Log Title: A Secret Mess Characters: Starlock, Incognito Location: Eastern Industrial Plains Date: 3/17/2020 (Followed by Carving A Path) TP: Harmony of Harmonex TP Summary: Starlock seeks Incognitos aid to free the Combaticons, only to earn a possible aly in her tangled up plan for peace. As logged by: Starlock
(Radio) Starlock transmits, "...I'd.. like to speak with you on something.." to Incognito.
(Radio) Incognito sends Starlock a radio transmission, '...you're one of the Autobots I met at Harmonex when Khamsin started his little crusade, aren't you? Hmm... and to what, exactly, do I owe the pleasure?'
(Radio) Starlock transmit, "That I am.. I'm uh.. the one that asked him to do that eheheh.." *She sighs.* "...I need to ask for... Some possible informational help on a situation I cannot speak of over unsecured links." to Incognito.
(Radio) Incognito sends Starlock a radio transmission, 'I'm near Valvolux at the moment, on my way back to Tyger Pax, but I can stop here and wait. I assume you'll keep me curious until your arrival.'
(Radio) Starlock transmit, "Heh, you'll understand when I get there.. This is very sensitive... So to be aware of whos there, may have to move once I'm there... Thank you for meeting with me also, I am /very/ sorry this is impromptu.." to Incognito.
Eastern Industrial Plains - Northeastern Cybertron
Roughly twenty kilometers or so distant from Valvolux -- in fact, give the location, it doesn't seem he had actually been in the city -- Incognito stands waiting, looking back at the city-state in the distance. Just because he spends most of his time within Tyger Pax doesn't mean that there's nothing outside those city walls. Where he stands, in fact, is a cliff on a slight incline, looking down at a decently commanding view of Valvolux itself.
(Radio) Incognito sends Starlock a radio transmission, 'I'm about twenty klicks out, on a small bluff overlooking Valvolux.'
(Radio) Starlock transmits, "Noted! on my way." to Incognito.
Starlock would come flying into the area, scanning as she looked for the area she'd been directed too... Upon spotting the larger bot, the mini-bot triple changer would flip from her larger shuttle-mode to her smaller root mode and slowly, slowly started approaching the larger, looking a bit frazzled, huffing and panting, she just came from /somewhere/ alright.. Her Autobot emblem still missing from her chassis, and in its place her natural silver star emblem.
"I confess, I am curious," Incognito says, still looking over the view of the valley below and Valvolux beyond. "Very few seem to want to talk to me -- probably because, unlike Alpha Trion, I don't do the coddling thing. That, and I think I've generally made it clear that Tyger Pax is off-limits to both factions, because most of the admittedly few refugees and escapees who reside within Tyger Pax and under my protection prefer peace and quiet to the typical neverending sound of Autobots and Decepticons shooting at one another." He finally turns his head to look at Starlock. "So, for the time being, you have my attention."
"I can relate to that." Starlock says dryly as she rolls her optics and glares at the city, a frown forming on her face as she approaches and sighs. "...I read some of dust Devil's reports about your.. access to a wide library of information and.. I .. need some aid, in an.. 'endeavor' I'm attempting to do, in as much secret as possible." She huffs. "...If I'm found out before then, or if I screw up it.. could really be catastrophic.."
"The Chamber of Vector Sigma, you mean." Incognito chuckles faintly. "You can say what it is, and it won't smite you from the heavens or the underground or anything like that. But yes, it's safe to say I learned a lot from Alpha Trion and the ancient supercomputer itself." He pauses briefly. "I used to know someone with similar issues, concerned about being discovered before he could do what he felt needed to be done. So I can relate, to a degree. Continue."
Starlock is silent for a long moment before she pulls out her old datapad, looking down as she unlocks it with the pin, and brings up a folder with a lot of medical data and scans of the Combaticons, from ether Dustoff, or Goth, two Decepticon medics, and then a fresh one, done a little over a day ago. "...I'm trying to free the combaticons of their loyalty program, I learned of it form Soundwave, because I've earned his trust, but I have to do this without him finding out."
Incognito takes the datapad and looks over it. There's not so much as a twitch as he inspects the files -- which he seems to do surprisingly quickly -- before handing it back. "Schematics date to several millennia after original creation," he notes. "Well before Starscream reactivated them in 1985 using older Terran military vehicles as the basis of their current forms."
He is quiet for several moments, looking back over the valley and Valvolux for almost a full minute or more before finally glancing back. "I know I said during the last talks at Altihex that Megatron's house of cards would inevitably fold in on itself because he would prove unable to stop the entire Empire if they turned on him, but you seem to be taking this a bit... literally," he says quietly. "You're playing at an incredibly dangerous game, Starlock. I'm sure Nemesis would have told you that as well, were he still alive to hear of this. And trusting Soundwave..." He shakes his head slowly. "You want me to take a look, find a way to remove it from them, free them from their ingrained loyalty to Megatron specifically." That last, not a question.
Starlock gives a weak smile. "No one expects the silent wall flower librarian, turned medic." She'd listen to him and nod though, a tired rigging under her optics. "I know... I've been doing this since I returned some months ago, it's part of why I am trying to wrestle Harmonex from the Dominicons... I'm dancing with Devils, and one slip up means I'll be burned, why I am being so.. careful, with this." She'd say, taking a vent. "You'll understand if I say I can tell you who provided me the old datascans, yes?" She'd ask.
"Or some way I can... I don't want to endanger to many people, as as far as the data suggests, they would need knocked out while as Bruticus to remove it, from what I can tell, I just.. dunno how." She'd sigh, rubbing her helm. "Can't just ask them ether, I theorize there's some sort of programing that makes them adverse to getting it removed." She'd knit her ridges.
"....Not to mention explain to them, they'll need to act as if they are loyal till the time is right, I'm trying to also sort out some sort of chip or something to give off a false positive signal when their scanned for such." She mumbles quickly.
Incognito's optics dim briefly, and he lets out a quiet sigh. "So, let me see if I have this straight," he says slowly. "You don't just want me to look, do you? You want me to remove it completely from all of them, at the same time, while still merged in their gestalt form? Mind you, that's no small trick, since typically gestalts disassemble into their respective component forms when a gestalt is overcome by injuries or what-not."
He looks off towards the city and valley below again. "Did Soundwave put you up to this?" he finally asks. "Did he tell you 'give him a technical puzzle and see if he can solve it'? And, for that matter, have you considered all of the ramifications that doing such a procedure would entail?"
Starlock eyes him over. "It all depends if you want to be involved, considering how.. dangerous, this is, as you said." She says with a gesture of her hand. "I'm under no delusion that someone would help me outright without something to gain, and not simply because it's the right thing to do." She says with a nod.
She grunts. "That does.. Present an issue then." She murmurs, trying to think, before glancing up. "...No, he doesn't even know I'm doing this, as I'm pretty sure he helped put that program into Bruticus.. Pretty sure if he found out, he'd /freak/ and attempt to counter my efforts, as... From what I hear, The mercenaries have nooot exactly been the most loyal in the past." She'd huff.
"..Yeah, as the humans say, shit will hit the fan, specially if I can't get the Combaticons to understand why they can't blow their cover right away, they will lose their freedom again and.. Well... I'll have a bigger target on my back.. Or if I screw up, i could mentally damage all of them for gods know how long." She knits her ridges.
"...Don't get me wrong, I am not taking what I doing lightly.. Why I need more information before I proceed, and need help."
"They tried to overthrow Megatron early in the current war, several million years back. Megatron had their laser cores removed and put into storage as punishment. Starscream took them in 1985 and rebuilt them using surplus Terran military vehicles in another effort of his to overthrow Megatron. It failed, but Megatron kept them around because they could form Bruticus." Incognito speaks as if he were almost teaching a history class, though with an oddly patient tone.
He pauses. "You think of your own well-being in addition to their own, which is noble and all, but... you won't be the only one with a target on your back. You're effectively asking me to share that target status with you, and Megatron doesn't have to come after us himself. He does have the Decepticon Justice Division, after all... and when you have five mechs like that at your disposal, never mind Scourge and his Sweeps, the numerous Seeker squads and so much more?" He shrugs. "You can't be surprised when someone asks 'What's in it for me?'"
He turns back around again. "And even then, that's not taking into account that I am, in effect, basically calling myself Switzerland and trying to keep myself and those I watch out for in Tyger Pax out of the war... and you're suggesting that I just stroll right in like I own the place. Then there's the logistics to consider: how do you keep the Combaticons from identifying you if something goes wrong and their loyalty programming remains embedded? Or even if it is removed, what's to stop them from turning on you, me and whoever else you're asking to take part in this in order to save their collective chassis?" Another quiet sigh. "There are /numerous/ factors that go into preserving your own safety, while also giving them a second chance. This is not something to be rushed into by any means."
There's another pause. "Who else have you approached with this?"
Starlock listens intently to the history lesson with a bit of a glint in her eye, she nods slowly though. "..It's like I said, if you /want/ to get involved, I won't force your hand, nor beg or plead, it is your choice." She says nodding her head. "And indeed, That's merely what I'm waiting to hear." She says with a huff.
"...I can't offer much, considering the Dominicons keep coming up with stupid reasons as to why they refuse to let Harmonex into my care, even though I am representing it in an official capacity... Halting any chances I have with the trade routes that are waiting for the shield to come down..." she looks somber as she explains that.
She's silent a moment, glancing away. "Khamsin, Des, and Goth know what I am doing..." She'd muse. "As for total Ailes.. Des has pledged his protection to me and Harmonex.. Khamsin I asked to help me, Encore, Banshee, Star Hauler.. " She'd think, counting on her fingers. "...Blast Off.. if I can make him remember, Vortex still owes me.." She mutters, thinking long and hard. "This is still all moving along... It's not to be done right away, I just got the new scan, after all... So we have more time to plan and patch holes I've overlooked."
Incognito turns back, this time to stare at Starlock. "You haven't even told /Optimus/ about this? Elita One? Magnus, even?" He shakes his head. "I imagine if you had, the Autobots would either be all over it, or Prime would be putting the kibosh on it, because as everyone knows by now, 'freedom is the right of all sentient beings'." He sighs again. "This keeps getting better and better. So... you haven't told the Dominicons of your plan. Right now, it's... a very small group of Decepticons, a neutral, and a couple or three Autobots? Is that about the right of it?"
Starlock shakes her helm. "....I didn't want anyone else finding the programing and using it... I know how Prowl is." Starlock says bitterly. "...I forgot Backblast in all that, Soundwave is an alie too.. long as he doesn't find out what I'm currently doing." Starlock says with a cringe and sighs. "No.. It's clear the Dominicons don't trust me, and fairly, with how their acting with not wanting to let go of Harmonex and make it just a piece in their collection.. I'm not inclined to trust them." She'd frown. "They'll be nothing but a hindrance and detriment." She'd grunt.
"..But yeah that's.. pretty much the quick and dirty version."
Incognito reaches up, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "The Dominicons... let's just say you get much farther with honey than you do with vinegar, as the Terrans put it. Given how it sounds right now... better late than never. But you'll be facing an uphill battle on that score; they did start out as Decepticon, and in some cases, that's a leftover remnant that still clings to some of them."
Starlock crosses her arms. "They want to control the city and the shield with replacing it with /another/ shield and want a say in the city, when they've not even been there to fragging help with it, they've basically neglected while I've been caring for it, and don't want to let me take over full time because i'm an 'autobot' despite me doing EXACTLY what they said I couldn't do in getting decepticons and Autobots working together." She huffs in anger. "...Plus knowing what you do, you can also understand why my faction is now a political /tool/ and actually has nothing to do with me as a person." She explains.
"Yeaah Soundwave's always reminding me." She'd grunt. "I keep saying I understand they have a lot of.. things they'll need to unlearn, and gave them the benefit of the doubt, but this last 5 hour debate was the straw that broke the camel's back." She'd grumble. "Their finding new excuses to deny me, and using flawed logic.. I'm starting to realizes I'm likely just.. going to have to keep carving own path." She would sigh.
Incognito hmms. "Valvolux is one thing, but if they're pushing to have a hold on another city-state that far away..." He frowns. "I may have to have a chat with them, see how far these ambitions go. The last thing we need is yet another neutral group with imperial ambitions. That how Megatron got the Decepticons started up again."
"I pointed out how they are a /much/ bigger threat to Harmonex, then me, because they are considered Decepticon triators, which means they are probably on the D.J.D's list.." Starlock says knitting her ridges. "Delusion even mentioned how she doesn't /care/ what I think or what I want to do, she's just doing what makes her leader happy..." She says sneering, and takes one of the cameras from her glasses. "...I have the whole thing recorded.. even my angry ranting and venting after words.." She murmurs..
"..I have nothing to hide, good, or bad, I want people to know they can trust me, even if I stick my pede in my mouth."
"Admittedly, if the DJD were hunting the Dominicons, they wouldn't be here on Cybertron; they'd be long gone in such a case," Incognito replies. "Even united with gestalt technology, they'd be hard-pressed to deal with Tarn, Vos, Tesarus, Kaon and Helex, and the DJD is smart enough not to take them head-on. It would be one at a time, knowing their tactics." He hmms softly. "Besides, Megatron has a whole Empire at his command, and yet he's not made a move on them since they left the Decepticon fold four years ago."
"This is true, but as Soundwave said...Megatron's going scorched earth at the moment, due to him acting like an animal backed into a corner.." Starlock would murmur. "...So he's a bit of a wild card to predict at the moment.. considering he's demanding for the capture of Khamsin and his mate.." She then pauses. "..Right you don't know about that, their ranks are starting to dissolve into in fighting."
She'd set the small camera in her lap. "...So.. What do you think?" She asks, looking up from her seat on the ground. "...It's.. a mess, a mess that's somehow been effective, but a mess all the same." She'd huff. "...But I'm done with sitting on my hands, waiting for peace to come, and have started working too it.."
"It doesn't surprise me, especially knowing who was at Khamsin's last little fireside tea-sipping chat at Altihex," Incognito mutters. "Megatron... is Megatron. Trying to predict him in any fashion is difficult at the best of times."
He is quiet for several moments. "Officially, I am totally neutral; like I said, I am Switzerland, which means I don't interfere in the war, and they don't interfere with me or with Tyger Pax. That's the deal I have with them. Whether they honor it or not remains to be seen." He pauses. "Unofficially... it is a technical Gordian knot, and the logistics are going to be a nightmare. That aside, I... will consider it. So, not officially a 'no', but not exactly a 'yes', either. This requires much forethought and due diligence to be taken, and I need time to more carefully consider the matter."
Starlock gives a relieved smile, and nods. "That's all I can ask, I rather you think on it fully, then right out acceptance or rejection... Thank you.." She says, pushing herself up, grunting sorely as she slips her camera back into place. "I'll see what the Autobots have on this sort of thing... Maybe try to figure out how to ask someone like Chromedome on the matter, see what insight they can give me, just need to figure how to word it vaugle." She says mostly to herself before glancing to Incognito.
She'd then reach into her subspace and get out a plain, newer datapad and handed it over to him. "Here..I've given the Autobots, Decepticons, and Dominicons a copy of it already, but I heard that Tyger Pax was becoming a science institute kind of city, so I loaded up all the archive datafiles I and them recovered at the Harmonex library I worked in, dunno how much new stuff it will add, but, eh.. Never know..."
"I'd almost suggest Wheeljack or Ratchet, but... I've seen the Dinobots. This kind of thing is well outside their scope of expertise." He pauses, accepting the newer datapad with an arched optic ridge, then nods slowly. "If Khamsin's little soirees actually result in some semblance of peace, I won't deny that it would be interesting to see minds like Wheeljack, Perceptor and Brainstorm alongside the likes of... whatever scientists the Decepticons have. Even in spite of how much many Cybertronians may dislike his chosen field of study, even Thunderwing would be an interesting addition to the mix."
Starlock cringes. "I wouldn't want to worry Ratchet with this anyway, I give that poor mech enough of a spark spasm." She'd sigh, shaking her helm. "...That and he's still not recovered his hands from Nightbird's attack on him so.." She'd glance away, frowning and takes a vent.
"..It would be pretty neat, like those of us music bots putting on such a show in Harmonex with the crystals.." Starlock says with a smile, somewhat day dreaming. "....I'd love nothing more, then to stop having to put my life on hold, because of this endless war."
"Not recovered his hands? Nightbird chopped them off?" Incognito frowns. "No one's tried to replace his hands with new ones? Or recovered his original hands to reattach them?" He shakes his head. "Clearly, I need to pay Iacon a visit." He straightens up. "At any rate--"
He pauses, a bit of a faraway look his in his optics before he speaks aloud. "Yes, Dredge, I'm coming. Someone stopped me to talk for a bit. I'll be back to Tyger Pax in about six breems, maybe seven. Traffic shouldn't be a concern now."
He looks at Starlock. "I try simply to guide, but they feel like I have to be almost on top of them," he explains a bit apologetically. "I should get back to Tyger Pax. In the meantime, be VERY cautious and careful about this." With that, he transforms, giving a brief honk before driving back onto the road.
Sure, he can fly -- he does have that space transport altmode. But there's a lot to think about, and sometimes the best way to think is to drive.
Starlock looks a little surprised. "..The fallen happened and it got left by the wayside, don't... Don't worry, I've asked for Solus Primes help in creating him a new pair, once I found out... I know my limits, I can't fight an assassin." She smiles weakly. "...I wouldn't be opposed to such a visit though, if you feel it's necessary."
She'd give a nod and a light bow. "Thank you again, and safe steps." She says watching him go, before she leaps off the ledge of the overhang and transforms into her own small shuttle mode, and heads back for Harmonex.