- - - Jump Into Oblivion - - -

Joe is sitting at table as Rex arrives reading a book and sits across from him.

What are you reading? says Joe

The Theory of Teleportation

That field is a bit dangerous, don t you think?

Yes, but it fascinates me.

A few exceptional researchers have had limited success in their endeavors, but the price they paid as too high; a few paid with their lives.

I understand the risks involved, but I intend to take it a step further. I have succeeded in several tests myself already, but one still remains, the road test. Tomorrow I will prove my theories are correct. I have added the final modifications to a working prototype, the Mach 5.

"On another subject, I have the pleasure of being the one to tell you some good news, you are being promoted to replace one of our top agents." says Joe

Rex looks at the much older man and says "That s good news, who will that be?"

Joe turns away saying, "An agent that has been with our organization for a very long time, one who has become too old for field work, his code name was, Night Wraith. Do you understand Rex? I have been training you all this time to replace me..."

Rex looks at Joe with astonishment and says, "But Joe, what will you do now? Retire?" asks Rex.

"No, actually I have a new assignment." replies Joe.

Joe looks at Rex and says, I know now that my new assignment is to help you by becoming your humble servant, should you choose to accept this special assignment I have for you. This assignment, like any other you will receive from here on will require your complete dedication to our organization. I will not presume to deceive you, this comes at a cost, an ultimate sacrifice on your part, where there is no turning back, but it will ensure the safety of your family from retribution from our enemies.

If you accept this new assignment, I have something to show you, it's on that table over there. On the table is a black table cloth that has hidden something underneath...

Rex knows what it will be to become a full agent, and thinks back to his years of being ridiculed and how he never quite fit in with his peers and his awkward youth. How he has finally found his niche with the organization.

Rex stands up and walks toward the second table.

Joe warns, "What you are about to see is Top Secret. It is the beginning of your future Rex." he says as Rex reveals what was underneath...a mask.

Joe tells Rex about his first mission an object that was discarded long ago, once thought of as safely lost and forgotten

Elsewhere in the middle of the ocean...

A seagoing vessel is dragging up a find with its winch...something covered in rust and barnacles is raised from the ocean's depths. Not lost treasure but something deliberately discarded is brought to the surface, something corrupt...something evil.

Sometime later at the Team Excelion Mountain training course...

Mr. Balboa is very pleased with a shipment that has arrived today. He instructs his hoods to begin unloading a crate as Sonya Broda arrives to keep an appointment with him. She is a bit apprehensive at first but she is strangely drawn to the crate, a strange feeling comes over her as she approaches the crate.

Mr. Balboa smiles evilly as the object is removed. Rust, mud and corrosion tumble from the blob. The sound of cold metal thuds heavily on the concrete, more debris falls from the heap to reveal - - an engine.

"Welcome to Team Exelion, Sonya." says Mr. Balboa

"Hello." she replies. "What are you going to do with this...thing?" she asks.

"This is the engine for your new vehicle, it doesn't look like much now, but wait until you see it in action!" replies Mr. Balboa gleefully.

"You've got to be joking..." she begins to say but hesitates and she finds herself standing right next to the engine and she notices she's laid her hand on it without thinking then says, "when will it be ready?"

"Just as soon as we complete work on your new racecar. We gave it a special name, one that you'll make famous...the Velocity Five!" exclaims Mr. Balboa.

Sonya says nothing, but an evil smile comes over her face.

Later that same evening at the city park.

Rex has a date to keep with Sonya, a crossroads in their relationship. She agreed to meet with Rex to see if they could save their relationship, or was it for her to give her final farewell to Rex.

He didn t know.

As he waits, he ponders the decision he needs to make

and the imminent test of the Mach 5 prototype in the morning

He arrives early, at the agreed time, but soon he realizes, she is late, again.

Flashback to a few weeks before a victory celebration after a race. Rex and Sonya were unstoppable and won a clear victory. The sponsors were very pleased.

An ad campaign the sponsors of the race had been very successful. They had promoted the popularity of Team Racer, but something of a twist occurred as the result of something seemingly so innocent, but had driven a wedge between Rex and Sonya.

Following a long string of wins the sponsors hired a team of swimsuit models, beautiful girls that would swarm the winners of the race to take photo opportunities in front of the press. Sonya had not taken the girls too seriously because she knew she and Rex were romantically involved and that she would not give in to jealousy. But more and more she was being pushed aside by the girls and they made it a point to belittle her at every opportunity.

Over time Sonya grew tired of the fake attentions they d given Rex and started to leave early at each victory celebration. Rex believed it was because she was tired after each race, but truth be known in her heart she had grown to despise the girls and became jealous of one girl in particular who would throw herself at Rex the minute the cameras started flashing.

One race made a turning point in their relationship, one race, a championship they had won together. She had to remain for the celebration.

An interview for the press with Rex and Sonya was interrupted by the swimsuit models. As the cameras flashed the one she despised the most, the Race Queen hopped into Rex s lap, raised her legs above the table and covered Sonya s face while she made an off-hand comment about Sonya to the press. The room erupted with laughter then the Race Queen did something else she d never done before. While in Rex s lap she threw her arms around his neck and announced she was going to race with Rex from now on, and kissed him on the lips, a bit too long.

The cameras flashed while Sonya s face was covered and the kiss was taking place, a shot sure to be the lead story of the sports page of the following day s newspaper. Rex helplessly caught in the middle had nowhere to go. Sonya s face was red with embarrassment, she cried and left without saying a word.

From that point forward Sonya refused to take any telephone calls from anyone especially Rex. She decided to go on racing alone. She accepted an offer from Team Exelion because her contract had come to an end with Team Racer.

Sonya agreed to meet with him to see if they could save their relationship, or was it for her to give her final farewell to him.

Rex didn t know.

In either case she told him to wait for her. He waited.

She didn t show.

He waited an hour and it started to rain softly, the kind of rain that would drench you if you stayed too long in it, and he did. The time alone allowed him to think about and consider his options.

He leaned against a wooden railing under a lamp post where they agreed to meet. Still no sign of her.

Another couple arrived some distance away seeing him they began to laugh, but what they said about him was inaudible.

They had an umbrella and he didn t.

The sky had grown dark and the raindrops could be seen splashing off Rex s head and face.

The couple laughed and started walking away to return to their vehicle.

But the woman paused and turned to look at Rex one last time.

Where s your Race Queen now, Rex Racer!

Sonya turned away, smiling, satisfied; and jumped into the car with another of Team Exelion s drivers, Spike Hessler. They drove away leaving Rex alone.

Rex knew that it was futile to wait any longer and a sadness came over him as puddles of rain water gathered around his feet.

He realized that he d lost his love that night.

He looked up in to the sky and let the cold rain wash into his face.

But around his eyes the water was warm he turns, puts his hand into his pocket and takes out the mask.

How will I put all this behind me, how will I even begin to forget her ?

He pauses a moment and looks at the mask.

If I do this, there is no turning back he vows.

I will become the man with no name with no family .

He places the mask on and looks up into the night sky as the rain begins to pour down even harder.

Behind the mask, no one can see his sadness, it will remain hidden.

Lightning flashes and thunder rumbles.

I will be Rex no more. I AM RACER X!