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2017-01-03 Getting A Head Count

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2017-01-03 Getting A Head Count
Date 2017/01/03
Location C-E Spacestation
Participants Whirl, Madrigal, Riposte, Gearshift, Roughshod, Skystalker, Flame, Brainstorm, Rung, Blast Off, Whetstone, Lieutenant, Tailgate, Perceptor, Riptide, Lockjaw
NPCs Dot, Lifeline, Clockwise
Plot Functionist Station
Scene GM Soundwave
Summary The Lost Light search for their missing comrades so they can bring them home.

While some Lost Lighters experience a pseudo-Institute, elsewhere in the station they are missed. The fact that their comms are not being answered is possibly more concerning than not seeing them walking around. Nothing says 'something's wrong' like going straight to voicemail. Coupled with a brief, garbled static message, there's some... Concern.

The vague plan is simple. Groups of Lost Lighters still aboard the station and not missing meet up and then search together. And, upon finding the others, comm everyone what's up. The decided upon best route of action from command with so many unanswered and unknown variables was subtelty and trying not to call too much attention- wow, who put Soundwave in charge of this? How long being subtle lasts remains to be seen.

I should have gone with him. I shouldn't have left him alone. If only I was there. These are the thoughts that have been swirling through Whirl's head ever since Blast Off mysteriously disappeared from the food courts. He ignored all the red flags and now Blast Off and the others (but most importantly, Blast Off) are gone and probably suffering horribly somewhere in the depths of the station. He stands in the middle of the food court, impatiently tapping his foot and fiddling with his claws as he waits for the rest of the team to group up.

They'd just had a conversation about not losing anyone else, and what does Whetstone do? He goes and gets lost. Madrigal tac-tac tromps his way into the food court, beelining his way to the Autobot already waiting. He sketches a quick wave toward the mech- Whirl? He's not entirely sure- as he gets closer. "G'day." Best to pretend he actually knows the rest of their impromptu search party.

The defamed and infamous Autobot Tactician Riposte had been plucked from obscurity to be a part of this mission. For the former commander, its a step in the right direction for her life in a post-war society. The Femme is a rust red, all sharp edges, with a jagged breastplate. Always present at her side is her sensor drone, hovering nearby as it records and stores everyting it comes across, feeding the Femme the ubiquitous information she needs to make the most precise decisions as to how to proceed. Its actually a part of her too, in her rarely seen alt-mode, its her radar sensor.

A finger touches her chin. Her tone is ethereal, a faint echo to her words. "I foresee a number of situations developing here. We must assume the entire station knows what is happening, and that means we must consider everyone aboard it to be hostile." Riposte manages to side-eye half of the boarding crew with her. "If this station truly matches up with pre-war Cybertronian architecture, then we would be served best by attaining a full layout of the station, or as much as the operatives will provide, and match it up with what we know ourselves."

Nobody was listening to her most likely. The pariah fingers her rapier, and returns to her default state of brooding.

Roughshod trots in from a nearby promenade, proud in his beastmode. Maybe he hopes to offend someone. He nears as Riposte announces her plan of action. "S'always too good to be true, ain't it," he comments unhelpfully, gnawing on a curly straw.

Now, Brainstorm did say that C-E was much too boring to bother with, but that was before he overheard another station-goer mention that one of the stores was selling souvenirs filled with a certain substance. Desolved in water, this stuff created a pretty, sparkly effect, but if you know how to process it correctly...

Whether or not the fellow was telling the truth, or mistaken, the weapons engineer has had no luck finding any store carrying it. Nor has he had any luck with his secondary objective - finding Perceptor to see if he's found anything. By the time he got the ping to meet up, he was already begining to get a smidge concerned.

"This is one of the few times I hate being right all the time" he observes, in lieu of a greeting, as he approaches the rest of the group "As they say, every outwardly pleasant civilization must have a less plesant side."

Too many of them too fast. Skystalker's senses of preservation when it comes to the places they stop at does not always go off. He had not gone down to the station, but skirting it in orbit gave him only the view of something clean. Orderly. He didn't think twice until someone came back with the news that it was more than that. Of course it was, right?

Reluctance won't win this time, at least. Though he was tempted to follow some of the local airborne altmodes to see how travel functions here, Skystalker has instead made his way along with some of the others from the ship. At the moment, he's not far behind Roughshod with his trot, prepared to do whatever is needed of him.

Gearshift can't help the feeling of deja vu that permeates her spark as she goes to join the rest of the search party. It's not enough that some of the crew have gone missing again, it's that Rung is among them once more.

She pauses when she sees the others, particularly Roughshod, remembering him from the bar on the pirate colony, and strides up to them. She doesn't really have anything to say, despite the fact that she opens her mouth like she does. The femme shuts her mouth and waits instead.

The gathered Lost Lighters earn smiles and waves and a few curious looks from the station's occupants as they pass by, none-the-wiser to their goings on. Unfortunately for Riposte, there is no Penchant around to get a layout of the place and there's no time to send in 'operatives' to get the information. Its rather paramount to do this quickly, for the sake of those missing.

With all gathered, it comes time for the next portion of things- actually finding them. Seeing how there's no layout, the next best option is spotting something possibly suspicious and starting there. Gotta get clues to find people.

Whirl just glares at Madrigal when he has the nerve to greet him with a 'g'day' as it is very, very far from a good day. The rest of the rescue team gets a glare as well but that's sort of how Whirl looks at everyone. "Let's be clear here, my top priority is finding Blast Off and if any one of you do something to blow our cover or get in the way of that, it will be the last mistake you make." He vents an angry huff and looks off towards the fueling station he and Blast Off stopped at the first time they were here. Hnn...

Whirl suddenly turns his back to the rest of the group and stalks over to the bar, taking a seat and tapping his claws loudly on the counter. "YO! WHAT DOES A GUY GOTTA DO TO GET SERVICE AROUND HERE?"

Roughshod narrows his optics. "Almost like you don't want any help, chopper! Tch." When Whirl goes to get a /drink/, Roughshod paws the impossibly clean floor impatiently. "A'ight who's got a good nose? Good tracking? Ought we just make the rounds and look for shady folk without lookin' shady?" He regards Gearshift with a small equine smile.

"Well, unless someone here's an enemy spy, I don't think that's going to be a problem" Brainstorm mutters, taking a step away from Whirl, just in case. It certianly won't come from him - there are people he like missing too, including aproximately 1/3 of his (3) friends. "We could try the doors. I have been wondering what's behind them.

Gearshift admits "I think I can manage to not look to suspect around here." The femme's optics flicker. She and Kickback, when they'd last been here, had wandered off on their own. When her optics go over Whirl, she feels a pang of sadness for him. She couldn't imagine losing the inescticon to a place like this, let alone losing him at all.

She hears Brainstorm mention doors and nods, going to his side "I'll check them out with you."

Riposte mutters to herself, her arms crossed. She tilts her head at Roughshod, a flat look on her face. Her sensor drone snaps a picture of the beastformer. Still Riposte attempts to be social. "I...suppose." She promptly turns aside, and gestures to the station, "Still, the station can only be so large. The most important aspect is that we must not divide up too far. With situations as they are, we must divide into teams as best we can. Those of us who..." She trails off, looking at Whirl for a moment, then shifts gears, "Then Whirl can be part of the reactionary team, out here in the commons area, able to assist anyone in need. Madrigal...you're with me. The rest of you, either stay here and be ready to assist, or move in teams of two."

With that astounding if utterly banal series of orders, Riposte starts to seek out the more hidden parts of the station, her sensor drone panning around, looking mostly for suspicious people who are paying the Lost Lighters far too much attention.

Skystalker doesn't try to curtail Whirl or his current idea-- he thinks it might be a good thing, really. Whirl is very distracting. He looks after the rotary for a moment, and then turns his head to listen to Riposte. He doesn't know her, but her manner speaks well for the matter at hand. At the last, the starfighter looks aside to Roughshod. "Rounds, then? We can look around where some of them last were..."

Madrigal glares right back, but it's probably diminished by the current state of his arms. Disarming at the gate left the bird without any wings. He blinks confusion for a moment at Riposte. "Er-- No?" Madrigal props his hands on his hips, crossing his skeletal wings across his chest. "I'll group with Whirl-" The most dangerous looking of them all right now. "And perhaps you can-" a hand waves nondescriptly. "Do whatever it is you were planning." With that, he trots after Whirl, looking around at the gathered mecha as he goes.

<FS3> Riposte rolls Presence+presence: Success. (6 5 5 6 7 1)

<FS3> Roughshod rolls Presence+presence: Failure. (3 2 1 5 4 3)

<FS3> Madrigal rolls Presence+presence: Good Success. (1 7 2 8)

<FS3> Brainstorm rolls Mind+Mind: Good Success. (7 6 3 6 2 5 5 8)

There's a quick 'clickclickclickclick' sound as tiny feet rush to see Whirl after his boistrous shouting. Dot pauses just a moment, ventilations puffing from exertion before smiling brightly. "Oh, hi again!" she says to Whirl with a wave and then a wave to Madrigal as well, optics bright as she tries to keep from tittering forward. Madrigal just looks so interesting! How cool! "And nice to meet you- Sorry for any wait! What can get you two to drink?"

Roughshod's horse eyes don't spot anything but Riposte and Madrigal, after much suspicious looking around, might notice cameras along the corners and ceilings, watching them closely. And perhaps even a mech or two in the distance observing therm with scrutiny. As for Brainstorm, the door he selects might just lead somewhere, but he'll have to get in to find out.

<FS3> Skystalker rolls Presence+Presence: Good Success. (8 1 5 7 4 6)

Skystalker will notice the subtle surveilance as well.

Roughshod nods sharply at Riposte, and then to Skystalker. "Right. Onward!" He marches with purpose, but not very far, head held high to behold... nothing important. Sorry Skystalker. "Reckon we oughta' stick with the brainy one, maybe?"

Whirl is surprised to see Madrigal joining him but he doesn't turn him away. He gives the knight a brief nod before turning to the voice that addresses him. Oh, would you look at that. It's Dot, just the person he was hoping to see. "Start me off with whatever I got last time," he says gruffly. He glances around the bar to see if anyone is looking at him before lashing out with a claw to grab Dot and pull her in close. "Do you remember the brown and violet mech that was with me?" he asks, keeping his voice low and dangerous. "Where is he? What happened to him?"

<FS3> Whirl rolls Intimidation: Success. (6 3 3 6 6 5 7 2)

"Just watch my back - and keep people off it" Brainstorm instructs,looking back at Gearshift, and then Whirl. With any luck, the noisy copter will draw enough attention to himself to let Brainstorm do his thing unnoticed. Glancing around to make sure the coast is clear, the engineer moves towards the door. This shouldn't be too hard, not for the ship's genius!"

<FS3> Gearshift rolls Scouting: Great Success. (2 8 7 2 3 3 7 1 7 2)

<FS3> Brainstorm rolls Hacking: Good Success. (3 4 1 1 3 8 8 1 8 4)

Gearshift nods and does exactly as Brainstorm asks, and wherever he looks, she keeps watch. The femme does this without any really stand-out behiavior, and it seems more like she's just admiring the architecture again instead of watching out for Brainstorm. She watches Whirl at the bar, and Roughshod and Skystalker, and scans the crowd for anyone outright staring or growing suspicious of them.

Madrigal makes a face at the cameras, antenna flattening back. Whirl's clearly got the questioning down, he'll just be here covering the mech and acting as a second pair of eyes. It's much easier to snag a single mech than it is to grab two of them!

Skystalker steps quietly alongside Roughshod as they stride off, a contrast to the workhorse's march. He lifts a hand to keep along the beast's side, just so that he can make sure they stay together. Sky lifts his head to watch his surroundings with a false sense of subtle wonder, looking from the buildings to the locals and passerby with a quiet intrigue. His voice is low, enough for those swiveling equine ears to pick up. "Mmm. No, this is good. A couple eyes, a few cameras... not odd, but I definitely feel watched. What about you?"

Cameras. Surely the station needed proper security, but it seemed...excessive, or perhaps ill-designed. Her optics simply pass by the mecs observing, as she regards some vendor items for sale. Her drone manages a wordless beep and tone, she nods once towards it.

Data flows to the rest of the team of what people and cameras she's come across, using her tactical battle system. It wasn't what the array was built for, but it'd do.

Still, that surveillance system had her interest, there had to be a way to get into that system and use it for her own goals. She hadn't spent much time here, but their security was plentiful, but how about their interior systems? She delves into the less populated part of the station, looking for an access port into their system...

Flame emerges from the crowd, holding a cube in his hand. The tank makes his way towards the group as discretely as possible. They're trying to look natural, right? So that means he could stop by the food court they first visited for a refuel. Since no one seemed to be dying there the first time he visited he figures the fuel is alright. He picked some weird little joint called 'Starlucks'. Making his way to the edge of the group, Flame takes a small sip. "This stuff is addicting, guys, you need to try it."

Dot nods happily, taking out a glass to fill it as she did before- and nearly drops it as she's snagged. A tiny bot, it doesn't take much to pull her in. Squeaking and optics going wide, she looks at Whirl now fearfully. "I-I- of course I do! He got a glass of Orion Three Orchard both times he came by. I-I- happened to him?" She trembles, clutching the glass in her servos. "Nothing happened- what're you talking about?"

Brainstorm's hacking is good but not great, but who can blame him? This is all a new system to get at. It'll take just a wee bit longer than he first thought, however, his hacking attempts will allow him to see that security information- even that going through a door- is all heading in one direction, to somewhere within the station. But as he works, a few cameras shift to view him and those around him.

"You got keen optics," Roughshod huffs to Skystalker, looking around. "They all look th' same to me." He manages to roll his big shoulders in an awkward shrug. "Lets nab someone with watchin' eyes and wiggle some words out of 'em," he suggests with a flash of Decepticon thuggery in his tone. "You're the charmer ain't ya'?"

"If you have to say 'nothing happened' then it probably did." Madrigal mumbles, probably not being helpful for alleviating Whirl's whole danger aura. Sorry, Dot.

Whirl doesn't find any satisfaction in Dot's answer and he lets it be known with an increased strength in his grip. "Don't play games with me," he growls, glaring at her like he was trying to look into her very soul. "This was the last place Blast Off came to before he disappeared. You were the last person who saw him." His grip tightens to the point where poor Dot will be walking away from this with a a claw-shaped dent in her armour. "I'll ask you one more time and if you value your life, you'll answer correctly. Where. Is. Blast Off?"

<FS3> Whirl rolls Interrogation: Good Success. (5 5 4 1 7 7 7 6 3 1)

A whole lot of nothing, and as she noted, Madrigal did NOT follow her as she had...well, ordered. A frown builds on her face. She garnered no respect here, not aboard the Lost Light. Her hand bawls into a fist. "Damnation." She growls to herself. There was more to this, and she'd be the one to find it. She just had to look hard enough, ask the right questions, or find just the right place.

Riposte slid forwards back in motion, looking for sealed rooms. Perhaps they'd have an answer for her...

Flame takes a sip of his energon, looking bored, as he stumbles onto the scene just in time to see Whirl threatening the small mecha from earlier. He yawns at the sight. "Careful, they're no help to us dead," Flame remarks. And then he pauses. "Well, scratch that. But it makes things more complicated." He looks thoughtful.

"You're looking too hard for obvious things." Skystalker manages a smile to Roughshod when he rolls his shoulders as they move along, past the more common attractions on the main drag. Amber optics stay tentatively on the street, for now. "Nab and wiggle are kind words for what you have in mind." Despite the thuggery Roughshod suggests, Skystalker cautions a crook to his smile. "I can be. We will need to find someone first. Though I wonder if I am their type." As if to test it, the next local they pass by will get one of his more charming, subdued smiles.

"All roads lead to Iacon." Brainstorm mutters as his efforts begin to bear some fruit. Not as much as he'd hoped for, but, well, better than nothing. He'll just have to keep at it. In the meantime << "There's a central security hub if anyone's interested. Might let us take a peek at what they're not showing us." >> then, to Gearshift "Just fine, almost ... got it." Click goes the loching mechanism."

Gearshift looks over "Are you okay?" She asks out of the corner of her mouth "Anything I can do besides keep watch?" No one has bothered them yet, thankfully. Gearshift doesn't relax just yet though.

<FS3> Skystalker rolls Allure: Amazing Success. (1 7 1 4 7 6 3 3 1 8 8 5 1 7 7)

<FS3> Roughshod rolls Honesty: Failure. (6 2)

Roughshod regards Skystalker in full, angling his head with a playfully scrutinizing look. Ah right, they're supposed to be diligently searching for their pals. "You're okay," he decides. "Little too much shine. Needs more matte. Also, too pointy. But you're okay," he repeats with a horsey nod. It's easy to tell he's lying.

Dot's armor dents especially easily, not tempered for any sort of force or combat. "I don't know what you're talking about," she whimpers glancing at Madrigal and Flame. They're okay with this??? "He got his drink! And when he finished, he went that way!" A tiny finger points in the direction where Brainstorm is with his open door. As for Dot, if a robot could cry, she would be. "I-I-I don't know anything e-else. Pl-Please don't hurt me."

The mech passing by Skystalker and Roughshod is so terriblye blinded by Skystalker that he stumbles and nearly collapses. Instead he stares, optics paling, before running off, suddenly inspired. He must write poems about the mech shaped by Primus's own two hands and his aura of gold. The buddy he was walking with is left in the dust, perplexed by what just happened.

As for Brainstorm, the door he hacks opens into a dim hallway. Its lit by ceiling lights, spaced out enough that there's bits of the hall that don't have direct light falling upon it. One might say its rather... Ominious.

Any other time, Skystalker might be happy to put Roughshod's 'okay' to the test. Maybe once this is over with. The starfighter gives a smirk at the assessment, optics remaining on the mech that stumbles as he stares and then scampers off in a rush. Skystalker steps with a renewed note of determination, chin up as he and Roughshod go on their way. "This way is mostly shops... should we circle back?"

Whirl completely ignores Flame for now, far too focused on Operation Terrorize Dot. He follows the point of her finger and, after seeing that Brainstorm and the others are very interested in it, decides she's being honest. His gaze falls back to Dot and he pulls his claws away, releasing her. "You're off-shift now. I suggest you hang out by the shuttles and wait until this is all over."

With that, he slides out of his seat and does his best to casually walk over to where the others are. He's trying not to draw any attention to himself but as soon as he reaches the door, he starts sprinting right through it. "MOVE YOUR ASSES," he shouts to the others.

Gearshift peers down the hallway "This is probably just stating the obvious, but we should probably grab some of the others before going down this hallway-" That's when Whirl pushes her away and blinks in surprise. "Or we can bum rush the door. That's fine too." Gearshift says flatly before glancing to Brainstorm and the others before deciding to follow Whirl, albeit slower. She's got much shorter legs than he does, after all.

Madrigal brightens, head whipping toward where Brainstorm and Gearshift had gone. He taps quickly behind Whirl, gotta keep up! "Sorry!" It's called quickly to the others, he's trying very hard to keep up with the much larger mech.

<FS3> Flame rolls Firebreathing: Success. (2 6 5 2 1 3 4 8)

Flame glances to the side, finally noticing Brainstorm since his arrival. The former medic's optics begin to burn a bit brighter at the challenge. "Oh look, he opened a door. If my hands weren't full I'd clap for him," Flame remarks. Flame could have done it better! He doesn't have much time to dwell on it, though, before Whirl lets it rip. The former medic shutters hos optics, surprised.

"So we're going for it? What happened to being discrete?" he shrugs. Well, their cover is basically blown anyways so... Flame's bored expression suddenly melts away, and Flame puffs out his cheeks. He lets out an impressive burst of flame as he moves towards the open door. "What? Like I'm going to be left out if we're breaking cover."

Brainstorm barely has time to jump out of the way before Whirl charges past him. Well, so much for subtle "If they weren't aware of us before, they sure are now." Now, on one hand, Brainstorm has never been a huge fan of charging into dangerous places. On the other, if the locals are aware of them, getting seperated from the group will be even worse. As dangerous as Whirl is when he's angry, that also makes him the safest person to be around, within a reasonable range, ofcourse. Plus, there are more people to, uh, put on the front lines. So, it's off after the rest!

Roughshod looks supremely puzzled with the mech darts off. Huh. "Yeah..." he answers distractedly, and turns on a hoof. "Hop on, lets see if the others found anything," he adds, already moving back towards the food court.

Something in the distance tickles at Skystalker's audials, though he's sure he was only hearing the station's movements. He turns his head after Roughshod, and makes no attempt to argue with the request; one hand slides up the horse's neck and he hoists himself up onto the broad back as his new steed takes off. A light rider for Roughshod, no sweat at all.

Dot is left behind, shaking down to her poor struts as she watches everyone rush off. Whatever that was about, it was terrifying!

As Whirl and entourage charges forward, they'll find the hallway to be very, very, very long. It's almost ridiculously long. Any battle cries given at first slowly quiet into concern that, hey, maybe this is the WRONG way to have gone... But eventually, in the dim light, a door appears at the end of the hall. There's a keypad to its side, needing a code (or shot or stab) to open. It leads directly to a staircase, which spirals down several flights. Yes, stairs- and only maniacs have stairs anymore.

But the station's security is on top of this, having already sent an alert ahead of them. The labs should be prepared by the time the Lost Lighters arrive.

This is the way! It has to be! At least that's what Whirl thought when he first charged into the hallway. After a good bit of running with no end in sight, he starts to worry. Fuck, this is the wrong way, isn't it? That minibot lied to him! She played him like a fool! "I'm gonna murder that bitch," he hisses to himself. Eventually he reaches the end of the hallway and the keypad that blocks their path. "Fuck!" He starts tapping furiously on the keys but nothing happens. "Fuck! Fuckfuckfuck!"

<FS3> Flame rolls Firebreathing: Failure. (3 2 3 1 6 2 4 3)

<FS3> Madrigal rolls Hacking: Success. (1 1 8 5 1 4)

Gearshift nearly runs into Whirl when he suddenly stops. She steps back, giving the mech a wide berth as she eyes the keypad. Well slag, another one. "Brainstorm is on his way" She says, trying to sound as reassuring as possible. "I'd try it but it might make things worse."

Roughshod's canter becomes a heavy gallop, and his steel shoes slide a big as he stops before the hallway with the rest. No comments from him as he edges inside, head held low. When Whirl flips out at the keypad, he decides to back up and give the wacky chopper more space. "Want ah' should buck it?" he offers.

Madrigal slips under and past Whirl, using his diminished frame to wedge close to the door. "Brainstorm is too slow." He complains, tapping at the keypad. He's not a professional by any stretch, but he might be able to get the door open! Maybe?

Skystalker holds on as Roughshod goes into a gallop, and rather than jump down from his vantage point and high ground immediately, stays saddled up as the horse ducks down into the corridor after the others. Sky ducks closer to Shod's neck, wings compacting along his frame as much as possible. "Maybe you should." Skystalker murmurs as Madrigal steps up to the plate. "We don't have much time before we get caught up with..."

Brainstorm is on his way, but he's all the way at the back of the line. You know, as far away as possible from whatever might meet them up ahead? Thus, by the time he gets there, someone else is already at the door. Probably wasn't as secure as the first one. He does not, however, miss the comment on his speed "Only fools rush in."

Madrigal does get the doors open! And there's the winding staircase, lots of stairs. And at the very bottom is another door, locked in similar fashion to the previous, which leads straight to the psuedo-institute. The room is half a circle, a hall just opposite of the door, and plenty of other doors lining the curvature of the wall. These doors don't have locks, allowing bots to enter in and out. There's a handful of nurses about, talking among each other. For those who may have ever seen the Institute in their lifetime or anything similar, might recognize this scenery.

Whirl steps aside to let Madrigal work but he hovers annoyingly right behind him, hopping impatiently from foot to foot. "Come on.. come on, can't you do this any faster?" When the door finally opens, Whirl sprints through it. He didn't expect there to be a staircase. The rest of the team will hear a surprised 'shit' and the sounds of Whirl tumbling down the steps.

That hiccup aside, he's quick to get back on his feet and when he reaches the second keypad he secretary birds the shit out of it, opening the door. "Where are they!?" he yells at the very first nurse he sees. "Tell me or I'll blow your brain module all over the walls!" This is what the station gets for using the honour system when it comes it built-in weaponary.

Madrigal gestures rudely toward Whirl with one hand while the other three work on the door. When it opens, he gives a triumphant cry and swiftly follows Whirl down the stairs, letting out a pained set of tweets. Instead of hopping right back to his feet, he's going to just. sit here for a bit. Go on without him.

Following behind the rest, Brainstorm studies their surroundings, and the further they go, the more his optics narrow. This looks a bit similar to a place he worked in once, which evokes some sympathy for the staff. Atleast they're not dealing with a phase-sixer just...well, actually, an angry Whirl is almost as bad. "Hey, make sure to hold off on killing all of them untill we find all our people, even though you'll probably want to blow the whole place to bits right then and there, if it's what I think it is."

Gearshift follows the larger mechs, swept up in the moment, and startled by Whirls outbursts. They don't surprise her really-Whirl's angry, his fury, they're all understandable to the femme. She does her best to puff up her armor and look threatening, to try and help Whirl get the answers he wants.

"Oh mah stars!" Roughshod rears a little as BOTH Whirl and Madrigal tumble down the staircase. This damn staircase may be the toughest trial yet. He edges a hoof down, careful to balance Skystalker - but Skystalker is like an elf, lighter as a feather. Another careful step down. Then another. It's mildly comical but he manages to get to the ground floor, stepping /over/ the prone Madrigal at the bottom.

Skystalker hears the shit, and cringes as the sounds of falling follow it. He's about to ask if Roughshod wants to go back to his root mode when the horse makes his own decision, edging forward and stepping slowly down the stairs. He stays leaning down for this part too, a light frame that can see the dignity in a slow, careful descent. "You should tell him what he wants to know." Skystalker sits up on his perch, one hand on Roughshod's neck and his attention suddenly sharp and undivided on the first nurse that Whirl corners. What is this place? It feels... wrong.

There's a few screams as the door is so violently opened, the first mech Whirl sees stepping away from Whirl. His threat is enforced by the fact the the undercarriage guns are are head level. His optics are bugging practically out of his head in panic. They all look panicked and completely unprepared for this development.

A door behind him slides open and out walks Lifeline, the mech shuffling out and the door closing quickly behind him. After a few steps, he stops to stare with his single optic. "Oh..." His claws slutch his datapad anxiously. "Um, uh... C-Could everyone leave?" He points to a nurse. "B-Break time?" Everyone stares at Whirl for an answer. He's the one with the threats.

<FS3> Whirl rolls Intimidation: Good Success. (1 7 6 1 5 7 5 2)

Whirl's cannons are already humming with power, ready to make due on his threat if he doesn't get the results he wanted. Which he doesn't. Looks like some nurses are going to die! Or rather, they would if Lifeline didn't step onto the scene when he did.

"You," Whirl growls, sauntering right up to the medic so he can best tower menacingly over him. "Take me to him. Now."

"Hnn," Roughshod hums, surveying the facilities warily. "Reminds me of some grim senate-related tales," he asides to Skystalker. When Whirl's guns whir to life, Roughshod tosses his head. "How come he got to keep those? Pff, whatever. Make haste, strutsaw!" he barks at Lifeline and the panicked nurses, stamping a hoof. "We're pretty attached to our crewmates, see!"

Up and at 'em, Madrigal shoves himself up off the floor and through the door after Whirl. "What do you think it is?!" He chirps, twisting around to look back toward Brainstorm. More of a demand but the pitch definitely digs up toward the end. His hands are dipping back to pick apart his tail gathering, giving the barbed mesh more length.

The Circle Knight might wait for Brainstorm's answer, if Whirl stays put long enough. If not, well. There's very important people who need rescuing.

Gearshift draws her weapon out of her subspace, gulping. This place gives her the creeps, and reminds her of places she's only heard whispers of, and places that Kickback has told her about. "I don't like this one bit" She murmurs

When the small medic appears, and subsequently gets threatened, Skystalker looks after Whirl and then the others. Sky's hand curls into a fist against his thigh, and there's a hint of tension that moves through his frame when Roughshod says 'senate' and it seems to swamp right in with what Brainstorm has said. If it's what he thinks it is? Madrigal beats him to the punch. Skystalker lifts one foot to come gracefully down off of Roughshod's back, wingtips flaring back out into a neutral position.

"Pretty much what he's thinking" Brainstorm nods at Roughshod "You ever heard of the Institute? Something like that. I used to work in something similar back during the war, and if I'm right, our people might be worse off than we thought." hopefully not dead though.

With Whirl approaching him, Lifeline shrinks but quickly motions the nurses to go into a room off to the corner- the empty one. They rush there as soon as they're able. He stares up at Whirl a moment longer before nodding. "O-Okay... E-Excuse me..." He sidesteps and walks over to a door. He hesitates before motioning towards it. "Here. He's here." Then he points to two other doors. "Others there." He stares at the floor.

Woah, woah, woah. Senate? Institute? The words break the rage haze in Whirl's mind and things start clicking into place. The architecture. The statue in the food court. The unusual amount of empurata on the ship. There's no way that's right. If Primus is real, he wouldn't let a place like this exist.

Whirl remains unusually quiet, following Lifeline with his optic. The door is pointed out to him and he slowly approaches it, terrified to see what lays behind it. His claws are shaking as he opens it.

Roughshod just stares at Brainstorm. "You.. you /worked/ in something similar to the Institute? Truly?" It's hard not to get all puffy about Autobot-Decepticon values. "Frag, did you serve any time for cracking open heads? Rrgh. 'Course not, right? Yer an Autobot."

Woah, what's with the attitude? "Serve time?" Brainstorm had been watching Whirl and his victim, but now his attention returns to Madrigal "It was just another tactic of war. Would you rather we just killed them? I was just following order, mostly

With no apperant threat coming, and their only hosts scattering in fear of the large, angry, gun nut, Brainstorm takes a step forward, towards the happless medic "All of them?" This feels almost too easy.

And there he is, Whirl, behind Door Number One. Blast Off lies restrained on a table. Or... well, it sure seems to be him. The colors are right, at least. But he's different now. He seems to have taken on the popular look of this space station from Hell- he has claws where his hands should be, and his face... well, the faceplate is actually still there, kind of. It's just- there's no face behind it now. The rim of his brown helmet frames one single optic, which is dim and dark. He doesn't move.

The change in Whirl has Skystalker hanging back near the entrance, brow deepening and frame tense. Between Brainstorm's words and a drop of weight that seems to pull his spark down with it, the starfighter steps forward hesitantly. "Come on, everyone-- the other rooms--" Time to start opening doors. Lifeline, in all his meekness, ends up mostly ignored.

Riptide is in the same cell he was when he originally woke up to the horror that was him, Chromedome, Whisper, and Rewind being held captive. Only this time around is much different. He isn't confused or scared, no banging at the energized bars or trying to escape while the others remain in unconcious states. He's quiet, sitting in a corner of the enclosure hunched over with his back to the door, unaware of the world until it finally opens and the rescue team enters.

Slowly his upper body pivots and helm turns. His fin crest remains intact, but the usually smiley, toothy face beneath has been replaced with a single, yellow optic. "G... Guys..?" His voice chokes, trembling along with the claws that have been obsessively touching over where a mouth should have been since the surgery.

Further into the first room, like a bright red beacon, lies Perceptor, head turned toward the now open door. He's surprisingly intact, compared to Blast Off. Strapped down to a slab still, but all in one piece - except his autobot symbol is definitely missing, and so is the ever-present reticule. Minor details, really.

Roughshod glowers openly at Brainstorm but says little else on that topic. He just shuffles aside, head low, staring into the dimness from a distance. "I can haul anyone and anything," he belatedly announces.

Whetstone sits motionless near Perceptor, staring at the ground, still bound in his chair. His optics brighten slightly when their rescuers arrive, then turn troubled. "No..."

It's been difficult keeping calm when one is in a knockoff of the Institute. Lieutenant has managed to keep himself together, mostly due to all the sedatives they keep giving him. Hyperventilating is not something they seem to appreciate, but the feeling is mutual. He doesn't appreciate being here either.

He doesn't bother looking down at his palps for hands, or moving them in general. He can't touch his face, or what's left of it, but his dim optic keeps on those in the room with him. All the avian has done since returning from his procedure was look at either Rung or Lockjaw. Neither seem to be awake at the moment. Lieutenant can't do anything for them, or himself. Just sit still, allowing his EM field do do something he hasn't done since the functionist age - sing. He hopes it helps, even if neither of those in the room can feel it.

At first glance Whirl is positive, that's definitely Blast Off. He can see those ridiculous rocket feet from here! But the question is, is he even alive? "Blast Off?" Whirl steps further into the room, making his way to the table his partner is bound to. Only when he's up close does he see it, what they did to Blast Off, and his whole world shatters.

Whirl stumbles backwards, hitting the wall as the room begins to spin. He's seen some pretty horrific stuff in his lifetime but seeing this, seeing the worst experience of his life forced upon Blast Off.. this definitely beats out the rest.

"B-Blast Off!" Whirl's voice cracks with despair and he approaches the table again, this time to tug and tear at the restraints keeping him to the table. "I-I'm here, Blast Off," he chokes out between sobs, pulling the shuttleformer into his arms. "I came for you."

Brainstorm stops at entrance of the first room. He can see just fine from there that his fears have been confirmed "Second time in a day I hate being right. Must be a record." It's just as he finished that that he spots a familiar red colouration, and then, he too, moves in, ducking past Whirl towards where his coleague bound, optics narrowing as he takes in the room along the way.

The room that Lockjaw's held in is surprisingly quiet, given who's with her. Unlike them, she's not bound, but rather, seperated from them with energon bars, lying on the floor in her beast mode. Just lying. One might have expected the fierce warrior to be tearing at her restraints, but even when the door opens she barely shifts, just enough to let out a low hiss.

<FS3> Madrigal rolls Dancer: Great Success. (3 5 2 3 5 2 2 7 5 7 7 4 3 8 4 3)

Madrigal has officially lost his cool, ducking and rushing past Whirl- everyone here is too slow and Whetstone is right there. He has to slide past Brainstorm, too, which only adds a bit of spinny momentum to his entrance. The mech drops into a slide across the floor, the most efficient, least prone to falling method of locomotion he's capable of. He manages to stop before colliding with the chair Whetstone's been strapped into.

In the room with Blast Off, Perceptor, and Whetstone is Tailgate-- slumped over weakly in his restraints near the knight, feet dangling above the floor when sound stirs the rest of him. Rather than his optics just now onlining, it seems as if they've been on for some time. There's a distinct lack of fire in his gaze when he sees Whirl first, and then some of the others, in whatever states they might be.

Rung is in the second room (with the gator and avian), lying strapped to a table... with no signs of life to be identified. He hasn't moved at all since Lifeline went digging around in his chest- the glow through his glass has been dimming by the hour and is barely noticeable now.

...I toldja." Tailgate whispers to nobody, head dipping and optics dimming behind his visor.

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Seismic Sense: Great Success. (7 8 1 1 8 6 1 5 7 5 5)

The rhythm, the invisible wave of emotion from an aude lang syne, fills the room. It helps him keep calm, keep his worries at bay, but it's nothing to assist those with him still. Lieutenant only looks up at the door when he senses others around. Not medics, Lost Lighters!

At first Blast Off doesn't move. The one optic remains dim. He could almost appear dead save but for a faint draw of air through his ventilation systems. It's those systems that begin to grow stronger as Whirl speaks, and sobs, and then tears him loose and sweeps him up into his arms. As one long, sharp cycle of air is sucked in, the shuttleformer's lone optic flickers. What...what happened?

He's been abandoned, trapped, and ...and he didn't want to know. Didn't want to see. He *doesn't* want to see. He wants to stay dark. He doesn't want to have to see, to acknowledge. Not if... not if they've done....that. No, he'll remain distant, remain far away, aloof, like he's off in space. Deny everything. He's alone, just him and the stars. He'll stay that way. He's built for it.

Just... just... there's something calling him, something...no, someone warm as a sun, but he doesn't want to look. If he's drawn into that light, he'll have to /see/. Then it'll be real.

"Madrigal!" Whetstone exclaims, voice somewhat raspy. "Were... you invited too? Did Clockwise tell you the good news?" His optics dart this way and that, a certain foreign paleness to them as he squirms beside Tailgate. "Get these bonds, would you? I think they... forgot, hah."

Skystalker can hear the sounds from the first room, and he doesn't want to open the door to the next. But he has to-- and his vision swims with the sight of energized bars that keep caged a familiar shape, one that turns just so at the sounds of them. There is a humming that touches his senses from down the hall, but with three slabs in this room singularly full and a golden optic finding his silhouette, Skystalker makes his way inside this one first. His voice cracks audibly as he nears the bars, looking quickly for some way to open them. Where?

"R-Riptide? H-hey--"

Perceptor tilts his head in the approximate direction of Brainstorm, trying for a smirk. "Has someone been recording, I didn't think it was possible." Bad joke, and maybe with a bit too much bite to it, but he's trying.

Madrigal pops off the floor, hands and claws going to Whetstone's bonds. "Invited?" He squeaks, claws scrabbling at the bonds. "Good news?" He sounds... offended? furious? Somewhere inbetween. "I sent eighty-seven messages and you replied to none of them! What did they do to you?"

The flicker in Blast Off's optic makes Whirl hopeful and he squeezes him closer against his chest. "I'm here, Blast Off," he repeats, craning his head down so he can bump what used to be his forehead against what used to be Blast Off's. "You're not alone anymore, I'm here for you."

If that doesn't wake him up, what Whirl does next might. With Blast Off cradled in his arms, he steps out of the room. His frame is shaking though it's not entirely from the shock of seeing his partner bound and mutilated. There's a lot of rage there too, a rage that threatens to spill out and consume everything in it's path. "Fix him." He looks over at Lifeline and yells in a terrifying manner. "FIX HIM!"

"Eighty-seven?" Whetstone stands the moment he's freed by Madrigal's clawing hands, rubbing his wrists. "Messages... Wait. We tried to... contact you..." He rubs his brow, wincing. Slag, what a pounding headache. "It doesn't matter now. Madrigal, we found paradise! This is what Primus wanted!" he gushes, wings spreading. "Clockwise has it all figured out. There's a place for everyone. Everyone has a function." Whirl's abrupt yell draws his attention briefly.

Riptide falls silent as Skystalker enters his room first, a sort of shy look overtaking his posture as it sinks back a little from bars, helm turning away and only spying back with slight glances. "Y.. You can't open it.. Get the others, I-I'm okay.." His optic dims, looking down to a claw forlornly. "..S'what I deserve anyway. I.. I messed up so bad. I just tried to help, I.. p-please tell Chromedome and Rewind I'm sorry.."

His voice shaking, hitching despite the lack of a face to express, the aquabot places his helm in an unsteady claw. "Just.. Just make sure the others are safe.."

Brainstorm might have half of his face covered, but the relief on it is still quite clear when Perceptor reasponds to his presence. "Afraid not. Rewind's also been missing. I asume they're somewhere nearby." Though the jet, too, tries to put some lightness in his voice, he can't quite conceal the concern. He might be an egoistic prick, but he cares about what few friends he has.

Crouching down, he starts studying the restraint mechanisms, and wiring, not even looking up to answe Madrigal's question with "I'm betting 20 shanix that its shadow play." Whirl's yelling, however, makes him pull away for a moment to look up "Are you sure you would trust these guys with that?"

Somewhere, lost in inner space, Blast Off feels that sun warm him. Feels closeness, feels... reassurance. Not... alone. Something about not being alone. He's torn, caught in an event horizon's edge between returning to the light and being swallowed up by the darkness. But he's trying- his optic remains dim but the empurataed shuttle's not-face turns towards Whirl and his body shifts very slightly as if trying to curl up against Whirl's chest. Curl up with this sun, this gravity, that's trying to pull him away from the obliteration of his own personal Black Hole. His hell.

Lifeline continues to stare at the floor silently, shifting awkwardly in his feet. He glances up at Whirl and then away. "I-I-I don't have time... But I can help in a different way. They don't know you're loose, maybe you can still get away... If you hurry- I can get the parts. Yes, that could work... F-Follow me..." His claws snap before he walks past Whirl and towards one of the rooms, the one with Rung, Lieu, and Lock. He pauses and points to Lock's cell. "Two-two-five-seven... If you want them out." The he continues to the back of the room.

"Lovely." Perceptor's head clicks back to a regular resting position while he patiently waits for the restraints to be removed.

Madrigal blinks, leaning back and away from Whetstone. His attention is briefly startled away by Whirl's shout, but swings back to Whetstone, because the mech is spouting nonsense. Then Brainstorm chimes in and- "This Primus-damned place is no eden, shut up and follow" His hands hover around for a moment before settling on Whetstone's arms, little points of icy cold giving a halfhearted tug.

At the sight of Lifeline, Lockjaw hisses louder, but that's it. There are no demands to be released, no attempts to bite his hand off, just a warning hiss - Stay away.

<FS3> Brainstorm rolls Engineering: Great Success. (7 6 1 2 8 1 2 2 7 8 2 7 5 4) Tailgate looks up and over at MAdrigal's indignation, and then Whetstone's cheer, working his shoulders against the bonds. "Can I get a hand?" He pauses, shaking his head hard to clear something from his senses. "I just want to-- rest-- please?"

Skystalker can't find a way through the bars, but he seems stuck on looking at them rather than his friend's changed features. One hand lifts, and draws back before it touches the running current. "They're sleeping-- Riptide-- whatever it is you think you deserve, you don't--!" Skystalker's brow knits upward and his mouth opens in a small, desperate vent. Amber optics spill with a flicker of gold. "I'll-- I'll get you out. But-- how in the--" Sky bites his words with the mutter of a curse, looking over the others on the slabs and back to Riptide, hands open at his sides and useless. He steps back, heels clicking as he turns back to the corridors, wings flared. Anything more gets cut short when he sees Whirl and-- Blast Off, mouth hanging just as useless as his limbs for the moment they pass by.

Thankfully, he can hear Lifeline from here, when the medic utters the magic numbers. Skystalker knows who else is missing-- and they have to be near, but someone else needs him too. He turns back to open Ripper's cage, unafraid.

As much as Whirl wants to just brutally slaughter the medic for his role in all this, he knows it would be foolish. It's best to wait until after he's retrieved Blast Off's missing parts before spilling blood. "You'll be out of here soon," he tells Blast Off, giving him a tight squeeze. "We'll be home soon." As he follows Lifeline, he sees the others for the first time and that draws a good round of armour bristling. "What about the rest? What can you do for them?"

Lieutenant's song cuts abruptly when he senses the medic nearing the door. Upon the medic's entrance, the gold optic avian claws onto his seat, tensing for what might come. But Whirl seems to follow him with- no. Blast Off. Oh they got a hold of him, look what they did to him! He shakes his head, testing his vocoder before daring to speak since he first came out of surgery. Except he continues to remain quiet, listening to Whirl. Perhaps it's best he remain silent, unnoticed, but Rung and Lockjaw- someone will get them. Whirl has his claws full at the moment.

Whetstone gives his head another shake, scales rattling. But the cold fingertips are enough of a distraction to keep him from kicking up a proper protest. He didn't want to leave. Did he? The confused wyvern follows, pausing only to tilt his head towards Tailgate. "Don't forget Tailgate! Slow, Madrigal - we're not leaving, are we? It's just like Theopany...!"

Whetstone gives his head another shake, scales rattling. But the cold fingertips are enough of a distraction to keep him from kicking up a proper protest. He didn't want to leave. Did he? The confused wyvern follows, pausing only to tilt his head towards Tailgate. "Don't forget Tailgate! Slow, Madrigal - we're not leaving, are we? It's just like Theopany...!"

Brainstorm makes short work of the wires under Perceptor, taking only a short bit to figure out what goes were. This is hardly a challenge for him. Shwick, and the restrainst slide back "Piece of benzocake!" he gives his coleague a cheerful flash of his optics. He'll be using this to his advantage later. But for now...Ofcourse he's not forgetting Tailgate. Who could forget Tailgate. He'll go undo his restraints quickly, and then go find Chromedome. Hopefully, he's not too bad off. Him, and Rewind, because without the later, the former might not matter.

Riptide clenches his claws when left to watch Sky try to open the cell without much luck. "..I deserve everything.." He mutters lowly, gaze on the floor again. "..They were talking about functions.. I was made to kill, but.. there's no war anymore. What good am I? With nothing left to kill all I can do is hurt everyone else.."

With the code figured out the bars disappate, but Riptide remains where he is, unwilling to leave as he draws his knees up against his chest. "They.. they said I was sick. That they could fix me.. M-May-.. Maybe this is okay.. Maybe I'm better as an empurata. I can't bite anymore, I can't.. can't mess up anymore.."

"The parts, all in the same place. G-Good condition too, Proletariat is a, um, fan of having them. After we remove the badges..." Lifeline trails off, glancing only at Rung. In just a moment... When he reaches the back, his claw taps a small keypad lock on a drawer. Tap-tap-tap-beep. The drawer opens up and Lifeline takes a few steps back as it reaveals all of the missing parts- heads and hands. "I-I-I am terribly sorry..." He scuttles back further, quickly increasing his distance from Whirl... Then he slips to Lieutenant, undoing his restraints quickly.

Perceptor immediately gets to finding his way off the slab once the restraints are gone. It's awkward, but he's on his feet in short order, following after Brainstorm. "You could have just used the code. Keep talking, Brainstorm."

The only warning Whetstone's getting is a furious growl preceeding Madrigal sending a set of punches toward the taller mech's faceplates. He has to jump to get there, but it's not as awkward a movement as it could be.

The gravitational pull between two huge forces, light and dark, hope and despair, love and loneliness, feel as if they could tear Blast Off apart. And in fact, now that he thinks of that, he does feel torn apart. His face feels like its split in two, his hands ache... though everything remains a dull, drugged roar rather than sharp agony. Then thoughts of home hit. Home? He wants to go home. Was someone telling him he was going home? The sun feels warmer somehow, and finally he turns away from the darkness to seek that light. He's been alone and lost and fighting his way for so long, is it so wrong for him to want to go home? To seek the light that calls to him. He... wants to go there.

The shuttleformer's lone optic flickers a weak violet light and his claws twitch.

"Code?" Lifeline was kind of in another room, so it was a bit hard to hear "I got this anyways" having practiceed on Perceptor's, Brainstorm unlocks Tailgate's restraints with no trouble "You guys feeling alright? I mean, given the circuimstances." There are worse things than being tied down to a chair, and if everything's okay here, he'll be off to find his friend.

Tailgate gives Whetstone a tired, wondering look. He wants to go home-- he wants-- to be good, to be quiet, and rest. Something in the back of his mind tells him 'you have a lot of work ahead of you', and he knows it to be true. Brainstorm comes upon him to undo his restraints, and the minibot's optics light just a mote more as he stumbles to his feet. He startles straight when the second knight Madrigal lets his opinion be known, more or less.

"What good are you?" Skystalker asks, incredulous, as if it were an obvious hundred-or-more reasons. "You aren't sick, you were never sick--" Riptide's body language only draws Skystalker into the primeter of the cage, and he crouches down to where the other mech huddles, arms out to pull him out of the corner. "This isn't... You want to know what good you are? You're good at smiling, and swimming, and laughing, and--" The usually poised and composed features of the starfighter wrench into sadness as he speaks, followed by a grit of teeth as he tries to pull Ripper to his feet. "We're going. Come on. We're getting out."

Lieutenant freezes as Lifeline approaches him. He can't move away, he couldn't break out if he wanted to, so he waits for the medic to move away before rushing over to RUng's seemingly lifeless body. "...Rung..Rung." His voice is scratchy, hoarse as he struggles with the name. Gently pulls the smaller frame into his arms with care. Rung is still alive, he has to be. "...You are so important..." he whispers, "She's wrong about you. She doesn't know what an impact you have to us."

The faceless avian holds the therapist's frame tighter, "Stay with us, Rung. You're not retiring yet."

Whetstone isn't really prepared to get decked in the face by the mini-knight. Madrigal proves that you needn't superior height to bring a mech to his knees, as Whetstone buckles and slumps, holding his jaw. "S-something's wrong with me," he manages. "We... we should leave quickly... Before we're found out."

There is no response from Rung, his body limp like a robotic rag doll as Lieutenant pulls him from the table. The only thing about him that seems to change is a weak but only minutely brighter pulse of light from the glass circle of his chest before it fades back to its prior state.

Whirl freezes when the drawer is opened and he's looking down at a pile of faces and hands. That spinning sensation comes back and he wobbles, stumbling on his feet as he turns away. "S-someone else take this with us," he says to anyone willing to listen. "They can be fixed." He looks back towards Lifeline now. "Proletariat. Is that who made you do this? Is he on the station?"

"Clearly!" Madrigal huffs, hands back to Whetstone's arm to tug him back to his feet. "Quickly now." There's voices down the hallway and they should stay with the others, maybe see if there's anyone they can help to move.

Lifeline eyes the gator. Primus, don't let him get eaten... He opens her cage before quickly back up, closer to Lieu and Rung. "H-His spark chamber- the connections. You just gotta, y-y-you know..." Reconnect them. His helm snaps up to Whirl- who better just shove those parts into subspace because everyone is busy with someone- and then he nods. "Proletariat is... He's in charge here. Told me you were coming- I didn't tell anyone. They kept saying you'd come, I didn't think it would actually happen..." But it was an opportunity he never had a chance to seize before. "You should hurry, before the chance to put up the station's shields is upon you."

Lockjaw, too, moves towards Rung as soon as she is ffree, on all fours of her beast mode. Even like this, the worry in her yellow optics is clear as she gently nudges the therapist with her snout. She will try to stay close to him - as close as she can without getting underfoot, for her pideal mode is currently inaccesable to her. The others may soon alos discover that she isn't alking either, aside from the ocasional warning hiss if one of the locals shows their faces - or lack of thereof, or if someone accidentally steps on her tail. She won't bite though, though she will readily offer her assistance in transporting those who can't walk on their own, even if that may constitute of her carrying them in her mouth. She'll be gentle though. She knows how to do this.

Riptide feels like dead weight when an arm is pulled away, urged to stand. He can't find the energy. He just wants to stay here. Maybe he'll be happier living in this colony, oppressive as it is. But.. when Skystalker speaks, it hurts him. It hurts to see him so sad while trying to lift the aquabot's own spirits. He stares on at the starfighter with that unblinking optic, trembling claw flexing before it reaches out with the other, his body following.

Both of them standing, his momentum has him up against Skytalker where arms instinctively snake around him and clutch him in a desperate hug. The tall mech's form wilts, dim optic nesting near the other's helm, his vents giving a shakey cycle from the pain in his chest. "..You've always been so nice to me.. Guess that's why I like yah so much... Thank you."

If anything will get Riptide moving, it's to not see Skystalker so sad. And so, with his woes put aside for the moment, he tries to focus on his team more than himself, stepping from the cage to undo Whisper, Chromedome, and Rewind in his room and help them out to safety, clumsy as his claws may be.

With everything as okay as it can be in this room, Brainstorm moves to the next, to Riptide's, and those with him. It's the later he's most concerned about, especially given their state, but that's hardly enough to throw him off. Infact, it might just encourage him to work faster. He can also be persuaded to act as an emergency medic - he might not be one in fact, but he's quite familiar with the Cybertronian anatomy, Cybertronian engineering and medicine overlaping quite frequently, especially in his line of work. Emergency only though. Everything else can be saved for the guys back home. He has no intention of waiting around for local security to come around.

The sun gets brighter as Blast Off journeys home. Home... he has one. For one thing, there's the Combaticons....

Wait, no, there are /not/ the Combaticons. He got kicked out of the Combaticons. Would Onslaught and the others even help him now? Oh Primus, what if they wouldn't come? They didn't come! He's alone, he's alone, he's all alone, lost in space forever just as he feared, and.....

Blast Off's violet optic onlines and something red comes into view. It's garbled... his vision seems so weird somehow. Something red.... it clears and he focuses. An Autobot badge. Blast Off jerks back at the sight, vents inhaling sharply- and then he looks up.

"....WHIRL." His voice sounds a bit strange now, more tinny than usual, since he has no mouth. "Whirl! You CAME, YOU CAME, you-" His hands reach up towards Whirl's not-face- and then stop. He stares... not at hands, but claws. Oh. Yeah.

"And once the shields are up, we're fucked," Whirl mumbles to himself. They have to move quick. He turns back to the drawer and, while keep Blast Off held tight with one arm, he reaches into it with the other so he can start stuffing the missing pieces into his subspace pocket. It's pretty horrific but it only reaches 'traumatizing' status when he gets to Blast Off's face at the bottom of the drawer. His claw shakes and he chokes back a sob before grabbing it and subspacing it away. Just in time too because that's when Blast Off comes back to the world of the living.

"Of course I came." He tries to sound like himself but the pain is clear in his voice. "It's okay," he whispers to the shuttleformer, entwining a claw with Blast Off's. "We're going home."

Whetstone walks bent over a little, if only to keep Madrigal from having to reach too far. Everything else in his posture emanates misery, if his expressive, drooping optics hadn't, and he follows along obediently, tail almost dragging. He wants to protest again, to explain himself more, but it might be best to keep him mouth shut. It's pretty evident emotions are running high right now.

If he had a face, it would be one of anguish when Lockjaw nudges Rung. Lieutenant nods at Lifeline, but that's it for the medic. "Carry him gently," he says as he offers Rung to be carried by the gator. The avian doesn't want to, but Whirl didn't either, so he picks up the container of all the hands, heads, and badges for those whom had lost their's. His claws, though shaking, picks up his own head to hide it. That hatred for his own appearance boils within him, but he can't do anything about it. It's not what's important right now. What is is taking them back to the LL. So Riptide and Blast off could have their heads back.

Skystalker catches Riptide in that desperate hug with a firm, grasping one of his own, intent on helping him away from this dark space. "Don't ever think you aren't worth it." Sky affirms again, bumping the edge of his helm against the optic ridge of Riptide's, only parting when they move to help in freeing the others, allowing those last words to linger between them as they work to gather everyone together again.

Without his spark being reconnected, Rung will hang limply form Lockjaw's mouth as she carries him. For all that both he and himself are concerned, the therapist is numb to the world- incapable of feeling or being aware of what is happening trapped in his own spark chamber. He will remain in this state until he can get back to the Lost Light and the medics can figure out what put him in this state.

The pain in Whirl's voice tells Blast Off that the nightmare he's living right now is indeed real. His optic locks onto Whirl's... one eye mirrored for the first time. He stares up at the Autobot, new claws frozen until Whirl entwines them with one of his own. His entire body trembles as he lies in Whirl's embrace, exposed, vulnerable ... but not lost anymore.

Blast Off focuses on the bright sun that is Whirl's optic, the reflection of his very spark, and sees the beacon that brought him back. Weak and uncertain, his claw very slightly squeezes Whirl's in return... afraid to hurt the cyclops, unsure of how to really work his own claws yet, he hesitates to do much more than that right now. "You... came..." He repeats softly, leaning his mutilated head against Whirl's chest. Nuzzling into it, everything still feeling /wrong/ in his vision, his head, his ...claws. One thing feels oh so right. He leans in close, soaking up Whirl's warmth. "I... am home."

Lifeline looks antsy as Rung's form is given to Lockjaw. "J-Just be careful with him. He-" And that's when someone screams. Ohhhh, this isn't going to be good. He leans to peak out the door. Oh, yep, there's Clockwise, in the kicked down doorway. She looks angry.

"Lifeline! You were told- You let the heathens-!" Her vents huff angrily before realizing she's a bit outnumbered. Her lips purse briefly before she turns and runs off. The Lost Lighters might receive resistance in trying to leave the station.

Lifeline stares after her before looking back at Whirl and whoever remains in the room. "Um..." Sorry to cut into the feelings, but problems are still happening. "The shields take time to turn back on so h-hurry..." He hesitates before pulling out a little dataslug. "And if they go up... Shield generator locations are here, some codes. Get out of here." And if he hasn't already said it- get out quickly.

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