2016-05-25 Projects of Interest

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Projects of Interest
Date 2016/05/25
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Perceptor's lab
Participants Perceptor, Wheeljack
Summary Wheeljack has some updates on current projects, Perceptor is excited.

A neat and orderly lab, Perceptor's Lab is everything one might expect from the resident ship genius. (One of them, anyway.) Experiments are neatly labeled running from xenobiology through metallurgy. An isolation room has been built into the lab for experiments that require it.

It's been a busy time on the ship, but in the midst of all the activity, Wheeljack hasn't actually had a chance to see or talk with his department head. It's a bit of a strange concept. After so long on Optimus's team, it's been a while since he had to report to anyone about matters of his work. Oh, he's been under Ratchet's instruction occasionally, when it comes to medical matters, and he's ultimately answered to Prime or Bumblebee, but it's been some time since he's had someone else looking over his projects. Not that it's a bad thing. If there's any Autobot scientist suited for the role, Perceptor's probably at the top of the list.

Which is why he's taking the time after he's wrapped up his own work for the day to stop by Perceptor's lab. He knocks at the door, then calls through it, "Hey! Perceptor, you got a moment?"

It doesn't take long for Perceptor to reach the door, metal neatly sliding into the wall and revealing the smaller engineer at the other side. "Hello Wheeljack." Small smile and a step out of the doorway so Wheeljack can enter. "I am not presently tied up in anything time-sensitive, so I suppose a moment is something I can spare."

"In that case, I can take more than just one off your hands," Wheeljack says with a laugh. His helm fins glimmer with his version of a smile as he takes the invitation to step inside. He might pause inside the entrance to admire Perceptor's lab for a bit. It's certainly the cleanest part of the department, which is worth marveling over. "What are you working on?" he asks, offhandedly. It's not what he's here for, but a healthy dose of curiosity never hurt, and he's not entirely caught up on his fellows' projects.

"Research." Perceptor raises a solitary optical ridge, gesturing toward a pair of stools near an empty workbench. "What did you need to discuss?" He purses his lips, sliding up onto one of the stools. "Or is this merely a social call?"

"Little of both," Wheeljack admits freely as he takes the other stool for himself. "But I can keep it short if you'd like. Thought you'd appreciate an update that isn't in the middle of me trying to put out an electrical fire." From the twinkle in his optics, he's teasing, but it's probably pretty close to the truth. "I have a few potential projects to run by you, too."

Honestly, he would appreciate updates that do not include electrical fires but that is regrettably a hazard of the workplace. "Alright. Feel free to expound within reason, I am glad for the update." Perceptor's nod is very professional, waiting for Wheeljack to continue with his report.

Wheeljack's response is not likely to be quite as professional as Perceptor's, but he doesn't delay. "Good news first; I've got a number of those individual force field generators put together and functioning without problem. They're not as strong as I'd like them to be, but they'll work pretty well as shields, or containment units, as necessary. I'll be increasing their strength once I've worked out the kinks in increasing the power output without increasing the mass of the generator too much." He's ticking off points on his fingers for now, and skimming over the fact that he had Cliffjumper helping him with testing, and that the prototype for the stronger force field is maybe a bit melted right now. This is the progress report! And those aren't progress.

The good news earns a nod and a slight hum. "It sounds promising. I would like to accompany the next test once you believe you have sorted the output." He ends with a slight tip of his head, sort of a 'please continue' motion.

"Sure, I can call you over when it's ready," Wheeljack says easily enough. Next test isn't going to involve Cliffjumper punching things, that's for sure. "Um, what else..." Give him a moment to think, then he's back to his lists. "I don't know if Rodimus mentioned it, but one of the drones went a bit haywire out in the hallway. There was some damage to the side of the ship-- Getaway, not the drone-- and Brainstorm had an EMP generator that got a bit damaged, but that was handled pretty quickly. I don't have the drone, but I'll probably take a look at it to see if I can figure out what went wrong there."

"Thank you." Perceptor sits listening attentively for Wheeljack to finish, expression souring at the mention of damages. "No, he has not mentioned it. If you can ascertain a cause, I would prefer that take precedence over your current project. I will look to requisition the drone for testing, it may be best to work in tandem to dismantle and inspect it." His shoulders fall slightly. "Please continue."

"Sure thing. I think it's with Brainstorm right now, but he might be focused on repairing that gun," Wheeljack informs Perceptor. "Just from what I saw it do, it looks like some overactive programming. It was still identifying potential problems, just overreacting. Spraying anything red or flickering with fire suppressing foam, things like that." He and Rodimus both got facefuls of that. "Third thing... Right. One of the Aerials came to me with a proposal earlier. Air Raid? Was asking about designing a system for non-shuttle jets to use for flying in space, I figured I'd run it by you for mentions to Rodimus. Seems like it'd be pretty useful, I was thinking of some sort of jetpack first, then maybe integrated into a mech's frames if I can work out the weight balance right. What d'you think?"

Of course it was with Brainstorm. It would be far too sensible to put the drone somewhere the other engineers could easily access it. "Ah. That should be relatively simple to fix. Once we determine the cause it would be best to send the information to maitenence for their next bug sweep." Again with the raised optical ridge. "Outfitting them with an ion drive in coexistant use with their propulsion engines would be possibly less intrusive to transformation while allowing for locomotion in a vacuum. Your jetpack proposition might best be utilized by mecha not already posessed of an aerial alt mode." He shakes his head, smile tight. "Though I am sure the number of jets willing to undergo modification to their engines will not be so great. I will, however, offer my expertise in the event you choose to look further into utilizing the idea for an internal modification."

In Wheeljack's defense, he was a bit preoccupied with getting the fire-retardant foam off of himself before it hardened, and picking up the drone would only have gotten it messy, so he didn't have quite as much choice with that one. He doesn't seem too put off by the rasied optical ridge. If anything, he's all the more interested. "See, he requested the extra engines on his wings, rather than a modification to already existing thrusters. The modifications required in that case for a space-worthy system could make a mech too heavy to fly maneuverably in atmosphere. 'Sides, seemed like an idea that was better suited to being transferrable between mechs, and inbuilt systems don't allow for that." He pulls out a datapad to scribble things down on. "I'll suggest the combined propulsion system, though. And I'll definitely consult with you on this one. This isn't exactly my usual frame mod project."

Nodding, Perceptor's smile turns a bit more relaxed. "Of course. A dual-propulsion system would not be as effective in both environs, though it would be logical to prioritize atmospheric conditions over interplanetary, given his frametype." And electric propulsion engines, while energy efficient enough for an atmospheric frame to handle, are not particularly fast in practical use."The jetpack, however, would be useful to all members of the crew, not simply our aerial companions." He taps two fingers on the workbench, the prospect of developing a new mod is exciting. "It will be an interesting challenge. Was there anything else you wished to propose?"

"I figure in the long term, it'd be less efficient, though for now the space flight is probably more valuable," Wheeljack notes. "But there's plenty more design to do before making a final call." His fins are flashing with his excitement. As soon as he leaves here, he'll probably be working on this-- Air Raid is sure to be happy with this turn of events. "No more projects for now. I'll have more than enough soon, I'm sure," he says. He's excited by the prospect, honestly. Having space to really experiment, and focus on projects of interest, instead of projects of necessity, is a newly regained luxury, and he's pleased with it. "I'll swing by when I have more about those engines," he offers, getting up from the stool and tucking his datapad away. "Thanks for the moments, Percy."

"Thank you for sharing in person." The scientist smiles, standing to walk Wheeljack out. "I look forward to hearing about the progression of your projects in the future." He's walking to the door, all formal, scientifically enthused Perceptor.

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