Race Day
(2020-02-20 - 2020-02-20)
The Decepticons give in to political pressure and parade Blurr around their Ibex territory...
Blurr     The day of Ibex Cup Finals was always on the same day every metacycle, and despite the war and subsequent fall of the big leagues, it is a day the denizens of Ibex have always celebrated. Ibexian tradition would hold that current and former Hall of Fame athletes and their teams would parade through the entire city all solar cycle. Once the war erupted in full swing, mostly only civilians participated, but this time around, it seems several very vocal groups want the most famous athlete to lead the parade through both Autobot -and- Decepticon occupied sectors of the city.

    As much as Decepticon leadership has clearly denied them this request, these civilians have claimed that they will in fact move forward with this plan whether the occupying force grants them permission or not, seemingly confident in their numbers and in the Cons' fear of damaging their own reputation by resorting to violent measures.

    It's become quite the hotly debated political topic in the city-state, with the advocates claiming that this has nothing to do with the war and everything to do with celebrating their unique regional culture and heritage--of which Blurr is an integral part. Some had come to wonder if the activists would really follow through on this or if they actually had convinced the speedy Autobot to come party with them, although it seems to be something he'd willingly do, if anything just to place the Decepticons into something of a quandary: Let the Ibexians do what they want and endure the humiliation of letting Blurr parade through the streets of their territory unhindered (and potentially pull off something that might -actually- be a tactical setback or worse), or resort to violent measures against Blurr or against the city's neutral denizens and deal a significant blow to their own reputation.

    Now as the day comes, the streets are crowded with the mechs of the city as they prepare for the celebration. Street vendors are selling racing themed merchandise and refreshments, and people are camped out along the parade route. The parade is supposed to start from Market Square, a major junction that sits right on the border between South and Central--the line between Autobot and Decepticon territory. A large temporary structure housing all of the parade floats has been erected at the center of it, with a massive pair of double doors facing toward the street the procession is to start down first. Will there actually be a Blurr, or was it all hot air??
Sideswipe Sideswipe is in the midst of the civilians. His autobrand is currently covered up. While it's not going to stand for a ton of scrutiny (particularly for anyone that has seen him for more than a tenth of a breem) he's there to help keep an optic on things. Just in case there's any sort of attack on the crowd by the Cons (which there is almost guaranteed to be). So with most of his weapons stowed and looking like just another civilian, a neutral that's letting out some loud cheers over as he's going along through the square. It's not the way it used to be in the grand days before the war, but this sort of thing gives mechs hope. It's enough to start with.
    To remind them of what they were, what they can be.. And maybe something that in the future they can get again. Sideswipe is currently walking along over with the crowd, optics scanning it. Optics even quickly switched with yellow crystals so the normal Autobot blue doesn't stand out. So, he can enjoy the races and the walks. And all those memories that he never got there and didn't ever quite live up to how they were live, but he had his off roads.
Shadowstar      At the border of the occupied territory, Shadowstar has taken up position with a long line of other Decepticon soldiers. Each has a rifle, and all are standing at attention. The purple seeker stands in front of the line, smirking lightly as she waits for the crowd and the Autobots to approach. The Decepticons have made no aggressive moves as of yet, but the line definitely has the feel of a military cordon.

     Whether the civilians and their hero Blurr will cross it is yet to be determined.
Blurr     Suddenly, music begins to blast loudly over the crowds. As perhaps expected, it's the theme song for the Ibex Raceways. The doors open, and a large, disc-shaped float begins the procession. It is covered in flashy holomatter displays--ribbons of oscillating colors in intricate and attractive patterns. A large, curved videopane mounted to the rear is playing some of Ibex's greatest racing moments while talented dancers flip and somersault on and around the float while tossing lighted batons.

    As the music swells to a climax, a platform at the center of the float rises, and sure enough--it's Blurr standing there on it. The crowd roars its approval, waving flags and banners with his name and/or image inscribed upon them.

    The float moves slowly but surely toward the line between territories! Blurr is certainly more out in the open now than any other time...but attempting to kill him now could very well him into a martyr. Or worse yet, fail -and- turn him into a -living- martyr, of sorts...
Sideswipe Now this music is awful. Painful to Sideswipe's audial receivers. Fortunately the twitching on his faceplate is masked enough by the cheers of the crowd so Sideswipe can at least fake it by going to twist his fist up in the air while surveying things. The Decepticon 'line' is present, but so far just seeming to watch. Well, when they meet up this is going to not be fun.
    Why couldn't the civilians have taken a different route? But.. Well, if it gets them to take the Cons a -little- more seriously it can't be all bad. And the Cons would have to be dumber than normal to open fire on a large crowd of noncombatants. Nothing would rally a lot more of the neutrals to be sympathetic to the Autobots than that while they were engaged in a ritual. But still, Sideswipe watches.
Shadowstar      Shadowstar winces at the sudden and very loud music, and that smirk fades to a frown after the wince. Especially as Blurr emerges. She makes a motion to the other troops, and they make a show of activating their weapons before doing a short and syncronized rifle spin. In a wave that passes down the line of Decepticons they bring their rifle to rest in the opposite direction than they were holding it in before.

     Once this showy display of power is done, Shadowstar steps forward to meet the incoming disc. Her smirk has returned, and she performs a rifle exercise of her own before bringing it to rest on her shoulder. "Greetings!" she says, raising a hand to wave lightly. "You may not realize it, but the Decepticons have great respect for athletic prowess. As such, orders have been given that we will escort you in military parade style through the Decepticon territory to ensure your safety and ours. We can be peaceable when we are dealt with fairly. And so...we will join you in honoring the great athletes of our race!"

     The line of Decepticons splits apart and steadily forms into two lines inside the Decepticon territory. "We will walk on the edges of the parade, ensuring the safety of the route. And hopefully you will realize we are not trying to destroy Cybertron or its citizens. We are merely fighting for our rights."

     From there, the route is clear and the disc float can continue on. But, it looks like this offer is likely non-negotiable. And refusal of the 'generous offer' could easily be painted in a light that favors the Decepticons.
Blurr     Shadowstar actually won't get any protests from the crowds. They just continue to cheer as the Decepticons file into formation around the procession. Whether it's at her or just more for Blurr, that's not quite clear.

    A glowing seat that pulsates in psychedelic light patterns comes up behind him, and he sits down casually as the float crosses the line into Decepticon territory. The former racer spots Shadowstar leading the charge for the Decepticons, and smirks, applauding the rifle show. "Hey there Starshadow, nice to see you again. Really nice of you to parade me around your sectors today." he says with a chuckle. And yep, very obviously sporting his badge as well. "Never would've expected you to think so -highly- of me. I mean, wow. Look at that." he says, gesturing toward the Con formation. Putting on a show and everything!"

    Once the first float passes the line, other floats follow. They're not quite as flashy as Blurr's, but still pretty extravagant, and are designed to honor other athletes of the past and present. Still, Blurr's the only Autobot.
Sideswipe So they're getting into Decepticon territory anyways! As far as Sideswipe is concerned, this is just a long delayed thing that he was saying he was going to do. And he's done it! Sure, it's not technically the same thing, but he's sneaking into enemy territory, no one has called him out yet.. Well, it's a win. Evne if it's not something that he'll be bragging over anytime soon. But it's the thought that counts down on his inner 'toldja I could do it' tracker.
    Resisting the urge to make a face over at the Cons in the crwod, Sideswipe continues milling about over with his arms crossed and letting himself be pulled along. For once there's not goign to be shooting and fighting. And they're all going to be (for the next couple breems maybe) getting to enjoy themselves. And then they can all bond over when the Mecha Soccer playoffs begin and every Cybertronian on the planet starts trying to kill one another when their favorite team gets eliminated/goes forwards. Becuase all societies have some level of consistency. The.. Engagement of Shadowstar and Blurr gets a very thinly veiled look of amusement. If this were someone -other- than Blurr doing this, Sideswipe might actually be inclined to go ahead and cheer.
Shadowstar      Shadowstar looks annoyed for a few moments as Blurr speaks up, but then she restores her mask of amicability and laughs. "Well, my opinion of you could not have gotten any lower, so I supposed up is the only direction it could go~ After all, your talents are going to waste with the Autobots. The rumors say you are almost as big a thorn in their side as you are in ours!" She giggles at this. "I am sure it is an exaggeration though. I mean, it is not like you are known for having an ego the size of Metroplex or for disregarding the feelings of your fellow Autobots, right?"

     It would be hard for Shadowstar to miss Sideswipe after their little skirmish on Rigel IV, but while her eyes do focus on him for a few moments she tries to ignore him for now. But, if he happens to look her way she does grin at him and wink.

     "Oh! One thing I forgot to mention!" Shadowstar adds as they are about to pass another intersection. "We Decepticons made a float of our own!" And...out from that intersection comes a float that has a large recreation of the Decepticon insignia in both front and back, and prints of their most famous gladiators on the sides with Megatron featured prominently. One of them is even atop the float. The infamous Quake. He grins and swings a massive chain mace around his head, and the float moves to take up the lead position in the parade.
Blurr     A good portion of the crowd starts booing when the gladiator float comes out. Not particularly because it's the Decepticons, but mostly because it's not racing! This was supposed to be about Race Day, not Random Other Sports day! But they don't really do anything to stop it, either, other than throwing engex glasses and other refreshments at it.

    Blurr laughs as Shadowstar escorts the procession yet deeper into Decepticon territory. "Could you get -any- more clueless? Ibex is all about -racing-, not gladiators, or any other sport for that matter." he taunts. "If you wanted to join in, you should've asked them what kind of float -they- would've wanted. And since -when- do -you- care about -feelings-?"

    He glances down at one of the drink vendors on the street below, as the float passes it on by. "Hey," he says, nodding toward Shadowstar. "You put yourself on duty, right? Why don't you go and actually -do- something? Fetch me one of those little engex shots, huh?"

    Thus far, he doesn't appear to have noticed Sideswipe grumping along.
Sideswipe Sideswipe is here over in not quite disguise, but just present over in the crowd in case the Cons do something. But, he's not making his usual ruckus either (unless Ruckus himself does show up). The presence of Quake on the float gets a bit of a lukewarm stare from him - it's again hard to pick out of him over in the crwod, and he goes to hold up his fist up in the air then to help cover for his lack of immedate noise and mood.
    The comments about 'racing' get a hoot from him - along with anyone else in the crowd, and he glances at the float again. And waits for Quake to get aggravated and start threatening folks. His servos tightening, Sideswipe goes to glance a quick optic over at the Decepticons. One would have thought they could have brought out Krok for this.. And while ordinarily he's all good with antagonizing the Cons.. WIth this many non combatants in place it might not go well.
Shadowstar      Shadowstar waves dismissively at Blurr's and the crowd's objections. "Do not be silly. Gladiator matches are as much foot race as fight. One has to be nimble enough to catch the other gladiator." she says.

     Quake grins as he is booed. He expected he would be, and even revels in it. The weak always boo him, after all. The strong appreciate him.

     When Blurr tries to order Shadowstar to get him a drink, her amicable demeanor is quite quickly replaced with a palpable air of disdain. She glares daggers at Blurr. "...I am here to escort the parade, not be one of your bimbo followers. If these people revere you so much, why do you even need to request a drink? I am surprised there is not a keg of some sort of low-class engex on this very float with you." It might be noticed that her trigger finger has slipped over the trigger of her rifle. She withdraws it eventually, but obviously wants to shoot Blurr for that one.

     "As for feelings, what made you think I do not care about feelings? If one does not care about them, one does not know how to use them~" she says.
Blurr     Shadowstar's reasoning doesn't really work. Well, they probably didn't really hear her, either, over all the music and now incessant booing and throwing of random relatively harmless objects whenever the gladiator float passes by.

    Blurr chuckles as he succeeds in wiping that fake amiable grin off of Shadowstar's face. "Smelt, you -said- you were here to join them in -honoring- the -great- athletes of Cybertron, out of which I'm obviously the best. So I just assumed such an easy thing would be no problem for a slick flyer like you. But fine, I won't push it, if it's too hard for you and your 'Decepticon pride'."

    "Oh, right. Sorry I meant since when do you care about anyone's feelings but your own." At this point, the float is progressing slowly down a causeway above South Ibex's most heavily fortified position, which is currently occupied by the Decepticons. The streets are still packed with civilians, some cheering Blurr, some booing Quake, while others are just sort of milling about enjoying themselves. Sideswipe would receive a transmission from Blurr, though. << Sidewipe--distract my 'escort', will you? I know you're off-duty, but you're here and you're the best candidate for that sort of thing. >> Yes, he just called him 'Sidewipe'.
Sideswipe Ole Yellow Optics' narrows said optics. So, not only is he playing bully boy again but he's doing it for Blurr -while- Blurr is mocking him. So.. Sideswipe goes to try and call out at the float and Quake on it. "Hey! I had five hundred shanix going on you in the pits! Not only did you -lose- innem to that Autobot slagger Sunstreaker but you ended up with your tank barrel stuck inna wall after it was yanked out! If you're going to bring out a -real- sportsman do it with someone that has a winning record!" Said gladitorial match might not have gone -that- badly for Quake. So, hopefully that gets Quake yelling at him, which gets the Decepticons watching Quake yelling, which does the job asked.
    "You were a jobber in the pits! Each time the creds were on you you always came apart like one of the glitches on the council tryin' to avoid goin out in the streets! If you're the representative of the Cons, you gotta be joking! Give us someone who was deadly int eh pits! Give us someone powerful! Give us someone that puts on a show! Not Sir Gets Slugged a Lot!" Hopefully accompanied by a chorus of laughs or boos from those who did watch the gladitorial circuit. Which may not have been remotely bad as Sideswipe implies.
Shadowstar      Shadowstar's frown deepens at the continued prodding by Blurr. She REALLY wants to shoot him right now. No one questions her flying skills! "Nothing is too difficult for me, you pompus glitchface! I'm just not going to demean myself for some arrogant poser! I did that for years in the Senate, and I will not do it again!" she exclaims at Blurr. "And do you even listen? I just said I care about the feelings of others because it can be beneficial to me. That is still caring about other's feelings, you know!" She notes where they are, but much like the crowd and Autobots thinking it would be foolish of the Decepticons to try something during the parade, the Decepticons think it would be foolish for the Autobots to try something. It would just give them an excuse to open fire and end the parade!

     Quake whirls around when he hears Sideswipe, and that infamous temper of his starts to show. "I dare you to come up -here- and say that! I'll turn you into scrap and show everyone why gladiator games are much more entertaining than a silly speed race!" he growls. It probably wouldn't take much more to get the loose cannon of a mech to let his cannons loose.
Blurr     Blurr watches as the float slowly passes the base. It's a good thing that thing is pretty big, and the parade is of course slow as expected, otherwise his opportunity might have slipped away already. << Come -on- Sidewipe you can do better than -that-... I need you to draw them away from my float, like -now-! >>

    Unfortunately, the crowd either doesn't hear or ignores Sideswipe's shouting, but it seems he is successful in getting Quake riled up. And that gets Quake to say something that angers the crowd. Since he is on the float, they definitely heard -that- one. "Ha! You got struts to say -that- in -Ibex- of all places, mech!" One particularly obnoxious mech hollers. More empty glasses and refreshments start getting hurled his way. And when Quake challenges Sideswipe, they seem to like the idea, and begin to goad him. "YEAH, SHOW 'IM!" they start shouting. "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!"

    Meanwhile, Blurr laughs at Shadowstar. "Nope!" he answers to her question of whether he even listens. "Not at all, and especially not to -you-, darling. Clearly it is too hard for you. What a conundrum. You announced to everyone that you were here to honor me, the -greatest- athlete of all time, and yet you can't even get me a drink. Typical Decepticon deception. I guess we shouldn't have expected anything less, given that's pretty much your faction's -name-."

    He glances over at the situation unfolding with Quake. "Well, well would you look at that. Looks like we might be needing some -security- to take action here, after all. Guess you'd better hop to it."
Sideswipe Aww come /on/! "Show us a -decent- Gladiator! Show us someone who made 'em shake int eh pits! Show us someone that isn't known fer bein' exploded so hard into the walls that they were digging 'em out solar cycles afterwards! SHow us someone that was a terror! Show us someone who made the pits shake in fear at them coming out! That ain't QUake! What you tryin' to do Cons? Dragging out this sorry aft? Give us a real fighter!" He goes to punch his fist up in the air once more.
    "This guy got torn in two inna pit fight! Then the two sides were used to flatten someone else! When he was up against someon ewith a -deceent- tank mode he got run over and flattened! He got crumpled so badly his cannon was rammed up his own exhaust port! He had a MiniBot jump onnim and yank his cannon up, shootin' down parts of the arena to flatten 'im! This is the guy who had a losin' recordin everything he's ever done! Give us a REAL fighter! Someone who could do stuff other'n take munitions into his gullet like a sharkticon doin' nibblets!"
    AT the chants of 'fight' Sideswipe grunts up at QUake, "Sure, so long as you don't mind that yer gonna cannon plant right over in front of the rest of the Cons! Come on, let's see if you can do that turbofox impression you did in the arena where yer head was krokked off, thrown up into the stands, and then you were used to dig a hole in the grond like a shovel!" He's definitely willing as he goes to head up.
    "I lost five hundred credits on you not offin' that slag of a twitch Sunstreaker! Come on, give us some -decent- competition." He's giong to quite willingly head up and over to the float if he goes to. But, ina ll likelihood Quake is probably going to charge him off for those possibly exaggerated tales of his defeat. Or maybe accurate ones. "So Sir BLows Uppa Lot, go ahead and show me what you don't got!"
Shadowstar      Shadowstar doesn't like serving ego-bloated mechs. She doesn't like Blurr in particular. She doesn't like having to act like they are being nicey-nice. But most of all? She doesn't like being -outmaneuvered-! "Well, if you aren't going to listen to me, then I am not going to listen to you! Besides, shouldn't your pit crew be the ones getting you drinks? That's practically their job already!"

     Sideswipe keeps running his mouth, and Quake growls before finally hopping off of his float. "Alright, that's enough outta you! I'm gonna tear out your vocalizer and feed it to you!" the big tank mech says as he charges toward Sideswipe, that big chain mace swinging for Sideswipe's face! This of course forces Shadowstar to groan and finally do something that Blurr said. "Quake! Stop that at once! That is an order!"

     Naturally, Quake doesn't stop once he gets going, and Shadowstar raises her rifle. "Last chance!" When Quake tells her to slag off, Shadowstar fires a double dose of her purple plasma at the gladiator. It hits him just as he is about to swing that chain mace, explodes against him, and sends him off balance before finally causing him to tumble off the bridge. And without even flinching, she takes up the spot on the Decepticon float. "I suppose it was improper of us to allow such a nusiance along on this magnificent parade anyway. Besides, I am a work of art and quite speedy in my own right~"

     The Decepticon soldiers who have been escorting the parade all exchange glances. Shadowstar glares at them and in her high-pitched voice calls out, "As you were! Let the festivities continue!"
Blurr     When Shadowstar actually shoots Quake and he falls off of the causeway, some of the cheering and booing stops. They didn't like him, but they didn't expect anyone to actually just shoot him like that, either! Especially not one of his own. Some of them get spooked and start panicking at the sound of a blaster bolt, while others just sort of stare.

    Blurr smirks when Shadowstar actually does what he told her to do. Ha! This just keeps getting better, a Decepticon took an order from an Autobot! But he doesn't waste any time, and while everyone's attention is focused on the altercation happening between Shadowstar and Quake, he slips off of the float and disappears into the crowd. If anyone looks back to the fancy platform where he just was, it's empty!
Sideswipe Sideswipe goes to hoot and holler down at the exploding QUake falling down the hole, off the bridge, and probably merrily exploding down the way. "You lost to a gal that ain't even in the gladiator pits!" He goes to pump his fist up in the air over then with a cheer of his own to add to that likely of the crowd. Mission accomplished. Hopefully that's enough for whatever distraction Blurr wanted. Which is probably to run and get some more polish for himself. Sideswipe has very low standards of expectations. But, he got to participate in getting one Decepticon to blow up another Decepticon (who in fairness probably would have exploded if left to his own devices).
    But, he grumbles over as the crowd goes mostly quiet, and he goes to head back over into it. Presuming he can, he would put up his irritated looking front again, trying to blend back in even as the float would be (unnoticed to him) empty of anyone on it.
Shadowstar      Shadowstar kind of likes shooting people like Quake, so it takes the sting of having to do what Blurr said away. At least a little bit. Shadowstar is a bit busy watching with some delight as the crowd starts panicking. "What is wrong with you bots? I just shot one of my own to protect all of you! And you reward me with fear and weakness? Tch. A little gratitude would be more appropriate, you know~"

     She doesn't notice Blurr is gone until she turns back toward his float to try and say something smart. She blinks upon seeing him missing, then looks around before laughing. "It seems even your hero Blurr cannot stand a bit of blaster fire that he himself requested! How pitiful!" Then she radios to the many soldiers around, <<"That egomaniac is up to something. Even numbers, fan out! Odd numbers, look in the crowd!">> Half of the soldiers step out of line, letting the parade pass, then start scouring the area for Blurr. The rest look through the crowd as the parade keeps going. Or at least...the Decepticon float does. The others might very well have stopped by now.

 
This scene contained 21 poses. The players who were present were: Blurr, Shadowstar, Sideswipe