"Death of Lightfoot"

Tales of the Interstate

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Redline Fox
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"Death of Lightfoot"

Postby Redline Fox » Sat May 01, 2004 6:43 pm

This is the last story I have in my cache. It was written as a tribute of such for the effort Light was putting into setting up I76.com and other contributions. When we came up with the idea, it was July of 2001! At the time, we had no plan on any sort of follow up to it, but when Fnork and myself began work on Kids N Vigs, we decided it might be a good plot device to tie everything together. I want to personally say I am amazed at the degree of continuity that everyone has managed, not to mention the disturbing subconscious foreshadowing. Right Fnork? ;-)


Original story idea was Lightfoot's, written by me, Redline Fox. ^..^
Last edited by Redline Fox on Sat May 01, 2004 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Redline Fox
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Postby Redline Fox » Sat May 01, 2004 6:44 pm

March 23rd, 1981 The Death of Lightfoot.

It was mid afternoon, I was in the kitchen of the Freak Dogs? house cleaning
dishes. There was a window right above the sink, which I looked out to watch these little
birds eating seeds I had thrown outside for them. It at least gave me something to look at
other then the old wooden garage where I could feel something was not right. Grey Fox
was sitting in the living room watching a TV with poor reception.

By the way, this is not the Grey Fox of VMA. Anyway, he was watching a comedy
most likely, since I could hear a recorded laugh being played every so often. Grey laughed
along with it, he was in a good mood. I however could feel something that made my
stomach uneasy. The knowing of what lay dormant inside that garage; something I
despised. The door of the garage swung open slowly, taking its time to hit against the
wooden planks of the main structure, as if it was purposefully putting effort into creating a
ominous prelude. Silently, a black form emerged from the shadows. The front fenders
seemed to suck the sunlight into its finish like a black hole. It?s huge chrome finished
blower towered over the hood. A plate dropped from my hands with a crash into the sink,
my mouth was suddenly dry, my stomach felt cold. It was not even fully out of the garage
yet, but I already knew something bad was going down. Grey Fox came into the kitchen,
startled by the crashing of dishes.

?Hey Redline? You ok? Arf?? Grey asked not sure of the situation.

We usually joked about both being ?fox?. Often making ?fox? sounds at each other
to piss people off or pal around. But I was not in a mood that would allow for even the
slightest smile. Turning around without looking, I tripped over a kitchen chair, causing me
to fall into the edge of the kitchen door?s archway. I pushed my way past Grey, ignoring
the sharp pain I had just created in my arm. He followed me outside.

?Whats wrong man?? he asked while keeping his distance.

His words did not register. My hand went in front of my eyes to protect them, as I
approached the black Dover Lightning that Lightfoot was sitting inside of smoking a
cigarette. GrizZz and Dirm had pushed the car outside. The acrid smell of nitro methane
lingered outside the garage. Since I had not heard it running the whole time I was inside, it
meant the car?s gas tank had been filled up, someone must have spilled the volatile fuel.
Lightfoot threw his cigarette out the window. He checked the chamber of his gun then put
it away. His hand moved to the ignition, as he did my heart started beating faster. He
turned the key. The black Dover Lightning?s engine made a sound like the fabric of
space-time being ripped apart. My ear canals felt like they were clogging, my nose caught
the whiff of freshly burning nitro methane and reflexively snorted out.

That fucking car. I hated it, even though I had only seen it a few times. Lightfoot
usually kept it in this shiny clean looking trailer that he would haul around to different
Freak Dog safe houses. Every time it rolled out, I rolled inside to get away from it. It
seemed like it had this grip on Light?s soul though, when ever he was around it he became
darker somehow. Quieter, more withdrawn. He almost acted like he did not even care
about life at all. Any sense of rationality left his mind when he was with it and listening to
Light? prattle on about his delusional invincibility infuriated me.

The only car that would remotely stand a chance of keeping the Nightmare on
radar was the stolen ex-TMR Manta parked conspicuously outside the shop. It had been
pure white prior to when I had stolen it and Lightfoot had placed a big black omega
symbol over its backside, as a joke about my being the youngest member of the Freak
Dogs. That had annoyed me slightly, so when I got the chance I had the Manta painted in
a black and red morph pattern with a white stripe running down the center. Though it
carried no weapons aside a old sniper rifle Grey Fox had scavenged and mounted in the
passenger seat, after drilling a damn hole through the front windshield, the shinny Maxton
supercharger protruding from the hood and the marglass body meant it was fast. A dead
run against it would burn entirely too much fuel and waste too much time to allow
whatever Lightfoot was planning to work.

Lightfoot had rolled up his passenger side window, the highly tinted glass made it
impossible to look inside of the car. I ran to the driver?s door just as he was about to put
the car in gear. He looked up at me as if I was worthless. At the time I didn?t really care
about that though.

My voice was shaky, partly from my emotions, partly from the pulsing of the Dover?s
engine. ?Light, what are you doing man??

Lightfoot sat there for a moment, considering if I deserved a response.

?Don?t get in my way Kitty.? He said apathetically.

?Fuck you, don?t call me kitty you arrogant basterd! What the fuck are you doing! Or do I
even need to ask?? I said.

He looked straight ahead, ?Don?t get in the way. This is the way I want it. She?ll take care
of me.?

I paused to curse the Dover inwardly. ?Fuck this car. Goddamn you, you can?t take this
this thing into combat. You?re running nitro methane you friken psycho! And what about
weapons.....?

?20mm Vulcan cannons in forward. Some other special secrets. She?ll take care of me.?
He responded still not showing much emotion.

I could feel the eyes of the other Freak Dogs behind me. They all stayed out of the
blast radius. They weren?t sure who would explode first, me or Lightfoot. It was me.

I raised my voice, ?Damn it Lightfoot, are you playing the fool! You can't take this thing
into combat! What the fuck, is it honor that's making you stupid? What the hell kind of
honor is in getting killed over something so goddamn stupid! Wake up! Get out of that
fuckin car Light, I'm not letting you get yourself killed. Son of a bitch making me curse!?

Lightfoot?s patience with me was running thin, ?Stop harassing me, I know what the fuck
I am doing. It has to be like this!?

?No it doesn?t!? I lowered my voice to a softer tone, hoping it may affect him.
?Light...wake up man...?

"Stop me...if you think you can Kitty. Maybe I'll find Death Machine. Maybe I won't but I
have to do this. No one else can." He responded. ?The body panels are kevlar, the
windows are made of lexan...?

I interrupted, ?I don't care what is under the hood of this blighted car. No, that!? I pointed
at the giant blower, ?...is what I am fucking caring about. You are my friend and what I
care about. Don't do this for godsake.?

Lightfoot did not respond as I walked to stand in front of the car.

?Your going to have to shoot me first.? I said with defiance.

::Bang::

Light had shot me in the thigh before I even knew he had his gun in hand. I fell to
the ground holding my wound. The Dover backed up slightly, then leaped forward almost
running me over. The rear tires covering me in dust.

I yelled after him, ?Son of a bitch! motherfucker! You goddamn son of a bitch!?

I was in a furious rage. GrizZz and Dirm came over to help me up and restrain me.
Grey Fox stayed back not sure what just happen or what to do. GrizZz put me in a bear
hug. Dirm tried to help hold me down.

GrizZz, ?Red you can?t help him, he?s been that way since he had to kill Cloaker. He?s
already dead man let him go.?

Dirm, ?Fox man, relax....?

I started struggling even though it was causing more pain to come from my thigh.

?Get the hell off me!? I roared as I head butted GrizZz with the back of my own head.

GrizZz let go, not really that it hurt him that much. He must have just thought I
wasn?t going to give chase. However he was wrong of course. I got to my feet and started
to stager towards the Manta I had stolen from The Millennium Riders.

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Redline Fox
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Postby Redline Fox » Sat May 01, 2004 6:45 pm

Dirm put a hand on my shoulder, ?RLF, Don?t play the fool yourself.?

?Get the hell off me...? I growled. ?Just...everyone stay the hell away from me!?

Dirm backed off as I opened the Manta?s driver?s side door. Slowly I slid inside,
trying to minimize the pain from the gunshot graze. It was not a serious wound, Light just
grazed my thigh with his shot. It was not bleeding much, but it hurt a lot. Still, a trail of
blood had formed from where I fell to the car. I had a first aid kit on the floor. I took out a
large piece of gauze along with some tape, made a really poor bandage, then started the
car. Some blood got on the ignition key. GrizZz then said something I will never forget,
more so because of the tone. Like he had known this was going to happen a long time
ago.

?This is the way he wants it RLF, please, try to understand.? GrizZz said.

But I didn?t understand, there was no way I could, nor did I want to. The car went
into gear. Funky Chicken Man, FCM, was pulling up just as I was slamming the car into
second. I almost collided into the Bushmaster he was driving. As I raced by his voice came
over the CB.

FCM, ?Redline? The hell you doing??

I did not respond. Instead I tried to think where Lightfoot would be going. The
Manta?s engine was screaming as loud as my lungs. The supercharged 427 whined like a
dying banshee. With my Piranha in for refurbishing, the Manta was the only car I had
available to me that was even close to being fast enough to catch Lightfoot?s super-hot
Lightning.

My breath was heavy, it was hard for me to swallow. I had to find Lightfoot. He
was too important, not just to me, but his survival symbolized the old ways, the first ones
who drew the line against the turmoil threatening to engulf the United States. Most people
did not realize how important it was for us to be out here fighting this war still, but he did.
He was one of the people who had help me understand. Now I had to save him from
himself. The image of the black Lightning was in the back of my mind. I always told
people that I could often see a soul behind the metallic bodies of an automobile, the
gliding internals reciprocating and pounding in eternal revolutions. Maybe some people
thought I was crazy but that Dover had the soul of a demon, it was a demon. A black
super hot seductive bitch that would suck the life out of you just to feed her own blown
hell forge. After about half an hour of driving around with absolutely no sign of Lightfoot,
traffic started coming over the CB from Vigilante Radio Net.

?This a Vigilante Radio Net bulletin, sightings of a black super-hot Dover Lightning have
been reported by a number of sources. Said to be clocked at 180mph at one point.
Identification requested, repeat, identification requested.?

I hit the button on my CB, ?Breaker Breaker this is Redline Fox. I need info on black
super-hot. Anyone know where its at or where it is going??

The CB squelched and buzzed, ?10-4 Redline, this is King Moist, your super-hot just blew
through Flagstaff about 15 minutes ago. Down stream contact says it heading into the
deep desert. Who?s at the wheel anyway??

?Its Lightfoot, he?s gone after Death Machine. I know it!? I said frantically.

After a moment of silent static King Moist said very slowly, ?Negative on that assistance
Redline Fox, you better meet me at the Desert Rain, you shouldn?t be out there alone right
now. Your not going to find the kind of help he needs.?

?The hell with you then!? I retorted enraged.

King Moist, ?"Red, if you try to help, you're going to go to hell...it's been like this for
years...Funken Gruven, General Rage, Bastard 1, Anomaly...they're all gone, all the same
way...it's Light's turn. You can't stop him..."

?If you?re afraid just say so you useless coward!? I yelled into the mic as I threw it against
the dashboard.

Ahead I noticed dirt roads leading off in multiple directions. Digging into my
center console, I found my maps, then went about seeing if there was anyway I could
make time up on Lightfoot by taking short cuts. The CB every so often would read with
some reports of the super-hot; now Death Machine?s Palomino was coming into the
conversation as well. One sighting headed in the same direction as Light?s car.

?Vigilante Radio Net Bulletin, those in Harding county be advised, 10-18 and 10-30,
identified black super-hot Lightning, driver Lightfoot, reported in the area of black on
yellow Palomino, driver assumed to be Death Machine. This message recorded at eighteen
hundred and seven hours on March twenty third....Vigilante Radio Net Bull...?

"Breaker, breaker, this is FD central calling Redline Fox. We know you're out
there. RLF, you can't interfere. It has to be like this. He's been on the road too long. It
needs to end."

I just turned the CB off, I couldn?t take anymore of what I at the time considered
bullshit. Everyone seemed against my actions. Maybe it was my mistake, some old ideas of
doing what is right, protecting your friends, honor bullshit. I found a route that I felt
would take me in the right direction. I really had no idea where the duel would occur, so
any direction was as good as the other. I counted to ten and trusted my first impulse.
As my Manta dashed down the dirt roads, huge plumes of dust kicking up behind
it, I listened carefully for my radar to ping another car. I could sense it was the right
direction, because the further I drove the more my nerves stood on end. My hands started
sweating against the steering wheel.

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Redline Fox
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Postby Redline Fox » Sat May 01, 2004 6:47 pm

:::beep beep::

Two blips, I slammed on my brakes to get a better reading. The blips where
moving across the radar screen, at times coming together to form one larger blip. It was
them, the duel had already started.

?Damn it.? I whispered to myself.

A few moments later, the dirt road started running along side of a bluff. Killing my
engine I looked down into the wasteland below to see a pair of automobiles locked in a
death struggle. The black Lightning of Lightfoot. The black on yellow Palomino of Death
Machine. I still to this day can not tell you which was more frightening to look upon. You
ever get that cold shiver with goose bumps, along with feeling like your head is going
numb? Well, even if you don?t, that is how I felt. I put my binoculars to my eyes for a
better look at the progress of the duel.

Super hot?s massive rear tires ravaged the Earth?s surface as they desperately
searched for enough traction to harness the tremendous power of the blower motor. Its
cannons fired in unison at Death Machine?s car, most of the shots where going wide, but
the damage delt by the ones what where landing was already evident. Deep scars marred
the Palomino?s body panels, however it continued to dodge and weave with great agility.
The Dover?s once smooth ebon surface was now scorched and charred. Light must have
ran over a fire drop at one point. 7.62mm bullet holes had ripped into the blower, white
smoke was pouring out of it, but it kept running.

It was taking great effort on my part to keep from interfering. A duel, once put
into motion could not be interfered with. Even a few creepers were known to respect a
duel enough to honor it?s importance. Now my honor kept me from helping a friend. From
the damage done to the Dover already, I thought Lightfoot was going to lose. However, it
didn?t happen that way. Light angled his Dover away from Death Machine?s car as if he
was going to make a run for it. He accelerated away driving in a zig zag pattern, Death
Machine simply tried keeping a steady aim at his apparently fleeing enemy. Light was
managing to avoid being hit, he was also driving directly towards me. He was about 100ft
from the bluff?s wall, I swear I could see him smiling twistedly at me through the tinted
glass, he suddenly swung the car around in lazy looking arc, then abruptly turned the car
hard towards the inside of this circumference, aiming directly at Death Machine.

Lightfoot opened fire from a very far distance. As the car reared back on its
suspension, the arch allowed his 20mm Vulcan cannons to out range Death Machine for a
moment, as the car settled and he came inside the Palomino?s firing range, both cars
started to be chewed up by the other?s weapons fire. Death Machine realizing this was not
a acceptable situation, reversed direction, laying fire as he backed up in a shorter arc.
Lightfoot did not slow down. He turned away from the fire, it looked like he was going to
break off, but instead he cut the car hard between a break in the fire line at the last
moment, bringing the Lightning to aim directly at the driver?s side of DM?s car. I heard
the super hot?s tires screech as Lightfoot pulled his E-Brake. The back of the Dover
swung around to impact with the driver?s side door and front quarter panel of Death
Machine. Great thunder echoed in wasteland as the two cars came together. The impact
knocked the Palomino at least ten feet sideways, black smoke started to intermittently
pour from the engine compartment of it. Light?s car however had also suffered damage,
one of its rear wheels was going flat and the white smoke was getting heavier.

As Light attempted to spin around to press home his attack, his car lost traction,
spinning one hundred eighty degrees off his target. Death Machine saw his opportunity
and fired point blank at the rear of the Dover. Both tires now blew out, the back of the car
sagged slightly, its suspension damaged. Suddenly a volley of rockets flew from the
Dover?s trunk impacting into the grill work of the Palomino. The 7.62mm fell silent as did
the 30mm cannon.

The super-hot was smelling blood, so was Lightfoot. Attempting to accelerate
away and turn to bring his guns to bear Light stomped on the gas and began firing his
cannons. Its weapons almost on target, a blast from the Palo?s still functioning 30mm
cannon caught Lightfoot by surprise. The projectile ripped the blower right off the rest of
the engine. But Light?s cannons landed a full frontal shot which devastated DM?s car. The
Palomino rolled silently to a stop as the Dover?s motor blew smoke and fire out of itself. I
almost fell over the bluff?s edge as super-hot, belching it?s innards out lined up directly at
the passenger side of Death Machine?s black on yellow Palomino. Its engine sounded like
a dying beast. The noise it was making brought pain to my ears. A literal pain Its guns
attempted to fire, only one cannon shot was produced and it went wide just grazing the
rear of the Palomino. The final 30mm cannon shots from DM?s car had damaged Light?s
guns.

I waited, time seemed to stop I could hear my heart pulsing in my ears. I grabbed it
to make the noise stop, it didn?t of course. My ears rang as the black demon that was
Lightfoot?s Dover Lightning blew a piston as it was launched head long towards the
Palomino of Death Machine. I put the binoculars to my eyes once more. The window of
DM?s car rolled down. I saw the glint of metal from a .45 hand gun. Shots began to fire
into the windshield of Light?s car. Something quickly caught my eyes, behind the
Palomino was a bluff similar to the one I was on the edge off. I took the binoculars away
from my eyes in realization of what was about to happened.

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Redline Fox
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Postby Redline Fox » Sat May 01, 2004 6:47 pm

?No!? No one heard me.

The Lightning rammed into the Palomino with such force it launched off it like a
ramp. The Palomino caught itself under the Lightning and was dragged along under the
airborne car. Its roof crumpled under the weight, then was ripped off as the Lightning
plunged over the edge of the bluff taking part of the Palomino with it. The Palo stopped
right at the bluff edge, one of its wheels dangled in the air. I waited for a explosion, but it
never came.

I stood for a full twenty minutes stunned in disbelief before finally working up
enough courage to get in my car and investigate the aftermath. It took me another good
fifteen minutes just to search out a badly beaten path that led down to the battlefield.
Thick scars in the earth indicated where Lightfoot?s car had searched for traction on the
treacheours surface.

Cautiously I stepped out of my car with my 9mm in hand. Even as a twisted
wreck, the black on yellow Palomino of Death Machine still unnerved me. Any moment
the car might resurrect itself if it sensed a life to destroy. I stalked past it, not yet willing
to inspect it. With the moon in its waning phase there was little light to aid my vision
beyond that of my Mag flashlight. Shining it over the scared remains of what used to be
the super-hot Nightmare Lightning seemed to diminish the beams intensity. It was upside
down with the driver's side crushed. I knelt down and wedged my head through the
passenger side sill, taking care not to cut myself on the serrated edges of what was left of
the window. All that was inside was a small piece of metal that glimmered in the
flashlight's beam. Retrieving it, I realized that it was the piece of metal that had been once
stuck in Lightfoot's head. He had carried it around with him as some kind of charm I
guess. That is what one could gather from that fucking story he used to tell about how it
happen. None of it mattered anymore anyway, that coward, he should have just put a gun
to his head and blown his fucking brains out if he wanted to die! As I thought this I
pressed the barrel of my own gun against my skull. Then I turned the gun on the
Nightmare and began emptying the clip into what remained of it. The bullets ricocheted off
the armor and frame doing little but venting my rage.

Further time spent looking for any sign of a body found nothing. Not even a trace
of blood. It didn?t make sense. I saw someone firing a handgun from inside the Palo just
before it was ripped apart. And I knew Lightfoot was driving the Lightning. I found
animal tracks around both of the cars. The prints looked like they belonged to a pair of
cougars. Marks on the ground gave indiciation that something had been dragged out into
the desert. Some animals were used to scavenging wrecked cars by now...

Gusty winds from a fast approaching frontal system encouraged me to leave the
eerie scene so I returned to the Manta. After I got myself situated in the firm support of
deeply bucketed racing seats, with one leg hanging out the open door, I dug out a pack of
cigarettes and lit one up. Between pensive puffs I examined the piece of metal in my hands
until the tobacco burned down to the filter. With a flick of my wrist I flung the metal away
then left, unsure of what had exactly happened.

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Postby Redline Fox » Sat May 01, 2004 6:50 pm

Not too long afterwards though, reports of Death Machine started coming over Vigilante
Radio Net again. As it had been before, various Vigs and creepers reported run ins with a
black on yellow Palomino. But no sign of Lightfoot was ever found.

The Freak Dogs still survived, GrizZz had taken over for the most part. Although
things never where the same, we managed to stay close and carry on. Even though I was
the one who chased him out into the desert, I think GrizZz out of everyone took it
hardest. I found it strange though, since he was the one who acted like he expected this to
happen. It must have been terrible to carry the knowledge of Lightfoot?s mentality,
knowing he was sliding more and more every day. We all had watched Lightfoot?s mental
health decline over time, but GrizZz was the only one who understood why I suppose. I
still do not fully understand, nor did I ever bother trying to.

One day, about I?d say a month and half after the battle, I was driving along this
valley road on patrol in Pouncer. It was a fairly hot day, I hung my hand out the car
window lazily not expecting any trouble. The day would soon turn into a flashback.
Coldness, I suddenly felt cold. A temperature of over ninety-five degrees had been
forecast for the midday but I suddenly felt cold. It was such a strange coldness, like the
North Wind of old lore was spying on my movements. It wasn?t something that friendly
though, it was something yellow staring down at me from the edge of a cliff on my right
side. My radar was clear as I rolled the Piranha to a stop. My heart beat increased, but the
black on yellow Palomino of Death Machine just sat their silently watching me. The damn
thing seemed to be grinning at me. Most people would probably just run instead of risking
a confrontation with god?s wrath. My subconscious still wanted answers though. Maybe it
was just some fool impostor, if so I had nothing to really worry about, however my
instincts told me that their was something to fear behind the windshield of that car. Inside
my head I was screaming at it, demanding it to just tell me what I needed to know.
Although I never picked up my CB mic to voice those demands. Instead, I just got in
response.....

::wheez sreech:: The CB crackled.

?Hello Kitty.?

The Palomino appeared on my radar as it started up and backed away from the
cliff edge out of my sight. I didn?t even bother to attempt to give chase. I?m going to be
honest, I was just scared out of my mind. The only person that ever called me Kitty was
Lightfoot. But the voice over the CB was totally different. Yet he said ?Kitty?. Most
people did not even know what the hell Lightfoot was talking about when he said that.
More questions were in my mind now, the answer seemed further away then heaven.

I ended my patrol and drove back to a Freak Dog safe house. GrizZz was the only
one up, most of us never really slept on a normal schedule anyway. As I walked into the
small trailer we where using at the current time, GrizZz said to me.

?You?ve been seeing ghosts again haven?t you??

I nodded as I laid down on the couch.

I said slowly, ?I think I am starting to see one every time I look in the mirror.?

GrizZz, ?You are still alive Redline. Remember that.?

I sighed heavily, ?Yeah...?

As he stood to go to his quarters he said in a calming tone, ?Lightfoot forgot who he was.
If you believe you?re dead...you are.?

I pushed my shoes off my feet, then rolled over on my side and closed my eyes.
The temporary comfort of a good sleep was given to me shortly as the wind outside
howled.

End...


That is all I got folks, hope you've enjoyed what I offered up.


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