The Steel Balloon
Within the Steel Balloon, there is a dance floor immediately past the front door. Behind the the floor is the main bar, which curves around like an elongated half-octagon. Severeal bartenders behind it busily serve the multitude of customers that flow into this place at any given time. There are archways on either side of the abr that lead into what is more of a dining area than anything else, which also has a small bar at the back of that room.
Galvatron is sitting at a table talking to the proprietors, "No no. Just make sure it stays peaceful. I'm sure it will, but use your bouncers if you must. I would hate to have to take matters into my own hands...I'm sure you wouldn't like that either. That would mean no gratuity. Otherwise, this is all taken care of. Am I understood?" Scared shitless...the owners nod and agree.
Fleet never plans for dying. The very idea facing the day with the expectation of not living through it is abhorrent to him. So he is not here to eat, drink, and be merry on the basis that tomorrow, he may die. He will do whatever he can to live through tomorrow... and tomorrow... and tomorrow again. But, like everyone else, he's been working hard of late, and sometimes the best way to make sure you're alert when you need to be is to enjoy yourself when you have the chance. And so the pastel-wonder strides inside, looking around at the inside of this bar for the first time in ages. Off duty or no, he stands up straight and offers his Emperor a salute. "Greetings, my lord."
Stock Car has been in a lot of dives, over the years. It's a perk to his job, one might say. Heck, this is the autobot who 'Discovered' the casino-planet Monacus (for better or for worse). Even still, one tends to develop a certain sense about such places...and right now, Smokescreen's sense is telling him that he DOESN'T like this place, even as he walks into it. Why not?
Too many decepticons.
Not much longer after Galvatron exchanges his terms of service with the bar owners, a cacophony of engines and anti-gravs can be heard overhead from the myriad of Decepticons descending upon the area. Fleet's presence is a good indicator of the appearance Military Operation's CO and XO. A silhouette of a bomber slips by outside, and upon transformation, Fusillade sidles in, giving Smokescreen's back a barracuda smile.
Bonecrusher isn't precisely keen on dying, but what can be done? A hopefully-not-last good time can be had, that's what! The Constructicon strides into the bar with perhaps not entirely faked confidence, only stopping to salute his Emperor. "Hail Galvatron!"
"The Steel Balloon... Heh." Rodimus walks into the Koriolis Desert's premiere ener-dive, giving it a nostalgic glancing over. To the members of his party, he says, "We used to sneak away from Kup and come out here to drag race. I don't even want to remember how many energon rations I gambled away here over the years..." He smiles faintly, hesitating from approaching Galvatron's table just yet. "Good times."
Jetfire is here for one reason, and one reason only... he spends WAYYY too much time working, and eventually that kind of thing wears a bot down. Now, facing the ultimate test of Transformer fortitude, and a few of his own scientific theories (Slipstream Malfunction anyone?) he decides it might be a good idea to release some of the pent up stress from the overtime he's been cooking. It's for that reason that shortly after Fusillade passes over and lands... another shockwave passes over. Not long after, Jetfire steps through the door, ducking slightly because of the reach of his scramjet backpack. He takes a long look around and hrrrns softly, "I'm going to need several stiff hi-grades." he mutters, heading not for a table, or any gathering, but for the bar. Even when cutting loose he can't help but be a little serious.
Galvatron looks around as people arrive and stands on his chair, announcing, "Welcome..." god, this really does make him sick. But he also knows how to inspire, be it through fear or any other means. And he knows this must be done, no matter how much it makes him sick. There's plenty of time later to make up for it...when the tentacled freaks are out of the way. "This is a party to celebrate Cybertronian..." he pauses, choking down the ener vomit in his throat as he continues to bullshit, "Unity, and our temporary peace. We are here to celebrate, before we give our lives. Drink. Be merry. Everything is taken care of, payment is not neccessary. But the first of you that starts a fight will be dealt with harshly!" He keeps from holding his stomach, but just barely.
Fireflight looks a bit doubtful at Rodimus' mention of drag racing - how much fun can it be on the ground? - but it isn't enough to wipe the smile from his face as he looks around the place in wonder, nearly banging a wingtip in the doorway as he looks everywhere /except/ where he's going while following the other 'bots in.
Bonecrusher will try his best not to start a fight, as unusual as that may be for him. After all, he neither wants to be cannoned, nor does he want to risk not being in top fighting condition when it comes to facing the... big scary thing. And the tentacly things. And all that. That in mind, he order his first drink and quickly downs it.
"Now now, Fusillade. Keep smiling at me like that, and I'm going to expect you to at least buy me a drink." Smokescreen quips, having either caught her reflection in the mirror behind the bar, or just because he's got some sort of crazy sixth sense about the matter. Probably the former, rather than the latter.
As Galvatron welcomes them in, he smirks, and looks over the bar once again, a slow smile spreading across his features- and so, he taps at the side of his head, activating his comm system.
"I've already given my life," Fleet smiles slightly, ducking his head before moving towards the bar to obtain a drink for himself. "It's my death I'd like to avoid given," he mutters as he gestures to the barkeep for a drink. "It's too damned easy to /die/ for a cause..."
Rodimus Prime looks at Galvatron as the Decepticon's mighty leader delivers his welcome speech from his perch on top of a bar chair. Rodimus smirks slightly, perhaps sensing Galvatron's insincerity. He leans one elbow against the bar, nodding to the bartender and accepting a small, fist-sized cube of something so potent that it crackles with blue-white arcs of electricity. "A 'pathetic human germ'," Rodimus begins, raising his voice loud enough to be heard by all, and lifting his energon cube, "Once said that the point of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other guy die for his. We might want to keep that in mind." Rodimus nods to Galvatron, lifting his cube slightly before downing it, a loud *SCHZZZT* snapping from his general direction as it sparks all the way down.
Jetfire finds a nice spot near the end of the bar, and leans against it, back to the bar to watch the rest of the area. He glances over his shoulder and nods once to the 'tender before placing his order. He turns back to face Rodimus before pointing out, "I for one would rather they didn't even have a country left to die for..."
Fleet chuckles deep in his vocalizer as he takes up his drink. It's nothing so potent as Rodimus Prime's, but then, Fleet has never been one to try to prove his toughness. In fact, he generally tries to encourage individuals to underestimate him. "Despite the source, I will grant that that's... reasonable advice." Then he nods towards Jetfire. "You'd think we'd have taken care of that when we destroyed their planet."
An easy sway allows Fusillade to sidestep from the main traffic, allowing her to size up the target-rich environment. Oh, entirely too many folk to visit at the moment. Looking thoughtful, the grey and white flyer snorts softly to Smokescreen, and appears to be on the verge of replying, before both Rodimus and Galvatron speak. "Hang in there," she coaches Galvatron under her air intake. In the meantime, she arranges herself in booth, taking up the majority of one nicked bench with sprawled wingblades and legs. She waits for the initial flurry of drink orders to die down, and idly begins to dig a design on lightly used tabletop before her.
Galvatron smirks and gives Fusillade a slight nod, acknowledging that he heard her and appreciates it. He stands down from the chair and looks over towards Rodimus. While he hasn't got the skill yet, he has been RPing it for a while...Terran History. "Patton. Nice Quote, Rodimus. And Suitable, my adversary. We are entering our own D-Day here."
What was in that sparky cube? One way to find out for sure, as Air Raid might point out... but he isn't here, so Fireflight's going to have to take one (cube) for the team while keeping an audio on the conversation and optics on... well, everything, at least until he takes the first sip from that little blue-white cube. *schzt* /There's/ an attention-getter! How does Rodimus drink the whole thing all at once?
Rodimus Prime slams his empty cube on the bar, the ray-line geometric construct vanishing once the energy within has been consumed. "Jetfire, I've known you how many years?" He looks Jetfire over as he places his order. "And... I can't say that I've ever seen you ingest energon before. How do you, ah..." Rodimus rubs one hand over his mouth, trying to be tactful. "Do it, exactly?"
"The same way my mouthless brothers do it," Bonecrusher smart-mouthes upon overhearing the question. And whatever other "mouth" quips you could think of.
Smokescreen hmms, and aquires the standard-pink energon cube, and sips, raising it momentarily in response to Rodimus' words. Even though that one might say that Quintessons didn't have a 'country' as such- but far be it from Smokescreen to belittle the leader's speech. And as Rodimus asks that question, the tactician smirks.
"One-way micro-valve intake- that's the way most of the models work." he pauses, and then glances over at Bonecrusher. "Don't your brothers have a double-valve, though? For the horns?"
Jetfire would smirk like a wolf, if only he had a face, "It's one of my favorite parlour tricks, Rodimus. Glad you asked..." he glances at the cube that he ordered, trying to decide if he wants to give it away this early in the evening, "If you watch me closely, you might pick up some clues."
"Horns?" Bonecrusher headtilts. "Oh, you mean the trumpets. Yeah, those." Truth be told, he doesn't know exactly how Long Haul and co. drink /or/ play the trumpet - they never let him in on that secret - but he can try and pretend he's not as ignorant as he is.
Galvatron smirks and just waits as he nurses his drink, waiting for Rodimus to respond to him. He knows it will take a few moments. BUt he knows Rod heard him
Jetfire continues to lean on the bar after speaking to Rodimus, though he inches over a little closer to the cube. He turns his attention to some of the Decepticons, most notably the one he seems to have earned the 'ire' of... well, I suppose you dump a bomber in the ocean, she might be a little livid. He tilts his head to Fusillade as he changes position, momentarily blocking the view of his drink which - of course - vanishes. Like no-one saw -that- coming.
Fleet swirls his cube around, watching the play of colors and light in the energon. He sits down on the nearest stool, surprisingly unworried that currently it's predominantly Autobots at the bar. He seems, in fact, completely at ease here amongst his enemies. An act, of course, but he's always been a talented actor, and if he acts well enough, he might convince himself. He takes a long, slow sip, his optics dimming as he savors the drink.
"'Mouthless brothers'... Right," Rodimus Prime replies cautiously, glancing over his shoulder at Bonecrusher then back to Jetfire. "I'm not sure I have the attention span to stare at you all night, Jetfire. Maybe I'll get lucky." He grins, and with that, turns around, his back against the bar, looking to Galvatron. "Patton led the American forces in North Africa and the invasion of Sicily," Rodimus replies, the bartender surrepticiously supplying him with a regular-grade energon cube, now. "Not Operation Overlord. Unless you're just generalizing the entire war, Galvatron?" Rodimus smirks faintly, turning his head and catching Fireflight have a taste of the cracklin' cube, giving the Aerialbot a grin. "Best to take it all down at once, Fireflight. You're going to scorch your mouth module taking small sips like that."
Smokescreen pauses, and peers curiously at Jetfire as he displays his ledgerdemain; nice trick. One Smokey'll have to pick up at some point. As Galvatron makes a generalization about the war, well- Smokey can do little but take a pull on his energon cube. He's not about to say Decepticons are NAZIs...Imperial Japanese, maybe, though.
It's better that he's got his drink, either way.
A flick of typically bright optics is sent Galvatron's way, even as Fusillade bows her helm, overly formal right now. She continues to scrape the he rough shape of a shrike-bat's wing out on the table. There's a fair amount of joshing going about, and Fusillade's contrariness only drives her to not join in, as of yet. Was her sense of the avant garde offended? Who could say? 'Just go ahead and get trashed. Just be sure to make a fool only out of yourself', Fusillade thinks, before finally waving over one of the waitstaff to place an order. The waitress blinks upon hearing the request, but any protest is pre-empted by Fusillade's challenge, "If this place has any credibilty then they should be able to make it, and make it /right/. The radium is there just as much to provide the visual effect as the physical zing." She's cut off, though, as she feels a gaze upon her, and offers a quiet, standoffish snrlll to the Autobot Guardian.
"/Now/ you tell me." Fireflight doesn't sound like he minds, though - maybe the drink is that potent, or maybe he's just enjoying the unusual experience. Either way, Fireflight brings the cube to optic level and examines it closely for a moment before finally taking Rodimus' advice and downing the rest all at once. *SCHZZZT!*
Fleet swirls his drink a little while. "I know little enough about the humans' wars, but what little I do know seems to indicate that war itself is oft times generalized. Who are we to argue with such long and grand tradition?"
Jetfire silently shakes his head after watching the brief exchange with Fusillade. Some of 'em never stop being what they are. Swinging around to face the bar, the lanky one settles onto a stool, glancing sideways he notes Fleet and comments, "You're the really evasive one, right? You have some nice moves." as he flags down the 'tender for another order.
Fleet begins another long, slow sip, but at Jetfire's comment, he leans forward and covers his mouth, doing everything he can to avoid forcing someone else to wear his energon. Once he's recovered, he looks up at Jetfire with a genuine-seeming grin. "That can be taken in multiple ways, but I'm going to take it as a compliment. Yes, that would be me, and thank you."
Galvatron laughs a bit, "I am, Rodimus. I was simply summing it all up. I like Patton, personally. He's a man after my own heart. He just happened to be on what you would call "The Right Side". Did you know he took what the humans call "A piss" in the German holy river? He did. I love that. I would do the same to the Quints if I could, unfortunately, since they consider themselves god...nothing is holy to them but themselves. So when we win, I suppose I'll pour my used energon on one of their faces"
Rodimus Prime gives Galvatron a long look, his energon cube hovering in front of his face as Galvatron proclaims that he wants to pee on the Quintessons. "Oh... kay," Rodimus replies in an uneasy drawl, sipping on his cube. "Whatever floats your boat, I guess." Rodimus checks on Jetfire, only to see that his energon cubes have vanished. "Smelt it all, Jetfire. I'll just dig up some of Red Alert's security tapes and find out myself." Hearing the loud *SCHZTT* coming from Fireflight's direction, he whirls around. There can only be two outcomes: Fireflight successfully downed the super-grade cube, or he shorted himself out. It appears to be the former, and Rodimus grins. "There you go, Fireflight. How'd it treat you? Bet it'll put a little spark in your afterburner."
Smokescreen hmms, and swigs another drink out of his energon cube, and peers at Galvatron, considering. One little token of spite- unessescary...but gratifying, given the circumstances. "Good luck getting ahold of them, Rodimus- he's got a guard drone posted on the archives, you know." just how SMOKESCREEN knows is up for debate.
Jetfire glances down at his next drink, letting out a slight sigh he comments, "Hope you're that good in close-quarters." he then picks up the cube and steps away from the bar, into the general tumult. Though his stature and grace allow him to shift through it like a shark in stormy waters... he pauses and glances over at Rodimus, "Oh come on, it's not -that- challenging, though I've been told it's kind of creepy at times." he raises his full energon cube in salute to the leader and continues his winding path, apparently intending to visit Fusillade. Probably precisely because she's so stand-off-ish. That is the Jetfire way after all. By the time he's arrived, he's drained the second cube.
Galvatron shakes his head at Smokescreen, "So much knowledge for such a little man. Maybe someday it will make you explode. You should be careful." Was that a veiled threat? Maybe. Maybe not. Galvatron just smirks and turns to the bartender, "Another Unicron's breath." he's finished his. He's the only unicronian that can take more than one of them. Probably becuase of his meds.
Fireflight manages a smile though his vocalizer sounds barely functional. "Wow." That was something, all right. Fireflight's still not quite sure what it was, but it was something... Fireflight sees Jetfire heading Fusillade's way wand watches with interest, while trying to decide what to try next.
Bonecrusher meanwhile swigs his second drink - or is it the third already. Hey, he's a Constructicon! Wouldn't you want to drink after a hard day of construction work? He surveys the room, giving particular attention to Jetfire. Jets is, after all, on the List. Not that anyone can or will do anything about that while the bigger problem - the big, tentacled problem - lasts.
"Not my preferred environment," Fleet observes after another sip, "But I do all right." Never mind that the person who made the original comment has wandered elsewhere. Another sip... by now, he's almost done with his cube. Not drinking fast. Not drinking a fancy mix. What's there to prove?
Fusillade leans back in the seat, glowering slightly as she rests one elbow on the table, and cups her chin on the palm of her hand, adamant regarding the order. There's fierce intensity there, before the waitress bustles past in a huff, and after a few consternation-laden exchanges with the keep, delivers the news. A lead lined box is opened, and due time, the requested potent potable is delivered, the waitress weaving past Jetfire's bulk. A tall, fluted glass, akin to a super-sized sundae glass, is plunked down before her, the opaque black fluid shot through with the glittering cyan of radium and the reddish-pink counter iridescence of rhodium. "Ah, there we go," Fusillade says amicably. She shoots both Jetfire and Fireflight a *look*, and hssts quietly, pulling the concoction closer. "What? We're having a moment here," she declares.
Smokescreen just meets Galvatron's veiled look, and smirks right back at the decepticon commander- heck, if he's buying, let him speak. "You'd be surprised what you can pick up if you keep your optics open." he nods, and then opts to watch the bar for the time being.
Jetfire wishes very much he could smirk, "Naw, had that in British Columbia awhile back." he replies for a moment, "I'm just curious how your preparations have gone. Based on what I've seen so far carpet bombing isn't going to do much for us, though I'm betting if you can mount up a few bunker busters it'd do a world of good on the engines..."
Galvatron laughs at Smokescreen's response, a real honest laugh, "Oh, I have no doubt. I'm sure you do. But..." he takes a deep pull from his drink, "My dear Smokescreen, optics aren't all that do it. Audials are important too. You'd be amazed how many crazy rumors you overhear in places like this turn out to be true..." he thinks back to all the ones he ended up finding were true, "You would really be surprised."
Fleet looks up at Galvatron, then over at Smokescreen, then up at Galvatron. He very much doubts that Smokescreen would be all that surprised, but... who is he to correct his Emperor in front of the Autobots? So instead he just finishes his drink and watches as the lines of the cube vanish. "And the question is... do I want another one?" he murmurs.
Fusillade takes a long swill of her chosen poison, clearly intended on going beyond standard over-energization, somewhere in far, far right field, in fact, into the realm of hallucination. "Talking business now?" Fusillade furrows her brow into a scowl even as she regards the Scientist. "S'a bit of a circular ref... a Royc... catch-22, don't you think? Those anti-gravs are gonna have to be disabled first," Fusillade insists. "And yeah I got a rotary carriage for that kind of job. In the meantime, I will MAKE my own damned auroras to fly through, dammit." Over to Fleet, "Yes, for the love of Primus!" One glossy black hand slides over the etching on the table of the natural fauna of Dromedon.
Jetfire shakes his head slightly at Fusillade's response, "Nah, blowing stuff up is more of a pleasure, not business for me. Though Rodimus might find that hard to believe with how often our lab ends up exploding." he shrugs a bit at the rest of it, trying to picture just what it is she's referring to, "You must have a low tolerance, or drink some potent stuff, most of that didn't make a whole lotta sense."
"Blowing up stuff is /always/ a pleasure!" Bonecrusher throws in a bit too loudly - apparently, what he's drunk by now is starting to get to him. Well, he must know it.
Fleet sits up straighter and half-stands, looking over the crowd towards Fusillade. "Is that an order, sir?" he grins, the wide smile on his face indicating that he is, indeed, simply making a jest. Then he sits down and, order or no, /orders/ another beverage.
Smokescreen shrugs at Galvatron. "A matter of speech, of course. Rumors are a slippery thing, though." he just nods at that, letting the matter slide as he finishes off his first Energon cube- decidedly less than what other folks have been quaffing.
Fusillade orders Fleet to order, and then he orders, in that order. "Service is its own reward, Fleet." And then, a whoop and a grin is sent Bonecrusher's way in affirmation about causing things to go kablooey. Satisfied now that there was no possible way that Jetfire could flatter himself into thinking that the smile was caused by HIM, she gives the Guardian a moue, and sliiiiiiiiiiiiiide the drink Jetfire's way. "Work hard, play hard. There's too little time as is to waste time staring at empty space waiting for a buzz, when a landslide instead will suffice. But first-hand experience has always been a more potent educator. Don't be a pig and drink it all," she half-invites, half-chides.
Jetfire regards the drink, regards Fusillade, then takes a sly wolfish look around the bar before surreptitiously sidling over so he's a bit more even with the table before imbibing a small dose of the liquid. Of course, he doesn't imbibe it directly, instead it goes through one of the many gadgets he keeps on hand for analysis in the field, "Mmm, vicious. I'm impressed you can handle this stuff." he comments before it passes through into his system, causing a faint jerk and an audible buzz to be heard from the Air Guardian.
Fact of the mater is, Fleet is only slightly behind Smokescreen in drinks, although, for that, he seems to already be well into a pleasant buzz. Of course, he also seemed to be perfectly at ease in the company of Autobots, so seemings are questionable. "And I am served in serving, am I, sir?" the Seeker asks Fusillade, grin still there as he receives his second drink. "Ah! So I am!"
Is it the positive reinforcement he just received, or is it the drinks? Bonecrusher is starting to feel decidedly good. In that mood, he orders not one, but /two/ more drinks, trying to down them at once. What. A. Showoff.
Galvatron chuckles a bit, letting his troops do as they must. "Slippery, they indeed are. But still, they sometimes prove to be right. You need to look into that as much as my people do. You must understand that."
Smokescreen nods in agreement with Galvatron. "Of course, of course- it's all standard operating procedure, really." and with this said, he looks over at the Decepticon rank and file once again; soon, he'll be fighting side by side with the lot of them.
Or maybe a respectable distance behind a few of the bigger ones. Who knows?
Finally adopting a reasonable posture, Fusillade sits up properly, and says, "S'called a Midnight Borealis. Different folk seem to have different opinions about its safety." And as she swings her gaze around again, it settles on Galvatron. With Shockwave on Cybertron, and Cyclonus off on some super SEKRIT mission, there's been a distinct lack of big purple f*ck in her life lately. Hmmm... Might be worthwhile to... no. Let's just focus on the thing hovering over her table. Ah. "So, what is under that helmet anyway?" An eager, almost kid-like grin bares her teeth again. "Can I... wear it?"
Galvatron chuckles and nods at Smokescreen, "Keep it that way. Otherwise, when this is all over...I will lose respect for Autobot intelligence. We wouldn't want that, would we?" he asks, somewhat jokingly, but still dead serious.
Smokescreen shrugs. "Well, I'm sure I could bore you with the ins and outs of all the paperwork, but, well. You know how it is." he sips again. "...But I'm guessing you don't have to deal with that much beauracracy, on your end of things. Or do you keep Soundwave on hand to record your decrees?" Now, there's a funny image...
Galvatron sips his drink and shakes his head, "There is very little existance of such things in the Empire, Smokescreen. And Soundwave is not neccessary for my words to become law. If it is that important...it is posted to our reports so that all know. Please, don't act like the Autobots don't act the same way. I know you do when Rodimus makes a law, the only difference is in punishments for violating it. You imprison and question, I kill. That is the only difference."
The red visor that makes up the only detail on Jetfire 'face' flickers as cybertronian text ticks by in reverse form, "Well, from a purely scientific standpoint, this isn't very safe at all, but thanks to our cybertronian make-up..." he trails off as the audible buzz grows again before it fades, "Er... the helm is merely to cover what serves as my primary sensor pod, as well as my radio receiver unit. It can, in fact, be removed with a few simple clips..." he sits down at the table opposite Fusillade, apparently intent on demonstrating. The drink appears to be messing with his head enough that he doesn't think twice of reaching up to pop the clips, first removing the faceplate, and then the cowling. Revealing what amounts to a large single optic, and a lot of gadetry.
Fleet sips at his new drink and settles into his seat. Fusillade and Jetfire are... discussing Jetfire's helmet? While Smokescreen and Galvatron are... "Talking shop, I see." His smile fades a bit, but is still present, as he decides to listens to the two's attempt to pry information from each other in words.
Smokescreen pauses at that. "Well, we don't call them 'Laws' so much as...regulations. Policies. And really, Ultra Magnus does that more often than not." not to mention the fact that there's a strict difference between sentry duty and a strict cannoning. But Smokey's got enough tact not to mention it. "So Trypticon's primed for the operation, I take it? Otherwise, you wouldn't have let any Constructicons out." he nods in Bonecrusher's direction.
Galvatron laughs, "Trypticon will be ready. Don't worry. I'm just curious..." he smirks a bit, "Is Cineplex ready to lay her ridiculous life on the line? Is she? We know that Metroplex is. But what about her? Do I have any guarentees?"
Jetfire pauses to glance over his shoulder, just his unshielded sensor pod, "Cineplex is ready Galvatron, I stake my reputation on that."
Smokescreen nods. "Besides, Junkion tech is...erratic, but it seems to work anyway. Haven't quite been able to figure it out myself; I think it has something to do with magnets."
The self-dismantlement by Jetfire earns him outright gawking by Fusillade, the combination of radium and rhodium lacing the drink coursing through to make her mentally fast forward to a slow mo camera pan shot of Jetfire exploding into all of his component pieces... Slapping her hands on the tabletop, the etching is revealed, even as she leans in, and ays, "That is really awesome." Granted, this is coming from someonw who would lose in a fight with programming a VCR. And then, suddenly, her hands dart out, and she snatches up the main dome of the helmet. Oversized enough to fit over her own, and plunk down past her cheeks so that only a goofy fanged grin is visible, she shakes her head slightly. The rattle of the black antennae shakes out behind her like a draconian rack of horns, and she whoooos. "I'm a VALKYRIE!" alluding to perhaps the XB-70, or just an avenging horse-riding virago.
Jetfire is clearly not amused, though how he portrays this with even -less- face than he normally has is hard to explain. Perhaps it's how he's holding the faceplate in his hands, sitting stock still and -staring- at Fusillade. Intently. And stuff...
Scrapper sneaks into the Steel Balloon as well as a lime green robot can. So, yeah... enforced merry-making. He'll probably get out-drank by a femme. And he has a good excuse for not being here earlier, honest! Scrapper was working on a very fiddly bit of Trypticon, and he couldn't jut cut-out mid-procedure. Yes.
The more charming qualities of the intoxicant begin to take effect. Names are replaced with colors are replaced with flavors that most would suggest that their kind can't detect. And so, it's with hands clutching Jetfire's helmet atop her own mostly concealed head that Fusillade tilts slightly to settle her gaze on Bonecrusher. The nice one, from her bizarre POV. And then comes in Scrapper. Excellent! "The wrapper's off Peppermint Stick! I repeat! The wrapper is off Peppermint Stick! Granny Smith, go long, go long!" This appears to be directed at Bonecrusher, before she insists, "It's for Spearmint!" Long Haul? "He'll like it! Quick! Go home with it! Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!" And then, leaping upwards to stand on the seat, Fusillade Hail Marys Jetfire's helmet to Bonecrusher. This somehow equates into payback for the beheading ignomy over the Pacific. Two plus two equals eleven in base three!
Bonecrusher catching the helmet, Bonecrusher /runs/ and dashes and dives under a table. Or something. Be it as it may, he vanishes from view. Constructicons - they're like ninjas, in a way.
Lime green ninjas.
Fleet looks over towards Fusillade, then down into his drink. He sighs heavily and takes another long sip before putting it down. "Well, /that/ bodes well for our truce," he mutters.
Jetfire just shakes his head and shrugs. Bringing his faceplate up he clips it into place before opening his cockpit and rummaging around. A few minutes of searching later he pulls out a small kit of some sort and begins silently working on assembling what looks to be a replacement helm, "Like you're the first to try -that- ruse." he comments dryly.
Smokescreen stares after Bonecrusher as he dissapears. "Do they...usually do that?" he asks Galvatron.
Scrapper pauses and stares as his brother vanishes. Handy trick. Then, he glances at the assorted folks. Not the entire army, but, well... it'd be crowded if it was. Scrapper sidles over the bar, pondering what to order. It's just not the same if Mixmaster isn't the bartender. For one thing, it's much less terrifying.
"EH?" escapes Fusillade as squints downwards to Jetfire's indifference. Way to suck the satisfaction out over THAT tiny victory. The small movements involved with creating the replacement helmet are endlessly fascinating to Fusillade. Closet technician, with skill woefully inadequate to match her enthusiasm. She clambers up on the table, sitting back on her haunches with palms and feet crammed together on the open table space as she teeters back and forth. The edges of her folded wingblades rest on the edge of the table, and the corners of her optics seeping from saffron to tangerine. She is eerily silent, gaze locked on Jetfire's nimble hands.
Smokescreen hmms at the situation, and finally looks to Jetfire. "Try not to enjoy yourself -TOO- much." he says with a smirk. "I've got some things to attend to- take care, Jetfire." and with that, Smokescreen is walking out!...Though he does take an energon cube with him for the road.
Jetfire takes a few moments to match the seams up properly before clipping the antennae into place. A few more adjustments and he clips the cowl back into place, locking it and the faceplate together once more before he turns and nods to Smokescreen silently. He then regards Fusillade again, seemingly impassive, before inquiring, "You seem interested in the tinkering to assemble my backup cowl..."
Fleet is sitting at the bar, nursing his second drink, a generally affable smile on his expression. He had been listening to Smokescreen and Galvetron, but one has left, while the other's fallen silent, so instead he turns his attention to the back table, watching and observing the curious exchange between Jetfire and Fusillade. A surprisngly quiet night, but with the threat of a cannoning for getting out of line, is it really that surprising?
Scrapper gets his drink and turns to back to survey those who are still there. Jetfire has apparently built himself a back-up helmet. Nice and quick. Scrapper's almost envious. It took him forever to sculpt Long haul's replacement head. Fusillade appears to be interested in the whole business and... there's Fleet. Oh gosh. Maybe Scrapper ought to hide, too.
For a long moment, those flushed optics settle on Jetfire, before the table shrieks in protest as Fusillade leaps forward to latch herself around Jetfire's neck, a brief bite punching a curved semi-circle through one antennae pod. She's partially cross-opticed the entire time. Don't touch that drink, folks. And then, with a skittish bound to escape any retalitory swats from Jetfire, she slinks over toward Scrapper, and festoons herself across the chair closest to him, and openly asks, a whirl of optics sent briefly toward Fleet, before she continues to the medic, "So when are we gonna do some more cutting?" A hopeful smile is sent Scrapper's way, as her back presents a wide open target to any retalition by the Guardian.
Jetfire seems a bit detached as Fusillade leaps at him, bites what amounts to his ear, and then springs off. It's about 30 seconds after she's settled in near Scrapper that he finally comments, "Well that rather hurt." blandly, before reaching up to detach the antennae unit. He then spends the next 10 minutes staring intently at the bite marks.
Scrapper stares at Fusillade. Then, after a long moment, he comments, mainly in Jetfire's direction, "She does that. The biting. She bit me, too. I'd suggest staying out of the full moon for a while." That last line is delivered in an entirely serious, deadpan tone. Then, in a more casual, relaxed voice, he replies to Fusillade, "Oh... let's save the cutting for when you're sober. I have a policy of no drunk tattooing. Save son the death threats later."
Fleet's faint smile twists into a frown as Fusillade's gaze sweeps over him. Is she planning to add him to his collection of bites? Wait a minute... she looked at Fleet right before she asked Scrapper about cutting! That's not good! The pastel wonder offers Scrapper a relieved nod. "Thank you. Good idea," he mutters.
Jetfire clicks the antennae back into place and the audible buzzing that had been emitting from the Guardian since tasting Fusillade's drink fades away. It's at this point that Jetfire gazes around wolfishly, the antennae sweeping back slightly as faint flickers are seen behind his visor. -=Target aqcuired=- The Guardian, having managed to flush the toxicants into a waste unit he can use for later study, slides slowly out of his seat thinking again how nice having a -real- face might be at times like this he starts sauntering over towards Fusillade.
"I wasn't drunk the first time. WHOLLY CONSCIOUS!" Fusillade insists to Scrapper. "That's kind of nice of you though, Watermelon. Hey, I should pick out some kind of design..." She looks over toward the mirrored bar... "No, not gonna do THAT. I'd be like, 'HEY! why do I have an energon brand labelled on my cock... pit? Seriously!" She scrabbles slightly on the barstool, and then gives Scrapper a near pleading look, before she shakes her head and resettles her gaze on Fleet. "You've been doing a good job lately, too bad I didn't get the idea to ptomoyr yopu doonrt@" She pauses, squints, and says, "FLAWH! Slag. SLAG!" Jetfire? If ever was the time, this was it.
Scrapper nods. Yeah. Fusillade was wholly conscious the other time. To tell the truth, he rather likes it that way. It's best when the materials have to potential to realise that they're art. Now... yeah, she's sloshed, and while he could totally etch out a cute little Seekerboy on her nosecone... and glancing sidelong, he notes that he's even got a Seekerboy handy as a reference... he'd rather not have her regretting it the next day and making life difficult for him. So Scrapper suggests, "Yeah, why don't you just think about what design you want right now?"
Fusillade seems to be meandering closer to Fleet, which means Jetfire, who is sauntering towards Fusillade, is now approaching him as well, resulting in a brief, vaguely concerned glance on Fleet's part. Then he returns his attention to Fusillade, and shrugs. "Things have been urgent," he replies to her compliment.
"The UNIVERSE!" Well, that answer from Fusillade was immediate, and vehement.
Scrapper pauses. The universe. Well, there's a number of ways to go about that, although he did recently do a 3-D rendering of just the galaxy... out of Jetfire bits. He raises his hand to his chin and finishes sipping down his drink. Hmm. he probably shouldn't fly home. Maybe shouldn't walk, either. Rolling sounds good. "The universe, huh? I mean, I could get really micro-macro with it and play totally wacky with the scale. Hmm... better go get some references..." And with that, he tumbles over into payloader mode and trundles out.
In a simple, utilitarian transformation, Scrapper becomes a payloader. His lower legs fold over his thighs. His arms tuck along his sides. His head retracts into his body, and his shovel folds down into place.
Jetfire slips up behind Fusillade, his shadow falling across the bar to telegraph his arrival. He comments, "Apparently biting is some kind of ritual for you... I find that intriguing. Frankly, you can bite me any time you can catch me." a hint of mischief in his otherwise normal voice, "Assuming you ever do." with those words Fusillade might feel the weight of a wingblade vanish. Jetfire is fully aware to look out for security devices, which is why his next move is so -neat-. He twists and chucks the blade towards the door before sprinting after it, intending to catch it on the run in a storage compartment.
Fleet finishes his second cube. He could get drunker but... Decepticons and Autobots may be 'Cybertronians' now, but Fleet never plans to die, and when he's survived the Quints' latest take over attempt, they'll go back to being 'Enemies.' It doesn't do to give them too much to work with. He looks up, giving Jetfire's antics a rather puzzled look, then turns to bow his head towards Fusillade. "Good luck on that universe thing," he says, before turning on heel and heading towards the door.
"That would be wonderful," Fusillade remarks toward the retreating payloader. And then, consciousness brings with it a spear-like shaft of awareness of something important, something -VITAL-, missing. Sinking fingertalons into the bar counter, Fusillade emits a faint plaintive wail of dismay as Jetfire makes off with one of the beloved weapons. At least she wouldn't transform in the middle of tbe bar, since she was now bereft of one of her wings. One isn't drunk enough unless they have to grab on to something to keep from falling off the face of Cybertron. Fusillade quivers underneath the bar for a good long moment, but she eventually gives chase. With a thunderous ignition of all four thrusters, she dives toward Jetfire. The throw is well-timed, as the weapon reaches its full three second count down, and blossoms out to its full span with a sickening, coruscating slither of metal upon razored metal surfaces. Fusillade jinks to the side, and thruster-dashes to intercept the errant weapon on its way out the door, the hum of magnetic recall beginning to fill the air.
Sky above New Cybertron Highway
The population over this broad expanse of highway is obviously sparser than it is to the west. The habitations and roadways are not entirely deserted, but they are fewer and farther between. Some of it is being rebuilt, as the large contruction site to the north clearly demonstrates.
It's a race between the swiftest Autobot, and the owner of the weapon, whom apparently can recall it. Jetfire shoulda expected that, luckily he had enough steps that as he exited the bar, he was able to transform and catch it mid-return to Fusillade. Sure it did a massive number on his interior, but that's minor, "Wow, you move pretty fast for a drunk femme." he comments as he loops up into the sky, obviously not trying to -outrun- the femme, cause that'd be easy with one of her wings in his cargo compartment.
Fusillade forgoes the obviopus solution of transforming. Some subconscious within her EMUX check recognizes that she lacks all the prerequisite parts to successfully convert to her alternate mode. And so, it's with a lurching snarl that she claws her way skywards even as she barks out, "What did you DO with it?! Give it -BACK-!" There appears to be no ability to connect earlier events with Jetfire's helmet with THIS, as she strives upwards against the Saturn-sized planet's gravity.
Autobot Starfighter <Jetfire> loops back on himself rather sharply, working his maneuvering thrusters and aerial tactics knowledge to his advantage, "I fully intend to, but not until I've examined it. It's a mighty impressive weapon, not as clumsy or random as a rifle... and in the right hands far deadlier." he pulls a tight barrel roll, a clanking can be heard from inside followed by a faint hiss, "Sharp as the dickens to boot. I'm guessing molecular edging, but I could be wrong."
"An unexpected gift from a grateful blacksmith," Fusillade hovers as she crosses her arms standoffishly. "He was pleased with the design. I merely asked for a magnetic recall system, he chose to up the ante. I found out the hard way in the training room one day." Optics sparkle warmly, "Perhaps it was a return favor for finally removing that memorial statue. He is quite alive, Jetfire. It's an odd design. I don't know my maker," she says wistfully. The inertia finally catches up with her, and with an obvious wobble, she spins arms midair as she tries to keep her balance as her internals query for a point of reference -- and find the response lacking. With another croon, she raises her gaze skywards, towards the inky blackness of the eternal Cybertronian night, and absently begins to climb, subtly at first, perhaps not even realizing itself as she seeks to merge with the larger reality.
Autobot Starfighter <Jetfire>, seeing that Fusillade seems to have faded as the drink misted into her brain again, settles into a hover. Now he has a chance to look the device over (Thank goodness for being DESIGNED for this sort of thing) he starts running deep scans on the wingblade even as it sits embedded in the back of one of his seats. Interested primarily in the design and mechanism, though intending to strip away as much curiosity as he can. After all, a collapsable weapon with this kind of lethal promise could make for a nifty upgrade. So easily concealed if the design is improved upon...
The item proves interesting to at least two scientific minds now. Fusillade can take comfort in that fact later, if she remembers. For now, she blurts out, plaintively, "Give it BACK!" From her point of view, it was a gift, even if Fulcrum had perceived it as a technical challenge, or more simply, an order from a superior. A peevish tap of a fist slapping ineffectively against one of Jetfire's external panels raps out in a smart staccato. Fusillade almost looks like she's on the verge of tears as she fiercely latches to the hull of the starship aft of the Starfighter. "Give... it... BACK!" The undertones of her voice pitch upwards into panic.
Autobot Starfighter <Jetfire> keeps the deep scans going as he turns his external sensors to Fusillade again, "Please, Fusillade, I've been latched onto by Arachnae's talons, you'll have to do better." he teases, then states, "Relax, in another 31.382 seconds, my aft hatch will open and you'll be able to retrieve your weapon. It's... well actually it's directly under where you've decided to latch on to."
The jesting goes unacknowledged as Fusillade's trip turns sour. A piercing keen of "NOOO! They're -*MINE*-!" accompanied by another thunk of scrambled servos trying laughably to punch through the hatch of Jetfire's hull. A half-sob escapes her as she curls slightly, resting forehead against the whiteness of the larger craft's armor. Even so, her gaze blearily slides toward the indicated seams, before she inexplicably releases herself. Instincts, feeling, moral judgment, all scrambled. She lies suspended in the air, glitter of Cybertron underneath her, the orientation of the Pleaides above her... and it's toward the Seven Sisters that she seeks her comfort, wingblade too easily, suspiciously, forgotten. The world flows and ebbs around her, the ripple of barometric changes as she ascends lost in the mind expansion of the star fields awaiting beyond.
As if on cue, the massive piece of armor that serves as Jetfire's chest slides forward a bit, a hiss emitting as a hatch swings upwards from his body, giving Fusillade a doorway into his cargo hold, beneath which can be seen her precious weapon gleaming in the faint starlight, and the flickering lights of his internal systems. He, of course, is making note of the -psychological- impact this has had on her... he suspects the drinking was part of it, but none the less, these are clearly precious to her and that could be used against her in a time when truces are no longer around.
Autobot Starfighter <Jetfire>
Jetfire's passenger area appears to sit about 8 transformers comfortably with enough cargo space for most large science equipment packages. In lieu of viewports, the walls are lined with screen's that provide views of the external area in the direction the screen would be facing. A door at the front would allow you to enter the cockpit, which can fit another Transformer, or 2 minibots, or more humans depending on how it needs to be configured. Everything is very pristine, and well kept.
The offered blade, its recovery, is only part of what Fusillade sees. Scooping up the weapon, reholstering it, she makes a tremendously obvious effort to stay upright, sheen on her cheeks obvious. "Mother, father, the tears that you cry are for no one -- no one but yourself. Brother, sister, the road that I walk is my own now -- there's no way you could understand, you could understand..." Another feverish, clumsy swipe of one hand is sent to assure herself of the weapon's presence upon her hip. With typically crisp alto voice now ululating, she vents out, "Funny how we unite as one only when we must FIGHT." And at that final point, hip and knee servos buckle under the onslaught of overenergization spiked with hallucination, and Fusillade crumples to the deck.
Autobot Starfighter <Jetfire> lets out a long low sigh, "Great, an overenergized deceptifemme just collapsed in my cargo hold. This sounds like one of Kup's old war stories already.." his cargo hold slides shut with another audible hiss and the fighter starts moving towards Nightsiege, "I'm sure they won't mind me dropping in to drop her off..." he mutters.
What insights into the command structure could be gleaned here? The fondness of others within the ranks? Immaterial, and stuffed under a sense of duty. Fusillade also appears to drool in her sleep. Or recharge cycle. Or stasis lockdown, depending on how one viewed the end result of the reality-lubricating Midnight Borealis. Enjoyed alone, in the depths of night? Perhaps.
Sky above New Cybertron Highway
You fly west to the Sky above Memorial Spaceport.
You soar upward to the Stratosphere above Western Hemisphere.
You soar upward to the Orbit of Cybertron.
You maneuver through space towards the Cybertron System.
System Report: Energon Level Normal
You move rimward, away from the center of the Galaxy.
You move out of your current plane, towards the subplanar regions.
You move rimward, away from the center of the Galaxy.
Lonely at the top. Lonely at the bottom, or even the mid-depths of the Decepticon food chain. Not a part of a gestalt. Not part of a wing anymore. Not part of... anything really. Fusillade grunts lightly as she squirms in her stupor, fumes from the strong drink starting to waft from her form as she processes the material. With arms clutched tightly around her midriff, Fusillade appears wholly unconscious of the nebulae through which Jetfire stampedes.
For his part, Jetfire seems content to ferry the obviously distraught femme back to Earth. It's obvious to him that she's in no condition to see herself back to Nightsiege, and since that would only be a stopping point anyway, it's merely simpler to fly all the way back to NCC. His internal monitors do, however, scan her carefully ensuring that none of her vitals become dangerous. After all, that'd be one hell of a thing to try and explain to Rodimus. 'Yeah Fusillade sorta died in my cargo hold'... yeah, that'd go over well. Thankfully being overly drunk won't do that to her, but he's erring on the side of caution.
System Report: Energon Level Normal
You maneuver through space towards the Gas Giants <Sol>.
You maneuver through space towards the Terrestrial Planets <Sol>.
You say, "We he she it demands your attention, cause we, he, she, it - is, was and will be and you are not alone - trust like we, he, she, it trusts you... now before and forever. Now. Before. And. FOREVER." Another buck, "We he she it is lost and we, she, he, it is everything! The ground you walk on, the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the fire in your heart... we, she, he, it is..." With an awkward writhe, she finally lapses into unconsciousness, cheek resting firmly against one of Jetfire's bulkheads. "Ngrth."
You enter orbit around the blue-green globe of Earth...
You head in for a landing at NCC Spaceport.
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "I am here to stay forever, but not today!"
Autobot Starfighter <Jetfire> descends from the heavens after an uneventful trip (He went the LONG way around to avoid Neocron) and drops like a rock(et) towards New Crystal City, intending to deposit Fusillade on the landing pad, with a note of course. Once he settles down, his internal systems shift a bit, making it possible for him to transform and have her end up cradled in his arms, awwwwwww!
A faint delerious scrape of teeth can be felt by Jetfire along his replaced chest armor. Fusillade reeks as her systems struggle to process the low-grade beta and gamma radiation emanating from her drink of choice all the way back from Cybertron. A faint clack of forehead against Jetfire's chest can be heard as Fusillade emits a terrified gurgle and shrinks away from the cyberformed ground. Oh, she's never going to live THIS one down. In the meantime, it is there that she remains. For now and the forseeable future, Fusillade will fiercely contend that it was merely a strong case of overenergization, and will likely vigorously apply this as an example of what NOT to do by the rank and file troops. Provided she has enough sense to struggle against the drink.
The question remains, will she even remember this?
Very large and flat, like the NCC spaceport always has been, there remains the room for spaceships and aircraft of all shapes and sizes to land and take off, whether they're equipped with VTOL or not. The large hangers, warehouses for incoming supplies, and maintenance stations are still there, although now they seem to mostly exist on the northwest edge of the area. Where once the runways were silver Cybertronian, an impurity has been added to give the whole area a frost-blue tint. Also new are the rows of sharp, jagged, upward pointing structures to the north and south that crowd together enough to make passage difficult without flight. Beyond the southern border that these provide is the sparkling ocean, and far behind the north edge, the distant peak of Mount R'Lyeh can be spied. Past the hangers and warehouses is the raised structure of the Command Center, set atop a maze of metallic supports that appear to the eye no sturdier than dandelion fluff, but in fact are more than sufficient to serve as support for the Empire's commanders while at the same time cushioning it from the vibrations caused by the activities of the spaceport. Several passages wind their way beneath the Command Center, allowing individuals access to the Spinal Pathway without having to first pass through the nerve center of the city.
Optics flare wide open, echoing the Commandress's beloved G-class star, the trifling Sol.. Air molecules slip by in brief trifling comfort, even as she is set down. Their companionship, shallow, meaningless as the bonds forged in the past year for her. Even as few techs march up to the Starship, expressions dirty and blaming the Guardian for this display, a single question, a single word, tumbles forth in anguish. "WHY?" Contained therein with that one acute spasm is the summation of the Cybertronian condition. Not a breath of this would ever be spoken again by either party, for fear of corrective retribution by ranking officers.
As if wanting to be certain she is tended, Jetfire settles in overhead, his sensors tuned downwards as the techs move in. Picking up the inquiry he considers... it could mean many different things. Why he helped her, why is she in this condition... hell, it could have -nothing- to do with him. So he decides to go the obvious route, "If I were in your condition, with a battle for all Cybertronian kind coming, I wouldn't wish to be abandoned because of what symbol I wore." he transmits on tightbeam, "If that's not what you were wondering, I am sorry. My mind is too literal to comprehend many of the intracacies of this bizarre situation. Rest assured however, you are a sentient being, and for that reason deserve a modicum of respect, whatever else you may be."
Existentialism, eat your heart out. Fusillade is certain that the Decepticon way already has prevailed, as per her unification to FIGHT comment earlier, and yet, there's an ache that cannot be laid to rest by the succour of power, or the adoration of the masses. It was something that she would have to come to terms on with her own. Ages ago, a Cyclopean figured, legendary in its stature and deepness of indigo armor, had identified her as an anomaly, possessed of a fire not found in the optics of many. Most. Two-thirds? Who was to know the exact figure? Even the Unicronians had noticed, and it was this drive, this ability to capture the figurative imaginations and hearts of the others that had catapulted her rise to power. Whether or not she would ever attribute that to her unknown, uncelebrated maker or not, was long lost several hours ago in her stupor. The world spins, and she alternates between wanting to grasp out and secure her place in it, or to spur it to even further self-destructive speeds.
Clouddeck looks indignant. "Fine mess this has turned out to be. You, shut those cameras off," the mostly platinum hued Seeker snaps.
Autobot Starfighter <Jetfire> see's that Fusillade is being tended to, and as such he angles into the sky and departs. This is one that's NOT going on the reports board. Nope... this is being filed in his ultra secret files... yes indeed...