don't care about pollution
I'm an air-conditioned gypsy
That's my solution
Watch the police and the taxman miss me!
Mobile, mobile, mobile, yeah
-The Who, "Going Mobile"
SKRUNCH!! The car landed on its rear wheels, taking out the struts, shocks, muffler, both rear hubcaps, and the rear bumper. It fishtailed violently at first, but Yukari managed to regain control by the time they left the bridge. Part of the edge of the bridge segment crumbled away under the sudden impact. The twins slowly opened their eyes, only partially gladdened by the fact that yes, they were still alive, but still weighted with fear knowing that they were still careening down a curvy mountain road in a car driven by Japan's worst driver.
"Oh my…!" gasped Benten, not quite able to comprehend what she had just seen in her mirror. "She made it! That hellion actually pulled it off! How did she…?" And from here, she noticed, the road began to descend steeply toward the sea. With her extra weight, Yukari would be at an advantage.
"Ya-ha-haaa!" Yukari cackled. "This is it, beeyotch! Get ready for life in the slow lane!" She drifted toward the right to pass Benten's Hog.
"Not on your life!" Benten shifted into her highest gear and swerved right, blocking the Yukarimobile.
"Yaaaghh!" Yukari shrieked, pulling to the left again, just as the road went into a sharp right turn. Tsukasa howled as the car came within centimeters of a solid rock face at at least 100 kilometers an hour, and once more buried her face in her sister's shoulder. Kagami glanced away from it, then saw with astonishment that Konata was still asleep. I hope you get to wake up again, she thought despite her scrambled brain.
The vehicles continued a slalom race through the mountains, Benten usually maintaining the lead, Yukari sometimes nosing just a bit ahead.
Okay, it looks like a straightaway coming up, Benten thought. Maybe if I just sashay a little…What the holy hell? Are those…headlights?
"Ohmygodsenseiohmygodohmygod…HEADLIIIIIGHTS!!!" cried Tomo, as a pair of headlights came into view…with a pair of flashing lights above them. As they rapidly approached, the other vehicle started to emerge…orange…flashing lights…rather large. Between the flashing lights was a large sign, with yellow characters on a black background: "OVERSIZED LOAD". And behind the truck, slowly climbing up the hill, Tomo's dazed eyes could make out other large, metallic forms behind it; dump trucks, cement mixers, flatbeds carrying bulldozers, earthmovers, steam shovels, piledrivers.
Apparently they were going to rebuild the bridge after all. Starting today.
Ignoring the blaring horns of the trucks, the sedan and the motorcycle raced into the gauntlet side-by-side, not slowing down one measure.
Sweat ran down Benten's brow. She had only about a meter of space on both sides, her bike was running about as fast as she could get it, yet Yukari was hanging on by her side. I gotta shake her off somehow, she thought. Hey, whoa, whoooa!
Benten swerved and dropped back as Yukari yawed towards and slightly ahead of her. Even through the window glass and over the angry, now unmuffled roar of the engine, she could hear the witch's wicked laughter. With Benten now behind her, Yukari maneuvered into the center of the lane, leaving only minimal passing room on both sides. Playing for keeps, eh? Well, two can do that! Time for some more offensive driving, she thought.
Benten braked hard and leaned into a sharp turn, slipping right between two trucks. The driver she passed in front of blared his horn and came to a screeching halt. Sure enough, the one behind him rear-ended his truck, sending a load of rebar beams flying. In Yukari's car, the twins nearly fainted when a beam hurled straight through the car like a javelin. Both managed to duck in time, but the beam took off Tsukasa's bow with a zing. A rear-ending chain reaction had been triggered by Benten's sudden move, and the rebar truck was itself rear-ended by the one behind it, carrying an earthmover, and then was itself rear-ended. Its huge cargo began to topple…just as the Yukarimobile was starting to pass it.
Not even Tomo could look anymore. She buried her face in her hands and gave a banshee's howl. The twins were clasping each other tightly again; their eyes shut since the rebar beam.
"NNNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" screamed Yukari, pressing the gas to the floor. Already near its top speed, the tachometer pushed into the red. Steam started to issue from under the hood and through the radiator. With the muffler gone, the engine's roar filled the car, just barely allowing some gruesome song by Cannibal Corpse (which had now come up on Yukari's iPod) to be heard. Yukari swung to the left edge of the road, again skimming along side of the pavement.
The earthmover's front half began to slide off first, breaking its bonds with whiplike snaps. It filled Yukari's vision as she flew by, and she had to remind herself to keep her eyes glued in front of her.
Even at her speed, it seemed like an eternity before the rear end of the gigantic machine crashed down, only about a meter behind. Somehow it seemed the thunderous crash of it impacting the road had been delayed, like with a supersonic jet. Even Yukari had developed a cold sweat as she looked in her rearview and saw it slam into where they had been seconds ago, then roll across the road and down the steep, forested slope, snapping trees like sticks.
Whoa, thought Benten, when she saw the earthmover fall away in her own mirror. M-maybe I'm playing a bit too rough. I don't actually want to kill Yukari-chan, and especially not those kids with her. Maybe I should take it a bit easy and…
"YAAARRRRR!!!" Passing the end of the convoy and coming out from behind the wall of trucks, Yukari, still in front of Benten, dropped her speed suddenly. Benten barely had time to brake, and "kissed" the bent rear of the Yukarimobile. Yukari then hit the gas, spewing a cloud of gray exhaust in Benten's face. The bike fishtailed violently as the biker girl struggled to maintain control.
"Oh, so you're up for a little kiss 'n ride, eh?" she muttered. "Sounds like fun! Pucker up, m'dear!" However, Yukari had once again widened the gap between them. Benten opened the throttle…
"Interpol?" said Yui. "Well, I don't know if I could help Takino-san with that. I'm just a local traffic cop. But perhaps a visit to the station would help introduce her to things, if she's really serious about it."
"Well, between you and me," answered Minamo, "I think she mainly became interested in it because of Lupin III."
"Oh man, that was my favorite anime when I was a kid!" Yui laughed. "I don't know if it was the main reason I decided to become a cop, but… What the HELL?"
She wasn't quite sure if she was seeing things or not, but sure enough, a few hundred meters in front of them, a battered silver Toyota Camry emerged from a side road. It was missing its rear bumper, and both rear wheels wobbled in and out, but it still maintained an incredible speed. It was followed by a familiar motorcycle with a girl in tight blue jeans driving.
"B-b-b-but that bridge is OUT!" Yui stammered incredulously. "How did they stay on that road and…they couldn't have…they…" She noticed the madly wobbling wheels and large blue-gray exhaust clouds behind the Yukarimobile. A growl started to rise in her throat.
"Officer, are you all right?" asked Minamo. "Your face is bright red, and…"
"I am going to slit her throat wide open," Yui replied with a chilling calm.
Before long they were racing along the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific. All right, Benten hissed to herself. She's still in front of me, and there's that strip mall she was talking about. But I can still turn faster and sharper, so I can still take the inside track. Just…a…few…more…meters… Looming up before her, she could recognize the characters for "Mihama" on a mailbox. In what was likely a gesture of mockery, Yukari signaled left and began her turn. Benten slowed down and drifted toward the left. However, the Yukarimobile gave a growl of acceleration as it lurched into the turn.
With a groan and a snap, the heavily strained left rear wheel snapped off.
Once again seriously wondering if they would get to see the sun set that day, the Hiiragi twins clasped onto each other with death grips as the car went into a spin. Tomo merely screamed as if to drown out the hideous screeeeeg of the decapitated wheel stub scraping over the driveway pavement, like a giant running his fingernails over the world's largest blackboard.
"Whoa!" gasped Benten, popping a wheelie to avoid the loose wheel. "That's a first for me, and…double whoa!" She halted at the head of the driveway to watch the car spinning right down it, throwing an array of sparks into the air. She watched as it came closer and closer to the beach house, yet started to slow down…and down…and down…until it finally came to a rest at the foot of the drive.
Yukari turned off the ignition. For about a minute, the only sound was the waves on the beach. Then a giggle began in her belly, small at first, then rising to a crescendo. "Ah-ha-ha-haaaaa!" she howled, as an incredulous Benten rumbled down the driveway. "I did it, ya whacked-out biker bitch! For the first time ever, I beat you! I beat you and your parents' trust-fund Hog! How ya like them apples, huh, huh?" Before Benten could utter any kind of reply, Yukari was doing a wild victory dance around her bike.
Yui entered the driveway, and her jaw dropped to the floor. Whereas the Yukarimobile had looked somewhat banged-up at the start of their trip, now it looked like the survivor (or perhaps a victim) of a demolition derby. She had seen it go into a skid from a distance, and sure enough, the left rear wheel had torn off, leaving a mangled stub that had gouged large donuts into the driveway pavement. The trunk end of the car seemed to have been slightly bent upward somehow, leaving it banana-shaped. White steam from the hood mingled with blue-gray exhaust and white smoke from the wheels and stub. And the foul stench of burning brakes and rubber mingled with the tangy uncombusted gasoline from Benten's motorcycle.
Yui pulled out her cellphone. "Yes, I'd like the Chiba Prefectural Police. Hello, this is Officer Yui Narumi of the Saitama Police, Traffic Division. I'd like to report two cases of extreme reckless driving…"
"Good. I hope they put that bitch on ice," came a certain solemn voice towards the rear of the van. Surprised, all the girls and Minamo turned around at once. Sakaki was the only one who hadn't turned toward the voice.
"What?" she replied. "You saw the way Yukari-sensei was driving. Besides, I haven't said anything for a while."
Konata's eyelids fluttered as she finally came awake. "Mmm…" she sighed. "That was a nice sleep. I feel great." She glanced to her side to notice Tsukasa and Kagami tightly embraced. Heh, you can't keep those two apart. Aww, I hope I didn't miss any hot make-out action while I was asleep. Nahh, Kagamin's way too much of a prude to do that in public. Hey, wait… Her eyes came more into focus. The twins were indeed holding each other tightly, but were also quaking violently with their eyes tightly shut and their faces twisted with fear. Their skin was the color of chalk. In the front passenger seat, Tomo looked the same way, although with no one sane next to her to hold, she grasped the armrests like a vise, and her teeth were tightly gritted. She looked rather like someone in an electric chair.
"Hey, Kagamin? Tsukasa-chan?" Konata said; a rare concerned tone in her voice. "Are you all right?" She poked Kagami slightly.
Both girls answered her by vomiting simultaneously. Tomo then did the same.
"Ewww!" Yukari snapped. "All right, no beach or pizza for any of you until you clean that up!"
"Well," Chiyo said, as they had all gathered to watch the police cars driving away, "I guess some good could come from this."
"What's that?" asked Yomi.
"We won't have to worry about Yukari-sensei's driving next summer. Or probably the summer after that either."
Well, that was quite a wild ride there, if I do say so myself. I wanted to finish it last weekend, but for some reason I barely had any energy last weekend and for obvious reasons, I wanted to feel juiced up while writing this. It's basically the product of a long drive to work and too much sugar and caffeine, but like with most of the stories I've put out, it seemed just crazy enough to work. I also felt that since they're (somewhat) similar series, there should be more Azumanga/Lucky Star crossovers. Doesn't Yukari seem like she'd be a Cannibal Corpse fan? ;)