2016-01-12 Crazy Eight is a Dead Man

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2016-1-12 Crazy Eight is a Dead Man
Date 2016/01/12
Location Command -- Incident Room
Participants Drift, Ultra Magnus
Plot Arena
Summary Drift and Ultra Magnus talk about what happened on Scira. Also, Crazy Eight is probably going to die.

Overlooking the bridge, this room is dominated by the large displays capable of displaying whatever recent crisis is at hand. It is possible to tune into on-ship surveillance in the corridors and major rooms or else pull up a view of the ship's exterior. The tactical displays are probably better at breaking down a situation than most of the people who end up in here to direct one.

The glossy surface of the table in the center of the room is spiderwebbed with cracks from the impact of some massive object or another.

Ultra Magnus is not having a very good day, and it so happens that when Ultra Magnus is not having a very good day, few other people have very good days either. (Ask Jackpot.)

The bridge is essentially locked down in orbit. His first instinct was to cancel all planetary shore leave, because then at least he can keep track of everyone who hasn't been abducted, but if Soundwave hadn't prevailed upon him to change his mind and not cancel all planetary leave, he would not now have the ripped copy of the planetary advertisement that has been brought back to play, on repeat with the sound off, above the cracked briefing table in the incident room.

"I want a complete canvas of every shop they went into before they were taken," Magnus is telling a couple of the deputies he handed over to Tailgate. "It's blatantly clear that this has happened before and it's what we get for stopping off at a lawless chaos colony but I want every scrap of data about this place." He hesitates for a beat, and then says, "Authorize Swindle to locate anything he can purchase on the black market that appears to constitute plans or blueprints of this ... facility." A beat. "Don't tell him that came from me. He won't believe it anyway. And don't tell him how much we have in petty cash because otherwise that will be exactly how much the blueprints cost. And somebody find Drift!"

Drift has been in and out of medical after having his face smashed in by not one but two giant hammers, and it's where he is when someone finally gets ahold of him. Whatever procedure he was currently engaged in is interrupted by Drift bolting off the berth and speeding down the hallways to reach the bridge in a timely manner even if it means having to shove anyone who gets in his way.

"Ultra Magnus!" He ignores everyone else who may be present on the bridge, completely focused on Ultra Magnus and anything he has to say. "Did you find him? Them? Where are they? When are we going in? Now? Let's go, I'm ready!"

"Drift. We aren't ready." Ultra Magnus closes his hand around Drift's arm like a firm, warm vise, and more or less hauls him into the incident room proper. He slams a button with the spear of one finger to let the door hiss shut behind them and gestures at the advertisement, which is running on its like eleven billionth loop since it was retrieved from the blue district on the planet below. "It's clear that our people are all alive. There are camera shots in these holoprojections of each of our missing personnel." Presumably the ones who couldn't RP last night are there somewhere. Magically. "These abductors have some form of technology that took out ninety percent of our crew on leave all at once, remember? You were the only one left? I want Brainstorm and Perceptor working together to figure out what it could be and if we can develop countermeasures before we move. You may want to look in on them and check with medical to see if you can figure out why you're standing here right now, unless of course you think the answer is spiritual."

Magnus sounds pretty sarcastic about that. He may be cranky.

"When are we going to be ready!?" Drift snaps more aggressively than he originally intended as he's pulled into the incident room where his attention is immediately drawn to the looping advertisment. He grits his teeth, hands clenching into tightly balled fists as he watches. It's like some kind of nightmare. "...Really?" He pulls his gaze away from the advertisment to glare at Ultra Magnus with an intensity not normally seen in his optics. "You're really making fun of my beliefs? Now?! While they're living THAT hell!?" He juts a finger towards the advertisment, arm shaking. "While RODIMUS is living that hell!? I don't know why I didn't get knocked out like the others, I don't know what the hell happened out there either but mocking me isn't going to do anything except piss me off!"

Ultra Magnus starts to dismiss this righteous fury in a sharp gesture of his hand, and catches himself in the midst. His eyes flash with barely suppressed anger, his vents churning out a long hiss as he stares down at Drift. He closes his massive hand into a massive fist and then drops it. "Fine," he says. He doesn't apologize. He does back off. It shows physically: he straightens, drawing more to attention with his towers quivering with tension as he draws himself up, and back. "I don't know what you're doing here either, but I hope to use it. We'll be ready when we know where we're going and how we're defending ourselves."

This little meeting is off to a great start, isn't it? Drift just stands there, glaring up at Ultra Magnus and waiting for him to open his mouth and give him a reason to snap back at him with all the worry, fear, and anger he's been subjected to since the abduction but Ultra Magnus backs off and Drift starts to wind down. "I dont.." He drops himself into a chair and leans over the cracked table, head in his hands. "I don't know what happened. Everything was fine, we were just screwing around. I got in a sword duel with some guy, Rodimus was having a good time, next thing I know he starts acting weird and he's telling me it's probably just some EMField interference or something. He stopped talking, went down, and then.. then ships started landing and taking everyone away." He looks up at Ultra Magnus, "I saw him. The guy who took Rodimus and the others, I saw him."

Ultra Magnus watches Drift fold himself down with a twitch of discomfort crumpling his frown deeper into his features. He glances away for a moment, and then leans forward over that same table from the other side, planting his hands to either side as he forces it to take the brace of his weight, his lean bridging what little space remains between them. "Tell me, Drift." His voice has gentled from its harsh snap of moments ago to a quieter intensity, entreating: "I need to know everything."

Drift stares at Ultra Magnus from his lower vantage point, optics fixed on his. Slowly he lowers his hands to rest on the table and straightens himself up. "As soon as we entered the city, we had someone offer to buy 'our war criminals.' Big red flag, obviously, but it's no mystery that Scira is a shady place and the guy backed off when we said no so it didn't seem like that big a deal. Everyone broke off and did their own thing while Rodimus and I looked for a track to race on." He bites his lower lip as he replays everything that happened in his head. "Some tree.. spider.. thing told us that there were tracks and arenas on the higher levels so we were heading up there when we saw this sword show. Rodimus suggested I duel one of them." Suggested doesn't really describe it, Rodimus literally pushed him into it. "Once we were done with that, he started acting weird and then, you know.. he went down and the ships started taking people away. This big Cybertronian with multiple arms tried to take Rodimus away but I fought him off, I thought I could handle it until help arrived but he transformed into this.. thing, this multi-limbed beast and hit me."

He slumps forward again, covering his face with his hands. "That's the last thing I remember."

Ultra Magnus listens quietly as Drift speaks. His silence extends for a long moment afterwards. Then he shifts, and reaches with both his hands. They fall in a warm weight across his shoulders as Magnus gazes very seriously into his face. "We're going to get him back," he says in the voice of absolute certainty. He's good at absolute certainty. He states this as simple fact, with all the weight of conviction behind it. "We're going to bring them all back."

Drift twitches at the touch as he was not expecting it but he's quick to relax and find comfort in the weight of Ultra Magnus' hands. His drops his hands from his face to meet his gaze, that serious look and the conviction of his words casting aside any doubt he previously had. He believes Ultra Magnus when he says they're going to get them back. "I know we will."

"Good." Magnus's hands tighten just slightly on Drift's shoulders in an increase of pressure, and then slide off as he straightens up again. "I'm having security ask Swindle to find and buy any plans or blueprints for the facility where they're being held. I'm hoping we can find a way inside. There is no recognized authority on Scira, no neutral magistrate or law enforcement we can ask for assistance, so we are on our own."

If not having any local authority for support is supposed to worry Drift, it doesn't. If anything it makes him more hopeful because now they don't have to worry about pesky things like laws get in the way of their rescue effort. "Good, because when I find the guy that did this.." He clenches his fists. "I'm going to kill him."

"He'll face justice of one kind or another, I promise you that." Ultra Magnus turns aside with something troubled in his expression, pacing past the cracked table to level the weight of his stare more closely upon the bootlegged advertisement. "There is none to be had here that we do not make ourselves."

Ultra Magnus' words are just vague enough for Drift to feel confident that he'll get to righteously murder Crazy Eight. Let's be honest though, it's going to happen regardless of how Ultra Magnus feels about it. Drift will make sure of that. "That's right." He stands up from his chair and moves to stand beside him, staring at the advertisement as it loops and plays again.

Ultra Magnus stands with his arms folded in a cross over his massive chest, his frown lingering for a long moment's silence as he stares into the flashes of the arena fight. "Personnel retrieval first," he says at length.

Drift lowers a hand to grip tightly around the sword at his hip, watching the advertisment over and over and over again. "Of course. Safely rescuing everyone is my top priority, anything that happens after that is just a bonus."

It's really emotionally healthy and constructive that Drift and Magnus are just watching this looping video all over again. It's like the worst vine ever. "For one thing, I believe our missing persons may wish to be involved in the meting out of this particular justice," Ultra Magnus says with a low growl in his voice.

Drift considers this and a dark smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. "Works for me, we can make it a group effort." It's at this point that Drift becomes fully aware of his own thoughts and the sick smile crossing his lips and he turns away from the advertisement. Some meditation would really do a lot for him right now. "Is there anything else you need from me?"

"If you just want to check in with Brainstorm and the others about whatever it was that happened to them down there -- I don't want our rescue efforts to turn into more captives for this criminal." Ultra Magnus lifts his chin slightly as he glares at the advertisement, and finally turns to tap out a sequence on the terminal's keyboard and shut down the looping video. "And if you think of anything I've missed..." He trails off. Then he turns and clasps Drift by the forearm. "I don't blame you for what happened," he says, "but I wish I'd been there to help you." Except he'd probably just have been knocked out along with everyone else, so what he's saying doesn't actually make that much sense.

It doesn't make any sense at all but Drift appreciates the sentiment anyway. He looks up at Ultra Magnus and places a hand upon the one clasping his forearm. "I'm glad you werent, you would've been taken like everyone else. It's better for everyone that you're here to assist with the rescue."

Ultra Magnus frowns a little, although it's hardly his most hostile frown. He tilts his head slightly in a lone nod of acknowledgment. Squeezing in the pressure of his fingers, he stands there for a moment like that, and then withdraws. Vents puffing the low hiss of processed air, he says: "... We both have work to do."

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