2016-10-08 The Lusty Wrench
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|The Lusty Wrench|
|Location||Verander - High Town|
|Participants||Gearshift, Astrotrain, Frisk|
|Summary||In High Town, diplomacy involves food. And booze. And dancing.|
First contact between the Lost Light and Verander was a success! Somehow! The governor general, Hailbrace, along with his conjunx, Slide, welcomed the ship's emissaries to High Town, the capital space station among the chain of stations orbiting the treacherous, constantly transforming surface of the planet. He also introduced them to the culture and latest happenings of the system, including these interesting tidbits.
Verandrians are all multiformers, with those supporting ten forms serving as leadership.
Pirates are abundant in the system, taking what they will in the name of serving the will of Drieger, whoever that might be.
A recent battle on the planet resulted in great loss of life both to the townsfolk and pirates, but signs point to a large, fresh crop of sparks being offered up by the planet, possibly including sparks from those who were lost. Hailbrace asked for help negotiation with the pirates to avoid violence over the sparks.
Lastly, that their cuisine and beverages can be quite strong.
It is in the spirit of proving that last statement that a welcome repast has been organized at this pub, just across a narrow street from the port where the first meeting took place. Its name, "The Lusty Wrench", hangs on a sign in contrast to the refined architecture of the building. Inside, the pub is spacious, and a long table down the middle sports foods of many varieties, leaning toward the rustic in style. The long bar running parallel to the table is staffed by appropriately lusty barworkers, a dazzling array of spirits displayed behind them along the back wall. The lighting is dark, quite dark, and seating is scattered in the open as well as in hidden nooks.
In one less-hidden booth, Slide herself reclines, the twisting glass of glowing spirits on the table before her matching her own sinuous lines. She is doing what she does best here, managing and hosting the event.
Gearshift feels utterly at home in the pub, from the name to the decor to the food to...well...everything. It reminds her of Kaon and so from her first step in her spark is warm and she feels more confident than she does on the sip.
She walks up to the bar and orders a small drink for herself, excited to take in a new culture and see what the repast has to offer.
Well at least it doesn't say 'Rusty', am I right? Granted, not a lot of the crew are probably going to understand what lusty means. Or maybe they will, considering some of them.
Astrotrain on the other hand is snickering at the whole thing as he strides in, turning a slight to the side to get his wingspan in the doorway. "Now -this- is my sort of first contact!"
A sturdy, curvy bartender plunks down a mug in front of Gearshift. "Here y'are, deary, try this one ta start. Ya look like ya can handle it!" The brew within the mug swirls in shades of color, and a spicy scent wafts up from it. There are also bubbles.
Slide's gaze moves over Gearshift but rests upon Astrotrain. She has a feeling about him, a curiosity. "Hey, big boy!" she shouts over the din of the other guests and local officials milling about. "Care to have a drink with me? My conjunx has left me all alone!" Her optics sparkle with mischief, and light glints from the small fangs bared in her smile.
Gearshift takes a deep whiff of the drink and practically melts on her barstool "oh by Primus it smells heavenly~" She gushes, taking a cursory sip and savoring the flavor of the drink. It's spicy as it smells, and it reminds her of mulled cider on Earth. She takes another, larger sip this time, giving a hum of delight at the taste. "What's this drink called? It's amazing!" She exclaims.
A mech like Astrotrain doesn't have a problem peering over shoulders of others. "It's waifing -and- bubbling. Better be careful with those," he muses with a short snicker. But before he can inquire trying for himself, someone else is calling... You work in his business long enough and you learn to tell when someone is calling for you, regardless if any actually names are used. "Sounds like I'm getting interest already. Later toots." He does give Gearshift a pat on the shoulder to enjoy herself with the drink before tromping in the direction of the booth Slide is lurking in. Rather than take a seat right off the bat he just grabs the back of one with a large hand, leaning a bit on it. "This must be quite the dive if even the sleek and chic are slingin' em back around here."
The barmaid is visibly pleased with Gearshift's appraisal of the beverage. "It's 'shonk', m'luv. We drink more of it than energon, and who can blame us, eh?" She laughs loudly and heartily, hands on her hips. "What's yer name, deary, so I can pass on yer compliments to the brewer?"
"Only the best for our honored guests," Slide replies. "Won't you sit and tell me more about your kind? I've been advised not to pry too much about your forms, for example." Her head weaves a little as she speaks, examining the form of the triplechanger before her. She also twirls a slender digit in the air, summoning a mug for him.
Gearshift is warm with drink and pride and the feel of the place "Gearshift of Kaon, It's a pleasure." The smile on her face is a permanent fixture as she gulps down another sip.
"Shonk..." She says thoughtfully, glancing at the barmaid and smiling more. "Is it brewed with this flavor? Or is the flavor added after?" The femme wants to learn.
"Get me something to drink to go with that offer and you got a deal." Not that Astrotrain wastes time waiting for an answer before lowering his hefty form into the opposite side of the booth. Though at the mention of not prying about forms he manages a slightly confused look for a moment. Wasn't the first meeting mostly the critter-bots he saw leaving? Must of been someone else on the shuttle, if this is already coming up. "Oi. I'm guessin' someone already gave you the blah blah blah about long ancient war and all that, huh?"
"Gearshift, a pleasure, m'luv. Call me Augy." She bends her knees into something of a curtsy. "Oh, every brewer has 'er own recipe, darling. I believe for ours it's a little o' both." She produces more mugs and fills them in quick succession from a rather large jug, then slides them down the bar to waiting patrons.
The mug of shonk arrives for Astrotrain swiftly, and the lithe server winks and lets her fingers glide along his wing for a fleeting moment before she flits away. Slide watches her go as she sips her own drink. "Only a little, over 'alt modes determining position'. Here in Verander, though, that is how we are. We earn new modes with our deeds and our service. How is that so bad?"
Those wings are pretty rigid compared to most fliers, but there's still a faint twitch in response to the brief finger stroke before the barmaid dallies off to tend to other patrons. Astrotrain peers at the mug for a moment, happy to see it's the same stuff he saw Gearshift get. Looked like she was enjoying it, so. Scoops up the mug with one large hand sits back in his seat with it. "Oooooh, I see. Someone gave ya the anti-fundamentalist riot act huh? It's... complicated."
The triplechanger pauses for a moment to take a test chug from the mug. Oh that certainly has a different taste to it. "Lemme level with ya toots. What ya got told probably ain't wrong, but it may be a bit askewed." He sets the mug down and leans forward a little. "There were bums in charge that tried to -force- what you did or who you were because of your alternate form. Or because ya turned into some creature instead of a vehicle. It's different if yer choosin' for yourself based on it." Maybe.
Gearshift watches Augy work with awe in her optics. "Do you carry any of the others? Or would that be bad for business?" Gearshift is looking to sample the wares, given that she might have quite a few options to work with. She finishes her drink off with a deep gulp and a satisfied smack of her lips.
"Of course we do, m'luv, 'ere!" Augy brings up a fresh mug and dispenses a good amount of what appears to be engex along with three more ingredients, then swirls it until it glows a pale red. She pushes it forward proudly, leaning in closer as she does. "This 'ere's a Sensorkiller, number two. We'll see how this lights up yer bios, and there's three and four if you need any more."
Slide seems confused, but also saddened, by Astrotrain's abbreviated history lesson. She cradles her chin in her hands, serpentine optics offering a rare glimpse of actual depth of feeling. "Oh, my. It sounds so awful. But don't you have many forms as well? At least you can have some choices for how to serve! But to force upon you what your spark does not want ... this doesn't happen in Verander!"
Gearshift gasps softly as Augy prepares the drink, "Gosh that's beautiful" She takes a sip and her biolights flash and her engine gives a small rev as her sensory array lights up. "wow!" She bits her lower lip and shrinks again, sheepish at the over-enthusiastic display.
Frisk, having just managed to weasel his way out of Lockjaw's company after exchanging info, makes his way into the Pub suggested earlier. It doesn't take him long to spot the massive shuttle- whatever his name is- along with Slide and ... whatever her name is. Ok, well, 1 out of 3 he will take. With a wide non-grin, Frisk strides over before taking a near running leap into a chair beside Astrotrain. "Hello there, fellow Lost Lighters! Slide." He has to lean against the table in order to see the recently met femme. "What we doing?"
Astrotrain leans a bit closer to Slide over the table, like it was some sort of big conspiratorial secret as he whispes. "I think some of 'em were just jealous." Then rocks back in his seat with a big booming laugh that, other than the odd reverb his voice gives it, fits in pretty well with a rowdy pub scene. "Most Cybertronians only got one altmode." There's a creak from the booth seat as he leans back a bit farther so he can get one leg up and thump it on top of the table. It's not super obvious, but if you look close enough you can see where some of the locomotive wheel assembles are hidden within the panels. "Some of us are just luckier."
And then a teeny tiny dinobird plops in the seat next to them. "Careful squirt. Someone might mistake you for a hot wing." Then goes back to chugging his shonk.
Augy puts a hand to her (ample) chest armor with Gearshift's reaction, and her mouth hangs open a little. "Lovely ... I think we've found yer drink!" She leans against the bar, softly asking, "How do you like it?"
Slide's normal demeanor returns as she giggles. "Oh no, just one alt mode? I feel bad for you all! Well, not all of you," and she peers down at the wheels Astrotrain reveals. "We're born with at least three." Frisk's arrival causes Slide to hop just a little, but she quickly recovers with a cheery grin. "Hello again, my dear Frisk! We were just discussing your history and ... sad lack of alt forms, although I'm sure you make for it in variety." She reaches to gently stroke Frisk's wing.
Gearshift lets out a bubbly laugh "I loved it, though I'd still like to try the others, if that's alright with you." Her tone is playful, enjoying the banter with Augy. "Leave no stone unturned and all that" Her biolights continue to flicker in her joy.
<FS3> Frisk rolls Pride: Good Success. (6 2 7 1 6 3 8 7)
Frisk stares at Astrotrain as he makes that statement about hot wings. Gonna be that way huh? With a casual and blatant tone Frisk says,"Same to you, course doubt you will need it. Pretty obvious you're a garbage truck with all the waste you haul around." He might not know this guy's name but he's seen him around and has a pretty good idea what it is he does around the ship. With that he turns his attention to Slide, "So, whats good around here?" At the comment of one alt mode, Frisk keeps the cheerful expression on his faceplates but his feathers rise a bit in agitation. He doesn't like the attitude these mechs have about alt modes. Its as if only having one makes you lesser. It gets harder to keep the pleasant expression as she stokes his wing like arms.
There's a brief pause... and then Astrotrain rolls with another bout of laughter. "Good comeback!" The little twerp has spunk, he'll give him that much. "Sometimes, with the junk people leave in my cargo bay..." But he doesn't go into more elaborate details as he hefts his leg back down under the table. "Can I get a refill over here?" So these mechs have a thing for multiple modes, huh? Finally, a place he actually has an edge up on the rest of the crew! "I dunno about the fella from Animal Planet here, but I know I've seen some pretty strange things for mechs to turn into, yeah."
"All right, m'luv," Augy purrs. "I'll be back with something special fer ya." She works her way out one side of the bar and into the back of the establishment, hips bumping her coworkers playfully as she goes.
Slide is perceptive enough to notice Frisk's discomfort, despite his outward appearance. Such a dedicated diplomat. She draws her hand back with a bright smile. "Oh, my dears, don' worry about your forms. Here in Verander we take the forms we're given, with love and gratitude, and go where our sparks lead us, be it a town or out upon the disk, or on a ship over the planet."
The same lithe server from earlier returns with a refill for Astrotrain and another fresh mug of shonk for Frisk, delivered with a wink.
"What is good, you ask?" Slide answers. "What do you like? Music? Dance? Drinking? Or perhaps something more adventurous?"
Gearshift has the fleeting thought to stay, to work at the pub, to be playful and light and serve lovely drinks to shady people. It's all a great fantasy to her as she waits patiently for Augy. Maybe she'd meet a roguish stranger and they'd share all their secrets to each other? The femme sighs dreamily and leans her helm on her servo.
Astrotrain watches the femme slink off again after refilling his mug. Maybe that's what Swerve needs to compete with Mirage, some... eyecandy, did the humans call it? Huh. He might have to pitch that idea. Especially if it gets him more free drinks.
"Yeah, relax." With mug in one hand Astro leans back a bit less far this time, folding the other arm behind his helm. "These mechs choose to follow their modes. Or get a new mode for what they want to do. Not lettin' someone else tell 'em because of their modes."
<FS3> Frisk rolls Improvising: Success. (8 6 1 6 1 2 1 4 3 4)
Frisk glances over to Astrotrain before turning his attention back to Slide. Clearly the mech hasn't heard this 'reborn' slag. Sounds crazy to him if from what Lockjaw told him is right. "I actually was curious about the whole sparks thing with the pirates. Heh hate to say it but I was only half paying attention. You don't get to see this kind of stuff on Eukaris! Just organic plants everywhere." He most certainly did NOT go running off to meet a pirate who would have likely gotten caught without his help.
Augy returns with a small glass filled with a softly glowing amber fluid. She sets it on the bar before Gearshift. "Try this, darling. Bearington Estate, the finest ener-rum we can get here. Oh, but drink it slowly. Savor it." She looks on, optics dreamy.
"Oh, the sparks!" This is one of Slide's favorite subjects. "The planet offers them up for us now and again, along with many other things. We pilot hoverships, floating just over the surface, looking for the boons to harvest them, as gifts from the Roosa. So not but a few days ago, there was a battle upon the surface between our ships and the pirates, and it ended badly for all. 'Tis a sad time, for sure, but the signs show us that the planet is about to produce a great number of sparks. So now there is joy, but also fear at what the pirates may do." She drinks. "That is what my conjunx worries about, and asks for your help about."
Gearshift blushes slightly as she sips "I see what you're doing there and it's working" She hiccups and giggles, a warm buzz blossoming in her processor. The amber liquid warms her all the way down and gives her a matching warmth in the pit of her tanks.
Frisk nods, more to himself, before speaking."Yeah but like.. why are you guys split? Don't you all worship or honor this Roosa?" A sip is taken of his drink ... huh not bad.
Astrotrain snorts softly. Possibly at the mention of hoverships. "You guys have all these spiffy multiple mode choices, why doesn't someone just turn into a big flying... something to catch the sparks first?"
Augy's gaze lingers on Gearshift as she partakes of the drink. She chuckles, lips ever so slightly parted. "I hope so," she says. "I need to serve up some more of yer friends, but I'll be back to check in on ya." After a beat, she bustles away and starts shouting for who needs another drink. A chorus of cheerful replies return to her.
"Ah, 'tis hard to understand, yet simple. The Roosa - or you hear it called by its proper name, Drieger - is change, and shifting forms. All is change, and the Roosa is change. She makes the planet shift, and she grants our sparks the grace to take on many forms, so we partake of the change. We all believe in this. The townsfolk serve the Roosa by creating change in their labors, but the pirates serve him by creating chaos. They are two views of the same devotion." Slide smiles at Astrotrain's suggestion. "The planet is highly dangerous. Ships are lost often. The Roosa is tricky and loves to toy with us while she offers her gifts. Besides, we are not so big!"
Gearshift watches Augy go to serve the other clientele, then sips more of the rum like drink. She cannot get over how utterly at home she feels, and it's such a joyful feeling welling up in her spark.... oh no.
The tears come, but they are happy tears. Despite this, Gearshift tries to hide her faceplates in embarassment.
Two mindsets. Hm, seems awfully reflecting Cybertron's war. At least from what Frisk understands of it. Two sides both working towards the same type of goal but fighting over who gets to it first. Is this like some kind of freaky pattern for the rest of the universe or something? "Ah, guess that makes sense." Chaos is sounding pretty good right now, though. Whiskers is a horrible spy- and one can only assume a worse thief- but he sure seemed like a nice enough guy. Frisk would definitely like to see the more pirate side of things. but for now, "Welp to Roosa then!" and with that the mech moves to down his drink.. then realizes he has a distinct problem about chugging without a mouth. He's learned to manage sips but cannot legitimately drink without a straw, "uh... you guys got a straw around here?"
"Not that there's anything wrong with a little chaos." Astrotrain makes a big gesture of grandeur with his not-mug-occupied hand. "I use to confuse the complete smeg out of others. Made them think there was three or more *different* mechs at work because they never saw me actually transform. Wonderful distraction, and the expressions are usually -priceless-." Then pauses a moment. Uh. Maybe that's coming off a little too harsh. "But, like, for entertainment. Or to divert attention so I could haul out something important. Not the sort of shenanigans you want going on around little defenseless sparks being spewed into the big ol' universe for the first time. Stupid pirates."
Augy returns, but her face drops to see Gearshift apparently so upset. "Oh no no, my dearest!" She snatches some napkins and offers them. "You were so happy!" It's all she can do to not reach over and comfort her with her touch.
Slide follows Astrotrain's monologue, weaving her head in and out as his points shift around. "Their sparks are in the right place, 'tis why my conjunx considers them siblings. 'Tis also why we don't want to fight. Well, most of us." Her optics flash in delight with Frisk's toast, and she raises her glass but ... oh, not to worry. She gestures again for a server, touching thumb and index finger and gliding them down as one.
A band is getting ready to play on a small stage opposite the bar, on the other side of the long table. Drums are prominent, but there are a variety of other instruments to be seen and soon heard.
Gearshift lets out a breathy laugh "Oh Augy I still am" She assures the barmaid, shoulders shaking with a half laugh. "I promise I'm happy It's just a bad habit I have." She admits shyly
<FS3> Frisk rolls Dramatics: Good Success. (2 6 7 8 3 1 3)
Soon with a straw in hand and drink, Frisk can finally do his chug. If you think sipping a drink through a straw can't be as dramatic as throwing your head back and downing it in one go- Well frankly you would be right. But somehow Frisk manages to make it work all the same! He downs the drink through his straw, leaning back heavily in an exaggerated manner and quickly finishing the glass. "I don't know about you tiny," he holds up the now empty glass in Astrotrain's direction, "But I feel like having some fun and getting drunk off my tail feathers!"
"Eh. Sometimes these things involve 'tough love'." Astrotrain reachs over to clank his mug to Frisk's. "Sometimes you gotta put a noogie on someone's head to get the idea across that they're being stupid."
The band begins their first number. It starts with a low, throbbing, primal beat, and more drums enter to add to it, until it's as if the pub itself is pulsing. Then a swelling bass line completes the groove. The mood is darkly alluring. Guests begin to congregate in front of the stage and start to dance, swaying and bouncing and sliding and ... well, more. The dance floor is mostly dark, so only hips and legs and waving hands can be distinguished from the throng, as they catch the meager light here and there. The temperature seems to rise slightly.
The lithe waitress, having brought Frisk his straw, sets her tray down on their table and backs away, smiling seductively, beckoning to everyone in the booth to join her. Seems that even the staff can take a break for this.
Back at the bar, Augy spots a fresh influx of guests. "All right, m'dear, all right. I need to go be busy again, I'm so sorry. I'll check on you again in a while." She reaches out to stroke Gearshift's hand, then hurries off.
Slide purses her lips as the music starts. "You should go and enjoy, my friends. I'd love to join you," and she wiggles just so, "but I'm working."
Gearshift watches the group start their dance, and the beat calls to her, pulling her to the pulsing group in front of the stage. Her form is trembling in anticipation as she joins them in their dance, mirroring those around her, adding her own touches to it. It's as natural as breathing to the femme. She melts into the crowd and disappears with her dance.
Frisk perks up at the music- Chela that kind of reminds him of the war drums back home. This is his jam! He gives a mouthless grin to Slide and a small salute as a goodbye before turning to Astrotrain, "You up for dancing? Hope all that mass doesn't weigh ya down!" This time the jab is clearly joking and playful. You're ok, triple changer.. even if he still doesn't actually know your name... But Frisk jumps off the chair and is quick to practically rockstar slide into the dancing crowd without waiting for the mech to respond. Definitely in his element as he picks up dancing to the beat with an almost primal fashion.
"I'm more the drinkin type than the.... Oh what the frag." Astrotrain chugs down the remainder of the mug, then heaves his bulk out of the booth. At least with his size there's no choice but for most people to give him some room, so he can just fake it. "Catch ya later toots."
Augy looks up from the shonk she's dispensing to see Gearshift join the dance, and nearly spills it all. But, she can see she's happy, and her spirit is renewed. "Best shonk in High Town, my dears, drink up!"
Slide waves with gentle fingers as her guests take her advice, and plucks a fresh drink from the tray left behind. Oh, this event is much more informative than the earlier formalities, and more fun. She converts into her cobra form and takes a few moments to move with the music before she resumes her hosting duties.