Cannonball Run 2003
Chapter Six:The Final Stretch
The Drake pulled into a gas station outside of Los Angeles. Several of the other Cannonballers were there as well. He, Ron, and Susan climbed out of the BMW.
"What's this about increased police presence?" he asked.
"They're all over the place." said Marcie. "Someone must have tipped them off."
"You don't suppose they noticed all these high performance cars racing around at breakneck speed, do you?" asked Ron.
"Ron, shut up." said Jill.
"So, Victor." said Pamela. "I know how I fit into this as well as J.J. and yourself. But how do you know the doctor?"
"We actually brought him in mere hours before the race started." said Victor. "We needed a doctor for the ambulance, so I found him and explained the situation and luckily, he joined us."
"Where did you find him?" asked Pamela.
"I'm not sure what kind of facility it was." said Victor. "I'm just surprised that all the animals there weren't..."
"Actually, that's...more than I want to know." said Pamela.
"We saw the dune buggies..." said Michael as he shoveled sand out of the Subaru.
"Sand rails." said Jackie.
"Whatever." said Michael. "We then followed them and they led us away from the cop."
"We had to jump a train to lose ours." said Batman. "You really had to be there. We went right over that thing."
"What, you wanna do it again?" asked Mad Dog.
Not far away, Blake was sitting on the hood of the Porsche.
"Well, well, well." said J.J. as he and Victor walked over. "Father Putz."
"Well, look who's here." said Fenderbaum.
Blake added "Oh, I'd like to thank you and the Goodyear Blimp here for telling the entire state of Missouri that we were flashers and sex offenders and perverts. Thank you so very much."
"The Goodyear Blimp?" asked Victor.
"Well, that was just a little payback for what you two did to us in Ohio." said J.J. who then added threateningly "And if you call my friend here 'The Goodyear Blimp' again, I'm gonna take those rosary beads and stuff 'em up your nose!"
"These beads?" asked Blake as he pointed to his rosary beads.
"Yeah!" said J.J.
"Up this nose?" asked Blake as he pointed to his nose.
"That's right!" said J.J.
"Want some advice?" asked Blake. "Bring friends!"
"A lot of 'em." added Fenderbaum.
"Okay." said J.J. He then clocked Blake with a right cross to the jaw. "I see you've met."
Blake got back up, tackled J.J, and sent him sprawling into the back of the ambulance. J.J. pushed him off and hit him with a left cross.
The other Cannonballers gathered around and started cheering them both on.
Blake tackled J.J. to the ground and started punching him in the stomach. J.J. pushed him off with his foot and got back on his feet.
Blake got back up and tackled J.J. again. This time, they wound up on the hood of the Porsche. J.J. pushed Blake off him again and got back up.
Blake came at J.J. again, but J.J. grabbed him and threw him off to the side. J.J. punched Blake in the jaw with his right fist. Then, he repeated this action. Then, he punched Blake in the jaw again.
"Hold it." said Blake as he tapped the right side of his jaw. "Try this side."
"Okay." said J.J. He then picked up a wrench and hit Blake with it on the right side of his jaw. Blake went down.
J.J. turned to face the cheering Cannonballers and held his fists up in triumph. Blake got back up and walked over to Fenderbaum.
"Nice work." said Fenderbaum.
"He's tougher than he looks." said Blake.
The Drake was on his cell phone. "Okay, I'll tell them." he said. He closed his phone, then turned to the Cannonballers. "Here's the situation. When this race started, there were twenty-five cars taking part. That number has been reduced by about seven as a result of the roadblock in Missouri and another seven have been detained as a result of increased police patrols. One of the racers caught at the roadblock, Danny Mitchell, has brought in his lawyer to defuse the situation."
"I bet Danny's glad speeding isn't a deportable offense." said J.J.
"The other racers who were detained have been tried and released." said the Drake. "However, they are so far behind, they're out of contention. The race officials are currently deliberating our next course of action."
"Is this race going to the finish?" asked Mad Dog.
"Too soon to tell." said the Drake. "If it does go, I can tell you one thing. The winner will be one of the cars at this gas station."
Jackie looked around. In addition to his Subaru, J.J's ambulance, Blake's Porsche, Jill's MR2, the Drake's BMW, and Mad Dog's Sierra, there were four other cars: a Nissan 300ZX, a Trans-Am, a Chrysler 300M, and an Audi S4.
Jill looked over the cars and mentally debated the advantages and disadvantages of the cars.
Pamela turned to J.J. and Victor and said "I just want you to know that I think you guys have really put your all into this race. If you win, then I would be honored to have been a part of that. I think you can do it."
"Thank you." said J.J.
Just then, the Drake's phone rang. He checked the screen and set it on speakerphone.
The race organizer was on the other end. "Cannonballers, give me your attention. It has come to my attention that you ten teams are the only ones who have a chance of winning this race. This is what I'm telling you to do. This will be a sprint finish. First one to stick their time card in the clock will be declared the winner. It all depends on how fast you can get into your cars and to the finish. The time to leave is...NOW!"
The Cannonballers ran to their cars. The Drake closed his cell phone again.
"My hand's too messed up." said J.J. "You're gonna have to drive."
"I'm on it." said Victor as he climbed into the ambulance.
Blake ran back to his Porsche and jumped in. Jill and Marcie jumped into their MR2 and strapped in. Mad Dog jumped into the driver's seat of the pickup with Batman getting into the passenger side.
Jackie and Michael jumped back into the Subaru. "Please start." Jackie told the car as he turned the ignition. The car obliged.
Within seconds, the cars were off and out of the gas station. Blake and Fenderbaum managed to get out of the gas station first and took an early lead.
The teams raced down the California highway making a beeline for the Portofino Inn. The ambulance was running in second place behind the Porsche until the other cars blew past it.
"Come on, Victor!" squealed Pamela.
"Can you get this thing going any faster?" asked the doc.
The cars raced over an undulating stretch of road. The Porsche was in front, followed by the Subaru. Behind that was the MR2 which quickly passed the Subaru. Mad Dog's GMC was next with the Drake's BMW right behind him. The 300ZX and ambulance were next with the Chrysler, Audi, and Trans-Am bringing up the rear.
"I think this is about as good as it gets." said Victor.
"For you...or Captain Chaos?" asked J.J.
"I thought you didn't like him." said Victor.
"Like him or not, we need him." said J.J. "We need...HIM."
Victor smiled and said "J.J, hand me the mask and cape."
J.J. handed him an orange mask which read "Chaos" in yellow letters above the eye holes. It had a matching cape.
Victor took the mask in his hands and said "It's go time." He then wrapped it around his face and donned his cape. He then slammed on the accelerator and yelled "Da da DAAAA!" The burst of speed sent J.J. tumbling into the back.
The ambulance started to surge down the highway as it entered the Los Angeles area. The 300ZX was the first to be passed. The Drake's BMW was next, followed by Mad Dog's Sierra. After that was Team M.I.T's Subaru, then Jill and Marcie's MR2. Finally, the ambulance blew past Blake's Porsche.
J.J. climbed back to the front of the ambulance as it reached surface streets. "It's only ten blocks to the finish!" announced Captain Chaos. "I have a feeling we will be...triumphant!"
Just after that, the ambulance raced through a downtown intersection. The Porsche followed it with the Toyota close behind. The Sierra, Impreza, BMW, and 300ZX brought up the rear.
"You know, some nitrous would really help now." said Jill.
"Gotcha." said Marcie. She turned around and turned the valve on the nitrous bottle. She then glanced at the pressure gauge and her face dropped. "Uh oh." she said.
"What?" asked Jill.
"We're out of nitrous." said Marcie as she got back into the seat.
"Shit!" yelled Jill.
"Relax, we still have one advantage." said Marcie.
"What's that?" asked Jill.
"This is our town!" announced Marcie.
"You got it." said Jill as she went to the next gear.
The Cannonballers entered a traffic circle and exited on the road leading to the Portofino Inn. The cars slowed down to make the turn. The Porsche and Toyota entered the circle at the same time, but Jill managed to recover more quickly and pass Blake.
Fenderbaum grabbed the windshield and pulled himself into a standing position. He looked at the street racer passing them and dropped back into the seat.
"What was that?" asked Blake.
"A Toyota." said Fenderbaum.
"Is it in the race?" asked Blake.
"Just catch it!" yelled Fenderbaum.
Finally, the Cannonballers reached the Portofino Inn. However, the guard didn't raise the gates for them. Mad Dog charged through one while Blake took out the other. The racing vehicles turned into the parking lot with the finish line in it and continued their charge.
Suddenly, another car pulled into their path and the drivers were forced to stop. The Cannonballers jumped out of their cars. "It's a foot race!" yelled Blake.
The Cannonballers ran down the parking lot. Captain Chaos and J.J. were in the lead with the rest quickly gaining. J.J. ran up to Chaos and handed him the time card. "Take this and win!" he said, then tackled Blake.
Marcie jumped over the fallen racers and chased after Chaos with her team's time card. Jackie wasn't as lucky and tripped over the pair. When he fell, he fell into Mad Dog and knocked him down. The Drake tried to step around them and tripped over Blake's arm. No one else made an attempt since they were so far behind.
Marcie continued to chase Chaos, but fell further behind with every step.
The Cannonballers who had fallen picked themselves up off the ground. The doctor ran over and yelled "Anybody need medical attention?"
"Well, that's not a very sporting way to win." said the Drake.
"Not a very sporting...that's a shitty way to win." added Blake.
"Keep going!" J.J. yelled to Chaos.
"We're gonna win!" shrieked Pamela.
Just then, a woman screamed. "Help! Somebody save my baby! He's drowning!"
Chaos stopped when he heard the cry for help. He quickly looked between the clock and the woman. J.J. just stared in shock.
Finally, Chaos made his choice. He dropped the time card and ran towards the woman. "I will save your baby!" he announced. "Have no fear!" He jumped over the hedge and hit the water.
Marcie, on the other hand, just ran over to the clock, jammed the card into it, and claimed victory. J.J. groaned while Blake and Fenderbaum laughed.
Chaos walked up a ramp leading to a boat landing with the woman's baby, a dog. She repeatedly thanked him as he handed it to her.
Chaos then turned to see a clearly angry J.J. approaching him. "Oh shit." he muttered.
"Victor, we could've won that race." J.J. stated. "Can you give me a reason why you decided to save that woman's dog instead of giving us a victory?"
"Well, the dog is obviously important to her." explained Victor. "And I'm sure I'll sleep better tonight knowing I helped a total stranger in a time of need instead of selfishly pursuing my own goal. And that is the definition of hero."
"Good enough." laughed J.J. as he took Victor in a big hug. The other Cannonballers laughed and cheered them.
Jill walked over and said "We won?"
"Bingo." said Marcie.
"Street chicks for life." said Jill as she and Marcie high-fived each other.
A post-race party immediately followed. Jill and Marcie's friends Steve and Pete showed up and posed for photos with them. Everybody else enjoyed a glass of champagne and a few laughs about the previous two days' events.
Fenderbaum got back on the phone with Ricky. "What?" he yelled. "Ricky, how could you drop us in the middle of the race?"
An hour into the party, a pair of taxis pulled into the lot. Mel and Terry jumped out of the back of one, while a very angry Mr. Foyt climbed out of the front seat. Danny, Melanie, and the Prescotts got out of the other.
"So who won the race?" asked Terry.
"What do you get for last?" joked Chuck.
"Well, congratulations on confirming what every insurance company and legislator has already suspected-" growled Foyt. "that every automobile enthusiast is an overgrown adolescent who views every strip of asphalt as a personal race track. How do you feel now that you have raped America's highways?"
"Beautiful." said Blake.
Jackie quickly whispered something into Michael's ear. "Uh, sir." said Michael. "If it's not too much trouble, I'd like to invite you in for a soda. In fact, you can use the dispenser in our car, Mr...uh..."
"Foyt!" everybody called.
"Foyt." said Michael. "It's the black Subaru. Push the 'Pop' button."
With that, Mr. Foyt walked over to the Subaru and let himself inside.
"Watch what happens when he pushes that button." laughed Jackie.
Mr. Foyt sat in the Subaru's driver's seat and pushed the "Pop" button. A can of root beer popped out of the cup holder.
The Cannonballers looked over at the Subaru and their looks turned to confusion when they saw Foyt sitting in the car chugging the soda.
"Ain't nothing happening." said Fenderbaum.
"That's odd." said Jackie as he walked over to the car. He let himself into the Subaru, sat in the passenger seat, and asked "Excuse me, where did you get that soda?"
"The 'Pop' button of course." said Foyt.
"That's weird." said Jackie as he pushed the "Pop" button. Another soda came out of the modified cup holder. Foyt just looked confused.
"Jackie!" yelled Michael. "I just remembered! It's not 'Pop', it's the 'Eject' button on the CD player!"
"You mean this?" asked Foyt as he tapped the "Eject" button. This time, the roof blew open and Jackie was shot into the air. The other Cannonballers watched in surprise as Jackie flew away from the car and landed in the bay.
He swam to the surface and attracted a good laugh from everybody.
After that, the post-race party continued.
Terry stood off to the side while looking over the ocean. Mel walked over to him.
"I was just talking with Danny." said Mel. "His lawyer managed to get our cars back."
"That's great!" said Terry enthusiasticly.
"Great?" asked Mel. "The car was blown to pieces."
"This gives me an opportunity to fix it up." said Terry. "I think some repair work, a new engine, replace the interior and front clip, no one will be able to tell it was wrecked."
"How long do you think that will take?" asked Mel.
"I dunno." said Terry. "Three years, maybe."
"So, what happened to you guys?" asked Danny.
"Oil pump." said Betty. "Blew right up."
"Yeah, we're going to have to get it fixed if we're going to race again." said Chuck.
"Maybe J.J. and Victor can help you there." said Melanie.
"Where are J.J. and Victor?" asked Batman.
In the parking lot, J.J. was helping Pamela get into a cab. "Once you get to the airport, you can go back to Connecticut or wherever." said J.J.
"I can't believe you're actually letting me leave." she said.
"I promised." said J.J.
"It was fun running with you." said Pamela.
"Have fun." said J.J. He then closed the door. He turned around and walked to Victor as the taxi drove away.
"Have fun?" asked Victor. "That was it?"
"I didn't really see any reason to keep her longer than we should." said J.J. "I mean, face it. What we did to her was kidnap her. I promised her I would let her leave when the race was over."
"Well, where is she going?" asked Victor.
"Anywhere she wants." said J.J.
They heard a car pull up and a door slam. "J.J?"
J.J. and Victor turned around. They saw Pamela standing next to the taxi just before it pulled away.
"I thought you were going to the airport." said J.J.
"Oh, come on." she said. "You don't share the adventure of a lifetime with someone and just leave it at that."
"I told you that you could go back to your life." said J.J.
"J.J, the woman is throwing herself at you." said Victor. "Maybe she can replace Gina. Maybe she's the one. Maybe you can finish your conversation from the other night."
"What do you say?" asked Pamela.
"I'll think about it during the party." said J.J. "Like to come?"
"Anytime." said Pamela.
The three of them ran over to the party.
"Hey, is there anything left?" asked Victor.
"To the Cannonball!" yelled the Drake.
"Yeah!" cheered the group.
"Maybe next year, we'll do this again." said Mad Dog.
AN:I hope you enjoyed this rewrite. You might have noticed I did some foreshadowing for stories that came later as well as work in some characters from said stories. In case you're wondering, I am not planning on rewriting Cannonball Run 2004. If I rewrote all of my stories, I wouldn't have time to write new ones. But they're all my babies. I did the best I could with them.
Thank you for reading and Happy New Year.