Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Get Equipped With Guitar

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    Metal Man
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    Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/8/2018, 06:07

    Time: 2:59PM
    Date: November 8, 0009

    Despite his efforts to even sleep a wink, Metal Man had not. He'd had a lot to mull over in his processor after speaking with Kev for most of the night, laying out a lot of things, making plans to try to make amends, and generally trying to listen and come to an understanding. He had spent some time on re-designing his inn room first: hanging up the sawblades from his wrist and letting them frame a photograph of the Second Numbers that had been taken fifteen years before, adjusting where his furniture was, even choosing to leave his helmet on one of the smaller coffee tables as a symbol of what he was doing.

    Helmets were for combat. Masks were there to hide your emotions. If he really wanted to make a change, he was starting with the proactive step of choosing not to fight. Fighting had been part of what got him into this mess. Fighting had caused the aggression loop, and it had exposed an anxiety loop that wasn't easily closed; Kev called it "PTSD" but said to take that with a grain of salt. However, Metal Man felt as though there was something to that. One of the last things he remembered about his world was the trauma that the Stardroids caused the whole world--human and robot, Wily bot and Light bot and Cossack bot, rich and poor, urban and rural. Even now he perceived dangers that weren't there. Dangers that sent his mind spiraling into loops.

    Dangers that he felt made him dangerous in return.

    Three PM was what Kev told him; this was a one-time only thing, and he was going to hold to his word of meeting Kev there. He was going to be taking up the guitar. It wasn't about glamour. It wasn't about prestige. It wasn't that guitars were even cool. It was that he liked the feel of them in his hands. He liked the smooth wood. He liked the wiry strings. He liked how strumming them sounded. He liked that...they could be played by someone who chose to play an instrument with his left hand.

    Hey, robots didn't have true handedness, being ambidextrous, but that didn't mean a bot didn't sometimes choose which hand they preferred to do their tasks with!

    Then, there was the question of whether he would write his own song, modify a song, or find a song that fit the situation. He felt the third, while practical, was impersonal. The first, perhaps most difficult, was the most personal, but also the most risky. The second had its own difficulties, and could come off as ham-fisted if he tried it. But he wanted to do right by Scaramouche, and he wanted to do it while channeling his issues into music.

    Still, he was mulling over his thoughts. About how he wanted to deliver them too. About how Scaramouche had saved him whether he knew it or not. About how he was choosing to take responsibility and admit he'd wronged Scaramouche while locked in the reciprocal loop of his AI. How he had exacerbated it with his presence re-opening fresh wounds. How he was going to make a choice that he wasn't taking lightly in order to take care of his health, and make sure that Scaramouche knew that both the Sassin' Assassin and Kev had a hand in his realization. Ultimately, last he wanted to tell Scaramouche something major.

    That he realized what true strength was. It took a lot of strength to pound someone into the ground. But it took even more strength, it took true strength, to tell yourself that you weren't going to do something that endangered your health and the lives of others. That you felt that it was better for everyone if the one thing you were built to do was the one thing you decided not to do without reason. That you wanted to heal yourself by helping others.

    He whistled a bell-clear whistle in greeting, single note.
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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Kev on 11/8/2018, 21:12

    When Kev, at last, made his way home, the alien had collapsed into bed with his partner. He apologized for the emotional outburst which Fear could feel thanks to the mind link. He explained what had happened, and what would happen. The past week had become more complicated than the scaly man figured it would. But...this always happened when somebody new showed up. Somebody who had been here before without those same memories. He slept deeply, woke up to do his morning exercises, and enjoyed breakfast tea with his family. A few chores were done before he decided it was time to go meet up with Metal Man. Dressed in his dapper outfit to stave off the cold weather, he pocketed the keys to the store and gave everyone a warm goodbye before he left.

    Part of him was still very tired. Seeing the young robot was like a reminder. And now he was taking that same robot to the store. Where Kev used to work with her. Skyler, ex-girlfriend to the previous iteration of Metal Man. It wasn't the same person, it wasn't the same person but damn he so wanted to be past thinking about how she'd disappeared. One day, she'd been one of his best friends. A coworker, who shared a guest room in his house with Livewire. The next, completely gone. As if she'd never been there.

    Now there was this new Metal Man, and he'd hurt Scaramouche. Without Kev and Lunette... Things would have been messy. He had to step in. He had to help the situation before things exploded beyond repair. Things weren't exactly good right now and he reminded himself to give the jazzy robot a visit. But maybe... Maybe things could be fixed. They weren't beyond the point of no return yet. With his hands shoved into his pockets, the scaly alien was distracted as he entered into the Business District. He nearly missed the whistle, blinking back into awareness of the world at large. He searched for crimson and found the young robot easily. "Hey." Glancing around, Kev easily found his store. Approaching the storefront, he led the way down the stairs in front of the building. Their destination was a floor below, it seems! Down the stairs was a single door, which he used his keys to unlock. A click! sounded. "How'd you sleep?" The alien inquired briefly before he shoved the door open.

    Like all basements, it was rather dark. Kev flicked a switch and the place was lit up by a few light bulbs in the ceiling. Shelves lined one side of the wall, several boxes piled upon them and a stepladder for easy access. The only area seemingly not used for storage was a small space in the corner with a punching bag in it. He approached the shelves and began to search around. He glanced over a shoulder and decided to make a little conversation. "People usually come to the store to buy music and video games, but we also have some instruments. My...old boss used to offer lessons. And if somebody needed a specific instrument that wasn't based on something from Earth, she'd put in a special order for it." Sliding a box with a violin inside down the shelf, Kev let out a pensive hum. "You said...you needed a lefty guitar, right? Does how it looks matter at all?"


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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/8/2018, 21:42

    "I...didn't sleep." His optics focused intently. While creases didn't really form on titanium faces, if they had, there would have been deep, sleepless creases beneath his optics. Instead of sleep, he had refueled, and refueled again before he finally emerged from the inn. "Sleep well? Or at least...moderately okay?" His voice creaked softly. It wasn't him making small talk, at least, not to him. Every word was carefully measured, carefully cut from his vocalizer right now.

    If he was going to take responsibility for himself, that was something he figured he must do; carefully measure and meter out his words. Not let himself be lured into the trap of letting his emotions decide what words happened. Not let himself be lured into the words the loops wanted him to drop. No. He was going to make sure he was in control of that. Or, well, he was going to die trying. Which, given how Scaramouche had drawn that eight inch knife, had almost been a real possibility. The aggression loops that both of them had slipped into. That Kev had to pull them out of. That Lunette had to help pull Scaramouche out of. That knife still flickered in his mind and he could almost envision it plunging into his power core, repeatedly, while he screamed.

    Actually, maybe that was why he hadn't slept a wink.

    His ears flicked lightly in the room, as though to stir the air a little. Or maybe to gather the sense of his surroundings. They did have slight sensory functions outside of his hearing function, and they were more than just emotive. "Doesn't matter how it looks so long as it sounds. I know most folks have an aesthetic but...eh. Beggars can't be choosers. Besides, I haven't...I haven't developed an aesthetic." His frame slumped lightly, rumpling his cloak slightly. Though sections of his chestplating and paldrons were visible, he had taken great care to cover the blades on his paldrons. This wasn't about looking nice, or even "innocent". No one with blood on their hands like he had--both figuratively and literally--ever had any illusions of innocent. No. This too was a proactive step. Minimize his own threat level, in order to minimize the threat to others. It was why he had removed the blades at his wrists as well, and removed his helmet. And so far, he seemed to be sticking to this. Even if it wasn't exactly what one would call completely "safe"--safe wasn't something that should be called easy either. Just like his path.

    "If you can only find a righty though, I can adapt." He added quickly. Then, realizing how that sounded, his ears canted down. "I mean that by the way. My motor functions should adapt to either handedness. Even for music."
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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Kev on 11/9/2018, 02:17

    Hm. Didn't sleep. Was that because Metal didn't need to? Or because he couldn't? "I slept like the dead." Kev chuckled at his inside joke. Stressful as the night had been, all it took was the feeling of Fear's long arms wrapping around his body for the alien to fall into a deep slumber. Probably assisted by the ghoul gobbling up any potential nightmares. He certainly didn't remember having any!

    "Doesn't matter how it looks so long as it sounds."

    Fair, fair. That made sense. It wasn't like a flashy paint job was going to help Metal with his apology song! What mattered was that it be tuned and make all the right notes. The young robot admitted to not having much of an aesthetic anyway. Going off of impulse, the alien was tempted to suggest skulls. It fit a young teenager. But uh, considering the combat trigger thing, perhaps not the best idea! "Mm, give it time. I'm sure you'll find something you like." If there was anything the Wily-bot had in abundance here, it was time. Time to grow, to change. To nourish the parts of him that had been left aching. To learn what he liked and disliked. To test himself and improve. There was no rush either. If he wanted a normal guitar, he'd have it. Could always upgrade later.

    "Don't worry, I think I can find a lefty. We don't sell many left-oriented instruments, obviously. So we ought to have at least a couple on standby." Kev reassured as he shifted, finally identifying the shelves that carried guitars! His round blue eyes scanned each sticker carefully, passing on a couple of boxes before finding one that was labeled as a lefty. "Aha." He pulled it down off of the shelf gently, the box a sturdy one that stretched across the length of his arms. Turning back towards Metal, the alien turned the box so that the robot could see the informative sticker. "This one's an acoustic guitar. Left-handed too."

    Kev's gaze briefly flickered to the price tag. Ah...right. Right, right, right. Throughout all of this, they'd never really discussed payment, had they? He flushed, a little embarrassed as he temporarily grappled for what to say. A little whisper wriggled in the back of his mind, tenderly implanting an idea. The scaly man looked down to his shadow, bashful for a moment. A brief mental expression of thanks before he returned his gaze to Metal. "You can borrow this, for a while. If, after this apology with Scaramouche, you find you don't really care for it, you can bring it back. And if you feel like keeping it...we can arrange something. If you really wanna keep it, then one day you can buy it." After all, he highly doubted the young 'bot was raking in the dough after being here for a mere handful of days. He'd need to build up his credits over time.


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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/9/2018, 05:50

    "Kehe...sounds like one of us got sleep. I bet the others on my floor actually got sleep and the noise-dampening wards on my room didn't have to overcompensate for my...ah...noisy sleep pattern." That was to say, he usually snored like a roaring buzzsaw, or worse, like a symphony of chainsaws. There was a reason he'd had a room off to himself in Skull Fortress, and that reason was that most of his brothers wanted to actually get some sleep. And that, that of course had involved not hearing the roaring of saws when faced with a sleeping number nine curled on his side, a steady stream of mouth lubricants coating his pillow.

    And of course, there was the whole thing that his old man's motif was skulls. Did he necessarily want to cramp Dr. Wily's style? C'mon, he was rebelling against his old man! He was even tempted to change out the skull pin on his cloak for something different. Like an 8-bit sprite of a cat with a poptart for a body, or a heart. That'd really be stickin' it to the doc! "True. Maybe something that...distinguishes me from m'family. Somethin'...Metal. And not...Wily." Yeeeeeeeeeah. Skulls were definitely out. Considering...yanno. Wily's motif.

    Ears perked up brightly, his own red optics seeming to widen. Perfect! He wasn't much of an electric guitar type anyway. Save that for a Doctor Light Number who could power his own guitar and amp with his bare hands. "That'll be perfect! I...I hear electric ones are temperamental for someone who's not such an...electric personality..." Okay, maybe that was the worst pun in existence because it wasn't like Kev had met Doctor Light Number 008--Elec Man--before. Metal had, of course, during the Stardroid incident. Hell, he helped put HIS arm back on too, just like with Cut Man. Man, what was it with Light Numbers losing their arms? Or was that just a Stardroids ripping limbs off thing? Come to think of it, last he saw of one of the Stardroids, that one had been missing an eye so maybe they just liked to maim in general...UGH. No, no, don't trigger a loop. He was calm. He was okay. The Stardroids weren't here and couldn't kill them in this room. any heat that almost looked like it was starting to build from a minor panic dissipated with a small woosh of air from the audial vents and his back-chassis vents.

    For once, his optics welled up with tears that weren't of anger or frustration. A small stream of alcohol-based optical lubricant that doubled as robot tears dripped down his cheek and he gave a small smile. "I promise I'll find a way to pay you back for this. N-no, I guarantee--ugh that sounds threatening. I...we'll figure out a payment plan! There we go. That sounds more like...like...someone normal right? The payment plan, not the 'I guarantee I'll pay you back'. Ugh, that sounds like something my dad would have screamed at Dr. Light." He ran his right hand through his synth hair, silver strands from the bangs mixing with platinum-gold strands from the rest of the head.

    Yes, under all the bravado, all the tough-guy act, all the lines of code, he really just was a socially-awkward kid whose dad had been more focused on revenge than actually raising him. And that, that was actually kind of the sad part. But Metal didn't think it excused how he'd been. And that's why he was getting the guidance to try to set right what once went wrong.
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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Kev on 11/9/2018, 13:16

    "Mm, snore a lot, do you? I understand how that goes... I don't snore but I do uh...'talk', in my sleep." Seeing how the scaly man spoke with telepathy due to his lack of mouth, Kev hoped Metal could put two and two together on how he sleeptalked. Just as the robot's noise might come from those buzzsaws that made up his form. If Fear was ever annoyed by Kev mumbling in his sleep, there was always the reliable ol' aluminum nightcap! But the ghoul never mentioned anything about it. Not unless he said anything particularly amusing.

    "True.  Maybe something that...distinguishes me from m'family.  Somethin'...Metal.  And not...Wily."

    He gave an understanding nod. "Yeah, that'd be a good idea. You can make your own identity. Experiment around a little. Test the waters and see who you are without him." It was the most rational thing to do. Especially if you'd spent your life always assigning yourself value based on who was around you. Metal Man was proud to be Dr. Wily's robo-son, but what was he without the man? Without his brothers? Could he stand on his own, or would he crumble? The thought of how an electric guitar might interact with a robot hadn't quite come to Kev's mind, though Metal probably had a point. Would playing one see him zapping himself? The crimson robot was definitely trying to make some sort of pun, but the scaly man didn't quite get it. Was he referring to himself? Or a brother? With a little shrug, he approached to stand next to Metal with the guitar's box still snug in his hands.

    "I figured it'd be easier to learn, too." The only additional supplies Metal would need would be a pick, which ought to come with the guitar. An electric guitar would need wires, an amplifier...all sorts of things. The robot was going to be making an apology song, not a rock concert! Kev glanced up at the 'bot's face and saw a pair of watery optics. Confusion clouded his big ole eyes. Hm? Did he...say something wrong?

    "I promise I'll find a way to pay you back for this.  N-no, I guarantee--ugh that sounds threatening.  I...we'll figure out a payment plan!  There we go.  That sounds more like...like...someone normal right?"

    Aah... He presented the box for Metal to grab, the corners of his eyes crinkling a little. "We'll figure it out. There's no rush!" The cynical part of his mind reminded him that the robot could disappear any day and totally rip him off any money owed, but those thoughts were doused. They weren't constructive. "We'll just take things one step at a time. And after you and Scaramouche have patched things up, you can save up credits to pay this off. And like I said, there's no rush. So don't pinch your pennies and keep yourself from buying things you'll need." The money would be nice, but it'd do no one any good to make Metal suffer just to pay back a guitar. After the young 'bot would take the guitar, the alien didn't immediately usher him back upstairs to leave. He turned thoughtful, gaze to the simple flooring as he pondered. Now that Metal had his guitar and would start to learn to play it, how was the rest of this going to go...?

    "...When you're done learning the guitar and figuring out what you want to sing for Scaramouche, get in contact with me. I can give you my cell number. I can't...talk, but I can text." A hand dug the little electronic device from his pocket, giving it a wriggle to show to Metal. "I hope it's not asking too much that I...ask to be there when you two meet up. For support and to be a mediator, you know? Just...when you're ready, tell me and I'll help organize for the three of us to meet up somewhere nice." Someplace neutral but still inviting!


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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/9/2018, 15:10

    He couldn't help but laugh, crooking a finger in front of his mouth at admitting he snored, and badly. "Horribly. I've woken myself up thinking that someone had a chainsaw at my audials if that tells you how bad." He couldn't help it--he did keep his sinusoid vents clean but like a prototype there were always some flaws in various places. As a result, what would have been a minor snore that Dr. Wily had programmed to make sure he knew when he was in sleep mode had turned into a symphony of saws roaring loud enough to wake even Metal himself, and the bot usually slept like logs in a forest. "Not so unusual. At least it isn't about revenge this and 'kiboshing my project' that..." But who was that? The world may never know...

    "Yeah, that'd be a good idea. You can make your own identity. Experiment around a little. Test the waters and see who you are without him."

    His own identity. He'd never gotten a chance to think about that kind of thing before, having had the identity of a warrior pushed on him from the moment that he had been activated on September 9th, 200X. But what was he without that? What was he when he wasn't throwing sawblades in the name of a vengeful man? When he was hurting others? "I...I never got a chance to do that before. I mean...I explored things sometimes. Like dancing and...sometimes various sports. Mostly team sports with my brothers. I don't think soccer would catch on here though, and even if it did, a gear field ain't the best idea, kehehehehehehe!" In hindsight, that had been the stupidest idea he had ever thought of. Making folks dizzy. Making himself dizzy. Robo motion sickness instead of soccer. Yeah, that was about as bright as running your mouth to a demon a hundred times your size and twenty times your power level. Or even to a human twice your age who had the strength to back up his big talk on you. Never again. Nope. That had been why he wisely chose not to run his mouth when it came to any of the Cybertronians at all. In fact, he kind of liked Knock Out. The guy was sarcastic and hilarious and fun, balancing out his vanity. And Lightning Ray had been gentle and kind to him, even when he had been frigid. "Might...might be fun to figure out who the real me is. I just hope I end up liking the real me." It seemed he didn't like himself as it was. But most prototypes were like that, he surmised. He didn't know if Doctor Light Number 000 was the same way.

    He scratched his chin idly with his bare digits. "Well, acoustics do tend to be easier to learn. String instruments too." He knew that part from experience. He'd tried to learn to play one of the Third Numbers' recorders, and one of the Fifth Numbers' flutes. He forgot which ones, but as he recalled the Third wasn't so bothered and even offered him tips though he failed anyway. The fifth number, however, had shoved his mouth full of roses and screamed at him like a raving lunatic. Come to think of it, he'd blanked most of that incident out of his memory banks. Damn.

    No rush. No rush. No, he was pretty sure that there wasn't a red robot dog in the area. Oh right, Kev meant the other kind of rush, the act that Quick Man was infamous for. "Yeah. One step at a time. Like a waltz, yeah?" Well, he did think of things in term of dancing as a way to help himself pace himself. Though he'd had a habit of pinching his pennies except when it came to getting a decent oil change. Or E-Tanks. He needed to keep his energy up after all. "Oh, don't worry. I've got a load of experience with saving money while making sure I'm taken care of." He gave a small smile. Again, it came with being in his family. Dr. Wily tended to burn through his money like a fish going through water, all in the name of revenge. It had been up to the robots themselves to save up for their own needs and wants. Or raid a junkyard like a few of them had done to build their cars for the Battle and Chase. Quick Man had ended up with a pretty sweet ride. Metal Man had considered joining the Battle and Chase but, truth be told, a car with buzzsaw hubcaps hadn't worked out so well.

    "That's not too much. I'd feel more comfortable with that. Since you'd...be able to help us both out of aggression loops. And that other loop I talked about." The one that sounded much like PTSD, or a panic attack. Something of a bit of traumatic mental loop. "O-oh, yeah, somewhere nice would be wonderful! Especially if it's somewhere that Scaramouche enjoys. I...should discover myself before I decide where I'd love to go." He sounded quite a bit more eager, wanting to make good on everything. He even seemed to rock on his feet different when seeming a little less of a mess. No, it wouldn't take the metaphorical (or in the case of Shen, physical) bood off his hands, but he definitely seemed like a different bot when he had no reason to be aggressive.
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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Kev on 11/9/2018, 18:52

    "Sounds noisy. And a little startling." Nobody liked being startled awake! Least of all, by a saw. Sleep murmurs about revenge and 'kiboshing' a project... Kev arched a brow but otherwise didn't comment. He moved on instead to Metal's admission that he had never really explored himself before. Minor things, such as dancing and even sports! But on the whole, he wasn't given the space to try things out. He was likely subject to the whims of his 'father'. The mention of soccer saw the alien chuckling fondly, though he didn't elaborate on whatever he was thinking. Fear was a fan of 'football', as they called soccer overseas.

    "I've learned a lot about myself in the years that I've been here. Honestly, I'm still learning. Just because you find yourself happy with where you are, doesn't mean you should stop exploring what you can do. You're probably always going to learn something new. As for whether you'd like the real you..." Kev glanced away, a finger idly scratching at his own chin. "I don't know. I think...before you can love anyone else, you must love yourself." The statement came with...a bit more weight than Metal might really understand. The alien's gaze remained off of the robot as he continued. "I guess you should look at yourself as you are now, and imagine what you think the best you would be. And aim for something in the middle that's...achievable. Trying to make amends with Scaramouche is already on the fast track to being good. That's something worth liking yourself for."

    "Yeah...brass instruments would be harder to learn, I think." So a guitar was a good idea after all. Simple enough to learn, but meaningful too. It'd show that Metal put in time and effort into his apology. And since the jazzy robot liked music so much... It would hopefully help to bridge the gap between the two. They certainly couldn't be back to being whatever they had been before but... It was best for them both to make peace and understand each other. Kev just wanted to see Scaramouche smile again.

    "Exactly like a waltz. You move too quick, you'll trip over and fall down." An imaginative way to think about it, that's for sure! Fitting too. Moving forward would be like a dance, no need to barge ahead or skip any steps. "Yeah...?" The scaly man tilted his head at Metal curiously. "I'm glad to hear that." He didn't know what life was like with Dr. Wily. Despite the doctor's presence on the Breach for a time, Kev had no memories of him. Other than bits of the Ra Moon affair.

    "Good..." Kev breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you." Scaramouche would no doubt be a bit twitchy without him there, and Metal... It wasn't that the alien didn't trust him to pull this off, it's just that his strange little ah...loops seemed easy to trigger. "I think I might have something in mind." The lanky robot was quite fond of coffee! It seemed to give him comfort. So a nice warm cuppa would be good. He began to lead the way to the stairs but soon found himself pausing at the door. Those little triggers of Metal...in so soon they had already posed a problem. Metal was making plans for improvement, but maybe...maybe he needed something more. Some advice.

    "I obviously won't always be around when you might...find yourself in another loop. I still don't know for sure if what you're going through is PTSD," Or if perhaps it was a rampancy like Scaramouche's, "But I've been there." Kev stepped out of the doorway and shuffled to the side so Metal could leave the basement. After turning the lights off, the alien stared into the dark room. "A lot of us here are broken. A lot of us have these...beasts. Up here." He tapped his own temple lightly. "PTSD, aggression loops, negative thoughts, they all make up this...beast in us. And it prowls, and growls, and hungers for more. It wants to be fed, and we feed it by paying attention to it. By giving it what it wants. Turning to apathy, or picking fights. Hurting ourselves or others. But see, what the beast really wants is us. It wants to devour us. And this beast...will never truly leave. I thought...that I was over..." His hands clenched, eyes unfocused for a moment as he remembered spiky brown hair and a friendly purple optic. The way that friendly glow dulled over time until at last it was extinguished.

    A deep breath in...and then back out. "It will never go away completely. But...we can tame it." He shut the door soundly, locking it with a click. "Taming the beast is different for everyone. I meditate. Sometimes people pick up pet projects. Maybe playing the guitar will help you. Knowing the sort of things that bait that beast works too, such as how combat and threats affect you. Be mindful, be honest when things are too much, and never be afraid to remove yourself from a situation if you can't handle it."


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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/9/2018, 20:01

    "Very much so. On both accounts." He admitted quietly. He'd always been so subject to the whims of Dr. Wily, or sometimes to the whims of his own brothers. Oh, how many times his brothers had used their own aggressive--or passive-aggressive--means to make him do what they wanted! He could probably fix a car engine thanks to Quick Man, or even perform an admirable Romeo on stage for Romeo and Juliet thanks to Star Man, but the truth of the matter was he didn't like car racing, and he wasn't exactly fond of theatre. And of course he really wasn't so sure that going out in nature like Wood Man and Snake Man wanted was even the wisest thing for him because the last time he'd done that, he'd almost upset himself by nearly stepping on a little rabbit! Hey, he had a heart deep under everything, even if it was jagged and metal and sharp.

    He listened closely for the advice. "So, as Star Man quoted from his favorite celebrity--if you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else--right?" He didn't quite understand the weight it carried; he wasn't one to actively search for romantic love to replace the love he didn't have for him. He didn't know that the previous version had been dating someone for that very reason--to try to find the love he didn't have for himself in another. He then paused softly, mulling on those words. Think of himself as he was now. Bottom of the barrel. An angry, lonely kid from a large and boisterous family who, frankly for the most part had treated him like crap because he was the prototype to all of them. After all, How many of them had threatened to throw his own blades at him if he didn't do what they wanted? Okay, maybe only a handful, but among them was Bass who could actually copy them and fling them at him, and still have time to sic Treble on him for good measure. "I...I never thought of it that way. That trying to do a good deed is...worth it."

    Honestly, a guitar was probably the best option for him anyway. He could probably even have custom sawblade-shaped picks made one day, and that would be pretty neat. It was time efficient without being troublesome like brasses and woodwinds, and without being a hard-to-move constant noise violation like the drums. He just wanted to do it right. And doing it right took effort. Manageable effort. Effort that took small bounds, little waltz steps, that learned the small steps to the Ballet rather than trying to dive right into performing Swan Lake as he had put it in the Sanctuary. Or rather, in the gardens of the Sanctuary. He seemed to rub his right hand through the synthetic, metallic hued locks. To think, Dr. Wily had almost given him red hair except silver bangs--but had ultimately decided to play on the whole metal theme.

    The truth was, he knew he needed to work on his loops. The aggression from threats. The aggression from fights. The fear. The things that scared him most, seeing so many robots so near death because of a mad band of alien robots. Not to mention, well, that time Treble ripped off his arm for a chew toy. Yeah, a large dog or Nargacuga could trigger that one. He didn't know, of course, that Kev was planning on somewhere coffee was served. As to be expected, if the place served hot cocoa, that would be Metal's choice. If not, he'd as soon go for a mocha latte with plenty of whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. Yes, he had a fondness for chocolate that rivaled Scaramouche's love of coffee.

    He listened closely. The likening of their issues to a "beast" inside was something he'd never thought of before. But at the same time, the analogy made sense. It was like...his own little mental Treble, trying to rip his processes apart, rip him apart. Make him hurt others like the gnashing blades of the Metal Blades. Make him nothing more than an empty, soulless machine. He knew there was something more that had hurt Kev--from the other Metal's presence--but he knew better than to push. That was a part of being mindful, he knew. Sometimes you just didn't push on it, or jimmy it open with a blade because that just made the hurt worse. "...Maybe I should be careful around...Curi I believe you called him? Too, I mean. Not just because of threats and stuff. It's a long story and a world away though." He wanted to say he was relieved Bass, and by extension, Treble, weren't there but that would do two things: A) jinx him, and B) delve into the tale of Treble's viciousness. He knew now that fighting Shen had been too much on him. Not just because it had pushed him hard physically. It had opened him up to what his loops had done to him. What parts of his program had made him harm others. Hell, even the sight of blood had been too much. He didn't think he could handle seeing the kind of thing he had done to Shen ever being done to anyone else again. So with all due respect to Scaramouche, if the assassin wanted him to ever fight Shen again, with or without him there, he was going to politely decline and be honest that it was too much and put him in a bad mental place. And if he was ever cornered into a spar by someone, he'd take another tally in the L column, gladly. Truth be told, he'd almost done that against Shen, while slumped on the ground after the back of his head had cracked into the wall.

    "And...if I notice any other glaring glitches, ask someone with experience--be it Scaramouche or...maybe even the doctor at the hospital, yeah?" It was something that one might not have necessarily thought of quickly, but it had cropped up in his mind. That if he did glitch in some way, he knew he should seek help.
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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Kev on 11/10/2018, 01:47

    "So, as Star Man quoted from his favorite celebrity--if you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else--right?"

    Star Man? Eh? Not a brother Kev was familiar with, nor was he sure about the celebrity, but he couldn't deny how true that was! He chuckled genuinely as he fixed his hat. A shelf corner had turned it around and made it crooked. "Exactly right! Keep that in mind, and I don't think you'll be lead astray." Here's hoping this Metal was more thoughtful about getting into relationships. Though, even if the previous version of the 'bot hadn't been careless, such words were important to live by regardless! On a similarly serious note, it seems it had never occurred to Metal that doing a good deed would have a worth all on its own. The alien gave a little shrug. "A kind gesture for a stranger or a friend could be just the thing to brighten their day. That, in and of itself, makes it worth it." Perhaps it wasn't glorious, or particularly amazing, but it was something.

    Along the lines of Metal's triggers, it seems that Curiosity was one somehow. He turned to the robot with arched brows. Not exactly surprised, of course! Friendly as he was, the Nargacuga was pretty big! Besides, hadn't Curi been itching to spar the robot, or at least chew on him...? "Yeeeah..." Kev droned. "That would...be a good idea. I don't know if anything happened between you two, or if it's just because of what happened last night, but... Curiosity kept asking me about biting you." Self-conscious and perhaps a little defensive over the fluffy beast, the keys jangled as his hands fiddled with them. "He really isn't so bad, he just... doesn't understand boundaries sometimes. And he's always pretty eager to pick a spar with people. I think it's his animal instincts." Certainly hoped so, at least! Maybe he needed to arrange a talk with Curi about wanting to chew on people? Ugh.

    "That's a good idea, Metal. I think either of them would be able to answer your questions. Especially the doctor." Despite being the father of two robots, Kev was rather ill-informed about how to handle glitches. He remembered that Livewire used to have one, but it had been taken care of eventually. Marvin had never shown any signs of trouble. If the crimson robot needed help with a raging glitch of some kind, the lean alien would unfortunately not be a good candidate. He pocketed his keys and lead the way back up the stairs, leading them both to the storefront again. Metal had his guitar, he'd given his advice, and they'd organized something of a payment plan. That seemed to cover about everything. For now at least!

    To him at least, this seemed to mean it was time to leave. The alien needed a little bit of space anyway. Perhaps he'd head back home to decompress before making a potential trip out to the Tavern. "I guess this is where we part, for now. You've got a guitar to learn, after all! ...Unless you have any questions?" Glancing over at Metal, Kev pondered for a moment and dug out his cellphone once again. A thumb swiped across the front to get through the lock screen. "And, of course, I can give you my number. ...You can text, right? If not, I guess we could work out something else." As long as it wasn't as primitive as using birds to send notes.


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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/10/2018, 06:12

    Truth be told, he couldn't remember Star Man's favorite celebrity's name--just that there was something off about the lady and he couldn't quite put a crimson ceramic titanium finger on just what was so off about the woman. Maybe if he watched the show that Star Man raved about. Eh. One day. His expression then softened. A kind gesture for a stranger or a friend couldbe just the thing to brighten their day. It reminded him of Kyoko when he first arrived, and how she had brightened at hearing an honest-to-goodness honorific for the first time in a while. It reminded him of how telling Knock Out he liked his sass had brightened the mech. It even reminded him of Scaramouche so painfully much that he almost felt fresh tears well up, a pang jabbing him in the core. Yeah, he was definitely going to learn guitar, and find the right song, and if he got lost in the music, well, by Asimov he was going to sing with tears in his eyes.

    "A lot of things...Cornering in the rafters things. Thought he was...going to literally dis-arm me." If by dis-arm, he meant rip off his arm, Treble style, with chips and wires dangling and oil dripping. For a moment, his left optic started to have faint traces of ones and zeroes cross it, but he took a deep breath. "I can't fault him for that. The poor little guy...kind of like how I'm sometimes bound completely by my coding." Oh, like during the spar. When Shen figured out about his little pattern. He couldn't attack without someone attacking. Take the first shot. A threat. His ears seemed to flit a little at the thought. That was something he'd need to delve into on his own. See if maybe that was related. No, see why it was related. His battle A.I. had been something that locked him into one of the loops as he well knew.

    He gave a relieved look, having thought about it well. SALLI had been good about listening to him when he'd needed his ear repaired. So if he was having glitches, it stood to reason that she would understand the damage to his system in some form if she could delve into his subroutines as well. But he would cross that bridge when he came to it. If he came to it.

    "No questions. Maido ookini." He seemed to bow in a form of gratitude. Perhaps this was how they thanked someone in the Osaka dialect of Japanese? He perked up and nodded. "Yeah. I'm capable of comm-to-text and receiving texts in my H.U.D."
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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Kev on 11/10/2018, 15:08

    "A lot of things...Cornering in the rafters things.  Thought he was...going to literally dis-arm me."

    Oy vey... Fluffy, why must you do these things? How many times did Kev have to bap you on the nose before you realize people in the Sanctuary are not prey? "Tulsit... I think maybe he was just trying to be funny? He likes to tease people like that sometimes. But I completely understand if you don't exactly see any humor in uh... Someone pretending that they're gonna rip off your arm." Very few people would laugh at that, honestly! Curi, Curi, Curi, what was Kev going to do with you? Ya big, sharp, goofball. The alien stared at the robot's optics. Did numbers flash across one of them for a second or was he just seeing things...?

    "Yeah, it can be tough to fight against instincts and coding. Still, it'd definitely be a good idea to avoid him or at least... give him space. When we're in the Sanctuary we can pull up a shield to protect ourselves so if he ever gets a little too close or playful? Just imagine a shield coming up to protect you, and you should be safe from all harm." He certainly didn't want to think Curi would hurt Metal on purpose without being told to! But he also knew the creature's idea of fun might be a bit much. Especially if big fluffy critters were a trigger for the robot.

    The phrase was foreign, but Kev figured it to be an expression of gratitude. He returned Metal's bow respectfully, leaning forward and tilting his head down. Ah, so he could text like Scaramouche! "Good!" The scaly man was more than a little relieved. It would make arranging this apology easier than needing to track Metal down. There was no guarantee that he'd be at the Inn when Kev needed to give him details for where to meet, after all! "My number is 538-625-8277!" His phone number, ironically enough, also spelled out his full name!


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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/10/2018, 15:45

    "Probably.  He's kind of cute when he's...not being threatening though."  Cute was about right, when Curi was actually relaxed and calm.  Metal himself was glad that he'd managed to fight the triggering thoughts for the first time, by remembering what Kev had told him.  Curi was just acting on instinct.  Curi probably didn't understand better and probably felt he had to defend his territory in some way.  It was a lot like the Skull Fortress really.

    Metal blinked.  He hadn't known about the shield, but then sighed with relief.  "That, that I can do.  Thanks."  He definitely seemed way calmer, much more rational, and more open to listening ater he'd been settled.

    His optics blinked and he committed it to memory.  He then gave a small smile.  "My communications code should display as 396-009-9459."  Mind you, his brothers had a different center number each, not that he'd mention a certain one's comm number.  "Alright.  Perhaps we'll see each other sometime.  May I at least know a few simple songs by then!"  He had a chipper and cheerful look, both of his ears wriggling.  "Take care."


    Last edited by Metal Man on 11/10/2018, 20:26; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Kev on 11/10/2018, 19:12

    "Yeah...he's like a giant kitty cat with wings." It helped that the alien was privy to Curiosity's thoughts. They were rather tame for the most part! Filled with lots of trauma by now, and certainly not tame when he was hunting, but there were moments when the Nargacuga acted like an oversized hatchling. Such as last night when the fluffy dork pouted about not getting any food from Scaramouche! When he wasn't trying to be a little bully, Curiosity could be downright adorable.

    "You're very welcome." The shields were definitely something most people learned 'in the moment'. There had admittedly been fewer fights breaking out to need them, as far as Kev knew at least. Still, the shields were useful tools. A shame they couldn't be used outside of the community building, but that was what the ISOs were for! "Oh," Holding his phone a little tighter, the alien's khaki colored thumbs were a blur as he typed the number in. "Thank you. We'll definitely see each other again, and I hope you enjoy learning to play the guitar!" Pocketing his phone once again, Kev bowed his head lightly as he gave a friendly if tired wave.

    "Good luck, Metal! I'll see you around!" Preferably under better circumstances. Kev began to walk away, pausing only to assess where exactly he was in the business district. Hm. Perhaps he should pick up some things from the supermarket. The kitchen could use some groceries, and there were some animal supplies to pick up too! Making a mental checklist, the scaly man hummed to himself as he got to stepping down the sidewalk. Grocery store, then home to snuggle and relax, then he'd check up on Scaramouche and Lunette. Sounded like a plan to him!


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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

    Post by Metal Man on 11/10/2018, 20:38

    A giant kitty cat with wings, huh? Oof. That was the second somewhat vicious kitty-being in his lifetime. Thank goodness Curi wasn't purple, alien robot, and named for a dwarf planet. And he had a plan to keep himself a little safer should he encounter the feline wyvern stranger again. "Good thing I'm not scared of...most cats." No, just Stardroid cats and kitty wyverns.

    Hopefully the comm code hadn't sounded so dumb--Dr. Wily was, after all, uncreative and had essentially made each comm code the DWN number of the bot using the comm...plus "Wily". "I hope so too." Hell, he'd learn fingerstyle rather than even just pick if he could. Put those grips to good use on those digits, boy! Make the music sing out of your sawbladed soul! His core was already craving the sweet, sweet noise of even attempted music.

    "See you!" He waved eagerly with his free hand, carrying guitar and case in his left hand, his steps seeming a little lighter each time, a gentle flapping of his cloak on his shoulders while he departed.

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    Re: Get Equipped With Guitar

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