Return to Afterburn Chapter Two


Author: Robotguru and Rei
Rating: Knowing the two of us, soon to be NC-17.
Feedback: Please leave feedback on the Afterburn thread on the Kitten Board.
Disclaimer: All BtVS characters belong to the usual people; tracks, teams mentioned, and SINN (Sports Interactive News Network) belong to Akklaim, producers of Xtreme G Racing and XGRA for the PS2.

Tara shivered as she stepped out of the doors of the airport, "A bit cold out here isn't it?"

"Considering we are in Antarctica Ms. Maclay, that is to be expected." The Vixens had decided to head towards the Vostok Peaks track for a few laps, the mountain circuit would be an ideal place for Tara to get used to the Sub Sonic class bikes, bikes that went two hundred miles per hour faster than the bikes she was used to. As Tara, Alicia and Willow got to the track, Willow and Tara headed towards the check in area while Alicia took a left turn towards the garages to see if the bikes had arrived.

Willow had just finished checking herself and Tara in, she turned to see the familiar faces of Buffy and Faith. "Hey Buffy, Faith, I thought you Terranova gals were going down to the Coast down the road."

Buffy shrugs, "So did we, turns out the XGRA guys are doing something top secret down there."

Faith reads a message on her phone and smirks, "Coulda been worse, we coulda been on our way to Culver instead. Jonathon just sent me a message saying the same sorta thing is going on over there, the team boss was livid, they were halfway to Mars when they found out."

"And Dawnie said that she and Xander are on their way over from Santarem. So, we've several tracks off limits and no answers. Anyway, we gotta love ya and leave ya, Giles gets stiffy if we're late."

Buffy and Faith walked towards the front desk as Willow and Tara headed towards the changing rooms.

"You were a little off on that last lap Maclay." Tara grew a little frustrated, she had checked her maps to find the shortest route, yet Willow still had two seconds per lap over her, and this was a track she had won on in the invitationals.

Both of the Vixen bikes slowed as they neared the pit area, Tara popped the hood on her bike and Willow was standing beside her bike. "Let's take a look at your map." Tara ordered the computer to bring up the Vostok Peaks map, Willow smirked as she saw what Tara had missed. "Computer, zoom in here," she pointed to the screen, "Show speedstrips." Tara clicked her fingers as she saw where Willow was gaining the time over her. In one area of the track, the track splits off into three tiers, a track on either side runs down towards the bottom area of the track, two middle tiers are shorter and take a slight upward path, the middle is even higher and shorter still.

However, unless you hit the top tier perfectly, whatever you do, you'll end up at the bottom sooner or later, and Willow who had taken the bottom left route each lap was hitting five speedstrips in that area per lap, Tara was only hitting three. Willow flashed Tara a small smirk, "Shorter doesn't always mean quicker."

"Hey ladies, heard there was a little party on the Peaks so we thought we'd check it out."

Willow turned her head to see Xander grinning at her, standing at the entrance to the garage, but, keeping to etiquette, not venturing close enough to the bikes to see any of the performance data for the Vixens. "Hey Harris, 'sup?"

Xander gave a small yawn, "Man, gotta love modern technology, we can get from Brazil to Antarctica in two hours but still no cure for jetlag."

Tara smiled and gave a small laugh, Xander took a little look at Tara, not having heard her say more than two words since he met her. "J-Jetlag is psychological, s-so I doubt there w-will be a cure too s-soon." Tara blushed a little, embarrassed with her stutter.

Xander either didn't notice, or knew not to make that big a deal of it, "True I suppose, anyway, we'll see you in the bar later."

Dawn's voice came from the other end of the pits, "Harris! Dave said to get your butt on the track right now!"

Xander gave Willow and Tara a small wink, "That's my cue."

The bar at near the Vostock Peaks track was a popular hangout for riders, travel time had decreased dramatically and since Antarctica was so remote, it was the last unpolluted place on the planet, the beauty of this place could not be brought elsewhere. Sitting around a table, Cordelia was bragging about the technology the Templar Racing team had to offer.

"Our newest technology combines offensive and defensive, high powered weapons and shields." Cordelia gloated as she sipped her expensive drink.

"Don't spill everything, Pet. We'll get our asses kicked if all the teams know our tech, Luv." Spike swooped in, his leather-duster billowing majestically behind him. Sitting, he ordered a Jack Daniels.

Willow smirked, Templar Racing's only downfall was Cordelia Chase's big mouth. Cordy's last racing team, Talon, had lost three members in the previous season to Angelus because he knew their technology and how to defeat it. This was the reason for their low seeding.

Tara exited the bathroom and sat down on her barstool reserved next to Willow.

The redhead ordered up two Pepsis and clinked glasses with Tara.

"To your career." Willow grinned.

Tara smiled back.

Cordelia looked across at the Vixen team-mates, "Are you even listening to me?!" Cordy shouted at the two.

"Oh knock it off!" Sighed Spike, angrily.

"Yeah Cordy, you might tell the bad guys just what they need to know to kill another one of your team mates." The heated voice froze the group's spines.

"Angelus." Spike growled dominatingly.

The bleached blonde rider stood, glaring at Angelus, and his new lapdog Warren. Spike raised an eyebrow at Warren as his shoulder muscles tensed. Spike smiled thinly

"Watch your back, Peaches. We're not newbies, nothing's holding us back, your little pussy cat's got you on a chain." Spike spat in Warren's general direction.

The new Starcom rider lunged for Spike, Angelus' hand the only thing stopping him. "Save it for the race, Kid."

Spike smirked, not flinching. He wanted Warren to hit him, the promise of the newbie's race disqualification dancing in his sights. Warren looked about ready to oblige as well, but Angelus headed for the exit, Warren following, "We don't need to drink with these losers anyway," with one final glare from each rider, the Starcom team headed for the door.

Spike gave a short laugh, "Well... he was chipper."

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