New race tracks unveiled in Elmsfield and Gateway

To the delight of the general public, and to the abject terror of any racecar drivers-for-hire, four new race tracks were unveiled today in northern Evan.

The primary architect of these four derbies of destruction is the legendary viKKing, responsible for many of the Somerset race courses that have, over the years, brought so much delight to race fans and cost so many innocent drivers` lives. To ensure the quality of Elmsfield`s and Gateway`s first tracks, this time viKKing brought in outside help, and contracted out some of the work to Joer, with further help from `some guy called Sam`.

The Darkwind Gazette is proud to offer an exclusive first look at these tracks of terror:

The Trench, situated in Gateway, is said to be a fast, technical course with several chicanes and other tricky bits. Judging from our quick look at the track, and the preview photo included in this article, it would seem that The Trench might become a new favourite with the children of the night-type of nocturnal racing crowd, adorned as it is with suggestive streetlights, a slight mist rising from the ground, great possibilities for a murky field of vision and plenty of perception-related crowd confusion, and some very nasty, sharp turns that surely will satisfy the bloodlust of even the most battle-hardened gothic mutant fanboy...

Gateway Dry Lake track is located just outside of Gateway. The Darkwind Gazette had the great fortune of speaking to a racecar driver that, for fear of legal retribution and viKKing`s wrath, wishes to remain anonymous. Two nights before the opening of the track, our source climbed over the fence and drove a few lapses around the track in a construction site truck. According to her, the Dry Lake is a long, open dirt track peppered with concrete bollards. She adds that `judging from the dents it made in the chassis of the truck, this one will be quite the widowmaker`. Shortly after this, the medical technicians kindly but firmly informed us that the patient needed rest if she was to recover from the loss of one arm and one eye, and we had to leave the medical tent that serves as a hospital in Gateway without the opportunity to further explore this intriguing comment.

The Elmsfield Lake Track sponsors were kind enough to offer us a quick tour of the track. It is a wide concrete track, probably good for flat-out racing. The lake is a nasty feature, though our tour guide ensured us the two vehicles already resting visibly beneath the surface are leftovers from olden times, when gangs roamed the empty wastes now known as Elmsfield. `It`s funny,` remarked my photographer, `but I could have sworn that mounted rifle sticking up through the surface is one of Jake`s spring 41` designs, imported from Somerset... But hey, if anyone would know, it`s these guys!`

For our last preview, there were no rogue drivers or easily persuaded sponsors to consult, so instead, we had a word with one of the architects: `Elmsfield Hills Rally Track is a difficult mountain track,` says some fella called Sam, `although it has a decent surface. Plenty of cliff edges to accidently nudge your opponents towards...`

-- Jon Tannen, of the Darkwind Gazette

Advanced Race Labs Win Gateway Autumn League

The Gateway Autumn Meltdown League finished on Friday, with Advanced Race Labs taking the overall victory and a prize of 20000. The runners-up were Clarinbridge Crushers, and finishing in third place overall were Bionic Coal Robot Smasher Regiment.

In the end, it came down to the final race and with Clarinbridge 10 pts behind, they had to eliminate Race Labs and finish top 3. Some dangerous maneouvering and mucho carnage saw Clarinbridge with a blown engine and Race Labs cruise to victory belching smoke.

Some accurate gunfire late on from Mastodon held Bionic Coal Robot Smasher Regiment in a close 3rd place.

Toecutters Win Elmsfield Autumn Classic League

The Elmsfield Autumn Classic League finished, with Toecutters taking the overall victory and a prize of 20000. The runners-up were Ghost Wing, and finishing in third place overall were North Desert Marauders.
The great Toecutter was found at the track as his young prodigy John Carver took the final checkered flag, he had this to say,

Yup, young Carver is living up to his promise of getting the `Cutters back on track towards our former racing glory. Good thing too, `else I would have slit his throat

Like all great papers, Darkwind Gazette needs an obituary to mark the passing of our greatest warriors into the Halls of Valhalla. Now, get out there with your best members and start dying. After all, you are never really famous until you are slowly cooling to room temperature!

Pamela Ward of the gang Bumbleclot took a final trip to the dread abode while driving a looted Marauder back to Gateway earlier this week.

Death or Taxes took the final coin in her pocket and the last breath from her lips after peppering her with a healthy dose of lead, once again proving our tax dollars are still hard at work in the wastes.

Denver Smith, of the gang mad mad crushers finally quit the oxygen habit while seeking a path to vengence in Somerset`s Combat Arena.

Details are slim on this one, but here`s the story as we heard it: Angered over the loss of a few brothers in a wilderness scout interupted by local pirate gang Wezs Berserkers, the dangerous Denver took up the gunner`s seat in an Arena Vulcan to dish out a little payback. With his Gatling, Denver did sing a few violent lullabies to his sworn enemy, but Wez`s Heavy Car Rifle carried the better tune.

Denver, or at least most of Denver, was last seen dripping down his own windscreen.

Luis Sutherland of The Khans was playing delivery boy on The Highway To Hell, and now the bagpipes are playing Danny Boy for him.

Satan`s Sisters gave him a first class ticket to meet their brother. Hope it isn`t too hot down there for you, Luis. I`ll try to sneak in a glass of ice water for you the next time the Gazette has its company picnic.

Latrina Lovelace, member of The Corpsepunchers tried to make it to the Gates of Gateway, but was ushered into the Pearly Gates instead.

Oh? What`s that I stepped in? I think I got a little Latrina on my shoe! Arachnids turned this loveable lady into street pizza as she tried to make it into town. An early pioneer of the one-car scout, Latrina made her mark in the world. Now, she only makes a mark in the street.

Looks like SplashandBurn is digging two holes this week, one for John Jackson, the other for James Vankirk.

The North Desert Marauders got to have twice the fun as usual, and the undertaker can finally afford those sweet rims for his new Merc.

The young racing upstarts Deaths Angels finally got what was coming to them, when their member Cruz Freeman gave up the ghost out in the wilderness.

Satan`s Sisters put his skills to the test when they caught up with him on The Road to Gateway. He didn`t get a passing grade, but let`s hope his soul did.

Terri Wynn of Twisted Sister didn`t `wynn` anything but a pine box and face full of maggots on Interstate Mythos recently.

The Sabre Dogs were off their leash again, and poor Terri`s corpse has the bite marks to prove it. Had she been dropping dog treats instead of Flaming Oil, maybe we would have more details about this isolated attack.

Roy Colon of Hit n Run got a bullet enema at the Gates of Somerset.

Satan`s Sisters gave Colon an emergency bowel evacuation so close to the town`s gates, we had to turn the stereo up to drown out his girlish screams. Is anyone going to do anything about Satan`s Sisters? They are giving me more writing cramps than the Somerset Suicide Hotline.

Everyone is dressed in black for Zane Grey of Team Bansi. He and best friend Terry Jergens were taking a spin on The Highway to Hell when everything went terribly wrong.

Roadkill Ninjas interupted their Sunday drive with a kamikazee run of their own, causing both of them to bite the big one. Terry and Zane were last seen in their final race, jockeying for position in The Dirt Derby, sponsored by The Good Reaper himself. May your souls be showered with champagne in the Winner`s Circle, boys.

The Corpse Punchers get sloppy again, this time losing Otto Vorhees in Scattered Grounds.

Who did it and how it happened is still a mystery to this editor. I suspect Otto just choked on a 50 year-old Twinkie he found in some trunk, and The Corpse Punchers reported it as killed in action.

The sun set on Claire Nealey of Ironmoon for the last time after a combat at the Gates of Somerset.

Looks like Boss decided to fire her, or at least fire on her, and they were quite successful.

Son celebrates his golorious return to deathsport racing by killing his own father.

The Henricks member Chris Hearn got so trigger happy about his first event, he slaughtered his estranged step-dad Robert Swinson of the one-and-only gang Dead Celebrity. Sheesh, kids these days!

I would tell you that the death ofAnthony Quattlebaum of The Corpse Punchers makes it a hat trick this week, but you probably wouldn`t believe me.

Does this gang have anyone left to drive? They are so desperately in need of members, I saw them interviewing a house cat and a store mannequin for the position of Large Gunner. These guys have the life span of a fruit fly. No wonder their gang motto is `Please! Not in the face!`

Jacqueline Lotts of THE EMPIRE got blown away at Blown with the Wind.

Well, with a bounty over 2000, I am surprised these guys aren`t getting dropped quicker than a tart`s knickers.

Charles Brock of the mad mad crushers had his number called at Road to Gateway Truck Stop.

Proving if the truck stop food doesn`t kill you, the Iron Guard will.

Opal Griffin of GovermantResistance died at Scattered Hills.

Al Bundy of Advanced Race Labs died at Gateway Dry Lake Track.

Alonso Mikkelson of Advanced Race Labs died at Gateway Dry Lake Track.

George Staton of Twisted Sisters died at Road to Somerset.

Carson Palmer of Twisted Sisters died at Road to Somerset.

This Enforcer had the unfortunate luck to turn a blind corner and wind up facing 4 Car Cannons belonging to the Squad called Warlord 26.

With a sheer wall to his left, and a cliff ending in a toxic bath to his right, the driver had no choice but to endure the wrath of the blazing cannons. The first volley lifted him off the ground and the second one kept him hanging there.

There was no mercy granted, and the Enforcer could not fall fast enough to evade the dead-accurate blasts. Each second, volley after volley sent him higher into air, shredding both the components and occupants in a concert of shrapnel and thunder.

By the time the squad needed to reload, the Enforcer was well on its way into orbit, giving new meaning to the words `testing weapons in space`.

Eventually, the twisted wreck that was once two people and a car came crashing down from its lofty crest at a speed of 180 MPH, landing awkwardly on the cliffside, but the occupants had been reduced to a fine mist long before impact.

League Leaders

The major leagues are nearly concluded, and with the title races hotting up, here are the current favourites:

Somerset Combat League - Advanced Research labs
Somerset Deathrace League - Advanced Research labs
Somerset Race League - Hungry Hyenas
Evan Race Ladder - Advanced Race Labs
Evan Deathrace Ladder - Hungry Hyenas
Evan Arena Combat Ladder - Fish Heads

In addition, the leaders of the minor leagues are:

Elmsfield Autumn Classic League - Toecutters
Gateway Autumn Meltdown League - Advanced Race Labs

Dear Crabby,

I have a particular group of gangs I patrol the wastes with. When it is looting time, there is one particular gang that always seems to snatch the best prize without consultation among the other squad members. Our last scout together is a perfect example. At the end of the battle, all the gang members got together to free a pristine Punisher that had gotten stuck in a ravine at the beginning of the combat. As we were wiping our brow after the strenuous activity of turning a 7,000 lb vehicle back onto its wheels, the gang member in question immediately jumped into the cab and began adjusting the seat with the assumption it was now his truck.

We confronted him about his evident greed, and he and his fellow gangsters went into a rage. One jumped on the hood of my Phoenix and did a lewd dance while the other urinated in my gas tank. Then, to make matters worse, a third one scooped a handful of brains off the dash of another bandit`s smoking car, yelled, `heads up!` and tossed the bloody brain matter all over Bumbleclot`s gang member Grady O`Grady, completely ruining the sweater his grandmother knitted him for his birthday last year.

We were shocked at this display, and, as a result, the gang in question is no longer invited to our Friday Night Backgammon Tourney, or our Poetry Appreciation Circle on Sundays.

We are wondering what etiquette to follow when looting vehicles. Is it truly `first come, first serve`, or is there a fairer, more official way to do things? Also, what should we do to resolve our situation with the gang described above?


I Don`t Pour Gas In Your Toilet, Don`t Pee In My Gas Tank

Well, the fairest way to handle the looting phase is a `Split`, in which all members of a squad split the resale value of everything they brought home. This means if you want to keep a looted vehicle, you still must pay the other members a share as if you had sold it. The Loot Split can be complicated at times, and can only be done with trusted, reliable allies, so it is not for every circumstance.

The other way is to consider looting with a `take what you can get` philosophy. You take what is left in the loot pile, regardless of who shot what and without comment, and trust it will all balance out over the course of many scouts. After all, next time it may be you that has the opportunity to snatch that hot, sexy, heavy laser before anyone else gets a clean look at it.

As for how to respond to the disrespectful treatment you received, heres an idea: Invite him on the next scout. Say nothing when he takes the fire engine and leaves you with the Symphony with no doors and 3 tires. Then, during the return encounter, with much personal generosity, so graciously share the bullets you looted via the breached side of his fire engine, being certain not to stop firing until his members have, in their rib cages, exactly half of the ammo you looted.

Its a gift he`ll surely remember, you`ll still technically be sharing, and everyone else will be satisfied with his attitude change. After all, outside of rotting stink, the dead are not offensive.

Donald 'Scatman' Hepp

We`re paying tribute to the legendary Donald 'Scatman' Hepp, a renowned mechanic from Fish Heads.

Have Car, Will Travel

Send a message to Gaia, wherever she might be. The air is getting thin. The finer points of oxygen are all but lost on us, who spend our lives out here on the radiated plains.

Who would choose this life, you might wonder? And why? The life of a rogue, a road warrior, a sojourner with her car as her only ally, and allies as her dearest commodity. For years, you look out across the open plains, and wonder. You ask any number of retired freelancers, retired free traders and retired men who used to be free. And none of them can give you a satisfying answer. Some don`t answer at all. Most of the time, they just shake heads and shrug shoulders, and shuffle away. But should you happen to turn your head and look back, just a few seconds after turning away, you will see them lift their heads and cast their sight out across the distant plains and open roads. And had you been close enough, you would have seen the silent, hopeless longing in their eyes.

So you join a small gang, or purchase a beat-up racoon of your own, and set out. Just to try. Just to know. Just in case.

After the first trip, you`ll be bored, or possibly terrified, if you had the luck, good or bad, to end up in the middle of a fight between radiers and bounty hunters. Most probably both, in a bizarre dance of conflicting emotions, but with a strong emphasis on the bored .

After the second, you`ll be less afraid, and bored to the point of apathy.

After the third, you`ll be thinking that if this was your life, if this was all there is, if you did not have secure investments in your home town, and secure employment at one of the few operating businesses in Evan to return to after the end of your leave of absence to try your wings, those long hours and days out on the open plains would be spent contemplating suicide.

During the fourth and fifth trips, a soothing apathy sets in. A nothingness as vast and impossible to bridge as the emptiness of the plains themselves. Even the boredom is subdued, hidden beneath a blanket of void and road dust that settles like burned-out ashes on the skin of your emotions.

And then, during the sixth trip, something goes bump in your mind. And you begin to wonder. You spend those three days between the towns actually looking at the emptiness and the stars, not just seeing it all in the periphery out of the corner of your eye every time you stop to bless this broken land with a small amount of fluid, but actually looking. And wondering.

And during the seventh trip, that wonder has turned to expectancy. You could not say for why or for what, but the feeling is there. All through the long drive between Somerset and Elmsfield, you keep your eye on the rearview mirror and horizon, and your mind is sharp, in a way it has never been before.

And then, during the eighth trip, after something compelled you to plot a course just a tad too deep into the badlands, just of out range of Bumbleclot, Gearjammers, Lupos, R.Inc., and all those other famous bands of heroes you rely on for safety, the praire dogs sing in gleeful joy and the vultures crow ever so loudly as the smoke column of a lone pirate car fills the horizon. The gauges, dials and HUD indicators dance in spirals of electronic and mechanical joy, and you cannot even begin to separate all the clicks and groans of tortured metal from the near-silent but oh, so powerful thunder of the first machine gun rounds striking the hull of your car. And yea, verily, there is a firefight.

That night, you find yourself in the shittiest bar you`ve ever ordered a bottle of tequila in, just two streets down from the car shop where your trashed and dented racoon is slowly falling to bits and pieces, without a clear recollection of how you managed to escape and reach safety. And you look at the locals, people who have never travelled farther than the walking distance between the town center and the small collections of houses spread inside the town gates. And you can`t understand how they can be happy living their lives in the confinement of just one town, just one road, just one starlit sky. And you have forgotten that you ever did.

And then you know.

Man bridged the nothingness beyond Somerset and Elmsfield for the first time over 15 years ago. So much for the imagery of impossibility.

-- Johnny of the Broken Hearth

Current DW Gazette Editors: Sam, Hati, Racing Robbie, Bastille, Rezeak, SmokeyKilla.