2016-12-21 Art and History

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Art and History
Date 2016/12/21
Location Lost Light - Habsuites - Common Lounge
Participants Brawl, Gearstrip
Summary Brawl is coloring. Gearstrip investigates.

Brawl is barely tolerating the surroundings today, finding his moment of zen in coloring yet again. Oversized pad of "paper" and markers are on one of the tables, and he is hunched over it, diligently working on painting his art. Some of the markers are in bad shape, apparently crushed, and ink is pooling and congealing into the case and onto the table.

Brawl's 'artwork' is very boxy in a Ramondelliesque style, primitive and sometimes difficult to make out. One thing is very clear: he is very fond of combat scenes, and seems to be reliving his favorite moments on the battlefield through illustration.

Gearstrip arrives in the lounge without fanfare, coasting in her altmode as a small, airborne scooter. She floats in a drifting zag across the room from the door towards the tables and chairs and the energon dispenser. Finding the room already occupied, she pauses and reorients herself on coming in, and then drops out of the air with a light clank as she reverts to root mode, a minibot standing straight with her head canted slightly to one side. Her optics are a pale, thoughtful light as she hits ground level, gauntlets propping against her hips. "Oh, are you doing an art?" she asks.

Brawl startles, he was so focused on what he was doing he didn't hear Gearstrip come in. "WHAT?!" he roars, bolting upright in his seat. Markers scatter everywhere.

Fortunately he's in somewhat better control of himself than usual, and doesn't just start shooting. He's been informed that shooting is now for special occasions only ( :( ) and he wants to make Onslaught proud, so he's keeping himself unloaded. Snapping his head to the sound of the noise, he finds a small blue fembot as the source of the noise. Brawl-vision activates, and he can't immediately see an Autobot badge, so, for the moment, she's all right. "... Uh, yeah. I'm uh... drawin' stuff."

Gearstrip hops back at the volume of the roar, a good few inches (!!!). Her hands lift, gauntlets lifting in a flare of pale servos as she startles straight. "Sorry! Sorry!" she says. "I didn't mean to sneak up on you. I'm just short. See? Down here!" Folding her lower lip against the set of her teeth, she peers up at him. There are definitely no signs of an Autobot badge -- or any other -- on the small Camien. There is a slightly quizzical expression that marks her features. She picks up one of the markers that rolled nearest her with the habit of somebody who's done a few gigs in janitorial, and then looks down at it for a moment before stepping back towards him to hold it out. "Lots of artists on Caminus," she shares as she does so. "I never really had the knack."

Brawl carefully takes the marker from Gearstrip's hand, as if he was concerned he might accidentally crumple her up by contact alone. She's like one of those little guys that live in Soundwave (gross), and Brawl can be kind of rough when he isn't concentrating. "Caminus, huh? One of them colony places, right? I never been there." He tries to pick up a few more markers, and get them back near his drawing pad. "Sorry fer bein' loud. Everybody says I'm loud, that's why the boss won't let me go on any secret missions." His shoulders slump a little at that, he'd LOVE to imagine himself as some kind of superspy, but that's just not in the cards.

He starts scribbling again, one marker held like a knife in his right hand. He colors like a preschooler. There's a lot of dead bodies in his artwork, you can tell because of the X'd out eyes. "I only do this stuff because I'm supposed to now. I can't go out and beat up Autobots no more, so I draw pictures of it instead. It's -almost- as good."

"I know a few Autobots who could probably get their violence out that way," Gearstrip says with a wry little twist to her mouth. She cranes her neck, peering toward Brawl's work with a kind of repulsed fascination from the limited vantage of her mini's height. "You're also pretty big for a secret mission. You might get stuck in a duct or something." It's not clear why secrecy, to Gearstrip, immediately translates to ducts, but when you have a hammer, it's easy for everything to start looking like a nail. Her hands clasp loosely behind her as she sidles closer to the big Decepticon's seat, and she asks, "You're one of the ones who doesn't like that the war ended?"

The artwork is child-like, and boxy, stick-figure Brawl is proudly standing with a huge chest covered in multiple medals. Swindle-figure is giving Brawl money, Vortex-figure has hearts over his head, Blast Off-figure has a speech bubble saying, 'bralw u r way coolr than me' and Onslaught-figure has a tear in one optic with a speech bubble that reads, 'u r my favrite combatcon forevr'. "Well I could shoot someone secretly!" he protests petulantly, as if he were capable of any kind of quiet. Even now his engine is rumbling noisily, a low and incessant white noise echoing through the room. At Gearstrip's question, he vents a heavy sigh. "We lost and now I can't fight no more. I'm a soldier. Fighting is what I do. I don't know what t' do now. I always fought somethin', even back before the war started."

"You could fight ... boredom. With color." Gearstrip has clearly not missed a calling in life as an occupational counselor. Her bright gaze surveys the images, and then she tilts her head as she reaches a single finger to press to the edge of his coloring page. "Your friends fought too," she observes, although she's not clear enough on who is whom to draw more conclusions than this, despite acquaintanceship with several of the Cons involved. "What are they doing? Maybe they'll help you find a new thing. I never fought before I was on this ship. Now I've fought a couple times. Kinda. I knocked off an alien guy's hat once. And sometimes people stand on me and ride me out of fights."

Brawl points a finger in the air, upwards, and sagely advises, "Y' gotta kill someone next time, then you'll be a *real* soldier." Such wisdom. "Uh, I dunno what Swindle's doin', probably cheatin' people an' sellin' weapons. Vortex and Blast Off are pretendin' to date Autobots." So sayeth the Vortex. It's a 'secret mission'. Unfortunately, Brawl just announced it, which is yet another reason he's never involved in anything requiring concealment or subtlety. "I dunno what the Boss is doin', he told me t' come here after I finished my mission."

"I've definitely never killed anyone," Gearstrip says firmly, with a certain gravity to suggest that she does not plan to alter this. Her hands twist behind her, fingers linking together as she, faintly, scrunches her nose. "Pretending?" she says. She sounds a little skeptical. "What for? Actually, never mind. Maybe I don't want to know. The last time I asked one of you guys about your social whatnots I got really confused."

"It's okay, not everyone is good at killing," Brawl consoles. He nods in agreement to her statement. "Yeah, Vortex said they're pretendin' 'cause no Decepticon could ever actually like an Autobot like that. Autobots are all stinkin' liars that pretend they're good guys when they're not." Everyone has their philosophy, and Brawl's is as simple as he is. His faceplate raises and his optics brighten, the best he can manage for a smile. "That's why you're okay, you ain't no Autobot."

Gearstrip laughs in surprise and scrubs her knuckles along the line of her helm, the crease to her nose resuming. "Vortex is a little slippery," she says. "But I'm glad you think I'm all right. I think. I'm friends with some Autobots, though. Fair warning." She snags the edge of a chair designed for a larger bot, launches herself into the air with a little push of her thrusters, and swings herself up onto the thing to perch on its edge. Her optics narrow as she peers at Brawl. "They're pretending pretty good. I'm super impressed. Do you think I should tell Vortex and Blast Off that myself?"

Brawl begins to panic inside. Wait, this was supposed to be a secret mission!! Oh you've done it now, you dumb tank! "Uh-- uh--!" He chokes. Coming up with excuses isn't his strong suit.

Brawl stumbles out of his chair and clasps his hands together, begging. "Don't tell them about the secret mission! It was supposed to be secret!!" He's kind of pathetic like this. "I'll do anything ya want!!"

Taken aback, Gearstrip scoots back against the edge of the chair she perches on. "Oh," she says. She looks a little flummoxed by this reaction. "Um, it's all right. I won't tell them. But I think Vortex may be playing a little joke on you, and it's kind of mean. What was your name again?" she asks, apologetically. "I'm Gearstrip, of Caminus."

Brawl breathes a heavy sigh of relief. That was way too close. He sits up, resting hands on knees, legs tucked under him. "My name's Brawl. I'm from Slaughter City on Cybertron." That probably explains a lot.

Gearstrip looks momentarily baffled again, her hands hooking before her as she cants her head to one side. Quizzical, she asks: "You have a city named after killing people?"

Brawl gets up and sits in his chair. "Well yeah," he replies. Doesn't every planet? "S'where disposables used t'get scrapped an' recycled."

Every time Gearstrip starts to think she has the horrors of war and the traumas of old school Cybertron figured out based on what she collects from various crewmembers tell her and/or talk about in front of her, something else will happen to throw her for a loop; it happens now, leaving a blank look on her face as she repeats, "Disposables? Like-- like /disposable people/."

"Well yeah!" Brawl is now a teacher?! What hath fate wrought? He seems to be in a good mood though, which usually doesn't last long. In this regard, Gearshift is something of a miracle worker, having kept the tank from blowing his proverbial stack after a few words of conversation. "See, there used t' be this thing called 'functionism'. Everybody hadda job an' caste because of what they turned into. If your alt-mode was real common, you were disposable." Brawl looks over at his artwork, momentarily distracted, and idly doodles explosions around the corpses he drew. "S'why guys like th' Boss an' the other Combaticons started fightin', 'cause we were all slaves. Guys like th' Autobots were all rich important lyin' high castes."

"That's why you fought," Gearstrip says, with her hands laid on her knees. She sits there for a moment, thinking about it with a deep groove etched into her browplate. "To stop being used and treated as tools, so you could be your own people. But then you started making people to use as tools yourselves, right? The MTOs? Like the Autobots did, when they made Getaway and the others?" It is possible that Gearstrip's understanding of the war's history is skewed by who she has hung out with before this point. You know, POSSIBLE.

Brawl tries to concentrate and see if he can recall any of that. "Uh... I think so!" he agrees. He's too badly brain-damaged to have any guile at this point. "I don't know, I ain't a science guy or a doctor. I just blow things up."

"Huh." Gearstrip drops to the edge of the chair and lets her feet swing down, hanging there for a moment with her hands braced to either side against the seat. "And you make art!" she points out to him, helpfully.

Brawl holds up his marker and crayon masterpiece, glorious misspellings and all. "Yeah!" he agrees, happy with it. "Maybe I'll get so good at this art stuff the boss will like me more!" He hopes. Onslaught doesn't even trust Brawl to feed himself.

"Maybe," Gearstrip says. She's a little uncertain, but chooses optimism. Picking up with another burst of thruster, she hops down from the seat to head back over to the energon dispenser that was her initial goal in here. "As long as it helps you, I think that's the important part anyways."

"Thanks Gearstrip. You're okay, just like orange nerdface," Brawl compliments, flipping over a page and starting to draw something new. "Maybe this ship doesn't suck so much after all."

"Thanks, Brawl," Gearstrip answers with a sunny almost-humor to her voice. Now that she has her fuel cube in hand, she moves to wander back off toward the door again. "I think there's times anywhere sucks, even if you love it. But here's okay by me."

"Since you was nice, I won't beat you up. My promise," Brawl offers as Gearstrip turns to leave. It's a pretty generous offer, seeing as how beating things up is the very air Brawl breathes. Slowly, he is beginning to adjust.

"...Thanks," Gearstrip says, once again a little more uncertain. She grins crookedly, shrugs, and then turns to head back out of the room again, fingertips clinkingly lightly against the back of her helm.

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