2016-11-23 Calm after the 'Storm
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Calm after the 'Storm|
|Location||Lost Light: Recreation - Visages|
|Participants||Mirage, Cosmos, Conduit|
|Summary||Conduit and Cosmos find refuge, and free drinks, in Mirage's establishment.|
A grand staircase serves as the entrance to the lounge. Upon descending, the first thing that draws the optics is the neon sign that hangs on the wall to the right. It announces "Visages," with quotation marks, in elegant, blue script. The lighting is dim, accentuated by soft lanterns placed on the tables, in order to foster an intimate setting.
The lounge itself is small, only large enough to hold several dozen patrons at any one time. The counter in the far, right corner does play host to a handful of stools; however, the majority of sitting space has been given over to chairs placed around low-slung coffee tables. They are placed at irregular intervals. This allows mecha to choose whether they would prefer to sit near others to socialize or in a more private alcove. Most mecha speak in hushed tones, leaning towards each other in order to be better heard and understood.
The centerpiece of the room is a stage along the left wall. A mic always stands at the ready for both scheduled and impromptu performances, along with a line of instruments displayed on stands. Paintings, rather than pictures, of past performances line the wall behind the stage. For days the lounge has been rented out for private gatherings, everything can be cleared away so that the stage can also serve the double purpose of a dance floor. A monitor by the foot of the stairs announces the bar's constantly fluctuating business hours, along with upcoming activity days and private parties.
A lone ficus tree stands stands to the left of the grand staircase. A brass plaque on the pot announces the plant's name as "Fantasia" (also in quotation marks for mysterious reasons).
Mirage has moved out from behind the bar, hunched over one of the myriad coffee tables to clean up after a large party that just left. In their wake they had left the refuse of their celebration: confetti, party hats, scraps of wrapping material. Flinching, the scout brushes it aside. One thing he does not like about running the bar are the myriad messes he has to clean up. He would much rather be in the middle of a party than dealing with the aftermath.
Glancing around the otherwise empty bar, Mirage ascertains he is truly alone before grabbing a handful of the confetti and tossing it into the air. "Hurrah," he mutters sarcastically as it drifts down. It's only when he finally spots a flash of movement at the door that he suddenly straightens up and puts on his best face.
"Welcome to Visages. How can I help you today?" he asks. One of the flakes of confetti drifts and lands on the scout's faceplates. He blows it away with an undignified puff.
Conduit has kind of been working too hard, but he's been motivated. His nanotech lab is finally humming along nicely, and his ship is nearly ready to return to flight, should the need arise. After all that labor, mixed with his duty shifts, some relaxation is warranted. Swerve's is fine but, well, often too busy for him. Visages, on the other hand, with subdued lighting and a calmer atmosphere ... yes, better.
Conduit steps through the entranceway and sees an Autobot with ... confetti. "A party," he mutters, although glancing behind him Conduit doesn't see anything going on. "If it's busy, I'll return later when it's ... quieter." He begins turning to leave.
"No, no, we're open!" Mirage tries to reassure him. Is he not smiling wide enough? Well, now he's trying even harder to look cheerful. The expression on Mirage's faceplates is almost cartoonish. "A large party just left, but our doors are going to be open late into the night. Please, feel free to settle in and I will be there in a moment to take your order."
The scout bustles over to the stairs, looking as if he is going to push Conduit into a seat if he keeps on his path. If nothing else a customer gives something for Mirage to focus on other than how much of a mess his lounge is tonight.
"Oh. Um, very well." The calm after the storm, then. Works for Conduit. The proprietor seems rattled, but it could be from the need to come down from all the activity. Conduit lets himself be ushered in somewhat, and selects one of the coffee tables, close to the bar but not too close, tucked away a little. This is his favorite spot, he thinks. He takes a seat and waits patiently, thinking of what he'd like to drink.
Mirage straightens a few things before making a beeline back for Conduit. As empty as the bar is tonight it would not do to keep him waiting too long. The bartender cradles a datapad in the crook of his arm as he prepares to take the customer's order. "Have you been here before? I don't believe we've met," Mirage remarks, quirking an optic ridge in curiosity. "I'm Mirage. I'll be serving you tonight. Do you have something in mind or shall I bring a menu?"
Conduit pauses for an awkward moment, looking at Mirage, before responding. There's a lot to respond to. "A menu, please, just for a drink. I am Conduit. I have been here before, and I ... prefer it. Thank you." Well done, popping the stack of questions like that. He makes a smile.
Well, that is embarrassing. Mirage takes a second glance at the mecha and tries to place him, but it does not help any. The mecha must have dropped by on either a busy night or one where Mirage wasn't behind the bar. Biting his lower lip component, Mirage does his best to cover up the faux pas. "One menu, coming right up," the scout confirms. Slipping across the room, he ducks behind the bar in order to grab one of the drink menus out from underneath.
He pauses, spotting one of the trays of leftover engex from the party still sitting out, too. Hesitating, he finally decides to grab a glass of that, too. Why not? It will go to waste otherwise. He carries them over to Conduit and sets both of the coffee table before him. "On the house," he explains, nodding towards the glass of engex. Mostly he's trying to cover up his question. "A little thank you to a repeat customer."
Conduit raises a brow ridge and eyes the free drink. Looks fine. Suppressing what could be an impolite shrug, he accepts the drink and the menu, sliding the latter to the side for the moment. "Thank you, again. Please, sit, if you like." The proprietor seems frazzled and well, it looks like there's no one else here.
Mirage looks taken aback for a moment. He's not had any of his customers try to wrangle him into joining them while on the clock. His first instinct is to say no, as he needs to be prepared for any other customers that may require his attentions, but as his gaze scans the empty room he surrenders with some reluctance. If it helps keep a much-needed customer here, he will allow a slight break from decorum. Laughing quietly, he nods. "Oh, perhaps for a moment. I will have to rush off, though, if any other customers come by. Not to be rude or boorish, but I am sure you understand," he explains. The scout settles lightly on the edge of one of the seats, looking a little out of place in the chair. It quickly becomes clear he's a little reluctant to break down the barrier between server and customer, as he leans forwards to continue brushing aside confetti the moment he is settled in.
"Of course," Conduit replies. With a steady gaze, he watches Mirage fidget. An attentive proprietor, indeed. He sips the engex - not bad - and continues observing. Oh, this is the time for small talk. He knows nothing of this Autobot, besides that he runs this establishment. A common topic. "As I said, I find this a preferable place to relax. You have done well, in my estimation. Have you ... prior experience?"
If Conduit wants to distract Mirage from his fidgeting, he has picked the right topic. Hearing his lounge being praised, Mirage puffs up like a preening bird. Even though he finds some part of the work difficult, like the inherent messiness, in the end he is quite proud of his accomplishment. "Thank you, thank you. It was a long path getting to this point," he says. "It is my first time running a lounge, but you learn fast in this business."
He glances around at the empty bar with a fond expression, golden optics softening. "I thought the ship needed a... quieter place to gather. The others I've seen always seem to be so rowdy." And there is his second favorite thing to do, complain about Swerve's.
Conduit can get on board with that pastime. "Indeed, precisely. I do visit Swerve's, but more out of need. I find it ... disconcerting that it is popular with such a large proportion of the crew. Although I should not judge." He sips his engex judgingly. "I believe you have a natural talent for this ... business."
Mirage tilts his head and shakes his helm vigorously. "Oh, but you should judge. You are the customer, after all," the scout assures him. The more people that complain about Swerve's, the better for his business. He cannot help but encourage it. "That's the only way us proprietors can know to improve things, hmmm? Maybe it will prompt Swerve to do something about it."
Conduit has opened the floodgates. Now that Mirage has his pede in the door he's not liable to stop whining anytime soon. The scout's frame relaxes as he finally settles in, gaze shifting from the mess of confetti he's swept to the edge of the table. As for the continued compliments? "Also, I'm proud to have earned the approval of such a wise critic. That is the highest sort of compliment."
Conduit cannot help but chuckle a little. "Wise. I will defer to your judgment on that, but you indeed have my approval." Of all the aspects of life on the Lost Light Conduit has been adjusting to, one of the most difficult has been the, well, perhaps it isn't frivolity, but lightness. For him, having spent recent years in a frozen slumber, the war has only just ended. He finishes his free drink and reaches for the menu to make a selection.
Mirage's instincts to play the host suddenly kick back into gear. As much as he loves gossiping about Swerve's, he has to prove there's a reason he is better than that bar. Spotting Conduit setting aside his empty glass, the scout is on his pedes in moment to retrieve the empty glass. He begins to carry it across the room. "I hope the drink was to your tastes," Mirage says. He finds free drinks usually are. "Just let me know when you've made up your mind."
"It was, thank you." Yes, even for a free drink, it was quite good. He runs a finger down the list of house specialties, each with an expectedly exotic name and florid description. He appreciates the effort, but it is bewildering not having studied it. "A Rocket Sigh, please." A odd, old-style cocktail made from distilled engex and energon candy syrup, Conduit finds it provides just the right amount of stimulation.
<FS3> Mirage rolls Bartending: Success. (5 1 6 5 7 2 3)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Invisibility: Success. (2 6 6 1 3 3 6 3 4 6 6 7)
Mirage tucks the dirty glass underneath the counter before perking up at the Conduit's order. While his smile had been comical earlier, it now looks more predatory. The scout is in a mind to show off after all those compliments. Winking a golden optic, he responds, "Coming right up."
Taking a moment to gather the ingredients, Mirage begins the process of mixing the drink in the tumbler. From the start it is clear that he's not going to let this be a simple affair. Mirage tosses the tumbler into the air and catches it with easy grace. Not long after his frame fades out of sight as the tumbler is a blur of movement across the surface of the counter.
Conduit doesn't require any fancy bartending to approve of the establishment, but watches Mirage's flair contentedly and no small amount of interest. When the Autobot vanishes, however, it's a little stunning, and Conduit glances around to ensure that the lights are still working.
Give it another minute or two. Mirage is not done basking at how awesome he is yet. The tumbler continues to blur through the air for an unnecessary amount of time before it finally comes to a stop. Tilting it over a martini glass, he unscrews the lid and pours out the contents. A garnish floats through the air before perching on the lip of the glass.
Only after this is all done does he fade back into view, pinching the stem of the glass between two digits as he carries it towards his customer. He presents it with a bow. "Enjoy."
Conduit looks down at the glass and then at Mirage. "Thank you. That was ... remarkable." Maybe 'frivolity' isn't as far off the mark as he thought, but regardless, there are no grounds for complaint about it here. He raises the glass carefully - to keep the garnish perching nicely, and the ideal level of the drink flat - and then sips. His biolights warm slightly. "Mmm. Quite good."
Cosmos is finished with his shift, far later than most, and makes his way into visages. While the UFO doesn't actually drink he does enjoy having a light cocktail every once and awhile to read with. Preferably not reading reports but that is what he is stuck with today. Making his way down the stairs with said reports, Cosmos approaches the bar only to waver a bit when he sees Mirage talking with someone. Maybe.. I should come back later...they seem busy.
Mirage turns back towards the bar, hearing the approach of a newcomer. The scout smiles apologetically to Conduit. "If you'll excuse me. I have to greet the other customer. I'm glad the drink is up to your standards, though," he says. Ghosting across the room, he pauses when he comes up next to where Cosmos is perched at the bar. "Hello, and welcome to Visages. Is there anything I can get for you?" he asks. The scout pauses, biting his lower lip component. "... Cosmos, isn't it?" A look of pity flashes through his optics. He's heard the rumors about how Blackstorm is harassing the mecha.
"Of course." Conduit sips his drink, and watches the new arrival. It's not unsettling at all, having a dark Decepticon in a corner watching you, is it?
Cosmos jolts a little when mirage is suddenly settling in front of him, he hadn't been expecting to actually be noticed- at least not so quickly. Wait... Why is he looking at me like that? "Uh... T-thank you and yeah... Its Cosmos.... Sorry did I interrupt the conversation with-" Annd ok that's scary. Cosmos nervously glances over to Conduit to find the mech staring at him from across the bar. Oook then thats unnerving.
"Do not concern yourself with that. I am running the bar tonight. It's my job to see to customers," Mirage reassures Cosmos. The scout waves him down with a flick of his wrist. Mirage glances between Conduit and Cosmos before moving back behind the bar. He makes no effort to introduce them. If Conduit wants to mention his designation, he will speak up. He has found some bar goers do not like being led into conversation, though, as much as his inner host desires to bring people together.
Picking up one of the leftover drinks from the party, he slides it across the table towards Cosmos. "On the house, that one. I'm sure you need it." The silence and look that follows lets Cosmos know Mirage knows about how crappy his past few days have been. He understands. Blackstorm is a little brat. "Now, do you know what you would like or shall I get a menu?" he asks.
Conduit continues to watch the Autobots, even as Cosmos tries to get comfortable. He can tell this new one is jumpy, and Conduit is self-aware enough to know that his appearance can be disconcerting to some. Which he is fine with. Not his problem. But, still, new times these are. "I am Conduit." It sounds more like a statement of fact than greeting, but there you go.
Cosmos blinks owlishly as the free drink is slid towards him. He doesn't know why but... ok that silence makes him pretty sure Mirage is aware of something about him. Well... Whatever. Its a free drink. "I... thank you I-" Interrupted by Conduit, the UFO turns to look at Conduit, "Oh I'm.. I'm Cosmos..." Come on Cosmos! He's obviously trying to be friendly, its after war times be polite! "Its nice to meet you."
Mirage quirks a small smile when the pair introduces themselves. Well, there you go! His natural hosting skills were not even needed. Not having received an answer from Cosmos, though, he decides to just settle for a menu. Picking one up, he glides down the length of the bar and places it not far from the spacer. His voice drops to a whisper as he offers it up. "If you need another one of those free drinks, just let me know. I've heard about Blackstorm. I quite understand. I'd need to drink after speaking with him, too," he whispers, winking with one of his golden optics before sliding back to the other end of the bar.
"Take all the time you need to decide on your order."
Conduit mulls the name 'Cosmos' in his mind. It seems familiar. This one may have gotten around more than Mirage, back in the war. It could be the drink, but Conduit decides to continue trying this friendliness, stretching these ill-used muscles of social contact. His drink glass grasped from the top in one hand, the Decepticon rises and moves to the bar, sitting two stools away from the spacer. He settles in, then turns his head to look at Cosmos again. "I recommend the Rocket Sigh."
Cosmos once again has his attention shifted as Mirage slides down the bar and Conduit soon joins him on the stools, "Oh I-" Then the bar owner mentions Blackstorm. Like a switch Cosmos seems to go from mildly friendly and polite to stressed and unsure. Hands quickly coming up to rub at his face, the spacer lets out a noise somewhere between a groan and whine. Mirage knows. If Mirage knows half the ship knows. They all know he is playing some cruel joke on him. "So everyone knows... I should have guessed as much after the incident at Swerve's..." Glancing at the menu, Cosmos decides he really does need a real drink, "I.. a Rocket Sigh sounds good." Whatever the frag a Rocket Sigh is.
"Coming right up," Mirage answers. Just as before, he starts the process of mixing the drink. This time, though, he does it with a more business-like attitude. He is more interested in listening in on Conduit's and Cosmos's chatter than showing off. This could lead to some interesting gossip. As he mixes, he does take a moment to lean in Cosmos's direction. His voice drops to a whisper again.
"How can we not know? Blackstorm has been running around calling you gorgeous to anyone with a pair of audials. It gets around. It must be such a chore to be the object of his affections. I'll add an extra dose of engex to this Sigh just for you."
Conduit isn't one to pry, and as busy as he has been, he's out of the loop on whatever these Autobots are murmuring about. He nods at Cosmos' drink choice, but otherwise remains idle, sipping occasionally.
Cosmos looks alarmed when Mirage reveals Blackstorm's antics. "HES BEEN WHAT!?" Ok THAT I hadn't heard! Cosmos slides down further in his seat, "Why me?" Ok yeah he will take that extra dose. Just this once. "I don't know how to get him to leave me alone and stop making fun of me like this!" Hm, Surprising no one has taken over the conversation yet. Normally that would have happened two sentences ago.
That conversation got suddenly loud! Mirage startles when Cosmos shouts, throwing off his count for the drink he is mixing. The scout has to suddenly pull back when the contents start to slosh over the rim of the glass. "Oh dear," Mirage mutters, frowning a bit. "I thought you already knew. I do apologize."
The bartender throws Cosmos a sympathetic look as he dunks to grab a cleaning cloth, wiping the excess engex off the counter. "I wish I could advise you in that, but I've been trying to get him to leave me alone for months. Blackstorm is still setting fire to all my floral arrangements." You heard him right. That done, Mirage picks up the glass and carries it over to Cosmos. He spares a glance to Conduit.
"How is that Sigh doing for you still? Need a refill?"
Yes, the conversation has gotten louder, and Conduit is now aware that it's over Blackstorm. "Not yet, thank you," he answers Mirage. He addresses Cosmos. "Is Blackstorm causing you trouble? I can look into it." He knows that Autobot-Decepticon relations are still frail, and Soundwave has made it an imperative to improve them.
Cosmos immediately feels bad when he startles Mirage. Great Cosmos, Wonderful job I'm doing! "Oh Pri- I'm sorry Mirage!" Cosmos is quick to pull a cloth out of his subspace and help wipe up the mess, even when Mirage hands him a finished drink. "He.. he sets fire to your flowers??" At Conduit's offer Cosmos guiltily shakes his head, "N-No its .. its ok." He doesn't want to waste the Decepticon's time... or potentially get Blackstorm hurt. The guy annoys him and makes him feel self conscious but he wouldn't sick anyone on him, Cosmos will... just... suffer. "I... I wouldn't want you to go through any trouble for me."
"And broke my vases," Mirage mutters. When the scout sees the hand inching in to help clean up the mess, though, Mirage waves it away. As the bartender it is his job to see to such things, and he would rather not bother his customers about it. "Thank you, Cosmos, but there is nothing for you to worry about. I simply had a clumsy moment."
Conduit's optics narrow slightly, despite Cosmos declining his offer. Setting fire to things. Breaking others' possessions. Yes, these are Autobots attesting to these actions ... perhaps it's some plot to besmirch the reputation of a fellow Decepticon, sow discord in their ranks? But that doesn't fit with Conduit's experience so far. Also, he's unsure these two could have that much guile. Well, perhaps the bartender could. "It would not be trouble. If he is not being a respectable member of this crew, it should be ... rectified."
Cosmos frowns as Mirage shoos away his attempts to help, still feeling badly. Sitting back down, Cosmos hunches over his drink and reaches up to remove his faceplate. Once his mouth and nose are free, he lifts up the glass and takes a gloomy sip from it. Glancing at Conduit he looks back towards Mirage. Well... Mirage is welcome to get Conduit's help with Blackstorm... "...this is a good drink.... Thank you, Mirage... and thank you for the suggestion, Conduit..."
"I'm surprised nothing has been done about Blackstorm sooner," Mirage sniffs. "Not that I wish to see any harm come to him, of course."
But he will also not complain if the minibot gets a good dose of what is coming to him. All punishments thus far seem to have been ineffectual. Still, hardly the sort of topic one wants to linger on. There are cheerier things. "But the best solution for it tonight is friends and a good time. Speaking of which..."
Spotting movement at the stairs, Mirage moves to the door to greet them.
"You are welcome, Cosmos." Conduit finishes his own drink. It appears that more guests are arriving, and discussion of Blackstorm is abating, which is just as well. As he said, he'll look into it. Leaving his empty glass, Conduit nods to the spacer and returns to his own table to study the drink menu left there.