2015-08-09 Enemies to Allies
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|08-09-15 Enemies to Allies|
|Location||Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's|
|Participants||Arcee, Blast Off|
|Summary||Old enemies become new allies, even if one one them /might/ have once stabbed the other through the chest.|
Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's
Often referred to as the heart of the ship (by Swerve), the bar is rarely empty, rarely quiet. Central to the whole is the bar itself: just tall enough for a minibot to serve over the edge and lined with stools capable of accommodating bots of any height. Large, clear vessels stand behind the bar, containing the brews of the day. Behind the bar, an engex distillery assures there's always something new.
Round tables are scattered across the floor. Seats fold up from the floor beneath. Large boots along the sides of the room have room for a half-dozen or more, if they don't mind getting cozy, while monitors here and there find occasional use showing old vids.
Arcee is here, at her customary, solitary table in the back of the bar. She always gives the bartender specific instructions to leave her alone except to bring her refills. Sometimes when Blurr is around he'll join her because there's nothing she can do to stop him from doing so, but he's the only one who even dares attempt such a stunt. Tonight, she's all by herself, with her drink and her datapad, and it's just the way she wants it.
That's one thing Arcee and Blast Off have in common, then, though Blast Off hasn't figured out to specifically order the bartender to leave him alone. That would take entirely too much effort and more talking than he cares for. The shuttleformer likes to sit in a dark corner of the bar, too, reading and keeping an optic on the door. He enters the bar now with just such ideas, glancing over - and spying Arcee in his customary spot. Hmm. He frowns under his faceplate, optics narrowing a little. He hesitates a moment, then with a small sigh, proceeds in to order a drink and decide just where he *should* sit.
Arcee glances up from her datapad, regarding Blast Off as he dawdles a bit. (Must've taken his seat,) she muses. "I won't bother you if you sit here," she says. "I'm not moving, but you can sit here, and I won't bother you." She offers this not so much from the kindness of her spark, but it's annoying her to see Blast Off just.../dawdling/.
Blast Off glances to Arcee in a mild bit of surprise when she addresses him, letting out an indignant-sounding *huff*. "No thank you." His voice carries even more disdain than usual, and it /usually/ carries some disdain. His nose goes up in the air. "I'll find someplace *else* to sit," he finishes, with a dismissive wave of his hand. And he proceeds to do that- or, at least, *try* to.
Problem is, most of the seats are taken. Swerve's is almost full up and most of the seats available are next to loudmouth or other unsavory sorts that few want to sit next to, especially not a standoffish shuttle. He falters around the bar slowly, finally winding up back near Arcee. Where, it just so happens... there is one small table not taken. Next to hers. D'oh. The Combaticon slumps a little, annoyed. Really? Come on. He glances to Arcee, then away. Looking a bit like a cat now who stumbles and then tries to make it appear he meant to do it all along, the shuttleformer sits down at the table.
At first his back is turned to Arcee so he can ignore her... but almost immediately he seems to think twice about turning his back to the femme. So then he's facing towards her. Now he can't help but glare at her, no... this won't do either. So then he's seated at a side profile where he doesn't have to really look at her but he can watch her int he corner of his optics. Yes, he meant to do this all along. *cough* He waves his hand again. "Besides, this seat offers a better view." See? Meant to do this.
Arcee watches Blast Off with a smirk, as he travels around the bar to locate a better seat. She already knows that he isn't going to find one, so she waits for him to reach that conclusion. This process takes considerably longer than she thought it would. "Fine, then..." She shakes her head in disbelief. "So did you win a gold star from Rodimus?" she asks, because she knows that's an irritating topic.
Blast Off is doing his best to appear aloof and unaffected, but when Arcee mentions the Gold Star, the Combaticon's fist clenches before he thinks better of it. Then it is unclenched and he places his hand flat on the table and flicks as if dusting it. He doesn't look at the femme, but does eventually answer. "....No. You were there. He apparently thinks *Slugfest* deserves one but not *I*. He also apparently thinks very poorly of most members of his crew who *happen* to be Decepticons." There's a moment of silence as waves down the bartender to order a drink, then thinks to add quickly, "Not that I *want* one of those stupid stars to begin with!"
"For someone who didn't want a stupid gold star to begin with, you're awfully perturbed that you didn't actually get one," Arcee points out with a slight hint of a smile. "You know, that little stego mech is one hell of a fighter. I have a lot of respect for him. If it makes him happy to have a star, then he can have all the stars he wants as far as I'm concerned."
Blast Off hufffs. "I was *not* perturbed that I didn't get a star." (This may or may not be true.) "What I was perturbed about was our Captain's award of "Least /*Murderous*/ Decepticon" to Slugfest, therby implying the rest of the Decepticons onboard *are* murderous." Now the Combaticon does turn to look Arcee in the optics for the first time. "Make no mistake, a Decepticon *should* be "one hell of a fighter". And ...well..." Blast Off slows down a tad, gaze dropping down to his hand, where his trigger finger twitches once and then stills. His voice quiets a bit as well, as he considers his words carefully.
"If you or Rodimus think Slugfest is a great fighter, well... you should already know what a *Combaticon* can do." He gives Arcee a meaningful glance. "I know *you* already know what a Combaticon can do." A much smaller, softer huff, /almost/ conciliatory. "As I know what *you* can do." His hand flexes again and he continues more normally, "But combat prowess should not equal *murderous* intent. If he really thinks we're simply *murderous*, then why are we here to begin with?"
Arcee had briefly considered simply turning back to her datapad, up until the point where Blast Off begins to wax philisophical about /murder/. Her favorite topic! She can't pass up this golden opportunity. "How is combat not murderous business?" she asks.
Arcee makes Blast Off have to stop and think. He knows what he wants to say, and he weighs it against the fact that he's a Decepticon speaking to an Autobot on a largely Autobot ship. Still, he (mostly) speaks his truth. "There's a difference between *murder* and doing your job. One is sheer sadism, one is the cost of being a soldier at war."
"I see." Arcee pauses to sip her drink. "What if you really /enjoy/ your job, to the point where you learn every detail you can to become extremely proficient? Some would say that's an enviable position. And if your job involves ending lives, is that really wrong?"
Blast Off lifts a hand in a sort of half shrug, half agreeable gesture. "Well. Yes. Exactly. *Someone* is going to be called upon to do the "dirty work". That is inevitable with war. Why would it be wrong to at least learn your craft and do it as profeciently as possible? Get the job done as quickly and cleanly as possible." He pauses as the bartender brings him his drink (wine of course) and he lifts the glass up. "In fact, I'd say doing that can sometimes *save* lives, ultimately."
"Oh, come on now, Blast Off," Arcee says with a slight grin, her cyberfangs glinting faintly. "It isn't dirty, it's an art /and/ a science. How many professions can you honestly say encompass both spheres of influence? You make it sound like such a chore. You can't honestly tell me you don't get a thrill from a good orbital strike."
Blast Off stops and looks at Arcee, optics narrowing just a bit as he considers whether she's trying to ensnare him into revealing that he really IS just "murderous". There's a long silence, which he punctuates with a slow sip of wine before placing it carefully back on his table. Caution fights with ego, but ultimaetly ego wins.
"Well... I..." He glances away, trying to word it carefully, before gazing at the femme again. "I take pride in my work, yes. I always have; I always will. I'm the best at what I do. When I'm up in orbit doing what I was *built* for, yes...I take pride in a job well done. Surely you feel the same when performing *your* work during battle?"
"Absolutely, yes!" Arcee seems much more animated as Blast Off seems to understand where she's taking this conversation. She slams the palm of her hand down on the table. "Exactly /that/. Pride is a part of it. But no one here can comprehend the concept! It's more than that, though, it's...the self-discipline to achieve something greater than your means, and the determination to follow through on...on your intentions, it's..." Her optics shine brightly, and as her words trail off, she stares off into nothingness, her attentions instantly redirected to another time and place.
Blast Off blinks as Arcee slams her hand down, though he listens and nods as she agrees. "Well, few here seem to truly understand a warrior's spark." Of course part of that is most of them are Autobots, but anyway.... There are some Autobots who *would* understand, and Arcee does seem one who would.
"Self-discipline is required to achieve greatness, for it is part of learning and practicing one's craft and remaining focused. And yes, determination is another requirement. All are required for greatness. And greatness on the battlefield cannot be achieved if one is too timid or soft-sparked to do what needs to be done. It's actually..." The Combaticon pauses as Arcee seems to stare off into the void or something. His optics flicker in a blink again as he studies her face, tilting his head a little to the side. ".... Arcee?"
Arcee is mouthing some silent chant to herself, and doesn't look at /all/ like she even hears anything Blast Off is saying...until she suddenly seems to come around on her own, slowly turning to look at the Combaticon. "Why don't the mechs on this ship get that?? They don't...it's...they don't understand, Blast Off," she murmurs quietly, sounding baffled. "I personally offered to train Brainstorm in proper field tactics, and he turned me down. He'd rather be unprepared. His preference...is to be unaware and untrained. And that seems to be a pervasive attitude. It's...rewarded, right? Didn't Brainstorm get a 'gold star'? Yes..."
Ok, Arcee's behavior is kind of weirding Blast Off out, not that he wants to admit it. At least she returns to normal and he can pretend it never happened. Because that always solves problems, right? He mulls over what she says, and refrains from his first impulse which is to state it's because they're Autobots and Autobots have always been soft that way. Again, speaking to one AND on a largely Autobot ship.
He shakes his head and tries to be tactful. "That makes no sense to me, either. Even if you *want* to avoid fighting, the galaxy is a sometimes harsh and unforgiving place. You may not want to fight, but fights will eventually find you. Therefore it is far better to be prepared. Now in Brainstorm's case, I will give him one concession- he has a large and varied assortment of weapons. Perhaps he thinks he can simply press a button and be rid of his enemies. Perhaps not. I know *I* like to get to know a few high quality weapons and be *very* good at using them..." He flexes his gun hand proudly. "But most on this ship serve a more...pacifistic philosphy."
"Absolutely. Harsh, unforgiving, /yes/," Arcee nods fervantly. "Fights WILL find you. You understand this. We should train together. I want to find everyone on the ship who understands how important this is, especially NOW when we don't have backup resources. We only have each other."
Now this is odd, but in an entirely different way. Blast Off is finding he *agrees* with Arcee. Funny what post-war does to a person sometimes. The shuttleformer's hand absent-mindedly reaches towards his own chest, site of a long-mended injury that came about thanks to the very femme sitting there in front of him right now. But that was long ago during the war, and this is now. And Blast Off of ALL people knows how hostile the cosmos can be to their kind... and how far away they are from any outside help.
He nods his head once, slowly. "Very well. You are correct. We do only have ourselves out here and there are many enemies between us and our goals now. Having crack fighting teams who work well together and are ready for combat when required is only logical. I should know, after all." He worked so long with the other Combaticons, there is some small part of him that would like to have a team again. Well, maybe it's a small part, and maybe it's bigger than that. He's not going to think too hard on it right now though.
Arcee never seems entirely at ease anymore, but she does seem to be less agitated now than she had been a few moments ago. She sips her drink, nodding in agreement. "But you're right in that this ship is full of pacifists and non-combatants. It's really disappointing. They think they're above having to train. Brainstorm is an excellent weapons designer, but that still isn't enough to exempt him from being ready to act. By Primus, even /Mercy/ knows a thing or two about how to conduct herself on a mission. Training is not about learning how to kill, it's learning how to be valuable to your team." Since this is more than she usually says to anyone in a single sitting, a period of awkward silence follows her comments. "......"
"Yes, this is simply..." Blast Off pauses in mid-sentence, pondering the wisdom of what he was about to say. His optics flicker around the room before settling on Arcee again, and he decides to press forward. "This is ...an issue I've seen with...." Again he hesitates, trying to word it "correctly", "Well, with Autobots. Not all of them, but... some of them. They desire peace, but forget that ...well, freedom isn't free. Peace has to be *won* sometimes against enemies. Pacifism only gets you so far. You have to /fight/ for what you believe in- and to protect yourself."
The Combaticon looks to Arcee as she mentions Mercy, lifting an optic ridge. "Oh? Yes, I suppose she did that one time I accompanied her." He pauses to take a sip of wine, then interrupts the silence that follows with a healthy dose of ego. "Well, *I* am certainly valuable. I was valuable to my team, and I will be valuable here as long as I am *allowed* to do what I need to do without undue suspicion."
"Ah, but you can't generalize like that, Blast Off. I mean, look at the Wreckers. Then turn around and look at all the mechs on the Decepticon side who were perfectly capable of more but they chose not to 'sully their hands' with what they saw as the 'work' of lesser mechs. I can think of more than a few Seekers who fit the bill," Arcee notes. "And scientists, engineers, that sort."
Arcee sips her drink, then comments, "You do realize we could be on this 'mission' for quite a while."
Blast Off considers this. "True. I will give some credit where credit is due. Some, like the Wreckers, could handle themselves in battle and knew being soft has no place in war." Though ugh, wasn't Whirl a Wrecker? "Well... most of them, though they had their ...problem people, too. And yes, some Decepticons were as you say." His optics dim a little and he takes a moment to lift up his wine and take another sip. "Believe me, all the Combaticons were... vexed from time to time by various other Decepticons. If Onslaught was in charge of more things, well..." He thinks to himself the war itself might have turned out differently, but perhaps he won't say that out loud. "Things might have been different."
"Yes, it takes all sorts to fill an army, and each has their place, but the warriors will always be the main line of defense- and offense. And yes, I do realize it. I am a space shuttle, after all.... I've traveled out here before. Space is very vast, very dangerous, and..." He thinks to himself *very lonely* but there's no WAY he'd admit to that out loud, "Very unforgiving of errors." He glances over to Arcee again. "I suppose we *should* learn to fight. I mean... /alongside/ each other, this time."
"If things were different, then they would have turned out differently," Arcee says with a playful flippant tone, very reminiscent of the femme she once was. The war has definitely made her into someone else, however, with that former persona buried beneath eons of war, grief, and loss. When she's feeling more comfortable, however, shades of that 'old' version crop up from time to time. "But yes, training together would be smart, especially if what lies ahead is more dangerous than what we've already encountered...and it very well could be. Because you'll never see me turn tail and run away on a battlefield. NEVER. If I tell you that I have your back, then you have my word."
It's possible Blast Off has a more...playful side to him, too, but if he does very few ever see it, and he projects such a serious and standoffish persona it's generally hard to even imagine, either. He listens and agrees with another small nod before sipping some more wine. "Indeed it could be. In fact, I can almost assure you that if we spend enough time out here, we *will* meet things that make what we've faced so far seem like nothing." He pauses, swishing the engex slowly around in his glass. "Very good. I will not run from a fight either. I am a Combaticon, after all. I have a reputation to maintain. It sounds like both of us do."
"Do you think you might be able to...set aside old grudges?" Arcee asks, giving Blast Off a curious glance. Is she referring to the way in which she cut him down in battle? Or is she referencing something else entirely? Either way, she wants to see just how dedicated he actually is to this position.
That question causes the Combaticon to stiffen and straighten up slightly, gun hand flexing once almost subconciously. He hasn't forgotten that incident at all. Nor has he fogotten any of the war in general, nor would he expect her to. He looks down at his wine glass, swishing the liquid around once before replying, voice lowered. "...Yes. That was the war. That was... the past, and this is the present, and we need to plan for the future. Old grudges are of little use when there are a limited number of us..." he pauses to gesture with a hand outwards towards a starlit window, "...and countless enemies out there." Of course, it may be that fully abandoning old grudges may be more easily /said/ than /done/, especially for a Combaticon prone to denial. "How about you?"
"Absolutely," Arcee says, peering toward the window and the endless expanse of space beyond it. "I've already fought beside Breakdown on one of the planetside missions. But again, I'm prepared to do this, I'm dedicated to this paradigm shift. Do you think you would be able to work with Blurr?"
Blast Off listens, bringing his wine up for another drink. "Yes, I already saved Rodimus' hide on one occasion. I'm sure there'll be more." He's just taking a swallow when she mentions *Blurr* and it takes everything he has not to spit the drink out in surprise, leading to some coughing and sputtering as he tries clamping down and not making an embarrassing spill. "What?!" There's a cough and his glass is almost slammed on the table. "Blurr??! Now wait just a minute, I..." He stops. Drat. Gut reaction aside, he reminds himself this *is* post war.
The shuttleformer seems to brace himself now,rolling his shoulders and glancing off to the side before quite deliberately bringing his glass up again and finishing his drink. "....I ...suppose I can, if I *have* to. We already did work together once rcently." His glass comes down and he looks away. "Doesn't mean I'll like it, though. I'd suggest he find other people to work with *most* of the time."
"You don't have to *like* him, but...you might need to work /with/ him," Arcee points out with a smirk. "I know how he is, though. Going to need to have a discussion with him about cooperation. I think he comprehends how important this is, but he has a habit of making...snap decisions. Not always the best decisions."
"/Tell/ me about it." Blast Off looks disgruntled now, despite himself. "The one time I DID work with him recently, he made our mission MUCH more complicated than it needed to be." The Combaticon lets out a *huff*. "Good luck with that. He appears quite...egotistical and selfish to me." Because Blast Off is one to talk about such things, right? "And snap decisions can get not only him but *others* killed. As a sniper I have always known the value of patience."
"Heh." Arcee grins a genuine smile, cyberfangs glinting. Blast Off just made a funny! "Well /he/ needs to understand this, too. He is no exception to the rule, no matter how much of a hot shot he once was. It's good that you've worked with him successfully already, because that /might/ be enough leverage for me to take to a discussion with him."
"Better you than me." Blast Off manages to sound even more huffy than usual. "But yes, feel free to tell him how he should look up to *me* as an example of how things are rightfully done." The shuttleformers stops just short of preening, taking another sip of wine instead. The sight of those fangs causes him to pause ever-so-briefly, then he adds, "I'm surprised *you* can tolerate him as much as you seem to."
"For some reason, I don't think he would take that advice very well," Arcee admits. (Yes, ask Blurr to model himself after Blast Off...that will only get him to laugh.) She makes a long-suffering sigh at Blast Off's last comment. "I don't, really. But I know my limitations..." She finishes her drink with a final chug. "...and I can't catch him," she points out.
Blast Off lets out another huff that almost sounds amused. A scoffing, scornful kind of amused, at least. "Ah, well, then I do extend my sympathies and wish you luck in dealing with him. Of course," He lifts his glass for another sip, arching an optic ridge, "A well-placed shot "catches" Blurr just fine." He looks smug as he thinks back on past glories hitting the "unhittable" speedster, then adds almost as an afterthought, "...Non-lethal, of course."
The sniper pauses, glass still lifted to his lip plates, then there's the faintest chance Arcee might detect a hint of a smirk through that hatch in his faceplate. "Tranquilizers might do the trick." Apparently the Combaticon *can* tell a joke. Assuming he's actually joking.
Arcee chuckles. "Of course. Remember, maybe I can't tag him with a shot, but that doesn't mean I'm without /any/ recourse," she mentions with a secretive smile. "...I'll let you know if I make any progress." With that, Arcee makes her way to the door.
That optic ridge remains raised at the little cryptic comment from Arcee. Hmm. Blast Off doesn't press further, though, and watches as she leaves, then turns to order another drink.