Beyond the barracks and past the soundproof barriers is the NCC's residential tavern, the Shark's Rib. The walls and ceilings are a deep blue colour, and various lighting creates a shimmering effect. Large curved support beams above the ceiling provide a protective cage over the recreational area. Energon flows through transparent spiral-shaped piping behind the bar to the right of the entrance, indicating to even the most over-energized Decepticon where to go to for a refill. Bartenders are available to dispense energon of various grades and blends. For people willing to part with more imperial credits and who know who and how to ask, the good product is kept under lock and key. There is seating at the bar for Decepticons of various sizes. There are also numerous booths for large groups. There is a small exposed area to serve as a dance floor with a raised level in front of it, complete with all the equipment necessary for public announcements and live group performances. Due to the lack of importance to the overall Decepticon mission, even more aesthetical decorations have been put into the Shark's Rib. Thin metallic spirals decorate the bar area, the furnishings and the walls. Music is often played through hidden speakers - often trumpet music, but also classic Imperial soldier tunes that every Decepticon knows well.
Ah, the Shark's Rib. Still shiny and new, with that "new bar smell". Which is just like an old bar smell, but with less suspicious stains. Fulcrum appears to have taken up residence here, sitting at one of the corner tables, a datapad in front of him on the table, with a couple of empty energon containers beside it. From his dully glowing optics it's more than likely he's not overenergized, though it begs the question just why he prefers the bar to a more quiet, secluded environment. After all, Fulcrum's not necessarily known for socialising. Socialism, maybe.
With the hour creeping past midnight in this section of the world, there are fewer than average about. Those that are, however, are likely crammed in the shimmering walls of the bar proper. An alto voice at the doorway slyly rings out, "I might have to do my mission briefings here." Fusillade, sleekly appointed in glossy black, strides in, wingblades streaming behind her like coattails. She seems to be searching for something, or perhaps, someone. Those vivid yellow optics flick from column to column, over the spiraling energon traces of the bar, to each of the table booths and along their dividers. A faint 'hrn' escapes her as she stalks along the corridor, each spot producing failure. However, it seems to be low enough priority for Fulcrum's presence to shatter her concentration, and so she gives him a sharp nod in greeting, resting a palm on one hip holster. "Evening, Fulcrum."
Fulcrum looks up, his optics flickering as they refocus. "Fusillade" he says by way of greeting, somewhat surprised to see her out and about - and in glossy black. Isn't she supposed to be grey? "How're the legs?" He puts down his datapad, the screen currently displaying a sliver of material and associated data.
Inviting herself to slide into the side opposite the blacksmith, the Military Operations CO gives him a lop-sided smile as she rests one hand on an open palm. "So far, so good. I haven't had any difficulties with standard flight in my alt mode, but haven't gotten to the training room yet. I'll do more rigorous combat maneuvers in there." Her gaze flicks to the datapad momentarily, but she quells her curiosity, even as a serving droid hovers at her shoulder with a chime of inquiry. "White high-grade, entire carafe, please. Shot of jet fuel. If it's the same guy behind the counter, he'll know how much." Back toward Fulcrum, she airily states, "I haven't seen Cinderblock integrated into the building structure here anywhere. I guess he didn't piss them off too badly."
"Be careful" Fulcrum intones. "It would be a shame to have to repair your legs again so quickly." A brief frown crosses Fulcrum's face at the mention of Cinderblock, the blacksmith still slightly irritated that he never turned up for their scheduled fight at the Olympics. "Cinderblock? What happened?" he asks, before gesturing to the servo-bot. "A shot of high grade, pure as possible. Cold."
A playful, "Yes, wouldn't want to force you to put your hands on me again," teases out from Fusillade. "Well, they threatened to turn him into a barstool or pillar or something, happened during one of their arguments. Amounted to them suggesting that Cinderblock was useless because of his habit of running away from combat. Which I should see about amending," she remarks lightly as she mulls over the edge of the smaller serving cup that came along with the faintly phosphorescent yellow-white liquid. "So, whatcha workin' on?"
"You do seem to go out of your way to put me in that position" Fulcrum replies, without changing his tone, no hint as to whether he's joking, or even acknowledging the joke. He slides the datapad across to Fusillade. "I may have discussed it with you before - it's an experimental armor design that's more heavily integrated with its owner's neural interface than usual, allowing control over how much feedback is returned."
A mock irascible, "Party pooper." is offered to Fulcrum as she ahs to herself, takes the pad, and immediately understands... about six percent of the presented information. Well, she could at least read the labels. "So it would allow feedback for sensitive operations that require tactile finesse. Or even response to air pressure changes from incoming projectiles? And... how far along are you with that? I suppose that's what some of the raw materials acquisition request was for? I might be repeating myself, but some of the material the humans loaded wasn't processed. As Sunder's objective was the processed material, you're more than welcome to the other."
Fulcrum allows himself a smile as she looks down at the pad, though his face is once again impassive when she looks back up. "More precisely, it would allow me to dampen my pain receptors in a combat situation, allowing me to continue to fight while heavily damaged, without the warning signals disrupting my processor. Also, it will be constructed of an.. unique alloy, making it much tougher than my current armor." Yes, Fulcrum's planning to make himself comfortably numb in combat, a slightly suicidal concept that he seems to have no particular problems with. "The raw material from the humans will be of some assistance, but I will require more...exotic materials to create the alloy. Materials that may be difficult to obtain."
"Dampeners, but..." Fusillade frowns some, and asks, "I don't know if that's a good idea. What about just enhancing the armor components? You're certainly in a position to facilitate that." She lapses into silence, at a bit of a loss to continue this aspect of conversation. "Well, when evaluation time comes, there's always the training room," she offers. "Let me know if you want something aside from the drone itself beating up on you. Also, Galvatron desires Catechism and I to pass on some vectored thrust training to those in Military Operations."
Fulcrum shrugs, the idea of being critically damaged and not being aware of it not seeming to bother him much. "There will still be some sensation" he says, "And when combat is complete, I can up the sensitivity." A frown returns to his face. "Did Lord Galvatron mention why Thrust Vectoring in particular? Has there been an incident I was unaware of?"
A nod escapes Fusillade as she accepts Fulcrum's rationale on that aspect. Toward the inquiry, Fusillade shakes her head. "No. He wishes to see us be more effective in combat while using our robot modes. Those of us with dedicated flying alt modes tend to underutilize our... gifts, from his point of view. Kept going on about hundred fifty percent efficiency with his demonstrations with Scourge When it came time for my XO and I, he did a nasty cannon number on Catechism in the training room for it, but I suspect he was seeking to infuriate me into performing to his desired standards. He has provided us with the concept, and now expects us to disseminate the information to our aerial troops, with demonstrations."
Fulcrum remains silent as he considers that. "I am more capable in robot mode than I am in my alternate form" he admits. "Though not necessarily in mid air." He gives another shrug, this one indicating that it doesn't really matter, since what Galvatron wants, Galvatron gets. "To expect all of Aerospace to perform at the level of Scourge is... an admirable goal, but slightly optimistic."
A low, throaty laugh begins to escape Fusillade, although whether it's from the duress that the leadership position has put on her, or the fact that she's about halfway through the carafe, is difficult to decide. "Perform like a Sweep? Oh, /THAT/ will never happen. It's a question of hardware. Wiring too, I'd wager. We can at least minimize the differences in training. That is what I have been charged with, in addition to the other things that I need to tend to. But we have the altmode's engines, and we have the altmode's flight surfaces in our robot modes. The aerodynamics may be different, but that can worked around."
Fulcrum hasn't touched his shot of high grade, mainly because he prefers to drink them in one go. "More than hardware.. there is something fundamentally different about the core of a Sweep... it is beyond my skill, though I'm sure Arachnae could tell you more. A lot more." Fulcrum's tone is one of disapproval, though whether of Sweeps in general or Arachnae's self-inflicted transformation is unclear.
"I certainly don't deign to make windows into Unicronian's cores, Fulcrum," Fusillade says briskly. "Although I suspect that we will be seeing more of them in the near future. They seem willing to avail themselves to Military Operations' considerable resources." And then a wistful sigh signals a jink in mood as she glumly mulls, "I still need to figure out what to do with the ground and sea units!"
Fulcrum's optics flicker in a blink. "Do with?" he asks, not being of a mind to bother with tactical or organizational matters, most -if not all- of his skills revolving around hitting pieces of metal with other pieces of metal. He drains the shot of energon, hoping that this will help comprehension.
A withdrawn nod escapes Fusillade as she crosses arms across her torso and rests one cheek on the table, brows slightly furrowed as she twists around slightly to meet Fulcrum's burning gaze. "Yes. One of the situations where more... prior experience would have been preferential. I attempted to resign my commission, actually. Got promoted to my current position by cannon-point for my trouble. I haven't said anything to anyone yet, and I've been trying to pull as much information as possible while directing things, but..." She straightens her gaze, and tremulously admits to the item directly across the table, in this case Fulcrum's cockpit glass, "I'm really worried about screwing up too much."
Fulcrum blinks again, surprised. Fusillade has always struck him as a supremely confident individual. "Were you aware I used to be head of MSE?" he says finally, after mulling over her words. "Scrapper promoted me to the post during the construction of New Crystal city. Immediately, I had to oversee countless construction projects, ranging in scope from the Command Center to the light switches." He raises a hand, waving over the servo-bot again. "I had little to no experience with command, or indeed overseeing such a large project, even with Scrapper's assistance."
"The sun needs to hurry up and rise," Fusillade grouses out, even as she rocks the now mostly empty carafe in some dissatisfaction. Was she even listening to what Fulcrum was saying? "NCC's construction? The first time around you mean? Not even every good leader is going to be able to immediately slip into the position. It just... just... happened. High Command folk have some of the best stories." She sounds moderately petulant, but it fades in quite wonderment once Fulcrum's words about his own experience finally sink in, well after his more recent speech. "Oh. Oh. I did talk to Comcast and Earthscorch about their own work. I don't want to add to the 'revolving door' statistic, though." Those last few words echo her more typical determination, although she doesn't quite right herself yet.
"Same again for both of us" Fulcrum tells the servant-bot. "What I was trying to say, Fusillade, is that if a mech like me can manage such a task, /you/ should be fine. As for the "revolving door"..." He shrugs. "I have never wanted command."
"Are you serious?" Fusillade gives Fulcrum an incredulous stare as he proposes doubling their intake. "You can drink 'em both," she says, "I really can't because, because..." She trails off, and then squints some. "Some people would consider this entertainment." Despite her grousing, it's likely that yes, she WILL work through another round... which consists of about 8 servings in that container. "They don't want it because they worry about the shame or pain of being ousted. And if they WANT it, then OBVIOUSLY they're an usur user youze ... traitor just waiting to take a higher rank for themselves. What's WRONG with wanting to try to make things better for us?!" At this point, with a whipcrack motion of a lunging serpent, Fusillade has restraightened herself, shoulders squared fiercely as she rails against typical Decepticon mentality.
Fulcrum attempts to make sense of what Fusillade's saying. "Drinking with a comrade is not entertainment?" he asks, slightly confused, his optics glowing brighter than before as the energon works through his system. "I don't want command because I do not beleive I am suitable, and the associated paperwork and organisational.. things.. gets in the way of my true function. As well as being extremely boring." Ignoring her offer, he slides the drink over in front of her. "But you are right - higher rank also makes you a target for our more unscrupulous comrades."
"Aww, you said comrade," Fusillade practically purrs, glossy black hand wrapping around the handle of container even as the servbot attempts to tug it away. Nevermind that he's using it as a general reference to other Decepticons, as evidence by his later use of the word. She critically peers down into the pool of phosphorescent fluid, as if sizing up the caramel-colored patterns that the shot of jet fuel made as it descended through the lighter liquid. And then, she abandons the use of the single serve container, downing a frightening amount of the volume -- about a third -- in one sitting. The motion is neat, effective, leaving no spilled drops. "I actually got a secretary! Can you imagine that! It helps some, but I kinda feel bad about High Command being aware that I /need/ the help. And main function? I hear you on that one, Fulcrum. I mean, I'd hope that I would be able to still do bombing runs, they're... /FUN/."
Okay, that was impressive. Fulcrum downs his own shot, if only to maintain face. "Well you are" he mutters, putting his empty vessel back on the table. "...Wait, you're in charge, correct? So.. just.. schedule yourself for the bombing runs. Who's gonna argue? You're the commanderer."
"But we can't kill humans! Slaggitall, why do they have to SQUISH so easily! It's CRUEL, Fulcrum. I have the ability to do what I damn well please, but I don't because the situation changes. What... what the frak IS that?!" She sprawls backwards in the booth, crossing legs at the ankles and propping then up on the edge of her side of the table, closest to the walkway, sending a few passing patrons scattering. "Seriously. What kind of slagged up timing is THAT? And yeah, I'm in charge. Except the repair bay. The Constructicons LOVE pointing that out. Bonecrusher's nice though," she free-associates. And then, a bit more randomly, she asks, "Should I be doing this while I'm technically recovering?"
"Probably not" Fulcrum admits dryly. "But the stress of overenenerrgisation won't further damage your systems too much. Just don't get so overcharged that you decide to do something really stupid." He considers ordering another shot for himself. Eh, why not. "At least we can still raid. And.. couldn't you.." he waves a hand vaguely. "..do a bombing run on Cybertron? Or...paint bombs or the like. As for medbay... that's always been the domain of MSE." Bonecrusher? Nice?
Somewhere in another reality, Fulcrum is likely thanking the maker that there is a table between the two at the moment. "I just want the sun to come up so I can sleep in a nice patch of light while I sober up. I'm off duty, I can do it!" Likely Fulcrum doesn't need the reminding, but it's possible that Fusillade is practicing for anyone else who might question her choice of future resting spot. Provided she can properly fly to a convenient spot. A little bit more moderately, she recovers the serving cup, and sips on its contents, a faint 'whuf' escaping her as the wave from her previous excess starting to wash over her.
Fulcrum gets another shot for himself, figuring Fusillade doesn't need any more. "You don't have to justify yourself" he remarks, downing the shot of high grade and "breathing" out the fumes from the potent fuel. " 'S not like Galvatron is hiding in the corner, waiting for you to say.. your.. sleep..thing." He trails off, not really knowing where he was going with that, though he does surreptitiously check the corners of the room, just in case Galvatron is indeed sharing a pint with Cyclonus and Scourge. Well he might be!
Cringing a bit as she takes a cue from Fulcrum's gaze, Fusillade pops up like a meerkat on alert, and swivels around to peer at the bar, fingertalons digging slightly into the table's surface. "You're messing with me," she accuses amicably, before staring at the still half full carafe. "Hoo. I should fly some of this off. Still park. Bark. Dark, the auroras will still be out."
"Yeah, it's probably just Reflector" Fulcrum chuckles. Yes, chuckles. "You think it's good to fly now?" he asks, his command of language starting to slip. "Don't want you to crash again."
"Oh, you STOP!" Fusillade breaks out into a genuine peal of laughter, and flings the empty Styrofoam consistancy cup at Fulcrum's head. "And no, no, I shouldn't fly. I shouldn't walk along any well-lit corridors, either, if the rest of the faction's to have any respect for Beta Wang. Err, Aerospace, AUGH Military Operations. Military Operations, yes. I can't make a fool of myself anymore. Well, I can, but I'd be unhappy with myself."
Fulcrum moves to dodge the cup, but far too slowly, the container bouncing off his head and onto the floor. "Well you're all camammoflagued now" he replies. "So you can sneak in quietly, like a... like a... snaeakiy femme."
Fusillade Fat-Bastards, "I'm dead sheckshay!" And Fulcrum's mispronunciation appears to have made perfect sense to HER. "I couldn't FLY, though," Fusillade points out. Granted, if she wanted to pull off the whole stealth routine, she would also have to: not TALK, not fall into the dumpsters, not transform in the middle of the walkway, not TALK, not attempt to mount Astrotrain while in alt mode, not seduce a lightpole in attempt to get DCI intelligence from Cybertronian Soundwave, not TALK, not display her bomb bay capacity, not use a sentry for a scratching post, not TALK, not scream, not fall on her skidplate, not TALK, quite simply not exist. "Hey, what's your office-shop-quarters thingie here like? Have you even claimed a space for yourself?"
"My old quarters are in Trypticonicon" Fulcrum replies. "Probably full of fish. I got a temporarily one in the new living area place here." He shakes his head. "Had one in the old city, but it got blown up."
You say, "Ohn, okay," Fusillade nods exaggeratedly. "Should probably go lock myself in the Aerospace room in the Command Center until I'm right again. But no sunlight there," she thinks aloud. Slipping her gaze back toward her feet, she gives them a look of trepidation, as if not quite trusting them. However, she finally stands gripping the edge of the table. She gives Fulcrum's closest wrist a brief squeeze, and then turns to face the doorway, and everything else waiting outside.
Fulcrum watches her get up. "Do you require assasstance" he says, also getting to his feet. "You could use my temporary quarters, though they don't get much light. I can see if my quarters in Trypticon are.. still there."
Oh, oh! Look capable! Or something. "The company would be nice," Fusillade manages to squeeze out, her motions slow, deliberate. "And separate? Probably for the best. I don't think I'm supposed to be fraterini fra FRAK enjoying myself around subordinates this much. Just in the... title thing. You're great," she rambles a bit. "Certainly good at holding your energon. So, point the way."
That's because Fulcrum hasn't been chugging at pitchers of mixed fuel. " 'S standard quarters" he remarks, moving towards the door and holding it open. "You'll want to open the... window cover thing. I generally leave it closed."
"WHY open? Does it smell?" Fusillade teases. She at least has the decency to deposit herself on the open walkway and the bracing chill of the pre-dawn air before latching around the dark steel and olive toned armor of the blacksmith's arm.
NCC Residential Ribs
A line of skyscrapers reach for the sun/stars here, their pointed fingers stretching far higher than human construction is capable of. Or rather, their ribs, for that is the body part these inward curved-buildings most closely resemble. The blues used in the city are at their palest here, like they've been bleached from exposure, and in daylight, striped shadows stretch across the area, casting the entire area into extreme contrast. Stretching from building to building are spun-metal walkways of gleaming silver, larger 'beads' shimmering along them like dew on a spider's web. The insides of these walkways are sturdier than they appear, while their outer edges are razor sharp, providing both defense against foes and challenges for daredevil Decepticons.
"No it doesn't smell.. you wanted light, remember?" Supporting the overnenergised femme, Fulcrum lurches slightly, then corrects himself, guiding her to a nondescript door in the residential area assigned to mechs of Fulcrum's rank. Tapping at the door lock, he manages to open it on the second go, revealing a room almost completely devoid of personal stuff, with only a selection of metal samples and a med-scanner indicating that the room is occupied. There's a standard sized recharge bed + outlet, a cleaning unit.. and that's about it.
Octane walks into the residential area looking sort of focused, while looking at a datapad.
Octane looks around the area as if he is looking for a specific Decepticon. As he gazes around he sees Fusillade and immediately walks right over her holding a datapad and says "I see you had a successful raid on Beijing and you were able to allocate steel towards the repair of Trypticon"
Those walkways several stories up? VERY interesting when one's flying in metaphorical troposphere heights. There's more than one instance where there was a scramble by Fusillade to grab onto the walkway railing, with various degrees of prodding, support, and corralling by the considerably less drunk Fulcrum. "Ooh, really? That sounds lovely." No comment is given to the Spartan environs, no judgment rendered. Fusillade, although still combating the effect of twelve servings, still manages to bury the more effusive thanks that well up. She rests a shoulder on the doorway, and squints inward, before fully entering what will be the equivalent of a detox tank, shoving the 'window cover thing' open to peer at the flood-light lit streets. And then Octane invites himself in. "There's nottanuff room in here for you," she then squints and makes a grab at the padd.
Octane not surprised by Fusillade's comments, arrogantly states "Well actually.......there is room for me. I have a question for you, how much steel did you make off with? From what I heard, Scattershot disintegrated part of your hull with his Acid Rifle, and the other two bots did some considerable damage to you. I have an idea that can help bring us some extra materials, with little or no damage to ourselves and I would need your help plus maybe a couple more Decepticons to pull it off. Care to listen? Or do you "Not have any room for me still?"
"OCTANE! It's already FULL! Fulcrum's in here already! I don't have room for you in here too!"
Octane shakes his head "Ok that's fine then, you obviously don't care about my plan. I will take it up with your superior if you don't want to listen to me and tell him the repair on Trypticon is obviously not important to you"
Fulcrum waves a hand, indicating.. well, it's not clear. The room, probably. "Should be fine" he says, "If there�s..." and then Octane pipes up. Octane? Where the slag did HE come from! He must have stealth powers too! Or possibly Fulcrum's sensors are a trifle distracted from being overcharged. Stepping out of the room before this looks any WORSE, Fulcrum nods at the triple changer, his face resuming his usual dour expression. "Commander Fusisillade is slightly indisposed" he says. "She's going to.. uh.. recharge for a while."
"We're ending the Cold War! All hail glasnost!" Fusillade squints. "Of course I don't CARE right now, Octane. That doesn't mean I won't care when the sun rises. It can WAIT until morning." She nudges Octane slightly, before gripping the doorway and the plating that identifies the quarters as Fulcrum's. "Schedule an appointment with my secretary, I am off duty after sustaining considerable damage during the attack. It is YOU who are out of line for attempting to greenlight a mission objective through a commanding officer, not even in your SAME DIVISION, who is currently not on active roster. And one's who's frakking plastered right now..." Another squint toward Fulcrum, "I think that I can figure out the items. In a few moments."
Octane nods "Ok then" Octane then smiles and leaves.
Fulcrum watches Octane leave in the most awesomely choreographed display of aerobatics he's ever seen.
Fulcrum turns back to the doorway and nods. "Well, if you are aquainten.. settled in, I shall go and find my old quarters." He nods. "Rest well, Fusillade."
An exaggerated nod is sent Fulcrum's way by Fusillade, before the door quite resoundingly slaps shut. A few seconds later, there's a clatter, followed by a �few quieter sounds of whatever was knocked over being gathered back up. A few more minutes, and silence.
Fulcrum pauses at the door for a moment. Huh. It's been an odd night. Only slightly unsteadily, Fulcrum makes his way towards Trypticon, to check if his Forge is full of fish.