2017-06-26 The Temple

From Transformers: Lost and Found

The Temple
Date 2017/06/26
Location Space
Participants Aperture, Folly, Jumpstart
Plot Artifacts of the Knights of Cybertron
Scene GM Tez
Summary Folly gets her artifact.

Yet another crew is dispatched through the spacebridge to go retrieve an artifact marked as a promise on the map. This crew happens to be led by Folly, with Jumpstart and Aperture following behind. The first probe through the bridge shows a barren ruin on a word lost in the dark of abandoned space. Once upon a time, rumor says an empire laid claim to this world and to so many others. Since then, the name has faded from memory, but on some maps -- old maps -- this world lay within the Pan Galactic Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The shattered buildings around them carry an air of majesty even in their ruin. The walkways were once brilliantly tiled mosiacs, scoured by time to faded suggestions of figures, hard to make out beneath the sand that has blown across the landscape. The Cybertronian energy signature comes from a building just a bit down the plaza, past the dried pools and fountains of what was perhaps once a garden.

    <FS3> Folly rolls History: Good Success. (6 6 2 8 3 8)
    <FS3> Jumpstart rolls History: Good Success. (4 8 4 5 7 4 3 5 8)

Someone elected Folly to lead a mission. While the small Autobot was........somewhat knowledgable in things, specifically dead end technology, she was not much of a leader. Her entire pep talk pre-mission was pretty much her staring at anything but her teammates and a well-placed, "Ah....okay." She emerges from the space bridge, a short mismatched Bot that gives the illusion of wearing a ring covered dress. Completing her slapdash look are the fact that her optics are different sizes and intentionally out of focus, giving her a rather o.O look.

One thing she was good at, however, was energy based sciences. As the world lies in darkness, the first light seen would be from her palm, as Folly produces her astrolabe, a spinning navigational device that swirls and spins as it eminates light. She immediately gets to work examining her energy tracker, twisting little dials and talking to herself. "Where to go? Hmm? There? No? Danger? Is that what you said?"

Suffice to say if this area were hostile, she'd make an incredible target right about now.

    <FS3> Folly rolls Energy Sciences: Good Success. (1 1 7 7 4 2 4 6 7)

Jumpstart seems to appreciate Folly's leadership stype, in that she stands stone faced while it is delivered. "Okay." The Autobot replies in response to Folly's ok. It seems they're on the same page. Jumpstart transforms after passing through the spacebridge, taking wing and wheeling up among the buildings. "I think we have the place to ourselves." Jumpstart notes over her comms before taking up a perch atop a broken column. Her sharp optics scan the gloom, taking in street and boulevard. "Kind of reminds me of home."

    <FS3> Aperture rolls Trivia: Success. (3 2 4 6 6 4 7 1)

"Looks safe enough to me, if a bit boring... but at least this'll make for some alright B roll." Aperture stood behind Folly, slowly panning across the landscape, holding for a moment on his two comrades. "Come on, let's find something cool so I can get a good action shot."

With Folly's light and the stars above to guide them, the world is cast in shades of sharp light and dark, dramatic on Aperture's film. The details of the landscape are lost to shadow where Folly's light just isn't strong enough to quite reach. It looks to be a dead world from Jumpstart's perch, with even the barest greenery crisped and lost to dust many millions of years ago. The energy signature is coming from a building ahead with a narrow forward facing of five columns formed of carved figures. Three of the five columns have been shattered, but of the remaining two, there is enough in the way they are shaped to suggest Mortilus and Epistemus: a temple to the Guiding Hand.

Folly looks over to Aperture, a concerned look on her face. "Oh dear...." She shuffles her feet as she steps forward onto the sand. "I hope there's no action. The last time I saw action, I saw Kickback explode something." There's a bit of queasiness to her faceplate. "Definitely no action, I should hope not." She shuffles slowly, letting the small team investigate as they would. After all, who was she to tell them what to do? She stares at her astrolabe, unwittingly walking up a ruined building's side, as a makeshift ramp. When she turns to look to Aperture, he's several yalms below her. She hesitates, then looks down, "Oh..."

From on high, she points forward, surveying the scene. "Oh, look at this." She hops forward to investigate the columns before her, alternating between staring at the columns, and then back to her astrolabe. "There's energy here..and its saying..." She tilts her head, her eyes focusing as she attempts to decipher not just what the energy IS, but the most important thing. What the energy WANTS. "It says.....'I am broken.'" She investigates forward where several shattered conduits lay, "Oh. That makes sense. Look...these are Primalist columns. Knowlege...and....Death." Folly turns her head back to Aperture, "Oh dear...that's not good."

Jumpstart turns a narrowed bird-eye at Aperture as he records her. She doesn't comment, however. When Folly and Aperture advance Jumpstart hangs behind, looking around the city for any signs of life or vitality. None appear. She finally spreads her wings and glides after her posse. "Primalist?" Jumpstart asks, weaving between the columns that have captured Folly's attention. "I...wouldn't have expected to find something like this out here." She notes before perching atop Epistemus's head. Even she won't touch Mortilus. "I wish Adaptus was still standing. Haha, Functionists, I'm standing on your god." Jumpstart pauses. "That's what I'd say if the statute wasn't broken." She turns to Aperture. "Don't record that. I know you'll embarrass me with it later."

"Oh don't be a protoform about it, action's the key part of any good film and any good adventure." Aperture pointed the camera up at her, focussing on the astrolabe for a second then back to folly. "What, find something worth filming up there? Ooh, wonder if this is one of those weird offshoots, or maybe something point to the guiding hand's fleet! Or maybe an old war memorial, from the war of the primes, though we're a bit out of the way from cybertron or anywhere that'd matter, right? And Too late, big bird, got it all right here, I'll make sure to intercut it whenever you say something cool and serious relevant to what you just said."

Recognizable though the faces may be, they are also just that -- faces, rather than the more familiar armored figures of Cybertron's history. That they entirely lack bodies is a little odd, but likely a stylistic choice. Beneath the faces, delicately fluted columns run to the ground, the flutings so tightly carved that it looks almost like a bundle of cords. Inside, the building is organized with rows of seats facing the front, where a desk -- an altar? -- stands on a high dais looking down. There are two smaller desks, or altars, at ground level, in front of the seating and arranged to either side. Between the high altar and the two low altars, a wide pit yawns down into the dark. The signal appears to be coming from somewhere far below.

Folly shies away from Aperture's taunt uneasily. She brushes off the comment with a barely-audible "i'm not a protoform.", but that may be debatable. She looks up to where Jumpstart went, a sense of unease filling her as the statue is...desecreated perhaps? Her hand runs over the cord-like columns, before pausing to examine if they may really BE cords of some sort. Eventually her expedition leads into the the main building. Altars filled the room, ominous structures in a ruined city. She says softly over the comms to ensure Jumpstart gets in on the discovery. <<There's some energy source down there....That's very deep.>> She shines her light carefully down into the pit, using both hands to cup her specialized tool. "Death...or Knowledge?" She speculates, "I think....I think this might be a gravesite, but I don't know why it was left like this, unless someone's been here. Why else would there be such a large drop off?"

Jumpstart glares at Aperture for a long moment, but doesn't retort. She spreads her wings again and glides into the building, skirting the arch of the entrance by a few inches. The beastform circles the 'auditorium' in a wide arc, taking in all that once was before she settles again. Apparently in a profane mood, Jumpstart lands atop an altar and peers down into the pit as Folly shines her light. "I can only imagine how many bodies are down there. 'Gravesite' might be euphemistic." Jumpstart looks from side to side, for an icon or an idol or something that she can kick into the pit. If such a thing presents itself, she does.

Aperture ran to get a bit less distance between the other two and him, camera to his face and trying to get good shots as he ran into the building. "fifty Shanix says it's probably a death pit, not a doubt in my mind, massive death pit for people you want dead to die in. "I've heard of a few of these sorts of things, easier to just toss bot's into deep pits instead of givin' them proper burials, dramatic, tragic, thousands dead with no one to care for their names, their legacies, oh the stories they could tell." He flicked his night vision on before slowly panning from the entrance to the back of the building and back again.

    <FS3> Folly rolls Courage: Success. (7 5 3 6 1)

Aperture says, "oop, that was the wrong room, sorry about that"

Although the column suggests cords, they are simply carved. There are no actual cords there. Inside, there is a rusted remnant of a staff lying next to Jumpstart, worn away to little more than brittle rust, but it's still enough for her to be able to kick it into the pit. There are no icons or idols here. The room is strangely spare, and without decoration. If it existed, perhaps it was once looted, or has simply been worn away over time. The metal fall, fall, falls to plink hollowly in a clatter on the bottom. There, Folly's light can just barely make out the rusted skeletons of some strange aquatic figures. However, the pit is dry.

Folly just stares at Aperture, horrified, as the cameramech details exactly how he sees things working. She looks wide-eyed at the pit, then back to him. With the depth of the pit now established as 'very deep', Folly considers options, "Ah...well....usually, uhm....usually when I end up going down into things like this, its not intentional. Usually I just....fall, and not get hurt." There wasn't much around in terms of salvage, so there were no ropes. She looked toward Jumpstart. There was something the flier could do, but.... Stooped over the edge, she peers with her light. Her words are haunting with the echo around her. "I think we should look for another way, because there's no way th..." She draws back, smacking her hand against the pit's edge. Her astrolabe, as well as main source of light, goes tumbling. Reflexively, Folly tries to catch it, and goes into the pit after it, disappearing into the darkness. At least her track record as 'trap finder' was still untarnished.

    <FS3> Folly rolls Body+body: Good Success. (2 1 8 8)
    <FS3> Folly rolls Befuddlement: Great Success. (3 7 3 3 6 8 8 3 7 4 8)

Jumpstart nods along with Folly and then...she falls. The beastform simply watches, optics blinking largely. She looks up to Aperture. "I'm blaming you for this." She informs the Velocitronian. "Don't scare the skittish bots." Jumpstart then transforms back to her primary mode. She doesn't both folding her wings in front of her, instead stretching them out on her back. "Stay here. I might need you to go back to the ship for help if she's badly broken. I can do triage." With wings spread Jumpstart hops into the pit and glides to the bottom, rather than tumbling. "Folly!" She shouts. "Are you ok? Any monsters?"

"I didn't do anything!" But he didn't stop her either. Aperture simply aimed his camera down the pit, trying to zoom into the dark.

    <FS3> Aperture rolls Camera Work: Good Success. (6 4 2 4 2 6 3 4 7 4 8 5)

Folly's little more than a glint on Aperture's camera by the time she hits. Luckily, she finds her fall broken by a stack of rusted corpses that give way in a gentle snap and crunch to soften the clattering fall. What damage she takes is largely cosmetic. Sure is a good thing there are all of these ancient, dead, fish-bots here. Her astrolabe is nowhere to be found, lost in the corpses.

There's a sound of rings clattering into the darkness, as part of her altmode kibble just bounces off of her. It wasn't really affixed to her very well anyway. She blinks, cushioned by a pile of....something. Of course with her light gone, she was in an incredibly bad predicament. "I...." She shuffles onto her feet, trying to maintain her balance atop what uneven terrain seems to be beneath her. "I uhm.....I'm not dead, I think?" She never really considered Mortilus a factor, but down here, in the depths of a pit in darkness, her optics grow wide as the specter of death himself must surely be close. "I..." Her voice echoes up through the pit, "I think I might be about to die...I mean I can't be sure, because I can't see anything." She fumbles forwards in the dark, her hands seeking any of those weird flat golden rings that she lost.. At least if her rings were recollected, she could altmode and analyze the area, to give her SOMETHING to work with.

Jumpstart could at least be seen approaching by the glow of her blue optics. She descends slowly and alights atop the same pile of corpses that broke Folly's fall. "You're not dead. And you're not about to die." The beastform replies. "But don't hold me to that last one." She cranes her neck, looking up the pit. Resigning herself to staying a while, Jumpstart folds her wings over her shoulders. She looks around the gloom. "This is the worst away team. It's like they wanted us to die." The Autobot makes her way down the corpses. "Do you see anything?"

He really wants to be down there recording, but he's also the only one of the three of them who can't fly at all, so he's gotta find his own way down. Aperture walked the edge of the pit, camera pointe down, looking for anything that looked climbable. "I'll be down in a sec, guys!"

    <FS3> Aperture rolls Parkour: Great Success. (6 7 4 7 4 8 4 7)

The light of Jumpstart's optics catches on a glint of brighter metal in the pit shortly before Folly's hand closes over the edge of a flat, shining disk. It is not one of her rings. This metal is a brilliant white.

As Folly's hand closes over the disk, the artifact comes to life. It rises in the air above Folly, pulsing with light, and Aperture is just in time to record it all. The metal transforms, gears within gears whirling and shifting, as unknown celestial spheres whirl within the shining platinum disk. There is a disc on the plane, divided bright and dark, with two smaller discs also attached. The stars are unfamiliar.

After a moment, the activity settles, quieting, and the artifact hovers in standby. It sheds a brilliant light, making it quite easy for Folly to find her other rings -- and easy for the others to count the bodies in the pit. Nearly all of the bodies are of those unfamiliar aquatic bots, but here and there are other figures, some even almost Cybertronian in shape.

    <FS3> Folly rolls Astronomy: Good Success. (3 4 8 5 3 1 7)
    <FS3> Folly rolls Navigation: Good Success. (3 4 4 3 1 2 1 7 7)

Aperture had his camera trained on the shifting metal and imagery as he came down to the bottom of the pit, boom mic now at the ready, leg shaking with excitement. "Now this is some ominous stuff! Definitely A roll, no doubt. Now why's it doin' that?"

Suddenly there's a bright light before her as she starts to get back to her feet. At least Jumpstart seems to have some confidence in surviving, that was nice. She'd have to draw a cartoon about the flier if she survived. In retort to Jumpstart's comment about people wanting them to die, Folly insists, even as the light rises into a map of the stars, "I'm people and I don't want us to die." But then everything is but stars and symbols. " astrolabe." She tilts her head as she reaches for it, forgetting about her own kibble for the moment. Her intake valve simply halts as she discovers something, something important. Her hand runs over star-point to star-point. "Where is this?" She squints trying to recognize the area, her hands over her mouth. "I...I need to look at this more..." In the brilliant light, she looks about for her rings. The little Femme is just jubilant in her own way. This could be it. If nothing else in her life mattered up to this point, a discovery such as this, this could be it. This could be HER THING SHE DID.

Jumpstart glances at Aperture as he parkours his way down into the pit. "I hope you can hop your way back up because you're too heavy for me to carry." She notes matter-of-factly. The light from the astrolable does make her optics widen, but to her it's just a collection of stars, nothing more. "Can we study it back on the ship?" Jumpstart asks Folly with a note of hope in her voice. Perhaps she's not as comfortable in the charnel pit as she lets on. "Get your things, and let's go..." Jumpstart looks up again.

The astrolabe continues to glow, as comforting as anything can be in this pit, all steady and reassuring light. It fits itself neatly into Folly's hands. All that is left for them is now to leave, task complete.

Aperture chuckled, trying to get a closer look at the astrolabe, camera still trained on it. "No fun in leaving now, things are just heating up!"

Folly literally collects herself, then judges the glowing artifact. "I think so...I just want to try to remember this, in case something happens." She kneels down before it, actually serious for one of the few times in her life as she gazes upon the starmap. Her hand traces from one spot, to another. It was what she was built for, a few eons ago, and while she may have strayed from that life, old data centers were unlocked as she studied it. Reverently, she picks up the astrolabe, and gingerly runs her hand along the rings to have it fall into its inactive mode. "I think...." She turns back towards the group, towards the pit itself, pretty much too dumbfounded to worry about the strange corpses. "I think this was an ancient location for Cybertron." Somberly she adds, "Perhaps its original orbit. We should"

Jumpstart watches Folly, optics flicking between her features and her hands as she navigates the astrolabe. The beastform appears to have some respect for what is happening, as she remains silent throughout the examination. When the small bot concludes, Jumpstart's optics narrow. "Why fast?" She spreads her wings and then beats them against the corpses, throwing up whatever dust and detrituts has accumulated over the eons. "Folly's small enough. I can take you. Stow that thing and take my hands." She offers them, then glances at Aperture. "I'll see if I can find a rope."

Aperture waved Jumpstart off, chuckling. "Don't worry about it, I can climb my way back up, got down here didn't I? Should really look into those alt mode modding things, I know there's some guys who have wings on their hoods. Though, really, why hurry, this is so cool, drink it in, live a little!"

    <FS3> Folly rolls Medicine: Good Success. (3 5 8 2 6 8)

Folly lowers her head a little, she got excited, and carried away, but she can't just be silent, "Because its important to preserve this..I think." She stows away the astrolabe, perhaps to replace her own that she carried, if she could be allowed it. Before the party leaves the pit, she pauses at the corpse pile. The Eneraetherologist wasn't much of a medic, but even energon spoke, and sometimes it said some very useful advice, especially like 'I shouldn't be outside a body'. She looks over the bodies, looking for any other sort of data possibly saved over the eons. After a cursory look, she relents to leave, "Alright, I think we should leave." She takes Jumpstart's hand as requested, to leave the pit, and to return home successfully.

Jumpstart waits patiently for Folly. She spends most of that time stealing glances at Aperture. Studying him. A bird never forgets. When the smaller bot finally takes Jumpstart's hands, she nods. "Ok. Hold on. This can be a little bumpy with two mechs." Her wings beat again, once, twice...Jumpstart wobbles a little as she gains that initial altitude. It is surely coincidence that, one of these wobbles, she sways so that one of Folly's feet is sent careening towards Aperture's camera. It's almost as if Jumpstart was trying to smash it. From there, she beats her wings again and they are flying with much more confidence, reaching for the top of the pit.

    <FS3> Folly rolls Unarmed: Success. (5 8 1)

Aperture just went to climb after them, but only after getting a good shot of their shakey take off.

    <FS3> Aperture rolls Parkour: Good Success. (6 7 2 6 4 1 6 8)
    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Jumpstart=transportation Vs Aperture=transportation
    <       Jumpstart: Good Success (2 8 3 5 4 6 1 7 2 2 4)          Aperture: Good Success (8 4 2 3 2 2 8 3 6)
    <               Net Result: DRAW

Folly flails for a bit as Jumpstart carries her back up the pit, her legs flailing. Its mostly panic, as usual, as she is sort of launched by momentum to clip Aperture's camera on the way up. Still, she reaches the surface, startled but alive. "Ah...thank you...for that." There was little more that needed to be done, and there was precious cargo that needed to be returned to a safe place. After the team returns to the planet's surface, Folly triggers the button to return the space bridge. Once the swirling blue light reappears, she looks at it, then the group. "Ah....thank you for coming along." She's got a bit of a secret smile on her faceplate, something good happened today, and she was there. The small Femme disappears into the portal.

"Careful where you're flyin' next time, big bird." He followed them to the swirling blue light, nodding to Folly once they were back. "Don't mention it dude, any time."

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