Alright, since my F-Zero fanfic, Ending it All, was my personal favorite of mine, I thought maybe I should give you all a brief summary of every Lap in the story. I hope that'll give it more praise this way and more recognition from the fans. So here goes:
SPOILER WARNING!! This contains major spoilers for this story. You have been warned, please enter at your own risk!
This took place during the spring, just a few weeks after Tinsel was brainwashed by Dark Million. She first arrives at the Falcon House and Bart Lemming and Clank Hughes grew very concerned, that they were unable to make contact with the Mobile Task Force since they disappeared just several days ago. She soon enters the base, only to find it empty and barren. Each one of the members, including their machines, have vanished. And the only clue left behind was a note and a syringe consisting an unusual white fluid. She brings it over to the private hospital in Mute City, the same place where Jody Summer recovers as a cyborg, and made an appointment to see Dr. Stewart's son, Rodney. He examined the fluid and it seemed that it's used as some mind controlling agent. Though it's not intentionally used for brainwashing, but to reverse the negative effects by it. He asked if there's someone that has been controlled mentally, and Tinsel thought it could be used on Miss Killer, to whom she assumes it's Rick's lost girlfriend, Haruka. She heads back and then prepares for the next F-Zero race stationed in Green Plant at Saturday 10:00 am. She trains at an old Mute City course, only to find Miss Killer spying on her.
She heads to Tortiz 3, at its more clement side, where Green Plant was held. Tinsel competes against Octoman and Bio Rex who were determined to clip her wings like they did to her friends. She was barely deterred, though she was able to wipe out the Deep Claw. Unfortunately, the Big Fang was more formidable. Just when the Silver Comet was on its last legs, a mysterious racer assisted her, knocking off Bio Rex. She won first, and the other second, and he revealed himself as Beastman, the pilot of the Hyper Speeder, and the galaxy's well-renowned beast hunter. She thanked him for defeating Bio Rex, though she's uncertain when she'll see him again since hunting for that tyrannosaur was his top priority.
She then found Octoman crying in ink. He submitted defeat, though she just needed to talk to him; she was surprised that the cephalopod had turned rogue and worked for Dark Million, and he revealed that it was revenge against the Galactic Federation always on his case as he was trying to help his fellow Takorans out of poverty. Tinsel convinced him it doesn't have to be this way, and he wishes him to hide out and make amends with his family. Since Octoman remembered her random act of kindness after the GX Grand Prix last year, he knew she was faithful. He refused to help her find her friends, though he accepted the offer. She was very disappointed that they never saw her during her finest hour. Instead, she prepares for the next race set in Sand Ocean.
With the schedule in hand, Burt and Clank wish Tinsel luck, especially in hopes on winning the race and finding the Task Force. She arrives in Sand Ocean, the Lateral Gaps circuit, where a sandstorm blew. It was proven to be difficult with the blinding, strong winds and the sudden turns she had to make in order to prevent herself from falling. Meanwhile, there was another strange F-Zero machine piloted by TWO drivers working in sync. They actually won first, while Tinsel came in second due to their astonishing teamwork. They turned out to be the Furikake duo from Planet Huckmine, Gomar & Shioh, the pilots of the Twin Norrita. They were put on probation for a year since they were caught using stolen auto parts, as they were desperate to create a business. They also admired Black Shadow, to which Tinsel held bitter feelings for, and corrected them that he's bad news to the galaxy as well as the assumed culprit of the Task Force's disappearance.
Again she was disappointed and grew more worried of their absence before the next race.
The next race took place in a Big Blue circuit known as the Dolphin Dive; Clank and Burt knew this was one of the new elite courses so it wouldn't be easy. Tinsel barely had enough cash to participate and she met up with Rick's nemesis, Zoda, who always tried to mock and discourage her efforts. There was also Baba as well. She aced through the course, though Baba and Zoda gave her quite a predicament. Just then, a certain anthropomorphic pilot witnessed the struggle and remembered Tinsel. He decided to assist her, disabling the Death Anchor, after Tinsel raged that Zoda called her a "defect," and took Baba out of the race plummeting into the ocean, never to be seen again. Though the Silver Comet had a dilemma; both it and the Space Angler were running low on power from the confrontation, then she remembered Jody's lecture awhile back. She said that the main reason she keeps losing is due to meekness, not taking chances. She must never hold back during a bind, otherwise those that know their limits are willing to go as far as they can. She used that advice, boosted to give Leon an increase in speed and went over the gap. Both machines survived and Tinsel took first.
Leon remembered her from her charity, the same time as Octoman received her prize money. Because of her kindness, he's willing to help her find her friends and prevent Dark Million from ruling over the universe for the sake of saving the orphans in Zou. Clank also said that Gomar & Shioh would help out as well. He said that he worked for the Falcon House as a busboy to earn more money. That restored her confidence but time was running short as Miss Killer and Black Shadow observed her victory. They also observed the missing Task Force encased in stasis tubes. In order for their plan to work, they must win the next race set in Fire Field.
Leon, Tinsel, and Clank were having a hearty meal when Roger Buster and Draq showed up dropping off a delivery. Roger remembered Tinsel being at the Fake Star race with Rick, but she never noticed them. She was working with the Duelists, Yugi and Joey, instead. Clank asked if they received ownership of their machines, there was none. During their intros, three bandits took hold of their machines, those being Samurai Goroh, Lisa Brilliant, and Dai Goroh. According to Clank's schematics, they headed off to Red Canyon. Burt became admirable that Tinsel was starting to become like Rick, taking the initiative. They made plans to scout for the Mighty Hurricane and Mighty Typhoon tomorrow.
Beastman and Gomar & Shioh joined Leon, Draq, Roger, and Tinsel. And they were ambushed by a band of pirates. Roger was enraged that they claimed ownership, and Tinsel recalled their policy that they can forfeit their machines. Goroh made the ultimatum, either leave peacefully without bloodshed as they take the machines, or should they resist they lose their lives in a death race and their property. But all hope wasn't lost when Captain Falcon went into the scene. He proved that the receipts they claimed were false that even the Internova Police Force would laugh at them. In his anger, Goroh challenged Falcon who accepted the race along with Lisa and their son. Tinsel and Leon did the same as she recalled another similar race last year. The trios rode off and back while they avoided dangerous obstacles, though the heroes gotten the upper hand, even the retrieval of the Huckminers' scarves. As the machines blew up, they skedaddled out and headed to Mute City.
Tinsel told him of the incident of the Task Force, and Falcon explained privately to her that the original owners mysteriously disappeared and later perished soon after the Horrific Accident; he didn't want to tell the duo, just the fact they went missing. He headed off as he had other bounties to collect, though he counted on her to reunite the Task Force, especially Rick Wheeler.
At the end of a playful race at the Serial Gaps, an explosion was set off. The guys recovered but it was done by Zoda and Miss Killer. They intimidated the group about the team's whereabouts, antagonizing Tinsel. Though she was uncertain about the Fire Field race coming up, even though the team may still be alive...
Tinsel's friends all kept encouraging her they'd have her back, as she was alone in the next race dealing with Miss Killer. The heated race was on, and the Silver Comet was at a constant conflict with the course, the heat, the mines, and the Moon Shadow. She still persisted until the final lap when Miss Killer nearly incapacitated her; she made a fatal decision at the fork in the road. On the last stretch, she took the short pit area, though it was detrimental compared to the shortcut. Miss Killer took it, and Tinsel lost! Her allies supported her on sparing her life rather than risk it and get killed by the rookie.
But that was what Black Shadow needed to complete his experiment. His first subject was her best friend, Rick, and he began to shake violently before he exited the tank. Death Soldiers gave him a makeover, putting him in a more sinister outfit. He awakened abruptly moments later, wearing a very malicious expression.Lap 7
Previously, Rick awakened from his slumber as Miss Killer won the race in Fire Field. The cash was just enough to complete Black Shadow's experiment, to which Rick became an official loyal member of Dark Million, his mind enveloped in darkness. Miss Killer made a reunion with him and he embraced it, as well as serving his new master. He assured him he'll see his friends soon, until then he must exterminate the only member of his former group, Tinsel. He took the mission seamlessly, and he observed that his machine was also altered. He declared it as the Dark Star Dragon, and together Rick and Miss Killer got to work.
Meanwhile, Leon and the others went on another practice race at Mute City's King League course, including Draq who decided to tag along and leave Roger operate business. Suddenly, Tinsel received an exciting message from Clank; he finally traced a signal coming from Alcatran, at White Land, where there was a beacon emitting from the Dragon Bird. Tinsel and Leon were immediately on the case... But it was a trap! To her horror, the rumors of having the force brainwashed were true! Miss Killer and Rick ambushed the duo, and Leon volunteered to lead her away while Tinsel dealt with her new enemy. The canine was successful, but Tinsel was at Rick's mercy. Her Comet was severely damaged and Rick charged for the kill as she kept pleading him to snap out of it. Leon then came to her rescue, only to get wounded himself. With her rage, Tinsel kept landing hurtful blows on Rick, until his eyes were no longer dilated. Rick recognized her right away as he held her back. She yielded and thought he was playing a trick. Rick pleaded her to believe him, and they must leave now before Miss Killer would find them. She and Leon reluctantly accepted and headed back to Mute City.
After Rick parked near the apartment complex, he unveiled all that's happened: One night he was curious on whether or not Miss Killer was indeed Haruka, so he looked up her death. It turned out there was an accident soon after he went into cold sleep, though she was unable to survive during the same process. That devastated Rick, to the point where he couldn't cope with anything. He was then caught off guard in an alley by Dark Million, including Miss Killer and Zoda. He was unable to fight back, then he was unconscious. He remembered waking up at Dark Star, Black Shadow's secret turf, and willingly served under him, until Tinsel saved him. He wished he'd save his friends from the same fate. As Tinsel and Leon processed everything Rick sulked and went off. To the coyote's surprise, Tinsel believed him and that he's their only hope for victory.
That night, Rick was suffering from the after effects, then Tinsel later decided to comfort him. Rick accepted her as she decided to sleep and monitor him. The next day, Rick decided to visit the Falcon House and he told Burt everything. Clank was uncertain cause of the machine's altered appearance. Rick felt hopeless on dealing with the enemy alone, but Tinsel shown him the friends she found. She said he's in charge from now on during the mission on saving the Task Force. She then took him over to see Rodney, whom he believed Rick to be their last hope, even saving his dad from possible corruption. Rod inserted the experimental formula and Rick was put to sleep in order to take full effect; he also wanted Tinsel to show her true feelings with Rick.
Hours later, Rick was in the afterworld, and there was Haruka. She warned him that her body was reanimated by Black Shadow as the abomination known as Miss Killer. He must stop Dark Million, otherwise she'd know no peace, and she believes he can do it. She also accepts Tinsel's relationship with him, and he must share his feelings with her. Content, she wished Rick for his victory. He then woke up and Tinsel and Clank revamped the Dragon Bird using parts of the Dragon Ghost. The next race was set in Aeropolis, to which he never been to. At HQ, Clank left, Rick increased the safety protocols and watched over Tinsel as she slumbered until dawn, promising to protect her like she would with him.
The next day, Rick and Tinsel made a friendly competition at the Multiplex course, then he recalled Haruka helping him improve his racing skills. Minutes later was the competition at the Dragon Slopes, and Jack Levin would be participating.
Rick, Tinsel, and Leon volunteered to rescue Jack as the Death Reaper and piloting the Reaping Robin, to the cop's knowledge. He then became an informant to the group, and while Tinsel and Leon distracted the warring pair, Jack kept on intimidating Rick while trying to slew the other racers. Tinsel distracted him by speeding ahead, though she was too weak. Rick stepped in and knocked him off course. Fearing for his friend's life, Rick ditched the course as Tinsel and Leon finished. Jack was comatose at a lower level, and when the paramedics came, Rick offered to use Rod's formula made by his dad.
At the hospital, Jack recovered though he couldn't recall the sins he caused, other than Tinsel wrecking his machine. He noticed she was bonding with him, but only professionally. One down, seven more to go, and the next race had Lucy Liberty and Blood Falcon. Rick warned Tinsel that there's more than one clone, and the Commissioner appeared. Since Rick never finished, he should've been disqualified; however since he was valiant on saving the pilots, he can enlist himself in the next one. He counted on them to bring the Task Force back.
Rick, Tinsel, and Draq competed against Lucy and Blood. Through a team effort, the trio won and Lucy was comatose. She had the formula inserted and Rod was able to make multiple solutions. She recovered and Leon was ecstatic to see her.
Eventually, she and Jack were on their feet and she kept worrying about Dr. Clash in the next race. She was scared that he'll develop more weaponry against them. Rick volunteered to save him and promised his return. He, Jack, Tinsel, Leon, and Beastman volunteered as did Clash, but he wasn't himself. He actually wanted Rick to end his life as he can't fight off the thrall anymore. Rick refused, but unless the Crazy Bear would win, it'll detonate as Clash inserted it. He flashed back to his golden days and the toxins took over once more. He begged Rick to knock him off course and let Lucy and Clank take his place. He reluctantly did just that, while Jack took first.
Everyone witnessed the tragedy and they all grieved. The main members made a small shrine and mourned for their loss. Moments later, Tinsel was about to leave as she couldn't bare to stay and endure the pain, not even deal with her friend's survivor's guilt. Rick wanted to go with her to her most nostalgic place in Port Town. In the Comet, they were off to the Queen League course. She shown him the breathtaking scenery as Rick absorbed the beauty. They then slept until a bang woke him up. He left, looked around, and noticed Falcon. He informed him that Dark Million has increased in numbers rapidly and stealing one of the ROBs. He fled away, though Rick pursued Tinsel, whom was abducted.
Rick took the Comet and found the signature ship where Tinsel was held prisoner. Zoda forced her to drink the black vile he gave her before as a mind control agent. She faked her thrall and she resisted Zoda till Rick showed up. They fought each other until he was cornered by Zoda's pistol as well as his. He was at Zoda's mercy until Tinsel fired her ice jets straight at him! Rick retaliated and thrown him over the abyss. He was finally vindicated, as was she. That was until the ship started to collapse. They evacuated narrowly in the Comet with Rick as the pilot. Then they crashed, and it was severely damaged. They were stranded until Falcon met up with them. He gave it some energy from his vehicle as a jump and led them away to Mute City.
They arrived at the base, then Falcon inspected the two machines. The Dragon Bird and the Comet had something peculiar inside.
It turned out that these vehicles housed one Reactor Might each. Upon hearing Clash's death, he was sorry he failed to mention them and would be forever missed. Falcon explained that Black Shadow was on the pursuit for the hidden Mights, as a way on collecting all six and controlling the universe; they were created during the big bang, and he decided to utilize them against him. Falcon told Rick he must go with him to his home base for training. He then recalled the time when Dr. Clash was abducted, as that was when he knew Black Shadow returned from his demise by Deathborn. Despite the forming of Dark Million and all the corruption, he knew there's still hope.
The next day, the Dragon followed the Blue Falcon to his secret home. He escorted him inside and Rick observed all his foundings, including the Ultimate Championship Belt and the Falcon Flyer. The former gave Rick visions when he touched it. He saw a mysterious, sinister figure in Hell, then three apparitions challenging Falcon. He never explained but shown him the Mute City simulation. It was a training ground for Rick to use a secret technique, the Booster Fire. After an incredible lecture on using anything to win and use his heart, Rick did the same. Only his machine went haywire and lost control, rendering him unconscious.
Falcon took him in for treatment, and after a few days he was back on his feet. The Booster Fire must be used wisely and effectively, as his machine must endure it well or lose balance and crash. He began to question Falcon why he's showing him all this, and the bounty hunter said that Tinsel, Yugi, and Joey had stopped by a couple times. He then saw Rick as a prodigy from 150 years, a promise to a new generation from an older one. And what matters is what's inside Rick, as long as the pilot and machine are one. What he uses is insignificant, even what made the Blue Falcon fast; it only comes from the heart and the mind must be clear from any doubt.
The Might must be used once per race due to the intense input and burden it puts on the machine. Falcon warned that they're not the only ones to use it. He promised to teach him everything he knows in order to succeed as his one and only student.
The three gaidens start as Leon and Lucy go on a date, and the Cosmo Terminal quarterfinals were close at hand. Beastman stuck with Tinsel, Burt and Clank as desperate as ever to catch Bio Rex; he explained most of his past and how he became the best animal hunter, even his childhood incident involving a gator. He also told her of his encounter with Leon during the F-Zero X Grand Prix, though the trio convinced Chris he's not a menace. Beastman accepted that, and so did Lucy with Leon. Later, the Big Fang was picked up by Clank's tablet and Tinsel and Beastman were on the prowl. Despite his reckless driving, Gomar, Shioh, and Jack joined the fray. The Big Fang was wiped out and crashed into a manure truck, incapacitating him. Chris dragged him in the Speeder's cockpit, then apprehended him, and took him to the nearest prison facility; Falcon captured him, and Chris hoped he wouldn't escape this time.
Back at the base, everyone gathered in the Central Control Room where Clank was programming surveillance inside the Dragon Bird as Rick was about to commence training in a Port Town Aero Dive simulation. Everyone was astonished and terrified of the Booster Fire. Believe it or not, Rick actually beat Falcon in his own turf. Falcon was so impressed of his skills, as he'd definitely prevail over Dark Million and the quarterfinals, as well as dealing with Mr. EAD.
It was finally time for the next race at Cosmo Terminal, the Trident circuit; Falcon warned Rick this wasn't for the faint of heart as it once belonged to the elite Diamond Cup. They saw a mysterious F-Zero pilot structured as a robot named Mighty Gazelle, as well as encountering Mr. BAD and Miss Killer. Chris and Kate Alen also decided to tag along, and Falcon heeded that she may have learned the Booster Fire. Lucy summarized that BAD as an android can be calculative to the enemy's advantage, though they could use the different routes to confuse him.
During the homestretch, Rick wound up on Miss Killer's route as Chris cried for him to evacuate. Fortunately, she was distracted by Octoman and she was enraged that he decided to fight her upon Tinsel's begging. Falcon, Rick, Gazelle, and Chris emerged victorious, and EAD fell off course before the Falcon Flyer caught his Crushing Quasar.
Falcon then revealed to Rick of the Gazelle's origins, as a friend he lost named Roy Hughes. It was the same incident when Falcon infiltrated then destroyed the space transport, while Clank was leaving Planet Forno. They boarded the Flyer, then BAD went haywire, injuring Falcon in the crossfire. Fortunately, they were saved by the heroic Gazelle. Beastman tended the hero's wounds as they headed to Mute City.
Tinsel was uncertain if the formula should work on an android; however, Rodney was pretty confident, much to Kate's relief. He woke up as his normal self again, though he couldn't recall what happened. Meanwhile, Gazelle met up with Clank and analyzed him. The boy couldn't believe him to be his father, so he snatched Clank's neck chain and examined it. Rick clarified it was the truth, after what Capt. Falcon told him. Clank processed the intel, and he reunited with Roy tearfully. Kate assured EAD that Dr. Stewart, John Tanaka and Jody would be saved during the semifinals scheduled in Death Wind at Tortiz 3, where Pico would participate. Tinsel grew more anxious at the thought. Since then, Gazelle volunteered to be a top mechanic, installing parts of the Bio Rex to the machines and repair EAD's corruptive data.
Rick and Tinsel were at the Falcon House as they watched a broadcast while Pico made some fearful gestures toward Mr. Zero. Through her worry, he decided to enlist help from Samurai Goroh. She resented that, especially since he tried to put her and her friends' lives in serious risk. Though, he still wanted to train Tinsel on using Falcon's special move. Gazelle, as the janitor, scanned over Burt Lemming, aka Andy Summer. Everyone was shocked that he was Jody's long, lost brother after he was presumed dead by a shootout from Zoda in downtown Mute City several years ago. Burt lost his mobility and decided to open a business dedicated to Falcon, as a way to function in society while still raise money in peace as he was being inspired by the champion.
Rick went to Traditional Park and she was successful on activating the Booster Fire, but she lost control of her craft as well as her head despite her reversed stats. She was rendered unconscious and Rick took her into Rodney's hospice. Upon awakening, he assured her that her headache would fade overtime from the extra input she endured. But with him and Falcon by her side, she'll achieve it. She dosed off while holding her forehead, Rick removed it, and kissed her. Then, she hesitated as she never embraced anyone before. This was Rick's second lesson as she followed his lead, they were so passionate. She slept again as he and Rodney watched over her. Then, something unusual happened as his hand glowed a vermillion color while he healed her; both men were astonished by it. Little did they know that Jody and Miss Killer found the remaining Reactor Mights of light.
While Rick headed to Red Canyon, Falcon trained Tinsel and she finally mastered it without incident. Goroh noticed that he and Rick have something in common, though he was still bitter working for his former associate. Rick was certain he could be trusted, they needed the Fire Stingray's durability after all. Later that night, Falcon invited Rick to his private quarters with Jack and Tinsel. Although they stayed outside, Falcon gave Rick his final lesson: a simulation of the Phantom Road! It was a very tumultuous race, though the UFO was activated if a vehicle should fall off. Through a Booster Fire against Falcon's, Rick won! He was then declared to carry on his title, though Rick turned it down. Jack and Tinsel were shocked as Rick was when Falcon said that he would be his new successor. Tinsel believed that since Black Shadow was resurrected, Falcon needed someone to continue his legacy. As a testimonial, Rick earned a clipping of a silver falcon emblem.
Finally, it was time for the race. Jack, Gazelle, and Chris were wiped out. The only chance was to use the Booster Fire against Pico, Tanaka, and Miss Killer. They surpassed Goroh as the trio sandwiched together. It was too much for the Moon Shadow and the resulting reaction disabled the Wild Goose and Horrid Hornet, rendering Tanaka comatose. Falcon was able to knock out Pico and spare Goroh from the wreckage, although the heroes forgot to bring the syringe. Tinsel called but got no answer, then it was intercepted by Black Shadow. Just as they feared, Dr. Stewart found out, Dark Million invaded the hospice and abducted Rodney!
Rick trained strenuously with Falcon in Port Town in preparation for the finals, while Tinsel sulked with her friends on the old Port Town track. Leon wanted to give Tinsel a secret, about an elusive pilot that's said to train F-Zero racers named James McCloud. With the Furikakes, Tinsel desperately went to his military base belonging to the Galaxy Dogs, though it was only him. They paid hefty cash for his heavy-duty training and he always gave them a hard time. First was a test of dodging bullets to which the Huckminers excelled in. Then, Jim escorted to a much longer Port Town course used for the King League. The Twin Norrita cheated as it made a giant leap. The UFO he programmed caught it for a short while, and he went stern about it. Even when the Comet descended heavy after each jump, hence was why every pilot surpassed her jump height, even in White Land much to her dismay. He taught her to go longer while raising the nose of her vehicle, thus landing more smoothly.
They went back to base, but that was when Octoman gave Tinsel the scoop. James was known as a scoundrel, and he framed the Takorans as a nuisance species. That was why they were treated like space trash by the Federation cause of all the lies he told. He said he'll train anyone for money, regardless if it's friend or foe, betraying their trust. Heeding Octoman's words, she froze the machine gun as they dodged bullets again. She ranted to James on what she found out, Clank provided Octoman the intel and he gave it to her. During the struggle, Octoman intervened and called out everything he did, all the manipulation he did on the Galaxy Dogs and convincing the Federation about the Takorans forcing them in a life of poverty and despair. James ran, but the Deep Claw and Comet pursued while the Huckminers gave the word to Rick.
It was an intense chase, but after using a ramp and a long leap, she got ahead of the weak Little Wyvern and froze its engines. The vehicle crashed and burned, and he was apprehended after he described his rejection of his fellow soldiers during a distant battle. Rick and Falcon were impressed on Octoman and the others, though the cephalopod left. He promised to root for them when they march on for the title.
At long last, it was time for the Championship at Lightning in the Thunder Road track! Rick shown signs of fatigue from harsh training, though he was willing to discuss with the team's plans on saving Rodney. He figured it was the Loss Landing circuit or the Volute, but it was completely different. Yugi and Joey volunteered to watch and prepare for an emergency, though they apologized for not assisting Tinsel to look for the Task Force as they were too busy dealing with a 10,000-year threat and awakening the Dragons. Rick then collapsed after assurance that with Falcon on their side, they'll be victorious.
Hours later, Rick woke up, startled to see how much time had passed. Jack held him down and said he still needs to rest if he wants to recuperate. He also wondered why he always feels he's alone fighting Dark Million, with so many of his friends by his side. Tinsel agreed with him for once. They discussed that they couldn't depend on Falcon forever, and Jack wondered how Rick could face the organization on his own. She said it was a way to cope, though she's certain he knows. Night fell, then Rick eventually showed up with the Huckminers. They went straight for Lightning following the Blue Falcon at 6pm sharp.
At the Big Blue highway, they noticed the duel monsters. Then Falcon advised the duo to approach the bleachers and stand guard while the Task Force cheers for them. They spotted Miss Killer with Blood Falcon, then Goroh, then Antonio Guster. But where was Black Shadow? The race commenced and the course went smoothly until the second lap. That was when the two bandits clashed with one another, disabling their machines. Blood Falcon used his Blood Fire, splitting the Noritta in two! Then Tinsel confronted the Hell Hawk and used the same tactic as the last Championship, taking advantage of the Hawk's poor grip as a means to fall off!
Black Shadow was slow, putting Rick at ease; he never feared the Black Bull so much. Instead of speed he uses destruction to win, then he used his Black Fire, and the two leaders withstood his attack. Rick thought they had the upper-hand, until...The Black Bull used ANOTHER Reactor Might, much to Falcon's horror! He was closing in fast, and the Falcon Flyer got the machine as the captain ditched the course. Rick just kept on it, until the Dragon Bird made contact! It spun and toppled out of control upon impact, and Rick was down and out after he crossed the finish line! He and BS were carried away, much to Mr. Zero's dismay. Tinsel was horrified and Miss Killer had her and the Huckminers at her sights! The Flyer shot her machine, then she vanished unscathed, mocking that Rick would return as their loyal pawn. Tinsel was completely devastated by her remark.
Meanwhile, Rick woke up, trapped back inside Dark Star. Black Shadow, Miss Killer, Jody, and Dr. Stewart greeted him. They wanted Rick to join their ranks once more rather than kill him. Black Shadow said that he, Zoda, and The Skull had an ingenious idea using a black solution made by Dark Reactor Mights on Tinsel. It was experimental, but they thrived. Then he was looking for the 3 Mights and by the tine Rick left, the Task Force was vulnerable. By exposure, they were weak as kittens and one by one they fell. Rick was the perfect specimen after he was resurrected 150 years later, a powerful force to tip the scales against Capt. Falcon. A stasis tube displayed Rodney and Stewart unveiled that he made a solution that was able to enhance neurological functions; the brain was 77% water as BS had the right idea manipulating the minds of his victims and used the Mights creating both solutions. And by the time Rick came to terms with his loved one's death, her body was an inanimate vessel easily controlled with no spirit. Rick was enraged with the revelation, though he never got far as he was cornered by Jody and caught by the demon!
He was trapped in another stasis tube filling up, and he struggled to get out. But it wasn't long before the contents took effect as Miss Killer helped him remember their bond. Stewart assured him it'll be over soon, and Jody said his mind would be erased to the point of a newborn remembering nothing, erasing his painful memories as what BS said he wanted. Miss Killer told him he walked a treacherous path as she did, and Rick succumbed to their persuasion, making him feel submissive as before. Black Shadow incanted him to relax, lay back, and serve them.
In the darkness, visions of his friends appeared before him. Even words said by Falcon, Gomar and Shioh, then Haruka in the heavens, and finally Tinsel believing in him. All of a sudden, Rick's body heated up and he went into a berserker rage! His body glowed in a shiny vermillion as he ignited and broke the tube, as well as repelling the demon's volley and scorching his face! He called the Dragon Bird, then Falcon and Tinsel met up! He asked if he can keep up. Rick assured him no problem; together they used the Booster Fire and burst out into a tractor beam. The Comet froze it and the Flyer caught the trio! BS underestimated what Rick could do. He then decided to wipe out his friends first, starting with Tinsel, in order to get to him. His associates obliged.
Finally, they were heading to Earth and Rick contacted the force on his return, while also thanking them for everything. They cheered and a shaky Tinsel was embraced, assured that he's himself again and he wouldn't be if it wasn't for her, Haruka, and his teammates. The Flyer approached the atmosphere and Burt served him the usual. There was still the question on who won the Championship, then Rick became ecstatic to tell them the whole story, he didn't know where to start. Falcon mentioned he should be at the beginning and work from there.
Clank invited Rick and Tinsel to the Falcon House. He and his friend, Alias, found a secret diary at Alias' mom's house. She said it was related to Rick, as if Alias was Haruka's grandson? It wasn't possible since she never had relatives, but Tinsel hoped it'll provide some answers while he was put in cold sleep. After a few moments, Rick asked if Tinsel'd go with him to Memory Park so they could look over it. They did and he read it. Haruka said she first met him at a racetrack 150 years ago in NY, it was destiny. She was with a close friend named Rose. He was an amateur at the time, but Haruka always gave him advice and encouragement. She was a talented racer and a flood of memories entered his mind, including the last night they had before the Championship. Then, the fatal chase after Zoda. He never expected what happened next when he awoke. Then he recalled his first day in Mute City, and being ambushed by Miss Killer, then seeing Haruka, and saved by Tinsel. The diary dropped from his lap, and Tinsel went on.
Haruka was still waiting for him at the same park, then she got a call from Rose about Rick being put in cold sleep. Since then, she wanted to take revenge on Zoda, so there was a freezing trap set in the East Bank. He was frozen with several bot thugs, then Haruka came in and hesitated to shoot him as it kept reminding her of Rick's tragedy. He was apprehended to Alcatran where he was scheduled for permanent cold sleep. Rose said she was 21 at the time when she stopped being a racing queen during Rick's slumber, and she got in an accident a night later. If Rick should get out of cold sleep, in a different world, he'll receive the diary.
They concluded there may never be a reversal since Haruka was exploited by Black Shadow from her vengeful heart after seeing the psychotic. Falcon approached and noticed the distinctive shade back at Dark Star, belonging to Deathborn. Tinsel was horrified that all that was done was only Black Shadow in disguise! As he could be at the living world without a trace. He then revealed that Deathborn was the true culprit during the accident in Fire Field, commandeering the Dark Schneider, aka the Wings of Darkness. He was the one who captured and controlled the Task Force, and Falcon decided to bring the Dragon Bird to HQ.
There, it was enhanced as the Dragon Bird EX with more superior stats. It was able to house 2 Reactor Mights like the Black Bull, hence the Silver Comet can't use one. Falcon urged him to train with it, and he did using the remaining courses from the King League, winning every one seamlessly. By nighttime, Rick and Tinsel rested in his bed, and he made a silent prayer for Haruka to watch over and protect them.
Tinsel and Rick were waiting in a busy lobby for Rodney and Tanaka's recovery. A nurse led them in and they laid in cots comatose. Since they no longer had the formula, they needed to find an alternative, but Rick has one. He remembered healing Tinsel from her headache after the Boost Fire, so he did the same to Rodney. He recovered, but at the cost of Rick's depleted vitals. He felt the same warming sensation as he was fighting Deathborn's trance. A Reactor of light would give a person strength than drain it. It worked, and he momentarily did the same for Tanaka. Rod said he suffered from a concussion, though. Tanaka was restored to his more stern, serious self rather than his wimpy, cowardly one, and he couldn't thank Rick enough. Rodney concluded there was an impact on the frontal lobe, resulting in his clumsiness and raw emotion. Tanaka ordered Tinsel she has permission to invite her allies to their cause as they'd stop Deathborn from collecting the Mights and use a Reactor he's been building.
While he rested, Tinsel and Rick broke the news to their compatriots, but Falcon said it isn't just the Mights that made Rick powerful. He planned to infiltrate Dark Star and save the remaining members assisted by the Flyer and the Duelists as weapons. Falcon ordered for the retrieval while also invite Burt and Clank as well.
At the King League course, Tinsel searched over the vacant lot. No one shown up excepting an unsuspecting visitor, Jody. She recalled them saving her from Death Soldiers and their vehicles, the Hel Hoverers. She was spared but as soon as their backs were turned, they were ambushed by her. She demanded in order to save them, Tinsel needed to use a special bullet given by Jody and kill Mrs. Arrow. While Tinsel's not a huge fan of the Arrows, she went into a berserker rage, violently thrashing at her for destroying the life of a loved one after Rick's was devastated. Leon showed up, trying to hold the hysterical Tinsel back, then she gave Jody another blow as a disgrace to her lost brother. He urged her not to kill Jody, as she's still a sister to Burt, and he would never want her gone. She stormed away while Leon found and saved the Duelists tied near a minefield.
Meanwhile, Rick spotted Tinsel distraught as she told him everything. Rick forgave her for all the treachery Jody did, and he offered her his hand, promising her to not tell Burt what transpired. She was hesitant, but then as she was going for him, she and her Comet were airlifted by a tractor beam! Tinsel screamed in terror, as did Rick, then a gigantic hologram of Black Shadow's severed face appeared. He demanded for Rick to give him the rest of the light Mights in exchange for her life. He then boasted that Rick alone can end the calamity, either by serving him or crossing him; he may not have exterminated Falcon in front of fans, though he could strike fear into them. He then faded leaving a stricken Rick below.
Leon, Joey and Yugi noticed the commotion and with a desperate Rick, they headed back to base. Burt and Jody showed up moments later. The Task Force members were excited to see their captain again, but not Rick, the Duelists, nor the other allies. Jody activated the Galaxy Runner as a way to carry out Falcon's plan with his Flyer, and so they were off on their greatest mission.
Lap 18 - Destination: Dark Star, Part 1
Rick was with Yugi, Falcon, Leon, Gomar & Shioh, Draq, Octoman, Rodney, and Beastman inside the Flyer while Jody and the Task Force members, including Burt, Gazelle, Joey, and Clank, were in the Galaxy Runner. Rick could never let go of Tinsel's predicament so Yugi tried to soothe him with a warm cup of sweet coffee and believed he and Falcon can save her and the galaxy. They reached their destination, and Yugi transformed into the pharaoh, Yami, utilizing the Millennium Puzzle. He and Joey used their monsters and traps to temporarily break through the disarray, though Clank monitored something ominous as orbiting sensors devastated Uma-31. That put everyone on edge, excepting Yami who'd rather follow his heart than focus on a mission, as Deathborn tends to tarnish the mind rather than the soul. Just then, the crew of the Flyer was separated from those in the Galaxy Runner; all they did was wish them luck and God speed.
As they walked into a massive corridor, the team were covered in a dense, fuchsia fog, excepting Falcon and Yami. Everyone passed out one by one. Them the remaining duo saw Black Shadow with the deterred face. They were bound by the energy shackles, until Yami telepathically summoned the Dark Magician disabling the binds. Both heroes stood by over the group.
Rick recollected the events before 150 years as he received the call of duty and chased after Zoda. Only this time as he made the hair-pinned turn, he hit the breaks, ducked, and covered his face as glass debris rained on him. He was still alive but lost the perp. He declared that his nightmare is finally over, though Deathborn shot back his nightmare is about to begin. He was the first to startle awake and he told Falcon and Yami he must look for Tinsel.
Beastman dealt with a live crocodile inside a large, desolate bedroom as he wrestled and conquered it using all his strength and reflexes. The croc was luring toward Beastman again, until he retreated beneath the bed.
Draq was with Roger as their delivery blimp was shutting down. Upon impact, Roger was knocked out while Draq was unscathed. Then he had a dilemma: lose Roger or his business as flames licked the interior and quickly spread. Despite losing their machines, Draq dragged Roger out from the wreckage, and he woke up.
Gomar & Shioh were heading toward Black Shadow's spacecraft, delighted to see him. Upon entry, they requested him, Zoda, and Miss Killer to be recruits for Dark Million, to which they only received stern looks. Black Shadow considered it, but only to take in Gomar since he was considered the intelligent one; he knew Furikakes worked in sync as soon as they find a partner after emerging from a seed pod. Shioh was desperate to go with him, but Black Shadow refused since he was hardly any use. From a change of mind, he wasn't interested in recruiting the midget either, and they were both rejected. From there, they knew Tinsel and her friends were right about him, as he never cared for his colleagues, only to use them as tools. They escaped then firebombed, but the Galaxy Runner and the Falcon Flyer saved their doomed hides. They realized they truly belonged with the Task Force, then they awakened.
Leon was stuck in a Silence course, desperate to earn prize money for the orphaned pups at Zou. It turned out he was in the Ace League course, and he later came across some familiar machines such as the Dragon Bird, Falcon, and Stingray passing him like rockets. Only there were no drivers in them. He then saw another Space Angler, but a doppelganger of sorts. Leon's only chance was to win the race, so he used his enhanced machine and sharp reflexes to his advantages. The bombing machines were no match for Leon, though his evil copy was. He beat him to the goal, though the results weren't what he expected.
The entire team woke up and reunited with Falcon and Yami. They soon met the Skull, aka Sterling LeVaughn, who was so pissed that his curse never worked. Yami stated the power of unity was what gave them the advantage, as well as using their hearts and what's important to them. Unlike his usage of just science and black magic, to which Yami excels in the latter. He then showed a piece on what he could do, as he sent the Skull to oblivion, shattering his bones. Everyone was amazed at the stunt, and they never wanted to get on the pharaoh's bad side. Darkness hammered him back, and Falcon assisted while the team rushed off.
Lap 19 - Destination: Dark Star, Part 2
Meanwhile, Rick came across a chamber with a large stasis tube containing an unusual lifeform that looked similar to a jellyfish. It kept making some cricket-like noises and he set it free after punching around the motherboard. As he headed out the corridor, he wound up in a 3-way maze, each pathway looking identical than the other. Fearing he may get lost, or perhaps fall through the ground, he remembered Yami's and Falcon's words: the mind must be clear, the heart must be pure to achieve anything, and what matters is what comes from within. He concentrated for a bit, then he found his way straightforward. He then heard a screech belonging to Tinsel, then he saw her wrestle with Miss Killer! He rushed to the scrimmage, and the two women were hanging by a thread. Miss Killer was trying to coax Rick on saving her as Haruka, though Tinsel counterclaimed her as a demon accompanying her vessel. She begged him what Haruka said in the heavens, and that made him save her. Miss Killer fell to her doom, and the Galaxy Runner caught her corpse while Jody had the idea of doing a makeover. Tinsel and Rick reunited, then she burst into tears as she was sorry for killing her, and hoped she'd be her normal self using Rick's healing abilities. He couldn't forgive her since there was nothing to forgive, and he heeded Haruka's words. Tinsel finally admitted her true feelings to Rick, as she was afraid to do so since he was afraid to let Haruka go; that she loves him so much, and he feels the same.
Just then, Black Shadow ambushed them, forced Tinsel away, and weakened Rick, saying that he's no longer needed to find the Mights. He was about to show him how a traitor should suffer, until Leon, Draq and the others came to his rescue. The demon deteriorated and they promised to stick by their side when facing Black Shadow, until there was another sensor heading their way. They dodged it, but time was of the essence since the Emperor of Brutality said they're already over Earth; once it's incinerated, his dream would be fulfilled. Near the abyss, Rick knew where he had to go, and Tinsel and Rodney went with him.
Yami and Falcon dealt with Black Shadow again, only this time his disguise broke, revealing to be Deathborn! They recognized him instantly and his plot, and the Millennium Puzzle couldn't take the Darkness anymore; it shut down, and he was reverted back to Yugi. The Eye of Wdjat couldn't take the blow, then Deathborn resumed his diabolical scheme. Falcon knew there was only one way to settle this.
Rick found the Reactor but he and his comrades couldn't access it. Luckily Octoman was helpful using ID to unlock the restricted area. Inside, they found Dr. Stewart comatose along with numerous stasis tubes Rick recognized, even those filled with Blood Falcons. Stewart eventually came to and soon recollected his memories. The first thing he remembered was "an endless dream of darkness," hoping the savior would assist him and the Task Force. He hurriedly left after he made the experimental formula and the note for his son, and they questioned who the savior was. It wasn't Falcon...it was Rick.
They chose Rick since he had ties with Zoda who awakened prior to him. Falcon knew he'd be the one, even when it came to handling the Dragon Bird prototype. Jody and Stewart met Falcon personally as Black Shadow was resurrected. He was determined to find all six Reactor Mights and only the savior must keep them as long as he follows the path of light, and assist Falcon against the demon. Stewart recalled Falcon saying that their machines were brothers from a different time, and he was the Yang, while BS was the Yin, and Rick was the Wuji. It was his destiny as a savior, and Falcon was there to protect him from further corruption.
After that, Rick destroyed the lab using the Death Anchor, as well as erase any traces of Zoda. They escaped and Rick headed back to the aperture after he gave Tinsel his memos as a way to remember him by. She promised she'll never forget him.
Final Lap - Destination: Dark Star, Part 3
Yugi just listened in on the legend from Falcon. And he knows only Rick can be successful as the galaxy's savior and thwarting Deathborn. Yugi wished Falcon luck and Joey met up with him; the shield was down over Dark Star when the lab exploded. The latter Duelist never wanted to sit around and convinced Yugi to join in on the final showdown. They flew off using their Red Eyes B. Dragon and Blue Eyes W. Dragon. Rick finally met up with Deathborn and the Dark Schneider constantly using its Death Fire. Rick retaliated with his Might, and Joey surmised they were at a standoff since both had 2 Reactor Mights. The circular track, the vortex from the Core, and the brutal strength from the Schneider were nearly too much for Rick. Falcon eventually joined in, encouraging him to use all he has to destroy the Reactor while Falcon deals with Deathborn; however, he wasn't alone as his clone was on his tail!
Joey wasted no time dealing with the bully. He used his Red Eyes and destroyed the remaining Blood Hawk with its Shadow Flare sinking it into the Core. Unfortunately Rick's strength wasn't enough as the vortex spun faster and the tracks widened to a flat plane. The Duelists had an epiphany and gathered their cards powering up their dragons. With the energy of Yin and Yang, the dragons released their fury onto the Reactor! Then, Rick heard Haruka and Tinsel speak to him and pray for his victory. With their support, he unleashed his Booster Fire at full blast, with the same charge he used as he escaped from his stasis tube! The destruction worked as the Core was destroyed, preventing Deathborn's dream!
"Deathborn! It seems that you and I would be going to Hell together!" Falcon declared.
They were caught in the crossfire, and he proudly stated Rick was the perfect pilot to carry on his legacy, as well as officially be the universe's savior. Falcon dove after Deathborn and unleashed his signature Falcon Punch, sending them both into oblivion! The Duelists escaped using their dragons, while Rick, powerless, was spared by the jellyfish lifeform he saved earlier.
The Task Force looked upon the demise of Deathborn, then they saw the dragons as well as the EX. Clank asked where Capt. Falcon was, but Rick sobbed that he sacrificed himself to save everyone. They were all glum, especially Clank, Yugi, and Tinsel; however, his Blue Falcon and helmet were still intact. Stewart and Jody accepted that Rick wanted to carry on his legacy when he's ready, then the Eye of Wdjat was restored. Yami congratulated everyone for saving the universe and that's in good hands, as exactly what Clash, Falcon, and Haruka wanted. He was grateful to meet them all, then he disappeared into the Puzzle.
The Galaxy Runner was heading home and Rick and Tinsel heard and saw Haruka in her heavenly body. She was so thankful that her spirit would finally rest with Falcon and Theodore Clash; she said she'll always be in his heart and so would they, and that she's so grateful Rick's her man. They embraced one last time before she disappeared. He and Tinsel stood close as he made a silent prayer for her finding peace.
A week after Falcon's sacrifice, Tinsel and Rick decided to part ways from the Mobile Task Force. The Commissioner was so thankful for their success and Rick was considered to be Champion by default. Jody and John were downgraded, but Leon, Octoman, Beastman and Gomar & Shioh were recruited as new members. Rodney's hospice was restored, and Stewart spent more time with his family. Leon dated Lucy, Octoman and his family relocated to Mute City, the Duelists were trying to piece together Yami's lost memories, Beastman retired as a beast hunter showing his true colors, the Furikakes were trying to find soul mates, Leon would continue to support Zou and its pups while working as a busboy, Task Force member, and soccer coach. Gazelle became a mechanic for the Federation, as did Clank as junior, as well as a lifeguard for accidental victims. Burt's Falcon House still stood to honor both Falcon and Rick, while he still reunites with his sis. Jack dated Luna, Stewart's daughter, EAD sees Kate more often in her concerts, and Jody spent some quality time with Stewart. And Tinsel received her last mission, to take care of Wheeler.
They were sharing his flat as he was wearing the late Falcon's attire; he'd still be as himself from time to time, even use the Dragon Bird. Though Clank would have a blast tweaking both machines. However, there was one thing Rick wanted Tinsel to do, and that was in White Land. They went to the dreaded final Queen League course, the same one that Tinsel nearly died from without crossing the massive gap. The curves and terrain were vindictive, but it was James' technique that really spared her! After 13 years of fear, she finally overcame the leap! She headed back to Rick, using the Blue Falcon GT, and they embraced each other. Then, they saw a stray comet trail across the sky, and he named it the Tinsel Dragon.
Rick and Tinsel remained closer than ever before. And that was truly good enough for them.