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November 20, 2011

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Nova Black Hookshot Skywarp Thundercracker

(The Tina, Polyhex)

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Nova Black walks into the Tina, ner wings twitching. She takes a seat at the bar and orders a celebratory cube of energon. That recent skirmish went extremely well, at least for her. -- the only sign she's been in a fight recently at all are a few sooty scorch marks near her thrusters. It's a shame there's no one around to celebrate with at the moment, but then again drinking with Starscream would probably be more "disaster" than "fun" anyway...

Wish granted, but with a twist. It isn't long after Nova Black had settled down with her celebratory energon that the Tina entrance admits yet another patron. One who is humming and 'lalalaing' some upbeat jig that sounds like it belongs in a bar, except he's not overcharged enough to go off key. The tune drifts off as Hookshot sees Nova Black, and instantly heads to the stool beisde her, twisting his torso to rest one elbow on the bar and otherwise face the seeker femme. "Why why why, good cycle, oh Blackest of all Novas!"

The glider grins. Although he isn't sparkly, as per his name sake, he is certainly radiant in his most resent emerald and pine paintjob, layered with a subtle irridescent blue sheen on his torso and three-pronged helmet.

Nova Black huffs as the flashy glider dances over to the bar, singing Primus only knows what. Her mouthplates quirk into a little half-smile in spite of herself though. Perhaps things will get back to normal soon... especially if he has the sense to keep his word to her and stay out of her business. And he *was* useful the other day. She takes a sip of her energon and nods to him. "Hello, Glider. Green today then?"

Hookshot inclines his head, idly turning his head to make optic contact with the current bartender, ordering the highest grade before turning to look back at Nova Black. "As green as green can be, without that noxious shade that Acid Storm sports." Once his energon is set before him, he takes it in one hand, raising it to his lips briefly, but then pauses, raising it in the air instead. "To a patrol well done!"

Nova Black shakes her head. "Well, all right then." As far as she's concerned, green is green. She raises her cube, still chuckling. "It was well done. You've got some clever ideas, and some handy little devices." She drinks, fixing him with an intense stare. Seeing him go dark and hidden, she hadn't been sure he'd come through at all at first. Was it pride that had made him do so? Or fear of Starscream? Or was it her reminder that they had something in common?

Hookshot drinks heartily of his highgrade, draining half of the cube before setting it back on the table. "Well, I have such a dainty, frail frame that I have to get creative in combat. Otherwise goodbye Hookshot, and all the femmes of the planet will grieve," Hookshot says with his telltale smirk of being facetious. It truly is hard to tell what the glider truly is thinking, or why he does anything. As far as poke faces go, his is a grin. "You performed splendidly, barely a scratch on you! Which just means you missed out on the party in the repair campus."

Nova Black twitches her wings. "I didn't need repairs, really. Just a little singed." She looks at him. "Anything big I missed?"

Hookshot chuckles in a friendly manner. "Hmmm.... well... let's see... Quickrazor effectively tortured Starscream during repairs, Skywarp smashed his head into a wall and began acting more crazy than usual, and I decorated one of the medical drones." He shrugs, picking up his energon again, bringing it to his lips, pausing it there as he raises his optic ridges while watching Nova intently, then takes a sip.

Nova Black snorts. "Sounds like a wonderful day," she says, a bit glad she wasn't there for it all. The last thing she wants is to get into the middle of Quickrazor's little feud with Starscream.

"Absolutely titillating," the glider responds as he lowers his high grade. "It would seem that Starscream thinks Quickrazor should also be part of patrols."

Nova Black's optics widen and her engines rev. "What? *Why?*"

Hookshot shrugs his shoulders, although there is a queer look of amusement. "Far be it from me to try and comprehend the mind of our air commander. Although my guess is he seems to think EVERY Decepticon should patrol, even those not suited for it. Or perhaps he feels the medic ought to experience what those he repairs has experienced... seemingly ignorant and presumptuous of our dear Starscream, don't you think?"

Nova Black opens her mouth to answer and promptly shuts it. She knows very well that the glider is an opportunist, and although he seems fond of her in his way she's not at all convinced anything bad she says about Starscream won't find its way back to him. "How would Quickrazor have *time* for that?" she finally says.

Hookshot shrugs his shoulders. "I don't think he would have time for it. I imagine Lord Megatron himself would not be terribly thrilled about this if Starscream were to have his way. I wonder if this little whim of our Air Commander shouldn't reach over his head, hm? But I'm far too lowly to be seeking audiences with our leader. Ah well." Hookshot sighs whistfully as he dips a finger into the glowing substance, swirling it around.

"I hope not," Nova mutters darkly. She'd rather not be the one to go to Megatron with this -- but if she has to, she just might.

Hookshot smirks. "Oh, I am absolutely SURE Starscream would clear it with our illustrious leader, epsecially after I told Starscream how much I'm sure Megatron would approve of him endangering his chief medical of staff for the strength of the Empire. After all, what self respecting Decepticon wouldn't patrol?" Now would be a good time for him to insert his foot into his mouth, and knowing him, he actually would be flexible to do literally do so.

Nova Black snickers. "Oh, I'd love to see how *that* goes over." She's not going to start anything with Starscream herself. However fond she is of Quickrazor, she's not stupid. And she does respect Starscream as a warrior. But that doesn't mean she can't be amused when he gets his comeuppance for acting like an idiot.

Hookshot smirks and finishes his high grade. "I'd love to have footage of it. Imagine how much I could sell it for here around Dead End?" he responds. He holds up a hand to get the bartender's attention. "Would you like a refill? It's on me."

Skywarp stomps into the bar, wings flicking with irritation and flings himself onto a stool in front of the bar. "High grade. Lots of highgrade." He tells the bartender.

Nova Black's wings twitch. "You keep offering to buy me drinks, Spark -- uh, Greenie. Any particular reason?" She fixes him with a penetrating stare.

Penetrating stare or no, Hookshot remains as nonchalant as ever as he shrugs his shoulders coolly. "I enjoy buying people drinks. You aren't the only one," he responds. His optics glance over at Skywarp. "Well, well, lookie here," he murmurs as the purple Seeker bulls his way to a stool nearby him and Nova Black.

Thundercracker clomps in after Skywarp, but instead of claiming a barstool next to the purple Seeker he stands there looking frazzled... if that's physically possible for a Cybertronian. "Oh, so instead of checking back in with Quickrazor to make sure you're okay you come HERE to get blitzed? Smeghead."

Nova Black's engines rumble. "Easy there, Greenie. I'm not asking whether you're hitting on me. I'm just wondering what exactly you want."

Skywarp grabs the large cube that appears in front of him with two hands and tilts it up to drown half the contents in one long gulp before turning to glare at Thundercracker. "My processor feelsl ike it's been running into walls. Oh wait, you said I DID. Slag you, TC."

Thundercracker says, "Slag you RIGHT BACK, you aft. I've spent the past entire DAY having to put up with your smegging BAD mood, and you blame ME? Fine. Drink yourself DEAD. Ask me if I care!" He turns to stomp right back out of the Tina, flat out of patience and snapping irritatedly at a random mech as he passes by. "Get out of my way."

"How do you know I'm not hitting on you?" Hookshot responds flippantly. His optics flick over to Skywarp and Thundercracker briefly in amusement before snapping aback to Nova Black. "What I want is to be generous. Is that so hard to believe?" Hookshot knows the answer is 'yes'. His optics then go over to Thundercracker as he storms out. "Lucky to be trineless, luv."

"Awwwwww, TC, don't be like that?" Skywarp turns around with his cube and whinges like Starsc, er, a whingey thing.

Nova Black's engines rumble and she growls at the glider dangerously. "Don't act stupid. It insults yourself and me, Glider."

Hookshot seems unfazed by Nova Blacks growling. After all, her temper is hot so aggression was common place to him. He watches Thundercracker and Skywarp a moment longer, optics on them when he respons to Nova Black. "Which of what I just said is more insulting? My first statement or my last?"

"Oh, I'm perfectly in agreement with your last one, Hookshot," Nova scowls, her optics flaring in their scarred sockets. "I'm just not keen on accepting gifts until I know what strings they come with."

"No strings, Nova, none at all," Hookshot insists as he shifts his gaze back at her. He holds up his hands in a placating manner, palms out. "I just like buying people drinks. Now, if I were to give you any other sort of gift, you can imagine it would not only have strings but alarms systems and bugs attached, but drinks are just a simple gesture of comradeship between Decepticons. Free game. No expectations."

Thundercracker doesn't answer Skywarp, just waving a hand back at him as if to say he's done with his trine sibling and then disappears out the door.

"Awwwwwwww." Skywarp collects his highgrade and trails out after TC. "Hey TC, wait up!"

Nova Black relaxes slightly. She's still not sure she entirely believes him, but what he's saying is far more reassuring than if he'd tried to pretend he wasn't manipulative, after all. "Fair enough, but I'm not done with this one." Then, after a pause, she adds, "So, how long ago did you get your vocalizer repaired?"

Hookshot raises his optic ridges. "Hm? Oh, however long it took for Quickrazor to realize he'd made me MORE annoying, not less with the modification. Singing in his repair bay certainly sped the process along."

Hookshot smirks and glances over as his refill comes, shrugging his shoulders. "Well, maybe next time I offer you can rest assured it will be with no agenda, other than just to say 'you are awesome'." He dips a finger into the new drink, glancing back at the door, then forward at nothing in particular. "So... you already know that I know you've been trainign Quickrazor. It seems he's confident enough to start asking other seekers to spar with him. You must be a good mentor. Maybe you can teach me a thing or two."

Nova Black smiles slightly. "He was, was he? Do you know who he asked?" She pauses for a long moment. "I might be able to help you with something, Glider. Especially if it means you pull your weight on patrols without needing a reminder over comms." Her grin widens, belying her harsh words. "But don't expect me to spend as much effort on you as I am on him. I'm fairly sure no one's threatening you who hasn't a thousand times already."

Hookshot raises his optic ridges and allows for a low whistle, quickly pulling a pained expression. "Low, Nova Black, low! I am not so hated as to have that many claims on my life!" Truly, Hookshot does look like a beaten bumblepuppy in expression at present. He places a hand on the counter. "But I should like to be more capable in combat. And I haven't the foggiest what you mean by needing reminders. I turned off my radio so not to have a traceable signal!

"And as for sparring partner, Quickrazor asked Echo. Poor mech was first bewildered, and then mildly offended that the CMO thought he was his equal, but complied all the same."

Nova Black snickers. "Did Echo agree?" Then she scoffs. "I never said that, Greenie. I just saw you fight. Not a single conventional blow and you managed to keep that hulk of a Dinobot off our afts enough for us to knock two Autobots into stasis. That means you know what you're doing, combat or no. And *that* means you can fend for yourself well enough without my help." So can Quickrazor, in her opinion -- but he doesn't seem as confident in his own ability to level the playing field that way yet. Or maybe he just wants to see her. Well, she doesn't mind that at all... and it is useful to him, either way.

It would seem that the glider is reaping in the compliments. Hookshot looks as though he were suppressing a gleeful giggle as he quickly brings his cube up for a drink, hiding as much of his face as possible for a moment. He slowly sets down the drink once he's regained his suave composure. "Well your vote of confidence is useful. But, I can not always be so fortunate as to have a large fire breathing Autobot to distract. If I were to have to take on someone my own size, I think I'd be in trouble," Hookshot says attempting some semblance of modesty. "Or if I on my own. Right now I'm better as support in a fight than offense. As for Quickrazor, do you do flight drills with him too?"

Nova Black's optics flare. "Thought you said you'd agreed to stay *out* of my business. And his -- or has he not passed your little tests yet?" That's what she's wanted to know since he fluttered in, and she's tired of dancing around it. Besides, if he doesn't tell her, she's no worse off than she was before this conversation started.

Hookshot quirks an optic ridge almost quizzically. "....Um?" he responds, seeming outright baffled. "You... seem to be misunderstanding me. I'm quite fond of Quickrazor. I was just wondering if you thought he could use aerial coaching, since I consider myself to have quite the flight finesse." He idly taps the bar counter, tilting his head to the side, watching Nova with only slight exasperation at her touchiness.

Nova Black flicks her wings in annoyance. Was that whole response a deflection, or was "I'm quite fond of Quickrazor" a plausibly deniable "yes, I'm satisfied now?" After all he's done to try and remind her of their "kinship," she suspects the latter, but suspicion isn't certainty, not with someone as cagey as the glider. "You're thinkin' of helping him out, then?" she asks finally, changing tactics.

Hookshot continues to look a little baffled, putting on a bemused grin. "Why yes, why wouldn't I? I'm done testing. Quickrazor and I had a nice long chat and cleared up a few things. I know he is the chief medical officers and not a field medic, but I imagine if push came to shove, being able to get in and out of a hostile situation with minimal hits would be a useful skill for him to have."

Nova Black nods, her wings twitching again, this time with cautious optimism. "It would be. You could ask him, if you like. Though if you have -- toyed with him more than usual --" she hesitates, choosing her words carefully in case he's still worried about someone overhearing or in a touchy mood -- "don't come cryin' to me if he doesn't say yes."

There is a bark of laughter from the glider. "You are the second last person I would ever come crying to." Hookshot manages to calm himself before taking another drink. "The first being Megatron. Naw, either he will say yes or no, but I wanted to check to make sure he wasn't already learning aerial exercises with you as well as self defense... which by your standards I imagine means a good offense."

Nova Black shakes her head. "Hey now. I love a good brawl as much as any 'Con. Maybe more. But let's not talk like I don't know what I'm doing, Sparkles." Her optics brighten in amusement. Then her voice lowers and she speaks again, her tone serious. "I'm... glad this issue is settled between us, then."

Hookshot sloshes down the rest of his second drink. He then exvents a long satisfied sigh and wipes residue on his chin away with the back of his arm. "Oh, I am well aware you know what you are doing. But you take the offense quite often," Hookshot points out. His voice then lowers as he leans somewhat closer, optics quickly scanning around for anyone close by, then focusing keenly on Nova's crimsons. "Me too. Although I can laugh it off, I don't actually enjoy being at the cutting end of your proverbial, and sometimes literal, knives."

Nova Black snickers, her vocalizer still set at a low volume. "No, I didn't think you did. But there are things I can laugh off, Glider, and things I can't. I meant what I said to Starscream: one, you're an opportunist, and two, I have no problem at all with that. If I did I never would have gotten along with anyone in the Neutral settlements. And it makes you very useful, just like I said to Starscream that day. But it also means you're looking out for you, not for me. And certainly not for my -- friends. If I understand you, Sparkles, it means I understand that, too."

The glider goes quite quiet as he listens to Nova Black. "There can be trust between those who look out for themselves, you know. But yes, I'm not going to lie and say that my own survival is not my main concern, but so long as I'm comfortable and not hinging on danger, you can rest assured I look out for others as well. And part of the comfort is having close allies, and I chose you and am choosing Quickrazor to have the privelege of being part of me.. network." Hookshot sits up straight, but still talks in a low voice. "I wasn't lying when I say I believe those like us should stick together, because we've had to be opportunists to get where we are. Which means there's no confusion if the status quo changes."

Nova Black nods gravely. "There can be. I was hoping you'd see it that way. And figured you did, when you helped against that Dinobot instead of hid. Yes, you would've had Commander Shrieky's wrath to deal with if you had, and mine as well -- but I don't think that's the only reason you helped us. Helped *me*."

Hookshot smirks. "I picked you out as a shrewd and clever femme. I could care less what shrieky would say or do to me, because I can always just take off on another 'secret mission' if he gets unbearable. As as with you. I help you, you help me, and there can be a pleasant balance and good times to be had."

"I'd be careful about that high opinion of yourself, Hookshot," Nova laughs, wings clicking. "But yes, I appreciate your help. I'd be much more crispy if not for that, and I don't even want to think about what might have happened to Starscream.

"And I meant what I said from the beginning. I'll help you, just as you've helped me. But understand this -- my motivations aren't your motivations. They never have been. They're not Doc's either, though I don't know what he did or didn't tell you. As long as you respect that, I'm -- open to restoring things to the way they were between us before you started -- *pestering* Doc."

Down goes the rest of Hookshot's drink and he sets the empty cube aside. "I do not imagine your goals are my own, but I highly doubt our interests will clash too much. I have already seen you have a greater, almost personal ire for Autobots, and curious as I am, not going to pry there. I like my vocoder in place. And I strive to surround myself with financial comfort and beauty, but that will have to wait for the war to be over." He glances about, then satisfied with yet another routine scan of the room, he looks back at the scarred femme. "I know enough about Quickrazor to know the names of his family, and how important symbolism is to him. Perhaps, to him, your scars are something of beauty because they represent something pivotal in your past. It'd be simple to remove them, after all."

Nova Black's optics widen. "Quickrazor told you that? Then I guess he did pass your little tests. And maybe you're right that he understands you too, then." Then her engines roar as she laughs. "Oh, I have no problem with you noticing how much I hate Autobots. It's when you joked I must have *been* one --" she shivers slightly as if unclean -- "that I had a problem with you." Her optics dim and then flicker as she remembers. "And yes, he did say somethin' like that to me once. But I don't think they make me beautiful. I think of them as -- penance. And a reminder of what I've got to -- lose again, if I'm not careful." This last said very quietly.

Hookshot finally allows some soberness to creep into his visage, dropping the permanent smirk that seems to stay upon his face. "Ah, but your scars can be interpreted so many ways, but they are special to you, whether they bring up bitterness or pride, they are important and are a part of you, and THAT is where the beauty is. You understand where you've been versus where you are, and know what there is to lose. Not everyone understands what is at stake with their ever action, or how far they could fall... especially most of the flyers around here who don't understand what it is to be grounded... proverbially of course." He idly taps the counter. "I was not made for war. I was made a long time ago, when there was only peace. There was so much beauty around me, and I took that for granted as it was all I knew."

Nova Black's optics flicker again. "It matters to you, and you -- miss it," she says after a moment. "I don't understand what peace means to you, or beauty. I was built during this war, and I lived right next to the scrapheap I hid in when the other 'Cons decided they wanted my head. Nothin' pretty there, not really. But I understand what it's like when everything's -- suddenly gone, and you're not sure who you are any more."

Hookshot lets out another laugh, but this one has an almost rueful sound to it. After a moment of silence he adds, "Not sure who you are anymore..." he repeats."I am probably the expert on that. I was made to be a performer. Granted, I usually just did displays of acrobatics and dances, but our troupe also put on stories. I loved, mourned, hated, and rejoiced with the roles I was given. I felt everything except my own feelings. It was real to me at the time, well enough, but I also knew it was fake. I didn't mind, though, because the one feeling I knew was mine was the high of the adoration of our audiences." He shrugs a little. "I know many wonder what goes on in my processor as well as my spark. For a long time I wondered the same thing. But I have since come to adapt and feel nothing strongly for myself... just the diluted version of anything... except for my love of aesthetics. But... when I assume a role, the feelings are just as real to me as they ever were."

Nova Black tilts her head in confusion. "Do you know yourself now?"

Hookshot allows himself to smirk again. "Maybe," he says, winking at Nova Black. "Or perhaps the me you know is just a long term role I gave myself."

Nova Black nods, not at all sure she understands this. "As long as it's real enough that you mean what you're telling me."

"I'm not telling you any lies," Hookshot concludes as he rises to his feet. "Ah, I cannot stand to be so serious and nostalgic for too long. I just might lose my striking good looks to a permanent scowl." He hands over his credit chip to clear his tab. "What I know is I am clever, desirable, and hilarious. Everyone loves me, they just don't know it yet." He receives his chip back from the bartender. He quickly locks it into his own mobile account device to make sure he amount charged was accurate and then nods. "Well, I still would like to learn how to better not get my aft kicked, so if you can work me into your busy schedule, let me know. I should go get up to some mischief as is expected of Hookshot."

Nova Black's dark faceplates twist into a smile. "I can do that, Glider, as long as I can expect your continued help on any joint patrols. I'm glad to see we've come to an understanding -- and glad to see you've apparently come to one with Quickrazor as well."

Hookshot nods his head as he tucks away the small device. "Oh, help on patrols isn't the only thing I have to offer. I also have information at my disposal... so if there is ever anything you want to know, just ask. Either I'll have that information, or might know how to get it. Of course, even I, magnificent as I am, have my limitations."

Nova Black continues grinning as she nods. "Understood. And -- thank you."

"Have a good rest of the cycle," Hookshot says as he turns to leave. The glider then struts out.

Nova Black waves, looking down at her long-ago emptied cube of energon. She should leave soon, too. But she decides instead to remain, thinking over everything she's heard. And said. She smirks at the empty cube, wondering what will happen now.

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