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2017-08-22 Alternate Options

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Alternate Options
Date 2017/08/22
Location Lost Light - Habsuites - Common Lounge
Participants Astrix, Astrotrain, Hound, Sterling
Summary Sterling asks for some help in considering a new vehicle mode.

Sterling has been staring at these fragging datapads all day. Lying upside down on one of the few not entirely chewed up couches, Sterling blearily attempts to read a paragraph for the third time in a row without actually comprehending what it says. When did frame changes require homework??? Probably didn't help that Rung believed her mental state 'eligible but preparation sessions recommended'. Whatever that might mean she's seeing the doc now once a week for who knows what and talking with medical.

Finally giving up, the femme tosses the datapad away and lets it slide across the floor as she pulls out a cygarette- still in her upturned position. None of this reading is helping her any.

Hound doesn't usually spend too much time down in the hab suites-- better not to spend too much time prowling around there as an officer, so that the crew can relax-- but occasionally he finds himself passing through, and he doesn't always just hurry by. Today, for instance, he makes his way into the Common Lounge with the thought of grabbing some energon and maybe taking a little while to relax before heading off again to check in with Medical once more.

Hound barely surveys the room as he walks through toward the energon dispenser, but the hint of smoke makes his nose twitch. He looks around, and... yep. There she is. Where there's smoke, there's Sterling. "Hey there," Hound says with a smile, apparently fine with the odd way Sterling is sitting. "How're you doing, Sterling?"

The door to one of the habsuite hallways slips open and Astrotrain steps through... about half a step before he stops with a grunt as his wings catch against the doorframe. "Oh for the love of..." He takes a step back, flexes his shoulders to angle his wings back a bit, and then steps into the lounge proper. "I almost miss being small enough to just walk through doors." Looks down at the large drone-head-turned-drink-mug in his hand. "Almost." And proceeds to gulp it down.

As a hub to the various wings of habsuits, the Common Lounge was a tactically sound place to steak out for observing the crew of the Lost Light. That is, observing them in sedate, casual, day-to-day situations. And it was for this purpose that a white owl-like form had glided into the room. With a twitch of his broad, fanned out tail he ascends to a higher vantage point in the room, circling until he selects an idea vantage point. He perches upon a tall shelf, and peers down at everyone.

Sterling is too focused on lighting her cyg and fails to notice Hound walk in, meaning when he talks to her the femme startles. The thud of Astrotrain hitting the doorframe doesn't help. Yelping, the femme tries to jolt up but her gun barrels drag the femme down again. Scrabbling to grab something, Sterling slides straight off the couch to sprawl across the floor with a thud.

A single hand raises up from behind the piece of furniture and Sterling drags herself back up to look at the others across the seat back, cyg clenched between her teeth and visor slightly askew, "Oh uh- Hi Hound." Just gonna.. Ignore that embarrassing fall, ok moving on.

Hound's optics go wide when Sterling yelps and starts to scramble away. He's not usually trying to be sneaky, so the reaction is startling, to say the least. He's not sure whether to step forward and try to help, or back off and leave her to sort herself out, which means that by the time Sterling starts to claw her way back over the couch. He'll be ignoring the room's other occupants, for now. "You all right there?" he asks. "Didn't mean to startle ya."

Astrotrain stuffs the empty mug into a storage compartment and leans over a bit. Which is all he really needs to do considering he's a good deal taller than Hound. "Seats are for sitting on toots, not falling off." He's being really nice in not just laughing at her, though. After all the fumbling about he did in Nightshade's chassis it's not quite as funny. That or he's not drunk enough for it to be funny.

Now that Astrix is settled, wings tuckled nicely, he can watch the denizens in relative peace. Today, it looks like Observations on Handling Embarrassing Encounters will be the ticket. No sniggering or laughter comes from Astrix in regards to the clumsy displays not just from Sterling but also Astrotrain. However, he does bob his head up and down a few times, his flat owlish face showing no expression. Well. Beyond the perpetual glare his large optics seem to be casting.

Sterling waves him off, "Yeah, I'm fine.. Primus it's like someone gets a sick thrill out of embarrassing me whenever you're around." Properly sitting, she lets out a stream of smoke- in the opposite direction of the mech of course, "Don't worry about it just... just a little tired, I've been reading these datapads for the last couple days." Using a heel, Sterling stretches her leg out to drag the tossed object back to herself, displaying it in front of the mech, "Rang uh... really likes to make sure people know what they're in for." The title of the article states something about analyzing frame components before it is lowered again.

Shifting her attention to Astrotrain, a pang of annoyance flashes through the gunformer's helm. Resting her chin on the couch back, she gives a sassy retort before she can stop it from slipping out, "Well, it can be hard. Not all our afts are as big as yours." ... Oh... Why the frag did she just let herself say that!?

"It happens," Hound says, with a sympathetic smile. Rather than go toward the couch now that Sterling has finished righting herself, he continues past Astrotrain toward the energon dispenser, though he fills a regular cube rather than the slightly gruesome cup that Astrotrain is using. As soon as it's full, he wanders back toward the couches, leaning against the side of one of the more beaten-up ones rather than sit on it. "Reading for what?" he asks, tilting his helm.

The jab at his size actually gets a guffaw out of the Triplechanger. "It's gotta be big, for all the afts it's gotta save!" Pause. "Well, use to." Astrotrain shrugs a bit. "Not nearly as much 'DECEPTICONS RETREAT!' and 'RUN AWAY!' as there use to be." The attempt at Megatron was terrible, but it's not hard to do a good Starscream just by being as screechy as possible.

"Among the Gerzonians of Fraebol-2, the relative size of one's 'aft', as you call it, was often correlated with one's stability and steadfastness of character and were often afforded places among councils and committees if not sought after as cohabitating partners."

After sharing this likely unhelpful fact about an obscure people no one probably has met or cares about, Astrix resumes a silent vigil with statuesque stillness. Well. Other than wincing at screechy impersonation.

Sterling settles her nerves a bit when Astrotrain doesn't take it badly, edges of her lips quirking upwards a little, "Mmmm not quite there, you need to go a little raspier, like 'LORD STARSCREAM!'" Sterling can get her voice a lot higher than Astrotrain's, though her own impression probably is just as terrible.

Asterix gets a perplexed look before turning her attention back to Hound, "I see.... Wellll I have been thinking about getting a frame change. Only- ok how exactly do they expect you to know what you want to become when none of this slag actually tells you what its like?? This," A hand is gestures towards the held datapad, "Tells me statistics on different frame types and their benefits but nothing else."

The Megatron impressions make Hound wince, but he doesn't take part. Not that mocking Megatron hasn't become a common Autobot pastime over the years, but he doesn't think Astrotrain would welcome the intrusion all that much. Instead, he glances in Astrix's direction and nods rather bemusedly. Apparently that's so, though he can't say that he's familiar with that group, organic or otherwise. Then he turns back to Sterling, perking up. "Oh, are you? Well, I can't say I have any experience getting an alt mode change or anything like that, but it wouldn't hurt to ask around for what other bots like about their frames and alts, if you want to get a better understanding."

Astrotrain briefly turns his head in the direction the ramble came from. "I have no idea what you just said other than it has NERD all over it." Pause. Followed by a palm to the face. ".. And of course the wise ol' nerd would be an owl." Possibly no one else here gets that reference save nature boy.. or is that Beachcomber? Ugh. Jeep, buggy, too similar as far as he cares. Speaking of alt modes, though. "Well we can't all have the most awesome modes their are, but those," idly kicks away one of the datapads, "ain't going to help. Words and diagrams don't mean piddly when it comes to deciding a fundamental part of yerself."

Hearing Sterling's shriller impersonation, Astrix abruptly spreads out his wings, spreading out metal plates that act as flight feathers, before folding them back against his cylindrical body. There is a soft clicking noise as one curled talon taps the edge of the shelf the owl is on. Upon being referred to as a nerd, the owl tilts his head and responds, "I don't know what that means." He has the vague sense, though, that he is being insulted. If this affronts Astrix, it's hard to really tell. He merely leans doward and then glides down from his perch and lands instead on the back of the couch Sterling is sitting on. He moves his head side to side, then bobs forward somewhat, staring at Sterling's pile of datapads. "The large afted one, however, brings up a point. These contain only data, which very useful in their own right, will not prepare you for the jarring changes which will also become an integral part of your identity - though one should not let their frame entirely define them." Astrix' dish like face swivels around to peer at Hound. "And as for asking what people prefer about their own frames and alternate forms, I'd also ask what they dislike. An informed decision cannot be made one accolades alone."

Sterling taps a finger against the pad as she thinking about what the others have said, shifting to the side so Asterix has some room to sit, "... Well, my alt mode has defined me ever since I was brought online. I ... I don't want that anymore. I got a taste of what it was like during the body swapping, I got to go around in Whisper's body. Be mobile on my own power." Taking her time pulling a drag from her smoke, Sterling pauses, ".... What about you all? Every one of you has a different frame type. What is it like being a car, a spacer, and a beastformer?"

"That's fair," Hound agrees, nodding at Astrix. He taps his finger on the side of his cube as he considers the question. "In my case you'd probably get a different answer if you asked one of the Velocitronians or someone like the captain, since they're a bit faster than me," he says. "In their case I'm sure you'd get an answer about being fast somewhere in there."

Astrotrain raises a ridge slightly at the 'mobile on my own power' remark. "... Oh, you're one of tho--" Wait that would probably be insenstive sounding. Not that he's particularly sensative, but this isn't a subject to make light up. "--the stationary sorts, huh." Okay that's better, for the most part. "Not just -a- spacer." Astrotrain thumps a fist against his rectangular chestplate. "I'm the best damn transporter the war had. And you know why?"

He hefts up a leg onto the side of the couch and points at where some of his locomotive wheels are recessed into the lower limb. "I can traverse the depths of space -and- go to the surface without being stuck tromping around in root mode once you got there."

Astrix seems content to remain on the back of the couch, digging his talons into the furniture with careful pressure so as not to damage it, but maintain a firm grip. Astrix face is already a grim on, but the dimming of his yellow optics and subtle downard tilt of his head lends itself to further austerity. Astrix edges further away from Sterling and pointedly does not look at Astrotrain showing off his wheels. "Despite its flight capabilities, my form is fuel efficient." The rise and lift of wings simulates a shrug. It would seem the owl has chosen now, that he's actually being asked for an opinion, to be tight lipped and say very little.

Sterling winces a little at the mention of velocitronians, once again reminded of Phantasm and her running... 'tension' with the mech, "I'll... keep that in mind, Hound." She barely has time to notice Asterix's aversion to talking about himself as Astrotrain plants a leg on the couch next to her, showing off his wheels. Leaning to the side, she looks at where the wheels are hidden amidst the limb- more willing to look than Asterix evidently. So he's a triple changer...She can guess what his two modes are from the name.

Making a contemplative noise, Sterling lets smoke trail out before her optic drags back up to Astrotrain's face, "Well I wouldn't necessarily call myself station so much as... actually I'll just show you, cmere." Sterling stands and walks to the side, crooking a finger for the larger mech to follow.

"Not to say that I'd rather have a frame like that," Hound notes. "I wouldn't trade what I've got for that. It depends what you liked about being in Whisper's frame, though." But Sterling is getting up and walking over to Astrotrain, so rather than keep rambling on about the many varieties of car, he settles back against the couch he's chosen and watches as she walks over to Astrotrain.

"Yeah, and I bet most of 'em would get stuck in the mud you'd just romp right through," Astrotrain retorts to Hound with a bit of a smirk. "If there's one thing we share it's the freedom of where we can go, without relying on roads and stuff. I can just do it amongst the stars, too." With that said he hefts his leg off the couch and trudges after the femme. "Alright, show me what ya got."

Astrix peers at Sterling and Astrotrain for a moment. For his own reasons, he elects now to spread his wings and take flight, leaving the room without explanation or even the common courtesy of 'good bye' or 'pleased to meet you'.

Sterling briskly takes Astrotrain's hands as he walks over, almost ritualistically placing one on her back the other her waist, "Grab the handles, please don't drop me." Astrix's suddenly exit is noted before she triggers her transformation. Her alt mode's handles eject out into the triplechanger's hands as her body shifts and changes into her minigun form- nervously relying on the decepticon to catch her and handle the considerable weight of her weapon mode.

"That's one of the reasons I like it," Hound agrees with a grin and a nod to Astrotrain. "I may not fly, but I can get where I need to go and I can get there on four wheels." Hound takes another sip of his energon as he watches Sterling move Astrotrain's hands, his optic ridges rising at first before she transforms, and it makes sense. "Ah, yeah. I can see why being mobile would be a change."

Astrotrain could make all sorts of raunchy jokes at the femme putting his hands on her, but comes up short when she transforms and it starts to make sense. He hobbles a bit from her awkward movements, but being the big bricky buff 'con he is had little trouble actually holding the minigun up once he's shifted his balance a little to compensate. "... Oooooooh." He lifts Sterling up and down a little. "All that potential power, but you can't do a thing without someone to move and point you. Talk about being blessed with suck... Not to mention with everyone wanting to put the war behind them, kind of a smoking gun in its own right."

Sterling listens to Hound as she transforms, finally sitting snugly in her alt mode with relief that she wasn't dropped. Some mechs don't have the strength or reaction time to catch her fast enough. "Yeah, so you see my proble- .... Oh dear Primus, you did not just make that joke." She groans from how bad of a joke that was, but it seems like there may be a hint of a smile somewhere in it. Her barrels rotate into a more comfortable position with a hushed whirr.

Hound muffles a snort, and shakes his helm. That really was a bad one, Astrotrain. "If you say so," he tells the triple-changer, taking another sip of his energon, before the shuffling of Sterling's gun mode draws his attention back to her. "So, if you don't mind me asking, do you have any kinds of alt modes you're already considering?" he asks.

"Oh I totally did." Astrotrain is not ashamed of his terrible sense of humor. But after some snickering for himself his reverbrant voice actually gets a bit more somber. "Seriously though, this brings up a good theory to consider." He holds up the minigun in front of him in lieu of her having an actual face to look at for the moment. "Before you decide what your new alt-mode is going to be? You need to decide what -you- are going to be... okay, -who- you are going to be. Yeah, I know, phrasing. I don't transform into a thesaurus. Point is, some of us decided what we're gonna do with ourselves from what we turn into... But I think you need to think the other way 'round about it."

If a sense of deep thought can come off a gun, Sterling most certainly manages it. Barrels continuing to rotate subconsciously, the femme finally answers, "Well... A jet is on the table, since I already played around with Whisper's alt mode a bit. My other thoughts based on what I've read were a motorcycle alt and.... Maybe a beast mode. Now that I have the chance to be mobile, I want to be as maneuverable as I can be." Astrotrain's point makes her think too, responding with a little more confusion, "So... I should... decide what I want to do then choose an alt?"

Hound finds himself nodding along with Astrotrain, as the Decepticon gets more serious. "Most of us made peace with our frames one way or another. Some didn't, and that's why you have frame changes. Or monoformers," Hound adds as an afterthought. "Anyway, if you've decided to change you can be anything, but as far as I know, switching isn't easy. Which is probably why they're shoving all that reading on you. But deciding what you want to be able to do, then asking the mechs who do that-- seems like a good way to figure out what alt mode might suit you."

Astrotrain shrugs his shoulders a little, though the gesture is exaggerated some by his wings bobbing a bit with the motion. "Maybe. Maybe the other way around. Point is more to keep em both in mind. And that it's not a decision you can just make in a few cycles."

"Well..." Unseen, Sterling glances back towards the datapads, "time to figure it out is definitely what I have a lot of." The handles of her alt mode begin to retract, slowly so Astrotrain has time to drop her before she flips back into root mood, landing pedes first in a click of heels. "Maybe I should talk with Whisper and Roughshod..."

"Probably couldn't hurt," Hound says, shrugging and finishing off the last of his energon as Sterling transforms again. "We have plenty of fliers and beastformers both on this ship, so you'll have plenty of places to go for opinions. Still, hope we could help," he notes, "even if you're not about to choose a truck alt, or something."

Astrotrain has transported non-vehicular Decepticons enough times in his career to notice the handles twitch and let go. "Yeah, what he said." He had his insightful moment, it's back to his usual now. "Sure you'll figure it out eventually."

"Yeah... and until then." With a long suffering sigh, Sterling drops back into her seat and holds up the datapad she had been reading like a dreaded object, "Gross dull reading."

"At least this way you only have to read about the ones you're interested," Hound says with a chuckle as he pushes himself up off the couch. He turns toward the dispenser, to leave his finished cube, then moves again toward the doorway. "Good luck with your studying, Sterling. And you can always send me a message if you need anything." She may not take advantage of that, but at least after this time, he doesn't feel like he's worried that Sterling will be afraid of doing it. He may only have done so from a distance, but it's nice to have seen her come out of her shell.

Astrotrain glances up at the lounge chronometer. "Speaking of making use of alt modes, I gotta start my shift in a few. So I'll see ya around." The big mech rolls a shoulder joint a bit as he turns and tromps out of the lounge to head off to his round of duty

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