2017-07-23 Crash and Purge

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Crash and Purge
Date 2017/07/23
Location Rigard - Great Lake
Participants Rodimus, Lieutenant, Brigade, Moonlight, Sterling
Plot Topsy Turvy
Summary The race is on! Congrats to the winner!

The beaches of green sand have been torn up by the grounders race that raced through city, angled around a few sharp curves, and then ended at the finish line on the beach in a spray of brilliant, glittering sand. The victor -- victors -- have been awarded their prize; sea followed then, a much smaller group, and splashier as they fought their way through underwater obstacles and around the course to come back to the start. There, on the beach, the next victors were awarded. Now it's down to the last, with platforms in the sky suspending hoops that chart a course, some just barely wide enough for the biggest among them. Each hoop is worth points, and missed hoops count as a penalty against time. The flyers are perched on a cliff to the south overlooking the lake and the beach, waiting for a signal from the beach where Rodimus -- a very blue, very blocky Rodimus -- stands with a flare. There's a crowd of spectators, while the other racers have largely moved on to graze the energon and energon treats that have been set out. The air is relaxed, easy, but the mood is keying up as another race is about to begin.

POPFF. The flare shoots into the air: it's time for Lieutenant, Sterling, and all the other swapped flyers to begin.

While others may have been distressed or horrified about the sudden swap, Sterling has been elated (after the initial panic, of course). This entire thing has been great, having a mobile alt mode for the first time in her life- not having that continual nagging of her programming in the back of her mind! She's been taking full advantage of it too. Whisper- with Sterling in her body- has been a regular in the practice rooms and open areas around Rigard, learning how to use the other femme's alt mode. She has... well Whisper doesn't need to know how many dents were banged out and how many are likely still to come. This she definitely wants to take part in, show off just how badly she can fly but still fly nonetheless.

She gave a wide grin to not-skystalker upon arriving but immediately took up her position and burst out of the gate the moment the flare shot up- knowing she was likely going to fail but savoring flight anyways. As such, the femme is quickly making her way towards the first set of obstacles.

Brigade, meanwhile, is firmly on the ground. That's a blessing for everyone involved. He has managed to find a place to sit, a large log that was used as an obstacle in one of the earlier courses. One of his legs is stretched out in front of him, and the tank occasionally reached down to rub at a sore knee joint. In his other hand he holds his ever-trusty cane, in this particular instance the handle having been replaced with a pair of binoculars. He lifts them to his optics to squint at the contestants. Sidelong, he mutters to the captain, "Should have told me you were starting the races with a flare. I could have brought one of my flashier canes to help." Knowing Brigade, the flashier bit is probably literal.

One word: Memory. That's all it took to convince Lieutenant to be out here. He swears to the Primes he's going to find out where that blackmailing video is one day. In the meantime, he only gives a short nod to not-Whisper. He's read what the board that was put out about who is who, so he knows this is Sterling. Hopefully she's unaware it's him though. He's not keen on others knowing he'd actually participate in something like this. However, he is just as reading to fly as Sterling is. Hopefully with all he's been forgetting these past couple weeks, he hasn't forgotten how to fly as well.

"How flashy?" Rodimus asks, immediately interested by the promise of something shiny. His visor remains turned toward the sky, tracking the racers as they approach the first set of rings: three rings, lined up, progressively smaller in a zoop-zop-zip narrowing. The first burst of speed that got them off the ground is put to an immediate agility challenge.

Moonlight is on the other side of Brigade, an individual she hasn't met before. Of course, that applies to the bulk of the people on the Lost Light. But she's working on fixing that. Slowly. One or two mechs at a time. In a large event like this, it would be a good place to at least SEE a lot of people at once. While she didn't hear the question Brigade asked, she heard Rodimus' answer, since he didn't seem to be lowering his voice to respond. "What's flashy now?" she asks with a grin. Looking at Brigade, she nods her head to him. "Hello," she greets, not wanting to be rude, especially since she was just talking around him.

<FS3> Sterling rolls Transportation-1: Success. (3 7)

<FS3> Sterling rolls Body+body: Failure. (1 2 4 4)

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Body+Body: Failure. (5 4)

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Transportation-2: Failure. (5 6)

Sterling is going at a decent clip towards the hoops- not nearly as fast as some others, she swears that one guy over there is already a jet normally and cheating- but realizes far too late she may be going a little too fast for her ability to compensate with slowing. Shifting back to alt mode to try and meaneuvir better the femme instead ends up colliding gut first with the bottom of the first hoop. There is a resounding oof and several other racers either laughing or wincing in sympathy, she merely sends a very rude gesture the way of ones laughing before shifting back and continuing on her way.

If anyone finds out it's Lieutenant participating in it he will throw blame appropriately. Vertigo and flying do not mix. He tries going through a hoop, but forgetting that this isn't his own body and cannot fold his wings. So there is the need to unnecessarily transform while in mid-flight... and crash into the hoop. The spacer just dangles there with a huff. He's no longer pleased about being here.

Brigade lowers the binoculars with a sigh, shaking his helm a little at the sight above him. He's only glad that Lieutenant is not in his department; the blame for his failure does not lie in Brigade's lap. Sterling, on the other hand, clearly needs a little more practice time. "Flashier than my newly-polished aft," he remarks. "Like it'd need to be to make everyone watch anything but this flight."

"Apparently not us," Rodimus monotones, a wince hidden behind the visor's flash as he tilts his head. Maybe he should have gone for a simpler course. "Come on. You can do it." He cups his hands and shouts loudly but with no particular inflection at the competitors who've crashed on the first set of rings. That's most of them, to be honest. "Watching this just makes me want my normal body back. I'm dying a little at how immobile he is."

Once they EVENTUALLY manage to untangle themselves, the next set of rings are in a wide, curving arc that leads them around into an approach toward the finish.

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Transportation-2: Failure. (2 3)

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Reaction+Reaction-2: Good Success. (6 1 8 7)

<FS3> Sterling rolls Transportation-1: Success. (8 3)

<FS3> Sterling rolls Reaction+Reaction-1: Good Success. (8 8 1 1 1)

Moonlight goes with wincing rather than laughing. She knows she probably wouldn't be doing much better in someone else's body. Idly she wonders if the memories of the pains will switch with people when they get their old bodies back. The whole thing is rather intriguing to her, but she is looking at it from quite a distance since she didn't have time to really get attached to anyone before she went for her two year nap. For a few moments she is absorbed in trying to imagine herself in various kinds of other frames, and determining how well, or poorly, she'd manage with each one. It's an amusing pastime while watching the racers. Then Rodimus and Brigade speak up. "I can't say I'd be doing any better in someone else's body," she offers. "But since things sound pretty dire, I can see how you'd want a better turn out," she notes. She's only going by what people have said: she has no REAL idea of exactly HOW serious things are! "Unfortunately there's not much I can do to help with this," she waves her hands towards the fliers. "Though I'm not half bad at flying myself, I wouldn't know how to teach others to fly in a body they're not used it."

Sterling is beginning to get in the swing of flying now, at least through the hoops in front of her. Speeding up a big, Sterling swerves herself through the oncoming hoops while avoiding the others who still end up crashing into them. "Come on Lieutenant!" Sorry, looks like she does know who you are, Lieu.

Competitiveness coming out, Sterling tries her best to keep up a good speed while also staying slow enough to properly maneuver.

He's found out, someone lay him down to rest in a grave now. Lieutenant groans, looking over at the chatty Whisper. (If she says anything, it's a lot for her.) "Do hush." he insists, before following after. No, he's still not doing well, but he's quick to avoid crashing into someone or something else. Skystalker's frame has had more than enough damage done to it as it is. If this were freefalling, he would do better, but obstacles were more Quicksight's thing. He seems to excel at those. Why did he agree to this?

Brigade lets an awkward silence reign after the Captain's comment. "Something wrong with an immobile alt mode?" he asks. His armor starts to shift as if he's just about to transform into his tank-brick. After just enough time has passed to make everyone feel awkward, though, the tank breaks the silence with a snort. His optics dance back up to the chaos of the race in the sky. "I think we're all ready to have everyone back in their own frames, sir."

<FS3> Sterling rolls Transportation-1: Success. (2 8)

<FS3> Sterling rolls Mind+Mind-1: Success. (8 4 4)

"I dunno. It's always dire, isn't it? We have an enemy, but we know how to beat him, and we're making progress toward that every day. It oesn't feel that dire." It's hard for Soundwave's voice to push the optimism that Rodimus aims to frame with his words, but he tries, damnit. Brigade's comment pulls his gaze from the sky as he realizes he may have just ... been a little rude. "Probably not if you were sparked to it," he says, his grin easy and uncanny on Soundwave's features.

The last stretch is honestly terribly mean. TERRIBLY. The finish line is dead ahead, but before them are a positive forest of rings. The trick isn't so much weaving through them all -- doing that would be incredibly time consuming -- but finding the quickest path taking the fewest deductions to get there as quickly as possible.

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Mind+mind-2: Failure. (1 3 6 6 2 2)

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Transportation-2: Success. (6 8)

Sterling sees the rings coming up and- OH COME ON! That's just unfair. Slowing a bit to piece together just what she is looking at, Sterling makes a deep vent before heading in. Twisting and weaving, the new avian makes her way through the obstacles in the quickest way she can figure out... it is by no means the best way but at least she is actually managing to get through at a fair speed. As horrible as she might be at flying (and how terrible this section of the race is), the femme is having a blast! Just being able to fly is enough to make her happy even if it was just to hover in mid air.

Lieutenant manages to steer through the obstacles, paying more closer attention to keeping Sky's frame on one piece than the objective. Wait- there were rings? He went through one, right? Maybe? The spacer transforms into his root mode at the end, looking back. Did he pass one? Probably, but he grabs his mouth, feeling extremely dizzy and ready to purge. Maybe he should just keep going to at least finish this.

Brigade quirks an optic ridge as the captain digs himself into a further hole with the 'sparked to it' comment, but thankfully the nightmare of a race is more effective at drawing the tank's ire. His optics are drawn back to the contestants as they near the end. Up until this point the combat commander has been relatively well behaved, polished aft comments aside, but as he watches the contestants lurch through the forest of hoop he can't bite down on his glossa any longer.

"COME ON, YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THAT! I CAN FLY BETTER THAN THAT AND ALL I CAN DO IS SINK LIKE A ROCK! NOT MUCH FARTHER!" he belts out with his infamously loud voice. It's unlikely that the contestants can even hear him, especially so far up, but he probably will hurt a few audials on the ground.

As the racers sort of straggle over the finish line, Sterling somehow manages to be the first one to cross. Rodimus, wiping his hand down his face, leaves only the grin behind. When Brigade starts shouting, he recoils away, an expression of actual pain on his features. "That ruffled me! I'm ruffled!" he calls at Moonlight before jogging over to meet the others as they land. A few crash-land. Gently. Good thing it's sand. Finding Sterling -- or Whisper -- Rodimus gives her a lazy grin. "Hey, nice work. Took you a little bit to get warmed up, but--." Rather than reach for her hand, he just demonstrates. Fist up! Like this! "We've got our winner! Nice work out there, everyone. Nice-ish, anyway."

Moonlight is glad her outlier ability is NOT keen senses. Brigade was loud enough as it is. "Tank?" she asks Brigade, taking a guess from his comments and his kibble combined. Then she listens to Rodimus do the diplomatic thing...sort of. At least he tries. "Feel better now that that's over?" she asks Brigade. "Also, nice pipes!" She means his voice, not a part of his anatomy.

Sterling can't believe she managed to cross the finish line first, transforming back and landing in a half stumble on the sand.

Looking up as Rodimus-wave approaches she grins as he congratulates her, "Not bad for a non-mobile alt eh?" Still smiling audial to audial, Sterling lets out a small cheer. Victory! We should all feel proud... at least the ones who didnt crash!

Now where did Lieutenant go.

Lieutenant does finish, collapses due to dizziness, and lies there. He'll get up when the world stops spinning to purge in private before finding Memory. Really, he shouldn't have done this, he doesn't feel well at all now. Congrats to Sterling's win though, he'll tell her later. Just leave him alone to collect sand in his joints.

"Looked like you had fun, but just don't get too cozy," Rodimus says, his grin turned back over his shoulder at Sterling as he goes around helping up a few of the stragglers. "Or -- hey, do! No one says that you can't change things up when you get back to your body!" He seems to regret the offered hand once he's made it, but now he's committed himself. He's gotta go around helping people up. Lieutenant's one of those he passes by, and he pauses to offer a hand, despite the way it thins his dampening protection from Soundwave's outlier ability. "Well, you landed, so, you know. Take your victories where you can get them."

As Sterling swoops in to claim the victory, Brigade bellows out one last thing. "NICELY DONE! YOU STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK, BUT YOU'RE COMING ALONG!" It's easier to shout it than get up and follow Rodimus to the victor. Reaching down, he rubs at his sore knee joint again. It throbs at the mere thought.

Moonlight distracts him, though, with another rude question. With a scowl, he glances back at Moonlight. 'Hasn't anyone ever taught her to never ask a stranger their alt mode?' he wonders. That's just common decency. "Damn, I'm starting to think I need to host slagging training session on manners. And if you lot have to learn manners from me..." he mutters.

"Manners change a lot across cultures," Moonlight says to the big fellow next to her. "But I'm more than happy to learn another set of manners if there's someone to teach them." Sure, it was a mutter, but it was said out loud, and that makes it fair game as far as Moonlight is concerned. She doesn't get up to congratulate the winner either, mostly because she doesn't know them in EITHER form, so she lets those who do know her do their thing. However, she does mark what they look like so, if it comes up later, she can at least talk about it half intelligently. "Learning cultural mores and behavior is part of what I do."

Sterling is distracted from her search for Lieutenant when Brigade calls out. Putting the search on hold, Sterling walks over to the two still sat nearby, "Brigade, sir! I didn't know you were coming watch, how did everyone do?"

Once (more or less) everyone is (more or less) back on their feet, Rodimus rejoins the others. "We definitely have more work to do," he agrees with a glance at Brigade and a rueful twist of his expression. "But it was an interesting measure of where people are, right?"

Brigade snorts and shakes his helm at Moonlight, casting her a sideglance. "If you want a real lesson on manners, go talk to Mirage. He'll have you folding doilies in no time. I've even got doilies you can borrow thanks to his help," the combat commander says, grimacing a little at the memory of his overly-floral office. That's a story for another time, though.

Now that the captain is addressing him directly, Brigade has more motivation to move. With a low groan, he pulls himself upright and starts to hobble along the sands towards the victors and losers alike. "I was taking notes, sir. I'll put together a respectable force, you have my word," he says. For all the chaos of the race, he has to believe the Lost Light is capable of that. He has no choice.

Moonlight follows along with Brigade since they were talking. "I'll keep that in mind, though I think doilies might be taking it a bit too far," she muses amiably. His gruff demeanor doesn't seem to put a dent in her willingness to talk to him. Rodimus' assessment of the situation has her smiling though. "That's a good way to look on the bright side of things." Actually, the Captain seems to veer that way naturally, making him someone Moonlight actually WOULD follow through hell or high water, as the saying goes. From where she is she eyes the form of Lieutenant's borrowed body...wondering if he's okay. She looks around to see if anyone else is concerned and will take her cue from them.

Sterling pauses, suddenly taking notice... of Lieutenant faceplanted and looking worse for wear. "Lieutenant are...are you alright?" Walking over, the femme kneels down beside the former avian. Should.. should she poke him? She's going to poke him.

Gently prodding his side, Sterling makes sure the mech is indeed alive before asking, "What's wrong?"

Lieutenant keeps to the sandy ground, muttering something in response. Likely his trademark answer, 'I am fine' which jumps a slightly octave at the poke. "Begone." is a more clearly statement, as he shifts in the sand to curl up and grasp at his helm. "I am fine." His optics offline so he doesn't have to look at the brightness. It hurts his head too much to do so.

A voice calls from the audience, "Leave the mecha alone! Can't you see Lieutenant is having a moment with the floor?! Give him space. And a room! It's about time he finally got something," it hollers, cackling laughter marking the smartaft as none other than Blackstorm.

"I know you will," Rodimus says, waving Brigade back to a seat and moving to join him, instead. "They've got the skills. They just need to figure out how to use them in different shapes." He pauses, admitting, "And so do I." He casts a look in Lieutenant's direction, but gives him the space to scrape together his dignity.

Why is it that the words 'I'm fine' usually convey the opposite? One of those weird little things in life. Of course, the use of the word 'Begone' really catches Moonlight’s attention. "Who actually says 'begone?'" she asks. Not that she means to disregard the mech's dignity, but it jus strikes her as a very rare word to use. Sounds like something out of a novel. Meandering over, she crouches beside him.

Brigade doesn't get very far before Rodimus waves him right back to the seats. The tank flexes his digits around the handle of his binocular-cane, twisting around to follow. He sinks back down onto the log with a look of relief. His voice drops to an uncharacteristic whisper. "Understandable, sir. I know what it's like to wake up one day in a frame that feels alien to you. It takes getting used to. I'll consider the fact that half the ship isn't lined up at Rung's door as a good start," he says. "If they can survive this, they can survive anything, sir."

Sterling raises an unseen optical ridge at Lieutenant, "Really." He doesn't look fine but whatever. She will let him suffer, "Alright, I'll ... check on you later I guess." Standing, Sterling resists the urge to poke him with her foot before turning to go talk to the other competators, she will go check on him again in a half hour or so if he doesn't get back up.

When did Blackstorm get to be so loud, or was he always that way? At least Sterling goes away and once she does, Lieutenant slowly gets up. Only to walk a few feet away from everyone before purging on the ground. No, he's not doing that again. He needs to go back to the Lost Light now before the seemingly undying sliver of dignity is gone from him.

"You do? Ah -- oh, maybe you do." Rodimus considers Brigade's words with a touch of a wince. "I've had full-frame rebuilds. I've even had ones I didn't expect," he adds, the slash of his grin quick and wry, "but this is something else entirely. We're handling it -- better than I expected, mostly." He laughs then, although it's a strange sound as flat as it is. "Except for me, that first day. Yikes. Can't imagine how bad we'd be at dodgeball like this."

Moonlight looks over her shoulder at Rodimus. "Then maybe that's exactly what we should do," she says with a faint smirk. Watching Lieutentant ignore her, she shrugs her shoulders philosophically. After all, she is a stranger. Still, she follows him and sees him flop back down. Poor guy. Not that she'd say that outloud. For a few moments she looks at Rodimus, her expression conflicted briefly. Then she decides it's worth it to act first and ask for forgiveness later. Or, if he can really read minds, he'll have time to stop her...if he wishes to. Looking casual, she takes her hat off her head.

Sterling pauses looking back towards the sound of purging and can only deadpan stare at the mech from across the beach. She's not even going to bother, he wants to be left alone so she'll let him suffer... Ok if it gets too bad she will step in whether he wants to or not. She just can't believe he still... would... huh... actually its probably not that bad. Optics dimming slightly, she starts... feeling a lot less annoyed with Lieutenant all of a sudden, thats weird.

When Rodimus catches that intention from Moonlight, he gestures at Brigade -- one second -- and then moves toward her. He drops a hand on her shoulder -- heavy, blocky -- and squeezes with care. "Don't," he says, his voice quiet but serious. Obviously he just hates chill.

Lieutenant is slowly calming down for a bit, but while he may slowly calm, he's still nauseous and dizzy. The calmness helps him keep together but it does stop him from nearly falling once again. He manages to make it off the beach before collapsing again in the grass. He's out of Moonlight's range now so it didn't last as long as it probably could have.

Moonlight looks up like a kid who got her hand stuck in a cookie jar, or whatever the Cybertronian equivalent is. She looks rebellious for a split second, then disappointed, then resigned. She doesn't hide these emotions; what's the point in the present company? Sighing she starts to put the hat on, with an 'are you sure' look. After all, not-quite-Lieutenant looks like he could really use a dose of calmness. If Rodimus really hates being chill, he can over that way. Still, it's not her usual MO to deliberately disobey the command structure...though if she doesn't like it she will whine, pout, or gripe as the mood strikes. She watches, sulking, as Lieutenant walks out of her range. With the hat back on her head, she stands up and brushes the sand from her knees. Bah!

"You might think you're helping, but that doesn't make it right." Rodimus's voice is quiet, despite the flat tone, but unwavering. He absolutely means it. "It's their thoughts, their feelings, and they deserve the freedom of their own minds." He lifts his hand with a light, ironic gesture. There is some hypocrisy in saying this while burdened with an outlier ability that means he could hear all of everything someone might think or feel.

Moonlight raises an optic ridge. "Medics do things all the time to people to help them, often without consent. Espcially if the person can't consent," she counters. With her hat still on her head. It seems like a reasonable arguement to her. And she's not above ARGUING with command decisions...after the fact. "I wonder if you'll say the same if I do it in self-defense to stop someone from shooting my face off." Might as well bring that up now before someone actually does try to shoot her face off.

"You're not a medic. You don't have a medic's training. And you're not saving a life," Rodimus says, flatly -- how else? -- refusing her counter. "Pretty sure taking it from this--" He gestures. "--to someone shooting your face off is a wild leap, but like I said: saving a life. Little different."

"Just checking," Moonlight says rather quickly, biting off what she was going to say. Not that it matters...but maybe the restraint counts for something even if he can tells she's thinking: 'And medics don't have the training of what I do.' "As long as I have permission to save my face, or life, or the lives of others with everything at my disposal, I suppose we're good," she finally adds. Still no 'sir' though.

"We're good." Rodimus might be monotone, but his grin is easy, Soundwave's face weirdly charming when bared. "Come on, let's go check out the energon and see how everyone's doing." He heads back into the mingle of the post-race fun, and boy, sure hope that fun doesn't come to a sudden, screeching halt because of any sudden developments with the crew. It's probably fine.

While everyone else is distracted arguing, Blackstorm is going to take this opportunity to do a thing. Creeping up on Lieutenant's prone form, he reaches out and pokes at the bottom of his pedes with a smirk. "Rough day, huh?" he asks. If given half an opportunity, the minibot will try to climb on Lieutenant's back strut to perch while he can't fight back. "Well, you've got me to keep you company! That'll cheer you right up."

Moonlight let's it go easily enough. She doesn't enjoy confrontation for the sake of it. But she doesn't shy away from it if something is on her mind. That all being taken care off, she's just as happy to relax and let things flow. In addition, the Captain has enough on his plate. Oh, and then Blackstorm climbs up on Lieutenant and she pouts. If her 'help' was refused then she's not going to let someone else get away with being the opposite of helpful. So there. She tries to pick him up by the 'scruff' of his neck. "Quit that," she says in a mock growl.

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