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September 24, 2011

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Hookshot Nitrogear Nova Black Kick-Off

(Grease Pits, Polyhex)

---

Standing close together are two mechs, far off to the side of the concession, having a discrete conversation, their words veiled by the awful din of a cheering crowd. The last of the fights for this showing had just ended, and people are riled up, especially those who made winning bets, rushing to see the bookee. Ther is a handshake, and the two go their separate ways nonchalantly, one of them, the streamline Hookshot, whistling merrily, dawning a burgandy and silver paint job, sparkling with quality paint that certainly is not standard issue.

It's been a long while since Nitrogear's entered the pits as a contestant. He used to be a regular here after winning the Tron games, continuing his training regimen. Nitrogear approaches the Pitmaster who greets him roughly. "About slaggin' time." the pitmaster remarks with a slap to Nitrogear's arm. Nitrogear brushes him off, "Close your mouth before I weld your dental plates together." Nitrogear retorts with a threat. "Just sign me up for a training match."

The whistling comes to a slow as the already leisurely pace that Hookshot was walking with comes to a lull, his red optics glancing over at Nitrogear. He'd been casually heading towards the pit master, but suddenly contemplates changing direction. However, after a quick look over, he shrugs and resumes walking until he comes near. He gives Nitrogear a polite nod, and then surreptitiously glances meaningfully at the Pit master. "You pit crawlers are all the same, all attitude and no pinache."

Nitrogear returns the nod to Hookshot, greeting him per his normal mannerisms. "Greetings, Comrade. Ignore him. He ridicules me for my lack of training thanks to the hours I must keep. Have you come to train as well, Comrade? I would always welcome a sparring partner, the usual trainers get boring." Nitrogear asks, looking over at Hookshot.

Hookshot crosses his arms over his chest, glances down at his fresh paint job whistfully, and then looks back up at Nitrogear. "Oh... I am afraid I would hardly do y ou much good, being little of a challenge to someone of your calibur."

Nitrogear laughs and exclaims boistrously, "Hardly Comrade!" Continuing in a normal tone, "I have been out of practice for far too long. Besides, it is good to train. Don't you agree, Comrade?" Nitrogear asks and blinks once with his optics, evaluating Hookshot's ability. "By the way, I don't think I've met you yet, Comrade. I am called Nitrogear."

Hookshot inclines his head. "Oh yes, one must keep in top form," he murmurs, and then goes on to extend a hand. "Well, Comrade, my name is Hookshot."

Nitrogear smiles and takes Hookshot's hand enthusiastically, gripping it like that of a fellow warrior. "Good to hear it, Comrade Hookshot. Come, the pits await." Nitrogear walks into the familiar grease-covered grounds of the pits, a territory not unfamiliar to him. While walking Nitrogear casually comments, "I prefer training in hand-to-hand combat. Do you have a preferred fighting method, Comrade?"

Hookshot is wondering just what he is getting himself into as his hand is squeezed. However, he returns with as firm a grip he can muster and just nods politely. He glances at all the grease and shudders slightly as he trails behind. "Hand-to-hand is a very important skill to practice." Hookshot steps lightly, gripping and ungripping his hands slightly with anticipation.

Nitrogear leads the way to the nearest open pit. All around, gladiators, combatants, slaves, contestants, and trainers alike are fighting with various intensity. He takes the far end of the pit, turning around to face Hookshot. His facial features set into a stoic gaze as he focuses himself onto the task at hand. "Yes it is, Comrade. Especially with those ground-based Autoscum." Nitrogear affirms, "Prepare yourself. You may take the first strike, Comrade." Nitrogear says as he takes up a boxing stance and raises his arms to protect his body and face.

Hookshot follows, going very silent as he glances thoughtfully at the other occupied pits, and passing by where a slave is being led back to his cage, guards ready with prods lest he misbehave. Once in the pit,Hookshot watches Nitrogear carefully, taking in his stance. Hookshot loosens up his posture a little, and turns somewhat sideways to make himself a smaller target, but keeps his head turned to face and watch Nitrogrear carefully. "First strike? Hmm, so you wish to put me at a disadvantage, then?" he says grinning.

"Not at all Comrade, it is but a kind gesture." Nitrogear replies in all honesty. "But if you insist, I will be happy to take the first oppertunity to strike." Nitrogear then comes closer, and then throws out a jab to both check his reach and your reflexes. The punch comes in fast, straight and true towards your body.

Hookshot keeps his optics on Nitrogear, still smiling pleasantly. "Oh, I appreciate the gesture but..." BAM! Hookshot did not even seem to try and doge and instead took the hit full on, causing him to stumble back, catching himself from losing balance. He tries not to be distracted by the dent and scuffing on his paint job. Instead he narrows his optics. "Hmmm... so that's how hard you can hit... now I'll know to be more careful..." he mutters as he begins to circle Nitrogear, searching for an opening, angling his body to minimize his area of contact as much as possible. He moves in quickly to close the distance as if to punch with his right, but then quickly steps back; his assault was only a feint. He lowers himself and throws a hooked punch aiming low and altering his center of gravity so not to be so easily staggered next time. Not that it will do the lithe framed glider much good.

A few spectators hang over the edge glancing down at the training session with only passive interest, while waiting for the next real fight to begin in one of the other pits.

Nitrogear steps to the side to dodge Hookshot's ... well, hook. Nitrogear grins, "That is only the tip of the iceberg, Comrade." Nitrogear tells the truth - he only intended his jab as a quick reach check. Even Nitrogear was surprised that it hit. As Hookshoot misses with his punch, Nitrogear attempts to grab Hookshot's arm and use his momentum to throw Hookshot into the ground.

Nova Black notices the glider sparring and moves closer to look. She's been wondering just what he's been up to lately. She watches Hookshot miss a few times and winces.

Hookshot had been unsettled by his fake-out being inefecctive, and goes to quickly dart away... only his feet will not rise off of the floor, He teeters a little, long enough to be thrown down, which looks quite awkward as his body bends back, but his feet barely slide from their current spot. "OH NO!" Hookshot exclaims as there is an unpleasant crunch when he hits the floor. He places his hands on the ground to try and push himself back up, but then finds they, too are stuck. He glances up with bewilderment. "Time out!" he exclaims. With his body supine as so on his back, while looking up he catches sight of Nova, and winces. Not the proudest of moments for him...

Nitrogear stands victoriously over Hookshot with his fist raised and pointed towards Hookshot's back as if he would go in for the final blow. Then, Nitrogear's form relaxes as you call time out. Nitrogear looks down at Hookshot's now-broken form, "You are broken, Comrade. Let me help you up and get you to see Comrades Robustus or Shred." Instead of a fist, Nitrogear offers Hookshot a friendly hand.

Nova Black smirks as Hookshot fails to right himself and notices his wince. Her wings twitch with amusement. Then again, the glider isn't a fighter, and said so once himself. She watches Nitrogear offer him a hand up and says nothing for the moment.

Hookshot rolls his head back, a quiet thud heard as his helmet bumps the floor, and he vents out a sigh, not reaching up to accept the hand. "I'm stuck."

Nitrogear nods and motions over the Pit medics. "Remain calm, Comrade. Help is on the way." Nitrogear kneels down and places his arms around Hookshot's torso as if he is ready to lift and carry him back to the repair bay. A medic drone comes, "Free Comrade Hookshot." Nitrogear orders the drone, as he gets himself adjusted and ready to carry.

Nova Black gives Nitrogear a curious look, both for the odd pattern of speech and because he's being so slagging *nice*. "Heh. And here I was going to offer to chop off the magnets to get him up."

Hookshot mutters something about magnets and missed check-ups. He seems to twitch a little when Nitrogrear poses ready to try and lift him, and is about to protest when the drone arrives. After a quick evaluation, the problem is detected. Hookshot just shakes his head, and lets out a chuckle. "Well at least today hasn't been boring... Ah! Medic! There's a fairly accessible manual override in panels on my arms and feet, think y ou can find them?" The drone brings out a small, narrow tool and searches for each of the panels, systematically shorting out the electric impulses that charge the magnets. The rest of the damage can be fixed by the regular medics. With a sigh of relief, Hookshot is able to lift one of his hands to grab a hold of the ever courteous Nitrogear. He glances up at where Nova Black is and quirks an optic ridge, withholding his retort for now. One can be assured, it would have been very clever.

"Very true, Comrade." Nitrogear agrees with Hookshot that today hasn't been boring. Nitrogear looks up as he hears Nova suggest that course of action. "I considered that course of action, Comrade. If we can avoid that damage, it would best it be so. I would never hear the end of it from Comrade Robustus, and Lord Megatron would likely take it out of my pay since I allowed that of a subordinate without fully exploring all of my options." Nitrogear explains calmly, as if it's a rational thing for him to do. As he helps Hookshot to his feet when the drone switches the override, "See, Comrade? No further damage caused. Comrade Hookshot can rejoin the fight to further the cause of our Glorious Empire sooner then if I had acted irrationally."

Nova Black laughs. "Yeah, Robustus probably would have our heads if we did that." She's not as convinced Megatron would, unless reinstalling the magnets is more complicated than she'd guess. Worse things than that happen half the time when she spars.

Hookshot glances down at a few dents and his scuffed paint job and vents another sigh, but quickly chases that disappointment away with another chuckle. "My hands and feet thank you for reconsidering that option, Comrade," Hookshot says with a smile. "However, I think I am done here..."

Hookshot shakes his head and gets out of the pit as soon as possible, leaving Nitro behind to continue his training with some of the regulars. He makes his way up to where Nova Black was watching from, his optics constantly going to the various interruptions in his beautiful red and gray paint job, when they aren't focused on the femme. "Now, how does one say 'I'd really rather not spar' to a patriot warrior?"

Nova Black chuckles. "Wasn't gonna ask you to. You're beaten half to scrap already. Or are you asking how to say it to him next time he comes around?"

Hookshot inclines his head. "I really am not one for rough and tumble, but when I say I am not nearly comparable to him in skill, he will insist that I need the training all the more. If I faun and pretend to be competent, I'll have to prove myself. If I flat out decline... well, he is a rank higher than myself." Hookshot grins while looking around. "Next time, I suppose I will just say I am too busy."

Nova Black flicks her wings. "Yeah, I see your dilemma. I can't say I like the thought of a 'Con runnin' from a fight --" she frowns -- "but you're tiny and he's enormous. And doesn't sound like the kind of mech who gets that someone's gotta be the clever one. Maybe look for someone else who's willin' to spar him instead? He doesn't seem the type to refuse someone else asking."

Hookshot inclines his head, looking thoughtful for a moment. "Hmmm yes. Well, I wouldn't run from a real fight, but do not see the value in scuffing my paint job and jostling my delicate inner workings unecesserily." He rolls his shoulders with a noticeable ;crick' noise. "I suppose I will have to divert him next time, or just not come to the pits."

Nova Black grins. "Good to know. Though I hope you're not much like the last mech I knew who paid too much attention to his paint job." She snickers, not nicely.

Hookshot rotates his wrists for a moment, his optics again getting caught by the nicks in his paint. "Hmmmm are we going to name names?"

Striding along the edges of the sand, a figure makes his way out into the pit. He glanced about, observing the paired up future gladiators quietly. Kick Off, his blue optics observing each one without visible expression. Soon he comes right next to the two speaking, not even looking their way for now as his arms fold, observing one particular fighter going at it.

Nova Black smirks. "Nobody you'd know. It happened before I came here, for one thing. For another, he's dead." Her optics flare. "I killed him."

Hookshot tilts his chin up, raising his optics ridges, letting out a light "Aaaaaaaah," as a response. His optics shift over to the mech passing nearby; really, it's just a habit to be aware of everyone in his immediate vicinity. He only briefly sums up the mech before returning his attention to Nova Black. "Well, I would not be so displeased by my scuffed paint if it weren't a more expensive quality than is issued here in Polyhex. Appearance can be VERY important to certain, ah, occupations."

Kick-Off's head tilts as he hears the words drifting from behind him. A hand runs up and down one large paint scrape as he ponders Hookshots' words. Finally he turns to look at both, not yet speaking until he had heard a little more. A nod is offered if optics look his way again as well.

Nova Black nods. "Huh. I wouldn't have thought of that. Better paint here than we had out in the aft-end of nowhere." She looks over at Kick-Off. "Say... isn't that the mech Lord Megatron beat half to scrap a while ago?"

Hookshot allows his glance to slither back over to Kick-Off, and inclines his head. "Oh, now that you mention it, I think it just may be. Come, let us continue to speak of him while he is in hearing distance, it shall be great fun!"

Optics glance to Nova Black, and narrow slightly. But at Hookshots' comment he could not help but snort "Yes, please do not allow me to interrupt your conversation, sir and ma'am. Eavesdropping is a well known Decepticon tradition, and this lowly gladiator must practice this talent more." he remarks, only a LITTLE bit of sarcasm present, but also there was genuine honesty there too.

Hookshot nods his head, a glance of merriment and amusement over towards kick Off, before he looks back at Nova Black. "It certainly was quite a sight to see, or so I imagine. Unfortunately, I was working in Cubicron that cycle and missed it. You shall have to tell me all about. Did Megatron make him squeal? Oh I hope so. Of course, I wouldn't dare say that if I knew he were listening."

Nova Black snickers. "Oh, I don't give a scrap if he hears me." She stares back into the optics narrowing at her, twitching in disgust. "Blue optics, and you haven't asked to have those replaced? Ugh."

"Why should I? CAusing your opponent to become uncomfortable with your appearance, or appearing frightening is a good tool of intimidation, or provokation to make them be more reckless." responds Kick Off simply to that. Then he glances to Hookshot "Actually, I did not." he notes "My apologies to dissapoint one of my fans."

Hookshot turns up his grin in even more amusem,ent at Nova's comment, his red optics flickering, and then suddenly turning blue as a coloured lens snaps into place. He walks over to stand beside Kick-Off, staring back at Nova with a sloppy smirk. "Well, this fan will forgive you," he says from Kick-Off's side, while still gazing at Nova.

Nova Black's engines roar. "Frightening? Autobots aren't frightening. They're disgusting little vermin infesting our planet, and the sooner the infestation's gone, the better. As for *you*," she snarls, rounding on Hookshot and transforming her hands into a pair of daggers that crackle with eager energy, "change those back before I poke 'em out."

It took a moment for him to realize what Hookshot had done, and then he turned half away, coughing vigorously through his mask and into his hand a little bit, while composing himself through the laughter he held back. THAT was funny, even if it was a Decepticon. "Thank you for your forgiveness, sir." he doesnt offer more explanations to Nova Black. Merely turn-stepping, putting himself a little further away and also facing them both squarely.

Hookshot seems only amused by how easily Nova Black is thrown into a fury, but complies with her wishes and his optics snap to their default colour of white. "Easy now, Nova Black. Save that fury for the real enemies," he says, putting out his palms in a placating gesture, but can't help but continue to smile.

Nova Black grunts. She doesn't miss that he's still laughing at her, of course, but he did change his optics back. And she'd hate to end up Hookshot's enemy; he's one of the few who could ever understand how she feels about most Neutrals. She lowers her daggers, but only slightly. "Good enough."

Kick-Off coughs again and folds his arms, peering back at Hookshot as he aims to move the conversation to better things "And your name, sir, ma'am? " he adds also to Nova Black, although for her name, his voice was more crisp.

Hookshot takes a step towards Kick-Off, closing in on his personal space once more, with an extended hand. "Hookshot is the name." He glances over at Nova Black. "And that spitfire seeker is called Nova Black." HIs gaze lingers on her for a moment, peering at her optics in particular, trailing the sight of the scores thereabouts.

Nova Black nods. "Yeah, that's my name." She peers back at Hookshot for a long moment, guessing what he's looking at. "Don't think I remember yours, gladiator."

A pause at the hand and Kick Off uncomfortably takes it, but only for a moment before he lets go and instead offers the appropriate deep bow to both "Kick Off, Gladiator." he replies, straightening "One of the older pit fighters here."

Hookshot inclines his head, staring thoughfully into Nova's optics for a moment, lingering his gaze there even after she caught him. He then drifts his gaze over to the pits for a moment before turning them back to Kick Off. "Well, Kick-Off, just please do not ask me to a spar. I've already had to get squashed by one brute today, I do not need a repeat performance."

Nova Black nods. "How long have you been here -- Kick-Off?" she asks. She wants to know why the slag his optics are blue, but she isn't going to bring it up again directly. Not when the other two are apparently bent on mocking her for noticing.

"I do not ask, Hookshot, ever." responds Kick-Off. And then to Nova Black. He pauses to think "I am uncertain of the exact length of time, but it has been at least ten vorns if not more." aka, a hell of a long time. He unfolded his bulky arms again, rubbing a hand up the paint scrape.

Hookshot seems satisfied with Kick-Off's response, but then he straightens up and has a suspicious look about him. "You do not ask... does that mean you only tell?"

Nova Black frowns. Ten vorns. That really is a long time -- which means it tells her absolutely nothing. "And before that?"

"tell? " Kick Off Looks at Hookshot, puzzled. What did THAT mean "It means I accept invitations or offers or orders to fight. I do not invite others to spark with me." he then focuses on Nova Black, pausing "... I do not understand your question, my lady."

Hookshot nods very slowly, observing Kick Off, but then shrugs his shoulders, satisfied with the answer. Hookshot allows himself to fall uncharacteristically silent, content at the moment to see where Nova is going with her questions, and what answers she'll find.

Nova Black steps closer to the gladiator, her scarred optics flaring. "Don't understand it, or don't want to answer it?" She chuckles nastily. "And you never ask anyone for a fight? That's not somethin' I'd expect from someone who's been a Decepticon for over ten vorns."

Tensing minutely, Kick Off holds his ground as he focuses fully on Nova Black. He remains calm outwardly though save for that small indication as he responds "I do not understand it, honestly. And my methods are my own when it comes to my fights. I do not want for fights in the pits though, not at all. " he responds, voice starting to drop into a rumble.

Hookshot seems to be finding this little interaction very interesting. He's taken a few small steps back and continues to observe the two of them in silence.

Nova Black flicks her wings angrily. "I'm asking where you came from. Actually, I'm *guessing* where you came from, and *asking* why." Her engines roar. "And I can't imagine you do want for fights in the pits. Not with a face like that."

Kick-Off's body remains still, the wind fluttering around him as he continued to watch her intently. He then replies "Where I came from... no longer matters, ma'am. There is only the Decepticon Empire now, and forever until my inevitable death upon these sands."

Purple lightning flickers across Nova Black's daggers and the air around her crackles with energy. She snarls, clenching her dental plates, and then hisses an answer. "Heh. Better answer than I thought you'd give -- whoever you really are. But if your spark's not in this Empire and this war, I don't see why nobody put you down, ten vorns ago." Her optics flare blinding crimson again. "I'd do it myself, right here and right now, but obviously Megatron wants you to live. I hope he has a reason." She turns partially away in a gesture of furious dismissal -- she'd just fly off, but she knows better than to turn her back to someone she's decided is an enemy.

"My spark is here. Otherise as you said, I would have been dead long ago. " responds Kick Off dully, his optics dimming a little. But never did they move off of her. "Lord MEgatrons' mercy ensures that I also can continue to entertain my fans." he glances briefly to Hookshot, and then back.

Nova Black doesn't dignify Kick-Off with a look back at him. "I hope for your own sake it is," she mutters, still snarling.

Hookshot allows his mouth to becomg naught but a thin line as he sets his jaw, glancing with suspicion between the two. He then relaxes his features and dons one of his half smirks, tuning in with a pleasant tone, "Come now, let us not have the pot calling the kettle black (or TF equivalent of said saying). Just because you renounced your own blue optics, doesn't mean he's any less a Decepticon for not doing so." Hookshot knows he's taking a very dangerous stab in the dark, but, unfortunately, causing trouble for himself seems to be his vice.

"WHAAAAAAAAT?!" Nova Black rages, her engines rumbling in a deafening roar as she rounds on the glider. "How *dare* you? Talking like -- like I ever had *anything* to do with those -- those --!" Her vocalizer emits a feedback-laden howl as she tries and fails to come up with a word that adequately describes the loathing she bears her enemies. "I'll tear your slimy little vocalizer out for that!" she snarls, lunging for the glider, her daggers aiming for the cabling in his neck.

Yeaaaaah... Kick Off isnt going to stop this fight. If anything, he may just secretly enjoy it. He steps back more and just leans against the side of the arena, to observe.

Not having the intereference of malfunctioning magnets this time, Hookshot smoothly moves out of that way. It also helped that he anticipated she would fly into a rage. he jumps up a few bleachers above her, looking down with an arched optic ridge, having no interest in actually fighting her. "Come come, I never said you were one of THOSE. I've met some very nice neutrals with blue optics." He remains ready to move again if necessery, for he can't really afford to take another hit. Naturally, he didn't consider that before opening his mouth.

Nova Black grits her dental plates again, so hard they throw up small sparks. "I know what you said," she snarls, taking aim with her lasers, "and there's no way in the Pit I'm letting that go."

Hookshot gracefully jumps higher out of the way, landing at the top of the seating for the audience. By now some of the spectators between pits had stopped and glanced over, seeing a fight break out in the ranks. Unscheduled fights are always a bonus. Hookshot frowns down at Nova. "Darling, don't dish out what you can't take," Hookshot taunts playfully as he reaches for one of the zap sticks used to stun the slaves into submission. He jumps down at Nova, swinging it at Nova while activating the charge.

Nova Black twists away from the blast from the zapstick. As the charge dissipates harmlessly into the bleacher behind her, she retransforms one of her hands, stabbing at any exposed cabling she can find.

STEEERIKE! The blade bites hungrily into his midsections as he goes past her, causing his to turn away as he winces in pain, throwing his direction off and he doesn't land quite so gracefully as he had intented. He stumbles, and ends up bouncing and rolling down to the bottom of the bleachers. Again flat on his back, he just stares up wearily. "Bravo, Nova Black..." he calls up. "You hit an already battered non-combatant. Feel the pride of your accomplishment!"

Nova Black's untransformed hand moves to hold Hookshot's head down as her dagger slices through some of the cables in his neck. "You know, I might even have told you where I came from, before all this slag happened. Now, I just want you to shut the hell up." She reaches down with her other hand and grabs roughly at the vocalizer within. She squeezes, hard, but although she's strong for a Seeker she's still fairly light, and doesn't manage to do much more than dent it. With a roar of irritation, she tears it free of his neck entirely, tossing it into the bleachers nearby.

Hookshot brings up his hands to try and hold Nova away from himself, but to little avail. Having been worn out by the previous training as among other things, he puts up little struggle and just squirms without much dignity as his neck cables are cut and his vocoder removed, He stares up at Nova, grimacing in pain, but beyond that, there is much emotion. No fear nor anger, nor even his usual smugness. He winces when he hears the component responsible for the wonder of speech hit the bleachers.

Nova Black stares down at Hookshot, holding up her dagger. She grins viciously for a moment, triumph surging through her systems. Then static flickers across her optics and she returns to herself. "You're lucky I'm not killing you for that. But I don't kill other 'Cons. Not any more. Not without a damned good reason." She moves off of him, gesturing. "Now get up before I change my mind."

Hookshot rolls onto his hands and knees, and then slowly gets up from there, a hand tentatively going to the gash in his throat to check and see if his coolant and other liquids were leaking too terribly. He glances down at his positively ruined paint job with a slight frown, and then looks back up at Nova. He stares at her for a moment, and then inclines his head to her and turns to head towards the repair bay without a word... only because he hasn't a choice in the matter.

Nova Black watches him go, keeping one laser trained on him and frowning. She'd figured he might try something sometime; she'd never guessed it would involve taking her for an Autobot. Her engines rev again. Then she grins. Maybe he'll know better next time. Or at least, know enough to avoid that particular minefield.

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