2017-03-02 Enlightening Talk

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2017-03-02 Enlightening Talk
Date 2017/03/02
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Observation Deck
Participants Fortress Maximus, Vortex
Summary Fortress Maximus has so many buttons to press.

Stars. Stars are peaceful. It's open and quiet out here on the Observation Deck, the exact opposite of a small room with no windows that smells of spilled Energon and rust. He's not likely to run into many people he knows out here. This should be perfect for Fortress Maximus. He can sit here, watch the stars and read from a data pad borrowed from the library.

So why isn't he at ease yet? The...the something, the rush of heat and anger that flared up against that Decepticon Wasp of all mechs won't go away. It lingers, bubbling under the surface, leaving him on edge. He's doing things that kill stress! Why can't he kill it?

Killing stress, killing boredom, there's many reasons to come to the Observation Deck. Besides, Vortex does like watching the stars. Their chaotic scattering lets him create all sorts of constellations in his head and today he has a marker to scrawl them all over the giant windows. Or, well, he would if there wasn't so giant lunking Autobot in the way. He just about turns on his heel to walk back out and find something else to do, except... That sillouette can't be anyone else but Fortress Maximus.

Vortex's visor flashes before the light within narrows. This could be a lot more fun than drawing crude constellations. His rotors shift as he crosses his arms to cover his Decepticon sigil. Wonder if the big guy would know he is by looks alone. Alright, now he's ready. Visor brightening, he walks in and up next to the big Autobot, sighing. "Its a really nice view, don't you think?" he asks softly, rotors rattling.

Fortress Maximus visibly flinches at the sound of a voice, then straightens out of mild embarassment. So much for being the only one here.

With the Decepticon symbol covered, Max can't tell what side Vortex was on. Maybe he was some neutral. At any rate, it isn't as if he has a right to expect the Observatory to be empty. It belongs to everyone. "It is," he agrees with a low rumble, avoiding optic contact with Vortex as he sets the datapad aside. "I don't know any of the constellations from out here, but it's just pleasant to watch. Humbling, in a good way."

Vortex glances up at Fort Max, rotors scissoring before giving a twirl. This is most definitly him. THE Warden of Wardens. He looks back out into space. "You don't? There's some good ones there. Like that one over there." He gestures vaguely. "Its a constellation of a great warrior from the planet... The planet... Domsdor. He was a great soldier, until he was cut apart. But I suppose there's worst ways to go, right?"

Vortex chuckles before turning to look at Max. "So, I'm Tex. It's nice to meet you, um... What your name?" He looks at the behemoth innocently.

The mind will sometimes see shapes where nature intended none, given a suggestion. So when Vortex points at a random cluster of stars, Max sees the formation of a soldier with torn limbs splayed out and a star where his pierced spark would be. His hands visibly clench in his lap, metal crunching against metal.

The giant does his best to play it off, looking down at 'Tex.' "You serve in the war long enough and you get pretty familiar with bad 'ways to go.' Fortress Maximus." He quietly offers a large hand to shake, a habit picked up from Fritz. "There's stories behind all the constellations, right? Or at least some of them."

Vortex grins, rotors fluttering with his delight as he hears the strain of metal. Hehe, this guy is just too easy. With one arm still around him, he reaches out to gently take the other's servo. "War is the Pit, right? But if there's one thing its taught me, its that it can always get worse, ya know?" He brings his arm back witha thoughtful tilt of his helm. "Nice that we're over that, though. Peace... And, yeah. Lord Primus is probably the only guy who could know 'em all. But my brother is a space shuttle, some of its rubbed off." He shrugs, so glad for his facemask. He's grinning like a sharkticon here.

"So you served, then?" Max nods, still with that reserved expression on his face. He hopes it isn't obvious how difficult this whole 'holding a conversation with strangers' thing still is for him; usually he manages to disguise it with his natural intimidation factor. When you're quiet and big, you're 'stoic.' It's useful.

"Right. Over that." His optics narrow. "We're all friends now and acting like it never happened. I'm sure given another four million years it'll actually feel like that." His mouth quirks at the audible air-quotes around 'Lord.' "Not all that pious, then? To be honest, me neither. I realize how strange that sounds on a quest for the Knights of Cybertron." He can air-quotes too.

Something about having a shuttle as a brother is nagging at him, ringing some bell, but...well, that could be anyone. Shuttles aren't that rare.

Vortex nods oh-so-solemnly. "Yeah. On a team, though I was mostly the Intel department, I could hold my own, ya know? Nice having bots who got your back. If the enemy is about to tear ya apart, you know they'll come and get you. Nice having bots you can trust like that. Found a few more while here on this ship too. Whirl, Riptide, Air Raid- even Rung. That's what's nice about being on this ship, at least, even if it can get a little boring." His rotors whrrr, kicking up a small breeze in the room.

"Er, no... I'm not overly religious. I like to think I'm my own lord and master, right? Ain't no one can convince me my fate ain't my own... But it would be cool to find those Knights." Vortex looks up to 'smile' at the mech, the light in visor seeming to crinkle at the edges. "I like swords." His rotors pause to catch some light on their sharp edges. "Knights are good with those, love to learn more."

And now this guy is starting to get a little unnerving. Fortress Maximus notably avoids the subject of having companions who won't abandon you in your time of need, for three years. He's starting to wonder at how many...points Tex is hitting. But he's name-dropping Autobots. And he's on security. Security doesn't hire people who aren't suited for it.

He should know.

"Rung's one of the most dependable and stable people on this ship. Has his head on straight. And sometimes boring isn't so bad, though I miss combat."

Swords. Intel. A team. Why is this all...Max narrows his eyes at the rotor blades. "So you think they're really out there, then? This isn't just everyone's way of running away from our problems and pretending that makes them go away?"

Vortex pauseses, rotors slowing to a still. "... Yeah. Yeah, he is-does... A good mech, better than I first thought..." He looks at the faint reflextion of Max in the window of the deck, staring at those red optics. "He didn't deserve what happened to him at that station." With a shutter of his visor, he looks away.

"Boring is always bad," the rotary grumbles. Don't get like this, Tex. Positive! Upbeat! His rotors swing back up. "I dunno if they're really out there, don't care either. Its getting there that's fun. Like, doing the mission is fun, the objective is just the prize at the end." Vortex shrugs. "Being on this ship is more than just believing or running away- because some folks are- its about hope." He chuckles quietly. "Trust me on that, I know a thing or two about 'hope.'"

Fortress Maximus sits up, alarmed. "Wait. What happpened to Rung?" Seems he wasn't assigned to that particular mission. Did someone harm Rung? Is it someone Max can hurt?!

"Hope...I suppose that makes sense." He seems to settle back into the seat built for the largest-sized mechs. It's nice of the Lost Light to be accommodating in that respect. "But no, that's about what I expect. This is 'fun.' None of us knows what the Pit to do with ourselves after the war, so let's do this." He narrows his optics. "Though I can't talk. I'm not on Cybertron here, am I?...So what is this about hope, anyway?"

Vortex shoots Fortress Maximus daggers with his glare. Oh, big guy is all outraged now is he? Tch. Vents hissing, he relaxes again. "Dunno exactly," he lies. "Something about a cell." His rotors bob in a shrug and he moves on.

"Heh, guess we gotta change our function now, eh? Dunno what you did for the war or before but you can be anythings now! Like... A locksmith! Open any door you'd like if you set you mind to it. Security is new for me, but I like. Fits like a glove. As for hope..." Vortex mulls that over a bit. "Everyone needs hope. You take that hope away from folks and they break, crumble in your hands. Hopin' to find the Knights or something better out here drives bots. Its good."

Something about a cell. Max tenses again. He'll have to ask later. He notices that glare and returns it with a long, suspicious look.

"...I was a warden." If Tex hasn't read up on G9, no need to elaborate. If he has, well, what the hell is he doing asking? "For now, if we need something shot, destroyed or torn apart on the way to Cyberutopia, that's my job. I don't need to do anything else." The second part is a lie.

He'd like to let it rest there and go back to stargazing or reading about alien lifeforms, but something about that last take hope away from folks and they break. "Intel, you said. During the war. That how you know how to make someone crumble in your hands?" He stares right down at Tex.

"I used to think that too, you'll find more, don't worry." Vortex's rotors perks and then fan out casually. Would you look at that, someone caught onto him. Sliding a foot back, the Combaticon raises his hands and streeeeeeetches out like a cat. "Er- yeah. Well, no. I knew how to do that before the war- I just got better at it because of it. Lots of Prisoners, lots of practice."

Vortex flaps a hand in the air as if to dismiss it all. "Old job, old news!" He looks out the window. "So, Maxey, there any other constellations out here you wanna know bout? I know a good story behind one about a washed up prison guard."

<FS3> Fortress_Maximus rolls Stress: Success. (5 5 4 5 7 3 5 4)

And there it is, the Decepticon badge. Somehow Max can't say he's entirely surprised. Though certainly less reluctant to hold back on the white-hot rage. There's a difference between Waspinator and...this.

He's up on his feet in a moment, glaring down at Vortex with his optics glowing vividly. "So, had too much fun with interrogations in the war then, Tex? Missed breaking Autobots and bored because for some reason they're letting you wander free? In slagging security?!"

Vortex tilts his helm back, looking up and up at Fort Max. But his stance doesn't change. He's frustratingly at ease. He even cocks his helm to the side, visor wide with innocence but tone as petulent as ever. "Oh, had plenty of fun. But I'm fine with not doing that now. Heh. And I'm so glad you're interested in my new job! Security. We can brig folks, sometimes we question them... And I'm fine with waiting until Command finds the right bot. Eventually they're gonna find someone nasty they need answers from. That's when my particular set of skills are going to be wanted. I," and at this he presses a servo to his chassis, sounding absolutely honored, "am going to be needed." He grins, rotors flashing behind him. "Maxey, you're lookin' a bit upset there. Something wrong?"

Keep it together, Max. Don't listen to him. He's a professional, using words the way HE used chainsaws and hooks. You know this.

Fortress Maximus balls his fists and grits his teeth, but seems to be keeping it together for the moment. Even as Vortex brings up being needed. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Rodimus is willing to look the other way when it comes to hiring violent interrogators. We've got slagging war criminals walking free on this ship, so why not? War certainly didn't end with anything resembling justice." He vents, glowering down. "So you read up on Garrus-9. Good for you. What's wrong, jealous Overlord got to me first? Going after a pre-broken, reassembled target? He was very thorough," he hisses, "believe me."

Vortex looks a little stunned by that accusation, pausing to mouth out 'violent interrogator' even though it all hides under a mask. "Maxey, it was just my job. I'm not a war criminal just because I'm in a seperate faction to you." He keeps his tone level, calming even. His rotors flick up and stiffen.

"I... Fortress Maximus, that's terrible." Vortex's shoulders drop, holding his hands together in a gentle manner and visor seeming to bend in concern. He calls this his Rung imitation. "Why would I be jealous of such a thing? Why would you even imply that? I was just telling you I don't do that because I don't need to now, I'm so much happier for it but... That... Monster did awful things, why in the world would I want to repeat any of that- no, it doesn't matter. I think you should sit down, Max. Deep vents, you're working yourself up."

This seems to throw Max off, the way Tex pulls back like that and looks stunned. It reminds him a little too much of Waspinator, cowering at the terrifying bully Fortress Maximus briefly became in his presence. The giant steps back, scowl briefly faltering. Maybe it's the Rung-voice.

"You were taunting me." Wait, that's what he said to Wasp too. Damn. "I am not working myself up..." But he does sit, giving Vortex wary stares.

"Don't condescend to me. You have no idea what it was like. What I'm supposed to forgive and forget and move on from just because everyone else has."

Vortex continues to look confused and concerned. Taunting? Why he never! The rotary steps closer, careful. "I dunno about that... A few months ago, I was tortured. It... I..." He looks down, vents hissing. "There's organics with a lot of pent up hate for us. I was going to be an outlet, I guess... It's probably nothing like what happened to you." He rubs his an arm in shame. "You don't have to forgive and forget those who did that to ya, ya know? But me, others, we didn't do that you. Maybe you can learn to forgive the rest of us?"

<FS3> Fortress_Maximus rolls Stress: Good Success. (8 4 2 5 8 3 8 3)

"You were tortured?" Max looks out toward the glass, at the stars, trying to immerse himself in those because talking about it is-


He can't talk about it, not to Rung, definitely not to this creep even if he does seem sympathetic. In an odd, twisted way. He can't talk about it without hearing the sounds of a chainsaw, of hammers against nails, of that machine's voice. For a few moments Vortex will see Max seem to retreat somewhere else, or maybe slip there, shaking and staring at nothing.

"That's how it works. They use you as an outlet because they don't have the decency to kill you, or just take what they want by force. The battlefield's not enough for them. It's never enough." He looks back at Vortex, apparently having managed to swallow down whatever just passed, because that's how you deal with it. "I can learn to live with you," he says in a low voice. "I have to, don't I?"

Vortex takes advantage of Max zoning out to get in closer to the mech, watching him. Poor, broken Autobot. Little does he know its not about breaking him again. Just about making his life hell whenever this little rotary possibly can. This fragger deserves as much. "Mmm... I suppose you do. Hey, you can start that whole 'learn to live with me' thing by not looking like you're gonna trample me." He bursts out laughing. "That'd be bad for me, worse for you! You'd get thrown in the brig." The Combaticon leans in a little closer. "Wonder how long it'd take for anyone to get you outta there. Another three years? Five? Maybe a few thousand. It'd be fun to watch you rot in a cell."

Vortex stands up straight, beaming at the giant Autobot like he didn't just say that. "I'm glad we were able to talk, Max. You're not as scary as everyone says you are. Wait until I tell Onslaught!"

"I'm aware," Max hisses. He was told, very clearly, what would happen if he were to take his issues out on Decepticons aboard the Lost Light. Save it for the battlefield, and all that. Just keep going to Rung. "Don't worry, Tex, I know how to keep a cap on it. I've had practice." He grabs the datapad rougher than he planned to, apparently intending to shut Vortex out, declare the conversation over and go back to his reading.

Until Vortex name-drops Onslaught and plays into every single paranoid thought Max has had about how people talk about him behind his back. Before he realizes it, he's snapped the datapad neatly in half in his hands.

Vortex's rotors all flutter as he watches the datapad break. He clicks his glossa. "Temper, temper there, Maxey. I sure hope that isn't the library's. The librarian is a friend of mine, I'd hate to see their valuable datapads damaged." The rotary pauses and then turns on his heel, practically skipping towards the doorway. "I really should report to Onslaught now. You know how he is. This was super fun and enlightening though, Maxey! We should hang out more! It'll be a blast!"

Max doesn't answer at first, just staring at the snapped, sparking halves of the datapad. He likes Lieutenant and going to the library and now he's going to have to explain this, and what's he going to say? 'Sorry, someone made me mad so like a perfectly rational person I broke your book?' Blame Vortex like a sparkling? Before he could just walk away from it and pretend it didn't happen. Why didn't he just walk away from the start?

"Stay out of my way," he hisses at Vortex, "you and all your brothers." He stands up and marches off with the book-pieces in one hand, the other shaking.

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