Devì had never really been shy about being in front of the camera. In fact, the word shy wasn’t part of her vocabulary which was why she was currently dressed in tight leather pants and matching cropped leather jacket over an even tighter crop tank top. She was hot and she knew it. However, tonight wasn’t about her looks.
Devì had spent the entirety of the off-season using her modelling experience to gain exposure for Formula-X and its most sovereign prize. Now, it was time for her to introduce herself to the patrons of the Fuel Speedway. She’d acquainted herself with the F-X exclusive social network known as the Formulary and it was there that the fans (known as the fandom) made her aware of a unique statistic that she’d be earning tonight. She was the first ever racer to wear the Formula-X Crown having never participated in a race on Monday Night Fuel.
Of course, this made sense when one considered the fact that she debuted at The Second Formula-X Grand Prix where she’d won the Formula-X Crown. But that was four months ago. It was now September. It was now a new season. And Devì could feel it in the air as she walked through the concourse for the first time. It was an interesting experience but a familiar one as no one could take their eyes off her including the racers.
She saw Styles Sithole next to a merchandise stand and Darcy Stevens buying a coconut-covered snowball, both staring a hole through her. Devì wasn’t bothered at all. As far as she was concerned, as long as they understood that she was the center of attention, it didn’t bother her.
“I hope you’re taking it in because you only get to make one first impression.” The words were spoken by Terrance ‘Moodswing’ Moodley approaching her. “I’m surprised to find you walking the concourse. I was sure I told you that as Queen, you’re allowed to drive right into the paddock?”
“You did but I wanted to walk the concourse.” The people deserve to see their Queen in the flesh. “Like you said: first impressions,” she lied.
However, Moodswing seemed to see right through her. “You want all eyes on you, don’t you?” But before Devì could say anything else, Moodswing shot his eyes to the entrance, behind Devì. “Well you might have competition on that.”
Devì turned around to see three gorgeous women with caramel complexions walking in wearing very low cut outfits with very leggy bottoms. It earned the attention of the patrons in the concourse with many a man whistling in admiration. Of course, what was shocking about all this was the fact that the three women were the three Koeks: Brenda, Doris and Teresa.
Devì wondered what on earth was going on. Aren’t they Catholic? Is this a cry for attention? Devì didn’t know. All she did know was that they were stealing her spotlight and she wasn’t going to take it lying down.
“Moodswing, when is my coronation in the line up?”
“It’s in the final spot of the night, like you requested,” said Moodswing remembering her request to have the last race spot – not to be confused with the last segment spot which was somewhere in the middle of the racecard.
“I’d like to change that. I want my coronation to go on first. As in, right now.”
Moodswing looked at her almost dumbfounded. “You know that was the original idea, right? You’re the one that asked to go on last. So I rearranged the whole racecard pulling tonight’s feature race down into a support race slot so you could go on last. And now you want to change all that now?”
This wasn’t the first time that Devì had asked for something in an established schedule to be changed because she didn’t like it. Fortunately, her smile was like her superpower: devastatingly gorgeous and charming as a snake. She demonstrated it. “Yes.”
Moodswing took a moment and shrugged. “Okay. Let me find Glen and see what I can do.”
Before the F-X Racing Club President went far, Devì made one more request. “And do you have any fireworks about the place?” Devì used her smile again… it could get her anything.
LATER AT THE CLUBHOUSE
It was now minutes before the show was about to begin and Devì was ready, complete in a shiny orange ball gown with an elaborate headrest standing in front of a float that was about to slowly make its way around the Fuel Speedway as she made her debut. While Devì waited for her time to come, she listened to Glen as he made last minute arrangements.
“Okay, so the fireworks you requested are currently being placed. And they will be launched high into the sky as requested.” Glen’s attention was diverted. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Formula-X’s intrepid reporter, Toney Kunene. What news do you bring?”
Toney was about to answer when she saw the look on Devì’s face that screamed: show me some respect. “Your Majesty. You look lovely.”
“Thank you, Toney.”
“I look forward to your coronation." Toney’s words seemed insincere because as soon as she’d uttered them, she turned to Glen. “Well I just had an interview with Styles about his most recent success with his clothing line in the winter.”
“Well good for him,” said Glen.
“I thought success in Formula-X was measured by wins on the racetrack.” The silence in response to Devì’s words were deafening. It was clear that Toney wanted to say something to the newest recruit but refrained upon seeing the golden Formula-X Crown under Devì’s arm.
“Well speaking of the racetrack,” continued Toney, “there is one development which I think could lead somewhere.” Toney explained the most recent drama in the paddock which started when John Kloof arrived and immediately complained that he wasn’t involved in the Royal Tourney that Moodswing had announced on the Formulary to determine Devì’s first challenger. Kloof was immediately confronted by Penny Potgieter who was in the Tourney and mocked the family man.
Glen smiled. “Moodswing is gonna love that. Day one of Season Three and there’s already animosity building. What else is going on?”
Toney explained that Wikus Rothschild – another F-X reporter – managed to interview Thawn Oberhauser who’s still bitter about losing Gauntlet IV at the Grand Prix. “Thawn said, and I’m quoting here,” said Toney reading off a notepad. “He said, ‘What happened at The Second Formula-X Grand Prix was a fluke and a travesty. My moment was stolen from me. Rest assured, those involved will get what’s coming to them and I will get my vengeance.”
Glen was smiling from ear to ear. “Wow. That’s like something straight out of Kill Bill. I love it.”
Toney was amused by this. “I can see that which is surprising. Usually it’s our fair-less leader who loves a scandal and drama.”
“What can I say, the sports opera genre is growing on me. What else you got?”
“Well Belinda can’t stop talking about her interview with Moodswing about the Formula-X Cup so there’s that.”
“Excuse me,” said the F-X Queen, not caring for all of this. “Can we get on with the show now?”
“Not a problem,” said Glen smoothly. “We’re all set to go.”
Devì, not liking the level of respect that Glen was giving him, decided to throw more of her weight around. “And can you tell Moodswing that there’s something else I’d like.”
“And what’s that, Your Highness?”
“The feature-race.” Devì hadn’t been looking at Glen when she’d spoke but looked at him now as he gave her a narrow-eyed look. “I want to race tonight and I want one of those koeksisters in the race.” Devì paused as if waiting for him to respond but then continued when he didn’t. “And make sure he bills it as the ‘All Girls Closing Act’.”
Now that Devì had sufficiently displayed her powers as Formula-X Queen, it was time to introduce herself to her subjects…
ON THE FUEL SPEEDWAY RACETRACK
The coronation was a spectacle from the word go. It started with confetti seemingly falling from the sky as the float began its long and slow journey across the slanted ‘L’ track. Devì knew that it would remind the fandom of one of Thawn’s ostentatious middle-stage celebrations with him circling the track in his white limousine. Devì had made a point to make hers more Indian themed.
Ever since the Grand Prix, Devì had decided to sport the national colors of India with her attire and race car, the most prominent of which was orange. It was why Devì always included orange in her clothes which included an orange bustier earlier and an orange gown now. When Devì finally got to the middle-stage, fireworks erupted into the sky like it was the 4th of July in America.
When Devì got onto the middle-stage, she took a microphone and prepared to make an address. “Now I know that many of you are a little upset simply by my presence here especially as I defeated arguably the best F-X racer on the roster. But the fact and the matter is, I did defeat him and as such I am your new F-X Queen.
“Now, I am hoping to follow in the footsteps of all the Kings that came before me and be a proud F-X ambassador and expose this franchise to the world. And speaking of Kings, I would like to acknowledge that as the first ever female to hold this,” she said earning a loud cheer from the females in the crowd, “the most sovereign prize in sports entertainment, I hope to usher in a new era in motorsports and establish a bright future for female racers in this franchise.”
By the time the speech was over, Devì was sure that she had more fans on her side than she had before tonight, but was aware that there were still people who didn’t like her simply because she’d debuted at the top rather than having climbed the ladder like everyone else. But Devì didn’t care because she knew she’d get the chance to win them over… like in tonight’s feature race.
THE FEATURE RACE
Devì took note of the fact that the fandom seemed to warm up to her when they saw her orange and blue vehicle, The Avatar. Rightfully, it was a magnificent machine, built completely from parts that Devì had imported from India. It was followed onto the track by Doris Koek’s The Corporal Faith and Fiona’s The Scarecrow.
The race started with Fiona grabbing this unique opportunity by the throat and taking the lead of their unique 30-Lap 3-way match race. Doris ‘The Nunnery’ Koek followed her in second with the Queen in last position. The race remained like this for 10 straight laps until Doris did the unthinkable and used her power-boost button to contest the number one position. It was a move that very few had dared to do outside of pay-per-view.
While Devì could feel the fandom’s doubt grow as the Queen was still last in Lap 20, her plan revealed itself as she finally found a gap and not only passed Doris to capture 2nd place but also passed Fiona soon after to capture 1st just as Lap 21 began. Devì then began to defend her position and successfully held onto the lead to win the race.
As Devì lifted her hand and Crown in victory, she thought about whether she’d earned everyone’s respect. She doubted it though. But then again, this was just her first appearance this season. Perhaps after she defended her title for the first time, then she’d earn it. However, she’d have to wait for the Royal Tourney to be won before she’d know who her opponent was.