Just a Little Body Work

April 18, 2015:

Roy gets a load of Ollie's generous gift. As usual, it's all Vorpal's fault.

Drakos Reclamation Services


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Roy hadn't given a second thought to the car that Ollie had so thoughtfully left behind for him, mostly because once he'd gotten ahold of it, it was -ruined-. And Roy was -stuck- with the towing taxes. Convenient little detail omitted by Ollie. So when -someone- rang him up and asked if he could do something with it, Roy grunted. "Do whatever you want with it."

And then he hadn't given it a second thought until he'd gotten a call to come pick up the car. "Huh?" was Roy's intelligent response.

And so here Roy was, standing outside, waiting for… what had the man said his name was again?

The place is called Drakos Reclamation Services, and it's apparently a very fancy automotive junkyard … and that's one, no, three boats jammed together with Atlantean weapon-scarring on them, and a piece of a locomotive, all sitting on concrete pads waiting to be disassembled or something. The three buildings on the property are a one-story store, looking something like an Auto Zone, a three story warehouse of some sort, and a smaller garage that says "Mike's Garage" over the door. And, parked out in front of it, under a tarp, is a car with a pointy front.

And, look, up in the sky, it's a … silver teardrop shaped flying thing that appears to totally ignore the concept of 'inertia' as it snaps into place in the five feet off the ground, also in front of the shop. On the wider side of the teardrop, a 'door' appears to melt into floating steps, and Mike Drakos, in a fairly obvious robotic chassis, hops down from inside, ignoring the steps.

"OK, we're here," he says cheerfully to whoever is inside.

"You know, I hate to admit it, but this might be even cooler than my Rabbit Holes-" Vorpal comes out, also ignoring the steps because cats. "I need to get me a UFO too, the Titans will be tickled." The cheshire grins and straightens up. "So what is it that we're here to do, anyways?" Vorpal had not been paying attention. There was shiny and buttons and flying, so he might have only listened a little. Or less than that.

He hadn't been quite sure what to make of the person who'd offered to take the car and try and fix it up, but looking up at the sky, Roy was almost certain that this was… well, beyond his ability to explain succinctly. Actually, maybe three words would suffice:

"What the FUCK?!"

Lowering the automatically withdrawn crossbow as he recognizes -someone- coming out, Roy grimaces. "Vorp. Don't tell me, you -are- from outer space."

The Mike-Bot grins. OK, he's about six foot five, and he's got a totally metal skin for the parts where 'human skin' would show, and instead of a Transformers face, he's got an articulated facial structure, because it doesn't require him to constantly go liquid metal to change it. So 'grin' might be approximate, but at least it's not Uncanny Valley of the Dolls. Bodies are always experimental for this robot.

"No, we didn't even reach the stratosphere. We came over from Upper West Side Manhattan," he replies. "Hi, I'm Mike Drakos, aka Metal, and you're the guy who is about to take possession of a car, I take it? Oh, nice crossbow."

"I am not, but I am out of this world, don'tchaknow?" Vorpal grins, but then his grin fades away when he notices a rather familiar car. More pancake than car, really. There is a distinct guilty look about him now. VERY guilty. Rather guilty.

"Yeah, I'm the guy. Technically, I guess… the old goat gave me the car, and neglected to tell me that some putz crushed it," Roy responds, offering a hand to Mike. "Roy Harper. You know Vorpal, eh?" Pause. "… Uh. Maybe I'm just on the edge, but did you run into Joker venom or something…?"

Putting away his crossbow, Roy eyes Vorpal. "Tell that to Gar. What're you up to anyway?"

The pancake in question … Mike removes the tarp. It's been rolled up some, and various bits and pieces have been folded and heaped. He nods, "Yeah, I met Vorpal when Red Team and the Titans had a social mixer. I spent most of that fight face down on the ground trying to reboot after some wench with electrical powers tore a hole in the magnetic field."

There MIGHT be enough parts there to restore as a car. Maybe.

"Nothing. Nothing at all. Certainly not smashing cars. No. Not at all." Vorpal says. He doesn't have a shovel in his hand. But he should. "Right. The mixer! That was fun! Except or trashing Berto's place…" pause. "Do you think that's why he hasn't called in so long?"

"Uh huh," Roy sounds skeptical, and he hadn't the slightest clue why Vorpal was talking about a 'Berto', but any further comments is forestalled as he glances back over at the crushed remaints of the car. "Yeah, that's it. The old goat left me -that- when he said I could come take it. Didn't even give me the title, but I guess it doesn't matter, it can be claimed as scrap, right?"

"So I offered to fix this for the owner-of-record and he said he didn't want it, and signed over the title to one Roy Harper, which was by the way kind of a pain to track down, but Oracle told me which one you were. And NOBODY takes a broken car off my lot," Mike says. "It's a matter of honor. So, what features would you like your repaired car to have?"

"Wait… you can repair it, Mike?" Vorpal's guilty look might be lessened by this. He might even tell Roy the whole story… or maybe not.
"How's the old goat doing, anyways?"

"Hell if I know, I haven't seen him in a while. Guess this was his way of making amends." A most undignified snort escapes Roy's nose, before his expression shifts. "Wait, what do you mean, what kind of features? You mean like, a heat seeking missile?"

The arrow-pancake begins to float off the trailer it's been parked on for a while, as the door of the auto repair shop opens.

"If you want heat seeking missiles, but I won't make more than one, because there was one already in this car before it got rolled into a pancake by a huge purple sphere."

SOMEONE got an eyewitness account when he cleaned up the mess.

Vorpal's ears flatten and OH LOOK, CONVENIENT DISTRACTION. "Wow, is that a DeLorean?" he says, walking towards another car.

"A huge purple sphere…?" Roy echoes, scratching the back of his head. "Wait, you were there when it got crushed…?"

Fortunately for Vorpal, at least, the question was directed at Mike.

Returning a jaundiced glare at the car, Roy sighs. "Something that James Bond would love to have in the 22nd century."

"No, it's a Drakos Motors custom," Mike calls out, laughing. "No, I wasn't there, but there were three people who were eager to tell me all about it."

The car parts float into the repair bay, lowering into place; a swarm of gold-colored beetle-shaped robots each the size of a ladybug spreads out over the damaged machinery.

"Twenty-SECOND century. Right. So, you want a functioning spacedrive, it'll cost extra. Parts for those are hard to make."

Llalalalalala not listening! Vorpal did not destroy that car. "You know, with a little body work, this thing could just roll off here…" except that it is a DeLorean, and those things are a rolling leaky gast tank.

"I don't think I need a space drive," Roy wrinkles his nose. "Oh? Who told you about the car? You mean the car was crushed -before- the old goat handed it over?" So much the worse for him.

"Really, just… do whatever you think. It's gonna cost me a crapload, is it?"

Vorpal gets an incredulous look. "A 'little body work'? We're not talking about someone like Christina Hendricks here, we're talking like, Michael Jackson levels here."

"VORPAL! Stay away from the reproduction, it's for a movie. That's why there's a flux capacitor inside!" Mike yells. He shakes his head, looking back to Roy, "Cats. I'm gonna get out the red dot in a minute."

He waits for the cleaning bugs to remove all the gunk, then starts making the various layers peel apart so they can also be cleaned and accessed.

"So, I could put the engine back into its original state, but it wouldn't be 22nd century worthy unless we're talking the 22nd century as envisioned by 1990s film-makers. And that would require that it run on blood or something."

A toolchest rolls up, and the bottom drawer extends, revealing a set of five pale, redly-glowing disks.

It looks like the only thing that really SURVIVED on the Arrowcar was the green paint job.

"I peeled the poor thing out of the streets of Metropolis, and he's the one whose being billed for the repair job," Mike says, grinning again. Something kinda 'kirby-esque' in that grin, with the energy glow in the back of the throat…

"But… it's a DeLorean. I want! So much! Do you take I.O.Us?" because on his security guard job, he could probably buy it in six hundred easy payments. "Oh, fine, fine… " the cheshire sighs and walks back to the wreck that is the ArrowCar. "It's not so bad, really. I mean, I didn't do that much damage to it, it was the momentum that the wi- I mean, it's not that much work that needs to be done, really. Just a bit of spit and polish," Vorpal says, through his foot.

"He…?" Roy wasn't sure, until Vorpal speaks up, upon which the cheshire gets a -look-. "You did -that- to Ollie's car? High-Five!" Hand goes up, at least until Roy blinks, quickly lowering it. "Wait, you did that to -my car-?"

Another look. "What the hell did you do to it, roll around on it? You must be denser than an elephant."

"I'm two years booked on custom work, Vorpal," Mike answers. "I will consider your request for a Delorean repro when I get caught up. You're in the queue."

He waves a hand and the sheet-metal parts separate out. He nods to Roy. "It was Ollie's car when he did it. It's your car now, which means we need to undo it."

There's not even much of a suspension left in there, but that's ok… there's other metal available, and five ingots float in from the storage room and start splitting into thinner pieces.

"We're gonna start with a better frame… are you in love with the goofy looking 'arrow' design he had before?"

"Hey, I was being tossed around by this crazy witch with super-blasty powers. I cocooned myself in a construct to cushion the impact and… well. ArrowCar." Vorpal sighs, "Green Arrow screamed at me that I owed him gajillion million dollars for it. Then I put him through a rollercoaster of Rabbit Holes and he screamed like a little girl AND puked himself." Because… cats can be vindictive fuckers.

Snorting, Roy starts to walk around the car. "Arrow? Nah. Not my style. He had a Bat complex, you know? Arrow-copter, Arrow-boat, Arrow-cave… I'm surprised I didn't end up being called Bobbin the Boy Archer."

Pausing to scratch his chin, Roy considers. "I've never really thought about it. Probably a convertible…? Something I could take my girls out in, but that I -could- drive around in like a bat out of hell… dammit, I mean, like… oh you know."

"OH yeah, I do know." Mike is all ABOUT the cars. So. Something sporty and quick but also fairly safe… not really a convertible in the sense of a 'thing that will let you get decapitated by accident.

"OK, got it." The ingots begin spinning themselves out into a framework, something almost organic, and lacy. Extremely tiny black motes begin to flow from a barrel near the back wall, as the gold-colored beetles swarm back into their container below the floor, to be replaced by red-gleaming similarly sized and shaped robots. The frame, carbon-nanotube-fiber and titanium steel, is left in place after a minute.

"So Vorpal, what does it feel like when you open a rabbit hole?"

"So he felt his arrows couldn't compare to the batarang? I hear there's a complex named after that…" Vorpal smirks. And then Mike asks that question.

"… it doesn't feel like anything. I just open the hole and go in. Why? How should it feel?"

"Yeah, it's called Bat Envy," Roy mutters. He so -wasn't- about to bring up Dick envy, for that matter.

Instead, he watches the car. "Huh… maybe some sort of weaponry, msotly for defense, otherwise…?"

Mike, being a robot, has a fairly disciplined mind, and does not descend into any depths of perverse innuendo when asking things about rabbit holes, or envy of the heroic features of other people. No, he has an app to do that for him if he needs to. Instead, he quietly answers, "If there's a sense of feedback of any kind, then I might be able to predict which sensor will best analyze the teleportal process."

Meanwhile, more parts form out of the same material, gimbals, gyres, and springs mostly. The metal, in part, comes from the carcass of the former Arrowcar.

"Well…" Vorpal says, thinking, "I guess I just sort of feel the… flow? The flow of, um. No, there's no feedback. It's more along the lines of sliding along something smooth? I can't really explain it in words…" if only Gar had heard that, Vorpal being at a loss for words…

N… ngh. No, he couldn't say it. As tempting as it was. He wasn't going down -that- rabbit hole either…

"By the way… where -did- you get all those other ships…?" He motions to the UFO, the Atlantis ships, and the DeLorean.

"The UFO and the DeLorean I made myself. The ships were aground on the beach after the big fight with Atlantis' armies, they had some toxic materials on board and I'm a class three decontamination site," Mike says, watching the parts as they're being fabricated. He holds a hand out and a hologram flickers into existance above it, a schematic for a car body.

"Ah, right, we need some copper and some aluminum… and one of those teflon pans from the scavenge pile…" There are noises from behind one of the closed doors. Shortly afterwards, more materials float in through a pipeline in the ceiling… there doesn't seem to be an ENGINE as such, though.

"Um, guys…" Vorpal says as he hears the comm going off in his ear. "Gotta head out. Something going on that needs my attention. Mike, I'll talk to you about you prodding me and running tests on my holes. But I've got to vamoose. Ta!" And with that, the cheshire opens a Rabbit Hole and steps through.

Pause. "… so, you're a proctologist too?" Roy asks.

"Not particularly. He wants to know if those teleport-gates he opens are going to damage space-time. I have some advanced sensors in another chassis, which is flying in from Metropolis right now." Mike is so boring. He frowns as he looks at the schematic.

"OK, I'm missing three impeller flanges, and I can't just fab those from nothing without … I'm sorry, I'll have to call you when the parts come in, Roy. Do you need a loaner car?"

"Nah, that's fine…" Roy cants his head. "I rode in on my bike, so I'll probably just take it back. This is going on Ollie's bill, right? Feel free to jazz it up…"

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