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2016-07-04 The Intriguing Vortex

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The Intriguing Vortex
Date 2016/07/04
Location Common Lounge
Participants Blackstorm, Lieutenant, Penchant, Skystalker, Vortex
Summary Common lounge social with all interest in Vortex. He's not so bad once you look past his old murder habits.

This spacious, rectangular room serves as the hub for four habsuite hallways that branch off from it on either side. Tinted blue with warm lighting, it's quiet and cozy during most shifts and invariably bustling with activity in the off hours. When the large videopane isn't buzzing with movies, it's being used for what must be aggressive gaming, evinced by the various controller-shaped dents in the wall nearby. A veritable tangle of game consoles flank the shelving unit, some Terran, some Cybertronian, some truly alien - all modded for mechs.

L-shaped couches circle a simple table in a pisces layout. Off to the side are a few more tables and chairs beside an energon dispenser and an over-priced vending machine.


It's a beautiful morning, and Blackstorm is ready to conquer the day. Mostly. The minibot wanders into the common lounge whistling a tune to himself, hoping to enjoy some company over a cube of energon before shuffling off to his shift. He waves to everyone as he wanders through. "Good morning! I hope you don't mind if I drop in, do you?" he asks, as personable as if he knew them all by name.

With that, he moves to break the seal on the energon he brought with him. Hiss. The air rushes out. And then he remembers: gravity is a thing and he is on the ceiling. Sometimes he is so at home there he forgets. "Ack!" Blackstorm scrambles forwards, but it's too late. Energon is pouring from the container to the ground, and Blackstorm is quick to follow. He moves so fast his wheel fails to properly magnetize and...

CRASH! Suddenly there is a black heap on the floor. While most people would consider that a bad beginning to the day, Blackstorm just looks dazed for a moment and then starts to laugh. "Oops! It's raining mecha, hallelujah."

With nothing going on after his shifts and jobs finished over at the lab, Skystalker finds himself wandering back to the common area with a vague intention of finding something to fill his time. He arrives in the Common Lounge just in time to see the minibot and a stream of energon drink falling from the ceiling into a crumpled pile on the floor. Is it too late to turn back? For the moment he just stares ahead at Blackstorm, expression caught on a slight frown.

You know what's semi-working again? The energon dispenser. Bless Huffer for fixing it. Lieutenant had come to grab some, when he senses something.. strange. Maybe his senses are off but there might be someone on the ceiling. A glance up would confirm he's not entirely malfunctioning, but a minibot comes crashing down against the floor with feels like Grimlock stamping a foot on the ground. The avian jumps back, wings spreading out in alarm... which only cause him pain. He shrieks, but quickly covers his mouth to muffle the sound. If anyone asks, that was a startled shriek, not one of pain.

The avian sighs, and shakes his head at Blackstorm, before pulling out his cloth to move in to clean up the mess. Just another day on the Lost Light. "Next time you could do this outside the ship."

Vortex is enjoying a can of sodagex that survived his last visit to the Common Lounge. Plus, he has more. Hidden everywhere. All over the ship. No one can take it from him again if they tried. Suckers. He rolls one of his touch bait objects around on his fingers, looking up as- "HAH!" The Combaticon cackles. Not at the little guy but at Lieutenant. "With a jump like that, I actually believe you're a flyer, Lieuraffe!" Bluh, that nickname is a mouthful. Lieu+Giraffe though... It just works. He doesn't get up from his comfy chair, clicking his can against his teeth. "One drop, one jump. The universe is balanced, hehe... Hey, lil guy... You got some energon a little... Everywhere." He takes another sip, smiling.

Blackstorm looks up at Lieutenant with a baffled look. "You want me to try spilling energon in space? I mean it would probably be neat to see what happens, but..." he trails off. "Actually, no buts allowed here. I'll give it a try next time I'm on barnacle scraping duty."

Blackstorm rocks back to his pedes, nearly losing his balance in the puddle. His helm snaps in Vortex's direction, his visor hiding his gaze, but the amused smile the stretches across his faceplates proves he is in good humor. "Oh? I'm glad someone noticed the new look I was trying on. Just when I thought I was invisible. I'm flattered."

He reaches out to intercept Lieutenant's reaching hand. "And don't worry yourself about it. I'll take care of it, my fault."

Skystalker's attention cuts from Blackstorm to Lieutenant when he makes that sound, a look of concern flitting across his face before the minibot speaks again. "Blackstorm..." It's the sound of a faint but endeared exasperation. Maybe he's said it like that before. Ah.

"What would happen is it would go flying off into the abyss rather than into your mouth." Skystalker makes an easy visual, at least. He takes a short look around the room, and its contents contrasted with those present; when he wanders further into the lounge he takes up on one of the couches, one leg pulled over the other as he settles down on one.

Vortex. No, Lieutenant is not responding to that name at all. "Here." The avian kneels down, offering the minibot his cloth. "No use in licking it off the floor." Although Skystalker mentions about the liquids floating off, the avian shrugs. 'You can go out and watch him to see if you're right. Just let him try.' If Blackstorm takes the cloth, Lieutenant will move back to the energon dispenser to get a cuppa.

Vortex snickers to himself. Oh, don't be so cold, Lieutenant. You bonded with the rotary over your knuckle barbs. You're stuck with the lil shit. "Hey, lil guy! I dare ya to lick it off the floor!" Do it! Do it! His optics slide over to Skystalker. Wow, those are some nice legs. With a toss, he catches his trinket and bounces over, hopping in the seat by the spacer. "Hey! Work with my brother, right? Space and stuff. Good to see you again."

Blackstorm reaches out to take the cloth, hunching down to begin scrubbing at the mess. "There's one problem with that. You're assuming my mouth isn't already an abyss," he says. "Considering the kinds of things that go into it, I would argue that it is."

Knowing that comment would likely worry some of the mecha present though, Blackstorm pauses his scrubbing long enough to smile reassuringly at everyone gathered. He hates, after all, upsetting anyone (if it can be avoided). "But I'll spare you the demonstration. I'm afraid I can't oblige licking it off the floor."

At least that's what he lets Lieutenant think. If he turns to get his cube of energon, the minibot will hunch down and do one quick lap just to please Vortex. Now everyone is happy! Mission accomplished, he turns to his scrubbing with a new intensity and falls silent. By the time he is done, it will be time for his shift and he will scurry away quietly.

Daring people to lick things off of the floor does not sit well with Skystalker, who only frowns a little more at the taunt, and catches Blackstorm doing it out of the corner of his eye as Tex comes sweeping in to sit beside him. Sky leans away a little at the abruptness of it, though he does not immediately seem to mind. "Hm? Yes. Your brother." There's a note of amusement in the word, and a hint of a smile on Skystalker's lips.

Penchant has managed to snooze through all of this as he sprawled gracelessly on the couch across from Skystalker and Vortex's. At some point he stirs and sits up, blearily looking around for the chronometer. "Oh. Phew." More time to just loaf and do nothing. Hopefully no one minds as he digs around for the remote and flicks on the holoviewer.

Lieutenant will take is cloth back before you run off with it, Blackstorm. He needs that. "You do not need to.. nevermind." he shakes his head. The avian slowly stands back up and rubs at his right shoulder. He needs to stop all this up and down. "Look who finally got up." Lieutenant notes amusingly, when his roommate comes out. Penchant makes the avian suddenly feel a little better. Probably because he's comfortable around him enough to tease at lightly.

Vortex laughs again, watching the little guy lick the floor. Priceles- wait, what was that... His rotors perks, helm tilting. Hmmm... His attention is taken just a moment. "Huh? Yeah! My brother. Blast Off. Great guy, he's gonna go to a party. I hope he has fun..." He finishes off his can, facemask snapping back into place. Refreshing. He looks around for some disposal and can't find anything. Hrmmm...

"Hey! Splotches- don't move whatever you do!" Vortex shouts, voice full of concern. He stares at Penchant... and then tosses his can slightly, with practiced servo. Just gotta land on the brim of his helm and stay there. "Don't move." He repeats, filled with hope.

<FS3> Vortex rolls Balancing Object: Good Success. (7 5 8 5 3 3)

"He is a great guy. I really enjoy his company..." Skystalker glances over at the rustle that is Penchant waking up, offering him a quick smile of hello before he is thoroughly distracted by Vortex and his shouting at the mini. What are you-- hey--!

Penchant responds to Lieutenant with a cheeky look, then a softer smile for Skystalker until Vortex yells in his direction. He knows enough to stay rigidly still. He'd also guessed that Splotches meant him. -Plunk- goes the can, rocking slightly atop his helmet brim. "What the-!" He snatches it off and crumbles it. "I'm not waste disposal!" he huffs, and irritably goes back to channel surfing.

Oh Vortex, please don't torment his roommate too much with your antics. Lieutenant narrows his gaze at the Decepticon, a touch protective of his 'boss.' He says nothing though because Vortex will eventually get bored when he realizes it's not entertaining. Just ignore him, Penchant.

Vortex's arms shoot up straight in the air. "GOAL!" He shouts, laughing. "Aw, that was awesome! You can add that to your skillset, ya know. Splotches: Can catch a can like an ace." He leans back and pats Skystalker's leg that's closest. "And yeah. He's the best. Love that guy, heh... Hey, what'cha lookin' to watch, Splotches?" Lieutenant gives him no attention and is thus ignored. Even if his knuckles are super cool.

Skystalker can't help a small laugh at the harmless prank, hiding it part way behind his hand at the last moment. It won't help matters if he laughs at the rotary's shenanigans. The pat on his leg as Tex sinks back again gets a slight twitch of the limb, a climb of his thigh higher over the knee below. Surprised at the touch, that's all.

Penchant is pretty used to shenanigans from these dang faction mechs, Lieu, worry not. "I didn't- You're the one that- Hrrrn. My name is Penchant!" He tosses the remote to Vortex, just so Vortex has something to do. "What'd I miss?" This addressed to Skystalker. "How many days since our last explosion?"

Ace... Ace.. Ace.. Lieutenant starts fading out into his mind again. That 'faraway' gaze comes over him as he just stares out blankly, recalling- no! Not zoning out this time. He shakes his head and goes for another glass. Turns out he needs more than just one, he's in need of a few. Primus, he wishes he had his syk back for times like these.

Vortex snatches the remote and immediately goes to town. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO- damn, where's the good channels. "One. One day. What's with bots and destroying stuff on this ship? Learn some manners, I say!" He laughs and slaps Skystalker's leg again. "Like Blasty- he's got manners for miles. Oh, this looks good." He stops the channel on... Some sort of alien nature thing. Or science thing. Something was being eaten however. Nice.

Skystalker sighs across at Penchant. "One. One day." He confirms Vortex with a chuckle. His vents puff a little, the sound subtle against the seat he's in. He tips his gaze to the vidscreen as Vortex starts flipping through the signals, and what he's not exactly expecting is another clap to his leg. Rather than say something, Skystalker just presses his hands to the cushion below and gracefully shifts just a little further down, making no comment to the station chosen.

Penchant grimaces at the selection and finally steadies his attention on Vortex. Touchy-feely Vortex, who is apparently enough of a bother to make Skystalker scooch further down the couch. "One day," he repeats grimly. "C'mon over here Lieu," he beckons, oblivious to any zoning-out going on.

"You're the famed interrogator," Penchant bluntly points out, fingers steepling casually.

Third glass, and end it there. Lieutenant doesn't want to take it all. He actually wants to turn a heel and leave. There is no need to 'coddle' Penchant, especially after he showed he could handle himself on Delta. He should go actually. He can't say anything to Vortex and Pen probably wouldn't want him to any way. Just because he's neutral does not mean he cannot handle himself. The avian chastises himself internally. He does eye Skywalker's reaction to being slapped. Lieutenant's fins twitch and he winces quietly. That's got to hurt. Or maybe it's just that the avian feels like it would hurt.

"Errr, okay." Lieutenant replies coming a little closer but staying more at an unreachable distance. Behind the couch.

He doesn't mind the scooting away. Vortex is more than a little used to it, really. Not everyone's game and he's honestly okay with it. The rotary sets down the remote and goes back to playing with his toy from earlier. It’s fun. "Er, what? Ah, you've heard of me! Vortex, Decepticon interrogator- you got it! Penchant, right? And you know Lieuraffe. And this guy. Small world! Guess its gotta be sorta big to you though, amirite?" Small joke!

Skystalker does his best to ignore the ecology lesson on the screen and the mentions of interrogation, putting a hand away to draw out a tablet and pry its stylus free before he begins to poke and scribble over the screen. There is no immediate worry about more touching, and it sounds like Penchant may have something to say. Perfect time to jot something down.

Penchant is less impressed with Vortex recalling his name seeing as he'd just shouted it at him. "Lieuraffe...?" He bristles. This 'con is picking on Lieu and making short jokes. "Lieutenant and Skystalker," he clarifies firmly. "Your name was pretty well-known, next to a few other interrogators. I wouldn't preen over it though, given your line of work." He peers over the couch to give Lieutenant a warm look. You can sit here if you want!

"What are... those?" Pen gestures to Vortex's toys.

"Others? Oh, right... The 'others'. Got Tormentor, Repugnus, ummmm... I guess the DJD sorta count? They err less on the interrogation I guess... Soundwave, I suppose. Prowl was good at that too." Look, he admires interrogators and torturers from all factions. "But I'm still the best- why shouldn't I preen? You think I just made bots scream? Please- its called finesse. I can see a lie a mile away, hehe..." He looks down at the object in his servo. "Oh, this? Hum, I'm not sure? Rung had 'em and I took 'em and I like 'em. They... I dunno, I like them. Only got two though..." Maybe Rung has more? Not that he cares!

Really, that nickname has to be the worst anyone has come up with. Lieutenant's had a few bad ones too, so that's somewhat of a feat. The avian slowly shakes his head no. If he sits, he's not getting up for a good while. Besides, how is he properly going to bristle when Vortex brings up his former commander? Tormentor. That's a name he never thought he'd hear from someone else's mouth without him telling them of him. "I see..." he drags out behind gritted teeth. He's just very sensitive when it comes to Tormentor, and for some reason this has put him on edge. His hands grip the back of the couch as he tries not to seem interested, but he is. Entirely.

Skystalker glances up with a small smile at his name, a confirmation for the sake of Vortex, whose name he definitely knows. He looks back to his tablet abruptly at the mention of the other interrogators; maybe it's timed to Soundwave's name. Or Prowl's? Hard to tell. His expression grows a little more uncomfortable the more Tex mentions his old work.

Penchant didn't quite expect a list. He lifts a brow, studying the toys instead. Then Lieutenant declines his offer. A small smile assures that it's cool, you do you, Lieu. Lest Vortex freak out everyone here. "You can tell when folk lie?" Steering the conversation to something a little tamer, maybe...! If only for Penchant twitching a little when /someone's/ abruptly intense emotions tap in. Or nerves. He struggles to tell, optics slowly drifting to Skystalker.

Vortex's optics flicker over to Lieutenant, almost seeing to zoom in. Eye zoom. It got a little quieter out of nowhere. Oh, oops, haha. He did the 'talk about the job' thing. Whoops, no more of that. "Hmm, yes. Lies, feelings... Body language is the language of my job- old job! Not anymore, see? But these two sure heard something they didn't like. I could pick anything that's been mentioned recently and see if they react defensively. Then I know they could be hiding something. Or lying. It makes for easy information gathering, you know?" He spins the tool, looking around. Look at all this tension. GROSS. "Hey anyone want to play with this? Its nice." It makes you feel better! And good! "How about you, spacer? Lieu has a touch thing sooo..." He offers the toy. Ehhh?

Skystalker's stylus hand clutches the pen, working it at a roll between his fingers, thumb pressed firm into the side of it in a subtle tension. Otherwise, he is a vision of poise. At least, for anyone besides Vortex.

"Please don't--" It's a quiet plead for some peace. Amber optics turn back to the combaticon when he coaxes for a response for the toy in his hands; the look he gets is troubled, Skystalker's full mouth parted in a slight frown, brow knitted as he tries to decide if Tex is for real. First he's talking about interrogation, then he's offering this out? As if unsure of the truthfulness, Skystalker holds out his palm with a dose of hesitance. Okay.

Penchant is a little bit distracted from the starfighter's anxious thoughts, tinged with tell-tale trauma. So he just sinks back against the couch and stares up at the ceiling, flexing his fingers in his lap. "I believe ya'," he eventually manages when the intensity of it all seems to ebbs as Skystalker takes up the offer. "No need to prove it," he appends a little breathlessly.

That was one thing Tormentor used to tell Lieutenant, he was a terrible liar. He could hide his feelings, his take on things, but when it came time to spin the truth, he flopped. His emotions are showing now, actually. So he releases his grip on the couch and rests his arms over the edge instead. Just calm down. It's not like Vortex knows, and thankfully, the conversation turned.

Lieutenant raises an optic ridge slightly at Skystalker. Recalling what he said in the elevator: I've ...had my wings injured before. The avian can't help but wonder, what happened to Sky.

Vortex's rotors perk and he nods, dropping the object into Skystalker's palm. "There you go! Isn't it neat? The ends kinda spin and stuff. My other one lights up! All sorts of colors." He beams beneath his mask and then scoots away from Skystalker. "So, Spacer, what're you doing there? Designing? I sorta do that- I work the Body Shop! Lieu's seen me there! He even visited. He... He's one of... Two." Riptide didn't count, he invited Ripper over. "Everyone goes to Torque... But you should come some time! Come see me?"

Skystalker considers the object in his hand, fondling the spinnerettes with a delicate touch of fingers. He silently notes the distance Vortex offers between them, his frown lessening into something calmer again. "I'm composing." His answer is soft, and he tips his work towards the others so they can get a glimpse. Sky does not mention he was there just the other day to see Torque, but Tex's attempts to get him to go earn a small smile, passive. "We'll see."

Penchant rubs his brow, graciously able to think again. He keeps a troubled look on Skystalker as he comments, "I hear mechs talk about the body shop all the time. I think a lot of 'em have plans but they're too nervous to go through with 'em. Oh, music?" The symbols don't mean much to him, but he seems impressed anyway. "...You okay Lieu?"

Vortex nods. "Sure, sure. You look great! No need to come in for you... But you! Splotches, you pain is all... It's something. I can't tell if its a political statement or not..." His helm tilts and then he shrugs, looking at the- "Music! Music is cool. Can't write it so that's cool." Music man, this spacer. Good to know.

Penchant is back to being offended. "It's not a statement, it's respect! Thanks to your meandering war," this is said lightly - he doesn't want to rile up more angst, "The only planets we could hope to create settlements on were already inhabited. We had to negotiate and bargain with the organic natives - who had splotches. It was a show of good will to paint ourselves up like this." Skystalker gets a slightly bashful grin. "Aw, thanks." Back to Tex, "And how do you explain that?" He gestures to the entirety of the chopper.

Charming? Maybe... Vortex nods. "Yeah, did take a lil while to wrap up. Ya know, I wasn't even a part of it for a bit. Me and my brothers, we ran off and went to other planets too! Always inhabited. I think we had to paint ourselves like that once? Sorta- HAH! Blasty looked like this purple cow, hehe... Primus, don't tell him I told ya, Spacer. Anyways, met a lot of alien people. Lots." Mostly got paid to do hits, steal, guard, and sometimes kidnap. Like, all the time. It paid so well. Also, organics are such assholes. "What, this? Don't you just love it?" His rotors fan out like a peacock's tail feathers. "Torque did it! Oh!! Have you seen her teeth? She painted me, and I modded her chompers. Cool, huh? Either of you need new teeth maybe?"

"That's such a nice gesture, though-- I hope both places were flattered." Skystalker smiles back at Penchant for his story, the explanation quite touching, and Tex's story gets a tiny shrug for the end. He don't say anything! He doesn't seem terribly offended by Vortex's peacock colors, either, nodding along with his love for it. "I think my dental work is fine how it is. I don't think a mod would suit me."

"They were. Well, we had to do some labor for 'em too. Gotta' pay the rent. Kinda' miss it." Penchant hadn't meant to lump Lieutenant in there, so an apologetic look is given. Purple cow, he mouths, struggling to imagine. At Vortex's display, he smirks a little. "Torque, really? Vortex, isn't fangs a kinda' Decepticon thing...? Wouldn't your superiors get grumpy about you giving them to Autobots?"

Torque has new teeth now... great. Lieutenant is not letting her near him again, he just can't do it. The avian waves a hand of dismissal, he knows, he knows, nothing to be sorry for Penchant. The avian pardons himself by quietly heading out. He's not going down memory lane, not around everyone here. That's what the habsuites are for.

Vortex shrugs. Hey, teeth mods aren't for everyone! No matter how cool they are. His blades suddenly seem to snap together and sink. His visor locks with Penchant's optics, his demeanor totally serious. "Nothing is anyone's 'thing'. No one can tell anyone what they can and can't have. And they can't stop me or anyone from giving someone what they want." One could say he could relate. He wasn't always a rotary, and it didn't come by easy. If someone felt like changing a part of them, then they should be able to do it. "Hey Spacer, could I maybe have that back now?" He feels all agitated. Like the thought that an aesthetic could belong to one faction- FEH! Neutrals…

"...They're just teeth." Skystalker asides at Penchant, after Vortex's little serious rant. There's a swell of pride that flutters in him. Freedom of choice is important even if it's something as small as teeth, color, or shape. He knows too well the value. "Freedom is a right. You know that, Penchant." He gives the toy an extra spin before he offers it back to Tex.

"Bye Lieu!" Penchant waves off Lieutenant, shattering the quiet departure. Then Vortex locks optics with him, and he shifts uneasily. He's about to protest somewhat when Skystalker joins in on the mild admonishment. "Yeah. Yes. I know that. I just..." He doesn't really have an excuse - he's just acutely aware of customs and traditions. He draws his gunmetal tongue over his denta, then gets to his feet. "I should get to work. Er, Sky, can I talk to you later?"

Vortex takes the object, claws clicking against it and spinning it a bit. His rotors flick and he looks at Skystalker. He likes him. No wonder Blasty likes him too. Likeable guy. He sits back, glancing at Penchant. He watches the two of them.

Hm? Skystalker looks up to Penchant at the request, brow knitted a little. "Oh, sure... just comm me when you need me?" Maybe it's about their mutual problem and the other neutrals? Probably. Supposing he'll find out.

Penchant salutes. Then fixes Vortex with an even look. The murder-y 'con looks so innocent sitting there in his bright colors playing with spinny toys. Hmph. "Later," and off he darts.

Vortex twiddles his fingers. "Have fun- OH! AND CONGRATS! WITH THE JOB!" Now someone make his dream come true and put him in Security. Damn you all. He nestles into the couch's corner and plays with the toy, falling quiet. He proceeds to start balancing it on his helm and face. Now he's being entertained! He giggles a bit. Wee. "You're a good mech, Skystalker. Thanks for being my brother's friend." Seems offhanded but his brothers and who they associate with is rarely far from his thoughts.

Skystalker is ready to go back to his tablet work as Penchant departs, but Tex and his balancing act draw his eye first. "...Thank you." He thinks. It's a comment that comes at a strange time, but maybe that's just par for the course. "It's no problem of mine. I enjoy his company."

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