"to recap: while the Empress herself doesn't approve of the danger and violence inherent blah, blah, blah, her highness agrees with the GACOS that the adults of the empire must be trusted to make their own decisions concerning their wellbeing. With that announcement by Imperial Minister of Sport, Veran Ashen, just three weeks after the announcement by our own GA government, the first galaxy-wide pod racing series is within standard months of realization"
"of course, her most imperial imperialness is stressing that only adults can make the decision to risk their lives racing pods and has decreed that no Imperial citizen under the age of 25 standard years will be licensed".
"Doesn't matter Quan. She could decree 35 and we would still be on the brink of a paradigm shift in galactic entertainment. So long bolo-ball. Goodbye smashball. It won't be long enough stock speeder series. The first premier pod racing circuit since the Rusaan Accords eleven hundred years ago will be the most watched event since the Clone Wars docudrama."
"Of course you're right Darryn. Word is big money investors are already scouring all one and a half million systems in the Triumvirate looking for the best racers and the best constructors. When the Old Republic banned pod racing all those centuries ago our own hotshots of Corellia were the toast of the circuit. But with underground racing taking place in the Outer Rim and on Malastare, how are we going to compete with the Gran and Dusters when this thing kicks off?"
"We gotta find a natural Quan. The Solos may be gone but we're still Corellians! There has got to be a bloodstriper out there with the natural ability and courage to comp~"
"Geda! shut that off and help me out here".
"Coming dad!" Geda Quizan shut off the holo-projector and Coronet's most popular sports show winked out of existence as she walked out of the office and into the garage.
Her dad and uncle were both underneath the starboard turbine of the pod they had been building since the GA Sports Commissioner made the announcement to legalize the sport nearly a month ago. She ran her fingertips over the carriage and admired the black and red paint job she had applied yesterday.
"Geda! Hydrospanner!" her uncle called and she reached into the toolbox to grab one and walked it to the outstretched hand of her uncle.
Her dad appeared from under the engine on his hoversled. "G, you should get some more sim time in. We won't have long to get some vidage of you driving on the holonet before every new team is set."
Geda just gave him a rueful shake of the head. "Daddy, I see this track when I close my eyes. I'll never be readier than I am right now".
Her father gave a reluctant smile. "I know you're right. Alright then, how about take the diagnosticator and check the cable connections one more time?"
Her blast visor down, she flicked a switch and the twin turbines in front of her pod roared to life. She knew the cam droids were filming and she wanted to look as professional as possible, but the sensation that came from so much power in her hands never failed to bend the corners of her mouth upwards. She gave a quick two fingered salute to her dad and engaged the throttle. The pod leapt into a blur and fired down the track's straightaway. Her cheeks attempted to slide back behind her head as she approached the first turn into a forested valley. Approaching eight hundred kilometers an hour she barely pulled back on the left throttle, causing the left turbine to fall back and turning the pod to the right. As always, her timing was perfect down to the thousandth of second and her pod came within a foot of a large Lessu tree on her right. She reengaged both throttles and rocketed to her best three lap time ever.
She was nearly out of the pod before it came to a stop and jumping into her father and uncle's arms. Her bright white smile contrasted sharply with the soot and dust that covered all the unprotected parts of her face.
"Under four!" her dad exclaimed, picking her up above his head.
"You did it kiddo!" her uncle joined in and gave her a high five.
He put her down but still hugged her close to his side. "Let's go put this on the holonet. We'll be getting calls by tonight!"
Her face hurt from smiling but she didn't care. Within hours she would be a contracted racer with one of the new teams getting into the new Premier Pod Racing series".