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HomeDrama Stories Fuel Season 2: Episode 9 – Mister Monday Night

Fuel Season 2: Episode 9 – Mister Monday Night

Series: Stories of the Fuel Speedway

Playing reserve once again, Styles decides to make the most of it while weighing in on the rebellion

In Formula-X, interviews are used to showcase the F-X racers in an effort to build up their star power, create more fans and effectively grow the series' brand.

2nd of November – Season 2

"What do you mean you support us both equally?"

"What do you want me to say? I consider both you and the King friends. Why should I pick between you?"

"Because we're in the middle of a motorsports cold war." Mandla Xulu certainly had a thing for the dramatic. But when you were the son of the Deputy Mayor and had been embroiled in politics since puberty, it was not a shock.

Styles Sithole refrained from rolling his eyes since he was driving but his tone said it all. "First of all, it's a rebellion, not a cold war. And second of all, you have thousands of supports behind you. You don't need me supporting you too."

"If only it were that simple."

Styles had taken note of Mandla's almost distressed tone. And he understood why he felt that way. It had been a big week for Mandla both in a bad way and in a good way. The bad news was that following Mandla effectively being sent to the back of the line of succession (after losing at Hallow's Eve) and being replaced by Jim Kieck (the new Number One Claimant), the protesters had become more unruly than they had ever been before. They'd even taken to entering the Old Azania Airport on days when Fuel wasn't airing and started singing as they circled the racetrack. While it hadn't been violent, the Metro Police had to be called in to get them out.

Meanwhile, other more positive protesters had gathered outside Ngelosi City Hall to sing praise songs in support of Mandla. They also had to be handled by the Metro Police. The good news came later on Feeder when Moodswing – feeling his hand being forced – released a 'feedling' where he used an executive power to alter the feature race of Show-Down (thus revealing the title of the next pay-per-view) by adding Mandla to it, making it the first-ever three-way race for the Formula-X Crown. This calmed the protests down considerably while also awakening another part of the fandom that had had quite enough of Amandla's Rebellion affecting the series.

 

AT THE FUEL SPEEDWAY

When they arrived at the Fuel Speedway, they were greeted by a bunch of those supporters who were all eager to cheer Mandla on, singing their praise songs. Styles managed to sneak through them and enter the building. When he got to the paddock, he quickly took note of the racecard and saw that he was playing reserve again.

"It's too bad, really," said Penny Potgieter approaching him. "I'd much rather be facing you tonight than Dime."

Styles shrugged. "Well, what can we do. He did win the right to challenge you last week." It had been a four-way race involving him, Touch Mkhize, and Juan van Zonder. Regardless of how they felt about Dime, he'd earned that win.

"Still. I'd prefer you as an opponent."

"You're only saying that because the last time we raced, you beat me."

"More than once, if I recall. If memory serves, the last time we had the night off– "

"Ssshh," said Styles. "That was illegal, remember?"

"I remember. You're not going to run off again, are you?"

Styles shook his head. "No. I think I'm going to do something more productive this time around." Styles spied the person he was looking for and smiled. "Good luck in your drag race, Duchess," said Styles quickly moving across the paddock. "Hey, Toney. Toney, do you have a minute?"

Toney Kunene was one of four resident F-X reporters who were charged with producing the Formula-X newsletter week after week. "Hey, Styles. What's going on?"

"Are you busy because I was hoping to take a moment of your time?"

Toney waved her hand in the air like it was nothing. "Are you kidding? Thanks to Feeder and the Formulary, these days, we're anything but too busy."

This made Styles curious. "What, you saying they're putting you out of work?"

"Quite the opposite actually. The social networks have doubled our workload but also made it so much easier to write our articles. Anyway, you didn't come to me to talk about me. What's up?"

"How would you feel about an exclusive interview?" They shared a smile.

 

LATER THAT NIGHT

The interview had gone very well, with Toney allowing Styles the liberty of talking about his life outside of the Fuel Speedway. This mainly meant talking about his clothing line. Styles knew that the interview would fly even though on the surface it plainly looked like he was getting free advertising. The reason for that was because it also allowed Formula-X to grow its own brand: it got to say that it was associated with a successful clothing designer.

Styles had returned to the paddock just in time to see Penny's hand risen in victory. He watched a distraught Dime walk into the paddock swearing like a pirate. Although that came to a stop when he walked right into a brooding Blackcat who had won his own race. Styles was amused by this confrontation but quickly became curious when he saw another racer who was playing reserve tonight.

"Touch, what are you doing here?"

"I should be asking you that. have a talk show to host tonight."

"Oh, and who will you be hosting?"

"Haven't you heard? The one and only. The Franchise himself."

This shocked Styles. "Solo? Solo's back?" Solo Magubane was arguably Formula-X's biggest star. He was the only F-X racer who had raced in Auto 1: Africa's biggest open wheel racing series, often compared to America's IndyCar. In fact, the only reason he had yet to show up in Season Two was because he was actively participating in Auto 1 until now. But as someone who'd shared rides to Fuel on more than one occasion, Styles was surprised that he hadn't told him about his return.

Before Styles could ponder more on the subject, they were suddenly interrupted by Moodswing's image popping up on the big screen with a message. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you're watching this, then you are in luck. You have the great fortune of witnessing the birth of a new concept here in Formula-X. And it's called the Gauntlet Race.

"Now the Gauntlet Race won't be taking place tonight. But what will be taking place tonight is the qualifying race to determine who will be running the gauntlet." It was at this point that Moodswing explained what this race was: one racer taking on three racers one after the other almost like three match races pasted together. "Now, I can tell you that one of the racers that will be in this qualifiers is Thawn Oberhauser. The other racer will be revealed in the feature race. Enjoy."

Styles had to admit it: he was intrigued. This was very interesting. The only thing more interesting than this race was the mystery of who would be Thawn's opponent. Moodswing had kept it a secret even from them, the racers making all of them eager to find out if they would be the lucky contestant. Even Styles himself was excited. Could this be the reason that he was playing reserve? Was the plan for him to be in this race? But there was only one way to find out.

 

THE FEATURE RACE

When Styles saw Thawn make his way onto the racetrack, he knew that he was not The Impaler's opponent, otherwise he would have been told by now. But he was still interested in this race even if he wasn't it. There was a hush in the crowd as they waited in anticipation for Thawn's opponent. Then all of a sudden there was an explosion of cheers as the mystery racer made his way onto the racetrack. When the camera caught him, there were cheers in the paddock too. It was Solo! Solo Magubane was the surprise guest.

While Styles was all of a sudden fine with not being the other racer, Thawn seemingly wasn't as he looked annoyed by the idea of facing off with his old nemesis. But alas, that was the case. As the two racers took their spots on the racetrack, the anticipation was at a fever pitch. In fact, this was the biggest reaction from the fandom outside of Amandla's Rebellion.

The race began with a frenzy with Thawn taking the advantage in the early going. The Impaler seemed to own the race only for Solo to regain the lead in Lap 3. The two continued to exchange the lead until Lap 8 when Thawn seemingly captured the lead for good, holding onto it well into Lap 13. However, Solo did the unthinkable and used his power boost to successfully overtake Thawn (becoming the first person to successfully use the button on an episode of Fuel) and held onto the lead to earn the victory.

While he couldn't stay to watch Solo's interview on Touching Base, he'd at least hoped that he could watch his Winner's Circle interview and at least meet up with him but to no avail. Apparently Mandla was eager to get home tonight and he was Mandla's ride. On the way home, Mandla once again asked him who he believed should be on the throne between him and King Kloof.

"Who do I believe should be on the Formula-X Throne? Solo Magubane."

Mandla rolled his eyes. "Oh c'mon. You know what I mean. Who will come out of this rebellion with his hand held high?"

"Same answer." Before Mandla could complain again, Styles continued. "You don't get it. I don't think this rebellion will end the way you think it will. I believe that Solo will be the guy to end it. I believe he's the one that these people want to see on the Throne. You wanted a sense of loyalty, well here it is. My loyalty is to Solo."

While this wasn't the answer Mandla had wanted to hear, it was the only one that Styles was willing to give. Tonight proved that not only had Solo not lost a step, but he was still beloved by the fandom. He was still 'The Franchise' and also his friend.

 

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 © All stories are Copyright © 2016-2020 by S.T. Kubheka (also known by the pseudonym Bernard "Beesting" Bayede). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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