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2018-03-07 Super Volcano Science Adventure

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Super Volcano Science Adventure
Date 2018/03/07
Location Volcano Planet
Participants Brainstorm, Swivel, Blast Off, Static, Rung
Plot Artifacts of the Knights of Cybertron
Scene GM Fortress Maximus
Summary LLers have a hot time on a beach.

Seems there's another artifact out there, waiting to be found, as the signal has gone off! And the space bridge coordinates are set! And they deposit the team at...

A beautiful beach, the black sand glittering in the sunlight as pink water laps up on the shore. Blue and red, fern-like trees sway in the gentle breeze as the island terrain slopes gently upwards, towards the sharper peak of a green-covered mountain with just a little wisp of smoke coming from the top. No one appears to be around. In fact, if there's any organic life besides the plants, it's not moving and shows no signs. Nothing flying, nothing swimming in the pink ocean, nothing.

Swivel had hopped through the bridge. It wasn't reckless gusto with which she did so, but rather if something was going to go wrong, she wanted it to know as soon as possible so she can get all the panicking out of the way. However, the other side did not alarm her in any way. In fact it was a rather pleasant scene. Dragging her feet purposely to leave trenches in the sand she moves out of the way so as not to be piled into by those following. Immediately she begins to check the atmosphere for any dangerous gasses.

<FS3> Swivel rolls Environmental Sensors: Amazing Success. (8 8 7 8 8 2 8 4 4)

The moment he steps through the space bridge, Static regrets coming along on this mission. "Of course there had to be sand," he mutters to himself, looking down at the black granules they're standing on. The spread of the pink ocean and the beautiful trees doesn't seem to affect him in the least. Instead, he's looking around, bracing against his cane with one hand and a pistol already out in the other (after the last terrible away mission with the fungus, he's not taking a chance on these artifact retrievals). "What direction is the artifact?" he asks the rest of the group.

Blast Off actually has a moment of trepidation just before entering the space bridge. There's a glance and- nope, Cosmos is not here. Ok. Hopefully this won't result in another weeklong trapped-in-dire-straights thing again with giant and hungry monsters attempting to eat anyone. You just never know, though. But when Blast Off steps out onto a *beach*, he finds himself breathing a soft sigh of relief. The shuttleformer looks around, pulling out his scanner to survey the scene. "Not the worst location I've stepped out to recently..." he mumbles, half to himself. "Scanning for the artifact now..."

Rung isn't entirely willing to let any away teams go off without a medic, not with recent events still fresh in the processor, so he volunteers himself to join the others on the next offered artifact quest. Glaive slung across his back, the nurse steps through the spacebridge alongside the others to pause on the other side. Its actually quite a beautiful sight, the black sand glitstening in the sunlight as it contrasts a shining pink sea. He takes a moment to peer out over the ocean, stepping aside so the others can make their way past.

For once in a blue moon, Brainstorm has actually poked his head out of his workshop. Not out of any love of exploration or thrillseeking, ofcourse. Once again, he's armed with some gadget covered in blinking lights, although, to be honest, it could just as easily be a weapon, knowing Brainstorm. Probably not though, since he's the one weilding it. Something about if you want it done right, you got to do it yourself, and better to do it on the first try than wait for someone else to mess it up for you first - was what he said when he came along. Right now, he's too busy staring at it to take in the beauty of the suroundings.

As far as one can see off the shore, there is only this island in this huge, nearly waveless sea of pink. All is still aside from the wind, at least on the surface.

Swivel's sensors will pick up traces of sulfur, carbon monoxide and hydrochloric acid. Hmm.

Instruments will detect that the artifact is towards the mountain, and there is no convenient path, merely an incline through the forest that starts gentle and begins to pick up sharply within a few steps. The black sand gives way to slick black rock, which oddly enough the 'trees' seem to be growing right out of without any soil. The fronds of the trees will only reach to Rung's waist. All is still. Except...

<FS3> Swivel rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success. (7 8 7 1 1 2)

<FS3> Static rolls Reaction+reaction: Failure. (2 6 1 4 6 4)

<FS3> Brainstorm rolls Reaction+Reaction: Failure. (2 4 4 6)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (5 6 7 4 4 3 4 3)

<FS3> Rung rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (3 3 3 7)

It's as if the ground ripples beneath the mechs, a little tremble rapidly escalating into a full-on earthquake. The trees sway without falling, but some mechs may not be quite so sure-footed and fortunate.

The quake dies off as quickly as it started.

Okay, fine fine... wait Hydrochloric acid? Swivel was just about to double check her readings when -- "WOAH!" As soon as Swivel feels the quaking, she lowers her already low center of gravity with a steadying crouch. Not that falling really would do her much damage being as small as she is. But she's watching those trees warily, as if to make sure none of them come crashing down and roll onto her or any of the others.

Once the shaking stops, Swivel turns about to make sure everyone is okay, while adding, "We probably shouldn't stay here too long."

"The sooner we can finish this, the better," Static points out. "These artifacts seem to attract trouble." Not that he's biased, or anything! Certainly not. Ignore the way he's holding his gun at the ready. He looks impatiently toward Blast Off, waiting for the verdict on the artifact, the downturned twist of his mouth indicating a toe-tapping impatience.

Maybe it's because his attention is on Blast Off, instead of on their surroundings, but the tremor takes him completely by surprise. It's not a dramatic fall, exactly. Static braces himself on his cane as the little tremor starts, but as the shaking builds, his leg simply-- gives out, and he drops. With a gun in one hand and the cane in another, he has to catch himself, awkwardly, on a knee and his forearm, and the impact makes him bite out a curse.

Blast Off points up to where his sensors indicate the artifact is, glancing at Static before looking upwards. "It seems to be over there." His gaze lingers on the path- or lack of a path- ahead. "That looks like..."

He's interrupted as an earthquake suddenly strikes. The Combaticon shuttleformer stumbles, taken a bit off guard, but he manages to catch himself... at least enough to simply jump up in the air and transform. Flier's instant solution of unsteady ground- catch some air. And... well, since he's IN the air, might as well keep going. Icy white rocket smoke billows out as he starts flying up to get a better look at things. "<< I'll take a look. >>" Like he totally meant to do this anyway.

Rung yelps as the ground begins to shake and sway beneath their feet, arms windmilling as he desperately tries to adjust his footing. His only saving grace ends up being the shortness of the quake, leaving him tripping and stumble rather than flat out faceplanting. "is everyone alright?" Shaken, pun not intended, the former psychiatrist looks over everyone else before turning his attention up the mountain, "I agree, we should find what we came for and leave."

"Let's try and get this one before any comes" Brainstorm agrees, his attention still on the device in his hand. He doesn't even so much as look up, and it's that lack of attention to his suroundings that ends up working against him. The tremmor catches him completely off guard, sending him stumbling, and then falling as his foot slides on the slick rock beneath, sending him onto his aft with a yelp. Reflexivley, he yanks his ever-presnet briefcase to his chest. It's only when the tremor stops does he relax, dusting off his plating as he climbs to his feet. "Of course that happened as soon as I said something."

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Body+body: Failure. (4 2)

From the air, Blast Off will see that the island really isn't that big. No signs of settlements. There's a cleared area near the summit, nothing but slick black rock. Only the one kind of tree everywhere, if you can call that a forest. It's a forest of blue growing around a mounta-oops, no, that mountain has a hole in it. With a nice glowing red spot as seen from above. And that mountain has a nice little stream of smoke. And it seems that recent tremor might have thrown something loose, because Blast Off will suddenly find the air around him filled with tiny, loose pieces of ash and his visibility down to nothing. And it is very, very hot.

Below, that puff of smoke starts to darken the sky. The ground trembles again, not strong enough to throw everyone off, but more steadily. The trees start bending over slowly, tilting their fronds...up, towards the mountain.

Oh, the artifact? It's near the summit.

<<Be careful, sir, the atmosphere is corrossive and might be worse up there!>> Swivel cautions when she sees Blast Off take to the air. Although she's sure he knows what he is doing, she's not liking the environmental readings she's getting, or what she is seeing. Particularily the sky darkening. Sulphur, ash... a smoky mountain. Seismic activity. She's not geologist but... Swivel just begins to head towards the direction BLast Off had indicated already. "So. Now that's two incentives to hurry. An active volcano and acidic air." She pauses, squinting at her read out. "Hy...hydro...chloric acid. Should we be worried?" Well, she has the readings. Doesn't mean she really understands much of it. Maybe she should brush up on her science. "Fragging-- Hngh," Static groans to himself, maneuvering his cane and pushing himself upright with a grimace on his faceplates. That's going to ache for a while, but he doesn't ask the others for help, just tenses his jaw and bares it. "Don't get too far!" he shouts in Blast Off's direction, as the shuttle starts rising. "The last thing we need is to get separated."

And then the ash seems to swallow up Blast Off, and Static mutters out a curse. "Of course that would happen," he mutters. "Anyone have a light you can shine up into that cloud to get him back down here without crashing?"

Blast Off radios back what he finds, "<< It appears this is a volcano with some signs of seismic activity... gas emissions... yes, it looks as if it is an active volcano. >>" He isn't sounding too worried yet, he's airborne after all. But- vocanos aren't just a problem for groundpounders. The gust of ash and smoke hits the shuttle hard, harder than expected. His thick heat shields offer protection from the heat but the ash and sediment are another issue, finding their way into vents and interferring with his sensors. "Erk..." Wobbling dangerously, the shuttle's first instinct is to fly higher, towards the safety of space.... but no, he's got crew down here, some of them calling to him.

So the Combaticon veers back down, trying to head out and away from the smoke and get closer to the other again. "<< It... appears that it is worse up here, yes. We may not have a lot of time. It's up here, but... *argh* ... it's dangerous. I'd suggest the non fliers ride with fliers so we can get out of here quickly...">> Grumble. "<< Once I get down... >>" Hopefully he's heading away from the volcano and not right INTO it.

"Wouldn't sugest touching it" Brainstorm fills in where Swivel's knowledge ends. "It works as a paint stripper, and will create flamable gas in reaction to metal - that is, us. Also very corosive." He scowls as the ground begins to shake again "Also wouldn't recomend dalying here, or" he looks up at Blast Off- or where Blast off is supposed to be, in all that haze "flying. That ash will just clog up your intake."

Rung moves to static, offering a hand if needed but not pushing him to accept the help as he stands. Hearing the verdict of what is happening has the mech looking to the skies in concern for their resident shuttle. Frown growing deeper, Rung looks up the mountain- no, volcano, "We should hurry then." One last check to be sure everything is alright and Rung is trekking his way towards the incline.

Indeed, the air's starting to fill with ash. This is not a shield volcano, despite the more gentle sloping; its imminent eruption will not be a gentle one. The trees lean further towards the summit, their leaves trembling. As the ash touches them, they glow, and start to...absorb the ash.

There's a clearing area wide enough for a safe landing. At least this volcano isn't very big. The clearing is full of much smaller trees that curl up near the cybertronians, starting to hug against their feet and glowing strangely. It starts to become apparent that the closer one gets to the summer, the more 'baby' trees there are. And the artifact is in a huge patch of baby trees near the summit...

But there's nothing to be seen there. Just the baby trees.

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Cooordination: Success. (1 6 8)

"Well from what I do remember, tremors following by belching ash usually means the lava is about to start flowing... but don't quote me on that," Swivel mentions. Surely other people know this already, but she says it just in case. She keeps trudging up the slope, pulling past the clinging local flora. Frequently, the scout nervously over her shoulder occasionally, particularily at Rung and Static. A few times it looks as though she were to say something, but doesn't.

Upon reaching the clearing Swivel frowns a little. "...I hope the artifact isn't buried..." Swivel remarks. She idly nudges one of the oddly glowing saplings with her foot.

Pride (or maybe it's stubbornness) keeps Static from accepting Rung's offer as he pries himself up to his feet, but he at least manages a nod of thanks in the therapist-turned-medic's direction once he's upright again. "On foot seems the best option," he volunteers, sticking to Rung's side as they start forward. He's focused, largely, on making it up the path, now. The grimace seems more permanently etched onto his faceplates, but he puts effort into keeping up with the others, using his cane to occasionally knock away the baby trees that get particularly clingy. "What exactly are these things?" he grumbles. "They're not going to start dissolving us, are they? And what's with the glowing?"

Blast Off makes his way out of the smoke and- ah! There's a landing site not too far away. The shuttle veers that direction, still having difficulty seeing or sensing much of anything else. It's not the most graceful of landings, but it does the job at least, leaving the Conbaticon to transform just before impact and land on his purple rokcet feet. He nearly faceplants, but like a cat manages to catch himself and then stand there looking aloof and *I meant to do all that*.

He pauses to gain his bearings before glancing over at the people now coming up to join him. "Well, I hope this is worth the deep scrubbbing I'll have to have after this," he remarks, brushing himself off as best he can. Ugh, he's a mess now. He frowns under his faceplate at Static. "I don't know. Break one off for analysis later if you wish. Let's hurry though."

Rung keeps pace with Static as they climb, remaining at his side as they climb should the mech need any assistence getting through any foliage. He seems to make it alrgiht and soon they reach the sapling clearing, the nurse frowning down at the saplings as they reach towards them and almost cling to his plating, "this is... strange." Not shoving the plants away like some of the others, he shifts his helm to look around the clearing, "Where is the artifact?"

"Cleaning up is still better than being eaten by an ancient evil if you ask me" Brainstorm points out as he joins the others up in the clearing "But if you're going to fly again, make sure to leave the scanner here, so we don't have to go retrieve it from your wreck to find the artifact." he shakes his foot free of one of the glowing saplings "It should be around here somewhere" he pulls out his own device again, looking between its monitor, and the ground beneath them.

<FS3> Swivel rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success. (8 5 7 4 3 2)

<FS3> Brainstorm rolls Reaction+reaction: Failure. (5 5 5 3)

<FS3> Static rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (5 6 6 8 6 1)

<FS3> Rung rolls Reaction+Reaction: Failure. (5 4 1 3)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success. (4 2 5 2 8 8 4 6)

The tiny plants cling, heated by the warmth of the Cybertronians. But the biggest ones are leaning up towards the crater, absorbing the heat from the ash and flourishing. They seem to grow a few inches in seconds, and then a few feet. Even the little ones are starting to sprout up.

Right in the center of the clearing is a glinting...something. It's a pair of spectacles, in fact, and that's what's setting off the artifact alarm. Aww, look, it's settled on one of the plants. The little plant has glasses! How cute--

The ground splits open.

A long crack runs from the rim of the volcano down its sides, and with a massive, jerking tremble, it starts fracturing the clearing. Unlucky plants fall into the fiery rifts and superheated lava leaking out, though surrounding plants not only avoid burning but seem to thrive. The sky is black.

The rifts aren't big enough for a Cybertronian to fall into-yet-but they'll require some steady footwork to get around. Especially if someone wants to grab those glasses before a lava flow overatkes them.

"Um... um..." While the plants seem to be rather affectionate, the fact that a lot of them seem to be bending towards their inevitable burning doom seems a little... odd to Swivel. But she's reminded of plants which grow towards a major source of nutrients. Like the sun. No sun here. Just black clouds and -- oh shiny!

Seeing the glint of something on one of the trees, Swivel points excitedly. "I think I see - FRAGGITYSCRAGS!" Swivel flails, rocking with the jerking motion as she looks at the red angry scar split open. However the sure-footed femme manages to keep herself from falling once again. She looks around for anyone in serious peril, ready to rush to their aid. The artifact can wait, crew members first!

Maybe it's because he's braced from last time, and already wary because of the flowers. Maybe the babies around his feet even help. As it is, Static still staggers ever so slightly at the dramatic tremor. He's ready for almost anything, but-- erupting magma maybe was not one of those things. He bites back a curse as he sees it bursting forward, hesitating on the edge of retreating-- then glances around at the others, and seeing them staggered as well, grits his teeth and starts forward, shoving his gun away to free up a hand. "We need to get that artifact!"

Blast Off huffs softly at Brainstorm, "/Please/. I'm far too skilled a flier to be taken out by some piddly volcano..." He looks around, spotting the glasses. "Hmm, is that- oh." More trembles. The shuttleformer is quicker this time, not even having to fly to maintain his balance. It's nearly a dance as he twirls around, at one point catching sight of Swivel. He can't seem but to help a nod in her direction as he pirouettes back around, also keeping an optic out for crewmembers who might be in trouble. Also ugh, so many pesky plants here. "I can try..." he says as he attempts to get closer, "But it's not my Artifact." He glances at Brainstorm.

"Like I said, around here" Brainstorm takes another look at his own device as he steps towards the artifact, and then another, almost subconsciously and then...

Stops. Not becuase of the fiery fissure that splits open, but a moment before, as he looks up at the glasses, an oddly familiar narrow, yellow shape, entierly out of place here, on this dark, alien background. His shoulder fins sink down...

And then does the rest of him. Or rather, he falls down, the new tremmor throwing him off his feet entierly. The hard landing atleast serves to shake him out of his earlier, distracted state. "It's mine" he confirms with full confidence as he clambers to his feet again. He can see it, and more than that, he can feel it. His briefcase securely tucked under one hand, and the other freeing itself of the gadget, which he indiferently tucks away into his chest comparment, to give him some extra balance, he steps forward, towards the hot glowing cracks in the earth, toawrds danger, towards the artifact. To himself, he mutters:

"I need to have a long talk with whoever designed these."

Rung wasn't prepared for the next tremor, even less prepared for the cracks that begin to split along the ground. Tripping, down the orange mech goes- landing flat on his aft as one of the cracks swallows his foot. He is a bit too preoccupied to get up and assist with grabbing the artifact, as he is trying to pry his foot free as ground shakes. "I believe that we should hurry!" Be careful too!

The volcano's clearly in the throes of eruption by now. There's a faint 'snow' of ash falling from the darkened sky, staining the pink sea below and powdering the black earth grey. And the artifact is going to sink into lava soon. Very, very soon.

It calls to Brainstorm, its lenses reflecting the red light from within the crevices as the mountain starts to split apart. And just before it sinks out of reach, Brainstorm will be able to grab it. Somehow, it isn't hot to the touch...

But everything else is getting very, very hot, meaning it might be time to call the spacebridge and get out as fast as possible.

If this weren't such a dangerous situation, Swivel might have smiled at Blast Off's light footed display. But she only gave him a long enough glance to know that he was not in any immediate harm. Actually, with everything getting so hot, and lava imminent, she's very tempted to just book it. She's scanning for the safest route away from the danger. Instead she sees Rung, with his foot stuck. No. Running away isn't always an option. Moving swiftly but cautiously she gets over to Rung, trying to help him get free.

"It doesn't matter as long as we get it!" Static retorts, but the pause is just enough for Brainstorm to dart past him and close a hand around the artifact. "You can complain later," he tells the other mech, as he steps back from retrieving the artifact. "Now we have to get out of here." He probably sounds snappish, and strained, but he'll blame the situation of molten rock oozing toward them. "Call the space bridge," he shouts out to the rest of the group, already beginning to retreat back toward them.

Blast Off can't feel the heat as much as the others, due to his thick heat shields, but he can feel and see the other signs that this place is rapidly growing too hot to handle. "I'm going to transform in a moment. Brainstorm, get that artifact and, once he does, the rest of you- either get down to the space bridge or climb aboard for a quick trip down the mountain." He spots Swivel and Rung, "You alright over there?" The Intel Deputy radios in, calling for the space bridge to open. "On it," he replies to Static.

As the terrain becomes more unstable, Brainstorm breaks into a run that would be more in place if he were heading away from danger, but even nearly tripping into one of the cracks doesn't deter him. At the spot, he falls down again, this time intentionally, to his knees, to reach out and snag the glasses at the last moment. For a few moments, he simply sits there, looking at his prize, before another tremmor reminds him of the situation. With the ground shaking beneath him, he stumbles to his feet and, in contradiction to his own, earlier advice, jumps into the air to shift forms, afterburners flaring to get him away from the volcano as fast as possible. Ash in the intake is still a better bet than being smelted alive in a fiery pit, and this was definitely worth it, even if he will be coughing it up for a week. "<< Got it! Let's get out of here before we're turned to scrap! >>"

Rung manages to yank his foot loose with Swivel's help, backpedaling to get away from the imminent danger and dragging Swivel along with him, "Thank you Swivel!" Fumbling to his feet, Rung runs his way back towards Blast Off to slide to a stop in front of him, "Did we get the artifact?" His question is answered seconds later by Brainstorm's comm. Coughing up some of the quickly decending ash as he fights against the heat, Rung offers, "Alright then, I suggest we leave immediately!"

In fact, it may well be time to leave immediately; the eruption is well underway, the sky now completely black and the trees flourishing. Some of them are starting to grow past the heads of the taller mechs now, their fronds unfolding and releasing blooms that glow like the streams of lava trickling down the island towards the black sand beach. The space bridge comes within seconds, but the group will have just enough time to see those glowing blossoms glitter against the darkness. It'd be quite beautiful...in a less deadly situation, probably.

Blast Off looks over to Brainstorm, "Excellent. Let's go, then." With that, he claps his hands together and begins transforming, cargo bay door opening to allow passengers. Team Lost Light, blasting off again!

They are indeed beautiful, perhaps even more so from Brainstorm's vantage point above it all. But even now, he doesn't pay the nature much attention. His mind is elsewhere. Even with the volcano erupting all around them, once he's out of imediate danger, he slows down, and those of his companions who take the time to pay attention will find him distracted, distant, as he joins them at the newly opened spacebridge portal. Quiet too. Any attempts to see if he's okay will be ignored. Maybe another time...

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