From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Lost Light - Recreation -- Observation Deck|
|Participants||Arbiter, Chromedome, Rodimus, Rumble, Starshine, Tailgate|
|Plot||Check Your Map|
|Summary||Rodimus unleashes the organic on the observation deck and they make a deal.|
Lost Light: Recreation -- Observation Deck (#52R)
A hexagonal room that mimics the shape of the bridge two decks above, the Observation Deck likewise has two rows of windows that look out into the vast dark of space. Seating arranged casually throughout the room can be retracted into the deck or rearranged into rows for solemn ceremonies. If there's a big event, it's going to be held here.
The Lost Light was not designed for organics. It's not that the ship is without atmosphere, but the Cybertronian baseline is not exactly organic ideal. So. Cutey (that's Cui-ete to those who actually pay attention to what fleshlings say) gets a box. It's a big box. It's a box that it is welcome to exit once settled in rooms adjusted to the right atmospheric mix. But it's still a box. Cui-ete gets a seriously oversized glass of water and ... that's it, actually, unless Ultra Magnus thought to add more. A squeaky toy, maybe?
Rodimus is reading someting about xenobiology and organic lifeforms that he got from Perceptor. There are pictures. It is quite likely that Perceptor does not have a high opinion of his captain's scientific understanding. It's also likely that this is a fair assumption, since Rodimus looks unbothered. "So I guess we'll have to take you back down before too long so that you can eat plants or whatever," he says in one of the more common galactic trade tongues, "but are your buddies going to start shooting again?"
They are set up in the observation lounge for any and all to stop by and come visit, because an organic on a Cybertronian ship? Kind of a novelty.
Starshine moves into the lounge, stretching as she does. Spying the box, she tilts her head a bit. "A box...I do hope it can't climb out of the box...if it gets into the walls, it will breed like crazy..and we'll never get rid of them."
Rumble shows up on the observation deck. Is he curious about the Cutey? Sort of; he is somewhat interested in seeing what it is and what's so 'cute' about it. He's been pretty busy down in the lowest working decks of the ship, hauling parts from the Camien Ship over to the Lost Light's engineering room. This is his first venture out of that work in a while. He glances around, not immediately heading over to the box but hanging back and staring with suspicion at the others.
"Don't see the point of a damn squishling anyway," Arbiter grumbles, lumbering slowly into the deck and eyeing the box with mild disdain. "Leaking all over the damn place, all small and pesky and annoying and...squishy."
Inside the box, the slim creature is perched on its haunches, long prehensile tail swept forward to curl around its front arm. It watches with wide dark eyes. Ultra Magnus does not appear to have provided it with a squeaky toy.
It says, in the lingua franca they have been using: "My friends would not shoot. My friends are eneti. Ete." It scoots up to the front of the box and rests long-fingered hands against the front of it. It tilts its head, flicking up an ear as it shifts in a faint shimmer of dark blue-violet fur and bright yellow ribbons. "We are not permitted to touch weapons."
"It's only here temporarily," Chromedome milds from behind Arbiter. Like a /stealth/. Or, well, he just got here. "And see. Listen how helpful it's being."
"Ah-ah," Rodimus chides with wave of his datapad at the others. "It understands, you know." He considers the lone organic somewhat uneasily, and says, "Do keep it away from the walls, though." Before it tribbles on them.
"Eneti, ete. Castes." Rodimus makes a low noise of disgust. "Okay, so not your friends, but the others were pretty quick to try to shoot. Are they going to do that again? Would another settlement be more welcoming?"
Tailgate has very likely not been around an organic life form for a lengthy amount of time; what he claims and what -is-, is different, after all. So when he heard that the visitor had been set up with a quarters--of sorts-- on the deck, his natural state is one of curiosity. As he comes upon the scene of Rodimus actually reading something, and others gathered in the deck area, Tailgate turns his head at Starshine's words, looking dubiously between her and Rodimus. "Can that happen?"
Starshine hmms, and looks at Tailgate.."Oh yes..living creatures can infest a ship in no time..spend enought time in space, and you learn that fast. Muck up equipment and such.....and in the middle of the night..take things you might need."
Cui flicks an ear again; it swivels toward the others as its tail twitches. "Eneti welcome you," it says. It opens its mouth wide, showing a lighter blue tongue and a row of flat white teeth. "Ashata will try to take you. Ashata are hungry. When the traders come, metal is very precious. They have no refineries. They are dependent on traders that come each cycle of the world. Eneti welcome you. Eneti try to help, not ... infest you," it adds, leaning on the plant of its hands against the wall of its box. "I am Cui," it says, and then: "I resist."
"Oh," Chromedome assumes with sudden interest. "You're a revolutionary."
Rumble appears beside Tailgate, and peers into the box. "What the ffff. I thought you said that thing was *cute*," he exclaims, recoiling in revulsion. "We're keepin' it in there, right? Ugh."
"That's good to know. Nice to meet you, Cui." So polite. Tailgate edges nearer to the box as he speaks. His reaction is a marked difference from Rumble. "I'm Tailgate." Does this count as making animal friends?
"Cui-ete," Rodimus corrects Rumble with obvious delight in his revulsion. "Great, isn't it? Here, Cui, why don't you stretch your legs." He offers a hand up and out so that it can go terrorize Rumb-- stretch its legs. "The Ashata sound like some real scrap heaps. Do they usually do most of the trading? We swung by to do some shopping. What do you call your planet? Anyone nearby you do most of your trading with?"
Cui settles back on its haunches, tilting its head the other way at the sudden advent of fresh revulsion. When Rodimus offers his hand, he climbs readily out of the box, hands and feet curling around the arm; he swings down and then drops to the floor. "They trade," it says. Standing straight, it's a little under five foot high; it looks around the room full of giants with wide dark eyes. "We gather. The umla weave. The ashata sell. The outsiders come, once a cycle or so. I think the same trader ships each time. A month's work, sometimes one weapon, one tool. We call the planet Umashe." It turns its head, looking curious and bright up at Chromedome for his question. "Some of us resist, but we have few weapons to conceal."
Chromedome tilts his head in broad echoe. "Do you want weapons?" He should not be encouraging this, surely.
Tailgate's status as a giant is rare, so it might be even more novel for him. Still, he makes sure not to loom as he engages with his curiosity. "Are the other cities the same way?"
Rumble looks rather repulsed by Cui, and he even backs off a bit when Rodimus takes the little guy out of the box. What he'd *really* like to do, he can't do, and it's making him even more twitchy. However, it suddenly occurs to him that this little creature *might* have information that could be useful to Soundwave. With that in mind, he sulks, but actually sticks around and begins listening.
Rodimus flips the datapad in his hand end over end as he considers Cui. "So ... what if ... we gave you a list of things, and you /gather/ them, and then we pay you with weapons?" Why not support revolution? Sure, they don't know anything about the planet or its politics or whether or not Cui even represents the /right/ side--.
"Yes," Cui says, and then possibly for emphasis it exclaims, "Yes yes yes!" as it starts running around the observation desk at a scuttle of startling speed. It ricochets off the legs of several Cybertronians as it bounces around in a wildly energized circuit of the room.
"My." Chromedome props his chin on his hands. "Really wants weapons, doesn't he?"
"What the <CENSORED> is it doin' now?!" Rumble exclaims as little Cui begins boinging around wildly. He takes cover behind Tailgate, because he can do that.
Starshine shakes her head a bit
Tailgate, on the other hand, is charmed by Cui's antics, laughing lightly along with the darting to and fro. "I think I can understand his excitement."
Grinning at Rumble's retreat before Cui, Rodimus catches and then subspaces his datapad to pull out another. He taps the screen a couple of times to get it translated into the right dialect and then sets it down for Cui. He nudges it over with his foot. "Hey, take a look at that last. I'll have Nautica come by and talk to you, explain what she needs if you don't understand it, then we can figure out how much it is worth, okay? But does that look like the kind of stuff you might be able to get the rest of your Ete friends to gather?"
Cui stops dashing around. Settling back on her haunches as she sits on the floor, she says, "She," and tips her head, ears swiveling back toward Rodimus again as her dark eyes sweep across the others. She surveys the information rapidly, hunkering over the datapad on the floor as she runs a fingertip down the lines of translated data. It's entirely possible from the reaction she just displayed that she might be willing to agree to just about anything regardless of feasibility. "Some things I don't know," she says. "Some things ... we can get. Ashata will protect their expensive property. Some may be caught. May die." She looks up, eyes wide and bright. "You help us help you?"
"She," Chromedome tries it out. "My apologies," comes sotto.
Rodimus looks a little uneasy beneath the wide, bright regard. "Let's work on the parts of the list that don't end in 'caught' or 'die', first. Just knowing where we are will be a big helpful piece."
Rumble peers around from behind Tailgate, trying to see what's listed on the datapad without getting too close to the fuzzy, lumpy, disgusting critter that all the Autobots seem to be in love with.
The datapad's a mystery of science. It looks technical. Nautica-ish. Quantum may be written on there at least twice. Who knows? Not me.
"Where?" Cui turns back to look at the broad space of window and the swirled gleam of the planet below, around which the Lost Light orbits. "That is why you want to know who the traders are. You want ... manifests? Ship data?"
"Ship data," Rodimus says, latching on to it with an eager tilt forward where he's seated. "Can you get that?"
Rumble debates on whether or not to snatch the datapad while Cui is looking out the window, but he decides there's too many onlookers.
"Yes," Cui says firmly. She turns back, and stands straight, hands on her hips, tail flicking up in the air behind her. "Eneti have access to trade warehouses behind the city. We load and unload. We are not permitted to touch the records machines, but some of us know how. How many weapons for this?"
'How many weapons,' Rodimus repeats voicelessly, considering the question with a somewhat blank look. This is a bit outside of his areas of expertise, which mostly include standing around and posing and saying 'Til all are one.' He glances at the others. ANY BRIGHT IDEAS?
Rumble smirks. "How many you need, fuzzball??" he asks Cui without much diplomatic finesse.
As he listens to the organic speak, Tailgate is quietly impressed by her bravery and reasoning. Enough Cuis could get this kind of job done in no time, couldn't they? It's also a somewhat familiar tale, considering what he has cobbled together in his understanding of Cybertron's own troubles. Somewhere out there, fate underhands them a metaphor. "How many would be considered stealthy?"
"Do we need to be stealthy?" asketh Chromedome.
"If they're doing this for us, wouldn't it be quicker?" Tailgate replies with another question.
"Ah," Cui says, tilting her head to one side with a flick of her ear. "No ete with a weapon is ... stealthy." She lifts a hand and tugs on one of the braided strands of yellow ribbon wound through her blue-violet coat. "To arm the eneti, we will take whatever we can get. To steal your data, this can be done as ... quiet."
"Three for the data, then one for every three items on the list that Nautica agrees to," Rodimus decides after a moment. Three is lucky. Three means randomly arming indigenous lifeforms is not a bad idea isn't a bad idea. "Fair?"
For a moment it looks like Cui may be about to begin another mad dash around the room; there's a moment wherein her tense stillness seems almost to vibrate through her sleek frame. But all she does is stand straight, ears quivering as they perk erect, and she says, "Yes."
"Deal." Rodimus scoops up the datapad and gets to his feet. "I'll go see about getting Nautica up here to go over the list with you. In the meantime, let someone know if you need anything, yeah?" He heads off, leaving Cui to the watchful eyes of the others. Better make sure she doesn't run into the walls and chew on the wires.
Rumble frowns. "I ain't giving that thing nothin'," he grumps, folding his arms across his chestplate stubbornly.