2020.10.20 Brujah Driving Instructor

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2020.10.20 Brujah Driving Instructor
Fritz teaches Hannah how to drive manual transmission. Using his own car. May the citizens of Prospect be ever grateful he picked an empty parking lot.
IC Date October 20th, 2020
Players Fritz, Hannah
Location Streets of Prospect
Spheres Vampire Camarilla
       Fritz had tacked on a note to Hannah's request for lessons. It marked a specific location downtown with a wide open parking lot (at least at night) and nobody to interfere. Also, it said he only had a stick shift, so if Hannah wanted to learn automatic? She'd have to bring her own.
       Hannah has arrived at the designated spot, early as a matter of fact. It's driving time, baby! She's sitting on a bench that is on the sidewalk adjacent to the parking lot, her head dipped toward her phone like a typical millennial. She does look up every now and then, however, expecting every car that drives by to be the one she is meeting. She has not brought another car, for the record.
       Eventually, Fritz rolls up in a red Honda Accord that looks like it's seen better days. He pulls past Hannah - hard to miss with all that bright neon pre-college getup - and parks near the entrance to the parking lot. Empty except for specifically his car. Okay then... With a gruff sigh, he gets out and goes on over to make his greeting. "So you decided to learn manual transmission after all?"

       When the car pulls up, Hannah all but jumps to her feet in delight. It may be a beat up red Honda Accord, but to her, in this moment -- it looks a hell of a lot like freedom. Smiling widely, she waves to the Brujah and then extends her hand -- the pale, fleshy one -- in his direction for a shake. "I mean, it's your car and your unlife, baby. If you're cool figuring this out with me, then I'm down." A pause. "I'm Hannah by the way. Nice to meet you officially...Fritz?" She says the name with a bit of a bitten laugh.
       Yeah, that sounds like his name being mocked. Fritz folds his arms in disdain as he looks downward at Hannah, but does eventually extend a hand in greeting. "Yeah. Fritz. Pleasure. So yer fresh outta high school and your parents never taught ya how to drive? How old are you exactly?" He holds up a hand as if to say "don't answer that yet" and motions to get in to the car. "First lesson, how not to wreck the shit out of my clutch." He retains the keys for now so Hannah can't get a jump-start on making him regret this meeting.
       Hannah is not the patient sort--in fact she suffers from impatience (-1)--so it's probably a good thing that Fritz holds on to the keys. Her grip is firm and friendly, the shake a genuine one. Fresh out of high school? "Fresh-ish," she returns, running her fingers along the vehicle as she moves toward the driver's side door. "Not hanging on the vine but picked and put on the counter, I guess." She attempts to open the door, testing to see if it is locked.
       "Still rather late to be learning." Fritz opens the passenger side, still hanging on to those keys - driver's side is quite unlocked and ready to receive one Hannah. "Even better. Whatever, you still got valid government ID at least? Will make this a little easier. A little." He waits until Hannah gets fully buckled in, door closed, before explaining. "Okay. First thing to note, you know which pedal does what?" Pointing to the gas, the brake, and the clutch in turn, taking extra care to explain the purpose of the clutch - and the gearshift along with it.

       Hannah scoots her way into the car and slams the door shut with maybe just a little too much enthusiasm. She leans over to look at the pedals, her feet positioning themselves on the pedals to press on them experimentally. She's listening, but that doesn't stop her from looking and touching everything. "fI was pretty sick, when I was alive," Hannah says conversationally. "Wasn't allowed. Probably couldn't have anyway. But...here we are today." Only now does she twist a bit in her seat to look at Fritz, an excited smile plastered on her face. She offers her hand, palm up. "Yeah, I know the different pedals. Little one is the clutch, right? Do I use both feet at the same time?" Does she have ID? She nods her head in vigorous assurance.
       If Fritz seemed willing to teach Hannah earlier, his reaction to her excitement is less than confirming of that fact. He sliiiiiides the keys away from her overenthusiastic self, preserving the sanctity of his car for just a bit longer. "Well okay then. So that explains the no license... yeah, the little one is the clutch, you do not want to hold that and the gas at the same time but you sort of do use both feet." He explains the details of footwork as he's reassured about Hannah's ID, but then as he's about to brave handing off the keys? "Okay, you're kind of worrying me with the touch-everything stuff. Staaaaarting to think I should be asking for a boon here, what with the new driver risk and all. Thinking.... trivial? Should be fine. Assuming you don't wreck it."
       Hannah's hand follows Fritz's keys like a magnet, but she eventually lowers her outstretched hand upon the middle console. She listens. Her feet flex experimentally on the pedals, getting used to their spring and resistance. "When I saw that it was going to be manual, I watched a few youtube videos," the apparent teenager says, "So I wouldn't be completely useless. I also researched the mechanical benefits and sheer badassery of manual over automatic, and made my peace with it being more difficult. So..." Once more her hand snakes outward, palm up, fingers wiggling. It pauses movement at mention of a boon. She considers. "Would you believe me if I said I'd never actually done the boon thing? You're not gonna make me be an accomplish in a bank robbery or, like, turf war something right?"
       Fritz grins as Hannah hesitates at the 'boon thing'. "No, a bank robbery would be a major or blood boon, depending on whose bank it is. Basically, it's a promise to do something of equal value to this for me at a later date. And, yes, that date tends to be /much/ later. Frustratingly. And the act, unspecified." He plainly speaks from experience. "But no, I don't plan on asking anything crazy like that in return. Besides, I kinda gain something here from teaching you modern technology. It's one thing the elders around here absolutely /suck/ at. You know how many cell phones my Primogen has gone through?" Keys remain firmly Fritz's. "So. One trivial boon and you get to test-drive my car with full instructions. I think it /should/ be minor, but see previous. Elders don't bother driving."

       Hannah pauses for added suspense, her eyes narrowing playfully. She waits. And waits. And then-- "You've got yourself a deal, Bruce." Her feigned seriousness evaporates and she fixes Fritz with another grin. Said grin widens and then cracks into a laugh at the mention of his primogen's cell phone, and she gives her head an understanding nod. "Yeah...my sire is an elder. Teaching her anything with technology gave me serious flashbacks of helping my nan on her ancient PC. Now..." Her hand, once again, for the third time, sliiiiiides over to Fritz. "I don't think you can stall any longer, partner."
       Bam. Fritz promptly deposits the keys into Hannah's hand, in a tacit agreement that he's done stalling. "You know, I'd change my name to Bruce, but all the government buildings close before sundown. Kind of a shit deal." He fastens his own seatbelt - safety first - and starts looking around to confirm the parking lot is still entirely clear. "Okay. So to start the car, you'll need to hold in the clutch and turn the key... and don't let up immediately because..." First lesson, getting her to get the car moving without stalling the engine.
       "Did I say Bruce?" Hannah replies easily, the keys slipped into the ignition. "True story, that's the name of my dog. He's a 250lb St. Bernard. Can't imagine why I got the two of you confused." For real, that is the name of Hannah's dog and her player just subconsciously called Fritz by that name, make of it what you will. "Now, /Fritz/," she says, turning the key and pressing cautiously on the clutch. Her bionic hand grips the wheel. "Better buckle up..." She does so, clicking her seatbelt, "...Cause here...we...go.." She steps on the clutch, turns the ignition--and the car LURCH, LURCH, LURCHES before stalling completely. Hannah bounces in the seat, releasing a single, "Shit!" and looking over at her companion.
       "Yes, Vanna, you did." Fritz barbs right back, growling and grunting while the car lurches and jerks him around in his seat. "Aaaaaand ya fucked it up. Did you remember to press the gas /before/ letting off the clutch? It should be a smooth exchange. Now start it up and try again." Another irked grunt, as he mutters quietly, "shoulda been a minor boon..." (But alas, the deal was already struck.)

       "Clearly not, Bruce," Hannah replies, this time using the name on purpose. "Fuck. Okay..." She pushes on the clutch, turns the ignition, and then presses slowly down on the gas pedal....but not enough. LURCH-LURCH. One less lurch this time, at least. "Just--!" Hannah sucks in an unnecessary breath, "--Just hold on a minute, okay?" Gritting her teeth, she goes through the motion again--clutch, ignition, and gas--and this time the car actually rumbles to life, moving forward. Her foot, however, is smack down on the clutch, causing the car to groan out in desperation for Fritz's intervention.
       "Jesus Passion of Christ, GET OFF THE DAMN CLUTCH!" Fritz is starting to get antsy over his precious ride, barking orders like his unlife depends on it. (It probably doesn't, but it really sucks having to hoof it everywhere.) "We're moving. You don't touch the clutch when we're moving. Only exception is when you want to shift gears. Clutch in, move stick to new gear, clutch out." Starting the next lesson when Hannah hasn't fully grasped the previous one? Bold move Cotton, let's see how it plays out.
       "STOP YELLING AT ME!" Hannah returns, matching Fritz's energy level which, to be honest, is probably not the best thing when hanging out with a Brujah. She takes her foot off the clutch, but in her panic, she also takes her foot off of the gas enough to make the car wheeze and buck to a stop. Hannah freezes, hands jerking up off the wheel. "Listen man, this is why they make montages okay?!"
       "STOP LURCHING MY RIDE!" Well at least he's not yelling even louder? Fritz plants a hand on the dashboard, seething and growling, then holds up a finger to Hannah. "Okay. Take five. Sit back, play on your millenial apps or whatever the fuck, and let's maybe not make both of us walk back home tonight?" The pause is as much for himself as it is for Hannah.
       Hannah eyeballs Fritz as he seethes, her eyes dropping to his finger when it is pointed at her. She leans forward, making as if to bite at it, before leaning back the seat again. "Okay, well, fuck me. I admit that wasn't great. But!" Now it is her turn to lift a finger, "There was /progress/ dear Fritz, and progress is the measure of success. Hmmm..." The mention of millennial apps inspires her to shrug off her small backpack and fish out her phone. She may not know how to drive, but it doesn't take long to connect her device to the car's system. Having done so, she scrolls to her music app and selects the last thing she was listening to. The car is filled with a plucky Kpop, which she seeks to turn up. (https://youtu.be/ioNng23DkIM).

       Fritz grunts again as Hannah matches energy with energy. "All for naught if you blow the engine, you know that right?" But that's all he says back, just shaking his head and recovering from the mess o' potamia Hannah just put his ride through. It's a nice recovery... until she puts on /KPOP/. "What in the hell--" He's in the middle of administering the Brujah Glare of Rage when... his head starts bopping? "Actually, don't turn that off. This isn't bad."
       "Riiiight?" Hannah says, her own head bobbing to the tune. Her grin widens, eyebrows waggling at the Brujah. Now that they've both calmed down a bit, she turns back around to regard her old foes--the clutch underfoot, the gas, and the stick shift beside her. "Alright, you bitch," she says, though it is unclear if she is addressing Fritz's car or herself. She presses down on the clutch, turns on the car, shifts into first and then....LURCH-LURCH...and then it's smooth sailing. They're moving. She hastily moves her foot off of the clutch, and while she is not going to get any points awarded for form, they are indeed moving and the car is safe, for now, from sputtering out in this parking lot.
       Fritz's head bops to the K-Pop. Then it bops to the lurching. Then it bops to the K-Pop again, though now there's braced teeth on his face. "Friggin... oh my god you actually failed to fuck it up this time. Congratulations." He starts keeping watch to make sure Hannah doesn't ram into any walls or curbs or what have you. "Okay. Now for the upshift... let off the gas, push the clutch, move the stick, then do the switcheroo with the clutch and gas again." He does take a break from scouting the road to see what other songs are coming up next. 
       Given it's newness, the next song up is "Ice Cream" with Blackpink and Selena Gomez. Feeling particularly capable at the moment, she takes the opportunity to pick her phone up from the console and drop it in Fritz's lap, allowing him to change it up however he'd like. But they're moving. They're grooving. Slowly, very slowly, she pushes down on the clutch in preparation to shift. RRRRR the clutch wails, but it is given relief when she finally shifts and hits the gas. They lurch, but not as hard, and all of a sudden they're in second gear. "WOOOO!" She cheers for herself and gives the wheel a small tug bak and forth to test the give. She opts to turn them right, toward nothing in particular.
       Suddenly, now Fritz is in control of the music! And yet... the K-pop is nice. He leaves it, twitching slightly when the car lurches again, but everything is going better than expected. Everything is going... well? Phew. "Not bad, not bad. Now, it's a parking lot, so let's not go any faster for tonight, but seems like you've got the basics. Now let's practice starting and stopping a few times. Sound good? Then after that. I'll take over and drive us around a bit, street driving will be another night. You from here, or no?"
       "Yeah, okay," Hannah agrees, bobbing her head in a nod. She completes the lazy turn, and then slowly turns the wheel the other way, getting a feel for the mobility. She predominately drives with her good arm, the right one, but when it comes time to shift, she uses the bionic one to grip the wheel in place. "So then when I slow down..." She does so, and then shifts back down to first with some clumsiness. The car lurches, then smoothes out. "...How do I stop it without making it buck us out the window?"
       "Clutch in, then brakes. Keep the clutch in while we're stopped. And from there it's the same thing you did to get us moving." Fritz seems to have found his chill, directing Hannah in the finer points of managing stick-shift. "By the way, the boon covers all of my lessons, that's not going to be a per-night thing. You never did answer me though, you from around here? Or would a grand tour of the city help you out?"
       "Sorry," Hannah says, "Bit distracted over here. I'm from Austin originally. But I've spent the last five years up north in San Francisco. That's where my sire's Praxis is. Was. She likes to move around." Following his instruction, she presses the clutch in and shifts to neutral. She breaks, hard, and then a little softer--but still bouncy. They stop. She exhales. "Not a per night thing? What're you saying...I need more lessons?" She cracks a grin, then lets her head fall back against the seat with an exhale. "I've only been here in town for a couple weeks, so I can always use a guide."
       Fritz just laughs. "You haven't even dealt with traffic yet! Gotta get you the basics first. Then the highway - it's faster than in town but there's fewer cars to hit - then we have you bob and weave around downtown. And yeah, for my sanity, we are spreading this out across multiple nights. Unless you want to be rage-catapulted all the way to Carlsbad from here? Which honestly I would prefer not to do to you. You're only a little annoying." Coming from a Brujah, that is rather high praise.