When you think "internal combustion engine" and "FK," the first thing that comes to mind is Nick's Cadillac, right? And then perhaps one thinks of Nick's motorcycle. But the list goes on! Cars and related vehicles are quietly integral to the culture in which present-day FK functions.
- The Caddy (with all its high-maintenance peculiarities like the heater that rarely works, and its ample trunk space, and the way it was sabotaged and crashed in "Dark Knight," and the way Nick gets distracted by years past while driving and says in "Be My Valentine" that it's his favorite way to think, and Vachon's comment on predatory fins in -- what, "Trophy Girl"?)
- Nick's motorcycle (that he's always working on but never riding)
- The city bus that Nick wrangles in "Fatal Mistake"
- Nick drives a jeep in the "Can't Run, Can't Hide" flashbacks
- Nick takes the keys of the drunk driver in "Blood Money"
- The police van from which Nick escapes in "Killer Instinct"
- With everything else different in "Curiouser & Curiouser," has anyone ever speculated that the Caddy might be different, too? What does Nick feel he has denied his car? ;-)
- The vehicle driven by someone else from which Janette emerges on her way to Nick in "Cherry Blossoms"
- The car she's driving in "The Human Factor," in which she and Patrick have apparently been staying
- Natalie's car that gets blown up in "Spin Doctor"
- Natalie's car that she leaves unlocked in "Fallen Idol"
- The bad guy insists on taking Natalie's car in "Only the Lonely"
- The car sacrificed in "Bad Blood" (whose is that? Natalie's? haven't seen that episode in a while)
- Richard Lambert's car that breaks down in the teaser of "I Will Repay" such that Natalie comes to get him
- Schanke's car that stalls in "The Code"
- Driving and washing the Caddy in "Close Call"
- Stonetree drives his own car in "Fatal Mistake"
- The moving of the tow truck makes Stonetree look guilty in "Fatal Mistake"
- Fiori abducts Stonetree in a car in "Dead Issue"
- Vachon's general preference for "the roar of the engines" according to Urs in "Black Buddha"
- Vachon's motorcycle ("Blackwing")
- Tracy drives a light-blue Ford Taurus with "dual airbags, ABS" and "great mileage." Vachon mocks it. ("Black Buddha")
- Tracy is abducted while changing a tire in "Trophy Girl"
- The ghost of Susan tries to lure Tracy into the street where she'd be hit by a car
Refuse to Categorize
- The airplane in "Black Buddha"
- "Forward into the Past" includes a car crash and an attempted murder by car exhaust and the big clue is the shape of the car's hood ornament
- Charles duChamps is murdered in his car in "Blood Money"
- Tawny Teller and her crew ride along in "Unreality TV"
- Alex Logan rides along in "Amateur Night"
- Is Rebecca hitchhiking in that final vision of her in "Dying for Fame"?
- Jody's helicopters that she can no longer fly in "Blind Faith," also the city bus where Perry scents the killer
- Monica follows Nick's car in "Feeding the Beast," and her sister murders a man in his car
- Agnes gets lost among the cars in "If Looks Could Kill"
- The last Delabar is hit by a car in "The Queen of Harps"
- The car from which the murdered woman is abducted in the teaser of "For I Have Sinned"
- The car in which the women are abducted (and whose driver is murdered) in "Dying to Know You"
- The radio psychiatrist is reached on her car phone in "Dead Air"
- The murderer abducts the candidate and takes her to City Hall in a car in "Spin Doctor"
- The Humbar Nurseries van that is the clue in "Only the Lonely"
- Junkyard full of cars in "Fatal Mistake"
- An officer doing surveillance is murdered in his car in "Stranger than Fiction"
- The old don arrives in a car after Lacroix has converted him in "Father's Day"
- The female officer is murdered in the car in "Capital Offense"
- A car is used to cover up a crime in "Beyond the Law"
- The psychiatrist transports her attempted final victim in her red car in "Crazy Love"
It may be worth noting Lacroix's conspicuous absence from this list. I cannot think of any canonical incidents that place him inside an internal-combustion engine vehicle. Can you? Or does he get no closer to them than their radios?
In the first oldschoolfic ficathon, the three prompts I submitted were for FK, HL and Young Blades, all of which I love. butterflykiki chose the HL prompt and cleverly made an outstanding story of it starring Methos and Tessa (noted here). "But why didn't she choose the FK prompt?" wailed the FK-first part of my brain. Well, all other reasons aside, it was a lousy prompt, I've concluded. "Internal combustion engine," as a prompt, is less intriguing, less inspiring, than any one of the more specific items in the list above, not to mention a number of other things from history and circumstance under that heading alone.
For future prompt construction, I'm taking the lesson that more specificity is better. Not so much that the recipient feels dictated to, of course, but enough to gather up the tinder before whipping out the lighter. And also that curious conjunctions -- for example "Urs and Schanke" (nod to wiliqueen) may be inherently more interesting than common ones -- for example "Urs and Screed" -- because they present a problem to be solved.
What do you think of "What if?" questions as prompts?