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2016-08-15 Camiens Anonymous

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Camiens Anonymous
Date 2016/08/15
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Oil Baths
Participants Gearstrip, Watts
Summary A chance meeting in the bath between Camiens

Some entirely unnecessary fabric half-curtains hang across the entrance with a swirl of some strange foreign characters painted onto the fabric.

The air is warm and rich with a bouquet of scents. Near the entry, the sharp, bright scent of soaps and cleaners is strongest near the the racks of open showers; shower heads of adjustable heights allow bots from Minimus to Magnus to make use of the facility while benches and stools give space for the injured or wearied to slough off the mess from a fight. Beyond, a larger space is cordoned off into several sections.

There are a few small, deep baths, capable of holding one very large mech, or a couple of smaller mechs. Minerals and scents are racked on the wall nearby to be added to the smaller baths. By far the largest pool is a communal soaking pool, hot enough to sink deep past armoring into the struts while an icy plunge pool nearby is good for waking back up.

Sliding doors lead to the body shop next door where a clean frame can go for touch-ups.


When Gearstrip arrives in the oil baths today, she looks like she's been the subject of a minor industrial accident involving a lot of flame-retardant chemical foam. Condensation of pale hue dribbles down the lines of her slight frame as she trudges into the baths with an air of embarrassed reluctance, not entirely unlike a dog expecting the rolled up newspaper treatment. She drips a few splatters of the stuff onto the floor and lets a sigh cycle through her vents as she makes her slow, wilted step across the room to the showerheads.

For what is quite possibly the first time in his life, Watts has found a place to use his alt mode. Okay well perhaps 'use' is a bit too generous of a term, but he can at least be in his rather petite alt mode in the large communal bath. The oil is mostly still, though it bobs and rocks ever so slightly against the confines of the tub with the tentative, cautious turns of his motor blades.

It's not exactly studying, no, but he is thinking about his previous discussions with Rung while he putzes around in the bath so that counts, right?

First attacking her beleaguered paint job with the scouring heat from the minibot-height showerhead, Gearstrip waits patiently for a long moment as the heat and liquid manage to scour through the first layer of the chemical gunk she's managed to get all over herself. She pulls her goggles off her head, and turns it out balanced on her servo to take up some of the spray. Tilting backwards in a lean as she lowers her shoulders, she turns her gaze out across the surface of the large communal bath nearby and offers a tentative smile to the boat she sees there.

"Hi," Gearstrip says a little uncertainty, not entirely certain she's placing the floating alt mode there in her memory. "Sorry to interrupt. Do you mind if I dip?"

Wait. A voice! Someone's in here!

"Bwagh!" Startled by the unexpected audience, the small boat jolts and abruptly capsizes. The sound of a transformation sequence is a little muffled by the oil, but the splashing, floundering limbs trying to turn himself upright are plainly audible. After some failed attempts Watts manages to grab onto the edge of the bath and pull himself up against it, peeking sheepishly over at the minibot in the shower. Oh gracious, so small. No wonder he hadn't heard her come in. "O-of course! Of course- so sorry! I didn't realize anyone had come in or I wouldn't have been hogging it like that terribly sorry-"

"Oh no." Gearstrip bites her lip. She snaps her now glistening smeared goggles back into place on her helm and hastens over to the side of the pool. She drips her way across the short distance between the showerheads and the edge of the pool. Dropping into a perched seat at the edge, she lets her pedes dangle so that they dip beneath the surface of the warm oil. "I didn't mean to sneak up on you," she says. "Sorry about that. Are you okay?"

"Oh don't you worry about me," Watts insists sheepishly, his hand flapping dismissively at the notion before moving to wipe a bit of oil out of his eyes. Next time he should put his goggles on before he dips in, since that seems to be what they're for. "More flustered than frightened, I assure you. I'm not hurt."

Not injured. Just very, very embarrassed. Clearing his vents, he thrusts out an oil-slicked hand towards the mini. "Hello! My name is Watts, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, miss...?"

"Gearstrip of Caminus," Gearstrip provides immediately, smile sunny. She tilts forward to match the gesture, a recent enough acquisition but one with which they've all become familiar. Her balance is a little precarious, but she doesn't tip over into the pool quite yet. "Hi!" she says. "Your name is familiar. Maybe we've run into each other. Uh, not literally. You know." The faint pinch at the bridge of her nose might become a more exaggerated scrunch with more pressure.

Ah her hand was so small! How cute! Watts gives it a gentle shake, cautious about pulling her when she already seems ready to tip over. "Ah Caminus! I'm from Caminus as well!" A sheepish chuckle escapes him, his hand wandering to the back of his neck. Ah awkward. "W-well, ah, I'm a psychologist - perhaps we met at school? Or perhaps you've seen me tripping over myself to get out of the way of the Cityspeakers." The hand on his neck slid to his cheek. How embarrassing, stumbling in front of the Mistress of Flame like that... "Or maybe you knew my Amica? I've heard he speaks fondly of me, sweet mech that he is, but I can neither confirm nor deny the rumor."

Gearstrip laughs in a low chortle and curls her fingers in front of her mouth to hide a smile that nevertheless creases the corners of her optics. "I'm just a tech," she says. She swings her legs, pedes sweeping in a slow drag through the oil, and rests her hands against her knees, pale gaze widening slightly as she smiles across the pool at him. "Gizmos and sometimes maintenance but definitely not so trained up as somebody with your kind of specialty. Good to run into a somebody from home out here in the wide open, though. Who's your Amica, did he come with?"

"A tech is a terribly useful thing to be," he insists, nodding sagely to himself and folding his arms loosely over his chest. It was far more useful than being a boat with no water, that was for certain, and his profession wasn't exactly... widely studied. Yet. Maybe in time. Maybe. "Ah no, no, Broadshield didn't come with me on this little venture - I was rather seducted by ah... well. I saw others like me, if I'm honest, and I got curious and tagged along rather at the last minute." His fingers fidgeted and tapped together sheepishly. It wasn't the greatest excuse, and his goodbye had been somewhat rushed. "I didn't want to uproot him and drag him away from his good work he was doing or make him feel out of place while I'm trying to ah... learn about being a boat. If that makes sense?"

Gearstrip smiles a little wider and ducks her head. "Flyby stayed behind too, so, you know, yeah, I get that," she says, letting her pedes rest in the oil, her hands lingering in her lap as she sets her thumbs together. "Honestly at this point I think I can pretty much say I came along for the adventure," she says. "I've gotten some of that! So do you feel like you're learning more about being a boat?"

Watts smiles at her in return, some of his embarrassment ebbing away with time. His forearms lift to hook over the edge of the bath, content to float and revel in his newfound buoyancy for now. "Mmm I think so! I met another aquatic-mode, one of the soldiers on the ship, and he's teaching me to swim!" Giddiness creeps into his tone, legs swishing through the water. That semi-weightless feeling was still quite novel. "It's been... interesting! A little frightening to have my feet off the ground but exhilerating all the same!" His head tucks sheepishly at his own enthusiasm. "And what about you? Are you finding your adventure?"

Gearstrip swings her feet through the liquid and leans forward, her arms dropping into a loose fold across her knees as she widens her eyes again. "I'm glad," she says. Her smile lingers, wide and bright, as though she is feeding off some of his delight. "That you get to reach for your potential like that. Being able to grow is the greatest adventure. Way better than getting in fights or stuff. By that count ... I don't know. I think I am. I hope so. I don't regret leaving home, anyways."

"At the least, we're both getting a taste for worlds beyond the Colony, aren't we?" Watts offers, his tone almost conspiring but his smile broad and genuine. "I'm looking forward to working with the people on board, and helping Doctor Ring - ah, I mean, Doctor Sung - if I can. He seems like a kind-sparked mech."

He waffles over his words for a moment, tilting his head this way and that. There was a handful of Camiens on board, and the change of scenery was perhaps overwhelming to more than just him. Chromia had said as much hadn't she? "May I ask your opinion on something? Doctor Sung suggested I start a support group, but I'm having trouble deciding who to focus on first. Do you think it would be of interest to you for a sort of 'outsiders' support group? I've heard there's quite a few tensions towards us neutrals from the other crew."

Looking thoughtful for a moment, Gearstrip rests her hands against the edge of the pool and leans backward into nothing. She tips her glance toward the ceiling and nods, slowly. "Maaay ... be?" she says, cautiously. "A lot of the Cybertronians just ... leap to violence first thing, you know? Even just in their talking, they-- they can be so casual about it. And like they instinctually split off into us and them, and they try to embroil you in their conflict even though it's supposed to be over? When I first got placed with him, even my roommate kept insisting I was talking like an Autobot somehow and it made him mad?" She rests her hands to either side of her neck as she leans forward, and cycles a pretty big sigh through her pretty small frame. "Even the Cybertronian neutrals seem to want to be their own group, and to get in fights with the Autobots or the Decepticons or whatever about it. I don't know. Some of them have a lot of damage that needs fixed, if it ... can be fixed. What if they start thinking we're just one more side teaming up against them, or whatnot?"

"Well, ideally, there would be groups for them as well." Watts drums his fingers against the edge of the tub. "One group wouldn't take up an entire week's worth of time, so I'd have plenty more time for the others as well. I'm simply... trying to tailor the idea to fit this crew, and how it can be divided without being divided." He sighs, tilting his head to the side in contemplation. "At the moment I'm uncertain how to go about that until I've spoken more with the crew on either side of the divide, so I thought perhaps it would behoove me to start closer to home. Teaching conflict resolution and self-help skills, those sorts of things."

"Well, we definitely could use all the help we can get with both of those things," Gearstrip says with a bright laugh, tightening the pressure of her fingers against the column of her throat as she smiles across at him, leaning the brace of her elbows on her knees in her lap. "I think most of them think conflict resolution means punching somebody, though."

"Mmm." A noncommital hum. He's inclined to agree with her, seeing the state of the walls and all the dents and scratches they've endured, and after his ah... brief meeting with the bug-like mech in the reservoir, but it'd be bad form to say so out loud about potential patients. "Well, my job here is to help in whatever way I can. I'll definitely be speaking to Doctor Sung about this idea, but in the meantime if there's anything you need to speak about, here are my contact details." A small card is plucked from his compartment pockets and offered out to her.

Gearstrip takes it, and grins a little crookedly before she vanishes it into her own pocket. "Thanks," she says. "Generally I feel like there's a lot of people on this ship who are way ahead of me in line, in terms of who needs help...?, but I appreciate the offer." She hugs herself a little as she straightens, rue touching her expression as she looks off into the distance for a moment. It seems likely that she's thinking of someone in particular when she says so.

Watts hums pensively, tapping his fingers on the bath's edge while he thinks of how to phrase this. "I can only help those who want to be helped," he says slowly, "and only when they're ready to be helped. I can't force people to change the way a medic can force a strut to straighten. It's not about who is more deserving of help, but who is receptive to it." He reaches a hand slowly towards her, hoping not to startle her when he soothingly pats her arm. "But, if you know of someone who may want to speak to someone, you may feel free to share my information with them. I will not turn them away."

Gearstrip ducks her head, a huff of a laugh that trickles out of her as she shakes it. "I'm sorry," she says quietly, "I don't think that I do." She leans forward and briefly touches her fingertips to his shoulder, biting her lip, as she says: "But-- maybe I'll take you up on it, sometime. If I end up at my wit's end." She laughs, a little obscurely, and then knuckles her hand against her forehead before she scoots backward on her aft, drawing back from the pool. "I better get the rest of this stuff off me for now and get back to work, though."

"No need to apologize, Gearstrip." Watts sinks deeper into the oil when she climbs out, content to sit and think a while longer. "My line is always open for you and for others should you need me. It was lovely meeting you."

"Good talking to you, too!" Gearstrip answers sunnily, as she swings back up to her feet and trundles back off across the room.

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