2015-02-21 Quests and Conflicts
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Quests and Conflicts|
|Location||Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's|
|Participants||Chromedome, Hustle, Knock Out, Rodimus|
|Summary||Hustle has tensions to observe.|
No one has yet told Ultra Magnus about Swerve's bar, but it's probably pretty inevitable that word got around to Rodimus sooner rather than later. He's at the bar now, talking to Swerve, and giving him a hard time about not inviting him: "So, when you say you were going to invite me to the official opening, was that something you'd decided before or after I walked in?"
There's been a steady flow of people in and out as more and more hear about it. The novelty of it having yet to wear off, the flow of people tends to slowly increasing crowds. The first drink is free, which sets people up to tolerate the presence of those that instinct tells them they should be shooting. At least for a little while.
Where are the Decepticons?! Knock Out has much to celebrate what with surviving contact with a spark eater and totally saving the day, thank you very much and you're welcome, but it's still awkward grabbing a drink at Swerve's with all these -- Autobots around. He's actually found himself a spot at his own table with a datapad to go over something sciencey and all that. A relaxing end of the day, etc., etc.
KO might not have any Decepticons around, but hey, at least there's someone -without a badge-. Gotta be slightly better, right? Hustle strolls into Swerves, tossing around that sparkeater hand she swiped. "Primus. I still can't believe there was actually a chunk of mythology running around this ship, trying to kill people." She studies the room as she moves casually through it, noting exits and entrances, sizing up those who might be dangerous and those who might be good to bum some drinks off of.
What, it's not like she has a steady paycheck here.
Noticing Knock Out's Weird Face Sticker (tm) is different than the others, she decides she'll visit (bother) him first.
Chromedome wanders in a touch later than the others, but he sure moves right for the bar. Let's get the free drink out of the way. That's totally efficient.
Cutting off Swerve's explanations with a wave of his hand, Rodimus says, "I'll let it slide. /This time/. The next time someone finds a bar and opens shop without telling me, though--!" He leaves threat implied, and then nods Swerve off to go take care of Chromedome. One free (and /incredibly tiny/) drink delivered, the minibot moves off to deal with other customers. Turning toward Chromedome, Rodimus hefts his own tiny shot in toast. "Hey, Chromedome. Sorry we keep stealing Rewind to work on the map, but you know how it is."
"Ah, the Camien!" Knock Out announces Hustle's approach like she is the only one of her kind. Gj Hustle you're special. "Whatever your name was, anyways. We shoved a sparkeater out of an airlock together, so that counts for something, right?" There is an open seat at his table. It is so welcoming. What a nice seat.
Hustle takes that seat. Might even take it back to her room when everyone else is good and sauced. "Oh I'd say it does. Nice to meet you, name's Hustle. What's yours? Sharp paint by the way," she compliments. It's one of the first things she notices; he's very polished and well kept. He's either exceptionally vain or a medic. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Chromedome enfolds his hand around the /incredibly tiny/ drink and tilts his back against the bar. He's leaning. Surveying scatters of strangers. You know. "Yes, I know how it is," he asides to Rodimus. "I'm sure he's just glad to be helpful. Everyone likes to be helpful." He reaches out to clink Rodimus's toast, tosses back the itty-bitty drink, then eyes the glass. "I should've figured this was as much as I get free."
"Yeah. Just enough to make you buy more," Rodimus says with a laugh. "Pulling rank didn't help me get a bigger glass, either." He tinks his empty glass then turns to sweep the bar with a glance. He looks fairly satisfied with himself until he notices Hustle sidling over to make friendly with a Decepticon. He straightens with a snap of tension to his shoulders and starts paying that pair a little more attention. "You spent much time talking to the Decepticons at all?"
Knock Out's gonna be /all/ the Camiens' favorite, Rodimus. They're going to like him /so much more than you/. "Knock Out," he answers Hustle. "For obvious reasons, I'm sure. Thank you; I do spend a good deal of time keeping it well-kept."
Hustle turns partway in her chair to look at Rodimus. "Why, am I going to get thrown in the brig if I do?" she asks with a challenging look and a little 'oh yeah' kind of smirk. She thumbs at Knock Out. "I wanted to get to know him, not make out with his badge, Flames."
"Talked to-- who was it, Rumble? That mech we ran into together." Chromedome looks down at his glass with what might be sadness. "And that little fellow. Slug? Whatever he is." He raises his eyeplate to Knock Out and Hustle. "It was reasonably civil, all told. No reason to fight yet with the sparkeater that fresh."
"Not yet," Rodimus answers Chromedome in an undertone before stepping toward Knock Out and Hustle with a grin. Come along, Chromedome. Be pulled in his wake. "Nah, no brig time. Just curious. And it's Rodimus." His reminder is gentle, as such things go, but firm. He leans against the back of an empty chair rather than join Knock Out and Hustle. "Knock Out," he greets.
"Captain," Knock Out replies with just a hint of dryness. "I am /pretty/ sure if bots were going to be locked up for chatting with Decepticons, our fearless leader would have to start with himself. And his command staff."
Hustle leans back in her chair, hands on the table. "Not to tell you your business Captain--" She does anyways. "--but the more uneasy you get about me talking to "Deceptioncons" the more I'm going to want to talk to them to find out why." Uh oh Roddy, you may start getting a taste of your own anti-authority medicine. "I mean, so far I've gleaned that there was this big awful war on Cybertron. History's writen by the victors but that doesn't automatically mean the victors were right."
Chromedome tows along readily enough. His hands are behind his back. He looks soothing, we're sure, like a slightly myopic professor with few strong opinions. "Hello. I don't think anyone's uneasy, exactly." He glances at Knock Out. "Interested, maybe."
"And yet you are," Rodimus notes with a light touch of humor as he murmurs beneath her words. He listens patiently as she tells him his business, then gestures easily. "No. Talk to them. Go ahead. Chromedome's right. Uneasy's not the word for it." He gives Knock Out a sharper smile. "Drift's not a Decepticon," is naturally what he takes from that, rather than anything else that Knock Out might be implying. It's a conditioned response of automatic defense rather than one necessarily rooted in what Knock Out said.
Knock Out narrows his optics at Rodimus, briefly baffled at his choice of response. "Tell that to his spark casing. In any event, you've spoken to me plenty, just to start." And, gently but firmly, he corrects Hustle: "Decepticons."
So much correction. It's uncomfortably close to home. "Okay then, someone needs to fill the clueless Camien in on what happened. Lack of info gets people killed." She is after all the *coughCOUGH*'Security Officer'*COUGHhack* of the Camien crew. REALLY. Just ask Chromia.
"You could say it started with a couple of things. Class injustice and philosophical disagreement," Chromedome milds. Over-milds. "Conflict grew from there."
Rodimus holds Knock Out's gaze a moment, eyes narrowing. As cryptic as the spark casing bit might be to others, it isn't to him. Then he jerks his chin in an acknowledging nod. "Right. I guess I have. You're going to get wildly differing answers on that one, Hustle. Not even just Decepticons and Autobots, but among them."
"Four million years of war is rather difficult to condense," Knock Out says, rubbing at the bridge between his optics. "But you might say that there was once a horrifically corrupt Senate that dictated the lives of its citizens based upon their alt-mode and silenced those who spoke against them. One side decided to tear them down, and the other decided that was too messy." And that is the 100 ACCURATE UNBIASED HISTORY.
"Right. So both sides - were there more than two? - are on this ship. I'm sitting in a powderkeg full of four million years worth of bad innermost energon around every corner and--" Hustle shakes that sparkeater hand idly, "--monsters people thought were just made up. That about cover it?"
"I wouldn't call it a powderkeg. We're doing something new here," Chromedome distantly idealizes. "I don't feel any urge to oppress Knock Out here. For example." For example!
"Wow." Rodimus straights out of his chair-leaning slouch to stare at Knock Out across the table. "I can't believe you really just-- How about Hell's Point, huh? Or the Simanzi Massacre? Soundwave's anti-neutral pogroms? No?" Powderkeg? What powderkeg!
"The Clampdown. Empurata. Vamparc ribbons. The apartheid. The /Institute/." Knock Out has just as many nouns as you do, Rodimus!!
Hustle listens to all this, and the nouns are piling up rapidly. She has only one thing to say about all this.
"So both sides screwed up royal."
Chromedome does not quite /wince/ when the Institute is brought up, but the left side of his eyeplate might narrow some. Just a little. An incidental twitch. He addresses Hustle. "You could say that. If it makes it easier to understand."
Rodimus fairly /rattles/ with the shift of limbs and clamp of armor as Knock Out hits the middle of his stride. He jerks upright and nearly takes a step back. Only Magnus-levels of self-control keep him from doing so. Still, while he might not flinch, he bristles. "You don't get to blame the Autobots for the Senate's mistakes," he says with a low intensity born of passion.
"Oh, of course not," Knock Out replies soothingly, like that obnoxious person who just becomes calmer the more furious you get in an argument. "Just for sitting back and letting it happen. I /seem/ to recall the Autobots getting their start as the Senate's personal brute squad, after all. Against those pesky Decepticon protestors who wouldn't sit down and behave themselves." He examines the long, slender lines of his own fingers.
Hustle sits there and listens to everything, soaking it all up. She could have talked about anything else, really, there's plenty of ways to get around this ship and profile everyone, but nothing brings out the purity of behavior and thinking like getting everyone wound up into an argument. It's like focusing the white light of their personalities through the prism of conflict and seeing what kind of hidden psychological colors hit the wall. Chromedome's flinching over something called the Institute, Rodimus is highly defensive of his faction and Knock Out is pushing buttons with the ease of someone straight out of the Jetsons. All she has to do now is toss some kindling into this fire here and there until she finds out what she wants to know.
"I don't think it's fair to paint Autobots as doing nothing but supporting the Senate." Chromedome does not speak it with /passion/, but he speaks it at all. With a faint undertone of old fervor. "We weren't perfect. No one was. But the Decepticons weren't only righteous victims either."
"The Autobots are /not/ the Senate." While they've managed to keep their volume contained, the intensity of the conversation is starting to attract notice. Rodimus glances across the crowd in the bar -- mostly Autobot, true, but there might be another Decepticon or two tucked back in the shadows. (Lurking. Like fiends.) It's enough to firm Rodimus's stance when he looks back to Knock Out. He holds the Decepticon's gaze, but addresses his words to Hustle: "As I said, everyone has their own answer for you, Hustle."
"That's all I wanted to know," the Camien smoothly replies, playing with the claws of the severed hand. It's probably a questionable thing to keep body parts around but eh, so far no one's judging and Nautica's so busy working she hasn't even noticed it being slipped into a box of tools in the corner. She chuckles a little. "You're all really interesting people. So - how long do you think we'll be out flying around before we get back to Cybertron?"
"Just one step removed," Knock Out replies coolly to Rodimus. Poor Chromedome is getting no attention. I AM SORRY, CHROMEDOME. The Decepticon is standing, though, but not with any hint of attack. Rather, his drink is finished, he has collected his datapad, and now he is going to leave. "/Now/ who's revising history," he scoffs before he goes.
But this is all right. Chromedome is like a kindly shadow. Who can object to him? Who can notice him? Barely a blip in history. No threat to anyone or-- oops, we're overplaying this. Anyway. Chromedome watches Knock Out scoff and go with distant attention, quiet consideration. He comments. "I think we'll be flying for a while. Anyone for another drink?"
"Some days," Rodimus mutters in an undertone with a glance toward Chromedome. SOME DAYS. "Yeah. I'll get the next round," he offers, turning for the bar. He looks back at Hustle, ignoring Knock Out. FINE. LEAVE. "Not until we find the Knights, and get some answers. Windblade's interested in tracking down the metrotitans, and it sounds like she'll be a lot of help there, too."
UGH. Hustle wants to bonk her head against the table. The likelihood of getting off this bucket of trouble just keeps decreasing. She does not, however, actually bang her head into the table, but instead, fiddles around with her trophy a bit more, using a finger to pick some flecks of old debris from a joint in her other hand. "What sort of answers are you looking for? Sounds like a quest or something."
"Quest's what it is. You just saw how divided Cybertronians get. Rodimus is looking for a new path to unity," Chromedome light-propogandas.
The Camien stands up and pushes in her chair neatly. "Of course you're going to be divided. Every time someone has a different personality, a different solution to a problem, a different way of looking at things, you're going to be divided. The only way you're going to have unity is if everyone's the same, mind and body." She beams cheerfully at Chromedome and Rodimus. "I'm gonna go check on the rest of my crew, make sure they're settling in all right. It's been ... -educational-."
Unfortunately for Hustle, Rodimus says, "That's pretty much exactly what it is." QUESTS AHOY. "Later, Hustle."