JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part X: Under Pressure

Steel Ball Run
A legendary cross-country horse race

Hosted in 1890 by philanthropist Stephen Steel and the president of the United States, The Steel Ball Run was a horse race that spanned from one corner of the United States to another.

The race began on September 25th 1890 at 10 AM on San Diego beach, and ended on January 19th, 1891 in New York City. The total distance was estimated at around 6000 km, made up by several stages separated by known landmarks – the first of which was the Grand Hotel Casa Libertad.

Winning first and second place were Australian brothers Glenn and Dante Frey (respectively), winning a combined total of $51,000,00. In third place was British horse jokey Diego Brando, winning $500,000. The Frey brothers used their money to purchase a large share of the Speedwagon Oil Company, and Diego invested his prize money in various organizations.

A flier promoting the race from Japan. The race was well-known and advertised globally, and had racers from dozens of countries.

Casa Libertad
An aging Grand Hotel still clinging to life


An extravagant grand hotel in the style of Spanish missions, located deep in the Mojave desert on top of a natural oasis. Originally created as a moderately-sized hotel to house settlers as they moved west during the gold rush, it fell upon hard times as expansion slowed. The Steel Ball Run race gave it a huge resurgence of business as it was labeled as the first checkpoint, and the hotel exploded in popularity

For several decades the hotel grew, becoming more and more expensive and entertaining those of higher and higher class. Being located far into the desert, and being quite exclusive, the hotel began to once again lose business and money, and the second world war dealt a major blow to its success. Attempts to boost advertising and attendance in the late 70s failed, and it wasn’t long before the hotel was in danger of foreclosure. In a move that surprised no one, ownership changed in early 1988.

The previous owner of the hotel, Jackson Browne, sold it to a wealthy businessman who he refused to name. The hotel underwent a major restoration in the following years, and in 1990 was re-opened to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Steel Ball Run. While the initial re-opening resulted in massive amounts of new guests, the surge of business fell off as quickly as ever. Despite the loss, the hotel remained as extravagant as it was at the height of its popularity, and remains so to this day – despite being largely forgotten by the populace at large.

The Libertad, being located on a natural oasis in the desert, covers quite the spacious grounds. Tall palm trees and green grass surround the hotel, and a large outer wall surrounds the edges of the paradise – allowing those inside the heaven to forget about the hell that is the barren desert. The hotel itself is several stories tall, with a large mission bell atop the front facade. While the exterior is made to mimic Spanish missions, the interior is as lavish as any luxury palace. A large open courtyard in the center of the hotel houses a great fountain surrounded by a small park.


Beyond the outer walls lies little more than sun-bleached rocks, dry brush, and joshua trees for miles. However, some hotel patrons have reported seeing shimmering lights very far off in the distance on particularly clear nights. Rumors of all sorts have spread to try and explain their existence – from a secret bandit camp, to a secret government base, to ghosts, to alien invaders.

Dimitri “Dio” Brando has been the hotel’s concierge since its re-opening, and is the primary personality of the hotel itself – they are generally considered one and the same.

The past several weeks have seen yet another large boost in the hotels’ attendance – seemingly by chance, as no distinct effort appears to have been made to boost business. Is the old place’s luck is finally turning around, or is just the final sputtering spark of an old flame?


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