Author's Note: Here's another Speed Racer story (Boy this is getting addictive ) This time I wrote a bit of a conflict for the newlyweds as two former admirers of Speed and Trixie are not very happy about the marriage and try to break the couple up. The two antagonists in the story are Lady Sibana from "The Fire Race" and Prince Omar from "The Dangerous Desert Race" both who had been drawn to Speed and Trixie in the episodes mentioned and I thought it would be interesting to have both join forces to split them up. There will also be an appearance by Kim Jugger and the couple will have some exciting news. Intrigued? Once again I do not own Speed Racer, Speed Racer Enterprises and DIC do.
DANGEROUS DÉJÀ VU
The trees surrounding the Racer homestead were splattered with the hint of autumn colors as the winds of September tickled at them in the sunshine. Inside, Pops was sitting at the kitchen table, perusing the headlines of the local and national newspapers' sports pages, racing sections. Before him was article after article of the Formula 1 season and most especially the coverage of his son Speed's marriage. He was amazed that although the wedding took place three months before, it was still in the front sections of the sports pages of the top newspapers, sports magazines and even in the gossip rags.
Pops sighed as he read the articles. They were all gossip snippets disguised as sports features, touting the Speed Racer marriage as among other things "an automotive world fairytale." Articles about the couple's relationship from when they first met and began working together in races to their wedding were in the tabloids constantly. Pictures taken by the media during the ceremony were paramount as Speed and Trixie's photos were mixed with Speed's wins during the season. And the photographers especially seemed to relish snapping pictures of the newlywed couple at the end of races as they embraced and kissed. Although it was innocent and not detrimental to his factory or the Go Team he couldn't help but feel uneasy at the amount of additional publicity.
Mom Racer came and brought him a cup of fresh perked coffee. She noted his sullen expression and placed her hands on his shoulders comfortingly. "Dragon, what's wrong?"
Pops pasted a grin on his craggy features to reassure his wife. "Nothing, honey. I'm just reading about Speed and Trixie again. You'd think the papers would get tired of covering them, after all there are other drivers and subjects to cover," he stated peevishly.
Mom eyed her husband askance. "At least the publicity is positive, for the most part," she was quick to point out as she skimmed through the collection of news clippings.
Yeah, I know. But I can't help feeling that all this press is boding no good for our team. I may be imagining trouble but I can't help it. Thank goodness that the next race in Soofki is in two weeks, this lull in the season is always so annoying."
Their conversation was interrupted by the unique sound of the twelve-cylinder power plant of the Mach 5 rumbling up the driveway. Mom Racer straightened up and greeted her second born and his bride as they opened the door and walked in.
"Hiya Mom, Pops," Speed announced cheerfully, his hand on Trixie's shoulder as they stepped into the kitchen.
"Hope we're not interrupting anything," Trixie added as she sat at the table and glanced at the clippings spread out on the table.
"Yeah," Speed said as he pulled over a chair and straddled it as he picked up a tabloid to peer at. He sighed and handed the clip to Trixie. "I guess we're still front page news, baby."
"Uh-huh," Trixie said in a blasé fashion. "But there also are articles about your wins, Speed." She pointed at a picture in The Sports Journal of Speed winning the Pineapple Grand Prix in Oahu last month.
Speed took the magazine and nodded. "Yeah, but its just a teaser to the main feature. Take a closer look." He pointed out the article preceding with the headline Marriage Agrees with Formula 1 Heartthrob As Speed Racer Keeps Winning. "See what I mean?"
"So what?" Trixie said, shrugging.
Speed shook his head. "It's just that the media seems to be covering me and my private life a bit too much. I mean, here we are in the midseason hiatus and they still write about us. It just doesn't seem right."
Pops snorted, "That's just what I was saying to your mother. I know publicity is great when it's all positive like this but I can't help feeling that something's gonna give. I can't help it but I gotta bad feeling about it." He frowned thoughtfully as Speed, Trixie, and Mom gazed at him quizzically…
Meanwhile, across the ocean and in the midst of the Persian Gulf, the tiny island country of Kapetapek the news of the world was totally unknown. This was a decree sent down from their ruler, Lady Sibana, the granddaughter of the recently deceased leader, Chief Zuma. Until three years ago, the border of Kapetapek was closed to other countries to keep their nation peaceful and then Chief Zuma made a declaration that the borders of the island nation would be opened upon the running of a race. He also offered Sibana as the prize to the winner as his wife. But the winner of that race, Speed Racer turned down the offer of the lovely Sibana even after he had won and assisted her and the chief to fight the overthrow of their rule. The chief was disappointed but did as he promised he opened the borders of the country but upon his death a year ago his rule passed to Sibana. She decided to keep the borders open but forbid any outside influence via newspapers so the country remained blissfully unaware of the goings-on of the outside world. Like her grandfather, Sibana was adamant about making sure that her country remained un-informed about outside influences that would upset the peaceful balance she tried to maintain.
She was in her study with her assistant Abdullah going over the affairs of state when a steward brought in the daily mail and placed it on her desk. She looked up with a peacock blue gaze and motioned to Abdullah.
"If you would be so kind, Abdullah, I'd like to go through my daily mail," she said, dismissing him with a wave of her hand. The man bowed obsequiously and left as Sibana rifled through the stack and came across the manila envelope with a Soofki postmark. Curious, she wondered why her distant cousin would be sending her mail. She slipped the platinum letter opener under the flap and reached in to find a packet of newspaper clippings and a note:
Thought that you'd find the contents of great interest. I was quite
shocked to say the very least. I'd like to know your thoughts after
you go through them.
Your cousin Omar.
Her curiosity piqued by his enigmatic missive, Sibana took the packet and began to methodically go through the bundle of news clips. As she did her eyes flew wide with shock and then as she proceeded to peruse the media they narrowed to azure slits. Finally in a fit of pure rage, Sibana took the letter opener and hurled it like a dagger at the opposite wall with all her strength. It hit a painting with the pinpoint accuracy of an arrow hitting a bullseye.
"How dare they! How DARE she! He's mine and he's been mine since the Fire Race!" she shrieked as she brushed her desk free of all objects, all her accoutrements flying and crashing to the tiled floor. On the floor in a shattered gold frame was a picture of Speed Racer. She bent down and snatched it up, not caring about the jagged edges of the broken glass as her tirade continued.
"Speed, how could you! I know that when you came here to run the race and grandfather picked you to win and be my husband you refused but I figured the way we parted that I'd see you again. Even though that annoying mouse of a girl with you had the nerve to say you were spoken for, the way you saved me from Kadar was so heroic I knew that one day you'd come back, telling me you made a mistake. And now you've done this, you married HER. How could you!"
She absently caressed the picture as she continued. "Oh Speed, I saw the look on your face as you waved as you were boarding that plane, and the look in those beautiful blue eyes of yours. I know that you felt a little something for me, I just know it. Why did you have to marry HER? If you had returned to me you could be here ruling along side of me now that Grandfather is gone." She sighed and stared at the clipping with Speed and Trixie at their wedding laying on the floor then her fury returned. "But that scheming little tart bewitched you, she managed to get you besotted enough to marry her, OHHHH!" she railed stamping her foot in rage and then she whirled and plopped into her chair.
Sibana stared ahead still inwardly seething as her eyes came across the note from Omar then she spotted the phone. With a sigh she reached and picked up her phone to dial Omar's direct line.
The phone rang three times in the drawing room of Prince Omar of Soofki, a small commonwealth in the midst of the Sahara Desert and a serving girl answered. Sibana haughtily asked for her cousin.
"His Highness is getting his massage now," the girl informed her.
"I'm his cousin, you silly goose. Besides, he's expecting my call," Sibana said irritably. "Now go get him."
"Yes, ma'am." The girl went to do her bidding.
Sibana waited sighing impatiently, getting more incensed as the time ticked by. Finally Omar's voice came over the receiver. "Yes?"
"Omar, it's me, Sibana. What is the meaning of this?" she demanded shrilly.
Omar chuckled at his cousin's pique. "Knowing your feelings for one Speed Racer, I just thought that misery deserved company, my dear."
"Oh thank you so much," she replied acidly.
"You are more than welcome, my pet."
Sibana made an unladylike snort. "And pray tell, what about this bombshell makes you my company in misery?"
Omar's voice became laced with anger. "Because that infidel Racer has stolen my flower," he snarled.
Sibana answered quizzically, "Whatever do you mean, Omar?"
It was plain to discern that Omar was furious. "He married the woman who has haunted my dreams since the day I first heard her sweet voice. I'm speaking of the fair Trixie of course."
"But how do you know Trixie?"
"I was imprisoned by General Gaul's men when they tried their military coup a few years ago. Speed Racer was here to run in the Great Desert Race and he and Kim Jugger both rescued me and Trixie. She had the voice of an angel and when I saw how beautiful she was I fell instantly in love with her," he said in a dreamy voice.
Sibana sighed in annoyance. "I personally thought that she was nothing special. To be honest I wondered what Speed saw in her," she added waspishly.
Omar snickered, "Careful, my pet. Your green cat-eyes and claws are showing."
"My eyes happen to be blue," Sibana answered huffily.
"But your jealousy is showing. But fret not, I have come up with an idea and I thought that, considering your personal interest in the situation you would like to assist me," Omar purred silkily.
Sibana smiled for the first time since receiving the news of Speed's nuptials. "My dear Omar what is it you have in mind?"
Omar replied, "In two weeks my country is hosting the Sandstorm Desert Rally for Formula 1 and I saw Racer's name among the entrants. How would you like to assist me in preparing a gathering for the racers as a gesture of good will from my country? After all, I have no wife to assist me and I would relish a woman's delicate touch."
Sibana pondered the suggestion for a bit. "Hmmm, I see your point. And what kind of a gathering are you picturing?"
Omar continued, "I was thinking of a banquet and ball to celebrate my rule and the race. After all it will be the anniversary of the failed coup against me and when the International Racing Commission was scheduling races for the new season, they had contacted me. Of course I was thrilled to have Soofki chosen as a race location. So I think a ball and banquet for the participating drivers are in order."
Sibana agreed, "I think that's a capital idea, my dear. So what do you need me for, I'm sure your 'private' secretary could assist you quite well." She was well aware that Omar sampled his secretary's charms in his bed quite often. The woman was good for little else.
"For this I need the touch of a woman of elegance and substance. And considering the fact that your heart's desire will be here, I thought that you'd be only too happy to be here serving as my hostess," Omar said persuasively.
Sibana smiled as she responded, "I take it you have something else up your sleeve."
"You do know me so well don't you, my dear. Actually I thought it to be a golden opportunity for us to see just how strong the banns of marriage for Mr. and Mrs. Speed Racer are," Omar said cagily.
Sibana giggled, "Omar, you really are a clever and devious devil, aren't you?"
"Ah, so nice of you to recognize my talent, my love. It will be quite interesting and extremely amusing, don't you think?" he insinuated.
"I think it's absolutely delicious. I take it you intend to entice Trixie away from Speed?"
"Precisely," Omar replied. "And then you can come in and he'll be all yours for the taking."
Sibana smiled a feline smile. "I love it, Omar my dear. I'll be there in a few days to help to plan everything just right."
"I knew I could count on you, Sibana. I'll eagerly await your arrival. Until then, my dear cousin," Omar said as he hung up.
Sibana replaced the receiver with a Cheshire Cat smile curving her full lips. The next two weeks could turn out to be quite pleasant she said to herself as she rang the servants to come and clean the mess in her study. The door opened and Abdullah stepped in and surveyed the damage with the only indication of his emotion being a very brief flicker of surprise in his onyx eyes.
"Abdullah, I want you to clean this up and put my desk back in order. And summon Salome for me and have her meet me in my chambers, I'll be leaving for Soofki by tomorrow nightfall and I want her to pack." Sibana ordered as she whirled and headed for her private chambers. Abdullah nodded taciturnly and did as he was bid.
Back in the new Racer household, the new Mrs. Racer was on a ladder, busy painting the corners of the living room while her husband was in the kitchen putting the finishing strokes of painting the woodwork. The house was a surprise, waiting on a space of land right next to the Racer home on the same cul-de-sac when Speed and Trixie returned from the Pineapple Grand Prix. It was a wedding present from Pops and Mom, who had the sprawling ranch built for the newlyweds. They had, however, insisted on doing some of the interior themselves as the furniture from Trixie's cottage at the airfield was moved in. Speed placed the paintbrush in the can and wiping his hands, came over to where his wife was hard at work and with arms akimbo regarded her with mild reproach.
"Trixie, what are you doing up there? You could get hurt."
Trixie turned around and replied reassuringly, "I'm fine, Speed. I just wanted to get the paint into the corners." She turned and resumed her task but she turned too quickly and got lightheaded, losing her balance with a screech as she toppled from the ladder.
Alarmed, Speed rushed to the ladder and caught Trixie in his arms just in time. Sapphire blue eyes met sea green and as she looped her arms around his neck she said in a shaky voice, "Gee, I don't know how that happened, I thought I had pretty secure footing."
Speed cradled his wife in his arms. "That's all well and good honey, but I think you need to take a breather. I think we both do." He carried Trixie to the sofa by the far wall and sat with her in his arms. He nuzzled her neck and murmured, "Now isn't this much better?"
Trixie nodded as Speed captured her lips in a slow lingering kiss. They broke apart and she weakly protested, "Speed, we've got so much to do to get this place together. We haven't time to waste."
"Uh-huh," Speed answered as he continued his caresses. "We're just takin' a break, baby," he said as he buried his face in her hair.
Trixie squirmed and tried to get up but he tightened his arms around her. "So where do you think you're going, huh?"
"Speed, I have to finish painting so I can hang the pictures."
"We can finish later. Isn't this nice cuddling like this?" He would not be denied as his mouth found hers again and she was again swept away by her husband's relentless passion. She gave up as she was drawn into the heat of the moment.
After an indeterminate period of time Trixie drew back and said breathlessly, "Speed, you're insatiable. We made love all night, how do you keep up your stamina?"
Speed grinned at his wife lustily. "I take plenty of vitamins. Besides, I can't help it, Trix you're irresistible. I just can't get enough of you."
"I had no idea I married such a sex fiend," Trixie retorted. "Speed Racer, you're incorrigible, now let me up." Speed leered at her as she tried to get up again but she was firm. This time he let her up with a disappointed sigh.
"Okay, if you insist." He released his arms and Trixie got up with a jump and whirled to meet his amused and loving gaze.
"Humph!" She reached for the mail and tossed a letter at him saying, "Here, do something constructive, check the mail."
He caught it midair. "Killjoy." Glancing at the manila colored envelope he asked, "What's this?"
"I don't know but from the envelope it says IRC." She tossed over her shoulder as she knelt on the floor to empty a box of knick-knacks.
"Brother, what do they want now? Not another rule change before the next race," Speed groaned as he tore open the missive and studied its contents. "Ah-huh well that's nice," he said mildly.
Trixie got to her feet and came over. "What is it, Speed?"
He handed the letter to his wife. "The leader of Soofki is hosting a banquet and ball in honor or the Formula 1 race there in two weeks."
"Soofki? Is that where the Sandstorm Desert Rally is being held?"
"Uh-huh. As I vaguely recall we ran in a race there three years ago. I had run against Kim Jugger and won."
Trixie nodded in recognition. "Oh yeah, I remember now." She sat beside him with a twinge of weariness. "This upcoming race is going to be in the desert too, huh?"
Ever alert to his wife's attitude, Speed immediately noticed her less than enthusiastic response. "Hey, sweetheart, what's wrong? Are you feeling okay?" He gently brushed her hair away from her face in a soft caress.
Trixie gave him a wan smile. "I'm fine, love. I was just thinking that I might stay home for this race. You could get Sparky to navigate for you, you don't really need me there."
Speed eyed her incredulously. "Not need you? You gotta be putting me on, Trix. Of course I need you." He pulled her back on his lap and murmured, "I need you like I need the oxygen to breathe. A win wouldn't be the same without you there to share in it with me. Ya gotta be there with me, Trixie."
Trixie sighed softly as the lightheadedness returned. She leaned on Speed's broad shoulder, her eyes closed as she waited for the dizziness and nausea to pass. "Okay, Speed. I'll go."
"Really?" he drew back to look at her and he resembled a small boy who was just promised the world.
Trixie nodded, "Uh-huh."
"Thank you, baby," Speed got to his feet with her still in his strong arms. "I've got an idea. Let me take you out to lunch and we'll go for a ride. Get out for a while, okay?" He put her down and smiled, his eyes twinkling.
Trixie couldn't help but smile back. "Okay. Just let me go and freshen up a bit." She headed into their bedroom and sat on the bed holding her head so the dizziness would ease. She then ran a brush through her chestnut curls as she pondered the episodes of vertigo and nausea that have been plaguing her of late. And the fact that her period was late was making her wonder Could I be pregnant already? We've only been married three months. She frowned in concentration as she continued to ready herself for lunch.
TO BE CONTINUED…..THE GO TEAM HEADS TO THE COUNTRY OF SOOFKI AND THE SANDSTORM DESERT RACE---WHERE THE PAST AWAITS
Next---RETURN TO THE PAST