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2016-12-26 Make A Man Out Of You

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2016-12-26 Make A Man Out Of You
Date 2016/12/26
Location Lost Light: Recreation -- Practice Rooms
Participants Orbitall, Swoop
Summary Swoop begins the grueling process of trying to teach Orbitall how to fight.

Out of every location on the Lost Light, the practice rooms are the place Orbitall spends the least of his time. He has no reason to do so. He's not in Combat, and is far down the list of mechs who would be considered for it. There's a good reason for it too. Except for a brief and unfortunate stint in the Autobot front lines, Orbitall has never been a fighter, and it's obvious to anyone who watches him. So there's no reason for him to use the training rooms for himself. No reason to go for anyone else, either-- the mechs who go to the practice rooms aren't using them for gossip.

So the message to meet Swoop down in the training rooms is a little more of a surprise than getting the message at all. Orbitall is becoming used to being Swoop's friend in theory, at least, even if he's not always sure what to do around the mech. Still, he makes his way down to the training rooms as soon as he gets the message, slipping in silently with a glance around and a nod to Swoop.

In complete opposition to Orbitall, the practice rooms are one of Swoop's favorite places to be, when he's not on the observation deck or flying around the oil reservoir. It's the perfect place for a Dinobot to unwind by punching the scrap out of practice drones and dummies. But recently an idea came to him, that there was someone else who could benefit from learning some combat moves.

After all, Swoop wasn't gonna be there to save Orb's aft all the time.

So he sends Orbitall a comm to meet him in the practice rooms if he's got the time, and while he waits he sets up some of the different practice areas for use. When Orb arrives, Swoop is dragging a mat out into the open space in the middle of the room. He looks up at the entrance of someone else, and nods back when he sees who it is, giving a "Hey," as well. "You made it. C'mere." When Orbitall does, he'll get a gentle shoulder squeeze before Swoop is moving on.

"So, no offense, but you're kinda useless in a dangerous situation," he explains, with the air of someone who doesn't seem to care that yeah that was kind of offensive. "But we're gonna change that. I'm gonna teach you some basic fighting stuff, so at least you'll stand a chance."

Sure enough, Orbitall moves further into the room as Swoop instructs, then lingers awkwardly, watching as Swoop finishes setting up the mat. Maybe he's supposed to help, but Swoop hasn't given him any instructions on how to help, and soon enough it's not a problem any more.

At least Orbitall doesn't actually seem offended at Swoop's blunt statement. He just nods, his face unchanged from his usual neutral expression. "How are you supposed to do that?" For all that the question could be accusatory, it's not asked that way. Orbitall looks at Swoop as he steps onto the mat. Swoop's a fighter, after all, he should probably know, though Orbitall is never supposed to be close to combat situations in the first place.

Swoop steps onto the mat beside Orbitall, huffing in amusement at the question. "The same way you teach anyone anything, mech. You show 'em what to do, and then have them try it, and from there it's just practice. Easy. You'll get the hang of it, I'm sure." Orbitall is certainly big enough that if he learned how to fight he'd be fair off. It's just actually getting him to do it that's the obstacle here. Swoop has been around Orb enough to know that the guy has all the fighting instincts of a pencil, but he's at least going to try to change that.

"We'll start with something simple: a headlock. Here." Swoop, in a surprisingly gentle way for him, brings his arm around Orbitall's neck and pins him like that. "You just put your arm like this around the other mech's neck, though you gotta use force so they can't get away." He steps away, dropping his arm. "Now you do it to me."

<FS3> Orbitall rolls Unarmed: Failure. (4 6 3 2 2 1 2)

If Orbitall has any thoughts to the contrary about his ability to get the hang of it, he doesn't show it, and certainly doesn't say anything to the contrary. He just nods and finally steps forward onto the mat, to allow Swoop to start doing whatever it is he thinks will be best. For that reason, he goes with Swoop's movement placidly as the other mech pulls him into a headlock. One hand comes up to rest on Swoop's arm around his throat, but other than that, he doesn't even tense.

Then, when Swoop lets him go and tells him to return the gesture, Orbitall steps forward. He brings his arm up around Swoop's neck, but it's not a headlock, not really. His grip isn't right, his arm is putting pressure on the wrong points, there's no strength behind it. Swoop could break out of it easily.

Swoop turns and waits, well, not impatiently but certainly not patiently either, for Orbitall to try the headlock. He's not expecting much, sure, but he still is surprised by how ridiculously bad Orbitall's headlock is. The grip, the pressure, the hold - everything is completely wrong. It even pinches Swoop's plating a bit, and he scowls as he, yes, easily twists out of it.

"No, no, not like that! Come on, try again, do it like I showed you." Swoop harrumphs and turns away again. "Loop your arm around my throat and squeeze. If you can do that, I'll show you how to break a headlock."

<FS3> Orbitall rolls Unarmed: Success. (8 4 4 4 6 5 1)

Rather than look dismayed when Swoop breaks out of the hold, Orbitall just steps back. His arm is lowering already, until Swoop growls at him. "...Okay," Orbitall says, stepping forward. He's just as hesitant this time about stepping forward, but at least when he puts his arm around Swoop's neck he manages to get the positioning right, and pull back until Swoop is pressed against his chest plating. It's still not the firmest of headlocks, but if he put more strength into it, it would be.

<FS3> Swoop rolls Unarmed: Good Success (3 4 2 4 8 8 5)

<FS3> Swoop rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success (5 7 2 4 1 7 8 2)

When Orbitall gets him in the headlock this time, Swoop gives a hoot of laughter. "Yeah, that's more like it! See I knew you had it in you." He doesn't seem perturbed at all by having Orb's arm around his throat like this. "Alright, now I'll show you how to break it." Which he does, with no warning, grabbing Orbitall's arm and shifting his weight so he can use his whole frame to flip Orbitall over his helm, to one side so he doesn't hit Swoop's crest.

But for all the Dinobots are thought of as, Swoop is not a monster. Those solar panels don't look all that strong. So, though it's an awkward movement and doesn't come off nearly as smoothly as the flip alone would have, Swoop catches Orbitall mid-flip and manages to twist him so that, in the end, he's got Orb in a kind of dip, one arm wrapped around his back to keep him from falling further.

"And that's how you break it," Swoop says, smirking.

Orbitall isn't ready for this.

He is expecting Swoop to maybe twist out of his hold the way he did the first time. Maybe to twist his arm, as gently as he did it the first time. Maybe more harshly, since this is Swoop. What he's not expecting is to actually be thrown. At his size, being moved when he doesn't want to be isn't a common occurrence, and the sudden and unexpected change in orientation leaves Orbitall completely disoriented.

He doesn't realize until the moving finally comes to a stop that he hasn't landed flat on his back. He blinks up at Swoop, optics blown wide, and belatedly grabs at Swoop in an attempt to steady himself. His solar panels twitch against his back, as if to confirm that they haven't been crushed or dented beneath his weight.

"I don't think I can do that," Orbitall says, bluntly.

Swoop gives Orbitall a moment to reorient himself after being heaved so bodily over Swoop's shoulder - it's easy to tell by the look on Orb's face that he needs it. And even then Swoop keeps him dipped a moment longer, radiating smugness.

"Probably not." It's then that Swoop finally pulls Orbitall to his feet, with an almost-not-really hug resulting because of how his arm is around Orb's back before he drops it. "Yet, anyway. We'll work up to it." His wingtips flick a bit in amusement. "Until then, if you're recovered, why don't we try an arm lock."

Orbitall moves with Swoop's guiding hands, staggering ever so slightly as he's put on his own pedes. He's used to the 'no real down' of space, but that doesn't make being suddenly and forcefully flipped around any less disorienting in his root mode.

There's a moment where he stands silently, just readjusting, before he turns to Swoop and nods. "Show me?"

Swoop waits for Orbitall to finish readjusting, and when he has Swoop grins. "Planned on it." He moves around to Orbitall's back and gently slides his claws between Orb's arms and his frame, until he can hook his elbows up under what constitutes as Orbitall's armpits. He gently pulls Orb back against him, again, a light hold, but the action has Orb's shoulders hitching up as Swoop finishes the arm lock.

"Like this," Swoop says, practically into Orbitall's audial. "Another easy one, though a bit harder to break."

As before, Orbitall moves as Swoop's touch directs him, staying still to allow Swoop to start the hold. When Swoop begins to tighten the grip, there's some resistance and grinding as Orbitall's pauldrons are tugged in directions they don't usually go, but other than the faint scraping, Orbitall gives no indication that anything is wrong.

"Okay," Orbitall says, standing relatively limp in Swoop's grasp and giving no indication that he's going to try and move. A beat. Then: "Should I try to?"

"Yeah. Just wanted to be sure you really got how to do it this time." Swoop drops his hold and steps back. "Do it just like I showed you, okay? But with more pressure, like you want to make sure I can't escape."

Swoop turns away from Orbitall as he speaks, presenting his back again. This time he shifts his wing casings up a bit so Orbitall can actually get his arms beneath Swoop's. It would've been possible but more difficult otherwise; Swoop will save that lesson for another day.

It's probably for the best that Swoop leave that for later, considering Orbitall's patchy successes up until this point. Either he would fail and get Swoop irritated in the attempt, or one or both of them would end up damaged.

Instead, with Swoop's wings out of the way, Orbitall is able to copy the motion successfully. Maybe Swoop's instructions are even sinking in, because he even uses enough strength for the task.

Swoop is practically beaming as Orbitall not only gets it right the first time, but also seems to be showing improvement. "Yeah, that's perfect! Heh, you're doing pretty good, for a rookie." Swoop could break this hold, too, but it wouldn't be as mindlessly easy as breaking the first headlock had been. "Now, if someone's got you in a hold like this, since your arms are held elbowing 'em in the abdomen is kind of out of the question. You can try a headbutt, but I don't recommend it, it's not very reliable from this angle. The best thing to do is get the tip of their pede."

To demonstrate, Swoop shifts his leg back and taps his heel on top of Orbitall's foot. "A lot harder than that, obviously - you really wanna bring your heel down hard and crush their pede - but usually that'll be enough to get 'em to let go. Which you can do now." Aka Get Off.

Orbitall nods along with Swoop's instructions, not that Swoop can actually see him do it. His expression doesn't change either, even when Swoop tells him that he's doing a good job. It doesn't take Swoop long to move along in the lesson, either, until Orbitall is nodding along with Swoop's instructions, instead.

Stomp their pede, right. Orbitall shifts his own away from the tapping of Swoop's heel against him. "What would they do if they're too short?" He asks.

Oh. Right, Swoop needs to be let down. Orbitall quickly sets him down and pulls his arms away, leaving Swoop with his full range of motion as Orbitall waits for Swoop to decide what they should do next.

"You mean like a mini?" Swoop rotates a shoulder once he's set back down, continuing to look pleased with himself. "Well, depending on the size of whoever's got them, they could kick back into the abdomen instead, or a knee strut or something." Swoop straightens into his usual slouch and ponders where to move on to from here.

"I think we'll leave hand to hand for its own separate lesson," Swoop muses to himself. Can't show Orb how to trip someone up, that would put him on the floor and Swoop already knew that was a bad idea...

"Well, we could practice the holds some more, or we could move on to the firing range. You pick."

Ah. So somewhere less difficult to stop them from hitting, in other words. Orbitall continues to watch as Swoop moves around the mat, stretching out his limbs and shaking off whatever discomfort the brief hold might have caused. He's ready to follow Swoop's instruction, when...

From the blank look on Orbitall's face, it should be obvious that Swoop made a poor choice in asking him to pick. The long silence that follows is also a good clue. In the end, though, Orbitall makes an attempt at an answer. "...Do I need more practice at it?"

As soon as Swoop sees the blank look, he's mentally facepalming. Of course, this is Orbitall we're talking about. You can't ask Orbitall to make decisions. Swoop grunts in irritation before doing it for him.

"You seem fine with those for now. We'll get back to them later. Let's try the shooting range." There, Orbitall. Decision made. Swoop takes Orb by the elbow and steers him over to said shooting range, and the rack of practice weapons nearby. They all look like regular blasters, rifles and other sorts of long-range weapons, but the ammo is special. It'll mark the targets but it's similar to a blank, and even at close range is completely harmless to an actual mech. Kind of like a laser gun but with a bit more oomph. Swoop would have suspected Brainstorm's work in creating them but he doubts the scientist would ever make anything this non-lethal.

"You ever hold a blaster before?" he asks, dropping his hand as they reach the rack so that he can browse the selection. "Ever?"

It's for the best. Orbitall doesn't exactly look relieved when Swoop makes the call and starts dragging him off, but he goes with Swoop's tugging without protest or lagging behind. Apparently he trusts that if Swoop says he doesn't need the extra help right now, then he doesn't need it.

Orbitall doesn't reach out toward any of the guns, just stands on the spot Swoop let go of him, watching the Dinobot as he looks over their options. "Yes," is his answer. He doesn't elaborate. Presumably it was shoved into his hands without any other explanation.

<FS3> Swoop rolls Firearms: Great Success. (3 2 4 1 7 6 8 8 7 3)

Swoop glances back at Orbitall at this answer, but he's not frowning, or at least, he's not frowning in the way he usually is. His expression is calculating instead as he looks Orbitall over, then turns back to the rack. He chooses a simple blaster, a generic weapon that would have been issues to most foot soldiers or lower officers during the war, and hands it to Orbitall. "Here. Now, watch me. I'll show you how this works."

"What you want to do," he begins, as he starts the shooting range's program and takes a blaster for himself, one with an air reminiscent of a Sig Sauer, "is aim down the barrel of the blaster at your target. Keep your servos steady, use one for the trigger and one to absorb the recoil. Mechs'll tell you a blaster doesn't have any recoil, but they're full of slag. It's not much but it's there, and you have to be prepared for it. Once you've got the target in your sights, you squeeze the trigger and you fire." The program he's chosen is kind of like an Earth carnival game, with targets popping up or sliding across the wall in front of them, and the goal is to hit as many (or all, if you can) as possible.

Swoop performs flawlessly.

As soon as the targets appear, Swoop's aiming and, one by one, he takes them out, squeezing shot after shot out of his blaster, each target he hits falling back out of sight. When the program is over, he's hit every single one, and with a flourish unusual to him, twirls the blaster around a finger. "I'm gonna lower the difficulty all the way to the bottom, and then you try."

<FS3> Orbitall rolls Firearms: Success. (8 5 3)

<FS3> Orbitall rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (1 2 3 7)

Orbitall doesn't drop the gun. In fact, despite having it practically shoved into his hands, he holds it properly, with a sure grip and pointed down at the floor and not at his pedes. Whatever his past, minimal, experience with blasters is, he at least knows how to treat one properly when not firing it.

When Swoop goes into detail, Orbitall nods along, watching intently as Swoop goes through the motions of proper handling. Careful of the recoil, aim, then fire. Put that way, it doesn't seem like such a monumental task, compared to the midst of a battle. Flawless performance or not, Orbitall's only reaction to Swoop as he steps back from the firing range is a nod, without even any comment on his showing off. Then he steps forward, and it's his turn.

The first shot is hasty, and misses the target, as Orbitall jerks and overcorrects as the first target pops up, his shot further skewed by the jerk of recoil. It's a bad start, but despite that, he manages to recover. By the end of the round, he's managing to hit his targets most of the time. It's not battle-ready, but for Orbitall, it's not bad.

<FS3> Swoop rolls Firearms: Good Success. (5 2 8 2 3 8 6 3 2 7)

Having replaced his own practice blaster so that he could start the program over for Orbitall, Swoop stands off to the side, arms crossed as he watches Orbitall take his own turn. His helm tilts, wingtips twitching slightly when Orbitall's first shot is a complete failure. But, as the program goes on, Orbitall doesn't do too badly, all things considered. Though it had only been the very lowest difficulty, so the speed of the targets, as well as the length of time each appeared, were altered to make it easier on the shooter. Orb still had a long way to go before he reached adequate, yet. At the same time. No, it wasn't bad.

"Here. Let's run it again." Swoop sets the program on a bit of a delay so that it'll be a few seconds before it actually runs, and then comes up behind Orbitall, gently placing his hands over Orb's to steady them and the blaster. "Here, here's the sight you need to focus on," he says, running a talon gently down the very top of the blaster, exactly in the middle of the barrel. "Keep an optic focused down that line, and use it to aim. If a target is moving, aim just in front of it, and squeeze the trigger just before it's gonna come into your focus--here, it's easier if I just help you."

As the targets appear, this time, Swoop helps keep Orbitall from overcorrecting, from shooting too quickly or too late, claws firm as they support Orbitall's hands.

<FS3> Orbitall rolls Firearms: Failure. (2 2 5)

<FS3> Orbitall rolls Reaction+Reaction: Failure. (2 1 3 4)

Orbitall has already started to lower his blaster when Swoop suggests that they run the practice program again. He nods, and starts to lift the blaster before pausing and hesitating as Swoop steps up behind him. "...Right," Orb says, watching the parts of the gun that Swoop points out.

And then they're starting again. Technically, they do better than Orbitall's first run, but that success can be entirely attributed to Swoop. The direct contact from Swoop seems to be making Orbitall's shooting worse, as he hesitates to move until Swoop has started actively directing the aiming, waits until Swoop's prompting to fire. His stance, too, is more rigid at first, making his movements when he does take them jerky and unsure against Swoop's grip.

Swoop automatically corrects and fixes Orbitall's mistakes throughout the program, not really thinking about it, but once it's over he realizes - there were a lot. A lot more than when Orbitall had been firing on his own. As the program finishes, Swoop steps back, eyeing Orbitall critically.

"You did pretty good the first time. What went wrong now? Were you nervous or something?" Swoop doubts that this is the case - Orbitall seems even less capable of emotions than himself or the other Dinobots - but still.

Again, Orbitall lets his hands fall the moment Swoop steps back and the training program ends. His fingers flex on the handle of the blaster, though he doesn't set it aside just yet, since Swoop hasn't declared them finished. His hand and arm ache from the slight recoil, and from holding his arm up and tense for the length of two runs of the exercise. It's not that it's particularly strenuous, but it's a motion that Orbitall isn't used to, and after a while, it's tiring.

Orbitall blinks as Swoop gives him that look. Didn't they do better this time...? "I don't know," he answers. His solar panels shift against his back, pressing down flat. "Weren't we supposed to hit more of the targets?" He was supposed to hit more of them, but apparently Orbitall isn't making that distinction here.

Swoop's arms cross over his chassis. "The point was for you to hit more of the targets, but I took over most of the work." Partially his fault, honestly, he'd kind of automatically taken to it once he felt Orbitall lagging. "I'm not the one who needs to learn this scrap, you are, and --" He pulls himself up short, suddenly, as the body language of Orbitall's solar panels filters through his processor. Orb's not a flier, not really, but it's similar enough that Swoop can catch the gist. Orbitall seems...kind of upset.

He huffs a vent, clearly irritated, before dropping his arms. "We'll just have to work on it more next time." Swoop seems to hesitate, just a moment, before stepping forward to clap Orb on the shoulder. "But you did pretty good, for a rookie. Maybe we'll make a fighter out of you yet." The smirk is back, more good-natured than usual.

"Oh." Orbitall goes still, clearly thinking over the last round, and sure enough... yes, he let Swoop start directing things automatically. Swoop's guess at his body language is confirmed when the panels continue to droop at that realization, even as his faceplates remain as neutral as usual. Orbitall turns, ready to begin putting the gun away, when Swoop's hand on his pauldron makes him stop.

Orbitall watches Swoop, staring as he breaks into a smirk. The pause draws out for longer than necessary as he watches, but his panels aren't hanging quite so heavily against his back this time. "Maybe," he says, with the barest ghost of a smile.

Swoop meanwhile is taking the practice blaster from Orbitall with his free hand, placing it back on the rack near the one he himself had used. When he looks back up, it's his turn not to be prepared at the way Orbitall nearly smiles. Nearly. Only slightly. Just the tiniest hint. Somehow it's still enough that Swoop notices, and his own expression shifts easily into a crooked grin.

"'Maybe?' Nah, you just gotta practice." There's another gentle squeeze to Orbitall's pauldron. "We'll get to that later. Primus, I'm starving. You up for some energon?" And, being Swoop, he doesn't even wait for an answer, instead shepherding Orbitall out of the practice rooms and toward the common lounge, the closest place for a refueling.

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