Title: Footing the Bill
Date: 10 December 2014
Summary: Blast Off takes Torque up on that offer for foot repair.
Blast Off has been making a point NOT to leave the (relative) safety of Kaon. He's a wanted mech, after all, running from the law and wanted for murder (totally /justified/ murder if you ask him), illegal space flight and probably other things including simply knowing too much of what the Senate's been up to. He did once work for them as an assassin, after all. He saw too much, they sent assassins after HIM, and.... well, now he's been trying to keep a low profile. Ok, there WAS that one time recently that he slipped and went back to Vos, even met a QUEEN, but.... that wasn't the usual.
And yet- here he is again, once more leaving the "safety" of Kaon. But it's for a good reason, really! He met a femme recently at the Forge- a medic and mechanic who really seemed to know her stuff (and... he kinda liked her, too). She offered to help him with a little problem: his highly specialized rocket feet were destroyed recently (thanks to Bombshell) and he needs them replaced. Sadly for him- spacecraft parts aren't exactly easy to find anymore, now that the Clampdown has all but made them obsolete.
The shuttleformer finds himself walking quietly up to a workshop in Kalis- the place Torque told him he could find some help. He approaches with some caution, trying not to be seen, and hoping that Torque isn't going to decide to try collecting that very large reward on his head. But his pride as a shuttle demands that he at least TRY this and try to become truly space-worthy once more. Because someday he WILL go back up there!
Fortunately for Blast Off, Torque isn't the type to turn in mechs in trouble. At most she'll just turn down helping them if the situation calls for it. However, she doesn't know much of Blast Off's side of the story, so she figures it wouldn't hurt to get some more info from him while fixing him.
During his approach, Blast Off will find the large garage door to Torque's shop open, allowing the smell of fresh paint and the upbeat tune of some popular music mixed with sounds of a pressurized machine to drift out into the street. Upon closer inspection she can be seen kneeling beside a mech in a sleek racing altmode, spraying the finishing touches of some slowy, silver decal on his driver side door.
"That should do it, Quicksilver. Now I know you don't like sittin' still, but you know you gotta let the paint dry for a minute before transforming, so just hold tight." The femme beams, unclipping the mask from her face and moving over to switch off the paint machine. "Yeah yeah." Quicksilver huffs, his engine rumbling in anxiousness while settling. Dusting her hands off, Torque leaves the mech to dry and turns, only to freeze and perk up when she spots Blast Off hanging around the entrance. "Heyyy, I remember you! The foot mech, heh. C'mon in and have a seat, I've got some big news for you!" With a smile so sunny it rivals the sun, Torque ushers him in to sit at one of the few medical-like benches.
Blast Off doesn't really like the music- his are more classical tastes: some symphonies, old patriotic ballads (he may not actually feel all that patriotic but the music was undeniably stirring), some opera tickle his fancy. The popular music can be so... plebeian. But he is also classy enough to speak of none of this... this is Torque's shop and she can play what she wants. And he's a gentlemech, after all.
When Torque spots him, he tenses for an instant- there's no going back now. But he really does want repairs, so.... he allows himself to be ushered in, glancing at this "Quicksilver" to make sure he doesn't seem suspicious or anything. The Combaticon's still concerned about being recognized as a Fugitive. He sits on the bench, giving Torque a polite nod. "I am... pleased you remember. I hope you are well?" Then he awaits this "big news" of hers.
"Not bad. Business as usual, as they say." Torque chuckles softly and reaches up to a shelf over a workbench to turn the radio down down, allowing one to hear the trace of a heavy bass which is coming from Quicksilver. Looks like he's too busy zoning out to some internal music to care about the shuttle.
Back to Torque, who ducks in a back room and quickly returns with a medium sized box. "So the good news.. is that I found shuttle parts! Tada~." She sets the box next to him and opens it, revealing a menagerie of mechanical parts that looks like thrusters. "But uhm.. Well, I suppose it's best to tell you before I go ahead with this." Looking away a moment, she draws her lips into a thin line and rubs the back of her neck before glancing back. "These uh.. used to belong to someone. But gotten completely legit, I swear! I have some relinquishment clinic contacts, and a shuttle mech ended up swapping to a jet. So uh.. yeeaah, is this still okay with you?"
Blast Off relaxes a little as Quicksilver zones out, then focuses on Torque. He watches as she returns with a box- of shuttle parts? Excellent! The Combaticon's violet optics brighten as he gazes inside and starts commenting as much to himself as to her, "Yes... I haven't seen a collection like that in quite some time. Most excellent... and look at that work, yes.... that will do nic-"
Then she mentions the relinquishment clinic, and he lifts his head to stare at her. For a long moment, in fact, before he says in a flat voice: "Relinquishment clinic?" The High Caste shuttle isn't used to having to /stoop to such things/ as making due with USED parts. It's bad enough he's using these makeshift thruster feet as is. Nevermind the fact that ANY space parts at all are hard to find- he's still mentally stuck on this unbidden HORROR for now. "..../USED/ parts?" He sounds slightly aghast at the idea.
He then blinks. "What shuttle in his or her right mind would switch to a JET, anyway?" I mean REALLY NOW.
Complaining patient? Nope, not on her watch. Torque instantly switches to her business/doctor mode and sets her hands on her hips while squaring shoulders. "Yes, used parts. If you wanna save up your shanix and be able to buy some rediculously overpriced parts in a few hundred years, then be my guest. Or you can suck it up and take these at a discount. I know it's not ideal, but that's the way things are going these days. Plus, these are probably better than your old parts anyway since it was a lunar transport. Lots of thrust behind these things."
To his next question she just shrugs and shakes her head. "No clue. Maybe they just wanted to be able to do something again."
Blast Off blinks as Torque goes into "no nonsense" mode and straightens up a little. There's a trace of OH MY PRIMUS HOW DARE SHE SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT- and then the sudden realization she DID speak to him like that, she's going to CONTINUE speaking to him like that, and as a matter of fact she probably has every REASON to speak to him like that. Because sadly- she's exactly right. He deflates about as quickly as he inflated, and glances away. "I.... well...." His shoulders slump a little. "I don't know, I was always constructed of only the *finest* materials, but..." (Well, he WAS... at least before his incarceation in Garrus-1.) He finally looks to her, then the box of parts and lets out a small sigh. "I.... suppose you have a point."
He straightens up again, trying to regain a bit of dignity. He's a gentlemech, right? "I... would be... " The next word's not easy to say, and he has to slightly force it through, "...grateful for any assistance. I want to be spaceworthy again." Pause, and he's quick to add, "Not that I, uh, am planning on going UP there again, since it's ...illegal and everything. But... someday the Clampdown will HAVE to be repealed, and I want to be ready for it."
To the final comment, he just shakes his head. "A pity, then. When a shuttle loses their /pride/... well, you KNOW something's wrong with the state of the world. That's... that's almost unheard of, after all. An astroclass becoming ...ashamed of what they are? Unheard of."
Seems not even a Combaticon can stand up to her. The moment Blast Off gives in, Torque's demeanor softens to something far more pleasant. Smiling now, she places a hand on his shoulder and gives it a reassuring squeeze. "Trust me, it'll be fine. These are some darn good parts and you'll be feeling like your old self again, I guarantee it." She then retracts her hand and shrugs. "I know it's bad, but this is what the Clampdown does to mechs, unfortunately. They lose hope and try to move onto other things. Maybe he'll reformat when they lower it, who knows.
Seems not even a Combaticon can stand up to her. The moment Blast Off gives in, Torque's demeanor softens to something far more pleasant. Smiling now, she places a hand on his shoulder and gives it a reassuring squeeze. "Trust me, it'll be fine. These are some darn good parts and you'll be feeling like your old self again, I guarantee it." She then retracts her hand and shrugs. "I know it's bad, but this is what the Clampdown does to mechs, unfortunately. They lose hope and try to move onto other things. Maybe he'll reformat when they lower it, who knows."
Stepping over to Quicksilver, Torque knocks on his window, making him turn his music off. "You're good to go, Quick. I'll forward the bill over like usual." The mech revs his engine hard at this and peels off out of the garage with a squeal of tires, but not before thanking her. Once he's gone Torque pulls the door closed for some privacy and motions for Blast Off to lay down.
"I just need you to lay back, okay? I took the liberty of making a housing for these, too, so you can have nice, new feet instead of those makeshift ones." Torque smiles warmly and pulls out another box from the under a workbench, pulling out the new plating to house the thrusters as well as bringing over her tools. "This might take a while, unfortunately. Feet have to be just right or you'll be wobbling all over, heh. If you want you can catch up on some recharge, or I've got a TV. Your choice." Or just talk, but she seems a bit too embarrassed to ask that.
Blast Off tenses as she places a hand on his shoulder and squeezes. The shuttleformer doesn't tend to like contact very much, but perhaps the fact that she's a femme keeps him from protesting. Still, whereas most people are comforted by such gestures, Blast Off always seems to expect attacks or danger when someone gets close. "...Yes. I would like that." He glances skyward, then back to her. "that is unfortunately true. I never thought I'd live in a world where I'm told to NOT do the very thing I was made for. There are many who are assigned a job and do not want it, and feel shackled; I WANT my job... and am told it's illegal. And thus *I* feel shackled, too."
He bristles as Quicksilver leaves- LOUDly- then glances at the bench. Of course, that leaves him slightly vulnerable. But he knew that coming in, and it's not like he can't grab his weapon from subspace should she try anything! One last appraising look at her... and he decides to trust her for now. Laying down, he states quietly, "I don't mind... quiet. I... kind of like it, in fact."
"I wonder if that's something a lot of shuttles like." Torque muses as she sets him up with a sensor dampener, so he can't feel anything, and sets up a small barrier over his legs so he can't see before she gets to work. Seriously, no one wants to look down to see their inner parts all exposed. "But doesn't it get super lonely out there? I mean, maybe it'd be good to spend some time down on the ground. It'd give you a chance to be with folks, at least." She keeps the conversation casual despite something nagging at the back of her brain. No.. she'll ask soon, not right now.
Blast Off frowns a little under the faceplate as she unwittingly hits on a bit of a sore spot for the shuttle. He IS lonely when he's up there, but he doesn't want to admit it. Mainly because he has always worried that loneliness is some sort of *abbheration or failing* inside himself. Shuttles are *built* for long periods of time alone in space, what kind of shuttle is HE if he feels LONELY? No, no... you see, he DOESN'T...yes, that's it. Loneliness is for lesser mechs.
He waves a hand, and casually states, "Oh, no... see, I am a shuttle, we're built to withstand a great deal many things we encounter in space- and one of those is naturally going to be extended periods of time far away from anyone else... at all. But we're MEANT for that kind of thing, so no.... actually I quite welcome it!" He lies. Actually, sort of lies. He DOES need quiet time alone... he just wishes there weren't so... much of it up there. "Some people want a lot of socializing.... I prefer my quiet time, perhaps interspersed with the company of a few friends."
Torque looks up from her work a moment to smile softly to him. "I suppose so. I will say, though, that it's brave of you space mechs to go out there all by yourself. Space is just so.. big. I'd be afraid of getting lost, y'know? Guess that's why I'm not a flier." She chuckles softly and resumes her work, the sound of power tools heard now and then as well as the occassional sparking from a soldering iron.
"But it's nice to know you've got some friends to hang out with sometimes. Though I'll agree some downtime is nice. It's about the only time I can get my art done." Torque pauses as a thought crosses her mind before continuing, her smile fading some. "Speaking of friends.. About that stuff you and Brawl were talking about, with prison. I uh.. saw those wanted posters with your face on 'em. Is all of that true..?"
Blast Off does NOT like this line of questioning at all... he's been inclined to keep very quiet about any details, namely because anything you say can be used against you later. When he's slipped up and said something- anything- like he did to Nautica once, she grew angry. He's still not even sure why. His voice has a trace of warning to it. "....Why do you want to know?"
Still tense but in an awkward, rather "footless" position, he can't easily just storm off in a huff right now. So he's forced to wait- when Torque goes back to her work, that's at least some small momentary relief. Perhaps changing the subject will be a wise move anyway: "I appreciate works of art. What kind of painting do you like?"
Torque shrugs a shoulder. "Just wondering, really. Didn't mean anything by it. I've had plenty of mechs in trouble in here, trust me, but if you don't wanna say then I don't worry about it." She flashes a soft smile up at him. As for the question of art, she readily switches the conversation. "Body painting, mostly. You can't beat a fresh coat of paint, in my opinion." She nods sagely. "But.. Well, otherwise I paint how I interperate the world, in a sense. It's not like those super abstract Vosian paintings, which I don't get by the way, but it's something, I suppose. What do you like?"
Blast Off considers this, then relaxes just slightly. The shuttleformer glances away. "I am... I am not seeking trouble. I *tried* just keeping to my own business, doing my job, and not sticking my nose where it doesn't belong. But..." He shrugs. "That didn't work out. And while I don't seek out trouble, If...." His optic ridges furrow down a bit. "If it comes looking for ME, I *will* defend myself. I will NOT just roll over and submit." He frowns as he stares off at some random spot.
The commentary on art brings him back to here and now, and he looks up. "Ah, I see." he glances to his own paint job, which is no where NEAR as shiny and high quality as it used to be. Torque might even see that paint has been coated over what would otherwsie be bare spots now. Blast Off has tried to keep himself looking nice as he can, but he's no longer in a situation he can look ultra High Caste anymore. He doesn't have the money and medics and painters in Kaon don't have the resources or supplies. "I appreciate a fine body painter. I... well, I used to only see the VERY best painters in Vos for that. There are some amazing artisians there, you know. I'd do that now, but..." He blinks and little-white-lies, since he hates to admit to being poor now. "Well, I'm very busy now, and with all the fighting there's not much point- I'd get chipped up just in time to need a new paint job."
He considers the abstract painters, tapping his chin. "I prefer the classical painters myself, true. The ones who truly know how to push paint around and recreate scenes... ever see Van Glitch's "Starry Night"? Quite a masterpiece. The newer artsists there... well, I think it's more about show than substance."
"Unfortunately that seems to be the case for most mechs these days. They keep throwing folks into jail, thinking it's going to solve some sort of problem. It'd be better to actually try and help them, not just toss'm away and forget about them, you know?" Torque sighs and shakes her head. It's sad, but true.
Back to a lighter topic, she quirks a brow slightly at Blast Off and overlooks his chassis, eyeing the spots. "Hm.. Well, I'm no Vosian painter, but some folks say I'm just as good. If you want I can give you a paintjob once you've paid for the thrusters." She smiles. "And I'll use the stuff I do. It'll stay on for a good few fights, guaranteed."
As for talk of works of art, Torque nods a little and speaks up without looking at him. "Heh, agreed. A few lines on a board may mean something to some mechs, but it just looks like lines on a board to me. Van Glitch is pretty good, though. Wish I could go visit the museum again, but I hear it's getting pricey."
Blast Off gives Torque a slight nod. He's still a little wary, but at least Torque reacted far better than Nautica did. "....Agreed. I think they're just... power hungry these days, and growing impatient. Which will only exacerbate things, including riots- or more."
Blast Off seems almost as uneasy about Torque noticing his less-than-stellar paint job as he did about her noticing he was a wanted mech. It does sting his pride, after all. He perks up a little though, responding, "I would like that. I do enjoy looking my best. I've... just been too busy lately." The mention of money causes him to frown, and finally ask: "Uh... speaking of that, how much is this going to cost?"
He nods about the art. "Yes... I truly enjoyed visiting museums, the great libraries and astronomical observatories, the opera and theater..." He can't quite stifle a longing sigh. Then he frowns once more, reminded of the things he's lost. "But... I am simply too busy these days, unfortunately." Busy meaning: poor. "I suppose we must make our own entertainment these days."
Torque's optics flick up to him. Oh right, the bill.. Probably should've told him beforehand. "Hundred and fifty shanix." For parts and a procedure that would have likely run him five times as much. "Don't worry about paying me right now, though. If you want you can just pay a little over time." Unfortunately for Blast Off, if he'd come in with literally no feet she would've treated this like a medical visit and not charged him.
Blast Off blinks and indeed.... ouch. Once, that kind of shanix would be *nothing* to him- not even give him a second thought as he spent it. Now... yeah, that's a lot pricier. Still, he has his pride and a gentlemech pays his debts. He's no *Swindle*, after all. He puts on his best "gentlemech" demeanor and nods politely. "Very well. I can...I will pay 50 shanix now, and we can arrange a payment schedule for the rest. I can pay more after the next pay period at the Forge. Can I expect to see you there again?"
Torque knows it's a high price for many around Kaon, but it's a manageable number that won't put someone in extreme debt, or worse. "Sounds good to me." Torque smiles and nods. "And yeah, I should be there since it's my turn to help out at the medbay again. Anyway, I'm almost finished here, so hold tight."
It's a few more minutes, but soon Torque sits back with an accomplished look on her face and grins bright. "Alright, you ready? Introducing your brand new feet!" And without further ado she removes the divider, letting Blast Off get a look at his new thrusters. A far cry from the shoddy, temporary ones, these look brand new and right off the assembly line. "So what do you think? Go on, you can stand. Give 'em a test."
Blast Off nods once more, looking up at the femme. "Good. You seem skilled in that line of work. You certainly noticed details that some of your colleagues missed- like my feet. Of course, if I wasn't confident in your work, I never would have come here in the first place." The shuttle knows he's gotten a very good deal and takes the time to look around at her shop. "You must derive pleasure from helping others, though."
Then- it is done. Blast Off glances down, and his optics gleam. Ahhhh... so much better. Gingerly, he pushes himself off the bench and places his feet down on the ground once more. "...Very nice." He gets up, putting weight on the feet, then taking one small step- then another, looking down as he does so. "The sense of balance is superb." He looks to her. "You really *do* know what you're doing."
"What, like Suture? Eh, he's a young mech, so he's still got a lot to learn. I'm glad he's taken an interest in medicine, though." Antennas twitch up at the mention of pleasure and she smirks, rubbing the back of her neck sheepishly. "I guess you could say that. I just like to make people happy is all. Always have."
Watching Blast Off test out his brand new feet, the medic can't help but chuckle softly. "Well I wouldn't have this shop if I didn't, y'know." Standing, Torque steps up beside him and produces what looks like crystalized bit of energon shaped like a star on a stick, handing it to him with a friendly wink and bright smile. "Anyway, this is for being so good about all that. You won't believe how many complainers and flinchers I get."
Blast Off listens. "I see." Making people happy isn't usually something that receives high priority with him- though then again, he generally tries to *avoid* most people. Only if they really matter to him, then yes, but otherwise people are generally just annoying and hard to understand. He looks back down to his feet, lifting one purple rocket to inspect it as best he can. Then he looks up to see... a lollypop? His optics flicker, and he suddenly glances around as if making sure no one is seeing this. "Uh... well, I don't usually..." He blinks again and stares at the thing. It... it doesn't LOOK bad. It looks kind of... tasty, in fact. Slowly, his hand reaches out and takes it. "....Thank you." Then he subspaces it, looking shiftily about once more. He'll suck on that later, where no one can see him do it. he's a *dignified mech* after all. "I am a gentlemech, Torque. I believe in maintaining a sense of decorum and dignity at all times." Never mind the lollypop he just accepted. (But it was STAR-SHAPED, how could he say NO?)
Finally, his gaze rests outward, towards the door. "I should probably get going. I have some practice fights to get to. Now that I can really *walk* again. I..." He looks back to her. "I appreciate you going out of your way, Torque. Thank you."
No one can resist the lollipops. It's a free sweet, c'mon! "Whatever yah say, big mech." Torque grins and nudges him playfully. Figures that a mech like him would want to keep up appearances and whatnot, but she won't call him out on it. Instead she nods and smiles thoughtfully as he speaks of leaving. "It's no trouble, Blast Off. If you need help again you just come back, okay? I've got a free clinic if you're ever in trouble and my doors are always open. but ah.. before you go.." She clears her vocals and holds a hand out. "You said you had fifty shanix to put towards the bill?" Torque is kind, yes, but he did say he'd pay.
Blast Off grins slightly under his faceplate. Heh, she's no dummy either. And he intends to keep his word. He reaches into subspace, not for the gun, but for his shanix. He places 50 shanix in the palm of Torque's hand and gives her a courteous nod. "A pleasure." With that, he's on his way before someone else spots him and decides to try collecting that bounty. He's a free mech- and he wants to stay that way.