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Transformers In Character!
Elusive Data [open post, prompt response, WTP] 
24th-Oct-2010 11:29 pm
trix wireframe med
TFA Slipstream

Slipstream is a glowing form in a wireframe expanse.

There is no wireframe expanse.

Slipstream is seated in the control room of the Wind Turbine Project Research and Development Facility, deep in the labyrinthine sub-basements. She sits in a chair, before one of the user interface terminals, below the large display with its alien graphics. An i/o cable runs between the data port in her right gauntlet and an adapter connected to the terminal.

In the many cycles she has been working in the Facility, she - with some help from the Team - has made great progress in identifying and understanding the structure's integrated mainframe computer and its alien operating system, but full understanding and the accesses it brings has eluded her. She has tried learning the symbols of the graphical user interface. She has gotten down to bare metal with the hardware. She has learned mainly that there is more to learn.

For one whose function is seeking efficient routes and paths, the next most obvious strategy in attaining the elusive comprehension had seemed full immersion. Her previous experiments with the hardware gave her the knowledge to devise an appropriate adapter to allow her to dive the mainframe. At the base, mathematical level the Cybertronian and Vok tech are proving quite compatible.

But Slipstream, experienced with infiltrating Earth tech, and having just a little experience with infiltration of Cybertronian systems, has never directly connected to an alien system such as this. It is experimental at best. This does not dissuade her; Slipstream sees value in trial and error. She does not, like her creator, simply try the same thing over and over again, with slight variations on delivery of the explosive device. If she does not succeed in a goal, she is willing to concede that she did not have all necessary data to plan the best strategy, before, to learn from the experience, and plan a better strategy.

The vast wireframe expanse she perceives as glowing with native, amber light does not exist, except as the Earthling Gibson wrote, a kind of consensual hallucination; a perceived representation of data; nonspace. Slipstream understands nonspace well, especially since the transwarp accident of her last experiment, which resulted in her consciousness being caught in the theoretical eddies between space-time and the transcendent state induced by transwarp tech and its particular energies. There's a perceived 'space' in and between linked data systems, which has no physical dimension. There is no color, amber or otherwise; she's not even using her optics, though she is processing visual data.

Out in the metalspace, her shell is motionless before a monitor populated with shifting and scrolling icons.

In the wireframe of cyberspace, she's a magenta form manipulating cubes of data. She data as having varying density and luminosity. She touches one, reads it through the contact, and then discards as irrelevant. Slipstream swims through the data, seeking that brightly glowing block.

Outside, time passes, and a comm terminal Slipstream programmed, earlier, broadcasts a pre-recorded video message: //This is Slipstream, broadcasting on behalf of the the Community's Wind Turbine Project. I now officially announced that, as promised, we have stores of wind-generated energon available for Community consumption and use. Research* indicates that most residences in our settlement produce sustenance level energon output, but any who are temporarily without housing, due to recent arrival, displacement or residential construction, may collect free rations at our Research and Development Facility. Energon will also be made available in larger quantities to members of the Community, for distribution during public events, or for use in experiments benefiting the general public.\\

Back on the wireframe grid, Slipstream seeks the elusive data, which she perceives as a highly luminous cube. She fires data from her guns at hovering challenges and queries. She sights the elusive data again, but is prevented from following by the appearance of a glowing, amber wall.

So, you do have some security, Slipstream observes.

Meanwhile, in metalspace, another pre-recorded message is broadcast, this one only to those Slipstream considers kin, close allies, and the few Decepticons of her universe: //Slipstream here. I'm conducting an experiment at the R&D Facility. There is no physical risk, but if you do not hear from me in the next few solars, be informed all necessary back-up files have been trusted to drone 1812.\\

The wall is still up, blocking Slipstream from chasing down the elusive data. She has not been able to go over or under; there does not seem to be such directionality as over or under. She has been unable to find a gap in the wall to exploit. No scripts she fires from her guns have had an effect.

She flies along the wall, keeping it at her right side, determined to find if it has some end. She comes to a corner, and then another, and another. Slipstream perceives herself as boxed-in.

I can't be trapped. I can't!

Outside, Slipstream's shell trembles in her chair, her shard is radiating fear. She's been proud of her speed, agility and guile, on her ability to avoid capture and to evade attack. When Bulkhead tried to put her in Stasis cuffs, he ended up the one in cuffs. There was the time she was knocked down, when Optimus Prime knocked Ramjet into her, but then she later shot the grounder out of the sky! When her side started losing, she switched sides! Omega supreme shot her down, once, but her strategy had taken him down, once; and given his number of guns, being only hit the one time was still an impressive accomplishment. Being forced into physical confrontation or trapped removes her from the element in which she excels.

In the expanse, Slipstream perceives the distinctive sound of transformation and searches the adjacent blocks of data. There, perched above on a glowing block is another glowing form in some kind of samurai armor. Prowl.

"What the spark are you doing here, Light Cycle?" Slipstream demands, trying not to express her fear.

"You may proceed no further." Not Prowl. The system generating an agent she perceives as Prowl. He's the same amber color as the native data.

Slipstream fires upon the agent. He evades with a jump from one block of data to another. Slipstream is taken by panic again. Like the real Prowl, this system agent is quick and evasive. He's a small moving target. It's like...fighting herself: someone with speed, agility, guile. The real Prowl: he was instrumental in taking out her elder, unfortunately disposable brothers; she'd seen him evade Mixmaster's attacks, and knock Ramjet out of the air with one of those shurikens; She'd heard he was one who interfered in Sentinel's plot with Lockdown, which coincidentally interfered with Ramjet's plot and resulted in two of her brothers being transported to Cyberton; and he'd been directly involved in the deactivation of her creator with his AllSpark meddling!

Slipstream is afraid of Prowl.

And, she realizes, in horror, the system could have no means of generating such an agent, without access to data in her own memory! Her experiment has resulted in her own system being infiltrated by the mainframe's automated defenses.


[ooc: Open Post. If you think your character receives the second message, they do. The wireframe expanse visualization of Transformers 'Cyberspace' is depicted in Transwarped (Transformers Animated episodes 30, 31 and 32). She's just paraphrasing William Gibson. He coined the term 'meatspace' for the physical world apart from cyberspace, but not being a squishy, Slipstream is using 'metalspace'; it has some letters in common. *Mods determined previously that locations are self-sustaining, so any need for energon from the WTP would be played-out voluntarily. Also some influence from Tron and The Matrix; I was listening to the soundtracks while writing. Music for post: The Matrix Reloaded - Mona Lisa Overdrive - Juno Reactor / Don Davis, which, in the movie, accompanied the freeway chase scene.]
Comments 
25th-Oct-2010 07:43 am (UTC)
*With Prowl stuck as a cat (and them no closer to finding out how to undo what had put him that way), Jazz had left the Dojo to see if anyone else had been affected.*

*Though, even if he did find more bots-turned-not!bots, what could he really do? Situations like these were more the purview of a Perceptor or Wheeljack, maybe even a Ratchet, not a cyberninja. But he supposed having more data before going to the aforementioned mechs would only help, and so the white bot was out and about, his wandering taking him past the research facility. Glancing at it, he shrugged and made for the door, knocking on it and blinking when it just slid open without further prompting (strange, he'd have thought a place like this would have more security).*

*Peering inside the facility, Jazz sighed, pondering his choices. Maybe he'd find some info in there, maybe not, but this place was 'Con run, and they tended to be touchy about stray Autobots just wandering in.*
25th-Oct-2010 09:49 am (UTC)
*The doors had been unlocked to allow members of the community to enter.*

*The entry of anybot into the Facility sends an alert to the control room, where Slipstream is, but she does not respond.*

*The alert draws some drones to the entrance; dome-topped robots near as tall as a human. These all look the same, but for one colored with touches of red and blue paint. They take no action except to approach any visitor.*
25th-Oct-2010 10:14 am (UTC)
*Tilting his head at the drones (and briefly recalling a particular fight with security drones while on Earth), the white mech cleared his vocaliser lightly and asked.*

So, is anyone in? Scratch that, someone's home.

*A brief scan showed an energy signature lower down, faint, nearly hidden by the layers of construction, but familiar. Glancing at the drones again, Jazz shrugged. The smaller bots hadn't attacked him yet. It was worth a shot to ask.*

Don't suppose I could get one of you to lead me to them?
25th-Oct-2010 10:31 am (UTC)
*Slipstream still has not been able to get the drones to understand voice commands, but she had just enough understanding of the alien tech to fit fit the remote of her modified repair drone with a translation patch, allowing Cybertronians to issue the drone basic commands.*

*The tri-color drone, designated 1812, approaches Jazz and ejects its remote control from its dome.*

*Once the remote is taken, 1812 hovers to the stairwell. Without conflicting commands, this drone already has been programmed to escort visitors to the Facility's Administrator.*
25th-Oct-2010 10:46 am (UTC)
*Holding onto the remote, the cyberninja followed the drone towards the stairs, examining the piece of tech the bot had handed him.*

*They descended, doors opening and closing for them automatically, Jazz trailing after the hovering drone, casting curious looks at his surroundings. The energy signal grew stronger the deeper he wandered inside, and soon the drone led him to another closed door. Looking at the remote, the visored mech clicked the 'stay' button (while he might not need a guide to get out later, he wasn't so sure the doors would open for him alone), then set the device back inside the drone's dome before pushing this door open.*
25th-Oct-2010 11:09 am (UTC)
*Inside the control room, Slipstream is visible, seated in one of the chairs before one of the mainframe computer's terminals. She is still directly connected to the computer via the i/o port in her right gauntlet. She is trembling and generally non-responsive to her surroundings, as alien characters shift rapidly on the monitor overhead.*

*In the cyberspace of the expanse, Slipstream now perceives herself as being chased, and in her panic, does not recognize the data directing her to the i/o port.*

*She's let her emotion get the best of her and so her usually critical and strategic mind cannot reason that she has any power to protect herself, or fight, or control the native data. She just wants to run and fly.*
25th-Oct-2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
*Frag.*

*Jazz cast about the room, sensors sweeping the area with a fine toothed comb, looking for any possible external threat. When nothing but the seeker and the drone outside registered, the Guardsmech stepped inside, striding quickly to Slipstream, concern growing at the femme's complete lack of response, unusual for a seeker.*

*A hand to her shoulder did nothing, and the screens might as well have been displaying Swahili for all the good it did him. But he didn't need to know what the screens said to guess at what was happening to Slipstream, the classic signs of a forced data grab, whether or not the initial jack had been willing, sickeningly familiar to the cyberninja. A glance at the i/o port and the idea that arose was just as quickly discarded. Yanking her out cold would play havoc on her mind, and if he was reading the signs right, the femme was in no condition to be taking such risks with her CPU right now.*

*Expression grim, the visored mech slid an input jack free from his forearm, firewalls slamming into place as he located a second port on Slipstream's gauntlet. A steadying cycle of air, and Jazz dove in, visor flickering, firewalls and shielding programs (considerably augmented thanks to both his profession and past experiences) rendering him hidden by streams of data.*

*Skimming the flows, he located the fleeing magenta mindshape that was Slipstream and sped towards her, latching onto her form. Handicapped by his indirect access to the system, his own mindshape took the form of silvery cluster of light, hovering by her shoulder as the seeker fled the amber data. Spotting the attacking Prowl-shape, Jazz cried out a warning.*

Slipstream, hang a right, now!
25th-Oct-2010 02:09 pm (UTC)

*Slipstream emerges from a maze of surrounding amber walls to what seems a blank sector. He's just as guilty as Starscream for thinking us no better than drones. Slaggin' Autobots probably didn't even question whether it was wrong to let those elder brothers blow up! I won't go out that way! I won't he captured!*
*Slipstream registers the second connection, but she does not perceive Jazz behind his cloak of data. This is probably a good thing given her present irrational fear that she'll he captured by Autobots. Won't let them take my code to make more flying Autobots! She is aware only of some form from without, like the proverbial angel on one's shoulder. She dashes to her right and is able to perceive something magenta and bright on the apparent horizon of the expanse. Slipstream rushes toward it.*
25th-Oct-2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
*As they approached the other magenta thing, Jazz split his attention, one part watching over Slipstream's shoulder, trying to figure out the defensive program chasing them. It looked like Prowl (even if the moves were all wrong and erratic to the optic), and while it made his processors lurch slightly, wondering why an image of the other ninja would be this system's chosen defence, he also wondered why Slipstream was just running instead of fighting back. Then the femme's panicked thoughts washed over him and he winced, sinking further behind his shields. Alright, fighting back wasn't on the cards with Slipstream in this frame of mind. Hopefully, once they got far enough from whatever was being protected, the program would fall away.*

*The other part of him got to work on the systems Slipstream had been infiltrating, patiently sending commands through the buffer of both the seeker's access point and his layers of redundant shielding, the lag, while infinitesimal in real time, translated to tense pauses between each action. Slowly, the threads of code leeching from the seeker started to darken and die, pared away by the ninja, new intrusions batted aside or rooted out before they could sink too deep. They gained a brief moment of reprieve as the attacks paused, likely to regroup before striking again, and Jazz took advantage to slide a copy of one of his firewalls about Slipstream, coating her form with a thin veil of the same silver light that made up his presence in this patch of cyberspace. It wouldn't hold up to a concerted attack, but it was the quickest one to set up and maybe it'd be enough to buy her some time during the next attack.*
25th-Oct-2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
*Slipstream sensed the infiltration of native data lessen, and attributed this to what she supposed to he a helpful daemon just behind her. Still panicked and in the move toward the light she percieved to be home, she regained some small measure of her logic.*

It's not the real one; but it feels real. The system...it's like choosing the form of the destroyer...or when Master Yoda let Luke go into that cave. *Slipstream does not consider the daemon would not have watched as much captured satellite television as she has.* It can use what I bring with me. I wasn't empty enough.

*The system agent in Prowl's shape seems to disappear and then reappear, as if it actually has holograms, or took Skywarp's power from her. It runs at her from her right side, to drive her from her path. It doesn't know real Cyber-ninja moves, because Slipstream doesn't know them, but to her, now, it is just as much a threat. She doesn't even lift her guns.*

Edited at 2010-10-25 05:39 pm (UTC)
26th-Oct-2010 04:16 am (UTC)
*He hummed softly, considering the seeker's words. Star Wars? Huh, at least they weren't being chased by a Wampa.*

If you were empty, you wouldn't have the impetus to do much of anything. Much easier to have shields up.

*Keeping his tone light, teasing almost, hoping to reduce her panic a little more, Jazz murmured.*

Honestly, femme. Didn't anyone tell you not to go jacking into strange systems without protection?

*With Slipstream calming, the white mech decided it would be safer to surface a little more and try extend a greater influence on their surroundings.*

But we can save that for another time. Now, how 'bout we fight back? It only knows what you know, and I've gone and shoved its grubby paws away for the moment, so it can't predict your moves.
26th-Oct-2010 05:02 am (UTC)
*Slipstream speaks bitterly* I have some baggage I've been trying to let go! Stuff just sets me off and I can't focus! I didn't think I was coming unprepared...I didn't know. *She hadn't realized until the system mined her memory that she viewed Prowl as such a threat.*

*Slipstream tries to calm herself, but this experience has completely shaken her confidence. She's supposed to be good at this: seeking, finding paths, evading attacks, exploiting weaknesses.*

You think fighting is the best strategy? *She wishes to avoid confrontation, but as she thinks about the matter critically, she has to admit it does seem efficient to complete the mission now, rather than go through this all over again.* Yes, maybe that is best. Retrieve the data, even if it takes...direct confrontation.

*The native data shifts around then, encroaching on the blank sector. Focus, she tells herself, focus. It's all data. Everything here is data. Clear your processor of fear.*

There! *The native data appears to coalesce into a luminous form, taking that same Prowl shape, but as it moves this time, she tracks with her arm-mounted guns and fires.*
26th-Oct-2010 06:09 am (UTC)
Paranoia is your friend.

*He chirped, perhaps inappropriately calm considering the situation, but sounding alarmed would not help her now. Choosing not to look as Slipstream fired on the imitation Prowl, Jazz focused on keeping her systems free of attack and scanning their surroundings, poking at the native data, testing it carefully so as not to spark a second attacker.*

*The amber walls start to grow about them again and the ninja blocked them, manipulating code slowly, trying to give the seeker as much of an advantage as possible. Walls shuddered, sinking down again, leaving the Prowl shape exposed. The blank space above them flickered, then coloured the cloudless blue of an Earth sky, bringing to mind an open plain and ideal flight conditions. Perfect for an attacking seeker.*
26th-Oct-2010 10:32 am (UTC)
*Slipstream understands the opening she is presented. The Prowl agent has been jumping -almost teleporting she still perceives it as so skilled - from block to evade or launch new attacks. Air battle in three dimensions is her element. But, if paranoia is her friend...she sees going for that seemingly perfect set-up as potential for a trap. Jumpjet Boosters. Jet Judo. She could be supplying her enemy here with strategy to use against her.*

*The sky is her element. No one is a match for me in the sky, except- no one! Slipstream transforms and climbs.*

*From the heights, she dives, firing scripts at the agent in samurai armor. Of course it fires jumpjets and tries to latch onto her fuselage, but Slipstream knows no one can catch her in the air, and so she evades.*

*It occurs to Slipstream then, that as much as this fighting strategy is boosting her ego; that elusive data is the important thing.*

This is not right. I'm fighting the system I really want to understand and use. Weakening what I want to make mine!

*Slipstream transforms and alights atop a block of data. She stands firm and curls the talons of her right hand in beckoning gesture for the agent to advance. It comes, leaping from block to block. I won't be caught, unless I want to be..*

*Just as the Prowl-shaped data reaches her, putting Slipstream in the arena where she is weakest, she smirks. Slipstream reaches out, grasps the agent by the helm and kisses it, creating a conduit for data to flow rapidly between herself and the mainframe security protocols.*
26th-Oct-2010 10:57 am (UTC)
*It seemed that giving the flier a target had worked to quell her panic. Murmuring quietly in the background, the white mech filtered the connections, ignoring the low growl that wanted to escape him as the seeker kissed the Prowl shape. It wasn't really Prowl, just an image, and he still had to get the seeker out of the jack in without her running into more trouble. Leaving the link initiated by the seeker mostly alone, Jazz slid more code and firewalls between them and the native systems, shunting aside attacks that would otherwise take advantage of Slipstream's current preoccupation. But the system was relentless, and it had the added advantages of massive processor banks, as well as being unable to tire.*

Slipstream, you don't have much time left. If you don't get a move on, forget making this yours, you're gonna be theirs if you don't bug out but soon.
26th-Oct-2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
*If this is all data, then what Slipstream's data asserts is. If she believes a kiss can betray, transform or wake another, then hers can.*

*Still merging data, Slipstream's color starts to shift toward amber, and her luminousity wavers. I don't have to make all of this mine...yet, just one specific program. Slipstream's color and brightness grows to a brilliant magenta, and then it is the system's security agent who changes. It shifts to magenta, and then its transforms from Prowl, to a duplicate of Slipstream. A small glowing cube is left between them as they part.*

Hello World.

*Slipstream smirks at her cloned data, as she takes the small cube. The clone is not her, its a security agent on her side.* Greetings, program. This is a good start *She indicates the small cube* but there's a lot more data we need to control this system.

Understood. I already have a trace on the elusive data.

Good. Keep watch here. I will communicate further orders from outside. I need to go, now.

*The cloned data salutes and Slipstream ascends to sight the glow of her home i/o port. There will still be obstacles, but part of the security protocols are now on her side.*
26th-Oct-2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
*They are moving again, and not a moment too soon. As Slipstream headed for the exit, Jazz started to peel away from her as well, slowly removing his presence from the patch of cyberspace. By the time they reached the large magenta cube that marked their ticket out of this place, the ninja would be almost completely withdrawn from the seeker.*

Well, see you on the other side, femme.
26th-Oct-2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
*Dodging encroaching data, Slipstream finally reaches the i/o port and re-enters the consciousness of metalspace. She sways forward, catching herself from falling further, with her talons on the console. She's still got the hardline connections into her gauntlet, but her own security protocols are restoring firewall settings to default; closing active ports. Gradually, her processor readjusts to external sensory input.*

*She is aware of several comms from public channels stacked in her buffer. There's a recent comm from Rumble, inquiring about changes to the security system. Her sensor net pings her with an alert that one of her brothers is in close proximity; if they were in the air, in formation, she would already have had to adjust to avoid collision. Finally, she is aware that Jazz is standing at her side.*

*Slipstream trembles with barely-suppressed range. Her wings press forward to their widest configuration, her talons flex, her guns whine as they cycle through a status check: all automatic response to a threat. She had not quite figured out that it had been Jazz in there, but now it's obvious he was. She wants to be able to attack something right now, but there's no vengeance to take on Jazz, in fact he helped her. Without his guidance, she would have been lost and Ramjet would have been rebuilding her from back-up files. This is exactly why she is furious! She went and got herself in enough danger that she needed help from Autobots, again. This time, it's not a matter of a medic looking after her while she regenerates. Jazz may very well have knowledge of what she finds most fearful and threatening right now! That is nothing she needs Elite Guardsmechs to know!*

*Slipstream knows nothing she can say that will make her feel any better, or less indebted, so she just cries out wordlessly in frustration and hits the work station in front of her.*
27th-Oct-2010 01:49 am (UTC)
*Winding the connective cable away, the white mech kept silent, letting Slipstream readjust to the real world, keeping an optic (and a set of scanners) on her to monitor her condition. Then wings snapped forward and all the hallmarks of an enraged seeker started up, and Jazz sighed, tilting his helm at the femme. Perhaps it would have been easier on her pride if he'd slipped out before she came to, but the return journey tended to be a doozy, and the Guardsmech could not in good conscience leave her to her own devices for that.*

*Humming a low, soothing note, the visored ninja waited for Slipstream to calm a little more, then spread his hands, putting himself in the position of petitioner before the flier.*

I apologise for bothering you, but there's something odd going on topside and since it seems to me you're one of the few who are more familiar with the local tech around Nexus, I was wondering if you'd have an idea what was causing it.

*Not wanting to set Slipstream off (and certainly, prodding at what a seeker considered a breach in their defences was a sure way to unleash shrieking fury on a bot's head), particularly with a second seeker joining them, he prudently avoided all mention of cyberspace and what he might or might not have found out.*
27th-Oct-2010 03:01 am (UTC)
*Slipstream is glad to see Ramjet arrive. It is a boost in morale to have her brother clone beside her...and it makes her less frightened. It's still there: a paranoid, reoccurring thought that she'll be captured, imprisoned, experimented on, and blown up, by Autobots. Since coming online for the first time, she had known them to be classified as enemies - right after Megatron - but she would have laughed at the suggestion that they truly made her feel threatened. It would have been true laughter. Maybe it's just an after-effect of data tendrils mining my memory, she thinks.*

Jazz was...I...he has skills I was able to make use of, for my experiment. I will have to repay the debt, sometime.

*She's not an honorable mechanism, really, but as much as it's acceptable for Decepticon warriors to make use of whatever furthers their cause, it just doesn't improve one's status to need charity or saving, like some drone in distress.*

*Slipstream turns in her chair, wanting to take Ramjet's hand, but not wanting to seem any weaker in front of the Autobot than she already has. How did Skywarp live like this? And not just Autobots, everything. She looks toward Jazz, without quite meeting his optics.*

What manner of 'odd things'? Can't say without more data, though I would of course be willing to investigate.
27th-Oct-2010 03:45 am (UTC)
*Ramjet looks at the ninja. He doesn't seem to be a threat at the moment. After scanning the room, Ramjet can't figure out what the problem is.

He can tell that something is still wrong with Slipstream, though. He puts his hands on Slipstream's shoulder plates in an effort to offer comfort and support without making it overly obvious. He doesn't want to embarrass Slipstream by looking too soft, especially in front of an Autobot.

He has no idea what either of them are talking about. The only odd thing he's seen recently is Wasp's sudden alt mode change, and he doubts that's what they're discussing.*
27th-Oct-2010 04:04 am (UTC)
*Content to let the femme salvage her pride, the Guardsmech made no comment on the experiment, only tilting his head to one side, expression slightly distant as he considered his answer.*

Just... odd. Pumpkin lanterns have been appearing everywhere, bots are saying they feel watched, and I hear things moving about in the shadows that don't register on scans as bot or human.

*Jazz shrugged, glancing out the door, as if looking through it and up the corridors to the world outside. If he felt any sort of wariness about his situation, standing in an enclosed space with two seekers, and certainly he had reason for caution, considering how he'd been captured, imprisoned (with added torture thrown in for flavour) and attacked by Decepticons for stellar cycles on end in the course of the Great War, it didn't show. He'd taken care not to present himself as a threat (something he was practised at, being trained in ninjabotsu meant nothing if everyone was watching you, expecting an attack), so the jets had no reason to be hostile towards him, not without breaking the truce, and Slipstream, as she herself had said, was in his debt. Still, there was no need to push his luck.*

There's posters showing up about some event happening in a cemetery-yeah, we have a cemetery now, it's in the lake under that floating island, and some bots have gotten... changed. But you've been real busy down here, so if you haven't noticed I guess that's expected. I suppose you could treat this as a heads up to be careful when heading out.

*He smiled faintly, then sighed and started for the door.*

Ah well. I'll get back to looking around Nexus for more info. See you two around.
27th-Oct-2010 04:51 am (UTC)
*Ramjet's subtle show of support is welcome, and Slipstream is able to listen to Jazz without irrational fears plaguing her processor. Pumpkin-lanterns, beings in the shadows, a cemetery, transformation: there is a recognizable theme to one who has assimilated as much Earth culture as Slipstream. She laughs, a little less fearful, in general, and relived she was not the only one experiencing a kind of paranoia.*

Is it that time of year, here? The Royalty some believe in know of such traditions? Devil's Night, Halloween, Day of the Dead? Or, maybe it's all merely similar.

*That dark action movie with the black bird that brought souls back from the dead to get vengeance had been set in Detroit. Guns, vengeance, not quite being dead: these are good things.*

*She waits until Jazz has left - 1812 can see him out - then speaks to Ramjet.*

Just say something scolding now, so then I can tell you the good that came of the experiment, then we can find out more about the 'odd' things. Say 'I really wanted you to do experiments alone' and 'It's really smart of you to risk any part of yourself'.
27th-Oct-2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
Ramjet sighs and shakes his head.

"Wasp and I weren't just talking about death. You can leave me alone here."

He looks her over, trying to make sure she isn't hurt.

"What were you doing? Now that you mentioned Wasp, he didn't have an alt mode change. He planned the change and is very happy with the results."
28th-Oct-2010 05:28 am (UTC)
"I wouldn't leave, unless you could come with me," Slipstream pauses then adds, "It's more effective strategy to have back-up!"

She knows she should have had back-up inside the mainframe. at the time, she had not been certain anyone else had the skills.

She continues, very quietly, optics to the floor, "Let's never go up against Jazz in any kind of information warfare."

Slipstream notices Ramjet's gaze on her. "I'm all right now." She explains, "I dove the mainframe and ran into some security protocols. What are you saying? Waspinator was reformatted with a new alt-mode...did something go wrong?"
29th-Oct-2010 02:08 am (UTC)
"Having back-up is a terrible strategy." He shakes his head with a slight smile, wishing she'd listen to herself. But then, she seems to like jumping into things.

He leans down, replying just as quietly, "We couldn't beat that ninja if we had to. Never did it before." He claps her shoulder, straightening back up.

"Waspinator doesn't look anything like a seeker anymore. A very big seeker. It seemed like he planned the change, he was very calm and happy when I saw him."
29th-Oct-2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Having backup was smart. Three being a good number to allow one to advance while the other provided cover.

"I-I suppose he's small, but those Cyber-ninjas are so quick! And, he has weapons he can use at close range!" Slipstream is aware she did not previously fear Autobots, but the idea of fighting Jazz seem scary right now.

She tries to focus on Wasp. He's not an Autobot. She can almost render in her graphics sub-processor the image of a tiny green Seeker. She chirped, and then cooed happily. "Was he a Cybertronian craft, or did he seem an Earth style jet? Was he still green?" She understands Wasp is frightened by the transformation, but she really wants to see him, because the very concept of a tiny Seeker seems precious. "I should comm him!"
29th-Oct-2010 05:03 am (UTC)
"We lost to him. Sunstorm, Blitzwing, Lugnut, and I couldn't beat Jazz, Sentinel, and the twins on their ship. You and I couldn't beat him." He is trying to comfort her. Ramjet doesn't like seeing Slipstream afraid, especially of a bot that had been beaten before.

"He's not green and yellow anymore. And he's an Earth style jet. I'm sure he doesn't want to hear from you."
25th-Oct-2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
Ramjet received the second message. His wings twitch in irritation, and he rubs one hand over his face.

"What have you done now, Slipstream?"

He debates flying over and trying to find her, but she said she probably wouldn't be in danger.... He decides to give it an hour or two. If she hasn't commed by then, he'll go find her.
25th-Oct-2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
Even as Ramjet is debating his action, Slipstream is going insane with fear, as the mainframe's security subroutines mine her memory for every slight Autobots inflicted on Starscream or his clones. If she doesn't see him first, she will comm as soon as she has any conscious control of her shell, just to make sure he hasn't been captured.
26th-Oct-2010 12:19 am (UTC)
Its been too long. Actually he's just impatient, so he heads toward the R&D Facility.
26th-Oct-2010 04:26 am (UTC)
The doors to the Facility have been unlocked, since the WTP started distributing energon. Inside it is quiet, though there are some drones hovering about.

26th-Oct-2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
Ramjet looks around, trying to remember the layout. He's only been here once, and that was a brief trip, getting what he needed and leaving.

He heads further into the facility, trying to find where Slipstream might be.
26th-Oct-2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
As Slipstream is down in the control room, she would not be found in her office upstairs, clean room, or forge.
26th-Oct-2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
Ramjet walks around for a bit. He's not lost. He's not! Just... scouting. Yeah.

Eventually he stumbles onto, er, arrives at the right place.
26th-Oct-2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
The door to the control room is shut, but not locked; drone 1812 is outside, acting out its command to stay.

Slipstream detects Ramjet's nearby presence just as she comes out of her dive. She sends a quick comm. //I need to see you. Jazz is here.\\

A short time later, her frustrated cry can be heard from within the control room.
27th-Oct-2010 12:31 am (UTC)
When Ramjet hears the cry, he pushes past the drone and shoves the door open, not quite sure what he's going to find.

As far as he knows, there haven't been any problems with Jazz since his capture, and, oddly, he never blamed the ninja for any of that.

But there's something wrong with Slipstream's tone. She's upset. More than that. And if that's Jazz's fault, then there's going trouble.

He strides into the room, going straight to Slipstream's side, eyeing the ninja, watching for a reaction.
27th-Oct-2010 03:02 am (UTC) - <|^ '.' ^|>
[ooc: This continues, with Jazz and then Slipstream reacting to Ramjet entering in the thread above.]
25th-Oct-2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
Slipstream's recorded announcement that the facility is ready to provide energon takes Rumble completely by surprise. Right in the middle of a street in the centre of Nexusville, he freezes mid-step for just an astrosecond.

His steps continue as if nothing had happened, but guilt gnaws at him. He should be there... It is an important day, one they had all anticipated for many months. He really should be there. There may be no danger of anyone trying to sabotage it, at least not that he knows, but he would still feel better if he made sure. Just for a breem...

Soundwave would want him to be there, wouldn't he? He would be disappointed that Rumble isn't keeping an optic on the facility and those who use it.

Satisfied with his excuse, Rumble makes his way towards the facility. If he walks with haste, it is of course for no other reason than that he has plans for later, not at all due to eagerness to reach his destination.

He scowls as he walks up to the door and finds it wide open. The facility is no longer closed off now that distribution has begun, but it just makes his sensor net tingle all wrong to see the door like this.

Rumble walks in, giving the open door a vile glare as he passes it.

He feels almost disappointed when he finds drones by the entrance and no one else.

Of course there wouldn't be a marauding mob trying to destroy the building, he thinks and laughs sheepishly, suddenly feeling mighty silly over his unease.

Obviously, he has spent too long in security, he is already developing paranoia. Yet he can't quite shake it off. Slipstream had worked so hard for this project to come to fruition... Shouldn't Slipstream be here, welcoming the people who come to collect energon cubes and earning the praise for her hard labour?
25th-Oct-2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
The Facility is quieter than usual, only steady, distant, mechanical noises and drones hovering near-silently.

The video feed from the control room security cameras is displayed on the security console. It shows only that Slipstream is seated at a computer terminal, as usual, and that Jazz is standing nearby.
26th-Oct-2010 10:59 am (UTC)
He surveys the room for a moment longer and listens for noises that seem out of place, noises that speak of trouble, but there is nothing.

Sighing through his vents, Rumble saunters towards the security console. If he's going to hang out here, he might as well pretend he's working... Maybe someone he can harrass will come by, he thinks hopefully.

Rumble climbs onto the chair behind the console and takes his first good look at the console. His visor brightens slightly with surprise as he notices the window on the upper right corner of the screen.

He quickly cycles through the various security cameras in the control room before returning to the feed that had been displayed when he arrived. The scene seems perfectly innocous to him, Slipstream sitting at a terminal, being a workaholic again, and a mech he has never met before keeping her company. There is absolutely no reason why pretty femme boss shouldn't have some company and if the mech were bothering her, she would be quite capable to voice her opinion.

Nothing is out of the ordinary as far as he can see.

Rumble leans back in the chair for a moment before he calls up the security reports that were generated since his last shift at the WTP. Yet he is unable to concentrate on them.

It is too quiet. Between the open door and no noises but the ones of machinery quietly working, the Facility feels abandoned to him. It isn't right that it should seem such on the day of the grand opening.

But that, of course, is silly. Rumble knows he has always had a very vivid imagination.

He forces himself to concentrate on the security reports and sends summaries of them along to Slipstream, though he is certain she has read them already. Hopefully, she won't ask what he's doing here when it isn't his shift, but he just doesn't want to leave just yet.
26th-Oct-2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
After some while, a new icon appears on the security console. It looks like a small red-violet triangle, which on focus displays Cybertronian characters reading: Security Trace On.
26th-Oct-2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
He is just looking at a report, not touching anything, when the icon appears. Rumble hastily pulls back his servos, which had been hovering over the console, and tucks them away in his lap.

If something unexpected happens to machinery, make sure you don't appear responsible - it's a habit that has served him well in his prankster experience.

It is only after he has looked nervously around for anyone who might catch him doing something he shouldn't that Rumble remembers that for one thing, he wasn't doing anything he shouldn't and for another, that he is all alone.

"Security Trace On," he mutters grimly and glares at the console. "Aren't you slagging hilarious today!"

His workstation has given him surprisingly little trouble ever since the Maggie squishy first unlocked it, giving him nice things like drones to play with and he had even come across a game once, though he couldn't find it again. Now it seems his luck has run out. Rumble sighs. It just had to be today, hadn't it? He snorts. It could have been worse, he reckoned. He could have had a full lockdown of the Facility during the final assembly. He could have triggered the self-destruct...

Rumble's glower turns suspicious. "You aren't going to self-destruct, are you?" he hisses at the computer console in a challenge. Whatever is happening with his console, it is not doing what Rumble wants and this has to end. Right now. Before self-destruct is triggered or he gets his aft kicked by Slipstream for using his piledrivers on the console.

The cassette hastily checks various settings and security subroutines, trying to gain access to this system so he can figure out exactly what is going on or, when he gives up on that, just bring the system back under his control. But whatever he tries to do leads either to dead ends or his access is blocked. "Don't have the authorization," he hisses malevolently at the console and gives it a kick, "I'll show you my authorization and it comes with piledrivers!"

He heaves a sigh through his vent and gives in, comming Slipstream. In his agitation, doesn't wait for her to accept the comm call, just transmits right away to her frequency. "Pretty boss, did you play around with the security system?"
26th-Oct-2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
Slipstream receives Rumble's comm, just as she comes out of her dive of the mainframe. She is still somewhat occupied; She can be seen moving in her seat, on the video feed, with Jazz nearby. At first, she sends only a terse comm //Standby.\\

A short while later she sends //If there is a change, that might mean it worked.\\ She does not specify what 'it' is. //But, let me know if there is any noticeable malfunction, or aberrant drone behavior?\\
27th-Oct-2010 11:16 am (UTC)
The time Rumble spends waiting after Slipstream's standby comm, he watches the security feed nervously. Is there a malfunction? Some other problem?

The answer she gives him only leaves the cassette more confused than before. What worked? When? Where? How? Why hadn't he heard about it before? These are all good questions, but Slipstream looks busy and he doubts she'll give him a proper explanation right now, if she ever will.

Rumble presses his lip plates together in irritation and forces himself to focus on the answers he might actually receive. //I will, pretty boss,// he answrrs, a bit disgruntled. //An icon popped up on my screen, saying Security Trace On and I can't turn it off. Does that count as a malfunction? The drones aren't doing anything.//
28th-Oct-2010 05:20 am (UTC)
There is another pause, and then Slipstream replies, //That new icon is a program I am running on the Facility's mainframe. It should help with acquiring specific data, without going through the default processes on the alien GUI. It's actually integrated into the security protocols and has the ability to trace specific data.\\

//An Autobot was here, but he's leaving. I-if you see any Autobots, let me know. Th-they are allowed, of course - members of community - just...I can't see any right now. I-I'm busy.\\
28th-Oct-2010 10:39 am (UTC)
That was again an amazingly unhelpful answer which didn't really tell him anything about what the program on his console is doing. Rumble scowls a bit and squashes the urge to go demanding proper answers. That's the problems with superiors... they never tell the grunts anything, even if the grunts are curious.

//Alright, I won't mess with your program. I'll keep the Autobots from bothering you, too. I'll think of some excuse,// Rumble promises gleefully and smirks. That could be fun, actually, coming up with the most outrageous excuses...
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