Title: The Fragile
Location: Repair Bay, Forge
Date: 25 February 2015
Summary: Blast Off gets repaired and Swivel tries convince Ruiner he's actually good, deep down. PROTIP: It doesn't matter.
- Radio: D-Chat ** Ruiner says, "All right, all right, I've had enough of this light duty business. Where are my tools."
Blast Off sits in medbay and decides, not for the first time, he'd rather be about anywhere else. Medbay is /boring/ and /sterile/ and the endless tests and charts and scans can try one's patience. Still- it could be worse. The shuttleformer's not in that bad of a shape, actually... not compared to what he's experienced in the past. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got exposed to an acidic vapor that peeled and bubbled his paint and made his metal armor brittle.
He's already seen Hook, which was an odd experience for him. He heard what that medic did to Shiftlock, and was torn between wanting medical help and wanting to shoot some vital part of the mech's anatomy off. He chose the former, probably wisely. Given a compund to apply on himself, he got the old paint off and now awaits the attachment of new armor and heat shields- and tries not to feel too exposed.
Megatron walks in to get some reports that Hook should have ready for him to read. He wants the details on just what the Constructicon did to their prisoner. He notices Blast Off and pauses. "Why are you still here? You werent that damaged were you?"
"Well well! The prodigal shuttle returns." A sleek black turbocar altmode makes his way through the medical ward, easily recognizeable due to the flames. Blue flames, none of that cheezy orange scrap painted across a certain RED turbocar. Ugh. So flashy. (So ironic). Ruiner stops at Blast Off's circuit slab, turning at the hip to give the datapad at the end a short, sharp kick; this flips it into the air and he snatches it up easily, like bouncing a hacky sack. "Any internal complains? I can tell you're going to need surface work."
Megatron speaking up catches Ruiner's attention and he bows politely. "Welcome to the medical bay, Lord Megatron. Any priority work to be done?"
Megatron looks at ruiner for a moment, his expression not quite as stern on him but most wont notice that. "I need no work, Ruiner. I do need Hook's reports though."
Blast Off straightens just slightly as Megatron enters the medbay. He may be arrogant and not all /that/ impressed with Megatron the way some blind loyalist like, say, /Soundwave/ is... but he's not stupid either, and Megatron is the leader of this faction. He calmly turns to look at the gray miner mech. "I experienced an acidic attack that compromised my heat shields and armor. Unless you wish for me to fall apart the moment someone looks at me cross-opticed on the battlefield, I believe it a good idea to make sure all my armor is properly fitted and repaired." And indeed, he looks rather... bare with no armor or heat shields on.
Then there's another voice, and the shuttleformer raises an optic ridge as Ruiner enters. Ah, yes. He met the mech once before, briefly. So he's the medic on duty? Well- better than Hook, at least. There is no desire for shooting. "....No. The itching is gone, /finally/... but mainly it seems to have affected my shields." There's suddenly a slight *wheeze* from his ventilation systems. "....Oh. And I've developed... that."
"I just got here. Hook's probably not finished making sure his typeface is perpendicular," Ruiner quips with a note of amusement to Megatron. "I haven't seen his report yet, sir. I came down here to check and make sure we didn't have any leakers or emergencies." He looks back down at the initial diagnostics data from Blast Off. "I'm going to run a full analysis; please lie back and relax. You can continue conversation while I run the process in the background." He pulls several cables out from the head of the circuit slab and goes for a diagnostics port on Blast Off's torso.
Blast Off does as told, lying down on the table and at least /trying/ to get comfortable. "This is what happens when you're ordered to chase down a bunch of street hooligans. Should have simply let them run like the cowards they were." He lifts a hand up and rotates his arm slightly- the sections looking even more thin and frail than usual without his heavy heat shields on. "...I will be glad when *cough* I've got everything back. Those heat shields are not easy to replace, you know. The ceramic tiles must be made /just so/."
"Well, I think we can make them very -easy- to replace," Ruiner muses thoughtfully, looking at Blast Off's arm. "You see, in Perihex, they have these devices called 'nanolathes'. You feed in the raw material, give them a drafting diagram down to the molecular level, and they replicate -exactly- what you need. Perfect replacement parts every time -- of course, they don't make these available to the public. That would mean that the ubitquitous altmodes would be easily fixed and eat all the energon intended for the more "valuable" parts of the population." Ruiner lays Blast Off's arm across his chest. "I'm going to take a sample of the injury, it looks like chemical damage. Might be able to make something to counteract it back to neutral before it dissolves your struts."
Megatron notices Swivel is in there and frowns slightly. "What is she doing here?" he walks over to her chart persay and looks at it. His optics narrow, "And who is paying for all this?" he asks that question in a tone that anyone and everyone better answer.
Swivel is indeed there, lying on a berth, tucked in some corner, not awake at the moment. Otherwise she'd have been chattering off poor Blast Off's audials. Her log states she's been prepped by a junior technician but would require a more senior medic to fix various internal system issues, mostly damage caused by previous sloppy repairs.
Blast Off allows the medic to investigate his arm, fingers twitching slightly when he gets near exposed, raw circuitry. "The compound that Hook gave me seemed to *wheeze* stop the bubbling and itching. Though now I need an entirely new paint job. *sigh*" He stares at the ceiling a moment before continuing. "...Interesting. So it sort of... prints out a three-dimensional replica?" His optics dim thoughtfully. "...How elaborate can these replications get? Like... entire body parts?" Pause. "Entire bodies?"
When Megatron walks over to Swivel, that's when the shuttleformer turns his head and notices her there. He blinks, surprised to see her there. "...What happened to her?"
"I dont know." Megatron says sourly, "Thats what I asked all of you here and no one seems to want to answer me." he looks at her chart again and down at the authrorization box he sees an elaberate and very fancy signature; Thunder Cracker. What? He sets the chart back where it belongs. At leat he knows whos going to be paying for it now.
The junior tech who had been going inventory over at the supply cabinets glances over.
Tentatively but not timidly, not having the tensure to be bold or arrogant, the tech pipes up. "I can wake her. She probably could explain."
"Do so." Megatron commands simply.
With a curt nod the junior tech wastes no time. He walks over to the berth Swivel had been set on and brings her to.
The courier's optics fade into their regular purple glow, and then flicker a few times. There is a light, girlish sigh as the rested femme looks about herself, momentarily disoriented. "Wo....?" she mutters in confusion, and then she remembers she was brought here on insistence by Thundercracker. The femme slowly sits up and scans her surroundings. At first her optics just briefly pass by Megatron, only for her to snap her attention back to him, her optics wide and her lips pressed close together, making her mouth appear smaller.
Megatron watches her for a moment, "Care to explain why you are here, courier?"
Blast Off waits for Ruiner to complete his tests, lying there on the table and watching Megatron and Swivel.
"I-I-I-I- I mean Thu-thu-thundercracker, sir," Swivel stutters in a right panic. Last time she saw Megatron he was extra scary, tearing up the relinquishment cinic. Sure, he wasn't exactly a threat to her, actualy favouring her wellfare (or maybe she was just a ride for Ravage?). But he was still intimidating. "I mean t'say, uh..." Swivel puts her hands out, palms open, in a placating manner as she tries to straighten up her thoughts enough. She is sure tumbling over her words would get tiring fast. She tries to slow down her thinking, and accordingly, her words. "I was in Kaon, bumped inta Thundacracker, an' I 'ad an injury - a small thing really. After talkin' 'e offered ta get me repairs, sayin' 'e was gonna cover them." Swivel amost wonders if she should have politely declined. That might have been the proper - OH HI BLAST OFF - great. "All I 'ad was a shoulder wound from bein' shot at by Nyon enforcers, but scans showed other problems, so 'e, uh, told 'em to prep me for, a, uh, full repair." Swivel;s optics occasionally flick over to Blast Off, but they mostly stay on Megatron. Mostly his chin, since she doesn't feel proper staring him in the optics... but also worries looking down may also provoke him. Really, the femme knows so little of the mech she doesn't know HOW to behave. "N-not that I... I dinna ask or expect - but I din think e'd take no... I'm sorry if I'm a problem."
Megatron listens, "Very well then. I wanted to speak with you anyway. When your repairs are complete report to me before you leave." he glances back at Blast Off and then goes to a computer station to sit and go over Hooks 'work' on their recent prisoner.
Blast Off listens to Swivel speaking, and frowns under his faceplate. "Now Nyon enforcers were shooting at you?" He sighs a little. "Swivel, you /must/ learn to be more careful."
"A...uh..gi..da...bu.... okay. I mean, YESSIR!" It did, indeed, take Swivel a while to actually get words out, instead just forming partial syllables. Report to Megatron? Ooooooh dear. Swivel is beginning to wonder just how deep she has managed to get herself in this time. Decepticons are -scary-... oh but... Blast Off isn't. And Thundercracker isn't. Megatron sure is. Swivel is going to seriously need to reconsider her opinion of them, and carefully reflect on what is fact and what is fiction. Swivel also considers she may be over thinking things.
Swivel turns and looks to Blast Off woefuly. "I know... more careful.... but.... it 'ent easy bein' careful 'en the rules kep changin'. They say come peacefully? I put m'arms up an' cooperate. 'En I got shot." Swivel frowns. "Goooooooor.... I might be labeled a terrorist! O'Rod some'ow b'came enemy number one in Nyon 'ile I was in Vos, 'n byther time I got back, summon told me t'meet 'im an suddenly, there were enforcers an' I was bein' an assosciate of a terrorist 'en all I did was.... aaaaaaaah!" Swive throws her arms up in exasperation.
Blast Off sighs. "Yes... well, welcome to Cybertron. It doesn't matter if you are innocent or guilty. Only if you are convenient... or not." As for that recent prisoner.... the Combaticon glances at Megatron, optic ridges furrowing. Shiftlock must have been taken prisoner- /experimented on/- by his orders. He feels a wave of resentment at the thought, though he dares not voice it. The shuttle then sinks back in to wait on Ruiner's results.
"Okay!" Ruiner has been busy off in the back corner with the chemistry set. Had to wrestle it away from Mixmaster. "Hook knows his business but the damage to your mesh is deep, and I'm definitely going to have to take a look inside you to see how bad it hit your ventilation systems." He strides over to Blast Off and leans against the circle slab casually. "You're in luck. Hook may know how to put up a building but I know everything there is to know about taking care of plate and mesh."
Megatron looks over toward Ruiner from the report hes reading from time to time to try and glean some medical knowledge. Its a dream hes pretty much given up on but that doesnt mean he still can't learn some repair skills, even if is just listening.
There is the hint of a whimper from Swivel. Welcome to Cybertron indeed. She'd been living there her whole life, but did so with blinders on for her own comfort. "Yeah... guess so..." she says to Blast Off with a frown. "Convenient... surprised I lasted this long... always told m'self if I jus' stayed on th'roight side o' th'law an' kept ma 'ead down, I'd be fine an' get nuttin' t'fear from enforcers 'n th'loik. Now iffin tha'way o' life 'ent enough."
Blast Off glances at Ruiner. "...Inside me? Just how FAR inside me?" He's been opened up and nearly had his spark removed (all without painkillers, too) and has kind of been there, done that already enough. HOWEVER.... that little *wheeze* is persistant and probably /should/ be checked out. "So... you will be able to replace the shields, then? Will I be spaceworthy once more?" Not that he really gets much chance to go to space *sigh*.... but hey, he did rescue those prisoners on garrus-1, after all! You never know.
To Swivel he replies, "No. The government is cracking down on everyone and everything that gets in their way... and these days, just /thinking for yourself/ is enouhg to get on their hit list."
Somehow Ruiner understands Swivel's ... drivel? Accent. Thick accent. We'll go with that. "Oh I've been there before dear, trust me - all staying on the right side of the law ever got me was beaten by uppity racers who didn't think I hustled enough with their tires," he consoles and educates at the same time.
"If I get that nanolathe, Blast Off, I'll have you spaceworthy in a few cycles. For the time being I'm going to mix an epoxy substitute for your heat shields - it's not perfect and I wouldn't recommend you try more than a few reentries with them - but it will help you limp along until we get the right materials. Ceramic doesn't come cheap or easy. It's shipped in from offworld, and with the Galactic Council sanctions, we're starving for specialized imports."
There is a drawn out frown from Swivel, but then she replaces it with a cheeky grin. "Welum, guess I otter stop thinkin' f'myself. I 'ent a great thinker, moight be better t'let smarter people think for me." Sarcasm? Not quite. Facetiousness? Definitely. Swivel tilts her head at Ruiner for a few moments. Racers? "Oh... didja used t'work in Ibex?"
Yes... yet another inconvenience- /obsolescence/ even... thanks to the Clampdown. "...Someday Cybertron will see the folly of that... the folly of the Clampdown. We space alts should be treated with respect, should be encouraged to fulfill our function and transport goods and people across the galaxy.... but NO. We're supposed to sit here on the planet and ROT while the cosmos spins by without us." Blast Off lets out a petulant *huff* at that, then nods. "...But very well. *wheeze*" He awaits the procedure, giving Swivel another small huff. "No... don't give them the satisfaction. NEVER give up your ability to think... to choose."
Megatron is just listening to everything as he reads. The unhappiness hes hearing from those that have had to live under the Senates idea of 'fair and peaceful' only reinforces why hes gathered this army and why hes determined to bring peace and equality to Cybertron one way or another.
There is a soft chuckle from the courier femme. "I wunna meanin' it Blast Off. I loik 'aven some choices. 'Oo I kin talk ta, where I kin go. Yanno. But I'd ne'er wanner be in charge o' nuttin' but meself. Choices ge'too big an' th'sponserbilites'd make m'ead spin roight off. Sometimes I wonder if peeps 'sessed fer gov'ment roles get overwhelmed an' want a simpler job a'much as us at ther bottom wish ter kinner choose somethin' a bit beyond us?" Swivel tilts her head to one side. Uh oh. She's doing that thinking for herself thing again.
"I was a pit mechanic in Ibex. Sports mechanics, certified by the association, all of that," Ruiner explains to Swivel, answering her question, as he begins to take samples of Blast Off's damaged components, removing broken pieces and cutting away damaged mesh, avoiding sensor nodes. His hands are light and nimble, his movements practiced and fast. One could almost call him a 'plastic surgeon' for the work he once did. "My guild deeply indebted me for my training, so much so that my salary for pit work forced me to continue to work in Ibex long after the desire had left me. You have no idea how bad it can be working for high strung racers - they'll smash your face in with a wrench if you don't have them looking holovid-perfect."
Swift Blade enters the repair bay quietly. It seems there's quite the gathering here. Everyone gets a polite nod, and Blast Off gets a small smile in addition. Greetings taken care of, she moves slightly towards Blast Off. "Finally getting looked after?" she asks quietly.
Then she turns towards Megatron. "Thank you for rescuing us; though I suspect it wasn't on my account that you did so." No, she has no clue of the relationship between the two; she just knows what she ISN'T, and that would be important.
Catching the tail end of Ruiner's words, she tilts her head to the side. "Who will smash your face in?" she inquires.
Blast Off nods (as best he can while lying down) to swivel. "Be sure to remember that. Always strive to maintain a choice. Even if it is a small one... an ordinary, everyday choice is still beyond the reach of many." Especially the brainwashed and imprisoned... but he tries not to think too hard on that, lest he get tense and make Ruiner's job harder. "I think many people end up wanting something they don't have. The stars are always brighter on the other side of the galaxy...." Not that HE ever did, of course.
Ruiner does an excellent job, and the shuttleformer moves with him, allowing him access where he needs to go. He huffs a little. "Racers... so high strung, most of them. So high maintenence..." He shakes his head, then seems to perk up just a bit as Swift Blade enters. "Ah! Greetings. I am finally getting my armor and shields replaced, *wheeze*, yes."
The femme peers at Ruiner as he describes his work as a pit mechanic. "Eeee dunna sound too fun. Usualy I'd jus' get thin's thrown at me if I lingered t'long or wun't movin' fast 'nuff." Swivel rubs her chin thoughtfully. "I dinna offen go to Ibex. So I 'ent as familler wi'ther 'tudes of the folk there," Swivel says honestly. Hmmm. She thinks better than to ask about Blurr. Or even mention him. In fact she considers pushing him out of her mind completely. But... the puzzle solving! No. Think about othuer things.
Swivel offers a small wave to Swift Blade. She has seen the femme from time to time, but otherwise does not have any particular tie to her. She's never done work for her, been saved by her, or attacked by her. However, she does note how her presence seems to perk up Blast Off. Things that perk up Blast Off are always good things. He needs more perk. Speaking of Blast Off, to him she simply says, "Yeah, all m'life I've 'ad basic choices. Guess I kinner feel bad I din realise some peeps dinna e'en 'ave that."
"All right Blast Off, I'm going to look at your internals. I can offer you pain blocks if you want to stay conscious or I can put you under for repairs - it's your choice," Ruiner offers the shuttle.
"Not all the racers are bad, I just happened to fall into a really glitchy lot... I found a way out. There are ways to earn a living if you're willing to bend the rules." He grins widely. "The best part was, my customers were usually Enforcers themselves. So much for serve and protect."
Swift Blade looks slightly concerned at Blast Off's wheezing, but she nods her head. "I'm glad to hear it," she says quietly. "It is much more comfortable to be in your best condition."
She turns towards Swivel. "Yes, some of us have been denied even the basic choices," she corroborates. "However, in my case, it was aliens that did so rather than my own people." She's still baffled at how Cybertron could have turned its back on its own past, but millions of years certainly changed things.
"Most of the law here does not protect," she says to Ruiner. "Or, if they do, it is under very narrow terms of the word."
Blast Off would appreciate that thought, Swivel, if he knew of it. "Indeed. That's why it's important to make the most out of the choices you /do/ have." He then looks up at Ruiner. "...Pain blocks. That way if you need to ask me something, I can answer." Plus, he'd rather just stay awake. He thinks. Well.... he's going to find out, whatever the case. "No...I suppose not all racers are bad. Just some." Shiftlock isn't bad, not that he wants to mention her here. Blurr, on the other hand.../ugh that guy/.
To Swift Blade he states, "Thank you." As she speaks of laws, he lets out a *snort* that quickly turns into a *wheeze*. "That's *cough* that's why it is important to remain alert, be wary, and be prepared to defend yourself at all times. Never trust blindly."
There is a moment where Ruiner gets a peculiar look from Swivel. "Guess yoo was aware o'ther corruption long 'fore I was.... I jus... still dun wanner b'lieve it... but not believin' it 'ent changin' it is wot it is." There is a moment of deep contemplation, and the ponderous expression on the femme looks almost rediculous with her large optics. "I jus' been spendin' so much time feelin' lost 'n confused 'coz thin's seemed so SIMPLE b'fore. I loik simple." Swivel then looks back at Ruiner. "Wot was it you did?" Well, the femme is curious to a fault.
Blast Off mention of being ready to defend one's self kind of makes the femme flinch a little. She stil has her weird ideas about things. But she does ruminate on it for a while before glancing over at Blast Off. "Mebbe... mebbe I otter learn 'ow to use some sorter weapon.... mebbe sumtin that disables rath' 'en kill, though. Slow folk down or stop 'em downroight. Somethin' with range... but if I go 'round shootin' folk, an' they survive, 'en they'll need repairs, 'en it wil jus' tax th'sources...." The truth is Swivel hates seeing anyone in pain. But she sometimes gets told to think more with her processor than her spark. And so she tries a logical reason for not wanting to hurt people. "...more people needin' repairs, so more peeps usin' up medical s'plies, an' th'time o'ther medics, an' stuff... 'n notter lotter new peeps showin' up so we's gotter limited 'mount o' medics an...."
Well... maybe she isn't quite as stupid as she looks. At least, she is cutely trying to appear smart.
Ruiner nods to Blast Off. "Getting on it then; I'm shutting down your sensory systems from the cervical struts down to your lumbar struts. That'll deaden your entire torso while I have a look at your internals." He types away at the keyboard near the circuit slab, instructing the machine to send the necessary code to Blast Off through the connections he made previously.
"Do you know what a 'cleaner' is?" he asks Swivel as he prepares to answer her question.
Swift Blade still looks a bit concerned with all the wheezing and coughing coming from Blast Off. Hopefully the repairs won't take too long. She's sure, however, that there isn't much she can say or do about it. But she gives him a little smile that's meant to be comforting at any rate.
She looks over to Swivel. "Being able to defend yourself is wise. On the other hand, until you are comfortable with your weapon, or weapons, of choice, it is best not to carry them. Sometimes having a weapon you are unfamiliar with is worse than having no weapon at all."
She only half watches Ruiner at work from time to time, guessing that perhaps Blast Off wouldn't want too keen an optic on him while someone was poking about his systems. After all, he hadn't seemed terribly comfortable when she was watching him the other cycle, and that was simply him applying the solution topically.
"Yes... some sort of defense *cough* is /always/ preferable, even if it's not lethal..." he remarks to Swivel. Blast Off doesn't have much to say after this point as he feels the painkillers enter his cicruitry. He can actually feel the flow making its way through his body... it's a funny feeling as it flows like thick oil through him. But ultimately a good one, leaving a pleasant numbness in its wake. The shuttle relaxes and waits. At this point, Swift Blade, lying here rather bare and exposed... he's past caring. Just... let it be done soon. Puh-lease.
Megatron looks at Swift Blade and nods, "You can show your gratitude in serving this army and... not getting captured again." he realizes the room is getting crowded and its not that he has a problem interacting with his troops, its he knows he intimidates them and he is really wanting to hear scuttlebut and thoughts and get a bead on the emotions running through the troop. He grabs the reports and heads to a back corner of the room to another computer console station, sits down and goes back to reading and listening. Though from time to time he looks up and studies Ruiner and the rest.
"Cleaners? Ya mean like YX-units?" Swivel asks, completely missing the implied quotes on the word 'cleaner'. The femme blinks a few times. Why would cleaning be better than a pit mechanic? There is definitely a bewildered expression on the femme. However she allows it to fade to something of an anxious expression as the continued talk of self defense continues. "Eeeeh.... 'vin' a weapon jus' makes me feel... like I'm suddenly more of a target, I guess. But I otter find new ways t'take care o'myself or I wunt b'able t'do my job." Swivel sighs pensively. "One of my defenses used to BE th'law. Now all I gots is 'opin' people dunt shoot the messenger."
Thundercracker walks in looking like he doesnt have a care in the world. He woke up on the right side of he recharging bunk today and so far the whole day has been good. He half way notices all the mechs and femmes in the rom but hes really there to see, Swivel. He comes up to her table and smiles. "So hows it going?"
Ruiner chuckles as he exposes Blast Off's internal components at the torso level. Just like checking a truck under the hood, except this truck is capable of flying into space and is very picky and requires the best enerwine and the latest operas. Yes. EXACTLY LIKE A TRUCK. There's pitted metal and damage to the turbines in Blast Off's ventilation systems, making them lock up and stick in place (hence the coughing). "Yeah, I'm gonna have to replace this fan, should be a quick fix. It's the condition of your vents that bothers me. They're weak."
The comment about YX bots makes him laugh. "Not quite -that- kind of cleaner. -Primus- you're innocent, that's actually rather sweet -- no, a 'Cleaner' in this case is someone who disposes of corpses outside of the legal means of doing so."
"That is my intention," Swift Blade says to Megatron before he moves off to the back. "Though it has been suggested that I will be of better use once I am more...comprable...with the other Seekers as far as ability goes." Whatever Megatron makes of that, she will abide by. For a moment she looks as though she's about to say something more, but then decides against it.
She looks Swivel up and down, as though taking her measure. "If you were in a better position, I would suggest becoming faster or more armored to increase your ability to survive if handling weapons makes you uneasy. Some of us never had a choice in the matter whether or not we wanted to use weapons, and we all managed to survive somehow." She shrugs her shoulders.
She continues to offer Blast Off a smile now and then. Thundercracker's entrance gets a smile as well; the conversation the other cycle has given her a slightly different perspective and she is going to try to form more of a connection with her own 'kind', so to speak.
Ruiner gets a thoughtful glance. "The way things are, I would guess such a skill set would be in high demand, if not entirely an honest one," she observes.
"Why woodya need summun tha' gets rid o' bodies in illegal ways? 'Ent th'legals ways efficient 'nuff? Or... is it a cost thing? Oh! Do "cleaners"," yes, she bends her fingers to imply air quotes, "birng 'em t'chop shops? Woooo chop shops... so brutal... specially since sumtimes' people get pieces of 'em taken while their still alive... I 'ear all sorts o' thin's!" Swivel shudders. She doesn't QUITe get it, but she's getting there. Amdist this shuddering, however, she does see the tal (everyone is tall to her) blue figure of Thundercracker walk in, and just like Blast Off perked up when Swift Blade came in, Swivel perks up at the sight of Thundercracker.
"'Ullo thar Thundacracker!" Swivel greets with indecorous enthusiasm. "I'm doin' 'aight. Still some work gotter b'done, I think. I was kinner woked up an' asked questions 'bout why I was 'ere. I dinna get 'round t'askin' bout m'own repairs 'n such..." Swivel beams brightly. With her smile, not with her headlights.
There is a head tilt to Swift Blade, and Swivel reluctantly turns her attention away from Thundercracker to look at Swift Blade. "Oh... yeah... I'd lurve t'be faster! ZOOOOM! WOOOSH!" She begins to make playful gestures with her hands, as if pretending them to be a care or a jet or something. Hard to tell.
"An 'en rrrrrRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" she makes a high pitched noise with her voice to immitated tires squealing as she drives her hand into the palm of her other hand, "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! Khkhkhkhkhkhkhkhk.... 'cept I wunna be th'one going' boom. It'd be th'folk tryin' ta follow my mad maneuvers an' hittin' a wall instead."
"If she stays I'm making an adjustment to her vocoder," Ruiner mutters.
Thundercracker stands there and blinks as he watches Swivel's coverful comments, "Faster eh?" he didnt really think groundpounders enjoyed speed like Seekers do. This surprises him a bit.
That comment catches Ruiner's attention. "What, haven't you ever been to Ibex? You should meet the Velocitronian colonists there sometime. They clear road like a jet doing mach 3." He hooks up Blast Off to an artificial ventilation system, and starts to work on cutting out the old, damaged 'lung tissue'. "And yes, that's precisely it, Swivel. I worked in chop shops. 'Harvesting' as it's politely called. The enforcers wanted me to get rid of political dissidents for them that could not be traced back to their superiors. I ran the breakdown for the bodies, solid the parts and reclaimed the energon. It was surprisingly lucrative work. I was paid better for being a butcher than a doctor."
Swift Blade's optic ridges go way up as she listens to Swivel make all sorts of excitable sounds. Well then. She's not really sure what to say, so she says nothing about them at all, though she flicks a semi-questioning glance towards Thundercracker. "Greetings," she says to her fellow Seeker.
She flicks a glance at Ruiner. "A sad comment about society that you get more for taking someone apart than putting them back together." Her tone doesn't reflect any particular judgement on the mech, merely the state of Cybertron that has created such a need for his job.
Oh Swivel certainly enjoys speed. Swivel continues to make a few more sound effects that translate to FAST but with less volume, until they putter out to the occasional whispered zoom. Her gestures also get smaller by degree. Once finished her little fit of playfulness, she places her hands on the berth. Her merriment is now over, especially as Ruiner talks about his work in the harvesting business. Her face goes from bewildered, to concerned, to uneasy, to somewhat mortified. "Tha... Tha's.... Tha's jus all kinds of wrong... meeeeeeeeeech more I 'ear more I 'gin t'wonder 'ow I ne'er noticed 'ow bad Cybertron /is/ 'fore now. I mean... yeah... I been tossed t'ther junk 'eaps t'fend f'meself. Spent a lotter time 'voidin' fights, 'coz summun'd trash ya fer a speck o' energon, or e'en t'saw off yer pedes if they was in good 'nuff shape. Bu' I jus figgered... the badness was all cozer desp'ration... I din think much 'bout 'ow people ended up there. I mean, I jus wunt gettin' jobs for a while an coona afford... well 'enthin' really. Wun't till folk dinna wanner use gov'ment communications that I 'gan to really pick up.... but I figured 'long as ya 'ad shanix an' 'nuff ta provide f'yerself, there was no need fer brutality."
Thundercracker looks at Ruiner, "Well I guess I didnt know this. But it is curious -- speed on the ground is as exhilerating as in the sky? Really?"
Thundercracker then stares at Swivel some more as she continues to show her enthusiasm for speed. And then it takes him a bit to translate her comment. He glances back at Ruiner. his 'profession' was desparate one. "Do you still, do that now?" he asks quietly.
"Not unless Megatron wants me to," Ruiner says to Thundercracker. "And yeah, of course we do. Speed's everything to a turbocar."
Thundercracker nods at Ruiners comment and then smirks, "I guess you learn something new every cycle."
Well, the topic of her life before business picks up makes Swivel a bit fidgety, so she is just slightly relieved not more is said in regards to it. Speed, however, speed is a nice topic. A friendly topic. Well maybe not friendly. "I woona be 'en good at m'job if I was slow. Bu', yeah, I getter thrill out of revvin' my engines t'the max. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" Oh the sound effects are back. This time it's her impresion of an engine. She does not really have the right pitch to really growl, but she tries. Oh, she tries.
Thundercracker chuckls at Swivels sound effects again. "Well..." he says finally, "I... I could get you ... upgraded to be faster." he starts running calculations in his head and working out whats going on with his shanix account right now.
Swift Blade listens to the conversation (and accompanying sound effects) between Swivel and Thundercracker, but doesn't have much to add. Ruiner gets a contemplative look, but again, she doesn't have anything really to add about being a harvester.
With haste Swivel's hands are out in front of her, palms out, waving side to side. "Oh no no no nonononono! Ya've a'ready 'dun 'nuff f'me! Too much! I kinna 'gin t'magine 'ow I'd repay yer kindness a'ready!" She then turns her hands in seeming to fan her own face. "Ya canna jus'.... use all yer 'ard earned shanix on me!" Swivel glances about herself, as if looking for someone to say something or give her a cue or something. She has no idea how to respond to this level of generousity. At least from Thundercracker. She's been warned to be wary of any 'generousity' from Starscream.
"Look at this way," Thundercracker begins, "Making you faster protects the repairs Im gladly paying for now. Make sense?"
Swift Blade would like to talk to Megatron, but not with an audience. However, she smiles at Swivel. "Generosity is a rare trait here it seems. But I can understand if you aren't comfortable taking too much. After all, there are a lot of people who have needs on Cybertron." She looks over to Thundercracker, tilting her head to the side and considering the answer he gave Swivel. "As long as it is clear between you two what is expected, or not expected, then the actually decision isn't right or wrong." She shrugs her shoulders.
LOGIC! Swivel can't fight logic. She just sits there looking sheepish and bewildered. The femme glances about herself one more time, and then has a somewhat meek expression and nods her head. "Well.. if yer willin' t'pay for upgrades... 'n y'ent spectin' nuthin' more 'en gratitude..." Swivel says almost sullenly... but then her countenance lifts as she smiles, "...then 'oo am I t'say no? Bring it on!" Swivel just throws her arms up in the air to express her exuberance before letting them fall at her side again. "J'so long as I 'ent bein' sneakily bought."
Blast Off gets cut open and worked on, which feels a little strange but with pain dampeners on he's not really complaining. "Well, of course my vents are weak... I inhaled Primus knows what." Then he goes back to staring at the ceiling.
Thundercracker shakes his head, "Im not buying you, Im not expecting anything back from you, Swivel. Im just trying to be a friend is all." he glances at Blast Off, "AT least you got that filth out of Vos."
Swift Blade's optics do tend to stray over to Blast Off quite frequently, though the intervals between glances are not equal. "Hopefully you will be well soon," she says. Not being a medic, she doesn't know how long the procedure and the recovery will be.
She twitches slightly at Thundercracker's words. "Of course you're not buying her," she says, almost sharply. "That would stand against everything we are fighting for, would it not?"
Thundercracker looks at Swift and nods, "You have that right."
Nodding slowly to herself, feeling as though she's done due process of making sure she fully understands what is being offered, she smiles even brighter. "Oh... man... gettin' a speed upgrade. Oh!" Swivel throws her hands over her mouth. "Is tha' e'en legal?" Yes. She is sitting in the Decepticon's Base of operations worrying about the legality of something. Old habits die hard. "Er... I mean... safe. Safe... yeah... safe. S'it safe?"
"Who cares if its legal or not, Swivel." Thundercracker says, "Youre getting them."
Swivel bobs her head. "Mmmm... jus imaginin m'self goin' faster. Get m'job dones sooner, more time to do MORE jobs an' earn MORE shanix! An' e'en then some time ta jus rip up th'roads!" The femme is getting giddy now that she has been assured of things. She claps her hands several times with a very excited expression. She begins to giggle almost hysterically.
"Legal doesn't always mean good, Swivel," Swift Blade says gently. "It was 'legal' for the alien races to keep me as a slave for millions of years." She tilts her head to the side. "Law is simply a list of things that people can and cannot do under the threat of some punishment. They can be good laws, or bad laws. Cybertron is full of bad laws, and those who serve the law can't seem to understand that they are fighting to smother their own people." Her words are grave, and she flicks a glance towards Megatron when she's done saying them. Still, she can't help but smile faintly under the shorter femme's enthusiasm; there has been little in her own life to be enthusiastic about.
There is a dwindling in the femme's excitement as she cocks her head and stares at Swift Blade. No has told her staring is rude yet. Blast Off has been negligent of her etiquette! "Yeah.... bad laws... that dun't value a person's loif. Spritz! I 'ope e's okay!" The femme now looks concerned as she stares down at herself. "Mmmmmm..... kin I use m'radio 'ere? Or'd tha' be bad fer yer s'curity?"
Blast Off is still lying there with his chest open. Swift Blade's glances are noted, and he turns his head to look at her with a tiny shrug. There's not much he can do at the moment. He does give a nod at the "Cybertron is full of bad laws" comment though.
Glancing at Swivel she notes, "I hope your friend is okay." She doesn't know who 'Spritz' is.
"Yeah, whatever you sucked in has messed up your ventilation systems, but don't worry, I have a some replacements already on hand." Ruiner doesn't tell Blast Off that those parts are fresh out of the loser of a gladiator's challenge, but hey, the less people know, the better.
Rumble struts into the place, then leans up against the wall lazily as if he's mech enough to prop up the entire building if he wanted to do that. He looks around curiously at all the repairs in progress.
Thundercracker sees something out of the corner of his optics and looks. "Hey there, Shorty." he says and then steps to the side to talk to the repair techs working on Swivel.
Rumble smirks at Thundercracker. Despite his claim that he hates all Seekers, he can somehow tolerate TC a bit better than the other ones. "That ain't my name!" he laments.
Swift Blade gives Rumble a faint smile and polite nod as he enters. "If you will all excuse me, I think I will go see what sort of swords we have here. The sooner I find them and start adapting to them, the better." She looks over at Blast Off. "Hopefully we will speak later." And she turns to leave.
Blast Off finds he appreciates the "support" shown by Swift Blade. He'll be glad when he can leave medbay and move freely again. He's got plenty to talk to her about. Ruiner gets a nod... and yes, if the shuttle knew where those parts came from.... he wouldn't want to. Of course, his entire body isn't the one he started out with so, who knows where it came from. "Very good." As swift Blade turns to leave, he agrees. "Indeed. Soon."
Thundercracker smirks a bit, "I know thats not your name." he doesnt tease the little one any more though.
Swivel had held a long fidgety silence, her concern over Spritz, AKA YX-939 now occupying her mind. Sure, she is still thrilled about Thundercracker offering to get her upgraded, but she can't help but be concerned considering the sort of trouble the YX-units just might be in... what with being caught spying. She almost doesn't notice Rumble enter until he's addressed by Thundercracker. She leans forward a bit on her berth to see Rumble. "Oh.... 'ullo thar, Not-Shorty." Sure, she's not much bigger than Rumble, but.... short is short. She then leans back, holding her wrist up to her mouth, looking pensive.
Ruiner works fast to get the new parts re-installed in Blast Off - and without all that condescending purple and green. Yes Blast Off, you should be greatful for that, just imagine if Hook decided to improve you! Or so Ruiner is thinking. "Interiors are all hooked back up, I'm going to get you put back together. Exterior is another matter. It's going to take me awhile to create those replacement tiles because I'm going to have to fit them by hand." He stands up and wiggles his fingers. "Fortunately I have two of them, and they are -exceptional- at what they do."
Rumble hmphs, and folds his arms across his chestplate. "I don't gotta be tall, I just gotta be *awesome*," he insists to...well, probably himself at this point...
Megatron continues to watch from the back of the room. He sees Rumble come in and get some grief over his height challenged statue but the small mech doesnt seem bothered about it.
"Eeeeeeh now! Bein' small gots it's 'vantages. I kin fit places others 'kint and I'm 'arer ta 'it." Swivel nods sagely and looks over at Rumble. "Proud t'be small!" Shen then glances over at Thunderstrike curiously as he talks to some techs. "Ehmmm.... 'en idea 'ow long all this fixin' an' en'ancin' moight take? Coz I otter let some peeps know."
"Yeeeah," Rumble suddenly interjects, grinning at Swivel's vote for the short mechs. "Short pride!" Megatron's probably heard this for millions of years, what's one more time at this point?
Thundercracker looks at Swivel, "Thats right you do have bosses to answer to. IF there are no interuptions and understand other repairs take precidence I dont think you will be here too long. But Im not a repair tech so what do I know
"Every shape and size has value," Ruiner agrees. "It's just that some of you bring in much, much more shanix on the open market."
Blast Off is also grateful he's NOT being worked on by Hook... but not because of that so much, but because of Shiftlock. He still partially just wants to shoot the Constructicon for what he did. Ruiner is Ok comparitively. He's an obviously much classier, more trustworthy individual! (/If only he knew/.) He's a little put out about having to wait even longer for the replacement tiles, but also understands. "Excellent. And yes... I suppose it will. Replacing a sophisticated piece of work like my heat shields requires care and attention to detail. Take your time- I'd rather get the job done right and NOT burn to a crisp upon reentering the atmosphere."
He settles in for the refitting as a thought comes to him once again. He asked Hook about this, but felt almost /dirty/ asking Shiftlock's tormentor for such a thing. It's far preferable asking Ruiner. Maybe Ruiner will have a different reply. He speaks quietly, so that Swivel and the others don't hear. "I had also wondered something.... how difficult would it be to have some sort of..." He looks over at Megatron as he says this, then back to Ruiner, "Some sort of orbital bombardment system installed. Hook seemed to think my armor was too thin, and it that it might interfere with my cargo hold transformation. BUt... I had such a system installed... once." Of course, that was a different body. "Surely it's possible to reinstall it? Especially if I am to be put to my highest and best use: a space warrior and sniper..."
Ruiner's last little comment there gets a raised optic ridge. "....What?"
Ruiner grins down at Blast Off, cat that ate the canary. "I realize you've been on medication, but ah... that's what I did for a living, after I was completely done with the IAA. Remember the news about all those intellectual class mechs ending up dead, parts missing, brains gone?" That grin gets a little wider. A little more demonic.
Swivel pumps her fist in the air a few times. "Short pride woot woot!" she cheers. She doesn't really know Rumble. She remembers seeing him mixing drinks that could melt the bar top, but that was about it. But, hey, shorties got to stick together, right? Well, maybe not always. Her cheering gets cut short when Ruiner speaks and sshe gives him a VERY nervous sideglance. And is quiet for a moment. Then, addressing Thundercracker, but still occasionally glancing back at Ruiner, Swivel says, "Wellum... 'en the techs kin giva an estimate, I'd loik t'know. Once again Swivel is staaaaarrrring at Ruiner. And Blast Off. And Ruiner. She's got GOOD hearing, and it's not always to her advantage. STARE.
Rumble doesn't know anything about the IAA fiasco. Which is probably a good thing. He's heard about it in the news, but that's all nerd stuff to him.
Blast Off ...might be starting to feel a little sick right now as Ruiner grins down at him. Yes... yes, he's starting to feel his tanks might purge. Violet optics glance downwards at those parts Ruiner just stuffed in his chest. "......What?" he asks again, a little more weakly this time. He shrinks down a little as his hand reaches up and starts trying to grab part of the new ventilation system Ruiner put in and see if there's some sort of /previous identification/ still attached, OMP.
Megatron smiles a bit as he sees the spacemechs reaction to what Gauge has been saying.
Ruiner places a hand gently over Boff's as the nervous shuttle fidgets with fresh welds. The turbocar gently wags a finger at him. No-no. Don't think too much about it.
Yes, that does it. Blast Off is definitely going to be sick..... Unable to do much lying flat on his back with his chest open and numbed up on painkillers, he lets his hand falls back again -but that stare remains fixated on the medic.
Blast Off isn't the only one looking a little ill. Swivel sometimes isn't a big fan of her very keen hearing. It puts her in trouble a lot. But... at the same time, she wouldn't give up one of her few advantages so easily.
"Blast Off... it's every gladiator's duty, after his life is spent, to go into breakdown and become one with all the people," Ruiner says softly, gently, like a mother soothing a frightened child in bed. Unfortunately his commentary is more likely to be nightmare fuel than pleasant dreams. He stands back up, chipper as ever, and looks over at the rest.
"What. It's like none of you understand the seemier side of reality on this great big spinning ball of junk. Why do you think the high castes are so keen to rush low castes into obsolescence? There are parts that can't just be replaced. Forged hands, forged t-cogs - these are once-in-a-sparktime parts. When they fail... well. The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the ubiquitous."
"Why's it matter so much where parts come from? If they fit, then maybe you oughta be wearin' em. Cause the dead mechs ain't gonna have much use for em," Rumble says pensively.
Thundercracker looks at each one in the conversation in turn and a wing twitches, "I think those 'reclamation' clinics or whatever they are called is the Primes way of speeing up having the needs of the few met at the cost of the lower caste."
Swivel has become much more quiet than she had, well, since she was brought to by a junior tech. SHe is just watching Ruiner work on Blast Off, as if trying to make sure he doesn't do anything hinky. Yeah, she's trying to look out for Blast Off. One could almost call her being tentatively protective.
Blast Off remains silent for awhile after that, fighting the urge to purge his tanks. His optics just sort of dart slowly around the room. Then Ruiner croons at him, which cause the shuttle to turn to look at him, a petulant expression on his face. And still looking repulsed. And looking a bit like *where's my ionic blaster I might need it this dude has some screws loose* as his trigger finger twitches once.
At the rest of Ruiner's comments, his optic ridges furrow down. HE is High Caste (or was) and it's times like this he really feels that difference here, among so many groundpounders and low castes. Finally, he mutters, "Well... that's not /entirely/ it, though. You make it sound so cut and dry- when it's not. Some High Castes are simply trying to get by, the same as anyone else." There's a pause and he adds, "...And... just don't get any ideas about /space alt/ parts..." They are getting to be rare and hard to replace, after all. His body may not be original, but his T-cog is a forged one.
"No, you're the one that wanted the orbital bombardment unit. I'm afraid complex weapon systems aren't really my forte`, but after hearing about Hook's rather ingenious use of prisoners, maybe he might be able to help you with it?" Ruiner asks Blast Off.
"Don't give me that look either, the high castes I dealt with enjoyed their last moments on Cybertron. They were lonely, miserable mechs who couldn't seem to find a date if they tripped over one ... and that's where I came in."
"You dated them?" Rumble blurts out.
"I -seduced- them. Fragged them silly and then cut out their sparks," Ruiner easily replies.
There is a choking sound from Swivel who is trying to muffle much more loud noises of shock and discomfort. Although she isn't sure what he means by 'fragging' them and assumes it has something to do with data integrity.
Thundercracker looks at Ruiner like what the slag? "And youre Megatrons personal assistant?" its not real sure how the Blue Seeker meant that question. Hes not even sure for that matter.
Blast Off isn't as uncomfortable as Swivel, but he's getting there. This is most definitely NOT civilized behavior, and it's quite discombobulating... especially when the mech in question has you on your back with his hands in your chest. He gives Ruiner a hard stare. "I don't know if it was ingenious... or simply /demented/. I'm not sure I'd want him experimenting on /me/, too."
As for the rest, Blast Off is again starting to fidget, glancing down and looking about ready to try closing /himself/ up and calling it a day. His hands start reaching and impatiently trying to fold a panel here, close a compartment there. "And THAT sounds demented to me, too. If you're going to kill someone, then kill them. But why... why..." He makes a disgusted little sound and stops, glaring up at Ruiner. "...Why all THAT? That doesn't sound like it was actually pleasant for anyone except YOU."
"So wait, you'd collect alla these sparks..." Rumble enjoys the kind of gory tales mechs tell one another in bars, and this one Ruiner is telling is somewhat incredible. He wants to hear the entire thing, now. Ruiner has Rumble's full attention.
Swivel glances over as Blast Off is getting worked up. She doesn't blame him. But Swivel is a guest here, so she is relieved SOMEONE is saying something, as she feels it is not her place to criticise. Especially since she would not want to make Thundercracker look bad by bringing her in. In a waym he's vcouhing for her, and therefor his reputation is a bit hinged on her behaviour. This didn't strike her earlier, but it is striking her now. The femme just continues to not say anything, but wishes she could say or do something to show she supports Blast Off speaking his mind.
Swivel does, however, try to catch Thundercracker's optic, and upon doing soe glances side to side and then makes small but frantic gestures for him to come closer.
Thundercracker notices swivel making a motion and looks over at her. With a slight frown he steps closer. "What?" he asks quietly.
Ruiner puts a hand on Blast Off again, keeping him from trying to close himself up before he's been finished up. He keeps talking to Rumble, leaning over Blast Off just a little to do it. "No, I didn't collect the sparks, if you sever the casing at just the right place, it shuts them off like a light switch. Complete spark failure; from there all the systems are still warm enough that you can even get the bodies to transform." Ruiner laughs softly, "I actually -drove one home- once."
With a flick of the wrist, a long, deadly looking kukri slides out of a compartment in his forearm and into his hand. "See," he begins, looking back down at Blast Off. "I was doing them a courtesy. Most them hadn't known physical affection in thousands of years, if at all. It was more of a kindness than they'd ever shown the disposables they kicked around and threw into the street. I sent them to heaven - before I sent them to hell."
Looking very apprehensive, Swivel leans towards Thundercrackeer to get as close so that she can speak very quietly. "Is that mech..." she tilts her head towards Ruiner, "...the only one doin' repairs 'ere? Coz........ I dun think I'd want 'im fiddlin' in my bits."
Thundercracker looks back a Swivel and tries to give her a reassuring look. "Just relax. It will be ok." with that he turns and walking around Blast Offs table with a slide wide berth he heads for the door, "Hey shorty." he says as he walks by Rumble, "Keep an optic on Swivel?" he doesnt wait for his quesiton to be answered and closes the door behind him.
Rumble is loving this story hour. He listens to Ruiner with the rapt attention of an amazed youngster, despite not being nearly as young as he looks. "That's some hardcore <CENSORED>. Daymmn." His attention goes to Thundercracker for a moment, and he nods affirmatively. "You got it." He *probably* wouldn't do something like that for any of the other Seekers, unless he was under orders or duress. But true to his word, he struts over to lean up against the wall near where Swivel is in the room.
There is a bit of quivering from Swivel, but then she slowly nods. Then she looks back at Ruiner, her optic ridges drawing together as she looks more and more upset... "Bye...." Swivel says quietly to Thundercracker as he heads out. She then looks over at Rumble, who seems perhaps a bit too interested in Ruiner's stories. However, she shyly smiles at Rumble who she was cheering earlier. The femme feels completely out of her element. Helpelessly, Swivel looks over to Blast Off. He seems the only sane person in the room right now.
Megatron finally gets up from where hes been sitting all this time and steps out from the corner computer console. Some knew he was here, but perhaps some did not. He walks over toward Blast OFf and Ruiner and says, "Relax, Blast Off. I think you are in good hands." with a slight nod at Gauge he turns for the door. He want to practice in the arena and since there are no matches scheduled tonight he has the arena to himelf.
Blast Off is just getting more disgusted by this and when Ruiner tries putting his hand on the shuttleformer's, he tries slapping the medic's hand away and resuming doing what he can to close himself up. Ruiner is a sick and twisted mech, and Blast Off is ready for a new medic. Maybe even... wait, no, not Hook either. ALRIGHT MAYBE some NEUTRAL MEDIC in a clinic somewhere. There's one in Vos. Yes, he'll go there.
He freezes, though, as Ruiner brings out the kukri, and his violey optics gaze steadily up at the mech. His whole hand twitches this time as the thought of drawing his weapon occurs to him once again. And all the talk of lonely High Castes is striking a little too close to home anyway. "That wasn't kindness... it was /sickness/." He probably shouldn't talk like this in the situation he's in, but then again, he is known for a certain arrogance.
Megatron speaks, then turns to the door, and Blast Off just sort of stares at him incredulously.
Incredulous. Swivel is more than incredulous. Something is NOT adding up. Are people blind or just desperate for a medic? Swivel finally decides to get brave. Very brave. Maybe sort of brave. She clears her vents and then begins to say, "Givin' someone fake love 'ent a kindness. I think... e'en lonely upper caste... otter die with... wotser word... dignity. You d'prived 'em of it." Well she might not get repairs or upgrades now, but, well, that's fine. She's lived this long without them.
Ruiner allows Blast Off to bat his hand away, but that gets his attention, and instead of talking to Rumble and perhaps disturbing Swivel even more, his focus is drug right down to the shuttle under his tender loving care.
"I never said it wasn't. I was used by high castes, beaten by high castes, enslaved by high castes. I was forced to do a job I hated, without any choice, without any hope - I did what anyone, without choice and hope, will do -- I lashed out. Took my revenge, and I revelled in every moment of it."
"My name is -Ruiner-. What did you expect me to be?"
Kukri in hand, he turns it over, tip down, and glides it along one of Blast Off's damaged plates. The pain blockers are still in place, so he won't feel a thing. Fortunately. The medic-turned-cleaner-turned-medic picks up the chunk of severed, damaged shuttlemesh. The incisions are perfect and clean, separating corrosion from clean.
"Trepan told me that I was -very- sick, Blast Off. Right before he slid his needles into my head and did whatever he wanted."
"Wanna smoke?" Rumble asks Swivel politely, offering her an unusual-looking enercig from a small metal case.
Swivel looks down at Rumble somewhat bewildered. "Um.... I 'en ever tried on 'fore," Swivel says. She looks at it for a moment or two before finally shaking her head. "Thanks, but no. Kind o' ya t'offer though."
Right as Megatron was shutting the door behind him he hears Ruiners comment about Trepan. The door hangs there partially closed for a moment as the miner is confronted with the cold hard fact that Trepan was indeed inside Gaugs mind. Slowly the door shuts after a moment and Megatron is certain they have to be missing something regarding Ruiners experience at the hands of the Autobots.
"OK, no biggie, lemme know if you change your mind," Rumble says, lighting up one of his ener-cigs. It's rather minimal and non-intrusitve, kind of like a vape-smoke. Smells a little funny, though.
It IS a good thing Blast Off is numbed on pain blockers, because he's already quite uncomfortable as it is. Swivel standing up for her convictions gets a glance from the shuttle. He approves. But then his focus, out of neccessity, is once more on the medic looming overhead, kukri still in hand. He listens to the origin of the name. He's tense, hand curled in a semi-fist, and he's ready to move again- but there are times you just have to stop, listen- and be still. This seems to be one of them. That kukri starts slicing and stroking again and Blast Off decides to just... let Ruiner work for now. You don't want to make sudden moves when someone cutting pieces of your mesh off, anyway.
The mention of Trepan causes a little flicker of optics. Grudgingly, he admits to a shared experience, a shared pain- of sorts. "...Not Pharma?" He asks, vocoder muted. "He's the one who ...worked on me. He... didn't have needles though. Just... tried to take my spark.. without painkillers."
"No, not Pharma. They sent in their golden boy. The skinny little skeleton that's all optics and teeth," Ruiner replies, taking the damaged piece away so he can finish its decomposition and examination. "They held me down," he says in a softer voice, pausing just slightly as his eyes catch Megatron's, right before the larger mech leaves the room.
"He pushed me forward, down onto the table. Held my head in his hands, and then I felt it. Sharp little points digging into the base of my skull. I couldn't fight. I couldn't resist. I tried, oh I tried... but he pushed it all aside like nothing and forced me to give up my secrets."
"I asked him top stop," He rests his hands on either side of the tray that holds the acid-worn, corroding chunk of mesh. "... He said no."
It is becoming a wonder that Swivel will ever trust any medic again. She tilts her head to the side. The things that Ruiner did were terrible. But does he still do that? And this Trepan person is sounding even more frightening. Swivel is shaking on her berth, her vivid imagination going wild at what Ruiner must have gone through. And an imagination is not always one's ally. As she listens, the femme is slowly scooting back along the berth, working her way into the corner and bringing her knees up to her chest. She'd be covering her audial receivers with her hands if it would do any good, but she knows better. "Why woo' anyone...."
Rumble doesn't seem phased by Ruiner's extremely graphic and disturbing discussion. He listens curiously as he puffs on his enercig, and he remains dutifully beside Swivel, like he said he was going to do.
Megatron cant seem to get that door shut for anything. Right as he was about to click is shut, Ruiner then describes some of his experience with Trepan. He thinks back to his brief time at the hands of that freakmech and his optics narrow angrily. Why, why couldnt Ruiner fight it? There is part of him in there now. Or perhaps there wasnt enough time for any of his mind to make an impression on Guage. He stands there at the door, back to it, hand on the handle and doesnt seem to care who, if anyone is looking at him or not.
In the course of a breem, Blast Off goes from being horrified BY Ruiner to horrified FOR Ruiner. It's a weird sensation. The shuttleformer just listens quietly as the medic speaks, a silence falling between them for a good while afterwards. What DO you say to that? He goes back to staring at the ceiling before deciding to break that silence... his own voice subdued. "I... am sorry. And if you ever meet this Trepan again- well... in that one case I hope you DO get your revenge," he adds darkly.
"But that's not High castes for you... that's /Autobots/ for you. That's THEIR sickness. What happened to you should NOT have happened. What happened to ME should not have. I have the Decepticons to thank that I am not a bodiless spark o..." He stops, almost saying *once more*, but catches himself. "Uh... stuck in a whiteout cell." His hand flexes. "You should focus your anger on those who deserve it... people like Trepan."
Focused anger walks through the door. How do we know it's focused? Because very few people on Cybertron have seen it. That's because the people on Cybertron are not Quintessons, so
Swift Blade's anger rarely surfaces. It may be just as well she hadn't heard what was going on; she has enough to contend with simply hearing the many murmurs and retellings and boasts of the incident that happened while she was incarcerated.
But enough about all of that, Swift Blade has reentered the room. With her she has a pair of swords. They're not HER swords, but they will do for now. And though they are not perfectly matched, at least they are comprable to each other in length and weight.
It probably doesn't take her long to see that the people here are in varying degrees of agitation; Swivel's aggitation is quite obvious, though it is probably less so with the others. "Did I return at a bad time?" she inquires solemnly.
Swivel's face but this point was hidden behind her folded arms, which rested upon her knees. However, as she hears Blast Off speak, her head slowly lifts until just a pair of two frightened yet sympathetic purple optics are peering out towards Ruinerand Trepan. She isn't aware Megatron is still there, and sometimes her vision is framed by whisps of smoke from Rumble's enercig. She is a small femme, but she looks absolutely tiny curled up tight, even in spite of the large tires which sprout from her back. She is insignifcant. She is tiny. Whirl was right. She knows nothing. "Blast Off..." Swivel's small voice peeps, thrumming with sadness and sympathy. Although Ruiner said his name, to say it seemed somehow wrong. He said his name, but not exactly to her.
Purple optics art over to Swift Blade as she enters and speaks. The femme says nothing as per her inquiry, just stares at Swift Blade for a moment, and then turns her gaze back to Blast Off and Ruiner.
There's a period of complete silence as Ruiner stares down into that broken plating.
"I'm sorry, Swivel. Sorry that you had to be so rudely awakened into what has been going on around you. For once I'll empathize with Barricade - he'd have told me to shut up by now, for your sakes, the old softspark - but I want you to understand something." He takes a deep vent, standing up straight, setting down the knife.
"We do what we do for a reason. It may be hard and cruel and unpleasant, but our hand has been forced. When those who maintain the law and enforce it are allowed to destroy your very mind and will, it takes much stronger methods of resistance." He's beginning to sound like Megatron. Personal assistant indeed.
"I recycle the bodies of the dead to save the living because -there is no other choice-. We don't have the mechpower, the energon or the shanix to simply go out and buy them. Everything is restricted and traced, everyone is spied on, everyone is monitored. When there are no other options you survive and fight by any means necessary."
"Don't think ill of us, for fighting as dirty and hard as we do... but don't be like us if you can hold out. Let us be the sin eaters for this miserable fuel-stained planet."
There is yet another period of silence from the femme. She'd been introduced to the horrors by degrees thus far, and had been processing them as she went. This, however, was a little more than the femme could digest. She curls in her lips and lifts her chin a little so as not to have her words muffled by her knees. "I wunt." Furrowing her optic ridges Swivel lifts up her her, her face screwing into something that looks almost ferocious for a moment... and then she eases it into a smile. a large smile. A very large smile the stretches the bounds of her face. However there is still an odd severity gleaming from her optics and tenseness about her brows. "I see 'round me folk 'oo've given up love an' trust an' 'ope... they calls it livin'. It 'ent. I've seen th'spark go outter th'optics o' th'empties I lived 'mong. I did e'erythin' I coo' t'try an' bring it back. Sometimes it worked... most the time it din... but I 'ent gonner be oner 'em... an I 'ent gonna b'come nasty, wreitched twisted things like you!" Swivel pauses, that momentarily expression of passion fading to something nervous. "Er... no offense."
Rumble stares at Swivel in a bit of surprise, but doesn't have any rejoinders. "..." Maybe he's just too surprised to HAVE a rejoinder at this point.
Blast Off glances over as Swift Blade enters the room. He's just tuned into her enough to notice she seems to be in a darker mood than usual, and his head tilts at that slightly- but not all that much given he's lying on his back. "...SWift Blade. No, you are fine... we are simply discussing...." he looks at Ruiner, "Injustices and Autobots." He suddenly catches another voice- a frightened, small one, and looks over to lock optics with Swivel. He stares at her a moment before his gaze shifts away uncomfortably. Is she... feeling sorry for him? He's not sure how to take that. He isn't sure he wants to deal with that right now.
Back to Ruiner. Who... has an excellent point. The shuttle finds himself staring at the ceiling again- at least it doesn't look back. And that's that. Ruiner is right.
Except it isn't. Blast Off blinks and turns his head to look at Swivel as she speaks again. And stares at her once more. Again... he has no words as Ruiner's darkness and Swivel's light battle inside his own mind for supremacy.
A wry smile appears on Swift Blade's face as she hears Ruiner's words: words that are heavy like a ton of bricks, as the saying will go in millions of years. She shifts slightly where she stands. "Some things, once lost, can never be recovered," she says softly. "I don't know the conversation that led up to this point, but there is much truth to what he," meaning Ruiner, "says. The disturbing part is that many of those who wish to uphold the law either can't see it's flaws, or believe that the idea of law should be upheld regardless of the specifics of those laws." Her face twists slightly into an almost bitter frown. "Wasted potential indeed," she hisses softl, the comment more to herself.
Swivel gets a long, long, long look. "Revenge is just hope gone wrong," she says softly. "Hope is a strong think though, and sometimes it's stronger than we are. But I wouldn't have made it this far if I didn't have it. If you can help people that way, then I wish you the strength to continue to do so. For the rest of us, strength of arms must suffice. However..." her optics flick back to where Megatron had been, "such things must be tempered."
Swift Blade has the darkness deep inside of her, but allows the light to shine through. She has not become as twisted as Ruiner, but she could have easily fallen onto that path. Nor is she as innocent as Swivel. Instead she rests in between, and pressure either way could lead her to do great things...or terrible ones.
"On a somewhat lighter note, perhaps, I will require your assistance when you are well, Blast Off," she states, her tone muted since she doesn't really want to detract from what is being discussed. However, if she does not speak now, she might forget to say it at all.
Ruiner goes to close up Blast Off. He'll be spending hours making mock ceramic tiles, but the ventilation issues are solved, for now. He removes the connections. "You can sit up, but don't leave, and don't get into any fights until those tiles are done. I'll start on them as soon as possible." He pats the shuttle's shoulder pauldron gently, before walking towards Swivel. Cue ominous music.
Well, even despite the imaginary ominous music, Swivel does not flinch away from Ruiner this time. She just made a big deal about hope and trust, and she trusts Thundercracker more or less, and he said she could trust Ruiner. "You are twisted... but I think there's somethin' good in there," she says rather boldly. "If not, ya woona be fightin' this fight. Mebbe fer the vengeance.... but 'en if you was truly lost... ya'd be tryin' t'pull me down with ya rather than warn me 'gainst becomin' loik ya." Well, Swivel has said it. Ruiner apparently has a shred of good in him. Primus help her. Or him depending on how things go.
Swift Blade's contributions earn her another look from SWivel, as if she were seeing the femme for the first time. A look of uncertainty, then curiousity, then mild surprise, and then scrutiny. And finally, perhaps just a bit of admiration. She doesn't well understand all of what she's saying, but she is sure going to agree with it because it just sounds so reasonable. And so she bobs her head to Swift Blade before looking back at Ruiner. "....My turn?"
Ruiner walks over to where Swivel is and has a seat near her on the little berth in the corner. He reaches up, taking off the red V band of his visor, resting his elbows on his knees. Puffing a short exasperated vent of air through his intakes, he looks over at Swivel with pale blue optics and a lazy, good-natured smirk. "You're incorrigible, you know that?" he asks, sounding more like a big brother than the disturbing butcher he was just a short time before.
"Look, you want to do the heroic, upstanding, strong thing. I get that. Keep doing it if you can, who knows? Maybe you'll be stronger than me." He points his visor at her as a substitute nagging finger. "But do -not- cheapen the sacrifices that some of us have -chosen- to make. My life is ruined. I'll never have a job again, I've done things that should by all rights cost me my life, and it would be justice for me to die. I can't take that back. I can't play the brave little heroine with the spark of gold."
He rests his hands in his lap again and looks at the wall. "My part is already lined out for me. I'm Mech Nobody who got pushed once too often until he snapped. But you know what? I can /live with that/. You keep holding out for a better future, because in a just society there is no happy ending for me."
His smile is still there as he speaks, but saddened. "So -my- strength is going to be to keep taking on all the evil that has to be done to make thing right."
And then Swift Blade speaks her truth, too... leaving Blast Off with yet more fuel for thought. But hope... she speaks of hope. That WORD again. "Hope is a strong thing- but it can play tricks on you. It can lift you up, yes... but it can tear you down just as fast. And the higher it takes you.... the worse the fall." He finds himself staring darklyat the ceiling again, hands flexing. The femme's request is noted, however. "...Certainly," he replies.
Ruiner closes him up FINALLY and the shuttleformer sits up- then regrets it immediately, suddenly feeling dizzy again. He sits there, bracing as he equilibrates once more- and watches Ruiner and Swivel. And listens to all this talk of hope and love. Again- the shuttle isn't sure what to make of it. There's a part of him that their words truly speak to... and a hurt, angry, injured part that wants to lash out and strike those grand concepts down. Ruiner speaks to him as well. It's a grand parade of ideas, convictions and personal truths... and Blast Off can't tell that anyone is completely wrong here- or completely right.
Swift Blade completely missed the tales of Ruiner's horribleness. Actually, she misses a lot of the 'complete' tales of horribleness. She never got Whirl's. Quite likely she missed most of Blast Off's dark moments as well. She regards Ruiner with contemplation. "Ah," she says softly, "but would you have been a different mech to begin with in such a just society?" Whatever precipitated his fall, she will not inquire into.
She turns and looks at Blast Off, her expression softening. It does that sometimes. "That is what I meant when I said it can sometimes be stronger than us; it can crush us just as surely as it can elevate us." She crosses the room and stands beside Blast Off when she sees him sit up and get hit with a case of the dizzies. "Take your time; I can wait. Healing is important." She's standing just far enough away that she's outside the boundaries of his personal space.
"Tha's jus wot I'm talkin' bout. Bad people dun make sacrifices..." Swivel says quiet, almost petulantly. "An' I wunt makin' light of it." More petulance. Swivel is quiet for a moment. Why do people keep misunderstanding her? MISUNDERSTOOD YOUTH! Swivel curls in her lips. She's at that awkward stage of awareness where maturity is setting in, but she isn't quite there yet and the full picture just hasn't been brushed in due to her own inexperience. But time can cure that more thuroughly than a conversation. But the conversation just might help prepare her. "I jus.... 'ope is..." She really can't top Swift Blades comments on hope. Swivel goes from having her knees curled to her chest to sitting cross legged on the berth. "I 'ent un... I didn't...." Swivel huffs. MINI BLAST OFF. "If ya think me thinkin' there's good in ya is makin' light of the thin's ya 'ent through and the terrible thin's you did and prolly will do, I 'ent. But if ya wanna...." Swivel shrugs. She huffs again. However, she looks back at Ruiner, that sad smile, and her countenance falls and her petulance dissolves completely. "I mean.... um.... sorry."
"It's all right," Ruiner consoles, patting Swivel gently on the back before getting back up and slipping on his glasses. "Sometimes good people can be capable of doing terrible things. In fact -- I'd say it's the good people that have the greatest capacity to become monsters. I ain't even mad, sweetspark. I'm impressed that you tried to save me. Unfortunately, you're gonna have to learn that some of us just aren't worth saving. You said it yourself, with the empties -- some turn around, some don't."
"I know where this road leads." He looks to the doorway that Megatron was in. "But it's worth it. In the end... it's totally worth it." He turns away from the berth, and everyone else, a bit lost in thought, as he heads to one of the doors. "Stay in bed and drink your energon, Blast Off, doctor's orders! ... Now where did I leave that epoxy...."
Blast Off grips the edges of the medtable, black hands bracing himself... and then there is Swift Blade. And she so often is. The shuttleformer looks up at her, glad she has returned. He missed her. She's been a steadfast friend for quite a number of cycles now... and her absence was felt. The tiniest trace of a smile forms under his faceplate as he sees how she keeps that respectful distance- always mindful not to be too far, not to be too close... but her support is there. Yes, he's glad she's back. "Ah, yes, I see. And... thank you."
Swivel HUFFs a few times, drawing a glance from BLast Off. This *huffing* business is getting contageous apparently... Ruiner heads to the door, and speaking of which, the shuttle lets out a *huff* of his own at the doctor's orders- not to be outdone, after all. "...Very well. And..." He pauses. Saying this after all he's heard feels a little strange and yet mostly right. "...Thank you, too."
"That's not entirely right," Swift Blade says to Swivel slowly. "One can have lost their own personal good, but still believe in the existance of good. Again, I do not know Ruiner's story, and perhaps it is not one I should know, but only he knows what is in his spark...and what is absent from it." She gives the mech a respectful nod. "Still, believing in goodness and not wishing to have it extinguished is, perhaps, the next best thing to actually being good." Her tone is thoughtful and her expression matches. "I think it is more a misunderstanding of the words themselves than any lack of insight on your part," she says gently to Swivel.
She watches Ruiner rather closely, and actually falls silent for some time. It would be hard to guess what is going on through her mind (unless you're Soundwave), but whatever it is, it is not something light and easy.
"I will keep you company if you so wish," she says to Blast Off. He's going to be stuck here for a bit after all, and she certainly didn't have any company at all in jail...unless you somehow count Blurr or Ultra Magnus, which she doesn't.
There isn't really much more for Swivel to say to Ruiner, she just gives a meek nod. She still believes what she believes, but the femme is generally quick to stop bothering to repeat them over and over. Especially when there is a lot for her to process. She just sort of gives a sad look at Ruiner as he goes.
Swivel, still looking sad. She looks over to Swift Blade and opens her mouth to say something, but closes her mouth. She's beat by her own words, really. She said some empties lost it all. There was no redemption or reclamation. Swivel looks uneasy and then finally lowers her chin and smiles lightly. "Eh.... I misunderstand a lotter thin's, specially words. I feel I'm roight in wot I b'lieve deep down... but dun always know if 'ow I act on it is roight or if I kin rightly.... put it to words. If I could jus.... share wot I feel w'out 'em... I think people'd unnerstand me better..." She pauses and smiles more broadly. "Or if I continue m'lessons with Blast Off!"
Blast Off looks to Swift Blade. "Certainly. It's better than staring at the ceiling some more." There's a trace of humor in his voice as he says that, then he settles in to wait. At least the end is finally in sight. Swivel gets a glance as she speaks of lessons. His optic ridge raises up. "Yes... I suppose so. Well... you did well just now. Spoke your truth. Nothing wrong with that."
"Ah, has Blast Off been teaching you to be better with your words?" asks Swift Blade with a hint of a smile. "I think you have found yourself a good teacher then." She purses her lips. "Yes, I think sometimes it's hard to say exactly what you mean in a way that people will fully understand your intentions."
Finding a little space of wall to lean against, she stands near Blast Off, again keeping a 'comfortable' distance. "Censorship is the hallmark of the government; that should not be our way. However, there are often times that are better, or worse, to speak one's mind in."
The small femme lets out a long sigh. She fidgets. "I'm gettin' kinner restless..." The femme glances about herself. "I..." She just looks like there's so much she wants to say but can't decide, so instead she just becoms agitated and restless. "Sumtimes I think I otter..... say less..." She slides off of the berth. "I know Thundercracker wants t'get me upgrades... but noner the tech's been able ta'tell me 'ow long it'll take, if it'll 'appen 'ere, 'en it'll be.... I'm just worryin' 'bout... tellin' folk... stuff....." She doesn't seem to be talking to anyone in particular, just wanting tochange the tone of the conversation.
"Yeah! I wanner talk gooder." Admittedly, Swivel KNOWS to use 'better', but she does like to egg Blast Off on a little bit. "I dun think there'd be a better teacher. E' is all fancy and gentlemechly w'out bein' mean t'me." Swivel grins and looks over at Blast Off admiringly, even if right now he's missing his heat shields. However, then the small femme lets out a long sigh. She fidgets. "I'm gettin' kinner restless..."
"That is true," Blast off states to Swift Blade's comments, "And indeed, Swivel HAS found a good teacher. I can instruct her on proper etiquette. She is willing to learn, at least." He watches Swivel. "Take your time. At least you have some, for now." He listens to her compliments and gives her a slightly amused nod as she gazes admiringly at him. His ego is totally OK with that, sans heat shields or not. Except he simply MUST correct her on that one thing: "It is BETTER, not GOODER." With that, he settles back in for a rest while he waits for the heat shields to be finished.
"I would assume, just by watching how you have been treated, that you are not a prisoner. Why not have a walk?" Swift Blade inquires. "It may do you some good; the conversation got rather deep and quite likely was not easy for you to hear." Then she smiles. "My language would have been pretty rough if it hadn't been for my last master," she says. He's the only master she can speak of without either disgust or a stirring of anger.
Swift Blade hangs around for a while to see if Blast Off needs anything. Since he's supposed to be at rest, she is quiet unless he wants to talk, and it's likely she'd stay away from heavy topics this time around. But if he's content to be silent, then so is she.
Heavy indeed. "Better. Better is better than gooder." Swivel smiles. "Yeah, gunna stretch m'legs. I'ma leave somethin with my radio freq on the table o'er 'ere in case I need ta come back," Hopefully that is sufficient. The femme smiles at the two. She can tell BLast Off needs rest, and Swift Blade seems to be there for him. That's so endearing and seeing that quiet devotion makes her smile as she heads out.