We are a literate, intermediate to advanced AU Transformers RPG Based off of the first season of TFP with dashes of other incarnations sprinkled here or there. Characters from any continuity are welcome however must be restyled to match the TFPrime universe.
Active, with ongoing plotlines, we are always willing to integrate new characters into storylines once incorporated into the setting.
((OOC: This is set right after A Good Ol' Fashioned Mexican Stand Off. This thread is open but mainly for Red Alert. Please ask before hand.))
A demilitarized zone was a rare novelty Roulette hadn't encountered before. The concept itself wasn't new but when in the war had anyone had the time to establish, much less maintain, a DMZ? These few mechs clustered in the caves were exceedingly fortunate to be given the choice. And Roulette kind of, sort of, hated them for it. At what point in her life had she been given a chance to pick sides without fear of death? She had been robbed, slaggit.
The cocktail of emotions didn't show on her face as she stepped through the ground bridge. As she put wedged heels on neutral soil, she had no idea what to expect. Were neutrals friendly? Who else was here? And how in the slag was she going to buy the parts for her guns?
The few odds and ends Shockwave had given her didn't seem like much. But then again, she'd hedged and hem-hawed around asking for anything from him. He either expected something ridiculous in exchange, like say, procuring a "specimen" or up to say "being" the specimen. Fortunately she'd caught him on a productive day and all he'd asked for in return was a detailed report.
So here she was, armed with heat resistant ceramics, and feeling very much out of place. Oh the things she did for her babies...
A lot of things made him twitch—partly because he tended to have a very low tolerance threshold for irksome things, and partly because he had a few tics which liked to make themselves known at their own discretion regardless of his emotional state—but demilitarized zones were particularly twitch-inducing. They were wild-cards. Variables upon variables upon variables. There was no way to know for certain which way a neutral would bend when put under pressure, and when the Decepticons finally pushed them (which they probably would, Red Alert had no doubt of that) there would be no telling which side of the faction divide they would fall on. Sure, there was the off chance that they would remain neutral, but that was rarely the option mecha chose when a metaphorical or literal gun was pressed to their head.
For the time being, the neutrals were neither their allies nor their enemies, but there there was always the chance, the risk, that they could be swayed. Would be, through force, if the Decepticons felt so inclined. That was a considerable “if,” in Red Alert's opinion, one which he wasn't about to take lightly. Making sure the neutral base was reasonably defensible, if only so they would not be easily overrun by the Decepticons, should they some day find themselves no longer benefiting from the DMZ, was more or less the entire reason for his visit. Fortress Maximus had already inspected the base himself a few weeks prior, but and while he was relatively sure the other mech's judgment was sound, he had to make sure for himself with his own optics that their ground-bridge was secure on both ends.
He had called ahead, scheduled his visit, scrutinized the absolute Hell out of the ground-bridge, and had been preparing to call an end to his inspection when the bridge itself activated, and a figure stepped through the gateway. He had taken a cautionary step back immediately, the plates on his right arm flaring briefly as he checked the instinctive urge to prepare his rifle. His optics narrowed as they flared bright then zeroed in on the figure—the femme—and the moment he realized he did not recognize her his left optic twitched, and he found himself sizing her up and calculating how to best combat someone of her frame-type. It didn't matter that she wasn't actively posing a threat; that had never stopped him from assessing someone before, on the off chance they became hostile. If she decided to go that route, he wanted to be prepared for it, and that was really the only reason he needed to stare at her like a guard dog at the end of their leash, waiting for their subject to make the wrong move.
He made a point to keep his stance open, alert, but neither defensive nor preparing for a fight. His message was clear; he didn't need words to say it. He wouldn't give her trouble if she didn't give him any.
((ooc: If anything needs to be changed/clarified, please let me know!))
As caves went, they had a nice cave here? Honestly, Roulette should have asked about the place ahead instead of traipsing through the ground bridge blind. She didn't even know what room this was. It had all the technical kibble of a bridge and welcoming center if you could welcome anyone during a war. And various hallways carved into the solid rock led off to places unknown. She looked for signs and openly wore her puzzlement as armor. Go ahead, someones. Attack a confused and unarmed femme. Double dare you.
It was in her mental kerfuffle that she noticed she was being scrutinized very closely by a mech of very serious colors. Paint jobs meant everything and his arrested attention for the moment. Definitely an Autobot if the outright wariness he was bleeding was a clue. He looked at her like she might explode at any minute. Which was creepy. She'd just come from Shockwave's lab and if anyone had the technology to do so, it was that creepy freak.
She could do one of two things in this very moment. She could ignore the mech and continue on her own into the DMZ. After some exploring she'd likely stumble upon the right place and make her trade, maybe even spend some of Megatron's precious time down here and relax for a change. Or she could approach him and make him help her. That always ran a risk, like say being shot, but here was the potential opportunity to get to know the enemy better and to ingratiate themselves to her if at all possible. Blinking doe-eyed optics at him, she wasn't sure that idea was even remotely a hope. But it never hurt to try!
"Oh thank Primus. I am so lost. Could you help me? I have all these parts I need to get and I have to trade these things but I don't think they're going to worth anything but I don't have much of value, you know? I've never been to a DMZ before, are they always this big? Who is in charge here? Should I have brought a gift in welcome?" She didn't normally spew this many words (and actually might have used her quota for the next cycle) but if anything, the verbal avalanche would prompt some response out of the mech. Hopefully a friendly one or at least a not-shooty one. She hadn't even approached him yet, just kept that chipper, lost guise in place that wasn't really too far from the truth. While she wasn't super thrilled to be here, she had no fragging clue as to where to go.
The Decepticon was being...surprisingly civil with him. Almost cordial. Not at all hostile.
Clearly, she was up to something.
What, exactly, he couldn’t say for certain, but she had to have some sort of ulterior motive for her behavior. Perhaps she was simply respecting the rules of the DMZ, or perhaps she honestly did not want to cause a fight (somehow he doubted the latter), but whatever the reason, she was acting distinctly out of character for someone of her faction. As evident by the fact that she was neither glaring, gloating, nor spitting vulgarities at him.
She probably was sizing him up, though, just as he was assessing her. Likely searching for weaknesses while putting on a good-natured air, to encourage him to drop his guard. Or maybe she was just friendly. For some reason, that thought disturbed him more than the idea that she was trying to lull him into a false sense of security so he’ll slip up and reveal something that could be used against him at a later time. A friendly Decepticon just struck him as...wrong. Wrong, and more than a little unnerving. Friendly and Ruthless and Deceptive made for a terribly worrisome combination, in friends and enemies alike.
He almost wished she was glaring at him. That would have been more expected, more welcome. It also would have made replying to her seemingly earnest questions in a curt manner feel less rude, though he wasn’t about to self-flagellate over not sparing the feelings of someone he just met, let alone those of a Con, who likely would have put a bullet through his head by now had they not been within the DMZ.
He eyed the femme for a moment, considering how to respond to her flood of questions. He really didn’t feel terribly inclined to answer any of them, but he wasn’t about to give her a reason to hold a grudge. After resetting his optics, which dimmed as he refocused them on his target unlikely conversation partner, he tilted his helm to the side and studied her with a curious, rather than accusatory expression.
“Do you want those questions answered sequentially as they were asked, or by level of importance?” He replied flatly, somehow managing to keep too much sarcasm from seeping into his tone.
Well, one sentence in and he was already off to a great start. Surely replying to a chipper series of questions with a dry, sarcastic remark would endear his enemies to him and not at all offend or annoy them. Truly, Red Alert was a master of socialization.
Shadow Striker always had a terrible control of her temper. Despite the two sisters being the same age, Striker had been nothing like her other sibling. Instead she'd been rash, prone to fits of violence at a mere trespass of her ego, and hadn't been the brightest light in the room. She'd been gifted in looks over intelligence. If confronted with someone like this Autobot, she would have bristled at the tone and implied something nasty about his upbringing.
Roulette wasn't her sister. (Thank Primus.) She liked to think she had looks and smarts. Instead of being put off by the dry tone, just bordering on sarcastic, she was amused. He could have reacted any way he wanted to including a violent retort. She was the enemy after all and he didn't owe her a thing. But he was considering answering her questions. That was pleasing. Mostly because Roulette was lazy and didn't want to hunt around for someone willing to lead her around.
"You can answer them with a commutative diagram for all I care. As long as they get answered." She grinned at him, not in the least put off by the attitude. She spent her time around a mood-constipated scientist after all.
Generally speaking, it was not a good thing when a Decepticon smiled at someone. It was usually a sign of terrible things to come, like an interrogation, or a bullet to the spark, or a long-winded speech. Or a terrible pun. They were all various shades of unpleasant, some more so than others (depending on one’s pain tolerance and sense of humor), but for once Red Alert did not see any of those things forthcoming in a Decepticon’s smile.
Again, that only unnerved him further. She was either up to something, possibly unhinged, or just very bad at behaving like a typical Decepticon. None of those options were very reassuring. Not in the slightest. She was proving to be a difficult variable to pin down, and he didn’t like it one bit. Not knowing things rankled him, made him more than a bit disgruntled. Well, more so than usual.
Frowning slightly, he tilted his head and crossed his arms, his stern gaze softening somewhat as he examined her as if she were a particularly complicated puzzle rather than something distasteful that happened to fall within his line of sight.
“I’ll stick with words, if you don’t mind.” He replied, before thinking back to the femme’s onslaught of questions and thanking the Powers That Be for his sharp memory.
“---Yes, I know now that you’ve told me, it depends, Cleaver, and to my knowledge that isn’t necessary.”
Sorry, did Roulette want him to actually explain which questions he was answering? Oops.
Luckily for her sharp shooting skills, Roulette had a fairly decent memory. At least, a good sequential memory. She was by no means a genius but she could remember a few questions and deduce answers given to her. Or she could fake the slag out of what she didn't understand and nod prettily.
"Where can I find this Cleaver?" Whoever that was. While the Autobot answered, she looked around the compound with open interest. Normally she wouldn't have been so relaxed this close to an enemy but circumstances gave way to a friendlier dynamic. By turning her attention off of him, she was showing him a tiny amount of trust. She had no way of knowing if that placement of trust warranted. But she doubted an Autobot would be the first to breach DMZ rules. Which begged more questions she didn't feel like asking just yet.
"I'm Roulette, by the way. In case you can't forget the sight of my glamorous looks later." She had to fight a smirk at the mild teasing.
Red Alert was not terribly keen on answering Roulette’s question. The idea of giving away someone’s whereabouts without their permission, to a Decepticon of all people, just didn’t sit right with him. Sure, in the brief time she had been on the grounds Roulette had shown no hostility whatsoever, and had been nothing short of amiable, but that did not make Red Alert any more comfortable with the idea of giving her Cleaver’s exact location. Instead of giving the femme a detailed answer, he simply made a noncommittal sound in the back of his throat, one shoulder bobbing in a half-hearted shrug.
“Probably where you’d usually find a medic, assuming she’s on base.” He replied, tone flat and vaguely dismissive.
He watched, with a degree of confusion, as she took her optics off of him and glanced around the room. She clearly had more trust that her enemy would uphold the rules of the DMZ than he did, if she was willing to let him out of her sight. Which didn’t surprise him in the least, honestly. Objectively speaking, one would be better off not putting their trust in someone belonging to a faction with deception in their very name, and so his refusal to take his optics off of her for even a second was understandable. A bit excessive by most accounts, but still understandable.
As she turned her attention back to him and revealed her name, he couldn’t help but briefly dawn his earlier bemused expression once again. If she was willing to give him her name so freely and without prompting, then she really did have a great deal more trust in him than he did in her.
Her joke about her looks garnered nothing more in response than the slight raise of his eyebrow as he tacked her name onto the mental profile he was building for her. “Noted.” He replied, as he added cheeky to her list of descriptive adjectives. "I would say it's a pleasure to meet you, but given the circumstances, I think you'll understand why I'm not going to." He added, with a faint note of apology.
He was not going to bother tip-toeing around the issue. They were both keenly aware of their situation, so there was no need to pretend that their interaction here was anything but a temporary peace.
Cleaver stepped out from the Medbay before the atmosphere could get any more tepid...
Red Alert was a few minutes early and Roulette had only put in for groundbridge access a short time ago. She'd hoped to have finished resetting the seals on a containment unit that James had used as a scratching post before the Autobot specialist arrived. Unfortunately, the glue had taken much longer than she'd anticipated to set, and there was no alternative to holding the fiddly thing in place other than to start over later.
She'd kept an audio out for the incoming 'bridge, and when Red Alert had arrived she'd intended to give him a shout. Then Roulette had arrived with a cargo-full of questions, promptly dumped in Red Alert's lap, and she'd kept quiet.
It was purely curiosity to see how a Decepticon and an Autobot responded to an initial meeting without a Neutral introduction. It was important to see the DMZ held. Vital.
Not just because it was funny at all.
Glue set and servos clean, Cleaver stood with calm authority to one side of the representatives of the warring factions. She looked between both, her arms sliding back into their long natural configurations at her sides.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, Red Alert. Had a procedure run on and I couldn't drop it." To Roulette, she inclined her helm. "Do you need anything from me urgently? Layby's around if you're in a hurry."
Roulette wasn't much for lying. Which didn't mean she couldn't, by any means, lie to someone's face with a decent poker face. In her career she'd had to do quite a bit of fibbing to get by. Sometimes to shift blame aside for an assignment gone bad. But while she wasn't a decent at deception out of necessity, that didn't mean she had to like it. She'd rather just tell the truth because it was so much easier than committing to what generally turned into an elaborate complication.
If this Autobot thought he was offending her with the blunt truth, he was mistaken. Even a touch of tart to his tone couldn't bother the femme. He had every right to mistrust and dislike her. Being civil was an added bonus.
"Aw, cherry pie, I'm still pleased to meet you." The horrible nickname just slipped out before she could rethink what she was saying. Really? That was what she was going with? Inwardly she cringed but rolled with it. Hell, it wasn't her dignity on the line and really, the Autobot was like a the nearly sour fruit.
Before she could dig the new relations-grave a foot deeper, she noticed that they weren't exactly alone before the Neutral spoke up. Fantastic, how much of their conversation had the femme heard? Shifting from foot to foot, Roulette rubbed the back of her helm and grinned.
In his time, Red Alert had been called a great many things. Not many of them were flattering. In fact, most of them were downright insulting---or at least they would be if Red Alert actually valued the opinions of people who frequently made disparaging remarks about him, usually in reference to his professional proclivities, his personal life (...or lack thereof), his mental health, and every combination thereof. He had been called things so creatively vulgar that he could not even bring himself to feel insulted by them. If anything, some of them had been amusing, by virtue of their own absurdity.
However, of all the things he had ever been called, of all the possible word combinations mecha used to refer to him, Red Alert could not recall a single instance where he had been called something more nonsensical than the three little syllables which Roulette all but sing-songed at him. As soon as the words left her mouth, his optics brightened then narrowed, and his helm tilted to the side, as if he needed to look at her from a different angle to understand the absurdity that just escaped her vocoder. He could not help the slight flare of befuddlement in his field anymore than he could help favoring her her with a confused, questioning look that asked “What?” and “...why?” in equal measure.
However, before his confusion could mount any higher Cleaver came in, thus rescuing him from having to further contemplate that horrible nickname he had just been assigned. Thank Primus for good timing.
“It’s not a problem.” He replied absently, his gaze shifting briefly from Cleaver back to Roulette, who once again received a questioning look. “Your…” He hesitated, unsure what exactly to call Roulette. ‘Trade partner’ was too formal, too specific, and too wordy. “---guest, kept me occupied.”
Red Alert was so flustered it was kind of charming, and Cleaver moved a few paces to be stood closer to him. Peaceful field proximity was either going to help or hinder, but the move also demonstrated where the priority for the medic's attention lay.
Layby had spoken very highly of Fortress Maximus's visit, with regards to sharing a drink across the bartop ('brilliant') and to the Autobot's sensible interest in the security of Haven for their faction. There'd been no cynical judgement as far as Layby could tell, and his queries were free of paranoia. It made sense that the visit would be followed up by another Autobot making a safety assessment before the DMZ began to be actively used. Cleaver only hoped that the meeting would go as smoothly with Red Alert as it had with the former warden.
"Alright, Roulette; if you don't mind hanging around whilst Red Alert and I get on, then you're welcome to. Be touring and talking, so could be a little while. Though, Layby's over in the bar and would probably be better suited to help with parts if it's for a weapon." She held the femme's optics, her field stony. "You didn't bring it, did you?"
((OOC: How did you guys want to play out this scene? Did you want to keep Red an Roulette together for a bit longer?))
She was having fun mentally confusing the Autobot. So much so that it was bleeding into her field. She was positively giddy with a touch of mischievous. But all good things did come to an end. Her attention would only be tolerated for so long before confusion would blossom into ire. Besides, she actually was here on borrowed time and for parts. Now, according to the medic, that time was going to be spent in the bar. So her superiors really couldn't blame her for having a drink or two while waiting. It was only polite!
"That would be rude to my guests." Despite the stony field pressing against her like a wall, Roulette smiled and held up her hands, showing her empty holsters with a turn of her hips. "I believe you said I would have luck in bar. I think I'll give him," here she nodded at the Autobot, "a break. It was nice meeting the both of you. Very...entertaining."
((OOC: I'm cool with having Rou head over to speak to Layby XD She's had enough fun tormenting Red Alert...for now.))
Red Alert would not call his confusion charming by any stretch of the definition. As far as he was concerned it was nothing more than a completely reasonable response to being called a pet-name by a complete stranger---a Decepticon, no less. Primus above, but how else was he supposed to take something like that? Just shrug it off? How exactly was he supposed to do that when mischievous glee was bleeding from Roulette’s field? He couldn’t just ignore that. She was teasing him as if he were an old friend, without a hint of malicious intent, and Decepticons just shouldn’t do that. They didn’t do that, not usually, which was the primary reason why he was so taken aback by the situation.
Either Roulette was an exceptionally decent person for a Con, or she was the average and Red Alert had simply had the misfortune of running afoul of all the exceptionally horrid ones. Or maybe Roulette was some sort of master manipulator who knew all the right buttons to press, who even knew at this point? Red Alert certainly didn’t, and he was beginning to find he didn’t much care either. He was wasting far too many processor threads on a thought that wouldn’t even be relevant once they went their separate ways and Roulette was out of his sight. He was probably just over-thinking things again. That tended to happened whenever he was thrown for a loop.
Shaking his helm, Red Alert rubbed the space between his optics with his thumb and forefinger to clear the static that had been building there, before glancing back to Roulette.
“You have an interesting definition of entertaining.” He replied flatly, before stealing a brief look at Cleaver.
He had noticed she had shifted a bit closer to him--because of course he did--but he didn’t feel any particular need to comment on it. A brief nod of acknowledgement was enough.
((ooc: I’m cool with these two going their separate ways too---however you guys wanna continue this, I’m game ))
Roulette left them with a lingering smirk and a swish of her hips, making a beeline for Layby's haunt. The bar was rapidly becoming the standard Second Stop for visitors to Haven, which suited Cleaver just fine. It was where there were the most cameras, access to precisely zip of importance in terms of systems, and Layby could more than handle himself on his own.
Cleaver watched the femme go, deciding against pinging Layby a warning about the incoming flirt-storm. He'd enjoy the banter. Would probably be fine with being called blueberry pie, even...
Red Alert was still stood with all the tension of a coiled spring to her right. Cleaver straightened with a huff, pulsing relief/peace, and caught the mech's eye. "So what would you like to do? I can give you a walking tour of the main areas and answer any questions you have about how things operate, or we can move somewhere quiet and take it from there."