493/Not Ungracious

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Not Ungracious
Date of Scene: 13 February 2018
Location: Antique Shop <AS>
Synopsis: Blast Off hires Hookshot to help him bring down the Institute.
Cast of Characters: Blast Off, Hookshot


Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off knows he's got to find out more about this Institute, AND he knows he can't bring Brawl there again. Oh boy. That was NOT a good idea. Don't bring a tank to a sneak's job. But the other Combaticons aren't available and he needs someone who can help him break into the Institute without being seen, gather intel without being caught or causing a huge scene? But who?

That's when Blast Off remembers having done business (sort of) in the past with Hookshot. Someone he can still find and contact. And so, the shuttle finds himself being seated in a back room of an antiques store by the storefront employee while told to wait for Hookshot to arrive. Hopefully this won't take TOO long.

Hookshot has posed:
It doesn't take too long. But Hookshot isn't prompt in making an appearance either. Perhaps just as it was crossing Blast Off's mind this might have been a mistake, he hears just a brief noise like a latch being undone. But the single door leading into the room doesn't open. And... instead the sound seemed to have come from above. Following that there is that smug albeit crisp voice. "Well, well, well." If Blast Off looks up at all, he will find Hookshot standing with his arms crossed in a corner of the room. THe problem is that it's an upper corner, and the mech is upside-down - feet seemingly firmly planting on the metal ceiling.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off starts, jerking back in his seat a little as he realizes where Hookshot is. The Combaticon stares, violet optics brightening, still for a moment as he processes this ... situation. "...Hookshot?"

Hookshot has posed:
"That's my name." Some of the time. Sometimes it is Motley. Sometimes it is Cinderrain. Sometimes... but Hookshot says nothing of his other aliases. He walks calmly and confidently across the ceiling. "If it isn't my dear hero. I never did /really/ show my appreciation for springing me from that Autobot jail." THe mech smirks. He disengages the magnetic mechanism allowing him to stand on the ceiling causing him to fall, his hands stretched out towards the floor. They hit the ground, nimbly springing him into a somersault which lands him back on his feet. On the ground. Like a normal person. Insufferable show off.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off just stares for a moment as Hookshot walks across the ceiling. Um. Ok. However, the more Hookshot seems to show off, the more unimpressed Blast Off seems to get. Well, not /unimpressed/, but you're going to have to work harder than that to get praise from the Combaticon shuttleformer. He puts on his best *aloof* face as the other mech lands. "Yes. Well..." Black fingers tap on the arm rest of his chair. "If you'd truly *like* to show your appreciation, I have a way you could do just that..."

Hookshot has posed:
It's hard to tell whether Hookshot is unaware how unimpressed Blast Off is by his antics, or simply doesn't care. With infuriating nonchalance, Hookshot pulls out a chair that had been tucked under a table and sits down, his long, slender fingers interlocking with one another. "Sounds like you have a proposal to make. Well. I am listening." Hookshot leans forward somewhat, bringing up his woven hands and leans his face into it somewhat, his mouth obscured from view. His white optics peer intensely at Blast Off.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off shifts in his seat a little, making himself more comfortable. "This is, of course, just between us." The fingers stop tapping as he leans forward a little bit, facing the other mech with a steady, serious demeanor. "I need some assistance in a... break-in. Someone *quiet* and who understands the need to sneak in and out without attracting attention."

Hookshot has posed:
Hookshot quirks one of his well define, angular optic ridges at the plea for discretion, but doesn't interrupt. He remains stooped forward, fingers unraveling from one another and instead flexing up into a steeple, his face still partially obscured. "Well, not to boast..." Hookshot begins with the obvious intention of boasting, "...but I /am/ the mech for those sorts of jobs." There is a momentary pause before he continues, tugging at a previous comment. "And when you say 'just between us' are you speaking as an individual, or a representative of your unit?"

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off shifts again, this time leaning *back* into his seat. "Very good." Optics flicker and his gaze goes to the left somewhere. "...It means, mostly between you and me. I..." He swallows, choosing words carefully. "I am mostly working alone on this. I might have one or two other people involved, but the job at hand would most likely consist of just you and I."

Hookshot has posed:
"Such a small team...?" Hookshot asks with unveiled astonishment. But perhaps the way he raises his optic ridges and sits up straighter is a bit exaggerated. However, he places his hands down on the table he is sitting at. "Naturally, it will be an honour to work with such a renowned marksmech." The words sound like praise, but again, the over emphasis just slightly borders on mockery. "So what am I stealing? I assume sneaking in is just part of the job. You want something retrieved?"

Blast Off has posed:
Now it's Blast Off's turn to bring his hands together, fingertips touching, and raise an optic ridge. "The smaller, the less likely to be seen." He gives Hooskot a polite nod at the compliment.... the pauses as he wonders if it really was... hmm. "I am, silly little shooting contests aside."

At the next question, he sniffs in a little, letting his hands drop back down to the armrests. He pauses, collecting himself. "Information. Evidence, mostly." He stops and gives Hookshot a steady look. "...It involves Autobots."

Hookshot has posed:
"Oh yes, those /silly/ contests aside." Hookshot's hand disappears for a moment, digging around before he tosses a shiny object onto the table top. Well. It's the gold medal from the recent Helex Marksmech Competition. "And I'm sure you weren't honestly /trying/ to get a silly trifle such as this." Insult. Injury. Hookshot waves his hand as if to dismiss the little jab at Blast Off. "Information and evidence again? Is someone being framed again? Am I to keep unraveling the cover stories and lies of that farce of a government?" Hookshot's optic flicker. "Actually, as far as governments go, they are doing very well. Steeped in intrigue and controversy with a splash of dark conspiracies are the status quo after all."

Blast Off has posed:
Totally silly! Blast Off wasn't upset about losing that contest at all! *cough* Yet he freezes as the medal appears, his frame tensing and violet optics staring down at it. A wing elevon twitches. "N-no." He denies with another little sniff, breaking his gaze and looking away as he waves a hand at the medal dismissively. "Of course not! Hardly a true representation of one's skill." He pauses and adds, "I mean, it's nice that you won, and you performed well. I'm simply saying *I* don't need such trifles as a measure of my considerable skill." Fox, meet grapes.

The hand comes down and the shuttle's demeanor sombers. "Not framing." He turns to look at Hookshot. "More like... uncovering a conspiracy." His optics ridges furrow down. "Have you heard of the Institute?"

Hookshot has posed:
    Hookshot laughs lightly at Blast Off's response. "Of course, you don't need a trinket to tell you how good you are. Such a dignified mech as yourself don't need external vindication." Hookshot's optics flicker. He takes back the medal and tucks it away. He then steeples his fingers together again, his face sobering up as well. Down to business.
    "I hear rumours of the Institute. The rumours are outlandish and I dismiss most of them. Let me guess, you think you have found it and need evidence of its nefarious deeds? Because I certainly hope that as a figher for freedom you aren't looking to steal mind control technology or Primus knows what else they might be up to for your own purposes."

Blast Off has posed:
Of course not! Yet... Blast Off can't help but cast a look over as Hookshot takes the medal away. Then he, too, gets down to business, leaning back again in his chair. "...I *do* believe I have found a new Institute, yes." Then he HUFFs, loudly. "PLEASE. I fight *for* choice, not to take it away. I want to shwo Cybertron that the Autobots are running this new Institute, since they appear to be involved somehow. SHOW this planet what the Autobots are really like! This is why I want *evidence* most of all."

Hookshot has posed:
    "Yes... *you* want to show them..." Hookshot repeats, tilting his head down yet fixing Blast Off with a steady gaze. No smirks or playful glances now. "If I am to chase down a conspiracy, that means I would be putting myself at considerable risk. I have already had to burn some of my bridges thanks to the last time I decided to show the the planet what the Autobots are up to. But other than clearing myself as an assassin, I outed myself as a Decepticon sympathiser, which is just as much of a crime. It's made some of my dealings more... difficult to say the least." Hookshot leans back in his chair. "If I were in my right mind I'd leave this place and never look back while the world burns." Hookshot taps his fingers on the table, seeming to stare right through Blast Off for a moment. "But the reports I hear of how Cybertronians are being treated by other worlds... it doesn't look much promising out there either. I could try to rough it out on some unclaimed rock, but I /like/ the comforts of home. So tell me. How do you plan on making it worth my time? Appealing to my sense of righteous indignation won't do much good. I don't have a righteous strut in my frame."

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off listens quietly, nodding his head once or twice. "I understand." He leans a bit forward now, drawing a hand up and pointing a finger into the air for emphasis. "And I can't blame you. I *will* say that yes, you *will* help restore a little balance in the world, do a little- or a lot- good. But..." Now his hand spreads out. "I understand the importance of balancing a pocketbook, too. I'm a mercenary, after all." His hand withdraws back to dip into his subspace, pulling out a small datapad which he hands over to Hookshot. "I have this much waiting for you. Half in the beginning, half upon completion of our mission."

Hookshot has posed:
    Hookshot peers at the datapad with a quirked optic ridge. He is silent for a moment, his expression eerily devoid of expression after hamming it up not long ago as he looks back up to Blast Off. It is a while before he pushes the datapad back to Blast Off, still wearing a neutral expression. "This is what exposing the Autobots is worth to you?"

Blast Off has posed:
The longer Hookshot takes, the more Blast Off can feel his nerves starting to let themselves be known. The shuttleformer shifts in his seat, wings scraping softly on his legs, placing one leg slightly over the other, then eventually transitioning to the opposite side. Still trying to look nonchalant. He takes the datapad back, glancing down at it. Then back up to Hookshot. There's a long pause, then he says, "Well, of course, that is *in additon* to a bonus for a job well done." Gulp. "And a stock of fine wines or engex, as you like." He taps in that bonus, which is generous, and slides the datapad back to Hookshot. Never mind that nervous twitch of his elevons and the sense that it's going to take a LOT of wine sales to make up for this.

Hookshot has posed:
    Hookshot leans back, his expression unreadable even as Blast Off offers a bonus, and he levels a gaze at Blast Off even while taking back the datapad, not even glancing at the bonus added. "You should have sent Swindle to negotiate with me. But... right, you want to keep this a /small/ operation. Which, for actually infiltrating is one thing. But planning, preparations, resource and intel gathering? Surely it's more than you and I." Hookshot stands up. "And if it is just us, makes me wonder. After all, if anyone could plan this out, it's Onslaught. But if he were masterminding this, I wouldn't be talking to you." Hookshot places his palms down on the table as he leans forward. "So tell me. Do /you/ have a plan? Or am I going to have to figure everything out for you? Because that might require more than a mere bonus."

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Offs steady look at Hookshot falters and his face turns down, chin tucking in with a frown behind that faceplate. He sighs softly, frame seeming to wilt just a bit, despite himself. Especially at the observation on Onslaught. "I... I can't really involve most of the other Combaticons. Not yet, at least, not until I have proof." He brings that dark hand to pinch at the bridge of his nose. "There is one other person, but they need to remain anonymous for now." He drops his hand down and looks straight at Hookshot once more. "I... uh." Gulp. He glances from random spot to spot. "I... sort of do." Pause. "Well, I mean, I thought that..." Uh.

With another looong sigh, he faces the other mech with a dry expression. "Exactly HOW much?"

Hookshot has posed:
    Hookshot stands up straight again, peering at Blast Off. After a long period of intense stares and neutral, almost grim expressions, he finally smiles. "Well. How foolish of me. I got into my business posture and forgot just how grateful I am to you. Though you came to fetch me out of jail on Onslaught's bidding I am sure, it should account for something." Hookshot lightly taps his own helmet. "So if you need me for planning as well, how about I accept your original offer, no bonus necessary." How... generous.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off IS wishing Onslaught or Swindle were here right about now. He's not as good with *people* or *strategy* as they can be. His optic ridges twitch in concentration interrupted with doubt, though he tries to maintain a serious and self-assured manner. Studying the mech, he wonders if he's up to something but... it's hard to tell. He's this far in so.... "Very well. Uh, yes. I *did* get you your freedom, after all."

The Combaticon stands up, too. "Well then. Keep the datapad. It has my contact information on it. I will contact you shortly and we can proceed."

Hookshot has posed:
Hookshot secrets away the datapad. He then extends a hand to Blast Off inviting a handshake. "Sounds good to me. Any information you already have that you could forward to me would make this easier - and the easier it is for me, the better it is for everyone. And I won't even ask about the Autob-- I mean ANONYMOUS member of this little... team."

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off nods, "Aright, I can do that. I-" Then starts again as Hookshot essentially says *Autobot*. A short, sharp huff comes out of his vents as he blinks. The shuttleformer just stares at the mech. Then he responds, voice pitched lower, almost to a growl, "I have *no* idea what you're talking about." Stiffly, Blast Off gives Hookshot one last polite, though rigid, nod before turning to leave. "I'll send you what information I can."

Hookshot has posed:
    Hookshot continues to smile, all ease and pleasantness even as he is spoken to with a growl. "Oh, pay no attention to me and my little word slip-ups. They happen and are completely meaningless. I am sure the anonymous member merely would not want to be assosciated with dubious persons such as myself," Hookshot offers as assurance as he walks with Blast Off to the exit of the room. "Truly, I look forward to working with you. And... do keep safe in the meantime."

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off lifts an optic ridge at Hookshot but doesn't say anything further. The aloof Combaticon walks with Hookshot out of the room, giving him a nod in return and hoping this was really a good idea.