Title: Catching Up

PCs: Arcee, Blast Off, Sky-Byte

Location: Stanix

Date: 12 October 2014

Summary: Arcee and Blast Off catch up after the apparent death of a friend, interrupted for a time by a shark in distress.

++ Stanix ++

Arcee has invited Blast Off to join her at an outdoor shooting range. She's at one of the stations, trying out various and sundry weapons. It looks like she's been here for quite some time. All the weapons she's been test-firing are appropriately disarmed and powered down, but the one she currently has in use is nearly as long as she is tall in robot mode. It doesn't seem to phase her, however, as she has it propped up on her shoulder while her visor is communicating with the weapon to acquire targeting data on the range dummy.

Blast Off strides into the range, and if one was observant they might notice just how at ease he seems here. It's like he knows his way around... like he's very familiar with shooting ranges and their layouts. However, this doesn't mean he's not wary. No, the shuttleformer is on high alert- pausing to look critically at every face, every poster, every piece of news.

He finally makes his way to Arcee and stands there, watching her for a moment. When she pauses between shots, he comments, "I see you're learning to protect yourself." There's a note of approval.

"Absolutely yes. Got my wake-up call. I'm paying attention, now. Oh, wait, since I have this all set up and ready to go, just give me one moment...I want to give this plasma cannon a try..."

Arcee concentrates for a moment, and then lets the charge fire from the cannon with a **WHOOMPH**. The barrel of the cannon flashes briefly, then downrange, the target dummy vanishes with a pop and crackle.

"Whew, that one's a bit much for me," Arcee admits with a slight grin, pulling it off her shoulder and quickly disarming it, turning her attention towards Blast Off. "But yes, this week's been my wake up call. You...have every right to be upset about the incident in the park, by the way. I had no idea how I was going to tell you that I'd been hijacked and had a bomb implanted in my chest. Because the guy who did that also fitted me with a camera, so he could watch and listen in on my every move. I didn't think you'd react quite as well as Rung I told Rung. Poor Rung. Now dead for his troubles."

Blast Off maintains his detached, professional demeanor as he watches Arcee fire the weapon. The sniper side of him can at least appreciate all this, and he can't resist commenting, "Yes. You might try a lower battery power grain, or see about a rifle... or even a small missile launcher. Each weapon has a certain feel to it, and each suits a different sort of shooter."

That said, he turns and his expression darkens somewhat- espcially at the mention of Rung and the park. "What *happened?!*" Arcee explains and his optics narrow. "What I would have done is found your attacker and neutralized him... and indeed, once Rung informed me, that's exactly what I *did*". He looks at her, and says flatly, "You didn't trust me."

"No, that isn't what it was -- and don't get started on the 'trust' issue, because that's...pretty much been beaten mercilessly into the ground for me this week, okay? But it wasn't because I didn't trust you. Remember that everything I was doing was being recorded. I thought that if that close to you, that you would react negatively to it. One thing I know about you is that you don't like mechs invading your personal space. So if I were to suddenly --" She steps immediately into Blast Off's personal space, nearly close enough to reach out and touch him. "If I did this with no warning, and grabbed your hand, you might pull away. I knew Rung wouldn't."

Blast Off keeps giving Arcee a huffy look, until the femme reminds him of the ordeal she went through. He recalls how panicy she got when he grabbed her wrist. That softens his glare somewhat, then he tenses as she suddenly strides up towards him. And she is correct, he immediately, instinctively leans back, one foot stepping back to brace himself as he does so. Then he huffs softly and denies it- also instinctively. "What? I'm not *that* bad. I just... like some personal distance, is all. Besides, why does that matter?"

"It matters because I only had one chance to convey my message...without arousing Drift's suspicion. Because here's what I did with Rung while talking to him..." Arcee then demonstrates on Blast Off's hand by tracing the letters for 'BOMB' on the palm of his hand with her thumb. Outwardly, it looks like she's just holding his hand. Once she does this, she lets his hand go and takes a step back from his space. "And let's face it, you would have questioned that right away. Nothing wrong with doing that, of course, but I couldn't afford for it to be questioned, not even once."

"Or else," she adds quickly, "He would have detonated the device."

Blast Off freezes as Arcee grabs his hand and starts tracing the letters. He has to concentrate not to yank his hand away. "....Ok, maybe you have a point..." Then he looks down at her hand touching his and suddenly has to concentrate on remaining annoyed at her... because otherwise he's going to start thinking that *touch* isn't so bad. ....What the slag?! He shakes his head and forces any such throughts far, far way.

"Bomb... right, yes." He manages to refocus as she steps away. There's a weary sigh... "Then perhaps Rung was the right choice. I take it he did understand. After he left you, he radioed me... and that's when I began looking for the assassins. They were hiding in a perfect little spot up on top of an alleyway." The way he talks, he seems very familiar with the sorts of places one might spy and snipe from.

"Did you get them?" Arcee asks. "Sorry for not remembering, but Rung *was* going to fill me in on what happened during my downtime...which...he never got to do."

Blast Off looks slightly... is it almost haunted as she brings up Rung's... absence? His expressions can be hard to read, but... perhaps so. He nods, "Yes. I fought Drift, even used Rung as a weapon to damage Drift's ship."

Blast Off takes a step forward, clenching a fist. "I *Defeated* Drift, and he fell into statis-lock. I HAD him! I was going to END him once and for all... It's what I *should* have done. But Rung... Rung somehow talked me out of it." His optics dim and his fists lowers slowly. "And now look where that display of mercy got him."

"Yeah, it turned out to be one of the last kind things he ever got to do," Arcee admits softly. "I won't soon forget him. He wasn't a perfect mech, but I feel like...he meant very well in the things that he did. The things he's been accused of doing...somehow, I don't believe his aim was to get anyone hurt, but that's just how it turned out. But see, he was influential. You listened to him, right? Otherwise you would have finished off Drift. And I listened to him, too. I won't soon forget him. I feel like he's one of the forces that's changed my life forever. Maybe that's kind of hokey, but I'm still pretty sad he's gone," she admits. "Ever since then, I've pretty much been right here, shooting stuff."

Blast Off looks down the shooting range as a target is vaporized. "Indeed. He was quite the pacifist. Certainly, if he had any reason to desire someone dead it should have been Drift." He shakes his head slightly. "And you of all people should know not to believe what the media is telling you, anyway. That whole story in the news is one big coverup. Probably.." His voice drops and he leans in, "...the Senate's work, as usual."

Straightening, his voice returns to normal, though it is still spoken low so that only she can hear. "What *happened* then, anyway? I came to talk to Rung and suddenly the whole *building* was collapsing! I tried to save him, tried using my shuttle mode to push my way through... but it was too late. I had to... leave." And of course, if Arcee's been watching any of the news reports she might have heard something about Blast Off being spotted there- and being a "vigilante".

"Well..." Arcee keeps her voice low as well, although the range really isn't that busy at the moment. "I had just reactivated, and he came in to check on me...and then there was...a heavy knocking on the door," she explains. "And he answered the door, and there were the police. Prowl was there and backup officers too. Prowl told Rung he was under arrest for being indirectly responsibly for the attack on Senator Ratbat, and...Rung knew what it was all about, he was just going to go along with him. Then right at that moment...a big bomb got tossed into the window, and it took out...nearly everyone in range, I think. Not sure how the police got out of that uninjured, there was just smoke, and chaos and dead mechs from what I can remember."

Blast Off glares as he pictures this, glancing once more downrange as another target is destroyed. He shakes his head once again. "Prowl... we've seen him several different times, haven't we? So he was coming to take Rung away... and then the assassins struck again, most likely?" The shuttle's engines rumble subtly.

"I imagine Prowl is in on all this as well. I'm starting to think *all* the Higher-Ups are.... There are VERY few we can trust." He turns to look at Arcee, and again she may notice he is no longer wearing an Autobot badge. "That includes the Autobots."

"Yeah, I meant to ask you about that...had second thoughts?" Arcee asks curiously.

Blast Off looks down at his badge-less chest, expression dim. "Yes." Glancing back up, he continues, "All those who pursue us, who hunt us down, who will NOT mind their own slagging /business/ but are determined to run our lives FOR us.... they are all Autobots, Decepticon-haters, or Neutrals who CREATED Autobots."

He pauses a moment, as if considering something, then says casually as he watches Arcee, "It's almost enough to make one feel sympathetic to the Decepticons..." Naturally, he leaves out the fact that he is probably *joining* them soon. He's still not sure where Arcee's loyalties lie.

Their conversation may be interrupted by a commotion that appears to be going on in an adjacent hallway. Arcee and Blast Off may hear muffled cries as well as a lot of banging and grinding. Primus, it almost sounds like someone is being kidnapped or beaten to a pulp out there...

Arcee isn't about to reveal her 'poker hand' just yet, especially at a time like this. But she doesn't seem particularly surprised at Blast Off's revelation. She's about to say something, when the commotion grabs her attention, and she looks over to Blast Off with surprise.

Blast Off is interrupted by the noise, and instead of finding out where Arcee's loyalties lie he finds himself looking over in the direction of the commotion with annoyance. "The noise in this range should occur where the targets are, not where the *shooters* are supposed to be..." He mutters. He doesn't make a move to help, though, looking at Arcee then back again towards the noise.

No matter, the commotion is coming to them now anyway. And before long, a bright blue, red, white and magenta shark has flopped into the room like a beached whale. He is waggling his head back and forth in frustration, for it would appear that the barrel of a gun is stuck in his jaws and he is incapable of freeing himself of this burden. When he sees Arcee and Blast Off, he waves his fins back and forth frantically, his optics widening into giant saucers bugging out from the side of his head, and his pupils constricting into tiny red dots. He makes a lot of incomprehensible and muffled sounds, his tail twitching oddly.

Arcee stares as the newcomer arrives. She stares, and staaaares...and stares some more. She moves as if to say something, but stops herself. Then, she tries again. "Excuse me, are you having problems?" She tries to sound sympathetic, but...she just can't help it, she automatically begins giggling just as soon as she says it.

Blast Off just stares at this... sight. One look at those jaws, though, and he has absolutely no urge to help. At all. Not that he really probably would anyway. He continues to just stand there, looking from the shark to Arcee and back again, and awaits the answer of her question.

The shark simply gives them stink optics and makes more muffled sounds. He stands up on his tail fins, and his side fins curl into little scroll shaped triangles that flap back and forth. Wait, isn't that pretty much physically impossible? Well, if there's one thing to be learned about this shark Sky Byte it's that thinking too hard about how and why he does what he does will just result in a massive cerebral circuitry ache.

He's still waving and bobbing his head around, and eventually the butt of the gun hits the ceiling and causes the shark to wipe out onto the floor. He lets out a muffled, miserable wail.

Blast Off continues staring, but as Arcee steps away for a moment the shuttle finds himself alone with a... shark? A shark who does not appear to make sense. At all. He huffs, annoyed. "Will you STOP making that racket? And watch where you aim that weapon! Didn't you study the rules of safe gun handling? They include not attempting to EAT your weapon!"

The shark rolls over with a groan, then makes an angry face at Blast Off. He points at the gun in his mouth with his fins, making more incomprehensible muffled sounds. He waves his fins more, then inches forwards, clinging to Blast Off's leg with his fins, now sounding sorrowful and pleading.

Perhaps it may occur to Blast Off that he wants the gun out of his mouth.

Blast Off just... stares. This is probably the strangest thing he's ever seen in a shooting range- and the sniper spends a LOT of time in shooting ranges. His optics narrow as the shark inches towards him, and he's about to step away when he is grabbed by the leg. With a startled yelp, he tries to pull away...but the shuttle's physical strength is rather uninspiring, pathetic really, and he simply /can't/ pull away from the other mech's grip.

He tries shaking the shark off. "Let me GO! Let GO! UNHAND ME!" He almost flails a bit, then notices the gun pointing at part of his own anatomy. "And the OTHER rule of gun safety is- don't point your weapon at anything you don't want to shoot!" There's beginning to be a note of worry, and he tries to shove the shark's mouth away.

Well, since it would appear that Blast Off either doesn't want to assist him or doesn't know he needs assistance, the shark now just tries to use Blast Off somewhat like a nutcracker, in hopes that bashing the gun against the other mech will knock it out of his own mouth. He clings tightly to Blast Off's leg, making moaning and grumbling sounds.

Blast Off yelps again... this time as the shark starts bashing the gun against his leg. Pieces of the somewhat fragile shuttleformer begin to chip and fly off. He presses his hands against the gun, trying to soften the blows. "Stop! Stop! Alright! I'll help you, just... stop!"

The shark makes a happy noise and lets go of Blast Off's leg. He claps his fins together and bobs his head up and down, unfortunately in the process he accidentally bashes the other mech again, this time in the back of the helm.

Blast Off is just "breathing" a sigh of relief when he gets smacked upside the head, sending him down onto the floor with an undignified *thud*. The shuttle has HAD it by this point, and his engines sputter angrily in protest. He's about to just try shoving himself up and away- FAR away... when it occurs to him that if he moves suddenly, the shark is probably going to move suddenly too- and clobber him again.

Perhaps caution would be best here. Slowly , he turns his head to look up at the other mech, and begins pushing himself up. "STOP flailing around!" He demands, then dares to look and try to see what the problem truly is.

The shark waves his fins around again, trying to make apologetic noises. Then the shuttle former tells him to stop flailing, so he stops and lays completely flat on the floor, his fins quivering slightly. He makes more muffled sounds, and attempts weakly to take the gun out of his mouth but fails. He then just lies there limply, too tired to do anything else.

Blast Off siighs, but since the shark stops flailing he can at least begin to work. He gazes into that big maw, noting where the gun is jammed up against the roof of the mouth. He hmmms, then walks over to take a target frame. Positioning the handle upside down, he returns to gaze into the maw once more. He's NOT strong, but if force is applied in just the right way... this could work. "HOLD STILL." He sticks the handle into the shark's jaws, nestles it against the gunstock, and shoves... trying to dislodge it.

Blast Off siighs, but since the shark stops flailing he can at least begin to work. He gazes into that big maw, noting where the gun is jammed up against the roof of the mouth. He hmmms, then walks over to take a target frame. Positioning the handle upside down, he returns to gaze into the maw once more. He's NOT strong, but if force is applied in just the right way... this could work. "HOLD STILL." He sticks the handle into the shark's jaws, nestles it against the gunstock, and shoves... trying to dislodge it.

It dislodges, but not without taking several of the shark's teeth with it. He gasps, and fingers the large gap between his teeth with his fins, sounding appalled and desperate. "Ooohhh!" He cries, staring desolately at his teeth which are now lying on the floor. "Nn..."

His optics widen again and he tries to stick his teeth back into the empty gaps in his mouth but they don't stay.

Then he looks up at Blast Off, clearly very embarrassed. He flaps his fins and looks around before 'swimming' off--somehow the Sky-Byte is able to move around as if he's in water while in his alt mode, even though he has no engines or boosters to speak of...

Blast Off goes back to just...staring again. He imagined this all. Yes, he had to. Especially as the shark "swims" away mid-air. Just...wuuut. Yes, Blast Off is going to need a drink after this. If he can afford one.

Arcee returns back inside. "Is he gone?" she asks with a grin.

Blast Off looks over at Arcee. Apparently she was smarter than HE was, as loathe as he'd be to admit it. "....Yes. That was..." He blinks and looks in the last direction he saw the shark in. "...really odd." He shakes his head and turns to the femme once more. "Anyway. You seemed to be about to say something when we were interrupted?"

"Oh, right! Well, I was just going to ask you about what brought you to that point, to reconsider?" Arcee asks curiously.

Blast Off mulls this over for a long moment, eying some random shooter practicing downrange of the two of them. Finally, with a slow, deliberate and a bit on the cautious side demeanor, he looks at Arcee and places a hand on his now-badgeless chest. "So... many things. But key among them is our recent shared experiences... and the fact that those in power /are/ either Autobots or /responsible for creating/ them."

He shakes his head. "They're all part of one big, twisted package that exists for the sole purpose of ensuring its own survival... at all costs. Including the lives of mechs like Rung." His optics dim, "Besides, it's been a very long time since I've trusted the government... or its capacity for wisdom. Besides, my already infinitesimal tolerance for foolishness is evaporating rapidly."

"I understand," Arcee says. And she isn't just saying that as empty verbage; she really DOES understand why it's difficult to trust in the system. But Blast Off's reasons are uniquely his own...and even after everything she's been through, Arcee is willing to give the system a try, since they've decided to take a chance on her. "It seems to me like trusting yourself is the smartest thing you can do anymore, if you want to lengthen your lifespan."

Blast Off nods, "Indeed. I know myself, my life... I know what's best for me. Such as..." He looks wistfully skywards, "...Following the sunction I was built for." Of course, if Blast Off ever did believe in the system that was shattered the day he and the other Combaticons were taken as political prisoners and placed in Garrus-1. No... trusting authority is for fools, he decides.

"What about you? Surely with all that you've seen and been through, you must be making some life changes. We have all had to... or perish." He thinks back to Rung. "If Rung had fled instead of remaining where he was, who knows? He might still be alive."

"Are you going to think I'm foolish if I tell you I'm still making up my mind?" Arcee asks. "...Because you already have a lot of life experiences to make these decisions resolutely, and...and I don't. I can see the cases both for and against the current system, and...and while my original purpose was to work within the system, I don't know what the future holds. I feel like Rung would have wanted me to question things more than I already have."

Blast Off glances over to Arcee, looking pensive. "... A little. I understand the desire to not want to make rash decisions. Believe me, I know that once you DO make a decision... there's no going back. And sometimes..." he blinks and tries to think how to put this without giving too much away, "Sometimes you don't even know which decision is the point of no return." Like his recent, illegal return to space.

His optics dim again as a very faraway look seeps into his face. Everything changed so recently. "In my case, it was... later than I thought it was. Much later." Optic ridges narrow down and he looks directly to Arcee. "And I think it's later than you think it is, Arcee. The shadows are closing in and choices will have to be made ulitmately. Be careful that procrastination itself doesn't become your choice.... for even /that/ is a /decision/ with very real consequences. One that will decide your fate FOR you, rather than let you decide it for yourself."

Arcee nods slowly. "I know. I feel like...maybe that's why Rung met with such a bad ending, he was trying not to get involved, but then in the process of doing that he became unwittingly TOO involved. I don't want to make that same mistake." She's beginning to wonder if Blast Off actually *is* on his own side, because certain clues make her feel otherwise. But she has no hard evidence. "I did want to thank you for everything you've done for me. Especially facing down that crazy bomber in the park. You have a very kind and generous spark for doing such a thing."

You say "Indeed. He waited too late, and trusted too much in the good intentions of others." Another shake of his head. "Which allowed his enemies to set up a trap and close in for the kill." He lets out a soft huff at that, feeling torn between anger at the assassins who finally succeeded and at Rung's niavety- which allowed it to happen. "One must never let one's guard down, nor become too predictable. Not at a time like this."

Blast Off begins shaking his head again, but Arcee's remark causes him to stop and blink. He looks at her in mild surprise. "Kind and generous" are not words normally used to describe him. "...Uh..." He's not sure what to say. Finally, he looks away and manages, "I... I am not sure about that, but... It's just... I don't know many Cybertronians these days. Generally keep to my own business. But you and Rung, well... I began to enjoy your-" He interrupts himself, straightens up and tries to look dignified and aloof once more. No need to get mushy or something. "... I mean, I can fight, you cannot." Pause, and another appraising look at Arcee. "Well, you *couldn't*, I mean... you are learning now, which is excellent. That is the spirit you will need to survive. But... still, I will not allow our enemies to win. Not... anymore than they already have. I *will* be strong.""

"I have no doubt you will. You're one of the strongest mechs I know. Definitely one of the bravest, too," Arcee says with a smile. "I know you're busy these days with your...stuff." She suspects she might know what stuff it is, but she isn't going to say it out loud, because she doesn't want to put Blast Off on the defensive. "But if and when you get the chance to return once in a while...want to go, uh...I don't know, somewhere? Somewhere that isn't Rodion or Iacon??" She smiles hopefully.

Blast Off blinks again, quite unused to being complimented like this, and he puffs up just a little. The Combaticon seems to get taller, too, as he's called brave, glancing about him like he's wondering if anyone else is seeing and hearing this. After all the uncertainty and world-going-upside-down state it's been in lately... a few compliments are nice. And his ego *loves* them too, of course.

He even manages a crooked grin under the faceplate- not that Arcee can see it, but his expression seems slightly warmer than usual. "I... would like that. I'm sure your new job keeps you busy." His face shifts down a little. "I... no longer work in Vos, due to... these recent circumstances. Otherwise I might have ended up like Rung. But you have my frequency, and I yours. I will be around, or at least I *plan* to."

"Oh, believe me, I understand why you're trying to stay to yourself these days. I just don't want to lose touch with you, that's all. I want to see you again." Arcee smiles warmly. "Three places we'll never go: Rodion, Iacon, and Vos. If you have any others to add to the list, I'll do it."

Blast Off glances over to Arcee again- his tone of voice still just ever-so-slightly warmer than usual, "I feel the same. I haven't seen Onslaught in many cycles, and now with... Rung gone it's just ..." He allows himself an almost bemused one-note chuckle, " and I." The bemusement fades, though, as the reality sets in again. "But there are changes coming. Major changes." He looks somberly at the femme. "It is wise that you prepare yourself for fighting, for I am beginning to believe there will be a great deal of it in our near future. There are stirrings of rebellion."

"Oh, I most definitely will -- all these weapons I was showing you earlier? I've test-fired all of them, and I know how to disarm them, take them apart and put them back together safely," Arcee promises. "But it's one of those skills that takes a moment to learn and a lifetime to master, so I'm still working on it." She looks wearily at the targets she's been shooting. "So what's your favorite place to escape -- OTHER than space, hm? Where do you go off to when you need to leave this behind?"

A great book falls into your lap. Its titled 'help'.

Blast Off nods with quiet approval. "Very good. Indeed... one must practice diligently, lest one lose one's skills." He should know. He cracks a faint smile under the faceplate once again as Arcee asks about "escape". He hehs, looking around the shooting range. "Actually, believe it or not... a place like *this* is quite refreshing to me. I enjoy the focused pursuit of excellence I find here, and the satisfaction of using skill to make a good shot."

Then he tilts his head, considering. "But most of the time? I am not a flashy mech, nor do I like overly loud or rude people. I prefer some time spent with a /few/ friends at most, enjoying fine wine, music, some intelligent discussion. Perhaps attending some cultural event. Or... most often? Simply spending some time reading. I have a *magnificent*..." He suddenly stops, a striken look haunting his face. "....I... I *had* a magnificent library."

He looks down, suddenly disquieted by the slip of memory. Losing everything was so sudden and recent he can still forget it happened... for a moment, at least. Then he shakes his head slowly, trying to move on. Looking back up to her, he asks, "What about you?"

"You'll have a magnificent library again someday!" Arcee promises. "In the meantime, use the public archives until you can restore what you once had. I have a confession...I've only ever seen one opera. And only because Proteus went, so it wasn't very fun. Not with him."

Blast Off looks over at Arcee and manages another small smile under that faceplate. He nods... actually even feeling some gratitude. "Yes. Yes, you're right. Of course." However, he can't take Arcee's suggestion.... you need an ID to have a library account, and as a wanted fugitive there's no way he's doing that. But he can always buy something second-hand. Though....*shudder*... second-hand. That's not something he's used to. Sigh.

Then he gives Arcee a surprised look. "You've never seen.... Ah, I see. Yes. That would be quite the killjoy. Well!" He leans in slightly, small smile under the faceplate again. "Yes, we should correct that. Have you experience a little *culture* without the boorishness of someone like Proteus. I can't say I miss *him* at all. Some things ARE best left in the past."

"Can we go??" Arcee asks eagerly. "Because that would be kind of nice. I mean...shooting is great and it sharpens skills,'s more like 'work'..."

Blast Off flashes two different expressions across his face in rapidfire succession. First one where his optic ridges go up and he looks delightfully surprised. Then, almost as rapidly, complete and utter embarrassment. A wing elevon suddenly twitches uncomfortably and he looks off to the side, once more uncertain what to say. "I... That would be lovely, but..." Another pause. For a mech who used to live the life of "money is no object" this being POOR business really takes the enercake. How do common people manage to live like this, he wonders miserably?!

"I... well... Given that I had to move so...suddenly, I am... between bank accounts. I *haven't* lost my money, of course!" He fibs. He's too proud to admit it. "It's just.... between accounts." He glances to the floor then back to Arcee. "Perhaps.... soon? Once I have access again." Opera's not cheap after all.

Of course, he does still have ONE thing of value. (Besides *himself* of course...) He subspaced that Element Zero while in space- and hasn't taken it out since other than to make sure it survived. And being in subspace- it did. So he's sitting on a nice chunk of shanix there.... if only he knew where to go to cash it in without getting caught. If only he knew where Swindle was. Or even if he still existed at all....

"Oh, okay!" Arcee doesn't seem disappointed in the least. "We don't have to do that, I was just throwing that out there. Something on the to-do list for later. I might actually have some passes to the opera, if you don't mind where they came from..."

Blast Off looks a bit relieved now. Of course, with the aloof shuttleformer these are all subtle emotions. No Tex Avery old-time cartoon gags here... or anything like that. But still, he noticeably relaxes and nods. "Yes, agreed. That would be..." He stiffens again, tilting his head, intrigued- and a bit confused. "You have some passes? From whom?"

"...Senate," Arcee admits. "Yeah, I know. But one of my perks was free event tickets."

Blast Off's face registers understanding now, and he relaxes again. "Ahhh, I see." That small smile returns under the faceplate. "No, I don't mind at all. Just think, thanks to the Senate we have had our lives rearranged, been shot at and nearly killed- or blown up- and have had a generally miserable time.. all thanks to them." He lifts a finger and tilts his head once more. "I have absolutely no compunction about enjoying some small treat on their dime.... they owe us anyway."

Arcee can't help but chuckle. "Now that you've helped me to see some of that poison that lies underneath, I can't help but agree. It will be ironic at worst. Let me see what I can find in my old file. I used to get opera passes whenever I would escort a delegate to the chambers, or stuff like that. So I probably have a bunch of them."

For a moment at least, Blast Off's world seems just a little more cheerful than its usual somber, muted state. A friend? Some culture? He could almost forget the harsh realities that he faces.... almost. But he's determined not to let the chaos and confusion surrounding him now strip him of everything he is and loves. He's a sophisticated mech, after all. "My pleasure. Very well," He nods politely to Arcee, preparing to leave, "I shall look forward to it."

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