Log Title: Business Deals and Shenanigans
Location: Vilnacron Station Date: March 23, 2019 TP: King of Cats TP
Summary: Ar-Gent meets up with Dirk to talk business. Spike and DJ try to keep an eye on them.
As logged by Ar-Gent Silverfinger
Log session starting at 17:50:49 on Saturday, 23 March 2019.
Neutral Station <Vilnacron> - Earth Orbit
This large, open star dock contains ships of various types and pedigrees, ostentatiously guarded by small knots of robotic guards.
Spike is in the 'other' room...'away' from Dirk. He's showing DJ one of the panel interfaces. His mannerisms around DJ have become more formal. Most likely because any angst he has will be relayed back to Marissa by her little brother. He points a wrench to the panel, which activates the main CPU, which will be later reattached to the shuttle. "So, again... even though we're talking about new technology...the fundamentals of physics are there." He gestures to DJ. "Seriously, just play around with the touch-screen and keyboard, nothing's going to be saved...but notice how the steering mechanism is very similar to the human crafts that the Joes run."
Ar-Gent Silverfinger glides into the station in his sleek private jet mode. It looks a little odd next to the vehicles more obviously designed for space flight.
While Spike is distracted working with the kid, Dirk Manus sends a private radio message.
DJ pokes at the GUI, laughing in pure joy at its response. "This is so cool! So, are you going to teach me how to fly a space ship next? No fair that my sister should have all the fun!"
(Radio) Dirk Manus sends Ar-Gent a radio transmission, 'I'm very interested in the offer you suggested during my rescue. If you'd like a private transporter, no questions asked, meet me in the bar on Vilnacron Station.'
Spike looks at DJ and lowers his voice and says in a conspiratory tone "On our way back...there COULD be some dull stretches where...it wouldn't be a big deal if you took the controls of the Federation for awhile." He picks up the CPU with both hands and grunts slightly. "Okay...I'll be back...gotta put this in his shuttle's control panel." Where he'll be walking directly into the ear path of whatever Dirk is talking about.
DJ tries hard to contain his excitement. His "bored teen" persona is completely shot.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger settles down in a landing space and then transforms, looking around with an assessing gaze.
The jet unfolds and rearranges itself into Ar-Gent Silverfinger, who dusts himself off briefly.
Dirk ends his call and moves to disembark from the Lazy Sue. Running into Spike, he gives the ambassador a grin. "Hey," he says, slapping Spike on the shoulder. "I'm heading to the bar. Want me to bring anything back? A soda for the kid, maybe?"
Spike tries to smile, but getting slapped on the shoulder...AGAIN...while carrying something...not cool. He shakes his head. "No thanks."
GAME: Spike PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
Spike tilts his head at Dirk. "Uh...who were you on a call with?" he pivots "I mean...I just hope that your delay here isn't affecting anything back home."
Dirk smirks. "There isn't much back home. Nah, I'm trying to drum up some business while I'm here in the Solar System. Gotta make credits to pay for fuel, unless I'm going to make Vilnacron my permanent home," he laughs.
Dirk tries to push past Spike and head for the bar. He grabs his cowboy hat and slips it on as he heads for the airlock.
Spike nods and says evenly "Yeah...exactly." His muscles strain slightly "Sorry...just gotta...drop this CPU into the control panel" - but heyah, no worries, Dirk has already moseyed past him. "never mind..." Spike mumbles and drops the CPU into the control panel.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger sees the signs for the bar and strolls in that direction, careful not to step on any of the smaller beings running to and fro.
Dirk never minds, Spike! You're cool! He heads for the bar.
Spike continues to work on the CPU. He looks out the window into the bar. Funny, now he's REALLY craving a drink. Maybe he will go for a beer after he gets these last few circuits connected. He doesn't QUITE notice Ar-Gent yet.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger pauses just outside the bar to check his appearance in the reflection. He dusts an invisible speck off his shoulder and then heads inside..
DJ, on the other hand, doesn't wait. He's thirsty as well - although in his case, for soft drinks. And maybe a burger. He slips out of the Lazy Sue and follows Dirk into the bar.
GAME: Spike PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Above Average difficulty.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger pauses to let the young human pass, holding the door open like the gentlemech he is.
GAME: DJ Faireborn PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
Spike casually looks as DJ heads into the bar and looks down, but gets a glimpse of ...a glimpse of... His eyes widen as he stops working on the CPU and he runs toward DJ! "DJ!"
DJ isn't really paying attention. He's spent so long at Autobot City he barely even notices giant robots anymore. He heads into the bar, glancing up slightly to mumble thanks to whomever is holding the door. Then Spike gives a shout and DJ focuses. "Oh, shit!" he exclaims. "It's you!"
Spike breathlessly closes the gap and stands between DJ and Ar-Gent Silverfinger. His face pales, remembering how he and DJ were almost cooked by this lethal, but dapper one.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger sighs. "Ah, the burdens of fame," he laments. "I'd offer an autograph, but I have a meeting to get to. Don't let my presence interrupt your affairs."
DJ freezes, looking at Spike for what to do. Do they run? Fight somehow? Oh, shit!
Spike nods quickly. He SQUEEZES DJ's arm and pulls him to safety. "Right...right...sorry..." "C'non..." He gently, but forcefully pulls DJ to another area - possibly away from Dirk - it's hopefully big enough of a bar where DJ and Spike and go unnoticed in a quiet corner. He walks DJ to an assuming, hopefully poorly-lit section of the bar. "Just keep walking..." Spike says quietly.
Main Bar - Vilnacron Station
You've just entered an absolutely massive chamber. If you weren't floating in high orbit you'd swear it had been cut out of rock over millennia by dripping water, creating a huge underground cavern. It just has that sort of a feel to it: that monumental, natural feel.
The main bar here is designed for creatures of all shapes and sizes. It floats high above the ground, allowing people to walk, sit or talk under it... or allowing someone of Gestalt (or perhaps just Omega Supreme) height to casually stand at the bar and talk or drink. Under the bar, but slightly in front of it, are a series of white platforms which, when sat on, automatically take any passenger up to the bar, and allow them to sit comfortably. Whether you're a massive Dinobot, or a puny human, you can sit on the platforms and they'll take you up so you can see over the bar.
Throughout the chamber there are tables and booths with similar white platforms, allowing groups of any size and shape to sit together and talk comfortably over the tables. Barmaids of all shapes and forms come to the tables to serve, and always have a big smile for their customers.
Perhaps the most striking feature, other than the size of the place, and the floating main bar, is the bouncers. There's about seven of them and they're huge. Each one is a weapon-laden mercenary or bounty hunter (or Freelance Peacekeeping Agent, yes?). Each one is trained extensively and has a savage reputation. If there's any fighting or bickering, these guys are ready to step in and stop it... so watch out!
There are exits here to the back room Casino and the entry port.
DJ is pulled to the back of the bar, and sits obediently in one of the back booths, away from everyone else. Huh. It seems like this bar is FULL of quiet, unassuming booths where you can sit and do business without being seen.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger shakes his head. Poor creatures, so nervous. He lights an enercig as he enters the bar, looking around and trying to fit a face to the voice heard over radio.
Spike breathes out "Oh shit..." He lowers his voice and gulps. "You all right?" He nods, whispering "fast thinking back there..."
Spike cranes his head, looking for what business Ar-Gent Silverfinger is wanting to accomplish.
Dirk is waiting at the bar, drink in hand, cowboy hat sitting next to him on the bartop. When he spots Ar-Gent walk in, he sets off a small transceiver silently indicating his position to the Junkion.
I'm fine, Mr. Witwicky," DJ gasps, still breathing hard in fear. "I almost walked right into him! I'm SO sorry!" Even though he's talking to Spike, DJ doesn't take his eyes off Silverfinger.
Spike shakes his head, keeping his voice down. "No, no. You were fine." He continues to whisper "I've only seen him once before, but as you well know - I'm not going to forget that face for a long time to come."
GAME: Spike PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
DJ nods his head shakily. "What's he doing here? Is he aligned with the Quintesson?"
Spike says measuredly "He's big, DJ. He's not going anywhere without us knowing...so stop...staring...look at me. Look around every now and then..."
Ar-Gent Silverfinger smiles as he picks up the signal and strolls over, settling gently onto a stool made to accomodate the giant robot types. "Big Apple enertini," he tells the bartender before giving Dirk a nod. "Nice to meet you in person. A brave captain of commerce, eh?"
Spike shakes his head. "No idea..."
NOW it's Spike's turn to stare! His eyes widen in surprise, then he quickly goes back to looking at...looking at... another table.
Spike believes it's been the allowed 15 seconds since he last looked, so he goes back to give another look and reflexively lets out his TRUE opinion about Dirk in front of DJ. "That son of a bitch..." he says in a low tone.
At Spike's suggestion, DJ studiously looks around everywhere but at Silverfinger. He looks sharply back at Spike, however, at the sudden curse. "What?" he asks anxiously.
Spike folds his hands and tries to act like he's just talking about like...the basketball games to DJ. "Don't...look...quite yet...but look who he's talking to...it's the same guy who we've been repairing the shuttle...the one that your sister has been hanging out with for the last few days."
Dirk looks up at Ar-Gent with a smirk, shutting off his silent transmitter. "Something like that," he says wryly. "Captain Dirk Manus, of the Lazy Sue," he introduces himself. "I'm in the private transport business. You did me a solid and so I owe you one. I've done some poking around - if I'm not mistaking, you seem to be expanding your operations. I might be able to help."
"Oh, wow!" DJ says, turning to just stare directly. "It's Dirk! What's he doing talking to an Evil Junkion? Is he Evil, too?"
Spike is far away from earshot of Dirk and Ar-Gent's conversation. So is DJ. Plus, it's quite a hopping place. So, Spike can only speculate. He tries to look bored and looks away. Spike grits his teeth and hisses lowly "DJ! low profile!"
Ar-Gent Silverfinger nods. "And I'm Silverfinger. Ar-Gent Silverfinger." He produces one of his many human-sized business cards and slides it across the bar for Dirk. "I'm a businessmech by nature. Lots of pots brewing, lots of deals on the table. Always looking for new markets, new technology."
"Oh, right!" DJ replies, slumping in his seat. "Sorry Mr. Witwicky." He picks up a menu and jumps when it scans him and automatically supplies Earth-friendly choices in English.
Dirk chuckles. "Oh, man. If you need new technology, I know where I can get it, believe you me. Anything in particular or just the latest gadget?"
Spike looks at the menu as well. He mouths some of the choices. "Seasonal ales, cocktails, sodas...we have to tell Crosscut and Marissa about this when we get out of here."
Spike rubs his chin, trying to debate between the chicken sandwich or the half pound... "I wish we could hear them."
"Don't you have any super-cool spy technology? I'll bet Marissa would have something!" DJ insists.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger chuckles in turn. "Nothing in particular just at the moment. But new inventions are always welcome. I know someone who loves to reverse-engineer things and add improvements of his own."
Spike clears his throat and eyes the exit. "Look at the exit...it's RIGHT in Dirk's line of sight. If he hasn't seen us now, which is a BIG 'if' - he definitely will see us leave now." He gestures to DJ. "See if you can text your sister - tell her where we are, and see if there's any way she can smuggle a listening device in this area STAT."
Of course, Marissa may be getting ready for a possible date with Dirk, so said message may or may not be received :)
Dirk nods. "I pull a lot of salvage in my work," he says. Scavenger is such an ugly term. "Might be I come across a few wonders here and there. You interested in buying?"
DJ pulls out his phone. "Does AT&T even get signal out here? Oh, the EDC phone. Right." He puts away his Samsung Galaxy and digs up his EDC communicator instead. Sure, it's more advanced, but can you use it to play Pokemon Go?
Spike goes back to looking at the menu. He frowns, confiding in DJ. Damn the consequences of it getting back to Marissa. "I TOLD her there was something fishy about him." And yes, there are Pokemon to 'Go' out here.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger nods. "Of course. And selling, too. We have some products intended for the organic market, locally, but also some items for export. Exotic plants, some distillates and fuel additives, and the odd invention that needs a new home. Keep only those things that speak to your heart, yes? The rest can be sold."
DJ uses his communicator to send his sister Marissa a text: << Your boyfriend is a dirty scum traitor who meets up with Evil Junkions at the bar! >> He adds a GIF of a Storm Trooper deploying a stun baton.
Spike looks at the menu and doesn't look at Silverfinger and Dirk. "Did the text go through?"
Dirk nods again, looking serious. "Anything you need moved, I can move. I can find buyers, if needed, and can get things anywhere in the galaxy, no questions asked. Aside from my recent Decepticon trouble, I'm usually pretty good about not being detected. And with some genius repair wizard Mari found patching up my ship, I should be back in the air in no time."
DJ looks back at the communicator and frowns. "It's sent, but not yet seen. What's she doing? Getting ready for a date with Benedirk Arnold there?" He scowls in righteous fury.
GAME: Spike PASSES a LEADERSHIP roll of Average difficulty.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger beams. "Good man. The Decepticons -can- be troublesome. They ought to know better than to interfere with commerce. Trade is the life blood of nations."
Spike gulps and continues to thumb through the menu. Which is futile. He always knows he wants the burger. He always wants the burger. "Calm down..." He mutters "OK, we know who Dirk is meeting, but he doesn't know it, right?" He sighs "If we manage to make it out of here..." He adds "And we will! Don't worry - it's a well-protected place!." He adds "WHEN we make it out of here...and IF you see Dirk...and it's just him...you CAN'T let on that you know ANYTHING...unnerstood?"
"Indeed," Dirk agrees. "And I don't usually pay tariffs, either - a savings I pass along to you."
DJ nods quickly. "It's cool. My mom's a spy. I can do this." He looks straight forward, putting on his serious face. He looks HELLA suspicious.
Spike mumbles "I COULD put a tracking device on his ship, but he's said they're dozens and dozens of generations ahead of us. I'm sure anything extra I put on would be detected..." He adds "Unless...it was like...totally primitive - and wouldn't transmit - like a recorder."
GAME: Spike PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Very High difficulty.
Fortunately for DJ and Spike, Ar-Gent is currently not acting like a spy, and isn't looking around to see who's staring at or whispering about him. He just assumes that people are doing so.
The dapper Junkion chuckles at Dirk. "Ah, a being after my own heart. This looks like the beginnings of a beautiful friendship."
Spike says, "DJ, you look constipated..." He nudges "Pretend... Dirk is just a teacher in school. Not one who teaches you in your class...just one you see in the hallway every day, but never interact with." He gives another eye to the Junkion."
Spike goes back to looking at his order, sheer white-knuckle adrenaline has given him an appetite. Ultimate cheeseburger it is.
Spike says, "Some spring break, huh?""
Dirk is all smiles. "Great! Would you like to put down a retainer for my services? It would give you first rights to anything I find in this area of space, and I'd prioritize any jobs you needed done over anything else in this sector."
DJ frowns. "Usually my teachers don't date my sister and then meet up with giant robots that tried to kill me!" he exclaims, his voice a little loud in the thankfully noisy bar.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger ahs. "Is there a form of currency you prefer? I have some goods on me, but not much, and of course shanix if you prefer cash."
Spike gives a 'simmer down' gesture to DJ. "That is WHY we are going to act normal as if nothing happens until you and I can contact Crosscut or Marissa, understood?" He looks away from Dirk and Ar-Gent Silverfinger. "Right now, we don't know anything, only that the two are meeting. I'd LIKE to find out more...like WHY they're meeting, and who ELSE is involved." He adds "You're right...I'm not a spy. That's why I'm saying let's contact Marissa and Crosscut, or even Optimus Prime. They'll know what to do. But until then, I want Dirk to think that there's nothing wrong, okay?"
Spike adds pointedly "And here's a news flash, kid - that guy also tried to kill me as well!"
"I usually deal in Galactic Credits," Dirk replies, "But I'm very flexible as long as it's legal tender somewhere. Shanix work, or even direct fuel payments... I'll need fuel to get my ship in the air as soon as the human's done working on it." He chuckles. "Normally I'd have to pay for that, too, but one of the locals hooked me up," he grins boastingly.
DJ blinks in surprise. "Dirk tried to kill you?!" He's not good at simmering down.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger nods. "Fuel, I have." He adds in a lower tone, "Weapons, too. If you think you might need them."
Spike grins and shakes his head. "No...no. DJ. THAT Junkion..." He adds "He tried to kill BOTH of us. I was talking about him."
GAME: Ar-Gent Silverfinger PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
Spike breathes out his nose. "I have to keep repairing his ship." He adds "We have to test the engines, but barring anything out of the ordinary...he'll be ready to depart in about a week." He gestures to DJ. "In which you'll be back in school." He adds "I'll have to step away from my duties here to bring you back tomorrow." He adds "Again...I promise I'll let you fly a bit on the way back." Hopefully this will calm the kid down.
Dirk considers Ar-Gent's offer carefully. "I might. It depends what you need transported, and where. I probably can't get Witwicky to install more weapons in the Lazy Sue. He doesn't seem like the fighting type, and I don't want to have to explain to him while my freighter needs to be even more heavily armed than it already is. But fuel I'll take, and you'll be my top-priority customer in the system."
DJ smirks at his own misunderstanding. "Oh, yeah. On the Ark. Right." He looks again at the menu, trying to calm his nerves. "Can I have a cheeseburger?" he asks. "Spying gets me hungry, it turns out." He looks over the menu at Spike and smiles.
Ar-Gent Silverfinger nods and leans back. "Fuel it is, then." He puffs on his enercig, looking across the bar, and nods to the two not-at-all-suspicious humans whose raised voices he could hear even over here. "Ah, my fan club. Aren't humans adorable?" He puffs out a smoke dollar sign.
Spike nods. "I got this...order whatever you want on the menu, DJ." He smirks "You gotta admit, this beats most spring break trips." He adds "And...I'm not telling you should live your life, that's your mom and dad's job. But just speaking from experience, unless it's a really good friend, I'd recommend not telling everyone at school about this. At least when I was in school, kids got super jealous if I even muttered anything about the Autobots."
GAME: Spike PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
Spike closes his eyes as he spots Ar-Gent Silverfinger gesturing to him and DJ. "...and he...the Junkion, just nodded at us." He smiles and nods back. He mumbles "And THAT...is proof that I'm a civilian, and your mom and Marissa do the espionage thing far better than I ever will be able to."
Dirk looks over to where Ar-Gent is indicating. "Oh, Eraon. That's the guy helping me. He's going to have questions." Dirk shrugs, and puts his cowboy hat back on. "Ah, well. I'll handle it. Let me get your drink. It's nice to meet you, Mr. Silverfinger. I'm going to enjoy doing business with you."
"Maybe we should stick to fixing things in the shop," DJ agrees, slumping down in his chair.
Spike breathes out. "Yeah."
Ar-Gent Silverfinger chuckles. "Good luck. They're excitable types." He gets up. "It's been a pleasure. I'll be out in the landing bay, I think. Drop me a note on where you'd like your stipend delivered."
Spike sighs in realization that there's nothing they can do now. "Just act like we've been working hard and took a break for food." He pauses an then looks at DJ. "For the record... DJ, you're smart. You're going to do a lot of great things in your life. Don't let this moment dissuade you. If you want to get in on the spy business for the Joes, just learn from this, but don't let it make you think that you can't be a spy if you want to do that. Okay?"
"Will do!" Dirk replies with a smile. "You'll hear from me soon."
DJ smirks. "If I gave up everything I didn't do perfectly the first time, Spike, I'd never do anything at all."
Spike grins. Maybe this is one of those stories DJ will talk about with his kids down the road. "That's the spirit!" He breathes out. He'll deal with the fallout from all of this later.