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2017-08-10 Artifacting

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Artifacting
Date 2017/08/10
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Wheeljack's Laboratory
Participants Wheeljack, Moonlight, Swivel
Summary Moonlight and Swivel help Wheeljack do some experiments.

It wasn't without some trepidation that Swivel had returned to the laboratories. The last time she was there she had been lectured rather thoroughly, and had since avoided. But, avoiding a summons to bring her artifact would have also made Swivel fret something fierce. Thus, Swivel carried a large slab in her arms as she nearly tip-toed through the labs and towards the one designated as belonging to Wheeljack. She pauses, peering into the viewing panel to indee,d verify, that the resident is in. She looks down at her slide puzzle in her arms. An artifact. Supposedly. She then stands back and kicks the door in a knocking-rhythm. Foot knocking.

Moonlight is a lot less hesitant about coming back, despite how awkward her last encounter was in the labs. So when she's told to come down here, she doesn't mind so much. After all, it wasn't Chromedome that was asking for her. Outside the door she sees Swivel. Giving her a brief nod and a less brief smile, she knocks on the door with her knuckles in a jaunty rhythm. Coiled at her side is her shiny new whip. SHINY!

There's something of a clatter inside, as the knocking comes through, before there's a voice that shouts from within. "Come on in!" When the door opens, it's into a relatively cluttered lab. Wheeljack himself is standing behind one of the counters that's been mostly cleared, except for a few large devices that look like scanners set to the side. "hey there!" he says cheerfully, as the two of them enter. The fins along the sides of his helm are lit up in a bright cheerful blue as he wavevs to them both. "Swivel and Moonlight, right? Thanks for coming!"

Swivel peers over at Moonlight and grins, and resists the urge to wave. Instead she just hugs the large slab close to herself. Since the sliding pieces of the puzzle are facing Swivel's chest, it really just looked like a large metal plaque or something that she hugs so tightly.

"You, uh... called, uh, sir?" Swivel peers at Wheeljack curiously, before glancing around at the disorderly lab. She peers at the scanning equipment for a moment as she steps in, then finds somewhere to shuffle off to the side that doesn't look like it will explode. Her choices are probably limited. But she wants to make room and not impede Moonlight in anyway.

Already Moonlight is liking Wheeljack better than Chromedome. He's not chastizing her yet. "No problem. I'm not heavily into anything right now except general helping with repairs and all," she says easily. Giving the lab a once-over, she smiles; clutter says something about a person. She goes off to another side from Swivel. While not a sciencey type herself, she imagines that sciencing takes up a lot of space. "So, how is this going to go?" she asks, curious, not confrontational.

"Psssh." How does Wheeljack make that sound without a mouth? It's a mystery. "You don't need to call me sir. I'm no officer, I'm just Wheeljack." Well. Wheeljack the infamous Autobot engineer, but that doesn't mean anyone needs to call him sir! Wheeljack is already peering interestedly at the artifacts they carry, his fins flickering in interest. "Oh! Well, if you don't mind setting your artifacts down here one at a time," he says, gesturing to the workbench, "I'm going to take some scans. And if you don't mind, you could tell me a bit about what they were in, and what things were like, when you found them! I haven't gotten to go on a mission myself, so I'm curious."

Swivel peers at the workbench for a moment as she listens to Wheeljack's instructions. "Oh... okay.... I guess." Swivel sets down the big square thing on the workbench after a moment of hesitance. It's a slide puzzle. Since it is currently scrambled, what they depict is not overly clear. Well, sir, I mean, uh, Wheeljack... er..." Swivel fumbles. Sir is so much easier. "This was found in a... smallish... temple I guess? On a planet that was all burnt up. Nothing living left. And, uh, there were some... mechs, with capes, all standing around it. Really nice capes, by the way. Doing a good job at looking imposing. But they would only talk to me, and ignored Skywarp, and I think it hurt his feelings. Um..." Swivel pauses as she tries to remember the actual pertitnent facts.

Moonlight waits patiently for Swivel to go first, finding a piece of bare wall (or a reasonably sturdy shelf) to lean against. "I don't mind. The more we know about these things, the better off we are, right?" she says. While she does have that attachment to her artifact, she hasn't had it long enough to have grown a more natural attachment to it. She'll tell her story when it's her turn. For now she just listens to Swivel.

Wheeljack waits for Swivel to put the artifact down on the table, then beckons for her to stand back, and pulls up the scanner, setting i up over the top of the artifact. He then presses a few buttons on the machine, which shudders into activity with a gentle humm. "And exactly right, Moonlight. Now, did it react when you touched it? Were there any other things around it? Same for you, Moonlight. Oh, and also, Swivel, if you could touch this thing for me while I give it a second scan...?"

With earnest interest, Swivel watches Wheeljack. Sure, pushing a few buttons and setting up a scanning device may not seem overly exciting, but she seems interested nonetheless. Or maybe just wants to make sure her artifact doesn't get exploded. She's heard the rumours!

As Wheeljack asked questions, Swivel was lifting fingers, as if numbering them. She nods slowly, and then pulls down one of these fingers as she says, "When I touched it, the pieces all moved and revealed a picture of the matrix. Then rescrambled themselves." Swivel then continues coutning off her fingers as she answers the questions, seeming to pause between each one as if making sure the answer made sense. "Nothing much around it. It was in a room, on a pedestal. Oh. There were some old curtains, but they were so old they crumbled when I touched them. Oh yeah, and the mechs standing around. I thought they were statues at first, until they started, you know, moving and talking." Swivel waits for the hissing noise to stop and reaches over to touch the artifact as instructucted, constantly glancing back at Wheeljack for any non verbal communication.

Moonlight keeps watching with interest; her turn will be next, so she lets Swivel have her say and Wheeljack can keep issuing commands and asking questions. Everything has it's time and place.

Wheeljack's attention is largely focused on the scanner as he concentrates on making sure that he gets the appropriate reading. "Annnnd... done," he says, his fins brightening up with enthusiasm as he hits a few more buttons and begins to fold the scanner away. "Okay, so that sounds very interesting! Especially the reaction to you touching it. I'm done with your artifact now, thank you! Your turn, Moonlight. Swivel, feel free to look around, just don't poke anything on that shelf over there," Wheeljack says, gesturing toward the wall farthest from the door. "Now, same questions for you, Moonlight! Did it react, what was around it?"

Swivel smiles and carefully moves away from the workbench. "Look but don't touch. Got it." Swivel is torn between looking around at all the neat things that she has no scientific understanding of, and remaining focused on hearing Moonlight's tale of adventure. Or what she hopes will be a tale of adventure. Either way, she does make sure to be out from under foot of either Wheeljack or Moonlight.

Obligingly, Moonlight puts her whip down to be scanned. "Well, I didn't actually see where it was exactly. We found the artifact on a living ship. From what the team leader said, it was burried in some sort of nerve cluster. It was also making the ship sick; I guess it wasn't supposed to be there. We don't know how it got jammed there. But as soon as Blast Off released it from the cluster, I felt a powerful pull towards it...and a sense of belonging. Or destiny. Take your pick." Folding her arms across her chest, she tilts her head back slightly. "It came in a box." As if that was helpful. "Other than that, I can't say I know much about what was going on, except we suspected one of the alternates was there. We left before we had contact though."

"Hmm." Wheeljack hums. He repeats the same process with the whip, scanning it, before beconing for Moonlight to put her hand on it. "Probably for the best you didn't contact them, if the stories about incidents with them are true. Good to get back safe and sound." It's something else that seems to catch Wheeljack's attention, though, as he turns to look at the both of them. "A sense of belonging? And... how well would the two of you say your artifacts suit you? Just wondering."

"Alternates? You like those... twisted versions of folk?" Swivel asks, peering over at Moonlight. When Wheeljack turns the conversation over to 'sense of belonging, Swivel looks back at her slide puzzle. "Mmmm yeah. When I picked this up, it felt, I dunno, right. I thought it would be heavier, but it wasn't. It was a nice weight that just... makes it comfortable to carry? Hard to explain." Swivel shrugs. "I dunno anything about destiny but..." Swivel peers at Wheeljack. "Do your scans show anything different before and after we touch them?"

"Well, it's shiny, glowy, and useful," Moonlight says, considering Wheeljack's question as she lays her hand upon the whip's crystal handle. "I'm not really studied in symbolism enough to know if it suits me, but in a physicaly sense, the handle feels just right in my hand, as though it was meant for me. This might be a mental illusion or something, but whatever it is, there are some powerful forces at work." Then Swivel asks a very good question, and she nods her head. "I'd like to know about that myself."

"It doesn't have to be symbolism, it just has to be how you feel about it," Wheeljack tells Moonlight. "Mostly I'm curious, since they reacted to you from the start. Annnnnd one final question, how long have the both of you had your artifacts?" Whee;jack starts folding the scanner away after he asks. "You can take it back, by the way," he tells Moonlight. He starts slowly putting the scanner away, only to pause and consider the two of them. "They do! I've spoken to Brainstorm, and the artifacts seem to absorb energy... but they rely on a specific source, which is why I wasn't touching them myself," he explains.

Swivel nods as Moonlight talks about her artifact 'suiting' her, so to speak. "I dunno what a tile puzzle says about me. Other then when I woke up my processor was kinda scrambled, ha ha ha." Swivel smiles sheepishly. "But I'm better now. It's all good. Ignore that comment, really. It's not relevant. Artifacts, yay. Though... the guys waiting by the altar? They said they were glad I was the one who came to claim the artifact, not a..." Swivel pauses, and then speaks more quietly, "...warmonger." Swivel then continues in her normal, not so quiet tone. "Like.... they knew someone would come for it, but didn't know who, but felt that someone who, uh, wasn't fighting in the war would be better for it? I didn't ask a lot of questions because Skywarp was impatient." Swivel shrugs just a little. Swivel walks over, retrieving her artifact. "So... are these artifacts... absorbing our energy? Like... draining us?" Swivel glances curiously at them. "What... what happens if someone else touches one?"

Moonlight wades through all the rambling and notes that Swivel has more good questions. Interesting. "How I feel about it? I'm glad to have it, and I don't feel as though I'd want to be parted from it." She waves to the scanning equipment. "I don't count that because I'm still here and it wasn't /taken/ from me," she says with a smile, as though to reassure the scientist that she's not here grudgingly. "Has someone else touched one yet?" It's not the same as Swivel's question, but it is close. "Though, I guess the whip does suit me. I'm not adverse to conflict, but I don't enjoy it. A whip can be a weapon or a tool, depending on who uses it." She pauses. "Oh, and I used to train animals."

"Not draining you, just kinda skimming off the excess. Nothing seems to happen as long as you're not touching it, or Brainstorm certainly didn't have anything to say on that front. It certainly seems tied to you... I'll have to look over the results of my scans more, though. There seem to be some very interesting implications here." Wheeljack finishes packing away his scanner, and is halfway to pulling up things on a datapad when he remembers the other two are still here. "Oh. Well, I can send you two the results when I have them, in exchange for your help? And thank you for coming in," he says to them both, helm fins flashing."

"Yeah, that'd be great. Well. If you interpretted the results, anyway. I'm not a scientist. I'm curious and like learning, but got not scientific history beyond knowing how to read my own sensors and know not to proceed." Swivel hugs her slide puzzle tight, not seeming deterred by the idea that it's skimming her excess energy. It's not like she's using it for much other than cleaning or getting hacked into pieces by evil warlords.

"...I have one more question. If it's keyed to our, uh, unique energy or whatever.... what would happen if an alternatve version of ourselves got a hold of one?"

Moonlight smiles faintly at Wheeljack. "I don't mind. I have no head for science myself, so I really appreciate those who do. If you want to test other things, I'm happy to offer myself as a test subject. I'm not a warrior or a medic, so I'm not much use against those alternates yet. Though I am looking to improve my ability to fight. You can mention it to the other sciencey types too. I've been told these artifacts are the key, so it seems important to keep studying them from all possible angles. At least the angles that don't end up destroying them or their owners," she amends with a quirk to her lips. Then Swivel brings up the alternates and her optic ridges go up far enough to disappear under her hat. "I'm guessing it would be BAD either way," she says. Next she starts to wander what her alternate is like.

"Well, I'd try to tone down the six syllable words," Wheeljack says, his optics and fins glimmering with amusement at the thought. "Really, I'll be sharing results with the others who are working on the project, probably command if it seems important enough. Knowing how these artifacts work will help us prepare to use them properly, after all!"

Swivel's question makes Wheeljack blink, then his fins dim, a foreboding expression. "Well to do that, I'd either have to study the differences between one of the alternates and one of us... or let them get their hands on it. And considering their current allinaces... that seems to be the last thing we'd want." Wheeljack shakes his helm, his earlier cheer replaced by a more solemn demeanor. "Well. All the more reason for us to collect the artifacts. You two have already more than done your parts, though, so thank you."

Swivel's own countenance becomes grim, almost as if reflexively mirroring the solemn expression Wheeljack wears in response to her question. She peers at Moonlight, and then nods her head. "Yeah... no way of really.... figuring that out without a bad thing happening. But... like Moonlight here, if there's anything I can do to help, let me know. In the mean time, I'll just keep my slide puzzle safe." And solve it, one day, maybe. So many sleeless nights have been spent moving those dang tiles around. "Guess you want us out of here so you can focus on your work, yeah?"

"It's all very interesting," Moonlight says. "But the costs are too high for me to be pleased about the wider view," she adds, matching Wheeljack's solemnity. "Anyhow, I guess we'll get out of your space so you can work your science magic." She grins slightly, not able to stay serious for too long. "Good luck with the work." She briefly tips her hat, and then turns to leave.

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