NFG Season One - Mad Gear Rising

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Description: Operation: Get Well Coco did not go well, nor did it achieve its intended objective. But, some good did come of it, as a tactical counterstrike from Team Frost's largest operative began with a coded message conveyed to Chevelle Beaumont's private communicator. The message was clear: Come to the scrap metal yard. And come alone.

It is rare for there to not be -some- sort of activity at the legendary scrap yard that is Abigail's Scrap Metal. During the day he sees plenty business with repairs, oil change, tune ups and tire changes in his garage and if that's not going on there's the long list of modding requests that come in for him, espeically from fellow Mad Gear affiliates that try and leverage their history, relationships and favor with the titan to gain access to recesses of his mind. He owes Katana new turbochargers for helping with Buford, Rolento keeps putting in calls to see what he can do for his military convoys and Thrasher keeps going on and on about some rims and tires he wants tossed on.

So when things finally do quiet down and the garage door, all graffiti laden and signage plastered comes eerie silence floats over the Bay Area. A strange stillness that lingers in an unsettling fashion that sends any loiters, be they gang members or just local citizenry, trying to clear the streets, leaving only the brave and determined to wander their way through the area now that closing time has come and the scrapyard closed for the night.

It is a silence that doesn't last overy long though as eventually a massive set of fingers reach under the large garage door from the inside and lift up, pushing it open again to allow a heavy roaring Death Metal beat to spill out over the immediate area. The monstrous body of Abigail stands silohuetted in the light cast by the interior of his garage, welding mask pulled down over his face and an old Shelby Mustang, muscle car royalty, with its hood up, in the repair and modding bay of the shop. The goliath rolls his massive shoulders and then looks up and down the streets as if taking stock of who or what may yet be lingering...and then he turns and makes his way back through the now open garage doors while absently rumbling random car engine noises as he reaches for a massive tool belt on his way back towards the car.

"Hey, Dodge, c'mere."

The yellow imp scrambles to Chevy's side, just as she crouches down next to address him at eye-level. She's decked out in a t-shirt, a pair of bib overalls, and work boots. Her hair is wrapped up within a black hankerchief, keeping her auburn locks hidden from view, save for a few loose strands. She isn't carrying her buckets -- but she is toting around her six-foot long section of galvanized steel pipe.

"You know the locale, right? Just kinda keep a distance. And if anyone but Abigail tries to mess with me, give 'em the business."

On reaching an affirmation from the taciturn yellow imp, she grins and gives him a playful nudge in the shoulder. "Good man," she says -- before correcting herself. "Great imp."

After a few minutes of walking, the Carolinian will find herself on the sidewalk, looking in on the open garage bay. She can't imagine most people would be stopping to gawk with such an obvious Mad Gear presence. ... Most people wouldn't carry a length of pipe that long, though, either.

The music's pretty loud though. And while she doesn't really -mind- it, the hayseed finds that waltzing right into the scrapyard might earn her a beatdown -- even if she -is- on friendly terms with at least one of the scrapyard's denizens. So she tucks her thumb and forefinger into her mouth -- and blows out a sharp whistle, hoping the sound can cut through the obvious non-whistles of guitar, bass, and rumbling, full-throated growls.

If the freckled tomboy happens to catch Abigail's attention, though, she'd be quick to give him a cheerful wave.

Well trained are the ears of the Mad Gear behemoth. He can hear the slow leak of a tire from a sliver of a breach that might eventually lead to a flat within the week. He can pick up on the stresses that might lead to an engine block cracking well before its time. Some have even joked that the same dog whistles that snap the attention of pit bulls and other assorted junk yard dogs are tuned for his ears as well. So even with the blaring death metal music roaring through the immediate area of the garage, he hears the whistle and his head lifts up from its examination of the old mustang and then turns to look over his shoulder towards the daring, bold and confident southern girl who tands just outside of the closed gates of the scrapyard grounds.

For a few long seconds, he lingers where he is, just looking at her in a slightly hunched over pose like some sort of kaiju that was getting ready to play toy cars. He then finally straightens up and approaches the gate with the heavy rumbling steps that do indeed seem to vibrate the very ground as he bears down upon her with those long rolling steps of his. His welding mask is still down, visor steaming and fogging up every now and then as he draws closer and closer but once he nears he reaches up and flicks the mask upward revealing his makeup crinkled, roughly bearded, grinning face as he looks down up her.

"Well, well!, well! Looks like you got some hot pumpin' oil in that engine of yours after all if you've come flouncing into Mad Gear territory all bold and happy like.."

His massive fingers reach down and deftly undo the locks to gates, actually accidentally twisting and breaking it with his huge fingers, in an act that perpetually infuriates Roxy.

"Y'better get on in here.." he rumbles, "Not that anybody would try anything with -me- around but....y'know...I got a reputation t'keep."

He pushes the gates open, only just now realizing he's sundered the locks anyway and then just shrugs and tosses the remains over his shoulder. "C'mon in..."

There's a moment, staring into the harshly lit chiarscuro of Abigail's garage, where Chevy questions her mettle. She knows the figure staring back at her through that welding mask is none other than Abigail. She knows the scrapyard itself -- having won her rite of passage just a short time prior. She knows that she has every right to stand -outside- the building.

But she's not fearful of any of that. She just questions whether she wants the conversation that's bound to begin once she steps inside. If she hadn't talked with Ariastra... well, she probably wouldn't have bothered. But, it's hard to ignore a sincere request to visit, from someone who won't be local to her in just another week or so.

"Haha, yeah... gassed up and ready to roll, sir!"

She smiles and watches as Abigail approaches the gate. She... gasps in surprise as he twists open the locks while opening it, as if it were no more than a twist tie or safety wire. But... as he makes clear by tossing the locks over his shoulder... it's clear she still has an escape route. She hopes it doesn't come to that, of course.

"I 'ppreciate it, Mr Abigail. I'm sorry for comin' so late, but... I figured you like to get most of the work done durin' daylight hours..."

Stepping inside, she wraps a hand around her elbow, looking around.

"... almost reminds me of where my buddy Daym works. Course, he ain't so busy, so it's quiet like this durin' the day, too."

She glances over at the Mustang. Moistening her lips, she draws in her breath.

"Got you a 'stang, huh? What all you been doin' on it?"

Giving compliments to a Ford is what Chevelle Beaumont likes to call 'diplomacy.'

"1969 Shelby GT500!" declares Abigail as he beckons for Chevy to come closer. "One of a few I'm trying to get my hands on and see what I can do with. This baby here was just sittin' pretty for a long long time in the garage of a pal'o mine after he took it off the hands of his dad. The old man had gotten sick but still wanted to keep on driven' and they figured they needed to keep the car away from 'im. My buddy decided to just let me take it off his hands and I'm gonna do a bottom to top restoration of it.."

Abigail leans in, pointing into the interior of the beat up blue tinted muscle car as he points things out with all the ease and carefree attitude as if she were training at his garage, "Check this out. IT's actually still got the original 426 engine block and fuel injector and lemme tell you, that's unheard of. usually - but it's going to need updated brakes, suspension, and steering. I'm gonna work with the bodyand interior to keep it as stock and original as possible - probably try and get the original blue paintin' scheme on it as well. His dad passed not to long ago so this is somethin' of a tribute, eh?"

He leans back away from the car and removes his welding mask. It seems even Abigail has ...friends not attached to Mad Gear. Contacts within this wide world of automobiles and vechicle love.

"Yer friend's got a shop eh? Hmm..good! Hope he's got good horsepower with it!"

He looks over to Chevy again, "Go on, get a good look. Uh.."

There's a pause and he then rumbles, "Thanks fer comin' by. Maybe.....I could use yer hand on this?"

It isn't that Chevelle doesn't know what Fords are, or what they're capable of. The shadetree mechanic knows as much about their makes and models as she does about Chevrolets. And -- as the rival to her own namesake made cars in a roughly similar fashion, she can appreciate the technology used. It certainly isn't... foreign.

"That's one heck of a find," comments Chevy with a cheerful grin. The best-kept cars are the ones that stay in the garage of a loving owner, and this one is no exception. She smiles at the detailing on the engine block -- though, she does smile at the idea of updating the steering and suspension. "Folks these days don't know what it's like before power steerin' came along. Cain't help but add -some- of the creature comforts."

She nods quietly as the talk about paint comes up. "Oh... PPG's got a line of paint just for these cars. Big trick with a resto is gettin' someone who knows how to lay down paint without coverin' their mistakes with clear-coat -- their paint makes it easy without ruinin' the whole look you wanna go for."

She smiles back at Abigail, keeping her hands behind her so as not to brush the car accidentally. She's also remaining far enough away to keep her grubby pipe from scratching the finish.

"He's all about the horsepower. Got a big block 'Cuda he's tryin' to bring to life right now. It looks like crap, the last owner did a bad chop and drop, but he's tryin' to make a daily driver out of it so he can get back to a Fury. Good ol' 'Christine', he calls it."

She snickers, slipping her pole out of the little belt she has holding it up, and resting it away from the car.

"What do you need? Oh, wait, lemme guess, it's probably them coil springs. Gotta be tough to get at with your big ol' meathooks."

It's... hard for her to believe she'd even been upset with the big guy, really.

Just how -does- Abigail manage to do the type of modding and repair work that having deft fingers and being able to get into just the right places requires? He's got biceps as big around as Zangief's legs. Hell he wears tires for armguards sometimes. So clearly there's some sort of eldritch logic twisting magic at work here since those fingers of his don't exactly scream fine-tune control,.

"Eh heh.." he rumbles, almost embaressed as Chevy seems to guess at what she could do for him on the car.

"Well y'know, I can manage that sorta thing just takes some extra time but might do me a bit of good if you wanted t'manage that. Or whatever ya want really! Though I guess you probably feel some kinda way with it bein' a 'competitor car' and all.."

He grins at that part, knowing good and well her namesake and the comparison between it and the car that sits before her. "Sometimes y'just gotta roll up the sleeves and think about the good of the greater automotive world or somethin'! Sometimes...rival teams and pickin' sides don't really matter compared to the big picture.."

His deep gravelly voice fades off as he steps away to let her have enough room to get a closer look as she sees fit. Any tool she'd need is within easy arms reach as well if she were to try digging into the car now and Abigail seems unconcerned with her proximity to both his tools and the car itself.

He steps away, pulling his welding mask off all the way and setting it roughly down onto a tool bench and then reaches for a towel to start attempting to rub the oil and grease from his hands.

"You didn' run into no trouble findin' your way here, did ya?"

Chevy snickers as Abigail acts as if working on a Ford is such a huge deal. It... -is-, of course. But she seems to take the request in stride.

"Oh, please...! After all the work you did sourcin' the engine and the chassis I was after, I can swallow my pride for -this-."

She may not have brought her tool belt, but she's no stranger to work in a car shop. It doesn't take her long to find the spring compressor tooling she needs; she sets about the work of getting the tools situated in place with her comparatively tiny hands as Abigail gets himself cleaned up.

"... Oh, it warn't no trouble at all, Mr Abigail. There was about four guys in the subway who looked like they -might- have wanted to start somethin, but they caught sight o' Dodge and they hit the bricks." There's a few cases in which the general public's phobia of darkstalkers can work to one's advantage.

It isn't long before Chevy has the compressor threaded and ready to go. She starts the process of torquing it down.

"Mmm, they kept the salt off this baby. Ain't no small feat this far north."

She looks up, once she's finished compressing the driver's side coil springs. "So, uh... I talked with Ariastra-sensei. It, uh..." She laughs. "It sounds like I ain't the only one whose feathers Coco's real good at rufflin'."

The hot-rodder watches Chevy with an appraising eye as she gets to work. Judgmental even. He says nothing, just listening to her and listening to the car itself. How it responds to her actions and her knowledge. Does it ache at her efforts or does it give her its approval. Such things have a language of their own after all and they can tell one mechanic from another.

He's pleased and perhaps even a little surprised by the ease at which she manages the job and gets the work done and expressive grin begins pulling at the large jowls on his face in the beginning formation of a large smile at her successful efforts.

Until Ariastra's name is mentioned. He doesn't exactly frown but his expression becomes less..pleased. More restrained.

He finishes rubbing his hands and then drops the towel back onto a work bench while slowly folding his mammoth arms and then leaning back against the other workbay's hydraulic lift.

"..Coco's a piece of work." he finally says. "There's quite a few of em in NFG aint it? Strong personalities. Bad personalities. Sorta folk I'm used to. Sorta folk that ruffle feathers as part o'their persona.... Aiint no two ways around it. Aint no excusin' it.."

His voice trails off and he inclines his head slightly to consider Chevy carefully if not slightly cautiously, "What'd she say..?"

"She said Coco like to make her do bad things." Chevy laughs. "People're funny, Mr Abigail."

She leaves off a lot of the -other- things Ariastra said, of course. No sense in repeating the more... subjective part of the discussion, after all. Something else to be filed under 'diplomacy,' as Chevy goes about the work of removing the spring themselves.

"... She told me what you did, though. Just. Different way of sayin' it." She laughs mirthlessly, staring at the coils for a moment before starting the work of decompressing them -- a task one really wants to accomplish -safely-.

"That maybe I done... put myself at more risk than I had to, in tryin' to... help."

Chevy frowns, at that. "It's tough though. It's in my -nature- to help people. Ichika... gosh. She was so -different- at the start of this en-eff-gee thing. I figured it'd just be like that, y'know?"

She sets the freed spring on top of a toolbench so that Abigail has easy access to it -- and then moves to the passenger's side with the tool. "... Oh, and... Ariastra-sensei agrees: she shouldn't be in the NFG." She smiles, briefly making eye contact with Abigail. "For what it's worth."

It's hard for Chevy to agree that her sponsors are 'morons,' after all.

"Oh that's all she said eh?" responds Abigail with clear sarcasm in his tone. There's some derision but there's a tinge of humor as well as his mind drifts back to Sunshine City and when he fought Aristra during the whole debacle of Juri kidnapping Coco. Words were exchanged then and there concerning her opinion of the volatile psychic and he doubts her opinion has changed much. But he likewise recognizes Chevy's attempts at dancing around it.


"What I did? You mean the video? Ffrrnnnn.."

He makes a rumbling sound like an engine warbling as he purses his lips, "I thought you already knew about that but..." he considers the rest of her words and reaches up to scratch the back of his head and then run it through the tossled mishapen mess that is his maple leaf shaped mohawk.

"Listen..I mean.. I said what I said. I know I was mad as all get out and still firin' on all cylinders and revvin' with nitro when I got to the hospital but y['know.. I can't take it back. As's our job to spot these things before they escalate and deal with it. It'd be different -- marginally - if like..this was the first blow up Junko had but there were all sorts of warnin' signs in her other fights includin'' her showerin' people with hot glass and then 'being sorry about it' later, sort of. Thats why I came down hard on yer team sponsors. and the NFG officials. The fact that they's like they're egging this on. That's why I said what I said about you bein' careful about insertin' yourself into it but like..y'couldn't have known yeah? It aint wrong to want to help people..just....."

He makes a loose gesture, " You gotta get better at readin' the room and the timing of it. Probably wasn't ideal to bring Junko to the room and Coco was probably still halfway otu her mind from the medication and pain.. It don't benefit nobody but the officials who are makin' money off yer drama and not bein' held accountable for they part in this." The brute falls silent finally and then finally adds, "But....I understand . You were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and it wouldn't be right for you to just turn yer back on 'em. Sucks but it is what it is. I aint faultin' you for that."

Oh, that was a small error in communication. Chevy laughs hesitantly. "Oh, no, I saw the video. I meant that Ariastra told me what you'd told me -- that..." She handwaves. "That I need to watch myself, so I don't overextend."

It's... probably a good thing that, this time, she has something to do with her hands as Abigail is talking to her. And, well, she doesn't have to stay strong for Junko, so she can actually listen.

"Mm. Well. I get what you were sayin', Mr Abigail, but... way I's raised, apologies are somethin' you do in person. I don't see any gettin' round that. For a moment afore you came in, it really did seem like Coco was acceptin' the apology from Junko."

She tightens that second compressor spring down, and starts to extract it from the wheel well.

"And if I warn't there, Junko wouldn'ta been there, and Coco woulda trusted her even less."

One eye screws shut as she reaches in and pulls the spring out, falling back onto her duff in the process.

She smiles, weakly. Revisiting that particular situation is... rough. But it's clear she's thought it over a lot.

"It was already pretty tense when you came in, big guy. But we warn't yet at the point'a gettin' Hawksley kicked out. I'd do it over in a heartbeat -- but I'da called Hawksley first to see if the coast was clear first. 'Cause havin' all of us in one place together, talkin' over each other, was probably the powder keg waitin' to explode."

To say nothing of... well. Junko herself being divisive enough.

"You sure about that...?" asks Abigail after she finishes, his tone unusually soft for him as he prods her with his questioning.

"Cause when I got there...looked like you guys were on your way out and you weren't lookin' to happy in the hall. Seemed like Coco wasn't takin' to well to whatever you two were tryin' to say. Sounds like t'me that words were said in that moment that made 'er want Hawksley out as well but that she came back around on that.."

He lets his words sink in and then finally says, "Anyway. I hear ya. I didn't say an apology wouldn't be needed just that it was too soon. Sure that's how -you- were raised but you aint Junko and on top of that we aint talkin' about someone apologizin' for shovin' someone down, skinn'in a knee or even breakin' an arm. This is a lot more serious then that, eh? It's not the sorta thing you bring the attacker in on and think an 'I'm sorry' gonna cut it. I don't think that situation woulda ever ended any different cause all I did, when I got there, was tell Junko a thing or two and frankly - she shoulda sat there and took it because o'what she did but she didn' have that in her did she? "

He rubs his head and sighs, "Y''s a hard lesson but Coco wasn't probably never gonna be all 'Oh it's okay'. Especially with Junko there and no signs of any sorta repercussions for what happened. I think ...uh..what's important is that you don't blame yerself. I kinda feel like ya are. You didn't make Junko do what she did. You're just wrapped up in it on account o'loyalty and happening to be a nice gal and on that team but don't go stickin' your neck out when things start hittin' the fan. Be a good team member but you aint here -just- for yer team. Teams change. You might have to -fight- Junko, assuming she dont' get bumped from the tourney and you make it all the way to the end. You gotta remember who yer here for. Yerself. The competition and what's coming after.."

He scratches his head and then abruptly attempts to change the subject. It's a sudden veering, like shifting lanes so hard, "Team Frost is all out. Wish I had me a Chevy still in the race based on how you pulled through on that match with that bruiser.."

Seated on the floor, Chevy slowly starts unthreading the tooling from the extracted spring. The potential lethality of dealing with such a powerful spring gives her a good reason to stay quiet as Abigail runs down the conversations as he saw them -- conversations she doesn't particularly want to relitigate. "Mm, I guess..." She gives a murmur every now and then, just to show that she is, in fact, listening, but it's clear her focus is upon the spring, for the moment.

"Well, yeah, I'm bound to take some things personal when everyone in the room starts hollerin' at me. It's just human nature." She breathes out a sigh.

Chevy -wants- to tell Abigail the whole truth. The reason why she can defend the girl who seems to be beneath defending, the person she can't even -discuss- with Ichika.

She reaches for the rag, and starts to wipe the rust and grime off her fingers.

"It ain't got nothin' to do with being a teammate. If and when we fight, we'll treat it like any other fight." Kneading her fingers clean, she considers. "I'd stick for -anyone- in the en-eff-gee getting dogpiled by a bunch of angry folks. Coco too -- if it came down to that."

She hums softly. "... I know she messed up. She wanted to own up to it. But then everyone started shoutin'. It was bad all around."

With the coil springs free, she turns her attention to the cotter pins holding the castle nuts in place -- something else Abigail might have some trouble with.

It's then that he mentions Team Frost is out -- and Chevy nods slowly. "... I still feel bad about that. But can you even imagine havin' me on the same team as Coco? I don't think y'all would ever get back to sleep," she admits with a self-deprecating chuckle. "... Course, just as much of a chance we'd actually figure out where the friction is between us, and sand it all down smooth. Maybe..."

"Heh. Maybe you two woulda, yeah..."

Abigail watches her carefully. He knows the danger she's in and his appraising narrowed eyes seems to be taking all that into consideration. Her wilingness to just go to it despite the risk and the skill by which she handles it.

Granted given some of hte hits the NFG fighters have been handing out - if things were to go wrong - she'd probably manage it better then she realizes at this point. Certainly better then when she first entered in. A spring going wrong - or a full on slam from a roided out energy slashing beastman the size of a truck. A non fighter might take the spring.


She may not be seeing him but the sound of Abigail's rumbling voice clearly indicates he's not wholly onboard with all being said by her. It's a sort of idling negine sound, losing it's rumbling pep and quieting as if trying to decide to rev up or simply turn off.

Finally, he simply says, "Coco's face may be beyond repair and Junko coulda killed 'er. 'Dogpile' aint exactly the situation. I guess, maybe, my perspective is a little different then yers bein' not only a sponsor but also my time in Mad Gear -- well the 'old' Mad Gear...and my time in the professional fightin' circuit. There's risks to this sorta thing, thats fer sure..."

He quiets and then says, "But sometimes..things are done and lines are crossed that aren't easily walked back. Y'know if she had of been more contrite when I saw her, even after what I said - considering- that she coulda killed another NFG member and has done so much damage to her..maybe I'd be thinking differently. Dogpilin' should be the least of her concerns now. Coco could get th'law involved. Go after getting her locked up or chased away. ANd she'd be in the right. I guess that's all I'm tryin' to press on ya Chevy - that you have the right That you be careful bout choosin' sides and why. There's a clear right and wrong here and the more defiant she is the harder it's gonna be to deal with."

He frowns mildly and rubs his fingers together in thought...and then abruptly shifts lanes again. A massive truck veering off unexpectedly at the whim of its street tearing driver.

"Course I know all about bad tempers and seein' red and losin' it..." he begins, his mind wandering, "..Wht was it she said t'me.. Tryin' to egg me on to puttin' her down for the count. A calamity or somethin'..."

He quiets again and then says, "Y'know one of my team members in King of FIghters was ...guy named K'. Her fire kinda reminds me a little o'that now that I think of it.."

There's silence now as he thinks. The cranking of gears seemingly turning in his mind slowly.

Chevy rubs the back of her neck as she considers Abigail's words. The elder teenager has thoughts, but she holds her tongue -- it was a courtesy offered to her while she was talking, and it's only fair to repay the favor.

She is frustrated, though, it's a bit easier to handle when there's a Ford in front of her. It's not that she wants to take it out on the old guy's car, really. But seeing a piece of classic automotive history before her -- even if it is a member of a warring faction -- does help her visualize the bigger picture that Abigail is painting for her.

"Yeah," she admits, once she's given a pause to acknowledge the wisdom. "I guess I've been tryin' to be a good friend. An' forgettin' that... that's not really my job."

She snags a box wrench and starts cracking the castle nut loose as she considers. There's a lot she -can- say... but she feels like she's said most of it already. And then... one thought occurs to her.

"I don't think she was challenging you, really. It's..." She sighs, running her fingers through her hair for a moment. "... I'm just hopin' Ariastra-sensei or maybe Hazuki-sensei can talk to her. I don't know that I'm able to help her much any more."

Maybe the truth can come out.
Maybe it can even let Chevy off the hook.

Spinning the castle nut free, she rises and moves over to the other side of the car.

"Mm... yeah. I remember watchin' y'all fight. He was, uh..." She clears her throat, grinning. "Pretty intense."

She starts on the other castle, remaining pensive for a moment or so.

"... Mr Abigail, I wanna thank you for believin' in me, when no one else did."

She turns the wrench a few more turns, before adding:

"I think... I think that's what hurt the most, that day. When it felt like... like I was disappointin' you."

Her breath catches in her throat a moment. But then the waterbender returns her attention to her work, studiously turning the wrench to keep her feelings in check.

For some reason, Abigail reaches down and retrieves his welding mask and slips back over his face.

There was a reason he'd sent away Roxy, Axl and J and forbade any other Mad Gearites from wandering through this evening. Usually after closing hours they're known to hang around, annoying the gigantic Chief with their banter, recieving his angry gorilla-esque grunts and car engine roars in response, eating pizza, drinking and otherwise making a fool of themselves before dispersing or even just falling asleep somewhere on one of the raggedy couches in shop. Tonight, however, they were told to get the hell gone...though they guessed why. He's a fairly transparent read most of the time and when his emotions do well up they are hard to remain controlled and hidden.

"Vrooommmmnnn...fine. I mean it's fine." he stammers out, expression unreadable due to the mask over his face now, less something un Mad Gear like be seen due to him having an emotional break over something that actually wasn't one of his cars for once.

"It's fine." he repeats, pulling it together. "I was just wanting ya to make smarter choices and I, uh, think you will goin' forward. Once NFG's over it's gonna be a big world. I dunno if there's ever gonna be another one quite like this one. Y'all be expected to do things like the Saturday Night Fights or the regular Neo League seasons and hell..Rising Stars may happen again. Y'all probably qualify for King of Fighters."

He takes a deep breath, regathering his wits and emotional control before his deep voice, muffled by the mask continues, "You wanna get yer teammate help, I get that. Just be careful. I don' think this is over by a long shot. I'm gonna see what the NFG's gotta say before the second tournament round begins....and I can't say what Juri will or won't do. Coco was her direct pupil and she was also into Genie. Both are out now and onna them's in the emergency ward...."

He quiets again and then says simply, "Don't worry to much bout Mad Gear. They'll probably be rowdy at yer matches but that's it. Junko was onna yers and Coco was ours. It's just how it is but I think you'll be fine..."

The redhead can often pick up things that other people wouldn't -- but not today. She hadn't given much thought as to why the garage would be empty. And she hadn't really noticed the addition of the welding mask -- not until she hears the sound of Abigail's voice deflecting off the inside of it.

To be fair, she does stop working, sitting up straight as she checks to make sure she was right on that sound. Even still -- she's not so brave as to look right at him and verify.

When he stops to take a breath, she laughs. "King of Fighters? Ha, I'm glad you think so..."

She draws in her breath. And starts turning the wrench again.

"I mean, it's wide open from here, ain't it? I done told Ariastra, I'm... probably gonna take a break for a few weeks. Gonna take the long way home -- Buck and I got a road trip planned. Once I get back home, might volunteer at a soup kitchen, work on the car... just chill for a bit. Reconnect with folks and such."

Chevy smiles, finishing up her work, and leaning back a bit. "Yeah. Mad Gear's alright. Good folks -- you're like a big family."

Chevy steps away, finally turning to look at Abigail. And she... snickers, slightly, as she's finds herself facing that welding mask again.

"And listen. I'm... I'm just gonna keep my distance from Coco, if you agree that's the smart thing to do. I still think she oughta consider whether it's worth it to talk to Ariastra-sensei, 'cause she -can- do a lot with fixin' her up. But... that's somethin' she and Hawksley need to work out."

She brings the back of her arm to her eyes, not-so-subtly dabbing her cheeks.

"But I hope you're okay with me visitin' y'all whenever I'm in the area. Kind of a thing I do, once I get to know some good folk."

The hayseed puts on a bright smile.

"Fix 'er up?"

Numerous thoughts run through Abigail's head but that bit of information snaps him out of his emotional wobble and even his theorycrafting about Junko's words.

"Whaddya mean 'fix her up?"

He knows some of the sponsors by reputation but Ariastra is a mystery to him. Granted, the two did fight during the first of these contraverisal 'Coco Events' but even that was more just 'business is business' and the two didn't necessarily have any stances on each other aside from her passing interest in Abigail's brute strength and the test of skills. Coco herself wasn't even on his radar due to not being his charge - unlike now.

"...Oh, and oh yeah! Sure you can do King of Fighters. It's a team thing, right? So you get together a team of fighters eh? Make sure yer valves are adjusted, get the engines roarin', best oil and nitro ready to fire and go from there! Hell teams aint necessarily about 'experience'. You go for what you think will help ya win! Could form one with even yer sponsors or friends. Course.... Y'know..I'm a KOF champion' and all so I'm kinda in high demand.."

You can practically 'hear' his grin through that welding mask.

"And yeah, yeah, Mad Gear's a pain in the ass but can't walk out on 'em." he grumpily remarks, unwilling to admit anything more then that.

"But yeah you can come by any time but know if you win this thing, even become a semi finalist.... won't be much time for rest and relaxation. It'll be big leagues time."


Chevy blinks back at Abigail's question. She'd thought Ariastra's healing abilities were common knowledge -- but apparently that knowledge was just a special perk of Team Thunder membership. Breaking into a smile, she offers an explanation.

"I mean, I didn't show up till -afterwards-, but from what I gathered, Hawksley was hopin' she could use her healing powers to fix Coco up. But, uh..." She shrugs her shoulders, with an awkward laugh. "When I got there, she and Coco were havin' their own lil' catfight." She seems to acknowledge that she's not really helping her defense against the 'Team Thunder sponsors are morons' charge, there; her cheeks redden just a bit beneath the freckles. "I'd imagine the offer's still open, but I don't think Coco's gonna accept."

She glances past Abigail -- halfway expecting Coco to pop out of the shadows and bark out an angry retort. That sort of thing -does- tend to happen, after all. Just the hayseed's luck.

Pleasantly surprised, she turns back to Abigail. "... Huh. Yeah, I know all about the teams, but I just thought, y'know, folks participatin' in it tended to be more experienced in fightin' and all. I mean, there was you and K', and... " She crosses her eyes. "Warn't there someone else on your team?"

Still. The hayseed laughs in disbelief. "What, I cain't even take a -little- time for myself? You really think it'll kick off like a wildfire?"

The information about the healers capabilties does indeed seem to be news to him. Abigail's body language shifts slightly and he brings a hand up to hsi big ajaw, resting his chin into his thumb and pointer finger as he contemplates this news with a some heavy consideration. The news about Coco and Ariastra having a bit of a verbal spat causes him to simply grunt softly. He doesn't seem particularly surprised all in all but she is indeed right: It doesn't do much for his critique of her mentors.

"She was willin' to at least offer.." he does acknowledge, "Still....I guess it's no surprise that Coco turned it down considerin' the source. As into her looks as she is....that should tell you right there how she's feeling about all this right now. I guess I don't blame 'er if she was suspicious of things and no effort was being made to address what happened...." he works out finally.

"Maybe after some time passes she'll reconsider but aint nobody really wants help from someone that dont' really wanna give it or thinks they're in the right when they aint. Sometimes yall you got is yer pride to make a statement with and a future t'look forward to where you don't owe somebody that don't give a rats ass about ya."

He quiets again, his mind once more returning to the situation at hand and he makes a few idling rumbling sounds before finally answering Chevy once again:

"Maxima. Big fella. Cyborg. Pretty awesome mechanical parts! You'd love seein' him rev up his engines!" His mood changes again, gears shifting once more on the highway that is his mood and mindset, "Sure ya could do King of FIghters! signed up for this, yeah? You wanted t'be a fighter, yeah? You think if you march to the finale of the world's first New Fighters Generation Season that yer gonna get off easy and not be gettin' asked for interviews? Podcasts? Sponsorships? They're gonna eat ya up. Course you can take a break, duck and hide for abit... but yer gonna have to keep trainin'. Keep fighten'. Tth. Time off.."

He chuckles and finally, at long last, removes his welding mask, pullign it up over his face and dropping it back down to the bench. "Big leagues time."

"It... ain't, naw." Chevy doesn't seem surprised at all, now that she's heard a clearer explanation from Coco's side of the story. She may still have her gut feelings on the matter, but... in the end, it was the patient's feelings that mattered in that case.

"I know she's got some great doctors in there though. It won't be long before she's up there in the ring sassin' me bout somethin' or other."

The hayseed rubs the back of her hand against her forehead -- and then pauses, having reminded herself she'd tucked cotter pins away there. Pulling them loose, she sets them aside on the workbench next to the extracted springs. "Oh yeah! Maxima! Y'all were like, unofficial Team Canada or something!" She grins cheerily. "I didn't really watch those guys fight since you weren't in it. Didn't seem like they were all that int'rested in torque an' horsepower stuff." She winks back at the champion, reaching for a rag to clean off her hands.

It's still something of a rush for her -- working side-by-side with a World Champion.

"... Aww, I wouldn't mind bein' a -guest- on a podcast, maybe. I tried recordin' one like Ichika's but I cain't do it without someone to bounce ideas off of. I don't always know what I'm watchin' in fights unless I can be there to watch the action as it happens."

She laughs. "Big leagues, huh? Yeah... I cain't even think much about that now. There's so many tough fighters to get through before the end. Kenzo and Hawksley were close fights. Buck, Iris and Djamila all knocked me down before... and Junko and Ichika still -could-."

She smiles, setting the rag down and smiling back at Abigail. "Future's hard to see right now -- but it's lookin' brighter by the minute!"

She tilts her head towards the Mustang. "... Mm. The fittings on the rest of the suspension were lookin' a bit rusty, you might wanna soak 'em in WD-40 before your big ol' arms break 'em in two. Was... there anythin' else you want me to take a gander at afore I go?"

He's been doing a pretty good job of just listening at times. He's turned away from her to look over some adiditoinal parts that have just been strewn around haphazardly...but his ears hone in and stay in lock step with her words.

Something said seems to trigger another thought in him and he frowns mildly. If she were to look at him she'd see his brow crinkling up and that Death Metal makeup working as his heavy face and full lips quirk back and forth in an effort to figure something out internally that seems to be giving him pause and perhaps even worry.

Right around when she mentions Coco hopping back into the ring.

"Yeah.." he rumbles, non commital in his tone.

There's a break as she begins wrapping up her appointed task and Abigail straightens back up and turns towards her, "Yeah, yeah." he says again, as if he was referring more to her more recent statements. His voice pepped up once again, "Well of course you were watchin' my matches right? I was team captain too!"

He really was only captain in name only. They never did anything he said.

"Team Canada! Huh I guess so." Seems she picked up on that and he never did. "I named us Heavy Metal Burnin' know.. I shoulda named us Team Canada!" He'll have to put a pin in that for the next go round.

"I think we're good Chevy. Y"know you didn't have to even do as much as ya did! Didn't want yer fingers all stingin' on account of having to lay hands on a Ford...." he grins at her and steps closer as if preparing to get a look at her handiwork. "Yer good." he says with some finality to that. "Very good. Yeah don't worry about the future just worry about gettin' through the tournament. Stay focused.."

A hint of more seriousness gets into his voice now as well as he notes, "A few things might 'appen that could distract ya from the prize... You let those folk hash things out and you do you alright? At least thats what I think."

Now that she's finished up with her work, it's plain to see that Abigail has more on his mind than he's letting on. But ... well, he's not shied away from saying it before. And a big reason of why she's presumably here at -all- is for sticking her nose where it doesn't belong in a misguided attempt at being helpful. She just... assumes it's worry over Coco, and being that she's -trying- to cheer him up over that when he frowns... she just decides to let the sleeping dog lie this time.

So... rather than poke that -particular- bee's nest, she elects to spend a little extra time working the grime free from her fingernail beds, steering the topic towards more neutral waters.

"Yeah! I really liked that one where you were fightin', uh... -Maki-, I think her name was? She was super fast, but you got her good! You musta been doin' -somethin- right, Captain!"

Chevelle was a little uncertain about her future in fighting up. She... had -hoped- to get away from it. But standing here, talking with someone who certainly -had- been on the other side of the spectrum from her -- a fighter who even managed a great appearance in -World Warrior- of all things -- she finds reason to swell up with hope.

"Yeah. I'm gonna do everythin' I can to keep my head on straight, Mr Abigail." She starts to press her hands to her sides for a bow. But... then remembers she's talking to a Canadian, and not someone -especially- tied to Japanese customs -- and raises a fist to him in a tentative sign for a fist-bump.

"Yeah, I'll do that. That's good advice."

She can keep her nose out of other people's business for... just a -little- while longer. Right? The Southerner looks up to Abigail in more ways than just the height differential. He's stepped into her life in a big way, these past few weeks -- and for once, she feels like she has someone she can lean on for advice, if the time should arise in the future. That... gives her a whole new kind of hope.

"I... I warn't gonna rest easy till I knew what was on your mind, Mr Abigail. Thanks for havin' me over. I... I cain't tell you how much this means ta me."

Abigail's massive fist raises and he allows her to bring hers against his while also restraining himself from going into hard with the response less he bowl her over as he does all of his Mad Gear associates when this gesture is attempted with the colossus.

"It's kinda funny.." he muses, "When I first showed up at Southtown Hotel I was like...I didn't know about any o'yall. I kinda did this on a whim and got accepted and then when I got there I hadn't looked at any o'the files and interviews and it was Juri that told me you'd mentioned m'name. I tried to act like I already knew that but I was kinda surprised. I didn' expect anyone would care but I guess you did so I got all interested and invested."

His nostrils flare with a bullish snort but it's almost like a rumbling laugh as he says, "And then at the first draft y'went with another team and I was kinda feelin' down about it but was like, whatever, you gotta do you and do what you gotta do to win your fights. But then we kept losin' -everybody- I had my mind on and I'd gone outta my way to back Juri for Genie but I got nobody I wanted. So...I ended up demandin' Buford cause I was mad and wanted to prove a point. I guess I kinda did."

There's an odd mix of being both proud and embaressed at the same time as Buford's name comes up but he then says, "But you and I kept on bumpin inta each other and I guess it worked out in the end huh! Come on by any time! No matter what happens with Junko and Team Thunder y'can count on me, eh? I got your back but remember I got Coco's back too! Any time y'need any parts just let me know. I probably got whatever yer lookin' for stashed away somewhere."

He pauses and then grins, "I might even give you a discount for it!"

Chevy grins at the fist bump. She can feel the massive power he's got at his beck and call -- and it's impressive how much he's able to dial it back so he doesn't crush her like an insect!

She... somehow manages to keep from completely fangirling out as Abigail talks about his first introduction to the Carolinian miss at the after-tournament party. ... And that kind of brings up a very different memory in her. She walks around to pick up her pipe, musing to herself for a moment...

Way back then, in what seems like -years- ago now, Abigail was the one to warn her away from Metro City, causing her to have second thoughts about this whole NFG thing to begin with. What would she even -want- from victory, if she could achieve it? A career as a fighter seemed like such a far-fetched plan then, when she was in the bottom third of the point rankings, or close to it. But not only has she turned her fortunes around since then -- but she's also progressed to the point where walking through Metro City isn't something she shies away from any longer.

Now, as she looks up at him ... the situation's very different. She can feel energy swelling within her now -- or maybe that's pride. Her mom may have been the one giving her the strength to enter that party again, back then... but it's the hope of spending some more time with the towering mechanic that inspired her to show up in the first place.

The hayseed slips the pole back into a clip on her belt, locking it into place.

"Well. I ain't gonna be a stranger, that's for dang sure. Now that I got some actual ad deals going on... I can travel a lot more. And thanks to you, I ain't got near's much fear about goin' to the not-so-nice parts of town."

She winks back at Abigail, as she walks up for one last moment of confidence.

"And, well. Don't breathe a word to no one, but."

She drops her voice nice and low, standing on her tiptoes to get that much closer to Abigail.

"You done good with Buford. He's got his head on straight now. It warn't somethin' I woulda been able to do, that's for sure."

She drops back to her heels with a grin. "Alright. Well!" she chirps out, returning to her usual airy cheer.

"Well, I better hit the bricks before it gets too late out. Thanks again, Mr Abigail! Y'all take care, alright?"

Chevy waves cheerily! She starts to edge away. It's... a tradition brought on by Southern hospitality to take as long as possible to -actually- leave a place you're visiting. But after a moment, she remembers something she'd learned in her first trip out of the country. When in Rome...

She makes to slip out of the garage with a brisk walk. And as soon as she hits the sidewalk, Chevy launches into an even more brisk jog, exulting in the sensation of the cool, night breeze in her air. It's... a good night out. And after the excitement of the past day or so... she just couldn't be happier.

"He aint cryin' and wettin' himself at least." acknowledges Abigail with a smirk. As to the rest of his issues - well - that's probably better left unmentioned right now. Yeah, her admission of that is going to have to stay between them for certain.

"See ya around Chevy." he finally says, not moving to follow her out as she knows the way.

Besides, he broke the locks on the gate. No sense in worrying about trying to shut it again. Best to just wait for Roxy to yell at him. For now, the giant turns away from her and steps back more completely into the garage, reaching for more tools as he steps over to take another look at the car and study her handiwork.

Log created on 18:31:25 11/12/2023 by Chevy, and last modified on 10:00:36 11/15/2023.