Title: Daredevil Deal
Date: 22 March 2015
NPCs: NPCs by Deadlock!
Summary: Dummies do dares.
It's an ordinary evening in Nyon, the local rundown joints on every corner are filling up with the usual rowdy after hours crowds.
As the sun sets, a certain Decepticon by the name of Deadlock makes his way down the dirty Nyonian streets, his optics scanning the area for a good place to buy a cheap drink--and perhaps, while he's at it, he'll spot his amica endurae and the famous flameo, Hot Rod.
What with how notoriously difficult to spot Hot Rod is, given how low-key and subtle his paintjob is -- just blending right into things! -- it's likely that Deadlock will be searching a long, long time.
If this were Iacon, one might say it's an open air bar with graceful seating arranged on the patio. Because this is Nyon, it's a bar crammed in under an overhang with the rest of the building's roof long lost to time, and its walls reduced to several support pillars and rubble. Nyon is /vintage/. It's /quaint/. It's /charming/. And there's Hot Rod, seated with several others around a slab that looks like it might've been part of the roof. Now? It's a table. Someone has thrown a portable holoprojector onto the table, and Nyon's streets and neighborhood overlays the pitted surface. They are all but out in the open, easily viewed from the street as well as above, so one really hopes it isn't sensitive information.
Oh, there he is. Deadlock didn't think Hot Rod would be hard to find, he never is. Once the Decepticon notices the Nyonian rebel sitting underneath a shabby awning, he makes a beeline for the dirty bar.
Moments later, he's looming over the projection--regardless of whether it's his business not. His harsh expression and somewhat sour demeanor reeks of Decepticon and may put some of the people at Hot Rod's table into a state of unease.
Could be worse. Deadlock could be an Autobot. Those guys are just the worst. Even with him being a rebel-friendly Decepticon, the battle-readiness and lack of friendliness put others at the table on edge. Yet when Hot Rod looks up, he meets Deadlock's harshness with a brilliant smile. "Hey! Dr--eadlock!"
"What's up?" Leaning back in his seat, Hot Rod waves at the table. "We were just wrapping up. Talking about who's watching over the neighborhoods and all now that the Nyon Police are out. Pretty much got it settled."
Deadlock makes room for himself at the table, perhaps somewhat rudely pushing aside the fellow sitting next to Hot Rod. Hey, they're besties, surely he won't protest, right?
He arches a brow ridge at Hot Rod. "Is this your day job?" he mutters. Then he pauses. "Wait a minute, do you even have one?" Not that he has much on him, Deadlock doesn't have one either...
If the other mech wanted to protest, a second look at Deadlock's guns has the poor fellow sort of meekly shuffling to the side. Hot Rod glances back at Deadlock with a touch of exasperation and mouths apology to the other guy -- but he doesn't actually object, or /say/ anything to Deadlock, so it's not like he's really making a stand against rude behavior.
"Eh." Shrugging somewhat uncomfortably, Hot Rod says, "Sort of. It's not like it's a hobby. But it's not like it pays, either. I get by." Illegally.
"Sooo... you didn't answer my question," Deadlock says, pulling out a network capable datapad and scrolling absently through the content on it's screen, "About whether you have day job or not," he continues. He ignores Hot Rod's exasperation and shoots the other mech a mischievous smirk.
Then he goes back to looking at the datapad. He laughs. "Slag! That's not bad at all.." he mutters to no one in particular.
Is Hot Rod being IGNORED? In favor of a DATAPAD? Terrible. He leans over to try to get a look at the screen. "Well, maybe I didn't answer for a reason." He glances over at the others. "We good for now, guys?" he asks to general rumbles of agreement. One of them pulls the holoemitter off the table and a few peel away to go refill their drinks at the bar. The first to go is the one Deadlock bumped from his spot. Once the area clears a little, Hot Rod admits, "Mostly I make my shanix under the table. Not a lot of people want to hire you when you've had a bounty or your head, or police calling you a dangerous terrorist, even after your name gets cleared."
"Oh?" Deadlock arches a brow ridge at Hot Rod. He watches as the others shuffle away from the table, then his gaze flicks back to Hot Rod. "Well maybe you've heard of the Daredevil Dealer network?" he says, shrugging casually and allowing Rod a better look at the datapad.
A quick look at the datapad will reveal a long list of ...dares? Yup, that's right. Some of them appear pretty intriguing. Like, lighting an abandoned vehicle on fire and driving it into the Mithril Sea. Without dying. Or, scaling the highest building on Cybertron without equipment. Igniting a public transport's exhaust. The like.
"It's a blackmarket of sorts. Mechs make up dares matched with some sort of black market good and people bet on it. Usually just stuff, but sometimes people will offer shanix. If no one accomplishes that dare within a decacycle, whoever made up that bet has to hand out the black market good matched with it to everyone who betted on it. But if someone does, then all the goods or shanix betted on it goes to whoever thought up that dare. And the guy who accomplished the dare gets dibs on twenty five percent of the spoils. I've done it a few times--not a bad place to get weapons from, really."
Splitting the difference between admitting ignorance and lying, Hot Rod makes a neutral, inquisitive sort of noise. Yeah, that thing -- that thing he TOTALLY KNOWS ABOUT. YEP. He reaches out to thumb through a few of the dares as Deadlock angles the datapad so that he can see. His expression brightens as he starts picturing some of them. "Now /that/ sounds /fun/. What kinds of stuff have you done?" he asks, warm with enthusiasm as he looks back up. Outrageous hooligan stunts? He's so into it.
Deadlock shrugs. "Oh, mostly lower key stuff, like breaking into a winery and stealing an expensive bottled drink. I mean, it's pretty hit or miss, some of these are just too damn crazy." He laughs, albeit a bit nervously. He knows Hot Rod can be too daring for his own good oftentimes.. "Three remotely controlled mini spy drones? Hell, I don't even know where this guy got those but.. damn. Igniting a public transport's exhaust? No thanks, I'd like to be alive when I receive my spoils."
"What's so dangerous about that? You've just got to either drive away fast enough, or maybe shoot something from afar, or--." It's clear that Hot Rod is already imagining how to pull it off, but he hesitates a moment and leans back toward the datapad. "No one gets hurt doing these, do they? I mean other than the people trying." Who he clearly doesn't care about, because if they fail, they suck.
"Well at least not that I know of," Deadlock says, "Besides, if too many people other than those trying to accomplish the dares got hurt, these guys probably would be having a hell of a time keeping the cops off their tailpipes."
Then his optics widen and he leans back. "Look, don't even think about it. You might think igniting public transport exhaust is fun and crazy but it's hella dangerous. If the wind shifts even slightly and some of the soot from the exhaust gets on you, you're slag, instantly. And that's if you even manage to stay on the transport. I mean, have you seen them?! Their tops are rounder than the dome of the capitol building!"
"Fair point." Reassured, Hot Rod leans forward with greater interest. As Deadlock continues to outline the ways in which the transport dare is a terrible, horrible idea, he only grows more determined. "So you just make sure that you know what direction the wind is coming from! Come on, you're not telling me you don't think you can do it, are you? Your balance is better than that. What's the payout look like on that one, anyway?"
"No--!" Deadlock protests. "Look, I don't want to die. I don't want you to die." Ugh, he's so regretting showing the Daredevil Deals network to Hot Rod. "Do I look like a dancer?" he grumbles. "Well... the spoils are, two laser rifles, fifteen hundred shanix, three remote controlled spy drones... I think that's all the bets on it."
He sighs. "Look, we need proof. So we're gonna need a camera to film it," he says, rubbing his helm. "This is such a bad idea..."
"We'll get Rewind to film it," Hot Rod says, immediately answering /that/ little objection and then flicking his hand in dismissal. NEXT. His eyes are still round and his tone a little stunned as he adds up fifteen hundred on his fingers. "Twenty-five percent, you said? I bet those drones could go for a sweet price, too, not to mention the laser rifles." He leans back in his chair and gets a dreamy look on his face. "We're not going to die, come on. You don't think I'm fast enough?"
Deadlock doesn't look happy. "Mech, you've never even tried to ignite exhaust before have you?? Dammit! You don't even know how dangerous it can get, there is a strong likelihood we WILL die." He scowls. "No, but I do doubt your ability to balance on a moving round thing..."
"Well. No." Hot Rod shrugs, and says, "How hard can it really be, though?" He nudges Deadlock hard with his shoulder and says, "Let's go practice, then. Is there anything else on there with a bigger payout?"
Deadlock just gives Hot Rod a look that reads as 'Are you fragging kidding me.' He groans. "Primus, I give up. You're going to do it even if I decide I don't want to risk dying doing it with you," he grumbles. "Nope, that's the highest paying one on there so far," he replies.
"Fine," he mutters, "if you want to practice, fine. But maybe let's just try a grounded transport first, okay?"
Hot Rod thumps his fist on the table and says, "Then I'm doing it!" His eyes shine with enthusiasm and he looks a half-second from running out the door right this second. He's already sitting up in his seat, right at the edge. His legs tense on the edge of an upward spring. "You don't have to," he tells Deadlock, all gracious and understanding. "I couldn't ask you to do something so awesome. Uh, dangerous, I mean. But that's a lot of reward for not a lot of risk." His idea of what qualifies as 'a lot' of risk is /clearly broken/.
Ugh!! Stupid Hot Rod. Deadlock fumes at the flameo's passive aggression, grumbling. He's not about to let himself look like a coward. "It /is/ a lot of ri--you know what, nevermind." He sighs, placing a hand on his helm.
And hey! Looks like practice has arrived at Hot Rod's front door step. There's a public transport pulling into the station right across the street...
That's enough for Hot Rod to stand, and pull Deadlock with him, looped arm in arm. "Look, come on, let's go try now," he urges, pulling him toward the door. He jogs ahead, all but running to go put this stupid new idea into practice. "This is gonna be awesome!"
Deadlock is very reluctantly dragged along behind Hot Rod. He groans, stalling in hopes that Hot Rod will see the light on their way over to the platform. "..."
When they arrive, Deadlock stops, looking thoroughly annoyed. The public transport that has just arrived is not the grounded kind. It is the flying kind. This does not bode well. "Hey! I said we're gonna practice on the grounded kind first! That thing is /definitely/ NOT the grounded kind.."
However, Hot Rod will notice a wrench has been thrown into their plans. And that wrench comes in the form of competition. There's another dashing and brazen looking young mech with a gold chromed paint job with his camera guy standing on top of the transport.
"What? No! Oh, come on!" Hot Rod draws up just short of the transport to see someone /else/ already on top of the transport. He looks annoyed enough that, for a moment, it looks like he's thinking about pushing the guy off. "No time, Deadlock!" Grounded, flying: it's all the same, right? Hot Rod scrambles up and calls at the gold-painted mech, "You know, you're never going to pull it off."
The gold chromed mech laughs at Hot Rod. "Oh /yeah/? Look who's talking, slagger. I mean, what happened? Did you fall into a bucket of red and yellow paint? Hah! That happens only every once in a millennia, an awful paintjob on a mech with brains to match!"
Well, that seems to change things. "Oh /yeah/?" Deadlock growls, "There's only going to be two mechs standing on top of that transport when all of this is over. And it sure as hell isn't going to be either you or your camera guy."
The transport takes off, lurching heavily as it takes to the air. Deadlock just barely manages to leap on and /hang on/.
The gold chromed mech stays steady, but flicks a glance in Hot Rod's direction. "Well, first things first." And then HE attempts to shove Hot Rod off the transport.
"Looks like someone's jealous because you ran out of shanix just getting the gold." Hot Rod settles into place atop the transport with a confident air and a strut-deep smugness that turns aside the gold mech's verbal barbs. "Seriously, not even a little detailing? Wouldn't expect you to look this good--" And he gestures, posing all heroic and flame-painted, only to be taken by surprise as the transport actually lifts. The other mech's lunge is just icing on the surprise-cake.
Hot Rod scrambles a step back, and his foot slips. It's luck more than anything that allows him to recover in a pivot that takes him away from the other mech's shove to straighten behind him. He pretends like he meant to do that, but his eyes are still a little wide. "Wow, jealousy is /not/ a good look for you!"
"Argh!" The gold chromed mech stumbles forwards as Hot Rod scrambles a step back. "Ugh, forget it," he mutters, then motions to his camera guy. "Let's just do it already," he says. And before Hot Rod can react, the gold chromed mech leaps towards the back of the transport where the exhaust pipes are. His camera guy scuttles after him.
"Hey--!" Deadlock shakes a fist after the gold chromed mech. But then, he notices the camera guy lagging behind just a little and he takes his chance. He bowls the smaller mech over and snatches the camera from him. "Hot Rod!" he shouts. "Get the other guy's flare... I've got the camera now."
"Mech, you really picked the wrong transport." Hot Rod takes just a second to be sure of his footing and then dashes after the golden mech. He flashes Deadlock a grin. He could not be any more obviously buzzed by the adrenaline. It's foolish, reckless, and all kinds of crazy, and he /loves/ it. He laughs his way after the flare, reaching out to grab it from the other mech. "We've got the camera, so why don't you just go sit down? Let the professionals handle this one." Professional /whats/ is not clear. Professional morons, maybe.
Except the gold chromed mech isn't about to make life easy for Hot Rod. "What?! What the hell!! What did you do to my ca--hey!!!" Hot Rod will manage to grab it, but the guy isn't about to just let go of it. He waves the flare about, trying to loosen Hot Rod's grip on it.
Deadlock frowns. "..." He examines the camera, looking puzzled. "Uh. Rod? Problem. I haven't the slightest on how to use this thing..." Looks like the gold chromed mech's camera guy wasn't the most willing victim either, it looks like he found the emergency exit and actually went inside the transport, away from the idiots up top..
That makes one smart guy, and three idiots. "Kind of busy!" Hot Rod calls over his shoulder. "You're smart! You can figure it out! Push buttons!" He grapples with the mech for control of the flare; while attempting to also keep his balance, that's more than distraction enough. He reaches out to punch the other mech hard with the flat of his hand right in the center of his chest. It's often a weak points for other mechs, where the particular configuration of Hot Rod's hood means he absorbs blows to his chest more easily than most.
Deadlock shoots Hot Rod an exasperated look. "Oh, /so/ helpful," he grumbles. But he takes Hot Rod's advice anyway, and starts pushing buttons. After a good breem or so, he says, "Uh, okay, I figured out how to turn it on..."
Hot Rod's blow to the other mech would have worked in his favor. Really, it would have. Except the transport decides at that moment to tilt sixty degrees sideways. "Agh!" the gold chromed mech yells, and latches onto Hot Rod's wrist as he's falling off the transport. As luck would have it, they would fall right into the line of smoke that is the transport's exhaust. Yes, with the lighted flare still in the gold chromed mech's hand (or maybe Hot Rod's holding it, who knows). The train of exhaust ignites like a firework, sparking purple smoke and flames in the process.
So they are probably falling. While on fire. Directly below them is a fancy building with an open roof where a party full of rich people are gathered around a lovely fountain..
"Okay, then just be sure to push--." The rest of Hot Rod's explanation gets lost as the transport tilts, and his words transform into a startled yelp. Metal scrapes with an unpleasant screel as he scrambles to keep his feet steady. A moment later, he abandons his attempts to stay upright to try to keep his grip on the gold-chromed jerk and pull him back up. It's too late. The weight pulls Hot Rod from his flattened sprawl. The flare held in their clasped hands sparks the exhaust.
And then he's falling. And on fire. And holding hands with a total jerk. Hot Rod blips a panicked, << Drift! >> and then they are crashing through the roof and into the fountain /in a really dignified fashion/. They are the entertainment and they are here to liven up the party.
A waiter serving expensive wine on a silver platter to a couple having a romantic moment near the fountain stumbles backwards in an attempt to avoid being splashed by the mini tsunami caused by Hot Rod and his rival. He drops the platter and falls over as the two lovers scream in shock and horror as they scramble away madly. The rest of the partygoers stop and stare, while others cringe away or look angry.
And unfortunately, Deadlock didn't catch the good part where the exhaust caught on fire on film, he was too busy falling face forward and dropping the camera. Which will now land unceremoniously into Hot Rod's lap and break once it comes in contact with the flameo's armor.
"<< You're damn stupid, you know! This was the worst idea ever... >>"
<< That was awesome! >> Hot Rod says, cackling audibly across the radio as he laughs his mad, mad way out of the party. He drips all the way out, running just a step ahead of retaliation on the part of the party security. << Too bad about the camera. We'll have to try again. >> And as for the gold chromed mech? He can find his own way out.