Fernando Alonso's Extraneous Adventures

On the subject of "anonymous holidays in Tenby".... what'd ya mean, no-one was talking about that? ... source link

The sleepy seaside town of Tenby, in South Wales, was sent into a frenzy yesterday, when the proprietor of a seafront hotel (The Tenby Ritz) let slip to his friend Morgan Evans the Butcher, or as he's known locally "Morgan the Meat", that a Spaniard had booked into the Tenby Ritz Hotel for a long weekend break. The Spaniard was named Lenarndo Afonso, and would be jetting off to Canada 'on a business trip' early next week.

Well, the scenes that followed were unbelievable. It was well known that Fernando Alonso used to take anonymous holidays in the town, thanks to later press reports on the subject, so the townsfolk put two and two together and got twotwo! Lenarndo Afonso was really Fernando Alonso, people thought, and now that they'd seen through his rues, they would stop "Fernado" from flying to Canada and thus help the favourite of the locals, Jaime Alguersuari or "Jones the Driver" as he's been nick-named. Yes Jaime was Spanish and not welsh, but his surname was difficult to pronounce and probably had too many letters in it, so he was adopted as the local F1 driver fave. Although Fernando was not in direct competition with "Jones the Driver", the Tenby massive thought that Fernando was stealing the Spanish limelight from their man and should be brought down a peg or two...

It transpires that Lenarndo is holed up in the Tenby Ritz Hotel and is unable to leave.The details are a bit sketchy at present, as no-one has been able to get close to the Ritz, due to the large crowd that now surrounds it. As no-one can enter or leave the Ritz, food is being thrown at the building in an attempt to keep supplies up.

After a bit of research on my part, I've discovered that Lenarndo Afonso is not Fernando Alonso, but is in fact a maple syrup importer. So, not only will Fernando Alonso be able to race in Canada (scuppering Tenby's plan re helping "Jones the driver"), but the UK's supply of Maple Syrup is running critically low...

COBRA, the government emergency planning committee has been called in, to discuss the Maple Syrup crisis.
This is a follow-up story to the Anonymous Holiday in Tenby story.

A report is coming in from the town of Tenby, in South Wales, of jubilant celebrations following the Canadian GP last weekend.

"Jones the Driver" (AKA, Jaime Alguersuari) was the top Spaniard to finish in Canada and to top it all off, also scored a point or two! The good people of Tenby have been partying hard since Sunday. We asked one of the locals; "who is watching over the Ritz in case Lenarndo Afonso escapes" and the answer was :dunno: "ash it doeshn't matter anymoresh :cheers: hic".
Lenarndo Afonso has not been seen since being trapped in the Ritz Hotel, but there have been suggestions that he was seen thumbing a lift to Italy...

In another report, Ferrari are looking into why there are maple syrup tins left in Fernando Alonso's motor-home, but no sign of Fernando himself. Ferrari personnel that we have not spoken to have said that Fernando seemed out of sorts for the past few weeks, ever since he came back early from his anonymous holiday in Tenby. "He was preoccupied with the exchange rate and the topping on his morning waffles"; they said. The Ferrari spokesperson said they were hopeful that Fernando was "more himself" and more focused come the next Grand Prix...
Fernando was last seen walking off muttering something about getting syrup to the UK before there's a breakfast related riot...

Whether these two reports are related is yet to be ascertained.
Following the decidedly regrettable circumstances surrounding Fernando Alonso’s Anonymous Holiday in Tenby, Mr Alonso has made it clear that he’s put it all behind him and his unshakable love of all things British has not been shaken. At all. :no:
However, after careful consideration, a new holiday destination was dreamt up for the Spaniard’s pre-Valencia GP relaxation regime.

Since remaining anonymous in Tenby only brought serious amounts of woe to both Fernando and the UK’s Maple Syrup levels, it was decided that a change in tack was required. To this end, Fernando held a poll amongst himself to see where he would end up and after the entire vote was counted, Gibraltar was the winner. Much to the relief of Mr Alonso, the result was unanimous. If there had been a draw, the new voting rules in place would have seen Fernando’s vote ignored as he had voted for his own suggestion. However, as Gibraltar was the winner, albeit by one vote, the result stood.

When we asked a Ferrari sauce; “why was Gibraltar in the offing”, the reply was thus; “Fernando has always felt nothing but good things for Britain. He had residence there at one point; he has many, many fans there and has always insisted that his Italian engineer speaks to him in English on the radio during the race. In fact, when the engineer thought it was silly for an Italian team to speak in English and relayed a message in Italian, Fernando was so upset that he informed the Engineer not to speak to him again. ‘I want no more radio communication from you’, he said, or words to that effect.”

So, Anonymous Holidays in Tenby have given way to Unanimous Holidays in Gibraltar. As Gibraltar is so close to Valencia that it could almost be in the same country, the feeling is that surely nothing can go wrong this time.

Can it..? :unsure:
You join us for the next instalment of "The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or, "Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

Whilst on holiday in Gibraltar, Fernando relished in the Britishness of the place and, at the same time, was weirded out about how ‘foreign’ it all seemed. OK, he might get woken in the morning to either a fry up, some muffins or even better, both, but the Spaniard had trouble getting used to the occasional Omelette!

Try as he might, poor Fernando couldn’t work out why on some mornings the breakfast option was Spanish Omelette. Absurdly, it was even called Tortilla.
“Why am I being picked out like this?” Fernando thought. “I’m looking for just an English style breakfast. Muffins, bacon & eggs, etc. Are other drivers being subjected to this? It’s just frickin’ ridiculous! Tortillas? Just because I'm Spanish, doesn't mean that I want a Spanish breakfast. Anyone would think Gibraltar was in Spain, for goodness sake!”

Despite this minor omelette infraction, Gibraltar supplied a suitable pre-race environment for Fernando to travel to Valencia and achieve a superb second place in the race. It was during the post race celebrations that Fernando realised he'd forgotten his toothbrush and had to travel back to Gibraltar to collect the errant denture cleaning device. It was only on waking for the last time in the Gibraltar Hostelry that he remembered his dislike of the local penchant for omelettes...

Now that Fernando has left Gibraltar and jetted into Jersey, where he’s relaxing ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the Spaniard is looking forward to doing some sight-seeing and visiting some of the parts of the Island which featured in his all-time favourite TV cop show, ‘Bergerac’. An island that is as British as my favourite cop show, thinks Fernando...
“A couple of days relaxing, wash away the taste of potato and onion omelette and then a quick hovercraft ride over to the mainland for the race at Silver Stone. I feel good”, Alonso was heard to remark to the local gendarme...

Where next, for our intrepid British culture loving Iberian hero..? And will the chosen destination be serving omelettes..?
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

It was whilst undertaking a geophysical survey in the South Atlantic that the discovery was made. As usual, the targets were volcanoes, but the end result was a distressed European racing ace! “They’ll never believe us back home”; was the thinking of the Vulcanists, and they’re probably right. Let me take you back to the middle of last week.......
It was an unbelievable week for Fernando. A relaxing, Bergerac’ themed stay on Jersey, followed by a fantastic win at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. After many a celebration party, Fernando decided he’d stay on in Blighty and attend The Open Championship. “I quite like a bit of golf”, thought the Spaniard.

It is disputed on the exact circumstances of the confusion, but the standard version goes along these lines – Fernando went to an airfield outside Silverstone, to enquire about a flight to Royal St George’s, the golf course hosting The Open, which is in Sandwich in Kent. Fernando approached what he thought was a goodly sized aeroplane (not one for chipmunk sized planes, was Fernando) and asked the pilot “I want to go to Sandwich. Kent.”

Not knowing anything about the distances involved, what should have been a short flight turned out to be very much longer. This didn’t perturb our large eye browed hero. Thinking he needed some shut-eye, Fernando got his head down for a while........

As it turned out, the pilot had dropped Fernando off in the South Sandwich Islands, not Sandwich in Kent. Now, the South Sandwich Islands are in the South Atlantic! The island in question was Bristol Island, an island 5 miles long. Apart from a few volcanoes, there isn’t a lot there.. When the vulcanists arrived, planning on studying volcanoes, they could be perhaps forgiven for mistaking poor Fernando for one of the erupting, burning, mountains.

Why the pilot took Fernando to the South Sandwich Islands instead of Sandwich in the south of England is open to question, but a popular theory centres on a misunderstanding or mispronunciation in the original request to the pilot at the airfield outside Silverstone. Whatever the reason, Fernando Alonso has a long boat journey back to Europe ahead of the German Grand Prix, courtesy of the kindly Bristol Island Resident Keg Society*.

So, the adventures of Fernando Alonso continue. What further pitfalls befall our hapless commuter? Which furthest parts of the British territories will be visited? Will the vast journey back to civilisation affect Fernando's German GP chances? Stay tuned to find out....

* Birks, for short. A change of name has been mentioned, but the traditional south-sea name of 'Keg' for the cider drink is not up for alteration.
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

After a few moments of reflection and a number of stiff drinks following the BBC's deal with the devil, Fernando now feels up to continuing his travels.
__ __​

The latest news since the Germanic/Hungarian Grand Prix’ is that Fernando’s jaunt around the British Territories has taken a bizarre twist. While Fernando was on the third step of the podium in Hungary, he overheard a comment from the dignitary presenting his trophy that “the Falcon tweets sweetest when it’s Belgian”. On returning to his hotel and conducting a little investigative work, Fernando realised this could be a reference to the legendary Maltese Falcon! As there was a month before the next GP, Fernando thought he’d take time out to investigate further.

Because the Falcon is a prize of great wealth, Fernando’s best chances of bagging the prize would be to remain incognito. Unlike his unfortunate episode in Tenby, South Wales, where he merely travelled anonymously, this time Fernando decided to travel in full disguise...

... The arrivals at Malta International Airport have been known to include a number of VIPs, but surely none so strange as the private investigator Sam Spade. Dressed in garb usually only seen in a 1940’s black & white film noir, Sam Spade smiles to himself, thinking no-one will recognise him whilst he relaxes on Malta before the Belgium GP. Plus he can try to find more clues about the Maltese Falcon! On leaving the airport, Sam spies a hotel and decides to check-in. So as not to attract attention, Sam decides to remain in character to begin with and goes to the hotel bar. Ordering bourbon and buying a pack of cigarettes, Sam settles into a dark, shadowy corner booth and sips his bourbon. A few minutes later, clouds of blue/grey smoke emanate from the booth, followed by raucous coughing...

After a couple of weeks of searching in Malta, Fernando (aka Sam Spade) hadn’t located the alleged Maltese Falcon. Running the remark from the Hungarian dignitary through his mind again, Fernando must have been mistaken in his interpretation. It wasn’t the Maltese Falcon being referred to, so perhaps he meant "Ferrari streets faster in Belgium"!

Fernando rushed to the airport, having booked a flight to Brussels. "A Ferrari win at Spa", thinks Fernando.

So, Fernando's visit to Malta failed to unearth the Maltese Falcon. Maybe it was a cryptic message about
the missing Falcon HTV-2 plane lost recently? :dunno: Or is Fernando correct in his interpretation and Ferrari will
be quickest in Belgium? Who knows? Only time will tell. :snacks:
Breaking News

There have been reports in the firmament of F1 shocking news-o-sphere, that a shock investigation into Time Lordary has been long instigated but has only just come to light. Whether that's down to shoddy news breakery, or just the vagaries of time is not very interesting. What is of interest, is the breaking news... So..

Breaking News!

Inter-time Police were sent to Malta, in order to apprehend Fernando Alonso before he left on a flight bound to Brussels. The Inter-time Police were to charge Fernando with having a maternal parent that is aged way too young to be his natural mother. Having been told that his actual name (when not playing about as a PI called Sam Spade) is "Fernando Alonso Diaz", any bright spark that knows anything about fiction would guess that Fernando's mother is actually Cameron Diaz! This means that Cameron was aged nine when Fernando was born!!! Obviously either Cameron Diaz went back in time in order to conceive and give birth to Fernando, or Fernando went back in time in order to be.. no wait.. it's obviously Cameron that went back in time. The other possibility is just silly! :unsure:

Anyway, back in Malta... Given this blatant crime against time-manity, the Inter-time Police were to arrest Fernando on the charges of Unlicensed Time-Lapse Alternative Birthing. This is extremely illegal and both mother and child are both held in contempt. Unfortunately, the Inter-time Police (or ITTP) cocked up their calculations and missed Fernando, who was already on his flight to Brussels. As travelling back to HQ to ask for directions on Fernando's exact destination would be too embarrassing for the ITTP, they decided to book into a Hotel in order to review the mother's film portfolio for clues to her whereabouts. The last we heard was that they'd just seen Cameron Diaz in the film "Bad Teacher" and this just under-lined their determination to bang her to rights.. so to speak. :embarrassed: Time lapse alternative birthing AND making shit films. Is there no end to her crimes...

The upshot to all this is that Fernando is free to realise his hopes of being "streets faster in Belgium", whilst his mother Cameron Diaz is on the run, gods knows where...

Good luck Fernando and Cameron! :popcorn:
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

It is 0600 hours, on what promises to be another hot and sunny day. A light breeze blows off the sea across the beach, with a slight salty tang. The cooling affect of the breeze belies the promise of sweltering heat from the sun later in the day, which for now is sitting low, having poked its head inquisitively over the horizon.

An early morning, shaven headed, beach runner looks out over the sea on his run, obviously taking advantage of the pleasant conditions for his daily workout. Suddenly the runner trips over something protruding from the sand. Landing face down, the man sits up spitting sand out, coughing and spluttering, effing and blinding at what the chuff tripped him up. He takes a moment to compose himself and then scrapes away some of the sand from the offending object. The object is a golden bird with what appears to be jewels adorning the finely engraved wings. Lots of sparkling jewels. The man is in wonder. ‘Looks like a falcon’, he mutters. Suddenly, he quickly looks around and then hefting the bird out of the sand he runs away with hoots of laughter…
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In the foyer of the Bermuda Ritz Hotel, a bell boy waits patiently for anybody in need of his services. At a few minutes past 6 in the morning, he is not much in demand. A phone rings at the reception desk. The boy looks over at the desk. “Carla, the phone’s ringin’!”; he yells. Just at that moment, a shaven headed man dressed in shorts runs through the foyer, clutching a golden coloured object, but fails to stop. Distracted, the boy briefly thinks about asking the fellow whether he’d like help with his “baggage”, but the man had already departed, taking the stairs three at a time. Strange that the guy was laughing so much, thought the bell boy.

Carla finally surfaced from whatever she’d been doing and answered the phone. The Bell boy went back to his inspection of the foyer.
“Hello, Bermuda Ritz Hotel, how may I help you?”; enquired Carla.
A long pause ensued whilst she appeared to be listening, her nails receiving more attention that they deserved.
“Yes, we have vacancies for the next month. Is there any particular dates you require?”
Another pause.
“Sure, I can make that booking. Can I take your name?”…<pause> ...”Cameron. Ok, what name shall I put the booking under?”…<pause> …”Fernando Alonso!”
There was a crash from the foyer. The bell boy had been wiping dust from the lip of a vase, which now lay in pieces on the floor.
Voice quavering, Carla asked; “How long will he be staying?”...

“It is done. I think that was his mother”, Carla said to the now attentative bell boy. “She asked a lot of questions about how safe Bermuda is and whether there’s any truth regarding the triangle. Strangely, she sounded quite young.”

The bell boy was beside himself with excitement. For the last four weeks he’d been counting down the days until the next Grand Prix. Now, not only was he going to watch his hero try to beat all the opposition on his tiny portable TV, but he may well carry Fernando’s baggage for him within the next week or so!! “Felipe eat your heart out”; the bell boy thought… All thoughts of the shaven headed man that ran through the foyer were banished from his mind… for now…
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Meanwhile, Fernando looked out of his Brussels hotel window, watching the insistent rain pitter patter against the glass. Perhaps the cryptic message from the Hungarian dignitary was in fact a message from his time travelling mother. "I wouldn’t mind being streets faster in Belgium", thought Fernando, "but just imagine the applause I’d get if I found the Maltese Falcon!"

Fernando knew that he had to wait for a call from Cameron, his mother, after the Belgium GP before knowing what his next move would be…. “Hopefully it will be somewhere warm and sunny”: thought Fernando….
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

Fernando was sat in the foyer of his hotel in Brussels, worriedly chewing his toenails. Fernando made a point of not chewing his nicely manicured fingernails, as he usually liked to show them off during any TV interviews he gave. Consequently, when he was very worried about something, Fernando would take off his shoes and socks and chew his toenails. The big toes were the most satisfying…

Right now, Fernando was waiting to hear from Cameron Diaz. But he was really worried about Luca di Montezemelo. Given Fernando’s average performance at Spa, he was expecting a summons to Maranello Tower to be given a grilling by Luca! Fernando moved on to his left foot’s little toe and chewed the nail…
“Mr Alonso?”; asked the Hotel manager, who had approached Fernando carrying two pieces of paper. The manager’s face was a study in how to remain professionally indifferent to a guest’s disgusting behaviour when they’re important and they pay a lot. Fernando disentangled himself, moving his bare foot back to the floor and stood up. Taking the papers from the manager, Fernando thanked the man and turned his back to him, so he could inspect the missives without his stricken expression being observed.

As he had feared, the first message was from Luca di Montezemelo, ‘requesting’ the presence of Fernando forthwith.
The second message was from Fernando’s mother, which was as follows:

Message from Cameron.JPG
Fernando usually experienced conflicting emotions; he’s a Latino after all. But as he’s an Anglophile, Fernando had taught himself to bury his feelings deep within himself so no one would know how he felt. Right now, this discipline deserted him.
“Hamilton!”; Fernando raged. “How can my mother send me to a place with a name like that?!” Fernando’s eyes burned with such intensity that a toddler, skipping past following his mother, burst into tears and ran screaming into his mother’s arms!
It was only when Fernando looked at the message from Luca again that he came to his senses. A quick call to the Bermuda Ritz Hotel and he was booked into a different Hotel. This time his destination was a small establishment called The Royal Oak on Somerset Island. A room in a small Inn which sells Mole’s Black Rat cider on tap and is on the west coast of the Somerset Island part of Bermuda. Far enough away from ‘Hamilton’ to satisfy Fernando.

Somerset Island_Bermuda.JPG

Feeling better about life, Fernando screwed up the message from Luca and dropped it in a nearby waste-paper basket. It must have got misdirected! As unhappy as he was about not being able to contact his mother for a while, Fernando understood the reasons and realised a time travelling mother couldn’t let the cops gain a second on her. Fernando was really looking forward to staying in a genuine country pub/inn which sold his favourite tipple. He had the chance of continuing his search for the Maltese Falcon, plus he'd avoided a nasty encounter with Luca di Montezemelo, to boot.
"Time enough for a dressing down from Luca when I go to Italy for the next Grand Prix"; thought Fernando.

So Fernando continues his exploration of the British overseas territories, setting off for Somerset Island, Bermuda, just off the east coast of the USA. “I bet the weather there is just peachy, this time of year”; thought Fernando.
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

The Somerset Island, Bermuda, had so far been a disappointment to Fernando. Rather than fly to Bermuda via a commercial airline and land at the International Airport, he’d arrived by means of his own private Floatplane. Sure, it was a thrill having a plane that ‘lands’ on the sea, but finding a suitable place to moor it was always such a pain! This time though, his pilot had found a secluded spot in a place called Margarets Bay. Fernando hoped she wouldn’t mind if he parked his boatplane there during his stay. They’d secured the plane to a rock and had come ashore under the cover of darkness, using the little rubber dinghy that came with the plane. No, the plane journey was not the disappointment. Nor indeed, was the accommodation.

The Royal Oak Inn was a splendid little hostelry: the common room had real oak beams and an open fireplace. The bar had Mole’s Black Rat cider on tap, the breakfast did not include an omelette option and the Inn was quiet! The lack of fellow guests at the Inn meant that The Royal Oak Inn on Somerset Island, Bermuda, made for a perfect addition to Fernando’s growing list of locations for his ‘in-between GP races' relaxation regime.

No. The journey and the accommodation were fine. The disappointment came with the hunt for the Maltese Falcon.
---- ----​

The message had said; “if you want to know about the Falcon, meet me in a café near The Somerset Bridge”.
Fernando sat alone at a table, eyeing the door for anyone that entered, but no-one had. Whoever had sent the message knew two things. 1) Fernando was here on Somerset Island, and 2) that Fernando’s name was Fernando. He meant to find out anything else he or she knew, that’s ‘for sure’. Whilst he waited, keeping one eye on the door, Fernando spied the menu board and liked what he saw. He got up and went to the café counter, walking backwards so as still looking at the door and turning his head around every couple of steps to make sure he didn’t back into the counter. It was probably not the most inconspicuous way of doing it, but he was hungry.
“I’d like 2 rashers of bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 hash browns and 2 fried tomatoes. Oooh, and I’ll also ‘ave two toasted muffins… Please… and a cup of tea. Cheers”. Fernando was really feeling rather peckish, now that he’d started thinking about food. Especially as it was breakfast time (8 o’clock). And he was on holiday, he thought.

Remembering why he was there in the café, he quickly turned around to look at the door again. A quick scan of the room and Fernando could see that no-one had entered, apart from a boy dressed in a uniform a bit like a hotel porter, who was sat at a table on the far side of the room from Fernando’s. The boy was doing his best at looking bored. Dismissing the boy, he resumed his observation of the door. Spilling some coins onto the counter, after the café owner had advised him of the price of the order, Fernando made his way back to his table, all the while not taking his eyes off the door. Smiling, Fernando congratulated himself at not missing a trick.
“You forgot your tea!”: said the café owner. “Shall I get Heather to bring it over?”
Without waiting for an answer, the owner turned and gave a nod to someone out of Fernando’s eyesight around a corner at the rear of the café. A young woman flounced round the corner, picked up the cup and saucer from the counter and drifted over to Fernando’s table. Heather placed the tea on Fernando’s table, busily fluttering her eyelashes at Fernando before realising he wasn’t paying her a blind bit of notice.
“Thanks”; Fernando muttered. Heather was never the message writer that he was waiting for, anymore than the boy across the way, thought Fernando, still looking at the door. Disappointedly, Heather trudged back to the kitchen…

About 15 minutes later, Fernando’s food arrived, again delivered by Heather. Fernando had a feeling that she was looking for something more from him, other than a thankyou, so he flashed his least expensive smile at her before returning his only slightly divided attention to the door. Eating his breakfast messily, Fernando was getting more and more perturbed that the message sender had not turned up…

… The last morsels of bacon, egg, hash brown and tomato, formed into a neat little ‘Scooby snack’ atop the last bit of muffin, made for a final (if sizable) mouthful which Fernando eased into his mouth. Savouring the flavour, Fernando looked up to see the uniform clad boy saunter over to his table.
“Hello Fernando”; the boy whispered. “I sent you a message. I believe you’re looking for something”.
---- ----​
After chatting to the boy for 30 minutes, it transpired that the boy was a bellboy at the Bermuda Ritz Hotel. Disappointed as the bellboy was that Fernando had changed his booking and therefore he wouldn’t be carrying his baggage, the boy was a fan. Although, he didn’t like to be called a fanboy, apparently. :no:
Anyway, as a fan, the boy felt compelled to seek out where Fernando was actually staying and send him a message. The lady that had booked a room at the Ritz for Fernando had mentioned that Fernando would be interested in any information regarding falcons. The boy had found a golden falcon in a guest's room, after the guest had been out on an early morning run.
"Where is this guest and the Falcon now?"; asked Fernando of the boy.
"He's left Bermuda and flown home to Pitcairn Island"; came the reply.
---- ---- ----​
After thanking the boy for his loyal servitude and asking him to 'keep schtum about all this', Fernando went back to The Royal Oak Inn for a few more days. He really wanted to relax a bit before facing Luca di Montezemolo. And the fellow that had possession of the Maltese Falcon had a couple of weeks grace, as Fernando had a certain appointment in Monza that he needed to keep.
"Once I've raced in the Italian Grand Prix, I will be onto this Pitcairn Islander fellow like I'm Captain Bligh himself!"; thought Fernando.

So, join us next time in the continuing adventures of Fernando Alonso, as his globe trotting antics take him from the Bermuda triangle to the Pacific island of Pitcairn. Will he catch up with the Maltese Falcon, or will Luca 'keelhaul' Fernando's arse when he returns to Italy? Only time will tell..!
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

In the pre-dawn twilight, just off the south coast of Pitcairn Island, an area called Tau Tama, a bird was perched on a crag of the cliff walls. The bird was a ‘Common Noddy’, or Brown Noddy. Unusually for it’s breed, which normally flocks in vast numbers, this bird was alone. The 'Noddy' spotted something down below, bobbing about on the sea, so he took off. The bird swooped down and quickly approached it’s target, which was in fact a speedboat. The boat was idling, bobbing about on the waves. The shaven headed man at the controls was keeping station, just off the Pitcairn coast, as if waiting for something. The ‘Noddy’ flapped it’s wings, slowing it’s approach and alighted on the man’s shoulder. Without turning his head to look at the bird, the man cooed softly in greeting. The bird nuzzled it’s beak softly against the man’s neck.
“Here to welcome me home, are you Noddy?”; said the man quietly.
As if in reply, the bird pooped down the man’s back and gave off a few, rasping, calls.

The cliff walls directly ahead of the boat were dissected by a narrow inlet. Having adjudged the water to be calm enough and the light to have brightened enough to navigate the narrow inlet, the man gunned the engines of the speedboat and headed towards the land. He guided the boat expertly between the high walls of the narrow crevice, putting knowledge he’d gained since early childhood to good use. The boat travelled further up the inlet and presently reached a section where one of the walls was fashioned into a landing platform. A narrow set of steps led away into a darkness which even on the brightest of days would still be in shadow. The man turned off the speedboat engines, stepped onto the platform and tied the boat’s securing rope to a metal loop that was fixed into the platform’s rock. Reaching into the back of the boat, the man hefted up the golden falcon that he’d found in Bermuda and started the long climb up the steps.

---- ----​

It was a long climb up the steps, so the man’s thoughts wandered…

When he was growing up on Pitcairn Island, having been born to a family not descended from the Bounty mutineers that arrived on the islands back in 1790, he was the butt of many a joke from the other children. As much as he wanted to fit in, he wasn’t part of “the mutineers” and the other kids loved pointing this out to him, at every opportunity. He was born Fletcher Hornblower, so the other children mockingly gave him the nickname “Christian” (after the lead Bounty mutineer, Fletcher Christian), though this backfired slightly, as he preferred Christian as a name. So Fletcher “Christian” Hornblower soon became just “Christian” Hornblower. A few years later and Christian shortened his surname from Hornblower to Horner (partly because various authorities had started to become interested in the Hornblower name and partly because he thought Hornblower sounded a bit dodgy). It’s funny, thought Christian, but almost straightaway I felt so comfortable with the name Christian Horner I could almost have been given the name at birth!

Reaching the top of the steps, Christian was drawn back to the present. It's time I hid the falcon and then I should get to Italy for the Grand Prix, thought Christian. Whoever lost it on that beach on Bermuda; they’ll never think to look for it here on Pitcairn. Never in a million years. Christian headed off up a path that led from the steps towards his wooden house, which sat alone in a field surrounded by white wooden beehives. Christian’s honey-bees produced some of the finest honey on Pitcairn, which was itself renowned around the world for it’s honey.

Just at that moment, Christian’s mobile phone chirped into life. The sound of the song “We are the Champions” rang out through the air. Christian awkwardly dug his mobile out of his pocket, whilst trying to keep hold of the falcon and not unbalance Noddy who was still perched on his shoulder.
“Y’ello”; Christian said into the mouthpiece.
He listened for a few seconds whilst a frantic voice could be heard on the other end of the call.
“Yeah/No. I’m just hiding it now. It’s all…”
The voice at the other end squawked through the phone. He paused as he listened to the interruption.
“It will be. I promise you that the proceeds will be shared equally. No-one will be favoured…”
Again another interruption.
“Nothing has changed. As agreed from the outset, once the falcon has been melted down, both you and Seb will receive an equal share of the jewels. There are no team orders. Not when it comes to jewels, anyway.”
The phone earpiece squawked again.
“Nothing! Of course I didn’t mean that there could be an instance when team orders were justified. Now, be calm and try to relax. Monza is just around the corner. I’ll be over to Italy shortly. Cheer up Mark, everything will be fine! I’ll see you shortly.”

Christian pressed the ‘hang up’ button and gave a big sigh. Putting the phone back in his pocket, he continued his walk toward his house, tilting his head slightly towards Noddy, cooing softly…

---- ---- ----​

Fernando paced worriedly in the F1 paddock. After Luca had caught up with Fernando in Bermuda, they'd had a bit of a chat. Fernando had been assured that as long as he keeps attending races everything should be OK, but he still had a nagging feeling that a race win or three would 'still the turbulent Ferrari waters' like nothing else could. ‘It’s not as if my trips are a detriment to my racing’, thought Fernando defensively. That, however, was not the thing that had Fernando pacing worriedly. He was sure that each day’s delay meant that the Maltese Falcon was getting further and further away. He just hoped that whoever had taken it to Pitcairn Island hadn’t moved it to somewhere else.

--- --- --- ---​

So, will Fernando find the Maltese Falcon when he visits Pitcairn Island after the Italian GP or will Christian Horner have melted it down before our intrepid hero can stop him. (Assuming Fernando actually works out that the Red Bull boss is the shaven headed man that found the Falcon in Bermuda. After all, Christian Horner possesses some very realistic wigs!)

Of course, it could be a blessing in disguise if the Maltese Falcon was melted down. Fernando would then be free to visit the British Territories at his leisure, with merely the odd Grand Prix, every now and then, to worry about... Sadly, "reality" is never quite that simple, is it... :unsure:
------ ------- ------ ------​
Please note that all character's named in this thread are totally fictional. They may bear a similarity to real persons, past, present and future, but this is purely coincidental. You may wish to envisage "real" people whilst you read the story, but that's your doing pal, not mine! You can tell that to the judge....

..oh, and no little birds or honeybees were harmed during the writing of this article. :)
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

03.50am. Out of the prying eye of the media, especially the BBC lot (that Humphrey bloke :rolleyes:), Fernando moved cat-like between the motor-homes. His new “Invisibility Cloak” worked like a dream. At least, Fernando thought it worked like a dream, but then there was no-one to see him anyway. No matter, Fernando thought, you can find holes in any theory. It’s putting the theory into practice that counts. How formula one! Fernando approached the Red Bull motor-home and knocked on the door. Three knocks in quick succession, five knocks with a second gap in between and then again three knocks in quick succession. Fernando waited impatiently for exactly 1.35 seconds and then came the reply.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Fernando, hence the knock code!”
“Oh, hang on…”
Voices could be heard on the other side of the door.
Whilst he waited, Fernando tapped his foot nervously. He looked around for any signs of movement, but as it was pitch dark, he could see diddly squat... “I don’t want people to think that I want to sign for Red Bull, like they did with Hamilton”; thought Fernando.
5.65 minutes passed and then the door to the Red Bull motor-home opened, revealing a shaft of dim light. Fernando slipped inside the door and it shut soundlessly behind him, the dim light winking out just as abruptly as it had appeared.

Fernando was alone in a long corridor, which stretched for as far as the eye could see. He blinked and suddenly the corridor only went for about five foot before it took a 90 degree right turn! And Fernando was aware that the corridor was very long just a moment ago, but at the same time thought that the right turn had always been there. Fernando looked in a mirror, which was conveniently hanging from the wall to his left, and he couldn’t see himself. “Invisibility cloak still working”; thought Fernando. “Now, I don’t know where the bloke who just let me in has gone, but I can now search Red Bull for the Maltese Falcon!”
He confidently strode off up the corridor, took the 90 degree left turn and walked for another 10 steps before stopping. He looked back at the bend in the corridor. The bend was no longer there; the corridor again stretched for as far as the eye could see!
The corridor kept changing and now he couldn’t see the exit!
Fernando began to panic. Sweet broke out on his brow. He looked around for somewhere to sit, so he could take off his shoes and socks. Toenail chewing never seemed more appealing.
He saw a splendid armchair just ahead. As he sat down, he noticed the chair was labelled; “Designed by Adrian Newey”.
Fernando looked up and saw a BBC cameraman filming him.
He was in the Red Bull motor home, making himself comfortable in an Adrian Newey designed seat!! He was being filmed fraternising with the ENEMY!!! Luca was going to ki.........

---- ---- ---- ----​

... Fernando sat bolt upright, knocking his favourite teddy flying from it’s customary position. He was bathed in sweat; his Ferrari pyjamas were soaked and sticking uncomfortably. Breathing heavily, Fernando realised he’d been having a bad dream. Fernando looked over at his Ferrari alarm clock.

As sleep was now beyond him, Fernando decided to get up, freshen up, take stock and then think through his next move. Resisting the urge to chew the nail of the third metatarsal on his right foot, Fernando moved back his duvet cover and rose from his bed, having to peel the bed-cover from his wet back and squelched off to the bathroom...

--- --- --- ---​

Fernando turned on his espresso machine and checked he had a clean cup and saucer underneath it. Whilst he watched his beverage spew out of the nozzle like syrup, he reflected on the days earlier in the season, when syrup meant something completely different. But Canada has been and gone, long ago…

Taking his espresso with him, Fernando walked out onto his hotel suite’s balcony. It was not much after 4 am, but the night was warm and he liked the fresh air. Fernando thought over the meaning of his nightmare and his extra-race activities. What is the meaning of... Well, wtf! :dunno:

As he liked to do, Fernando started to make a list of recent events...

1. The Bell Boy on Bermuda had told Fernando that a shaven-headed man had taken the Maltese Falcon to Pitcairn Island.

2. Fernando had just had a nightmare about Red Bull, a team that he admired but would rather cut off, erm well, something important, than join.

3. In his nightmare, Fernando had been about to look for the Maltese Falcon.

There could be a connection here, somewhere... :thinking:

At a loss for an explanation, Fernando realised that his only option was to make Pitcairn Island his next port of call.

--- --- --- ---​

Fernando had trudged across metres of rocky Pitcairn terrain, his water supply was running low, his feet were sore and his knotted handkerchief was soaked with sweat, but at last he crested the brow of the hill and looked down on his destination.
Below lay a field scattered with white wooden beehives, in the centre of which sat a single storey white wooden house. A brown bird circled above him, screeching blood curdling cries. Fernando crouched amongst the rocks until the little bird flew off and then he began his descent to the field below...

... Fernando reached the floor of the valley. He tippey-toed past the beehives lest the bees turned out to be killer bees. Approaching the house, he spied some steps down to a basement. The basement door was rotten, so Fernando kicked it in and entered the house...

... In the basement, Fernando was confronted with an unpainted Formula One car. He realised it was a Red Bull Car, not least because the front wing was flexing up and down, but also because it had five mechanics surrounding the rear of the car!
“Excuse me, can you look over there at that spider. It’s really big”; said Fernando to the mechanics.
To a man, the mechanics turned to look, providing Fernando with the opportunity to inspect the rear confuser. The confuser was gold and bore the inscription;

“One Car to rule them all, One Car to grind them,
One Car to bring them all and at the Races win them”

Fernando stared at the inscription.‘JRR Tolkien could have written that’; thought Fernando.
“’Ere, you ain’t s’posed to be lookin’ at that”: said one of the mechanics pointedly.
Fernando turned tail and ran. He ran out of the basement, past the beehives (not caring for the buzz he’d invoked), up the hill and across the rocky terrain. He didn’t stop until he was tired! He’d even lost his knotted handkerchief in his rush to get away! The respected elders of Fernando’s village would have talked about that for yonks...

--- --- --- ---​

Fernando was gutted. His short journey looking for the Maltese Falcon was over. However, one door closeth, another door openth. Actually, that sounds like a lipth. Fernando doesn’t have a lipth... Erm... Lisp...

Anyway, Fernando realised the inscription on the Red Bull confuser was just part of a legend. The Legend, in full, reads;

“One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In Milton Keynes where the Shadows lie.
One Car to rule them all, One Car to grind them,
One Car to bring them all and at the Races win them
In Milton Keynes where the shadows lie.”

So OK, Fernando had failed to stop the melting of the ring, err, the Maltese Falcon, but he’d stumbled upon an even greater challenge. That challenge being the finding of “Red Bull’s Bain”!

--- --- --- ---​

How will Fernando's toenails cope!
Now that the Falcon has been melted and fashioned into Vettel's car (did you really think that it would be Mark Webber's Car?!LOL), how will Ferrari and Fernando combat the added menace of the "One Car"? Will Ferrari be able to rely on the reliance of a reliable MacLawrence threat, in order to combat the darkness emanating from the shadows of Milton Keynes??!

Stay tuned to Rooters for the next instalment.:popcorn:
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

The Singapore day was busy and bright. Having difficulty sleeping, Fernando sat in his motor home, wistfully staring at the blank wall. He was thinking. Try as he might, he just hadn’t been able to work out a way to combat the Red Bull One Car and so he’d given up on the idea.
Obviously, he’d never utter the phrase “I’ve given up on that” in public, so to all intents and purposes, he was still fighting.
Fernando sighed. A beetle scuttled along the bottom of the wall and disappeared into a small hole. Idly, Fernando wondered where the hole went to and whether the beetle was a dung beetle.
“That would suit my mood”; thought Fernando
A knock came at the door.
Fernando thoughts continued, unabated; “Of course, if it was dung he was after, he had come to the right place, ‘cos I’m knee deep in the...”
The knock grew louder.
“…stuff. If I was a London Underground station, I’d be called Dung Central.”
BANG, BANG, BANG, went the knock at the door.
Finally roused from his melancholy thoughts, Fernando rose and shuffled over the plush shag-pile carpet that Stefano had ordered to be installed, in the hope of lifting poor Fernando’s down-trodden spirits.
At the door, Fernando looked through the spy-hole and saw no-one there. Tutting to himself, Fernando turned around and gasped. Sat on his motor home sofa was his mother, Cameron Diaz!!

--- --- ---​

Fernando opened his mouth, but his exclamation of wonder and joy, mixed with a slight annoyance that his mumsy was bothering him at work, was cut off by his mother’s apparent urgency.

“I’m sorry son, I don’t have long so, there’s no time for hugs. I know that the Maltese Falcon has been consumed by The Dark One’s fire and is now part of the One Car. Despite your warrior spirit, you must give up on that useless task of trying to combat the inevitable. The One Car is not beatable! Now, I have a more achievable task for you…”

Fernando was listening, but his belligerent streak had also been kindled. “I will listen to Mumsy, but I ain’t giving up on beating Vettel yet”; thought Fernando.

“The quest that lies ahead of you is long, the end of it is unseen, it covers much ground and the end game is unknown. Err; actually, that bit’s the same as the end is unseen. Well, you get the idea! Anyway, every now and then, you will be given a clue, or riddle if you like, which will furnish you with the information that you need. You merely have to decipher the meaning. So, here is your first clue…”

Mumsy handed Fernando a hand written note.

“Read this when I’ve left, be good and don’t let Massa make you feel guilty. He only has himself to blame!”

Fernando looked at the note and was just about to ask what Felipe would do to make him feel guilty, when he looked up. Mumsy was gone! Feeling slightly perturbed, Fernando unfolded the note. It read:

Clue One.JPG
“Crikey! This sounds intriguing”; thought Fernando.
Whilst he was not yet willing to forego the beating of the agent of the Dark Lord, Vettel of Milton Keynes, Fernando was pragmatic. He could always run this quest as a sideline. Fernando liked mysteries!

A clue of two parts. The first giving a clue to the object, the second to it's whereabouts! Fernando realised that he may have more on his mind than racing this weekend. But will it be a hindrance to his chances in the race...

--- --- ---​

Fernando sat in his F1 car during FP1. Practice had been delayed for 30 minutes, so Fernando gave some thought to the riddle handed to him the day before. A box without hinges, key, or lid.
"Well, it's a cube"; thought Fernando."...Golden treasure inside? And going somewhere that's inaccessible! That's just impossible!"
Fernando was deep in thought...
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

For the first time in as long as he could remember, Fernando was worried about his Mother’s counsel.
“…don’t let Massa make you feel guilty. He only has himself to blame…” Mumsy had said.
Well, it hadn’t been Fernando that had made Felipe feel guilty in Singapore. It had been Hamilton! Felipe was obviously feeling guilty about something. It had made him verbally abuse the McLaren driver in the press pen on Sunday, in an attempt to make Hamilton feel guilty.
“Perhaps Felipe was sorry for leaving his rear tyre in the way of Hamilton’s front wing”; thought Fernando. Fernando would be enjoying the fun of his current ‘team-mate’ clashing with his ex-‘team-mate’, if it wasn’t for his Mother’s error. No matter. Fernando put all thoughts of Felipe and Hamilton out of his mind…

Before the Japanese GP, Fernando wanted to solve the riddle that he’d been given.
A box without hinges, key, or lid,Yet golden treasure inside is hid.
In an unusual stroke of good fortune, Fernando had remembered a verse from JRR Tolkien’s 'The Hobbit'. A riddle of the exact same wording had provided the answer as an egg. Now, all Fernando had to do was discover the meaning of the second part.
“You need to go somewhere you can’t access…”
Of course, any normal person would employ the aid of the internet, but being a technophobe Fernando went to the
National Library, Singapore.
Rather than search the reference books for any hint as to what the second part of the riddle may mean, Fernando spied an elderly librarian behind the central counter and asked him for advice. The old scholar looked at the riddle verse “You need to go somewhere you can’t access…”, selected an ancient atlas from a shelf behind him and thumbed through the pages. Smiling toothlessly, the old man showed Fernando the page he’d located. The map showed the Atlantic Ocean with a number of small islands dotted about. One of these islands was called:
The Inaccessible Island!

Inaccessible Island.JPG

--- --- --- ---​

The day was bright and sunny, with only a few fluffy white clouds lazily wafting across the blue sky in the light sea breeze. An Antarctic Tern was doing what he liked best on days like this; namely flying as high as he could before drawing his wings in close to his body and diving down towards the sea below. Only at the last minute would he level up and spread his wings wide, swooping low above the surf, revelling in the light spray that was flicked up off the sea. A small fish was having fun by jumping up out of the sea before splashing back down again. As luck would have it, the Antarctic Tern was on his low swoop a couple of inches above the surf, when the fish made it’s last jump out of the sea, straight into the Tern’s open beak! “Lovely”; thought the Tern. Swallowing the small fish, the Tern flapped his wings and began his long climb back up high into the sky. If birds could measure distances, he would know he’d made it about 1200 foot high before he almost flew straight into the bottom of a basket! Also, if birds knew what a basket was, he probably would have wondered what a basket was doing up there..!

--- ---​

The pilot of the hot-air balloon ducked instinctively when he saw the flash of something white swoop up next to the balloon’s basket. He chuckled to himself when he realised it was just a medium sized white bird, flying up on an errand of ‘Luca’ knows what. The pilot was dressed in a brown leather pilot’s jacket, white scarf, a leather cap and goggles. He pulled on the chord to give another blast of flame, warming the gas in his balloon. Looking out over the sea, he viewed his destination. An island plateau on top of cliffs approximately 1000 foot high. The pilot judged that he was high enough to crest those cliffs and land on the plateau…


…As the balloon landed, the light wind blew the balloon sideways, the basket dragged across the grassy tundra and stopped long enough for the pilot to crawl out. The wind caught the balloon again and dragged both balloon and basket another few feet, before coming to rest against an old hollow tree. The balloon billowed in the breeze but it was going nowhere. The pilot stood up, brushed himself down and surveyed his surroundings. The plateau may well have been a few miles across, but the pilot could see only about 500 yards of grass, dotted with bird nests with white birds sat atop each nest. He didn’t know what the birds were; he just hoped there were eggs!

The pilot slowly approached the nearest nest, watched warily by the bird occupying it.
“I’m just going to have a look. No need to be alarmed”; the pilot said, in an attempt to calm the bird.
Reaching out a hand to try to shift the bird slightly for a peek underneath, the bird snapped at his fingers. The pilot tried a couple of times and on each occasion narrowly avoided getting a painful nip from the bird’s beak.
The pilot reached into his jacket pocket and drew forth a worm. He dangled the worm in front of the bird, letting it wiggle there for a second, before flinging it a few feet away. The bird looked longingly at the worm for a few seconds, before getting up and going to get it. After all, it hadn’t eaten in some days now...
Quick as a flash, the pilot snatched one of the two eggs which were now laid bare and legged it back to the hot-air balloon. He unsnagged the balloon from the tree, climbed back into the basket and gave the chord a long tug. The flame warmed the gas in the balloon and he was off..!
The bird swallowed the worm and turned back to its nest. It looked up and saw a large red balloon with lettering on, flying off. If it could read, the bird would have seen that the lettering read “Forza Ferrari”. **
“Little does he know, but the egg he just stole hasn’t been fertilised”; thought the bird.
The bird settled down again on it’s nest, shuffling about, trying to get comfortable on it’s now single egg cushion…

--- --- ---​

On the balcony of his hotel room, Fernando sat studying his prize. He’d flown, in his balloon, the short distance from The Inaccessible Island to the nearby island of Tristan da Cunha and had booked into a hotel. Fernando was feeling very pleased with himself. He’d solved the riddle that Mumsy had given him and now he was the owner of a little brown coloured egg. “Splendid”; he thought. “I think I will rest up here, while I wait for the Japanese GP next week. And maybe I will also have received the next riddle…”

---- ---- ---- ---- ----​

** Special thanks goes to Teabagyokel, for the use of the term "Forza Ferrari". I'm sure he'd have said yes, if I had asked... :embarrassed:
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

Approximately 1 mile off the south coast of the Japanese island of Honshū, a lone Spider Crab was stalking its prey. At a phenomenally large size of 12ft from claw to claw, the spider crab vastly outsized its quarry, which was a little Krill. The Krill had become separated from its swarm and was now swimming for its life in the face of death. Normally, as he had a gentle disposition, the crab would be ashamed at the stress he was giving to the little krill, but the Spider Crab was hungry, so he would eat now and regret it later. The krill’s little legs were going ten to the dozen and it was ‘breathing’ hard. Any second now it expected to feel the claw of its doom.
But it never came!
A few more kicks of its little legs and the Krill looked over its ‘shoulder’. The crab was heading off in a different direction! The Krill breathed a bubble of relief and noticed some phytoplankton drifting aimlessly close-by. Before it sought out its lost brethren, food was upper most in its tiny mind...

...The spider crab scrambled over the sea-bed in the direction of the Japanese shoreline, apparently having forgotten about the Krill altogether. The ‘walk’ to the shore would take a while, but the crabs long legs were soon ‘eating up’ the yardage…

--- --- ---​

The spider crab scrambled up the beach. It took a while, as the darn tide was coming in; the waves kept sweeping up the beach and collecting the crab, taking him back out to sea! Eventually, the crab huffed and puffed his way out of the breakers enough to make his mark. As that was his intent.

When he had been about to luncheon on his chosen Krill, the crab had been taken over! One minute he was about to eat krill and the next he was a prisoner in his own brain! He was just a back seat passenger watching someone else walk his body as they saw fit. They… The alien mind put the spider crab's psyche to the rear of the brain and concentrated on the task ahead…

The crab found a nice smooth patch of sand. He started to etch some lines into the sand with one of his fore-claws.

Like thus…

Clue Two.JPG

At this point the spider crab was half way through his scribblings, when the sea swept in and washed the words away!

The Spider Crab set about etching into the clean sand once more with his fore-claw. Again, a few seconds later the sea swept the writing away.

The Spider Crab set about etching into the clean sand once more with his fore-claw. Again, a few seconds later the sea swept the writing away.

The Spider Crab set about…
“Hang on”; he thought. “This isn’t working”.

The sea swept in and got the tips of his claws wet, before the wave crept back out to sea.

“It isn’t working”, the crab muttered as he ‘crabbed’ his way further up the beach and headed off towards the base of a high cliff. There appeared to be caves hollowed out of the rock. Perhaps the Spider Crab was heading for one of the caves…

At the back of the spider crab’s brain, the actual crab’s psyche cowered in fear. Whoever had taken over the crab and ‘walked’ his body on to the shore had taken over the crab for a purpose. All the spider crab psyche could do was to let the alien mind ‘run its course’ and hope it left him in peace…

--- --- ---​

Meanwhile, Fernando was in the foyer of the Tristan da Cunha Rose Hotel. He loved the display given by the little sea creatures in the Hotel’s aquarium. There was a little invertebrate being chased by what looked like a crab, until the crab gave up the chase and crept into what looked like a little cave!
“How cute”; though Fernando.
At that moment, Fernando’s gaze rose slightly and he caught sight of a refracted reflection in the aquarium’s water. It was a refracted image of a face, which Fernando almost recognised, but the figure turned away. Fernando turned his head to look behind him, but the figure had gone and was disappearing through the hotel’s exit.
“Bugger”; thought Fernando. “I should really know who that was, the face looked so familiar!”
Fernando's musings were interrupted by the Hotel Manager, as his taxi was waiting to take him to the hot-air balloon take-off pad...
"The Amazing Adventures of Fernando Alonso", or
"Around the British Empire in as Many Days as it Takes"...

“Well they're some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
The tears of a crab when there's no one around
Oh yeah, baby baby, oh yeah baby baby.”

--- --- ---​

Fernando opened one eye. From his position, all he could see was what looked like a castle. It had turrets with flags on top, fluttering in the light breeze. He couldn’t see any defenders on the castle walls. Idly Fernando wondered if there was anyone in the castle and whether they had any painkillers. He blinked his one eye. What was up with his other eye? He shifted slightly and realised his head was half buried in sand!
Fernando sat up and immediately wished he hadn’t. His head was pounding! God, why had he drunk all that cheap Japanese whisky? He had a fleeting memory of going on a bender with Jenson and John Button, to celebrate Jenson and Fernando coming first and second in the Japanese GP, but the details were mercifully sketchy. Blinking, he was relieved to find out that both his eyes were OK. Well, would be OK, once he’d taken something to stop his brain from out-growing his skull..! God, his head was pounding!

Fernando was on a beach, he now realised. He stood up, stumbled and flattened the little sand castle that he’d been looking at when he woke up and shakily ambled off up the beach...

...After a while, Fernando realised he was heading towards the base of a tall cliff. He was just about to turn to the right to look for a way off the beach, when he noticed a cave. Was that writing he could see in the sand? Fernando couldn’t make out what was written, partly because he was still half cut and was unable to fully open his eyes due to his headache, but also he noticed that wind or something moving over the writing had mostly blurred the words. He moved closer to the cave and noticed two things.

  1. There was writing on the cave wall, which he could read.
  2. There was a spider crab slumped at the bottom of the cave wall.

Despite his pounding head, Fernando made a closer inspection of the writing. Fernando realised that something had gouged the words into the cave wall itself, rather than merely marking the wall with something. The writing was thus:

cave writing.JPG

“Gosh”; said Fernando, out loud. “This looks like the next riddle. I better make a note of this”.

As Fernando dug his little notepad and pen from his pocket, the spider crab was roused by the sound of Fernando’s voice. Once he’d copied down the riddle in his little book, Fernando switched his full attention to the crab, which was trying to move towards Fernando but was pitifully slow. The look of sorrow and pain on his little face was heartbreaking! The crab’s fore-claws were worn right down and were just stumps!
“Did you write the riddle”; Fernando asked the crab softly, half in wonder and half in sympathy.
Fernando bent to pick up the spider crab, which was less than easy! Fernando’s head was still pounding to the beat of the heaviest ‘drum & base’ imaginable but also the spider crab’s legs spanned about 12ft, albeit slightly less now that his claws were worn away. Fernando looked into the crabs little face and he saw little tracks running down from his eyes. “Little tracks of fluid”; thought Fernando.
Taking pity on the huge crab, Fernando decided to take him and keep him as a pet.
“I’ll call you Stumpy”; said Fernando, sympathetically.
Fernando turned and ambled awkwardly back onto the beach, occasionally almost dropping Stumpy before readjusting his grip.
The crab was glad just to be away from that cave of nightmares. That damned alien mind hadn’t left him until the message had been written. Yes, the crab was just himself again, but his claws were gone...

--- --- ---​

Fernando made it back to his Tanabe hotel with his new pet crab and prepared for the journey to South Korea. He knew he needed to decipher the new riddle, both to ascertain what he was to look for AND to find out where it would be, but Fernando needed to report in with Ferrari ahead of this weekend’s Korean GP. Luca wouldn’t be chuffed if he dilly-dallied too much. It was only a week between Grand Prix, so any riddle solving would have to wait until after the Korean GP.

As Fernando packed his bags ahead of the short trip from Japan to Korea, Stumpy the crab drifted aimlessly in the shallow bowl of water in which Fernando had placed him...
"Outside I'm masquerading
Inside my hope is fading
Just a crab oh yeah
Since you put me down
So take a good look at my face
You'll see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer, it's easy to trace
The tracks of my tears."
Fernando Alonso and The "Thing"

During the long dark months of the Arctic winter, there wasn’t much to do of an evening, but lie in bed and think. Fernando found himself thinking of his recent adventures around the globe and the cruel circumstances in which those adventures were curtailed.
As much as Fernando tried to reason why the author, through which his adventures had been told, had quit, he just couldn’t work it out. The stories had seemed to be working out quite well, but then it all just stopped..!
Now, Fernando was scratching out an existence at a British research centre in the North Pole. Yes, his love of all things British was satiated, but deep down it all left him feeling a bit cold.
“Who knows”; thought Fernando, “maybe the Arctic will bring me the adventures”.

---- ---- ---- ----​

The next day, Fernando was flying the research centre’s helicopter over the area to the north. He’d been told, over the radio, that the weather was turning bad, with a heavy snow storm and high winds heading in, so after conferring with his co-pilot, Felipe Massa, Fernando agreed to turn the copter about and head back to base. Out of the corner of his eye though, Fernando spied something moving swiftly over the ground.
Fernando moved the copter down for a closer look...
As he drew closer, Fernando saw that it was a husky type dog running at speed. It was running from a couple of men, who were shooting rifles at it!
“How can men shoot at such a lovely dog?” thought Fernando.
Felipe must have agreed, because he fired his own rifle at the men, killing one of them before the other retreated. Fernando landed the helicopter and the husky loped over and began slobbering over the co-pilot.
Once the husky was safely aboard, Fernando took the helicopter back up and they flew back to base. The husky lay on the floor, seemingly content that it was being taken to a place where more unsuspecting victims waited to be exploited...

However, a few minutes into the flight back to base, Felipe was surprised to notice several extra, spidery like legs protrude from the husky!! Felipe was about to shout alarm, but the "spidery" husky lunged for him.

There was a muffled, distressed Brazilian type sound, and then nothing.......

When the Helicopter neared the British Polar Base, Fernando looked behind him and saw a bored looking Felipe sitting quietly, with a strange, blank expression on his face. It was the strangeness of Felipe that was the reason Fernando took a while to notice the husky was no longer there...

"Where is the husky?" asked Fernando.
Felipe just stared at Fernando, blinking occasionally.
Several seconds passed before Fernando realised no answer was forthcoming. He looked around and noticed one of the windows was open and swinging in the wind. He looked again at Felipe, thoughtfully.
"Brazilians! :rolleyes:"; thought Fernando.
---- ---- ---- ----​

The radio crackled into life: "You are both wanted in Australia, for the forthcoming Formula One season, so best not delay and make haste immediately!"

Fernando heard the message, looked worryingly at Felipe, but shrugged and thought; "Bugger it, Australia here we come! The Sky is the limit! Or is that, Sky is the limiting factor?"

As the Research Centre Helicopter being flown was in fact a Ferrari helicopter, it was in fact capable of flying for long distances in great style to the nearest airport, in order to catch a flight down under, to Australia. So, off they flew to
the Alert airport, Canada.

---- ---- ---- ----

To be continued.
Fernando Alonso and The "Thing"

Ring, ring! Ring, ring! Ring, ring!

“Y'ello?”; ventured Fernando.
“Fernando, are you alone? Is Felipe with you?”
“I am alone. Felipe is supposed to be with his engineer, trying to work out why his race was so bad. Why d'you ask…?”
“We have found the husky, like you asked us to. Out on the ice, before it all melts. It’s horrific! It’s weirdly mutated – with two heads! One is a husky dog, the other is... the other is… Er, is there anything weird about Felipe? You know, in his appearance?”
“No more than usual. His eyebrows could be bushier, like mine. Perhaps his are thinning a little...”
“No Fernando. Anything MAJORLY weird about Felipe?”
“Well, no.”
“OK Fernando, pay close attention and do exactly as I say. I’d like you to take a blood sample from Felipe, ASAP and run a simple test on it, using a soldering iron. But do NOT approach Felipe when you are alone. Always make sure there are people with you. Call me back when you have done the test. Can you do that for me?”
“Yes sure, but…”
“Just do it, Fernando. And make sure you are NOT ALONE!!”
“And Fernando?”
“Make sure the soldering iron is hot!”

---- ---- ---- ----​

As Fernando approaches the garage, he finds Felipe deep in conversation with his engineer, Rob Smedley. So deep in fact, that at first they didn’t see, or hear Fernando, enter. Then, they both jump apart as if goosed!
Fernando nods to the engineer in greeting and then grins, proffering a syringe and test tube in Felipe’s direction.
“Felipe, can you take a blood sample and put it in this tube? For Charlie. Not sure why. Must be something to do with safety... or something!”
Knowing this was a poor excuse, Fernando keeps grinning, before offering a nervous laugh.
”He, he!”

Felipe eyes the syringe and test-tube dubiously before glancing at Rob for a second. The engineer gave a slight nod.
“For sure, Fernando. Anything Charlie wants...”
Felipe takes the objects and turns as if to continue talking with Rob Smedley.
“Umm, could you do it now and let me take it to Charlie? He sort of needs it now, urgently, like...”; Fernando was really very nervous now. Surely this was a bad idea!
Felipe sighed and nodded.
Suddenly the engineer knocked over a cup of juice, which splashed all over Fernando! Fernando jumped back and desperately tried to brush the fluid from his new Ferrari jacket, to no avail.
“This was going to take a some careful cleaning to get this off before it stains!”; thought Fernando.
When Fernando looked back at Felipe, he was offering the test tube and it contained a blood sample. Flustered, Fernando thanked Felipe briskly and grabbed the test-tube before making a hasty retreat.
“Thank Luca for that”; thought Fernando. “Now to test it in private.”

In his haste to get away, Fernando failed to notice that it was Rob Smedley that was holding a hand to his right arm, quizzically looking at his driver, wondering why Felipe had jabbed the syringe in his arm and taken the sample. But, as an engineer that's totally loyal to his driver, he took the pain quietly...

---- ---- ---- ----​

Felipe Massa trusted Rob Smedley. Rob Smedley was true to his word. If Rob Smedley said he would do something, then that something would be done. For a Thing like Felipe Massa, it was handy to have some-one like Rob Smedley around. At-least for a while. That didn't apply to the Pirelli engineer, that had been assigned to Ferrari, though! If Things like Felipe Massa were to proliferate, then some assimilation was gonna happen!

The Pirelli engineer was busy inspecting the tyres used by Ferrari during the Australian GP, when something approached him from behind. The few people that were still milling about outside the Ferrari garage didn't hear the muffled scream from within the garage. Perhaps mistaking the scream for a wheel gun..?

----- ----- ----- ----- -----​

To be continued
Fernando Alonso and The "Thing"

The red liquid spilled over the rim of the test-tube and splashed into the dish. Not a drop wasted.
Like a tide, it sloshed almost to the rim of the dish, until gently lapping from one side to the other.
For a few minutes, the scarlet liquid languished lazily, almost as if waiting for something to happen. Or of course, it could have been just a liquid, doing what liquid’s do!
Now that Fernando had finally been given a few minutes alone, he could actually proceed with the test. He just hoped that several days being kept in his luggage had not harmed the sample...

Fernando continued looking at the blood, but of course, it did nothing but lay there in the Petri Dish, as liquids do. Fernando stood up and checked the soldering iron by touching it with his thumb.

"OWW!!!"; yelped Fernando.

Yep, it was hot.

After taking a step back, with great fortitude Fernando plunged the iron into the dish... The blood fizzled a bit and a wisp of steam rose to the ceiling.

And that was it.

"Phut!"; said Fernando.

“Well”; thought Fernando, “bloody blood tests be damned!”

Nothing had happened! Felipe’s blood was as pure as driven blood. Not a strange reaction! Felipe was normal. After all, his blood test proved it.

Didn’t it..?
---- ---- ---- ----​

A few days later, after the Malaysia GP...

Ferrari had arranged a celebratory shindig for half the team. Yes, that meant Fernando's side of the garage, which meant Fernando was obliged to tag along...

Fernando was lined up with 5 Ferrari personnel, waiting for transport to the Tioman Island, just off the Malaysian mainland. It is a small island located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang, and is some 39 km long and 12 km wide.

The 5 Ferrari blokes were mechanics. The people from high up thought it would be morale boosting to have quick jolly with the race winner. Normally, Fernando would be well up for this, but he had other things on his mind. Fernando looked across the heliport and spied Felipe standing motionless, eyeing up the jolly group, almost as if he was looking forward to something! Despite the negative reading blood test, Fernando thought there was something strange about Felipe..!

Fernando and the 5 Ferrari men boarded the helicopter and took their seats. Fernando made himself comfortable and was satisfied. He looked forward and the mechanic in the seat in front farted.

Holding his breath, Fernando looked out of the window and saw Felipe still watching, when Rob Smedley joined him. As the helicopter took off, the two were deep in conversation. Fernando looked away towards the front of the helicopter.
“Something smells fishy about Felipe”; he thought.
---- ---- ---- ----​
To be continued...​
Fernando Alonso and The "Thing"

The helicopter was approaching its destination, when Fernando was passed a piece of paper from the person in front. He couldn’t see who was passing it, as all they did was reach their arm around the seat-back. Fernando took the paper and slowly unfolded it. As the helicopter started to land, Fernando read the short message which had been scrawled on the paper as if in a great rush.

“Watch Giacomo carefully!”

Fernando stared at the message for a moment.
Which one’s Giacomo?”; thought Fernando. “Oh yeah, the bloke with the comb-over.
Fernando had only taken a slight interest in the mechanics. Linking names to faces had not been a priority.
Fernando looked around the helicopter until he saw Giacomo, seated near the back. Alone... They made eye contact and Fernando hastily looked away, turning around to look ahead once more.
Shit! I’m just looking around! Not interested in you at all. Not in the slightest!”; thought Fernando.

The helicopter had now landed and the other mechanics were starting to file out. Fernando still hadn’t caught a glimpse of who had been sat in front of him and had passed him the note.
All in good time”; he thought.

The helicopter had landed at a private airfield, one of Ferrari’s many assets around the world. The airfield was secure against unauthorised entry. The party trooped from the helicopter to a large shed and they all entered, shutting the door behind them.
A real, morale boosting shed, this is!”; thought Fernando.

---- ---- ---- ----​

The Ferrari shed was large, split into several rooms; a common room, a toilet, a kitchen and six bedrooms. All six Ferrari personnel were in the common room, seated in a semi-circle in front of a projection screen. The head mechanic, Roberto di Moretti, had informed the group that Luca di Montezemolo would give a speech via live link from Maranello Tower. He preceded this by introducing everyone, so everyone knew who the hell the others were.
There was Roberto di Moretti and of course they all knew Fernando Alonso. Then there was Marco Ramano (fat with greasy hair), Leonardo Greco (tall with big nose), Antonio Conti (squat with a handlebar moustache) and Giacomo Ricci (comb-over man). Fernando was trying to keep one eye on Giacomo without him noticing, but it was tricky. Giacomo always seemed to looking in Fernando’s direction.

The atmosphere was becoming bored and the ensemble began talking to themselves, when Roberto urged everyone to pay attention to the screen. The “live” link was about to begin.

The Projector was switched on and an image appeared on the projector screen. It was an empty chair.
Presumably Luca will be seated shortly and begin his diatribe”; thought Fernando.
But just as Luca was taking his seat, back in Maranello Tower, the projector screen went blank. Everyone sighed with relief, except Giacomo and Marco Romano; Giacomo because he was still looking intently at Fernando and Marco because he had fallen off his chair and was lying motionless on the floor having dragged the projector with him when he fell.

There was a moment or two of hushed silence, before up stepped Leonardo Greco, who knelt down next to Marco and felt for a pulse. As Antonio Conti crossed himself and muttered something catholic, Leonardo looked up and sadly shook his head. Marco Ramono was dead.

As a last ditch attempt at resuscitating the dead Marco Romano, Leonardo started to attempt CPR. He was busily pumping Marco’s chest, when the chest opened and his arms sank into Marco’s now open chest, noisily squelching the inner organs and squirting blood everywhere. Before Leonardo could react and remove his now blood soaked hands and forearms from Marco, the open chest snapped shut!! Leonardo raised his arms which were now shorn off, mid forearm; hands, wrists and lower forearms were missing!!

The look of surprise on Leonardo Greco’s face was a picture. He knelt there, next to the dead Marco Romano, arms ending in stumps, blood squirting everywhere, wide-eyed and mouth working soundlessly. And then he just slumped forwards and was still.

---- ---- ---- ----​

Fernando was perched on the end of the bunk, in the bedroom assigned to him.

China coming up next”; he thought. “…Wonder what the weather’s like”.... Anything to take his mind off the events of earlier and the sounds of the cleaning up going on in the common-room.

There was a knock at the door. He slowly stood and took the couple of steps necessary to reach the door and opened it. There stood Giacomo, the mechanic he had been advised to keep an eye on! Fernando backed away from him, until he bumped into the bunk. Giacomo stepped into room and shut the door without turning around. This was because there wasn’t room to turn around, as Fernando was backed against the bunk and Giacomo was stood in the couple of feet between Fernando and the door.

Standing literately face to face, Fernando could feel the garlic smelling breath emanating from Giacomo’s mouth on his face…

“The fat, greasy haired chap seemed to have been a bit ill”; said Fernando. “And the other fellow…”
Before he could finish his nervous twaddle, Giacomo interceded.
“The fat guy, Marco Romano. I saw him looking strange, back in Australia. Only a glimpse, but that was enough. He had extra appendages. Spidery like. But the next time I saw him, he didn’t.”
Fernando was transfixed.
“When I saw the strangeness, he was in Felipe’s garage”; said Giacomo.
Fernando waited for more, but there was an awkward silence. At least Fernando found it awkward. Giacomo just stood there, breathing into Fernando’s face.
“Be careful around Felipe Massa. There is something afoot and it’s growing. Taking over Ferrari bit by bit. WATCH OUT FOR FELIPE!!”
“Who are you?”; asked Fernando
But Giacomo just reached back, opened the door and left.

---- ---- ---- ----​

As the remaining four Ferrari personnel boarded the helicopter, bound for China, there was no eye contact. No conversation, no banter, no in-flight movies. They all found themselves thinking about the China GP, to take their minds off the events that had transpired at Tioman island.

Fernando was still unsure of who Giacomo was and who had passed him the note advising him to keep an eye on him. After all, it wasn’t Giacomo that was the one that needed watching! This was confusing.
Giacomo seemed to think that Felipe needed watching, as did the Arctic scientists.
Fernando had found Felipe strange of late.
Maybe there was a connection...

----- ----- ----- ----- -----​

To be continued
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