Title: Just Have a Few Questions

PCs: Whirl, Arcee, Blast Off, Swift Blade

Location: Nyon

Date: 25 December 2014

Summary: Whirl and Blast Off have one thing in common: a desire to know what happened to Shiftlock, and they think Arcee might have the answers. Swift Blade walks in at an... awkward moment.

Blast Off is still in Nyon. The shuttleformer recently discovered that Shiftlock had been captured by Blurr and sent Primus knows where. This was followed by a fight with Blurr that resulted in heavy damage to the Combaticon but not much to show for it. Then on his way to try and find repairs, he met the Insecticon Queen Scorn once again. He declined Scorn's offer to accompany her and receive medical aid in her headquarters, but he did accept a high quality energon cube. He needed it- as he walked towards Hot Rod's cargo unloading area seeking help, he finally lost enough energon to HAVE to drink it simply to replenish his supply.

The shuttle finally made it to relative safety and a repair kit. Now he sits near the loading bay and patches himself up. It's not perfect, but it'll get him home.

Arcee enters from Iacon.

Whirl is still in Nyon because he literally has no where else to go. He has no home, no job, no money, and no friends so yeah.. staying in Nyon is his best bet. Staying here with Hot Rod's rebel group has so far proven to be slightly more difficult to manage than Whirl originally though, the once independent cyclops who worked on his own schedule now expected to pitch in and help whenever he could. Today his task is to take inventory of all deliveries that they recieve and so Whirl finds himself entering the loading bay with a datapad in hand, reluctantly checking every parcel and crate for inconsistencies. A boring day, right? Well, it was until he noticed a certain mech.

"Well well well.." the cyclops starts, approaching Blast Off from behind. "Didn't think I would be seeing you again so soon. You just couldn't stay away from me, eh? I understand."

The shuttle finally made it to relative safety and a repair kit. Now he sits near the loading bay and patches himself up. It's not perfect, but it'll get him home.

Arcee is currently in her vehicular mode, heading westward toward Altihex. She's decided to take a detour through Nyon rather than her typical route, because she wants to see if Hot Rod is around. So far, she hasn't had much luck in locating him.

Blast Off slows to a stop as he hears that voice addressing him. The shuttleformer looks up, then turns his head around to give the other mech one of his standard mildly annoyed stares. He doesn't give a lot away, though there is a quick glance towards those claws before he blinks and starts going back to work on his patch job. "...Very funny. I have simply had some... unexpected circumstances arise. Once I attend to this, I shall be on my way."

He's managed to patch up some of the damage, but it's obvious he was in a fight recently- a fight he doesn't seem to have come out on top from. The huge harpoon gash in his back and the dried, splattered energon attests to it.

If Whirl took notice of the little glance Blast Off gave his claws he doesn't acknowledge it in anyway whatsoever. He gives the Combaticon a shrug and a sigh. "It's not like I'm saying you need to get out of here or anything." He thought he made it pretty clear the last time they met that he enjoyed his company even if it was in an inappropriate way. "But if that's what you want to do, don't let me stop you."

Whirl takes a seat beside Blast Off, flopping down onto his robobutt with a grunt. He puts his datapad aside and reaches into a compartment under his canopy kibble, revealing a small flask no doubt filled with some crazy potent energon. A set of claws is outstretched to the other mech, offering the flask to him. "You could use it, looks like you ran into some trouble again. Tell me, is that an everyday occurance for you or have you just had a stretch of crap luck?"

Arcee picks up a familiar signal on her scanners as she moves through the area -- and what a surprise, Blast Off's out here. She isn't quite sure exactly where, but she finds it ironic that he's out in the free world once again. She decides, out of curiosity, to see what he's doing here in Nyon, so she begins following his signal.

Blast Off stops to stare again as Whirl plops down beside him. He instinctively leans away, protective of his personal space, as always. But it's a bit hard to really move away without messing up the repairs he's in the middle of doing, so he remains for now. He watches Whirl through the side of his optics, however.

Whirl's comments cause him to glance at the other mech again, not sure what to say. Spotting the flask, he just sort of... looks at it. Part of him is tempted to take it; the other part tells him to beware of anything this guy is likely to drink. He sighs at the end. "I just... well, things have gotten... *complicated*, that's all. And yes, I suppose..." He looks at some of the dents in his armor. "...I've had some bad luck. I've had some good luck, too. Things could have been... much worse. But..." He thinks of the prison break, and then thinks of his poor performance in battle lately- including with Whirl: "I need a better weapon. I lost mine, and.... like I said earlier, it's just not... shot well." It's the weapon's fault, not his! He remains unaware of Arcee for now.

Arcee drives into the nearest alleyway to the ever-strengthening signal, and cuts her lights, engine idling as soft as possible as she edges ever-closer with the eternal patience that a mech like Blurr could never manage. Once she's close enough to hear a conversation, she transforms and remains up against the wall, tuning her audials in to the familiar voice, and the unfamiliar one.

Whirl shrugs when Blast Off refuses his OH SO GENEROUS OFFER. Seriously, there weren't even any drugs in it, he was legit trying to be a nice person. Ah well. He tucks the flask away for another time. Besides, it's not like he can just drink it himself. No no, see, drinking is now a whole process thanks to his empurata. It's not a matter of just knocking it back and taking a gulp, you can't do that without a mouth, it's a big thing involving tubes and ports directly into an energon line and, well, it's just tedious and complicated basically.

"Yeah, it could be the gun. Or it could be you," he says matter-of-factly, making no effort to spare Blast Off's feelings. He leans back to stare at the wound upon the shuttle's back and he can't resist reaching out and juuust barely touching it with the tips of his claws. "Looks like you took a nasty hit from behind, doesn't look like gunfire though. Care to tell the story or should I just make one up for you?"

As for Arcee, Whirl is oblivious to her impending arrival or her existence, really.

Blast Off is kind of sorry to see the engex go, but says nothing. If he thought about it, yeah, he might feel for the other mech a bit. Life without engex... or at least being able to enjoy it like most people do- would make him even more miserable. For now, though, even that's a bit messed up for him, though, given his sudden aversion to his favorite engex, wine. You can thank Arcee and Feint for that, though. Good thing neither of them are around, huh?

Whirl's comment on his marksmanship gets a glower, but he knows Whirl's right. But before he can say anything, the other mech actually reaches out and ever-so-slightly *touches* him! That causes the standoffish shuttle to jerk back immediately, huffing as a piece of armor goes clattering to the ground. "Do you *mind*?!" He reaches down to pick up the piece, when another that was loosely in place falls at *that* movement. His engines growl just slightly as he looks back at Whirl. ".... I simply had an encounter with... someone. It's nothing. It's..." Then he blinks. Would Whirl know anything? Whirl knows Shiftlock (*shudder*)... which means Whirl *might* have heard or seen something. His optic ridges furrow down. "....What do you know of Blurr? Have you heard anything about him recently? Here, I mean?"

Arcee continues to listen intently, remaining right where she is. (Hm, he's injured. And he's not with his 'friends' from Kaon. Wonder what happened there. And who's his 'new' friend?) She's curious, but she's no Jazz or Mirage. She's too close to risk a peek, so all she knows about Whirl is what he sounds like when he speaks.

Ha ha, yesss, that was the jumpy, stand-offish mech Whirl wanted to see. Blast Off is so much more fun to be around when he can tease him and get him angry and flustered. He takes notice of the piece of armor that falls off the mech and clatters to the floor, Whirl casually taking it up in his claws. The cyclops listens to what the other mech has to say, but as he does so he starts to drag his second pair of claws across the scrap of armor he's holding, the sound of it best likened to that of nails on a chalkboard. Oh yeah, he also makes sure to do this directly in Blast Off's field of vision, as if silently threatening to do the same to the armor still anchored to his body.

"Hmmmmm? Blurr?" Whirl thinks for a moment. "I have no idea who that is." It's true, Whirl barely knows what's going on in his immediate vicinity, how the hell would he know people like Blurr? "Why? Jilted ex-lover of yours or something? Perhaps an assassin?"

Blast Off blinks as Whirl picks up the armor and starts making that Primus-awful racket with it. The shuttle winces slightly at the noise, and at some unease at possible other *implied* things. It makes him scoot a little further away. But he *needs* that armor piece, so then he starts reaching towards it. "Give-give me that!" The rest has the shuttle huffing once more. "Ex-WHAT?! Of course not, he's..." The Combaticon looks arou8ndas if trying to find just *what* to call that annoyance. "Well... assassin gets closer to it. More like *spy*. And slagger, and a few other names I'm too civilized to mention..." He grumbles.

Then he focuses once more, unaware at the moment he's being spied on right now. "Alright. You know Shiftlock, correct? If something happened to her, you'd at least care, right?"

Arcee ponders as she eavesdrops. This wasn't really what she was expecting out of a detour to Nyon; however, it could prove to be many times more valuable than her original intentions. (Wow, who's this crazy mech he's managed to find?) she thinks with some amusement. (Seems the crazies flock to Blast Off like a magnet to metal. He just draws them right in.) She refocuses on the conversation. (...Wait, he's looking for Shiftlock, now? He's lost track of her? That means he's no longer in touch with his Kaon contacts, for whatever reason. Interesting.)

Whirl can't help but laugh out loud at Blast Off's reaction at the implication that an ex-boyfriend of his is the root of his misfortune. He laughs even harder when the shuttle tries to swipe his chunk o' armor back from him, the cyclops stretching his arm as high as possibly to keep it out of reach. Whirl is having such a great time right now, he's glad that this crappy day is starting to get better. That is, until Blast Off mentions Shiftlock.

It was like someone inside of Whirl's head snapped their fingers and completely changed his mood. The mech who was just laughing uproariously at the other mech's plight suddenly becomes sullen and serious. "What happened to Shiftlock?" he asks, voice quiet. He then drops the plate of armor he was holding and wraps his claws around Blast Off's shoulders, not giving a damn about his personal space or his hang-ups regarding it.

"What happened to Shiftlock!?"

Blast Off huffs again angrily, still trying to reach for the armor plate.... when Whirl's mood changes and suddenly the bigger mech's got his claws on Blast Off's shoulders. The shuttle freezes at the sudden intrusion, then tries pulling away. "Get off!" He stares at the cyclops, blinks once more, then continues, "Blurr *arrested* her! About one and a half cycles ago. THAT is why I was fighting him...I was trying to find out where he TOOK her. I take it you haven't heard anything, then?" He starts trying to pull away again.

Arcee startles in surprise, as it sounds like the conversation has taken a turn toward becoming a physical altercation. But now, she's figuring out why Blast Off is suddenly without his support network, forced to commiserate with weird strangers...Nope, she doesn't feel sorry for him. Had he followed the rules, he wouldn't be in trouble. Right? He's really brought this upon himself. There's no use in feeling sorry for him.

There is so much going through Whirl's mind right now. Fear, at Shiftlock being arrested and hauled off to Primus knows where. A slight tinge of embarassment at his feelings for the aforementioned femme (if it weren't for his attachment to her, he wouldn't be feeling the way he does now.) There's also guilt, because maybe if he had kept a closer eye on her she would've been okay. Oh, yeah, there is also shame. Deep, deep shame. The very last interaction he had with her before she was arrested was him stabbing her in the gut, so there is A LOT of remorse about that right now. As these emotions swim through his head, Whirl keeps his grip on Blast Off's shoulders, trembling claws threatening to slip and sink deep into the recesses of the other mech's armor.

After what is surely an uncomfortably lengthy amount of time, Whirl finally releases the Combaticon and lets his arms drop to his side. "No, I.. He buries what passes for his face in what passes for his hands, body shaking as he tries to come to terms with this new information. I had no idea. This is the first Im hearing of it..

Blast Off starts gritting the dentae underneath that faceplate as Whirl's claws sink in further. But /just/ as it's starting to hurt and he's thinking of pulling out his blaster, he's suddenly released. The Combaticon wastes no time leaping away, getting some space between him and Whirl before he stops to rub at his shoulders and glare. But Whirl's reaction at least demonstrates that he probably *hasn't* heard anything, and might even be an ally in finding out more information later.

Letting out a huff as he releases some stress, he says, "Well... I just learned myself. And I *know* what she faces. I was *there*." In his desire to gain an ally, he finally mentions what happened to him- sort of. "I...I was held prisoner recently, until the Decepticons broke me out. And the government was after me, just as they are... were after her. I *know* the kind of mechs they're going to send in to interrogate her, and the... the *things* they might do. We HAVE to find out where she is. And then we have to *do something about it*."

Arcee's thought processes are firing rapidly, as she puts the missing pieces of information together and finally sees the complete picture. Was Shiftlock being held in Kolkular, she wonders? Not every prisoner ended up there, only the 'special' ones. (Doing something about it, Blast Off?) she wonders to herself. (Going to try and break into the same place you just got broken out of? Yeah, that's going to work really well...)

Blast Off should consider himself fortunate that Whirl kinda likes him or else he wouldnt have shoulders left to rub. Whirl keeps his gaze averted, staring at the ground like he just saw something super interesting there that he has to look at really hard. So even though it may look like hes ignoring Blast Off and just staring at nothing like a creep (which, lets be honest, is a thing he does) hes actually listening as best as he can with all these terrible feelings clouding his focus.

Im sorry you had to experience that, the cyclops says, finally lifting his head and staring intensely at the Combaticon. I know what its like to have the government put the boot to your neck, to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up if not completely fabricated charges. He looks at his claws for a moment. ...Or not so trumped-up or fabricated charges..

Whirl starts closing the gap between him and Blast Off with a few steps. Oh, dont worry. Were going to do something about it, alright. Were going to find out where she is and break her out, even if we have to cut down and slaughter every single person there in the process.

Blast Off should consider himself fortunate that Whirl kinda likes him or else he wouldnt have shoulders left to rub. Whirl keeps his gaze averted, staring at the ground like he just saw something super interesting there that he has to look at really hard. So even though it may look like hes ignoring Blast Off and just staring at nothing like a creep (which, lets be honest, is a thing he does) hes actually listening as best as he can with all these terrible feelings clouding his focus.

"Im sorry you had to experience that," the cyclops says, finally lifting his head and staring intensely at the Combaticon. "I know what its like to have the government put the boot to your neck, to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up if not completely fabricated charges. He looks at his claws for a moment. "...Or not so trumped-up or fabricated charges.."

Whirl starts closing the gap between him and Blast Off with a few steps. Oh, dont worry. Were going to do something about it, alright. Were going to find out where she is and break her out, even if we have to cut down and slaughter every single person there in the process."

Blast Off looks at Whirl and his claws, and.... well, Whirl still freaks him the slag out, but.... he can at least understand that the mech has his reasons for feeling angry and disconnected. "Yes. They seem to make a habit of it. If you don't toe the line, their line, you are... put away. Or... altered until they find you more... pleasing."

As Whirl strides over, the Combaticon once more starts stepping backwards on instinct. He raises a hand. "Well... yes, but... calm yourself. We have to *think* this out. We must research this. I don't even know *where* she is- she could be in Kolkular, where *I* was, or perhaps some other location. But we must approach this intellgently. I just got OUT of prison, I sure as slg do not wish to find myself back IN it. Except to break her out."

He stops, and suddenly looks around. They are discussing rather... sensitive things, and given HIS luck lately, Primus knows someone like Blurr is probably listening in on them right now. He starts running a brief scan nearby, just in case.

Arcee isn't watching Blast Off and Whirl, because if she peeks around to see them, then they'll see *her*. So she's just listening to their conversation. This seems to be working just fine for her, until she suddenly realizes that they seem to have stopped talking. She stands there for a moment, trying to surmise what this could possibly mean.

Whirl continues to advance upon Blast Offs position despite his very obvious attempts to out more space between them. "Calm myself!? How the HELL do you expect me to be calm!?" Oh nooo, Whirls psychological instability is showing. "I am LITERALLY incapable of being calm right now! Do you know what happened the last time I saw her? I stabbed her. I stabbed her good and I stabbed her hard. Now shes in jail and, what? You and I are the ONLY ones who know about it!?"

"DAMNIT!" Whirl picks up his datapad and throws it as hard as he can, smashing it into a million pieces. "WHY THE HELL ISN'T HOT ROD DOING ANYTHING? I THOUGHT THIS WAS HIS OPERATION!"

Blast Off's scans are interrupted momentarily as Whirl keeps advancing on him, and the shuttleformer continues backing away. He's beginning to wodner if this was a good idea, after all. He winces as the datapad gets hurled away and smashed. However, his backwards movements are taking him closer to where Arcee is. And he's heading towards that corner. He falters a moment as Whirl mentions stabbing Shiftlock, though. "You....*what?!" His optics narrow. Ye-ahhh, apparently this WASN'T a great idea. "What do you mean you stabbed her? I thought you..." This is hard for him to say, "...LIKED her?"

Then he takes another step back as Whirl keeps advancing. "I DON'T KNOW. I want to FIND him, find out if he KNOWS anything, alright? But smashing things is NOT going to help us. Save that for the prison guards!" His hand tenses, as if he's debating whether he should pull out his gun.

Whoah, those voices sound like they're getting close! Too close for Arcee's comfort, that's for sure. Quickly, she bolts back down the alleyway and transforms, accelerating down the alley while the argument between the two mechs is taking place. She has no idea who Whirl is, but his distraction might have just saved her chassis.

Whirl is probably going to get lectured about breaking things that aren't his but he is pretty distraught right now and things like 'consequences' don't exist right now. "OF COURSE I LIKE HER!" he snaps, as if insulted that Blast Off even had to ask. "It's COMPLICATED, okay!? I didn't want to do it but she asked and WHY does that matter ANYWAY?"

Whirl picks up a crate, no doubt one Blast Off just delivered, and gives it the same treatment he gave the datapad. That is, he throws it full force into a wall. Obviously the Combaticon's request to stop breaking stuff falls on deaf ears because Whirl is making grabby-claws at another crate, no doubt to destroy it in anger as well.

Blast Off is taking another step back, when ... he hears the roar of a car engine as someone transforms nearby and races away. His immediate thought is "BLURR!" The Combaticon's optics blaze with cold fire. Turning to look at Whirl, he stops to stare in some confusion... "...What the...?" Ok, that didn't make any sense to him but NO MATTER. "FOCUS." He points towards the source of the sound. "It's Blurr, it must be!"

His scans reach for the car, and he does pick up something.... but that seems to be someone else. Wait.... is that Arcee's signature? He stops and blinks in confusion. "Wait... no, it's... someone else..." Still confused, he decides time is awasting. "Whatever. Come, we have to catch them!" What the slag is Arcee doing here, and why is she running? He saw her- in prison- and she was with THEM. He flies up into the air to gain his bearings, then pursue.

Arcee peels out of the alleyway, merging with vehicles on the main road. Problem for her is that she isn't too difficult to spot. It isn't like there's not *other* pink vehicles out there, but her particular shade makes her fairly distinctive. (Come on, crazy mech with Blast Off, jump on him and distract him some more,) she thinks anxiously. Because if Blast Off transforms...that's the end of it, she can't outrun a space shuttle.

"I HAVE NO IDEA!" Whirl blurts out, hefting the second crate over his head. "I'M NOT GOOD WITH RELATIONSHIPS!" He's about to smash the crate and give whoever is doing inventory next a huge headache but Blast Off's shouting distracts him. "WHAT? HE'S HERE!?" Whirl smashes the crate anyway. Turns out it isn't Blurr but someone else he has never heard of, but the other mech seems to think she can be useful in their search for information so he gives chase.

The cyclops transforms into his sweet gyrojet mode and takes off into the air, cutting through the sky as fast as possible in the general direction Blast Off was looking in. He doesn't even know what he's looking for so no doubt some poor sap will end up getting the brunt of his frustration for no reason other than they happened to be there.

Arcee is in the process of speeding very quickly out of an alleyway in vehicular mode, with Blast Off in hot pursuit and Whirl in WHUT-pursuit. Whirl is not entirely sure who Blast Off is going after.

Blast Off almost adds, *WELL NEITHER AM I!!!!* but... that would be admitting WAAAAY too much information. NO, he's Mr. Suave, really. He's knowledgable and sophisticated and is surely /quite/ the catch for any femme. OF COURSE HE IS. Never mind that there ARE none in his life at the moment. They're.... just missing out, that's all. He looks up as Whirl joins him in the air, then turns his focus back on the fleeing car. His optics narrow. "I... I know her. Or.... I thought I did." Here's yet *another* femme he had a friendship with, even went on (the scary word) a DATE with. But now... he doesn't know. But... HE WILL. "She's that pink car down there..."

He's had enough of this nonsense, of being left in the dark, of feeling helpless. It's time for some answers- and some action. Transforming into shuttle mode, he rockets towards his target. He still has her frequency, and he uses it now. His voice sounds calm. <<Arcee? Is that you? ....Why are you running?>>

Whirl was all set to land and start punching anyone and everyone he thought looked suspicious but he notices Blast Off going after a specific pink vehicle. Ah, yes, this must be the person he was talking about. Phew! He was almost a murderer back there (It's funny because he already is thanks to the Senate.)

[Combat:] Whirl partially hits Arcee for minor damage!

"<< Ahhh!! Why would I stick around, when you're hanging around crazy mechs who seem bent on destroying me?? >>" Arcee quickly radios Blast Off, right around the time Whirl manages to shoot her spoiler clean off. She forges ahead in traffic, plowing forward and changing lanes quickly in an aggressive and frantic attempt to evade this mess. Sadly for her, she hasn't yet had weapons installed in her vehicular mode. So she has to choose flight or fight. Being outnumbered, she chooses the former.

Blast Off is just about to try hailing Arcee again when Whirl goes and makes it so now she *definitely* has a reason to be running away. Siiiigh. *Slag it all...* He mutters to himself. Then he radios Whirl. << That was NOT what I had in mind, actually. I was trying to get her to stop and talk. *siigh* No matter now, I suppose. NO, do NOT blow her up! Do not KILL her. I want her alive. I want her to *explain* herself. >>

Arcee's radio message is not unexpected. << I... apologize for that. I have informed him to stop. But we need *answers*. Why were you near us? Were you... listening in? What *happened* to you? >> The shuttle comes rocketing in, and indeed... it's hard to outrace a spaceship. He bears down on her, getting closer rapidly. And HE is armed. It's not much, but he has a simple laser attached to his wings. He can easily keep pace with her, though as she races along city streets he won't have her pinpoint manueverability. For now, he flies just above the rooftops. << STOP, Arcee.... or I WILL be forced to STOP you. I'd rather not do that. >> But he WILL get some answers. Enough of these games.

Arcee knows she's out-powered as far as getting away is concerned, and as much as she doesn't want to stop, she also doesn't want innocent civilians on Nyon's roadways to get injured because of her own foolishness, either. So she does the right thing...she reluctantly slows down, and pulls off to the side of the road, transforming to robot mode as she does so. "<< Alright... >>"

Blast Off's engines sputter a bit at Whirl's *conjunx endura* line. But he decides not to press the issue once the rotorcraft at least stops shooting at Arcee. That resolved for now, he turns his scanners back to Arcee. And... she stops? This almost surprises the shuttle, but he wastes no time transforming and landing near her. He holds his blaster in hand, though it remains hanging at his side. But he saw her in prison, with THEM.... and now she was caught running away like she was almost caught *spying* or something. The already suspicious shuttle has grown only moreso in recent times, and for just cause.

He approaches her cautiously, stopping at a reasonable distance from her. "So. WHAT were you doing there, Arcee? Why did you run? And *what* were you doing at..." His optics flicker at the unpleasant memory, "...Kolkular?"

"I think you're assuming too much," Arcee says to Blast Off calmly, stalling for time as she waits for her backup to arrive. "But I did visit you at the jail because I had heard you were apprehended, and I wanted to make sure you were alright."

Blast Off is a sophisticated mech (Whirl will sarcastically tell you as such) and he tends to handle situations more delicately. Not Whirl though. Whirl is terrible, Whirl is a troublemaker, Whirl is the absolute opposite of subtle, classy, or anything else that follows that line of thinking. No, he's an instigator and a messed up guy so once Arcee is 'aprehended' (if you could call it that,) he swoops in, transforms, and lands in his robot mode a helluva lot closer than Blast Off did. "Listen lady, I don't know about Blasto over here but I don't give a crap about you or your reasons for being here or anything else. I want to know where Shiftlock is." At this point he notices the certain sigil displayed on Arcee's armor. Ahhh, senate. Excellent. "Oh yeah, and you better talk or else I'm going to cut you open and wear your guts as a necklace."

Blast Off regards the femme, trying to ascertain the truth. Arcee was his friend, even someone he was starting to develop feelings for... but that was awhile ago. And now, after Kolkular, he's... just not sure anymore. Of course, he doesn't know of her direct involvement with his capture as "Shutterfly" or he'd be much less pleasant right now. As it is, he stands with his head slightly tilted. "Then explain yourself. Surely you realize that it looks suspicious to me to see you speeding away like that. If you're so concerned about me, surely you'd have wanted to stop by and say hello?" His optics darken at the comment on Kolkular, and he answers quietly, "Well... I *wasn't*. Were you really unaware of what Feint *did* to me, or were you off in some other room just *watching* as she... as she..." He stops, unable to go on. Feint *tormented* him, made him nearly think he was going to go mad...

Then Whirl barges in. He stares as Whirl is far more... direct and blunt than he would be. Though yes, if Arcee knows something about Shiftlock he wants her to divulge, definitely. The final part, though, turns out to be a bit much. He suddenly steps forward, hand gripping his blaster. Have some Good Cop, Bad Cap, Arcee! "Whirl. Back OFF. This is... was... a friend of mine. I don't *know* what her involvement is, but you are NOT going to kill her."

"I thought you were going to be angry with me, alright? And I probably wasn't wrong about that..." Arcee says to Blast Off. Whirl's intimidating threats, at one time, would have frightened her considerably...but Drift can be credited for making her a stronger femme in the face of intimidation. Now, that sort of thing just pisses her off. "I don't even know where this Shiftlock even is, so shut it," she counters defiantly.

[Weirdness] Swift Blade has joined this channel.

Whirl cares not for whatever relationship Arcee and Blast Off might've had at some point in their lives. There's only one thing he cares about: Arcee is Senate, and that's all the reason he needs to be an absolutely effing insane person.

"Shut it?" Whirl pushes past Blast Off, apathetic to his requests and his threats. "Oh, I'm sorry, but you're not really in a position to be telling me to shut it." He leans in close, glaring at Arcee through his single optic. "Now I'm going to ask you again..." An arm swings out to clock the femme right in the face.


[Combat:] Whirl misses Arcee!

Blast Off looks back to Arcee, torn between the heavy suspicion of someone who's endured quite *enough lately* thank you and his more... gentlemechly side. The one that remembers time spent together. "Fine. Then answer me... what were you doing here, right now? You're being quite... evasive in your responses, I've noticed. Did you know what they did to me? What they *tried* to do to me?" Her defiance towards Whirl is met with a raised optic ridge- that's showing much more... struts than he's used to seeing in her.

That's all interrupted, however, as Whirl tries to STRIKE ARCEE. And whatever the shuttle's mixed feelings and suspicions may be... he isn't at all interested in watching Arcee get killed, too. Meanwhile, he barely KNOWS this mech. He... did kind of empathize with Whirl being a watchmaker once, and there's those claws -wait, never mind that- but he's not standing around for this, either. "I said BACK OFF, Whirl." He aims his blaster at the mech. "Back off NOW, or I SHOOT you. Give her TIME to SPEAK without acting like a madmech!"

Swift Blade enters from Iacon.

Arcee draws her laser pistol, but she keeps it trained on Whirl, not in Blast Off's direction. "Keep your creep hands off me," she warns. She continues watching Whirl, but speaks to Blast Off in the meantime. "I didn't know what they had planned for you, alright? That's the honest truth. I knew Feint was going to ask you a few questions, but I don't work *with* her."

Being new to the planet, Swift Blade has an intense curiosity about the place. She only has a few, weak memories of being on Cybertron at all, so it's almost like being in a completely new place. And, for most of her life, she has never been free to move about as she pleases. So she's taking the time now to learn about her new home. As such, her wanderings have brought her here.

Great. Now Whirl has TWO guns pointed at him and he didn't even get the satisfaction of doing anything to deserve it. Since when it /trying/ to hit someone a crime? What's that? It always was? Well damn.

Whirl let's out a growl of frustration when he finds himself looking down the business end of multiple firearms. He gives Arcee a glare when she makes her comment. "Is that some kind of joke? It's your fault I look the way I do." Only half true, Arcee didn't make that call but she works for the people who did so... yeah.

To Blast Off he just snorts and snaps his claws at him before backing off.

Blast Off also has his blaster trained on Whirl, who has just turned what the Combaticon hoped to remain a *civilized* discussion into a potentially violent one. He's not sure WHO to believe anymore, but Arcee was once his friend. He doesn't know if he still trusts her, not after she came in to see him in prison while working with the ones who imprisoned him. Still, he doesn't like Whirl making these threats, either. The shuttle flinches just a little at the snap of claws, but his weapon remains raised until Whirl backs off. Then he lets out a HUFFFF.

"Finally. Alright then..." He turns to Arcee. "Whirl DOES have a point. Sort of. You work for the people that did that to him. That imprisoned ME, and..." He pauses once more. "Well... whether you knew anything or not, they... they almost did something as bad as that..." he points to Whirl, " me. Just... a different kind of ...torment." He glances off to the side, voice quieter now. "Feint didn't just ask me questions, she made me.... *see things*... things I... never want to see again."

Then he looks up. "And that was actually not even the *worst* part. No, then I got a visit from a mech.... I wonder if you know him? Goes by the name of Pharma?" He stops and takes a step towards her (though he's still at a safe distance). "So again we would BOTH like to know WHY you still wear THAT sigil. Especially after everything you and I went through together- everything we SAW."

"L...look, what are you insinuating? I don't know who Pharma is, I don't know what Feint did to you..." Arcee looks from Blast Off, over to Whirl. "And I'm sorry *you're* having a terrible life, but I had nothing to do with it directly, I assure you!" She looks back toward Blast Off. "You're wanted on murder charges. I mean...this isn't about harassing someone, or stealing from them, or any number of crimes, Blast Off, you *killed* other mechs, how is that not a serious crime?? Please tell me why you feel like you should get a free pass for homicide? I knew you had a shady past, okay? No one's perfect, and I still think you're great in a lot of ways, but you did some serious things. I can't pretend those things aren't on your record."

Arcee hasn't yet seen Swift Blade, because her attention at the moment is on watching Whirl's every move.

Swift Blade has never heard of Whirl or Arcee. She's met Blast Off before, but she still doesn't know his name. Still, catching the sound of a familiar voice doesn't happen often since she probably knows less than one percent of the population at this point. Curious, she heads towards the sound. What she stumbles across is obviously a confrontation of sorts. As a free femme, she's never seen a situation like this. As a slave, she simply waited for an order and executed the order in a timely fashion. Now, she doesn't know what to do. She makes a soft sound to announce her presence there; this would be a bad time for someone to misunderstand.

Whirl HUFFS right back at Blast Off, arms crossed over his chest indignantly. Why is he even putting up with this loser? He turns his attention from the Combaticon to Arcee, staring at her as hard as he can while the two of them have their conversation and wowww what a conversation. Honestly, Whirl is a little offended by Blast Off's comparison of what happened while he was imprisoned to what the Senate did to Whirl. The nerve of that guy...

Then Arcee makes the mistake of talking to him (or at least in his direction) and Whirl immediately becomes angry again, stepping forward as if he was getting ready to try and strike her again. "You DO realize you're wearing the Senate's symbol, right? You DO know their stance on mutilating people so the public can better shun them, right!? As far as I'm concerned, you are just as guilty as the rest of them by association alone!"

Blast Off blinks as Arcee gets very blunt with him. Violet optics flicker, and now he's taking a step back as a wing elevon twitches. Glancing from side to side, he isn't exactly sure what to say for a moment. "...." But then he looks up, optic ridges narrowing. He used to be afraid of incriminating himself but since Feint made him spill his guts anyway and Pharma cut him open with no painkillers and tried to extract his spark, he no longer has that inhibition. In fact, he may have less now than he did before the most recent stint in prison. "I only killed in self-defense. I'm a *soldier*. Primal Vanguard. Combaticon. Not a turbo-sheep. And when someone comes in to kill me, or put me in a situation where I'm going to BE killed, I WILL defend myself, and make NO apologies for doing so!!!" He lets out another huff, a more defiant one this time.

Then Swift Blade makes herself known with a small noise, and Blast Off turns his head around to stare at her. Ok, talk about an ///awkward//// time for someone to walk in on a conversation. And he doesn't know what to do besides stare, and perhaps say, "Uh... hello." Then Whirl advances in on Arcee and he turns his head to watch- and wait for her response. Because again, Whirl has a point.

"...See, this is why I didn't want to stop. This is *exactly* why I didn't want to --" Arcee looks over at Swift Blade in surprise. "Yes, can we help you?" Yes, WE. May as well.

Swift Blade smiles to Blast Off, though it is an expression without any true mirth. Rather it's because she notices the awkwardness of the moment and wishes to show that she is not letting it affect her. "Hello," she greets. "I had wondered if I would run into you again," she says politely, as though he hadn't just been talking about killing people. She bows slightly towards Arcee. "Actually, I doubt very few people here can 'help' me." Her expression grows apologetic. "You must excsue me; I'm only recently returned to the planet and I am just learning my way around. I heard a familiar voice and came to see what was happening." She offers a wry expression. "It seems as though my timing is...unfortunate."

Oh heeelll no, this femme did not just ignore him like that. Whirl is not going to let that go, he still has A LOT of hang-ups when it comes to the Senate and having someone openly wearing their symbol and possibly maybe having something to do with the arrest of Shiftlock just brings it all back. For a moment everything around him fades away, the cyclops only able to see Arcee standing in front of him. Blast Off is no longer there, nor is the new arrival of the jet femme; there is only Arcee. And anger. Whirl cares little for the weapon Arcee is pointing at him, he comes after her anyway; claws poised to slice across that pretty little face of hers.

[Combat:] Whirl misses Arcee!

Blast Off glares at Arcee, "Well, surely YOU can see why *I* had some questions?! This has been rather suspicious, and here you are still working for the Senate and you were WITH Feint in Kolkular. I mean, how could I n..." He stops again to stare awkwardly at Swift Blade once more. VERY awkwardly. This is NOT the way to make an impression, especially when you prefer to be seen as a /cultured and civilized/ mech. Also, should she start asking questions and find out he's a wanted fugitive still.... well, that would make it even MORE awkward. "Uh... perhaps." He straightens up and starts trying to brush himself off a little, trying to go back to a more normal state. "I just... hadn't seen her in awhile, and was trying to catch up on things.... that's all". *Cough* "How... have you been? I guess the Autobots didn't capture you, after all?"

Then Whirl goes to strike Arcee again. The Combaticon turns in a flash. So much for civilized. Siiigh. "I SAID I would *shoot* you if you tried harming her again!" And Blast Off considers himself a mech of his word. So... he fires off a shot at Whirl, aiming for his leg- not trying to hit anything vital. More like- get his attention and slow him down.

[Combat:] Whirl partially blocks your attack and takes less damage.

Arcee sighs, backing off quickly and pulling off a few quick shots at Whirl. "See -- this isn't working -- I can't talk to you like this when you have this maniac flipping out on me like this...we can't talk in this situation, okay?" Still talking to Blast Off, because pit bulls don't get the courtesy of a discussion. "I understand you're angry, but this...well, this isn't going to work. Simple as that." She gives Swift Blade an apologetic look. "You came back at an interesting time," she notes hurriedly, as she darts back toward the access road and transforms, peeling out as she accelerates quickly to head westward.

[Combat:] Arcee misses Whirl!

"I would guess that I'm doing better than anyone here, no offense," Swift Blade says. "I am what is happening on this planet." She pauses. "Though, I suspect, this is rapidly about to change." Arcee gives her a few words and then speeds off. That leaves Blast Off and the one with the strange hands. She moves so that she is standing between the two mechs and folds her arms. "Perahps, if you would all settle down for a few moments and tell me what is going on we can see a way through this without getting violent." She tilts her head to the side. "Or, at the very least, I can at least learn from your troubles if violence cannot be avoided."

If SOME PEOPLE can use the excuse of 'being too upset to hit straight' then so can Whirl, damnit! Once again he completely misses his mark, but unlike last time it's not just a threat he gets from Blast Off, it's an actual shot.

"Argh, damn it!" Whirl stumbles a bit before dropping to a knee, energon leaking out of the brand new hole in his other leg. He /glares/ at Blast Off. "Look, I think you're cute and interesting and all that crap, but I can't let you shoot me and not do anything about it." The cyclops struggles to his feet and prepares for a lunge but Swift Blade gets between them and, well, he's not just going to beat her up for being in the way. That would be rude.

"Really!? We're going to do this now?" He turns around just in time to see Arcee driving away. "OH COME ON!"

Blast Off listens to Arcee and... unfortunately, she has a point. She can't talk... not with Whirl continually threatening her. He would facepalm if he had the luxury right now. It wasn't a good idea to bring Whirl along. AT ALL. "I... well..." He watches her peel out and this time he does not pursue. He sniffs a little bit haughtily at Swift Blade's intersecting herself between Arcee and him as if he was some mindless thug. AS IF he'd keep pursuing now. Never mind that he was earlier though.

Glancing away, he shrugs. "I have been trying to *avoid* violence, something Whirl here does not seem capable of understanding..." He gives Whirl an icy look, then turns his gaze back to the remaining femme. His gun is held hanging at his side once more, mostly kept there in case Whirl decides to STAY violent. "Yes. You are fortunate. The rest of us have been... entangled, whether we like it or not. Arcee there was someone I used to know, used to... consider a friend. But now I find she still works for the people who..." he pauses JUST before he slips and mentions his imprisonment... "Who have been wrongfully pursuing me. And who did... that... to HIM." He nods his head at Whirl.

Whirl, who then calls him *cute* and looks ready to lunge for him. "CUTE?" The shuttle's just recently reestablished calm, aloof demeanor falters slightly as he stares and steps back, weapon hand tensing once more.

Swift Blade reaches out an arm to steady Whirl once he gets on his feet. She regards him with open curiosity, after all, he does look like quite the oddity, but there is no hostility present. "Do you wish to talk about it then?" she reiterates. Turning she listens to Blast Off's words. "It seems to me there's a lot of 'wrongful' everything around here," she notes. "I feel a sense of sorrow for this planet and the people on it." Then she looks back at Whirl. "What did they do to him?" she asks, not knowing that noone naturally looks like he does.

Whirl tries to give Blast Off his best 'no shit, sherlock' face but you know, empurata and all, so it just looks like it always does: a creepy blank stare. "Uh, yeah, that's what I said. You got a problem with your hearing or something? Geez."

Boxy head is cocked sideways when the jette femme touches him, helping him keep steady on his now wounded leg. His head tilts even more when she starts asking why he looks the way he does and what happened. He's so confused right now! How can she not know about empurata? It's a pretty hot topic issue, or at least it was. "You're.... not from around here."

Blast Off sighs and replies to Swift Blade, "Yes, there is. Which is why rebellion is fomenting amongst the rank and file... and even the higher caste, such as myself." He may or may not qualify as High Caste as a wanted criminal, but... he WAS High Caste. He *should* be High Caste. He senses Whirl staring at him again and turns to frown under his faceplate at the mech. "I just was hoping to get some HELP finding Shiftlock, not wrecking across the city of Nyon."

The shuttleformer refrains from giving Whirl his OWN version of *no shit, Sherlock* and simply states calmly, "No, she isn't. And I am guessing you are not familiar with empurata, then?"

"I was, a very long time ago," Swift Blade says to Whirl. "The Quintessons sold me into slavery when I was a very young femme." Her arm stays where it is for as long as he wishes to let her support him. "I missed much of Cybertron's history." She motions towards Blast Off with her free hand. "He could tell you how recently I returned." Then she nods to him. "I do not." It probably wasn't detailed at all in the datapads she had been given by Prowl and Tarantulas. "I have no real opinion on rebellions; I've never lived through one." None of her masters had been in places where a rebellion was happening, so it is something she has limited experience with.

Whirl can't see Blast Off's expression under that faceplate so to him it looks like he's just staring at him. Huh, that's kind if creepy from the other end. He just shrugs at the Combaticon, like it wasn't his fault.

"Listen uh.." He looks at Swift Blade. Hard. He looks her up and down, and isn't even subtle about it. "..Whatever your name is. I get that you're new around here or whatever so I'm going to be nice about it, but next time you meet someone who looks like me, don't ask about it. In fact, don't even acknowledge it. Don't point it out, don't stare." He pauses. "Well, I mean, you can stare a little; I know I would, but try not to make it obvious. It's a sensitive issue and sometimes people can go a little uuuuuuhhhhhhh crazy."

Blast Off nods, and since she has volunteered the information, he states what he knows. "She crashed in a shuttle near Vos a few solar cycles ago, Whirl. Came from the stars." The shuttleformer glances up. Talk of stars always makes him a bit wistful. Then he returns his gaze to the other two and continues. "I found her just as she crashed, and explained that she ought to be careful of the government, who would likely be coming to investigate her soon." The Combaticon tilts his head slightly. "Did they? Or did you change your mind and leave before you had visitors?"

Her talk of rebellion causes his optics to dim. "Well... I HAVE lived through rebellions." He rebelled once, was imprisoned and put into a several millenia-long spark isolation- a mental limbo in Garrus-1's "white out chamber" that has left the shuttle with numerous... *issues*. However, he doesn't like talking about it. "If you are on the losing side of one, well... it isn't pleasant."

He nods at Whirl's comments. "The Senate took his head and hands. Because he dared defy them. And that simply /*won't do*/... so they made an... *example* out of him. ....Do you see why I might not TRUST the people who commit these acts?"

Swift Blade nods her head. "I will keep that in mind," she says to Whirl. "And my name is Swift Blade," she adds after the fact. "I did not mean to be disrespectful," she continues on to say, inclining her head apologetically. She smiles briefly at Blast Off. "I stayed put. Someone came and interviewed me, and then I was assessed." She shrugs her shoulders. "Nothing untoward happened as far as I could tell. But, with things so unsettled, I'm sure there are many nuances that I would not pick up on." She winces visibly when Blast Off explains what happened. "That is cruel. How do they justify such treatment?" she wants to know.

A normal person might feel weird being talked about as if they weren't there but that is kind of Whirl's life so he's gotten used to it. Swift Blade's apology for being disrespectful makes him feel kind of crappy, she REALLY doesn't know what's been happening here and it's just.. weird to meet someone like that. He actually envies her ignorance.

"You'll hear people try to justify it in all sorts of ways but really, that's.. just how the Senate is. They do whatever they want for whatever reason they want." If she thinks the empurata was bad, the stuff they forced him to do afterwards would totally ruin her day.

"Oh, hold on a second." Like it was some casual business he had to take care of, Whirl lunges for Blast Off and tries to take a swipe at him with his claws. Hey, he said he couldn't let getting shot go, didn't he?

[Combat:] Whirl misses Blast Off!

Blast Off raises an optic ridge. "Oh? What were you assessed at, if you do not mind me asking?" Her last statements simply gets a nod of agreement. "Indeed it is." He crosses his arms, hand still holding his weapon just in case but he's not expecting to use it now. He nods as Whirl speaks about the Senate and their excuses. "They do not serve the poeple, they just serve themselves, and they keep that power using fear, intimidation and behind the scenes manipulation. They.."

He doesn't finish because the second Whirl says *hold on* something tells Blast Off to pay attention... and yep! The shuttle immediately leaps into the air using his anti-gravs and flies out of Whirl's grasp, making a looong leap away before landing at a greater distance from the 'copter. His weapon aims at Whirl once more. "And once again... BACK OFF or I will SHOOT." The shuttle doesn't like physical fighting- mainly because he sucks at it. He has no strength to speak of, so to remain in one piece he needs to stay at a distance and shoot with ranged weaponry. So he's either acting civilized- or he's shooting. Nothing in between- no punching or anything like that- not if he can help it.

Swift Blade just shakes her head as Whirl CANNOT let being shot go. "Will it really help you to pay him back for shooting you? Wouldn't you be better served by getting yourself fixed?" she asks. She frowns. "This Senate, do they not realize that what they do is wrong?" she asks. Oh, yes, she's been through her share of tough moments, but they're nothing compared to the fare on Cybertron. In so many ways, she's very naive. But, despite that, she was completely sincere in her apology. She did NOT mean to be disrespectful in the least. Nor did she realize that the culture she is in now promotes the disrespect of such beings. If only she had been made free a little later, or a lot sooner, perhaps things would have been different. As it is, she's just another being to be tarnished by the dirt accumulating on Cybertron.

To Blast Off's question she says, "I was told to report to Cybertronian Air Command as a recruit and that I'm placed in the middle caste." SHe doesn't seem to have any particular emotional response to her placement. "So, then the Senate wants power, just so it can keep that power?" As for weaponry, well, Swift Blade looks like she's the exact opposite of Blast Off; her most prominent weapons are the pair of swords she carries; her ranged arsenal is extremely limited.

Whirl ends up landing flat on whatever you would call that jazz that replaced his actual face, the Combaticon having escaped his attempt at righting what he believed was a wrong. It takes him a moment to stand up, the mech obviously favoring his wounded leg. The leaking seems to have subsided for now but it still pains him.

"Don't let his aloofness fool you, Swift Blade. He knows he wants these claws digging into his plating. If only he could admit it and we could both get what we want." Maybe not today, maybe not tommorow, but Whirl is going to strike when Blast Off least expects it and he'll be mad and Whirl will just shrug and say it was something he HAD to do.

"Mm, nice swords by the way." He gestures to Swift Blade's primitive arsenal. "You don't see too many bladed weapons these days, it's kind of nice." The mech leans in close to the femme, eyeballing her swords like they were fascinating specimens. "A lot fine craftsmanship goes into a good sword. From an artisitic stand point they are beautiful, from a warrior's they are.. impractical at times but deadly nonetheless."

Blast Off keeps a wary optic on Whirl, but listens to Swift Blade as she speaks. "Ah, I see. It sounds like a placement I would expect of a Seeker type such as yourself. It is not a bad placement. Not High caste, of course, but... could be worse. And at least you can *fly*." Yes, Blast Off is a bit of a snob when it comes to aerials vs. "groundpounders". He CAN change his mind about groundpounders... he called one "Commander" once, after all. Might do so again. And Shiftlock is one, too... though she used to be a space shuttle, too, sort of, and, well, it's complicated there, Okay?

Whirl gets up, and Blast Off narrows his optics at *aloofness* and continues looking JUST that... but it's interrupted as the other mech continues on about attraction. "....What?!" He stares at Whirl, glancing at the claws again, and takes a step back. Then /attempts/ to get back to the "calm and aloof" mode. "Stop talking nonsense..." The talk of sword's gets a glance, too, and yes., those are fine artisan blades, but... he's definitely not getting near enough to Whirl right now to really look at them.

"Thank you," Swift Blade says to the comment about her swords, "but your other comment doesn't make a lot of sense," she admits. "As for the swords, my first master removed most of my ranged weaponry for the arena battles on his planet. Combat was purely melee," she explains, "so that is where most of my fighting experience lies." She unhooks one of the blades and hands it towards Whirl if he wishes to take a closer look.

Turning to Blast Off, she nods her head. "I didn't need to place high as long as I wasn't a slave again," she states. "I have no desire to lead nor to be pampered." In her experience with the flesh societies, that's usually what a high rank or class meant, though none of them had quite the stringent caste system that Cybertron has. "Still, I have been getting so many warnings since coming here that it is quite daunting." She pauses. "You were the first to warn me, but certainly not the only one."

Silly Blast Off, don't you realize that the more you resist, the more Whirl is going to push? Surely he'll catch on to this eventually. Surely.

"Purely melee, eh?" Whirl gives the sword a look, and then Swift Blade the same look. Is she serious? Didn't she see what a crazy person he is? She's either really stupid or extremely confident in her own skills. The gyrojet shrugs and grabs hold of the sword in both 'hands,' holding onto them just enough to manuever them around in his claws without scratching or damaging them.

"I'm not going to lie to you, I myself prefer melee over ranged combat anyday." He holds the sword firmly in his claws and gives it a few gentle swings, trying to get a good feel of it's weight. "I love getting in close to my opponent, seeing the look on their faces when they start to realize what's going to happen." He spins around, glaring at Blast Off, sword poised. "Feeling their energon on my body, hearing the screech of their armor underneath my claws..."

To everyone's (no doubt) surprise, he turns back to Swift Blade and returns her weapon without even trying to kill anyone. It's a miracle or something. "Thanks."

Blast Off looks at Swift Blade handing Whirl one of her blades, are you sure that's a good idea?... He sighs a little, then responds to her comment, "Well, it's not so much getting *pampered*" (though he doesn't MIND that, mind you), "But you have more resources as a High Caste. The ability to learn and to enjoy yourself in a manner that most do not." Not that /he/ can anymore, sigh. "But as long as you are not disposable, you still have some options." He glances towards the direction of Kaon. "I have been meeting with some of ... those people, and, well, their ability to *choose* their fates and futures is... severely limited. And... some sort of choice is important. I do not want anyone telling ME what to do, certainly."

Sadly for Blast Off, social cues are very often NOT his strong point. So no, he's probably NOT going to catch on. Not soon, at least. He watches Whirl with the sword carefully, prepared to shoot again if needed. Then Whirl does something almost worse, and the shuttle fels that weird unease again as he goes on about *energon* and *armor*. There's a small step back. Then he shakes his head briefly and tries to shrug it off. He glares just a moment, then tilts his head.

"I prefer ranged combat. There is nothing like demonstrating my skills at marksmechship." He turns to look at Whirl in turn. "Watching as my targets fall prey to my expert aim without ever even knowing what hit them, watch as I hit *just* the right spots from my superior perch high above, cause incapacitating injury or perhaps even a quick, merciful shot to the head. Anyone can swing and punch, but it takes a sniper's skill and training to do what I do. Judging bullet and laser velocity, range, drop... everything I must take into consideration."

"It sounds like you would have liked the arena more than I did," Swift Blade says dryly to Whirl, accepting her blade back solemnly. The question still remains, is she stupid or confident? Most likely just naive and ignorant of insanity. "I don't know that melee is my preference, but it is what I am currently equipped for." She makes a slight face. "Many of my opponents were fleshlings in armored suits; they didn't have energon. If I dismantled the armor enough to put the creature inside at risk, the battle was considered won." She shrugs her shoulders. Apparently the arenas on her planet are not at all similar to the illegal one here.

With the blade safely back in Swift's possession, Blast Off can rest a little easier perhaps. "I'm not denying there is a distinct advantage to having powerful ranged weaponry. It's just not an advantage I currently possess," she says. "Any amount of choice is a privelege. It is sad, however, that it is Cybertronians restricting the choices of other Cybertronians, rather than an outside, hostile, and alien force, as it had been during the Quintesson occupation," she says gravely. There is nothing about her that suggests she's an angry dissident. But she does seem a small nudge away from actively hating the Senate, based on this encounter alone. "That anyone should be considered outright disposable..." She shudders and does not complete the sentence.

Whirl is a messed up guy but he's not about to take someone's sword and go around chopping people up right in front of them. That would be silly. It's better to steal it later and then use it when it's least expected. Not that he would do that, of course, he's really not THAT horrible to do something like that to Swift Blade.

Blast Off's extremely detailed description of his preferred method of killing amuses him greatly. He meets the Combaticon's look with one of his own and even though there is no way he could possibly grin, it's almost like one should be there. "Ohh, Blast Off. Are you hitting on me?" Whirl waggles his claws at him. "You better stop that dirty talking of yours before you get me all hot and bothered." What a jerk.

"Yeah, the world's a pretty messed up place. You can try living off the grid but, eh, it's tough."

The Combaticon huffs at Swift Blade's comment about choice being a privilege. Blast Off is rather a snob, and has spent most of his life (spend outside Garrus-1, at least) believing that some beings are more... shall we say, *equal* than others. Namely space-flight capable beings. And he's still rather prejudiced in favor of space alts, followed by flying ones. However... his recent experiences with some of these *ground-pounders* have expanded his horizons more than before. And even /more/ than being a snob, Blast Off is someone to whom choice is vitally important. (No kidding, just look at his motto.) "Choice should not *be* a privilege. Some of us are better at making decisions, yes, but... even the disposables ought to have some choice in their lives. If it were up to me, people would stop sticking their noses into what *others* are doing and just focus on *themselves*." He sniffs a little haughtily again.

Whirl, as always, continues to make Blast off feel very... awkward. He glares the mech, trying to remain unflappable, but can't quite resist snarking, "Keep *that* up and I just might have to shoot you again. YOU are the one who can't seem to stop staring at ME, not the other way around."

"My intentions right now are simply to observe and learn. For now the best way to do that is to follow the status quo as far as I can tell," Swift Blade says to Whirl. "That is not to say I agree with it, but until I truly understand it, I can't make a judgement either way." She doesn't have anything to say about his accusations to Blast Off of 'talking dirty' though she looks a bit confused.

"I didn't mean to say that choice should be a privilege, simply that it is," she says, not bothered in the least by Blast Off's huffing. "My only choices for millions of years was to either do as I was told or suffer the consequences. I was allowed to have no initiative." Finally, she shakes her head. "If the two of you /have/ to fight this out, can you at least wait until I am not here?" she asks.

Whirl acts apalled by Blast Off's accusation that he's the one who's been making googly eyes (eye?) all the time. "Whaaaaaaat?" He looks around a few times and then points to himself with a claw. "Me? Well, come on.. give me a break. You're the one who's always polishing himself and going on and on about how sophisticated you are and how much pride you put into your appearance.." There's a shrug of his shoulders and a shake of his head. "It's like you WANT me to look."

The cyclops turns to look at Swift Blade, so involved in his little spat with Blast Off that he almost forgot she was there. "Hmm, I'd much rather have someone here to bear witness to me totally kicking his aft all over the place, but I can understand if you don't want to see such a brutal beatdown."

Blast Off nods to Swift Blade. "A sensible approach. Like I tried to tell someone recently, one should /learn/ the rules before one decides to break them." He seems to smirk just slightly under his faceplate. "But bad rules are *made* to be broken, as well." Combaticons have never been known for slavish adherence to rules, after all. He concedes to the rest. "I suppose that is also true. What happened to you is wrong, and so is the Senate pretending to be OUR masters." Then he glowers just a bit. "*I* do not wish to fight at ALL, but THIS mech seems to continually be asking for trouble."

Then the shuttle turns to stare at Whirl. "what do you mean, WHaaat? Of COURSE I care about my appearance. I am a *space shuttle*. There is a certain sophistication and pride that comes with that- that is *expected* of that. I have every right to be proud of who I am, and what I am. And slag the Senate, slag these rusty, Primus-forsaken pit-holes I now find myself having to call /home/... but I *WILL* act accordingly! I....I may not have the *shanix I once did, but I shall *always* carry myself with pride and do what I can to live up to the space shuttle name." HAUGHTY SNIFF. All he needs is a Space-themed flag flapping in the background as he pontificates.

Then there's a grumble of engines at that whole "kicking of aft" comment.. "...WHAT was that?"

"There's nothing wrong with having pride in himself," Swift Blade says. "At least he has the luxury of doing so." She smiles faintly. "And, if he is concerned with his appearances, maybe he wants everyone in general to look, not you specifically." Then she shakes her head. "I have no quarrel with either of you, and I do not wish there to be one because of a fight." She gestures towards Blast Off. "He was the first person I met on this planet, and so I consider him in a positive light. Thus I would not want to see him harmed. Ergo, I would feel obligated to continue to stop you," she explains. "But, I would take no pleasure in it," she further stresses.

"I might not be the wisest person in the universe, but I try to be reasonable at the very least," Swift Blade says to Blast Off with a little smile. "And I do intend to learn the rules. If they need to be broken," she shrugs, "then I will worry about that then." At his grumble, she sighs. "Do not rise to the bait," she states calmly. "At least, not until I am gone," she amends, not wishing to tell him what to do, but still making her preferences clear on this point.

"Oh, don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing." Whirl STARES at Blast Off as hard as he possibly can now. "I admire his ability to maintain such a beautiful appearance given his current circumstances, I know it's not easy to create masterpieces when your supplies are limited but he seems to be doing an okay job so far." He tries to get closer to the Combaticon though he is wary of Swift Blade considering what she said about possibly having to get involved should things get violent. He just saw her swords and he's not dumb, those will hurt going through him.

"I also admire his tenacity and his passion for things he believes are important. He's also gotten his hands dirty, and that's something I respect no matter how snobby someone may project themselves to be." He looks to Swift Blade, his intense stare now falling onto her. "There are many terrible, depraved things I would like to do to him but I don't intend on doing it in your presence. Besides, Shiftlock would be pissed if she found out I killed him."

Listening to Swift Blade, Blast Off once again finds himself nodding in agreement. And why YES, he DOES have every right to have pride in himself! He stops and glances towards the femme as she admits to seeing him in a favorable light, and gives her a slight, slow, courteous nod of the head in thanks. AHHH- she has sense then, obviously. The shuttle blinks at the comment on bait. "Well, I'm simply trying to make HIM see reason, too, and..." His voice trails off and he decides not to argue further, "Very well. I should probably be off, myself."

Blast Off then turns to listen to Whirl, expecting the desire to start /shooting/ again to rise immediately.... and instead he is surprised as Whirl... compliments him? Ok, not *totally*, but overall... it's actually flattering. Thanks to the Clampdown, the previosuly elite shuttle now finds himself obsolete... and that doesn't even include all the struggles he's had lately becoming a Fugitive. He stares as Whirl goes on, even glancing down at his heat shields to make sure they look polished enough before glancing up again. "That's... actually quite..."

He's about to say something akin to *nice* when Whirl gets into *terrible* and *depraved* things and welp, OK. Trance has ended now. "WHAT." He flinches slightly, making a big step backwards now as a wing elevon twitches again. "Uh... What? What the slag is... why are... what do you... GAH." He takes another step back, hand gripped on his blaster. "I... I definitely should be going."

"I don't know who Shiftlock is, but if you do not wish to make her angry, then don't," is Swift Blade's rather simplistic answer. "And if the things you plan to do to him," pointing to Blast Off, "are so terrible, then perhaps I should stay right here." She shifts her weight slightly to make her stance even more stable. "I am still unclear as to why you would want to kill him in the first place, especially after you admit there are things you find admirable about him."

She watches as Blast Off goes through a few different emotions and reactions. "I would not blame you in the least if you wished to go. After all, the situation has been....tense at best." She sighs. "But the ills of this planet will never be cured if, as individuals, we persist in such negativity towards each other." Not that she has been overly negative to anyone at all so far, but she recognizes these as her people and is not wishing to further distance herself from them, thus the use of the 'we'.

"Uhhhhh...." Whirl stares dumbfoundedly at Swift Blade's comment. Is she implying that she wants to.. watch? "Oh, well.. I've never had an audience before so that might put some pressure on me.." Is it possible that now HE'S starting to feel awkward and nervous. Blast Off's coping mechanism is to be all snooty and haughty, Whirl's is to be aggressive and rude.

"I mean, YEAH YOU BETTER RUN!" He shakes his claws at Blast Off as he makes a break for it. "I'll get you someday you nerd!"

Still taking a step back, Blast Off glances towards Swift Blade. "Yes...listen to her, she makes *sense*. Unlike YOU." He hffs a bit. "We have all been under duress lately, and ... circuits are raw and frayed. Tensions are just bubbling right under the surface on most of us. It... seems to be the way of things these days. But I can agree- we must work together to create the future we wish to see... we must rise up together and *fight*."

Whirl, as always it seems, just puts the snooty shuttle at a complete loss. He stares in horror at what the other mech implies he'd like to do and glances to Swift Blade before he stares once more at the 'copter. Taking yet another step back, he huffs, "I am NOT running!" He launches himself into the air as he insists this. "And no you will /NOT/ "get me someday"." He glances at those claws, then chides himself and stops as he hovers above them. "And will you just STOP this nonsense and... and ... remember to focus on Shiftlock." Though come to think of it, "NOT TOO much though. Just... if you find out anything, then... let me know. We must find where she's being held... first."

Finally. "And I am NOT a nerd." HUFFF.

What we have here is a failure to communicate. "I meant to stop you," says Swift Blade. "I already said I didn't intend to just watch you harm him." That is the only meaning of Whirl's words that she understands. "And I feel no nervousness about fighting in front of an audience; I'm used to it."

Looking up at Blast Off she smiles faintly. "There's a difference between running and leaving because a conversation has worn itself out," she says with a little shrug. Then she frowns. "This, Shiftlock you two speak of, is she in some sort of trouble?" she asks.

Whirl staaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrreeeeeessssssss at Blast Off since he loves being stared at so much. "What nonsense? I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. And don't worry, I'll be thinking about Shiftlock a lot. A LOT." Mostly out of worry but Blast Off doesn't need to know that. "If I find out anything I'll seek you out and I expect you to do the same." He catches the Combaticon looking at his claws and he can't help but feel a little self concious. "Hey! Now look who's staring.."

He turns to Swift Blade and gives her a half nod. "Yeah, I guess you could say that. We're looking for someone named Blurr. You don't know him and you probably never will, but try to keep an audio receptor out for the name."

"Yes, again... she speaks reason." Blast Off agrees, looking a bit smug as he addresses the femme now, "Though don't worry, he'd have to *catch me* first- and I'm a space shuttle." He begins lifting up higher. "Indeed, and this conversation has run it's course." Her last question makes him pause, however. He looks down at her. "She is... someone we both know. And yes, you could say that. The Senate's goons have captured her, imprisoned her, much as they did me. And.... are perhaps doing the same things to /her/ now." His optics darken at the thought.

Whirls' comments on thinking about Shiftlock draw an even darker glare, but he sighs and shakes it off, pausing only to look at those claws again and... stop that. The shuttleformer nods at the rest, "Yes. There's a famous racer named Blurr who might *seem* friendly but he's actually a Senate spy. He's the one who arrested her and he's the one who fought me." Blast Off is patched up, but he still shows signs of a recent battle. "If you ever hear about Shiftlock, we would appreciate knowing about it. And if you meet Blurr... be careful."

Shiftlock and Blurr. Swift Blade fixes the names in her memory and nods her head. Seeing as this conversation has, as previously mentioned, run its course, she excuses herself and goes back home. Cybertron may be running full tilt into ruin, and the people may be torn and oppressed, but one thing is for certain, life here will NOT be dull.

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