Burning Rubber

Outskirts 
#1
Set during Marybeth's party. Go-kart reference photo

Samuel clicked the flimsy seatbelt into the latch. Safety first, just like the sign said. His hands came to grip the wheel, fingers sinking into the foam cover. Probably should question the distinct lack of attendants in the area. Leaving idle go-karts couldn't be standard procedure, but with a party of vampires and a few quick suggestions...the staff would largely leave them alone. No skin off his teeth really, wasn't his problem to deal with.

He'd chosen the first go-kart, a long line of other single riders behind him. There were a few double karts as well, set conveniently next to the tub of helmets. Samuel had chosen to forego head gear, something definitely not safety first. He sat at the starting line waiting for a signal or something, but when nothing came he hit the gas, darting out of the line and entered the course.


Feel free to hop in a car and join anytime. Assume it's a free race with unlimited laps.

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#2
Go karts were her shit. She said as much to the bat she toted as she made her way to one of the single seated ones. The helmet was also a huge no, because then what would she do with her ears! There was someone already in a kart, and she recognized him as one of the quiet vampires that was hiding at the back of the meeting. What better way to make a new friend than to kick their ass at go karts? He was taking off when she reached the track, so she hurried to get herself strapped into one, careful of Raziyya on her shoulder. "Do you think these things have a speed limit?" She questioned as she started up the kart and revved it a few times before peeling off at a gradual pace after the boy. She'd get a handle of things before actually initiating a race.
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#3
Tikanni had eventually meandered to the go-karts right as someone he didn’t know took off with speed and Safiya was about to head off. Finding one of his own, he got ready, helmet and seat belt and all while the ears had been left to the side safely, while she made the way out and about.

Not one to be left in the dust by the two for long, Tikanni situated his legs and was off out of the gate after them with a wide grin on his face, quickly growing excitement bubbling up in his chest while trying to catch up.
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#4
Raziyya was still toying with the idea of remaining with Safiya for this, but if the girl wanted speed—

"I am sure you'll find it. Here," she offered, kicking backwards to flap madly against the air drag and find her wings.

"I'll race you from up here!"

Better than being thrown off at a nasty turn, at least. Raziyya had no desire to be harmed.
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#5
Beauregard would take no part in cramming his legs into some tiny car on a quest to see how long it would take to heal from a bout of whiplash.

But undoubtedly it was worth watching, and so he stood on the edge of the track, dog-eared and crowned as before. He'd grabbed a handful of glowstick bracelets (more than his fair share, he would admit). With some... admittedly useful guidance from Marybeth, he'd learned how to actually make them glow.

Now, amused and perhaps faintly concerned, he held one in his right hand and steadily cracked the... whatever on earth was inside to create little beads of light. The remainder piled unlit on his left wrist.

The race would likely go on long enough that he could get to them, leaning against the railing and shaking his head some. The child vampires.
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#6
She had paused at the table for a minute after helping Beauregard with his glow sticks, carefully straightening the remaining supplies, her rosy little present pile. Everyone was dispersed, and she thought again, this had turned out well, it was as good as she could have pictured. She felt smiley and light.

Plucking at a jacket button, she wandered toward the track, coming to a stop just behind Beau as she watched a bat flutter out of Safiya's hair. Was that Raziyya?! The idea that a respected guest had snuck into her party without being greeted made something Midwestern clench with fear in her gut, and so she patted Beauregard's shoulder to ask about it. "Is that bat—?"
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#7
The rumble of the go-karts had doubled, no tripled according to his sensitive ears. Other guests had joined in and his steady pace was being quickly outmatched. Was this a race? Yes, very much so. The idea cementing itself as another racers shot ahead, metal bumpers scraping against his to form tiny sparks in the air. Free flowing curly hair wizzed by, he couldn't place the face, but who ever it was would not get the upper-hand for long.

Samuel gritted his teeth, eyes narrowed. He pressed the gas pedal to the floor, gearing up to tail the new lead car.


Current score: 10

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#8
Hell yes she would. Raziyya flapped up to fly above, and Safiya glanced to her briefly before turning her attention to the track. "I'll lap you!" She joked, then punched the gas. Somewhere behind her, another kart roared onto the track, but she eyed the one in front of her. With the acceleration, she found herself zooming right past the other go kart, briefly scraping against him. Oops! With brows set low, she gripped the wheel tighter and focused on the first turn coming up.


Current Score: 12

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#9
And a bit of a bumpy start with figuring out things, but he was off! Tikanni was a bit behind the other two, watching Safiya whip ahead of the mysterious other clutch member, but he'd make it past soon enough he was sure.

Turning into a sharp corner Tikanni noted a form going up to fly and a drawing crowd of others watching them. The kart of the other was somewhat to his side and he made to angle himself to zoom past if another turn in came about.


Current Score: 9

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#10
The distance between him and the lead kart only grew. Samuel scowled, pressing down harder on the gas. The damn thing must have a throttled speed limit, essentially setting him up to be left in the dust. Another engine roared past. It was flying down the track and the smug vampire sitting in there must be laughing his ass off.

"Dammit!" Samuel hissed, eyes blazing orange. He was falling behind thanks to his no good, piece of crap go-kart.


Current Score: 14

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#11
The touch was a gentle enough thing, but it startled him to the point where his gentle snap of the glow stick broke it clear in half. Some likely toxic substance began to leak, and he held it away with a frown.

"Which-"

A glance upward explained as much.

"Raziyya," he said, moving to the side as some offer for Marybeth to stand somewhere other than behind him. He set the broken bracelet precariously on the fence.

"Have you asked her if she can have blood in that form?"
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#12
Beau's reaction startled Marybeth in turn, and she took a brisk step backwards, away from the mess! But the Dominus settled down quickly. She looked back up to the sky, keen eyes picking out the little bat swooping under the stadium lights. It was a very good disguise for nighttime.

Beauregard's question trickled into her brain eventually, and she shook her head. "I did ask if vampire wounds can get infected, though. She says not sure." When, oh when would a vampire let her rub something nasty on their wound?? "Also a vampire can't go unconscious, so I guess if your brain starts bleeding you are just awake for it."
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#13
Nyoooooom. The sounds of the karts were nearly deafening, but she kept her eyes glued ahead. She was in the lead! For! Five seconds! Then someone was whizzing past her, and Safiya cursed to herself through a laugh, and jammed her foot down as she stole a glance behind her. Still not last place! With narrowed eyes, she looked ahead and eyed somewhere in front of the first place kart. Some yards ahead, and out of nowhere, a giant blue turtle shell materialized. It sported a number of spikes, and elegant white wings. Every detail wasn't there, but the blue shell from Mario kart was reimagined into a live action version to hurtle in the front kart's direction. Ha!


Current Score: 22

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#14
Another turn and he passed the other without a hiccup, offering a wave as he passed with a whoop. With the pattering of the engine, he pushed the gas as much as he could. There was some distance and Tikanni delved into his magic to pull water from the humidity before having it lay down and rip the traction off the field for the car in front of him, allowing his cart to whistle pass on the side without a hiccup.

And he was startling in the lead with a wide grin on his face, hand pumping into the air. A sudden materialization of a turtle shell with wings which went completely over his head as to what it was, was heading towards him. ”Wha?” Drawing into his own abilities once more, Tikanni began throwing water volleys at it, hoping to slow its incoming assault as he continued down the track.


Current Score: 24

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#15
She'd been content to assume it would just be a race below her. Apparently, it was ability-warfare now.

Raziyya was at first confused, and then delighted. If only she could do the same in this form!

She'd continue flying instead, enjoying her very special view of it.
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#16
Bringing up the rear, Samuel forced a little more speed out of his crap kart, closing his follow distance to something respectable. His wheels took a sudden jerk from the newly slick road surface. "What the-" He fumed, swerving dangerously until he could retain control again. They were using powers! No fair. He wanted one.

The poor abused wheel warped further under his grip. Samuel's thick brows mashed together, incredulous, as he watched a blue shell materialize on the course and start chasing down the lead kart. On second thought, maybe being in the back was safer against these vampires.


Current Score: 26

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#17
For all of her effort, the blue shell really only got her onto the tail of the kart ahead of her. She spotted then that it was Tikanni, throwing water at an illusion uselessly. Safiya grinned, cackled, and called out over the roar of engines. "It's not real, silly boy!" She said, and let the illusion drop as she eyed the space in front of him. She could make it!


Current score: 31

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#18
Surprising, truthfully, that Raziyya didn't know the answer to that question. Perhaps they'd simply need to rub dirt into someone's scraped elbow to find out. Marybeth continued in a way that had him wincing. He had no desire to think about brain bleeding as a concept.

"That sounds unpleasant," he said with something of an unintentional chuckle. Marybeth was so utterly sincere about her entire existence.

There was a distraction unfolding ahead of them. Some... thing on the track that Beauregard could not even hope to understand. Water flung at it. Perhaps he was experiencing one of those brain bleeds he should have been unconscious for.

"I think we made the right decision staying on this side of the fence," he murmured, shaking his head.

Children.
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#19
Still standing more behind Beauregard than beside him, Marybeth was watching the race in rapt bewilderment, having not expected for it to include a magic show. "I've never seen him do his power before!" Tikanni, she meant! She beamed brightly over at the puppy king. "Have you?" Uh oh. She waited for him to answer while a dozen questions about vampire powers queued up in her brain. Eighteen! Two dozen!
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#20
The attacks were hopeless against the shell and it was really confusing. Safiya was getting closer, enough so he could hear her over the rumble of the engines and tires against the track. Oh!!!! And it went away just like that. He should've known!

In retaliation, Tikanni sent the water spraying to the karts behind him instead of balling up as they had been. Safiya might be close, but he wasn't about to discount the other vampire from catching up any minute. "How 'bout you guys take a shower," he called out, turning into another corner. The finish line was so close, he could almost taste it.


Current Score: 36

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#21
They were heading into the last stretch and Samuel was racing with the equivalent of those square gym scooters you had to propel forward with your own feet. He might as well be Fred Flinstone-ing it and try shoving his feet thorough the flooring and running the rest of the way. He-

He was catching up? First place was still zooming ahead, but second place had slowed considerably and Samuel was gaining. A new sense of purpose flushed through his body and he gave the gas pedal all he had.


Current Score: 30

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#22
Marybeth made a good point.

Water sprayed and he frowned just a hair, hoping not to have it misted near him. Where precisely did the water come from? Could Tikanni create an endless geyser if he sought to? Save some unlucky little village in Africa from thirst?

"It seemed all he needed was an opportunity to cheat with it," he said, amused.
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#23
She gulped in a small little gasp of air, reflexively offended on her friend's behalf, but it was obvious that Beauregard was joking. How many laps were they going to go around for, she wondered? But more importantly...

She cracked a knuckle and squinted carefully at the Dominus. "What's your power that you have?" If she had to guess she would say the one where you could throw trash cans around with your mind. But he would be good at illusion, too.
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#24
Beauregard paused, considering how to word it. Perhaps Marybeth was the sort of straightforward who wouldn't find a way to be offended by it.

"I can sense the emotions of others, and with some effort, change them," he said. It was difficult to speak quietly over the roar of damned miniature race cars, but he did his best to manage a certain softness to the tone if nothing else.

Negation was uninteresting enough to go unmentioned. He continued fairly quickly, some small effort to contain whatever questions she would throw at him in a second's gap.

"What was yours?"
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#25
She stared, glassy-eyed, at Beauregard's sweater as she worked to understand this. It was a whole other level from the powers she knew about, incredibly abstract but also, now she was thinking about it, incredibly practical! She had so many questions about this and her gaze sharpened, narrow little eyebrows tilting downwards just as she was beaten to the punch. "Oh!"

Because it was a trick she had practiced, and one that had made people happy and laughing before, she jumped quickly to her routine, smiling and bringing her arm up to snap her fingers between them —

And disappeared!
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#26
A shower?

Safiya let out a yelp as water splashed across her face, cold and surprsing enough to make her slow just a bit. It was enough to lose Tikanni's tail, and he pulled ahead as she wiped at her face with one hand and surged after him. He was winning! But she wasn't last, at least! She glanced behind her, scowled at a spot in front of the other kart, an imagined a giant brick wall. It appeared, just blank and lacking fine detail. She wasn't coming in dead last, no fucking way!


Score: 32

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#27
The yelp had him laughing before he cut out the antics and zoomed ahead. Just enoughhhhhh andddddddd the finish line was right there!

Jamming the gas pedal as far forward as he could go, Tikanni zoomed past the line and was the winner. Slowing off to the side with hands up in the air, he celebrated his win, leaning to look over and see who would come in next with a wide smile.


Current Score: 49, 1st Place!

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#28
Final Stand. Samuel punched the gas and took the curves like he'd been playing Rainbow Road since birth. The hooping and hollering in the distance must mean the front kart had passed the finish line. Fine then. He'd accept second place. And he was close too, bridging the gap between him and the kart just ahead.

He made the mistake of blinking and suddenly there was a massive wall dropped right across the road. Without a second to hesitate, Samuel shut his eyes, but kept the gas floored. In this race they die like men.

A beat, then two, he opened his eyes to see the road before him. The wall had been a fake, a clever trick of the mind, but it had blocked his sight of the last curve and Samuel went for it, full ramming speed. Fuck!


Final Score: 44 D:<

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#29
Invisibility had this way of being deeply startling despite that it was the opposite, in many ways, of a traditional jump scare.

She vanished and he put a hand to his chest in some reactionary gesture, then found himself slightly further surprised by the glow of his wrist. Ridiculous.

Truly, though, Beauregard didn't know if she'd become translucent or teleported somewhere, or perhaps had managed some kind of illusion. There were many ways to disappear and he couldn't determine one from another.

A confused man in crowned dog ears, he managed to miss most of the race on the track despite his newfound ability to see it through her if he wanted to.

"Oh?" he somewhat unintentionally mimicked.
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#30
She watched him double-startle himself with choked-back giggles, completing the logic of the trick by moving to his other side and climbing carefully, quietly to seat herself on the fence. The carts roared fast-ishly by, though she was concentrating too hard on her joke to notice that Tikanni had won!

Feeling in the moment of the party, perhaps, she let out a high-pitched little bark as she reappeared, kicking her legs slightly. "That's my power!" And lucky for Beau, she was too giggly to unload a new pile of questions before he had a chance to jump in.
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#31
Nooo!!!!! Tikanni passed the finish line, and she was just seconds behind. Safiya screeched to a stop, her back end fish tailing some as she pulled into a stop at an angle. A glance behind the line told her, at the very least, the wall had worked. She dropped the illusion as the third kart went past it, and eventually came past the finish line. Safiya grinned as she unbuckled, then stood to hop from her kart. "You cheated!" She accused Tikanni with a laugh, gesturing to her wet shirt as she approached him to give him an arm punch.
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#32
And Safiya was next and then the other dude rolled up after getting past a wall illusion. Tikanni quickly unbuckled himself and got out, waving at both.

Safiya came up and he smiled toothily at the comment and the punch. ”Look who’s talking,” Tikanni laughed, a hand coming up to where he’d been hit. ”Turtle girl.”
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#33
Samuel was fine in the loose definition of the word, the kart however sported an impressive dent and was barely puttering along as he crossed the finish line. It would need to be towed or more accurately dragged back to the loading area. The staff wouldn't notice it until much later anyway, maybe not for days if he set it all the way in the back.

Walking in a straight line proved a difficult task. He managed with long strides and sideways hops sprinkled in when he felt the world tilt ever so slightly. The two victors were up ahead, teasing one another by the looks of it. Samuel would let them have their fun They had won the race because his kart malfunctioned and he gave them an early lead. Yeah, he'd gone easy on them.
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#34
Good god, Beauregard was not an especially notable fan of the... whatever power that was.

Invisibility. Teleportation.

"Bravo," he said, he said with a few claps that unknowingly bounced the dog ears on his head. There was more to say about it all, but some crash and giggled aftermath regrettably took his attention.

"But it looks like one of the children may need your attention, I'm afraid," he said with a nod to a staggering Samuel.
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