Log Title: An Old Acquaintance
Location: Newark International Airport - New Jersey
Date: May 20, 2018
Summary: Spike gets a mysterious message about Destro.
As logged by Alastair Smith - Sunday, May 20, 2018, 10:33 PM
Newark International Airport - New Jersey
- One of the two major international airports servicing residents and visitors of New York City, the Newark International Airport is a bustling terminal 24 hours a day. Announcements in several languages near-contantly blare from the speakers, and humans of every race and creed scurry to greet arrivals and hurry to catch their plane.
Spike is in the Newark airport, after spending the weekend in Prague on a world conference about multi-national responses to the Decepticon threat...in the age of the new US president. Spike has a suit on, but it's serviceably ruffled now, he looks very much like someone who is more comfortable in a mechanic jumpsuit. He's carrying a copy of the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and upon Crosscut's recommendation...the Lebanon Times, since Spike's media tastes are leaning toward Euro-centrism. He's at the airport bar when the announcement calls out "Delta - Flight 5674 - with services to Las Vegas International has been delayed. It's new arrival departure time is...7:45. A few people groan, including Spike. "Aw man...you gotta be kidding me!" he says almost in a tone of a teenager. Of course, he could call an Autobot like *that* - but it's part of his commitment to the Autobots to be as close to the human experience as possible, which means...air travel.
Spike looks at the bartender wearily and pulls out a $20. His last. "Looks like I'll have the Black Butte porter...a 20-ounce please."
A European businessman, looking just as rumpled as Spike, sidles up to the bar next to the Autobot ambassador. "Scotch whisky, Single malt, neat," he orders, in a deep gravelly voice with a hint of a Scottish brogue. The voice alone is enough to make Spike start - it's surprisingly familiar, although if Spike turns to look he'll discover an older man's face that he's never seen before in his life.
- Alastair Smith
- Alastair Smith is an unremarkable older European businessman in a rumpled suit and carrying a battered briefcase. Two days' worth of white beard growth highlights his jawline. He could be a salesman or a middle manager from any commercial company from around the world. Tired eyes watch from under the grey fedora hiding his receding hairline. He blends easily into the background of any group of corporate professionals.
Spike nears the businessman next to him and given how packed this airport bar is going to get with the delays, he quickly moves his magazines, and his laptop bag aide, giving the weary traveler some more elbow room. "...get this out of your way - " Spike , further sealing who he is, dials his cell phone. It goes to an answering machine. "Heyah, Carly - they've delayed my fight - looks like I'll be getting in around midnight. Don't worry about picking me up. I may just crash at a motel and get a head start tomorrow. If you see dad, if you could pass that along. Love you - "
The business man looks over at Spike with a start, and there is definite recognition in his tired eyes. That tears it - this is a man Spike knows, and he knows Spike. Still, Spike is sure he's never seen the man's face - maybe it's someone he's dealt with only over the phone?
"Thank ye," the man rumbles, and quickly turns away. He finds something on the other side of the bar to occupy his attention while he awaits his drink.
No one else seems to know or recognize Spike. Thankfully, sort of like noted Clinton economist Robert Reich, he's been on the tele, but really not on the 'major' channels most people watch.
Spike blinks as the man quickly turns away, seeming like he's shunning Spike. Okay. Best not to irk the person. It COULD be someone who has a legitimate beef against the Autobots, or it could just be a guy who doesn't want to be bothered. He takes the beer ($13.50) - and gives the bartender a $3 tip.
A few awkward moments pass in which the man seems deep in thought. Suddenly, however, he turns back. "Excuise me," the man says quietly. "Am I correct in assuming that you are Autobot ambassador Spike Witwicky?" the man asks. He turns slightly and lowers his head as if concerned others in the bar might overhear him talking to the upjumped mechanic. He reaches up to pull his fedora down a bit further over his features.
Spike looks on at the gentleman. He SOUNDS European. Maybe he's from one of the countries where shyness is more of a trait than others. He gives the man a smile. "Uh..yeah." He extends his hand. "I'm Spike - "
The man twists slightly to offer a hand. It's rough with callouses, and yet his nails are carefully maintained in contrast with the disheveled nature of his clothing. "You can call me Alastair." After a pause, he asks, "I wonder if you could do me a favor. It's a lot for me to ask, but it shouldn't require much effort on your part. Still," he pauses again, glancing behind him before turning back to Spike. "It's of grave, paramount importance."
Spike bookmarks the article he's reading in the New Yorker to give Alastair his full attention. "Sure...sure, no problem, Ala-stair?" He listens intently. Hearts and minds. Try to convince ONE person a day of the Autobots' good intentions, and you will have done Optimus Prime proud !
The man nods, and leans forward to remain understood even as he lowers his voice even further. "It's my understanding the Autobots are working with G.I. Joe, correct?" Without waiting for an answer, the man continues quickly, "I need you to pass on a message to Lady Jaye."
Spike bites his lower lip. He was hoping it would involve helping the Autobots. That way he would at least get his 'one person a day' quota fulfilled. He adds "We PARTNER with the Joes, but not exactly work...but sure...what is it?"
The main who calls himself Alastair says in his low voice, "Destro seems to have returned to the Silent Castle in Transcarpathia, but I need G.I. Joe to know - it isn't Destro. The man claiming to be him is dangerous, and is not someone to be underestimated. The Destro clan is known for its loyalty - but this man has no loyalty, and has access to the greatest, most powerful weapons on the planet. Tell Jaye - tell them all, if necessary."
Spike takes another sip of his drink and then his eyes widen with concern at the thought of Destro was alive! But then, all of this other 'stuff'. He looks around for a pen. "Ok...ok...hold on..slow down!" He frantically jots the information on the back of one of the many 'subscription' cards that fall out of magazines. "So...wait...I'm sorry...is Destro DEAD?"
Spike realizes he's talking at room volume and then lowers his voice "Is Destro DEAD then?"
The main who calls himself Alastair chuckles. "I wouldn't count out the true Laird of Castle Destro just yet, but that isn't part of the message. The main wearing Destro's mask in Transcarpathia is NOT Destro." He glances down at Spike's notes. "Read it back to me," he says in a low voice, as if maybe Spike is a little dim.
Spike rolls his eyes and sighs, really bummed he can't talk about the Autobots. "Lady Jaye... I've heard from a reliable source that Destro may not actually be dead, BUT, currently, right now, there's someone who is impersonating him - and this person could be just as dangerous ...if not moreso, than Destro...who is PROBABLY dead...unless he isn't."
Spike sets his pen down and gestures toward Alastair. Crosscut may have picked Spike for his inherit goodness, but not likely for his eloquence. Leave that for Jumal.
The main who calls himself Alastair frowns as he listens to Spike's readback of the message and then scowls. He seems to take umbrage at the phrase 'just as dangerous' referring to the true Destro, but doesn't pursue it. "Close enough," the man rumbles. "See that she gets that message. If something changes, I'll be in touch."
Alastair picks up his drink and downs it in one smooth gulp. He then drops more than enough Euros to cover the cost and tip. Pulling his hat down over his eyes, he grumbles, "Guidbye." With that, he stands up and disappears into the crowd and is gone.