2017-04-06 Paint It (Anything But) Black

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Paint It (Anything But) Black
Date 2017/04/06
Location Lost Light: Recreation - Visages
Participants Mirage, Phantasm, Grotusque, Firestar, Beachcomber, Lieutenant
NPCs Memory
Scene GM Mirage
Summary Face-painting in Mirage's pristine, high-class bar can only spell disaster...and yet there isn't one. Huh.

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).

Mirage has set up a circle of tables in the middle of the room, several different jars of removable paint displayed on one. They come in all different shades and colors (from glow-in-the-dark to glitter paint). The scout stands ready with a brush in hand, an unusual eagerness in his optics as he awaits the first arrivals. This night is one he is excited about hosting! He can only imagine what sorts of creative things the crew will come up with.

In one far corner of the room Mirage has laid out a sheet of plastic and an air gun for those who are looking for a more extreme experience. Those who wish to attempt it can have their whole frame painted in wild colors. A spray brush and 'paintguns' are lined up next to the plastic. A huge sign asks that patrons wait until the paint dries so as not to track it across the Lounge. "Good evening, everyone! I hope you're ready for tonight?" he asks to the first arrival.

One might suspect that Grotusque, with his rather...unusual appearance, might be there to get painted. And he'd like that, but he's actually here to help paint. One can do both, right? Since both sound fun. In fact, he's eyeing that glitter paint right now. "Just got to think up an idea," he says aloud, flipping through images on a datapad 'sketchbook.' "Ya know, it's funny, I thought about setting up to do this sorta thing as a side business on the ship! So maybe this'll be practice. Or scopin' out the competition. Or advertising."

He adds, "totally gonna get my wings painted, though."

Who needs stairs when there's a banister like this? Certainly not Beachcomber, sliding down on his hip to the bottom where he slows to a stop and sits perched there, box and bottle in hand, and offers a cheerful wave. "Hey 'Raj!" The geologist hops the somewhat steep step down from banister to floor, not particularly far for most but bit of a distance for his short legs, and meanders his way towards the host. Sidling up next to his roommate, he offers Mirage the items in his hands. "Brought you a little something if things get a little stressful," he rumbles quietly, giving the bottle a gentle shake, then shifts to offer up the box. "And some agate slices if you'd like them for the bar - they make pretty coasters, add a nice pop of color and such."

Phantasm is already within Visages- and not just because he had to get there early to get help down the stairs. As soon as the notice for this event went up, he contacted Mirage to be an official helper because A: It's facepaint, and he's something of an expert at it, and B: he's using it as a chance to make some credits. He owes a lot in speeding fines- which aren't a good thing as it turns out... So here he stands beside a table, twirling two brushes in his servos as he looks over his little station. Paints, check. Brushes, checkity. Tip jar? Definitely check that. Aaaand... A rack full of his capes for sale. What he does to stay out of debt.

The Velocitronian sighs wistfully, looking over the various meshes and fabrics and styles and collars and- oh, the place is open. He turns and flashes a smile, light reflecting off his golden facepaint and detailing. Violet optics zero in on the garish Grotusque, vents opening wide in a gasp. That pink... He clears his throat. "I've never painted wings, good sir, but I'm up to the challenge if you'd so desire to be a canvas," he offers, still twirling his brushes to coax the... Mech over. "It'll be quick, that's a Velocitronian guarantee!"

Mirage blinks at the sight of Grotesque, staring a little too openly until Beachcomber finally distracts him. "Oh, Beachcomber," he says, glancing down and letting his face relax into an easy smile. "Thank you, thank you. I do anticipate this being a much easier night than usual, but it never hurts to be prepared."

He slips the gifts into subspace before leaning down to talk to his roommate. "Will you be joining us tonight, or were you simply dropping these off? I was rather hoping...."

Firestar is used to stage make-up, so a night of facepainting sounds fun whether she's the artist or the canvas. She's already dressed up to the nines--she is always dressed up to the nines--but it doesn't hurt to see if there's some way she can accentuate her natural style. So as she sidles in and takes a gander at the variety of paints and polishes her optics and flame light up. She needs some of that glitter on her, stat! And it seems that there's already several artists hanging around. Perfect.

"Whooooo wants the pleasure of further perfecting perfection?" she says humbly, and gives a rapid twirl to show off. Nailed it.

"I was gonna hang out a while," he chuckles, a hand running over the back of his neck. "Me and Torque were talking about doing something like this months ago but I never really had the time or enough space to set it up - not really room for drinking and painting in the labs or the mod shop or the washracks, y'know? And it'd get out of control real fast in Swerve's, no offense to the mech. It's nice to see it happening." Whether Torque passed the notion on to Mirage when Beach didn't deliver or he came up with it on his own, he wasn't about to stress over it. It was happening and Raj certainly had the means to do it up nicer and better than the small scientist could.

The stares Grotusque is getting aren't the first and won't be the last. He just flashes a toothy smile at Mirage, pretending to be oblivious, before he realizes Phantasm's addressing him.

He spins around and plods over to Phantasm's table, beaming. "Hey, nice paint job on you, pal! That's the best kind of skill-advertising there is. Name's Grotusque, Monsterb-oh Primus, what are those?!" He interrupts himself to stare at the capes on display. "They're awesome! I have to have one!"

He whistles when Firestar arrives. "Whoa, flame hair! Nice!"

Mirage perks up a little at the mention of Torque. "Speaking of Torque, there's something I've been meaning to tell yo-" he begins to say, but before he can finish Firestar enters in flamboyant fashion. The scout, once more, finds himself distracted. Beachcomber's knowledge of him and Torque is once more spoiled by fate. Motioning the new arrival closer, Mirage holds up a brush.

"I'm more than happy to try if you like. Welcome, welcome."

Phantasm straightens up a little as the garish-colored mech comes over. Oh good, a costumer! He pauses a brush twirling to subtly move his tip jar. He's a bit desperate here. "Thank you! I apply the facepaint daily, its a reflection of-" He scoots back on his wheels, turning a bit to allow Grotusque a better view of them. "Oh, these are some capes I'm selling. All made by my own two hands, each one one of a kind! Let's see..." He goes over to the rack, perusing through the various styles until... "Aha! High and stiff collar, long and heavy fabric- I could easily add in some wing holes... And the white will make your pink just pop! You simply have to tell me the hex code, I've been lovin that color since you walked in!"

Brandishing the cape in one servo, Phantasm waves towards the paint. "I trust your decision in the color you want on your wings? I could do some tradition Velocitronian stage paints!"

Lieutenant would rather not be here, at all. He's not fond of the events Mirage throws personally -except for the book one- but he's had his fill of 'parties' before the war began. However, Memory had been looking forward to it so the avian brought the bitty thing to it. He sits Memory on one of the tables, to play with one of the paints. "Try not to make a mess of things." he cautions, sitting down to keep an optic on him. Memory only smiles as he picks up some of the glow-in-the-dark paint, "Pul-ease, I have an organizational programming in me, I cannot make messes. Just organized ones."

"I know! Thanks!" Firestar slows her twirl to beam at whoever just complimented her. "Right back at--" Oh dear sweet Mistress of Flame what is that!? She gapes openly at the mismatched pile of monster parts that apparently just tried to talk to her. Or maybe the compliment came from the Velocitronian behind it? Either way she is nooooot going over to that side of the room. Not if you paid her a million shanix.

"Ohh wow I see that we've already gotten started!" she says with a forced smile. "I'll leave you to your horror movie make-up or whatever you're doing! Have fun!" And she all but sprints over to the safety of Mirage's station. Scooting in next to Beachcomber she gawks back at the monster she just fled and says a little too loudly for comfort, "Did either of you see that thing? I know you get all sorts on this ship, but wow!"

'Speaking of Torque'? That's quite a cliffhanger, but Beachcomber understands how important it is for Raj to be a good host. He could wait out the customer, but with this sort of theme... it might be a while. Well, he's sure he'll come find him when he's free, as long as he stays close. "I can see you're busy, Raj, so I'll just poke around a bit. Check in with you in a bit?"

Hmm... what to do in the meantime though... Oho~ who's this now? Beachcomber scoots his way over to Lieutenant's table with a grin for the avian and his little ride-along. "Hey mechs~ How's it hangin'?"

Grotusque is complimented for his appearance.

Sure, it's his paint job, which is easily the part of his frame he dislikes the least. (He actually picked it out, for one.) But still! This doesn't happen very often. He gets people who are nice about it, like Fantoccini, but he's a strategist and analyzing behavior is part of his job. He's pretty sure he knows the difference. He looks genuinely astonished for a moment before breaking out in a big, fang-toothed grin, puffing out his chestplate just a bit. "Why, it's an ff33cc, my fashionable friend! And the cape is great, I love the cape. Anything that can make me look, ya know, a little less...?" He hand-gestures instead of elaborating. "As for the design, I was thinking maaybe somethin' with stars? Glow in the dark, kind of a space pattern--"

And Firestar reacts in a much more realistic manner. For a second Grotusque's expression drops; then he laughs it off, though it sounds a little harsh. "And the universe aligns itself again," he mutters.

Mirage is taken by surprise at Firestar's comment. While he will admit he stared for a moment, he is not going to go so far as to badmouth a customer just standing feet away. The scout puts on his most polite smile. "Yes, I suppose our ship is quite varied. Only in the best way, of course," he answers. Beachcomber, meanwhile, has made his escape from the awkward moment. He watches the minibot leave with a slightly disappointed frown. "Of course, Beachcomber. We'll have to finish our conversation later."

Putting that all aside, though, Mirage is here to perform a duty. He leans into Firestar's field of view and gestures to the paints on the table. "Did you have something particular in mind, or were you wanting a bit more artistic freedom?" he asks.

"Beachcomber." Lieutenant greets, taking his optics away from Memory for a moment. A moment in which Memory shoves his whole hand into the paint, getting his arm covered in it. The avian only looks back just in time to watch the drone do the same thing to his other arm. The dismay on the librarian's face as Memory turns to the two mechs shakes his fists. "I'm on fire!" He declares with glee, then waving at Beachcomber, "Hi there, I'm Memory!"

<FS3> Phantasm rolls Fashionista: Good Success. (8 2 6 4 1 4 7 6)

<FS3> Phantasm rolls Showboating: Good Success. (3 5 8 1 1 5 6 4 7 7)

Phantasm cants his helm to the side, quietly making note of the hexcode but otherwise looks rather perplexed. "A little less...? What, exactly?" He glances towards Firestar and his optics narrow. Mmmhmmmm. "My mech, never do anything to make yourself less... Yourself! You're simply eye-catching. No GIMMICKS-" Phantasm raises his voice enough for perhaps some firestarter to hear- "required. Now, sit, sit. And let's see what I can do for your wings. Also, this cape is about two-fifty but worth the expense, promise."

Setting the cape down, Phantasm makes a show of twirling his brushes through the air to make a show of everything. He quickly swipes necessary paints. "Stars, and space- just hold still now and we'll be done in a flash. I'm Phantasm, by the way. What may I call you, sir?"

"Yeah, in the best way, of course," Firestar corrects quickly, but she can't stop herself from swivelling in her seat every ten seconds to take another look. At least she'll have to sit still while she's being painted. "It's just, you know, we don't get much of that kind of thing on Caminus. I've not had the pleasure to um, meet many mechs like that. Not since I was working at the carnival..." Aaand even Firestar has enough self-awareness to realize she probably shouldn't say things like that, and promptly dives away from the topic.

"Oh yes, wow, you certainly have quite the selection!" she says quickly, her self-awareness evaporating as she gets handsy with Mirage's collection and starts picking things up to get a closer look. One day she'll learn to ask first. One day. "Well I must say that you are a mech with impeccable taste so I'm sure you'll do a fabulous job. Just know that I like bold, and I like shiny. Glitter or metallics are my favourites." And she places a few of her choice colours in front of Mirage for his consideration. "Go with whatever kind of design strikes your fancy. Just make me sparkle." And her cosmetic flame crackles in agreement.

Beachcomber is more than happy to finish their conversation, but he figured with Raj being so... protective of his personal life, once the customer was involved then chatty-time was over. Besides, with Mirage doing paints, someone should probably wander around and remind them that booze was a thing, right? "Well hey there, Memory, it's nice to meet you." Beachcomber chuckles at the arm-dipped tiny bot on the table. "Trying for a gradient there? Very bold~ I bet that's a look that'll catch on." He offers a wink of his visor before turning his attention to Lieutenant. "Would you like something from the bar, Lieu? Raj is a little preoccupied at the second but I can take orders."

Mirage tilts his head. She wants flashy, does she? He prefers a more understated, refined style, but he is sure he can manage. Leaning down, the scout snags one of the glitter paints that Firestar has selected. If nothing else, the shine will prove an interesting mix with her choice of headgear. The scout dips the paintbrush in the bottle and begins to stir. He smiles a little at her compliment regarding his tastes. "Oh yes, I'm sure that I will find something suitable. I'll just need you to hold still for a moment while I'm working, alright?"

The scout pulls the brush from the container, leaning towards the other mecha's faceplates. His optics lock on her flaming helm. He will have to make sure to keep the brush away from that, though...

"Two-fifty it is." Not that Grotusque should be spending credits so liberally when he still has a tab to pay at Swerve's, but he's not at Swerve's now, is he? And he's still a bit used to having the income he did during his merc days. Say what one will about Repugnus, and there's a lot to say, but boy could the guy negotiate a fee.

He settles and stills himself with his back turned to Phantasm, wings spread out flat. "Simply myself. Eh, I dunno if that's a compliment when it comes to me," he says with a chuckle. "But thanks! You can call me Grotusque. I was gonna do some painting myself later, but right now I think I need some stars on my wings." Thankfully, keeping them still isn't hard, though he has to flex his fingers to stifle a fidget. "Mind the Autobrands, if ya could. Not that I care too much personally, but I already went through one lecture over improper Autobrand maintenance." He shudders. "Most boring six hours of my life."

"You think?" Now the small thing is prideful as he runs over to grab some paint brushes to paint himself even more. Memory can do as he pleases, but Lieutenant is not impressed with the 'fire.' He's not going to rain on the drone's parade over it though. It really would be unnecessary to do so. "Thank you, Beachcomber, but I try not to drink." He's not showing to this many that he's a lightweight. "How are you and Mirage doing these days, I hardly see you about."

Phantasm's optics brighten. He's... Actually going to buy it? Oh, excellent! That's one speeding ticket paid for! He gets to work painting Grotusque's wing, taking his time to make sure colors blended properly. 'Time' here being relative as a Velocitronian taking his time is significantly faster than your average mech. Plus, he's ambidextrous and using both hands really speeds things up. A gradient from a dark blue to a dusky, distant nebulos pink begin to grace Grotusque's wings. "Six hours? For a lecture? How you Cybertronians managed to find time to have a war continue to perplex me." He's teasing, of course. Because that was was very serious, as he's come to find out... "I could not sit still for that long if I tried. I can hardly stand the elevator!" Its funny but he's very serious. The elevator is scary.

Beachcomber waggles a hand in a so-so gesture. "Ehhh I try to give Raj his space. Torque's been at our place more often and - frankly - it's pretty clear she's not there to see me, you know?" A quiet chortle, fingers rubbing awkwardly against the edge of the table. Feel a little left out, left behind, forgotten? Him? Neverrr... "I guess I spend most of my time in the lab these days, there's always something to keep me busy y'know? Just. Staying out of the way." He brushes some imaginary crumbs off the table before abruptly changing the subject. "It's nice to see you making new friends. He's a cute lil' guy."

Unfortunately Firestar doesn't have Mirage's sense of subtlety and elegance. She's here to go big or go home. So the colours she's set in front of Mirage are all sparkly golds and silvers, pearly whites, and jet blacks. No room for anything less than the extreme, though she's sure he'll add some complementary colours to tone down her stark choices. She trusts his taste enough, even though they're both very different.

To her credit she does make an effort to sit still, but it immediately breaks when she sees his optics flick up to her flame.

"Haha, don't worry about the do, love!" she chuckles, and reaches up to pass her hand through it. "It's not real, see? That way it won't catch, or burn anything, or--oh right. Sitting still." And at last she stops fidgeting and casting glances back at Grotusque (missing any comments sent her way) and lets Mirage work.

"You haven't met Ultra Magnus, I see." Grotusque says that name with the weight of doom upon it. "Autobots suuuure love their rules 'n regulations. You'd think we could ease up now that the whole war's over, but nooo. -Hmm. 'You Cybertronians.'" Interesting. He goes over his mental notes about the various colonies. "Lemme guess, Velocitronian? The colony that never sleeps! Or stops. Bet everything's on slow-mo for you here, especially with us clunky guys. But! As far as time goes, I think you got it backwards." He clears his throat. "My theory-and bear in mind, I was made during the war for the war, so it's all me talking out my aft. But my theory is we keep up all this war because we got too much time on our hands. Had to fill it with something. You guys race. We commit violence!" He snorts. "Different kinds o' fun, I guess."

Mirage finally gains the confidence to start. Leaning in, he poses the brush just below her optic. He does not get far, however, before Firestar starts to twitch. The scout takes a deep breath as it leaves a streak of sparkly gold across her faceplates. He has to remind himself that the paint is easily removable and this is just a bit of fun. Despite himself, the scout leans down to pick up a cloth from the table. He tries to dab off the smeared paint before it dries.

"It is?" he asks, optics lighting up with curiousity. "I've never seen anyone employ holograms in such a manner. Fascinating. I do a bit of holographic art on the side, you know. Now I'll just need you to hold still a moment longer..."

"That makes two of us." Lieutenant replies under a vent, before rapidly correcting himself, "Not that she visits me to see Mirage she just... she is busy between the Body Shop and Medical work so unless I got to see her at work, she is more evasive than I." And that might be saying something. "If she has time it is for her... what would you refer to him as? Mate? Partner? Something..." he shakes his head, he'll come up with the proper word later. Seems about right that she'd be with the spy most of the time any way. The avian doesn't bother bringing it up unless she does.

Lieutenant keeps Memory in since through his peripheral vision. "He is, is he not? Memory is a month old today, so he felt it absolutely necessary to come here to sort of celebrate that."

Mates? Sure they were getting... uh... intimate but he didn't think they were that far...

...oh. Maybe that's what Raj was wanting to talk about...

Forcefully shaking the matter from his head, Beachcomber offers the tiny a grin. "Well hey- happy activation day to you~ Here, I think I got a present for you." A moment of rummaging through his subspace pockets and the geologist pulls out a green crystal. It's small, carved into a star with rounded edges for avoiding cuts, good for running fingers over or fidgeting with. He starts to put it in Memory's hands, but seeing the paint still wet he puts it into Lieu's instead. "Here's to many more months ahead."

Phantasm murmurs something about 'ridiculous rules about speed limits' under his breath in quiet agreement about Autobots loving their rules and regulations. A smile graces his painted lips and he nods. "Velocitron- specifically from the velocity Delta! It, well... It's taken some getting used to, trying to slow down." His first few weeks aboard were absolute torture. He trades his brushes for smaller, clean ones, getting started on those stars.

"I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree there, my friend. Violence is hardly fun." Phantasm can just imagine if that little blue pipsqueak heard him politely agree about the war being about too much free time. The horror. "Alright, nearly done! Just needs the protective coating. I'm going to ask you to seal your vents in the back here."

Firestar wants to reply to Mirage, she really does, but she's trying to make good on her promise to keep still. Promises are so annoying, but she'll manage one of them one of these days! May as well be this one. You know, baby steps.

Besides, she's not sure she can talk without waving her hands, and she doesn't want to accidentally slap a wet brush out of his hand or send a paint jar sailing. Somehow she doesn't think he'll be as keen to work on her if that happens. So she behaves, at least until his work is done.

<FS3> Mirage rolls Mind+mind: Success. (8 5 4 2 3 1)

Mirage can see that his guest is feeling a little impatient. He offers up an apologetic smile, deciding he will have to make this quick. He would prefer to take his time and make sure that everything is done perfectly, but better that Firestar have a good time. The scout dips his brush in the paint again and gets to work. He's well-used to painting the Adaptusian symbols on his own frame, and so that lends a steadiness to his hand he would not otherwise have.

To be honest, though, Mirage is better at holographic art than painting. When he finally pulls away he's created the passable image on a phoenix in flight on the other mecha's faceplates. No one could call it a masterpiece, though. Even Mirage seems to recognize it. His optics dart away as he finally pulls back. Mirage nods to a mirror on the table. "If you'd like to take a look?"

Eh, don't knock it til ya try it." Grotusque doesn't seem to be the one to argue, though. "We all got our own kinds o' fun. Oh, right, right." There's a slight hiss as he locks his venting in the back, which feels a little suffocating but sounds better than getting sealant in his vents.

He's had...stuff caught in his internals before. Not the most pleasant experience.

"So you're on a Cybertronian ship, and not on that nice pretty speedy city. What brings ya here? Me? I'm trying to-" Not deal with the consequences of some of the stuff he and the other Monsterbots got up to during the war. "think of it like an extended vacation! With the occasional harrowing danger. The best kind of vacation."

Memory is trying to paint on his legs. Nothing in particular but the yellow looks nice and he wanted it on him. "Thanks!" he replies. When Beach pulls out the crystal he tilts his head, "What is that? It kind of has the same color as my optics. Is it candy?" Lieutenant carefully takes it into his hands. "Thank you, Beachcomber. He is still learning so give him time to pick up on these things. He has not yet seen a rock before, or a crystal for that matter."

While Lieutenant puts that in his subspace he glance over at the rest. He's not on familiar terms with much of anyone in that group except Mirage. So he gives the mech a silent twitch of his audio fins in greetings and a thumbs up for his artistic skills.

"I'd love to," Firestar says, words polite but hands already impatiently grabbing for the mirror. She practically melts when she sees her own reflection though. "Oh it's wonderful! You have a gift my friend! A gift!" Any imperfections that Mirage can see are lost on Firestar, who is beside herself with delight. "Oh I have to see your holographic art sometime! This kind of thing," she gestures to her flame, "is just a bit of flare! You are an artiste. Ohh, do you have a camera? I need to take a picture before it rubs off!" She's surprisingly careful with the paint, for once not getting her hands all over it and making sure not to lean on or brush anything. There's no telling how long this will last though, so a picture sooner than later would be best.

Setting the brushes down once he's connected constellations and made stars, he picks up a can of sealant and gets to work spraying an even coat. He sprinkles in some glitter so it dries with some sparkles. "Thank you. Now hold still a moment longer so it can all dry." Phantasm 'dusts' off his servos, grabbing the large white cape and pulling out a little tool before eyeing where the slits for Grotusque's wings ought to be. "I'm here for scientific pursuits. Velocitron may be the colony that never sleeps but some of our advances have been... Stifled with racing. I was always a performer rather than racer though, so it just made sense to join the Lost Light to pursue the answers I've been researching for so long!"

Phantasm reaches out, testing the paint of Grotusque's wings. That ought to do it. "Let me help you get your purchase on then. There's magnets around the collar to help it stay in place. I'm just going to slide it over your wings and then you can take a look at the finished product! You're going to look even more fabulous than before."

"Nah, nah, not candy," Beachcomber clarifies with a chuckle. "It's a kind of crystal called Tourmaline. Crystals are a special kind of mineral composit that usually grow in the ground on different planets - but not always! Different crystals need different things to grow, and you never know where you might find one. For example-" Looks like it's science time as he tugs a tiny chunk of diamond and a hand-sized piece of carbon out of his subspace to show the little bot on the table. "These two things are actually made of the same things. This crumbly black one here is carbon, and when carbon is put in a place with a lot of heat and a lot of pressure, that pressure squeeeeeeeezes it all together and compacts it down, and the heat cooks it up and smooths it out until it turns shiny like this. These are usually made under the surface of a planet where there's plenty of pressure from the gravity to crush all that carbon together, but because we know how it happens, we can replicate that environment in a lab and grow our own - and we can do that with lots of crystals, assuming they're non-volatile." He pauses, tucking the chunk of black rock away and offering the diamond for the bitty to get a closer look at if he'd like to. "Does that make sense?"

Mirage's straying gaze finally locks on Lieutenant's, and for a moment they have a silent conversation. The scout's golden optics brighten and he nods back to the other. Firestar's excitement is enough to give the scout a start, however. He leaps back when she shouts enthusiastically, turning to her with a slightly dazed expression. It takes him a moment to realize that she does indeed like it! His smile becomes wider. "Oh, it only seemed fitting," he explains. "I'm glad you enjoy it, and you're always welcome to see my holograms, too. There are usually a few on display somewhere or other. But let me find you a camera first. I'm sure there's one around."

Mirage turns back to the rest of the group with a nod. "I'll be gone for a moment, everyone! Feel free to continue to enjoy yourselves, but don't get too messy," he teases.

"You don't gotta flatter a guy to sell me stuff, Phancy-can I call ya that?-buuut I mean, I ain't gonna say no to flattery." Especially when it comes to Grotusque's appearance. He moves as soon as he's able and swooshes the cape around, looking it over and grinning. "Not bad, not bad. Kinda suprised you speedsters can wear these things without them gettin' caught in things, but I like it on me." He flicks his wings, getting used to the feeling of paint on them, as they're usually gunmetal grey.

"Sooo! Now that I'm lookin' nice, who wants to challenge the artistic skills of ol' Monsterbot Grotusque?"

Memory sets down the paints to listen more intently to Beachcomber, almost as if he were in a trance. Picking up a datapad and actually reading is hard and if he were to read this, he would be bored within a minute. As Beach explains how crystals are made, the drone inches to the edge of the table to get a closer look at both rocks. "Woooow. That's so hot! Literally and figuratively!" He grins, mindful not to touch. Paint is still wet after all. "So they come in different colors too? Is that based on their environment or are the colors added?"

While Memory is busy chatting with Beachcomber, not making a mess, Lieutenant gets up to look at the set of fabrics. Perhaps something for more quilts? A side glance at Grotusque, has him realize they're capes. He has no use for them but perhaps he could cut them up should he find a pattern he likes.

<FS3> Firestar rolls Bravery: Success. (1 4 7 2 3)

Firestar spins in her seat while she waits for Mirage to return, and then startles as she remembers there's that freaky monster guy still in the room. She was so distracted getting painted up that she forgot! Still, she's in a better mood now and he looks less threatening all done up in white and stars, so she decides to chance a bit of friendliness. She is the gracious and humble Firestar, after all!

"Hey cape guy!" she calls, which is a better nickname than the first seven which ran through her processor. "Looking good! Love the stars!"

Beachcomber grins at his little student, always glad when he gets to teach the basics of geology. "Well, that can vary. Depending on the kind of materials you're using, changing the heat or introducing a secondary mineral can effect the color. Nitrogen can cause a white diamond to become yellow or brown, or not enough heat and pressure can make the structure of the crystal flawed and make all sorts of colors happen. It's veeery very hard to make a perfectly clear diamond in its natural setting, but much easier in a lab where contaminants and growing conditions can be controlled."

Wait, did Lieutenant leave? Ohh nooo no no don't leave him alone he's not fit to babysit he was just rambling about rocks- Erk- Don't give him this sort of responsibility without any warning, mech-!

Phantasm smiles, happy to see Grotusque so satisfied. "Oh, sure! Most call me Phanta but that's fine too." He sets his hands on his hips with a chuckle. "Capes save lives and the secret to running with them is to just be faster than them." Heh... Oh, look someone else is coming over- ah, the librarian. He gesturs towards his cape rack. "Interested in buying a few?" he asks Lieutenant hopefully. There's enough here for everyone and then some. Sequence capes, fluffy capes- you name it. Please come buy them, he'll beg. He's not above it.

Mirage returns with a datapad not log afterwards. It is nothing overly fancy, but he should be able to use it to snap a few pictures in a pinch. The scout returns to find the scene relatively calm (with no sign of a huge mess). That only serves to increase his good humor. He moves towards Firestar with a bright grin. "The item you request- Oh! If you will excuse me a moment, I have an idea. You can use it afterwards, of course," he adds, nodding apologetically.

And then he raises his voice for the whole room to hear. "Would everyone like to gather for a group photo? I will forwards it to you afterwards, of course. We might as well capture these works of art for forever." Works of art may be a bit much, but this is Mirage.

Grotusque rolls Dad Jokes: Great Success. (3 8 1 4 3 6 7 1 1 8 7 2 3)

"...Capes save lives, huh." Grotusque looks over the corner of his thoughtfully, going over all the strategic ways one could use a cape in battle. Distraction? Evasion? On the other hand, there are about ten thousand ways a cape could get caught in something, catch fire, or otherwise hinder a fight.

But it looks cool, and it's his now. Greed is the best motivation, because it's easy to understand. Want stuff, get stuff.

He scooches up next to Firestar for the photo. Yes, he remembers what you said earlier. "Glad you like the, uh, additions to my appearance that others put on. Very sneaky way to avoid a compliment. I like it." He turns to Mirage and winks. "Goin' for the Photo Finish, eh?

Rocks are really fascinating! Who knew! Memory grins at the thought of how colorful all these minerals could be. "Any rainbow-like one?" he asks, before realizing himself that Lieutenant has left. "Hey!"

Oops, drone-child with a not-completely stranger. Right. "I-- er, pardon." Lieutenant apologizes to Phantasm, going right back to where Beach and Memory are. "Apologies." He picks up Memory, to cradle him in his arms, mess and all. He is not participating in the picture, thank you very much. Memory feels nothing about it he just thrusts a finger at the avian's face. "Don't you go wandering off on me like that!"

Firestar winces. She was being friendly with the monsterbot, but she doesn't want to exactly scoot in close to get a picture! Still, as long as there's at least one person between them it might be okay. She'll just have to be careful.

"Of course," she says, though with slightly less enthusiasm than usual. It's half because she doesn't want to stand next to the monster, and half because she hasn't picked out a dazzling cape yet to match her phoenix. Oh well, later, later. For now she moves toward the rest of the crowd and sets herself--for once--on the edge of the picture instead of in the dead center. She's less than thrilled when Grotusque decides he wants to stand next to her anyway, and her flame dwindles to a low flicker. "Good enough?" she asks Mirage, impatient to move away again.

And disappointment. No, come back, pay him credits in return for goods or services. Phantasm vents but perks up at the mention of a picture. He's got facepaint on and he always looks good in a photo finish! He'll get back to cape selling right after this. The Velocitronian zips ove to pose for the picture, pearly smile already wide and bright on his face. "Excellent idea, Mirage!" Group picture- genius!

Mirage steps back until he finds the right angle, peeking around the datapad at the group. It looks like everyone has gotten in place! The scout gives them all a thumbs up. "Snapping a picture in three, two, one..." he announces. There is a quiet click and the whole painful process is over. The scout chuckles quietly to himself. It's been a while since one of his activity nights went this smoothly!

"You're all welcome to stay, of course. There's still plenty of paint and plenty to drink."

Phew. Not responsible for a small being. Not responsible. Also, not painted for the group picture. Hm. Well... he'll just mosey on over to the capes and things while that's happening. Should he get a cape? He'd look like he was wearing a blanket everywhere. That could be pretty hilarious. Not lab-safe attire obviously, but...

Grotusque was, of course, making a silly face in the photo. From there he drifts away from Firestar; he's had his fun unnerving her in revenge for her earlier comments, but he knows when he's not wanted. "Drink! I heard drink. Don't worry, folks, I can drink and paint. Do it all the time." Though results may vary.

Firestar moves quickly to the bar as soon as the picture is taken. She just needs a moment to take some deep breaths, and maybe a good strong drink to settle the nerves. Not that she's scared of the monsterbot or anything! She's brave and confident always! Always...

Besides, after a few drinks she'll probably have talked herself into buying the sparkly gold cape that keeps catching her eye, and she really, really wants to be talked into it. Between the drinks and the cape her wallet is going to be crying after tonight, but all in the name of fun, right?

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