Summary: (February 2025) While watching a Lightweight Round in the Monacus Olympics, Fusillade is joined by one of the Decepticon High Commanders, who imparts some wisdom -- and gets her used to not questioning seeminly frivolous orders.
Vast and large, this circular stadium is to house the main events for the Monacus Olympics. Stands surround the center field, with chairs ranging from small sizes to much larger ones, able to seat Transformers of nearly every size. In the very center of the stadium is a raised platform about 30 meters (100 feet) on each side, obviously some sort of fighting arena. Ringing this platform is a wide, level expanse with different numbered rows, which borders the outside of the stands. And yet there is still a lot of empty space in the arena.
Outside of the stadium are abandoned buildings, the remains of an area that Pangalactic Industries is in the process of rebuilding.
Bonecrusher cheers as Long Haul crashes into Blades. "That's how you do it!"
From Combat Pit 1, The concept of controled descent has lost all meaning to Blades. He's falling and there's nothing he can do to stop it. The best he could hope for is a soft landing. The chances of that are less than the chances of Elita One getting over Optimus. As he plumets, twisting and twirling towards the ground, he tries to lock on to Long Haul with his weapons, launching them as soon as the tone goes close to good.
From Combat Pit 1, Red and White Helicopter <Blades> strikes Dump Truck <Long Haul> with Quad Patriots.
Foxfire groggily makes his way into the stadium, looking like he's just woken up. And he probably has, considering how drunk he'd gotten the previous cycle. Nor does he look all that great. Maybe watching a fight or two will help him feel better.
Bonecrusher's ugly pink chick with the glittery garland seems to object to him leaning on her. It seems as if she's having some trouble supporting his heavy, bulldozery weight. It also seems like she has a headache. Still, she hangs off Bonecrusher's arm and watches the fight, looking as if she'd rather be elsewhere. She winces when Long Haul is struck with those Quad Patriots.
The gleam of the stadium lights bounces off multiple well-polished bodies as Cybertronians and other races frm around the quadrant savor the combat. Fusillade herself has situated herself in the upper reaches of the stands, leaning backwards on her elbows on the empty row behind her. A pair of Denebolians play tentaclies with each other, not really paying attention to the fight or the dark grey and white femme situated to the left and fore. A mildly curious glance is sent to the flash of lime green... and pink down a bit further in the stands, but Fusillade soon returns her attention to the bout between Blades and Long Haul.
Bonecrusher also winces, and for the same reason, not noticing - or not wanting to notice? - his girl's discomfort. "Oh, slag it!" he exclaims, not considering whether such language should be used in front of a lady. "Hope the crash hurts, you ugly helicopter!"
From Combat Pit 1, Just as Long Haul's about to hit the ground, Ka-BOOM! the missiles hit Long Haul, changing his falling trajectory and actually knocking him over. When the smoke clears he is one dented and dinged dump truck, at least until he transforms into a dented and dinged robot. He gets to his knees and shakes his head to clear it, muttering, "Ouch." He again summons his laser and fires. "Why don'cha go down already?" the Constructicon complains.
From Combat Pit 1, Long Haul strikes Red and White Helicopter <Blades> with Pathetic Laser.
"....!" adequately describes the reaction Shockwave receives upon his arrival to the Monacan throng. A glance from his lone eye is enough to repulse lifeforms of all shapes and sizes. The Decepticon Commander makes his way to the stadium proper, the weapon protruding from his left arm serving as an answer to the ineveitable question of, "Ticket?" He pauses at the railing, craning his hexagonal head over to observe Blades and Long Haul sort out the details of their relationship with a vengeance. Without the slightest measure of interest, Shockwave turns away, approaching the flights of stairs necessary to climb...
The pink girl is a walking fashion disaster. The glittery pink and purple garland is just the tip of the iceberg. She's patterned over with pink stars and orange and purple stripes. She looks as if something went dreadfully wrong in a sticker factory, and she's not even shapely, having the 'lovely' lines of a truck or something, in all its bulky glory. She tugs at Bonecrusher's arm, evidently more interesting in going elsewhere than in watching the fight.
From Combat Pit 1, Blades is not used to losing. He's not used to uncontrolled falls either, but here he is doing both. He hits the ground hard, consciousness having left him about 20 feet up. Things break, blades bend and other bits get crunched. After a few moments, the damage starts to disappear and Blades transforms. He lays on the ground for a few moments, not wanting to see the smug look that he's sure will be under Long Haul's faceplate. Thank Primus for the faceplate. Still, he lays there for a few moments, regaining what few witts he has.
Bonecrusher straightens up instinctively as Shockwave enters the stadium, but does not let go off his glitter-begarlanded girl. "Hey, don't be in such a hurry," he tells her. "Don't you want to see that Autobot lie in the dust?" he adds gloatingly, followed by a loud, "Yeah, Long Haul! Long Haul!"
From Combat Pit 1, For the record, Long Haul does not have a mouth beneath a 'faceplate'. His so-called 'faceplate' /is/ his face. Then how does he play trumpet without a mouth? The world will never know.
He does manage to radiate smug, however, as he pulls himself into a standing position. The Constructicon jabs the forefinger of his right hand towards the Protectobot as he shouts, "An' /that's/ whatcha get fer tripping people up inna aisles!" And with that he turns away, stomping towards the edge of his pit, head held high for once.
Long Haul emerges from the Combat Pit 1. Long Haul has arrived.
The girl just stares vapidly. Gee, that fellow must be important, the way Bonecruhser's acting. Maybe she'll just hide behind Bonecrusher. Long Haul won? Oh, that's nice, she supposes. Now can she and Bonecrusher finally get going? She bets he'll have to stick around and congratulate his brother, which will be yet another delay.
Fusillade snaps the holofoil of her data padd to life with a flex between the handgrips. Those vivid topaz optics flick upwards again towards Bonecrusher and his company, utterly befuddled by the sheer... girlishness of it all. "Really mechly, really femmely," she guesses to herself. The looming figure of Shockwave earns a mild chuff, "Cybertron's going to stop functioning without him around." Teeth immediately snap shut on her words as it registers that he is moving... upwards on the staircase.
Grimlock is soon enough mingling amongst the crowds near the combat pits again. Missing the end of the altercation between Blades and Long Haul, but hearing the sounds of the crowd voicing it's pleasure/disproval as one may see fit. For now, the Dinobot is content to just shoulder his way through, brooking no glances from those around him.
From Combat Pit 1, Red and White Helicopter <Blades> slowly picks himself up fron the ground and makes his way to the exit of this hellish pit of dispair.
Red and White Helicopter <Blades> has arrived.
The red and white helicopter twists and turns, ceasing to be a rescue chopper and becoming Blades, Autobot Fighter Extraordinaire!
Long Haul trods out of the pit, taking a moment to look around. Wow. There's a lot more people he recognizes about this time. The Constructicon chuckles quietly as Blade's comments reaches his audials. Then he doubletakes before staring at Bonecrusher and... huh?
Blades transmits a message via radio.
Bonecrusher claps Long Haul on the shoulder as he passes bye. "Good job!" he exclaims in a celebratory tone.
Symphony eyes Blades from a perch near the Combat Pits, a sickly grin on her face after watching this latest debacle. She now feels -quite- confident about her future in the Full Combat Lightweight division.
Blades feels like t-total crap about his future in the Full Combat Lightweight division. If he could lose to that twit... must have beer.
Then Bonecrusher quickly pulls his girl towards the exit, generously telling her, "C'mon, let's go." One could almost think he's ashamed to be seen with her by Long Haul...
The ugly pink-starred and orange and purple striped girl clings to Bonecrusher a bit more tightly, seeming intent on hiding behind him. Wonder why she's feeling so shy all of the sudden? She seems entirely willing to go along with Bonecrusher and leave the arena. Finally! Now they can really get somewhere.
Shockwave stares directly at Grimlock for just a moment before soundlessly passing him by. He ascends the staircases, the odd sights laid out before him seeming to go unregistered by his near bare features. He comes to those upper reaches of the stadium, turning to enter the row above Fusillade. An easy shuffle and Shockwave's immense body eases into one of the seats, his head tilted down to observe the Decepticon one row below him.
Blades transmits a message via radio.
Bonecrusher quickly makes his way to the exit, pulling his garish-but-shy girl with him. Bonecrusher moves west to the Monacus Highrise Hotel.
Long Haul inclines his head towards Bonecrusher as his brother congratulates him, but his optic band remains fixed on the... 'girl.' As a Constructicon, he distinguishes personal based on body shape first and color second. After all, all Constructicons are green. But he doesn't argue, deciding now is /not/ the time to be asking why his brother is running around in that particular paint job. Must have lost another bet. Instead he just heads off himself. He's had his break (and enjoyed it!) but now it's over.
Grimlock possibly gives Shockwave a return glance, but just like Shockwave has that emotionless, one eye, Grimlock has that featureless visor that dosen't convey much. Wordlessly, he reaches out to snatch a program for the day's events out of someone's hand that had extended it a bit too far, getting a brief "HEY!" before the Dinobot Commander's sheer size shuts up any further complaints.
What Grimlock and Shockwave both understand that others do not, though, is the silent language of staring. Their brief interaction encompassed a deep relationship dynamic in which they exchanged ideas and images with nothing more than soulful looks. Or they simply recognised each other, and bound by some treaty, opted not to knock the other the fuck out. Either way.
"Aww, there goes the cheap entertainment," Fusillade purrs out to herself, a fierce smile upon her features. The faint slither behind her keeps going, and after a moment, she turns to glower at the obscure piled arrangement of blue-green tentacles. "I don't know where one ends and the other begins." She snatches out one obsidian gauntlet to unholster her left wingblade, half furling it to shield from any potentially revolting sounds or jettisoned liquids. By the time she turns back to the stands, Shockwave is full up on the row. She unconsciously shoots him a horrified look, before tapping the menu on the padd to less sensitive material. It's slow in coming, but after all this is done, a "Good evening, Lord Shockwave," is offered.
Firestar has arrived.
Blades comes straight out of the pit and heads for the bars. Blades moves south to the Last Chance Alley.
Firestar comes vaulting out of the stands and glares at Blades, "You've got a mouth on you boy..." she states, moving directly on an intercept path to fall into step, "Here I am trying to be -nice- and you gimme -that- lip? Yer gonna pay for all that, just you wait."
Grimlock, having said volumes to Shockwave and probably insulted his creator on top of it, now peruses through the program a few times. Pausing briefly to lift his gaze and give Firestar and...Blades, a glance, he returns his gaze to the piece of special parchment that outlines the events still to take place, and the schedules. He has a match of his own to deal with soon enough, if things work out.
"I find this coupling most disturbing," is Shockwave's response. The tilt of his head, the directed glare of his optic, is all to point out his comment is intended for Bonecrusher and his floozy. He settles against the back of the chair, arms beside him.
Fusillade of course projects her own opinions onto Shockwave's words and immediately lowers the wingblade to cast a look towards the Denebolians. However, she reorients herself to her Polaris, and follows Shockwave's gaze to the retreating Constructicon. "It may be prudent to have all Olympic participants screened for scraplets when we return to Cybertron." The words are chosen carefully, Fusillade's shoulders squared and posture exponentially more poised now that High Command is present. "Gamma and Alpha Wing surprised me this year with their lack of participation in the air race. I saw the entries, but couldn't get past the entry lines in time to enter myself as well. Can you believe of all things a friggin' -*A-10*- got third place?" She leans forward to snap up the small overpriced container of white high grade with its small overpriced shot of jet fuel, and knocks back a third of it.
The cool disdain of Shockwave's alien features are an unsympathetic response to Fusillade's words. "Demonstrating one's effectiveness through structured competitions translates little to actual achievement. I am unconcerned by either the turn-out or results of these competitions." He stares onward, seamlessly integrating his role as the Olympics Grinch. "And neither should you, child."
The leader's word selection can be remarkably creepy at times. Fusillade gives the arena and its ongoing matches another scrutinizing glance. "You do not find the potential to study the Autobot's fighting styles and abilities to be of any strategic value? The betting that goes along with it can be disruptive as well." She can't quite bring herself to relate the nature of one of those lost wagers as she places the flat of the segmented wingblade in her lap, and produces an oiling cloth to begin polishing the breadth of the pleated surfaces.
"Negative." Shockwave drones. "Autobots have been commissioned for over a galactic century. All data pertinent in engaging them in combat have been collected one thousand times over in engagements far more relevant than this. You will find that the use of Monacus is not in how Autobots embrace vices, but in its ability to attract cultures both far and wide. Alien civilizations that will one day be protected by the Decepticon standard must be documented and understood before their admittance to the Empire is processed."
Fusillade thoughtfully swipes the cloth over the wingblade, and states, "An opportunity to assess other regional systems, then. Do you think it wise to judge entire planets by those it attracts to Monacus for the Olympics? A representative sample is here in our case, yes, because we are here at a leader's behest. But what of the less organized, unified races, Lord Shockwave? Those who are only represented by the few who are consumed by the lure of gambling, and pleasures of..." Hematite lips curl in disdain, "The flesh?"
Shockwave, stoic, "How a species interacts with its vice serves as only one point of study against a multifaceted presentation. However. To explore one's indulgence is the means to understand what pleasures are most valued by their society." Shockwave's eye gleams. "I, however, visit Monacus for another matter entirely. I find the processing of funnel cake batter into geometric shapes to be most entertaining."
"If the species in question is represented by only one or two individuals, though, how can we be certain that we are not being mislead by abberrant behavior?" At the last comment, Fusillade mentally balks, at once panicking that this might be some kind of bizarre psychological Rorschach evaluation of sorts being conducted upon her. She twists around, the flat of the blade in her lap, and peers quizzically upwards towards his Imperial purple form. She chooses to not volunteer any information about herself, and instead asks, "Which forms do you find most pleasing?"
If Shockwave had either the ability and inclination to smile at his pet, he might just. "Your critique of this study is accurate. The behaviors exhibited by only one or two specimens of a race are an insufficient sample size to form any legitimate conclusions. However, these behaviors can provide the questions that lead to empirical sociological study." Shockwave's arm lifts from its resting point. His fingers fold in, forming a tight fist to respond to Fusillade's last question. "Hexagon."
What Fusillade doesn't know probably KEEPS her from getting hurt in this case. A dubious glance is cast back toward the ring, and Fusillade for the life of her tries to dismissed the continued slithering sound behind her punctuated with the occasional *twock*. "This does not seem like a priority for the Empire now, though. The resources are better used elsewhere to better secure our own holdings on Cybertron, no? Do you access the scientific or sociological or whatever in the smelt they call it data from other races? I'm sure there are some whose ethics make them foolish enough to just freely share their results with whomever takes an interest in their culture. Wouldn't mind being posted on a gas giant again one day," she adds in afterthought.
"There will come a time when you will take up arms against something other than a Transformer, child." Shockwave chides. "Your ability to survive this encounter will be a direct result as to what truly is priority."
Fusillade considers the words. "Terrans and Cybertronians do represent a tiny fraction of what we may encounter. What top five races or organizations in the immediate vicinity of Alpha Centauri represent the greatest threat?"
Shockwave stares. "All of them."
And another insight into the mech's leadership style presents itself. Fusillade narrows optics, and settles back down into her leaning-backward-on-elbows stance, nodding. Many of the crowds have begun to filter out, as less widely publicized fights begin to take place. "A cautionary, defensive stance towards all, then. There certainly is enough precedent for the easily ignored becoming a great threat and defeating more formidable foes."
"Indeed." Shockwave chimes. His head tilts down, observing Fusillade. "I will continue your lesson later. After you have purchased me some funnel cake. Which you will do so immediately."
The almost instinctive 'Go get it yourself!' is truncated right after the "Go... ing right now." Fusillade stands fluidly, and smooths the wingblades against her thighs. Palming the handgrips of her standing-by data padd shut, Fusillade mulls over the utter stupidity of this exercise. As she slinks her way down to the end of the row, she speas in that clear alto, "I'll be sure that the deep-frying drudge puts all six of those hundred-twenty degree angles in for you. Otherwise, I'll trim the shape from their hide myself," she offers in parting. Those pleated metal layers of her wingblades click with each exaggerated, almost regal, step she takes in descent.
Shockwave loves his daughter.
But not as much as he loves geometrically-shaped funnel cake!