Log Title: Caught in the Killing Jar
Location: Quintesson shuttle
Date: 20 Feb 2016
TP: Killing Jar TP
Major Bludd has spent his morning planning out the raid on Pine Gap and is now taking a well-deserved break. After flipping channels for a bit he's settled on a program discussing the upcoming Australian Rules Football season. "Can the Dockers make it to the Grand Final this year?" enthuses one sportscaster. "They've certainly got the talent," agrees another. Bludd's only paying half attention: his feet propped up on the coffee table, a mug of Earl Grey tea cupped in his hands.
Outside the window, a large Cobra aircraft suddenly descends glaringly from above, in plain sight of anyone who might be looking down the street. It's one of the newer Black Dragon VTOLs, tricked out for Cobra VIP transport. In the pilot seat can be seen a Cobra Air Viper, and in one of the passenger seats appears to be Cobra Commander himself. Wind rushes away from the strange sounds of the ship's engines as it hovers. At the same time, Bludd's private phone rings.
Bludd is halfway to his feet, looking out the window for the source of the aircraft making the sound, when his phone rings. He takes a couple rings to lean against the curtained window and peek out. "The hell is that doin' here?" he mutters to himself. He backs up toward the coffee table and crouches, reaching blindly for his mobile phone, his gaze still on the window, and manages to grab the device. He spares a glance at its screen to see the caller's identity.
The number on the phone is the one Cobra uses when it wants to offer Bludd a job. It's been strangely silent since Bludd has been incarcerated - VENOM has preferred the personal touch. From outside, Cobra Commander seems to be looking through the window right at Bludd - at least, as far as Bludd can tell through Cobra Commander's silver mask. As the ship hovers outside, the phone continues to ring. "Looks like they haven't forgotten me after all," Bludd mumbles as he thumbs the control on the phone's screen to answer the call. "Yes, Commander," he says.
Cobra Commander's voice comes through crystal clear on the phone. "Major!" he says in his characteristic shrieking voice. "How good to see you again. We have important use for one of your character and skills. I hate to impose like this, but would you care to come aboard so we can discuss possible terms? I promise you that for something this short of notice the rewards would be appropriately staggering."
Bludd's expression of surprise is quickly overtaken by one of pleasure. Appropriately staggering? He sits down on the couch and pulls his black hiking boots on. "Be happy to, Commander," he agrees, going back to the window, throwing aside the curtain and opening the window.
The side of the Black Dragon VTOL opens, and the pilot brings it around to line up the door with the window of Bludd's flat. Cobra Commander moves from the passenger seat back into the body of the plane to greet Bludd personally when he comes aboard. The VTOL is remarkably stable as power winds are generated by its engines blow back Bludd's curtains and the smell of strange fuel blasts Bludd as he opens up the window.
Bludd climbs into the Black Dragon and smiles knowingly at the Commander. "Been a while, Commander. What d'you need from me?"
The door seals behind Bludd, and the craft starts moving immediately and swiftly upward - surprisingly fast and smooth even for a VTOL. The cockpit door closes, and slowly Cobra Commander draws a pistol. "Oh, I'm sorry, Major," Cobra Commander says in mock apology. "I suppose I was wrong. It turns out I don't need you after all." Cobra Commander raises the pistol and points it directly at Major Bludd's chest.
"You came a long way just to shoot me dead," Bludd reasons aloud, his stance shifting to a more defensive one. He's worked with the Commander long enough to know the man's prone to random fits of violent near-insanity, but he hasn't been directly threatened by him for a very long time. "Why don't you tell me what you're really after?"
The Commander voice hisses behind his helmet as he responds in agitation, "I'm clearly threatening you, Major Bludd. Do you really wish to simply talk about my motives in coming here?" The Commander sounds equal parts annoyed and surprised by Bludd's reaction. He moves the pistol slightly to keep the muzzle pointed at Bludd's center mass, but sure enough doesn't pull the trigger just yet, preferring instead to ask questions of his own.
"What I don't wanna do is get shot," Bludd states, making a grab for the wrist of the Commander's pistol hand. If he can angle the weapon away from him and perhaps even force the Commander to drop it, he may improve his chances for survival. Of course, the Commander always has some hidden trick up his sleeve ... or within his helmet. And there's the Air-Viper to remember as well...
>> Major Bludd succeeds with his generic combat roll on Cobra Commander. <<
The Commander's wrist is grabbed, and as he pulls away, the gun falls to the ground. The Commander pulls back away from Bludd with perhaps surprising strength (although he did once have that armor that gave him a grip that could crush concrete, which he might be wearing now), and takes a step back, watching Bludd behind the faceless mirrored mask. The gun winds up on the ground between them, and now it seems it's the Commander's turn to see what Bludd will do next.
Bludd places his foot on the pistol and pulls it toward him. For the moment he leaves it there, where it's inaccessible to his opponent but not posing a threat in his own hand. He flicks a glance over his shoulder toward the Air-Viper, then looks back to the Commander. "What's this about? If yer out t'punish me fer somethin', might wanna g'head an' tell me what the hell it is." Bludd's annoyance is showing in his diction, as he drops his more formal mode of speech for a more natural Australian drawl.
The Commander suddenly melts away, as does the inside of the Black Dragon VTOL. Instead, Bludd finds himself in some sort of bare metal cell, secured by glowing energy bars. Outside the bars is a large hallway, and then on the opposite side of the corridor is none other than Kimber Benton of the Holograms. She is sitting on the floor hugging her spandex-covered legs, and black mascara runs down her face from recent tears.
Bludd blinks in surprise as the Commander vanishes and the scene changes. "What'n the--?" he blurts, instinctively inspecting his new location for exits, though he's all too quick to recognise a prison cell when he sees it. Glowing bars are a new touch though... He gazes across the hall toward the opposite cell, then steps up to inspect the bars a bit more closely.
Across the hall, Kimber looks up as she spots movement. She looks hopeful for a moment before she realizes who it is. "Oh, my GOD!" she yells, jumping to her feet. "Major BLUDD? HERE? What's going on?" She approaches the bars, but then jumps back and shrieks as she gets too close and gets a shock like that of a bug zapper. Further down the hall, a massive robot with what looks like a shark-tooth necklace turns slightly to stare dimly towards the noise. The bars themselves look to be some sort of solidified electrical energy, and Kimber has helpfully demonstrated that even getting close to them will give you an electrical shock.
Bludd's gaze rivets on the woman as she shrieks. He stops short of the bars after witnessing her encounter with those in her own cell. His expression of annoyance at the piercing tone of her voice shifts to recognition, then moves quickly on to resignation. "Not you," he mutters to himself. The guard's motion draws his attention and he frowns down the hallway at the odd robot. "I've been kidnapped into a science-fiction movie," he muses aloud. "Hope this isn't another o'those damned time-travel trips. Don't think I can take another one o'those..." He looks back across the hall at Kimber, putting on a snarky grin for her benefit. "Fancy meetin' you here, love," he drawls.
Kimber scowls, recovering quickly from the zap and crossing her arms across her white-jacketed chest. "Don't call me 'love'! What are we doing here? Are you behind this? Did you kidnap us AGAIN? What do you want this time?" She taps the tip of her high heeled boots against the metal deck of what must be a ship, judging by the continued feel of motion and acceleration - wherever you are, you're still moving upward, and fast.
Bludd gestures to the cell he's standing in. "If I were behind it, why would I be locked up too?" He begins to pace slowly back and forth, his expression pensive. "I was watchin' telly," he tells Kimber. "Ready t'just sit back an' have a relaxin' afternoon. And now I'm in here." He pauses to flick her a sour look. "With -you-." He ceases his pacing and stares across the hall at her.
Kimber frowns. "You think you have problems? I was in the studio, working, and I get a call to meet Jem outside! JEM! Je - uh, Jem is never around anymore, so I went outside to see what she wanted, and got in her van, and she just, liked, attacked me! For no reason! I huddled down and cried, and when I looked up I was here! And she's gone! I don't know where my si - my friend is, or why I'm here, or what's going on!" She starts sobbing, with deep, gusting breaths. Thick tarry tears roll down her pale face.
"Not so different to what happened t'me," Bludd replies. "I know as much as you do." He frowns as she starts crying. "And that's not gonna help us figure it out and get outta here." He peers down the hall toward the robot again. "That thing do anything since you've been here?" he asks, jerking his head toward it.
Kimber blinks, and stops crying immediately, although her makeup continues to run down her freckled face. She looks down the hall at the dim-looking Sharkticon. "Him? He's barely moved. He looked over when I arrived, and then I think he just moved again when I screamed, but he hasn't said anything. He looks like he's just a guard - I'm not sure who's in charge." She tries to wipe the tears away from her face, but winds up just smudging her makeup more.
Bludd nods absently. "I expect we'll find out what they want with us when an' if they decide to tell us." He turns and gives the cell he's in a more thorough once-over, wondering if there might be something in here he can make use of.
Bludd's cell is bare, and it appears across the hall Kimber's is as well. Everything seems to be at a Transformer's scale and made of a strange metal. "Who do you think they are? Do you think it's aliens? Robots? Alien robots? Oh my God! What if they decide to, like, cut us open and do evil experiments on is and make us half-alien robot clones?" Kimber's light blue eyes widen as she presses her hands to her face in horror at what her own imagination has wrought.
"Well, either they don't intend to keep us in here long or they don't know or aren't interested in the physical needs of humans," Bludd reasons, casting Kimber a long-suffering look. "And letting your imagination run wild is also not helping."
Kimber jumps as suddenly another row of bars appears in the hallway, to the right of Bludd's cell and leading across the hall to Kimber's cell. Another one appears on the other side of the cell, forming a square cell in the center of the hall between Bludd's cell and Kimber's. Then, after a moment, the bars between Bludd's cell and Kimber's both disappear, leaving them in one big cell that runs across the hallway. Kimber screams as the bars of her cell drop, and runs directly at Bludd with her hands balled into tiny little bony fists.
Bludd watches the bars rearrange themselves, starting when the bars separating him and Kimber vanish. He levels a warning look at the woman as she comes barrelling toward him. He shifts his weight ever-so-slightly in an automatic reaction to someone running straight at him with possible intent to attack him. "Cool it," he commands, preparing to simply grab her by the arms to hold her still and keep her from making contact with him.
Kimber throws herself at Bludd, alright, and might indeed need to have her arms grabbed - but her intention doesn't seem to attack him, even if she doesn't seem sure WHAT she wants to do. "Cool it?" she yells. "How can you tell me to cool it? Cool what? We don't even know what's going on!" As her register climbs towards ear-splitting, a door slides open at the end of the hall, and revealed in the frame is light is some sort of floating egg-shaped alien with a host of waving tentacles.
"You need to -calm down-," Bludd growls, slowly and deliberately, staring Kimber in the face as he takes hold of her upper arms. "I told you, they'll let us know what they want when they're --" His gaze goes to the end of the hallway and the alien being floating there. He holds onto Kimber securely. "Look at me," he says in a low tone. "I think they're about to let us know what they want." He gazes seriously into her eyes. "But I don't think you wanna see this guy." He looks back at the alien and watches it cautiously.
Kimber is grabbed, and for a moment it looks like maybe Bludd will be able to calm her down - until she ignore Bludd's warning and looks over and down the hall, and then SCREAMS like she's in a 50s horror movie, possibly deafening Bludd for all time. "It's awful! It's got tentacles! And -- its face! Oh my God! Look at its face!" Unperturbed by all the screaming, the alien starts slowly moving down the corridor towards the bars separating it from Bludd and Kimber.
Bludd winces at the scream, but keeps watching the approaching alien. "Yes," he agrees quietly. "That's why I said you wouldn't wanna see it." He hesitates a moment before releasing his hold on Kimber. She's unlikely to attack him, he reasons, and will probably just try to get as far from the alien being as possible, and he's fine with that. He addresses the alien. "Are you the one who's keeping us here?" he says evenly, though he -is- somewhat disturbed by the creature's appearance.
A large, egg-shaped creature, with glowing amber optics, and many squirming, tan-coloured tentacles. On its face is a neutral expression, seldom disturbed by extreme expressions of emotion. Its gaze denotes intelligence, however, and a certain penetrating awareness. This face on the cracked blue steel of its armoured hull is accented in white, and designed to give a familiar form of reference to most binocular-visioned alien life forms. Around its body, however, are four other faces, each slightly different, and each seeming to act independently of the other. This odd creature moves about on a golden hoverbeam directed straight down into the ground. The creature is seldom seen without its honor guard of sleek Shark-like robots.
The alien looks directly at Major Bludd, and says in perfectly unaccented (that is, Australian-accented) English, "Yes. You are my prisoners, and my experimental subjects." Kimber disappears out of Bludd's limited left-side peripheral vision, but he can tell that sure enough Kimber has tried to get as far away from the alien as possible, retreating to the far corner of Bludd's cell. "I knew it!" she screams. "He's going to cut us open and probe our innards!"
Bludd ignores Kimber's hysteria for the moment and focuses on the alien. "What sort of experiments d'you intend to perform?"
The alien shifts slightly, revealing another, even uglier alien face next to the one talking to Bludd. This one says in American-accented English, "We will do no such thing." The first face replies to Bludd, "We are studying your behaviours, your reactions. How you respond to different stimuli." The second face continues, "You will not be injured unless you try to escape or resist taking part in the experiments." The first face studies Bludd while the second seems to be staring at Kimber.
Bludd leans back a bit as the alien changes faces. He frowns, glancing to Kimber briefly before returning his attention to the alien. "You mean t'keep us in here?" He gestures at the bare room he's standing in. "This cell's not really suited for humans. It needs a few things."
The accentless face narrows its mechanical-looking optics. "Really?" it inquires, sounding curious. "What might you require?" The other face keeps an optic on Kimber, while the alien's tentacles weave in an almost hypnotic manner. The entire thing seems to be floating somehow on a solid column of light. The taller robot continues staring straight ahead, showing no interest in the conversation between alien and humans.
"A couple of beds would be a nice start," Bludd replies. Unless one of the stimuli is to see how they respond to sleeping on a hard metal floor, but of course he doesn't say -that-. "Perhaps something to keep us occupied. "Books to read, paper and pen to write with, some kind of electronic entertainment? Are you familiar with the video broadcasts that flit round our planet? Some like to watch those." He glances to Kimber once more, this time smiling faintly. "Some music. Even a musical instrument of some kind. The lady's a musician; I don't know if you knew that. Oh, and you do know we need to eat, don't you?"
The alien doesn't alter its movement, but almost instantly items seem to appear in Bludd and Kimber's cells - books on shelves, beds with linen, a desk in each room with paper and pens, and smaller, closed off areas, too, that look like closets. Everything is human-scaled and looks and feels real, although Bludd especially might notice that the books do NOT smell right, or indeed smell at all. Lastly, a keytar appears laying on Kimber's bed.
"Food will be provided," the accentless face says. "That may require more time."
Bludd takes a minute or two to explore what they've been provided, nodding. He gazes wistfully at the keytar for a moment, then turns back to the alien. "This will do," he says, apparently unimpressed. "What exactly is it you'll be wanting us to do for these ... experiments?"
"For now," the alien says, "Simply be yourselves, and settle in to your new environment. Know that we will be watching, but otherwise go about your business as you would on Earth."
"Fat chance of that!" Kimber yells from her corner, although she's at least now stood up and stopped crying with the appearance of comforts and furniture. "You're going to see me do nothing but sit on my bed and sulk, you weird alien freak!"
"I think I speak for both of us when I say our typical business isn't well-conducted from inside a cell," Bludd remarks. He moves over to the bed that doesn't have a keytar on it, slips off his boots, and lies back on the bed. "But for the moment, I suppose we'll manage."
"Excellent," the face talking to Bludd says, while the other ignores Kimber. The egg-shaped alien starts to float backward towards the room he emerged from, never turning around to show the rest of his body (spoiler alert: more faces). It hovers into the brightly lit room and the door closes behind it. The dim-looking robot then moves in front of the door, and brandishes a long polearm - which it then just holds in silence, guarding the door.
"This is stupid!" Kimber exclaims, standing over Bludd on his bed and scowling down at him. "You should have done something about it." Without waiting for a reply, she stomps back over to her cell, throws the keytar on the floor, and climbs into her bed, covering her head with the pillow and screaming and crying before passing out to sleep.