Title: Blast Off: Exhibits A and B

PCs: Vortex, Brawl, Zephyr, Swindle, Blast Off, Starscream, Thundercracker

Location: ++ Repair Bay <Forge> ++

Date: 15 March 2015

NPCs: Nameless Insecticon Femme

Summary: Blast Off is brought back in pieces; Zephyr works to put him back together, despite distractions.

-The repair bay at the Forge is NOT exactly a helicopter landing pad. And so Vortex arranged for a stretcher of sorts to be ready and waiting, and had some gumbies take Blast Off out of his hold. He had also asked for a large crate on wheels to be provided, into which he empties various parts of Blast Off he had collected. 

And thus Blast Off is wheeled into the repair bay, and behind him is Vortex. Vortex whistles a merry little ditty as he pushes in a crate. He gestures to Blast Off, "Blast Off exhibit A," he says, and then gestures to the crate, "Blast Off exhibit B. Have fun!"

-"Next time your buried in rubble I might just use my cannons instead, Swindle.", Brawl grumbles as he follows Vortex, Blast Off, and the gumbies in. He's probably the only one of the Combaticons with the least amount of damage. Which despite his heavy armor can be considered rare for him.

-The fluttercon had been true to her word when she said they were on it. Whatever medics could be scarced together are here, some of them more interested in the situation than others. Zephyr's drones are busy getting people in place, doing very simple, routine things to allow the more experienced medics to do the hard things. Seeing Blast Off's condition makes the butterfly wince. "I hope that whatever you were doing was successful," she says softly, "to warrant such damage." Looking at Vortex and co she says, "I'm afraid I don't have much lifting power; one of you will have to put him on the table." Already she's flicking on monitors and getting ready to inhibit pain.

-Swindle follows along after he's unburied. "Heh, that might attract too much attention," he says to Brawl, "Anyway, thanks."

-Blast Off has been transformed back into root mode so that he would fit inside Vortex- or what's left of him has, at least. He was nearly ripped in two by an angry Sky Lynx, and right now he's gone into a self-imposed state of recharge as his systems try to equilibrate from massive damage. His heat shields are torn asunder, there are huge gashes in his side and an arm barely hands on to his body.

-War is ugly, and Blast Off is evidence of this. "These aren't just from shots being fired; what happened to him?" Zephyr asks the mechs that were present. As soon as Blast Off is on the table, she's hooking things up to him; an energon feed, various monitors, and something for the pain. When she's satisfied that he's generally stable, she's going to bring up his medical file. She has a few ideas of something she'd like to implement in the future, but one thing at a time; she's needed now. Unlike many of the current Decepticon medics, she's not too self-important to stick around in medical bay. It was actually a credit to Hook's genuis to start training her.

-Brawl shrugs at Swindle who should know by now that stealth is not the tankbots thing. Finding a seat he says, "Well before being used as a projectile to hit me, he was being torn apart by one of the most annoying Autobots around. Grrr, seriously had enough of him when in the Vanguard."

-Blast Off remains unconscious for now as he's hooked up by Zephyr. His body relaxes a little as the pain-relieving fluids start circulating through his system.

-Abruptly, the going ons in the repair bay are interrupted by a flamboyant red and white seeker. He bursts through the doors of the bay, arms spread eagled. He hardly notices Blast Off and his present injuries. Instead, Starscream directs his attention straight to Zephyr.

"Ah. There you are," he says, "I need a word with you," he addresses the insecticon Queen haughtily. ".. it appears has not progressed as planned with the, ah, insecticon you were helping me nurture..."

-Swindle comes to the repair bay, not very damaged but not exactly in pristine condition. He's still got the goodies.

-Vortex had hopped onto a nearby unoccupied berth just to take a seat. Sure, he's taken some damage, but he's not a priority, nor is he afraid of repair facilities or the medics therein. And so when Starscream bursts in, interrupting the medic's word he slips right off that berth again and positions himself between Starscream and Zephyr, even if that means there are scant inches between the two. He looks at Starscream with an impassive expression - of course, that's how it always looks when one has a visor and a face plate. 

"Buzz off. She's busy."

-"Having not met a lot of Autobots, I don't know which one would be the /most/ annoying," the fluttercon says to Brawl dryly.

"I /am/ a bit busy," Zephyr says to Starscream, tilting her head to the side. "Blast Off is in pretty bad shape; it doesn't take a medic to see that," she notes. On the other hand, she's not the most qualified medic here, and Blast Off /is/ stable for now. Also, she's about as low rank as you can get without being DeceptiFodder.

Motioning towards the monitors, she says to Vortex, "If anything changes here, let me know and I will come right back. He is stable for now; hopefully this won't take long."

-"Sky Lynx, the most arrogant mech ever known. Even back when he transported part of the Vanguard," Brawl replies before looking to Blast Off, "Course not all them shuttles were like that."

-Blast Off would be proud of Vortex if only he was awake to be so.

-He looks exasperated, shaking his helm. Couldn't she see that /he/ was way more important than Blast Off? This matter /WAS/ actually pretty urgent. Starscream steps closer to the Insecticon Queen, and grabs her wrist, pulling her close to him so that he can whisper in her audio receptors. "I may have made some modifications that did not turn out as planned..." 

Abruptly, the sound of a shelf full of empty engex bottles crashing to the floor in the hallway can be heard...

-There isn't much Vortex can do with his face to form expression, but quirking an optic ridge is one of those few things. Apparently Starscream ignored him. Well. That's fine then. For now. Vortex just follows Zephyr's instructions for now. He woul make a rude gesture at Starscream behind his back, but that is just below Vortex. Today anyway. Vortex is wearing his serious hat. 

"Speaking of insufferable..." Vortex mutters, and then quietly intones into his radio, "<<At least Sky Lynx is an enemy we can tromp. Dolts like that seeker, on the other hand, not so easily fixed.>>"

-Well THAT got Zephyr's attention, the words more than the Her optics are squarely on Starscream's face now, antennae pointed towards him as well. "What sort of modifications?" she returns quietly. "What happened?" her voice is more of a hiss now as possibilities flicker through her mind.

At the sound of the noise, her antennae twitch and one of her drones goes to investigate the sound. For now all the Combaticons have been pushed to the back of her mind.

-Blast Off begins to stir as the medications flow through him. Violet optics flicker to life- dimly. There's a soft expelling of air through his vents as the shuttleformer's torso shifts- and then stiffens. *ugh* His optic ridges furrow down as he realizes there's pain, though it's a dull throb compared to the loud scream it would be if he didn't have painkillers.

-Movement catches Vortex' attention and he looms over the berth Blast Off is on, peering down at the mech, leaning his face somewhat close to Blast Off. Chances are when his optics adjust all he will see is a red viso against a gray expressionless face.

-<<Don't trust him as far I could throw him and that's probably far,>> Brawl says into his radio as he looks fom Vortex to Blast Off when the mech moves.

-Starscream glances briefly over at Vortex, his optics narrowing. "Did you say something?" he says, his tone sharp. 

To Zephyr, he simply replies. "I was simply trying to enhance performance and speed the growth of the Insecticon," he mutters, "and it may have worked too well.." 

Zephyr may be quite surprised to see an Insecticon with a ridged beetle alt mode fly lazily into the room. Upon transformation, she will notice that the insecticon is actually female, despite their previous notion about the gender... 

Thankfully, she doesn't seem terribly aggressive...

-Craning his neck, Vortex attempts to look at Starscream innocently. It does not really work for Vortex though, and the fact he is even trying is laughable. "Who, me? What does it matter if I said something or -- What is -- Oh." Vortex peers at the newly introduced insecticon rather indifferently once it transforms. He then goes back to looking at Blast Off. "How are you holding up?"

-Thundercracker has been repaired in VOS and has returned to the forge, after a detour to help out Swivel, to turn in the report on his damage, why he was damaged, and his repair log, and to get a check up. He walks into the repair bay and pauses because of all the mechs inside. With a nod around here and there he heads toward one of the computer terminals to key in the report on his repairs and such.

-Zephyr sighs deeply, her antennae flicking to each side. "Alright, I'll see what I can do." Tentatively she reaches out with wavespeak to see if she can gauge the mentality of the other femme. If she's a drone that has an existing queen, there will be a resonance of another superior mind. If she's a drone with no queen at all, it shouldn't be hard to exert some domiance. If she's Queen material herself, which may be plausible, then she may get a response. +Hello,+ she transmits, starting with something basic.

-Blast Off groans a little as he comes more to. He tries to reach a hand up to hold his aching head, but the tubes attached to his arm prevent that. He stops and looks at them, optics focusing. His voice is quiet and hoarse. "...wha...?" Then he hears Vortex speak and turns his head towards the sound. Slowly, it dawns on him where he is. "I... I..." There's a glance down to his very shredded body. "... I have felt better." He glances back to the copter. "....did... did we succeeed?"

-"Yeah we did, Vortex will give you the details. I'm going to get a recharge," Brawl says as he gets off his seat to move past the other Combaticons. He nods to Thundercracker in greeting before avoiding the others as he makes his way out.

-"Of course, of course we succeeded! Need you, of all people, need to ask?" Vortez responds cheerfully. He'd clap Blast Off on the arm, but he's afraid that would cause what was left of him to crumble. He waves to Brawl. "See, with both of us saying it was a victory, then you can't be in any doubt now. Pluck up Blast Off, I am sure you've had worse done to you and these repairs SHOULD be getting on their way, now, SHOULD THEY NOT?" Gee. I wonder if he is trying to send a passive aggressive hint out.

-Starscream dismisses Vortex's comment with a huff, waving a hand at him. There are more pressing and important matters at hand now. 

It is difficult to completely gauge the other female's mentality. It would appear Starscream had messed around royally--but Zephyr will be able to tell that she is of sound mind and without a queen. Queen material? For the time being, that remains to be known. 

She tilts her helm to one side, optics narrowing. "+You are like me+" she says back blandly, her tone of voice hard to read. 

Her optics land on Blast Off, and suddenly, she seems very intrigued. 

Starscream glances hesitantly at Thundercracker, who has just arrived. "<Brother, take your leave as soon as possible. This might get ugly...>"

-Thundercracker looks back at Starscream in a pause in what hes doing on the computer. "Why? Whats going on in here?"

-Swindle climbs onto a repair bed and spaces out.

-Zephyr smiles faintly. A response means that the other insecticon isn't completely addled. +We are more similar to each other than either of us are to them,+ she transmits, gesturing to the others in the room. Of course, they'll only see that Zephyr is pointing at them. +But tell me, how do you feel?+ Noticing the interest in Blast Off, she laughs softly. +I need to put that one back together; if you are hungry, I can find something for you to consume.+ In her attempts to find a rapport with the beetle she is entirely focused.

-Blast Off looks at Vortex, optics still dim. He just seems to take that in without any huffiness or haughtiness or any of his usual demeanor. Which means he's NOT feeling well. "Ah. Well..*zkkt* Good, I am.... pleased. Onslaught will be *crk* pleased. And yes, of...of course. I have had...worse." Though having your chest ripped open then YOU mostly ripped open twice in a week is enough to make *anyone* wonder how bad their luck's gonna get. "Did you... did you give Sky Lynx...what for?" The shuttleformer doesn't notice any Insecticons- yet. Which is a good thing, seeing how he's not generally fond of them. Medics not included.

-"As much as I would have loved to give him what for, that will have to wait. Retrieval of the lathe was more important than a vendetta, even if it comes to avenging the honour of my comrade in arms. By the time we finally got the thing on its way, he was carting off unfortunate civillians to get help. You'd think they'd be more impressed with the ride I was giving them..." One does not need to see Vortex for his grin is rather obvious in his tone of voice. Vortex glances about again, noticing the new bug staring at Blast Off. "Voyeur."

-"Nothing yet," Starscream says hurriedly to his brother, "but I don't think you'll want to wait around to find out what happens if anything does happen..." 

The female chuckles, advancing towards Blast Off. "+Don't bother. What do you need to put him back together for? I'm sure there are plenty of.. others like him+" She slithers over to Blast Off and runs a hand down his thigh, her optics lighting up with desire.

-None of that. Vortex who had been right beside Blast Off this entire time, literally almost leaning on his berth, turns and looks at the bug femme that approaches. Although his previous body language was all nonchalance, in mere seconds the mech is grabbing for the femmes arm, ready to wrench her away from his comrade and fling her back towards Starscream. "Hey! Take your concubine and get lost - if you aren't helping you're part of the problem."

-Blast Off looks a little disappointed, but what's done is done. "Well... at least *zkt* the mission was a success." He turns his head to stare up at the ceiling blankly. Regarding rides, he states, "Ah... well, you can't expect civilians to...*crk* appreciate the sort of... skill you show." 

Suddenly there's an Insecticon RIGHT THERE- and she's looking at him hungrily and stroking his THIGH- or what's left of it, at least. His optic go wide. Oh slag, an Insecticon. HERE. Vague memories of Bombshell compell him to stiffen up in fear. "...wha...what is THAT doing here?" His voice is still hoarse. He tries to scoot away, but isn't capable of really moving much. Fortunately, Vortex comes to his aide, and he's afforded a little relief, though he still watches nervously.

-Thundercracker just looks at everyone and everything going on around him. He flicks a wing slightly at Starscreams comment and then shrugs. "I dont care what the lot of you are going about, I gotta get this report keyed into the database so keep the destruction away from where Im sitting."

-"Actually, I think his kind is fairly rare," Zephyr muses out loud, more for the benefit of everyone else. Also, to see how the female reacts to verbal speech. +Right now it's my job to bring him back up to health; it's part of my training,+ she further explains. +My name is Zephyr.+

Glancing towards Vortex, she smiles slightly. "I don't think that's entirely the case. But you might want to be careful and not appear...too aggressive...if you can contain yourself," she warns. It's not a threat warning, it's a cautious warning.

She turns her attention to Starscream. "Perhaps you'd better start from be beginning."

-"She belongs to Zephyr," he blame shifts, "so don't look at me." 

"You can use a different console. Or, it can wait," the seeker huffs at his brother, starting to push the indigo seeker towards the door of the repair bay. Yes, Starscream is trying to leave without answering anyone's questions. 

The female insecticon does not take kindly to being mech handled by Vortex. She hisses, ignoring Zephyr for the time being. A giant fanged proboscis hurtles out of her mouth cavity, aiming to pierce Vortex's hand.

-Vortex pulls back, wincing a bit. The he looks down somewhat curiously at his proboscis impaled hand. "...So that's what you keep her around for... didn't know you were into that sort of thing..." Vortex looks up only to see Starscream trying to leave. If Vortex weren't attempting to be on good behaviour so as not to earn Onslaught any unecesary reasons to dress him down, Vortex would have whipped out a gun with his other hand and shot Starscream. As it is, though, Vortex, masking his pain (so easy when you have a face like that) pulls his hand violently downwards. Either he'll rip his hand free of the proboscis, or pull the femme by her proboscis downwards, in whic he will have a knee waiting to connect with her face.

"Whoops. Looks like I started a fight, I guess both of us will have to be banned from the repair bay," Vortex says, levelling a gaze at Zephyr.

-Thundercracker realizes everyones wanting to hurt everyone suddenly. Well he's done with keying in the report so he stands and scowls at everyone but he dosn't say anything just turns to leave.

-Blast Off glances to Zephyr, a little confused since he didn't catch the wavespeak. "Me? ...Well, yes... shuttles like me are rare these *crk* days..." He glances to the strange Insecticon. "What...did... did she say something?" He eyes the strange femme suspiciously. Then the creature attacks Vortex and Blast Off stiffens again, his hand twitching. If he was more functional he'd be bringing his weapon out of subspace. Then he notices Starscream, which only adds to his consternation. Oh noooo, not the Seeker. The shuttle fidgets now, looking back to Zephyr. "Vortex only defended his teammate... I'd say that *zkt* strange Insecticon is the one who should go..."

-Zephyr glares daggers at Starscream, but says nothing about his lies. After all, he still has the rank advantage, as well as the caste advantage...and pretty much every other advantage. Stupid Starscream. She watches as the younger insecticon attacks Vortex. "Too late," she says with a wince. +Things are complicated. You need to stand down for now; trust me.+ Zephyr needs to get to the bottom of this.

"Don't hurt her," she says to Vortex, "she's very young. I need to assess how much she understands right now." This does not include removing her from the reapair bay right now. Still, Blast Off is in too fragile a condition to be risked. What a quandry; it's making her head hurt.

"We'll figure this out..." she says to on one in particular.

-Vortex will find the wound excruciatingly painful, and his fingers will now have massive difficulty moving. The Combaticon will be able to liken the feeling to being shot with a bullet laced with acid. And indeed, it would appear the female insecticon's fang is laced with some kind of paralytic acid that is actually slowly liquidating some of the armor on his hand servo. However, as soon as Vortex's knee connects with her face, she recoils with a hiss and suddenly rushes to Zephyr's side, clinging to the older female queen. "+He's hurting me, I was just hungry+" she says to Zephyr. '+I don't understand+" She gives Zephyr a pitiful look. 

Starscream is leaving now though, following Thundercracker closely out of the repair bay. The female insecticon notices the red and white seeker leaving and suddenly abandons the Queen's side, hurrying after the seekers.

-Masking pain is something of a necessity for an interrogator. After all, if you can't take it, then don't dish it out. Or rather, he is just masking it until there are fewer people in the room. Once he is sure Starscream is gone with his lousy, well, louse, he recoils, pulling his hand in nears his gut and cradling it with his other hand, hunching over somewhat. If this wasn't evidence enough, the long string of expletives would probably knock any doubt out about it. 

After stamping his foot a few times, Vortex brings the injured hand up to examine it. Then he looks over at Zephyr. "So..." he tries to flex his fingers. They won't move. The mech seems to have calmed down now that he got that withheld reaction out of his system. "I can't move my fingers. Think I should see a medic about that?" Vortex asks Zephyr. "I'd have loved to go easy on her, but she looked at YOUR patient hungrily, and since you weren't attending him, I felt the need to step in."

-Blast Off watches both Starscream and his Insecticon leave with a sense of relief, then turns to Vortex. Gazing at the rotary's hand, his optic ridges furrow down. That doesn't look good. He glances up as Tex speaks of "stepping in", feeling a sense of comraderie with his teammate for a moment. He doesn't say anything specifically, but he does proceed to look at Zephyr. "Yes... I would say you should attend to /that/, not waste your time with Starscream..."

-The fact that the other insecticon hurried to follow the Seekers is telling. "Interesting," Zephyr murmurs. But, she makes no move to track the other femme down. Instead she needs to check Vortex's hand and then continue to work on Blast Off. It's going to be a while before this femme gets some recharge time.

Holding out her hand, she motions her willingness to look at Vortex's injuries. "I was trying to talk her down; you didn't hear it because I was using wavespeech." If he wants to ask what that is, fine, but she isn't volunteering it. "She's newly grown; Starscream altered her somehow. I wasn't sure what to expect." She's not mad at Vortex; he did what he had to and she did what was natural to her.

She flicks a glance to Blast Off and sighs. "Is it normal for him to create a problem and then blame someone else?" she asks dryly. "Because it seems that is just what happened." Frankly, the insecticon looks annoyed.

-The lack of anger actually does go a long way with Vortex. So he shrugs and then laughs a little. He obligingly allows her to take care of his hand since he has her attention now. After all, grousing about her inattentiveness and then not allowing her to do her work would be illogical. NOt that the mech is governed by logic. It also wouldn't get his hand fixed any faster, and Vortex LIKES being able to flex all of his fingers. They do so many interesting things! 

"Well. I'm no mind reader, so I was just doing what /I/ felt was in the best interests of my comrade. Hopefully you can educate her so that I won't have to cut that... thing out of her mouth the next time she gets nibbly. Eesh. And she didn't even buy me a drink first." Vortex makes a few clicking sounds and shrugs. "It's really up to her if she wants to learn the easy way or the hard way."

-Wavespeech, huh? "I have heard of wavespeech... back when I *zkkt* was a scientist in Vos I studied an Insecticon briefly... never understood their speech, though." He takes a moment to rest before continuing. Zephyr's question about Starscream gets a soft *huff* from the shuttle as his expression darkens. "...Yes. I don't... trust him." He doesn't bring up the fact that Starscream is currently blackmailing him about his relationship with Whirl. "He is...dangerous. And...selfish." His voice is still low- partly because he's weak and partly in case the Seeker returns. He glances to Vortex. "Indeed. Manners are an important part of *zkt* fitting in in a society, after all... it's what keeps us...civilized."

-"She's obviously quite venomous," Zephyr says while cleaning out the wound of the painful paralytic. "Which means she's most likely a hunter or a soldier." Then she smiles slowly. "I think Starscream made a greater 'impression' than he anticipated." She actually laughs softly. "If she has determined that he is her Seeder, then he can claim she is my responsibility all he wants, she will continue to try and seek him out. The Seeker...will be sought." She shakes her head. "No matter, I didn't warn you off because I didn't think you were right; I just knew there was a chance she would get violent if she felt threatened."

Looking at Blast Off she frowns. "Selfishness is not the Insecticon way," she says. "Well, okay, maybe a little. But we know that we have to provide for our own. If he can only look after what is good for him, then he will run into many troubles." She taps the Decepticon symbol with a finger before getting back to work. "We are not cohesive like a hive, but this unites us under a common goal. He should remember that." Reading the monitors, Zephyr decides Blast Off is stable and energized enough to continue with repairs.

-"Dangerous and selfish.... you know..." Vortex begins to say, wagging the index finger of his unaffected hand, "...I think those words could be applied to me just as easily." Vortex looks at his recently cleaned out hand, attempting to flex his fingers again. "Starscream just might have gotten more than he bargained for," Vortex mutters thoughtfully. He shakes his hand experimentally. It's terrible, but if Starscream had not beat him to the punch, Vortex would have been the one blackmailing Blast Off.... except that would be more or less emotional black mail more than anything. That may still come to pass if Blast Off isn't careful, and if Vortex does not feel Blast Off is reciprocating his (minor) sacrifices. But, the expression from Blast Off is a start to convincing Vortex that he won't have to stoop to such levels to ensure Blast Off's undivided commitment to the brotherhood. "So. How do insecticons generally view interspecial relationships?" Leer. LEER.

-Blast Off nods to Zephyr. "Indeed." He glances to Vortex. "We Combaticons know how to... look after our kin. Know how to work as a team for a greater good; a greater goal." They might bicker and fight while doing so, but hey, family is like that sometimes. "He should... but I think he only works for himself." Another derisive *huff*. 

Blast Off glances back to Vortex. "Well... yes, you are... but you have the ability to work within a team, to put aside selfish motives for the greater good." Usually. The mention of Insecticon's views of interspecies relationships suddenly brings an encounter he once had with Scorn to mind... and he looks to Zephyr for the answer.

-"It'll be numb for a while, but it should be movable now," Zephyr says after doing a final spray cleaning of the wound and looking at it critically. She shrugs her shoulders at Vortex's question. "Depends on the Queen I suppose," she says. "We don't have as many rules of interaction as you do on the surface." Pause. "That's not accurate. We just have rules about different things." She smiles faintly. "I was from a small, isolated hive. We rarely saw other Insecticons, let alone Hollows. Each hive is usually...sufficient to itself." This answer seems to amuse her for some reason.

Turning to Blast Off, she hikes up the pain inhibitors a bit. "Time to get to the major parts of the repairs. Your spark is still in good shape, or else I'd have to get a more experienced medic. Your body is badly damaged, but most major systems are intact, so you're lucky there. If the inhibitors stop working, let me know." And now is the part where she starts to clip away at the mangled bits that simply can't be fixed. "Right now the Decepticons need more cohesion. Your team was successful; perhaps your Commander can give Megatron and Barricade some insights into building such smaller units for efficiency."

-Vortex tilts his head to one side. "Oh, good. Then if I flirt shamelessly with you, you won't actually take it seriously and expect something out of it. Good to know," Vortex says, adding a chuckle at the end. Well, he is perhaps one of the more happier dispositions to find in around the Forge. "Although, I will show some restraint and restrict that to when you aren't working on my severely mangled teammate," Vortex adds as an afterthought. He moves so he is close enough to continue speaking with ease, but is not in Zephyr's way. 

"I think everyone is inherently selfish. Heh heh. I mean, even if you do things that don't seem like they are for you, it really is for your sake. If it isn't to indulge yourself, it's to avoid guilt or censure. If it isn't to better your chance of survival, it is usually to improve the survival of someone you depend upon in some way anyhow. Charity is about face value. Love is about vanity. Service is about gaining support. And of course, kindness is about social contracts. Once you see past the nonesense of an idea such as altruism you become a lot more free." Hmm. Vortex the philosopher. "Being a team player is in my best interests. When the status quo changes... well I'll probably still be a combaticon, because the point of loyalty is that it sees through difficult times."

-"So what you're saying is each hive has a different approach." Blast Off replies to Zephyr. "I suppose it's like how different planet colonies had different approaches to various social and political issues." He leans back as she begins working on him again, letting her clip and manipulate as needed. He is fairly numb at this point- which is a very good thing. He'd be almost screaming in pain if he wasn't. The painkillers makes him sleepy, though. "Yes... well, for all his talk about being *zkkt* a civilized shuttle, I found little... civilized about him." *huff* He agrees with her final comment. "Indeed. Onslaught is brilliant... it was his leadership that brought us success today. The Decepticons would do well to pay heed to that brilliance." He's not biased, nooo. 

The shuttle listens thoughtfully to Vortex. "I... see your point. Yes, I suppose most people are inherently selfish. Most of us live inside our... our headspace, and we tend to have *zkkt* survival instincts that guide our behaviors... whether we admit it or not." He quiets down, listening further about kindness and altruism... are they true? Is that all they are, he wonders? "Yes... of course. It's just..." He pauses, trying to think what he wants to say. The meds don't help his processor which feels sluggish. "Well, they're probably just... foolish distractions." Yes, that must be it. He doesn't want to sound weak, though something doesn't sit entirely right. He's not very sentimental, but... he'd almost think "doing the right thing" isn't a complete waste of time, even if it doesn't benefit him. 

"But yes... social contracts. That's why being...civilized is important. It's what seperates us from the beasts- the fact that we CAN put aside selfish desires long enough to work as a whole. Otherwise all falls into chaos." With that, he raises a hand- or tries to- the tubes still prevent his hand from reaching his forehead. He stops and stares at his hand, sighs, and leans back, beginning to fade now.

-Zephyr shrugs her shoulders. "Oh, I am very serious," she says. "But I have not been on the surface so long that I make a lot of assumption about the people here. Usually if people want something, and expect to get it, they have to be pretty clear with their intentions," she says as she works. Her hands are small, graceful, and deft at their job. If the Functionists didn't have their heads up their afts so far when it came to Insecticons, they might say she was made for the job. "But you are right. It isn't altruism to protect my own; it is survival. Still, the expectation serves us well, which is why it continues."

Obviously the pain inhibitors are at a good level since Blast Off is NOT screaming or twitching. Which suits Zephyr just fine; there's nothing sadistic about her. She might get angry and do something terribly in the heat of the moment, but there's no pre-meditated desire to create suffering for others simply because she enjoys it. "Very much like that," she agrees with Blast Off about the different hives. "Each Queen will react to things according to her own experiences." Smiling she adds, "You might as well rest while I work if you aren't nervous; it will make the time pass quicker for you."

-There comes an almost hollow sounding chuckle from Vortex. "There is a difference between selfishness... and instant gratification. I like to reap the rewards of long suffering hard work put into maintaining a working relationship with my comrades... peppered with bursts of hedonism and self indulgeance. Even building trust, in the end, is for our own sakes. But it's a good thing to bare in mind - someone who loses that survival instinct is the person you can trust and rely on the least." There is something very loaded to this comment. "Ah, but I am running my vocoder off in a flight of philosophy. This is all theoretical - do I actually believe a word I've said? Some of it. You'll just have my actions to decide for yourself how much, though." Vortex inclines his head. It's best to slip these suggestions while Blast Off's mind is too weak to fight them. Comrades good. Trust good. Loyalty good. Reckless people who don't give a damn if they die - bad. "Guess I ought to let the mech rest - it has been a harrowing few cycles for him from what I hear. Don't worry, Blast Off, I won't be far until you are able to stand on your own two feet."

-Blast Off nods to Zephyr. "I think... that we all can only... do things according to our own the end." He settles further in, taking her advice to rest. He turns his head to soak that all in from Vortex. "Yes... well, Combaticons rarely get... instant gratification. But..." He fades in and out a moment before continuing, "I believe we will... win in the end. We... have to." Otherwise all the pain, all the trials and travails would be for nothing, right? He focuses back on Tex. "And I..." His voice gains a trace of it's usual strength and haughtiness, "I *will survive. They try to cut me down, but... I will live to have the last... laugh. As will... /all/ us Combaticons." He tries to give Tex a nod at the "vigil". The shuttleformer finally admits, his mental filters dropping as he starts slipping into unconsciousness, "....Good. I... trust you." Then his optics dim and he slips into recharge.

-As long as Vortex doesn't get in the way, Zephyr doesn't care that he's there. After all, Blast Off doesn't have to trust her, he just has to trust whoever is watching her repair him. She's not going to try anything hinky (though her habit of slurping up any 'wasted' energon might be disconcerting), and if she comes across a problem she can't fix, she'll badger another medic into helping her. Because the Decepticons are sort of like a secondary hive, though certainly not one she can control, and so a bit of her 'mothering' instinct comes out. Either way, she's likely going to be at this for a while, making sure that Blast Off's vitals stay good.

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