Date: 01 November 2014
Summary: Drift and Arcee run into each other again, and Arcee discovers the truth about the clinic bombing from a mysterious stranger.
It's a night like any other in Altihex, the work cycle has ended and everyone's out on the town, looking to bar hop, socialize and have a good time. However, the same cannot be said for the white and red mech wandering the city streets. Usually, he walks in, buys a drink and retreats to the back of bar to avoid being noticed.
Drift meanders past a massive joint under construction, his optics resting on it momentarily as a group of neutrals gather in front of it, looking hopeful. He then strides past it and enters a local dive, doing the same old, same old. Once he reaches the back of the bar, he sits down at a dimly lit booth.
A short time passes...and then, a certain pink femme enters the place. She seems to have known ahead of time that Drift was in here; perhaps she was inside the crowd of onlookers over at the much larger club being built...although, she's kind of easy to spot in a crowd, so who knows for sure.
At any rate, Arcee apparently knows Drift is here, as she has a seat across from him in the booth. "Well, look who just breezed into town," she exclaims. "Color me surprised." Her demeanor is friendly enough, although a trained optic might notice that one of her hands is right at the subspace 'draw' point, where a loaded weapon is probably available at a moment's notice.
His optics narrow. Drift doesn't need body language to know that pretty much everyone on the planet wants him dead, and most people who boldly approach him like that usually want to gut him and use his entrails to spell 'Slagger'. "What the hell do you want?" he says sharply, finishing his drink and standing up. "Honestly, just save yourself the trouble. I'm not about to do any favors." He pushes past her and heads upstairs to the balcony that overlooks the lower floor.
He's about to round a corner when somebody stops him. It's too dark to see who it is, but the conversation carries over to where Arcee is. "... you're going to collect the bounty anyway, aren't you?" the newcomer asks Drift. "D-Dammit," Drift responds, "how did you know? Look, what's done is done. I might as well." There's heavy but momentary pause. "If this is you trying... well you know who was inside that clinic. It's the least you can do." Drift turns away angrily. "Look, guilt tripping me isn't going to do any good. So leave me the slag alone." The other mech responds , "Sure. But I wasn't trying to guilt trip you." And then Drift is left alone. So he really had been the one behind all of it…
Arcee hms, sitting and listening curiously for a moment, until the other mech leaves Drift alone. Then, she gets up and goes over toward him. "Having the walls closing in on you is really taking the fun factor out of your little game, isn't it? Suddenly, it's getting to be a real bummer. Hmm, what to do." She pauses, then asks, "Spoken to Rod lately?"
His optics start simmer angrily. "That's none of your /damn/ business," he snarls at her, fists clenching. "What /game/? If anyone's playing a game, it's /you/, and I sure as slag don't want to be part of it so. Get. Lost." He stands up. "If you came here to pick a fight, well sorry, you're out of luck. You're not worth my time. You can be mad as hell about your friends dying or dangling on the brink of incarceration because of me, but slag, so what. So were mine. We all suffer, we all endure pain, so just fragging get over it already. They're probably happier dead anyway. So, when you get to your grave, tell them, 'You're welcome', from Drift."
"The only reason I haven't killed you yet is because your 'friends' asked me not to," Arcee says, just continuing in the same conversational tone as if she were having a pleasant talk over drinks with a long-time buddy. "Somehow, you actually have a couple of friends who think your continued existence is actually worth a drop in a slag bucket. Which surprised me. But since I really do appreciate what both Rod and Shiftlock bring to the table, since I think their opinion is worth something...I'm going to wait and see if they can 'fix' your brokenness some other way. So you're still making noise because of Rod and Shiftlock. You may want to go and thank them."
He leans towards her, optics boiling with crimson rage, his faceplates inches from hers. "Oh, is that so? Then why are you here? You want to rip out my spark so badly, why risk temptation?" He laughs, then spits part of his drink in her face. "You know, it really beats me, how anyone could trust a slagging Autobot like yourself. That's like asking for a definite backstab. I mean, do you even realize what a useless little pawn you are, running around doing the every errand of deadbeat cops? And Blast Off, I'm tempted to just help turn in. If my worth is a drop in a slag bucket, well his is less than half of that." He laughs. "You're so pathetic, you know. You want to kill me?" He slaps her in the face. "Stop being a stupid coward and do what you think is a favor to them and behead me.”
Arcee must have gotten the Prowl and Magnus short-study on how to deal with antagonizing mechs. "No, I'm not going to do the very thing you want to do yourself, but you're too frightened to do, and that's take your own life, so you're desperately trying to pawn the mission off on others by begging them to give you a suicide-by-cop. You think I'm going to give you what you *want*? No way. I'm starting to think you deserve to live many, many more years...in an isocube. Just so you can stew in your own hatred of yourself and everyone else around you who's ever given you the benefit of the doubt. Just an existence completely bereft of anything but your own poisoned thoughts. It could only be an improvement. And you know I'm right."
"Then go ahead and call the cops," he hisses. "What are you waiting for? You obviously came here for a damn reason, so why the hell are you just sitting there? You talk slag, but it means nothing to me. If you're trying to make me feel bad, sorry, but you failed miserably. I don't give a slag about a thing you say. If I really wanted to die, I'd be dead already. I'm not afraid of death, unlike you."
A mech from a table nearby stands up and walks over to them, looking annoyed. "Can you slaggers be quiet, we're trying to talk about important work issues--"But before the mech can even finish his sentence, Drift pulls a gun on him and blasts the poor mech's helm into a million bloody pieces. His rifle clicks. "Who's next," he snarls. The bartender gasps in anger and shock. "Y-you fragger! Get security over--" Another blast from Drift's rifle and the bartender is history. By now, the entire joint is a screaming and frenzied scramble for the nearest exit.
The moment Drift begins shooting innocent people, Arcee pulls a laser-pistol out of subspace and aims it at him. "Drop your weapon. Now." She doesn't really think he's going to actually *listen* to her, but maybe she can buy some time for the other people who need to escape out of this place.
"Not happening," Drift snaps, as he grabs an innocent by stander and uses them as a shield/leverage. The joint is chaos, and security is trying to get Drift to stand down, but he listens to them as much as he listens to Arcee. Leaping onto the bar counter, he grabs a metal wine glass rack and uses it to knock out one of the guards. Then he pulls out his rifle and starts taking out the security detail one by one, completely disregarding any innocents who happen to get in the way.
>> Arcee rolls one ten-sided die and gets: 10.
"Damn it..." Arcee attempts to shoot Drift in the hand to stop the slaughter he's currently conducting within a bar, but he's just moving around too much and the shot goes into the bar itself.
Drift dodges Arcee's shot, his optics blazing in rage as he runs down the length of the counter, shooting everyone and anything in his way. The security detail is frantically radioing in backup, hoping the Autobots will arrive and and stop the crazy madman from killing everyone in the bar.
Here comes the calvary. An Autobot detail can be heard approaching the bar, and they burst in through the front doors, guns charged and ready. At the front of the group is Prowl, second in command to Sentinel Prime himself. Typically he wouldn't have come out here, but when he heard that Drift was here...well, suffice it to say that Drift is a high-profile target and very dangerous.
Now the mech has several guns pointed at him, including Prowl's. No low-power EDK this time, he's more than just a pathetic drug addict, now. No, this time Prowl doesn't even bother warning Drift or threatening him.
"Fire at will." He tells the squadron, and Drift is immediately targeted.
Arcee wasn't going to give Drift what he was hoping to get in the first place -- namely, suicide by cop -- but orders are orders. She targets Drift, and opens fire, though her shots aim more toward his legs. She really DOES want him sitting in a cell for all eternity.
>> Prowl rolls one ten-sided die and gets: 3.
The shots tear into Drift's armor, burning holes in his side and shoulder. He braces himself as energon starts leaking profusely from his wounds. But he doesn't stop. He continues to leap from table to table, dodging Arcee's blast and firing at the squadron.
>> Drift roll one ten-sided die and get: 7.
Arcee shoots up some more parts of the bar and floor, but she really is trying to focus. She's probably just really nervous from all the stress, it isn't uncommon in rookies.
>> Arcee rolls one ten-sided die and gets: 9.
Prowl isn't aiming to kill, either. The shots aim for non-vital places, but he doesn't lack stun weapons either. Some of Drift's shots punch into several Autobots, but this time they've brought enough to be -sure- to take him down and take him in.
He pulls out the electron diffraction beam, this time dialing up the power enough to knock him out pretty hard and possibly cause some burns but not to kill him.
>> Prowl rolls one ten-sided die and gets: 9.
(Come on, Arcee, focus, we HAVE to bring him in or else this madness continues and the body count will get worse,) Arcee pep-talks herself. With a solid look of determination, she empties a few rounds toward Drift's legs, the barrel of her laser-rifle smoking hot as she overheats it slightly from the effort.
>> Arcee rolls one ten-sided die and gets: 4.
Drift is getting kinda slagged. The diffraction beam strikes him, disconcerting him momentarily. Welp, better head back to Ratchet's again. The medic probably won't be pleased to see that he's just undone all his work again, but well. Life.
Arcee's blast strikes his left hand, tearing off three of his fingers. His energon sprays everywhere and lands on Arcee and several dead security mechs on the floor. "Gnn," he grunts. He's done here, though. He takes a quick look around before darting out the back door of the joint into a dark alley, fleeing the Arcee and attacking Autobot cadets.
"After him!" Prowl orders the team. "Don't let him get away!" Though he doesn't seem to aid in the pursuit for now, the others transform and race after him. Instead, he turns to Arcee in the now-empty bar.
...is he smiling? Okay, just a little bit of a smirk, perhaps.
"I thought you said you'd been training hard." Clearly not hard enough.
"I have! ...Okay, a few of the shots kind of went wild," Arcee admits. "But hey, I called right away when I found him!"
Drift has jumped onto the back of a public transport that is leaving the platform. Using his non-battered hand, he breaks the glass and crawls in, hoping the Autobot cadets will leave him alone for now.
"I know, but perhaps you ought to focus more on marksmanship." The smirks fades away quickly, and Prowl's face goes back to its usual neutral expression. "But at least you're showing some improvement. For that, I commend you."
"Thank you. I really am trying; this was just a random sighting that turned violent a lot sooner than I thought it would," Arcee admits. "I'm sorry that anyone had to die. Wish it could have been prevented."
"Hmph." Prowl shakes his head, starting toward the exit. "And what does wishing bring about?" Nothing is the answer to that question. "Don't wish, move forward. To the next assignment, the next lead, whatever it may be. Get results, whatever it takes. Take things one step at a time and you'll eventually get somewhere."
At that moment, a tall figure enters the trashed bar. "Oh.. slag," he says, and Arcee will recognize his voice. He was the one Drift had been talking to earlier about 'bounty'. He's tall, with wide shoulders and massive hands--and apparently a flier, but his wings aren't jet like, instead, they resemble bird wings.
He surveys the mess, looking grieved. His optics land on Arcee and he frowns. "What happened?”
"Drift began shooting up the bar, so I called for some backup," Arcee answers the other mech. She peers at him curiously. "Weren't you speaking to him a little while ago?"
"Yeah," he says, in a deep, Chris Hemsworth-y voice. "You eavesdropped?" His brows raise slightly and he steps towards her, drawing his wings in with a whoosh. He peers down at her, and she'll notice he has the tell-tale scorch marks of a miner on his armor. "So you heard everything. Are you going to go public about who actually did it, then?"
"Well...why shouldn't I?" Arcee asks. She doesn't sound defiant or taunting as she speaks to the miner, just matter-of-factly. "Don't the colleagues of those killed in the clinic attack deserve to know the truth?"
The large mech appears as Prowl is exiting the bar, and an optic ridge goes up at him. "And who are you? You aren't an accomplice of Drift's, are you?" He demands, without shouting or sounding obnoxious at all.
"Of course," he says, "you're absolutely right. I wasn't asking you to keep quiet. Drift will probably get what's coming to him, in one way or another. I'm just somewhat afraid of what will happen if the truth does get out. I dislike seeing how hatred spawns so quickly." He gives her a pointed look. "I wish all this violence would stop. But the brave one to do so is going to be the one who forgives, not the one who carries on the chain of vengeance." He looks over at Prowl. "No," he says, "but I do know him. But before you ask, no, I don't know where he would be. He doesn't really trust anyone.”
"I agree," Arcee says with some sadness. "...I wish it would end, too, but I don't see it ending anytime soon." She looks over at Prowl, and realizes that if she has a word with him in confidence now, this miner (who might be someone that needs to be taken in) could end up walking. He's kind of a wild card.
Prowl seems to accept this answer...for now. He'll be monitored, however. "Forgiveness isn't the solution to everything." The officer replies. "The sooner we accept the fact that there is no easy way to keep this world from falling into a chaotic mess, the better off we'll be." He sighs, and moves past the bulky mech. "Arcee, see to it that any injured bystanders are picked up my med-evac."
Though he pauses briefly on his way out, turning back momentarily. "And good work." Then he's gone.
"You say you wish for it but don't think it will happen anytime soon, but that's the mindset of someone who doesn't have hope. It only takes one domino to stop the falling effect," he tells her, "no one knows which one it will be, but you could choose to be that one. But only if you want to."
"I will help with getting the injured people to medics.” He lifts five of the injured bystanders onto his massive shoulders and into his large hands, then exits the joint, heading for the nearest clinic.