2016-04-18 Making Contact

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Making Contact
Date 2016/04/18
Location Eukaris
Participants Jumpstart, Windrose, Blast Off
Plot Colony: Eukaris
Summary Windrose, Jumpstart, and Blast Off scout Eukaris in search of Elita One's missing away team.

What the first scans of Eukaris reveal are a little confusing. That is, it's impossible to simply isolate Cybertronian-rooted life signs and narrow focus down on them, because there are so many. They concentrate in several places around the globe, a population sprawling and significant across the heart of a planet whose inhabitants need a lot of room to roam. Blast Off's heat shielding can bring them in from outer orbit to coast through the atmosphere to see if they can get a better reading, but there also seems to be a remarkable amount of interference -- it starts to become clear how come Elita One's people's transmission was so staticky and weird -- that makes long range scans a little suspect.

The thick foamy piles of cloud beneath them as their flight draws them closer in make it hard to see more than snatches of the shining blue-green surface of the oceans far below.

Blast Off is more than familiar with entering the atmosphere of strange planets, including ones with exceptional cold, heat, turbulance or other interference. He is in fully professional mode right now, sensors scanning and providing as smooth a ride as possible for the passengers contained within his cargo bay. " << I am still attempting scans. There are definitely numerous Cybertronian life signs down there but it is hard to get a fix or pull in hard data. I am adjusting course and coming a little closer for further scans... >>"

Windrose is definately not about to let the potential dangers of a rescue mission upon an unknown world stop her from doing her role of an explorer as well. Once she made sure the datalogs from Elita One got to Blaster, and alerted Mainframe that Rodimus wanted the Lost Light's position adjusted to better syncronize with Eukaris' orbit for the operations, the femme had hustled back to tag along on Blast Off's recon flight.

And it looks like it might of turned out to be a good thing she did. "Let me see if I can help," she replies to the shuttle as she turns her attention back to the terminals to fiddle with the settings. "I might be able to filter some of the cloud cover interference..." Weather research is one of her other hobbies after all.

Jumpstart isn't along for any particular reason, except that she happened to be waiting behind in the landing bay (still fiddling with that optimization) when Windrose and Blast Off set off on their mission. So, the beastformer included herself. She stands behind Windrose, looking over the explorer's shoulder at the various readouts. Lacking Windrose's superior technical knowledge all she can do is look at various pictures. "It's...beautiful, at least." She remarks. "All these colonies are so strange!" Jumpstart goes quiet to let the professionals work.

Though Windrose has significant background in meteorology, the foamy shifting clouds through which Blast Off angles to sink as he gets them lower are giving her more trouble than they should. It's almost as though there's something unusual in the air composition -- or else there's something else entirely causing the interference, and the clouds are just giant piles of fluff in their way. The more she works at it, it becomes clearer that either these clouds really are bastards, or else something else is going on here.

The air thickens and grows more humid as they sink through the cloud cover. The shore grows in the distance as the angle of their descent slowly brings landmasses into view along the gentle curve of the horizon. There are a few tiny dots of volcanic islands far below Blast Off, but the central continents are ahead as he flies. The pale yellow-white star high above seems a puny thing, but nevertheless, through the summery atmosphere, the flying weather is ... pleasant.

Blast Off is still pretty focused on the complicated nuances of planetary reentry (one of the most dangerous parts of any space flight, after all) but he responds to Windrose with a calm, "<< Understood. Boost the frequency of my nosecone relays if it is useful, just mind the power to my windshield defrosters. >>" Jumpstart's comment -and presence- is the sort that often brings out the shuttle's more acerbic tones, but even he finds views such as these soemthing that warms his cold space wayfarer's spark. "<< Yes, I suppose it is. >>" He muses quietly back, "<< Space travel and exploration is an often... rewarding thing. As long as the trip remains pleasant. Which... I suppose it is, so far. Keep scanning for hostiles, however. We may well have been spotted by now. >>"

Windrose puckers her metallic lips in minor annoyance as her efforts don't do much to help. Granted, this was her first time experiencing this planet so there may be aspects of the weather patterns her general knowledge doesn't know of... Which is why even with the failed efforts she stores away the data for later review. It might still be useful for the landing parties knowing they're going to have thick atmospheric clutter to descend through. "The interference may not be only the atmospheric conditions," she finally muses. "Hopefully getting closer to the main land formation will get some clearer readings at closer range." She turns to look out the mentioned windshield, after yes, making sure the defrosters to keep it clear are set. "It is a pretty view. Don't let it distract us from why we're here though."

"No, I don't think it can." Jumpstart replies, looking out of Blast Off's windows. "We're supposed to be looking, correct? So...that's what I'm doing." Her bright blue optics scan the coastlines below, gliding over the islands and taking in the continents. Probably still too far out to see anything of note, but the beastformer is known to have fairly keen eyesight. If the sensors aren't working, perhaps some good old fashioned sightseeing will be more productive.

In the far distance, in the air, there's a hint of sunlight off metal. At this distance it's hard to say what they might be. But the air around them is wide open, empty of threat.

The shuttle huffs lightly, "<< We are trying to find this missing away team. But if the interference isn't entirely natural, then.... >>" Hmmm. Blast Off brings his weapon systems online, just in case. Just in time, too... maybe? "<< There's something up ahead. Going in to investigate. Keep reading those scanners. >>" He prepares to bring his weapons online- but doesn't do it *quite* yet.

Windrose vents softly. "It may still be something in the planet itself... but if it -is- artificial, it would coincide with it seeming like Elita One's crew was attacked. If the attackers wanted to prevent communication." She just keeps working with the scanners, hoping to come across something to help. Good thing Blast Off can fly himself.

Jumpstart 's headfeathers flare when she spots the glinting metal off in the distance. "That's definitely not natural..." She's about to call it out to the shuttle when he sees it. "Blast Off, are you picking that up on your scanners or just optics? Do we have any idea what it is?" She looks over her shoulder at Windrose, to see if she might shed some light on the istuation. "We're all fliers here, Blast Off, if you want someone else out there..." Not much of a dogfighter, but it's worth mentioning now that they're in the atmosphere.

As they keep flying, Windrose seems to get slight increases in the concentration of the interference coming from different geographical positions on the planetary surface. It's hard to source them, but the variation suggests multiple sources. It's probably not the clouds, then.

As they sink lower and draw closer, the broad shape of the continent begins to form in the distance, and the distant figures begin to be etched as starker shadows in the air. It's still hard to pick them out, but there do seem to be four or five figures flying above the bay toward the continent.

Blast Off would nod if he were in root mode. " << Indeed, Windrose. If you pick up any weapons or detect anyone locking in on us, let me know. >> And in the meantime, the Combaticon got a lucky spot in there, seeing that metal glint, but he also knows the more optics the better and Jumpstart's are pretty damn sharp. (Not that he'd ever admit any of this). Still, she's got a good idea. "<< If you'd like to, yes. If it is an incoming hostile, being able to attack a target from various vantage points can be a good thing. >>"

If the others express interest, Blast Off will open up his cargo bay door and let them out.

Digits briefly click across the controls, but it only makes Windrose frown more. "The interference is definately coming from several different points. But still can't tell if it's artificial or not." Then Jumpstart suggest they get out and check for themselves. ".. It's worth a shot. I do have sensors better attuned to terrestrial scanning that I can't use from inside a craft." That seems to be enough to encourage her to get from the seat and head for the opening bay. "Just be ready to pick us up quickly so we can get out of here with we have to, Blast Off." Once clear of the doors she transforms into her helicopter mode and activates the multiple sensor packages under her pylons.

Jumpstart narrows her optics. "Looks like we'd be outnumbered. I count...four to five unknowns out there." When Windrose rises Jumpstart does the same. She unhooks her wings, letting them extend behind her, as if strretching. "I'm willing to take a peek but I agree with Windrose...Blast Off we'll need your speed if this turns ugly. Neither of us is a combat bot." Jumpstart flashes a smile at Windrose. "I'll try and keep anyone around you occupied, get a good look."

The interference seems to be an electromagnetic skew, spotting intermittently. It's impossible to entirely rule out a natural source, but if it is a natural source, it's a distinctly unusual one.

The wind picks up, salty and strong, as they draw ever lower in their descent. There's a storm well behind them, roiling up the waters of the ocean beneath distant, distinct knots of cloud and crackling lightning, but all the way over here, the day is still daylit and warm. The tidal crash against the stony walls of the bay foams up in the distance.

There are five of them in a broad range of colors, black and scarlet and purple and green and pink. Their wings sweep not in tandem but they are very nearly in the kind of a formation that suggests birds.

Blast Off lets them out, though the news that there are four or five bogeys out there, combined with a missing away team that was apparently under attack earlier, brings him pause. "<< Understood. Well, I am quite certain there is *nothing* on a planet like this that can fly faster than ME. >>" (Blast Off might be biased. Then again this is also a guy called /Blast Off/ so at least the bias is understandable.)

Despite all this, he secretly takes a moment to enjoy the display being put on all around them. The Combaticon is generally disdainful of organic things, but these grand sweeping planetary views /are/ magnificent. He /might/ even secretly take in the view of that helicopter flying over there, but fortunately for him, even if he does, it's really hard to tell anyway when he's in shuttle mode. He doesn't take long doing anything, regardless, soon focusing on the incoming *birds*. "<< I suppose we either attempt contact, avoid them, or attack. >>"

At this point Windrose is less trying to filter out the interference and just recording the data it produces. Maybe once they're back on the Lost Light the information can be used to formulate some better logarithims to get through it based on the disruptions it's causing. It's quite possible it is a natural phenomenom that someone is taking advantage of. Why intefer with something that already does what you might want?

"<< Considering the last landing party was attacked, do we really want to draw extra attention to ourselves?>>, she radios back at Blast Off's remark. <<We're better off getting what information we can and heading back instead of ending up more strandees.>>" Or worse, but she doesn't mention that part.

Jumpstart spreads her wings when the bay door is opened and departs the interior of the shuttle into the sky. She twists on the wind and transforms, primary mode consumed by the avian guise. Jumpstart doesn't use this mode very often, especially when cooped up on the Lost Light, but there's something pure about it: the wind in your wings and nothing else. She quickly focuses on the incoming unknown fliers, trying to focus on them with her sharp optics. "<>" Nowhere near as fast as Blast Off, and able to keep up only because of the atmosphere, she tries to keep a perimter around Windrose. "<<I would only hail them if they approach, otherwise let them go on their way.>>"

The birdformers do not appear to be flying in their direction. Two have banked left, angling in a broad sweep of black and red wings to get a better look at the incoming Cybertronians. The other three seem to be picking up speed, moving in the distinctly <i>away direction of the continent ahead.

"<< Personally, if I was going to make myself known under these particular circumstances it would be behind a laser barrel. I agree with you both, however, that caution and keeping our distance would be the best option. >>" He slows enough to more or less allow his crewmates to keep up.

When the two incoming forms bank towards them, the Combaticon's weapons begin to power up. "<< It does appear that we may have been spotted, though. >>"

Windrose appreciates that Blast Off is actually sticking close to them, she knows that's not like many spacefarers to actually slow down. But there's not much time to point it out. "<<Hopefully they'll just pass by? Try to not look threatening.>> The camera mounted under her nose swivels back and forth, taking in as much as she can before they have to ditch. Gather information, it can be sorted through later, there isn't time to pick apart details now if they're going to have company soon.

"Two headed out way, the others breaking off." Jumpstart radios. "You looks like they're trying to protect the others from /us/." She hesitates for a moment, drifting above Windrose and Blast Off. Then she folds her wings and dives for extra speed, pulling up in front of Blast Off's nose. "Sorry to slow you down." And she does sound legitimately apologetic. "But..." The beastformer hesitates. "...I thought it might help defuse any situation if they see a...familiar face with the rest of you mechaniforms." Yep, we're all birds here.

It does appear that the two who've banked to screen the other three are operating as some kind of protective escort. One looks almost like a giant vulture in the curve of its neck and arc of its shoulders as its wings beat, while the other has extra, paw-like feet with a leonine tail that lashes as it flies, its eyes a bright glow of golden optic set in the metal-feathered scarlet of its falcon-style head.

The griffonesque of the two backwings as Jumpstart soars to the front of the party, checking his progress.

As a space shuttle, perhaps even as a secretly lonely individual, Blast Off actually does harbor a desire to make sure his crew gets safely home. It comes in varying doses and quantities- Quicksight might not qualify for much of it, for instance- but in general it is an actual, real thing with him. He just won't /ever/ admit it. Windrose's comment gets a small, almost bemused and definitely confident chuckling huff. "<< I am a Combaticon, I can't help look threatening. >>" Insert smug flexing here.

As Jumpstart dives down in front of him, Blast Off's focus shifts from incoming bogey to incoming birb. Hmm. " <<Well, you're not a space shuttle, and not everyone can be. >>" This is actually probably meant as something *nice* to say. Sort of. " <<But I suppose you also have a point. If you want to go meet them, the choice is yours. If they attack, however, I shall respond in kind. >>"

Windrose would probably roll her optics if she wasn't in heli mode. Though Blast Off's ego isn't entirely misplaced in this occasion. She can't deny that letting the other beastformer talk to them is a good idea. She also swivels her camera to get a few good pics of the two. Hmmm. Is everyone on this planet an animalistic altmode?

"Thank you for that encouragement, Blast Off." Jumpstart replies as the two Eukarans approach. The eagleform hesitates for a moment, then breaks off from Blast Off to draw closer to the other fliers, though at an angle so as not to appear to becoming at them directly. Shouting in midair tends not to be very effective, so she tries radio to contact the Eukarans. "We mean no harm and will depart soon. These two are with me." Worth a shot, at least, to avoid a firefight now that they've been spotted.

There's a little fuzz on the radio contact, but the answer from the griffon is a low booming, "No harm. Depart soon. Your standardformers worry us."

The vulture sweeps its wings in a broad arc, vicious curving beak turning with a snap as it seems to start circling while the griffon more seems to hover. "Too many strangers." This voice is higher, scratchier, very displeased. It crackles and fuzzes across the open frequency.

Blast Off prepares himself for battle but is still waiting to let Jumpstart do her thing and allow these strangers make the first move. He's civilized, after all, he can see if there's some chance that they are too. But he's also a Combaticon so.... yeah.

Standardformers? Well, that seems to indicate her musing on most everyone being beastmodes here is true. Windrose opts back to radio instead of speaking out loud after the response. "" Sounds like they might want to send more animal altmode members of the crew down. They do have more of those than Jumpstart and Grimlock, right?

Jumpstart cannot help but linger for an extra moment, regarding the griffon and the vulture closely, as if trying to make sure she can remember their forms. "We respect your sovereignty over these skies and graciously thank you for your forebearance. We will be going, now." Hey, a little high society in Polyhex pays off. Jumpstart dips a wing in what she hopes is a gesture of respect and then wheels back towards Blast Off. Internally, she switches her radio back to the Lost Light frequencies. "Windrose, I think that is an excellent idea."

The griffon dips his wing in answer, in ready acknowledgment, and then wheels back after the others. The vulture is less polite. He watches and circles a few more times, and chatters something that sounds suspiciously profane for all that its exact syllables are lost to the wind of his flight.

Blast Off is convinced there's a lot these beastformers aren't saying. He'd like to ask abou the missing crew but if they knew and they weren't hiding anything, they'd have said something already. The fact that they haven't means they either don't know - or don't want to say. " <<Very well. I'm opening my cargo bay door again. Take whatever scans you can -as will I- and get on board. I suspect they are hiding something, but are reluctant to speak the truth. A shame Vortex isn't here, he's very good at making people talk. >>" Don't let Vortex know he said that, Ok?

Windrose emits what could be the vehicular equivilent to a snort from her vents at the mention of Vortex. But rather than comment she finishes up her scans and picture taking before turning (a nice thing helis can do turning on their axis without having to move) and thpthpthps back to Blast Off's hold.

Jumpstart takes the long way 'round, swooping past the Eukaran horizon before dropping down into Blast Off's cargohold. "I understand." She finally says to Blast Off. Jumpstart remains in birdform for a moment, wings tucked back, but then soon transformers. Those same wings furl around her and connect at her neck. Looking at Jumpstart, one would be forgiven for assuming they were non-functional. "But I didn't want to tip them off that we were looking for the missing crew. Maybe that's what they thought anyway, but I didn't see a reason to start a fight when we didn't even have orders to talk to them." Jumpstart turns to Windrose. "Anything good?"

"I got some pictures of our company." Windrose pats her abdomen when the nosecode of her altmode and it's camera mount fold in. "Once we get back to the Lost Light I'll run the datalogs through the computers and see if it can't do something about the interference. Though the landing party might want to have more people with 'natural' senses like your eyes with in case it can't be factored out still."

The snort from Windrose has Blast Off wondering what that's all abo-oh wait isn't she roomates with Vortex? Ah. That would drive anyone mad. He allows the other two safely inside his cargo hold, then replies to Jumpstart. " <<Indeed. I shall head back to the ship for now and we can return at a later time. >>" WE meaning... whoever. Right now he just wants to get home and have a nice glass of wine. Maybe with Whirl. Maybe they can even convince Whirl to wear a beak and try to pass himself off as a beastformer on the next visit down. He almost chuckles at that thought, then fires up his thrusters and starts rocketing back to the stars.

"Thank you, Blast Off." And Jumpstart almost sounds like she means it. She lowers herself slowly into a seat and looks out the window. "They weren't happy to see us, and wanted us gone, but not murderously so." She pauses. "I would hate if every splinter of our race fell into factions like we did. Maybe Elita One's people ran into the wrong side." Jumpstart shrugs. "Anyway I guess we need to report this to command and hope we don't get yelled at for contacting the natives..." Finally she turns back to Windrose. "I don't think I would mind coming back."

Windrose nods her head as she settles back into her seat and flips up the visor of her helmet. "It's a pretty planet. Maybe once there's not this whole missing party and possibly restless natives to worry about we can take a more scenic look around."

"<< Well, the natives contacted us. We were simply doing our jobs. >>", Blast off points out. "<< But... you're welcome. >>" With that, he keeps heading on his way home. </div> </div>

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