2016-09-10 You Catch More Bugs with Nets

From Transformers: Lost and Found

You Catch More Bugs with Nets
Date 2016/09/10
Location Habsuites
Participants Red Alert, Waspinator, Mirage
Summary Red Alert has a little surprise in store for a certain "intruder".

While the habsuites are all shared, one can be reassured that each contains a workstation, a nice big monitor screen, space for bots in their alt modes, and recharge slabs for both individuals. They might have to fight over who gets the slab by the window, however.

Red Alert stands outside his habsuite, arms laden with cameras, bugs, tripwires, motion sensors, alarms, nets, and a few surprises from Wheeljack. He takes a deep ventilation, optics hard as he eyes the place he has been avoiding for months on end. Today is finally the day to put aside his fears and sleep in his own habsuite for once. Today he is moving in.

And that means a few extra security measures. Nothing major. Just a complete motion grid on the entire room, active defense mechanisms on the door, and special security around his berth. Completely reasonable.

He steps through the door and gets to work.

The first thing he notices, upon entering his habsuite for not exactly the first time, but the first time in a long time, is the generally empty and disused feeling. It feels like he's opened a tomb, and the door squeaks a little as it slides aside--no alarms needed there, then. He steps over the threshold and frowns at the darkness and openness of what he had expected to be a small, cluttered space. The other habsuites he's been in recently--Mirage and Beachcomber's, for example--have been filled with things: personal effects and souvenirs gathered from the various worlds they'd visited. The habsuites aren't exactly large, but his feels like a cavern's yawning maw: a dark hole filled with fear and mystery on a ship he otherwise knows like the back of his hand.

Maybe it would help to turn on a light.

He finds the switch with his elbow joint, and when he does he nearly jumps out of his own armour. The room isn't empty. Not exactly. On the largest, blankest wall, something has been forming: some unusual construction of strings and shapes, a map or chart of some kind, but detailing what and about whom exactly? Red Alert's processor races with conspiracies.

Oh no.

Oh no.

Is it possible that they have been in my habsuite? Are they plotting something?

Forget reasonable. It's time to pull out the big guns. Maybe literally.

And thus Red Alert's room undergoes a transformation from the emptiest, least used part of the ship, to a nigh impenetrable fortress, actively scanning for the first victim to cross its threshold and incur its wrath. And perhaps, just perhaps, Red Alert should have considered that he isn't the only one to live here, but it's a bit late for that now.

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Fate's Chewtoy: Success. (1 1 6 1 6 7 4 3 2 1 3)

Waspinator has been avoiding the habsuite, for as long as he can. He has been going in now and then to add to his home made star chart, the room seems even to him the safest place to keep it, but finally his nerves are fraying from the constant stress of having to look over his shoulder. The vents also are not exactly the best place to get a full night's recharge. So finally his will has broken and he’s going to curl up on his assigned berth for the night, knowing the autobot assigned there will probably be on shift or off wherever it is he goes.

Waspinator stands in front of the door, getting up his nerve, before keying in the access code to be greeted by total darkness. A step takes him through the doorway and into the room. The bug reaches for the light switch only to be greeted by something far different than a light. A loud snap comes from somewhere above him before the bug's feet are swept out from below. He lets out a loud, fearful, screech as he goes crashing to the floor, helm bashing against the ground as he is then dragged back and up until he smacks straight into the ceiling. Its there Waspinator gets tangled in some sort of net where he starts struggling, eyes wide in complete terror. WHAT IZZ GOING ON!?

From within the deep darkness of the habsuite, two brilliant blue lights flare to life, and there is an ominous creak as something in the darkness shifts and moves. The lights draw closer, the diamond shape of optics becoming clear as the heavy thud of footsteps echo beneath Waspinator's shrieking. They circle beneath the net, ever-watching, and then a second, smaller light blinks on--a flashlight of some sort--illuminated a shadowy face with a heavy frown and a grim, determined set to its mouth.

"I've got you," is said in a hoarse, triumphant whisper, and then with the flick of a switch Waspinator crashes to the ground at the mysterious figure's feet, still restrained by the net.

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Cowering: Good Success. (2 1 8 7 3)

Waspinator freezes when the small lights come on and he focuses on those, going silent in sheer horror as they get closer.. And closer... Then a face is lit up like a ghost from the pit. Waspinator lets out another yell which is cut off mid shriek when he suddenly goes crashing down once again. A loud Oof! escapes him as he falls, still trapped to the mech's feet. He starts to struggle against his restraints as he panics, instincts screaming at him to run but unable to. With that option exhausted Waspinator pulls in on himself, looking up at the figure above him as he shakes and cowers unable to respond with fear of what will happen to him.

The figure is merciless, still staring with cold blue optics as he reaches down and drags Waspinator upright.

"This way," Red Alert says roughly, and he guides Waspinator across the room, moving in a strange, zigzagging pattern. At one point there is a sudden woosh and Waspinator is dragged harshly to the right as something goes snap and crack right where he had been standing, and then their terrifying journey continues until at last Waspinator is deposited, net and all, into a chair.

The flashlight is swung around, focusing now on Waspinator's creation on the wall, lighting up the crude little mess of strings that to anyone else would be akin to a child's drawing, but to Red Alert is a dangerous chart of unknown purpose.

"Did you do this?" he demands, gesturing.

Waspinator lets himself be roughly dragged to his feet and shoved this way and that across the room. Best not to struggle against this horrible hellspawn of a mech. Who knowzz what he do to Wazzpinator if Wazzpinator doezzn't do as told! He keeps standing straighter, tensing up, as things seem to flash past in the darkness. Finally the bug is forced down into a chair, the net keeping him tied down in place, before his star chart is illuminated and he is forced to look at it. What doezz mech want with Wazzpinator'zz zztar chart!? "Y-y-yezz." He answers, voice shaking almost as much as he trembles.

"I knew it," Red Alert says with grim satisfaction. He leans into Waspinator's personal space, as if the poor trembling bug needs any more intimidating. "They sent you didn't they? I had a feeling they had me traced to the Lost Light. This confirms everything." There's a small voice in his processor, soft and reassuring, reminding him gently that he's safe, that no one's after him. Rung? His frown deepens as he chases the voice, but his head feels heavy and he can't quite reach it. Instead he waves his flashlight again, gesturing wildly at the map. "What are you plotting? What is the purpose of this construction? Tell me everything you know."

Waspinator sinks lower into his assigned chair, as if he is trying to disappear through the chair and into the floor. Mind racing (as much as his processor is capable of), he tries to figure out what this mech wants from him. "T-they? Who izz they??" Again the flashlight flies around, causing him to flinch badly, "Izz... izz zztar chart... Wazzpinator not plotting anything!"

"Zztar chart?" Red Alert repeats, for a moment baffled, but then his optics widen again. "Star chart! You've been tracking the Lost Light's progress? We--we could all be in danger!" He stumbled back a pace, and then stops himself as he nearly walks right into one of his own traps. Still his face is fearful and the flashlight trembles in his hands. It's a very different picture from the hard, interrogating mech of a moment ago. He looks as small and frightened as, well, Waspinator himself. "If they're coming for all of us because of me, I--" the flashlight hits the ground and winks out, and in the darkness Red Alert whimpers a few names. "Rung...Inferno...I'm sorry..."

Waspinator suddenly falls from his chair and onto the floor, managing to scoot down to the edge. As he hits the ground the air flies from his vents and his wings instinctively flap in stress, tightening the hold the net has on him. A squeak escapes him as his limbs are further tied and he stares up at the mech, watching him go from demon to frightened mouse in the span of a few seconds. The flashlight is dropped and rolls across the floor, going out. He struggles against his restraints and manages to catch one of the strands under a talon like digit and starts to grind it back and forth as he attempts to snap the restraint. Wazzpinator hazz to ezzcape! "W-wazzpinator not know what mech talking about!"

Somehow, through the haze of paranoid and panic that Red Alert feels, a thread of doubt begins to wind its way through his thoughts. Isn't Waspinator the name of my assigned roommate? Maybe he's an imposter? Hm, but the strange buzzing talk sounds pretty genuine... Was I assigned to a room with a spy? Or... The realization hits him all at once, and it's like being drenched in coolant. I've made a terrible mistake.

Waspinator feels a rush of pleasure, something rare to the bug, as his claw finally manages to catch on the rope and- with a fairly audible crack- manages to break through it. All at once the restraints seem to give up, loosening, and the bug springs forward. He makes a mad gambit for the door, practically able to taste freedom!- only to slam chassis first into Red Alert in the darkness. The force of the collision sending both the smaller mech and Waspinator tumbling backwards.

Red Alert is just taking a step forward, intent of freeing Waspinator and apologizing for his mistake, when a sudden impact sends a shocking vibration all through his frame. He coughs static and stumbles backwards, then with an alarmed squeak he realizes what he's done. Before his plating has even stopped ringing, there is a sudden shock of electrical charge all over, and he goes rigid as his body magnetizes. He sticks firmly to the metal plating already collided with his own, and in an instant they are both jerked toward the floor, held fast by the powerful magnetism. He lands in an awkward position, leg bent painfully, and fully wrapped up with the prisoner he had at his mercy just a minute ago. For a moment all is quiet and still as the shock settles heavily on his mind, but then instinct kicks in and he tries to thrash and get away.

Of course, his body doesn't even move a centimeter. He made the trap specifically for that reason.

Waspinator feels the dread quickly return, brutally snuffing out any victory he felt for a nanosecond, as they go falling down... then down again as an electrical shock flows through them. Almost like a switch went off they are snapped down to the floor and stick there, Waspinator's wings being dragged down on either side of the two of them from the heavy magnetism as he is practically on top of the smaller mech with no way to move and run away. "WHAT IZZ HAPPENING!?" The wasp's voice has reached nearly a new decibel of shrill as he begins to panic again.

Red Alert yelps at the shrill voice way too close to his sensitive audials. His optics flick off in pain, and he doesn't bother onlining them again as his vision is mostly blocked by the large wasp face on the other mech's torso. Definitely, definitely not an imposter, he thinks idly, before getting to more pressing matters.

"This is bad. Very bad," he grits out, as he tries and fails again to wriggle out from under Waspinator. "This whole section of the floor is magnetized. The only way out is to get at the battery I hid under the floor plates and disable it." He grunts again, but he's definitely not budging. "But...I can't move." His tone becomes fearful again, as he realizes that his plan to protect himself has now put him in considerable danger. He's helpless here, stuck fast with a stranger he was threatening just a moment ago, and his twisted leg is feeling more painful by the minute.

"Okay. Okay I have a plan." He takes a deep ventilation to clear his thoughts. "I just need to call for someone to come and get us. Just wait a moment." He goes to open a commline to Inferno, but then he realizes the position he's in, laying prone on the floor with Waspinator suggestively poised over him. If Inferno doesn't immediately charge in thinking he's being attacked and get himself stuck too, then he'll at least question how they got stuck in this unusual position in the first place. No, perhaps it's best to call someone else. But do I have anyone else? He hesitates a moment, then sends out an open distress call on the Autobot channel, tagged with their location. I don't think I can afford to be choosy right now anyway, he thinks miserably.

Waspinator doesn't even really notice the, quite embarrassing, position the fall has placed the two of them in. What does get through to him is the word bad. The mech who clearly set these traps is now stuck in his own with seemingly no way out. At leazzt mech hazz a plan? "What izz mech planning to do?" When he hears calling for help Waspinator is too terrified at the idea of being trapped like that forever to bother feeling afraid of more strange mechs showing up, "Y-yezz bot do that!" and then Wazzpinator leave and never come back!

<FS3> Mirage rolls Invisibility: Great Success. (5 8 4 8 4 8 3 5 8 2 3 2)

<FS3> Mirage rolls Stealth: Good Success. (7 5 5 5 2 5 5 7 3 7 4 2)

On his way back to the hab suite after a long night at "Visages," Mirage is exhausted. For once, he finds himself ready for recharge (or at least attempting it). His plans are put on hold, however, when he receives a distress call. Here, on the ship? When he spots who it is from, though, the scout's optics narrow. Instead of sending an acknowledging ping, Mirage decides he wants to get a look at what is going on. Mirage's cloaking onlines and he slinks towards the signal's source, careful to be extra-quiet in the face of who he will be facing.

He arrives shortly afterwards, standing in the habsuite doorway to spot an unlikely scene. "Just what is going on here?" he asks, sounding more incredulous than anything. And, yes, still invisible.

The light from the open door certainly is illuminating a rather odd scene. Red Alert wishes he could turn his head and look, but he recognizes that cultured voice anyway and feels his spark begin to sink.

"Mirage?" he calls out tentatively. He wouldn't be surprised if the scout just turns around and leaves him there considering their last encounter, but he decides to try explaining anyway. A small chance is better than none.

"I installed some extra security measures in my habsuite. Um." How to explain that he had just captured his roommate thinking he was a spy, and in the resulting struggle they ended up here? "I made, uh, a bit of a mistake and got us both trapped in here. This entire floor tile is magnetized. The only way out is to disconnect the battery, which can be accessed by prying up the neighbouring tile and reaching underneath. Can you help us?" He asks tentatively, hopefully. "I know it's a lot to ask..."

Waspinator yelps and would jump if he was able at the sudden foreign voice coming from nowhere. His optics wave wildly in his motionless head as he attempts to see what is happening and any potential weapons coming at his exposed back. "WAZZPINATOR DO NOTHING!" is the bug's helpful comment. Denying everything at the moment seems like as good a strategy as any as Red Alert attempts to explain the situation. If autobot, autobot might hurt Wazzpinator! Might be ally to- he takes the moment of the lights actually being on to notice just who it is who has attacked him- .... redbot.... Redbot!? But Redbot not zzupposed to be in room!

<FS3> Mirage rolls Repair: Failure. (3 1 2 1)

Mirage is startled by Waspinator's shouting, causing his cloaking to fail as he looses concentration. The scout flickers into existence at the habsuite door. A small frown flits across his faceplates, and his optics dart between Red Alert and Waspinator. While he is no great fan of Red Alert, he has nothing against the odd green mecha who is also trapped. He is not about to leave him trapped here. "There is no need to shout. I was not accusing you of anything," Mirage mutters to Waspinator.

Without directly answering Red Alert, the scout strides towards the indicated panels. Leaning down, he examines them through slanted optics before prying the proper one out of the way. The scout knows something of basic repairs, and it should be extremely simple to remove a battery, but an idea forms in Mirage's mind. "I hope you don't mind, but since I hardly know what I'm doing the easiest solution seems to be..." he trails off, reaching down and grabbing a handful of wires in his hands. With little formality, he tears them free. It will free them, but also likely ruin a lot of Red Alert's hard work. "That. I honestly do apologize, but there is a reason I'm not in the engineering department."

Red Alert is about to call a warning to Mirage as he strides easily into a boobytrapped room, but then he realizes, well, they've already tripped a good chunk of the traps. As long as Mirage doesn't try to approach either berth, he should be safe.

And so he is, as he makes short work of the floor and the battery. Red Alert sags, too relieved at being free to be upset over the ruining of his hard work. "Thank you," he mumbles bashfully, and then "sorry." He's not sure what he's apologizing for. It feels like everything at once. Sorry to take up Mirage's time. Sorry to make life difficult for him before. Sorry to Waspinator for, well, everything he's done since they've met. "I have...a lot of apologies to make," he notes.

Waspinator jumps back as soon as he is freed from the magnetism of the floor, scrambling back towards the rope currently lying around the base of the chair. One look around should give a clue to something about what happened. Especially with how fast Waspinator tries to get away from Red Alert. He even goes so far as to hide behind the chair, putting a clear (if very flimsy) barrier between the two of them as he fearfully and suspiciously watches the mech. Every part of him is on edge.

Mirage tilts his helm in Red Alert's direction, considering, although his expression reveals nothing. "It was nothing, really," he answers. It is the proper thing to do, even for someone he has some reservations about. "If that is all you need from me..." he trails off, heading towards the door and glancing back between Waspinator and Red Alert. Speaking of apologies, it seems there is a more pressing one at the moment.

“I--yeah, thank you. I owe you one." He pushing himself up to a sitting position, and gives Mirage a grateful nod before he leaves. With a bit of hesitance he then turns back to the other occupant in the room. Waspinator is in a state, and Red Alert can't blame him. If someone had attacked and interrogated him in his own room, well, it'd take Rung another six centuries to fix the damage that'd do. Cautiously Red Alert scoots closer, within conversation range, but lets the chair stay between them.

"'re Waspinator, then?" he confirms.

Waspinator looks behind him, at the wall trapping him, then back at Red Alert. He shifts so the chair is very firmly between himself the Red Alert. He knows who Red Alert is, he has seen him around, knew he was his assigned roommate. He has been using that knowledge to avoid the mech at all costs and apparently his paranoia was for a good reason. "...Yezz." He's.. not going to get a whole lot of conversation out of the bug at the moment.

"I'm," Red Alert chews on the words for a moment, and then decides to spit them all out at once. "I'm so very sorry. I thought you were someone else, someone who's after me. I have some enemies, and..." No wait, that's too much information. He slows down, speaking more quietly and decisively. "I didn't recognize you. I don't think we've ever been formally introduced. I thought you came here to hurt me. I didn't realize that this is your room too. And...I ended up hurting you too. I'm so sorry." His face feels hot with shame as he remembers how he dragged Waspinator around, how he ranted in his face. How can I ever hope to make up for that? "I set those traps because I wanted to make our habsuite safe. The safest place on the ship. But instead I put us in danger." He bends his knees, careful of the tender leg, and wraps his arms around them. "How can I make this right?" he asks desperately, more of himself than of Waspinator.

Waspinator stares unblinkingly at Red Alert as he says his piece, face both impassive and suspicious of the mech's intentions. What izz wrong with mech? Wazzpinator thought zzhip zzuppozzed to be zzafe place... Though Waspinator cant truly convince himself of that fact, however much he might like to think it (or be told to think it). Mech.. izz mech juzzt zzcared, like Wazzpinator?

It is another long moment before Waspinator makes any move, and when he does it isnt to respond but to flit over to his berth, hands suddenly flying over his makeshift star chart, adding new pins to the mess and weaving string further into the motley assortment. Turning to face Red Alert from his crouched position, he point one finger at the piece. "Wazzpinator tracking zzhip'zz progrezzzz. If command caught without map, Wazzpinator will know where zzhip izz." He did learn some practical things from his time drifting through space alone. Its not much for accepting his apology but it is an explanation to him over what he was doing.

So it IS intended to track the ship's movements. I was right but...also wrong. Red Alert blushes at his outburst from earlier.

"Oh," he says simply, moving over to his own bed. Then he stops, and takes an overlarge step over what must be another trap zone, and climbs onto the berth. It's better here, with both of them in their respective areas. Red Alert looks out across the mess of traps strewn across the room. There's the tangled, destroyed net. The pried up floor tile. A suspicious coil of wire from the trap that got sprung while they were crossing the room in the dark...

"I've really made a mess of this place," he observes. Idly he picks at the edge of the berth, wondering over what to do now. Should he rearm the traps, or...

"Hey Waspinator, um..." Yes, communicating is best. "Do you--if we work together maybe we can make this place safe. For both of us. You can keep your side of the room safe from me too, if you want. Um...would you like that?"

Waspinator had, by this point, turned back to his map. He seems to be intensely examining several pegs but he is also intently listening to the room, tracking Red Alert's movements without actually looking at him. He doesn't really want to look at him, fearing if he does it will set the mech off again. His helm turns only the slightest amount to glance over his shoulder as he decides how to respond to the offer. "... Wazzpinator know where redbot put everything?" That is evidently his only demand hidden under the guise of a tentative question.

"Of course," Red Alert nods. "I'll show you where I put everything, and how to turn it off. Like here." He points down to a couple feet out from his berth. "Don't step here for now, until I turn it off. That's the last of the traps for now, until I--until we set things up again." He tilts his head carefully. "So that's...okay?"

Waspinator stays frozen in place as he optics continue to flicker between his map and Red Alert. Zzhould Wazzpinator accept mechzz apology? What if Wazzpinator doezzn't, will Wazzpinator get hurt? But mech already hurt Wazzpinator. "... izz ok. Wazzpinator hazz been hurt worzze before." That.. really isn't a lie, besides scaring the slag out of him Red Alert really didn't do an actual harm. Of course the bug is still going to flinch and retreat every time he gets too close, but the fact he can keep their room safe... that seems like a good idea to him, despite how wary the idea of an Autobot setting it up makes him.

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