2017-02-18 Take a Break

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Take a Break
Date 2017/02/18
Location Lost Light: Recreation - Visages
Participants Perceptor, Skystalker
Summary Skystalker makes a compelling argument, Perceptor is stubborn.

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).

Skystalker's visit to Visages this evening was a little less casual; he came to see if he might catch some of the open mic performances by others so that he could give them a study. Part of him feels just a little competitive, but even with the talented bots aboard he finds himself at a lone booth listening painfully to the novice tones of a mech with a keyboard. Sounds like lounge music, at least? Still, when the fellow finishes and moves off for the next person to go to the open stage, Skystalker isn't unkind enough to not clap politely.

It's the drink that he pulls deeply from a moment after that gives away any lingering disappointment.

Perceptor is alone. Finally. It's a lovely feeling, not having a helicopter constantly pulling, prodding and pushing for attention. He doesn't... quite want to be alone though, now that the initial solitary rush has left. Now that he's in Visages, actually looking around, sitting alone at a booth looks less and less appetizing. When Perceptor spots Skystalker it's a relief, the navigator might be sitting alone for a reason but... He could always check?

Making his way over, Perceptor pauses, hands clasping behind his back. "Would you mind some company?" The words are soft, trying to mirror Visages' more sedate atmosphere and the new performer beginning their set.

Skystalker watches the stage get taken by someone with some skill at an alien instrument, a faint tune of light sounds playing from it as Perceptor makes his way closer. The approach has Skystalker sitting up, removing his chin from his hand, wingtips perking just enough to show his interest.

"Perceptor.. oh? No, not at all. Have a seat if you like." Skystalker's manners and polite smile are definitely a refreshing change from the last few days.

That's a relief, as evidenced by Perceptor's smile and soft ex-vent while he slides into the booth opposite Skystalker. "Thank you." Settled, he turns to flag down a server and place his order, then back to focus his attention on Skystalker. "How are you?"

"I'm actually doing alright. You seem relieved to be here, though." Skystalker observes openly, a smile erring on the side of caution as it crooks into place. The music is calm enough that Skystalker lets it fall into his audials without having to drink a little more first. "What about you then?" He asks, a little gentler.

Perceptor slumps slightly, optics dimming for a moment. Skystalker's smile is returned, but much more tired and lackluster than he might have tried for otherwise. "It would appear an experimental vaccination had unintended effects. I've had Vortex all but welded to my side for the last-" He squints at his hand, which has joined in the 'how are you' explanation. "four days. Sorry you were- It's good you're doing well."

Skystalker can't say he was expecting an answer like that. Maybe one where Perceptor has been up for far too long and needed a break? Amber optics widen, and his hand drops to the table with a faint sound. "Vortex? You mean-- literally welded, or just-- metaphorically? I can see why that would tire you out." To say the least. Skystalker seems a little... concerned, at this point. "Thanks." He murmurs back, before setting into the elephant in the room. "Four days? Tex? Oh, Primus." He can take the rotary combaticon in certain doses. But days?

"Metaphorically, though I'm certain he would have tried it literally had he the tools." Perceptor can't muster the horror at that, just tired resentment. But, he's here to drink and bask in the presence of someone who isn't Vortex, and who he can actually have a conversation with without the snapping helicopter trying to disembowel them with his optics. "It was. Unpleasant. What did I interrupt?" Because subject changes are hard, and Skystalker had to have been doing something before Perceptor came along.

Oh. Skystalker's features show his sympathy well. "I can imagine. You're not exactly the most tactile person, are you? And he's very... much so." Sympathy is probably a welcome sound in his voice, too. "Hm? Oh, I am just watching the open stage. I was curious to see if anyone new would be up."

Perceptor blinks, head tipping. He has to pause that thought to accept his order and take a long sip of it. "I prefer to seek it out rather than have it foisted upon me by strangers." His lopsided smile makes an appearance, tone in good humor. "I see. And have you?"

"Oh, ah." Skystalker feels a little awkward knowing a little more on that topic, but it passes with a laugh and a bit of a new smile, hand fiddling against his lower crest. "New people, yes. But the skills leave something to be desired. This one here is probably the best so far..." He gestures evenly and subtly to the bot on stage.

Perceptor blinks and looks down at the table and his drink, shoulders tensing up again. "Apologies." Skystalker's explanation and gesture take his attention to the stage for a brief moment - the music is nice, but it's not particularly attention-grabbing. "That's unfortunate."

"It's okay. Don't apologize." Skystalker can still feel the way he does, but by no means should shame be involved on Perceptor's side. "I guess it surprises me that you're not as clinical as I thought..." He plays with his hands, distracted again by the subject shift. "It is, but I can see that it means one thing-- that people want to make art again. Even if they need practice, you know?"

Mouthing clinical, Perceptor shakes his head and takes another drink, optical ridge popping up. It's definitely curious, not offended. "I hadn't thought to look at it that way, however," He shrugs. "I understand. I think."

"Should I apologize for using that word?" Sky breathes out, laughing faintly. "Maybe it was because of how we were introduced." His optics warm a little, and then he nods at Perceptor's understanding of the importance of an open stage. "It tells me that people are starting to be able to find things to express themselves with... and after such turmoil, I feel it's important to acknowledge it. Them. Even if they really suck at it."

"Oh no, I understand I can come off that way it's-" Perceptor's scope whirrs absently as he trails off, instead shifting focus to the artistic talk. "The acknowledgement feeds into their drive to learn, thereby producing greater artistic expression and creating an inspiration for others?" Wow, that does sound clinical.

"Exactly." Skystalker nods once, optics on Perceptor and audials half tuned to the player on stage. He sets his head against the heel of his hand, sipping at his drink. "You hit it right on the nose. With better words, though. Inspiration and drive is important. I wasn't always good either."

Perceptor nods, looking back toward the stage again. "Nobody is sparked a genius, in any field." He tilts his head, going quiet. It's nice to sit in - what he hopes is- companionable not-quite silence. It's been A Week.

Skystalker allows that passing of some silence between them as they listen to the instrument on the stage, "I don't know, I think Brainstorm would say he was." He tacks on, a belated attempt at humor.

Attention ticking back to Skystalker, Perceptor huffs a quiet laugh. "Probably. His ego astounds." But he's smiling over at Skystalker. Grasping for a conversational topic, he lands on "You mentioned performing?"

"Have you ever heard me perform?" Skystalker cants his head in question, glad that he could at least get a slight huff of a laugh from the other mech before the silence went on too long. "I can't recall if you have."

Perceptor shakes his head in the negative. "I haven't had the opportunity to. What... do you do?" The hesitant pause is a quiet hope that he isn't offending Skystalker by asking, if it's something well-known throughout the ship.

Skystalker's grin says quite the contrary to offense. "Strings and vocals. I practice here and there so much that sometimes I'm not sure who has heard me." He turns his hand out in a tiny shrug, accepting of it. So what if Percy doesn't get out as much? "But there you have it. My instruments are usually harp-type instruments, but I also enjoy string instruments with bowstrings, and I like to change it up with styles somewhat. I try to focus either on the composition or the vocals, one at a time."

Perceptor's optics go wide behind the glasses. "Wow." That's a bit inelegant but will suffice. "You've got quite the repertoire, that's..." He shakes his head, smile tipping up at one end. "Where do you find the time to do all of this?" The upkeep and experiments in the botany labs and his regular shifts in navigation AND practicing and performing?

"I have a little help in the lab sometimes, and my shifts aren't always strenuous... plus I've had a long time to get good at my performing." Skystalker smiles. optics narrowing with it. "Don't forget the sword lessons with Drift, or scouting in space." Sky ticks these off on his fingers. "I'm sure I could think of more. But really-- I make time. I never used to have the chance to do what I wanted, whenever I wanted. It gets into your mindset, and it's-- difficult to shake."

"It's astounding." Perceptor shakes his head, shifting to lean an elbow on the table. His smile turns commiserating when Skystalker explains further, optics dimming. "I get that, though perhaps not to the level you experienced. It's... odd. Having so much free time now." He fills most of his with work, rather than leisure. "It feels wasteful not to use as much as possible for productive activities."

"I hope you're not calling me wasteful." Skystalker teases, knowing that he isn't. "You should try doing nothing sometime. It's not as bad as it sounds, I promise. Sometimes it can be fulfilling, if someone else is doing nothing with you." His voice breaks a bit when he chuckles. "I play games with Quicksight sometimes, just because. Watch a movie with a friend. Go to the baths, or take a flight..."

Again, the scientist shakes his head, smile persistent but a bit smaller. "Is that an invitation?" His tone is teasing, fingers ticking along his glass. "Regardless, I prefer to stay busy, despite how pleasant you make doing nothing sound." Perceptor ex-vents, looking down to his drink for a moment before he takes a sip. His scope gives a little latitude adjustment upwards.

"It might be an invitation, if you ever decide to stop working." Skystalker polishes off his drink and purses his lips as it goes down. "You had a stressful week, right? You deserve some time off, surely?" Vortex attaching himself to you is liable to be stressful enough, isn't it? "I hope you do. You might not even know you need it." As he finishes saying this, the stage finds itself empty again to a series of claps, and the lounge is accented with the idle hush of visitors once more.

"You'll pry me from the lab when I've run out of data to compile." Perceptor's trying to make that joking, but he does agree. "I'm far from the type to work myself into the ground, I'll..." He shrugs, swirling his drink and finishing the last of it. "I may take you up on the offer." But he definitely won't be taking time off. "Should your free time coincide with mine?"

"Well, alright then. When your free time lines up with mine." Skystalker can't help his more crooked grin this time. "Maybe you need an assistant for all that compiling, though. Take a break, hm?" The starfighter moves to his feet, slipping from the booth in a fluid motion, still smirking. "Now, if you'll excuse me for a few moments, I see an empty stage calling me and a friend sitting here that I want to impress..."

"Far be it from me to pull you from your botanical studies to assist in theoretical physics." Perceptor snickers, grinning back. Skystalker's move to stand gets a curious look that turns to wide-optic'd interest. "I think I can get over the offense." He waves slightly, watching Skystalker make his way to the stage.

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