From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Lost Light - Science and Medical - Perceptor's lab|
|Summary||Updates and advice.|
A neat and orderly lab, Perceptor's Lab is everything one might expect from the resident ship genius. (One of them, anyway.) Experiments are neatly labeled running from xenobiology through metallurgy. An isolation room has been built into the lab for experiments that require it.
The meticulously organized and ordered lab has encountered some sort of holographic projector whirlwind. Tiny emitter cubes have been set up all around the space and linked to form a sort of bubble of information around Perceptor's central perch. He's sat up on a stool in the empty space and plugging away at a datapad, occasionally looking up to the floating graphs and statistics. Graphs and statistics that mingle with schematics from his old and new frames.
Perceptor had sent out a request for a social call with Rodimus, he'd marked it and set an alarm but clearly he's gotten too absorbed in his current task because it doesn't look like he's moved for hours, or noticed the blinking datapad set off to the side trying to remind him of the time. The door's unlocked, as is new policy with the promotions to Lead of multiple divisions, but so far nobody's interrupted him.
Don't worry, Rodimus is here to be the interruption that Perceptor is clearly looking for: he blazes on through only to stall in the face of all that math. "Yikes," he says, rocking back on his heels in a wince that's not entirely feigned. "I already had a headache; this is just depressing me. What're you workin' on, Percy? Hoping to roll back whatever the scrap it is that Bludgeon did?"
Perceptor's attention's harder to draw away than usual, all Rodimus gets at first is a quick glance up from the datapad and a slight flick of tails. That's before he continues speaking though. "If the combined might of the Autobot's scientists couldn't roll back these mutations at the peak of our numbers, it would be impossible for me to succeed on my own." Tails lash against the legs of the stool, thwacking into the metal and prompting a slight wince.
"Yeah, like that should stop you." Rodimus wades through the projections to stand behind Perceptor and out of the way, studying them from the new angle like he might understand them -- or at least glean something from them. "Doesn't matter if 100 other people have tried to do something and failed, I'd still want to try it myself. Still might learn something."
"Combined efforts. I failed then and we exhausted the ethical options at that point." Perceptor folds one hand over the datapad, drawing the other up to touch lightly at his repression collar. "You've seen how Grimlock is now."
"I'm worried Sunstreaker's gonna go for an unethical option," Rodimus says as he leans up against the nearest vertical surface in a casual lean. "Any science that says what the response would be if he tried switching frames? Can't be good, right? Sparks totally different now?"
"You're the captain, you can order him to avoid that option." Perceptor spins the stool top to look at Rodimus. "Rejection most likely. You have to recall the frame loan clinics which existed prior to the war? They're documented. I imagine it would go over as a bad match from one of those would have."
"I mean, I have. But--." Rodimus breaks off, swallow the self-depreciating option, and laughs instead. "Frag, that sounds about right. I'll remind him of that." Meeting Perceptor's gaze, Rodimus tilts his head. "So -- how're you? Solved any new mysteries, if not that one?"
"Not as yet." Perceptor shakes his head. "I'm... doing well? Brainstorm has provided a fascinating selection of rifles for testing that I have volunteered to aid with. Testing.. off the ship."
"New Brainstorm weapons?" Rodimus perks visibly, brightening with interest. "Nice. Anything you think will help us get a handle on the zombie problem? Uhm -- not, not Lieutenant and Pipes. They aren't a problem. Probably. Are they a problem? I mean the others. I don't know what breaking that Creepnus's staff is going to do but he definitely still had the titan."
"They're excessively destructive sniper rifles. One has acid rounds but I think in terms of the zombies, learning to utilize my new... mutations, will be more of a benefit from what the incident reports say." Tails calm to an idle sway and Perceptor leans forward to rest elbows on his legs. "They could be a problem, we haven't conducted proper evaluations on them from my division yet, I need your permission to carry through a vivisection procedure should they consent."
Excessively destructive catches Rodimus's attention, but sniper rifles dims it. Oh, a weapon requiring patience. B O R I N G. He fingerguns at Perceptor and says, "Have fun. I'm not actually sure where the fire thing came from, but people keep repeating it. I haven't had a chance to test it out myself. I noticed when I got a shot on one last time that it stayed down, though. Prowl took some out, but they got back up. Eventually. He was brutal." In a hushed undertone, he adds, "It was awesome."
"Anyway, yeah, get their consent, do your thing. It sure seems like them, but we've had a lot of seems like lately," Rodimus adds with a wave of his hand. "Also can't you call it something friendlier? Keep talking about vivisecting and people are gonna look at you funny."
"He commands the Wreckers, Rodimus." Commands, not commanded. "I can... attempt. Nothing else conveys the procedure in a suitably detailed fashion though." Perceptor huffs but consents to try. "Ah- that. Does remind me. I should apologize...? I hadn't meant to... implicate feelings of irritation or displeasure toward you with regards to ah. Drift."
Tilting his head, Rodimus says, "Uh. You didn't." He pauses then, visibly searching his memory banks for what Perceptor might be referring to. "I mean, apology accepted, but not needed? How's Drift doing?" His brightness fades somewhat with the question, but his focus sharpens. "I don't think he's reading my messages. I'm not -- I'm not sending a lot, just. Updates. Anyway, how is he?"
Perceptor gives a tense smile, good that it's not remembered, he just won't refresh that one. "He seems alright, sad but that's within the parameters of this type of situation. Taking more risks than he has in recent years but consistent with prior expressions of behavior." He fidgets, bites his lip.
Rodimus starts to speak, then pauses, tilts his head the other way, and considers that fidgeting lip bite. "You swallowing something you want to say? Do I need to be like -- what's it. Permission to speak freely?"
"Oh- no not. That isn't the reasoning." Perceptor shakes his head quickly and gives Rodimus an almost deer-in-headlights look. "I ah- I'm not certain how appropriate it is to discuss this? Things about Drift. You're both my friends, I hope to consider you both friends, but Drift is... Drift. And you were engaged in a relationship with him for some time."
Rodimus's eyes narrow. It's not especially predatory. He's just bad at predatory. At his very best, he can look fierce, but never predatory. So any magnification of Perceptor's deer-in-headlights has to be entirely on Perceptor's end as he asks, "Well, now I'm just curious and not leaving here until you finish the thought. What's up? Is something wrong?"
"I don't know how to deal with him." Perceptor says at length, audibly frustrated. "Or you. I've never been in this positon before, it's unpleasant." The quick dip his optics take down to his datapad gives enough time to wipe the deer-in-headlights look away. "Specifically I feel that you could help with my present stresses in his regard but I do not want to burden your emotional load further with it."
Widening the reach of his arms, Rodimus turns his hands up: "Lay it on me, Percy." He even crooks his fingers on the end of his arm in a wiggle.
For a moment Perceptor looks like he'll go back on sharing, then he wilts a little and slips off the stool, gesturing toward the ground (it's clean) and folding his legs to sit on it. He doesn't want to go through the trouble to get another one out, and he'd rather be on even ground and comfortable. "You're certain it won't add more stress to yourself?"
Rodimus folds himself into a cross-legged pile on the ground with more agility than one might expect from him, probably a product of the very same individual under discusion. His knees are angled high as they rest on his disproportionate feet, but it's still a respectable cross-legging. "Is anyone dead or dying? Are they not dead, when they should be? Does it involve the Galactic Council rattling sabers? Is anyone brainwashed?" He ticks each point off on his fingers and then pauses. "I'm probably forgetting a few, but I think you get my point." HE CAN HANDLE IT.
This is true, the current world is a lot crazier than Perceptor's friend life. "He wants to recite the rights of Amica Endurae and I'm. excessively hesitant." It's world shattering and reality altering news! For Perceptor.
Rodimus's first impulse is checked before he can bristle in Drift's defense, and he gives Perceptor a longer look before asking, "Why? At first I thought -- because of Deadlock, but that's not it, is it."
"Not at all!" Perceptor looks mildly scandalized, then angry. He knows Drift was Deadlock, but as with most things about the actual fighting of the war, the implications don't really land with him. "It's illogical and silly but, I don't want to place a name and standardization on what we are to eachother, and I very much do not want him to die."
Rodimus relaxes as Perceptor quickly dismisses the Deadlock angle and leans back to rest his weight on his hands, spoiler angled out of the way. "Tell me how the 'don't want him to die' works in on this one. You friend a lot of people to death?"
"Not all of them, Springer is merely uncureably comatose." Perceptor, master of comedy. His tails do twitch and flicker with unsure flames. "My Amica Endurae have had a 100% fatality rate. Granted it's a small pool and hardly anything to base a decent study on but it's... an irrational fear."
Rodimus again catches himself before his first reply. "Fear -- doesn't always answer to logic very well," he says after a moment. "I know you've done the math. Like ... 95% of us are dead. You know just as well as I do that there really isn't anyone who hasn't lost someone. But I know that doesn't always make a difference. There are other ways to be friends and other ways to promise things to each other, though. Maybe some other traditions. Drift likes Earth stuff. Maybe one of theirs. Maybe that would be better, and it'd show him that you cared to find something that works for you both."
Perceptor nods quietly, tilting a small smile toward Rodimus. "Emotions are illogical and impeding." He shakes his head slightly. "It's statistically unlikely that we'll survive longer than a year. I'll... research, see if anything else fits. Thank you for listening."
Smile wide, but not necessarily laughing, Rodimus says, "You got that right. If the numbers are against us, grab every last digit of happiness you can. You deserve it, both of you."
More tentative, Perceptor tries to smile with sincerity anyway. "I do know I am not the most competent at emotional support, but... I'm here, if you need to change things physically or to unwind with destruction."
Rodimus reaches over to clasp Perceptor on the shoulder. "You do pretty okay. I appreciate you looking out to make sure I was up for it before unloading, but honestly, that was easy. Give me a hard one next time."
"I enjoy your company but I don't believe I'd want you to deal with the aftermath of the hard one." Perceptor reaches up to give Rodimus's wrist a squeeze in thanks. "Fortress Maximus was a mess. Ah... Did you... wish to talk about anything? I've chatted enough to you about my social problems that it would be rude not to listen."
Leaning back again, Rodimus says, "Nah, I'm good." It was flippant enough that he seems to regret it, and he says, more honestly, "I've got my feet under me, anyway. Just -- find me a way to deal with the giant undead titan and I'll be better, yeah?"
"Have you tried heavy explosives?" Perceptor suggests honestly. "Or incarceration nanites in the energon pathways- assuming they still pump energon. We'll figure that out soon enough I'm sure, but that worked... poorly given who we used it on but it did have the expected result of stripping the mech's plating from his skeletal form, which would generally end in deactivation or stall long enough for a more permanent solution to dismember the body. Ah- I'll compile a report of suggested methods once we have more data on our own resurrected mechs."
Rodimus's lips quirk in a more genuine smile as he pries himself back to his feet. "Cool. A little light reading. I'm looking forward to it." He fingerguns at Perceptor and then side-steps toward the door. "Good luck."