1964-12-30 - Mystery of the Missing Oil Pan
Summary: Mike Matthews meets Reed Richards in the Mystery of the Missing Oil Pan.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
reed mike-matthews 

For the past several months, Mike has been seen often around the Future Foundation and the Baxter Building, usually in the company of Johnny, though he has been, in recent months, given access to come work in the garage. There, he and Johnny are often working on their bikes. Today though, he is on his own, settled on the floor with various engine parts disassembled in front of him, cleaning each one meticulously in the way that Johnny had shown him before getting them set aside to dry thoroughly before reassembly.

There is a giant sigh in the room, currently out of sight from the young off-worlder. After a few moments, there it is again. What we can see that Mike can't yet, is that Reed Richards is sitting, criss-cross applesauce, on the ground in front of a lawnmower. His cheeks inflate like large balloons as a third times he sighs as he's trying to think.

Mike Matthews leaaaaans over, probably just becoming aware that someone else is actually in the room with him at the sounds of the sighing. Taking up a rag to wipe at his hands, he wanders over in the direction of the sighs, until he locates Reed sitting in front of the lawnmower. He's dressed in a pair of workboots and jeans with a plain white t-shirt on. He grins a little lopsidedly and asks, "Sounds like that lawnmower is telling you a very sad story."

Reed looks over his shoulder and shakes his head, "A bit. A year ago I fitted it with a self-denigrating oil as a way to be better for the environment. It ate through the pan and I'm not sure why, yet. And, if it was as corrosive as that, you figure there'd be damage to the floor." Reed shakes his head, "Scientifically, it makes no sense."

"Maybe the reaction between the oil and the pan took away the corrosive properties, leaving it inert by the time that it reached the floor? Or potentially, the corrosive properties affect the particular components of the metal in the pan and not those in the floor and it evaporated eventually," Mike suggests as he crouches down on the other side of the mower, looking it over thoughtfully. Then after a moment's thought he says, "Oh.. hey.. I'm Mike, by the way.. Johnny's friend." He begins to offer a hand then thinks better of it. Even wiped off, his hands are still pretty grimy.

"Hey," Reed says with a nod. "I'm Reed." Now that the boring introductions are finished, they can get back to the important item at hand. The question. "Those are all good hypotheses, but the complex chemical composition of the oil leads all of that has highly unlikely." He ponders and his finger comes up impossibly long to brush again at his chin.

Mike Matthews doesn't seem to mind the brevity of the introduction. In fact he's just as interested in what happened to the mystery oil as anything else. "Could it have broken down and it was something in the breakdown that caused the corrosion? That might cause just enough for the pan to go without it making it to the floor." Then he shrugs, "Or if we want to go real simple, was it moved after the corrosion and there's just a hole in the floor somewhere else?" He grins a little lopsidedly.

"Those are good questions as well. It hasn't been moved, that much I can tell. I left it here, precisely. I remember because I put the tires directly on this seam in the flooring." Reed points. "As to the first, no one here mows the lawn on the top floor but me. Ben's hands are simply too big and I would never ask Sue to do something so beneath her. Johnny?" Reed turns, tilting his head as if to say 'come on.' "Let us be honest. Johnny would not mow a lawn."

Mike Matthews can't help but laugh a bit at that and says, "I don't know. Johnny could surprise you, but no I don't figure he'd be much for mowing the lawn in general. And, well, I just use the tools down here to work on my bike, and Rule #2 of working in here was — don't touch Reed's things." He grins.

Reed doesn't even turn back or even hesitate, "No one ever listens to that rule, even though they know it and can recite it at all times when blaming others." He leans down and gets on his hands and knees as he inspects closer, closer, closer. Necks aren't supposed to turn like that. "Oh."

Mike Matthews had been told about Reed's abilities, but actually watching the impossible stretching chin scratching and now the neck-twisting, he actually can't help but stare a little for a moment before he remembers he was being spoken to. "Hey, I listen to that rule," he chuckles then and then asks, "Oh? See something?"

"And for that, Michael, I think you." It's not clear why Reed always tends to use everyone's "given" name. Even though that might not be Mike's given name. "And, yes, I do." He reaches his fingers in then around, eyes darting above the lawnmower as if he's mentally mapping the interior as his fingers work inside. Eventually he pulls out a screw and flicks it across the floor. "It wasn't eaten through. The oil didn't carrode as I thought it wouldn't. It was something far more nefarious my friend."

Neither Mike nor Michael are Mon-El of Daxam's given name, but really, he doesn't seem to mind the elongation of his faux identity. It is what it says on his driver's license, after all. "Welcome," he says good-naturedly and watches with fascination as Reed stretches around the lawmower and pokes around inside. Then the screw skitters across the floor with a tinking sound and then a roll until it eventually comes to a stop. "No? What happened?"

"I don't know which…maybe Johnny…maybe Ben…." Reed begins, more satisfied in figuring it out than anything else. "Someone wanted the oil. Maybe for a car….Maybe for something else." His mind twists as to what Ben might need it for and he recoils. "Someone needed it, unscrewed it, and took the pan /and/ the oil." He shrugs, "Otherwise, the screw would have been gone." Reed gets to his feet. "Mike, it was nice meeting you. I must say that it's not often when I first get to meet someone that I get to go through a riddle with them. I shall remember you fondly for a very long time, Mr. Michael."

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