Log Title: A Captive of Delusion
Location: Lab - Dominicon Base
Date: July 30, 2018
TP: Dominicons TP
Summary: Acid Storm finds himself the guest of the Dominicons.
As logged by Acid Storm - Monday, July 30, 2018, 2:33 PM
Lab - Dominicon Base
- The repair bay has many things you would expect in a repair bay. There are tables for injured bots to lie upon (three of them have restraints attached), a couple of stations with specialized instruments, and chairs for both medics and visitors. The floor is brushed steel, but the walls and ceilings are bubblegum pink in color. Somebody has painted dozens of adorable pastel unicorns upon this cheery canvas; a few even have stubby wings. The unicorns frolic across the walls and ceiling with sparkles in their manes and tails, their large, liquid eyes staring down upon the inhabitants of the repair bay. In fact, no matter where you walk in the repair bay, all of the adorable unicorns seem to be looking directly at you, smiling with bared teeth while your movements are reflected in their glossy, dark pupils. Dozens of softly luminescent eyes, so that even when the lights are turned off they can still watch you while you recharge.
Delusion enters the Dominicon Lab carrying a box that's colored vantablack, so it almost looks like she holds an empty space. She checks on the lab's current inhabitant- Acid Storm. The Decepticon seeker is cuffed to a slab with both arm and leg restraints, though that's mostly a formality- while the medical drones patched his injuries, they also disabled his weaponry and ability to move his own limbs.
Slowly, Acid Storm returns to consciousness. He frowns as he realizes he can't move, and as his optics power up they narrow in confusion at the mural of unicorns frolicking above him. He lifts his head slightly, turning... and then snapping back as he recognizes Delusion. Acid looks left, then right, at the empty tables around him. "Where are Ion and Nova?" he demands of the Dominicon interrogator.
Delusion sets the box down on a little lab cart nearby. She takes her time setting things up, retrieving a bottle and some cloths from storage in the wall. When she turns to face Acid Storm, she has an amused curve of a smile. "Not here," she answers. She pulls over a stool and the lab cart, sitting comfortably next to her subject with her selected items within easy reach. Well, for her at least.
"I can see 'not here'," Acid says sarcastically. "That wasn't the question. Are they OK? If you expect any cooperation from me, it's going to have to go both ways. I'm aware that's not how you're used to doing things, Delusion, but I've heard of you. I've heard of your work. I'm sure you have ways to get me to talk. But if you want information you can trust to be true, I need something from you as well."
Delusion hmms. "Bargaining already?" She opens the bottle and pours a little of its contents on a cloth. The sharp smell of cleaning solvent enters the air. "You know more about their condition than I do," she says, optics twinkling. "Knightmare only brought me you." She picks up the Decepticon's limp hand in her own and gently cleans the back of it, removing all dirt and dust.
Acid frowns, concern in his optics. He looks down as Delusion cleans the back of his hand. "What are you doing?" he asks, his bold bravado faltering. Steeling himself, he continues, "And yes, bargaining. Obviously you have me at a disadvantage. Just as obviously, Knightmare wants something from me, or she'd have just killed me like she has so many others. So, what is it? Just cut to the chase."
"I prefer a clean canvas," Delusion purrs, meeting Acid Storm's gaze with her red optics for a moment. "Obviously, she would prefer if I obtain information from you, so I suppose I -should- give you a chance to provide it." She opens the black box on the cart. The inside is a plush texture colored pinkish-red like a gaping mouth. "You know more of Decepticon movements than most. Shipments, troops. Simple things." She takes a vial from the box and sets it on the tray. Click.
Acid's optics narrow. "You know Starscream doesn't trust airmechs with that kind of knowledge. We were moving to reinforce the garrison at Helex. If you want to know about shipments, Knightmare should have nabbed Swindle. You could shake a lot more out of him than me." Acid doesn't waste his energy trying to struggle. He keeps his voice steady and his gaze locked on Delusion.
Delusion chuckles. "Swindle isn't as much fun," she says. "Too easy." She removes another vial and sets it next to the first. Click. And then a third. Click. She turns back to meet Acid's gaze. "If you don't have anything more to tell me, then Knightmare has ordered me to do whatever I please to you. I could keep you here, and alive, for a -very- long time." She turns back to the box and removes three syringes.
"You could," Acid allows. "But what would be the point? Just to indulge your sick jollies? What happened to your new role as 'brave defenders of freedom'? What if the neutrals found out what you like to do in your free time?" Acid keeps his voice is steady, attempting to hide his fear behind a mask of curiosity and mild scolding.
Delusion fits a needle to the first syringe. "Do you really think they care what happens to another Decepticon?" she asks, arching an optic ridge at him.
Acid Storm frowns, unable to argue with that. He looks around the room again before his gaze settles on Delusion. "So, what are you intending to do to me?" he asks with mild curiosity. "Would you prefer I scream and thrash? I'd hate to disappoint you." His mind races, but Delusion is probably right - no one cares what happens to Acid Storm, and a timely rescue isn't likely. Acid steels his expression and his resolve.
Delusion smirks. "You can scream if it makes you feel better, but it's not really necessary." She draws some of the liquid from the first vial into the syringe with the needle. "There are many ways to add to the experience. The crudest is to simply increase the gain on the pain sensors." She sniffs. "But there's more to this than just pain." She turns and picks up Acid's arm, seeking a joint for the needle.
Acid Storm watches Delusion with alarm in his widening optics. "What's the rest?" he asks, voice unsteady. "You subject me to bad poetry?" He glances around, resting his head back against the inclined platform and looking up at the ceiling. "And what's with the creepy unicorns? Did someone ask for a mural of Unicron's arrival but your decorator can't spell?" He powers down his optics.
Delusion injects the Decepticon with the substance. "You will find out in a few minutes," she says.
The solution is designed to make the subject more sensitive to several factors- pain, touch, light, and sound. It also has the effect of causing the subject to feel tired and listless so some degree. If Acid Storm wasn't already powering down his optics, he'd probably want to soon against the headache the bright lights of the lab would cause.
Acid Storm frowns as the mixture slowly has its effect. "What is this?" he asks, optics still powered down. "Starscream ordered us to avoid the Simultronic at The Circle," he says by way of a joke. "If I'd have known the Dominicons were offering free shots, I might have asked to join up sooner. Does Dominicus have room for an extra limb? I could be your stand-in when you need a break. Although bright green might clash with your color scheme," he allows.
Delusion picks up a few cloths and a very sharp scalpel and sets the cloths down next to Acid Storm's hand (the one she prepared earlier). "Feel free to keep talking," she purrs. The interrogator picks up the seeker's hand in her left, turning it so the back faces up, and then applies the scalpel, cutting just deep enough to draw energon and fully engage the pain circuits. She draws the slice in a short arc, cutting slowly enough that the Decepticon can feel the metal drag through the surface of his frame.
Acid Storm eeeeeerrrrrrrrs in pain, thrashing his head back and forth. His nervous banter cuts off as he growls in discomfort at the slow drag of pain across the delicate parts of his hand. His reflex system screams to pull away, but with his servos disabled, all he can do is lie there and experience the growing agony. "I..." he gasps. "I... argh!" He doesn't seem to be able to come up with any more clever quips.
Delusion dabs away the energon leaking from the sharp cut and selects the next spot. The cloth is soft and the touch is gentle. She then cuts another short arc, almost a mirror to the first, though not quite connected to it. "I thought I would start with something small," she comments. "Just your hand, this time."
Acid Storm shakes his head rapidly, optics still powered down. "You don't have to do this," he grunts. "I don't know anything. What do you get out of this? Are you really this twisted?" He grimaces in pain, shaking his head again. "The Decepticons are good to be rid of sickos like you," he spits. "You're everything wrong with Cybertron - someone who enjoys pain for its own sake." He presses his mouth shut, unable to keep going until Delusion takes a break from her cutting.
Delusion dabs the leaking energon again, choosing her next spot. "The Decepticon Empire has many monsters in it," she says, and begins to cut the next arc. "If you really do care for your fellow seekers- your team, at least- then you must realize that you're probably their only hope. Knightmare won't go back for them. Only you know where they lie. Imagine what the elements- and scavengers- might doto them." Her voice remains soft, gentle even.
Acid Storm grimaces. "And, what - if I cooperate, you'll let me go to go save them? How dumb do I look - no need to answer that." He barks a ragged laugh. "Besides, it's not difficult to figure out where we were nabbed. I'm sure someone will send out search and rescue for them... and realize I'm missing. You might want to release me just to keep from having your base overrun by Starscream's forces."
Delusion chuckles. "Suit yourself." She cuts again, a longer cut that curves first one direction, then another.
"AAAAAARRRR!" Acid Storm yells, cooling fans working overtime in response to his straining engines. He tries activating boot jets, arm cannons - anything - and frustration joins with pain at his lack of options besides, 'needlessly endure pain.' Any attempt to 'bravely keep Delusion from getting the satisfaction' has long and quickly passed. Acid powers back on his optics, and immediately flinches as the lab lights seem far too bright.
Rather than a lurid, eager expression that someone might expect from a sadomasochist, Delusion's face is as serene as her voice. The cuts on Acid Storm's hand are part of a developing design, visible briefly as she dabs away leaking energon and begins to cut the next line in the forming image.
Sadly, Acid Storm is in no position to appreciate Delusion's artistic expression. He powers down his own vocalizer, resisting the urge to yell in pain, as it obviously won't seem to help either way as Delusion continues her implacable cutting. Acid powers down his optics as well, and even his cooling fans. He continues powering down every system under which he still has control, attempting to retreat inside himself away from the pain.
Delusion does pause when the cooling fans cut off. She leans over the immobile seeker and rests one hand on his face- the left hand, which has bits of Acid Storm's energon drying on it already. "No, you can't escape that way," she tells him softly. She reaches for one of her toys- a small device that will, at least, keep him awake, and attaches it to the side of his head, setting it so he can't just shut down and ignore the situation. And then she presses a kiss to his forehead before returning to pick up his hand again. He might decide when he talks, but he doesn't get off the ride.
Acid Storm's optics cycle back on suddenly, and he winces again from the perceived brightness of the lights. He grimaces as his systems power back on, flooding his body with pain. His vocalizer buzzes with static, but still he doesn't talk, using all of his mental energy to keep up with what he's experienced without - yet - breaking. He knows it's only a matter of time, but for his own sense of self-worth he struggles to hold out as long as he can.
Delusion settles back in and begins the next cut, adding to her design one curving stroke at a time. She could obviously go faster- the scalpel is sharp enough- but she takes her time, lovingly drawing out each cut.
"OK!" Acid Storm scowls, looking over at Delusion for the first time since she started. "Just... just stop a minute. What do you want? How would I know if you wouldn't just start back up the moment you got out of me what you wanted?" He shakes his head violently. "I can tell you what I know about supply routes, but I'd need assurances you'd let me go and not... do whatever the pit it is you're doing to me again."
Delusion does pause, gently pressing the cloth to the cuts while she is looking away from her work. "If there is one thing that Knightmare stresses, both with us and with the rest of you, it is the importance of a given word." A hard look enters her optics. "If you tell me what you know, then I give my word that I will not cut you again before you are released, and that you will be released. When, however, depends on how soon we can act upon your information. I will not endanger my team by allowing you to give warning."
Acid Storm nods sharply. "OK. OK. I know of a secret shipment going through in one Quadricycle. I know about it because Ion, Nova, and I are supposed to provide security for it. I'll tell you what I know, but I want your word - and Knightmare's word - that if it pans out I won't be tortured again, and I'll be released after your assault - no matter what!" He grimaces. "I don't want to hear about it if you get the drop on them and they fight you off anyway. I'm talking about a small convoy - nothing you shouldn't be able to handle, but enough to make it worth your efforts."
Delusion looks down at Acid Storm's hand. Her gaze softens and her thumb sweeps across the empty spot where part of the image is not yet filled in. She looks back at the Decepticon, and her optics are again implacable. "My word is easily given, but Knightmare is out of the base today. You will have to take what you can get." She lifts her right hand, scalpel still caught in her fingers. "The bargain is for information, not our success. You can only give what -you- have."
Acid Storm nods shakily. "True. I'll give you what I know - access security codes, pathways, whatever I have - but I want Knightmare's assurances I'll be released without further damage, and - and allowed to find my teammates and return to base. I don't expect immunity forever, but I also don't want to get recaptured the moment I leave the base and told you'd met the letter of the agreement." He frowns, optics narrowed against the glare.
"I shall see if she is available." Delusion's voice is cold as she stands up and walks a short distance away, to use her radio privately.
Delusion stands not far from where Acid Storm is restrained on a slab. There is still a scalpel in her hand and a soft cloth lies over one of the Decepticon seeker's hands. A tray close by has one of Delusion's boxes, painted black and with a red interior, and several vials and syringes on it. Drying energon clings to Delusion's left hand and the scalpel in her right. "I'm glad to see your return," Delusion greets Knightmare. Her voice is even, giving away nothing.
Knightmare stops just inside the lab, briefly looking at the unicorns for a moment before fully taking the scene in and moving over towards Acid Storm at a slow pace, "Update me."
Delusion nods. "He knows of an energon shipment in a quadricycle. His team was to provide security, and he is willing to give us what he knows of it, in return for a cessation of injury and safe release. He is holding out for your word instead of just mine." She turns to once again face Acid Storm, hands clasping behind her back and face blank.
Knightmare looks down at Acid Storm, her hands clasped behind her back, "So he wishes no more pain.. no more suffering and to be released? After you swore to tear my Dominicons apart? Is this correct?" She half turns to look at Delusion.. frowns for a moment, then turns back to look at the captured 'Con, "Give us the information, and you will be released after we have made full use of it." She reaches out and slowly applies pressure with one hand to the unclothed one of Acid Storms, "Understand this.. I will not forget your declertaion to hurt my girls. But I will give my word on my honor that you will go free and functional."
Acid Storm looks rough. His face is pale, and his attempt to keep up a brave front during his torture has really taken it out of him. He winces at Knightmare's touch, but thanks to Delusion and Widget's efforts, is unable to shy away from her. "This... isn't going to make you any more popular with the Decepticons," he says drolly. "But all I ask is to be released to find out what happened to my teammates."
"Popularity is overrated," Delusion says. "And you asked for more than that."
Knightmare stares down at Acid Storm, "Do you think I care what they think? As for your squadmates.. they survive. For now." She pulls out a datapad, taps a few short commands then flips it, showing a small cave-like area at the bottom of the Trench, with the other two Rainmakers piled in it, "I would not think one of Starsrcream's followers would care about his teammates.. but I wished to keep track of where they were." She pauses at Delusion's comment, "More?" Knightmare sends a radio transmission.
Acid Storm seems visibly relieved to see his teammates survived, and collapses his head back against the medtable, wincing at the glaring light above him. Knightmare might notice he's reacting to sights and sounds like someone with a bad hangover or a growing migraine. "Reunite me with my teammates, and I'll tell you what you want to know. You're not the only people who care about your fellow warriors."
Delusion arches an optic ridge at Knightmare. "He wished to not be further harmed, and to have not one, but two oaths. One from you, and one from me. Those are not small things." She turns back to Acid Storm. "And you are already changing that bargain, seeker."
Delusion sends a radio transmission.
Knightmare looks at Acid Storm. "No. They stay where they are. I will ensure they survived, but they will not be retrieved until after we make use of the information. Consider it the... payment for your threat against my Dominicons." She draws back and returns to clasping her hands behind her back, her pose almost matching Del's if they were similar size anyways.
Acid Storm looks tiredly at Delusion, and then nods at Knightmare. "I ask only to be released unharmed. I don't require you to transport me to my friends - just let me go, and I'll find them myself, assuming they haven't been moved far from where we encountered you." He looks to the Dominicon leader. "I think I've learned my lesson in threatening you guys, though," he says, trying and failing to laugh.
Delusion walks over to the tray and rests one hand upon it. "We have established that. But you have yet to make payment."
Knightmare is quiet, just standing there as if a statue for a few long minutes before she again speaks, "You have my word that you will leave here without further harm unless you try to escape or force the issue. I will arrange for you to be reunited with the other team at that time, not before... consider it a counter-balance till we can make sure of your words, and only then will you be released with them. Do you accept?"
Acid Storm nods his head heavily. "Yes. Yes, I understand. How would you like me to transfer over the information? No tricks - I want to make sure my friends are all right. You're right, Delusion - no one cares about us but us. If I die here, they'll die out there alone. I don't care about some supply convoy - I just want to see my team again alive." He straightens his jaw, trying to justify his capitulation to them... and maybe himself.
Delusion arches an optic ridge to Knightmare, clearly letting her decide how she prefers her information delivered.
Knightmare raises a hand towards Delusion as she starts to head out, "Delusion speaks in my name on this matter, she will decide on what form. If she gives her word, then I have given mine since she knows what will happen if she abuses that trust." With that she heads out of the lab.. after a brief pause to look at those unicorns again and shaking her head before exiting.
"Very well," Acid Storm says with an air of defeat. "What do you need to know, and how?"
Delusion picks up a datapad. "Start as if you were giving a briefing," she says. "We shall go from there."