Difference between revisions of "2018-10-08 Feedback"

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Revision as of 02:58, 9 October 2018

Date 2018/10/08
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Wheeljack's Laboratory
Participants Bulkhead, Penchant, Trailbreaker
Scene GM Jay
Summary Wheeljack's adorable lab assistant hooks up the wrong barrels and douses the ship in Chimeracon solution. It's totally not his fault!

It's another of those rare occasions that Bulkhead is alone in his shared lab, Wheeljack off doing something or other. That suits him just fine, today; he's got some guests coming, and while they're friends of Jackie's as well, it's still nice to get some hang time with his friends without it having to be a Bulkhead&Wheeljack affair.

Trailbreaker he's invited because, well. He hasn't made much time to see his friend in a while. He's prepared drinks for them to share - non-alcoholic drinks - while they catch up. And since he's a busy seemed fine to invite Penchant along as well, bringing the energon cube total up to three. He's got some logistics to talk with the cassette concerning that Chimeracon solution and some other science supplies, so why not combine business with pleasure?

Considering who he'd married, that's practically his MO at this point.

Whoever comes calling first will get a hearty "Door's open!" in greeting, Bulkhead standing by a series of large containers against one wall, datapad in hand. They look like industrial barrels; his and Wheeljack's lab assistant, the rarely-spotted Dymium, is running back and forth between this area and a nearby monitor. On the counter nearest Bulkhead sit the aforementioned energon cubes.

Trailbreaker, social butterfly that he is even in rough times, beamed at the idea of spending time with Bulkhead and answered the invitation right away. He ambles through the door with easy body language, flashing a peace sign and a grin. "Heya, Bulkhead! How's newlywed life in the nerd cave?" Bulkhead gets a happy slap on the back, and Trailbreaker looks up at him with bright, clear optics from behind his visor. Look, he's not even hung over. Visibly, anyway.

Penchant follows shortly after. It's not that he doesn't trust Bulkhead, but every lab he steps into these days gets a critical sweep of his optics before he steps over the threshold. "Gentlemechs," he greets with a cautious smile, and promptly helps himself to a cube.

Bulkhead laughs, not at all perturbed by the smack to his back. "Hey, Teebs. It's great, though I can't say much different from how things were before." As Penchant arrives, Bulk allows him his scan of the place, and when he comes inside he'll immediately have Bulkhead providing the means for reaching the counter and energon. "Pench. Glad you both could make it; I know we've all been busy of late, so it's good to see you. Even if I've got some things for you to look over." His grin for Pench is sheepish before he continues, "But first, how're things treating you? Take a cube, Teebs, it's good quality."

"Pench, my mech!" Trailbreaker considers giving Penchant the same happy back slap, but then realizes that might knock the little guy over. Sorry, Pench. Instead he downs half of an energon cube and leans against one of the lab counters, taking care not to knock anything over with his back kibble.

"Aw, well, not much change here." For better or worse. "Been doing a lot of reading. The writing is, uh, a work in progress? Let's say...?"

Penchant finds a perch on the edge of a stool Bulkhead had brought up from a ground panel. He holds his cube in his lap and grows thoughtful. "I don't have anything good to report, to be honest. I'm still trying to keep trade deals open. I'm guessing you both heard about the success in New Iacon." He turns to Trailbreaker. "Inspiration will come to you. Always does."

"It doesn't all come at once; don't stress about it." Bulkhead claps a hand on Trailbreaker's shoulder, and soooo subtly skirts past what Penchant brought up. No he hasn't heard about what happened in New Iacon, because he is a science hermit. "Still, it's good to see you, Pench. We've all been busy with something or another...which is part of why I asked to see you." Shifting on his feet, Bulkhead pulls up something on his datapad. The cube reserved for him remains untouched. "The remaining Chimeracon solution; where were you thinking of doing with it?"

Near them, Dymium drags a long tube of some sort over to the barrels, and begins attempting to attach it to a nozzle on one of them.

Trailbreaker raises a visor-eyebrow. "What's this about New Iacon? Tarn, right? And there was a blackout, which I bet ticked Megatron off somethin' fierce...I gotta go find Hound and congratulate him for that." He gives Bulkhead an appreciative nod. "Yeah, all the books on writing say that too. Don't rush it, don't force it, etc. We can't all be miner-poets hit by inspiration or somethin', and thaaaat's probably for the best."

Swishing the rest of his glass, he frowns at the mention. "Chimeracon? Weren't those the, uh, the...what happened to Prowl?"

Penchant watches Dymium work. He can't help a nervous half-smile when Trailbreaker brings up miner-poets. "Yeah, I'm relieved it... worked out." He considers Bulkhead's question and looks over the barrels. "It's essentially a stealth tool. We have rooms in storage for items that require high security. If you're through with it in S&E, we can take it..."

Tarn? A blackout? Clearly it was a major victory, and Bulkhead files this away as information that he maaaaybe should learn about. Just. Not right now. "Yes, that's what happened to Prowl," he confirms. "And no, we're not done with it yet, Nightshade and I still have some tests to run. So - how would we use this as a stealth tool? And has anyone come to you with plans on exposing mechs to it for that purpose?" A stylus has appeared in Bulk's hand, his attention focused on Penchant.

"A stealth tool?" Trailbreaker taps his chinplate. "I mean, if we ever need to sneak onto Earth or some other organic-heavy planet we can certainly make use of it, and I guess it...doesn't get detected the way we mechanical beings do? Something like that? I dunno how it works. I ain't the sciency type here. Except, you're not really organic, right? I mean, it's gotta be-something similar but not really the same thing..."

"I..." Penchant looks to Bulkhead, helpless. "What Trailbreaker said. No, no one has asked me in particular. We know it completely disguises signals, so... It just seems like a waste to throw it all away, you know?"

"We don't know if it's a camouflage, or if it changes your genetic makeup. Prowl was able to shed the affliction through radiation treatment; that hints at a deeper effectiveness than mere aesthetics, especially considering the shift in alt mode, though we won't know for sure until we run more tests." Bulkhead scribbles furiously on his datapad for a few moments, then looks up, remembering the two are there; the sheepish look returns. "No, it''re right, Pench. It would be a waste. I only want to be careful, there are some in the department who care more about results than ethics." He's not naming names. If you think of anyone specific it's not his fault.

It's then that Dymium, having successfully affixed the tubing to one of the containers, scrambles up to Bulkhead. "I'm ready to begin the test!" His plating vibrates on his frame in barely contained excitement; one gets the impression that if he had any sort of kibble, it would be wiggling violently.

"Hmm? Oh, yeah, go ahead, Dyms. The sprinkler system in the reservoir is the best bet, there shouldn't be anyone in there." Bulk gives Dymium an encouraging little smile, and the mech beams before rushing back to his monitor. "Testing a new fire retardant formula," Bulkhead explains, turning back to his datapad. "Should be helpful, in case something on this ship explodes or catches fire. Again."

"...We're kind of a weird species, aren't we?" Trailbreaker concludes after a silent moment. "I mean, we can change our alt modes to adapt to other environments and hide, and even our innate, uh, metal-ness isn't permanent if what you're sayin' is true. At least on the surface. So if we're not defined strictly by our...huh, you know? I should copy this down, for that book I ain't ever gonna get around to writin'." He gives a deep chuckle, the self-depreciating kind, and then glances curiously at Dymium. "Didn't the baths catch fire once? Somehow?"

"Somehow," Penchant grins and takes another sip. "To be fair ethics have been a little wobbly lately. And yeah, we are a little weird. But we're not the only adaptive race out there. Those green guys... I forgot what they're called. I feel like we're kinda' competing with them."

The look Bulkhead gives Trailbreaker is fond. "Those are the questions we're asking. Maybe you're more science-minded than you think

The look Bulkhead gives Trailbreaker is fond. "Those are the questions we're asking. Maybe you're more science-minded than you think. That might be part of why the solution works so well on us, in fact - our entire mechabiology revolves around adaption. I plan on running the results past Perceptor, get his opinion.

Penchant gets a blank look, and Bulkhead's first response is based entirely off of something Miko had mentioned to him once. "You mean like Beast Boy?" he asks, like this is a serious question about a real thing.

As they talk, Dymium activates his program, temporarily exerting control over the sprinkler systems. Just needs a minute to load....

Trailbreaker blinks and then even blushes a little at being called 'science-minded.' "Eheh, just sorta nosy and curious. Been trying to keep, you know, clarity and everything lately? And allowing my mind to wander a bit may not be the most productive, but it feels better than...shushing it." Drowning bad thoughts, in other words. Instead, just focus on weird thoughts. That's healthy, right?

He downs the rest of the energon, and then almost spits it out when Bulkhead brings up Beast Boy. "Isn't that one of those Earth cartoon show things? With, uh, the kid with the sword and the dog?"

Penchant looks between the two of them and their Terran references. He just... finishes off his drink and shrugs. "Nnnnot Beast Boy. It'll come to me. Probably right in the middle of recharge. Hey Dymium, you can come join us when you're through there, if you want - ?"

"Nosy and curious are pretty much the foundations of science. But hey, that's great, Teebs, I'm glad to hear it." Bulkhead rubs his knuckles against Trailbreaker's shoulder, rather than drag the mech in for a tight side hug. He's learned something about sudden contact in public spaces, finally.

"Uh...yes? I think? Miko brought it up - she's, uh, she's a human I'm close with, from Earth--" Bulk can't remember if he's really talked about her to either of them. "So maybe I'm. Wrong." He picks up his cube and stops his awkward response with a long drink.

From the monitor, Dymium perks up, optics shining. "Oh, yeah, thank you!" he chirps, and hurries over. "The data is programmed to record automatically, I don't have to look at the screen for that to happen, I'm testing if the retardant in its current formula is too thick for the sprinkler systems, you see, but I don't have to be in the reservoir to get the results, I set up sensors that feed information directly to that monitor--"

As Dymium talks (you can see why he's a Wheeljack assistant), the program finishes loading, and the sprinklers activate in the reservoir.

And the habsuite deck. And the science deck. And the bridge. And, most pressingly important to this group, in Wheeljack's lab.

Liquid suddenly rains down upon the four from above, immediately coating the lot of them. Bulkhead is quick to leap into action, even as he splutters - "Dymium! Turn that off! Trailbreaker, help me cover the benches, we've got tarps - !"

"You thinkin' about Quintessons, Penchant? I thought they were like, uh, octopi? Or something? I mean don't get me wrong, octopi are weird. I was readin' this book written by an Autobot who was an aquarium on Earth, and man did she have some stories about--"

Before Trailbreaker can ramble about Seawater's memoirs, he's all soaked himself and sputtering as it just gets everywhere. He holds his hands up instinctively, winces and instead grabs for one of the tarps to toss over the lab equipment. "Penchant, ya wanna shelter under us big guys?"

Penchant looks interested in this Miko person, and scoots in to listen, when Dymium starts to describe his process. "Hah, no, not Quintessons. The little green guys that combine! Scrap," he says, wracking his brain. Then the sprinklers go off and he almost laughs. HARMLESS FUN. "Yeah, water's no big though." He hops off his stool to stand beneath Trailbreaker, hand against his shin.

"It can be to the equipment!" Bulkhead protests, as Dymium run back to the monitor, trying to shut off the program. Between him and Trailbreaker, they're able to cover a good portion of the materials, though of course Bulk is already worrying about the affects the liquid will have on the half-finished projects they'd had out. He'll have to find a safe way to dry them out; hopefully anything damaged would be easily replaceable. He finds himself suddenly even more grateful Penchant was here.

After a few moments, the sprinklers shut down. Bulkhead scratches at a spot of plating on his back; the downpour has ended, but it's left him itching, a scratchy feeling slowly blossoming along his armor. "The reservoir, Dyms, I said the reservoir--"

"I know! I know, sorry, I guess there was a glitch in the coding, um, I'll clean it up! But at least we know it works!" Dymium presses his palms together in front of his face, smile wide, and apologetic, and hopelessly endearing. It's so hard to stay upset with him.

As the liquid from the sprinklers drips off of them, Bulkhead isn't the only one faced with a growing deep itch. The others will feel it as well, almost as if it's originating beneath their armor.

Trailbreaker gives Dymium a smile and thumbs-up, laughing. "It was funny, what can I say? Kinda refreshing, like a trip to the spa." Except that may not be the case, he quickly realizes, as something's welling up inside of him that does not feel great. Very itchy. Prickly, in fact, and kind of painful.

"Though, uh...bit of feedback? You might wanna check that stuff for irritants, it's burnin' something fierce. Kinda weird, actually..." He tries bracing himself against the table, being the sort of big fellow who can't reach his own back, and then flips into alt mode to see if it helps. It does not. "Ow..."

Aww jeez look at Dymium and his big ol' smile. Penchant finds himself beneath Trailbreaker's alt suddenly, and moves to peek out from behind a tire. Then that itchiness reaches him, and he scratch-scratches all over. It only makes it worse. "Argh, what the... Bulkhead? Oof!"

Bulkhead, in an automatic response to his own itchiness, flares his plating, hoping the air passing through to the protoform beneath will alleviate this sudden irritation. It does not.

"Dymium," he asks, trying to keep his voice steady, even as his plating ruffles along his frame like a neverending cycle of falling and resetting dominoes. "What was in that solution?"

"I--nothing that would cause this--!" Dymium, too, is scratchy; at least one can assume by the way he's stuffed himself beneath the lip of a counter and is trying to use that as a back scratcher. "There were no irritants, I checked and double-checked several times!"

Bulkhead bites his lip on a reprimand, and shakes his helm. "Well, there must be something. I'll just take a look at your work..." He moves toward the monitor, optics trailing over the barrels along the wall, and stops short when he sees which barrel the tube is attached to. His plating shuffles once again, this time like a cat slowly reacting to something that has startled it. "Dyms..." he says slowly. "...That's the Chimeracon container."

"Aaah, sorry, P!" Trailbreaker flickers his lights and transforms again so he's no longer looming over Penchant as a truck, just as a very uncomfortable-looking mech. "Oh, it feels like it's comin' from inside. Like I got little scraplets in there or something just nibblin' away. Maybe it's an allergy? Some folks got allergies to different kinds of energon, though the odds that all three of us...ngh."

He's so busy being miserable he almost doesn't catch what Bulkhead said. Almost.

"...The what?!"

"It's no big deal," Penchant blurts, voice strained. "If the medics could cure Prowl, they can cure us. It's n-not your fault, Dymium." Even now he's compelled to keep that sweet lab assistant smiling. But now it's Penchant's turn to swap into alt mode. He falls flat on the ground as a tape, and just... vibrates.

Dymium makes a sound that's halfway between a whine and a mrowww, and Bulkhead winces. This...this isn't good. "The Chimeracon solution," he repeats, digging blunt fingertips as hard as he can into the armor of his shoulders and arms. The scratching is getting worse, and the texture of his plating is beginning to change beneath his hands. It's still fine, still short, but he knows - he's growing fur. "The barrels - Dyms, the labels, you should've checked the labels - !"

Bulk takes a deep breath, calming himself, holding back the lecture bubbling up in his chassis. He'll talk to Dymium later, when the mech isn't giving him sad optics that seem to be developing a thin, vertical sliver of black in the center. "You're right. Penchant's right. The medics can cure us, though. I don't know if their method will work on a larger scale." He curls forward, an uncomfortable roiling spreading through his frame. Something heavy and metallic falls against the back of his leg, a piece of plating that's sloughed off, perhaps, and is now hanging by a metaphorical thread. It swishes slightly with every movement. "Just, just breathe, don't panic, it'll be over soon." He has no idea if that's true.

    <FS3> Trailbreaker rolls Cheerleader: Amazing Success. (6 8 8 8 7 2 1 8 8)

"Right, right, that's right. Prowl survived this and-and he got the treatment from Tarantalus, for Primus's sake! Just gotta endure a little discomfort and we'll be a-ok!" Trailbreaker is gritting his teeth, which seem to be getting a little...well, buck-toothed, and holding his head, and buckling over, but listen to all that genuine cheer and hope in his voice!

"I mean hey, what better chance to-to observe the effects 'n stuff? We'll get through this and then all get together and laugh about it over a driiiia cake, over a cake. Honestly, I'm kinda hungry? Is that weird?"

He's hoping his babbling distracts the others, and himself, from the pain, which is getting pretty acute now. He stops short and his whole frame shudders before he collapses forward, revealing long spines growing from his back. Lots and lots of long spines, thick and long and maybe even a little soft-looking at parts, that a tail forming behind him?

It's probably ridiculously trippy to watch a tape sprout long spindly legs with tiny cloven hooves at the end. Penchant lies there on his side - a headless, pied deer that continues to writhe and grow. But Trailbreaker does a good job of keeping things positive. It doesn't stop Penchant from tacking on, "I hate that spider."

"You're not the only one," Bulkhead growls in Penchant's direction. He's better able to keep his wits about him, as he's gone through nearly the same transformation before, and last time it was much more painful, as his root and alt modes became the same. Now, he accepts the growing fur, the shifting kibble, the sharpening of his teeth, with almost a bored annoyance. The most striking difference is that fallen plating that swishes and brushes against the backs of his leg, and it's not until he looks at Trailbreaker that he realizes what it is.

He's grown a tail, too.

"It's not weird, Teebs, it's part of the change, you need more energy--Dymium, get off the counter!" It comes out more as a bark than an order, and Dymium mrowls, hopping down from where he'd started perching on the countertop. He's grown fur, too, and his own tail, and helm panels similar to Hound's, though not quite. "Right, right, there's treatment for this. It's only temporary. We'll be fine." Seeing Trailbreaker and Penchant on the floor, Bulkhead hesitates, and ultimately can't help himself. He transforms, and his new (old?) alt trots forward, sniffing and nosing at the both of them, whimpering and licking while they are racked in pain. The St. Bernard is back.

Trailbreaker is thunking his tail against the floor, lying face-down underneath a plush rug of spines and...very different kibble. His hands have claws at the end now, as do his pedes. "Sorry," he says in a muffled tone, "got all my optimism outta me there. Hold on, gimme a moment..."

He transforms before he sits up, and instead of a truck is a much smaller, mass-shifted and very realistic-looking porcupine, peering up at Bulkhead's nose and yelping. His spines shoot out on instict, because from this point of view that dog is VERY large and...oops. "...Wait, Bulkhead, is that you?"

He peers between Penchant and Bulkhead, and then down at himself. And yelps again. "I'm all...prickly. Bulkhead, Bulk, I didn't spine ya, did I?...P, where's your head at?"

    <FS3> Bulkhead rolls Fortitude: Good Success. (4 5 1 2 2 7 6 2 4 3 1 4 7)

Penchant blearily opens his big cervine eyes and realizes he's got a little set of antlers that knock against the floor. He scrambles upright and stumbles awkwardly, but thankfully he's had practice walking like this. Only everything's kinda' furry, and his nose is wet. EUGH. He stiffens when Trailbreaker poofs out. "What kinda' messed up alien are you?" Bulkhead on the other hand is fairly recognizable. Everyone loves dogs!

Bulk can't blame Trailbreaker for that response. His own mass-shifting is less than perfect, as he ends up somewhere close in size to the first time he'd been in this form, which is quite a bit larger than a near-Earth sized porcupine. So he can't be upset, when Trailbreaker defends himself against what he perceives is danger.

He can, though, yip in surprise and pain, and paw at the quills now stuck deeply in his snout.

It takes Bulkhead a moment to remember, oh yeah, he can transform this time, and the TSCHU-TSCHU-TSCHU leads to a situation where it's much easier to pull the quills from the dog head that is now his chassis kibble. "Yeah, it's me," he says, belatedly, as if that's not obvious by now. "Are you two okay? Can you transform to root mode still?"

"Sorry, sorry! Aw, jeez, sorry, I'll-I just got startled and it's like when my forcefields go-went on the fritz. But pointier? Uh, hold on..." He backs up, giving himself room just in case, and then transforms back into his Teebs-sized, still very spiny root mode. He still has a visor in that mode, though maybe also a bit of an overbite now and faint whiskers.

"Eugh. I dunno what I am, Penchant. I think I've seen this before? It's a...what's the word. Katydid? No, that don't sound right..."

Penchant elects to keep a careful distance, even with Trailbreaker in his root mode. Because those long spines are a lil' scary. "Uhhh... snail?" he guesses. He's bad at this. "Could've been worse. Could've been acid." He paws the ground anxiously. "Should the rest of the ship be notified?"

"Don't, Teebs, really, don't apologize." Bulkhead jerks the quills from his new kibble, one by one, and sets them aside on a workbench. He's going to want to study these. "I think it's an Earth animal, I'll have to check." He's reaching for the datapad he'd dropped in the midst of all this, trying not to feel bad about how Dymium is peeking out from an empty box they'd been meaning to recycle in the corner of the room, when Penchant's words sink in.

"...Shit." There's that Miko influence. "If this wasn't the only sprinkler activated, there could be others!" Bulk goes quiet, then, pressing his fingers to the side of his helm, not noticing how a very subtle, very rounded and floppy panel is displaced when he does so. He has to notify Command.

Trailbreaker shudders and winces at the sight of his own quills like that. Is he just covered in weapons now? Is that the danger that comes from being a...

"I don't think snail is quite right. It's definitely Earth fauna, I feel like I saw some footage of one once back down there. Partridge, was that it...? Persimmon? It's a P-word, I know it."

He shakes his head and kneels down next to Penchant. "Hey, P, can ya still transform? Might wanna test that out. And, uh, we...we wanna let Command know." He thumps his tail subconsciously.

Penchant grudgingly transforms to root, and he looks a little like a tiny satyr, with his his antlers shifted to his capped helm, accented by fuzzy, pied panels of fur. He puts his hands on his hips, an ear flicking. "I think I'm gonna' go dunk my head in radiation down in medical. Got all the info you need, Bulkhead?"

"Uh?" Bulkhead's still sending info to Command. Chimeracon solution released along the entirety of the ship any who have been exposed should report to medical immediately. "Oh. Yeah, I--yeah. But don't dunk your head in radiation, it's a delicate process, too much exposure could warp you further-- Dymium!" This last sharp reprimand is accompanied by Bulk sticking his leg out, halting the pounce the lab assistant was in the midst of making on satyr!Pench. "I'm going to look into this. It doesn't seem like behavior is affected, at least. You two...get some rest, if you can. I'll handle things from here."

"Thank goodness behavior isn't affected," Trailbreaker mutters as he stands back up. He certainly wouldn't want to be stuck acting like a Whatever. Though he has noticed that little Dymium-pounce and frowns. Hopefully that isn't a bad sign...

"Well, uh, I better...I'm gonna go check on some folks to make sure they're okay." Fireflight, Hound, the old crew back at Swerve's, that sort of thing. "And try to relax, maybe in the lounge, cuz I feel like I just crashed into a wall." There's a weak little smile on his face as he transforms again, and then makes a perturbed sound.

A perturbed, squeaky sound.

Unaware that he's done such a thing, he grumbles, "right, no wheels" and just plods off instead. Seconds later he can be heard in the hallway, sounding much more triumphant.

"Hey, check it out! I still got my Magna...feet. Ceiling persimmon is here!"

Penchant goes a little deer-in-the-headlights when Dymium is stopped from pouncing. "Heh..." He watches Trailbreaker plod off, and smirks despite himself. "Don't worry, I'm exaggerating. I'll trust the medics," he tells Bulkhead. "And I'll check back in with you soon." He twists back to his new alt and PRONKS back into the halls with ease.

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