(Backstory: Boost and Snot Rod are missing, and Wingo just returned from being missing. DJ has asked the police if they know where his friends are, with no luck)
The thing about Wingo, DJ thought as he sat outside of the impound lot and waited with him to hear what Wingo's punishment was going to be, was that he was actually kind of a nice guy. Sure, he'd committed a lot of crimes over the years, but they'd been small ones. So what had Wingo been thinking when he'd shot those holes in that airplane's wing, making it crash?
He said as much to Wingo.
"It was just an airplane," Wingo replied icily, brown eyes filled with scorn at DJ's apparently foolish question.
DJ raised his eyelids in confusion. "I thought you liked airplanes."
"I don't like 'em. I'm jealous of 'em. There's a difference. And it's not like airplanes are our equals or anything."
"Wow, I can't believe you just said that," DJ said quietly. Normally Wingo was all about interspecies equality.
"Apparently you don't know me too well," chuckled Wingo.
DJ looked at Wingo carefully. Suddenly he gasped in shock, noticing that Wingo's eyes were considerably paler than usual and that his spoiler was too tall. "You aren't Wingo! Who are you, you creep?"
Not-Wingo laughed and shed his disguise. Suddenly DJ was looking at a mustard yellow fifth generation Ford Taurus. The Taurus' engine roared as he accelerated and smashed through the chain link fence without so much as flinching. DJ yelled in fear and shot away at his top speed.
He felt his spoiler pressing his tires into the ground so that he had more traction. He felt the air dam on his front bumper preventing air from flowing under him, and keeping him stable. He felt his engine running smoothly and efficiently, pouring every bit of gasoline into moving him away from the Taurus as fast as possible.
But it wasn't enough. This murderer might not have a gun, but he was rapidly gaining on DJ and his tire-to-tire fighting techniques were probably a whole lot better than the Scion xB's, DJ guessed.
DJ did a (to use the human term) 90 Degree Handbrake Turn around a corner, honking his horn frantically in hopes of avoiding a crash, then poured on a bit more speed. The Taurus plunged after him without hesitation.
"Over here, kid!" DJ glanced upward and saw a medium sized plane which looked like her parents might have been a 727 and some sort of fighter jet. On second thought, DJ wasn't even sure if such different airplane types could have children...
"Okay!" DJ yelled, wondering if the plane could even hear his voice over the sound of her engines.
The plane touched down on the road, her cargo door open and the ramp dragging behind her sending up a cascade of sparks. DJ drove up the ramp, trembling.
"My name is Ukalele Oildrinker," screamed the crazy Taurus as the ramp began swinging shut, "And you haven't seen the last of me!"
The door closed.
"Are you all right?" Asked the plane over her intercom.
DJ considered the question carefully. "Physically, I'm fine. Emotionally, not really. That creep was masquerading as my friend and shooting airplanes!"
The plane sighed. "I'd heard about the plane-shooting part. Absolutely sickening. But pretending to be someone else as well? That guy sounds like a really nasty character."
They flew in silence for a few minutes. Finally DJ said, "Well, I guess I should introduce myself. I'm Devon Johnson, AKA DJ. Who are you?"
"Harrier," said the plane.
"Harrier?" DJ repeated, trying to not laugh.
"My brother is named Siddeley and my sister is named Hawker," Harrier said wryly.
"Wow. Very original," DJ muttered.
Harrier laughed. "Hey, at least I wasn't named Sevenfor Teaseven. I had a friend with that name in flying school!"
About 20 minutes later, they landed at a large airport in the middle of a mountain range. DJ had no idea which mountain range it was. "Where are we?" He asked.
"Skybase, one of the last places on Earth where land bound vehicles can't go without the help of a plane or helicopter," Harrier said proudly, "I've brought you here because we also have access to a lot of information. Want to know where your friends are? We might be able to learn something by looking in the database. Need to hide from an enemy? Very little can get past our sensors and patrols. Want to help save the world? Well, there are worse places to start than right here..." She opened her cargo door.
DJ drove out, gazing around in awe. He had never seen so many airplanes in one place before! Some of them gazed curiously at him. He smiled nervously back.
"Follow me," Harrier ordered, rolling down the runway. DJ did as he was told.
They entered a big building. The building was so huge that a 747 would have been able to easily fit through the doorway. Harrier led DJ down a massive hall and into a relatively small office. They waited.
A few minutes passed, and finally a dull black Tiger Moth came into the room. "This is the car you wanted me to meet?" He asked. His voice was soft and had a slight hint of a Scottish accent.
"Yes sir. He's fast, talented at driving at high speeds through areas with large numbers of obstacles, and has some friends he wants to locate and rescue. Look him up on the database."
The Tiger Moth gave his computer a few voice commands, then read for a few minutes. Finally he looked up. "He does seem like a good car to recruit," he said, "Devon Montgomery Johnson, how would you like to be a Skybase agent?"
DJ stared. "I think you should give me a full job description before I commit to anything."
The Tiger Moth smiled. "A good answer. Basically, a Skybase agent travels around the world offering assistance to the police of various nations, breaking up the nastiest gangs, and collecting information for the Skybase database. In return for your assistance, Skybase will pay you quite well, repair you free of charge, and help you to locate and rescue your fellow 'Delinquent Road Hazards'."
"Will I be required to work for you for the rest of my life?" Asked DJ.
"No. But you will be required to not disclose the location of any of our bases to anyone. The punishment for telling anyone is usually a lifelong prison sentence."
"All right, I'll join."
During the next few weeks, he went from being DJ the Road Hazard to being Devon the young Skybase agent. He was trained by some of the smartest, bravest, and toughest cars in the organization, and his sound system was removed and replaced with guns, disguises (both solid and holographic), an air filter which might protect him from toxic gasses, and a fancy built-in computer so he could send information back to Skybase as soon as he discovered anything and Skybase could relay useful information to him..
After three weeks, he and Harrier started researching. 'Ukalele Oildrinker' was an amazingly well known who seemed to enjoy taking part in thoroughly unpleasant enterprises. He had killed at least 50 vehicles, 37 of which had been planes. Apparently he really hated airplanes.
They also searched for cars matching the other DRH members' descriptions. No luck.
They waited for a lead and trained hard. Devon became surprisingly good at shooting targets from the back of a speeding and loop-the-looping aircraft, and Harrier (who was already an talented flyer and sharpshooter) became absolutely excellent at fighting other aircraft. Devon sometimes missed his old life, but memories of Ukalele masquerading as Wingo and knowledge that life couldn't return to normal until his friends were found kept him going.
One day, Harrier and Devon were called into Motthew (the Tiger Moth's real name!)'s office.
Motthew looked up as they came in. "Harrier. Devon. You two have done quite well in training, and I think you're ready for your first mission. I need you two to go to the Deadly Danger Casino in Motorcycle City, Montana. Harrier, you'll need to play the part of the quiet servant. No, I don't like it any more than you do, but you'll be able to gather some useful information by listening to the other planes I think. Devon, you are going to be the rich and foolish gambler. Act stupid, laugh loudly, and don't get horribly drunk. Both of you, record anything suspicious you see and get out fast if anyone starts suspecting you. Good luck. Dismissed."
The two drove down the hall, looking like they couldn't decide if they were excited about their first real mission or not.
"You'll need to act like an overgrown spoiled brat from the moment we land," said Harrier, smiling down at her nervous partner, "so don't talk to me once you get out unless you have to, and if you must talk to me then do it a bit rudely."
Devon nodded, feeling grateful that she had understood one of his biggest worries. "Okay, I'll try to stay in character at all times. I hate being rude to people I like though."
They drove onto the tarmac, then Devon drove up Harrier's ramp and into her shiny, high-tech passenger cabin. Devon looked around, impressed. "Built-in computers and luxury seating? Very stylish."
"Standard issue for all chauffeurs, I mean flying agents," Harrier said, sounding pleased.
"It's quite nice," Devon said as the seatbelt restrained his rear tires, leaving his front ones free so that he could use the seat controls and reach the computer's keyboard.
"Glad to hear it!" Harrier said as she started speeding down the runway. Devon could feel the roaring of her powerful engines through his tires.
Devon changed into his most showy disguise which made him look like a bright red Nissan Cube. He didn't like the disguise very much since he found it rather ugly, but it made him look different enough to protect his identity.
"We're now in Montana," Harrier informed him, "You should make sure you have your fake ID card and license plates, and work on acting more snobby."
"Yes sir!" Devon said cheerfully as he double-checked his disguise and started making faces at himself in the mirror.
Harrier landed on the casino's private runway and let her door open so Devon could get out. Devon drove down Harrier's ramp, doing his best (which was amazingly good) to look ever-so-slightly like a self centered jerk.
A silver Volkswagen Bug drove up to him. "I'll take your plane to its parking space. You go win some money at the casino," he said with a greedy smile. This young car looked very stupid; He'd probably spend lots of cash trying to win even more cash.
Devon nodded and drove off.
"Follow me, airplane," said the Volkswagen sharply. Harrier followed in silence, guessing that he didn't want her to answer.
He led her to a row of bored looking airplanes who all looked like they could have joined any government organization which employed fighter craft, but were too scared to try. Harrier parked herself in an empty space between two smaller planes.
As soon as the Volkswagen drove away, the planes began talking. They mostly ignored Harrier, so she turned on her recording device and listened to them.
Harrier pretended to be bored, but she was actually very interested in the planes' conversation. They were talking about some Ford Taurus who was killing airplanes. The car hated planes so much that he had blackmailed a helicopter into transporting him, or so they'd heard. That helicopter was parked on one of the nearby private runways right now...
Harrier almost gasped in shock. Was this murderer here tonight, or was this just a bunch of bored airplanes telling stories? She hoped that Skybase had heard what she'd just heard, because she couldn't alert them without giving herself away.
Devon wandered about, occasionally trying his luck with gambling and always losing. He didn't care, although he pretended to be disappointed. He was just considering what he should do next when he saw a Ford Taurus driving toward a back room. Devon followed, blending in with the other cars. Could it be Ukalele he had just seen?
Devon finally managed to get a better look at the Taurus. It sure looked like Ukalele and that voice sounded very familiar. He listened at the room's door, hoping to hear something. Suddenly the door slammed open and a pair of hulking security guards lunged out at him.
Devon's mind told him to act like any other not-too-athletic young car who had a couple of security guards attempting to capture him. His instincts told him to run. His mind won, barely.
"Hey, what's going on?" Asked Devon.
"The boss thinks you were acting suspicious," growled a guard, slamming a parking boot onto his tire.
The two guards hauled Devon into the room, ignoring his protests.
Ukalele-it was definitely Ukalele-drove over to him. He grabbed Devon's hood with an electromagnetically enhanced front tire and ripped Devon's hood right off, then inspected it. "How intriguing," he chuckled, "this hood appears to be reversible."
Devon clenched his teeth in pain but remained silent.
"Please switch back to your normal appearance now, or we will force you to," said Ukalele.
Devon switched back to his original appearance.
"You? I'm not surprised." Ukalele turned on a radio. "Guards, capture the airplane hired by Sam Nissancube and hold her for interrogation."
Devon turned on his communication device. "They're coming! Fly!"
Harrier heard Devon's order just as she saw the guards speeding toward her with their guns extended. She executed a vertical takeoff in the style of the planes she had been named after and rapidly flew higher, feeling a few well aimed bullets tearing at her wings. A few helicopters were attempting to pursue her. Not much threat from them; They were pathetically slow.
"Are you okay?" Harrier asked Devon.
There was no reply.
The guards had managed to confiscate Devon's guns without sustaining any serious injury. After that frightening task had been completed, they had removed every gadget which Devon could possibly use to contact his organization.
Then the questioning began.
"Who are you working for?"
A guard rammed him. The guard's bumper must be made of steel, since the guard didn't get dented at all. Devon grunted as he felt his side cave in a bit.
"I repeat, who are you working for?"
The guard rammed him again, this time so hard that he slammed into the wall and lay crumpled at its base. Devon faked unconsciousness, which was amazingly easy since he was feeling like he was about to black out. The guard poked him with a tire.
"Chrysler, that kid is as light as a tuner car. I think I rammed him too hard."
Ukalele insulted the guard a bit, then stormed off calling "Keep an eye on him. And if he wakes up, interrogate him some more!"
Devon opened his eyes a bit. There was only one guard in the room at the moment, and he appeared to be distracted by a cigar he was attempting to light. Devon wondered if the guard had ever read any of the 'no smoking' signs which were scattered throughout the building. But how could he get out?
Suddenly he had an idea. It would take a lot of luck to pull it off, though.
Harrier remained in the area, flying over the casino occasionally and remaining annoyingly out of reach of the helicopters' pathetic weaponry. Her eyesight was sharp, so she knew she would see Devon when he came out of the building. She decided that if he didn't come out within the hour, she'd call Skybase for assistance.
Devon felt his strength returning. He didn't feel great, but he didn't feel dizzy and sick, either. Time to try an escape.
He dragged himself upright and watched as the guard came over to continue the interrogation. Devon lunged forward, twisting around to slam the guard's hood with his parking boot. The guard collapsed. He brutally ripped open the guard's side, yanked out the guard's gun, and stuck it into his own gun holder. Then he blasted off his parking boot with a few well-aimed shots and drove out into the hallway.
He heard the sound of cars driving fast in his direction. He drove toward a smaller hallway and vanished into it just as the guards started firing. He saw a sign above a door. An exit! He slammed the door open and drove out onto the pavement behind the casino. Devon looked around desperately for a place to hide, but didn't see one.
He heard the roar of a familiar engine.
"Well, you look better than you looked as a Cube I guess," said Harrier dryly. She landed on the pavement and Devon practically flew into the safety of her cabin.
"Thanks. I think," grumbled Devon as Harrier lifted off.
"Where did your hood go?" Harrier asked, sounding more amused than any agent should when she sees that her partner is injured.
"They pulled it off because they thought I was an impostor."
"It wasn't so bad."
Harrier snorted in disbelief but decided against debating about someone else's injuries. Instead she told him what she'd learned.
"Wow," said Devon when she finished, "Ukalele really has problems."
"No kidding," said Harrier.
She landed neatly on a Skybase runway and drove over to a hospital. Devon was hauled away by a few doctors. Then Harrier headed toward the Skybase headquarters, hoping that she wasn't about to be punished for not taking better care of her partner and that Devon wasn't going to be punished for being discovered by the casino owner.
Fortunately, they both managed to only get a light scolding. It was mostly aimed at Devon. Then they were both told that their primary mission was to track down and capture Ukalele, dead or alive.
"How are we supposed to do that? He's great at identifying impostors, and he'd kill you as soon as he sees you," Devon worried.
"How about we use me as bate?" Harrier suggested, "I can wear a disguise so he'll be less likely to think it's a trap."
"Sounds very risky, but I can't think of anything better. But how will we catch him?"
"You'll stay on the ground with a small fighting force and a helicopter. I'll fly around and wait for someone to shoot at me. If it's a ground based attack, I'll pinpoint the location and send you the coordinates."
"...Okay," said Devon unhappily.
So now Devon Montgomery Johnson the Third, formerly DJ of the Delinquent Road Hazards, was hiding in some random stand of trees sort of near where Ukalele had last been seen. He and his team were practically being scorched by the sunlight that made it through the leaves, and none of them were in a good mood.
Harrier flew happily across the sky. The sun warmed her wings gently, there was no turbulence to make flying difficult, and her fuel tank was pleasantly full. She was just completing an elegant barrel roll when her sensors picked up a missile speeding toward her. She quickly located its source-a building that appeared to be a forgotten World War Two bunker-and sent her partner the coordinates. Then she started trying to avoid death by missile.
She avoided the first one easily. The second one missed completely.
Harrier cried out in fear and pain as a third missile flew at her and struck her wing. The damage wasn't severe, but it was enough to force her to land. She tried to aim herself for an open field but she couldn't seem to steer.
And that was how Harrier, one of the most promising young planes in Skybase, ended up landing in the forested front yard of a certain forgotten World War Two bunker in Montana.
Devon and his team headed for the coordinates. The site was nearby, so they could drive there and hopefully avoid detection. Devon was more than a bit worried for Harrier, but he tried to hide his fear from his team. Now was not a good time to panic.
They drove for several minutes, and were soon able to see the bunker from between the trees. It looked impenetrable.
"Do you suppose some nice explosives would do the trick?" An agent slightly older than Devon asked.
"We would need to guard whoever planted the explosives really well," Devon said with a frown. "It's worth a try though."
And so began Operation Blow the Enemy's Door In.
Harrier opened one eye slowly. The other eye didn't seem to want to open, which frustrated her, but she decided to not worry about it for now. She saw that she was in a large concrete room, and that there was a mustard yellow Ford Taurus grinning nastily at her.
"Welcome to my humble abode. Would you care for some tea?" He laughed, "Well I won't give you any. Instead, how about you tell me what whatever organization you're working for is planning to do to me?"
She turned up her nose at him.
He grabbed a lighter with his tire. "Maybe setting your tires on fire would make you want to talk?"
They both jumped as they heard an explosion in the distance.
"Maybe later," sighed Ukalele as he drove off to investigate.
The explosives did their work better than anyone had expected them to. The door was completely destroyed. Devon and his team drove in quickly, getting away from the door as fast as possible. Guards appeared out of a hallway. Somehow the team managed to defeat them all without sustaining many injuries.
Devon saw a flash of yellow. He took off after it.
Harrier heard the sound of hard working engines speeding toward her. She looked in their direction curiously and saw a familiar Ford Taurus and a very familiar Scion xB driving into the room where she was imprisoned.
"You're unarmed," Ukalele said, "I am too. We both lost our guns or used up our bullets out there, so shall we fight for the life of your airplane friend?"
Harrier was disgusted. This really made her feel like a damsel in distress which, her honest mind told her, she was.
Devon attacked Ukalele, speeding forward to ram his enemy. Both cars made sounds of discomfort as they struck each other. Ukalele's tire slammed into Devon's eye, but Devon took the opportunity to shove himself under the other car which messed up Ukalele's balance. Ukalele hammered at Devon's cab with his tires until Devon succeeded in tipping him over onto his cab, immobilizing him.
"Do you happen to have any parking boots sitting around?" Devon asked Harrier.
"Of course! They're next to the computer," Harrier said, grinning as much as she could with half her face covered in oil.
Devon got four parking boots, came back, and attached them all to his enemy's wheels. Then he stared up at Harrier. "You know how nice I looked as a Nissan Cube?"
"Well you look nicer than that. A bit."
A few hours later, Harrier was flown home on top of an extremely tolerant larger jet plane. The poor jet had had to hold still for ages while forklifts swarmed about, anchoring Harrier onto her back.
It was tedious.
Ukalele hid his fear by sneering at anyone who looked his way, at first. After realizing that there were going to be cars and planes looking at him for hours on end, he decided to only sneer at planes. It still made his face ache.
The questioning went on for hours. He told them everything willingly enough; He'd need new plans when he got out. If he got out. Plus it was fun to see the looks of horror on the faces of his enemies when they realized how many nasty things he'd done and how few he regretted.
Devon drove down the hallway and stopped in front of Ukalele's cell after the questioning was over.
"What do you want?" Ukalele asked.
"Where are Boost, Wingo, and Snot Rod?" Growled Devon, "And why did you carnap them?"
Ukalele chuckled. "I carnapped them because Boost is my son and I wanted to see if it was too late to turn him into a good little airplane hater. I captured Snot Rod and Wingo because they follow Boost, and I could use him to make them follow me. I masqueraded as Wingo to find out if I could get you to join me, too. Sadly, you showed no interest.
"Your little friends are being held in a retired prison in northern California. You'll have to find out which one it is without my help."
Devon glared at Ukalele, "If you've been lying, you'll regret it."
Ukalele smiled. "That would have been more scary if you weren't so cute."
Devon left, fuming.
When Devon went to see how Harrier was doing, he found her practising taking off and landing.
"Aren't you supposed to be taking it easy for the next few days?" He said, laughing.
Harrier landed and rolled over to her partner. "But that's what I'm doing! I'm not stunt flying or anything, and they fixed my wing."
Devon snorted, then noticed something different about his partner. "Hey, what happened to your eye? Did His Evilness do that to you? Should I beat him up?"
"Apparently some tree branch tore a big gash in my eyelid when I crashed. It didn't even hurt my eye, strangely enough. The doctor offered to repair it, but I decided that it looked kind of cool. You don't need to beat up His Evilness for me, but thank you for the offer."
"Crazy daredevil airplane," muttered Devon.
"What was that you said?" Asked Harrier sweetly.
"Nothing," said Devon sourly as he drove off.
Harrier watched him go, smiling with barely concealed amusement. If she didn't know better, she'd say that Devon was getting quite a crush on her.
A large helicopter ferried Devon and a team of nine other cars to nearly every abandoned prison in northern California. Finally they found the right prison. It looked a lot like the others, but they found Boost, Wingo, and Snot Rod sitting around in an unnaturally large prison cell watching TV and eating deep fried snacks.
"DJ!" Yelled Snot Rod when he recognized his friend, "Where were you?"
"Trying to find you guys," Devon said, unlocking the cell door.
The three Road Hazards came out, looking at their rescuers in amazement.
Devon looked happily at his family. "Come on, we can tell each other everything once we're out of this place."
And so they did.
Hopefully nobody got too annoyed by how unrealistic this story is. I tried to make it realistic, but I think I failed.
This story was supposed to be a short story about DJ and Wingo. It was going to be part of my Becoming a Road Hazard series. It took on a life of its own and became this, whatever this is.
Yes, Harrier is Siddeley's sister. Not a very important part of the plot, but I thought it would be funny if Siddeley had two sisters called Hawker and Harrier. (Search "Hawker Siddeley Harrier" if you don't get the joke)
Oh, and this story is unrelated to my other DRH fanfic. In case you hadn't figured that out already.
And yes, I'm going to write a sequel. In the sequel, you get to find out whether DJ goes back to being a Road Hazard for a while before being dragged back into the world of brutal bad guys and pretty airplanes or not. XD Hey, that sounds like a movie trailer!