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2016-10-03 In The Dark

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2016-10-03 In The Dark
Date 2016/10/03
Location Derelict Autobot Cruiser
Participants Jumpstart, Penchant, Rodimus, Skystalker, Soundwave, Wheeljack
Plot Radio Silence
Scene GM Sao
Summary It's lights out for the ship- will our heroes traverse the dark or will it be lights out for them as well?

As Soundwave and Penchant begin their climb up the elevator shaft, and as Jumpstart and Wheeljack begin working on the manual override to open the doors from the brig and into the next set of rooms on the lower deck, there's a sudden, unsettling wave of electromagnetic power fritzing from the epicenter of the ship. It shockwaves outwards through wall and bulkhead, a disturbing sensation prickling along their sensor systems. The ship judders and lists, and there's a soft, low whine as the engines cut out completely. The ship is cold and dead in space. The artificial gravity goes off.

In the new darkness without emergency lights, as the ship groans and lists without inertial dampeners, there's a clattering fall of materiel. Bodies and detritus float through space, ash and particulates making the area around Jumpstart and Wheeljack full of hazard. Something massive and dead collides with the beastformer, sending her caroming off into the gloom.

There's a maniac quality almost like laughter in the awful screech that resounds off Soundwave's systems.

Wheeljack barely has time to shiver from the strange, unsettling wave of energy that slithers along past him before he's realizing what is going on. "Oh, no--" he manages to say, before the power dies.

There's no dramatic explosion, at least there's that. But what does happen isn't much better. Caught in the middle of twisting back toward the engines, the sudden shudder of the ship sends him off the ground, and only his grip on the manual latch keeps him from drifting off toward one of the cells. He clings, optics darting around to try and see through the darkness as he hears a heavy thud, and then... nothing. "Jumpstart?" he calls, turning his helm, trying to hear any sign of his companion. Something bumps up against his back, and Wheeljack shoves it away with a shout before realizing what it must be, and shuddering. "Frag," he mutters, clinging tightly to the handle. So much for his faint hope that the engines could keep holding out.

Last Soundwave heard or felt Rodimus, he was above. So it only logical that he and Penchant head upwards into the darkness instead of down. The Captain held priority, securing his position and status was of utmost importance. Especially with the interference to his comms and focus. He offered Penchant a ride on his shoulder- its so spacious without a cannon- before beginning to climb up. Which makes it sound easier than it is. Finding hand and footholds in the dark was easier said than done. His armor shivers, feeling the ripple of energy and then suddenly... It was a lot easier to climb.

Soundwave looks up before gently releasing a hold. Interesting, the engines were out... Or something took them out. His helm twitches slightly from the noise. The idea that this was no happy accident diminishes further. "Penchant, status?" he asks, again. He's just making sure the minibot is alright. "Have you navigated in zero-gravity before?"

Penchant initially denies the ride - he's perfectly capable! But then he's left clinging to the cabling, scrambling to find footing when the gravity offlines. Momentum has him flapping like a flag on the pole, until he finally finds purchase on Soundwave's shoulder kibble. "I'm fine," he mumbles. "That was weird. Oh sure. I have excellent cardinal sense!" He tap-taps his head.

The ship drifts. The dark is very nearly complete.

Thank goodness for headlights. Wheeljack flicks his on, belatedly, only to wince at the grisly array of bodies and ruins now floating through the cells. "Jumpstart?" he calls again, searching in vain for any sign of the animal-former. Did she get flung back all the way into engineering? He hesitates, on the edge of letting go of his handhold on the door in favor of fumbling his way back to the engines. If she's not answering, she could be hurt. He twists and tugs at the handle as he thinks, trying to plan a way to propel himself back toward the door without slamming into any of the floating detritus as he goes.

Soundwave's red visor alights several of his reserved features, the only marker that his helm tilts in that amused way of his. "I do not doubt that but that is not what I meant." He, however, has dealt with gravity-less ships and bases many times. He helped install gravity-wave projection on different projects, moving in zero-g in confined spaces suited this brick just fine. He reaches up, plucking Penchant off his shoulder to hold him. "Your headlights required now. We must find the next deck and the Captain." He shakes his helm lightly, trying to shake off that scream, before pushing off and propelling himself confidentally upward.

"Oh, right." Penchant is plucked without complaint, ramping up the brightness on his headlights. "I wonder if that was our doing, somehow. I mean, the other bots on this ship. Anything new on the psychic front?"

It's hard. Even with the beams of his headlights engaged as he floats through what was once the brig, between the angled drift of the ship and the amount of stuff floating around -- some of which stuff was once people -- it is difficult to maintain trajectory without ricocheting off any of the floating objects.

There's a creaking groan of a noise far below Soundwave and Penchant as something snaps. The screaming seems momentarily closer, and for a few beats, Penchant can hear it before it fades again into the gloom for him.

Wheeljack can't help but shudder every time he feels something sling off of his armor, even when he knows that it's not attached to a greyed-out frame, since most of those are still in the midst of the room. Everything about this situation is far from ideal. "Jumpstart!" he calls out a third time, before waiting for an answer that doesn't come.

...He'll at least open the door to the next room before he makes his way back probably going from cell wall to cell wall, pushing the bodies aside into the abandoned jail cells.

Soundwave takes any bumps in stride, using his forearms to press against any obstructions or walls before pushing off once more.. The floating debris is actually useful, allowing for constant objects and surfaces to propel off of or slow one's own inertia. He has to adjust calculations for Penchant's mass but nothing unusual, about as much mass as if he had a cassette resting within him. He's fairly certain he left them all behind. But the worry dogs him at the fringes of his mind.

"There was laughter, earlier," Soundwave tells Penchant, looking downward and tensing as the scream gets louder... And then they get bareable again, his hold on Penchant loosening back up. His gaze stays downward a moment. "Otherwise, unchanged... I cannot tell if that is interference or if something is following us and eminating that noise..."

Penchant twists around in Soundwave's grasp, looking for the source of that scream. For him, at least, it's hard to tell if it's actual sound or something in his head. Eventually he just hunkers down and grips the arm that holds him, optics ever wide. Soundwave said there was nothing to fear. "I hear bits and pieces of it," he says at last. "Something's gotta' be messing with us."

The elevator car, far below Soundwave and Penchant, has lifted from its moorings. Without gravity, there is no momentum for its shift particularly, but its bumping loose makes its cables vibrate and ratchet, jangling in the gears. The doors out of the elevator shaft and leading out into the next deck look tightly shut.

The door back into engineering takes some effort to open. With the artificial gravity not working, it proves a task to Wheeljack to find a way to get himself the leverage to crank the crank enough times to get himself back through. There's a grinding, bumping clatter that resounds nearby as an unmoored elevator car bangs noisily against the wall nearest him while he's doing this.

Wheeljack nearly jumps and loses his hold on the doors when the sound starts grinding nearby. It takes a moment to realize what it could be, and even then it's only a guess. Jumpstart's earlier insistence that there is a monster and an enemy in here with them is making him nervous, he supposes. Still, he can't help but look toward the wall nervously every so often as the grinding and scraping continues. As soon as he can, he's slipping through the doorway, to move on.

The light in Soundwave's visor narrows. Hmmm... Slowly, he looks back up, pushing himself closer to the shaft's wall, feeling. The elevator isn't much cause for concern except... Most objects don't move in zero gravity without something forcing them. "It is probably a creature of limited intelligence, nothing more," he mutters, arm shifting so his thumb can, once again, brush the back of minibot's helm in comfort. "Soundwave here, do not worry. Now hold onto me. I require both hands to open this door." Possibly. Gravity added a nice bit of leverage as it grounded one's weight.

Penchant frowns down into the darkness, then up at the trembling cables. Right, door. "I'm not worried," he insists with the slightest nervous laugh, then squirms up to hang onto Soundwave's shoulder again. "If only we had a plasma-cutter. Or a cannon."

<FS3> Soundwave rolls Body+Body: Success. (4 8 6 4 3 5)

The elevator doors are very difficult to open. Soundwave finds that they are not yielding to his might.

Finally, Wheeljack manages to get into engineering. More dead bodies are floating in here along with tools and other random detritus. The elevator car clangs noisily against the wall again just as he passes the doors. The engines are silent. The lights are dead.

The would be easier if he could thrust his weight into this. He stops a moment, floating before the door and staring at it. "Penchant's failed attempt at subtlty, noted," he intones. Soundwave turns slightly to look at his partner. "Head of Logistics does not carry tools with him? Unfortunate." Oh look, he can give it right back. He vents and begins to feel along the walls of the shaft again. "Find a ventilation cover. We can navigate the ship from there and find the others."

Penchant 'balances' in the air as he plants his free hand on his hip, mustering a smirk. "I'm not a tech. I have /some/ tools..." There's no excuse, really. Except that his subspace pocket is full of crap he doesn't need, and he doesn't want to admit that. "A vent? Keep trying on the door, it's sure to give!"

Jumpstart finds herself loose in the pitch black brig among the floating dead Decepticons and other random junk. Ugh. Where did Wheeljack go? It's not clear. Everything is dark and cold and without gravity.

While Wheeljack makes his way through the vacuum of the engine room, avoiding the clutter on his way to the engines, Soundwave and Penchant are still alone in the near silence of the elevator. There are probably vents somewhere but they are not immediately in evidence. It will take some searching.

This is hardly ideal. Turning end over end with the dead bots is not a good way to spend one's time, so Jumpstart makes do. She transforms while floating, spreading her wings to settle herself and then pumping said wings to advance away from the engine room, hopping along any corpse that presents itself as a bridge. "And he said we'd risk losing the gravity if I touched the engines..." The birdform grouses.

Soundwave makes a sound almost like a grunt of disbelief at Penchants 'tools.' Useless tools, most likely. At least, in the current situation. "I could try punching the doors open and waste further limited energy. Or we can find a vent." Soundwave returns to feeling along the walls, searching. The other option was to head down to the elevator possibly blockading their path.

Penchant needn't more than an extra verbal nudge to get him searching for this vent. He pushes away from Soundwave's shoulder and cautiously slides along the shaft's walls, the glare of his lights marking him as a silhouette with his fingers outstretched.

The elevator shaft is dark and cold. There are a few pieces of detritus floating randomly around, and one -- a wrench? -- comes very close to winging off of Penchant's head as he explores. He does eventually find a small vent. He can totally fit through it, once he prizes it open, but getting Soundwave through would definitely require some mass displacement.

Jumpstart manages to float her way -- occasionally using dead bodies in a way not entirely unlike lilypads on a murky pond -- back to the far wall where she and Wheeljack were working on the crank for the doors out of the brig. It will take some doing to lever the doors open without gravity to use as a brace, but it is not impossible.

Jumpstart transforms again. What's good for getting across the room is not good for opening doors. The beastform scrutinizes the door and its crank. "Great." She mutters, before guiding herself down to the floor. Jumpstart spreads her wings and braces herself, but is ultimately forced to rely on her not terribly impressive reserves of strength. "Grow some fingers, would you." She glares at one of her wings.

Soundwave searches patiently, continually ignoring those screams. To keep himself distracted, he focuses on the one memory he has. Who was screaming and why was he running. Why that air lock... He looks over towards Penchant. "Did you find a vent?"

Penchant flails comically when that wrench slides by. "Cripes. Yeah. You can't go through it though. Is it wise to separate? Not sure where it would lead. Too bad Jump's not here. Or... didn't Rodimus mention Jumpstart?" He peers down the vent, eventually having to wave particles from his face.

It takes a lot of pushing but Jumpstart finally manages to haul down on the crank with enough force to get the door ... halfway open.

Without gravity, there is little risk of falling, at least. The ventilation shaft runs down, parallel to the elevator shaft, for a ways, but in the pitch darkness of the lightless ship it's hard to see much beyond the glimpse provided by the headlamps.

Jumpstart very nearly loses her footing in the low gravity environment, floating up and then pulling herself back down. Only to have the door open halfway. "Slag this." Rather than keep trying to open the door, Jumpstart stries to sidle through. One wing first, then her fairly slender chassis. Sometimes not being a hulking mechaniform is useful.

"Wheeljack mentioned Jumpstart," Soundwave corrects, recalling thos painful comms. He pauses, contemplating options. He could transform and have Penchant carry him but that seems rather unwise. "Separation, unecessary," he slowly vents out before beginning to shift his mass. And before Penchant's optics- what he can see- Soundwave's large form shrinks to that of a minibot's. Tailgate height. "You have the light, you will have to lead the way." He nods to the vent.

Meanwhile, outside the ship:

The ship lists dangerously as the engines power down, the inertial dampeners die, the artificial gravity dies and all of the lights shut off. Skystalker and Rodimus find the bubble of the bridge deck's dome starting to drift away from them, and the belly of the warship seems to slowly turn toward them as the monstrous metal hulk floats uselessly in space.

"You think that was a good thing or a bad thing?" Rodimus asks Skystalker with an impatient kick at his seat. Why did Skystalker let him sit inside again?

Because it's better than letting the captain float off into the black? Also Skystalker's arms got tired-- and there's the matter of present wounds. It was insistence. The crestplate framing the center of Skystalker's console flashes lights between its tines when Rodimus goes kicking at things. "If you leave marks I'm going to make you clean them." It's a sufficient threat, right? "I'm not sure." He answers before pressing forward to come coasting around the belly of the ship, searching for other viewports and entrances. "It seems to be losing propulsion."

Penchant gawks as Soundwave becomes mini-sized. He'd laugh if the situation was less dire. He does smile at least. "Wow. I'll never understand how any of that works. Okay. Onwards." Up he crawls through the cramped shaft, soles squeaking.

Jumpstart is in a very dark room, full of many, many floating objects. Cleaning supplies, fire suppressants, sloppily sealed paint and wax blooping out into the dark to create unusual hazards. The kinds of thing she generally has to deal with on a day to day basis, come loose from their moorings in the darkened storage room.

There are a few darkened viewports running down the length of the ship, in the places one might expect to find them. The point that looks likeliest for an airlock is actually at the ass end of the ship from where they were, all the way down its massive body.

The vent funnels on and above Penchant.

Rodimus makes sure to scuff his foot all nice and good against Skystalker's console at that threat, so maybe he is just realy excited to clean things. He leans forward, watching the ship as it turns. "Bring us in. We still need to find Soundwave -- and the rest." Who are fine. Absolutely fine. He's sure.

Jumpstart looks up at the various cleaning and maintenance supplies dancing above her head. "I swear to Chela if Wheeljack turns on the gravity while I'm in this room I'll murder him." She says to no one but herself. The beastform flexes her feet and rises into the air, wings folded tightly at her sides to avoid hitting anything. "It can't be a dead end...you can't loop from engines to brig to storage closet..."

Soundwave can glean Penchant's surprise and meets it impassively. Seeing how he retains his alt that uses mass displacement, he could probably get smaller even. But no one needs to know. The Decepticon Commander follows behind the actual minibot, wishing he had rubbery soles like Penchant to push himself along easier. "Mass Displacement technology, simple," he points out to Penchant. "Typically only used with alt mode."

There are doors in this storage closet, dimly visible when she focuses on seeing through the gloom: a hallway opens to Jumpstart's right, a series of other storage closets in the central storage section of the ship, apparently.

"Ugh, you and your big feet..." Skystalker grumbles, though it lacks much conviction. Familiar banter during the unknown is like a security blanket. The shiny and matte blacks of Skystalker's console get a nice dusty Rod-print on them, too. Good job, Cap'n.

Skystalker turns on a couple of his outside lights, near the side that he follows alongside the warship with. They pan wide over the ship when he brings them in closer for inspection.

The ship's hull is scarred and scored with signs of old combat, never repaired. It also looks like it has had some asteroidal impacts, or maybe just crashed into other space junk. Hard to say.

"Looks like an airlock down there at the ass end of the ship--" It's a technical term. "--don't you think?" says Rodimus, leaning forward over the scuff on Skystalker's console. "Let's go in and see who's breaking things. I don't know why I'm even saying that. It's obviously Wheeljack."

Jumpstart squints into the darkness, blue optics narrowing. Fortunately, as a Kalisian forged in the image of Chela, Jumpstart has damn good optics. She spreads her wings and gives them one beat, enough to propel her at an easy pace down that corridor on her right. "What in the Pit is this ship even for." Jumpstart murmurs, indulging her habit of thinking aloud. "There's a brig with dead cons. Jerry-rigged engines with a dead bot. And storage closets. Endless storage closets." Jumpstart glances from side to side. "This ship doesn't make any sense."

"Stern." Skystalker is happy to correct the technical usage. "Yes, I see it. And probably-- he's the only suspect..." The starfighter speeds up slightly and turns over onto his side as he comes around to the bottom of the ship, belly parallel to its lower hull.

"Simple, huh? Could you explain it to Rumble or Frenzy without confusing them?" Penchant keeps a slow and steady pace with minimal effort, glad to have some form of conversation as he plunges upwards into darkness.

Soundwave doesn't respond except for the low hum of amusement from his systems. Fair enough, Penchant. He follows faithfully, taking care to listen to those squeaks to avoid his helm from coming into contact with those pedes. "Perhaps we should pause so I can attempt to gather where the others are once more."

As Penchant climbs, he can see ahead of him where the ventilation shaft branches off to tunnel onto a deck. The fork in his path shows that the parallel path to the elevator shaft does continue above him, though.

There are, indeed, a lot of storage closets for Jumpstart to explore, mocking her with illogic and, probably, an infinite number of mops. But there's also another set of doors to her left.

As they approach the airlock, lit by the spattered light of distant stars as well as by Skystalker's own lights, it becomes apparent that while the ship is dead in the non-water, the automatic docking procedures aren't going to be working either. It's not going to be impossible to get in, but it is going to take some serious effort to try to get that airlock open from outside.

Eager to leave the storage closets behind, Jumpstart turns to the left door and tries to exit the corridor at the first opportunity. She sets her feet on the floor, using her flight capabilities in reverse to try and ground her chassis so she can get a little muscle into moving the door. If necessary.

Rather than engage in serious effort, Rodimus says, "You want to try shooting it open?"

"We don't know what's inside, unlike the window." Skystalker's voice is a hush even inside of his consoles. "I know he said not to, but maybe you should try Soundwave again. If Jackie is messing with the inside, maybe some of the interference has gone?"

Skystalker cuts his thrusters and hovers outside of the stern where the door sits, considering. "...If you can't reach him I can shoot it in."

"Ugh. Fine." And Rodimus immediately dials his volume up as loud as it can go and yells, "<< SOUNDWAVE. >>"

The last time Rodimus sent a transmission at maximum volume like this, he was rewarded by a shrieking, lancing pain in his head interrupted by bursts of spitting static. What happens now is very similar.

Soundwave does hear it, as does Penchant; the psychic reverberation lances pain through both of them along with the sound, as the shrieking howl of whatever has been screaming throughout the ship makes its radio outrage known. Somehow Rodimus's voice behind the scream is a little fainter than it was the last time he tried this, as though the increase to physical distance between them has made it more difficult for the radio transmission to get through the strange interference.

However, due to their proximity, Jumpstart also picks it up: a sudden burst of screaming noise and an echo of Rodimus's voice, but shouting for Soundwave. The door she's working on is a little easier to haul than the last one, although not by much.

"Yeah... Let's make sure they're still okay..." Penchant twists to peer down the fork. "There's a deck here. But we can keep going up. Whatcha' think- ack!" He clutches his head, curling somewhat. "I thought you told him to shut up!"

Jumpstart isn't as used to having voices screaming in her head as Penchant and Soundwave. Jumpstart's vocalizer hisses, an echo of the static that suddenly fills her mind. It's enough to make her drift away from the door for a moment, before she can re-cycle and clear her comms. "I hate this place." Jumpstart tells the ceiling before rolling over, kicking off the far wall, and planting her feet to work ont he door again.

Soundwave slows himself, just floating in the vent as he prepares his senses for- pain. His visor sparks and offlines, body going rigid. He stays like that, stiff as a board and bumping against the side vent. Slowly, he rolls his helm, visor onlining dimmily. That hadn't been pleasant. "I did. Rodimus only listens to Rodimus, however." Bitter? No! He vents harshly before reaching up to touch Penchant to reassure that he's there. "Are you alright?" A beat later, he dims his visor. No point in wasting further time. "I will attempt to locate them now." His processor is pounding and audios ringing but he just needs to concentrate... And listen for the others, feel where they are before they continue on.

Soundwave can sense -- once he clears his way through the foggy cobwebs and the haze of pain -- Penchant as a bright glow beside him. Skystalker and Rodimus are together still, but all the way down the ship from them, bright dots the entire length of the hull away. Wheeljack is about where he was the last time Soundwave checked, but Jumpstart is much closer to Rodimus and Skystalker, trying to force her way through a very annoying door.

"No one's answering," Rodimus points out after a long, (aching) silence. "Should I try again?"

<FS3> Jumpstart rolls Body+body: Failure. (5 3)

As Rodimus tries the comms again, Skystalker positions his nose onto the outside of the door, thrusting backwards and engaging the twin guns at his front. The inside of his cockpit blossoms with fiery red and gold, the weapons systems lighting up dangerously while the pause lingers and Rodimus confirms no reply. "No, once was fine. If they didn't get that one, they won't get another..." And if they did get it, they'll get back to them soon, right? No time to mull over it-- Skystalker positions his guns onto the airlock door and lets loose a small barrage of fire.

Jumpstart bangs her shoulder against the door. "Move. You. Stupid. Slagging. Door." The not terribly large mech grunts, not getting much purchase without gravity.

Penchant just drifts there until the pain fades, clinging to his knees. "I'm fine," he assures wearily, resting his helm against the cool but probably gunky metal of the shaft. "Maybe someone's being tortured somewhere," he adds, tone sour.

The door finally opens for Jumpstart. It doesn't open all the way, but again, it opens far enough for her to ease her careful way inside.

Just in time for someone to start shooting at the airlock on the other side of the room -- a broad, open space of a mostly empty docking bay -- that she's just entered.

Soundwave lifts his servos to rub his temples. Hnn... He can feel them... He stops reaching out, his ventilations returning to norma and even, coughing up a few stagnant particles. How his cassettes traversed vents so readily... "That is not the sound of torture. It is the sound of retaliation. Move down the deck, towards stern. the Captain, that direction." He'll help identify the right paths to take as needed. He pats Penchant's pedes. A combination of 'its okay' and 'let's get going.'

Jumpstart carefully slips her way through that dumb door again, one wing at a time. Once she's inside, she looks around and...is knocked over by the impact of the shot. "Slag it!" Jumpstart cries, flailing about in zero-g for a long moment before scrambling back through the door. "Close you stupid slagging door!" She tries to dig in her heels and pull the door she had just opened closed.

Rodimus drums his heels against his seat -- against Skystalker -- as he waits for his chance to go rescue someone.

Unbeknowngst to Skystalker, he was afraid of just this! Sorry, Bird. Skystalker keeps a steady stream of fire on one point of the door, aiming to weaken it enough to crack right through. "When we get back I'm going to step all over you."

<FS3> Skystalker rolls Firearms: Success. (1 1 2 1 3 8 6)

"Okay," Penchant nods once, brought back from his buzzing head by the touch on his heel. He finds a grip and pulls forward into the deck, then rights himself as much as he can manage while staying near the wall. "You uh, you hear something? Besides screams?"

"You can't step on me. I'm captain." Rodimus does, however, stop drumming his heels.

<FS3> Jumpstart rolls Reaction: Success. (1 7 5)

The door tug -- tug -- tugs.

The streak of fire blasts into the hull.

At almost exactly the same moment, Skystalker rips the docking bay open to space and Jumpstart slams the door shut on the docking bay.

Soundwave moves out from behind Penchant. "Negative, only screaming. But I know where they are." How they moved all the way to that side of the ship is beyond him but that's where they need to go. This darkness does not make things easier. "The faster we are reunited, the sooner we can get home." And forward he goes.

"If that's one of ours stop shooting!" Jumpstart dares to send a radio message, no matter how much it might hurt. She leans against the door, feeling the rumble of the shots rattle through her frame. The radio pain is better than being slagged or flung out into space.

The clearest pathway down is of course back down the shaft the way they came, but further down, and down, and down, toward where the loosened elevator car clanks againt the walls. Of course, that won't be a risk in the ventilation shaft.

The radio pain strikes: it hits Soundwave and Penchant, and it hits Jumpstart. Skystalker and Rodimus get only the barest echo of it, and the crackling psst fffft of the message comes across like: "<< ... one of ... --op shooting! >>"

Skystalker's guns wind down once the door goes blasting inward, at the same time he gets the flicker of feedback and the echoes of Jumpstart's voice. The lights inside the cockpit blanche in a flux of cold color, and the starfighter tilts around to open up and let Rodimus out. "Hurry up, that one mentioned shooting--" Maybe close. Closer than he thinks.

Penchant readily steps aside to lead Soundwave lead, holding onto his back kibble in the darkness. "Surprised you don't have any lights of your own. Why are you a tapedeck again?" he almost teases, until that damn radio pain strikes again. He goes quiet, squeezing optics shut, struggling to endure. "This slag's gettin' old."

Rodimus spills out and into the bay in a tumble of mostly red to head for the just-closed door. He starts to get them open again, pulling hard: "I'm hurrying! You hurry!"

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Body+body: Good Success. (1 8 3 3 5 8)

Jumpstart feels the door lurch. Someone stronger than her is pulling on it from the other side. Having heard no reply from her radio message, Jumpstart sppears to assume the worst. "Ok, ok...something..." She looks around...storage closet. As Rodimus is working open the door Jumpstart snags a mop or other cleaning instrument, gripping it like one of her swords. She plants her feet, anti-grav wings splayed to give her a foundation, and uses said improvised weapon on the first person to come through the door she worked so hard to open and then close.

Soundwave let's Penchant cling. This makes things easier. He pauses to look over his shoulder to look at Penchant dryly. "I-" He flinches as the scream scrapes the inside of his mind. Nice. He vents and starts heading forward, making instinctive guesses on where to go based on where he had felt Rodimus and the other two. "Just hold on," he says after a while. "You will be alright, Penchant." The 'I'll protect you' is heavily implied in the monotone. Can't you hear it? The faster they find the others and get them to knock off using their comms, the better though.

Skystalker has to edge back a pace to shift back into his root mode, wingtips whispering against the metal of the warship's hull as his frame contracts, and thrusters spit him forward into the room behind Rodimus. Hurry, yeah. That.

Rodimus finds the door a lot easier to drag open than Jumpstart did before him, strangely enough. Even in the gravityless ship, he manages to get enough purchase to force them apart.

Once the doors are open, Rodimus is immediately through them and looking for someone to rescue -- or the end of a mop. Whatever. Both are good. He calls, out loud, but not over comm, "Is anyone here?"

Penchant doesn't reply, busy attempting to build up his psychic barrier. If you say so, Soundwave.

"Ha!" Jumpstart exclaims, not waiting to identify friend or foe before she brings the handle of the robo-mop down right on Rodimus's noggin. The handle breaks, leaving metal shards to pirouette away from the captain's flashy helm. As Rodimus crumples, recognition registers on Jumpstart's features and her optics go wide. "...Primus preserve me I just killed the captain."

The dried energon splattered on Rodimus's chest where the broken shaft of some metal something or other -- probably the rest of Jumpstart's mop -- has pierced his chest really adds to the dead captain effect, too. He goes down. RIP Rodimus.

The darkness inside of the ship has Skystalker's eyes brightening and his biolights dimming, the sound of the doors opening draw him after Rodimus. There is a flicker of shadow and the makeshift weapon comes crashing down, coaxing a short, panicked shriek from Skystalker before his arms fling out and around the collapsing Rodimus in front of him. Wait-- "Jumpstart?!" It's almost shrieking, still.

Jumpstart keeps her optics on the fallen Rodimus, the shattered mop handle still in her hands. "I...you were shooting, and...this place!" Jumpstart stammers to explain herself. She discards the handle, letting it float away. "I didn't know it was you!" She nearly pleads to Skystalker, before crouching down by Rodimus. "Energon?" Her blue optics flick to a few globs as they drift by her head. "I couldn't have...no way it was..." The beastform takes in the captain's wounds. "He's hurt." Understatement.

The long tunnel continues ahead of Penchant and Soundwave. They have quite a distance to traverse, but Soundwave definitely has a good idea of how to go to find the others.

"I know!" Skystalker snaps up at Jumpstart's figure, briefly unsettled by the frustration behind it. "... Sorry..." His arms wrap under Rodimus' shoulders, and thrusters at Sky's back push them around in the dim room, away from the door to the hull to try lying him out. Without the gravity it proves tricky. "We came to and he had this-- I don't know what happened."

Jumpstart helps Skystalker as best as she can, grabbing Rodimus's legs and maneuvering him into a laid out position. "Well I certainly didn't impale him." Jumpstart notes, probing at the gaping wound in Rodimus's chest. "If I had a medkit I would patch him up, but I don't." She remarks matter-of-factly. "And yeah, no one knows what happened. Good to see friendly faces...Wheeljack is back there, somewhere." She gestures towards the gloom that leads to the brig. "Probably trying to get the engines to turn back on." Jumpstart frowns at Rodimus again. "This would be so easy to patch if I had an arc welder."

"Careful..." Skystalker doesn't exactly stop her from probing at the wound, but he does loom closer protectively, optics dimming. "Nobody knows? How did we get separated...?" The news about Wheeljack is at least what they suspected. His gaze moves to his hands, and he folds his legs up to give Rodimus' shoulders a brace on his lap. "I don't have anything like that. Just plasma guns, which already helped enough as it is. Where are Penchant and Soundwave?"

"First I've heard of Penchant. Can't say I care where Soundwave is." Jumpstart replies, floating above Rodimus as she checks him over. "And I am careful. This was my job. I just don't carry that kit anymore. If I was Ratchet I'd figure out a way to rig your plasma cannons to do the work but I'm not, so." She shrugs. "He'll live. As to how we got separated...I remember being on the Lost Light, and then...I was lying next to the engines here. Don't ask me."

"I remember the away team. Coming out to leave the Lost Light. We woke up at a control center." Skystalker keeps his voice low as he watches Jumpstart hover. Careful, okay, yes she is. He's also suddenly glad she is no Ratchet. No more shooting things in close vicinity to the others, thank you. "...Have you heard any of those noises? On the comms?"

Jumpstart looks up at Skystalker, blue optics glazing in the gloom. "Yes. It's the worst." She rolls away from Rodimus, using her wings to position herself more upright. "Looks like whatever happened banged up Rodimus pretty bad." Just ignore that dent in his helmet. "I'd been thrown around. My wings were all...not where I keep them." She remarks. "I don't like sitting here. Wheeljack may have some tools to help Rodimus. I'd say go back to the engines, but...we have to cross through a lot of dead Cons and I'm a little worried Wheeljack doesn't have the lights on yet."

"We found some bodies too." Skystalker frowns. "They were--" He shakes his head once. No use thinking about that right now. "Decided space was easier than the elevator..." He's a fortunate one, to be space capable at a time like this. "If they don't come back on soon, we'll go? Together." After Skystalker says this, he falls quiet, waiting for an answer.

Jumpstart doesn't press. She just nods in reply to Skystalker. "Together."

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