2016-06-24 Honor among Decepticons
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Honor among Decepticons|
|Location||Lost Light - Recreation -- Library|
|Participants||Blast Off, Lieutenant, Whisper|
|Summary||Blast Off and Whisper discuss the demands of honor. Lieutenant intervenes to prevent collateral damage.|
Blast Off has some reading to do. He's always made a show of how urbane and sophisticated he is, despite his Combaticon... er... history and inclinations. When faced with Skydive's quiet dignity, he was quick to accept an offer by the Aerialbot to learn more about fencing. Fencing is sophisticated, so of course he is familiar with it! Of course he won't mind brushing up on it. Of course he already knows all about it, right? What upper caste sophisticate would not be? Oh. Right. Not him. He is vaguely aware from snippets learned long ago, but his High Caste life is long past him. Now he clings to wine and snobbery in an attempt to pluck away the jailbird trappings. The criminal Combaticon. Except... wait, he's proud to be a Combaticon, too. It's... confusing is what it is.
So here Blast Off is, determined to read everything he can about fencing before his fencing match and lessons with Skydive. He's going to cram in all he can and hope to impress. Also hope that Vortex doesn't show up this time. When your brother shows up and beats up your would-be fencing instructor it creates many embarrsing questions, diversions, unfortunate messes that have to be cleaned up. He wants it to be clean this time. Is that so much to ask? The shuttleformer, already holding one volume on fencing techniques, reaches up for another book. "Ah... 'Hobbies of the Cultured Rich'... exactly what I was looking for."
Whisper drifts through the shelves among the histories, tall and streamlined and sleek as she runs her fingertips along the spines. Marking their titles, she is looking for war history. Specifically, she is looking for late war history. All she has found so far she has dismissed as propaganda. That is the difficulty, alas, with hunting through material on a library principally stocked by Autobots.
She pauses between the shelves, glancing aside toward Blast Off as she hears the spoken results of his hunt. She stands there for a long moment, watching him with her yellow visor gleaming, and does not immediately speak, but stands quite still.
Blast Off doesn't notice Whisper at first, his attention focused on the book at hand. Thumbing through it, violet optics dart through the table of contents until- ah! He flips to the page and begins reading. He seeks history, too, just of a different sort, unaware that his own history is watching him. "Yes, yes, I've already read about the battle of Spokes that was decided by that impromptu fencing match at High Noon..." he mutters to himself as he flips through more of the pages, "And yes, yes, the three Muskegears, already read about them, and...ah!" He pauses as he comes across something new and possibly helpful. The muttering stops, replaced by a soft *hmm* as his pointer finger flicks through the data.
That's about when he gets that funny feeling. That feeling of being watched. The Combaticon's masked face slowly lifts just enough to scan the room- and that's when he spots her. Everything freezes for a long moment. What's visible of Blast Off's expression finally changes. It's subtle but there as he goes from blank focus to startled tension. The sudden onrush of shame pushes the words from his mouth. "You got lucky, you know."
Whisper tilts her head slowly in a cant to the side. Her wingspan lowers with the backward set of her shoulders as she settles her weight back on the heels of her pedes. She watches him with a flicker of her visor, as though behind the bright shield of yellow hue. She stands, her body very still, in that posture, and finally she dredges her voice out of the depths of her frame to ask him: "Did I?”
Seeing her brings it all back. The shame he felt. He should have lasted longer in that fight. He expected to. He felt embarrassed in front of everyone... had to be rescued, almost. By Whirl. Which is good, which is great that Whirl did so but... shades of Getaway haranguing him for relying on Whirl for 'protection' still sting. Embarrassment at what Onslaught would have thought. he just should have done better. She got lucky, is all.
His grip of the book tightens and he glares at Whisper. "Yes." Still feeling stung, he leans just a little bit towards her. "I am a Combaticon. One of the best. If you think I usually fall so easily in battle, think again."
Lieutenant is, as usual, in the library putting away books in their proper places. He passes Whisper on his way to another row of shelves, just catching her question but the rest of the conversation (or Blast Off's sophisticated mummering) was unknown to him. Really it's none of his business what they're discussing. Injured pride and what not. The only reason he keeps an audio out is incase things become a little unsophisticated.
Whisper watches him with a remote chill to her expression, her mouth a flat line, her gaze a steady glow of yellow behind her visor. Her fingertips rest against the shelf nearest her, her feet still against the floor. She gives no ground before his lean. "Tell me, Combaticon," she says in a very low voice, almost inaudible. There's a purring growl of an engine in the depths of her sleek, white-lit navy frame, as though it moves from quiet idling to a gathering rise in inner heat. "Does all of your team yet live?"
Focused on Whisper, Blast off doesn't really pay Lieutenant much mind right now. Those pale violet optics continue to stare at the other Decepticon. A whirlwind of moods rift through him, switching from shame to anger to the sudden reminder that he is here for *civilized* pursuits in a quiet place of learning. But pride, /pride demands/ he at least speak his mind. And Blast Off has plenty of pride. Stung pride. His own voice, complete with cultured accent, is tainted with a touch of frost. "Yes. Of course they do. Combaticons get the job done, no matter what it is, and we have each other's backs."
Lieutenant just shelves what needs to be put away and does not linger to eavesdrop on the conversation for too long. He slips in a few and moves onto the next row, now two rows away from the pair of Decepticons. None of his business and he didn't need to loom over them. Whisper was overall silent for a majority of the time and Blast Off never raised his voice. So they were fine be themselves to dispute.
Whisper slides forward a step, verging further into Blast Off's personal space with the angled lift of her wingspan showing a quivering tension. Lights gleam across her wings, pale flickers across gleaming navy paint. Her yellow gaze meets his violet one in a brilliant clash of pride. She says, her voice very soft: "Then it is you who are fortunate."
Blast Off doesn't like Whisper breaching his (very large) circle of personal space, but he DID lean in first. Pride keeps him in place, however. The complimentary colors of purple and yellow reflect and pop, creating a sharp, high key mood to an already tense scene. Finally, however, Whisper's statement brings pause to the Combaticon. Those violet optics flicker for the first time. "What do you mean?"
"My team is all dead." Whisper's words are stark, for all that her voice is little more than a hush. Her servo lifts like she might be about to reach with it, to make some point -- spoken or unspoken -- with aid of touch, but her fingers fall short of their reach towards Blast Off's chest, and she lets her hand fall, fist curling loosely at her hip. She does not continue. She does not withdraw. She stands there. Watching him.
The inner sophisticate fights with the rebellious, angry criminal as Blast Off stares the other Decepticon down. He stands, frame rigid, as those fingers curl up and threaten to touch him before pulling away. It is her words, though, that linger the longest. Optic ridges furrow down, purple light shining intense, and then... slowly, ease up and lighten just slightly. Blast Off blinks. The thought of his own team all dead is a horrifying one. Another slow blink and he eases up for the first time, glancing away in the direction Lieutenant went earlier. "....Oh."
Now he rolls his shoulders before turning to face her once more, not exactly sure what to say. "That is... unfortunate."
The avian passes behind Whisper once more to gather some of the datapads on a nearby table. With the quiet lull of the library, he can scarcely hear the slender femme when she speaks. So it sounds like Blast Off was talking with himself to anyone not quite paying attention to the two. Something about being unfortunate and those dying. Or something.
"Yes." Whisper finally relents in the pressure of both her gaze and the looming of her presence. She steps back again and turns her visor to run along the shelves, her fingertip gliding along the shelf nearest. "You did not break in the arena, Combaticon warrior." Her voice is stronger now in a weird near-benediction, though now there is a clear note of melancholy in the low depths of the sound, mirrored by the detectable wilt that shows in the angles of her wings. "You have nothing to prove to me."
Blast Off glances over as Lieutenant returns, some slight annoyance at his personal space being intruded upon yet again. "Are you lost or something?," he finally quips quietly, then turns to face Whisper once more. He's great at making new friends, as you can see. The Combaticon's expression softens slightly, mood changing to one of one warrior facing another in the aftermath. His gaze shifts down to her badge, then back to her face. Another pause.
"Well, yes..." He coughs a little, glancing aside and twitching a wing elevon. "Of course not. I... just..." Uh. "I just wanted to make sure. You knew." Blink. "Not that it matters, of course." Right. He keeps a thousand yard stare for a moment down an aisle somewhere, then faces Whisper again. "I... guess you decided to stay here after we escaped then?"
"Librarian." Lieutenant replies bluntly, staying well out of Blast Off's personal bubble. He doesn't like his own space intruded so he respects others. Just ignore him, he's only doing his job here. Speaking of, he needs to check the Nexus and see what books Blast Off might not have returned yet that were overdue. You know, while he's still here.
Whisper's head bows as her fingertips linger on the title of the nearest book. "I owe a debt to this crew," she says. She looks back at him, slanting her yellow gaze back across his mask with a faint frown pinching at her brow above her visor. Her glance slides toward Lieutenant for a beat. She tilts her head, and then she looks away again, looking back to the shelf.
"Oh." Lieutenant's reply stops Blast off cold. Oh smelt. Did he make the Librarian mad? That won't do. Wait, he shouldn't care what some librarian thinks anyway. But... but.... The Combaticon visibly jerks back a little, shifting his body away. "I... see. Then... carry on." Yeah, that was totally not awkward. He hopes the Librarian doesn't notice that his copy of the latest volume of that space romance he's been following is about 3 days overdue. He got busy, Ok? Just three chapters to go. He's going to finish it tonight for sure!
Now back to Whisper. The shuttleformer adjusts the book in his hands, then places the 2nd book on top, seeming to find the motion far more interesting than one normally would. "I see," he repeats, then furrows his brow. "Why?"
Lieutenant gives a short nod, "You too." With your conversation with your fellow Decepticon. He needs to check that book, then call Blast Off out on it, quietly. When he's done with Whisper.
Whisper seems surprised by the question, her head lifting with the slight flare of hue behind her visor. She turns back to face him, her study of him resuming in its intensity. It's not that she intentionally ignores Lieutenant, but the shuttlecraft definitely has attained the focus of her gaze. She does not immediately reply aloud.
As Lieutenant leaves, the Combaticon mirrors Whisper as he focuses entirely on her. His stare is blank, the unreadable aloof expression he often adopts, but cracks begin to appear as the silence stretches out. Wait, did he do something wrong? He's so bad at this socializing stuff. I mean not that he CARES right? But. One wing elevon twitches finally and his head tilts slightly to meet her gaze before breaking away again. "I... that... perhaps that is none of my business. I apologize. It's simply that... it is a ship consisting largely of Autobots and..." Another blink and a small cough. He glances at her Decepticon badge, then looks down at his books again. "It is none of my business."
"Do you not serve here? Are you not a Decepticon?" Whisper laughs as she turns away. There is a lot of bitterness in the sharp, stark sound. A bit loud for a library, for all that Whisper ordinarily seems like she can't even raise her volume above a quiet, mild neutral. "The Lost Light freed me from bondage. Took down the enemy who destroyed me -- destroyed my comrades." Her fingers work at her sides. She struggles a little over that one. Because it was Crazy 8's arena, but as she's relived out loud so recently with Skystalker ... there was one Decepticon in particular who took down most of the others at her own hands. By her own sonic screams. "Gave me back my voice. I can repay none of this. Would your honor demand less of you?"
"Well... yes," Blast Off interjects, perhaps a bit lamely now. He still doesn't look her in the optic. "I am ..it's just.. well, it's complicated. It still is. And I..." He looks back up towards the spot the Librarian headed off, now almost wishing he'd return and provide a distraction. Blast off isn't good at this. "Yes, I choose to be here now, but still.. things are complex."
There's a low, mild huff from his ventilation systems as he returns her gaze at the mention of honor. "Of course I'd... I'd...." the words are catching in his throat. "Repay my debts." Honor and loyalty. These things are so complicated and yet so important. "We all got caught up in that madman's schemes. He should have died for what he did. To you, to all of us. But..." This is where he *tsks* loudly, disapprovingly. "The ship is run by Autobots. So." He shrugs, deliberately letting the tension fall from his shoulders. He's aloof, calm, civilized. "He gets off easy while you pick up pieces."
Whisper hesitates for a long time after he says this, and then she shakes her head, slowly. "Let him suffer alive. Let him live captive. Let him endure millenia." She spins suddenly and slams her fist hard into the side of the shelf with a resounding crack. It's definitely too loud for the library. She leans into the brace of her fist afterwards, her head bowed low and her lip curled back from her teeth. Was she once enough of a Decepticon rowdy for even a hint of fang? "Let ... him ... rot."
Lieutenant appears back rather suddenly, to glare at the two, namely Whisper. Since her fist is against the cracked shelf. "Do not release your frustration upon the shelves." he says sternly, "There are practice rooms for that."
For a moment, the civilized side of Blast off is nowhere to be found as visions of shooting Crazy 8 in the head- close range, large bullet, yes- dance in his head. The vengeful side of the Combaticon flares up and his fists clench. Revenge seems a trait that follows the Combaticons no matter what universe they find themselves in, and Blast Off is no exception. But wait. No, he's civilized! The shuttle sighs and relaxes his digits just a tad. Other visions come to mind- his own long stints in captivity. A prisoner. Ripped from his very *body*. Blast off suddenly turns his face away.
It whips back at the sound of that *crack*. He stares a moment. "Yes. I... hope he does. I *WILL* have my freedom, my right to choose my own destiny, and people like him can crumble to cosmic dust before they ever take it from me." Blink. "I mean us." His attention jerks back when Lieutenant comes stalking back in, making demands. "That was just one simple punch. Perhaps the shelves are faulty?" Throwing punches, shooting, destroying a few unimportant things. Whatever. All in the day of a Decepticon, right?
Whisper turns quickly on her pivot like she is about to advance on Lieutenant and, possibly, happen to him with similar intensity that she happened to the unfortunate shelf. Her stare is unyielding and hard, a brilliant yellow glare behind her visor. Withdrawing her hand slowly from the surface she just punched, she works her servos in midair and then drops it to her side. She says nothing, though there is the buried rumble of a growl in the depths of her frame, resounding through her from throat down to some inner root.
The avian stands where he is. It may not be every day Whisper has someone looming over her, be he is taller and does hold some authority in this area. Lieutenant's gaze only narrows at her, unmoving until her hand is at her side. He doesn't say anything in response to Blast Off, except handing him a note about his over due book: A Romance That Will Never Die.
Lieutenant then turns and leaves them once again.
Blast Off huffs as Lieutenant hands him that note. "What? Are you ticketing me? *I* didn't throw that punch. You-" He stops as he reads the note and proceeds to stare. A slight blush spreads crimson along the edges of his circuitry and he quickly folds the note away with a cough. "Yes. I'll.. uh. Yes." Another light cough, and he gives Whisper a nod as he gathers his books and prepares to keep searching. "I... should be going."
Whisper tips her head in acknowledgment, but continues not to speak. Instead, she turns away, wingspan angled in a high, tense arc as she strides off on long, loping steps through the library towards the exit.