2017-10-13 Sand and Sounds

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Sand and Sounds
Date 2017/10/13
Location Rigard - Great Lake
Participants Mir, Lockjaw, Conduit
Summary A trio of Lost Lighters encounter each other on the shore of the Great Lake, and one transports the others somewhere else.

Waves roll in from the west to crash upon wide beaches of green sand. This lake is more than large enough to qualify as a sea by most measures: the water stretches out past the horizon. The dramatic rise and fall of the hills and cliffs running down to the edge of the lake make for a spectacular view.

No matter where they traveled, Mir always headed towards the soothing sounds of the waves. It was always so calm there, so peaceful. And it was no different here, on Rigard. As soon as they heard of the Great Lake, Mir had almost immediately headed out to Rigard to look for it.

And here it was. Mir walks up as close as they could to the waters, before plopping themselves on the green sand. Taking out a neurospeaker and tossing it up above themselves, Mir lays back on the sand. So... peaceful.

Conduit sets one foot into the sand with mild unease. It's ironic, in a way: piles of his nanites could easily be mistaken for fine sand. But, the nanotechnologist likes things clean, organized, orderly, like his lab and his ship; sand just gets everywhere. So why does he venture onto the beach at all? Well, he wants to collect a sample of the lake water, for REASONS, and the simplest way to do that is just to walk to it. He could have grabbed a MARB but, well, he didn't. He should have. While regretting his decision, he spots Mir at the shoreline, but he's too far away to say hello. He'll just ... step. And step.

Peaceful waters, of course, can simply mean that there's a predator lying in wait nearby. Or, well, maybe not lying, and not actually waiting for anything, but there is a predator here. What might have been mistaken at a distance for a clump of floating seaweed, or a mossy log floating in the lake suddenly disappears under the water, to reappear shortly again, closer to the shore. Lockjaw's snout comes up right near Mir's feet. Then the rest of her comes, as she pulls herself partway out of the water, lifting her head towards the thing floating above the mech. What is that thing?

Mir blinks out of their daydreaming as somethi- no, someone rose from the waters before them, staring intently at their neurospeaker. Gosh, they're long... Please don't eat my drone. Uncertain and wary, Mir speaks. "Erm, greetings...?"

Conduit watches Lockjaw's emergence from the lake waters from still a distance away. As he draws nearer to the waterline, the wetter sand is more compact and supports his feet more firmly, so he can go a little faster. Much more comfortable. He thinks to maybe let those two ... well, do whatever those two might do, but the hovering thing is kind of interesting, so he approaches. Hope he's not looming.

Lockjaw reaches to poke the floating thing with her snout, only to hear its owner (?) speak up. Oh, they're awake. "Greetings. I did not mean to wake you" She rumbles in return, before turning towards the mech approaching them. Well, this is suddenly becoming quite the party.

"It's... alright." Noticing Lockjaw's curiosity about the neurospeaker, Mir sits up and beckons for the drone to fly back down closer. Mir turns their head to follow Lockjaw's gaze towards yet another large person... okay then. They don't know who that this.

Conduit's purple biolights pulse mildly in interest as he finally steps up. Sensing this might seem awkward, he clasps his hands behind his back and gives a courteous nod. "Hello. Erm. I hope you are enjoying the beach." He's not. He picks up one foot to shake sand off it.

Lockjaw snorts as the sand goes flying. Careful with that! It might get in someone's optic! Her reply, however, is cordial "It could stand to be a little warmer." With that, she turns back to the sunbather "Are you from this colony?" She's fairly sure that she hasn't seen this guy on the ship. The other one, yeah, she's seen around. Not this one though.

Mir nods at Conduit, biting their lip in amusement as they watched him shake his foot about. "It's peaceful here. The sounds..." Mir trails off with a content sigh as their neurospeaker hovered around their head, letting out a twinkling tune as it did so. Turning their head back to Lockjaw, Mir shakes their head. "No. I got picked up a while ago. I've mostly been..." Mir waves their hand around vaguely. "Wandering around. Do you come here often?"

"Ah. Sorry." Conduit places his foot back on the sand. He'll shake the other one off later, farther away. This stuff does get everywhere. "It is peaceful. Indeed." He himself listens, and hears the hiss of the sheets of water that slide up and down the sand, and the soft burbles and ripples behind them, and even the breeze rubbing against the sand itself. A moment of mindfulness, which Conduit can appreciate, especially since he so easily gets absorbed in his work. Or sample collecting. The biolights soften.

"Quite" Lockjaw rumbles again, turning her head to look back at the lake "I have not seen much real water while aboard the Lost Light, and the most swimming space I have seen since Eukaris, except for maybe Abyssalas. It is a shame what happened to that world. Only shows that Unicron must be stopped" she lets out a low vent. All that water, and all those fighting opportunities, gone. She turns back to the mechs "I would have thought that I would have seen you before."

Mir hums in agreement. There was so much material here they could use for a new soothing soundtrack. The neurospeaker was still recording though... They'll edit the conversation out later in their habsuite. Mir's expression turns somber at the mention of the Harbinger of Chaos. "So many voices lost..." They murmur, grasping a handful of sand and letting it trickle out of their first. Sounds and voices extinguished, erased from existence. It was a chilling thought. Still watching the sand trickle out of their fingers, Mir answered quietly. "I... stayed in my habsuite most of the time, to set up my things. Otherwise, in quiet places. I've only recently been going out and about."

"It was my understanding that most of the inhabitants managed to escape." For Conduit, rescuing a population of scientists was of much more importance than the fate of the planet they'd happened to live on. "Yet the destruction of their world, billions of years of history. Gone in moments." And the life forms there as well, who knows what mysteries they held? Lost. But, back to the present. "I keep to myself as well, researching. I am Conduit." Another courteous nod.

"Lockjaw, of the Scalewalker tribe of Eukaris" The gatorformer offers in turn "I would not have minded another encounter with their local, hmmm, organics. They put up quite a fight. I had not had such a thrill in a while, especially in the water." She lets out another vent. Oh well. What's gone is gone. Instead, she turns back to the present, and Mir, or rather, their hovery toy "What, is that thing that is floating above you?" she raises her snout again to nudge it carefully.

"I am Mir. A pleasure to meet you both, Conduit, Lockjaw." Mir introduces themselves. They would've liked to visit Abyssalas - barring alt-mode troubles - to record the sounds of life there. To keep them... alive, in a sense. Shaking their head of those sad thoughts, Mir replied to Lockjaw's question. "It's a neurospeaker. A drone with a sound speaker in it. It helps me record sounds and play them." The neurospeaker beeps as Lockjaw nudged it before setting back above them.

Honestly, Conduit showed up more to check out the neurospeaker than to enjoy company, but the company is good, too. He watches the drone bobble up in the air and continue its work with interest. "Very nice. How much autonomy does it possess, as opposed to you commanding it? I ... I work with nanites and confront similar issues with them." To him, his command-and-control systems are orders of magnitude more complex than a one-to-one linkage, but he politely leaves that opinion out.

"What sort of sounds?" Lockjaw follows the drone with her head until it moves out of her reach. Then she rises up on her hind legs to follow it further. Technically, she could transform and reach it that way, but she's not feeling it today. The sand is warm, and it's not like she's actually trying to grab it. Thus, the drone will come away unharmed as she drops back down to all fours "And for what purpose?"

Mir perks up a little as Conduit expressed his interest in their neurospeaker. "They have a basic personality matrix, though it can be overwritten. They connect to me wirelessly through a private neural network, which makes processing time quite fast." Mir tilts their head at the mention of nanite issues. Wouldn't that be a medical issue? "The neurospeakers are rather simple-minded though, so I'm not sure if we have the same problem."

Seeing Lockjaw... play with their neurospeaker out of the corner of their optic, they glance at them curiously. "Any kind of sound, I'll record it. And for well... entertainment, mostly. Would you like a demonstration of some sort?"

Conduit nods with Mir's adept explanations. "Each individual nanite is very simple, more so than one of these, I imagine. Together, though, there is emergent complexity. But it is of a different sort, I imagine. Still, I ... enjoy learning by comparison. ... Oh, yes, a demonstration." For some reason, Conduit takes a step or two back, as if Mir and the drone need room to work.

Lockjaw honestly has no idea what these two nerds are talking about, nor does she care. Not her devision. The offer of a demonstration, however, has her interest again "Any sound, for entertainment?" how do random sounds qualify as entertainment? Either this is another Standard thing that she won't get, or, it might truly be something interesting. She looks up again at the drone "Of course."

The offer of a demonstration was a spur of the moment idea, excited to show off a little of their talent but Mir didn't take it back. They would follow through... even when their environmental conditions weren't exactly ideal for a demonstration. Not like the one they did for Orbitall. Too much background noise, and the sound won't carry as well as it would've in the Quiet Room. The waves splashing on the shore was a bit distracting too... "Let's do this a little further away from the lake." Standing up, they walk to Conduit before sitting down near the latter's feet. Removing the other two neurospeakers out of their subspace, Mir tosses one up into the air to join the other neurospeaker and plants the last one down in the sand, speaker up. While they mentally forward a couple of commands to their neurospeakers, Mir patted on the sand around them. "This environment is not ideal but I will do my best. Come closer so that the sound travels better, alright?"

Conduit seems to be in a pretty good position already, but he shuffles a little to the side to where it seems he'll hear even better. He almost doesn't even notice the sand trying to wedge into the seams on his feet. While he feels for the speaker stuck in the sand, he keeps his optics mostly on the floating ones.

Lockjaw follows Mir, leaving a wet groove in the sand behind her. More drones? She eyes the one in the sand. Make it glow, and it would look almost like a newly ignited spark. With that thought leaving her chuckling to herself, she settles in to listen, lifting her head to better hear the floating ones as well.

While waiting for their audience to settle down, Mir thinks about which soundtrack would feel right to play. Conduit, a S&E researcher, nanites, history? Lockjaw, a fighter, water? Hmm... They both have land-based alt-modes. The soundtrack they compiled for Raashokra, a jungle planet with the labyrinth caves, might work. Sliding their visor down over their face, Mir taps on the speaker in the sand to start playing. The recording starts with the sound of native fauna and shuffling leaves.

Conduit is surprised by the sensation of the sounds coming from the speakers. In just a moment or two, he feels that if he were to power off his optics, he could fool himself into thinking he was in another place, somewhere ... with organic life, an atmosphere that feels closer than Rigard's. He can't help but glance down at the sand to check if there isn't vegetation his feet might be crunching.

Lockjaw, on the other hand, goes the full distance, her optics dimming as she listens. It sounds so familiar, and yet, so oddly alien. Still, it's nice. She's missed sounds like this - the jungle, the trees, the lower greenery "It's almost like home" she mutters, quietly, so as not to interfere with the sounds.

Unlike the Harmonex one they played for Orbitall, the Raashokra soundtrack didn't have a voice recording to come with it. Purely of sounds they collected from the jungle planet, it was probably one of their favourites. The sounds echoed well in the labyrinth... even if they did get a little lost. Avian-like creatures singing their sweet songs, as one trundles carefully through the vegetation. Light footsteps crunching on vegetation, join the sound of the jungle coming to life before their very audials.

Momentarily forgetting his original reason for coming to the beach, Conduit marvels at the synesthetic quality of the sounds emitted by just three of these neurospeakers. He feels the urge to ask about whether the illusory quality of the effect could be used in other ways - say, for hiding something or sneaking past others - but both Mir and Lockjaw seem to enjoying it, so he stays mum. Once the recordings subside, even he feels more relaxed. "Impressive. I'd like to learn more about the workings of your drones, but ... another time. I've disturbed you enough. Thank you for the demonstration, and I'll see you both again soon." With yet one more nod, he takes his leave, and heads to the waterline to collect his sample. Oh, briny water. Is that better or worse than sand.

Lockjaw's optics remain dimmed for a while even after the sounds subside, and it's only Conduit's departure that has her turning to watch him go. "I" she turns back to Mir "Would not mind hearing more, if you are willing." She's under no illusion that it's all going to be jungle sounds, but, that recording has won Mir and their drones her favour. Perhaps there will be something that would make a pleasant accompaniment to sunning on the beach? If Mir's not willing, well, she can do without too.

Sliding their visor up, Mir beamed at them both. "It was a pleasure to show this to you two. I'll see you later, Conduit." After watching the mech leave Mir glances at Lockjaw, still smiling contently. "It would be my pleasure."

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