2010-05-18: The New Sgt. Bilko


Mike_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg

Summary: Mike and Theo talk about impounded vehicles.

Date: May 18, 2010

The New Sgt. Bilko

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Antonio and Mike's Room

Slightly bigger than the old room, the new rooms fit two students comfortably. Each room has off white walls with a dark brown carpet. There is one window in the middle of the wall that looks out over the grounds. Each room has two beds, two dressers, two desks and two closets, one for each student.

Mike sits in his dorm room, typing on his laptop. His roommate is off doing whatever upperclassmen do this time of night. The room is not as clean as if Connor lived in it, but it's pretty meticulous. Mike's side has a minimum of clothing, and two motorcycle-panniers carry his small collection of scatterable stuff, what isn't in the garage anyway.

'Hey, Theo,' says the email Mike is composing.
'Could you come by my room? I wanted to talk about your offer from last night. —Mike'

There. He clicks 'send' and thinks again about how utterly inefficient it is to type by hand. Maybe he can get a USB bluetooth … if he can figure how to electrically isolate it. Fiber maybe.

Theo doesn't answer the email. And it's nearly an hour before he's seen in the dorms. But he had to come back sometime. He's covered in grease, a dirty white t-shirt and blue jeans. His voice can be heard though as he briefly greets someone out in the hall, and then he passes by Mike's open door. He doesn't look into the room, rather passes as if he had no business there, on his way to the showers. Theo, however, is very good about checking his e-mail, and it's unlikely that he hasn't read it an hour later.

Mike's busy playing a videogame as Theo walks past, but … "Hello, Theo. You know I can see you passing, right?"
He closes the laptop.

"Yep." That's the only answer that Theo gives as he continues down the hall.

"Well, I was going to talk about how I appreciated the offer last night but … really, you seem to be too busy, so, later."
Mike's voice is cheerful but also a bit impatient.

Theo stops, and after a few seconds, reappears in the doorway. "Appreciated?" he echoes, placing a hand across the doorway to brace himself. He leans heavily against it, examining Mike from underneath his eyebrows. "As I recall, everyone was accusing me of plotting a felony last night. You'll pardon if I don't feel very appreciated."

"I was enjoying my first real excuse to act like an ass for months, Theo. I didn't have time to make nicey. Also, some dickweed stole the bike from the impound lot. But I DID appreciate the offer, just … didn't want to stop the case from going through."
The robot kid shrugs. "And I would appreciate knowing how you would do it."

Theo studies Mike with a hard gaze for a moment, as if trying to determine the purpose of the conversation. After he seems to have finished making his assessment, he smirks, looking at the ground and shaking his head.
His hand lets go of the doorjam, and he steps slightly inside, moving to rest his back against the wall. He folds his arms across his chest. "Still think I'd go commit a felony? Is that it?"

"Since I didn't think you'd be that stupid in the first place, no. I did think you might commit a misdemeanor, though. Anyway, I recalled when I woke up that people were using my conversation as an excuse to hassle you, and I'm not happy about that."
Mike shrugs again, "Did that come out with minimum blood?"

"More minimal than I would've liked," the technopath answers. "Rashmi seems happy that Kael's gonna get detention, I would've preferred to repay him myself. Now that I'm looking back, I'm not really sure why I didn't." Theo looks briefly away, arms still folded across his chest.

Mike doesn't laugh. Too much work. But there's a thought-pattern that resembles it. "I've seen several signs that you're recovering from the worst extremes of sociopathy," he says, "But I'd say your reputation is still safe. And frankly it's more logically sound NOT to engage in worthless and ineffective violence."

"What do you know about psychology, Mike? You're like sixteen," Theo challenges. Theo himself doesn't know anything about psychological disorders, so doesn't challenge whether he has anything. He's not particularly interested, either. "What about anything I've done since getting here makes you think I give a shit about my reputation?"

"You REALLY think age has anything to do with knowing things?" Mike shakes his head, "I have a pair of professional counselors for parents, Theo. I picked up some of it. The same way I picked up being a mechanic, only the training for THAT was a lot more intense than the stuff I had to do because I was expected to be part of church groups and leader for kids and that kinda stuff. Also I'm fifteen."
The robot boy stands up and paces a bit. "You don't care about your reputation, but you DO care about people liking you, to some extent, even though you will probably say you don't."

"Well good for you," Theo answers. "So you wanted to talk about how to get ahold of the bike in the impound, or was that just an excuse to try to psychoanalyze me?" he asks, clearly making an attempt to move the conversation back to where it began.

"See that shows… People can only psychoanalyze themselves. It's in every elementary text. But that's not important. I told you earlier, I found out the one bike I wanted got stolen, but I DO want to know how you would go about getting one or more of the wrecked ones."
Mike flips open his laptop, and the page it's browsing is the police blotter about the theft.

"See," Theo says, happy to return to the previous conversation. "You don't actually GET the bike," he explains. "It stays in the impound. It's the only way to do it legally. Preliminary plan, before looking at the layout of the place goes like this." He raises his hand, a pointing finger to illustrate his speech.
"It'd take at least three people. You, me, and Connor. We first go to the impound, claiming that the bike is ours, and we would like to pay the fines. They would bring us into the office. Connor would stay outside. You would rig your image inducer to look like him. While I talk to the guy, you'd stay outside of the office. You'd want to move fast, because there's ALWAYS a dog. Get to the bike, merge with it. With me so far?" he asks.

OK, so it's a heist movie. Still, it's a good idea, so Mike nods, and follows along. Incidentally, he HAS the layout of the impound on his laptop. Or at least, the one that was in the original plans.

Theo continues as Mike nods. "So after you merge with the bike, the guy is telling me about what documentation I need to bring back so that I can get it out. I text Connor while he's doing that, like I'm texting my family to say what we need to bring. Connor teleports in at that point. The guy and I come out, Connor's there, so he doesn't know the difference, and you're in the bike, so nobody can tell you are gone, either."
"Hour or so later, after you've gotten a chance to explore the workings of the thing, we come back without all of the information needed. The guy thinks we're just some dumb kids who thought we could get a cool bike with our own papers, tells us to beat it. During that time, Connor and you pull the same stunt in reverse. You and I walk out of there, and you got yoruself your bike. Nothing illegal. The cops got their bike, you got your bike, everyone's happy."

"That's definitely a good plan, for a normal impound," Mike says. He stretches out on his bed on top of the cover, lamps going on as he looks up at the ceiling.
"It wouldn't work in this case — they'd either arrest us or kick us out without a word — because in this case the bikes were used by terrorist thugs to attack people, and they would want to check out anyone claiming ownership, we wouldn't want to get caught in that. Besides which, someone might have ID'ed Connor as being there, and that would be suspicious. I think what will work better is to see if they're going to be sold after the trial, which wouldn't be for months. We could find out if they're in a reachable place, and I could go in, get into one of the least-damaged wrecks. It'd hurt a bit but I could figure out the tech."
Mike shakes his head, or rather rolls it side to side, "But we cannot let them know we're there, which is the hard part. A distraction is exactly what we need."

"They won't ID Connor," Theo assures Mike. "The guy at the impound is not gonna be one of the officers that were there when everything went down. And really, he wouldn't be interested in finding that stuff out. You gotta think along lines of information. That's not information the guy at the impound is going to have. And if you think the bikes are that hot a subject, I could always ask about another vehicle there. Just gotta find out something that's in the impound that hasn't had any requests involved."

"You ever try to get a car out of impound in the past?" Mike asks Theo, mildly curious-sounding. Because Theo is making some strong claims here, and Mike doesn't think they're necessarily correct. Not in a post-terrorism world.

"My dad's car got impounded about a year ago," Theo answers. "Man he was pissed. My mom told me to go with him to get it, because he wouldn't explode on the guy with me there. Don't think he would've anyway," he adds. "Rather boring process, but not incredibly complicated. The guy said that it was the same routine for every vehicle that gets impounded, doesn't matter why it gets impounded."

Mike nods. "Like I said, Papa is a mechanic. We had to deal with impounds too. It's not like that in every lot. For evidence impounds, they kept them in a separate place. One of our customers' cars was towed for evidence in a drug case, Papa had to get it back because they left the country … he got the title in small claims. Took four months and when he got it, he had to go through security checkpoints and provide ID and ownership stuff before he could even get inside the fence."

Theo shrugs. "Well, then I'd have to come up with some more research before finishing the plan." He came up with it off the top of his head though, there's something to be said for that. "But I am sure I could make it happen. Pulled all kinds of stuff back home for people. Always kept it enough legal so that nobody stopped me." He suggests that this isn't his first rodeo of finding out how to get things people want.

"So you were always the Sergeant Bilko type, huh?"
Mike's amusement is obvious in his voice even if he is lying there on the bed almost inertly. He's actually not completely inert though. He's making shadow puppets on the ceiling with his hands and his headlight eyes.
"I suppose it makes sense. I was always the guy people would go to if they wanted stuff fixed. I'd start the year in a new school, by midyear I had all sorts of favors stacked up, but then there'd be another move and the next school year would open in a completely new town and I'd have a stack of unpaid-back favors."

"Well," Theo says, "You let me know if Sergeant Bilko can hook you up," he tells Mike, watching the shadow puppets on the ceiling. "I gotta go take a shower." He starts to head out the door. "If you want, I know I can find a way to get you that bike."

"I will." Mike makes a shadow-dog. It looks slightly like James, though. "Have a better night tonight, eh?"

"Yeah, thanks," Theo returns. And off to the showers he goes.

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