Thunderbolt Grease Slapper

Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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12 hours ago, Tom Slick and the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper entered The Expanse. Early crossings took two days if they made it at all. There used to be a midpoint, a resthaven, a fuelstop. But word has it fallen. Preyed upon by the scavengers. Marigold was silent, Gerty only ran thru the pre-run checklist and then she too fell silent. But Tom seemed extra calm in his blue leathers. His yellow helmet swapped for a full faced blue one. Gertie's mods to the Bogen Ion Drive have made a midpoint stop moot if the Grease Slapper ran in the sunlight for most of the first 12 hours. There have been no chem storms today but it wasn't exactly blue skies either... more of a gold with purple streaks thru it. Gertie's best guess is 3/4 charge collected. Tom has a route plotted that balanced the quickest time with the smoothest road. But the smooth road is the most traveled and the scavengers will be waiting. He's also carrying an old short wave radio for midpoint if they're still there. So we wait for word.

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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It's been 40 hours since an official word has come thru. The GPS she had on the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper stopped transmitting 8 hrs in and Marigold almost broke down in tears. Gerty calmed her down saying those GPS units are iffy in regular weather patterns, but I could see the worry on her face too. Gerty recorded a weak signal 12 hours ago and has been working on boosting the amperage and cleaning up the background noise. Best guess would put Tom at midpoint 4 hours earlier than the broken transmission, but it sounds like there was no place to connect to before that. Here is a transcription of that broken message.

T......lick here.....o wa..to sen.....ess...ge bef.....now.....idpoin..s....en leveled there a.......surv.......looks as thoug.....e was neve......stallation there....I trav...... no eyes.......he scavengers.....but I can hea....em beh....me......found an abandoned res....ea there nothi....ere but rats...d snakes...asty if I do say .......hot wired the rad..to.....Bogen bu.....won't was.....uice waiting for a repl....m ok...There's no su.....ng a...awdle whe....ossing.....Expanse...

That sounds like Tom Slick to me. I haven't heard the transmission myself but Gerty said he sounds fine. "Tom tougher than he looks." is all Gerty really would say when pressed about her thoughts on where he was and how he was doing. So post apocalyptic race fans keep your rain gear handy and your radios charged. We'll be sending out reports as they come in.

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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Waiting at the South Gate (the exit from the Expanse) with radio, radar, and Ray Bans, Gerty and Marigold were intense. Gerty had boarded herself up with the radio and ground radar trying to find a trace of Tom Slick and the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper. Marigold donned a dark pair of Ray Bans and was silent. 47 hrs after entry at the North Gate a cluster of blips appeared on Gertie's radar, 10 miles inside the Expanse. Intermittently, a lone blip forged south ahead of the group. At 5 miles out everything stopped moving and was still for a good ten minutes. Then from behind the cluster, out of the north came a lone blip moving faster than the previous blips. Faster and faster almost a blur and then it veered to the west, parallel to the cluster that blinked out one by one. The lone blip continued south as the blur gained ground and then pulled up next to the blip. Gerty ran out to the gate with a set of high powered binoculars. Searching the horizon she spotted two riders together. One, the Grease Slapper, the second an old stretched Hawthorne. They seemed to be traveling together. So, at 47 hrs 23 minutes Tom Slick exited the Expanse with an unknown traveler. Not a record, but better than average and it seems, in one piece with a second rider. More will be revealed as details unfold. But for now, Tom Slick has successfully crossed the Expanse.

Merle.
 
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Sep 14, 2013
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Two survivors and wait till we get the story from the second rider! Short version is he was stranded for a year in the Expanse before Tom Slick came along and helped him get his bike up and running. How Tom knew to bring vacuum tubes along is beyond me! Little Neutrino has a tube driven overdrive.

Merle.


Sent from the edge of an alternate universe...
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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So I sat down today with Tom Slick to speak to him about crossing the Expanse, his reasons, his insights, what happened and about the second rider. First off, Tom who was that second rider and what happened at Midpoint? TS: Well Merle, I'm not going to tell his whole story but suffice to say he is an old friend of mine. Midpoint has been erased. It looks as though it was never there. The short wave radio I brought to make communication with the outside world from Midpoint was a waste of time. But it wasn't the only reason I brought it along. M: What do you mean, not the only reason? Why else would you have brought a short wave? That's ancient technology and I'm surprised you even got the Bogen Ion Drive choked down enough to power it up. TM: I never expected to have to power it up with the Bogen. But there's no such thing as ancient when it comes to the Expanse, Merle. I had my reasons to bring the short wave, kind of a two birds with one stone thing and that was still a long shot. M: Tom you're not helping me out at all. How about filling us in on the mystery? Was that Little Neutrino that came out of the Expanse with you? That bike hasn't been seen for quite a while. TS: Ok Merle. So I was doing some searching on the internet for something different to compete in, you know I never run the same race twice, and I read about the Crossing of the Expanse. It sounded ominous and I knew there was no way Gerty or Marigold would let me enter the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper. Then as I read the list of names of those who hadn't returned from the Crossing and I saw a name I knew personally, Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III. He had the Little Neutrino built, folks know the builder, but no one even thinks about the guy who had it built. He only entered it in one event previous to the 2018 Crossing of the Expense and that was a bike show. Unlike this year where I was the only one entering, in 2018 there were 7 bikes and none of them came out. M: That's probably why you were the only entry in 2019! TS: Sure. But I entered only to find my old friend Bodsworth. I told Gerty and Marigold after their initial protests and they weren't happy, but they understood. I also knew that the Little Neutrino had been retro fit with a tube driven overdrive. With the same tubes that were in the short wave's power amp. I packed a couple extra just in case. M: I can't believe you found him a year later! How did you know where to look? TS: Little Neutrino is a dragster style bike very similar to the Grease Slapper in it's show guise. So I knew Bodsworth would keep to the old main crossing route where it's smoother running. You know they used to keep that route clear of wreckage but the last 5 crossings have had only a handful of survivors in the conventional sense. I mean that some of the scavengers I saw were actually past entrants. If they were willing scavs or being forced, I couldn't determine. I took out 6 or 7 of their bikes near the end of the second day, but I don't think I hurt any of the riders. I just made it so they couldn't follow us. It was Bodsworths plan to run ahead and bait them. He had a few bones to pick with some of the scavengers. Seems they kept him hostage for a while but he eventually got away on his own. He actually found me too. The overdrive was out, but he was running chain drive and came at me from a hilltop rolling down at an angle. Lucky for him I recognized the Little Neutrino (M: Well you were looking for him...) Yes but I could've blasted on by him. The Thunderbolt Grease Slapper is about 3 times as fast as any thing that's ever rolled into the Expanse! M: I can't imagine being held hostage by scavengers! I'm guessing they might have turned a few of the entrants that way before. There's a mental acuity needed to keep your wits about you. TS: ...or you break and end up following the alpha of the pack. M: Yeah the alpha... hmm. TS: Well, I've got to meet with Bodsworth soon and there's no better time than now when it comes to catching up with old friends, Merle. M: Oh sure, and thank you for your time Tom. There you have it folks, the mystery solved! It was Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III and the Little Neutrino.

Merle.
 
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Sep 14, 2013
6,272
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Bradley Illinoiz
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The Grease Slapper is back in the garage getting torn down again. Tom says he wants to go for a ride, just take it out and go for a ride. So no need for a Ion Drive, no baskets, no derailleur or rim brake, no apes, no bananas, no Praxxis, no sissy bars, no fan drive, no footpegs. Keep the beartraps, keep the bent seat post, keep the rear fender and rack. Bring the flipped rocker rat trap back and the stretched bars. The Thunderbolt is a classic cruiser with a bit of dragster thrown in for good measure. Tom wants to get back to its roots.

Spitfire.jpg


Merle.