2016-02-01 Vectors Align

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Vectors Align
Date 2016/02/01
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Oil Baths
Participants Tailgate
NPCs Atomizer, Clipper
Scene GM Chromia
Summary Tailgate's investigation on Getaway's prompting has come to a head, and he is desperate to prove someone right or wrong; his only chance to get proof is to put himself on the ground.

After a hard days travel what is better than a good, long, warmed soak?

The thick aroma of scented oils mingle at the entrance to this bath house and the air is warmed by the numerous private tubs that located here. The floors and walls are segmented into smaller tiles, optimal for gaining traction should any unwanted oil be dripped where it doesn't belong. The overhead lighting is slightly fogged by the cloud of sweet steam that blankets this soothing space, which is vented towards the heated steaming room just off the entrance.

Four walls score the bathhouse into segments, each of which corridor hold ten private rooms. Within each of these is a private tank for soaking and enough space for relaxing once finished.

The turbofox flies at midnight.

Or at least something as equally clandestine.

Unaware that the word is out on him, Atomizer has slipped off to meet with someone, someone that he has routinely met with over the last several months. Alone, he enters the Oil Baths at a super late hour, when others don't requent coming here. He heads to one of the tanks at the back, one well concealed by the layers of steam that permeate throughout the room. Atomizer sinks into his bath and relaxes, head back are arms stretched t. Just a bot relaxing after a long day of space adventuring?

It is nearly an hour later that Atomizer is joined by someone. "Don't get up," the visitor whispers. He is garbed in bright orange inflatables, so there s no mistaking that this is the ex-Con Clipper. "You knoiw how his works," Clipper soothes as he approaches Atomizer from behind, hands out, reaching for the Bot's head.

Fresh from the fight, so to speak, Tailgate is still riding a dangerous high he isn't quite aware of until he has made his plans. There are no cameras in the deep back of the Baths, naturally-- but they are there at the front, just beyond the realm of privacy. It's this that helped him to pick out a pattern amidst the log dates from Getaway, and the camera timestamps where he would see Atomizer slog in at an extremely late hour. Things lined up-- and it was a routine. This was something that he could use.

For better or worse, yeah?

Tailgate makes his way to the Oil Baths far ahead of time, hiding himself away in one of the rearmost private rooms until the late hours roll in. It becomes a stakeout of incredibly boring proportions.

He has affixed himself with the small bead of a helm-camera courtesy of 'hey Rewind do you mind if I borrow one of your spares?', and he is watching a live feed of the front door on a datapad. There's Atomizer.

Clockwork. There's Clipper.

Tailgate squeezes out of the private room across the way, steps careful. At his other hand is a stasis gun. You know, in case.

With all the confidence of all previous meetings having gone interrupted, Clipper doesn't bother to be extra cautious. "Keep still. I woudn't want to do any damage while I'm poking about in there," the Con chuckles softly.

atomizer tensesbut he doesn't rise. Instead he stays still. "Just.... as long as this gets done. I'm tired of waiting. You think you gt it right this time?"

"Maybe," Clipperstates, clearly not promising anything, HIs hands touch the back of Atomizer's head. On them is a blue gel, one that once applied causes Atomizer to go slack. Unconscious. "Now, now, now," Clipper whispers gleefully to himself. "Let us see," and with that his hands come back and the needles come out. Literally. Each finger sprouts mnemosurgical spikes. "What it is you have for me."

The camera Tailgate has is Rewind grade. It picks up the voices just as his audials do. What he hears first is enough to already send chills down his back-- and for a moment, he panics, wide-eyed and skulking in steamy dimness. Maybe he should have brought backup after all? But it's too late to turn back now.

The way they talk is so familiar

Tailgate steels his servos and glides forward on the soles of his feet, so that he can try and edge his head around the corner of the wall-- all to get a bead on the two bots. Not just the voices, no-- he has to try and get something more visible. Atomizer has gone quiet, and he's not unaware of that fact.

As Tailgate looks around the corner, what his little eyes shall spy are Clipper'ls fingers poking into Atomizer's skull. The Autobot remains unmoving, but Clipper *leans* into his work, almost gleefully. He is a minicon, little in stature so is on his tiptoes to make this work, but the excitement for whicch hemnemosurically inserts himself into Atomizer's head makes him feel large.

After a moment, Clipper gives a loud, "Baaaaaaah. Still nothing, not enough anyway. Not *enough*!" His fingersremain connected to Atomizer's head as he pokes around in there. "How can one be so useless... I swear, if you weren'lt my best chance at getting something good... maybe I should resort to one of the command crew... but that is risky, way too risky. Too dangerous, too dangerous. But without results and soon... no, must push. Push you harder," he says to the unconscious Atomizer. "If you don'lt get me something useful soon I am going to have to get off this ship before theytear me apart. Never should have taken this job, never at all," he curses. Still he roots around in there. "Useless and so void of secrets. You are a constant source of disappointment for me, you know that? Almost sad that I finally figured otu the properslice to give you what you want... maybe a taste, ust a *taste* will properly motivate you... yes. Yes." He does think he's talking to himself.

Tailgate's insides winch up as the needles slide in; seeing it is different from hearing about it. At a distance, the idea is interesting. Up close and personal-- at least in this way? It's almost a grimy feeling that bubbles up into the chest. Tailgate forces himself to wait-- he gets the entire self-monologue on the recording before he moves again. When Clipper starts talking motivation-- no, that's enough. It's enough.

Tailgate edges out from the corner, the stasis gun in his hand tilting upwards to train on Clipper's back. He stifles a nervous flux in his spark. "Get those out of him and step back! //Now//!"

Well, that causes Clipper to tense up. Hopefully that doesn'lt result inhim deleting a hemisphere of atomizer'ls brain.

clipper doesn'lt turn around as rather he speaks. "No. as long as I am connected to this dolt, you will not shoot me. If I detach from him improperly there'ls no telling what damage I would do. Irreversable damage," Clipper states. It's only now he glances back over his shoulder to see who it is that has caughthim and... he snorts. "You?! Okay, well, that's cute. At least you're so small that it should be easier to stash your body."

"Actually, you're in a position to solve all my problems! Hah! The clearance codes you must have now... this is perfect, perfect! I don'lt know how you found me. Thevectors align for me finally!" He jabs his fingers at Atomizer's head hard enough that poor unconscious atomizer moves. "Drop the weapon, pipsqueek. Surrender or I *will* kill this one. Go out a hero, why don'lt you. Let me have you and I'll leave Atomizer alive... mindless and forgetting erything, but alive."

"If //anything// happens to me, they'll all know." Tailgate, for once, isn't bluffing-- even if Clipper might think he is. He's talked to most of command about this case-- it's still active on his files. Getaway wouldn't let it go if it got even deeper. No way.

The minibot's optics dart to Atomizer, his red and yellow bright against the steam when he twitches. They move back slowly to Clipper. "I danced with Tarn and his Division down on Prion-- I'm not a pushover. This doesn't have to get ugly. Just let him go." Yeah, definitely should have brought backup. Hindsight, you know.

"If //anything// happens to me, they'll all know." Tailgate, for once, isn't bluffing-- even if Clipper might think he is. He's talked to most of command about this case-- it's still active on his files. Getaway wouldn't let it go if it got even deeper. No way.

The minibot's optics dart to Atomizer, his red and yellow bright against the steam when he twitches. They move back slowly to Clipper. "I danced with Tarn and his Division down on Prion-- I'm not a pushover. This doesn't have to get ugly. Just let him go." Yeah, definitely should have brought backup. Hindsight, you know.

"True, but with the codes you know I could uncover a weapon good enough to shut the damned NAILs up finally and get off this ship. Heck, even with them I could take a shuttle, wipe all records of doing so and get out of here without anyone knowing I left. Long after they'd find your body." Clipper talks himself into it, as the thought of getting Tailgate is too great. It could solve every issue he has. So with a sickening *schluck!* he pulls his fingers out of Atomizer's head and turns on Tailgate.

"Tarn, huh? An ol' buddy of mine. I doubt you did it alone. You ain't going to shoot me. You're harmless. You're fluff. You don't have your big horned devil here to back you up." Clipper holds out his fingers, fresh with Atomizer brainjuice. "Give me the gun and I promise you, I won't let you remember the pain before it is all over. I'll keep it all for myself," he giggles. Gleefully.

"I know a lot more than I let on." Tailgate gets the feeling that he may be a more tasty morsel-- and so he is not shy about making himself seem like an even more delicious target. Tailbait is back? He watches Clipper as he talks himself through his own plan to take out the little Chief of Security. This guy is just-- all the wrong things.

As Clipper goes on to mock him, Tailgate's grip on the stasis gun tightens. He's not fluff! Even if he's scared of those dripping claws and that flippant attitude on lobotomies-- he's not. No. "If you have to hurt anyone-- I'd rather you hurt me. Maybe I won't shoot you."

"You can't! You Autobots... it was almost wrong, all the things we would do to you. Even the thought of mercy was enough to break you, not that any was ever given. Those are some of my my precious memories, you know. Not my own either, from when I would do those sweet, sweet terrible things to you weaklings. No, those moments of pure fear. Pure self-loathing, that final acknowledgement for how weak they were, for not being strong enough.... I'd take them, you see. Put them in here." Clipper uses one of those slicker mnemosurgical needles to tap and then run it along his brow, wetting it. "I'll be sure to add yours to them all."

Confident Tailgate won't shoot him, he advances on the bot his own size, but the one he is sure is deficient in the courage to do anything. "I miss the old days. This profession I have found myself lapsing into, after the war... memory cosmetics... it is entertaining. Rewarding too, I had to admit. Collecting the memories that others would so willingly toss away, and to get paid to do so... but it's not the *same*... not the *same* as making those memories. The feels... the feeling of them is different. It's *sweeter* when it is freshly made."

Tailgate listens. There's nothing he can say to it; Clipper's words eat away at his mind, sins crawling up his back and threatening to come out in a peal of sound. This wasn't how it should have gone. His optics follow the trail of the still wet needle across Clipper's brow, the blue of his visor sparking fluidly.

The minibot steps back as Clipper advances towards him, a pace for every pace, vaguely aware of the hallway to the private rooms behind him. "I'm- I'm not afraid of you. I'm not weak..." Tailgate's voice hovers with a force of uncertainty, and after a moment he isn't sure if the wavering in it is real or the fake he intends. Those needles are burning themselves into his memory too.

Clipper brandishes them. They are up, before him, ready to go. One good lunge and...

"You would have been a treat, in Grindcore. A tasty thing for many to have enjoyed. Now, you will be all mine." With that, Clipper decides he has been patient enough. He leaps at Tailgate, hands first, meaning to meet needles with head as fast as he can. He can't let this opportunity get away.

"Then you will be, but only long enough for me to let you remember it, so that I might claim them! You will die broken and empty. Every thought, every moment in your mind, they shal be mine!"

Tailgate waits until Clipper is at point blank-- it's too close for comfort. Way too close. The white minibot braces his hands on the grip and levels the stasis gun with Clipper's chest. He fires two shots, a defiant little sound humming in his engines. "Or maybe I will!"

  • POP*POP*

Clipper is blown back, literally, as two of his inflatable segments rupture due to those shots. The compressed air that had been within them propells him back so that he hits the oil tub that Atomizer floats in. He slams into it and slides down, dazed yet not in stasis. Under those rubber inflated pads is a wirey thin little Con.

"You shot me! YOU SHOT ME!" Clipper growls as he pushes up to his feet. He grabs the edge of the tub Atomizer is in and yanks, as hard as his little arms can, as he means to tip it over.

There is a whine of metal as the tub gives, tips and then spills. Atomizer comes washing out of it. Yet, atop that flood of oil and grease, Clipper transforms to his boatesque form as he means to ride that wave on out of here! Where will he go? He's not worked that out yet.

Tailgate is smiling under all of that, his eyes sparking with determination. Yeah, he shot you. Deception isn't just good for lying to people you love, you know. Another shot goes flying from his gun, at Clipper's aft end as he transforms. "Get back here, you little creep!" Tailgate glances from Atomizer, still comatose, before he pushes off after the runaway Decepticon; when he hits the oil slick he angles his feet to slide across it after Clipper.

"YOU SHOT ME AGAIN!" Because, *POP*, there goes another segment to him. HIs ass end is shot up, which spins Clipper out of his control. Instead of sailing on out of here, he ends up slamming hard against a wall, so hard that it causes him to transform to his root mode.

Atomizer, still unconscious, slides to a stop somewhere half within/half without of the room.

Clipper sits against the wall that has defeated him, an arm over his side. Something there hurts too much to get up. "I should have stayed on Cybertron."

Tailgate slides to a stop as Clipper slams into the wall, spraying warm oil from his heels. He hefts his stasis gun again, brow deepened and visor narrowed. "Yeah. You should've." Another shot, point blank again, and this time Clipper without his protective layer to absorb the stasis shock.

Clipper done been clipped.

Like Atomizer, he too is now out of it.

Tailgate now has two unconscious bots, a mess of spilled oil, and some explaining to do.

Luckily for him-- they're all on candid camera. Tailgate checks the sit of his borrowed equipment, sighing into the momentary quiet.


Scrap is right because what comes next for Tailgate is indeed scrapwork. The arrest has been made but even after transport of the two to where they need to go, respectively (Clipepr to jail, Atomizer to Chromedome no doubt), there's the legwork of suring up evidence.

Inspectiong of Clipepr's habsuite reveals two main things. One is his collection of 'scrapbooks', which are binder-like catelogues of all the memories he has stolen over the years. As a 'memory cosmetic' Clipper would offer his services to 'adjust', edit or otherwise remove traumatic events from someone's mind - as well as a more secretative service of *adding* selective thoughts or memories. These services brought him into contact with someone on Cybertron, which leads to the other bit of evidence against him. Contact and communications saved from prior to his departure of Cybertron for the Lost Light, with instructions to seek out Atomizer once he arrived.

Chromedome will, thankfully, be able to get poor Atomizer back to how he should be. The sanctioned mnemosurgeon of the Lost Light can easily tell how much damage was done by Clipper's manipulative use of Atomizer, as Clipper had promised to inject feelings of confidence into Atomizer, yet always withheld and then also erased memories of their having met. Thus, Atomizer was used time and again. At least five times, maybe more.

blog comments powered by Disqus