Title: Of Riding Singing Sharks
Date: 25 April 2015
NPCs: Hippie physician and assistant
Summary: Nightbeat has an extraordinary adventure.
Nightbeat is taking residence at one of the corner tables, a modest half-full ration cube on the table, a datapad practically sucking in his optics into its informational vortex. The detective, as always, is where he's most at home, within his own thoughts.
The introverted detective's solace will be unceremoniously ruined.
The doors of Maccadams fly open with a loud -BANG-, permissing a rather unusual looking patron into the bar.
A floating shark, with colors like Joseph's Technicolor Dreamcoat, meanders in and somehow, though he has no legs, takes a seat at the bar. From his peculiar angle, he peers at the menu, his red optics dilating to the size of British tea cups. Blinking, he finally decides. "Whatever's on the house," he tells the bartender, who is slightly off put by the shark's odd appearance.
His drink arrives shortly, and Sky-byte reaches over with his awkward fins and takes the mug, raising the cup above his toothy maw. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the shark, he's holding the mug a little too tightly and a hairline crack has formed at the bottom. Before he can even manage to take a sip, the liquid leaks out entirely, leaving the shark with only the barest drop of engex. It pings onto his tongue, and the shark blinks, puzzled. “E-eh?"
Nightbeat's optic visor indeed gets pulled away from his datapad by the boisterous Predacon's entrance. His expression is passive, as if this sort of thing happens all the time. He sets the datapad and approaches the bar, dropping a couple of shanix on the counter. "Another of what I had before and something else for the gentleman here," he nods in Sky-Byte's direction. "In one of the duranium cubes, perhaps." To Sky-Byte, he offers, "Staff here apparently are unaccustomed to non-bipedal sorts. Think they'd figure it takes all frames.”
The shark startles, dropping his mug of engex on the floor. "AGHK!" he cries, as the cup shatters. "Wh-Who are you?" he stammers, and leans closer to Nightbeat, getting into the detective's personal space, his massive red optics nearly bugging out of his processor. "Well, exCUSE me, it's not like I don't HAVE one!" However, upon being called a gentlemen, he simmers down a bit. "Oh I suppose you're half decent," he mutters, his tail flicking indecisively.
Nightbeat manages a modicum of a smile as the barkeep sets down two more cubes, one being of a more durable material. "My thought: bit of decency now and then could forestall some of the unpleasantness blowing up outside the windows. Couldn't hurt anyway, yeah?”
"You are rather poetic," Sky-Byte muses.
"Predicament, yes! Someone missing, oh, indeed, The show can't proceed," The shark utters a rhyming haiku in honor of the gentlemechly detective.
He peers suspiciously at the cubes before gobbling one down in its entirety. His already U-shaped mouth turns even more downward in distaste before he regurgitates the remnants of the container. "Aah..that's better," He says, 'swimming' in a satisfied figure 8 before sitting down once more.
Nightbeat muses at Sky-Byte's verse, then raises a ridge behind his visor at the sudden upchucking of his beverage. "Interesting bit of verse there. One of yours?" He takes a moment to grab his datapad then relocates his personal plot of borrowed land to a nearby barstool.
"Don't be a fool," the shark wiggles his nose at Nightbeat. "Of course it was! That was an outpouring of my ... soul!" he cries dramatically waving his fins. He looks like he might be on the verge of tears or something.
Sky-Byte coughs, then gags up an odd colored glove before continuing. "Without our prima donna, the underground performance will be a flop," the shark says mournfully. He covers his optics with his fins. "What to do, what to do...."
Nightbeat seems a bit nonplussed by the glove ralphed up, but he takes silent note of it all the same. "So you're a performer then. And short one in the troupe, it'd seem. What role needs filled... presuming it's not a pry for me to ask?" He knocks back more of his second beverage.
Apparently Sky-Byte thinks it's safe to assume that Nightbeat is interested in filling the role. And evidently, gender is negligible? "OOOH GOOD!" The multicolored shark cries excited, waggling his fins.
"Come, come..." And if Nightbeat allows him, the zany Predacon will dip down underneath the detective's legs, consequently placing him straddle wise right behind his dorsal fin.
Nightbeat does allow the maneuver, though is a bit surprised. "Aah, I asked because I may know a mech or two in my line of work with some artistic leanings... I have to admit my own skills at such are horridly lacking. But it likely would behoove me to know more about your needs before I make any inquiries."
It seems to have gone over Sky-Byte's helm. "Zip-A-Dee-A, Wonderful feeling, Wonderful day~" The shark sings loudly while exiting the bar. They will attract a few stares. Because, you know, it isn't every day you see some guy riding a shark bronco style.
The shark continues singing as he flies out into the street, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-A, My oh my, what a wonderful day, Plenty of sunshine heading my way, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-A.."
The shark is flying.. surprisingly fast. Nightbeat will need to hold on, in order to not fly off…
Nightbeat holds on for dear life, forearms locked around Sky-Byte's dorsal fin. "You of course realize," Nightbeat says over potential wind noise, "that I could have easily shifted to vehicular mode and followed in that fashion..?" He begins analyzing surroundings, looking for a relatively safe spot to transform to vehicle mode and land should Sky-Byte fly too fast for him to hold on, which looks to be close in coming.
"No, no," The shark insists, "I can fly MUCH faster than you drive. Besides, I can take the SCENIC route, and you can't."
Except Nightbeat won't be able search for somewhere convenient to fall down for very much longer, because Sky-Byte suddenly increases altitude. They're now flying about seventy stories up. "Oh, I think I forgot to mention that the auditions are being held in Polyhex," he adds helpfully.
Nightbeat blinks. Polyhex. Not good. He glances around quickly, taking in his environment. Roads are becoming a foregone conclusion, so rooftops are going to have to do. He quickly notices a building that's about 20 stories down. It's going to suck hardcore, but it beats being dropped into Decepticon territory. "Tell you what, I'll make inquiries and be in touch. Ta for the trip!" And with that, he releases his hold on Sky-Byte's fin at the appropriate moment, waiting until he's sure he'll land on his wheels before transforming to vehicle mode. The landing... well, it sucks. Nightbeat crashes through the roof of the building and falls down to the floor below, covered in debris and stunned motionless. A janitorial droid enters the room to clean it and just stares agape at the vehicle-form mech crashed through the roof.
"N--WAIT!" The shark cries desperately. "D-did I say Polyhex?" Sky-Byte stammers, "I meant Vos..." Or did he?
The zany shark follows Nightbeat downward. He cringes visibly as the detective crashes through the roof of the structure. "I KNEW that wasn't going to be a good idea." He protoforms, and leans over a stunned Nightbeat. As soon as the janitorial drone arrives, the Predacon makes a shooing motion at it. "What are you looking at, little twit!" He transforms again and picks up Nightbeat, slinging the detective over his back again. "You need medical attention..."
Nightbeat groans as he reflexively shifts back to root mode, just in time for Sky-Byte to sling him over his back. "W-wait. Wait. I can call for assistance from here. Chances are any... ow... damage I've sustained would be... nggh... made worse by traveling. And besides, as I'd said back at the bar, I'm... rnngh... I'm not quite the performer myself, but I know a few mechs and femmes who are. Just offered to put out some feelers, is all.”
"Hmph, are you crazy? Those Autobot doctors don't know ANYTHING!" the shark huffs. As if he did. "What?! I'm CAREFUL! I won't damage you anymore!" Sky-Byte insists. "I've got a buddy of mine, he's stopped over in Protihex right now, and he knows lots and lots of people, they'll be able to fix you up in NO TIME, no time at all." He begins humming again. "Everything is fine, fine, fine~"
At least he isn't overly rough this time as he ascends.
Oddly enough, the next thing Nightbeat will know is that he's lying on a mat in a dim room, somewhere.. probably Protihex. The multicolored shark isn't presently around.
Nightbeat emerges from stasis lock, his optics lighting again. His head turns just enough to scan his surroundings, looking for any sign of where he might be. He flexes his fingers and tests his joints, but otherwise lays right where he is. A noise akin to a sigh escapes him. "Perfect." The next thing he does is check his internal comms, to make sure they weren't damaged or otherwise disabled.
"Ah! You're AWAKE!" The multicolored shark seems to have appeared out nowhere and is now behind Nightbeat. He peers at the detective. "Hm, not too bad," he says, "my friend has contacted a medical seer, and he'll be right in. Don't worry," he says, patting Nightbeat on the shoulder with one of his fins, "you won't be in pain for too much longer.."
Nightbeat shoulders himself up to a seated position. "Pain's something I can live with... lack thereof rather concerns me. Seriously though..." He stifles a wince. "...been through scads worse, me.”
"Oooh what an INTERESTING CONCEPT!" Sky Byte muses, placing a fin under his chin. Somehow his pedoral fins are able twist impossible into that body position. "I should write a ballad about that. He belts out, "Because I'd rather hurt, than feeling nothing at aaaaalll, It's a quarter after--"
But then they are unceremoniously interrupted by the door of the room bursting open, allowing two mechs into the room, both with dreadlocks. "Sky Byte my homeslice, how's the faithful patient, holding out, mech?" one of them proclaims.
Sky Byte blinks. "Ah.." He glances over Nightbeat. "...?"
Nightbeat lifts a hand in a wave to the newcomers. "Bit of joint stiffness, but nothing a day or two of leisurely rest shouldn't do away with." He looks to Sky-Byte. "Sorry for the bother there, self-preservation instincts are a glitch sometimes, yeah?”
"S-Self preservation instincts?!" Sky Byte splutters. "You call jumping to almost CERTAIN DEATH and crashing through a roof self preservation?! You must be.. MAD!" His pectorals curl into scroll shaped fists.
The second mech, having not yet spoken, addresses Nighbeat. "Stiffness? I have the perfect solution, dude." He peers at Nighbeat through his colored spectacles, and from his subspace compartment, draws out a container full of very thin needles…
Nightbeat grins at Sky-Byte. "Wouldn't be the first time such an accusation's been leveled. My superiors've often thought I placed the work above my own well-being." He holds up a hand at the up-till-now silent physician. "No need. Appreciate the concern, but I think I should just roll on home.”
Sky Byte just stares at Nightbeat, confused, optics wide as British teacups again. "I-I.. don't believe you! You're just.. mad! Utterly a basket of rusted bolts!!" He cries, pectorals still curled.
"Dude, dude," the physician prods. "Seriously, I'm doing this for free and you won't regret it. You'll feel so much better. Cross my spark and hope to die, this'll only take five breems anyway."
The other dreadlocked mech gets up and closes the door of the room. "C'mon mech! You can roll on home after this.”
The physician then takes out a couple of the needles and attempts to poke them into Nighbeat's arm joints…
Nightbeat immediately transforms into vehicle mode and drives full-throttle towards the door…
The first needle has hardly sunk into Nighbeat's joints before the detective transforms and makes a beeline for the door. The two dreadlocked mechs throw themselves out of the way with a startled cry, however, Sky Byte isn't as keen.
"AAAH!" the shark cries. For some reason, his first instinct is lower himself onto the ground in an attempt to make himself smaller. Which, of course, doesn't work out so well for the Predacon, he gets flattened by Nighbeat's alt mode as the detective races for the door...
"Ffffbbluupp.." he gurgles, Nighbeat's tire marks emblazoned onto his fore helm…
Presuming no one makes a move to stop him, Nightbeat barrels his way out of the room, and makes his way to the nearest major roadway in the direction of Iacon. "Looks like I'll have to find myself a new watering hole..." the detective muses to himself.
The two other mechs are left behind, but it would appear the shark has followed him. He doesn't seem ill intentioned, though. In fact, he must have been bathed in remorse, a fountain of engex tears are spouting out of his giant red optics like a broken hose.
"WAIT WAIT...!! I'm SORRY! I thought I was HELPING!"
The shark protoforms in front of Nighbeat, palms outstretched. "I.... I'll give you something for compensation," he says desperately. And from his subspace compartment, he produces a large magnifying glass.
Nightbeat screeches to a halt as Sky-Byte blocks his path, pauses for a moment, then reverts to root mode. "It's... it's all right. I apologize; I didn't mean to seem ungrateful, but one thing I've been keen to see is red flags. This situation was full of them. But I'm content to call this a breakdown in communication." He grins sidelong at the magnifier. "Thank you, it's very kind of you. And if you still need help with your performance, I'm willing to make inquiries still. But my own inclusion simply wouldn't be to anyone's benefit.”
"No, no," Sky-Byte says urgently, "don't bother. I'm starting to think the play won't be the same without HER anyway, I'd rather find her than replace her," he says.
"O-Oh.. y-you're so kind sir..!" He transforms, optics dilating and his pectorals trembling, as he hands Nightbeat the magnifying glass.
The shark then suddenly has an emotional outburst and embraces the detective in a bear like hug. "I-I'll dedicate my next musical to you!”
Nightbeat graciously takes the magnifying glass and is instantly stunned a bit by the sudden embrace, but does his best to return it. "I look forward to seeing it.”
"Yes, yes! It shall be.." The shark looks around a bit hesitantly. "The location is to be announced! At a later date!" He cries, pointing one fin upward victoriously.
And then Sky Byte is off, disappearing under the ramp they've been standing on this whole time, mumbling incomprehensibly about theatre props...
Upon closer examination, Nightbeat will find the magnifying glass is surprisingly powerful...