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2017-02-28 Shop Buddies

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2017-02-28 Shop Buddies
Date 2017/02/28
Location Lost Light: Engineering -- Machine Shop
Participants Blackstorm, Sandstorm
Summary One day Sandstorm will be able to use the Machine Shop without a certain minibot being there too.

The rich scent of spilled oil and brushed dust filter through the air of this industrious complex, a workshop dedicated to the material construction required to keep a ship operational. This is the Machine Shop, an open space with the only walls being the four that define it. This is were tools can be fashioned, parts milled and crude elements refined in a more basic, freer space than a more delicate laboratory. Like peeking behind the curtain of a theatrical play, this is the shop space where walls can be built or smaller vehicles clobbered together.

Along the far wall is a rolling assembly line style work bench, above which are various shelves of tubing, blocks and girders. Off the entrance, both side walls are decorated with all manner of machinery and crafting tools. Stacks of raw materials are kept out of the central floor space and there are bins on either side of the entrance for recyclable spare parts. The room is well lit and there is a constant background hum of the ventilation system, which doesn't do much for that oil and soot smell.


Blackstorm is hunched over a pile of components placed on the table. The minibot lies on their midst, twisting a datapad in his hands as he tries to read it. The datapad isn't helping him much, though. With a snort, he throws it aside and goes back to sifting through the pile at his feet. When he senses movement at the door, he doesn't even turn around to face it. He's too absorbed with his observations. "This isn't about the vacuum I borrowed from maintenance, right? I'll have it back to you guys soon. Once I'm done with this."

He nudges the pile of components on the floor. Closer inspection would reveal that they are the vacuum. It helps him learn how they work to take one apart. Now the only issue is putting it back together.

Once again, in his off time, Sandstorm has come to the machine shop, though with a different project. He'd finished the blaster he was upgrading a few weeks ago, and the blueprints he's got on the datapad in his hand now are for something to be built not for fun, like the blaster had been, but for work, something he needs to fix the wiring issues that keep cropping up down on the storage deck. He's not the type to do work off the clock when he's not being paid for it but, well, he doesn't have anything else to do right now, and this beats sitting in his habsuite being bored and restless.

Which, when he sees who is - for the second time - occupying work space in the shop when he wants to be in here alone, starts to seem like a much more appealing way to spend his time. Sandstorm is halfway through pivoting on his heel and going out the way he came in when Blackstorm mentions maintenance's vacuum. Frag. The mech always seemed to be getting up to trouble whenever Sandstorm was near him, trouble Sandstorm would get berated over for ignoring...

"So." Sandstorm crosses his arms as he settles an unamused gaze on Blackstorm's frame. "You're the one who stole that vac under our noses, are you? If you don't mind, I'll take it back now, thanks."

"Sure, sure," Blackstorm answers, still distracted. He waves his hand as he picks up another piece of the disassembled vacuum cleaner, twisting it around with a quiet hum. "Once I have it put back together. That'll just take a couple hours, or days. Maybe weeks." This vacuum cleaner is a lot more complex than he thought it would be! Who would have guessed? It he could teach himself to repair shuttles, though, it was bound to come to him eventually.

"You gotta understand, I gotta figure out how to build a super vacuum. No one from engineering has the time so, well... Well, I'm gonna do it! It's important."

He finally glances back with a goofy grin. "Ohhey, look. It's you."

Sandstorm comes closer as Blackstorm speaks, stowing the datapad away so he can pay full attention to what the minibot is saying and to the mess of parts that had once been a vacuum cleaner. Neither maintenance nor logistics was going to like this. "Yeah, there's no way maintenance is letting you keep a vacuum cleaner, one you didn't bother to sign out before tearing apart, I might add, for weeks." He's hovering beside Blackstorm now, optics sweeping over the bits and pieces scattered before Blackstorm. For him, it would be easy to put it back together, and his lip curls in smug amusement at the knowledge that it apparently isn't for the minibot.

"Yeah yeah, it's me. Now move so I can put this back together and put it where it belongs before Penchant trips a circuit over something else going missing." Sandstorm moves like he's about to elbow Blackstorm off to the side and set to work himself when he pauses, something else Blackstorm had said filtering back through his processor. "A super vacuum? The frag do you need one of those for?"

"Have you seen my room?" Blackstorm asks. That suffices as way of explanation for why he needs a super vacuum. When Sandstorm tries to push him out of the way to get at the pile of components, the minibot leans forwards. His optics widen behind his visor. "You know how to put together a vacuum cleaner? Show me!" he demands. The minibot begins to bounce around with excitement! This is the break he's been waiting for.

"Eh, you wouldn't know how to put together a super vacuum either, would you? A mecha has to ask."

<FS3> Sandstorm rolls Fixing: Success. (4 3 4 4 2 8 6 3 4 1 6 2)

"No." And, just in case that's where Blackstorm is heading with this, "And I don't want to." Got to make that sort of thing clear, if their interactions last time had been any indication. Blackstorm was almost as bad as his roommate. What was it with Decepticons and being tools? "Of course I do, that's part of my job, knowing how to take things apart and put them together again." Again, amusement flickers over his features. A minibot who'd been all about building a shuttle from scratch couldn't even put together a vacuum. "Since I'm guessing you're going to hang around here no matter what I say, sure, I'll show you." Which he's about to do when he pauses a second time, partway through sorting the pile of parts. "In theory I do. Never tried, though."

Blackstorm snorts. "Right? I thought it would be easy, but it turns out vacuums are way different than shuttles. Who knew?"

Blackstorm plops down to watch. Sandstorm may not know how to put together a super vacuum, but Blackstorm is alright with settling for putting together a regular one. It's a step in the right direction! That way he has the basics down and he can start experimenting more himself. "And if we can't put it back together, we can always make it into something more awesome!" The minibot has such simple desires.

<FS3> Sandstorm rolls Fixing: Success. (6 5 3 3 4 3 4 6 7 6 3 6)

Having sorted the parts into piles, Sandstorm pulls up a stool for himself so that he doesn't have to stand the whole time he's working on the mess Blackstorm has created. "You're right, who knew that two completely different types of machinery would be differently built," he drawls. "A real shocker, that." Beginning with the circuitry, as he works Sandstorm continues, "We will put it back together, I told you I could, and there's no way we're making it into anything but what it started out as." Not that the idea isn't kind of cool...his hands stall a moment as ideas trickle into his processor, but - no, no, he has enough work to do without disassembling whatever 'more awesome' machine Blackstorm may want to put the parts toward. "By the way, you didn't fully answer my question. What's so bad about your room that you can't just use a regular vacuum cleaner?"

"My last roommate kind of used it as a trash can. It builds up after a few months. I was never around log enough to pick up because I slept in my shuttle," Blackstorm explains, leaning forwards to watch as Sandstorm starts to sort. The minibot's optics dart from pile to pile as the other mecha sorts. "Whatever you're imagining, it is ten times worse. And that does not even begin to cover it."

The minibot is not good at sitting still and watching. Before long, he's scooting towards one of the piles with a determined expression. "Anything I can do to help?"

<FS3> Sandstorm rolls Fixing: Great Success. (6 8 1 8 8 2 3 5 1 5 8 3)

Sandstorm, at this explanation, thinks to his own room. Hm. It's a good thing he actually sleeps in there more often than not (Octane was actually tolerable when he was recharging, because he didn't talk) as he could easily see a similar situation happening if he weren't around to pick up the scrap Octane left all over the place. "I guess a regular vac wouldn't cut it then," he agrees, hands moving more quickly and surely now as he gets into the groove of reassembling the vacuum cleaner.

Aaaand of course he should have known Blackstorm wouldn't be able to sit still for long without speaking, even if he had asked Sandstorm to show him how to do this, which Sandstorm is currently doing. He doesn't even glance at the minibot as he says, "Sure. Grab me some tools from around the shop that I'll need." Again, without looking up, he points to different shelves and hooks hung with tools around the shop, naming each of the tools he needs. Well, mostly the tools he needs. There are a few that are extras to keep Blackstorm away from him for a few more minutes than he would've been.

Sandstorm is picking up on Blackstorm's habits quickly. The minibot has no inkling he's been had. Shooting away at top speeds, he clambers down the edge of the table to gather up the requested tools. "Seems like you're making a habit of clean up my messes," Blackstorm jokes when he's dangling off a high shelf, waving a tool in Sandstorm's direction to ensure it's the one he needs. "It's almost like we're shop buddies! That's right. You're my shop buddy."

The title that Sandstorm never wanted, but Blackstorm does not give him any time to protest. Blackstorm has his own ideas of what 'retrieving tools' means. "HEADS UP!" he shouts, throwing the tool in an arc towards Sandstorm before scrambling for the next.

<FS3> Sandstorm rolls Reaction+reaction: Failure. (4 4 2 2 6 2)

"Trust me, it's not on purpose." Clearly, Sandstorm thinks, I keep ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. As usual. "We are not 'buddies' of any kind, let alone 'shop buddies'. Why don't you ask one of the many other weirdos on this ship to fill that role for you, I'm sure they'd be glad to do it." A glance up and a nod are Sandstorm's indicator that yes, the tool Blackstorm is holding is the right one, and then he's getting back to work. He should have known better, honestly, getting engrossed in this when Blackstorm is the one fetching tools for him, the one currently chucking tools at him--

CLUNK.

Sandstorm gives an enraged, "OI!" as the tool smacks right into his helm, rotor arms shooting up and rotors whirling in pain and irritation, sending some smaller bits of wiring and sailing across the table. "I told you to grab me tools, not throw them at me!" he snaps over at the mini.

"What? I did say heads up," Blackstorm quips back, trying to hold back a laugh at Sandstorm's surprised look. While that had not been on purpose, it certainly was amusing as heck. The minibot shrugs before swinging onto the next shelf. He grabs the next tool and tucks it under his arm. "Ain't my fault if you've got no aim. Let's hope you're better at fixing vacuums."

"Also, you sound awfully grumpy. Want to go for a drink after you're done? It'll loosen you up if nothing else."

"I don't need to have aim, I'm not the one throwing things!" Sandstorm turns back to what he'd been doing, irritably picking up the pieces blown a few feet away by his rotors while his other hand rubs the sore spot on his helm. Fragging annoying 'Con... Once everything is back in its proper pile, he bends down to pick up the tool from where it had fallen after bouncing off of his plating. At least it was the one he needed next, anyway.

"Why would I get a drink with you?" Sandstorm asks, now making sure to dart looks at Blackstorm out of the corner of his optic just in case more tools decide to try mastering the power of flight. "So you can throw energon at me instead?"

"Well, I wouldn't pass up a free drink, but your choice," Blackstorm answers. He is trying to be friendly but it seems like he'll just have to settle again. Just vacuum cleaner knowledge today! That's more than he came in with, though, so it's not all bad. The minibot ceases to make his quips as he gathers the rest of the tools. That does not mean the minibot is quiet, though. In absence of talking, he begins to whistle cheerfully to himself

A few minutes later he stops at Sandstorm's pedes and drops the pile of tools with a loud clang. "What next?" he asks. "What's that thing in your hand do? Can I see it?" Being snapped at hasn't deterred him from his excitability. Or being annoying.

Sandstorm's next sidelong glance is longer, more calculating, than the others, as he weighs the options. No, he's not the type to turn down a free drink, but a free drink from Blackstorm would mean spending more time in the minibot's company than he absolutely has to. Yet...free engex...

"Now you're just being an aft on purpose," Sandstorm grumbles when Blackstorm drops the tools on the floor instead of magnetizing his way back up to the table. He sets down what he'd been working on and moves to pick them up even as he answers. "It's part of the motor, and no. You can see it when I've put it all back together, as long as you don't frag it all up again." Depositing the tools on the table nearby with almost as much noise as Blackstorm had caused, he tacks on, almost as an afterthought, "And I'll get that drink with you, as long as you're paying."

"It's not fragging up. It's... uh, exploring all the possibilities?" Blackstorm answers, bouncing to the tips of his pedes. He had an inkling that would work. After all, who can resist his charm when it's combined with free drinks? That's a real potent combination. "Thought that would cheer you up. I've got a tab, nothing to worry about." Starstruck will likely end up paying for it in the end, but he can think of money on another day. Today he just wants to keep having a good time.

"Also, do you really think I could climb all that way with my hands full? I mean I guess I could try but I might end up tossing things at you again by accident."

"Exactly what I meant." Sandstorm snorts, turning the part of the motor he's working on over in his hands to get at the underside. "Cheer me up, nothing. I figure if I have to be subjected to your company I might as well get something out of it." Real charmer, this one.

Reaching for one of the tools Blackstorm had fetched, Sandstorm doesn't even bother to hide how he rolls his optics. "One, you'd be going up, so if you 'accidentally' lost your grip on a tool, it should fall back to the floor, not get thrown at me. Two, you could've handed them to me like a normal mech. Hence why I said you're being an aft on purpose."

"Well, can you blame me? I have a pretty aft. I'd want to be my aft," Blackstorm quips in response. They're both a pair of real charmers. The moment that Sandstorm leans down to gather the tools, the minibot seizes his opportunity. Reaching out, he starts to clamber onto the other's frame and up towards his shoulder. It'll be easier to watch from there, much easier! Maybe he'll even be allowed to touch a few of the components?

"Well, if you want to get rid of me I guess you'll just have to get to work. And let me help to speed things up! I can help, honest."

Sandstorm actually laughs at that. "I've seen better, believe me, but it's good to have confidence in yourself, I guess." Looks like he's not a grump all the way to the core; maybe you just have to peel back those grumpy onion layers first. And peel them back fully, as Blackstorm scrambling up his frame has the playfulness disappearing from his features like the sun behind a windblown cloud. The impulse to jerk his frame in a way that will send Blackstorm flying as he climbs is entertained for a moment before he gives a huffed exvent and lets the minibot settle on his shoulder.

"You can help by doing what I tell you and that's it. Don't touch or do anything unless I tell you to, and we'll be out of here and getting those drinks before you know it." And to show that he means it, Sandstorm stops talking entirely and puts his full attention on the task at hand, only speaking to give short and to-the-point orders for Blackstorm to carry out. See, he's letting you help. Sorta.

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