1965-04-16 - Even Cowgirls
Summary: Amber, the new maintenance mutant, makes her first appearance around the mansion.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
billy scott-summers kwabena amber julie 

The little fountain at the edge of the garden has stopped working for some annoying reason. Dispatched to make repairs, Amber arrives on the scene with what she hopes are the appropriate tools to effect repairs.
"Okay, little cherub, why ain't you piddlin'?", she says to herself in a twang-y, Southwest Texan accent. "Let's see to your workin's then.", she adds, starting to dismantle the plinth.

Billy is not generally known around the institute, though a 'Billy Kaplan, not a mutant but somehow powered' was recently vetted by Xavier as being allowed on the grounds. He's not here, and then, he is, he just sorta pops into being there. He's wearing what looks a little bit like a uniform, only its deep green along the front and back but with bands all along the sides that are black with images of stars and galaxies. Then there's the red hooded cloak, but he doesn't have the hood up.

Scott Summers has been out on a run, dressed down for once in just a t-shirt and pants. His ruby-quartz glasses sit in place across his nose as he finally slows to a trot, returning to the Institute after a long and satisfying jog. He wipes his brow and takes a breath at the edge of the garden, cocking his head as he sees the Texan girl working on the fountain.

"We do have a maintenance man, you know," he calls out with a hint of a smile.

There is a particular smell that follows Kwabena when he emerges from the woods. It's a pungent smell that some who flirt with the hipster scene might be familiar with, and could explain how the typically quiet mutant seems a bit more mellow than usual.

Noticing some gathered, Kwabena heads in their direction. He's dressed casually today, wearing a pair of brown slacks, hiking boots and an X-emblazoned tee shirt. A curios eyebrow is cocked to both Amber and Billy, unfamiliar faces, though the others are recognized and met with a brief upnod as he draws near. "What is wrong with it?" the African asks.

There's some open garage-bay doors from the estate's rather extensive attached stables. Some of which is being used by shop class, where a car cranks and cranks and does not start. Dizzy's voice, New York Italian from the city, is piping up over this, "Okay, okay, Okay, what'd I tellya, here? Four basic things. What's missing." There's a long pause in the noise factor, possibly a few clinking sounds.

"Yepper, and it's me.", Amber replies without turning, still slowly disassembling the statue and examining the bits as she goes. She's gonna have to put it back together, isn't she? "Okay, that goes there, that goes THERE…." she says to herself…"So if I…", she muses.."Pick this up….here…whole thing should…"

Whoa. Smell. Billy lifts a hand up to pinch his nose, not at all familiar with it except his recent introduction to ew. "Hi." he squeaks with his other hand lifted up as a wave, "I don't go here. But the Professor did his whole mindy-ready-thingy when my friends who DO go here wanted me to be able to stop by, soo. Hi. I'm Billy." Pause. He puffs himself up slightly, and says in a slightly more grand tone of voice, "Or, Wiccan, as my enemies know me." But he deflates almost instantly, "Truth be told the only real enemy so far was a weird yellow slug man with a transdimensional media conglomerate and a hate-on for my mom. Anyways."

Scott Summers sweeps a hand back through his sweat-damp hair as he approaches. He's about to respond to Amber's statement - mostly wondering if she was actually on the payroll - when Billy speaks and earns himself a long, slow deadpan look from the field commander.

"I really do need to spend more time reading the personnel files," he mutters to himself. "Scott Summers, Cyclops. Pleased to meet," he says. "Well, if you're into repairs, I imagine Julie's about as good a hand as there is to pick it up from. Learn at the feet of the Buddha and all that," he says.

"Shift," Kwabena tells Billy by way of introduction, leaving the real name off for the time being. It isn't intentional at all, but, well, the fellow went and got stoned in the woods, what can you expect?

Reaching into his back pocket, Kwabena produces a pack of smokes and a zippo, sparing no hesitation in lighting up before eyeballing Amber and her work on the fountain with a critical eye. Not that he'd have the first clue what she's doing with the thing, but it's enough to hold his interest for a moment.

Amber looks over her shoulder to cast an appraising eye at the gathered crowd. "Amber Muller, new groundskeeper.", she says, tapping her hat in Scott's direction. "Now, it sems to me, y'all have a lot more muscle than I do, so, might I beg you for an assist? This sumbitch is gonna be heavy as lead.". What she forgets to do is turn the water off.

There is, eventually, a loud vrooooom from an engine in the garage, and from Dizzy a "And pop goes the weasel! Now, easy on the gas, willya?" A little while later, class is presumably done, and the girl makes her way out into the spring afternoon, and sees a bit of a crowd gathering.

"Not personnel, just an ally. Cyclops." explains Billy to Scott with a little shrug, "I'm not a mutant." He then moves over towards Amber, reaching a hand out as the whole thing trembles briefly as bands of invisible force wrap around it, "What do you need lifting? I don't want to rip any part …well, apart. That'd be bad." His hand stays held out as he asks. A glance over his shoulder to Kwabena has him blinking and grinning, "Swift." He greets.

Scott Summers nods, "Any properly organized filing system would include allies," he says as he moves to to offer any help he can, "I don't mind adding a little elbow grease," he says. Never let it be said he's above getting his hands dirty.

"No, Shift," Kwabena corrects. "Or just… Kwabena." Which of course is not any easier. He's certainly able to help in the elbow grease department, but with two stepping in to help, he's happy to hang back and smoke. "You, ah, may want to turn off de watah," he points out.

Amber blinks a little as Billy seems to take hold of the thing without touching it. "Okay…that's new and different.", she comments. "And thank you, Mister Scott for steppin' up. Now, all's we gotta do is move it of the..", she says, setting actions to words. And is rewarded by a torrent of water directly to her face, blowing off her Stetson and nearly knocking her down.

"Oh, did Charles not tell you? I thought the whole… testing… thing… I dunno, my mutant friends are here and they got increasingly awkward at not talking about it, so you know, test. I believe in your cause and thought to try to help." But then, Billy blinks, his other hand coming up even as water erupts, any water that might be sparying towards him sliding around a sphere of force he fashions in the instant instinctively. He is by no means the most powerful telekinetic in this school, but some water spray, he can handle, "Whoooa." And then he presses his hand down, forcing the escaping water back into its pipe, his jaw clenching and eyes narrowing slightly as concentration suddenly becomes required.

Julie comes along about in time to see the statue's present state of partial disassembly, and points to Kwabena with a click of the tongue, "Yeah, probably we better do that before…" Sploosh. A somewhat wetter Diz starts waving her hands about over the ground, "Arright, where are you, little freaking…" Eventually, something under a metal cover squeaks and creaks, with an odd 'vvvr' sound behind it, and the water… is cut off. "Hey." Diz pronounces. "I guess we found where it got stopped up, anyway."

Scott Summers nods, "Shift has something of a point in regard to the water," he says, watching as Billy uses his talents to do just that. "A good lesson to learn early around here: The Professor doesn't always tell you everything. You just have to learn to trust his judgment in that regard. Luckily, he's never let me down," he says.

"Good job, Diz," he calls out to Julie.

Amber stands there blinking stupidly for a heartbeat, spluttering. "Turn off the water, thank you, sir. Important safety tip." she chuckles to Kwabena, then tries to tip her hat, only… "Where the hell did my hat go to?", she says, looking around. The fact that she's now soaked doesn't seem to penetrate. "Okay, important diagnostic step complete. Clearly, a lack of water is not the issue here.", she nods.

Regarding the water, Kwabena just stands back and watches, a very mild mannered grin on his face. He takes another drag of the cigarette and remains quiet, his point clearly well made.

Water done? Billy still holds his hands up for a bit longer, only a little damp from the spray before he put up a telekinetic shield. But still, cautious. "Right so there's Shift, Cyclops…" he looks to Amber, then over to Julie. Since he couldn't tell who shut off the water completely he's not sure which one is 'Diz'. "Ladies, one of you is Diz?" He murmurs softly, "Where's the drycleaner? Where'sthedrycleanerwhere'sthe/dry/cleaner?" And everyone wet? Is dry.

Scott Summers smiles, "It always helps to have steps prepared in advance - although having someone with the power to dry you off always helps, too," he says. He pushes back up to standing from where he was kneeling to take a look, putting his hands on his hips. He walks over a few steps and finds Amber's hat, picking it up and handing it to the Texan girl, "Never quite understood the ten gallon thing. I don't think you could fit that much in this hat," he says.

Julie smirks a bit, drying a hand on a rag from her back pocket enough to shake a ciggy out of a case of her own. "Hey, Billy. Long time, no see." Well, possibly Billy had just seen Diz fly a few remaining X-men out of a certain place in Africa …because no, SHIELD doesn't need to know about Blackbird as yet. "Coulda been since Kaleb had that ear problem, if you forgot." She does take advantage of the sudden dryness to light a smoke.

Amber gives Scott a shrug. "Wasn't my idea, sir.", she says, gratefully accepting her hat back and giving it a gentle wringing out. "Got no control over the nomenclature, but it works just fine.", she smiles. Finally turning to address all and sundry, she offers a little smile and her right hand. "Name's Amber, newly hired keeper of grounds hereabouts. My apologies if I was a mite brusque just before, just tryin' to solve a problem." she adds in her purring, Southwest Texas twang. "So it's…Cyclops, is it?" she asks, looking to Scott. "Who's Shift and Diz? And you are, sir?" she asks, offering her hand to Kwabena.

Billy freezes; as Julie makes a connection to what was him, masked, there's a moment of panic. Electricity arcs from between his fingers and crawls up his arms before dissipating back into him. In a very, very even tone he says to Julie, "Compartmentalization. _That_ has nothing to do with _me_ being here and _me_ being here has nothing to do with _that_. You're mixing things up. I'm Billy Kaplan. I'm Jewish. These 'mutant registration' noises concern me, as my brother's a mutant. I'm here because I want to in whatever way I can, personally, help this place be safe, secure, and stable. No one anywhere around my day job has any idea I'm here." Translation: He doesn't even THINK the word SHIELD around here.

Scott Summers nods, "Cyclops out in the field, but Scott's fine for around the place," he says. "Shift," he says pointing to Kwabena, "And Diz aka Dizzy aka Julie, our resident grease monkey," he says.

He nods at Billy's words, "Everybody has their own reasons. As long as we're working towards the same cause, that's what's important," he says.

Julie holds up her hands, with a nod to Scott and Amber regarding names, and says, "Ay, ay, you was cool here when we thought you was a mutant and you're still cool now, right? The Prof don't… segregate that way. Or other ways, either."

"Gotcha, Scott, Billy, Julie and Shift." Amber nods slowly, politely nodding to each in order of address.. "Pleased to meet you. My apologies for the waterworks, guess I wasn't payin' attention.", she says with a bit of a wince. "New job and all." The mention of mutants makes her pause, eyes narrowing for a moment. "Well, best I might as well come clean…I am one.", she says, pausing to dig around for a bit of undergrowth not completely sodden. "I make fire.", she says simply. holding up a hand of leaves and twigs and looking at them. For one heartbeat, Amber's brown eyes go RED, and she's holding a mass of flame.

"Easy to fix." accepts Billy to Amber, though he eyes Julie a moment, and he half-shrugs, "Yeah, and I thought I was like, you know, Zeus' grandson for awhile too. Turns out I'm a wizard of the first order, crazy right?" Whatever that means. "But Kellan and Kaleb, and Vic— my brother— are students here. But it occurs to me you don't seem to have much in the way of magical protection. No wards at all. I'm shit at wards but shit wards are better then no wards." He blinks at Amber, lifting a hand instinctively, throwing up a field of protection even though one is not needed. "Careful." he cautions.

Kwabena watches Billy curiously as he chants, but noticing that the wet ones are suddenly dry, he actually chuckles a bit. "Now dat is a thing dat comes in handy," he says, before turning back to Amber. "I am Shift," he tells her, and offers a hand in greeting. "Or Kwabena, but Shift is easiah."

He steps back quickly when she turns her hand into flame, a flicker of alarm passing through his silver eyes. To settle himself, he takes a drag of the cigarette, before remarking in an offhand way to Billy, "Registration is bullshit."

Julie nods to Kwabena. Then Amber. "And, yeah, it really is, that registration thing. Ain't like Uncle Sam ever asked nicely before, and I got work out there." She adds to Amber, "But yeah, around here, and certain other places, sure, I'm a mutant, too, like most here." She indicates the place where the shutoff valve was. "I make stuff turn. Like groundpipe valves, sometimes."

Amber uses her left hand to shed her hat, and her right to pat the flames out against her hair. Pat pat pat pat. Flame gone, not a whiff of burning follicles. "Okay, what did you just do?" she says, turning to Billy. "I don't need no wards, that I know about, anyhow." she says, starting to look a bit miffed. "An explantion would stand you in good stead.". Turning to Shift, "Amber, nice to meet you, sir." she says, politely, then, with a little, rueful smile, pauses to dump the ashes out of her hand before offering it again to Kwabena. "Kwabena, I like that name, got's character." To Julie she says, "I got twenty bucks for ya, you can get Bertha's valve's turnin'." she winks. "Baby's gettin' bitchy in her old age."

"Yeah, the registration drive, I'm with you guys, totally." But then, Billy blinks at Amber, staring for a moment, then shrugs, "Anyone who says they don't need wards don't know what wards are." he offers by way of explanation, "My apartment is warded. Wards… block magic." Billy lifts a hand and in it, a tiny ball of lighting appears. He lifts his other hand, and there's nothing visible, but the lightning climbs up a sheer, empty surface. "It's like that. The lightning can't get through the ward, so it can't attack. Everything here." He drops his hands then nods towards the mansion, "You've got no defenses against magic."

To Amber's compliment, Kwabena smirks. "Well, one seventh of de country of Ghana is named Kwabena. Wait." He reconsiders. "One… fourteenth." He doesn't bother explaining just why, but anyone in the know would realize… male, Ghanaian, born on a Tuesday equals Kwabena.

Billy catches his attention in short order. His brow furrows. "Wizard?" he asks, clearly sounding doubtful. Kwabena has seen some crazy things, but nothing to yet convince him that the arcane is anything more than child's tales and creepy old books. Even the lightshow doesn't seem to have him convinced.

Julie hrms. Looks to Kwabena. Says, "Err, yeah, there's magic. You could ask Illyana about it, maybe. " She doesn't trouble to offer any information about any magical defenses. Looks to the Texan girl, and says, "Don'tworryaboutit. If Bertha's alive in old age, we can probably take some years off. Unless maybe she's a horse or cow or something, but I think I know a guy for that."

"My apologies, sir.", Amber replies to Billy, offering her hand. "Didn't know you were doin' me a kindness. Many thanks. Just ain't had much dealin's with magic didn't involve peyote." she winks. "And /no/, I don't reccomend it.", she says, trying to sound Responsible. "Stuff tastes like ass, always made me puke." To Kawabena, "Ghana?" she asks, cocking her head curiously. "Near about….the Congo, right? Kenya? Somewhere thereabouts? Wanna go there one day, met a missionary went there one time, said it was interestin'. Sounds like a good road trip. " Okay, she's ignorant, but she's trying to be nice about it. Julie's comment gets a snort of laughter. "Honey, she's a /peach/, just got somethin' lodged in her throat I can't get out.

Billy shakes hie head slowly, "Magic is different." And with that, though he might explain no others, he just..vanishes.

Kwabena shoots Julie a knowing look at mention of Ghana, but before he can say anything, Billy disappears.

"…. huh."

Still not entirely convinced, he snuffs out the cigarette in his own way; his hand transforms into thick tendrils of black smoke, suffocating the item which then gets summarily stuffed into his pocket. Guess that's one of his tricks.

Julie laughs a bit to what Amber says, indicating the doubtless-blocked up section of statuary that got everyone wet once loosened. "Well, I guess that's going around a bit." She eyes Kwabena a moment contemplatively, indicating the pipe. "Say, if you went in there, could you find out what's gumming up the works?"

"Didn't mean any offense, sir.", Amber says to Kwabena. "My apolgies if I gave any.", she nods. "But, by the by, if you're gonna go smokin' that wakky bakky, best you do it downwind. Just tryin' to help.", she winks playfully. "You're good people.", she adds, gently touching his shoulder. "As for Bertha, I'm at a loss.", she sighs heavily. "Done every damn thing I can think of….She's got somethin' stuck in her craw good and proper. Points is good, fuel's good., fire's good. No reason she ain't workin' I can find."

Clearly not offended, Kwabena laughs heartily at Amber's response to his… lingering odor. "Wakky bakky?" he asks, before laughing again, perhaps feeling a bit more goofy than usual. "Dat is… Jesus, dat is fucking golden. I will use it, yes." He seems charmed.

Then again, Julie's recommendation has him considering the fountain curiously. "I could take a look, sure," he offers. "Long as you promise is not some ruse to get me naked again." Without further ado, he seems to relax himself, before suddenly his entire form transforms into black smoke. His clothes fall to the ground, and the smoke starts moving into the workings of the fountain, until its… gone.

Julie shrugs. "Could be she's just lost compression, rings wear out even if you do everything right, eventually." She thinks. "Ever drive off-road or anything? You pinch off an exhaust pipe, people don't think to look for it." She ohs, and raises a finger, "Ah, let's turn around a minute, I keep forgetting about the clothes thing with Kwabena here."

"Julie…did Kwabena just turn into smoke and creep up into the innards of that fountain?", Amber asks, taking a cautious step back. "Cause if he did..", she says, eyeing the clothes left behind. "Tell him to mind his nethers."

Julie just makes a turn-around gesture in the air, facing the other way by now, herself, "Ah, yeah, he can do that. He's still working on the keeping-himself-decent part, though."

The smoke eventually comes back out, fills up the clothing again, until it's all in a relatively man-shaped stack. Then, with a sound of displaced air, the smoke solidifies into Kwabena again. In his left hand… is a wad of old chewing gum. He eyeballs it dubiously, eyebrows lifted. "Think I found de guilty pahty."

Julie hrms, eventually taking the cue to turn around. Eyes the gum. "I shoulda known it was Bazooka Joe all along."

"Why do men have such problems? I mean, seriously?", Amber grumbles. "You'd think the dingleberries'd be a clue.", she sighs. When Kwa re-enters with the gum, Amber gets a certain look in her eye. "Yep. that's about what I thought." she all but growls. "Kids plus gum equals chaos."

Amber says, "Thank you kindly. Kwabena."

Kwabena carefully carries the gum over and places it underneath a bench, because… yeah. "I… think I will go inside now and wash dese hands." He nods his head to each, saying to Amber, "Good to have you here. Keep dat fire away from me, dough. Weird things happen with me and fire."

Julie smirks. "Thanks, buddy. Ah, you see Poitr or any of the strong kids in there, maybe see if they wanna give us a hand putting all this back together."

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