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November 11, 2011

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Nova Black Hookshot

(The Tina, Polyhex)

---

It was one of the Tina's quiet times. The sort of time when it's any wonder that they bother opening at all. Nonetheless, there are a few mechs and femmes with unusual schedules scattered throughout the barroom. It's one of the few times someone can come in and grab a shadowy corner before they are all taken. In one such shadowy corner the mud-brown glider sits, the glow of a cube of energon giving only slight illumination to the currently drab mech.

Nova Black steps into the Tina, frowning when she sees the glider. His drab paint job is just as entertaining as it was the other day, but he's no doubt planning something. "Truth awaits you?" Who else would write like that? She walks over near his table, her wings flicking in a combination of annoyance and wariness.

Upon seeing Nova Black enter, Hookshot looks up with interest, but a carefully neutral expression rather than his usual smug grin and peaked optic ridges. He holds out a hand, gesturing for Nova to take the seat across from him. "I am glad to see you came. I imagined you'd suspect I was behind the note and not be here." He offers up a polite smile, his white optics watching her carefully.

Nova Black takes a seat at the glider's table, carefully checking it over for clockwork scorpions or any other obvious nasties first. "Yeah, I realized that note must have come from you." Her optics narrow, seeing his serious-looking expression. "You have something to tell me?"

Hookshot nods his head. "I do. First, an apology is in order. You've been collateral damage, and that is far from fair for you, Nova Black," he says, and tries to sound serious despite the modification to his vocoder. He idly reaches over to his cube, tapping it lightly. "Would you like something? I'll buy you whatever you want."

Nova Black shakes her head. This behavior from the glider is... disarmingly odd, but she doesn't want to put anything past him. "I'll get it myself. But what do you mean, collateral damage?"

Hookshot grimaces a little at his offer being refused, but it doesn't surprise him much. He pauses after she asks her question, taking the time to sip his drink and set it down again.

"You are both right. I oughtn't pry into personal things. It's clear to me Quickrazor and you share a kinship. Whether it's because he knows what it is like to struggle as a neutral, because he shares your ambitions, or your extraenuous hate for Autobots," he shrugs his shoulders. "But... we've had such bad luck with medics lately. Need to make sure this one performs well under... all sorts of stress."

Nova Black's optics narrow. She doesn't hate the glider, not in the way some might think, but she is expecting something nasty from him at some point. Then they widen at something he says, but she carefully avoids mentioning what. "And your point is?"

Hookshot leans forward, placing his elbows on the table, looking Nova Black in the optics keenly. "So I have been doing my best to torque the mech off. Well, not my best yet. I'm getting there. I prefer to do things by degrees as a control mechanism to keep my data as pure as possible. I still have tricks in subspace. But the other cycle, I came to realize that I should not be dragging you into this. You have already well proven yourself."

Nova Black twitches her wings. "Are you telling me *that*'s what this is about? You messing with him just to have someone to mess with?" She laughs in spite of herself. She's not at all sure she believes it, but if it's true, it's rather hilarious. "I don't know that I'd do that if I were you. There's nothing I did that he couldn't have done himself."

Hookshot taps his fingers on the table top, raising an optic ridge, but still no smile. "Not just to have someone, it has to be him. He's new and already in power. I need to make sure he can take whatever is thrown at him and not abuse his power or do anything... remotely treachurous. We don't need any more Psykeouts or Shreds, and as much as he hated Psykeout, there are some... vague similarities. Very vague ones." He sits back against his chair, straightening his posture. "He's being tested in many ways and levels. A good resume and examination by Soundwave doesn't reveal all."

Nova Black snorts. "So you irking the slag out of him is some kind of *loyalty* test, Glider?"

Hookshot smirks, finally. "Not just loyalty, Nova. His fortitude and ability to perform under pressure of the... unexpected kind is also being examined. And... last but not least, to make sure he can keep personal relationships from effecting his work, whether they be love, hate, or something else." He rolls his head back, staring upwards for a moment as he exvents a sigh. "There's more going on here but I can't tell you everything. I am only telling you because..." he lowers his chin again and looks squarely at Nova Black, "...it's you I want to apologize to. And I expect you will not repeat any of this."

Nova Black fixes him with a steady gaze. "If you've got reason to suspect him of something, Glider, and you're trying to tell me so... spill it. If this -- suspicion of yours is right, then it doesn't just affect him, Sparkles. I've defended him. If there's a reason I shouldn't have, I need to know it."

Hookshot lets out a giggle trying to be a chuckle and shakes his head. "No, there isn't something I suspect of him right now. But one never knows and can't trust too readily. No, he's actually been performing quite well and I am sure I can stop giving him such a hard time. When it's all over I can tell him h ow much I actually respect him."

Nova Black nods slowly, thinking that perhaps she finally understands what he's on about. "You're just not sure whether you trust him yet. And you think you *can* trust me."

Hookshot leans forward again. "I know I've been a pest, and overstepped my boundaries with you. Even if you don't trust me, I still know... people like us need to stick together."

Nova Black tilts her head. "People like us?"

Hookshot smirks. "Yes. People like us," he responds, not elaborating on the point. "Well, I am glad we had this chat. I trust you not to tell anyone, because you keep your own secrets so guarded, I am sure you can also keep this easily." He takes his energon and finishes the rest in a large swig.

Nova Black smirks back at him. "Sparkles. If you think -- we share a kinship, tell me what you think it is. Otherwise I might just disappoint you." Her tone is light, but her message is a serious one. If he *has* figured certain things out, very well. If he hasn't -- well, then she's not sure she owes him any loyalty whatever, not in a situation like this one.

Hookshot drops his smirk at Nova and gives her an evaluating look for a moment. "You have your secrets, and you let people know they are there. You wear the mark," he brings out a hand and points at her optics, "...of someone with a past. A past they need to remember and yet want to forget. It would be simple to have those removed, to completely reconstruct your face. You keep them for a reason." He stands up, but places a hand on the table. "We both know what it is like to be factionless, and have to claw our way into the ranks; to prove ourselves."

Nova Black's dark faceplates quirk into a smile. "So you're not as dumb as you like to make yourself look. Not that I ever really thought you were. But try to be right on the first guess next time. I could have killed you."

Hookshot smiles again. "I honestly would never imagine you an Autobot. But... I wouln't put it past you to pretend to be one if it suited your needs. I may be wrong there. But... blue optics aren't exclusive to them," he lifts his chin and seems to glance off towards the exit, going silent and thoughtful for a moment. "It was just your... interpretation... which said something about you to me." He takes his hand off of the table. "I should get going. Oh... and don't let on that I'm anything more than an eccentric fop who would flirt with anything that moves. Which, by the way, have I ever told you that you are cute when you are angry?"

Nova Black grumbles. "Well then, you could've spared yourself a beating not talkin' like that." Her engines rumble. She shakes her head at the "cute" bit, but *isn't* angry, at least not for the moment. She doesn't like what he's saying about Quickrazor, and has her own reasons for believing what she herself believes about him. But any Decepticon anywhere would be a slagging idiot not to be wary of the new mech, after all.

After squaring his rounded shoulders, Hookshot says, "Have a good cycle," in his usual smooth tones, although the high-pitched sound defeats the purpose... and he knows it as he smiles. It seems his 'punishment' is amusing him almost as much as the pranksters. Hookshot then heads for the exit.

Nova Black watches him go. She's not leaving just yet; she had someone to meet, after all.

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