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2016-12-31 Ego and Unease

From Transformers: Lost and Found

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Ego and Unease
Date 2016/12/31
Location Lost Light: Engineering -- Engine Room
Participants Brainstorm, Flame, Waspinator
Summary Everyone is over the line

Flame could be a good little mecha and study in the quiet of the library, but why should he? Flame is currently stationed on one of the most fascinating aeronautical marvels currently traversing the galaxy. Considering his newest hobby just so happens to be aeronautics, he is going to grab at the chance to get a close up look. It was all going swimmingly. Until he saw the corpse shoved into one of the engines.

Flame watches it, transfixed, his optics burning bright with thought. He knows what the medics would say. He should remove himself from the situation before he starts to fixate, but he can't help wondering what that mecha was thinking in his last moments. Is the answer so out of reach?

Only the sound of approaching pedes snaps him from his trance. "Now this is good decor," he remarks, even though the stranger can't possibly know of his little trip yesterday. "Plenty to do, plenty to see, plenty to learn. Please tell me you're not here to shoo me back to library."

Waspinator is not the source of the footsteps, in fact he was already there when Flame arrived and has been watching him since. A quick look at his bent wing and gashed arm gives a pretty good explanation as to why he is currently perched high up on a piece of machinery: he got cornered and beat up again. When in doubt retreat back to a dark spot few are likely to visit... sadly it seems the few who do visit are here today, meaning he has to wait to straighten his wing back out- and hope he doesn't leak energon somewhere they can see.

"Broke the first rule of space travel - never stand next to a quantum generator when it's about to flout the laws of physics" comes the unperturbed answer from the doorway, and the souce of the footsteps - Brainstorm. The sight of the body, or Flame for that matter, doesn't seem to bother him much. The body, he's used to, as for Flame, well, the fact that he has to ask to not be chased out puts their relative positions in perpsective "Don't worry, I'm not Ultra Magnus - not that he can do anything anymore. Always did wonder why he didn't switch to security. I'm busy anyways. Just don't touch anything. Nautica hates it."

"Oh please. I'm not standing over the line," Flame answers, resisting the urge to roll his optics. The former scientist isn't lying, though. While he's standing near one of the workstations by the quantum generators, he is standing just behind the line painted on the ground marking danger. He's hugging as close to it as he can possibly afford, but he has not stepped over. "Is this going to become a habit, you finding me in compromising positions? It's starting to feel purposeful," Flame adds.

While the former medic may not be over the line, something else very much is. Flame's drone skitters along the machinery taking the readings that Flame cannot do so directly. The sound of its skittering movements is masked by the metallic clang of machinery and the echo-y sound of Flame's voice. Having performed its work, though, the drone twists around to return to its owner (only to find itself face-to-face with Waspinator instead). Waspinator had been watching the little drone, its skittering and climbing attracting his attention as he watched it move. Surprisingly... he doesn't startle or jump like he would have probably even months before. Evidently having a jumpy space bird for a pet has mellowed him out towards small creepy crawlies. Instead of getting flat out scared Waspinator nervously reaches forward and runs a claw over its back like he does with Marceline, a pet to try to calm and keep it quiet. Of course he is also very wary as for all he knows it could just turn around and bite him.

"Well, as they say, great minds think alike" Brainstorm notes, calmly stepping over the line, and further, towards a darkened corner of the engines, brightened only periodically by green, blinking lights. It's the source of these lights that he sets upon, producing a screwdriver from his chestplate compartment "Though I'm here for a valid reason."

The drone's legs twitch at the first pet. She gives an estatic chirp, loud enough to be heard even over the clang of machinery, and then proceeds to twist her body around this new friend's hand. Soon enough her long body is completely tangled. The drone's helm twists around to prod at Waspinator's hand with curious antennae.

Hearing the noise, though, Flame freezes. "Return," he mutters, trying to be as discrete as he can. The drone, hearing her owner's voice, freezes and moves to obey. She doesn't get far. In her excitement she's managed to knot herself around Waspinator's hand. Chirps of contentment soon become chirps of alarm. Flame pauses, his optics locking on Brainstorm's turned back strut. For a moment he considers trying to cover his tracks, but from what he's observed of Brainstorm so far, why bother? "That drone can't do anything right, it seems. I'm beginning to think I need to scrap the design."

Waspinator stiffens up when the drone twists around his hand but relaxes when it becomes clear it's just exploring. Ok izz not zzo bad.... And then Waspinator realizes the poor thing can't get off. The bug shakes his hands several times, probably worsening the chirps, but once it's clear he can't shake it off proceeds to gently untangle it with his claws. No no no no otherzz will find Wazzpinator! Have to get it off!

Brainstorm is in the process of detaching the device when the drone chirps. Screwdriver still in hand, he looks up, searching for the source, before Flame explains the situation "I could take a look at it for you. I have experience with drones, and I've been updating a self-teaching AI for a while now. I need to get Vortex to drop her in sometime soon..."

Flame probably shouldn't cross the line, but just the spoken idea of Brainstorm trying to improve on his model spurs the former medic into action. He suddenly feels the need to make sure that Brainstorm doesn't get his hands on his project. Why would he ever share credit unless it's absolutely necessary? "That won't be necessary," Flame mutters. "I'm more than capable o- Oh, what do we have here, another corpse in the engine?"

Flame has turned the corner to locate the source of his drone's distress, only to find an unexpected form hunched over on top of the machinery. In the dim, half-light of the engine room Flame can't yet get a good look at them.

Waspinator freezes when it becomes obvious he has been spotted, just as he manages to fully untangle the little drone. He slowly looks down at Flame from the dark and lowers a hand to the machine to let the drone skitter back down. Until Flame makes a move, Wasp is going to sit here. Maybe he will forget about him if he sits still enough? Probably hard when you have four glowing purple eyes on your head and chest.

"Another body?" Brainstorm steps away from his work to move up behind Flame, trying to make out whatever it is he saw "Must be a recent death, the first time was a little hard to...miss." the glint of purple catches his attention. His optics narrow, and then brighten with a mischievous light "Well, looks like you'll have to leave anyways. This one doesn't seem to be merged with the engine, but it's still way back there, so it'll be easier to just do a full cleansing incineration - just burn in out of there. Wouldn't want you to get caught in it. Special mix of gasses - burns right through plating like wood!" he announces, deliberately loudly.

The drone is placed on one of the metal pipes, her panic now so great that she leaps forwards the moment that she is free. She scurries along the length of it until she comes close to the familiar voice of her owner. The drone pauses. Her escape has brought her directly above Flame and where Brainstorm is standing right behind him. Seeking to follow through with Flame's earlier command, and compelled by fear, the millipede leaps down towards Flame's shoulder.

Her aim is a little off, however, and there is a good possibility she will end up on Brainstorm's instead. If not, she'll hit the floor with a deafening clang. Flame, meanwhile, only sees the dim glow of Waspinator's optics after his corpse comment. The former medic lifts an optic ridge. "I'm beginning to realize why this ship has so many warning signs."

The 'burns through plating' comment does exactly what Brainstorm probably intends of it. In a burst of sudden movement Waspinator is off the machine with a loud buzz of wings before he is stumbling to get a good footing on the metal floor. "Wazzpinator izz not corpzze!! Zzciencebot pleazze not burn Wazzpinator!!" Yup he is backing away from Brainstorm very quickly.

"Eh?" Brainstorm's head snaps to look at the thing that just dropped down on top of him, though he relaxes when he recognises the drone "Oh, it's you again" he reaches over to give it a rub, even as he watches Waspinator flit down from the engines, an amused, satisfied smirk on his face. "Oh, looks like it's alive after all" he observes, adding a bit of disappointment to his voice "Which might have not been the case if we had to suddenly jump. I would have thought the first time" he jabs a thumb at the duobot still melded with the engine "Would have been enough of a warning."

The drone scrambles for purchase on Brainstorm's shoulder. Once she anchors herself, though, she begins to calm down. If there's any panic remaining she doesn't have long to dwell on it. Brainstorm's digit reaches up to provide skritches and soon she's dissolving into a millipede puddle.

Flame finally gets a good look at their hangers on when Waspinator stumbles into the corridor. The former medic had some sort of retort ready, but he suddenly freezes in place at the sight of the intruder. Well then. That design is even more intriguing than the mecha he met yesterday. "Has anyone ever told you that cowering doesn't suit you?" Flame remarks, a bright flicker of curiousity in his gaze.

"Wazzpinator knowzz when zzhip takezz off. Izz a member of Navigation... Bezzidezz.. Wazzpinator zztayzz away from melty part." Waspinator is still shuffling away from Brainstorm but suddenly stops when Flame makes that comment, going from nervous to outright confused. What did Firebot zzay? "What?" Cowering most certainly does suit Waspinator, it's a wonderful survival method.

"Everything behind the yellow line is 'melty'" Brainstorm points out "Or, technically, it's not so much melty as fusey, as in, it distorts spacetime and anything too close to it has its molecules fused with the engine, which would be you" he pauses scritching the drone to point at Waspinator "if we had to make a sudden jump because of some emergency." that said, he looks back at the drone still on his shoulder "I should introduce you to Fifi sometime. I've been wondering how she'll react to other AIs, especially with the new update."

"You heard me," Flame repeats. Now intrigued, the former medic is moving closer. He has to resist the urge to grab Waspinator by the shoulders and pull him into a proper posture. "You'd look much better standing up straight, right over there if we want to get exact," he adds, gesturing to one of the workstations where the lighting is better. And behind the line. But mainly because the lighting is better.

Flame pauses just before he breaches the personal space bubble, but not before he notices the energon drying on the other's frame. The former medic's optics brighten even more. He tsks quietly with his glossa. "Did something happen? I can help with that, if you promise to keep it just between us," he mutters, reaching forwards as if Waspinator has already agreed.

He's snapped out of it by hearing Brainstorm say the word 'AI.' Flame glances over his shoulder and finally spots his drone in the one place he didn't want it. The former medic purses his lip components. "Return," he repeats a little more forcefully.

For the first time since her creation, the drone directly disobeys. Instead, she rears up and nudges at Brainstorm's helm hopefully. Why did pets stop?

Waspinator isn't exactly sure why Flame is getting so close to him. Automatically the bug backs up to put more space between them and coincidentally ends up right where the mech had been saying he should stand since it was just a bit behind him. A hand flies up to cover his bleeding arm, "Izz nothing, Wazzpinator can fix it." At the blatant refusal of the drone to return Waspinator starts looking between him and Brainstorm, unsure of what exactly is going on.

Brainstorm's optics brighten in amusement, and a bit of surprise when the drone refuses to leave "I think she likes me!" he beams, pointing a finger at the critter, before using that same hand to reach for her again. See, Flame? This is how you get drones to do things for you. Scritches instead of yelling. His attention is, however, on the other mechs "Just make sure to leave him in good enough shape to go titan hunting. No guarantee that the next one will be as inviting as the last one. I also want to figure out how he does it."

Flame's optics dart between Waspinator and Brainstorm, struggling with a difficult decision. He really would love the chance to get a closer look at Waspinator's design, but his ego is prickling something fierce to see his drone getting so cozy with a rival. A small flicker of flame bursts from the former medic's intake. In the end, ego wins out. Waspinator is spared Flame's unique brand of ministration.

Flame turns on his heel and strides back towards Brainstorm. He holds out his hand towards the drone, giving her an expectant look. This time around he doesn't say a word. The drone gives an indecipherable series of chirps before slinking down and crossing the short distance between Flame's hand and Brainstorm's shoulder. "She knows where she belongs," he corrects. "Also, I have no idea what you mean by titan hunting. There must be a story behind that."

Waspinator uses this chance to start edging closer towards the door only to stop and stare at his escape... its blocked by the two scientists. Which means the bug has to look for an alternate escape route. While the two of them talk he starts looking around the room for any vents... which he doesn't see. ZZlag... Maybe if Wazzpinator juzzt zzitzz here quietly... they will forget Wazzpinator izz here....

Flame's recall of his drone earns him an unhappy look from Brainstorm, but the engineer doesn't protest outright "You know, I think there's a reason she likes me more than you. You should try being a little nicer. As for him" he tilts his head at the unfortunate wasp "He claims to have the ability to find titans. If he does, it could be useful when we hit colonies. I have some questions for them."

Flame snorts at Brainstorm's 'suggestion.' "Don't get too sentimental. She's a tool, nothing more and nothing less."

The former medic holds still until the drone has scrambled onto his shoulder, and then he shifts to glance back at Waspinator. He takes a step closer, his optics once more shining with curiousity in light of this new revelation. "Does he now? What a unique specimen," he mutters aloud. Flame has to shake his helm vigorously to snap himself back into the moment. The titan thing is probably an overexaggeration, but still interesting enough to warrant at least a curious glance. "We'll have to find time to... talk," he remarks to Waspinator.

Waspinator looks between Brainstorm and Flame again, what.... What do they want him to say? "Wazzpinator... Wazz a titan hunter with the decepticonzz... " Thats.. Thats what he wants to know right? "Firebot wantzz to talk? W-Wazzpinator can talk." Just don't bring out the fire like Brainstorm wanted to! Or- Or go spitting fire again, that was freaky! By now the bug has practically backed into the workstation, his abdomen making contact with the table.

"Just remember, I have dibs on him. I need him alive and capable for him to do his thing" Brainstorm points out, stepping in a bit closer to Waspinator as he too, studies him. It's a mostly joking comment, but there is a note of warning in there.

"What do you think I'm going to do? Talk him to death?" Flame responds, finally giving in to the urge to roll his optics. That done, Flame turns his attention back to Waspinator. The former medic's gaze lingers just a little too long. Such a pretty design. It's a true shame that he seems to be so... touchy. Well, there's nothing to be done about it. "You... You'll be hearing from me soon. But you really should find someone to repair that leak if you won't let me have a look at it. Just a bit of advice."

Time is getting short, though, and as much as Flame would like to have that talk now he has places to be going. "While this has a pleasure, I should be getting back. Phantasm is expecting me back at the habsuite shortly."

Waspinator has straightened by now, in order to lean back even further from the two scientists. Even at his full height Waspinator still seems much smaller than the two, he just has that subservient feel about him. "O-ok?" Wazzpinator will do whatever firebot and zzciencebot want azz long azz they don't hurt Wazzpinator!

"Also, don't hide in the engines again. Nautica will be furious if something here breaks, and it will be more trouble for everyone, me included" Brainstorm adds "Plus, I need to get this scanner replaced and get back to my workshop, and I'll get it done faster without distractions." He's the ship's genius! His time is valuable! "But do be ready when we start approaching our next colony."

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