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.
The Las Vegas strip on a clear night reminded Bandit of Centara V, a moon popularized as a vacation destination by the abundance of intoxicants and the prevalence of gladiatorial tentacle wrestling. Which is just as weird as it sounds.
Bandit's holomatter avatar leaned on a stone wall surrounding something charitably called 'a scenic viewpoint' just off the side of road, on a small hill that thought it gave an impressive view of the human city. Bandit's altmode sat parked nearby as his avatar sipped at a cup of frozen Earth confection through a straw that any bystanders would have noticed went right through the visor of the helmet his avatar wore. It was dark though, and he was alone at the moment. Humans had lousy night-vision. Right?
"Wait, can humans see souls through the inky blackness of infinite fathoms or did I make that up?" Bandit muttered to himself. He needed a notebook to keep track of these sorts of things. Or a secretary.
He sighed and continued consuming his 'Slurp-E', tensing up only a little as he heard a car coming down the road. The car moved down the darkened road past the scenic viewpoint and he was about to stop paying attention to it when he realized he recognized that car.
His avatar vanished, the Slurp-E falling to the ground and presenting a bounty to the local insect life The avatar reappeared on Bandit's bike form and peeled out of the parking spot down the road after the familiar car.
"You're listening to 96.3. Hits of the 80's and More, late night in Las Vegas!"
Behind the wheel, the courier's avatar tilted her head slightly to one side as the music began to play. The sound fluttered out of the tinny speakers; even Rod Stewart had a tough time being simply irresistible when faced with this old audio system. Yet the song was one she knew by heart, so she hummed a few bars and tapped a finger along the smooth, dark edge of the steering wheel as the car slipped down the curving stretch of highway.
It was just a quick trip into the city.
Dart wasn't supposed to be here.
She was supposed to be back in the wilds of Oregon, patrolling in endless, loping circles over terrain that had never been designed with sports cars in mind. Okay, nothing had been designed with her alt mode in mind unless it was long, nicely paved highways. Which Nevada did have a few of, so she'd developed a quiet appreciation for the state. That and you could get lost easily in Nevada; there were small clusters of cities and towns and then hundreds of and hundreds of miles where it was just barren desert and twisty, struggling bushes.
Room to run and not worry about crossing the path of anything that wasn't wildlife.
Also rocks. Lots and lots of rocks.
Dart loved rocks though, so that was also a pretty big win in her book. Besides, ever since she'd come here with Max a while back a small thought had been turning over in her head. One of those wistful ones that she couldn't shake.
Mostly because she didn't have enough money to be anything other than wistful. That whole guitar fixing thing had left her a bit in the negative. Ugh, she still needed to return that one of these days. Someday, someday...
Right, when she maybe had a reason to be here that didn't include sneaking around at the dead hours of the night.
Threadbare tires hummed against the hot pavement as Dart took the corner. Behind her, there was a flicker of light, and that sort of surprised her. She hadn't seen a merger, but then again, she really hadn't been paying that close of attention. Huh, one light. Motorcycle then. Someone else out here for a terribly late night drive. Which meant...
The courier puffed a small stream of air from under her hood and relaxed. Meant they were more human than she was, no doubt.
Bad habit that I wasn't paying attention. That's going to get me hurt one of these days.
Lots of things get me hurt. Heck, being here is one of them. Nice job, Dart. Now you're back to thinking about that.
Behind the wheel, the young woman briefly rubbed at her eyes and then settled her hands back down as the barren stretch of roadway began to give way to sleepy, clustered suburbs that were packed in in neat, oh so perfect lines, houses butted up against each other. That was typical of Nevada, though. Less places you had to run pipes of water. Water was the thing that controlled it all...
The sign caught her attention. So did the traffic light. Dart slowed down and coasted to a quiet stop. Her engine grumbled roughly as the courier shifted her weight back and forth, the big car rocking softly as if it just wanted to go. Her right blinker was politely on, indicating she was about to make a left hand turn into the rather bare parking lot in front of her that was surrounded by a dull and tan strip mall.
Bandit followed the familiar car a ways down the road before he saw it preparing to turn into a parking lot. The car was stopped at a traffic light, its little blinker blinking. He took this opportunity to rev his engine a bit and pass the car up, swerving deftly around it to pull into the parking lot ahead of it. It was probably fine.
His avatar scanned the small structure to determine what the car’s destination might have been, before giving a shrug and pulling to a stop in front of the strip mall. The lot was rather devoid of other vehicles and passersby at this time of night, and Bandit idly wondered if there was anything special about this place. The only space that seemed to be in operation was a small cafe, devoid of any inhabitants at the moment besides the staff.
His avatar pulled off his helmet and watched the car pointedly, leaning forward on the handlebars of the motorcycle. “Hi, Dart. You here on evil business? Or evil pleasure? Wait, don’t answer that, that sounds unwholesome.” He looked over the Trans Am with a narrowed gaze, taking in all the scuffs, scrapes, scratches and generally scruffy aesthetic. “... well, you look awful.”
When the motorcycle in front of her swept past to pull into the parking lot, Dart carefully tapped her brakes and backed off fast to let the man pass. Bikes and the people on them was something she was carefully aware of. She was a big, low-slung car with a lot of hood, and the absolute last thing she wanted was to hit a person who just wanted a cup of coffee.
Because that was all the courier wanted as well.
Okay, that was a lie. Her thoughts had also been wandering through the prospect of free wifi, writing a couple of emails, and catching up quick with what was going on with a few friends on Facebook. That was not only because she wondered what the heck was Sarah up to in her interesting life, but also because she was steeling herself. She'd run all the way out here with her heart on going into the city- sure, she could admit it was sort of an attempt to duck away from that mess back at the outpost when there was so much chaos no one would notice she'd done a detour but...
It was also because she had her eye on a watch. Okay, a Swatch watch.
Stupid. Silly. Maybe a waste of all the work it took to scout out plastic bottles and cans to bring into the redemption centers down in Oregon. Nothing like having a half-empty can spill dubious contents onto your interior floor mats. That watch was sparkly though, pretty and girly and it had stars on the face and gosh she wanted to go back in and covet it again because it was one more goal to get her through the days. Dart liked those kind of goals. They kept her going forward.
The dark car started to pull into the lot.
Ugh, making money really wasn't easy when you were a giant alien robot-
There was a sudden screech of threabare tires on hot pavement; Dart's hood lifted as she dug her rear wheels in in a sliding, ungraceful stop. This was followed by both headlights popping up in vehicular shock, and then the whoosh-snort of her intakes frantically sniffing. Her brain went off of coffee musings and into some other space where it full tilt around in circles and debated on jumping a fence and hightailing it out of here. Then it too came to a screeching halt and thudded into some mental windshield, since it had forgotten to use the seatbelt and was now back in time and across a heck of an ocean where it landed in Australia.
His voice was instantly recognizable, as was oh- oh, his avatar, the body language he wore as he leaned forward, comfortably human in the overhead lights of the parking lot. Straddling the motorcycle with ease- oh gosh, whose motorcycle was that? Well, probably his now. They were close to Vegas, oh man, he'd probably won it in a game of cards or poker or maybe he'd gone into a good partnership with a slot machine.
Vegas. Of course of all the places he would end up, it would be in Vegas. That was awesome.
"I- I uh, I wanted a cup of coffee," Dart blurted and the words tumbled out with a burst of soft laughter. "It's a Starbucks though, so I guess that's kinda awfully evil, isn't it?"
Then she rocked back and the headlights squinched down again. "Yeah, I know. I had a little run in. With my boss. You know how it goes when he's-"
The courier trailed off. This time, there was only a confused, unsure whuffle of air. Then another.
Is it in your head? Oh gosh, wait, is this real or is this one of Soma's moments? Whoa. Whoa. Hold on, hold on.
"Bandit? You- you don't smell like you," she mumbled. "Wait. Where are you? Like- er..."
The car flicked a mirror. "The rest of you. I mean the car part, and- wait--"
A nervous note fluttered across the courier's words as the car wiggled a front tire, pawing into the pavement. "Uh, oh geeze. Could you do me a favor, please? Like I'm sorry and this sounds so bad bad bad movie plot, but is there a way you can absolutely prove that it's you?
Bandit’s avatar gave a grin. “The car? I ditched that form when I started operating in the Rift of Kruul. Adopted a slightly smaller form so I could fit through the doors and match the dominant species height.” Bandit’s holoform casually pat the side of the blue-green motorcycle it straddled. “This is me now.”
Bandit’s holoform gave Dart some major side-eye. “.... what are they putting into the energon over there these days? Is it drugs? Are you on the drugs now?”
“Fine, fine, proof. Hmm.” Bandit’s voice dropped low, conspiratorial. “Pyrotech built a bridge over some gorge or another, so you guys could move your ground pounders around more efficiently. I don’t remember which gorge.” His holoform gave a shrug punctuated by a rev of the motorcycle’s engine. “That bit of Australia was all desert and gorges. Anyway, the bridge was gaudy and over-designed, like all of his work. Compensating for something, if you ask me.”
“The bridge didn’t last long -- it got mined and destroyed by a dashing and handsome saboteur,” Bandit said, with a grin. “But, and here’s the odd bit. The only explosives available to this saboteur were trivoneline. Which is efficient, but has a distinctive odor. Not really something most Cybertronians would notice -- this weird planet is filled with… distinctive odors. But you’d think someone with an enhanced olfactory sense would pick up on the explosives and investigate. Especially a Decepticon someone. But no, Eyesore Bridge was destroyed without a hitch.”
Bandit’s avatar scratched his stubbly chin. “And of course, after the bridge was gone and the explosives were detonated, there was no trace of the trivoneline left, so…”
Out on the main road, a passing vehicle whirred past where they sat under the soft, hazy ring of pink light. Through the windows of the coffee shop, there was the motion of the baristas puttered around wiping down counters and cleaning machinery this late at night.
His words portrayed a moment she'd kept close, like so many things. Tucked away tight in one of those nooks in her mind. Soma was all about those nooks, but she knew that there was no way, no how, that anyone else would have brought up that particular story. That moment in time where she listened to Pyrotech's snarled frustration, but wasn't scared.
Bandit's speech pattern too. So distinctive. Not just his accent, but how he used words, and that dry, teasing touch to them. Her nose said, no, this is not him, this is someone different, but all the smells around them were right. The touch of coffee, the dry baked heat of the asphalt beneath them. All the whiffs of humanity that had trotted around this lot, paths criss-crossing and meandering.
Nothing that Soma could fake. Not yet. Other mechs perhaps, but not him. Not yet. At least she hoped so.
A soft sound escaped from Trans-Am. It was tremulous and low, as if it couldn't quite figure out what it was trying to be, a low whine or a whuffling chuckle as her front tires splayed slightly out.
Relieved laugher bubbled out from under the scarred hood of the sports car. It bounced up slightly, leaned forward, and rocked back and forth, every tiny motion filled with eager, honest delight.
"You're okay. You're all right? Wait, I though you were- oh, gosh, I'm okay, promise. Cross my heart."
"I would have also totally accepted also that I cannot solve a Rubix cube if my life depended on it," she admitted. "But that bridge did look pretty awful up there. The gorge was better off without it, but oh, it's good to see you.
"And no drugs, I'm not on drugs, swear. I only run speed. Honest."
The car's side mirrors twitched forward as the car rolled forward into a parking space, quickly but politely parking just so. Even before it had come to a complete stop, the driver's door flew open and a long-legged, pony-tailed young woman flung herself out of it with a scrabble of limb and leg.
"We good," she said, with a lopsided smile that crinkled her nose. "We good. Um, hi... I was going to duck in here for a bit, and get a cup of coffee. You want one?
Bandit smiled at the skittish femme. “All right! Good. Don’t do drugs. Sell drugs.”
He leaned forward on his handlebars again. “... are you sure you’re all right? You’re acting weirder than I recall. And again, I cannot overstate how bad you look. When was the last time you drove through some rain, at least?”
He perked at her inquiry. “Coffee? I would love some coffee. What’s coffee again? Is that the thing where you throw some string and a hook into water and hope you impale one of those aquatic creatures on it?” He narrowed his eyes in consideration. “I don’t know if I would love coffee if that’s what coffee is.”
He watched her holoform get out of the car and walked his own bike frame into a parking spot near the Trans Am. He studied her carefully as he stood up. “..... something is different about you, and I can’t put my finger on it.” He narrowed his green holomatter eyes. “And you know me, I’m observant, and I don’t miss much. Especially when it’s right in front of me.”
Bandit’s holoform locked eyes with Dart’s holoform for a long moment.
“Oh! Right, you have an avatar now.” He looked Dart’s holoform up and down, sides of his mouth turning down in the shadow of a frown. “I don’t like it.”
He followed this up with a quick grin, throwing a holomatter arm around her avatar’s shoulders casually and drawing her in conspiratorially. There was a part of Bandit that was absolutely enjoying the fact that he was finally of a size with his old friend, for once. “Good smile, though. Suits you. Come on. To coffee! Whatever that is. I hope it’s not the thing with the fish.”
He did have a point. Selling drugs would sure make her more money than scrounging up pop cans, but Dart wasn't at all ready to go down that dark path. Maybe mushrooms. Well, more like truffles. Huh, she'd never thought about that. Giant robot truffle snuffler. Say that one five times fast.
Dart was distracted by Bandit walking the bike- himself, right, into the parking space. Her mind was still having trouble processing that this was Bandit. His voice, his mannerisms, everything was Bandit, yes, and her brain was happily, delightedly grabbing onto that. He was alive, he was here. Not far away, and certainly not dead.
Still, another part of her (the wary part that said the unfamiliar was dangerous) was hyper-fixated on that he did not smell like Bandit, he did not sound like Bandit's familiar car mode- even the slight cooling tick-a-tick of his engine had changed. She had to keep reminding herself that yep, Cybertronians often changed bodies like they were shrugging in and out of a sweater. Dart could admit the idea always felt awkward and weird to her, but that was her hangup, not anyone else's.
Also, it was funny. She went through rivers and rain all the time. It was nice being back in the Pacific Northwest.
At the narrowing of his eyes, she froze, her fingers curled around the top of her driver's side door.
Then there was a shy, lopsided smile as Dart met Bandit's gaze. The young woman shifted her weight, scruffing the toe of her worn sneaker into the warm pavement.
It was weird to be caught out on something so and not be bolting for the high hills, but in a way it was pretty amazing to share this moment with someone who knew her before they'd come back to the States. Well, someone besides someone, and that was uh - right, she'd tuck Bandit knew. She didn't have this back in Australia. She wasn't supposed to have it now, and it was one of the reasons she tried to keep herself out of the repair bay. Maybe no one would notice, but there was a chance someone would; it was cobbled into her, kitbashed awkwardly into her systems. The holo generator she had was an incredibly special gift, one that she kept close and private. It allowed her to do things in this world she never thought possible anymore, blending into the human world and just immersing herself in the day to day moments of it.
Her expression turned unsure. Dart looked down at herself, obviously self-conscious Her hands fell to her hips, stuffing her fingers into her pockets. A flash of pink bandaid showed through the ragged tear in the knee of her worn jeans. The young woman's thumb fiddled across the copper rivet, tapping it under her touch.
"Well um, I like-oh!"
Totally caught off guard at the abrupt, friendly weight of Bandit's arm, Dart's automatic response was to flinch. She bumped into the the side of the car, but there was nowhere for her to go. Her holoform glitched, giving off a bright ripple of static blue where they touched. Beside them, the car made a strange sound, as if it was sucking in a breath.
Dart's avatar held very still, but the hologram rippled only once more and then smoothed. With him right next to her, the courier couldn't get over how how strange it was that they were eye to eye. That never happened before. Neat. Speaking of eyes, his avatar's green ones were striking. Dart started to blurt out something about it, and then realized that this was Bandit, he no doubt knew that already. Probably ten times over.
"Aw, thanks," she mumbled, ducking her head. The courier rocked back on her heels but didn't completely edge away from him. Instead a soft little laugh escaped her. "It's totally not the thing with the fish, that's fishing..."
She raised an eyebrow. "And you know that, I know you do. Coffee in this case is a place to get a drink. Er, a drink without drunk folks and bar fights. Also they have wi-fi."
Dart peered down over the door into her front seats. There were scattered books on the floorboards, an empty water bottle, and a worn sling-pack where the front had a strip of duct tape across it. "Let me just grab my bag, okay? Like I said, I'll buy."
Last Edit: Feb 19, 2020 2:45:03 GMT -5 by Feldspar
Bandit released Dart and looked at her, his face working at a confused expression long enough that Dart might have thought his holomatter avatar was glitching. After a long moment a single dark eyebrow arched quizzically, and he looked at her with almost vaudevillian confusion.
While she rummaged through the Trans Am’s interior, Bandit cast a glance around the parking lot. “So what does bring you here? I haven’t run into any Decepticons since I’ve been back. Barely any Autobots, really, just ran into one Autobot who warned me that the humans decided to start killing us. That’s new.”
He opened the door to the cafe for her, and gave the inside of the place a once-over. Even in his holoform, Bandit was incapable of not looking like was casing the place for a future felony. “This cafe is pretty empty. Don’t humans like coffee?” he said the word like an alien trying to pass himself off as human, which he was.
With the grace of someone who avoided most trees and low-strung electrical wires, Dart eased around Bandit's first question, and ducked onto the second one.
"Here? Tonight, I'm on a wide patrol. I'm uh, kind of taking the scenic route. Deviating a bit to go and look at a watch."
Dart slung the small, worn purse she'd been rummaging for over her shoulder. The strap rubbed along the worn sleeve of her t-shirt. A small ripple of blue static moved along the edge and then smoothed out as she shut her door and turned to walk with Bandit towards the building.
"Long term?" she said quietly. "Reassigned after Australia. To build another outpost. Been here for a while now. Also. It's new, but- it's true."
Immediately, her hand lifted, palm up as she stopped herself. "Not all the humans, promise, not even close. I think it's a just few, but a well-funded, dangerous few. They nearly killed several of the Decepticons, and I heard the same about the Autobots. I'm not sure if they actually got any of them, but they've hunted those not involved in the war too."
The courier's avatar winced and the young woman shook her head. Behind them, the Trans Am sunk down in the parking space, the front tires splaying slightly. "They killed them. I know that."
"You know how it is. When no one bothers with you, no one notices that you're gone."
The door opened smoothly under the push of Bandit's hand.
Inside, the cafe was clean and softly lit. Warm yellow lights shone off the polished surfaces. Several displays of cups and bags of coffee were stacked in neat pyramids. A wooden-toppped counter stretched from the back and curved around the front; a glass case full of food; wrapped up sandwiches and rows of pastries. The counter stretched from the back and curved at the front.
There were a few tables with hard plastic chairs, and several plush armchairs tucked in comfortable corners.
Probably the most important thing that Bandit would notice was that there was a secondary exit. Over in the back. Also the restrooms, but there was no small robot sign on the wall so they probably wouldn't be suitable. Earth. So speciest, hmph.
Behind the counter, the barista looked up as the door dinged.
"It's late," Dart murmured. "That's why. Also, it's a Starbucks, the coffee's-"
The woman frowned. Likely she'd heard Bandit's comment about their wares.
"Maybe a frappuccino instead?" Dart mumbled. "If you want, you can pick where you want to sit, and I can order for us."
Bandit’s avatar shrugged, and took a seat at one of the tables of the empty cafe. “Sure. A Frappuccino. Isn’t that one of those little mammals that they make fluffy coats out of here? I’ll take one. I’m going to admit I don’t have *that* much experience in Earth eateries outside of a KFC.”
He glanced at the human at the counter self-consciously, then gave her a winning smile. “I mean eateries.” He gave the woman a wink and pulled Chauncey Pilkington from a jacket pocket and plopped the battle-scarred Furby on the table as Dart ordered. He watched the interaction closely, keeping his attention on his friend.
Dart didn’t have a holoform before, he remembered that. Amazing, really, that she got by for so long without one, but he supposed that Australia was sparsely populated enough that a driverless Trans Am wouldn’t grab too much attention.
Her avatar wasn’t exactly top of the line -- he wasn’t oblivious to the occasional glitch and blip, though he didn’t draw attention to it. Probably some second-rate after-market holomatter matrix. Bandit made a mental note to get in touch with some of his contacts in the future -- maybe he could get her a better emitter down the line.
Still. She seemed very comfortable in this holoform, shoddy as it was. Not just comfortable; she seemed… happy. She seemed to relish every little thing, even as banal as ordering small furry land bears from this cafe.
As she finished ordering and made her way back to the table, Chauncey Pilkington slowly opened one eye, then the other, then swiveled them both asynchronously in her direction. The maligned contraption set its buggy eyes on Dart, and the widened, bugging out even more.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE,” Chauncey Pilkington squealed in a voice that sounded like a spinal column being dragged against the strings of a harp made of frozen despair.
The barista didn't even seem to bat an eye at Bandit's slip-up. When you worked in a Starbucks on the outskirts of Vegas, it took way more sequins and thongs to make you notice anything a slight bit off with anyone.
The courier was just getting to the table to set down their drinks on the table when the screech echoed through the silent coffee place. That did make the barista look up, and then she simply went back to cleaning the sink.
Dart, however, dug her heels into the floor, hesitated, and then blinked as she eyed the scuffed and torn toy. Then she cocked her head one side and then the other. After a moment, she leaned slightly forward as if to sniff it, as if she was trying to clarify exactly to herself that it wasn't a demon hamster. Then she caught herself, glanced at Bandit, and gave an apologetic chuckle.
That was the one thing about the avatar. All she could smell was outside right now, whoops.
In a way, this encounter was totally was unexpected - as in it was unexpected to be yowled at by a toy from the ninteties. Yet it also wasn't; one of the things she knew about Bandit was that he was into puzzles and games and all sorts of toys. Things that kept your hands busy and your mind occupied, like yo-yo's and Rubix cubes.
"Oh wow, neat," Dart laughed, as she set down Bandit's fancy whipped-cream laden drink near him and quickly settled into her own chair across the table, slinging her little purse across the side of the chair. "You have a Furby..."
She focused on the scruffy, worn electronic for a second, noting the patches of blue fur and bare mechanics. Then the young woman cupped her hands around her own plain coffee cup and laced her fingers as if she was enjoying the warmth.
"Poor guy looks like he's been through a lot," Dart murmured. "Aw, hey, where did you get one of these..."
"Wait, whoa, I should ask how you've been first. Or where you've been, haha."
A pause, before she offered up a lopsided little smile. "Or both! Both is good."
Bandit sat back in the chair, looking at his drink suspiciously before turning his green eyes back toward Dart.
Whether Chauncey Pilkington was somehow screaming on a register that he couldn't here, or he was just extremely good at ignoring a broken Furby that occasionally and mysteriously screams in terror at people was unclear. Bandit was not paying attention to it.
"I've been in the Rift of Kruul. A dense little star-cluster coreward from Earth. Seemed like a good place to kind of... lose myself. Establish myself as an independent, build a reputation," Bandit chuckled to himself. "I stole so many things, Dart. Half of them they don't even know about yet."
The Furby in Dart's hands finally ceased its shrieking. It blinked asynchronously at Dart, and said, in a quiet, sad voice about 30 octaves too low, "No." Then it closed its eyes and shut down.
"... you know the problem with building a reputation though? It means you have a reputation." Bandit gave a shrug, his holoform sipping on the sweet confection through a straw. "I came back to let some heat die down. Also to dodge an ex who's kind of mad at me."
Bandit made a face, and looked at Dart, green eyes earnest. "Dart, if you never listen to any piece of advice I ever give you again -- and I suggest you listen only to like, half of it -- listen to this one. Never date a girl because she reminds you of Carmen Sandiego."
Dart cocked her head back and forth slightly at the yowling Furby. Okay, that's what those toys kinda did, so that was probably normal. A soft, confused puff of air escaped the corner of her mouth as it clearly and sadly said a very obvious "no." Huh, that was...
Something to think about later. Right now, Bandit was telling a story, and Dart loved to listen to these types of stories. They filled in spots in the hole of her mind, teaching her about a universe that was far bigger than one small planet Earth. Dart loved to learn, and The courier folded her hands tighter around her cup and leaned her elbows on the table, listening to Bandit with obvious, rapt interest.
Oh, he did leave the planet!
A wistful expression crossed her face. He'd gone far away from the war, to amazing places where you could lose yourself. Where he could work independently. Or even some company that was nothing more than just- a business. You were allowed to move on from those. You could drop a note to your boss and say "I quit" and the worst thing that might happen was that you didn't get a good reference.
Not that you were killed on the spot and used for spare parts.
Well, then again, with what he was doing? Stealing and building a reputation - only half? Erk, what happens to you when they find out the rest? That didn't seem like the safest thing to be doing, not that she could talk, but still...
Yep. That's why he came back.
It made utter sense. Earth was a good place to hide. As much as she loved her planet, Dart knew it sure was one of the more backwater ones. Not even a spaceport, or a bottle of space cola in the vending machines. Sure, Earth had lava lamps, but that wasn't something anyone in their right mind should drink. Not even giant alien robots.
The advice Dart expected him to give was that taking things from people probably wasn't the safest thing for your well-being. That was excellent advice, and one the courier had to agree with.
"I listen," she told him, her blue eyes equally earnest as she lifted her chin and looked directly at him. "Like, I do, I swear, most of your advice is good-" Dart started to cross her fingers over her heart, caught herself.
The courier blinked, and then raised an eyebrow. It practically disappeared into her scruffy, dishwater blonde bangs.
"Okay. I won't," she agreed after a quick shake of her head to compose her thoughts.
"Date a girl. I mean, I promise I won't date a girl that reminds me of Carmen Sandiego, but..."
You like Carmen Sandiego," she pointed out suddenly. "She's smart, she's gorgeous, and she can sneak around the world from Kiev to Carolina. Gosh, of course you'd date someone who reminds you of her. She sounds beautiful. Honest."
Dart's brain put two and two together and came up with a final answer. It wasn't even four.
"Ohh. Ex-Girlfriend," she finished. "Oh geeze, Bandit. I'm sorry. What- what happened?"
Bandit's avatar rested a sharply-defined holochin on a fist on the table, and idly played with the straw in his Frappuccino. He sighed, wistfully. "I still love Carmen Sandiego, mind you. If only she wasn't fictional..."
Bandit shook his head. "V'raavi Ten-Leagues was one of the best thieves in the Rift. Smart, funny, clever, quick. Gorgeous. Rich! You know, from all the crime," he smiled. "She even wore a wide-brimmed red hat, and her exoskeleton was a lovely crimson."
He patted himself down absentmindedly. "Oh, right, I have some holos but they're in my storage." He shrugged again. "
"Well, little did I know that according to the rituals, rites, and traditions of her species, once our relationship hit the thirty-third cycle-mark, we would have to duel to the death, and, if she was victorious, she would eat my remains."
Bandit sipped idly at the sugary beverage in front of him. "... so, you know, I escaped. She didn't take it well."