2018-03-11 Nixed Communications

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Nixed Communications
Date 2018/03/11
Location Lost Light - Command: Bridge
Participants Orbitall, Lieutenant, Blast Off, Fritz
NPCs Mainframe
Scene GM Wheeljack
Summary Intel (plus some) work to keep propaganda from spreading

The bridge may occasionally be quiet, but it's never empty, and today's meeting is certainly helping with the latter, and interrupting the former. There's clusters of Intelligence crew here and there around the various stations-- running simulations, projecting trajectories, writing code, all for the sake of their two missions: Block communications coming out of Luna 1 toward the Harbingers, and block Megatron's propaganda from getting out.. Blaster, Mainframe, various knowledgable crew members are wandering the place, supervising and collecting suggestions.

This particular workstation has a few different screens up, showing locations, trajectories, and more. Orbitall has been sitting in one of the console seats, staring at the maps, for a little while now, listening to the chatter filtering in from the other stations. Finally, lowly, he says, "...What if we tried to intercept, instead of blocking?"

Fritz is not part of this department, nor does he have to be here. And he is, flitting about the room, peeking beneath arms at terminals, taking notes, checking progress, keeping a clear record of what is happening. This is very important work. This keeps his processor off of other issues he may have. He's buried in both datapads wielded in two hands, the other two holding styluses, writing down everything he can in a ridiculous display of grace and balance he lacks in every other instance of physical movement.

When he ends up by Orbitall's console, Fritz peeks up over the mech's legs at the rest of the room, using this as a place of quiet. Orbitall doesn't talk much; he can collect himself here. Except then Orbitall does talk, and Fritz's doorwings flick as his attention zeroes in on the satellite. "How do you mean?"

Two hands have one stylus each poised over two datapads. Do go on.

Looking much shinier and clean than earlier, his faceplate *securely* attached to his face, Blast Off studies the surrounding charts and data. As Deputy of Intel he is trying to keep track of all the new information coming in and figure the best ways to utilize it for their advantage. He looks over at Orbitall, violet gaze flicking between the spacer and Fritz. "Intercept the radio communications? Then what, alter them?"

While he's not a part of the Lost Light, Lieutenant still helps out when and where he can. It's nice to be one the bridge, working again. He keeps a bit of a distance from the group with his own datapad as his audial fins perk up. That's an idea.

Even though he's the one who spoke, Orbitall looks up and blinks at Blast Off, then at Fritz, as he registers the fact that yes, they're paying attention to him. His solar panels shuffle slightly against the back of his chair, as he looks between his screen and the surrounding group. "If they're not sending a subspace signal... it has to be bouncing to somewhere," he says, slowly, "from somewhere. Maybe somewhere around the moon. If we put something in the way to pick up the signal, we could stop it from going further. Or intercept it."

"Intercept it and bring the signal here, rather than let it broadcast?" Fritz straightens out of his usual slouch, looking up at Orbitall. Even when Orb is sitting, he reaches the mech's waist. "So you suspect...there may be a satellite of some sort in orbit around the moon, or near the moon, that allows them to bounce their signal out into deeper space. And if we could block that bounce...." Scribble scribble.

“Well, certainly I would like to know what they're communicating with one another. But a blockage could definitely disrupt their ability to function," Blast Off nods, fingers tapping lightly at his chin, then tightening around his faceplate as he catches sight of Lieutenant. There's a mild huff from the shuttleformer as he refocuses on his task. Now, the shuttle knows something about communicating through space, he's done plenty of it himself. "So we place a transceiver out there and broadcast an inverted waveform of our own, flood the frequency with static?"

"I think so," Orbitall agrees with Fritz, nodding. "Even if we don't, getting something close to the moon makes it easier for us to tell what they're sending..." He falls quiet as Blast Off speaks, then nods to his superior. "I don't know what information we want, but that's probably easiest to do," he says. "As long as we can get a satellite around the moon."

<FS3> Fritz rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (1 3 7 5 8 4 3 8)

"Or we could interrupt the intended transmission and replace it with our own--" Fritz stops mid-note, turning a soft pink above the curve of his facemask. "Uh, um. If, if that's what you'd like to do. Interrupting the frequency with static would also work! We'd just a satellite, as, um, as Orbitall says..." He trails off, glancing at the solar panels of the mech beside him. "...Aren't you a satellite?"

"I suppose that's what we need to decide, or have Command decide. Is it better to block or do we want to interject some false data of our own? If we simply wish to block then yes, a satellite sounds in order here." Blast Off keeps tapping his chin softly. He looks to Orbitall after Fritz's question. "Yes... though sending a sentient satellite brings more danger to our crew." Hmm. "Then again, sentience also means you can make better decisions and take faster action in field..."

Orbitall nods in response to Fritz. The solar panels twitch slightly under the inspection. "I am," he says slowly. "I did things like this during the war, so I know how to. Maybe the science teams can build something else so quickly, but I can do it." He looks to Blast Off with a determined little nod. "I think I can block things, and intercept their communications, if that's what we need."

<FS3> Fritz rolls Bravery: Great Success. (1 8 2 5 7 7 8 2 7)

It makes sense. It's a good plan! A crew member out there risking themself for the good of the rest - but Fritz remembers what Sunstreaker said. He remembers, and he tenses, and he goes in the opposite direction Sunstreaker likely intended. "I think we can create something that will relieve you, if you take to orbiting Luna 1. We'll only need you for a short time - with, with how quickly Brainstorm built his spark gun--" A twitch, here, a tightening of the jaw, "--we won't leave you out there for long. A few days, at the most. You, you don't have to be in danger long!"

Blast Off agrees with both of them, "It sounds like a plan. I can send Brainstorm this information and get this started, but yes... if you're willing, Orbitall, your assistance could be quite useful." Spacer nods to spacer. "If you need my help at all, I will be happy to assist as well. I do have experience in relaying radio signals across space, but I imagine your specific skill set is more than up to this task."

"We should have a form of back up, regardless." Lieutenant suggests, agreeing with Whirlwind, "Something that, if caught on, sends those looking for the communication obstruction in the opposite direction. After all, it is a moon. We could relay your position elsewhere, which, is compromised would give you or anything relieving you time to escape."

Orbitall nods towards Blast Off. "I can do it," he repeats. "It's easiest." If he's not confident about his ability to make it through the entire siege, it doesn't show on Orbitall's face, which is as blank as always. He looks to Lieutenant, though, and for a long, surprised moment, remains silent. "Oh," is his first, quiet reaction to that. "I... yes, we could. If you're sure we have the resources to spare for it."

"We always have resources to bring our mechs home." Fritz has turned to one of his datapads, the other held aside, and is maybe calculating whether or not that's true. "We can, um....carry the one....divide by twelve...if we just reroute these funds here..."

"We can reprogram a deep space probe!" Mainframe calls from a nearby console. Eavesdropping? Who's eavesdropping. "Might be even better if we send out multiple targets. You said you've got experience, Blast Off? If we send you, and Orbitall, and a handful of old probes, that drops our actual detection rate to--" He devolves into calculations, quietly murmuring statistics to himself.

Blast Off listens attentively, placing black fingers on the edge of a seat and leaning in. He glances towards Mainframe and nods again. "Maybe we should throw out a bunch of decoy satelittes as well then, keep them guessing? Then see what we can do to mask Orbitall's presence as much as possible. We could see about increasing radiation nearby." He straightens a little, spacer pride starting to surface. "Yes, I relayed radio signals during the war, so I can assist however is neccessary, as well as provide transportation or defensive backup."

"You know all about masking, Deputy." Lieutenant replies to Blast Off, without needing to spare him a glance. "If you have the resources, you could try that. Deep space probe might be a good idea as well, but let us try to refrain from putting all our eggs in one basket." In case things get too risky, "What if we attached a disrupter to one of their ships to cause interference?"

Orbitall is glancing between all of them, as though thunderstruck at the suggestions presented. "Those... would all help," he admits. "If we can get them all done in time. Backup's supposed to help a lot when things go wrong." He glances toward the datapads in Lieutenant and Fritz's hand, as thouch checking to see that they've written it all down. "... Could we attach the disruptor to Megatron's, too?" he asks.

"We've already got the drones," Mainframe chips in, before Fritz can speak. "Shouldn't take long to reprogram them."

Meanwhile, Fritz tilts his datapad for Orbitall to see, even as he waits for a chance to speak. "That could be better than attaching it to a ship," he says, casting an apologetic look Lieutenant's way. "If we are able to disrupt Megatron's satellite while inserting our own, that, that should, should thoroughly disrupt their, um, their transmissions."

Lieutenant's comment draws a startled little shiver up Blast Off's backstruts like a bristling alleycat, his armor plates ruffling and his grip on his faceplate firming instinctively. The shuttleformer's optics brighten momentarily and there seems to be some sort of rosy blush to his cheeks, but it's hard to tell for sure under that faceplate. He looks away while this all happens, then gains control and straightens once more, giving Lieutenant his best aloof deadpan stare. Ahem.

He slowly turns to look back at Orbitall and Fritz and makes sure to sound EXTRA cultured and sophisticated as he speaks. "Certainly, we could do that, Lieutenant," He sounds so calm and refined here. "I believe we should decide what our strategy is. Are we attempting to flood the area with various obstacles, forcing our enemies to waste time and energy trying to disarm them all, or are we going for something under the radar, as it were? Try to escape the notice of the Harbingers in the first place, give them false data, and make sure to have backup plans in place if our interceptor is dicovered?"

"Suggestions are offered to make better," Lieutenant assures Whirlwind. He catches that aloof gaze only to respond with an arched optic ridge. Why so huffy there? "I would agree to doing all, but the more variables to an equation, the easier it is to make a mistake."

"We could save a few," Orbitall says, slowly. "In case the first ones don't work." Then he pauses. "But... Megatron's going to be fighting with us, isn't he?" His solar panels go limp and press down against the back of his chair, as he says that. "If we're supposed to keep his messages from going too far, the satellite might not work, if he goes somewhere else."

Fritz flinches, curls forward. "The latter," he squeaks, then repeats more firmly, "The latter. We, um. I think we should use stealth here. Disrupt their satellite, and insert our own." His armor bristles, doorwings hitching, before he's able to calm himself. "It's not, um...not a bad idea to stop them at the moon, while we know where he is. He might move, but, but...if we stop him there, even if he's. It's helpful. Right?"

Blast Off eyes Lieutenant but doesn't answer, instead choosing to look to Fritz. "I agree," with a glance to Orbitall, "As far as I know we're working *with* Megatron so stealth and discretion is probably best."

"It truly is the only option." Lieutenant agrees with Blast Off, turning to Whirlwind to nod. "At least if he is off the moon, that would give him a lot of time for us should we do anything on the surface." He's not fully sure of any other plans going on but getting away from the moon sounds good.

"Maybe... if we tell Megatron there's a general communications lockdown?" Orbitall suggests. He immediately goes quiet again, but then says. "If we say it's priority communications only during the siege, then we don't have to hide that things are being blocked. Then we can use the same things for the Harbingers and the propaganda." Then his shoulders hunch slightly, and he looks to the others. "If command thinks that's best," he adds quickly.

"I support it," Fritz says, immediately. And then he curls once more, near copying Orbitall, as he says, "...if Ignition agrees. I will submit, um, submit a request. On behalf of the Intel department. With your signatures...?" He looks to Orbitall, to Blast Off, to Mainframe who is oh-so-subtly leaning in their direction. To Blaster, who has been circling the rest of the bridge in closer orbits to this group.

Blast Off nods to Fritz. "Agreed. I think finesse and a certain... delicacy in how we handle this situation is in order, and Megatron will not easily be fooled by anything. These sound plausible." He stretches his hand, ready for some signin'.

"Eager ones," Lieutenant quietly comments with a laced tone of amusement. "In that case, I wish you all well. If you require any further assistance -aside from supporting your endeavors- I shall be in the library." Seeing as this meeting is drawing to a close, he should be skedaddling. Lest Ignition catches him and probably kicks him off the ship for overstaying his welcome on the bridge.

"Okay, then." Orbitall answers hesitantly, stares at Fritz, for a moment, like he's not sure why his suggestion got accepted, but he nods eventually. "Then we'll... send that to command." As soon as that's taken care of, though, he'll turn back to his terminal, to join the rest of the intel crew members scattered around the Bridge in preparing their blockade.

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