Title: Barricade's Choice
Location: Maccadam's Old Oil House
Date: 28 September 2014
Summary: A heated conversation at Maccadam's helps Barricade make his choice.
Sitting by himself at a table, a tall black, violet and gray-white mech is looking unhappy. Slouched forward, resting his chin on one hand, he idly stirs the energon in his cube-shaped glass with a curved, pointed silver fingertip.
Blast Off enters the bar, and he doesn't look that happy himself. Then again, when does he ever? The always-serious shuttle strides up and orders a drink. As far as he's concerned, he could use one. A wing elevon twitches impatiently as he gazes around the bar... the demeanor of a mech desirous of action, but unsure which action to take. A fledgling ready for flight but the flight feathers haven't /quite/ grown in yet... but they're there and they're *itching* as they grow. He notes Barricade, but seeing as he doesn't know the mech, the aloof shuttle says nothing and continues to await his drink.
The femme seated at the bar has a wrench in front of her, and a datapad that she seems to be working through something on. Nautica's optics are narrowed in clear thought, and her energon sits forgotten next to her. "Oh, well /that/ won't work," she mutters to herself. "If the quantum foam were compressed /that/ far down, it would become unstable. It might explode, or..."
Checking one of her equations, Nautica concludes, "Or invert space-time. And I'm not sure what /that/ would be like, but it probably wouldn't be something anyone enjoyed." She closes her file, putting the datapad atop the wrench, glancing up just in time to see a familiar shuttle enter. She lifts her hand, offering a wave in greeting.
Lockdown is silent as he navigates around Blast Off making sure to not even touch him. Looking around he barely glances at the spot where there once was a hole but shrugs it off as finds his own seat at another part of the bar. He does take one last glance at the crowd but doesn't linger on any, even the combaticon.
Anyone looking to the bounty hunter wouldn't recognize him easily as the hook is not out and replaced by a normal hand. His armor having shifted with the spikes gone and the green flames now a darker a red. Even his face is different the white is marked with a flame graphic instead of the usual dark marks.
Barricade decides he needs an ear to chew.
Picking up his drink, he makes his way over to the bar; there's an interesting looking mech over there whose paintjob just -screams- trouble; better yet, there's an interesting looking femme with a wrench. Who is talking to herself. She clearly needs a conversation partner.
Taking a seat one over from Nautica, he sets down his drink, and tries not to stare. It can look a bit imposing when he does. "Hi."
Blast Off looks over and notices Nautica. AH. FELLOW SPACE SHIP (kind of). He receives his drink, a nice Merlot, and heads towards the femme. Some stranger walks by, and Blast off bristles a little inwardly, but then again- he always does when people get too close. At least the guy didn't touch him- now THAT would have drawn his ire.
Just as he reaches the table, someone else joins her. He stops and looks over at this new mech with a slightly haughty, snobbish demeanor, then back to Nautica. "Is he bothering you, Nautica?"
Nautica offers Barricade a cheerful smile in greeting. "Hi! Sorry, was I annoying you with that? Sometimes I talk to myself when I'm working through problems." She gestures to the wrench and datapad, as if this explains 'problems' sufficiently. "I'm Nautica."
Then Blast Off arrives, and she shakes her head towards the familiar shuttle. "No, he just sat down." On duration alone, apparently that disqualifies him from 'annoyance'. "If I really wanted not to be interrupted, I could've stayed in the embassy while I worked. But I needed a change of scenery."
Lockdown smirks slightly as he looks to the bartender saying, "Hmm, not some old corroder, I'll take some engex." He glances over at the group nearby but says nothing to them. Out of the trio two are certainly familiar, but the third may take a while. Though its already obvious that the mech that originally started the conversation is Iacon Security.
"Nah, actually, I was just kinda curious as to what you were doin'. Looks interestin'." Barricade may not be a scientist but he does have a curiosity about the field - plus it'll take his mind off his troubles.
Blast Off immediately gets under his mesh, and his plates raise eeeever so slightly like the hackles of an angry dog. He keeps himself in check. "Name's Barricade. Iacon Police." He says that Nautica while looking directly at Blast Off.
"Oh, I've been trying to determine if it would be possible to miniaturize quantum engine pods, to the point you could add them to space-capable altmodes. Allow long range jump travel without a ship." Nautica glances at the datapad, and adds ruefully. "So far, the math isn't working in my favor."
Then she holds her hand out. "Nautica, like I said. I was the ship's engineer for the Camien delegation." Until they got stuck here, of course. "Now I just try to keep busy."
Blast Off sniffs, again sounding a bit disdainful as he regards this new mech. But Nautica seems to be okay, so the somewhat elitist shuttleformer lets it go. He decides not to pay the new mech any more attention, though that plan is altered at least a little by the statement that this mech is a member of Iacon Police. Blast off glances back to the officer, then still looking haughty and unimpressed, he sits down to join them. "That would be fascinating, if you were able to achieve that. Space flight would be so much more convenient, and there would be so many more possiblities for commerce and exploration."
The shuttle makes sure to add, glancing at Barricade, "Of course, I mean that only *IF* space travel were allowed again."
Lockdown shakes his head as he waits for his drink, seeming not to care about the conversation nearby. For now he pulls out a datapad and starts to study it. Optics shifting round for a few moments before scanning the information.
Barricade looks at Blast Off curiously. "I ain't th' one in charge of policy. You wanna go to space, you gotta take it up with Sentinel. Or worse. Prowl." That draws the big mech's face into an irritable scowl. "Frag me if I have to deal with him a moment longer."
He almost didn't notice Nautica, he was so pissed. Shaking it off, he offers his hand back to Nautica for a shake. "Looks like you're as stuck as I am."
Nautica takes the offered hand, shaking it once. "Afraid so. But I got a job offer, at least, so maybe that will keep me busy. Need to go by soon and follow up on it fairly soon. It sounds like you have headaches of your own, though..."
She trails off at something heard on her radio, and then shakes her head apologetically. "Well. For the first time in a while, it seems I actually have duties for the delegation; the ship may be parked, but they're getting odd readings from one of the engines. I'm afraid I have to go. But it was nice to meet you." To the shuttle, she adds, "And good to see you as well, Blast Off."
And then she's gathered her wrench and datapad, and is already headed towards the door.
Blast Off raises an optic ridge, regarding the police mech with his usual aloof and detached manner. His voice is calm, too, though it contains a heavy taste of ironic sarcasm. "Right. Because anyone in authority right now actually /cares/ what we think."
Nautica heads off, and the shuttle is a bit disappointed to see her go- it means the pleasant company is leaving, and leaving him with...who was this guy again? Pfft. Blast Off's optics do catch sight of Lockdown's datapad... being a bookworm, he just notices these things, okay? But soon he's gazing at Barricade once more. "Prowl? Isn't he the Head of Police or something? The one with no sense of humor whatsoever?" Not that Blast Off can talk.....
Lockdown accepts his drink as it arrive, frowning at the small glass, "I didn't mean a shot. Next round better be bigger." Glancing over to the pair he doesn't add to their conversation as least the femme leaves while downing his drink. But course doesn't mean he's suicidal with the law enforcement around. Looking up he glances to spot from last time he was around, though the bullet hole is gone."
"Yeah, Prowl's head of Security now. Took over Sentinel's old job," Barricade snorts, picking up his glass and drinking it. Maybe he and Blast Off can bond over their mutual distaste for present authority. "Went to talk to him about Kaon, the riots. That pencil-pusher's just gonna keep sittin' in his comfy little office makin' sure his desk looks pretty while more civilians die."
Blast Off takes a sip from his glass, enjoying the close and pleasant aroma before placing the glass back down again. He listens, nodding, until the part about pencil-pushing and comfort. That makes the shuttleformer look down again at the glass, gazing intently at... nothing, really. Somehow it almost makes him think of himself, and he hates that. He's been willing to turn a blind optic at all that's been going on in return for his comfortable lifestyle. Well, that, and a few threats on the side.
"Sometimes a person just gets in a... rut, and they aren't quite sure the best way OUT of it..." He *is* talking about Prowl here, right?
"Prowl knows better. He just ain't gonna budge. A million's a statistic to that mech, and he wants to maintain order more than he wants to stop decommissioned miners from starvin' to death," Barricade growls.
Speaking of threats, ones glancing in the vanguards direction again. Though course Lockdown is hiding any hostility as he also looks to Barricade. Listening to the pair he adds, "Yeah, not like you could ship all of them to Garrus-1. That would just make things worse, wouldn't it?"
Blast Off takes a measured sip from his wine again, "Yes, but to do otherwise would be to invite ...chaos." Suddenly Lockdown pipes up, and Blast Off turns to look at him, involuntarily bristling a bit at the mention of /prison/. Of which he is all too aware of. "Send who? All the Miners?"
"Half of Kaon is rioting," Barricade asides. "There ain't room on Luna-2 for all of them if they're arrested. That's why Sentinel's on his way to Kolkular. He's just gonna start puttin' 'em down like stray bugs."
"Mostly the biggest troublemakers, but what do I know. Course the officer is right that wouldn't be enough room," Lockdown says. Nodding to Barricade he says, "Well guess thats the only solution left, though probably the worst. Least they will probably be easier then a hive of insecticons thats gone crazy as some bug hunters would put it.
Blast Off forces himself not to keep bristling at the mention of prison, but it does take a bit of work. It wasn't that long ago, after all. He distracts himself by taking a sip from his drink once more. The mention of Kolkular gets a brief glance, however. "Sentinel himself is getting involved with these... ruffians?" He gives Lockdown a slightly sour glance. "Why not just lock them all up and let them sort it out? That seems the way things are heading these days, at least." Not that he really thinks that, he's being largely sarcastic... as well as hiding his true feelings. Since letting people know how you really feel can be dangerous.
"They don't intend to expend resources on prisoners," Barricade snarls. He slams his cup on the bar loudly.
Lockdown takes note of Cades mood as he says, "Some would say they should but then Sentinel is the one taking charge. Course no offense to him to the senate, they'd probably say its the only solution. Cause all it might do is let things erupt in a worse way." The mech studies his new drink as he says this, downing it.
Blast Off blinks at Barricade's reaction. "Since when have prisoners ever been treated well?" Again, speaking from experience- at least his. He's not sure how to react to all this, so he just takes another drink.
"Your right, but maybe its better then being dead. What do you think, officer?", Lockdown asks as he puts away his datapad.
"I don't think you get it, mech," Barricade snaps at Blast Off. "They're just gonna slaughter 'em. March the whole slaggin' military down there to 'enforce' martial law, and for what? The Senate shut down the mines, put 'em out of work. No work, no fuel, no maintenance - they promised 'em jobs but it ain't happenin', and the miners know it's a lie."
"Now that they're in full rebellion, they're just gonna snuff 'em all. That ain't justice! That's tyranny!"
Blast Off shrugs. "And how does that affect me? If they are ruffians and miscreants, then all this is on their own shoulders."
"I withdraw my question, but thats certainly a strong point you bring up," Lockdown says, glancing around Macc's. Right now its none of his business if theres a slaughter. But if things heat it up, he could use it to his advantage. Or just finally take that ship of his and leave.
Barricade sneers at Blast Off. "They're -Cybertronians- who have been forced into slave labor an' now they're bein' starved t' death so that selfish slag-suckers like YOU can sit here in a bar and turn a blind eye!"
Blast Off looks to Lockdown, saying, "Is being half-alive actually better than being dead? How would YOU know?" As for Barricade, Blast Off isn't sure if it's his business if there's a slaughter. Normally he'd just brush it off as miscreants getting what's coming to him, but lately... he's not as sure anymore. Though Barricade gets a reaction- albiet a huffy one. "I BEG your PARDON. I work hard in society and thus I have a comfortable place in it." Yes, he's still good at spouting off Autobot-esque lines, even if he doesn't feel them so much anymore.
"Oh?" Barricade asks, standing, folding his arms. "And what exactly is it that you -do-?"
Lockdown holds back a laugh as he replies, "Your right I don't know, not like I was suggesting as harsh thing as that." Though he does think back to Garrus-1, looking at prisoners as they are shoved into a cell or have their spark removed. But he's brought back down from Lunar 1 as he shakes his head while listening, hiding any sign of his processor wadering.
Blast Off gives Lockdown a slightly icy glare, and mutters under his "breath", "You are correct... you *don't* know. Pray that you never do." Unfortunately, the shuttle *does*. Then he goes back to acting like this doesn't matter anyway, waving Barricade off. "*I* am a scientist in Vos, studying astrophysics and other important fields that benefit all of society. *Working* society, at least."
"Oh, you mean space? Where no one is going right now?" Barricade asks, needling on purpose.
Oh if you only knew BO, course you'd hate him worse then you do now, if you knew who he was. For now Lockdown rolls his eyes letting the pair talk bout space flight and whatnot.
Blast Off bristles, before giving Barricade a deadpan look. "YES. Space. You know, you don't *have* to actually GO to space in order to learn from it, observe it, and apply theorems or conduct experiments. Aerial technology, for instance, can benefit." And oh yes, Lockdown, if Blast Off knew who YOU were things would get a LOT more exciting around here VERY quickly. Maybe a bit TOO much.
"Y'know what I do, pipsqueak?" Barricade states in a low, steady tone so calm it's unnerving. He leans over Blast Off just a little more, invading personal space. "I protect people. I put myself in harm's way so that even worthless ivory tower intellectuals like you can sleep easy at night, even when you look down your leakin' little nose cones at us."
Lockdown watches as Barricade looms over Blast Off, smirk crossing his face for only a moment. Right now let the cop push the guy. Since doing so himself would prove stupid since he's acting casual when he turns back to the bartender saying, "That is a real honorable profession. One I might be in if they hadn't chosen something else for me. But no complaints, cept maybe whats happening to others.", course not easy to tell he's lying even as he adds, "Yet it earns you a drink from me, if you want one, officer."
Blast Off looks up as Barricade comes to loom over him, and the shuttleformer proceeds to brstle some more, puffing up in indignation as fists clench just slightly. He leans back, not liking his personal space being intruded upon at all. But... he must remain a bit cautious- he IS dealing with a police officer.
Violet optics flash up at the officer as he replies, "Don't act like you know me, or what I am capable of. OR what my contributions to society have been. For all YOU know, *I* might be responsible for some discovery or action that has kept YOU or someone you know safe at night as well." And indeed, as Primal Vanguard, perhaps he is...or was. "While YOU argue with the likes of Prowl, but are afraid to ACT." He turns his head to glare at Lockdown as well, muttering something almost inaudibly that sounds like "suckup".
"An' that's where you're wrong."
Barricade stands up, ripping the Autobot insignia off his hood. He throws it to the ground. "Sittin' on my aft gatherin' dust seems more like something a selfish little dongle like you would do."
He stomps the badge, shattering it into pieces.
Barricade's glowering purple optics fix on Lockdown. He is -sure- he's seen that mech somewhere before but he can't put his finger on it. "The sentiment is appreciated... but I'll have to take an acid rain check. I got work to do." He stalks towards the door.
Lockdown looks Barricade right in the optics almost feeling as if he's been caught. But then the mech leaves after tearing off his badge only nodding. Looking to BO he says nothing making ready like he's about to take his leave as well. Unless the other mech decides to do something stupid.
Blast Off's optics flash a deep purple again, though the fact that Barricade is a police officer prevents him from sully speaking his mind. He does stare, however, as Barricade does just exactly what *he* would like to do, but... isn't quite sure *how* to yet. He looks down at the badge, then up at Barricade as he stalk off. And is silent for a long moment. Lockdown's glance is noted, but no, Blast Off isn't one to pick a fight. Usually.
Lockdown shrugs and makes his way out saying quietly to himself, "Catch you again later."