((Pelasht Wharf, Low Orbit Above Mercury))
She flexed her fists in ... out .... in ... out .... in ... out ... They were within three hundred meters of the Orion Gormaganders, the team in first. The team lived up to its name, a bloated worm looking thing covered with what seemed to be to cancers along its skin. The small cockpit looking like microscopic eyes which she thought was entirely too small.
The gap was closing, which Aria tried not to attribute to her silent prayer - which despite her experiences she would still regard as slightly sacrilegious. They were down to one hundred and fifty meters, and the team gathered around the table stopped their work, even the Vulcans seemed to set their work aside to focus on their racer's progress.
One hundred meters, and more importantly - two hundred meters to the finish line. Pushed out a puff of air through her teeth, and glanced at the graph in the corner of the screen showing how the heat buildup of the relays would max out. At the current speed, maybe 250 meters.
Her head tilted, excitement constrained by a bit of cautious horror.
A clang on the deck plate distracted her, and she turned to see Jerrer the disembodied pilot joining them. An older man who was the head of an orbital environmental observation station, he looked to be at least 80, which for a Vulcan just meant some slight graying around the temples and an air that told those around him, he knew what was going on.
Aria realized that if Jerrer was on the deck he was not planning for the United to stop or have an emergency.
The Orion team had begun speeding up, and was holding a distance, but with only now ninety meters before the ships crossed the finish line. If the Orions kept it up the math wouldn't work out.
Jerrer reached over pressed the comm.
Jerrer: =/\= United, increase speed at will. =/\=
The united vessel surged closing the gap - and Aria's impromptu graph began alerting causing her to bite her lip. She didn't want to be the one to cause either crash or a loss.
Stelek touched her hand, enough feeling which had returned to cause a startled jump.
Stelek: They can keep going, vent heat as soon as they hit the finish line and throttle down fifty meters later, it will work.
Whether she knew it or not the Vulcan had relieved her of the stress by removing the decision from her hands - now she could just watch it unfold. Watch as the united began approaching the Orion team, approaching, approaching as she held her breath again. Approaching as the crew gave up pretense of things to do.
The United pulled up alongside the Gormaganders, the finish line approaching, now just 50 meters.
The Betazoid was pointing at the ugly worm where when Aria squinted she could see an Engine sputtering out of control, and smoke began pouring out. Her grin began to spread as quickly as the Orions began slowing down.
First the United edged forward, then, before she knew it was a ship length ahead -- someone, Th'shinil started laughing -- the finish line was right there as the Arrow was across the finish line.
She exploded and before she knew it the introverted Bajoran had jumped up and hugged Stelek - who didn't seem as stiff as she should have been.
It wasn't until someone had turned on the official race announcements that she realized what she was doing and let the other woman go and sheepishly took a step back. She wasn't the only elated one on the deck, even the Vulcans with the gentle nods were ecstatic in their own way.
Announcer: =/\= Pelasht United! Pelasht United! 15 to 1 .... what a victory ... =/\=
In true Vulcan fashion someone popped open a bottle of cold fuchsia colored juice for celebration.
Captain Oddas Aria