Title: A Swift Message
Location: ++ The Jump Joint ++
Date: 04 January 2015
Summary: As directed by Quantumn, Swift Blade delivers a message to Blast Off.
-Meeting Blast Off is probably the thing that has complicated Swift Blade's return to Cybertron the most. She doesn't see this as either a bad or a good thing; she merely accepts that it is. As such, she has warned Blast Off to be careful as he comes to meet her since she doesn't know what this little item has in store for the shuttleformer. As she waits, her face is set into a rather grim expression.
-Blast Off found this request to be rather strange indeed. Part of the shuttleformer told him to go so very far, far away, STOP, Do NOT Pass GO, Curiosity killed the turbo-cat, etc. etc. And yet.... Swift Blade has, so far, been one of the few almost *reasonable* people he's managed to acquaint himself with lately.
And while he really *doesn't* want to know what this mysterious present of hers is if it's just /trouble/.... he WOULD like to know why she's giving this to him and what the story is behind it. For THAT might be important information. So he comes anyway, looking cautious. But his team is not THAT far way, so at least he has backup here. He walks into the bar and, upon spotting her, gives her a slightly wary nod.
-Swift Blade returns the nod and waits for him to get closer before actually saying anything. She looks a little uncomfortable, mostly because she fears that Quantum is right about one thing (if not more). It has been an...intersting...evening to say the least, if not at all comfortable.
-The shuttle picks up on her discomfort, and it makes him even *more uneasy- and he's already uneasy. Blast Off slows as he approaches where she is, stopping short of getting too close. He hangs back a little, even for HIM. And he's already well-known for *needing personal space*. "You.... wished to see me?"
-Upon hearing that, Blast Off isn't sure he WOULD like to sit. However, he doesn't want to look as if he's getting unnerved by all this (even though he is). There's a momentary pause, then he waves a hand and sits down. "Very well. And the message ...is?"
-"I met Quantum," Swift Blade says flatly, her tone implying she wasn't terribly impressed with him. "The entire conversation isn't necessary to repeat, but at the end he told me to give you something and that he wished to meet with you to settle his vendetta against you once and for all." Her optics narrow slightly. "I know you value choice so I did not immediately toss away the object he wished me to pass on to you."
-Blast Off stiffens immediately at the mention of that name. "Vector Sigma...." He mutters under his "breath", bringing a hand up to pinch at the bridge of his nose briefly before dropping it back down again. There's a sigh as he looks at her and considers this all. Does he trust Quantum? Not at all. Is this a trap? Obviously. Still, perhaps it would be better to know just what he's got in mind THIS time, so that the Combaticon may be better able to deal with it and move on. Though if it involves anything "conjunx endura" related he is so OUTTA HERE.
"Fine. I do not trust him one bit, but.... very well. tell me what he said."
-Swift Blade leans forward slightly, just because she's about to mention something illegal. Of course, given where they are, this probably doesn't matter, but better safe than sorry, yes? Too bad she didn't agree with Quantum's version of that. "The object he wishes me to give you is some sort of cloaking device," she says very quietly. "He wishes to meet you in space for this final encounter."
-This has the shuttle's immediate attention, and he *wants* that cloaking device far more than he *should*. Of course, yes, it's a trap. And yes, the cloaking device *itself* is suspect. And yet.... still.... it's so TEMPTING. A way back into space. For a final encounter? "Is that what HE called it?" Blast Off looks intently at her. "It's a trap, obviously. But what *kind* of trap?"
-Swift Blade shakes her head solemnly. "I'm afraid I do not know. Technology isn't my strong point." She carries Swords for Primus' sake! "But I know enough to realize that people can play tricks with them." Pause. "Which is why I didn't actually bring the object with me. I kept it hidden, just in case it was some sort of tracking device in actuality." See, she's not THAT naive. Okay, so maybe she is, but she has done bodyguard work before and knows that some people can use devious methods to hurt the people they desire to. "Do you have any allies that are good at examining such things?"
-Blast Off is actually a bit impressed by that. Upon hearing the device isn't actually *there* he is both relieved and oddly disappointed. He lets out a small, almost approving little *huff*. The shuttle's black hands pull up and rest against the top of the table as he answers, "I know a few. Swindle, my teammate, is a munitions expert and... well... experienced in various... trade items, let's just say. My Commander might also have some experience searching for booby traps and tracking devices."
He pauses a moment to order a drink (again a beer... the shuttle's tastes have run very... odd since his escape from prison), then he turns back to Swift Blade. He keeps his voice low, but given the surroundings he's not too afraid. "I believe I mentioned that there was a tarcking device on the... last cloaking device I had." He pauses. "So you talked to him. Is he still insisting he doesn't remember anything? Or is he ranting and railing at anything that even reminds him of me?"
His optics narrow a little. "And why was he asking YOU to deliver this to me?"
-"Most likely because I was there at the time," Swift Blade says. She reaches out a hand, and it looks for a moment as though she's going to touch Blast Off's, but she puts it a few inches from his, palm flat on the table. "He certainly didn't seem to have any issue remembering you. He was quite upset about the death of his partner." She gives Blast Off a long look. "If you had known that your choices would have taken you down this path, do you think you still would have made them?" she asks earnestly.
-Blast Off isn't quite sure what she means by that. It's odd that Quantum would pick HER... unless she's somehow getting known as someone who hangs out with HIM, which probably doesn't do either of them any good. Sigh. He tenses as her hand slips near his, and optics stay glued on her hand until he sees it's... safe again. Odd. Somewhere, somehow, he might not even *mind* if she did, but Feint sort of messed him up and right now he's not sure /how/ he'd react to a femme actually making a *move* on him and Primus he doesn't even want to think about that right now...so he won't.
"I see. No more feigning memory loss. Well, that's less tiresome, at least." He listens to the rest, then blinks and stares at her last question. There's a subtle wing elevon twitch. "...What do you mean? Which choices?" There's such a long history of choices... choices that have never quite panned out very well for him, starting all the way back when Onslaught and the rest of his team stood up against Cybertron on the side of Combatron and paid a very heavy price....
-Swift Blade knows the mech doesn't like to be touched; it was a gesture of support without actually making the dreaded contact. She isn't the kind to be pushy. "Any of them," she says. "I'm just wondering if you're able to look back and concede that you may have been wrong or made mistakes." Her tone is quiet, thoughtful. "More often than not I am told to stay away from you, that you are nothing but trouble. It is...easier...for them to simply cast you as a villain and treat you as such instead of someone who is struggling. And because I do not see things that way, they are assured that I am wrong also."
-Swift Blade's demonstration of support- without pushiness- is actually appreciated on some level. Despite all his neuroses, Blast Off finds that the nearby- but not TOO near- hand is ...Ok. He relaxes just a little, and doesn't pull his hand away. Though his optic ridges furrow down in his customary, gut-reaction denial as she brings up being "wrong". "Well, but why would I? It's not like it's been MY fault! People are just... jealous, or greedy, or well- WRONG themselves! I have had to BATTLE almost all my life against those who would dictate my life to me!" He HUFFs and glances about in some agitation.
Slowly, though, the immediate, instinctive denial- and the anger- gives way to something more thoughtful. His hand twitches up in a slightly conciliatory gesture. "Well... I just mean that... Well, I think that *everyone* has occasionally done things that they wish had ...turned out differently. Hindsight is... 20/20." He doesn't directly answer her, but he seems to be trying.
The shuttle's beer arrives, and he takes hold of it before drawing up towards a hatch in his faceplate for a sip. Finishing that, he places the mug down and looks to Swift Blade. After a long moment, he asks, ".... Why DO you stick around, then? I AM trouble. Or at least, I certainly seem to attract it. You'd have a lot less headaches in your life if you just stayed FAR away from me."
-"Because I think that you need the support more than someone who is already doing well," Swift Blade says. "With so many people after your head, there really isn't any need to add anyone else." She tilts her head to the side. "Besides, you've never done anything /to/ me to warrant my departure." She shrugs her shoulders. "I am not judge, jury, or executioner." She doesn't know if they HAVE juries on Cybertron, but oh well. "It is a terrible thing to have no one on your side, and an only slightly less terrible thing to just have a small handful of people on your side." She sighs. "Would you have any incentive at all to do good if no one had the faith that you COULD do good?"
-Blast Off looks at her, and for a moment he can't think of anything to say. She speaks of.. support. Like a friend. And he could certainly use more of those. He only ever seems to LOSE them these days. It makes him a bit glad, and a bit melancholy, and he responds by not uttering any words but distracting himself with another drink. But that only works for so long. The shuttle stares into a random spot in the distance.
"I have... a few. But it seems there are an ever-shrinking number, the more the Senate gets their grip on most everyone I know." Right now, he's only got his fellow Combaticons left. And... possibly her? His look hardens at her last question, and he huffs again, still staring into the distance. "Well, maybe I don't *want* to do good. Maybe good is too much HASSLE. For too little REWARD." There /are/ times he wonders... what's the point? Especially when the world DOES seem convinced he's just a criminal anyway? THIS world, at least.
-"That's just what I mean. If you are doubting it now, then how much more would you doubt it if you lost more people?" Swift Blade says. "I don't know if it's been said here, but some of the cultures I've come across have sayings that boil down to 'Goodness is it's own reward'. But I've always wondered about that. To me, goodness comes with hope. If you have no hope, you lose your capacity to do good." Pause. "And since I've met you, you've had many reasons to lose your hope. I don't not wish to take any more of it from you."
-Blast Off stops staring at that random spot on the wall and turns his gaze back to Swift Blade. The shuttle's shoulders slowly sag down just slightly and he leans back a little. For a moment at least, his usual pretense fades away. "There... isn't a lot remaining, no." His gaze shifts down to the beer, and a black finger traces the rim of the glass slowly. "Just determination to *survive*. Despite all my enemies. TO spite all my enemies."
His optics look around the bar. "It's not like THIS is my idea of a good time, and yet THIS is where I am stuck. With little hope of ever seeing Vos, or High Society, or space, or the other things I love, ever again." He sighs a little, looking at her once more. "Though I suppose you, as a former slave, know something about losing hope."
-"It was my determination to survive as well," Swift Blade says softly. "We are different in that you came from a very good place and lost much, whereas I started at the bottom and just recently found myself free. But I went through much humiliation in my years, as well as my fair share of pain. I was often told I was not a person, that I had no rights, that my worth was based on what I could do for someone else, not who I was. I owned nothing, not even the ability to have preferences." She sighs deeply. "But one person, out of the many, saw me as a person. They gave me my freedom. By that time I was almost ready to give up hope. Perhaps if I had gone through a few more masters, I would have."
-The shuttle contemplates that, one hand still rimming the edge of his beer mug and the other still placed on the table near Swift Blade's. "Yes... you were given no choices. I usually had that, at least to some extent, and I have always fought hard to keep it." Blast Off looks to her. "It is a shame what happened to you, and a shame you will probably never know the fine life that I once did. I fear those days are waning, and strife and dischord will only grow. Not that that is neccessarily all bad... sometimes one must purge the rust and rot out of a system entirely before one can build anew. I am a Combaticon.... fighting is in my circuitry. But even I knew that combat and culture do not easily coexist. I simply hope that conflict is directed and productive. And perhaps a few people, like your more enlightened "Master" as you put it, will guide Cybertron on a better path. Because CHOICE will become a paramount issue. For everyone." There's another sigh. "And then...perhaps... my OWN choices will again open up.
-Swift Blade smiles at this, but it is a sad smile. "I predict that we will all make a lot of wrong choices before things get better, but sometimes it is better to make a wrong choice than to have your choice dictated to you." Her fingers curl slightly, but she doesn't move her hand as a whole. "You had those experiences of a fine life, and that makes this life seem harder, but if you ever make it out on the other side, at least you KNOW how good things can be. And, perhaps then, you will be able to lead others in the pursuit of those things."
-Blast Off actually finds himself smiling at that, himself. It's a small smile, and hidden under his faceplate, but... still, he likes that idea. His face turns upwards. "I... would like that. I think I would make quite an excellent steward of... well, of arts, and culture, and..." He almost says wine but refrains at the last moment. "Or continue exploration into space, opening up the path for others to follow." And also not having to DEAL with people TOO much, yet still feel valuable and ...not quite so alone.
The shuttleformer glances back to Swift Blade. "But whatever happens, choice is... everything to me. I act by CHOICE, not by command, not by dictation, not by force. I have always been an... independant thinker." Blast Off takes another large swallow of the enerbeer. "And perhaps... it's that hope that helps me keep going, too. A better Cybertron where class and culture are valued once more, and where... choice is a guarantee, not a luxury."
He finishes the beer, then sets it down. "Well, I will contact Onslaught to get a look at this device, then. See just *what* Quantum has thought of THIS time." He tilts his head slightly. "I am still surprised you even speak to me after all the people you've met who have a vendetta against me. Still..." He glances away, and says even more quietly, "...I am glad that you do."
-That is all Swift Blade really needs to hear; being appreciated goes a long way. "I will get the device to you then. Since you now know as much as I do about it, you can decide when you want it...and where," she says. "Whether or not you use it to fight Quantum is another matter, but at least if you find a trap you might have an idea what he was planning." She furrows her brows. "But if you do choose to meet him, be careful. He is very angry and sounds quite determined to destroy you." It doesn't look like Swift Blade wants that to happen at all.
-Blast Off nods. "Yes, I intend to bring backup or some kind of... Plan B. I am /certain/ that one on one, I will be /more/ than be capable of holding my own against him. I just do not know what tricks he might have in mind." The shuttle stands, throwing some shanix on the table. Seems that for a "hardened criminal," he at least tries to pay his bar debts. And Blast Off does appreciate Swift Blade's concern, though he is of course far too reserved and guarded to easily say so.
"It was... a pleasure. I will meet you for that, and... also, my offer of shooting practice still stands, as well. Knowing how to defend yourself in ranged combat in the upcoming struggles we will likely all face would only be wise." He turns and starts heading out the door.
-While Swift Blade knows that Blast Off has committed crimes, she doesn't see him as simply 'a criminal.' Those sort of lables are damning and they push people into neat little categories so that others don't have to take any effort to really sort them out. Then again, after millions of years being called 'slave' or 'you' or many other things BESIDES her name, maybe Swift Blade is just a bit senstive. She rises to her feet also. "Take care Blast Off." And it's not just a polite saying; she means it.