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2016-06-02 Speakeasy, Drink Hard

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Speakeasy, Drink Hard
Date 2016/06/02
Location Velocitron - Mu
Participants Astrotrain, Quicksight, Swoop
NPCs Powerdyne
Plot Colony: Velocitron
Scene GM Mox
Summary Powerdyne takes a few Lighters to the one bar in Mu that opens only a few days a year. Drinking and discussing possible ways to help follow.

'Decorative Trash' is about the only way to describe the only dive bar in Mu that still opens a few days in the month, having just made do with the best the locals can find for furnishings. Get drunk enough and you won't care what it looks like anyways.


Mu is a blue-collar town. It is the control center for the planetary fuel distribution network that keeps the Velocities - the other cities forever rolling across the surface - moving, and that involves pure labor. Historically Mu's citizens have been proud of their responsibility, and still are despite their deteriorating conditions. Therefore, they work hard, and they play hard too.

Since the Minders have cracked down on, well, everything in the city, the party life has gone underground. The tightened energon rations and import embargoes have also made engex slow to distill and hard to come by. When there's enough, though, the one bar left in Mu opens, and stays open until it's all gone. It's called the Slow Truck, and it's open tonight.

Word got back to the Cavern, of course, so Powerdyne elected to bring along a few of his resistance members, and Cybertronians who were interested, to celebrate his release. They now pull up to the building that conceals the establishment, nothing special in an ordinary-looking neighborhood.

Nothing to see here. Pay no attention to the big ol' locomotive rolling down the street after the mining rig that is Powerdyne. Though to be fair, these people probably don't really know what a train is and would probably just think its some sort of heavy duty hauling vehicle. Which technically, Astrotrain is. It's the perfect disguise! And less flashy than his shuttle mode, as much all the gawking that mode gets amuses him. This is as close to on the downlow as the Triplechanger gets, but if gets some actual drinks in his system after all the work he's been doing moving people around for escapes and jailbreaks and what's not, it'll be worth it.

Swoop is not as easy to miss as Astrotrain. His leg still kind of smarts, but it's good enough that he's ready to get out of the cavern and stretch his wings. Viviqueen may be content sitting around there all the time; Swoop, however, was not. When Powerdyne offers a night out, Swoop is quick to join, though - eugh. The company is less than desirable. Swoop stays in alt mode until they reach their destination, glad to be as far away from the Decepticons accompanying him as he can, for the moment.

Quicksight is no stranger to rations. War tends to entail them, especially when you're just rank and file, and war was all he knew until recently. That doesn't mean that he'll deprive himself of some of the simple pleasures of life when they're offered, especially not after he's done his fair share of work and fighting. His injuries from the fights with the Minders are still making themselves known, so he's been taking it a bit slower than usual lately, as he is now, flying low and slow most of the way, though he does remain vigilant, just in case.

Powerdyne knocks three times on the door. A narrow horizontal panel slides away to reveal a pair of suspicious optics. They glance at Powerdyne, and then at the strangers. "Friends of yours? Still need the password, 'Dyno. Rules is rules."

"Of course." Powerdyne is indulgent. "They're the reason I'm back. And it's 'offworlder'. Now, let us in before they decide to show off their weapons."

He might be kidding, but the bouncer can't tell. His optics widen, and then the panel slaps shut and the door opens. "All right, all right. C'mon in."

The interior is roomier than you'd expect from outside; it looks like the entire building has been hollowed out to make room for the speakeasy. That's dedication. The decor could best be described as "elegant trash" - it's whatever they could scrape up to make the place just a fraction nicer than anything else around. The lighting is meager. The air is smoky. The patrons are noisy, but slowly quiet down and stare at those entering. For various reasons.

Astrotrain transforms once anyone that may of hitched a ride on him is out, standing high over most of the group. Except for maybe the Dinobot, though Swoop is kind of the shorty of the group. By this point he's gotten use at getting a few strange looks, especially when he has to duck and twist his upper torso a bit to get his wings through the doorway. You can tell this planet wasn't built for fliers. "Huh." As he stands to pushes a hanging light fixture lightly with his finger, making it sway back and forth a few times. "I've seen worse places." Which is followed by a short laugh. "Nuttin' like energex outta a dirty mug. Gives it a certain... personality." He's probably trying to be figurative rather than literally mean a dirty glass, but you get the idea.

Swoop lands and transforms, and yeah, he is shorter than Astrotrain, but not by that much! Snarl was shorter than him, in bot mode, anyway. His response to Astrotrain is a growl even as he follows the 'Con into this dive bar. Which is basically what it is. Swoop's been to plenty before. "Don't care what it comes in, as long as it'll get me fragged." That's practically polite for a Dinobot.

Quicksight is probably the shortest present though. The small flyer winces slightly as he drops down next to Astrotrain. There are still visible signs of injury around his head, and his entire right side is dinged and scraped up from being knocked out of the air back during their break-in. Following the others in to the bar, he sticks fairly close to the larger Decepticon, though he's not clinging. Mostly, it's because it puts him a bit further from Swoop "Wonder why it's 'offworlder'" he mutters to no one in particular as he looks around the place. Not the nicest he's seen, but he's not used to being picky. It has booze, it'll do "These guys take shanix, right?"

As the other resistance members file in, they pick up conversations with whoever they know. After a glance back at Quicksight, Powerdyne speaks to the rest. "These are my friends. You heard the story, about me getting busted out of prison?" He jerks a thumb back to the Lost Lighters. "Let's make 'em feel welcome, huh?"

The locals murmur for a moment, and then the volume increases back to normal as they resume talking to each other. There's serious nods of approval here and there sent to the newcomers. As for the bartender - blocky, rusted, probably the oldest Velocitronian here - he dispenses something glowing into three somewhat clean mugs and sets them on the bar. "On the house. All night." He winks to the Lighters and nods to Powerdyne.

<FS3> Astrotrain rolls Fortitude: Good Success. (6 6 2 5 3 8 4 5 8) <FS3> Quicksight rolls Body+Body: Failure. (3 2) <FS3> Swoop rolls Body+body: Success. (1 1 5 7) <FS3> Astrotrain rolls Drinking: Good Success. (7 7 1 6 2 5 5)

"Frag yeah, now we're talking!" Astrotrain is enjoying the attention, but as soon as full mugs are produced and 'on the house' is heard he swaggers over to the bar. Rubs his hands together in anticipation. "Let's see what the locals have to offer." He grabs the mug with one large hand, and kicks back and chugs the entire mug down almost as fast as he can transform. Tops it off with a nice solid belch. "That hit the spot. I've been running half-tank ever since that big escape!" Wipes his mouth with the shielding on the back of his arm, then thumps the mug back down on the bar. "Keep 'em coming!"

No time to worry about Decepticons now - the bartender just said he was going to serve them, all night, for free . "Slag yeah," Swoop contributes as he follows in Astrotrain's wake to the bar. The triple changer has one upside: he sure can part a crowd. Swoop claims one of the three remaining mugs and gulps down half immediately. It burns, more so than he'd expected; these backwater bots might not be so bad after all. "This is some good brew," he says, mostly to himself, though he keeps an side optic look on Astro. Maybe if he's lucky he'll get to see the 'Con drink himself silly and pass out.

"For real?" Honestly, Quicksight wouldn't mind paying -- it's not like he doesn't have the money. Of course, there's the question of whether that money would be accepted here, and it does feel good to be treated like this. Plus, he really does deserve a drink. Thus, he hops up on to a nearby stool, grabs one of the offered mugs and, after a moment of studying it, covers most of the opening with his free hand and tips it over the port of his faceplate, letting the liquid flow through the remaining opening. For all of a few gulps anyways. Then the mug slams down on to the bar, and the scout himself bends over it, something in his throat catching as his body tenses "Ugh, man, that's something" he finally manages when the drink lets go. When he turns back to his mug, he regards its contents with a bit more respect. He's not about to give up on it, but something tells him that the headache he got from that Minder will feel like a love tap in the morning.

Powerdyne gets his own mug, which he takes a swig of as if it were straight energon. "RRAAAAA. Being inside brought my tolerance down. Good thing I'm here." He rests the mug back on the bar with a clunk, then turns to the guests of honor. "So, we're working on a plan. To get that down." He points up. "But we'll need your help, especially yours, since you have flight modes."

The bartender is pleased with each of the reactions to his brew, although Astrotrain's impresses him the most. He refills the mug (no fresh mug, what is this, Delta?) and returns it. "Not too fast now, we'll run out too early," he growls in approval.

Astrotrain snags the mug as it's passed back, and grins at the barkeeper. "That was the taste test. This one, I'm gonna savor." So not drink it quite so quickly, basically. Same mug? That's fine with him. It adds flavor. He tries not to smirk too much as Quicksight's reaction, but can't help himself. At least Quick takes it like a Con.

He takes a sip as he turns his attention back to Powerdyne. Rolls his optics up a moment. "What, the roof... Oh, -that- roof." The lightning shield. "Gotta have a generation source somewhere. Lemme guess." Though he takes another sip before actually guessing. "Since none of you guys can fly, they put up somewhere high?"

Quicksight's reaction to the engex gets a derisive snort out of Swoop, and the scout is only saved further mockery by Powerdyne. Swoop takes another heart swallow of his mug as he rests an elbow against the bar, attention trained on the Velocitronian. "Which means you need us to get at the power source for you," he tacks onto Astrotrain's conclusion. That would be pretty easy with Vivi, but....Swoop frowns as he remembers her injuries. She might not be ready to charge back into battle, as much as he knows she'll insist on it.

Quicksight flashes Swoop an irate glare and an annoyed scoff, but he doesn't jump in to an argument, thanks again to Powerdyne. Instead, he takes another sip of his drink as he listens, slower and more careful this time. This might prevent him from going as quickly through it as the bigger bots, but at least he can still talk imediately after setting it down, to add to his companions' observatiosn "Shouldn't be too hard." "Good," Powerdyne practically purrs as he takes another drink. The intensity in his optics increases. "You catch on quickly. I like that.

"After we leave, take a look at the center of the city. The tallest tower there. The shield emitter. The power comes from the city itself, but the control for it is there. And, we hope, an access terminal for the System herself. We can't get there now because the shield covers the tower too. But, for a few moments at the next shift change in a few days ..."

"Just like it was down long enough for us to get here," Astrotrain finishes the train of thought. Haha. Train of thought. "Shouldn't be all that hard." Thumps his free hand to his chestplate. "I'm a military transport, I do this sort of thing all the time. I can get anyone up there than can't fly on there own, no problem." He pauses to chug down the rest of the mug of energex. Then hmms thoughtfully. Peers in Quicksight's direction. "Though your men could use some weapons of their own if they're gonna be able to protect themselves, shield or no shield."

"So we swoop in - " Heh "- and hit it hard, is what you're saying." Swoop's optics flick to Astrotrain, and as much as he hates to agree with a Decepticon, the big afthole has a point. "He's right, we can't bring you all in with us if you don't have some way to fight, or it'll be a massacre." And not the good kind.

"Gotta be quick to get trhough, huh?" Quicksight observes. Shouldn't be a problem. The weapon thing, on the other hand, might. The scout catches Astrotrain's look, then turns back to Powerdyne "Oversteer said yours were confiscated. You know where they're keeping them?"

"Make no mistake, the shield is up this time because of you," Powerdyne clarifies, with a chuckle. "Consider it a compliment from the System, once she detected your presence. But the tower is staffed by us, and she doesn't work us to death. Yet. And yes, speed will be of the essence. It's a short window." He sips some more. "Weapons are a problem. I don't know what we'll find up there. There might not be much of a security system, since it's unreachable, but still ... I'd rather I not be the only one packing. Besides you. We do know where our weapons are impounded; it's the same tower. All one complex."

That makes things a little tricky. "So you gotta get in both to drop the shield and get your pewpewpews back." Astrotrain sets his mug on the bar for another refill. "What about energon? Other than this place. You guys make it for the entire planet. How's it moved from one city to the others when all the cities are moving too?" Some of the gears have started turning, chugging through ideas. If there's one things Decepticons know how to do well, war or not, it's busting into places and taking what they want.

Swoop's optics, if possible, widen beyond the usual. 'Pewpewpews'? Primus. He finishes his own mug, slamming it down beside Astrotrain's. "At least your weapons and this power source are in the same place. We claw our way through the impound, grab what we need, and take out the rest. Nothing to it." He's done more dangerous things with just the Dinobots. A handful of resistance fighters and some fliers should be just as effective. Swoop does, at least, quiet back down while waiting for his refill, just so he can hear how Powerdyne answers this energon question.

Quicksight's optics narrow in anoyance with the information that there was no way to arm the locals before going in. Not that anyone can see that behind his mug. He does set it down to add to Astrotrain's question "Yeah, they can't keep that in the tower too, can they? There's gotta be some place it's reachable, unless they teleport it out or something."

"There's solar power stations all over the planet," Powerdyne explains. "They're hardened for daytime. They generate energon during the day, and at night the energon flows to pickup lanes along the routes the Velocities take. We manage the entire system from here, and there's also a few mechs in each city who keep the pickups working. Those cities keep moving because of us. They only move because of us." Where one might expect a scowl to appear on Powerdyne's face, oddly there's a smirk.

The bartender takes care of refilling the mugs. He appears happy that the newcomers like his latest batch. "It's an amazing system. Whole population of Velocitron relies on it, 'cept for here. Without it, well."

Powerdyne pauses a beat, looking at the bartender. He then adds, "There are power conduits that run through the city. We're denied access to them. Ironically." He takes his refreshed mug and swirls the engex in it. "That's why we can't do this every night."

Okay, so this city is the control station, not the collection point. Not quite what he was picturing at first, but hardly a problem. This city still needs to power its drones and that shield, and that would require... exactly. That brings a slow, almost slightly creepy grin to Astrotrain's face as he picks his filled mug back up. "If you can tell us where some of these conduits, and maybe we can do something about that." Gestures with his mug. "This stuff's great and all, but you shouldn't be cut short of what you all work so hard to keep flowing, amiright?" Then turns his head back to the other Con in the room. "Hey Quicksight. Wadda say we go show those speed freaks how Decepticons do things about not sharing fairly?"

"Sounds to me like we've got some other targets to hit, too." That's what Powerdyne is hinting at, right? For the Lost Lighters to frag other stuff up? That's how it comes across to Swoop, anyway. He gives a nod of thanks to the bartender when his mug is refilled, and though he's glad to be slurping down more of this engex, his expression sours when the 'Cons start talking to each other over his helm. He doesn't even bother to hide a snort in his mug. "Like either of you would know anything about sharing," he scoffs.

Setting his finally empty mug down, Quicksight looks back up at Astrotrain, a devious spark flashing in his optics "I like the way you think!" he'd be smiling if it wasn't for the faceplate. Swoop's statement only gets him a disdainful, coky look "I think you're confusing us for yourself, Autobot. None this look familiar to you? Something about people being denied equality based on function? Like Functionalism? Like what you fraggers supported and we fought against?"

"We can tell you where all the conduits are, if you're interested." The smiling Powerdyne hardly tries at all to mask any implications in that statement. His brow furrows when he hears Quicksight. "Hmm. You've experienced something like this, then. The oppression. But you seem fast, and you can fly, so it was for something else. Function, you said." There's that gleam in the optics again.

"Hey you two. We're tryin' to make a good impression here. I love a bar brawl as much as the next mech, but not tonight 'kay?" Astrotrain shrugs his shoulders a bit to Powerdyne. "Old governments divided based on what ya turned into and were best at doing. We spent four plus million years fighting over this sort of thing already. It... takes time to recover from. Frag, we're still 'recovering', even while trapzing around the universe together. Take it from experience, even if we get that shield down and all, it ain't gonna fix all the problems right away. But it'll put you all on the right steps to get started." Well, that was unusually verbose from the typically bruiserish Triplechanger.... which of course is immeadiately ruining the moment afterwards by chugging down the lastest mug of enerbooze.

<FS3> Swoop rolls Self Control: Great Success. (3 8 8 3 1 7 8 4)

Swoop is so ready to enter this argument again, about how he ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT SUPPORT FUNCTIONALISM, but. Powerdyne is speaking again, and Astrotrain - what the frag, Astrotrain keeps making good points tonight. Who does he think he is, making sense. Swoop lets out a vented hiss, turning away from Quicksight and swallowing a good portion of his second drink. "Please, I wasn't about to start a brawl over someone as stupid as that." Okay that was unnecessary. He pushes on by adding, almost softy, "We'll help you however we can. What's happening to you here is unacceptable." He has nothing else to contribute, after Astrotrain's little monologue. When did this slagger get so smart? Hrn.

Quicksight responds to Swoop's assessment of the iusse with a hiss of his own and a muttered "Of course". He would love a chance to get under the ninobot's plating, and to let the locals know just what hypocrytical aftholes they were dealing with, but something in Astrotrain's words stops him. Not without an annoyed look, of course, but there is some truth there. As irritating as it is, they need to continue working together if they want to help here. He's already mired in this anyways, after getting hit while trying to protect Tailgate of all people. If this doesn't work out, that will just feel frustratingly stupid. So, shooting Swoop a glare, the scout turns back to his newly refiled mug

"I wasn't even around when it started. I came online during the war, spent my whole life fighting for the cause" the scout explains "But yeah, we've been down that road, and it ain't no more right here than it was there, which is why we wanna help" he nods up at Astrotrain. At least the Decepticons do. He can't speak for the Bots "We also have experience. Just show us where thouse condiuts are!"

"Fascinating." Powerdyne takes in the new information with a measure of awe, as new perspective forms in his mind. "I'm well aware that it will be a long struggle. Less than four million years, I hope." He finally takes another drink, and glances around with a sigh. "I should go speak with my people, drink with them, now that I'm back. This isn't just a social call for me. As for you, though, enjoy yourselves, but let's talk again. We'll get you the conduit locations, but more importantly, I want to understand more about your struggle." He raises his mug slightly to the bartender. "Mixer." He nods again to the Cybertronians, and moves off into the crowd.

"You got it." Astrotrain raises his mug to Powerdyne as he departs. He was already in a good mood with the drinks, the potential to go do some good old fashion smash-in-grab just makes it an even better mood. "Some nights it's still damn good to be a Decepticon," he muses with a chuckle, before resuming finishing off ... hm... he's already lost count. Oh well, that just means it's good!

Swoop leans fully against the counter now, both elbows on its surface as he pounds back the last of his drink and thoroughly ignores the two Decepticons he's sitting with. Quicksight says.....something. Something pointless, knowing him. Powerdyne's parting remarks are acknowledge and given another nod to show that Swoop was listening. And Astrotrain - yeah that's even more pointless than whatever Quicksight had said. Feeling the engex work its way through his circuits, Swoop slides his empty mug back toward the bartender. He can get drunk and not bother with these two. Probably. He sure as hell is going to try.

Quicksight copies Astrotrain's gesture to Powerdyne, and then repeats it for the bigger Decepticon himself, and his remark. Indeed it is! Tonight, he will drink some more. He's going to need the fuel when the time comes to some good, honest pilfering for a good cause!

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