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2016-06-23 Milling Around

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Milling Around
Date 2016/06/23
Location Lost Light: Engineering -- Machine Shop
Participants Gearstrip, Perceptor
Summary Gearshift and Perceptor work on personal projects and attempt small talk.

The rich scent of spilled oil and brushed dust filter through the air of this industrious complex, a workshop dedicated to the material construction required to keep a ship operational. This is the Machine Shop, an open space with the only walls being the four that define it. This is were tools can be fashioned, parts milled and crude elements refined in a more basic, freer space than a more delicate laboratory. Like peeking behind the curtain of a theatrical play, this is the shop space where walls can be built or smaller vehicles clobbered together.

Along the far wall is a rolling assembly line style work bench, above which are various shelves of tubing, blocks and girders. Off the entrance, both side walls are decorated with all manner of machinery and crafting tools. Stacks of raw materials are kept out of the central floor space and there are bins on either side of the entrance for recyclable spare parts. The room is well lit and there is a constant background hum of the ventilation system, which doesn't do much for that oil and soot smell.


Technically, Gearstrip's shift is already over, but she's still in the machine shop, working. She sent a message to Getaway to make sure he wouldn't wait around for her to leave when she has no intention of doing so, and now perches at her workstation. Except instead of being at her workstation, she is actually ... on the floor, in front of her workstation, stretched out on her belly with her hand propping her head, and her other hand working with a tiny precision tool, etching a small dark piece of metal with extremely minute design work. It is one hundred percent without utility, so it's probably good that she's doing it when she's not on duty. Her goggles magnify the pale brightness of her optics as she focuses across the thin sheath of metal she is working on, creating an oddly insectoid aspect to her freckled face.

Perceptor needs a larger-than-usual part machined, a process he is fully capable of doing on his own, but cannot complete within the confines of his laboratory. This requirement has led him to the machine shop, at a time that, if his schedule is still up-to-date, no-one is on shift. There's no announcement when he enters- the shop is supposed to be empty for a time, after all. He makes a face at the smell in the confined space upon entry, but it's clear there's a destination within the room in mind.

Gearstrip doesn't at first hear that the doors have slid open to admit him, either, such is her focus on her careful work. Stretched out on the floor as she is, she also isn't a very normal space for Perceptor to find her. Of course, she's a minibot -- it's not like stretching out on the floor takes up an inordinate amount of space. She does, as she works, intermittently make a little humming noise -- a stolen fragment of song.

Moving a milling machine into place is not a quiet process. Perceptor does not have the work of other mecha to worry about, so he's far from delicate or considerate with the noise level, perfectly happy to take out a bit of frustration in moving his block of metal between surfaces.

The scrape and shriek of metal over the floor is certainly enough to startle Gearstrip from her complacent, absorbed focus. Lifting her hand tool, she looks up, in a backward tilt of her head, and then rolls over across the floor and then up onto her knees. Peeking up over the edge of a work table with her eyes a bright baffle behind her goggles, she goes: "Oh, hello."

Perceptor doesn't jump, but he does tense, just a little hike of the scope and slight brightening of his right optic. "Your shift ended quite a while ago." He hasn't turned fully from the machine, sort of split at a midway between it and the suddenly appeared minibot.

Gearstrip flattens her hand against the edge of the worktable and hauls herself the rest of the way straight. Reaching up, she pulls the goggles off her eyes and lets them crest her helm instead. "It did! I was getting some work done on a personal project. Sorry, am I in your way? I can probably wrap it up."

"No, do not trouble yourself," Perceptor shakes his head to add emphasis, turning back to his machine. "I apologize for making a ruckus." While he's turned away, he does project enough for the words to carry.

Gearstrip hauls herself even further up, so that she perches, sitting, on the edge of the table with her pedes dangling in the air beneath the table. She tilts her head slightly to one side. "Do you need a hand?" she asks.

"I already posess two, one more would serve as a hinderance." It doesn't sound like he's joking, but the dry, flat tone could indicate anything. "Though the possibility was considered when fabricating my current modifications."

Gearstrip smiles, and the sound of it is plain in her voice. "It wasn't an anatomical critique," she says, swinging her feet. "That's not really my area, you know." Dropping her servos back against the surface of the work table on which she is now sitting, she leans back onto them. "There's actually a fair amount of hobbyists who come in here. You can never tell who you'll trip over. Actually this was where we found the stowaway last week."

Perceptor makes a little humming noise, typing specifications into the machine. "Engineer does seem to be a popular job choice of late. Gearstrip, correct?"

"Oh, I'm no engineer." Gearstrip rests her hand across her chest, knuckles against the insignialess and sapphire-blue surface, gleaming bright with her recent oil polish. "I'm just a tech. Nautica's the engineer."

"You are part of my division, yes?" Satisfied with what he's set the machine to mill, Perceptor powers it on and turns to face Gearstrip. "Were you merely a tech I am sure you would have been given to maitenence."

"Much of my work is for maintenance, sir. Environmental filters. Simple repairs. My Camien rank is -- was? -- tech." Gearstrip swings her feet again, her chin tilting up. Her nose scrunches a little beneath the bright-pale of her optics. "But I was Nautica's assistant and I've got some working knowledge, if you like." She laughs, and adds: "Personnel assignments also aren't really my area."

Another considering hum, probably drowned out by the machine working away next to him. "Ah." That... seems to be all he has to say on the matter. Perceptor didn't come down here to talk, really.

"I defintely know who you are, sir," Gearstrip says with a bright sort of chortle. "But if you'd like to do with Cybertronian thing with the hands I can come down off this table!"

Perceptor blinks, shaking his head and mumbling something under the sound of the machine. "Oh, no, I do not believe that will be neccesary." How considerate of societal differences.

"Okay," Gearstrip says with easy cheer. She leans forward for a beat, her elbows dropping against her thighs as she lets her servos loosely twine before her. "May I ask what in particular you're working on, or should I stop distracting you and leave you alone?"

"Just a small side project." Perceptor shrugs a little. He doesn't have much else to do while the machine works, but he is also not the most talkative of people.

"Personal stuff? I was making a present for Getaway. He's working on getting something of mine back from Viviqueen." Gearstrip, in contrast, blithely shares whatever comes into her head with whomever happens to be nearby: friendly and animated about it, she gestures with a sweep of one servo and swings her feet one more time before she chooses to bounce down from the worktable. She fires her thrust on the way down so that her feet set down with remarkable, even balletic lightness on the floor.

Another nod, Perceptor tilts his head slightly after. "Viviqueen?" He is, unfortunatly, a bit awful at small talk. There's not much point in carrying on a conversation with little to no value.

"The ginormous dragonformer who lives in the storage deck? If you're ever missing any necessary gizmos, check there first." Gearstrip scoops her toolkit from the floor, tests its seal in the pass of her thumbs, and then vanishes it upon her person. "I hope you enjoy the time to get some work done on your personal thing. I know it can be hard to slice out the time, especially for officers with a lot of responsibilities," she says. Pacing lightly across the floor, she pauses on her way to the door to flip up her servo in an almost-but-not-quite crisp salute. She's gotten a lot better at these in the year plus since she started trying to figure them out.

"I... see." Perceptor may be giving the little tech a disbeleiving look. "Enjoy your off cycle." He affects a small, not considerably excited wave as Gearstrip exits. The salute is an interesting addition, he's not used to getting those.

"Good night," Gearstrip says lightly, and strides off, flipping to her alt mode as she reaches the door to float her whirring way down the hall for points elsewhere.

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