Title: Looking for a Speeder in a Race Track
Location: Location Undiscolsed, Ibex
Date: 16 May 2015
Summary: Overclock goes looking for Blurr at an underground track. He finds her instead.
Brake Street is a busy place, full of mechs and femmes who rued the day the Decepticons targeted the racetracks with their terrorist attacks, leading Zeta Prime to ban the sport altogether. But it shouldn't come as a surprise that not even terrorists or laws against racing could simply bring it all to a grinding halt.
No, the sport is far too ingrained in Cybertronian culture. Too many people love it! So it shouldn't come as a surprise that someone has set up an underground tournament that has gained quite a bit of popularity. Sure, the flamboyant decorations and flashy fanfare have been lost, since there is now a need to be at least somewhat discreet, but the spirit of the games persists. There are still banners and decals and all manner of sports merchandise being sold to fans, just as before--albeit there's a bit more gambling, underhanded dealing, and theft going around this time.
And since -racing- is going on illegally, might as well take advantage of the opportunity and set up other illegal markets as well, right? After all if a bunch of people are going for illegal entertainment in the form of racing, they're going to be the types to be more inclined to indulge themselves in -other- forms of illegal entertainment and/or recreation. So the region is chock full of shops full of banned media, illegal drugs, parts, mods, you name it. If it's illegal to buy, you can buy it here.
So it probably doesn't come as a surprise either that Blurr, having been placed on the 'Wanted' list for attempting to rob Blast Off, is also down here. He'd told himself he wouldn't go back to racing, but...when he'd heard about -this-, he couldn't resist. Of course, all his most dedicated fans are down here! It -almost- makes him feel as if he were back in his old life, when all was right with the world.
...Yeah, when all was right with the world.
The racer sighs and stares up at a news report playing on one of the videopanes in the bar. Yeah, it -almost- makes him forget. But not -quite-.
There's no expression in the modern Neocybex for standing out like an Insecticon like a race track but perhaps there should be. Milling around in the crowd is a black, broad-shouldered femme who could pass for the drunken union of a speeder and a scorpion... or is that a wolf? Her engine rumbles with a healthy verve as she looks around while trying to accentuate the more performance-oriented aspects of her frame over the claws and the barbed tail. Showing at least a little forethought, the Decepticon brand on her chest has been covered by a thin sheet of metal that matches the surrounding paint.
New to the underground racing scene and even new to Ibex itself, the hatchling's wandering takes her in and out of several of the small stalls that have been created ad-hoc to house illegal wares. Mods, performance enhancers, and rarified fuel? Overclock might be seeing the Allspark if not for the sticker shock that soon follows. She makes her way through a nearby patch of crowd with her EMF flickering in annoyance, only half an optic and audial kept aware for the racer she's supposed to be looking for.
These crowds are a rowdy bunch, that's for sure. Many of them have overdosed on circuit speeders and she ends up getting shoved and buffeted obnoxiously on several occasions, though perhaps not intentionally.
One of them, though--a surly type who is a couple of heads taller and wider than she is, glares angrily in her direction after shoving into her. "'Ey, watch it beasty." he rumbles gruffly.
If Overclock was annoyed at finding all the nice upgrades out of her price range, getting knocked around as she walked only made it worse. While she's content to be buffeted from all sides and trudge forward regardless, the last one is one push too many and the Insectibeast turns and glares back as her engine growls with a hissing overtone.
The mech laughs at her and points at her. "Haha, look at that, ain't that the ugliest fembot you ever seen?" He remarks at a couple of his friends who are standing behind him, and they laugh as well. "Ain't that right. I mean, damn girl, do yourself a favor and get a frame upgrade!" More laughter.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Overclock asks, mockingly raising a hand to one audial. "I can't hear you over the fact that my systems are better than yours in every way."
"Hahahah! Aww, listen, she's trying to make herself feel better." They laugh again, then he gets up in her face, his voice lowering. "Get -lost-. Your kind have no place on this planet." He then pushes her downward and turns to walk away.
Overclock lands on her back with a weighty thud and vents steam as she catches sight of the mech's retreating back. Standing back up, she brushes off one shoulder and flexes her claws. "That's rich coming from a rust bucket," she taunts back. "Can you even walk a straight line when the jumpers wear off? If you want me to leave, get back here and make me."
"Ha! Yeah right, as if I don't have -better- things to do than teach a filthy bug-bot her place." The mech sneers, as he and his friends disappear into the crowd.
Once they've gone though, a somewhat familiar voice comes from behind her. "Don't listen to them, they're just jealous of your tail." Why, isn't it the very mech she came here looking for? Yes, it's the best racer ever to set foot on Cybertron, Blurr.
The Insectibeast's joints hum with an eagerness to turn the verbal confrontation physical but as the mech leaves her reach, Overclock finds herself frustrated. "Scrap-tanked, strutless, coward!" She shouts after him as her tail lashes behind her. She huffs genuine smoke this time and turns away.
"Huh?" Blurr's greeting catches the fuming femme completely by surprise and she looks around in bewilderment before laying optics on the racer. "Oh, hi."
Yeah, Blurr has a way of showing up unexpectedly and startling people quite often. He chuckles a little at her bewilderment and replies, "Besides, they were probably high on circuit speeders. You can tell if you look at their optics." The racer smiles a little bit.
"Oh that idiot was blitzed on jumpers from here to Luna-2," Overclock agrees. It still takes another moment before her processor realizes who she's facing and the femme's optics light in surprise. "Oh wow, aren't you the mech that's dating Arcee?"
Blurr laughs at the expression, nodding. "Yeah, a lot of people down here like 'em." Then he arches an optic ridge at the comment about Arcee. Wow, word gets around fast, geez. "Ha, where did you hear that one? I mean, I'm a good friend of hers, I guess." He's still not sure why she turned herself in, though. "You know her?"
"Not really, I just heard the news," Overclock admits. "You're... Stripe, right?"
"So the news was going on about how I'm dating Arcee." Blurr laughs again. "I thought those cycles were over." Meaning the times when the news used to ramble on about his personal life. He shrugs at her question. "Might as well be, sure. Call me Stripe."
"Was that not right?" Overclock in confusion. "I'm Overclock by the way," she offers along with a clawed hand.
Blurr shakes the clawed hand. "It doesn't really matter." he chuckles. "It is now. So what exactly -did- you hear on the news?"
"Something about you and your partner stealing something that ruffled some Decepticon vents," Overclock answers casually as she grips Blurr's hand firmly while returning the shake.
"Oh, that." Blurr shrugs, letting go of her hand. "We actually didn't steal anything, Overclock. Just roughed him up a little. He and I have a...history. But he was fine, wasn't he? Just whiny. He's had worse."
"Honestly the rumors didn't go into much detail," the femme admits. "--Hey!" Standing still doesn't make the Insecticon immune from being bumped and she looks back sharply as someone collides with her from behind. "Stupid crowded, mannerless hollows," she grumbles. "Know anywhere quieter to stand? All these collisions are starting to bother me."
"Yeah it's always this crowded down here. Can't stop Cybertronians from loving their racing." Blurr grins. He gestures toward the bar he had just been sitting in. "We can sit down in there. Not exactly quiet but at least you won't get any more collisions."
He starts inside, shrugging at her admission regarding the rumors. "Eh, I figured as much. Figured Megatron would jump at the first chance he got to get me into trouble or label me as some sort of terrible person..." His optics fall slightly at this. He does...sort of feel like a terrible person himself, sometimes. "Well I guess I haven't exactly given him any reason not to hate me."
"I swear you hollows must have an addiction to that, and you spend so much energon on it too." Overclock readily follows the racer over to the bar and takes a seat in an adjacent chair. Her head tilts in a display of curiosity as the solid mold of her face prevents any expressions. "Why's that?" She asks. It's a simple enough question.
"Well I did things that definitely got him torqued. And a lot of other people." Blurr replies, sitting down across from her. Like helping the Senate brainwash and experiment on people, tipping off the Prime on rebel activity, getting disposables mass-murdered, interrogating empties and confiscating their rations, all that sort of thing! "I was also rich and famous, one of those 'spoiled elite' types that he hated so much, you know?" he sighs.
"Not really," Overclock admits, listening but not entirely following. "What kind of stuff were you involved in besides racing?"
"I was a Prime loyalist." Blurr replies simply, assuming she'll know what -that- meant. "Anything and everything he and his delegation wanted, I did it." A small glass of hot Nightmare Fuel he'd ordered previously is served, though he only sips gingerly at it.
"So you were involved in some of the bad stuff from the last few regimes," the femme concludes. "Do you regret any of it?" She doesn't bother consulting the bar's menu, though that might be for the best. Though Ibex is far from the closest hive city, their local delicacy just might be available at the underground circuit as well.
"'Some' might be a bit of an understatement..." Blurr shrugs. "I didn't really have a choice. But you can see why they'd hate my struts, right? I'm -everything- he hates." He shakes his head.
"That does make sense," Overclock agrees thoughtfully. "Plus you did mug someone."
"Heh..." Blurr shakes his head. "That's nothing compared to what happened -before-. I didn't even mug him. I just roughed him up a little bit. Like I said, he and I have a history together. Wouldn't have done it if it'd been someone who wouldn't have been able to put up a good fight at least."
"That sounds like he's got every reason to have it out for you," the femme comments. "So do you regret any of that or is it all just fun and games for you?" She asks again, trying to piece together the curious racer beside her.
There's a moment of silence, as Blurr peers quietly into his drink for a half a breem before looking back up at her. "Heh." Does he regret any of it? "That's a hard question," he shrugs, and his voice darkens.
"Yeah it might be true that he has every good reason to hate me, but it's kind of a two-way street. After everything he and his goons have done to me? To my best friends? To my -former- conjunx? And then after that, the way he talks so high about freedom and equality and all that rustwash trying to sound like he's somehow -better- than the people he hates? I have -every- reason to hate his struts, too."
He smirks and goes back to sounding nonchalant. "And you know what? Whoever's Prime next, I'm probably gonna have to throw my lot in with him. Because whoever it is, I'm guessing they're going to have to do everything in their power to stop Megatron. It'll be his duty as Prime, because a -true- Prime wouldn't stand for this kind of hypocrisy."
"So you don't," Overclock supplies in place of Blurr's partial answer. There's only a brief pause from the femme afterwards as she has no drink of her own to stare into. "Do you mean Decepticons attacking all the racetracks?"
"I didn't say -that-," Blurr replies, shrugging. "I didn't always agree with everything every Prime I ever served under did. But like I said, I didn't really have a choice. As for the ractracks, yeah, sure. I guess. That was -part- of it. But in the end it didn't really matter, did it?" He smiles and gestures at the videopanes near the ceiling, which are now showing a live feed of one of the races going on in the underground arena now. "Not like they destroyed racing or anything.
"I didn't say -that-," Blurr replies, shrugging. "I didn't always agree with everything every Prime I ever served under did. But like I said, I didn't really have a choice. As for the ractracks, yeah, sure. I guess. That was -part- of it. But in the end it didn't really matter, did it?"
He smiles and gestures at the videopanes near the ceiling, which are now showing a live feed of one of the races going on in the underground arena now. "Not like they destroyed racing or anything." A pause. "Why are you so interested anyway? I -just- met you."
"You seem like a nice mech," Overclock admits. The fact that he's a "nice mech" on the heelstruts of a brute might also be coloring the Insecticon's visor. "I'm curious why someone like Megatron would even care about a little theft and about all the bad stuff everyone's supposedly done that no one's talking about. I've literally been living under a rock."
"A very, very large rock..." The femme adds, as if that makes it better.
Oh, Blurr can seem like a nice mech. Very easily. In fact it's something he's very practiced at. He shrugs at her question. "I don't know, Overclock. I mean doesn't he have half a world to run right now or something? I guess I just figured I have a special and rather high-ranking spot on his list of people he -especially- hates above his general hate for everyone who worked for the government before Zeta died. Figured he was just looking for a reason to condemn me as an outright horrible person. And like I said, yeah I've done things that should rightly make his armor crawl but then again he did capture my conjunx and rip out her spark and then shove in into some kind of haphazardly thrown together heap of slag body then give her back to me..." A look of regret, and he sighs, shaking his head. "She never was quite the same again."
Overclock's optics flicker and she stares at Blurr for a good while after that. "He did... what?" She asks in incomprehension and surprise.
"He captured my conjunx, had her spark ripped out, destroyed her original body then shoved it into some scrapheap body made from spare parts, and then forced her to be his slave until she completed some task..." Blurr shakes his head. "Slag if I know what it was. He let her go, eventually. But like I said she never was the same again. He killed her...the Feint I knew. He killed her."
"Oh, right and he left her real body's remains behind for us so we'd think she was dead."
"That's scrapped up," the Insecticon assesses bluntly.
Blurr nods. "Yeah. Yeah it is. So yeah, I've done some things. But I do have every right to hate him. To hate -all- of them."
"And you know what the ironic thing is? She was trying to -help- them, Overclock. She told me, she was trying to help people like them. People who were oppressed. People who didn't have rights. And look where it got -her-."
All Overclock can do for that is shake her head. "Every one of you hollows has energon on your hands, don't you? Queens of the grand hive..."
"You also like expensive stuff," she adds with mild annoyance as she looks across the bar at the stock of drinks, then thinks better of it. "Shanix... what a useless currency."
"-Everyone- has fuel on their hands." Blurr corrects. "Even you, I'll bet. Go on, don't deny it. I bet you've killed people." He leans back a little. "You look like the type. No offense, in fact, what that means is you look like a tough femme who doesn't let herself get messed with." he grins.
As for expensive things...well, he was raised that way. Of course he likes them. He practically doesn't know any other way of living. "Heh, don't like shanix? Well if it were up to you what would -you- use as currency? If anything at all."
"I'm an Insecticon. We're not in the business of killing over petty little squabbles but our hives tend to get raided now and then to fuel your lust for races," Overclock points out. "Some of us at least need to be able to protect the rest of the hive."
"Why use currency at all? Once you start putting prices on everything and then prices on peoples' labor, you're most of the way to putting prices on people themselves... or is slavery only a problem when it happens to someone you like?"
Blurr shrugs. "Gotta have some way of determining what something is worth. Whether it's an object or work or whatever. If I gave you one hundred cubes of the purest energon on the planet and you paid me with fifty of some cheap fuel substitute I don't think -anyone- could call that a fair trade. Except maybe you claim it is, but I argue and then we fight and then someone probably gets killed."
If she wants a full analysis of the issue, Prowl or Ultra Magnus would probably be better at that. "Nothing's free in this world, whether you use currency or not. It's just a fact of life."
"You could argue even easier over a shanix price," Overclock dismisses. "It's just such a weird society..."
"I don't know about easier." Blurr laughs. "I think it'd be the same. There'd be arguments either way but at least with currency we can cite some stupid 'market value' for things and thus establish some kind of standard that everyone has to agree on. But it's not like I've ever had to run any kind of business or sell any goods." In fact he spent much of his early life -being- the goods.
The Insecticon's optics are drawn upwards to the viewing monitors before coming back to 'Stripe'. Some of the economic theory might have gone over her antennas. "So are you in any of the races today?"
"I was." Blurr perks up. "They might put on some replays later." He too glances up at the screens. "What are you down here for, anyway? Not looking for circuit speeders to overdose on, I guess." he grins at that.
"High-performance doesn't really... exist among Insecticons," Overclock admits, scratching awkwardly behind an antenna. "I was curious how you hollows did high speed and I was kind of hoping I'd find a nice trinket or something here, but... being an Insecticon doesn't exactly pay in your currency."
"What kind of trinket are you looking for?" Blurr asks. "I might be able to help you out. I don't blame you for liking fast." he grins. "Might be able to find some chemical boosters or something."
"I'd want something permanent," Overclock dismisses lightly. "I'm not really sure what I was hoping to find though. Hardly anything here is even compatible with my physiology."
"And I guess I should get back to the hive soon," she adds with a sigh. "There's always work to be done."
"Why were you wanting to be faster? You wanting in on the races or what?" Blurr prods further. "Or were you just finding yourself falling behind a lot these cycles? Heh. I bet I could find something that would fit you."
"I'm just not fast enough," the Insecticon answers glumly as she gets up from her chair. "Anyway it was nice meeting you, Stripe. Do you have another race scheduled that I could come visit for, maybe see you run it live?"
ZIP! Blurr suddenly disappears from his seat, only to return mere moments later with an oblong-shaped case in hand. "I'm no anatomy expert but these boosters are usually pretty flexible when it comes to different frame types. You should try 'em."
As for her question, he nods. "Sure, you could ask the bartender for a schedule, he'd probably be happy to give you one."
Overclock blinks, then blinks again, and slowly reaches out to accept the case. "Oh, thank you. Wow you're fast..." she admits in amazement. "I'll do that then, thank you again."
Blurr chuckles. "Excellent observation, Overclock. It's what I was made for."