1965-05-18 - Car trouble
Summary: Amber has car trouble. Elmo helps her out.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
elmo amber 

Mutant Town, 1:21AM.
"Oh for pete's sake, Bertha! Don't start this now!", Amber growls from behind the wheel of her grizzled 1936 Ford pickup truck. "Ah…dammit..", she grumbles, shoving open the door with one hand and popping the hood with the other. "This is just the kind of neighborhood you would pick to pull tihs, wouldn't you?", she scowls fiercely to the truck.

Elmo, walking swiftly along with the no-nonsense get-the-hell-out-of-my-way stride of a New Yorker, is happening by. When he sees a girl having trouble with her truck, he halts, immediately interested, and approaches. Cautiously, because this is, after all, Mutant Town. One never knows what heat people are packing here. "Um, hey?" he calls, from a safe distance.

Amber looks up warily as she's about to open the hood, craning her neck around the cab but keeping her body solidly behind it. Because, Mutant Town after midnight. Wary's a good thing to be here at this hour. "Howdy.", she replies, nodding and tapping the brim of her Stetson politely. "What can I do for ya, son?"

Elmo jerks his head at Bertha. "You havin' some car trouble?" He's got a classic New York Jew accent, strong as good coffee. Coming no closer, he adds, "I'm a mechanic." His hands were in his pockets, but now he takes them out to spread them in the universal sign of harmlessness.

"Yeah, you could say that.", Amber replies with a rueful smirk, stepping out from behind the truck to give the same signal in return. Her owb accent is pure Southwest Texas twang, vowels decending like molasses. "Think it's the battery, been havin' some problems with that of late."

Elmo brightens up with enthusiasm. "Well, ya broke down in front of the right guy. You mind if I have a look at 'er?" He steps forward with his eagerness to get his hands on the truck, but jolts to a stop and looks warily at Amber. "When…when you say it's okay." Like he's the one who should be careful, not her. "My name's Elmo, by the way. Some of the guys around here, they call me Sparkplug." Now that's got to be a code name.

"Amber.", the young woman replies, offering a friendly handshake. "Please, be my guest.", she adds, nodding towards the truck. "Any help at'all'd be much appreciated." she smiles.

"Nice ta meet ya, Amber." Elmo suddenly goes awkward, when Amber offers her hand; shoulders stiffening, eyes flicking away. "I, sorry, I don't like touchin'. It ain't you, promise." He winces, because that went off well… but there's this truck that needs his help and he has no trouble putting his hands on that. He relaxes again, opening back up now that he's doing something mechanical. Pops the hood, licks his thumb and—puts it right on one of the battery's contacts.

Amber gives a slight shrug and a polite nod at the decline of the handshake. "No offense takin', son.", she reassures him simply, nodding. "Figure you got your reasons.", she adds, moving to observe what the youth's doing to her truck. "So you're from around here, I gather?", she inquires politely.

"Yeah. Lower East Side." Elmo says it as if he expects everybody to know where that is. "You're not, huh? What brings you to New York?" Meanwhile, he's gone unfocused, concentrating on something inner. "Her battery's just worn out, sorry to say. I can give ya a jump, but you gotta replace it."

"Heh, it's the hat, ain't it?", Amber chuckles in reply. "Is kind of a giveway, I s'pose. San Angelo, Texas for my part. Funny thing, got this in Colorado." she winks. "Oh, got a job keepin' grounds at a school out in Westchester.", she adds with a shrug. "So, you're a mutant, ain't ya?", she adds, not accusingly, just observationally. The youth's hands-on-battery fiddlery has not gone unnoticed. "Why d' y'all have t' have funny names for yourselves? I feel I'm missin' somethin'." she chuckles. "Worn out, wait, hang on, lemme check somethin'.", she says, diving into the cab to rummage through the glove box. "Ah, shee-it! No wonder! Ain't replaced the damn thing since I got her! Knew I was forgettin' somethin'!", she sighs embarrassedly. "Julie ain't never gonna let me live this down."

Elmo reddens right up at that wink and seems to lose the track of the conversation entirely for a minute. "Y-yeah, I'm a mutant. I mean, surprise, right?" He grins lopsidedly. "Mutant mechanic in Mutant Town, who'da seen that coming. I run a garage here, actually." He apparently lives in Mutant Town on purpose, despite no physical abnormalities. Unless you count that he's just *short*. "Hell, I dunno why we use the code names. Makes us feel better about ourselves, I think. You know, bein' a mutant's tough, but at least we get a badass name? —Oh, man, you know Diz? That Julie?"

"Yeah, what could the odds be?", Amber chuckles as she climbs back out of the cab. "Diz? Yeah, I know 'er. We got kinda friendly straightaway.", she smiles. "Nice gal. Gonna give me nothin' but the purest of hell for this, but, well, shit, 'reckon I deserve it.", she snerks. "Badass name, might have to work on that one.", she says, pursing her lips thoughtfully. "So what's your gimmick?", she asks, then dives back into the cab to snag a stray piece of paper. "This is mine.", she says as she returns, eyes going RED for half a heartbeat before the paper in her hands bursts into flame.

"She's a helluva mechanic," Elmo says, which in Yiddish might mean he thinks Julie could rebuild the Empire State Building into a flying robot if she took the notion. "And real nice, yeah. Helped us with some stuff, gettin' our garage off the ground." He watches with interest while Amber fetches a paper—and then WHOOSH and his eyebrows leap up. "Aw, man, that's gevaldik! You can catch stuff on fire! That's gotta be fun." As to his own power, he turns a hand palm-size up and a tiny lightning bolt dances to life, flickering and writhing. "Electricity. And I'm real good with machines and stuff."

"That's…whut?", Amber replies to Elmo's comment. "Don't believe I heard that phrase before.", she smirks teasingly. "Yiddish?", she inquires, cocking her head slightly. "Ain't got much of that, parts I been travellin'.", she chuckles, then holds up an appeasing hand. "Meanin' no offense, of course.", she adds. "Yep, Julie's the bee's knees, a'ight.", she nods. "Hey, electricals, that's mighty fine.", she grins, nodding. "Sure explains the reluctance to shake.", she winks. "Got into an electric fence at a sheep ranch back in Montana once.", she winces. "Your caution is much appreciated, as is your assistance."

Elmo, a little embarrassed, says, "Yeah, it means, really cool, in Yiddish." He doesn't seem inclined to take offense, but the teasing makes him turn redder, a little *more* embarrassed. "Sometimes I don't got the best control over it," he admits. "Always poppin' light bulbs. I just…I gotta really know you before I can, you know, do the, touching." Redder than ever! But he sucks in a deep breath and tries to cope. "Anyway, not to keep you standin' around all night. Lemme, uh—" and he's digging into his satchel.

"Gotcha.", Amber nods. "Gevaldik..", she says, the very unfamiliar word tripping haltingly off her decidedly Texas tongue. "Sounds kinda Russian.", she muses. "Slavic, to be sure, she nods, mouthing the word again. "I like it, got a nice ring to it.", she smiles. "So, how come you ain't at the Institute?", she asks simply. "I mean, you got an income, pretty sure they got work programs and the like to let you run your shop."

Elmo glances up, frowning, as he's pulling things out of his satchel. "The Institute? …Oh, wait. OH." Those eyebrows go up again. "The…school? I don't know nothin' about it. Just, heard of it. I ain't any good at school anyway. Just get into trouble." A shrug, while he fiddles with some wire and a D-cell battery.

"Yeah, know what you mean.", Amber replies with a slightly rueful chuckle. "Dropped out when I was sixteen. Had me in this girl's home.", she sighs, then spits on the pavement. "Home, more like a damn reformatory. We ended up disagreein'. Split from there some years ago, been kind of a tumbleweed ever since.", she shrugs. "But, if you're really interested, I could put in a good word for ya.", she suggests gently. "Don't seem too bad a place, bit more rules for students than I'd prob'ly be happy with.", she notes. "But the food's good, roomin' seems decent enough. Can't speak to the classes.", she winks. "I just cut the grass and such."

Elmo pulls a sympathetic face, manipulating the wire with a pair of pliers. "That's rough, buddy. Went to juvie, myself. Hard luck, huh? At least we're out." His hands slow down when Amber suggests she introduce him. "I…I dunno, about me. I got a lot going on. But, my partner? He's got a little girl who's showin' signs." 'Partner' has a different connotation in this era. He clearly means a business partner, or perhaps a partner in crime. Or both. "She ain't in New York, but, we're kinda planning for the day, you know?" He ducks under the hood, getting in the engine, wiring the D-cell to the battery and taping it down. "That oughta do you a couple days, if you go easy, okay?"

"Yeah, people got some powerfully stupid ideas about people like you n' me. We wanted to cause trouble, we sure as hell /could/, but we don't. Still, they've got their tits in a flutter about it.", Amber sighs, shaking her head slowly. "Hey, if I can help her out, you let me know, okay?", she nods seriously. "Thank ya kindly for all the help, Elmo, er, Sparkplug.", she winks. "It's much appreciated and will not be forgotten." she says, doffing her Stetson to the boy. "We both best get on down the road, it's…", she says, checking her watch. "Shit n' perdition! Yeah, we'd best be in bed a'fore long. Sun's gonna be up too soon.", she grimaces, hopping up into the cab of her truck. "Y'all be good.", she says, waving as she hits the ingition switch. "Yeah! There we go, ol' girl!", she grins as Bertha fires up. Another wave, and she's out of the parking lot, merging into traffic…haltingly.

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