2016-07-06 Hardcore Gamerz
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|2016-07-06 Hardcore Gamerz|
|Summary||Starstruck interrupts Whisper trying to get her game on.|
This spacious, rectangular room serves as the hub for four habsuite hallways that branch off from it on either side. Tinted blue with warm lighting, it's quiet and cozy during most shifts and invariably bustling with activity in the off hours. When the large videopane isn't buzzing with movies, it's being used for what must be aggressive gaming, evinced by the various controller-shaped dents in the wall nearby. A veritable tangle of game consoles flank the shelving unit, some Terran, some Cybertronian, some truly alien - all modded for mechs.
L-shaped couches circle a simple table in a pisces layout. Off to the side are a few more tables and chairs beside an energon dispenser and an over-priced vending machine.
Whisper is trying to play video games again.
The difficulty with Whisper playing video games is that she still, determinedly, tries for nonviolent solutions regardless of the structure of the game. The Cybertronian racing game that she has been bullishly plowing through does not expect its players to do this. It expects that, along with the obstacles in the demolition derby, its players will demolish the sprites of the computerized other racers in order to maintain their grip on first place.
Whisper stares at the screen with grim determination, grips her controller in both her hands, and loses. Consistently.
Starstruck is wearing Clothes again, this time a snapback that has "Hustle King" embroidered in gold thread, along with a lot of money symbols. It's an extra large hat (well. Extra large when it comes to him, anyway, which means extremely large) so it can fit over his antennae, and therefore it tends to flop into his view. He doesn't mind. It looks super cool.
Star heads into the common lounge, one of his favorite places to be, with the intent of playing some video games and maybe seeing if Ghoul will show up to challenge him. Except it looks like someone is already playing, a bot it takes him a klik to recognize. Oh, yeah, he remembers that file - Whisper. Starstruck moves around the couch and flops down on the cushion beside her, all friendly grins and interest. "Whatcha playing?" he asks conversationally, glancing between the screen and the bot beside him. It doesn't look like she's doing great. He won't comment on that. Not everyone is as awesome as he is at games!
Whisper startles at the sudden appearance of Starstruck beside her. Her servos tighten on the controller and her sprite veers hard left and crashes into the wall of the racing course. She looks at it for a long moment, frowning, and then looks up at Starstruck. She stares at him blankly for a long moment, her visor skipping down and then back up as she contemplates his choice of decoration. She doesn't say anything. She tilts her head, indicating the screen with the game on it. Flicking pause on the controller, she calls up the about screen which identifies the game. It also shows her terrible score. And the hours logged under her login on it. These in conjunction are ... baffling.
Strong and silent type, eh? Starstruck can work with that. "Woops, sorry mech, didn't mean to make you crash." And he's sincere! And not even in a flirty way. It always sucks when the real world interferes with your gaming, as he knows from experience. Gyro often enjoyed purposefully fucking Star over while he was playing something. He looks at what the screen says, nodding at the title of the game, again not judging her awful record. "Hey, can I play with you? It'd be cool to get some practice at this game." Star doesn't say who is the one who needs practice. Look, he's being so nice.
Whisper hesitates for a long moment. She does not actually have a reason to turn down this polite request, but she still seems a little uncertain about it. There's just something about doing the patently ridiculous by herself that becomes ... all the more ridiculous when done in company. She tilts her head finally after a long pause in acknowledgment. Her voice quiet, she says: "If you like. I still have some time."
She speaks! Starstruck beams, leaning down to grab the second player controller. "Yeah, totally! I love video games." He waits for her to go back to the main menu so they can choose a versus match, watching her out of the corner of his optics. "So, you're Whisper, right?" he asks, as if he doesn't already know. "I'm Starstruck. I just came aboard, like, uh." Time was hard. "A few months ago? Anyway, it's nice to meet you." He's very curious about his fellow Decepticon. Her file had mentioned being in a gladiator arena - just like Russell Crowe, nice - but didn't go into much more detail than that.
"Whisper," Whisper agrees. Her voice is quiet, little more than a hush. She tilts her head in acknowledgment, not a rude dismissal of the pleasantry so much as she doesn't appear certain what the appropriate reaction is actually supposed to be. She says: "Hello, Starstruck." She flicks through the menus back to the main menu so that they can go to versus mode and select their sprites. She uses the same one she's been using, because she is a creature of habit. There are many racers available in a variety of colors with different strengths and weaknesses.
Star is still beaming. He's getting somewhere, he's so sure. Yeah there might have been a part of her file mentioning the quiet nature. Security sure had some in depth files on crewmembers. Starstruck is still fond of what his own said. "Let's do this," is his response, and he picks an avatar that's fast and reckless, just like him! Or at least. The reckless part. Starstruck in reality is not very fast. Maybe he's compensating? "I saw that you played a lot, so you can go ahead and pick your favorite map. I'm good with anything." The only map he's ever hated in any racing game was Rainbow Road. Fuck Rainbow Road.
Whisper selects a map. It opens into the high, gleaming-windowed circuit of one of the famous raceways of Iacon from millions of years ago. False audience members glitter in a brilliant panoply of a high society the Decepticons were only too happy to throw down and bleed. She says nothing, but she prepares to play with a similar aspect to her expression of the grim determination she showed staring at the screen when Starstruck first came in.
Oh! A good map. "Nice choice!" Starstruck says, and gently nudges Whisper in a companionable way. His fangs flash in a signature grin as the screen counts down to the beginning of the race, and once it begins - ZOOM! He's off. Unlike Whisper, Star does not hesitate to take part of the more violent aspect of the game, knocking opponents aside with his racer or hitting them with whatever items he collects along the way. That's the whole point! He does, though, try to pay attention to how she plays. He did kind of half not really say he wanted to help her practice. "You should be a little more aggressive," he suggests in a friendly manner at one point during the race. "Feel free to throw those bombs you picked up."
"Racing should not require these things." Whisper's statement is quiet and matter-of-fact and, well, if it entirely misses the point, she still seems to be very grave about it. She continues to race. She's gotten quite good at maneuvering her maneuverable little racer around corners and zipping between the other sprites, but still loses ground every time she gets blown up.
"Well yeah." Starstruck probably sounds like a dick as he snorts. "This game isn't supposed to be a fair race. It's like....strategy. Get the best items, use them at the right time, stuff like that." He has absolutely played a lot of Mario Kart in his day, he knows how these things work. "Real races are different. No one worth their salt would do something like this in a real race." He remembers racing Blackstar and Bladerunner on Velocitron, and how Blackstar had pulled some stunts to get ahead of Starstruck. Yet Star still beat him. That's how life was supposed to work - the cheating fucks got creamed. We'll just pretend he hadn't been a pirate for a good portion of his life.
The noise that Whisper makes can only be described as a wordless growl. It is not that she disputes what Starstruck has to say about the point of the game, but she clearly dislikes it.
Well that. Wasn't a good sound. Starstruck continues racing, easily overtaking first place, though his optics flick back to Whisper every few astrosecs. Finally he goes blunt and asks, "You okay?"
Whisper continues driving her sprite through the end of the route without answering. She sits back as the standings flash across the screen, and tosses the controller lightly aside. Her yellow gaze turns over Starstruck beside her in a bright strip of visor.
Starstruck won. That was clear from the stats flashing across the scene. He still feels troubled; something's off here. Setting his controller down by the console, Star turns a dimmed pink visor toward Whisper, mouth tilted in a frown. "For real, though, are you okay?"
"It is only a game." Whisper's voice is coolly dismissive of the hours she has spent on the damn thing. Her thumbs set lightly against each other in her lap. Her body is otherwise quite still upon the sofa. After a long pause, she says: "Strategic understanding does not require violence."
"Yeah, it is, but -- " Starstruck stutters, unable to finish this sentence. Trailhawk would be better at this. The Jeep had always been good at articulating how something so 'simple' as a game could upset you, and how it was okay. Starstruck was mostly caught up in 'but it's just a game'. Which seems like the wrong thing to say, here.
Star leans back against the couch, the bill of his snapback slipping into his range of vision, as he says, "Yeah...guess that's true. But it's just a game." Aaand he said the thing, though, he doesn't get it. Where her upset is coming from. The frown on his face, and the way his shoulders are slumped, makes it clear that he's at least trying.
Whisper's frame buzzes with the noise of her fans. She stares at him for a long moment. Then she says, quietly, mildly: "Do you often play games?"
Starstruck tilts his helm. "Yeah, I play a lot of games." Where is this going? He'd thought his point was clear. In that it wasn't a big deal, not really. "Why? Games are fun! We should play more. I have a whole bunch, I could show you."
"You play as the player," Whisper says. She reaches over to tap a long, pointed servo like a delicate claw sliding across Starstruck's controller, as if by way of demonstration.
That's way too metaphorical, Whisper. Starstruck watches her tapping a digit against his controller, and all this earns is a frown. "Well...yeah." That's the whole point, right? He tilts his helm further. "What else am I supposed to play as?" He frowns a bit, snapback falling further into his field of vision.
Whisper's fingers curl in her lap when they fall away. She resumes her careful stillness upon the seat. The pause extends a little too long as she considers, and then she states with cool matter-of-factness: "I am the game piece."
Starstruck doesn't really understand what she means by that. You're a game piece in a game, that's what that means, right? So when he levels his gaze on her, his pink optics are dimmed in confusion, his processor trying to make sense of this. Is there a separate meaning to what she's said? Why don't bots just say what they mean, how rude. "Uh....game piece? For who?" Yeah that sounds like he knows what's going on. Maybe.
Whisper tilts her head to one side, and then she looks away. The huff that cycles through her bears some kinship to a snort, a soft, voiceless sound. Her fingertips tighten in the pressure of her digits at her knees, but she says nothing.
Aw man! Seems he screwed up but he doesn't know how? One of Starstuck's fangs peek out to dig into his lower lip. "Sorry?" he offers, voice clearly unsure. He has no idea what he should be sorry about, especially since he's still not sure if she was talking about real stuff or just game stuff. "What'd I do?" Enlighten him, Whisper, if you're able. Star wishes Trailhawk was here, or Ringo. Both were much better with handling situations like this.
"You have done nothing." Whisper looks away for a long moment, and then returns her gaze to him, a faint pinch showing in her brow above the yellow gleam of her visor. She studies him for a beat, and then shakes her head. Rising in a flowing shift of motion, she stands with her wingspan quivering very slightly with some suppressed, uncertain tension. "You have no need to apologize."
That....absolutely does not make Starstruck feel better at all. Having lived with Gyro for millenia, he's learned to recognize some flier gestures, and this one looks, well. Not good! "Uh, okay." Starstruck does not sound convinced, and his lips are lopsided in a :/ expression. "Maybe we can play some other time." He too stands, quite a bit bigger than Whisper. "A different game. Less violent." He's got a few of those, if he rifles around his collection.
Whisper studies him in silence for a long moment. Then she says: "I was the game piece. I killed many, in someone else's game. For victories I did not want. When I lose the game, no one dies." She ducks her head, and a hint of her own fangs shows with her brief, flickering smile. "I like to watch the tally of losses that I earn ignoring the rules of the game. Not killing anything."
Starstruck's optics widen beneath his visor as he listens to this. He doesn't know the details of her time in the gladiator ring. Her admissions, however, makes things a lot more clearer. "Um." What does he even say to that? So much of his life has been taking advantage of those weaker than him, even if he didn't always kill them. "We should play Mario Galaxy next time." That's two player, as long as Whisper doesn't mind being Luigi. "Nobody dies in that game. And it's fun! Great soundtrack, good graphics.." He babbles a bit about the game before catching himself and clearing his throat. His vocalizer gives a quiet click when he resets it. "It's fun. I think you'll like it. So we'll play that next time." And then Star is politely backing out of the lounge. He needs to prepare himself for their next game session, because they're totally gonna game again. He just has to....find something better for them to play.