2nd of May – Season 3
Devì was pissed. She was losing money and she knew why. It was the Koeks. They’d spread the rumors that the app didn’t work. That was the reason that she was currently sitting in her lawyer’s office, awaiting a response to her question.
“I’m sorry Miss Pandey, but there’s nothing we can do.”
“I told you to call me Devì and what do you mean there’s nothing you can do. You’re my lawyer aren’t you?” He nodded. “And I pay you handsomely?” A nod and a shrug this time. “So then what’s the problem? Tell me how much I can sue them for, and let’s get started.”
“Unfortunately, we can’t sue them at all.” The lawyer answered her next question before she asked it. “The reason being that they can very easily claim that their behavior was under the guise of sports entertainment.”
Devì’s eyes bulged. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“I’m afraid not.”
“Are you telling me that those contracts we’re always signing are binding, even in front of a judge?”
“Miss Pandey, all it takes for a legal agreement to be binding is an agreement from both parties and in this case, the moment you mentioned your fitness app on camera in a Formula-X setting, you, any commentary and the effects of those comments on the product became covered under the freedom of expression clause of their contracts.”
While the lawyer had been speaking, Devì had been fuming. “Are you seriously going to sit there and tell me that sports entertainment, which has a steeped history of scripted outcomes is going to affect the law?”
“It very well can, especially in this case since Formula-X is very much legitimate.” There was a silence that passed that was more scary than awkward. “But there is a way to avoid such outcomes in the future. All you have to do is go to the Club Committee and insist on adding an exception clause into your contract than exempts your fitness app or any other business venture from being mentioned on-screen or on their social media platform.”
While Devì didn’t know how that could possibly help now, there was no harm in doing it. However, upset that her lawyer had been quite useless, without another word, Devì, rudely got up and left. She hurried out of the offices; got in her orange Toyota 86 and sped off to the Fuel Speedway. While she travelled at highly unsafe speeds, she thought about her app and how doomed it seemed from the get-go.
In earnest, the downward trend had started during her rivalry with Solo back in March when he’d decided to show up at her launch party in the vain of building up their race at Festival of the Fall. While it helped the rivalry, it had hurt the product as all the buzz had been around their feud rather than the app. And now it was Brenda, Doris, and Teresa who’d taunted her for no reason, really. Who knows, maybe they were bored, thought Devì. However, now none of that mattered because it was time to put a stop to it.
AT THE FUEL SPEEDWAY
OUTSIDE MOODSWING’S OFFICE
As Devì waited for Moodswing to finish his current meeting, she thought about her lawyer’s suggestion about an exception clause. While she liked the idea of limiting the amount of damage that her enemies here could do to her, she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was acting like a child running to the principal to ‘tell on’ another child. Hmm, maybe this place really is like a high school playground. So maybe that meant that this wasn’t the right move.
While Devì was thinking of an alternative move, she heard the argument going on inside. It was between Moodswing and Glen. “How could you NOT KNOW!? Aren’t you always telling me that you’re the glue that holds this place together? Well this, this does not look like it’s all together.”
“Like I told you Moodswing, all I got was a message saying that he’s not coming. I’m not the one who caused this situation.”
“Well maybe not, but you sure as hell benefited from it, didn’t you?”
A short silence followed. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear you say that.”
“Don’t bother because I’m going to repeat it. This situation is the best thing that could have happened for you because I’m the one who advertised the King’s Coronation and now I’m the one who’s going to have egg on his face because he’s decided not to show up. Meanwhile, you come out of this just fine. And I don’t like that.”
Glen sighed. “Well like what you want, Moodswing. I don’t care. I only came to report this so that we’d figure out what to do with our first segment.”
Moodswing sighed but recovered quickly. “Well he’s not the only one that won a title last night, is he? Yeah, have Styles go out there and have something of a celebration.” The door opened as Glen had seemingly started to leave before Moodswing had finished speaking. “As they say, the show must go on. And send whoever’s waiting out there in, will you.”
Glen didn’t even bother to say anything to Devì who took her own cue to enter Moodswing’s office. “Devì,” greeted the Club President. “What can I do for the ‘Daughter of Divinity’?”
Devì had finally come to a conclusion on what to do while Moodswing and Glen had finished their fight. “You can give me a race against one of those bitches.”
Failing to read her mood, Moodswing narrowed his eyes into slits and answered sarcastically. “You’re going to have to be more specific because I’m sure all the other women around here are bitches to you.”
“I’m talking about Brenda, Doris, and Teresa! Did you not see what they said about my app on the Formulary?”
“Truthfully, no. I’ve kinda been busy sorting out the Grand Prix racecard, especially the main event. Stevie wants to exercise her re—”
“I don’t care what Stevie’s doing at the Grand Prix. I only care about what I’m doing at the Grand Prix and that will be kicking Koek ass.”
Moodswing’s eyes widened this time as if intrigued. “Oh, you want this thing going down on pay-per-view, huh?” A simple nod was the response. “Hmm,” he said as he leaned back in his chair, “okay. I’ll tell you what, let’s make this interesting since there’s three of them to choose from. Pick whichever of the sisters you don’t want to face at the Grand Prix and if you beat them, I’ll give you the race you do want.”
Devì smiled. That’s easy enough. Everyone knows that Brenda is the best of them so I’ll pick her to face at the Grand Prix and Teresa to face tonight. “I’ll face Teresa tonight.”
“Okay. You’ve got your race,” he said before dropping the bombshell, “but if you lose, you’ll face both Koeks at the Grand Prix.”
Devì hesitated at hearing this condition but eventually relented and left in a determined mood. In her mind, ultimately, it didn’t matter because she was going to win tonight and go on to beat Brenda at the Grand Prix which meant, really, she’d be giving them double the dosage of humiliation.
LATER IN THE PADDOCK
Devì was surprised to find herself feeling a bit lonely in the paddock. It had less to do with not having anyone to talk to – she didn’t need anyone – but more to do with the fact that the place seemed so empty. The notable absentees were Solo Magubane, Mandla Xulu, and of course, Penny Potgieter: three big names of the season. While Devì couldn’t be sure, she heard some of the committee members saying that it was because they weren’t on the racecard due to poor performances in the last two episodes.
“Well good riddance,” said Devì under her breath, remembering Solo and the part he played in her mood. But, Devì didn’t want to think about that at the moment. She wanted to focus on the Koeks who were on the other side of the paddock, laughing together. This made Devì angry and she wished more than anything that she could go there and slap the chuckles out of their mouths. In an effort to prevent herself from doing just that and getting suspended, Devì looked for a distraction and found it by listening to the Formula-X podcast on her phone.
The podcast was a new addition to the media elements of the franchise and it was hosted by the newest edition on the roster: Hush Mathulane. On the latest episode, Hush had decided to venture into the topic of the ‘Millionaire Affair’ with guests, the Relay Baron and Baroness, Thawn Oberhauser and Savana. One of the most notable questions Hush asked was to Savana and how she felt about effectively replacing Penny in the big marketing campaign on the ‘Highway to the Grand Prix’.
“I think that’s the way it should have always been: with me front and center. Penny is going on and on, whining about soul-searching. If she wants to quit, then she should just quit. But if you do come back, you should try out a new nickname. How about ‘Pretty’ Penny Potgieter.”
Savana’s last comment even made Devì cringe. Clearly, Thawn had been rubbing off on her in all the wrong ways. With the podcast having taken place in the morning, it meant that Devì could see the comments online and most of them agreed with her: Savana had gone too far. But it was these comments that led to the race that was happening right now: Savana vs. Plain Jane Deyi.
Plain Jane, who had led her own (failed) campaign against Penny, had seemingly decided to let bygones be bygones and risen to the occasion to stand up for Penny. Unfortunately, it appeared losing her Duchess of Drag title last night had done a number on her because she’d lost decisively giving Thawn and Savana that much more momentum heading into The Third Formula-X Grand Prix.
Thinking about The Third Formula-X Grand Prix brought Devì full circle back to thinking about the Koeks and how much she wanted to slap one of them. But before she could distract herself this time, a familiar voice broke her concentration. “So I hear that you chose to face my little sister over me.” Devì turned around just in time for Brenda to call her a “coward”.
Devì didn’t take the bait. “Oh don’t worry, Brenda. Your time will come… at the Grand Prix.”
“That’s assuming you win which begs the question, why didn’t you just opt to face me tonight?”
Instead of explaining her motive, Devì instead shrugged. “Maybe it’s because I’ve already beaten you on Fuel. Or have you forgotten about our race back in October?”
“Ah yes, the Battle of the Babes. Who could forget a race with a title like that?” Clearly, Brenda wished she could. “How things have come full circle, huh.”
“Not full circle enough,” said Devì. “Personally, I’d prefer to rid myself of the lot of you. Who knows, maybe that’s what will happen after the Grand Prix. But until then, stay the hell away from me and stay the hell away from my app!”
Brenda, not to be intimidated by how close Devì was to her right now, smiled and answered sarcastically. “Now is that any way to speak to one of your customers?”
ON THE RACETRACK
She had no idea how, but Devì had managed to hold back her slap, preferring to lay a smackdown on Brenda’s sister on the racetrack which was what she was doing right now. They were halfway through the race which Devì had dominated so far. The speed was incredible but the taste of a certain victory was even more incredible. Unfortunately, Devì must have let her hatred of her opponent blind her because she failed to see the tire debris on the edge of the track until it flew right at her head.
This had forced Devì to slow down which had allowed Teresa to catch up. While Devì had managed to recover somewhat, Teresa had not allowed her to gain her gap back even by an inch. They were neck-and-neck coming into the last lap and to Devì’s horror, Teresa began edging ahead and passed the finish line first!
Devì was furious! She wanted to get out of the car and slap the smile off Teresa. She was not going to have to face both her and her older sister. That’s when Devì calmed down as she realized that this might be an opportunity. What if she could beat both of them at the Grand Prix? Would that be something?