(2016-08-26) Car Maintenance Lesson
Car Maintenance Lesson
Summary: Serenity's plan to borrow a car is stopped by Warpath's presence in the garage.
Date: 2016-08-26
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

It's not often that Warpath is in the garage but here he is tonight and at the moment since it's late enough for most students to be in bed he is just doing maintenance on his personal car his way. What does that mean? It means he is currently holding a jeep over his head with one hand like he was lifting a basketball or something equally light as he unscrews the oil cap to do an oil change on the tan four wheel drive vehicle. There's a tray beside him to catch the oil once it starts pouring out and that's when it's noticeable that he's not even holding it in the center. With one hand he has hold of the frame and is supporting the whole of it's weight and keeping it level with grip strength alone.

Serenity slips quietly into the garage. She cannot legally drive a car and she's never even properly learned how to do it but she wants to go into the city so she's considering stealing one anyway. At least until she sees James Proudstar standing there with a jeep held above his head. She stops abruptly to stare.

James must be lost in his thoughts because he doesn't react to Serenity's arrival at all, apparently not paying attention to the outside world for once. As the oil drains, and quickly James tilts the jeep one way then the other to make sure that the oil is completely drained from the Jeep before he puts the cap back in place and sets it down to the side gently on it's wheels. Reaching to pick up the oil pan using both hands since he doesn't want it to bend and spill he walks over towards the used oil drum and begins to pour the used oil into the fifty gallon drum.

As the oil drains he finally reveals that he's picked up Serenity's scent, or maybe heard her heartbeat and a small smile touches James' face. "If you're thinking about stealing a car, I wouldn't suggest it." He rumbles conversationally. "If you really need to go somewhere we can make sure it happens."

Serenity frowns at him for that. She quickly insists, "I was not thinking of stealing a car. I'm a guest here. I can't even drive. Why would I try to steal a car? How can you pick up a jeep over your head like that?"

"No?" James asks curiously, sounding surprised, "It's a time honored tradition… eventually some students get stir crazy and someone tries to steal a car. It never works out well for them in the end though." He rumbles conversationally. At her question though he considers, "Have you ever heard of the X-Men? Mutants who are super heroes?" He sets the oil tray in it's proper place in the garage and then goes to pop the hood on his jeep, setting the stand on it to hold it up on it's own while he goes to get some fresh oil to put in the engine.

Serenity frowns again, "Of course I've heard of the X-Men. I may avoid the news but I haven't spent my life under a rock." She chews her lip as she goes to examine the car she was thinking about stealing.

"I'm one of them." James answers with a bit of a shrug. "My mutation makes me stronger, faster, and tougher than humans in addition to a number of other gifts." He explains, "I use those gifts to fight the good fight." And not to kill anymore. That's the dream for James now. He keeps his senses trained on Serenity as he goes about his work, gathering up the oil he needs for his jeep and starting to put them in one at a time. It's a lot of oil. "I've fought Magneto, the Juggernaut, The Hulk, Aliens, giant robots, Sentinels… and a lot more."

Serenity nods very slightly as she gives the car a very thorough once over. "I suppose that's a good thing. That you use your abilities for good. I don't have those kind of abilities."

"Wanna bet?" James asks with a small smile curling up the corners of his lips. He sets another quart of oil into place and then looks over at Serenity by the car she has chosen to give a once over. "There is no such thing as a gift that cannot be used to do good and help people, or to do wrong by others." He leans against his jeep, folding his arms across his chest as he looks over towards her. "Give it some thought and then tell me everything you can do with your abilities. That you know of."

Serenity sighs but it is so soft that the girl doesn't hear it herself. She has a habit of not making sounds she can hear unless she has to. "I didn't even know it was a mutant ability until recently. I have two that I know of. I mimic voices and I remember things."

James nods, "I can think of several ways that can be used to save lives just off the top of my head." He smiles, "You could mimic an enemy commander, and give incorrect orders to enemy forces for one to get patrols out of the teams way or just cause confusion in a battle. You can defeat security measures that are tied to a voice identification system to make infiltration easier. You can remember pieces of information that are absolutely integral to the completion of a mission. You can provide intelligence before the mission by remembering something so we know about it before hand. Sometimes just remembering how a conversation went, word for word, all the inflections and tones can make a huge difference." He rolls his shoulders in a shrug, "That's just off the top of my head." He goes to check the container of oil to see if it's empty and ready for another to be put in it's place.

Warpath considers, "Also if you can mimic voices perfectly, you can probably duplicate the abilities of a sonic powered individual like Banshee or Siryn."

Serenity looks thoroughly appalled as he continues to talk. She shrinks back against the car. "Sonic powers? I don't think…" She frowns, "I have mimicked people before." She slowly goes down into a crouch, her eyes growing wide. Her breathing quickens as does her heartbeat. She begins to shake a little.

At the sounds of Serenity's distress James frowns and then turns away from his jeep and walks over towards the girl, crouching down on the balls of his feet he rests one arm on his knee as he reaches with the other to try and lightly touch her on the shoulder, "Serenity?" He asks in as soothing a rumble as he can get. "It's going to be ok." He says softly, "You're safe here."

Serenity flinches violently at the touch and then screams as the contact interacts with her memory. Once she's started screaming, something inside her doesn't want to stop. She doesn't often allow herself to scream as her emotions demand. She begins to shake harder, still locked in whatever trauma she is remembering.

And this is why James isn't a teacher full time. As far as he can see it he has two options, one, knock the girl out as gently as he can or two, let her continue screaming until she has it worked out of her system. The other options he might have had probably aren't available, Xavier, Jean, Rachel, he doesn't know where the three of them are and that makes it difficult. What he /can/ do though is get up and spring into action, shutting the garage door so that her screaming doesn't upset any other students who might be out and about. The other thing he can do, which he does, is put in a call for assistance to whomever might be present at the mansion, and awake to get it… Otherwise he doesn't think his usual plan A (Punch the problem) is an appropriate thing to do at this juncture.

Fortunately for James, this particular memory wasn't a long one. About the time he is done closing up the garage and calling for help, Serenity is collapsing back against the car and falling silent as tears stream down her cheeks.

James doesn't cancel the alert, hoping a full time teacher will come soon so they can figure out what to do. James has learned his lesson though and he goes to get a blanket out of the back of his jeep and just hopes that offering her a blanket won't trigger anymore screaming episodes. Rushing back over towards Serenity he shakes out the blanket until it's a loose bundle and then offers it to her. He doesn't dare try to drape it over her shoulders or anything for fear of harming the girl.

Serenity is still shaking when she takes the blanket from him and curls it around herself. She uses the blanket to hide her face as she flushes with embarrassment and whispers, "I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize, it was my fault for touching you. /I/ am sorry." James rumbles softly. "I should have known better."

Serenity whispers, "No. It's okay. Some of them can last thirty-minutes to an hour. I can't stop them but once or twice Josiah managed to. Stopping is good."

"I don't know how you feel about this but," James keeps his voice quiet as well, though that rumbly baritone is just not good at quiet, "We have people here, faculty, who can try and help with things like that. They could try blocking the bad ones… or changing the emotional severity of it maybe? I don't know how that all works. Not my field of expertise."

Serenity begins to laugh at that. At first it sounds like he might have amused her then as it continues it begins to sound a little hysterical. Finally she stops and whispers, "They're all bad."

"No they're not." James answers, "Unless something happened at the stables I'm not aware of. You seemed to enjoy your dinner, brushing the horse, and having a conversation. I mean, it might have been /weird/ talking to a seven foot tall muscle bound freak, but not /bad/ I hope."

Serenity ohs softly. She chews her lip then whispers, "That's not what I meant… I meant the ones that I remember without trying. I have to try to remember the good things. The bad just comes."

"Well." James looks thoughtful, "I don't know much about it but when I am starting to get overwhelmed by dark memories… and I have my fair share, I try to focus on good ones. Maybe we'll just have to get you some good memories that are strong enough to resist the bad."

Serenity lays despondently back against the car, "Oh god. That's going to happen when I'm recording or on stage. Everyone is going to know I'm crazy."

James raises an eyebrow at that, "Didn't you know?" He asks, "Every performer is crazy. They have to be to want to get in front of all those people and put themselves out there like that. That takes a special brand of crazy." He smiles, "The easiest way to lose to this, is to let it beat you before you even started Serenity. Talk to Jean, or Rachel, talk to Xavier… one of them will be able to help you I am sure of it."

Serenity chews her lip more. It's a wonder she hasn't chewed a hole it in by now. "Jean's the one who can talk in my hear right?"

"All three of them can." James answers.

Serenity nods, "I might be able to talk to one of them then. I can't say those things out loud. I can barely tolerate writing them down. You know? How sometimes it hurts to say something out loud?

"Yeah. After my brother died… it took a long time to be able to talk about it without it hurting." James says with a nod and then he straightens up, "You shouldn't try to hide what can happen to you Serenity, not from the teachers. If it happens again, we need to know what to do ok? For everyone's safety." He smiles, "Ever worked on a car before?" He asks, stepping back over to his jeep with a beckoning wave.

Serenity gets up and follows him even though her legs are still trembling a little. "I haven't even driven a car much less worked on one."

"Alright well here's the basics." James says, "When you're driving around a car, you're sitting in a bomb." He looks over towards her, "The engine block here is a bunch of little chambers that hold the gas, the gas is then ignited with a spark from the spark plugs, which causes the gas to explode. Short version. So you have to respect the vehicle from the get go, not even counting what it can do in motion if you were to hit someone." He tilts his head to the side a bit, "Alright, you're not afraid of a little grease are you? I'm going to give you a crash course on how to give a car a tune up."

Serenity chuckles, "No. I spent the last three years filthy. As long as I have access to a bathroom and a shower, I don't care if I get dirty any more. Just… say everything out loud. I won't remember it if you don't. My brain gets too cluttered."

James smiles and talks her through going through the whole method of doing a tune up on a standard combustion engine which… isn't all that great information in the world of flying armored suits, fuel injected vehicles, and electric cars but it might be good to know if one was stranded somewhere with an older vehicle. Eventually however they will finish and James will make sure she gets to her room before heading off to do teacher things.

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