From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Moonracer, Astrotrain, Folly, Quicksight, Whisper, Soundwave, Blast Off|
|Summary||The Lost Light sends a scouting party to intercept what turns out to be a Velocitronian scouting party.|
So here's the thing about long distance scouting duty, and that thing is that Moonracer and the rest of her small team have been trapped in close quarters together for an admittedly planned extended period of time. The small ship is coursing through space on slowly burning-out thrusters.
By virtue of being the speediest bot on the ship, or the bot possessed of the strongest struts, Moonracer has been voted to be the one to do EVA with a small scale space-safe camera and take photo-images of the damage. Screwball, minibot engineer up to his neck in the aggressively close quarters of the engine room, is yipping at her rapidly over the radio. It goes like this: "<< What do you MEAN the casing is just COMING OFF? >>"
It goes back like this: "<< I /mean/, >>" effervescence is strained, oh, and the radio crackles with it -- or the radio just crackles. "<< I /mean/, don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's about forty /super technical/ ways I could explain it, but-- >>" Is that. Is that a *twang* resounding over the comms? Is that a /very decidedly metallic sounding *twang*, unmistakable even over the slight static-hiss pop that fills the silence while Moonracer isn't talking? It is. It really kind of is. There's a flash of space-silvered white and washed-out teal as she twists to follow the trajectory of the now /gently drifting/ piece of casing in question, and snaps a picture. It's accompanied by a, "<< Well, >>" that doesn't bode it for anyone, and then, "<< the casing ... /was/ ... just coming off. >>" It sparkles a little, as it drifts.
"<< Scrap!! >>" It's hard to really manage the double exclamation point over the communicator, but Screwball seems to be managing it. "<< That's it. We're scrapped. We're scrap metal out here. This is it. We're gonna die. >>" While the tiny Velocitronian engineer engages in these histrionics, other thruster sputters, gutters and dies, leaving the small ship essentially ... spinning, very slowly, on the axis of the only remaining thruster. There's a clanging crash over the communicator as Screwball yaws too far on his wirey ladder and crashes to the floor.
So, the scene is this:
Thousands of kilometers from anywhere, a tiny unidentified craft is slowly carouselling through space.
It started as an anomaly on long-range scans, and that's been enough to send out a scouting party to investigate.
Off to the side of one of the main corridors, the curious Folly holds in her hand an eneraether compass, which spins in her hands. "Oh! There's something happening." She raises her hand up and down near the spinning instrument, her fingers moving fractionally as she analyzes the pattern. One, and only one, of her optics zooms in a little. "Someone....is drinking all the four-quart engex at Swerve's." The Eneraetheristician tilts her head in a thoughtful frown, "I do not believe that is important." She gasps in sudden thought, "Unless it is!"
So now they were going out to galavant after every little sensor blip they see? Pfff. Fine. It gets Astrotrain away from the mess the Storage section of Deck 6 has become with the gravity disabled. It was enough of a pain getting to a launch bay so he could transform and get people aboard for this little trip into space as it was.
So now the big greyish and purple shuttle is just cruising along, providing the transport to wherever the navigators are saying they're suppose to go investigate. "It's only important if they don't leave enough for me to recharge when they get back," his voice echos around the interior of his spacefaring mode in snarky response to the femme's ramblings.
"<< Well /that's/ definitely scrap, >>" is just a /touch/ too cheeky to be pragmatic: Moonracer streetches ou-- but no, doesn't catch the casing. Doesn't let herself drift away from the ship, either. "<< We're not gonna /die/, >>" comes paired with the clangity-clank of a little speedracer carefully carefully maneuvering her way opposite the little-ship's spin, "<< I mean, /eventually/ they'll realize we're still out here, you know, that we haven't come /back/ like we were supposta, and they'll /send a rescue/. Probably have to stage a race to see who, you know, ends up coming, so that might take an extra while, but we won't /die/. >>" Very reassuring, Moonpie. As they spin-drift, she is a very /pretty/ anomoly on the outside of the little ship, snazzily bluegreen contrast to, y'know. The metal-y ... ness ... of it all. "<< Do you want pictures of the other deadthing out here, too? >>"
Whisper stands quietly inside Astrotrain in her root mode. She is spacefaring over short distances, like many, but there's little reason to zip out into the vacuum until they grow close enough to investigate. She reads from the readout, her features a blank mask with her visor steady as the big grey and purple shuttle glides toward the coordinates. She's not saying anything, but this is barely worth mentioning.
Of course if there's a scouting party, it's only logical that a scout is in it. Okay, so Quicksight's experise are better for planetside recon than space, but that doesn't mean he can't be of any help, his observational skills having come in handy in a similar sitation before. At least it's not Blast Off transporting them this time. Thus, he focuses on the scenery outside the window, doing his best to ignore the chatty Autobot. It's bad enough that he has to room with her. He does allow himself a brief grumble of "Autobots. Can't even do a job right" It's not like they're on a joyride here.
Folly raises her head as Astrotrain grouches at her. "No, sadly its all gone right about..." She wiggles one of her fingers delicately, ".......n...now.... And Swerve just said something humorous. Someone laughed." She tilts her head again, "Whats that?" Folly stands up, the somewhat haphazard looking Femme turns around, following her eneraetherometer forward into Astrotrain's forward cabin. "This isn't right." She says consipratorially to...perhaps Astrotrain, "we are off-target. We should be here." She motions a tiny fraction of a degree off to the side by pointing. Her hand drifts down to the manual controls, and leans down towards the console. "Too far...We're too far away." Her finger hovers over the navigational array, as if ready to initiate a course correction.
Soundwave stands near Astrotrain's controls, his posture as still as they come. It might be even a tad more extra stiff as he stares at nothing in particular. He's just listening. Away from the Lost Light, Its much quieter. Oh, don't be fooled. He can hear the Lost Light, it's just not kicking and screaming anymore. But now focusing on something else. He can make out another's communication. He could try and send out a short-range emission to contact them but why would he do that before they're sure it is not a threat? The Lost Light and the Crew are a magnet for threats. So still and silent he stays, observing and listening.
There's a creaky noise as Screwball hauls himself up on the bars on the side wall of the engineer's section of their small craft. "<< I activated the beacon, >>" he reports gloomily. "<< It's gonna be forever before anybody finds us. We're going to run out of fuel. Please don't cannibalize me for energon. I'm very small. It wouldn't even be that effective! >>"
The slowly spinning ship is becoming more apparent to the scouting party as their course takes them closer, appearing out of the black in its somewhat comedic limping turn. An old style radio distress signal pings across subspace frequencies. Blip! ... ... ... Blip! ... ... ... Blip!
Whisper continues to stand, very still and altogether quiet as she reviews the readout by gaze. Her focus is intent upon the task at hand. She reflects internally on her inability to determine when Swerve says something humorous because he basically never stops talking, but she doesn't say anything out loud, because this would be off-task, and Whisper's dignity is tied directly to her dedication to duty: on-task, then. On-task.
"Don't even -think- of gettin your dinky little servos on my controls," Astrotrain's unique voice barks through the cabin as soon as he realizes what she's reaching for. Like he's going to trust course suggestions from some airhead named Folly. That would be like trusting deals made by someone named Swind--okay that's a terrible example. Swindle will rip you off but he at least gets the really good stuff in doing so. Anyways! It proves pointless as the small ship tumbles into view, about the same time the blips start. Soundwave's probably got those handles. "This is your captain speaking. Please return all trays and seats to their upright position... Oh, right, I didn't give you punks any." This seems to amuse the triplechanger to a degree, but fortunately when he engages retrothrusters to slow his approach of the other craft the jostling is minor at best. Though he's probably only being careful because someone important (to him at least) is on-board, and Soundwave prefers his stability to focus.
Thruster, by the way: the word Moonpie was looking for was /thruster/. 'Deadthing,' honestly. "<< Oh my /god/, >>" is equal parts exasperated and fond, "<< I'm not going to cannibalize you for energon! I'm not going to scrap you for parts! When have I /ever/-- >>" The click-shut as she stops talking is audible over the radio, but it's nearly buried in a bunch of /really hasty/, uh, clattering and scrambling, because hey, ho, minor jostling is still kind of exreme when a) the second ship in question is a teensy-beensy thing, and, more importantly b) when you're hanging on to the outside of it, with a space-safe camera in one hand. Clankity-clank-clank comes to a stop, and then: "<< Oh! Look, company. /Tolja/ we weren't going to die out here, >>" comes across, bouncy-bright and bell-clear. Moonpie, because she's ridiculous -- waves. Grins, too, all freckle-spattered faceplate and beacon-bright headlamp. At least she doesn't 'helloooooo!' into space. Probably thinks about it, though.
"I'm pretty sure he knows better than you if we're off target or not" Shooting Folly a short glare, Quicksight steps in for his fellow Decepticon against the Autobot. Autobots! Can't stop themselves from trying to control other people, can they? In contrast, Astrotrain's joke goes unnoticed, or at least uncomented on. Not like it's a big deal, let alone big enough to start an in-factional fight infront of Soundwave, and an Autobot. Instead he simply settles better in his seat, shifting to maintain his view out the the view port. Looks like they found their target already.
Soundwave detects the blip. The signal the beacon is sitting out is foreign and yet... familiar. Signals, patterns, numbers, coding... It's all just a language. And like any language, it can change and evolve but it's roots are always tied to the origin. And the Decepticon Commander is well aware of the roots that tie to Cybertron. Soundwave doesn't bounce or jostle. He's a statue during the minor turbulance. Astrotrain's efforts are recognized and will later be commended.
Not until the ride is more steady does the blue brick step forward to begin working some controls. It's a message made of neocybex symbols that should appear upon a screen of the small vessel. It reads: "Distress beacon, recieved. If assistance wanted, your designations and business aboard current vessel required." Tell us who you are or die. Greetings from the Lost Light. A request for open comm chat follows.
Whisper is reviewing her readouts. She looks up, glancing at the viewport with only minor interest for what her optics may tell her in lieu of the sensor readings on her screen. She looks back at her readouts again. Wait. Was someone ... waving? Whisper finishes her doubletake by staring out the viewport. She still hasn't said anything. She probably hasn't said a word since they left the docking bay.
Folly looks back to Quicksight, then back to her instrument, "He doesn't understand. No-Scope doesn't understand. We are 'out of line'." She keeps hesitating at the nav control, even as Astrotrain snaps at her. It was so tempting...to make everything right, to follow the lines we were meant to follow. Then again, not everyone could SEE the flow of energy, could they? The other optic of Folly's (that makes her look like she's wearing thick glasses' whirrs out, out of sync with the other. She holds onto her eneraetherometer protectively, and says with great sincerity, "We're out of 'balance'!"
She turns her back to the crew, returning her focus to her meter. "Hmmmm....there is energy in motion. It sees us, it greets us." She leans in a bit at the device, "I think it will explode soon."
"<< Oh, scrap, >>" squeals the disaster-hypochondriac from the engineer's space on the Velocitronian craft as he stares at the screen. "<< Moonracer! Moonracer!! >>" There he goes with the double exclamation points again. "--<< Moonracer, what do I do? >>" Screwball hits a control to forward a screencap of the message to reflect as a brief image popup on the viewscreen of Moonracer's faceplate. "<< Aaah I don't know what our designations are! Does that mean our names? Scrap! Scrap, you do it! I'll splice you an open comm channel if you don't make me talk! >>"
Velocitron's finest: They're still literally spinning in place with only one functional thruster, like a lonely paddleboat with only one paddle floating in circles on an endless ocean.
Yes, there is someone on the outside of the other tiny ship. Yes, they are waving. Astrotrain isn't sure if this is amusing, or rediculous, or maybe a bit of both.
He doesn't complain when Soundwave uses some of his equipment, though. Mostly because Soundwave is the boss right now, and Astrotrain isn't in a mood to be -that- irritating.
"Don't worry toots," his echoing voice retorts to Folly. "If it does explode I'll be sure to eject you out the airlock for a closer view." And hopefully blown up in the process. A Decepticon can still dream about Autobots dying, even if he can't do it personally any more.
"We're in fragging space. There ain't no balance to be out of!" Quicksight grumbles at his roommate, annoyance seeping in to his voice. Clearly he's not a follower of odd branches of science. Thus, he doesn't give her concern about the other ship exploding much attention. It's hard for him to take her seriously. Astrotrain's promise gets a a quieter mutter of "Please", though he does quiet down, not wanting to disturb Soundwave.
"<< Screwball! Screwball you're not he-- yes, okay, splice me in, you're going to blow a gasket! >>" The /whole time/ this is going on - well, they're upside-down now, or at least Moonracer is, still attached to the side rather than having sensibly /gone back inside/. Upside down, drift-paddling gently, grinning -- and waving. *kshkkkt-click* "--looooooooooo, bigship. This is the Velocitronian scout ship Racetrack, tinyship of the awesome name and the kind of tragic, uh. >>" There's a clank, a sort of skittery clatter, and then the loosey-goosey casing that's the /other side/ of the one already lost goes drifting away from their gently spinning tragectory. "<< Looks like we could use a bit of a tow. >>" Her laugh is a little tinny, over the radio, but for anyone looking rather than using their sensors -- the waving hand has stopped waving, and is now an enthusiastic thumbs-up. "<< Nice to meetcha, bigship. >>"
Whisper tilts her head slightly to one side, turning the survey of her visored glance across Folly for a beat. She cycles through a low sigh as she turns her attention back to the viewport. She finally speaks, her voice quiet and mild as she does so. "That ship is definitely not mobile under its own power unless this is some form of trap." She still seems disinclined to evince commentary on anything not directly related to the task at hand, although Soundwave -- with his superior listening powers -- can certainly detect the faint prickle of irritation beneath her reserve. It's not that far distant from Quicksight's.
Soundwave takes this in. Raceway. Velocitron. "<< Vessel's designation, Astrotrain. >>" It sounds even more mechanical than in person. He glances over as the other quiet one speaks. He hears it loud and clear. "<< Request for tow, denied until requirments met: Shut down remaining thruster. Tell us why you are here. And your designations, given. Two signals, detected. Two designations, expected. >>" He does not great them back. He has as much reservations as Whisper. One can never have to much caution. The Decepticon Commander vents and offlines his visor, focusing and reaching. Reaching to listen. He will see if what they say is truth.
Folly beams a bright smile at her meter, "This is who we needed to see!" Interpreting her signs a bit further, She looks curiously outside. "Do they know they're stranded? Did we ask them why their ship doesn't work? It is not a ship if it does not work, yes?" The Femme in the strange dressframe takes a few steps over towards the hatch, past Soundwave. She speaks to herself a bit more as she goes, "They are here because they cannot fly anymore, in their not-a-ship. What is more important is WHY they are not moving. I do not think we should tow. No, the lines are all wrong."
Moonracer doesn't switch comms, but her short, "<< /Can/ we shut down, Screwbuddy? >>" that goes a little oops-squeaky at the end /clearly/ wasn't meant for the bigger ship. Hand off to the engineer!
Astrotrain is just floating in space right now, letting the others handle the business.
Because it's an open channel that Screwball is monitoring, he can receive this demand and dither over it. He asks Moonracer, "<< Should I shut it down? It might be responding enough to shut down. What's an Astrotrain? >>" It's a good thing Moonracer is doing the talking (said no other diplomatist ever). Screwball is basically a live wire of chattering panicky thoughts that Soundwave's senses can detect. He slaps a control, and then he slaps another control, and then he yanks a third control. Then he says: "<< Oops. I just shut down all the power. >>"
The thruster winks out.
A second later, so do the running lights. Now the only lights inside the ship are the biolights reflecting from the engineer minibot's frame. The only lights outside are the ones actively coming from Moonracer.
"<< I'M an Astrotrain! >>" the voice echos over the comm abruptly. The shuttle flashes a few of it's landing lights to signal that he's the one speaking, too.
Moonracer's impulse-response to Screwball's high-strung panic-chatter is affection, but /oh/, it is an affection already strained well before /their ship stopped working/. That doesn't mean her delight in their apparent rescue is any less: she might as well have Not A Trap emblazoned in big block letters across her petite chassis, Mostly Harmless the notation beside her name. "<< Well, >>" pops effervescent over the open channel, "<< that's /definitely/ the thruster -- sorry we're still moving, kinda can't stop the whole, >>" thumbs-up hand gestures, somewhat circular, like they're all standing faceplate-to-faceplate instead of spin-drifint through space with a whole lot of metal in between them. "<< Spinning part. Okay! Got that out of the way, what else did you -- oh! We're scouting -- I said that, right, that we're a scout ship? I probably did. We're checking out the asteroids, maybe a planetoid or two, see if there's anywhere worthwhile to send out mining crews. I'm Moonracer, >>" she flashes all three of her face-framing headlamps, bright one on top and dimmer on the side, and waves again. Enthusiastically enough that she /almost/ manages to offset the lamed ship's rotation. Almost. She's still on the bitty side. "<< Hi, Astrotrain! ...and the nerve-case inside is my bitty-bot buddy Screwball, he's kind of antsy but real good in a scrape. Don't scrap him for energon. He smol. >>" Okay, she probably says 'small' but chalk it up to a comm-garble.
Soundwave stands there, silent for a long, long, long moment. Finally, his visor onlines once more. They are no threat. "<< We will end your peril. >>" Not scary ominious. He is being helpful. "Astrotrain, what is the best method of manuevering the Velocitronians and their vessel within you?"
For all his attempts at keeping quiet so that Soundwave can talk in peace, Folly's latest commentary nonethelss earns her an irate look from Quicksight. Is this Autobot serious? "A ship is a ship even if it's not working, just like a head's a head even though there's nothing in it" he says that last bit with a pointed look at Folly.
Maybe, just maybe, if Astrotrain had taken that microdegree to the left at the right time, they'd have been in the perfect position to receive the Velocitron shuttle. Just maybe. Folly looks back at her roommate, and tilts her head in thought. As always, the insult goes right past her. She suddenly averts her gaze, and whispers to her meter, "Is it still a Decepticon if there's nothing in it?" She listens to Moonracer talk it up, and peers out of the porthole to her and Screwball in silent judgment.
Whisper glances back at Soundwave with a barest detectable flicker of surprise in her expression, but she accepts his ruling readily after a beat's pause because after all, if anyone would know, he would. Her visored glance pauses on Quicksight. She's amused, but she says nothing. She touches two fingertips to Quicksight's shoulder -- ghostly light and brief, but touch the only kind of support one might offer without bothering to speak -- as she turns, striding to make herself ready nearer to Astrotrain's cargo bay doors. Just in case. Just in case what? Even Whisper couldn't tell you.
"By the looks of it," Astrotrain rumbles, "They're not going very far on their own. I'd probably have to roll over and just scoop them up into my cargobay myself." Oh, that it just so technical, isn't it? What else did you expect from a big brute of a spacefarer?
Soundwave gives a terse nod. Understood. Before Moonrace or Screwball could respond, he is speaking to them once more. "<< Suggestion, brace yourselves. Astrotrain will be bringing you within the cargobay shortly. >>" He turns just slightly to Whisper and Quicksight. "Sweep them for weaponry and relieve them of it." Again, erring on the side of caution. "Be subtle." Look, they're not hostile at all. "Astrotrain, proceed to bring them aboard."
Quicksight flinches slightly under Whisper's touch, though he doesn't pull away, tilting his head up to give her a brief look. Then he turns back to Folly, looking about ready to fire off an annoyed retort, but Soundwave speaks up first. Hopping out of his seat, he moves to join Whisper by the cargo bay doors, with a nod and a "Yes Sir!" to Soundwave.
"<< Oh, >>" Moon Mo-- Moonpi-- Moonracer says, uncomplicatedly cheered, " << hear that? They're going to /end/ our /peril/. Awful nice of them, ending our peril like that. >>" She -- still hasn't switched the channels, but it's definitely an aside to Screwball rather than delivered unto the Astrotrain (et al). There's also a -- rattletap? Rattletap, rrrrrrattletap -- oh. Moonracer's drumming her heels against the side of the Raceway, not quite swinging them (because she's upside down, they're still drift-spinning gently) until, "<< Oh! Okay, alright, hold on tight we're comin' in-- >>" She should probably hold on tight /inside/, but they've come this far. In for a penny, in for a pound.
"<< Okay! Well! My power's all dead and I was going to be cannibalized for energon before so I guess this probably isn't worse? >>" Screwball laughs with a slightly panicky edge. He grips the bar nearest his currently dead engineering console and goes, "<< Are they aliens? Their characters look right but that's sure not a Velocitron ship. Astrotrain is definitely not a racing word...>>" OR IS IT.
"The rest of you might want to strap in as well. We're gonna be taking full advantage of moving in three dimensions here." That's the first, last and warning you are going to get from Astrotrain. He gives everyone else just a few moments after that before he re-engages his engines and starts moving towards the other smaller spacecraft. Once he starts closing in he gives the maneuvering thrusters on one side a light firing, just to give himself a rotation similar to the other craft's movement. As he's doing so his top cargo bay doors hiss open. If it's done right the other craft will slide right in.
<FS3> Astrotrain rolls Transportation: Great Success. (8 8 6 7 6 3 5 2 1 6 8 2 2 5)
"<< Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee-- >>" "--eeeeooooooooH!"
Perhaps mindlessly following her compass, as is normal, Folly seems unphased by Astrotrain's warning, nor his sudden shift in motion. She looks down at it, walking from the floor to the wall, onto the ceiling, turns a half step to the right as Astrotrain jukes to the side, and ends up in almost the exact same spot she was before the maneuver. Silent mercifully, she awaits the two new entries meet up inside Astrotrain's commanding hull.
Whisper holds tight to her grasp against the wall as she leans there, watching intently as Astrotrain scoops up the limping-to-defunct Velocitronian craft. Her eyes are a bright blaze of yellow, wide behind her visor. Okay, so that was pretty cool.
Quicksight doesn't strap in, not about to let something as unimportant as comfort or saftey keep him from fuffilling orders to the best of his ability, but he does brace himself, grabbing on to whatever's nearest to avoid tumbling around Astrotrain's interior. The roating doesn't bother him that much -- he does a lot of it on his own, even though that's usually in an atmosphere and under his own power. His optics remain focused on the smaller ship as it comes in.
Soundwave takes a seat in preparation for the manuevering, magnaclamps activating so he wouldn't have to strap in and could get up and see the new arrivals without have to deal with... Well, straps. For now, he stays quiet, waiting for the ship to be in fully docked- as docked as it can be- before raising. He'll have to greet them. It'll go smoothly. He's a smooth mech.
Moonracer is totally saying, "<< They might be aliens, >>" when everything /settles/, with a shiver and some ominous creaking. "<< But if we're lucky, aliens who can help repair-- or at least tow us back home. Are you coming out, or am I going in? >>" /Not/ over a comm, not that there was anything keeping anyone from hearing that, now, she adds, "Hey, are you guys aliens? Astrotrain sure doesn't /sound/ like racing."
For Screwball, it's kind of a bumpy landing. He accidentally lets go of his bar as Astrotrain swallows up the Raceway inside his cargo bay. He falls flat to lie on the floor of the inner deck of the scout ship and stare blankly toward the blankness above him that he knows is the ceiling.
The ship is now resting inside Astrotrain as they float through space, which means of course that Moonracer is now hanging from the outside of a ship that is inside another ship, rather than floating in space herself.
There's a bit of rattling around as Astrotrain rolls back upright (relatively speaking in space) and closes the hatch. "Depends what definition of alien you're going by, toots." That echoing reverb of a voice is coming from all around her since it's the shuttle itself speaking. "We're probably not from the same planet you stumbled away from, so yeah, technically we're 'aliens'." Pause. "And why the frag would my name have to do anything with racing? I ain't no speed junkie twerp like Blurr."
Tall, lean, intense and moving with precise, directed motion, Whisper strides toward the ship in the cargo bay. She moves toward Moonracer and looks her over. Since Soundwave directed her to be subtle, she does not attempt to frisk her or anything. She intones, "Welcome," even as her visored gaze sweeps her from helm to toe, checking for any signs of guns.
<FS3> Whisper rolls Hyperalertness: Success. (3 8 1 5 2 6 6)
Astrotrain eventually rights himself, signalling that their passengers were aboard. Soundwave, not even within the vacinity of the cargo bay yet, has to give himself a moment to vent. He was going to have to deal with them. Colonists. Open. Approachable. Diplomacy. He now stands, magnaclamps offlining, and turns to head towards their... Guests. His steps are clipped, shoulds square, and helm held high. "Astrotrain, exercise tact," he tells the shuttle before stepping into cargo bay. He takes a few steps in before standing there, stiff as a brick and just staring. What to say first. "Designation, Soundwave. We come from Cybertron." Whisper said their greeting, that is all they need, right? His chin lifts as he begins to dig within Moonracer's and Screwball's mind.
Quicksight steps up to the Velocitronian ship. He gives Moonracer a glance, but since Whisper seems to have that one covered he remains focused on the ship itself. There's supposed to be another one, right?
Screwball emerges from one of the emergency hatches on the side of the Raceway and finds himself higher than he expected to be. He kind of pitches out of it and lands on the floor of Astrotrain's cargo bay on his elbows. Thus, his first words on emerging into the light are: "Ow." The minibot is vivid orange with a bright set of white and blue racing stripes and shnazzy little white tires. It's possible that he could clash more with Moonracer. You know, somehow. Maybe if there was purple involved.
Blast Off has been here the whole time, but the shuttle (Ok, the OTHER shuttle- the smaller, maybe not quite as commanding, brown, you know the /aloof/ one- and a magnificent one obviously!!!! - has been, well... aloof. He's kept a distance from the others, circling the perimeter in case hostiles tried a sneak attack, but none came. So now the Combaticon soars in closer to the larger gray shuttle. Let Astrotrain deal with playing transport and all those feet stomping around inside him. Blast Off is perfectly happy to be free from that. Yes, free to be be himself...by himself. Out...shuttled by the bigger shuttle. Alone. Ish. ...Yeah. It's great, though. Really.
Moonracer's laughter is bright, relieved and reassured and just a /tiny touch/ offended, but not -- not really. "<< Definitely not Velocitronian, >>" she relays, just in case that didn't carry, and raps knuckles against the outside of the Raceway as a secondary-signal oxen-free. "If you were Velocitronian," she directs at the -- ceiling? -- ceiling, in that akward way people do when there's an AI involved, "it would. Either you're a racer," she swings her feet, judges her balance and jumps down to land solidly on the floor /beside/ her ship, "or you're race-adjacent, like Screwball, he's an engineer. If you're not one of those--" she shrugs, and looks faintly uncertain -- or maybe just a touch unsettled -- for the first time in this whole ordeal. "/Anyway/, gosh, /thanks/ you guys!" Whisper could /totally/ cop a patdown, because Moonpie sort of zigs forward in an abruptly overwhelmingly /friendly/ intent-to-thankyou-hug -- but pulls up short, distracted by, "/See/, Screwy? We totally didn't die in space! I /told/ you it'd be okay!" Primus have mercy.
Quicksight is quick to step over to Screwball when the Velocitronian falls out of his ship. His optics scan the other minibot, but no more. If soundwave wants subtleness, then he will be subtle. His posture isn't tense, but certianly ready to move at a moment's notice, just in case. Finally, he reaches down to offer their gust a hand, still studying him, lest there's something on his front.
<FS3> Quicksight rolls Observation: Good Success. (6 3 6 3 5 2 8 8 5 2)
Astrotrain 's voice booms with laughter when Screwball faceplants on his cargo deck. Yeah, you just go right along thinking the ship has an AI or something. That'll make it all the more entertaining for him when you find out later. Then Blast Off pulls up nearby. "<< About time you joined the party, snubshuttle. Get tired of circling your own tailfins while someone does all the real work? >>"
Screwball shows no signs of having a badge. He does have a little racing number decal blazoned on either hip -- it's a 7 with a circle around it -- that, since he's just been identified as racer adjacent, probably means he's just a goddamn fanboy of somebody else much cooler. He also shows no signs of having a weapon. He does have some wire cutters and a couple of obvious utility tools, including what resembles a screwdriver, dangling from a utility belt he's wearing, but there's definitely nothing there that looks threatening except in terms of whether he knows how to use it. He thankfully accepts the hand up from Quicksight, staggering a little as he makes his feet. "Whoa," he says. "Cybertron? Really, Cybertron? All the way out here?" Like the next thing he's going to ask are 'are you sure?' "Whoa! Moonracer, are you sure we didn't die? This could be some kind of weird pre-stasis hallucination." (Sure it could.)
Soundwave's gaze narrows. At their thought and at their words. He can see glimpses- a street corners, a face, a race track- but their thoughts are quick. She calls the smaller one a non-racer but they were both fast. Or fast was important... Did she see things as racer and non-racer? So black and white? He steps forward to speak once more. "Moonracer, Screwball, my Designation Soundwaves. Whisper, Quicksight, Folley-" -wait, where is that, you know what, nevermind- "-and Astrotrain." He nods to each and gestures around all around. Then the servo falls to his side once again. He says this to garner their attention. "Scans indicate current energy reserves sufficient, current optical input not hallucination. What happened to your vessel? Why are you so far from the colony?"
Once he's sure that Screwball is unarmed, and isn't doing anything that would warant dragging him in to give his knives a better reach, Quicksight releases the Velocitronian and takes a step back. He continues watching their guests, but he doesn't say anything, not daring to interupt Soundwave, only nodding when his name comes up.
When her roving gaze has detected no possible sign of weaponry on board the animated Moonracer, Whisper takes a half-step back, arms folding half-consciously across her torso in an angled barricade as she looks back at Soundwave and tilts her head in a subtle inclination. Her visor turns back toward Moonracer again, frown turning her mouth down at the corners as she watches her. There is a lot of energy level going on here. Quiet, contained Whisper is not a hundred percent sure how to deal with this.
Astrotrain. Now there's a real mech, unlike those fancy racecars and all. You know, space shuttle superiority and all. Yes, Blast Off is glad to be in the company of a fellow space craft, a refined and sphisticated mech much like himself. It will be a welcome change. ....It's also quite possible Blast Off hasn't spent a lot of time in Astrotrain's company before. It's also quite possible he's in for a rude awakening.
There's a loud huffff once he's gotten over his initial surprise and slightly soothed the sudden sea of seething indignation. "<< I beg your /pardon/? While you are playing spark-sitter to a bunch of groundpounders, I've been busy patrolling and preparing to save /your/ tailfins should this be a trap. You should be *grateful* for my assistance. >>"
Moonracer carols a merry hello on down the line as Soundwave introduces /everyone/, with a quick-flash grin or a servo-wiggle wave. Despite having categorized Screwball as a non-racer, her thoughts -- her zippy-da-doo thoughts -- clearly paint him with respect-affection, the agitated prickle of cooped-up close-quarters even /before/ crisis struck balmed somewhat by their rescue. "Screwy can tell you in, like, detail? But the one thruster went dead, *kthnk*, stone dead, didn't even explode, and then I got out there and -- well, the casing was coming off, you know? So that happened, and we could only kind of," she sketches a sluggish circle in the air in front of her with the space-safe camera, "and turn on the ping-beacon." She finally thinks to attempt to hand off the camera, offering it to Screwball like she wasn't supposed to /come back inside the ship/ and do that /ages/ ago, whoopsie. "We're exploring. Scouting. Looking for places that are near enough to be worth the trip, not so tapped out that there's no point. For mining." She makes a face, can't help but make the face, the /i said this already/ paired with /omg i'm not lying come on/ face, right up at Soundwave; she's thinking it pretty soundly, too.
"<< Whatever keeps you happy in your berth at night >>" Astrotrain retorts with a guffaw. Then switchs over for a moment to a comm-line to Soundwave. "<< Are we clear to head back to the Lost Light so they can patch their space tub up? >>" He starts warming his engines back up for the trip while waiting for a response, then shifts attention back to the other shuttle. Here he was, lugging people around through the depths of space, just like always... but at least someone else to talk to. As stuck up as Blast Off is said to be. "<< Trap would of been more interesting at least. These missions still have a distinct lack of shooting anything most of the time. At least that last away mission I got to shoot something and make everyone else look like chumps. >>"
Soundwave does not care if this could possibly be annoying Moonracer. At least he's asking. He stares down at the smaller individual. "<< Affirmative. Send messages ahead to let Command know of the Velocitronians aboard. >>" There's a stretch of silence as he thinks about what has been said and unsaid. "What is it that you are looking to mine?"
"We're looking for more energy sources for Velocitron," Screwball says. "And other resources, you know, anything that might be useful for manufacture and all that. We got a lot of racing to do. Important moving around." He nods to himself. He takes the camera between his hands, looking down at it with a slightly pained expression. What is he supposed to do with this now. "Anything else that we might scout in this direction. We definitely didn't expect to get stuck and die in space. Or, uh, find ... Cybertronians?" He looks back and forth between the group of them, optics bright and wide.
Moonracer keeps making the minorly-aggrieved /face/, but it's -- honestly, it's short-lived. It isn't /exactly/ that her attention span is fragmentary, so much as -- fast. That's over and done with, she's on to the next thing: which is gesturing as Screwball fills in the details again, a clear yes, that of open-palmed and slightly-shrugged agreement. "/Really/ wasn't expecting that last one," she adds, and can't help it: her wide-bright expression mirrors her companion's, all delight and wonder now that they're /super clearly/ not dying in space, and /most likely/ not being harvested for energon. "What are /you/ guys doing out here?"
That first response from Astrotrain warrants a huff from the Combaticon shuttle. Blast Off doesn't really know how to reply that, either, except with the aforementioned huff, so he flicks a wing up (or what might be up, who knows, it's space, is there even an /up/?) and starts circling away like he's got better things to do. He hasn't gone far when he hears the rest. ..Oh. Well.
There's a long pause, then he decides to try again. After all, this IS a fellow space shuttle. "<< I... hear you. I would enjoy a chance to demonstrate some long range sniping. It's been far too long since I did so. But you know how these Autobots are... shoot just /one/ innocent person by accident, or even a guilty one who... I don't know, offers to give you a /hug/ at the last minute or something, and you never hear the end of it from them. >>" Tch. Autobots, amirite?
"<< I wish it had been an Autobot, but still something. >>" Astrotrain tilts a bit in the other direction as he banks around Blast Off to turn and head back towards the Lost Light. " << But it was still fun.>> " He pauses a moment to make the call back to the main ship that they're coming back with guests, after mangling 'Velocitronians' twice before he can get it to come out right. Thanks a lot Soundwave. Then once business is done he's cheerfully back to talking with the other shuttle. Blast Off is smaller and more agile (not that he would admit it openly) so the Combaticon shouldn't have much trouble catching up to him again. " << Check it out.>> " He transmits a playback to Blast Off, of an alien shrew-like creature flinging spines somehow at them. It looks like the view down a scope.
And then the critter is just OBLITERATED in microseconds to grossly splatter all over the cave or whatever they're in, thanks to the energy-burn nature of Astrotrain's ionic disruptor rifle. Nothing but gooy alien bits splayed about, smoking as if slightly cooked, and the scope view shows it all in probably too viscerally clear detail for the snooty shuttle. "<< At least organics splat nicely when you ionize all their electrons a step to the left! Hahahaha! >>"
Blast Off receives the transmission and watches with some interest. "<< Vile-looking creature. Ah. Ahhhh yes, that's quite... that's.... >>" His words of admiration slowly grind to a halt as the vision gets...grosser and grosser. "<< That's.... ahhhh..... quite... uhhhh.... thorough. >>" Yes. Yes, that's it. Thorough. *cough* He proceeds to try to purge the memory from his databanks as he flies alongside, if not a bit in front of, the bigger shuttle.
Soundwave's neck cables tighten just a fraction. An overactive indicidual. Of course, they need another one of those. The Decepticon Commander stares and then tries to relax marginally. Approachable. His shoulders dip one degree There. "We are heading back to the Lost Light, our main vessel. We have travelled here, looking for your colony. The Captain will want to speak with you when we get there. In the meantime, tell me about the colony Velocitron." Despite trying not to be as stiff, he is still unemotive and arguably intimidating. But after a beat, he gestures for the colonists to come and take a seat within Astrotrain. "There is much to be learned." Especially for these two. But he'll have that dealt with Rodimus. Afterall, Cybertronian history should be unbiased, an Autobot should be present.
Not a bad first contact, if you ask him. No one died, was kidnapped, shot at, or threatened in anyway. An overwhelming success. Velocitron is sure to go as smooth as this.
Astrotrain guffahs hard enough at Blast Off's response that those inside of him probably heard it too. He doesn't really have a 'quiet' with that voice, after all. "<< Thoroughly nothing left! >>" Now he's at least in a good mood for the trip back, so it'll be smooth for his passangers. No need to jostle them around for his own amusement.