Title: Terrible, Terrible, Terrible
Date: 17 January 2015
Who is that stumbling through the halls of the Acropolex? Could it be.. Whirl? Yes, it is! He's actually here, which is already a rare enough occurance, and he's not even trying to smuggle people inside which makes this double rare! There's an empty cube in his claws, no doubt previously filled with his own bootleg purchase before he chugged it all in record time (how does he do that?) but he ends up throwing it against a wall and smashing it into a bunch of pieces like the inconsiderate jerk he is.
Whatever, it's not like Hot Rod is around to yell at him.
SURPRISE: "/Whirl/." Hot Rod is around to yell at him. The sound of shattering glass draws him from the storage room. "At least I was throwing things at you for a reason. Come on, mech. What was that about?"
Damn it, it's like Hot Rod has some kind of radar that alerts him to all the bad thins Whirl is doing at any given time. "Tch! I would hardly call that a 'good reason' but whatever." He kicks a pile of glass into a corner because he's considerate like that. There's a long moment of silence where Whirl is turned away from Hot Rod before he finally speaks again. "I had an.. interesting conversation with someone the other day."
"Well, I didn't say good reason. Just reason." Hot Rod grins. Yelling clearly will not last long. He glance over at the kicking, then shrugs: good enough. "The kind of interesting conversation you have with someone at gunpoint or what?"
"Yeah, I guess you could say it was kind of like that." No, it was nothing like that actually. There weren't any weapons shoved threateningly at anyone's faces or anything like that; just the cold intensity of Starscream's optics, which should totally qualify as a weapon. There's another moment of awkward silence before Whirl turns around to face Hot Rod. "Hot Rod, would you sell your soul if it meant getting back something that was stolen from you?"
"No." Hot Rod not only has a ready answer, but he sounds slightly appalled by the question. "No, Whirl, no way." He moves closer, the better to speak with the low intensity of an idealist. "Whatever it is, it's not worth it. /You/ are worth more than whatever was taken," he says with earnest belief.
Whirl isn't really sure what response he was expecting from Hot Rod; of course the guy is going to say no and talk about the value of people and idealistic crap like that and blahblahblah. You know, typical Hot Rod stuff. There's the start of an annoyed huff but Whirl catches it in time and just makes a weird little noise instead. "What if the thing that was stolen from you was the only thing that gave you worth?" These questions are just getting more and more cryptic aren't they?
It's such typical Hot Rod stuff that one might be excused for waiting for him to start going on about freedom next. Give him time. He'll work around to it. Hot Rod shakes his head again, so firm his helm all but rattles. "Nuh uh. /No one/ can take /anything/ from you that's your real worth. People can take things, sure, but they can't just take this." He taps over his spark with the firm touch of two fingers. "Every living being has their own value, their own worth. Some things aren't meant to be sold, no matter what it gets you."
As Hot Rod goes on, Whirl decides that pussyfooting around the subject is just making this conversation absolutely unbearable and it would probably be better for everyone involved if he was just blunt and to the point.
"Hot Rod, someone made me an offer the other day. I don't like it AT ALL and I think it's a bad idea that is going to end in a terrible mess but this is probably my only chance at having my life back and.." There's a sigh and Whirl can't even look Hot Rod in the optics as he continues. "I'm considering joining the Autobots.."
Hot Rod stares at Whirl with jaw slackened. It's not his most attractive look. He's silent a long moment before he gathers himself enough to go, "Hang on. My hearing just glitched or something, because I thought I heard you /considering joining the Autobots/."
"You heard correctly," Whirl says, still refusing to look at Hot Rod. He's embarrassed and incredibly shamed that the words 'joining the Autobots' left his non-existant mouth without a trace of irony. "It could mean getting my life back. My face." He looks down at his claws and flexes them slightly. "..My hands."
Hot Rod makes a noise that's hard to describe, but rather than a hard scoffing noise, it softens in sympathy. He vents in heavy exhale before cycling a fresh breath. "Wow. Okay. Uhm." Despite the surprise, he repeats his earlier words, but he's quieter -- no less firm, but less pushy about it, maybe. "It's still not worth it, Whirl. Even you think it's a bad idea."
"I know it's a bad idea!" Whirl snaps, an intense, cyclopean glare leveled at Hot Rod's optics. "It's a terrible idea proposed by a terrible person with terrible ulterior motives! I know it is! I know the Autobots are dangerous, I know that I'm putting both myself and everyone I actually care about at risk just /considering/ the idea! I know that things will only end badly for everyone involved! I know that I would be selling my soul to the devil himself if I agree! I know all of that, okay!? I get it!"
"But.." His voice is quieter now and he shrinks back, leaning against the wall. "If there is even a modicum of a chance that I could get my hands back, I don't know if I can refuse."
Hot Rod is steadier in the face of Whirl's outburst than might be expected. He doesn't lose the touch of compassion that softens the sharpness of his idealism. Neither, however, does he lose the idealism: "You're worth more than that, Whirl. I can't tell you what to do -- not that you'd listen if I tried," he admits, briefly wry. "But. If it's really important to you, maybe Nautica could help, or Flatline. He helps disposables change their whole frames! It'd be wildly illegal, but that's the fun of it, right? Forget anything that makes you say terrible three times in a sentence."
Whirl has no problem with anything considered wildly illegal; it's sort of his thing, it's how he makes a living these days. Having some hands made for him by Nautica or this Flatline person (whoever THAT is) /could/ work but would they be as good as the hands he was forged with? The hands that launched his career and made him a watchmaking icon? There is a lot to consider here and Whirl still isn't totally sold either way.
"I don't know Hot Rod. Just.. whatever happens, /if/ I decide to do this, I don't want you to think it had anything to do with you." He can't help but feel nervous at the subject and he begins picking at a seam in the armor of one of his arms, almost instinctively. He probably doesn't even realize he's doing it. "I appreciate everything you've done for me, and I'm totally behind what you're trying to do. I don't want there to be any bad energon between us, you know?"
"Nah," Hot Rod agrees, totally easy, totally light, totally DOESN'T CARE AT ALL. His smile is a touch too bright, and brittle besides. "It's cool. I mean, thanks for telling me, you know? You didn't have to. And if it's what you need to do, I'll help you if I can. Just -- you know, if you say 'terrible' three times--." He hitches his shoulders in a COMPLETELY CARELESS and TOTALLY CASUAL shrug.
Whirl just stares at Hot Rod and doesn't believe him at all when he says that 'it's cool.' That shrug is also suspicious as hell but whatever. "It's just a badge," he says, which is EXACTLY WHAT STARSCREAM SAID TO HIM s it's obviously bullcrap. "I wouldn't turn my back on you or your cause, I'd still want to do what I can. Maybe I could help you guys better from the inside, give you a heads-up if you ever fall on the Autobot's radar. That sort of thing, you know?" More nervous picking before Whirl catches himself and lowers his claw with an annoyed scoff. "Let's keep this between us though, okay? I don't want Blast Off catching wind of this and doing his shuttle thing."
Hot Rod laughs despite himself. Tension lingers at the edges of the sound, pulling it tight and short, but the smile lingers. "Yeah, okay. Sure. Our little secret." He relaxes to something a little closer to normal. "Between you and Shiftlock, sounds like we'll be pretty well covered. Just ... take some time to think about it, okay? Think about whether you can really trust them. And if you think you can -- hey, good luck."
Shiftlock. Whirl hasn't said anything about her, but she is also one of the reasons he is seriously considering this decision. Joining the Autobots could mean getting his hands back, but it would also mean being able to keep an optic on Shiftlock and helping her out should the Autobots try to pull any more brainwashing crap on her or whatever other shady things they have planned.
"Tch! Don't say your good lucks to me yet," Whirl replies, his demeanor returning to it's 'I'm too cool to care about anything' normality. "It's not like I've comitted to anything yet. Geez! It's like you're TRYING to get rid of me or something."
"We'd go through a lot less glass," Hot Rod points out with a totally straight face. He eases back from idealistic intensity into something a little more roughly teasing. "It has its advantages!"
"Pffft! Whatever!" Whirl reaches out and gives Hot Rod a shove because he is a mechly mech and this is how he shows his affection. "You know you'd miss me. What would you do without the drama I bring, eh?"
It's true. Punches are also acceptable. Hot Rod shrugs the shove with a roll of his shoulder and laughs. "I think we'd probably get by. We'd just be a lot more /bored/. I mean, better than the vids! Besides, I'm giving you fifty-fifty odds that you'll tell them all to frag off when they try to get you to salute or something. Follow orders. Stand in lines. Polish guns -- eh, no, you might go for that one."
Whirl crosses his arms over his chest and huffs at Hot Rod. "Is polishing guns some kind of euphamism for something? Because if so, yeah, you're probably right." He drops his arms to his side and gives the other mech a shrug. "I really doubt they'll even let me into their ranks in the first place. How much you wanna bet they'll try to arrest me on some ridiculous, trumped-up charges the second I come within a mile of the Decagon?"
"Yeah." Attempting to control the urge to laugh lends an awkward strangled tone to Hot Rod's voice. "Ridiculous, trumped-up charges. Let me know if they do. We'll break you out," he promises. "Nothing like an excuse to blow up a prison, right?"
"Tell me about it. You rob a couple people, sell some drugs, maybe hold someone hostage and suddenly you're the bad guy." Whirl shrugs and shakes his head. "Ridiculous!" He pushes away from the wall and begins to walk away but he stops and looks at Hot Rod over his shoulder. "Uh thanks for.. you know, listening and not getting pissed off and yelling at me and such."
"You're free--" Yeah, you knew it was coming. "--to make your own choices, Whirl. Even terrible, terrible, terrible choices." Hot Rod's smile is a little crooked and his gaze a little shadowed, but when he shakes his head, it's just slight and rueful. "Just hope it works out for you, whatever you do. And hey! Think about all the great chances you'll get to punch those smug Autobots in the face under the guise of sparring if they do take you in."
"Heh. Yeah. And who knows? Maybe I'll get to give Orion Pax the punch in the mouth he so deserves." With that, Whirl leaves.