Location: The Arena <Forge>
Date: 06 November 2014
Summary: At a crossroads in his life, Blast Off decides to enter the pit fights- finally meeting Megatron... and a few surprises.
He strikes an imposing figure to say the least.
The former miner has a table to himself, and few dare to approach him. Drinking his energon rations - a modest amount at that - he keeps to himself, staring ahead at the video screen with match information, seemingly lost in thought, or perhaps just taking time to brood. Every so often a Constructicon or other Person of Interest will stop and speak to him, but they do not stay. Whether they leave him out of a sense of fear, respect or disgust, it's hard to say from a distance; he stops to look at fresh dings and dents on his arm, before his crimson gaze locks once more on the match feeds.
Blast Off certainly strikes much less of an imposing figure than Megatron. This is partially because the smaller shuttleformer is simply not built with the massive, powerful frame of the charismatic miner. But it's also a matter of mind... and Blast Off is not in a good mental state. Hunted by the law, he's lost his home, his job, and all his possessions. He's been fortunate to find a bit of charity from a friend, a friend he *likes*, but she's only a friend and seems to have made quite clear that's all she's /ever/ interested in being. And no matter how far he runs, bounty hunters like Drift still manage to pop up and try to kill him every so often- like just recently. And he can't retreat to space, either- it's off bounds and he's not equiped to escape the orbital patrols. With no luck in the law, love, or life-in-general departments, Blast Off, Combaticon, is feeling desperate enough to turn to the one last thing he /does/ know. Combat.
Rumble had informed him that there was money involved in these pit fights, and that's what he desperately needs. He is certain he can win some agaisnt a few empties and at least get a bit of his dignity back- enough to get his *own* place and begin clawing his way back to upward mobility and the life he feels he deserves. But to do so... he needs to see this Megatron everyone is so in awe of. Blast Off has read the miner's writings, and agreed on some points but not on others.
So now he approaches Megatron, finally. And as he does so, he straightens himself up, putting on his best aloof and unimpressed demeanor. For he may not be as imposing as Megatron, but he is a shuttle and he *does* have his dignity. Or at least, he'd like to act like it. People can take everything from you- even your own /body/, imprisoning your mind for millenia... but /dignity/ is the one thing only you can keep- or give away.
Megatron is aware of Blast Off's presence, and he turns to look at the shuttleformer, his face inscrutable, no hint of approval; no hint of disapproval either. Still holding the metal mug of energon in one fist, he sits and waits for Blast Off to speak his peace in silence.
Blast Off stops as Megatron turns to look at him, and just that blank look alone is enough to send a brief wave of uncertainty through the shuttleformer. Then he shoves that down, reminding himself that he has nothing to be afraid of. Dignity, remember? So he draws in a slow cycle of air through his vents and addresses Megatron in a deliberate voice. A voice that says *I'm high class, an accomplished individual, and unafraid.* Well, hopefully, at least.
"You are Megatron, correct? I have heard much about you; I've read your treatise." He remembers his manners (as a civilized mech) and gives the Miner a polite nod. "And I am here to fight in the pits."
The faintest hint of a smile tugs at Megatron's lips.
"Are you now?" he asks, looking back to his mug, raising it to his lips and taking a deep draught before setting it back down with a soft *thunk*.
He says nothing about the treatise. After all, Sentinel has probably read it by now, and the mech's mannerisms carry the behaviors of a high caste. It is interseting to see one here wishing to fight; there aren't many, but they DO exist. "And why is that?"
Why? Blast Off's completely upended, miserable, stuck here in Kaon anyway, and desperately seeking dignity by obtaining full control of his life again- and he figures he needs money to do that. Not to mention some weapons upgrades would be *sweet*, especially with the likes of Drift and the police after him. He keeps his aloof manner intact. "Because I agree, it is time to change the corrupt system we have been saddled with. And this place seems to be where that begins." He glances about him at the other mechs nearby- the lost, the struggling, the victors and losers. "I've heard warriors are needed. Well, I /was/ one. And I can be one again. Easily."
"Are you telling me what you think I want to hear, or are you telling me what you believe in? I'll know the difference," Megatron replies. "Furthermore -you- will know the difference. It's easy enough to give lip service to a platitude or a cause. That is what most of the rest of this planet is doing. Taking the safe, easy path, the one they feel will give them what they want if they simply bow a little, scrape a little, and say what the masters want them to stay."
Megatron rises from his seat, now taller than Blast Off. "I'll ask you again, and I want you to say exactly what is in your spark: /Why are you here?/." He asks without threat or menace, without ill intent or arrogance. The head of this bubbling cauldron of global unrest is, to the shuttleformer, a spark that sees himself as equal, that impassionedly seeks truth.
Sixshot enters the from the ramp leading up into the Arena.
Blast Off blinks as Megatron rises up, craning his (recently repaired and still a bit patched) neck up to continue looking the big miner in the optics. He... kind of /was/ telling Megatron what he figured he wanted to hear, but there was some truth to it too. Well, at least a grain. Determined to retain his dignity, Blast Off doesn't give ground, instead standing there a bit defiantly. The Combaticon lets out a huff. "I do not BOW or scrape to ANYONE. I am a SPACE SHUTTLE. I do what I *Choose*, and right now I choose to be HERE." Another, louder huff. "I choose to FIGHT."
Megatron offers his hand to Blast Off.
"Then welcome aboard. I hope that you not only -fight-, but -live."
Blast Off blinks again. Wait... that was easy. He stares at the offered hand for a moment. Well... of course, he's a high class space shuttle, of COURSE Megatron was impressed. That's it. Of course. Optics flicker for a second, then he reaches out to take Megatron's hand. "...Thank you. I shall not only *live*, I shall rise to the top of the heap. It's only natural for a space shuttle, after all."
"Of course you will." Is that a hint of playful sarcasm from the miner? Just a tad. He shakes Blast Off's hand and then looks over to the area in the corner where the recruiters are stationed. "If you intend to fight, register there. Barricade and Hook have mentioned you to me - I knew who you were the moment you approached me, Blast Off. I also know of your record as an insurrectionist in the past; some of your fellows have found their way here. You might recognize Swindle at the booking station."
Blast Off glances at Megatron, catching a little of that sarcasm, but says nothing of it. He keeps his dignified, aloof air as he nods, looking over at the recruiting station. "Ah, I see. Well, of course they did. I have been... making a name for myself already, after all." Ok, not in the way he'd LIKE... more like the face of that guy on the six o'clock news on the run from the law, but still... it IS a name, right?
His gaze returns to Megatron at the mention of his past, the slightest doubt flcikering through, then fading once more. The shuttle likes to keep his past private, IN the past.... but lately (what with all that name-making) it's been a little more difficult to do. "Well..." There's the tiniest pause, "...Yes, I AM a Combaticon. I know combat. That's why I know I'll win."
He holds onto his aloof self-assurance, despite the faltering grip- but loses it entirely as Megatron mentions- "Swindle?!" Blast Off's optics suddenly go wide and he leans forward. "Swindle is HERE?!" One of his teammates- here? The lonely shuttleformer is suddenly all optics and audios, looking around like Swindle might pop up at any moment. Funny thing is, he doesn't even LIKE Swindle all THAT much, but still.... a fellow Combaticon? Here?
"Swindle has been of great assistance to us," Megatron says. He does not add, 'because he can make a high profit', but he assumes Blast Off knows the score when it comes to his own team mates. "You might also recognize some of the other gladatiors. Brawl approaches the pits with a remarkable gusto."
Blast Off stares, and yes, he was just thinking how Swindle would love a place like this. He already believes Megatron that Swindle is here for that reason. Then: "Brawl?" And again he sounds just a bit more happy to hear of his teammates than he'd like to let on, but slag it's been a long time. "They... they are alive?" He glances around once more, then finally remembers himself, settling back into a more unimpressed demeanor. "I..uh, that is not surprising to hear. Brawl always was a fighting fool. /Far/ more brawn than brains." *haughty sniff*
"HEY LOOK IT'S THE COMPANY CAR!" A helicopter-frame in the back is pointing at Blast Off and waving one arm. He elbows a larger mech who is attempting to read a datapad, who glances towards the shuttle, about to speak, until he realizes what Vortex just called him. Onslaught rubs his visor and sighs.
"Yes, the other Combatron colonists are here. They've been wondering when you would show up," Megatron says.
"Sorry I didn't tell you earlier Blast Off. But as you can see the whole troop is here," a voice emits before Sixshot comes stepping out of the shadows. The multichanger nods to Onslaught before quickly saluting to Megatron, "Though now things will be easier with less licking the Senate or Sentinels boots."
Blast Off doesn't even really hear Megatron now. His head has whipped around at that familiar (annoying, but wonderful too) voice. (Though ouch, with his recent neck injuries that kinda hurt.) Violet optics widen and stare in near-disbelief as Vortex calls to him- and there's Onslaught too! He nearly falls back in shock and (though he'd never admit it) happiness. "Vor...Vortex?...ONSLAUGHT?!" He takes a step towards them. "You're... you're HERE!" He can't quite hide the relief in his voice. "You're...alive!" He takes a staggering step towards the two other Combaticons. "You're..." He suddenly blinks as just WHAT Vortex called him registers. There's a sudden wing elevon twitch, and the shuttle straightens up, optics dimming a bit as a haughty, irritated mood suddenly washes over him. "You're an IDIOT, VORTEX!" Loud, annoyed HUFFFFFF. "I am a *space shuttle! Do NOT try my patience with your, your....impudence!" HUFFFFFFFFF.
Yep, happy family reunion. Blast Off is far more relieved to see them than he ever wants to let on, but slagged if he'll /admit it/. Instead, he falls right back into comfortable routines. Glancing over as Sixshot suddenly chimes in, he blinks. "Ah. Uh...yes, I see." His optics flare in passion. "Combaticons do not *lick anyone's "boots"." His attention then goes immediately to Onslaught. The only authority figure he's ever really respected.
"Eespecially not when most of us wear faceplates," Onslaught quips, continuing to read his book. "Vortex, stop teasing Blast Off and go find Brawl, he's probably gotten his head stuck in one of the washracks again." Don't ask why. "Blast Off, get yourself registered as a combatant in the arena, we can use the assistance in the team competitions.... especially since there is another vanguard team that shows uyp frequently, and they are not easy to beat."
"No offence meant, cause least the immediate group here, minus the commander, are all ex-soldiers. Though all of you in the Vanguard while I was elsewhere," Sixshot replies. He looks to Vortex as he head, "You might want to hurry from all the yelling I heard. He hasn't torn them apart yet." Looking to the Combaticons he glances to Blast Off, "Yeah the group I mentioned one time, the Dynobots minus Skar."
Blast Off stares a moment as Onslaught slips easily back into some old patterns of his own, and it's comforting to the shuttleformer to see- and to respond in kind. He nods. "Yes, Commander." Blink. "Onslaught." He's not sure what title is proper here, might as well use them all. He manages not to roll his optics- too much- at Brawl's likely predicament... it doesn't surprise him. Yep. this is his team, all right.
"I...I look forward to it. I mean... fighting again." Not really the fighting, actually- but being part of a team again? Not being all alone all the time? Oh yes, he's very much looking forward to that. Glancing to Sixshot, he blinks again. "The Dynobots? I'd heard something about them, but..." His imperious manner returns with a sniff. "They can't beat a full team of Combaticons..." Ego about himself and his team much? Yep.
Megatron is already out of the picture, content to see Blast Off reunited with his fellows. He makes his way over to a back room guarded by Blackout and Lugnut, Barricade following in after.
Sixshot looks to the trio that follow Megatron but says nothing as he wasn't ordered to follow. For now he just looks to Blast Off as he haves his reunion saying, "Not sure if should be intrerrupting all this. No doubt Swindle will have a surprise for you when you run into eachother. But otherwise they can point you to the registry etc." He looks around before making his leave.
Blast Off doesn't notice Megatron leave, being far too awash in emotions and still even a bit of shock at having his team suddenly there with him again. But he glances over at Sixshot and does think to add, "...Thank you, Sixshot. You... brought me to here, and... I owe you." Gentlemechs have a system of honor, and that applies even to Blast Off. Then he is back to speaking to his team, acting haughty and unimpressed... and probably not fooling his team (certainly not Onslaught) one bit with the aloof act. But that's Ok. With so many things having gone wrong in his life lately- one MAJOR thing just went right, and for the first time in a very, very long time, for this moment at least... the shuttleformer is *happy*.