Cannonball Run 2004:Down Under

Mercy Mission

AN:This is it. This is the final stretch. After this, the Cannonballers wait until next year to race. Who will win? Read to find out.
Oh, don't forget to review.


"We really got set back when Blake spun us out." said J.J.

"We could be last for all we know." said Brad. "Drake's never going to let me live this down."

"J.J, what's that?" asked Pamela.

"Cannonballers ahead of us!" said J.J.

"Why are they stopped?" asked Victor.

J.J. pulled to the side of the road where several of the other teams had pulled over. Ron and the doctor were standing in the middle of the crowd. J.J. and his team climbed out of the limo.

"What's going on?" asked J.J.

"I was in the middle of a Counting Crows concert when we saw one of the Doublemint Twins." said the doctor.

"Uh, what the doc means is that the Drake has been kidnapped." said Ron. "Two hoods got us to pull over, then parted with the Drake...AND the prize money."

"Are you organizing a rescue operation?" asked J.J.

"We tried, but we ran out of leads." said Ron as the Maserati pulled up.

Blake and Fenderbaum climbed out and walked over. "Okay, what the hell happened?" asked Blake.

"The Drake's been kidnapped and the prize money's been stolen." said Ron.

"What?" asked Fenderbaum.

"Couldn't you try to stop those two?" asked Blake. "You're his bodyguard."

"How did you know there were two of them?" asked J.J.

Blake and Fenderbaum suddenly realized they were caught. "Uh, Ron said so." said Blake.

"No, he didn't." said Sarah.

"So, how did you know there were two of them?" asked Victor.

Blake and Fenderbaum looked around for anything, an answer, a distraction, a nuclear explosion. Finally, they had no recourse but to look guilty.

"Ah ha." said Victor.

Terry walked up behind them, put his hands on their shoulders, and said "I think you two guys have got something to tell us, right?"

"Right." said Blake.

"Right." said Fenderbaum.

J.J. walked up to them and crossed his arms. "Okay, talk." he said.

"Well, you see, J.J." said Fenderbaum. "Last time we were in Australia, we made a few bets with this crime boss and ended up with a thirty thousand dollar debt. So, he sent some torpedoes to collect."

"And you told them about the Drake." said J.J.

"It was tell them or else!" said Fenderbaum.

"Who is this guy?" asked J.J.

"His name is Big Donnie Cannaglio." said Blake.

"I'll see what I can dig up." said Michael. "How do you spell 'Cannaglio'?"

Blake told him and he went for the Mitsubishi.

"Do you guys have any idea how much trouble you're in?" asked J.J.

"Should we?" asked Blake.

"Oh, you'd better." said J.J.

Michael worked on his computer while J.J. argued with Blake and Fenderbaum. Within two minutes, he had something. "Hey, guys! C'mere!" he yelled.

The other Cannonballers ran over and gathered around the Eclipse. "Whatcha got?" asked Pamela.

"I know where this Cannaglio guy is holding the Drake." said Michael. "Check it out. This is where he is, the Pinto Ranch in Melbourne."

"Are you sure?" asked Marcie.

"Look at this." said Michael as he pointed at something on the screen. "I'm pretty sure that's the only BMW in Australia with Illinois plates."

"Pinto Ranch in Melbourne." said J.J. "Great, let's go get this guy!"

"We can't just go get this guy!" yelled Blake.

"Why not?" asked J.J.

"Because we've been to the Pinto Ranch!" said Blake. "That place is guarded like Fort Knox!"

"Maybe we can get through!" said Victor.

"Maybe WE can ourselves killed and take you with us!" yelled Fenderbaum.

"I'm open for other suggestions." said Victor.

"How about this?" asked Jackie as he looked at the screen. "The Pinto Ranch is looking for a lounge act."

"Maybe we can go in as part of a musical act." said Pete.

"Terrific, we'll just see if Silverchair is up to a little covert insertion." said Jill.

"Wait a minute!" said Brad. "We'll send in the Lectroids!"

"I thought they broke up last week?" said Mel.

"Their instruments didn't." said Brad.


Later that day, at the Pinto Ranch, a Ford Transit van pulled up and the back doors opened. Jackie and Michael were in the front seat while Brad was right behind them.

"Wish us luck." said Brad.

"Kick some ass." said Jackie as Michael started to boot up his laptop.


In the lounge, Brad met with Big Donnie.

"Mr. Cannaglio, I believe we spoke on the phone." said Brad.

"Mr. Compton, I'm surprised you came so quickly." said Big Donnie. "What was the big emergency?"

"One of the band members has to fly back to Tulsa to keep his mom from putting his dog down." said Brad. "He's going to have to leave right after the audition. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to give the band a little pep talk."

Brad ran up on stage and went over to J.J. who was wearing combat boots, leather pants, a blue tank top, and a black beret. He was also setting up a microphone stand.

"How's it looking?" asked J.J.

"He's convinced." said Brad. "As soon as we finish, we can start looking for Drake."

"So, everything's going well except for the fact that none of us can carry a tune." said J.J.

"Don't worry." said Brad. "Neither could the Lectroids."

Behind J.J, Steve held a guitar while in his normal clothes. Victor was wearing blue jeans with ripped knees, a Nirvana T-shirt, and a long wig. He was holding a bass guitar. Pete sat behind a drum set with his shirt off and a backwards-turned baseball cap on his head.

Brad walked up to the microphone and said "Once again, I'd like to thank Big Donnie and the Pinto Ranch for having us. And so, without further ado, I present...Twister!"

Brad jumped off the stage as Steve started to grind into their song. He was soon joined by Victor and Pete. After a few seconds, they were joined by J.J. singing.

Speed kills, coming down the mountain.
Speed kills, coming down the street.
Speed kills, with presence of mind.
Speed kills, if you know what I mean.

Got to feel. Woke up inside again.
Got to feel less broke, more fixed.
Got to feel when I got outside myself.
Got to feel when I touched your lips.

The things we do to the people that we love.
The way we break if there's something in the way.
Destroy the world that we took so long to make.

We expect her gone for some time.
I wish her safe from harm.
To find yourself in a foreign land.
Another refugee. Outsider refugee.

Victor launched into another riff and bumped into Steve. Steve bumped him back. Victor then bumped him so hard, he stumbled into the sidestage.

How's it feel? She's coming up roses.
How's it feel? She's coming up sweet.
How's it feel when it's all in spite of you?
How's it feel when she's out of your reach?

The things we do to the people that we love.
The way we break if there's something in the way.
Destroy the world that we took so long to make.

We expect her gone for some time.
I wish her safe from harm.
To find yourself in a foreign land.
Another refugee. Outsider refugee.

What happened to you?
What happened to you? (What happened to you)
What happened to you? (What happened to you)
What happened to you?

The things we do to the people that we love.
The things we do to the people that we love.
The things we do to the people that we love.
The things we do to the people that we.
...that we love.

-"The People That We Love" by Bush

Brad started to clap, then stopped when he noticed Big Donnie staring at him.

J.J. stepped forward and asked "So, what do you think?"

"I'm going to be honest with you." said Alex. "I can't sing, but even I can follow up THAT act."

"What's Australian for 'Bite me'?" asked J.J.

"Get off the stage." said Big Donnie. "If you hurry, you can save your dog."


"Alright, let's see where we can find the Drake." said J.J. as he walked from the lounge.

"I'll check with Jackie and Michael and see if they found something." said Brad.

"Was I really that bad a drummer?" asked Pete.

"The Energizer Bunny is a better drummer." said Steve. "Stick to racing."

Brad walked up to the van. "Any luck?" he asked.

"Okay, their security systems cover three rooms." said Michael. "One is Big Donnie's office. Another is the vault. The third is that suite up there."

"I think we can safely rule out the office and the vault." said Victor.

"So, let's try the suite." said J.J.

"I'll try to hijack the security system." said Michael.

"Hold it!" said Pete. "Someone's coming."

The Cannonballers all hid. Just then, Big Donnie, Alex, and Rocco walked out of the lounge with a briefcase.

"Come on, we have to do something with this." said Big Donnie.

"Is that the prize money?" asked Victor.

"One way to find out." said J.J. He walked over to the gangsters with his bandmates behind him. "Mr. Donnie!" he called.

"If he tries to sing, waste him." Big Donnie whispered to Rocco.

"I was wondering if you had any advice for our careers?" said J.J.

"Yeah." said Big Donnie. "Get out of show business."

J.J. and his group laughed. "Now!" he said.

He quickly punched Big Donnie in the jaw, knocking him down. Victor tackled Alex to the ground. Rocco went down after Pete head-butted him in the stomach and Steve's elbow connected with his nose.

Brad grabbed the briefcase. "This just might be the prize money." he said.

"Better not be restaurant trash." said J.J.

Brad opened the briefcase, smiled, and pulled out a stack of money.

"If that's restaurant trash, can I get a job here?" asked Victor.

"Great, we got the money." said Steve. "Now, let's get the Drake."


Two guards were in front of the suite where the Drake was supposedly being held. Pete walked around the corner from the stairs. "Uh, excuse me." he said. "Can I get some help with my bags?"

"Did you hear those guys in the lounge?" asked one as he followed.

"We should be paying them to reimburse them for the music lessons." said the other as they walked around the corner.

A few punches later and they were knocked out. The group walked around the corner and over to the door to the suite. "If you let me out of here, I'll make it worth your while." said a voice inside.

"That's the Drake." said Brad.

"It's got a keypad lock." said Victor.

"Break it down." said J.J.

"I've just about got the keypad lock undone." said Michael.

"One! Two! Three!" counted J.J.

"Got it." said Michael.

"Charge!" yelled J.J. as the door unlocked. He, Victor, and Pete plowed through the door effortlessly. In their charge, they knocked down a guard inside the room. Another guard on the far end started to pull out his gun, but Steve stepped in, grabbed a flower pot, and threw it at the guard. He knocked him out.

The Drake looked at his rescuers and said "Well, it's about frickin' time!"

"Come on, we gotta get you outta here." said J.J.

"Yeah, we gotta win the race." said the Drake.


In the parking lot, a security guard found Big Donnie and his cohorts and woke them up.

"Sir? Sir, are you alright?" asked the guard.

"Where's that band?" asked Big Donnie.

"I didn't see them leave." said the guard.

"Listen." said Big Donnie. "If those ratbags get out of here with my money, first, I'm gonna kill you. And then," He pointed to Rocco. "he's gonna kill you." He pointed to Alex. "Then, he's gonna kill you." He pointed straight down. "Then, he's gonna kill you!"

The guard got on his radio. "Anyone at the gate, be on the lookout for four crappy musicians with a briefcase full of cash."

The Cannonballers snuck over to the Drake's BMW. J.J. tried to open the door. "Locked." he said. "Where's the keys?"

"Inside the car." said the Drake.

"You stupid BASTARD!" yelled J.J.

"Hold it!" said Big Donnie. He and his men approached the Cannonballers with their guns drawn.

"Oh, this is bad." said Michael.

"Look where they are." said Jackie. "We can surprise them."

"Get into position." said Michael.

"You ever see that movie where the bad guys give the heroes a last request?" asked Big Donnie.

"Yeah, I saw that." said Brad.

"It was a good movie." said Victor.

"Any suggestions?" asked Big Donnie.

"A last meal perhaps?" asked Steve. "You know, we could hit the local McDonald's and gorge on Big Macs."

"There's this pizza place back in Napanoch." said J.J. "I'd like something from there if that's alright. They're closed on Mondays, though."

"Is there a decent five-star restaurant in Melbourne we could go to?" asked the Drake.

"Taco Bell." said Pete. "No, Carl's Jr."

"Frickin' chickasee." said Victor, drawing several stares. "Chicken fricassee." he corrected.

"And you?" asked Big Donnie.

"I'd like a wine list please." said Brad.

"Where I'm sending you, everything's on a menu." said Big Donnie.

"Now!" said Jackie. He and Michael burst out of the van and attacked Big Donnie and his men.

Jackie jump kicked Rocco and followed with a series of punches and strikes. He took a second to repel a guard with a kick to the chest, then returned his focus to Rocco.

J.J. and his group used the distraction to join in. J.J. went face to face with a guard and took him down with a punch to the stomach. Another guard tried to tackle him, but J.J. sidestepped him and clubbed him in the back with his fists. "Yeah! Give me somebody!" yelled J.J. Just then, another guard tackled him.

Big Donnie was about to take action, but Michael grabbed him by the collar. "Friend or foe?" asked Big Donnie.

"Guess!" said Michael. He threw Big Donnie over the hood of the BMW.

Victor pounded on the guy who tackled J.J. until his friend got back up. "You alright?" he asked.

"Yeah, thanks." said J.J.

"Let's get the hell out of here." said Steve.

"We can't get into my car." said the Drake.

"No problem." said Michael. "I've got another piece of equipment I can use."

"What is it?" asked the Drake. "A device that can simulate the frequency of the remote opener?"

"No." said Michael as he picked up Alex's gun. He aimed for the passenger window and shot it out.

The Drake unlocked the doors and said "You're paying for that."


A few minutes later, Big Donnie was able to get up and get to a phone. He dialed the number franticly. "Captain, this is Big Donnie." he said after he got a response. "Someone has wronged me. He has a blue BMW with American license plates and is with a rented van. Kill him. That's what I'm paying you for."


The Drake's BMW and the Transit van raced through the streets of Melbourne.

"Stay to the left, Drake." said J.J. from the backseat. "Stay to the left."

In the van, Pete looked over at Jackie and said "Hey, thanks for saving our bacon back there."

"No prob." said Jackie. "Just a little payback for your assistance at that roadhouse."

The two vehicles raced past a police car which started to give chase.

"Shit!" yelled Brad. "We've got company!"

"Hold on." said the Drake. He floored the accelerator.

Two police cars tried to block him off, but he raced between them just in time. The van was blocked off, however, but Jackie rammed through the roadblock.

"Whoa, I see you've rented cars before!" said Steve.

"Take the next left." said J.J. "That's where we left the limo."

The Drake followed J.J's directions. "Okay, now go into that warehouse." said J.J.

The Drake entered the warehouse with the van right behind him. When they entered, they saw row after row of Cannonballer cars and local street racers.

"What the hell?" asked the Drake.

"Needless to say, Jill and Marcie came up with this part." said Victor.

"Just like that film with Paul Walker, Tyrese, and that guy from 'American History X'." said the Drake.

Jill and Marcie were under the hood of their Skyline. The 350Z driver had it delivered to the warehouse where the new oil pump was being installed.

"I can't thank you enough for this." said Marcie.

"Ah, it was no problem." said the 350Z driver.

"Hey, what do you say we join the joyride?" asked the Pacer driver.

"Are you loco?" asked the 350Z driver. "We're not in this race!"

"Come on, old school versus new school?" asked the Pacer driver. "Battle of the sixes? What do you say?"

"You're on, mate." said the 350Z driver.

"So, you guys aren't going to perform nutball moves like that cutoff now?" asked Pamela.

"Not this time." said Fenderbaum. "We're not going to try any of that again."

"Good, I'd hate to see a repeat of last year." said Pamela. "That reminds me, after you popped our tire, how did we get to the gas station before you?"

"We got lost." said Blake.

The Drake parked and got out of his car. Ron ran over to him and said "Mr. Drake! Oh, thank God you're alright!"

"Ron, I think you're going to have your work cut out for you the rest of the journey." said the Drake. "One more thing, Blake, Fenderbaum, can I talk to you?"

Blake and Fenderbaum walked over to him and he grabbed their ties. "If you EVER sell me out like that again, I will make sure you both disappear and believe me! You will be missed by no one!" he yelled. "DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?"

"Yeah." whimpered Blake.

"Yeah." gasped Fenderbaum.

"Good." said the Drake. "Now, if you don't mind, I have a speech to make."

Blake and Fenderbaum returned to the crowd where J.J. and Victor were changing back into their secret service uniforms.

"My fellow Cannonballers, let me thank you for coming all this way to rescue me or at least lend a hand." said the Drake. "As you can see, we have equalized the field and as a result, we will be having a sprint finish like last year. First one there wins."

The crowd cheered.

"I also see there are several local street racers out there as well." said the Drake. "If any of you decide to join us in the final sprint, I won't be surprised. And with that, I have to go win the race."

Everybody started to get into their cars. Brad climbed back out. "Oh, one more thing." he said. "To share in good fortune with my fellow Cannonballers, I have decided to match the Drake's purse and raise the prize money to TWO MILLION DOLLARS!"

The crowd let out an even louder cheer.

"How many zeroes is in that?" squealed Jill.

"I don't know!" yelled Pete.

"Come, my friends!" yelled the Drake. "Let's go!" The doctor swept the broken glass out of the BMW just before he got in.


Outside, several police cars had the warehouse blocked off. Big Donnie, Alex, and Rocco pulled up in Alex's Holden.

"What's the story?" asked Big Donnie.

"We've got 'em cornered." said the police officer. "They're trapped."

"Wait, something's happening." said Rocco. The garage doors on the warehouse were opening.

"Hit it!" yelled someone.

J.J. fastened his seatbelt as Victor started the limo and donned his Captain Chaos mask. He then noticed Blake and Fenderbaum heading for the Maserati. "Hey, Fenderbaum, Blake, come here a minute!" he yelled.

Blake and Fenderbaum stormed over to him. "What is it, J.J? Can't you see we're busy?" asked Fenderbaum.

"I know that." said J.J. "That's why I wanna get a head start. See you in Brisbane."

One of the guys who opened the garage doors dropped his hand. The street race cars in front of the doors raced out with the ones behind them following in rapid succession.

"Crikey!" yelled Rocco.

"Holy shit!" yelled Big Donnie.

In the stampede of cars, the first two Cannonballers out were Jackie's Eclipse and Mel's Falcon.

"Hey, I'm canceling your credit cards!" laughed Michael as he held up his keyboard.

"Hell of a honeymoon, right?" asked Terry.

"Oh yeah!" said Sarah.

Pete tore out of the warehouse in the RX-7 with Jill not far behind in the Skyline. Pete raced between the Holden and an adjacent police car.

"What the..?" yelled Alex as he leaned out of his window. Jill raced by and gave him a blast of nitrous purge.

Within half a minute, the warehouse was empty except for the van which was left for the police to pick up.


A few minutes passed before the Cannonballers reached the countryside of Victoria. Pete pulled alongside Jill and rolled down his window. Marcie did the same.

"That was some good thinking!" yelled Pete.

"Thanks!" yelled Jill. "Now, we'll see who can pull this one off."

"Jill, look out!" yelled Marcie. A police car was heading straight for them. Both cars swerved around it. The police car then turned around and gave chase.

Elsewhere, the Eclipse was easily outrunning the police car chasing it. Finally, Jackie managed to lose the guy when he went around a turn. The police car pulled into the passing lane to pass a funeral procession, but the driver couldn't find the Mitsubishi.

"Straight as it is narrow." he said. "I can see for five miles. I wonder where they are."

"Don't panic." said his partner. "Just watch the side roads for dust. No way they can shake us."

They raced past the hearse...and the Mitsubishi hiding alongside it.

Elsewhere, another police car was chasing the Falcon...and losing it.

"He's getting away!" said the driver.

"Can't outrun the radio." said his partner. "Charlie, we got a white Falcon between us! Just pull out and block the damn road!"

The Falcon raced by Charlie before he could do anything. "Got any more bright ideas?" he asked.

Somewhere else, the Drake was racing along with the doctor trying to examine him.

"Look, you're going to have to stop this thing." said the doctor. "I can't do this with all this moving."

"I can't stop!" yelled the Drake. "Just keep me alive until we reach Brisbane!"

The Drake was so busy fighting with the doctor, he wasn't able to prevent Blake from passing him.

"So much for the Drake." said Blake.

"It's money in the bank!" squealed Fenderbaum.

"A million bucks a piece!" cheered Blake as J.J's Holden limo pulled alongside them.

Fenderbaum looked at them and shrieked "That's J.J!"

"Where'd he learn to drive like that?" asked Blake.

"I don't know, but don't let him pass us!" said Fenderbaum. "Floor it!"

"It's floored!" yelled Blake.

Fenderbaum rolled down his window and said "Hi, J.J! Chicky lover baby! Remember, whoever wins, we split the money fifty-fifty!"

J.J. laughed.

"Seventy-thirty." said Fenderbaum.

J.J. laughed again.

"How about ten percent?" laughed Fenderbaum.

The limo pulled away and J.J. said "Forget it!"

The two cars raced past a sign reading "Welcome to New South Wales."


Back in Melbourne, Big Donnie got on the phone. "I need you to ready my private jet." he said. "We have to get to Brisbane before Seymour Drake does so we can recapture him. I also want my men to ask around Brisbane to find out where the finish for the Cannonball is."


Hours later, the Drake was halfway through New South Wales. "Ironicly, we're just about at the spot where I was grabbed." yelled the Drake over the wind noise created by the shot out window.

"Speaking of that, I was thinking." said Ron. "With Big Donnie's resources, it shouldn't be too hard for him to track us down again."

"That's a good point!" said the Drake. "Do you have any ideas how to prevent that?"

Ron held up his cel phone. "I just dialled Brisbane's chief of police." he said. "If you're willing to make a sacrifice, I think you can easily solve the problem."

"Sacrifice?" asked the Drake. "Oh, I see what you mean. Hand me the phone." Ron handed him the phone. The Drake pushed the Send button and put the phone to his ear. "Hello, is this the chief of the Brisbane Police Department? How much is Big Donnie Cannaglio paying you?"


A couple of hours later, the cars had entered the city limits of Brisbane.

"We're in town." said Mel. "What are we looking for?"

"The Brisbane Hilton, it's on Elizabeth Street." said Terry.

"Say, honey." said Sarah. "Win or lose, what do you say to another week here?"

"Both of us?" asked Terry.

"It'll be a weekend you're never gonna forget." said Sarah.

"Hey, until then, let's concentrate on this race." said Mel.

Terry kissed Sarah and said "Let's pour it on."


"Brisbane Hilton." said the Drake. "We're finally here."

"Find a parking spot, quick!" said Ron.

The Drake hit his brakes and slid into a parking space. Within a few seconds, he and his entourage were out of the car.

"Very impressive, Mr. Drake." said a voice. The Drake, Ron, and the doctor turned to face the man who owned the voice.

"Big Donnie." said the Drake. "What a pleasant surprise."

"You knew we'd be after you," said Big Donnie "so it ain't a surprise and it ain't gonna be pleasant."

Just then, a group of police cars entered the parking lot with sirens blaring and screeched to a halt.

"As you can see, my men have called for backup." said Big Donnie. "You have no chance."

"Did you call them?" asked Alex.

"No, you did." said Rocco.

The police officers climbed out of their cars and pointed their guns at the gangsters. "Surrender now!" ordered their leader.

"You heard the man." said Big Donnie. "Surrender."

"I'm talking to you, Cannaglio!" replied the police officer.

"What?" asked the surprised Big Donnie. "What is this?"

The police officers ran over and began arrest procedures. "This is justice, mate." said the officer.

"Do you know what I'm paying you?" asked Big Donnie as an officer forced him to his knees.

"Oy, it's exactly half of what Mr. Drake is paying me." said the officer.

"This is what having money is all about." said the Drake. "I can't believe I had to bribe someone to do his job."

"Wait, I thought you had no evidence against me." said Big Donnie. "That you destroyed it all."

"Well, it turns out someone dug it up." said the officer. "He was pretty determined. Here he is now."

Inspector Lyle climbed out of the car. "G'Day." he said.

"Mr. Drake, I hope you realize what you've started." said the officer. "This goes all the way across the country."

"I guess we've seen the last of Big Donnie, then?" said Ron.

"He's going away for a long time." said the officer.

"Well, enjoy your money, chief." said the Drake. "Don't spend it all in one place." He turned and walked away and muttered "People will get suspicious then."

The RX-7 pulled into a space two spots down from the BMW. Pete and Steve climbed out and took in the spectacle.

"What just happened?" asked Pete.

"Big Donnie just got arrested." said the Drake.

"So, we're out of danger?" asked Steve.

"Exactly." said the Drake. "Oh, one last thing: last one to the finish is a rotten egg!"

He ran up the steps to the hotel. Pete and Steve started to follow. "Steve, wait!" yelled Pete. "The time card!"

"It's in the car!" yelled Steve. "I'll get it!"

Steve ran back to the car and opened the door. As he was rumaging around for the time card, he heard two engines approaching. He looked up to see the 350Z and Pacer entering the parking lot. The 350Z performed a power slide and ended up in the space next to the RX-7. However, the Pacer cut a hard turn and drove into the space between the RX-7 and BMW. The roar of its engine zipped by Steve and was joined by the crunch of tearing metal. He looked up to confirm his worst suspicion: the RX-7's door had been ripped off.

The Pacer's driver climbed out to find Steve staring in complete shock. "Oh, sorry about that, mate." he said. "Didn't see you there."

"Look at what you did!" yelled Steve. "Do you have any idea how much this is going to cost?"

"I didn't hit you." protested the Pacer driver.

"I'd prefer if you hit me!" yelled Steve.


The Drake ran down the halls of the hotel towards the pool area. Ron and the doctor were right behind him.

"It's just through those doors." said Ron.

The Drake threw open the doors to find the welcoming committee waiting for him and cheering. He took out his time card and jammed it into the clock, then threw his fists in the air in a victory pose.

"Nice finish, Drake!" said someone. The Drake turned to see who it was. It was JACKIE! "But not as fast as ours." said Jackie as he and Michael enjoyed a couple of drinks.

The Drake dropped his time card into the pool and sighed with disgust.


Hours later, anews crew had set up. "We are here at the Brisbane Hilton where earlier, mob boss Big Donnie Cannaglio was arrested on charges of bribery, kidnapping, and various other offenses." said the reporter. "Sources say Cannaglio is under suspicion of having bribed several high-ranking police officials across the country and the cases are being looked into. Rumors state that Cannaglio was brought down by the participants of a cross-country illegal road race, although such reports are being dismissed as nonsense. This is Beth McNabb reporting for Australian Broadcasting Company. Back to you."

Blake and Fenderbaum ran into the pool area. They made a beeline for the clock. However, before they could punch their card in the clock, the official took it.

"Forget it, guys." said the official. "You're four hours and fifteen martinis late. Get to the bar and get gassed up. You're flying home tomorrow."

"All this distance and we didn't win?" groused Blake as he went for the bar.

"Maybe we should stick to America." said Fenderbaum.

They walked past Jill, Marcie, Pete, and Steve.

"That was quite an eye-opening experience." said Pete.

"Yeah, I learned something important." said Jill. "Australian cops can be just as ineffectual as American cops."

"I can't believe you guys beat us." said Marcie.

"It was all smooth sailing." said Pete.

"'til now." said Steve. Jessie and Lazlow had entered.

"Hey, how you doing, girl?" asked Jill as Jessie walked over.

"Oh, fine I guess." said Jessie. "I heard you had some car trouble?"

"Oil pump, but we fixed it." said Marcie.

"Bloody thing never did work right." said Jessie.

"Laz, I'm really sorry about the door!" said Steve.

"Ah, don't worry about it." said Lazlow. "I was thinking of a vertical door conversion anyway."

"Oh, well, good luck with that." said Steve.

Brad and the Drake walked by. "Well, I guess I owe you my life." said the Drake.

"And you repaid me by kicking my ass." said Brad.

"Well, them's the breaks." said the Drake. "I suppose we can go at it again next year."

"What do you mean?" asked Brad.

"I called Mad Dog to see if he was feeling better." said the Drake. "He's feeling so much better, he wants to stage next year's race. I told him I was in if he'd have me. I think I'll do you a favor. I have decided to hire the winners of this year's race to be your team in the next. I'd like you to get aquainted, Brad. I've told them so much about you."

"Good stuff, I hope." said Brad.

"And thash why MIT is king, baby!" slurred Jackie. "Bring on the shexy ladies!"

"That's why he let me hold the keys." said Michael. "He said that if he won, he'd see how drunk he could get."

"And you let him?" asked the woman sitting next to him.

"I'm working on a mechanical liver now." said Michael as Brad and the Drake walked over.

"Jackie, Michael, I'd like to to meet Mr. Brad Compton." said the Drake.

Jackie, drunk out of his mind, grabbed Brad behind his head, pulled him in, and kissed the very surprised man.



AN:Now, THERE'S an image you'll never get out of your minds.
And so wraps up the 2004 edition of the Cannonball Run. I hope you had fun reading, because I had fun writing.
I'd like to thank all those who reviewed. I'd also like to thank the folks at Dorling-Kindersley for their travel guides. Their Australia guide has proven invaluable for this fic.
Will there be a Cannonball Run 2005? I don't know. In case you haven't heard, I've been tapped to write Cannonball Run 5, the follow-up to Turbo Man's Cannonball Run 4. Therefore, I'll be too busy to write CR2005, but I'm thinking of letting someone else take over.If you're interested, please let me know.
Anyways, thank you and good night.