Title: Introducing Backdrop
Date: 10 March 2015
Summary: YX-939 has a new identity, and now he is getting a new job. And then some seekers get up to shenanigans.
Pacing in a somewhat agitated manner, Swivel waits uneasily for her rendezvous with Spritz. Or whatever his new name was. Tht would certainly take some getting used to, and she will have to be carfuly which name she uses in front of other racers, should they encounter any, or strangers. Or even loose acquaintences. Alright, so the femme should just keep using Spritz to private conversations or among people who already know bout frame change.
Swivel's armour is still shiny, but a bit of wear and tear is starting to show. She can't afford to maintain the buffed and poished look. There's signs of dirt on her legs and around her tires, and in some of the creases and seams of her chassis. But more importantly, it would seem that the femme is back to wearing a patch of metal of her optic. This one is screwed in tight and looks a bit bulkier. Perhaps because it is made from lead.
Thankfully, Swivel was already familiar with Spritz' new look. So, when a somewhat shinier-than-the-typical minibot shows up, looking nervous and unsure, it's pretty easy to pick him out of the crowd. Though, considering this was Nyon, the paranoia might not be entirely unfounded.
"Swivel!" Aaand he's spotted her. He still SOUNDS the same for the most part.
New frame and new paint job. Somehow, he is STILL less shiny than Swivel is.
Well, Swivel had gotten treated to a full tune-up and touch-up, the more expensive type. Not that Swivel knows HOW much was paid, and she really preferred not to ask, afraid of the weight of the debt crushing her. Swivel blinks her single optic and smiles, finally seeing her pal show up. "Well, 'ere y'are!" Swivel claps her hands and holds them together for a moment while she looks the mech over. "Gunner take some gettin' ysed ta," she says with a smirk.
"You and me both." The 'brand new' bot laughs. "I don't think I have ever been this clean." He's not ENTIRELY spic and span, but it's a far cry from the gunk he used to be covered in around the clock. "We're meeting with your boss, right? Supervisor?"
The courier bobs her head, and then motions for Spritz, er, Backdrop to follow. "Yeah, c'mon. Th'office's jus' down th'street 'ere," Swivel say as she begins to head along the wakway. "Oh, an' I'm sure ya was clean the moment ya was..." she trails off and pauses to think for a moment, "...yanno, I dunno if 'sposables're forged or cold constructs or what. I'l jus' say th'day ya was created ya were prolly clean.... an tha'was prolly it. Ha ha ha."
Swivel pauses in front of the building. It has a narrow entrance, and therefor, a smallish sign. It is also wedged between two much larger shops, one of which is a pay-by-the-breem auto-wash. The sign of the tiny, nondescript building says, in squishy letters, "Steamcore's Courier Agency" with the first letters of each larger than the rest of the font, so that SCA stands out.
Brand new optics are taking all the sites in with wide-eyed, innocent curiosity. As a disposable, Spritz never really got to LOOK at things without thinking about the clock. He seems particularly amused by the pay-by-the-breem auto-wash.
"Fancy." He eventually settles for.
Swivel opens the novelty hinged door and holds it open for Backdrop to walk through. Past just a narrow foyer, the place opens up into a bigger office, with a few chairs bolted to the walls, a long desk with two workstations, and two doors. The area is very well lit, with a cold, sterile feel to it. It looks sort of like a clinic waiting room, and very well may have been at some point.
Behind the desk is a green and yellow femme working away at a console, only looking up briefly and saying, "Hi, Swiv," going back to focusing on her work before even saying the second syllables of her short greeting.
"Oy, Typetack, Steamcore in? E's 'spectin' me." Swivel says while still standing in the doorway.
"Just stepped out for a bit, had ta deal with a call from the conjux."
For a moment, Backdrop shifts in place a little uneasily; he doesn't look like he knows quite what to do.
"We can wait, can't we, Swivel?" A small half shrug, as if he thinks he SHOULD shrug but isn't REALLY sure. "I have nowhere I need to be."
There is an odd lopsided smirk on Swivel's face when the clerk mentions Steamcore's conjux, and she rubs the side of her helmet. "Wot bog timin'," Swivel remarks. She then looks over at Backdrop, straightening out that crooked smirk to one of her regular smiles. "Yeah, we kin wait. Gwon 'n take a seat," Swive says, gesturing to one of the bolted down seats. Swivel does the same, sitting on the very edge. They are arranged by size categories, smaller seats at one end and larger at the other end. Although the large sets look barely big enough to fit a mech the size of Ultra Magnus, so VERY large folk probably would be stuck standing. If they could get in th doorway in the first place.
After a while a stocky mech in brown, red and gray enters from a door behind the desks, muttering. He looks like he has two smoke stacks coming from his shoulders, where some more battle ready mechs would often have large guns or missiles. He also has a arge grill across his chest.
Seeing him, Swivel stands. "Oy, boss, I brought in tha' courier I mentioned. E's roight soft, so e' finna 'ave any pesky 'abits or ways 'bout thin's an' is yers t'mold." After saying this, Swivel gestures to Backdrop.
"I'm soft?" Backdrop half whispers to Swivel, a look of perplexed confusion on his face. Looks like some of Swivel's slang still confuses him now and then.
But then he stands up and nods up at Steamcore. Backdrop is almost exactly Swivel's height, now, so he's still looking up and up at most everyone still. "Hello, sir. My name is Backdrop." He sounds like he's been practicing that. "I'm eager to work, sir." And that one sounds like it was suggested to him to say.
Turning and whispering, Swivel explains, "soft, yanno, young. Na'set in yer ways," hastily, before turning back to Steamcore and grinning.
Steamcore examines Backdrop for a silent moment, his blue optics narrowing. He is quiet for a moment, his face difficult to read due to his faceplate. "Since we have a larger need to fill, I'll take about anyone. But depending on your performance, your work may only last until communications are back up all over Nyon and all the kinks are smoothed out. Do well, and I'll hire you on to stay, and you'll start getting a VERY low salary every two lunar cycles as well as credentials that can get you into some secured areas - but not many."
"Starting out, you only get 40 of the payment for each job you successfully complete. You keep your tips, of course, but I expect you to report how much you're making. It's useful information. You'll start out on open jobs under the low priority listing. The listings can be found on a screen in the sorting room," Steamcore thumbs the door behind him from which he just entered, "or by asking one of the clerks," he points to the green and yellow femme, "/if/ they aren't busy with a customer. Typetack will get you set up with a courier ident. When you wish to take a job, key it into the console beneath the viewscreen in the staff room, or get one of the clerks to do it for you. If you get hired on permanently, you wil get a handheld device with your courier ID in it, and it will allow you remote access to the job roster and you can select jobs from there. Once you take on a job, you'd BETTER complete it by the deadine listed next to it."
Once finished his spiel, Steamcore looks between Swivel and Backdrop. "If you have any further questions, ask Typetack or Swivel. I'm sure since she vouched for you, she can show you around."
That easy? Hired that quick? Sure, it was temporary on a trial basis, but somehow, Backdrop assumed it would be... Trickier.
Dumbly, he nods to all the new information, optics wide in surprise. "Yes, sir, I understand." He's still using 'sir' a lot, but it probably wouldn't hurt him at this stage. "I'll follow all the rules, sir."
"Good. You can begin the cycle that your registration is confirmed. Don't worry, it's a private business, but we still need to keep records and log people's identification," Steamcore says. He begins to walk away, but upon walking past Swivel he leans down to her, whispering, "...and remember, his performance reflects on you, Swivel." The mech straightens up and looks at the both of them. "I wish you could have found a more experienced replacement for you, Swivel, while you're on leave. And you won't get paid your next salary." Swivel just nods to him, and he lightly pats the femme on the shoulder. "Well, good luck fitting in, Backdrop." With that Steamcore heads out, looking like a mech with a mission.
Backdrop waits until Steamcore is well and out of hearing range before he even moves.
When he does, he whirls to stare at Swivel with wide, shocked optics. "Replacement?! On leave?!" It's not QUITE a yell, but he isn't exactly whispering either. "What?!"
Oh yeah. That. Swivel glances to the side, scratching her cheek with a single index finger. "Eh heh heh heh... well.... I've some stuff I gotter, uh, tend ta..." Swivel taps the lead ptch over her optic. "Turns out the mech tha replaced m'optic's gotter rep I dinna know 'bout with some folk... used ta work in some place supposedly worse 'en the IAA. So I need ta make m'self scarce 'n prolly ge'more in-depth scannin than's 'vailable a'ther Acroplex.... an' summun also s'jested I make sure it 'ent booby-trapped. But 'en... the info cam from summun I dun trust... but on th'other 'and, I otter jus' check t'be safe. Til I know I'm not transmittin' info back t'ther wrong sorter people.... I'm..." Swivel shrugs her shoulders, "I'm outter action. I kint risk bein' an unwittin' spy 'n doin' my job."
Now that he has working optics, they widen a little more for every couple of seconds that Swivel keep talking. Oh, he's familiar with the whole 'unwitting spy' thing now.
"Swivel! Why didn't you tell me? I could've gone with you before jumping in to a job straight away!" Oh, he looks so worried. "I wasn't committed to anything yet...!"
If Swivel hasn't noticed, he's been watching his speech VERY closely. He hasn't once mentioned anything about cleaning, his own recent trauma, or even his old names.
Swivel puts her hands out and takes a step back, shaking her head. "Look, iffin y'ent able ta take over my bigger jobs, I feel I otter 'ave summun come in m'place. Steamcore recently lost some couriers to 'em NPD SCU... yanno... th'ones tha' shot at me iffin 'en I was cooperatin'? They were 'auled in under suspicion o' terrorist affiliation an' 'e 'an't 'eard since. It's kinner selfish, I know, but I was 'opin 'ookin' y'up would sorter... I 'unno...."
"Are you ready to begin registration? I'm free to do that now," cuts in another femme's voice. Swivel glances over at Typetack, and then back at Backdrop.
"If ya wanner 'elp me, do me proud a'this job. I know I'll 'ave a job 'en I get back so I'm not givin anythin' up. So, go get registered." Swivel leans in and whispers, "I'm assumin' Moonlight came through fer ya with an ID?"
Backdrop lets out a deep, worried sigh. He frowns at Swivel, disapproving of the fact that he can't help Swivel any more than this. "Okay... Fine..."
SUCH CONCERN, HE HAS.
Slowly, Backdrop walks towards Typetack, handing her the newly forged identification. He keeps glancing back to Swivel.
Typetack types in the ID and begins the process. She asks questions like Designation (name), Caste, Alt mode type, average speed both in root and alt modes, date of last maintenance, emergency contacts and a whole bunch of other things Backdrop was probably provided with answers for. "I know, lots of questions that are tagged to your ID, but it's just confirmation to make sure everything matches up," Typetack says in the middle of this little Q&A. She gives a brief reassuring smile to Backdrop before going back to her netural expression, which actually looks a bit sour due to her pinched features.
Swivel hangs back. The first tim Backdrop glance back at him, she smiles and waves. Thje next time she simply smiles. The time after that she raises an optic ridge sharply. And the time after makes a circle motion with her wrist, her index finger extended, motioning for him to turn right back around.
It looks like he can't keep from glancing back. He actually looks a little put off by the fact that Swivel didn't tell him ALL OF THE THINGS.
The question of emergency contact comes up and he actually lets out a sad little laugh. "Swivel is my emergency contact." He thunks his head against the table.
Everything else has fairly normal responses, though. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nope.
Swivel eventually just stands there with her arms crossed and her optic ridge perpetually arched. Finally, the question asking is over and Typetack informs him that getting him a unique courier ident will take a bit of time, as well as checking some of the information against some other databases. She assures him it isn't much to worry about, and that previous functions aren't a proble so long as people can do the work. She let's him know that he should come in the next cycle and everything should be in order by then.
Meanwhile, Swivel is still standing with her arms crossed.
Eventually, Backdrop turns around completely -- not just a glance back -- once Typetack finishes everything. He gives her a polite smile, a nod of thanks, and turns to see... Swivel folding her arms.
"I saw th'looks you was givin' me," Swivel says. "'N I 'ent sorry fer.... wotever's bugging ya. Or mebbe I am. I'unno.... I jus'... if yer worried 'bout me, trust me, I've been through worse. Well mebbe na'worse, but pretty bad... 'n maybe bad in a diff way. But dun worry, I'ma still b 'ere t'morra so I's kin show ya th'ropes, mebbe accompany on a few o'yer jobs."
A small, still worried smile crosses Backdrop's face. "I hope so. It's..." A breath. "A LOT of stuff happened lately."
SUCH CONCERN, SWIVEL.
"I'm... Worried. You could've told me."
"Yeah, lotter stuff 'as 'appened... an it prolly 'ent 'bout ta slow down. Ya wanted fast? Well, yer in fer a ride," Swivel says with a very odd smile. Her mouth is upturned, and yet her optics are telling a different story. "I did tell ya, else ya woona know... but it jus' 'appened. I only gave Steamcore m'notice shortly 'fore we met up... an' only learned las' cycle I might be spyin' on me friend's 'n co-workers. Loik ya said, lots 'as happened." Swivel motions for Backdrop to follow her out. "I'll give ya th'tour next cycle. If I dun show up, well, I've talked ta Squeakers t'elp y'out. E's fairly easy goin'. But I'll do my darndest ta be there."
"Squeakers...?" Backdrop muses over the name for a moment, still perturbed by Swivel's words. "I hope you're there. After everything that happened, I thought we'd finally get to do... Stuff." A pause. "Normal people stuff." Another pause. "I have no idea what normal people do."
Swivel slings an arm across Backdrops shoulders. "Oh, I kin show ya ALL the sorter normal people things. G'out fer drinks, play games, sit 'round watchin' people 'n life pass by an' make jokes or silly stories bout 'em, chase femmes... well, I dun chase femmes, but a lotter m'co-workers do. Iffin the other femme courier. I dunno wo'ther clerks do on their off time. Mebbe we kin catch a movie some time... though I dun watch a lotter movies. 'N there's watchin' sports, na'jus' races but aerial stunts 'n th'loik, an' oner me personal faves... seein' 'ow 'igh I kin launch meself offa ramp. An' there'll be time fer tha'. I'm just gunna be gone fer a bit gettin' scans an' possibly surgery.... 'en I jus wanner TAKE some personal time ta DO normal people stuff, coz I been REALLY crazy busy."
Backdrop lets out a little giggle -- a good ol' Spritz giggle -- at Swivel's speech about what normal people do. "All of those things sound absolutely amazing." A pause. "Except for the jumping off ramps thing. I can watch you do that, I'm just not gonna."
He wraps one of his own arms around Swivel's shoulder. Oh yeah, he can DO that now, being her height. "I hope nothing super nuts happens again for a while."
Now THAT'S the sound Swivel wants to hear. "Yeah, things've been nuts AND bolts... an' I'm done! I know war's pretty much gunna 'appen... I'd loik t'ave a moment ta cool m'engines 'fore 'eadin' inta full out war... coz i'dun matter if i choose a soid're not. It's gonna get touch'n'go." Swivel shakes her head. "So's why not live fer th'moment? I'm usually purdy good a'that." Swivel holds the door open for Backdrop to walk through. "So d'ya 'ave a place t'stay? If not, I kin show ya some 'ostels. Make sure ya subspace everythin' 'fore ya recharge there, though, an d'not iffin 'ave 'enthin' TOO valuable with ya iffin in subspace 'en ya do. That counts fer packages yer courin'."
"I have nothing in my subspace." Backdrop lets out a little sigh. "There wasn't exactly time to GET anything..." The whole lot of YX bots ran without looking back when they got the word, after all.
"A hostel? For some reason, that word doesn't sound very inviting. Like a hostile hotel." Still good ol' Spritz under there.
"Yeah, 'ostel. They're... uh... free place ta recharge. No questions asked. But they're upright, so's ya gotter stand while yer rechargin', an it gets cramped. Lotter empties use 'em and cheap transients. An', yeah, some petty crim'nals that 'ent known or wanted yet." Swivel shrugs. "But it's safer 'en bein' on ther street. There's a'ways summon 'round monitorin' folk, but iffin 'en, stuff kin get lifted. But choppin' parts or kidnappin' dun 'appen loik it would if ya jus' slept out in'ther open. An' there's also th'fact tha' some places are no-charge zones, ye kin get 'hauled in or fined fer loiterin' or parkin' in some places..." Swivel shrugs. "Most 'em are clearly marked... some... not."
A rather sour expression crosses Backdrop's face. First at the explanation of hostels and then at being fined for loitering on the street.
"...Okay. A hostel. Okay." He doesn't look very sure about it. "...I miss just resting with the others."
"Yeah... musta been noice t'just return ta wherever ya guys recharged, all 'uddled tagether, mebbe tak a bit 'n jus drift off knowin' yer more or less safe.... that's till the recall." Swivel also shows a very sour expression. "Yer life may notter been yer own, but people take care o their possessions while they kin function... as fer empties... they're unwanted. No one's 'sponsible fer 'em, so they're left ta rust 'n kill each other jus tryin' ta scrape a livin'. They dun work t'gether... so's they get used ta sleepin' alone... as well 'idden as possible... knowin' they might wake up missin parts or not wake up at all..." Swivel stretches her arms as she stands out in the street in front of the S.C.A. building. "It's kinner terrible t'think people'd tear each ohter apart rather 'n 'elp one 'nuther out, but... I kin unnerstand tha'. I lived loik tha, yanno, 'fore Steamcore started 'is private courier agency. Wot I kint unnerstand is ther cruelty of people 'o 'ave 'nuff ta live offa 'n still seem ta feel th'need ta lie, steal, cheat, kill, 'n oppress."
Backdrop frowns deeply, taking in the new information on how empties live. "I never really thought about the empties before. We just... Stayed away from them when we saw one. They ranked just a little above turbo rats on the 'danger-o-meter', but we didn't even see them that often..."
He looks around where they're walking a bit before continuing. "I feel like I should've dirtied myself a bit more before coming out here."
Despite the rather dour topic, Swivel grins. "But tha's why I got ya a job so fast. Bein' out in ther world an' not 'avin' shanix kin quickly get ya stuck in ther vicious cycle o' bein' an empty. Once ya get lookin' scrappy 'nuff, peeps fun wanner trust ya 'nuff t'iffin GIVE ya a job mos'ther time... so doors close, an yer left out on the street ter fend fer yerself 'gainst mechs tha'been fendin' fer 'emselves much longer." Swivel offers a carefree shrug. "But 'en there's people loik Steamcore 'oo, if ya kin do the work 'n stay honest, 'e dun care where yer from or wot ya've been doin'. So's there's 'ope s'long as there's folk willin' notter give up. So I'm countin' on ya t'take tha'ter yer core." Swivel thumps her chest with a fist, lifting up her chin and grinning. "Loif's 'ard, but not impossible. So 'en, shall I show ya to somer 'em hostels? Once ya get 'nuff, ye'kin prolly 'ford a small 'absuite somewhere. I came close ta bein' able ta'ford one once er twice, but usually somethin'd come up... so I sorter gave up on 'at an' jus got used ta living wi'out a proper residence." Swivel shrugs. "Technically, tha still classes me as an empty, but folk woona know it ta look a'me."
The idea of Swivel not having a place to live visibly takes Backdrop, well, aback. His optics widen. "You don't have a home?!"
He then pauses, a look of extreme concentration on his face. Ooh, he's thinking about big stuff. Such thinking. Very thought. "...We should get a place together. It'd be cheaper."
Crossing her arms over her chest, Swivel nods. "Yeah, it'd be cheaper, 'speshully if we take a single fer starters 'n jus' take turns usin' ther'charge berth. I know some 'oo do tha' coz 'em both work diff shifts. It'd jus' be a startin' place, o'course." The impropriety or possible awkwardness of this arrangement does not dawn on Swivel. Clearly, Blast Off has been neglecting her studies. "Yeah, I think we kin 'old down a 'absuite t'gether, Spri-er-Backdrop."
Backdrop lets out a grin as his plan is given an A-OK. "By the way, I was thinking about that. Is it not a normal thing for people to have nicknames?" He actually looks confused about it. "I mean, I was never registered with that name."
"Yeah, but I'm sure 'nuff folk 'eard me call ya that that 'ent in ther know, yanno? So's I just try'na get used ter yer new name so's I dun goof 'en it matters. Ya'l always be Spritz ta me, though," Swivel says with an endearingly cheesy grin. Not that Transformers have a concept of cheese. There is a moment where her expression flickers into a microexpression of agitation, but it makes a very quick recovery.
Swivel and Backdrop are standing just outside Steamcore's Courier Agency, which is on a street off of the min thuroughfare. Swivel is looking pretty good, having still not ruined the paint and polish job she got while in Iacon. However, the eyepatch is back for some reason.
Backdrop is looking just SLIGHTLY less shiny than Swivel is, though he's not any bit dinged up. Just a bit less-than-pristine. He's sticking near Swivel, making smalltalk as they head... Somewhere. They don't seem to be in any hurry to get there.
He grins right back at Swivel. "Yeah. I have to get used to the name, too. I picked it myself." He puffs up a bit in pride.
Arcee slows down as she approaches Steamcore's, and once she pulls over into the departure lane, she transforms and steps onto the pedestrian walk. "Hi!" she greets the pair, although most of her attention is on Swivel as she's the one Arcee recognizes. "Hey, didn't Triage give you a new optic? What happened?"
"Well I'm glad ya picked it yerself, 'coz tha's th'best kinner identity - one we carve fer ourselves, an' sumtimes, it starts with a name." Swivel pauses a moment. "Though... I think m'name kinner fits me 'coz I'm a bit wishy-washy. I dun stick t'one 'pinion very strongly, yanno? Or din't most m'loif. An' I kin do some AWESOME stuff in m'alt.... speakin' o' alts..." Swivel goes quiet momentarily as a pink car comes to a pause nearby. Once she sees for sure that it is Arcee, Swivel waves.
"Ullo thar Arcee... an' no, Triage dinna do th'operation. Pharma put in th'optic, Triage jus' did everythin' else... and... uh... well... uh... le's jus' say I'm jus' unlucky, yeah?" Swivel watches Arcee closely to see if the name Pharma gets any reaction from her at all.
As Arcee rolls up and transforms, Backdrop stops talking and starts to stare. He squints.
Oh, he remembers her from SOMEwhere, but can't quite place it. And she certainly isn't going to recognize him now; he hasn't had this body for very long.
He stands there, looking far too awkward. He does, however, give a little wave.
Either Arcee is a master at disguising her reactions, or she's never met Pharma before. She knows the name, but as providence would have it, she's never actually met him. "Oh. Well I thought he was someone with some reputation for being *good* or something, if you've already lost it then the install must not have been very good," she decides. "How disappointing! How many gigs do you need to do to save up for another one?" She gestures toward the courier agency, obviously asking how long Swivel would need to save up for a new one.
Oh, and she gives Backdrop a little wave, because he's such an adorable little racer!
"Eh..... well th'depends. It's... uh.... complicated and it 'ent coz Pharma was unskilled... eh..." Swivel looks suddenly VERy uncomfortable. Knowing that Arcee has some sort of connection to the law and/or government, although she doesn't know Arcee's official line of work, she doesn't know that accusing one of their medics as unethical on hear-say would be very wise. "T'optic works very well!" Swivel shrugs her shoulders, and then quickly changes the subject. "Oh yeah, uh, Arcee, this," she reaches over and grabs Backdrop by his upper arms and steers him in front of Arcee, "...is Backdrop, a new courier. E's jus' waitin' on gettin' registered with ol' Steamcore. Backdrop, that's Arcee. She's.... uh... yeah I dunno wot ya do."
A bemused smile crosses Backdrop's face at the admittance that Swivel had no idea what Arcee does. He waves again, smiling wider. "Hi. Nice to meet you." His voice might sound familiar; it hasn't changed one bit. "What DO you do, if I may ask?" SO POLITE.
"Err...okay," Arcee looks mildly confused as Swivel mentions the optic works very well, but she still wears a patch. Odd!
As Swivel introduces Backdrop, she smiles and greets. "Nice to meet you, Backdrop...I do 'field work'. Ops." Sounds vague enough.
Up in the sky, the roar of engines can be heard as a pair of seekers, one black and one blue fly in tight formation into the area. They are moving 'slowly' however like a couple of jets chilling on patrol. A glint of pink attracts their attention like birds drawn to a shiny object. The jets starts diving down towards the sidewalk across the street. "Won't Starscream get in trouble for this after Megatron's last edict?" Skywarp transforms and lands on the sidewalk totally oblivious to pedestrian peasants.
Thundercracker follows his brother down and lands next to him in root mode. "Do we care?" he says as he looks toward the pink femme, "See told you it was a femme. I think thats the one hes sweet on. Lets check her out." he starts across the street uncaring if hes in the way of anything or not.
Offering up a shrug, a sigh, and a nervous grin, Swivel just continues on to say, "Wellum... tha's... noice?" Swivel doesn't want to ask for her to be more specific, but she also doesn't know how to react on such vague information. "Prolly keeps ya noice an' busy." Actually, the femme has never seen the femme working - AS FAR AS SHE KNOWS - but it's the most even this chatterbox of a femme can manage as far as small talk goes. Just so long as her optic drops out of the conversation, she's happy.
And... then roaring. Swivel glances up quickly, seeing two seekers. The colours suggest one of them might be Thundercracker, whom she esteems highly, but the other is an unknown. So the femme doesn't exactly clasp her hands together by her cheek, lift up one foot and sigh girlishly. She just stands there flicking her optics as the one she doesn't know lands on the sidewalk nearby. Swivel had been standing under an overhang, with Backdrop in front of her, and Arcee, obviously, in plain sight.
Swivel glances at Backdrop, wondering how he'll react. After all, he IS of a somewhat anxious disposition.
A smile is sent to Arcee at her very vague mention of occupation. Backdrop doesn't ask questions. "Work is work."
Then, SEEKERS show up. He turns to stare -- like everyone else on the street, probably -- and openly gapes. What were seekers doing in Nyon?
He doesn't seem particularly nervous. Yet. More confused than anything.
Skywarp chuckles at the thought of Starscream in trouble or some sick burn he could pull on the guy. Better to keep some of that witty ammo for the right moment. Theblack seeker follows Thundercracker across the street making some rude gesture at someone who honked.
Arcee turns to look in the direction Swivel's looking, and she sighs miserably. "Crap, they're up to no good, I can tell already," she mutters. "Just...let's see what they want. I have a feeling all they want is to give grief to me specifically. In which case, I'll just distract them for a bit and you can both go on your way."
Thundercracker glances back at the vehicle that honked and flicks a wing. Then he looks back and suddenly sees Swivel, "Hey, Swiv." He rumbles with a smile. "You got that optic covered up?" he looks over at Arcee, "So are you the one that Starscream like this week?"
Skywarp lets TC do the talking for now but there is that mischievous smile on his face and yet...no stairs in sight. Something is up! "What? Starscream is on a weekly basis now? Must be his idea of 'going steady'."
Arcee frowns in annoyance. "My personal life /isn't/ up for discussion," she huffs, folding her arms across her chestplate. "I'm not going to confirm or deny /anything/."
Thundercracker? Give someone grief. Swivel knows nothing about the other mech, but she'd find it hard to believe the o-so-valiant Thundercracker would stoop to petty mischief. But then, lately, Swivel's been finding just about everyone is duplicitous in some capacity or another. Swivel idly glances at Arcee, wondering if all of her kindness and sweetness is also an act. OH NO!
Swivel has learned the skeptic's analysis skill!
Swivel's attention is brought back to Thundercracker, nodding her head. She has a heavy lead pacth over her optic, so Thundercracker can rest assured that even if there were X-rays shooting out of her optic she was unaware of, they'd be blocked. She just sort of nods with a half smile, and half of a bemused expression, but doesn't say anything. Her gaze shifts over to Skywarp instead, watching him VERY closely... like how a stray cat might watch a toddler.
Idly, Swivel is a bit glad that Starscream pretty much stopped with the outright flirting REALLY quickly. She'd not want to be picked on because of HIS attentions. But it doesn't seem fair that they are giving Arcee trouble. "Oy, if it moves, it's fair game fer yer fella Starscream, innit? Not 'er fault e's incorrigible." No, that's Pharma.
Backdrop takes a few steps back and away from the seekers as they approach. Oh, now he's getting skittish. He still doesn't say anything.
He goes back far enough to lean against a nearby wall. Just... Looking casual. Yeah. So casual. Folding his arms in a super casual way. Totally unimportant bot here, yes siree.
....An unimportant bot who is white, blue and fuschia with flame decals.
Thundercracker laughs at Arcees comment, "Ok ok so then I guess you are going with him!" he glances at Skywarp and then notices the way Swivel is looking at the Black Seeker. "Hes my brother." he says to Swivel. And now, sure hes up to no good right now but every time hes looked or spoken to Swivel hes demeaner changes. Shes his friend and that makes all the difference.
Skywarp waves at Swivel "Yeah I am the funny one. Thundercracker is the hard-working one. Starscream is...well he is Starscream." The seeker chuckles at Arcee's response "Ooohh I will take that as a 'Yes'." He checks out Arcee "Were you injured recently? I do not see your wings."
Arcee frowns at the pair of Seekers, and yet, she stands there in a rather bold fashion, intentionally imposing herself between Backdrop & Swivel and these two ne'er-do-wells from Vos. "No, I don't *have* wings, I have a vehicular mode," she explains. "-- Not like it's any of your business anyhow!" she adds in growing irritation.
Thundercracker takes a step suddenly as if Arcee just said she had lepronanites. His wings fold back. "A groundpounder." he looks at Skywarp, "What? Why?"
Skywarp is taken aback by Arcee's response and tone almost like feinged shock. He glances at TC with a puzzled look on his face and without actually speaking, his mouth says "Non-flyer?" Then back to Arcee "That's...That's great. For you."
"I don't care if you don't like my alt-mode. I don't care if it offends you that I can't fly. Matter of fact? I. DON'T. CARE. So why don't you go <CENSORED> off??" Yeah, Arcee said it. Maybe that's why Starscream likes her, she's got a really nasty temper.
Oooooh.... Swivel looks momentarily uncertain when Skywarp is introduced as Thundercracker's brother. That means she has to be nice to him, right? Or not? Swivel isn't sure. The femme falters, but then steps out from Arcee's 'protection' to stand on her own. Two femmes will surely distractthem even more from Backdrop. Although, Swivel is considerably smaller than Arcee. well, her body is, but her tires are probably larger thn Arcee's tires. Those are some BIG wheels. Although she's very confused... because SHE is a groundpounder and Thundercracker doesn't treat HER like a disease. So much confusion. Still, Swivel stands there trying to look bold... or something. Okay, she sort of fails. She's just too small and too cute. "Well... this IS Nyon.... kinner lotter groundpounders 'ere," Swivel adds in a very matter-of-fact voice. Her body language says 'I'm small but trying to act tough' but her tone of voice says 'I don't understand what the problem is? What's going on?'
Swivel looks momentarily horrified when the pink femme uses a bad word! Actually, she hears that word all of the time, half of the time directed at her. But Arcee seemed.... not that type of femme. See? SEE? No one is what they seem!
Arcee's swearing not only has the seekers taken off guard, but Backdrop seems shocked, as well. From a short distance away, still folding his arms and leaning against a wall, the tiny racer openly gapes at the pink femme.
Swearing! At a flier! They've GOT to be part of a higher caste! And it's... It's darn rude, is what it was. Such uncouth behavior! Gasp!
Thundercracker blinks. He just got sweared at. Hes a Seeker, they are all that and, well all that. They arent suppose to be sworn at. He looks at Skywarp, "Pink, no wings and she jut cussed at me." he snaps a look back at Arcee, "You talk to Starscream like that? Do you? I dare you to."
"I once threw a drink at Starscream. He just seemed amused... I think? I was kinner drunk so's I dun 'member that well," Swivel peeps unwisely.
Skywarp nods "She does have an attitude. Wonder how long he will put up with that? Or maybe he will just do like with the last one. Close his optics and think of the next one." At this point Skywarp slowly and subtly starts to back off ever so slightly out of reach of a potential slap and getting ready to depart because he's got places to be and people to REALLY annoy.
Arcee looks a little bit like she *did* have some regret about getting that mad, but shrugs it off as she can't really take it back now. She's just going to have to deal with it. "Well you're his brothers, you should have all the answers, no reason you should be asking me about any of it," she says, still looking perturbed. She knows a number of things to be true: She can't outrun these guys. She can't outGUN these guys. Also, she has a big mouth when she gets mad, apparently. "You know, Swivel, he probably just liked it because he managed to rile you up, and that's pretty much his goal."
There is a long pause in which Swivel thinks for a moment. "Oh.... so I played roight inter 'is 'ands." She tilts her head to one side. And then the other. This repeats a few times as she has a thinking expression on her face. "Oh well, na gunner beat m'self up o'er it. I 'en dun ever claimed t'be a wit, so bein' outwitted 'ent new," Swivel says, adding a self deprecating laugh to the end. Swivel then steps back, realising it's best not to really get involved any further. After all... despite Skywarp edging away, violence COULD ensue. She does know the arrogance of fliers and their tempers. And again, other than being 'the funny brother' she knows nothing about Skywarp. And quite frankly... she has no place in any of Thundercracker's or Arcee's squabbles.
"Dont cut yourself down like that, Swiv." Thundercracker says and then notices Skywarp backing up. "You cant be scared of this pink femme are you? I mean shes.... pink -- a lot of pink. How can you be afraid of that?"
Arcee seems slightly confused as Swivel and Thundercracker seem to be at least familiar with one another. "...Look, all I'm saying is...I'm NOT going to talk about what you want me to talk about. Period," she tells Thundercracker stubbornly.
Skywarp chuckles "Naw but there is a reason why I am good at what I do. Always have to stay one step ahead of the game brother. This was educational but I need to jet and fly off on important business from on high." Skywarp waves nonchalantly and starts hovering before transforming and heading out "Tell me how it end brother."
Thundercracker watches his bro take off, "You got it." he says and then looks back at Arcee, "Ok then so you wont talk. That tells me you two are an item." he shutters a wings slightly, "But youre a ground pounder. Maybe its the pink." he looks at Swivel, "You need anything? Im trying to workon that optic problem." now that hes alone hes not so big and puffy to annoy the pink femme. Imagine that.
Arcee mutters in annoyance, and...simmers awhile, heading over to stand by Backdrop so she doesn't drop any more f-bombs while Swivel and TC are in the midst of civil conversation.
Yeah. Swivel is also confused about this whole Thundercracker is mean to ground-alts but not to her thing. However, she does seem to visibly relax more when Skywarp is gone. She even exvents a long sigh. She elects not to say her first impression of Skywarp. It's just not cool to diss a friend's brother, and she isn't really in the habit of bad-mouthing fliers to begin with. Except maybe Starscream, and only because it seems absolutely acceptable to most people. "I've been thinkin' o trackin' down a mech named Wheeljack t'take a look-see. If 'e dun 'ave the tech ta do somethin'... well I've seen 'im make somethin' out of almost nuthin', yanno?" Swivel reaches up and rubs the back of her neck. "B'yond tha'... there's another I was meanin' ta track down but I dun iffin know 'er name... but I know 'oo t'ask ta get that info. An' I'm sorry if I put you or Starscream at any risk. I try t'be cautious, but, yanno, it 'ent easy 'en everythin's... well a mess."
Now, how could Swivel put any seeker at risk? Especially that Starscream, or as Backdrop knows him, Starsky guy? Yeah. Big dislikes all around.
Backdrop looks to Arcee as she walks over. He gives a small nod of greeting and then glances to Swivel and Thundercracker.
"So..." His voice is a hushed whisper. "...Do you have any idea what's going on with those two? Because I have no idea what's going on."
Thundercracker listens to Swivel then says, "Be careful asking around on who can get that optic removed and replaced. Maybe that Wheeljack mech can help you. His name sounds familar." he glances toward Arcee and the other mech standing nearby whos been pretty quiet. But then he gets ready to leave. "Tae care of yourself, Swiv. You know how to get a hold of me if you need, dont you?"
"Actually.... I don't. Usually I jus 'ang 'round Vos or Kaon 'opn ta bump inta ya," Swiovel says, adding a small giggle afterwards. "But I'll be extra careful 'bout the optic prollem." She then nods. "I'll take care... Thundercracker." Did her optic glimmer a bit? They may have.
Arcee murmurs quietly to Backdrop, "No idea. Sorry, uh, for the...I got kind of annoyed back there," she apologizes.
Thundercracker reaches into a small compartment and pulls out a small datastick. "Here its got my contact info on it." once its in her hand he turns to leave. "See you around, Swiv." and he leaps up, transforms and jets out in a different direction then what Skywarp took off in.
Dear ol' ex-Spritz is still leaning against the wall. He looks at Swivel as Thundercracker takes off, looking a bit... Affronted?
"So, uhm... Who were those two, exactly?" YES, SWIVEL.
That datastick doesn't stay in her hand long before it is wisked safely into subspace. Now, perhaps your average femme would get embarrassed or flustered the moment certain mech friends ask about OTHER mech friends, but the thought doesn't cross her mind. She turns back to Arcee and Backdrop after Thundercracker is gone, smiling. "Wellum, ne'er met th'one b'fore. E' seemed loik a roight gob. But th'other was Thundercracker. E's 'elped me outter a few pinches b'fore," she explains unabashed and completely unrepentent. She tilts her head and looks at Arcee. "I's never seen 'im be tha'mean b'fore. Not sure if I otter be 'pologisin' on 'is account or not."
"Well, /you/ didn't do anything," Arcee notes to Swivel. "Really, this is all just...fallout from...the problems I'm in right now. Sorry you had to hear my bad mouth. It comes out at the worst of times," she says, as she watches Thundercracker fly off. "I think they're just heckling me because I'm in a bind, and they KNOW I'm in a bind. But it's certainly not anything you or Backdrop have to worry about."
"A bind?" Backdrop blinks in surprise. "Is... Is it something we can ask about? If not, it's okay." He really has no idea how normal people behave, apparently. But he's trying to be polite, so that's something. "At least those two fliers are gone, now." He's still kind of frowning at Swivel, though.
Swivel seems a bit oblivious to the frown right now. Earlier she was hawk-eyeing all of the frowning, but now she's rather focused on Arcee with a sympathetic look. "Starscream 'as sumtin' on ya, dun 'e?" Swivel asks rather boldly. "Tha's why ya were givin' me all th'advice 'bout stayin' way from 'im coz ya din want me ta be in yer situation. Am I roight?"
Swivel THEN looks at Backdrop and gives hims a smile of approval for his politeness and sensitivity on the matter.
"I don't think there's really much to be done at this point, I have...well, I admitted everything that was happening to my CO, and he's going to be assisting me with this problem," Arcee explains to Backdrop. "Since it has the potential to become *very* dangerous, I wouldn't want to allow anyone to take that risk."
She nods sad affirmation to Swivel. "It...it started harmless enough, but now I'm backed into a corner of sorts, and...it's a very dangerous position to be in. I know things he wants to know, you see. So he uses his...wiles...as leverage. I'm embarassed to admit that it worked."
Poor Backdrop. He looks so confused. "Wiles?" He looks like he isn't sure what the word actually means. "What, as in... Flirting? Mech flirting?"
Listening quite intently, Swivel nods. She really doesn't understand the full of it. The femme doesn't really know what happens after the flirting actually WORKS. Well, she does, and she doesn't. She knows from a textbook point of view - an entry in a database - something briefly mentioned in PPS. But as for the social or emotional rammifications, the femme is rather clueless. All she knows is that she was advised not to /do/ those things until she had a few centuries of experience on her. Or really get involved in anything leading up to it. But she does know Arcee is embarrassed and uncomfortable so it's a bad thing. And apparently, wiles or flirting or whatever is an effective information gathering tool.
"Well we won't pry.... we gots 'nuff troubles of our own, an ya said yer Co was 'elpin' ya with it. But.... I kin least say I 'ope it turns out fer ya." She then looks at Backdrop. "Yeah, I think she means flirtin'. Dunno much 'bout flirtin m'self, though I been accused o' it."
"Yes, yes, exactly, flirting! Emotional manipulation," Arcee explains. "It's not always a bad thing, in fact, it's fairly harmless a lot of times. Just go out to The Circle in Ibex and mingle, flirting is a simple way to meet mechs, add them to your network of contacts. It comes in handy," she says. "But that's only when the skill is used for /good/. In the wrong hands, in the hands of someone who is kind of a creep...it's hurtful, and it can even be harmful or dangerous. Look, I'll admit it, I'm...sort of a newspark. Not new like Hot Rod-new, but I'm still young and learning these things. I didn't really comprehend how dangerous Starscream actually is, not until I was good and trapped. Now, there isn't an easy way out of the mess I'm in."
Backdrop stands there, looking far too confused than he probably should. Sewer bots probably didn't deal with a great deal of flirting, or if they did, it was only between themselves. Between people they trusted.
"...I guess I'm sort of a newspark, too." It seems to pain him to say it. "I have no idea how this all works."
"Well.... eh.... yeah, I 'ear 'e does that," Swivel says. "But I learned 'e gets real riled up if ya mention Pharma. Fact, if ya say Pharma did some work on ya, I'll bet e'll avoid you. Sure worked for me," Swivel says with an almost devious grin. Then she thinks for a moment. "Or 'e mighty shoot you. I dunno." Swivel shrugs her shoulders.
After a moment or two Swivel smiles. "Eh, I'm only a few centuries, so's I 'ent no antique either. An speakin' of... actually this got nuthin' ta do with wot we're speakin' of, but I gotter jet. Jus' gotter radio from a co-worker tha'needs ta do a pass, fer reasons. 'N I kint take ya on this one, Backdrop, it's 'bove yer clearance." Swivel smiles again. But, 'ere, it's a bit premature, but 'eres the courier band. Well, it ent jus' couriers. Transports all over Cybertron use it too..." Swivel hands a slab with some numbers on it to Backdrop.
Backdrop takes the radio frequency with only slight surprise. "Have fun, Swivel." He smiles, apparently finding his send-off amusing in some manner. "Yeah, I, uhm... I'll be fine." That pitched only a little.
Slowly, he looks to Arcee. "Don't suppose you know of any decent hostels?" A nervous grin.
"Well...okay, there's a lot of different levels to it," Arcee explains to Backdrop. "On the most basic level -- and this is something I learned when I worked as a Senate Aide -- it's as harmless as building your contacts." She faces Backdrop, smiling warmly and shaking his hand. "Hi, I'm in such-and-such department, which city-state do you hail from? -- Thats sort of thing. So you establish recognition and rapport. And voila, you have a contact in a new location. Flirting? Maybe not romantic flirting on that level, but as you can see, it's harmless emotional manipulation, friendly, and it serves an important purpose."
"So. Something about Pharma makes Starscream kind of angry? Interesting piece of information there, Swivel. Perhaps good to know. I'll keep it in mind." Arcee waves as Swivel prepares to depart, and she looks pleased that she finally has some kind of leverage she can use against the manipulation master.
"Yeah, but ya DINNA 'EAR IT FROM ME! I dun need 'im bowin' me up or drainin' me spark or sumtin," Swivel says to Arcee while she is walking into the street. "An there's a Hostel called.... well forgot wot it's clled, but two streets down tha'way," she says, pointing in some direction, "an it's got a sorter yellowish sign." Yup, she says this right after she transforms. Finally, the femme is off.