Title: Turning Point
Location: Wreckage Row
Date: 15th February 2015
Summary: Whirl, becoming an Autobot?? The unthinkable may become reality...
Night has fallen, and darkness has swallowed up the avoided places of even Kaon, where the violent thugs and low lifes of crime central come to either look for trouble or smoke a circuit speeder.
Presently, a group of five or so rough looking mechs are sharing drinks while gambling with what little shanix they have, their optics gleaming in the dim lighting of Wreckage Row. One of them speaks up, "Anyone else want to pitch in before we attempt the final round?" He smirks. The rest of group stays silent for the time being.
Little will any of them know that from the shadows, a winged silhouette watches from a nearby rooftop, staying out of the game for now. However, his crimson optics survey the criminals acutely, burning bright with fascination...
Look for trouble? Smoke circuit speeders? These are just a couple things Whirl enjoys doing which is why he's found himself back in Kaon, or close enough to it, despite how extremely dangerous such a city is for someone like him. This is also the best place to buy weird illegal things because, come on, this place is just a hive of scum and criminal activities. Basically it's a really awesome place to hang out if you are a terrible person, which Whirl is.
"I want in on this," the cyclops says as he emerges from a conveniently placed shadow to dump a clawful of shanix on the table before taking a seat amongst the extremely unfriendly faces. The ball bearings on this guy, sheesh. "What are we playing?"
The gangster who just spoke glances over at Whirl in an irritated fashion. "What the hell? Who are you?" But he's dumping a pile of shanix on the table so he's not going to protest. "Fine," he mutters. "Three card brag. Grab three from the deck and sit down," he says, "we're in the middle of the game but fine, you can get in on it since you've got some dough."
"I'm just a nobody. A stranger passing through, looking for a good time." Whirl levels a stare at the irritated gangster. "That's all you need to know." Because if he knew more, Whirl might find himself the center of a punching fest. He reaches towards the deck and takes a card, only to accidently tear through it with his claws.
"Aw dang, hold on." He grabs another card only for it to suffer the same fate as the first one. "Wait, I got this." He reaches again and it becomes apparent that he is going to destroy this entire deck of cards unless someone intervenes. "Fourth time's the charm."
"Hey loser," one of the gang members says in irritation, "you think that's /funny/?" he glares at the cyclops. "Our money depends on those cards!" He swipes the deck of cards out of Whirl's reach, glaring at the ex-convict. "Get lost, pinhead. You wanna play? How about not wrecking the game you want to join." He shoves Whirl, and sits back down, joining the other gangsters in looking pensive, as they really only have one deck of cards to play with for the time being.
Whirl gives the mech an uninterested stare. Maybe. It's a stare alright, but it's impossible to tell the emotion behind it. "On the contrary, this is actually kind of embarrassing for me. You really need to get a better deck of cards or something, they aren't very claw friendly." He's lying, he really is doing it on purpose because ruining people's only possessions makes him feel good. Nevertheless, the deck is snatched away from him and he gets a rough shove that almost sends him right out of his seat.
"Pfft! Whatever, card games are for chumps! If you REALLY want a high-stakes game.." Whirl pulls out a revolver and smacks it down onto the table. "How about a little roulette?"
The gangster stares Whirl in his beady little optic, getting up in his personal space. "I said. Get. Lost." One of the other gangsters stands up, giving the cyclops an icy stare. "Hey, who're you calling /chump/, empurata slag? You want roulette? Ha, fine." He picks up the revolver and fires two rounds--right at Whirl's chassis. The other gang members are roused now. They start drawing their weapons.
Damn it, why did Whirl load all of the chambers in that gun? Oh right, he was hoping they would actually play and all wind up dead. It's always really embarrassing when plans go awry, isn't it? Also incredibly painful as Whirl is starting to realize right now.
It happens so quick, Whirl has barely a chance to move before both rounds penetrate his armor and sink deep into his body, tearing energon lines and delicate wiring on their way through. Almost immediately the wounds begin leaking and Whirl tries to stem the flow of energon with pressure from his claws.
"Okay, well, you're disqualified. That's not how you play the game." He rises to his feet when the others draw their weapons. "In fact, you are all disqualified! I'm taking my money back, you guys suck."
"Do I look like I give a slag?" the lead gang member says, balling his fists. "Let me answer that for you, I don't." He slowly starts to approach Whirl, flexing as he draws back a fist with iron spikes attached to it. "Too bad, /chump/. I'm taking your money, and the rest of what little looks you have left. Fortunately, for you, you ain't got much left." The other gang members laugh, and start to approach Whirl as well.
Just then, the winged mech crouching on the roof leaps down, his boosters activating so as to slow his descent. He lets out a low chuckle, putting himself between Whirl and the roused gangsters. "Well, what have we here? /Someone/ isn't playing fair," he says smoothly.
Whirl just /stares/ at the approaching mech, his gaze faltering for just a second when he glances at those spiked fists. Oh yeah, those look like they are going to hurt. They're going to hurt BAD. "Ha! You think I'm scared of a bunch of low-life nobodies? I've been mutilated, burned, stabbed, shot in the face, whatever you can think of, it's happened to me. You want me to cower before you? You want me to get on my knees and beg you not to hurt me?" There's a flicker of his optic and he stands tall, beckoning the mech with a wave of his claw. "Bring it on, chump!"
But it would seem that fate has other plans because just as Whirl was about to get the beating of his life, a winged mech drops out of the sky and intervenes as if he had been standing idly by and watching this entire thing unfold, in which case the guy is a huge jerk for not helping sooner.
"Hey! What the hell do you think you're doing!? I can handle this on my own!"
"Or, can you?" Starscream says, now fixing Whirl with his crimson gaze. He smirks, and turns back to the gangster, who looks none to pleased to see him. "Hey aren't you the former Vosian ruler?" he says, also sounding confused. "What the hell are you doing here?!" The gangster glares at Whirl. "Oh just you wait, you'll be begging for your life in a nano-klik, soon as this bastard steps aside," he mutters.
The seeker laughs. "Not if I have anything to say about it," he says, avoiding the gangster's question. He steps forwards and reaches to snatch Whirl by his lithe waist, aiming to land a firm grip on it.
Whirl can handle anything, anytime, anywhere and he had every intention of letting this seeker know it but when he meets the other mech's optics with his own he falls silent. Those red optics of his, they're so.. intense and Whirl can't help but feel just a little intimidated by them. There is something unsettling about this guy but he's having a hard time deciding what it is.
"Oh yeah!?" Whirl snaps at the gangster, poking his head out from behind Starscream to give him a nasty glare. "Well I'm going to rip off your face and wear it, then I'm going to go to your job and hang out with your friends and interface your girlfriend and I'm going to STEAL YOUR LIFE and no one will say anything even though they know I'm not you because they like me better!" Whirl thinks he can take this guy; maybe not all the other guys too, but definitely this one single guy.
Then Whirl finds himself grabbed by the waist and suddenly the mechs threatening him with a brutal pummeling become the least of his worries. "Woah! Hey! What is this!?"
Starscream 's boosters activate, and the two of them suddenly ascend at a dizzying rate before the gangster can get a word in reply to Whirl's insult. Starscream laughs heartily, clearly amused by Whirl and the situation at hand.
"Brace yourself," the seeker says, gripping Whirl's waist tighter. Then abruptly, he goes from zero to MACH 2 faster than Whirl can say 'slow down'. His optics blaze brightly from the thrill of sudden speed, and a wicked grin spreads across his features. A sonic boom is released, which pretty much knocks the angry gangsters they've left behind right off their feet.
A breem or so later, the seeker lands and drops Whirl onto the ground. He lights up a devious half smile, his expression brazen. "I've heard /plenty/ about you," the seeker says silkily, "and I've always wondered, what business do you have associating yourself with Decepticons?"
"Brace myself for wha-" That's all Whirl manages to get out before Starscream takes off at speeds Whirl is unable to achieve, the cyclops feeling both exhilarated and absolutely effin' terrified by how fast they're traveling. Was that a sonic boom back there? Damn, this guy is fast as hell and he's not even in his alternate mode! Whirl instinctively clings to the mech as the world beneath them gets smaller and smaller..
The ride passes as quickly as it came, Whirl suddenly finding himself dumped unceremoniously onto the ground with a thud as soon as they touch down. He's about to give a half-afted thanks for the (unwanted) help but the seeker's comments elicits a scoff from him instead. "I think you're mistaking me for someone else, I /don't/ associate with Decepticons. They're not exactly my biggest fans."
"Oh, is that so?" the seeker says, stepping towards the cyclops and starting to circle him slowly. His crimson optics fix Whirl with a burning gaze, and his lips curl upward slightly. "Are you /certain/ about that?" Starscream says, leaning towards Whirl a little bit, his voice nearly a whisper.
What.. the hell? This guy is seriously creepy, even by Whirl's standards. The cyclops tries to keep his optic on Starscream, even rotating with him to keep the seeker in his line of sight. "Are you calling me a liar?" he hisses, leaning back when Starscream leans in. He starts thinking that maybe being stuck with an angry mob of gangsters thirsty for his energon was a better fate than whatever /this/ is. "I don't associate with any Decepticons, alright?”
"Your reputation precedes you," Starscream says with a smirk, "don't think I didn't hear about the time you thrashed Megatron," he scoffs. "And I never said you were," he says cleverly. "I was simply asking you if you were certain about your answer. Which, might I add, you don't seem so."
He steps underneath a street lamp, and the light glints off of his wing plating-- perhaps practically blinding Whirl. He turns to face Whirl, his Decepticon badge now in plain view. "You may be confused," he says smoothly, "but actually, I wanted to offer you some constructive criticism," stepping towards the cyclops quickly so that he's now inches from the ex-convict. "Don't leave a job undone. Megatron wasn't dead when you left him. Your mistake, clearly," the seeker says with a smirk.
It takes all of Whirl's effort to not audibly sigh in relief when Starscream starts talking about Megatron. For a second there he was afraid he was talking about the other Decepticon in his life, the one that has oddly found his way into the cyclops' inner circle. That feeling of relief quickly wanes when that purple badge emblazoned upon the Seeker's body comes into view, Whirl slowly backing away. It's no use though, Starscream closes the gap faster than Whirl can make it, the two of them now a mere few inches apart.
"Gee, thanks for the totally useless advice. You think I can just go back in time and finish the job, or something?" He gives the Seeker an annoyed huff. "Quit playing games. What do you want from me? You going to kill me or something?”
"Now, why would I want to do that?" The seeker says coyly, that deviously sexy half smile creeping back onto his features once more. "You're welcome," Starscream replies dryly.
"What I'm trying to say, is that we have something in common. And it's never to late to fix an old mistake, you know." He suddenly appears dissatisfied and reaches forward to grab Whirl by the helm, firmly forcing him to look the seeker in the optics. "Look me in the optics when I talk to you," he says in an authoritative tone of voice that is borderline sultry.
His expression then softens and he releases his grip on the cyclops helm. He glances down at Whirl's claws in an affectionate manner? How odd, given his previous demeanor. "How unfortunate," he says quietly, feigning compassion flawlessly as he runs a single finger down the edge of one of Whirl's claws briefly. "What you wouldn't do for a pair of hands, eh?" he chuckles a little, albeit unpleasantly.
Something in common? Fix an old mistake? This conversation is going somewhere bad, Whirl can feel it. He looks away for just a moment, the memories of his first encounter with Megatron in that prison cell flooding his mind, but as soon as he does he feels the Seeker's hand upon him and suddenly he's being forced to look into the other mech's optics despite the discomfort it brings. The way he snaps at him, demanding his full attention stirs a certain feeling deep inside the cyclops that he'd rather not be feeling right now. His gaze remains locked in place even after Starscream releases his hold on him.
The touch to his claw causes a slight tremble to run through Whirl's frame and his claws snap shut with a resonating clang of metal on metal. "What-" A brief pause as he tries to keep his tone flat and neutral. "What are you implying?”
Starscream maintains optic contact with Whirl, his gaze unwavering. He's smiling smugly, looking satisfied. "Listen closely, my friend." He pauses for effect. "I can arrange for you to receive a pair of hands. But, of course, nothing in this world is free," he says, his expression becoming increasingly fox-like. "And despite my charitable nature," he continues on airily, "due to the fact that I'm no longer functioning as the ruler of Vos, I can't just be handing out freebies anymore. My deepest apologies," he says, his fake sincerity sounding completely genuine.
"And since you don't like Megatron, why not join the Autobots? I will however, be needing a favor from you every so often. But as long as you obey me, and cooperate just like you should, you'll be receiving those hands you've always wanted back in no time at all. Who knows, maybe I can even get you a face," the seeker says, "a stunningly handsome one as well," he whispers tantalizingly in his audio receptors, hovering behind the cyclops.
The truth is that Whirl has nothing against Megatron personally. Well, now he does what with the rioting and beatings from Decepticon sympathizers, but at the time of that fateful interrogation, Whirl was just following orders. Not that any of that matters now, of course.
The offer Starscream gives him is definitely tempting, to say the least, but is it worth selling out and doing something as repulsive as joining the Autobots? He has to seriously think about it. Like, REALLY, SERIOUSLY think about it. If he had his face back, it would nice; being looked at like a regular person would do wonders for his mental health, but what he really wants are his hands back. Their loss was devastating and having them back would mean having his life back as well, not to mention his career.
"You're assuming the Autobots would even take someone like me into their ranks," he finally says after a long moment of silent thought.
"Well why not? You heard about the instance with that psychiatrist, Rung, correct? He was accused of working for the Decepticons, yet they allowed him into their rank," The seeker says, "why wouldn't they let you? You might be on probation, but it isn't like they won't let you into the Decagon," Starscream comments with a satisfied smile, gesturing theatrically. He slings an arm around Whirl's shoulder, grinning wickedly. "Come on now," he says, once more having invaded the cyclop's personal space. "Don't you want your /hands/ back?"
Rung.. Rung.. that name sounds really familiar to Whirl but he can't remember how. Ah well, probably no big deal.
Whirl tenses at the arm draped around his shoulder. Ohh, so THIS is what it feels like when he does this to other people. No wonder nobody likes him. "And if I rebuff your proposition?"
"Nothing," the seeker replies in a sly fashion, "but I did just save your aft back there, if you weren't aware. And I suppose if that doesn't mean anything to you.. well, I can't change that, can I?" The seeker leans closer. "Maybe I'd be a little surprised, that you would pass up the opportunity to have your hands back," he says, smirking at the cyclops. "But I guess you can't know everyone that intimately," Starscream says, looking him directly in the optic once more.
Despite everything that has happened to him, Whirl still has a smidgen of pride left in him as not all of it has been stolen from him. That pride is the only thing keeping him from signing his soul away to the devil (because let's face it, that's exactly what is happening here.) Well, that and the disappointment it would bring to the few people he actually gives a damn about; people like Hot Rod and Blast Off. What about Shiftlock? Yes, she is an Autobot now but that chapter of her life didn't really start by choice. Does he really want his hands back that badly? Is he willing to stab his friends in the back and leave them in the dust for the small chance that Starscream will uphold his end of the bargain and actually give him his hands?
Whirl catches himself staring into those red optics for what feels like ages and he looks away, a feeling of intense shame coming over him. "I will think about it.”
A smile is spreading across the seeker's features. "Well, let me know what you decide, when you do," Starscream says, "a badge is all it really is. And just think, if you could be on the inside...what kind of damage you could inflict, or vital information you could obtain if you were." He leans in a bit for the last part, "you could be a hero. And not only that, but you'll get your hands back," he whispers temptingly into Whirl's audio receptors, mere millimeters away from the cyclops.
The seeker gives Whirl's shoulder a light squeeze before slinking backwards away from the ex-convict. "It's been a pleasure," he says silkily, "do think about it. I don't think you'll regret agreeing to my terms."
The whispers of temptation in his audio receptor causes Whirl's fuel pump to start working overtime, the cyclops both tantalized and unsettled by Starscream's continued invasion of his personal space. Him, a hero? What a laughable thought, Whirl could never be a hero. Could he? He casts a glance at the hand that squeezes his shoulder. Hands. Full of fingers. Is that really something Whirl could have again?
"Just make sure you hold up your end of the bargain. Don't screw me." He looks over his shoulder at Starscream. "You screw me and I'll take YOUR hands."
Starscream lets out a drawn out laugh, his wicked half smile returning. "Of course," the seeker says slowly, "you understand, this is mutual. I'll hold up my end, as you long as you hold up yours," he says as he turns to leave.
"I suppose I'll be seeing you at the Decagon at some point, then?" His boosters activate, lifting the seeker several feet off the ground. "And if not, well.. I'll be watching you," he says with a smirk, before transforming and speeding off into the sky, disappearing from sight within nano-kliks.