Even more so than the Residential Sector, the Emporium is separated into hundreds of small structures, mixed in with numerous medium-sized and a handful of large buildings meant to correspond to the affluency of the businesses in question. Unlike the Residential Sector, though, these indigo steel/titanium-and-crystal buildings are almost nondescript, perhaps waiting for the new owners to personalize them with business logos and advertisements. The confusing, almost randomly-interconnected streets are short, wide, and disjointed, encouraging hidden nooks and cul-de-sacs to explore. Despite the availability of the buildings, there are few here to take advantage of the convenient layout and new establishments.
The faint, wispy clouds of Cybertron's dark atmosphere are illuminated from below by the majesty of New Crystal City's lighting, reflecting back a diffuse purplish-red. Glancing up at air traffic patterns from time to time, Fusillade meanders through the rather bare commercial district of New Crystal City. With no real base of residents, the vendors here depend on passers-through for purchases. With faceted eyes aglitter in concentration, she visually scours the doorways and window displays of the few-and-far-between shops. The proprietors tend to melt between hope, uncertainty upon spying her Decepticon insignia, or disappointment in the cases where she doesn't even bother to enter. With a faint aspiration over her vents, she stalks down one of the main streets of the bazaar.
A lone figure sits on a bench in a cubbyhole off to one side, a cube of energon clasped in the palm of his large hand and his optics turned to watch the browsing Decepticon with the faintest of smirks. His legs are crossed at the ankle as he's leaned back against the wall behind - frankly it's a miracle the bench hasn't collapsed. As she draws nearer, there's a gentle clearing of throat and his voice rumbles forth, "Fancy meeting you here..." he intones, doing his level best to keep the arrogance he usually addresses Decepticons with out of his tone. The faint, wispy clouds of Cybertron's dark atmosphere are illuminated from below by the majesty of Crystal City's lighting, reflecting back a diffuse purplish-red. Glancing up at air traffic patterns from time to time, Fusillade meanders through the rather bare commercial district of Crystal City. With no real base of residents, the vendors here depend on passers-through for purchases. With faceted eyes aglitter in concentration, she visually scours the doorways and window displays of the few-and-far-between shops. The proprietors tend to melt between hope, uncertainty upon spying her Decepticon insignia, or disappointment in the cases where she doesn't even bother to enter. With a faint aspiration over her vents, she stalks down one of the main streets of the bazaar.
There's a glittering cascade at the door of one of the shops as Fusillade, intent on her search, plunges through a cobalt, cyan, and chrome wall of beads. Not two minutes later, the process is reversed. A triumphant crow escapes her as she holds up an emerald-tinted glass flasks to the streetlights. "This'll be perfect for day to day use!" She cups the flared bottom in the palm of her hand, as if testing the weight and heft in comparison to the slenderness of its neck. At this point, the Air Guardian's greeting reaches her audials. With the item still raised to the heavens, she glances back down to street level with classic deer-in-headlights look. This of course affords the store owner a chance to burst out of the doorway, catch up with her, and angrily tamp the center of his outstretched hand with fingers to demand payment. "Yeah yeah yeah," she says, shoving the glassware back into the owner's hands, before she crosses her arms over her chest, and paces speculatively at the recumbent Autobot. "It does happen from time to time," she remarks, shifting weight to one hip and crossing ankles as she leans against a building corner.
"I was being sarcastic, it seems you have as much a fondness for this city as I do, judging by how often I end up seeing you here." Jetfire's tone is genial, avoiding a confrontational tone, "It's rather a testament to what we can achieve when we really need to. The fact that a place exists where we aren't at one another's throats should be admired." somewhere during the conversation about a quarter of the energon cube got drained off, "Though it's usually a good idea to bring some credits along, rather than trying to shoplift."
"I like other places better," Fusillade states, although her gaze does linger for a moment on the graceful arch of a plasteel bridge that links two prismatic towers. "What do you want, anyway? You're not very fun to brag to about five-fingered discounts. And if I see something I like, I'll shell out, trust me." She gestures toward the emptying energon cube in Jetfire's clutches, "Those are all well and good, but frankly, the house specialties at a lot of different establishments can have ah... particulates in them. Helps to let them settle out before imbibing. I just need to find something with an awesome swoop," she illustrates by curving her hand down and then scooping away exuberantly. "That helps keep the smaller ones from stirring back up into the fluid." She may not be acknowledging that an accord between their factions is possible, but she is, at the very least, expounding on a passion of hers that doesn't result in incidental collateral damage or death.
Jetfire mmms, "As do I, most of them are at least 15 lightyears from here." he replies, "As for the sediment, it's not a difficult thing to install filtration systems, as the sediment can be useful in other area's. But you are definitely taking a unique approach." he grins a little, more of the cube having emptied, "Still, I'd hope you'd recognize the success that this city shows is possible when it comes to our futures."
Shooting a prospecter's gaze at the next shop several doors down, Fusillade smirks a bit. "Kinda hard to enjoy them from the inside of a transport, that's for sure. So, like what?" And without waiting for a reply, she ducks into the door. It takes a bit longer for her to emerge, and likely, Jetfire will have to enter the shop to continue the conversation. The bomber hmmms, and wedges herself into the space between corridors, gilded trinkets and opalescent chimes and windcatchers rustling about her helmet as she stands on tip-toe to reach her prize. "Oh LOOK at the intaglio on this container! The handle, the neck cuff, and the stand..." She peers sharply at the flow of the silver lines between the stand and neck cuff, the motif and etching reminiscent of poured metal. And finally, perhaps to suggest that she was listening, and for once reflecting, she murmurs, "There's /eleven/ mechs that live here, Jetfire. It's... small, but a start." She clenches her jaw, and looks up again, searching for the owner to see just how likely it was that he was moonlighting for DCI.
Jetfire is much too large for most of these shops, especially considering how little interest he has in trying to be careful about it. So he waits, the last of the energon cube being drained away mysteriously. He merely gazes around patiently, he can wait all day and night, if he's needed his radio is certainly on. While he waits, of course, he decides to get a little work done and his mask snaps closed over his face, beginning to scroll data immediately.
Jetfire's data-mask slides into place, the three pieces joining into a single whole, hiding his face behind a plate with only a red band to mark his optics.
Clattering back out into the street, complete with decorative lavendar film bag and turquoise wrapping paper. There's no store owner in tow this time, so it's likely that Fusillade found some reasonable way to pay or barter for the item. She looks puzzled by the lack of comments, and drums her fingers on the back of the bench. "Filtration devices, ehn. That's not very stylish, considering I'd plan on using it in bars or clubs. The few times I get to go." She tries to play that off.
Jetfire's voice rumbles a little, his optical band flickering with rapidly moving data, "I've never concerned myself with style, I prefer efficiency. I don't have time to try and manually sift out the particulate matter when I can just as easily have an automated system in my fuel circulation unit handle it, and put the particulates to use as mass for my fusion reactors." he turns his ruby band on Fusillade, "I prefer to reserve the showtime aspects for places where it counts. Mainly a matter of opinion, I suspect."
Fusillade plunks the bag down on the far side of the bench, and begins to rummage around through it. "Now you're just starting to sound like Shockwave," she chides gently, before hoisting the purchase out of its packing material. "That's what sitting down and talking for a bit before pouring is for." She pauses, a sly glint in her golden optics, "And... well that's a difference that's pretty much expected by this point now, I imagine. Say, how's that left audial anyway, huh?" She flashes a grin as she alludes to the pre-Neocron convocation.
Jetfire replies, "It was replaced some time ago, along with my entire head during my armor redesign." ahhh how boring, a serious answer, "Shockwave may be misguided in what he attempts, but there is a lot to be said for logic, when used in conjuction with instinct it can be a powerful tool indeed." his ruby clad gaze following her path as she settles onto the bench before he adds, "I finally had the seat cover replaced however."
"AH! How easily replaced such mementos are," Fusillade mock-laments as she re-wraps the carafe. "I shall fade away under the ravages of time and entropy, just like every sod before." Voice brisk, she reminds, "And there you go. A joining of the two. You need both." She dare not sit. Anxiousness over prolonging the talk, and increasing the chances of observation by third parties, wells within her. The looking around is fairly conspicuous.
"We all fade eventually, do you wish to hurry your fade? Personally I fight it every step of the way, it is fully half of the driving force behind my scientific journeys, finding more and more ways to prolong and delay the inevitability of entropy." Jetfire's tone is soft and serious, "I've seen it claim too many people in too many ways to believe that I will avoid it forever, but the longer I can run, the better off I will be."
"I don't actively seek to permanently end my existence, no," Fusillade laughs a bit. "Who WOULD? Granted, Scrapper was very helpful..." She shoots Jetfire a wicked glare, "But he won't be around forever, either. And well, there's always the Hall of Heroes, and the mausoleum, and..." She begins to trail off, as she recalls the days leading up to execution of Cinderblock, and the fact that she was ordered to bring it about. "I don't think I would call it running," she finally asserts, her tone quelled as she picks up the vibe from the scientist.
"Oh but it is, Fusillade. We are fleeing the reaper, each one of us. That is the cost of war, how many of us are left exactly?" Jetfire switches gears slightly, "Every one of us that falls is one less of us, and we have no way to replenish our forces at this point." just what is his purpose in broaching this particular subject? "So yes, we are fleeing the inevitable, entropy and genocide will be our undoing as a race. Does that bother you?"
"What's a guy in a wheat field gotta do with this?" Some aspects of the imagery are lost upon Fusillade, but the rest of the thesis isn't. She keeps standing, features a bit more gaunt as she purses hematite lips. It had been a while since she had mulled any kind of weighty or philosophical topics. She'll likely make an ass of herself. "Vector Sigma is elusive, I'll give you that. And it's always bothered me. It bothered me the moment I put on ice, it bothered me when I was reactivated, it bothers me still. The entropy I'm not too hung up on, the genocide, well..." She clenches her jaw, and casts her gaze down.
Jetfire states, "We've had that discussion before, it -is- the only solution. It's merely a matter of how long it takes us to get there. One or the other side is going to have to commit to total obliteration to stop the bloodshed, and then how will we ever rebuild? Whomever is left? Will there be enough technicians, will there be enough scouts, will there be enough manpower to find Vector Sigma and try to reclaim it?"
The conversation has been had before, this is true. Fusillade paces a bit, any skittishness or glibness cast aside. She clasps hands behind her back, and then looks back up at the tallest starscraper. "Some roles are more important in that desperate scenario, no doubt." And then, more importantly, she puts the ball back in his court. "So, what would you do, what would I do, what would any of us do, to prevent such?"
Jetfire shrugs, "That is the ultimate question, Fusillade. But each of us has a responsibility to look beyond our petty differences and recognize that our entire race is in jeopardy. We're killing ourselves off, and unlike many we have no easy way to replenish." his tone is solemn, "I know what I am attempting to do, though even in my own eyes it's crazed. But ultimately this war is meaningless... do you even remember what you're fighting for? I long since lost any understanding of it... such goals as galactic conquest are tacitly and logically impossible to attain, no matter what method is used. I think you are quite aware of that." he smirks a little behind his data mask, "We are like dogs trapped in a ring with nothing left but to go at one another's throats."
The dilemma certainly gives Fusillade a lot to think about. The dark grey and white female settles on the curb some distance away, propping her chin up on both hands. She doesn't come to any good solutions, given the downward-pointed scowl on her features. "We can't even win our own damned planet," she grouses out, before replying, "I am fighting because I was made that way. We were made to protect, and there was nothing passive about what had to be done to keep the Quintessons at bay. That is the origin. I cannot speak for what has become of us right now. And just what are you attempting to do, mm? Get the word out? Something else?"
Jetfire replies evenly, "All of my work for the last 40 years has been geared towards re-creating the Creation Factories." he replies with a completely serious and level tone, "Vector Sigma must be regained, but one Creation Factory will not be enough, if they can be recreated however, we might have a chance."
"What?" Fusillade's expression breaks into simultaneous awe and disbelief. She straightens visibly, purchase forgotten in her hands as the scientist bares this fact. She them mmms, and settles back down. "Recreating creation. There's an irony. What do you think would be the ramifications of that? Another bargaining chip to be squabbled over by us and ultimately destroyed? Does it devalue the lives of those who currently exist? Something that's a greater concern for me than you, I'm sure. And yet, it inspires hope. It must be difficult for you to weigh the need to tell, and the need to not tell."
Jetfire shakes his head a little, "I tend to doubt I will have any success in the near future, so keeping the information a secret is of little good. The ramifications for the war are limitless however. If I -were- to succeed, the Autobots would be able to overwhelm you with a war of Attrition the likes of which has never been experienced before." he smirks, "However, I'm not Primus... and I tend to doubt I will ever see real success, I must try however, if only to give a gleam of hope for the future of the Cybertronian Race as a whole."
"Phht, oh hey, thanks a LOT. That'll do me a lot of good. Future of the Autobot race, you mean." The flyer unclips her transparent amber visor, and examines it for any scratches or smudges while talking. "It's admirable, Jetfire. And enviable. To be in such a position to pursue, and to have the talents to actually fulfill, such a far-thinking goal. Practical. Even wise. But you didn't hear that from me."
Jetfire replies, "Give me a reason to save the Decepticons, you've proven nothing but trouble for millions of years. There is no mistaking who the aggressors are, we both know that. Autobots have become far more militant in the years since, to be sure, but we -both- know the real reason this war exists." he doesn't sound condescending or like he's trying to bait her, "It's something that has to be done, some how, some way. I don't want to see the end of our people, but I fear increasingly that I will."
At that challenge, Fusillade is stumped. This was the time to lay it all out, but just how much of it would be written off as propaganda? Eventually, after some wringing of fingers and staring at the ground, she simply says, "Yuh." Pretty much to all of it. "I guess this is where I cut and run," she remarks, reaching out to pluck up the handles of the gaily colored bag.
Jetfire nods once, "Fare thee well, Fusillade." his tone is completely neutral as he bows his head slightly in farewell.