Goa climbs along and settles down, prone along a glittering branch in the intertwined trees -- so thin, but refreshing they could take his weight -- taking in the bird's-eye view. Try as he might to shake it, it was familiar to him, just enough that it didn't trigger the bad. Trees were elevated. Trees were havens. And he could be on patrol without moving, couldn't he? Just then they called it guarding.
Slipstream is flying through the area when she spots Goa on her scanners, she comes down and alights under the tree beneath him. Looking up at him she offers, "Good cycle Goa, taking a moment to enjoy the view hm?"
Goa crosses his arms under himself, around the branch, adroitly balancing his weight along his ventral surface. "Mmm," is all he offers for a while. He glances down at Slipstream, blinking with some question ... questions, then takes back to looking out and around. "Yourself?"
Slipstream notices the distractedness of the grounder, something is on his mind. Perhaps too much, "I'm just taking a little flight on my off time. But I certainly can change that plan for time with you. That is if you aren't too busy with all the questions I can feel flowing through your head."
Goa turns again toward Slipstream, blankly. Then he smiles, quite suddenly, and flips upside down, locking his legs over the tree. The link, by its nature, offers the information most precious to the mech, how he works, what's on his mind. The liabilities of not being a drone, of having buttons. And knowledge is power, right? And Slipstream can no doubt hear this inner monologue what with its fervency, though it doesn't seem to be Goa's intention. "Well, you can climb, can't you?" He peers over his shoulder, grinning at the femme.
Slipstream smiles at the upside down grounder, not sure what to make of all that is going on in that grounder neural net of yours. She hmms softly, stepping closer as she looks at the tree, examining if could even hold the both of them or not. "I could, but you could also come down."
Goa's optic lids flop half-closed, followed by the limp clack of his accompanying antennae. "I'm always down."
Slipstream hmms softly, then starts to climb. The tree is rather large for its kind and oddly untouched by war. She stops when she is even with your head and gives your helm a kiss. "Anything I can do to help with that?"
"Always do," he chirps, before righting himself. Goa gives her wings an examining look, like he's trying to figure out how she managed that without bumping them into anything. There must've been a reason she didn't just land straight in the arms of the structure. "So why the crazy old shipster and not safe'n'normal among your own, Slip?" He asks, playfully, but also out of the blue. No processor buildup to that one.
Slipstream isn't sure how 'always do' answers her question. But then she has come to expect odd comments out of the mech by now. She peers at you carefully, then says, "First off you aren't crazy. Secondly do you really see any normal mech seekers in our army?"
Goa quickly catches on to the perceived jumble of his reply. Words aren't his craft -- confusion wasn't his intent. "You always help, Slippy. It's bearable. Nothing you can specifically do." Then he sits back on his haunches, again balanced precariously, but paying it no mind. A hand taps at his beard... "Well... I guess if they were normal, you wouldn't see them."
Slipstream climbs up a bit more as you get right side up, taking to gripping the trunk with her legs and an arm, leaving the other arm free so she can extent it and lay a hand on your shoulder. "If you want to talk about it, you know I'll listen." she says, then a little smile, "Normal can be a bit boring and routine. You are challenging."
Goa sees the hand offered, holds it to his shoulder with an appreciative sheen in his optics ... but looks slowly more and more amused by your maneuvering to fit up here. Momentarily, he's moving over and motioning you into the freed crook of trunk main and branch with his free hand. "If I'm not crazy, then how am I challenging?" He snorts, "Or in love with somebody quite literally out of my league?"
Slipstream glances at the indicated spot, she shifts one leg over, straddling the branch while swing herself around. Her wings flex to keep from swiping your right off said branch, then she braces her hands, lifting herself up enough to tuck her leg up and over so it lines up with the other leg. This accomplished, her hands release the branch, her wings becoming her balance fulcrum as they shift subtly behind her. "You are challenging many ways Gooey, it would be hard to verbally express the list. But I think you will find your answers via our spark link." she murmurs, then a cock of her head, "How am I out of your league?"
Goa smirks. He found his answer indeed, indeed -- though he probably knew it before he asked. It hasn't affected his opinion of his irrevocable craziness. "Slipstream," He places one stabilizing hand on your knee, "Since I was a sparkle in the optic of whatever slagger built me, seekers've been ... other. Underground, we didn't see much of you, unless it was something 'important'." He rolls his optics. "And even after I joined the Decepticons ... well, they call it air superiority for a reason." He continues to look far-off, in that recounting frame of mind for a click or two, then snerks to himself. "It's just funny."
Slipstream listens quietly, really listening. Not to just the words, but the meaning behind him. The sensation you offer to her through the spark link. She takes it all in, "I may be an other, Gooey. I may not exactly like the underground since it limits flying mobility. However one must adapt to things as they present themselves." then a pause, "And without ground troops to back up the air, we'd be targeted a lot more than we are.. you know that."
"Hm?" Goa seems distracted, haphazardly covering up some other mental thread or three. "What? No... I don't feel underrepresented-- well, I am. But I can't say I mind anymore." For just a nanoclick, the mech's thoughts consider the moribund. "It's more free rides," he chortles.
Slipstream frowns a bit as you are obviously not quite paying attention, you can feel her open the link on her side a bit and offer some clarity, an openness to letting her know what has you so distracted. "Don't you think I feel under represented by the mere fact that I'm a femme."
<Usual.> Goa stares motionlessly. <The war, why, how. Mostly why. Hating it. But better now.> "Most of my friends are femmes, it would seem." He thinks about it, thinks about it, then looks over his shoulder, smirking again. "Birds of a feather? Er, no..." The mech scratches his head. "Same boat." <The mech that I chased off.> Goa recalls the battle for Trypticon, but provides only sparse details of the immediate past. <Death, and non-death. The point.> "... the Autobots are noble creatures, Slipstream." His face, at some point during the link transfer, became flat. "But they can't survive. By design, they can't. It's mercy."
Slipstream hears the mental chatter as well as the verbal, finding it a little confusing you use both instead of just one. But then you are a bit mixed up in the head. You may sense her hope that our link would have provide you the sanity that she possesses. Her sense of calm and patient she has gained so quickly having just associated with you. Indeed she credits you for helping her realize she was impatient and easily triggered to anger. <Gooey, I know you don't like it, but it will be a part of our lives until the day there is peace or we are both dead. Those are our only two options.> Pragmatic as always, the seeker you love. She nods to the fact you bumped into the Bot you fought recently. A sense of surprise you find them noble, though perhaps unable to survive in the hands of a unmerciful warlord. <You are deeper than I realized my love.>
<So you do think I'm crazy.> Goa warms with a smile, and sits up slightly, transformation cogs whirring as he adjusts his center of gravity without any apparent thought. But he isn't completely around the bend -- Still unhappy about it. <Course I don't like it. So I rearrange, remix re-jiggle until it's tolerable.> He points at the side of his helmet, <But I can't do it outside. So I have to in here.> <Not a warlord,> He corrects. <By nature. By design. By point, by meaning. Cannot always give. Bad survival strategy.> "Too soft," he chuckles, rocking slightly on his axis of balance. <Impatient? Challenge? And you only want a couple of ranks?>
Slipstream shakes her head a bit to the 'crazy', <No, not crazy. Confused, scattered, unable to stick to one train of thought. Those are better descriptions for your mental acuity and state of reasoning.> She nods to the next comment over the link, <If you let me, I could help you in there. But you have to let me in to do so. We are partners now, in life, in love, in mind, in spark. We are as one, and yet you still hold me back a bit.> there's a little mental sigh as she leans over a bit to settle her head against a shoulder, <Cannot always take either.> then a little smile, <You must admit I was supremely impatient with you in the beginning. As for rank, it doesn't really matter that much to me anymore. What matters is you.. is us.>
Goa raises his chin slightly... "Define crazy." The command comes through narrowed optics and a grin, before he rests his cheek against the top of your helmet. He's certainly lacking the subtle form his wordplay takes around any other Decepticon. <You want in. What do you want to know? What could speak, what could clarify?> <Rank is the key.> Goa returns his own unspoken sigh, but his seems to be one of old anger. <Rank is the stone. Rank, power will keep you alive, keep us alive, above. Snap, the bite, the snare. The tearing away.>
Slipstream frowns a bit at that command, "Mentally deranged; demented; insane." she answers, then moves right into the questions, <All of it Gooey. All those questions, thoughts, feelings, desires, disappointments, fears, hopes, dreams... all of it. Every bit. Nothing hidden, nothing secret. So I may know you more than I do even now. So I can speak to you more on your level and offer what wisdom I can give. To give you clarity.> The last then makes it clear, <It will take time to gain rank. And it cannot just be me alone that seeks it. If we both have rank.. have power, then we are both staying alive because of that and because we are in this together.>
Goa looks down at the armor below his optics. All gloss -- unremarkable, if not for the meticulous sheen of it. He halts a musing of vanity -- then figures it just proves Slipstream's point, and lets the mental note pass on through. Of course it proves her point. The drive to prove someone else wrong was surpassing his better judgment, his judgment, and that was her entire point, no? His judgment might be wrong. Of course, that makes whatever he thought he'd learned, any modality he'd acquired to make the war -- life -- tolerable ... debatable. Goa shudders almost imperceptibly. He tells a story in images. The marketers from long, long in his past, probably long offline. The run-in he had with Optimus Prime, in its details, the refugees, those with nowhere to go -- the relative peace. Afterward, anyway. After he'd been allowed to escape the camp without firing a shot. Back to the loan sharks again. The coordinated movements of business, of the natural selection in any economic pool. Overall, it feels like Goa is clawing for some confirmation he's on the right side. He knows he is, but he doesn't /know/ he is. <No fervor.>