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2016-02-25 Diplomacy

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Diplomacy
Date 2016/02/25
Location Lost Light Recreation- Practice Rooms
Participants Punch, Rodimus
Summary Light sparring in the training room. WARNING. Talking happens too. Be advised.

There's currently a training program in progress. In there... somewhere. The room is filled with a impenetrable cloud of grey smoke. Getting closer to the cloud the tell tale signs of the textures that the rooms holo generators use.

What's more interesting is what can be heard. First synchronised gunfire. Then equally well timed transformations, engine roars and rubber being shredded. Then an unmistakable crunch of a head on collision. A brief chocking noise is interrupted by the sound of rushing air, a yelp of pain and a sickening impact on the floor.

"Computer... end program." Punch says as the holo-smoke clears and Punch gently descends from the roof. He takes a few deep vents to recover after the workout. His weapons are ignored at opposite sides of the room.

In the doorway where he lingers in a curious shrug in, Rodimus considers Punch's descent from the roof thoughtfully. "Okay, but why were you up there?" he asks as the air clears. "What good is it doing a bunch of cool stunts if no one can see?" He focuses on the important things.

Rodimus isn't carrying anything that suggests he is here to practice. His manner is casual and his smile easy. Chances are pretty good that he's satisfying a curious itch more than anything. He's on a patrol. An inspection. (He's going around and talking to people.)

As he lands Punch takes a further vent in as, for him, the air he intakes can be used as a regulator for the flow rate of the energon that surges through his systems. Shaking his head to shrug the impact Punch says, "Great question. I programmed this one to act like me. Well, the other me. Knows what I know, draws like I draw, everything like I was back then. Sometimes I add other factors to spice it up a bit, like the smoke. Anytime I win I know I'm doing better than before." Punch grins unashamedly. He's not lost in a while.

"Can't beat better -- except maybe with best," Rodimus says with a quick, roguish grin. "Nice work." He straightens out of his lean and steps inside to take a look around the room and then look back. "I tend to prefer sparring with a real partner though, not a program. You ever try running this kind of thing with someone else instead?"

Punch makes a show of holding his arms out, hands palm up towards the roof, and says as he shrugs, "I'd love to but haven't got a regular dance partner, as it were. I've either been recovering from something or been taken too easy on to get a real show going." Punch slights a cig then thoughtfully disappears it again. With a curious and happy tone he shares his thought, "Why? You asking?"

"I could go a round," says Rodimus with an ill-concealed eagerness. "You should find a regular one, though. Helps a lot. Helps me, anyway." He stretches unnecessarily, easing his joints and rolling his shoulders in limber, bouncy eagerness. "Grimlock or Arcee could probably set you up with a regular dance partner."

Punch looks over to his mortar and cannon sitting across the room. He then nods and, now smiling happily, notes.. real life conditions... "Cool. While I see how mch of a run I can give you for your shanix I can see about something else too." Punch moves to the center of the room, ignoring the distant weapons and says, "On your go. I'm a-ready."

Punch's stance is carefully composed. He's standing pretty much like he usually is. It's more his style, yeah, he'll take a hit on the first clash but he'll have learned more than he's given away. After all... when you're a spy you spy hard. Leaving the job doesn't change that. As his move that's his namesake comes towards him Punch tries the simple block reversal Arcee taught him. Mid move he says, "I noticed we've no diplomatic team. I want to make one. Do what I can to keep our rep here as good as it can be."

Waaaay too slow! Punch feels the lock he was supposed to employ slide and the connection to his side. Punch seems happier at the failure than he would've been if he's succeeded. He's actually learning something here instead of knowing the result in advance. Punch tries transforming and kicking it into reverse to reach the far wall. Maybe keep some distance.

He shouts over his engines, "Diplomacy and espionage are part of each other. Most embassies are filled with spies of some form or another. Only difference is they're overt operations instead of covert ones. Remember that bar we were at? I had a contact drop a package there for me. I've let the network go a little cold but it's easy enough to get it hot again."

When Punch transforms, he gets out of reach before Rodimus can follow up on his last move with another. He pivots, keeping Punch squared in his vision, and grins. He doesn't yet transform to chase him down: he turns, waiting to see if Punch closes again, loose and prepared to respond.

"I always did wonder why Prowl was in charge of the Diplomatic Corps. I've never met a more undiplomatic guy." Except himself. Rodimus is definitely a strain on most diplomatic relations at his worst. At his best--? Well, they are very different, let's say. "It's not that I object to a, uh, PR department, but phrasing it as diplomacy is a little tricky. We aren't authorized to speak for Cybertron or the Autobots. We just speak for ourselves. Act for ourselves. That's important to make clear."

Punch shifts gears rapidly. "Back channels to communicate to places that are hostile. Official statements to clarify incidents, like the bar, so our position's clear. Making friends outta enemies and the fun parties and events needed to do that. Basically, making you look good on the intergalactic scale and, by extension, the ship and its mission." Punch doesn't have time to do much else. He's got his hands full with the talking and driving.


Punch slows and transforms, "Beauty of codename status. I didn't have to report to anyone much. I got my orders and they silently took the results." Punch crouches as if he were starting at a sprint.

Ready.

"I get what you mean. It's also the point. A lot of planets view us as an independent city state on intelligence reports. That works for us. Reinforcing that point and idea in the right places could boost how we're seen even more."

Set.

"I also get about the naming. At the end of the day a diplomatic cultural mission is the same as a public race day hosted by the Lost Light's legendary captain, to promote fun for all. Call it a PR department. I'll avoid anything vaguely political sounding. I'll get the job done. Just say it's my show."

Go.

Punch then rises and sets off. He's using his flight systems to go for a long range dive at Rodimus.

Rodimus looks a little flustered, making him a touch slow to respond as Punch braces. He just stands there a long moment as Punch talks. Finally, he says, "But we're not independent. I mean -- we're kind of. It."

Then Punch darts in with a hot, hard dive, forcing Rodimus back and to the side in a sudden, startled leap as he pivots. "Ha! Smelt me, but that's a nice trick." He comes around as Punch is still trying to shed momentum and turn, trying to get in close and land a hit on his back. "We're an 'independent privately owned operation sailing under Cybertronian colors under galactic maritime law'," Rodimus says. And if that sounds like a quote he's repeating back rather than something he entirely understands, he rephrases and focuses on one important part: "We're Cybertronian, and fly under that flag. Reinforcing any views otherwise is a little--." He breaks off, looking for the right word, and bites a tight smile. "Rebellious."

Punch doesn't feel the blow to his back. He does feel the premature termination to his flight as he hits the floor. Overplaying the fall Punch says between unnecessary deep vents, "Yeah. True. But different people see us in different ways. Some see us as the Autobot military on expansion to other worlds. Some see us a Decepticon sleeper cell."

He looks over to Rodimus, nods and says "Anyone asks outright I'll parrot that as you parroted it to me. As long as we come across as the cool types you want you planet to be friends with they can be as wrong as they like about the details." Punch rolls from his front to his back. "If someone sees us as rebellious, and that's what does it for them, I'll be slow to correct. Otherwise I'll just show 'em how great we are in the way that most pleases them." Punch then pushes up and towards Rodimus to cover the remaining distance. It's a bit of a stretch but he may manage a simple trip.

"A Decepticon sleeper cell?" Rodimus steps back to wait for Punch to gather himself again. It's a pretty friendly sparring match, since he doesn't pursue the opening. "Seriously? Decepticon?" He sounds somewhere between profoundly amused and disbelieving, maybe with a touch of offense in there. DECEPTICON.

"No. We can't be seen as rebellious -- and I know, that sounds a little ridic--!" Rodimus breaks off as he moves to meet Punch again, only for Punch's sneak to catch and tangle his footwork, sending Rodimus stumbling a few paces. "Ha!" He thumps up against the wall and then turns to face Punch again. "Ridiculous from me. But we're under Cybertronian colors. Cybertron's gotta look strong. Look -- why don't you work with Windblade? Show me what you have? She's good at this. Maybe you can pick up a little more working under her."

Punch takes a second to redouble his argument at the cost of trying to gain any tactical advantage in the spar. "I'm not saying I'd portray us any way other than we are. Point was, and is, people have wide ranging views about us. Some accurate, some fair and some the opposite of both. I'm really saying I'd focus on what we can agree on, not what we wouldn't. I won't have any problems keeping the facts straight. They do tie in together. We're awesome so Cybertron's awesome. Q.E.D."

Punch then moves on to the other point. "Sure. I'd be happy to. If that's okay with Windblade. As I'd rather not impose if it were any form of hassle." He's less assertive on that statement. As, from his conversations with Chromia, his merely being Cybertronian makes him personally responsible for the war itself and every horror therein. So taking orders again... should it not be an outright no. It'd be a start. Just not as easy as he'd first hoped. Then again... what is?

"It's a good place for you to start if you're interested in all this," Rodimus says with a rather vague wave of his hands. He comes back in with a light, testing jab once he's shaken the stumble from his limbs. "But I'm definitely not making a whole diplomacy detachment, and -- sorry, not putting an enthusiastic amateur in charge of it, either. We've got enough problems with that. But you can learn something about it, yeah."

Before the jab comes his way Punch says, "Great. I'll ask. It'll work itself out from there." Okay. it'll likely fizzle but at least he asked. The phrase 'enthusiastic amateur' earns a laugh though. Pushing forward Punch sees if he can repay the blow in kind as, he suspects, Rodimus has the edge on speed, certainly dexterity, so to land a hit he'll likely have to take one.

"Most things do." Rodimus grins with infectious, oblivious optimism. Everything works itself out. He trades a blow for a blow as Punch sneaks past his opened guard to land it, then falls back again. "You know, you're not too bad at that. A little more regular work with a steady partner and you might get better -- but that'll eat into your time learning the diplomat thing. Either way, you could do a lot."

Punch had managed to flex his torso just the right way to keep the impact of Rodimus' fist from knocking his own blow off course. "Most do." Punch dodges the fact he was the exception in those cases. See? Diplomatic. "I can move boxes. Maybe I'm just better at sticking to that. What's within my means to do." You don't get any kind of retirement plan after leaving. Good luck having no references or marketable skills. So, accepting the limitations of being a sup-par civilian comes with the territory. Punch aims a kick at Rodimus' shin to see if his feet are any faster than his hands.

"Never been much for sticking within my means. You want to learn the diplomat ... thing," Rodimus says, slow and baffled in the face of diplomacy, "then learn it." He's quick to slide his foot away from the dart of Punch's kick, although it's quite a big foot, and getting clear of the strike means that he's prevented from making his own attacking, putting him on defense. "War's over. Maybe we've all got to learn to be a little more diplomatic."

Punch tries to regain balance after his foot catches nothing but air. He also takes a step back. "It is one of those things. Everything's something you can get a read on. I'm not always right but... I have my moments. I appear to be better than I am at times but that's when I do things in that way that suits the moment. It's a very inflexible style which I suspect, no offense to myself, doesn't translate any more." Punch takes a further step back, distancing himself. Folding his arms in on themselves he protects his core and readies to use his elbows in a counter attack on the next blow sent at him.

Rodimus waves Punch off when he prepares for the next blow and falls out of combat readiness himself into a looser ease. "Tell you what, I'll go stop by and see how Windblade's doing, let her know you want to work with her, okay? She's pretty willing to help out. Anything else you wanna run by me while you've got me?"

Punch stands down. He slights a cig and lets it light itself. After he takes up a deep draw and screws up his face in concentration. Once he relaxes his expression he says, "I'm still game for it. Please, don't get me wrong, I appreciate not only taking the time to hear me out or to forward it on. Thank you." Punch waves vaguely smoke twisting and streaming as he does so "I get a little melancholy sometimes. I'm doing better than before... but it's a process I'm not quite done with yet. If I'm not okay, I've been told waht to do." After another draw Punch smiles and says, "You've already done more than enough already. Thanks again."

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