(2016-04-28) Pimp My Ride
Pimp My Ride
Summary: That thing Mon was building last week? The one that blew up? It's a gas powered arc welder. She rebuilds it back into the lawn tractor, along with the compressor from the Auto Repair Shop and builds… a mobile… arc-welder… compressor… thing. She dutifully parks it in an empty carport next to her cart. Someone likes building vehicles.
Date: 2016.04.28
Related: http://5thwave.wikidot.com/log:2016-04-21-earth-shattering-kaboom

Auto Repair Shop Stratford
Thu Apr 28, 2016 — Thu Apr 28 21:34:12 2016

For a building literally half-full of wind-blown garbage not long ago thanks to an open garage door, the auto repair shop excavations seem to be complete. It's a modest sized garage, four stalls, two of them that can be opened. The usual hydraulic lifts are in those, ready to lift nonexistent cars with nonexistent hydraulic pressure. The building has been here for nearly a century, and it shows. Where there could be two more stalls, there's a sagging roof over the tool storage room. Behind the big red Snap-On toolboxes is the welding area, with some gas bottles, an arc welder, and a plethora of welding rods. Bolted to the floor, and still there after 75 years because they're too heavy to bother moving, are a World War II vintage lathe, about three feet long, a similarly sized and aged horizontal mill, a big, belt driven drill press, and a shaper, an ancient machine tool for cutting flat surfaces. None of them look like they've been operated since the turn of the century. They're a little rusty, dinged up from propping up other things, and generally neglected. Still, the moisture-swollen cabinet has all the cutters and attachments for the tools.

It is spring. The weather is cool and drizzling.

Monica - 5'7, slender but getting enough to eat, finally. Early 20s. She has blond hair, and if you can see her face, it's a mass of varicose veins.
Exits: [O] N. Texas Street (NTS)

<FS3> Monica rolls Electrician: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Mechanic: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Welding: Good Success.

Monica eyes the mobile arc welder she was building, the one that tried to kill her only last week. She looks it over carefully and gives it a big, fat raspberry. "Okay, okay, so I got the polarity reversed on one of the capacitors, or it was already bad. One or the other. I had better ideas anyway." She takes the thing all apart, grafts the engine back into the lawn tractor from which it came, and in place of the mower drive, she hooks up the big alternator (with the remaining big capacitor, its polarity carefully checked this time) She pushes the whole lawn tractor back outside, and fires it up. Then she ties a string to the former mower clutch and, from a safe distance, crouching behind a dead car, yanks the clutch into gear. And waits. Nothing much happens.

Monica goes back to the lawn tractor and turns the mower clutch back off. She wires a big, hand-made wire coil (that looks like, and is, the water supply line from a refrigerator) to the alternator, and follows that with a pair of jumper cables. Again, she starts the machine up, engages the clutch from cover, and again. Nothing happens. Finally, she clamps one of the jumper cables to a hub cap, pulls down her goggles, and tries to strike an arc with a welding rod to the hub cap. Success!

You say, "Who needs oxygen for welding?" Monica asks. "I can weld with gasoline. Or butanol. Or propane too, probably." She looks at the lawn-tractor/welder a few moments. "I wonder if I can fit a compressor on here too."

<FS3> Monica rolls Mechanic: Great Success.
<OOC> Monica says, "*boggle*"
<FS3> Monica rolls Search: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Welding: Success.

Monica finds the compressor that used to power the shop without much difficulty, strips it of its electric motor, welds its tank across the back of the tractor with the pulley down toward the bottom.

<FS3> Monica rolls Search: Good Success.

Monica finds a pulley to attach to the tractor's power-take-off to drive the compressor at an appropriate speed, and hooks the whole business together.

Monica fires up the tractor, sets the safety valve on the compressor's tank, and engages the PTO. She waits across the street behind the dead car for the inevitable explosion. Eventually the safety valve pops and vents pressure, just as it should, to keep the tank from blowing up. "Man, it's a good thing I don't have showers working yet. If I did, I'd definitely fall and break my neck in one."

<FS3> Monica rolls Search: Failure.

Monica fails to find any usable lengths of compressed air hose, however. "There we go. I knew there would be a fly in the ointment eventually." She climbs on the tractor, disengages the PTO and the mower clutch, and drives the thing back toward the apartment complex.

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