Hammer down! A saying I remember my grandfather yelling distinctly as we sped away from the red and blue flashing lights.
That moment seared into my mind then as a small child and remains a vivid memory to this day. It was not just the thrill of that intense acceleration. Or the wonder at the pattern the raindrops made on the windshield. It was not only the sense of awe that the blur of passing street lights at that speed stirred. It was not just the surprise at hearing this calm calculated man burst with maniacal laughter. It was not the joy of giving a metaphorical flick of the middle finger to the Nine Tails of the region, although that was pretty great. There was one overriding emotion that made that moment shine so bright in my life. Love, love for that old bastard. It was also the last time I would see him alive.
Man I loved that old coot. My grandfather was the only stable point in my life. He was a constant amongst a swirling mess of loss and confusion. Of course the fact that he was a very successful thief didn’t factor into my feelings for the old codger. It only reinforced my notion of him as a hero. A man who didn’t back down, a man who stood up and fought! Maybe not the right fights, but in this era the right fight has become a perspective.
It is because of that moment I will always whisper under my breath “hammer down”, as the clutch drops, the tyres squeal and I fight my Cyclone to keep it pointed in the right direction. This is my prayer to the gods of speed.
I may have followed in my grandfathers footsteps. However I have stepped further. I have made it here ya old bastard. I have my team and I have my beast of a vehicle. I have made it to that place you talked about, that place you dreamt of taking me. I have made it to the only place in the universe where I can truly prove myself, a place that will challenge me and finally answer that question. Am I the greatest?
As I step off the Cutlass boarding ramp and feel the hot red sand crunch underfoot, I look into the distance with pride and love in my heart, “Daymar, I made it ya old bastard, hammer down”.
*In-game image by Mr_Hasgaha