Transformers Universe MUX

Blast Off

Log Title: Fairy tales

Characters:  Blast Off, Khamsin

Location: Altihex

Date: 1/9/2020

TP: Peace In Our Time TP
Summary: Blast Off meets a mysterious Neutral who offers him 
tea and conversation.

As logged by: Blast Off

East Altihex - Northeastern Cybertron

The hustle and bustle of Altihex is precisely that... hustle and bustle, with mechs coming and going and doing as mechs will do. Though their actual comings and goings are of truly little interest to the oddity that is Khamsin, the mech seated just on the outskirts at a table provided by a stall, one leg crossed over the knee of the other, focus primarily on a datapad he's reading from, and a cup of...tea? It looks to be such, at least, next to him, which he sips at from time to time.

A shadow comes to loom over him momentarily, and if Khamsin happens to look up he'll see a large brown and purple space mech standing there along the rows of markets stalls looking around. Violet optics seem to be taking all this in with a quietly disgruntled air, as if he doesn't really like what he's seeing. Blast Off looks out in the distance towards the labs, where much space-based research once took place, then seems to sigh... or, rather, huff quietly.

Khamsin does not, in all fairness, look up at the shadow. Not straight-away at least... He takes his time, reaching for his cup to take a sip of the tea before finishing up what he's reading, bookmarking his place, and setting his cup back down on the saucer-dish it came on. Only then does he look towards the caster of shadows... "You look out of place."

This causes the shuttleformer to look down and notice the smaller mech. He lets out a sharper huff, more of a snort. "You could say that." Blast Off starts to shake his head slowly. "Time was, when I was very much NOT out of place. This was a *respectable* city. I was *forged* here, in fact. But this... *this*?" He tsks, nose turning up in the air. "This is a disappointment."

Khamsin nods, taking another sip of his tea, setting the datapad aside so he can cup the mug in both hands. "I did say that indeed. Of course, wasn't there a time when everyone was in a different place than they are now?" He motions about. "But this? That I can sip a drink and not be bothered, threatened, or otherwise...taunted... is a pleasant change of pace. I can most assuredly appreciate this... I'm surprised you can't."

Blast Off pauses to eye this stranger, sipping his mug of... what is that, anyway? He seems to be searching for clues briefly before looking back up at the marketplace and crossing his arms. There's another huff. "Well, I wish they'd go *back* to wherever they came from and leave Alithex to be the shining beacon of space travel and research it once was. Back then, *this* is where I and my kind belonged, and it was very pleasant indeed. But now?"

He snorts softly again, lifting one black hand to sweep across towards the crowds. "Now this place looks like Hoodlum Central." ...Jovial social butterfly he is not. For further irony, he complains about hoodlums while wearing a Decepticon badge.

Khamsin mmms... "Spoken like a true Elite... Send them all back so you can return to something you feel...belongs to you." He smiles thinly and motions to the seat opposite him. "Wouldn't that impact some of your...companions, though? Or are they also...expendable for the sake of your ambitions?" He gives a light shrug, motioning to the stall's owner for another tea. "No malice meant in my words, merely observational. I do love a good debate...."

Blast Off finds nothing at all wrong or disturbing about Khamsin's first statement, but the next- about his companions- draws the Combaticon's attention. Now those pale violet optics stare at him, studying him. "You know of me and my teammates, then?"

Khamsin again motions to the seat opposite him as the stall owner sets a mug of tea down for the Combaticon, all the while just keeping a steady gaze on Blast Off. "I make it a point to know as much as I can about everyone I can. It keeps me alive." He smiles thinly. "Also provides a fair degree of entertainment from time to time... after all, when one claims no affiliation, one must find ways to both network and work with any and all potential customers, clients, and...adversaries." He shrugs lightly.

Blast Off squints slightly at the mech, still studying him. He glances over to the tea, the chair, and back to Khamsin... then after a long moment he accepts the invitation, setting down heavily into the chair and reaching for the tea as a small hatch in his faceplate opens so he can drink without exposing too much of his face. "I ....see." He takes a sip, then sets the tea down. "Not bad," he states to the stall owner, then returns to gazing down at the other mech. Blast Off certainly does come across as someone who is used to looking down on others, both figuratively and literally. "I suppose my teammates could stay." He waves a hand dismissively towards the marketplace. "This could even stay... just..." He *tsks* again, "...Just tucked back in a an alley somewhere it wouldn't mar the sheen of Altihex /proper/." He shakes his head and goes for another drink of tea.

"You know, I knew a place that was a rather...impressive region of research, science, and technology. Rivaled most others of it's day... and what drove it to such success was the ability to keep a strong economy through market and trade." Khamsin takes another light sip as the stall owner brings a kettle of the tea, which he obligingly takes and refills his mug from. "In fact, it's a common trait throughout history... strong civilizations remain such because of their economical throughput, which feeds their technological advances... I doubt Altihex would ever fully realize itself once more if this market," he motions deftly, "was not thriving front and center. You can't have one without the other. Cybertron is far from...a unified system, after all. The city-states can only support themselves."

Blast Off gives Khamsin a flat look. "...." He takes another sip of tea, then drawls in his rich Altihexian accent, "You sound like Swindle." Lowering the cup, he adds, "Of course, half of this abomination is probably Swindle's fault, anyway." Placing the cup down, he gives the market and its crowds a wry look. "I suppose. But it used to be part of what fueled this region was not looking down in the gutters for whatever we could scrounge for a shanix, but looking *up*." He points towards the sky. "Interstellar trade and research. Planet-bound mechs engage in such *small*, limited thinking. They only know the gutters and not the heights we as Cybertronians *could* aspire to. When I see this, I see people who have forgotten to look at the horizon because they're too busy staring at their own feet."

Khamsin tsks. "I wouldn't say they've forgotten as much as...they're rebuilding. Pharaohs and Kings cannot simply," he snaps his fingers, "...pop into existence. Empires must be built upon a strong foundation... You see...scrounging masses." He looks at the tea. "I see creativity being put towards building something prosperous and culturaly rich. A thing of it's own...shiny, new, and unique." He smiles thinly. "The kind of thing that builds a King from nothing."

Blast Off hmms, sipping some more. He seems to be lost in thought a moment, gazing at the crowds again, then turns to look at Khamsin. "Perhaps. I suppose even fine wine requires some *aging* to be its best." The shuttleformer then sighs and places the cup down by his chair. "Still, sometimes it is just a bit... painful to see what is now as opposed to what once *was*." He remains silent for a spell before tilting his head slightly and once more studying this stranger. "And may I ask, who you are? The student of Kings?"

Khamsin nods slightly. "It always is... Nothing comes easy. Sacrifice brings growth through pain..." He takes another light sip of his tea and then gives a smile. "Khamsin...and, a study of sorts. One never does stop being a student, though I've been...priviledged enough to stand in the company of leaders, including...kings, if you will, Pharoahs really, same thing. Leaders of people, owners of dynasties. A splash in the pan compared to...well, the time this," he motions around, "has existed, but enlightening all the same."

Blast Off sighs, gazing somewhere very far away as he mutters, "Just for once, I wish things *would* come easy..." He vents out, stretching his arms to the side as he does so. "But life never seems to work that way, does it?" Returning to his own study of Khamsin, he nods. "Greetings, Khamsin. I am Blast Off." There's a wince of some recognition at something and he asks, "Pharoahs? I've heard that term.... that mudball, Earth. I take it you've been there?"

Khamsin looks himself over briefly. "For a time, yes. One of many places. I had a rather eventful set of travels while everyone was...brawling with one another." He grins. "Sophistication and culture do not come easy...and one learns them over time. They can't be beaten in by fists... which is probably something that Cybertron could learn from." He grunts and takes a light sip of his tea again. "The truth of it is...I imagine if we all took a lesson from these mechs here," he motions to the marketplace, "rather than fighting, we might achieve a great deal."

Blast Off gives a wry chuckle of his own, looking down at what's left of his tea and swirling the contents. "Indeed. As a sophisticated shuttlemech employed by the Decepticon army, I know that lament all too well." He lifts it to take a small sip. "I suppose that there, *there*... Swindle has a point, even in all his annoyance and sham. Always pursuing the art of the deal, finding the common ground almost all creatures- or factions- share. Greed. Need. Fuel and money."

Khamsin takes the kettle and refills the Combaticon's tea deftly before settling back in his own seat and taking another sip. "Mmm...I wouldn't say it's always greed... some crave survival, others crave power, some just crave...belonging, unity, and the ability to exist without being shunned to the gutters of society." He looks at his own mug a moment. "Purpose, in the end of it, is the one thing that binds everyone. Purpose. Without it, you are nothing. If you forsake it, you are merely torturing yourself." He regards the shuttle carefully. "What /is/ your purpose...if I may ask?"

Blast Off gives a nod as Khamsin refills his cup, "Thank you." He nods again as the other mech continues speaking, just the slightest pause at the mention of belonging and unity. But his answer to the question comes quickly, almost automatically. "It should be obvious," he begins with a flourish, gesturing with his hand towards himself, "I'm a shuttleformer. A space shuttle. My purpose is to explore, to seek out new horizons, to find out what's out there and take others to it, to bring them back home again, and make sure our planet has the resources it needs." He takes a long sip from his tea and finishes by asking, "...And what would be *yours*?"

Khamsin gives a light nod at that. "A sound purpose. Exploration is builds dreamers, who then, in turn, create new innovations that drive change." He thinks a brief moment on his. "My purpose, hmm? Perhaps it's to help others find theirs... Now that I'm here on Cybertron, it seems several are either unaware of their own or simply unable to pursue theirs." He looks at his tea and sips at it lightly in thought. "Are you, by chance? Following your...purpose, that is." He gives a faint smile, not in an 'I got you' sort of look...more a curious understanding sort that one might give.

"Hmm," Blast Off murmurs back at Khamsin. "I would say so... so many mechs scrabble for something, *anything* to give their lives meaning in these troubled times." He clucks at that and takes another sip of his drink. "If that is indeed your purpose, then yes, I suppose right here, where you sit..." He glances out to the crowd, "is certainly a crossroads for meeting all *sorts* of people." The shuttleformer's armor plates ruffle proudly. "Lucky for you, you got to meet *me* today." Siiip. He pauses a moment to mull that last question over before lowering his cup again. "Of course, though...I suppose, my purpose has ...changed some. With the war and all, my purpose has had to ...adapt and fit to my circumstances. Now exploration has become scouting, moving scientists has become moving soldiers, and resource gathering is in addition to tactical orbital strikes and aerial superiority. I am a Combaticon and Onslaught depends on me as a sniper and shuttle both. So I have simply... added to my purpose, is all." He shrugs. "It's almost a shame the lot of you can't be spacers, too, it's quite nice up there."

Khamsin hmms... "A pity that, really... admittedly, my purpose has changed and molded itself over the millenia, but...if yours did change, why would you have stated it was exploration, and not precision marksmanship? Have you truly altered your desired path and purpose in life? Or...are you merely a victim of the current circumstances of Cybertron?" He watches the other mech over the brim of his mug as he sips. "And...yes, I've heard it's quite nice... the stars themselves were quite important during my time on Earth. They were guides in their own way, and ever a mystery to the locals."

Now Blast Off starts to look slightly uncomfortable, shifting in his seat as Khamsin brings up discrepancies. The shuttleformer lets out a low, venting huff as he places his cup down and leans forward, pointing a finger at the smaller mech. "I am *not* a *victim*. *I* choose my own path, others do not choose it *for* me. I explore space when I *choose* to. I destroy Autobots because I *choose* to. I could always change my mind, and do whatever I want. I simply *choose* to be here helping with the war effort right now, helping my fellow Combaticons with the skill set I have mastered and they may lack." It ends with a growling sort of rumble from his engines, and he leans back. "I even *choose* to be part of a job that requires I visit that wretched mudball Earth at times, though... well, I'll give them that. They don't understand much, but at least they know enough to look up at the stars and *wonder*."

Khamsin ahs. " are firmly stating your will is your own... So the betrayal of purpose is not forced upon you by circumstance, but rather...of your own chosing, then?" He tsks. "Destruction. Such...a terrible thing. Isn't that what led to the loss of what you remember Altihex to be?" He motions around. "Why perpetuate the cycle, especially if it delays you from doing what you want to do..." He sips his tea again.

"It's no betrayal," Blast Off retorts, now eying the other mech again. "It's simply being *practical*. It's seeing the bigger picture. It's not pleasant or desirable being repaired, is it? Or getting maintenance? Yet one gets repairs or checkups because one knows they are neccessary. Pre-flight check lists are monotonous, but miss one tiny thing and your entire flight could get grounded. So one goes through the less pleasant aspects so that one may *soar* in the end. Destruction is the same thing- war is the same thing. Not pleasant, no, but necessary as means to an end. In this case, defeating Autobots so that the Decepticons may do what's necessary to get our planet and people *soaring* again."

Khamsin says, "It's practical to cling to war amidst rebuilding? It's practical to keep to one side when, clearly, Cybertron is starting to move on beyond the factional infighting and conflict?" He gives a thoughtful 'hmm' and sips his tea again. "Really, I'd say...that it won't be too much longer before the warframes are obsolete...and then it will be time to build least until the cycle repeats itself in due time. Nothing lasts forever, after all, when those who take conflict over peace exist.""

Blast Off hufffs at that. "Those who take peace over conflict are themselves doomed to be *conquered*. That sort of fanciful thinking will get you *killed*, and probably rightfully so!" He snorts and crosses his arms, looking away into the crowd. "I don't know what *you* see when you look out on our planet, but there's still a lot of fighting going on. If I laid down my weapons and asked for *peace* (ha!)... I'd either be shot down on the spot or taken prisoner." There's a dark flash in his optics as he growls, "And I will *not* be taken prisoner." Again. By either side. *cough*

Khamsin looks relatively nonplussed at the blustering posture, taking one last sip of his tea before setting his mug down again and leaning forward. "Do I look conquered to you? I've seem empires and their leaders rise and fall...but I am still what I am, ever true to me...and nothing can change that. No Overlord... no Dictator... no one." He motions himself over. "I don't wear a badge because I don't think either side, Autobot nor Decepticon, will survive long enough to see Cybertron through to it's next revival. Those who continue to take such strictly defined and uncompromising sides will, in time, become obsolete, and I -and those like me- will sit here, drinking our tea, and looking towards the future without all of you."

At this, the Combaticon suddenly stands up, towering over Khamsin as he glares down at the mech. The cannons on his legs click like he's thinking of activating them. He's incensed and rigid, armor plates bristling as he works to control his anger. He seems to regain control eventually, no further powering up of his built-in weaponry, though he continues to glare at this mech who tells a *Combaticon* he's misguided for not laying down his arms of war. Raw anger abating, Blast Off's demeanor becomes one of aloof iciness instead as he looks down his nose at Khamsin. "I pity you, still believing in such fairy tales. I should have known neutral meant *coward*." He points to his badge. "You put *this* on, you don't take it off, and you most certainly don't drop all your weapons so that your enemies find you easy pickings. To deliberately disarm and submit in *this* world is suicide, and *I* plan on living to see an end of both Autobots and those who would lead us blindly down the road of folly and ruin in pursuit of fantasies. The real world doesn't work like that- and I've seen *countless* worlds." With that, the shuttleformer turns sharply on his rocket heel and starts striding off in a huff, leaving his tea behind to grow as cold as he departs.

Khamsin remains calm under that gaze, just keeping his optics firmly locked on Blast Off's with a calm demeanor that is probably unnatural for someone staring down an armed Combaticon.... He even goes so far as to reach for his mug, calmly taking another sip of his tea. "Mmm...if ever you feel the need to converse further...feel free to find me. I do so love sharing my...fairie tales." With that, he smiles thinly and takes another sip of his tea before refilling the mug from the kettle, not even bothering to deign the huffy shuttlecon with a wave as he pulls his datapad out and goes back to casually reading as he had been before.