2015-02-17 Lost Lights, Power, Engine

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Lost Lights, Power, Engine
Date 2015/02/17
Location Lost Light
Participants Chromia, Hustle, Rodimus
Summary Chromia frowns at Hustle very carefully so no one loses face in front of Rodimus.

Why is it nothing can be simple?

She never should have left Caminus. The mission to go to Cybertron failed when they ran into this ship and Chromia should have had Nautica turn it around and return their colony right there. Yet... the need to have left was too great and despite now being adrift on a powerless ship with a monster on board is still a greater promise to Caminus than it's current state. Chromia had to adhere to protocol when the ships went bump in the night (of space!), keeping Windblade secure so she missed out on a great deal - such as, apparently, a stow away. On the very ship she was meant to secure.

So now that things are handled, seemingly at least, and Windblade is occupied delegating, Chromia has something she needs to take care of. Since she doesn't know her way around this 'Lost Light' she has recruited a guide. Why not have that be the flashiest, brightest bot she could find. She pretty much grabbed Rodimus, without knowing who he is, and demanded that he show her around. Where did she want him to take her? To wherever Hustle is.

"So, you picked the name for your ship *before* we found it, right? Or is this powerless drifting something you planned to do for all guests to help explain the name of this craft?"

Hustle has been sitting in the engine rooms, looking at Eric The HalfaBot sticking out of them. Brainstorm drug her off alongside Nautica to regale her with scientific theory (read: verbal tsunami aimed in Nautica and Hustle's general direction) while Hustle played the part of the dutiful and unremarkable tool-handing assistant. So far she has managed to squirm out of the eventual consequences of having been a stowaway. Hustle intends to stretch that as far as she possibly can for as long as she possibly can.

Surprisingly amenable to abandoning something boring like 'oversee crew assignments', Rodimus leaves all that in Ultra Magnus's more than capable hands. His excuse? It's a Captain's duty to exercise diplomacy. And his idea of diplomacy is to laugh, glance down the poorly lit halls, and go, "Yeah, no, amazingly enough it's coincidence. Well. We should've gone for something like Lost Lights, Power, Engine in that case."

The engine room is one of the better guarded areas on the ship, currently, considering its importance to the restoration of power and propulsion. Rodimus exchanges a nod with the warriors on duty before leading Chromia through: "So, last I heard, she was in here!"

"How about 'Little To No Hope'," Chromia suggests, part in jest and part in grumble. What does it say about her and hers though if this is a step up in terms of situations? She opens her mouth to make a further comment but then closes it, thinking better on chastising a captain for the ship condition when she already feels responsible for her own. "Fortunately you have Nautica now, and she's the best." Chromia isn't even aware of what the Lost Light has but is confident in her friend. "She'll save us all," she just decides.

Chromia walks past the guards, sure they won't stall her. "Good," she answers back before looking about for Hustle. She looks at Rodimus. "Dismissed." But then, quickly, she takes that back. "Actually, I'll need you to stay, to show me the way back."

She then scans about and... there she is and... it is *her*. Chromia can't hide her sigh. It's long, deep and filled with a sort of historical conviction that tells a tale on it's own. "Hustle," she says, to call the femme's attention. She shouldn't be surprised. She should be really pissed off. Yet, she can't really allow the potential embarrassment that Hustle has brought to them all. So against her own better judgment... Chromia adopts a smile, "I see that your expertise is coming in handy. Good, good."

Hustle is so lost in thought that she startles from her perch on a railing and falls right off of it, backwards. So much for maintaining composure and keeping a low profile. "I DIDN'T DO IT!" is her startled cry, before she realizes that yes, she just said that out loud. Picking herself up off the floor and trying to dust off both her plating and her dignity. "I mean - hello, Chromia! Good to see you, everything going well with the repairs? We're not going to immediately die with the rest of these fine ... people?" Read: schmucks.

There's a shiver of movement that suggests Rodimus is about to nod an acknowledgment to Chromia's dismissal -- a lift of his chin, a squaring of his shoulders -- and then he remembers: "This is /my/ ship, you know." The lift suggests pride, now, and the angle of his shoulders speaks confidence. He answers Chromia with humor rather offense, but his response to dismissal is firm. "Although I'd be happy to show you back."

Following the turn of Chromia's attention to Hustle, Rodimus laughs. "Take it from someone who knows: nothing makes you sound more guilty."

Chromia feels the urge to slap herself. They landed not on cybertron but on a ship named 'Lost Light' and the captain of it is a painted up as the brightest target she has ever seen? Chromia groans internally. "Of course you are," she manages, still with that forced smile. The flames... that is what they will see when they go down in this thing, aren't they?

Chromia quickly looks from Hustle to Rodimus and back. "Forgive her, she's always been... jumpy. The nerves of being in a new place. None of us have left Caminus before." If Chromia had her way, little Hustle never would have left either. Yet, here she is and thus Chromia has to stick her neck out for the screwup, to save face for Windblade. "Perhaps you would be better to tell me how the repairs are going, hrm? You are Nautica's assistant afterall." She looks over to Rodimus to explain. "Hustle has a great knack for getting into places no one else can. Odd places, you know. Delicate hands," she accents by wiggling fingers. She looks backt o Hustle. "No, no dying here," she orders, sharing a look with the yellow femme. "So... how did you ever manage to make it on the ship in time? We were worried... the launch was about to happen and it seemed like you were still on Caminus, trying to locate some kind of part or something? Good to know you got onboard in time."

Hustle just smiles. It's halfway between confident and oily. "Well," she answers Chromia easily, "I hadn't made up my mind at first, I mean, leaving my solid occupation on Caminus was a tough call, but there wasn't much room for moving up in that line of work. Once I heard about Cybertron and the opportunity to set out for adventure and excitement on another world? That was all it took. I managed to wiggle out of my commitments last minute and make sure I was on the ship. I think the ship's manifesto might have had a few errors in it, I mean hey, mistakes happen right? I'm probably on there near the bottom right next to *mumble* *mutter* *something about 'star' and 'crunch'*," she explains, looking aside and kind of coughing into her hand on that last part.

Rodimus answers Chromia's forced smile with a rather easier grin and shamelessly listens in, making awkward the shakedown that Chromia would dearly love to give Hustle. "If you're after adventure and excitement, you've got it. Windblade's interested in staying on with us. We're still talking it out, she has to talk to you guys, I guess. But--." He makes his pitch straight to the Camiens: "We're on an adventure to find the Knights of Cybertron! They traveled with metrotitans, you know, and wow, the look on Windblade's face when I pointed that out. I mean, what I could see of her face, anyway. We've really got to get those lights fixed." While engineering is better lit than the rest of the ship, the faint red tint of the emergency lighting does make everything a little more dire elsewhere.

Chromia kind of hates herself for giving Hustle a cover story. But what can she do? How would it reflect on Windblade if it got out that an unintended (in every sense of the word) Camian got onboard? Still... Chromia does have to find a little bit of admiration in Hustle. She *wanted* to leave Caminus, so much so that she took this risk. So maybe Chromia *should* cover for her? "Well, we didn't know that you had made it, so didn't update it. You," she wags a chastising matronly finger at Hustle, "Should have alerted us that you made it on! You know how I hate to have messy logs." Cover complete?

Chromia looks back to Rodimus and... why does she have the urge to sigh every time she looks at him??? "That doesn't surprise me, about Windblade's wishes. We were sent to make contact with Cybertron, to find out what we could about the titans." She purposefully doesn't say why. "If they are 'out there' instead of on Cybertron, then it makes sense for us to go in search of them. Just..." She frowns as she thinks of something personal. She's not really in a position to ask, yet feels as though she should. He *is* the captain afterall. "We're headed away from Cybertron, correct? Does the Lost Light have any means of locating large bodies of survivable liquids?"

She then looks over to Hustle and puts her hands on her hips. She clears her throat. If Hustle expects Chromia of all bots to lie for her, then Hustle is going to have to... well, hustle... to prove she can live up to the lie they're going to have to maintain. "You heard what the bot said, prioritize the lights."

"I'll tell Nautica you want the lights fixed, but you know I'm not a repair specialist," Hustle bounces back. Now we're coming to terms, and the negotiations underneath the regular exchange are going to take place. "I'm involved in security matters that concern all of us - I'm trying to make sure there aren't weirdos on this ship that might do the rest of us harm - it's great that we volunteered to give them a hand, that's the right thing to do, but that doesn't mean we know who they are or what they're like." She looks over at Rodimus. "No offense to you Flamey, you seem like a pretty straight-forward, easy to read guy. Just can't be too careful about people you do know, you know?"

"Cool." Rodimus is all enthusiasm in the midst of chaos. "All aboard." He looks only briefly taken aback by Chromia's question. "/Liquids/?" he repeats with the skepticism of a metal lifeform. Grinning over at Hustle, he waves a hand. "None taken. And it's Rodimus. It's a fair concern. Especially since our crew situation is a little, uh, complicated. But we all share the same goal. More or less." The more he talks the better it sounds! "And after talking to Windblade, it sounds like you do, too."

Chromia introduces her hand to her face. It is a slow slide down her faceplate until she reveals herself. Hustle, not NOW! That femme has never been wired for reason, Chromia fumes - to herself. She can't help but stare at the shorter femme. "Yes. You are Nautica's assistant. Guard. Just like I have been assigned to Windblade." She's only digging deeper! Work with her here, Hustle! "You might not be tech-assigned but still, as Nautica's guard, assistant and all around go-to... maybe you could rely that information to her?" It's like the academy all over again! It was sometimes hard seeing the back of the classroom when Chromia was always at the front of it, but Hustle was a bit hard to miss.

She then gestures to Rodimus. "I doubt they would have elected him captain if he was going to take unnecessary risks, endanger his crew, be brash or make bad decisions. If they did then this is going to be a much shorter flight," she chuckles because that SURELY can't be the case. "If you're going to worry about any of them, you should focus on the big one with the taaaaalllll shoulders. Now he looks imposing. Or the ones with the purple embelms," she considers. She still means to ask about that.

Chromia nods to Rodimus and, once more, considers asking this or not. "It's... I made a promise. To Nautica. On Caminus, we didn't really have an abundance of clean liquids for her to... it's her alt-form, you see. It's for aquatic travel and she hasn't really had the opportunity to enjoy it. When we reached Cybertron I promised to immediately take her to the largest body of liquid possible. But now..."

"Sometimes we have to play the hand we're dealt," Hustle reassures Chromia. "The trick to life is making sure you have a trump card up your arm plating, marked cards, and to seat yourself with people who have never played the game." Huge, scrap-eating grin. "But yeah, I'll get back to helping Nautica - it'll give me plenty of chance to look over this ship; maybe Nautica can help show me how everything works."

Rodimus makes a /complicated/ noise: a cough, a snort, a laugh, all rendered mechanically to fade into a last huff. "Ah. Yeah. Well, actually, we don't /elect/ our captains and, uh, the whole thing is kind of a ... risk. You know what? Never mind." He hastily cuts off that line of discussion with the cap of another brilliant grin. "I know a thing or two about promises. Yeah, I'll make sure you can keep it." He nods after Hustle, saying, "Good to meet you, Hustle. I'll have someone arrange a habsuite for you and Nautica so you can charge up once the power's back up."

'Whew,' Chromia thinks to herself. 'Something to keep Hustle busy, that should be.... Scrap it! No!' The thoughts of hustle crawling all over the insides of this ship and all of the trouble that she could get into... Chromia needs to reintroduce her hand to her face again. This femme is going to give her spark failure, Chromia knows it. "Remember," she points out, "We're here ultimately to ensure Windblade's mission is a success." It's a warning, really, that as long as Hustle plays along, she'll have the leeway she's cleverly wormed her way into. Yet, should she do something to embarrass the cityspeaker...

"Thank you," she is quick to say to Rodimus. It means a lot to her to give Nautica that chance. "After all she's done to get this Lost Light running again, she deserves it," she asserts. Nautica means that much to her. "In the mean time... what are you doing to locate this sparkeater?"

Hustle pauses. "I'm sorry did you just say 'sparkeater'?"

"Yeah!" The degree of enthusiasm with which Rodimus answers Hustle is ... distressing. "No idea where it came from, but it looks like was being kept contained in a secret room and got knocked loose by the explosion. That's why all the guards," he explains with a point to the Autobots lined up to ensure the engine room does not become a target. "We've got teams combing the ship. Until the power's back on, we can't find it using sensors or surveillance."

"We will be glad to help in any way we can. Once Hustle has assisted Nautica all that she can, perhaps she can join in the search? You could pair her up with one of your mechs?" Someone that might keep Hustle out of trouble? "I would be glad to assist myself. Maybe it will help me to get a better understanding of this ship... as long as we keep that thing *far* away from Windblade," Chromia states, to make sure everyone know where her priorities lay. "We don't have experience with such things but if are to be a part of this crew, we should all earn our place in it. Not just Nautica."

Chromia then blinks as something comes back to her. "What do you mean you don't elect your captains?" Does Rodimus mean to suggest that there are mechs on this ship that don't want him leading them?!

"Different cultures, Chromia," Hustle replies to the other fembot's last retort. "Maybe they like it that way and it works for them. In the grand scheme of the universe it's good, you go with what works, right?"

Now the mention of sparkeater (and Rodimus' giddy, idiot-youth glee at the thought of it) catches her attention. "Hmm. Yeah I'd like to help in that search all right. Sounds like a challenge, I love challenges, and just think of how valuable a live sparkeater would be!" Control yourself, girl. "To science, I mean. Valuable to -science-."

"I'll let Ultra Magnus know to add you to the rotation," Rodimus says. What a leader. Delegating all that boring stuff so he can swan around doing the fun things. He meets Chromia's question with a puzzled sort of grin. "Well, we don't usually do a lot of ... electing. I mean last time on Earth -- uh, never mind. And who knows how it's going to work out on Cybertron." Spoiler: /terribly/. "But everyone did have a choice of another sort. Everyone is here by choice. We're not a military ship or anything. War's over."

Which is probably a conversation for another time, eh?

"It's awesome. I mean, all we've got to work on are these creepy pictures that Soundwave's cassettes took, but there's no way you can mistake it if you see it."

"It might be an other culture but that doesn't mean they're not doing it 8wrong*." Yes, Chromia is that judgy. Especially when it comes to comparing anything to her beloved Caminus. Still, she shakes her head. "You're right, Hustle. We all need to ... adapt. Even me." She just doesn't have to like it. She nods. "We're here by choice," she agrees *and* reminds Rodimus. Windblade's choice, specifically.

Chromia considers as she looks between the brightly colored Rodimus and the also brighter colored Hustle. She half-chuckles at a thought she doesn't share. "Ultra Magnus, that is the impressive mech with the shoulders? I'd like to speak to him. With your permission of course, captain," she smirks.

"WooOOOoOOoo~" Hustle teases Chromia with a little Canned Audience response. "Maybe you should get to know him better, Chromia. Bodyguarding Windblade all day with no time for personal attention? No wonder you're so uptight!" Yes, she just went there. We are now playing the 'how much can we get away with before Chromia rearranges our face' game. It's the -best-.

"I know. And we're grateful for your help." Rodimus meets Chromia's words with a more or less serious response and only a slight smile. "If not for you, I don't know what we'd be doing. Well -- probably the running around after a sparkeater part would be the same. But if you guys decide you want to be put down, we'll do our best to help you find transport to Cybertron, or wherever. Until then--." He breaks off with a wide gesture of welcome.

"Yeah, that's him." Rodimus's smile tips a little crooked, a little smirkish. "It'd probably be a good idea. No permission needed. I'll let him know. Take as much time as you need." He just /might/ be obnoxiousing right alongside Hustle.

Chromia is confused! She very clearly has no idea what it is that Hustle is getting at! Why wouldn't she want to speak to the mech who is CLEARLY the one that is actually in charge here? The brains behind this... figurehead? "I get all I require for personal satisfaction with my time spent with Nautica," she kindly reminds Hustle. Nautica is, afterall, her *one* friend. Chromia was on a whole colony of femmes and managed to make friends with... well, one. Just one of them.

"No, I... I don't want to presume to guess what windblade is thinking but she is interested in finding the other titans. The other colonies. it is... it is important to use. If they are not on Cybertron then we don't require to go there."

"I dunno, you guys can go do the Windblade thing, Chromia," Hustle states. "Me... I wanna see the universe. I don't care if it's because I'm with people looking for the Knights of Cybertron or The Magical Codplate Of Primus - I want to enjoy the ride. Do we get to vote ourselves on the ship, Captain Rodimus, sir?" She lays it on a little extra sweet, because so far the Captain seems like the only fun person on this entire rustbucket.

But /what/ a /figure/head. Right? Check out those flames. That spoiler. The completely unnecessary lights. Just strap Rodimus to the bow of the ship and off they go. Proving himself an easy mark, he grins at Hustle. "Yeah, you bet. You want on? You're in. I mean, we even took a bunch of Cons. You're totally welcome aboard. It's going to be awesome."

If she hadn't just made such an effort to fabricate a cover for Hustle, Chromia would gladly beg Rodimus to take her. Yet... "For as long as Nautica needs you, you are required to serve," she 'reminds'. Were Hustle to have completed her training she would know that. Still... it's hard to fault the fellow femme for her desires. Chromia has never had such thoughts but it is a bravery that she can respect. To boldly go where no Camien has gone before... she shivers, for seemingly no reason.

Sigh. Responsibility. This is one of the reasons Hustle didn't want to stay on Caminus, the last thing she wanted to do was get tied down to babysitting some schmuck. What did that schmuck every do for her? Apart from, y'know, the whole regular employment thing. Yeah, yeah Nautica whatever -- No, wait, there IS a way to make this situation even worse, and she might just be able to verbally sabotauge Chromia's attempt to impose orders on her. "Oh I'll serve her, all right. I'll serve her SO HARD. I'll stand over her while she sleeps, because, y'know, sparkeater might get her. She's special, you know, with a brain like that. Sparkeaters like to go for the brain first, right? Plus she's adorable when she nerds all over the place."

While not entirely oblivious to the undertones of reminders and sabotage, Rodimus lacks ... /all/ of the context that would allow him to actually understand it. He looks gently confused. "We can work something out," he says somewhat vaguely. "We're still trying to figure out what the sparkeater /is/ going after, but engineering is one of the largest groups of people, so we're on watch. Nautica'll be watched."

If Chromia could break someone with a look... of all the bots in all the universes, Nautica is not the one to tamper with. Chromia takes a moment, thinks about what has been said and by who. Chromia, for all of her strengths is not the most clever of robots. She realizes this. Hustle is going to continue to run circles around her. Does she try and contain that or.... "Perhaps your energy would be better put to use dealing with this sparkeater, Hustle. I can watch Nautica." Like she isn't going to any way? "I mean, it would be best. For SCIENCE, right?"

"Awesome! See, now -everyone- benefits and I can do my job with SECURITY. Yessir, security is what I love to do!" Hustle announces with an overabundance of enthusiasm. She walks closer to Rodimus. "Okay so, you have a plan for catching this thing? Are we going to keep it? Do you have a name picked out for it when we get it?"

Rodimus moves from gentle confusion to bewilderment. "O--kay. Uh, so you're staying here?" he asks Chromia with a glance to double-check before looking at Hustle. He gives her a slightly uncertain smile that settles easy. "Don't think we'll keep it. We don't have a pile of turbofoxes to keep it quiet. It's ravenous. I won't stop you if you want to call it Sparky, though. We're working through the ship in a grid to search and corner it."

No matter what, Chromia is bound by duty to keep Windblade safe and for other reasons, she extends that protection to Nautica. Hustle's well-played warning struck home, so that is something that Chromia will have to concede to her. "Looks like it." That good or bad? Chromia can't tell yet but has the feeling she'll be paying for it later. "Since Windblade is secure and if hustle is going to be otherwise occupied, I'll see what help I can give to Nautica." Which would be done. Chromia is all thumbs when it comes to technical matters. She points further down the engine. "I'm going to guess she's somewhere in there," she offers as she heads that way on her own.

And with that, Hustle does feel just a bit sorry for Chromia; she's just trying to do her job. Pesky conscience, nagging at Hustle like that. "For what it's worth, Chromia, I'm just trying to put everyone's safety first. The sooner we get that thing reigned in the better off we'll all be. Then I'll go back to helping out Nautica, all right? I'm just trying to be proactive in the threat prioritization." Back to Captain Sucker-I-MEAN-RODIMUS. "That's kind of a shame. I mean, can you imagine how epic it would be if everyone knew you were such a badaft Captain that you had your own pet SPARKEATER?"

"Yep. Nice meeting you, Chromia," Rodimus calls after her. He watches just a moment more to make sure she doesn't do anything dreadful like chop into the engine with an axe, then turns for the door. Glancing at his newest tagalong, he looks briefly thoughtful, then skeptical. "Nah. The whole sparkeater aesthetic is a little too Con, you know?" No, she doesn't know. "Not to mention I've got a crew to take care of!"

"What's a 'Con'?" Hustle asks, deciding to follow on after our Rugged Captain.

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