2015-11-01 A Simpler Time

From Transformers: Lost and Found

A Simpler Time
Date 2015/11/01
Location Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's
Participants Arbiter, Brainstorm, Gearstrip, Pipes, Skywarp, Slugfest, Swindle, Tailgate
Summary A bar is a great place to get to know people

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.

Hunched over a data pad at his favourite corner table at Swerve's, Swindle busies himself with checking the stock of his PPSD (Personal Pocket Storage Dimension) only occanssionly lifting his head to take a hit off the flash of engex he smuggled into the bar. The combaticon has had no intention of spending a single shanix at this autobar since it opened and proudly continues to hold tight to his wallet.

A tiny stego has front feet clinging to the edge of a stool, while his hind legs bicycle to try to pull himself up on the stool's seat surface!

Pipes is having a swell time with the quiet (but certainly all too short if he jinxes it by thinking about it too much) time at Luna-1. Great repairs, tourism on a Cybertronian moon that isn't a primordial wasteland, new Cybertronians to meet. Good times. Adventure, the safe kind. But sometimes it's good to have a break, to go somewhere familiar, where a decent number of people know your name and don't hate that you came.

So, Pipes rounds the corner into Swerve's, looking for familiar faces. He notices Slugfest's precarious situation and scoots over to place his palms under the dangling feet to give him a boost. While stooped down, he peers up and orders his usual from the barkeep.

Brainstorm might be quite eager about his work, especially now, when he has the opportunity to explore the wonders of Luna-1 of all places, but even he needs a break every once in a while. Nothing too time consuming -- he's not about to go slacking off, maybe a drink and a chat with someone. The bar looking a bit full, he looks around the room in search of a table. There, that one will do "Mind if I sit here?" Brainstorm doesn't even bother waiting for Swindle's answer before pulling out his chosen seat.

Slugfest finally gains traction from Pipe's palms and scoots up onto the seat. "Yay, thanks!" the little stego says to Pipes. He puts front feet on the bar and fixes his gaze on the barkeep. "Bowl of energon, please!" He waits while the barkeep fulfills his request.

Swindle nearly chokes at the sudden voice at his side. Apparently a purple badge didn't phase that Brainstorm fella. Trying desperately to save face, Swindle swallows his cheap engex hard before peering up to Brainstorm and offering a queasy smile. "Won't cost ya a dime pal! Take a seat Brainstorm, not often i get to meet a living legend!" Swindle did honestly consider himself a fan of Brainstorm's work, despite being on opposing sides of the war. Maybe a bit of flattery would get him a sneak peak on his next big MOD? Hey, a con can dream right?

Tailgate left here the other night in a pretty intense stumble after Breakdown when the Decepticon left, and hasn't been in since. Word is that he actually got carried back to his suite by the bot he was tailing, though only because he passed out somewhere. He's been kind of hiding out since then, generally being a huge sadsack in his room until deciding that he ought to get out for a spell. Just a little bit, really!

When Tailgate shuffles into Swerve's, it's with a slight angle of guardedness, primarily thanks to his remembering his hangover. Maybe not as much today, right? At least he is not at all shy about approaching Pipes at the bar, lifting a hand to the other minibot's shoulder from just behind. "Good to see you up again, buddy." A smile sits in his voice.

"Hey buddy!" Pipes replies warmly as he turns to greet Tailgate. "Yeah, the facilities on Luna-1 are top notch, top notch. I feel better than I can remember." His drink is delivered - straw spinning in the glass as it's slid across the bar - and he grabs it and brings it to his mouthplate, swishing it a little for the aromas. "How are you doing?" He peers around Tailgate a little, beneath notice hopefully; Tailgate seems a little spent.

The barkeep gives Slugfest his bowl of energon and the stego starts slurping his drink eagerly, his tail swishing a little bit.

Being called a living legend leaves Braisntorm visibly pleased as he drops down in to his seat and reaches for his own flask "Glad to see my reputation has spread so far. Say, you're Swindle, aren't you? You're pretty famous yourself. Or infamous I guess" no, the purple badge hardly deters him anymore. Sure, he's not exactly making friends with Decepticons left and right, but after all this time around them, and especially after Overlord, he's become pretty accoustomed to them.

A little chuckle escapes Swindle's throat. Much like Brainstorm, knowing that he had a reputation suited him juuuuuust fine. "Oh? Well, you don't get to be a successful arms dealer by being a wall flower my friend! Quite honestly though, I'm touched." He puts his table carefully into his chest cavity, for a monet giving a view of the nebulas, pulsating portal to his storage dimension.

Swindle says, “Honestly, when I heard you were on the ship, well, i know i'd have to attach the face to some of my favourite gadgets of all time... honestly, such a shame we weren't one the same side, you would have made a killing in the markets i run in, pun fully intended and relished." Another louder laugh escapes Swindle as he gives brainstorm an overly friendly nudge in the arm”

Tailgate watches Slugfest past Pipes' shoulder when the stego tucks in, a bit of warmth in him thanks to the normality of it. It's good to have normal. "My brain could feel a bit better, but I'll manage. Nothing near what you had to go though. I'm sorry I couldn't do anything back there." There is an apology when Tailgate looks back to Pipes, even if he doesn't need to make one. Battle, you know? When prompted from across the bar, he gets the same to drink as Pipes, plus one straw that comes in a curly-q.

"Oh, please," Pipes reassures Tailgate. "There's nothing you could do, or anyone really. I just have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time ... or right place at the ... well, you know." He sips from his own straw as he looks at Tailgate's curly one. Hmm. "But I heard you did some amazing stuff! You stopped the Legislators single-handedly?" He glances over at the stego relishing his own drink and takes another hearty sip himself.

Brainstorm's not too shy to curiously peer at the view as he unscrews his flask, until that closes and Swindle himself doles out more flattery. Flattery that the weapons engineer is quite happy to accept. With a chuckle at the pun he tips his flask over the intake port of his arm "Glad to see someone who propperly appreciates my talents" you gotta love black market weapon dealers, at least when they're not trying to rip you off "You planning on continuing you buisness here, on the ship?"

Slugfest drinks until the bowl is empty, then clamors for more! The barkeep obliges, refilling the bowl, whereupon Slugfest sticks his snout in and slurps contentedly.

"Buddy, you put the phrase 'Brainstorm designed' on a Decepti-Bid listing and you get at least ten of sucker's bidding in first minute, what self respecting, smart cybertronian wouldn't appreciate your genius!" Prehaps laying it on a little thick, but this was networking, pure and simple. Wouldn't hurt to atleast a few Autobot contacts. At the question of continuing his business, Swindle shrugs a little. "Well, there's the thing. When Rodimus has got boys like you in lab, I'm not sure he's got time for my black market contacts." He takes a quick look around the bar, hushing his voice with his 'real' answer. "I mainly work commission now. The other day that Atomizor fella wanted some promethium bolts! THAT was a tough smuggle. I got some Ironfist classic designs if you're interested. Kinda figured he'd be one of your pals?"

Over hearing the mention of Ultra Magnus, Swindle cranes his neck to over Tailgate some sage advice "Hey bright eyes, hero of the hour! Roll in dirt and swear up a storm! The big blue idiot hates that! Probably short circuit him or some scrap. I should know."

Pipes considers Tailgate's query and chuckles. "Oh, I'm sure Ultra Magnus would be super interested in that, even without you checking with him. But I'd say, under the circumstances, that whatever you did was what we needed. Even if it gives Ultra Magnus fits!" He remembers meeting Minimus Ambus back in that cell and suppresses another chuckle. Oh, so it was a giggle after all. He hears Swindle's crack at the executive officer and the chuckle escapes his control into a full laugh. (Even if he called Magnus an idiot.)

Tailgate turns his head at the call, drink in hand and giving Swindle a slightly bewildered look at the advice. That's a new nickname too. "If you've been in his office you //know// I'd be as good as exiled." Though he doesn't share the view of 'big blue idiot', he can still find a way to laugh along, and there it comes. He seems happy to see Pipes having a chortle of his own, as well. "And I like it here!"

Slugfest finishes yet another bowlfull and clamors for another. Little stegotapes seem to be very thirsty today!

Networking it may be, but its working pretty well, as Brainstorm is quite happy to take the praise, even if its coming from a Decepticon. It feels good to talk to someone who appreciates your work! "We worked in the same place for a while, but we're not really 'pals', and I don't really need any of his ideas either. I've got more than enough up here" he taps the side of his help. Really, Swindle, his tone imples, do you honestly thing that /he/ needs any help with that? "But commision you say" the engineer rubs his chin, the gleam of an idea coming to his optics. Copying Swindles glance around the room, he leans in a bit and lowers his voice as well "Do you do components? Chemicals and the like?"

Swindle chortles without shame at Tailgate's response. "If you knew the guy like I do my friend, you know he wouldn't dare do that without his masters go ahead! And by the by, Rodimus would probably find it hilarious!" If Swindle were to describe his grin at Brainstorm's question, it would be of the Cheshire cat. Aaaah, it really did pay to have picked up some earth lingo. With one fluid motion, Swindle opens up his chassis once again to pull out his data tablet. A few taps later, the menu switches to alchemical ingredients, an entire shopping list of acids, bases and other nasty assorted merchandise. He finally answers by handing Brainstorm the tablet and leaning in to say. "Whatever I ain't got in stock, you'll have to commission. But seeing as it's you. I can perhaps give you a little discount...with conditions of course?" He proudly takes another swig of his flask. Swindle might be on to a winner with this one!

Pipes' drink is a mite stronger than usual, so it's even easier for him to chuckle again at Tailgate's (faux? maybe not) concern. He pats the ravenous stego next to him and leans against the bar. It's good to be alive.

Slugfest yays and is patted! He keeps drinking rapidly, getting a little tipsy now because it's his third bowl. He slows down a bit as the energon starts to go to a little stegobrane.

"Yeah, you're right. He would." Tailgate can't argue that. Rodimus probably thinks most things are hilarious, though, once the seriousness is gone. Sometimes not even then. Thinking about said mech gets Tailgate into a mood again, however, and it leads him to tilt his head back to Pipes with a note of quiet. Whatever Brainstorm is attempting to get out of Swindle is prrrobably dangerous, knowing the inventor-- so he plays it safe and doesn't get too curious. Instead, he sips at his drink a bit, watching Pipes with Slugfest and speaking up softly. "Hey, you caught up on all the news, right? Like what's going on with Rodimus?"

Brainstorm's optics light up like that of a kid in a candy store as he scans through the catalogue. Having access to something like this would make his work a lot easier, especially if he doesn't have to do the task of getting the less than legal substances in behind Ultra Magnus' back himself. But even he has his limits as to what he'll do for that "What sort of conditions?" he finally looks back up at Swindle.

"Mostly," Pipes replies to Tailgate, his own mirth fading some. "You mean the vote? Yeah. That's a tough one for me." He draws evenly from his own drink in thought. "When he 'exiled' Drift, I felt terrible for Drift for making such a mistake. But now, apparently, it's the Captain that made the mistake. I guess? Maybe he deserves another chance like I kind of wanted for Drift, or maybe he just shouldn't be captain anymore ... or maybe something else." What he did to Drift? He can't tell if that would be justice, or even if it makes sense. Pipes just lets the uncertainty hang there.

Slugfest slows down the slurping as the bottom of the bowl is reached. The stego is now good and tipsy, and slumps so that he's partially resting on the bar counter itself once the bowl is empty, which the barkeep takes away.

"Same here. I'm not sure about what to do." Pipes seems to echo much of Tailgate's own sentiments. "I can't help but think about the same things I did with Drift, though. Bots still died. It wasn't on purpose. But-- well. I dunno. Maybe I'll abstain." The blue-and white of his frame moves in a visual sigh, and it's clear that it's been bothering him. "Breakdown was saying he was right at home with what Rod did, up til the crisis vote. I wasn't really sober at all so maybe I imagined the 'captain's a really Con Autobot' part." Tailgate edges closer to the bar when Slugfest droops and rests himself on the counter, standing near for the sake of making sure there's no falling off the seat.

The look of an excited customer always did bring warmth to Swindle's spark. I meant the smell of shanix would be in the air soon enough. Not to mention, if whatever doo hicky that HIS chemicals were gonna be part were a potential success, he could wrangle that sucker to market. At the sudden question, Swindle feigns a certain amount of hurt (not that he blames brainstorm at all for his trepidation). "Why, Brainstorm, you do understand the posistion I'm in. My Combaticon brother gets a new wealth of glory and appreciation, mini bots are returning hero's and poor ol' Swindy is forced to drink out of a canteen and not the fine high grade found only at Swerves taps." His mouth curls warmly at the edges. "All I want in return is a itsy bitty peek at your future work and maybe for you to keep me in mind on all your future endeavours. I can help sell, and supply you with all you're artist spark should desire." Swindle swlings his arm around Brainstorm's shoulder. His face no obscured to the rest of the bar, his crooked smirk breaks loose. "I just want everyone to see you for what you are pal. Ship's genius. You my very handsome friend, need a guy that can put you on everyone's pedestal, just like you are one mine."

Arbiter's hand pats Slugfest's tiny head, with a quiet, raspy mutter, "Sleep it off." He takes his own drink, and thumps toward the familiar faces, clumsily (as always) bumping chairs and tables and perhaps disrupting those occupied. A huge hand smacks into Tailgate's back when he arrives. "You been practicing, 'Gate?"

"No, I understand," he affirms to Tailgate. In the midst of all these concerns and complexities, Pipes's optics look first at the similarly worried Tailgate, then to the utterly unworried Slugfest. And he looks over at Brainstorm and Swindle - wheeling and dealing, no doubt, but not fighting at all. A bunch of Autobots and Decepticons mixed together, something he couldn't have imagined not so long ago. A simpler time? Or maybe this is simpler, just bots. "So what's the simple answer?" he says out loud. He raises his glass to Arbiter as he approaches. Perhaps he bears the wisdom to cut through all these complexities?

Slugfest makes happy sleepy stego noises as he's patted, his optics dimmed in drowsiness.

Oof! Tailgate hears Arbiter coming before anything else, and he looks up just in time for the clap on the back. It rattles him in a friendly way, though he does have to fumble a better grip on his drink. "Hey!" Arbiter gets a rather cheery greeting in return. "Practicing? Oh--! Definitely. Pipes here is way better than me at throwing a punch, though. How've you been?"

There is a good way to win Brainstorm's favour, and Swindle has definitely found it. Ship's genius. This isn't exactly his first time dealing with somewhat dubious suppliers, and he knows better to automatically give him all his trust, but with the magic words said, the weapons engineer can't help but let himself bask for a bit "My lab's usually open if I'm in it" he shrugs before adding with a bit of a sarcastic grumble "and if not, breaking the door is now apperantly the thing to do. But feel free to drop by." anyone who's spent enough time around Branstorm could probably tell Swindle that he's usually more than happy to explain his latest idea. The idea of selling his work through a middleman, rather than simply taking comissions, or just producing for the Autobots, or just because, is still somewhat foreign to him, but he could probably get used to something like that "Swerve's isn't really that expensive. Sure he might skimp on the drinks a bit, but his prices are pretty low" really, pal, take a drink! It's not like its poisoned or anything! "Is this a Comabticon thing or something? Drinking only from your own stash I mean" says the other guy with the flask.

The drowsy drunken Slugfest, sprawled out on the counter, now sarts slipping backwards as his hind legs which were propping him up, start relaxing. Quick, someone catch a stego before he falls!

Arbiter nods, and settles himself onto and unoccupied seat, his own drink clapping onto the bar. "I'm sure he's better than me, as well. I've been the same, rusting and bumbling." He turns to look at Pipes. "I'm glad the cap'n messed up good. Proves he's not all banter and might even humble him a bit. But, I signed up to follow Rodimus, mistakes and all."

Slipping quietly into the bar, Gearstrip pushes her goggles up onto the crown of her helmet and scans the room with a thoughtful look on her freckled faceplate. The small Camien sidles forward, heading for the bar proper. It's totally hopping in here.

Pipes just shakes his head at the suggestion that he's a better puncher than Arbiter. "So does that mean you'll vote to keep him as captain?" He might have expounded further, but instead he ducks down, far from gracefully thanks to his beverage's effects, and tries to catch the cassetticon before he topples from his perch. Did he get heavier? He spots Gearstrip from down there and tips his head side to side in silent greeting. (Can't wave, hands busy.)

Tailgate looks to Arbiter when he answers Pipes, visor dimmed thoughtfully. "I guess that's something to consider, then." Tailgate didn't even sign on-- he just fell right into everyone's lap. And they let him stay! He shifts to help Pipes nudge Slugfest back up to his seat, turning his head as Gearstrip makes her way closer. "Hey! How's it going?"

Oh poor, naive Brainstorm. Swindle had no spark to tell him that it was only hard wired greed that prevented him from touching Swerve's stuff. He snickers at the Combaticon comment, memories flooding of the good ol' days. "Ehhh, only me, Onslaught and Blast Off. Vortex and Brawl tend to drink any old swill if you tell em it'll buzz 'em. Made a killing on selling them pink dyed motor oil first time we met." He pats his trust flask before pocketing it. Probing his elbows on the table, he rest's his head on his hands, large purple optic's gazing expectantly at Brainstorm. "And I certainly will drop by friend. If only to deliver whatever you do end up ordering! But..." Reaching in to the PPSD, Swindle pulls out a vintage bottle of 'Polhex Brewery Nucleon' and two shot glass, motioning to the second as if offer some of his personal stash, a sign of good will and trust. "Do we have a deal, my firend?"

"Yeah, I'm voting to keep him on." Arbiter takes a long swig, and then turns to the newly arrived Gearstrip. He rasps, "I haven't seen you around."

"Hi." Gearstrip's smile lights her features as she finishes her sidling amble to the bar, her gaze skipping along the length of it as she nods back to Pipes. "Good to see you guys both in one piece. I heard a lot of rumors about how dicey it got down there." The cant of her head toward the curve of the wall must mean the outer hull, and beyond it, Luna-1, around which the Lost Light is still in orbit. She hoists herself up onto a barstool, hands planting on the bar's surface. She looks up, and then further up, at Arbiter, who dwarfs her. "Ooh, no," she says. "But I stay out of the way, so that could be why! I'm usually in engineering or the workshop. Gearstrip of Caminus. Hello."

Slugfest startles awake as he slips and is propped up by Pipes and Tailgate. He manages to clamber back onto his seat. He momentarily peeks down at the floor, blinking. "Thanks! Didn't want to wake up on the floor," he says to Tailgate and Pipes.

Oh don't worry, Swindle. Maybe Brainstorm will buy you a drink some time! Really, it's great stuff! Has a little special something in it too! Or so they say at least, considering Brainstorm himself is also fairly picky about his drinks "So long as its the real deal. I /will/ check you know" he raises his own flask, intending to show that thanks, but no thanks, he's fine with what he has.

"No problem," Pipes answers warmly to the stego. He considers Arbiter's response while he finishes his (probably just first) drink, but just jokes, "Speaking of ways to get in trouble on this ship, look out for her," and he gestures with his empty glass to the newly arrived Camien. "The Captain nearly charged us with mutiny last time Tailgate and I were posted with her!" His tone is clearly joking, hopefully Gearstrip doesn't take it the wrong way.

Tailgate laughs to himself when he answers Slugfest. "Sure thing." He probably knows how that feels, waking up on the floor. When Pipes goes on to share a warning about Gearstrip, Tailgate laughs again when he looks over to her, hos own drink only half emptied. "I don't know if it was //that// bad. Should have seen his face though." And besides, Tailgate's fault. He totally convinced them that sitting in the Captain's chair would be totally fine. (It was! But only because it was Rod, and not someone else, perhaps.)

Swindle nods with a satisfied smirk, pouring himself a shot and lightly clinking it against Brainstorm's flask. "Smart man! Of course you would! See, Brainstorm if you were a putz like.... oh don't know a.... Perceptor, or a Wheeljack, maybe I would cut a few corners, but craftsmanship like yours?! Why, it's only my Primus ordained duty to see you get the effects you require." Giving a friendly wink he down's the nucelon, the burn in his throat signalling a successful evening's work. Cleaning up his bottle and glasses, Swindle's eyes perk up. "So, I take it you've made you're selection's, Brainstorm ol' buddy, ol' pal. Sooner you do, sooner i can write you a invoice, and sooner you get your swag." And sooner i get payed, he thinks with a grin a mile wide

Then here's to a mutually beneficial partnership. Brainstorm tips the flask over his arm again "Hey, Perceptor's not /that/ bad. Overly restrained sometimes, yeah, but he's plenty smart" but compliment very much aknowledged and appreciated "Just a little bit for now, to see how this goes" he pushes the datapad back towards Swindle, pointing out his selection "I'm guessing I don't have to ask you to keep this on the down low from Magnus?"

Arbiter takes another drink, before replying, "It's good to meet you then." He turns, and gives her a sizing look, before shrugging. "It's no real surprise to me that I haven't seen you before; I never stumble into Engineering. On purpose."

Gearstrip looks somewhere between amused and flustered, and kicks a little at the rung of the barstool as she flattens her hands on the bar's counter. "Look, we didn't actually get charged with mutiny!" she says. "It was fine! You know! Eventually! Er." She covers her mouth with her hands, peering over the spread of fingers as she shakes her head. "Solus, what do I sound like? -- I do a lot of work with Hoist, too. I guess Engineering is kind of a weird place to be for no reason at that."

Slugfest is now all the way on the bar counter so he doesn't slip, sprawling and dozing on it.

Pipes snickers at having gotten a rise out of Gearstrip. "It was fine, and I'm saying that when I was the reluctant one. And anyway, I think the Captain has more important stuff on his mind right now." Like keeping his job. His drink is refilled without him needing to ask, and he accepts it gladly. He sees Slugfest passed out on the bar and scooches a little closer to him. Oh this, Swerve? It's mine. Is it a problem that it's on the bar? Really, I'd rather leave it here.

"We did our time!" Tailgate levels, as Pipes snickers. He edges next to Gearstrip's stool, holding his hand at an angle to his face when he speaks to her. "Sounds like you're a troublemaker now, that's what." He teases. Clearly now that she has been venturing about, she'll get in even more trouble.

Swindle nods again, taking the datapad and looking over with quizzical optics. "Oooooh, yeah, wouldn't wan't the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Annoying Third Person to catch wind of this particular transaction." He whisper with a knowing smirk. "Oh and unlike some Con's." Pointing at Slugfest "Down low is my default volume." Looking over the pad once again satisfied, he nonchalantly stores it away. "Well, Brainstorm, I have to say it's an absolute pleasure doing business with you." Swindle is about to get off his stool, before he remembers something. "Oh, yes, you wouldn't happen to be going back to Luna 1 at any point, out of curiosity?"

Brainstorm nods, satisfied. If this works out, and nobody catches on, he might actually be able to make some of his more 'interesting' ideas a reality! Of course, if someone does catch on, there might be some problems, but Brainstorm himself has no trouble keeping his deals a secret -- he's been doing that for a while now. If Swindle blabs, he can simply deny any such transactions. As Swindle prepares to leave, the engineer figures its time for him to get back to work as well, but the Decepticon's question makes him pause "I'll probably go down there a few more time, why?"

For the first time, Swindle looks a little bit uneasy, scratching his head, then nose, before finally looking Brainstorm is likely. "Considering my history with you're... bosses, i don't think they want me anywhere near Luna 1... meaning I can't deliver a very special package." Retrieving a small vial of energon he hands it to Brainstorm. "It's for Blast Off. Tell I him said... thanks, y'know." A cough and an ahem later. "Welp! Nice meeting ya." Swindle turns on his heel and begins a long walk back to his hab suite. Hopefully he can get his work done in peace.

Skywarp walks into the bar, looks around taking stock of who's in there that he can annoy. With a cheesy smirk the black and purple Seeker walks to the table he usually sits at, sits down and orders something nasty and strong.

"I've never been a troublemaker before," Gearstrip not-really-sottos back to Tailgate, tilting into a sideways lean with eyes widening slightly as she smiles. She sways straight again and turns her attention to the bartender for long enough to ask for a drink, and then turns a slightly quizzical look across Pipes and Slugfest as the latter seems to think the bar is an appropriate place for a nap. Gosh, what's in these?

Pipes thinks of the Captain as he says, not without humor, "This ship seems to bring out troublemaking in everyone." He sips a good portion of his Old Forged. It could be the slower pace lately, or the snoozing dino next to him, but Pipes feels a sleepiness coming on. Or it could be the drinks. "I'm going to start to mozy. Stay out of trouble!" He cordially bids adieu to the assembled group and heads towards the door. Before he leaves, though, he calls to the newly arrived seeker: "Skywarp! You still need to show me how that rock tumbler is doing!"

Brainstorm stares at the vial for a few moments, then back at Swindle "You know he's probably gonna be back soon" Brainstorm begins, but the merchant is gone "Well then" a black market dealer hands you a strange vial of energon and asks you to deliver to a former teammate of his. Not weird or suspiscious at all. But what else is he to do with it? Leave it sitting on the table? Tucking the strange package away along with his flask, the engineer sets to follow Swindle out, but before he can make it out the door, a familiar face at another table catches his attention "How's the arm? he approaches the Seeker, a sort of self satisfied look on his face, even as Pipes also comes up

"Stick with us, and you'll have your fair share." It's hard to tell if Tailgate's terribly serious when he replies to Gearstrip, but if you only count troublemaking as cheesing everyone else off, then sure! They do that a lot these days. "The smaller you are the more trouble you can get into." He watches as bots exit and enter the bar, sipping from his curly-q straw. "Bye Pipes, see you around!"

Skywarp nods at Pipes and grins, "IT's working great!" we wont go into all the crazy stuff he's been tossing in the thing to 'polish'. Skywarp flexes his arm then, "Nice to be whole again!"

Slugfest continues to be a happydrunk dozing robo stego. If he was a real stego the only motions out of him would be breathing. He's sleeping off 3 bowls of high grade right on the bar counter.

"I'm starting to get that impression," Gearstrip says with a sideways crook of her mouth. She frames her hands around her drink, sliding it carefully a little ways along the bar so that it won't be in immediate danger of being knocked over by the sleeping stegobot if he wakes up, and shifts her shoulders forward with the lean of her elbows against the counter. "Bye, Pipes!" she says. She smiles again. "Don't get in too much trouble without me."

Pipes waves back at Tailgate and Gearstrip. He then signals thumbs up to Skywarp for both the rock tumbler and his restored arm. Hmm, not long ago he'd've been shooting at the seeker. Pipes' moral compass is spinning. Speaking of which, he quickly says to Brainstorm, "Oh, hey. Hope my project is coming along OK. Can't wait to see how it turns out." With another friendly wave to Brainstorm, Pipes rounds the corner back out of the bar.

"Still haven't gotten around to it" Brainstorm calls to Pipes as the minibot leaves "Like I said, I'll give you a call when its done" with that said, he turns back to Skywarp. 'You see?' the expression on his face says 'Told you I could do it well!' "Just as good as the old one. Or probably better, considering that its actually attached. Ever find out what happened to -- you're planning something, aren't you?"

"No, not really." Gearstrip vents as she hunkers forward on the brace of her elbows. "I was just a mechanic, you know, and ... we're not very -- don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's lots of people who do exciting things! Flyby, my amica endura, her career as an entertainer is very exciting! It's just that I've always just kind of--" She gestures vaguely, her hand sliding through the air as if to grasp at something just out of reach, and then she lets it drop.

It's easy to think the same-- Tailgate knows exactly how she feels. But as of late he has become too aware of what he says out loud, and so his reply comes at a slight delay, where he finally hops up on the stool next to her and leans in companionably. "I understand that feeling, I think. But that's the good thing about the Lost Light. You can do anything and be the someone you want to be."

Skywarp looks at Brainstorm and a smirk plays at the corner of his mouth. "I don't know what you're talking about, Autobot." he works on his drink and stares at the Stegosaur some more.

"Same here. And even if I just got picked up on accident, I'm glad I'm here too. It's an experience, that's for sure. Do you miss Caminus?" Tailgate scans the bar with his eyes, glancing over to where Brainstorm has chosen a new companion.

"Uh-huh" Brainstorm nods skeptically "Just make sure to leave me out of it" now then, he was heading out, wasn't he? Although maybe he might stick around to see how this goes.

"Sometimes," Gearstrip admits. She kicks a little at her barstool, dropping a shoulder in a partial shrug. "I mean, who doesn't get a little homesick? Don't you? And I miss Flyby. But-- I still would rather be here than there. Even with everything. So I guess..." She trails off, her expression a little wistful, and then shakes her head.

Skywarp shrugs a bit and looks up at the ceiling then back at Slugfest. Finally though he downs his drink and stands. "Maybe another day." he says and starts for the door. "So when do i get some custom weapons, Brainstorm?" he asks as he gets to the door to leave.

Brainstorm can't say that he's particularly distraught over Skywarp's decission to abstain from pranking, although he does give the Seeker a 'you feeling ok?' sort of look before answering his question "When I'm done with everything more important. Definitely not until we leave Luna-1, and I'm done improving the scurity of my lab. Don't worry, you'r not the only one waiting."

"I have never really had time to think of Cybertron like home. Hey, you should tell me about her!" Tailgate tries to find a cure for some of her homesickness now. Maybe this? "She sounds really exciting, and she's your amica?"

"Oh! Flyby? She's an entertainer. She does air to ground dancing and aerobatics? She works with different musicians and DJs on Caminus. She gets a lot of attention." Gearstrip beams about this, and then looks down at her drink as she picks it up for a longer swallow. "She really encouraged me to volunteer for the mission. I think she feels like my job has been boring forever, which-- I mean, it's never going to be as interesting as performance art, you know? I just fix things."

The smile is exactly what Tailgate was hoping for. It warms him to see it, when everything else has him down. "That does sound really awesome. We don't really have anyone like that on board that I know about-- artists, anyways. Some. Cyclonus can sing. I'm not as good yet." If you can call that singing, really. "Maybe you could hang around the labs and get the others to let you help invent? Maybe testing at first."

"Maybe." Gearstrip props her chin on her fist and rolls a look at Tailgate, her head tilting slightly to one side atop her knuckles. She says, "There are some really, really smart people on board this ship--" Like Brainstorm! He's right over there! "--and I'm not really in that ... inventy class. But maybe I could. I helped Nautica with the engines on our ship before we -- er, got here. "So if Cybertron's not really home for you, does that mean this is? Home?" She opens her free hand in an expansive gesture. She probably doesn't just mean Swerve's.

"Kind of." Tailgate takes a look around at Swerve's, chuckling. "I was stuck below ground for millions of years, so I missed a lot. Since then it's... really all I've got left." Not that he had much to start with, but this he refrains from expanding on. "I'm sure if you asked, they'd love to have someone help test things out! Who cares about class-- you can always learn!"

"I have such a hard time wrapping my head around that," Gearstrip says with a slight shake of her head. She tilts forward to lift her hand to touch, briefly, at Tailgate's arm. "You really don't act like one of the oldest people I've met," she says, and her grin is crooked. She eases back again, framing both hands around her cup once more. "I guess I can try and learn. What's the worst that could happen, right?"

Slugfest stirs from his drunken stupor. "Head hurts," he murmurs. Slugfest tries to lift his head, goes, "Owwww..." then lowers it back down so his chin is resting on the bar counter.

Ok, Brainstorm really intended to leave, to get back to work, but the talk of smart people, engineers and inventing once again delays that goal, because how can he miss a chance to show off a bit "Exactly!" approaching the minibots from behind the weapons engineer pipes in after Gearstrip "It's never too late to learn something new!"

"Yeah?" Tailgate's features warm under the surface briefly, and his visor brightens somewhat at her grinning. "Thanks, I think." He looks over as Slugfest stirs from his place on the bartop, and lifts a hand to pat the stego on the side. "You're alright, just sleep it off." He is very reassuring. Brainstorm's proclamation startles him, and he draws his hands to himself with a dart of movement and a sudden look to the inventor. Oh, gosh. "See?"

Gearstrip laughs, a little self-consciously, despite herself. She draws a smaller sip from her glass as she looks up and around at Brainstorm. "Why do I get the sudden feeling like I may have just volunteered for something?" she says. Her eyes crinkle at the corners. "I thought he might've had too much," she adds. Her voice is not unsympathetic, although it is a little puzzled. "I've never offlined at a bar before."

"Well, I could use some more test su--volunteers to try a couple things out for me, though that's not what I meant" Brainstorm explains "What I meant was that of course you're not going to learn anything new if you don't try anything new" Slugfest's condition does not earn more than a brief glance. Happens all the time to people here. It's a bar.

"Maybe you did." Tailgate giggles as he finishes off his drink, spinning his straw around in his glass. "See, he's totally into it. Look at that face. I've helped once or twice-- I haven't gotten my faceplates melted off or anything sooo..." It must be awesome and totally safe.

Gearstrip looks between Tailgate and Brainstorm. Her teeth graze her lower lip as she smiles. She doesn't have a faceplate to melt off. "Well, I'm not saying no," she says. "But I better not say yes before I tell Chromia. She might get annoyed!"

Slugfest murmurs some more as he's patted, something slightly moaningly unintelligible. His optics dim and brighten and then dim again, as he continues to quasi-nap.

Oh, yes! Awesome and safe! Totally safe! Asuming you don't touch things you're not supposed to touch, and define 'safe' as 'about a 50% or so chance that you don't get blown up, riddled with shrapnel, or transported to another dimension'. Safe. Gearstrip's comment earns her a somewhat confused look from Brainstorm "What's she got to do with this?" he raises a brow "Does she have to approve your every activity or something?"

Tailgate looks between the Camien and Brainstorm. "Chromia probably likes to just keep tabs on what they're doing. Right?" BEsides, It's better to let her know in case that Safe part doesn't end up being true.

"Yeah," Gearstrip says with a slight nod. "Especially after what happened with Overlord, I feel like it makes her feel better to know where we're at. I don't mind. I wouldn't want to get ... misplaced?" She turns out a hand, palm up.

"And if she gets annoyed its a no-go and that's that? It's not like I'd be asking you to charge Overlord with nothing but a knife" Brainstorm shrugs "Just a couple trial runs on a few things. Nothing too dangerous. I'm /pretty/ sure nothing ireversable would happen!"

"Misplaced?" Tailgate sounds confused. Where in the world would she go? "I charged him with a tracker." He states, matter of fact. "'Pretty sure' is better than 'can't be sure'. You can always say no yourself, too. I doubt Brainstorm here would make you do anything you didn't want to." Right?

Gearstrip laughs. She opens her other hand, showing Brainstorm both palms. "Pretty sure," she says lightly. "Misplaced like ... maybe they don't find me til there's a body. Like we found Moonlight..." She trails off, shudders, and then picks up her drink to knock back most of the rest of it at once. "I'm not saying you would do anything that would make that happen. Of course not! I just understand why she wants to keep tabs, that's all."

Right, of course, he had absolutely nothing to do with that, no part in Overlord being on the ship, or breaking loose and killing people. Nothing at all. Brainstorm's hand tightens slightly on the handle of his briefcase "Of course not!" the engineer nods at Tailgate's statement "Purely voluntary! I'm not saying you shouldn't tell anyone, but the way you made it sound like you make your decisions based on her approval."

"I totally think she'd love it if you wanted to hang around the labs." Tailgate leans in to aside at Gearstrip, within Brainstorm's hearing. "It's good for fostering relationships, besides! That's admirable!"

"It is?" Gearstrip tilts her head slightly to one side. She doesn't quite disagree with the idea that she'd be asking permission that she doesn't need, but she tips a curious look toward Tailgate. "I guess so. I like being helpful," she says.

Well, yes, agreeing to be a ginuea pig for a mad scientist is a fairly brave thing to do. Or just crazy. Take your pick "Maybe you'll learn something new along the way!" Brainstorm nods before glancing at the exit "If you make up your mind, drop by my lab. I need to get back to work. I've wasted way more time here than I intended to"

"Sure. That's what diplomats do." And people that foster goodwill are great. Tailgate debates a moment before he orders a refill on his drink. Curly straw meet induction port. He lifts his drink at Brainstorm as he goes. "Thanks for eavesdropping!" See ya.

"Where does the time go," Gearstrip says sunnily. Taking her glass in hand, she resituates herself across the top of the barstool so that she can lean backwards against the bar on the brace of her elbows. "I wasn't expecting to be doing the diplomacy myself, just helping the ship stay together. But then we cannibalized the ship. Now I help this ship stay together, but people harpoon it, and before the adhesive sealant has had a chance to set, people harpoon it again!" She laughs again and shakes her head. "I guess that's kind of like diplomacy. You must be great at it," she tells Tailgate lightly. "The diplomacy part."

"Arcee //does// like to do stuff like harpoon things." Tailgate murmurs this, considering the comparison to diplomacy. "That's a pretty good parallel. Me? I try my best. Sometimes it doesn't end up so well and I accidentally cause a civil war or something-- but so far I do okay." His laugh is earnest. "Most bots seem to like me. Or at least they don't //hate// me. That helps."

"You seem pretty unhateable," Gearstrip tells Tailgate very seriously. "I mean, maybe if you started getting violent and mean, but it just doesn't seem very likely."

"What?! I could totally get violent and mean!" Tailgate's attempt at false indignance is pretty good, actually. "Why doesn't it? What if I turn into a supervillain? Nobody would ever expect that!"

"That's true," Gearstrip says. She finishes her drink, watching him with a rounding of her eyes in a bright blaze of optics over the smile she hasn't quite managed to banish. "What would your evil plan be?"

"Maybe I'll turn everyone into tiny toy versions of themselves. Pipes has one from Earth, so I'd have a model!" Tailgate's evil plan isn't really sounding that evil. "Maybe if I take over the ship maybe I can take it around conquering worlds? The Rodpod can be my chariot when I repaint it."

"You want to conquer worlds in a chariot that looks like the Captain's head?" Gearstrip laughs as she sets down the empty glass on the bar again, ducking her head. "Well, I suppose you would choose a more nefarious color scheme. I'm not sure what color nefariousness is."

"Um." Tailgate taps at his chin. "Purple? No, Red. Scrap. Don't tell Cyclonus I said that." Though would he really be offended? "I could always make people fear white, gold, and red?"

"I guess if you're terrible enough with it, any color could be scary," Gearstrip says. Her mouth purses a little as she eyes him. Then she stands, framing her hands on her hips, balancing on the rung of the stool. "I mean, I don't think blue is scary, but--"

Tailgate touches himself on the chest, looking down to his own blue, and then up to Gearstrip. "Overlord was blue." That is probably where she was going with that, he hopes. "I'll just face the music. I'm never going to be //that// scary." Tailgate probably has a few other thoughts on what makes a supervillain, however, and he is sure to share them with Gearstrip as the evening goes on. Minis dream big, you see!

The little hungover stego gets up, turns around awkwardly eyeing the stool and the floor, then hops onto the stool, wobbling unsteadily before hopping onto the floor and scampering towards the door!

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