2016-12-04 Working on a Theory
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Working on a Theory|
|Summary||Arcee has a theory about where the Lost Light is headed. Turns out, so does Skids.|
A lobby with a reception desk greets visitors to the community room. Behind the desk, the scheduled events of the day scroll by on a large display, swirls of muted color dancing behind them. A small terminal on the desk provides access to the scheduling system, which is also available ship-wide. Small clusters of seats and tables are scattered about for impromptu chats. Abstract art decorates the walls, and muted music drifts through the area.
Beyond the lobby, straight wide hallways stretch away, lined with doors leading to a handful of meeting rooms. The orientation of the hallways, locations of the doors, and sizes of the rooms vary from day to day, as the entire space reconfigures itself as needed. Gently strobing, running lines of color on the floor provide navigation to each meeting's appointed location.
Arcee is seated somewhere near the back of the spacious community room, an enercig propped in the corner of her mouth, pretending to work on department things. What she's actually doing is sending a long missive back to Prowl, and she's including a long section about how annoying this mission is. "You'd better appreciate this, rustcan," she grumbles.
Luckily, there's no doors leading to the long corridors from the Community room. As Skids, well, skids in to the area, on his back, at some speed. His arms are twitching, the game gear he's wearing screaming under the stresses and strains it's having to act with and react to.
"Come. On. You. Flaxing..." the rest of Skids statment devolves into a gutteral growl. Then, the invisible object he's fighting against seems to lose out to the outlier as his arms spear forward, apparently with enough momentum to let him kick back up onto his feet.
Striking a pose, a cross between a martial stance and something Rodimus would do showing off he says, "Yeah! Nice one. You almost had me. Good match but, next time, work on a feint. Only reason I could counter was I seen it coming. Take it easy."
He deactivates the game gear, cutting the feed to his opponent, and he looks at the lattice of smoking components wrapped around him. "Hmm, yeah, time of death... now." Skids summarises.
He starts ripping off pieces of the gear, casting them to the recycling. Seeing he wasn't alone Skids waves and says, "Hey, sorry, intense match. Didn't mean to interrupt."
Arcee stares at the new arrival with wide optics. At first, it isn't entirely clear how she's going to react. She's been known to be randomly violent when interrupted. This time, however, she seems to take a more pensive approach. "So, you like fighting games?" she asks with some interest.
Skids peels the last of the gear from his casing and says, "Well, I found games in general have enough variety to keep the obsessive aspects of my learning complexes at bay. Fighting games, with my gear ramped up enough, give me enough realism to vent a few frustrations without having to get a fresh set of panels and a respray after using the training rooms."
He shrugs, "These days... I got plenty of frustration to work out." He then reaches into a pocket and pulls out a cardboard pack, "You smoke, don't you? Don't mind if I do?" Taking a cygar out of his pack he flips dont the multitool in his finger and lights it.
Upon taking a draw, however, Skids steps back coughing and smoke escaping from vents and gaps in his casing. "Okay... I'm new to it." he eventually adds, "But... it's growing on me."
"Nah, go right ahead," Arcee acknowledges. "Just...keep in mind, I'm always looking for a few good mechs in my own department, so if you feel a yearning to bust some non-virtual mechs, let me know. So what's got you frustrated?"
Skids says, "I might do that. The change from theory to practice could do me some good. I'll have to think about it... but it won't take me too long." Skids move over an take a seat near Arcee. Then he sighs, "I've hit... something. A wall, a barrier, a limit... I really don't know."
Skids tries to elaborate, "There's no direction. Of all the things I can do, all the things I could do... nothing's satisfying me." He shrugs, "Maybe it'll pass. Maybe not. But... for everything my mind can do... I'm without the first clue of what to do anymore."
Arcee nods, and vents some smoke as she looks across at Skids. Subtly, she closes out the window that she was using to complain to Prowl. "Feels pretty pointless, doesn't it? I kind of knew Rod was of the 'hands-off' style of running things, but this place comes dangerously close to total anarchy at times. And I don't know if it's just my hunch, but the Decepticons seem to be functioning more as a cohesive group. Have you noticed that?"
Skids takes a draw, then a second, before speaking again, "I learned something, a fact that wasn't in my database before I lost my memories, This..." He points to his autobrand, "Was something Nova Prime invented. A symbol of total conquest. Optimus had the idea of repurposing it as a new symbol of nobler intentions. I don't remember the war... but, more and more I can see why I'd forget."
"It's the product of intent. Just because you do something hoping something... doesn't make it so. Perhaps the Decepticons are more united than the Autobots, perhaps there was something that could have been done. Integrate the crew so it's Lost Lighters, rather than warring factions missing their war... but, the point is... all's speculative here. Nothing definitive. It's..." He sighs and shrugs, "... frustrating."
Arcee listens with interest, apparently having no idea that Skids was such a thinker. "Rod was kind of hoping that the integration would happen on its own, but...I don't know, do you see that happening? Because I'm not, with few exceptions. Of course, when we're planetside we're forced to cooperate in order to get out of some of these predicaments alive, but those old grudges return the moment we're back on this ship, all cooped up together. At some point, it can't be ignored any longer." She puffs her enercig, venting a small cloud. "Maybe it's just old-fashioned paranoia, but I can't help but think that Soundwave is going to stage a mutiny at some point, and jettison the rest of us into space."
"... people... aren't integrating." Skids says sadly. "They're entrenching. Doesn't matter about old factions, although it may help existing relationships, when alls said and done people are building their own little nests and keepin all but their own out."
He draws deeply, "People feel the power of their emotion, crave the need to matter, want to feel accepted. When their little groups collide, or schism, then it'll all go to hell. And we'll have deserved it in full."
He stands. "As... like my greatest of crimes... we've forgotten. Why we're here, what we're doing. That there is even a collective for all of us. Understanding is difficult. Reacting like a child is easy. And, for the vast majority, you don't need my superlearning to see what they've chose."
He draws deeply from the cygar, almost as if he were stuck on intake, "However that's where I would say your theory is faulty. It isn't a badge, or lack of same, where the problem lies. It's almost everywhere... almost everyone."
Skids pauses for a long time. Easily enough time to mistake him for freezing, "Thank you. I think... I didn't want to admit it. Didn't want to think I could even think it. but I did and, at least, I've been honest. Especially with myself."
"So...you think it's going to come unraveled across the board, like a house of cards," Arcee muses, "Regardless of faction. Hm..." She considers for a moment, then adds, "Sure, I can see that as a definite possibility as well, because emotional bonds are stronger than the war brand, especially in this sort of mission when we're forced to depend upon one another for survival." She watches Skids as he stands up. "...Why are you thanking me?"
"I was holding that back. I didn't want to think about it. Assume the only place that has been my home is, or could have become, the way I thought. If I hadn't discussed it with you... I wouldn't have taken the direction to finally say and admit to myself what I was thinking."
"Perhaps... Well. That's a different theory for a different time." He takes a draw from his cygar pluming smoke from his vents, "For now... best thing anyone could do is give people something enjoyable to share in, rather than only forcing each other to trust in a crisis. Not that anyone'd ask, especially not ask me."
"Well...Skids, it's a mission. And a voluntary mission at that, although who the frag is going to disembark now, when we're so far out?" Arcee exclaims. "The mission itself is *supposed* to be the shared enjoyment, I think...? Suppose it is that way, for the nerd contingent."
Skids grins, "Also, the sociopolitical instability is not my problem. However, to back the theory up... asl around. See how many people remember why they're here and what enthusiasm they have left for the task. If it's anwhere close to where I have learned it to be... you'll be surprised."
"I'm one of those 'nerds' and this place has been my home in functioning memory. Could I say there's a point that I've been happy?" Skids takes a draw... "If pressed, forced even, into answering... I'd say that I'd care not to answer." Which should be answer enough.
Arcee smirks slightly. "At least you own up to being one of the nerds," she teases. "Well, look. You know I'm not advocating mutiny or anything like that. I don't even have a single defining fact that would point Soundwave into being a possible mutineer, it's more of a...feeling in my diodes that things might turn bad pretty soon. And though we don't agree entirely on the outcome, I think we're on the same wavelength, at least. I'm not really invested in this mission, at least not emotionally. But so far, there's been a few compelling finds."
Skids says, "I'm a theoretician. It's theory, not opinion, specifically creating theory when it's more difficult to accurately do so. Or, putting it another way... I could be wrong about any thing and everything. Only time, and action, will tell." He pauses, in deepest thought, then adds, "I do agree though, we're on the same wavelength."
"Alright, well." Arcee stands up, giving Skids a sidelong glance. "I'm done here. Let me know if you want to work in the training room at some point. I think you have decent amounts of dexterity and energy to put that to use for you in a real scrap."
Skids nods and says, "Cool. I'll keep it in mind. Have a good one." Then Skids looks for one of the larger sofas to stretch out on. It's not a wall to lean against... but it'll do.