Eccentric Doesn't Mean Exciting


marcie_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Eccentric Doesn't Mean Exciting
Synopsis Marcie's bike breaks down, and Warren learns that he can be boring.
Date February 8, 2011


Marcie Whitcomb races on her bike down the sidewalk, as fast as she can while dodging pedestrians. She has a time-sensitive delivery to make, and she's going to be late. Her boss will not be happy. And it is in her best interest to keep her boss happy.

She spots something out of the corner of her eye and turns to look. When she turns back, a middle-aged woman is standing in the middle of the sidewalk in front of her. "Hey!" she calls, but the woman doesn't seem to hear. "HEY!" She yells as she jerks the handlebars to the right, barely missing the woman. She does not, however, miss the mailbox.

The woman gives Marcie a scathing look and mutters, "Watch where you're going," before stepping around her and continuing down the sidewalk. Marcie sits on the ground, catching her breath. She checks herself over. The worst seems to be a cut on her right elbow. Her jeans saved her legs from the worst of the spill. A few scrapes, but I don't think anything's broken. She gets shakily to her feet.

The same can not be said for her bike. As she bends down to collect it, she sees that the front wheel has gone from a circle to something more oblong in shape, and some of the chains are hanging off. The frame seems to be unharmed. This may be fixable, but it's certainly not ridable. "Crap!" She takes a breath. Think, Marcie.

She senses she's being watched, a sure sign there's an Evolved nearby, and looks up to see a young man walking down the sidewalk. A sense for fixing machines, she thinks to herself. She looks down at damaged bike. I wonder … But she can't just go up to him and ask him to fix it, can she? He'll know about her ability. No, it'll just be a coincidence. He never need know.

Wheeling the bike with her as best she can, Marcie walks up to the young man. "Excuse me … Any chance you could help me out?" She glances down at the bike to illustrate the nature of her problem.

With his head buried in a leather-bound notebook, wearing a long black wool coat, some blue jeans, and brown boots, Warren looks up from behind what he's writing to curiously peer at her. It's when she asks for help that his eyes seem to shift to a pure reflective silvery color, so it becomes impossible to tell what he's focused on.

The book is closed and slide into his pocket, then he hunches down to start looking the bike over. "Some basic damage here… we just need to replace the wheel." He holds a white-leather gloved hand up to her with a casually friendly smile. "Warren Ray."

Marcie takes the hand and shakes it. "Marcie Whitcomb. Thanks." Even without the telltale silver eyes, Marcie can sense the moment his power switches to it's "on" setting. She decides not to mention anything about the eyes. "I'm late to meet a friend, and I know nothing about fixing bikes." Well, at least the latter part of that statement is true.

"I don't think there's really anywhere to find spare bike parts anywhere near here. I could take it back to my factory, but…" Warren rubs his chin in thought, then begins fixing the chain fairly quickly. "Are you in a rush?"
"Yeah," Marcie answers honestly. "I should have been there five minutes ago. Is there anything you can do as a stopgap? It can fall apart again once I get where I'm going."

"This is not going to hold for very long, but it's the best I can do with what I have." Warren undoes his coat to reveal a black suit and tie under it, then starts reaching in and pulling out tools, some a bit strange. One is a small laser-pointer like device that he moves all around the circle of the wheel, which causes it to heat up slightly. "Alright, I should be able to reset it a bit, that way the metal won't be weakened to the point of snapping…"

The tools are sat on the ground except for two clamps, which he attaches to two sides of the wheel and pulls. Soon, the wheel is pretty circular again, and the tools are gradually slipped back into his coat. "It's not perfectly circular, but you can ride it now, for a while at least. It'll bend if you go over any very large bumps, so be careful."
Marcie smiled gratefully. "I'm not going far. Thanks again. You're a lifesaver! Do I owe you anything?"

"Gratitude works just fine." Warren says as he stands and steps back away from the bike, pulling his notebook back out, along with a business card that's held out to her. It's plain, simply saying Shalegate Machine Factory, with his name, number, and the address of said factory. "Call me if you need anything."

Marcie takes the business card and slips it into her pocket. She smiles. "I might take you up on that. But now I've got to go. See you around!" She gets back on her bike and takes off down the sidewalk … at a slightly more sedate pace than before.

Shalegate Machine Factory

Marcie walks her bike the last half mile to Warren's factory. Luckily, the jurry-rigged wheel made it that far. She had finished her delivery without any more snags, and thought it best to deal with fixing the bike before anything else came up where she might need it. She hadn't thought, when Warren said "factory", that he'd meant this imposing ediface.

But she's here now, so she might as well go in. Wheeling the bike up to the front door, she says to the guard, "Is Warren available?" She can sense someone inside, but can't tell from this distance if it's Warren or not.

"Let her in." says Warren's voice from one of their walkie talkies, without the guard even reaching for it. He just nods, motioning her in. She has to walk through the production line with the guard first, and nearly everyone seems to be getting ready to leave. All that stays on the numerous lines are lots of random mechanical parts.

It's when she gets to the elevator that the guard stops following, and instructs her to take the bike. The nice looking mostly white elevator is a stark contrast to the dreary production line, and when the elevator arrives on to the second floor, the halls are just as white and sterile, newly renovated. Down the hall, his office is obvious, having a steel door with Warren Ray written on a plaque.

She doesn't even have to knock, the door just opens, and he's sitting behind his large wooden desk with blueprints all over the walls and covering his desk. He's writing again, and suddenly motions to a bike wheel leaning against the wall off to the side of the room. "Hello. I thought I'd be seeing you again."

From everything Marcie can see of the factory, it's not some little mechanic shop or garage. Perhaps she shouldn't have come. "I didn't realize the scale of this factory from your card. Maybe I should go … I don't mean to bother you." But from the bike wheel leaning against the wall, it seems he has been expecting her.

"Don't worry too much, right now I'm working on a way to get through the dome, and a pet project. I have management to take care of the workers, most of what I do is stay in here and work all day. I don't have work hours, I just… work." Warren stands, walking around the desk in just a suit now, his coat from earlier gone. He grabs the wheel and hunches down at her bike once the door closes behind her on its own, eyes going silvery again. "I'm still starting up my company. I've filed a lot of patents."

"For what?" Marcie asks, curious. She still has the feeling she's in a little over her head, what with the CEO of a large company, who she just met a few hours prior, fixing her bike in his office. And if he's finding a way to get through the dome, does that mean it's being created by a machine, not a person?

"Lots of things. Innovated versions of appliances, energy saving parts for other companies to buy. I just invent, a lot, and then I patent." Warren quickly removed his wire and slid the new one on, tightening the bolts. "I don't talk to a lot of people, I'm usually in my workspace not getting any son when I'm not doing business."

"Well, it sounds like a good way to make money," Marcie says. She smiles. "Sun is overrated."

"As long as the money supports my projects, I'm happy. And your bike is fine, though I think I could make a few modifications to make it even better…" Warren pulls and plucks at a few things, seemingly in deep thought. "A better breaking system and everything.." He looks up at her and finally stands, holding the handlebar. "But I can work on all of that later. I don't get guests often. Are you leaving any time soon?"

Marcie is uncertain if staying is a good idea, but Warren did her a favor, so she doesn't want to be rude. "I guess I could stay for a little while, if you want."

Warren wheels her bike out to the hall and sits it against the wall. "It'll be fine there." he assures as he slides his gloved hands into his pockets and begins walking. "Do you like books?"
Marcie naturally falls into step beside Warren. "Sure," she answers. "I don't spent much time reading, though."

"What do you spend most of your time doing?" Warren asks as they stop at another steel door that opens for them, revealing a rather modest library of about fifty square feet, nothing but books on all walls, and a couch, no windows or anything. "My library. First editions and all."

Marcie looks around the room. "Impressive," she says, truthfully. Thinking about his earlier question, she shruggs. "I guess I spend my life doing the usual. Watching TV, going to clubs, hanging out."

"I don't do much of any. I watch movies sometimes, before bed, but if I don't have anything important to do, I just get straight back to doing work." Warren closes the door behind him and walks up to the shelves, running fingers over book spines. "I don't do much in the way of genuine fun."

"If you don't find your work fun, why do you spend all your time doing it? Beyond what you need to do to live off of." Marcie asks. "You should take a break sometimes."

"I like my work, but I know it's unhealthy to spend all of my time doing nothing but staying in my workspace building robots and machines." Warren takes a seat on the couch, then removes his gloves, revealing a normal right hand, but a silvery reflective left hand. The silvery hand looks like a very high quality latex, and moves quite naturally. "You can sit down. One day everyone will be using prosthetics like this one."
Marcie sits on the couch, not at the far end, but also not too close to Warren. She raises her eyebrows as he shows her the prosthetic hand. "It's very life-like," she says. But why is he showing it to me?

"There are ways to make it capable of feeling, and the latex layering could be much better, but I made the personal choice to have it the way it is." Warren slides his glove back on and sighs, relaxing against the couch. "I must be boring you, I don't talk about anything but books and machines. I just thought I'd capitalize on talking to another person for once."

Marcie doesn't exactly know what to say. Boredom is not her predominant emotion at present. More, awkwardness, coupled by a wary vigilance. She can't help but be aware that she's in a large warehouse in a bad part of town, behind steel doors, with an eccentric and lonely inventor she knows nothing about.

She managed a small smile. "You're not boring me. I just don't know much about either topic."

Marcie doesn't exactly know what to say. Boredom is not her predominant emotion at present. More, awkwardness, coupled by a wary vigilance. She can't help but be aware that she's in a large warehouse in a bad part of town, behind steel doors, with an eccentric and lonely inventor she knows nothing about.

She manages a small smile. "You're not boring me. I just don't know much about either topic."

"Well, come on, let's go get your bike and you can tell me more about you on the way?" Warren isn't exactly sure how to break the awkward bubble, standing up and heading to the door to hold it for her. "I don't do a lot of entertaining, so I should probably see you out before you really do get bored."

"Alright," Marcie says, chuckling a little. "There's not much to me, what do you want to know?"

"What do you do for a living?" Warren asks as a start, motioning to the door for her. "I'm not great at these questions either."

"I'm a courier," Marcie answers. She adds, "Hence the bike. It's not that interesting, but at least it beats working in a cubicle. I could never do those 40 hour weeks at a desk."

"I'm a courier," Marcie answers, stepping through the open door. She adds, "Hence the bike. It's not that interesting, but at least it beats working in a cubicle. I could never do those 40 hour weeks at a desk."

"Writing blueprints is the work part of what I do, I don't have real fun until I actually start building and testing." Warren steps out with her and straightens his jacket. "You've seen my eyes, I'm guessing you don't have a problem with Evolved."

Marcie considers the question. "Not one on one," she finally answers. "I'm not sure I'd want to stand in a crowd of them." In fact, she is very sure she would not want to stand in a crowd of them. She supresses a shudder, keeping her facade of nonchelance.

"I don't think anyone wants to stand in a random crowd of people with abilities." Warren opens his office door and rolls her bike out, holding it upright for her to take. "Wish I could have been more entertaining, but I guess my mind has completely shifted to work mode over the last few months."

"Don't worry about it," Marcie reassures him, taking hold of the bike. She thinks for a second, then reaches into her purse and takes out a pad of paper and a pen. She scribbles on it and hands Warren the top sheet. It has her name and cell phone number. "Look, if you're ever bored and want to get out of this place for a while, give me a call. We could get coffee or something."

"Oh, sure, thanks a lot." Warren smiles, taking the paper before he starts walking to the elevator, pressing the button as the doors immediately open. "A guard will see you out, I have more work to do."

"Thanks again for the bike," Marcie says, also smiling as she gets in the elevator and the doors close behind her.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License