2015-04-06 Actual Ada
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Chromedome, Knock Out, Nautica, Rodimus, Tailgate|
|Summary||The Lost Light arrives at Ada!|
The Rodpod's day will come, but its day is not today. It's the Leading Light that Rodimus preps when their visitor makes her way to the shuttle bay. It's optimistically over-large, but as the scout ship, it's also faster and better armed than most of the shuttles. Not that they'll need either of those things, right? While others take care of the boring parts of prepping a ship, he considers a holoemitter displaying the planet...ish...thing. "Any transmissions?" he asks Nautica. "I mean, I guess communication doesn't seem like it'll be a problem, but any clue what we're heading into? Just how old is old, anyway?"
"Well, it's interesting," Knock Out grudgingly admits of this strange ship-asteroid-planet hybrid. "I've no idea how it works. But there /has/ to be a more attractive way to go about it."
"I hope we get to answer the planet's awkward or unanswerable questions," Chromedome sottos as he watches the holoemitter.
"Maybe it can tell us something a little less confusing." Tailgate asides to the chatter of Knock Out and Chromedome, perched on a bench seat watching the holoemitter. He taps his heels against the seat's front, optics on the 'planet' map.
As the shiP is prepared, the visitor grows restless and begins passing. The nearer the Lost Light draws to its planet the greater the pacing - as does its speed. Finally, as orbit is reached, the thing dashes towards the shuttle's exit bay and... dives out into space! Taking flight it zips off without a word towards the planet below.
Orbitell, the saucercon who invited himself on the visit to the Vampire Planet, makes it a habit to mill about in the shuttlebay, eager for any excuse to get out into open space. He takes to his alt form, that purple saucer, and volunteers to get involved. "I can follow it down," he practically begs.
There are no transmissions coming from the inhabitants on the planet. They would appear to be unaware of the the Lost Light or lack the ability to send a message to it. Perceptor will be able to relay that the heart of this 'Ada' does indeed have some old Cybertronian tech, but it's barely funtional. He leaves the chronical dating to the expect, for when she has the time or opportunity to reply.
"Excitable, isn't it," Knock Out says, tone drying as he watches his (former?) patient dive out of the shuttle towards its home. He offers Orbitell an open-handed shrug. Maybe?
"Sure, go," Rodimus lazily allows with a wave of his hand like a really decisive, thoughtful, and engaged leader. With Orbitell away, the Leading Light follows, tracking their departing visitor's trajectory nearly exactly to land at the same site. "It'd be nice to get some sense out of all of this. Too many questions." And he hates questions.
"If they're old stock or old tech, maybe they'll have clues to what you're looking for, Rodimus," Chromedome milds in the captain's direction. "That'd be handy."
"That is /old/. I mean, that thing was old when Caminus left Cybertron," Nautica informs Rodimus. After a moment, she seems to realize that might not help Rodimus, in terms of dating things, so adds helpfully, "That's really, /really/ old."
Out Orbitell goes! He dashes off, happy to have an assignment.
So, down goes the visitor, followed by the purple saucer that is Orbitell and then he is followed by the Leading Light. The visitor heads to for the northern pole of this small planet where there is... yep, maybe you guessed it? A deep tunnel that drops down into a deep well into Ada. The visitor darts down it quickly.
As Orbitell prepares to follow it down, however, he is struck by a shaft - a spear! It takes him out of the air as he rattles off the lip of that crater-hole. There at the lip of that well is a collection of bots, inhabitants of Ada. where the visitor was smaller - Tailgate-size - these are more of the average Cybertronian height. There are ten of then, nine of them now with weapons. Long spear-like sticks that crackle with electric energy on the pointy end. Four, no five, of them at thrown at the underbelly of the Leading Light.
"Older than Tailgate, then?" Rodimus teases with a slap to the small bot's shoulder, because he's so old and venerable and a member of the Primal Vanguard and everything. "Wow."
Smile fading as the pointy stick brigade comes into play, Rodimus says to the invisible, nameless NPC pilot: "Hold us steady just out of range of another throw after getting us down there. Knock Out, go check on Orbitell. Chromedome with me, Tailgate with Nautica -- and switch to altmode, yeah? If all they have are spears, you don't need to be fast to get out of range."
Some people, on being greeted with spears thrown in their face, might hesitate. Rodimus ... not so much. "Weapons off for now. Look friendly." He sets the example as the ship lands at some distance from the edge to let them out.
"Well that looks familiar." Knock Out eyes that tunnel with a deep level of distrust. It seems rewarded when the natives nearby seem to get the cue to attack. "Hey!" he yells at them from inside the shuttle. He doesn't look very friendly. He might shake his fist through the window.
Chromedome ducks his head, a near nod of acknowledgement. A reflex any person used to having superiors picks up, right? Even if your current superior is Rodimus. He waits firm and quiet behind Rod. He is masked. It is friendly.
Nautica is torn; she's very curious about the planet below, but not so keen on the spears. Then again, she's spaceflight capable as long as she's already in space, so it's not as if she can't zip away if attacked. So she heads towards the shuttle's exit, then pauses and looks back at Tailgate. "You know, it might work better if I turn into alt-mode but you don't; if we magnetize your feet, you can stand on top and ride easily, plus still have your hands free!"
Tailgate angles his head at Rodimus. Hey! He doesn't have time to actually complain, however, before the natives get restless, and the captain is issuing his orders. The minibot steps down from the seat, mild concern for the sudden change in attitude from the planet. "Aye aye, sir." Look at him, taking orders.
"Are you sure?" Tailgate doesn't argue, but he wants to be certain; presuming consistency, he pauses to magnetize the soles of his feet. "Let's go!"
"You got it," states the pilot of the Leading Light, the goggled Windjammer. "I might not be much of a pilot on my own since I lost my alt mode's wings but I can fly this boat just fine!" He even 'hrmphs' loudly at the suggestion that he might not be able to as he steers the Leading Light *just* clear of those spears. "You first," he nods towards Knock Out. The shiP angles over so that KO can hop out right where Orbitell crashed.
The saucercon is there, still in alt mode, with the spear in his side. Jolts of energy lance over his prone, crashed form, as he remains motionless. Stasislocked?
"Your turn," Windjammer smiles to Nautica as he brings the shiP over the crater-hole. It should be a straight shot down!
Like the hole found on the Vampire Planet, this one too cuts down to the core. The deeper travel down it goes the more it is evident that asteroids were piled on each other to form Ada, yet at the base of it all is a hull of a very, very, very old Cybertronian shiP. The visitor is inside as lights flash from within.
"Now *you*," grumps Windjammer at Rodimus (and CD). "Get out," he puffs as he brings the ship right atop those angry Adas, spears and all.
Of the Ada at the lip of the hole, only four have their energy spears still. Those four move to the front. "You return the Ev! You ruin us all! Make Ev go away before it take machine for good this time!"
If Nautica had ever been to earth, or met humans, she might have an appropriate analogy for the way it looks when she shoots out of the shuttle with Tailgate standing atop her. As she hasn't, however, she doesn't make any statements like 'Hang ten!', and instead focuses on getting a better view -- and sensor image -- of the 'planet' below them, hopefully without either submarine/surfboard or her passenger getting struck by a spear. << What do you mean? >> she calls out to the Ada. << We don't wish to hurt you; we only want to help. >>
Hello, angry spear carriers! Rodimus throws his hands up in a universal gesture of surrender and flashes his best smile. "Hi, guys! Let's be friendly, okay? My name's Rodimus. You? Why don't you try explaining what's going on and we'll do what we can to help?"
Chromedome sidles out behind Rodimus. His hands are also raised and what can he add to that eloquent speech besides, "Hi. I'm Chromedome. Also here to be friends."
"Wait, what?" /Who/ first? Knock Out frowns fiercely at the pilot and purposefully an aggressively let's /Nautica/ go first. She can fly, after all. It only makes sense. But he /does/ follow after with some rather fancy mid-air transforming so he can hit the ground running. Or, rather, driving. He reverse 180s and halts and possibly looks friendly as a car. Mostly he's aimed at that tunnel. "I suggest we make a hole and go find our new friend."
Tailgate is a light passenger with a small footprint, and as he coasts out into vacuum crouching on Nautica's back, he uses the vantage to study the scene before they get too far out. He glances from the scene of natives below to the northern hole, then to Nautica. "What's our guest doing down there? Can you see anything?"
<< She's inside the old scoutship, though I'm not sure what she's doing in there. Definitely powering something up, >> Nautica informs Tailgate -- and everyone else -- helpfully. << I'm guessing that's what the Ada aren't happy about. >>
The spear-holders don't look too interested in talking. But maybe they don't understand? One of them, however, steps forward which startles those with the spears into lowering them. It points to where Nautica has vanished. Perhaps it heard her? Without plating, the Ada that moves to the front looks like all the others. Only the most basic of framework carry a mess of lights, wires and other tubing. "If explaining will lead to the Ev being removed from Ada, then we will try. Ev was sent away once in trap, but has returned? You, Rodimus and you, Chromedome, chase Ev? If you wish to have it, please take, take far away from Ada. Need is great here but most for what Ev will do, to Ada and the machine. Ev can speak to machine, control it. Ev will take machine from Ada." It sounds quite sad about that.
Below, at the heart of this world, Ev is doing that - connecting to the machine within the old Cybertronian ship. There is a whirl of crafting being done among those flashes of light. When Nautica, Tailgate and whoever else arrive, they can find this Ev at the terminal to that ancient machine, arms plugged into it. At its feet is a long, long dead Cybertronian, but towering over her is a freshly made bulky thugish brute of a bot, one that lumbers forward in protection of Ev!
"What happens if the machine leaves?" asks Rodimus. He gestures patience with a palming down of his hands. SIMMER DOWN. He glances toward the pit and opens a narrow line to those investigating, coded not to be overheard: << What's Ev -- our visitor -- doing in there? They say she's going to 'take the machine'. Any idea what that'll do to this, uh, formation? >>
"And why does Ev want it?" Chromedome carefully appends to the spear-holders.
Knock Out revs his engine. << I don't actually believe you guys got any more out of that than I did, >> he tells his teammates.
<< I would imagine if Ev took the 'machine', the ship would leave. The 'world' would break apart, >> Nautica suggests, sounding a little troubled by this.
<< And that's bad, right? >> Rodimus is just checking.
<< Well, I'd imagine they think it is! >> Nautica replies.
"The machine powers all, connects all of Ada. Without machine, all Ada will die." Which might explain why Ev was so weakened when she was removed from it, and so sick on the 'purity' of current Cybertronian energy. If Ada is fueled by a much more ancient form of the same tech then without those old systems they have been build on to keep them going... That 'lead' Ada seeks to talk still, since these visitors are listening? "All Ada are made when machine is asked a question," it looks to Chromedome. "Ada asked how Ada might be saved, and machine gave Ev as answer - the only of her kind. Ev said Ada cannot be saved if machine is to be saved, that Ada must die. That Ev would take machine away for self, to keep safe forever. Ada want machine safe but need machine."
<< We might have a bit of a problem down here. >> Tailgate relays to the others when Nautica descends far enough for them both to get eyefuls of what's going on. He doesn't make any threatening gestures at the figure that lumbers towards them-- could he? << Our friend is elbow-deep in the ship and has a bodyguard-- and there's a dead bot that definitely seems familiar. >> What happened to friendly?
<< Whatever Ev's doing, stop it until we know more about what's going on here, >> Rodimus radios down in curt order, and leaves it to them to deal with the complications associated with such a directive. "I've asked the others to stop her so that we can figure things out," he says with an open-handed gesture to the others. "But I don't understand this whole -- saving bit. What happens if we stop Ev? Then what? You guys are fine?"
<< I'm an expert at problems, >> Knock Out declares, and then revving turns to burning rubber as he zooms down the tunnel. Convenient excuse to stop hanging around and chatting with the locals.
<< Oh! >> Nautica seems enthralled by this. << So the scoutship actually had the ability to construct simple crew, for specific tasks. And the ship's systems are failing, because of all the weight put on it. They asked it to make someone to save the ship's systems, and Ev was created with that as a single purpose. But Ev says the only way to salvage the systems is to remove the ship from Ada, destroying the world. >> The fact that her transmission seems directed at Rodimus is no double purely coincidental. << I wonder... if we can keep Ev separate long enough, maybe I can fix the systems /without/ having to break apart Ada, /or/ have the world die anyway when the ship fails? >>
Chromedome tilts his hand. "It sounds to me like Ev is confused. Defective. Maybe she was the wrong answer."
<< Oh, also, Ev seems to have made a guard. Who I don't think likes us, >> Nautica adds, as she draws her focus back away from intellectual pursuits and to the situation at hand. Like the rapidly approaching brutish bot. << A little help? >>
Friendly went out the window when Ev was able to get back to work on what it was very literally made to do! Back on Ada, fully powered, Ev has been able to ignite its programming once more and is seeking to get on with its task. Ev is singlemindedly tasked on that, hence the henchman! The brute-of-a-thing moves to strike at any that get near to Ev! It has no mouth to go 'rarl or 'argh' though.
"Ada believe Ada should never have asked question that created Eve, but need was great. Resources were ... low. Ev said Ada ask too many questions. Too many Ada," that 'lead one' nods to Chromedome.
Rodimus glances down, then back at those on the rim, then at Chromedome, then at Knock Out -- then he makes what is probably not the wisest or best choice and says, "Chromedome, you stay here and make nice. Nautica, I'm on my way." And who cares what Knock Out is doing. Offered the chance to dash in and be an action hero, Rodimus abandons negotiations to go play. << We might even have some parts left from your ship that could go into the repairs. >>
"So the issue is that Ada can't sustain all of you, and I'm right in guessing you can't survive away from it?" Chromedome starts making more nice until Rodimus is darting away. He tilts his head after his captain with a soft "Er." He stays put, though. He can follow orders.
Tailgate unsticks his feet from Nautica's back, alighting on the floor with a lightfooted thump and a scamper to move away from her, along the far side of things; he's waving an arm at the big guy. What are you doing. What am I doing? "Hey! You!" Is this distracting enough? Maybe this means Nautica has an opening? Are minibots faster than brutes? Hoping.
Once Tailgate is off her back, Nautica quickly transforms out of her alt-mode. "If you can distract it, I might be able to stop Ev and sort this out," she calls out to Tailgate. Because, you know, she's better at the science-y 'shutting down the bot accessing the system' part than the 'beat up the brute-bot' part. That's what she has Chromia for, after all!
The Ada, left with Chromedome, move forward to peer down to watch Rodimus vanish. Yet, they look at Chromedome and... nod? "Machine powers all of Ada. Without it, Ada will die." They ARE pretty simpleminded and prone to repeating themselves. "Last Ada was made to answer 'how can the Ev be sent away'. No more Ada have been made since though many more questions have been asked of the machine. Ada are worried. Will you take Ev away?"
The big purple ship looks like a good target for the brute...! Only something so pure, so white, definitely is much easier to spot in the darkness. Slow and lumbering it stalks towards the little guy intent on crushing Tailgate! ... at a snail's pace. Whatever processor speed Ev gave it, it is little more than dial-up.
Ev is plugged into the machine - a records access terminal, one that's been rerouted into all of the remaining systems of this long-dead ship. There is a sudden lurching to *everything* as Ev seeks to get the machine to fully power up that craft, to try to dislodge it. As things shift, that very dead Cybertonian corpse slides along the floor to greet Nautica as she enters.
Knock Out zip-zooms into the room, quickly spotting Tailgate on one end with his -- very slow pursuer -- and Nautica headed toward Ev on the other. He screeches in between Tailgate and the brute, and if he could grin in his altmode, he would. "Wanna race?"
Well that's not creepy in the least or anything. "Euuuaugh!" the Camien engineer remarks as she hops frantically to one side to avoid the corpse. The very picture of dignity, Nautica is. But if that's a records access terminal, she might not have to get right up to it to try and get in as well. Many ships' records systems have wireless access; there's always a chance she can break in and seize control from Ev.
"We don't really have a-- side in this fight. It sounds like we will be taking Ev away, though." The nearby lurching doesn't unsteady Chromedome, but he does readjust the set of his feet. "See. Progress," he milds. "So. Do Ada have any hobbies."
"Ugh," Rodimus says on finding that a) Knock Out beat him to the scene and b) Knock Out had a better line than him. He swiftly takes!! control!!! of things with a, "Keep him busy," at Knock Out and Tailgate. He slips past while the brute goes after the first red and flashy to get to Nautica and Ev. And the dead Cybertronian. "Why did no one mention the dead guy?" he calls.
Tailgate is smart enough to not try and run under it or anything-- so he keeps way out of reach and leads the brute around like a nuisance, waving about. The lurch upsets his skittering, and tumbles Tailgate up and back down facefirst. Whup. Hey, Knock Out. The minibot pushes up and looks between the brute and the newest interloper. "Come and get meee--" And there he goes. SnailBrute has no chance.
It doesn't take long before Nautica has tunneled into the systems and begun to block Ev's work; she's good at what she does, after all, and she's got a great many more resources to pull on than the poor little half-bot does. But even as she does so, she keeps up a habitual running commentary. Whether or not Ev's actually /listening/. "I promise we'll fix the ship. It doesn't have to tear apart this little world. And if we can't, we'll take the Ada with us." This is something she /probably/ should've checked with Rodimus on first, isn't it.
The fact that their whole planet just shifted should be enough to cause the Ada to panic. They do reach out for each other for support as the ground rumbles. Yet.... there is that question from Chromedome and very suddenly they all look... calm! Distraction success! "Ada enjoy watching stars! " "Collecting rocks," chimes in another. "Naming stars!" "Naming rocks!" "Ada have game. Take stick," the lead one says as it takes a spear from one Ada to hold out to CD to take. "Hit small rock into hole." It foot-pushes a small rock towards CD and then points to the crater, as if encouraging him to try.
The brute.. can't keep up! Tailgate is an expert at navigating a world of bigger bots, right? and Knock Out has a lot of experience at getting his way with the big ones. Poor (big) thing didn't have a chance.
Ev looks somewhat frustrated, but without a face that is a hard emotion to convey. She keeps at her task despite being unable to complete it, as if compelled beyond reason to do so. It is her programming after all. "Ada will not stop," she strains to answer Nautica (and a freshly arrived Rodimus). "They will only ask more questions. There will be more Ada."
It actually takes very little time for Knock Out to become incredibly bored with his task. You can tell because he announces, "/Primus/, this is boring." He zips ahead again, waiting for the brute to chase him, zips again. "Why can't it be faster?"
"And the energon -- and the remains of this poor guy's spark -- will just keep getting further depleted, and so will the pieces of the system," Nautica replies, even as she cuts off another of Ada's paths. "I understand! But we can /disable/ that function. I can make it so that the ship won't take itself apart any longer. The Ada can still live, /and/ the machine can continue."
"There is nothing I love more than hitting small rocks into holes," Chromedome says without any enthusiasm whatsoever, but at least he enunciates and that's like being earnest. Right. He takes the spear in his hands, grasping it like a broom or some Cybertronian broomlike equivalent, and swat-sweeps the rock toward the crater. He is not really statted for this.
Since Nautica has the science ... things well in hand, Rodimus goes to, uh, supervise Knock Out. Or maybe smirk. At his complaints. "Keep it up!" he calls.
"You could chase me instead, but I don't think that would help anything." Tailgate clomps to a stop to consider the angle of the brute as it lumbers at Knock Out. "It's not really that smart, is it."
"That is..." Ev stops. Everything she was doing shuts down. The brute thing comes to a halt. It sways and then collapses, motionless. "That had not been considered." Ev was made to save, thus to act on the only solution it could come up with. Without Nautica's advanced knowledge, there was no other course of action it could see. So, Ev disengages from the machine and surrenders it over to Nautica fully. Maybe the way it can save the Ada is to trust in someone else to do it for it.
At the lip of the crater the Ada all stop to do something in unison as Chromedome hits that rock. They clap!
The hit rock rattles off one side of the crater, bounces down, down, down... down. Right down to *clank* off that collapsed brute! Nice shot!
Knock Out circles around the prone brute a few times. Come on! "This is even worse," the racer whines, eventually stopping to transform back to bot mode. "I take it that means we won?"
Chromedome raises the spear and leans the haft against his shoulder. He bows.
"It means we introduced another option and don't have to fight," Nautica informs Knock Out. "But yes. The Ada can live, and the ship won't tear itself apart. Though, ah..." She glances over at Rodimus. "It's going to take me a duty cycle or five to get this fixed up, and I may have to cannibalize a little of what's left of my old ship." You know, the teensy Camien scoutship whose disassembled pieces -- the ones that didn't get used on the engine repairs, anyway -- are in the storage bays back on the Lost Light.
"I figured as much," says Rodimus with an indulgent gesture and maybe a tiny hint of disappointment that he didn't get to heroically punch anything to save the day. He tries to be mature about it. (He sounds like he's sulking.) "Take what you need, and take what help you need. We'll see if we can't get these guys up to speed a little bit. They are kind of -- uh, primitive." Prime directive, what? "Put them in touch with some mech-friendly traders, too."
Tailgate claps too, because that is apparently what you do when someone fires a rock with a stick? He hesitates and drops his hands after a few. "Are we sure that guy's not going to wake up again?" For all that he thought he was being brave-- he might be feeling that Rodimus mood too. Just a little. "This is good then?" Yes, everyone did good.
"Maybe I can help with that," groans Orbitell as he radios everyone. "Fine by the way." Does he sound grumpy? He is grumpy. He got speared afterall. "It'd be good to have a mission again, and I could hang around these guys after you all have left. Send updates, keep a watch." He is build for interstellar communications relays afterall. "Just putting that out there." Because maybe being adrift this Ada is better to him than being cooped up on the Lost Light.
Yes, Tailgate, everyone did good.
After her five duty cycles and Nautica is ready to go, Windjammer will have the Leading Light there to bring everyone willing back home to the Lost Light. One adventure down and many more to go!