2017-08-26 Fall Into the Sky
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Fall Into the Sky|
|Plot||Artifacts of the Knights of Cybertron|
|Summary||Bulkhead (like an IDIOT) goes alone on an artifact mission.|
Yet another artifact found, yet another adventure.... or so one would think. The planet Bulkhead has been sent to isn't very interesting. There doesn't seem to be anything even remotely exciting, just rocky cliffs and sand as far as the optic can see and scanners can detect. The scanner leads the mech down into a cavern, going deeper and deeper into still entirely boring caves. They aren't even dark, having holes to the surface light can filter down through. Lame.
The signal gets closer and closer until eventually Bulkhead can spot it... just sitting there. At the end of a expansive tunnel, if it can even be called that with how many holes it has to the surface, sits a metal box on a column of stone.
It's probably not wise for Bulkhead to be going on a mission on his own, and it's possible he'll hear something from Wheeljack about it later, yet. When the signal came up, he'd just kind of...scooted off on his own, not wanting to bother anyone else. Besides, if he ran into trouble he could bridge out and come back with reinforcements, right? So he's here, scanner in hand, as he traverses this rocky planet without much else going for it beyond the barren landscape. The caves aren't much better, even if he's grateful for the light after his last somewhat-suffocating adventure into the underground. He's on high alert even so as he makes his way down, watching for any threat or appearance of natives, simultaneously glad and disappointed when none show.
Upon reaching the tunnel, Bulkhead stops, peering down it at the metal box on its column. He glances to the scanner - that's the artifact, alright, yet. It's just sitting there, out in the open. He squints, thinking that Lieutenant's seismic sense would be really handy right about now. Bulk takes a few steps forward, into the tunnel, letting his gaze slowly sweep side to side, searching for any notable imperfections in the rock and surroundings. Traps, he's looking for traps.
<FS3> Bulkhead rolls Mind+mind: Success. (7 3 6 2)
As Bulkhead searches, again nothing happens. Nothing comes leaping to life or surging forward to stop him. The only thing that happens is a result of the mech himself, heavy steps displacing a stone along the floor and sending it skittering forward. It clacks against the floor several times until it reaches a patch of sunlight where it goes toppling up.
By all accounts the rock falls, as if suddenly going falling over the edge of a cliff just... yes, upwards. The cave echoes with the sound of it colliding against the ceiling, cracking several times before it rolls into one of the ceiling holes where it goes falling up again and disappearing into the sky.
He doesn't see any traps, which is good. The tension in Bulkhead's frame doesn't ease at all, however, fed by that niggling feeling deep in his tanks that something isn't quite right here. It can't be that easy, there has to be something else going on. His suspicions are confirmed when that rock clacks across the floor of the cavern, catching his attention, and then hits the sunlight and...falls upward. Bulkhead watches it go, sees it hit the ceiling before disappearing up through one of the holes in the cavern. His optics drop back to that patch of sunlight. "O...kay," he murmurs aloud, moving deeper into the tunnel and giving any similar patches a wide berth as he does. Even so, there's a new restlessness in him, and he wishes he'd brought more equipment. Whatever phenomenon is going on here, he wants to study it...maybe he'll bring Wheeljack back, and they can study it together. For now, he'll keep moving toward the stone column where the artifact sits.
As Bulkhead edges forward, all is once again still and quiet. Only the sound of his movements fills the chamber. Its too bad the strange phenomenon isn't rooted to the sunlight.
One more step forward and suddenly Bulkhead will feel as if he simply stepped off a building, the rush of falling hitting his tanks as he goes plummeting towards the ceiling.
<FS3> Bulkhead rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (8 5 4 4)
Well, that's a first strike. Bulkhead lets out a yelp of surprise, filling the cavern further with his noisy presence when suddenly the gravity - or whatever force it is that's switching up in here - reverses, and rather than continuing to walk forward he suddenly rockets up toward the ceiling. The uncomfortable swooping in his gut is ignored for now as he does his best to roll in mid-air. It works, mostly, his feet clumsily hitting the stone rather than his helm, and he takes a moment to acclimate to the fact that he's now standing on the ceiling.
"Hff. Alright then." Bulkhead shakes his helm, already feeling the discomfort of his internal energon rushing up toward it. With no way down that he can tell, he carefully starts forward again, walking on the ceiling this time. He'll be giving those holes a wide berth instead, where he can, so he doesn't go the way of that rock.
It is only two steps before another patch of gravity reversal hits him. At least now he is falling in the right direction.
<FS3> Bulkhead rolls Reaction+reaction: Failure. (4 6 5 6)
<FS3> Bulkhead rolls Fortitude: Good Success. (4 2 7 6 5 5 8 6 2 8)
Bulkhead had maybe hoped he'd be able to go farther than two steps before things switched on him again, so he's caught off guard the second time. He doesn't roll full like he wanted to, and so rather than land on his feet again he crunches onto his back, grunting with the impacting. At least his plating is thick - it shouldn't dent too badly, and he's able to pick himself up without much pain. Once he's upright again, Bulk glances around for some more loose rocks nearby, so that he can pick them up and start tossing them ahead of him. Maybe he can begin piecing together where these reversals occur, and if there's a common characteristic each spot shares that he can know to avoid.
There are plenty of loose rocks in patches around the cave, easy to find and easy to toss ahead. It doesn't take long to piece together that there are two spots of antigravity left, one large patch and another smaller spot leading up to the pedestal. Its here that an bit of a problem is discovered.
Surrounded by a circle of sunlight, let through by a large hole above, the pedestal is at the center of one of the caves reversed gravity spots. One more step to the box and he will take a plunge through that perfect circle above and into the sky for who knows how far.
Using the rocks, Bulkhead's able to find the other patches of reversal, which means he can keep away - except not, considering the last one is literally surrounding the artifact he's here to get. Standing just before the patch, Bulk scrubs at one optic with the heel of his hand, letting out a whufff of air through his vents. "Gotta be a way to grab it without gettin' sucked up inta space...." He looks at the remaining rock in his free hand, the scanner having been put away a while back when it became clear he wouldn't need it. Well, hitting the box off the column won't work, it'll just float away instead, so he drops that. Maybe he could...?
Carefully, tentatively, Bulkhead keeps his feet firmly where they are and pokes the tips of a few fingers into the gravity patch.
Nothing happens to Bulkhead's fingers, he isn't sucked upwards or any variations of the such. Nothing is felt really. If he didn't know any better there wouldn't seem to be anything wrong at all.
Just like sticking ones hand over a precipice, it just hangs there because you hold it out over the edge.
Okay, good. It's a passive reversal, rather than active, as Bulkhead's hand doesn't feel, on its own, as if it's being drawn toward that open space above him. Good. He can work with this. Pulling his hand back, Bulkhead hums in thought as he circles the, well, circle, studying it from every angle. The column is too far away to reach on his own; he'll likely overbalance and fall upward if he tried, without something anchoring him here, and he hasn't brought any tools like that. "Just my luck there ain't no sticks in here," he grumbles, looking around him. He could try backing up and running through it, hoping momentum would be enough to carry him through the circle...the risk is pretty high, but. Bulk glances back the way he came, gaze sweeping over the areas he remembers as being patches. But.
The box sits there serenely as Bulkhead thinks, following the laws of gravity.
Bulkhead weighs the options again. Or, more accurately, the one option. His optics fall back on that artifact, where it sits in the middle of the circle. Not rising toward the ceiling at all. A chuckle rolls up from deep in his belly, helm shaking in disbelief at himself as he starts backing up. A plan that would be worthy of Rodimus, this one.
Once he's put some more space between himself and the patch, Bulkhead takes a deep invent, then starts to run forward, gaining speed as he goes. He's a big mech, not a fast one, but once that inertia is overcome he sure can get moving. He steels himself as he gets closer and closer and at the last - hopefully right - moment, just before the patch, he springs forward, reaching out to try and grab that column and pull himself into the safe area in the middle of that circle.
<FS3> Bulkhead rolls Transportation: Good Success. (3 4 6 7 8 3 3)
Bulkhead's plan works... for the most part. The momentum of his movement and leap carries him across the gap, landing on the pillar which shakes with his weight but holds strong. While Bulkhead's main, well, bulk remains rooted in normal gravity he will find the pull of reversal tugging at his limbs- it seems only the pedestal itself is safe from the reversal around.
Bulkhead gives an "Oof!" when he hits the pillar, holding tightly to it as he feels that reversal dragging at his limbs. Damn; only this column appears to be immune to the effect, which means his plan for getting out of the center will have to be adjusted. At least he can still get his feet on the cavern floor, which he does, keeping one arm wrapped firmly around the column as he reaches for the metal box with the artifact in it. Curiosity pulls more strongly than the gravity does as he works to open the box, to see what this elaborate trap has been set to keep safe.
Sitting inside the box is an abacus, the crystalline beads that tick by numbers scattered around the frame as they as jostled.
There's something about this abacus that feels...right, somehow, as Bulkhead lets his fingers brush against those crystalline beads. Lucky he was the one who went on this particular mission, eh? He looks at it for a moment longer, familiarizing himself with the instrument, before closing the lid on the box and tucking the entire thing away in his subspace. One artifact got. And now...
There's not enough room to get a running start, that's for sure. Bulkhead chews his lower lip as he considers what to do, and eventually something comes to him. It's even worse of a plan than what got him here in the first place, but it's all he's got. Whispering a small thanks to Primus for the rough, grippable texture of the stone, he carefully pulls his feet up off the ground and, through some doing, ends up crouching against the pillar with both hands grabbing it on either side of his feet. He can feel the reversal effect on his frame as it juts out from the side of the column, which actually helps keep him relatively level. Another deep invent, another chuckle at how ridiculous this plan is, and then Bulkhead tightens his crouch, robotic 'muscles' coiling like a taut spring before he pushes off and, once more, tries to jump through the reversal patch.
<FS3> Bulkhead rolls Body+body: Good Success. (5 3 4 1 6 3 8 8)
Bulkhead can feel the effects of gravity as he leaps through the field, the energon in his lines trying to adjust to the sudden change, but the force of his jump sends him careening straight out the other end of the patch with only the slightest of falling- moving upwards just a tad as he begins to lose momentum the near moment he leaves the reversal.
He makes it out, though, landing in a heap just inside the space of normal laws of nature.
For a second there, Bulkhead's worried he's not gonna make it. He's a big guy, after all, there's a lot of weight for gravity to pull at. Thankfully, behind that weight there's also a lot of strength, and it seems his push off of the column was enough to see him all the way through the reversal to the other side. Unfortunately the extra height it added to his jump means that he's hitting the ground hard for a second time today, and not on his feet. Landing on his shoulder, Bulk slides a few extra feet until momentum leaves him and he scrapes to a halt on the rocky floor of the cavern.
Despite the hard landing, he's in one piece, and Bulkhead pushes himself up off the ground with nothing more than a soft grunt. He's gonna be sore, but he's alright with it, for safe in his subspace is the artifact he'd come here to get: his. So it's with a smile that he starts heading back toward the other end of the tunnel, skirting around the reversal patches as he goes. He'll call the bridge once he's in a safer area, and once he gets back he'll note down the coordinates of this particular location. Jackie's gonna love this.