2017-06-11 Pagoda of Exploration

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Pagoda of Exploration
Date 2017/06/11
Location Rigard - Pagoda of Exploration
Participants Blast Off
NPCs Elita One
Scene GM Tez
Summary The reception for the welcome of the Lost Light, Pagoda of Exploration style with Elita One, Councilor of the Fleet.

The Pagoda of Exploration is a showcase of artifacts and stories from the many years Rigardians have spent traveling the universe. It is set up like a museum, with a modest lobby providing access to several halls for visitors to peruse. Although each hall seems to focus on one topic of exploration, their winding designs flow into each other, and often only the subtle difference in the blue coloration of each hall reveals whether one has crossed over.

The reception welcoming the Lost Lighters more formally to Rigard is, in various quarters, boisterous and somber, noisy and solemn. In the pagoda of exploration, Elita One can be found with others of her branch of government in a dignified yet casual reception, where foods from a dozen worlds are set out to sample. They are not extraordinarily rare or luxurious foods, but they do sample a wide range of palates. The highlights of the museum's collection are out for the curious to wander and study. Elita, still recovering from a political -- and practical -- near-catastrophe holds herself at a certain reserve with a glass of plain energon.

Blast Off as the Head of Navigation, feels it important to make an appearance at this reception because, after all, appearances ARE important! He has just returned from a successful mission, leaving the artifacts and information they obtained with responsible parties so he could make a stop here. The shuttleformer makes his way towards the table of food, sampling here and there. He built up an appetite after all that work! "Not bad..." He murmurs to himself as he tries a paricularly interesting looking dish. He can appreciate the effort of an event like this. The Combaticon makes his way towards Elita One, even as he gazes down at the museum's items. As a space shuttle, exploration is hardwired into his programming. He holds a glass of energon himself, and when he nears the femme, he gives her a nod of acknoweldgement, lifting his glass slightly. "A pleasant function," he offers.

"Thank you," Elita says, gracious, even warm, yet with a dignity that suggests distance. "Although I can take little credit for it. Over there--" She nods, tipping her glass but not quite pointing and says, "Those three were really behind the organization of the event. We are simply lucky enough to enjoy it. You are Blast Off, correct? You were part of the recent expedition through the space bridge? What did you find?"

So Elita is an aristocrat, then? Blast Off is quite comfortable in this role. He nods politely as she points, flicking his gaze away and back to the femme. He adds another polite nod to the first. "Yes, Head of Navigation." The shuttleformer shifts his body just slightly forward, facing her more than before, as he lowers his voice. Elita One is one of them... kind of, though the Combaticon is naturally cautious about just how much he should say. But Elita *has* been an ally to them so far. "... We had a successful mission."

There's a pause as he gently swishes the engex in his glass. "We may have found an Artifact. We also found evidence of..." How to put this? Blast Off's face scrunches under his faceplate. ".... Some sort of product line of... what appeared like Cybertronians. We're not sure if they were sentient, however. We need to examine the evidence and items we found more closely before we can be sure."

Aristocrat might be pushing it, but Elita One is clearly a leader, and one that is comfortable in her position. There's steel in her bearing, but she keeps it sheathed in courtesy. "I'm pleased to hear it went well. You've registered the artifact with the machine, then? I admit I'm not sure what the process is, but I'm sure that AI could talk you through it." She tilts her head, asking with a sort of mild disbelief, "What do you mean, product line?"

"We will soon, yes, once testing is complete," Blast Off returns, "The items are in safe keeping for the moment." He takes a sip of the egnex though a hatch in his faceplate, then lowers the glass. Right. The product line. The Combaticon's gaze shifts down uncomfortably. "...Have you ever heard of Quintessons?"

Elita One looks thoughtful a moment, her brow furrowed in thought. "I -- hmm, I believe so. They are a fallen empire, correct? Very old. I think their empire fell before our colony was founded. A student of history might know more. Perhaps in the pagoda of knowledge. I've never made a particular study of that species. Why do you ask?"

Blast Off nods, "Yes, that matches with what I have heard." Another pause as the shuttleformer fidgets with his engex glass. Then he lifts his chin to give Elita his full attention. "It appeared the Quintessons were selling what appeared to be Cybertronians, or automatons that looked like them, in ancient times." He doesn't have a problem letting her know about this, any Cybertronian (or similar person) has a right to know of this. "We found old brochures and advertizements with what looked like... Headmasters?... some sort of servants..." His face scrunches in distaste again, "...for organics, it appeared."

Shaking his head softly, he adds, "We also found some medical bay in the back of a storefront where they appeared to be adding or repairing parts. All in ruins now, however, there appeared to be massive destruction there."

Elita One grimaces against a swallow of her drink, shaking her head. "That's an unfortunate truth I've seen time and again as we explore: there are too many species out there that think the technological species are nothing but tools, as though they are not machines of flesh instead of metal." She sighs, giving Blast Off an apologetic glance. "Not, it seems, a problem that the Knights were able to solve, either, given that we run into those attitudes still. What seemed to have caused the destruction?"

"They're arrogant", Blast Off agrees, though perhaps he isn't quite the person to be chiding another for arrogance. "As a shuttle, I've encountered many alien organic fleshlings, and yes, that is an unifying trait in most of them." He might also be a bit biased. JUST A BIT. "I've been happy to relieve them of that misconception." The Combaticon rolls his shoulders slightly, a small huff puffing from his vents.

He turns his full attention back to Elita as he grasps the glass of engex a little more firmly. "Something massive. Something that could potentially even be..." He flicks a hand up towards the sky, "..Unicronian in size. Whatever it was, it destroyed the city we found. There appeared to be little resistance against it, and fire all around. They weren't prepared for whatever it was. I didn't get the sense there was time to prepare, nor truly resist."

"Unicron." Elita One's expression hardens and the blue of her eyes becomes a blaze of ice. "In our stories, he does more than simply destroy cities. He destroys planets. There is no resisting. Empires have broken on his power and only the Knights were able to stop him, before. The Matrix: it's truly shattered?"

Blast Off 's expression hardens, too, as Elita explains. Yeah no, this Unicron doesn't sound like your average challenge. Blast off has seen a lot of stuff out in space but something like Unicron... "I've heard tales of giant... boogeymen out in the darkest reaches of space." He swishes his drink again, looking into the liquid. "I didn't expect to meet one." His optics lift. "Then again, one rarely does. Which, of course, is why preperation is key. Knowing what the Knights did would be extremely useful, yes." Another, more impatient swish... and then full stop as he glances up to the femme. "Matrix? Yes." That Autobot bauble? Ok, map too, but... "You believe in that? Power of the Primes, and all that?" He tries but can't completely contain the lack of belief in his voice.

"The Knights of Cybertron believed in the Matrix," Elita One says, her words chosen with some care as she regards Blast Off. Her expression is thoughtful, weighing him as she might a puzzle or some archaeological challenge. In his words, his silences, she looks for meaning. "They said nothing of the Primes. The tribes and their leaders, the ones who called themselves the Primes, they came after the Knights. They came after the Matrix."

Blast Off is a Combaticon first and foremost, but he's also a Decepticon. Enough of a Decepticon to hold doubt, if not contempt, for Optimus Prime and the Matrix. He knows the Matrix does have power to it, but doesn't neccessarily believe all the hype that the Autobots tend to place on it. Because it's just hype, right? Hype meant to put the so-called Prime in power, at least as far as he's been concerned. Except... well, things aren't always as they seem, as he's been learning. And apparently the Matrix does hold something inside. Kind of? It's complicated.

He finds himself fidgeting a little as Elita seems to study him, and self-consciously takes a sip of the drink before continuing once more. "...I see. Perhaps the Primes simply were jealous? Desired to twist things to suit themselves." He contemplates, picking up a small food sample from a nearby tray. "But now we have some... fragment of the Knights, and an Artifact, and some clues. Plus a broken Matrix."

"I don't know. I don't know your Primes. I only know the Matrix held power, power enough to defeat Unicron, and that it's lost to us," Elita One says. Her tone is just a touch ruthlessly pragmatic, dismissing the vast history of the Primes and all their complicated legacy as a historical footnote. And maybe not even a very accurate one. "But we have the map from it -- somehow," she says, closing her eyes for the fact that it came to them as doodles on a desk. "And, as you say, an artifact. A start. Do you think you are ready for the fight that will follow?"

Again, Blast Off can't *quite* help a small but derisive little huff at the mention of Primes. "You didn't miss a lot..." He mutters, "We Decepticons fought against them, I'll say that much." He lifts the sample and down it goes, through the hatch. "The Matrix... I don't know. It was associated with the Primes." He gives a little shrug. "I suppose it does actually hold power, though, and we're working on figuring just what and how to amplify it if it's possible."

His hand comes down to rest at the edge of the table and he straightens at the mention of fighting. Now his voice holds confidence, the assurance of a warrior. "I am a Combaticon," he begins, a half-smile on his lips under that faceplate and perhaps slightly audible somehow too, "We are always ready for a fight. My team was on the front lines of the war and we earned our name."

His tone softens a moment later, and his finger flicks away a stray crumb. "That said, I don't go looking for fights, but I assure you..." His violet optics gaze into hers, "I *will* finish* it. We all will. The Combaticons; the Lost Light. We have survived massive planet-sized enemies before. Size doesn't matter in the end. Not against skill and determination." Of course, size can help, but.... He tilts his head a bit. "How about you? Are you ready?"

Elita One smiles with all the brightness of a sniper's sights glinting across the distance. "We will be ready." She looks past Blast Off and inclines her head to someone in the distance before looking back. "Congratulations, if I didn't say it before, on successfully retrieving the first artifact. I look forward to learning more about it, and the others to follow. Good hunting, Blast Off." With that, she departs, off to go back to circulating. A councilor's work is never done. Even when they are just barely holding on to power after fucking up an attempt at killing Unicron. (Actually, probably especially then.)

Blast Off gives Elita a nod, perking up a bit as she congratulates him (Blast Off always likes getting praise). "Thank you. You too." Puffed up and feeling quite pleased with himself, Blast Off returns to sampling the tray on the table and partaking of the engex. There will be a grand fight later, perhaps even death, but for now he will enjoy his victories.

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