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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.]
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 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.
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?"
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