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Fuel Season 1: Episode 27 - NO HOLDS BARRED

After Moodswing gives a speech to motivate his racers, Brenda deals with the ramifications...

The Formula-X Grand Prix is considered the marquee event of the Formula-X series and is promoted for eight weeks leading up to the event.

13th of April - Season 1

"From here on out, as far I'm considered, it is NO. HOLDS. BARRED." Those were the words that boomed from Moodswing's mouth as he stood on the middle-stage with a microphone in his hand. However, unlike the speech he gave on the premiere of Monday Night Fuel where he was just addressing the crowd, this time he was addressing all the racers who were currently standing, surrounding the stage. "For the past seven and a half months, all of you have done a good job putting this racing series on the map. I would even go as far as to say you've done a great job.

"From entertaining these fans with riveting rivalries," he said giving John Kloof and Jim Kieck meaningful looks, "to putting on some of the best damn racing in motorsport," he said now pointing out Stevie who'd had a critically acclaimed race with John Kloof at Heart-Attack back in February. "But now, we're on the highway to the First Formula-X Grand Prix and dammit, 'good' or even 'great' is not good enough. For the Grand Prix, I want phenomenal. Whether we're talking about sheer popularity or uncompromising skill, I want your best.

While Moodswing went on about what sports entertainment was and why he was expecting breathtaking motorsport action and heart-stopping entertainment, Brenda Koek thought about how big this thing was going to be. When Brenda had first heard about the Grand Prix when Glen had slipped up on one of the earliest installments of Talking with Touch, Brenda thought it was just going to be another pay-per-view. But the last seven days proved anything but as Moodswing hadn't been playing around in making this thing as big as it could possibly be.

 

LAST WEEK TUESDAY

"You're joking, right?"

Glenwood Jacobs shook his head. "Nope. Now pick one and put it on?"

Brenda was currently standing in front of a rack of dresses with Glen holding one out for her to try on. They were standing in the lobby of the Formula-X Clubhouse which Brenda had come to believe that she had lucked out and gotten an early training session. Instead, she'd been told that they were having a photoshoot for all the women in the series. The men's one was set to take place the next day.

"A photoshoot for what, exactly?"

"For the Grand Prix of course, what else? We're less than eight weeks out now so we need to get rolling with promotion."

"And that involves me wearing this?" said Brenda holding out the shiniest dress she'd ever seen, made completely out of golden material.

"Actually, I'll be taking that," said Penny who'd just walked in. "Thanks," she said after taking it and making her way to the change room. It was clear that Penny had been made aware of the shoot. It was also clear that Brenda was not getting out of this. So she looked at the rack again and rolled her eyes at how short all the dresses were. Clearly Glen and Moodswing were not afraid of pushing the envelope with this one. It was only when Brenda spied a beautiful white feather-embellished coat that she smiled and finally picked a shoulderless dress to go with it.

While changing in the change room, Brenda and Penny were joined by Stevie who seemed to be the most excited of the three of them to be wearing such sexy clothes. And why wouldn't she be? Instead of choosing from the rack, she'd been given a beautiful passion pink ballroom gown. It was Penny that quipped that "it pays to be hanging out with The Impaler". Of course, Stevie argued that the gown suited her personality: innocent but magnificent.

The photoshoot itself was far better than Brenda's original opinion as it was made clear that Glen had no intention of making them look bad. Using the training racetrack as a backdrop, each of the ladies had been given a moment to pose. Stevie had called it about their clothes suiting their personalities because they did. While Stevie's photos depicted her as a young woman coming of age; Penny's had hers show her as a classy lady, complete with long clip-on nails and chandelier earrings. Brenda's on the other hand made good use of the coat to hide the otherwise form-fitting dress and depicted her as almost angelic.

The three of them were taken aback when they were joined by Jim Kieck. Glen was quick to say that he was making an exception for Jim because of the models who would be joining him for the shoot. Brenda almost fell over when half-nude models came onto the racetrack and joined Jim in posing. Brenda had to give credit to the photographer going out of his way to have Jim obstructing the women's bodies in the photos so one couldn't tell that they were not dressed. Brenda was glad when the day came to an end.

 

PRESENT TIME

Just thinking back to that day was giving Brenda a headache. And it hadn't stopped there with all the promotional stuff. While Moodswing had kicked things off with a radio interview last Monday morning, and the photoshoot on Tuesday, a magazine interview had followed on Wednesday which in turn was followed by a fan convention downtown on Thursday. Brenda had been thankful that only the F-X King, Mandla Xulu and Number One Claimant, Touch Mkhize had been needed for the Top One channel's talk show spot on Friday only to see a huge billboard go up on the M3 freeway which featured the women of F-X prominently. There was no doubting it at that point, this thing was huge.

Part of Brenda didn't know why Moodswing felt he needed to give this speech since the enormity of the Grand Prix had already started affecting the racers. For one thing, John Kloof had finally put the F-X King on notice that he was now on the hunt for his Throne, now that he'd beaten Stevie and Solo. Meanwhile, Jim Kieck and his break up with society darling (and Thawn's ex-girlfriend), Rebecca Msomi had been the talk of the town, with many F-X fans believing that he'd dumped her so that he could focus on the Grand Prix. It was dawning on Brenda that she'd also have to do something if she wanted to make an impact at the event.

Unfortunately for Brenda, that was the last thing on her mind when she heard a commotion near her vehicle in the paddock. When she got there, she was happy to see that The Amazing Grace was untouched, but the banners which she used to designate her space in the paddock and the ones she used in the pit stall were all defaced. Written on them in big black letters were the words: You Are Not Worthy.

"Who did this?" she asked. But nobody answered. "WHO DID THIS!?" she said shouting. While nobody answered again, there were two people who were laughing. When she looked at them, they did nothing to hide that it was them. Longitude and Latitude were the guilty parties.

"Why?" she asked simply.

"Because we're tired of being overlooked while racers like you continue to be seen as perfect. Just a few weeks ago, you were headlining Fuel while Longs and I? We're the Relay Barons and we're never anywhere near the feature race."

"So you do this?" said a disgusted Brenda.

Latitude shrugged. "Now you know how we feel."

"And you heard what Moodswing said," added Longitude. "No Holds Barred." The two then left, laughing once again.

While that was what Moodswing said, surely he didn't mean this!? This was destruction of property, not entertainment. This was a crime!

 

IN MOODSWING'S OFFICE

"Technically, it isn't a crime," said Moodswing shocking Brenda to the core. "If you remember correctly, the banners are provided to you by Formula-X," he said before adding, "provided by me. Technically, they defaced my property."

He had a point as the only thing in the paddock that Moodswing didn't own was the racecars and their racing suits. But Brenda didn't care. "But it wasn't you they were calling unworthy."

Moodswing clearly wasn't interested in doing anything here. "What do you want me to do, Brenda? I told all of you to pull out all the stops and this was the first result of that. If I punish them now–"

"You're telling me that you're going to let them get away with it!?"

"I'm telling you that I'm not the one that needs to act here," he said, pausing for dramatic effect. "You are."

Brenda knew where Moodswing was going with this. It was the only reason that he was going to let this rubbish fly. "Fine then, put me in a race with them."

Moodswing squinted at her. "You want both of them? You, by yourself?"

Brenda nodded. "Yeah, two-on-one. Make the race." When Moodswing continued to give her a suspicious look, she added, "you're the one that wanted us to up the ante. What could be more up than me humiliating those two all on my own?" Convinced, Moodswing simply smiled.

 

TEN MINUTES LATER

As Brenda prepared for her race with the brothers, she was approached by Jim Kieck. "Hey, I saw what happened. Are you okay?"

Brenda didn't want to talk about this. She was too angry. "Jim," she said, hiding behind sarcasm, "I barely recognised you not wearing half-naked women. What's up?"

Jim ignored her quip. "What's up is that I want to know if you need any help. I heard that you're taking on Longs and Lats by yourself?"

"Yeah, so?"

"So, they're the Relay Barons. Do you know what that means? It means that they're currently the best at relay races. You can't beat them by yourself." Jim clearly didn't realize that that was the point. If they were beaten by her all by her lonesome, they would be as humiliated as her. "Let me help you."

"No." Brenda then stormed off, starting for the racetrack.

It was only once she was in The Amazing Grace that Brenda finally pondered what she'd just gotten herself into. Jim was right. They were the best at these kind of races and that was when they were facing two people. How on earth was she going to beat them alone? Brenda drove this thought out of her mind. This wasn't the time for those kinds of thoughts. This was the time to pull out all the stops. They were on the highway to The Formula-X Grand Prix for Heaven's sake. This wasn't the time for doubt, this was the time for action... to prove that she was the best. This was the time to prove she was a winner!

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright © 2020 by Sphu "Beesting" Kubheka
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