2016-08-15 Lifting Spirits

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2016-08-15 Lifting Spirits
Date 2016/08/15
Location Lost Light: Elevator
Participants Wheeljack, Blackstorm
Summary Wheeljack and Blackstorm try to lift each other up in a bad situation.

The elevator is an integral part of any Lost Lighter's day, and Wheeljack isn't an exception to that. At the very least, he'll travel between his hab and the science and medical floor, where his lab is located. Oftentimes, there's more than that. Trips down to Engineering or to storage are just as common. In fact, that's what Wheeljack is doing right now. He has a datapad in one hand and a stylus in the other, and his attention is taken up by whatever schematic he has pulled up on it, because when the elevator doors open, he starts to step forward without checking to see if anyone's trying to get onto the lift.

Ping! The elevator arrives on Blackstorm's floor, and the doors whoosh open to admit him. For the minibot, moreso than others, the elevator is a necessity. While he would like to be able to crawl through the Lost Light's seventeen floors justing using the ceilings and walls, at his size that is impractical. The pilot takes a step to enter, but is nearly bowled over by a larger mecha caught up in his datapad in the process.

Blackstorm gives an ear-splitting whistle in order to draw attention to his presence, optics snapping up to spot the offender. "... Wheeljack?" he asks, and then he sees how absorbed he is in his datapad. A flicker of amusement dances across his faceplates. "Did you make sure you're getting off on the right floor?"

The first notice Wheeljack has that anyone else is there is that whistle, and he nearly drops his datapad when he jumps back in his surprise. He clutches it to his chestplate to compensate, and he actually does drop the stylus from his hand in the process of doing so. He looks down... and finds Blackstorm staring up at him. "Oh, whoops!" he says, his fins flashing in bright pulses with his consernation. "Was that you? Sorry, Blackstorm."

The way his helm immediately swivels up again to look at the floor he was about to try and walk out onto is more than enough to answer Blackstorm's question, but the way he winces when he sees the plaques by the elevator doors seals it. "Oh, no, I should be down one more," he admits. "Are you headed down as well?"

The minibot chuckles lightly at his companion. "Yep, that was me. Just a form of defense for us little guys. If you don't notice me because of my small stature, at least you'll notice my big voice," he explains. Leaning down, the pilot scoops up the stylus and holds it up to the scientist. If the other reaches down for it, Blackstorm may move it out of his reach once or twice just for the fun of it. A look of mischief darts across his optics.

"Yep, just a few floors down. Do you mind pressing deck 2 for me?"

Wheeljack's fins are glowing in a faint pattern as he chuckles sheepishly. "To be fair, you could be as big as a tank and I might not have noticed," he admits with a shrug. "I was a bit preoccupied." Understatement of the century, since Wheeljack is still preoccupied with the datapad in his hand. He keeps tapping at the side with the hand holding it, though he isn't glancing down at the screen.

Wheeljack tries twice to take the stylus before he gives up the effort. Instead, he gives Blackstorm a look. Is that really how it's going to be? Fine, he'll wait until Blackstorm actually hands it back to him. Instead, he obligingly reaches over to punch the button for Deck 2. "So what are you up to?" Other than holding his stylus hostage.

A flicker of curiousity flashes across Blackstorm's optics, and the scout rocks forwards onto the tips of his pedes in an attempt to catch a glimpse of what is on Wheeljack's datapad. "Just out for a stroll. Working on my shuttle can be lonely work," he answers. When standing on the tips of his pedes doesn't work, the minibot tries to give a discrete hop to get a better look.

"What are you so engrossed in? Is it your next project?" he asks hopefully. "Or maybe a picture of me?"

He twists the stylus in his hands and gives Wheeljack an expectant look. He'll give that back once he has his answer as payment. Maybe.

Blackstorm's efforts to get a peek through slightly more subtle means will go unnoticed, and the datapad remains held securely against Wheeljack's chassis. "There must not be much activity down there when we're not stopping at a planet," he says, nodding. "Even with the maintenance crews making checks and all."

Wheeljack laughs at Blackstorm's impudent suggestion. "It's a project," he says. So much for Blackstorm's attempts at sneaking a peek. When prompted, Wheeljack willingly lowers the datapad so that it's fully viewable. Not that it'll give much more hint. The entire thing is covered in nigh-incomprehensible scribbles. "You see, it's a--"

A sudden jolt cuts off Wheeljack's explanation, as he's sent staggering by the unexpected stop. Blackstorm's expression becomes giddy when the scientist lowers the datapad to his level. Leaning closer to get a better loo- The minibot yowls in surprise when the elevator suddenly jolts. His balance compromised (considering he is still standing on the tips of his pedes), the minibot falls into a heap on the ground. The stylus goes arcing from his hand and rolls into a corner of the room.

Dazed, Blackstorm looks up at Wheeljack from his place on the ground. He says the first thing that comes to his brain module. "I swear, whatever just happened isn't my fault."

Pulling the datapad back toward him to keep it safe sacrifices some of Wheeljack's balance, but instead of collapsing to the floor the way Blackstorm does, he falls against the wall, which he uses to brace himself with his free hand. It's not a very solid position, but the jolt isn't repeated, so Wheeljack pulls himself upright again. "I think it was the lift," he says, looking over their helms toward the ceiling of the elevator. "Maybe it's broken?"

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Magnetism: Good Success. (8 7 6 3 3 3)

As if to confirm Wheeljack's guess, an alert begins to flash on the lift's control panel. Spotting it out of the corner of his optic, the minibot pulls himself to his pedes and makes his way towards it. He's a little sore after the fall, but thankfully seems to be largely unharmed. The pilot has no trouble magnetizing to the side of the elevator and climbing upwards to get a better look. Blackstorm squints. The real issue is reading the word flashing on the screen. He has trouble enough reading words sitting still, much less ones flickering in and out.

"I know I stop mecha dead in their tracks with my smile, but this is a new one," he jokes. Nodding towards the panel, he adds, "Come look at this. I think you're right."

Actually, he is hoping that Wheeljack will read it out loud for him. Not that he'll admit that one. Once his attention is called to it, Wheeljack stops looking up toward the ceiling in favor of joining Blackstorm by the control panel. His fins flash in a mirror of the pattern of words flashing across the screen. Apparently, it's not good news: 'Lift failure: please wait for assistance.' "Lift failure," he echoes it, crossing his arms. "Well, that doesn't tell me anything I don't know." He frowns down at the control panel. "Well, the lights aren't failing and the lift isn't dropping... maintenance might take a while to get to this," he comments. Especially if they're stuck without a lift to get where they want to go.

Wheeljack obliges Blackstorm's wishes; although, the minibot finds that the flashing warning is a little more disappointing than what he had been hoping for. Something more specific would have been a deal more helpful. The minibot quickly shrugs it off, though. The least that he can do is make the best of a bad situation. "Looks like we might be stuck here for a while. What are two mecha to do alone in an elevator?" he asks. Once again, the minibot's optics flash with mischief.

His glance darts around the lift, spotting an access panel near the top. "I could probably climb up into the elevator shaft," he muses, before his glance darts back to Wheeljack. "But that probably wouldn't be much help for you, would it? I'd hate to leave you here all alone."

"Well, I guess I can work on this project," Wheeljack muses. The supplies he was going to get aren't particularly urgent, and he does have more designing to do. "I wish I could say I've been working on practicing climbing, but I can't say I've had much reason to after returning to normal." He taps at his facemask thoughtfully as he watches the way Blackstorm remains stuck to the sides of the lift. "Tell you what, we can cut a deal if you climb out of here. You go get someone from maintenance to fix this before you go on your..."

Wheeljack trails off in the middle of his sentence. He looks over Blackstorm again, then back up toward the hatch. Then back to Blackstorm. "Actually, if you're willing to help me with something, we might be able to fix this ourselves!"

Blackstorm glances between the access panel and Wheeljack, tilting his helm to the side in curiousity. It hadn't even crossed the pilot's mind to try and fix it; after all, he works on shuttles and not lifts. Now that he thinks about it, though, how different can it be? He's not horrible with a wrench, and with Wheeljack's expertise to back him what can possibly go wrong? Other than falling to their deaths. Hah. Like that would happen.

"What do you have in mind, mecha? I'm willing to give it a shot."

Wheeljack beams at that answer. "Perfect!" he enthuses. He doesn't immediately answer Blackstorm's question, though. Instead, his attention slides back to the control panel. He presses at a different floor button than the one they've already selected, cocking his helm to pay attention to the sounds, or in this case, lack of, that the lift makes. Once it's clear that the problem isn't just going to fix itself that way, Wheeljack finally turns back to Blackstorm. "If there's a problem preventing the lift from moving, it's probably got something to do with the lever and pulley system that operates it," he comments. "Hopefully it's one where it attaches to the lift itself, instead of at the top of the shaft."

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Climbing: Failure. (5 1 3 3 2) <FS3> Blackstorm rolls Reaction+reaction: Failure. (6 3 2 6 1 2 6 6)

As Blackstorm listens to Wheeljack speak, he's gets the idea that the other wants him to take a peek and see if he can identify the root of the lift's issue. With a nod, the minibot scrambles to the top of the elevator and hunches down next to the hatch. "Guess I'll start looking there, yeah? I'll let you know if I see something weird."

He braces himself against the hatch and starts to pull. Much to his consternation, though, he finds that it refuses to budge. A common problem for the likes of him, but considering there is a decent amount depending on his ability to open this he decides to give it another shot. Engine revving, the minibot braces himself against the wall and pushes with all his strengh. All he manages to do is throw himself off balance and start to tumble towards the floor. His hand reaches out to snag at the latch, hoping to use it as a handhold to catch himself, but his digits do not find home.

<FS3> Wheeljack rolls Body+Body: Good Success. (8 2 3 7)

"It might not be obvious at first," Wheeljack says as he watches Blackstorm climb his way up to the top of the lift and start prying at the emergency hatch. The elevator is made for mecha of all sizes, so the thing is just a little to high for Wheeljack to reach on his own, but he keeps an optic on Blackstorm's progress. "I can talk you through opening up some of the components too, though hopefully it doesn't come down to that."

Something else is coming down, though, and Wheeljack's optics go wide as Blackstorm slips and, with one last desperate grab, falls. He steps forward, the datapad dropping to the side with a clatter as he grabs Blackstorm before he can hit the floor, giving a little 'oof' as he takes the minibot's weight.

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Climbing: Good Success. (5 7 5 5 7)

Blackstorm's impact is not nearly as painful as he fears it will be. It takes him a moment to realize that Wheeljack is to thank for that. Smiling sheepishly, the minibot writhes in Wheeljack's grip. "First I gotta get up there, mecha," he responds, optics dancing up the the panel. "Thing's stuck tight. Ain't made to be opened by someone of my size."

Not that that is stopping Blackstorm from trying a second time. Twisting around, he uses the opportunity to clamber onto Wheeljack's shoulders and use him as something of a springboard. Clank. He magnetizes 3/4ths of the way up the wall and scrambles to make up for lost ground. "Thanks for the hand there, by the way."

He stops before the emergency panel, biting his lower lip component in thought. "Shame we can't just blow it out of the way."

<FS3> Wheeljack rolls Explosions: Good Success. (8 6 1 8 1 6 8 1 6 2)

Wheeljack remains steady as Blackstorm squirms out of his arms and uses him as a jungle gym to jump back up and magnetize to the wall a good distance up from the floor. Well, he was going to let Blackstorm down and give the mini the chance to climb back up the wall on his own, but this works too. "You're welcome." He watches carefully as Blackstorm tries again to pry open the hatch, just in case the mini ends up falling again. His datapad is going to lie forgotten to the side for now, even though Blackstorm doesn't fall this time around.

"That's really stuck," he agrees, observing it. Too bad he can't reach it. Maybe between the two of them they'd be able to pry it up. His fins light up. "I have something for that," he says, digging into a compartment at his side. "Where did I put that..."

Not long after, he pulls out a little device and holds it up triumphantly. "Here we go! It's meant for creating contained explosions, so it shouldn't damage us in a confined space like this," he says. "Here, stick it to the hatch, press the button, and get out of the way."

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success. (2 8 1 5 8 2 1 4)

Blackstorm stares at the device Wheeljack is holding up towards him with an astonished expression. Surprise, however, soon turns to bemusement. "Wow, Wheeljack. Do you always carry explosives around with you? Clearly, I've still got a lot to learn about you."

His optics shine with eagerness and anticipation. He cannot remember the last time someone trusted him with an explosive. Probably because it had never happened. Ever. But, oh boy, did it sound like a fun time. Never had one of his joking comments ever been taken so literally.

"Let's blow 'em away, partner. Mind tossing it up here?"

"Not always," Wheeljack says cheerfully enough. "I never carry anything unstable enough that it could blow up if I fell or something, and usually if I am I'm carrying something weak. I just happened to have this one leftover from a batch I made for a project," he says, as if that makes it any less troublesome that he just carries around explosives in the first place.

"Careful with the button," Wheeljack reminds him, but he tosses it up to Blackstorm readily enough. "Fix it on to the hatch, by the hinges," he suggests, craning his neck to watch Blackstorm. "We'll have twenty seconds before it detonates, which should give you plenty of time to climb back down."

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (3 6 6 1 3 3 3 8)

The minibot snatches the mini-explosive out of the air with ease, twisting it over and over in his grasp when it is finally in his hands. Blackstorm's smile is so huge it looks like his face might split in two. "You know, I've never handled explosives before," he admits. With that comforting thought in mind, he presses the button jams the device next to one of the hinges.

Instead of relying in climbing to get him to safety, Blackstorm loosens his grip on the ceiling and lets himself drop. His armor shifts as he transforms in midair, and he allows the shock absobers of his alt mode take the brunt of his fall. Shortly afterward, there is a deafening BANG. His audials ringing in the confined space, Blackstorm still has the space of mind to say, "That considered, that wasn't too shabby."

Wheeljack is left staring at Blackstorm after that particular revelation. The fact that he doesn't immediately start shouting or backing away says a great deal, though, and with Wheeljack's instruction, the design of this particular device isn't especially confusing. Just attach it, press the button, and get out of the way, just as Blackstorm does.

When Blackstorm drops down from the ceiling, Wheeljack jerks forward as though preparing to catch the minibot again, only to draw to a halt as Blackstorm transforms. He has the time to hunker down into a crouch before the device goes off, after which he quickly rises to his feet and looks up again. "Not shabby at all!" he says. "The hatch is open now."

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Climbing: Success. (5 3 2 4 7)

Blackstorm returns to root mode and rocks back on his heels to survey his work. "That. Was. Awesome," he whispers, adding unneeded emphasis to each word. He is almost dancing with excitement. Getting trapped in an elevator was worth that small moment alone, and it can only get better from here!

Trotting over, the minibot magnetizes to the side of the wall and begins to clamber towards the broken hatch. It only takes a moment or two for him to come face-to-face with it again. "Second time's the charm?" he chirps, bracing against the twisted metal and pushing. It tears away with a shriek and thunks to the ground.

With a crow of victory, Blackstorm pulls himself into the pitch-black interior of the elevator shaft. "It worked as well as I'd hoped," Wheeljack says as he nods along with Blackstorm's rather dramatic statement. "The hinges looked a bit less reinforced than the rest of the hatch, and I think there was something wrong with the latching mechanism if it held still like that for so long. Maybe it jammed at some point."

Wheeljack's chatter continues on in that vein as Blackstorm makes his way up the wall for the third time, and cuts off when Blackstorm pushes the hatch out of the way.

Wheeljack moves in, shoving the twisted metal aside so he can stand directly below. He can't see much, with the darkness in the elevator shaft and Blackstorm in the way, but he calls up instructions nevertheless. "You should see a gearbox, attached in the same place as the cables," he calls out.

Blackstorm onlines his night vision, the pitch black shaft suddenly leaping into stark relief. As a former smuggler, his night vision is one of the things that he ensured he upgraded. It's a fair bit better than the average MTOs. "Do you want me to open it?" he calls back, his voice echoing oddly in the space.

The minibot begins to clamber his way across the top of the lift towards the gearbox. For a moment, he idly wonders if Wheeljack can hear his pedesteps across the ceiling. Just in case he can, Blackstorm dances out a merry little tune along the way. "Found it."

Sure enough, Blackstorm's steps clang out merrily in the compartment below. It's a bit noisy, in fact, but it's a good way to keep track of Blackstorm's progress, and keep a mental image going of the layout of the components on top of the lift. He waits until the echoing from Blackstorm's scuffling dies down before he begins to call up instructions again. "Yeah, do it," he shouts. "There should be a hatch. Hopefully it's not stuck! That's one thing we really can't use any explosives on."

"It's okay!" Blackstorm calls back. "I can charm it off with my stunning personality in that case!"

As if he fully intended to do so, the minibot leans closer to examine the hatch and winks at it. His amused laughter filters back down to Wheeljack, even though there is no one up there but him to see his antics. Leaning in this close does have other purposes, though, and it allows him to spot the latch with only a little fumbling and trouble. Thankfully, this time it opens with a satisfying click.

"Consider her charmed! What am I supposed to be looking for?"

Down below, Wheeljack shakes his helm at the laughter filtering down. He doesn't understand what exactly is leaving Blackstorm so amused, but he can appreciate that he seems to be finding something to enjoy about this situation. Not everyone would take to being stuck in an elevator with such cheer, though Wheeljack's beginning to realize that it's just Blackstorm's default setting, which he can appreciate.

He perks up again at the question. "Anything stuck in the gears, or not fitting as it should," he calls up. "If you're not sure describe it to me."

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Repair: Good Success. (2 8 2 2 7 3 4)

Blackstorm sticks his helm inside the hatch, trying to get a good look at the lift's internal components. While used to working on shuttles, he has some familiarity with mechanics. Enough so that he's not completely fumbling around, and a likely problem makes itself apparent rather quickly. The minibot gives a low whistle. "Well, that's comforting," he remarks to one in particular.

"Looks like one of these cables started to fray." He leans closer to get a better look. The thick metal cable is built to take the weight of mecha triple Wheeljack's side, but who knows how much abuse it suffered before the Lost Light came into Rodimus's hands. Considering how much the crew used the lift, the fact it has worn down a little bit is not surprising. But he hates to think what would happen if it snapped. "One of the strands got tangled in a gear."

"Well, that's good to know in advance," Wheeljack comments. Blackstorm can't see him, but his fins are flashing with consernation at the thought. Probably for the best that the lift did come to a sudden halt. He's sure maintenance will be on top of things like examining the elevator, but something like a fraying cable is better dealt with sooner than later. Cybertronians can take some damage, especially those who have had to deal with the trials of war, but surviving an elevator going into freefall isn't something Wheeljack would look forward to.

"How frayed is it? About to go, or still pretty thick? Do you think you can untangle that bit? I've got some cables if you don't want to stick your hand right in the gears," he offers. Depending on the state of that cable, it might still be more expedient to free themselves and notify maintenance of the problem after.

Once again, Blackstorm's laughter echoes in the confined space. "If it was that bad, mecha, I'd be running for my life and not standing here talking to you. It's not pretty, but I don't think it's any danger of snapping any time soon," he answers. The minibot's digits edge along the thick cable to get a better feel for it in the pitch-blackness. Built to be incredibly sturdy, his hand is not even capable of wraping around it. In his explorations, Blackstorm only notices one or two metallic strands of several dozen that have started to unwind.

"I can try untangling it, but you gotta promise me this lift won't start moving the moment I ease it out. Ain't a big fan of standing up top while this thing is moving, if you get what I'm saying."

"I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm asking you for help," Wheeljack retorts, but there's little bite in his characteristically cheerful reply. "Lucky me I'm not involved in the fighting much any more."

"Hold on before you do anything," Wheeljack calls up into the open hatch. He abandons that in favor of making his way over to the control panel. There's an emergency brake in the cabin, and he hits that button decisively. Once they've removed the cable pieces from the gears, they can wait until Blackstorm's in the elevator again before they release it. It might require some fiddling with the wires, but that's nothing he can't handle. "Okay, all set! It might drop a little as the gears settle into place but it shouldn't fall."

Blackstorm does his best not to bite back another chuckle of amusement at the peevish tone in the Autobot's tone. While he will usually go above and beyond in order to make people cheerful, standing in an elevator moments from plummeting towards certain doom is not one of those things. "Trust me, mecha, you wouldn't want me there anyways. In that case, all I could do for you is talk to you death before we crashed," he answers. Because, honestly, what else could he do? It's not as if he could carry Wheeljack to safety. "Would have been better for me to run to get help."

"But I guess it's a good thing that's all hypothetical, right? I should have this little problem fixed in no time." Standing on the tips of his pedes, Blackstorm reaches into the hatch and teases at the end of the unraveled thread in an attempt to work it loose.

It's strange, but nice, to be able to joke around with a Decepticon about this sort of thing without faction coming into it. Mostly. He's still caught between amusement and offense at Blackstorm's statement there. "In that case, maybe I'd take the crash after all," he says, shaking his helm. "Talked to death sounds like a terrible fate." Like he's one to talk, considering all of the scientific drivel he spouts off on the regular.

Once Blackstorm starts pulling out the wires, the gears start grinding a bit, and once they're out of the way the whole thing drops an inch or two before things lock into place, but sure enough, they don't plummet. "That all of it?" Wheeljack asks.

The sudden drop, even if it is only an inch or two, sends Blackstorm's sparkbeat careening in his chestplates. Yanking his hand away from the gears, his body tenses to leap to safety. Thankfully, when it comes to a stop he has no need to. It takes a moment for the minibot to find his glossa. "Think so," he calls back down. He squints at the gears just to make sure, but he sees no further offending strands. "Coming back down. Let's see if we can fire this baby back up."

A moment later, the minibot's help appears over the gaping hole in the ceiling. His blue biolights silhoutte him against the darkness. Wheeljack may see a flash of his glowing glossa when Blackstorm smirks. "But I'm genuinely sorry for upsetting you there, yeah? Next time we're in trouble, I'll personally carry you to safety. My word, yeah?" he jokes, climbing back down into the lift as he talks.

<FS3> Wheeljack rolls Mechanical Engineering: Good Success. (2 1 8 6 1 6 6 5 1 3 6 7 4 6 8 3)

With the drop, Wheeljack is keeping a careful eye on the hatch. The fact that there's no sounds other than the grinding of the lift gears coming through probably means nothing went wrong. He may be huffing at Blackstorm right now, but he wouldn't want the mini to get hurt by getting his hands caught in the gears when he's in the middle of helping him, especially since Wheeljack wouldn't be able to get up to him to help.

He relaxes as Blackstorm climbs back in, whole and undamaged. "Sure, let's get started," he agrees. He wanders back to the control panel and starts prying at it. It doesn't take very long for him to get it off, and with a few precise swaps of wires, the emergency stop is off again. After a moment of further grinding, the elevator is on its way again, and Wheeljack puts the control panel back in place. "I'll hold you to that. Tell you what, though, I'll lend you a force field belt to make it easier on you," he says, blinking an optic and one helm panel in a wink.

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Escaping: Good Success. (3 1 7 2 4 4 8 1 5)

Once back on solid ground, Blackstorm reaches up to nudge his visor away from his optics. The minibot quirks an optic ridge at Wheeljack's comment. "Are you bribing me, Wheeljack?" he asks. "Because it is absolutely working. I like the way you think."

The minibot gives a crow of victory as the elevator starts to move again. Well, that was fun! "Victory! Great teamwork there. Now we just have to figure out one more problem. How we're going to explain that to our superiors," he remakrs, pointing up at the wreck of the ceiling. With perfect timing, the elevator arrives on his floor with an audible DING! "Not my fault!" he hollers back, armor shifting as he transforms and streaks to safety.

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