2010-01-30: Driving Lessons?


Mikhail_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg

Summary: After people leave, Mikhail asks Mike for help with something.

Date: January 30, 2010

Log Title Driving Lessons?

Rating: G

Xavier Mansion - Recreation Room

//What was once the Parlor has been turned into a Recreation Room for the students. A nice plush carpet meets the light blue walls giving it a homey feel. A pool table at one end, a foos ball table at the other, and entertainment center with video game systems, movies, and of course, cable TV. Big comfy chairs and couches surround a coffee table for comfortable loafing. Long glass windows with a pair of French doors line one side of the room bringing in plenty of light during the day. The main rule in here is to clean up after yourself. //

A continuation of the scene a fugue on fitting in:

Mike scrawls on a piece of paper, defeated by the lack of working machines. "I HATE having to write everything down. I like the new look. Take care." And he starts toward the door, a 15 year old's dejected attitude on his not-at-all 15-looking robot frame.

Mikhail waves at everyone as they leave, then goes to sit on the couch to go over in his head what he learned from this little gathering.

Mikhail throws caution to the wind, some of the stuff hes been trying to learn off of the tv having been quite clear enough, "Urrm, Mike could you do me a favor", he reckons he can trust Mike not to tell anyone what hes doing.

Mike stops and looks at Mikhail. Scribble. "Maybe? What kind of favor?"

Mikhail bites his lip, "I need you to show me how to drive, and how to preform matenence on a car", hes really hopeing Mike will agree, he cant think of anyone else to ask.

Mike walks back over to the new blond Mikhail… Hm. That blond thing is gonna take getting used to. Just almost too pretty.
He writes out, "I can teach you to drive inside a week, but I promised I would not do that because I can't control that part of my powers yet. I can show you how to do just ordinary maintenance, that's easy. Anything more than normal drivers should know, could take longer."

Mikhail shakes his head, "Won't take long, i have something called a photographic memory, you only have to show me how to do something once, as long as you're clear, i'll be able to do it".

Mike writes "Some things still need practice. You have to know WHY as well as HoW. OK. I will help you learn to take care of a car. I will show you how to drive, but it would be so much easier the other way. Not still wanting to go back to the castle are you?"

Mikhail shakes his head, "No, trust me im through with trying to fix things", he thinks about Mike saying he needs to practise, and really doesn't have the time, "What's the other way?"

Mike shakes his head. "I possess car, you drive. I link us together, like one person. But I promised I will not do that. I can't control it."

Mikhail shakes his head, "You might be able to control it better with me, apparently my mind doesn't work the same way as normal people, you might find it easier to control".

Mike shakes his head. "I promised. Besides. You might be harder. I link at the body-level, not the thought-level."
Mike shrugs. He writes, decisively. "I can teach you the normal way. That'll have to be good enough unless you want to practice with a teacher present. OR, we can practice some here." He gestures at the game consoles. One of them is a race car sim and the controls are similar to those on a real car. Brakes, steering wheel, automatic transmission, gas pedal. Plasticky but realistic.

Mikhail nods, Ok, if this will show me what i need to know, i'll give it a go", he gets up and walks over to sit near the games consoles.

Mike arranges the various parts in front of the television, hooking things up like a pro or something - if there were such a thing as a home video game pro. Maybe there is. But it takes less time to do than to tell about it. He slots a cartridge into the system, turns it on, and a simple, simulated race track appears on the screen.

After going through some preliminary setups, the words TRAINING MODE appear, and the screen shows a view from a car window, sort of. Mike shows the controls. Pressing the gas pedal, the game makes the VROOM noise and the car appears to be moving forward because things are moving slowly past. Turning the wheel, the car turns. He shifts out of "low" and into "drive" and the car moves forward, quickly attaining what looks like a speed of about 40MPH.
He hits the brake, moving his right foot to step on the brake INSTEAD of the gas pedal. The car slows abruptly. Mike puts down the controls, and gestures to Mikhail. Your turn.

Mikhail watches carefully what Mike's doing, when given the control he copies exactly what Mike does, sure he doesn't now what hes doing, but he does it perfectly.

And that was expected. Mike … doesn't grin. Dammit. OK, Now to set it up for the real fun part. First he fetches the popcorn and sets it next to Mik, then shows him a prepared note that says, "Watch this." Selecting through the different options: racing, open course countryside, other drivers. This isn't a very high quality sim in terms of image quality or detail - definitely 16 bit graphics with the occasional foray into 24-bit. But the course is challenging.

Mike quickly accelerates to about 85, moving between the boxy other cars as if they were slaloms to be navigated. That part lasts maybe a minute. At the end of that (he came in first) it transitions to an off-track race, and there are stop signs and speed limits and so forth. A much more realistic depiction of a road rally. And that's why this game was chosen: to win the rally, the driver must drive legally, carefully, avoid obstacles, and still get to their locations in the required timeframe.

Mikhail takes the controls from Mike again and copies what he did without looking at the screen, so while he may have done it perfectly for the race Mike did, he probably made mistakes if the track is any different this time.

And that's the problem: the track varied, the rally course completely varied. Mike has a note ready when Mik's first unexpected car comes out. "each road is different. each car, different. Weather, drivers, pedestrians, animals. Know how car moves, know how to avoid, when to stop. Know the road signs." Mike doesn't have precisely an eidetic memory, but he does remember better now than when he was flesh and blood, and this is a transcription in meaning of his father's firsd driving lesson to him. At age six. OK, Mike started driving early. At least not on open roads.

Mikhail looks at Mike in confusion and starts going though everything hes learned recently but come up blank, "I.. I dont understand, I did what you did, why did it go wrong?", he needs to know how to do this, there has to be a faster way for him to learn.
Mike points again to the note, and writes, "Each situation is different. Driving is like walking in woods. Are two woods the same?"

Mikhail shakes his head, "No, all woods are different, differenr sights, smells, sound, you have to adapt", something clicks in his head, "So when you're driving you have to adapt what you know as well, I get it", he cant help but grin.

Mike nods, lightly punches Mik on the shoulder. Bravo. Points to the game again, tilting his head in a "shall we try again" attitude.

Mikhail turns back to the game and this time keeps his eyes on the screen, he does better, he messes up a few times but his reflexes are heightened compared to normal people, but he adapts well, not as good as Mike.

Mike has been driving, in videogame simulation or reality on closed courses, for quite a while, so he would be better. But this was good, Mikhail is about where he'd need to be to get his learner's permit. Mike considers, there are some OTHER driving games, but really, is showing Mikhail how to play GTA in any way a good thing for his driving?

Besides he asked for a different thing. So Mike pokes at the thing in his mind which is resisting and cannot find any reason why it should be. He writes, "For maintaining cars - it's similar - different cars, different engines, some common rules. I have a present for you I got from my dad, in my room."
It's going to be a little bit hard to part with the two books: 'Internal Combustion Engine Handbook' and a small handbook, 'Auto Handbook: Maintenance and Basic Upkeep'.

Mikhail is very happy right now and the grin on his face shows it, this is a big step in his future plans, "A present?, cool, what is it?", it's funny really, when he first met Mike he didn't even register him as a person, now hes taking driving lessons from him and trusting him not to tell anyone what hes doing.

Mike writes, "Maintaining engines needs more than just observing. You need to study a bit first. I have two books my father gave me, one is simple, the other is harder. I give them to you. One is how to take care of a car. The other is how an engine works. I will show you how to do and you can show me how you understand. Do not have to understand how engine works to drive a car. Should know how to take care of a car if you plan to own or drive one any distance." And JUST out of paper on that one.

Mikhail nods, "So if i read them, i'll learn what i need to know?, thanks Mike, this was nice of you", he bites his lip as he has to ask Mike to keep his secret, "Mike, do you mind not telling anyone about this?, cos i wanna keep this on the DL, ya know?", a lot of his new vocabulary has come from tv shows about high schools.

Mike nods, writes, "You'll learn the beginnings for sure. We can wait…" interrupted by the television-Mikhail and isn't that a kick, Mikhail is sampling TV now.
"Uh OK. Sure. As long as nobody is going to be hurt by me keeping it a secret, I won't tell anyone. But I won't lie if someone asks me. That might give it away anyway. Can I know why you want this to be secret? Is OK if not." And Mike is now very much thinking that Mikhail is still going to do something dangerous that could get him killed.

Mikhail looks down at his feet, "Sorry Mike, its better if you dont know, trust me", he doesn't wanna burden Mike with the knowledge of what hes planning, he has enough problems of his own.

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