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2016-08-29 Channeling Annie Oakley

From Transformers: Lost and Found

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Channeling Annie Oakley
Date 2016/08/29
Location DesuDesu V
Participants Roughshod, Blast Off, Rung
Plot Denied
Summary Roughshod and Blast Off put on a show, to Rung's terror.

Roughshod has never shied away from work, but this whole situation has been degrading, and someone somewhere in the chain of command has urged him and other reluctant mechs out into the bland streets near the portside of town. To 'think something up'. Something for cash. Because /everyone else/ has been creative in that regard.

Him and a few other lazy 'cons are leaning beneath a broad, shoddy alcove of a building, looking terribly unmotivated as the sun starts to set.

Rung, clear schedule due to most helping out, is walking down one of the streets of the backwater planet. With the ship in such a state it would be wrong of him not to contribute as much as possible. Only the therapist isn't quite sure what he can do to assist. He is neither as entertaining nor as useful as his crewmates or patients, usually blending into the background quite easily. Rung is determined there is something he can do, he is larger and stronger than most organics by default after all. So here he is, searching for work while gently edging his way around the smaller organics who often look up at him in curiosity (he is very different looking from most others of their kind, after all).

Blast Off isn't even exactly sure why he's here. It's certainly not communal spirit and certainly not because he plans on doing something so *blue collar* as /washing cars/. Pffft, as if. If anything, the Combaticon is annoyed about even being in this situation. Onslaught would never have planned so poorly! Part of him is ready to just fly off and leave the crew to their own devices...but the navigator's sense of professionalism keeps him grounded, as it were, and looking for a way to solve this mess.

As Blast Off strolls down a street looking for some means to earn income (or maybe just find a good drink), he finds he's enjoying getting out and stretching his legs. If nothing else just a long walk feels good- it helps work out some of the stress from dealing with this- and other situations. Eventually he comes across Roughshod and the others and gives them an aloof, appraising glance as he strides up to them. At least they're fellow Decepticons. "Any news?" Hopefully they'll say they've earned a gob of cash and they can all go back to the ship now.

"I heard some a' the other mechs were able to raise some cash. Just dunno' how much. Reckon we ought to do something to, can't really think of anythin'." Roughshod studies Blast Off a moment longer, ever wary of Combaticons and their reputations. "Hey it's the stick!" he jeers in Rung's direction, donning a smirk.

<FS3> Rung rolls Dumb Luck: Good Success. (2 1 3 5 8 5 6 3 5 8 8)

While Blast Off and Roughshod talk and lounge about, Rung has managed to strike up a conversation with one organic store owner who seemed especially curious about the wheel on his back and how it didn't seem to fit in with the rest of his frame. A chuckle and quick, kneeling, exchange about his non vehicular alt mode and the mention of looking for work results in the psychiatrist being offered a job moving crates to and from the shop. He is quick to agree and soon is helping move (thankfully light, to them at least) crates of merchandise into the alien's store from a nearby truck. He hasn't noticed the nearby decepticons yet.

Combaticons' reputations? Why would anyone need be wary of the Combaticons? I mean, other than the fact that they were well known as a band of murderers and mercenaries loyal only to themselves that caused destruction and mayhem in ridiculous proportion wherever they went? Or that Blast Off still doesn't quite understand why the crew doesn't just point guns at a few people and demand money- that always worked really well when the Combaticons needed money in the past- or...oh. Actually never mind. Blast Off sighs a bit. "I see."

Glancing over as Roughshod mentions *the stick*, he sees Rung starting to move merchandise over there. "Looks like he found something to do." Blast Off does not offer to help, though of course if someone needs to haul cargo who better than a big spaceship? But... that would require work Blast Off isn't sure he wants to do right now. "It's a shame we can't just take what we need," he mutters to the other Decepticon. "The only thing I can think of is offering some mercenary work for hire... but that would probably run afoul of Autobot regulations, too." Tsk. Autobots, always making everything far more complicated than it has to be.

Roughshod bristles. Rung found work easily, and this apparently bothers the 'con. "Should be just gankin' that slag he's haulin' around and sellin' it." He pauses, obviously pondering over it seriously. "But Soundwave would be mad." Then he sets a pair of incredulous optics back on Blast Off. "Who in the Pits of this shitty backwater dump of a planet would have /any/ need for mercenary work? Pff." He finally pushes off the wall and approaches Rung, arms folded. "What're you doin'," he asks bluntly.

Rung pauses mid step and turns to look up at Roughshod in surprise. It barely takes a second before the therapist is beaming up at him, clearly cheerful about being able to help and would probably give a small wave if his hands weren't encumbered, "I am assisting this organic store owner in moving his merchandise! It turns out some are quite friendly to us!" Not really Rung, the therapist is merely not as intimidating as the others. As it is, the owner is warily eyeing Roughshod from inside his establishment, like suddenly he is unsure if hiring Rung was such a good idea. "He has also said that he may be able to direct me towards further work. Are you out assisting in the collection effort as well?"

Blast Off scoffs right back at Roughshod, giving him one of his signature huffs in the process. "I beg your pardon? It's the nature of beings. Whether you're on a backwater planet or in the middle of Cybertron, there's *always* someone who needs certain ...jobs done. Someone *always* has a price on someone else's head or simply wants to even the odds as far as jobs and money goes. It's the nature of life."

As Roughshod walks over to Rung, Blast Off follows (not having much to do at the moment anyway). He gazes down at the Autobot, expression flat, then gestures with a hand, palm up, to him. "And right there? More nature of life. People are *exceptionally* friendly... when they want you to do something for them." Apparently Blast Off is feeling very cynical today. "Just be careful... they usually have some ulterior motive." He returns the wary look right back to the shop owner, suddenly irritated but not sure why.

"You always this bitter?" Roughshod snorts at Blast Off, amused at the huff, mostly because it sounds exactly like the huffs he hears from the halls every now and then. Source located.

"Maybe," Roughshod murmurs with a noncommittal grunt at Rung's question. "This ain't gonna' get us much cash though," he adds, with zero regard for the organic right there. "Why don't you go therapize someone?" He cheekily stands in Rung's way, mirroring his cheeriness with his own brand of unsettling smile.

"That seems like a rather grim view of the world..." Is Rung's response to Blast Off's statement, "Everyone deserves a certain level of trust until it is abused." He becomes a bit more nervous as Roughshod steps in his way, finally noticing the apprehension of the organic watching.

Rung begins to gently edge his way around the beastformer as he replies, "I do not think giving psychiatric advice on the streets to random organics would be the best course of action in this case. Something like that could potentially harm one's reputation and result in a malpractice claim." He shifts his grip on the crate, cautious as now there could be a potential threat to its contents if the Fragile painted across the top is anything to go by, "I also am aware it most likely will not result in much payout, but every little bit helps!"

"Bitter?" Blast Off blinks, surprised at Roughshod's comment, then annoyed by it, too. His arms cross and he looks away. "I'm not /bitter/. Despite the fact that we've found ourselves in this completely *intolerable* situation due to no fault of my own, despite my efforts to keep this ship on track. despite the fact that everyone around me lately seems to be living life as a *circus* and I keep getting thrown in the front row seat to watch as they make *clowns* of themselves. DESPITE the fact that I have to deal with extremely annoying, petty people who really *ought* to know better and *appreciate* all I've done for them but they insist on being boorish, ungrateful guttersnipes and write me off- write us ALL off- instead!" The sniper's black hands begin to dig subconsciously into the seams of the armor on his arms.

Roughshod stands in Rung's way and the Combaticon turns to glance at them both with a frown (under that faceplate of his). "No one deserves trust. They have to *earn* it. I learned that long ago. Anything else is *naive*." He neither helps nor hinders Rung as he attempts to move around Roughshod. He does take the opportunity to add, "Speaking of psychiatric advice, my teammate *VORTEX* could use some! You should go look him up next time you're on the ship. He's having tantrums. Someone should speak to him."

Roughshod doesn't try to block Rung further, only watching as he edges around. He's about to stick his foot out and do something painfully juvenile to the scrawny doc, when Blast Off goes off about all of his stressors. "Slag, mech, I think you got some rough stuff on your mind," he says slowly. "Maybe it's not your teammate you should be worried about."


<FS3> Rung rolls Psychiatry: Good Success. (5 4 2 8 3 2 8 2 2 2 6 2 3 7)

Rung gets a small, worried, frown on his face as Blast Off goes off. It's clear the mech is dealing with near extreme emotional strain and is refusing to let himself realize there is an issue at all. He stops trying to edge around Roughshod and instead watches Blast Off, listening intently. Vortex, this can only be about him. He hasn't had a chance to meet with his patient since the incident (how could he not hear about it?) and it concerns him about how it is affecting the both of them. Blast Off is proud, however, he won't just listen to any advice Rung wishes to give. Instead a new strategy is devised, "No, you are right. It is wrong of us to have put you in such a situation. I know it will probably do nothing but.. For what little it may be worth I apologize for what we are putting you through."

Rung has decided that appealing to the other's ego seems to be the best way to go about this and goes about it with the calming and genuine tone of one with millennia of practice in such situations, "And you should be given more appreciation for all you do around the ship, all of you in fact." A glance at Roughshod shows he is being included, because on some level that part is actually true, "As for Vortex, I plan to meet with him as soon as I possibly can." It's hard when scheduling concerns and recent events practically frag- excuse his language- up any semblance of structure it had.

"*I'M* fine," Blast Off scoffs again, waving a hand dismissively at Roughshod, "I deal with this sort of nonsense all the time. It doesn't get to ME." Wave finished, his fingers dig into the heat shields on his arm again. Then Rung speaks and the Combaticon slowly turns to stare at him. He is still for a long moment, then responds. "Yes!" There's a hidden note of relief at hearing someone *thank* him. "Exactly. I.." He blinks, a bit surprised that this Autobot *gets* it, but he does! "Yes. It would do Vortex good I imagine and...yes. We in navigation work our tailfins off but rarely get much appreciation for it." He gives a little sniff.

Roughshod isn't immune to praise, however indirect, and stands a little taller. "If it doesn't get to you, then you must like to complain a lot," he surmises, in response to Blast Off's insisting. "What, you expect Rodimus to throw Nav a party every time you reach a waypoint? That'd be dumb. Anyway, forget this crate crap, let's find some easy money."

Rung offers something of a small smile to Blast Off, before moving quickly around Roughshod completely and placing the final crate down. "Well if you ever wish to speak with me, about Vortex or otherwise, I am always willing to talk." The store owner shuffles out of the building and is quick to pay Rung, who offers him a smile and tip of the head in thanks before returning to the other two, "Well I am going to go find some work from an acquaintance of the owner's, I do not think it would appeal to you as it is in fact more crate moving." There is an amused edge to Rung's voice as he reveals his plans, "I am not sure what would quite classify as easy money either so I am afraid that I will be of no help there..." A flick of his wrist has a, very well hidden, compartment on his upper arm popped open the the payment quickly stashed inside. No way is he going to be losing that anytime soon!

Uuugh, plebeians. At least that's what Blast Off is starting to realize Roughshod is. TSK. His arms drop with a huff. It's so hard to find people who understand him, even other Decepticons. "Hardly." His hand waves again. "I simply like to receive acknowledgement for the skilled work I do. Nevermind, you obviously don't understand."

The shuttleformer begins to nod as Rung speaks, then stops and blinks again. "Me? *I* am fine, I don't need help. *Vortex* does, though. He's a mess." BLAST OFF IS TOTALLY FINE, OKAY? (No denial here, nosirree). He watches as Rung stashes the money, then glances around. "I wonder if anyone would pay to watch a sharpshooter at work..."

Roughshod can't argue with Rung's guess. Honest work doesn't sound ideal. He shrugs, the brief flicker of motivation quickly dying in him, then slumps back against the exterior of the nearest building. "I mean. There's a lot of sharpshooters. It'd have to be /amazing/ sharpshooting. With a risk maybe. Are you /that/ good?"

Rung ..isn't quite sure what sharpshooting could accomplish. Granted their captain apparently managed to scrounge up some money by backflipping (well doing tricks but we all know it was likely backflipping off tall objects), so maybe they are onto something. "Perhaps such a thing could work, after all several others have managed to make profit from their abilities. I have heard through others that recently Skystalker managed to make a fair amount of money through his music." Pointing out their Captain's apparent talent.. May not help the situation.

Blast Off gives Roughshod an incredulous stare. "You were in the Decepticons. How could you NOT have heard of my work?" I mean COME ON NOW. "I am *that good*, of course I'm THAT good! I'm one of the best sharpshooters on Cybertron- or any other planet. I can shoot a target from miles away. My skill is *legendary*." It is in his own mind, at least. The sniper turns to Rung. "Oh? Well if they are impressed with *backflips*, then a true display of /marksmechship/ ought to really grease their engines." He starts looking around them with an appraising eye, pondering where he could shoot, who for, and what. "I see a tall building over there... perhaps if my target stood atop it, I could put on a demonstration appreciated for miles around."

Blast Off ohs! "Or I could perch up there and shoot something running along the ground." Hmm.

"I've heard of /Combaticon/ work," Roughshod huffs faintly, unwilling to feed that ego further. But the notion seems fun. "I'm sure we could gather a crowd if we raise the stakes. Maybe shoot something offa' his head." With a shuddering twist, he transforms into his stocky beastmode, and nudges Rung forward with his snout. "While moving." Sorry Rung, looks like there's no other Autobots around to keep you from getting mech-handled.

Rung is completely unprepared for the implication Roughshod is giving his gentle smile quickly disappears and his eyes widen drastically, clear by the immediate raising of his eyebrows, "W-what?" He.. oh no he can't be saying what Rung thinks he is saying. He looks from Roughshod to Blast Off, dread building.

Blast Off huffs at Roughshod. "Well, *I* am a Combaticon, so you've heard of it. I just don't go around putting my own name in lights. It's not what snipers DO, after all." When the horse makes his suggestion, Blast Off stares as Rung starts to get mechhandled. "Well I...I'm not sure... " There's a pause as he wonders if this is a good idea or not, but then ego strikes. "But I could certainly *do* it easy enough. Perched up there while Rung runs around... or maybe rides YOU." He points to Roughshod.

"I don't care who rides." Roughshod looks between the two of them. Blast Off's a big ol' heavy shuttle, right? And Rung's this scrawny stick. "Okay saddle up Rung. You SURE you can do it, Blast Off? We can't go back to the others with Rung missing his head. They seem to really like this guy."

Rung can't believe what he is hearing.. Who is he kidding? He isn't really surprised at all. That doesn't keep the fear from rising however, "Wha- I don't think that-" He really doesn't seem to have much say in what is happening by this point and for all his professionalism can't figure out a way to get out of this.

"Well, the Autobots tend to have that whole weird *do no harm* philosophy - though it's always been more words than action," Blast Off mutters. "But yes, of COURSE I can do this. Just do your part of the bargain and I will do mine. I've done this shot *countless* times." Except probably not shooting an object from a crew mate's head from a mile away. The Combaticon walks by a tree full of fruit and reaches up to pluck something rather apple-shaped from a branch. "Here, tie this to your head," he says, handing it to Rung. Then he looks around for some nearby people. "Step up and watch a spectacular feat of sharpshooting- tips greatly encouraged!”

"Okay, good." Roughshod promptly bites down on that wheel on Rung's back and hoists him up and over to sit just behind his shoulders. Then he tromps out into the open pedestrian walkway, hooves casting sparks against the asphalt as he lifts his voice to add onto Blast Off's advertisement. "None can match his eagle-eye. One slip and our assistant is DEAD!" he drawls, trotting in a wide circle.

Rung lets out a yelp- probably more of a terrified squeak- as Roughshod basically drops him onto his own back. Rung has to scrabble for some sort of purchase on the mechanical horse's back to keep from falling off and his hands are beginning to shake, clearly not about to shove that fruit onto his own head. This... This can't possibly go that badly! Roughshod is just hyping up the crowd.. right??

THIS IS ALL GOING VERY WELL. Yes, no problems here at all, and if Rung had issues he'd certainly have voiced them by now right? Blast Off is more concerned about getting this shot to look good and keeping his outstanding reputation that may or may not actually exist. "Good. They're starting to notice us." As Roughshod hoists Rung and starts circling, Blast Off makes his way up to the building, where curious onlookers have begun to gather. "Come one, come all, watch this amazing feat and then demonstrate your appreciation for the skill shown!" The Combaticon makes his way up the building, climbing since he is trying to conserve fuel after all, and reaching the top. Whew.

"Alright you two, move out a little further, this is still too easy!" They're already a considerable distance away but apparently Blast Off wants them even farther back.

The crowd continues to grow. What are these silly Cybertronians up to now. Roughshod keeps in his loose circle, eventually moving to a quicker-paced figure eight. The street's dingy off-colored lamps barely light the area now that the sun's down. "Stick the fruit on your antenna or something," he hisses through a whisper. At Blast Off's command, he heads further out, trying not to feel /too/ concerned himself.

"Roughshod I don't think-" Rung starts to speak only to be interrupted. He flinches just a bit when Roughshod harshly whispers at him. Wait further out!? This can't end well! A glance at how far away Blast Off is now has Rung shaking, a casual observer may not be able to notice but it's probably obvious Roughshod can more than likely feel it through where the therapist is sitting on his back. After a second Rung very shakily raises the fruit a bit higher to his head, realizing if he doesn't move it to a place where it can be easily shot it's more likely to hit him. At least on his head there is the chance Blast Off could miss him completely instead of shooting him in the chest.. right????

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Firearms: Great Success. (4 2 6 7 2 6 2 8 8 1 2 7 7 6 3 6)

Somewhere, in some other universe, there's a chance that Rung's head has been awfully close to an intended target- and that maybe that didn't go so well. BUT HEY. In this universe, Blast Off is at the helm, and he's a terrific sharpshooter and there's no way anything can go wrong! Yeah. The sniper takes out his ionic blaster and settles himself in for the shot, watching as the pair recedes further into the distance. "GO OUT FURTHER."

After a time, he is satisfied. "Yes, much better. Very difficult shot." He is sure to note to the crowd below. "Very few people in the entire universe could make the shot I'm about to make." He settles down again, engages in a few air vent cycles as he gets *in the zone*, makes some calculations to adjust for wind speed and trajectory drop, and finally his finger slowly starts squeezing on the trigger. 

Very happily for Rung in THIS universe, the shot rings true- and the apple shatters right above his head.

Rung feels the apple explode into a million pieces above his head and yelps, obviously flinching as the juice and bits rain down on him. As soon as Roughshod slows down Rung slides off the horse's back, shaking hard. Never. Again. He has been in combat zones but there he didn't have a choice in the matter.

Yet the crowd, apparently, adored the show. Just as the apple explodes they burst in enthusiastic applause and cheers.

Blast Off is oblivious to poor Rung's suffering. He is just a bit relieved, though, that it went so well. But he expected it to- he's got a reputation as a sharpshooter for a reason. The Combaticon smirks under his faceplate before getting up to give the crowd a bit of a bow. "Yes, it was pretty amazing, wasn't it?"

Making his way back down again, Blast Off then grabs a some empty barrel. "You can show your appreciation - and help us leave here- by giving us some funds for fuel." Perhaps it's appreciation, perhaps it's the fact that a giant space robot with a gun who can shoot really well from afar is now demanding money, but numerous people throw in whatever spare cash they have on hand. Blast Off glances to Rung. "Very good. This will surely be seen as a success, then."

Rung looks over at Blast Off, fruit juice dripping off his chin... before silently, and obviously shakily, walking straight past the decepticon and back towards the ship. His antenna is slicked back as far as it can possibly go (potentially even a tad further), a clear sign of his feelings on the matter.

Blast Off blinks as Rung strides by so silently, the Combaticon tilting his head as he briefly wonders if everything is alright there. But SURELY it still is. Yes. "I'll bring the money, then. Thank you for your assistance." He hefts the barrel up, which fortunately doesn't weigh too much, and proceeds to follow along behind and revel in thoughts of success, appreciation, and how Rung will surely give Vortex a talking to later while extolling Blast Off's virtues. Yes, this all turned out very well indeed.

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