Title: Ceramic Cat pt. 1
Date: 05 February 2015
Summary: Flatline receives a delivery while Blurr is watching, ever suspicious of its contents.
Protihex, unlike many areas of Cybertron, has not fallen into complete decay. Still, there are areas where the downtrodden lurk and pit-rusted signs hang in the storefronts of shops long closed. It is one of these neighborhoods that Flatline resides, not because he can't afford better but the memories hold him here. His old, closed clinic is only a couple of blocks away (the deed for the property still in his name) and when he looks out the window of his tiny apartment he can still remember when this neighborhood had been thriving during Nova's era.
He turns back to face the inside of his apartment, and it is decorated with the relics of a lifetime. Ancient, tacky souvenirs he had picked up in his travels when he was young line every open bit of space. To see it one might think he is an accomplished traveler, but he has simply had too long to see too many things. Cloth, covered in lace-like designs, is draped over tables and chairs to protect them from wear and stains. Alien plants, imported long before the space ports closed, blossom in small pots on the tiny patio and coffee table. For the wide range of weird decor, though, there is something oddly organized in how it is all arranged.
The medic is distracted by the sound of a knock at the door, however, and he shuffles over to open it. "Yes, is there something I can do for you?" he asks.
It had been a while since Swivel had made a delivery to a nicer place such as this. Nicer being relative, since a lot of her business is in Kaon and Nyon, even an old ghost of a neighbourhood in Protihex is a nice change in pace. And her parcel, marked as fragile, has the femme just a bit curious. With the parcel held in her arm and partially supported by her wide hip, Swivel waited for a response after knocking. When the door opens, she smiles and looks up.
"Gotter 'livery for a, uh, Flatline?" She looks up expectantly for confirmation as her other hand gestures to the package she is carrying. She can't help but peer past the mech into his abode, seeing an odd... thing sprouting out of a cylinder of sorts. Swivel has not really seen a lot of plant life, so she isn't sure what to think of the imported plant.
Someone is watching the two of them from nearby. Maybe from an alley, or on the roof, or in the window of a neighbhoring building. Yeah, Blurr's gotten into the habit of stalking people, well more like it's part of his -job-. Particularly Swivel, because she's -suspicious-, and everything. Besides, who even cares for in-person deliveries any more, unless the cargo was too sensitive or valuable to risk getting lost by drones?
The retired medic's optics flash with understanding, and suddenly he leans over Swivel to glance into the hallway. His helm turns left, right, left, right and when he is certain that no one is coming he gestures for the courier to come in. "Yes, yes. I know what you are speaking of. I've been awaiting this package for a time now. It's a gift from a dear colleague from far away. You must have traveled a long way to deliver it," he remarks.
"The least I can do is let you rest you rest for a moment before you get back on your way."
With the receiver of this package glancing about, Swivel begins glancing around as well with a perplexed expression, and concludes it with a shrug. "Oh, uh, s'at's nice o'yeah.... 'n I kin pu'this where ya'd like this...." Swivel says as she carries the parcel into the codger's abode. There has been the odd time she's been asked to place somewhere specific, but offered to rest, well, that's something unusual. It isn't without precedent of course. It HAD happened before. But each time it always takes her by surprise.
The old medic is clearly acting suspicious, now! Blurr keeps watching through a window...
"I'll take that, actually," Flatline responds as he holds the door open for the courier. Once she has stepped inside, he gestures towards the mat on the floor. "Don't forget to wipe your pedes."
He reaches out to take the package from her once she is through the door, and it is only after it clicks shut that he finally gives a hint of why she is invited inside. "My old colleague did not happen to give you another message to deliver, did you?" he asks.
They had both found it better in their dealings to have the courier pass on verbal messages than to write it down. Written messages were much too easily intercepted?
Obligingly, Swivel takes great effort wiping her peds, perhaps taking a meticulously long time to be absolutely sure she doesn't tread any unwanted speck into this kind mech's abode. However, she can't help looking about with wondrous optics at the decor of the place. There are a lot of strange and exotic things as well as old things. Her thoughts are distracted when she is asked about a message. Her optics flicker. "Oh, tha's roight! Yeah, y should be 'ome t receive yer guest this week. Lessee.... the time and ate..." Swivel mutters a few things under her breath and then lights up, bring her fist to her palm as she recalls. Swivel grins, relaying the day and time.
Blurr continues to lurk outside, watching the pair. He especially keeps an optic out for where Flatline is going to put that package.
The older mecha seems oddly determined to keep the package near him as they move back into his apartment. He makes no move to open it, not with the courier here, and tucks it under the crook of his arm to carry it about as he goes about his business. "Feel free to sit down."
He nods towards one of the cloth-covered seats in the main room of the apartment. "I'll go get you a little energon to drink before you leave." It really isn't a question of if she wants it, as he is already moving into the side room on the pretext of this very errand. It is only after he is out of her line of sight that he discretely places the package in one of his cabinets to open later.
As promised, he returns with a cube of energon for her on a tray a few minutes later. He holds it out to her. "It's the finest grade I have," he adds, and she is probably not used to receiving such. But it's the least he can do after she carried such a risky package, whether she is aware of the risk or not.
The courier femme approaches one of the cloth covered pieces of furniture, examining it closely before deciding she really ought not to sit. She cleaned her feet, but what of the tires that sprouted from her back? "S'ight, I'll stand. Moment I put up m'feet s'when they really 'gin t'ache. So best t'stay uproit til m'off time," Swivel explains. It's not a cover up. It's just the truth she feels more comfortable sharing than she doesn't want to muck his place up. Or knock anything over.
While the mech is in the kitchen she glances about, resisting the urge to begin touching and fiddling with all manner of interesting things. She does however bring her face perilously close to one of the alien plants the mech has about his flat while waiting for him to return. Once he is back, she smiles and takes the energon. "Thank'ya s'much, i's a real treat! I real 'preciate yer cond'scendin' t'treat a nothin' li'me to such 'ospitality!" Words like 'condescendin'g and 'hospitality' seem like large unwieldly words for such a small and otherwise simple seeming femme. One might almost wonder if she hadn't been coached to say things like that to her more generous customers. "Y'might wanner check th'parcel 'fore I go. I carried it wi'the best care, bu' us' easier t'make sure it 'ent D.O.A so y'kin jus' send yer complaints w'me as 'ell as 'turn the item."
It's a good thing Blurr is so fast. A typical mech wouldn't have been able to move over to the appropriate side of the hab suite quickly enough to keep up with where Flatline had stashed the package. He waits (amazing) until the medic has left the room to serve Swivel up that energon before moving to disable the security on the window.
The old medic's frame suddenly stiffens as the words he hears come out of his guest's vocoder. He watches her with a guarded look, not entirely certain if the condescending bit is her being passive-aggressive or a genuine mistake. After a moment, though, he simply shakes his helm and decides it's not worth the effort of bringing it up or dwelling on it.
"Please do be careful not to spill it. Also, as to the package, I would rather wait. I have full trust my colleague wrapped his gift well. I'm not overly concerned about it," he remarks with a shrug of his shoulder armor.
He glances back at the side-room, his actions not completely lining up with his words. If anything he is overly concerned about it until he can once again be alone and see to safely storing it away.
It would be hard to say if she was being passive aggressive or just ill educated. But the femme's expression of wonder at the various items in the room does paint her a shade inexperienced and artless. Swivel nods reluctantly, "Oh, I see, noted," she says just a tinge of disappointment showing through her expression, like a child whose opportunity to indulge their curiosity had been denied. She brings the energon to her lips and drink more as she looks away to hid her look of disappointment, under the pretence of examining some relic.
This certainly isn't the Forge, and after a few short moments Blurr has gotten through the security and unlocked the window panels. They slide open and he slips in, moves to the cabinet he'd spotted in a streak of blue and white motion. He opens it and peers at the package, looking to see if that has any security on it that also needs to be breached.
Swift as the racer is, there -may- have been a slight shuffling noise that could have been heard by either Flatline or Swivel, if they were listening.
Still holding the tray, the older mecha shifts to sit in one of the empty seats. He watches Swivel as she sips at the energon, and notes as her optics lock onto one of his old souvenirs. His expression instantly shifts to more friendly and easy-going as he sees the chance to move the discussion away from the package. "Ah yes, I picked that up in Vos some years back. I can tell you the story if you like," he remarks.
It doesn't really have much of a story behind it, and he's lucky to remember he bought it in Vos. He can and will spin one, though, to keep her distracted. He is just starting to speak again, not wanting to even give her the chance to say no, when he hears a noise from the other room.
Considering what is there, he can't just ignore it. "Uh, excuse me again for a moment. I have pictures from Vos in the other room from that trip. I think I'll go fetch them," he says as he shifts to stand up.
"Vos, y'say?" Swivel says with interest. Not feigned interest, genuine interest. These are nice things. The sorts of things she will probably never have. and Vos is one of those places where she feels the most like an outcast, being low caste and a ground pounder. Swivel drinks more of the energon she was brought and looks to Flatline with an encouraging smile. She also hears the noise, but doesn't think much of it. A mech like this probably has a pet or something. "Look for'ed t'seein' 'em!"
Blurr heard Flatline's words to Swivel. Slag, he's been made! Not having time to open the package, he just grabs it and hides -somewhere- in the room...
When Flatline comes in, he'll find the cabinet open and the package gone, but no one in sight.
It takes a moment for the old medic to really take in the scene, but once he does panic begins to race through him. His spark begins to beat at a million miles per hour and his first instinct is to begin to throw open drawers and cabinets in a frenzy to try and find the package he knows is gone. Horror wars with frustration, as anything moved out of its place tends to upset him.
Especially anything of this magnitude. In the next room over, Swivel will be able to hear the sound of drawers slamming and Flatline muttering, "No, no, no, no!" With each muttered 'no,' the word became louder and more furious.
He is moving towards Blurr's hiding spot, but it is seeing the open window that pauses the medic dead in his tracks. He knows for a fact he did not leave that open, and once again he is left processing the situation.
"Oh... wow.... mus' real' love 'em pics," Swivel mutters, glancing over to a plant she swore she saw move just now. She stares at it suspiciously for a moment as the commotion continues in the other room. After deciding her optics were playing rricks on her, she idly wanders over to the doorway through which Flatline had left. She'd finished her energon and calls through the door "D'ya need som 'elp? An' where d'I pu'me empty?"
Blurr is squeezed up behind the engex dispensers in the corner of the room. It's amazing the tight places he can get into with that lithe form of his. While Flatline is frantically going through all the drawers, he pulls the casing of whatever this is open, and finds a
...statue or figurine of sorts. It looks like a model of Sentinel Prime's helm. Hm. He narrows his optics at it, suspicious of its apparent innocuousness. That medic seems awfully upset over such a cheap ornament, especially since he already has so many little trinkets all over his habitation suite. Well maybe he'll have to take it back to the Decagon and have some of the analysts look over it.
Swivel is correct, actually. When something brushes against the plant's leaf, the blossoms suddenly snap close in self-defense, and with the courier moving towards the commotion she had done just that. Completely beside the point, though, as there is much more interesting things going on.
Flatline is snapped from his reverie when he hears the courier ask if she can help, and the anger that had flared up during his search suddenly resurfaces with a new intensity. "Get out," he snaps. "Get out of my apartment. That's how you can help."
Some part of him knows it is a bad idea. He should at least ask if she is followed, if she knew what was in the package, but the chances of her involvement were slim to none. He had had his optics on her almost the whole time, and even if she had been followed? she is unlikely to have noticed or have known who.
Such kindness was too good to be true after all. She stares at the mech as his countenance changes rather drastically from clemency to cranky. Actually, this is a bit more than cranky. She holds up the empty energon receptacle with a somewhat confused and quizzical expression on her face, as if asking 'but what about this?' but thinks better of speaking. She quickly finds a surface, ANY surface to hastily put it onto and turns to leave. However, in her agitation she manages to knock into a nearby shelf....
Blurr was just going to wait until Flatline left the room to make a run for it, but it seems he's not going to be doing that any time soon. So, the speedster pulls out his TechVolt and slips the tip of the barrel in between the large cylinders full of various types of engex, and takes aim at the medic.
Then, as soon as Swivel has her back turned... BLAM. The weapon discharges at the old bot, though fortunately enough it is only a stun weapon. Should it hit, it would only knock him into stasis lock for a cycle or two.
"PRIMUS, NO!" he exclaims, whirling around out of instinct. It's enough his package was stolen, but to add such destruction on top of it. Well, when a mecha is desperate the smallest things can send them over the edge.
Luckily he isn't given the chance to go over the edge. As soon as he turns his back strut, the speedster's shot hits true. The medic's optics flicker once before he stumbles and topples over, too, the crash of his falling only adding to the cacophony.
Things were wobbling and Swivel had that sinking feeling that she just lost any hope of a tip or recommendation. Not that it was very high when he suddenly became irrate. Yet for all of her clumsiness, she also has pretty good reflexes and the femme turns about to the items on the shelf, raising her hands to steady things above her and pressing her body up against other items on the shelf to prevent their destructive escape. And yet while she is doing all this, she hears another noise, followed by the largest crash she had heard yet. She looks over her studded shoulder towards the other room, her vision obscures and only showing part of the mech's body prone on the ground. "EEK! Y'alright!?" Swivel looks back at the items on the shelf, cautiously stepping away despite her urge to rush over to the fallen mech. But she doesn't want to leave a wake of destruction.
As soon as Flatline is down, Blurr is out of there. He dashes out from behind the engex dispenser and slips out of the still-open window, hopefully before Swivel rushes to the older mech's side. FWISH!
Flatline is out like a light bulb.
Once Swivel is certain the wobbling has stopped she takes a few more cautious steps away from the shelf. When they stay, she rushes over, stumbling down to a kneeling position by the fallen mech. She glances about in some confusion, her optics resting on the open window for a moment. She then looks back at the mech, and flicks on a radio.
<<Older mech fallen in home...>>