A safe Haven
Date: 11 million years ago
Summary: It turns out times are changing. Prowl calls for people to help do something the rebels haven't done before.
As logged by QW-Punch on November 6th 2016
Haven - Quintesson World
Here it is. The first, last and only home for the people of Cybertron. Massive caverns deep below the floor of the ocean have been built on by the remaining free Transformers. Buildings as different as can be shine like stars throughout the cavern. They serve as homes, storage units, meeting places and more besides are linked by streets made from scavenged materials liberated from the surface.
Transport tubes have also been set up than not only allow quicker movement from here to there but also serve the important purpose of taking those to the hidden airlocks to allow travel through the depths then surface of the seas and, from there, the wider world beyond.
Lights illuminate the homes, streets and tubes making the whole of Haven a sight to behold from any elevation, angle or perspective. Autobots, Decepticons and Neutrals living and fighting against the Quintesson threat. If only it could have been co-operation, not oppression, that could have brought all together as one.
There's a lot going on in Haven. As there usually is. People going about their business, chatting, or doing nothing at all in perfect harmony. Down here, deep beneath the ocean floor, Autobots Decepticons and neutrals alike coexisting together. As the war, and the oppressors of the remaining sentient cybertronians, are up there. On the surface. One place that's been particularly quiet is the room that serves as Punch's home.
Found wandering by a patrol, badly starved of energon, he was hurried to a safe Haven. Now, for what may be the first time since he was rescued, Punch steps out of his small home and walks across some of Haven's many walkways, eventually finding himself on it's main street. The most active of all it's activity. Optics adjusting to so much going on... Punch steadies himself against a wall to cope with all going on around him.
Firestar emerges from her own residence, which she shares with a few other (rare) ...female Autobots. She pulls up a datapad and reads about the news from above. She's concerned, but she's fine right now, just keeping tabs on things above. Here, she seems to have a good, solid life - an equal mix of work and play.
The throngs of Haven unconsciously move around a lone white figure as he moves through the crowds, making note of all but interacting with none. That is, until he encounters a living spike strip blocking his way as he attempts to cut through the park on the way to where he's going. The white figure glances upward, detecting the light of simulated sun before nodding and moving around the robot traffic spikes. He makes his way to a raised podium from which he can address the milling multitudes, and takes a moment to gather his thoughts while observing the citizens before him.
Wow, okay, a lot to take in here but the hustle and bustle's just a flow he needs to work with. Not against. Punch sees someone move with purpose and, looks like, he's about to make some kind of announcement. Curious Punch carefully picks his way through the crowd and gets a good place in the front row of the podium. Slowly he stretches, trying to keep calm, cool, and centered. As he was taught.
Focusing on the figure Punch now starts to wish he'd got some names from his rescuers and benefactors rather than taking days of quiet contemplation. At least he could hold a conversation with someone. He'd have asked the peaceful stegosaur he passed its name but it seemed too relaxed to warrant disturbing.
Typhoon comes down into Haven, liquid dripping from her silver skin as she has recently emerged from the sea. She grins and looks around happily as she steps within the crowds of the Transformer sanctuary. Spotting the lone figure at the podium, Ty gives Firestar a quick wave before joining those starting to collect curiously at the foot of the dais. Ty glances around at the people gathered around her, then focuses her attention on the speaker.
The figure at the podium raises his hands for silence, and a few of those closest to the dais even quiet down, although overall the mech is ignored. Undeterred, the Transformer activates a public address system. His suddenly-amplified voice echoes across the square. "People of Haven!" he calls out, lowering his hands to grip the edge of the podium. "We have need of you!" He pauses to give a few more people time to glance his way.
Firestar looks up with slight interest in the 'We have need of you.'
In the central courtyard of Haven, a white figure, known to many as Prowl, has taken position at a podium from which he can address the teeming throngs below. A few nearest the dais, including the silvery form of Typhoon, are listening to his address -- many, however, continue to simply go about their lives. Prowl grips the edge of the podium, and continues, "The energy we have tapped to keep this haven running is no longer sufficient to meet our needs." He pauses for effect.
There's a ripple of dim blue light that runs over Punch's casing for the briefest of moments, his optics spark a little brighter for a split second, and he listens even more intently. It's caught his fullest attention.
QW-Arcee makes her way toward the gathering, her attention focused on Prowl. She pauses in worry at his announcement. Haven...is running out of power?? How are they possibly going to survive? "Are there others in the vicinity that can be captured by engineers from the sea floor?" She thinks she already knows the answer, because Prowl wouldn't have bothered telling everyone if this wasn't a dire situation.
Typhoon turns when she hears Arcee's question. Ty is still wet from her most recent mission out in the Cybertronian sea. Not waiting for Prowl to answer, Ty pipes up, "We've been scouring the ocean floor for more hydrothermal vents, but we've reached the limits of how far we can safely spread out without potentially attracting the attention of the Sharkticons. Every hic we extend into the basin increases the chances we'll be discovered, and then all of Haven might be at risk!"
Prowl keeps a firm grip on the podium as he studies the reaction carefully. It seems to have caught the attention of more than before. Good. He's not out to scare anyone. Just make the importance of matters very clear to all. He fields the questions asked, first to Arcee, "It isn't such an immediate threat that our people are in danger. But our reserves are draining faster than we can replenish them." That's why he's talking about it now, before anyone comes to harm. Much more logical.
He nods at Typhoon. "This is true. So we must turn to another course of action to replenish our stocks. Something we've not tried to do before. We need to raid the central energy reserves in the warehouse districts. Above ground. If you have questions I'll answer as best as I can according to information available." he then simply states... "I need volunteers."
QW-Arcee looks worriedly over toward Typhoon, then her gaze goes back toward Prowl, expression grim. To her, living in this hideout is no kind of life. It's tense at times, tempers can flare...and their homeworld is forever inaccessible to them. If they can't get more fuel, they're going to die anyway. So if she can at least get a glimpse at the topside once more, even if it's for a final time...
"I'll go," Arcee volunteers.
Typhoon's sea-blue optics widen as her mouth literally drops open. *"Raid the central energy reserves"*? *"Above ground."*? That's insane! It takes several moments for the audacity of the plan to penetrate her CPU. Once she has a chance to fully process what Prowl is saying, however, Ty shoots her right hand into the air. "I volunteer!" she yells above the crowd. "I know all the ways to and from Haven, where the Sharkticons never go! I can lead us safely to the surface!" She waves her hand, flashing a grin at Arcee.
Punch has been listening carefully. Although he's not said much up to this point, or otherwise reacted in any noticeable way, he speaks now. "I'll help. Although I'd be rather keen to hear how you intend getting past the security and other surveillance set up around the transport hub. It's monitored too well and the maintenance tunnels will only take you so far." Punch already made the foolish mistake of trying to pick his way through that area. All he got for his trouble was being hunted half way across the planet's furthest wastes. Where he eventually ran dry and passed out. Then woke up here.
The tiny stego raises his head to peer at the podium area, where the speaking is coming from. He swishes his tail a bit as he listens quietly.
"I volunteer," comes a confident, refined-sounding voice from the crowd. A brown and purple space mech with spiky grills for shoulders pushes his way through the crowd. He has the self-assured, slightly arrogant air of a high-caste sort of mech, and an ease in the way he maneuvers his way through the crowd. Making his way to the front, he raises a hand, purple visor shining brightly. "You could definitely use someone with aerial skills like me. Blast Off's the name."
Prowl notes internally the initial response, cross correlating that with the projections he made earlier. He even made slides and a presentation and everything. It was all rather neat, informative and efficient. He liked it. Seems, so far, it has exceeded expectations. He notes this down on his datapad and recommends he give himself a gold star at his next review. He also notes the names of those readily stepping forward.
Even the charismatic Shuttle. Bet he never made a slide show. "Very good." Prowl states. The podium's front switches to a display and Prowl projects so the crowd and more can hear "There'll be a sign up sheet, synched to my spreadsheet for some more time yet. Once the deadline's reached you'll all be briefed accordingly.
Addressing... hmm. Name's not on his file yet. that blue bot Prowl says, "That has been thought of. There's a high probability of success with all factors taken into account." He then concludes, "Thank you for listening. And your further support."
Slugfest rests his chin on the ground as he peers up, looking like some adorable robo stego puppy.
QW-Arcee is fairly sure this is a suicide mission. She isn't working under the illusion that they'll be able to return with a full crew. After all, the Quints were able to take the rest of the world. It had been quite the slaughter. She looks over toward Blast Off, wondering what he was going to be able to bring to the mission. She had seen him around Haven, but otherwise didn't know much else about him. Over time, she stopped asking, because referencing the past was just unbearably depressing to most mechs. Didn't make for good small talk. But if he was going on this mission, perhaps she'd find out more in due time.
Noticing that the spy had volunteered, Arcee makes her way over toward Punch. "So what made you volunteer?"
Typhoon flashes a grin at Arcee, and then looks up at Blast Off with stars in her optics. "I'm going to sign up now," she says lamely, looking up at the Combaticon. "You're one of the flyers?" she asks. "I'm a sub. A navigator. If you need someone to get you to the surface, I'm your femme. I can fly also, but I'm not that good at it -- I haven't had a lot of practice. Maybe you can show me sometime?" She beams up at the sniper.
QW-Blast Off notices Arcee glancing towards him, and gives her a little finger-gun-from-the-forehead sort of gesture that cocky flyboys tend to do. Then he gazes down at Typhoon, placing hands on hips, broad shoulders spreading to full spiky glory. "I am indeed. One of the *best*." The guy is confident, at least. "Unfortunately, I don't get to actually /fly/ a lot down here..." he sighs and looks up, shaking his head, then glances back down to her, hips shifting again to face her once more, violet visor looking her up and down. "A navigator, eh? That could be useful. Well, no one's going to fly as well as I, but if you can keep up, then yes, I could show you a thing or two..."
Punch continues listening, until he's drawn to the sudden arrivals speaking up, then back to the speaker... who, Punch feels, rather dodged his question. Still. At least he can do something, play some part in this thing, repay the kindness that has been paid to him. Looking at the list on the podium, he notices his name missing. Not surprising. He's been scarcely around. Certain things... took time. As he adds his name to the list someone approaches him Punch stops and says, "Hi. I'm... you meant me? I'm Punch. I used to... long story. Nevermind. I signed up for many reasons. Make up for mistakes, repay kindness given to me... more besides. May I ask who you are?" Punch asks curiously.
Typhoon looks up at the roof of the artificially-lit cavern, and nods sadly. "Yeah," she agrees. "Not a lot of room to fly down here, and not a lot of safe places to fly above. I'm one of the few people with a relatively complete map of the surface world, however, so maybe we could help each other out once we get out of here. I'm used to working alone, so doing something with a team will be a nice change." She looks back up at Boff, and her smile returns.
QW-Arcee glances over toward Typhoon and then toward Blast Off...her expression with the latter is more of an arched brow. Who WAS that mech? He seemed pretty confident, at any rate.
Turning back toward Punch, she smiles kindly. "We've met a time or two around here...my apologies, I didn't realize you had memory problems. Pleased to meet you, my name is Arcee. Spend most of my time these days maintaining the armory or on perimeter patrol."
Punch smiles. "Thank you Arcee, It's lovely to meet you. I've just not been too receptive since I got here. I... had things to process." Perhaps they should be left for contemplation later. "Although, I hope, I've not had any problems with my memory." He then smiles brighter, "Although maybe I have and I can't remember... but, like I said, I have hope. May I be so bold to ask, what were your motivations behind such an action?" He nods at the board by means of emphasis.
QW-Blast Off nods. "Some days I make my way to the edge, fly around the perimeter real quick. Just to work out the kinks, you know?" He rolls his shoulders, as if working out some of those kinks right now. "You feel so cooped up here, stuck on the ground." Glancing back up, he scratches at his chin, where a faceplate covers the lower half of his face. "A complete map, eh?" He drops his hand, hands on hips and facing Typhoon again. "Sounds like a plan to me, then. I can work alone or in a team. If we can get out, stretch our wings, and maybe throw some rust on the Quint's plans, I'd call it a successful outing."
"To be really honest, Punch, I can't stand living down here. I'm not sure I can live the rest of my existence doing this. I'm doing it because...I want to see the surface, at least one more time," Arcee answers Punch quietly.
Typhoon nods quickly. "Yeah. Luckily I can get out and swim pretty often, or else I'd probably go a little crazy!" She barks a quick laugh that suggests she might be on that path already nonetheless. "Next time you sneak off, if you bring me with, I'll supply you with Overcharge and Sharkticon patrol paths so you can spread those wings a little farther without us getting them clipped." She beams broadly.
Punch stays still and silent for a moment, deep in thought and indecision. "Come on. why don't we take a walk. I'd like to talk but there's too many ears to hear right in the middle of, what looks like the busiest street around." What he heard deeply concerns him. "I do understand that, although we all have troubles, they are as different than the people who have them. However, to speak freely, I would have to beg this indulgence of you. May we?" He's softly spoken, yet clear as he speaks. Calm, cool and collected Punch waits for a reply.
"Hm? Okay, certainly," Arcee agrees to take a walk around the Haven with Punch. "What sort of memory gaps do you have? Can you determine if they're short-term or long-term? It seems to me like you might actually have some of both, which could be corrupt files. A nasty problem to have."
Everyone might be going a little stir-crazy down here- Cybertronians weren't meant to live stuck underwater, after all. Well, not unless their names are something like Nautica or Riptide. The spacer wears a faceplate, but he might just be grinning under it as Blast Off gives Typhoon a nod. "It's a..." he pauses, seems to change something mentally real quick, "deal then." Bringing his hands together and cracking the knuckles with a long stretch, he gazes upward. "I hope it's soon. I hate waiting. Like this, I mean... I don't mind waiting on a job, when you've got purpose, but.... this. This nothing, this calm before the storm. I'd rather be in it already."
Typhoon nods again. She certainly is agreeable! "Well, Prowl calling for volunteers -- that's got to lead to something! It's Prowl -- it's not like he's making an invitation list for a party." Ty smiles. "We shouldn't have to wait long, and this will be a real, dangerous mission! We're lucky to have a skilled flyer like you on our team - we'll need your skill to get back alive," she says breathlessly. "Sharks are easy to get past, but those Dark Guardians are no joke!"
Punch waits and walks, eventually there's a small fountain, crudely made, and he stops. "There's no malfunction in my mind. I remember each time I was placed into stasis and each time I was retrieved. I remember every lesson from my mentor and the mistakes I made upon hearing of his death. He was far greater than I could ever attest to be but after so long with only them and their conversation... I'm still relearning the subtle arts of speaking." He sighs, then smiles weakly looking back to Arcee from the fountain, "His passing still pains me. He taught me better to try and do as I did. Pain, as I have learned, makes even thought impossible. In the grip of agony... we would all do anything to make it stop." Punch then pauses and says, "I can see that something is causing you pain but is it truly this city?"
"Neither am I," Blast Off assures her with that cocky flyboy attitude of his. He seems to think he's hot stuff. Time will tell Typhoon soon enough, it seems. "True, Prowl's a planner, and I can appreciate that. Speed, skill, and action will save the day, but only when directed with thought and foresight." He seems to be speaking from experience there, a faraway look on what's visible of his face. Then he looks back to Typhoon. "You been on many missions?"
QW-Arcee walks along with Punch, stopping at the fountain with him. "Well...no, Haven is alright, for what it is," she admits. "We just weren't designed to live down here like this, that's all. The aquatic modifications were necessary and have helped with problems like rust...but the truth of the matter is that we don't belong here. We belong on the surface. That's my own personal pain...missing the topside world. I miss it a lot. Which is trivial comparing to what you've been through. If I can help you with learning how to find your voice again, let me know."
Typhoon nods in agreement to Blast Off's comments about Prowl, but then makes a face at the question he asks her. "Nope," she replies about her experience with missions. "Not anything like this. Like I said -- I spend most of my time by myself, mapping out land and sea routes for the others to use for, well, times like the missions coming up. I have an antigrav system, but I'm slow and awkward in the air, so I could really use a real flyer to help me with aerial maps to really knit together what data I've gathered from below." She gives Blast Off a smile that says, 'That's where you come in.'
Smiling more brightly, Punch says, "Thank you. That's very kind. Somehow I shall find a way to repay that kindness." He looks at the fountain and, after a moment, he chuckles softly. "It cannot be trivial. Not better nor worse... merely different." He then says, "Think of it more as a start. The first step towards regaining that which has been... not lost... taken, by force, true, but only placed out of reach. Not gone or forgotten. Just some movement in the right direction and it's within reach once more." Looking around, to be doubly sure no one's listening, he continues... "If you miss the surface... I'd be happy to take you sometime. Between leaving the lab I volunteered at and my re-awakening here... I lasted quite some time undetected. It might not be a solution. More, a change for the better."
"I see." Blast Off taps at his chin again. Typhoon's eager adulation seems to hit all the right spots on the space mech. "Well, then, this is your lucky day. It sounds like we might compliment one another. I have some experience and plenty of time on my hands, so I don't mind teaching you, no. Perhaps together we can gather some data AND hit them where it hurts."
QW-Arcee's expression brightens considerably. "You could do that?? But it's so dangerous up there, the Quints have everything under surveillance..." Arcee still can't help but smile at Punch's offer. "Okay, it's a deal. I really want to know how you managed it, too. But that's a conversation for another time." She smiles and says, "I need to head back to my habsuite soon, because I want to begin prepping for this mission by packing some essentials ahead of time." Has the tiny robo stego fallen asleep? It would appear so! Maybe he's so adorable he looks perfectly amenable to being picked up and being carried off to one's habsuite.
After a moment Punch says, "I look forward to that conversation. However, if time must detain you so, may I at least escort you safely home?" Punch is preoccupied. Somehow he's helped. He's not exactly sure how. Maybe things like how do not matter. He then beams brightly, "Anything I shall need for the challenges that lay ahead... I already have at hand." He doesn't elaborate as, it was already agreed, another time. Instead he offers an arm to take, probably an outdated gesture, but, suffice to say, Punch hasn't been out in a while. Again, calm and patient, he awaits Arcee's reply.
QW-Arcee is still smiling. Punch has given her a good impression. What a gentlemech! And he's put her in a very good mood, as well. Instead of spending the evening lamenting over all that's been lost on the surface, she's being offered a chance to see it once more! She lightly hooks her arm in his to begin heading back toward the habsuites. "Thank you. You seem...very confident of that. I would ask you if you're *sure*, but you sound pretty sure to me."
Typhoon's grin broadens so wide it seems her head might hinge open right in half. "I've love to see my collected data finally do some damage against the squids. I've been mapping all of the sea routes and tunnels between here and the main transit routes -- I know together we can get the team in and out with the energon we need to keep Haven going." She practically vibrates with excitement. "We're so lucky to have you on board, Blast Off!"
Walking along is an experience for Punch as he doesn't know where he's going exactly, relying on gentle guidance from the arm in his to lead the way. "I'm certain." He says with a gentle nod "It is, however, not easy to explain. Rather, should the time come where circumstance allows me to demonstrate... then I shall do so." He's beginning to feel less awkward. The time spent with his mentor was a constant analysis. Every word, gesture and action minutely examined. It takes time but Punch is remembering the time before his time volunteering. So, for now, he walks. And Arcee leads.
Yes, all the praise is definitely what this flyboy likes to hear. Blast Off is nearly preening now. He seems to puff up somehow, shoulders broad, hands back on hips, looking proud. "Yes." He gives Typhoon a happy nod. Then he turns back to her and places a hand briefly on her arm in a reserved but friendly pat. "Welcome to the best part of the team, then. We'll take down those Quintessons and reclaim what's rightfully ours."
"Yeah!" Typhoon yells, raising a small fist in the air. "I'll go fuel up, so I'll be ready for the mission! Great to meet you, Blast Off!" Turning in place, Typhoon races off through the crowd, back towards her own little habsuite. On the way, she nearly trips over some sort of crazy green and purple spike strip somebody left laying across the ground in the park. Belatedly realizing it's alive and sentient, she scoops it up and brings it home, setting it on a mock-sunny windowsill to recharge.
QW-Blast Off watches her leave- apparently enjoying the view, too. He finds himself chuckling softly as she scoops up the dino and runs away with him. She seems eager to learn, she likes what he has to offer... if she is at all competent in her job it sounds like they'll make a good team. If she likes going off on her own, that's a good start- it would seem to indicate she is capable of operating by herself and doing what she said she could do. Yes, this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, and the end of the squids. All in all, a very good day. Blast off turns and strides down the path confidently back the way he came.
Slugfest yays as he's scooped up! Someone's going to feed him warm energon and give him a warm bed to recharge in tonight!