2017-09-23 Robbing the Bank
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Robbing the Bank|
|Plot||Artifacts of the Knights of Cybertron|
|Summary||Sterling and Roughshod investigate a creepy deserted western-style town.|
Another artifact signal, another mission, another bridging out into the unknown. It's the standard fare these days, even if each location tends to be fairly different than the last. The current one is no exception: when Roughshod and Sterling arrive, they'll find themselves on the edge of an abandoned town. It's dark, the moon a crescent in the sky, at times partially obscured by passing wisps of cloud, and there's no sign of anyone else around. The only sounds are that of the wind through the scraggy desert bushes in the surrounding countryside. The whole effect is rather eerie, and the derelict state of the town's buildings don't help. Their scanner will show the artifact is somewhere ahead, in the heart of the town.
Sterling looks around, optic narrowing as she looks out into the abandoned town, "So.. can hunting for artifacts never just be, I don't know, on a resort planet or something?" Heels shifting in the dirt, Sterling tries to keep any nerves out of her frame. This place is spooky, ok? Holding the scanner up, the gun former points them forward, "Apparently we have to go into the horror movie town."
Roughshod walks in his beastmode beside Sterling, head held high as he peers across the empty town. "Hah, c'mon. It's fine. Kinda' peaceful. Just keep your optic open and stay close." With a little head toss, he trots forth and forces poor Sterling into a jog to keep up. "We're definitely overdue for a resort planet though."
As they enter the town, the creepy atmosphere seems to intensify. There's the odd sense that they're being watched, though there's still no one around, and no one has appeared to greet them. Window shutters, half hanging from their frames, smack lightly against the side of buildings as the wind blows past, and further in they hear the distant creaking of a door left open. The signal pulls them further in, past storefronts with faded and peeling letters advertising a general store, a saloon, and more.
As the two glance around, in one of the top rooms of the saloon, Sterling will see something, just for a moment - a face, white and blank, staring out at the two. A double-take will show the window as blank and dark as any of the others.
Sterling is indeed forced to jog to keep up with the seemingly eager beastformer, "Hey slow down, not all of us have mobile alts you know!" This had really better not become a trend on this trip or she- Sterling freezes mid step, seeing something flash by through a window. Twisting to look, she finds nothing there... but she is completely confident she saw something.
"Yeah, well, you should probably go ahead with that flying-lizard thing for your altmode already," Roughshod smirks, then follows Sterling's stare towards the window. "See something? Someone? Let's go say hi!" He clop-clop-clops over to the saloon's porch. "Hello? We're harmless visitors! We're looking for something..."
Nobody answers Roughshod's calls. The saloon's door, one side partially off its hinges, sways with the wind as it rolls through the main street of the town once more. As far as Roughshod can see inside, it's dark, and nothing moves beyond that door. The signal beckons them further on down the street.
"Yeah, I... There was something up there- Roughshod wait!" What is that horse doing!? Sterling knows there could very well be friendly people here but that sure just seems like a good way to be murdered! "There's nothing there now see? Let just- Let's just go find the artifact so we can leave." This place isn't already starting to freak her out, who says its starting to freak her out? She's been to rundown places before! ... Granted those places are usually crime ridden not abandoned and creepy but the point still stands.
Roughshod snorts, and reluctantly turns to rejoin Sterling in the street. "Okay okay. Onward!" Since Sterling is leading, he just comes up behind her and noses her along with the flat of his head.
There's no reason to be creeped out by this place! None at all. Ignore how the wind seems to pick up the further they get into town, how casual glances toward the buildings on either side of the dirt street show curtains rustling when they shouldn't, or shadows appearing in doorways that disappear at next glance. That feeling of being watched grows more oppressive as the two near the signal's origin, which turns out to be a building closer to the other end of this very small town, the crooked sign above it sporting the letters 'B N '.
Sterling huffs as Rough goes to push her along. Deciding to be difficult the femme leans back against the mech as he pushes her, forcing him to practically carry her as revenge for the earlier jogging, "Looks like we are getting close to the artifact." Almost every time something moves that isn't supposed to or a burst of wind hits their plating the femme's optic snaps to the movement, growing increasingly nervous as time goes on. By the time they get to 'B N' her gun barrels are nervously twitching in their rotation, "So.. looks like its in there..."
Roughshod doesn't seem to mind the resistance. He just shuffles her along like a plow.
"BEAN," Roughshod reads, and cocks his head. He's may be a /little/ spooked by the atmosphere now. "Alright. Let's try this again." He walks up and noses the door open, slowly this time. "Hello?"
Again, there's no response from inside the building. The door opens on a room empty of people, mechanical or otherwise. The layout is old-fashioned, empty teller windows lined up on one side of the room, and a big, intimidating iron vault door just visible in the wall behind them. There's a thick layer of dust on the floor, along with random debris, newspapers faded beyond legibility, weeds that have broken through the cracks in the stone floor, general detritus left there untouched for years. The signal points them toward the wall with the vault.
Sterling squints at Roughshod, "..... Bean? What kind of place is called..." before following him to peer in. It only takes her one look around to figure it out, "Oh, Bank." Still hovering outside, Sterling glances back at Roughshod, "Guess we're robbing a bank... you go first." She isn't dying to a data ghost today.
"...Bank," Roughshod corrects himself, then gives Sterling a winning equine smile. "Don't be afraid gunny-gal. If something wanted to harm us they would've done it already." With the signal coming from the vault beyond the teller windows, Roughshod decides to just... go in through the teller windows. He surely bends the frame and breaks some things as he shoves his front half through. "Sterling give me a push!"
The teller windows do not protest Roughshod's violent entry through them. They can't; they're not alive. They do break, the glass separating one side from the other apparently not Roughshod-proof, glass sprinkling around the counters and onto the floor, wooden frame creaking and straining with the bulk of the horse mech as he pushes through. Near him, in the corner on the vault side, a shadowy figure appears, standing silent and foreboding.
<FS3> Sterling rolls Unarmed: Amazing Success. (5 8 1 8 7 8 8 5 8)
Sterling scoffs, crossing arms across her chassis, "Yeah, that or they are just waiting for when we are alone. Have you never seen one of those earth horror flicks before?" She watches Roughshod head in and... Primus you have got to be kidding her. There is an audible clank as the femme slaps a palm against her forehead, dragging the appendage down to rest over the lower half of her face, "You have got to be kidding me Rough. Did you seriously... You are never going to live this down, I hope you know that." She's not pushing him.. but she'll kick him. Raising a heeled pede, the femme readies herself to deliver a swift kick to his rear in an attempt to get him loose. Sure she could have just destroyed the wooden frames keeping him trapped, but where's the fun in that?
Its only once her boot is about to make harsh contact with his aft that she notices the figure, yelping and ending up putting maybe a little too much force into her kick. Just a bit.
Roughshod braces himself, hooves scraping. He doesn't expect the kick and it shoves him through, dragging planks of wood and glass. "OW!" He buckles and splays on the ground, right before the figure. "I said push, not DESTROY!" His flank has a nice Sterling-foot-shaped dent in it now. "Oh... Hello. We need what's in the vault..."
The figure doesn't move, doesn't make any indication that it's witnessed that hell of a kick or the subsequent comment from Roughshod. In fact, it's only visible a moment longer before a blink of an eye and it's gone, leaving the corner empty. Well. That sure happened.
Meanwhile, the bank vault door sits there, being big and thick. A blinking light beside it will draw the eye, and closer inspection reveals it's a keypad of sorts. A locking mechanism, outfitted for a code. It looks a lot newer and high-tech than anything else here.
Sterling freezes as she has a near staredown with the thing, watching it wide optic'd until it disappears. Once it is gone, she looks down at Roughshod then back to the spot, "... Well that's great!" Literally spinning on her heel, the femme starts pacing back towards the door, "I am waiting outs-... but then I'd be alone. And that's just what they want. Frag." She's trapped in here. "I- Sorry Roughshod, you uh..." Sterling is only now noticing the very clear bootprint she left on the poor horse's aft, wincing in sympathy, "You ok there... buddy?"
Roughshod blinks. It's gone. Ooookay. "Someone's screwin' with us," he murmurs, getting to his feet. "I'm fine. Let's just hurry and get what we need so we can stop giving these chucklefucks the pleasure." He eyes the vault. Seemed out of place. "We're not hacking this thing open, unless you have some skills I don't know about. Wanna' try shooting at it?"
Sterling shrugs, shoulders rising and falling before settling back to the tense state, "Uh... no sorry no hacking here. I'm usually up for the brute force approach." she walks up to the door, staring it down, before kicking it. Yup its solid. "Um.. Maybe you could try using my alt mode? My pistols are.. well one got destroyed and the other is with Sandstorm." A knife probably wouldn't help here.
Roughshod finally shifts back into root mode with a tche-tche-chk, and approaches Sterling when she transforms. He hefts her like he would a minigun, and aims her barrel at the vault's hinges. To say he doesn't take /immense/ pleasure out of getting to fire a bigass gun would be a lie.
<FS3> Sterling rolls Firearms: Success. (5 1 2 6 5 6 1 5 4 7 3 6 2 4)
The keypad doesn't do anything odd as Sterling's alt mode is aimed at it. It sits still when she's fired, the bullets peppering the stone around it, some glancing off the metal of the vault's door and burying themselves in the teller windows or floor instead. Unfortunately, Sterling is not all that built for precision, and when the rain of bullets ends it looks like the keypad is mostly unharmed. Except for the 3 key. Poor guy.
Through the open bank door, there comes a distant scream. It's originating from one of the other buildings, though which one is impossible to tell from here.
Sterling stares at the door from her alt mode, nearly unharmed despite the rain of gunfire she hailed down on it. A Beat. The femme flips out of her alt mode, "Wha- I- ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?" The femme makes a dramatic, disbelieving, motion towards the door with her arms as she looks at Roughshod. She's taken down mechs with intense plating before! She's decimated buildings before! She's- "SHUT UP!" She bellows out the door and towards the scream from the other building, "THIS IS TOTAL SLAG I- wait. Was that a scream."
Roughshod blinks. "I thought you had more firepower," he laments, though Sterling looks just as upset. "A'ight, well... Let's just see if a good ol' kickin' will bust it down, eh?" He folds back into beastmode, but freezes upon hearing the scream, ears perked. "...Sterling, go investigate while I'll bust this thing down." He turns and gears up for one of his heaviest kicks.
<FS3> Roughshod rolls Bucking: Great Success. (1 8 4 4 5 8 2 8 1 7 6 5 1 8 3)
Where Sterling's bullets failed, Roughshod's powerful kick does not. The keypad splinters, crushed completely beneath the beastformer's hoof, spitting sparks onto the floor. There's a loud, deep clunk inside the vault, indicating the door is now unlocked. From outside, as if on cue, there comes another scream.
Sterling stomps her pede, angered at the injustice of this all!! "I DO have more firepower than that! That was a fraggin fluke! Also let me get this straight you want me to go find-" And then the door clunks open with a kick from the horse, ".... I call bullshit! That was- is- ugh, screw it. If I die I blame you." turning back to the door, Sterling stalks out of the bank and out into the street.
"You won't diiiiie. You're a big tough armored gun, and a security officer! If this place has organics, you don't need to worry." Roughshod surveys his damage proudly, and grips whatever handle he can reach with his teeth to pull the big door back.
Outside, the street remains empty, and creepy, the wind rolling small tumbleweeds down the dirt street and creating small dust devils as it blows through. The screams don't come again, though further down, back at that saloon, there's a light in an upstairs window that definitely wasn't on before.
Roughshod's strength is enough to pull the heavy bank vault door open, and inside he'll be met with a rather strange sight. Instead of your standard vault storing money and prized possessions, what he reveals appears to be more of a control room. There's a wall of monitors at the far end, each showing a section of the town, the images displaying in grainy black-and-white. In front of the monitors is a control board with a whole slew of buttons, each clearly marked in letters only slightly faded. 'SHERIFF GHOST', one says, upon closer inspection. 'AXE MURDERER'. 'HAUNTED RIDER'. There are also several slide buttons to one side, many of which are still in the 'ON' position.
Even without the scanner, there's something about this room that will pull Roughshod in further, toward the lone chair sitting in front of this bank of monitors. Its back is toward him, but as he gets closer, he'll be able to clearly see that sat upon the chair is a smooth silver box. It's covered in a layer of dust as thick as that on the bank's floor, and nestled on the metal lid, the lone console light's beam falling warmly upon it, is the box's apparent guardian.
It's a snake.
Sterling is entirely unaware of any goings on inside the bank, as she has already stepped out into the street and started on her way to the buildings where the screams seemed to come from. The entire walk she's wary and glancing around her to check that no one is indeed about to leap out at her with an axe or something.
Roughshod ventures inward cautiously, pausing in the center of the room to stare up at the monitors. <<"Cute. It looks like a control room. I think maybe this is some kinda' old amusement park, Sterling. Find anything?">> He looks over the switches and decides to flick a few off before approaching the chair. And the box. And the SNAKE! <<"GAH!">> He rears back and darts back towards the vault door.
The light in the saloon flickers off as its switch is flipped by Roughshod, and so does the wind, the street becoming deathly quiet without its ghostly whisper. Unfortunate that he didn't hit all of them, and there goes that scream for the third time, shattering the new silence. It's definitely coming from the saloon.
Meanwhile, the snake lifts its head and hisses at the disturbance of a giant metal thing clomping about and making a racket. Then the disturbance is gone, and it can settle back into snoozing beneath the console light's rays.
Sterling pauses, "a control room? Why would that-" And then Roughshod screams, causing the femme to tense and turn back, << "Wha- Roughshod are you ok!?" >> And then the scream comes again, making the femme nearly jump out of her plating with an admittedly girly shriek, "SLAG! Frag the scream." << "Roughshod I'm coming, holdon!" >> The femme races back to the bank, practically skidding to a halt as she returns, "What is it, whats happening!?"
Roughshod trots anxiously outside of the open vault door and pushes up onto his hinds to hug Sterling with his forelegs. He's... really, really heavy and far too big for this. "There's a sn-snake on the chair. Scare it off... It's on top of the artifact!"
Sterling oofs as Roughshod practically sits on her in the hug, "hey, get off your gonna bend my barrels if you keep doing that!" Unsure of what he is going on about, Sterling creeps forward as she pulls a knife from her leg compartment. On the side of the door, Sterling peers inside to see what monstrosity has terrified the horse so much.
Stealthy stance dropping, the femme's jaw nearly drops and her optic widens as she calls back to the mech, "... The ghost thing didn't scare you, the shadow thing didn't scare you, the energon curdling screams didn't scare you. This, this scares you." Its just a snake. Resist the urge to facepalm, Sterling. She will have a dent on her forehead if she keeps that up.
Roughshod pokes his head out around the door. "We all have our LIMITS, Sterling," he snorts, getting annoyed. "Just run it off before I trample it!" He stays right where he is.
The snake lies on its warm bed, snoozing away. It doesn't seem bothered this time. Maybe it's too tired.
Now amused, Sterling walks into the vault, "You sure? That would require getting closer to it." Stepping up to the box, the femme gently reaches down to pick it up, "Cmere little guy, I got some warm plating you can lie on until we leave."
"Hey, remember when I said I wouldn't tell anyone about your shrilly banshee screams?" Roughshod doesn't budge until Sterling has the damn thinging in her hands. He slooowly moves out from his cover, and leans to hook his lip under the box's lid.
The snake does awaken when it's lifted, hissing in confused irritation, yet. The gentleness of the hold means it doesn't rear back and bite. It keeps up its hissing even as it grumpily settles, though. Its warmth is gone, and Sterling's plating is chilly in comparison.
The box lid lifts easily, flipping back to reveal its contents. Inside, on a bed of soft silk, sits a horseshoe. It's simple in design, made of a shining silver metal that looks sturdy and strong to even the most trained eye. Its simplicity is enhanced and bettered by small icy-blue gems set along the curve of it. Even if it didn't call to Roughshod, it would be really, really obvious who this belonged to.
Sterling runs a finger along the snake's back, letting it adjust to the plating of her shoulder as she rests it there, and looks down at the box's contents with her crewmate, "... Slag, those knights really made artifacts specific."
"Oooh. Pretty fancy." Roughshod slips back to root mode and picks up the artifact, holding it up to the light of the monitors. "Wow, it's got gems... My old farrier would be jealous!" He twirls it once around a finger, and slips it into subspace. "Good work Sterling." For Sterling's trouble, she gets a hearty slap on the back. But he still keeps his distance from that snake.
The snake will keep its distance too, thank you. Time to curl up on Sterling's shoulder, enjoy its pets, and get back to sleep. You weird giant metal things do you.
Sterling stumbles slightly as she is given a slap on the back. yeah, ok that's fine. He's gonna try to kill her with kindness good to know. "You mean thank you for getting my aft out of a window and picking up the oh so scary monster snake." Smirking, the femme leans her weight on one leg to send a pretty good imitation of a raised eyebrow at him.