Firestorm had made her way down to the bar known as the Tina in the Grease Pits, not one to be scared of the place since not many dared to challenge her. With energon drink in hand the femme sat slouched in a poorly lit booth, her bright, glowing marks giving her away to anyone who knew her. The seeker wasn't much of a drinker, but she just had to get out of her own head for a while.
Goa had been so busy in the intel compound he'd barely noticed the femme leave -- he'd turned around and she wasn't there. Perhaps not his most cognitively present moment that a big, glowing wall of metal could just sneak out under his notice... the thought disconcerted him. But he needed to find her, regardless. This work was half for her, no? Running through what he'd learned of Firestorm as he checked the barracks, he recalled her fondness for energon. Time to hit the bar. He sighed, unsure if he was ready to face that down.
He was, apparently, as he slips his way into the Tina and immediately spies the familiar tint of aquamarine at the bar. Irritating the first mech at the bar with his drink-swiping charms, he takes a seat in her booth and, for once in his life on Cybertron, /waits/ to see if she's talkative.
Firestorm would stare at her drink upon the table for several minutes, fingers tapping gently against the side of the glass as eyes seemed a little glazed. "So... find anything useful?" She'd murmur finally in a soft tone, optics lifting to meet his expectantly while her body hunched over the table.
"Gnnzz... No. Just names." Goa had slouched forward and caught a quick nap as he waited, servos now groaning discontentedly as he snaps his face back to attention. "Yes. Fancy dragging me down here, I might be able to catch one." He pushes the finalized list across the table. "... really, are you holding up?"
Firestorm placed an elbow upon the table and nestled her cheek into her palm, eyes flitting lazily over the list slid over to her. "Sort of... I just keep slipping into the past now that all of this is coming up. I mean, sure I thought about it before, but since meeting you it's come back to haunt me somewhat...”
Goa leans away, taking an oddly tense seat. "Don't let me be responsible for dredging up your ghosts. I pin the blame on someone else. Wouldn't want you going nuts on me again, honestly." He makes a slicing motion across his chest plate.
Firestorm raised a brow in his direction, "I'm not blaming you. It's just that meeting someone else who's tied in with my problems just kind of brings it all back. I wouldn't hurt you again... trust me." It was such a mistake to have attacked him like that. She should have had more control. With a frown she'd look back at the table, nit-picking at little things. "You're basically all I've got now. I tried to go back to my parents, but they pretty much just disowned me then and there for the pit knows why..."
Goa takes a sip of the drink he swiped, mulling. "Parents? You really were well-off, weren't you?" He smiles, tilting his head at the notion, and memories associated. "I'm hardly all you have, Firestorm. You have the Decepticons under your wings. Fliers, at that." The mech rolls his optics ever-so-slightly at that final clause.
"Psh, you can say that again. We were high class citizens, the glitz and glam, top of the food chain, etc. Parents were so proud of my schooling and whatnot. Then all of a sudden I go missing, and eventually come back looking like this. They said I wasn't their sweet little femme anymore. Just some monster.... Although, now that I think back, I never really looked like them. Probably adopted." Firestorm shrugged before taking a few sips of her drink. "Decepticons... right... But they don't know what these crystals can really do. Only you and I have witnessed it first-hand."
Goa leans forward and stands slightly to look more towering, one fisted hand meeting the table. Atypical, but not unexpected from the quirky mech. "So you have something to prove. A point to make. I do too."
Firestorm twirled her drink a bit as she watched him, eyes remaining somber. "A point? Maybe. Though it's likely the only point will be the ones on my blades as they tear apart the one behind all of this, but I digress. To be honest, I don't want to change what's happened to me. Sure, I can sometimes lose control, but it's changed me in ways I never would have become on my own. Stronger, faster, more confident. I just need to make that person know how I felt when it happened." But she was rambling now, taking another drink before saying, "Though what do you have to prove?"
Goa settles back into his seat, still hunched and focused on Firestorm's optics. "Same as you. Mostly the same. Make sure what happened to you, and me, and all those poor sons of dreka in my crew, make sure it never happens again." His own eyes dim. "Even the simpering, terrified slagheaps that condemned me -- the rest of us -- to die. None of them deserved that." Whirring thoughtfully as he brightens back up, he adds, "It's behind you now. Your rich friends, your old guardians. Just like it's behind me. I'm not an energon-pinching, slithering trade thug. I'm not a feral, running-on-empty husk of a mech, either. I'm a Decepticon. As are you."
Firestorm seemed to get more of a shine in her eyes as he said that, the femme sitting up straight now and nodding in agreement, "Yeah, but I'm curious now. I told you some about my family. What about yours?" She'd finish off whatever was left in her glass before hailing the bartender for another with a wave of her hand.
Goa reclines with both arms behind his head, shifting to disappear behind the table slightly. It's like he's scratching the back of his helmet nervously with both hands. "Your opposite, Firestorm," he says, stretching the fingers of one. "Bad-off. Pretty sure they were in with the gangs. I learned to do what I could with this odd protoform and bring home the energon. Eventually, I just stopped going back..."
"Oh... Sorry to hear that...” Lips pulled into a light frown, "It's funny... I sometimes wished to know what that was like. Guess that's why I made my folks send me to the public academy when I was younger. Though I suppose that place wasn't the best for being smart since there was a 'nerd' crowd." She'd make quotations with her fingers.
Goa lowers his arms back to the table, invading on Firestorm's space somewhat. He controls a smirk at the ... ah, foppishness? ... of the air quote expression. Hardly the image of a 'Con. But it's not like he was. Or is. "I was cherished, I suppose. Your folks don't seem to be that sort, based on your encounter. Everybody wants to be worth something." He stops to remember... something's afforded this mech a tendency to lock up data files from immediate access. "Cherished a lot, actually. Always talked about how they wished they could've kept a second. Asked me if I wanted a sister." He snorts. "Maybe that's why I get along with the femmes -- but I was a sparkling then." Goa leans up, darkening. "I'm decidedly not, now. You can see how much it does in the long run."
"Guess that's why the saying goes 'Fortune doesn't buy you happiness.' I may have been rich, but you're right, I wasn't all that cherished. Was more of a trophy, and never spent much time with me. Always absorbed in something else." The tender finally brought her another drink, which Firestorm promptly grabbed and took a few mouthfuls before speaking again. "Well, you get along with me. And I think you would've made a nice brother." An affectionate smile finally brightened her face, seeming to be the only sincerely happy thing in this place now.
Goa cautiously smiles at the femme's enthusiasm. "We may as well be, now. Shame about the not being a seeker, and all." he sinks a dental plate into the silicon of his lip. "At least I'm slowly re-learning antigrav. Deleted the programming in a fit when it didn't work off world. Idiot..." he chuckles at himself, "Though Slipstream taught me a trick with the flying we could try sometime." Goa smirks devilishly.
Firestorm blinked blankly with a bit of a surprised look at his last statement, "Er, and what trick is that, exactly?" She'd try to hide her face, at least for a moment, by drinking some more.
Goa leans forward, propping his chin on the backs of his hands. "Better if I just show you. You look like you're doing better," his tone hanging between genuine and self-satisfied, "Care to hit a patrol loop?"
Firestorm finished off her drink, smirking lightly as she tossed some credits onto the table to pay for them. "You're on, grounder. Hope you can keep up." She'd soon stand and move with him up to the surface.
-- cut to flight plains --
Goa keeps even pace with the seeker's slightly-longer strides, transforming once they get out of the city to the relatively open planes. <Transform and make a low pass by me.> he radios, creaking to a stop.
Firestorm stretched a little once they were out in the open, a smile lighting her face at the fresh air which was welcomed instead of the musty smell of the Tina. "Hm? Oh, alright then. Let's see this trick of yours." She'd soon tuck herself in and move a few parts to form her jet mode, taxiing a bit aways before turning and setting her jets flare to come speeding parallel to him.
+Roll: Goa rolls against his Agility Stat and BOTCHES! +Roll: Firestorm rolls against her Agility Stat and succeeds by 6! The total roll was 7.
"No, wait one--" He tries to transform quickly, but with a bizarre noise of stripping gears he lands with his front transformed but his back still trundling forward vehicle mode. It takes him a full 30 clicks to sort out the mess, when he finally stands up, glaring at the engines of the teal jet now in the distance. "... no one saw that."
He'd been lucky Firestorm didn't see that, lest the never ending embarrassment ensue. She was airborne in seconds and would chuckle heartily in her jet mode while dipping and looping gracefully in the air. "So was that your trick? Staying on the ground?" She teased the mech after flying in close and somehow hovering in place.
+Roll: Goa rolls against his Agility Stat and succeeds by 11! The total roll was 3. +Roll: Firestorm rolls against her Agility Stat and succeeds by 3! The total roll was 10. +Roll: Goa rolls against his Agility Stat and succeeds by 11! The total roll was 3. +Roll: Firestorm rolls against her Agility Stat and succeeds by 4! The total roll was 9.
Goa says nothing, only crouching -- before rocketing himself into the air on his flaming exhausts, arms aiming to snag one of the seeker's tail fins. Assuming she doesn't see it coming and bolt away first.
Firestorm had unfortunately still been laughing as Goa came at her, the sudden weight upon her flank making her eep in surprise while trying to stay airborne, "Ack! Hey, let go!" Rear jets sudden swiveled in his direction and aim a direct burst of flames at him.
+Roll: Goa rolls against his Strength Stat and BOTCHES!
Combat: Firestorm attacks Goa with Engine flare - (element) Level: 1 and MISSES!
Goa had a good aim but a false start -- landing in the right place, but his hands slip off the fins like they've been in an oil bath. Good thing, too, as he narrowly drops away from the backwash when Firestorm blasts her engines. "Alright, alright," he chuckles, "I like not having my face burned off. Get closer to the ground, would you?"
Funnily enough, once Goa let go and Firestorm flared up her engines the poor femme was shot forward at an unexpected angle, making her jet form waver and tilt while trying to stabilize herself, "Agh!" But luckily she'd right herself, soaring back around to the mech still on the ground. "Er... Sorry. You kind of caught me off-guard...” If she were in robot mode she'd be blushing from embarrassment.
+Roll: Goa rolls against his Agility Stat and succeeds by 7! The total roll was 7. +Roll: Firestorm rolls against her Agility Stat and fails by 6! The total roll was 19.
"That's what they all say." Goa tracks the looping jet back around with his eyes, fists on his hips. Once Firestorm slows into range, he makes another leaping pass, this time hooking his fingers in front of the fins successfully and clambering on all fours onto the jet's back. "Hold one."
Firestorm knew he was coming this time, and let him, though she wasn't expecting him to climb up onto her broad-winged back. Wavering again she'd give a boost of her jets, sending her higher to gain stability once more as Goa got a free ride. "Erk, I'm surprised Slip didn't beat you into the ground for doing this to her..."
+Roll: Goa rolls against his Agility Stat and fails by 4! The total roll was 18. +Roll: Goa rolls against his Agility Stat and succeeds by 9! The total roll was 5. +Roll: Firestorm rolls against her Agility Stat and succeeds by 4! The total roll was 9.
Goa had been hoping she wouldn't do that -- he disengages his brakes and rolls backward to avoid scratching the flight surface, immediately swiping one blade from his back and hooking the dull side around one rudder. He clings to the other for dear spark. "I said wait one!" he squawks. "She kind of did!"
"Sorry! I'd have crashed if I didn't go up!" She hissed back as she felt him slipping, immediately slowing while beginning to descend until she was skimming just above the ground like a bird flying over the water.
Goa magnetizes his palms, crawling up the jet's back in flight until he can hook his legs around her wings with a 'phew' of relief. "At least you don't flinch every time I so much as look at your wings... So, this is what I was talking about."
"Huh... Pretty cool, well, at least if you know the bot you're on. Hate to see if you didn't." Firestorm chuckled softly as she began to ascend again once Goa was secure, heading skyward to get a bird's-eye view of the landscape. "I wouldn't worry about that. All fliers are sensitive about their wings. Some more than others."
Goa leans prone to cling to Firestorm's nosecone. "What about you? I can't tell," he looks over her at the ground, actively fighting the programming telling him he shouldn't be this high up. "Whether it bothers you, whether you've been through too much to mind..."
"Eh. The crystal marks in my wings have pretty much destroyed the sensors there, so I barely feel anything. Well, until they're damaged or something. Then I can feel some of the pain." Firestorm would dip to the left to bring them back around, figuring she'd stay above the flight planes. "What about you? Did it permanently damage anything in you?"
Goa sighs, another stream of air hitting the jet for a moment. "My self-repair systems had time to acclimate... adjust. Nothing worth mentioning..." He pushes a thumb at the underside of his chest, presumably where his spark lies. "You'd think fluorescent fuel lines all over would make it hard to sneak around, but the mud ball’s in a binary star system. No real night time, like here. ... Have you ever left Cybertron, Firestorm?"
Firestorm pulled up higher now to where the curve of the planet was easily visible, the surface like a patchwork quilt of crystal valleys, barren wastelands, and brightly polished hills. It was quite beautiful. "Mnm... No, though I'd like to someday, but that'd mean space flight training." She'd have rolled her eyes if she could. "Cybertron... it's just falling apart in my opinion, especially with the war. I know I'm a Decepticon and I have to fight, but sometimes I just wonder what it'd be like to just make my own decisions and only worry about myself..." Her voice wandered off in thought as they both rode the air currents.
Goa doesn't say anything for some time, now that he's finally adjusted and enjoying the view. Given, the last time he'd seen Cybertron from this height was under much different circumstances... he blocks the memories out. Especially the mindset her dialogue brought to mind, the one that could've been his so shortly ago -- no point. That was a different mech. At least she seems like a more sedate flier than trick-loop-loving Slipstream, but he isn't sure whether he likes the capacity for mental wandering in flight that attribute is giving him.
"No overwhelming venom for what the Autobots did to you?" He examines where the nosecone and canopy of the craft intersect with a finger, curiously, for a moment. "You surprise me, Firestorm."
A light shudder could be felt from her plating as he poked around, though she didn't seem bothered enough to toss him off or something. "Like I said, I kind of enjoy the change in me. I only need to make them feel my pain. I'm not really the type of bot to let something totally consume me. The time will come, trust me. By the way, what's up with you and Slip. You two seem to be inseparable."
Goa notes the rocking under him and sits up, unwilling to agitate his ride. "Slipstream? Is it that obvious?" He chuckles, attention drawn to the inquiry. "Flier tracks me down more of the time than not. Must have a thing for being aggravated half-to-death... but -- Megatron has taught me the value of subtlety." He leans back, air whistling over his much-less-aerodynamic undercarriage. "In her words, I guess she 'just likes me'."
Goa stabilizes with one arm wrapped over his knee. "... Not letting things get to you can help you out. But don't let it distract you from what needs to be set right."
Firestorm chuckled softly, "Isn't that the truth. But I guess she has a thing for short grounders." She teased playfully as her spirit began to lift, the flier starting to rock to and fro as if dancing on the air itself. "Hey, wanna have some fun?" She seemed like a happy little sparkling now as broad wings twitched in anticipation.
Goa hooks both dull-sided blades around Firestorm's wings without hesitation, now that she's explained the lack of sensitivity. "Depends on what seekers call fun." He pauses, then blurts, "Yes. ... try not to throw me off."
Firestorm laughed heartily at his last comment, "Ha! Don't worry, I won't. Just try to hang on!" At that moment her thrusters kicked on full blast, sending them rocketing forward, though it soon changed to a different direction as her rudders swiveled to send them into an intense, downward spiral towards the silvery hills below.
+Roll: Goa rolls against his Courage Stat and fails by 4! The total roll was 16. +Roll: Goa rolls against his Courage Stat and fails by 3! The total roll was 15.
Goa starts out fine, even if his hand servos are squealing slightly from their entirely-too-tight grip on his hooks, but when Firestorm starts to descend he spastically wraps his arms back around her canopy, twitching. It appears he's biting his lip to remain noiseless. Shutting his optics off, he shudders comically and waits for the vertigo to clear from his sensors.
"Whoo hooo!" The femme hollered as the two 'cons sped up faster and faster towards certain doom. At least it would've been if Firestorm hadn't pulled up at the last minute, kicking up vast amounts of dust and debris in her wake as she skirted through the varied landscape. "C'mon, keep your optics open! This is fun!" The femme would do a barrel roll just to play with him.
+Roll: Goa rolls against his Courage Stat and fails by 7! The total roll was 19. +Roll: Goa rolls against his Courage Stat and succeeds by 5! The total roll was 7.
Goa only clicks one optic online when an errant rubble-rock kicks up and makes a nice scratch through the paint on his helmet. He finds himself upside down, which doesn't do much to alleviate his crushing hug around Firestorm's fuselage. "... I'll warm up to it," he says, still clattering his jaw, as well as most of his motors.
Firestorm flipped herself upright again before pulling up some to soar over the tops of the Geode Forest, then back down again to hug the Mercury Everglades until they finally reached the Mercury River. "Haha, alright no need to be scared anymore. Fun's over for now." Firestorm chimed playfully as she skimmed the river at a slow speed, tilting to dip a wingtip into the liquid metal.
Goa warms his optics back up and apprehensively sits up, holding his arms out to his sides a moment to see if he can. He smiles gently at the sensation of wind gliding under the wide surfaces of his arms, then hooks around the seeker's wings again, calm. "Why don't you go back for spaceflight training?" he says, somewhat distantly.
"Hmm... Don't know, to be honest. Maybe I should one of these cycles. Though... isn't that Skystalker guy a spacer?" Firestorm shuddered at the name, showing her obvious dislike of the short flier. With a soft huff she'd tilt her body to follow the contour of the river as it wound its way towards the rapids.
Goa chuckles at the thought of Skystalker. Not about to complain that he hasn't seen the mech in a few cycles, though part of him wonders what such an ... energetic mech could be up to in the meantime. "You know why they call it space... right?"
"Mn, good point. But I don't doubt him being a teacher or something in the class. Whatever, I'll get to it eventually." Firestorm reaching the rapids where she'd idle to let the many droplets of mercury hit them.
"What better incentive to learn than to spite the teacher?" Goa's optic shutters narrow out, but he doesn't seem to notice the wash otherwise. He glances over his shoulder, curious -- how far the jet's flown out from Polyhex, and how much further she intends to go. Goa'd pegged Firestorm as a loner right off the bat, but...
Firestorm eventually maneuvered herself back up and into the open air, cruising along as the mercury drops rolled off her armor and scattered like rain. "So... any requests for a place to go to next?"
"Yes, but I don't think you want to fly all the way there." Goa's grip tightens again, but not to the point of squealing motors. 'Warm up to it', indeed. "I have a lead in Cubicron. Was going to rendezvous with Slippy until you took me on this little joyride." He pats the side of the jet's nosecone. "So we should stop by Polyhex. You interested?"
Firestorm would be smirking if she had a face right now, a minor flex of her wings showing her excitement in how he'd possibly found something. "Polyhex it is. Radio her in so she knows we're coming." And with that said the femme made a tight veer to the right, jetting off like a rocket towards Polyhex.
<Priv-Radio to Slipstream> Goa transmits, "Firestorm and I are landing shortly. Have you found any more information?"
<Priv-Radio> Slipstream transmits, "I've still have the same list of five on my data pad. Unless you took that to show it to her?"
<Priv-Radio to Slipstream> Goa transmits, "So no. We'll be seeing you groundside."