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.
She flinched away from the touch. Just subtle enough to be overlooked but the jerk in her frame was there. Every strut in her back tightened but she didn't shove him away or slip from under his arm like she wanted to do. At least she hadn't reached for the pistols. That would have been a stupid mistake. The only being who had ever been friendly with her in such a way had been her sister. The moment she'd taken the Decepticon badge she'd gone out of her way to avoid contact.
Drunken tactics not being counted. She was fairly certain she'd been hanging all over that Autobot but the memory was hazy and corrupted. Any contact with Shockwave was always unwanted and unwarranted so that barely counted anymore. His touch usually heralded something worse in the future.
"I can't tell if you're trying to lighten the mood or actually attempting to give me advise. Either way, it's...appreciated?" She guessed? She couldn't pretend that anything he said would do anything for her. In fact, she found the words empty headed and irritating to a point. Nearly frustratingly unthoughtful. She couldn't just say "fuck it" and leave. Where would she go? How far could she go before her former life caught up with her?
"I would enlighten you with a daily slice of living with the scientist but I haven't the spark to commit to it. Not to mention it is probably a bit treasonous to chat about anything happening on the other side of the line here. Not to mention...rude."
Deuce walked straight to the bar. With one hand he vaulted it breezily, as if he belonged there.
"Oh man, are you kidding?" he said. "I need the deets! I mean, seriously - it's Shockwave! How often do you get a chance to learn about weird Shockwave facts? From his proxy no less! You must see the craziest stuff working for him."
He rummaged behind the bar. Two glasses klunked down onto the countertop a moment later.
"Okay, I get you gotta toe the line and aren't allowed speak out of turn," said Deuce. He turned and rifled through the motley collection of taps next. "That's the Decepticon way. But man! Shockwave! Does he have any strange habits? Does he send you out to collect disgusting science specimens or harvest algae or drop probes into volcanoes or stuff like that? I will be amazed if you tell me he doesn't have weird crap floating in glass tanks somewhere in his lab. That just seems like an evil biologist thing to do. Like - I dunno. Brains. I watch a lot of movies."
The familiarity of the bar nearly pained her. It wasn't this bar that felt so at home. It was just the general setting itself that felt so...home-like. It made her miss Kaon (yes, that Kaon) and the slagging dive bar where she'd spent nearly every active cycle. She missed the regular flow of customers, some as close as a cohort as she'd ever find. She missed having a place that wasn't pressed under Shockwave's hand.
Gods, how she missed.
Settling in one of the chairs she chuckled at Deuce's words, for his sake as much as for her own. She needed normality at the moment. Something to remind her that life wasn't always one damned thing after another. Even if it was getting drinks from an overly opinionated draft dodger.
"Pfft. I'll tell you anything about him. Who cares about secrets? He has a giant fish tank full of sea monkeys in his lab. ...well, no. I threw a handful of ghost shrimp in there. Should take him a cycle to find them. You can't imagine how hard it is to get those delivered to you when you have to stay on a ship."
"Wait, he really does have local fauna floating around in a tank in his lab?" he said incredulously. "Wow. Just wow. I was only joking about that. That is - that is actually kind of awesome. That is the best thing I've heard all day."
Chortling, he shook two chemicals together within a tumbler. Against all odds the two blue liquids seethed into something that was a venomous pink. How that was chromatically possible was up in the air.
Deuce gingerly poured the drink into a glass and slid it towards Roulette using just his fingertips.
"Try this," he said. "Some of the old Panther Piss, perfect for making a shitty day shine. Or chrome. It's good, honest. See, I'm having some too. So you know it's not criminally toxic."
He poured the rest of the tumbler into a glass and lifted it to her in a salute.
"Anyway," said Deuce. He leaned his hip against the bar and regarded her with interest. "Since gossiping about the boss is a time honoured tradition across the galaxy… what other dirt can you give me about the Big Purple? Does he really make you go out and fetch a lot of weird science stuff?"
She made a sound, a bit like a snort, and folded her hands one over the other. It was silly, but she didn't know what to do with herself now that she was sitting still. The feeling of invasion was still itching at the back of her mind but she didn't think Deuce would appreciate if she started peeling parts of her body off to rid herself of the psychosomatic reaction.
"Of course he does. Science is his mistress. If there is on love that mech could ever have, that would be it. I've seen him starve himself all because he loses himself in some banal little experiment." She wasn't going to add that she was the one that usually shoved a cube into his hand or reminded him to refuel himself. Mostly because she wasn't even sure why she did those things for Shockwave. She owed him nothing.
The drink Deuce offered was an offense to the optic. So, exactly like every drink she'd had back in the bar she'd worked in. Only this was likely not to make your tank corrode after one sip. The name, however, was disgusting. She made a face but accepted the offer.
"You really should rethink that name." Only hesitating a slight second, she gave a weak salute before taking a sip. Oh hell, even if it was poisoned, this couldn't be the worse thing to happen to her recently. "Shocks sends me out sometimes. He's more interested in his own projects right now to worry about collecting specimens. Mostly I just do maintenance work or send messages for him. He has a new, more capable proxy that handles the complicated shit."
Was she envious of Flatline? She had to sit back and think on that a moment. Now that the drink was starting to burn clarity and settle her sensors. He was a better fit for Shockwave. Not only was Flatline talented, yeah she'd give that to the little shit, but he was also more willing to throw conscious out of the room. Roulette, despite spending too much time with the mad scientist, refused to release that part of herself. She wasn't shackled to science or to Shockwave in that regard.
The drink was good, once you got past the initial burn on the sensors. Despite its vile name it went down rather smoothly. If it really was going to corrode fuel lines it probably wouldn't get a good start for another few hours.
Deuce took a sip and made a face.
"That is wild," he said. "I mean, I knew the mech was a heavy scientist on the 'Con side. Anybody who has ever taken a passing interest in astrophysics or engineering is aware of his contributions to both fields. I've even heard Autobot xenobiologists speak of him with grudging respect. But man."
He laughed. "I didn't know he was that intense about it! I was always under the impression he was a bit limited in terms of his emotional range. But hell, I guess science evokes all kinds of passions."
With a shake of his head he downed a little more of his drink.
"Another proxy?" Deuce studied her curiously as he wiped his mouth with his wrist. "You seem pretty capable. Is this other proxy more of a lab assistant then? Is she hot too?"
At the merest suggestion of Flatline being hot and Deuce being interested made Roulette choke on the fuel. Which was awkward. Unlike humans, she didn't have lungs for the fluid to rush into. But she could sputter and get fuel into her lines. Which led to an unfortunate case of the hiccups and coughing as her tank tried and failed to digest air. Waving a hand, she held the armor over her tank and coughed, trying to get the air out so the horrible fluttering sensation would stop.
"N-No! Primus no!" She set her cube aside and leaned against the counter with one hand, finally getting her body under control. "Flatline is...not at all what I would consider...." She trailed off and stared at him. Sure, she could tell him that the mech resembled the Crypt Keeper. Or...she could let Deuce find out for himself...
"...a suitable proxy to replace me. I'm way more talented than that upstart." It was a stretch, but implying she was jealous over the other proxy was kind of funny in an ironic way. She could care less if Flatline became the only available retainer to the scientist. It would sure make her life easier.
But, let the nosy Neutral ponder over the mystery that was Flatline. Unless he'd heard of the mech beforehand. In which case, he'd know just how loathsome the mech was.
Deuce goggled. He leaned back out of range when she coughed.
"Whoa!" he said. "Okay! So I'm guessing by your reaction that this proxy assistant is actually pretty dreadful. And not very hot. And also probably not a femme after all. My precious dreams, crushed."
He wiped a fake tear from his optic.
"Also, oh ho!"
With a waggle of his brow, Deuce sidled close and rested one elbow on the bar. He grinned. "Man, do I detect a note of jealousy in your voice? When I hear words like 'talented' and 'upstart' spoken in the same breath, well… I'm a reporter, you know, they teach us how to read into things in the most suggestive manner possible in reporter school. Got high marks in that class. Seriously though, are you worried that this Flatline mech is gonna take your place?"
Oh, how I wish... The yearning in that one thought was nearly painful. Unfortunately, Shockwave didn't throw away his toys. He found new uses for them. And that is what terrified her. The mech had a fixation on his tools, proxies included. If they didn't suit him how he wanted them to, he found better uses for them.
The tickling nag of a memory surfaced and nearly made her sick all over again. She leaned away from the drink, rethinking her plan of getting shitfaced. Perhaps drinking after such a trauma wasn't a good idea after all. She really did need that medic, if only for them to assure her that she was fine.
"I'm sorry," she mumbled, looking down into her lap. For a moment she fancied the other body she'd been in control of very briefly. What was the story behind that frame? Where was that mech and were they still alive? "I'm really not feeling well. I just-" she laughed, the sound anything but pleasant. "I just wanted that medic very badly."
With a grunt of frustration she covered her face with both hands and slouched in her seat. How many emotions could a femme go through before she went insane? She felt like she'd ran through the whole wide array and then some.
Deuce regarded her with something akin to sympathy.
"Sounds like it's been a hell of a bad day," he say. "Or, I don't know - a bad week. I know how those go. And I'm not even a Decepticon. I can only guess that bad days for Decepticons are ten times worse. What with all the fighting and the psychos."
He took a sip of his drink and rolled it around in his mouth for a moment, his expression thoughtful.
"I don't know how likely it is that you'll find a medic here at this point in time, but how badly do you need one?" he said. "You mentioned horrible reasons. But like - do you need repair work done, or a scan done? Because if it's just something as simple as pointing a scanner and firing it up to search for anything unusual… well, I might be able to help you out. I do it for myself all the time."
He shrugged. "I mean, I don't exactly have a faction HMO, here."
"Yeah, your HMO sucks here," she grumbled quietly before dragging her fingers down her face. As much as she'd assured Soundwave that she was going to work on this missing medic's case, she couldn't really focus enough to be useful. Perhaps she could get Deuce to give her a last known whereabouts and an actual report of what happened. Actually, that last idea wasn't too bad. Deuce liked to run his mouth off, maybe he wouldn't mind writing an official report on her behalf. Then she could say she tried.
"No offense, but you're not official medical personnel. Shockwave is a stickler for that. If I don't get a real doctor to give me a scan, I can't convince him I'm ok. And I'm not even sure I am ok. Not when someone basically kidnapped me. Again." She was nearly tempted to reach for the drink again but the rebellious tank kept her hands palm down on the counter in front of her.
Maybe she should just suck it up and face the scientist. He wouldn't possibly injure her on purpose, right? The problem is, she reflected, that his idea of purpose was entirely different from hers. He could, and had, justified many instances of opening up a proxy before. In this instance, she'd basically given him a free pass to crack her head open and fiddle about. She was partway surprised he hadn't done so during the MECH aftermath. But there was no way a cortical patch was going to fix this situation.
"So it needs to be an official medic," he said. "Okay. So, wait, hang on."
Puzzled, he scratched the side of his head with his glass. "So really, why not go to Knock Out? I mean, I know the guy can be a bit saw-happy at times, and I joked about that already, but from all accounts he's also a professional who takes his job seriously, which I'm guessing anyone who works for Megatron has to do if they want to remain functional. And he's the Decepticon chief medical officer, which means Shockwave can't simply order him to cut you open for whatever reasons Shockwave may have. Can't you go to Doc Knock and explain the situation in order to get that scan done?"
He cast a worried look around the bar. "Because I don't think the Neutrals are going to be able to find a new medic anytime soon if Cleaver is truly gone."
"Knock Out's a good medic. He's pieced me together before. I just didn't want to be on the ship in case Shockwave comes looking. The more distance you can put between yourself and him the better. I gambled on there being someone here and..." She gestured with her empty hand, fanning her fingers out and showing her open palm. "...gambled wrong. If I go back now, there is a chance he'll have gotten the report I sent and will meet me before I get to the medbay. Or hell, maybe he'll just muscle Knocks out of the way and do surgery right there. Ready made assistant."
She tapped her fingers on the counter and tried to quell the twist in her field at the thought. So, worst case scenario the mech did show up and demand to crack her open. Awful, but he probably wouldn't screw around too much, right?? He'd never really gone too far over the line before (ha) and hurt her physically, right?
...what if this is the one time he starts to see me as the guinea pig and not the proxy?
Grimacing at the thought, she looked around the bar and focused on Deuce's worried features. "What are you going to do without a medic? I know most of you are likely self-sufficient but what about a real emergency?"
"If it were a real life-or-death emergency?" said Deuce. "Oh, someone is going to die."
His tone was breezy, but there was no trace of humour in his optics. They were pinned on Roulette. "Perhaps the Autobots would be willing to lend medical aid in a serious case. But they are under no obligation to help Neutrals, nor are they obliged to put a medic on standby in the event of potential injuries. They need to tend to their own first, and knowing that it's not hard to predict that a time will come when a Neutral will be grievously hurt and no one will be here to help them."
The worried look had evaporated. Deuce smiled coolly as he set down his glass. Clink.
"All in all, that means that options for Neutrals are a bit slim at the moment," he said. "You can stay huddled up in here with your security and your bar, safe from trigger-happy Bots or Cons, or MECH, or random murdering psychos, secure in the knowledge your body probably isn't going to end up rusting in a garbage dump somewhere. Or you can take a gamble and venture outside to make a living, where damage is accumulative and no one is going to patch it up for you. Until one day…"
"Work is play for mortal stakes. The Neutrals had better cross their fingers that another medic arrives here. In the meantime, more booze! Stay here, Roulette! Why go back now, and risk evisceration? Want another drink?"
You owe him nothing. You owe none of these mechs nothing. Just let it go. Let them worry about it. They had their chance to pick a side. Right?
Even as she said the words to herself, she wasn't convinced. There was something so wrong with the concept of letting them fend for themselves without some aid. It wasn't right, it wasn't...economical. It made little sense to have one of their assets left to fend without a medic. Especially when they were under attack from a common enemy.
Frowning to herself, she reached for one of her datapads and a stylus to jot down a note or two on the subject. Maybe she could just ask around. It wouldn't hurt to put a bug in someone's audio on the ship. She just had to be...delicate about it. It wasn't like she was asking to give aid away. It was looking out for a resource. The neutral base was a valuable zone that had to be protected. The assorted mechs and femme therein were also resources that needed to be harbored in emergencies. It was just...smart business.
"Bleeding spark..." She muttered to herself before setting the stylus down on the datapad. She spoke up for his benefit. "I'm suddenly not in a drinking mood. Do you..." Ahh, this was harder than she thought it would be. "...in the worst case scenario, is there anything MECH could get from your missing medic that would be potentially dangerous? When they took me, they wanted to test out my targeting programming. If they're getting comfortable with what they're doing, and I don't doubt they aren't, they're going to start looking for useful assets from their victims. Just a guess."