A Spanner in the Works
Disclaimer: Speed Racer and Angel are the property of their respective copyright holders, not me. Chapter 2: A Spanner in the Works by Raven Dhancer
From the journal of Trixie Fontaine: I saw Speed again today. He looked like the hairball Fate had coughed up and I knew it was my fault but I couldn’t go back. Fate had hacked me up, too.
Let us draw a veil over the piteous sight of the feisty brunette weeping into her only confidant, the careful custodian of all her secrets, her diary.
I was right. Racer’s old man looked about to pop like a sated tick. Funny, I found out later no one ever called him anything but “Pops”. I’d never seen a human that color red, not alive. He bounced up and down, too, as if he contained the larvae of the greater olethreutid moth. If he did, it was already too late for him but that would explain the unnatural color and the steam jetting from his ears and nose. Maybe Racer had hired the right outfit.
Junior didn’t seem too fazed, just let the choler wash over him; guess he knew he he’d been driving like a kid on his first trike. I waited off to the side, trying to get a feel for the both of them. You’d be surprised at how often our clients lie to us, not so much when Greene’s there, but I wondered the real reason why Racer had waited five years for his answers.
Pops finally ran out of steam and sent Racer off to the showers. I made my approach, asking about his baby, and I didn’t mean ascot boy.
"Lindsey Macdonald", I gave him my best warm glow. We'd trained for that back at W&H. Although you get further with a warm smile and the forces of hell at your back than with a warm smile alone, right now, the smile was pretty much all I had. "And this is the Mark 5! This is the thrill of my life."
I babbled on. "I've been following your team for years, but I've never had a chance to see this beauty up close before!" I switched to gush "So, can I ask? I've wondered, oh, how do you deal with the weight? The auto jacks? and the saws?"
Pops beamed. "Well, I've designed this car myself as the designer and the builder as I've made it myself too. The weight, well, it's all too heavy except that I designed a special engine extra light engine and the exhaust to power the extras that I've designed into the car."
"Beautiful" I said, "John Fontaine would have loved this car."
That took him by surprise. He was silent, so I prodded a bit more. "That's how you started out, right? With John Fontaine? Trixie's dad?"
I waited. Still nothing. "He was the money, you were the brains?"
That did it. "John Fontaine was a good friend!" Pops growled. "He wasn't just the money, he was my partner and we built the Go Team together. Side by side. I've never forgotten him."
"Died in a helicopter crash." I thought about those pictures Speed had showed me. Something in the face... "Trixie was the pilot, wasn't she? Fontaine was killed and the pilot barely survived. The reports were that nobody should have. Engine failure?"
"The reports were wrong!" Pops was turning red again. "There was nothing wrong with that engine; I checked it myself. I always did."
"The crash was a terrible accident. We were all devastated, Speed, Rex, my wife and I. We did all we could, we never left Trixie's hospital room until she was well."
I only had one more question. "And what happened to his half of the company?" But I never heard the answer. Sparky hit me with a wrench.
Consciousness drifts in and out like a curtain at an open farmhouse window.
One of those white lace curtains like your grandmother used to bleach and hang up in the back garden. You had to be real careful with playing ball back there those days because if you got the curtains dirty she'd come after you with a wrench, a 2" Drop Forged King Dick wrench, out of England. Just like the one gleaming in the oily gloom next to my right shoulder.
I reached over to pick it up and simultaneously found that my left arm had no room to move past my chest and the exhaust system of the car that was sitting above and that I had the mother of all headaches. Darkness and I were friends for a while...I should never have told Timmy I could fit in the chicken coop, Grandma was going to be pissed. I could hear her deep gravely tones now.
"We haven't seen anyone here mister Inspector Detector, are you sure you understood everything Chim-chim had to say? Besides, we all know he's back home in Japan."
“He left a phone massage for me Pops, he’s stateside.”
“Ya don’t say.”
“I do say, those sons of yours travel around a lot Pops. We’ve started wondering why all these bizarre mysteries of plots to take over the world racing circuit only raise their ugly heads when those sons of yours show up.”
The basement at Grandma’s house sure was crowded, a helicopter flew across my mind. The voices were receding, a period of undefined time later the dolly I was on was being moved.
“Did you have to hit him with the 2” wrench, Sparky? I think a 1 and a half would’ve done the trick nicely.”
From Rex Racer's memoirs, "Rx: Prescription for Danger!":
There was no reason for a racer of X’s stature to drive in the Tulsa Grand Prix but I was still Rex Racer, Speed’s older brother, and I had to look out for him. Trixie wanted to come, too. She just wasn’t able to fully cut the threads binding her to her old life, the life that would have lead to her being Mrs. Speed Racer. I understood her reasons for leaving my brother but I disagreed with them. If she had come clean, that monster Chim-Chim would not still be welcome into the bosom of my family, a place that I could never return to until I became the greatest racer in the world.
I followed Speed the day he hired McDonald Greene. I had one of my Interpol pals run a check on the partners; both had been poobahs at the LA office of Wolfram and Hart, though not at the same time. Greene didn’t even have a law degree, he ran a bar and had an act in Vegas that was the hot ticket for about 15 seconds. Wolfram and Hart had a very bad reputation for getting their clients off regardless of the evidence. So, how did a high-powered attorney and a high-powered whatever end up running a seedy detective agency in the backend of nowhere?
So, I followed MacDonald, saw him interview Pops and saw Sparky clobber him with what looked like 2 inch, maybe a 5 centimeter, monkey wrench. MacDonald dropped like a lead balloon; Sparky must have done this before.
I shadowed Pops and Sparky as they took the poor sapped away and called in an anonymous tip to Inspector Detector.
--- extract ends. TBC AN:
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