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Difference between revisions of "2018-08-25 Court Our Ambitions"

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Latest revision as of 17:49, 25 August 2018

Court Our Ambitions
Date 2018/08/25
Location Vis Vitalis
Participants Nightshade, Prowl
NPCs Roadmaster, Thunderclash
Summary Nightshade speaks with Prowl about her projects and ethics, and answers a question or two about insect anatomy.

Nightshade isn't here to gawk. She has to tell herself that despite all the rumors circulating about poor Prowl. She's here to check on a...well, friend? Maybe? A colleague. Someone who understands her mindset. Sometimes. Even if he is the Autobot behind the collars and whatnot. She's also not here to admire all the pretty big women aboard the Vis Vitalis buuuut Roadmaster is right there and she's really cute and anyway...

She's a little distracted as she walks down the halls seeking out Prowl with all these thoughts in her head. And not really looking where she's going.

Roadmaster, who had been waist-deep in some side panel, pauses in her work to send a little wave to Nightshade.

Thunderclash notices the little butterfly first, when she steps out into a domed, atrium-style chamber cast in a soft blue light. Prowl stops his debriefing to track Thunderclash's gaze. He's certainly spidery, a lot more shiny and sleek than he had been earlier. Thunderclash graciously takes this break to dip out of the convo.

"I'll see that it gets done," he assures with a winning smile, stepping away.

Prowl turns to the small scientist, his extra limbs unconsciously spreading out. "Nightshade?"

Nightshade snaps out of her brief reverie-you have a girlfriend, remember?-and does a double-take and a little startled...squeak at Prowl's new profile. For a second it reminds her too much of Tarantalus, and she has to fight the urge to hide. No, no, this is Prowl! This is Prowl, not him.

"Prowl," she says, shaking her helm and wings briefly to throw off the nervous reaction. She's fine. "I am so glad you are alright." At least he doesn't seem to be in pain. "I wanted to catch you up on projects, but also to...see how you are doing? After such an ordeal..."

Prowl shifts to kneel, folding his arms over a knee. "I'm alright. Just... partially organic. Ratchet's working on a treatment." He regards her with a careful head tilt. "I know it's gruesome but it's not frightening to you, is it?"

"No! No, I was just...startled." Nightshade feels a flush of shame at her own reaction, glancing away. "It is unusual. As I told Prowl, the ability to mimic or even reproduce organic appearances in our bodies is-well, it's revolutionary. I did not think such a thing was possible. If we had that capability during the war-..." They would use it to spy on and then exterminate organics. Best not to follow that thread. "Forgive me, I did not mean to gawk..."

"No! No, I was just...startled." Nightshade feels a flush of shame at her own reaction, glancing away. "It is unusual. As I told Bulkhead, the ability to mimic or even reproduce organic appearances in our bodies is-well, it's revolutionary. I did not think such a thing was possible. If we had that capability during the war-..." They would use it to spy on and then exterminate organics. Best not to follow that thread. "Forgive me, I did not mean to gawk..."

"I don't mind the gawking. Pointed stares are nothing new, trust me. Revolutionary - ?" Prowl glances off to the side in thought. "If you wanted to further develop any of Tarantulas' tech, we brought back a few of his experiments. A lot of them are -- *sigh* -- unethical, born of my ideas, and I know you're a 'former after my own spark in that regard, but... Well, be careful. You could end up like me."

"Your ideas?" Nightshade sounds more intrigued than judging. "I always thought, you know...it's not just the idea but the application. What can we use it for? Can we help ourselves and others instead of weaponizing it? Even if this in particular is a little, um, unusual? May I...?" Experimentally, she reaches up to touch one of the spider legs. "Of course, I say that and yet I fear my own experiment is going a biiiit south, and my track record in that way is not-well, I have been reviewing the past a bit. It is not so good."

"The only positive application I can think of is proper integration with other organic species. Could be helpful. Maybe helpful to the Eukarians as well." Prowl's lone spider limb dips down so Nightshade can touch it. The shiny black segments seem pretty tough, but there's flexibility that his metal components lack. The translucent hairs are stiff, snapping back after they're bent. "Your experiment with Fritz? Do you need help?"

Nightshade frowns. "It is not as fragile as it looks. Interesting. I suppose I had this idea, have always had it, that was as a species are meant to change and evolve. We change ourselves all the time. So anything related to that interests me, no? But it should be done willingly," she adds in a forceful tone. "What Tarantalus did to you is terrible not because of how you look, but because you had no say in it..."

She trails off. "Fritz, Whirlwind, yes. I thought it was going so well but I was being willingly dense to remain optimistic. He was, is showing signs of addiction and unease, emotional and mental instability, confirmed by reports from Fortress Maximus. I'm going to be treating him soon, and I have a few ideas for stabilizing him, but-I wanted to help, you know? Make a turnaround."

"Evolution certainly sounds better than being stuck as we are in an endless battle," Prowl agrees, then softens at Nightshade's condolences. "Thank you. Sincerely."

He winces faintly as Nightshade lists the negative effects of her project, and shifts back to his feet. "You'll have to weigh the risks. Buckling down and driving harder never really helped, in my case... Doesn't mean it's a loss, if you cut him off."

"I don't want to harm him." Nightshade shuffles her big feet and folds her wings back. "Do further harm. I should have thought more of that beforehand, but I just...we needed to be stronger to stop Megatron. And he was so happy. And I thought, I can do both! I can court our ambitions and help too. But I will...I will bear that in mind. Weigh the risks." She sighs. "I don't want to be personally stuck in an endless loop either. You have thought it too?"

"Sure. I mean, that's what we're aiming to do here, with this grand admission of fault. Break the cycle. We'll see how far it goes..." Prowl brings his hand to his chin, peering down at Nightshade's pink visor. "We do need to be stronger. Tarantulas was able to procure a power source strong enough to keep pocket dimensions open. Obtenteum. If you want to examine it, it's being held in one of the security chambers down in storage."

"Obtentum? It can really open pocket dimensions?" Nightshade's visor glows and her antennae go straight up. "I would love to examine it. If we could reproduce that, or even just make it last-think of it! Storing an entire assault force in a pocket dimension, sneaking aboard Cybertron like that!" She snaps her chunky fingers. "Just off the top of my head. You can count on me, Prowl, though I may tap Wheeljack and Bulkhead for help and..." She winces. "Moral guidance. You know how it is."

Prowl smiles. "Yes, I know how it is. Bulkhead is an excellent meter for guidance. And listen to that little voice in your head. I've ignored mine for too long. That said... get creative. I look forward to seeing what you come up with." He waits a beat, as his legs reshuffle and slowly droop. "I have a question regarding insect anatomy."

"Creative. You know I will." Nightshade beams, and there's just the littlest glint of mischief in her visor. And then Prowl asks his question, and she has to cover her mouth to hide a chuckle. That's so adorable somehow! "Ask away! I have been insectoid all my life, though to clarify I believe you are classified as 'arachnid.'"

"I... think I might be venomous - ? Is there a way I can confirm without biting anything organic?" Prowl asks, haltingly.

"AHA! You asked the right butterfly! Do you know how much time I spent studying poisons? Mooooore than I am proud of right now." Nightshade laughs nervously. "Just, um, send me a sample of...of your, um. Whatever you think is venom? And I will analyze it. Do not be embarassed. It is good of you to check before any accidents happen."

Prowl shifts from foot to foot, awkardly. "I'll see if I can... get any of it out. I had been putting off transforming, but I think it's the only way to open those... ducts? Urgh. I'll get you a sample one way or another. What about silk? Can... you produce silk?" HOW BUTTERFLIES WORK.

"Well, I can't. I hear there are Eukarians capable of such things," Nightshade ponders. "I had a girlf-a, a past acquaintance who was a snail-former and she produced viscous slime. But me? I am beautiful but not the most effective beastformer, by my own admission. I wonder if I would be a better flier if I had to undergo that procedure. Or more beautiful somehow." She shrugs. Don't worry, Prowl, she's just thinking aloud. "Oh! Sequin is a spiderformer and a weaver, and he makes the most amazing silk garments. By the way, that sample you sent me to study. That was from Tarantalus, yes."

"Slime. Huh." Prowl struggles to imagine, but his careful grin returns as Nightshade speaks of her beauty. "You're as effective as you need to be. And thanks for analyzing that, figured as much. I'll have to find Sequin, then. He used to unsettle me. Everything seems to come around," he sighs.

Nightshade puts a gentle hand on Prowl's knee. "It will be alright," she says in a softer voice. "Ratchet will help you, and even if he can't right away, you aren't alone here. We will teach you all there is to know about being a bug. And underneath it you are still Prowl."

Prowl elects to linger in this warm, fuzzy feeling of comfort for a fewww extra seconds, and shakes himself out of it when it begins to feel indulgent. It's easier to reach with a spider limb to pat-pat Nightshade's shoulder, fondly. "You're very kind. I'll talk to you again soon. You should find Proxima before you leave - she has a series of impressive photos exhibiting microbiology. She also claims she has a photo of cosmic string." He doesn't sound like he believes it.

"Cosmic string? I really have to see that. Thank you, Prowl!" Nightshade flicks her antennae fondly at the spider-toes-pat. "I will keep in contact with you about those Obtentum experiments and the venom, um, thing. Bye bye!" She gives a little wave before taking off flying with her thrusters flickering behind her. Cosmic string?!

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