreed.
LaFours glared angrily and put his foot down in the Opus.
The Cannonball Squad members all poured on their speed and tried to attack Herbie.
Once again, the resourceful VW used his quick agility and moves to avoid any collisions or attempts to spin him out.
"Hold still, dammit!" yelled Bender in the Starbreaker as Herbie somersaulted over him and Banner and landed behind them.
"Rotten sportsmanship if you ask me." grumbled Banner.
"Okay, Goofy." said Mickey as he flipped a switch. "Time to see if your time spent playing Mad Dog's game paid off."
A hatch opened above one of Herbie's headlights revealing a small cannon.
Goofy took control of a firing switch and lined up all the police vehicles in the crosshairs of a HUD in front of him.
"Here we go!" he smirked as he pressed the trigger.
The cannon shot out one of Buckaroo's disruptor disks and it clamped on to the rear panel of the Starbreaker.
Within seconds, its engine was shorted out in a shower of sparks.
Goofy quickly changed aim and fired disks at the Opus and the Jawbreaker as well, soon putting each of them out of action.
"YEAH! SO LONG, YA BIG SISSIES! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" yelled Donald as Herbie jumped over the disabled vehicles, leaving them in the dust.
"I really, really, REALLY hate these guys!" grumbled Montoya.
Banner raised his eyes heavenward. "Are you testing me or something, Lord?" he asked.
"Hey. There's no need to bring religion into it." Bender said reassuringly.
"Isn't there?" snapped Banner. "It cannot be possible that we underestimated these guys."
"Looks like it IS possible to me." Bender sighed.
"Oh, it's alright for you!" Banner snapped. "You normally just look after some jerkwater Route 66 town! I have to worry about the whole United States! And now the whole world is counting on me to keep the road safe!"
"Hey, let's not get personal." Bender said, slightly offended.
Banner sighed. "Okay, I'm sorry. Let's get the cars fixed and meet up with the others on the coast."
Now that the vampire situation had been contained, several Cannonballers had decided to test their skill on one of the most challenging roads in Europe.
It was the Transfagarasan highway, famous for being chosen by 'Top Gear' as the best driving road in the world.
Five Cannonball vehicles roared out of a long tunnel leading onto the highway.
In the lead was the Reaper, followed by the Vulcano, the Megere, the Darkness, and the Avenger.
They all came to a stop and lined up, one behind the other.
"Righteous." said Darryl in appreciation as he gazed down the mountain at the many hairpin turns, sudden drops, and other challenges the highway presented.
"You thought it was tough dealing with vamps?" David smirked. "That was a piece of cake compared to this."
"Hey, Frank, are you sure you wanna do this?" Stone Cold asked Frank Castle.
"Sure." said Frank as he fastened a helmet onto his head. "I'd love to kick you guys' asses on this challenge."
Takumi smiled and revved the Reaper's engine.
"Finally we get in on some action!" he said.
"Don't let the Akagi Red Suns down, then." K.T. said.
They heard a horn honk, and turned to see the Primus driving up.
They all looked surprised as it came to a halt.
"Hey, Jerry. Good to see ya." said Nina. "We never thought you'd catch up this quickly."
"You'd be surprised what I'm capable of." said Jerry. "And I had enough time to find out my family history in Cardiff."
"And now you want to do THIS?" spluttered Captain Pierce as he got a good look at the route ahead of them. "I swear, you are trying to kill me. And please don't tell me to relax."
A satellite camera from Race Central observed everything. Misty kept watch as the Killers took the stage.
"We believe that a challenge like this deserves some appropriate music." Misty said. "Anyone have any requests."
"Sure do, Misty." Jerry spoke up. "In honour of my recently discovered roots, I would like to request 'The Road' by that great Welsh band The Alarm."
"Well, whaddaya know?" said Ronnie. "We get to do two great driving songs."
"Okay, Jerry. Do your ancestors proud!" said Brandon as Jerry and the others revved their engines.
Jezz Torrent came onstage with them. "I seem to recall this song has a part my new instrument can fill in." he said as he pulled out his harmonica. "Now, all you naysayers can see what I can do."
"Right. Here we go." said Brandon.
As the intro to the song began, the six Cannonball vehicles roared off the starting line.
As Jezz started in on the harmonica part, the Reaper held the lead for a few seconds before the Darkness moved up to challenge it.
Rob was taken by surprise by a hairpin turn and quickly tried to drift through it as Takumi did the same.
"Not a muscle car's best ability." smirked Takumi as Rob ended up losing speed.
The Vulcano and the Primus overtook him and got on the Supernova's tail. As this happened, Brandon's vocals began.
Every day I get up from off the floor.
I keep on coming back for more and more.
So many times I get it in the face.
I keep on running 'til my dying day.
"Payback time for getting ahead of us, boys!" laughed Nina as she moved up the outside of the Primus and prepared to pass.
Both cars ran along a mountainside with no guard rail. Jerry managed to keep the lead as Nina fell behind.
They drifted through another hairpin curve and kept up to speed, eventually passing the Supernova as Nick had to slow down to avoid an accident.
Rain on the roadway, thunder in the sky.
The light of day disappears from sight.
As the road opens up in front of my eyes.
These wheels are burning up the miles.
As the road opens up in front of my eyes.
The only limitation is in my mind.
Nina clenched her teeth as Jerry proved hard to pass.
"Come on! Give it to him!" Anna yelled.
"Shut up!" Nina yelled back as she fought for an opening.
Behind them, Frank had kept control of the Avenger as it went through a sudden dip in the road. He managed to maintain control as he went down the hill at high speed. As he climbed back up an incline, the Darkness had made up lost ground and blew past him.
I drive awake my eyes are on full beam.
The wind is screaming into my slipstream.
Something keeps pulling me back from sleep.
Whatever it is I want to see.
The Reaper drifted through another turn with ease as Takumi and K.T. tried to catch up to the Vulcano.
K.T. looked behind them and saw the Darkness and the Megere catching up on them.
"I see they've found he benefits of rear-wheel drive." K.T. remarked.
"Yeah, but they haven't been educated in touge racing since they were 13, like I was." smirked Takumi as he kept ahead.
Nina finally got an opening and overtook the Primus as they drifted through yet another turn.
Captain Pierce was excited but kept an eye out to make sure they didn't go over the edge.
"We definitely brought the right car." Joanna laughed as Nina held onto the lead and went onto a long stretch.
These wheels are burning up the road tonight.
The fuel is pumping into my mind.
As the road opens up in front of my eyes.
These wheels are burning up the miles.
As the road opens up in front of my eyes.
The only limitation is in my mind.
As the bridge to the song came, Jerry gained ground on the Vulcano while behind them, the Megere made serious headway and overtook the Darkness, Avenger, and Reaper.
"As much as I'd like to see Elizabeth, I don't wanna become a spirit myself." said Darryl.
"It's okay. I can handle it!" said David as they swerved through a major hairpin and then onto another chicane road.
"I hope you can." said Elizabeth. "This IS scarier than dealing with the vamps."
I'll be there when it all comes down.
I'll be there.
I'll be there when it all comes down.
I'll be there.
When it all comes down.
As Jezz went into a long harmonica solo and the crowd at the Four Dragons cheered, the Avenger and the Darkness both fell behind as the road became more challenging.
As they had now reached the valley floor, Frank considered going off-road but thought better of it.
Rob had difficulty both drifting through the curves and keeping up to speed.
The Reaper got ahead of the Megere, with Takumi mustering up all his driving skill and then some to gain on the Vulcano and the Primus.
"It's like every tough corner from every good racetrack was stitched together like the Human Centipede to make this road!" Jerry said.
"Those British guys weren't kidding then." said Pierce.
Come on, come on.
Nina shifted gears with ease, but started to lose the lead as the Reaper and the Primus kept right on the Vulcano's tail.
"Okay. No guts, no glory." said Jerry as they did another drift and went back up an incline.
Jerry activated his nitrous shot and blew past the Vulcano, keeping his mind on his steering at the same time.
"Whoa!" Pierce yelled.
The Reaper and the Vulcano fought to catch up, but Jerry kept his foot down and all his concentration on the blacktop ahead of him.
As the road opens up in front of my eyes.
These wheels are burning up the miles.
As the road opens up in front of my eyes.
The only limitation is in my mind.
Fuel pumping gasoline in my mind.
From the engine to my body.
This wheel's on fire.
As they reached the end of the famous highway and headed out of the Carpathian mountains, the Reaper overtook the Vulcano and moved up.
But the Primus kept the lead as they exited the valley.
The Reaper came out second and the Vulcano third.
"Damn! Lost to a gaijin again!" K.T. yelled.
"At least it wasn't the bald guy." shrugged Takumi. "Win some, lose some."
The others managed to catch up but still lagged behind.
Nemesis roared in frustration.
"Sumbitch." Stone Cold grumbled to himself.
As the road opens up in front of my eyes.
The only limitation is in my mind.
-"The Road" by the Alarm.
"YEAH!" yelled Pierce. "I'm glad to say that was crazy but it was fun. Unlike Roger Murtaugh, I don't think I'm getting too old for this shit!"
"Hey, you wanna take over driving for a while?" asked Jerry. "You'd have to drive fast, though, if we wanna get to Greece now that the bridge is open."
"Good idea. I'll show you what a so-called old fart like me picked up in my time when I had to drive a firetruck." Pierce smirked.
At Race Central, the crowd applauded.
The other members of Love Fist looked stunned as Jezz took a bow along with the Killers.
"I retract my previous statement." Percy said. "But do you lads really think a harmonica and heavy metal could go together?"
"If Anthrax and Public Enemy can go together, you never know." Willy said.
"Don't forget..." Dick began.
"Oh, come on! Everybody knows about Run DMC and Aerosmith!" Willy yelled. "D'ye nay ken I was looking for a different example for once!"
"Easy there, pal." Dick said nervously.
The participants in the puzzle hunt had all arrived at the Acropolis in Athens' Greece. James, Pitt, the Drake, Bart and Wile E. all took their places at the round table, which was in the centre of a ring of high columns left over from one of the ancient ruins.
An oven was set up nearby and the chefs removed the racers' dishes from it and brought them to the table.
"The final dish for the Europe Cannonball Run Puzzle Hunt..." the official for Greece announced. "...Pastitsio."
The lasagna-like Greek dish was set in front of each participant as they had their hands tied.
"Two layers of pasta." the Drake remarked. "If nothing else, this'll give me mucho stamina for the race."
"Come on, James! Chow down and win us this puzzle hunt!" yelled Jessie encouragingly to James.
"Be careful. It's only just out of the oven." Daffy warned Wile E. "Don't wannd burn the roof off your mouth."
The chess clock was readied.
"All set?" asked the official.
"Yeah." the group chorused, apart from Wile E. He simply nodded to confirm he was ready.
"GO!" said the official as the clock was started.
At a race track in Tennessee, the Crusader had been parked at the start of a quarter-mile drag strip alongside a black '05 Ford Mustang. Baxter and his crew stood by as they prepared to test the speed of their assault vehicle against a fully-modded muscle car to see if it could keep up.
"Okay, Bolan. Don't screw this up." Baxter said into his walkie-talkie.
"Roger that, sheriff. I'm ready to tear Billy Hank here a new ass!" Bolan replied as he revved the Crusader's engine.
Billy Hank, the local racer who was driving the Mustang, looked over at the Crusader smugly and gave a thumbs-down as he revved his engine in return.
Baxter nodded to Masado, who flipped the switch activating the lights on the 'christmas tree' at the start of the drag.
Both Bolan and Billy Hank glared in determination as the lights first flashed red, then yellow.
As the green light came, both vehicles performed burnouts out of the starting block.
Billy Hank got the lead at first in the Mustang, but Bolan pushed the Crusader as hard as its mighty engine would go and made up lost ground in next to no time.
Within seconds, the Crusader took the lead and looked set to beat the Mustang at the dash.
Just then, the Crusader's underside started to smoke as it threw a rod as a result of Masado's earlier sabotage.
"WHAT? NO!" yelled Bolan as the Crusader lost speed and the Mustang overtook it.
"Goddamn it!" yelled Baxter as the Mustang crossed the finish line first.
"Guess it was pushed a bit too far." said one of the other cops dourly.
Baxter sighed a little bit.
"Okay, but we won't let this get us down." he said. "Back to the drawing board."
Masado tried his best to hide his smile.
"YESYESYES! WE DID IT!" Jessie squealed in delight as James was the first one to finish the pastitsio meal in Athens.
As James had his hands untied, the official smiled at him.
"I'm glad you had a big meal as you'll need the energy." the official said.
"Why?" asked James.
"Because the prize money is up THERE." said the official as he pointed to the top of a thirty-foot high column in the circle they were in.
"Beat ya to the top!" yelled Pitt as he quickly ran towards the column.
"MOVE IT, YA JERK!" yelled Meowth to James.
James broke into a run and leaped about seven feet into the air and clung onto the column.
"Come on, Dirk!" yelled Gunn. "You can do it!"
Team NUMA and Team Rocket each yelled encouragement to Pitt and James as they climbed up the opposite sides of the column.
At one point, James nearly fell as he lost his foot-holding.
He quickly clambered back and got a lead on Pitt.
"You're not gonna beat me, grandpa!" James yelled as he got nearer to the top.
Pitt swore and doubled his efforts to catch up.
"Damn! I've been out of practice!" he thought to himself.
"Come on! Don't stop!" Giordino yelled to Pitt.
But in the end, it was James who reached the top of the column first.
He whoopped in joy as he picked up the suitcase containing the money.
"WHOO! We've got it, team!" James yelled. "The world is ours!" He then looked sheepish and said "So to speak." in a more hushed tone.
Jessie started writing a list down.
"First, I'm going to the best salon in Celadon City and getting a complete facial, along with my hair and make-up, and then.."
Giovanni angrily snatched the list away.
"We can work out how to divide the spoils later." he said. "Alright, James, bring it down here."
"Yes, sir!" James saluted with his free hand. Putting the suitcase under his arm, he started to climb back down the column.
As he made his way down, a chunk of stone suddenly fell out of the column under his foot. This made him slide down fast.
James panicked and scrabbled with his arms to find a grip. This caused him to drop the suitcase.
"Shit! SHIIIIIIIIT!" Jessie yelled as the suitcase fell. It fell right towards the oven that had been used to cook the pastitsio, which was still on.
As it fell, the suitcase popped open and the stacks of money fell into the hot oven and immediately caught fire.
James had found a grip and looked down in horror at the fate of the European puzzle hunt money. "Oops." he said quietly.
Jessie's eyes began to tear up and her cheeks turned red. She looked up at James in pure fury with her teeth bared. "GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" She snarled.
James turned pale and quickly climbed back up to the top of the column as Jessie started to angrily claw around the bottom of it.
"YOU GET YOUR SORRY ASS DOWN HERE NOW, MISTER! I WILL GIVE YOU AN ASS-WHOOPING YOU WILL NEVER FORGET!" Jessie screamed, practically foaming at the mouth.
Pitt had returned to the ground and looked on at this with the other teams.
"Looks like someone besides Taz is gonna need a straitjacket." Bugs remarked.
Wile E. simply held up a sign that said 'Egad!" as his mouth hung open in shock at Jessie's tantrum.
"I don't know which emotion I feel more." remarked Ron. "Regret at the fact that we lost the challenge and the money was lost or relief that Team Rocket didn't get it."
"Forget that." said Pitt. "I hope James can come down from there later without getting killed."
"Well, it's not our problem for now." said Homer. "We have a race to get on with."
"True." remarked the Drake as Team Simpsons, Team Looney Tunes, Team NUMA, and Team Drake returned to their respective vehicles.
"I just hope this isn't gonna happen every time it looks like the puzzle hunt is won." said the Drake. "I mean, you saw what happened with those guys from Metro City."
"Yeah." remarked Venom. "If this does keep happening, Brock's gonna lose money faster than Kevin Costner did when 'The Postman' came out."
Jessie had now started to rock the column that James was on top of to try and bring him down.
"I think we may need to calm Jessie down a bit." Giovanni said.
"Know where we can get some elephant tranquilisers?" Meowth sarcastically said.
As the Cannonballers in Greece made their way to the coast and the bridge leading to Tunisia, Banner had gathered his forces together in Sparti and attempted to make new plans.
"Alright. I've checked out one possible factor that could aid us in Africa." Banner announced. "The newly-elected President of Tanzania is a former police officer. His name is Reginald Kante. He was known for cracking down on speeders while on the highway patrol. If anyone can help us, it will be him."
"Sounds about right." said Willenholly. "Hopefully he can help Amos with his little problem."
Amos was mumbling to himself about causing Ford Fairlane bodily harm when he found him.
"What's eating him?" asked Bullock.
"He found out that Disco Express are big in Europe." Willenholly replied. "Figures. They love their pop music in Germany.
"That's true." said Michaels. "We went into a bar and they were playing 'Space Age Love Song'. Glad the guys over here know more Flock of Seagulls than 'I Ran'."
"Never mind that." Bullock said. "What the hell happened to your car?"
He nodded over to the Speed Demon, or what was left of it. The car had practically been torn apart. The hood and the roof had been ripped off and there were holes all over the body.
"Well, what can we say?" Slater innocently asked. "The Cannonballers are tough."
"Is that sumbitch The Bandit around here?" Buford demanded.
"Just that when we chased him, something like that happened to our squad car." Junior chipped in.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say you two deliberately let your car get wrecked so you could claim the compensation!" Banner snapped.
"Easy, chief. These guys are dedicated officers of the law." said Montoya.
"And besides, you read our affidavit." Michaels added.
"Well, get the car fixed up with the money and be more careful next time, ya lugnuts!" said Roscoe.
"Why are you three being so cranky?" Slater asked Buford, Junior and Roscoe.
"It was a long journey from Spain and the airline food wasn't fit for a goddamn pig, that's why!" Buford said.
"Didn't you eat your sandwich?" asked Michaels.
"It was a little overcooked." Buford deadpanned.
"Where's Victoria?" asked Bender. "She's the only one not here."
"She said she had to go to the local Transfender on the radio." said Banner. "That and something about a moron Mountie."
At the local Transfender in Sparti, Victoria angrily counted out some money for the mechanics to fix up the Evenflow.
"There you go." she grumpily said.
"And you say that guy said he was the best mechanic in the RCMP?" asked the head mechanic.
"If he was, the Mounties should get really worried." Victoria grumbled as she looked over at the bay where the Evenflow was.
Dudley's 'repair job' had left the Evenflow's body mounted backwards on the chassis with the doors and the hood left off. The back seats had also been moved to the front.
"Just for that, I'm declaring open season on all the Cannonballers' helpers as well." Victoria thought to herself.
In Malaga in the south of Spain, Team Furious sat in a line with other Cannonballers waiting to cross the bridge to Morocco.
As they waited, they watched a report from Race Central. Brock himself delivered the report.
"It has just been confirmed that the vampire menace has been dealt with and that all Cannonballers who were turned are now human once again." He cheerfully said. "So, as of right now, the bridges to Africa are officially open. The Cannonball will continue into Africa. We wish all our racers the best of luck. In addition, I wish to extend a formal apology to Joan Wilder and her team. It was discovered that they had been framed. But fortunately, the culprits have been apprehended and are being shipped back to the USA to stand trial. The fact that we were nearly fooled by such a ploy will stand as a warning for us all to be extra-vigilant from now on."
Brock said a bit more, but a loud revving sound drowned him out. Team Furious looked over and saw the Overlord parked next to them.
The car now had side-exit exhausts, which Ford had bought with his race winnings, along with new headers and a whole new exhaust set-up.
Vince angrily leaned out the Rumor's window.
"Hey, greaser! Why don't you..."
As Ford revved the Overlord's engine again, a jet of flame shot out of the Overlord's exhaust and Vince quickly leaned back in to avoid it.
A small part of his beard had been singed off from the heat. Dom and Brian saw this and laughed.
"Oh, REAL witty! Very goddamn amusing!" Vince grumbled.
"Consider that your penance for the nitrous screw-up." Brian chuckled.
"I hope Fairlane blasts you next time and all that product in your 'do goes up like a Christmas tree!" Vince grumbled.
In Team Rocket HQ, Butch, Cassidy, and the others all watched an in-car interview with their rivals and their boss in the Cannonball.
Misty interviewed them. "I must say that is very unfortunate." she remarked with genuine sympathy. "I mean to have come so close to the puzzle hunt money and then to lose it."
"You're probably happy about it, carrot-head!" Snapped Meowth.
"Hey. I have shown sympathy to you guys before." Misty said. "Remember the time I gave you some of that herbal cure so you could treat Jessie's cold in the Orange Islands?"
"Yes, there is that." said James in the Peligro's back seat as he looked over the charred remains of the briefcase. "Well, the bad news is that the money is indeed destroyed. But I think I can save the briefcase."
"SHUT UP!" Meowth and Giovanni chorused as Giovanni drove.
"He might as well put a 'Space To Let' sign on his forehead." Domino grumbled.
"Is Jessie okay?" Misty asked onscreen.
The in-car camera panned over to show Jessie firmly strapped into her seatbelt. She had a demented look in her eyes and seemed to be counting imaginary money.
"We won the puzzle hunt!" She said, giggling. "This $100,000 is going towards buying my new wardrobe. This stack can buy me a mansion. And this is going to send me to Disneyland!"
"Holy crap." said Butch. "It's happened. She's lost her mind."
"Don't worry about her, Misty." Giovanni said. "She's just in shock. We're pretty sure she'll snap out of it by Africa."
"Here's hoping." Misty said as she sweatdropped.
Toni then stepped into range of the camera as it cut back to Race Central.
"Well, despite another little hitch with the puzzle hunt, the race is now heading into Africa. Here's hoping the Cannonballers will blaze a wonderful trail through the deserts. It's been fun commentating on Europe. Now I'm sure Lazlow's learned his lesson, so he'll be back. I'm sure that's good news to anyone who actually likes him!"
Toni giggled as Lazlow stood off-camera and glared.
"Wait 'til I tell everyone what you got up to on the Duran Duran tourbus, you glorified bimbo!" he thought to himself.
Butch lifted the crossword back up and looked in confusion at the only space that was left to fill in.
Annie noticed and snorted. "Why do you waste time with that crap? Those things are so easy, it's insulting."
"Easy for you to say as you managed to be no help at all when we were working on it earlier!" snapped Butch. "You were too busy getting drunk off your head and singing 101 soul classics."
"Oh yeah? I bet I can give you the answer to the last clue no problem." Annie said as she put her hands on her hips. "Twenty bucks. Loser pays."
"You're on." Cassidy smirked as she got beside her partner.
"Right. Let's have it." said Annie.
"Broadway musical featuring Daddy Warbucks: five letters." Butch read.
"Oh, for pete's sake, that's easy. 'Evita'." said Annie.
"BZZZT! WRONG!" Oakley smugly yelled, imitating a game show buzzer.
"OF course it's 'Evita'!" Annie said.
"Whose story is 'Evita'?" asked Domino.
"Eva Peron." said Annie.
"And do you know many Argentinean political figures called Daddy Warbucks?" asked Oakley.
Annie thought about it for a minute. She then snapped her fingers in frustration. "Damn!" She said.
"So, do you two know the answer?" asked Butch.
"Sure." said Domino as she gave Annie a smug look. "It's 'Annie'."
"You are shitting me." groaned Annie.
"No, she's not." said Cassidy. "'I' is the fourth letter which is filled in, and it fits."
"Thank you, ladies." Butch smirked as he finished the crossword. "I still think there was an odd pattern with those answers."
"Guess it's a hard knock life for you, huh?" Domino smirked at Annie.
Annie grunted in anger and threw a $20 bill on the table.
"Now, I'M going to bed!" she sulked as she headed for the door.
"Hey, don't sweat it." Oakley called after her. "The sun'll come out tomorrow!"
Oakley, Domino, Butch and Cassidy all laughed as Annie slammed the door on her way out.
The Detector raced across the bridge to Tunisia, the beginning of Africa for the Cannonballers who had gone via Greece.
"Looks like we get to see another sunrise." said Natalie.
"Yeah, and we won't burst into flames either." said Alex.
"You know, I think we should listen to some music to get our minds off the situation." said Dylan.
She turned on the radio.
And the dark side's light,
and the vampires roam.
She turned it off again. "Let's wait until we reach Egypt." she said.
"Good idea." said Alex.
"Just then, Team Bluth decided to see how the Angels were doing."
The Ambitious pulled up alongside the Detector. Buster drove as mellow music played over the stereo.
"Hey there, Angels. Good to see you're back to normal." Buster chirped.
"Thanks, Buster. You're driving very well considering you have a hook." 99 said.
"It took me a while but I adjusted." smirked Buster. "Wanna hear some of this music?"
"The last tune we heard reminded us of our unfortunate condition for this continent." Alex grumbled.
"Ah, no sweat. This'll take your mind off it." Tobias said as Buster turned up the music and he and Tobias sung along to it.
"That's a good song." Dylan remarked. "What's it called."
"It's called 'A-Punk'." said Michael.
"Who's it by?" asked Alex as she raised an eyebrow suspiciously.
"A band called Vam...pire Weekend." Buster nervously finished.
"Buster realised that he had, as Gob would no doubt say, made a huge mistake."
The Angels looked a bit put out.
"Pass." said Natalie as she went to roll the Detector's window up.
"Angels, we're sorry! We weren't thinking!" Tobias protested.
"Well, they are a very good band." Alex admitted. "But I think you'll agree that we don't need to hear their music right now."
"Sorry." Buster said sheepishly.
"Just for that, you'll have to beat us into Africa if you want to stay ahead." Dylan smiled as she revved the Detector's engine.
"You're on." said Buster as he revved the Ambitious' engine in return. Within seconds, both cars raced off the line.
"And so, as a new rivalry had apparently been born, the Cannonballers made their way to the next continent."
The Detector got a good lead on the Ambitious as Buster tried to catch up.
"The Cannonballers were now all determined to have some fun now that the vampire menace was finished."
In the Detector, 99 parted her lips to reveal a pair of fangs.
"Or was it?"
TO BE CONTINUED