From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Fortress Maximus, Strika, Disaster|
|Summary||While waiting for Dymium, a few crewmembers come across a pet shop. Max gets a completely harmless pet!|
With the convenience of the Rigardian space bridge, our local adorable alien, Dymium, is now able to pop back into his home-station of PR-138 to retrieve a few things he left behind in his hurry to skedaddle after the 'animal incident'. Seeing as he made his people look bad in front of Cybertronians, he's not exactly the most liked Elemen on the station, and so he's invited a few mechs from the Lost Light to join him on his short trip back home. Whether he means them to be a sort of entourage or to make his ex-coworkers feel bad because the Cybertronians totally like him anyway, well, that's up to you.
Either way, he's here, and so are they. Or at least, Dymium was here. As soon as the group arrived, he'd bounced off on his own, telling them he'd be back before they knew it and maybe they could meet up again right where they landed? Disappearing into the crowd, he'd left them on their own after that, giving them free reign to wander the promenade upon which they'd arrived. They've had time to explore the area, possibly poking in and out of the many shops that line the outer rim of this level, or to head up to the next and read the menus of the eateries and bars that make up the second floor. Perhaps they spent their wait people-watching from that second floor, leaning against the glass partition and peering down through the open space at the shoppers below. Right now, they should be gathering where he asked them too, waiting for the little guy to come back so the whole lot can return to Rigard together.
At least that was the plan. Dymium has yet to arrive, and neither has he commed anyone to let them know what's behind the hold up. The place where he'd asked them to wait is fairly open, a small hall offshooting from the main promenade floor. There's room for a store on each side, and at the end are several fountains, made for creatures of many sizes, and offering both water and some oil-like substance called Lanth. The storefront to their right when facing the promenade is covered by a large advertisement for a body shop called Swivel's, coming this season! Across from it, with much more modest decorations if you don't count the cages and pens displayed in the window, is a pet shop. The type of pets seems to vary, as one small cage holds what could be an ordinary Earth rabbit, while the cage hanging above it looks as if Laserbeak had been combined with a chainsaw someone had set on fire. The words 'PLEASE DON'T PET ME! I BURN!' are printed in big red letters on a sign attached to this cage.
In the display window on the other side of the door, one pen takes up most of the space. 'NEW! JUST IN TODAY!' the sign above it reads, in bold, bright colors meant to attract attention. The pen's inhabitants are variously colored puffballs of fur, about the size of an average mech's fist. They shuffle around the floor, bumping cutely into one another, and a few sleep in an adorable pile in one corner of the pen. One sits apart from the rest, pressed against the window with all the impression that it is watching the mechs standing outside, despite having no discernible face or eyes. If attention lands upon it, it may wiggle eagerly, squishing itself further against the glass. Come inside, it seems to say. Pet me.
Well, there are worse things to do with a few minutes to kill, right?
Fortress Maximus agreed to accompany Dymium largely as an excuse to get off Rigard for a little bit, though he's not exactly thrilled with Dymium after the aforementioned animal incident. As far as he's concerned, he's a bodyguard and a tourist at the same time. There haven't been any new artifact alerts yet and it's probably better than spending all his time in the Pagoda of War, isn't it?
The massive Autobot hasn't been too thrilled to just be DITCHED in the middle of PR-138. "Where is he? How long can it take him to pick up whatever it is he needed?" He taps a heavy pede on the ground, carrying a bag under one arm with a few souvenirs and sweets he's going to take back with him. If he's had to come all this way, he'd like to get something out of it.
He scans the area with scowling optics before spotting that pet shop. No, Max, bad idea. Much as he wanted to bring back that poor Earth cow after finding out what happens to Earth cows, he's not sure the Lost Light is the best place for a pet. But then again...if he just looks...and soon enough, Max is leaning over and looking in the shop window, watching the colorful puffballs silently.
Strika happens the be the only Rigardian who came through her people's spacebridge. Whatever the femme had been expecting... well it wasn't this. Spending the time they had indeed standing on the second floor watching (more like accidentally intimidating) the inhabitants of the station, the very large femme is now leaning against a wall as they wait. "... He was supposed to be here by now." She says in agreement, also pointing out the obvious with clear irritation.
Its taking another glance around the area that she pauses, spotting something small and fluffy in the nearby store window. By the guiding hand... Its adorable. Glancing away, Strika tries to keep up her composure- shes supposed to be the professional general sent to assist!- but it is hard with the little creature wriggling in her peripheral.
Disaster wasn't a part of the Lost Light when Animorphing was a thing on the Lost Light. Probably why Dymium can be seen as just a harmless new guy the minibot has yet to meet. Although, he is tentatively on guard, especially when he's not there to greet them. So while they wait, he looks around, not at all that bothered by the lack of appearance by their 'tour guide.' "Come on, he'll be back when he's back." The Autobot assures, waving at the fire bird. "How awesome would it be to have something like this as a companion? Just like, yeah, this is my fire bird friend. He's fine."
Disaster moves over to the next display, clearly not reading any of the signs. "Awwwww, guys come on! Look at these little organics! They're just balls of fluff. I bet there's something on the bottoms of them that make them deadly!"
The fire bird, as Disaster calls it, turns one flaming eye upon the mini bot. It stares, unmoving, for a long, bleak moment, before it looks away again.
The fuzzballs in the window are much less freaky. The one pressed up against the glass begins wiggling in earnest when Fortress Maximus and Disaster come closer, practically trying to climb the window. The glass is soundproof, or the three would be hearing quite the cacophony of sound, not the least of which is a blend of purring as the other creatures begin to notice the encroaching presence of people. Those not heaped in the snooze pile in the corner seem to notice these possible customers too, as they all begin crowding around where the original still sits, bouncing and wiggling and pushing against the display window as if their combined cuteness could break it and set them free.
"...I don't know about that one," Fortress Maximus says as he gives the laserbeak-like bird a suspicious look. "I wonder if those things even have legs, though. I didn't see them in any of the old datapads about organic animals." He steps aside to let Strika have a bit more room, as they're both pretty huge. And then his eyes fall on the one that really really REALLY WANTS TO SAY HI.
"...Well, he's late. I'm sure there's no harm in just...looking in there," he says, clearing his throat and trying to look dignified as he steps into the shop. "For research."
Strika watches as Fort Max and Disaster crowd around the glass, luring in more of the fuzzballs. Well, if they are looking at something it is only her duty to look and make sure its... um... nothing dangerous. Walking over, the femme peers over the shoulders of both to look down at the little things. There is a beat where she seems to be weighing her options, then the femme holds out a hand and rests a finger against the glass.
Hush, Max, the laserbeak bird is awesome! Disaster looks up at both towering mechs with a grin. He's glad they're coming over to look at the puffballs. "I kind of like the bird better but these guys look more social. Look at them all piling up-!" Disaster briefly wonders if they're strong enough to break the glass and takes a few steps back. Just in case. He's still a soldier after all, he has to be wary of even the cute stuff sometimes.
When Fortress Maximus steps into the shop, some of the fluffy creatures follow him, their ringleader being the one who'd pressed so eagerly at the glass to begin with. This little group moves to the back of the pen, leaping with unseen legs, trying to clear the large walls surrounding them. Some, however, remain at the window, wiggling and bouncing at Strika and Disaster. They want you to play too!
Inside the shop the noise hidden by the glass is unmuffled, squawks and hoots and growls coming from cages and tanks and pens all crammed against the four walls of the room. Midway through the shop is the counter, behind which are small tanks full of outrageously neon fish, whose colors flash like strobe lights at a cheap rave. The shop is seemingly unmanned, as there isn't an attendant at the counter. What Fortress Maximus may miss in the sounds of the creatures for sale is the soft shuffle of padded, furry feet across the cool metal floor as someone approaches from behind a row of shelving containing various pet supplies. The owner of these feet, who may reach Disaster's chin, stops in front of the much larger mech.
"Hello!" The attendant greets, black eyes shining from the depths of a head scarf that completely obscures her face. In fact, all of her body is obscured by soft, velvety robes of deep purple; beyond her eyes, the only visible feature of her body are the two stalks erupting from the top of her head, which end in black, furry heart-shaped ears. "I'm Pr'ra! May I help you?"
Oh sweet Primus they're following him around. They want to be held and SELF CONTROL MAX! Self control.
Fortress Maximus is so distracted by the fuzzy things, the strange creatures and the colorful fish that he doesn't see Pr'ra until she speaks up. Startled, he takes a step back and cranes his neck down, then just outright kneels to address the shopkeeper, since he can't just rush out now that he's been seen. That would be rude, and suspicious. "...I...yes." Think of something to say, Max, and then excuse yourself. "Those, um, those..." He points a digit at the fuzzballs. "What are those, exactly? I'm not familiar with them." Purely educational!
Strika drags her finger gently across the glass and watches as the little things bounce around to play with it. Anyone who knows Strika can immediately tell that shes absolutely enraptured by the little creatures, as close to 'squeeing' as the femme ever gets. who knows what everyone else sees, it could be anywhere from no change to kind of weirded about the strange turn her body language seems to have taken.
After doing that for a little while, the femme follows Fort Max in ducking through the doorway into the store.
Disaster bounces up at the new comer, "Hiya! I'm Disaster, this is Fortress Maximus (Maxi for short because it's a mouthful), and Strika! She's our new friend, and she's pretty awesome!" There, introductions taken care of, now he can admire how pretty this Pr'ra is. She sounds like a nice person in his mind. And yes, ask about all the creatures.
As Strika and Disaster join Fortress Maximus in the shop, Pr'ra looks at each in turn, ear-stalks tilting and eyes crinkling. Though her face isn't visible, she seems to be smiling. "Hail and well met. I am Pr'ra." In case they missed that. "I run this shop. It's very nice to meet you!" Her high, tinkling voice seems to cut through the noise of the animals around her, which makes her easy to hear despite the severe height differences between her and two-thirds of this party. Introductions indeed taken care of, she turns her attention back to Max. Furry, stubby-fingered paws appear from the wide sleeves of her robes as she raises her arms to clap them together. "Oh! You want to know about the trobbles? Right this way!"
Shuffling across the floor, Pr'ra moves to the pen where the trobbles, as she calls them, have all gathered against the wall facing the inside of the shop. It's easy for the mechs to peer over the top of the barrier at the trobbles inside. "I received these just this morning, do you like them? There were less then, but I don't mind. More for customers like you!" She speaks in an excited chatter, her words flowing together in an almost song-like way. "They are very nice creatures, don't bite at all, and eat anything organic. Very cute!" Bending, she stands on tiptoes to reach into the pen and retrieve one of the trobbles. Compares to her, it is much bigger, and it takes both arms to hold the happily cooing furball as she raises it up toward them like Rafiki presenting Simba to the savannah. "Would you like to pet one?"
...Okay, Fort Max decides, Disaster gets to call him Maxi.
"Less then? Oh, well...organics-I mean, some creatures do reproduce on their own, right?" One must have had a litter or two. (Does that mean they're babies? Are these baby puffballs? They're babies he needs to adopt them and protect them and...!)
Steady, Max. He stares down at the trobble Pr'ra has very kindly retrieved for him and at first considers saying no thank you. It's so small compared to him, and fragile, and his hands aren't really made for gentle work, but...well, it'd be rude, or so he tells himself.
"It's, um." He gives it a gentle pet. "It's very soft," he says, sounding a little distracted and looking wide-eyed. "It's so soft."
Strika is halfway to reaching out and stroking the creature when something catches her attention, "Less? I knew organics multiplied fast but I didn't think that fast." Something seems ... wrong about that offhanded comment, she just isn't sure how. Maybe she's wrong, maybe some just do that- She only really knows of the organic creatures of Rigard well enough to tell.
Squinting suspicion pushed aside, Strika reaches down and pets a finger across the trobble with Fortress Maximus and ... oh. Oh no. It is really soft.
Disaster lets the other two bigger mecha touch the small puffball. He just watches with a giddy grin, appreciating their joy over the creatures. It's so cute. They may be giant but they're such soft sparks, and it fills the minibot with joy. "They probably multiply like the petro-rabbits of Omicron Recta." But still, even he's never heard of reproduction so fast! It's like creating MTOs! They must be the cannon fodder in the organic world.
Pr'ra shrugs at their misgivings to the reproduction rates of the trobbles. "Yes, reproduce very fast, like petro-rabbits!" she chirps in agreement to Disaster, her ear-stalks curling down on themselves and eyes crinkling even more. She's beaming. Clearly this mech is on her level! "See? I told you, they are very soft. And very cute. And very cheap!" Her eyes sparkle, just as cutely and trustworthy as the soft cooing of the trobble in her paws. "If you'd like, you may take one to pet yourself? Choose one each, maybe?"
Fort Max self-consciously glances at Strika until he realizes she's petting it too. Right! So two tough bots are petting the fluffy cute fluffball. That makes it a little better on his fragile huge combat robot ego.
"They are very cute," he blurts out, standing back up and sauntering over to the pen. "And...I guess they do multiply fast. But as long as you keep them apart, it should be fine, right? I think organics usually require two or more of each other to reproduce." Which seems a bit odd, but that's how they work.
He waits for the others to follow and hesitantly reaches down to pet that one that kept beckoning him earlier. It likes him, obviously. He'd be doing it a disservice NOT to pet.
Strika is snapped out of her 'oh its cute and soft' trance at the mentioning of actually getting one. "No." is her immediate and blunt response, "They may do what they like but I will not be getting one." There's no way she can care for a pet with her schedule.... plus she'd probably break it.
Disaster would love one but he's not sure he could be responsible for another life aside from his own. He's not as naive as he was when he first came online, but he knows he's still not stable enough to take care of someone else. It's too much work and and false move could possibly doom them. There goes that rare bout of anxiety in the minibot. Still, he smiles, "No thank you, but they are really cute!" A moment of consideration to maybe give one to a friend, but Fortress Maximus is already here.
Two out of three strikes. Pr'ra doesn't show her disappointment at the refusal of Disaster and Strika - or maybe she does, in the slightest flick of her ear-stalks, a body language they wouldn't be familiar with - and instead turns her full sales pitch on Fortress Maximus. They may be lost causes (not that she tried all that hard; nobody said she was a good salesman) but this one...this one doesn't appear to be.
"Yes. Keep them apart and it will be fine," Pr'ra echoes. It's totally true and you should believe her, look how cute she is. "Maybe take one home? You can pet, friends can pet, even if there is only one." Replacing the trobble she'd removed from the pen, Pr'ra peers at Fort Max as he pets the one that had attracted their attention in the first place. It definitely does seem to like the large Cybertronian, its cooing ramped up several notches, body vibrating with the force of it as it nuzzles into his petting hand. "And they deserve good homes, yes?"
"I..." Max looks between Strika and Disaster. "Well, Skystalker does bring all sorts of plants in, and Sunstreaker has Bob..." In fact, Bob seems to be very good for Sunstreaker. "And I did read about pets being good for relaxation...ohhh." It's purring? Cooing? Vibrating somehow, which is incredibly relaxing and soothing. And he can protect it. He can keep it safe. "It eats organic material, you say? So if I can just bring it leaves and keep it in a nice little habitat..."
He ponders. "...a-alright. I do think this one likes me." He lets it sit in his hand. "Just...one, right?"
Strika walks up to look over Max's shoulder as he pets the little creature, keeping one optic on Disaster as he wanders off to be sure he doesn't go prodding at the fire bird. "If you like it then you should get it." Just because she's refraining from getting a pet doesn't mean he has to... especially when its easy to see how much he likes it. "There is plenty of organic material on Rigard to feed it with."
Pr'ra has no interest in any of Fortress Maximus' self-convincing. She just stands there, patiently, eyes on him as she waits for him to puzzle it out on his own. She doesn't even need to give him a little push to help him get where she wants him to, he's doing it all by himself. "Yes, organic material. Not sentio metallico, or metals." So they won't eat your ship, basically. When Fortress Maximus finally steps over the point of no return, she gives a happy trill, eye-stalks waving with glee. "Only one, of course! Come with me, Mr. Maximus, come come and we will make your purchase." She shuffles off to the counter, moving a lot faster than it should be possible for something that small, and after she disappears behind it there's some scraping and banging before she suddenly pops up above the countertop. Slapping her hand on its surface, she beckons them. "Come come!"
Good, so Fortress Maximus is not about to buy a cute, fuzzy Scraplet by mistake. He carries the little thing in his hands, clutched carefully and gently, at Strika's urging. "Well, if you think it'll be alright...it...would be nice." The giant actually smiles a little, staring down at his cute little friend. Oh, he thought of it as a friend. That's it, fate is sealed. He has a fair amount of money, as he almost never bothers buying something for himself outside of the occasional food or drink.
Strika stands back by the cage holding the rest of the fuzzballs, dipping her hand in to pet at the rest of them as Fort Max pays for his own. Its too bad she has responsibilities or else she would indeed get one of her own.
"Very alright. Very nice," Pr'ra reassures Fortress Maximus. Her song-like voice seems to be devolving into more of a chitter the more excited she gets, until she starts sounding like the creatures she's selling. She's quick to ring Fortress Maximus up, probably trying to add in some pet care supplies to his purchase ("A brush is good, yes? Brush the soft fur, keep it soft? And some shampoo, mm, keep soft fur shiny and healthy!") until he's all set, money has been exchanged for goods, and that's all she wrote. "All set!" she exclaims as she finishes tallying everything into the datapad-looking register on the countertop, popping her shanix drawer back into the counter itself. "Have a good day! You'll come back maybe? Soon? Bring friends?"
As she speaks, if any of them are looking out of the storefront window, they'll see a harried-looking Dymium arrive in the waiting spot. He's holding a suitcase and looking around rather frantically. Seems he hasn't spotted his entourage in the pet shop yet.
"Uh, yes, of course!" Fortress Maximus stammers, a little exhausted from the sales pitch as he leaves the shop. He's not likely to return just out of circumstances, since he suspects he'll be busy with the artifact search, but there's no need to mention that. Besides, he has one pet, and he only needs one pet. He lets the little thing he's already started to name Tuft rest on one of his enormous shoulders. "Well, that was...not bad at all, right?...Oh, there he is," he adds, scowling a little. "Where were you?!"
Strika hears the purchase be completed just as she spots the frantic movement out the window, walking out with the others Strika looks less than pleased down at Dymium. Nicely worded, Max.
Pr'ra waves them out of the shop, shooing little Disaster along to join them. On its perch, the fire bird watches him, beady eye burning brightly.
Dymium, meanwhile, cowers before the two larger mechs, clutching at his suitcase like he thinks it will protect him. "I'm sorry!" he bursts out immediately. "I-I'm calling the bridge as we speak, really, really I am I'm sorry! They mobbed me on my way back from my old place I really didn't mean to take so long but they wouldn't let me go, I thought I'd want them to like me but this was too much I didn't know what to do--!" Better do something or he'll carry on all the way back to Rigard. "...I-it's fine." Dymium's panic is starting to make Fortress Maximus feel a little uncomfortable. He doesn't like it when people cower from him! Usually. So he just holds up a hand, sighing. "It's alright, really. We did some shopping. It was fine. I'm glad you're safe."
Strika Squints down at the alien, turning to scan the area as he speaks, "They attacked you? where?" If they attacked him she'll deal with it.
Dymium does calm down a little when neither Strika nor Fortress Maximus jump down his throat again. Disaster he's not worried about - that mini's a sweet guy! "No....no, they didn't attack me. They just cornered me for a while...but I got away." Forcing fluid down his intake, the Elemen smiles shakily up at his two much larger companions. "Let's just...head back. I'll warn Praeso that if she wants to come get anything she should be careful..." With the bridge called, it's only a matter of time before they're returning to Rigard. In that moment before it appears, though, Dymium is absolutely going to notice Fortress Maximus' new friend, and be completely distracted from his own worries by excitedly babbling and dancing around Max as he tries to get a better look at the creature.