Chapter Three: My Eighteenth Birthday

Things had stayed peaceful and happy until today, my eighteenth birthday. Today went from bad to worse in a matter of hours. When I woke up this morning, I sensed danger everywhere. By the end of the day, the remains of my family would be dead or scattered, with Hunter and me fleeing for our lives, helpless to stop any of it from happening.

The feelings I had when I woke up was just this huge aura of danger and it hit me like a rock. Quickly I threw on my pair of plaid sweats over my cheer shorts and, with my socks on, slid across the wood floor to my door. I ran down the stairs two at a time and burst into the kitchen hoping to find one family member there. Looking at the refrigerator door I thought that maybe someone had left me the note.

Then, I remembered that my Aunt Scarlett had taken Spencer, Sara, and Slater to Paris, France to get my something special for my eighteenth birthday. Best of all, today I would get to see my uncle! When I slid across the kitchen floor and hit the refrigerator door, I looked but found no note from anyone.

"Hey what the heck! They were supposed to leave me a note saying that they got home!" I yelled out in frustration.

I was so pissed that I kicked the side of the fridge. It was my eighteenth birthday for crying out loud! My mother, aunt, brother, best friend, other best friend, and boyfriend should all be here with me on my birthday!

I stumbled back, grabbing my foot in pain, when I noticed that I had knocked a piece of paper to the floor. Picking it up, I realized it was from my mom. She had written that she had run out to the store and that Uncle Spritle would get there around five that night. My mom also told me to wake up my brother and have him take me to the garage. When I flipped it over my mom had also written that Spencer, Sara, Slater, and Aunt Scarlett's flight had been delayed, and that they would be home tonight sometime.

Looking over at the clock, it read 9 a.m. so I decided to wake up my brother and go check out the garage. Running back up the stairs I took off down the hall and burst into my brother's room.

"Wake up sleeping beauty!" I yelled as I jumped onto his bed and ripped back his comforter.

"Hey watch it, watch it I'm sleeping here Bear," my brother complained as he yawned and sat up. "Happy birthday kiddo, I can't believe you're finally eighteen."

"Funny, real funny Hunter so are we gonna go check out the garage?" I asked.

He jumped out of his bed and grabbed his shirt off the dresser and threw it on. "Sure Bear let me just," he started, then suddenly grabbed me and threw me over his shoulder.

"Hunter not cool! You know I hate being freaking man-handled!" I screamed in protest, but he just ignored me and carried me all the way down to the garage.

"Okay fine I'll put you down now," he said as he put me down in front of the door into the garage. "Now stay put and close your eyes."

"Fine, when can I open them?" I asked impatiently.

Hunter opened the door to the garage and dragged me into the garage. "Alright, open your eyes."

I opened my eyes, and was stunned into hysteria. Before me, my father's baby, his racecar the WaveRider, sat in the garage looking the same as it had when I saw it last, fifteen years ago. The car had a big bow wrapped around the hood, and Hunter smiled and said, "Happy Birthday sis, I know you will keep the family legacy running."

Since Speed Racer was my father and all, and his family had raced for generations, racing flowed through my veins. I was a top notch driver, and had already placed in some of the junior races. I had been driving since I was practically born and got my license at age fourteen.

I sprinted to the driver's side door and found it unlocked. Hunter handed me the garage door opener and walked over to the passenger side door.

"Why don't we take her for a test drive?" he asked with a huge lopsided grin. We drove out and raced down to the beach and messed around on the back roads for an hour, then pulled into the little cabana our family owned by the water.

"Why don't we surf for a little bit, then go home?" I asked. He nodded in agreement and we both went into the cabana and changed into wet suits. I grabbed my surfboard off the top of the rack and ran down to the water. Hunter followed and we surfed for about half an hour. While I was waiting to paddle into a wave I attached the key to Slater's necklace. Right before they had left for Europe, he told me that he loved me, even though he wanted to tell me on my birthday.

I paddled out and caught a few waves on my long board. Today I was just pleasure surfing, and before I knew it the half an hour was over. I carried my board up to the cabana with Hunter in tow, cleaned it off and put it away. We both grabbed our clothes and went to shower off before we went home.

After I'd taken like a thirty minute shower I put my clothes back on and dried my long blonde hair. I also gave Hunter my phone to check for messages because he was just sitting there waiting for me to finish getting ready.

"Hey," he started, "you have one missed call from mom." So as we walked outside and hopped into the car he called her back on speaker phone. As we pulled into the driveway at the house she answered. She replied extremely panicked, "Hallie you have to listen to me, every word without a complaint. Go pack up everything you would need for a long trip and put it in your car, same for Hunter. Then go up to my office and grab all my records and paper work, there should also be enough cash to support you and your brother for a couple weeks. Don't take too much just the important things, and then get in the car and drive honey. Drive far, far away from here and stay out of sight, then go to your uncle in California."

"Wait mom," I started to say.

"Mom what's going on, what's wrong?" Hunter asked.

"The Riders know we know something that we're not telling the public. They believe that your father really is still alive, and that he is communicating with someone in the family, and they want that information. I'm being chased right now! I love you so much honey, and you too Hunter. Uncle Spritle we hopefully be in touch with you both soon, but you must hurry you have an hour to get gone or we all might- -"

My mother never finished her sentence. By the sounds in the background we determined that her life was cut short by a gun.

"Hunter, she's," I couldn't finish my sentence through my tears. He hugged me to him as we got out of the car and ran inside.

"I know, I know but we have to do what she said or it could happen to us. So go and get your stuff, I'll pull my truck around front and we will put some stuff up on the trailer too, we'll have more room that way," he said as he ran back outside.

I tore through the house as fast as possible, tears streaming down my face. First I went into my room, pulling my duffel bags out of my closet. Ripping the zippers open, I furiously dug through my dresser grabbing clothes at random, hoping that nothing I would be wearing would be too noticeable if Hunter and I were going to be followed in the near future. I ended up just reaching in and taking fist-full's of clothes and shoving them into my two bags. Then I went into my closet as well, making sure I had flip-flops, a pair of heels (for what reason I don't know I was in a rush), running shoes, two pairs of converse, and all of my boots. I slid the duffels off my bed so I could rip my goose-feather down comforter off my bed and threw one of my pillows on top of it and dragged them all down the hall to the stairs. With the duffel bags still open I raced down to the bathroom and took handfuls of anything I thought I'd need, then ran back and dropped it into a bag.

Then I went back to my room and took all of my pictures of me and my family and friends off my mirror, tack boards, and walls. Before I was finished clearing out my room, I flipped my mattress off my bed and grabbed all the money my dad had sent me for my birthdays - 2,200 dollars to be exact, since I'd been getting the letters from my father since I was about eight years old.

Next I dashed back to the pile of stuff I was accumulating at the edge of the stairs and dumped all the stuff I had grabbed and threw it in a bag. Then I took it all down the stairs and started carrying down and out the front door where Hunter already had his stuff loaded into the truck and was working on getting my car out of the garage. After I set my two duffel bags and bedding down at the back of his truck I darted back inside and ran to the kitchen. Inside the pantry was a fairly large cooler, so I pulled it out of the pantry and stuffed it full of food from the cabinets and found a smaller cooler and put most of the food from the refrigerator in it along with ice bags. Somehow I was able to pick them up (separately of course) and take them outside to Hunter.

I checked my diver's watch, we had less than forty minutes to finish up and get away from here. I went back upstairs and grabbed Slater's favorite jacket (I knew I wouldn't be seeing him for awhile but I didn't want to ruin all of his things with my plan), some of his clothes, all of the pictures he had of us, and the cologne I had got him for his last birthday. Then I ran down the hall to Sara's room and pulled her Nike duffel out from under her bed and threw Slater's belongings into it as well as her Under Armour socks, my Abercrombie Bomber out of her closet (which she "borrowed" three months ago), and her wallet, with about four hundred bucks in cash in it, on her desk and then of course some of clothes too.

With Sara's duffel bag filled as well, I had to sprint back to my room and grab my Volcom backpack. After I had taken Sara's duffel down to Hunter, I carried the backpack with me to my mom's office. There I took her iTouch and charger, HP laptop with its charger, and her bible. I searched through all of her files and pulled out all the family and business files, but also looking for one in particular.

"Bingo!" I yelled, I had found the name and location of the orphanage we had put Holston in all those years ago.

Somehow I had come up with the perfect plan. Since Hunter and I would have to go into hiding for some period of time, and I knew that Slater and Spencer would be taking Sara with him when he started helping Uncle Spritle with his students at the Surfside Race Academy, we at some point would get our little brother and take him to Sara, Spencer, and Slater. Except we would probably be doing it secretly, because the first part of my plan consisted of burning down my house (crazy but very thorough to hide whatever we left that the Dark Riders might be after). Hunter and I would burn the house down so it would look like we had died in a house fire, but the only bad part is everyone we knew would honestly believe we had died. And then slowly we were going to drive across the country to California.

When I was finished in the office I went around the house picking up some things like markers, pens, notebooks, newspapers, and things like that. I ran into Hunter, who was getting the last of his, Spencer's, and Slater's stuff down to the truck.

"Hey sis we've got like about thirty more minutes and then we've got to be on the road." He yelled as he was running up the stairs from the basement. I was going down into the basement as I yelled, "Kay I'm almost down here take this," I said as I handed him the things that I had in my hand, "I've got to go set the basement on fire first. Don't freak it's all part of my plan just get the cars away from the house I'll meet you at the end of the driveway. Go!" I yelled as I pulled a huge stack of mattresses out of my pocket.

Hunter looked at me questioningly, and I said, "Look if we just take our stuff and go, people will ask questions and look for us, if it looks like we died... Well, a: the Riders might buy it and b: we could find dad. There are some things I haven't been completely truthful in telling you guys over the past couple of years; dad is still alive."

His jaw slacked up and he almost went into tears, but held them back as he said, "You do what you think is best, I'll be getting your car up on the trailer behind the truck since I have all of our stuff loaded in both the truck and your car and there's no way you'll be able to drive it without it being recognized. Meet you out front in five," he finished as he walked out the door.

In a wave of adrenaline I grabbed our house phone and jolted down to the basement. I pulled the lighter out of my pocket and started lighting anything within reach on fire beginning in the basement. As I worked my way back upstairs I dialed 911 on the phone, and when the operator picked up I screamed, "Help, help we're stuck in the basement! My brother and I can't get out! My name is Hallie Racer-"

I threw the phone down into the basement and dashed out the front of my house, taking one long look back as I saw the flames engulf my home, the home I had lived my entire life in. the base of the house began crumpling and the upper stories were now drenched in fire as I got into the passenger side of my brother's truck as we drove away. Before we left Cocoa Beach altogether we made a quick stop at our beach cabana and grabbed whatever food, towels, and clothes we had there, along with my long boards and one of Hunter's short boards. I put them all in nylon surfboard bags and Hunter slid them into the side of the trailer so they wouldn't fall out.

As I walked out the front door I took one of the pictures I had pulled of my tack board, one of Hunter, Spencer, Slater, Sara, and I on the beach, and wrote on the back, 'keep my memory alive, and I will always be there with you, just believe' and stuck it in the crack in the door as I closed it. I knew that Sara would find the picture somehow, and hoped that she would understand what it meant and that I would come back to them one day.

We drove out of the Cocoa Beach city limits at one o'clock p.m. on Friday, October 31 with the weight of the world on our shoulders. Our mom had died on my birthday, and Hunter and I had to fake our own death to keep our family secret hidden. So far, my birthday had completely sucked. As Hunter pulled out onto the interstate, I began softly crying.

"Aw now don't do that Bear, we'll be fine, I mean we can do anything we want now, we just have to get new I.d.s and…" he trailed off at loss of words.

"Why me," I murmured, "why me and my flipping jacked up life…" I slammed my hands down on the dash board of the truck, and as I did the dash compartment flew open, and what popped out onto my lap was like the highlight of my day.

"Hunter, it's a puppy!" I giggled. The little tyke rolled around on my lap and pawed at me.

"Okay that is my birthday present to you, his name is Hurley, and he has been living in the laundry room for the past week."

Is that why you've been doing my laundry?" I asked, not able to keep the smile off my face.

"Yeah and you went right along with the whole plan little miss know-it-all," he laughed as he reached over and patted Hurley behind his ears, "Isn't that right Rip," he laughed. "He is a pure bred Australian Shepherd, and if trained right he could be a great bird dog."

"Geez you get me a present, but with a secret purpose of your own… Such I great brother I have," I mused.

"Ha-ha funny, no this dog is your present and I got him specifically for you. These dogs are great companions, running buddies, good listeners, and free entertainment. Plus I was planning on teaching you how to bird hunt, I think you would have been pretty good at it Bear," he finished.

I looked at Hurley, and he stared right back at me with his ice blue eyes. He jumped up and tried to lick my face but he missed and hit his head on the bottom of my chin. Hurley whined and when he landed back on my lap, a flash drive fell off of his blue and green collar.

"What's this?" I asked Hunter curiously.

"I have no idea… When Uncle Spritle dropped of the car last week I helped him sneak it into the back garage around like midnight. I had to make sure Rip went to the bathroom so Spritle and I talked while Hurley did his stuff, and Uncle Spritle played with the pup a little, he actually gave me that collar for him… I don't have a clue what that is but I'm sure Uncle Spritle put it there."

"What did my uncle give you cutie?" I asked the puppy, even though he had no clue what I was talking about.

Hunter and I were cruising right along and had been on the road for at least an hour, and as he looked at the road signs on the side of the road two pitch-black Ferraris pulled onto the interstate right behind us. All the windows were tinted, and a dark chill crept up my back.

"Hallie, I think they found us," Hunter said grimly.

"We need to lose those stupid Riders, what's the next exit for?" I asked nervously.

"It's uh… Daytona Beach."

"Great!" I yelled, "Just drive causal, like nothing is wrong, and go into the main part of the city, I know where to lose them."

"Whatever you say sis I just hope you know what you're doing," he said as he pulled off the interstate and into the city. Just as I thought they would, the two cars behind us followed closely. When I had Hunter speed up, slow down, or turn they followed suit, but as we got into the bigger parts of the city, they had a difficulty picking us out and keeping up with the truck through all of the lights, which we hit right as they went red. We played a game of hide-and-seek it seemed for almost the remainder of the day, but finally Hunter lost them on a blind turn and pulled right into my old friend Brooke's Tune-Up shop. Before Hunter had even stopped the truck I jumped out and shut the main garage door.

"Hey who had the idea they could just bust up into my shop and mess with my junk!" said a hard, female voice from somewhere behind the monumentally high piles of car parts.

"Bookie, is that you I hope?" I asked looking around for her as Hunter turned the truck off and got out.

"Could it be," she said as Brooke popped up from behind a pile of parts right behind me, "yes it is, Hallie Racer what trouble have you gotten yourself into this time, the news is all over your house. It's completely burnt to the ground and they're saying that your mom, Hunter and you were all burnt alive!"

The last time I had seen Brooke she had been working on my car before a race, and we got into some trouble with the Riders, but that's a whole different story… "Yeah I'm in trouble again, and we need to keep people thinking we're dead, for now anyway and my mom did die, she was shot by some Breaker…"

"Oh honey come here it's okay. If they are still as stupid as they were last time, then I've got your back one hundred percent. They better think twice if they're ever gonna try to kidnap me again…"

"So we can stay with you for a day or two until we get changed up a little?" I asked cautiously.

"Of course you can! Taylor and I finally finished building the guest suite off the side of the house right behind here, and tomorrow morning I'll take you to this underground witness protection place a friend of mine works at, she's part of the Black Lotus, where we can get you two all fixed up so that you won't even recognize each other. But first, let's get a tarp over the truck and trailer and get some of your stuff into your room for the time being and after Taylor should have dinner ready to eat," Brooke said happily.

Now I've known Brooke for a while, but when we were good friends a couple years ago she was dating a guy named Taylor Channing, but from the looks of the ring on her finger I'd say they were married. Brooke isn't my age though; she's a good four years older than me.

After we did what she said we all sat down around her dining room table and discussed the situation Hunter and I were in. we figured that we could stay here long enough to work on our disguises and figure out where we would be going to find our father. Hunter and I were of course extremely tired from our long day so we walked to the guest suite and started getting ready for bed. Hurley was already asleep in the corner of the room, but Hunter picked him up and plopped him down on the corner of his bed.

"Well, I think I'm going to take a look around," I said a loud. It place was simple enough: two queen beds in the same room, fairly decent bathroom, and one huge flat screen on top a dresser in front of the beds. I looked through the duffel bag that I had put down by the bed I was going to sleep in and grabbed a wad of clothes a had shoved in there.

"I'll be right back Hunter I'm just gonna change and go grab my laptop from your truck."

With the keys to the car in my hand I walked back to the garage and got my laptop out of the cabin of the truck. Then I saw the flash drive in the crevice of the passenger seat and grabbed it as well. Slowly I walked back to the room with both in my hands. While I had been in the garage Hunter had taken Hurley out to use the bathroom, again, and was now sprawled out on his bed teasing the puppy.

"Don't teach my dog any bad habits now Hunter," I reprimanded Hunter with a stern face.

"He's all hyped up I needed to wear him down, hey so are we going to look at that flash drive? Plus, I think you an explanation about dad."

I stared off into space for a minute; I had forgotten that I'd told Hunter that our father was still alive. "Okay, so do you remember that vacation we had taken with Uncle Sterling and Uncle Spritle? You were about 5 and I was three, dad was doing a demonstration at Uncle Spritle's school and all of us had gone, except mom and Aunt Scarlett, because afterward we were all going surfing. Well the Riders had been onto dad and Uncle Sterling's plans for some time. They had found out were their original lab was and were planning to kill anyone who stood in their way. Got that so far?"

"Um yeah kind of, who are the Riders though? And why did they want what dad and Uncle Sterling were working on, I mean the race but they aren't scientists, are they?" he asked.

"Yes they were scientists, and they had invented something that will change racing forever. Our father helped invent the gasless engine, and the Riders, or Dark Riders which is their official name, would do anything to destroy it. The Riders are a secret league of the world's top racing business men and women, they make their money from selling anything car related, especially gas. Think about what would happen if we didn't need gas anymore Hunter! We would be so much better off, plus so many more people could race. Well, that was dad and Uncle Sterling's dream and it's still being worked on. We were coming home from California when dad found out they were going to kill Holston if dad didn't give them the blueprints, so they could destroy them."

"Wait," Hunter jumped in, "Who is Holston?"

"Holston is our baby brother, Hunter. He was premature by a month, and we had to hide him. The night we came home, the night dad and Uncle Sterling were supposed to have died, Uncle Spritle put him in an orphanage in Pacific Grove. Uncle Spritle didn't leave any documentation on Holston, so no one would have a clue who he was, and they had hoped that that fact alone would save his life. He is also the only person with a copy of the blueprints for the gasless engine, and who knows what else Spritle gave him that night, but either way he won't know how to open it, everything was saved on a micro disc on the inside of the casing of the key to dad's key, along with one of dad's old racing jackets. Once we got home, they got back out to California and ran Uncle Sterling's car off a cliff, so everyone thought they were dead, and have been in hiding at their lab somewhere in Texas since. I have no idea where that lab is, so my hope is that we can find Holston and see what else he has, because I'm betting that the directions to dad's lab will be with him."

"Wow. That was a load there Hallie, you've known all of that, this whole time, and you didn't tell us? Why, I mean we all thought they were dead this whole time!" he yelled at me, "Do you know how many tears wouldn't have been shed or how much happier things could have been if we had known they were alive! Obviously no one would have been killed, we could have been a family Hallie don't you get that!"

"No Hunter you are the one who doesn't get it! Your mother is dead, you uncle died on my sixteenth birthday, your brother is in an orphanage, and your father is in hiding! We could never have been a family Hunter. Slater understood this, why can't you! He read all the letters, the ones dad promised me I couldn't show anyone because he felt bad enough that he was risking my life in letting me know he was alive! They would have killed all of us if dad and Uncle Sterling were going to let you guys know they were alive anyway! I can't believe you would blame me for this!" I yelled back at him, and shoved him out of my way.

He stumbled back and tripped over a bag on the floor. "You know what Hunter, serves you right." I walked out of the room and upstairs to the roof, because I knew there was a balcony that overlooked the city and the beach and Hunter wouldn't know where to find me up here. After sitting up there staring off and thinking about what I would end up doing now, I remember the flash drive I went back downstairs to get it. I crept back into the bedroom and found Hunter sound asleep on top of his bed with Hurley on his chest. Hurley woke up when I came in, hoping I would play.

"Shh, good puppy now stay," I whispered, and he curled back up and fell asleep again.

I grabbed my laptop and the flash drive and scurried out the door and back up to the roof as quiet as I could, but I managed to trip on the stairs and I fell so hard that I thought I'd woke up the entire Daytona area, but nobody came running so I finished going up the stairs. As the laptop turned on, I looked toward the horizon and saw the sun rising over the beach, I have to saw it was one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen. After it finished loading, I stuck the flash drive in and pulled up the news on the internet just to see what had been going on since yesterday morning.

The news lady was going on about something, so I turned up the volume, "Well yesterday morning, though I'm sure most of us have already heard of this tragedy, the death of the last three living Racer family members left in their home near the coast of Cocoa Beach, Fl. It was reported that at twelve-forty a.m. eastern time that the home of the beloved Racer and Track families mysteriously caught fire, burning alive the last members of the Racer family, and causing horrible pains for the Tracks because yesterday was the eighteenth birthday for Hallie Racer, good friend of Sara and girlfriend of Slater Track. The remains of Hallie and Hunter were not found at the site, and police believe this is because the two were in the basement when the fire hit its high point, which is when Hallie Racer called 911 but was cut short. It is very unlikely their remains will be found. Their mother's remains were found however, and what remains of her body is completely burnt and was found at the front door of the house. Our condolences go out to the Tracks as they deal with this heartbreaking tragedy."

The woman continued on but I didn't feel up to listening to any more. I figured that after the Riders had shot my mother they must have just thrown her in the front door because the house was completely covered in flame when Hunter and I left. When I looked back at the screen there were pictures of Slater, Sara and Spencer flashing across it so I tuned back in.

"The Track family was on their way home from Europe, and will appear on the show with us tomorrow," the woman stated.

At that I turned it off and pulled up the files on the flash drive. The only file in it was called 'Birthday Present' so I opened it. Several documents appeared on the screen, but the title of the first document I saw was Complete Wipeout Schematics. My dad had mentioned the Wipeout to me once in one of his letters, sawing that it was the car that they were building that the engine would run in. I literally jumped off the bed and into the bathroom to take my meds, because if finding the schematics to the car that would change the world didn't make you anxious/afraid/eager to read them, well, then you must be extremely dull.

Something thudded onto the floor in the room, but as I dashed back into the room I saw it had just been Hunter falling off his bed. "Huh, what's going on?" he asked sleepily.

"Well dumb bunny, you managed to fall off your bed in your sleep," I replied hastily, still angry at him from earlier. I got back onto my bed not looking at him and curled up inside a blanket.

"Look Hallie, I'm sorry."

I didn't look at him, or acknowledge that he was talking, but I pretended to be engrossed in my laptop. He came over to me and sat down on the bed.

"Hallie I know you're listening, so stop pretending to ignore me. Look at me!" he yelled as he jerked my chin in his direction. "I know you're mad and I'm not going to pretend to know why but I think that you know more than you're telling and it is hurting our family."

"You're being more stupid than I thought you could ever be! Your mother is dead because of this!" I screamed as I jerked away from him. "Look here sugar, I know a lot more than you do and while you were at home chasing girls and being a 'normal' kid, I was racing my butt off, expanding on some of dad's ideas, and I had many run-ins with Breaker agents out at the races. Yes I know more than you! I didn't tell any of you to protect you and because dad asked! Slater was snooping in my stuff and when he found one of the letters when I was like five I told him."

He looked at me like I was crazy, but his expression softened and I think he finally understood our entire situation. So then I added, "Okay now look here, this is the information that was attached to Hurley's collar."

I scrolled down a little and there were three other documents on the flash drive, so I clicked on the one that said maps. The first part of the word document was a color-coded key; red dots stood for homes (meaning our houses in California, Florida, Texas, Vermont, Australia, England, and the safe houses we had all over the place), blue dots signified labs, and purple was the orphanage in California. Below the purple dot were an asterisk and an add-in that said: see your birthday message. I scrolled down a little further and there was a map of the U.S. with colored dots all across the screen.

"We have a lot of safe houses, what exactly are they used for?" Hunter asked.

"Those are for hiding people and supplies; most of dad's suppliers are big wigs in the racing business but can't afford to be found out by the Riders. Dad also has people racing for him still and they have a fake front, some kind of home run racing business. That's how they test many of their improvements to the engine and the new type of car their building."

I closed the program down then opened up the next one, titled Happy 18th Hallie. In the blink of an eye the message filled the screen. I read it aloud for Hunter:

Happy 18th Birthday Hallie~

Today obviously is October 31, 2018, your 18th birthday! When your Uncle Spritle and I dropped off the car about a month ago, I got to see your mom. When you wrote to me and sent me pictures they didn't do her justice, she's even more beautiful than I remembered, but so are you. Anyway she said that she had one crazy party planned for you sugar pie. I'm sure that by now you've seen your other birthday present from me, Hurley. He is one heck of a pure bred Australian Sheppard; he is going to be rather hyper. Down to the serious part of my letter, everything else on this document is top secret, but that's not really new to you is it? No one is to know that you have any information on the Wipeout is that clear? I think there might be a spy around, so I deleted my copy of the schematics, so you have the only copy but you don't have the key to open them. We're secretly building a new lab, there is too big of a Breaker pressure here in Texas. Your little brother's birthday wasn't too long ago, so maybe you could send him a unanimous card or something? He holds the key to what you need. I can't tell you anymore so,

Peace, Love, and let

Your Wheels Spin!

Wave Rider

All at once I felt a need to laugh, cry, hit something, and pace the room. I looked from Hunter to the clock and saw that it was 4 o'clock in the morning. Well, I thought to myself, there went sleep out the window. Waves of exhaustion rolled over me so fast I was barely able to shut down the laptop and tell Hunter goodnight, but I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. In my sleep I dreamed of car chases and fires. My phone woke me up that morning at 7 because it was under my head when it vibrated. While I was wishing that I could just go back to sleep, Hunter jumped up and grabbed my phone, "Hello, who is this?" he sleepily asked into the phone.

"It's Spritle. Hallie, where are you?" Uncle Spritle asked frantically. He obviously knew we weren't dead… I snatched the phone from Hunter's hands, remembering the text I had sent my uncle after the fire, just saying 'alive'.

"I'm at, um, Brooke's. You remember her place right? Hunter's with me and mom's, dead," I choked out, already tearing up again.

"Hallie don't cry it'll be alright. I'm just an hour outside of Daytona, is Brooke going to do anything disguise wise for you guys?"

"Yeah, she was going to take us to this one spa place where she's got a friend, who's is part of the Black Lotus, who can change us up a little," I said. Uncle Spritle was really familiar with the Black Lotus, the underground group of racing geniuses had managed to save his butt quite a couple times, and Brooke and I were both members of the Black Lotus, but that's a completely different story…

"Good, good whoever she is she will have you two looking like two completely different people. Now after you are done I will be waiting at Brooke's for you because we will have to move north immediately. Go ahead and pack your bags, and get ready for a ten hour drive. Spritle out."

I told Hunter the plan just as Brooke knocked and walked in. "Hey guys, I've got breakfast on the table, and then we can scoot."

"Sounds great Brooke, we'll be out in a minute." Hunter and I packed up the bags we had brought in, and went out to eat with Brooke and Taylor. As we ate we told them our plan, and how after we were done at this spa place we would be leaving Daytona and fast.