2017-06-23 Praise Primus and Pass the Ammunition

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Praise Primus and Pass the Ammunition
Date 2017/06/23
Location Lost Light: Engineering -- Machine Shop
Participants Strika, Conduit
Summary When you're waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come ...

The rich scent of spilled oil and brushed dust filter through the air of this industrious complex, a workshop dedicated to the material construction required to keep a ship operational. This is the Machine Shop, an open space with the only walls being the four that define it. This is were tools can be fashioned, parts milled and crude elements refined in a more basic, freer space than a more delicate laboratory. Like peeking behind the curtain of a theatrical play, this is the shop space where walls can be built or smaller vehicles clobbered together.

Along the far wall is a rolling assembly line style work bench, above which are various shelves of tubing, blocks and girders. Off the entrance, both side walls are decorated with all manner of machinery and crafting tools. Stacks of raw materials are kept out of the central floor space and there are bins on either side of the entrance for recyclable spare parts. The room is well lit and there is a constant background hum of the ventilation system, which doesn't do much for that oil and soot smell.

Strika hadn't really considered what her orders would truly mean... having to move out of her home on Rigard and onto this wreck of a ship. This will not exactly be fun and she is already getting lost trying to find her way around the badly repaired halls. Turning a corner, the large femme finds herself standing in what appears to be some kind of workshop, nearly devoid of anyone else.

Conduit stands facing a workbench with his back to Strika, biolights pulsing serenely across his frame, silhouetted by the harsh work light illuminating the surface before him. Materials and tools are carefully arranged there, and the Decepticon's hands move deftly among them in pursuit of his work. Outside of his immediate area, the rest of the shop is shabbier than usual, owing to recent worm-related events, although it is mostly back to useable condition. It just doesn't appear so.

Too absorbed in his work to either notice or care about the new arrival, Conduit doesn't utter a greeting or even turn around.

Strika looks around and finally spots the mech at work across the room, almost seeming framed by the light of what he is working on. Normally she would leave him be, mechs at work should be left to it but there is no way she can figure out where she needs to go alone- at least not with one of the elevators apparetly glitching out.

Stepping forward, Strika stands just outside Conduit's immediate workspace but unintentionally looms nonetheless, "Where is the habsuites level?"

Conduit takes a moment to finish something before turning around to answer. Behind him are revealed several capsules, each of which would easily fit in an palm of an average mech's hand. Thin strips of green light shine from their somewhat crude metal casings. One capsule lies on it side, open at one end, with smaller containers of glowing material resting nearby. Delicate tools rest pointing at where Conduit last applied them.

"Up one level." The purple biolights pulse slightly with the recognition that this is someone he has not met before, and possibly not from the crew. "Are you new to the ship, perhaps from this planet? I am Conduit."

Strika is about to refer to herself as Commander out of habit but remembers at the last seconds that, here, she is not a commander anymore. "Strika. I have been assigned to your crew to assist in the retrieval of artifacts." And likely anything else they might need to know of Rigard, but she's not going to reveal that bit. Just extra work for her if they know.

A glance is sent towards the capsule's but the Rigardian's interest in them quickly wanes, she's no engineer and has no context for what they might be.

Ah, an assistant. Conduit likes the idea, although he wouldn't have her - or most anyone he's met - assist with the delicate work sitting back on that bench. "Excellent. We could certainly use assistance. I'm actually preparing right now for an excursion to find one of these artifacts." He takes a quick demonstrative glance back to the capsules. "I haven't received details about the nature of the mission, so it's been difficult to anticipate how to prepare. It's bad enough having been thrust into this ... Unicron situation, but it's even worse when we're short on information or even local adjuncts."

Strika gives an impressive hrmph for lacking a mouth in agreement, "Good luck then. All you can do is keep on your pedes and stay aware." Shifting her weight, Strika sends another glance at the pods, "... What are those?" If she didn't know any better she might say they are grenades of some sort.

"Ah." It's either endearing or annoying that Conduit expresses surprise at Strika's interest in the capsules, even when he himself pointed them out. "I am a nanotechnologist, and these capsules are designed to house and sustain small populations of nanites that I have bred over time. Essentially, I will be taking some of them with me." He picks one up, proferring it to Strika if she cares to take a closer look. "The nanites consume energon quickly, so the capsule sustains them. If I need their services, I can open the capsule or, if necessary, simply break it apart." Although he'd rather not.

Strika carefully takes the object when its offered, turning the small thing around in her hands before offering it back. "... So you've made tiny drones that eat mechs." Strika simplifies dryly. She is not necessarily annoyed at the mech's behavior, but not exactly endeared either.

"No, I ... well, those perhaps could." Conduit receives the capsule back, carefully cradling it in a turned palm. "The energy consumption is a problem. They are only active for several seconds before exhausting their fuel and falling inert. Although if they are lucky enough to strike a vein ... well." There's a train of thought starting, but he mentally asks it to wait before leaving the station. "And drones is a ... simplification. A common misconception, to be sure. These nanites exhibit some proto-sentient behaviors, such that my guidance need not be precise."

Strika's stare makes it pretty clear she doesn't care if its a simplification or not. As far as she is concerned they are tiny kinda smart mech eating drones who are evidently bad at their job. "I see." She only continues to stare before the large femme's mind turns more towards figuring out how she can leave without being rude... that seems like a bad idea to offend someone after just moving onto the ship.

Strika doesn't seem all that excited about his babies I mean nanites, but Conduit gets that reaction disappointingly often, so it's not that surprising. He places the capsule back on the workbench with the others. "Well, enough about my nanites, then. So, what do you do here on Rigard, when you're not assisting? I imagine that this could be an exciting opportunity compared to your other duties." The engineer stands relaxed with hands clasped behind his back, head cocked in such interest.

Strika would have to keep a grimace off her face if she had one capable of any expression, instead a neutral grunt just comes from somewhere in her chassis. "Commander." Is a simple answer given to a complex question before adding on, "There has been a lot of excitement. I was on Elita One's ship."

<FS3> Conduit rolls Coolness: Good Success. (3 7 2 6 8 6 1 6 7 3 5)

Commander? Conduit realizes somewhat late that he's been underestimating this visitor, but he does a good job of masking his embarrassment. Although he doesn't notice his cocked head straighten itself. "I ... see. Then indeed, you have been stewing in it, as have we all. Erm ... so what are your opinions about these supposed artifacts and the plans to gather them? I expect you as a Rigardian may have some deeper knowledge about their purpose, about the ... odds of success in all this."

"If you all live up to your reputation of pulling off miracles..." Strika should probably be keeping morale up, shouldn't she? "I think we can accomplish our goals."

"Reputation." Conduit rolls the word around his mouth. "I'm still somewhat new to this crew, so I don't know if I have earned that myself or still observe it from the outside." He still never moved into his assigned habsuite, preferring the cozy confines of his own ship. "And miracles. Well, certainly the unexpected and improbable appear to be easily accomplished. For good or ill, that is the true question. Our most recent goal has been to find the Knights of Cybertron, and the pursuit of that goal ... well, we see what that has led to." He ruminates for a moment. "You speak of miracles. Have you faith?"

Strika crosses her arms, settling more heavily on her pedes. She's clearly not escaping this conversation. "Not as much as others. I believe more in what I can see." And punch. "But faith is becoming easier to find with how things are at the moment." She doesn't consider the Lost Light prone to miracles so much as dumb luck or strong command. Which one is correct, Strika isn't sure of at the moment.

"I concur." Conduit still thinks of Shivah, and the perverted Mortilus worship there, and now the emergence of this God of Chaos from legendary times. "I myself have faith, in my own way, but I trust in our own actions. Miracles, though. Hn." He gazes back at the capsules holding his own contribution to the cause at hand. He pours his efforts into them, but they are so ... small. "Although divine help would be welcome in this challenge, I don't expect it."

"Best to not expect it. No use waiting for divine intervention." Strika most definitely has no belief in waiting for things to happen, if one can do something themselves why would any god want to intervene? "But praying might not be entirely unhelpful."

"A combination of efforts, to maximize the odds of success." A wry smile cracks across Conduit's heretofore grim visage. "A outsized portion of this crew is fond of the Earthlings, so I've researched some of their culture. They have a song, written during their largest global war: 'Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.'"

Strika snorts at the title, giving the impression of a smirk back, "Sounds like my sort of song. Don't know slag about Earth, though. Doesn't seem like my sort of place."

"Mine neither, although your planet is reminiscent of it with its organic life." It's apparent that Conduit sympathizes with those who are stuck with such a home. At least some of the Earth cities are urban enough for Conduit's tastes, though; here on Rigard it's mostly nature outside their colonial capital and titan. "I have hope that the destination for this excursion will be more Cybertronian. And free of trouble, although for this crew that would truly be a miracle."

"Earthlings just look weird. Only four limbs is strange." Strika sounds almost disturbed by this prospect. Most things on Rigard have far more limbs than that.

Glancing over at Conduit, she just gives another hrmph in response, "With any luck you will be able to find the artifact easily as well."

Conduit shifts his stance, his mere two legs supporting his frame with its mere two arms. He honestly hadn't noticed, in the dim lighting of the shop, extra appendages on Strika but ... well, they are what they are, and apparently not "extra" for her. "Luck, yes. Well, I'm something of a gambler, and one rule to always remember: in the long run, the house always wins. It will be either a quick, clean mission or, well, otherwise. Hence," and he gestures to the capsules.

Strika glances down at the capsules. Either quick and clean or hit them with short lived nanites, Got it. "Well, good luck to you." That is clearly her 'polite' goodbye, as the femme shifts her weight and turns back to the door. At least she knows where she's going now.

"Same." That probably went well, but Conduit doesn't dwell on it, his attention swiftly returning to his nanites. He can catch up to that train of thought from earlier now, while he finishes up the last capsule. Oh, and maybe spare a prayer or two.

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