2017-04-15 Rhythm of the Night

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2017-04-15 Rhythm of the Night
Date 2017/04/13
Location Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's
Participants Quicksight, Inferno, Red Alert, Fortress Maximus, Astrotrain, Pipes, Riptide, Skystalker, Sterling, Waspinator, Fritz, Brigade, Lieutenant
NPCs Memory
Summary It's another karaoke night at Swerve's! A night filled with romance, drunk bugs, and space unicorns.

Often referred to as the heart of the ship (by Swerve), the bar is rarely empty, rarely quiet. Central to the whole is the bar itself: just tall enough for a minibot to serve over the edge and lined with stools capable of accommodating bots of any height. Large, clear vessels stand behind the bar, containing the brews of the day. Behind the bar, an engex distillery assures there's always something new.

Round tables are scattered across the floor. Seats fold up from the floor beneath. Large booths along the sides of the room have room for a half-dozen or more, if they don't mind getting cozy, while monitors here and there find occasional use showing old vids.

A sign outside the door says:

                        No Guns, No Swords, No Bombs                         

Underneath is written: I MEAN IT!! LOCK YOUR WEAPON SYSTEMS DOWN AND DUMP EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE BIN BY THE DOOR. It is signed with a little frowning Swerve face.

On the other side of the door is a SHAME LIST. No, really, that's what it says. It has the number of days that various people are banned from Swerve's and counts down at the start of the morning shift.

Swerve's is typically the more rowdy of the two bars on board, and for good reason. There's always something to get people drinking, whether on purpose or not; tonight a portion of the place has found its furniture shoved around to make room for a raised block for the karaoke machine, and a makeshift dance floor for anyone feeling too wiggly to sit still during the evening.

There's someone still setting up the machine 'onstage' but it looks as if the bot intends to be first in a line of people who are about to be judged by a drunken group of their peers. There are a couple of specials on engex cocktails, and some of the regulars manage to smush themselves as far back in the bar as possible to save themselves from ...everything, actually.

Skystalker is a little early, if not right on time, setting off the glittery lights of the door with a passive smile as he heads straight for the bar.

Pipes is already at the bar, having shown up unfashionably early, with an Old Forged already in hand and half drained. His choice drink isn't among the specials, likely because they know Pipes would order it regardless. In between straw sips, he observes the setup of the karaoke machine, legs swinging happily from his perch on a stool. He mulls over song choices in his mind, but could just as easily not sing at all; he's just happy to be here. Especially after Shivah!

And some mechs perfer it being rowdy. Mirage can keep his snooty lounge and its snooty mixed drinks, Astrotrain would rather get crash at this dive joint. And some times the crash is literaly. Go ahead, as Swerve how many times he's had to replace a chair or table because the big guy passed out on top of it.

That said the big guy isn't one of the ones hiding. Oh no, he wants a front row seat for the show so he can mock whoever's on stage while getting drunk off his afterburners. He is going to enjoy this.

Riptide is one of the regulars tonight, having been completely unaware that they were hosting karaoke tonight. While sitting more near the sides of the makeshift stage, the aquabot is already on his second drink, nursing something that starts pink at the top and strengthens to a more orange-red at the bottom. Fancy umbrella is included, naturally. He's excited the local talent, be they good or bad, but there's also the urge to join lingering on the edges of his mind. He's not exactly bad at singing, but.. he never had much confidence in it outside idle tunes while alone.

Hanging a glance to the door, curious to see who's joining the event, he visibly perks upon seeing Skystalker enter, offering a light wave in greeting.

Brigade has been here for quite some time, but not to drink himself into a pit (for once). The tank is sitting in a booth off in the corner, surrounded by datapads. Sometimes he liked studying his battle reports in a quiet place like the library, but the more painful ones to read went down easier with a drink close at hand. He does not mind the noise. If anything, the tank seems to be more caught up in his little bubble than ever.

Brigade suddenly slams a fist on the table, sending his stack clattering across the table. "That move was idiotic," he grumbles to himself. He knows snapping at an ancient battle report won't change the outcome of a battle that happened a million years ago, but he can't help getting a little involved. All the people entering for the event, though, finally snaps himself into the moment. He gives a quiet rumble. "Is something going on?" he asks no one in particular.

Red Alert can't believe he's talked himself into this.

There are so many factors that should instantly disqualify this kind of outing. The crowds, the noise, the drinking,'s Swerve's. Red Alert would normally never set foot in this place, except...

Well it's been so long since he and Inferno have seen each other! A full two months have eclipsed since their last get-together, and Red Alert is experiencing an emotion he's not used to and frankly doesn't trust: loneliness. It hasn't helped that he's taken to locking himself in his room whenever they visit a less-than-savoury colony, making their already infrequent glimpses of each other in the halls disappear entirely. He'd go to a Dinobot wrestling match if it meant getting to spend some time with Inferno at this point. And karaoke had seemed like such a good excuse to see each other at the time...

But now as he lingers in the doorway, gazing dubiously at the mechs already gathering, he's not so sure.

The doorway blasts a burst of blue, white and red, and Fortress Maximus grumbles at the display. "Every 'time,'" he scowls, though he doesn't scowl for long. In fact, he's...actually kind of smiling as he enters? It's a subtle smile, but it's there. Once he's done complaining about the door. Is it entirely possible the usually-surly Fort Max is at Swerve's to have a 'good time' for once?

"It's fine," he tells Red Alert as if reading the nervous mech's expressions. "Most of the time half the patrons here are too drunk to even recognize someone. And if anyone gives you trouble, just nudge one of us," by which he means himself or Inferno, who may be less inclined to intimidate but is at least pretty big. He's directing that at the person who came with him, too.

Waspinator was already halfway drunk when the setup for Karaoke night began, meaning he is completely wasted now. The bug hadn't even known karaoke was going to happen. Surrounded by empty glasses of engex, the bug has his face lying on the table as he stares blankly at the half full glass in his hand. He had a bad day- made clear pretty quick why by his hurried patch job, mostly consisting of duct tape, to a cut on his leg- and decided to try and forget about it by getting drunk... very drunk. Its probably a wonder he hasn't passed out or died of engex poisoning yet with how much is clearly in his system. He doesn't even seem to be aware of the bar quickly filling- something that would have had him scurrying off to a corner any other day.

Skystalker is the opposite of Astrotrain in many things-- this included. He passes the larger spacer a smile for his sitting up front, lifting his head as Riptide waves, wings tipping upwards as he waits at the bar for his drink. Once it comes back to him, Skystalker is heading on over towards the sharktoothed Autobot, a brimming smile on his features. "Did you come to watch? Or are you having your personal time edged in on?" There is a not very subtle glance towards Brigade and Waspinator, who he's noted in turn.

Inferno, who has arrived as if summoned by Fortress Maximus' very patriotic display. "Heya, Red, Max." He gives Red Alert a fond smile, resisting the urge to brush a hand against the smaller mech's. It sure has been a while, and he's missed Red - a lot. The desire to hug him or hold his hand is strong, yet he holds it back. Red Alert isn't comfortable being touchy in private yet; there's no way he'd accept it in public. "What Max said. If anyone gives ya a hard time, we'll talk 'em off. So just relax, ye'll be alright." He carefully avoids looking in Swerve's direction as he says it.

Yes, this time, he will definitely talk any bullies down, and not lash out like That Time.

Luckily for the three, at least, they won't have to worry about being the center of much attention, as a small creamsicle - who is straight up standing on the table as he waves all four arms at them - has found and squatted on a booth tucked away from the main area and bar. "Max! Over here!" he calls as loudly as he can, which....isn't very loud. He's small, okay? So Fritz can only hope Max and his two paint-scheme-buddies will notice his frantic waving, before he overbalances himself and faceplants onto the floor. Which is a high possibility.

Astrotrain gives Skystalker a nod in return, then chugs down the rest of his current drink from his big mug made from the head of one of the Velocitron enforcer drones from the labor town. Followed by casting a glance in Brigade's direction, and then Waspinators. And a small amused snort escapes the big mech before turning back to the bar to order a refill. "And mechs worry about me going too far in one night."

Pipes spies the umbrella in Riptide's drink. Maybe he should get one of those next. Or maybe they can just add one to his usual. Either way, beverage decoration is in order, but first, he hops down from his stool and, drink in hand, moves to the dance floor to assess its sturdiness and traction. Just in case. He waves to newcomers as they arrive, and calls over to Brigade, "Karaoke night! You in?"

"Thank you, Fortress Maximus," Red Alert nods to the larger bot. Apparently they haven't gotten to the nickname stage yet. Though whether Red Alert has a nickname stage remains to be seen. "I think I see trouble already--ah, not that kind of trouble," he says quickly, remembering Inferno's tendency to throw himself headfirst into danger. "I think that's my roommate passed out at the bar though, and I should go and make sure he's not dead. Please be seated without me." Despite his formal tone he reaches out to pat Inferno on the forearm as he passes by--practically a reckless display of PDA on his part. But hopefully no one's looking.

And then he moves to the bar to see how much of the bug he can scrape off of it. Quicksight isn't much of a singing enthusiast. That was one time, and he was already pretty drunk then, not to mention sick. Not that he minds being at the center of attention, but he's never really thought of himself as a particularly good singer. No, he's here mostly for the drinks, and possibly for other people singing. Definitely for atleast one person singing, ofcourse. How could he miss Skystalker?

He arives a little later than his roommate, ducking quickly through the doorway and making straight for the bar, slowing down only to give Sky an aknowledging wave - just let him get a drink. Astrotrain is also not missed - that would be a rather difficult task. Hopping up onto a stool to be able to get the attention of the bartender long enough to place an order, the scout glances over at the tripplechanger, and his mug "Ya still got that thing?"

Riptide sits up a little straighter in his seat when Skystalker comes to join him, flashing that sharky smile and breathing a slight chuckle. "Heh, little of both? Forgot they were having it today, but hey, should be entertaining. I uh.. I'd go up, but I dunno if I'd be any good.." His smile becomes bashful, glancing away for a second while he rubs the back of his neck. "You gonna sing..? You should, you're really good." That part is said with more sincerity, a warm look sent back to the spacer.

Finally more folks begin to pour in, Riptide looking over while taking a drink. ..Which he almost chokes on when he sees Fortress Maximus enter. "Oh Primus.. Oh Primus, Fort Max is heeere." He knew he was on board, but the boat mech was always sort of.. in the background whenever he saw him. And it's clear why with the way his optics light up, almost sparkling as he stares with a gleefuly dumb grin on his face.

Brigade may have been talking to no one in particular, but the nice thing about a bar like Swerve's is that everything is everyone's business. Soon enough, a voice calls out in answer. The tank has a difficult time locating just who in the mess of mecha. Squinting his crimson optics, he scans the crowd for some sign. Soon enough he gives up on the search with a shrug. There's always one tried and true method if you can't see who you're talking to. "DAMN, MECH, DO I LOOK LIKE I GIVE SERENADES," he shouts.

"Damn right I do," Astrotrain replies to the scout with a smirk as he turns and leans back against the bar again. "Only mug on the ship big enough for me that doesn't require using one of the filthy Dinobot cups. Who wants dino cooties?"

"MAYBE. YOU SHOULD TRY." Pipes shouts back at Brigade, peering over passing mechs on tiptoes to be better seen and/or heard. He shrugs, and having both finished his drink and confirmed the quality of the dance floor, he returns to the bar, where he comes upon a pair of Decepticons, one in a clearly pleasant mood, the other ... usually not. "Gentlemechs," he greets Astrotrain and Quicksight with a nod. "Are you up for a sing tonight?" He eyes Quicksight especially, brow raised eeeeever so slightly.

Fortress Maximus has to stifle a laugh when Fritz stands on the table to signal them. Thankfully, orange stands out even if the mech's voice isn't all that loud. "Be right-oh! Oh, right, of course." He steps aside, letting Red Alert go check on Waspinator. As he does, staring a little, he whispers to himself, "his roommate is Waspinator?"

He settles himself in the booth and orders a tall drink of something that looks a little strong. He may be a bit nervous. He must be in a good mood, because he doesn't even glare at Astrotrain, Famed Decepticon, as he passes. (Okay, there's a little squint behind his back. That's all it is!)

"So I've never...been to karaoke. People just go up there and sing?" Other people, right? OTHER PEOPLE.

"Are you dead? I hear the drinks at Swerve's are easy to poison," Red Alert says very gravely from behind Waspinator. He knows just enough to not put a hand on his roommate to check, but he probably should have announced himself before speaking so suddenly like that. "Not that they need to be poisoned to kill you if you've had that much. ...Hm, though that does make things difficult. I'd have to do a full autopsy to determine cause of death then. Poisoning could have further implications, after all." He is concerned, but he's incredibly bad at showing it. At the last moment he realizes this, and hurriedly adds: "In any case, please don't be dead."

<FS3> Fritz rolls Balance: Failure. (6 4 2)

Skystalker lifts a hand to Quicksight when he notes the lights of red and dark blues, a sign in the corner of his vision that his friend is here. He angles himself back towards Riptide, sitting down at the mech's table. "I was planning on it. You should give it a try. The worst that might happen is Astro up there, I think..." The starfighter glances towards the big shoulders seated near the temporary stage, also perking up when he spies Fort Max-- for different reasons-- but he manages to give Riptide a smirk all the same. "You know him?"

As for the stage, the bot setting up the system is first to stand up and tap-tap his mic. He's kind of short, so he has to stand on his toes a little rather than resize it. After a couple moments of explaining turns, he moves into a somewhat nervous version of 'Rocket Man'.

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Paranoia: Success. (2 1 7 3 3 3)

Astrotrain answers Skystalkers implication with a nice hearty belch. Followed by a slightly lower one, and another one lower than that. "Yeah. You don't want me up there, so someone else better be ready to do it when he's done." Shifts to set his mug on the bar for the time being. "That song would be better if you were an actual rocket!"

"Oh, uh, alright, Red." The arm pat gets another smile out of Inferno, though it's a bit strained. First time they've been together in months and Red's already going off somewhere else...nah, shake it off, 'Ferno. It's good that Red Alert's making friends, and with a 'Con at that! So despite his desire to follow, he goes with Fortress Maximus to where the orange mech is waving them over. Unlike Starstruck, Inferno doesn't have the names of the ship's crew memorized, so he doesn't know who that is. Which is why, as he sits down across from Max, he gives a warm, "Don't think we've met. Name's Inferno."

"I'm - " Fritz pauses, confused frown visible now that he has foregone his faceplate, and in his moment of distraction, drops his arms too fast and tips right off the edge of the table onto the floor. Good job, kid. "Fritz!" is a squeak from where he's now lying. We'll keep with that name for now. He waves away Inferno's concerned frown and offered hand, declaring, "I can help myself up, I'm not completely useless I promise!"

The large empty tankard near the corner of the table may hold a clue as to why his balance is especially bad, at the moment.

"Uh," Inferno says, still frowning as he watches Fritz push himself up, "Yeah, pretty much. They got a huge collection a songs, too." Once Fritz has finally managed to get up and scramble into the booth next to Max (and become nearly invisible behind the table's surface) Inferno shifts into a smile. "Why, Max? You wanna sing?"

"Mhm" Quicksight nods. No dino cooties here, no siree. He definitely has not hung out with any Dinobots.

With the crowd the size it is, it's taking a little longer for his drink to arrive, leaving him with some time to kill, which he does by turning to Astrotrain again "Apperantly we picked up some fragger from Velocitron. Ran into one who demanded that I aplogise for telling him he was a fragger cause he thought Mu deserved being subjugated."

Waspinator would appreciate Red Alert's attempt not to scare him... except he still jumps, too busy staring at his glass to even notice anyone coming up behind him. Letting out a high pitched yelp, the bug literally jumps in his seat and has to dig his sharp digits into the bar to keep from toppling off the seat. Its a rather impressive display of how a being can go from drop dead drunk to entirely TOO sober in a nanosecond. Waspinator clutches at his chassis in shock as he processes what is going on, "Redbot wantzz to cut Wazzpinator open!?"

<FS3> Pipes rolls Friendliness: Success. (5 3 3 3 1 1 3 8 4 1)

Riptide is only pulled away from his awed stare when Sky questions him, the mech nodding quick with excitement. "Yeah! Or uh.. Well, not personally, but I mean the mech's a Simanzi LEGEND." Both hands motion towards the tank for emphasis, as if to say 'look at him!'. "He was.. y'know.. kinda of a big deal for me back then, when that's all that mattered." Embarrassment flushes his cheeks and he tries to drown it in another few gulps of engex that leaves him venting softly after.

As for the karaoke, he turns to the smaller mech kicking it off, his jaw working in thought. "Erm, well.. I guess I could. Yeah.. Yeah! Why the hell not? I'm sure everyone else'll be just as silly." This revelation bolsters his idea of going up, nodding in agreement to Skystalker. And yes, he hears Brigade hollering across the bar, prompting a look over from the aquabot and an exhuberant wave. "Heya, Brig!"

<FS3> Red_Alert rolls Rumours: Good Success. (6 8 8 2 5 5 8)

Pipes chortles a little at Astrotrain's response, and suppresses the urge to complain about the song choice as well. Rocket Man? C'mon. There are other Earth space songs. "Somebot thought Mu should have been subjugated? That's ridiculous. I liked Mu a lot. Hard-working mechs!" It's rare that he and Quicksight might see eye to eye, so he somewhat seizes the opportunity. A fresh drink in his hand, he raises it up for Mu, then sips.

Fort Max isn't too worried when it's clear Fritz got started on the drinking early. They met while drinking, after all. "Do you, uh..." He looks down at the mailman and hrms. "Do you need something to sit on? I'm sure we can find a box if you want..." After all, he's the only small in a group of mediums and bigs, and the booth is made to accommodate the biggest. "I...guess Wasp is alright," he adds, peering over at the bar where Wasp has indeed...gotten up. That means he's alright, right?

Then Inferno asks about singing and the tank startles, optics widening and then helm lowering so the visor covers them. "Oh, I don't know know..." Wait, is that Skystalker? Is Skystalker the one who set it up? And it would be nice to sing to someone, he outright said so. Comfort someone for once... "Maybe. I gotta, um." He points to his drink. "Get the nerve up, you know?"

Having seen Skystalker, he waves to him from the booth, and Riptide by extension. Not that he recognizes Riptide. But look! Distant eye contact!

When Waspinator yelps, Red Alert does too. It's fine though. They do this to each other all the time, so he bounces back quickly. "Not while you're alive," he says in an attempt to reassure, and then realizes how that sounds. "I mean, no I don't. I was worried that you were dead. I don't know the details, but a bunch of mechs got poisoned in this bar once, including the captain. At least, that's what I heard happened. I was hoping that you hadn't poisoned yourself because that would require an autopsy." Prooobably normal bots don't talk about performing autopsies on their roommates though. Red Alert again belatedly corrects himself. "By a medical professional of course. don't need a medic anyway, do you? You don't look so good..."

Brigade finally notices the group speaking to him. The tank hobbles to his feet, leaning on the table as he waves to the people across the bar. "EVENING, PRINCESS," he shouts. "Did you hear what that other guy said?! Apparently they think I'm a goddamn pop star! Can you imagine this voice singing?!" he scoffs.

"I see." Skystalker hums, watching the crowd as he sips his drink, gaze lingering on Fort Max as appropriate. "He has a pretty good voice, you know. I hope he goes up to impress his friend there..." And there's a wave, right on time. It's like Skystalker has a magic magnetism. He lifts his hand to wave back to Max, at the end giving him a playful thumbs-up. You can do it!

Astrotrain hmphs. "He just thinks that because some mechs can't accept change. They're better off working WITH Mu than trying to control it. And I bet if we ever go back they'll still regard us as heroes for all the hard work we did gettin' em liberated." Then he turns his head in Brigade's direction and raises his voice just to make the reverb in it all the more noticable. "Your voice ain't any worse than mine!"

Inferno's attention has turned back to Red Alert and Waspinator, so he gives a non-committal hum in response to Fortress Maximus' shyness concerning karaoke. He almost - ALMOST - hops up when he sees Wasp and Red startle each other, but manages to rein it in, and instead orders a very strong drink from the passing serving droid. And he thought he was supposed to be the chill one in this relationship.

Fritz, of course, has all his attention on Max (just like most people in the bar tonight, it seems). "Oh, no thanks, I'm good!" As if to prove it, he scrambles back up onto the table to sit cross-legged. Still next to Max, though no longer a pair of eyeballs peering over the tabletop. He orders another tankard (where does he put all that?) from the same droid as Inferno before looking at Max with golden optics sparkling in excited, and a bit buzzed, glee. "You can sing? I'd, um." Seems he's not buzzed enough for shy!Fritz to fully be hidden, as he turns pink and looks away. "If you do get up the nerve, I'd love to hear it." Fritz himself can't sing for shit, but that's fine. He's used to being good at the mail and only the mail. And when Max waves at some mechs in another booth across the way, though Fritz has no idea who they are, he decides to shyly wave too. Look at him, coming out of his shell. Thanks, engex.

"That's what I told him" Quicksight answers Pipes, after regarding the Autobot with a atentative, but brief look "Fragger ain't ever even been to Mu 'cause his royal fragging highness could never be seen with slow people. Tried ta say that them fighting for their freedom was stupid! Ran away when I confronted him with the truth!" the scout glances down the bar again. Is that his drink coming? That looks like its for him. About time.

Astrotrain laughs loudly as he reachs down to give Quicksight a jovial slap on the back. "Just think of when we finally go back to Cybertron, all those Autobots that are gonna wet their oilpans when they hear how many times the Decepticons have bailed this crew's collective tailpipes outta the fire." Though not always in the best of ways. They've started rebellions, broken casinos, and Soundwave killed a Titan. But it was all for good causes. Or at least in the Decepticons' optics. "Hmph. And they said a mixed crew wouldn't work. Shows them!" He leans back to fetch his mug again. Need a few more before he's buzzed enough to actually get on stage.

"Hmph, some mechs." Pipes shakes his head. He'd like to visit Mu again sometime himself, see how they're getting along after becoming free. He angles a look at Brigade. "I was that guy, by the way. And yeah, maybe you could be! There's no such thing as bad karaoke, if you put your spark into it. That goes for you, and you." He points to Brigade and Astrotrain in turn with his drink-holding hand, straw wobbling in the glass. With only slight hesitation, he points at Quicksight. "And you." Astrotrain's guess at how the bots back home will react to how this mixed crew gets along earn, well, an agreeing nod. He ain't wrong. It's crazy, but it works!

Waspinator calms down a bit and slowly grabs his still half full drink before downing it in one go. He just got drunk too.... The whole spout Red goes on makes Waspinator give him a weird look before awkwardly replying, "Wazzpinator izz ok... needzz to drink more." It doesn't sound like he needs to, in fact the bug is slurring pretty badly still (even more than his usual speech glitch).

Riptide will never outlive that princess nickname will he? The mech snorts at Brigade in turn, flashing a cocky smirk. "Well it's good enough at yellin', so singin's just a step above that. I say go for it, have some fun!" Because Brigade and fun go so well together. Then, of all times, he catches Fort Max's glance and wave. Riptide's spinal strut becomes as straight as it's possibly ever been, his purple cheeks feeling a bit too hot right now as his optics brighten considerably. Ohgod, he's waving at them! Quick, look away! Which he promptly does, shifting around in his seat back to the stage quicker than he would've liked. No offense, Max.

"You-you'd wanna hear me? I'm not that great," Fort Max insists, rubbing the back of his neck. "I mean, um, sure. I'll sing for you." Not by coincidence, he also takes a long pull of his drink. It doesn't take as much Enjex to get him sloshed as one might think, given his size and spark, but right now he is Too Sober to Sing. Or even think of something to sing. "Besides, there's a chance those 'Cons up front might sing, and I can't let them show me up." He's only half-serious.

"What about you, Inferno? Do you think you'll go up there? Or Red Alert?"

<FS3> Fritz rolls Drinking: Good Success. (5 6 8 1 6 7 5 6 7 3)

"It's Karoke. The point ain't to be great, it's to be entertaining." Astrotrain rolls his optics, muttering something about 'buncha noobs' under his breath before going back to gulping down his ... uh... he already lost count, but that's a good sign at times like this.

Quicksight takes the slap with a loud "Ooof!", nearly spilling the drink he only just reached for considering that Astrotrain's hand is about the size of his back. He recovers quickly however, and since there's enough engex left in his glass to still call it a drink, he holds no grudge towards the bigger Decepticon. Instead, he nods once more, although a smidge uncertianly before adding, with a grumble "Now if only some of the fraggers here could see it."

Pipes speaks up before he gets to say anything else on the topic. The scot looks at the finger pointed at him, and then at it's owner "I ain't really much of a singer. That's Sky's thing." Brigade rumbles in confusion when Riptide suddenly turns away. Is it something that he said? The tank turns a little to see where Riptide was looking just moments before his strange reaction. Finally, he spots Fortress Maximus. Brigade spins around just as quickly, remembering their myraid, awkward interactions. The tank plunks back down in his seat and fidgets a little at the memory, nothing to see here.

Instead, he tries to go back to acting like usual. He points at Astrotrain at the bar and snorts. "If your voice is as great as mine, just get up there for the both of us! Since Princess over there isn't helping my case."

Red Alert frowns at the collection of glasses arranged around Waspinator like organ pipes. Even though Waspinator is conscious now, Red's not so sure his roommate fully counts as okay...

"No you don't. I really think you should go get checked out by a medic, or at least go home for the rest of the night." He waves behind Wasp's back at the bartender to cut Waspinator off, though he's not so sure the message gets across. Well, he tried. "Are you alright to walk, or should I..." he glances back guiltily at Inferno, " a medic down here?" Sorry Ratchet, he'd rather inconvenience you than himself. Besides, he's not sure he can lift a drunk Wasp on his own.

He'll scoot back to his table once this is taken care of. Sorry, Inferno.

"I can't say that I agree," Fritz says cheekily, lifting his tankard with all four arms and taking a large gulp with ease, and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand when he's done. "Since I've never heard you!" He does blush a little harder and hide his face in two hands. "O-Oh, f-for me? I mean you don't have to, that would be nice, I wish I could sing so I could sing for you too -" He's babbling and he's not even drunk yet, he's got no excuse for this, time to take another huge gulp of his drink so that he will when he embarrasses himself further.

At the sound of his name, Inferno manages to tear his optics away from Red Alert and Waspinator for a moment. "Heh, I don't know 'bout Red," he replies, lying through his teeth. He is fairly certain Red Alert won't sing, not unless he's sloshed, which also won't happen. "I'm thinkin' I'll get up there though, maybe in a few rounds. Give a few a the others a chance ta show their stuff first." He drinks more slowly from his own mug, not needing any 'liquid courage' to sing.

And then he glances Red's away again, realization dawning that he'd be singing in front of Red Alert. Inferno takes another drink, this one larger. Okay, so maybe he needs a little.

With the Rocket Man mech sliding his way offstage to rejoin some of his pals across the bar, Skystalker is sitting up and craning a look around the tables to see if anyone is going up next. With Riptide hiding his face from Maximus, Skystalker gives the aquabot a small laugh as he stands up, drinking half of his glass down. He runs a hand over Riptide's shoulder before he moves away, wordless and with a smile as he heads up to the microphone.

"Looks like some of you scaredy-mechs need to drink a little more, hm?" Skystalker's tease into the mic comes with a breathy voice and a flick of his wingtips. The song he moves to turn on starts with a slow blues guitar, and a slow piano; when he stands straight to sing, one hand curls around the mic, clear voice lifting off to match the steady blues tune.

( )

Waspinator once again seems to sober at the prospect of a medic, glancing down at his injured leg nervously. No Wazzpinator doezzn't want mediczz to be called! "Uh... wazzpinator izz ok. Wazzpinator juzzt... go.. zzleep." He clearly isn't going to sleep as he rushes out the door, nearly colliding with a femme just walking in as he goes.

Sterling jumps back as Waspinator rushes past her, optic widening under his visor. Do things always consist of people running? Walking in fully with a burst of gold from the lights, Sterling nervously figures out whats going on before shuffling over to the line for singing behind the others. Once she heard this was happening... well she really wanted to come. The last time she did something like this was with Screwloose before things got bad. Its one of her nicest memories, despite the wielder and him not actually joining in.

The gunformer happily listens as Skystalker takes to the mic and tries not to bite her lip... she actually put on some lip paint for this. (Screwloose would haunt her from the grave or wherever he is if she didn't get even a little dressed up for a performance)

<FS3> Fortress_Maximus rolls Drinking: Success. (7 1 6)

Fortress Maximus blinks as Riptide turns away like that, but lets it drop. Besides, he's got Brigade to talk to right now. And Skystalker, who goes up to the stage to sing.

"He 'is' fantastic," Max marvels, listening in as he finishes his glass. "I heard him sing a little once before. It was really something. As for me, uh..." Well, Fritz really wants to hear him, clearly, and it isn't like he has to go first. What the hell. Anyone mocks him, he'll just glare really hard. (Nothing more than that, though. Far be it from him to incite violence at Swerve's, right?) "Oh, I'll do it. Just don't expect too much, I'm really rusty. And most of what I know how to sing is old war ballads..."

Astrotrain tilts his head a little to one side. "I wonder if he means that song towards somebot in particular..."

"Fair enough." Pipes knows better than to push anything with Quicksight. Of course, then the scout is proven more than right with Skystalker's remarkable performance. Pipes would wolf whistle if it weren't for the faceplate, and also not knowing how. Since it doesn't seem as if anyone in this little clutch is quite brave enough yet: "All right, I'm going up." He goes to put his drink on the bar, but decides to take it with him instead. The triplechanger's comment goes unheeded; maybe Pipes hasn't heard anything about anything yet.

Speak of the devil. Quicksight shrinks slightly at the accusations of cowardice. He knows Sky is probably joking, but he can't help it if these things still get to him. He's no coward! Ofcourse, the performance still recives applause - that's his amica after all, and, as he said, he is good. There is, however a sligtly peerplexed look in his optics, and Astrotrain's comment earns a tilt of the head. He's wondering what was with the choice of song too.

Unlike everything else, it took Memory begging Lieutenant to go to Swerve's to listen to the commotion going on in there. The avian want strangely upset by continuously being bothered by it, and finally threw his hands in the air saying Fine! He sits in the back corner away from everyone. Possibly getting drunk.

Memory has been easily missed by everyone, sitting near the stage listening with awe to everyone thus far. He's never heard others sing before and never knew this was something they could do. It's wonderful!

Red Alert watches Waspinator dubiously as he scurries away, guilt beginning to nag at him. He really doesn't want to abandon Inferno during their only date in two months, but taking care of his roommate seems like the right thing to do... He sighs and starts to rise, mind almost made up to go after the bug, when he is distracted by the bartender suddenly depositing a strong-smelling drink in front of him. Red Alert stares at it, utterly baffled.

"What's this?" he asks, bewildered. "I didn't order this--" Ah, wait, when he held up his hand to the bartender in a 'stop' gesture did it look like... Ah yes, it must have looked like he was just raising his hand to get the bartender's attention. So now Red had one of whatever Waspinator was drinking, despite the fact that he doesn't drink. Great.

"This is the opposite of what I was trying to tell you," Red Alert grumbles under his breath, but he takes the drink with him to his table so it won't go to waste. Maybe Inferno will like it. "Sorry," he says, falling at last into the booth with everyone else. "What did I miss?" Wasp is probably long gone by now anyway. He'll check up on him when he gets home tonight.

Skystalker finishes his song with a bit of a flourish, optics bright and biolights a flush of warmth along his frame. To any applause he gives a smile, bending a bit at the waist as thank you before flitting off for the next bot up. Before he starts heading nack for his drink he stops beside Quicksight with a grin, hand moving to rest on the minibot's shoulder a moment. "Did you like it?"

Fritz, too, is entranced by Skystalker's singing. "He is...I wish I could sing like that." Maybe then his mail song would be greeted with awe instead of giggles or, in some cases, complete confusion. As Sky finishes up, Fritz turns a warm smile on Max. "That's okay. I'll be happy hearing you sing, I don't mind what it is." Which is the complete and honest truth, which is abundantly clear in Fritz's expression. Max already has a very nice speaking voice (not that Fritz noticed) so surely he must have a lovely singing voice, too?

As for Inferno...when Red Alert returns, he gets a warm grin of greeting and the slightest brush of arm plating against arm plating. "Nothin' yet, though you'll have ta 'scuse me for a few." And, gulping down some more of that courage to quell the nerves erupting in his tanks at the thought of singing for - I mean in front of - the security bot, Inferno makes his way up to the stage. Sorry, Pipes, he beat you.

"Not sure I can top a performance like that," 'Ferno says into the mic, flashing a more confident grin. "But I'll do my damndest." And, though the song itself is usually about an octave higher than how he sings it, he goes right ahead and does his damndest.

( )

Astrotrain murmurs something to the effect of "Okay but rather sappy" from the depths of draining his mug. Even though he's likely not the one Skystalker was asking in the first place. Astro's never let that stop him.

Riptide had thought he was awestruck when seeing Fort Max, but the aquabot is completely floored when Skystalker takes the stage and begins singing. He's forgotten his drink at this point, left staring at the spacer with lips parted slightly and optics wide and bright with wonder, utterly charmed at the show. He already knew Sky could sing well, but this.. this is amazing. So much so that he's immediately clapping when the song ends, beaming from the crowd. "Mech, that was amazing!" He chimes, should the spacer come back around his way, still bright in the cheeks.

Next is Inferno, which is equally impressive, the mech tapping a pede lightly to the beat as he enjoys and sips his drink.

Brigade thunks back into his seat at Skystalker's challenge, muttering to himself. During the course of the other's song he busies himself straightening up his pile of datapads. "... Need encouragement my aft," he snaps a little too loudly as he finishes. If they wanted to hear his shouting so much maybe he should let them. The tank's helm snaps up and he suddenly shouts across the bar to Riptide again.

"If you really think I should sing then you owe me a damn encouragement," he shouts, pointing to the bartender. He'll do it for a drink. "Ain't singing no sissy song, though!"

Sterling claps happily for Skystalker when he finishes his turn, it was amazing! Annnnd kind of intimidating for her, since she hasn't sung out loud for mechs in forever. Getting up a little bravery she tells Skystalker, "T-that was amazing, sir!" before sinking back in on herself where she is sitting. Oh Primus she's nervous now. At least there are a lot of mechs before her. She turns back to the stage as Inferno steps up and begins to sing, giving him her full attention.

"Mhm!" Quicksight nods again, though it comes out a little awkward, as he atempts to do it while craning his neck back to look at his friend "Ya great at this!" Astrotrain gets an agreeing look, though Quicksight himself doesn't do more than offer Skystalker a questioning look.

Fort Max looks away bashfully for a moment, burying his fluster by finishing off his drink and ordering another. He's ordering The Thing Fritz Has, which is a 'questionable' idea, but hey. Liquid courage, right? He's already socializing in a positive environment AND planning to sing. He looks up when he hears Brigade bellowing, and...well, he wants to encourage the tank who obviously admires him, right? Besides, Skystalker's performance should be rewarded. "Drinks for that table," he calls out, which means yes, Fort Max just bought Brigade and Riptide drinks too.

And then he's caught up listening to Inferno. "He's good too," Max marvels, subconsciously head-bobbing. "What do you think, Red Alert? You going to sing back to him?"

Pipes claps cordially for Inferno. He second guesses his own song choice for a klik, as both the previous songs were so lovely and sparkfelt, but, well, variety is OK with karaoke, right? He lowers the mic stand. "This one goes out to Rocket Man and all the spacers!" Pipes' chosen song starts with a heavy electric guitar riff, followed by some banging percussion. "We had a lot of luck on Venus / We always had a ball on Mars / Meeting all the groovy people / We've rocked the Milky Way so far / We danced around with Borealis / We're space truckin' round the staaaaaaaaaaars!" He raises his glass high in the air with the sustained note, then starts headbanging for the chorus with the descending guitar lines. "C'mon! C'mon! C'mon! Let's go space truckin'! C'mon!" Yes, his singing is kind of screechy in the middle of the third verse and toward the end of the song, but his spark is definitely into it. Song over, he raises his glass in triumph once more and heads back to the bar.

( )

"Cheap Trick isn't sappy!" Skystalker answers Astrotrain with his usual measure of humor, knowing that he can get into it and not have to worry much. "Maybe Blues is, I guess." The questioning look from Quicksight gets a bit of one in return-- a silent 'what?' that is helpfully tugged away by Sterling. Sky gives her a fresh smile, optics narrowing. "Thank you, Sterling." He's given up on trying to get her to stop using 'sir'. "Got to go finish my drink-- I'll be over there--" The spacer excuses himself between Sterling and Quicksight, gesturing towards where he's headed before he slinks off to rejoin Riptide and his half-finished drink.

Just in time to hear the beginning riffs of Pipes' choice once Inferno's more touching song closes up, and he's still clapping when he has a resurgence for the pick. "Oh! I love this song!" And Pipes headbanging, of a fashion!

Riptide's attention on the stage is dragged away by more of Brigade's shouting, the mech rolling his yellow optics towards the tank. "Psh, fine mech, I'll buy yah somethin'. Y'know you don't have to sing if you don't wanna." Unless he's looking for an excuse. And speaking of drinks, he's a bit surprised when one is set before him, blinking. "Uhm, I didn't order--" He spots Fort Max again, indicating towards them, and freezes up a little. Easy, Riptide, easy. Act casual.. So he smiles, if very nervously, and sends Max a thankful wave.

As Sky returns and Pipes takes the stage, he turns back and laughs goodheartedly, "Aw yeah, go lil mech!" He cheers, even giving a whistle between two fingers.

In spite of himself Astrotrain starts tapping a pede along with Pipes' song. "Now this is more like it."

Sterling cant help the laugh that bubbles up at Pipes song and exuberance. It definitely helps her relax a bit and starts tapping her heel to the floor in time with his headbanging.

Brigade gives a quiet snort and falls into silence. That didn't quite as he hoped, wanting to draw the other mecha closer so he could ask him why the hell he was acting like a scared turborat. Unlike the others, Brigade is too busy being his grouchy self to notice or care much about any of the singers. With a shrug, the tank grabs the top datapad off his stack and goes back to his reading. If nothing else, at least studying old battles is a way to get productively frustrated. Not just frustrated. "Now that I think about it, maybe all of you should buy your own drinks, because if I sing you all will need to be pretty wasted to survive it."

<FS3> Red_Alert rolls Conspiracies: Good Success. (2 2 7 7 3 4)

Red Alert flashes a look of disappointment when Inferno immediately gets up. It's like the universe is conspiring against them! Actually, maybe somebody is... The thought has him frowning, mentally going down a path of who would do that, and why? All just theoretical of course! He doesn't actually believe that someone would do that...! (Mostly.) He's so lost in his spiralling thoughts that he doesn't notice Inferno take the stage, and is abruptly shocked into mental silence when a deep, familiar voice booms out across the bar...

Oh. Inferno can sing.

He's utterly entranced, pulled so deep into each drawn-out note that he could drown. The words don't reach him, not fully, he's too encompassed by the sound of it all. Best ears in the business, and he's using every single one of his overtuned sensors to absorb this beautiful song.

He feels almost on the spot when the song ends, like he's the one on stage. He floods with deep embarrassment at how he was gaping open-mouthed at Inferno, almost missing Max's question.

"No, I can't sing. Not like that," he says quickly, and he throws his flask back and drains the contents to cover his nerves.

...except he's not holding his flask, he's still holding the drink he accidentally ordered.



Quicksight watches as Skystalker leaves, looks at his own, finally arrived but as of yet untouched drink, and then, with a small farewell wave to Astrotrain slides off his stool to follow the neutral. As he moves, he glances over at Pipes' performance. About half the lyrics consist of words he's never heard of. Where's 'Venus'? What's a 'Mars'?

Fritz finds himself getting a little teary-eyed at Inferno's song - the positive message hits a little closer to home than he thought it would - and quickly wipes at his optics as he gives Max an agreeing, "Yeah, he is." And then there's a blue minibot on stage Fritz is sure he's seen before and that song has him give a little laugh at how fun it is, bobbing his head in time with the music. He doesn't headbang too hard or he'll fall over again, but he certainly gets into it, taking a break only to slurp down more of his drink.

When Inferno finishes, he's still walking back to the booth as Pipes takes the stage, and he beams at the song choice. It's a good one, and if he taps his hand against his leg, face flushed from having sung in front of the whole bar.

And, most importantly, in front of Red.

"So, whaddya thi--" Inferno is halfway through the question as he slides back into the booth beside Red Alert, only to zero in on the drink in Red's hand. One that is - or was, considering it's now empty - definitely engex. "Whoa, uh, easy there, Red, don't wanna have too much fun!" 'Ferno teases, though the undercurrent of worry is there. A mech's personality can either change drastically when drunk, or become more intense. Inferno is juuuuuust a little worried about which way Red's will go.

"Well, stage is open if you change your mind." Even Fort Max has to admit, it's...rather endearing how flustered Red Alert is at Inferno's song. Pipes's song is energizing and upbeat, and reminds him it doesn't 'need' to be a love song, which is good because Max knows very few love songs and even fewer that he can sing in his range. But it's the thought that counts, right?

"...Okay." Giving one brief look to Fritz, He rises from his seat, clears his throat, hesitates, and heads (a little unsteadily) up to the stage once Pipes finishes. Okay, deep vent, it's fine, Max has killed people with his bare hands, stage fright is nothing. Nothing! Besides, can't show fear in front of Decepticons.

The song cues up, and...well, it's a battle song. Of course it's a battle song, one vets might recognize, and Max belts it out in a voice that's unpracticed but strong, powerful, and DEEP. Really, really deep. And pretty loud.

( )

"... Huh." Astrotrain chugs down the end of his latest mug of energex. "Some Bots have decent taste in music I guess... Hey Max, yer voice is almost more deafening than your guns!" But just because he likes the song doesn't mean you're getting away with not being heckled a bit.

Red Alert's optics pale. He just drank...! He just drank after telling Waspinator how easy these drinks are to poison! He feels like he's going to be sick, and he's pretty sure it's not because of the engex. It shouldn't be in his system yet, not unless it's really, really strong--

No wait. The room suddenly goes diagonal. It's definitely the engex.

"Mmnotfunnnn," Red Alert protests as he pitches forward into Inferno's lap. The room feels really warm, or maybe Inferno just lives up to his name. "Everyone knows mm not fun..." There's something really loud nearby, making it hard to think. Is this what 'fun' is supposed to feel like? Maybe he should try it. He blinks as the loud beat ends and Fortress Thingywhatsit gets up to take a turn. Even he's trying it!

"I'm gon' sing," Red says, almost recognizably, in the brief quiet between songs. Then things are very, very not quiet again. He's going to have an absolutely killer processor ache in the morning...

<FS3> Inferno rolls Comforting: Good Success. (3 7 2 5 5 4 4 3 7)

Skystalker sits down again while Pipes sings, turning a hand out to tug a seat closer for Quicksight, a habitual gesture now. He settles down just in time to turn his optics to the stage, and Fort Max up next. Yes! He's doing it! "I knew he'd get up there--" Skystalker sips at his engex to appreciate the ballad being belted out by the big voice on stage.

Sterling perks up a little as she recognizes Fortress Maximus' song. She's heard it several times before. Its a tune she recognizes and associates with her early life, so she has no problem smiling and clapping once he is done.

Pipes accepts a few fist bumps and woop woops from the crowd on his way back to the bar, and his empty glass slides up for a refill. "Give me something a little ... I don't know, stronger!" Looks like Quicksight's gone off with Skystalker for some odd reason, and Brigade is back to his datapads. "Astrotrain. C'mon mech, get up there. Don't be scared." The size difference between the two of them makes his cajoling all the more silly. The bright military cadence of Max's song produces some energetic head motions in Pipes, and he drinks his refreshed, stronger drink perhaps faster than he should with the verve.

It's like Red Alert's fluster is contagious; as soon as Fritz notices it, he's already beginning to blush, knowing he's going to react the same to Max singing, no matter what it is. Plus, it's ridiculously adorable, how Red Alert reacts to Inferno's singing, and that in itself is enough to make his romantic little spark spin. And then Max is getting up - Fritz tries to give him an encouraging look on his way past - and -

Yup. He'd been right.

Though it's a rousing battle song, about death and war, Fritz is just as entranced as Red Alert had been a moment ago when Inferno sang. His golden optics are wide, lips parted and tiny fangs peeking out from behind them, faceplates a mask of awe. Sure Max's singing is a bit rough, and LOUD, but Fritz leans forward anyway, the better to listen with (my dear). He even forgets about his drink for a moment, and when Max is done, Fritz is clapping all four hands so hard it's a wonder he doesn't sprain one of those noodles he calls wrists.

Inferno, in the meantime, flushes at the sudden Red Alert in his lap. Very carefully he puts his arms around Red to help him up, leaning the mech against his side and keeping an arm around him for steadiness.

Only reason.

"'Snot true, Red," 'Ferno says soothingly, giving him a little squeeze. "'Snot true at all. But if yer gonna get up there an' sing, I'll be rootin' fer ya the whole time." He smiles sheepishly. "Though maybe ya should give it a few rounds, let some other mechs go first.

Quicksight readily hops on the offered seat, giving Riptide only a short glance before finally working the straw in his drink into his faceport. As he drinks, he looks up at the stage again. Hey, it's that guy. He never did get his name, did he? No matter, 'Autobot' will suffice.

Atleast he has good taste in music. Not a song he knows - he's never been big on organic media, but it's got a good theme, and rhythm. The scout sips and listens, and to his surprise, he eventually finds that he's been tapping along with the rhythm with his fingetrs on the tabletop. He stops as soon as he realizes that. He was not enjoying some Autobot's singing!

Astrotrain looks waaay down at Pipes. "Hey, I ain't scared. I'm providing a very important part of karoke night--" Pauses pass his mug back to the bar for one more refill. "The heckling."

Riptide thought Pipes was just badass, but it appears the night is getting better by the second as Fort Max steps up next to sing. And boy does he sing! The song he belts out in that deep baritone is something that Riptide instantly recognizes, the war song stirring his spark. He even sings along to it, though it's under his breath and hummed in some parts, appreciating the old memories it brings. It was rough, but there were good times.

Then, once the warborn is finished, Riptide takes a long moment of staring at his drink, fidgeting with it until he finally gathers enough courage to stand. "I uhm.. I think I'll go next.." Just as they said, no harm in it.

His movement is a bit stiff when walking onto the small stage and up to the mic, giving it a small tap and clearing his vocals. "I.. I don't really sing much, but I figured.. what the hell, y'know?" He smiles weakly to the crowd, though it falls some and he clears his vocals again. "Anyway.. It's a bit sappy, but I uh.. I like it, so here goes.." The song he queues up is quite soft and melodious, mainly piano with a light beat in the background. His voice is equally soft, starting out rather nervously as he clutches the mic with both hands and keeps optics down, only gaining more courage to look up partway through.

( )

Brigade isn't far into his datapad when he hears an all-too-familiar voice carries through the bar. The tank's optics snap upwards as the war hero takes the stage, and for some reason Brigade feels his tanks churn. Despite his admiration for the mecha, he's been going out of his way to avoid him since that night in the bar. Their interactions could only be called awkward at best. 'Just another thing he does better than you,' Brigade thinks before he can stop himself. Brigade feels a surge of jealousy, longing, and irritation. "Oh fine, I'll sing once the rest of you lot is done," he mutters, moreso to himself than to anyone else.

Fortress Maximus snorts at Astrotrain as he leaves the stage. "Love to see you do better," he taunts right back. "Or louder." He does recognize Quicksight as he passes, but...well, he never got Quicksight's name. He's been mentally filing him away as 'the little blue Decepticon.'

The enjex-induced bravado is still with him as he saunters back into the booth, thunking down in his seat next to Fritz with a grin. "That was...actually fun! You know? Did I do alright?" Of course he saw Fritz cheering like that, and turns a bit energon-pink in the face, poise softening. "Well, I hope it was..." He takes a pull from the stronger drink he ordered before going up there, shuddering as it goes down.

In his buzzed state, he listens to Riptide, whose song is a lot more low key and whose voice is gentle. "Uh, sorry, I didn't...know many love songs," he admits, gesturing up to the stage at Riptide who obviously does. "Mostly I just-..."

He trails off when he looks past Fritz at Red Alert. "Whoa. What'd you drink? Might wanna slow down there," says the obviously inebriated tank.

Astrotrain fakes his best grumpy expression at Max and Brigade. "Yeah yeah, just lemme finish this drink." Which he proceeds to chug down, at least trying to act like he never intended to get on stage in the first place. You don't heckle on karoke night without putting yourself up to humiliation as well. Pipes lolls a little at Fort Max's jibe at Astrotrain, and looks way back up at him. (For reference, Pipes comes about to Astrotrain's mid-thigh.) "Dj'hear that? Don't want to let Fortress Maximus show you up at karry-okay." Pipes is perfectly happy to stoke interfactional rivalry in order to produce more karaoke. What, is this thing empty already? "Another one of, well, whatever this was! Do you remember cuz I don't! HA!"

Skystalker is enjoying the atmosphere as much as the different songs by those that go up on stage. He leans back in his seat to relax when Riptide decides to be bold and head up. Sky gives him a smile as he heads that way, curiosity sparking in his optics when the Autobot explains himself into the mic.

The starfighter sits straighter as Riptide sings, one leg hooking over the other to give his elbow a perch, chin leaning onto his hand while he listens. His tiny smile is a natural thing, cropping up on his lips for the song and Riptide both.

Riptide may have grown bold enough to sing front of them, especially such a touching song, but by the time the music ends he's already flushing bright. With an anxious, yet thankful, smile to the crowd, he's quick to slip off stage and back to his seat, eagerly taking up his drink and taking a swig. "Oi, mech.." He vents with a sigh, exaggerating weakness by hiding his face in an arm while laying it on the table a second. "That was nerve wracking.."

"I'm gon' sing. I am." Red Alert insists as Inferno helps him upright. "It's fun," he repeats again as Fort Max joins them once more. He's still not sure what's fun about it, but everyone says that it is so he's gonna do it! He's gonna be fun with everyone! An uncharacteristic flood of affection fills him, and instead of feeling mistrustful of his fellow crewmembers as usual, he embraces them.

In Inferno's case, literally.

"You sing so nice," Red Alert glows. "You all sing so nice. You too!" he calls to Riptide, "You sing nice!" It's probably a bit too slurred to be understood, but it's enthusiastic at least. Hopefully some of the feeling gets across.

"I hope I sing nice too," Red adds after a moment, thoughtfully.

Sterling claps for Riptide only to pause. Oh no. Its her turn. Taking a deep vent, a harsh yank at one of her vent ornaments, Sterling steps up to the stage and shakily takes the mic as she messes with the karaoke machine a bit. "I um.. haven't sang in front of a crowd in a long time. So take some mercy on me please." Finally finding what shes looking for, Sterling takes one last vent before the music starts.

She begins shaky and quiet but slowly gains confidence as she sings (she really likes this song after all). "Left a good job in the city/ Workin' for the man ev'ry night and day/And I never lost one minute of sleepin'/Worryin' bout the way thngs might have been." At first it begins slow, almost croons as she finally gains confidence and belts it out in a voice surpringly low and sultry for the nervous wreck of a tone she normally has. Then the song picks up.

Grinning widely as this is her favorite part, Sterling suddenly spins on her heel in a blare of drums and horns, grabbing the mic stand as she lets herself get caught up in the song- heeled pede tapping with the beat. "Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis! Pumped a lot of pane in New Orleans! But I never saw the good side of the city, 'Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen!" She might not have performed much with one of her wielder's band, but she remembers how to put on something of a show.


As Max walked back from the stage, Fritz stopped clapping long enough to nearly drain his tankard and yes, buzzed has finally begun to tip into comfortably tipsy. So when the tank sits, Fritz scoot scoot scoots across the table to actually lean against his arm, smiling up at him from where his flushed cheek rests against Max's arm plating. "You were amazing." Does he sound dreamy? Maybe a little. "It's okay, I don't know many love songs either." As impressed and charmed as he still is by Max's singing, it takes him a moment to catch up with what's going on in the other side of the booth. Optic ridges scrunching together in worry, he asks, "Is he gonna be okay...?" At least he liked the singing, if his yelling is any indication.

"'Slong as yer havin' fun, Red, that's what matters." Inferno's the flustered one now as Red Alert is actually physically affectionate with him (in a public place!!!) and compliments his singing. "Well, I..." he mutters, bashfully grinning and glancing away. "They did all sing nice, didn't they? An' so will you." Feeling playful (and buzzed) he gives Red's nose a little boop of his fingertip.

Riptide's song is a downshift in tempo from Pipes' own and Fortress Maximus' after it, but Pipes can't help but be drawn into it, just a little. Some of it is the hints of Riptide's aquatic mode ... gotta admit, he's an attractive bot. There's a memory of Riptide catching him when they were meteor surfing that one time. Radical. At the end of the song, Pipes whoops and claps happily.

Sterling's choice revs the energy back up, though, and Pipes waggles next to the bar in time, throwing in his own "woo" between each "rollin". This whole time, his next drink sits untouched on the bar, for now. Probably a good thing. "Do it, Astro..." he murmurs as he cheers for Sterling.

<FS3> Fortress_Maximus rolls Drinking: Embarassing Failure. (1 1 1)

"Ugh, this is bar karoke, what's with all the sap songs?" Astrotrain feigns an exhausted sigh as he makes a show of heaving himself off the stool like he doesn't want to once Sterling is done. "If it'll get you punks off my aerlions so I can get back to getting drunk, I'll show you how it's done." Tromping up to the stage he punchs a song choice into the machine, turns around and grabs the mic. The music that starts to play... Is actually cheery and almost cartoony sounding. Not the sort of thing you'd expect a big brutish Decepticon to pick? But before anyone can really question it out loud Astrotrain starts to belt out in his weird reverbing voice loudly, which just makes the perky poppy piece all the more ironic.

"Space Unicorn, soaring through the stars! Delivering the rainbows all around the world. Space Unicorn, shining in the night! Smiles and hugs for-ever, all around the world! / So purrre of hearrrrrt, and strong of miiiind~ So true of aim with his marsh-mellow laserrr! Marsh-mellow Las-errr!"

( )

"I thought it was lovely." Though Riptide hides himself in the crook of an arm, Skystalker leans over to pat him on the head. "You got up there, right? One karaoke at a time!" He laughs quietly, optics lifting and widening once Sterling goes up. Sky has never heard her, and booooy is he not at all disappointed. Though Pipes is into it enough to offer backup hoots and rollins, Skystalker is more comfortable letting out a short whistle for Sterling. Awesome. Did you see her go?!

And then it's Astrotrain's turn, and Skystalker bounces excitedly in his seat, knocking over his empty glass on the table when he jostles, laugh coming from deep in his frame. "Yes!"

Quicksight continues sipping on his drink as he listens to the other sing. He doesn't really comment, simply draining his drink. Up until Astrotrain gets on stage. Maybe it's the fact that he's draining the last drops, or because it's a fellow Decepticon up there, but he looks up, stares for a bit as he takes in the lyrics, and finally asks "The frag is that?"

"Awww, he's just havin' a good time," Fortress Maximus insists, beaming smugly as Fritz snuggles against him. "Right, Reddalert? You can do it! See, like she did." He doesn't recognize Sterling, but boy does she have a pretty voice. Boy, did he miss the combination of 'singing, sometimes too loudly' and 'being drunk, but like, happy drunk for once.' "You did great," he calls out after Sterling, holding up his too-strong drink and downing the rest of it without really thinking about it.

Oh. Right, this is why he doesn't try to keep up with Fritz. He has to stop and hold his head up with his hand until things stop spinning. "'M fine, 'm fine," he says, anticipating worry from Fritz, Red or Ferno. Well, maybe not Red, who may not be aware of the world right now. "That was, this is, how do you drink these, Whirlwind?! Your FIM chip muszt but indestruc...indistru...really powerful." Max's, at the moment, has given up for the night, clearly.

With rather glassy optics he watches Astrotrain sing, scowling only because DECEPTICON until the image of big, tough Astrotrain singing that song is too much, and he breaks out in loud, drunken laughter, treads spinning. "Whaasa-whassa MARSHMALLOW LASER?!" Also, his volume control gave up along with the FIM chip.

Sterling steps down from the stage, venting a little deeply from singing so fast and hard but still smiling. It was fun once she got over her nerves... oh no.. now she has to face the crowd. Grin faltering a bit despite the cheers from Pipes and Skystalker she skuttles back to her seat and sits down, looking back on stage just as Astrotrain starts to sing... what's a unicorn? Despite her confusion on the lyrics, the femme cant help but start to laugh at the stark contrast between the mech and the song being sung. He definitely gets applause from the femme.

Once the song is done Astrotrain holds his arm out. "Now -that- is how you get drunk and embarass yourself on karoke night!" and drops the mic before tromping back to his stool, ignoring one of the barhands yelling at him to not rough up the equipment.

Riptide lifts his helm enough to smile sheepishly at Skystalker when he encourages him. "Heh, thanks Sky.." And even Red Alert compliments him, the security bot earning a bigger smile. Looking to the stage once more, he quite enjoys Sterling's turn, clapping politely. "She's pretty good, eh?" He muses to the mech beside him and takes a long drink as she finishes and Astrotrain gets up there.

..Cue the sharkbot choking on his engex mid-sip, optics bugging as he coughs through a wheezing laugh, a bit of his orange-red drink spilling down his chin.

Pipes stares for a moment as Astrotrain's music starts. Not what he was expecting. His performance, however, was outstanding, and spurred the Autobot on to striking dramatic poses with two-handed marshmallow laser fingerguns halfway through the song. Afterward, he's quick to congratulate the triplechanger. "Best song of the night, bot!" He holds up a fist for a possible bump, which may send him toppling, and he knows it, but doesn't care. Such are the risks and rewards of karry-okay.

Red Alert actually laughs a little at the boop. It takes him by surprise, which he usually doesn't like, but right now everything feels soft around the edges and so instead of startling it's actually kind of nice.

"I think I know," he says with an actual smile, "what I'm gonna sing." He claps eagerly at Sterling and Astrotrain while he waits his turn, though a little of his natural anxiety at last starts to creep back in. He doubts that he can achieve nearly the same level of fun with his chosen song as those two. But maybe instead of fun he can bring the audience something else. And with that thought in mind, it's at last his turn to climb the stage.

"I think," Red says into the microphone as the soft opening begins to play, "you are all very nice and good, and I actually like it here quite a lot." And at last the lyrics arrive, and he takes a deep ventilation and begins.


"Even in the harshest of winter I feel so warm..." The words come out soft, unlike the rest of his drunk speech. He's not the best singer, and the words are something of a slurred murmur, but as the song picks up it's clear that he's putting some honest feeling into it. Far more honest than sober Red Alert would have liked. "This is my home, where I go when I have nowhere else to go..."

He faulters in the middle when the lyrics ask 'do you feel safe?' and goes quiet for an awkwardly long time. But at last he brings it back when the chorus comes back around. "This is my home when I don't know where else to go," he finishes, and then stands on the stage looking a bit lost as the song ends, like he's forgotten what he's supposed to do next. His optics drift across the crowd, and then alight at the table with Max, Fritz, and Inferno.

Oh right, that's where he's supposed to go. He nearly trips on his way down the stairs as he goes to join them.

With his friends.

"It's great, that's what." Skystalker asides to Quicksight, laughing and choking it back a moment later when he sees Riptide awash in his own accident. He leans over to thumb the bit of orange off of Riptide's chin, helpful even in his playful mood.

Red Alert's choice of going up-- Skystalker is surprised, to say the least-- and singing a song that touches his own spark too has Sky drawn in. It's a shift, but Red has earned it-- and it's a beautiful song. No whistling, but the starfighter's clapping is light and earnest. Thanks, Red.

Sterling laughs out an agreement with Pipes, that indeed was the best song of the night so far. Her's couldn't compare! The femme soon has a drink of her own and sips her ener-tini as Red Alert goes up. But she just cant stop wondering... what the heck is a unicorn and what does it have to do with mashmellows and rainbows... also what are marshmellows.

Her thoughts pause when Red Alert sings though. Aw, what a sweet song and... in a way... she can begin to relate to the sentiment. The Lost Light is chaotic and confusing but she's slowly carving out a place here. So she gives a clap of her own, putting some definite effort into conveying some feeling with soft noise alone.

But now she has something else she has to achieve. Biting her lip (she can ruin her lip paint now that her turn is over!), the gun nervously turns to look at Astrotrain who is a little ways away, "Um... I liked your song but... well whats a unicorn?" This is going to kill her if she doesn't know. Annnd she's also just now realizing how big the mech is up somewhat close.

Astrotrain holds a finger up at his forehead. "Looks like Roughshod had a bit pointy bit sticking out of his altmode's head. It's an Earth thing, maybe you'll see one when we get there." Either Astrotrain holds a finger up at his forehead. "Looks like Roughshod had a bit pointy bit sticking out of his altmode's head. It's an Earth thing, maybe you'll see one when we get there." Either he doesn't know they're not real, or he's just teasing the femme.

Fritz keeps up his snuggling, one arm curling around Max's as much as it can, but the tank is right about one thing: there's concern on Fritz's face now, as Max raises a hand to his head and insists, in a slur, that he's fine. "Just built that way, I guess," he chirps, scootching as close to Max as he can, as if he could actually hold the tank up lest he decide to flump over. He's wondering whether or not he should call someone to help Max back to his hab when Astrotrain takes the stage.

Okay, okay, even in his concerned state over Max, he's still drunk enough to squeal with laughter at Astrotrain's choice of song, doorwings flapping wildly with his mirth. It only grows worse when he hears Max laughing, and sees his treads spinning. There's no hope for Fritz any more. His FIM chip hasn't thrown in the towel yet but he's laughing so hard it doesn't matter, vents coming in wheezes and even a snort as he leans all over Max for support, even if the tank's the one who really needs someone to lean on right now.

And on the other side of the booth, while those two recover from laughing at Astrotrain, Inferno has optics only for Red Alert, and his song. And if Inferno thought he had feelings for that bot before, well, the warmth in his spark, sizzling through his circuits, blows that all away.

He doesn't cry. He totally definitely does not cry.

Even before Red starts stumbling off the stage, Inferno is up out of his seat, clapping for the mech's singing. He's not nearly as inebriated as the three he'd been with so he's quick to come to Red Alert's aid, scooping him up as he almost falls over just getting back to the booth. "I think," he says, a fond firmness to his voice, "That it's time for someone ta sleep off his drink. That goes for you two, too!" he calls to Fritz and Max as he passes by with Red Alert in his arms, already placing a call to a fellow security mech to help those two back. Fritz might be alright, but Max needs someone big and strong (and pink) enough to help him stagger to his room. Not really caring what anyone may think of the fact that he is literally bridal carrying Red Alert out of the bar (hey, better than Deluge's long ago fireman carry with Lieutenant) Inferno hums to himself and says, "Think we'll head ta my hab. Ya really ain't in the right state a mind ta keep us from gettin' blown up by one a yer booby traps." He tells himself he'll take the floor for the night, but if Red insists....there may be some cuddling.

Just a little.

When he sees Fritz laugh like that, Fortress Maximus just laughs harder, because it's contagious. And he's wasted. Since he can't really lean on the small mech without crushing him, and he's at least coherent enough to remember that, he grabs onto the table for support instead until the laugh winds down and he catches his breath. And then he hears Red Alert's song, moving and sincere and heartfelt. He falls quiet for a moment, perhaps...sobered?

"AW, that was REALLY NICE!" he bellows at Red Alert and Inferno. Okay, he's not sobered, but he's sincere. "That was...that was nice. 'M fine! I'm okay, Inn-Ferno, I'm not drunkoranything." He will keep insisting on this even as someone helps him back to his habsuite, with increasing incoherency.

Sterling looks a bit enlightened as Astrotrain explains what a 'unicorn' is, entirely unaware he might be screwing with her. Content with the explaination, she goes back to sipping her drinks and watching those who go up on stage for the rest of the night.

Red feels happy and warm and safe as he flies out of the bar waving goodbye to everyone. Wait, since when can he fly? Oh, someone's carrying him! Good! For a moment he thought he was an Aerialbot.

"Booby traps? Habsuite?" Red mumbles confused and suddenly sleepy. Why does that make him think that he's forgotten something important? Something he's supposed to do after he leaves the bar for the night?

Nnnope it's gone. Oh well.

(In the morning Red Alert will startle upright in terror that a drunken Waspinator blew himself up on their booby traps like Inferno suggested, but for now he's content just to nestle down in Inferno's arms and fall into a blissful, dreamless sleep.)

Brigade remains quiet as the rest of the mecha have their turn at the mic. He remains quiet as the rowdy group gathers to drink and carouse afterwards. He remains quiet as all but the most dedicated of Swerve's patrons filter out of the bar. One of the bar's drones zips over and says in a monotone voice, "The bar will be closing in ten minutes. Please finish your drinks and have a good night."

With a groan the tank gets to his pedes and makes his way to the karaoke machine, leaving all but one of his stack of battle reports behind. It had taken him all night to get up the courage to do this, but for all his grousing Brigade cannot say no to a challenge. Grabbing a stool from the bar as he passes, he sets it on the stage and thunks down. A moment later the tank lifts his cane and presses a button on the handle, causing it to transform into a... selfie stick? He slides the datapad with the battle report into the slot, fiddling with the settings until he gets it to start recording.

The tank straightens his posture on the stool. "Suck on this Skystalker," he starts. And Maximus, but that one goes without saying. "Challenge met."

Picking the most obnoxious metal song he can, Brigade starts shrieking like his life depends on it. That will be posted on the ship's terminals in the morning. Good morning, Lost Light!

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