1964-02-21 - Chop Shop Hop
Summary: Ford shows up at Schwarzsteng's chop shop hoping to bring a young friend home. The workers take exception to this.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
ford michael ne schwarzsteng 

A chop shop in Hell's Kitchen. It's nothing new. But in this case, tonight, a particular chop shop has a special guest. Ford was not here to engage in any sort of hero work. He never did that. It just came with too much trouble and too much responsibility and lord knows, once you get started on that, people start coming to you all the time to solve this problem and that problem, and that's to say nothing of the government wanting an accounting of your activities. So no, he was not here to play hero.

No, tonight, Ford was here to retrieve something… or, more accurately, someone. A young man by the name of Alan. Ford didn't know him too well, aside from being a resident on his street. But his sister had come to him earlier in the day saying that she was worried for her brother. She feared that, in order to earn some money for their sickened mother, Alan was turning to less than legal work to make ends meet. Boy was only 16 years old… he shouldn't have to shoulder that kind of decision. And Ford was never one to turn down a lady's request, so at her urging, he closed up shop on time for once and followed Alan into the fringes of Hell's Kitchen, and this particular chop shop.

Ford had planned to simply walk in and retrieve young Alan. Wasn't a hard request. But when he explained that he was here to turn the boy away from illegal work, well, the folks at this chop shop just weren't hearing any of it! In fact, they were downright violent about the whole thing! As guns were drawn on Ford, he sighed, shaking his head. This was going to turn into one of those 'unlikely hero' moments, wasn't it? Of course, Ford, being who he was, shrugged off the resulting gunfire like it was rain, before promptly closing in on one of the thugs and grasping him by the scruff of his shirt.

Not five seconds later, another thug came bursting through the loading bay door of the building they were in, while the rattling of more gunfire echoed from inside, along with an avalanche of insults and curse words. Yeah… it was going to be one of those nights…


It's another night in a strange place where strange things happen all the time. Guy can't even have a smoke without it breaking out in some kind of trouble. Exhaling, letting the drift of smoke curl away without looking at it Michael can hear the noise and the flashes from the windows that whoever's in there's tooled up and ready for action.

Thing is… Michael isn't. Been a while since he held a gun, longer still without the shaking of his hand and pounding of his heart stopping him. It was a different time. Different place. Different person. Still, there's a war going on in there close enough to rival the one he experienced out there. Hopefully he can pick his way around from the alley he's in to somewhere that's away from…

Well. Away from the action. Away from the events. Away from everything he can do nothing about. Yeah, there's heroes and stories of impossible things done by even more impossible people every day. These days… he just isn't one of them. So, staying low and as out of sight as he can, Michael picks his way towards the end of the alley, looking out to see how in the name of the wee man he's gonna cover that large, empty, well lit area where deliveries come and people go.


As Michael approached the loading bay, he'll notice across from it is a powder blue Ford 300. The same one Ford drove up in. And now, the perch for someone who very clearly isn't human. Not entirely, anyways. Most of her takes the form of a shapely young woman. Mid twenties. Long dark hair flowing in the night wind. Pleasently curved. Long legs… that look insectiod in nature. She has strange irridescent wings on her back, which twitch every so often. And that pretty face is marred by a large, imposing pair of insect like mandibles jutting from her cheeks. She sniffs at the air, even though her eyes are on the loading bay door.

"Someone's sticking their dirty fingers where they shouldn't be… but… oooooh, smells good~ Might even be a cutie~" She blinks as two more thugs are tossed through the opening Ford had made in the doorway, tossing them in a pile as he cleaned up inside. "Alan. Alan, where are you? Come on, this is not a place for you. Come on out." The woman on the car shook her head. "Poor sap… sounds like another wannabe hero. A shame- wait." She sniffed at the air again as she hopped off the car. "I smell… the stink… yep. It's the stink of… foreigners. Smells… Scottish? No, Irish? Bleh! Either way… where are you..?"


Ne doesn't really care for cars. Mostly because she never learned to drive. Chopshops were a business for people who actually had people working under them and the woman in white was a ways from that. Being mute did make it harder to tell people what to do after all. She did however, have an interest in the small pizza shop here in Hell's kitchen, her destination for the evening.

That is, until the sounds of gunfire draw her gaze towards the street, a frown on the young mutant's lips as she slings her parasol over her shoulder and moves towards the disturbance.


It's been a long day already. The parts for his special project have come in three months late due to a mixup in customs, and his lunch was cut short by two bank roberies and a burning building. Stress levels are high, but at least he has his favorite show waiting for him back at the office.

He walks along with his head held high as he whistles The Andy Griffith Show theme a spring in his step as he clicks his heels occasionally together. He stands towering above all those around him, his eyepatch covering over the light of that right eye of his. A bright smile of white teeth peeks through his whistlin lips, the shadow from his hat almost a mystical darkening effect that hides his features from view.

Yet it's as he nears the shop that his stride slows down, his whistling peters out as well. He's left standing there for a moment, his jaw going slack. The ring of gunshots the screams of combat. There's something going on at the shop, and he's got to help out if he wants there to be a job to come home to.

Kneeling down pressure begins to build up in his legs a grinding and whirring of gears as the joints tighten into place. His body lets out a low hum. A single hand reaches up to remove his eye-patch a glowing red light beneath where eye should be illuminates the pitch black wrought iron that covers half of his face. A light click as the pressure peaks.

THWROOOM a ploom of smoke goes out to either side his legs slamming from crouch to full stand sends the giant flying through the air soaring like an eagle the rest of the way. The mechanical eye darts around one hand held to his head to keep his hat right where it belongs. Falling hard he slams down into the ground a single fist pointed into the asphalt. His trench-coat is ripped open revealing all manner of glowing red tubes running along his body between the clockwork mechanisms that lead him to function. The ploom of smoke around him raises up into the air as he comes to a stand, his jacket fluttering back to either side covering the massive pistol strapped to his thigh.

There's a moment of just silent glares given around through the gunshots as several ping off his form. "What on this green earth are you people doing to my shop?!" He shouts out with a slight english accent, arms thrown out to either side. "I leave for an hour to pick up some parts and a snack and this is what happens? Can't I trust any of you to go five minutes without starting something?"


Now… he's proper pan. Worst of all he's being smelled out. Like the list of things they can do wasn't long enough! Okay, between a rock wall and a hard cold metal dumpster here. One thing… no. Even if he could… he'd rather… would he? Nope. Turns out just 'cause everything else has been a loss he's not quite ready to give up on himself just yet.

Curls of smoke come from him, his cigarette long since burned out and discarded, at first slight wisps then a shroud, covering him completely, then building to a cloud that slowly starts to fill the alleyway. Pushing out the ambient air and replacing it with more of the self created smokey cloud that's the reminder. Once something. Now… less than nothing. At least, within here, there won't be scent or smell to track and, maybe, the cloud's deep and thick enough to avoid being easily seen.

It's a fools chance, and foolish doesn't quite cover how he feels right now, but, maybe, it's better than dead. Still and silent the man inside the cloud focuses on doing that which he hates so he can at least be alive to hate it.


Ford tossed another thug through the door before stepping out, sighing as he dragged another goon behind him, coming to investigate the noise. He looked up to note the newly assembling group of nutjobs. "Oh, great. Because this night just can't get much lower. Mob enforcers…" he muttered, eyeing both the strange bug woman and the cybernetic hulk of a man. "Okay, look, I'm not here to pick a fight. I'm just trying to find a young man who started working here recently." Ford shook his head and dropped the goon to the ground beside him.

The bug woman hopped off the car as she smiled at Ford. "Ooooooh, I was /right/! He IS a cutie~ And… *sniff sniff* all American to boot! Ooooh, I could just eat you up~" Ford eyed the woman for a moment, caught somewhere between humoring her and getting to business. The snarky side won out. "Well, I've got a hot dog with some special sauce, if you're interested, Miss…?"

"Mantis. Miss Mantis, if you'd be so kind, sweetheart." The woman sniffed again, eyes drifting to the smoke cloud nearby, not making it entirely clear if she could see the smoke or just smell it. "…smells like you've got something on fire, Tin Man. Odd… don't smell the heat, though…" she said, nodding briefly at Hans. "Best to put this do-gooder down before things get a bit out of hand."

Ford sighed, shaking his head. "Look, I'm just looking for a young man who started working here recently. Name's Alan. About 16? His sister is worried sick about him, so I'm here to bring him home, alright?" He said, looking between Hans and Miss Mantis, who seemed to be squinting at him a bit more closely.


Hey, it's a full dance card! Fortunately he wasn't invited. This might work out after all! Picking slowly back through the alley still pluming smoke and adding to the cloud for all he's worth Michael carefully feels along the ground. placing a hand carefully down, moving a little, then doing so again. If he's got used to these bigger streets there has to be a drain or a vent or something nearby!

After this… yeah. He'll make the call. Anything's better than being alone, helpless and powerless in at least one sense of the word. Assuming he gets away from here without being dead or worse. All the future will have to wait though until he can put the present into the past.


Ford blinked as the big cyborg was, thankfully, not seemingly in the mood for a fight! Good. He might be getting his young friend out of there soon enough! Stepping aside and letting him walk inside, Ford simply watched Miss Mantis as she glared at Hans for not putting up so much as a brawl with him. "This how you repay the Gnucci family!? You walking hunk of junk!?" Ford shook his head, before noticing the big cloud of smoke piling up in the alley nearby. Did he… set something on fire!? Grabbing the unhinged door on the ground nearby, Ford moved over quickly to the smoke cloud, lifting the door up and swinging it mightily like a fan, blowing out the smoke.

Inside, if Hans heads closer towards the back, he'll find a young man cowering in fear behind a box of parts, not quite sure if he's frightened or relieved to see the cyborg. This is, without a doubt, Alan. "Is… is the gunfight over? I just… uhm… can… can I go home, please?"


"Ma'am, I'm here to fix cars, that's what I'm paid to do here." Hans points out, stopped in his stride, the black gentleman places hands in either pocket. "I'm not one of your enforcers, and neither are m-" He stops, looking right over towards the smoke. "Aww hell, what did they do to my shop, tell me you didn't set it on fire…"

There's a disappointment to his stride, as he makes his way to the kid in the back. "Alan… you know I should fire you for bringing so much heat our way." He reaches into his pocket past the pistol on his hip. "There's a chance a lotta people are going to be out of a job now." As he pulls out not a gun but a wad of cash, passing it over.


The smoke parts easily and, fortunately, the breeze is felt before it fully disapates so Michael can stop producing, and giving any tell tale signs of his being the source of, the smoke. Doesn't stop him being crouched down in the middle of an alley with some super strong big man… that he can see at a glance, no doubt the… for a want of a better word… lady's probably about too. Sometimes… it's like his nana used to say

If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again. Then give up. Nae point makin' a fool ae yersel'.

Sitting where he is, lighting a fresh cigarette and looking straight at the former fan Michael says, "Fair do's big man. If you're gonnae gie me the shut out jus' lemme finish this first, y'know?"


Alan seems shocked and nervous that he's done something horribly wrong… but silently accepts the money and runs for the door, or rather, the door way, looking out and freezing at the sight of Miss Mantis, who spares him only a passing flash of rage before turning back to the doorway, then to Ford. "…you'll regret this dearly, Tin Man." she snarls, before spreading her chirping wings and taking to the air and over the nearest buiding out of sight. Evidently, the gust of wind from Ford's door swing has thrown Michael's pheromones far enough that she doesn't notice him.

Meanwhile, Ford just stared at Michael crouching for a smoke before laying the door down. "Uh… sorry about that. I thought there was a fire. I… was right, though, it was just… smaller than I expected." Laying the door against a nearby wall, Ford nodded at Michael. "Ah… sorry about that. You, uh… may want to get home. This place is kind of a hot bed for bad folks, you know." Perking up, he looked to see the young man standing in the doorway. "You must be Alan! About time… hey, thanks in there! This is all I wanted! Come on, son. Your sister is worried sick about you." He nodded towards his powder blue car as the young man immediately scrambled for the back seat.


Walking back to the doorway Hans is a bit unamused. He looks right towards her as she leaves. "You know if you hadn't called them the 'goodies' I would have been a bit more inclined to help." A low duck for him to pop out from the doorway. "Coming in tomorrow for work too right Alan?" His own attention drifting down. Visibly a bit disappointed in the situation.


Well. Sometimes you pull something from nowhere. Sometimes it's the setup for a bigger fall later. He knows that one all too well. But, whatever the what, the whole thing in the place there seems to be blowing over. This brings a deep exhale, curling smoke as he does so. Then, taking another draw he looks at his jacket and pats his pockets. He finds, in one, a card. In the other an unspent bill. Deep in thought but drawing no conclusions yet Michael stands and, on the floor under where he was sitting, he finds a quarter. "Close enough. No the most dramatic of signs but, beggars cannae be choosers. Y'know?" he says to himself. Making his way further down the alley, sticking to being out of sight, he takes a walk. Out of sight, mind, and earshot. Until he can find a payphone.


Alan doesn't even respond. He just seems to want to get out of the area as fast as he can. Ford, however, spoke up for him. "I'm afraid not. He's trying to earn a bit extra for his mom. She's sick. Not sure with what, but if you don't mind, I'd rather he not be back here anymore. As you can see, things seem to have a habit of… blowing up around here." Ford picked up the door, looking after the strange man who seemed to find whatever he was looking for in the alleyway, and out of sight. How… wierd? All of Hell's Kitchen seems to be odd.

"…right. Anyways, no, I'm afraid not. But, I apologize for the damage… and taking after Alan." Granted, Hans probably knew more about Alan than Ford himself did, but he was grateful all the same for making his job easier. And that roll of bills Alan was carrying didn't go unnoticed. "Name's Ford. Ford Benett. If you ever need a good mechanic, or someone to give ya a spit shine… look for Tannenworth Garage in East Village. If you happen to be in the area some time." Giving him a two finger salute, Ford marched back to his car, hopping in the driver's seat and turning the ignition. "…if you need money, son, be at my garage 8 AM tomorrow morning in some old work clothes. I'll see what I can do ya." Alan simply nodded quietly, not sure what all was going on… but simply glad to be alive and going home.

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