2015-06-01 Horrors and Handholding

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Horrors and Handholding
Date 2015/06/01
Location Clemency
Participants Blast Off, Chromedome, Mercy, Rodimus, Starshine, Tailgate
NPCs Crankcase, Fulcrum, Krok
Plot Labyrinth
Scene GM Roz
Summary The Lost LIghters investigate a distress beacon on Clemency. It goes about as you'd expect.

Well, there was a bit of a -- disagreement.

The first one to pick up the weak and garbled signal was Blaster, who couldn't make heads or tails of it. "It's like it's already in code, then that code was put through a shredder," is how he describes it to the Captain. It's not until Soundwave takes a look -- or a listen -- that it becomes more apparent what exactly it is: a message sent in one of the many Decepticon codes. What that message /is/ exactly is a little more unclear, but Soundwave translates enough of the bits and pieces to insist that someone's in trouble. And whether or not Rodimus likes it, he's got Cons on his crew, and those Cons actually don't care for the idea of ignoring a potential distress signal from one of their own. Rude.

The planet's not pretty. The shuttle inevitably -- if accidentally!! -- partially lands on a Decepticon corpse, because it's a little hard not to on certain areas of the planet. The ground is -- well, a bit littered. A number of the corpses show signs of post-mortem...tampering.

And yet, the whole thing isn't quite as creepy as the sharp-angled ship, clearly crash-landed some years prior and half-buried, that the beacon seems to be coming from.

Welcome to Clemency.

"I always thought that those were the most ridiculous vanity project," says Rodimus with an utterly straight face as he glances toward the Worldsweeper looming against the horizon. The Decepticon faction symbol plastered to a ship: yes, total vanity project, /Rodimus/. "Why not just make it a regular ship, anyway?"

"Hey, wasn't this one of Ultra Magnus's big battles?" asks Rodimus as he makes his way out of the ship and onto the planet's surface. "And wasn't that like -- forever ago? Ages, anyway. No way this signal isn't just old, automated junk."

Chromedome steps out onto the battlefield wreckage with a hint of delicacy. "Hasn't been a single scrap cleaned up, that much's clear."

It's her first time being allowed to go with the forward group, despite her many years participating in the war, and Mercy is both thrilled and ridiculously nervous at the prospect of how things might go. Especially given that this first foray is to /Clemency/. What medic hasn't heard tales of the carnage that happend here? Great. Not the first off the ship, Mercy is certain she won't be the last, and so she follows right on Rodimus' and Chrormdome's heels (Nevermind that he also makes a good shield, just in case).

It only takes a moment for Mercy to survey the planet and offer her professional opinion. "Creepy."

Starshine steps out of the shuttle, stretching her arms. She looks around a couple times. "Wow, this place has seen better times...I wonder what went on here." She strolls a bit from the shuttle, as she bends down to pick up something to examine.

Starshine picks up a bit of scrap that turns out to be someone's leg, which becomes apparent once she gets it up off the ground. Need an extra foot?

Though he has been taking in the sheer and massive scale of Clemency's-- terrain, Tailgate tries to not stray from the group or ask too many questions. For the most part. He treats the place with a sense of near reverence and quiet he typically reserves for these types of solemn things.

"Why not make the Rodpod a regular ship?" Tailgate chimes in from nearby Rodimus, from his waist-high view.

The Worldsweeper is in no way a vanity project. The Worldsweeper is a testament to Decepticon greatness! It just happens to be a greatness that has fallen and crashed into a graveyard planet.

"Uh, because it's the Rodpod?" Rodimus's tone suggests this is a completely ridiculous question. Duh, Tailgate. /Duh/.

"There was a big battle here -- like that wasn't obvious enough," says Rodimus as he starts toward the ship. He weaves past corpses with startling nonchalance. "Looks like Decepticons just left their own. Autobots came back for ours," he says with an inevitable, smug factional pride. "Ultra Magnus did -- something something -- against -- someone someone. Anyway, we won. I think."

"Doesn't look to me like anybody won." Mercy mutters sadly as she follows along with the on the move bots. "Not with this many corpses." And to get this many 'Con corpses, there had to be Bot corpses, too. Just not ones left behind.

As they get closer, the distress signal's garble begins to clear, but only bit by bit. Blast Off has the responsibility of decoding it, as the resident Decepticon in the group. Things like "monster" are starting to pop up. It doesn't sound promising.

Starshine hmms, "Oh, this was part of your war. Ah, I see now." As she looks at the leg again, pondering a moment. "I wonder..if I found 3 more of these, about the same you think we could mount them on Slugfest?..give the guy a little more height." As the others start to walk, she throws the leg over her shoulder. "Maybe on the way back.

Chromedome is rather high-stepping through the bodies, trying to angle his feet between corpse and corpse. "Sometimes, none of this seems worth it. None."

"He'd probably hate it. Think of all the work he gets out of as it is," Rodimus points out with cheerful cynicism.

When Blast Off gives the latest update, Rodimus -- of course -- brightens. "Monster! Awesome! Do they say what kind of monster? Are we talking sparkeaters? Because we're like -- sparkeater /champions/." They killed one. At effort. And cost. "Seriously, bring them on," he says, battling imaginary sparkeaters with a one-two punch as he dances past another pile of corpses. /Inappropriate/. Chromedome's grimness draws him back to himself, and he glances over to somewhat more mutedly say, "Worth not living under Megatron, man. That assumes we'd even live, of course."

"But it's your head..." Tailgate says this to himself as Rodimus clears a span between them in his traipsing over the battlefield. Tailgate has less of an easy time, one hand rubbing over the joints on the other as he walks, blue visor turned down in hushed inspection as he passes by rusting corpses. It's true. Lots of Cons. Did nobody want to claim them? The minibot has a hard time understanding it.

Tailgate's attention snaps up at the mention of -sparkeaters-. He glances around to the littering of bodies everywhere on the surface. One could be hiding -anywhere-.

The walk that takes them closer to the source of the message (presumably), is really quite eye opening for Mercy, and the normally annoyingly cheerful medic seems distinctly subdued. And then monsters and /sparkeaters/ are brought up, and her steps falter. "Wait, sparkeaters?" she echoes before suddenly dashing forward to get as close to Rodimus as bot'ly possible. If she could climb on his back, she would. She may be brave, but not when it comes to sparkeaters.

Chromedome shrugs his shoulders, that roll-up hike. "Oh. We wouldn't. The cost, though. We're walking on it right now." His grimness certainly isn't abating. "If the distress signal mentions monsters, not much chance of finding /anything/ alive."

Starshine follows along, humming to herself. Oddly enough it sounds like walking on sunshine. Stepping lively here and there to avoid something.

The ship looms remarkably large as they finally reach it, towering over them in all its -- distinctiveness. Clearly it's heydays are over: the ship now is cracked and crumbling and all sorts of metaphorical for the Decepticon cause.

The door inside is shut and locked, but nothing they can't persuade to open again.

The message continues to degarble in bits and pieces, especially now that they're so close. "/Really weird/," the message says, and "--got turned around, and then--" and "--not sure what it /is/--".

"Don't worry. We're more than enough to handle a couple of sparkeaters," Rodimus boasts to Mercy with a grin back over his shoulder. He glances at Chromedome and then away, not arguing the point any further. After all, Blast Off might start to take offense!! And then where would they be?

"'Really weird'," Rodimus repeats as he slams his shoulder into the door to apply forceful methods of persuasion. OPEN. Ope-- Eh, he'll just shoot the lock. It works in movies. "Those are like my two favorite words when people see monsters."

Starshine stops and eyes the door as Rod tries to open it with his body.

Mercy looks doubtful at Rodimus' boast, at best, but decides it is wiser to keep an eye out for any sneaky sparkeaters that might be, you know, sneaking up on them through the Decepticon bodies than to argue with the Captain.

"Are you sure--" Chromedome starts, but cuts himself off. Rodimus will as Rodimus does.

As long as no sparkeaters try to kiss him, everything should be fine. Right? Tailgate pauses before one of the Con bodies in front of the fallen ship that they are coming up on, and accidentally lags a few bots behind. It's a small mech, similar in stature. He died screaming, it appears. "I don't like this place." Tailgate decides out loud, and only to himself.

Sometimes, shooting the lock works in real life, too. Really, the lock on the door doesn't seem /super/ secure; more like somebody was in a hurry to get it closed and not particularly adept at fancy locking things. So eventually, the door is levered open, and the darkness of a hall awaits them.

Rodimus will just attack any sparkeaters with his face. 100 K/D ratio. They'll be perfectly safe. "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" he calls into the dark. Flicking on his headlights, he steps boldly into the hall.

Blast Off, so far, is too busy trying to focus on the mission and decode things to take offense- or if he has he hasn't shown it. He's looking rather aloof as it is. Even walking through the corpses has only garnered the occasional glance here or there. But he's a Combaticon... he's used to this sort of thing. He looks down the darkened hallway and brings out his ionic blaster from subspace. Just in case.

Chromedome unholsters his sidearm as Rodimus bravely forths. He follows. He's no Ultra Magnus, but he's better than a Rewind at bodyguarding, if it comes to that. With luck, he can get a couple shots off. Maybe needlefinger something really /slow/.

Okay, that needs addressing, the whole yelling out and announcing their presence. Not that they are exactly quiet, but... "I don't think inviting the monsters to come get us is a good idea, Rodimus!" Mercy points out in a hiss as she shifts her position and moves closer to another in the party. If Rodimus is going to MAKE himself a target, she's going to find someone a little less likely to light a beacon on their head but still able to, you know, fight. Blast Off, the lucky Con, appears to have won that lottery, as Mercy joins him in peering around others and down the hallway.

Starshine says, “oooo, now things are starting to get interesting." As she moves to follow after the others. "Come out, come out, come out and get us...fresh juicy cybertronians...anyone in there?"”

Tailgate is ionic blaster-less. He can poke monsters into submission. Watch him. He casts a look back behind him at the horizon before he follows the others, stepping carefully in their wake. "/Juicy/?" He asks of Starshine, her words -almost- garnering a laugh. None of that, Tailgate.

Starshine hmmms, " know..full of energon. Monsters love to suck the energon out of you before they dissasemble you. So if there is a monster in is prolly hungry after all this time. Pack mentallity says it will go after the smallest one first. Which will give the rest of us time to take it out. Monster hunting 101

"Why not? At least then we'll know they are coming to get us instead of just sneaking up on us by surprise. Really, it's good strategy," Rodimus insists to Mercy with the fluid certainty of a grade A bullshitter. He doesn't carry any weapons, but that's just because he has them built right into his frames. It leaves his hands free to do things like fingergun at Mercy when he makes his point.

Blast Off glances at Mercy- who is *making sense*. He then turns his head to give Rodimus the sort of look that says *yes, she's right, what are you doing*?.... though that's interrupted by Starshine's fresh taunt- which gets HER that look next. He sighs a little and grips his weapon tighter. "...Perhaps this is a *Decepticon* idea, but... generally we don't *announce* our presence to something trying to *kill* us... As a sniper, I prefer to set up a shot and choose the right moment to take it. On MY terms, not my enemies'."

"Ah. Chances are that even if we were incredibly quiet, whatever lives here would still hear us coming before we saw it. May as well get it over with," Chromedome supportives. Keep that sidearm raised, though.

The hallway is -- remarkably normal. Except that many yards in, once the light from the doorway has begun to dim, they have their first encounter -- with another corpse. It's kind of a weird-looking corpse, though: the bot is a shiny and kind of familiar gold, its pauldrons wide over its shoulders, its oval face marked with a slash of a sharp mouth.

"--so definitely /don't/ go inside." The voice is finally clear. "We don't know what's going on, but we barely made it back out, and that other bot on our tail is still stuck in there." Another bot adds, "We didn't even do that on purpose." The first bot continues: "We should have. We should just leave the thing we found. It's obviously more trouble than it's worth." Yet a third bot shoots back, "That just means it's worth a lot of /money/! Along with the trouble. Uhm." Finally the first bot takes back over: "Listen, the whole thing is really weird. Like some monster, but we didn't even see it. /Something's/ in here, which is a great reason to leave. We got turned around like twenty times, and then it's like we couldn't even find our way /back/. We're not sure what it is, but we're out now, and you should do the same. Uh. Whoever you are. Jeez. Krok out."

"We'll only know if they /don't sneak up/ on us!" Mercy protests in a slightly louder hiss. And that possibility is what has her planting herself in front of Blast Off, and behind the others who can go in before her. Chromedome's point about getting things over with has her nodding a moment later. He has a point. Until the words come clearer. "I think that's our cue to leave!"

"Hey! Look! These guys!" Rodimus stops to turn his lights on the golden bot, then reaches out to apply one finger to the jagged edge of its mouth and tilt its face to study it more closely. "You know, they've got kind of weird faces. Funny running into them again. Not a Decepticon design, are they?" he asks with a glance over his shoulder to Blast Off.

When the voice clears, Rodimus says, "We should definitely keep going inside, then." Of course. "Which direction is the signal coming from, anyway? We should switch it off. If it is something awful, we need to make sure no one else runs into it after we take care of it." He flips a knife from subspace and leans to start carving arrows into the wall that point back the way they came. "There. Now we won't get lost."

Chromedome spreads his hand. Free hand. The other one lowers his blaster some. Not much target practiceable. "Great," he says, eyeing the carvings in process. "Now we won't be backtracking in circles for millennia. Hate to miss the Knights of Cybertron because of a detour."

At some point, a few of the arrows start carving in the opposite direction. It's strangely hard to notice, though.

Starshine hmms, as she moves along.."hello darkness my old friend.....yes, always best to go move foreward....side if we get lost, we can just blow a holes into the walls, until we get out...not like we'd get stuck in here." She shrugs a bit, "Switch off the signal..but if it's been going for awhile..I do have to wonder about the power source."

Tailgate seems concerned until Rodimus carves the arrows, at which he seems less skeptical of. "If someone else was already here and left, why don't we try to find them? Do you think they're still on the planet?" He questions, cutting off any more to look directly at Chromedome. "Oh, wouldn't that be -terrible-, getting stuck somewhere for -millenia-." Pull back the sass, Tailgate.

The arrows reassure Mercy somewhat, and she is a bit more confident following the others in. Not that she thinks it's a good idea, mind, just that it's not quite such a horrible idea. And Rod is right - they should make sure that no one else stumbles on it afterwards, it's the right thing to do.

Chromedome glances over at Tailgate with a widen-lift of his eyeplate. "Well. Yes. It would."

Blast Off peers at the strange 'bot. "It doesn't... look familiar to me, no." He glances up as the voices can be heard up ahead somewhere, listening carefully. The mention of "Krok" gets a flicker of recognition and he tilts his head subtlely to the right. "...Krok?" It's obvious he knows the name. He looks at Rodimus. "I know of a Krok. Decepticon." Mercy's clinginess draws a little confusion from the Combaticon, but then again she can hardly be blamed for seeking shelter near what is *obviously* the best warrior of the bunch here. He begins to step towards the direction the arrows are pointing, before noticing ...wait, did they change? He stares at them, then shakes his head and continues the way he was going.

There's a turn. Then another. An intersection. The arrows face a number of directions, and slowly it becomes clear to each and every one of them that they're very, very lost. And despite the fact that it's just a ship, and there's always a way to find the exit to a ship, the darkness is suddenly stifling, and the chances of finding their way back out suddenly seem very slim.

Welcome to Clemency.

Rodimus laughs as they continue into the ship. "Nah. We won't be backtracking in circles. We can always just blast our way out." Every problem has a solution, and his solutions tend to involve a certain degree of ... destruction.

Rodimus seems very certain of this, right up until they take another turn, hit another intersection, and come face to face with arrows going in all directions. "Er," says Rodimus, trailing into a brief, and unusual, silence.

"I don't think we can follow the arrows anymore," Mercy offers oh-so-helpfully from behind Rodimus as they get to the intersection, her tone only mildly 'told you so'. "Can we blast our way out and go back to the ship now?"

There isn't much room for Tailgate to more or less puff himself up, and at least he didn't use his mean voice at Chromedome. However much he can actually sound mean. He is just a little bit touchy on the subject of getting trapped for years. Heh heh why did he come in here again?

Tailgate bumps into the bot in front of him when they seem to stall in the intersection. "Oof-- what-- oh no."

Starshine hmmms, as she eyes the intersection. "Oh, so many choices....which to choose....but then again, to choose them all might be wise to...a little gift down each...and see what we hear..."

Chromedome holsters his gun. He splays his long hand over his eyeplate. He does not I told you so, whether or not he reasonably could. This is too depressing for I told you sos.

"Let's just -- stay here a second. And. Try to get back in touch with the ship." Rodimus comms the ship with the foolish expectation that it will totally work. Hey. Hey. Magnus. HEY. HELLO. STOP SLACKING OFF. RODIMUS IS CALLING HERE.

No answer. They probably got themselves a new Captain.

Blast Off siighs. "Don't tell me we're *lost* now." He stops and looks around, then pulls out a datapad from subspace. "Hold on, I'll figure this out." He starts tapping across screens, searching coordinates, compass readings, using his own internal scanning systems... *anything*... yet nothing he tries seems to give him correct readings. He starts to look just a tad frustrated, his finger suddenly tapping at the screen HARD- almost a swat. Then he blinks and his more normal aloof demeanor returns.

He glances to Mercy. "We could attempt it, but that much shooting would attract possibly *unwanted* attention to ourselves...and we don't know what direction "outside" is. We could just be wasting ammunition heading further INSIDE the ship- and possibly run out of it just as a sparkeater appeared." He then glances over and watches Rodimus to see if the Captain can get through. ...Darn.

"Do you really think it's a sparkeater?" Mercy whispers, wide-opticed as she looks back towards Blast Off. If she could go pale, it is a safe bet she would be. But the medic makes a point of squaring her shoulders, and stiffening her back. "So what -are- we going to do? Because, well...we can't follow the arrows," She waves an arm up at the useless wall. "We can't shoot our way out," she motions to another, unmarked wall leading who knows where. "We can't call for help." She motions to Blast's finger tapping screen.

Tailgate sighs at the ship walls, teetering on his feet. He's here again. This is the new Plateau. He technically blasted his way out last time, but the ship has so many more variables. "Maybe we keep walking." Maybe he just doesn't want to stay in one place. Trapped. "There has to be something here-- this ship is too big for there not to be!"

Starshine hmmms, "No, we can't follow the arrows...can't trust the halls...gravity...gravity is gravity..." as she looks at the ceiling. "So instead of wandering around...we start going up."

Rodimus tries one last time before clicking his comm off. He tilts his head back, stares a moment at the ceiling, and then gives the others a quick grin. "Hey, don't worry about it. The ship's not /that/ big." It's huge, Rodimus. "Tailgate's right: we start walking, we'll find our way out. What do you think, Chromedome? Illusion or are the walls moving?" That's right, CD. You are the closest thing to a nerd which makes you an expert on spaceships. Reaching out for the walls even as he asks, Rodimus runs his fingertips over the arrows that he carved into the walls.

Blast Off shrugs a little, looking at Mercy. "I have no idea. I heard mention of it, but it may simply be fearful chatter and people working themselves up for nothing. Still... it is wise to exercise caution." He glances at Tailgate. "Unknown. Size doesn't neccessarily mean anything." Starshine gets a thoughtful look. "She has a point." He glances up. We CAN assume that way is *up* and would eventually get us out..."

"Er." Chromedome treads on ahead, small-stepped. "If it's an illusion, or we're in, say, somebody's brain, we're pretty well stuck even so. Try thinking of something core. To you. To Rodimus. Maybe?"

Prepared, right. Well, partners is prepared, right? And if they're getting all turned around, it's only a matter of tme before they're getting all split up. And Mercy isn't looking forward to that time - best to be prepared! And so she inches closer to Blast Off and, without a word, reaches her hand up to try and take hold of his, while keeping a very firm optic on Rodimus and the others in front of her. THere. Bases covered.

"How would we even--" Tailgate echoes his inner confusion, peering down at the floor after a moment and becoming very self-aware when he looks back up at the wall, and Rodimus. "This makes me feel dizzy. It's no funhouse, that's for sure."

Rodimus smacks the walls and says, "Punching my way out of here feels pretty core to me." Watching as Mercy latches on to Blast Off's hand, he gives her a quick smile. He does not, however, order handholding. "Okay. Let's keep moving, stick together. We'll look for a way up and hope that whatever's messing with the walls can't also mess with the ship's gravity field."

Starshine shrugs, "I meant just start blowing away the ceiling..but I suppose we can look for stairs." She moves along, pondering a hyperspace jump in her mind...but still it's soo fun.

Blast Off has just looked up again from his datapad to stare at the ceiling once more, letting his hand fall to his side as he does so... when Mercy suddenly takes hold of it. The Combaticon flinches then *freezes*, optics flaring wide. There's a slight jerk to his arm as he stares down at her, though it may not be enough to dislodge her grip. "....What. Are. You. Doing." His voice is strained, kept calm through visible effort... mostly calm. Kind of. Ok, maybe not so much.

"Huh?" Mercy's head swivels up and around to meet Blast Off's less than happy look. "Not losing you." comes her immediate response, tone matter of fact. "I'd grab Rodimus too, but he's over there, and now I have to convince you to move before I can do that." Logical. Or something. And the 'or something' is Mercy's specialty.

"We can make a train!" Tailgate offers his own hand at Mercy's other one. "So we don't get split up as we go?" Clearly they're going to go in order of height. "Nobody wants to get trapped in here by themselves. I've done that dance already." Granted, at the time, he didn't know it. But the realization when they saved him?

Rodimus draaaags his hands down his face as the handholding intensives. The rub of metal over metal is a soft scrush in the dark. "Yes. Sure. A train. Or -- you know. We could just stay in sight of each other, right? It's not like the floor is going to suddenly-- hmm." He pauses, somewhat superstitiously, rather than finish that thought, and takes his next step with a thump of his heel to make sure the floor is sturdy.

Starshine turns to eye Mercy and Blast Off....shaking her head a bit..."This is a dark ride..." they do make a cute couple though....surely this will link them together forever. "What, you think the floors gonna fall away...hmmm, yes, for those that can't fly, that might be a problem. Maybe it would be better to walk on the ceiling."

Blast Off stares down at Mercy in baffled *horror*. He's a hardened Combaticon warrior, used to fighting and flying and cutting his way to survival through the corpses of his enemies... or at least shooting his way there- NOT HAVING HIS HAND HELD by an AUTOBOT. He... doesn't know how to deal with this. The shuttleformer twitches, violet optics shining extra bright at the femme. "But... I'm not... You're not... There's no NEED for...." His twitchiness is getting worse, and he's just about to yank his hand from hers when the others go on about floor falling down- which stops him, for some reason. Surely not because then it would actually make sense and he knows she'd likely fall. No, of course not. "...The floor is NOT going to fall from us." Because by saying it is so, it will BE SO. Right?

Perking up at the idea, Mercy snags onto Tailgate's hand, and tightens her grip on Blast's as much as she can (which, notably, isn't much - she isn't the stongest of mechs). "A train is a great idea! Rodimus, take his hand! Your arrows didn't work, so I am not trusting my optics either!" the medic informs their fearless leader. "I don't want the floor to fall!"

"You should still stay right in front of us if you won't hold onto someone... you're the captain, though." Tailgate's older than you! Better listen anyhow. "If it falls then we'll all fall, but at least that way we'll all be together." See? So many viable reasons for this. It's LEGIT.

"You know, when I ran my own ops, there was no one there to hold my hand, and I LIKED it," Rodimus not-so-very-mutters. "I bet this never happens to Prowl." He hesitates, then, with a sigh, offers Tailgate his hand. His grin is a little wearied at the edges. "Yeah, okay. Fine. Let's creep through the dark." His eyes glint at Blast Off. It's obvious that he's taking particular delight in the Combaticon's unease. "Consider it an order, then. Everyone hold hands. Mercy, make sure you keep a nice, firm hold on Blast Off so that he doesn't get lost or anything."

Blast Off continues to stare down at Mercy, looking like someone still not sure whether to just accept this or run screaming at the *close physical contact*. His whole demeanor looks... twitchy, though he is still trying to maintain a font of aloofitude. Yes, that's a word. As of right now. He finally glances up at Tailgate. "Again, I repeat, the floor is NOT falling." Why does he feel like petro-Chicken Little?

"Now, LET GO. I need my hands free to..." Then Rodimus goes and DOES THAT. Now the Combaticon is staring at HIM. Or more like- glaring. "What?!?" Now there's a loud, indignant *hufffff* echoing through the hallway on top of that look of impotent bloody murder he's giving the Captain.

"Aye aye, Captain!" Mercy chirps at Rodimus before she shifts her focus back to Blast Off. "I can hold your other hand if you need this one to hold your gun." she offers helpfully, as she releases her grip, and then extends her hand towards his middle, giving him the choice.

"Have you ever been in a ship where the halls turn you around in circles?" Tailgate questions Rodimus, hand scooping up in the one offered to him. See, it's not so bad. His hand is even small and unobtrusive. "Because then I'd want to know how /you/ got out."

Oh yeah. "Yep. It's an order. Command. You have to do it. Everyone hold on," Rodimus continues with fiendish -- FIENDISH -- glee. His delight only deepens, and any hesitation that he might have had fades away in the face of Blast Off's outrage. This was a great idea! Everyone hold hands! "If you need a hand free, grab on to what you can." You have officially been ordered to play grabass. (If necessary.) "Can't say I have," Rodimus admits to Tailgate. "But hey -- now I can say I can!" Yes. Look on the ... bright ... side.

That huff draws out even longer until it fades into a sort of exasperated sigh. Blast Off returns to staring at Mercy, who... mercifully finally lets go. He blinks. "Well, yes, I would prefer to have that hand free to..." Then one optic ridge twitches as she holds out her hand. That stare continues for one moment longer, then.... Sigh. "Very well." He subspaces his datapad, stares at the preferred hand like he's contemplating just *what* that means.... then his shoulders slump a little in defeat and he reaches a large black hand to take hold of her tiny one.

Rodimus just gets another death glare until the Combaticon looks towards Tailgate. "*I* have. There are places where electromagnetic fields, certain other forms of sabotage, or other things are used to interfere with both internal and external systems, making coordinates hard or impossible to read. Usually the key is to find the source of the interference and *end* it."

One arm angled up so she can hold Blast's and the other down to hold Tailgates, Mercy seems much more comfortable than before, and perfectly happy with this arrangement. "I'm glad you'e here then, Blast Off," the medic informs the large Combaticon before bouncing up onto her toes. Now that she's feeling more comfortable, she's getting more excited. This is now an adventure! "So, now what?"

"So we try to find any strange signals in here first? Maybe if we find a pipe or a power line we can follow it too." Tailgate offers an idea to start. It's something. "If we could follow it to a power source we could cut it off."

"Keep working on it. See if you can screen out the interference or -- whatever. Science things," Rodimus says. Those are his actual words. Science things. "Work with Chromedome--" Who is not, again, really that kind of scientist. "--on it. Hey, Mercy might even be able to help, too." Medicine is science! And Cybertronian medicine, in particular, is /engineering/. "Until then, we'll head up, looking for power lines. That's almost like a plan."

While holding hands.

In the dark.

This definitely never happens to Prowl. Off the Lost Lighters go, around the corner and into the unknown.

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